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Friday, March 30, 2012

Kentucky Wildcat Cupcakes! Go Big Blue!

Our household, like many others, are excited, nervous and more than anything, anxious for the big game tomorrow.  One that has truly divided the Bluegrass state.  It's March Madness, baby, and two of our Kentucky teams are duking (btw, where is Duke?) it out tomorrow in the Final Four Games.  This is the first time that the Kentucky Wildcats and the Louisville Cardinals have faced the big dance against each other in the Final Four and boy, is it going to be a showdown.  You know it's serious when dialysis patients break out their fists to fight over the big event.  Yes, you heard me right, but I'll say it again.  What?  Fist fight.  Who?  Dialysis patients.  Why?  Ky versus UofL game in the NCAA Final Four Tournament.  Lesson learned from this?  You don't mess with KY fans when it comes to their Cats.

We will be chowing down on our usual game day foods tomorrow (in the comfort and safety of our own home) as well as some Blue Velvet Cupcakes that are perfect for any KY Wildcat event.  I found this recipe last year on and made these for my son's 15th birthday last year and they turned out great.  So, whether you are cheering on your team in New Orleans, Lexington, Louisville or safe, have fun and whatever you do please don't make the same mistake that the dialysis patient did because we all know the UK fan is always right!  Get your Goggles on, boys!  Go Cats!
photo courtesy of
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1 box white cake mix
1 1/4 cups buttermilk
1/3 cup vegetable oil
3 eggs
1 tablespoon unsweetened baking cocoa
2 teaspoons royal blue paste food color
1 toothpick violet paste food color

1 jar (7oz) marshmallow creme
1 cup butter or margarine, softened
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt

1.  Heat oven to 325F.  Line muffin pan with white cupcake liners or grease and flour cake pans if making a cake.
2.  In a large bowl, beat cake ingredients with electric mixer on low speed about 30 seconds, then on medium speed for 2 minutes, scraping bowl occasionally.
3.  Divide batter evenly into cupcake liners or cake pans.  Bake 22 to 27 minutes or until toothpick comes out dry.  Cool 15 minutes and remove from pans.  Cool completely.
4.  Spoon marshmallow creme into large microwavable bowl; microwave uncovered on high 15-20 seconds to soften.  Add butter.  Beat with electric mixer on medium speed until smooth.  Beat in powdered sugar and salt until smooth.
5.  Pipe your frosting onto your cupcakes and enjoy the game!

*If you are in a hurry or don't have the desire to make the Marshmallow frosting, you can always use a store bought vanilla icing.   


Saturday, March 17, 2012

Refrigerator Pickles

I have received a ton of cucumbers over the past few weeks in our bountiful basket and so after searching Pinterest for some ideas, I decided to make Refrigerator Pickles.  One Perfect Bite shares a delicious recipe for these pickles.  The recipe I am going to share was adapted from the one I found and  let me tell ya, they are yummy.  They lasted, well, about a day in our house and this morning my oldest asked me when I was going to make some more.  So yeah, you guessed it, I have another batch made up and resting in the refrigerator until tomorrow.

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What you need for these pickles:
1-1/2 cups distilled white vinegar
1/3 cup granulated sugar
4 teaspoons kosher salt

2 3/4 teaspoons of pickling spice
2 cups hot water
2 pounds kirby cucumbers, sliced 1/4-inch thick
1 tablespoon dill weed spice
3 cloves garlic, minced

Making them:
1.  Combine Vinegar, sugar, salt and pickling spice in a medium size bowl.  Add the hot water and stir until the sugar dissolves and the liquid is clear.  Cool to room temperature.  (This only takes a minute or two.)
2.  Place your cucumbers, minced garlic and dill weed spice in a large bowl and toss to combine.  Pour your brine over the cucumbers and stir until cucumbers are well coated.  
3.  Cover them with a plate to weigh them down and keep them covered in the brine.  Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight, stirring once or twice.    
4.  Transfer to an airtight container and store for up to two weeks. Yield: 1 quart. 
Cover your cucumbers in brine.


Sunday, March 4, 2012

Beef with Broccoli

My apologies that I have been MIA since Valentine's Day.  My children, as well as myself, got attacked by a horrible viral illness that left us coughing and miserable with fever for a couple of weeks.  Besides a few lingering coughs, it seems that we have overcome yet another round of this stuff and I can speak for all of us in saying, "We are ready for Spring!"

My husband was sweet enough to help me one night with dinner and it was the night that we had beef and broccoli on the menu.  It. Was. Amazing.  We received another head of broccoli in our Bountiful Basket yesterday, and if you haven't already guessed it...yes, this delicious meal has landed on our menu again for this upcoming week.  This was my first attempt at making a beef and broccoli stir fry, like the kind we love to inhale at our favorite little Chinese restaurant, and I have to say I lucked out when I came across this recipe from Rainy Day Gal.  Not only does it taste like it came straight out your favorite take out box, it is even a little better. I hope you enjoy it as much as we did!

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For the meat marinade you need:
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 tsp sugar
1 tablespoon corn starch
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon water
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 1/2 pounds of flank steak, sliced into thin pieces

*Whisk together all of the above Ingredients in a large mixing bowl.  Once well blended, toss the sliced steak in the mixture until well coated.  Cover and place in the refrigerator for at least one hour.

After you have let the meat sit in the marinade for one hour, you should go ahead and proceed with the rest of the ingredients.  For this part you will need:

1/2 cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons brown sugar
4 cloves of garlic, minced
2 tablespoons flour
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 heads of broccoli, crowns only

1.  In a small bowl, whisk together the first four ingredients until blended and then set aside.
2.  In a large saute pan (or wok if you have one) heat 2 tablespoons of the vegetable oil over high heat until shimmering.  Add your broccoli and saute for 3 minutes, stirring often.  Once your broccoli is sauteed, transfer it to a bowl and set aside.
3.  Carefully add the remaining 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil to your hot pan (your pan will be hot and the oil may pop).  Add the marinated meat and half of your sauce mixture you previously made, and saute for about 5 minutes or until the meat is thoroughly cooked and no longer pink.  Stir in the broccoli and the remaining half of your sauce mixture and saute for one more minute.  Serve hot with steamed white or brown rice.  Makes approximately 4 servings.

*An optional side of eggs rolls and sauteed mushrooms goes wonderful with this dish!