Friday, March 29, 2013

Strawberry Yogurt Bundt Cake

Easter is in 2 days.  The last 2 years I've been out to Walmart or Target on Saturday night at around 10:00 trying to find some stuff to stuff into my kid's Easter baskets.  Not very fun.  Needless to say, there is slim pickins for procrastinators like me.  So this year, I had such good intentions of having everything all ready the week before Easter, but guess what?  Yep...nothing...nada!

But the good news is that my husband and I are planning our Friday date night as a "go to the store and find Easter basket stuff for the kids."  What romance fills our lives.:)  But at least it's not Saturday night & at least I'll have Tony with me to make it bearable!  

We're going to try something a little different this year though.  Instead of just stuffing baskets full of mostly junk food, we're going to try a theme basket instead.  I found this awesome list of ideas and also this list of boys baskets ideas over on Pinterest.  I'm so thankful for creative people that share!! (Check out our Easter board for more great ideas!)

If you need something fun to take to friends/family/neighbors...these Chocolate dipped Peeps are a lot of fun to make (and eat).  Just attach a tag that says "to one of my/our favorite peeps" and you're good to go.  And last year we had the kids "plant" jelly beans outside on Saturday night (they just scattered them...I would only do like 10 each kid or so) and in the morning they grew into suckers!  (Just poke the sucker stick into the looks really cute!)  Last year it was still pretty cold and the group was pretty hard when I went to do it so there were quite a few bent sucker sticks!:)  But the kids loved it!

And, last but not least, if you're looking for a great dessert for Easter Sunday...I've got you covered there!  This dessert is perfect for these beautiful spring days, and is so delicious!!

Strawberry Yogurt Bundt Cake
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
2 cups sugar
3 eggs
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
zest of 1 lemon
2 1/2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup vanilla yogurt (you can use greek yogurt if desired)
2 cups fresh strawberries, diced

For glaze:
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 cup powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  

Grease and flour a 10 inch bundt pan.

Mix together 2 1/4 cups of the flour with baking soda, salt and lemon zest.  Set aside.

In your mixer, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.

Beat in the eggs one at a time until incorporated.  Stir in the lemon juice.  Alternate beating in the flour mixture and the yogurt into butter mixture.  Beat just until combined.

Toss the strawberries with the remaining 1/4 cup of flour.  This helps prevent the strawberries from all sinking to the bottom of the pan while baking! 

Gently fold the strawberries into the batter. 

Pour batter into your greased bundt pan.

Place the bundt pan into the preheated oven.  As soon as it's in the oven, turn the temperature of the oven down to 325 degrees.  Bake for 60-70 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

Remove from the oven and let sit in pan for 25 minutes to cool.  Turn cake out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Once cake is completely cooled, transfer to your serving plate.  Make your glaze by mixing the lemon juice and powdered sugar until smooth.  Use your spoon to drizzle the glaze over the cake.

Just keep on drizzling & drizzling until all your glaze is used up.  You may feel like your using too much, but trust're not!  Isn't she perfect?!  Delicious!

Hope everyone enjoys a beautiful Easter Sunday!  And have some cake!!:)

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Cheesy Garlic Pull-apart Bread

I've been on a diet (It's called the Dukan diet, cause I know someone will ask!) for a month and
1 day now, but who's counting?  And all this food yummy delicious food I've been posting lately is making me slobber all over my keyboard!  It's basically a no carb diet (DYING!!!) but it's working, so it's worth it to me.  I'm feeling so much better about me & that's the biggest perk!

It's a good thing I didn't make these during this diet time, cause I don't know if I'd be able to resist pulling one of these off and watching all that stringy cheesy goodness and not stuff my face with half of them.  It would just be too much!   

Cheesy Garlic Pull-apart Bread

16 frozen Rhodes white dinner rolls
1/2 cup butter, melted
1/2 cup grated mozzarella cheese
1 teaspoon dry parsley flakes
2 garlic cloves, pressed
1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Take rolls out of the freezer and place in a greased pan.  Cover with plastic wrap that has been sprayed with  cooking spray to prevent sticking.  Let dough sit for 45 minutes to 1 hour.  Next, use some clean scissors to cut each roll in half.

Melt butter in a large microwaveable dish.  Add the parsley, garlic, salt, Italian seasoning and onion powder. Stir to combine, then add the mozzarella cheese.  Now, throw in all your dough halves and using your hand move dough around until it is all evenly coated.

Line the bottom of a 9 inch spring form pan with dough pieces.  Cover with the Parmesan cheese.

Cover dough with same sprayed plastic wrap you used in the beginning.  Let raise for 1 1/2 - 2 hours or until it looks like this:

Place spring form pan on a cookie sheet to prevent the buttery goodness from leaking all over in your oven and making a terribly mess!  Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until browned and the center is cooked through.

Remove the sides of the spring form pan and just pull sections off & devour!  Ours was gone in 5 minutes flat!!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Chocolate Strawberry Cheesecake Trifle


It's getting to be strawberry season soon.  So along with strawberry freezer jam, fresh strawberry sorbet and strawberry peach jam, you've got to make this as well!  

I love trifles.  This one is fabulous with the fresh strawberries, cream cheese whipped cream, chocolate shavings and pound delicious!

And I love how cute they look.  I also love to make individual trifles.  You could use mini trifle bowls (you can find them at walmart for a couple bucks) or plastic cups, glass canning jars, etc. and they turn out so cute.

So, when you grab a bunch of strawberries this season to stock up on your jam, make sure you make this at least once...your family will thank you!

Chocolate Strawberry Cheesecake Trifle

2 pints fresh strawberries, sliced
1 cup sugar, divided
2 packages (8 oz. each) cream cheese, softened
3 tablespoons orange juice
3 cups heavy whipping cream, whipped
1 loaf (about 12-14 oz.) pound cake, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
2 ounces semisweet chocolate, grated
extra strawberries & chocolate for garnish

In a large bowl toss the strawberries with 1/2 cup of sugar, set aside.

In a bowl, beat the cream cheese, orange juice and remaining sugar until smooth.  Fold in the whipped cream; set aside.

Drain the strawberries, reserving juice, set the berries aside.  Gently toss cake cubes with reserved juice.

Place half of the cake cubes into the bottom of your trifle bowl.  Top with 1/3 of the cream cheese mixture, half of the strawberries and half of the grated chocolate.  Repeat layers.  Top with reamining cream cheese mixture.  Garnish with strawberries and grated chocolate.  Cover and refrigerate at least 4 hours.  (I think it's even better the next day!)

Yield: 14-16 servings

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Perfect Sugar Cookies with Glaze Frosting

It is Selection Sunday this Sunday, just in case you were wondering.  I LOVE this time of year, not only because I absolutely love spring, the warmer weather, longer days, flowers, trees budding, baseball, sandwiches & salads, etc. but also for March Madness!  It's a family tradition for everyone to fill out brackets and battle it out to see who gets the most right.  We love the upsets, but also love our Kentucky Wildcats!  They are almost always picked to at least make it to the Final Four if not win it all by almost everyone in our family.  If we don't, my Kentucky born & raised Mom threatens to kick us out of the will.:)

So if you're March Madness addicts like we are, these cookies will be perfect for you!  This is the best sugar cookie recipe I have found over the years of trying about fifty-thousand different ones! (I exaggerate just a bit).  But honestly these are so soft & delicious.  Add a little lemon or almond extract and you can just eat these good!

Or, you can make this glaze frosting and turn them into something special!  Like a basketball.  I like this frosting because it actually tastes good.  Most glaze (or royal icing) frostings I've tried look beautiful, but turn super hard and not to tasty.  This one is not classified along with those in the taste department, but it still looks as beautiful.  The great thing about glaze frosting is that it hardens (not quite as hard as regular royal icing) so they can be packaged and the icing won't get all messed up like a buttercream frosting would.  

We made a bunch for my son's basketball team with their numbers on them for the end of the season party they had.  We tied them in celophane bags with green and white ribbon, their team colors.  (picture at end of post)  You could do the same with your family's favorite team colors for the tourney.  

Doesn't that sound nice...March Madness with a big soft delicious cookie!

Perfect Soft Sugar Cookie with Glaze Frosting
1 cup butter, softened
2 cups sugar
2 eggs
1 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla
5 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.  Mix in eggs, sour cream and vanilla until combined.  Add flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt and mix until dough forms.  Dough will be quite sticky.  Place dough in container and chill in refrigerator at least 1 hour.  

When ready to bake cookies, flour surface generously and roll dough out about 1/4 inch thick.  Cut into desired shapes and place on ungreased baking sheet.  

Bake at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes.

Glaze Frosting:
3 3/4 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons milk (any variety works)
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
1 teaspoons almond extract

Combine sugar and milk until smooth using a whisk.  Stir in the corn syrup and extract.  Color about 3/4 of the frosting orange and the rest black.

First, you need to pipe the outline of your cookie.  This glaze needs to be a little more stiff than what you will use for "flooding" the cookie.  Take about 1/3 of your orange frosting and add a little more powdered sugar until it runs off of your whisk in a slow, thick stream.  Pipe the outline of your cookie.  Let sit until hardened.

Now use what's left of your orange glaze and "flood" the cookies.  The piped outline will help it from running over the sides, just place a little amount in the middle of your cookie and use a toothpick to spread it to the edges.  If glaze is too thick to pipe just add a little more milk until it runs smoothly and quickly off your whisk in a thin drizzle.  Let sit until hardened.

Now thicken your black frosting to same consistency as what you used to pipe the outline.  Pipe on your basketball lines (and "x" and then curves on each side).  You can then put on players #'s or not...your choice.:)  Let sit until hardened (overnight is best) and then place in celophane bags and tie with ribbon of your choice.  You can also make little tags to go with it.  FUN. FUN. FUN.

(That's my boy...#7!!)

Glaze recipe adapted from Our Best Bites

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

You Lucky Duck!

We have one lucky reader who won our giveaway of 2 awesome cookbooks!! 

Thanks everyone for entering and sharing the giveaway.

And without further ado...the winner is:

#18 Becky!

Congrats Becky!  You will be contacted soon so we can get these cookbooks out to you.  

Have a great day everyone!  It's beautiful out there (at least here in my area:))!

Monday, March 11, 2013

Sweet & Savory Cheese Dip

Today is the last day to enter our GIVEAWAY!  You can win Six Sister's Stuff new cookbook as well as Our Best Bites' newest cookbook Savoring the Seasons.  I love BOTH of these books and I know you will head there now & enter!  Thanks!!:)

I love dips & anything with cream cheese in it, (check out our Deviled Ham Cheese Ball...which really is just a wonderful dip...and our Cheese Dip for breadsticks for proof!:)) so when I tried this dip my Mom made a few years back it became an instant love of mine.  

I love the sweetness of the pineapple along with the savory green onions and peppers.  What a great combination.  We love to eat this dip with Multigrain Club Crackers, Wheat Thins, and Ritz crackers, but I suppose any kind that you like would be fabulous too.

Sweet & Savory Cheese Dip

2 packages (8oz. each) cream cheese, softened
1 can (8 1/2 oz.) crushed pineapple, well-drained
1 cups chopped pecans (or walnuts)
1/4 cup chopped green peppers
2 Tablespoon chopped onions
2-3 teaspoons season salt (to taste)

Mix all ingredients together until cream cheese is smooth.  

Dip away...couldn't get much easier than that!!

Tuesday, March 5, 2013


Today was the first day this year I really felt like spring cleaning.  It's been quite beautiful lately.  And when I get the urge to spring clean I also get the urge to paint all my walls, rearrange furniture, and upgrade just about everything in my home!  

But instead I helped my kid's with their pinewood derby cars...the race is tomorrow, that's just how we roll.

And...I bought myself a new vacuum.:)

Now I just need to find the time to do all this spring cleaning/decorating I've been thinking about today! 

In the meantime, we're so excited to have this giveaway!!  

We're giving away 2 fabulous cookbooks today.

Winner takes all!

First up is Our Best Bites' new cookbook Savoring the Seasons!  I received this book for Christmas and have loved it!  I have their other cookbook as well and have loved every single recipe!  I know you will use this cookbook frequently & all involved will love you for it!:)

The second one is Six Sister's Stuff new book.  This one is more than just a cookbook,  it has loads of family  recipes, fun crafts and so much more! (it says so right on the book!:))  I ordered 2 so I could have one for myself as well...can't wait to get my hands on it!

Would you love to add these to your stack upon stack of cookbooks?  (Please tell me it's not just me!!)  

If so, here's the deal...

Leave a comment for each thing you do.

1.  Tell us what your favorite thing is about spring.  Is it food related, spring cleaning, baseball, tulips, etc.??

2.  Like us on facebook

3.  Follow us on Twitter

4.  Follow us (either Jana or Kyla...or BOTH!!) on Pinterest

Giveaway closes 3/10/13 at 12:00 p.m.  Winner will be announced shortly thereafter!:)

Ready, set, GO...and GOOD LUCK!:)
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