Saturday, October 10, 2009


Adorable right! What kid wouldn't want to GOBBLE this right up! Heck... I want to gobble it up! Nice fun and healthy snack for kids.


Stick Pretzels, broke in half
Peanut Butter
Mini Chocolate Chips
Red Gummy Bear, cut in half

Peel banana and slice. Push a half stick of pretzel into each side of the banana. Smear a small amount of peanut butter onto the banana and stick another banana onto it. Continue until the entire banana has pretzels and peanut butter on them to form the body of the cater- I mean Banana-pillar. After the body is ready, take two mini chocolate chips and using a small amount of peanut butter, stick them on for the eyes. Then using half of the gummy bear, stick that on as the mouth/tongue! Ta DAH!

Serve it to the kids and watch their eyes widen in amazement. You can also try to serve it on a lettuce leaf (you know as if the little guy was sitting on a leaf) and maybe if you are lucky the kids will be so excited about eating the adorable banana-pillar, they will eat the lettuce leaf too!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Macaroni & Fruit Chicken Salad

Macaroni & Fruit Chicken Salad

16 oz noodles, any variety (I chose the bowtie pasta)
2 large boneless chicken breasts
salt, pepper, minced garlic, dried onions
Grapes, cut in half
Celery, chopped
Apples, diced
Green Onions, chopped
1 part Fat Free Plain Vanilla Yogurt
1 part Mayonnaise
Salt, pepper and celery salt to taste

Cook 16 oz noodles according to directions on package. Use two different noodles for variety. Rinse noodles with cool water.

In another pot cover chicken breasts with hot water and add seasonings, salt, pepper, minced garlic & dried onions. Remove chicken from broth and cut into pieces. Allow chicken to cool.

While noodles and chicken are cooling cut up fruits and vegetables.

Put all ingredients into a large bowl and add the yogurt and mayonnaise. Stir until coated well. Add the seasonings to taste. Chill in refrigerator for a few hours prior to serving. If made a day in advance, right before serving add some extra yogurt to freshen up the salad.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Chili Mac Pasta

{{Chili Mac Pasta}}

(printer friendly version... click here)

1 pound sirloin or round steak, cut into strips
1/2 large onion, diced
1 15 ounce can tomato sauce
1 15 ounce can diced tomatoes
1-2 Tablespoons Chili Powder
16 ounces pasta, cooked to the directions on the box (Here I used jumbo shells, but you can use macaroni, or bowtie, or whatever you have on hand).

Brown the beef in a pan, add onions and saute together. Add tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, rinse the cans with water and add the water to the pan. Stir in chili powder. Cover and allow meat to cook for 30 minutes to 3-4 hours, depending upon how much time you have. Meat will become very tender. Add cooked pasta to the sauce and stir together. For a variation: add some canned corn into the soup. Serve with grated cheddar cheese. Mmmm... Yummy!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Beef & Noodle Stir Fry

1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
1/2 cup sliced onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 lb. boneless beef sirloin, sliced
3 cups water
2 packages (3 ounces) Beef or Oriental-flavor ramen noodle soup mix
1 bag (16 ounces) California frozen vegetables or stir-fry veggies

Heat a 12 inch skillet over medium high heat with olive oil. Add the onion and garlic. Saute for a few minutes. Add sliced meat to the skillet and cook 3 to 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until brown. When cooked, pull meat out of the skillet and set aside.

In the same skillet, heat water to boiling. Add noodles from the ramen soup and one packet of seasoning. Mix into water and let boil until noodles are slightly softened. Stir in vegetables. Heat to boiling and then boil for about 4 to 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are heated through and tender. Remove excess water and add the meat back into the skillet with the last seasoning packet. Fry the noodles, vegetables, and meat for few minutes, heat through and then serve.

Quick and easy! The kids loved it.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Zucchini MexiCali

{{Zucchini MexiCali}}

(printer friendly version)

1 lb ground beef or ground turkey (optional... can make this with only veggies and no meat)
salt and pepper, to season the meat while cooking

1-2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, diced
1 cup chopped celery
1 cup grated carrots
1/2 cup chopped green peppers
4 cups grated zucchini
salt and pepper

2/3 cup salsa
1 t. prepared yellow mustard
1/2 t. dried basil

1-2 cups grated cheddar cheese
tortilla chips, tortillas, lettuce leaves, etc.

First brown the meat and season it with some salt and pepper. Put the cooked meat aside and let any fat drain off.

Add oil into frying pan and let heat up on medium high heat. Add onions, celery, carrots, and green peppers. Let these cook for a few minutes until they start to get tender. Add grated zucchini and season vegetables with some salt and pepper. Continue cooking the vegetables until they are soft and tender.

Add the salsa, mustard, and dried basil into the saucepan and mix together. Add the browned meat and heat through. Top with cheese and serve with chips on the side, or put the zucchini on top, add melted cheese for nachos. Two other ideas for serving include rolling the mixture up in a tortilla like a taco, or rolled in a lettuce leaf for a lettuce wrap. So many possibilities with only one little recipe.

Serve with chips on the side....
Serve as nachos...

Wrap up in a lettuce leaf and enjoy!

Chocolate Zucchini Bread

Chocolate Zucchini Bread

3 cups all-purpose flour (can use 1 c. wheat flour)

1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

2 cups white sugar

3 eggs

1 cup vegetable oil (can use 1/2 oil and 1/2 applesauce)

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

2 cups shredded zucchini

1 cup chocolate chips (or more)

3/4 cup chopped nuts, pecans or walnuts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease two 9x5 inch loaf pans.

In large bowl, combine flour, cocoa, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder and salt, mix well. In separate bowl, combine sugar and eggs, beat until well blended. Add oil and vanilla; beat until combined. Stir in zucchini. Add flour mixture; stir just until moistened. Stir in chocolate chips and nuts. Spoon evenly into loaf pans.

Bake in preheated oven for 55 to 60 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans for 10 minutes. Remove bread from pans; cool completely on wire rack.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

A bit of England...

30 minutes Shepherds Pie

2 pounds potaotes, such as russet, peeled and cubed

2 T. sour cream, or softened cream cheese

1 large egg yolk

1/2 cup cream or chicken broth

salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 T. extra virgin olive oil

1 3/4 pounds ground beef or ground lamb

1 carrot, peeled and chopped

1 onion, chopped

2 T. butter

2 T. all purpose flour

1 cup beef stock or broth

2 t. Worcestershire sauce

1/2 cup frozen peas

1 t. sweet paprika

2 T. chopped fresh parsley leaves

Boil potatoes in salted water until tender, about 12 minutes. Drain potatoes and pour them into a bowl. Combine sour cream, egg yolk and cream. Add the cream mixture into potatoes and mash until potatoes are almost smooth.

While potatoes boil, preheat a large skillet over medium high heat. Add oil to hot pan with beef or lamb. Season meat with salt and pepper. Brown and crumble meat for 3 or 4 minutes. If you are using lamb and the pan is fatty, spoon away some of the drippings. Add chopped carrot and onion to the meat. Cook veggies with meat 5 minutes, stirring frequently. In a second small skillet over medium heat cook butter and flour together 2 minutes. Whisk in broth and Worcestershire sauce. Thicken gravy 1 minute. Add gravy to meat and vegetables. Stir in peas.

Preheat broiler to high. Fill a small rectangular casserole with meat and vegetable mixture. Spoon potatoes over meat evenly. Top potatoes with paprika and broil 6 to 8 inches from the heat until potatoes are evenly browned. Top casserole dish with chopped parsley and serve.

Raspberry Fool

1 pound raspberries

2 T. Butter

white sugar

1 pint heavy cream

Rinse and drain the raspberries and place them in a pan with butter. Cook over low heat for about five minutes, then mash them slightly with the back of the spoon, finally add sugar to taste. Set raspberries aside (or in a freezer for a few minutes) and allow them to cool. In a large bowl with an electric mixer, whip the cream until soft peaks form. Fold the raspberries into the cream. Allow to chill before serving. Serve with scones.

Scone Recipe

Typical English scones are light and flaky but not sweet. They are perfectly designed to accompany cream and jam.

Basic Scone Recipe:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons butter
1 egg, beaten
3/4 cup milk (approx.)

Mix the dry ingredients together in a medium bowl. Cut in the butter until the mixture resembles course crumbs. Stir in the egg. (If you are using one of the variations below, this is a good point to add nuts, dried fruit, chocolate chips, cheese, etc.)

Gradually add the milk until a thick dough is formed. (It may take more or less than 3/4 cup.)

Turn out the mixture onto a floured board and knead lightly. Roll out the dough to 3/4" thickness and cut into rounds with a 2" cookie cutter. Gather the trimmings and lightly knead, roll, and cut them as well.

Place the rounds about 1" apart on a lightly greased baking sheet. Brush the tops with a little beaten egg or milk. Bake in a preheated 450° oven for about 10 to 15 minutes, until golden brown. Serve warm.

Makes 12 to 16 scones, depending on the recipe version used.

Variations of the Basic Scone Recipe:

  • Spiced Scones: Add enough cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and allspice to the dry ingredients to total 1/2 teaspoon.
  • Raisin Wheat Scones: Our favorite. Substitute white flour with whole wheat pastry flour or half and half white and wheat. Use brown sugar instead of white and plain yogurt instead of whole milk.
  • Buttermilk Scones: Substitute buttermilk for whole milk and add 1 tablespoon sugar to the basic recipe.
  • Walnut Scones: Add 3/4 cup finely chopped walnuts.
  • Cheddar Scones: Add 1 cup grated Cheddar cheese and 1/8 teaspoon dry mustard.
  • Dried Fruit Scones: Add 1/2 cup raisins, currants, cranberries, or chopped dried apricots.
  • Chocolate Chip Scones: Add 1/2 cup white or dark chocolate chips and 1 teaspoon vanilla to the basic recipe.
  • Lemon Scones: Add the juice and zest of 1 lemon and 1 tablespoon sugar to the basic scone recipe.

Simply Scrappin' Cards

Here are some easy cards that you can make using a Stampin' Up Simply Scrappin' kit. The kit is usually used for scrapbooking. The kits comes with cardstock, patterned papers, die cut stickers and images. Instead of making a scrapbook page from the kit you can make cards, lots of cards. Add some ribbons, brads or other embellishments and you have beautiful cards that are easy, quick and simple.

Saturday, September 5, 2009


Here are some aprons that I embroidered to give as gifts... Just an idea of different sayings to put on an apron. Making the saying match the personality of the recipient makes it more fun!

Thursday, September 3, 2009


Here is a metal sign made by my brother Wayne... Bishop Built. It has nails welded onto the letters so it can easily be installed onto a wall or wherever you want to put it. You have the option of pushing it all the way to the wall so it is flush.... or like we did here and leaving it raised off of the wall for a 3-D effect. We installed it over the door of my pantry... INDULGE... perfect fit eh?

Wednesday, September 2, 2009


I was given some dehydrators a few months ago and I have been dehydrating lots of stuff since. Here is a picture of the dehydrator that I have. You can pretty much dry anything. Some of my favorite stuff to dry has been the fruits (strawberries, bananas, pineapple, apples) and jerky. They turn out soooo yummy and the kids like them too. A good alternative to fruit snacks.

Here is what I did...

1- First wash the fruit and then slice it into about 1/4 inch slices.
2- Lightly spray the trays with PAM non-stick cooking spray. This helps during the removal process after the fruit has dried.
3- Layer the fruit on the tray in a single layer. Each dehydrator came with 5 trays.
4- Once all of the fruit is on the trays you can turn it on. It takes several hours for the fruit to dry. I've noticed there is not a specific time that can be followed. It depends on the fruit and how much liquid is in that particular one. Watch the dehydrator and check on it every hour and a little more frequently at the end to make sure it doesn't get over done. The fruit on the bottom tray seemed to get done faster so I would rotate the trays in order to get them all to finish at approximately the same time. When I would check the fruit on the trays I would pull off the ones that finished earlier than others.
5- Pull off the fruit when it is still soft, and dry. Make sure they are not wet. There seemed to be a very fine line between done and over done. I preferred the fruit to still be soft and not crunchy, but that was my preference. I pulled off the fruit when it was dry but not stiff.
6- Store dried fruit in a zip lock bag or an air tight container. I have also used my Food Saver machine to store some of them for longer storage.

Here are how they looked before they were dried.

Mmmmmm.... Strawberries...
And Pineapple... oh my! (the center of the pineapple isn't very good, so I cut them out using a small cookie cutter that just happened to be in the shape of a star.)
This is what these three fruits looked like dried.
The possibilities are almost endless. I have also done apples, grapes (makes raisins), tomatoes, and some herbs. Plus a few different types of jerky. It's fun to make your own snacks.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Cafe Rio Salad

Just looking at the pictures makes my mouth start to water again. This salad took a reasonable amount of time to make. The meat took the longest part but it cooks in a crock pot so it is a low maintenance type dish. Once the meat is almost ready, you start the rice and beans, you chop up some romaine lettuce, make the yummy dressing and serve it up.
I like to take corn tortillas and cut them into strips and fry them in a little vegetable oil so the salad has some crunch. Plus if you wanted to get crazy you an also make some pico de gallo and add that. But even with just the lettuce, pork, rice, beans, and dressing it is divine! Okay... enough raving... let's get on with the recipes.


2 pounds pork roast

3 cans Coke (NOT diet)

1/4 c. brown sugar

dash garlic salt

1/4 c. water

1 can sliced green chilies

3/4 can enchilada sauce

1 c. brown sugar

Put the pork in a heavy duty Ziploc bag to marinade. Add about a can and a half of coke and about 1/4 c. of brown sugar. Marinade for a few hours or overnight.

Drain marinade and put pork, 1/2 can of coke, water, and garlic salt in crock pot on high for about 3-4 hours (or until it shreds easily, but don't let it get TOO dry). Remove pork from crock pot and drain any liquid left in the pot. Shred pork.

In a food processor or blender, blend 1/2 can Coke, chilies, enchilada sauce and remaining brown sugar (about a cup, you can add a little more or less to taste..). If it looks too thick, add more Coke little by little.

Put shredded pork and sauce in crock pot and cook on low for 2 hours. That's it for the meat!


2 Tbsp. olive oil

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 tsp. ground cumin

1 can black beans, rinsed and drained

1 1/3 c. tomato juice

1 1/2 tsp. salt

2 Tbsp. fresh chopped cilantro

In a nonstick skillet, cook garlic and cumin in olive oil over medium heat until you can smell it. Add beans, tomato juice, and salt. Continually stir until heated through. Just before serving, stir in the cilantro. (**NOTE** you can add a can of corn, drained, to the beans with a dash of cumin and chili powder. This is not traditional Cafe Rio, but adds wonderful flavor.)


1 c. uncooked rice

1 tsp. butter or margarine

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 tsp. freshly squeezed lime juice

1 can (15 oz) chicken broth

1 cup water

1 Tbsp. freshly squeezed lime juice

2 tsp. sugar

3 tablespoons fresh chopped cilantro

In a saucepan combine rice, butter, garlic, 1 tsp. lime, chicken broth and water. Bring to a boil. Cover and cook on low 15-20 minutes, until rice is tender. Remove from heat. In a small bowl combine lime juice, sugar and cilantro. Pour over hot cooked rice and mix in as you fluff the rice.


1 packet TRADITIONAL Hidden Valley Ranch mix (not BUTTERMILK)

1 c. mayonnaise

1 c. buttermilk

2 tomatillos, remove husk, diced

1/2 bunch of fresh cilantro

1 clove garlic

juice of 1 lime

1 jalapeno (If you like it SPICY you can leave the seeds in, otherwise take them out- best to use a spoon or a rubber glove when you handle the peppers since the hotness will stay on your hands or under your finger nail and will get you when you least expect it.)

Mix all ingredients together in the blender. That's it!

Oh yeah... and even if you don't want to make everything at once for the salad you can break it up.... the rice and beans are so yummy they would make a great side dish for any other main dish. Or you can make burritos or tacos from the meat.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Ultimate Rice Crispie Treats


3 tablespoons butter or margarine
1 package (10 oz., about 40) regular marshmallows
6 cups Rice Krispies®

1. In large saucepan melt butter over low heat. Add marshmallows and stir until completely melted. Remove from heat.
2. Add Rice Krispies cereal. Stir until well coated.
3. Using buttered spatula or wax paper evenly press mixture into 13 x 9 x 2-inch pan coated with cooking spray. ****For this part of the recipe I like to line the pan with parchment paper before putting the rice crispies into the pan. Put enough in so that it lines the bottom and hangs over the sides a few inches. It makes it easier to lift out the treats and to cut them into even squares and the knife doesn't mess up your pan, especially if you are using a non-stick teflon type pan. Those tend to scratch when you cut inside of them.****

Okay that part is nothing new... same old recipe for Rice Crispie Treats and then this is where it starts to get exciting! Ready....

Additional Ingredients are:

Chocolate Chips, semi sweet or milk chocolate (I used some of both)
Mini Marshmallows
Mini Snickers or other candy bars, each piece cut up into 6 smaller pieces

Preheat the oven to about 300 degrees.

After the rice krispie treats are made you sprinkle them with chocolate chips and put the pan in the hot oven to let them get soft. After a few minutes the chocolate chips will be glossy and that means they are ready to spread. Pull the pan out of the oven and using a knife spread the chocolate chips into an even layer over the rice krispies.

Next sprinkle a layer of mini marshmallows over the melted chocolate. Put the pan back into the oven for a few minutes but watch it carefully. Marshmallows will start to puff and get soft, but you don't want them to brown. Pull out the pan and then sprinkle the cut up candy bar pieces onto the softened marshmallows. You can use one type of candy bar like mini snickers or milky way or twix or whatever your little heart desires..... OR.... you can use some of all of them. Allow them to cool (you can speed it up a bit by putting it in the refrigerator). When they have cooled, pick up the treats by grabbing the edges of the parchment paper and lift them out and place them onto a cutting board. Using a knife you can cut these ultimate treats into 2 inch squares or to whatever size makes your litte heart happy! Enjoy! They are yummy!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Watermelon Salad

6 cups watermelon, diced
4 oz. feta, crumbled
3/4 cup red onion, sliced thin
1/2 cup fresh basil, sliced thin
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar

Prepare watermelon, feta, red onion and basil. Combine all together and drizzle balsamic vinegar just prior to serving.

***This is a great summer salad... I made an alternative of this salad too. I liked the basil but didn't have some when I wanted to make the salad again. So instead I made it with some fresh spinach. I chopped up the spinach and added that instead of the fresh basil. Then I added some pine nuts and it was really good. I'm sure there are countless variations you could make on this salad.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Rocky Road Brownies

Boxed Brownie Mix (I like the Betty Crocker Fudge Brownie Mix... Mmmmmm!)
Mini Marshmallows
Chocolate Chips
Nuts, chopped (Pecans, Almonds, Walnuts, Peanuts... whatever you like best)

Prepare a boxed brownie mix according to the directions on the box. I like to make them in a 8x13 inch pan, but if you like a thicker brownie you can make them in a smaller pan. I recommend lining the pan with parchment paper with some hanging out over the edge and then lightly greasing the bottom of the parchment paper. Pour the brownie mix onto the parchment paper and then bake in the oven as directed on the box for a 8x13 inch pan... probably about 24-26 minutes.When the brownies are done, pull them out of the oven and sprinkle with the mini marshmallows. You can use as much as you want here... I like to make a nice layer of marshmallows across the top, approximately one marshmallow deep. Next sprinkle on the chocolate chips. Once again... you can add as much or as little as you want. Same goes with the nuts.... sprinkle evenly over the top. Put the brownies back into the oven for about 5 minutes. Watch them carefully. The marshmallows will puff up and the chocolate chips will get shiny. You don't want the marshmallows to get toasted, just puffy and soft holding together all of the chocolate and nuts! Yummy! Pull the brownies out of the oven and cool on the counter or in the refrigerator if you want to speed up the process (plus if they are refrigerated, they will cut easier later). Here comes the benefit of the parchment paper... After the brownies have cooled, you grab the edges of the parchment paper and you put it directly onto a cutting board. The pan is clean and won't get scratched if you have the non stick pan that will scratch if you use metal utensils in it... and they are easier to cut. You can get nicely conformed brownies! Now you can watch them disappear!

Monday, June 29, 2009

Fresh Corn Casserole

A great way to use up Fresh Corn on the Cob and it was really yummy.... I got the official recipe here at Pioneer Woman (a great website) and there are LOTS more pictures with indepth descriptions, so go check it out if you really want to try this.

Fresh Corn Casserole

8 fresh ears of corn, husked and cleaned off
2/3 cup Heavy Cream
3 T. Butter, softened
1/2 tsp -1 tsp Kosher Salt, start small and add enough to suit your taste
Fresh Ground Black Pepper, to taste

Begin by cutting off the corn from the cob into a large deep bowl with a knife. Remove as much of the corn from the cob as you can including the stuff that is deep inside, since this will release some of the creamy milk inside the cob. Next add the heavy cream... this is an approximate amount. You want to add enough to make it look creamy and consistent but not overly soupy. Add the butter, salt and then as much black pepper as suits your taste. Pour into a baking dish and cook in a 350 degree oven for 30-45 minutes until heated through and the corn is still crunchy. Don't over cook since it can dry out the cream. Serve and enjoy! Yummy...

Here is what it looked like before I put it in the oven...

And... this is what our dinner looked like... Some yummy BBQ'd steak, salad and this new favorite corn casserole.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Tasty Tuesday

Need something cool, quick & yummy for summer entertaining??

May I suggest....

Layered Fiesta Taco Dip

1 pkg. Fiesta Ranch Dip Mix
(looks like the regular Hidden Valley Ranch dip mix, but it is Fiesta Ranch!)
16 oz. sour cream
1 bag lettuce
2 tomatoes, diced
1/2 diced red onion
1 bunch diced green onions
1-2 cups shredded cheddar cheese or Mexican blend cheese

Directions Combine first 2 ingredients; refrigerate for at least 2 hours. Spread Fiesta Party Dip on a platter. Layer with lettuce, tomato, red onion, green onion and then the cheese. Serve with corn tortilla chips.

Let's make the most of summer. Let's start by making it EASY!

Picture to come shortly...

Monday, June 15, 2009

Strawberry Spinach Salad

This salad is seriously so simple and so super... If you like these ingredients you will LOVE this salad.

Spinach leaves, washed and dried
Strawberries, sliced
Red onions, sliced
Avocados, cut into chunks
6 ounces (3/4 cup) olive oil
4 ounces (1/2 cup) balsamic vinegar
2 T. sesame seeds, toasted (place on baking sheet in a 350 degree oven for about 10 minutes, watch carefully since they become toasted and then turn burnt very quickly)
2 T. Worcestershire sauce
1/3 cup white sugar
1 t. salt
freshly ground pepper, to taste

Mix up the dressing and then pour over the salad and toss just before you are ready to serve the salad.
Tips: Best to keep ingredients separate until ready to serve if you are taking it somewhere for a party or something, so that everything is as fresh as possible. Plus it doesn't hold very well to the next day... It works, but it is just not as good!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Apple Dip

This apple dip is fairly simple but doesn't come with specific measurements... kinda make it up as you go to suit your taste.

Cool Whip
Caramel Ice Cream Topping First put as much cool whip as you want for dip... then drizzle in the caramel and gently mix them together. More caramel equals more flavor and less caramel will make it more fluffy. Put the dip into the refrigerator while you cut up your apples. Pick your favorite type of apple... this works well with any apple... fuji, granny smith, gala, red delicious, etc.

Put some water in a bowl and squeeze a little fresh lemon juice in it, or bottled lemon juice. (Don't use too much so the apples don't taste like lemon.) Cut your apples into slices and put them into the bowl of lemon water. The lemon water prevents the apples from turning brown. I used my Apple slicer/peeler/corer tool to cut up my apples. The kids enjoy eating the apple peel string that this creates, plus the slices are smaller and you get more dipping per apple...Another tool that works well is the Apple slicer/corer... it keeps the skin on and if you mix different colored apples it looks good...Let the apples sit for just a minute in the lemon water and then drain. Arrange apple slices on the plate around your bowl of caramel dip and serve.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Chocolate Covered Blueberries...Mmmm...

A friend made these and I thought they looked so yummy so when I got a large clamshell of beautiful blue and plump blueberries... I figured I would try to dip some of them in chocolate... I mean there wasn't much of a margin for error... good blueberries and good chocolate!

First start with the plump blueberries...
Drop individual blueberries into the melted chocolate and using a fork carefully cover the blueberry with chocolate. (Don't drop too many blueberries in at a time since they can be easily lost in the melted chocolate... I did about 4 at a time since it was easy to keep track of 4.)

Pick up the blueberry with the fork and tap the fork on the edge of the bowl. The extra chocolate will fall through the tines of the fork. Place the chocolate covered blueberries on a sheet of waxed paper until they have set... (you can refrigerate them to speed up this cooling process)...then serve.

What a wonderful combination... fruit and chocolate.... it almost feels healthy.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Summer Fruit Salad

... Fruit Salad Before and After...
Fruit Salad

* 2 pears
* 2 apples, cored and chopped
* 2 ripe bananas, sliced
* 1 pint fresh strawberries, sliced
* 3 cups seedless grapes
* 1/2 lemon, juiced
* 8 ounces fat-free strawberry cream cheese
* 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
* 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
* 1/2 tablespoon ground cinnamon
* 1 cup fat-free pretzels, broken


1. Combine the pears, apples, bananas, strawberries and grapes. Add lemon juice and toss.
2. Blend together the cream cheese, brown sugar, vanilla and cinnamon; add the fruit and pretzels. Fold together. Serve immediately with a dollop of lite whipped topping or refrigerate until chilled.

Nothing says spring like a delicious fruit salad! This was a new one that I tried... it has a distinct cinnamon flavor and a nice crunch with the pretzels. I was afraid that the strawberry flavored cream cheese would be too much, but it didn't give a fake strawberry flavor like I thought it might, but you could you regular flavored cream cheese or half and half. I think I would reduce the amount of brown sugar next time though, since it was a bit sweet. Plus you can change up the fruit that you use in the salad. I added cantalope and blueberries which were yummy! Also I am thinking you could add an 8 oz tube of Cool Whip to the dressing and it could be a fruit dip that you serve on the side of the salad since you don't want to let it sit too long before serving.


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