Easy Lemon Mint Rice

As seen on WKTV NEWSChannel 2 Friday, June 20, 2014 and August 29, 2014

Easy Lemon Mint Rice

Easy Lemon Mint Rice

Looking for a satisfying side dish that will perk up mealtime but doesn’t require a lot of time on preparation? Then this refreshing recipe is for you.

Sprinkled with garden-fresh mint and seasoned with zesty lemon, instant rice gets a savory boost in a matter of minutes. Perfect with any grilled entrée, this quick to prepare recipe will make it easy to spend less time in the kitchen and more time in the great outdoors. Enjoy!

EASY LEMON MINT RICE

2 cups water
1 tablespoon butter
2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest
1 teaspoon chicken bouillon
1 teaspoon dried minced onions
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups instant rice
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
In a medium saucepan, combine water, butter, lemon zest, bouillon, onions, and salt. Bring to a boil. Stir in rice, lemon juice, and 1 tablespoon mint; remove from heat. Cover, and let stand 10 minutes. Stir in the remaining 1 tablespoon mint. Makes 4 servings.

Double Chocolate Zucchini Bread

Double Chocolate Zucchini Bread

Double Chocolate Zucchini Bread

Zucchini is a versatile veggie that finds its way into many dishes during the summer months. From appetizers to desserts, this prized squash is the star ingredient in countless dishes. And when it comes to baking bread, chocolate and zucchini is a delicious flavor pairing.

Moist and rich in taste, it’s a good idea to bake this bread in four miniature loaf pans so you can savor some now and stash the rest in the freezer to enjoy later. You also can add a cup of chopped walnuts along with the zucchini and chocolate chips, if desired.

However you prepare it, this recipe makes it easy to savor a slice of summer.

DOUBLE CHOCOLATE ZUCCHINI BREAD

3 cups flour
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon instant coffee granules
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
3 eggs
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup butter, melted
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 cups shredded zucchini
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
Confectioners’ sugar (optional)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease the bottoms of four 5×3-inch loaf pans. In a large bowl, combine flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, salt, coffee granules, and baking powder. In a separate, large bowl, whisk together eggs, sugar, butter, oil, and vanilla. Add to flour mixture; stir just until moistened. Stir in zucchini and chocolate chips. Divide batter among prepared pans. Bake until a toothpick inserted in centers comes out clean, 35 to 40 minutes. Cool in pans 10 minutes before removing to a wire rack. Cool completely. Sprinkle with confectioners’ sugar, if desired. Makes 4 miniature loaves.

*Note: Bread may also be baked in two 8×4-inch loaf pans instead of four 5×3-inch loaf pans; increase bake time to 50 to 55 minutes.

Blueberry Rhubarb Sauce

As seen on WKTV NEWSChannel 2 Friday, July 18, 2014

Blueberry Rhubarb Sauce

Blueberry Rhubarb Sauce

Make the most of this time of year by pairing two star ingredients for a mouthwatering sauce that highlights the essence of the season. A flavorful combination, blueberries and rhubarb shine in this quick-to-prepare sauce.

Perfect for topping off pancakes, ice cream, or pound cake, this vibrant sauce may be prepared up to three days in advance and stored, covered, in the fridge until ready to use. And a jar of this seasonal sauce will make a delightful gift fresh from your kitchen.

Whether it’s from your own backyard, a supermarket, or a farmers’ market, blueberries and rhubarb combine deliciously for a luscious sauce bursting with homespun goodness.

BLUEBERRY RHUBARB SAUCE

2 cups sliced rhubarb
2 cups blueberries
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
1/4 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon lemon juice
In a medium saucepan, combine rhubarb, 1/2 cup blueberries, sugar, water, and lemon zest. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, covered, until rhubarb is tender, about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Meanwhile, mash the remaining 1 1/2 cups blueberries. In a small bowl, combine cornstarch and lemon juice. Add mashed blueberries and cornstarch mixture to rhubarb mixture. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Let stand 10 minutes before serving. Makes 2 cups.

Easy Yellow Cupcakes

As seen on WKTV NEWSChannel 2 Friday, April 18, 2014

Easy Yellow Cupcakes

Easy Yellow Cupcakes

A package of store-bought cake mix, pudding mix and a few other ingredients is all it takes to create moist and flavorful cupcakes filled with homespun goodness. And it’s just as simple to transform Easy Yellow Cupcakes into fun Easter Cupcakes by simply embellishing with candy sprinkles and/or edible decorations.

Ideal for little hands to help prepare, these whimsical treats are perfect for nibbling at this time of year. Whether they’re for a school party, Easter celebration, or any get-together, these crowd-pleasing cupcakes always are welcome.

From my family to yours, Happy Easter.

EASY YELLOW CUPCAKES

1 (4-serving size) package instant vanilla pudding and pie filling mix
1 (16.5-ounce) package yellow cake mix (with pudding in the mix)
4 eggs
1 cup water
2/3 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
Candy sprinkles and/or edible decorations (optional)
Easy Vanilla Frosting
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 24 muffin cups or line with paper liners. Reserve 2 tablespoons pudding mix for frosting (see below). In a large bowl, combine the remaining pudding mix, cake mix, eggs, water, oil, and vanilla. Blend with an electric mixer on low speed until moistened, about 30 seconds. Increase speed to medium; beat 2 minutes. Divide into muffin cups. Bake until a toothpick inserted in centers comes out clean, 15 to 20 minutes. Cool 5 minutes before removing to wire racks. Cool completely. Frost with Easy Vanilla Frosting; garnish with candy sprinkles and/or edible decorations, if desired. Makes 24 cupcakes.

EASY VANILLA FROSTING

2 tablespoons instant vanilla pudding and pie filling mix
1/2 cup heavy (or whipping) cream
1 (8-ounce) carton regular or light frozen whipped topping, thawed
1 teaspoon vanilla
6 to 8 drops yellow food color (optional)
In a medium bowl, combine pudding mix and heavy cream. Whisk until slightly thickened, about 1 minute. Stir in whipped topping, vanilla, and food color, if desired.

Herbed Salmon Cakes

As seen on WKTV NEWSChannel 2 Friday, March 27, 2014

Herbed Salmon Cakes

Looking for easy and elegant appetizers for springtime celebrations? Then these flavorful hors d’oeuvres are for you.

Quick to prepare, these yummy starters make good use of canned salmon. And while they are a tasty prelude to dinner, the mixture can be shaped into four bigger patties and placed on buns for mouthwatering sandwiches that are perfect during the Lenten season.

Whichever way you choose to savor them, these flavorful cakes make it easy to get hooked on canned salmon. Happy Spring!

HERBED SALMON CAKES

1 egg
2 tablespoons regular or light mayonnaise
1 tablespoon heavy (or whipping) cream
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons minced fresh chives
1 tablespoon minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 (14.75-ounce) can salmon, drained, flaked, and skin and bones removed
1/2 cup plain bread crumbs
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
Lemon wedges (optional)
Lemon Herb Sauce (optional)
In a medium bowl, combine egg, mayonnaise, heavy cream, lemon juice, chives, parsley, salt, and pepper. Add salmon and bread crumbs; mix well. Shape into eight patties. Heat oil in a 12-inch skillet until hot; add patties. Cook over medium heat until golden, 3 to 4 minutes per side. Squeeze lemon wedges over patties and/or serve with Lemon Herb Sauce, if desired. Makes 4 servings.

LEMON HERB SAUCE

1/4 cup regular or light mayonnaise
1/4 cup regular or light sour cream
1 teaspoon minced fresh chives
1/2 teaspoon minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
1/4 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
Dash salt
Dash pepper
In a medium bowl, combine all ingredients. Cover, and refrigerate at least 1 hour. Makes 4 servings.

St. Patrick’s Day Cupcakes

As seen on WKTV NEWSChannel 2 Tuesday, March 11, 2014

St. Patrick's Day Cupcakes

St. Patrick’s Day Cupcakes

Quick to prepare and ideal for a crowd, the following recipe for St. Patrick’s Day Cupcakes are perfect for any St. Paddy’s Day celebration.

Simply combine packaged cake mix and pudding mix along with a few other on-hand ingredients, and a homespun cupcakes can be ready for the oven in a matter of minutes. And just like magic, the frosting can be whipped up in short order, too. Add a few drops of green food color to both the cake and the frosting for a batch of cupcakes as pretty as the Irish countryside.

And when it comes to celebrating St. Patrick’s Day, be certain to wear your lucky shamrock. After all, this is a day when all are Irish. Erin-go-bragh!

St. Patrick’s Day Cupcakes 

1 (16.5 ounce) package plain white or yellow cake mix
1 (4-serving size) package instant pistachio pudding and pie filling mix
4 eggs
1 cup water
2/3 cup vegetable oil
3 to 4 drops green food color (optional)
Whipped Cream Frosting
Green candy sprinkles (optional)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 24 muffin cups or line with paper liners. In a large bowl, combine cake mix, pudding mix, eggs, water, oil, and food color, if desired. Blend with an electric mixer on low speed until moistened, about 30 seconds. Increase speed to medium; beat 2 minutes. Divide into muffin cups. Bake until a toothpick inserted in centers comes out clean, 15 to 20 minutes. Cool 5 minutes before removing to wire racks. Cool completely. Frost with Whipped Cream Frosting; garnish with candy sprinkles, if desired. Makes 24 cupcakes.

WHIPPED CREAM FROSTING

1/4 cup instant pistachio pudding mix (from a 4-serving size package)
1 pint heavy (or whipping) cream
3 to 4 drops green food color (optional)
In a medium bowl, combine pudding mix and heavy cream. Beat with an electric mixer on medium speed until slightly thickened. Add food color, if desired. Continue beating until thickened and peaks form.

Here are more St. Patrick’s Day recipes

Irish Shortbread

As seen on WKTV NEWSChannel 2 Friday, March 7, 2014

Irish Shortbread

Irish Shortbread

Irish shortbread is a mouthwatering example of simplicity at its finest. In the traditional style of the foods from Ireland, this recipe calls for minimal ingredients but turns out cookies that are full of flavor.

Since few ingredients are necessary when making shortbread, it’s important to use top-notch ingredients for optimal taste. Irish butter is the best choice and good quality brown sugar also is preferred.

Whether you enjoy them on St. Patrick’s Day or any time throughout the year, these tasty tidbits are filled with an authentic taste of the Emerald Isle.

IRISH SHORTBREAD

3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) Irish butter (such as Kerrygold), softened
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 1/2 cups flour
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
Green sugar crystals (optional)
Preheat oven to 300 degrees. In a large bowl, combine butter and sugar. Beat with an electric mixer until well blended. Add flour, cornstarch, and salt; knead lightly until blended. Divide dough into six (3 1/2 to 4-inch) mini fluted tart pans; press into bottoms and up the sides of pans. (You also can pat or roll dough into a round about 1/2-inch thick on a lightly floured surface; cut into shapes as desired.) Pierce with the tines of a fork. Sprinkle with green sugar crystals, if desired. Bake until golden, 25 to 30 minutes. Immediately cut each pan of shortbread into 4 wedges. Cool completely in pans. Makes 24 cookies.