Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Lazy summer days.

Pat in bloom 4

We've been picking veggies from the garden....

Summer 2013 1

Those the rabbits haven't eaten. Time to build a fence.

Watching the bees.

Buzz 1


I've been picking flowers in my yard and making a different centerpiece every week. 

Here are the ones I made the last 2 weeks. 
I love my hydrangeas  I think I have every color now. 


Summer 2013

Hydra 1as

We picked blueberries. Only oh....10 pounds or so. There will be lots of blueberry recipes coming. I made a cake Sunday. It has a delicious lemon glaze on top. I can't wait to share it with you all.

We went to a little country fair. No big rides, no game hawkers.

Just 4-H exhibits....

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and shortcakes....

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and cute goats....

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Even some with big blue eyes. How cute is he?

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I love little country fairs. My favorite local potter was there, so I bought a few more mugs from him.....just a few...6 more.....I'm up to 9 now. It's an obsession I know, but I am supporting local craftspeople so it's ok.

Aren't these gorgeous? How could I pick just one?


Pottery 1

Pottery 2

I hope your relaxing and enjoying your summer. It will be over before you know it. 

See you later in the week with a great casserole recipe and a few blueberry recipes!

Friday, July 26, 2013

Pina Colada Icebox Pie

Pina Colada Ice Box Pie

I have such a "thing" for anything pina colada flavored. I'm not much of a drinker, and I'm even less of a drinker of "girlie drinks" which I believe is that category that Pina Coladas fall under, but I'm crazy about coconut and pineapple. I think its such a wonderful flavor combination and it just screams summer to me.

I have a favorite go to Pina Colada Pie recipe. You can see it here.

This is now my second favorite Pina Colada recipe.

It's got a crust made out of Pecan Sandies, butter and coconut.

There is a gooey layer of pineapple.

There is a smooth layer of coconut, cream cheese and eggs.

It's topped with coconut whipped cream and sprinkled with toasted coconut.

I'm just a tiny bit in love with this pie.'re my favorite.

Pina Colada Ice Box Pie 1
Sorry for the not so fantastic picture. It was almost dusk when I took these pics. The heat index was over 100 so I had to snap fast, hence the metly whipped cream.

I do have to say that there is one thing about this pie that perplexed me. It's called an ice box pie yet it required two trips to the oven? What's up with that? It spent more time in the oven than it did in the ice box? It's still worth it though.

Pina Colada Icebox Pie
Recipe from Southern Living
2 cups pecan shortbread cookie crumbs (Pecan Sandies), about 18 cookies.
1 cup sweetened flaked coconut
¼ cup butter, melted
1/3 cup sugar
2 tablespoons corn starch
1 – 8oz can crushed pineapple in juice
1- 8 oz package of cream cheese, softened
1 ½ cups cream of coconut (NOT coconut milk* see note), divided
2 large eggs
1 cup whipping cream
Garnish with toasted coconut.

Oven to 350. Stir together the cookie crumbs, coconut and butter. Press firmly on the bottom and up the sides of a lightly greased 9 inch pie plate. Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until lightly browned. Transfer to a wire rack; cool completely (about 30 minutes). Be sure to press the mixture all the way up otherwise you will end up with a thick, uneven crust that’s too shallow to hold the filling.

Stir together the sugar and cornstarch in a small heavy saucepan. Stir in the pineapple. While stirring constantly, bring to a boil over medium high heat (keep stirring!). Stir for 1 minutes or until thickened. Remove from the heat and cool completely (about 20 minutes).

Beat the cream cheese at medium speed with a heavy duty sand mixer using the whisk attachment. Beat until smooth. Gradually add 1 cup of the cream of coconut, beating at a low speed just until blended. Chill the remaining ½ cup cream of coconut until ready to use again. Add the eggs one at a time, beating until just blended after each addition.

Spread the cooled pineapple mixture over the bottom of the crust. Spoon the cream cheese mixture over the pineapple mixture.

Bake at 350 for 38 to 42 minutes or until set. Cool completely on a wire rack (about an hour). Cover and chill at least 4 hours.

Beat the whipping cream at a high speed until foamy. Gradually add the remaining ½ cup of cream of coconut, beating until soft peaks form. Spread over pie. Garnish and eat!

Monday, July 22, 2013

Chick-a-Roni Bites

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The heatwave has finally eased up a little here in New England.

I think my stove forgot who I was. It's been so long.

I have a list of recipes I want/need to make and this one was at the top of that list cause I live with three men who love the pepperoni.

This is a great little appetizer, one that you could even prepare ahead of time. You take a piece of sandwich pepperoni (the big pepperoni that's the size of a slice of Genoa) and you put a slice of cheese, some basil and a little bit of chicken in it and then you roll it up tight and skewer it. The original recipe also called for some sun dried tomatoes too. I omitted it, cause no one in this house likes them. Don't worry that the chicken won't cook. After 8 minutes mine was done.

On a little side note - I burned the heck out of my hand on the blazing hot pan that these were cooked on. I had two pans going and I thought I was grabbing the cool, I grabbed it and actually heard my hand sizzle. I've got some good burns that are already getting ready to blister. Ugh. It's not the first time I've burned myself, sadly won't be the last. The perils of cooking.

Pepperonni Bites

So this little buggers were a huge hit. I'll make them again for sure.

Chick-a-Roni Bites
recipe from Mom Foodie
1/2 pound of chicken breasts or tenders, trimmed
4 ounce block of cheddar cheese
¼ cup sun dried tomato (I omitted)
½ pound wafer (sandwich) pepperoni
Fresh basil leaves
Marinara sauce

Cut chicken into bites size pieces. Cut the cheddar cheese into ¼ inch slices, and then cut each slice in half. If you are using the sun dried tomatoes, cut them into thin strips.

Preheat the oven to 450.

Place a piece of chicken and cheese at one end of the pepperoni slice. Top with a piece of fresh basil (and sun dried tomato if you are using them). Roll the pepperoni up tightly around the ingredients. Kind of like you are making a burrito. Poke a skewer though the pepperoni, starting at the loose end.

Place on a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake for 7 – 8 minutes. Drain any excess grease. I drained these on paper towl and blotted the top too. Serve with warm marinara if you'd like to dip them.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Melt-in-your-mouth Blueberry Cake

Melt in your moth BB Cake

The blueberry picking season is upon us! As most of you know I've been picking blueberries at the same patch for over 20 years now.

It's a little local farm run by Farmer John at Macomber's Blueberry Farm. He's been filling our bellies with berries for a long time.

I devote a full day to picking and then freezing and food vacing my bounty of blueberries. We pick LOTS of them and then enjoy them for the whole year. I love grabbing a bag of berries in the dead of winter and getting a little taste of summer in my recipes.

One of my most favorite things to make when the first blueberries arrive is my To Die For Blueberry Muffins. They are the absolute best muffins on earth. That streusel topping is amazing. Alas, one cannot live on muffins alone. You need cake too! I found this cake recipe on Visit Maine's website. This recipe from taken from a Maine church cookbooks and was, as the Visit Maine website boasts: "undoubtedly the most popular recipe ever used in my column".

It's a cake that tastes like a big blueberry muffin. No filling of little paper cups, no muffin pan to clean. You fold in egg whites which makes a moist, light cake. I love it! A new favorite blueberry recipe!

Melt in your moth BB Cake

Melt-in-your-Mouth Blueberry Cake
recipe from Visit Maine via Maine Church Cookbook
2 eggs, separated
1 cup sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup shortening
1 teaspoon vanilla
1½ cups sifted flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/3 cup milk
1½ cups fresh blueberries (1 pint)

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Beat the egg whites until they are stiff. You can add in about ¼ cup of the sugar to keep them stiff. Set aside.

Cream shortening and then add the salt and vanilla. Add remaining sugar gradually. Add the unbeaten egg yolks and beat until light and creamy. Sift the flour and the baking powder. You can sprinkle a bit of the flour mixture over the berries to they won’t settle in the cake.

Add sifted dry ingredients and milk, alternating between the dry mix and the milk. Fold in beaten whites. Fold in the fresh blueberries.

Turn into a greased 8-by-8-inch pan. Sprinkle top of batter generously with granulated sugar. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes. I checked at the 50 minute mark and mine was done.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Deviled Egg Pasta Salad

Deviled Egg Pasta Salad

It's so disgustingly hot and humid here in Rhode Island. I know it's the same way for lots of folks out there.

I love my little state but I could just skip over July and August and head nicely into mid-September and be quite happy.

We've been staying indoors so much more than we want to. We've been watching movies. I've been reading and looking through recipes. We started watching the Sopranos. We always tend to pick up a series when it's been over for years. That's just how we roll. So please don't tell me what happens at the end, we are only on season one!

Sometime after 8pm we head out and water the garden and plants. Sometimes we'll sit in the gazebo and enjoy what little breeze there is. We head to bed pretty early cause the heat just wipes us out. I saw this recipe in one of the many magazines that I've been reading before bedtime. My Mom, my sister-in-law and I rotate the magazines so there's always something new to read.

So we've got a good solid week of temps in the high 90's upon us. We've been surviving on cold suppers and cool treats. Watermelon, lots of watermelon.

Since John loves deviled eggs, I thought I'd give this Deviled Egg Pasta Salad a try. I made the pasta the night before when the temps dropped a bit. See my note at the end of the recipe. Cooking the pasta before hand and chilling it keeps you from having a dry pasta salad. The dressing doesn't get all absorbed into the pasta. It really worked and it's nice to have the pasta ready when you need it. I thought 8 ounces of pasta wasn't going to be enough for my crew, but once you add in all the other ingredients, it was plenty.

We'll be eating this as a side dish for a few suppers. It was so tangy and refreshing.

(Scroll to the end of this post for the Lilla Rose Flexi Clip Winner!)

Deviled Egg Pasta Salad.1jpg

Deviled Egg Pasta Salad
Adapted from a recipe at Better Homes & Gardens
8 ounces elbow macaroni (I used tri-color rotini)
12 hard cooked eggs
¼ cup chopped dill pickles
1 cup very thinly sliced celery
1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion
¼ cup cider vinegar
1 teaspoon sugar
½ cup mayonnaise
3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
½ teaspoon smoked paprika
Salt & pepper

In in small saucepan combine the onion, vinegar and sugar. Bring almost to a simmer and remove from heat and set aside.

Cook the macaroni according to package directions. Drain and rinse well with cold water and set aside. I made the past the night before. See note*

Halve all the eggs and separate the yolks from the whites. Coarsely chop the egg white and set aside.

To make the dressing: Place the yolks in a medium bowl and mash them with a fork. Add the mayo, mustard and vinegar mixture. Mix well. Stir in the paprika and salt & pepper to taste. Set aside.

In a large bowl combine the chopped egg white, pickles, celery, and macaroni. Cover and chill.

NOTE* Want to get ahead and cook the pasta the night before? Toss the cooked drained pasta with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and 1 tablespoon of lemon. Chill overnight. This keeps the pasta from absorbing too much of the dressing which can make a dry pasta salad.

WINNER! The winner of the Lilla Rose Flexi Clip is Sharon Crichley Spadaro! Sharon commented on Facebook for the win! Congrats Sharon!

Friday, July 12, 2013

Olive Oil Cake - Strawberry and Creams best friend.

Olive oil cake 2

I know this sounds gross. Olive Oil Cake. It just didn't sound right to me.

My mom had been making this for a few weeks cause my Dad is on a strawberry kick. He eats strawberries almost every night. She was buying the store bought little round sponge cakes. My Dad ate them but he was not thrilled with them. So she tried Curtis Stone's Olive Oil Cake.  When she told me she was going to make it, I was still a bit skeptical. I had seen other cakes made with olive oil but they never appealed to me. Dad LOVED it. He said it was the best cake he's had and that it is perfect with strawberries. Hmmm. I always imagined a soggy, greasy cake. (This is so not soggy or greasy). So she brings me a piece and he's right. This cake is fantastic. It's moist and light and nothing that you think a cake with 3/4 of a cup of olive oil should be.

My Dad's not really a sweet eater, so those little cakes did nothing for him. Besides who wants those little pre-fabed circles when you can have home made cake? So she's making this for him just about every week and he really loves it and now I do too.

Moist and delicious cake with a hint of orange and lemon. I'm telling you, this cake is fabulous!

Mom bakes hers in a 9x13. This recipe calls for a 9 inch cake pan. I think you can pretty much make it in any pan that you like, just check for doneness a bit earlier.

Olive oil cake

Olive Oil Cake
slightly adapted from this recipe at Curtis Stone
Non-stick olive oil cooking spray
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup granulated sugar
Finely grated zest of 1 orange
Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
3 large eggs
¼ cup whole milk
¾ cup extra-virgin olive oil

To make the cake: Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350°. Spray a 9-inch round cake pan (or 9x13) with nonstick olive oil cooking spray. Line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper and spray the paper with non-stick olive oil spray.

In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt together.

In a large bowl, combine the sugar and the orange and lemon zest, then rub the mixture between your fingertips until it is moist and fragrant. Add the eggs and, using an electric mixer, beat on medium-high speed for about 5 minutes, or until pale and thick. Beat in the milk. Gradually beat in the olive oil. Using a wooden spoon, stir in the flour mixture just until blended. Spread the batter in the pan.

Bake for about 25-35 minutes (times may vary depending on the size of the pan you are using), or until a wooden toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out with moist crumbs attached. Let cool in the pan on a wire cake rack for 15 minutes, then invert the cake onto the rack and remove and discard the paper. Invert the cake, right side up, onto a cake plate. Serve with strawberries and cream or whatever combo you like!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Lilla Rose Flexi Clip Giveaway!

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It's hot here in New England. Really hot. Humid and sticky and very uncomfortable. I hate it. My hair frizzes. Doesn't matter how much product I use, it rebels against this oppressive humidity and all I want to do it get it up off my neck. Luckily I have a product that helps me with that problem.

It's not often that I find a product that I want to brag about.

It takes a lot for me to endorse something and really want to talk about it and share it with you all, so you know it has to be good.

I have thick, curly, medium length hair. I actually keep it a bit longer in the summer because I like to pull it up during these hot and humid moths in New England. The problem with hair like mine is finding something strong enough that will actually keep my hair up with falling out or breaking. I've snapped many elastic bands in my day and broke more barrettes than I can count. I pretty much gave up on finding anything that would actually work, then I received a Lilla Rose Hairclip from a giveaway that I won over at Chiot's Run. You can read Susie's story and see how much she loves this hair clip too. This is what she had to say about the Flexi Clip:

"It stayed in all day and there was no tight pony tail headache and no hair snags or knots. It’s so gentle, it has to be much easier on your hair than one of those rubber band ponytail holders which tend to cause breakage and split ends".

What Susie said is so true. I can grab a big ole bunch of my hair and this clip holds all of it up ALL DAY. It never falls out, never feels like it's pinching or digging into my scalp. It really works. Not to mention there are dozens upon dozens of styles to choose from.


Beth from Lilla Rose contacted me asking me if I would like to do a giveaway. Would I? Of course I wanted to share this wonderful product with you all and give one of you a chance to win one!

The lucky winner can chose any Lilla Rose item up to a $16 value. (I strongly recommend the Flexi-Clip). You must be a new customer to Lilla Rose. This is one per household offer.

New customers can also purchase any 3 items and then contact Beth about getting a 4th item for free (up to $16 value)!!! Now is the time to stock up on these beautiful items!

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Head on over to Beth's site and check out all the beautiful Flexi styles! Click the shop now button to get started. There are so many beautiful styles to choose from.

Not sure what size to get for your hair type? This video will help you decide which hair clip is best.

What makes these clips so different? I'll let the peeps at Lila Rose tell you:

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I'm telling you, once you use this product you will never reach for another elastic band or any other hair clip again.

One lucky winner will be able to choose any item up to a $16 value!

Just let me know what is your most favorite thing about summer?

If you don't have a blog, please leave me email address to contact you (no email and I'll move on to the next name).

There are three ways to enter: (1) leave a comment on the blog (2) If you haven't already, go “like” The Cutting Edge of Ordinary on Facebook or (3) Already a fan? Just leave a comment here or on Facebook to let me know! Facebook comments will count as entries.

Giveaway ends on Monday, July 15th at midnight EST. Good Luck!

Monday, July 1, 2013

Lemon Blueberry Pound Cake

Lemon Blueberry Pound Cake.1jpg

This is the first year since I can't remember when, that I am not hosting a 4th of July party. I can hardly believe it. I think I have hosted 4th of July for the last 20 years. After the pig roast we are kinda partied out. We'll have Mom and Dad over and of course I will be making food, but I'm not cooking for a crowd and let me tell feels pretty darn good.

We are lucky enough to live in front of a cul de sac that has a decent fireworks display literally in our back yard. We can sit under the gazebo and enjoy the show!

Even though there will be just a few of us, I will make a dessert, in fact, I might be making this dessert again because it was that good. If you are hosting the 4th of July bash or need to bring a dessert with you.....this is the cake. This cake is just perfect.

It's moist and bursting with a lemony twist. Don't even get me started on that glaze. It takes this cake over the top.

Lemon Blueberry Pound Cake

Lemon Blueberry Pound Cake
Recipe from Taste of Home
1/3 cup butter, softened (5 tablespoon + teaspoon)
4 ounces of cream cheese, softened
2 cups sugar
3 eggs
1 egg white
1 tablespoon grated lemon peel (I used the peel of 2 whole lemons)
2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
3 cups flour, divided
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 – 8oz container lemon yogurt (I could only find a 6 ounces container, it worked)

1 ½ cups confectioners’ sugar
¼ cup fresh lemon juice

Grease and flour a 10-in. fluted tube pan. In a large bowl, cream the butter, cream cheese and sugar until blended. Add eggs and egg white, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in lemon peel and vanilla.

Toss blueberries with 2 tablespoons flour. In another bowl, mix the remaining flour with baking powder, baking soda and salt; add to creamed mixture alternately with yogurt, beating after each addition just until combined. Fold in blueberry mixture.

Transfer batter to prepared pan. Bake at 350° for 55-60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan 10 minutes before removing to wire rack; cool for 15 minutes.

In a small bowl, mix confectioners' sugar and lemon juice until smooth. Gradually brush onto warm cake, about one-third at a time, allowing glaze to soak into cake before adding more. Cool completely. Yield: 12 servings.

Note: For easier removal of cake, use solid shortening when greasing a fluted or plain tube pan.