Archive for June, 2008

Broccoli, Cherry Tomato, and Pasta Salad


Herb mixture:
1/2 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
1/3 cup fresh basil leaves
1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill
1 teaspoon grated lemon rind
12 mint leaves
1 garlic clove, peeled

2 garlic cloves, peeled
1/3 cup 2% low-fat cottage cheese
1/4 cup low-fat buttermilk
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
Dash of black pepper
1/2 cup (2 ounces) crumbled feta cheese

7 cups small broccoli florets
2 1/2 cups sliced mushrooms
2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
2 cups cooked medium seashell or rotini pasta (about 4 ounces uncooked pasta)
1/2 cup minced shallots
2 tablespoons capers
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 (14-ounce) can artichoke hearts, rinsed, drained, and halved

To prepare herb mixture, combine first 6 ingredients on a cutting board; finely chop, and reserve 3 tablespoons. Set remaining herb mixture aside.
To prepare the dressing, place the reserved 3 tablespoons herb mixture in a food processor. Drop 2 garlic cloves through the food chute with food processor on; process until minced. Add cottage cheese and next 6 ingredients (cottage cheese through dash of pepper) to food processor; process until smooth. Stir in feta.

To prepare salad, steam broccoli, covered, 5 minutes or until crisp-tender. Cool. Combine remaining herb mixture, broccoli, mushrooms, and remaining ingredients in a large bowl. Pour dressing over salad; toss well.

4 servings (serving size: 2 1/2 cups)

Nutritional Information
CALORIES 327(24% from fat); FAT 8.8g (sat 3g,mono 3.4g,poly 0.9g); IRON 4.3mg; CHOLESTEROL 14mg; CALCIUM 248mg; CARBOHYDRATE 50g; SODIUM 768mg; PROTEIN 18.4g; FIBER 7g

Cooking Light, JUNE 1999
This recipe found here Cooking Light: Broccoli, Cherry Tomato, and Pasta Salad

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Piccolini® Mini Farfalle with Tomatoes and Corn

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 20 minutes

Servings: 4-6


Wine pairing: White


1 box BARILLA Piccolini Mini Farfalle
2 pounds plum tomatoes (may substitute 1 can 28 ounces diced tomatoes)
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon onion, chopped
1 can (15.5. ounces) corn, drained
1 cup Parmesan cheese, grated

PLACE the fresh tomatoes in boiling water for 30-60 seconds to blanch; peel the skin, remove the seeds and chop.

SAUTE the onion in olive oil in a medium skillet over medium heat for 5 minutes.

COOK Piccolini Mini Farfalle acording to package directions.

ADD tomatoes to skillet and simmer for 3 minutes; season with salt and pepper.

ADD corn and simmer for 2 addtional minutes.

DRAIN Piccolini Mini Farfalle and toss with the sauce.

STIR in grated cheese and fresh basil before serving

This recipe found at BarillaUS: Piccolini® Mini Farfalle with Tomatoes and Corn and also on boxes of Barilla’s Piccolini MINI Farfalle.

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Makes one 9-inch layer cake
Unsalted butter, room temperature, for pans and racks
3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for pans
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 cups sugar
3 large eggs
3 cups mashed ripe banana, about 3 large
1 can (8 ounces) crushed pineapple, drained
1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
1 cup desiccated coconut, unsweetened
Cream Cheese Frosting
Dried Pineapple Flowers, optional

Preheat oven to 350 degrees, with rack in the center. Butter two 9-by-2-inch round cake pans. Line the bottoms of the pans with parchment paper. Butter paper, and dust the pans with flour, tapping out any excess. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt; set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat oil, vanilla, and sugar until combined, about 2 minutes. Add eggs one at a time, incorporating each before adding the next. Beat at medium speed until mixture is pale yellow and fluffy, about 3 minutes.

In a medium bowl, mix together banana, pineapple, walnuts, and coconut. Add to egg mixture; stir until well combined. Add flour mixture; blend well.

Divide batter between pans. Bake, rotating pans halfway through, until golden brown and a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean, 30 to 40 minutes.

Transfer pans to a greased wire rack. Let cool 15 minutes. Run a knife around edges to loosen. Invert onto racks; reinvert, top side up. Cool completely. Assemble cake, or wrap each layer well and freeze (thaw before using).

With a serrated knife, trim and discard rounded top off one layer. Place layer on serving platter. Using an offset spatula, spread top of layer with 1/4 inch of frosting. Top with untrimmed layer. Frost sides and top of cake with remaining frosting. Decorate with pineapple flowers, if desired. Serve at room temperature. (Cake can be refrigerated up to 3 days.)

This recipe found at Martha Stewart: Hummingbird Cake

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1 (8-oz.) can crushed pineapple in juice
2 (18.25-oz.) packages white cake mix (we tested with Duncan Hines)
2 (3.4-oz) packages vanilla instant pudding mix
6 large eggs
2 1/2 cups milk, divided
2 cups canola oil
4 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon almond extract
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 (4-oz.) white chocolate baking bar, finely chopped (we tested with Ghirardelli)
1 cup flaked sweetened coconut
2 cups chopped pecans, toasted
2 cups chopped banana (about 3 medium)
White Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting [recipe]
Garnish: toasted pecans

1. Preheat oven to 350°.
2. Drain pineapple, reserving juice for another use. Squeeze pineapple well using several thicknesses of paper towels to remove excess moisture.

3. Combine cake mix and next 7 ingredients in an 8-qt. mixing bowl. Beat at low speed with an electric mixer 2 minutes; beat at medium speed 3 minutes. Fold in pineapple, white chocolate, and next 3 ingredients. Pour batter into 4 greased and floured 9-inch round cake pans.

4. Bake at 350° for 34 to 36 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire racks 10 minutes. Remove from pans to wire racks, and cool completely. Wrap and chill cake layers at least 1 hour or up to 24 hours.

5. Using a serrated knife, slice cake layers in half horizontally to make 8 layers. Place 1 layer, cut side up, on cake plate. Spread with 1/2 cup White Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting. Repeat procedure 6 times. Place final cake layer on top of cake, cut side down. Spread remaining frosting on top and sides of cake. Cover; chill in refrigerator overnight. Garnish, if desired. Store in refrigerator.

Note: Cover cake in an airtight container and freeze up to 1 month in advance. Thaw in refrigerator overnight before serving.

Test Kitchen Tip: To prepare a 4-layer White Chocolate Hummingbird Cake instead, use half of all ingredients in both cake and frosting recipes. Follow cake recipe as directed in Steps 1 through 4, except use only 2 greased and floured 9-inch round cake pans. In Step 5, slice the 2 cake layers in half horizontally to make 4 layers. Follow White Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting recipe as directed except microwave white chocolate morsels in Step 1 for only 1 1/2 minutes. Assemble cake as directed. Both the 8- and 4-layer versions of this delicious cake slice best after they have chilled overnight.

Makes 16 to 24 servings

This recipe found at MyRecipes: Mile-High White Chocolate Hummingbird Cake

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Italian Creme Cake

1 stick margarine, (4 ounces)
2 cups flour
2 cups sugar
1 cup buttermilk
1 small can flaked coconut
5 egg whites, stiffly beaten
1/2 cup shortening
5 egg yolks
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup chopped pecans, or walnuts
1 package cream cheese, softened (8oz)
1 box confectioners’ sugar, (1 pound)
1/2 stick margarine, softened (4 Tbs)
1 teaspoon vanilla

Cream margarine and shortening; add sugar. Add egg yolks and beat well. Combine soda and flour; add to creamed mixture alternately with buttermilk. Stir in vanilla. Add coconut and nuts. Fold in egg whites.

Pour into 3 greased and floured cake pans; bake at 350 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes.
Frosting: Beat cream cheese until smooth; stir in sugar. Add vanilla and beat until smooth. Spread on cake layers; sprinkle top with chopped nuts.

This recipe found at Southernfood.about.com: Italian Creme Cake

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A great cake blog

I just discovered a great blog!  It is called simply cake. It is about, yes – you guessed it! Cakes! And they look heavenly!

Her frosting roses are simply beautiful, too:

And then there is the Strawberry White Roll. I plan to make that this weekend. Oh so yummy!

And look at the beautiful cake she decorated:

I sure hope I have tempted you to take a look at her blog. Some great cakes, cupcakes and even cookies! It is great!

Here is the link again: simply cake

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 This would be perfect with a pot of tea!

What you will need
10-inch (12-cup capacity) bundt-style pan
baking sheet for toasting walnuts
sharp, heavy knife for chopping walnuts
mesh sieve
hand-held electric mixer
cake tester
wire rack
mixing spoon


For preparing the pan:
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

For the cake:
3 1/3 cups cake flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 1/4 teaspoons ground allspice
1 1/4 teaspoons ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
1 2/3 cups packed dark brown sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
2 cups unsweetened applesauce
1 1/2 cup walnuts, toasted and coarsely chopped

Baking time: 55 minutes

1. Preheat the oven to 350°. with a rack in the center of the oven. Coat the sides and center tube of the pan with the butter. Toss in the flour and shake the pan to coat the tube surface and sides. Knock out the excess flour. Set aside.

2. Place a mesh sieve over a medium mixing bowl and add the cake flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, ginger, and salt. Shake the contents into the bowl and set aside.

3. Break the eggs into a large mixing bowl. Stir them briefly with a fork to break them up slightly, then add the dark brown sugar. With the mixer on high speed, beat the eggs with the sugar until the mixture is very thick, about 6 minutes. Move the beaters around the bowl and scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula several times while mixing. Reduce th emixer speed to medium and beat in the oil and vanilla. Beat until the mixture is smooth, about 2 minutes. Reduce the mixer speed to low and beat in the flour mixture alternately with the applesauce, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Fold in the walnuts with a rubber spatula. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top with a rubber spatula.

4. Bake for 55 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Transfer the pan to a wire rack to cool for 10 minutes, then invert the cake onto the rack. Remove the pan and let the cake cool completely.

5. The baked cake can be stored at room temperature, wrapped in plastic wrap, for up to 2 days, or refrigerated for up to 1 week. It may also be frozen for up to 3 months. Wrap the cooled cake securely in plastic wrap, then place it in a freezer-strength recloseable jumbo-size plastic bag. Label the bag with a waterproof marker and freeze. Defrost the cake, in its wrapping, overnight in the refrigerator or at room temperature for 3 to 4 hours.

This recipe found at Epicurious: Applesauce Spice Tea Cake

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1 pint lemon sherbet
2 pints strawberries, hulled and sliced
2 cups champagne

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Drop scoops of sherbet into 4 tall clear glasses. Top with strawberry slices, then pour in champagne until filled.

This recipe found at AllRecipes: Champagne with Strawberries

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1 1/2 pounds fresh asparagus
1 1/2 cups chopped onion
6 tablespoons butter
1 pinch salt
6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups water
4 cups hot milk
1 teaspoon dried dill weed
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper
2 tablespoons tamari

Break off and discard tough asparagus bottoms. Break off tips; set aside. Coarsely chop stalks.
Cook in skillet over medium heat with onion in butter, salting lightly, for 8 to 10 minutes.

When onions are clear, sprinkle with flour. Continue to stir over lowest possible heat 5 to 8 minutes.
Slowly add water or stock, stirring constantly. Cook 8 to 10 minutes, stirring frequently, until thickened. Cool slightly.

In blender, puree sauce bit-by-bit with milk until thoroughly smooth.

Return puree to 3-quart pan, preferably a double boiler. Add dill, 1 teaspoon salt, pepper, and tamari. Heat gently but don’t boil.

As soup heats, cook asparagus tips in boiling water until tender, but still very green, about 2 minutes; drain. Add whole pieces to soup.

This recipe found at AllRecipes: Cream of Fresh Asparagus Soup

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• 1/2 cup nonfat mayonnaise-style dressing
• 1/4 cup plain nonfat yogurt
• 1 tablespoon lemon juice
• 1/4 teaspoon fines herbs or Italian seasoning, crushed
• 4 eggs
• Water
• 1 package (10 oz.) frozen asparagus spears
• 2 whole-wheat English muffins, split and toasted


In small bowl, stir together mayonnaise, yogurt, juice and seasoning until well blended. Set aside.

In saucepan or deep omelet pan, bring 2 to 3 inches of water to boiling. Reduce heat to keep water gently simmering. Break cold eggs, 1 at a time into custard cup or saucer or break several into bowl. Holding dish close to water’s surface, slip eggs, 1 by 1, into water. Cook until whites are completely set and yolks begin to thicken but are not hard, about 3 to 5 minutes. With slotted spoon, lift out eggs. Drain in spoon or on paper towels and trim any rough edges, if desired.

Meanwhile, cook asparagus according to package directions. Drain well. Place 1/4 of the asparags spears on each muffin half. Top each with an egg and about 2 1/2 tablespoons of the reserved sauce.

This recipe was found at The incredible, edible egg: Easy, Elegant Asparagus Poach

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