Monday, July 27, 2009

White Sangria

Sangria is so refreshing on a hot summer day! I made this on the first day we arrived in Hilton Head for vacation earlier this month and my mother-in-law and I sipped on it all week - yum yum! Here is the recipe if you would like to try it too.

White Sangria
1 bottle of chardonnay or pinot grigio
1 can frozen limeade concentrate
1/2 cup triple sec
1/2 cup Bacardi Rum
one apple cut into chunks
1 can pineapple chunks with juice
orange slices
strawberry slices
2 - 16 oz. bottles of Sprite (I used Sprite Zero)

Mix all ingredients in a large pitcher.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Watermelon Cupcakes

We were invited to a get together after the championship summer league swim meet yesterday, which by the way, our Madison took 2nd place in the 50 meter Backstroke - woo hoo Mads!
We are so proud of you! Anyway, back to the party....I had found these adorable gummy watermelons last weekend, so I thought I would make watermelon cupcakes. I used a box strawberry cake mix for the pink fruit of the watermelon since I have never seen watermelon cake mix. Maybe Betty Crocker should consider this......what do you think Betty???
Then I made homemade buttercream frosting, tinting it green for the rind. I topped them off with the cute gummy watermelons. The gummy's taste really like watermelon, which was nice since the cupcakes obviously did not. I thought they turned out cute and are a nice touch for a summer picnic.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Pool Party Cupcakes

Tonight we went to Madison's summer swim team picnic, so I decided to make festive cupcakes to celebrate the swim season. I think they turned out really cute. Once we got to the picnic I displayed them all on my fabulous cupcake stand I picked up at Target this spring. I am so glad I took a couple of pictures of the cupcakes before we left the house, because once I put them on the dessert table at the picnic they were gone in seconds!

Pool Party Cupcakes by Me and My Pink Mixer

 Pool Party Cupcakes by Me and My Pink Mixer

Pool Party Cupcakes

1 box French Vanilla Cake Mix
4 eggs
1/3 cup canola oil
1 cup buttermilk

                                   Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line pan with 24 cupcake liners.
Sift cake mix into a large mixing bowl.
Add eggs, buttermilk and oil. Using an electric mixer, mix until ingredients are all combined.
Using a large cookie scoop, fill liners 2/3 full. Bake for 18-20 minutes or until done.
Cool on a wire rack.

Vanilla Buttercream
3 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
6 cups confectioners sugar
1 T whipping cream
1 tsp. vanilla extract
Wilton blue icing color paste

In the bowl of your stand mixer add butter and mix for about 1 minute.
Add confectioners sugar one cup at a time.
Add whipping cream and vanilla extract and beat until light and fluffy.
Add blue coloring with a toothpick until you get your desired color. Whip to combine color.
Pipe frosting onto cooled cupcakes (I use a Wilton 1M tip)
Top with gummy Lifesavers, Teddy Grahams and a paper umbrella.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Monkey Bread Muffins

Madison really likes the Cinnamelts that McDonald's offers for breakfast, so when I found this recipe I thought I would give it a try since they look very similar. Biscuit dough, cinnamon, sugar & butter.....what's not to love? I knew she would say that they were missing the white sugar glaze that Mickey D's has, so I solved that issue by whipping up my own little glaze with some confectioners sugar, vanilla & milk. They turned out pretty tasty for a quick little breakfast treat. This recipe makes just 4 muffins, but you can double or triple it if needed. I was dealing with a picky teenager here, so I only made four this time.
Monkey Bread Muffins
1 can of refrigerated buttermilk biscuits (contains 8 small biscuits)
Cinnamon Sugar
1/4 stick butter
1/4 cup brown sugar
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a muffin tin with cooking spray. Divide each biscuit in half and roll the dough into little balls. Combine the sugar and cinnamon to your preference and coat the balls of dough with the mixture. Place four balls into each muffin tin. Melt the butter and brown sugar in a small pan on the stove, stir until melted and bubbly. Pour the yummy sauce over the muffins. Bake for about 10- 12 mintues. Let them cool in the pan for about one minute and the remove them from the pan.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Watermelon Pops

I love watermelon and when I saw these frozen pops in Family Fun magazine and on the Hungry Housewife, I thought what a cute and refreshing idea! The pops are really easy to make.....simply slice your seedless watermelon about 3/4 inch stick, cut out fun shapes with a cookie cutter and insert a wooden popsicle stick (I used a Wilton cookie stick since that was all I had at the time). Place the pops on a cookie sheet (I lined mine with parchment paper) and put them in the freezer for at least one hour or until firm. Enjoy some cool, fruity refreshment on your next hot summer day.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Quinoa Pilaf with Pine Nuts

Since I have been making a lot of sweets lately, I decided to try a new and healthy side dish for dinner. I have never made any recipes with Quinoa, but I have heard that it is very good for you and high in protein. When cooked quinoa has a light and fluffy texture with a slightly nutty flavor and is a wonderful alternative for rice or couscous. I found this recipe on the food network and decided it would be an easy recipe to try. I am so glad that I did....Bob and I both thought it was really good and will definitely be added to the "make again" recipe pile. You can find the recipe here if you would like to try it too.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Butterfinger Cheesecake Bites

I love browsing through Williams-Sonoma, but the store location closest to my home is about 2 hours away, so I have to drool over their catalog or website most of the time. I have been wanting their Mini Cheesecake Pan for a couple of weeks, so when we went to Pittsburgh last month I just had to stop in their store to get it. I was so happy - it's the little things in life you know! This pan is so cool and makes perfectly preportioned little desserts. I even made Madison take my photo in front of the store after I had made my purchase because I was so excited - I'm such a dorky mom! So this past Sunday we had a family reunion to attend, giving me the perfect opportunity to try out my pan. I found the recipe for Mini Butterfinger Cheesecake bites here. They were very easy to make and turned out really good don't you think?

Monday, July 13, 2009

Yummy Ham & Cheese Sandwiches

If you are looking for something easy and delicous to make for a church picnic, family reunion or any other type of pot luck, you need to make these yummy Ham & Cheese Sandwiches soon! It never fails....someone always asks me for the recipe every time I make them - I swear - they are that good! My friend Debbie brought them to our annual Christmas party a couple of years ago and I immediately asked her for the recipe - not sure where it originated, but here it is for your delicious enjoyment.

Yummy Ham & Cheese Sandwiches

1 package King's Hawaiian Rolls (12 rolls per pkg)
12 slices of Honey Baked Ham
12 slices of Provolone Cheese
3/4 stick of butter
2 T brown sugar
1/2 T French's Regular Mustard
2 T Worcestershire Sauce
1/2 T poppy seeds

Melt butter and mix with brown sugar, mustard, worcestershire sauce and poppy seeds. Brush the bottom of a 13 x9 inch baking dish with some of the sauce. Cut the entire package of rolls in half, horizontally and brush the inside of each roll with the sauce. Now add a slice of ham and a slice of cheese to each roll. Place them in the baking dish and brush the tops with the remaining sauce. Cover them tightly with foil and bake in a 350 degree oven for about 25 minutes.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Zucchini Muffins

I am so thankful that my parents plant a huge garden every spring. I love being able to go to their farm any time I like and help myself to all of the yummy veggies. On my last visit I picked up some zucchini, cucumbers and onions. I love zucchini and I make a really good zucchini casserole, which I will post the recipe for on another day. This weekend I decided to make my zucchini muffins. Here is the recipe if you would like to try them yourself - enjoy.
Zucchini Muffins
3 eggs
2 C canola or vegetable oil
1 1/3 C sugar
1/2 C orange juice
2 1/2 C flour
2 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1 1/2 C shredded zucchini
Combine eggs, sugar, oil and orange juice in a mixing bowl and beat with an electric mixer until blended. Add the remaining ingredients, except for the zucchini and mix well. Now fold in the shredded zucchini. Fill greased or paper lined muffin tins 2/3 full with muffin mixture. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until done.