Monday, June 28, 2010

Strawberry Delight

If you're looking for a light, sweet, semi-healthy and delicious dessert...look no further! I made this deliciousness this past Sunday for my family and it came out great. I created the recipe myself and didn't do a good job writing things down as I went, so I apologize if it is a bit confusing. ENJOY!!!

1 box of Angel Food Cake Mix
1 lg. tub of cool whip (16 oz) **I used Lite
1 jar of strawberry preserves (18 oz)
1 lg. container of fresh strawberries, cut in half and mixed in a large bowl with sugar (1 tbs)

1. Prepare the Angel Food cake mix in two round cake pans according to directions on box.
2. Allow cake to cool completely.
3. Mix 1/2 of the cool whip with the jar of strawberry preserves.
4. Slice each round cake in half (horizontally), creating two layers.
5. Place one of the bottom layers on a serving dish.
6. Spread the cool whip strawberry mixture on top of the cake and top with fresh strawberries.
7. Place the next layer of cake and repeat #6. Do this for all of the layers of cake.
8. When all layers are placed on top of each other, spread the 2nd 1/2 of the cool whip over the entire cake.
9. Use leftover strawberries to decorate the cake.
10. Place in fridge for a few hours before serving.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Ooey Gooey Cupcakes

If you like boston cream donuts, you will LOVE these cupcakes!

1 box of yellow cake mix
1 tub of milk chocolate frosting
1 container of cool whip
1 box of vanilla pudding

1. Prepare cupcakes as directed on the back of the cake box and allow ample time to cool.
2. Prepare vanilla pudding while cupcakes are cooling.
3. Mix vanilla pudding with 1/2 of the carton of cool whip.
4. Pour pudding/cool whip mixture into a pastry bag with a tip that has a round hole.
5. Place tip of pastry bag into the middle of the cupcake and fill with mixture. Fill it until it reaches the top of the cupcake. Do this to all of the cupcakes.
6. Frost cupcakes with frosting.

Artichoke Dip

This recipe was one that I received at my bridal shower from one of my bridesmaids, Keri. She made it for the shower and it was a hit. Everyone was gathered around it the whole time. I was thankful that this was the recipe she chose to give me for my bridal recipe book. I made this this past weekend at the beach house and it again was a favorite. My favorite part of the dip is the green olives!

2 cans of quartered artichokes (drained and cut into bite sized pieces)
2 5 oz. packages of grated parmesan cheese
1 8 oz. package of shredded mozzarella cheese
1 cup of mayo
12 sliced green olives (I used 16)

1. Mix all ingredients together.
2. Pour into a casserole dish.
3. Bake at 350 for 40 minutes
4. Serve with crackers (I used Triscuits)


Thursday, June 24, 2010

Chocolate Pecan Pie

This is the last dessert recipe from our weekend at the beach. I thought the recipe was very easy to create but I was not 100% happy with the results. I used all of the ingredients except for the bourbon and used chocolate chips instead of chopped chocolate. The pie was very tasty but it was too soft for me. I'm not sure if I didn't give it enough time to cool or if it was the egg beaters vs. real eggs. Everyone "said" they enjoyed it. I will definitely attempt this recipe again! Enjoy!
Chocolate Pecan Pie
1 (9-inch) unbaked pie shell
2 cups pecan halves
3 large eggs, beaten
3 tablespoons butter, melted
1/2 cup dark corn syrup
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons good-quality bourbon
3 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Cover bottom of pie crust with pecans.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs and melted butter. Add the corn syrup, sugar, bourbon and the chopped chocolate. Stir until all ingredients are combined. Pour mixture into the pie shell over the pecans and place on a heavy-duty cookie sheet.

Bake for 10 minutes. Lower the oven temperature to 350 degrees F and continue to bake for an additional 25 minutes or until pie is set. Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Baked Brie

I had never tried brie until my mom brought this over for a family dinner. I was a little hesitant, but it was amazing. Even my picky brother loved it. This is another recipe I brought to the beach house and again, it was a hit. Enjoy!

1 round brie
1 pkg crescent rolls (I used low fat)
1 tablespoon of jam if you want - I used apricot.
1/4 cup of maple syrup
little brown sugar

1. Lay out the crescent rolls on a baking dish - push together the perforations with your fingers
2. Lay the brie in the middle (take off the paper but leave the white skin on) - will be folding the crescent rolls over the cheese
3. Put the jam on top of the cheese
4. Fold the dough of the top and sides of the cheese to cover completely. You can cut pieces off and move them around to cover if you have to
5. Drizzle the maple syrup over the top and sprinkle on some brown sugar

**bake 350 degrees for about 30 minutes until the dough is lightly brown
let cool about 10 minutes, serve with apple slices and crackers


Monday, June 21, 2010

Oreo Pie

Here is another recipe from our weekend getaway. I picked this recipe because it seemed like one I could make without a lot of tools (didn't know what the beach house would have) and it used simple ingredients. It wasn't a lot to pack and take on our 6 hour drive. The pie was delicious and I will definitely make it again. Next time, I will leave the mixes (pudding and mousse) in the fridge overnight and then freeze the pie for a few hours before serving. The pie was a little soft and it was left in the fridge overnight. This would be a fun recipe to try some different variations with!
Oreo Pie Ingredients

32 OREO Chocolate Sandwich Cookies, divided
1/4 cup butter or margarine, melted
2 cups cold milk
2 pkg. (4 serving size) JELL-O Chocolate Flavor Instant Pudding & Pie Filling
1 (8 ounce) tub COOL WHIP Whipped Topping, thawed, divided

Finely crush 24 of the cookies; mix with butter. Press firmly onto bottom and up side of 9-inch pie plate.
Pour milk into large bowl. Add pudding mixes. Beat with wire whisk 2 minutes or until well blended. (Mixture will be thick.)
Spoon 1-1/2 cups of the pudding into crust. Gently stir 1/2 of the whipped topping into remaining pudding; spread over pudding layer in crust. Chop remaining 8 cookies; stir into remaining whipped topping. Spread over pie.
Refrigerate 4 hours or until set.

Scrap Frames

I had tons of picture frames that lined my stairs in my old town house. When we moved, I took all of them and wanted to revamp them. I wanted to keep it simple, but wanted them to look like scrapbook pages. I love how scrapbook pages can tell a story, and who doesn't like a few cute stickers? I'm very happy with the way they came out. They will be a perfect addition to my craft room and each one has a little different touch. Hopefully the hubby will be able to put them up tomorrow! Enjoy!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Black Bean Dip

This weekend my husband and I went to Islamorada with two other couples for a mini vacation (more about out mini vaca on Happily Herring). We had such a fabulous time with lots and lots of tasty food. I made all of the appetizers and desserts for the long weekend and can't wait to share all the recipes with my Simply Made friends. My goal is to get them all posted by the end of the week. To start it is a recipe for black bean dip that was given to me at my bridal shower from my friend Christi (who was with us this weekend).
Black Bean Dip
2 15oz. cans of black beans
1 16 oz. can of pinto beans
1 package of taco seasoning
1/2 cup diced tomato (I used 1 whole fresh tomato)
1 cup chopped cilantro (I used 1/2)

**I added 1/3 cup shredded cheddar cheese and 2 tbs. green chili salsa to this recipe. I would also recommend having a side of sour cream and salsa set out at the table.

Drain and rinse beans well. Mix all ingredients together and enjoy with tortilla chips!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Citrus Tilapia Almondine

This recipe comes from The Food Network Magazine. The original recipe calls for trout, but I had tilapia at home so that is what I used. I included the original recipe from the magazine below. Here are my changes: I used tilapia instead of trout and I cooked only one piece in the foil (not a sandwich of 2). That is about it as far as changes go. Now, when I make it again I will use an additional orange and squeeze it over the fish. I will also use some zest from the orange over the almonds. This recipe is very light, fresh and sweet. I could definitely taste the orange in it and would recommend eating the orange with the fish (minus the peel). I served this fish with Jasmine rice. The hubby gave it an 8 out of 10. Enjoy!

Drizzle 2 sheets of foil with olive oil; sprinkle each with 1/4 cup sliced almonds and 3/4 teaspoon crushed coriander seeds. Brush four 6-ounce trout fillets with more olive oil; season with salt and pepper. Place each fillet, skin-side down, on top of the nuts. Top with a few orange slices (leave the peel on), then add another fillet, skin-side up, to form a trout sandwich. Sprinkle with more almonds and coriander seeds. Fold up the foil sheets and grill over high heat until the fish is just cooked through and the almonds are toasted, 8 to 10 minutes. Carefully loosen the almond crust from the bottom of the foil with a spatula.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Chicken with Cucumber Melon Salsa

It's summertime! One of the great things about being a teacher is that I am off for the summer!! That means more time to spend on searching for recipes and cooking them up in my kitchen. This is my first summer recipe. I omitted the onions and jalapeno pepper. I substituted the agave nectar with a touch of honey. The original recipe is for grilled chicken, but I am not a grill master so I baked the chicken. Next time, I will make the salsa before and use some of the extra juices as a marinade for the chicken. Two words to describe the recipe was light and fresh. This recipe received a 7 out of 10 from my hubby (he's not a big mint fan). ENJOY!
Grilled Chicken with Cucumber Melon Salsa
1 cup (1/2-inch) cubed honeydew melon
1 cup (1/2-inch) cubed cantaloupe
1/2 cup diced peeled English cucumber
1/2 cup diced red onion
1/4 cup chopped fresh mint
1 teaspoon grated lime rind
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons minced jalapeño pepper
1 teaspoon light agave nectar
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
6 (6-ounce) skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
Cooking spray
Mint sprigs (optional)
1. Prepare grill to medium-high heat.

2. Combine first 10 ingredients; stir in 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, tossing well to combine.

3. Sprinkle chicken evenly with remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Coat chicken with cooking spray. Place chicken on a grill rack coated with cooking spray; grill 5 minutes on each side or until done. Serve with salsa; garnish with mint sprigs, if desired.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Baby Cards

Planning My Meals

I have to admit that I really enjoy sitting down on Sunday morning and planning my meals for the week. I have a little routine that involves the Sunday paper, coupons, coffee and breakfast. I've tried many many different methods when it comes to planning meals and making the grocery list that goes along with it. A few months ago I came across this notepad for $1.00 at Michael's. For me, it's just what I needed to plan meals and groceries for the week. Look for them in the dollar bins!!

Friday, June 11, 2010

Pizza on the grill

My husband has been making pizza on the grill for a few years now and I would take it over a regular pizza any day. Here is a step by step of how to make pizza on the grill. I want to note, I did not take part in this dinner creation, this is all him! Enjoy!

Italian Pizza Dough
Pizza Sauce
Mozzarella Cheese
Turkey Pepperoni
Parmesan Cheese
Olive Oil
Step 1: On a wood cutting board or a counter sprinkle flower on the surface and cover the dough with a good amount of flour.
Step 2: Get fist sized balls of dough and roll them into small pizza circles.
Step 3: Gather all ingredients and move out to the grill.
Step 4: Brush olive oil on the grill. Also, coat one side of the pizza dough with olive oil.
Step 5: Place oiled side of dough onto grill.
Step 6: Brush oil on the side that is up and season with seasoning. (We used parmesan cheese, fresh basil, italian seasoning, garlic salt, and a salt/ pepper mixture.
Step 7: Flip dough once there are obvious grill marks on the opposite side.
Step 8: Add tomato sauce and remainder of seasoning to the dough. Then add cheese and desired toppings. CLose lid and let cook for 2 minutes or until the chese is melted and bubbly.
Step 9: Remove from grill and ENJOY!!
**This is what was keeping me busy while he was cooking! =-)

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Root Beer Cupcakes

Summer is just a few days away and I cannot wait! But with the start of summer comes the end of another fabulous school year. For the end of the year party I decided to make root beer floats for my class. I found this recipe in a recent magazine that I thought would go perfectly with the floats. I used margarine, egg beaters, and doubled all the spices. I thought all changes worked out perfectly. I also didn't have the root beer candies, so I used used sprinkles. They tasted like a spice cake with a root beer aftertaste. I would make these again but would do a cream cheese frosting instead of vanilla.
Root Beer Cupcakes
12 ServingsPrep: 15 min. Bake: 20 min. + cooling

1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup packed brown sugar
2 eggs
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
1 cup root beer
1-1/2 cups whipped topping
12 root beer barrel candies, crushed

In a large bowl, cream butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and allspice; gradually add to creamed mixture alternately with root beer, beating well after each addition.
Fill paper-lined muffin cups two-thirds full. Bake at 350° for 18-22 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pan to a wire rack to cool completely.
Just before serving, combine whipped topping and crushed candies; frost cupcakes. Refrigerate leftovers. Yield: 1 dozen.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010


I'm not sure if this would be stromboli or a calzone. I don't know the difference and from the little searching I did for the answer, many others don't know the difference either. So, I went with stromboli because it was more of a roll and contained ricotta cheese. Anyways, I first made this recipe years ago and over the years I've created my own recipe. This recipe is delicious, easy to make, and a cheap meal! You can try different variations depending on your preference of toppings.

Ingredients: 1 cup of pizza sauce
2 cups of mozzarella shredded cheese
1 cup of ricotta cheese
1 tube of Pillsbury Pizza Dough
2 handfuls of pepperoni (we used turkey pepperoni)
1 tbs. italian seasoning
2 tsp. garlic salt
4 tbs. parmesan cheese
1 tbs olive oil

1. Roll out dough on a flat surface (use flour if needed).
2. Cut dough into 4 square pieces.
3. Place a layer of pepperoni on top each piece of dough.
4. In a small bowl, combine ricotta cheese and 1 cup of the mozzarella cheese.
5. Spread 1/4 of the mixture on top of the pepperoni layer.
6. Put a few (extra) pieces of pepperoni in the center of the dough.
7. Spoon on 1/4 cup of pizza sauce in the middle of the dough. Spread around center of dough.
8. Sprinkle remaining mozzarella cheese on top of sauce. Top with a sprinkle of parmesan cheese (1 tbs each).
9. Roll the dough into a cylinder, pinch the edges to seal.
10. Brush olive oil on the top of the dough and season with italian seasoning, garlic salt and additional parmesan cheese if desired.
**Bake at 375 for 30 minutes**

Potato-Sausage foil packs

Talk about a simple and easy recipe with lots of flavor! My mom brought me some turkey sausage this weekend, so as I planned my meals for the week I was in search of a recipe. I didn't have to look very far, this one was already cut out of last months Taste of Home magazine waiting in my recipe folder! I made a few changes to make the recipe work for me, but I was very happy with the taste and the easy clean up. I used turkey sausage instead of kielbasa (because that is what I already had). I didn't have yellow peppers, used petite red potatoes, and omitted the onions because my husband doesn't like them. This recipe is very versatile, keep an eye out for different variations this summer!

Potato-Sausage foil pack

1 package (14 ounces) smoked turkey kielbasa, sliced
2 large potatoes, cut into wedges
1 each medium green, sweet red and yellow peppers, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 medium onion, chopped
4 teaspoons lemon juice
4 teaspoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt

Divide the kielbasa, potatoes, peppers and onion among four double thicknesses of heavy-duty foil (about 18 in. x 12 in.). Drizzle with lemon juice and oil; sprinkle with garlic powder, pepper and salt.
Fold foil around kielbasa mixture and seal tightly. Grill, covered, over medium heat for 30-35 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Open foil carefully to allow steam to escape. Yield: 4 servings.

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