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Monday, May 30, 2011

Firecracker Cupcakes!

Happy Memorial Day!


Friday, May 27, 2011

Italian Sausage Rigatoni

Italian Sausage Rigatoni
This is a really great, filling meal.  Served with some garlic bread and a salad, you will find yourself in comfort food heaven!

you will need:
1 pkg. (19.76) Italian Mild Sausage Links, grilled and coin-sliced
1 pkg. rigatoni pasta
3 tbsp. olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 large red pepper, chunked and sauteed
1 jar (26 oz) of you favorite pasta sauce
2 tbsp. parsley, chopped

how you will make it:
cook sausage according to package directions, keep warm.  Cook the rigatoni according to directions, keep warm.  In a large pan, place olive oil and garlic, saute lightly for 30 seconds.  Add peppers and cook until crisp-tender. Combine cooked sausage and pasta sauce with peppers and heat until warm.  Mix with the pasta.  Top with fresh parsley.  Serve warm.

simple, comforting and delicious!


Saturday, May 21, 2011

Cocoa Banana Bars

cocoa banana bars...yum!
these were more cake-like than i expected them to be. however, i waited for them to completely cool and they sliced very nicely into beautifully shaped bars. the kids loved their after school snack so much, they kept sneaking into the kitchen for seconds...and thirds....

what you need:
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup white sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups mashed bananas
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup chocolate chips
chopped walnuts (optional)

how to make them:
1.Preheat an oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease a 9x13 inch baking pan.
2.Beat the butter and sugar with an electric mixer in a large bowl until light and fluffy. Add the egg and the vanilla and beat until well combined. Stir in the mashed banana, set aside.
3.Stir together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a separate large bowl, and make a well in the center. Pour the banana mixture into the well and stir just until combined. Stir in the chocolate chips and walnuts.
4.Remove half of the batter from the bowl. Mix the cocoa powder into the batter remaining in the bowl and stir well. Spread the cocoa batter in the bottom of the prepared pan. Spoon the remaining batter on top and use a knife to swirl the batter into a marbled design.
5.Bake in the preheated oven until the edges are golden, about 25 minutes. Allow to cool before cutting into 24 pieces.



Friday, May 20, 2011


Bruschetta from the movie Julie & Julia
if you know me, then you know about my recent obsession with the movie Julie & Julia.  There is a scene from the movie where Julie makes this wonderful looking Bruschetta, which causes my salivary gland to water every time I watch it.  So, thanks to google I was able to find the recipe, try it and just as I expected it was just as delicious as it looked.

Loaf of french bread
olive oil
garlic cloves
kosher salt
ground pepper
heirloom tomatoes or vine ripe tomatoes
fresh basil

1. Cut tomatoes into chunks and chop lots of basil leaves into small pieces. In a bowl, toss tomatoes and basil with a good quality olive oil. Marinate for 1 hour at room temperature.

2. Cut bread into slices about 3/4 inch thick

3. Pan fry the bread in butter and minced garlic to get it toasted on the outside while retaining some softness in the center. After pan frying, sprinkle with kosher salt and freshly ground pepper.

4. Season tomato mixture with salt and pepper about a half hour before serving. The salt makes the tomatoes release their juices and you don’t want that happening too soon.

5. Top bread with tomato mixture. If the bread is really crunchy, let the tomatoes sit for a few minutes before serving to soften the bread.