Simple advice for a better life.

Barbeque-Back-RibsJello-CheesecakeSweet-and-Sour-Coleslaw-

Independence Day in the U.S. is always celebrated on July 4th.  Many businesses are closed that day in observance of this holiday.

Families and friends get together for a cook out, outdoor fun.  In the evening everyone is looking forward to an exciting display of fire works, usually prepared by a local fire department.

My contribution to this celebration will consist of links to some of my previously posted recipes, which you may wish to prepare for your guests.

Barbeque-Back-Ribs

These  Pork Ribs with Bourbon Whiskey Barbecue Sauce take little more time to complete, but are awesomely delicious, and the meat, literally, falls of the bone.

Vegetable-Platter-

For the vegetarian guests, this easy to assemble Vegetable Platter will be a hit, for sure.

Sweet-and-Sour-Coleslaw-

Sweet and Sour Coleslaw is another vegetarian choice, as well as an excellent side dish to accompany your barbecue meats.

Broccoli-Salad

Delicious and healthful Broccoli Salad.

 

Jello-Cheesecake

Your gusts will just LOVE this easy, no bake Low Fat Jello Cheesecake.

This dessert should be made a day ahead, or several hours before serving, to give it a chance to firm up.

Jello-Mold-

If you are looking for much simpler dessert recipe, nothing will take less effort than this Strawberry Cream Cheese Jello Mold.

Enjoy your Independence Day party, and stay safe!

 

strawberry meringue cake   strawberry meringue cake - serving

 

 

 

 

 

 

Strawberry season is still here, making it easy to prepare a bunch of delicious strawberry desserts.

Today I will share an Eastern European recipe for a very simple, super moist, and very refreshing Strawberry Meringue Sheet Cake.

For best results, I recommend serving this cake the same day, or next day, at the latest.

It is very moist at room temperature, but does firm up while refrigerated.

I prefer serving it at room temperature.

Cake Ingredients:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour (I use unbleached)
  • 1/2 cup white sugar + 3 Tbs.
  • 3 large eggs, separated
  • 1/2 cup butter, cubed
  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. extract (I used rum)
  • Pinch of salt
  • 3 cups strawberries, hulled and sliced in half

Cake Directions:

  1. Place the flour, salt, and baking powder on a work surface.
  2. Using a spoon, make a well in the middle of the pile of flour mixture.
  3. Mix in egg yolks and extract.  Keep the egg whites refrigerated for now.
  4. Add 3 Tbs. sugar, and cubed butter.
  5. Mix all ingredients, and knead with your hands, to from a ball of soft dough.

strawberry meringue cake - three portions of cake dough

6.  Divide the  dough into 3, gradually smaller, balls.

7.  Cover, and keep refrigerated until it firms up, or over night.

8.  Line a 9 x 13 baking sheet with parchment paper (large enough to cover bottom and sides.

 

strawberry meringue cake - dough ready for shredding

strawberry meringue cake - First layer of shredded dough

 

9.  Take the largest ball of dough, and shred it on a large eye grater, to cover the bottom of the baking pan.

strawberry meringue cake - layer of strawberry slices

10.  Spread strawberries over this layer of dough. Smooth them out to form an even layer.

strawberry meringue cake - shredded batter over strawberries

11.  Take the medium dough ball and shred it over the strawberries.

12.  In a medium bowl, mix the egg whites until frothy, then add 1/2 cup sugar, and beat until soft peaks form.

strawberry meringue cake - scoops of egg whites meringue

strawberry meringue cake - layer of whipped egg whites

 

13.  Spread the meringue over the strawberries, and smooth it out evenly.

strawberry meringue cake - last layer of shredded dough

14.  Take the last dough ball and shred it evenly over the meringue.

15.  Preheat oven to 350 degree F.

16.  Bake for 35 minutes.

17.  Remove from the oven, and rest the cake, still in the pan, on a cooling rack.

18.  Using a butter knife, loosen up the cake around the edges, and cool it completely.

19.  Cut it into serving pieces, and arrange it on a serving platter.

Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

 

Cottage Cheese PancakesAs I was looking through a cooking magazine, I came across a recipe for cottage cheese pancakes.

The recipe sounded quite interesting, so I could not wait to test it out, by preparing it for my family.

I altered the original recipe, hence posting my version.

If someone does not care for cottage cheese, I think ricotta cheese would be a suitable substitution.

These pancakes are very moist, but not that sweet.

My grandchildren really enjoyed them served with blueberry pie filling, or maple syrup.

This recipe yields 10 medium size pancakes.

Ingredients:

  • 2 whole eggs
  • 1/2 cup of all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 cup of cottage cheese
  • 1 Tbs. sugar
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt
  • Canola oil for frying

Directions:

  1. Combine all ingredients in a medium size bowl.
  2. Mix with an electric mixer for 5 minutes. (You can also use a blender)
  3. Heat a frying pan with 2 Tbs. of Canola oil to 350 degree F.
  4. Pour 3 Tbs. of batter onto a hot pan, and fry 2-3 minutes per side, turning over once.
  5. Serve warm with your favorite topping, or syrup.

Enjoy!

 

 

 

Waffle bowls filled with fresh fruit Ice Cream Cone Birthday Cupcakes

 

 

 

 

 

Another birthday party rolled around for my “little princess” granddaughter, who turned six years old.

This time she asked for an “Ice Cream Sundae” birthday party theme, so her mom, once again, went all the way out to make it exciting.

Today I will share some of the party moments I captured with my camera.

Ice Cream Cone bouquet

Outdoor Ice Cream Cones decor

 

 

There were plenty of ice cream cone type of decorations throughout the indoor and outdoor, as you can see at least two of these in the above picture.

Jelly beans ice cream cones, and rice krispies treats

Jelly beans ice cream cones

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ice cream cone marshmellow snacks

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There was a large selection of sweet snacks, before the birthday brunch.

Some of which were Rice Krispies, decked out with decorative ice creams, ice cream cones filled with jelly beans, and ice cream shaped marshmallows.

 

Yummy snacks - Ice Cream Sundae Birthday Party

Oh yes…..there also was a nice display of fruit snacks, as well as variety of crackers, cheeses, mini kobasie (kabanos), sweet and savory dips and chips.

Ice Cream Sundae Brunch Food 1

Ice Cream Sundae Brunch Food 2

The Brunch Menu included Tri-Color Pasta Salad, Nirchi’s Pizza, Roast Beef Au Jus and buns, Breakfast Casserole, Quiche, and Waffles with syrup.

Ice Cream Sundae Toppings - Nuts Free

  Ice Cream Sundae Toppings - containing nuts

All set wtih ice cream bowls, spoons, plates, banana split boats

Here I would like to display all the “necessities” for ” Make your own Ice Cream Sundae”.

These included special ice cream bowls with matching spoons, banana split boats, and myriad of toppings to satisfy the “everything on it” and the “nut free” crowd.

Create your own Ice Cream Sundae

All the ice cream lovers lined up nicely next to the “Make Your Own Ice Cream Sundae” station.

Good thing the weather was great, so the event took place outdoors….as some of those creations gave way to gravity….and had to be recreated from scratch….:-)

It was a great success!!

They had more fun making these sundaes, than eating them.

Many of these fancy creations got abandoned shortly afterward, to melt in the sun, while the little guests got busy running around and playing.

 Decorate your own Ice Cream Server hat

One of the indoor activities included decorating your own ” Ice Cream Server” hat, as you can see how intensely and diligently the girls are working on this project.

They did a beautiful job, but forgot to wear them to the Ice Cream Sundae Making Station…oh well.

Ice Cream Sundae Thank You Favors Bags

Once the sweet treats depleted and the “sugar high” energy burned out, the party bunch was ready to go home for a nap.

They were sent off on their way with a colorful bag full of treats, stamped with ice cream cones (which the birthday girl decorated herself), and a nice Thank You note.  They also got to keep their special ice cream bowls with matching ice cream cone spoons.  Nice!

What a great party this was.

Can’t wait for another birthday party to photograph, and to share with you.

Paska baking -  our 6 year old Paska decoratorUkrainian Traditional Paska -  3 batches of Paska bakingUkrainian Traditional Paska - design D

 

 

Thursday was our family Paska Baking Day.…three generations of bakers – mother, daughter and granddaughter.
We had so much fun, especially my 6-year-old granddaughter, who did a beautiful job helping with measuring the ingredients, and decorating her Paska (above picture).

You may click on the above link for the recipe, but today I will share pictures of the different designs we created for this year’s Paska.

Ukrainian Traditional Paska - design A

The traditional braid toward the middle of the Paska, a flower in the middle, and some “figi” decorations below the braid.

Ukrainian Traditional Paska - design BThis one has the twist (two strings of dough twisted together), and a fancy cross in the middle of the Paska.

Ukrainian Traditional Paska - design G

Here we have a large cross on top of the whole Paska,  and some other decorations along the side.

Ukrainian Traditional Paska - design C

This Paska is decorated with a long braid twisted around the middle, and dough -birds all around the edge.

Ukrainian Traditional Paska - design D

My six years old granddaughter decorated this Paska all by herself.  She did a beautiful job, if I may say so myself.

Ukrainian Traditional Paska - design E

This Paska has two twists intertwined in a way to resemble the thorn crown Jesus wore on his head.

Ukrainian Traditional Paska - design F

Last but not least, a single dough rope is twisted around this Paska, with some loops formed symmetrically, and a dough rose in the middle.  Plus a single dough rope is laid around the Paska, about 1/2 inch below the upper one.

Paska baking - our 6 year old Paska decorator

Hopefully our designs will help you to decorate your Paska, or it will inspire you to create your own, even more decorative.  Please share your Paska designs with all our readers.

Ukrainian Traditional Paska - 3 batches of Paska baking

This year’s Easter is very special for Ukrainians, since the Catholics and the Orthodox celebrate it at the same time.  Most of the time the Catholic one is much earlier than the Orthodox, as they both follow different calendar (Julian or Gregorian).

KRYSTOS VOSKRES!  (CHRIST IS RISEN!)

VOISTYNU VOSKRES! (INDEED HE IS RISEN!)

HAPPY EASTER!!

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