Saturday, June 30, 2012

1 Red, White, and Blue Summer Salad

 We spent today on the banks of Lake McQueeny with lots of family, food, and laughter. 
I see so much of my Grandpa in his two brothers. . . from bear hugs to story telling . . . Grandpa lives on in those still with us! 
One of the items I brought was this delicious Red, White, and Blue Summer Salad. 
I quickly snapped a picture before everyone dug in (the picture doesn't do the beautiful colors of the salad justice)!
This salad would provide the perfect side for this Wednesday! :-)
Red, White, and Blue Summer Salad
Blueberries
Strawberries
Feta Cheese
Pecans or other nuts
Romaine Lettuce
Any Vinaigrette dressing
Mix together and serve! :-)
Based on salad from Real Mom Kitchen
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Friday, June 29, 2012

1 Watermelon Stars over Blueberries

 When preparing for some family fun tomorrow, I knew I wanted to incorporate the upcoming holiday in some of my meal choices! 
This lovely salad of Watermelon Stars over Blueberries is a healthy and beautiful side for a Fourth of July celebration! :-)
Idea via Chica and Jo via Pinterest
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Thursday, June 28, 2012

1 Orzo with Parmesan and Basil

This quick dish provides a perfect side to a more complicated main course.
I loved the flavor and combination of basil and parmesan cheese.
(Nate, who doesn't enjoy parmesan, prefered to abstain! :-)
I hope you are having a lovely week! Look forward to some 4th of July ideas coming soon! :-)

Orzo with Parmesan and Basil
3 Tablespoons Butter
1-½ cup Orzo
3 cups Chicken Or Vegetable Stock
6 Tablespoons Fresh Chopped Basil
1 cup Parmesan Cheese
½ teaspoons Salt
¼ teaspoons Pepper
Melt the butter over medium heat. Add the orzo and saute for a few minutes, until the orzo starts to get golden brown. Add the broth and cover and simmer for 20 minutes, until all the broth has been absorbed. Remove from the heat, add the basil and Parmesan and salt and pepper to taste.
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Sunday, June 24, 2012

1 Slow Cooker Pasta Sauce

I came across this easy recipe on Meet the Sullivans and couldn't wait to try it out! :-)
Spaghetti isn't Nate's favorite pasta but he did enjoy this meat sauce which makes eating the spaghetti tolerable to him!
Thank goodness, since this is such a quick go to recipe for week night meals! :-) 
This pasta sauce is also easy to freeze which would be great to give to new moms or just to keep in the freezer for a hectic week!  

Slow Cooker Pasta Sauce
1 pound ground beef
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cans (14-1/2 ounces each) diced tomatoes, undrained
1 can (8 ounces) tomato sauce
1 can (6 ounces) tomato paste
1 bay leaf
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 to 2 teaspoons dried basil
1 to 2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 to 1 teaspoon dried thyme
Hot cooked spaghetti
In a large skillet, cook beef and onion over medium heat until meat is no longer pink; drain.
Transfer to a 3-qt. slow cooker. Add the next 9 ingredients. Cover and cook on low for 7-8 hours or until heated through. Discard bay leaf. Serve with spaghetti. Yield: 6-8 servings.
(you can also double this recipe and freeze the leftovers in ziplock freezer bags for an easy dinner in the future!)
Meet the Sullivans
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Saturday, June 23, 2012

2 Schlotzsky's Salad

I recently had the Turkey Avocado Salad from Schlotzsky's on a road trip with Nate and immediately fell in love!
I knew that I would have to remake it soon so I served it to friends a couple of weeks ago. 
Everyone loved it and one guest, who normally does not eat salads, ate the whole thing! :-)
Schlotzsky's Salad
Goat Cheese
Tomatoes
Avocado
Black Beans
Craisins
Bacon
Romaine Lettuce
Any Vinagerette dressing
Arrange lettuce on a plate and then add rows of toppings! Serve with a vinagerette and enjoy! :-)
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Friday, June 22, 2012

3 Iced Patriotic Sugar Cookies! ;-)

Nate cannot say enough good things about these cookies! :-) Icing, fruit, and cookies is a combination that he adores! Not only are these cookies DELICIOUS, they are also perfect for the 4th of July! :-)
Iced Patriotic Sugar Cookies 
Sugar Cookies (either made from scratch or from a box mix) 
White Icing
Blueberries and Strawberries  
Make sure to pat your berries dry so that the excess liquid from the fruit does not run across your icing. Ice sugar cookies and arrange fruit on top! :-) Refrigerate and enjoy wonderfully cold cookies on hot summer days!!
(idea from Racing Towards Joy!)
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Thursday, June 21, 2012

1 Vanilla Bean Bundt Cake with Vanilla Bean Glaze

Growing up we always had Blue Bell Vanilla Bean Ice Cream in the freezer and as an adult I have loved making recipes with that delightful flavor! :-)
This one certainly does not disappoint!
I served this cake to two different groups of friends who all raved about it!
It is an easy cake but does require a couple of hours to make, bake and cool . . . 
 believe me, it is well worth the wait! :-)
Vanilla Bean Bundt Cake 
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 1/4 sticks unsalted butter, softened
1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
2 vanilla beans, halved lengthwise
4 large eggs
1/4 teaspoon pure lemon extract
1 cup buttermilk
Preheat oven to 350°F with rack in middle. Generously butter pan and dust with flour, knocking out excess. Whisk together dry ingredients: flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Beat together butter and sugar in an electric mixer at medium speed until pale and fluffy(about 5 minutes). Scrape seeds from vanilla beans with tip of a paring knife and add into butter mixture, reserving pods for another use, and beat until well combined (about 1 minute). Add eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition, then beat in lemon extract until well combined. At low speed ("stir" setting on KitchenAid mixer) add flour mixture and milk alternately in batches, beginning and ending with flour mixture, mixing until just combined. Spoon batter into pan, smoothing and spreading evenly. Gently tap pan on counter to eliminate air bubbles. Bake until the tip of a knife or skewer inserted into center of cake comes out clean, about 1 hour. Cool in pan 1 hour, then invert onto a rack and cool completely, about 1 hour more. (at this point put the vanilla bean in the milk)
Vanilla Bean Glaze
1 vanilla bean, split and scraped
2-3 tablespoons whole milk
approximately 1 cup confectioners' sugar (icing sugar or powdered sugar)
Split vanilla bean and scrape seeds into whole milk. Let sit in a spouted container, such as a large pyrex measuring cup, for about an hour. Add confectioners' sugar gradually, whisking, until you get desired consistency--about 1 cup. You want to make sure that it's not too runny, or it won't dry white on the cake, and will run off too quickly. It should take a few seconds to whisk it, and it will feel too thick at first--keep whisking until you get desired thickness. If too thick, add a teaspoon or so of the vanilla milk. Once cake has cooled, drizzle glaze over cake.
Sweetapolita
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Tuesday, June 19, 2012

2 Fresh Berry Pie

Nate is always bringing home recipes for me! :-)
A couple of months ago, he was in Louisiana and came home raving about this pie! 
The sweet staff at Tunks Cypress Inn made a copy of the recipe for him and told him they wouldn't mind if it was shared on Elizabeth Ann's Recipe Box! 
Tunks Cypress Inn is on the banks of the Kincaid Lake and specializes in steaks, alligator, crawfish, oysters, and seafood!
Nate highly recommends stopping by there if you are in the neighborhood! 
So, from Lousiana to Texas to your tables around the world. . . 
here is the Fresh Berry Pie!
(Perfect for the red, white, and blue holiday coming up! :-)
Fresh Berry Pie
1 - 9" deep dish pie shell, baked (I used a regular pie shell)
1 can Borden Eagle brand condensed milk
1/3 cup lemon juice
1 - 8 oz cream cheese, softened
1 - 8 oz tub cool whip
fresh fruit such as: 2 pounds strawberries, hulled, 2 pints blueberries, or 2 pints blackberries
Cream cheese in mixer until smooth. In separate bowl mix together condensed milk and lemon juice. Add to cream cheese. Beat until smooth. Fold in cool whip. Then fold in berries. Spoon into pie crust. Refrigerate.
Tunks Cypress Inn, Alexandria, LA
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Monday, June 18, 2012

2 Gobza, Gobza, Gobza

One of my parents' friends started this amazing company that I am so excited to tell you about! :-) It is called Gobza and is similar to Groupon or other companies in which you can buy dinners, workout classes, tickets to sporting events, etc for a discounted price.
Read below and sign up today! :-) 
(It literally takes 1 minute to sign up!) 

"Now it is in a phase of adding members by invite only but come August as coupons go live anyone will be able to sign up on their own so build your network now!

Here's how it works...
You sign and... join Gobza for free by being invited by somebody, in this case myself with this link:
www.gobza.com/5058

After joining, you can buy offers as something comes up that interests you - be it a restaurant, spa, tickets to an event, etc. etc., but as you'll see below you ultimately don't even have to purchase anything to make money.
Second, after you join, invite your friends and others to join Gobza by email, Facebook, Twitter, etc.

Those you invite can both buy offers when they find something that saves them money and then they in turn can turn around and invite their friends.

So, for good part, the way you make this money - you get four levels of people from whom you will earn rewards.

Let’s say you invite 100 friends and 10 of those invited join Gobza, these 10 invite 100 each and they do the same and you now have 100 people joined under your name, then these 100 repeat and 1,000 join still under your name, finally these 1,000 do the same and 10,0000 join…you have now 11,110 names signed under you and all four levels reward you. The rewards coming back to you stop at 4 levels.

At the end of a given period, the entire amount spent by all is added up, and you make 2% of the amount they spent on offers and coupons (that saved them money) just for inviting them.

As an example, if the 11,110 spend an average of say $20 a year for coupons to restaurants, movies, cars, hotels, spas, sport events, etc. you will earn rewards of 2% of the total spent by all which translates to $4,444 per year, each year for as long as Gobza exists.

Easy to make up a ridiculous scenario with more names and more money spent on offers… but you can do the math!"
 
Here is a great testimonial and an article on Yahoo Finance! :-) 
"What Facebook was to Myspace, and Google to Yahoo, Gobza will be to Groupon. " -Mike Sherman, Chief of Staff, New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu



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Sunday, June 17, 2012

1 Happy Father's Day! :-)

Happy Father's Day, Daddy!!
 (I saw these sandwiches on Pinterest a while ago and knew they would be perfect for a celebration for my golf loving daddy!)

 (picture by Michael Carr)

I love you! :-) 




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Friday, June 15, 2012

1 Father's Day Favorites

I wanted to give y'all some ideas for Father's Day this Sunday . . .
so I asked MY dad to list his 10 favorite items on Elizabeth Ann's Recipe Box! 

(He listed 13. . . sweet Dad couldn't narrow it down to 10) 

In no particular order. . . 








 






So many great choices! :-)
Thanks, Daddy! I love you! :-)
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Thursday, June 14, 2012

0 Fresh Berry Tart

God has blessed us with such sweet friends! 
We had so much fun with our dinner guests last night that when midnight hit, it felt like we had been together for just an hour! 
I love nights like that. . .
lost in conversation!!

When making a more complicated dinner, I try to serve something cold and that I can prepare ahead of time for dessert!
These tarts were delicious, easy, and devoured by all! :-)
Fresh Berry Tart
Crust: (or buy 1 package (6 count) individual graham cracker tart shells)
2 cups graham crackers
8 tbsp (1 US stick) unsalted butter, melted
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Spray Pam lightly on 6 individual tart pans. Mix the butter and graham crackers together and press into the bottom of the pan evenly. Press crust up each side of the pans. Bake crust for 5 minutes and allow to cool completely.
Filling: 
1 package (8 oz) cream cheese, softened (I used "quiche" pans and needed 3 packages of cream cheese because they are bigger than tart pans)
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar (I needed 3/4 cup of light brown sugar for my "quiche" pans)
2 cups fresh blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, or sliced strawberries
3 tablespoons sugar 
1 teaspoon lemon juice  
1 teaspoon grated lemon peel 
In large bowl, beat cream cheese and brown sugar until smooth. Spread in tart shells.In a small bowl, toss berries with sugar, lemon juice and peel. Arrange berries onto tarts. Chill for 1 hour. 
Based on recipe from  Taste of Home 
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Wednesday, June 13, 2012

1 Wedge Salad

This is one of my favorite salads and one of the easiest to make! 
The perfect starter to a tedious main course!
Enjoy!
Wedge Salad
Iceberg Lettuce cut 4 ways
6 strips of bacon
2 tomatoes
Blue Cheese crumbles (optional)
Blue Cheese Dressing
Fry the bacon on the stove or in the microwave and dice tomatoes and then crumble bacon. Put each fourth of the iceberg lettuce on a plate. Sprinkle blue cheese crumbles over the lettuce. Pour blue cheese dressing over the lettuce and sprinkle bacon and tomatoes on top!

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Tuesday, June 12, 2012

3 Hummingbird Cake

Nate has been enjoying my pinterest obsession almost as much as I have! For his birthday a couple of months ago, I pull up my pinterest account on his ipad and told him choose something! Well, after going through all of my pins, he chose this hummingbird cake! :-)
I can't remember why I chose to make the 13x9 version of this cake instead of the 9 layer one as shown below but I think it might have been because we were taking the cake somewhere and obviously the flat version is easier to transport. May next year I'll make the sky high one!
Sky-High Hummingbird Cake 
1 cup pecans, finely chopped 
3 cups all-purpose flour  
2 cups granulated sugar  
1 teaspoon baking soda  
1/2 teaspoon salt  
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon  
3 large eggs, lightly beaten  
1 cup safflower, sunflower, or corn oil (I used vegetable oil) 
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract  
8 ounce can crushed pineapple (and the juice)  
2 cups mashed ripe bananas (about 4 bananas) 
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C) with rack in middle of oven. Prepare three 8" round cake pans with butter/oil spray and a parchment circle on bottom of pan. Set aside.  
In large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, sugar, salt, and cinnamon. Set aside.  
In a separate large mixing bowl, combine lightly beaten eggs, vanilla, pecans, oil, bananas, and pineapple. Pour into dry ingredients and stir with wooden spoon until combined. Divide batter evenly into 3 prepared 8" round pans. Bake until toothpick comes clean from centre of cake (about 30 minutes). Don't open oven for first 20 minutes, then rotate pans, checking after 10 more minutes. Try not to overbake! Let cool on wire racks for 20 minutes, then inverting onto racks, removing parchment paper, until cool to the touch.  
Fluffy Cream Cheese Icing
*Enough to frost and fill an 8″ round 6-layer cake
1/2 cup (1 stick, or 115 g) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 x 8 ounce packages cream cheese, cut into cubes, cold
2 lbs (about 7 1/4 cups icing sugar (confectioners)
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
Using electric mixer, combine butter and icing sugar until just combined. Add cold cream cheese, all at once, and beat on medium speed for about 4 minutes. Turn up to high speed for another 1 minute. Should be fluffy. Don’t overbeat, or the icing will start to lose thickness.
*To fill and frost the sky-high 8″ version of this cake, you will likely need to increase the icing recipe by 50%
Assembly Tips and Tricks:
Wrapped baked layers in saran and refrigerate for a few hours before torting them
Always put a large piece of wax or parchment paper under the cake board (with the cake on it) while you work on icing the cake, to keep your turntable or other surface clean
Use small offset palette knife to spread icing between layers, and large palette knife and bench scraper to smooth icing onto sides when crumb-coating
Refrigerate crumb-coated cake until icing is no longer sticky before applying top decorative icing layer
Refrigerate completed cake overnight, if possible, before slicing 
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Monday, June 11, 2012

1 Cucumber Mint Tea Sandwiches

I love having high tea, especially with best friends at Claridge's in London or at the St. Regis with my Gigi! 
One of my favorite things about high tea are the dainty sandwiches! 
This is a wonderful twist on the original cucumber sandwich. . .
Now just add some tea, petit fours, and friends! :-)
Happy Monday! :-)
Cucumber Mint Tea Sandwiches
1/4 cup loosely packed fresh mint leaves
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons cream cheese
6 slices of bread
3-inch length of cucumber

Pick off some mint leaves and place them in a salad spinner or rinse them all by hand.
Dry the leaves and then dice . Place the cream cheese, butter, and mint into a bowl and mix well. It helps if the cream cheese and butter are softened ever so slightly. It should become a sort of herb paste. Slice the cucumbers -- how thick you'd like to slice them is up to what kind of crunch you want in your sandwich. Slice the crusts off the bread and slice the sandwich up into nice little finger-approved rectangles. Put the mint "paste" on each slice of bread and add the cucumbers!
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Sunday, June 10, 2012

2 Triple Chocolate Cookies

Nate went on a big fishing trip this week and, as always, I had to send him with some goodies! 
I saw these cookies on one of my favorite cooking blogs, For the Love of Cooking , and knew they would be perfect for the road trip! 
Nate came back last night, sun burned, exhausted, and with a ton of red fish and trout! Since there were only crumbs left, I knew these cookies were a hit! 
Triple Chocolate Cookies
1 cup of butter, softened
1 cup of white sugar
1/2 cup of packed brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp of vanilla
2 cups of flour
1/2 cup of unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup white chocolate chips
1 cup of semi sweet chocolate chips
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with a silpat mat. Beat together the butter, white sugar, and brown sugar until creamy. Add the vanilla and one egg at a time until well beaten. Combine the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt then mix thoroughly. Slowly add the flour mixture to the butter mixture until just combined. Add the chocolate chips and gently stir until evenly mixed. Drop a heaping spoonful of the cookie dough on the baking sheet, two inches apart. Bake the cookies for 9-10 minutes. Cool on baking trays before moving to a rack to finish cooling. Enjoy.
For the Love of Cooking
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Saturday, June 9, 2012

2 Baseball Cupcakes

In honor of Baylor hosting a Super Regional today, 
here are some baseball cupcakes! 
The ideal treat for when friends come over to watch the College World Series, Home Run Derby or the 7th game of the World Series! 
They are also perfect for a sports themed child's party! :-)
I made these in the spring and have been waiting for the most superb event to share them with y'all. . . I think the Super Regional constitutes a pretty amazing event! :-) 
Good luck today, Bears, and SIC EM! :-)
Baseball Cupcakes
Cupcake Box Mix and the ingredients on the box
White Icing
Red M&Ms
Red or Red Checkered Cupcakes liners
Make the cupcakes according to the directions on the box. Ice cupcakes. Line M&Ms in semi circles on the cupcakes. Refrigerate!
Idea from Be Different Act Normal
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Friday, June 8, 2012

1 Spicy Stewed Beef with Creamy Cheddar Grits

My sweet friend, Megan, pointed out this recipe to me one day on Pinterest, exclaiming how amazing she thought it sounded. . . 
so when she and her husband came over for dinner last week
this plate of goodness was the highlight of the menu!
Nate thought it was a little too spicy but everyone else loved it! 
Although it takes a while to cook. . . the preparation is quite easy!
Enjoy! :-)
Spicy Stewed Beef with Creamy Cheddar Grits
2 Tablespoons Canola Oil
2 Tablespoons Butter
3 pounds Stew Meat Or Diced Chuck Roast
1 can (11 Ounces) Chipotle Peppers In Adobo Sauce
4 cups Low-sodium Beef Broth, More If Needed
5 cloves Minced Garlic
1 Tablespoon Cumin
2 teaspoons Chili Powder
1 whole Onion, Diced
1 whole Red Bell Pepper
3 whole Chilies (any Variety, Hot Or Mild) (I used jalapenos with the seeds removed)
4 cups Stone Ground Grits
6 cups Low Sodium Chicken (or Beef) Broth
3 cups Water
2 cups Half-and-half
2 cups Grated Cheddar Cheese
To make the meat, heat 1 tablespoon oil and 1 tablespoon butter in a large pot over high heat. Throw in stew meat and brown for 1 minute, then add chipotle peppers, beef broth, garlic, cumin, and chili powder. Stir, then bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, then cover and simmer for 2 1/2 to 3 hours, or until the meat is fall-apart tender and the liquid is thick. (Watch the meat occasionally and add more beef broth as needed.)
In the last hour of cooking time, make the grits: Heat remaining 1 tablespoon of both oil and butter. Add diced onion, bell pepper, and chilies and cook for five minutes or so. Pour in grits, then add chicken (or beef) broth and water. Stir, then bring to a boil . Reduce the heat to low, then cover and cook for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. After 30 minutes, add half-and-half. Cook for another 20 to 30 minutes, or until grits are tender. Remove from heat and stir in grated cheese.
Serve pile of grits with stewed meat (liquid and all) over the top. Sprinkle on sliced green onion for color.
Pioneer Woman
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Thursday, June 7, 2012

6 Avocado Caprese Salad

My favorite "first course" at a restaurant is a Caprese salad . . . 
the mozzerella and tomato combined with basil and fine olive oil is just heaven on earth for me!
I have been getting our tomatoes and avocados from local farmers lately and have been eating them together at least once a day. . . 
so when I had some leftover mozzarella from a previous recipe, I paired a caprese salad with avocado and . . . 
made this beauty! :-) 
Avocado Caprese Salad
Tomato
Avocado
Mozzarella
Basil (real is always better) 
Olive oil
Pepper
Slice the tomato, avocado, and mozzarella and stack in a row with basil leaves in between (or sprinkle basil on top). Pour olive oil over the salad and crack some pepper on top!  
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Wednesday, June 6, 2012

1 Buttermilk Peach Pie

Here are a couple of pictures from our summer so far! :-)
 
I made this pie for some friends last night and it literally vanished in 5 minutes! :-) It is a perfect southern, summer time treat and it is as easy to make as it is good! :-) 
(The winner of the Stella and Dot giveaway is Jennifer!)
Buttermilk Peach Pie 
1 Can (29 oz) Yellow Cling Peaches in Heavy Syrup, drained
2 heaping tablespoons all purpose flour
1 Cup Sugar
3 Eggs
1/3 Cup Buttermilk
1/2 Cup Butter or Margarine, Melted
1 teaspoon Vanilla
1 deep dish pie shell, unbaked
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
Place peaches in bottom of pie shell. In mixing bowl combine all other ingredients and mix with whisk until well combined.Pour over peaches. Place pie on baking sheet and bake at 350 for forty minutes, or until the middle doesn't jiggle when moved.
Southern Plate
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