Saturday, March 30, 2013

Tropical White Sangria

For my 30th we had a wine and cheese party at our house (mostly so V could hang out and then sleep while we had people over.)  I'm a lightweight when it comes to alcohol so sangria is usually my drink of choice.  A friend of ours can't drink sangria if it has apples or peaches in it so I went with this tropical sangria instead.  We made it with regular oranges instead of blood oranges and omitted the grapes.  I'd definitely make it again, especially over the summer.

Thanks, Rachael Ray!

Tropical White Sangria

  • blood oranges, halved and thinly sliced
  • kiwis, peeled and cut into wedges
  • cup seedless red grapes, halved or whole
  • mango, cut into bite-size pieces
  • bottles  sauvignon blanc wine, chilled
  • ounces orange liqueur, such as Cointreau
  • ounces fresh strawberries, hulled and halved
  1. In a 1/2-gal. pitcher, combine the oranges, kiwis, grapes and mango. Stir in the wine and liqueur. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours or up to 6 hours.
  2. Just before serving, stir in the strawberries.

Martha Stewart's Banana Bread

I love my other banana bread recipe but this one made good use of what I had: two bananas and sour cream.  My sister-in-law liked it because it didn't taste too banana-y (she's a good sport for trying it even though she doesn't love bananas) and my mother-in-law even called to say how much she liked it.  

Thanks, Martha Stewart!

Martha Stewart's Banana Bread


  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, at room temperature, plus more for pan
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups unbleached flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup mashed very ripe bananas
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9-by-5-by-3-inch loaf pan; set aside. In an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, and beat to incorporate.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt. Add to the butter mixture, and mix until just combined. Add bananas, sour cream, and vanilla; mix to combine. Stir in nuts, and pour into prepared pan.
  3. Bake until a cake tester inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean, about 1 hour 10 minutes. Let rest in pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a rack to cool.

Yogurt Cake

I had a lot of yogurt that needed to be consumed so I made this cake.  I brought it to work and it was devoured within an hour.  I negotiated a schedule switch with a coworker by promising her a yogurt cake (thanks again, KP!)  Magic cake!

I used vanilla extract and vanilla yogurt instead of lemon, but I think  any flavor of yogurt would work.  I used peach yogurt the first time and you couldn't taste the peach.  I used butter instead of margarine, too.  

Thanks, Ruthey and allrecipes!

Yogurt Cake


  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Grease and flour a 10 inch bundt pan. Sift together the flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, cream together the margarine and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then stir in the lemon extract. Alternately beat in the flour mixture and the yogurt, mixing just until incorporated.
  3. Pour batter into a 10 inch Bundt pan. Bake in the preheated oven for 60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Allow to cool 10 minutes in the pan, then turn out onto a wire rack and cool completely.

Japanese Beef Stew

A friend of ours "made up" a Japanese beef stew one year and I haven't been able to find a recipe that captured his flavorful broth.


I prepped everything the night before and put it all together early the next morning.  I would have added more water to make more broth and made sure the beef was submerged (I had put the potatoes and carrots on the bottom).  I also added shiitake mushrooms and a couple pieces of ginger to add to the flavor.  Our guests enjoyed it over rice.

Thanks, Miss Diggy!

2 lbs beef stew meat
1 cup water
1/2 cup Japanese sake (dry white wine)  (I used Mirin instead)
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 teaspoon salt (I omitted this based on reader reviews)
1/2 lb baby carrots (I cut and peeled my own carrots cuz I was being paranoid about baby carrots)
3 medium potatoes, peeled and chopped
1 white onion, diced

1. Put all into crock pot and cook on low 10-12 hours or on high 4-6 hours.
2. Stir before serving.