Monday, August 29, 2011

The Secret Blog Club

I love blogging and meeting new blogging friends.  Amanda over at Amanda's Cooking started The Secret Recipe Club.  What a fun idea!  Here is how it works..... We join Amanda and then we are each secretly assigned a blog to visit and choose a recipe from this blog to prepare and share the details on our own blog.  I was assigned Koreafornian Cooking.   This was totally new to me and I loved looking around this wonderful blog.  What a great experience to read about different cultures.  I decided to be kind of a wimp though and make a dessert from this fabulous blog.   I wanted to make something I knew my family would eat and enjoy.... and we did.  I made the Saeng Cream Cake and we loved it.  The girls said it reminded them of a yummy strawberry wedding type cake served at a few restaurants here in Omaha.  We were very pleased! 

I didn't change anything about the recipe except I didn't use Madagascar Vanilla - I just used pure Vanilla Extract.  I wanted to keep the recipe as suggested.  Please visit Koreafornian Cooking as I know you will love being creative and trying something new! 

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Awesome Cookbook -

I won this cookbook over at Annie Bakes.  I love Southern Living and Off the Eaten Path is so fun.  I think I have read it cover to cover.   This cookbook is compiled of amazing recipes from different dives all across the south.  I know you would love it - plus it would make a great gift.  Thanks Anne for the great give-away!

I made the Lemon Bars from the Magnolia Bakery in Beaufort, South Carolina.  We thought they were amazing!

Magnolia Bakery Cafe's Lemon Bars

Parchment Paper
1 cup unsalted butter
2 cups all-purpose flour
4 large eggs
2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice - (about 4 lemons)
2 Tbsp. lemon zest
3 Tbsp all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder

Preheat oven to 350.  Line a lightly greased 9 x 13 with parchment paper.  Place butter in a 4 cup measuring cup, cover and microwave on high 1 minute or until melted. Let cool 8 minutes.

Whisk together melted butter, 2 cups flour and 1/2 cup powdered sugar in a bowl til blended.  Press mixture onto bottom of prepared pan.  Bake at 350 for 20 minutes or until lightly browned.

Meanwhile, whisk eggs in a medium bowl until blended.  Whisk in granulated sugar and next 2 ingredients.  Stir together 3 Tbsp flour and baking powder; whisk into egg mixture.  Pour filling evenly over hot baked crust.

Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes or until filling is set. Let cool in pan on a wire rack for 30 minutes.  Lift from pan, using parchment as handles.  Cool completely on a wire rack. Chill, if desired. Cut into cars and dust generously with powdered sugar before serving.

Makes 2 dozen

Printable Version

Saturday, August 20, 2011

First Day of School

It is hard to believe that all three of our girls are in high school. What a whirlwind!  We are so excited and looking forward to a great year! Love my Girlies! 

Annie - senior, Jenna - junior and Meg - Freshman

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Peanut Butter-Chocolate-Oatmeal Cereal Bars

I found this great new bar recipe in my April edition of Southern Living.  I always need a new bar recipe so I gave this one a try.  I loved it.  It was a cross between a Scotch-a-Roo  and a Monster Bar.  I think sometimes my girls get tired of me trying new things.  I often hear, "Mom, can you just make plain chocolate chip cookies?"  However, I don't usually have a ton of complaints from them or their friends as they scarf them down. :) 

I loved this new bar and it made a larger recipe - like the Monster Bars -  for when you are feeding a larger crowd.   I especially loved the peanuts on top!  Scarf away! 

Peanut Butter-Chocolate-Oatmeal Cereal Bars

2 cups uncooked quick cooking oats
3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup butter,melted
1 large egg
1 cup light corn syrup
1 cup sugar
1 cup creamy peanut butter
4 cups crisp rice cereal
1 (12 oz) pkg semi sweet chocolate chips
1 (10 oz) pkg peanut butter chips
1 cup dry roasted peanuts, chopped

Preheat oven to 350.  Combine first five ingredients in medium bowl and press firmly into bottom of a lightly greased 15 x 10 jelly roll pan.  Mixture will be thin.  Bake for 12 min and then allow to cool on a wire rack. Microwave corn syrup, sugar, and peanut butter in a large microwave safe glass bowl on high for two minutes, stirring at 30 second intervals, til melted; Stir in cereal and press over oat mixture in pan. Microwave chocolate and peanut butter chips in a microwave safe dish for 1 1/2 minutes,stirring at 30 second intervals - until melted; spread over cereal mixture and sprinkle with chopped peanuts. 

Printable Version

Friday, August 12, 2011

Key Lime Martini

I am not a big drinker but I think this recipe is so fun. It is a little strong for me but you can add as much pineapple juice as you would like.  It is so festive and perfect for your summer socials.  Enjoy!

Key Lime Martinis
 (Makes 2)

In a Ice filled Martini Shaker Add:

2-3 shots Vanilla Vodka
1 shot Cointreau or Triple Sec (same thing, but less expensive)
Fill rest with Pineapple juice and ½ squeezed lime.
Top with a squirt of Reddi-Wip

Shake and Serve!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Tortellini and Tomato Salad

I have been trying to find more light summer recipes since it has been so hot.  I found this recipe in the July issue of Southern Living,  It is totally my kind of summer dinner.  I love using basil from my huge wonderful basil plant.  I did add grilled chicken so my family wouldn't complain and therefore - we had dinner!

Also, today I made a Peanut Buster Parfait frozen ice cream dessert.  I forgot how yummy this is.  I think my favorite thing is that I can make it ahead of time!  You have to try it - We just had a bunch of teenagers over and they devoured it.

Tortellini and Tomato Salad ( adapted from Southern Living)

19 - 20 oz cheese-filled tortellini (fresh or frozen)
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2 - 3 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups baby heirloom tomatoes, halved
1 cup fresh corn kernels, cooked, cut off cob
1/2 cup thinly sliced green onions
1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh basil
salt and pepper

Prepare tortellini according to directions.  Meanwhile, process olive oil and next 5 ingredients in blender. ( I chose to mix mine in a bottle and shake it up) Toss olive oil mixture with hot cooked tortellini, tomatoes and next 3 ingredients.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Printable Version

Monday, August 8, 2011

Chocolate Chess Pie

I have been making a tons of different desserts lately.  Chess Pie is a popular southern pie and my mom recently shared this recipe from her friend Mary.  I remember my dad going on and on about this pie.  My Dad loved pie - but then again I think my dad loved all desserts!

My family loved it.  I liked it better without whipped cream but my hubby liked it better with.  Enjoy!

Chocolate Chess Pie

2 eggs
3/4 cup sugar
2 Tablespoons cocoa... I sift together with sugar and mix with eggs.. I also use a mixer to mix it well
1/2 stick butter ( melted & mixed with above)
1 can condensed milk
1 teaspoon vanilla

Mix all ingredients with mixer... put in unbaked pie shell

Bake at 350 degrees for 30-45 minutes or until set.. it shouldn't jiggle too much in center but will continue cooking a little after removed from oven... Can be served plain or with whipping cream... even ice cream.. or it's good just by itself...

Note:  Using the mixer blends it well and makes a better consistency...

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Annie's Senior Pictures

I just can't believe our Annie is a senior.  I know all parents say that and it is so true.  We had the best time taking her senior pictures.  If you are in the Omaha, NE area and you need a photographer, you have to contact Kathy Johnson Portraits.  Kathy has an amazing studio but the best thing about Kathy is her fun personality.  She is so easy to work with and so willing to please. She is taking mainly senior pictures right now but does a fantastic job with any age and any group.  We took family picture with Kathy back in 1994 and they are still some of my favorites!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Refreshing Fruit Tea

I love this yummy fruit tea recipe.  My girls are into drinking "Arnold Palmers" which is a mix of lemonade and tea.  My oldest doesn't drink "POP" as they call it here in the midwest so I thought everyone might enjoy this tea.  I have several different fruit tea combinations - some with more orange juice, some with almond flavoring.  I thought this one was pretty simple and one the girls might enjoy.  We loved it. I have even used this tea for a baby shower and served in wine glasses - just a yummy, fun, refreshing summer tea!

Refreshing Fruit Tea

3 cups boiling water          or         **8 cups boiling water
4 regular size tea bags                       4 family size tea bags
¾ cup sugar                                       2 cups sugar
4 cups cold water                              6 cups cold water
1 cup orange juice                             3 cups orange juice
1 cup pineapple juice                        3 cups pineapple juice
1/4-1/2 cup lemon juice                    1 cup lemon juice

Pour boiling water over tea bags; cover and steep 5 min; remove and discard tea bags; stir in sugar until dissolved; stir in cold water and juices.  Serve over ice with orange or lemon wedge.  

* I like more of an orange flavor so I added more oj and less lemon juice. Feel free to adjust the flavors according to your liking!  This tea is also great if you use mint flavored tea bags!

**I bought family size tea bags and I had to make a large amount of this tea for a bridal shower.  It was hard to just double.  I came up with the version listed above - truly by just tasting and winging it. It was yummy!

Monday, August 1, 2011


We were supposed to go back to TEXAS for our summer gathering but my mom and brother talked me out of it.  We were supposed to go to Six Flags but it was around 105 degrees so we planned a last minute vacation to Breckenridge.  We have been there in the winter but never in the summer - WE LOVED IT!  We hiked, did the Peak 8 fun park ( Meg has some nice elbow and knee strawberries from the alpine slide) and we went White Water Rafting.  The temperatures were awesome.  We also did some amazing eating - of course.  If ever in Breckenridge - we LOVED Empire Burger and the cheese fries.  We actually ate there twice.  We had great pizza a Giempietros and a great meal at the Motherloaded Tavern.  Daylight Donuts was highly recommended for breakfast but we never got up early enough.  We did however manage to stop by Mary's Mountain Cookies at least three of our nights while walking around Main Street.

Hope everyone is having a great summer.  It is still SO hot here in Omaha.  I haven't been posting quite as much but I will try to catch up soon!

Just a few pics from our hike on McCullough Gulch Trail.  I have more pics to share soon!