Friday, June 29, 2012

Peachy Orange Yogurt Popsicicles with Add Ins

Yesterday the temp was 100 degrees. Time to make Popsicle, not just any Popsicle. These are  Popsicle made with Greek yogurt, orange juice concentrate, and peach puree. These Popsicles don't have any added high fructose corn syrup, or sugar. artificial colors or flavors, either. Amazing, just pure fruit and yogurt, so healthy. Now the funny thing about these Popsicles is that I made these Popsicle, minus, the pureed fruit, when my kids were little, over 30 years ago.  What goes around, comes around, or has this recipe always been in vogue?  Back then I was "Earth Mother", that I made my own yogurt with a yogurt maker, gave my kids Smucker's Natural peanut butter, on whole wheat bread, Did any of you or your mothers have a yogurt maker?  I must have sold it at a garage sale.

Since I had sold my Tupperware Popsicle molds, when my kids got older, I had to buy new ones. I found these, but the the Popsicle are very hard to remove from the mold.  I even used a Popsicle stick, which wasn't that much easier to remove either . I had to run warm water over the mold to remove the Popsicle. I wouldn't recommend buying these. I wish that I still had my Tupperware molds, which had little holes in the sticks, so the liquid would freeze through the stick, making them easier to remove from the mold.

These Popsicles are very easy to make, and within hours,  you will  have these tasty treats. After the liquid has been in the molds for about one hour,  I added blueberries in some, and chopped mint in the others,. in to the molds, and gently stirred them, and returned to the freezer until frozen hard.  You could add chopped strawberries, or peaches, or maybe even mini chocolate chips.  The possibilities are endless. Enjoy, and stay cool!

I'm on my way to see my Granddaughter in St. Louis this weekend.  I see lots of Popsicle, ice cream, and watermelon in my future. It was 108 in St Louis yesterday!

Peachy Orange Yogurt with Popscicles

I 6 oz can of orange juice concentrate, partially frozen.
2 6 oz containers of plain Greek Yogurt
2 peaches, pitted peeled, and pureed.
3/4 c blueberries, or other fruit of your choice
1/3 c chopped mint

Combine above ingredients, except add ins, in large bowl.  Whisk until well combined.
Pour contents into a large pitcher.  Fill Popscicle molds with filling.  If adding in fruit or mint, freeze for 1 hour, then remove  molds, add fruit or mint.  Return to freezer and freeze until hard, at least a couple of hours.

I linked up this recipe to Brandie's   Patriotic Potluck {4th of July edition of Weekend Potluck)
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Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Black Forest Cupcakes aka Blackhawk Stanley Cupcakes

"Life is just a bowl of cherries" or is it?  This morning my heart is breaking again and there are tears on my keybooard for Monet Moutrie @ Anecdotes and Apples and her family.  Her parent's home, the home that Monet grew up in,  is in imminent danger of burning due to the Colorado fires. Please keep Monet and her family in your thoughts and prayers today. Be thankful for what you have today, because you never know, when it could be taken away from you in a flash.

I had made these cupcakes before when my blog was in it's infancy.  In fact there were no comments and pre-Foodbuzz.  I made these cupcakes to commemorate the 2010 Chicago Blackhawks winning the Stanley Cup.  That's why I called them Blackhawk Stanley Cupcakes. They were really a take off on Black Forest Cupcakes from Stef@Cupcake Project

 Yea! It is now cherry season, so I thought that I would redo the recipe.  Also, I got a cupcake corer and lovely cupcake liners from a friend, and have wanting to make these for awhile, but was so busy with the Relay for Life. Thank you Jessica.  Well now the Relay is over, and time to make the beauties.

 Here is the cupcake corer. It works really well, and much faster than with the paring knife.

See how nice the cupcakes look with chopped cherry filling.

These chocolate cupcakes are filled to the rim with chopped, pitted, dark sweet cherries, topped with Vanilla Butter Cream Frosting.  You could brush the tops of the cupcakes with Kirsch before frosting, but I didn't have any. You could also make a Whipped Cream Frosting, if serving right away, but I wasn't serving these right away, so I just made my favorite Vanilla Butter Cream.  Any way you frost these cupcakes, they are divine, sweet cherry filling and chocolate cupcakes, topped with creamy frosting.  Be thankful that you are able to make these cupcakes in your kitchen, today.

I am also grateful from  Choc ChipUru@Go Bake Yourself gave the Versatile Blogger Award! thank you Uru, and I am truly honored.

From Choc Chip Uru@@Go Bake Yourself
 If you don't know Choc Chip Uru, go visit her wonderful blog, and you won't believe that she is a only 16 yr. old blogging with such self assurance and great writing with great pictures. I know that I learn a lot from her.

Black Forest Cupcakes  Inspired by Cupcake Project  Makes 24 cupcakes
2c.  flour
2c. sugar
1/2 c. unsweetened cocoa powder
1-1/2 tsp. baking soda
1-1/2 c. milk
1/2 c. butter (1 stick room temp)
2 tsp. vanilla
2 eggs

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

1. Measure all ingredients, except eggs and in mixing bowl.
2. Mix on low speed just until incorporated.
3. Beat on high for 2 minutes.
4. Add eggs; beat on  high again for 2 minutes.

Measure out into cupcake pan with liners, using a 2" ice cream scoop for filling.  Bake for about 15-20 min. until toothpick comes out clean.  Let cool in pan slightly and then transfer to a rack to cool completely before frosting.
Cherry Filling
1/2 lb, more or less, of Dark Sweet Cherries, pitted and chopped
On cooled cupcakes using cupcake corer, or the paring knife, make a hole in the middle of the cupcake, lift out core, and fill with chopped cherries. Frost with desired frosting.
Vanilla Butter Cream Frosting.

1 stick butter, room temperature
4 c. confectioner's sugar
1/4 c. milk, more or less

1. Cream butter and sugar until fluffy
2. Add and 1c sugar to butter mixture and beat until incorporated
3. Add half of the milk and remainder of sugar and beat until incorporated.
4. Continue to add milk until you get desired consistency

I linked up this recipe to Brandie's   Patriotic Potluck {4th of July edition of Weekend Potluck)
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Monday, June 25, 2012

Quinoa Salad with Avocado and a Relay for Life update!!

Life's a Beach raised $3,470!!! Friday night at the Relay for Life to Benefit the American Cancer Society. the most ever. I am so proud of my team, who worked so hard.  In the picture above there are team members, neighbors, family members, and grandchildren.  This was great support group, and so much fun.

Some of the crowd during  the opening ceremony.

Luminaria bag in Memory of my Mom

Grandpa Tom and Emma's First Relay!!!

Now, on to the Quinoa Salad with Avocado, which was my lunch, one day last week. There are so many  colorful veggies,  red and orange bell peppers, cucumber, and tomatoes  plus the avocado, cilantro and  quinoa. I love all of the bright colors in the dish. For the dressing I just mixed the juice of one lime with a spalsh of olive oil.  There no recipe as such, just add your davorite veggies.  I'm not a fan of beans, but my hubby would add black beans. The sky's the limit!  Enjoy!

Friday, June 22, 2012

Sparkling Strawberry-Mint Limeade

Today is the Relay for Life and I am so pumped.  Life's a Beach my, team, has raised $2,535, and there are still several people who have checks to turn out tonight!  We will break $3,000 I'm sure.  I will be relaying tonight in honor of Kelly Hunt,  Eat Yourself Skinny, newly diagnosed with malignant Melanoma, the same thing that I had.  Her melanoma was caught early, as was mine. She' a a trooper I have been cancer free for 16 yrs.  Early detection and prevention are key.  Be sun smart, wear SPF 30 sunscreen,  If you have moles check them periodically to see if they have changed in color, size, shape, or depth. Precautions like this could save your life.  Click here for more info.
If you would like to donate to the American Cancer Society, click here for my Donation Page

I saw this wonderful cocktail recipe for  Sparkling Strawberry -Mint Limeade on Eat Yourself Skinny.  I made this for my Bunco Salad Supper, and the girls loved it.  Who wouldn't love pureed  strawberries, lime, mint, and sparkling wine or champagne, in a cute little mason jar with straws.  I loved this drink and I still have leftover strawberry puree to sip on all week. I doubled Kelly's recipe and used white wine and sparkling water in place of the champagne. It is so good,  I served mine in a punch bowl, or you could use a pitcher for smaller groups.

We had a strawberry disaster as we were making the pureed strawberries.  I had bought the 4 lb. box of Strawberries from Costco, wondering how I would use all of the strawberries.  Scott was home on Monday, so he was helping me get ready for Bunco that night.  Well, he put  about 6 cups of the cleaned strawberries in the food processor, all at once, not thinking.  He ran the food processor, and then tried to lift the container off the base, and know you know what happened next. Yup, we  had six cups of strawberry puree running all over the counter, down the cabinet, and on the floor.  What a mess! After we got the mess cleaned up, we started all over  again with the strawberries.  You won't make this mistake, will you?  If you make this cocktail, you will enjoy it and love the sweet strawberries, with the mint, the tart lime flavor, and the sparkling flavor from the sparkling wine or champagne. Enjoy! Have a great weekend!

linked up my recipe to Brandie@The Country Cook's Weekend Potluck#23
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Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Strawberry Ice Cream for #icecreamlove

Are you ready for some home made Strawberry Ice cream? You know that I love, love, love, strawberries, so of  course I had to make some for the dessert for my Bunco Salad Supper, which I was hosting last Monday. Sorry, I didn't get any pictures though.  I had borrowed my son's Kitchen Aid, Ice Cream attachment to make ice cream for this month's Love Blog hop. Initially we made Lemon Ice Cream, and now we were going to make strawberry, Yum! Now, when it comes to strawberries I'm sort of purist.  The way that I like strawberries best is plain, no sugar, and mashed a little, to bring out the juices. I could eat the whole pound that way.  I do add them to my morning oatmeal, no freeze dried strawberries here, to yogurt, in salads, in my iced tea, and on and on... by the way, we are retuning the ice cream maker attachment soon.  It's too dangerous to our waistlines.

The Fresh Strawberry Ice Cream is amazing.  Besides adding pureed strawberries to the custard, we  added chopped strawberries the last three minutes of mixing in the ice cream freezer, Strawberry Strawberry Ice Cream with double the strawberry flavor  We used half and half this time in place of the whipping cream, and it was still creamy and rich, full of of strawberry flavor, and pieces of strawberry, with fewer calories:) If you love strawberries, you will definitely love this Fresh Home Made Strawberry Ice Cream, I do. I never liked the store bought Strawberry Ice Cream, too many chemicals and artificial flavors. The fresh strawberries and very few ingredients, let all of the strawberry flavor shine through.  Get your bowls and spoons ready.  Enjoy!

I served Nutella Fudge Brownie Bites to go along with this amazing ice cream.  Every girl has to have her  chocolate.

Fresh Strawberry Ice Cream Adapted from Epicurious
 Makes about 5 cups

2 cups heavy cream or half and half
 1/8 teaspoon salt
4 egg yolks
3/4 cup sugar
1 lb strawberries (2 cups), trimmed and quartered,  1c finely chopped


Combine cream or half and half, and salt in a heavy saucepan and bring just to a boil. Remove from heat 

Whisk eggs with 1/2 cup sugar in a bowl, then add hot cream in a slow stream, whisking continually. Pour back into saucepan and cook over moderately low heat, stirring constantly, until slightly thickened, about 7-10 min. Do not boil.

Immediately pour custard through a fine sieve into a metal bowl, then cool to room temperature, stirring occasionally. Chill, covered, at least until cold, about 2 hours, and up to 1 day.***

While custard is chilling, purée 2 cups strawberries with remaining 1/4 cup sugar in a blender or food processor, until smooth, then force through fine sieve (to remove seeds) into chilled custard. Stir purée into custard.

Freeze in ice-cream maker according to manufactures instructions. Add 1 cup of finely chopped strawberries to the ice cream maker the last three minutes of mixing. Transfer to an airtight container and put in freezer to harden.

**To cool custard quickly after straining, set bowl in a larger bowl of ice and cold water and stir until chilled. • Ice cream keeps 1 week.

Heat a lightly oiled griddle or frying pan over medium high heat. Pour or scoop the batter onto the griddle, using approximately 1/4 cup for each pancake. Brown on both sides and serve hot.

linked up my recipe to Brandie@The Country Cook's Weekend Potluck#23
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Monday, June 18, 2012

Buttermilk Oatmeal Pancakes with Strawberry Banana Topping

In honor of Father's Day, I wanted to make pancakes for my husband.  I had seen some oatmeal pancakes on the web, and wanted to make healthier pancakes.  I found a recipe that was half oatmeal, half flour, perfect.  Of course I had to add some of my beloved cinnamon, which might account for them being a tad bit darker. Then, I remembered that I had huge jar of coconut oil that I got a few months ago, just sitting on my pantry shelf.  I subbed the vegetable oil for the coconut oil in the pancakes and they were amazing, so moist and cinnamony with just a hint of coconut. If you are not a fan of cinnamon, you don't have to add it.  Yummeee! Then I put the strawberry banana topping, and they were the best. I didn't even put any syrup on them.  That's my plate above.

Scott loved them, too, but he had the "works" on his, Strawberry Banana topping, and Maple syrup. This is his plate.  He love Maple Syrup, can you tell.  These pancakes are so easy peasy to make.  You just whirl the rolled oats, flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, buttermilk, coconut oil, and milk in the food processor or blender, until smooth.  I wanted a little texture from the oatmeal, so I did mine a little coarser, and I didn't add any salt. You could use any time of flour you want in these.  I used AP flour. Pour pancake batter on hot griddle, and you will have best pancakes that you have ever eaten. These pancakes don't get as fluffy, because of the oats, but they aren't bad. I love the flavor and texture of these pancakes, and so did Bailey:)  The recipe as is, only make 4 servings, but I got 5 pancakes.  Next time, I'll double this recipe, so Bailey gets her pancake.  This time she only got a few bites, and wasn't happy:(  Of course I love the Strawberry Banana  topping, which is just sliced strawberries. mashed, and bananas. What else do you do with  a 4 lb box ox strawberries from Costco?   I love fruit on any kind on my pancakes, blueberries, peaches, cherries, apples...  I see a lot of these pancakes in my future and yous:) Just be sure to make enough for your pooch.  Enjoy!

Oatmeal Pancakes

1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup quick cooking oats
1 tablespoon white sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt I didn’t use
1 tsp. cinnamon
3/4 cup buttermilk  I made sour milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 Tbsp vegetable oil  I subbed  coconut oil
1 egg

Place flour, oats, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, buttermilk, vanilla, oil and egg in a food processor and puree until smooth. if you want more texture, don’t puree as long.

Heat a lightly oiled griddle or frying pan over medium high heat. Pour or scoop the batter onto the griddle, using approximately 1/4 cup for each pancake. Brown on both sides and serve hot.

linked up my recipe to Brandie@The Country Cook's Weekend Potluck#23
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Friday, June 15, 2012

Savory Herb Cheese Muffins

I made these yummy muffins for my Bunco Salad Supper next week.  They're sitting in the freezer, until Monday.  Muffins freeze beautifully.  I wanted to make a savory muffin as well as a sweet one, because I have a lot of herbs growing on my patio, basil, sweet oregano, mint, thyme, rosemary, and cilantro, and chives We use a lot of herbs in our low sodium cooking, because if there is so much flavor from the herbs, who needs salt, right?  It is so much fun to step out onto the patio to go "shopping" for my herbs. Just remember, if you are using fresh herbs you have to use more almost double the amount of fresh herbs, than the dried herbs in the jar. Then I added a little cheese, even though I'm not a fan of cheese.
These muffins turned out so well, moist and bursting with lots of flavor from the herbs I used, basil, chives, rosemary, and oregano, in addition to the cheese. You can see the speckled herbs through out the muffins  My oregano plant on the far left, isn't doing too well, and the leaves were so small, that I had to supplement the oregano with some dried oregano, as well. Of course, I had to sample these little babies hot out of the oven, and was not disappointed. I do think that they would taste better warm, however, to get the full flavor of the herbs and cheese.

I finally got to meet The Mom Chef and Dudette, aka Christiane Bilezikian Potts and Sophie, who came to visit family. she grew up about 20 miles from me. It was such a pleasure to meet them, and go out to breakfast with them. Thanks, Christiane and Sophie, I had a great time.

Savory Herb Muffins Adapted from The California Culinary Academy and Once Upon a Plate

Makes 12 regular size muffins or 24 mini muffins

2 cups Whole-wheat pastry flour, or unbleached white flour
1 tablespoon Baking powder
1 teaspoon Baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt (I didn't use)
1 Tablespoon fresh oregano, chopped ( or 2 teaspoons dried oregano)
1 Tablespoon fresh thyme leaves (or 2 teaspoons dried thyme)
1 Tablespoon fresh basil, chopped (or 2 teaspoons dried basil)
1 Tablespoon fresh  chopped chives
2 Eggs
1 Egg white
1 cup Nonfat buttermilk or sour milk
2 tablespoons mildly flavored vegetable oil (I use canola)
2 teaspoons sugar (or 1 Tablespoon honey), less if you like.
1/ 3cup Grated Parmesan cheese (I used Colby Jack)
** You can any combination of fresh or dried herbs that you wish.


Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Lightly oil or spray a 12-cup or mini muffin tin

Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, oregano, thyme, and basil, and chopped chives in a large mixing bowl.

In another bowl combine eggs, egg white, buttermilk, the 2 tablespoons oil, sugar,

Add the liquid mixture to the flour mixture, stirring briefly, then spoon into prepared muffin cups. Do not over mix, filling two thirds full.

Bake for 25 minutes (For mini-muffins begin checking at 12 minutes, ovens vary. Mine usually take between 12-15 15 and 18 minutes.) Let cool slightly, then remove from tins.

linked up my recipe to Brandie@The Country Cook's Weekend Potluck#22
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Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Fight Back Brownies and the Relay for Life

The Relay for Life for the American Cancer Society is June 22-23rd.  I am Team Captain for my Team,   Life's a Beach.  Today, I learned that two friends of mine were both diagnosed with malignant Melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, the same type of cancer that I was diagnosed with 16 yrs. ago. Two friends in one day diagnosed with the same type of cancer, unbelievable. This is why I Relay. to do my part, to help raise money to find a cure for cancer.  I have already lost friends and family to this terrible disease, and my list is ever growing from the people fighting the fight of their life.  Sadly,I am adding two more people to the list. 

I'm sure that you know a friend or family member that had been affected by cancer. A Relay for Life is is a life changing event to Celebrate the life you have,  Remember those that have lost their fight, and Fight Back to beat cancer.
Please, support me in my efforts by clicking on the badge above to visit my personal web page and make a donation. Every dollar raised brings us one step closer to a cure and to a world where the people we love never have to hear the words, “You have cancer.”  Thank you so much for your support. Together, we ARE saving lives and creating a world with more birthdays!

Life's a Beach 2011

My team will be selling these Fight Back Brownies to raise additional monies for the American Cancer Society. These brownies are so good, and only have five ingredients, flour, sugar, eggs, butter, and chocolate syrup. The frosting is so good and tastes like melted ice cream. You can put it on the brownies right out of the oven, so you make bake, and frost the beauties in 25 min.  Quick and Easy, and yummy!  They also taste great with the powdered sugar.

Fight Back (Hershey's Syrup) Brownies  Preheat oven to 400 Degrees F

1 stick 1/2 c , unsalted butter, room temp
1 cup sugar
16 oz chocolate syrup
4 eggs
1 1/4 c flour
1 tsp vanilla

Grease a 15x10x1 pan.  Cream butter and sugar, until light and fluffy.  Beat in chocolate syrup, eggs, and vanilla, mix well. Add flour.  Mix well.  Pour batter, which will be thin, in prepared pan. Bake 17-20 min.
Remove from oven.
As the cake is baking, prepare the frosting, which you can put on the cake right out of the oven.  The frosting tastes like melted  ice cream.  Are you with me?

Chocolate Frosting

1/4 cup cocoa
5 Tbsp butter
5 tbsp milk
21/2 -3 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla

Put powdered sugar in a large mixing bowl.  In a small sauce pan combine. butter cocoa, and milk Heat until mixtures comes to just a boil, stirring constantly. Be careful not to let it scorch. Pour mixture over powdered sugar and beat until smooth with an electric mixer. Spread warm frosting over warm brownies and you have heaven.  These brownies are so moist, and keep well, if they aren't eaten first.  They are very addictive and     They freeze well.

This recipe received the most clicks for@Brandie's Weekend Potluck #23
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Monday, June 11, 2012

Double Chocolate Toffee Chip Cookies with Oatmeal

I have been craving cookies for a long time.  I've been baking tons of cupcakes, muffins, and little cakes, but not cookies. Cookies had taken the back seat and   I finally got the chance over the weekend.  We were going to  our neighbor's cookout, and we had made more ice cream, Strawberry and Lemon to take to the party.  (More on that later in a later post.)  I made these Double Chocolate Toffee Chip cookies, so good with lots of chocolate, and chewy a bit with the oatmeal to go with the ice cream.

I knew that I wanted to make simple, yummy cookies, so I decided on Chocolate Chip Cookies. I had some semi sweet and dark chocolate chips and then  I threw in some toffee  chips. I don't know about you, but I always have trouble with the traditional  Tollhouse  Chocolate chip recipe.  They spread out too much and look like the aliens made them. I saw that Kayla @The Cooking Actress refrigerated her cookie dough overnight to improve the cookies, so I gave it a try. I even put them on different cookie sheets, and I still all I got rejects.  I thought that I would get perfectly shaped cookies, and I got misshapen, alien cookies. They taste great though, just not good for pictures.  Do you have this problem with your cookies. Do you have a better chocolate chip cookie recipe, that gives you perfectly shaped cookies? If so, send me and email, and I'll try it out.

In the past, to get decent shaped cookies, I had added oatmeal, about a cup,, which improves the texture greatly. Therefore, this time I added the oatmeal, not a lot, about 1cup, and I got perfectly shaped cookies, like  these, whew.  I didn't want a whole batch of "rejects."  I took the cookies to the cookout, and not one was left. Try adding oatmeal to your Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe!  Enjoy!

Double Chocolate Toffee Chip Cookies with Oatmeal
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup dark chocolate chips
  • 1 cup toffee chips
  • 1/2 to 1 cup  rolled oats (optional)
PREHEAT oven to 375° F.

COMBINE flour, baking soda and salt in small bowl. Beat butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla extract in large mixer bowl until creamy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in semi sweet, dark chocolate and toffee chips.  Stir in rolled oats. Refrigerate dough at least 2 hours or over night.  Shape into 1 1/2 ball. Place on ungreased cookie sheet

BAKE for 9 to 11 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely. 

linked up my recipe to Brandie@The Country Cook's Weekend Potluck#22
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Thursday, June 7, 2012

Raspberry Swirl Banana Muffins

I am hosting my Bunco Salad Supper June 18th.  Everyone brings a salad , except for the host, who has bread, drinks, and dessert.  We have been doing this for 30 years, and it's a lot of fun. Over the years, we have had very few salad duplications, considering that we  don't consult beforehand. I am hoping for a perfect evening, so we can eat ouside on the patio.  Keep your fingers crossed for me.
 I made these Raspberry Swirl Banana Muffins for the occasion, and they are now in the freezer.  I'll also make a savory muffin with all the herbs from my herb garden. The  Raspberry Swirl Banana  Muffins are so moist from the Greek yogurt I used, and sweet, but not too sweet, from the Raspberry fruit spread, swirled in the banana batter. You could use any flavor of fruit spread you want.  I got my huge jar of fruit spread from Costco, jut like the Cherry fruit spread I used to make my Cherry Peanut Butter Cup Bars earlier. These muffins are just right for breakfast, snack, or dessert, with the added protein from the Greek yogurt and nutrients from the banana.Also, muffins freeze well, so my Hubby or me. won't be eating all of them before the Salad Supper.  Enjoy!

Raspberry Swirl Banana Muffins
An adaptation from Seven of the blueberry muffin recipe from Modern Classics, Book 2 by Donna Hay

1/2 c.  fruit spread  I used raspberry
2 cups plain (all purpose) flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup sugar
1 cup sour cream  I used Greek yogurt
2 eggs
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 cup mashed ripe bananas, about three whole bananas

Preheat oven to 350°F.
  1. Sift together flour, baking powder and salt, stir in sugar.
  2. In a separate bowl, whisk sour cream or Greek yogurt, eggs and oil, until smooth. Whisk in mashed bananas.
  3. Stir the sour cream or yogurt/banana mixture through the dry ingredients. Be careful not to overwork the batter – mix until just combined.
  4. Fill non-stick muffin tins, sprayed, regular size or mini muffin, until about two-thirds full. Spoon approximately one teaspoon of the fruit spread for regular muffins, 1/2 tsp for mini muffins, across the center of each muffin. Drawing a knife tip through the fruit spread, swirl the fruit spread for the marble effect Bake about 12-15 minutes, for mini muffin, 20-22 min for regular size or until a pick inserted through the center comes out clean.
Makes12 regular or 24 mini muffins

linked up my recipe to Brandie@The Country Cook's Weekend Potluck#21
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Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Chicken and Pork Rubs, Clean out your Pantry Rubs, A BBQ Feast

This past weekend we had perfect June weather, sunny, and in the 70's.  Perfect weather to grill out and eat on the patio.  I say perfect because it wasn't hot, not cold, no humidity, not windy, no bugs to speak of, not even mosquitoes. You get the picture.  These  are the kinds of days that you want to bottle, and pull out on a Dog day of summer, or a frosty, snowy day in January.  To celebrate the perfect weather, we had some friends over and had a BBQ feast. We grilled the whole dinner, except for the Cole Slaw, which we forgot in the fridge.

My husband loves to BBQ and now he has discovered the rubs for pork and chicken. Prior to using the rubs, he would marinate the chicken or pork to get flavor and tenderness from the meat. Now the rubs give you more intense flavor and tenderness in less time, juicy, sweet, and spicy.  He calls the rubs, "Clean out your Pantry Rubs, ",  because of the variety of spices used in each rub, one for chicken and one for pork.  The results were amazing on the center cut pork chops, and legs and thighs from the chicken. We will definitely use the rubs again. In addition to grilling the meat, we grilled sweet potatoes, zucchini and onions with just a bit of of garlic powder and a drizzle of olive oil.  You haven't lived, until you have had grilled veggies. Enjoy!

"Clean Out your Pantry" Rub for Chicken
  • 1tsp dry mustard
  •  1 tsp granulated garlic
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp basil
  • 1tsp smoky paprika
  • 1 dash of ginger
  • 1/2 tsp seasoned salt (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp cumin 
 "Clean Out Your Pantry" Rub for Pork

  • 1 tsp Adobo seasoning
  • Dash of Cayenne pepper
  • 1tsp Cajun spice
  • 1Tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tsp granulated garlic
  • 1/2 tsp seasoned salt
  • 1/2 tsp smoky paprika
  1. Place all of the above ingredients in a shallow bowl for either the chicken or pork, and whisk until combined. Coat both sides of the chicken  or pork well.  Place coated meat on a covered plate and refrigerate for about 2 hours. 
  2. Brush or spray grates of grill with the meat won't stick.
  3.  If cooking multiple meats, like pork chops and chicken, start cooking chicken first over medium high heat, and then add coated chops 15 min. later.
  4. Grill chicken until 165 degrees, internal temp, and pork, until 145 degrees.  Do not overcook.
  5. If grilling veggies, slice sweet potatoes and zucchini in fairly thick planks, about 1/2" thick,  and cut onions in half.  Sprinkle lightly with garlic powder, and place on grill the same time as the chops. Grill until tender. Remove to plate and keep covered, until ready to serve.
  ** A tip to speed up cooking the sweet potatoes, microwave sweet potatoes a couple of minutes to soften them.  That way they will caramelize on the grill without burning, before they are done.

linked up my recipe to Brandie@The Country Cook's Weekend Potluck#21
Stop by and say Hi to Brandie!

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Lemon Ice cream for #icecreamlove!

I am back co- hosting the Love Blog Hop after missing last month. I jumped right in on this month's theme, Ice Cream, which one of my favorite desserts. Please join in on the #icecreamlove fun by linking up any ice cream recipe from the month of June OR July 2012. Don't forget to link back to this post, so that your readers know to come stop by the #icecreamlove event! The twitter hashtag is #icecreamlove :).

 I used to eat a lot of ice cream in my younger days, but now I'm carb watching, so it's a real treat, when I do eat it. Last summer the dasher on our ice cream maker broke, so we haven't had home made ice cream in about a year. In fact, we borrowed my son's ice cream maker attachment for the Kitchen Aid mixer to make this confection. Both my son and his wife are following the Paleo Diet, so they won't be making ice cream anytime soon.

 But now the dilemma, what flavor to make? I love all kinds of flavors, Peanut Butter Cup, chocolate of course, mint chocolate chip, vanilla fudge swirl, and on and on. I wanted to make, a not so run of the mill ice cream, so I decided on Lemon Ice Cream. My husband and I love lemon anything, pie cake, or cookie bars. You really don't see this flavor that much. My favorite frozen custard place, Ollie's Frozen Custard, in Sycamore, IL, has Lemon Pie frozen custard, which is so good, so Lemon Ice Cream it is.

 I looked for a recipe and found this one on Epicurious. of course I made a few changes, after reading the reviews. We used whipping cream, to alleviate the graininess from the lemon juice, to make it more creamy. We also used 4 egg yolks, instead of 3 large whole eggs. This Lemon Ice cream is pure heaven, tart but not overly sweet, and so creamy. It is so good with all of the fresh fruit, and local strawberries from the Farm stand Farm about 1 mile from my house. More about those later. I'm going to have my bowl of Lemon Ice Cream with fresh berries, now

Lemon Ice Cream Adapted from Epicurious

1 tablespoon freshly grated lemon zest
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
1 cup sugar
4 egg yolks
2 cups whipping cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Scald 1 c whipping cream in heavy saucepan.  In bowl whisk, zest and lemon juice, and vanilla. In a separate bowl whisk egg yolks and sugar. Gradually, whisk in all of the scalded cream into egg yolk mixture. Return egg yolk mixture to saucepan and add zest lemon juice, and vanilla.  Stir over medium  heat until mixture thickens, about 10 min: do not boil. Strain the custard through a fine sieve, and press hard against the zest.  Chill the custard, covered with plastic wrap, until it is well chilled. Whisk in the remaining 1 c. whipping cream and freeze the mixture in an ice-cream freezer according to the manufacturer's instructions. Makes about 1 quart.

 Here is the list of my amazing co-hosts:
Astig Vegan
Baker Street
Baking and Cooking, a Tale of Two Loves
Bon à croquer
Cake balls, cookies and more
Cheap Ethnic Eatz
Hobby And More
Mis Pensamientos
No One Likes Crumbley Cookies
Pippi's in the Kitchen Again
Queen's Notebook
Rico sin Azúcar
Simply Reem
Soni’s Food for Thought
That Skinny Chick Can Bake!!!
The Spicy RD
Vegetarian Mamma
You Made That? 
linked up my recipe to Brandie@The Country Cook's Weekend Potluck#21
Stop by and say Hi to Brandie!


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