4/30/10

Asparagus with Lemon Rind and Rosemary



I grew up in the heart of the Midwest. I remember driving through the country to my Uncles farm and stopping in the ditch to pick huge bags of asparagus, which we would then have for dinner that night along with corn on the cob and usually, burgers. Asparagus and the heartland of America go hand in hand. What is funny is that we tend to make it in the most simplistic form; boiled or steamed with butter, salt and pepper. It's excellent and it's probably my favorite way to make it, however I am of course always interested in 'new' versions as well.

This recipe grabbed my interest because it used a number of my favorite herbs and foods for flavor; you have lemon, rosemary and garlic. Great on chicken, awesome on baby potatoes, it looks like a winner for asparagus as well!

Asparagus

1 pound asparagus
1 teaspoon olive oil
2 (2-inch) lemon rind strips
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 (1-inch) rosemary sprig
1/2 cup water
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Snap off tough ends of asparagus.

Heat olive oil in a large nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat. Add asparagus, rind, garlic, and rosemary; sauté 3 minutes or until asparagus is lightly browned. Add 1/2 cup water to pan; cook 5 minutes or until asparagus is crisp-tender and liquid almost evaporates. Discard rind and rosemary. Sprinkle asparagus with salt and pepper; toss well.
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4/29/10

Lettuce, Craisin, Feta and sugared Almond Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette

Yesterday morning I got this salad in my brain and it would not leave me alone. It called out to me (in my brain) to be made and I found myself mentally taking inventory of what I had in the refrigerator at home to throw something together.

It's the kind of salad you don't measure. You toss together the ingredients and add a balsamic vinaigrette and serve. Quick and simple - especially when you use a store bought dressing. I was craving this salad so strongly yesterday that when I realized the only ingredient I was missing was balsamic vinegar, I didn't want to take time to make it. Instead, stopping by the grocery store on the way home from work I bought 1 bottle of Balsamic Vinaigrette and of a Raspberry Vinaigrette and I mixed them 5 parts to 1 part as I wanted just a *hint* of sweet raspberry vinaigrette but I really was craving the tang of the Balsamic mixed with the feta.

You can use pecans for this - sweetened or unsweetened. I happened to have made those sugar-free sugared almonds a couple weeks ago (that I posted here on An American Housewife) and I simply crushed 1/2 cup of those with the end of a wooden rolling pin. They were an incredible addition but you can use pecans or walnuts - toasted or not. Up to you!

Play with the recipe and make it your own!

1 bag mixed lettuce, washed and ready (your favorite mix)
pecans or almonds - sugared, toasted or raw
craisins
feta cheese - crumbled
Balsamic Vinaigrette
and/or Raspberry Vinaigrette

Use about a handful of nuts, handful of craisins and as much feta as you prefer. Before serving, toss with the vinaigrette.
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4/27/10

Mango Sorbet Cake - Quick and Simple but Oh So Elegant!

When Spring hits and the tree's turn that bright, light green color and lavender and yellow flowers start popping up and the white and pink blossoms dot the bushes and tree's lining the streets and yards, my thoughts turn to beautiful pastel, Spring like desserts and 'light' foods.

This is a recipe I found and added to my files about two or three years ago. It's light and cool and oh-so-pretty but it's so easy when you cheat and start with a boxed cake mix. You don't have to though! If you have a favorite white cake recipe, by all means make it and use it. If you are pressed for time or just don't 'do' homemade cakes, then count on Betty Crocker to save the day.

Mango Sorbet Cake

1 box white cake mix
water, oil and egg whites called for on cake mix box
1 pint (2 cups) mango sorbet, softened
1 pint (2 cups) strawberry sorbet, softened

1 1/2 cups whipping cream
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon grated lime peel
2 tablespoons lime juice
Garnish, if desired
Lime peel twists
Fresh strawberries

Heat oven to 350°F (325°F for dark or nonstick pan). Spray bottom only of 15x10x1-inch pan with baking spray with flour. Line with waxed paper; spray waxed paper.

In large bowl, make cake mix as directed on box, using water, oil and egg whites. Pour into pan. Bake 20 to 30 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan 10 minutes. Remove from pan to cooling rack; remove waxed paper. Cool completely, about 1 hour.

Cut cake crosswise into 3 equal sections. On long serving platter, place 1 section, rounded side down. Spread mango sorbet evenly over top. Place another cake section onto the sorbet; press down. Spread with strawberry sorbet. Top with remaining cake section; press down. Cover lightly; freeze about 2 hours or until firm.

In large bowl, beat whipping cream, powdered sugar, grated peel and juice with electric mixer on high speed until stiff peaks form. Frost sides and top of torte. Freeze about 1 hour or until firm. Just before serving, garnish top with lime peel and strawberries. To serve, let stand at room temperature 10 minutes. Cut torte in half lengthwise, then cut crosswise 7 times to make a total of 16 slices.
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And the Winner of the Fruit2o is........


Thanks to everyone who commented or emailed their entry
into the Fruit2o Giveaway!
I randomly pulled a name out of the slips of paper
and "
KAREN" is going to be drinking her
2 daily servings of fruit!


Karen - please email me the name and address that
you would like the marketing company
to send your package to.






x x x

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4/26/10

Back from Vacation and Ready to Go! Let's Start with a GIVEAWAY! FRUIT2o Contest!

Last night we arrived home from our annual family vacation at the beach and I'm ready to roll! Let's start with a contest! How would you like to win a pack of delicious Fruit2o flavored water!?

There's a better, tastier way for you and your family to get your full complement of water each day. Available in 6 full flavored varieties, Fruit2O originals combine natural fruit flavor in crystal clear water without any sugar, carbs or calories.

If you win, you'll get 6 delectable blends of fruit flavors with several nutrients found in 2 servings of fruit in each bottle. A great new way to get the water and nutrients you need anywhere, anytime—all with 0 calories and the fabulous flavor of fruit you expect from Fruit2O.

Choose from Cranberry Raspberry, Strawberry Kiwi, Peach Mango, Cherry Acai, Citrus or Blueberry Pomegranate.

Acquired by Sunny Delight in 2008, they are working with a marketing company, who is working with me to bring you this contest! All you have to do is comment below with your favorite flavor OR for those who don't want to leave their name/info below, just email me your favorite flavor of Fruit2o water and you'll be automatically entered to win!! You MUST list your favorite flavor and make sure I have a working email address to reach you by. Drawing held Tuesday, April 27th so hurry to win and spread the word through Twitter and Facebook that a whole PACKAGE of all the varieties of Fruit2o are being given away to one lucky winner tomorrow morning!





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4/17/10

On Vacation!

Posting may be sporadic this week as time allows
Check back Monday, April 26th
Thank You!!!
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4/16/10

A Summer Vegetable Salad


Summer is right around the corner! And with it will come wonderful light dishes, grilled entree's and summer salads - like this one.

Summer Vegetable Salad

1 cup thinly sliced carrots Dressing
1 cup fresh green beans, cut into 2-inch pieces 6 Tablespoons olive or vegetable oil
1 cup fresh sugar snap peas
4-1/2 teaspoons lemon juice
1 cup thinly sliced zucchini
1 Tablespoon cider vinegar
1 cup thinly sliced yellow summer squash 1 Tablespoon minced fresh parsley
1/2 cup thinly sliced green onions
1-1/2 teaspoons sugar
1/2 cup chopped red pepper 1 garlic clove, minced
2-1/4-ounce can sliced ripe olives, drained 1/8 teaspoon salt
Dash pepper
1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

In large saucepan, bring 4-inches of water to a boil, add carrots, beans and peas. Cook 4 minutes. Drain and rinse in cold water. Place in serving bowl add zucchini, yellow squash, onions, red peppers and olives. In a jar with a tight-fitting lid, combine dressing ingredients, except cheese; shake well. Pour over vegetable mixture and toss to coat. Refrigerate for for several hours. Before serving, sprinkle with cheese.
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4/15/10

Grilled Ribeye with Bleu Cheese Dressing

A thick grilled ribeye topped with a dollop of bleu cheese dressing... pure heaven. My kids love to top theirs with ranch dressing, although it must be said that they put homemade ranch dressing on well, almost everything; including scrambled eggs, pizza, chicken and pork chops. I've found almost nothing they don't think can be improved with a little ranch.

For those of you with a craving for a nice grilled steak tonight - this one is for you.

Ribeyes with Bleu Cheese Sauce

1 thick, ribeye steak per person
1-2 T fresh cracked black pepper
1-2 tsp. flake salt

Bleu Cheese Sauce
1 stick butter, softened
6-8 oz. bleu cheese,crumbled
8 oz. sour cream
*optional black pepper

Sprinkle your steaks with salt and pepper. Grill them to your favorite level of 'doneness'. While the steaks are cooking, prepare the sauce. Melt the butter in a small heavy saucepan over medium-low heat. Stir in the bleu cheese and turn off the heat; then stir in the sour cream. Do not boil the sauce as the sour cream will separate. I like to add fresh cracked black pepper to our sauce. You decide if you want to.
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4/14/10

Sugar Free Candied Almonds

Wanting a snack that was sweet and salty but yet healthy... not chips, I dug through a few recipes and used them to make up my own version with things I had on hand. For people who are low carbing, diabetic or just want a sugar free snack, I thought these were quite tasty!






Sugarfree Candied Almonds

1 1/2 - 2 c whole raw almonds
1 egg white, lightly beaten
1/3 cup Splenda granular
2 T brown sugar twin
dash of salt

Preheat oven to 300 degrees F; spray a 15 x 10 x 1-inch pan with cooking spray or line pan with foil. Pour almonds in a mixing bowl; add beaten egg white, toss to coat. Combine Splenda and Brown Sugar Twin; sprinkle over nuts, toss to coat. Spread mixture evenly into prepared pan. Sprinkle with salt. Bake 30 minutes or until nuts are toasted, stirring every 10 minutes. Cool on waxed paper; store in airtight container.
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Use Eggs Past the Stamped Date to Make Your Hard Boiled Snacks

It's always been in my nature to be frugal. Of course back then it was called 'cheap' but in the past few years 'frugal' has become the new catch phrase and it's actually 'cool' to be frugal now. As a child I was always cognizant of funds and it continued as I horded the $1.00 and later, $1.25 an hour I got for babysitting in the late 80's and then went on to get married at a young age. We made about $10,000 our first year of marriage and $6,000 of that went for rent! It's no wonder I have frugality in my blood and even today am frugal in my kitchen, have a summer garden, shop for deals on line like Cyber Monday and check out codes for at the very least, free shipping on everything I order online and won't bat an eye at an in-store 'sale' unless it's at least 50% off - but more likely, 75%.

When it comes to hints and tips in the kitchen I'm always happy to pass some along because what seems like common sense to one person is an eye opening hint to another. Take 'old eggs' for example.

Unless those eggs in your refrigerator are 3 months old... don't toss them. Regardless of whether the sell-by date on your carton of eggs has passed, you can generally keep them in your fridge for three to five weeks, the USDA says.

If you shop at a store that gets eggs just a day or two after they’re laid, you may even be able to keep them weeks longer. The greatest hint that Grandma knows and now you do too is that you want to use eggs that are at least a week or two old to make your hard boiled eggs.

Fresh eggs will not peel easily when hard boiled.
Eggs that are at least a week or two old peel instantly, in large pieces.

Ignore all the false myths about vinegar, piercing with a needle, starting with a certain temperature of water, etc. The one and only hint you need is never use freshly bought or laid eggs for hard boiling.
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4/13/10

Making it right now... Crab Stuffed Chicken Breasts - Delicious!

You all know I can't follow a recipe precisely, but instead I use them as a 'guide' of sorts. I have fun with my food and play with it. I hope you do the same! This recipe serves 6 so if you don't need to make that many, go ahead and half everything.

One of the things I'm doing different tonight is not using any butter in the chicken/stuffing portion and I'm using pure crab with no cracker fillers. This cuts down on the calories and almost makes it low carb when you don't add the sauce to yours. (I'm serving the sauce for the kids but my husband and I will skip this part tonight in anticipation of the swimsuits we'll be wearing next week on vacation... ha ha).


Crab Stuffed Chicken Breasts

* 1/4 cup and 2 tablespoons butter, divided
* 1/4 cup and 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
* 1-1/2 cups chicken broth
* 3/4 cup milk
* 1/4 cup and 2 tablespoons chopped onion
* 1-1/2 (6 ounce) cans crabmeat - drained, flaked and cartilage removed
* 1-1/2 (4.5 ounce) cans sliced mushrooms, drained
* 1/2 cup crushed saltine crackers
* 3 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
* 3/4 teaspoon salt
* 1-1/2 pinches ground black pepper
* 6 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
* 1-1/2 cups shredded Swiss cheese
* 3/4 teaspoon paprika

To Make White Sauce: Melt 3/4 of the butter in a medium saucepan. Stir in flour until smooth, then gradually stir in broth and milk. Bring all to a boil; boil, stirring, for about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.

In a large skillet melt remaining butter and saute onion over medium heat until tender. Add crab, mushrooms, cracker crumbs, parsley, salt, pepper and 2 tablespoons of the prepared white sauce. Heat through.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Pound chicken breasts to 1/4 inch thickness. Spoon about 1/4 of the crab mixture onto the edge of each chicken breast; roll up and secure with toothpicks. Place chicken rolls in a lightly greased 9x13 inch baking dish, then top with remaining white sauce.

Cover dish and bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 30 minutes or until chicken juices run clear. Sprinkle with cheese and paprika and bake, uncovered, for another 5 minutes or until cheese is melted and bubbly. Remove toothpicks and serve.
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An Oldie... Watergate Salad

I don't often add whipped cream 'salads' to my site because my website is a collection of recipes that I've found or made up that I actually use or have an interest in. I am not a fan of jello or fruit salads and I find most to be stomach turning. But! I know others like them and this is one that my Mother loves. Who knows, maybe when I'm 75 I'll like them. As of right now I would eat this if it were the pudding, (fresh) whipped cream and the crushed nuts together but once the marshmallows and... gulp... crushed pineapple are added, I just can't do it.

For those that have loved this salad/dessert for years... this one is for you. Certainly not me! Ha.


Watergate salad

1 - 8 oz. cool whip
1 box (small) of pistachio pudding mix
1 - 8 oz. can of crushed pineapple
1 c of mini marshmallows
1/2 c of crushed pecans (optional)
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4/12/10

Going to be in Florida Next Weekend? Check out the National Pie Championships... and enjoy a pie buffet!

North American Pie Makers Preparing For Prestigious Competition:
16th Annual APC/Crisco® National Pie Championships
April 23-25, 2010


ORLANDO -- A national pastime will attract national attention as contestants from across North America sift through their most treasured recipes in hope of finding one that leads to an award-winning pie. Perhaps it’s a family favorite that’s won praise for generations or a new creation that’s pleased a friend, but dedicated pie makers -- from contestants with decades of blue ribbons to a new generation who are warmed up and ready to enter the competition -- will be rolling out fresh dough and carefully measuring ingredients as they prepare for the three-day APC/ Crisco® 2010 National Pie Championships® April 23-25.

The competition heats up at the Omni Orlando Resort at ChampionsGate as Commercial, Professional, Amateur and Junior Chef pie makers test their tasty creations in a variety of categories. Last year, more than 170 judges graded pies created by 138 bakers who entered 465 commercial, 130 professional and 266 amateur pies. Emile Henry USA, makers of the finest quality ceramic bake ware and gourmet cooking products, has returned for 2010 as the “Official Pie Dish” of the National Pie Championships. Each junior, amateur and professional competitor receives an Emile Henry ceramic pie dish, valued at $45 each. For 2010, Best of Show winners in the amateur and professional divisions will each win $5,000, a new Sears Kenmore range and a Crisco® gift basket, while the top winner in the Junior Chef division receive a $2000 Crisco college scholarship and a Crisco® gift basket. First place ribbons and bragging rights will be awarded to Commercial Division winners.

To enter, APC members pay $15 per pie entry for amateurs and $20 per pie entry for professionals. Non-members pay $35 per pie entry for either category. Junior entries are free.

This year’s contestants will whip, puree and roll their way to victory in a wide range of categories: Amateurs are judged in 15 categories including Apple, Citrus, Crisco® Classic Cherry, Crisco® Classic Chocolate, Cream, Cream Cheese, Custard, Fruit/Berry, Nut, Peanut Butter, Pumpkin, Open, Raisin, sponsored by the California Raisin Marketing Board, Splenda, and Sweet Potato. First place winners in each category receive $200 cash and a Crisco® gift basket, second place winners receive $150 cash and third place winners take home $100 cash.

Professional bakers enter pies in nine categories: Apple, Citrus, Crisco® Classic Chocolate, Crisco® Classic Cherry, Fruit/Berry, Cream, Nut and Open and new for the 2010 competition -- Raisin, sponsored by the California Raisin Marketing Board. First place winners in each category receive $200 cash and a Crisco gift basket.

Junior Chefs who are in high school and between the ages 14 to 17 can test their pie-making skills with entries in Apple, Cream, Fruit/Berry or Open categories. Three first place winners will receive a $100 gift certificate to Emile Henry USA, a $100 gift certificate to Cuisipro USA, a source for popular professional chef tools, as well as a Crisco® gift basket.

Commercial bakers competed in categories including Apple, Blueberry, Fruit/Berry, Open Cream, Citrus, Open, Nut and Chocolate, and Raisin, sponsored by the California Raisin Marketing Board.
“If you’re not familiar with the competition, you’d think a pie is just a pie,” explains Crisco’s Brenda Alten. “But this is really an art. Pie makers are serious about developing the right blend of flavors, the right taste and texture… There’s a lot that goes into a pie, which is why there’s such a serious sense of competition at the championship.”

This serious competition is complemented by a sense of homespun fun in the community of Celebration where the special weekend event is festive, fun, and filled with flavor. Presented by the American Pie Council® (APC) – an organization dedicated to preserving America’s pie heritage – the APC Great American Pie Festival sponsored by Crisco®, April 24 and 25, is a free-admission family-friendly event that attracted a record 25,000 pie lovers and dessert devotees in 2009. Presented in a Lakeside Park speckled with shade trees, winding sidewalks, and picnic pavilions, the setting for the All-American event is picture perfect and filled with pie-making demos, pie eating contests, PieCasso Art, music, entertainment, vendors and food and beverage booths.

The event’s highlight offers the tastiest treat. For only $10 for adults and $5 for children ages 6-12, attendees can partake of the festivals’ incredibly popular Never-Ending Pie Buffet where they can “taste drive” all they can eat from more than 50,000 slices of pie provided by the nation’s leading commercial pie makers. From fruit to sweet potato, chocolate to custard, pumpkin to citrus, and nuts to berries, the savory slices of pie cover an incredible spectrum of flavors. The award-winning slices are offered by local, regional, and national commercial bakeries, restaurants and markets, including Bakers Square Restaurants and Pies, Bonert's Slice of Pie, California Raisin Marketing Board, J. Horner's Desserts, Kroger's Private Selection, Publix Super Markets, Inc., Rocky Mountain Pies, Schwan's Bakery featuring Edwards and Mrs. Smith's Pies, Village Inn and Wick's Pies. An abundant array of ice cream flavors, toppings and other treats from Smucker's Toppings, The Folger Coffee Company, Velda Farms and Publix Super Market gives everyone an artistic ‘food license’ to create their ultimate “pie in the sky” fantasy dessert.

“If there’s ever a time or a place to sample pie – every type of pie you can imagine – the Festival’s the right time, and the Never-Ending Pie Buffet is the right place,” assures Linda Hoskins, executive director of the American Pie Council. “But pace yourself. Some people are impulsive and they’ll have six slices of apple pie in a row. Others have a strategy so they can sample chocolate, then banana, then cherry… They create their own pie free-for-all.”

Ironically, between trips to the buffet festival attendees can enjoy pie-eating contests (by participating or cheering on contestants), baking demonstrations by professional pie makers on the Bakers Square Village Inn “Pietopia” Demonstration Stage, food and beverage vendors, more than 20 craft vendors and live entertainment. Young pie enthusiasts can make their own pies at the Crisco® Kids Creation Station, make pie tin art, make a “PieCasso” painting or play in inflatable bounce houses, a rock climbing wall or the world's largest pinball machine. All festival events will be held both days.

The festival will be held at Lakeside Park at 631 Sycamore St. in downtown Celebration. Hours are 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., Saturday, April 24; noon to 5 p.m., Sunday, April 25. Admission to the festival is free, with tickets for the Never-Ending Pie Buffet priced at ($10 adults, $5 ages 65 and up, and $5 ages 6-12.)

The APC is now accepting registrations for the upcoming championships. Participants are encouraged to join the American Pie Council prior to registration in order to receive discounted entry fees.
The American Pie Council offers individual membership for amateurs as well as professionals and commercial bakers. Pie lovers receive multiple benefits including the “Pie Times” e-newsletter, membership directory and member-only online “pie talk” access for idea exchange, pie recipes, coupons and discounted entry into the annual APC/Crisco® National Pie Championships. For more details, to become a member of the APC or to register for the National Pie Championships, visit www.piecouncil.org

Ten minutes from Celebration, the host hotel Omni Orlando Resort at ChampionsGate is offering a special $129 per night room rate for those attending or participating in the pie championship or pie festival. To book the American Pie Council special rate, call 800-843-6664 and identify yourself as associated with the APC. For more information, visit the Front Porch Celebration Community Web Site at www.celebration.fl.us; or the American Pie Council®, www.piecouncil.org.

Crisco® is a registered trademark of The J. M. Smucker Company. For more information, visit www.crisco.com.

The American Pie Council® is the only organization committed to maintaining America’s pie heritage, passing on the tradition of pie-making and promoting America’s love affair with pie. The APC offers personal, professional and commercial memberships. For more information, please visit www.piecouncil.org.
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4/11/10

Beef in Cream

I just made some fresh coffee and settled down with one of my 3 ring binders that I've filled with handwritten and typed recipes from over the years. I glanced down at the random page I opened and mmmm, it sounds good! Beef in Cream. I personally love to dip cold roast beef into ranch dressing and although this isn't ranch dressing, I know the perfect pairing of beef and cream. Copy this one down to your files.

Beef and Cream

4 lb. pot roast
2 T shortening/oil
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 c water

Brown the meat slowly in hot oil. Season with salt and pepper. Add water. Cover. Simmer 3 hours. Remove meat from kettle and allow to stand for 20 minutes. Slice thinly and serve with;

Sauce

1/2 c butter - melt
2 c heavy cream
2 large garlic cloves - minced
1/4 c lemon juice
1 1/2 t salt
3/4 t pepper

Heat the butter in a saucepan and as soon as it starts bubbling and browning add cream garlic, lemon juice, and salt and pepper. Cook over medium heat 3 minutes. Spoon half the sauce in a heat proof glass dish. Arrange the beef slices and then cover the rest of the sauce over the top. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Heat in a 350 degree oven until heated through - about 30 minutes.
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Cucumbers in Sour Cream (or mayonnaise)



In honor of sunshine and the summer that is right around the corner, here is a simple recipe for a favorite of many; Cucumbers in Sour Cream. It's great for sugar-free and low carb diets as it uses Splenda as the sweetener.








Cucumbers in Sour Cream

1 large cucumber, thin sliced
1/2 c sour cream or mayonnaise
1 t Splenda
1 T vinegar
pepper - dash to taste

In a shallow bowl place the cucumber. Add the remaining ingredients, mix and chill. This makes 2-4 servings.
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4/10/10

Cherry Poppy Seed Winks

Most people like cookies but only some make them from scratch anymore and only a handful will make them from scratch year round. I think that's just awful. The store bought cookie dough tastes like chemicals and preservatives and cannot compare to the taste of homemade. Still, some will say it's a matter of not having time to make 'real' cookies. That's not really true either as it only takes a couple minutes (literally!!!!) to toss some ingredients into a mixing bowl and turn on the mixer. Spending 4 minutes longer can give you the taste of Grandma's Cookies verses chemicals and sugar.

What is really awesome is if you can take 30 minutes on a Sunday afternoon or evening and mix up the dough for 4 or 5 of your favorite cookie recipes. Pat into disks or rounds and place in freezer bags. Later in the week or months you can grab the homemade dough out of the freezer, slice and bake... just as quick as you please but without that funky store-bought taste.

Cherry Poppy Seed Winks

1 c powdered sugar
1 c butter or marg.,softened
1 t vanilla
1 egg
2 c flour
2 T Poppy seed
1/2 t salt
1/2 c cherry preserves

Heat oven to 300 degrees. In a large bowl, beat powdered sugar and butter until light and fluffy. Add vanilla and egg. Blend well. Add flour, poppy seed and salt. Mix well and drop by heaping teaspoons onto an ungreased cookie sheet.

With your thumb or the end of a wooden spoon, make an imprint in the center of each cookie. Fill each center with 1/2 teaspoon of preserves. Bake for 20 to 25 min. or until edges are light golden brown. Remove from cookie sheet. Makes 30 cookies.
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That Eight Glasses of Water Thing? Myth.

Don't believe one person can make a difference in this world? Well, fifteen years ago someone in the marketing department of a bottled water corporation thought of the "Eight glasses of water" angle to sell their product and look how it caught on! If you try to find a study or basis for the 8 glasses of water myth; you can't.

You Don’t Need Eight Glasses of Water

Besides water, even caffeinated drinks like coffee, tea and soda count toward your daily fluid intake. You don’t necessarily have to add eight glasses of water to what you already drink during the day to stay hydrated and healthy, according to Dartmouth Medical School and many, many others. Even juicy foods like apples and leafy greens count toward a healthy total fluid intake, notes Parenting magazine. Here is what I taught my children and here is what I'll tell you; "What color is your urine?" If it's very dark, then you need more water or liquids in your diet. If it is so clear there is hardly any color at all, then you are drinking too much water. A nice light yellow, straw color is good.


x
x
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4/6/10

Mango Yogurt Cake - Start with a Cake Mix

I can't believe it's been almost two years since I 'clipped' this electronic recipe and haven't yet got to make it! I adore mango-anything and this is so delicious looking and light I couldn't wait to make it. Instead, I found the recipe around the same time I was starting a new job and balancing the job, the kids schedules, school, sports, running our household, the finances, our taxes, planning vacations, cooking, cleaning, laundry and more.... well, I forgot all about it!

But tonight I found it in my files and with the sun peeking through the clouds and Spring having sprung - it's time to bring it out. Hopefully you all can get more use out of it than I've obviously gotten over the past 1 1/2 years!

Mango Yogurt Cake

1 box Betty Crocker® SuperMoist® yellow cake mix
1 cup nonalcoholic margarita mix
1/3 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons grated lime peel
4 eggs
1 jar (1 lb 8 oz) sliced mango in extra-light syrup, well drained, diced
Frosting
Remaining diced mango
1 1/2 cups frozen (thawed) whipped topping
2 containers (6 oz each) Yoplait® Original 99% Fat Free mango yogurt

Heat oven to 350°F. Spray bottom only of 13x9-inch pan with baking spray with flour (do not use dark or nonstick pan). In large bowl, beat cake mix, margarita mix, oil, lime peel, eggs and 1 cup of the diced mango with electric mixer on low speed 30 seconds. Beat on medium speed 2 minutes. Pour into pan. Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool completely, about 1 hour.

In blender, place remaining 1/4 cup diced mango. Cover; blend until smooth. In medium bowl, fold together whipped topping and yogurt; frost cake. Spoon small dollops of pureed mango over frosting, then swirl with back of spoon. Store in refrigerator.
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4/3/10

Fudge made with chocolate chips and marshmallow creme

Thanks to Google for a last minute photo!

Tomorrow is Easter and just in case you can't get enough chocolate... here is a chocolate fudge recipe. Made with chocolate chips and marshmallow fudge it's not as fussy as the authentic cocoa, sugar and butter variety.





FUDGE

2 sticks butter
4 cups sugar
1 can evaporated milk
1 t vanilla
1 jar Marshmallow creme
1 cup walnuts (optional)
18 oz chocolate chips

Put the butter, sugar and milk in a pan, bring to a boil and slow boil, stirring constantly for exactly 7 minutes. Remove from heat. Slowly add the marshmallow creme, vanilla, and chocolate chips. Mix with an electric mixer - not by hand. Stir in nuts if you choose to use them. Pour in to a 9 by 13 pan and cool to room temperature and cut.
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4/1/10

Velveeta Cheese Roll

Why do I feel a little embarrassed to post recipes that involve that oddity of foods; Velveeta? I didn't grow up in a household that used or bought it, but when I married my husband (a die-hard Velveeta fan) it became a staple of our home as well. It's a processed food, but it melts so smooth and is so perfect for many recipes that sometimes you just got to give in! *Grin*

Velveeta Cheese Roll

1 2 lb box Velveeta cheese
1 8 oz pkg. Cream cheese
chopped jalepeno peppers
chopped green olives w/pimentos
chopped green onions

Let Velveeta and cream cheese sit out till softened.
Roll out Velveeta between two sheets of wax paper into a rectangle.
Spread cream cheese in a thin layer on top of Velveeta.
Sprinkle remainder of the ingredients on top of cream cheese.

Next, start rolling from the wide side of the rectangle, jelly roll style. This is difficult and it's not a nice, simple, tight roll. Do your best.
Wrap in wax paper, then aluminum foil and chill.

Turn out onto a serving platter and serve with crackers.
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Zucchini Puff


A great way to get eggs into your diet is to make an omelet, puff or casserole. Eggs, vegetables and cheese are a great combination and works for breakfast, brunch, lunch or dinner! This one has bacon in it - which we love - but you can leave it out of course if you are watching your diet very closely.

Zucchini Puff

3 medium size zucchini, scrubbed and sliced
1 medium size onion, chopped
½ cup minced bacon
2 tablespoons butter
6 or 7 eggs
¼ cup grated
Parmesan cheese
salt and pepper to taste

Lightly brown onion and bacon. Pour off excess fat. Add sliced zucchini and butter. Cover and steam 5 minutes. Beat eggs slightly with salt and pepper. Add grated cheese and mix. Pour into skillet with vegetables. Cook over medium heat until set and then flip and cook the other side until golden.
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Strawberry Margaritas with Sugared Rims



If you happen to have a craving for Strawberry Margaritas by the pool this weekend... well, this one is for you.

Strawberry Margaritas with Sugared Rims

1 (8 oz.) package frozen strawberries, partially thawed
5 cups ice
3/4 cup tequila
1/2 cup thawed limeade concentrate
1/3 cup powdered sugar
3 tablespoons orange liqueur (Grand Marnier, Triple Sec)
Lime juice
sugar crystals
Garnishes: lime slices, fresh strawberries

Process first 6 ingredients in a blender until smooth.

Dip margarita glass rims in lime juice; dip rims in sugar crystals, coating well. Pour margarita mixture into glasses. Serve immediately. Garnish, if desired.
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