Thursday, March 6, 2014

Pink Lemonade Cupcakes with Pink Lemonade Frosting

These are great cupcakes with a strong hint of lemon, but not overpowering.  Start with a cake mix to speed up the fun.
1 box white cake mix
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup pink lemonade concentrate, frozen
3/4 cup water
3 egg whites
2 - 3 drops red food coloring

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Mix together all ingredients until smooth. Line muffin tins with paper liners. Pour batter into paper liners and fill 2/3 full. Bake 15 - 18 minutes at 350 degrees or until cake springs back when lightly touched. Cool completely on wire rack before frosting.

Pink lemonade Frosting:
7 ounces (about 1 1/2 cups) Marshmallow Crème
3/4 cup butter, softened
2 Tablespoons pink lemonade concentrate, frozen
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1-2 drops red food coloring

In a large bowl, beat the marshmallow crème and butter until well mixed.  Add the pink lemonade concentrate and lemon juice.  Mix.  Beat in the powdered sugar until light and fluffy (about 2 minutes).  Add the food coloring and mix until combined.  Place in pastry bag or large zipper bag and pipe onto cupcakes.
 (I doubled the frosting recipe, but had quite a bit left over.  My cupcakes have a thick layer of frosting on top.)

Monday, February 3, 2014

Pizza Sauce

This is a great recipe. Use it any time you need pizza sauce, with pizza, calzones, pizza dip, whatever you need sauce for.

1 (15 ounce) can tomato sauce or use 2 (8 ounce) cans
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup grated Romano cheese (you can also use grated Parmesan cheese)
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon sweet basil (optional)
3/4 teaspoon crushed oregano
1 bay leaf
1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper

Mix in jar or similar container (Not aluminum). Shake or stir well. Let marinate in refrigerator at least six to eight hours. Remove bay leaf before using.

Most often I make just half the recipe, except for the pizza dip (You need the whole recipe for that.). It makes enough for a good sized pizza or calzone.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Macaroni Salad

I got this from a friend of mine many years ago.  It is one of my favorites.

12 oz. small shell macaroni (cooked and drained)
1 cup chopped celery
1 green pepper (chopped)
2 green onions (sliced thin)
1 medium tomato (cut up)
1/2 cup cheese (grated)
1 can tuna (drained)

 Combine in a large bowl

1 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup Italian dressing
1 tsp mustard

Mix dressing together and add to salad.  Mix well.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Cookie Cups

Makes 48 Cookies

These are a perfect little individual dessert.  Delicious.  Try some today.
1 box Vanilla, yellow, or white Cake Mix
1 (3.4) ounce box vanilla pudding mix
2 eggs
1 stick butter, softened
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract, optional 
1 cup mini chocolate chips 
Filling: frosting, mousse, or your choice

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a  mini muffin tin with cooking spray. (Makes about 48 cookie cups.)
Mix cake mix, pudding mix (dry), eggs, and butter on low speed using an electric mixer. Beat until batter comes together, scraping the sides of the bowl as needed. Stir in vanilla extract (optional).  Mix in the chocolate chips.
Scoop tablespoon sized balls into prepared pans. Press to fit. Bake 7-8 minutes.  Cool completely before removing from pans and adding filling.
You can fill these cookie cups with your choice of fillings.  I like frostingThis link goes to my favorite frosting for this.  You can flavor it if you like. Mousse is also a good choice.  Try flavored frosting, such as raspberry, orange, lime or lemon. The cookie cups pictured have vanilla frosting.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

No Bake Chocolate Caramel Bars aka Snickers

This is a repost.  It's so hot and summery.  Nobody wants to heat up the kitchen baking treats.  These are a wonderful alternative.  So delicious!
These things are very rich and delicious.  One is probably enough, even for a chocolate lover.  Super yummy candy.  I think you'll like them.
Makes one 9×13 pan
About 40 servings

Bottom chocolate layer:
1 1/4 cups milk chocolate chips
1/4 cup peanut butter

Thoroughly grease your baking pan. (Better yet, line the pan with greased aluminum foil.)  Melt ingredients together in a saucepan or microwave, then pour into the pan and spread until even. Let cool and harden completely. About 15 minutes in the refrigerator.

Nougat layer:
1/4 cup unsalted butter
1 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup evaporated milk
1 1/2 cups marshmallow crème
1/4 cup peanut butter
1 1/2 cups salted peanuts, roughly chopped
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add in sugar and milk, stirring until dissolved and bring to a boil. Let cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add in marshmallow crème, peanut butter and vanilla, stirring until smooth. Turn off heat and fold in peanuts, then pour over bottom chocolate layer and smooth out quickly. Let cool completely. About 30 minutes in the refrigerator.

Caramel layer:
1 14-ounce bag of caramels, unwrapped, about 2 cups
1/4 cup whipping cream or evaporated milk

Combine ingredients in a saucepan over low heat. Let melt, stirring occasionally, until smooth –about 10 minutes. Pour over nougat layer and spread smoothly. Let cool completely. About 45 minutes in the refrigerator.

Top chocolate layer:
1 1/4 cups milk chocolate chips
1/4 cup peanut butter

Melt ingredients together in a saucepan or microwave, then pour over caramel and spread until even. Let cool and harden completely.
 Refrigerate for at least one hour before serving.  Lift out of the pan still on the foil.  Place on cutting board and then cut as desired. These can stay at room temperature, but they do get very gooey and the top chocolate layer tends to slide off.  It’s better to keep them refrigerated.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Italian Chicken and Tortellini

Easy dinner and almost no clean up since you cook it in a foil packet.  Great for summer. Cook it on the grill and keep your house cool. It's also great for fall or winter. Cook it in the oven and enjoy a great one dish dinner.

2 sheets (12x18-inches each) aluminum Foil*
2 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (1/2 to 3/4 lb.)
1/2 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
1 package (9 oz.) refrigerated or frozen cheese tortellini
1 can (14 1/2 oz.) diced tomatoes with basil, garlic and oregano, undrained
1/2 can (from a 2 1/4 oz. can) sliced ripe olives, drained (optional)

Preheat grill to medium-high or oven to 450°F.
Center one chicken breast half on each sheet of aluminum foil that has been sprayed with non-stick cooking spray. Sprinkle each chicken breast with 1/4 teaspoon of Italian seasoning. Arrange 1/2 of the tortellini around each piece of chicken. Spoon 1/2 of tomatoes and 1/2 of olives over each serving of tortellini.
Bring up foil sides. Double fold top and ends to seal packet, leaving room for heat circulation inside.
Repeat to make two packets.

Bake 30 to 40 minutes on a cookie sheet in the oven OR
Grill 14 to 18 minutes in a covered grill.

*I  use 4 pieces of foil and make two layers of aluminum foil to prevent the juices from leaking out.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Molten Chocolate Cookies

These are good at room temperature, but they are delectable warm. Eat fresh or just heat in the microwave for about 15 seconds. They will melt in your mouth.
Makes 16 cookies


2 cups (12 oz package) semi-sweet chocolate chips
3 Tablespoons butter
2 large eggs
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder


Melt chocolate chips and butter in the top of a double boiler over low heat, stirring until smooth but thick.* Remove from heat; set aside to cool.
In the large bowl of your mixer beat eggs, sugar, salt, and vanilla on high speed about 2 to 3 minutes until pale yellow and slightly thickened. Mix in chocolate on low speed. Scrape the bowl. Mix again.  Add flour and baking powder on low speed and mix just until incorporated, stop once to scrape the bowl. Don't mix too much.
Cover the dough with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 15-30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Scoop 8-2 inch mounds onto parchment paper lined cookie sheet leaving 2 inches between cookies. I used my medium sized cookie scoop.

Bake one sheet at a time for 12 minutes or until crusty on the outside but soft in the center.
Cool on cookie sheet 3-5 minutes. Remove to wire rack to cool.

Best when served warm.
*Microwave Instructions:
Heat chips and butter in a microwave safe bowl at medium power for 1 minute. Stir, then heat for 10 seconds and stir again. Repeat until melted. The chocolate chips will not appear melted until you stir them.