Sunday, June 30, 2013

"Lightened up" Fruit Cocktail Cake

I haven't made a fruit cocktail cake in many years, and wouldn't have a clue where my recipe was. I remember making it when we were newly married and I had to be very frugal. 

So when I saw this easy recipe at The Country Cook I knew I would have to make it soon. 

I made it take to someone in need, so I only got a little bite, but it was marvelously moist.  (Yes, I had to cut a piece for the photo and it didn't all make it back into the pan...the recipient/family member surely understood.=)

I changed it up just a little bit - I cut back on the sugar amounts, and used less butter. For me, it was plenty sweet...but then we don't eat sugary dishes very often.  So feel free to adjust to your tastes and family's dietary needs. 

It's not only delicious, it's deliciously easy...as Brandie's recipes are...so hope you and your family get to enjoy this one soon.  I LOVE a moist cake like this one and also love enjoying it WARM.  OH my Fruit Cocktail!! 




"LIGHTENED UP' FRUIT COCKTAIL CAKE 

2 c. self-rising flour**(see note below)
1 (15 ozs) can fruit cocktail in lite syrup, undrained
2 large eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 (scant) c. white sugar
(or half sugar & half substitute, like xylitol)

Sauce:


6 Tb. unsalted butter

1 c. unsweetened shredded coconut
(omit if you're not a coconut lover)
3/4 c. sugar (or substitute)
1 tsp. vanilla extract
3/4 c. (skim) evaporated milk
1 c. chopped, toasted pecans


Preheat oven to 350*. Spray 9" X 13" baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.


In medium bowl, combine all cake ingredients at low speed until smooth. 

Add drained fruit and mix. Pour batter into prepared dish. 

Bake 30 - 35 minutes (unless using sugar substitutes like Splenda that tend to bake faster - check after 20 minutes). Cake is done when toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.  


Using a regular or meat fork, poke holes across the top of the cake. 

Then begin mixing up the sauce. 

Combine all sauce ingredients in medium pan. Bring to a boil and boil for 1 minute, stirring occasionally.  Pour the sauce evenly over the warm cake.



** Don't have any self-rising flour on hand?  Make your own (per cup) by mixing

1 c. all purpose flour
 1/2 tsp. salt and 
1 tsp. baking powder 

Linked to Weekend Potluck

Friday, June 28, 2013

Homemade Starbucks Caramel Frappuccino Light & Weekend Potluck #73

WELCOME TO WEEKEND POTLUCK!!
We gals here at "WP" extend best wishes to you for an enjoyable and safe July 4th week!


When I share something worth sharing...again...

I enjoyed this lovely cooling coffee drink just this week and had to share it with you...simple to make and so refreshing! 






Now, let's take a quick peek back at last week...

The recipe with the most clicks was ~

Snickers CakeSnickers Cake by The Country Cook

A Few More Sweet Treats, perfect for your upcoming 4th of July Celebrations.....~

Pink Cream Soda CupcakesPink Cream Soda Cupcakes by Hun, What’s For Dinner?
Almost No Bake Lemon Cream PieAlmost No Bake Lemon Cream Pie by Lisa’s Dinnertime Dish

And, a personal favorite ~



Triple Berry Punch Bowl Cake (Red White & Blue!) by The Kitchen is my Playground


If you were featured today, please don't forget to grab the Featured Button below...

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Thursday, June 27, 2013

Triple Cheese Grilled 'Sammy' with Bacon & Tomato

After enjoying - thoroughly! - a similar sandwich at a local restaurant, I had to make up my own. Use your favorite cheese to add to this satisfying & hearty sandwich.

Serve with soup or a salad and you're good to go. 

Recipe can be easily doubled, or halved. 


TRIPLE CHEESE GRILLED 'SAMMY' WITH BACON & TOMATO 

4 slices multigrain bread
2 slices yellow American cheese
2 wedges garden vegetable Laughing Cow cheese
2 slices Muenster cheese
Several slices bacon, cooked crisp
2 slices tomato 

Place 1 slice of American cheese on each of two bread slices. Spread Laughing Cow cheese on each of remaining two slices. Place Muenster cheese on bread. Top with bacon and tomato slice. Place remaining slices over top. Butter one side; place buttered side down in skillet heated to medium-low. Butter top side, cook until underside is golden brown, flip to other side, then grill until toasty brown.  

Yield: 2 sandwiches 

Linked to Weekend Potluck

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

3 Fun Patriotic Foodie ideas {Blast from the Past}

With the 4th of July just around the corner, I wanted to share these with you now so you have time to plan ahead...have fun!


These kabobs are sure to be a hit, especially if you serve them with the 2 ingredient Nutella dip in this recipe.  Cut angel food cake into stars and thread on kebobs along with berries and bananas for a lovely addition to your holiday picnic or cookout.  




This lovely dessert pizza has a butter/flour crust, a layer of cream cheese mixture and eggless cookie dough dropped over the top, then berries added for that special touch.  Impressive!

Patriotic Cookie Dough Dessert Pizza




Using jelly beans and a pretzel rod, you can impress your friends and family in no time at all.  This will be a dessert everyone will salute you for making!

Jelly Bean Flag Cake





Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Chocolate Quinoa Cake

Isn't it amazing you can actually make a cake (& a delicious & moist one at that!) with quinoa???

I was pleasantly surprised at how tasty, chocolate-y and MOIST this great dessert was. 

Quinoa is one of the healthiest grains you can get. It has about the same amount of calories as regular rice, but it's more nutritious and higher in fiber than either brown or white rice. Quinoa is good source of protein.

You mix the quinoa with milk, eggs and vanilla in the blender for a while, then add to the dry ingredients. 

It's easy to mix up and no one will EVER guess it's a fairly healthy dessert! 

Pop on over to Lynn's Kitchen Adventures for the full recipe.

You won't be sorry!!

CHOCOLATE QUINOA CAKE 

Sunday, June 23, 2013

No Bake Peanut Butter & Chocolate Oatmeal Bites

This is another fun recipe that has so many variations and twists and turns.
I've tried many versions of a similar recipe and just love them all! 

Easily make it 'your own' by adding what your family loves or to suit your dietary needs. 

I love that it has no refined sugar added!  These are healthy snacks for everyone...and no one, but you, will ever guess!

Add or eliminate what you want...just add more liquid, or dry ingredients, to make them the right texture for rolling into balls.  Add other flavors of chips. 

The base recipe I used for this came from A Kitchen Addiction, but I did adapt it with what I had on hand.  I do LOVE recipes like this...kinda like a 'Clean out the Pantry' recipe!

I did use my food processor. If you prefer a 'rougher' texture, feel free to mix by hand. 


NO BAKE PEANUT BUTTER & CHOCOLATE OATMEAL BITES 

1-1/2 c. old fashioned oats 
1/2 c. powdered milk (or rice cereal)
1/4 c. ground flaxseed (or oat bran)
1/2 c. finely chopped peanuts (or your choice of nut)
1/2 c. dark chocolate chips
1/2 c. peanut butter (or favorite nut butter)
1/2 c. honey (or agave nectar)

In a large bowl (I sometimes use my food processor) stir together dry ingredients.  Add peanut butter and honey. Stir until well blended. If dough is too 'wet', add more dry ingredients, if too 'dry' add more honey. 

Roll into balls; refrigerate until ready to eat. 

Makes about 2 dozen balls, depending on size 

Linked to Weekend Potluck



Saturday, June 22, 2013

Leader Enterprise - June 19, 2013 - A Wedding Story - Recipe for preserving fresh cut flowers


I'm sure your summer schedule is filling up quickly, as mine is. I will be out of town 4 days this month serving in a college kitchen feeding teens being trained as summer missionaries to children, and am working hard to submit my second cookbook for publishing. This wedding story seemed appropriate for this month. May it encourage you to be reminded that we are all needed, by someone, somewhere. Enjoy your summer!
MAGNOLIAS - Author Edna Ellison - Chicken Soup for the Christian Soul

I was getting ready for my daughter June's wedding which was taking place in a church about forty miles away, and felt loaded with responsibilities as I watched my budget dwindle...So many details, so many bills, and so little time.

My son Jack said he would walk his younger sister down the aisle, taking the place of his dad who had died a few years before. He teased Patsy, saying he'd wanted to give her away since she was about three years old!

To save money, I gathered blossoms from several friends who had large magnolia trees. Their luscious, creamy - white blooms and slick green leaves would make beautiful arrangements against the rich dark wood inside the church.

The big day arrived-the busiest day of my life - and while her bridesmaids helped Patsy to dress, her fiancĂ© Tim walked with me to the sanctuary to do a final check.  When we opened the door and felt a rush of hot air, I almost fainted; and then I saw them - all the beautiful white flowers were black. Funeral black. An electrical storm during the night had knocked out the air conditioning system, and on that hot summer day, the flowers had wilted and died.

I panicked, knowing I didn't have time to drive back to our hometown, gather more flowers, and return in time for the wedding and I certainly didn't have extra money to buy a new set from the florist in town.

Tim turned to me. 'Edna, can you get more flowers? I'll throw away these dead ones and put fresh flowers in these arrangements. 'I mumbled, 'Sure,' as he be-bopped down the hall to put on his cuff links.

Alone in the large sanctuary, I looked up at the dark wooden beams in the arched ceiling. 'Lord,' I prayed,' please help me. I don't know anyone in this town.Help me find someone willing to give me flowers - in a hurry! 'I scurried out praying for the blessing of white magnolias.

As I left the church, I saw magnolia trees in the distance. I approached a house...no dog in sight..knocked on the door and an older man answered. So far so good. No shotgun. When I stated my plea the man beamed and said...'I'd be happy to!'

He climbed a stepladder and cut large boughs and handed them down to me. Minutes later, as I lifted the last armload into my car trunk, I said, 'Sir, you've made the mother of a bride happy today.'

No, Ma'am,' he said. 'You don't understand what's happening here.'

'What?' I asked.

'You see, my wife of sixty-seven years died on Monday. On Tuesday I received friends at the funeral home, and on Wednesday.....He paused. I saw tears welling up in his eyes. 'On Wednesday I buried her.' He looked away. 'On Thursday most of my out-of-town relatives went back home, and on Friday - yesterday - my children left.'

I nodded.

'This morning,' he continued, 'I was sitting in my den crying out loud. I miss her so much. For the last sixteen years, as her health got worse, she needed me. But now nobody needs me. This morning I cried, 'Who needs an eighty-six-year-old wore-out man? Nobody!' I began to cry louder. 'Nobody needs me!'

About that time, you knocked, and said, 'Sir, I need you.'

I stood with my mouth open. He asked, 'Are you an angel? I assured him I was no angel.

He smiled. 'Do you know what I was thinking when I handed you those magnolias?'

'No.'

'I decided I'm needed. My flowers are needed. Why,I might have a flower ministry! I could give them to everyone! Some caskets at the funeral home have no flowers. People need flowers at times like that and I have lots of them. They're all over the backyard! I can give them to hospitals, churches - all sorts of places. You know what I'm going to do? I'm going to serve the Lord until the day He calls me home!'

I drove back to the church, filled with wonder. On Patsy's wedding day, if anyone had asked me to encourage someone who was hurting, I would have said, 'Forget it! It's my only daughter's wedding, for goodness sake! There is no way I can minister to anyone today.'

But God found a way. Through dead flowers. 'Life is not the way it's supposed to be. It's the way it is. The way you cope with it is what makes the difference.'
This recipe for preserving fresh cut flowers, found at www.thekitchn.com has proven to be amazing. I was impressed at how long the peonies kept on my countertop! Try these tips for keeping your flowers looking fresher longer.

• Make homemade plant food: Flowers need food, water,and a clean environment. So their water should have a little food, like sugar, and some bleach to slow fungi and bacteria growth. Here's a basic home recipe: Mix together 2 c.water, 1 Tb. lemon juice, 1-1/2 tsp. sugar and 1/4 teaspoon bleach.
• Trim stems: You want to open the stems up to the water, so cut off the dried bottoms at an angle to let them take up as much water as possible. Trim the ends every three or four days to keep them fresh longer.
• Remove leaves: Leaves left on the stems below the water level will quickly deteriorate and promote mold. Remove all leaves from the stems below the waterline.




Friday, June 21, 2013

Fritos Corn Salad & Weekend Potluck

WELCOME TO WEEKEND POTLUCK!

Pour some coffee, pull up a chair and sit a spell. We are so honored when you can come share at our table...or even just look around. 



AND....


When I share something worth sharing...again...

This crunchy and scrumptious salad is made quickly, and 
eaten quickly too.  *-* Just a few ingredients...topped with corn chips!





The recipe with the most clicks was ~

Recipes that caught our attention ~


Grilled Shrimp With Garlicky Parmesan Orzo
Grilled Shrimp With Garlicky Parmesan Orzo by Lisa’s Dinnertime Dish

Lemon Curd Tarts
Lemon Curd Tarts by Kitty’s Kozy Kitchen

If you were featured today, please come by and snag your Featured Button below...
Weekend Potluck Featured

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    linking back? Read this or watch this great instructional video.) You can use the button
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When you are kind enough to follow our guidelines, we work hard to get you as much
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and rewarding experience for everyone!
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Thursday, June 20, 2013

EZ Honey-Sweetened Cracker Jacks (4 ingredients)

I've been rooting around in my mom's old recipe file, and was tickled to come across this recipe.

It's easy to make and on the 'healthier side' too..using honey instead of sugar.

It tastes awesome too!

(You could always surprise your kids and place a 'prize' in the bottom of the bowl.=) 


E-Z HONEY SWEETENED CRACKER JACKS

1/2 c. butter (1 stick)
1/2 c. honey
3 qts. (12 c.) popped corn
(about 1/2 c. raw popcorn popped) 
1 c. peanuts, optional

Preheat oven to 350*. Lightly spray 2 large cookie sheets (with sides) with nonstick cooking spray. Place butter and honey into medium saucepan.  Heat, stirring occasionally, but do not boil.  Pour over popped corn & nuts; mix well.  Spread mixture over cookie sheet in a thin layer. 
Bake 10 - 15 minutes until crisp, stirring 2 or 3 times. 

Coating sets up as popcorn cools.  






Wednesday, June 19, 2013

3 Favorite Blueberry Recipes {Blast from the Past)

We are WILD about smoothies at our house.  This is one terrific, and healthy, smoothie that you and your family are bound to love too.  Enjoy every tasty sip. 

Blueberry Banana Flaxseed Smoothie






A delicious way to begin your day...what a yummy coffee cake!

Very Blueberry Coffee Cake




This is most definitely my favorite fruit combo for a crisp.  Easy and soo tasty! 
Perfect to enjoy warm with ice cream!




Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Sweet Cornbread Muffins (using a cornbread mix & a cake mix)

I'm not sure where this recipe came from.  I have had it, handwritten, in my files and been anxious to try it.  The cake mix gives the muffins a sweet taste and smoother texture than every day cornbread muffins. 

I whipped them up by hand (you don't want to overbeat muffins) and we enjoyed them alongside a bowl of chili.  MMM good!

Surprise your family and see if they can tell a difference from 'traditional' cornbread. 

(I enjoyed mine with Honey Cinnamon Butter)


SWEET CORNBREAD MUFFINS 
(using a cornbread mix & a cake mix) 

1 (9 ozs) box yellow cake mix (Jiffy brand)
1 (8.5 ozs) box corn bread mix (Jiffy brand)
2 eggs
1/2 c. water
1/3 c. 2% milk
2 Tb. vegetable or canola oil 

Preheat oven to 350*. 

In a large bowl, combine both mixes. Grease AND FLOUR (don't skip this part...
the spray that includes the flour is best) 14 muffin cups. 

In a small bowl, combine remaining ingredients; stir into the dry ingredients just until everything is moistened.  Fill cups just over 1/2 full. (Sometimes I like to sprinkle my cornbread with cinnamon/sugar mixture before baking). Bake 18 - 22 minutes, or until tops spring back when touched lightly or a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. 

Cool 5 minutes in pan; remove to cooling rack. 






Sunday, June 16, 2013

Blastin' Blueberry Crunch

I have LOVED this recipe for many years.  It's one that I added to my cookbook and I turn to it whenever we have a 'mess' of blueberries.  I believe I got this recipe as a newlywed. 

Good for you and easy to make.  Serve warm with vanilla ice cream and you'll have your family begging for seconds.  I love anything with a crunchy oatmeal topping. 


It's also good eaten cold, but I always! prefer it warm, with ice cream!

I remember making this to take on a camping trip when our kids were young...

AHHH...the memories some foods can stir huh?  


BLUEBERRY CRUNCH 

1 c. brown sugar
(can use 3/4 c.)
1-1/2 c. rolled oats
1 c. all purpose flour
(or white wheat)
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. salt, optional
1/2 c. butter or margarine, melted

1/2 c. white sugar
1 heaping Tb. cornstarch
3/4 c. water
2 Tb. lemon juice
1 tsp. vanilla extract
3 - 4 c. blueberries, fresh or frozen

Preheat oven to 350*. In large bowl, combine brown sugar, oats, flour, cinnamon, salt and butter; mix well.  Line bottom of 8" square baking dish with half the oatmeal mixture. 

Combine sugar and cornstarch, then add water and lemon juice.  Boil until thick, stirring constantly, then add vanilla and blueberries.  Pour over oat mixture.  Sprinkle top with remaining oat mixture and bake 40 - 45 minutes.  Serve warm with ice cream. 

*If using sugar substitutes when baking, begin checking at least 15 minutes earlier than 'regular' cooking time. 



Friday, June 14, 2013

Baked Zucchini Sticks/Sweet Onion Dip & Weekend Potluck #71


WELCOME TO WEEKEND POTLUCK!
We are always so happy you come by to party with us!



AND....

When I share something worth sharing...again..

With the abundance of fresh summertime zucchini, you'll want to try this. 
These crispy sticks are soooo tasty and the dip is over the top too! 




The recipe with the most clicks was ~

Mini Cheeseburger Pies
Mini Cheeseburger Pies by Joyful Homemaking

Recipes that caught our attention ~

Strawberry Pasta Salad
Strawberry Pasta Salad by Growing In Grace
Crispy Pancetta Salad with Sugar Snap Peas

And, a personal favorite ~

Red, White & Blue Jello Salad

Red, White 'N' Blue Salad by Julie's Eats and Treats 

If you were featured today, please don't forget to grab the featured button below..and congrats to you!!

Weekend Potluck Featured

Your hostesses ~

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If you wish to be a featured recipe or for us to promote your recipe either on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest, you MUST follow these instructions.
  1. Please link up to your exact post and not the main page to your blog.
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When you are kind enough to follow our guidelines, we work hard to get you as much exposure as possible so that your time here is well invested. We want this to be a fun and rewarding experience for everyone!

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Thursday, June 13, 2013

Slow-Cooker Cheesesteak Sandwiches

This recipe would make an awesome dish to serve for Father's Day!! 

We don't eat a lot of bread...therefore, we don't eat many sandwiches. 

And most often, we eat a low-carb whole wheat bread, but we thought this special recipe was extra good.. and a little bit of that may be because we got to eat this luscious meat on a hoagie roll. *-*

This was definitely a SPLURGE!!
And a very hearty sandwich. 

Hubby raved about this dish both times he ate it.  I think my only complaint is that it only made about 3 sandwiches...next time I will double the recipe. 

(I did make it again two days after the first time we tried it!  IT'S.THAT.GOOD!!) 

IT IS SOOO DELICIOUS!
The meat is tender and the onions and peppers give it great flavor. 

I adapted it slightly after seeing this recipe from Kristy at Mommy Hates Cooking.
It was pretty much perfect already. 

Choose to use whatever kind of cheese your family prefers.  We like cojack the most and we thought it was the perfect topping to this wonderful combo of flavors.  You could also add sour cream if you'd like. 

SOOO easy!  If you have to leave early in the morning, slice the meat and chop the veggies the night before.  Throw it together quickly before you go out the door and be ready to eat when you walk back in. 


SLOW-COOKER CHEESESTEAK SANDWICHES 

1 lb. round or sirloin steak, thinly sliced
1/2 vidalia onion, diced
1/2 red or yellow pepper, diced
1/2 to 1 tsp. garlic powder
1 (7 ozs) can mushrooms, stems and pieces, drained, optional
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 Tb. worchestershire sauce 
(or soy sauce)
1 beef bouillon cube, crushed
1 Tb. butter
enough water to cover meat
about 1# cojack cheese, grated
hoagie buns

Spray 3 - 4 qt. crockpot with nonstick cooking spray.

In bottom of crockpot, place steak slices, onion, pepper, garlic powder, garlic, worchestershire, boullion cube, and butter, adding enough water to
barely cover meat. 

Cover and cook on low for 6 - 8 hours. When ready to serve, using a slotted spoon, place meat mixture on bun; top with cheese. Serve immediately.


Yield: about 3 sandwiches