Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Happy Birthday Colleen!! ( Cookies )

My friend Colleen turns the Big 3-0 today, and we celebrated this weekend with a BBQ. My Mom gave Colleen some cookies as a birthday present, they are pink and navy, one of my favorite color combos! Happy Birthday Colleen!!!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Casino Cookies

My friend Lauren was going to a casino themed 30th birthday and requested some cookies with the same theme.

Casino Cookies!

Poker Chips....



Slot Machine Numbers...

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Baptism Cookies

My friend Annie's daughter Molly had her baptism a few weeks ago and I did some crosses with pink roses for the event.

Cheese on the Cob

Nothing is more summer than corn on the cob and I really love grilling it. I've posted another grilled corn recipe but this one is a little different and maybe a faster. I made this for our 4th of July barbeque and doubled the recipe, but it actually covered more than 10 ears of corn. Below is the recipe for 5 servings.

Paula's Home Cooking - Paula Deen
Serves 5


1/2 cup mayonnaise
5 ears of corn, husks and silk removed
1 cup shredded Parmesan
Chili powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


Prepare grill.

Brush a thin layer of mayonnaise on corn. Sprinkle the corn with cheese, chili powder, salt and pepper. Wrap each corn with foil and place on the grill.
Turn occasionally and cook for about 10 minutes (until kernels begin to brown). Serve warm.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Happy Engagement Cookies

A few weeks ago my friend Kristin D. asked me to make some Happy Engagement Cookies for a friend of hers who recently got engaged. Her friend's favorite color is peacock blue so I wanted to make sure I got the color just right! I made a few heart shaped brides, a few heart shaped grooms and a few cakes with roses to complete the gift box.

Creamy Chicken-and-Rice Casserole

Since I started coaching at night I've been trying to prepare a lot of dinners before I leave for practice, so I happen to be making a lot of casseroles. I found this one on CookingLight.com and its delicious and super easy. I made it the other night when Denis's parents were coming for dinner and I wanted to be able to spend time with them instead of cooking.
Serves 6 (serving size: 1 1/3)


1 (6.9-ounce) package one-third-less-salt chicken-flavored rice-and-vermicelli mix with chicken broth and herbs ( I used Rice-A-Roni)
1 tablespoon margarine
2 1/4 cups hot water
Vegetable cooking spray
1 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into bite size pieces
1 cup presliced fresh mushrooms
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 (10 3/4-ounce) can reduce-fat, reduced-sodium condensed cream of mushroom soup, undiluted
1/4 cup crushed multigrain crackers (I used Wheat Thins, the recipe suggests to use 6 but I found it wasn't enough so I used about 15)
1 tablespoon margarine, melted


Cook rice mix in a large nonstick skillet according to package directions, using 1 tablespoon margarine and 2 1/4 cups hot water. Remove mixture from skillet; set aside. Wipe skillet with paper towel.

Coat the skillet with cooking spray, and place over high heat until hot. Add chicken, mushrooms, and garlic powder; saute 6 minutes or until chicken loses its pink color. Combine rice mixture, chicken mixture, sour cream, pepper, and soup in a bowl, stir well. Spoon mixture into into a 2-quart casserole coated with cooking spray. Combine crackers crumbs and margarine; stir well, and sprinkle over chicken mixture. Bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes or until thoroughly heated.

Make-Ahead Tips: You can assemble the casserole ahead of time, omitting the cracker-crumb mixture; cover and chill in the refrigerator or freeze (thaw frozen casserole overnight in refrigerator). Let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes; top with the cracker crumb mixture, and bake as directed.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Chocolate Dirt Cupcakes

Again I needed a yummy dessert and I went directly to Paula Deen. Everything she makes is delish and these cupcakes were no exception! I wanted to try something new and these looked great for my friend Allison's birthday celebration. This recipe will be fun with kids too because they can decorate them with the gummy worms and oreo crumbles.

Paula Deen
Makes 36


8 ounces sour cream
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 1/4 cups sugar
2 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup strong brewed coffee
1 cup vegetable oil
3 large eggs

Chocolate Fudge Frosting:

1 cup sugar
1 cup heavy whipping cream
5 (1-ounce) squares unsweetened chocolate
10 tablespoons butter
1 cup confectioners' sugar


30 to 40 chocolate sandwich cookies ( I used double stuffed)
36 gummy worms


For cupcakes:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 3 cupcake pans with cupcake liners.

In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients. Beat at medium speed with an electric mixer until smooth. Pour into cupcake liners about 2/3 full. Bake for 16 to 18 minutes, or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Let cool in pans for 10 minutes. Remove from pans, and let cool completely on wire racks.

For the frosting:

In a medium saucepan, combine sugar and cream. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat; reduce heat, and simmer for 6 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove from heat; add chocolate and butter, stirring until melted and smooth. Let cool for 10 minutes. Whisk in confectioners' sugar. Let mixture cool until it reaches a spreadable consistency, then top cooled cupcakes with frosting .

For the topping:

Place the cookies into a resealable plastic bag. Crush cookies with hands to make a "dirt" consistency. Sprinkle frosting with cookie crumbs, top with gummy worm and enjoy.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Lemon-Pepper Ricotta Spread

My friend Allison's birthday was last weekend and on Saturday night we went to her house for a birthday celebration barbeque. I just bought the Single BBQ dip bowl from my entry "A Few of My Favorite Things....Summer Grilling and Entertaining". I was dying to use it so I made this dip by Rachael Ray, I think it was a big hit and it looked super cute in the little grill! I also made Chocolate Dirt Cupcakes as well, that recipe coming soon!

Rachael Ray
Suggested Serving Size 4-6


12 rounds sliced baguette or 8 larger rounds semolina bread
1 cup ricotta
1/2 cup softened cream cheese
1 lemon
A few sprigs fresh thyme, leaves chopped
1 small clove garlic, grated or minced
1 teaspoon coarse black pepper


Bake bread 10 to 12 minutes in a preheated 325 degree F oven to toast.

Gently squeeze liquid from ricotta in paper towels. Combine the ricotta with the cream cheese in a food processor and add zest and juice of 1 lemon, thyme, garlic and pepper. Process until smooth and transfer to a serving dish. Serve with toast.

NOTE: The recipe says it serves 4 to 6 but it definitely served more people than that, so I had extra toast on hand. If I made this dip again I think I would double the recipe since it was eaten so fast!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

A few of my favorite things....Red, White and Blue

In honor of 4th of July , I've found a few festive Red, White and Blue items for the kitchen and entertaining. I love, love, love this color combo anytime of year because it makes me think of summer but here are some patriotic 4th of July ideas.

Williams - Sonoma

This is very festive for your 4th of July Barbeque! The Stars and Stripes Runners and Napkins would look great indoors or outdoors.


I love beverage buckets for entertaining and these are great for a 4th of July BBQ.

Pottery Barn

You can always count on Pottery Barn to have classic color combos. These Sausalito Melamine Plates could be used as chargers with a white plate on top or as a dinner plate itself. They come in red and blue, in sets of four. Mix and matching would be great for the 4th!

Bed, Bath and Beyond

I really like when dinnerware sets have mix and match patterned pieces. These red, white and blue by Kate Spade are so cute and can be used all year round.
Wood Flag Serving Tray
Sur La Table

Perfect serving tray for hot dogs and hamburgers!!