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Left over me

14 Jul

Not to be all recipe focused this month, but I’m always on the lookout for good recipes to use for my inevitable left overs.

Take my Fourth of July cookout.  We had a lot of left over sauce and toppings.  Even after slathering up all of the hotdogs that came in the pack.  Fortunately, the sauce and topping lend themselves well to Greek sandwiches!

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Ingredients:

  • roast beef
  • pita bread
  • greek sauce
  • diced onions, lettuce, tomato and cucumbers

I got at least a week’s worth of lunches out of my leftover sauce and toppings from our Fourth of July cookout.  I even like this sandwich so much I plan on making it again on its own.  That’s when you know it’s a good leftovers recipe!

What do you do with your leftovers?  Any good recipes to share?

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Celebrated: Fourth of July

5 Jul

Fourth of July was pretty good this year.  Not only did we get the day off in the middle of the week (score!) but the weather held off long enough to see some fireworks.

How we celebrated:

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Greek style hot dog with baked beans.  We used smoked turkey hot dogs to make this diet friendly, and of course Bush’s baked beans.

Greek sauce:

1 cup Greek yogurt (non fat)

2 tbsp light mayo

1 tbsp lemon juice

2 tbsp grated cucumber

1 tsp lemon zest

1 tsp fresh dill (diced)

1 tsp fresh chives (diced)

salt and pepper to taste

Toppings:

Romain lettuce

diced tomato

diced red onion

spoon sauce on hot dog and top with shredded lettuce, diced tomato and red onion.

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For dessert: red velvet ice cream with a red velvet cookie and blue berries (all store bought).  I tried to make the jello dish I blogged about, but for some reason the jello didn’t gel.  Have you ever had that problem?  I didn’t try to add fruit or lick the spoon or anything like that.  The only thing I can think of is that I made the “boiling water” too hot by literally boiling water.  Or maybe there was just something wrong with the jello.  It was in the discount section at the grocery store.  So we had to go out and purchase dessert.  Red velvet icecream by stoneridge is our new favorite.  It is seriously delicious.

and, of course Fireworks!

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Lemon Icebox Pie Icecream

17 May

It’s almost time for summer, and so I’ve started to make ice cream again this year.  Last year I received the Kitchenaid icecream maker attachment for my birthday, and boy, have I been churning out some delicious ice cream ever since then.  And I mean delicious.  You’ll also need the splash guard to make getting the icecream batter into the machine easy.  The past issue of Southern Living magazine (gift subscription from my mom– thanks mom!) included this intriguing recipe I just had to try out. (Edits in red)

Ingredients

  • 3 to 4 lemons
  • 2 cups half-and-half
  • 1 (14-oz.) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 3/4 cup coarsely crushed graham crackers
  • 1 tablespoon vodka

Preparation

  1. Grate zest from lemons to equal 1 Tbsp. Cut lemons in half; squeeze juice from lemons into a measuring cup to equal 1/2 cup (this took just 2 big lemons for me).
  2. Whisk together half-and-half, sweetened condensed milk, vodka, and lemon juice. Pour mixture into freezer container of a 1 1/2-qt. electric ice-cream maker, and freeze according to manufacturer’s instructions. (Instructions and times may vary.) Stir in graham cracker crumbs and lemon zest; transfer to an airtight container. Freeze 2 hours before serving.

I typically add alcohol to icecream recipes if they don’t already call for it so that I end up with more scoop-able icecream.  (Especially if the recipe isn’t just all high-fat whipping cream and loads of sugar.. which also help icecream remain soft-ish).  One tablespoon vodka seemed to hit the nail on the head for this one.  The texture is dense, but not hard to scoop.  And the icecream tastes just like lemon icebox pie.  When you first put it in your mouth you taste lemon, but after that it really does remind me of meringue!  I would have taken a picture, but it was too yummy and I fell into a sugar coma before I could get off a shot.  Sorry.  Imagine icecream just like in the picture, but without the waffle-cone cookies.

Strawberry Lemonade Cake

1 May

Sometimes I like to go to the discount section of the grocery store just to see what’s there.  This time, there was lemon frosting, and I just had to have it.  At first I thought I would get some lemon poppy seed cake/muffin mix and put it on top, but alas, the store didn’t carry it.  So then I decided that a strawberry lemonade cake would be nice.  And it is.  It’s delicious.  The cake even tastes like lemon, although it has no lemon in it, just a trick of the senses.

Ingredients

  • Betty Crocker Super Moist Yellow Cake (my fav. and NOT the butter recipe, it’s not as good)
  • Strawberries
  • Lemon Frosting (I used Duncan Hines Lemon Supreme, because it was on sale)

Directions

  1. Prepare cake batter according  to package directions and spoon into two round cake pans
  2. Dice a handful of strawberries and place on top of cake batter
  3. Bake cake according to package directions
  4. After cake cools, spread the frosting and toss on some sliced strawberries
  5. Eat and enjoy

The strawberries in the cake batter are really delicious and really make it taste like strawberry lemonade.  Use as many or as little as you like.  A word to the wise though, the more strawberries you put in the cake batter, the more likely the cake will split when you try to remove it from the pan.  So you know, be careful of that.

Easter Cupcakes

10 Apr

As mentioned here, I made these delicious cupcakes for Easter

and boy, are they yummy!

I didn’t use the edible paper grass because, well, sprinkles are easier.  Don’t the sprinkles make it look like they’re sitting on a grass lawn though?

Let’s take a closer look:

Oh yeah, that’s the stuff.  They taste wonderful and I followed the recipe to the letter.  Except for the icing.  For some reason the icing was waaay too runny using the recipe.  Maybe because I didn’t sift the powdered sugar? Or perhaps because I brought the cream cheese to room temperature?  Or because the cream cheese was the lower fat variety?  I have no idea.  I had to add a lot more powdered sugar to it to get it to be the right consistency.  Oh well.  Icing is pretty much pure sugar anyway.  I now have a bunch of left over icing, filling, and cake bits I’m not sure what to do with, but the possibilities are all delicious (including the obvious “just eat it” option).

I hope you all had a very Happy Easter!

Easter Menu

3 Apr

Easter is one of those holidays that my family never really had many food traditions for.  Other than the chocolate bunny in the easter basket thing.  Everyone does that.  I mean the easter breakfast/lunch/dinner food traditions.  Or maybe I just wasn’t particularly fond of them, and therefore I don’t remember them.  Either way, each year I try something in the hopes that I’ll like it so much that it sticks.  This year I’m roasting a chicken.

Specifically using this recipe from Better Homes and Gardens

Doesn’t that look delish?

With a side of garlic mashed potatos

and Cilantro Tabbouleh with Cranberries

And for dessert (oh dessert, I’m looking forward to you most) I am going to make pineapple coconut cupcakes with buttermilk cream cheese frosting

Now isn’t your mouth watering?  The cupcake, oh the cupcake.  I’m envisioning glorious pineapple upside down cake mixed with pina colada, and a rich creaaammy icing.  Oh, and a dark mini chocolate Cadbury egg on top.  In case it’s not sweet enough or something (ha!), or you know, to look easter-y.