Monthly Archives: August 2010

Tabouleh Salad Lettuce Wraps

Hello, readers!  Well, I’m back from an awesome camping trip and not quite ready for Monday…however, here we are.

I hope all of you had a great weekend!  Today I’d like to share a great recipe for quick lunches, dinners, parties, etc.  It can be made 3-4 days in advance and can be served as a main dish, side dish, or appetizer.  Stove tops, ovens, microwaves, and hot plates need not apply.  This is your ultimate “chop and drop” recipe.

BONUS—It’s filled with vitamins and veggies…so stock up and fill up!

Tabouli Salad on a Lettuce Leaf

Tabouli Salad

1 box Tabouli salad mix

(Will also need olive oil and lemon juice, according to most box directions)

1/2 – 1 container cherry tomatoes, sliced in halves

1 cucumber, sliced into small pieces

Feta cheese (optional)

2 TB parsley, sliced and chopped

Lettuce leaves for serving (optional)

  1. Make tabolui according to package directions.  Let sit in refrigerator for at least 1 hour (I wait to add any veggies to the mix while refrigerating.  I usually just make the tabolui and add everything else right before serving).
  2. Add tomatoes, cucumber, cheese, and parsley.  Mix to combine.
  3. Serve as a side dish or in individual lettuce leaves.  This salad can also be served with meat or on crackers.
  4. Every Monday is a “Reci-bee” post, where I share my favorite recipes, recipe collections, and cooking and baking hints and tips. 

Leave a comment

Filed under salad recipes

Dollar Store Floral Centerpiece Idea

If you’re having a dinner party, end of the summer celebratory dinner, a bridal or baby shower, or an elegant birthday party, I have just the centerpiece for you.  All you need is stemware, a flower head, and a tealight or votive candle.

So pretty!

The best thing about this centerpiece is that you can do whatever you’d like with it.  If you’re having a Christmas party, use little snowmen instead of flowers to make it look like snowglobes.  Fill cups with candy for a fall/Halloween party or grass and decorated eggs for a party in the spring.

If you’re looking for a neat effect, go to a thrift store and purchase different kinds of stemware…different sizes and shapes, and arrange down the center of the table.  Using all the same stemware makes for a neat look also, but mixing it up, like shown above, gives your centerpiece character and style.

**Just a little note to my daily readers–I’m heading out on a camping trip tomorrow, so I’ll miss you on Thursday and Friday…but I’ll see you all next week!

Celebrate creativity every Wednesday with a “Creativi-bee” post, where I share easy craft tutorials, project ideas, and craft collections.

2 Comments

Filed under party ideas

Lemon Cupcakes with Lemon Cream Cheese Icing

Good morning, everyone!  Hope you all had a great weekend!  I had the best weekend ever.  My friends and I went to get some amazing burgers at Kuma’s Corner, had a super fun movie night, and then celebrated my boyfriend’s birthday on Sunday.  Since it was his birthday, he got to pick the dessert…which was inspired by a beautiful photo on FoodPornDaily.com:  Lemon Poppyseed Cupcakes with Tangy Lemon Curd Filling and Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting.  My kitchen smelled amazing.

Lemon cupcakes with lemon curd and lemon creamcheese frosting

LEMON POPPY SEED CUPCAKES
Cake:
1 box Lemon cake mix
1 box lemon pudding mix
1/4 cup vegetable oil
3 eggs, lightly beaten
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 tablespoons lemon zest
3 tablespoons poppy seeds
COMBINE THE CAKE AND PUDDING MIXES IN A LARGE BOWL, STIRRING TO BLEND.  ADD THE OIL, EGGS, WATER AND LEMON JUICE, STIRRING AFTER EACH ADDITION.  FOLD IN THE LEMON ZEST AND POPPY SEEDS UNTIL JUST BLENDED.  SPOON THE BATTER EVENLY INTO THE PREPARED CUPCAKE TINS, ABOUT 3/4 FULL.  BAKE ON THE MIDDLE OVEN RACK AT 325 DEGREES UNTIL THE TOPS OF THE CUPCAKES SPRING BACK TO THE TOUCH AND ARE NOT TOO GOLDEN; ABOUT 15 MINUTES.  COOL IN THE PAN FOR 15 MINUTES, AND THEN ALLOW TO COOL COMPLETELY ON A WIRE RACK BEFORE FROSTING OR DECORATING.
Lemon Curd:
Zest of 2 lemons
1/2 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 egg
1 egg yolk
IN A HEAVY MEDIUM SAUCEPAN, STIR TOGETHER THE LEMON ZEST, JUICE, AND SUGAR AND BRING TO A SIMMER OVER MEDIUM HEAT.  IN A SMALL BOWL, WHISK TOGETHER THE EGG AND EGG YOLK.  WHISK THE LEMON MIXTURE INTO THE EGGS TO TEMPER THEM.  SCRAPE THE MIXTURE BACK INTO THE SAUCEPAN AND PLACE OVER MEDIUM HEAT, WHISKING CONSTANTLY UNTIL IT THICKENS, ABOUT 5 MINUTES.  REMOVE FROM THE HEAT AND LET COOL COMPLETELY.
Icing:
1 8-oz package cream cheese, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
zest of 1 lemon
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
WITH AN ELECTRIC MIXER ON MEDIUM, BEAT THE CREAM CHEESE UNTIL SOFTENED.  SLOWLY ADD THE SUGAR, ZEST, AND JUICE AND BEAT UNTIL CREAMY, ABOUT 3 MINUTES.
To Assemble:If you have pastry bags, you can load a bag with the curd and poke the cupcake through the top and squeeze it inside before frosting.  If you don’t have pastry bags, simply use a knife to cut a small hole in the middle of the cupcake.  Be careful not to cut all the way through to the bottom.  Remove the cake and fill the hole with the curd before placing the cake back in the hole.  Frost the top and you won’t even know the difference.If you’re filling your cupcake with something more substantial than lemon curd, like frosting for example, you can use a pastry bag and a tip and squeeze the frosting into the cupcake from the bottom so you don’t ruin the top (like a Twinkie!).  I don’t recommend doing this with lemon curd, however, because it’s too runny.

Every Monday is a “Reci-bee” post, where I share my favorite recipes, recipe collections, and cooking and baking hints and tips. 

2 Comments

Filed under cupcake recipes

8 Clever Uses for Bananas

I’m not a huge banana fan…partly because if you put it in anything, whatever you’re making tastes like bananas…and that goes for smoothies, fruit salad, cereal, etc.  I do like bananas by themselves but sometimes I’m just not in a pick and peel mood…so what else can I do with these bananas before they end up turning a scary shade of black in my fruit bowl?

Banananananananananas!!

–Polish silverware and leather shoes with an old banana peel.  Remove any leftover stringy material from inside the peel and then start rubbing away!  When you’re done, buff the object with a soft cloth.

–Wipe the dust and grime off houseplants with a banana peel.  It will remove the dirt and leave a beautiful shine on the leaves.

–Bananas are great for our gardens.  Throw bad bananas and peels in your compost pile and watch your plants come alive.  Don’t have a compost pile?  Dry out leftover peels over the winder months and in the spring, grind them up in a food processor and use them as mulch to give new plants a boost.

–Mash up a medium sized banana and apply to your face and neck.  Leave it on for 20 minutes and wash off with cool water.  You’ll have glowing and soft skin.

–High blood pressure?  Constipated?  Heartburn?  Snack on bananas to help decrease ALL of these!

–If you have a big quiz, test, speech, or presentation in the morning, have bananas for breakfast.  They will help boost brain power and make you more alert.  They will also help settle your stomach if you have the butterflies.

–So you gave your big presentation and went out to celebrate…and you’re hung over this morning.  BANANA MAN TO THE RESCUE!  Make a banana milkshake, sweetened with honey.  The banana calms the stomach and the honey helps build up depleted blood sugar levels.

–Snacking on bananas between meals can help you avoid morning sickness if you’re pregnant.

Knowledge is power!  Learn fun facts, hints and tips, and creative ways to use every day items with “The Buzz” posts on Thursday.

1 Comment

Filed under clever uses

Decoupaged Wrapping Paper Box

Hard to believe that Christmas day is just a mere 142 days away…and I’ve got a project for you that will get you in the mood for the holidays in no time.

I can’t take credit for this…this was actually my parents idea…but they used all those left over scraps from gift wrapping and used them to wrap the wrapping paper box!  Who would have thought?  It’s so cute and makes finding the Christmas wrap about 100 percent easier.

Wrapping paper box

Wrapping paper box

Simply stock up on Modge Podge and scrap away!  Let dry for 24-48 hours before storing any paper in there because Modge Podge can take a while to dry.

Celebrate creativity every Wednesday with a “Creativi-bee” post, where I share easy craft tutorials, project ideas, and craft collections.

2 Comments

Filed under storage and organization ideas

Website – RecipeMatcher.com

So the time comes when you need to clean out your cabinets and fridge.  You have 4 old chicken breasts, a jar of orange marmalade, olive oil, noodles, and lemon juice.  Hmm.  Interesting combination…

Don’t toss your food in the trash quite yet.  Try entering your random ingredients into RecipeMatcher.com.  They’ll search thousands of recipes to find something you can make with the stuff you already have at home.  I tried entering some random ingredients and actually found some great looking recipes that I saved for later.

This is  a great site to bookmark for those late Wednesday night dinners!

Sometimes you just need a little fun in your life! Check back every week for a new “Just Bee-cause” post, where I discuss everything from celebrity news to favorite videos and websites!

Leave a comment

Filed under cool websites

Homemade Klondike Bars

Who doesn’t love Klondikes?  The crunchy chocolate and soft creamy ice cream marry to create the most wonderful summer treat.  I’ve recently seen all different kinds of flavors but you don’t have to stick to those when you would do just about anything for this frozen bar.  All you need is your favorite ice cream flavor and the Turtle Shell instant freezing chocolate sauce.

To prep, place a cookie sheet in the freezer for about 15 minutes…just to get it cold.  If you’d like, you can cover it with aluminum foil or plastic wrap to prevent the ice cream from sticking.

Make sure your ice cream has been in your freezer for at least 24 hours.  The more frozen it is, the better.  Take it out of the freezer, along with your cookie sheet, and cut the box of ice cream into 1-2 inch strips.

Cut your box into strips.

Using cookie cutters, cut shapes out of the ice cream and quickly transfer them to the cookie sheet.  If your ice cream starts to melt, put the tray in the freezer and use a spatula to transfer ice cream shapes into the tray in the freezer.

My Klondike Bars!

Let the ice cream re-harden overnight.  When you’re ready to make the shell, simply take your tray out of the freezer and cover each shape with the chocolate sauce.  Place it back in the freezer if not being consumed right away.

Every Monday is a “Reci-bee” post, where I share my favorite recipes, recipe collections, and cooking and baking hints and tips. 

Leave a comment

Filed under ice cream recipes