Thursday, June 24, 2010

Coleen's Meatball Subs

I found this recipe a while ago at on Coleen's food blog. She has the greatest dishes and none of them are that difficult to make. I just realized that she hadn't posted and that she was taking the summer off. I'll miss you Coleen so please don't stay away too long! Please click on her name and it will bring up her site and recipe.

This was really simple to make and absolutely delicious. We ended up having enough for leftovers and had this two nights with no complaints. I think I could eat meatballs at least once a week. This is definitely kid friendly too.

We have had some major heat this week and I am loving it! Whenever I think it's getting just a "little too hot" I think back to February and being stuck at home with 20 inches of snow outside the door! NO thank you! I'd much rather have this. I'm going down to Richmond this weekend with my youngest son to see my older boys and grandaughter. She is almost a year old. I can't believe it. My daughter in law is planning her 1 year birthday party next month and I'm looking so forward to it.

I also saw a great movie this week - "It's Complicated." The movie came out a while back and we have it on dvd! I love it! I laughed so much. So if you are looking for a good comedy, this one is it. I usually watch horror movies (love them), but every once in a while I will watch something else!!! Hope everyone has a great weekend!!!!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Chocolate Peanut Butter Mousse Cake and My 2 Year Blog Anniversary!

Yes, my blog is two years old! I cannot believe that I've been blogging for 2 years already. I remember right before I started my blog that I thought I would never have any clue as to how to set one up. A coworker showed me how simple it was and that was that! I have enjoyed it more than I ever thought I would and have gotten more visitors than I could ever have imagined. I know that my blog is very "little" compared to other blogs that are viewed by thousands every day, but that doesn't matter. I really like posting recipes I've tried and visiting other blogs to check out what other people are posting and cooking. It's really another world that has opened up, that 20 years ago most people could never have imagined. I get to hear from people through their comments that live on the other side of the world and vice versa! So thank you everyone for stopping by and visiting. I hope you enjoy my recipes and my little updates on my life and family!

Here is a great recipe that Donna recently posted. Donna has the recipe linked to the site where it is posted. I tried linking it but for whatever reason it will not link. So please visit Donna's site and you will find it there. This has become one of my new favorite chocolate cakes. Even my husband who is not big on the peanut butter/chocolate combo enjoyed it and my son just kept eating the peanut butter mousse! Just a heads up that this makes a lot of filling and it was a bit thin at first so I chilled it in the refrigerator for about an hour and that worked perfectly and thickened it up. It tastes great straight from the fridge! Enjoy!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Happy Father's Day - Great Falls, Virginia

Happy Father's Day to all the dad's out there. We spent most of the day at Great Falls which is in Fairfax County in northern Virginia. It is definitely hot, hot, hot!!!! Here are a few picture of the falls. My husband is not in any of the pictures I am publishing because he is "camera shy." But he WAS there! I am not camera shy in the least....anyone surprised???? Have a great day!!!!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Extreme Chocolate Cake

This was a delicious birthday cake that I made for my stepdad's birthday a few weeks ago. It is very, very similar to Hershey's Chocolate Cake but perhaps a bit more chocolatey, if that's possible. My 2 older sons both said it was too rich for them. I say that's their problem!!!! I am a chocolate addict and it would take a whole lot of chocolate for me to ever say that it's too rich! The raspberries really added a nice touch and gave it such a pretty look. You can just click here for the recipe. I also made a delicious chocolate peanut butter cake that I will be posting soon. I have decided to try to bake things that would be more challenging for me but at the same time things that I really love. Many times I've shied away from a tart that would have pastry cream because that might be too "difficult" to make. Now, I think I need to really push myself or I'll start getting bored with lots of the same things. I still am pretty "burnt out" from always feeling obligated to leave a comment when I visit someones blog. I was really starting to feel obligated and blogging had stopped being fun. Since I have taken that pressure off myself and just visit and leave a comment here and there, I've started to feel the fun of blogging again. Hope no one feels obligated to leave me a comment either. Just enjoy my blog. If you want to comment then that's great since I have always loved reading the comments, but don't feel you have to.

School lets out this Friday and I am welcoming that. I'm headed up to visit my cousin in July and go to my favorite beach in the world - Jones Beach on Long Island. Then in August we'll be going back to Chincoteague Island. That's another great place. I could easily live at the beach. There's something about the ocean and the waves that I just love. In the meantime, enjoy this cake if you decide to make it!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Strawberry Cream Tart

This was one delicious tart. I honestly could not just stop at one slice! Each time I had some I had to have 2 slices and my husband and I just devoured this within 2 days! It has a sweet cookie like crust and the almond extract in both the crust and cream really comes through. I think this would also be good with a variety of fruit. The cream is what makes it special to me. It is so good and so simple to make. I did not use the melted jelly as a glaze because when I went in my pantry to get the strawberry jelly, when I opened the jar it looked like the beginning of a science experiment!Even though it had been sealed, I guess I had just had it too long. One of those things you forget about and it just keeps making its way further back into the pantry and is forgotten until you need it in a recipe!

Glad that school is almost over. My youngest son starts middle school in September and is pretty excited about that. I'm just glad right now that the pool days are here and the beach is just begging me to come back for a vacation!

Crust for tart:

1/2 c butter, softenend
1/3 c sugar
1 1/4 c all purpose flour
2 tbsp milk
1/2 tsp almond extract


3 oz pkg cream cheese, softenend
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/2 tsp almond extract
1 c whipping cream


1 pt fresh strawberries, sliced or raspberries
2-6 tbsp strawberry or raspberry jelly, melted (I omitted this)

Heat oven to 400 degrees F. In a small mixer bowl beat butter and sugar at medium speed, scraping bowl often until light and fluffy, 1 to 2 minutes. Add flour, milk and 1/2 tsp almond extract. Reduce speed to low; continue beating, scraping bowl often, until mixture leaves sides of bowl and forms a ball. Press dough on bottom and sides of a greased 10" tart pan; prick with a fork. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes or until light golden brown. Cool.

In a small mixer bowl combine cream cheese, powdered sugar and 1/2 tsp almond extract. Beat at medium speed, scraping bowl often, until light and fluffy, 1 to 2 minutes. Gradually add whipping cream; continue beating until mixture is thick and fluffy (2 to 3 minutes). Spread over top of cooled crust. Refrigerate at least 1 hour just before serving. Arrange fruit on filling. Brush or drizzle melted jelly over fruit.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Poke Cake

My daughter in law recently made a poke cake similar to this one. I hadn't had one in quite a while and forgot just how great they are. I think the first time I made this cake was over 25 years ago! I had made this a few times since but really not in quite a long while. When I tasted my daughter in laws cake I realized that I missed having it and would just HAVE to make one again myself! Her cake was not frosted on top but was covered with different fruits. You can really do lots of things with these cakes and also change up the flavors. This is another easy and delicious recipe. I love the frosting also. Just so simple with pudding mix and Cool Whip. You can also subsitute the Cool Whip with fresh whipped cream. I think this is also a great fourth of July cake....just use either red or blue jello or both!!!

1 package (18.25 oz) white or yellow cake mix (you can also use your favorite scratch cake)
4 eggs
1 cup water
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 (3 oz) package fruit flavored gelatin mix (I used lime)
1 cup boiling water
1 cup ice water
1 (3.5 oz) package instant vanilla pudding mix
1 cup of milk
1 tub of Cook Whip

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare 2 9" round cake pans by lining bottoms with parchment paper. Spray parchment paper so it adheres to bottom of pan. This will prevent the cake from sticking to the bottom of the pan once the jello has settled into the cake. Do not skip this step.

Combine cake mix, eggs, water and vegetable oil and blend well. Beat at medium speed 4 minutes with electric mixer.

Pour batter into the prepared pans and bake approximately 30 minutes or until toothpick in center comes out clean. Let cake cool in pan for about 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, boil 1 cup of water and add gelatin. Stir this until all gelatin is dissolved (about 2 minutes) and then add 1 cup of ice water. Mix well. With a fork, poke holes along entire top of each cake, making sure cake is still warm. Pour gelatin over cake. I didn't use the full cup, just slightly under. Chill cakes for at least 4 hours or overnight. Remove cake from pans right before frosting.
To frost cake: Beat on medium high speed, 1 cup of milk and pudding mix. Beat until thickened (about 2 minutes), then fold in Cool Whip. Frost cake as desired. This makes quite a bit of frosting. Keep cake refrigerated.