Category Archives: Recipes

Firecracker Red, White and Blue Cake!

One week from today is the 4th of July. Do you believe it!! Many towns and cities have cancelled fireworks this year so why not create some fireworks of your own for your backyard get together. This Betty Crocker recipe offers an ‘Expert’ tip at the end but I had my own thought and I added that tip at the end as well.
Firecracker Cake

Ingredients

  • 1 box Betty Crocker™ Super Moist™ white cake mix
  • Water, vegetable oil and whole eggs called for on cake mix box
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons Betty Crocker™ red gel food color
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons Betty Crocker™ blue gel food color
  • 1/2 cup Betty Crocker™ Rich & Creamy vanilla frosting (from 16-oz container)
  • 2 teaspoons Betty Crocker™ red, white and blue candy sprinkles, if desired

Steps

  • Heat oven to 350°F. Generously spray 12-cup fluted tube cake pan with baking spray with flour.
  • In large bowl, beat cake mix, water, oil and whole eggs with electric mixer on medium speed 2 minutes, scraping bowl occasionally. In small bowl, place 1 cup of the batter; stir in 1 teaspoon of the red food color until blended. In another small bowl, place 1 cup of the batter; stir in 1 teaspoon of the blue food color until blended.
  • Pour red cake batter into bottom of pan. Carefully pour remaining white batter over red batter in pan. Carefully pour blue batter over white batter. (Blue batter does not need to cover white batter completely; it looks better if it just forms a ring in the center of the white batter.)
  • Bake 40 to 45 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Remove cake from oven. Let stand 10 minutes, remove from pan to cooling rack. Cool completely, about 1 hour.
  • Place cake on cooling rack over waxed paper or cooking parchment paper. In small microwavable bowl, place 1/4 cup of the frosting. Microwave uncovered on High 10 to 15 seconds or until thin enough to drizzle over cake. With spoon, drizzle warmed frosting back and forth over cake in striping pattern. Divide remaining frosting between 2 small microwavable bowls. To 1 bowl, stir in 1/4 teaspoon red food color until well blended. Microwave uncovered on High 5 to 10 seconds or until thin enough to drizzle. Drizzle over cake. Repeat with remaining bowl of frosting and 1/4 teaspoon blue food color. Sprinkle candy sprinkles on top. Let stand about 30 minutes or until frosting is set. Store loosely covered at room temperature.

Expert Tip:

When you add batter to pan, do not mix with spoon. Just pour it in so colors don’t mix but rather, just rest on top of each other in pan.

Pop Rocks My Non-Expert Tip:

You know the candy that the recipe calls for you to sprinkle on top? Well, are you old enough to remember ‘Pop Rocks’ candy? I checked Amazon and you can buy it so hey, why not sprinkle that to the top of the cake for some added fireworks when you bite in the cake? How fun!! Not sure it will work but I am going to try it!

If you want to check out the nutritional value and any other information on the Betty Crocker site, here it is. Firecracker Cake.

 

 

 

A Fun Meal for these ‘Stay At Home’ Times

I am an introvert by nature but I am already going a little stir crazy with having to ‘shelter in place’. If the weather was a bit nicer here in Minnesota I at least could be sitting outside on our patio or doing yard work. But until then I am staying busy with projects in the home and getting creative in the kitchen.

I was looking for something different to make for dinner to help make some of this solitude more fun and I decided on Fondue! I know fondue isn’t totally new and different but for me I normally think of fondue for Christmas or New Years. Maybe it’s because that is a time of relaxing over a long meal rather than hurrying off to school activities or finishing errands.fondue sticks

We have more time right now so it’s a perfect time to lounge over a long meal.

I hunted down some recipes and my husband and I had a two person fondue party!! We didn’t do the hot oil thing but made a meal out of the cheese and then went right for the dessert! What a blast and so yummy. I wanted to share the recipes I used and of course you can get creative. A link to the website for the full recipe notes are within the title of the recipe with an easy recipe print option.

cheese fondue

Classic Cheese Fondue

Yield: 6 servings
Prep Time:
10 mins
Cook Time:
15 mins
Total Time:
25 mins
A classic recipe for cheese fondue that is easy to make and sure to impress your guests.

Ingredients

For the fondue:

  • 1/3 pound firm alpine-style cheese — such as gruyere
  • 1/3 pound fontina
  • 1/3 pound gouda
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 cup dry white wine — such as Sauvignon Blanc
  • 1 clove garlic — minced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon brandy
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg

Triple-Cheese-Fondue-35120Assorted fondue dippers:

    • Boiled baby new potatoes in their skins — quartered if large
    • Lightly steamed broccoli florets
    • Lightly steamed cauliflower florets
    • Lightly steamed asparagus
    • Button mushrooms — wiped clean and stems removed
    • Cherry tomatoes
    • Sliced firm apples — such as Granny Smith
    • Cooked sliced hot sausage
    • Cubed French, sourdough, and/or pumpernickel bread

Instructions

  1. Grate all of the cheeses. In a medium bowl, combine the cheeses with the cornstarch, tossing thoroughly to coat all pieces.
  2. In a stove-safe fondue pot or large heavy saucepan, bring the wine, garlic, and lemon juice to a simmer over medium-low heat. Add the cheeses to the simmering liquid a little at a time, stirring well between each addition to ensure a smooth fondue. Once smooth, stir in the brandy, mustard, and nutmeg.

  3. Arrange an assortment of bite-size dipping foods on a platter. If necessary, carefully pour the fondue into a fondue pot. Serve with fondue forks or wooden skewers. Dip and enjoy!

Now for the really good stuff……

 

delish-chocolate-fondue-still001-1545405557

Perfect Chocolate Fondue

Yield: 6-8 servings        Prep Time: 10 minutes
 

Ingredients

  • 10 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, chopped (see note)
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (see note for other variations)
  • Lots of dipping options (strawberries, bananas, small rice krispie squares, vanilla cookies, etc.)

Instructions

  1. In a saucepan, combine the chocolate, milk and cream and heat on low, stirring often, until the chocolate is completely melted and the mixture is smooth. Don’t let it come to a boil; keep it on low heat.
  2. Once melted, stir in the vanilla extract. If needed, stir in heavy cream or milk a tablespoon at a time to adjust for a thinner consistency. Pour the mixture into a fondue pot or small slow cooker to keep warm while serving.
  3. Serve with dippers of your choice. We love: marshmallows, vanilla cookies, strawberries, rice krispie treats cut in little squares, bananas.
  4. Any extra chocolate leftovers (??) will keep well in the refrigerator – just reheat on low to have yourself another chocolate fondue experience.    chocolate fondue

 

So on your next trip to the grocery store for essentials…..grab these ingredients and have a party!

Great Snack for the Superbowl! Or Anytime Appetizer.

If you are like me, you are always looking for a tasty but super easy item to serve or bring to a party. This one won’t disappoint!

It’s a twist on the classic Caprese Salad on a stick. You know, the one with a grape tomato, piece of basil, and a piece of mozzarella?caprese

 

 

This recipe adds a couple more ingredients (you will need medium length skewers), plus a 1/4 cup of seasoning, so it not only looks more impressive it is so much more flavorful.

 

Easy Antipasto Skewers

Serves about 8-10

Ingredients

1 can medium or large  black olives
1 cup grape tomatoes
1 cup  of small fresh mozzarella balls
¼ pound salami, thinly sliced
¼ cup fresh basil leaves
9 oz package of cheese tortellini
1/4  cup Italian dressing
skewers

Directions

  1. Cook tortellini according to package instructions, then rinse in cold water and drain.
  2. Arrange first 6 ingredients on skewers until skewer is full.  Place in a shallow baking dish; drizzle with Italian Dressing. Cover and chill a couple  hours or overnight.
  3. Need to make these vegetarian? Leave off the salami and add on extras of the other ingredients

 

I served this as an appetizer before a dinner party and it was a hit.

 

Simple-Antipasto-Skewers