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Showing posts from February, 2018

Rainbow Bundt Cake

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This whimsical rainbow cake doesn't require any special equipment -- just a simple Bundt pan. Dyed shredded coconut achieves those iconic ROYGBIV blocks of color -- so no painstaking decorating necessary.

Recipe courtesy of Food Network Kitchen
Total: 3 hr
Active: 1 hr
Yield: 10 to 12 servings
Level: Intermediate

Ingredients
2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus more for the pan
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for the pan (see Cook's Note)
1/4 teaspoon fine salt
1 tablespoon milk, at room temperature
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
4 large eggs plus 1 yolk, at room temperature
1 1/3 cups sugar
3 cups sweetened flake coconut
Red, yellow, green and blue food coloring, for the coconut
One 16-ounce can vanilla frosting
6 jumbo marshmallows
6 regular marshmallows

Directions
Special equipment: a 12-cup Bundt pan

Position an oven rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F. Butter and flour a 12-cup bundt pan.

Sift the flour and salt into a medium bowl. …

Chocolate Stout Cupcakes

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I love cooking with beer and there's no exception when it comes to desserts. Of all beers, stout is the perfect one for desserts because of its distinct chocolate and coffee notes. Pairing it with actual chocolate is the obvious choice. These cupcakes are light in texture but heavy in the chocolate department. The white cream cheese icing reminds me of the creamy white head that Guinness is famous for. Recipe courtesy of Dave Lieberman

Total: 40 min
Prep: 15 min
Cook: 25 min
Yield: 24 cupcakes
Level: Easy

Ingredients
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa, plus more for dusting finished cupcakes
2 cups sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
Pinch fine salt
1 bottle stout beer (recommended: Guinness)
1 stick butter, melted
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
3 large eggs
3/4 cup sour cream
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened at room temperature
3/4 to 1 cup heavy cream
1 (1-pound) box confectioners' sugar

Directions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the cocoa, s…

Life is Full of Pleasures: Cyndi's Top 3

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Quote of the Day

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Quote of the Day

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Spicy Muffin Tin Tacos

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Recipe courtesy of Food Network Kitchen
Total: 35 min
Active: 35 min
Yield: 6 servings
Level: Easy

Ingredients
Nonstick cooking spray, for spraying the muffin tins and tortillas
Six 6-inch flour tortillas
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/2 onion, finely chopped
1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
12 ounces ground beef chuck
1 cup black bean and corn salsa
2 cups shredded iceberg lettuce
Shredded Cheddar, guacamole and sour cream, for topping

Directions
Special equipment: a 6-cup jumbo muffin tin.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Spray a 6-cup jumbo muffin tin with nonstick cooking spray. Gently fold the tortillas in half, then in quarters. Place 1 in each cup of the tin and unfold to make a cup. Spray the tortillas all over with nonstick cooking spray. Sprinkle with a pinch of salt. Bake until golden, 8 to10 minu…

Greek Meatball Hero

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Recipe courtesy of Amanda Freitag
Total: 55 min
Active: 35 min
Yield: 4 servings
Level: Easy

Ingredients
Feta-Oregano Meatballs:
1 cup breadcrumbs
1 cup milk
2 pounds ground beef
1 cup crumbled feta
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 eggs

Greek Meatball Hero:
2 plum tomatoes, diced
1 English cucumber, diced
1 red onion, thinly sliced
3 tablespoons fresh parsley leaves, finely chopped
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons lemon juice
Salt
4 hero rolls
8 ounces homemade or store-bought tzatziki

Directions
For the meatballs: Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Mix the breadcrumbs with the milk in a small bowl and rest for 5 minutes. In a large bowl, combine the breadcrumb mixture, the beef, feta, Parmesan, oregano, salt, pepper, garlic and eggs. Portion the meatballs into 3-ounce balls (16 meatballs total), then roll in your hands and place on the prepared baking sheet. Bake until…

Surround Yourself With Those Who Have Been In The Arena!

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The Olympic spirit is alive and ready to inspire us with Mexican athlete German Madrazo’s triumphant finish, as the last in the men’s 15km cross country at the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, on Friday. The inspiring moment wasn’t because he was the last to finish, but the hero’s welcome that he received from his fellow late finishers, underdogs, and even the gold medal winner. The tear-jerking moment came when Madrazo was hoisted into the air while holding the Mexican flag, celebrating the completion of the event. Madrazo finished in 116th place, almost 26 minutes behind the event’s winner, Switzerland’s Dario Cologna. Madrazo’s story reminded me of President Theodore Roosevelt’s 1910 speech called "Citizenship in a Republic" given at the Sorbonne in Paris. The most famous excerpt says: "It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the…

Cloud Eggs

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Move over poached and so long over-easy -- there's an even happier way to eat eggs. Say hello these nests of puffy whipped egg whites with a sunshine yolk center. Eat them on toast for the perfect start to your day.

Recipe courtesy of Food Network Kitchen
Total: 20 min
Active: 10 min
Yield: 4 servings
Level: Easy

Ingredients
Nonstick cooking spray
4 large eggs
Kosher salt
4 slices buttered brioche toast, for serving

Directions
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment and coat with nonstick cooking spray.

Coat 4 small bowls with nonstick cooking spray. Separate the eggs and put the whites into a medium bowl and the yolks in the small bowls (1 yolk per bowl). Add a large pinch of salt to the egg whites and beat with an electric mixer on low speed until stiff peaks form, 2 to 3 minutes.

Dollop 4 large spoonfuls of the egg whites onto the prepared baking sheet and make a small well in the middle of each with the back of a spoon. Bake the whites until they are firm, no l…

Life is Full of Pleasures: Cyndi's Top 3

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Quote of the Day

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Quote of the Day

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Baked Macaroni and Cheese

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Recipe courtesy of Alton Brown
Total: 1 hr 5 min
Prep: 20 min
Cook: 45 min
Yield: 6 to 8 servings
Level: Easy

Ingredients
1/2 pound elbow macaroni
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons flour
1 tablespoon powdered mustard
3 cups milk
1/2 cup yellow onion, finely diced
1 bay leaf
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 large egg
12 ounces sharp cheddar, shredded
1 teaspoon kosher salt
Fresh black pepper

Topping:
3 tablespoons butter
1 cup panko bread crumbs

Directions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a large pot of boiling, salted water cook the pasta to al dente.

While the pasta is cooking, in a separate pot, melt the butter. Whisk in the flour and mustard and keep it moving for about five minutes. Make sure it's free of lumps. Stir in the milk, onion, bay leaf, and paprika. Simmer for ten minutes and remove the bay leaf.

Temper in the egg. Stir in 3/4 of the cheese. Season with salt and pepper. Fold the macaroni into the mix and pour into a 2-quart casserole dish. Top with remaining cheese.

Melt the butter in a saute pan and …

Red Velvet Hot Chocolate with Marshmallow Whipped Cream

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Recipe courtesy ofBobby Flay
Total: 15 min
Active: 15 min
Yield: 4 servings
Level: Easy

Ingredients
Marshmallow Whipped Cream:
1 cup heavy cream
3 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1/2 cup marshmallow creme
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Red Velvet Hot Chocolate:
2 cups whole, 2-percent or skim milk
1 cup chopped best-quality semisweet chocolate
2 tablespoons best-quality Dutched cocoa powder, such as Valhrona
1 teaspoon red food coloring
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Directions
For the whipped cream: Whip the cream and cream cheese until soft peaks form. Fold in the marshmallow creme and vanilla.

For the hot chocolate: Bring the milk to a simmer in a small pot. Add the chocolate and cocoa powder and cook, stirring, until smooth. Add the food coloring and vanilla and mix until combined. Whisk the mixture until very frothy. Pour into cups and top with large dollops of marshmallow whipped cream.
For more recipes visit foodnetwork.com


Happy 5th Anniversary to Us!

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"Successful love is not necessarily love that lasts forever. Successful love is any love that taught you, that changed you, that grew you. You did not waste your love ever." -Glennon Doyle

Today is Lucky Besties 5th birthday! We’re celebrating our birthday and Valentine’s Day with a chat about, Love! I’m a self-proclaimed Love Bug! I don’t remember a day going by without feeling love for someone or something. I love watching videos on social media of animals, cute babies, funny jokes, and great music. I tell my family and friends that I love them all the time. I feel love typing this story now! I love to love.

Which brings me to Glennon’s quote, in personal relationships, what happens to the love when things go sour or end? For me, because I love so deeply, my mind always screams angrily and resentfully…Wasted love! But, Glennon’s quote made me wonder…if Love is fluid, how can it ever really be wasted? Like flowing water in a river—it’s impossible for the water to go to waste,…

Flamin' Hot Cheeto Mozzarella Hearts

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Nothing says "my heart is yours" like these spicy, cheesy, crunchy treats. There's nothing subtle about them -- from the blazing red color to the bold flavor, they clearly show your Valentine how much you care.

Recipe courtesy of Food Network Kitchen
Total: 2 hr 5 min
Active: 35 min
Yield: 12 hearts
Level: Intermediate

Ingredients
Two 1-pound blocks part-skim mozzarella, such as Polly-O
Three 8 1/2-ounce bags spicy cheese-flavored snacks, such as Flamin' Hot® Cheetos®
4 large eggs, lightly beaten
Vegetable oil, for frying
1/2 cup ranch dressing
2 tablespoons Vietnamese hot sauce, such as sriracha

Directions
Special equipment: a 2 1/2-inch-wide heart-shaped cookie cutter and a deep-frying thermometer.

Put the unwrapped mozzarella blocks in the freezer for 30 minutes to firm. Meanwhile, pour the cheese-flavored snacks into a food processor and pulse until finely ground. Reserve 1 cup for sprinkling at the end and transfer the rest to a large bowl. Put the eggs in a separate large bow…

Life is Full Of Pleasures: Cyndi's Top 3

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Quote of The Day

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Quote of the Day

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Humility and Simplicity At Their Best...

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I drove past the beach yesterday. The sight of the large mass of water overwhelmed me! It’s been a while since I’ve seen the ocean, what a treat it was to be humbled by its sight. I opened my sunroof to feel the breeze and the rays of sun on my skin. Lee Ann Womack’s “I hope You Dance” came to mind and made me tear up with its beautiful lyrics, “I hope still feel small when you stand beside the ocean.” And that I did! I stood beside the ocean and felt so humbled and happy to catch a glimpse of it. I was happy that I pulled over and snapped a picture. If I could ever capture peace and nirvana in a photograph, this would be it! I was having a bad day yesterday and was feeling vulnerable in that moment, which is probably why I was open enough to have that rare and beautiful experience.

I was born and raised in landlocked cities and it wasn’t until I was ten-years-old that I first saw the ocean in person. It’s always been a bit of an odd concept to wrap my mind around a huge mass of water …

Mini Linzer Cookies

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This is a variation of Eli Zabar's delicious shortbread cookies.
Recipe courtesy of Ina Garten

Total: 40 min
Prep: 15 min
Cook: 25 min
Yield: 36 cookies
Level: Intermediate

Ingredients
3/4 pound unsalted butter at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3 1/2 cups flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup good raspberry preserves
Confectioners' sugar, for dusting

Directions
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix together the butter and sugar until they are just combined. Add the vanilla. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour and salt, then add them to the butter-and-sugar mixture. Mix on low speed until the dough starts to come together. Dump onto a surface dusted with flour and shape into a flat disk. Wrap in plastic and chill for 30 minutes.

Roll the dough 1/4-inch thick and cut 2 3/4-inch rounds with a plain or fluted cutter. With 1/2 of the rounds, cut a hole from the middle of each round with a he…

Roasted Garlic and Four-Cheese Pull-Apart Bread

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Recipe courtesy of Ree Drummond
Total: 1 hr 55 minActive: 10 minYield: 6 to 8 servingsLevel: Easy

Ingredients
8 cloves garlic, peeled2 tablespoons olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper1/2 cup grated mozzarella1/2 cup grated fontina1/2 cup grated Parmesan
1/2 cup grated Romano
2 teaspoons chopped chives
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 round artisan or sourdough loaf
1 stick (1/2 cup) salted butter, melted

Directions
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Put the garlic cloves on a square of heavy foil, drizzle with the olive oil and sprinkle on some salt and pepper. Wrap it up and bake until the garlic is golden, nutty and mushy, about 1 hour. Let cool. Lower the oven temperature to 350 degrees F.

Mix the garlic together with the 4 cheeses, chives, crushed red pepper flakes and some black pepper in a bowl.

Cut the bread in strips in one direction, being careful not to cut all the way through the loaf. Rotate the bread 90 degrees and cut in the other direction. Stuff the cheese m…

Peanut Butter and Jelly Cookie Bars

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Recipe courtesy of Trisha Yearwood
Total: 1 hr 30 min
Active: 40 min
Yield: about 35 cookie bars
Level: Easy

Ingredients
Nonstick cooking spray
4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt
3 sticks (1 1/2 cups) unsalted butter, softened
2 cups sugar
3 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup creamy peanut butter
1 cup smooth strawberry jam

Directions
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a large (18-by-13 inch) rimmed baking sheet with parchment and spray with cooking spray.

Whisk the flour, baking powder and salt together in a bowl.

Combine the butter and sugar in a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and beat on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes.

Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the vanilla. Add the flour mixture and beat on low speed until completely incorporated.

Dab a little cookie dough under each corner of the parchment to keep it from moving. Then dollop the dough in big spoonfuls all ov…

Life Is Full Of Pleasures: Cyndi's Top 3

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Quote of the Day

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Quote of the Day

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Can’t Go At It Alone…

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If it weren’t for my amazing friends, I’d be in bad shape right now. I’ve been overwhelmed and in a funk for about a week. It’s not uncommon to be down, here and there, but to be in a complete funk for this long is rare. I’m traveling in a few weeks and I’m feeling a little anxious about the trip. I haven’t been on a trip like this in more than a decade and the weight of it hit me hard. I’m very vague most times when I tell my friends that I’m sad or anxious about something, but this time I went into details about my concerns. They were helpful in walking me through each concern by sharing their experiences with anxiety before they travel. Instantly, my chest opened up from its tightness and a huge sigh of relief ensued from the solidarity felt from our shared emotions. I was so relieved to hear that I wasn’t alone or overreacting!

I started thinking a little more clearly after my friends cheered me up and I realized -- truth is that we’re never alone, even in the craziest of situation…

Cava Cocktail

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Recipe courtesy of Alex Guarnaschelli
Total: 4 min
Prep: 4 min
Yield: 1 serving
Level: Easy

Ingredients
2 blood oranges, plus 1 thin slice, for garnish
Splash of fresh lemon juice
Splash of bitters
1/2 cup chilled cava

Directions
Using a reamer, juice the blood oranges into a strainer placed over a bowl. With the back of the spoon work the pulp against the strainer to extract all of the juice, about 1/4 cup.

In a small pitcher combine the blood orange juice, lemon juice, bitters, and the chilled cava. Give it a little stir. Pour into a chilled champagne flute. Garnish with a thin slice of blood orange.

For more recipes visit foodnetwork.com