Monday, August 29, 2011

Frosted Sugar Cookie Bars

          My children love sugar cookies more than any other cookie on the planet....So,
         I figured I would try and whip them up something a little extra special. I believe this
         recipe did the trick! I make bars more than I make cookies. They always come out
         thicker and softer and much less time consuming! I can not even describe to you
         how good these are!! They are great with out frosting but with frosting they are out
         of this world!!!

                                                  Frosted Sugar Cookie Bars

            2 3/4 cups all purpose flour
            1 teaspoon baking soda
            1/2 teaspoon salt
            1 1/4 cups butter
            2 cups of sugar
            2 eggs
            2 teaspoons vanilla
            1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, baking
            soda and salt, set aside.
            2) In a large bowl, cream together the butter and 2 cups of sugar until light and
            fluffy. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, then the vanilla. Gradually stir in the dry
            ingredients until just blended.
            3) Place the mixture in a well greased 9 x 13 pan, spread the mixture and bake for
            about 35 to 40 minutes or until done. Let cool and frost.

            Vanilla Buttercream Frosting:
             3 cups confectioners sugar
             1 cup of butter
             1 teaspoon vanilla extract
             1 to 2 tablespoons of whipping cream

             With a hand mixer, mix together sugar and butter. Mix on low speed until well
             blended and then increase the speed to medium and beat for another 3 minutes.
             Add the vanilla and cream and continue to beat 1 more minute. Adding more
             cream if needed. Food coloring is optional.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Scenes from my life

            I just wanted to share a few images of what my weekends look like. Always
          try and go on little weekend adventures! I truly do not like to sit around when the
          weather is perfect! I love exploring cities and the surrounding area. Explore your
          area and take it all in!!

          * Los Angeles own my heart!!
          * I love all of the buildings and the hustle and bustle.
          * Great food is a must on these journeys!
          * Cold drinks and a baseball game are the best!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Roasted Banana Pudding

            Banana desserts pretty much own my heart...especially when you make home
            made pudding to go along with it! Something magical happen when you roast
            bananas. This is my first time doing it and I can't wait to roast more! This is a
            perfect late Summer indulgence!! Enjoy.

                                                   Roasted Banana Pudding

            5 ripe unpeeled bananas
            2 cups 2% milk
            2/3 cups sugar divided
            2 tablespoons cornstarch
            1/4 teaspoon salt
            2 large eggs
            1 tablespoon butter
            2 teaspoons vanilla extract
            1 (12 ounce) container whipped topping. fat free or not
            45 vanilla wafers, divided

            1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
            2) Place bananas on a baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes. Remove 3 bananas,
            cool completely. Peel and cut into 1/2 inch thick slices. Bake the remaining 2
            bananas at 350 degrees for an additional 20 minutes. Carefully peel and place
            the 2 bananas in a small bowl and mash with a fork until smooth.
            3) Combine the milk and 1/3 cup of sugar in saucepan over medium-high heat.
            Bring to a simmer ( do not boil).
            4) Combine remaining 1/3 cup sugar, cornstarch, salt and eggs in medium bowl
            stir well with whisk. Gradually add hot milk mixture to sugar mixture, stirring
            constantly with a whisk. Return milk mixture to pan. Cook over medium heat
            until thick and bubbly ( about 3 minutes ) stirring constantly. Remove from
            heat. Add mashed bananas, butter and vanilla, stirring until butter melts. Place
            pan in a large ice-filled bowl for 15 minutes or until mixture comes to room
            temperature, stirring occasionally. Fold half of the whipped topping into the
            5) Spread 1 cup of custard evenly over the bottom of a 11x7 inch baking dish.
            Top with 20 wafers and half banana slices. Spoon half of remaining custard
            over bananas slices, and custard. Spread remaining half of whipped topping
            evenly over top. Crush remaining 5 wafers and sprinkle on top. Refrigerate
            for one hour or more. Serve in cups.


Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Summer Veggie Pizza

         Pizza...oh how I love thee. Pizza should be on top of the food pyramid. Could you
         eat it everyday? I know, I could...easily! I prefer lots of fresh veggies on top verses
         lots of meat! Summer vegetables are so amazing right now...take advantage and -
         make this. My favorite part is the corn and I think it will be your favorite part, too!
         It's also very healthy. Enjoy!

                                                          Summer Veggie Pizza

                1 pizza dough, homemade or store-bought
                cooking spray
                pizza sauce
                2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
                2 garlic cloves, crushed
                1 cup sliced red onion
                1 red bell pepper, cut into think strips
                8 ounces of asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1 inch pieces
                2 ears of corn
                1 tablespoon of cornmeal
                1/2 shredded mozzarella
                salt and pepper
                1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
                1/3 cup fresh basil leaves

       1) Preheat oven to 500 degrees
       2) Place dough in a bowl coated with cooking spray, cover and let sit for 30 minutes.
       Heat a small skillet over medium heat. Add 4 teaspoons olive oil and garlic to the pan
       cook 2 minutes until fragrant ( do not brown). Remove garlic from oil, and discard
       garlic. Remove garlic oil from pan and set aside. Increase heat and to med-high Add
       remaining olive oil add onions and pepper. Saute 5 minutes. Place onion mixture in
       a bowl and add asparagus. Cut the corn from the cob and add to veggie mixture.
       3) Scatter the cornmeal over a lightly floured surface. Roll the dough into a what ever
       shape you'd like onto the prepared surface. Transfer to baking sheet and brush with
       garlic oil. Top with sauce, veggies, cheese, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper.
       4) bake at 500 for 15 minutes or until golden. Top with basil.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Instagram Love

                    My newest addiction and I heart it so very much! Do you Instagram?
                    I love that I don't have to carry my Canon everywhere now. One of
                    the coolest Apps, ever!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

            This is what happens the second we get home after a long day at the beach!!!!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Summer time and the livin's easy

      This is pretty much what our Summer has looked like. So much fun at the beach we
      we can hardly contain ourselves. Friends, water, food and the warm sunshine on our
      faces. Life does not get any better! Living 15 minutes from the Pacific Coast Highway
      is a very good thing. I hope you all are enjoying The Summer!!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

PB & J Ice Cream Sandwiches

        Ahh, the simple pleasures of Summer. We are in full on Summer mode at my house.
        Not a lot of time spent in the house. I'm loving the heat and all the outdoor fun.
        Here is a simple dessert that is going to make you very happy. No oven, No fuss.
        just fast and very easy.

                                                    PB& J Ice Cream Sandwiches

          Graham crackers
          raspberry sherbet
          raspberry jam
          peanut butter

        Break graham crackers in half. Place a tablespoon of jam on one half and a
        tablespoon of peanut butter on the other half. Then scoop some sherbet in
        between and make a nice sandwich. Serve and Enjoy!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Orecchiette pasta with pesto, roasted tomatoes and mozzarella

         Every Wednesday in our house it's pasta night.....even when I was a little girl.
         I always looked forward to eating any version of pasta...Lasagna, Stuffed Shells and
         my family's secret sauce for spaghetti...Throw in a side salad and and some garlic
         bread and this girl is in heaven. Last night, I threw together this dish and it was
         really easy and very flavorful! I hope you enjoy.

                               Orecchiette Pasta With Pesto, Roasted Tomatoes And Mozzarella

        1 bag orecchiette pasta
        pesto, homemade or store bought
        1 container cherry tomatoes
        1 onion, sliced
        1 garlic, chopped
        1 container mozzarella balls, cut in half
        salt and pepper
        garlic salt

         1) Preheat oven to 350 and roast the onions for about 30 to 40 min then put the
         tomatoes on the same cookie sheet with garlic, salt, pepper and garlic salt cook
         for 10 minutes.
         2) In the mean time cook pasta until al dente
         3) When pasta is done put the pesto and mix. Stir in the roasted tomatoes, onions
         and mozzarella. Enjoy!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Grilled Panzanella Salad

         Salad just can't get any better than my humble opinion. Bread, grilled
         veggies, cheese, meat and dressing. I'd say that it is one flavor explosion in
         your mouth. So good! Make this tonight, make this right now!! It does not at
         all when you make it. Just make it soon.

                                                   Grilled Panzanella Salad
        2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for brushing and drizzling
        2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
        2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
        1 small garlic clove, minced
        salt and pepper
        1 red onion, big dice
        3 medium plum tomatoes, halved
        6 scallions
        2 large bell peppers, any color
        1 medium zucchini, halved lengthwise
        1 10oz ciabatta, halved lengthwise
        1/2 cup torn fresh herbs, basil, mint or parsley
        1/4 pound thinly sliced salami, cut into ribbons
        1/4 pound provolone cheese, cut into ribbons

    1) Preheat a grill pan to medium high. Make the dressing. Whisk the olive oil, vinegar
    lemon juice, garlic, 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper to taste in a bowl.
    2) Brush the grill with olive oil. Put the tomatoes in a large bowl and drizzle with olive
    oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill cut side down until slightly charred, about 2
    minutes. Transfer to baking sheet.
    3) Put the scallions, peppers and zucchini in the same bowl, drizzle with olive oil and
    season with salt and pepper. Brush bread with olive oil. Grill bread and veggies until
    charred, about 2 minutes per side for the bread and scallions and 4 minutes per side
    for peppers and zucchini. Transfer to baking sheet and let cool.
    4) Cut the scallions, peppers, onion, zucchini, tomatoes and bread into bite size.
    Transfer to bowl. Add the herbs, salami, cheese, dressing and any juices from the
    baking sheet. Season with salt and pepper.
     If you don't have a grill you can still enjoy this by doing all the work on the stovetop.


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