Cold Cucumber Soup

Mommy lunch parties are so fun!  I need to start this at my own place.  So here's how it goes: you invite other moms, with their kids, to lunch.  Easy, right?  Then you make some really good food for the moms and something easy for the kids to eat.  It feels slightly fancy and like you are letting yourself indulge in something worthwhile.  

I was invited to a lunch party and was served cold cucumber soup, caprese sandwich (with mayo and balsamic vinegar mixed together for a dressing...yum!), and pavlova for dessert.  Holy heaven!  

I had never had a cold soup and I think it might be wrong to call it a soup.  Soup makes me think of something warm and chunky.  So when you make it, think maybe chunky yogurt (that sounds gross)...okay, maybe...I don't know.  

I do think it's best in a small bowl and served with a sandwich.  It's the type of thing that you could eat several bites alone and then it tastes better almost as a sauce on something.  Totally worth trying.  I love the fresh herbs and crispness of the flavor. 
Cold Cucumber Soup
From Alisha

1 cup yogurt, can add a little sour cream too
Fresh Basil, chopped (add more of this than mint)
Fresh Mint, chopped
Green onion, chopped
2 Tbsp - 1/4 cup Lemon juice
1/2 - 1 cup Water
2 cucumbers, seeded and rough chopped
Sour cream or cucumber to garnish

Using a blender, mix all your ingredients together.  Add less herbs at first and then add more to taste, same with the lemon juice.  Blend so there are still chunks of little cucumbers in the soup.  Garnish and enjoy in a small bowl as a side.

Chicken Salad Sandwich

Chicken, I grilled mine myself (favorite seasonings: salt, pepper, onion powder, garlic powder)
Grapes, sliced in half
Green onions
Apples, diced
Red Pepper, diced (any sweet peppers)
Salted Cashews
Cucumber, diced
Salt and pepper to taste

Mix these together in the amounts that suit your fancy.  Croissants make everything better!  This is one of my favorite sandwiches.

And this is proof that I really have been up to some home decor projects...I'll be excited to do a reveal!

Red Velvet Cheesecake Brownies

My husband doesn't cook.  He makes a mean mac and cheese, but that's about it.  I'm all the happier because that means my experimenting has free range!  

When I think a recipe looks good and attempt to tell him about the ingredients, his eyes glaze over and he says something like, "sounds good?"  It's about the same way when he tells me about work with computer chips.  So we have our own niches, it's a good thing.

ANYWAY, he was actually the one who saw these and sent me a message that we had to make them.  Correction, I had to make them.  They've graced our kitchen twice now, one of those times was last night.  

Thanks to book club (we read Major Pettigrew's Last Stand - I loved it) that I hosted, I now have a pan full of these.  There may be some unsuspecting people that might get a little treat today...I know I shouldn't have these sitting around!

Go to Sweet Pea's Kitchen for the recipe.  She has some amazing recipes, including more unique brownie recipes.  

P.S. I promise I'll be doing a give-away...I decided to paint my whole house, my oldest started Kindergarten, and my baby decided he wanted to be held all the time.  We're going through adjustments here.  I'm attempting running this morning, as soon as baby wakes up, and I might try my first zumba class tomorrow.  I've heard it's a blast!  Have a fabulous weekend and I hope you get to work-out too!

Pudding Biscuits: Camping Food

What's better than a campfire in the woods in Montana?  Eating a biscuit with pudding and whip topping inside!

We took a little drive to Montana (okay, more like an 11 hour drive) to go camping with my family (parents, siblings and their spouses, kids' cousins) a couple weeks ago.  The whole time I was taking pictures and the phrase, "Bonnie has a blog," came up constantly.  So camping food, you were not forgotten.  And no matter how serious or humorously it was said, here you go.  
My dad made two rounded wooden pegs to stretch the dough over.  Sorry I can't direct you to any store-bought wonder.  He's pretty crafty.

Pudding Biscuits

1 can Philsbury buiscuts
Snack pack vanilla pudding
Whip Topping

Oil the stick.  Take one buiscut out of the can and place top and work down, making sure you don't break the dough.  Bake over the fire/coals rotating slowly.  You want to cook it slow so the inside gets cooked along with the outside.  When it's browned and baked, slide off the stick and fill with pudding and whip.  Delish!

Strawberry Cupcakes with Strawberry Frosting

So I have a fabulous neighbor who enjoys yummy treats as much as I do!  This is a recipe you have to try.  The cake is so moist and fresh with the real strawberries.  I loved every bite!

Strawberry Cupcakes
recipe courtesy of Cast Sugar (adapted from Martha Stewart)

1 1/3 c. whole fresh or frozen strawberries, thawed
1 Tbsp honey
1 1/2 c. all-purpose flour, sifted
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp coarse salt
1/4 c. whole milk, room temperature
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 c. (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 large egg, room temperature
2 large egg whites, room temperature

Preheat oven to 350 F. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with cupcake liners; set aside.

Place strawberries and honey in a small food processor; process until pureed. You should have about 2/3 cup of puree, add a few more strawberries if necessary or save any extra puree for frosting; set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside. In a small bowl, mix together milk, vanilla, and strawberry puree; set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter on medium-high speed, until light and fluffy. Gradually add sugar and continue to beat until well combined and fluffy. Reduce the mixer speed to medium and slowly add egg and egg whites until just blended.

With the mixer on low, slowly add half the flour mixture; mix until just blended. Add the milk mixture; mix until just blended. Slowly add remaining flour mixture, scraping down sides of the bowl with a spatula, as necessary, until just blended.

Divide batter evenly among prepared muffin cups. Transfer muffin tin to oven and bake until tops are just dry to the touch, 22 to 25 minutes. Transfer muffin tin to a wire rack and let cupcakes cool completely in tin before icing.

Sprinkles' Strawberry Frosting
recipe courtesy of Martha Stewart
Makes enough for 1 dozen cupcakes (this is such a lie! It makes a ton!).

1/2 cup whole frozen strawberries, thawed
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, firm and slightly cold
Pinch of coarse salt
3 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Place strawberries in the bowl of a small food processor; process until pureed. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together butter and salt on medium speed until light and fluffy. Reduce mixer speed and slowly add confectioners' sugar; beat until well combined. Add vanilla and 3 tablespoons strawberry puree (save any remaining strawberry puree for another use); mix until just blended. Do not overmix or frosting will incorporate too much air. Frosting consistency should be dense and creamy, like ice cream.
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