Monday, June 29, 2015

Eight is Great! Fun Birthday Parties

Eight is Great! Marisa turned 8 years old! Woo Hoo!
My Granddaughter Marisa's birthday and baptism celebration! Eight is Great!
Marisa and I at her Baptism. 
Dessert table at the luncheon party for Marisa Belle. I made a little heart Bundt cake just for her!

I have a few of these pretty heart individual bundt cake pans. I made chocolate cupcakes and then used the bundt with the leftover batter. 

Then I frosted them with cream cheese icing. 
This is the recipe I use for any chocolate cakes I bake. It is from All This recipe has cream cheese and a pudding mix in it and mini chocolate chips. It is dense, rich and wonderful with cream cheese icing. It also has 4500 reviews with almost 5 stars. That is a good recommendations people!
HERE is the link.  You will not find a better chocolate cake recipe. It uses a boxed mix. My favorite boxed mix is Betty Crocker Supermoist Chocolate Fudge.

My favorite boxed cake mix. I just doctor it up a little with sour cream and a pudding mix. 

Cream Cheese Icing - I use a brick of cream cheese, a cube of butter, a few cups of powdered sugar and a little lemon juice for flavoring. 
Cream Cheese Icing
1 cube butter (1/2 cup)
1 brick of room temperature cream cheese
1 teaspoon lemon juice
2 -3 cups of powdered sugar
milk to the desired consistency

Eight is Great! And a birthday party is too! 

Little Miss Marisa is my sweet first grandchild. I love her so. 

Birthday cupcakes made with homemade cream cheese icing, sprinkles and jelly beans, and little suckers as toppers. 

My friend Aimee Ferre made this cute flag and I bought it at one of her sweet boutiques.  I will use it when each of my grandkiddos turns eight! 
Eight is Great! It is a milestone birthday in the LDS church because it is the year you can get baptized too. 
Tiff ser ed chicken salad sandwiches on pretzel rolls. They were SUPER YUMMY! I love those rolls. Get them at Costco. They are a little pricey though, I think they are around 6 bucks a package. 
Gary baptized his little girl. It was very tender to see. I love all these peeps!

This is the first party Tiffany has had in her new home. It has the greatest kitchen with a huge marble island. I love it! 
Veggies and dip. 
Fruit platter. Make some of that yummy marshmallow fluff dip to go with the fruit.

I put little suckers into each of the cupcakes for the kiddos. 
I forgot to take pictures of Marisa opening gifts. But she got this really cute gift from my son and daughter-in-law Devin and Caitlin. It was a tiny tiny silver necklace that had an 8. I just LOVED it! How clever is that? I got her jewelry too; a pearl necklace and earrings. She got lots of cool loot. 

I loved the entire day. Milestone Happy Days are so fun to spend with family. Yes they are. 

Monday, May 11, 2015

Strawberry Pie with Jello Glaze

I made some Strawberry Pie for my daughter and daughter-in-law for a Mother's Day gift today (it's a day late but they won't care.....cuz it is so good it's criminal!  I use Jello for the easy glaze! 

Fresh Strawberry Pie with Jello Glaze...don't ya want a bite? Yes, you do! 

I love fresh strawberries and I had a ton I got from the  market for $3.75 for a 2 pound package! What a deal!!  So I bought 2 of them and made 2 strawberry pies! This recipe is so easy and it was deeeeeeelish.  You make the glaze with jello! It is SOOOOOO easy peasy.  

I'm gonna do some in peach as soon as they are in season.

Peaches from my tree last year were so yummy. It is just now filled with pink flowery blossoms!
Well, not as pretty as this little Peach at her Spring dance recital! 

  Here is Miss Megan being her cute, little, joyful self after the recital. So cute!

I like to make my pie crust with real butter. It just tastes better to me, like a yummy crescent cookie. So try your crust with butter to see if you like it too.

 I used 1 cube butter,
 cut in 1 1/3 cup of flour.
 Add 1/2 teaspoon salt
 3 Tablespoons ice water
(I add ice cubes to the just works better to have COLD water!)

The glaze is easy..just jello mixed with sugar water and cornstarch...
Then I like to whisk it up mold it into a ball and roll it out on a large zip lock baggie. It just makes life easier and I was out of waxed paper. :D  I rolled it out so it was about 1/2 inch bigger all around than the pie tin layed over it.  Then I cut around it.
I rolled it out onto the gallon size could use waxed paper too. 

cuttin' around the upside down tin...1/2 inch bigger for the cute edging...

It's so easy to flip the pie crust into the pan and peel off the baggie...then toss it!

Making the beautiful edging is my fav part. Just pinch between your left thumb and your right thumb and forefinger to make the pointy peaks around your pie crust edge.  Or opposite if you are a lefty.

Don't forget to poke forkholes in the butter pie crust...then bake at 475 for 8-10 minutes.
While the crust was baking I did the glaze and cut off the tops of the strawberries and washed and dried them. The glaze is super easy.

Strawberry Glaze Ingredients and Directions
3/4 cup sugar
1 cup of water
2 tablespoons cornstarch   Mix first 3 ingredients....

Put it in a saucepan on the stove till it is smooth and when it is bubbling....boil  for about 2 minutes. Then take it off the heat.

Add 1 small 3 oz. strawberry jello into the thickening syrup.
 Whisk it for a minute till it is dissolved and then put it in the fridge for 15 minutes to cool.

Boil the syrup for about 2 minutes....It's a little bit thick...

Take it off the stove and toss in the small box of jello....

Then arrange the yummy strawberries with the pointy side up in the cooled pie shell. By the time I had the green tops cut off and them washed and dried, the glaze was cool!  Pour the glaze over the top,  coating each of the top strawberries. Then pop it into the fridge for a 1/2 hour until set.
Here's my glaze before I refrigerated it for 15 minutes....

 It was delicious because the top of the crust was still crunchy cookie tasting. I hate pie crust that is all soggy Ug! So we ate that baby up so fast!!!  It was gone by morning. Yum is all I can say.  But I wish I had made 2 of em.  

Who says you can't have a piece of Fresh Strawberry Pie for breakfast...NOT ME!
I'll be dreaming of this Strawberry Pie  for awhile......mmmmm good!

Monday, May 4, 2015

Blueberry Crumble Muffins

Yesterday I felt like using some of my frozen blueberries I got from Costco last week. And I wanted to make a special treat for the secretaries at work for secretaries day. So I got up and made a yummy sausage and egg and hash brown casserole for us and put that in the oven. Then I mixed up this wonderful Blueberry Crumble Muffin recipe for the secretaries. Well, and us too if I'm being honest.... I've eaten 3 of them already!
-Blueberry Crumble Muffins are my lastest wicked good sweet-treat! 
This recipe was rated really high on All It had over 4000 ratings at an average of 4.7 out of 5 points. So you know it's a keeper. I get lots of compliments on these blueberry muffins when I make them. I add some sour cream and vanilla to mine which will make all your baked goods taste richer. Try these Blueberry Crumble Muffins tonight! Or make them this weekend for Mother's Day and give your mom a sweet surprise!
This is what your Blueberry Crumble Muffins look like before baking. I would add even more of the crumble on top next time. I loved the taste and texture of the baked crumble. 
  • BLUEBERRY CRUMBLE MUFFINS Adapted from To Die For Blueberry Muffins at All
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1/3 cup sour cream
  • 1  cup fresh or frozen  blueberries (I put the batter in each muffin paper, then add about 8 blueberries so batter won't turn blue)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • CRUMBLE TOPPING - mix in a small bowl
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup butter, cubed
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • Combine 1 1/2 cups flour, 3/4 cup sugar, salt and baking powder. Place vegetable oil into a 1 cup measuring cup; add the egg and enough milk to fill the cup. Mix this with flour mixture. Fold in blueberries. Fill muffin cups right to the top, and sprinkle with crumb topping mixture.
  • Mix up crumble. Put a few tablespoons on each muffin top. Bake at 400 for 20 to 25 minutes until just a bit golden on top. Cool and enjoy. Makes 12 regular sized muffins or about 8 large muffins.
    Blueberry Crumble Muffins....These are sinfully delicious. And they are fast and easy to whip up. They go so fast you'll need a double batch if you have a family! Enjoy! 

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Easy French Bread Baguettes

And here they are, hot out of the oven! French Baguettes are light and crispy! 
Awhile back I went to a great cooking class and listened to a master cook and teacher named
"The Food Nanny". She was just delightful and fun to listen to. She had so many food stories I could have listened to for hours.   Here is her book. It is less than $20.00 on Amazon.
ck out her book, she has such a great meal plan to help families eat dinner together and stay close!

  I didn't have my purse with me so I didn't get an autographed copy of it! DARN! But I DID get her to take a picture with me, when I told her I had a food blog. Isn't she cute?

She's a mom and a grandma too! (and she loves being a grandma best!)
She made pizza dough and french baguettes both in under an hour....
Anyway, she gave us all this fantastic recipe for French Baguettes!  It takes literally 5 minutes to make. She showed us this cool baguette pan too. I ran right over after the lunch class and bought one at Spoons and Spice..... my fav cooking gadget store. They are having a huge moving sale, so if you are in the Salt Lake City area check it out at Spoons and Spice.

They had so many french bread pans to choose from and they were surprisingly CHEAP!
My finished french breads.....Don't they look great?  They are crunch on the
outside and soft in the inside...perfect to my taste.....
French Baguette recipe....totally easy and seriously yummy! 
Then I went to work. A half hour later here were my baguettes.  They taste just like a crusty french bread should. And no fat!  She gave us all kinds of tips about meal planning that I thought were fabulous! In a nutshell here is her plan....

Sunday is traditional day...roast beef, chicken, those kinds of things.
Monday is Comfort food...chili, mac and cheese, easy stuff like casseroles....
Tuesday is Italian night....she does all her pastas here...she has tons of varieties....
Wednesday is Meatless night....soups, salads, fish, or breakfast for dinner, waffles, french toast, pancakes, bacon, etc.
Thursday is Mexican Night. Tacos, Enchiladas, mexican casseroles, burritos etc.
Friday is Pizza night and all the kids invite their friends over for her out of this world pizza varieties.
Saturday is Grill night. They do a lot of hamburgers or chicken on the grill.

Doesn't that sound fabulous and fun?  I thought so too.   Gotta give that plan a try. The thing she stressed, that I really liked was how she said it kept her family together while her husband flew planes in the military and later for an airline. He was gone a lot. She was like a single parent. And dinner around the table every night added structure to her day and a bonding with her kids. They still all come back for Pizza night. She has many gourmet types of pizza as you can imagine. Her favorite is arugula, fresh mozzerella, cherry tomatoes and olive oil on thin crust. I'll do that on a later post.
Yeast mixed with warm water and sugar.....let it foam up a bit.....
Then add the flour and salt and mix up with warm water....a little at a time until it is a nice ball....Then knead
for a minute on the counter....
Here are mine kinda kneaded and waiting to be put into the pan....took 5 minutes to make and roll!  
I went over to Spoons and Spice to see if I could find a "Baguette Pan" 
 HERE is a page full of coupons to Spoons and Spice. It's a really fun place to browse around if you are a foodie like me.
Anyway it looks's 2 long u shaped pans for breads....
The food nanny makes this bread and gives it away for people's birthdays and special occasions. What a great gift idea and so quick. Who wouldn't love some hot french bread homemade by you?

Here's the Baguette pan.  It was only $5.99 at Spoons and Spice! Or check these out!
Recipe for French Baguettes... SO EASY!
1/2 Cup Warm Water
1 1/2 Tablespoons Yeast
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
3 1/4 cups flour add a cup at a time
Add up to one cup warm water to get perfect consistency

Mix up first 3 ingredients in a small bowl and let sit for 2 or 3 minutes. (sugar feeds yeast so let it set awhile) Then in a separate bowl add salt and flour and add it to wet mixture, and then add the (up to 1 cup) warm water. Mix and then knead for a minute. Roll out in 2 loaves and lay them on greased baguette pan and let rest for 15 minutes under a towel (it will rise a bit).  Then bake 450 for 15 minutes or until golden colored.   This whole french bread takes about 35 minutes total to make and bake.
So here they are before the 15 minutes rising time.....Both have their own tube to sit in....
And here they are after the 15 minutes rising time....I put a line down the middle of each with
a sharp knife just before popping in the will look just like french bread when it has been baked! 
Wha la!  Ready for a hot 450 degree oven for about 15 it the last  minute or so.....

And here they are, hot out of the oven! French Baguettes are light and crispy! 

Well, they are just plain DEEE-LISH!  That's what they are!  I sent one down to my friend Lauri down the street. Spread the lovin!   
Then Spread some REAL butter and dig in!  mmmm....Yummy! 


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