Friday, May 28, 2010

Stars and Stripes Cake

We live in the most wonderful country on earth...I value our freedom
and honor those who have given their very lives, because freedom isn't free.
I love OLD GLORY and thrill each time I see it...long may it wave!

For our Memorial Day Barbecue on Monday, I made this
Stars and Stripes Cake...
and you can too! Here's how.
Begin by creaming sugar and eggs together...
Add milk, oil, vanilla, flour, baking powder, and salt. Mix well till smooth and lump free.
Then color the batter...paste food coloring gives a nice rich color...
Color half of it red and the other half blue.
Begin by pouring 3 tablespoons of red in the bottom of your prepared cake pan. Then add 3 tablespoons of blue batter in the middle of the red and keep going until you have used all the batter and filled both pans about 2/3 full. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 35 to 40 minutes...depends on your oven.
Let your layers cool on wire racks and then trim each layer to make sure it's flat and even.
Now frost your cake with Cream Cheese Frosting and decorating is optional. I tried to create a strawberry star with blueberry centers... I'd appreciate your would you decorate it?
Cut and serve to your guests, "long may it wave in the land of the free and the home of the brave." Hope you enjoy a patriotic finish for your festive celebrations!

Stars and Stripes Cake
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 8 large eggs
  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 cups oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 4 cups flour
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoons salt
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Blend the sugar and eggs until lightened, about 2 minutes. Add the oil, milk, and vanilla, flour, baking powder, and salt. Mix for 1-2 minutes until the batter is smooth and lump free. Remove 4 cups of the batter to another bowl. Color 1 bowl red and the second bowl blue with food coloring, preferably paste for a richer color. Grease and flour 2-9" round cake pans. (I spray on Baker's Secret). Now for the stripes, spoon 3 tablespoons of either color in the bottom of your prepared pan. Now add three tablespoons of the other color, again adding it in the middle, right on top of the other batter. Continue the same pattern until you have used up all the batter. NOTE: I alternated pans as well, to achieve the same amount of batter in each pan. Bake the cake for 35-40 minutes, as always depending on your oven. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes and the turn out onto wire rack to finish cooling. Frost with Cream Cheese Frosting.

I love the USA...  Special thanks to all of you who keep it free.  Happy, Happy Memorial Day All!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Curried Artichoke Rice Salad

As promised,
it's time to share a favorite salad that is perfect for picnics and barbecues.
It's a delicious change from potato and pasta salads. I've taken it to many potlucks and have never had any left to take home! It's that good...and so to our friends in Astoria, NYC who have asked for this over and over, here it is, a recipe given to me by my Mom years ago...

Curried Artichoke Rice Salad
The main players; Rice a Roni, Marinated Artichoke Hearts, and Stuffed Green Olives.
Prepare the rice according to package directions...
let it cool.
Chop green onion, green pepper, celery, and slice green olives and artichoke hearts.
Add veggies to the cooled rice and gently mix.
Mix mayonnaise, curry powder and marinade from artichokes together, and pour over mixture.
Gently mix all together.
For a pretty presentation, serve in a blooming tomato, or for a potluck in a large bowl. Garnish with paprika, chill, and enjoy!

Curried Artichoke Rice Salad

  • 2 jars (6 ounce) marinated artichoke hearts
  • 1 bottle stuffed green olives
  • 5 green onions, sliced
  • 1/2 green pepper, chopped fine
  • 1 box rice-a-roni, (I use chicken flavor)
Cook rice according to package directions, let cool. Drain artichoke hearts, reserving liquid. Drain olives and slice. Cut artichoke pieces into bite-size chunks. Add veggies to cooled rice mixture.

Make Dressing:
  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 tsp. curry powder
  • marinade from artichokes
Toss with salad ingredients. Chill and serve. Makes 4-6 servings.

Celebrate summer with fabulous parties all!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Cinnamon Apple Pie Muffins

Love and marriage, brings new and downs, and challenges, yet in the end our families bring us the greatest joy. Kim is expecting her second child, (our 15th grandchild) and he is due July 20th. The week before Mother's Day he started putting pressure on his Mom, trying to make a too early entrance into this world. After almost two weeks in the hospital, Kim was able to go home for 6 weeks of strict bed rest. Our families have worked well together to help care for this little family who lives 4 1/2 hours away from both sets of grandparents. This weekend we brought our little grandson home to see his Mom and Dad again. While here, I observed a sweet display of love given by our son, Sean. Each day before he goes to work he takes care of Kim by serving her breakfast, of course in bed. He prepares her lunch and then puts a wrapped muffin on his pillow for her treat. To me, it represents the kind of TLC that sure makes for a happier marriage.

Cinnamon Apple Pie Muffins |

When the last one was consumed, I tried to think of all the things she likes and came up with a dozen of these little gems,
Cinnamon Apple Pie Muffins ...

In my travels I found this trail mix on the Target clearance isle. Kim loves trail mix, applesauce and oatmeal. It was a natural fit for these dense, moist, muffins. If I was home, I would have substituted buttermilk for the milk, a staple in my fridge.
Here's the low-down for making your own...

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Combine oatmeal, flour, cinnamon, baking powder and soda. Stir well, 

add applesauce, milk, egg, brown sugar and oil. Mix gently and then add trail mix, your favorite kind!

Spray a muffin pan with non-stick spray. Fill till almost full and bake at 400 degrees for 18-20 minutes.

or until golden brown.

Serve warm or...

cool on a wire rack and wrap with love!

Kim's favorite quote is, "When it's dark enough you can see the stars." 

Here's to many starry nights and then fireworks the first part of July!

Cinnamon Apple Pie Muffins
  • 1 1/2 cup oatmeal
  • 1 1/4 cup flour
  • 3/4 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp. soda
  • 1 cup applesauce, (I used unsweetened)
  • 1/2 cup milk, or buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 3 Tbsp. oil
  • 10 ounces of trail mix, (any kind will do, just use your favorite)
Heat oven to 400 degrees. Combine dry ingredients and stir. Add the remaining ingredients, and mix just until dry ingredients are moistened. Spray a regular size muffin pan with non-stick spray. Fill muffin cups full. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes or until golden brown. Serve warm, or wrap with love for daily pillow-treats.

Give some TLC to someone you love this week!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Five On Friday!

(If your blog is featured, please pick up a button on the right)


Just recently my daughter and I were talking about these absolutely adorable Mary Jane baby socks. At How Does She?, Shelley shares all of the inside scoop of how to create her show stopping Flower Toes...too cute, for your next baby girl shower gift!

Not only will these taste terrific, but they will stay fresh for up to 7 days! We can even send them in the mail. You will find a complete tutorial and I love Julie's happy presentation of Cupcakes In A Jar, at Joy's Hope.

Jill is busy at Westbrooke Drive, re-purposing this blind she found at a garage sale for $1.00. Check out her fantastic Pottery Barn Inspired Headboard that cost $15.00 in the end!


Time for a tea party, flamingo croquet, and this cute cake, all ideas at The Polk-a-Dot Chair. Melissa Mortensen, knows how to throw a fabulous birthday party for her children. Her son's Lego party was amazing two weeks ago and last weekend they celebrated her daughter's birthday in Wonderland. Thanks for sharing perfect party pictorials in blogland, Melissa!

Imagine the fun...The Rexburg Dinner Divas meet monthly to share outstanding recipes and party together. Sarah posts all the recipes on their blog and keeps things going. You will all want to check out, "The Fruits of Our Labors," their latest May extravaganza!

Have an inspired weekend friends...

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Earthquake Cake

If you like German Chocolate Cake, it's time to shake it up a bit. This cake has some serious magnitude!

Sprinkle 1 cup of coconut and 1 cup chopped nuts on the bottom of a 13x9 greased pan.

Mix a German Chocolate Cake Mix according to package instructions.

Pour the batter into the pan over the coconut and almonds.

Cream well together butter, cream cheese and powdered sugar.

Drop creamed mixture in globs on top of the cake batter, avoiding the sides of the pan.

Sprinkle with 1 cup of chocolate chips.

Bake in 350 degree oven for 35 minutes. It will crack on the top and appear undone.

Never's done! Cool on a cooling rack.

Just wanted you to see the fault lines...

this ooey-gooey cake rocks and rolls...beware of aftershocks!

Earthquake Cake

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees

2. Sprinkle on the bottom of a greased 9x13" pan:
  • 1 cup chopped nuts (I used almonds)
  • 1 cup shredded coconut
3. Mix a German Chocolate Cake Mix according to package directions. Pour it over the nuts and coconut in cake pan.

4. Cream:
  • 1 (8 oz) package cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup butter, (1 stick) softened
  • 2 cups powdered sugar

5. Spoon creamed mixture on top of cake mix in globs, making sure not to touch the sides of the pan.

6. Sprinkle with 1 cup of chocolate chips.

7. Bake at 350 degrees for 34 minutes. It will crack on top and appear not done. Cool on a cooling rack in pan.

You'll feel the earth move under your feet... Sending seismic energy your way!

Monday, May 17, 2010


 What's in a name?  My Mom made, "Johnny Marzetti," and my Mother-in-law made "Talarini."

 Whatever you call it, through the years this has been a tasty, easy, inexpensive, casserole dish, that both sides of our family have enjoyed. I like to make it for a large gathering, or it freezes well, but most especially, it's a great dish to share with family, friends and neighbors who are in need of a little TLC, earning the name at our house, "Compassionate Casserole." I decided to post it today because so many people ask for the recipe. I wrongly assumed everybody makes this one! We always serve it at informal family parties with broiled garlic-cheesy bread, a tossed green salad and root-beer floats!
I cook the sauce and noodles ahead of time and make this in quantity. It tastes a little like spaghetti. I like to serve it for big groups though, because the pasta always glob and sticks together when I make big batches of spaghetti noodles, and the people at the end of the line aren't thrilled with their serving! This recipe on the other hand, comes right out of the oven, hot and delicious and can be served easily...without globby noodles! It holds up well for second helpings too. It makes 2 (9x13") pans, and I would say, depending on your eaters, 24 to 36 servings.

Now for the step by step instructions...

I like to use lean ground beef, less fat and less waste. Brown and drain it in a 5 quart or larger pot.

Saute onion and green pepper till tender crisp. Add the ground beef back to the pot...

add olives, sliced in half, corn, can use creamed or whole kernel, and I like Prego.

Add salt and pepper, and I like to use some Italian herbs of choice, season and taste. Now let it simmer for at least an hour, 2 if you can!

You need 2 (16 oz) packages of egg noodles and a BIG pot that holds 8 to 10 quarts of water.

Add the noodles to boiling water, stir and cover. I take it off the heat and let it sit for 10 minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water.

In a large bowl, (I use a Fix and Mix), mix it gently with the sauce.

Spray your dish with non-stick spray. Add the sauce and noodles. Cover with shredded cheese and pop it in a 350 degree oven. Bake uncovered till noodles and cheese look bubbly (and I like to brown it a little too), between 30 to 45 minutes.

While your casserole is baking, split a loaf of French bread in half lengthwise. Score the bread into slices. Mix 1 cube of soft butter with 1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese and 1 to 2 cloves of fresh garlic, that you've smashed. Spread it on your prepared bread and then sprinkle it with grated mozzarella cheese. Just before your casserole is ready, tuck your cheesy-bread under your preheated broiler. Watch it carefully...(unlike me today, my edges are a little too crispy), it will get toasty and bubbly quickly!
Serve with green salad topped with a balsamic or Italian dressing, and our family loves good-old root-beer floats for dessert!  Believe me, you will feel the LOVE!


  • 3 pound lean ground beef
  • 2 chopped yellow onions
  • 2 chopped green peppers
  • 1 (4 lb. 3 oz) jar Prego sauce
  • 2 (14 1/2 oz) cans creamed corn or whole kernel corn
  • 2 (14 1/2 oz) pitted black olives, sliced
  • 2 (16 oz) packages wide egg noodles
  • 1 pound shredded medium cheddar cheese
Brown ground beef and drain any fat. Saute onion and peppers till tender crisp. Add beef, Prego, corn, and olives. Let it simmer low for an hour. Cook egg noodles in boiling water as directed. Drain and rise. Add to meat sauce and and pour into 2 (9x13) baking pans. Sprinkle with cheese and bake at 350 degrees for 30-45 minutes until the cheese is bubbly.

Happy Baking Friends!