Saturday, July 30, 2011


For my 50th birthday party my husband invited a few of our friends to join us at one of John Besh's restaurants. La Provence. It was FABULOUS!! The food was incredible and of course celebrating such a big event as turning 50 with family and friends just made it the best birthday ever! But to top things off my husband bought me Chef  Besh's book "My New Orleans"!

And he got everyone at the party to sign my book!

AND...then he got Chef John Besh to sign my book also!!!

I have the best husband!!
After buying some strawberries at the grocery store I started looking to find a simple dessert I could make for dinner. I found this one:

and decided to give it a try...
***Note to the entire recipe before starting it!!!
I had everything I needed as far as ingredients but after preparing everything I realized that I needed an ice cream maker.
Well I was determined to have this (or something like it) for dessert so I improvised! Here are the details:

1 pint of strawberries
1 cup of seedless watermelon
1/2 cup of sugar
1 tsp. lemon juice
***and yes there is an egg in the picture but I will explain that later!

Chop the strawberries and watermelon into small cubes.
***I really didn't stick to the recipe here as far as the amount of strawberries and watermelon. I just put a bowl full of each.
Puree the strawberries, watermelon, sugar, and lemon juice
**I used a small food processor
Here is where the EGG comes in:
To make sure you have enough sugar in the sorbet mixture, float an egg in it! If it sinks to the bottom---add more sugar.

There should be a nickle size area of the egg showing. If  to much of the egg is showing add more lemon juice or water.

I added more water.
Here is where the title of the post comes in and my advise to make sure to read the entire recipe before you begin!
You are suppose to put this is an ice cream maker! (Well of course you do, it's a sorbet! Sometimes my brain just doesn't work)
I don't have one so here is what I did next:

 I poured the mixture into a shallow baking dish and put it in the freezer. Granita anyone?!

 After an hour or so I pulled it out and started scraping the top and sides of the mixture. The middle was not quite frozen. I put it back in the freezer again for another hour or so and started scraping it again and breaking it up with a fork.

 And here is what the finished "Sorbet" looks like! Soooo good and so refreshing on a hot HOT summer day!

This recipe is very easy but since you have to freeze it, it takes awhile to make but it is worth it! Try it out and let me know what you think! Enjoy!!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Seeing Red

While cleaning my house one day (translation: attempting to clean my house without getting side tracked) I realized how much "RED" things I have. I never really thought that I had a favorite color although I knew there were colors I liked more than others. It surprised me to see so much red. Red on my bed:

Red in the Guest bedroom:

Red in the Hallway:

Red in the Living Room:

Red in the Kitchen:

I even have the walls in my Dinning Room painted red:

I am not really sure what this says about me? I read somewhere once that people who like the color red are outgoing, aggressive and impulsive. I don't really think those words best describe my personality. I think my fondness of red just simply means that "BLUE" is NOT one of my favorite colors!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Carrot Cake Cupcakes...or what to do on a rainy day!

This is my favorite carrot cake recipe of all time. I say of all time but after I made this one I really never tried any other. I know that all carrot cake recipes are basically the same but oh how I love to make this one! Here is the run down:

Two cups of all purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup vegetable oil
1 3/4 cups white sugar
3 large eggs
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 cups lightly packed shredded carrots
1 8 oz. can crushed pineapple in its own juice, with the juice
*this is a much bigger can of pineapples than I needed but my son love pineapples so I bought the big can and just used what I needed.
1 cup coarsely chopped toasted pecans (or walnuts)
*I always use pecans--they are my favorite to bake with
**The recipe also calls for 1/4 cup sweetened shredded coconut but no one in my family likes coconut so I leave it out
1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees
2. Grease and lightly flour two 9 x 12 round cake pans or place cupcake liners in cupcake pans
*I always make cupcakes. I just think they are easier and FUN!
 3. In a small bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. Set aside.
4. In a large bowl, on medium speed of an electric mixer, beat together the oil and sugar.
5. Add the eggs one at a time and beat until light and thick, about 2 minutes.
 6. Add the vanilla and beat well.

7. Gradually add the dry ingredients (flour etc. that was sifted together earlier) beating until well incorporated

8. Stir in the carrots, pineapple w/juice and nuts and if you are adding coconut this is the time to do so
9. Fill the cake pans or cupcake pans and bake for 40-50 minutes or until a cake tester inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean

10. Completely cool on a wire rack.

And now for the fabulous cream cheese frosting--
1 pound (two 8 oz. packages) cream cheese, softened and cut into small pieces
6 Tbsp. butter, softened and cut into small pieces
 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

5 cups sifted confectioner's sugar (about 1 1/2 boxes)
1. In a large bowl, on medium speed of an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and butter until smooth
2. Add the vanilla and beat well
3. Gradually add the powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time, beating continuously until smooth and creamy
4. Cover and refrigerate icing for 2 to 3 hours, but no longer, to thicken icing
*If you wanted to you could add some finely grated orange peel to the icing, but that's up to you

Now just ice cake or cupcakes and enjoy!!