As many of you may know this last week was Teacher Appreciation week. Now, I normally don’t buy into the teacher appreciation idea but with the new school my boys are going to I appreciate that there is some really great teachers at that school. To share the goodies with everyone I made some Blackberry Lime cupcakes.
After hours of looking online for inspiration and being picky about wanting something that would fit the seasonal bill I had an epiphany. Why not combine the two? At first, a Strawberry Lemon cupcake cake was on my list but it is so traditional and I just wanted to get away from the usual. Sorry for the frozen pictures but these photos were snapped on the way out the door at 8AM after the cupcakes had been the freeze all night.
Blackberry Lime cupcakes with a bit of frost.
On another subject, I have a question for my readers. My grandmother loves bingo but with her not being able to move around quite as well as she use to, it is impossible to take her to the bingo hall. I have been searching online at sites where you can add a little money in and play bingo and win prizes. Something like Cheeky Bingo. Does anyone have any suggestions about these sites? Do you play? I am thinking about setting her up on one and putting money in for her to play. Might be a great Christmas present. Your feedback is welcome!
Ever since the new revelation of salads in a jar on Pinterest, I have been dead set on making different salads to go in jars and eat through out the week for lunch. Trying to talk the teenage boys in my house into taking them to school for lunch rather then a PB&J. I love to use what is in season. For a cheat sheet to see what is in season before going to the store monthly have a look at Food Network’s Produce Guide. It helps with ideas and what to buy that should be fresh.
What’s great about the jar is it keeps the salad fresh longer. I have many variations of these salads and you can get just as creative. Have a look at my Green Salad for another salad that can go into the jar. Soon I hope to add more salad recipes for healthy lunches. If you come up with one please feel free to put a link in the comments as I would love to try it out!
Looking forward to seeing your combinations! Let me know how you like my vivid salad in a jar.
When the Summer season is upon us it is just too hot to cook indoors. Though when your grill tank is out that perceives to be a problem. The quickest meals to make with less effort and money is pesto. Very few ingredients, hardly no heat, and super quick to throw together. The only thing I suggest is owning a food processor. If you don’t have one your so missing out! These guys can whip up a quick pesto to a delicious dressing to a super spicy salsa in seconds! Buy yourself one, you won’t regret it. Either that or ask for one as a gift for your birthday; that’s what I did!
When searching your local market for Sun dried Tomatoes you might find it difficult to get them whole. I hope in the near future I will figure out the drying process of these, but in the meantime, try to find them whole and make sure to drain the oil from them as it adds to much oil to the pesto. I love a Romano or a Parmesan Reggiano but the cheese is completely up to you on which of the stinky cheeses you like. The strongest of all the suggestions with this recipe is to definitely buy a basil plant and use the basil straight from it. It seriously gives the best flavor when fresh. I never suggest using dried basil in pesto as it offsets the texture completely. Besides, fresh basil smells so good and you can plant the roots to regrow the plant!
Are you super picky about dressings? I know I definitely pick apart dressings. Ranch dressing is huge here in Texas but it definitely is not my favorite. I love the red house dressing all Italian restaurants serve. I can never figure out what’s in it, in which that is why it is my next quest.
I was very lucky to receive the chance to review OXO’s new Salad Dressing Shaker. I love this product! It serious keeps my homemade dressings fresher longer and is a simple storage device that fits perfectly into the fridge door. The little lever on the top makes it easy to use and I love the suction that helps keep it fresh. The even cooler aspect is they gave me one for one lucky winner to win here on the blog (more below).
But before I just lead you right into the contest, I want to show off my new recipe for Strawberry Lemon Basil Dressing. It is completely vegetarian, healthy and tart!
To enter the giveaway follow the instructions below on the Rafflecopter. This giveaway is sponsored by OXO.
Fridays are generally the one day of the week that I do not want to cook. There is a little Italian joint in town, named Italian Villa, that I always end up at having a spaghetti and meatballs; on rare occasions a Philly cheese steak. It is safe to say that I love pasta. To curve that craving, do it healthy, and have something that screams “Spring” for this Friday I had fun being uber creative with this Avocado Alfredo. Avocado is the super fruit! The super fruit is fun to use in many dishes. Do not let people fool you into thinking that it can not be warmed. It does not get bitter if you heat it slow. In this dish it is not heated. The pasta warms the avocado and many other flavors of this dish. The family gave me a few strange looks when I set this on the table but ended up enjoying it. Plus, it is perfect for Easter weekend with its colors!
Check out another great recipe for a Friday.
What a heck of day here in North Texas! Pick up the teens early due to tornadic weather reports. Glad I got them home before the schools went on lock down. My daughter’s school thought it would be a bright idea to just leave the kids in the classroom cause their is glass in some of the hallways. Though I agree, I don’t think the classroom is a good place either. Why not the gym? Not to mention it took them over 30 minutes after the sirens went off (and were still going off) to decide to move the kids. The sirens went off after I decided to go get my boys (as I was walking to the car) and I went to their school first, which had them in the hallway, and then headed to my daughter’s school; in which I encounter chaos and mayhem. The secretary had the nerve to tell us that we had to wait while they handled the kids. My first thought, you should have handled the kids thirty minutes ago and there would be no chaos. Wow!
After that we headed home and watched the show outside unfold and the reports on the TV of over 12 tornadoes that touch down around our area. The closest two were Grapevine and Coppell. Both are less then 15 minutes from me. I am glad there is no reports of badly injured people. I feel horrible for those without power. I did manage to take a few shots as the storm died off, in which, they will be on the blog tomorrow for Wordless Wednesday.
This a simple red grapefruit parmesan salad I make when the power goes out or just for a easy, quick lunch at home. I used a bottled vinaigrette salad dressing but I hope soon to have a homemade version up on the site!
What a fun week this was! Took my daughter to go see Hot Chelle Rae in concert and she got a chance to meet them. We delivered them 24 cupcakes that they enjoyed. More can be read about that at Muusat with a complete story including a recipe for the cupcakes and pictures.
This is a recipe I use to make corn dogs with out all the creepy lurky ingredients of those frozen dogs you buy at the store. What I truly love about making these from scratch is that you can seriously add any extras you would like to the batter. I prefer jalapenos and cheese. You could add bacon, corn, cheese, jalapenos, blueberries, and strawberries. Really the sky is the limit!
Stop buying store bought junk and try the endless possibilities at home. You can even make them mini corn dogs. Just cut up your dogs before adding them to the batter. Homemade corn dogs are the bomb diggity!
This will give you an idea of how thick your batter should be.
Don’t forget to dry those dogs.
You can fry them in a fryer or just use a pan. I prefer the pan as it uses less oil and it is definitely budget friendly.
I wish had a picture of my final project but alas the sun was going down as I was cooking these bad boys and I couldn’t get a decent picture. Next time I make some I will be sure to add the finished product picture here.
Recipe adapted from Bakingdom
This week is not only Spring Break but my daughter’s 12th birthday. I have had the lack of time to do a any posts as I have been making tons of cupcakes as you see here.
Luckily, I have some great blogger friends that have the ability to do a post this week!
I love to make cupcakes; it’s an obsession! With that being said, I used to just play with the “bang your head on the wall” icing out of a plastic container also known as store bought. This last Christmas I received a KitchenAid and the icing I make comes out so wonderful now, I would never let go of my KitchenAid. Any who, I decided I need to work on technique and such before my daughter’s birthday and who could resist using the new Nikon D5100 for some food shots. The camera, kitchen, and myself have become one. It’s scary!
Oh! And did I mention that Blood Oranges are in season and we finally got them here. I bought two huge bags and this week and went back for more. Blood oranges are perfect for a garnish. Ha! Ha! Be my Bloody Valentine!
Peel the blood orange and roll your orange slices in sugar and set aside.
Don’t brown the cupcakes or they become crunchy on top. The lightly brown/golden color is perfect!
Before the orange slices (above) and with orange slices (below).
After New Year’s, I had a quarter bottle of Irish cream left over and I just wasn’t sure what to do with it. Now that I received a new KitchenAid as a gift for Christmas, I thought it should be a bit simpler to make icing and why not try it out. My V does not care much for alcohol mixed with food. On the other hand my 16 year old loves it. You know how teenagers are! I have to consistently explain it really is just for flavor and it’s not going to get you drunk. Oh well, as long as they eat it I’m happy!
These cupcakes would be fantastic for St. Patrick’s Day and you can always spruce them up with some clover sprinkles.