Thursday, May 30, 2013

Lemon Cookies!

1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
pinch of salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
zest of 2 lemons
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup honey
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 tablespoons lemon juice

1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 tbsp lemon juice

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit
In one bowl whisk together butter, sugarhoney, and lemon zest until you reach a creamy consistency.
Add baking soda and lemon juice and mix for a few seconds until incorporated. 
Slowly add flour and salt and mix until combined, do not over mix!
Gently mix the dough with your hands, the dough will feel soft and sticky, but dont add more flower.
Roll the dough into ping-pong sized balls and place on a cookie sheet. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until the bottom of the cookie is a nice golden brown. 

Lemon Glaze:
Combine powdered sugar and lemon juice in a small bowl and mix. Let the cookies cool then drizzle the lemon glaze over the cookies and enjoy!

Watermelon Cooler

This simple refreshing drink for any age only uses a few simple ingredients and less than 10 minutes of your time before you are laying pool side sipping away!
All you need is 1 cup of cold gingerale, 2 sprigs of fresh mint leaves, and 2 cups of frozen seedless watermelon. Blend the gingerale and mint leaves until fully chopped and combined, add the watermelon and blend more until a slushy consistency forms and you're done!

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Ten Delicious Salad Recipes!

Boston Lettuce Salad With Herbs and Toasted Almonds

    • 1/4 cup sliced almonds
    • large head Boston or Bibb lettuce, leaves torn (6 cups)
    • 1 cup fresh parsley leaves
    • 1 cup fresh cilantro leaves
    • 10 chives, cut into 1-inch lengths
    • 4 to 5 tablespoons Lemon and Shallot Vinaigrette or bottled Italian vinaigrette

Watercress Salad With Beets and Feta

    • 2 bunches watercress, thick stems removed (6 cups)
    • 1 15-ounce can whole beets, drained and thinly sliced
    • 4 to 5 tablespoons Lemon and Shallot Vinaigrette or bottled Italian vinaigrette
    • 1/2 cup crumbled Feta (about 2 ounces)

Romaine Salad With Tomatoes and Bacon

    • 4 slices bacon
    • 1 head romaine lettuce, cut into strips (6 cups)
    • 1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
    • 4 scallions, sliced
    • 4 to 6 tablespoons Creamy Parmesan Dressing
    • or bottled Caesar dressing

Mesclun Salad With Chickpeas and Dried Cherries

    • 6 ounces mesclun (6 cups)
    • 2 carrots, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced on the bias
    • 1 15-ounce can chickpeas, rinsed
    • 1/2 cup dried cherries
    • 1/4 cup fresh dill sprigs
    • 4 to 5 tablespoons Balsamic-Dijon Vinaigrette
  •         or bottled balsamic vinaigrette

Arugula Salad With Green Beans and Radishes

    • 1 large bunch arugula (6 cups)
    • 1 small fennel bulb, cored and very thinly sliced
    • 4 ounces raw green beans, cut into 1-inch pieces (about 1 1⁄4 cups)
    • 6 radishes, cut into wedges
    • 6 to 8 tablespoons Creamy Parmesan Dressing
    • or bottled Caesar dressing

Spinach Salad With Avocado and Peppers

    • 2 cups fresh bread cubes (½ inch)
    • 1 tablespoon olive oil
    • kosher salt
    • 1 5-ounce package baby spinach (6 cups)
    • 1 avocado, diced
    • 1 bell pepper, thinly sliced
    • 1⁄2 cup pitted kalamata olives, halved
    • 1 shallot, thinly sliced
    • 4 to 5 tablespoons Balsamic-Dijon Vinaigrette
    • or bottled balsamic vinaigrette

Greens with Quick Artichoke Vinaigrette

    • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
    • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
    • kosher salt and pepper
    • 1 12-ounce jar artichoke hearts (packed in water or oil), drained and roughly chopped
    • 2 5-ounce packages mixed greens

Lettuce, Orange, and Pecan Salad

    • 3 heads Bibb or Boston lettuce, rinsed and torn
    • 2 navel oranges, peeled and sliced into thin circles
    • 3/4 cup (about 3 ounces) toasted pecans, roughly chopped
    • 4 ounces goat cheese, crumbled (optional)
    • 1/4 cup orange juice
    • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
    • 1 shallot, minced
    • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
    • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
    • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Spinach Salad With Warm Onions and Crispy Salami

    • 2 tablespoons olive oil
    • 1/4 pound hard salami, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
    • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
    • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
    • 1 tablespoon honey
    • kosher salt and black pepper
    • 1/2 red onion, sliced into rounds
    • 2 bunches spinach, thick stems removed (about 8 cups)
    • 4 hard-boiled eggs (optional)

Tender Greens With Champagne Vinaigrette

    • 2 1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
    • 1/4 cup Champagne vinegar or white wine vinegar
    • 1 teaspoon honey
    • 1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
    • 1 large shallot, finely chopped
    • 1 head Boston or Bibb lettuce
    • 1/3 cup fresh dill sprigs
    • 3/4 cup fresh whole flat-leaf parsley leaves
    • 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh tarragon leaves, roughly chopped (optional)
    • 1/4 cup fresh chives, cut into 1-inch pieces (optional)
    • 1/4 cup fresh whole chervil leaves (optional)

Spinach and Artichoke Wrap!

This is a healthy lunch alternative that incorporates many delicious flavors into one wrap! With just a few ingredients, not only is this delicious, its also simple!
All you need is:
1 can (15 ounces) artichoke hearts packed in water and well drained. Whole wheat tortilla wraps, this recipe creates enough for 2 wraps. 8 slices of provolone cheese, 4 for each wrap. 1 red bell pepper, seeded and ribbed, and cut into thin strips. 1 cup of raw baby spinach packed. Pinch of salt and pepper!

Completely dry the artichoke hearts, and chop them into small pieces. With 2 tortilla wraps, lay 4 slices of provolone cheese onto each. Layer the artichoke heart, spinach and bell pepper on top of the cheese and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Fold the top and bottom parts of the wrap in, and then roll and secure with a toothpick!

Pineapple Orange-ade Ice Pops!

This easy recipe using only 1 can (20 ounces) DOLE crushed pineapple in 100% pineapple Juice, 1 cup of water, 3/4 cup thawed orange juice concentrate, 3/4 cup thawed lemonade concentrate, 5 medium, firm bananas cut into 1/4 inch slices then cubed, 1 can of gingerale, and 24 maraschino cherries, will leave you with a deliciously refreshing dessert to help combat this warm summer weather. 

1. In a large mixing bowl, combine the 1 can of crushed pineapple, 1 cup of water, 3/4 cup thawed orange juice concentrate, 3/4 cup thawed lemonade concentrate.
2. Once all mixed together, slowly add the 5 bananas cut into 1/4 inch slices then cubed, and the 1 can of gingerale. Mix the ingredients gently.
3. Once mixed, prepare 24 3 oz. plastic cups, and place 1 maraschino cherry in each cup. Slowly pour the mixture into each cup about 3/4's of the way full. Place a wooden Popsicle stick in each and freeze.

This is one sweet treat any fruit lover would be sure to enjoy!      

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Incredibly Simple Fondant Recipe!

For a long time I was searching and searching for a fondant recipe that was not only easy to make, but easy to work with, and with a lot of trial and error, I came up with this recipe that takes just a few minutes to make and use!

You want to start with a clean large mixing bowl. Add a bag (16 ounces) of mini marshmallows. I've found that this recipe works best when you use the brand name(Jet Puff is the one I prefer  over the store brand. Pour all the marshmallows into the large bowl, add 3 table spoons of water, and microwave for 30 seconds 4 times, stirring well after each 30 seconds. In the end, the marshmallows should be microwaved for a total of 2 minutes, and in a thick liquidy consistency. Once removed from the microwave, slowly add one bag of confectioners sugar. Stirring while adding (this will get a bit hard to stir but I suggest stirring by hand.) Once the marshmallows and sugar is completely incorporated, place on a floured counter top  and knead until smooth. Place in a plastic bag for about 10 minutes for the mixture to cool, then roll out or use as needed! This recipe can be stored up to 2 weeks in the refrigerator. 


10 ounces of mini marshallows
3 tablespoons of water
1 large bag of confectioners sugar
1/2 flour (used for kneading and rolling)

Here are a few of the cakes and cupcakes I've made. Enjoy!

This simple pumpkin cupcake was  definitely a hit in during those cold fall days, topped with homemade cream cheese frosting, and a homemade fondant pumpkin!

This pumpkin shaped cake is made of a white vanilla cake by Pillsbury  topped with a butter cream frosting, and homemade orange fondant!

This Santa shaped cake was made with vanilla Pillsbury cake mix, topped with homemade white fondant then painted with food coloring and icing to achieve this cute Santa look!