Thirsty and Tasty Thursday

Summer is almost done 😥 Actually for me it is. I went back to the crazy day job on Monday…

But never fear this week’s Thirsty and Tasty is features some summer yumminess…. Blueberries.

 

This is actually one of favorite summer drinks and I can’t believe I have done it on T&T before. It’s light. It’s refreshing. It has blueberries. And Rum – 2 flavors. So what’s not to like?

 

What you need:

  • 2 lemon slices
  • 8 blueberries
  • 2 teaspoons brown sugar
  • 1 part light rum
  • 2 parts coconut rum

What you do:

  1. In a rocks glass or cocktail shaker, muddle the lemon slices, blueberries and brown sugar together. Pour into a tom collins glass, then fill the glass with ice. Pour the rum over the ice.
  2. Garnish with additional blueberries and a wedge of lemon.

 

While I love love love this cake, I don’t make it as often as I want because… well because… I eat it – A LOT of it.

 

What you need for the Cake

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups fresh blueberries
  • 1/3 cup vegetable shortening
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • For the topping
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 6 tablespoons cold butter
  • 1/2 cup toasted flake coconut
  • What you do:
  1. Preheat an oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour a 9×9-inch square baking pan.
  2. Whisk 2 cups flour, baking powder, and salt together in a mixing bowl; set aside. Toss the blueberries in a little of the flour mixture until coated; set aside.
  3. Beat the shortening and 1 cup sugar with an electric mixer in a large bowl until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg. Pour in the flour mixture alternately with the milk, mixing until just incorporated. Fold in the floured blueberries, mixing just enough to evenly combine. Pour the batter into prepared pan.
  4. To make the topping, combine 3/4 cup sugar, 3/4 cup flour, and the cinnamon in a bowl. Cut in the cold butter with a pastry blender until no small pieces of butter remain. Stir in the toasted coconut, then sprinkle the topping evenly over the cake.
  5. Bake in the preheated oven until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 1 hour and 10 minutes. Cool in the pans for 10 minutes before removing to cool completely on a wire rack.

Tasty and Thirsty Thursday

This week’s tasty and thirsty is featuring bananas… I’m on the last week before returning to the crazy job so things are just a bananas anyway so I thought I should enjoy the actually fruit.

The martini – Spank the Monkey – just because I had soooo much fun telling my kids that me and hubby were going to Spank the Monkey…. my kids are very much of the mind set that a wild time for hubby and me is playing a game of checkers.

Anyway back to the martini. I had to play with the ratios a lot in this drink for some reason so all three flavors could be detected. It’s made with coconut vodka, pineapple vodka, and banana cream rum.

In a martini shaker with several cubes of ice add 1 part pineapple vodka, 1 1/2 part coconut vodka, and 2 parts banana cream rum. Then do the crazy monkey dance to blend. Pour into martini glass and ENJOY…

IMAG0232

For the banana tasty part, I’m sharing my recipe for banana bread using banana beer. I’ve shared this before a couple of years ago but it really is good and I’m not sure if there is a time that banana bread just does make everything better. I’m planning on trying the banana bread waffles that has been showing up on my timeline this weekend.

 

banana-beer

This is also really good in chocolate chip cookies

Banana Beer Bread

What you need:

1¾ cups all ­purpose flour

¾ cup granulated sugar

1¼ teaspoons baking powder

½ teaspoon baking soda

1 cup walnuts, chopped

¾ teaspoon salt

2 large eggs

3 medium bananas, mashed

⅓ cup melted butter

¼ cup beer (highly recommend Wells Banana Bread Beer)

What you do:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F with the rack in the center of the oven.
  2. Lightly grease and flour a loaf pan.
  3. In a large bowl blend together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, walnuts, and salt.
  4. In a separate bowl, beat the eggs until foamy. Add the bananas, butter and beer. Fold the wet mixture into the dry, combining until thoroughly mixed.
  5. Pour the batter into the prepared load pan and bake for 55 minutes, or until awooden toothpick inserted into the center of the bread comes out clean and the top is golden.
  6. Remove from the oven and cool in the pan on a wire rack for at least 5­10 minutes before removing the loaf from the pan.

 

What is your favorite banana recipe?

Tasty Thursday

This week I’m still on my strawberry kick. Michigan has awesome strawberries but they are only available for a couple of weeks so I try to do as much as possible with them during that time.

I have another jam recipe. (Check out last weeks Tasty Thursday for Strawberry Coconut Rum jam). Strawberry Rhubarb is one of my favorite combos add pineapple and I’m close to heaven. This recipe is also a favorite for those who don’t want to use a pectin product or ‘mess’ with the ‘canning’ process.

The pancake recipe is a my families favorite – hands down. I make it every fourth of July and several other times through out the summer. I’ve never done it with frozen fruit in the sauce, I’m sure it would be fine just a little watery. But are some recipes that I like to do only at certain times and this is one I reserve just for the summer months.

Strawberry Rhubarb Pineapple Jam

What you need:

  • 1 – 20 ounce can crushed pineapple
  • 10 cups rhubarb, fresh
  • 10 cups granulated sugar
  • 4 – 3 ounce packages strawberry Jello
  • 2 cups chopped strawberries
  • 1 cup pineapple flavored rum

What you do:

  1. In a saucepan, combine fresh rhubarb, sugar and water.
  2. Bring mixture to a low boil and boil for 10 minutes.
  3. Add (drained) crushed pineapple and strawberry Jello to mixture.
  4. Return to heat and cook on a low boil for another 5 minutes.
  5. Remove from heat and immediately pour into hot, sterilized canning jars.
  6. Place canning lids and rings on jars and allow jars to cool to room temperature.
  7. Store in refrigerator or freezer until ready to serve.

Lemon Ricotta Pancakes with lemon curd blueberry strawberry sauce

What you need:

  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese
  • 2 eggs
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 1 lemon, zested and juiced
  • Butter, for griddle
  • 1 (11-ounce) jar prepared lemon curd
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries – washed
  • 1 ½ cup fresh strawberries – sliced thinly

 

What you do:

  1. Preheat a nonstick griddle.
  2. Combine flour, baking powder, nutmeg, salt, and sugar in a small bowl.
  3. Whisk together the cheese, eggs, milk, lemon juice and zest in a large bowl.
  4. Whisk the flour mixture into the wet ingredients until just combined.
  5. Brush the hot griddle with butter. For each pancake, pour approximately 1/4 cup measure of the batter on the griddle and cook on both sides until light golden brown. Repeat until no batter remains.
  6. Empty the contents of the lemon curd into a small saucepan and warm over low heat. Add fresh blueberries and strawberries. Heat 2 more minutes.  Drizzle a few tablespoons of the curd mixture over the pancakes.

I’d love to hear of some your seasonal favorites.

Thirsty & Tasty Tuesday

Love cherry trees in the spring

Love cherry trees in the spring

It’s cherry season in Michigan. So I’m sharing a couple of my favorite cherry recipes for Thirty & Tasty Tuesday. Everyone LOVES cherry pie, cherry fritters, and cherry cheesecake but I did non-desert recipes. Amazing I know. Both are made in the crock-pot so they work great in the summer – dump and forget while playing in the sun. They also work great in the winter for beating back the “it’s-snowing-again” blues.

CHERRY PIE MOONSHIEcherries (1)
What you need:
2 (15 oz.) Cans Cherries Pie mix
1/2 Cup Sugar
1 (32 oz.) Bottle Cherry Juice
2 Cups cherry Vodka
Cherries for the jars (optional)
3 Quart jars with lids and rings
What you do…
1. Add the sugar, cherry juice and both cans of cherries to the crock-pot.
2. Cook on low for 1 hour to 2 hours or until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture is heated.
3. Allow the mixture to cool.
4. Once the liquid has cooled, add in the vodka.
5. Drop ten to twelve cherries in 3 quart jars
6. Pour mixture into jars and seal with lids and store in the refrigerator up to 6 months.
Shake before serving.

PORK TENDERLOIN WITH CHERRY SAUCE
What you need:

1 boneless pork loin roast (3 to 4 pounds)
1 tablespoon canola oil
3/4 cup cherry preserves
1/2 cup dried cherries
1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup packed brown sugar

What you do…
1. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Brown roast on all sides.
2. Transfer to a 6-qt. slow cooker. In a small bowl, mix preserves, cherries, vinegar and brown sugar until blended; pour over roast. Cook, covered, on low 3-4 hours or until tender (a thermometer inserted in pork should read at least 145°).
3. Remove roast from slow cooker; tent with foil. Let stand 15 minutes before slicing. Skim fat from cooking juices. Serve pork with sauce.

What are some of your favorite recipes featuring cherries?

What are some of your favorite cherry recipes?

What are some of your favorite cherry recipes?

Snacking Saturday

Welcome to the new theme of Saturday… snacks. I love to snack and yes doughnuts are my favorite BUT I also do have a lengthily list of healthy and like today’s not so healthy snack recipes that I’m excited to share with you.

It’s our turn to host the hockey party. It doesn’t really matter if I’m hosting or attending, there is always one recipe that is requested my – Pizza Dip. I mean what’s not to like??? Oozy cheese…pepperoni…bacon…oozy cheese…
Here is the recipe I use as a base but add or subtract ingredients to make it fit your party.
Things you need:
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon dried oregano
½ teaspoon dried parsley
¼ teaspoon dried basil
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1 cup Parmesan cheese
1 cup pizza sauce
Some things you might want to add:

1/4 cup chopped green bell pepper
1/4 cup chopped onion
¼ cup sliced mushrooms
4 ounces fried Italian sausage
5 slices fried bacon
2 ounces sliced pepperoni
2 tablespoons sliced black olives, sliced

Unbelievable yumminess

Unbelievable yumminess

What you do:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a medium bowl, combine cream cheese, garlic powder, dried
oregano, parsley and basil.
2. Spread cream cheese mixture into a 9-inch pie pan, and sprinkle ½ cup of mozzarella and ½
cup of Parmesan on the cream cheese mixture.
3. Top with the pizza sauce and sprinkle the remaining cheeses over the pizza sauce.
4. Top with your choice of adds.
5. Bake in preheated oven 20 minutes or until cheese is fully melted and bubbly.
NOTES:
– If you are short on time, you can cover your microwave safe dish and place into the microwave
for 5 minutes or until cheese is melted and heated through.
– I sprinkle a little Italian seasoning on top of my cheese and toppings for an added kick
– Can be served with pita chips, toasted Italian bread, bread sticks, bagel chips.

I’d love to hear some of your favorite snacks – healthy or not 🙂

Tasty Thursday

I celebrate May Day in a couple of ways. The morning celebration is ‘surprising’ my neighbors and friends with ‘May Day’ baskets. I hang them on their door first thing in the morning (I’m talking 4:00 am).

These are the ones I made last year

These are the ones I made last year

And of course food and drinks are involved in the evening celebration. Today, I’m sharing my Mushroom Goat Cheese Bake – next week is drink 😀 (It’s my transition from wine to vodka – I drink wine in the winter and vodka in the summer).

MUSHROOMS GOAT CHEESE BAKE
What you need:
12 ounces of any variety of mushrooms you enjoy
1 large garlic clove, chopped
2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
2 ounces soft goat cheese, cut into 4 rounds
2 cups spinach
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
2 tablespoons chopped fresh tarragon
2 tablespoons chopped fresh marjoram
2 tablespoons white wine
What you do:
Clean mushrooms and slice. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in skillet and cook garlic, mushrooms, and chives over medium heat until just tender. Season with salt and pepper. Lift mushrooms out of pan with slotted spoon onto lightly oiled baking sheet, dividing into 4 portions. Place goat cheese round in center of each pile. Bake at 400°F about 4 minutes, until cheese melts and browns slightly.
Do you have any welcome Spring celebration, dishes, or drinks? I’d love to hear about them.

Tasty Thursday

This is the weekend before ST. Paddy’s day so I thought I’d share one of my favorite ‘Irish’ recipes. It’s my favorite because (1) it’s a dessert and (2) it has Irish Cream in it 😉 If kids are going to eat it then I’d use a plan glaze.

st pad

Irish Cream Cake

What you need:
1 cup chopped pecans
1 (18.25 ounce) package yellow cake mix
1 (3.4 ounce) package instant vanilla pudding mix
4 eggs
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup vegetable oil
3/4 cup Irish cream liqueur
1/2 cup butter
1/4 cup water
1 cup white sugar
1/4 cup Irish cream liqueur
What you do:
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Grease and flour a 10 inch Bundt pan. Sprinkle chopped nuts evenly over bottom of pan.
In a large bowl, combine cake mix and pudding mix. Mix in eggs, 1/4 cup water, 1/2 cup oil and 3/4 cup Irish cream liqueur. Beat for 5 minutes at high speed. Pour batter over nuts in pan.
Bake in the preheated oven for 60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes in the pan, then invert onto the serving dish. Prick top and sides of cake. Spoon glaze over top and brush onto sides of cake. Allow to absorb glaze repeat until all glaze is used up.
>To make the glaze: In a saucepan, combine butter, 1/4 cup water and 1 cup sugar. Bring to a boil and continue boiling for 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and stir in 1/4 cup Irish cream.

I adapted this recipe from one Paula Dean made several years ago. I couldn’t find it on the internet to link to.
What are some of your favorite ST. Paddy day recipes?

Tasty Thursday

Today is the last day of this polar vortex. There are whispers that Friday thru Monday will be in the thirties – time to dig out the flip flops. :0) But today is still COLD 8 for the high and another double digits below zero for the low.

Yes it's really that cold...

Yes it’s really that cold…

I’m making Bacon Cheddar Potato Soup for dinner and everyone knows that you have to have bread with soup. I think the world explodes if you don’t 😉

I made some adjustments to this beer bread recipe and now it’s my favorite soup bread. Actually I have several versions of this recipe. Beer breads are my favorite go to breads. It’s dense – great for broth soaking. It’s full of flavor – so it doesn’t become a tasteless side. It doesn’t have yeast – yeast and I are enemies.

Beer Bread

What you need

  • 3 1/2 cups self-rising flour
  • (if using regular flour add 1 tablespoon baking powder and 1 teaspoon salt)
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 12 oz. can beer (any variety)
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/2 stick butter
  • 1 cup extra sharp cheddar cheese (you need a good cheese to stand up to the flavors or you won’t be      able to taste it)
  • 2 tbs fresh dill
  • ½ cup crispy bacon

What you do

  1. Mix flour and sugar together in large bowl.
  2. Add beer and egg to flour mixture and mix well.
  3. Add cheese, fresh dill, and bacon.
  4. Scrape batter into greased loaf  pan; bake at 350 for 50 minutes.
  5. Remove bread from oven; melt butter. Brush melted butter onto bread and return to oven to bake 5-10      additional minutes.
  6. Cool on wire rack; serve with a hearty soup or beef stew!

Adapted from ~  http://www.livingwellspendingless.com/2014/03/05/easy-beer-bread/#OEz3yPCxruZUA0vB.99

Tasty Tuesday

As I was reviewing this week’s menus I realized that ‘pie’ was attached to four of the meals. As a writer, I realize the importance of word choice. Pie sounds soooo much better than casserole. Would you rather have spaghetti pie or spaghetti casserole??? Last night, I made spaghetti pie. One of our favorite comfort foods. After getting 8 new inches of snow (setting hourly snow fall records and bringing our total up to 125 total inches of snow for the season), my hubby needed some comfort (he drives truck).

Last night's dinner

Last night’s dinner

What you need….

  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1/4 cup chopped green pepper
  • ½ cup chopped garlic stuffed olives
  • 1 jar spaghetti sauce
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 6 ounces spaghetti, cooked and drained
  • 2 egg whites, lightly beaten
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup (8 ounces) fat-free ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese

What you do….

In a nonstick skillet, cook the turkey, onion and green pepper over medium heat until meat is no longer pink; drain. Stir in the olives, oregano, Italian seasoning, garlic powder, sugar and pepper; set aside.

  • In a large bowl, combine the spaghetti, butter, egg whites and Parmesan cheese. Press onto the bottom and up the sides of a 9-in. Top with ricotta cheese and turkey mixture. Bake, uncovered, at 350° for 20 minutes. Sprinkle with mozzarella cheese. Bake 5-10 minutes longer or until cheese is melted and filling is heated through. Let stand for 5 minutes before cutting.

What are some of your favorite comfort foods??? As there is NO end of winter in sight, I’m in need of some new recipes to add to my winter-blah battle

Tasty Tuesday…

The phrase for this winter has been ‘artic blast.’ With temps breaking records for all time lows, three days of wind chill warnings and lake effect snow, we are ready for some ‘heat.’ Since a trip to the tropics is out of the questions, I’m cooking up some ‘heat’ with my Fiesta Chicken Soup and Jalapeno Cheddar Biscuits for supper. And because I really need a break from the winter gloom, I’m making a batch of strawberry/coconut margaritas to go with it 😀

pretty but ohhhhh so cold

pretty but ohhhhh so cold

Fiesta Chicken Soup

What you need…

1/4 cup  KRAFT Zesty Italian Dressing
3/4 lb.  boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces
1 onion, chopped
1 cup  (1/2 of 14-1/2-oz. can) stewed tomatoes, undrained
1 can  (14-1/2 oz.) fat-free reduced-sodium chicken broth
1-1/4 cups  water
1 can  (8-1/2 oz.) corn, drained
1 tsp.  chili powder
1/2 cup  KRAFT Mexican Style Finely Shredded Four Cheese
4 tablespoons jalapeno (or to taste)
What to do….

HEAT dressing in large saucepan on medium-high heat.  Add chicken and onions; cook 5 min., stirring occasionally.ADD tomatoes, broth, water, corn, jalapeno, and chili powder; stir.  Bring to boil.  Reduce heat to medium; simmer 8 min. or until chicken is cooked through and onions are tender.  Meanwhile, preheat broiler.

LADLE soup into four ovenproof serving bowls; top with cheese.  Broil, 6 inches from heat source, 2 to 3 min. or until cheese is melted.

Jalapeno Cheddar Biscuits

What you need….

2 cups all-purpose flour

3 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

1/2 teaspoon paprika

5 tablespoons cold butter

3/4 cup 2% milk

1 cup (4 ounces) shredded sharp cheddar cheese

3 tablespoons diced jalapeno slices

What to do….

In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, salt, thyme and paprika. Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in the milk, cheese and jalapeno.

Turn onto a lightly floured surface; knead 8-10 times. Pat or roll out to 1/2-in. thickness; cut with a floured 2-1/2-in. biscuit cutter. Place 2 in. apart on an ungreased baking sheet.

Bake at 450° for 12-14 minutes or until golden brown. Serve warm.

What are some of the ways you beat the winter gloom????