Archive for July, 2011

July 28th, 2011

Fudgesicle Fun


 So as I sit and try to figure out what to say for this recipe, I think the picture sums it up quite nicely.  I mean really, who wouldn’t love to sit out by the pool and enjoy a homemade fudgesicle on a hot summer day.  Summer to me is happiness.  Being able to enjoy spending time with my family swimming and eating yummy treats is just pure bliss to me and my kids.

Homemade fudgesicles taste amazing…and who knew they were so easy to make.

Start out by making sure you have a super cute assistant (and yes I highly recommend they wear a purple unicorn nightgown).  If no assistant can be found then I am sure anyone one person can handle this on their own.

Really just pour everything into a mixing bowl and whisk it together.  Make sure to get any clumps out.

Then pour into your popsicle molds.  There are so many cute ones out there…like this one.

Once the fudgesicle mixture is in the molds place them in the freezer for at least 4 hours.  Then, Enjoy!!


1 14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp. vanilla extract


Whisk all ingredients together in a mixing bowl.  Pour into popsicle molds and freeze at least 4 hours or until solid.  Unmold and serve!

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July 27th, 2011

Caramelized Onions and Veggies


I love fresh vegetables – I know they say frozen are just as nutritious, but none the less, they just don’t taste the same.  We love this mix of fresh veggies – it’s a staple at our house, we probably eat it every week; we eat it with any grilled meat, on spaghetti, pizza, paninis, etc.  It’s so easy to make and has that fresh from the garden taste!


 Here is what you need:

Start with lots of fresh veggies – we use onions, carrots, squash, zucchini, bell peppers, and anything else that might be in the fridge; then add:

Garlic, minced

Fresh ground black pepper

Parmesan Cheese (optional)

Here is what to do:

Put a tablespoon or two of Olive Oil  in a hot skillet.  Add your onions and let them cook until they start to turn opaque.   Depending on how big you slice your carrots, add them next because they take a little longer to cook.  Add some fresh minced garlic for flavor!   As your onions begin to caramelize (turn opaque and brown) add your peppers, squash and zucchini.  You can leave them crispy or let them cook and caramelize also.  When everything gets done (about 20 minutes depending on what you use, how you slice it and how crisp you want it- how’s that for vague directions- honestly you’ll figure it out) – add some fresh ground pepper.  Depending on what you’re serving it with, top it off with some fresh parmesan cheese – LOVE IT!

Here is how to eat it:

One of our favorite ways to eat these veggies is on spaghetti - take spaghetti from the ordinary to extraordinary by topping off your regular recipe with a generous scoop of veggies and finish off with fresh parmesan cheese.

Cook Once Eat Twice:  Take the left over spaghetti sauce and put it on a store-bought pizza crust, top with veggies and mozzarella – YUM.

Serve the veggie mix with any grilled, steak, chicken or fish.

Another Cook Once Eat Twice (isn’t this your favorite way to eat?):  Grill extra meat for fab Panini sandwiches – add the meat, veggies and any assortment of cheese for a delish and easy dinner!



all crafts Homemade Projects ~ Add Yours {10/18}


July 25th, 2011

Cedar Plank Salmon with Honey Pepper Glaze

 Love salmon?  Me too.  I love that something so tasty can be so good for you:  rich in protein, all kinds of Omega -3 fatty acids, vitamin D, calcium, plus a list of vitamins and minerals. Hard to find a more nutritious food!

This is one of our favorite ways to cook salmon.  It’s got just a little bit of a kick to spice things up – but not too much.  (Like a little more heat?  Just double the cayenne and black pepper – this is how my son likes it- the hotter the better!)

I also love that this is a Cook Once Eat Twice menu for us (It’s a great feeling knowing that dinners already cooked for the next night :) – Be sure to check out the Panini Recipe at the bottom of the post!

Cedar Plank Salmon with Honey Pepper  Glaze


2 cedar planks for grilling

4-6 boneless salmon fillets

Honey Pepper Glaze:

1/4 cup pineapple juice
1/3 cup soy sauce
3/4 cup honey
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons white vinegar
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1 garlic clove, minced


Soak cedar planks in warm water for at least 1 hour – 2 hours if you remember to start them in time.

Bring all the glaze ingredients to a boil; reduce heat and simmer until the sauce has reduced to a syrupy consistency, about 15 -20 minutes.

Preheat grill to medium heat.  Place the planks on the grate.  They are ready to cook when they start to smoke.

Place the salmon fillets onto the smoking cedar planks (skin side down), close the lid and cook for about 10 minutes.  Spoon a small amount of the glaze over the salmon and continue cooking until the fish turns opaque in the center (about 5 minutes).  Serve with the remaining glaze.  We love to serve this with rice pilaf and caramelized onion veggie mix.

**Cook Once Eat Twice:  Be sure to cook enough for leftovers the next night.  This makes the best panini sandwiches:  Spread a little cream cheese on your bread, add the salmon and leftover veggie mix, top with a little of the glaze and toast – serve with extra glaze  for dipping. –  YUM.


July 16th, 2011

Fresh Strawberry Pie

One of the best things of summer is berries . . .  and strawberries are one of those perfect foods that you can just enjoy as is – or you can take them over the top in a fresh strawberry pie!

When I was growing up we would take road trips to my grandparents home in Idaho (mind you no dvd players or ipods back then) – so the highlight of the trip was stopping at JB’s Big Boy Restaurant outside Boise, Idaho to have a slice of their fresh strawberry pie.  As I remember it, they were about a foot high with fresh berries and oh so good. I wonder if they are still there and still making strawberry pie? If you live near Boise, you’ll have to let me know.

There’s just nothing like fresh strawberries and whipped cream in a pie. . . .  make one today – you’ll family will think you’re the best ever!

Fresh Strawberry Pie


1 9″ pie crust, baked
3 lbs fresh ripe strawberries, washed and halved
1 cup sugar
2 1/2  tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 cup water
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
2 tablespoons powdered sugar
1 fresh lemon (juice and zest)
red food color


Wash and stem your strawberries first so they can dry by the time you are ready to put them in your pie shell.  If the berries are large you can cut them in half.


Take about 1 1/2 cups of the strawberries and puree in your blender (or just mash them well) to make about 1 cup of puree.


Pour the puree into a medium-sized saucepan. Mix the sugar and cornstarch together and add to the puree. Stir in the water (add in 2-3 drops of food color to achieve a deeper red) and 1 teaspoon of fresh lemon juice. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens and boils. Boil 2 minutes, remove from heat and cool.


While the sauce is cooling, beat together cream cheese, powdered sugar and 1 teaspoon of fresh lemon zest until smooth. Spread in the bottom of your baked pie crust.


Mix cooled strawberry mixture with the fresh strawberries. Pour into pie shell. Refrigerate until completely cooled and set – at least 3-4  hours.











When ready to serve top with fresh whipped cream and then get ready for loads of kudos!


Posted under Desserts, Pie | No Comments
July 14th, 2011

Whipped Cream


This is a true confession of a cream snob…okay yes it is completely true,  I am a cream snob.  But in my defense it runs in the family.  You will never find anything but the real deal at my house.   Seriously though, have you ever tried to read the ingredients on an aerosol can of whipped cream?  I can’t pronounce half of them and it really doesn’t taste even close to the real thing. 

Making whipped cream is so easy and makes all the difference for your desserts.  Or you if you prefer just take the bowl and a spoon and have at it.  Trust me, you wouldn’t be the first.


Whipped Cream

1 cup heavy cream
2 Tablespoons powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla


Pour cream into  mixing bowl and start on a slow speed.  As cream begins to thicken add sugar and vanilla.  Slowly increase your speed to high.  Mix 3-4 minutes for it to reach a stiff consistency; make sure to stop before it clumps. 

*This recipe makes 2 cups of whipped cream.

Note: You may use more or less sugar depending on the desired level of sweetness needed.


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Caramel Potatoes

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