Showing posts with label Domestic Diva. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Domestic Diva. Show all posts

Monday, July 2, 2012

Panicked? Don't!

  Happy Independence "WEEK"

Okay, Krista is having some internet problems, so this is a repost, but what a fabulous one!

Let freedom ring!

From Krista:

If you're like me and you had a very busy week, you're drinking your morning coffee or tea and wishing you had planned better.  Where did the weekend go?  And now you're supposed to bring a dish to a cookout or at least do something more than order in pizza.  

So today I'm offering some links to great barbecue recipes, sides, a luscious ice cream dessert, and a cupcake recipe that you can make with items you probably have in your fridge and pantry.  

Kale Salad
from Wendy Watson


Southern-Style Potato Salad
from Riley Adams

Barley, Red Pepper, & Corn Salad, from Krista Davis

Barbecue and Blue, an entire barbecue dinner menu from Avery Aames


Coffee-Marinated Steak and menu suggestions from
Cleo Coyle

Spatchcocked Chicken from Sheila Connolly

Luscious Mocha Ice Cream Torte from Mary Jane Maffini

Woohoo!  What a selection!  But let's say you're missing ingredients for most of those recipes.  Your family will go for hot dogs and burgers, but a quick dessert would be helpful.

You know those interviews where they say "name three things that are in your refrigerator right now?"  I love those!  Chances are that not everyone has cream cheese, or heavy cream, or lemons.  Maybe you do!  But I went with basics, hoping to offer a recipe that wouldn't force you to take a trip to the grocery store.  These are easy cupcakes to make and they are as vanilla as they come -- in the hope you'll have the ingredients on hand.  You can use any kind of milk.  I used nonfat because that's what I had.  Sugar, butter, flour, vanilla -- is it beginning to sound do-able?  This makes 12 yellow cupcakes with a cake type crumb. 
Vanilla Cupcakes

8 tablespoons butter (1 stick)
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 eggs
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
2 cups flour
1/2 cup milk
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla

Optional: blueberries and/or strawberries

Preheat oven to 350.  Line cupcake pan with cupcake liners.  If you don't have liners, butter and flour the cupcake pan.

Cream the butter with the sugar.  Add the eggs, one at a time.  Add the salt and baking powder and mix well.  Add the flour and milk, alternating them.  Add the vanilla.

Fill the cupcake liners about 2/3 full.

IF you have blueberries, poke one blueberry in the middle of each cupcake for fun.

Bake 18 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean.

Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

4 tablespoons butter
2 cups powdered sugar
8 teaspoons milk
2 teaspoons vanilla

Mix together the butter, sugar, 4 teaspoons milk, and vanilla.  Add remaining milk one teaspoon at a time until you have reached a nice spreading consistency.  Frost the cooled cupcakes.

IF you have blueberries and/or strawberries and/or raspberries, use them to achieve a July 4th red, white, and blue look.  If you don't have berries, that's okay, too.  Place them on a blue and white plate, or line a plate or a basket with a red or blue napkin.  If you only have a couple of berries, that's okay, too.  Mix them up, some with berries, some without.  They'll look festive no matter what you do!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Holiday Lights or Lites??


Okay, have we had enough sugar this season? You haven't? Not yet? Neither have I, but I have to think healthy for at least a few minutes during the holidays. One meal. That's all it takes. One meal.

I try to make sure that my characters in A Cheese Shop Mystery series eat healthy foods every once in a while. I mean, yes, cheese is healthy, but all by itself? As a constant diet? Well, c'mon. Even I can't buy that. So it's important to shake it up. Add some greens. Add some texture
. Add some fun to a meal.
Something pretty.

It's like reading. You can't read romance all the time. (No? some of you shout!) You need mystery. (Yes, yes, yes.) You need thrillers. You need sci-fi. You need non-fiction. (Argh, please don't tell me I need to read that too often. I didn't like all the history I had to read during school. And then as an adult author, I realized history was important to my research. Honestly. Now I get it.)

Side note re: veggies. In the new book due out in May, Lost and Fondue, Charlotte offers a blue cheese fondue that works like a dip with veggies. {Recipe to come soon.}

Back to today. In an effort to keep all of you balanced, and in an effort to make sure that veggies aren't feeling left out during this sweet-laden season, here's a very satisfying salad, for lunch, for dinner, for a side dish.

And, yes, it has cheese! Big surprise from "The Cheese Shop Lady." LOL.

Change it up as you will. Substitute asparagus for the beans, sweet potatoes for the potatoes. Goat cheese or a sharp Manchego for the blue cheese. The beauty is in the variety.

Enjoy and...

Say cheese!



{Serves 4}

20 green beans

4 ounces blue cheese crumbled

1 yellow potato, baked, diced

4 large mushrooms, sliced

2 tablespoons oil

1 teaspoon black pepper, ground

1 teaspoon salt


Bake potato (can do this a day ahead and reheat), until tender.

Set in preheated 350 degree oven for 45 minutes to hour.

Remove and let cool slightly. Dice.

Cook green beans as follows: Put 1 cup of water and 1 teaspoon in sauce pan. Bring to boil. As water heats, snip off tips of green beans. Set green beans in boiling water for 4 minutes, with lid on top. Drain off boiling water and cover. Replace lid. Let stand for 2 minutes longer. Rinse with cold water to stop cooking process.

In the meantime, slice mushrooms and stir fry in oil until browned, flipping once.

On a plate, arrange mushrooms, then diced potatoes, then green beans.

Top with crumbled blue cheese, sprinkle with ground pepper, and serve warm.

*** I promise to give you a sweet recipe soon. In fact, in my latest newsletter, I've included a candy cane cream cheese cookie. And I just made the most incredible goat cheese truffles. Recipe coming soon.

If you really need a sweet now, right now, this very minute, here's a link to one of Krista's cookie contest recipes: PECAN LACE - a sandwich cookie.

As is Cleo's Holiday Grind. There's a recipe in it I absolutely must try. No-bake Mocha Rum Balls. Perfect for the holidays, right? And sweet!!


If you'd like to know more about A Cheese Shop Mystery series and want to download a few other recipes from me (on recipe cards), click on this link to my website: Avery Aames. I've posted recipes in the "morsels" section. There's lots of other fun stuff, as well. And sign up for the mailing list (which includes the newsletter) to get in on the next contest...coming soon.