Friday, March 30, 2012

Easter Bunny Cupcakes with Emma and Anna and Awards

Yesterday I got to make Easter Bunny cupcakes with Emma and Anna, my "shared Grandchildren", who are on Spring Break.  They had fun making and eating these cute little bunnies.They do not like coconut, so there is only one fuzzy bunny with coconut,  mine.The girls made birthday cards for me, and we always have a little tea party with cupcakes, or whatever we make.  We had a very nice day.

The Easter Bunny cupcakes are very easy to make. First, you need a cupcake of your choice.  Frost your cupcake with white frosting, and then dunk the frosted cupcake in a bowl of coconut, Yum!  Don't eat it yet. Then take a large marshmallows and cut in half width wise. Squeeze each piece into an oval to look like bunny ears, and then dip the sticky side in pink sugar. Set the bunny ears on the top of the cupcake. Take  a small blue or purple jelly bean cut in half, for eyes, and a pink jelly bean for the nose. Now, you could use two small mini marshmallows for cheeks, but the girls didn't want cheeks on theirs. The final touch was whiskers, if you want..  You could use decorator gel to make the whiskers, but we used fruit roll ups, cut in thin strips. Next time, I would use the gel. Anyway, the kids make then, they will love them.  Every bunny is an individual:)  Is there a better way to eat jelly beans, marshmallows, and cake??

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Vanilla Cupcakes with Vanilla Butter Cream and Jelly Bellys

This is my newest cupcake,  Do you like it? I got this darling Jelly Belly Holder from my next door neighbor and BFF, Pauli, for my birthday. Isn't it cute?  Last year she bought a cupcake apron for me. she's so sweet!  When I saw this  Jelly Belly holder, I knew that I had to make a Jelly Belly cupcake, perfect for Easter. For those of you, who don't know about Jelly Belly, read more here.  Do you like Jelly Beans, or do you like regular Jelly Beans?  When my Granddaughter was little, I would always put jelly beans in her Easter Basket, but she never ate them.  Then, she finally told me not to give her any more jelly beans.  That was until I gave her Jelly Bellys, and now she is hooked.  Of course she has her favorites, now. What are your favorite flavors of Jelly Bellys? My favorites are Raspberry, Mango, and Toasted Marshmallow, to name a few. There is a Jelly Belly factory and visitor center in Pleasant Prairie, WI, about 1 1/2 hrs. from my house. but I haven't made a trip yet.  Jelly Bellys are are proudly made in the USA, one of the very few, now.

For my facsimile Jelly Belly Cupcake, I made a Vanilla Cupcake with Vanilla Butter Cream Frosting, sprinkled with various flavors of Jelly Bellys. This cupcake is yummy, and you can decorate your cupcakes with your favorite flavors.  These would look so cute on an Easter Dessert Table.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Pork Tenderloin Stir Fry With Mango, Red Bell Pepper, and Baby Spinach

We had leftover pork tenderloin the other day, so leftovers work well with stir fry.  Since it was pork and I love mango, I decided to add diced mango to the the frozen stir vegetables as well as Red Bell Pepper green onion  and Baby Spinach. The sauce, I made was a spicy,  not overly sweet sauce, with mango salsa as the base, so it's a little sweet with a little heat. This recipe would work equally well with chicken or shrimp.  You can also vary the veggies, depending what you have on hand. I love all the colors and textures that you can add to your stir fry, depending the fruits and veggies that you use. This dish is easy, delicious, and healthy!

 I don't stir fry the spinach, I add it at the very end so it doesn't get "slimy", as my hubby says.  In fact if someone doesn't like spinach, you just add it to the individual plates.  Ever since, #greesnlove Blog Hop, I want to add spinach to everything:)  In fact, I ate my leftover stir fry cold over baby spinach for a yummy salad.  Over the weekend, I made an awesome appetizer with spinach, and it wasn't a dip.  I'll be posting it later this week.  Is that a tease, or what?

Pork Tenderloin Stir Fry with Mango. Red Pepper and Baby Spinach

1 cup cooked pork tenderloin, cut in strips
2 Tbsp.canola or peanut oil
1/2 red pepper cleaned, seeded, and cut in strips
1 ripe mango peeled, seeded and diced in 1/2” chunks
1 bag Frozen Stir Vegetables, or any fresh vegetables of your choice, mushrooms, broccoli, water chestnuts, Baby Bok Choy, etc. (I used Trader Joe’s Stir Fry veggies)
2 green onions, chopped
Red pepper flakes (optional)
Sunny Singapore seasoning ( a mix  of East and West spices)
1 cup of Baby Spinach leaves

Spicy Sweet Sauce
2 Tbsp. mango salsa or any salsa of your choice
1 Tbsp low sodium Teriyaki sauce
1/4 c, low sodium chicken stock (I use Trader Joe's)
Splash of white wine
1 Tbsp of cornstarch
1/4 c cold water

What to Do
Heat wok or large skillet on high.  Add oil, garlic and cook for 2-3 min.  Add stir veggies, fresh and frozen, and diced mango green onion, and red pepper. Cook until crisp, 3-4 min. Then add pork tenderloin strips to pan with veggies, and seasonings Add all of sauce ingredients, except cornstarch and water, to wok, and heat over medium heat. stir well.  Mix cornstarch into cold water and mix well.  Stir into wok and heat until sauce is thickened. Stir in Baby Spinach, just until heated, not slimy. Garnish with additional sliced green onions. Serve immediately over rice. We used brown rice.  Enjoy

Friday, March 23, 2012

Linguine with Chicken, Bacon, and Sun Dried Tomatoes

Sometimes when my my Hubby makes pasta dish, he adds many different ingredients and "cleans out the pantry" and fridge. He called this dish Confetti Pasta, because of all the flavors and colors, but this pasta is so good, you can't stop eating it.  This dish started with sauteed garlic and yellow onion,  Add in chicken stock, sun dried tomatoes, garlic,  Italian seasonings, and chicken breasts cut in chunks that had been sauteed,  and turkey bacon. You can use regular bacon or pancetta also. You can also red pepper flakes, if desired Then simmer for about 3-5 min to let the flavors mingle.   Serve over you favorite cooked pasta. Add Feta cheese and  garnish with parsley and chopped green onion.  There are so may layers of flavor in the sauce with the turkey bacon, sun dried tomatoes, garlic, and seasonings topped with Feta cheese, Delicious! This meal comes together quickly, and tastes so good. Enjoy and do the  Happy Friday Dance!

Linguine with Chicken, Bacon, and Sun Dried Tomatoes

2 tbsp olive oil
1/3 c finely chopped yellow onion
2 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
1/3 c sun dried tomatoes
1/2 tsp Italian seasonings
2 slices of turkey bacon, cooked and crumbled
1/2 c chicken stock
1 cup chicken breasts cut in small cubes, sautéed
1/8 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)
1 green onion, chopped in small pieces
2 Tbsp Feta Cheese, crumbled
2 Tbsp Flat Leaf parsley
Cooked pasta of your choice.  We used Multi Grain Linguine


1.      Sauté garlic and onion in olive oil, until soft.
2.      Over Medium heat, add in chicken stock, sun dried tomatoes, Italian seasonings, bacon and sautéed chicken. Cook for 5 minutes.
3.      Add red pepper flakes (optional)
4.      Serve sauce over your favorite cooked pasta.
5.      Sprinkle Feta cheese over sauce.  Garnish with flat leaf parsley and green onion.

I linked up my Strawberry Lemonade Cupcakes to Brandie's Weekend Potluck #10 @ The Country Cook'

Stop by and say Hi to Brandie!

 I was featured on Weekend Potluck # 11

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Strawberry Lemonade Cupcakes and Random Acts of Kindness

Over the weekend I was shopping at my favorite grocery store, Trader Joe's .  As I was checking out,  I was chatting with the cashier about out wonderful weather.  Everyone in Chicago Land is buzzing about our weather lately.  I casually mentioned that my birthday was this week.  She stopped what she was doing, and said,  "Just a minute.  I'll be back". She came back with a gorgeous bouquet of flowers, handing them to me and saying "Happy Birthday!"  I was speechless. I have never  received flowers from anyone in the grocery store, before, and I didn't know this cashier.  I know several people working there, but not this particular woman. Random Act of Kindness, that is what this was.  I have since learned that Trader Joe employees are encouraged to perform Random Acts of Kindness. Trader Joe's, you now have a fan for life. You know, if you receive a "Random Act of Kindness," you pay it forward.

To pay it forward, I made Strawberry Lemonade Cupcakes for the TJ crew, and took them to the store yesterday, on my birthday. The crew loved them.  Maybe that wasn't such a "random" act of kindness, but I sure felt good doing it.  Because yesterday was the First Day of Spring, and our temps have been in the 80's, I wanted to make a Springy cupcake.  The strawberries have been delicious, and I always think of lemons for Springtime, a bright sunny flavor. Therefore, I made Strawberry Lemonade Cupcakes, and I found cute Spring themed cupcake liners, too.  The cupcakes taste like a bite of Spring with the sweet strawberries and brightness of the lemon. They are amazing. So make yourself a jar or glass of Strawberry Lemonade, have a Strawberry Lemonade Cupcake, and enjoy a taste of Spring!

Strawberry Lemonade Cupcakes
 Adapted from Half Baked, The Cake Blog and Crave.  Indulge. Satisfy
{makes 24 cupcakes )
For the cake:
2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
2 cups sugar
4 eggs
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbsp lemonade powder mix  ( I used Crystal Light)
1 cup milk
3 Tbsp lemon juice (juice of 1 lemon)
1 Tbsp lemon zest (zest of 1 lemon)
1 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line muffin pans with cupcake liners
  1. In medium bowl mix together dry ingredients: flour, baking powder, salt, lemonade powder and lemon zest, set aside.
  2. In bowl of stand mixer cream butter and sugar on medium speed until combined.
  3. Add eggs, one at a time beating well after each addition and scraping down sides of bowl as needed.
  4. Add the lemon juice and vanilla and mix well.
  5. Gradually add the dry ingredients and milk, alternating starting and ending with the dry ingredients and mix until combined.
  6. Fill cupcake liners about 2/3 full.
  7. Bake for 20 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
  8. Let cupcakes cool in pans for 5 minutes, then remove to wire rack to finish cooling.
  9. Once cupcakes are completely cool, ice with Strawberry Lemon Frosting and garnish with strawberry slice. (optional)
For the frosting:
2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
4 cups confectioner’s sugar
3 Tbsp strawberry puree (from about 3-4 strawberries)
1 tbsp lemon zest
  1. In bowl of stand mixer cream butter for 1-2 minutes.
  2. Gradually add confectioner’s sugar and continue mixing scraping down sides of bowl as needed.
  3. Mix in strawberry puree and lemon zest.
Place the icing in a piping bag fitted with tip 1M to decorate cupcakes

I linked up my Strawberry Lemonade Cupcakes to Brandie's Weekend Potluck #10 @ The Country Cook'
Stop by and say Hi to Brandie!

This was not a not a sponsored post, and the opinions expressed here are mine. 

Monday, March 19, 2012

Birthday Cake Oreo Cheesecake Tartlet for my Birthday!

Tomorrow is my birthday, the first Day of Spring! Usually the weather is crummy, cold rainy, or even snow.  Not his year! Here in Chicago Land, we are having  very unusually warm weather, It's been in the 70's to 80 for a whole week! Florida weather! Unbelievable! Because we are Chicagoans, we a little leary, that we still might have cold weather coming, but for now, we'll take it, and we're loving it.  The trees are budding and the flowers are blooming, Yea!  People are wearing flip top, shorts, and tank tops.  Usually, This time of year, we are  bundled up, wearing sweaters and winter coats.

 When I saw these Birthday Cake Oreos, I knew that I wanted to make something with them,  How perfect!  My birthday was in two weeks, so did I want a birthday cake or cheesecake?  (I had just had Strawberry Cupcakes, post to come later.) I finally came up with a Birthday Cake Oreo Cheesecake Tartlet.  You know that I love my little tartlet pans, just the right portion, maybe? I can still have my birthday cake and cheesecake, too, all in one yummy dessert.  Isn't that what birthdays are all about, enjoying your special day! Sure, I don't want to add, another year, but it's fun to celebrate.

Birthdays were always a big thing in my family and for my kids.  I can remember that my Mom told me for my 10th birthday, I could have a birthday party or go to see the Garfield Goose Show in downtown Chicago I thought about for awhile, but opted for the party! I know that this really dates me here talking about .Garfield Goose, he he.  Check out this fuzzy clip! A blast from the past!

My Birthday Cake Oreo Cheesecake Tartlet has a Birthday Cake Oreo crust, but you can barely see the sprinkles in crust, because the cookies were crushed.  I pre-baked the crust and poured a light version of cheesecake in the crust, topped with chopped Birthday Cake Oreos, and baked to perfection. Oh, Yum! I  got two tarlets, and six mini Cheesecakes, made in the mini muffin tin from this recipe.  This cheesecake can also be frozen. If you double this recipe,  you can make this recipe in cupcake tins with liners, and one whole birthday Cake Oreo for the crust.

You only see five on the plate!  Oops, someone ate one!

Birthday Cake Oreo Cheesecake Tartlet   
Inspired by That Skinny Chick Can Bake

6 Birthday Cake Oreos, crushed
2 Tbsp, butter melted

3 Birthday Cake Oreos, chopped
1 8 oz pkg light cream cheese
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 egg, room temp
1/4 cup light sour cream

Mix crushed cookie crumbs and butter until well mixed.  Press crumbs into 2 tartlet pans, and bake in 375 degree oven, until firm, 8-10 minutes.  Remove from oven and cool on rack.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees for filling.
While crust is cooling, combine cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla with mixer, until smooth.
Mix in eggs, one at a time, just till blended. Mix in sour cream. Pour filling in baked, cooled, Birthday Cake Oreo crusts.  Sprinkle with chopped Oreos.

For the Mini Tartlets, line the min muffin tin with baking cups, and press the cookie crumbs in the bottom of the muffin tin, and press down with spoon.  Spoon filling, over prepared cups, and top with cookie crumbs.

Bake in 325 degree oven for about 20 minutes for tartlets, and 12-15 min for tartlets, until puffy, not browned. Cool on rack, and refrigerate until serving time.  May also be frozen, and defrosted before serving time.

 I linked up my Strawberry Lemonade Cupcakes to Brandie's Weekend Potluck #10 @ The  Country Cook'
Stop by and say Hi to Brandie!


Friday, March 16, 2012

Lucky Charms Treats

If you are looking for a quick, fun, and yummy treat for St. Patrick's Day, go buy a box of Lucky Charms and make Lucky Charms treats. They are made just like Rice Krispy treats, only you use the colorful, "Luck of the Irish", Lucky Charms. The treats are sweet, because the cereal is sweetened, but they are cute, and everything in moderation.  I can say that I had never bought Lucky Charms before, but I did today.

 You just mix the marshmallows and butter in a bowl, microwave until melted, pour over the Lucky Charms, mix until Lucky Charms are well coated, and press in a pan.  Chill in fridge.  Now if you are so inclined, you can make your own Lucky Charms mini marshmallows for Lucky Charms Cupcakes like Stef from Cupcake Project. I didn't have time to make my own Lucky Charm marshmallows though. May you find the "Magic of the Lucky Charms"  in your treats and Have a Happy St. Patty's Day!

Lucky Charm Treats from Food .com


  •  3 tablespoons butter or 3 tablespoons margarine
  • 25 large marshmallows or 2 ½ cups miniature marshmallows
  • 5 cups Lucky Charms cereal


  1. Grease 9x9x2-inch pan.
  2. Melt margarine and marshmallows until smooth, either over medium heat in a saucepan or in the microwave.
  3. Stir in Lucky Charms until well coated. Press into pan with buttered hands.
  4.  Cool in fridge. Cut into squares when cool.
This was not a not a sponsored post, and the opinions expressed here are mine.

    Thursday, March 15, 2012

    Green and Chocolate Mint Shamrocks for St. Patty's Day!


    I love to make cut out cookies, but had not made any in awhile, so I made shamrocks for St. Patty's Day. I always use my BFF' Barb's Roll out Cookie Recipe.  We started making cookies together, when our kids were toddlers, over 30+ yrs' ago.  Of course we did most of the work with the cookies, but the kids had so much fun frosting them, of course. This is the same recipe that I made cookies with my Granddaughter, when she was 18 mos. old, and we have made many batches of cut out cookies since then.

    When I was making my cutout shamrock cookies I decided to glaze some with green, and some with chocolate.  I added mint extract to the chocolate.  After I was done glazing them, I made a few "sandwich" cookies.  I added more powdered sugar to the glaze, and frosted between the shamrocks, and put them together, adding green sprinkles, of course..  They turned out very well, don't you think?

    Here is the heirloom recipe. It's easy to make and one batch makes about 20 cookies, depending on the size of your cookies.this recipe can easily be doubled.  You can make the dough ahead of time and refrigerate for a day, or can also be frozen,  Do you like your cutout cookies soft or crispy? If you want them soft, store them in Tupperware, crispy, store them in a tin.

    Barb's Roll Out Cookies  400 degrees oven

    1 3/4 c. AP flour
    1/2 tsp. baking powder
    1/4 tsp salt
    1/2 c butter, room temp
    3/4 c sugar
    1 beaten egg
    1 tsp vanilla


    • Combine  flour, baking powder, and salt in bowl.
    • In large bowl combine butter, sugar, egg, and  vanilla.  Beat with mixer at medium speed,  until creamy.  Lower speed and gradually add in flour mixture, until well mixed.
    • Divide dough in half and shape each half into a ball.  Flatten  to 1/2 ". Wrap each half in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 2 hours or longer.
    • Heat oven to 400 degrees. roll out dough, one half at a time, on lightly floured surface to 1/8" thickness. Keep remaining dough refrigerated.
    • Cut  outwith desired cookie cutters.  Place on ungreased cookie sheet, one inch apart.  Bake 6-8 minutes, until edges are lightly brown.  Cool 1 minute on cookie sheet.  Remove to rack to cool completely.
    Green Glaze
    1 cup powdered sugar
    1/4 c milk
    green food coloring

    Combine powdered sugar and milk, until dripping from spoon consistency.  Add food coloring until desired color.. Glaze cookies and add sprinkles.  Dry on rack.

    Chocolate Mint Glaze

    1 c powdered sugar
    1/4 c cocoa
    1/4 c milk
    1/4 tsp peppermint extract

    Combine powdered sugar and cocoa, until combined.  Stir in milk and peppermint extract to desired consistency
    Glaze cookies and add sprinkles.

    Ff you want to make the "sandwich" cookies, add  more powdered sugar to glaze, until spreadable. Spread on individual cookies, and put on rack to set frosting.

      l linked up my recipe to Brandie@The Country Cook's Weekend Potluck #108
     Stop by and say Hi to Brandie


    Monday, March 12, 2012

    Pasta Carbonara with Peas and Green Onions

     Scott's favorite pasta dish is Pasta Carbonara, which is pasta with pancetta or bacon, eggs, and cheese.What's not to love?  It is very easy to make and so delicious. In fact, the first meal that Scott made for me when we first met was Pasta Carbonara, so it has a special place in my heart. I was watching Rachael Ray last week, and she was making Pasta Carbonara with a Spring Twist,  adding Spring peas,  green onions and a lemon zest.  The peas and the green onion added a nice green, Spring touch, and the lemon zest gave it bright lemon flavor.  To be truthful, I like this version of the Carbonara even better. We couldn't get Spring peas, so we just used frozen green peas.  We also subbed turkey bacon for pancetta or regular bacon, used Parmesan cheese, and put the Carbonara over the multi grain Linguine. You can also microwave your turkey bacon, and have less fat.  We know that this isn't the healthiest meal for you, but just remember the "M" word, moderation.  If you are looking for a nice easy green touch to your meals this week,  make the Pasts Carbonara with Peas and Green Onion. Enjoy!

    Pasta Carbonara with Peas and Green Onion Inspired by Rachael

    1 cup of fresh or frozen peas, cooked
    12 oz. multi grain linguine or your favorite pasta
    1 tbsp olive oil
    1/3 lb of pancetta, bacon or turkey bacon, chopped in 1” pieces.
    4 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
    4 green onions, white tops only, thinly sliced. Reserve green onion tops and chop
    1 Tbsp lemon zest
    1/2 cup Italian parsley, finely chopped
    4 eggs
    2/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese

    1. Microwave peas in microwave 2-3 min.
    2. Bring a large pot of water to boil for the pasta, add salt, and cook pasta to al dente, firm, but not mushy.
    3. Meanwhile brown bacon pieces in olive oil, if needed, until cooked crisp. Add garlic, pepper, and green onions. Stir 2-3 minutes.
    4. When pasta is done, reserve 1/2 c starchy cooking water. Put eggs in separate bowl.  Add about another 1/4 cup of starchy water to eggs, and beat to temper eggs.
    5. In large bowl add bacon, garlic, and sliced green onions, and lemon zest, immediately add in hot pasta, drained. Pour eggs over top of cooked pasta and cheese.  Toss with tongs 1-2 min until combined.  Serve immediately and garnish with more fresh parsley, cheese, and green onion tops.

    Friday, March 9, 2012

    Scott's Roasted Garlic Hummus with Sun Dried Tomatoes and Basil

    Scott was just sitting in the Great Room, when one day out of the out of the blue, he said that he wanted to make Hummus, Roasted Garlic Hummus, with maybe sun dried tomatoes, and basil, some lemon juice, and smoky paprika. (He was going through the pantry and fridge in his head). See the flecks of green and red in the hummus. As he was talking, he was concocting the recipe. That's my foodie Hubby.

    Hummus is a fairly new food group for us, maybe about only a year. I had bought a can of Garbanzo beans, or do you call them chickpeas, planning to make hummus one day.  Making your own hummus, tastes so much better, and you can control the amount of sodium, even using canned garbanzo beans, and tailor the ingredients to your tastes. Roasting your own garlic is so easy and adds so much flavor, not the bite of fresh garlic, but a  rich buttery, sweet flavor.

     You can make this in your food processor or blender. He used our immersion blender, and it worked very well, as you can see. We didn't use tahini, maybe because we didn't have any. He also didn't add any red pepper flakes, either, which was strange for him, because he adds them to lots of dishes,  but I was happy.  You can add the heat if, you like. The hummus has the rich flavor of the roasted garlic, with the brightness of lemon with a subtle basil flavor, and the sweetness of the sun dried tomatoes, and the smoky paprika. Oh Wow! You could eat it right out of the bowl, just sayin'.  Maybe next time we'll buy the dry garbanzo beans, soak them, cook them, and the make Hummus. Serve this hummus with pita chips, veggies, or crackers.  Enjoy!

    We'll be making another batch of this hummus for March Madness, while we fill out our brackets.  Are you into March Madness? Do you fill out brackets!  We are Foodies, as well as sports geeks!

    Roasted Garlic Hummus with Sun Dried Tomatoes and Basil
    • 1 can chickpeas/garbanzo beans (15 oz.) rinsed and drained
    • 1 head of garlic, roasted*
    • 1 tablespoon lemon zest, and juice of half a lemon
    • 2 Tbsp sun dried tomatoes
    • 10 basil leaves
    • 1 tsp smoky paprika
    • 1/8 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)  Didn’t put these in
    • 1 tablespoon olive oil

    *Preheat oven to 425°F. Remove the loose papery outside skin from the garlic head without separating the cloves. Slice off the top 1/2 inch. cover with 1 Tbsp olive oil Wrap in a small square of foil and roast until the garlic is very soft, about 40 minutes. Unwrap and cool slightly. Separate the cloves and peel.

    In a food processor, blender, or using and immersion blender, process beans, garlic, sun dried tomatoes, basil, olive oil, lemon zest and juice, and smoky paprika ,until desired consistency. If hummus is too thick, simply add more olive oil in small increments (1/2 teaspoon) until desired consistency.

    Transfer to a small serving bowl and refrigerate until serving time. Store, covered in refrigerator, up to 2 days.

    I linked up Scott's Roasted Garlic Hummus with Sun Dried Tomatoes and Basil to Brandie@ The Coutry Cook's Weekend Potluck #8
    Stop by and say Hi to Brandie

    Wednesday, March 7, 2012

    Orange Cinnamon Walnut Bread

    I made this Orange Cinnamon Walnut Bread to go with my Door County Cherry Jam, jars of love. I have made many loaves of Orange Cranberry Walnut Bread over the years, but mainly at Christmas time for friends and family.  My love affair with quick nut breads started as a child, and we always had nut bread with cream cheese on Christmas Eve, and that's why I make it every Christmas.

    For the Cherry Jam, I wanted a hint of orange flavor, with cinnamon and walnuts, which wouldn't over power the jam. I also used my favorite Greek yogurt to replace the orange juice. The bread was moist and flavorful.  I made the mini loaves and a wrapped a few to give away.  One of my blogging friends, Gina@SP Cookie Queen,   is moving and under a lot of stress.  That's what moving is all about, stress, so I sent her a box of sunshine:)  This bread is very good with the jam, butter, or cream cheese;)

    Here is picture of the remnants of my first Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook 1969.  I am very hard on cookbooks, and used them a lot before the internet.  I still have my go to recipes, but I mostly use the internet for recipes now., and now my recipes are on the blog.When I met Scott, he had the  Better Homes and Gardens New Cook 1989, and now that's my go to cook book.  What are your favorite cook books?

    Orange Cinnamon Walnut Bread  
    Adapted from Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook- Circa 1969 

    Ingredients- Preheat oven to 350 degrees
    2 1/4 cups AP flour
    3/4 cup sugar
    2 1/4 tsp baking powder
    1/4 tsp baking soda
    3/4 salt I didn't add
    1tsp cinnamon
    3/4 cup chopped walnuts
    1 Tbsp orange zest
    1 egg, beaten
    6 oz Greek yogurt, I used plain
    2Tbsp oil I used canola


    Mix together in a large bowl, flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt,and cinnamon.
    Stir in walnuts and orange zest. In separate bowl,  mix 1 beaten egg, yogurt, and oil. Stir into dry ingredients, until just moistened.

    Pour into a sprayed 8 1/2x 4 1/2x2/1/2 baking loaf pan.Bake in 350 oven for 50-55 min until tester comes out clean.  remove from oven and  cool on rack. Wrap and store overnight, if you can wait.

    I linked up Scott's Roasted Garlic Hummus with Sun Dried Tomatoes and Basil to Brandie@ The Coutry Cook's Weekend Potluck #8
    Stop by and say Hi to Brandie

    Sunday, March 4, 2012

    #Greenslove: Mini Spinach Arugula Quiches

    This month for Love bloghop the theme is #greenslove!

    Please join in on the #greenslove fun by linking up any leafy green recipe from the month of March 2012. Don't forget to link back to this post, so that your readers know to come stop by the #greenslove event! The twitter hashtag is #greenslove :). 

    I got these cute little mini quiche /tart pans, so I decided to make  mini quiches with spinach and arugula for #greenslove. Spinach and arugula have many nutrients, as green leafy vegetables. Green leafy vegetables are an excellent source of vitamins A and C, folic acid, calcium, manganese and magnesium. It's  also a very good source of potassium, iron, zinc, riboflavin and copper. And, besides green is my favorite color, and March is the month of St. Patrick's Day and everything green. A Green River anyone?

     Arugula and spinach, like other greens, are rich in many essential vitamins and minerals, as well as important phytochemicals.  Arugula contains phytochemicals such as carotenes and chlorophyll.  Those phytochemicals make it an excellent source of antioxidants.
      Sources: Murray , Michael N.D.. The Encyclopedia Of Healing Foods.
    New York: Atria Books, 2005.

    It is easy to include more greens to your diet by adding chopped  greens to salads, soups, omelets, stir frys, and quiches. Arugula, aka Rocket has a spicy, peppery flavor, which adds  a great taste to soups. salads, and egg dishes. spinach contains fiber and most of the vitamins and minerals found in meat.  These quiches make a good Lenten light lunch, supper, or appetizers.

    So with all the health benefits of green, leafy vegetables, it is easy to see why I made a Spinach Arugula Quiche. Besides the steamed green leafy vegetables, the quiche has cheese, milk eggs, mushrooms and sauteed leeks. The quiches are full of flavor from all of the veggies, with the eggs,  and the cheese   I made the mini quiches, but you could make just one quiche in a 9" pie pan. We had a few of these for dinner, and I will use the rest  for appetizers.  Enjoy!

    Mini Spinach and Arugula Quiches Adapted from the Essential Vegetarian cookbook by Whitecap Books
    • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
    • 1 small leek sliced, only the top white part
    • 8 oz of fresh mushrooms, chopped
    • 1 Tbsp olive oil
    • 2 C Baby spinach, washed and stems removed
    • 1 1/2 C  Baby Arugula, washed and stems removed
    • 1 (8 ounce) package shredded Cheddar cheese I used white cheddar
    • salt and pepper to taste
    • 1 single pie crust rolled out  to get 6 mini crusts 6” in diameter or 1 (9 inch) unbaked deep dish pie crust
    • 4 eggs, beaten
    • 1 cup milk
    • 1 cup half and half
    Mini Crusts Preheat oven to 415 degrees
    Roll out dough for single pie crust and cut 6 “circles of dough. Press into mini quiche pans. Place tins on a cookie sheet. Cover Pastry with parchment paper or aluminum foil. Spread a layer of beans or rice over the parchment paper or crust. Bake the pastry shell for 10min., and then remove from oven. Discard the paper or foil and beans or rice.  Return the tin to the oven for another 5 min, until lightly brown. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees
    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (190 degrees C).
    2. In a medium skillet, add olive oil over medium heat. Sauté garlic and leek in olive oil until lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Stir in mushrooms, and cook until brown, about 5 min. Add spinach and arugula to mushroom mixture, stir until wilted. Divide spinach mushroom mixture between the 6 mini quiche pans.
    3.  In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs, half and half, 3/4 cup cheese, and milk. Season with salt and pepper. Pour into the pastry shells, allowing egg mixture to thoroughly combine with spinach mixture. You may sprinkle remaining cheese on top. if you want.  You will probably have leftovers, which can be baked in a small, casserole dish, sprayed with cooking spray.
    4. Bake in preheated oven for 30-35 minutes or until tops are golden and set.
    5. Remove cookie sheet from oven, place mini quiche pans on rack to cool. Remove crusts from the tins. Serve warm.
    Thanks  Junia. for hosting this wonderful event.
     Here is the list of the  amazing bloggers that are co-hosting with me.

    ASTIG Vegan ~ Richgail ~  @astigvegan
    Bon a croquer ~ Valerie ~ @Valouth
    Cheap Ethnic Eatz ~ Evelyne ~ @cethniceatz
    Easily Good Eats ~ Three Cookies
    Oh Cake ~ Jessica ~ @jesshose
    Queen's Notebook ~ Elizabeth ~ @Mango_Queen 


    Friday, March 2, 2012

    Lemony Shrimp with Artichoke Hearts on Multi Grain Linguine

    We have wanted to make this wonderful shrimp dish for awhile now, but we finally got the chance last weekend.  This is a perfect dish for Lenten meals, and comes together quickly. The shrimp is sauteed in a lemony,  garlic, wine sauce with  Herbes de Provence and artichoke hearts added in.with fresh basil. The shrimp and sauce is then served over multi grain Linguine, or any pasta of your choice. You can sprinkle grated Parmesan cheese over the top if you want. The sauce is so good and lemony, and the shrimp and artichoke hearts pair nicely. You could even serve this for company with a nice glass of white wine.  You will not be disappointed, when you make this one. Enjoy!

    Lemony Shrimp with Artichoke on Multi Grain Linguine= Serves 4

    3/4 lbs. 41-50count Raw shrimp, deveined
    1/2 medium onion, diced
    4 cloves of garlic, minced
    1 140oz can Artichoke hearts, quartered
    Zest of 1/2 lemon
    Juice of 1 lemon
    1/3 c chicken broth
    1/3 c white wine
    1/4 c olive oil
    1 tsp Herbes de Provence
    8 large leaves of fresh Basil, chiffonade
    8 oz. Multi Grain Linguine
    1 1/2 Tbsp unsalted butter or Smart Balance

    1.  Saute onions and garlic in olive oil and butter, until onions are clear.
    2. Add chicken broth, white wine, shrimp, and Herb de Provence, until shrimp is almost pink.
    3. Add Lemon, juice and zest, and Artichoke Hearts.
    4. Heat thoroughly and spoon over cooked pasta.
    5. Add  fresh grated Parmesan cheese, and chiffonade of fresh basil
      I am linking the recipe to Brandie's Weekend Potluck# 7 

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