Monday, June 25, 2007

Michelle's Baby Shower to Welcome Jaden

Here are some photos of the Baby Shower Karla and I threw for Michelle. The food consisted of a taco bar, Mexican rice, chips and salsa, various cheeses, veggie tray and dip, fresh fruit displayed in margarita glasses for more of a Mexican theme, blue and yellow rice krispie treats, cake and punch. We went with a duck theme with blue and yellow.

Diaper cake:

Michelle (Mom-to-be), Me and Karla

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Orzo with Parmesan and Basil

I had never add orzo before and decided it was finally time I tried it. When I saw an orzo recipe on that incorporate parmesan and basil I knew it was the one to try. Plus I was dying to use some more of my homegrown basil.


2 tablespoons butter
1 cup uncooked orzo pasta
1 (14.5 ounce) can chicken broth*
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil


Melt butter in heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Stir in orzo and saute until lightly browned.

Stir in chicken stock and bring to boil. Cover. Reduce heat and simmer until orzo is tender and liquid is absorbed, about 15 - 20 minutes.

Mix in Parmesan cheese and basil. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer to shallow bowl. Garnish with basil sprigs.

*I was out of chicken broth so I just used water and chicken bullion.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Hot Dog Boats! it really isn't a recipe, but it sure is a fun way to eat a hot dog. I had some leftover hoagie rolls and thought it would be nice to use that as a hot dog bun. All I did was cut out some of the middle and put it under the broiler with a thin layer of butter or mayo to crisp it up (depends on my mood). Then just fill your boat up with all your goodies....chili, cheese, sauerkraut, onions, jalapenos, relish, mustard, ketchup...whatever you'd like! The bonus is if you cut your hot dog in half lengthwise you can fit two in there. Happy Hot Dog Eating!

Monday, June 18, 2007

Pink Lemonade Cupcakes (well...not so pink)

I saw this recipe on a nesties blog (Confections of a Foodie Bride) and had to try them. I made them for Father's Day because my Dad loves pink lemonade and anything tart. Mine weren't as pink as they should be because I opted not to add food coloring so they were more "manly".


1 1/8 cup (9 oz) frozen Pink Lemonade Concentrate, thawed*
White cake mix (yes, the boxed stuff)
3 egg whites
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
Non-stick spray
1 recipe Lemon Buttercream Icing (recipe follows)

* For a less tart cupcake (and these babies do pack a punch), try reducing the amount of pink lemonade. 3/8 cup water and 3/4 cup pink lemonade will cut the tartness.

In a stand mixer, add the cake mix, egg whites, vegetable oil, and the pink lemonade concentrate. Mix on low for about 30 seconds and then increase to medium speed for 90 seconds (the batter will still be a bit lumpy; take care not to overmix so you don’t end up with dry cupcakes).

Spray each cupcake liner with the non-stick spray and spoon the batter into a prepared muffin pan (fill the cups between 2/3 and 3/4 full). Bake at 350 for about 25 minutes or until a toothpick registers “done” in the center cupcake. Remove the pan from the oven and cool 5 minutes. Remove the cupcakes and cool completely on a baking rack.

Once the cupcakes have cooled, make the icing and ice the cupcakes.

Lemon Buttercream Icing

3 cups + 3 Tbsp confectioner’s sugar
1 stick unsalted butter at room temperature
1/8 tsp salt
2 Tbsp lemon juice
Red food color (to color icing and sugar, optional)
1/4 cup granulated sugar (optional)

Add the butter, confectioner’s sugar, salt, lemon juice, and food coloring (if using) to the stand mixer and mix on low using the paddle attachment until combined. Turn the speed to med-high until the icing is fluffy and uniformly pink. Add the icing to a pastry bag fitted with a 2D tip and ice the cupcakes.

Optional - Add the sugar and a couple drops of the food coloring to a food processor. Process until the sugar turns pink. Spread the sugar onto a plate and let dry for 15 minutes. Sprinkle onto freshly-iced cupcakes and enjoy!

My Notes: I did not have a stand mixer so I used my hand mixer and everything came out perfect. I also used a plain ol butter knife to frost the cupcake. Lastly, they took less time to cook in my oven so keep a close eye on them.

There were really good. Nice and tart (but not too tart for us). This is a keeper!

Pan-Fried Stuffed Chicken With Prosciutto, Mozzarella and Basil

I wanted to make something good for dinner since it had been a while since I had cooked. My basil has been growing like crazy so I wanted to find a recipe where I could use my fresh basil. After searching the Internet I found "Pan-Fried Stuffed Chicken With Prosciutto, Mozzarella and Basil" from


2 boneless skinless chicken breast halves
4 small slices of prosciutto or smoked ham (I cut large slices of prosciutto in half)
2 ounces of fresh mozzarella cheese, cut into 4 slices (I used more cheese)
8 basil leaves, plus 1/4 cup thinly sliced
2 teaspoons olive oil
1/2 cup chicken broth
2 tablespoons honey mustard
1 garlic clove, minced


Heat oven to 350°.

Cut each chicken breast in half crosswise to make 4 portions. Cut a slit into the sides of each portion. Insert a slice of prosciutto, a slice of cheese and 2 whole basil leaves into each slit. Secure well with a toothpick.

Heat the oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat until hot; add the chicken. Reduce heat to medium; cook, turning once, until chicken is browned, about 3 minutes per side.

Transfer chicken to a baking pan.
Bake until chicken is cooked through, about 15-18 minutes.

Transfer to a platter.

Meanwhile, heat the broth, mustard and garlic to a boil in the same skillet over high heat; cook until slightly thickened, 5 minutes. Stir in sliced basil; pour over chicken.

I personally didn't use the sauce but Jason and my Mom really liked the chicken with the sauce. It was very good and also reheated well.