Saturday, February 25, 2012

Baked Pasta with 2 cheeses

  • My kids LOVE mac and cheese! I  love we were all happy! This is super creamy and filling.  A great comfort food dinner, we will definitely be having this a lot!

  • ~Recipe~
  • 1 pound uncooked small pasta
  • 1/4 c flour
  • 3 cups milk 
  • 2 cups (8 ounces) shredded fontina cheese
  • 1/4 cup (2 ounces) mascarpone cheese
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt 
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Cooking spray 
  • (1-ounce) slices white bread 
  • 1 tablespoon butter 
  • small garlic clove, minced 
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  1. Cook pasta according to package directions... Drain and keep warm.
  2. Preheat oven to 350°.
  3. Combine flour and milk in a large saucepan over medium heat, stirring with a whisk. Cook 10 minutes or until thick, stirring constantly with a whisk, you don't want it to burn. Remove from heat; add cheeses, stirring with a whisk until smooth. Stir in salt and black pepper. Add cooked pasta, stirring to coat. Spoon pasta mixture into a 13 x 9-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray.
  4. Tear bread into several pieces. Place bread in a food processor; process until fine crumbs measure 1 1/2 cups. *I would never use this much again....maybe 1/4 of the amount*
  5. Melt butter in a small skillet over medium heat. Add garlic; cook 30 seconds. Remove from heat. Stir in breadcrumbs until well combined. Sprinkle breadcrumb mixture evenly over pasta mixture. Bake at 350° for 25 minutes or until bubbly. YUMMY!! Enjoy~

Friday, February 24, 2012

Vanilla Cream Cupcakes

How did I spend my Monday? I made cupcakes for the neighborhood kiddos that I adore! My kiddos loved them as well  t is a crazy easy recipe and vanilla is my absolute favorite! YUM!
1 white cake mix
1 c flour
1 c sugar
3/4 tsp salt
4 eggs
1 1/3 c water
2 Tbsp canola oil
1 c sour cream
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp almond

Whisk the cake mix, sugar, flour and salt in a mixing bowl.  ADd the rest of the ingredients and beat for 2 minutes.  Fill cupcake tins 3/4 full.  Bake at 350 for 17-20 min. Cool and frost with your favorite icing! I used vanilla buttercream on these. Super duper easy! Enjoy~

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Cinnamon Swirl Banana Bread

I had to use some bananas and I was tired of the same old here is a new one!

 3 over-ripe bananas, mashed

1/3 cup melted butter

3/4 cup sugar

1 egg, beaten

1 teaspoons vanilla

1 teaspoons baking soda

pinch of salt

1 1/2 cups flour

Cinnamon Swirl:

1/3 cup sugar

1 tablespoon cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350. Butter and flour a loaf pan.

Mix bananas, butter, sugar, egg, and vanilla together. Add baking soda and salt. Add the flour and combine, but don’t over-mix. 

In a small dish, mix together the 1/3 cup sugar and 1 tablespoon cinnamon.

Add ½ of the batter to the loaf pan and then sprinkle a little over ½ of the cinnamon and sugar mixture all over the batter in the pan. Add the rest of the batter, and then sprinkle the leftover cinnamon and sugar on top. **I did not use the entire amount of cinnamon on the top. It seems to be A LOT!!! **

Bake for 50-60 minutes, or until golden brown on top. Cool, cut and enjoy~

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Sugar Cookie Bars

These are the awesomeness of a sugar cookie in a convenient bar! A winner!


1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 cups granulated sugar
4 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
5 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 tsp baking soda

1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla
Pinch sea salt
4 cups confectioners’ sugar
5 tablespoons milk
Food coloring, as desired

Oven to 375 degrees
Line a 10x15 baking sheet with parchment paper
Cream the butter and sugar on medium high until light and fluffy(2 min).  Slow the roll on the mixer to medium and add the eggs 1 at a time and mix after cracking each one. Add the vanilla.  Whisk together, in another bowl, flour, salt, baking soda, mix well, please.  Slowing again, to low, add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and mix until all combined.  Using a rubber spoon evenly spread the cookie dough into the pan.  Bake about 15 minutes, don't over bake.  A tester should come out clean.  Let them cool completely.
For the yummy frosting, beat the butter until light and fluffy(we've done this before...2 minutes).  Add the vanilla and salt and mix well.  Slowing the mixer to low add the powdered sugar 1 cup at a time.  Add the milk until smooth.  Add the color of your choice and frost and decorate the bars as you wish! Be creative! Cut and Eat!  Enjoy~

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Strawberry Shortcakes

I found some wonderful strawberries the week, due to Valentine's Day and what better way to devour them than a yummy shortcake and whipped cream concoction? They were so fresh and flavorful....the whole family ate them and LOVED them!
2 16 ounce containers of fresh strawberries, cut in quarters
3/4 cup sugar, divided
1/4 tsp almond extract (YUM)
1 cup whipping cream
2 Tbsp sugar
2 3/4 cups flour
4 tsp baking powder
3/4 cut cold butter
2 lightly beaten eggs
1 8 ounce container of sour cream(full fat)
1 tsp vanilla

Combine the quartered strawberries with sugar to taste, mine were really sweet so I used less than 1/4 cup. Add the almond extract, cover and let sit for 2 hours.

Whip the cream on medium speed until frothy, gradually add the 2 Tbsp sugar and beat until soft peaks form.  Cover and chill...(this is so fresh and yummy you will want to eat it with a spoon, just make sure no one is looking!)

Mix the flour, baking powder and 1/4 cup sugar*I whisk it quickly* Cut the butter in with a pastry blender or 2 forks until crumbly.  Whisk the beaten eggs, sour cream and vanilla, add to the flour and mix until just moistened.  Drop dough by 1/3 cupfuls onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.  Coat the 1/3 cup with veg spray for easy dropping.  BAke for 12 minutes at 450 degrees.

Out these together by cutting the shortcakes in 1/2, top with strawberries then cream then the top, add more strawberries if you want! Enjoy~

Monday, February 20, 2012

Pizza Dip

I am behind  on posting.  Teenagers get in the way with all the activities....I made this quick and delicious dip for Super Bowl weekend and it is a keeper for sure! Lame picture of pepperoni...but hey...right?

1 8 ounce pkg of cream cheese
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 tsp garlic powder
 pinch of salt
1/4 c grated parmesan cheese pus more for the top
1/2 cup pizza sauce
3/4 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
1 3.5 package pepperoni
1/2 tsp Italian Seasoning

Beat the cream cheese until soft and creamy and add the sour cream(honestly, this is a yummy combo that I can see could become a problem for my sour cream addicting self) and mix.  Stir in teh garlic powder, salt and parmesan cheese and place in a 8x8 baking dish.  Spread teh pizza sauce over and sprinkle the mozzarella cheese on top.  Cover the entire dip with pepperoni ad then the Italian seasoning and more parmesan cheese. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes....YUM!! Serve with pita chis.  We decided we liked Triscuits with it more.  It is so good! Enjoy~

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Everything bars

I ran across this recipe this morning and knew I had to make it for the kids today for a weekend snack! Super easy and I am sure you have all the ingredients in your possession! Try it...I dare you!

1 bag of white chocolate chips
1/4 cup crunchy(smooth is fine as well) peanut butter
3 cups rice krispies
1 1/2 cups mini marshmallows
1/2 cups mini chocolate chips
1/4 cup white chocolate chips

Melt the white chocolate chips in the microwave in 30 second intervals. Only until melted. Stir at each check. It took me 2 30 seconds and I stirred quickly. Add the peanut butter to the white chocolate and mix well with a spoon. Pour over the krispies and mix well w/ a wooden spoon. Add in the marshmallows and 1/4 c mini chips and press into a 9x9 greased baking dish. Melt the 1/4 mini chips and drizzle over eh pan and repeat with the white chips. Make sure they don't get too melted or you cant work with the chocolate. So easy!! Chill until set and eat!! Enjoy~

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Lemon Cake with Crushed Blueberry sauce

I have no idea why I have not posted this yet! I made this several years ago and posted it on my family blog and a friend text me the other day and asked where the recipe was.....I searched for it and could not believe it was not on here! It is an absolute favorite of mine. So good! For breakfast, brunch or a have go to make this!!!

Lemon cake with Lemon glaze and Crushed Blueberry sauce
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/3 cup yellow cornmeal
3/4 cup sugar
3 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup buttermilk
2 large eggs
1 Tablespoon finely grated lemon peel
3/4 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup(1 stick)unsalted butter, melted and cooled

1 12 cups packed powdered sugar, sifted
2 Tablespoons or more fresh lemon juice

*Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 350 * F. Butter a 9-inch-diameter cake pan with 2 inch sides, line bottom with parchment paper. Combine flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder and salt in a large bowl,; whisk to blend. Whisk buttermilk, eggs, lemon peel and vanilla in small bowl. Pour buttermilk mixture and melted butter into flour mixture. Using a rubber spatula, gently fold liquids into four mixture until just blended(do not stir). Scrape batter into pan and spread evenly. Bake cake until tester inserted comes out clean and cake pulls away form sides of pan, about 30 minutes. Immediately run a knife around the sides of the cake. Place rack on top of the cake in the pan. Remove cake from pan, place another rack on the bottom of cake, invert 1 more time so cake is top side up. Stir glaze until blended, while cake is still very hot, drop glaze by spoonfuls onto cake and spread within 1/2 inch from sides(some may drizzle down sides) Cool completely an serve with blueberry sauce.

Crushed blueberry sauce~
3 cups fresh or frozen blueberries(thawed) about 13-14 ounces divided
2/3 cup packed brown sugar
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 grated lemon peel
pinch of salt
Combine 1 1/2 cups of the blueberries and all remaining ingredients in medium sauce pan. Stir over medium heat until the sugar dissolves and mixture comes to simmer. Reduce heat to med-low ad simmer until berries are very soft and liquid is syrupy, stir often. Remove from heat, add remaining blueberries. Use the back of a spoon and gently press fresh berries against side of pan until crushed. Cover and chill. Serve chilled or re-warm before serving. his sauce can be made 2 days ahead.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Brown Butter Cake with Kahlua Glaze

I love to bake.  I have an addiction.  I saw this recipe on a blog.  I made it right then.  It was worth it. Try it!
I can't get the photo to up load.  I will continue to try!! Sorry!!


1/4 cup unsalted butter
3 cups flour
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup Kahlua
2 tsp vanilla extract
4 large eggs
3/4 cup low-fat buttermilk
1/2 cup plain fat-free yogurt
Kahlua Glaze
3/4 cup powdered sugar
2 Tbsp Kahlua
1-2 Tbsp water
Cook butter in a heavy saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly until it foams, turns clear, and then turns a deep brown, about 6 minutes.* I do not like the smell of this...having second thoughts about this but I keep cooking* Pour browned butter into a glass measuring cup and chill in the freezer until solid, about 35 minutes. Remove from freezer.
Preheat oven to 350°F and coat a bundt pan with nonstick spray. Whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon. Beat cold brown butter and sugar in a large mixer bowl at medium speed until well blended, beat in Kahlua and vanilla. Add eggs one at a time, beat well after each. Combine buttermilk and yogurt in a small bowl. Reduce speed to low and add half of flour mixture to sugar mixture, beat just until combined. Add buttermilk mixture, then finish with flour mixture.
Pour batter in prepared pan and smooth top. Bake 33 to 35 minutes. Cool in pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes then take it out of the pan and cool on the rack.
To make glaze, sift*whisk* powdered sugar into a small bowl. Whisk in Kahlua and water (1-2 tablespoons, depending on preferred consistency) until smooth. Glaze to your liking! YUM!!

Monday, February 6, 2012

General Tso's Chicken

HOLY COW!!! or in this case HOLY CHICKEN!!!! This is a wonderful recipe! I am not a rice fan, or an Oriental dish fan but this is a keeper! The kids have asked for it several times since I made it! It is a must try for you....

Sauce~ 1/2 c hoisin sauce
               1/4 c white vinegar
                3 Tbsp soy sauce*I use the less sodium version*
                 3 Tbsp cornstarch
                 1 1/2 cup water
                  1 Tbsp canola oil
                  4 garlic cloves, minced
                  2 Tbsp fresh ginger, minced*I used ground, I don't like fresh ginger*
                 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes

Coating and frying~
1 1/2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut in 1 inch pieces
3 large egg whites
1 1/2 cup cornstarch
1/2 cup flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
canola oil for frying
2 green oinions for garnish and sesame seeds
Cooked rice

To make the sauce whisk the hoisin sauce, vinegar, soy sauce, cornstarch and water in a bowl. Set aside and wait for the rest to cook.....Heat the oil in a large skillet over med-hi heat and saute the garlic, ginger and red pepper flakes until it smells YUMMY! Add the hoisin mixture and sit the sauce until it is dark brown and kinda thick.  Remove from heat and cover....

Whisk the egg whites in a shallow dish, I used a pie plate, until foamy. Stir the cornstarch,flour and baking soda together in another shallow dish(Yes, there are a lot of dishes to wash after this is made...BUT I promise it is worth it).  Toss 1/2 of the chicken chunks into the foamy eggs until they are all coated then toss them in the flour mix.  Make sure they are completely covered Put on yet another dish and repeat with the rest of the chicken. Heat the oil in a large pan, fryer or even a wok, in you have one. The oil should reach 325 degrees and you are good to fry up the chicken in batches until they are golden brown*About 2-3 min per side* Drain on a paper towel to drain.  WArm the sauce again until it bubbles and add the chicken and coat the m.  Garnish with green onions and sesame seeds.  I served this over rice.  YUM! Now is the fun part of cleaning all the dishes.....sorry!!