Monday, March 26, 2012


Sunshine has been hanging over the State of Maine.  It's always a welcome to see the sun, after the long, cold and dark winter days.   Spring is in the air. Daffodils are showing their beautiful little faces. Today I have a recipe to share that will bring sunshine to you and your family.  As I was making these I was thinking how about using lemon?  Enjoy and happy baking....................Andi       

1/2 cup butter, room temperature
3/4 cups sugar
2 large eggs
1 TBSP orange zest  (about 2 oranges)
1/4 tsp orange extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup buttermilk
Makes 1 dozen muffins.   Bake at 375 for about 15-18 minutes.   In a large mixing bowl, mix the butter with the sugar and mix at medium speed until light and fluffy.   Add the eggs and using a SPOON  mix the eggs into the sugar and butter.  Add the orange zest and the extract and mix well until combined.   In another bowl add the flour, soda and salt.  Use a whisk, mix the dry ingredients then add this along with the buttermilk to the sugar mixture and mix only long enough to combine.   Do not overmix.  Line your muffin pans with paper liners or spray with PAM spray.  Using your cupcake scoop, scoop the batter amoung 12 muffin liners.    Bake for 15-18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes clean.    DO NOT OVER BAKE.   Cool in pan on a wire rack then when cool spread the top of each with the orange glaze.     Enjoy  
ORANGE GLAZE  I made a thin orange icing.   2/3 cup of confectioners sugar and add  1 tablespoon of orange juice at a time until you get the consitency of a thin icing.  
                                  Happy Spring, Andi  

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Sunday, March 25, 2012


My love of soups continue with another fast and easy soup to prepare.  Found this recipe in the Farm Journal "Great Home Cooking in America". I purchased this cookbook at a local antique store.  Copyright 1976.  An Italian version, of beans and tomato paste.  One more soup to add to my recipe collection.  Enjoy and happy cooking   Andi  

2 LBS OF STEWING BEEF, Cut in 1 inch cubes
1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste
1 (10 ounce) can condensed french onion soup
5 cups water
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp dried basil leaves
1/4 tsp pepper
2 cups sliced pared carrots
1 cup sliced celery
1 (1 pound) can green beans or french style green beans
1 (15 ounce) can kidney beans
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
optional:  a handful of small cooked pasta 

In your dutch oven add the meat, (no browning necessary) add the tomato paste, onion soup, water, salt and the spices and whisk this together.  Bring this to a boil and then reduce the heat and allow to cook for about 1 1/2 hour or until the meat is tender.   Add the carrots, celery, un-drained green beans and the un-drained kidney beans.   Continue to simmer for about 30 -40 minutes or until the carrots and celery are tender.   Serve in large bowl with grated Parmesan cheese over the top along with some crusty bread................yummy  

Happy Cooking   Andi

Tuesday, March 20, 2012


One long mouthful of a name, but a mouthful of wonderfulness in a cookie.  I love how they baked, puffed up a little then fell. Crispy on the edge and chewy in the middle. Yummy. One thing, no vanilla in these cookies?  So what is up with that?  They taste great without the vanilla just don't recall making cookies without vanilla. Easy to make, use a cookie scoop and scoop the dough on the baking sheet and pop in the oven.  This cookie is beautiful, delish and a keeper for sure.  The directions say you get 24 cookies, I got 44 but didn't make them monster size that they did.  That's the first for me...........Happy baking my friends, try this I am sure you will not be disappointed in these gems.   

Tasty Kitchen

1/2 cup, 1 stick of butter, room temperature
1/2 cup shortening
3/4 cups white sugar
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1 cup peanut butter
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups flour
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 cup quick oatmeal
12 ounces of chocolate chip  (regular size bag)

Mix the butter, shortening with the sugars,  and the peanut butter, add the eggs and continue to mix.  In another bowl add the flour, baking soda, salt, and the oatmeal and stir this together to combine all the ingreidents then add this to the creamed mixture and stir in the chocolate chips. Form in 1 1/2 inch balls and place on parchment lined baking sheets,  Bake at 350 for about 12 minutes. I used my cookie scoop that holds 2 TBSP.   


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Monday, March 19, 2012


My name is Smokey, today my dad is going in for one more surgery in Florida.  Then after a speedy recovery, he is going to come to Maine and get me.  I really miss my dad, but auntie Andi and uncle Dick have been good to me, they share the bed every night with me.  I must be special!  And she even makes me cookies and ice cream.   Yummy,  hope you make some for your fur babies so they can enjoy the goodness of ice cream.   

Ice cream for Smokey

1 banana
2 TBSP Honey
2 TBSP Peanut Butter
1 large container (32 ounce) of vanilla yogurt

In a large bowl add the above ingredients and mix.  Scoop into small containers and freeze.  Your little fur babies will love it................enjoy    

Sunday, March 18, 2012


This dish is from no other than my favorite, Ms. Paula Deen.  I am at a loss of words to decribe this dish.  Its just plain good!  Rich, sweet and delicious............ Paula says she makes this sweet dish whenever her family asks. I  have never made a casserole like this so I was in for a sweet surprise.  I did make the raspberry topping which I loved.  This dish even tasted great warmed up in the microwave the next day............. When I make this again I will make a couple of changes and I have explained in the directions.   Enjoy, and happy baking    andi  

Paula Deen French Toast Casserole
serves 6-8 folks

butter for the baking dish
1 loaf French Bread  (13 to 16 ounces)
8 large eggs
2 cups half and half
1 cup whole milk
2 TBSP sugar
1TBSP vanilla extract
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
pinch of salt

2 sticks of butter, room temperature
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1 cup chopped pecans
2 TBSP light corn syrup
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg

1 cup raspberry preserves
2 TBSP of raspberry liqueur or orange juice
3 TBSP water
combine these ingredients in a small saucepan and stir until warm, remove from heat source and use in place of maple syrup. 

Grease a 13x9 inch baking pan with the butter,  *Cut the bread in twenty (20) 1 inch slices.  Arrange the bread in the 13x9 inch pan.  Arrange the slices in 2 overlapping rows in the buttered dish.   (You could also cut the bread in fairly large chunks and put in the buttered 13x9 inch pan.)   The reason I say this is I used a 13x9 inch pan and the mixture cooked over the top and made quite a mess in the oven, and smoke filled the house!  Good thing my casserole was almost done.   *Next time I make this, I will cut my bread in cubes.   In a good size bowl add all the remaining ingredients, mix well and pour  this custard over the top of the bread making sure all the pieces of bread get coated.  Cover with foil and refrigerate overnight.  
Next morning preheat the oven to 350 degrees.   Make the praline topping:
In a medium bowl, combine the butter, brown sugar, pecans, corn syrup, cinnamon and nutmeg and  blend this with a fork until combined.  Spread this evenly over the top of the bread and bake for 45 minutes, or until lightly golden brown.  Make the Raspberry Syrup to be served with the baked casserole. 

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Tuesday, March 13, 2012


Bethanie B just had a birthday so when a girl has a birthday she needs pink cupcakes.  So thats what I made her.  Pink Lemonade Cupcakes with Pink Icing.....  A big happy Birthday to Bethanie.  This recipe was found at real mom kitchen who presented her photos very nicely. Pink lemonade cupcakes and a lemonade drink....  another keeper and will make these again this summer. 

one package of white cake mix
1 small package (3.4 ounce) vanilla pudding mix
3 TBSP of pink lemonade drink mix (Country Time Pink Lemonade mix)
1 cup sour cream
2 tsp lemon zest
3/4 cup water
3/4 cup oil
4 egg whites
6 drops of pink food coloring (if using gel, just use a little at a time until you get the shade you want

1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup shortening
1/4 cup frozen pink lemonade concentrate, thawed
1 TBSP milk
1 tsp vanilla
Zest on one/half lemon
about 1 pound of confectioners sugar (maybe a little more)
couple of drops of pink food coloring

In a large bowl combine the cake mix, pudding mix and the country time drink mix and whisk this together.  Add the sour cream, lemon zest, water, oil and the egg whites and mix with mixer for a couple of minutes. Adding a little at a time the food coloring or food gel to get the shade of pink you want.   Batter is thick so use a strong mixer.   Scoop batter into paper lined cupcake pans and bake at 350 degrees for about 15-20 minutes.   Allow to cool completely before starting to frost. 

I cut the icing ingredients in half.  If you want more then just add 1/2 more of each ingredient of the icing.  I made 24 cupcakes and had a container that holds 3 1/2 cups of icing left over. If I were making and icing a layer cake I would double the ingredients.  This icing doesn't harden.  The next day the icing was still soft to the touch.     

Prepare your frosting by creaming the butter, shortening, pink lemonade concentrate and zest of half a lemon together until light and fluffy. Very slowly add some of the confectioners sugar and slowly start to mix.   Not to fast or you will be looking like a white ghost!  Keep adding the confectioners sugar until the consistency is reached.  If you are going to be using a piping bag with a tip you will want your icing quite thick.  Add the food coloring or gel a  little bit until it is the shade of pink you want.    PRINT RECIPE

Happy Baking my friends, and thanks for the visit   Andi


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Tuesday, March 6, 2012


Crazy Cooking Challenge with Tina.   This month we were asked to go out in blog land and find a recipe for red sauce and spaghetti.  I found my recipe on a wonderful blog that belongs to Joan.  Joan's blog is Chocolate Chocolate more Chocolate  Who wouldn't like to follow a name like that? Stop on over, take a look around, say hello and see her hearty Meaty Spaghetti sauce on fine china. Joan has decided to use her fine china a few times each month and not keep it in the closet collecting dust.  To make her hubby happy she has finally written the recipe for her spaghetti sauce on paper.  He is happy and so is my hubby....nice comfort food,  a plate of hot spaghetti and meatballs..    Happy Cooking my friends,  Andi

2 TBSP olive oil
1 large onion chopped
salt and pepper
1 can (29 ounce ) tomato sauce
1 can (29 ounce) whole tomatoes I use Pastene San Marzano Tomato's   (pureed these if you prefer)
1 can (12 ounce) tomato paste
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
2 tsp italian seasoning
1-2 tsp garlic powder or minced fresh garlic
2-3 bay leaves
1 beef bouilion cube
3/4 to 1 cup water  or beef broth  

In a large dutch oven add the olive oil and the onions and  garlic and saute.   Add the cans of sauce, tomatoes and tomato paste.   Add the remaining ingredients and mix well and allow this to simmer all day.  If you are adding sausage or meatballs add them at this time.   Stir frequently and enjoy the smell of simmering red sauce. 

Sausage Meatballs
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/3 cup dry breadcrumbs
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
1 package Johnsonville Mild Italian Saugage Links
In a large bowl add the egg and using a fork mix the egg, add the remaining ingredients except the sausage.  Mix everything then remove the sausage from the links and add to the breadcrumb mixture.  Shape this meat mixture into 20 meatballs and lay on a parchment lined rimmed baking sheet.  Bake at 350 for about 20 minutes or till 160 degrees.  Add to the sauce and allow to simmer all day. 

In a large dutch oven add the olive oil and the onions and  garlic and saute.   Add the cans of sauce, tomatoes and tomato paste.   Add the remaining ingredients and mix well and allow this to simmer all day.  If you are adding sausage or meatballs add them at this time.   Stir frequently and enjoy the smell of simmering red sauce.  

Thanks for the visit and come back again soon

Sunday, March 4, 2012


It's almost St. Patrick's day so lets celebrate on March 17. Wouldn't your little leprechauns love to have these Andes Mint Cupcakes on the dinner table. So, lets wear green, and plan a dinner of corn beef and cabbage, soda bread and green iced cupcakes.  These cupcakes are moist, fudgy, and I really liked the texture of the cupcakes. And the topping, yes that is good too....   Happy Baking and Happy St. Patty's Day.   

Buttermilk Chocolate Cake
From Elaine
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup powdered cocoa
2 cups flour
2 eggs
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 stick of butter or oleo
1/2 cup oil
1 cup water
1 1/2 tsp soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla

In your large mixing bowl, combine white sugar,  brown sugar, cocoa and flour.  Whisk this together.    In a saucepan add oil, water and margarine/oleo and bring to a boil and pour over the dry ingredients in the mixing bowl.  Mix well.  Add the eggs.  Mix.  Mix the baking soda in 1/2 cup buttermilk.  Mix and add to the mixture in mixing bowl.  Add salt and vanilla. Mix. Pour into a prepared greased and floured 11x15 inch pan or make cupcakes.   Bake according test by inserting a toothpick into the center of your baked goods and done when it comes out clean.    I got 2 dozen cupcakes.      
Chocolate Mint filling:
1/3 cup chocolate chips
2 TBSP heavy cream
1 tsp peppermint extract
1/4 cup powdered sugar
Melt the chips and heavy cream together either using your microwave or on top of stove.  Stir in peppermint extract and the powdered sugar.   You can either use a pastry bag and squeeze some filling into the center of each cupcake, or you can ice the top of each with the filling or ice your cupcakes with the buttercream and then decorate the green icing with some piped on filling. 
8 ounce of softened cream cheese
6 TBSP of softened butter
3-4 cups powdered sugar
1 TBSP heavy cream or milk
1 tsp peppermint extract
green food coloring
24 ANDES mint candies for topping each cupcake
Combine the cream cheese, butter, cream and mix and gradually add the powdered sugar a little at a time with mixing on low.  Don't cover your kitchen and yourself with powdered sugar.  Go easy on the mixer.  Add extract and start with the littlest amount of coloring until the desired shade is reached.   Keep adding the sugar until the consistency is reached for piping your icing.  

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Thursday, March 1, 2012


So today my friends, I have no cupcakes or cookies to share,  But a real meal!  A good one! I found this sometime ago from life-as-a-lofthouse. Go visit Holly she has a lot of recipes to share.  I've made this twice, its that good.  So, on with this recipe for Sweet and Sour Baked Chicken with my verison of fried rice. Hope you try it and hope you enjoy it.  Fairly easy and tasty.  Even good warmed up the next day.  

3- 4 boneless chicken breasts
salt and pepper
1 cup cornstarch
2 eggs, beaten
1/4 cup canola oil or peanut oil   (I prefer peanut oil)
3/4 cups sugar
4 TBSP ketchup
1/2 cup vinegar
1 TBSP soy sauce
1 tsp garlic salt

Start by preheating you oven to 325 degrees.  Rinse your chicken breasts in water and then cut into cubes.  Season with salt and pepper to taste,  dip chicken into the cornstarch to coat then dip into the eggs.  Heat your 1/4 cup of oil in a large skillet and cook your chicken until browned but not cooked through.  Place the chickn in a 9x13 inch greased baking dish.   Mix all of your sweet and sour sauce ingredients in a bowl with a whisk and then pour evenly over the chicken.  Bake for one hour (pending on the thickness of the chicken) and during the baking process you will need to turn the chicken every 15 minutes. 

Fried Rice 
4 cups of cooked rice use white or brown  (cook rice the day before and place in refrigerator in a covered bowl)
2  eggs
2 cloves garlic minced
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cooking  wine sherry
1 small onion chopped or use green onions
5 TBSP peanut oil
2 TBSP of Classic Stir Fry Sauce by House of TSANG  or La Choy Brown Gravy sauce
1/4 to 1/2 cup of sliced water chestnuts
2 TBSP soy sauce
1 cup bean sprouts
1/2 to 1 cup of frozen peas, or use snow peas
sprinkle of powdered ginger 
optional adding 1/2 to 1 cup of chopped  chicken or shrimp 

Have all your ingredients prepped and ready to add to the wok.  In a small bowl add the eggs, sherry and salt.  In a large deep fry pan or wok add the peanut oil, heat this to hot  (medium high heat)  then add the egg mixture.  Stir in the onion and scramble and break into smaller pieces. Add the day old rice, brown gravy and soy sauce, water chestnuts, peas and stir breaking up the rice until all is coated and blended.   Add the bean sprouts and mix throughout.   Enjoy  


 Happy cooking and  thanks for visiting the wednesday baker.   Andi

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