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Strawberry Cupcakes

My sister-in-law brought a delicious strawberry cake to a family picnic at my house a few weekends ago.   The cake was a hit with everyone because it was moist and packed with fresh strawberry flavor.  Of course, I asked for the recipe.  It was a Paula Dean strawberry cake recipe that started with a white cake mix. Delightful Strawberry Cupcakes Strawberry Cupcakes I wanted to make cupcakes from the recipe so I went into test kitchen mode.  If you decide to make this using Paula Dean's recipe be sure to read the full recipe through to the end.  I know, that's rule number one of baking, but once in a while some of us break the rules.  If you don't read the recipe through to the end you'll most likely end up with a very soupy frosting.  I may, or may not, know this from personal experience. Through my test kitchen experience, I made a few changes to the original recipe.  I thought the recipe ingredients unnecessarily added too much sugar.  To adjust for

Hope Springs, the Movie

This week Hope Springs  opened in theaters nationwide.  I have been anticipating this movie ever since the end of September a year ago.  It was September 30, 2011 when I wrote about nearby Stonington Borough as the filming location for the movie, Great Hope Springs , now named Hope Springs . Hope Springs  is a movie about relationships, highlighting Kay and Arnold Soames' journey to reconnect after thirty-one years of marriage. In spite of Steve Carell's key role as a therapist, this movie is more drama than comedy.  It's not often that mature relationships are held under a microscope to the degree seen in Hope Springs .   Meryl Streep and Tommy Lee Jones will draw you in and keep you cheering for them throughout.  I happened to catch the Charlie Rose interview with the cast of Hope Springs  a few days ago, and I was happy I did because it fully prepared me for the movie. The theater was full of boomer generation movie-goers this weekend.  Hubby and I had to

What's in Your Garden?

It's August 6th and my garden is in full production.  How is your garden doing?  I checked in with my garden this morning to see what needed harvesting.  My onions, and beets should get pulled right away and my lettuce has bolted.  It's time to put what is left of the lettuce into the compost pile. August Vegetable Garden Update Onions, Lettuce, and Beets My tomatoes are finally turning red.  We wait impatiently every summer for those wonderful garden tomatoes.  There's nothing that can compare to a home grown tomato picked fresh from the vine.  It's time to make our favorite tomato salad . Tomatoes are Finally Ripening! I'm hoping for an abundance of cherry tomatoes, all ripening at once, so I can roast up a tasty roasted tomato bruschetta topping.  Yum! Cherry Tomatoes The cucumbers are growing with vigor up and around three tomato cages.  Vertical gardening of the cucumbers has saved me lots of space in my raised beds. I wish I could s

Grilled Pork Medallions with Pineapple Salsa

Pineapples were on sale at my local grocery store recently.  The sweet aroma of the ripe pineapple inspired me to find a way to use it for our dinner. Since the temperature that day was flirting with 90 degrees F, I decided the only way to cook dinner was outside on the grill.  This delicious pineapple salsa was a refreshing addition to medallions of pork tenderloin, tenderized by a lime marinade and grilled on skewers. Pineapple Salsa and Grilled Pork Medallions Pork Lime Marinade Ingredients Grilled Pork Medallions with Pineapple Salsa Printer Friendly Recipe 1 pork tenderloin, sliced into medallions zest of 1 lime 2 limes, juiced 1 tablespoon of honey 3 green onions, chopped 1 jalapeno, seeded and chopped 2 cloves garlic, chopped 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt 1/2 cup olive oil The Pineapple Salsa Pineapple Salsa Ingredients 1/2 fresh pineapple, cored and chopped 1/2 red onion, chopped 1/2 English cucumber, chopped 1/2 red pepper, chopped 1 jalapen

Quick and Easy Fudge Sauce

Truth be told, ice cream doesn't make its way into my house all that much these days.  Why, you ask?   Well, friends, when ice cream is in my freezer it has a nasty way of calling to me...letting me know it is in there...waiting... Oh, yes, I do love ice cream.  Occasionally, I'll break down and buy some ice cream.  I did just that a week, or so, ago and it sat for a day or two in the freezer, just waiting for a crack in my resolute armor.  The crack surfaced one hot evening.  Did I mention it was chocolate peanut butter ice cream?  Who can resist that, I ask you? "Hubby, would you like a dish of ice cream?"  "We have ice cream?" "Would you like hot fudge sauce?" "We have hot fudge sauce?" We didn't have any hot fudge sauce, but I had the ingredients to make some.  It is so quick and easy to make a delicious fudge sauce, there really is no reason to buy the jarred kind. Quick and Easy Fudge Sauce 1 cup chocolate chips

Chicken Marsala Ravioli with Artichoke Hearts

Whenever Hubby and I dine in an Italian restaurant with Chicken Marsala on the menu it is a safe bet that he will choose the Chicken Marsala for his dinner.  That's why, when I heard that one of Buitoni's new pastas being introduced in the the Northeast was Chicken Marsala Ravioli, I knew he would love it. Chicken Marsala Ravioli with Artichoke Hearts I decided to make a traditional Marsala sauce for the Buitoni Chicken Marsala raviolis, but kicked up the color and flavor of the dish with the addition of prosciutto, red pepper and artichoke hearts.  Buitoni provided coupons that allowed me to try the pasta for free, but as always, the recipe and my opinion about the pasta are all mine. Chicken Marsala Ravioli with Artichoke Hearts Serves 4 The Chicken Marsala Ravioli and Artichoke Hearts Ingredients 2 packages Buitoni Chicken Marsala Ravioli 2 tablespoons unsalted butter 8 ounces button mushrooms, sliced 2 ounces prosciutto, cut into ribbons 1 can artichoke he

Roasted Butternut Squash Agnolotti in Pistachio Cream Sauce

This week I am posting a couple of recipes highlighting fresh packaged pastas from Buitoni .  The fine folks at Buitoni recently contacted me to let me know they were launching two new pastas in New England and to ask me if I would be interested in showcasing them in Just One Donna recipes.  I jumped at the opportunity, mainly because it would be an opportunity to demonstrate how quality prepackaged foods can help all of us to prepare knock your socks off dishes for our families and friends. Roasted Butternut Squash Agnolotti in a Pistachio Cream Sauce This post is sponsored by Buitoni.  I was given coupons with which I was able to purchase the Buitoni Roasted Butternut Squash Agnolotti pasta used in today's recipe for free from my local grocery store.  As a thank you, Buitoni also sent me a cutting board, an apron and a kitchen towel.  The recipe is mine, as is my opinion about the pasta. Butternut squash soup is a favorite of mine.  I make it all the time during the