" " " " Singing With Birds: May 2010

Friday, May 28, 2010

Stars and Stripes Forever

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 suggestions...how 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.

Happy, Happy Memorial Day All!
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Wednesday, May 26, 2010

To Astoria, With Love

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 NYC who have asked for this over and over, here it is, a recipe given to me by my Mom years ago...
Wonderful 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!

Wonderful 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!
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Monday, May 24, 2010

Cinnamon Apple Pie Muffins

Love and marriage, brings new babies...ups 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 | singingwithbirds.com

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!

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