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Showing posts from April, 2011

A Pineapple Cocktail

It is time.  Time for what, you ask?   A Pineapple Martini for Cocktail Time Time, my friends, for us to mix a delectable concoction with the pineapple infused vodka I made a week ago.  First we must prepare our cocktail glasses.  First, select the glasses you will use.  I have some lovely glasses from Williams Sonoma that I absolutely love. Love, I tell you, L-O-V-E.  They are not inexpensive, friends, but using these special cocktail glasses makes your drinks just that much more delectable.  These are $20 each, so you probably won't want enough on hand for a cocktail party, but having two makes sharing a cocktail with your honey a little more... Add Sugared Rims to the Martini Glasses Now, back to preparing the glasses.  I really like sugared rims on my cocktails.  I know, it's very girly of me, but what can I say?  I like it, OK?  So, let's take some turbinado sugar (you can get it in the grocery store) and mix a bit with one teaspoon (more or less) of grat

Five Popular Herbs to Grow at Home

Fresh herbs are a beautiful thing.  They are miracle workers in the kitchen transforming the simple and plain into the sublime.  Do you use fresh herbs in your cooking?  If you don't, you really must start now.  There are five popular herbs I consider essential in my daily cooking.   They are chives, parsley, basil, rosemary and mint. You'll find these herbs readily available at your local grocery store, but they are easy to grow in your home herb garden or in pots on a patio, deck or terrace.  I've been growing these herbs for several years in pots on my deck.  That keeps them handy for watering, they provide texture and greenery, they smell great whenever I brush against them and they are handy for snipping and adding to recipes. Chives Growing In My Garden Chives are the easiest of all these herbs to grow.  This is one herb you can plant and forget.  It's a perennial herb and once established chives will grow year after year with very little effort on your par

Pineapple Infused Vodka

Making a delicious cocktail is more art than science.  At least that is the case at Just One Donna's house.  The art of the cocktail has become a hobby at our house.  We look forward to the end of the week when we share a cocktail, relaxing together in our family room or on our deck.  The drink is just one of the elements of our cocktail hour.  The other key elements are: 1.  Festive glassware 2.  Fun and colorful cocktail napkins 3.  Delectable appetizers A key to a delicious cocktail is the quality and freshness of your ingredients.  One way we like to customize our ingredients is with infused spirits.  Today I'm sharing our pineapple infused vodka.  It is simple to infuse your vodka.  All you need is a fruit at peak ripeness, a glass container with a cover and vodka. Let's see how we do it. First prepare your fruit.  For pineapple, you will need to cut the top off the fruit. Then cut the bottom. Next, cut the peel off the sides.  Then slice the

Two Delicious Pizzas

Pizza is a weekend meal at our house, usually on Friday night, but occasionally on Saturday or Sunday.  It's my "let's just relax and hang out" meal. Today I'm sharing how I make delicious pizza at home and you can,  too! How to Make Pizza at Home The other day we were feeling wild and crazy and made three different kinds of pizza.  It's simple to make multiple kinds of pizza.  All it takes is a little planning to be sure you have the toppings you need on hand.  It's also a great way to use up ingredients you may have left from other dishes you prepared during the week. Hot Italian Sausage Pizza One of the pizzas we made was our favorite Hot Italian Sausage and Cheese Pizza.  I've told you about that before, so no need to go into it again.  It was yummy as always! The other pizzas were Basil Pesto Pizza, Ricotta Cheese Pizza, and BBQ Chicken Pizza. Pizza making does require some preparation.  While you can make your pizza dough the day you

Linguine and Shrimp Scampi

Sometimes I get on a kick.  Some might find that fact a point for criticism, but I think it is a charming little quirk, even if I say so myself.  The kick I am on now is related to lemons...and shrimp.  I seem to be obsessed with lemons.  I got in the mood for shrimp the other night and because lemons are on my mind a lot lately I thought of shrimp scampi.  Shrimp Scampi for Lemon Lovers Shrimp Scampi I shared a delicious Baked Shrimp Scampi recipe with you a little while ago, but I wanted to make one with pasta.  This linguine and shrimp scampi tasted light, lemony and delicious.  It makes a perfect spring dinner. I love cooking shrimp for dinner on busy weeknights.  The meal comes together so quickly you can have your dinner on the table in a flash.  This shrimp scampi doesn't taste like a quick and easy dinner.  It's that yummy! Shrimp Scampi Ingredients Linguine and Shrimp Scampi Printer Friendly Recipe Serves 3-4 Ingredients 1 teaspo

Lemon Yogurt Cake

A Lemon Cake to Delight Lemon Lovers Something happens to my taste buds as soon as spring hits each year.  I start to crave lemon.  It seems like I can't stop thinking about lemon squares, lemon meringue pie, and lemon cake.  Does this happen to any of you?  It seems that my taste buds have seasons too!  Today I'm making a lemon yogurt cake to satisfy my desire for anything lemon and to use some of the slow cooker yogurt I have in the refrigerator. Lemon Yogurt Cake This is another Ina Garten recipe, from the Barefoot Contessa At Home.   It's a favorite because it is moist and lemony.  You'll like this recipe because it is really easy to make by hand.  No electric mixer is required.  So, when you are in the mood for a little sweet something you'll be able to whip this cake up in a snap. Lemon Yogurt Cake Printer Friendly Recipe Makes 1 loaf cake Ingredients Lemon Yogurt Cake Ingredients 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour 2 teaspoons baking

Healthy Blueberry Yogurt Muffins

Thinking about what to make for breakfast this weekend?  Do you want something healthy, but satisfying?  Perhaps you have some homemade yogurt you'd like to use?  This is a recipe for delicious blueberry muffins with a twist.  "What's the twist?" you ask. Blueberry Yogurt Muffins First, we can use some old-fashioned oatmeal in the mix, ground fine in a food processor.    Next we can add some of that yummy, fresh yogurt we made in our crock post this week.  Don't worry if you only have store bought yogurt.  That will work, too!  And finally, how about adding a little bit of lemon zest to brighten the flavor? Doesn't that sound yummy?  Well then, here you go.  This is THE blueberry muffin recipe for you to make this weekend. Blueberry Yogurt Muffins Printer Friendly Recipe Makes 12 1 cup Quaker Old-Fashioned Oatmeal, ground in a food processor 1 cup all-purpose flour 1/4 cup packed brown sugar 1/4 cup granulated sugar, or hone

Southwest Chipotle Pepper BBQ Sauce

I first tasted this Southwest Chipotle Pepper BBQ Sauce at a local restaurant.  It was served as part of a Southwest Chipotle Pepper Chicken dinner.  One taste and I fell in love.  Love, I tell you!  It has the kind of flavor that is a part of dreams.  Literally.  Memories of this delicious sauce will fill your head as you sleep and haunt you until you make it, again and again. Imagine my delight when I attended a cooking demonstration by the chef and owner of said restaurant, during which he demonstrated and shared the elusive recipe.  Oh, yeah baby, I was one happy camper!   Today I am sharing the recipe for this delicious barbecue sauce with you.  Make this for your friends and family and you will be a hero.  Your praises will be sung far and wide.  I kid you not! Let's go... The Chipotle BBQ Sauce Ingredients Chipotle Pepper BBQ Sauce Print Recipe 1/2 large red onion 1/4 pound bacon, raw chopped 1 tablespoon fresh chopped garlic 1/8 cup olive oil 1 pound bro

Making Yogurt at Home

I am a big fan of simple foods, made simply.  I was surprised to learn recently how easy it is to make delicious ricotta cheese at home.  While reading about how to make ricotta cheese I also found articles about making yogurt at home.  You can buy yogurt makers that are supposed to make the process very simple, but the directions using a crock pot seemed easy enough.   Making yogurt became another item on my list of things to do. I have a crock pot that gets infrequent use, so I was ready to go.  You only need two ingredients.  It's hard to believe making yogurt could be so simple, but I was game to try it.  I loved the ricotta cheese I made at home so much I was hopeful the yogurt would be as good. Here's what I did. Making Yogurt In A Crock Pot Ingredients: 1/2 gallon (8 cups) of milk 1/2 cup plain yogurt with live cultures Method: Turn a 4 quart crock pot on to low and pour in the milk. Heat the milk on the low setting for 2 ½ hours. After 2 ½ hours, turn the