Sunday, July 31, 2011

quick lemon loaf

Yummy note: I came across this recipe the other day while I was in the local library. We were looking for some kid-friendly easy recipes when we saw this one in a cookbook called Fix-It and Enjoy-It! 5-Ingredient Recipes.  It looked simple enough, and not too many crazy ingredients, shoot, I think I had them all in my cabinet already! yes... So following this one by the book, we made this delicious lemon loaf, with an additional touch, FROSTING! We love our frosting in this house, so I added a simple powdered sugar frosting for the top. 

Quick Lemon Loaf 

For the Lemon Loaf:
4 eggs
1 box of white/yellow cake mix
1 small box if instant lemon pudding
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 cup lukewarm water

For the Frosting:
2 cups powdered sugar
1-3 tbsp water
1 lemon for juice and zest

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Pour cake mix, water, pudding, oil, and eggs in a large bowl and mix together well. We just did it with a whisk for about a minute or so until it was all combined well. Next, pour the batter into two lightly greased loaf pans and bake for about 40 minutes or until the center of the loaf tests clean.

For the frosting, mix 2 cups of powdered sugar and half of a lemon juiced. Next, start adding in some of the water, just enough so that the frosting starts coming together. Add in enough water to your likeness of the how thick or thin you would like the frosting to be. We like more of a thicker frosting, while you could add more water and make it into more of a icing/glaze instead. Top cooled lemon loaf with your icing and finish with a little lemon zest.

Monday, July 18, 2011

watermelon ginger limeaid cocktail

Yummy note: It's Secret Recipe Club time! If you've never heard of the Secret Recipe Club is, then check it out here Amanda's Cookin' and join us! The recipe I'm featuring this month is coming from Lynne's blog Cafe Lynnylu. Lynne's watermelon ginger limeaid. Lynne has a great food photography collection on her site here, so it was pretty cool to be picking from all her wonderful shots. I decided to pick out a drink from her blog for two reasons, 1-it appears she does routine fun little "Thirsty Thursday" entries and 2- I've never done a drink on my blog before, so what a perfect way to start! Below is my cocktail rendition of Watermelon Ginger Limeade. 

Watermelon Ginger Limeade Cocktail

about a half of a large watermelon, roughly 6 or so cups chopped watermelon
1/4 sugar
1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
couple of limes, roughly 1/2 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
vodka, I used a watermelon vodka I had on hand already

Chop up your watermelon into large pieces. Toss watermelon into blender. (Note, if you don't feel like turning on your blender, you can always just mash up your watermelon pieces by hand.) Pulse the watermelon chunks in the blender until it appears to be frothy and smooth. Pour the watermelon juice mixture through a colander to ensure the fibrous watermelon pulp is left over. In your large bowl, you'll see the pretty pink watermelon juice left behind from the colander. Discard the watermelon pulp and you should have about 4 cups of watermelon juice to use for your drink mix. Set aside juice to chill while you prepare your gingery simple syrup mix.

Next, chop up some fresh ginger, and add to a small saucepan with the sugar and water. Bring to a boil and simmer for 10 minutes. Cool liquid to room temperature. (Note: I couldn't wait to try my drink, so I really skipped through this cooling step, and added some ice cubes to the syrup mixture to speed it up a bit.) In a larger pitcher or container, combine chilled watermelon juice, ginger syrup, and your freshly squeezed lime juice together. At this point, you can serve your watermelon ginger limeaid (in the non-alcoholic form).

For those that want the extra cocktail kick, add a shot of vodka to your drink. Serve your drinks in a pretty sugar rimmed glass with watermelon wedges. Sit back and enjoy this summery drink. :)

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Cream of Asparagus and Potato Soup

Yummy note: I had some pretty fresh asparagus left from a recent shopping trip. However, I wasn't quite sure how I was going to use up. I had my share of roasted/grilled asparagus the night before, so I wanted something different. We had some nice steaks to grill up, so I thought I'd pair it up with a simple asparagus soup. Amazingly fairly easy to put together with a fresh and not too heavy taste, perfect for the summer. 

Cream of Asparagus and Potato Soup

about 1/2 lb. asparagus, ended removed and trimmed
about 3 potatoes, cut up
enough water to cover vegetables (about 2 cups water)
1-2 tsp chicken bouillon seasoning
1 tsp garlic minced
2 tablespoons butter
5 slices bacon, cooked
2 tsp dried onion flakes
1 cup milk
all-purpose seasonings/herbs to taste (I just did a few shakes of seasonings here and there to get it to my taste preference at the end, so adjust accordingly.)
Salt and pepper to taste
Garnish: leftover bacon crumbles and few french fried onions

Melt the butter and add onions to cook up for couple minutes. Add the asparagus, potatoes, water, and seasonings to taste. Simmer all ingredients until the potatoes are cooked and some of water has boiled off. If mixture appears to be too watery still, pour off any remaining water. Let the soup mixture slightly cool and then proceed to puree in a blender. Next, add some crumbled up bacon to the blender and add in milk to your preference on thickness. Puree until smoothness is desired. Season with additional salt, pepper, and seasonings to taste. Garnished with some french fried onions and bacon crumbles.

Cast Party Wednesday