Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Brazilian Lemonade

Sorry I am just now posting this...

4 juicy limes (try and find ones with thin, smooth skins; they’re the juiciest and the thin skin cuts down on the chance of your drink being bitter)
1 c. sugar
6 c. cold water
6 Tbsp. sweetened condensed milk
Mix cold water and sugar very well and chill until ready to use. This step can be done ahead of time.
Wash limes thoroughly with soap (I just use hand-dishwashing soap or regular hand soap); you need the soap to get the wax and pesticides off of the limes because you’re using the WHOLE lime, baby. Cut the ends off the limes and then cut each lime into 8ths.
Place 1/2 of the limes in your blender.
Add 1/2 of the sugar water, place the lid on your blender, and pulse 5 times. Place a fine-mesh strainer over a pitcher (the one you’ll serve the lemonade in) and pour the blended mixture through the strainer and into the pitcher. Use a spoon to press the rest of the liquid into the pitcher. Dump the pulp and stuff in the strainer into the trash. Repeat with remaining limes and sugar water. Add sweetened condensed milk; DO NOT leave this step out unless you will die of a horrible sweetened condensed milk allergy because this is the secret ingredient! You may want to taste test it at this point; I used giant, thick-skinned limes tonight and didn’t test it and it came out a little bitter. If it’s bitter, just add some more sugar and maybe a little more milk.
Serve immediately over lots of ice. This does not keep well, so don’t make this in advance (although you can cut the limes, mix the sugar water, and measure the sweetened condensed milk in advance). Serves 4, although I can pretty much guarantee you that people will want more; I usually plan on 1 1/2 servings at LEAST per person.

Raspberry Pretzel Jello Salad/Dessert Recipe

2 cups pretzels (broken into pieces)
1/2 cup Butter or margarine, melted
1 large box (6 oz) raspberry Jell-o
1 cup Sugar
2 - 3 cups frozen raspberries (you can also use fresh)
1 (8 oz) container Cool Whip whipped topping
3 Tablespoons Sugar
2 cups boiling water
1 (8 oz) package cream cheese

First Layer - combine broken pretzels, butter and sugar.  Press in  9 x 13 pan and bake at 350 degrees for 7 minutes.  Cool completely.

Second Layer -  Beat 1 cup sugar and cream cheese until smooth.  Fold in Cool Whip.  Spread over pretzel layer.

Third Layer - Mix Jello and boiling water.  Add frozen raspberries.  Cool and set slightly.  Pour over cream cheese layer.  Refrigerate until firm.


Monday, October 1, 2012

Joyce's Amazing Carrot Cake

(I am posting this for Dana)

Joyce's Amazing Carrot Cake

2 cup flour
2 cup sugar
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp. cinnamon
4 eggs
1 1/2 cup vegetable oil
3 cups grated carrots
2 cups Finely grated walnuts (optional)
1 small can crushed pineapple (16 oz)

Preheat oven to 350
Sift together the dry ingredients. Add egg and oil and beat in mixer.
Stir in carrots, walnuts and pineapple.
Bake for 45 minutes in a well greased pan at 350 degrees.

*for two 8" round pans bake for 40 minutes

Creme cheese frosting:

1 box powdered sugar (16 oz)
8 oz. cream cheese (softened)
1/4 cup butter
1 tsp vanilla

*spread over completely cooled cake


Banana Cake with Vanilla Bean Frosting

                                        (photo source:
Original link:

  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons room temperature butter
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 3/4 cup mashed very ripe banana (about 2 bananas)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • Vanilla Bean Frosting:
  • 2 Tablespoons room temperature butter
  • 1 1/4 cups confectioners sugar
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 vanilla bean, seeded and scraped
  • pinch of salt
  1. Cream together butter and sugar. Add the sour cream and egg.
  2. Add the mashed banana and vanilla.
  3. Add the flour, salt, and baking soda. Stop mixing as soon as it is combined.
  4. Pour the batter into a 9×9 pan that has been coated with cooking spray.
  5. Bake in a preheated 375 degree oven for 20 to 25 minutes. The cake will be done when a tester comes out clean.
  6. Let the cake cool completely. Start on the frosting by creaming together the butter and confectioners sugar. Add the heavy cream slowly and beat until smooth and fluffy. Add the scraped vanilla bean and a pinch of salt.
  7. Spread the vanilla bean frosting over the cooled cake.
*Side note, I made these as muffins as well...huge success!

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Cheesy Pesto Pull-Apart Bread

I got this recipe from

She has lots of great recipes!!

Cheesy Pesto Pull-Apart Bread
Time: 10 min. prep + 15 min. baking

Yield: 7 servings
Recipe from Jamie Cooks It Up! 

1 large crusty loaf of bread
1 C basil pesto
salt and pepper
2 C mozzarella cheese, grated
1 C Parmesan cheese, grated

1. Line a large baking sheet with aluminum foil and spray it with cooking spray.
 Set one large crusty loaf of bread in the center. 
2. Slice the bread carefully, without cutting all the way to the bottom of the loaf.
  Then slice it going the other direction so that you have lots of little 1 inch squares 
all over the top of the loaf.
3. Grab yourself about 1 cup of pesto, pour it into a small bowl and add just a bit of salt and 
pepper.  I like to buy Pesto at Costco. It will keep for about a month in the fridge. If I don't use 
it all and the expiration date is approaching, I pour it into and ice cube tray, cover it with plastic
 wrap and store it in the freezer. 
4. Using a butter knife, spread pesto inside the loaf along every sliced part of the bread. 
5. Pull the slices apart and push a bit of shredded mozzarella cheese and shredded 
Parmesan cheese into each little crevice. 
6. Wrap the bread up in the aluminum foil and bake at 400 degrees for 10 minutes. 
Uncover the bread and allow it remain in the oven until the cheese is melted and a bit 
golden in color. 
7. Take the bread out of the oven and let it cool just a bit before serving. 

***NOTE: This bread is best served warm from the oven. 
However, if you have leftovers store them in the refrigerator and reheat them in the
 microwave when you are ready to enjoy them.  

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Crustless Pear and Custard Pie

  • photo courtesy of

    This recipe is SUPER easy! Took me 10-15 minutes to prep, and then baked in 40. Delicious eaten warm or hot, but also good room temp or cold. Heated up the rest in the microwave the next day and Landon ate it up.  A very non-heavy, light-tasting dessert. 

    I used 2% milk, Bartlett pears, and a mandolin to slice the pears. Sift or dust (with a small mesh sieve) the powdered sugar over it right before serving, as it quickly gets soaked up by the juice and partially disappears.


  • 3 Comice or Bartlett pears, peeled, halved, cored, and sliced
  • 1/4 cup melted unsalted butter
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Confectioners' sugar


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees; butter a 9-inch pie dish. Peel, halve, and core 3 Comice or Bartlett pears; slice 1/4 inch thick lengthwise. Arrange slices, overlapping slightly, in dish.
  2. In a blender, process 1/4 cup melted unsalted butter, 1/3 cup each granulated sugar and all-purpose flour, 2 teaspoons vanilla extract, 3 large eggs, 3/4 cup milk, and 1/4 teaspoon salt until smooth.
  3. Pour batter over pears; bake until golden and firm to touch, 40 to 45 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature, dusted with confectioners' sugar.
(recipe courtesy of Martha Stewart recipes, "Everyday Food" magazine 2003, also the "Everyday Food--Great Food Fast" cookbook, which I LOVE)

Friday, September 28, 2012

Cook's Gazpacho from Hot Tub night at Yuka's


Published July 1, 2010.  From Cook's Illustrated.
The key to fresh tomato flavor in our creamy gazpacho Andaluz recipe was salting the tomatoes and letting them sit to release more flavor. We then followed the same process with the other vegetables—cucumber, bell pepper, and onion—and soaked ...(more)


For ideal flavor, allow the gazpacho to sit in the refrigerator overnight before serving. Red wine vinegar can be substituted for the sherry vinegar. Although we prefer to use kosher salt in this soup, half the amount of table salt can be used. Serve the soup with additional extra-virgin olive oil, sherry vinegar, ground black pepper, and diced vegetables for diners to season and garnish their own bowls as desired.


  • 3pounds (about 6 medium) ripe tomatoes, cored
  • 1small cucumber, peeled, halved, and seeded
  • 1medium green bell pepper, halved, cored and seeded
  • 1small red onion, peeled and halved
  • 2medium garlic cloves, peeled and quartered
  • 1small serrano chile, stemmed and halved lengthwise
  • Kosher salt (see note)
  • 1slice high-quality white sandwich bread, crust removed, torn into 1-inch pieces
  • 1/2cup extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for serving
  • 2tablespoons sherry vinegar, plus extra for serving (see note)
  • 2tablespoons finely minced parsley, chives, or basil leaves
  • Ground black pepper


  1. 1. Roughly chop 2 pounds of tomatoes, half of cucumber, half of bell pepper, and half of onion and place in large bowl. Add garlic, chile, and 1½ teaspoons salt; toss until well combined. Set aside.
  2. 2. Cut remaining tomatoes, cucumber, and pepper into ¼-inch dice; place vegetables in medium bowl. Mince remaining onion and add to diced vegetables. Toss with ½ teaspoon salt and transfer to fine-mesh strainer set over medium bowl. Set aside 1 hour.
  3. 3. Transfer drained diced vegetables to medium bowl and set aside. Add bread pieces to exuded liquid (there should be about ¼ cup) and soak 1 minute. Add soaked bread and any remaining liquid to roughly chopped vegetables and toss thoroughly to combine.
  4. 4. Transfer half of vegetable-bread mixture to blender and process 30 seconds. With blender running, slowly drizzle in ¼ cup oil and continue to blend until completely smooth, about 2 minutes. Strain soup through fine-mesh strainer into large bowl, using back of ladle or rubber spatula to press soup through strainer. Repeat with remaining vegetable-bread mixture and 1/4 cup olive oil.
  5. 5. Stir vinegar, minced herb, and half of diced vegetables into soup and season to taste with salt and black pepper. Cover and refrigerate overnight or for at least 2 hours to chill completely and develop flavors. Serve, passing remaining diced vegetables, olive oil, sherry vinegar, and black pepper separately.

    -Notes: I used Red Brandywine tomatoes and red wine vinegar as substitutes. I also forgot to pass the remaining diced veg and condiments. I also omitted the serano chili and only let it sit for 2 hours.