Sunday, January 5, 2014

Pomegranate Christmas Cake

I made this for our friend Christmas party this year. It was so good! I suppose if you wanted you could use any old white cake mix and it would be just fine, but I really liked the cake in the recipe. Just a little more work...I think you could also make this a day ahead and keep refrigerated.

Of course I sliced it up and it was gone before I remembered to take any pictures, so I'm using the pictures from Natasha's Kitchen. Thanks for the recipe AND the pictures ;)

Pomegranate Christmas Cake
Skill Level: Advanced
Serving: 15

Ingredients for the Cake:
  • 6 large eggs, room temp (if cold, put them in warm water 15 min)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • ½ tsp vanilla
Ingredients for Pomegranate Topping:
  • 6 ounces (3/4 cup) pomegranate juice (Pom Wonderful)
  • 2 tsp unflavored gelatin powder (I used Knox brand)
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla
  • 2 Tbsp Sugar
  • Seeds of one large Pomegranate (1¼ to 1½ cups)
Ingredients for syrup:
  • 1½ cups Pomegranate Juice (POM brand)
  • 2 Tbsp sugar
Ingredients For the Pomegranate Cream Frosting:
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, softened to room temp
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • ¼ tsp fine sea salt
  • 16 oz (2 blocks) cream cheese, softened to room temp and cut into 16 pieces
  • 4 Tbsp of Pomegranate juice (POM brand)
  1. Preheat Oven to 350˚F. Butter the bottoms and sides of two 9″ cake pans and line the bottom of the pans with parchment paper.
  2. Combine 6 eggs and 1 cup sugar in the bowl of your electric mixer and beat on high speed for 12 minutes or until tripled in volume and fluffy. Sift in 1 cup all-purpose flour and fold it in with a spatula just until all of the flour is incorporated. Add ½ tsp vanilla and blend together. Remember that you are relying on the fluffy air-infused batter for the cake to rise. DO NOT OVERMIX or your cake won’t rise well.
  3. Transfer your batter to your buttered and lined cake pans. Set aside.
  4. Bake at 350˚F for 25-28 minutes or until the top is golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean (poke the side, not the center so your center won’t cave) and don’t open the oven until 25 minutes have past. Let the cakes cool down on wire racks, then remove from the pans.
Making the Syrup for the soaking the cake Layers:
  1. Combine 1½ cups Pomegranate Juice (POM brand) with 2 Tbsp sugar and stir to combine. Set aside to and stir occasionally until sugar is all dissolved.
Making the Frosting:
  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, mix the 2 sticks of butter with 3 cups powdered sugar and salt on low speed or until combined (1 min). Increase speed to medium-high and beat until the mixture is pale and fluffy (2 min).
  2. Add cream cheese 1-piece at a time and mix until combined. (I waited maybe 3 seconds in between each piece; it’s one after another really. Once all of the cream cheese is incorporated. continue to beat 1 more minute.
  3. Add 4 Tbsp POM juice, 1 Tbsp at a time and mix until combined (1 min). Refrigerate frosting until ready to use.
Assembling your Cake:
  1. Cut the cake layers in half so you end up with 4 layers. Place the first layer, cut-side-up on your serving platter. Brush ¼ of the POM/sugar syrup over the first layer. Frost the top. Do this with all 4 layers. You only need a very small amount of frosting on the very top of the cake since you are going to have the Pomegranate topping. *I ended up using maybe a little more than half of the syrup. I think the cake would have been completely soaked if I had used it all. I just patted it on with a pastry brush until each layer was covered.
  2. Wipe any excess syrup from the cake platter, then frost the sides. I used my large Wilton 1M star tip for the top border. You want a border that will contain a generous layer of pomegranate topping.
  3. Refrigerate your cake for at least 30 minutes before adding the pomegranate topping.
Pomegranate Topping:
  1. (make this after your cake is done and in the fridge):
  2. Place ¾ cup of POM juice in a small sauce pan, add the 1 Tbsp vanilla and sprinkle in 2 tsp gelatin, then let stand 1 minute to soften gelatin before putting it on the heat.
  3. Whisk in 2 Tbsp sugar and cook over medium heat, stirring, until sugar dissolves and mixture is steaming.
  4. Remove from heat and let it cool down a bit (or transfer into a mixing bowl if you don’t want to wait) then set the saucepan into a larger bowl of ice water, stirring gently until it is cold and slightly thickened but not set. It doesn't take long so stay with it. Remove from the ice bath.
  5. Stir in pomegranate seeds and immediately spoon topping onto the chilled cake. Refrigerate your cake until the topping is set (about 1 hour).

Pomegranate Christmas Cake_-4-2

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Friday, September 13, 2013

Pick Your Flavor Zucchini Jam

My lovely neighbor brought me over a jar of jam the other day! Is there anything better in the world?! She shared the recipe with me and I just love it. It's a great way to use your zucchini from the garden!
Pick Your Flavor Zucchini Jam
6 cups of grated Zucchini/Courgette (peel it if you don't like the skin to show. I love the skin bits, so pretty)
1/2 cup water
4 cups sugar
3/4 cup lemon juice
1 (20 ounce) can crushed pineapple in juice
1 (6 ounce) box raspberry Jell-O (you can use any flavor, strawberry is AMAZING!)
1 (2 ounce) box surejell fruit pectin  or equivalent - I currently use 6 TBL of a powdered pectin.
1. Place nine clean glass  half-pint jars ( or 5 pint jars... or whatever you have on hand) with hot/boiling water in them on a cookie sheet in the oven at 200 degrees. Put the matching lids and rings in a pan with hot water on the stove at a simmer. Do this first as the cooking times really fly by and you want them to get good and hot! (I usually put a dishtowel under the jars so they don't slide around.)
2. Bring 1/2 cup water and 6 cups of zucchini to a boil thel let simmer for 6 minutes.
3. Add the sugar, lemon juice, and pineapple (juice and all) and let boil for 6 minutes.
4. Mix in the Jello and boil 2 minutes.

5. Add Surejell and boil for 1 minute.

Bonus Step: I don't like texture at all. *shudder* So I use my immersion blender at this point to mulch up all the pineapple and zucchini bits. If you like 'fruit pieces' in your jam then it's great as is. I could never handle that so I blend it. The zucchini skin gives the impression of seeds, and is very pretty, but doesn't have any discernible presence in your mouth.
6. Turn off heat and move pot to the counter where you'll be filling the jars (easier to clean than the stove). Take the jars out of the oven and carefully pour out the water.  Ladle jam into the hot jars. I leave some headroom - not sure the proper amount but I leave 1/2 - 3/4 inch.
7. Wipe rims with a damp cloth, put lids and rings on to finger tight and then turn jars upside down for 5 minutes.
8. Flip them back over and keep an eye on them. Once the lids all 'pop' they're ready to store, it can take up to 24 hours.

 NOTE: this jam looks very runny, but after cools it sets up quite firm. I know how solid your jam is can be regional thing and/or a matter of personal preference. If you want it runnier I'd skip the Sure jell.

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Friday, May 31, 2013

Southwest Stuffed Peppers

Southwest Stuffed Peppers
6-8 - Sweet Red Peppers
2 Tablespoons-Divided - Olive Oil
1 - Medium Yellow Onion, Chopped
1 Tablespoon - Garlic, Minced
1 Pound - Ground Turkey or Ground Beef
1 Envelope - Mild Taco Seasoning
1 Teaspoon - Salt
1/4 Teaspoon - Black Pepper
1 Teaspoon - Dried Ground Cumin
2 Cups - Cooked Brown Rice
1 (15 Ounce) - Can Petite Dice Tomatoes, Drained
1 (7 Ounces) - Can Corn, Drained
1 (7 Ounces) - Can Ortega Chilies
1 (15 Ounce) - Can Black Beans, Drained and Rinsed
1/2 Cup - Sour Cream or Plain Greek Yogurt
1/2 Cup - Fresh Cilantro, Chopped
1 1/2 Cup - Sharp Cheddar Cheese
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Cut the peppers in half lengthwise and remove seeds and ribs. Coat peppers with cooking spray (Pam) inside and out.  Place into a baking dish that has been sprayed with Pam as well. Set aside.
2. In a large saute pan, over medium  heat, cook the onion is 1-2 tablespoons of oil until soft.  Add garlic, reduce the heat to low and continue to cook 3-5 minutes.
3. Increase heat to medium and add ground beef.  Cook until there is no longer any pink in beef.  Stir in taco seasoning, salt, pepper, cumin, brown rice, diced tomatoes, corn, ortega green chilies, beans, sour cream, and cilantro.
4. Fill peppers with filling.  Bake about 45-50 minutes or until the peppers are soft.  Remove from oven and top peppers with cheddar.  Return to oven and cook until cheese is nicely melted.

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Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Marbled Lemon Blueberry Butter Cake

Marbled Lemon Blueberry Butter Cake
2 sticks (8 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 cups sugar
2 tsp grated lemon zest
1½ tsp lemon extract
7 egg whites
3 cups cake flour
4 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
1¼ cups milk
Fresh blueberries, for decoration
Lemon blueberry preserves (below)
Lemon buttercream frosting (below)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter the bottom and sides of three 8 inch round cake pans. Line the bottom of each pan with a round of parchment or waxed paper and butter the paper.
In a mixer, cream together the butter, sugar, lemon zest and lemon extract until light and fluffy. Gradually add the egg whites 2 or 3 at a time, beating well between additions and stopping occasionally to scrape down the sides of the bowl.
Combine the flour, baking powder and salt, whisk gently to blend. In 2 or 3 alternating additions, beat the dry ingredients and milk into the butter mixture, scraping down the sides of the bowl several times. Beat on medium-high speed for about 1 minute to smooth out any lumps and aerate the batter.
Scoop 1 cup of the batter into a small bowl. Divide the remaining equally among the 3 prepared pans, smoothing the tops with a spatula. This gives you a smooth surface to work with. Add 2½ tbsp of the lemon blueberry preserves to the reserved batter and blend well. Drizzle heaping teaspoons of this blueberry mixture over the batter in the pans. Use a skewer to swirl the blueberry mixture in short strokes to drag it down through the lemon batter without mixing it in.
Bake for about 25 minutes or until a cake tester or skewer stuck in the centre comes out clean and the cake pulls away from the sides of the pan. Lat the layers cool for 10 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack, peeling off the paper and leaving to cool completely.
Lemon Blueberry Preserves
3 cups blueberries, fresh or frozen
¾ cup sugar
2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
1½ tsp grated lemon zest
1 tsp grated fresh ginger
Puree the blueberries with any juices that have exuded in a blender. Pass the puree through a coarse strainer to remove the skins.
In a heavy medium saucepan, combine the blueberry puree with the sugar, lemon juice, zest and ginger. Bring to a gentle boil over a medium heat, stirring often for 20 minutes, or until the preserves have thickened and are reduced to 1 cup. To check the proper thickness place a small amount of a saucer and put in the freezer until cold. Drag your finger through it. If a clear path is made through the preserve then it is ready. Let the preserves cool before using. (Can be made up to 5 days in advance).
Lemon Buttercream Frosting
1 cup sugar
¼ cup water
2 eggs
3 sticks (12 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
In a small saucepan, combine the sugar and water. Bring to the boil over a medium heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Continue to boil without stirring, occasionally washing down the sides of the pan with a wet pastry brush until the syrup reaches the soft-ball stage, 238 degrees F on a candy thermometer. Immediately remove from the heat.
In a large mixer bowl with an electric mixer on medium speed, beast the eggs briefly. Slowly add the hot syrup in a thin stream, pouring it down the sides of the bowl; be careful to avoid hitting the beaters or the syrup may splatter. When all the syrup has been added, raise the speed to medium,-high and beat until the mixture is very fluffy and cooled to body temperature. This can take 15-20 minutes.
Reduce the mixer speed to medium-low and gradually add the softened butter 2 to 3 tablespoons at a time, beating well between additions. As you’re adding the last few tablespoons of butter, the frosting will appear to break, then suddenly come together like whipped butter. Beat in the lemon juice, and the frosting is ready to use.
To Assemble
To assemble the cake, place a layer, flat side up, on a cake stand. Spread half of the lemon blueberry preserves over the top. Place a second layer on top of the first and spread the remaining preserves over it. Finally place the third layer on top and frost the top and sides with the lemon buttercream.
Decorate with fresh blueberries and serve.
Makes one 8 inch triple layered cake.

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Tuesday, March 26, 2013

February 2013 Gourmet Night at Nics

Cucumber Sparkling Drink
2 cucumbers thinly sliced
1-2 quart liter sprite
Canned frozen limeade
Marinate sliced cucumbers in limeade for a few hours until ready to serve. Put all in punch bowl. Cover with ice and sprite.

Phoenix Salsa               Brenda Robertson
2 Avacados
2 pomegranates (1 pkg Costco)
2 tomatoes
1 bunch green onions
1/4 tsp ground cayenne pepper
1 tsp Accent
1tsp coriander
I family sized bag Frito Scoops

Wild Green Salad with Pomegrante Vinegarette
1/4 cup Pomegrante juice
1/4 cup olive oil or salad oil
1/4 cup orange juice
3 T balsamic vinegar
1/2 tsp lemon zest
3/4 cup toasted walnut halves
8 ounces mixed greens
1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese
1/2 cup Pomegrante seeds
1 can mandarin oranges
Salt and pepper

Maple Pork Tenderloin
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
1/4 cup chicken broth
2 T basamic vinegar
2tsp Dijon mustard
Combine in saucepan and let simmer and cornstarch to thicken.
1-2 pork tenderloin strips. Cover with foil bake at400 degreese until meat reaches an inner temp of 160 degrees, about 20 min. Let sit 10 min, top with sauce.

Twice Baked Potatoes     
4 med baked potatoes
1 cup sourcream
1/2 c buttered, softened
1 3oz cream cheese softened
2 green onions
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
3/4 cup grated cheese
Bake potatoes and cut half lengthwise, spoon potato ,into mixing bowl, and set skins aside, mix everything else together except paprika. Put in potatoes and sprinklr with paprika. Bake at 350 for 20 min.

Italian Cheese Bread Ring      Stir Thing Up
4 1/2-51/4 cups flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp salt
2 pkg active dry yeast
1 c milk
1 c water
2 eggs

1cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 c butter, softened

Combine 2. 1/2 c flour, sugar, salt, yeast. In a saucepan heat milk, water, and 1/2 c butter until very warm. Add warm mixture and eggs to flour mixture.  Blend then best for 3 min. By hand stir in remaining flour until stiff batter.
Grease 12 cup bunt pan. In small bowl combine filling ing. Spoon half of batter into pan, then filling,spoon remaining batter over filling. Cover loose with plastic wrap. Let rise in warm place. About 30 min. Cook 30-40 min at 350, until golden brown. Immediately remove from pan and cool on wire rack.  Serve warm or cool.

Pizookies Chocolate Chip Cookies
1 cup butter
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 1/4 c flour
1/2 pkg semi sweet chocolate chips 1/2 pkg milk chocolate chips
Cook at 375 8-10 min.  For pizookies put dough in ramican cook at 375 for 12 min then top with ice cream.

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Sunday, March 24, 2013

Swig Copycat Sugar Cookies

Really, no one has posted since November?

I made these tonight and they are so delicious. Try them! Here is the link:

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Friday, November 9, 2012

Gourmet Night- November 2012


Pancetta Crisps with Goat Cheese and Pear
 Rosemary and Cranberry Spread

THE party punch

 Fall Salad with Maple Dressing

Main Course 
Curried Butternut Squash & Pear Soup
Cheese Ravioli With Pumpkin Sage Sauce 
Brussels Sprouts with Balsamic and Cranberries

Apple Pie in a Jar with homemade Vanilla Ice Cream

Pancetta Crisps with Goat Cheese and Pear

Yield: 16 appetizers

16 thin slices pancetta
16 teaspoons soft fresh goat cheese (from a 5-ounce log)
2 small very-ripe pears, halved, cored, cut into ¼-inch slices
fresh thyme leaves, chopped


1. Preheat oven to 450°F.
2. Place pancetta slices in single layer on large rimmed baking sheet. Sprinkle with pepper. Bake until golden, about 10 minutes. Using spatula, slide pancetta crisps onto platter. Top each with 1 tsp. goat cheese and 1 pear slice. Sprinkle with thyme and serve.
*Plan ahead w/ your pears... purchase them a couple of days before using and let them sit on your counter to ripen.
Rosemary and Cranberry Spread
Serves 4-6

8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
4 tablespoons dried sweetened cranberries
2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary
fresh cracked pepper and kosher salt

Place all cream cheese into a bowl and using a spoon, fold in all ingredients until well combined.
Serve along side crackers or toasted baguette slices.

THE Party Punch
recipe HERE

Fall Salad
*I tripled this recipe for my party of 9

6 cups loosely packed Baby Mixed Greens

1/3 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup chopped pecans, toasted
1/2 cup dried cinnamon apple rings (I used diced fresh apple w/ cinnamon)
1/4 cup pumpkin seeds (raw or roasted/salted, your preference)
*add more/less of these ingredients to suit your tastes!

Maple Dressing
2 Tbsp pure maple syrup
2 Tbsp lemon juice
1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
1-2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/2 large avocado, diced
1 tsp garlic powder
optional: dash of cayenne

1. Add all dry salad ingredients and baby greens to a large bowl.
2. Wisk together the dressing and add chopped avocados.
3. Add dressing to salad and toss very well.


Curried Butternut Squash & Pear Soup

1 tbsp olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tbsp curry powder
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tbsp brown sugar
6 cups vegetable or chicken broth
1-1/2 lb. butternut squash, peeled and diced
4 ripe Bartlett pears, peeled and diced

Step 1: In large pot, heat oil over medium heat. Add chopped onion and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Add minced garlic, curry powder, cumin, brown sugar and cook, stirring for 30 seconds. Add broth, squash and pears. Bring to a boil then reduce heat and simmer, covered, until squash and pears are tender, about 30 minutes.
Step 2: Purée mixture with hand blender or transfer to food processor and purée in batches. 

Cheese Ravioli With Pumpkin Sage Sauce
Serves 6

27 ounces fresh four-cheese ravioli 
1/2 cup chopped green onion
3/4 cup butter
1 1/8 cups heavy cream
3/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
3 tablespoons chopped fresh sage leaves (or 1 teaspoon dry sage leaves)
3/4 cup 100% pumpkin puree (Libby's canned pumpkin)
1 1/2 to taste Parmesan cheese

Prepare ravioli according to package directions. Drain the ravioli and set aside, keep warm. (can toss with a little olive oil to prevent sticking).
Meanwhile, saute the green onions in the butter over medium heat until the onions are softened and the butter is melted and begins to foam.
Stir in the pumpkin and heat through. Blend in the cream, Parmesan cheese, salt, pepper, and the sage leaves, stirring well to combine. Serve sauce over warm ravioli.

Brussels Sprouts with Balsamic and Cranberries


  • 3 pounds Brussels Sprouts
  • 1/2 cup Olive Oil
  • Salt And Pepper
  • 1-2 cups fresh Cranberries
  • 1 cup Balsamic Vinegar
  • 1/2 cup Sugar


Trim/clean Brussels sprouts, then cut them in half if desired (or you can leave them whole). Arrange sprouts and cranberries on two baking sheets and toss with olive oil. Sprinkle with plenty of salt and pepper and roast at 375 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes, or until brown.
Combine balsamic vinegar and sugar in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low and reduce until very thick, about 15 to 20 minutes.
Drizzle the balsamic reduction over the roasted sprouts. Toss and serve immediately.


Apple Pie In A Jar
Our Best Bites

You will need:
Half Pint canning jars (must be wide-mouthed!)
Pie Dough (I just bought refrigerated Pillsbury. 4 crusts were enough to make 9 pies)

Filling: (this is enough for 4 pies)
2 C peeled and diced green apples
2 T sugar- brown or white
2 T flour
1 T butter (divided between the pies)
1-2 tsp cinnamon

Roll out one of the pie crusts. Use the ring from the jar to cut out the tops and set aside. Use the rest of the dough to line the jars (you do not need to grease them).  Just take little pieces and press them in. Make sure it’s pressed all the way up to the top of the jar, or pretty close to it.

Fill the jars. You’ll need about 1/2 C filling for each jar. Divide it between the jars and dot a pat of butter on top (about 1/4 T).

Make sure your “lid” has a vent so steam can escape. You can use a knive to make a couple of slits or a tiny cookie cutter to make it decorative. When your topper is ready, slip it onto the top of the pie. Then use your finger, or a fork, to press the 2 pieces of dough together to seal.

At this point you can freeze the pies if you want! put the lids and rings on and place the pies in the freezer. When you are ready to bake, remove lids and rings from jars and place jars on a baking sheet (no need to thaw). Place baking sheet in a COLD oven. Then turn the oven to 375. That will give the jars a chance to warm up slowly as the oven preheats. Bake for about 50-60 minutes, or until the tops are golden brown and the middles are bubbly. If you’re baking them fresh and not frozen they take about 45 minutes.

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Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls with Caramel Frosting

It's Fall! Bring on the yummy treats!

I made these for a brunch and they were so good! I did add some cream cheese frosting drizzled on top as well as the caramel frosting and they were dreamy.

Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls with Caramel Frosting
Recipe Anatomy

1/3 cup milk
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup canned pumpkin or mashed cooked pumpkin
2 tablespoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 egg,beaten
1 (1/4 ounce) package dry yeast
2 cups unbleached all purpose flour
1/3 cup brown sugar,packed (or more if you like)
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon (or more if you like)
2 tablespoons melted butter

1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup brown sugar,packed
2 tablespoons milk
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
1 dash salt
3/4 cup sifted confectioners' sugar

1. In small saucepan, heat milk and 2 tablespoons butter just until warm and butter is almost melted,stirring constantly. In large mixer bowl, combine pumpkin,sugar and salt. Add milk mixture and beat with electric mixer until well mixed. Beat in egg and yeast.

2. Add half of flour mixture to pumpkin mixture. Beat mixture on low speed 5 minutes, scraping sides of bowl frequently. Add remaining flour and mix thoroughly (dough will be very soft). Turn into lightly greased bowl, then grease surface of dough lightly.

3. Cover and let rise in warm place until doubled, about 1 hour. Punch dough down. Turn onto floured surface. Knead a few turns to form a smooth dough,sprinkling with enough additional flour to make dough easy to handle. On lightly floured surface, roll dough into 12x10 inch rectangle.

4. In small bowl, combine brown sugar and cinnamon. Brush surface of dough with melted butter. Sprinkle with brown sugar mixture. Beginning with long side of dough, roll up jellyroll style. Pinch seam to seal. With sharp knife, cut roll into 12 1- inch slices. Place rolls, cut side up, on a cookie sheet. Cover and let rise until nearly doubled, 30 to 45 minutes.

5. Bake rolls at 350 degrees about 20 minutes or until cooked. Cool 10 to 15 minutes. Drizzle with Caramel frosting. Makes 12 rolls.

Frosting: In small saucepan, heat butter until melted. Stir in brown sugar and milk.  Cook over medium heat for one minute. Transfer to small mixer bowl and cool mixture. Stir in vanilla, salt, and confectioners' sugar. Beat with electric mixer until well blended.

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Thursday, September 20, 2012

Cucumber Salad

My garden is finally starting to produce. My tomatoes are ripe (in mid-September)! This is one of my favorite recipes to use all those home-grown cucumbers and tomatoes. I leave out the onions more often than not, and almost like it depends on my mood! I can eat this for lunch and be a happy woman!

Cucumber Salad

6 cucumbers peeled, seeded and sliced
3 tomatoes, seeded and chopped
1 small red onion, peeled and sliced
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
1/2 c. cider vinegar
1/3 c. sugar
1/2 c. Vegetable oil (I use about half that)
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce

Mix together all ingredients. Toss gently and refrigerate until ready to eat.

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Sunday, August 26, 2012

Penne Rosa with Shrimp

I think this would be great with shrimp, but since I didn't have any I made it without. It was still delicious, and would also be good with chicken or tofu.

Penne Rosa with Shrimp
by Cassie Johnston

Ingredients (6 servings)

12 ounces whole wheat penne (or whatever pasta you want)
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 pinch crushed red pepper flakes
8 ounces button mushrooms, sliced
2 medium tomatoes (about 1/2 lb.) chopped
Salt and pepper, to taste
4 cups fresh spinach
10 ounces medium raw shrimp, peeled
and deveined
1/2 cup marinara sauce
1/3 cup 0% plain Greek yogurt
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese


Cook penne according to package directions. Drain and set aside. In a large skillet with a lid, heat olive oil over medium-low heat. Add in garlic and red pepper flakes, cook for 2 minutes or until garlic begins to soften.

Add in mushrooms, tomatoes, salt and pepper. Cook for 5 minutes, or until mushrooms begin to release their water. Turn heat up to medium-high and add in shrimp. Cook for 1-2 minutes, or until shrimp are pink and opaque. Remove from heat, add in spinach and cover skillet. Let spinach wilt for 2 minutes.

Remove lid and place skillet back over low heat. Add the penne, Greek yogurt and pasta sauce. Stir until sauce is mixed well and all pasta and veggies are coated. Heat until just warmed through. Divide into pasta bowls and serve topped with parmesan cheese.

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