Monthly Archives: July 2012

The Inaugural Tasting Menu Party – Come Join us!


It’s a Menu: So Link up your favorite recipe from your blog! (Or someone else’s, if they don’t mind.) We can’t wait to see all the treasures you’ve found!

It’s a Tasting Menu: So, feel free to link up any recipes at all – no limits. Because these menus have no calories. I’m not sure if that’s a good thing or not.

It’s Inaugural: Ignore any bugs that come up. I’ll fix them by next week, I promise! (Like the one that takes you to a different page to view the links – I’ll definitely have that one fixed by next week!)

It’s a Party!: It won’t be fun unless you join in! (PS, fellow bloggers – if you wanna get some extra blog traffic, go ahead and post away!)


A (free!) Starbucks Coffee Recipe Book!


Thanks to a post on one of my favorite money saving websites, I found this fun little treasure of a freebie. With so many of you here because of either a cupcake addiction – or a Starbucks one – this might be of some excitement to you.

How about a recipe for (it seems!) ALL of their beverages? Like, my husband’s favorite – the White Chocolate Mocha; And my favorite, a Double Chocolate Chip Frap. And several of their holiday favorites.

There’s also several of their special treats included – like those scones that look so tempting every morning I’m in there. And that pound cake. *Sigh.

I know I’m all over it! And you will be too – here it is – for your enjoyment:

A 4 course Pinterest Tasting Menu


So, I’ve been rather busy lately with a rather big project (more on that in about a week or so, btw!).

And my cooking has showed. Those of you who follow my dinner postings almost daily on facebook have probably been wondering if my family is in fact, starving! 🙂

We aren’t – but I promise what we’re eating is not worth posting. Hee hee. Unless you’re into, oh…Applebee’s appetizers, zaxby’s chicken, and Papa Murphy’s Pizza. But no worries, we’ll get back into the healthy eating routine quick.

For now though – I’ve been especially busy on pinterest finding some fun recipes to try when things calm down a bit. Here’s a few that looked especially good to me – I thought I’d share.

Anyone have any leftover zucchinis from that summer garden? Perhaps this

would go nicely with some baked chicken?

Yay for not turning on your oven!

How’s this for a side dish (and you don’t have to turn on that hot oven!) – Slow Cooker Bacon Cheese Potatoes

How ’bout this: A California Sandwich with avocado, tomato, sprouts, pepper jack and a chive spread

And for dessert – a luscious lemon delightful-ness of something creamy. With a nut crust. That’s summer for sure.

And keep your eyes out! Starting next Tuesday, we’ll have our first Tasting Menu Party! You’ll be able to link up your favorite recipes from your own blog – or those you’ve spotted online for all of us to take a look at and add to our own pinterest boards and recipe bookmarks. We’ll see you then!

How to pull off a (cute!) birthday party in a hotel away from home.


It’s easy, I tell ya! With just a few dollar store supplies, that is.

And a free continental breakfast.

Well…that, and a birthday girl!

Take a look – I present to you:

A Hotel Bday Party. <—- catchy theme, ain’t it.  This one’s goin’ all over pinterest. I can just see it now.

It’s amazing what a few princess wrapped gifts, a few balloons, some bday plates, a candle, a jar of sprinkles and a can of cool whip can do to a continental breakfast!

(Note to self: The cheap cool whip-in-a-can will melt. Fast.)

What’s a birthday without an elevator ride?!

Let’s have breakfast – one any new 3 year old would love! Yogurt, Blueberry Muffins, bananas, and apple juice.

Then…how ’bout we spend the day at Dollywood?

Happy Birthday, my little one! 🙂

Have some berries in the freezer? Make this: Strawberry Lemonade Cake


So here it is. A vibrant, delicious, moist, rich, and unique cake. One that screams spring and summer like no other. One that screams strawberries like no other.

And one that disappears like no other. (Except perhaps, these.)

Here’s what I did:

First, preheat your oven to 350 degrees, and grease your cake pans. I used two 8″ – but 9″ pans would work just as well.

Next, mix your dry ingredients – a white cake mix (18.25 ounces) and a box of strawberry gelatin (3 oz).

Next, mix your wet ingredients. Pull out that blender from the cupboard. (Come on and do it – you can always make those smoothies you’ve been wanting to do all summer while your cake’s in the oven anyway.) Add in your frozen strawberries – a 15 oz package or a pound of your own frozen ones from this years crop.

Then add 1/4 cup of water to your blender.

Then add 1/2 cup of vegetable oil to your blender.

Put 4 eggs in that cake mix/gelatin mixture. Yes, 4 of them!

Then, add in your strawberry puree mixture and mix it real good-like with your electric mixer.

Awww man – you’ll be smelling strawberries through your entire house at this point!

Next, you’ll wanna divide your batter between your two pans.

Let them bake for 20-25 minutes, or until that wooden toothpick (or fork, or knife, or whatever you use to test your cakes with) comes out crumb free.

And take deep breaths through your nose. I promise you won’t regret it.

Unless you hate strawberries. 🙂

Next you can frost away. I used my favorite Swiss Meringue Buttercream Recipe from here. Instead of adding vanilla extract to it though, I used lemon extract. That’s where my strawberry lemonade came from. You could also do what Paula Dean would probably do if she had time to think about it – you know if she weren’t so busy making other amazing cakes all the time….a “regular” lemon buttercream.

Either way – here’s what I got. And it turned out lovely.

As for explanation on those monogrammed initials – it was a baby shower cake. The Mother-to-be’s initials were going to “match” the new baby girl’s initials. (How sweet, right?!)