Sunday, March 27, 2011

It's a girl!!!! Pink shower goodies and happy baby moments!


There's a certain warmth and happiness that accompanies the celebration of new life.  Baby showers are filled with hope and delight at the emanate birth of a new baby boy or girl. 

This particular baby shower and birth are especially heart warming to us because we are celebrating the birth of our first grandchild! 

My oldest son Zach and his wife Emily are the proud parents of a beautiful baby girl Amber Lynn.  She was born March 24, 2011 at 4:18 pm and weighed in at 6 pounds 14 ounces...she's stunning and perfect and we're all goo goo eyed over her! 




The shower was just a few days ago and now Amber is already home with her new parents and settling into their life together as a family. 





During the shower Zach and Emily enjoyed opening their gifts and we enjoyed a simple and delicious luncheon. 




Emily loves cheesecake and peeps so that's what I prepared for the shower menu.  I off set the sweets with Chicken Salad Croissants, Chocolate covered strawberries and tangy Pink Sparkling Limeade.




So simple and so cute, I tucked these little peeps into flower cupcake holders and rested them on top of pastel dinner mints.




I was inspired to make this beautiful no-bake cheesecake by a fellow blogger, Ann Low.  She writes Anncoo Journal where you can view her talented work in the kitchen and behind the camera.  I had a few issues with the recipe because I had to convert grams to cups which was a royal disaster! 

Finally, I used a conversion chart from the web that helped me figure out the difference in weight for solids and liquids. I must have missed that class in school because it made my brain hurt! Most of the ingredients were correct but I added two packets of gelatin when I should have added only one and my cheesecake became a bit lumpy and dense. 

My saving grace was the chocolate fudge I made the same day that didn't set up correctly. Another failed dessert but a blessing in disguise. I melted the unset fudge and made a delicious Hot Fudge sauce and used it to decorate the cake. 

Ann's version is impeccable and mine turned out a little  more whimsical.  The raspberry flavor was really intense and the cheese creamy but I would have preferred a smoother texture. You can see Ann's original recipe and do your own conversions if you don't trust mine..lol!  I've adjusted the recipe below with my corrections.

Ann, thanks for the inspiration!

Crust

1 package or 2/3 cup Graham Crackers crushed fine
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon melted butter

  • Mix butter with graham cracker until well incorporated.  Line the bottom of a spring-form pan with parchment and press graham cracker into bottom of pan pressing firmly, set aside

Filling

1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon water
1 envelope unflavored gelatin
1-1/2 cups Philadelphia Brand Cream Cheese
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons raspberry syrup
1 teaspoon raspberry extract
2/3 cup powdered sugar
1-1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
2 drops red food coloring(optional)

  • Measure water into a medium bowl sprinkle with gelatin, stir once or twice with a wooden spoon then set aside for 10 minutes to allow gelatin grains to bloom/swell, place bowl over a simmering pot of hot water and stir until gelatin is melted, turn off heat and keep gelatin warm until ready to use.  I let mine cool and it became very difficult to work with and made my cake lumpy.

  • Using a stand mixer or electric hand mixer, beat cream cheese, sugar together until smooth, add gelatin solution and yogurt and beat till smooth 

  • Divide filling into two separate bowls equally, flavor one with raspberry syrup and extract and add red food coloring, mixing to combine

  • Spoon mixtures into prepared spring-form pan, alternating flavored filling with white until all filling is used, refrigerate 2 hours or until firm.

Topping (optional)
1 package gelatin
1/2 cup water

  • mix and set aside for 10 minutes

add
1 cup raspberry syrup 
1/4 teaspoon raspberry extract
1/2 cup yogurt

  • mix thoroughly and pour over refrigerated cake, return to refrigerator for 2 hours or over night.
In a perfect world your cake will turn out smooth and the rings from the layers will be very noticeable.  Gorgeous, like Ann's. 

I decorated the top of my cake with the hot fudge sauce to cover up the uneven and lumpy mess I made...I was lucky that the fudge sauce added another layer of flavor and was a great success.






You can never go wrong with chocolate covered strawberries!  Their absolutely gorgeous and they taste amazing.



Emily and Zach in the hospital just a few minutes before Amber was born...Emily displayed inspiring strength and composure during her labor...way to go girl!! Zach was a great labor coach and a doting new father.




Her I am just minutes after Amber's birth...very proud Gama!  What a bundle of joy!




Here's my husband now fondly known as "Papa" holding our little peanut.





Emily and Amber share some bonding time...



Proud new daddy, Zach is totally in love♥



Congratulations Zach and Emily and welcome to our family Amber Lynn♥
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Sunday, March 20, 2011

Wonton Sausage Triangles



Wontons

Wonton Sausage Triangles are a wonderful appetizer but can also become a very satisfying meal with the addition of rice. Their especially yummy as an accompaniment to a hot steamy pot of soup! 




Recipe:

1 package prepared wonton wraps
1 package Jimmy Dean Spicy Sausage
2 tablespoons scallion (green onion)
1 cup bean sprouts
1 teaspoon sesame oil
3-4 tablespoons Premium Soy sauce
1 teaspoon rice cooking wine
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon sesame seeds
1/2 teaspoon fish sauce
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard

1 cup vegetable oil for frying

Hot Mustard Sauce
2 tablespoons dry ground mustard
3-4 tablespoons water
Mix and set aside

Sweet n Sour Sauce
1 cup ketchup
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon brown sugar
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
in a small sauce pan heat ingredients until bubbly, remove from heat and refrigerate until ready to use.


Method:

Mix sausage, and remaining ingredients in medium bowl, heat heavy skillet on medium high heat, brown mixture and drain all fat, fill wonton wraps with 1/2 teaspoon cooked mixture, run a small amount of water on one edge of triangle and seal wonton edges together.

 


Cook in hot oil until golden brown, drain on a paper towel, serve immediately.

 
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Friday, March 18, 2011

Bacon Time with the Hungry Hypo Featured Blogger

Me with my Favorite 3 Little Pigs!

Mindie is a wonderful food and crafting blogger.  She is filled with such a positive attitude and brings her "glass half full" attitude to the table every time I see her.   

I met Mindie thorough The Real Women Of Philadelphia website and we've competed in some really exciting video and recipe challenges over the past few months together. 

After reading Mindie's bio for this guest feature I gained and even greater insight to her passion for cooking and crafting.  I know you'll enjoy Mindie's talent in the kitchen and her lovely crafts.  Beware...her positive spirit is contagious!  

Please welcome Mindy Hilton and Bacon Time with the Hungry Hypo. 


I am so happy to be At Home with Rebecka today.  Let me introduce myself.  I am Mindie May HiltonI am the blogger of Bacon Time with the Hungry Hungry Hypo.  I know it's kind of a mouthful but that's not always a bad thing, especially when it's a mouthful of good food.  The name came about after discovering that I am hypoglycemic.  That's me the hungry hungry hypo.  I wanted a name for my blog that would reflect my outgoing fun personality.  This just seemed to be a good fit. 

Don't let the name fool you, just like bacon can be a versatile ingredient, I too am very diverse.  My blog features many recipes, with and without bacon, along with some of my other passions in life, family, friends, entertaining, crafting, home decorating, and fashion.  I live a fun and sometimes crazy domesticated life, and I like to blog about it all. 

I also believe that honesty and humor are important qualities and you will find both at Bacon Time.   http://bacontimewiththehungryhypo.blogspot.com/
    
Well to be honest I haven't always loved food.  Let me explain, when I was in high school and early college years I struggled with anorexia.  Then while still in college, I was in a car accident and hurt my neck and back.  I went from working out all the time to not exercising and gained 100 pounds.  I struggled with food and losing weight for years.  One day I finally said " that's it, I am going to eat what I want (with in reason) but work out everyday".  Well guess what.... it worked.  I lost all the weight I had gained and have kept it off for five years now, even after a  second child.  It wasn't until recently that I was diagnosed with the hypoglycemia. Which basically means I can never skip a meal, even thinking about skipping one seems to make me feel ill.  I sometimes wonder if God gave me this disease as a reward for all my years spent struggling with my weight. I know this is not true, just bad genetics, both of my parents are diabetic.  I have hopes of never developing  diabetes.  I still work out every single day religiously, and eat a balanced diet (no I don't eat bacon everyday).

After earning my BAs with a concentration in Fine Arts, I enjoyed working in a variety of fields, from teaching, counseling, fashion, real estate, and physical therapy.  None of these fields have ever been as fulfilling as working in my kitchen.  Over the last year, I have been fortunate enough to stop working outside of the home and focus on my family and my career in food.  If I am not chasing my toddler, taking my 8 year old to soccer or school, then  I am at home cooking, blogging, or creating something with my hands.  Here is a taste of some of the things I have added to my blog as tutorials.











Yes that's me admiring a pair of shoes I coutured up.  I am also wearing a  belt and scarf I made, cute don't you think?  I can make them for you too, you can find them on my new Etsy shop.
http://www.etsy.com/shop/Mindiemay 

                                 


All of these hand made pretties can be found at my online Shop TLC Creations!


Soft Wide Head Band with a Trio of Crochetted FlowersCrocheted Rosette Black, White, & Gray Pearl NecklaceCrocheted Rosette Purple & Pearl NecklaceFlower Hat & Scarf SetPurple Rosette NecklacePink & Turqoise Rosette NecklaceNeapolitan Crochet Rosette NecklaceShell Earings
   

When it comes to food, I don't have any boundaries.  I love cooking and enjoying all different styles of food.  I find myself, as a busy mom, wanting to create recipes that are easy to prepare but as someone that loves the arts, I also want the food to look fabulous too.  If I had to brand myself with a cooking style it would most likely be the "Easy Gourmet".  I also have a mantra "little kitchen, big food" since my kitchen is very modest but I never let it stop me from experimenting with new bold flavors. 

Recently I have been blessed to have won two cooking contests. One with the Real Women of Philadelphia and one with the Johnsonville Sausage Pastaville challenge.  I was honored to come in 2nd place, since almost 1500 chefs entered the Johnsonville challenge.  Both recipes of mine that won combine spicy and sweet, this is certainly a combination I love.
  
Today however I would like to share with you all a tutorial for a recipe that I keep receiving good feed back on.  It is so easy, you might not need the tutorial, but I always enjoy recipes that come with pics.  This is a Bacon Egg & Cheese Wreath, simple, beautiful, and delicious.   
Recently I have been on a mission to clean out my pantry and avoid buying new ingredients.  So  I made my breakfast wreath only using items I had on hand. 









Ingredients:


1 can of crescents 8count
5 large eggs
1 cup of shredded Colby and Monterey Jack cheese
8 slices of fully cooked bacon


Preheat oven to 375 F degrees.  Scramble your eggs on stove top.  Lay out crescents
on a parchment lined pizza pan as shown above.



Add your cooked bacon.


Add about 1/3 of your cheese.



Add your eggs and a third more of your cheese and fold crescents over.



Add  the rest of your cheese to the top and bake for 17 minutes or until crescents are done
and golden brown.

Serve hot, I recommend garnishing with fresh salsa and some chopped parsley

Here is another idea, I have made sweet instead of savory wreathes before.  I once filled the center with jam and sweetened peanut butter.  Then after it cooled I topped it with melted white chocolate.  Super easy and beautiful, that's my style of cooking.
  
Well I have had a lot of fun spending time with you all today. Thanks Rebecka for the invite.  I hope you will all stop by my blog and say hi at  http://bacontimewiththehungryhypo.blogspot.com/ . 

I love all of my followers and work hard to bring them fun new crafts, recipes, and free give aways!  If you have a recipe or craft you would like to have featured on my blog, I would love to talk to you about a post just for you. Just leave me a comment on my blog and I will get back to you soon. 

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Monday, March 14, 2011

Ground Beef and Bacon Soup with Garlic & Parsley Croutons




Hearty Ground Beef and Bacon Soup with Garlic & Parsley Croutons

In an effort to use up the bits and pieces of what was left in my refrigerator  this hearty and delicious soup was born...

Ground Beef and Bacon Soup

1/2 pound ground beef
1/4 pound bacon
1 onion
1 carrot
2 cloves garlic minced
2 stalks celery
1 jar spaghetti sauce
4 cups chicken stock
1-2 cups water
1 tablespoon chicken soup base
1 teaspoon parsley
1 teaspoon tarragon

1 box spiral pasta
2 tablespoons whole spelt grains
salt and pepper to taste

In a medium stock pot brown ground beef, remove from pan and drain grease, in same sauce pan brown bacon till crisp, remove bacon and break into small bits, chop carrot, onion and celery and saute in bacon grease till soft. Return beef to sauce pan and add chicken stock, spaghetti sauce, soup base and herbs, bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer on low for 1 hour, add water and bring back to a boil, add pasta and cook until tender.  Salt a pepper to taste




Croutons

1/2 loaf french bread cubed
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 clove garlic minced
2 tablespoons fresh Parsley
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
salt and pepper to taste

Toss cubed bread in olive oil and mix with remaining ingredients, toast in 350 degree oven on a baking sheet for 15 minutes or until golden brown.

Serve soup with croutons and sprinkle with cooked bacon and spelt grains





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