Friday, July 18, 2014

Butter Cream Frosting

When I was asked to bring dessert for our Independence Day picnic, chocolate cupcakes with homemade butter cream frosting sounded perfect.  I combined several recipes to come up with this one. 

3 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp egg white powder (optional)
1/8 tsp salt
1 cup un-salted butter, softened
2 to 3 TBS heavy cream
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

In a bowl combine the powdered sugar, egg white powder and salt; add the butter and beat until blended.

Add the cream and vanilla extract and beat for an additional 3 to 5 minutes or until smooth and creamy.

You may need to refrigerate the frosting for 5-10 minutes before frosting your cupcakes.

Frosts 12 cupcakes


Creamy Finger Jello

Since kids of all ages seem to enjoy finger jello, I usually make finger jello for our famly picnics.  I decided to try a new recipe this Memorial Day.  It was a hit!

12 oz jello, any flavor (I used raspberry)
2 1/2 cups boiling water
1 cup cold milk
1 (3.4 oz) box of instant vanilla pudding

Mix together the jello and boiling water until the jello is completely dissolved, about 2 minutes.  Set aside for 30 minutes.

Beat the milk and vanilla pudding mix together until smooth.  Quickly pour the pudding mixture into the jello and mix well until completely blended.

Pour into a lightly greased 9 x 13 pan.  Chill until set and cut into cubes.

Source:  Grandma Emma's Miller Family Cookbook


Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Rhubarb Upside Down Cake

For Father's Day, I decided to make my dad this rhubarb upside down cake.  It was so easy and delicious.  Make sure the platter you use to turn this out onto is big enough to catch any rhubarb topping that may drip down from the top of the cake.

5 cups rhubarb, diced
3 oz. pkg raspberry jello
1 cup sugar
3 cups miniature marshmallows
1 yellow cake mix

Lightly grease the bottom of a 9 x 13 cake pan.  In a bowl, combine the rhubarb, raspberry jello and white sugar; stir in the marshmallows. Pour rhubarb mixture into the bottom of the prepared cake pan. Set aside.

Mix the cake ingredients as directed on box. Pour the cake batter over the top of the rhubarb mixture in the cake pan.  Bake at 350 for 45-50 minutes or until done in the middle. Cool in pan for 10 minutes, then invert cake onto serving dish so that rhubarb is on top.

Serve with whipped cream if desired.

Source:  Grandma Emma's Miller Family Cookbook


Sunday, July 13, 2014

Grilled Portobello Turkey Stuffed "Pizzas"

I love portobello mushrooms, so I am always looking for new ways to cook with them.  These "pizzas" are delicious and healthy.  In fact, my family told me I could make these again any time.

4 medium portobello mushrooms, 4 to 5 inches in diameter
1/2 tsp canola oil
8 oz lean ground turkey
3/4 cup marinara sauce
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/4 - 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes (my addition)
1/2 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
4 slices green bell pepper, cut into 1/4 inch rings (I prefer red bell pepper)

Preheat grill to 350. Set out 4 (12 x 12 inch) pieces of aluminum foil. Remove the mushroom stems by gently snapping them off. With a tablespoon, gently scrape the gills from the underside of the mushrooms. Spray the tops of the mushroom caps with cooking spray, and place each cap, sprayed-side down, on a piece of foil.

Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Crumble the turkey in the pan and cook, stirring often, until starting to brown, about 5-7 minutes. Stir in the marinara sauce, oregano and red pepper flakes (if using) and cook for 3-5 minutes. Remove from heat.

Spread 1/4 of the meat mixture on each mushroom cap, top each with 2 tablespoons of mozzarella cheese and a bell pepper ring. Loosely wrap the foil around the mushroom caps and grill for 10 minutes, or until the mushroom is cooked.

Source:  Eat What You Love Everyday - Marlene Koch


Balsamic Vinaigrette

My garden has given me an abundance of lettuce and arugula this year.  Rather than buying salad dressings, I prefer to make my own. This way I can adjust the ingredients to my taste.  This recipe, however, did not require any adjustments.

2 TBS balsamic vinegar
2 TBS extra virgin olive oil
2 TBS water
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 TBS grated Parmesan cheese
Pinch of salt
Pinch of pepper
Whisk together, or vigorously shake, the above ingredients.  Adjust salt and pepper to taste.
Makes 4 servings
Source:  Eat More of What You Love - Marlene Koch

Parmesan-Crusted Zucchini Fries

Since I have an abundance of zucchini in my garden this year, I decided to make these fries.  I'm sure glad I did!  I like the fact that they are baked and not fried.  Plus, they are delicious. 

1/3 cup (about 1 1/2 oz) finely shredded fresh Parmesan cheese
1/3 cup panko breadcrumbs
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp dried basil
1/8 tsp ground red pepper
1 large egg, beaten
1/4 cup flour
3 small zucchini (1 1/4 lbs)
Cooking Spray
1/2 cup spaghetti sauce

Preheat oven to 450.

Combine the Parmesan cheese, breadcrumbs, garlic powder, dried basil and ground red pepper in a small shallow bowl.  Place the egg in a separate bowl.  Place flour in a Ziploc bag. 

Trim the ends from the zucchini; cut each zucchini in half crosswise. Quarter each zucchini half length-wise to make 24 zucchini sticks. 

Place a few of the zucchini sticks into the bag of flour; seal the bag and shake it. When taking the zucchini sticks out of the bag, shake off any extra flour.

Dip the zucchini in the egg; dredge in panko mixture, pressing to coat.

Place the zucchini on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray.  Coat the tops of the zucchini with cooking spray.

Bake at 450 for 20 minutes or until golden brown.  Serve immediately with pasta sauce. 

Makes 4 servings

Source:  Cooking Light Crave!


Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Roasted Beets and Sautéed Beet Greens

I bought some beautiful beets at the farmer's market so I decided to have beets and beet greens for dinner tonight.  I read an article from the CDC (Center for Disease Control & Prevention) that states beet greens are high on the list of Powerhouse Vegetables.  Watercress was number one on the list, followed by Chinese Cabbage, Chard, Beet Greens and Spinach.  Beets and beet greens are very high in potassium, magnesium, fiber, phosphorus, iron, vitamins A, B & C, beta-carotene, beta-cyanine and folic acid. Wow! This was a very healthy and satisfying meal of beets and greens.

1 bunch beets, with greens (I used 4 beets)
olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 TBS onion, chopped (I used more)
salt and pepper to taste
1 TBS red wine vinegar
I added a slice of cooked bacon at the end....only because I had it in the fridge

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Wash the beets thoroughly, leaving the skins on, and remove the greens and stems.  Rinse greens and stems.  Place the beets in a small baking dish or roasting pan and toss with 2 TBS of olive oil.  If you wish to peel the beets, it is easier to do so once they have been roasted.

Cover and bake the beets for 45 to 60 minutes or until a knife can slide easily through the largest beet. 

I was a little pressed for time so instead of roasting my beets I peeled and cut them into small pieces, put them in a microwave safe dish and added a very little bit of water (a couple teaspoons).  I covered with Saran Wrap and cooked on High in the microwave until tender.

When the roasted beets are almost done, heat 2 TBS of olive oil in a skillet over medium-low heat.  Add the garlic and onion, and cook for a minute.  Tear the beet greens into 2 to 3 inch pieces.  Cut the stems into 1 inch pieces.  Add the beets and stems to the skillet.  Cook and stir until the greens are wilted and tender.  Season with salt and pepper.  Sprinkle with red-wine vinegar.



Sunday, July 6, 2014

Apple Salad

There is a restaurant that we like to go to that serves a delicious apple salad that is dressed with vanilla yogurt.  They put golden raisins in their salad, however, I decided to change it up a bit and add dried cranberries instead.  This is a very light and delicious healthy salad.

4 cups apples, diced small (do not peel)
dried cranberries
sliced almonds
vanilla yogurt

Mix apples, cranberries and almonds together.  Add enough vanilla yogurt to coat as desired.

You may also use any of the following:  diced pears, golden raisins, dried blueberries, dried cherries, chopped pecans...the sky is the limit!

Makes 1 1/2 quarts

Serves 6-8