Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Pink Lemonade Ice Cream Pie

This pie can be described in two words. Simple and Delicious. Pretty good words right? I don't know about you, but it has mostly been in the 70's here for the last 3 weeks, and at 38 weeks pregnant I have had no desire to turn on the oven and cook. Which has left things very interesting come dinner time. Anyway, when I found out about our friends annual Pi Party (you know 3.14), I knew I wanted to make something refreshing.
And then I remembered this pie:

So perfect, just 3 ingredients and put it in the freezer. And I don't think there was anyone who didn't enjoy it.

Pink Lemonade Ice Cream Pie
Servings: 16 or 2 (9-inch) pies

1 can frozen pink lemonade concentrate
1 tub of vanilla ice cream (just a cheap, no-name brand one)
2 graham cracker pie crusts

Set your ice cream and pink lemonade out on the counter to soften. Don't let your ice cream melt completely. Once they have softened, pour the ice cream and pink lemonade into a large bowl and stir until well combined. You don't want any big chunks so just work with it for a few minutes. Then divide your pink lemonade ice cream mixture evenly between the 2 pie crusts and place in the freezer to set up until ready to serve. Once the ice cream has set just slice, serve and enjoy!

Variations: Because you are using vanilla ice cream, this recipe leaves a lot of room for variation. Try out some different juice flavors: like raspberry lemonade, regular lemonade, limeade, you could probably even try orange juice for a take on an Orange Dreamsicle Pie. (I have never tried it, but I bet it would work!) Also feel free to add some mix-ins like marshmallows or even fruit. You could add some frozen raspberries with raspberry lemonade concentrate and I am sure it would be great! You can also use a regular pie crust instead of graham cracker if you prefer. Get creative and have fun with it!

This is a great summer recipe so hopefully you can get some use out of it over the next few months to come. Make it for a party and share with friends and family, or just eat two pies yourself, I won't judge.

Let me know if you try it, or if there are other variations you have tried!

Monday, March 26, 2012

Our Best Bites - Cheesy Garlic Bread Swirls

This is one of my new favorite recipes.  They are oh, so delicious.  They are also very easy to make.  Sometimes I mix them up, put them in the cupcake tins before church, stick them in the refrigerator, and then cook them when we get home.  In about 30 minutes you have warm, tasty rolls.

French Bread Dough
1 Tbsp. yeast
1 1/2 c. warm water
1 1/2 Tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. salt
4-5 1/2 c. flour
3 Tbsp. vegetable oil
1 egg yolk

Garlic Butter:
1/2 c. (1 stick) of real butter, no substitutions
1 1/2 Tbsp. garlic bread seasoning (see recipe)

1 1/2 c. Shredded mozzarella cheese

Combine yeast, water, and sugar in large mixing bowl and allow to stand 10 minutes or until bubbly. Add salt, vegetable oil, and egg yolk (set white aside for later) and combine. Add 3 c. flour and mix well until combined. Add enough remaining flour to make a soft dough that barely sticks to your finger. Knead, either by hand or in mixer (my personal and very lazy choice) for another 2-3 minutes. Cover and allow to rise 1 hour.

While dough is rising, combine butter and garlic bread seasoning. Set aside.
Garlic Bread Seasoning
1/2 c. powdered Parmesan cheese
2 tsp. Kosher salt
2 Tbsp. garlic powder
2 tsp. oregano
2 tsp. basil
2 tsp. marjoram
2 tsp. parsley
Shake ingredients together in an airtight container.  Store in the refrigerator for up to 3 months.  (Seriously this is great on french bread from the grocery store - and keeps really well.)
When the dough has risen, roll the dough into an 18 x 6-inch rectangle on a work surface lightly sprayed with nonstick cooking spray or sprinkled with flour. Smear garlic butter over the entire surface of the dough and then sprinkle with cheese.
Roll up the dough jelly-roll style and then use dental floss or a knife to cut it into 12 equal pieces.  Place each piece in a muffin tin cup that has been sprayed with nonstick cooking spray.  Let rise while oven is preheating to 350 decrees.
When the ovenis ready, bake for 18-22 minutes.  Be sure to keep a close eye on these during the last 10 minutes or so -- once you notice the cheese getting brown, place a sheet of aluminum foil over the rolls- just lay on top.  This will keep the cheese from burning.
Eat while hot and gooey!!!
This makes 12 VERY large rolls.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Rainbow Jello Salad - Happy St. Patrick's Day

Yeah, I know St. Patrick's Day was a week ago, but hey I am trying here. The weeks seem to be filled with so many things to get done that I don't have much spare time. There are actually like 5 other things that I SHOULD be doing right now, but oh well. :)

In case you didn't know, we're Irish. My mom has Irish heritage and we always celebrated with Corned Beef and Cabbage each year. For the last three years I have really missed out on this tradition and finally decided that I would go ahead and do it for my own family this year. But, also because I have a wonderful group of friends, we used St. Patrick's Day as an excuse to get together and enjoy some food. Everyone brought a green food to share, the kids played, the women talked, and the men......watched March Madness. :)
So I made a delicious green salad as well as this........

I know it isn't just green, but rainbows are totally festive for St. Patrick's Day too. It isn't a hard recipe, but it is a little time consuming. There is a lot of waiting timed while you let each layer set up. But don't let that intimidate you! This jello is totally worth it. (Ha, people don't usually say things like that about jello.)

So here you go:

Rainbow Jello Salad
Servings: about 12 (makes one 9x13 pan)

One small box (3 oz.) of each jello: lime, lemon, orange, raspberry, and grape
1 1/4 cups of sour cream
1 tub of Cool Whip (optional)

Take one cup of boiling water and add to lime jello. Stir until dissolved. Divide in half. Add 3 tablespoons of cold water to one half of the jello and pour into your glass bowl or dish.

Refrigerate that layer for 20-30 minutes until set.

To the other half of the jello add 1/4 cup of sour cream, mix well. After the first half has set, add your sour cream layer over the top and let that set for another 20-30 minutes.

Continue with the other flavors in order (lime, lemon, orange, raspberry and grape) until you have 10 layers.

Top with Cool Whip if desired.

I always use Cool Whip, I like to think of it as the clouds around the rainbow. :)
I know that these are pictures of the Raspberry, but just pretend I took pictures of lime.

 Adding the first half with just the cold water.
 Making the 2nd half with sour cream.
 The color will become more solid and creamy.
 All of the finished layers. Doesn't that look awesome!

I am telling you, this Jello is GOOD! And all of your friends will be so impressed! It is a great dish to take to a BBQ or other summer party. I don't know about you, but it feels like summer is right around the corner.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Pinterest: Cinnamon Roll Cupcakes

Most of my posts have been coming from Pinterest lately. Sorry, about that. But believe me, I have tried quite a few recipes from Pinterest that haven't worked out, so in my opinion it is nice to know which ones to try!

As you might have been able to tell, we have been busy lately. My sister recently had to have her baby 5 weeks early due to preeclampsia and my Mom (Vera), was helping her out for a while. My nephew was in the NICU for about 2 weeks but is now home with his family! And I have been getting ready for our second little boy to come in 4 weeks. It is like I suddenly realized I actually need to start getting things ready now. :) But, that's why I didn't get a post out last week. I have also been trying to spend lots of fun time with my toddler, knowing he is going to be seriously neglected in the coming weeks. It breaks my heart a little, knowing my world won't focus around just him anymore. But he is SO excited for his little brother to come, and so are we!

Anyways, a good friend of mine, whose due date is tomorrow, is also having a little boy. And as her wonderful friends :), we put on a baby shower. We decided to go the route of a brunch, instead of a lunch this time and I think it turned out great. We had a variety of bagels with cream cheese, juice, and build-your-own yogurt parfaits. It was all SO good! Normally we do some kind of cake or cupcakes for dessert at baby showers, and we were trying to figure out what to do since it would be earlier in the morning. Then I stumbled across Cinnamon Roll Cupcakes from Pink Parsley on Pinterest. I couldn't believe how perfect these would be. I mean it is just a cinnamon roll in a cupcake liner, but seriously how cute! And so easy to eat.

I will be honest, making breads are not my favorite. I always stress about it rising just right and such. Everything turns out fine in the end, but you know, I am learning and getting better each time. I choose to use the recipe found on Pink Parsley because I wasn't sure if other recipes would work just as well. I liked the cinnamon rolls, they were a little denser and drier than I expected, definitely not a gooey cinnamon roll. If you want gooey I would try your own recipe. But, I liked how they held up and everyone said they tasted great. My husband LOVED the frosting and raved about it for days, which is totally uncommon for him. So give it a try. I will definitely try to bake them as cupcakes using different cinnamon roll recipes in the future, and see how they turn out! Happy Baking!

Cinnamon Roll Cupcakes
adapted from
Beantown Baker, originally from La Fuji Mama
Servings: 24
  • 2 1/4 tsp. or 1 packet dry active yeast
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar, divided
  • 1 cup warm milk (approximately 110 degrees Fahrenheit)
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 1/3 cup butter, melted
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 4 1/2 cups bread flour
  • 1 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 2 1/2 Tbsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup butter, softened
  • 8 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 2/3 cup butter, softened
  • 1 1/2-2 cups powdered sugar 
Dissolve the yeast and 1/4 cup of the granulated sugar in the warm milk in a large bowl and let stand for about 10 minutes until foamy.

Mix in the eggs, butter, salt, and other 1/4 cup of granulated sugar. Add flour and mix until well blended and the dough forms a ball. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface, and knead about 5-10 times. Place in an oiled bowl, cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size (about one hour).

After the dough has doubled in size, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface, cover and let rest for 10 minutes. In a small bowl, combine brown sugar and cinnamon. Line cupcake pan with cupcake liners, and lightly spray over the top of them with cooking spray.

Roll dough into a 12x22 inch rectangle. Spread dough with 1/3 cup butter and sprinkle evenly with sugar/cinnamon mixture. Roll up dough and cut into 24 rolls using dental floss or a pastry cutter. You may have to unroll each roll and re-roll in order for the dough to fit in a cupcake tin.

Place each roll in a cupcake liner. Cover and let rise until nearly doubled, about 30 minutes. Alternatively, allow to rise overnight in the refrigerator. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

Bake rolls in preheated oven until golden brown, about 10-12 minutes. Let rolls cool completely before frosting.

To make the frosting, mix cream cheese and butter using the whisk attachment of a mixer. Slowly add the powdered sugar until desired consistency has been reached.

A few notes, my dough did not rise hardly at all overnight in the refrigerator. But they cooked up just fine. I did re-roll each one, and cut off excess that was too long, and then I pieced all the excess pieces together to make other rolls.

Seriously, how cute are those? I know you want one! :)

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Old Fashioned Mac N Cheese

This is comfort food at our house.  It is adapted from an old Betty Crocker cookbook and has become a family favorite.  It is best with freshly grated cheeese, but I often use the preshredded.  The original recipe calls for a 9x13 pan, but we like it better thicker in a 9x9 or 7x11 dish.

Old Fashioned Mac N Cheese

7 ounces elbow macaroni (about 2 cups)
1 tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper
3 cups shredded cheese
2 cups white sauce

Heat oven to 375.  Cook macaroni as directed on package.  Place half the macaroni in ungreased 2 –quart casserole.  Sprinkle with half the salt, pepper and cheese; repeat.  Pour white sauce over casserole.  Bake about 30 minutes till hot and bubbly. 

Thin White Sauce:
2 Tbl butter
2 Tbl flour
½ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. pepper
2 cup milk

Melt butter in saucepan over low heat.  Blend in flour salt and pepper.   Cook over low heat, stirring until mixture is smooth and bubbly.   Stir in milk.  Heat to boiling, stirring constantly.  Boil and stir 1 minute.
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