Friday, April 29, 2011

Mother's Day Cupcakes

     Here is a cute idea for your Mother's Day celebration.Vanilla cupcakes,with vanilla buttercream and a decorated cookie on top! I made the cookies using my vanilla cookie recipe(February puppy pops),but you can use your favorite recipe and decorate as you like!I baked the cookies on craft sticks,but you may place the cookies directly onto your cupcake.So cute!

Vanilla Cupcake Ingredients:
2 sticks unsalted butter,softened
2 c. sugar
4 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. salt
1 c. milk
1-1/2 tsp. baking powder
2-3/4 c. flour
   In the bowl of your mixer,blend together the butter and sugar until fluffy(2-3 minutes).Add the eggs,then the vanilla.Add the salt and baking powder.Add the flour and milk,alternating between the two,beginning and ending with the flour.
   Line a cupcake pan with cupcake liners.Fill each liner with the batter  about 3/4 of the way full.Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes.Let cool,then frost with vanilla buttercream.

 Vanilla Buttercream :
 2 sticks unsalted butter,softened
 1/2 c. milk
 1 tsp. vanilla
 6 c. powdered sugar
   Blend together the butter,milk and vanilla in the bowl of your mixer.Slowly add the powdered sugar.It may need a bit more than 6 cups,just taste and see if you like it.If it is not stiff enough to frost,add 1/2 c. more.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Autism Awareness

  Love the  adorable bin created by Kurlz & Swirlz to raise awareness about autism!So creative! Check out their facebook page and order custom gifts at this site .The lollipops were made by  Hansel & Gretel's One of a Kind Chocolate Favors,check out their great facebook page and their website at  .  
 If you have an extra dollar or two this month,please make a donation to Autism Speaks.It is a great organization that helps give so many a voice.Have a great day!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Corn Fritters with Tomato-Corn Salsa

Okay, in most areas of the country,the fresh corn is not yet available.However,since my camera is not working,and Cinco de Mayo is fast approaching,here is a great salsa idea!I like to make this during the height of corn season ,as there is nothing as wonderful as fresh corn.Do not make this with canned or frozen corn!Keep this in your recipe file for this summer.You will be glad you did!

Corn Salsa:
2 ears of fresh corn
1 medium tomato,seeded and chopped
1 scallion,chopped
1 tbsp. fresh parsley,chopped
1 garlic clove,chopped
1-1/2 tbsp. fresh lime juice
1-1/2 tbsp. canola oil
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
    Cut kernels off corn,and mix with all other ingredients.Let flavors blend and serve with chips or corn fritters.

Corn Fritters:
3 ears of corn
1/4 c. cornmeal
1/4 c. flour
1 egg
1/4 c.buttermilk
3/4 c. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/8 tsp. cayenne
1/4 tsp. vegetable oil for frying
   Cut kernels off  2 ears of corn. Grate the kernels off of the other ear(with a grater) and scrape off the pulp.Place all of the corn,pulp, and all of the other ingredients together in a bowl.
   Heat the oil and drop the batter by 1/4 cupfuls into the oil.Fry 1-2 minutes per side.Serve with the salsa.

Lisa Leonard Necklaces for Mother's Day!

Check out this website for great gift ideas for Mother's Day!Love these necklaces!

Hang in there....

  I am patiently awaiting the arrival of a new camera,so that I can begin posting again.Sorry for the delay!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Onto Mother's Day......

  Whew! I cannot believe Easter is almost over !Now,we need to prepare for Mother's Day!Since it is only a few weeks away,here's an idea for you,so that you can get a jump on your shopping.Delicious breakfast goodies that keep in the freezer,and only need to be taken out the night before you need them.Let them rise over night,then bake in the morning.Any mom would be happy to wake up to these!Available at
Enjoy the rest of your Easter.I will be working on my camera/computer issues,so that I can get back to giving you wonderful recipes and ideas for May!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Cappuccino Bundt Cake

First I must apologize,as I am having difficulties with my computer,which as of today,will not read my camera card!I am hoping to rectify the situation shortly,but in the meantime ,I wanted to share this recipe with you!   I came across this recipe in this month's All You magazine,and had to try it!The smell coming from my oven while it was baking was incredible.The combination of chocolate,cinnamon and espresso powder work perfectly together.A little white chocolate on top,and you have a delicious dessert for any occasion!

2 c. flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1-3/4 c. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 c. vegetable oil
1 stick of butter(unsalted)
2 tbsp. unsweetened cocoa
3 tbsp. instant espresso powder
2 tbsp.  cinnamon
2 eggs
1/2 c. sour cream
1 tsp. vanilla
   In a large bowl,mix together the flour,baking soda, sugar and salt.In another bowl,mix together the eggs,vanilla and sour cream.In a medium saucepan, bring the butter,oil,cocoa,espresso,cinnamon and 1 c. water to a simmer.When the butter is melted,pour the butter mixture into the flour mixture.Mix until combined.Add the sour cream mixture and mix until just combined.
    Pour the batter into a greased and floured bundt pan.Bake for 25-33 minutes.Let cool,then cover with glaze.

Glaze Ingredients:
4 oz. white chocolate
1 tbsp. unsalted butter
1 c. powdered sugar
3 tbsp. milk
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. cocoa
1/4 tsp instant espresso powder
    whisk together the cocoa,cinnamon and espresso powders and set aside.In a double boiler,melt the chocolate & butter.Let cool. Add the powdered sugar and milk.Drizzle over the top of the cake.Sift the cocoa mixture over the top.Let sit until the glaze sets.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Whipped Cream Eclairs

   Not as intimidating as it looks!!!I use the same pastry dough as I did for the cream puff wreath I made in February,add some whipped cream,and a little chocolate on top,and there you have it!
 Pastry Recipe:
1 stick of unsalted butter
1 c. milk
pinch of salt
1 c. flour
4 eggs
   In a saucepan,bring the butter,salt and milk to a simmer,just until the butter melts.Add the flour and stir with a wooden spoon until the dough pulls away from the sides and forms into a ball.Remove from the heat and stir in the eggs,one at a time.Put the batter into a pastry bag with a round tip.Pipe long "sticks" of dough onto a parchment lined baking sheet.Bake at 425 degrees until golden.Remove from the oven and gently prick the bottom of each one to let out the steam.Let cool.

Whipped Cream:
1 half pint of heavy cream
1 tsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla
   Beat all of the ingredients together until stiff peaks form.Use as a filling for the eclairs.Cream can be spooned onto the eclair,or piped through a pastry bag using a star tip,as I have done.

Chocolate Glaze:
1 c. powdered sugar
1 tsp. lemon juice
2 tsp. light corn syrup
1 tsp. cocoa powder
1 tbsp. water
   In a bowl combine the powdered sugar,lemon juice,corn syrup and water.Add the cocoa.If mixture is too thick,add a few more drops of water,until you reach the desired spreading consistency.Be careful not to add too much water at once,or the icing will be too thin.
*** Pastry can be frozen after cooling,making it easier to prepare in advance.
***Eclairs can also be filled with chocolate pudding,vanilla pudding,or even ice-cream!
***Add a little chocolate syrup to your whipped cream for chocolate cream!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Chocolate Egg Cakes

  Here is a recipe for a quick chocolate ganache icing to go over the cake of your choice.I have used my Devil's Food Cake recipe,but feel free to use any chocolate or vanilla cake recipe you like.You can even use a boxed mix in a pinch!All of the cake toppers are available at .I have used an egg shaped pan for my treats,which can be found at, or in most specialty stores at this time of year.Have fun decorating!!!

8 oz. of good semi-sweet chocolate
1/2 c. cream
1 tsp. instant coffee
  In a double boiler,mix all of the ingredients together.Stir over simmering water(the water should never touch the bottom of the bowl or pan that has the chocolate in it),until melted.Dip your cakes into the chocolate and let sit on a baking rack until set.
    This ganache may be used for cakes,cupcakes,or even to dip cookies or fruit.The addition of the instant coffee really brings out the chocolate flavor!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Stonewall Kitchen Giveaway!

Carrot Cake Muffin Mix from @StonewalKitchen, Please RT

A Great Gift!

  Once again,I must share a great find.We all know people who are celebrating anniversaries,are getting married,or have recently had babies.We also often are invited to events that celebrate these special moments,and often are not sure what the perfect gift would be.Well,here it is...unique,beautiful,and most certainly thoughtful.For All Time Clocks makes beautiful keepsake clocks,and offers a variety of sizes and styles.Their customer service is excellent,and after ordering several clocks myself,I have never been disappointed.Check out their website at ,you will be happy you did.If you like them on facebook,you will be privy to new items and sales throughout the year too!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Devil's Food Cupcakes with Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

This is a delicious cupcake with an amazing frosting!I have alway been a fan of the chocolate cake and vanilla frosting,but growing up,it was always Betty Crocker.Love Betty,but in my mind,homemade just always tastes better.Plus,these pretty cupcakes lighten up your springtime table.The cupcake liners,flowers,and Easter picks are all available at .

3 sticks of unsalted butter
2-1/4 c. sugar
4 eggs
1 tbsp. vanilla
3/4 c. cocoa powder
3/4 c. hot water
3 c. flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. kosher salt
1 c. sour cream
  In a bowl,mix together the flour,baking powder,baking soda and salt. In another bowl,whisk together the cocoa powder and water until smooth.
   In a saucepan,melt the butter and sugar.Once melted,pour into the bowl of your mixer,and beat 4-5 minutes.Add the eggs,then the vanilla.Add the cocoa mixture.Add the flour mixture and the sour cream,alternating ,beginning and ending with the flour mixture.

   Line a cupcake pan with cupcake liners.Fill with the chocolate mixture about 3/4 of the way up the liner. Bake at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes.Remove and cool. Frost with Vanilla Buttercream.

Vanilla Buttercream:
2 sticks of butter,softened
1/2 c. milk
1 tsp. vanilla
6-7 c. powdered sugar
    In the bowl of your mixer,blend together the butter and milk.Add the vanilla.Slowly add 6 cups of powdered sugar.Add the extra cup if you would like your icing a bit thicker.

***Add a drop or two of food coloring to give your icing a more festive look.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Coconut Cupcakes

   Here is a favorite recipe of mine from The Barefoot Contessa.Definitely not a low-fat dessert,but definitely worth splurging on for a special occasion.It is perfect for your Easter table!

3 sticks of unsalted butter,softened
2 c, sugar
5 eggs
1-1/2 tsp. vanilla
1-1/2 tsp. almond extract
3 c. flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 c. buttermilk
14 oz. shredded coconut
   In the bowl of your mixer,blend together the butter and sugar.Add the eggs,then the vanilla.
In another bowl,mix together the flour,baking powder,baking soda and salt.Add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture,alternating with the buttermilk,beginning and ending with the dry ingredients.Stir in the coconut.
   Line a muffin pan with cupcake liners and fill each liner to the top.Bake at 325 degrees for 25-35 minutes.Remove from the oven and let cool. Frost with the cream cheese frosting,and decorate with additional coconut or as desired.

Cream Cheese Frosting:
1 pound of cream cheese softened
3 sticks of butter
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. almond extract
1-1/2 pounds of powdered sugar
   Blend together the butter,cream cheese,and extracts.Add the sugar and blend until combined.Frost cooled cupcakes.
***To make colored coconut,just toss some shredded coconut together with a drop or two of food coloring.

Friday, April 15, 2011

More Easter Cookies.....

Just some cute cookies on their way to a school party for two of my sons......just wanted to share.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

The Sweet Adventures of Sugarbelle: Autism Awareness

The Sweet Adventures of Sugarbelle: Autism Awareness: "Did you know that April is Autism Awareness Month? It is a month dedicated to increasing awareness and educating the public about..."

Peanut Butter Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

  How's that for a long name for a cookie?I was playing around in the kitchen today and came up with these,and must say,I really like them!Great flavor,texture,and the don't come out crispy and flat.Another great way to get some oats into your children!

2 sticks unsalted butter,softened
1/2 c. sugar
1-1/4 c. brown sugar
2 tsp. vanilla
2 eggs
2 tbsp. milk
1-3/4 c. flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
2-1/2 c. oats
1 c. chocolate chips
1 c. peanut butter chips
     In the bowl of your mixer,mix together the butter,sugar and brown sugar.Add the eggs and vanilla.Add the milk.
   In another bowl,mix together the flour ,salt and baking soda.Add to the butter mixture.Mix only until combined(overmixing leads to a tough end result). Add the oats and the chips and mix only until combined.
   Roll the batter into balls (about 1 tbsp)and place on a parchment lined baking sheet.Bake at 375 for 7-9 minutes.The cookies should be golden.Remove and cool.Serve warm with a glass of milk for a special treat!

Cookie Crazie: April Blog Give-Away........Easter Minis Boxed Set!

Cookie Crazie: April Blog Give-Away........Easter Minis Boxed Set!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Roasted Vegetable and Orzo Salad

   With Easter on it's way,many of you will be making lamb as your entree.Here is a side dish from Ina Garten that fits the bill perfectly.It can be made a day ahead,making it all the more appealing.It is filled with flavor,and will have your family asking for it over and over again!

1 small eggplant,chopped(about 1 inch)
1 red pepper,chopped
1 yellow pepper,chopped
2 cloves of garlic,minced
1/3 c. good olive oil
1-1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. freshly ground pepper
1/2 lb. orzo
1/3 c. freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/3 c. good olive oil
1 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. pepper

Additions:(optional,but so worth using!)
4 scallions,minced
1/4 c. pine nuts,toasted
3/4 pound good feta cheese,crumbled
basil leaves,chopped
      Preheat oven to 425 degrees.Toss the eggplant,peppers and garlic with the olive oil,salt & pepper.Roast for 30-40 minutes,until browned and tender.
   Cook the orzo in salted,boiling water for 7-9 minutes.Drain and place in a large bowl.Add the vegetables to the pasta,scraping up all of the liquids & seasonings from the roasting pan.
    In a small bowl,combine the dressing ingredients.Pour over the pasta while still warm,and mix well.Add in thescallions,pine nuts,feta and basil.Serve at room temperature.

Another Delivery From Fancy Flours!

     Have I mentioned that Fancy Flours is one of my favorite baking supply sites?I know I have,and it is true...not only do they have wonderful products for all of your baking needs,the customer service cannot be beat!They love what they do,and it shows! Just take a look at the package delivered to my house two days ago!Now this,puts a smile on my face!Thank you Fancy Flours!
    Be sure to check out their new spring line filled with bright colors and loaded with inspiration!Have fun shopping!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Brownie Pie

Here is a quick & easy dessert.....I must apologize for the blur in the picture.My husband & children were grabbing the pie quicker than I could shoot the picture!!!
1/2 c. sugar
2 tbsp. butter
2 tbsp. water
2 eggs
2/3 c. flour
1/4 tsp.baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla
1-1/3 c. good quality semi sweet chocolate
3/4 c. chopped nuts
   In a saucepan,melt the butter along with the water and sugar.Cook over medium heat just until the mixture comes to a boil.Remove from the heat ,and stir in the chocolate.Add the eggs.
   In another bowl,stir together the flour,salt & baking soda.Add to the chocolate mixture.Add the vanilla,then stir in the nuts.

    Pour into a greased pie plate.Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes.Let cool ,then slice and serve with ice-cream and chocolate sauce.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Carrot Squares

    Yes,more carrot cake(it is almost Easter after all),but this recipe is very different because it calls for baby food!Call me crazy,but using pureed carrots,applesauce and apricots(if you are lucky enough to find them),makes this a ridiculously moist cake!Feel free to leave out the walnuts if you just want a moist cake with little texture.Either way,you will be pleasantly surprised by the results!The cute little carrot toppers are available at  .

Cake Ingredients:
3 eggs
2 c. sugar
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. cinnamon
1-1/4 c. canola oil
2 c. flour
1/2 tsp. salt
6 oz. jar of carrot baby food
3-1/2 oz jar of applesauce baby food
3-1/2 oz. jar of apricot baby food(if you cannot find,double the applesauce instead)
1/2 c. chopped walnuts(optional)

Frosting Recipe:
8 oz cream cheese,softened
1/2 c. unsalted butter,softened(1 stick)
1 tsp. vanilla
3-3/4 c. powdered sugar
   In the bowl of your mixer,mix together the cream cheese and butter.Add the vanilla.Slowly add the powdered sugar until it is all incorporated.The icing should be fluffy. Set aside to spread on the cake once the cake is cooled.

   In the bowl of your mixer,mix together the eggs,oil & sugar.Add the cinnamon,baking soda,baking powder and salt.Add the baby food purees and mix well.Add the flour and mix just until combined.Stir in the walnuts.Pour the mixture into a greased 15x10x1 square baking pan(or any size close to that ),and bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes.Remove from the oven and let cool.Once cooled,frost with the cream cheese frosting.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Easter Cookies

Just wanted to share a picture of some cute cookies we made in our house today.Spring is in the air!!

Pasta Pie

I found this recipe when I was first married,and have been making it ever since.It is a great addition to any meal,filled with veggies and surrounded with a parmesan/pasta crust.Warning:this is not for those who are counting calories!Yum!
Pasta Crust Ingredients:
4 oz. angel hair pasta cooked and still warm
1 egg
1/3 c. parmiggiano reggiano,grated
1 tbsp. butter
  In a bowl, mix the hot pasta together with all of the other ingredients.Pour into a lightly greased pie plate.Using a spoon,push the pasta mixture up the sides of the plate and along the bottom.Set aside.

Vegetable Filling:
2 c. broccoli,chopped
1 pepper,chopped(any color)
1 medium onion.sliced
2 tbsp. butter
2 c. chopped chicken(optional)
1/4 c. parmiggiano reggiano
3/4 tsp. italian seasoning
1/4 tsp. salt
   In a saute pan,melt the butter.Saute the onion,broccoli,and pepper until tender but crisp.Add the parmesan,seasoning,chicken(if using)and salt.Pour the mixture into the center of the pasta crust.

2 beaten eggs
1/2 c. cream
2 tbsp. parmiggiano reggiano

  Pour the topping over the pie.Bake,covered, at 350 degrees for 25 minutes.Uncover and sprinkle with additional parmesan if desired.Bake for an additional 10-15 minutes.Topping should be golden.Let sit for 10 minutes,then sice and serve.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Oatmeal Lace Cookies

   Here is an old favorite,with a twist.These cookies can just be left flat,or rolled when they are slightly warm into a cannoli shape,and filled with whipped cream,or chocolate whipped cream.They can even be dipped into melted chocolate!Whatever you choose,they are a special treat.
1/3 c.of butter,melted
1/2 c. flour
1/4 tsp. baking powder
2 tbsp. cream
1 tsp. vanilla
2 tbsp. light corn syrup
1/2 c. sugar
1/2 c. oats
   Mix togeher the flour,sugar,baking powder,and oats.Add the vanilla,corn syrup,and butter.
   On a parchment lined cookie sheet,place 1 level tbsp. of the batter on the sheet.Do this two more times.Flatten slightly,and bake at 375 degrees for 5-7 minutes.Remove from the oven.Cool slightly,loosen the cookie from the sheet and quickly wrap around the handle of a wooden spoon.Let cool.Fill with flavored cream if desired.
   If you choose to just make the flat,round type,then only use  a little less than a 1/2 tsp. of batter per cookie.Bake and let cool.The eat as is,or dip into melted chocolate and let set.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Blackberry Sauce

   This is basically the same as the raspberry sauce,except this recipe uses lemons,rather than oranges.
1 pint blackberries
1/4 c. sugar(you may add more if the berries aren't super-sweet)
2 tbsp. lemon juice
2 tbsp. cornstarch
1 c. water
  In a saucepan,combine the blackberries,sugar and lemon juice.In another bowl,combine the cornstarch & water.Add the cornstarch mixture to the blackberry mixture.Bring to a boil.Reduce heat and let simmer for 5 minutes.Puree the mixture in a blender or food processor.Strain through a sieve.
  This sauce keeps up to two weeks in the refrigerator.It is great spooned over ice-cream ,yogurt,or pound cake.

Raspberry Sauce

  Here is an easy,quick way to make a delicious raspberry dessert sauce.This sauce can be poured over ice-cream,pound cake,angel food cake,or mixed into ice-cream sodas.
1 pint of raspberries
1/4 c. sugar
2 tbsp. fresh orange juice
2 tbsp. cornstarch
1 c. water
   In a saucepan,bring the raspberries,sugar,and orange juice to a simmer.In another bowl,mix together the water & cornstarch.Add the cornstarch mixture to the raspberry mixture.Bring to a boil.Lower the heat,and let simmer for 5 minutes.Puree the mixture in a blender or food processor.Starin through a sieve and it is ready to use.This sauce keeps in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.

Push-Up Treats

   Today's post is all about fun treats!I found these cute little push-up containers on the Etsy website and fell in love!I also love that they come with cute little tops,and are washable by hand,so they can be used over and over again!The dessert possibilities for these are endless,and so much fun!You can use fruit,jello,pudding,fruit,ice-cream,pound cake,brownies,and the list goes on!They are great for holidays,kids' parties,classroom parties,etc.Kids and adults will love them,and of course,the presentation is sure to bring smiles to your table! The containers can be found  at .Check it out!Also check out her blog,it is filled with great ideas .Have fun!
    ****How do you store them?They fit right throught the grates in your freezer!Easy!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Pasta with Zucchini

Here is a simple ,healthy pasta dish,loaded with flavor. I have used fusilli,but any type of pasta is fine.Use whatever you have in your pantry.

3 cloves of garlic,minced
1/4 c. green onion,chopped
2 medium zucchini,sliced
1 lb. pasta of your choice
1/2 c.grated  parmigiano reggiano
3 tbsp. olive oil
salt & pepper to taste
   Bring a stockpot filled with water to a boil.Add your pasta,and cook until it is al dente(slightly firm,not soft.Drain,and set aside for a few minutes.
   In a saute pan,pour 3 tbsp. of olive oil.Add the zucchini and green onion.Season with salt & pepper.Saute until the zucchini is tender.Add the garlic and saute about 1-2 minutes more.Be careful not to burn the garlic.Add the pasta and the parmesan.Toss together .Serve warm,with additional paremesan if desired.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Maple Walnut Muffins

   A delicious muffin,with great flavor & texture!A wonderful addition to your morning menu!The beautiful,vibrant cupcake liners arepart of the new spring "Peeps" line available at

6 tbsp. unsalted butter,melted
1/4 c. sugar
1/2 c. sour cream
1 egg
1/2 tsp. vanilla
2 tbsp. maple syrup
1/4 c. chopped walnuts
1 tsp. baking powder
1 c. flour
  In a large bowl,combine the butter,sour cream,egg,vanilla and maple syrup.Add the baking powder & flour,and mix just until combined.Add the walnuts.Do not overmix.
   Line a cupcake tin with cupcake liners and fill each liner almost to the top,as these do not rise too much.Bake at 400 degrees for 12-15 minutes,they should be golden on top.Serve warm or at room temperature.
   Makes 8 muffins.