Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Fruit Pizza with Sugar Cookie Crust


My college roommate introduced me to this twist on a sugar cookie many years ago.
My kids decided they wanted a pizza dinner last night so we made personal pizzas and then a fruit pizza for dessert. While you can use ANY type of fruit, we used mangos and love, love, loved how their creamy texture mixed right in with the frosting and cookie crust.

Sugar Cookie Dough or 1 pkg. pre-made sugar cookie dough
1 mango julienned
8 sliced fresh strawberries
grapes, blueberries, kiwi, pineapple etc.

Roll cookie dough out onto pizza pan.
Bake at 350* for 16-20 minutes (until dough is thoroughly cooked.)
Allow to cool for approx. 30 minutes.
Frost with cream cheese frosting (below) and arrange fruit on top.
Refrigerate and chill for at least one hour.

(*Note - In the above picture I used prepared sugar cookie dough. I recommend a pizza pan with a lip on the edge as during the baking process the prepared dough melted and dripped right off of my pizza stone to the bottom of my oven.)

Cream Cheese Frosting
1-2 c. powdered sugar (depending on sweetness desired)
10 oz. cream cheese
1 t. vanilla

In mixing bowl, mix cream cheese until fluffy. Gradually add in powdered sugar, and vanilla.

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Sour Cream Sugar Cookies

Thanks to my friend Lara who shared this recipe with me years ago.
1 c. shortening
1 3/4 c. sugar
1 c. sour cream
2 eggs
1 t. vanilla
4 c. flour
1 t. soda
1/2 t. salt
1 t. baking powder

Cream sugar and shortening.
Add eggs, sour cream, and vanilla.
Mix in dry ingredients.
Chill 1 hour.
The dough will be very sticky so use lots of flour when rolling them out. Roll to approx. 1/4"
Bake for 8-10 minutes at 375* (a few more minutes at high altitude.)

Friday, February 19, 2010

Horchata - Guatemalan/Mexican Rice Milk Beverage

Horchata (pronounced or - cha - tuh) is a traditional drink made from rice and found in many latin american countries. While some horchatas are served hot, with chocolate, or with cooked rice, this is the basic recipe.

Thanks goes out (again) to my dear friend Maria for teaching me how to make this treat that is an all time family favorite that my kids LOVE.

Please read all the way through as this is a tough recipe to share as a lot of it is just learned and is a bit tricky to explain. Note that this recipe can and should be made to taste. Therefore, more or less sugar, and more or less water depending on your preferences.

1.5 cups rice
3 c. water
1 t. cinnamon
1 can evaporated milk
1 t. vanilla

Gallon size pitcher

Place rice, 3 c. water and cinnamon in blender and blend for approx. 5 - 10 minutes (depending on your blender) until only 1/4 - 1/2 cup of rice granules settle at the bottom of blender when allowed to rest for a minute.

Strain mixture into a gallon pitcher and set aside remaining rice granules.

Turn on faucet and WHILE adding water, add 1 can evaporated milk to pitcher. Fill pitcher until 3/4 full.

Add approx 3 cups water to the blender and swish around. Add 1 to 1.5 c. sugar and 1 t. vanilla and stir or lightly blend to mix.

Pour mixture from pitcher into blender, then turn around and pour blender mixture into pitcher. Repeat several (7 to 10) times, back and forth to thoroughly mix. Taste and add more water or sugar to taste (if it tastes a little chalky add more water. If too watery, add remaining rice granules to 1/2 c. water, blend, then strain and add to mixture.)

Add ice, chill and serve.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Valentine Pancakes

I was trying to rush my kids out the door this morning and didn't have much time to take photos of the food before it disappeared. Please forgive the presentation!


I got creative with my kid's breakfast this morning.
If you are looking for a simple and inexpensive twist for Valentine's Day for your children, pink pancakes just may be your solution!

To make these I made my normal pancakes, and added a bit of red food coloring - adjusting it until I liked the color.

I poured the pancakes out in heart shapes and then pulled out the cookie decorating sprinkles. We used the red colored sugar sprinkles and the mulit-colored little balls (my kid's favorites).

Serve with berry syrup and garnish with strawberries!
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Chocolate Dipped Strawberries


Looking for a simple yet elegant Valentines Day treat? These chocolate covered strawberries only take about 10 minutes to prepare and always seem to instantly disappear.

Fresh strawberries
1 c. chocolate chips
1 to 2 T. shortening

Gently wash strawberries and pat dry using paper towel.

Place chocolate chips and shortening in a microwaveable bowl. Microwave at 50% power for 1-3 minutes. After the first minute, check and stir every 30 seconds until chips are completely melted - be careful not to let them scorch.

Holding onto the stem, dip strawberries - covering as desired, and place on a piece of waxed paper or foil. As chocolate cools it will harden. White chocolate chips may be melted in the same fashion and drizzled over the strawberries for a decorative effect as well.
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Saturday, February 6, 2010

Mexican Breakfast Eggs


I have an aunt who is originally from Mexico and she always made these eggs for her kids. Back in college, my cousins taught me how to make these. My favorite thing about these eggs is the tortillas - they offer a great flavor and add a fantastic crunchy crispness to the eggs.

I've never had a actual 'written down' recipe for these - you just sort of make them. As such, this recipe greatly varies based on what is in the fridge and mostly by how many I am cooking for. The approximations here serves approx. 4-6.

8 corn tortillas
6 eggs - slightly beaten
1/4 c. chopped onion
1 minced clove of garlic
2 small tomatoes - diced
2 T. olive oil
salt to taste
shredded cheese
cumin, chili powder, black pepper etc.

Place tortillas in a stack on cutting board and cut into 1 inch squares with a large knife or pizza cutter. Toss into heated olive oil. Season with salt and continue to cook and stir until well toasted.

Add tomatoes, onions, and garlic and lightly cook for a minute or so.

Add eggs and seasonings and using spatula, continue to stir until the eggs are cooked.

Garnish with cheddar cheese.
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Monday, February 1, 2010

Banana Berry Bread Pudding


This is such a quick, simple, and satisfying comfort food and chances are you already have everything on hand.
I found my original recipe for this twelve years ago. Then I tweaked it just a little bit and made it mine. My youngest child told me this was "amazing mom". What more can I say? Well - I think it is very pretty too. Aesthetically pleasing is always a plus.

4 cups cubed day-old French or Sourdough bread (1-in. pieces)
1/4 cup butter, melted
3 eggs
2 cups milk
1/2 cup sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 sliced firm banana (1/4-inch pieces)
1 cup mixed berrie (fresh or frozen)

3 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
3/4 cup milk
1/4 cup light corn syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Place the bread cubes in a large bowl. Pour melted butter over bread and toss to coat. Place coated bread in sprayed 9X13" baking dish. Gently distribute berries and bananas over the bread cubes and set aside.

In a medium bowl, lightly beat eggs; add milk, sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Pour over bread cubes and fruit. Allow to sit for a few minutes so that the bread begins to soak up the egg mixture. Bake, uncovered, at 375° for 40 minutes or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean.

Meanwhile, for sauce, melt butter in a small saucepan. Combine sugar and cornstarch; add to butter. Stir in milk and corn syrup. Cook and stir over medium heat until the mixture comes to a full boil. Boil for 1 minute. Remove from the heat; stir in the vanilla. Serve warm sauce over warm pudding. Yield: 6 servings.
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