Monday, March 26, 2012

Pinterest Junkie

Dear Friends & Followers,

Hi, my name is Crystal Withrow and I am a Pinterest junkie!  It is a triple whammy for me.  I am very visual; I adore hints, tips, saving money, and doing things myself.  So now you know where to find me, when I need some down time -  Oh the recipes, crafts, style, hair, make-up, things for the home, gardening and more.  So come and follow along, and I would like to follow you as well.

Soon I will be posting links to all the yummy recipes I have tried!

Have a "pinning" good day,


Saturday, February 11, 2012

"Ice Cream"

OMGosh let me start by saying I am NOT a fan of bananas, but I just made this super easy “Ice Cream” and it was soooo  gooood!!!  It is also good for you, wholesome ingredients, can be organic, and preservative free.  Yummy another batch anyone????  This is not my recipe it came from

Yummy Dairy Free Ice Cream

Single Ingredient Ice Cream
from The Kitchn

4 bananas, just slightly overripe (brown spots good, completely black not so good)
2 tbsps creamy peanut butter (optional – thus 2 ingredient ice cream)
2 tsps cocoa powder (Dutch process), (optional – thus 2 or 3 ingredient ice cream depending on peanut butter)

DO NOT FREEZE THE WHOLE BANANA, you’ll have a heck of a time blending that beast.
Peel the bananas and slice them up into 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick disks. Place the banana slices in the freezer for about an hour or until they are frozen solid. Put the frozen slices in a food processor and pulse. First they will start to resemble gravel, but keep going. The bananas will soon turn into a frozen mush – at this point, start scraping the sides down (you will do this a lot). Or you could add a dash of milk since the liquid will help the blending. I’m lactose-intolerant, so after a few minutes of stopping to scrape the sides down, the banana begins to blend into a creamy texture. When the bananas look like whipped ice cream, you can add your mix-ins like peanut butter and/or cocoa powder, chocolate chips, toffee, raspberries, anything goes! Straight out of the food processor, the ice cream is like soft serve. You can also freeze it for a firmer texture. I find it’s pretty hard (and therefore, brittle) when I scoop it immediately after removing it from the freezer. Just give it a minute or two to soften up. Makes a pint.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Red Velvet Cupcakes

I know it is the New Year and everyone is on the health bandwagon, so here is a lightened version of Red Velvet Cupcakes. My family didn’t even notice that they have less calories and fat; all they noticed was how tasty they are. So when you need a little something sweet these should fit the bill nicely. 

Red Velvet Cupcakes

Cooking Spray
10 ounces cake flour (about 2 ½ cups)
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 ½ cups granulated sugar
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
2 large eggs
1 ¼ cups nonfat buttermilk
1 ½ teaspoons white vinegar
1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
2 tablespoons red food coloring (about 1 ounce)
5 tablespoons butter, softened
4 teaspoons nonfat buttermilk
1 (8-ounce) block cream cheese, softened
3 ½ cups powdered sugar (about 1 pound)
1 ¼ teaspoons vanilla extract

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
2. To prepare the cupcakes, place 30 paper muffin cup liners in muffin cups; coat with cooking spray.
3. Weigh or lightly spoon cake flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine cake flour, unsweetened cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl; stir with a whisk. Place granulated sugar and unsalted butter in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until well blended (about 3 minutes). Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Add flour mixture and 1 ¼ cups nonfat buttermilk alternately to sugar mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Add white vinegar, 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla, and food coloring; beat well.
4. Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan 10 minutes on wire rack; remove from pan. Cool completely on wire racks.
5. To prepare frosting, beat 5 tablespoons butter, 4 teaspoons nonfat buttermilk, and cream cheese with a mixer at high speed until fluffy. Gradually add powdered sugar; beat until smooth. Add 1 ¼ teaspoons vanilla; beat well. Spread frosting evenly over cupcakes.

YIELD: 30 cupcakes (serving size:1 cupcake)

CAL 205; FAT 7.3 ; PRO 2.3g; FIBER 0.3g; CHOL 34mg; FIBER 0.3g

· Just follow the directions J
· Make sure cupcakes are completely cool before frosting
· Store leftovers (if any) in refrigerator
Source: Cooking Light Magazine

Monday, February 6, 2012

Blissful Pink Party Cake

This one is adapted from a Sandra Lee Semi-Homemade recipe in First magazine. I changed it a bit to suit the ingredients I had on hand. Make it for someone you love this Valentine’s Day that has a sweet tooth.
Blissful Pink Party Cake
(I know the picture is not ideal.  I was just making this as something quick for the family.  I live with guys they do not care what it looks like all they care about is the taste.  I am lucky to have been able to get the sprinkles of pink sugar on it!  Again I am a cook not a photographer ;) )

(Makes 10 servings)
·1 package (18.25 ounce) strawberry cake mix, I used Betty Crocker
·1 (11.3 ounce) can of strawberry nectar
·1/3 cup vegetable oil
·3 eggs
·1 teaspoon almond extract
·2 drops red food coloring
·Nonstick cooking spray
·4 ounces white chocolate bark, chopped
·1 ½ cans (12 ounces) each white frosting
·2 ounces white chocolate bark, chopped
·1 drop red food coloring
1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. In a bowl of electric mixer on low speed, beat strawberry cake mix, strawberry nectar, vegetable oil, eggs, almond extract and red food coloring 30 seconds. Scrape down sides of bowl. Increase speed to medium and beat 2 minutes more.
2. Divide batter evenly between two 8” round cake pans coated with nonstick cooking spray. Bake 28-32 minutes or until cake tester comes out completely clean. Let cakes cool in pans on wire racks 10 minutes. Remove cakes from pans; let cool completely.
3. To make pink candy topping: Remove bark from 1 section of container, using kitchen shears carefully clip the section from the container, coat lightly with cooking spray and set aside. Place 2 ounces of chopped white bark in microwave safe glass dish or coffee cup. Heat for 30 seconds, stir. Continue to heat in 10 second intervals stirring after each heating until smooth. Stir in 1 drop of red food coloring. Put back into section you clipped earlier and coated with cooking spray. Set aside to cool.
4. To make frosting: Place chopped white chocolate bark in a small microwave safe bowl or coffee cup. Microwave following directions for step number 3. Place white frosting in a medium size bowl and beat on medium speed until smooth add white bark and beat until thoroughly combined and smooth.
5. Place 1 cake layer on a serving plate and top with some frosting. Top with remaining cake layer. Coat entire cake with remaining frosting.
6. Remove completely cooled pink bark from container sections, using a vegetable peeler shave bark making pink topping on top of cake.
·Use a wooden skewer instead of a toothpick to test cakes for doneness. No more burning your arm or hands on the hot racks.
·If you don’t want to make pink bark you can substitute any topping you wish. Pink decorator sugar, candy hearts, or even strawberries would all be a great substitution.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Chocolate Cherry Martini

Chocolate Cherry Martini

If you are looking for a nice sweet drink to serve your sweetheart on Valentine’s Day give this libation a try.  I fully admit to being a lightweight when it comes to alcohol anymore, but these really pack punch.  Please drink responsibly and don’t drink & drive!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Orange Poppy Seed Cake

This cake is one of my favorites, it is moist, flavorful, and no one will ever know it is low in fat. YUM!
Orange Poppy Seed Cake
  • 1 (18.25 ounce) package yellow cake mix
  • 2 tablespoons poppy seeds
  • 1 cup fat-free sour cream
  • 3/4 cup egg substitute
  • 1 (6 ounce) can frozen orange juice concentrate, thawed
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • GLAZE:
  • 1 3/4 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 2 tablespoons fat-free milk
  • 1 tablespoon orange juice concentrate

1.In a large bowl, combine the cake mix and poppy seeds. In a small mixing bowl, combine the sour cream, egg substitute, orange juice concentrate, water and almond extract; beat until smooth. Stir into cake mix just until combined. Coat a 10-in. fluted tube pan with nonstick cooking spray. Combine the sugar and cinnamon; sprinkle evenly in pan. Pour batter into pan.

2.Bake at 350 degrees F for 40-45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pan to a wire rack. Combine glaze ingredients; drizzle over cooled cake
Nutritional Analysis: One piece equals 247 calories, 1 g fat (1 g saturated fat), trace cholesterol, 283 mg sodium, 55 g carbohydrate, trace fiber, 5 g protein

Source: Taste of Homes Light and Tasty Magazine.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Hot Chicken Salad

This recipe is like Thanksgiving in a casserole. It travels great, so it is perfect for potlucks or for dropping off to a friend in need. It is good hot out of the oven, room temp, or cold straight out of the fridge.  No it is not diet friendly but it is just so darn good and easy I just have to share. If you want to make it healthier you can use a stuffing mix that is made with whole grain bread and/or reduced calorie and fat products which I often do.  

Hot Chicken Salad

1 8oz package of Pepperidge Farm Stuffing
1 cup diced cooked chicken
½ cup diced onion
½ cup diced celery
1 cup Miracle Whip (or mayo if you prefer)
1 8oz package of shredded cheddar cheese
2 cans cream of soup (I use one chicken and one mushroom)

1. Lightly spay a 9X13 inch baking pan with Pam.
2. Mix all ingredients together.
3. Bake covered at 350 degrees for 30 minutes
4. Uncover and bake for an additional 30 minutes or until browned
 *Use leftover chicken or canned chicken.
*Great with turkey as well
*Mix the night before, and refrigerate just add a few extra minutes to baking time.
*I have yet to put in the crock pot but I would lightly grease the crock and cook it on low for 4-6 hours.  It only needs to be hot through out because there are no raw ingredients that would need to be cooked. 
*IF you have any leftovers, and I do mean IF, this dish also freezes well.  You can just cut squares and pop them in a freezer/microwave dish for individual servings for lunches or quick dinners.  
*Make a double batch and freeze one for busy nights.  Thaw overnight in the fridge.  When you get home pop it in oven and relax until dinner is ready.

Source: Nancy Lowe, gave this recipe to my mom. Thanks Nancy.