Friday, March 23, 2012

Easter Egg Cake Pops

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Such a cute idea...wish I had the ingredients to make these here in Saudi.  :/  Ah well, I'll be in France for Easter anyway, I'll just buy something cute this time!  :)
(photos from Bakerella)

Easter Eggs Cake Pops from Bakerella
Recipe From Bakerella
Ingredients (for the cake pops)
1 box cake mix (cook as directed on box for 13 X 9 cake)
1 can frosting (16 oz.)
Wax paper
lollipop sticks


1. After cake is cooked and cooled completely, crumble into large bowl.
2. Mix thoroughly with 1 can frosting. (I use the back of a large spoon, but it may be easier to use fingers to mix together. But, be warned, it will get messy. Also, you may not need the entire can of frosting, so start out by using almost the entire can and add more if you need to.)
3. Roll mixture into quarter size balls and place on wax paper covered cookie sheet. (Should make 45-50)
To decorate:

Pink Candy Melts
Yellow Candy Melts
White Candy Melts
Pastel Confetti Sprinkles
Sanding Sugars
Light Corn Syrup
Paper Lollipop Sticks
Styrofoam Block
Paramount Crystals
Small Paintbrush

To decorate:

* Shape the cake balls into an egg shape.
Melt chocolate in the microwave per directions on package. (30 sec intervals, stirring in between.)
Dip the tip of your lollipop stick in a little of the melted candy coating and insert into the cake balls. (Insert a little less than halfway.)
Place them in the freezer for a little while to firm up.
Dip in candy coating color of your choice holding the lollipop stick and rotating until covered. Once covered remove and softly tap and rotate until the excess chocolate falls off. Don't tap too hard or the cake ball will fall off, too. 
* Let sit in the Styrofoam block until dry.
* When dry, use a small paint brush to paint on a thin layer of corn syrup in a line around the egg. Do one line at a time. Right after you paint on the syrup, sprinkle on one of the sanding colors until all of the corn syrup is covered. Use a bowl sprinkle over.
* Repeat with varying designs and colors.
* You could probably also do this with the melted candy color, but this time I was experimenting and tried the corn syrup.
* For the confetti sprinkles, either dab a little bit of the candy color with your toothpick and glue on the sprinkle shapes or use a little bit of the corn syrup to act as the glue. The corn syrup will take a little longer to dry.
* Dry completely.

Apple Coffee Cake with Streusel Topping

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It was time for another ladies coffee get together.  I really wanted to bring something nice and I had found this great coffee cake recipe.  (coffee cake...but no coffee in it...weird right?)  Nah, it's just cause it goes great with coffee!  :)
The recipe is super simple...especially for someone like me who is not fond of baking.  Easy ingredients...not much you can do to mess this up.
The streusel on top was perfect...I love the crunch it added.  You can use almost any kind of apple in this.  I also read reviews of people who used pear and cranberries.  (which both sound good to me!)
Whip this up the next time you want to impress someone (without out a bunch of work involved!)  Feel free to leave off the streusel topping if you want to cut back on the sugar...a nice dusting of cinnamon and sugar will work great too.  Serve this warm for the best taste.
Streusel Recipe:
¾ cup sugar
¾ cup flour
tablespoon water
1 ½ teaspoons cinnamon
¼ cup butter , softened

mix all ingredients until crumbly -- . (don't over'll end up with a ball)

Cake Recipe


    • 1 cup flour
    • 1 teaspoon baking powder
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 1/2 cup of sugar
    • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    • 5 1/2 Tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature
    • 1 egg, beaten
    • 1/2 cup whole milk
    • 1 medium baking apple, peeled and sliced

    1 Preheat the oven to 375°F. Grease a 9-inch square baking dish with or pie pan with a 4-cup capacity.
    2 In a medium bowl, whisk vigorously together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
    3 In a separate small bowl, mix 1/4 a cup of the sugar with the cinnamon, set aside.
    4 Using an electric mixer, beat the butter with the remaining 1/4 cup sugar. Beat in the egg until blended. Add the flour mixture in three additions, alternating with the milk, beating after each addition until just combined.
    5 Pour half of the batter in the bottom of the baking dish. Lay the apple slices on the batter so they just cover the batter (you may have to overlap some slices). Sprinkle the apples with the cinnamon-sugar mixture, reserving a teaspoon or two to sprinkle on top. Spread the rest of the batter over the apples. Sprinkle the remaining cinnamon-sugar on top.
    6 Bake the cake for 25 minutes or until it is golden brown and apples start to bubble at the edges.

  • Recipe from Simply Recipes

    Black Bean and Butternut Squash Stew

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    Always on the lookout for great soups and stews...and now, more than ever, ones that feature mostly veggies.  This is a great low budget stew that just bursts with flavor.  
    Quick to put together and on the table in under and hour (prep included)  Expand your veggie world with this wonderful stew...
    1 Tbsp. coconut or extra virgin olive oil
    1 medium yellow onion, chopped
    3 cloves garlic, chopped
    1/2 a small head of cabbage, chopped (heaping 2 cups)
    3 cups cubed butternut squash (sweet potato would be good too)
    3 cups low sodium vegetable broth
    1 tsp. cumin
    1 tsp. cocoa powder
    pinch of chipotle powder or cayenne pepper
    2 cups cooked, black beans (about one can, rinsed and drained)
    salt to taste

    avocado, for garnish (we couldn't find any ripe ones...hoping to get some the next time)
    cilantro, for garnish 

    to make tortilla crispies:
    3 corn tortillas
    scant 1 tsp. extra virgin olive oil
    1/2 tsp. sea salt 

    In a heavy bottomed pot, warm the coconut oil over medium heat. Add the chopped onion and saute until just beginning to brown, about 6-8 minutes. Add the garlic, cabbage, squash and broth. Turn the heat down to a gentle simmer, cover the pot and cook for about 15-20 minutes for the vegetables to cook. 
    Add the spices and the beans and stir. Let everything continue to cook another ten minutes for the flavors to blend. Salt to taste. At this point, you can do a few pulses with your immersion blender through the soup, in case you want to thicken up the broth a bit. This is optional, but makes it seem a bit thicker. You could also, run just a bit of the soup through a blender or food processor, and add it back in to the pot. OR a sprinkle of cornmeal will help thicken it as well. 

    For the tortilla crispies, preheat the oven to 375'. Stack them and slice into thin matchsticks. Spread on a baking sheet, dirzzle with the oil, sprinkle the salt and toss gently to coat. Spread them in a single layer on the baking sheet and bake for about 10-15 minutes until they are light brown and crispy, giving the pan a shake halfway through. 

    Garnish each both with some diced avocado, a handful of chopped cilantro and some of the tortilla crispies! 

    Recipe from Sprouted Kitchen

    Monday, March 19, 2012

    Roasted Cauliflower and Beets

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    It's official, we're beet freaks.  Could eat them every day...the roasted flavor is just oh so good.  My kids love them, hubby loves them...its win win.
    We also love roasted cauliflower, so I figured why not combine the two.
    I only found one recipe that featured both fresh veggies roasted together.  However, the other recipe used golden beets which (so far) I haven't found here.
    Roasted beets are just fine all by themselves, but the seasonings we used for this recipe were really nice.  Oh, and the kids got a kick out of the "pink" cauliflower.  :)
    Can't wait to make this one again....soon!

    1 to 1.5 pound head of cauliflower, cored and broken into medium florets

    • 6 small beets, peeled and cut into long wedges
    • 1 medium red onion, halved and sliced thin
    • 1/3 cup olive oil
    • 4 green cardamom pods
    • 4 dried red chiles (optional)
    • 1 tablespoon coriander seeds
    • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
    • 1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns
    • 2 teaspoons sea salt
    1. Preheat oven to 425F.
    2. Grease a large baking dish (at least 13" x 9") with olive oil.
    3. Grind cardamom pods, dried red chiles, coriander, cumin and peppercorns into a fine powder.
    4. In a small bowl, mix this spice powder with olive oil.
    5. Add all the vegetables to a large bowl and drizzle the spiced oil over the vegetables. Using your hands, rub the oil into the vegetables instead of tossing to coat.
    6. Transfer to the greased baking dish and roast for about 1 hour or until tender and wonderfully caramelized. Use your kitchen timer to remind you to stir every 20 minutes.
    recipe adapted from Indianfoodrocks

    Healthy Baked Corn-flake Crusted Fish

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    I am still hunting for really good fish recipes.  So far, my fave way to eat our fresh fish is either my husbands amazing civeche or my baja fish tacos.  I tried baking the fillets, but didn't really enjoy it much.  Tried pan  It was okay.  
    Then, I found this recipe.  I love that it's not fried (since I fry my fish tacos) and that it is super easy to do.
    We had friends over and the fish didn't last long at all.  The corn flakes were nice and crunchy and the fish was so tender.  We used grouper, but you could use any nice flaky fish for this.  Totally going into the fish rotation!

    4 (6-ounce) grouper or other firm white fish fillets
    1/2 teaspoon ground red pepper flakes
    1/4 teaspoon cumin
    1 1/2 teaspoon paprika
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
    1/3 cup all-purpose flour
    1 large egg white
    3/4 cup crushed cornflakes
    Vegetable cooking spray
    1 Lemon, cut into wedges

    1. Preheat oven to 425°F. Spray a large baking pan with cooking spray or line with nonstick aluminum foil. Spray a rack with cooking spray.
    2. Sprinkle fish with red pepper, paprika, cumin, salt, and 1/8 teaspoon black pepper.
    3. Place flour in a shallow dish. Whisk egg white and 1 tablespoon water in a medium bowl. Place cornflake crumbs in a shallow dish. Dredge fish in flour, shake off excess, and dip in egg white mixture. Dredge in cornflakes, coating completely.
    4. Place the prepared wire rack coated with cooking spray inside the large baking pan. Arrange fish in a single layer on rack; coat top of fish lightly with cooking spray, and bake 12 to 15 minutes or until crisp and browned. Serve with side salad and lemon wedges.
    recipe from Coastal Living

    Saturday, March 17, 2012

    Rainbow Shamrock Cookies

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    These are just too cute!!  Had to share.  Check out the recipe by clicking the link below.  :)

    photo from Bake at 350

    Bake at 350: Double-decker Rainbow Shamrock Cookies: You didn't think you'd seen the last of the double-decker cookie , did you?!?  Oh no...I sense a double-decker cookie obsession coming on. ...

    Sunday, March 4, 2012

    Roasted Beets - Glazed with Balsamic Vinegar

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    We are becoming beet freaks.  
    The downside:  They are messy.  Turn your hands pink.  They stain clothes.  You might have to warn your kids school that your child ate beets the night before...lest they panic during potty time.
    But, oh, they taste SO good!  My girls love them.  I love them.  Hubby loves them.  They have zero fat, they are high in folate, and a cup of cubed, cooked beets is a meager 64 calories.  Plus a healthy dose of folate.  What's not to love?  :)
    Usually I just roast them in the oven and eat as is.  Then I found this recipe from Simply Recipes.  The balsamic glaze was really good...added depth to the beets.  Great recipe and will make again for sure.
    The best part is watching my girls eat them...they get a kick out of eating the beet and then smiling at each other...showing off pretty pink teeth.  ;)

    • 2 pounds red beets, medium sized, scrubbed clean, green tops removed
    • Olive oil
    • Salt
    • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
    • 2 teaspoons sugar
    • 1 teaspoon grated orange zest
    • Freshly ground black pepper

    1 Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a roasting pan with aluminum foil. Place the beets in the pan. Rub olive oil over the beets, and sprinkle with salt. Cover the beets with another sheet of aluminum foil. Roast for 1 to 2 hours, depending on the size of the beets and how old they are. After 1 hour, test every fifteen minutes by poking a beet with the tines of a fork. Once the fork tines go in easily, the beets are tender and cooked. Remove from the oven.
    2 While the beets are cooling, prepare the balsamic glaze. In a small, shallow sauté pan, add the balsamic vinegar and sugar. Heat on high until the vinegar has reduced to a syrup consistency. Remove from heat.
    3 After the beets have cooled for several minutes, but are still warm to the touch, peel off the outer skins and discard. (you may want to use gloves to save staining your hands)  Cut the beets into bite-sized pieces.
    4 Place beets in a serving bowl. Pour balsamic glaze over the beets. Stir in grated orange zest, and add salt and pepper to taste.
    Garnish with a little orange zest to serve.
    Yield: Serves 6 to 8.
    recipe from Simply Recipes

    Saturday, March 3, 2012

    Slow Roasted Spiced Chicken

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    We've become quite fond of cooking whole chickens.  It's easy, cheap, and doesn't require many ingredients.  I found this recipe stating the chicken would taste like a rotisserie chicken you'd get at the grocery store.  (You can't get that kind of chicken here...only at restaurants)  Sounded good to me and I've never slow cooked a chicken in the oven...usually that's the hubby's job and he does it on the smoker.  
    This one required a bit of planning ahead and for once I didn't forget to let it sit overnight.  I really liked the flavors and I loved the color of the chicken!  Looked so pretty!  Nice that the recipe called for two chickens because the chickens here are very small and I always cook two...(no way one of those little buggers will feed our family of four).  
    Give this recipe a try next time you want to "spice" up you roast chicken dinner.  :)  

    • 4 teaspoons salt
    • 2 teaspoons paprika
    • 1 teaspoon onion powder
    • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
    • 1 teaspoon white pepper
    • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
    • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
    • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
    • 2 onions, quartered
    • 2 (4 pound) whole chickens


    1. In a small bowl, mix together salt, paprika, onion powder, thyme, white pepper, black pepper, cayenne pepper, and garlic powder. Remove and discard giblets from chicken. Rinse chicken cavity, and pat dry with paper towel. Rub each chicken inside and out with spice mixture. Place 1 onion into the cavity of each chicken. Place chickens in a resealable bag or double wrap with plastic wrap. Refrigerate overnight, or at least 4 to 6 hours.
    2. Preheat oven to 250 degrees F.
    3. Place chickens in a roasting pan. Bake uncovered for 5 hours, to a minimum internal temperature of 180 degrees F. Let the chickens stand for 10 minutes before carving.

    recipe from AllRecipes

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