Thursday, March 21, 2013

Neopolitan cupcakes

I made this from this site:
There wasn't really a set recipe, but it is basically brownie mix and strawberry box cake cooked on top of each other. Go to the website and see how it is made!

Homemade Sparkling Apple Juice

  • 2 cans apple juice concentrate (thawed) (We splurged and bought the Wal-mart Great Value brand!)
  • 1 (2 liter) bottle club soda (Again, we decided to pull out all the stops and bought the exclusive Kroger Store Brand)
  • Mix.

Cream Cheese Frosting

In a medium bowl, cream together the cream cheese and butter until creamy. Mix in the vanilla, then gradually stir in the confectioners' sugar. Store in the refrigerator after use.

Tomato, Basil, and Cheddar Soup

Makes 6 servings
  • 2 28-oz. cans of diced tomatoes
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 2 cups of vegetable broth
  • 1 cup of plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 cup cheddar cheese, grated
  • 1/2 cup basil, chopped, loosely packed
  • 2 tsp of oregano
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • salt and pepper to taste
Directions:  Over medium heat, add the olive oil to a large pot. Add the chopped onion and allow to cook until tender, about three to four minutes. Add in chopped garlic and cook for an additional two minutes. Pour in the two cans of tomatoes (juice and all) and the vegetable stock. Stir in the basil, oregano, sugar, and salt and pepper. Place the lid back onto the pot and allow to simmer ten minutes. At the end, stir in the Greek yogurt and cheddar cheese until well blended. Use either an immersion blender or food processor to puree the soup if you prefer a smooth texture. Garnish with chopped basil and grated cheddar cheese if desired.

Cake Batter Trifles

Recipe from here

No-Bake Cake Batter Truffles


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    1. Beat together butter and sugar using an electric mixer until combined. Blend in vanilla. Add cake mix, flour, salt, and vanilla and mix thoroughly. Add 3 Tablespoons of milk or more if needed to make a dough consistency. Mix in sprinkles by hand. Roll dough into one inch balls and place on a parchment or wax paper lined cookie sheet. Chill balls in the refrigerator for 15 minutes to firm up.
    2. While dough balls are chilling, melt almond bark in the microwave in 30 second intervals until melted. Stir between intervals. Once melted, quickly stir in cake mix until incorporated completely. Using a fork, dip truffles into almond bark and shake of excess bark by tapping the bottom of the fork on the side of your bowl. Place truffle back on the cookie sheet and top with sprinkles. Repeat with remaining balls until finished. {Note: for smoother looking truffles, don't add cake mix to melted chocolate, just leave it by itself}
    3. Chill cake batter truffles in the refrigerator until serving. Makes around 24-30 truffles.

    Parmesan & Spinach Orzo


    Serves 4

    2 and 1/2 cups whole wheat orzo
    2 Tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
    2 green onions, chopped
    1 clove garlic, minced
    salt and pepper to taste
    2 tsp. flour
    1 cup milk (I used skim!)
    2/3 cups spinach, chopped
    1/2 cup parmesan cheese, shredded, plus extra for garnish

    1. Cook orzo according to package directions. Set aside.
    2. Heat olive oil in a medium-sized pot over medium heat. Add onions, garlic, salt and pepper and saute for 1 minute or until onions are translucent. Add flour to form a roux and cook for an additional minute.
    3. Add about 1/4 cup of the milk to the pot and whisk to work out any lumps from the roux. When lumps are worked out, add the remaining milk and whisk to combine. Bring to a simmer and cook until sauce has thickened, about 8 minutes.
    4. Add chopped spinach to sauce and cook an additional 2 minutes or until spinach has cooked down. Remove sauce from heat.
    5. Stir parmesan cheese into sauce. When cheese has melted, add cooked orzo to sauce and toss to coat. Garnish with extra parmesan cheese and serve immediately.

    Quinoa Salad with Black Beans, Avocado and Cumin-Lime Dressing

    serves 4-6
    • 1 cup dry quinoa, rinsed
    • 1 tbsp olive oil or coconut oil
    • 1 3/4 cup water
    • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
    • 1 avocado, chopped into chunks
    • handful cherry tomatoes, quartered
    • 1/2 red onion, diced
    • 1 small clove garlic, minced
    • 1 red bell pepper, chopped into chunks
    • small handful cilantro, diced
    • 1 limes, juiced
    • 1/2 tsp cumin
    • 1/2 tbsp olive oil
    • salt, to taste
    1. Warm the olive/coconut oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Once it’s hot add the rinsed quinoa and toast for about 2-3 minutes until it starts smelling nutty and lovely. Add water, stir once, cover, and simmer with a lid on for 20 minutes.
    2. While the quinoa is cooking, prepare all other ingredients. Prepare the dressing by combining the lime juice, oil, cumin, and salt. Whisk it aggressively. Adjust seasoning as necessary.
    3. When the quinoa has finished cooking, remove it from heat and fluff with a fork. Add black beans and toss to warm them through.
    4. Let the quinoa cool for about five minutes and then add all the remaining ingredients, including the dressing, and mix. Adjust seasoning if necessary. Serve with tortilla chips.


    Units: US | Metric
    Curry Sauce
    2 teaspoons chili oil
    1/4 cup onion
    2 tablespoons minced garlic cloves
    2 teaspoons ginger
    1 cup chicken broth
    1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
    1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
    1/2 teaspoon paprika
    1/4 teaspoon salt
    1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
    1/4 teaspoon ground mace
    1/4 teaspoon turmeric
    3 cups coconut milk
    2 medium carrots, julienned
    1 small zucchini, julienned
    1/2 cup frozen peas
    Peanut Sauce
    1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
    2 tablespoons water
    4 teaspoons sugar
    1 tablespoon soy sauce
    1 teaspoon rice vinegar
    1 teaspoon lime juice
    1/2 teaspoon chili oil
    2 chicken breast fillets
    16 large raw shrimp, shelled
    1/4 cup cornstarch
    1/2 cup vegetable oil
    4 cups cooked white rice
    1 1/2 cups flaked coconut
    1/2 teaspoon dried parsley, crumbled
    2 tablespoons peanuts
    2 green onions, julienned

    Make the curry sauce by heating the chili oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. When the oil is hot add the onion, garlic, and ginger. Sauté for about about 30 seconds then add the chicken broth. Add the spices (cumin, coriander, paprika, salt, black pepper, and turmeric) and stir well. Simmer for 5 minutes then add the coconut milk. Bring mixture back up to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes or until sauce begins to thicken. Add the julienned carrots and zucchini, and the frozen peas. Simmer mixture for 10 minutes or until carrots become tender.
    Make peanut sauce by combining peanut butter, water, sugar, soy sauce, rice vinegar, lime juice, and chili oil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Heat just until mixture begins to bubble, then cover the pan and remove it from the heat.
    Toast the flaked coconut by preheating your oven to 300 degrees. Spread coconut on a baking sheet and toast it in the oven. Stir the coconut around every 10 minutes or so that it browns evenly, but watch it closely in the last 5 minutes so it doesn't get too dark. After 25 to 30 minutes the coconut should be light brown. Take it out of the oven and let it cool.
    Cut the chicken breasts into bite-size pieces. Coat the chicken and shrimp with corn starch. Heat the vegetable oil in a wok or large skillet over medium heat. Add the coated chicken to the pan and sauté it for a couple minutes, turning as it cooks. Add the shrimp to the pan. Cook the shrimp and chicken for a couple minutes, until it's done, then remove everything to a rack or towel to drain.
    Build the two plates (or you can divide the meal into four portions) by filling a soup bowl with 2 cups of white rice. Press down on the rice. Invert the bowl onto the center of a plate, tap it a bit, then lift off the bowl leaving a formed pile of rice in the center of each plate. Arrange an equal portion of chicken and shrimp around the rice. Spoon the curry sauce and vegetables over the chicken and shrimp, being careful not to get any sauce on top of the rice.
    Drizzle peanut sauce over the dish concentrating most of it on the rice. Sprinkle 1/2 teaspoon of crumbled, dried parsley over the center of the rice. Add a tablespoon of chopped peanuts on the parsley, then place a pile of julienned green onions on top. Sprinkle 1/2 cup to 3/4 cup of toasted coconut over the chicken and shrimp and serve it up.

    Thin Mint Oreo Ice Cream Cake
    makes a 9 inch pie pan (double for a 9x13 pan)

    20 Mint Oreos, crushed
    2 T. butter, melted
    4 cups mint ice cream (mint cookie, mint chocolate chip, whatever you prefer), softened
    1 cup Cool Whip + the rest of the container, softened
    10 Thin Mints, crushed OR 10 more Mint Oreos, crushed

    In a bowl, stir together the crushed Oreos and melted butter.  Press into the bottom of a 9-inch pie pan to form a crust.  Freeze for an hour.

    In a large bowl, stir together the mint ice cream and the 1 cup of Cool Whip.  Pour into the pie pan over the now-frozen crust.  Freeze for about 20 minutes.

    Sprinkle the top of the ice cream with the crushed Thin Mints (or extra Oreos).  Kind of press them into the top.  Spread with the rest of the Cool Whip.  Freeze for at least 2 more hours before serving.

    Skinny Baked Mozzarella Sticks

    Servings: 12 • Serving Size: 2 pieces • Old Points: 1 pts • Points+: 2 pts*
    Calories: 86.8* • Fat: 4.8 g • Protein: 7.4 g • Carb: 3.5 g • Fiber: 0.2 g • Sugar: 0.2
    Sodium: 168.6 


    • 12 sticks part-skim, reduced sodium mozzarella string cheese (Sargento)
    • 1 large egg, beaten
    • 2 tbsp flour
    • 5 tbsp Italian seasoned breadcrumbs
    • 5 tbsp panko crumbs
    • 2 tsp parmesan cheese
    • 1 tbsp dried parsley
    • olive oil cooking spray (I used my misto)


    Cut cheese in half to give you 24 pieces. Place cheese in the freezer until cheese is frozen.

    In small bowl, whisk the egg. Place the flour on another small dish. In separate bowl,combine bread crumbs, panko, parmesan cheese and dried parsley.

    Dip the frozen sticks in flour, shaking off excess, then into the egg, then coat with the crumbs.

    Repeat this process with the remaining cheese placing them on a tray with wax paper. Place cheese back into the freezer until ready to bake (this is a must or they will melt before the crumbs get golden).

    When ready to bake preheat oven to 400° F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and lightly spray with oil.

    Place frozen cheese sticks on baking sheet. Spray the tops of the mozzarella sticks with a little more oil and bake in the bottom third of your oven until crisp, about 4 to 5 minutes. Turn and bake an additional 4 - 5 minutes watching them closely so they don't melt.

    Makes 24 pieces.

    * There will be extra crumbs and flour after breading, I've deducted them from the nutritional info.