Friday, July 27, 2012

Fresh Strawberry Sorbet

We had a fun day shopping the other day.  The boys were busy playing at a friends house, so Tony and I took Kyla shopping.  Ok, actually, I took Kyla shopping & we dropped Tony off at Sport's Authority & Office Max while we were doing our business!:)

I was exhausted when we got home & decided to lay down on the couch.  My wonderful hubby went to the store to get ingredients so Kyla could make Pesto Chicken for dinner.  Kyla started the chicken & Tony started the rice.  It was so nice to not have to worry about it...I got spoiled!

But here's the kicker...when the rice was supposed to be ready, it wasn't.  It was still soupy & chewy.  The chicken was covered in tin-foil to help keep it warm while we were waiting on the rice.  I turned the rice cooker back on & kept checking it.  About 40 minutes was still the same, so I started it over. 

20 minutes later it was ready & perfect.  (Have no clue what happened to the first batch!)  So we sat down to eat, it was about 8:30 by that time.  When I took the tin-foil off the chicken I noticed that they were still full chicken breasts.  Kyla had "skipped" the part in the recipe that says to cut chicken breasts into 2 or 3 pieces.  I was worried that the chicken wasn't fully cooked and so cut into the biggest one...and I was right.  So....back in the oven the chicken went.

We ended up having a very wonderful dinner at 9:30 that night!

I was going to make this wonderful sorbet to go with the dinner, but that just didn't happen, so we ended up making it the next day instead.  IT WAS PERFECT for the hot day that we had, so everything turned out great!

Fresh Strawberry Sorbet
2 cups sugar
2 cups water
1/2 cup light corn syrup
2 quarts (8 cups) fresh strawberries
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup lime juice

Combine the water and sugar and heat until boiling over medium heat, stirring frequently.  Let simmer for 5 minutes, do not stir.  Remove from the heat and transfer to a bowl & place in the fridge to chill.

Place strawberries and citrus into a blender & blend until smooth.  Pour into a large bowl & add the corn syrup & sugar water syrup.  Mix until combined and then place in the fridge for about an hour to chill.

Place in ice cream maker and follow your directions for freezing.  I think they're all about the same.  For mine we just needed to place the strawberry sorbet into the canister.  Place ice and rock salt around the sides and turn on.  Ours took about 1 1/2 hours to soft serve (which is about as good as you're going to get it in the ice cream freezer).  If you like it set up a little more place in the freezer for a couple of hours to harder more.

We served it soft serve and then placed the leftovers in the freezer for later.  We liked it both ways!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Blueberry Streusel Muffins

If you have the right recipe, blueberry muffins are one of the best breakfast pleasures I know of! 
And here's the right recipe!! 
The streusel topping takes these muffins to beyond yummy!
Blueberry Streusel Muffins
1/4 cup butter, softened
1/3 cup sugar
1 egg, beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 1/3 cups flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries (do not thaw blueberries if using frozen ones!)
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 cup cold butter

In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar. Beat in the egg and vanilla and mix well. Combine flour, baking powder and salt and then add to the creamed mixture alternately with milk. Fold in the blueberries.

Fill 12 greased or paper-lined muffin cups 2/3's full. In a small bowl, combine the sugar, flour and cinnamon; cut in butter until crumbly. Sprinkle over muffins. Bake at 375 degrees for 25-30 minutes or until browned. Cool for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

GIVEAWAY...facebook style!







How would you like to win a $20 gift card to AMAZON??
We are having a giveaway on facebook until next Wednesday, the 25th. 

All you have to do to enter to win is "Share" our facebook page with your friends on your timeline, then come back to our page & leave a comment letting us know you shared.  

It's that easy! 

Also, any friends that you have that "like" our page between now & next Wednesday will also be entered to win the $20 gift card!  So make sure when you share that you let them know that!

Any new "likes" at all between now & Wednesday will be entered to win, so don't think that just because you weren't invited by someone you can't enter...we love you all equally!:)
(You can like our page through facebook using the link on the right hand side of the blog...just click "like"!)

UPDATE:  If you are a new like & you share our page you will be entered twice!  Just don't forget to leave me a message on facebook letting me know you shared!!
Any questions just let us know!


Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Loaded Twice Baked Potatoes

We're home from our vacation.  It was a simple and wonderful one this year.  We had spent so much money this year already on travel (Kentucky for my Grandma's funeral & Tennessee with my 2 boys for their DI competition) that we weren't able to do anything extremely expensive.  So, we ended up just spending a week at my husbands families home & then a week down at my family's cabin.  IT WAS WONDERFUL!!  I'll take that kind of vacation anytime!  Actually we do that almost every summer...we were just able to spend more time at the cabin than we usually do.  It was so nice to to worry about blogging, facebook, pinterest, and all things electronic!  What a nice break!  (my husband liked that break too...he says I spend way too much time on the computer anyway!:))

But we're home now and going to get back into getting you fabulous recipes all week long!

This is one of our favorites and I don't make it near often enough for our liking!!:)

Loaded Twice Baked Potatoes
Recipe from The Pioneer Woman
8 potatoes, washed
1 cup butter, sliced into pieces
1 cup real bacon pieces (fry your own or buy it from the store)
1 cup sour cream
1/4 teaspoon seasoned salt
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese, plus 1/2 cup for topping
pepper to taste
1 green onion, sliced

Wash potatoes well with skins on.  Place potatoes in 400 degree oven without covering them in tinfoil, just the plain ol' potato all by itself.  This will help the skins hold their shape after they are hollowed out.  Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until done. 

Just before they are ready to be removed from the oven, place butter, bacon, and sour cream in a large mixing bowl.  When the potatoes are finished, cut them in half lengthwise (use a towel to hold the potato while you are doing this...they are extremely hot!) and using a large spoon scoop the insides into the bowl with the butter, bacon and sour cream.  Don't scrape the potato all the way to the skin, leave a little bit of potato there to help hold it's shape.

Place hollowed out potatoes on a baking sheet.

Mash potatoes until desired consistency.  I like them a little chunky, but you can mash them smooth if that's your preference.  Add the seasoned salt, 1 cup of cheddar, and pepper, and mix.  Add the green onion and mix.

Fill each potato skin with mashed potatoes.  Sprinkle cheese on top and bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes or until heated through.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Brownie Chunk Chocolate Chip Cookies

This is one of my favorite cookies ever.  It takes a little more planning and time than a "normal" cookie, but it is so. worth. it!!!

You really can't go wrong with brownies and chocolate chip cookies, and to add the two together just makes the best cookie ever!

Brownie Chunk Chocolate Chip Cookies
Recipe from Picky Palate
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla
3 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup chocolate chips
2 cups cubed prepared brownies (I just used a boxed brownie mix...2 cups was about 1/3 of a 9 x 13 pan. I'm certain you could use any brownie recipe for this!)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Cream butter & sugars until light & fluffy.  Add the eggs and vanilla and beat until well combined.

Place the flour, baking soda, and salt into a large bowl, mixing to combine. I gotta be honest...I usually always skip this step because I know my bosch will mix it in fabulously, but since I didn't have a bosch to use I went ahead and did this step. Slowly add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and mix until combined. Add the chocolate chips & brownie chunks and stir until just combined.

Use a medium scoop and scoop dough onto a greased baking sheet. Bake for 9-11 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes before removing to a cooling rack.

Makes about 3 dozen cookies

Pour yourself a glass of milk & enjoy the best of 2 worlds...brownies & cookies!!

Monday, July 9, 2012

Lime Pineapple Jello Fluff

I hope everyone had a wonderful 4th of July! 

It is one of my favorite days of the year.  My wonderful husband was born on that day on the bicentennial of America's birthday...what an awesome birthday, huh! 

When he was little he thought everyone was celebrating his birthday.  They'd have a special parade and fireworks just to celebrate him!:)

And this is one of his favorite side dishes. 

It is especially wonderful during these summer months!  Nice and light and yummy!

Lime Pineapple Jello Fluff
1 carton (16 oz.) whipped topping
1 pint cottage cheese
1 small package lime jello
1 can crushed pineapple, well-drained

Mix all ingredients together well and refigerate for about 30 minutes before serving.
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