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Friday, May 31, 2013

Lemon Mint Lemonade

When we were in Germany I had this lemon mint lemonade one night at dinner.  It was very refreshing so I thought I could make it when I got home.  I tried this the other night and it tasted very much like what I had in Germany.  The main difference was they made theirs with some kind of fizzy water.  I think next time I might try it with the flavored fizzy water.  I think they make a lemon lime flavor.
You can use whatever kind of lemonade you like.  I really like the flavor of the KoolAid lemonade.
Add 1 cup of sugar to the package mix.  I like to use Splenda with KoolAid.
Fill the pitcher with water.  Stir to make sure all the powder is dissolved.
This is actually the second time I have made this.  The first time I chopped the mint and put it in the pitcher.  The problem with that is that you get bits of mint when you drink.  Not that pleasant.  So I thought a loose tea holder should work.
So I gathered several mint leaves.  You can use as many or as few as you like.
Chop them up pretty good.
Fill the tea holder with the mint.
Hook it to the side and let it dangle in the lemonade.
I put a few loose mint leaves in to float around.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

One Pot Stovetop Mac and Cheese

I am on another quest to find the best mac and cheese recipe.  I found this one that looked really easy so I tried it.  Wasn't bad but not what I am looking for just yet.  I think this recipe could be tweaked just a little bit.
I tried the new pasta with the hidden veggies in it. I was curious to see if there was a difference in taste. I will be honest I could not tell any difference in the pasta.  If it adds some vitamins and minerals to a meal, moms give it a try.  But I would hide the box so they don't know they are getting veggies.
Start with 2 cups low fat milk.  I used 2 %.
Add 1 Tablespoon butter.
1 teaspoon mustard powder
1 teaspoon salt.  The recipe calls for 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg but I didn't add it.
Put it in a pot to simmer.
Rinse the uncooked pasta with cold water.
Dump it into the milk mixture. The pasta is going to cook in the milk.
While the pasta-milk mixture is simmering grate a heaping cup of cheese. You can use a mixture of cheese.  I used a little Parm cheese and then a medium cheddar cheese.
After the pot gets up to a simmer lower the heat to low and cook for around 15 minutes or until the milk is absorbed. Stiring occasionally.
Once the milk is gone turn the heat off and remove pot from the heat and add the cheese.  Stir the cheese into the pasta.
Cover the pot for a few minutes.  I think I should have added some additional milk to smooth the cheese out a little.
The finished product.  It was good but a litle dry and not so creamy.  A little milk would have helped that.

One Pot Stovetop Mac and Cheese Recipe
2 cups elbow macaroni uncooked
2 cups low fat milk, more if needed
1 Tablespoon butter
1 teaspoon mustard powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1 heaping cup of grated cheese

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Strawberry Pretzel Salad

I have come to learn that Strawberry Pretzel Salad is a southern thing.  I think we like that sweet and salty thing and this fits the bill.  I had all those beautiful strawberries and I had never made this salad.  It was a perfect combination.  It was so much easier than I thought it would be.
I used the sugar free jello and sugar free Cool Whip and less fat cream cheese.  Those lighter items did not change the taste.
Melt 3/4 cup of butter.  That is 1 1/2 sticks butter.
Crush around 2 cups pretzels.  You don't want them to be tiny crumbs you want some small pieces in there.
Add 3 Tablespoons sugar.  You might try splenda.
There's the melted butter.
Mix all three of those things until the pretzels are coated.
Press down in a sprayed 9x13 baking dish.  Place in a preheated 375 oven. Bake for 8 minutes.
Take out of the oven and let cool completely before finishing up the dish.
Slice and chop between 2-3 cups of strawberries.  I saw several different recipes and some say 2 cups and some say 3cups so somewhere in the middle.  I used fresh strawberries but you could use frozen ones as well.  If your strawberries are not real sweet you might want to sprinkle a little sugar on them.
Add 2 cups boiling water to the 6 oz package of strawberry jello.  Stir until the jello is dissolved.
When the jello has cooled a little add the strawberries.
Stir the strawberries well.  Cover and place in the fridge for about 30 minutes or until it begins to thicken.
Now for the middle layer.  Start with a softened 8 oz package of cream cheese.
Add 1 cup of sugar.
Mix well.
Add a 8 oz container of Cool Whip.  Fold together.
Spread over the pretzels.
Make sure you seal the edges with the cream cheese mixture.  You don't want the jello mixture to seep through to the pretzels.
Stir the thickening jello mixture.
Pour on top of the cream cheese mixture and spread out.  Cover and place in the fridge until you are ready to serve.
Cut and enjoy.  I wonder if peaches would be good to try with this when they are in season.....

Strawberry Pretzel Salad Recipe

2 cups crushed pretzels
3/4 cup butter melted
3 Tablespoons sugar
8 oz cream cheese softened
1 cup sugar
8 oz cool whip
1 6 oz box of strawberry jello
2 cups boiling water
2 cups strawberries

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

One Half Pound Cake

It's been a while since I have shared a recipe from my Dedication Day Cookbook.  Not sure what made we decide to pull it out today but this half pound cake was the perfect thing to go with my strawberries.
This is a very easy pound cake to whip up.  You probably have everything you need in your pantry.
Start with two sticks of softened butter.
Add 1 1/2 cups sugar
Cream the butter and sugar together.
Alternate between the eggs and flour.  Add 6 eggs.
And add 2 cups plain flour.  Mix well between the eggs and flour.
Add 1 teaspoon vanilla.
Such a pretty batter.  Make sure to scrape down the sides.
Pour into a bundt or tube pan that has been sprayed well or greased and floured. Place in a preheated 325 oven.  Bake for 1 hour then turn off the oven and let sit for 10 minutes.
This is the reason for making the pound cake.  Don't these strawberries look good?  They taste as good as they look.  These are some of the sweetest strawberries I have eaten.  They came from Maggie Valley this week.
I washed and sliced several of them and then sprinkled a little splenda on top and stired them.  Covered then and put in the fridge.
Fresh from the oven.
Invert the cake pan on a serving plate.  If you are lucky it will come out clean.
And this is what we had for dessert.  As Paula says got to add the green.

One Half Pound Cake Recipe

2 sticks softened butter
6 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cup flour
1 1/2 cup sugar