Thursday, October 29, 2009

Creamy Potato Soup

Swine flu has been rampant in my house. Before DH got it and he was taking care of me, I asked him to make this recipe that I found on Recipezaar. It is surprisingly delicious!

Creamy Potato Soup:

4 cups chicken broth
4 cups peeled and cubed potatoes
1/4 cup minced onion
1/2 teaspoon seasoning salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, cut into chunks

Combine broth, potatoes, onion, and spices.

Boil on medium heat until potatoes are tender.

Smash a few potatoes to release their starch for thickening.

Reduce to low heat.

Add cream cheese.

Heat, stirring frequently, until cheese melts.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

My baby girl's first birthday party

We had a birthday party for my beautiful daughter on Sunday. I woke up sick on Saturday morning (and later found out that it's swine flu) so this party was tough on me but I was determined to give her a good party.

Here's her ducky cake. It took 3 hours to decorate. The stupid beak was impossible to get right. I finally gave up. Below the cake are sugar cookies then cream puffs and strawberry cupcakes.

My mom couldn't believe that I let her ruin that ducky cake, but it was her birthday, so of course she got to have it by herself.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Not my baby anymore

My baby girl turned one today. She's growing up way too fast!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Caprese Flatbread

This is an all-time favorite recipe. I first had Caprese Flatbread at Olive Garden. I love that they post recipe's on their website. They have this recipe and even a video tutorial that you can see here.

After making this dozens of times, I have made some alterations to the recipe. The following recipe is my version of Olive Garden's Caprese Flatbread.

8 Roma or plum tomatoes, diced
1 1/2 tsp. minced garlic
3/4-1 cup mayonnaise
1 tsp salt
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp black pepper
2-3 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
20 medium fresh basil leaves, stemmed and chopped (about ½ cup), or basil pesto
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
14 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil, divided
11 oz container of refrigerated thin crust pizza dough

Preheat oven to 350ºF.

Dice tomatoes into small pieces. Transfer to a mixing bowl.

Add garlic, salt, pepper, ½ of chopped basil (or 1 TBSP basil pesto), and 4 Tbsp olive oil.

Set aside and allow mixture to marinate for 10 minutes.

Flatten pizza dough into rectangle pan as indicated on package, reaching to pan edges.

Drizzle dough with olive oil and brush it over dough.

Bake dough at 350ºF for 10 minutes on center rack. Remove crust from pan and place on center rack of the oven until bottom is crispy.

Remove from oven and allow to cool completely, about 10 minutes.

Increase oven temperature to 450ºF.

Combine mayonnaise and garlic powder in a mixing bowl. Evenly spread onto the bread’s surface.

*** If using basil pesto instead of fresh basil, spread a thin, even layer of pesto on top of the mayonnaise mixture.

Top with shredded mozzarella to evenly cover surface.

Drain tomato mixture and spread evenly over the bread.

Srinkle with grated Parmesan cheese.

Return flatbread to oven for 5-7 more minutes or until golden, crisp and bubbly.

Garnish with remaining chopped basil and serve.

***I prefer to make my flatbread with pesto instead of fresh basil. But to do this you need a really good pesto.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Strawberry Cupcakes w/ Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting

My baby girl is turning one next week and we're having a Rubber Ducky themed party. I bought a 3D Ducky cake mold made by Wilton (pictures to follow) and decided to serve cupcakes to the guests so she can dig into this ducky cake.

I came across some raving reviews of Paula Deen's Strawberry Cake and thought they'd be a yummy change from boring old white cupcakes.

I did a test run of them (I strongly believe in test runs) and DH's immediate response was a moan followed by "you're going to make me fat."

Here is the original recipe:

1 (18.25-ounce) box white cake mix

1 (3-ounce) box strawberry-flavored instant gelatin

1 (15-ounce) package frozen strawberries in syrup, thawed and pureed

4 large eggs

1/2 cup vegetable oil

1/4 cup water

Strawberry cream cheese frosting, recipe follows

Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting

1/4 cup butter, softened

1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened

1 (10-ounce) package frozen strawberries in syrup, thawed and pureed

1/2 teaspoon strawberry extract

7 cups confectioners' sugar

Freshly sliced strawberries, for garnish, optional


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease 2 (9-inch) round cake pans.

In a large bowl, combine cake mix and gelatin. Add pureed strawberries, eggs, oil, and water; beat at medium speed with an electric mixer until smooth. Pour into prepared pans, and bake for 20 minutes, or until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Let cool in pans for 10 minutes. Remove from pans, and cool completely on wire racks.

For the frosting:

In a large bowl, beat butter and cream cheese at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Beat in 1/4 cup of the strawberry puree and the vanilla extract. (The rest of the puree is leftover but can be used in smoothies or on ice cream for a delicious treat.) Gradually add confectioners' sugar, beating until smooth.

Spread frosting in between layers and on top and sides of cake. Garnish with sliced fresh strawberries, if desired.

I'm not usually into eating batter, but this stuff is too good to resist.

She got a preview.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

New Obsessions

Check them out!