fruit kabobs

February 14, 2009 at 1:33 pm | Posted in fruit | 12 Comments
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I don’t know which is more embarrassing, Christmas cookies up until Valentine’s Day, or the fruit kabobs replacing them.  fruit-kabob-heart

We have been invited to a friend’s house for spaghetti dinner.  I know fruit kabobs don’t really go with spaghetti, but they are fun, and the kids will like them…plus, if this post stays up until summer, this blog won’t look so outdated.  Yes, I’ve learned to be very efficient since going back to work.

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I know I don’t need to explain, but for the sake of a recipe I used chunks of fresh pineapple, then a grape, a section of clementine, two more grapes, a huge strawberry, then a heart shape of watermelon….it is, after all, Valentine’s Day!

little love cakes

February 14, 2008 at 10:46 am | Posted in Dessert | 14 Comments
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I love blogging for all of the great new recipes and ideas people have to share…Gretchen’s Puffy Pancake, Kath’s Oatmeal Pancake, Charlotte’s Pea Pesto…and then I found Jenni’s Picky Palate…which lead me to Bakerella and her Cake Balls. My Oh My. This was one of those recipes that I had to make and I’m so glad I did!

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I just followed Bakerella’s recipe and used a chocolate cake mix and vanilla frosting. Then I dipped the balls in either melted white chocolate or Wilton’s pink candy melts.

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I passed these out to my wonderful I-don’t-know-what-I’d-do-without-you girlfriends.

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Oh, and there was plenty more for my kids and hubby to enjoy!

i heart jello

February 13, 2008 at 11:51 pm | Posted in Dessert | 7 Comments
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Growing up, my family called these, “knox blox”. Today, my kids love these fun jello shapes. I like them because they are easy, the possibilities are limitless, and can be made the day ahead.

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Knox Blox

  • 2 packages of Knox Gelatin
  • 1 box of grape flavored jello gelatin- 6 oz size
  • 1 box of strawberry flavored jello gelatin- 6 oz size
  • water and ice

Pour grape flavored jello and one package of knox gelatin in 9×13 pan. Stir. Heat 2 cups of water to boiling. Pour the water on the jello and mix until dissolved. Add 1/2 cup of ice and stir until thick. Remove any remaining ice and put the jello in the refrigerator until set. About 45 minutes.

Pour strawberry flavored jello and one package of knox gelatin in a separate bowl. Stir. Heat 2 cups of water to boiling. Pour the water on the jello and mix until dissolved. Add1/2 cup of ice and stir until thick. Remove any remaining ice and pour over the grape jello. Allow to set.

With your favorite metal cookie cutter, cut out heart shapes. This can be done a day ahead. Store in the refrigerator.

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This was my first time making heart shaped knox blox and I think they turned out super cute. Typically I do rainbow Knox Blox. The directions are the same, just start with blue jello, then a layer of yellow and finally a layer of red jello.

orange chocolate scones

February 8, 2008 at 1:44 am | Posted in breakfast, Dessert | 13 Comments
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My friend Gretchen of Canela & Comino was the winner of the Homegrown Gourmet #4 – Stews! And now it’s her turn to host this event!

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Living in the San Francisco Bay Area, I had lots of options available to me. And when my neighbor dropped off 5 pounds of oranges from her tree, I knew this would be my homegrown ingredient for these orange chocolate scones.

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Orange Chocolate Scones

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 t baking powder
  • 1/4 t baking soda
  • 1/4 t salt
  • 6 T chilled unsalted butter
  • 1 T orange zest
  • 1/4 cup mini chocolate chips
  • 1 T orange juice plus enough milk to make 1/3 cup
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 t vanilla

Spray scone pan/cupcake pan with non-stick spray. Whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl. Add butter in small bits and orange zest. With a pastry cutter, combine ingredients until a coarse meal forms.

In a seperate bowl mix egg yolk, orange juice, milk and vanilla. Pour wet mixture into dry and mix with a fork until a batter forms. Scoop batter into prepared scone pan.

Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes.  Makes 8.

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These scones are so light and buttery! I love the orange and chocolate combination. And made in a heart shaped pan they would be perfect for Valentine’s Day morning.

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Love Language

February 3, 2008 at 9:58 am | Posted in Cupcakes, Dessert | 11 Comments
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My dear daughter loves to draw. Probably more than I like baking, which is a lot. Everyday she sits and colors, creating wonderful pictures, cards, and various art projects for her friends and family. And it just dawned on me that this is her love language. This is one of the ways she lets us know that she loves us. Now I make every effort to sit and color with her, giving her some of my own drawings. I channel my inner 5 year old and draw rainbows, hearts, flowers and people for her.

So I was thrilled when she asked to bake something with me. We do bake something together just about every week, but when she asked that baking be our “Girl Time” activity, I was so touched. Oh, we colored too, played tea party with her stuffed animals, and indulged on these Cherry Chip Cupcakes.

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In the cupboard I had a Betty Crocker Cherry Chip cake mix and some Pink Cherry frosting. I dusted off my heart shaped cupcake pan, found the valentine sprinkles, and pulled my Cupcakes from the Cake Doctor cookbook.

Here’s Anne Byrn’s recipe for The Best Birthday Cupcakes.

  • 1 package cake mix
  • 1 package cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 t vanilla extract

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Line cupcake pan with paper liners. Place the cake mix, cream cheese, sugar, water, oil, eggs, and vanilla in a large mixing bowl. Blend on low speed for 30 seconds, scrape the bowl, and then mix on medium speed for 2 minutes. Scoop the batter into paper cupcake liners and bake for 24-27 minutes. Cool completely.

For the frosting: With the Betty Crocker Pink Cherry frosting I put some of it in a plastic bag, microwaved it until very soft, snipped the corner, and let my daughter decorate her heart shaped cupcakes.

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I also made a quick batch of regular frosting:

  • 1 package softened cream cheese
  • 1 stick of softened unsalted butter
  • 1 box of powdered sugar
  • 1 t vanilla

I spooned out half of the frosting and put in a plastic bag, keeping it white. To the remaining frosting I added about 2 T of maraschino cherry juice and a little pink food coloring, mixed, and then spooned into another plastic bag.

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