Friday, June 27, 2008

Dulce de Leche Fillo Cups

Dulce de Leche Fillo Cups

2 oz. 1/3-less-fat cream cheese (Neufchatel), softened
2 tablespoons dulce de leche (caramel) syrup
1 tablespoon reduced-fat sour cream
1 package frozen mini fillo shells (15 shells)
1/3 cup sliced fresh strawberries
2 tablespoons diced mango, a blueberry or any other fruit desired

In a medium bowl, beat cream cheese with electric mixer on low speed until creamy. Beat in dulce de leche syrup and sour cream until blended.

Spoon cream cheese mixture into fillo shell. Top each with desired fruit.

Makes 15 servings at 40 calories each.

Craters of the Moon Trip 6-24-08

This week our family took a little ride to Craters of the Moon. It's been four years since I last visited there. Those who came were me and Joe, Kami, Eric, Collin, Carlee, Tina and grandma Brewer.

Craters is a national monument that is dominated by lava, rocks and caves. Since winter was so long for us, the spring flowers were all in bloom still. They were beautiful! I will post our trip in pictures, some borrowed from my son-in-law, Eric.

To learn more about Craters of the Moon, visit

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Raspberry Cheesecake Dessert

This is very low fat and yummy!! It is made with:

Angel Food Cake
Frozen raspberries sweetened with Splenda
Sugar-free, Fat-free Instant Cheesecake Jello Pudding
Lightly sweetened whipped cream in a spray can
Chopped Almonds

I cut two circles of angel food cake. Lay one on bottom of a small individual size trifle bowl, next raspberries, then pudding. Add another layer of each and top with whipped cream and almonds.

Easy peasy!!!

Chicken Tortellini Soup

Mmmm mmm good!!!

Chicken Tortellini Soup

12 ounces skinless, boneless chicken breasts halves
2 teaspoons olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 14 oz. cans reduced sodium chicken broth
1 3/4 cups water
2 medium carrots, shredded
1 cup asparagus
1 teaspoon dried tarragon, crushed
2 cups torn fresh spinach
1 9 oz. package refrigerated cheese-filled tortellini

Cut the chicken into 3/4 inch pieces. In a dutch oven, heat oil over medium-high heat. Cook and stir chicken and garlic in oil for 5 to 6 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink. Stir in chicken broth, water, carrots, asparagus and tarragon.

Bring mixture to boiling; reduce heat. Cover and simmer for 2 minutes. Add tortellini. Cover and simmer for 5 to 6 minutes more or until tortellini is tender. Stir in spinach.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Halibut with Creamy Dijon Sauce

This is my first time trying Halibut! The halibut was more expensive than other fish, but I just wanted to try something different. This recipe is very low-carb and very good!! Another one I would make again!!

Halibut with Creamy Dijon Sauce

4 fresh or frozen halibut or sea bass steaks, cut 1 inch thick
1 tablespoon butter or margarine, melted
1/4 teaspoon onion powder or salt
1/4 teaspoon dried marjoram, crushed
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme, crushed
1/2 cup sour cream
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon Dijon-style mustard
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1/8 teaspoon dried thyme, crushed
1/2 cup reduced sodium chicken broth
4 cups shredded spinach
1 medium carrot, shredded
Lemon wedges (optional)

Thaw fish, if frozen. Rinse fish; pat dry with a paper towel. Set aside.

For basting sauce, combine butter or margarine, onion salt, marjoram, and the 1/4 teaspoon thyme.

Place fish steaks on the unheated rack of a broiler pan. Brush with basting sauce. Broil 4 inches from the heat for 8 to 12 minutes or just until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork, turning once with the remaining basting sauce halfway through.

Meanwhile, for the mustard sauce, in a small saucepan, stir together the sour cream, flour, mustard, salt, pepper, and the 1/8 teaspoon thyme. Add chicken broth, stirring until well mixed. Cook and stir over medium heat until thickened and bubbly. Cook and stir for one minute more. Keep warm.

Toss together spinach and carrot. Divide the spinach mixture among 4 dinner plates. Arrange fish on the spinach mixture. top with mustard sauce. If desired, garnish with lemon wedges.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Grandma Brewer's Birthday Cake

This is a cake that I did for Grandma Brewer. She is Tina's mom. I love her just like she is my own family!! i made her a carrot cake with cream cheese icing. It was good, but the cake was too crumbly!! Maybe I put too much pineapple in it!

I'll share my cream cheese icing because I really liked how it worked for this cake. It worked great for decorating, crusted well and tasted good!

1/2 cup shortening

1/2 cup (one stick) unsalted butter at room temperature

1 8 oz. bar cream cheese at room temperature

1 tablespoon white vanilla extract (I used mexican vanilla)

1 lbs. sifted powdered sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt (I like to use popcorn salt)

Cream together shortening, butter and cream cheese until nice and smooth. Add vanilla into the mixture and combine. Sift sugar and salt together and add slowly to shortening, butter and cream cheese mixture. Make sure that all sugar is incorporated.

If too stiff, gradually add some milk to make the perfect consistency!

Levi and Cher's Wedding!

Cute wedding announcement!

The Bridal Shower

Kami and Kaitlyn at the bridal shower.

Very clever gift giving idea!!

Cher opening the Cricut that we all went in on together. Cher loved it!!

The beautiful quilt that Cher's mom made!

The Day of the Wedding

Working on the wedding cake after the luncheon.

Kami helping out!

Collin was the most handsomest ring bearer ever!!!

Collin was scuffing his shoes out in the parking lot before the ceremony! heehee

The groom to ring bearer before wedding ceremony talk!

Eric was on a picture taking craze!

What's that you're drinking, Larry?!!!!

Justin, Matt and Thad

Violin music being played the wedding party came in.

Oh I can't help it!! He is just too cute!!

The Reception

Me and Kami.

The cute couple!!

I think she liked my cake!!

Vanilla Cake. Forgot to take a picture before it was cut.

The carrot cake I made.

Cher made these cute and yummy cookies. Don't know where she found time to do them!

Love this idea!! Pictures were put on an old door. Made by Cher's mom! Love it!!!

Anime Cakes

I have been getting asked to do cakes from anime characters. What's anime, you ask? Although the term is used in Japan to refer to animation in general, in English usage the term most popularly refers to material originating from Japan, a subset of animation.

Anime is traditionally hand drawn, but computer assisted techniques have become quite common in recent years. It is used in television series, films, video, video games, and internet-based releases, and represents all genres of fiction. I won't pretend to know anything about anime, because I don't! I just try to do the cakes like the customer specifies.

The first one I did is Gaara. I had no clue as to how to put this character on a cake. I decided to to a frozen buttercream transfer (FBCT). I studied for a long time as to how to do one. I look all over the internet and on Cake It really wasn't as hard as I thought. My transfer isn't exactly like the picture, but it was close enough that the girl that ordered it for her friend was amazed and happy with it!! YIPPEE!!!

Gaara, the picture.
Gaara, my cake.

Then the same girl asked me to do one for her own birthday! Sure!!! Another FBCT. This one if of Edward Elric.
Edward Elric, the inspiration picture.

Edward Elric, the cake.

Then my son, who is into anime, big time, asked if I would do a cake for his roommate, Duo! Sure!!! "Ummm, can you make a Urahara Kisuki hat. I bought her the real hat for her birthday. She loves the hat." Uhhhh, yeah. Okay!! I'll see what I can do.

The inspiration hat picture.

The Urahara Kisuke Hat cake for Duo!

Anyway...I heard that she loved it and had a hard time cutting it! So I guess I don't really have to know anything about anime to do an anime cake. I just need to learn a little about the character and have a picture to go by! They are fun to do!!!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

My Favorite Chocolate Icing!!

This is officially my most favoritest chocolate icing!!! I've used it for icing and filling. I've tried it with chocolate, white and yellow cakes and it's all good!!! It's worth every single calorie!!!

Chocolate Hazelnut Buttercream

1 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup shortening
2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
4 cups confectioner's sugar
1-1/3 cups Nutella
2 teaspoons vanilla

Cream butter and shortening. Sift Cocoa with the sugar and add gradually to the creamed mixture. Add a tablespoon of milk at a time until desired consistency is reached. Add Nutella and vanilla and blend until smooth and creamy.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Sunday Dinner 6-1-08

On Sundays, I try to make one big meal and then snack on it or have a lighter meal the rest of the day. Roasted chicken, cracked potatoes, asparagus and pudding. It was all yummy!!!

I covered the chicken with some of the new McCormick Roasting Rubs made for chicken. I also added a touch of the Grill Mates for chicken. It was yummy!!!

Cracked Potatoes

12 small to medium Red or Yukon potatoes (I have used a mixture!)

1/2 cup olive oil

2 sprigs fresh thyme, plus 1/2 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme leaves

Course sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper

1 clove garlic, sliced

Using a rolling pin or heavy pan, gently smack the potatoes, 1 potato at a time, until the skin begins to split, exposing the interior of the raw potato.

Over low heat, add the olive oil to a medium-sized heavy bottomed pan, then add the potatoes and thyme sprigs and season generously with he salt and pepper. Place the lid on the pan and allow to cook, undisturbed, shaking the pan every 5 minutes or so, until the bottoms of the potatoes are browned, about 10 to 12 minutes. Check occasionally to make sure the potatoes aren't browning too quickly and adjust heat accordingly. Turn the potatoes to their second side, replace the lid, and continue cooking undisturbed a further 5 to 8 minutes.

Remove the lid and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes, for the condensation to evaporate.

Remove the thyme sprigs and add the sliced garlic and chopped fresh thyme and cook until the garlic is caramelized and chewy, about 2 minutes. Serve hot.

Bacon Wrapped Asparagus
(This recipe is from Leanne, a friend on BakeSpace)

2 lbs. fresh asparagus, cleaned and trimmed

1 lb. bacon ( I used turkey bacon)

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil. (I used a spray olive oil)

Salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 500 degrees. Cut bacon in half length wise and wrap around asparagus. Arrange asparagus on a shallow baking sheet and drizzle with oil. Season with salt and pepper and roast in the oven for 8 to 10 minutes or until bacon is crisp, turning if necessary to avoid burning

Raspberry-Barley Pudding

1 3/4 cups water

1/2 cup uncooked barley

1 container (6oz.) Yoplait Original 99% Fat Free French Vanilla yogurt

1/4 cup maple-flavored syrup

1 cup frozen (thawed) reduced fat whipped topping

1/3 cup chopped walnuts, toasted

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 cup fresh or frozen (thawed and drained) raspberries

dash of ground cinnamon

additional chopped walnuts, if desired

In a 2 quart saucepan, heat water to boiling. Stir in barley; reduce heat. Cover; simmer about 45 minutes to 1 hour or until tender. Cool completely, about 30 minutes.

in a medium bowl, mix yogurt and maple syrup together. Gently stir in whipped topping. Stir in barley, toasted walnuts and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon. cover; refrigerate 2 hours.

Stir raspberries into pudding. Sprinkle pudding with a dash of cinnamon and additional walnuts before serving. Makes 6 3/4 cup servings.

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