Friday, June 27, 2014

DIY 4th of July centerpiece


I found this cute thing on Pintrest. I tell you, people are just so creative. They are using rice to create this wonderful centerpiece for your 4th of July party.



Directions to make it:

  1. Separate rice into desired amounts per layer. We used 2 cups of rice for each color.
  2. Squirt food color into rice, you might need to use the back of the spoon to evenly distribute the food color throughout the rice. We used several drops to achieve a deep color, use more or less for the desired depth of color. Be sure to use metal or glass bowls and spoons as food color can stain some plastics.
  3. Spread each color on baking sheets to dry (could take about 15-30 minutes depending on humidity).
  4. Layer in jars for desired pattern and order of colors.
  5. Gently settle a votive or small pillar candle in the middle of the rice.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Watermelon sticks

What a clever way to cut and serve watermelon! Love it!

Watermelon sticks, perfect for little hands.  A finger food perfect for picnics or potlucks #Watermelon, #KitchenTips, #Summer, #Food, #CleanEating, #DIY

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Bruschetta

 

Hello there my friends! In case you haven't noticed we are in the midst of tomato season! Yay! Makes me happy because I'm the biggest tomato fan ever! A slice of toasted sourdough bread with butter and a slice of home grown tomato and I am a happy camper! I have made this bruschetta several times and it was a hit with my family every single time. Enjoy!
 
 

 

Ingredients

  • 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 5 cloves Garlic, Finely Minced
  • 1 pint Red Grape Tomatoes, Halved Lengthwise
  • 1 pint Yellow Grape Tomatoes, Halved Lengthwise
  • 1 Tablespoon Balsamic Vinegar
  • 16 whole Basil Leaves (chiffonade)
  • Salt And Pepper To Taste (don't Oversalt!)
  • 1 whole Baguette
  • 8 Tablespoons Butter

 

In a small skillet, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add garlic and stir, lightly frying for about a minute, removing before the garlic gets too brown (it can be golden.) Pour into a mixing bowl and allow to cool slightly.
Add tomatoes, balsamic, basil, and salt and pepper to the bowl. Toss to combine, then taste and add more basil if needed, and more salt if needed (don't oversalt, though!) Cover and refrigerate for an hour or two if you have the time.
Cut the baguette into diagonal slices to allow for the most surface area possible. Melt half the butter in a large skillet and grill half the bread on both sides, making sure they're nice and buttery. Cook till golden brown on both sides. Repeat with the other half of the butter and the other half of the bread.
To serve, give the tomato mixture a final stir, the spoon generously over the slices of bread. Serve on a big platter as a first course or appetizer.

You can find step by step directions at Pioneer Woman's website. Enjoy this finger licking goodness!

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Tres Leches Cake

As I sat down to write about this recipe I wanted to come up with a perfect description of this cake. Simple and yet so satisfying is what came to my mind. You don't have any complex flavors here, just a light white cake that is very moist and delicious. Yes, the whipping cream on top does help it as well. But then do you know of any dessert that is not good with whipped cream on??!





Recipe by Ree Drummer, Pioneer Woman

Ingredients:
  • Cake:
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 5 large eggs, separated
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
Tres Leches Mixture:
  • 1/4 cup whipping cream
  • One 14-ounce can condensed milk
  • One 12-ounce can evaporated milk
  • Icing:
  • 1 pint heavy cream, for whipping
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • Maraschino cherries, to decorate if desired
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 9- by 13-inch cake pan.
Sift the flour, baking powder and salt into a large bowl.

Separate the eggs. Beat the egg yolks with 3/4 cup of the sugar on high speed until the yolks are pale yellow. Stir in the milk and vanilla. Pour the egg yolk mixture over the flour mixture and stir very gently until combined.

Beat the egg whites on high speed until soft peaks form. With the mixer on, pour in the remaining 1/4 cup sugar and beat until the egg whites are stiff but not dry. Fold the egg white mixture into the batter very gently until just combined. Spoon into the prepared pan and spread to even out the surface.

Bake until the cake is done, 35 to 40 minutes. Allow to cool in the pan, and then turn out (upside down) onto a rimmed platter.

Combine the heavy cream, evaporated milk and condensed milk in a small pitcher. Pierce the surface of the cake with a fork several times. Drizzle the milk mixture over the top and allow the cake to sit and absorb the milk mixture. Don't worry about totally soaking the cake! That's what you want.

Whip the cream with the sugar. Spread it evenly over the top and sides of the soaked cake and decorate with maraschino cherries if desired.
Refrigerate until ready to serve. Several hours is fine. The cooler the cake, the better!

Monday, June 16, 2014

Green, Yellow and Red Bell Peppers - What is the difference?


You may be surprised to know that the various colored Bell Peppers all come from the same plant, but differ in their level of maturity.



 

Green bell peppers are harvested before they are fully ripe and that is why they are less expensive than other varieties. Green bell peppers will continue to first turn yellow and then red if they are left on the plant to mature. They have a slightly bitter flavor and will never have the sweet taste of their red, yellow and orange counterparts.


 

Orange and yellow bell peppers are more mature than green bell peppers and they have a  fruity taste to them.  





Red bell peppers are  more mature than green, orange or yellow bell peppers. They are rich in carotenoid phytonutrients and contain almost eleven times more beta-carotene than green bell peppers as well as one and a half times more vitamin C. Red Bell Peppers have a sweet, almost fruity taste. Pimento and paprika are both prepared from red bell peppers.


Lets compare!!


NutrientGreenRedYellow
Vitamin A12% DV105% DV3.6% DV
Vitamin C137% DV292% DV282% DV
Beta Carotene340 mcg841 mcg110 mcg

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Cold - brewed Iced Coffee

Lately I have been really into Pioneer Woman show on Food Network. Of course it's a cooking show (shocker!) and I love her and her recipes. She is so down to earth, always smiles and lives on a ranch. Seriously, how can you not be smiling when you live on a ranch?!?!

When I was going thru her mouth watering recipes I came across a recipe for iced coffee. My first reaction was "Really??? Do you REALLY need a recipe for iced coffee?!?!". In my book iced coffee was simply left over, gross coffee you collect from the coffee pot after you are done with your daily coffee dose. You pour it into a glass and put it into the fridge just because you are too darn cheap to throw it out. Well, apparently that's not the right way to make this delicious beverage.  According to Ree cold-brew is the way to go while preparing ice-coffee.  Yes, you hear it right. COLD-BREW is the answer to your prayer if you are looking for smooth and less acidic drink.




If you think making coffee always involves heating the water, it's not true at all!  Cold-brewed coffee is simple to make and makes a smooth, delicious brew which is up to 67% less acidic. During the process time replaces heat. The results are a coffee concentrate that can be diluted with water, milk, ice or used straight to make an espresso. You can keep the cold brewed coffee in the refrigerator for up to two weeks. HERE is the recipe so enjoy it!






Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Dog Shaming

Why do I love dogs so much?!?!? O yeah, that's why!