August: Potlucks!

August Theme: Potlucks. What do you take with you?

Friday, June 17, 2011

D.I.Y. Slushies!

Slushies add up in cost if you go out for them so do them at home instead!

Koolaid Slushies: makes 4

1 cup sugar
1 koolaid packet
26 ice cubes, approx.

Add koolaid powder from one packet, and one cup of sugar to a 2 or 4 cup measuring cup. Add water to the mixture until it reaches the 2 cup line (so it won't be 2 cups of water plus the ingredients, it all adds up to 2 cups). Stir well!

Then, pour 1/2 the mixture into your blender (1 cup). And add approximately 13 ice cubes from a regular ice cube tray. Blend, I use pulse mode, and I had to shake the blender a bit at the end. Pour into 2 cups, then repeat the blender process. If your blender is large you may be able to do it all at once.

I plan to try it with lemon juice and koolaid, to make a frozen strawberry lemonade! Haven't yet, so I'll experiment a bit with it. We did black cherry flavor the other day which is so good!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Fruit Smoothie

I made this up last night while trying to figure out a way to use a few of the fruits we had on hand. The kiddos really enjoyed the end result...hopefully you will too!

3 ripe bananas, frozen
1 cup frozen berries
1 can pears
1/2 cup milk

Place all the ingredients in a blender. Blend on high until mixed well. More milk may be added to obtain desired thickness.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Peanut Butter Banana Bread

from Cooking Light magazine. I didn't have the peanuts so I left them out and it was still great.

1 1/2 c mashed ripe bananas
1/3 c plain yogurt
1/3 c creamy peanut butter
3 tablespoons butter, melted
2 eggs
1/2 sugar
1/2 brown sugar
1 1/2 c flour
1/4 c ground flaxseed (this is really healthy, but if you don't have any you can use flour)
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp allspice
2 tablespoons dry-roasted peanuts, chopped

Preheat oven to 350. Combine first five ingredients, beat in sugars until well blended. Combine dry ingredients and add to wet, then stir in peanuts. Pour batter into a greased 9x5 loaf pan. Bake at 350 for about at hour, cool 10 minutes in pan, then remove and cool on wire rack.

Combine 1/3 c powdered sugar, 1 tablespoon milk and 1 tablespoon peanut butter with a whisk. Drizzle over bread.

Banana Cake

This is divine.

1/2 c melted butter
1 1/2 c sugar
2 eggs
1 c sour cream (I used plain yogurt, it was amazing)
1 tsp vanilla
2-3 bananas, mashed
2 c flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt

Beat butter, sugar, and eggs, add sour cream, vanilla, and bananas and mix well. Mix dry ingredients and add to the wet mixture. Spread batter in a greased and floured sheet cake pan (bake 25-30 minutes) or 9x13 (bake 45 minutes) and bake at 300.

Cream Cheese Icing
6 oz softened cream cheese
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/3 c soft butter
3 c powdered sugar

Mix together and spread on the cooled cake.

Go Bananas

It has been awhile, and I don't know if anyone reads this anymore, but I had an idea for a new theme: bananas. I purposely buy too many bananas so that they will start to brown and I just have to make banana bread with them. How about some favorite classic banana bread recipes and anything else that you love to make with bananas?

Monday, August 2, 2010

Old-Fashioned Raspberry Jam (

I made this jam a couple weeks ago with some fresh raspberries I picked. It was AMAZING! The key is taking the time to make the jam WITHOUT added pectin.

Old-Fashioned Raspberry Jam (
by Eleanor Topp and Margaret Howard
The Complete Book of Year-Round Small-Batch Preserving

6 cups raspberries
2 1/2 cups granulated sugar

1. Place berries in a large stainless steel or enamel saucepan. Bring to a full boil or high heat, mashing berries with a potato masher as they heat. Boil hard for 1 minute, stirring constantly.

2. Add sugar, return to a rolling boil, and boil until mixture will form a gel, about 5 minutes. (To determine when the mixture will form a gel, dip a cool metal spoon into the hot fruit. Immediately lift it out and away from the steam and turn it horizontally. At the beginning of the cooking process, the liquid will drip off in light, syrupy drops. Try again a minute or two later- the drops will be heavier. The jam is done when the drops are very thick and two run together before falling of the spoon)

3. Ladle into sterilized jars and process in hot water canner (with boiling water) for 5 minutes. Allow jars to sit in the canner for approximately 15 minutes prior to removing them. Once removed, place jars in a draft free location to cool completely.

August: Potlucks!

For August, I'm thinking we share our Potluck favorites.  It doesn't have to be fancy or complicated.  If you pick up cookies on the way, tell us what you get.  We just want to know what your favorite things to take with you are.

And I'm running out of ideas, so if you have any for future months, post them in the comments.

Gummi Beary Juice (for July)

My niece got this recipe from the Gummi Bears cartoon.  They altered it a little, but it gives you power!

1 package of red berries
1/2 package of blue berries
4 T orange juice concentrate
1 can grape juice concentrate
1 can water (add more if you need to dilute it more)

According to the Gummi bears you put it all together and stir slowly to the right, stir slowly to the left and BANG!  (But we put it all in a blender and blend until it's smooth.)  Enjoy!

Macaroni & Cheese (for June)

My dad got me this cookbook a while back, but I haven't tried any of the recipes because  . . . well . . . cheese is expensive.  Especially specialty cheese.  But I decided to bite the bullet, buy the cheese, and try one.  And because they all looked so good, I just went with the very first recipe.  

Macaroni with Wisconsin Asiago

7 tb butter, plus extra for buttering dishes
1 lb cavatelli (which I couldn't find so I used the mini-bowtie pasta)
1/4 cup plus 2 tbs flour
1 qt whole milk
2 tsp dry mustard
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
dash of Tabasco
1 tbs Worchestershire sauce
Kosher salt
freshly ground pepper 
2 cups (1/2 lb) grated aged Wisconsin Asiago cheese (I couldn't find genuine Wisconsin, but I found some good Asiago from a less "authentic" brand)
1 cup (1/4 lb) grated sharp white cheddar cheese
1 1/3 cups grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
3/4 cup coarsly chopped flat-leaf parsley (I forgot to buy this and used dried)
1/3 cup minced fresh chives (forgot this too, I used some chopped green onions)
1 cup panko (Japanese bread crumbs)

Preheat oven to 350*.  Butter six individual gratin dishes (I used a 9x13 pan)

Cook pasta to al dente.  Drain and cool.

In a medium saucepan over moderately low heat, melt 6 tbs butter.  Add the flour and cook, stirring, 3 minutes.  Whisk in the milk and raise the heat to high.  When the milk begins to boil, reduce the heat to medium and ocok, whisking occasionally, until thickened.  Add the seasonings.

In a large bowl, toss together the pasta, sauce, asiago, cheddar, 1 cup of parm-regg, parsley and chives.  Spoon into buttered dishes.  Mix the breadcrumbs and remaining parm-regg cheese and sprinkle over the pasta.  Dot lightly with remaining butter and bake on the middle shelf until crumbs are lightly browned and sauce is bubbling,  25-30 minutes

The Verdict:  Mike and I LOVED it!  It was so creamy and wonderful with just a little kick.  The boys were indifferent.  I think they would have been just as happy with the Kraft stuff.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Strawberry Bruchetta

This is an old Pampered Chef recipe, and it is great for brunches or bite-sized dessert parties.

1 loaf thinly sliced french baguette
2 T melted butter
Place bread slices on cookie sheet and brush with melted butter. Bake at 350 until golden brown (about 5 min or so)
In a mixing bowl, combine the following:
4 oz cream cheese
1 Meyer lemon, zested and juiced
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar

In another bowl, slice or chop 1 lb washed and hulled strawberries.

In a non-stick skillet, lightly toast 1 small package blanched slivered almonds.

To assemble, place thin layer of cream cheese mixture on toasted bread, add strawberries, and sprinkle almonds. To garnish, grate white, milk, or dark chocolate over top and dust with powdered sugar.

Berry Punch

This is my favorite frozen drink in the summer. It needs two days for the mixture to freeze, but well worth the advance preparation!

In a large pitcher, mix together 2 cups sugar and 8 cups water. Add 1 can raspberry lemonade concentrate and add the amount of water it says to add (usually around 3 cans). Mix well. Pour into quart freezer bags and freeze at least 24 hours.

To serve, place in large punch bowl, chunk with a fork, and add sprite or ginger ale. Mix until slushy consistency. Add 1 pint fresh raspberries.

*In the winter, I use regular lemonade concentrate and instead of sprite or ginger ale, I use the cranberry splash Sierra Mist and it is delicious!

"Cakey" Cobbler

Yeah, I'm a day late, but this recipe is totally worth it!

I love berry and peach season because it also means COBBLER season!!! My friend, Kirstin, got this recipe from her friend, Julie. It is cakey and just the ratio of fruit to cake.

1/3 cup butter
melt in 8x8 pan in the oven at 350
In a bowl, mix together:
3/4 cup flour
1/2 cup sugar
2 tsp baking powder
3/4 cup milk
when butter is melted, pour over butter in pan and DO NOT MIX!
In separate bowl, toss 1 quart berries with a little bit of sugar and spoon over the top of the batter and again, DO NOT MIX!
Sprinkle with sugar (if you like the sugary crust) and bake for 1 hour at 350 degrees.

Some of our favorite fruit combinations include:
peaches and raspberries
blackberries, raspberries, and blueberries
peaches and blackberries

*If you are using peaches, remove the skins and cut them into slices or used canned and drain the juice first. I also like to toss peaches with brown sugar and cinnamon instead of white sugar.

Serve with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.