Friday, July 30, 2010

Peanut Butter and Jelly Bars

Get your glass of milk ready!!! These bars are highly
addicting and seriously good! Run to your pantry and
start baking. Great for kids and adults!! It's like the
best PB & J you will ever have!

Peanut Butter and Jelly Bars

2 sticks of unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/2 cups of sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 extra large eggs, room temperature
2 cups creamy peanut butter, skippy
3 cups of all purpose flour
1 teaspoon of baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoon of salt
1 1/2 cups of jam, your choice
2/3 cups of salted peanuts, chopped

1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2) Spray a 9 by 13 pan, generously
3) With an electric mixer cream the butter and sugar
on medium speed until light yellow, about 2 minutes.
Turn speed to low and add vanilla and, eggs and peanut
butter and mix until combined.
4) In a small bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder
and salt. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the
flour mixture to the peanut butter mixture. Mix.
5) Spread 2/3 of the dough into a prepared cake pan
and spread over the bottom with a knife of off set
spatula. Spread the jam evenly over the dough. Drop
small globs of the the remaining dough evenly over
the jam. Don't worry if all the jam is not covered, it
will spread in the oven. Sprinkle with chopped nuts
and bake for 45 minutes, until golden brown. Cut into
squares!!! Ina Garten. Enjoy.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Where the magic happens...




The kitchen....the heart of the home. I spend so much
of my time in here. What I love to look at more than
anything in the blogging world is everyone's kitchen.
We are in the process of getting our cabinets painted
and just need to figure out color choices? White, you
say? Oh good!!! I thought so too.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Fruit Platter With Creamy Lime Dip


Fruit right now is so fresh and in season and I just can't
get enough of it. But when you add a rich creamy citrus
dip to go along side of it, it's like magic for the senses. I love
dunking and dipping anything. You will want to lick the
bowl or even want to stick your finger in it.
Fruit Platter with Creamy Lime Dip
1 8 ounce package of cream cheese, softened
1 7 ounce jar of marshmallow cream
Juice of 1 lime
1 teaspoon of grated lime peel
dash of ground ginger
assorted fresh fruit
In a mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese, marshmallow
cream, lime juice, lime zest and ginger until smooth.
Serve with fruit,

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Fourteen




Fourteen years ago today, I gave birth to most wonderful
little boy you have ever seen. The moment I looked into
his stunningly dark blue eyes, I was so in love. From the
day you were born I knew you were so special.
You are brilliantly smart, charming, witty and beyond
compassionate. You are the best brother any sibling could
ever have and the most wonderful son a mom could ever
hope for. You are my heart and my soul and the sparkle in
my eyes. Happy Fourteenth Birthday, Ethan!!!!! I love you.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Weekend ReCap






I had a wonderful low key weekend! I hope you enjoyed yours too!
* Drove by The Father Of The Bride house. It's even more beautiful
in person. This was such a joy for me. My all time favorite movie and
house. I took tons of pictures of it. Maybe even held up traffic! Ha.
* Saturday we went out for Brunch...had a yummy cobb omelette.
* Hung a new chalk board on my pantry door. "I heart it"
* Went for a lovely evening walk.
* Sunday had some hummus in the back yard.
* It was a great weekend in the sun!!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Come On In







Just thought I would show a little of what my home looks
like inside. More to come!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Roasted Tomato Caprese

This is what was for dinner last night. I could
eat Caprese every night for the rest of my life!!!
Toast or grill some Italian bread and layer the Caprese
on top or just use the bread to mop up all the incredible
juices that are in the pan. YUM

Roasted Tomato Caprese
12 plum tomatoes, halved lengthwise, seeds removed
1/4 cup olive oil, plus more for drizzling
1 1/2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons sugar
kosher salt and fresh ground pepper
16 ounces fresh mozzarella
12 fresh basil leaves, julienned

Preheat oven to 275
Arrange tomatoes on a sheet pan, cut side up. in
a single layer. Drizzle with 1/4 cup of olive oil and
the balsamic vinegar. Sprinkle with the garlic,
sugar, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper.
Roast for 2 hours until the tomatoes are concentrated
and begin to caramelize. Allow the tomatoes to cool
to room temperature.

Cut the mozzarella into slices slightly less than 1/2
inch thick. Layer the tomatoes alternately with
the mozzarella on a platter and scatter the basil
on top. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and drizzle
with olive oil. Serve at room temperature. Ina Garten.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Jam

So easy and purely simple. If you have never
made jam before than this recipe is for you! Go
ahead and try it. You can use any berry.

Jam
3 pints of strawberries
2 large lemmons, zested and juiced
2 1/2 cups sugar

Combine the sugar, lemon zest and lemon juice in
a small saucepan and cook over very low heat for
10 minutes, until the sugar is dissolved. Add the
strawberries and continue to cook over very low
heat for 20 minutes, until the strawberries release
some of their juices and the mixture boils slowly.
Mash slightly. Pour carefully into canning jars and
either seal or keep refrigerated. I gave them a water
bath but if you are going to use right away you don't
need to. Now go toast a bagel and put a little butter
and fresh jam on it. Enjoy!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Strawberry Bruschetta

This is with out a doubt "drool worthy". I mean just
thinking about the first bite that I had makes me
day dream about having more. I bought a case of
strawberries and knew I had to come up with some
come up creative ways to use them. Simple jam recipe
tomorrow!!

Strawberry Bruschetta
1 loaf of french bread, cut into pieces
1 container soft cream cheese or mascarpone
2 tablespoons powdered sugar
2 tablespoons honey
1 pint of strawberries
1/4 cup of strawberry jam

Grill bread and set a side. Beat cream cheese, honey
and sugar until smooth. Spread on top. Top with
strawberries and brush with jam.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

My Little Cupcake






Last night we went to see an outdoor movie in our
neighborhood and Ave got her face painted. The pictures
were too cute not to share!!


Friday, July 16, 2010

Chicken Carbonara

Last night I had a girls night in at my house. It is
always wonderful to have great friends over to laugh,
talk and eat great food. This Carbonara is very rich and
luxurious. I served it with homemade garlic bread!!

Chicken Carbonara
2 teaspoons olive oil
4 ounces thinly sliced pancetta, chopped
2 teaspoons minced garlic
2 1/2 cups whipping cream
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan
8 large egg yolks
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
1/4 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves
Salt
1 pound spaghetti
4 cups coarsely shredded chicken (from 1 roasted chicken)
Freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup chopped walnuts, toasted
1 tablespoon finely grated lemon peel


Heat the oil in a heavy large frying pan over medium heat. Add the pancetta and garlic and saute until it is brown and crisp, about 8 minutes. Cool slightly.
In a large bowl, whisk together the cream, cheese, yolks, basil, and parsley to blend.
Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the spaghetti and cook until it is just tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes. Drain.
Add the chicken to the pan with the pancetta and stir to combine. Next, add the spaghetti and the cream mixture and toss over medium-low heat until the chicken is heated through and the sauce coats the spaghetti thickly, about 4 minutes (do not boil or you might end up scrambling the eggs). Season the pasta, to taste, with pepper and salt if needed (the pancetta will likely add all the salt you need). Transfer the pasta to a large wide serving bowl. Sprinkle the walnuts and lemon zest over, and serve.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Monday, July 12, 2010

Pineapple Fried Rice

No words, to express the "deliciousness" of this rice.
It's both Savory and Sweet. I could not help myself
I even had the leftovers for breakfast!

Pineapple Fried Rice
1 cup uncooked rice
2 cups water
2 tablespoons sesame oil
3 green onions, thinly sliced including tops
1 cup diced ham
1/2 cup peas
1 (8 ounce) fresh pineapple, diced
1 egg, beaten
1 tablespoon white sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 cooked chicken breast, shredded
1/2 cup shredded carrots


1)Bring the rice and water to a boil in a saucepan over high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until the rice is tender, and the liquid has been absorbed, 20 to 25 minutes. Spread cooked rice out on a rimmed baking sheet and refrigerate until cooled, about 20 minutes.

2)Heat sesame oil in a large skillet or wok over medium-high heat. Cook and stir the carrots, green onions, ham, chicken and peas in the hot oil until onions have softened, about 2 minutes. Stir the pineapple chunks into the wok; cook until pineapple begins to darken, about 2 minute. Push ingredients to the side of the wok, and pour beaten egg in the center. Cook until egg begins to set, about 30 seconds. Stir together all contents of the wok.

3)Mix the cooled rice, sugar, salt, white pepper, and garlic powder into the wok; stir constantly to keep from sticking. Cook until heated through, about 3 minutes. Sprinkle the rice with the soy sauce, and stir to combine.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Melon Salsa


Perfect for your summertime fun! Light and refreshing.

Melon Salsa
Mix 1/4 cup of lime juice, 1 tablespoon of honey,
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper and 1/8
teaspoon salt in a bowl. Add 3 cups of diced seeded
melon, 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro and
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced. Toss gently
Serve with cinnamon sugar pita chips.


Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Oatmeal Carmelitas

Mmm, Caramel and Chocolate a match made in heaven.
Add some Oatmeal for good measure and health and I'd
say you have one gooey and chewy bar of pure joy!

Oatmeal Carmelitas

1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup quick cooking oats
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
3/4 cup melted butter
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 ounces semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
3/4 cup caramel ice cream topping
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour


Preheat oven to 350 degrees . Grease one 9x9 inch square pan.

Combine the 1 cup flour, baking soda, oats, brown sugar, salt and melted butter. Mix to combine, mixture will be very crumbly. Press half of the mixture into the bottom of the prepared pan.

Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes.

Let cool slightly then sprinkle over the crust the chocolate chips and chopped nuts. Mix the caramel ice cream topping with the 3 tablespoons of flour and drizzle over the chocolate chips. Top with the remaining oatmeal mixture. You will need to break it into small pieces to cover.

Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes. Let bars cool before cutting.
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