Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Blue Cheese and Asparagus Salad

This is DELISH!!! YUM! A definite keeper and a great summer salad!


 2 lbs asparagus tips
1 can mandarin oranges, drained, 
juices reserved 
1 tbsp  reserved mandarin orange 
juice **I used to taste**
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil 
1  cup Blue Cheese, crumbled
 Fill a large bowl with ice water and set aside.  Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.  Add the asparagus and cook until crisp tender then drain and plunge into the ice bath for 1 minute, drain again and set aside.  Whisk together the olive oil and orange juice.  Toss the asparagus, blue cheese and oranges together and drizzle the dressing over.  Toss again and sprinkle with salt.  Enjoy~

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Red Velvet Cupcakes

To quote Tony....These are the very best cupcakes ever! So I guess these are keepers!


  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
  • 1 cup buttermilk, room temperature
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons red food coloring
  • 1 teaspoon white distilled vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 (12-cup) muffin pans with cupcake papers.
In a medium mixing bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, and cocoa powder. In a large bowl gently beat together the oil, buttermilk, eggs, food coloring, vinegar, and vanilla with a handheld electric mixer. Add the sifted dry ingredients to the wet and mix until smooth and thoroughly combined.
Divide the batter evenly among the cupcake tins about 2/3 filled. Bake in oven for about 20 to 22 minutes, turning the pans once, half way through. Test the cupcakes with a toothpick for doneness. Remove from oven and cool completely before frosting.

Cream Cheese Frosting
  • 1 pound cream cheese, softened
  • 2 sticks butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 cups sifted confectioners' sugar
  • In a large mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese, butter and vanilla together until smooth. Add the sugar and on low speed, beat until incorporated. Increase the speed to high and mix until very light and fluffy.
    Frost the cupcakes with a butter knife or pipe it on with a big star tip.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Enough to share

This pasta dish is so easy and makes a lot.  The original recipe is titled Friendship Casserole because there is enough for 2 casseroles and you can share! My kids love it! The recipe is for 2 9x13 pans....I make about 3/4 of the recipe below and it is a hearty dinner.
2 lbs ground beef**I use turkey**
1 48 once jar of prepared spaghetti sauce*I used home made sauce that was in the freezer*
2 Tbsp sugar
1 16 ounce pkg egg noodle
1/2 cup butter
 1/2 minced onion
2 cloves garlic minced
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
12 ounces mozzarella cheese

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Brown meat, garlic and onion and drain extra fat.  Add sauce and sugar to the meat, simmer for 20 minutes.  Cook noodles and drain, toss with butter ad Parmesan cheese.  Spray 2 9x13 pans with cooking spray.  Pour 1/2 sauce then layer the noodles and rest of the sauce and top with mozzarella cheese.  Cover with foil and bake for 45 minutes.  YUM! Enjoy~

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Citrus Chicken Marinade

YUM! It is grillin' season again! Woo Hoo! Love to grill everything and I love to try new marinades and recipes.  This was a huge hit...juicy and flavorful! Make sure to allow plenty of time for the marinade to sit with the meat.
4 boneless and skinless chicken breasts ** I doubled this for our family**
1 1/2 cups of white wine
Juice of 1 lemon
Juice of 1 orange
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
2 Tbsp peppercorns
1 Tbsp fresh rosemary
2 teaspoons of fresh basil, chopped
3 bay leaves
2 additional Tbsp vegetable oil
Mix all of the ingredients well in a bowl.  Place chicken in a large ziplock bag pour the marinade over the chicken. Seal and marinate in the refrigerator for 4-6 hours. Turn occasionally to make sure all the chicken gets marinade time. Throw away the marinade before you grill.  Brush the breasts with the oil and grill for 10-12 minutes r until cooked through. Easy...Enjoy~

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Lemon berry cupcakes

Mmmm mmmm good! And pretty, too! I found this cake "doctored" recipe and I couldn't wait to make them.  The recipe made 24 so I took them to a couple of neighbors and we had a ton for us as well.

1 pkg lemon cake mix
1 cup sour cream
3/4 cup oil
3/4 cup water
4 eggs
1 small pkg lemon instant pudding

Mix dry ingredients and add wet ingredients.  Mix with an electric mixer on medium speed for 2 minutes.  The batter will be really thick.   Fill cupcake cups and bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes.  Do not over bake or they will be dry. The tops MIGHT fall and you just have to fill with more icing! :)

Lemon Buttercream Frosting
1 cup soft butter
6-8 powdered sugar
1/2 cup lemon juice, fresh
1 tsp grated lemon zest
Put butter in a mixer and add 4 cups of the sugar, then juice and zest and beat until smooth.  Gradually add the remaining sugar 1 cup at a time until icing is thick enough to spread. Ice the cupcakes and garnish with berries! Enjoy~