Sunshine State Citrus Cupcakes and a Gooseberry Patch GIVEAWAY!!

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Time for another giveaway for a great  Gooseberry Patch cookbook!

This giveaway is for ONE copy of the NEW Simple Shortcut Recipes generously donated by Gooseberry Patch.   This cookbook is perfect if you don’t have loads of time to spend in the kitchen.  The recipes are delicious, easy, and you probably have many of the ingredients in your pantry already.  Giveaway rules will follow after the recipe!

For the next 10 days, look for a recipe every day from this cookbook!

I chose to make these cupcakes because I LOVE citrus.  It’s one of my favorite ingredients to cook with.  Everything always tastes so fresh and citrus can be found all year long so I don’t have to wait for a certain time of year to use it.

One of the things I liked about this particular recipe, is that you can use it for a dessert, for breakfast, or for an afternoon snack with a cup of tea.  Plus I love Florida so anything that says Sunshine State is right up my alley!

Three of the four dogs got into them and enjoyed them as well!

Sunshine State Citrus Cupcakes
submitted by Bunny Palmertree of Carrollton, MS

VIEW PRINTABLE RECIPE HERE!

1 pkg yellow cake mix
2 small boxes Instant Lemon Pudding ~ I used sugar-free
3/4 cup oil
1 cup orange juice
4 eggs, beaten
1 tsp vanilla

In a large mixing bowl, combine all ingredients. Beat for one minute on low and then 3 minutes on high.

Fill paper lined muffin tins about 1/2 full.

Bake at 350º for 25 minutes or until golden.

While cupcakes are still warm, pierce with a fork.

Spoon glaze evenly over the top of all the cupcakes, using up all the glaze. It’s easier if you put wax paper under the cooking rack to catch all the drips.

Glaze:
1/3 cup orange juice
2/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup butter

Combine all ingredients in a saucepan and boil and stir for 2 minutes. Use immediately.

Makes 2 dozen.

FOR THE GIVEAWAY ~ all you have to do is just reply on this post telling me you want to be entered.  Very easy!  The giveaway will run  until April 3.  I will pick a winner using random.org.  If you have any questions, just email me at a_recipe_a_day at yahoo dot com.

Happy Cooking!

Fresh Lemonade

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Lemonade is so good on a hot summer day and we love this version.   It takes quite a few lemons (don’t sub the stuff in a bottle ~ use fresh lemons) but it’s well worth it!

Fresh Lemonade

1 3/4 cups sugar
8 cups water
1 1/2 cups fresh lemon juice

In a saucepan, mix 1 cup water and sugar together. Bring to a boil and boil until the sugar is dissolved. Cool syrup to room temperature than refrigerate until it is chilled.

Remove seeds from lemon juice but keep the pulp.

In a pitcher, stir together the chilled syrup, lemon juice and the 7 cups of water. Mix well. Add lemon slices and ice if desired.

Makes 12 or so servings (or more if you are using small cups). This is really a guess, you’ll have to judge for yourself.

Happy Cooking!

Perfect for Summer Lemon Bars and Some Chitchat!

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Happy Father’s Day to all the Dads out there!  I hope you have a great day!

We had a wonderful time at our niece’s wedding in Boston ~ she was a beautiful bride and I hope that she and her new hubby have a fabulous life together.  Right now they are in Paris for their honeymoon ~ how great is that?

The happy bride and groom:

To keep this food related, their wedding cupcakes were made by the daughter of Chef Todd English ~ red velvet cupcakes with cream cheese and white chocolate frosting:

On to the lemon bars…this recipe is easy and so lemony!  They are perfect for any time of year but really seem to hit the spot during the summer. Please use fresh lemon juice and zest in this recipe or they won’t be nearly as delicious.

Lemon Bars

Crust:
1 cup butter, room temperature (no substitutes, they just taste better with butter)
1/2 cup sugar
2 cups flour

Filling:
1 1/2 cups sugar
4 tbsps flour
zest of 1 lemon
4 eggs
2 fresh lemons, juiced (no substitutes)

Preheat oven to 350º.

In a mixer bowl, blend together the butter, 2 cups of flour, and 1/2 cup sugar. I mixed it in my KitchenAid ~ it won’t come together in a ball. Press into the bottom of an ungreased 9×13 pan. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until golden.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the sugar, flour, and zest then add the eggs and lemon juice and whisk until well combined. Pour filling over the baked crust.

Bake for 20 more minutes.

The bars become more firm as they cool.

Makes anywhere from 12 to 14 servings depending on how large or small they are cut.

Happy Cooking!

Orange Crescent Rolls

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I love having freshly made baked goods for weekend breakfasts but I do not like putting them together so early in the morning.  I’m really not above taking help where I can get it.  These breakfast rolls from Pillsbury (from one of their magazines) are perfect ~ super easy to put together and they taste really fresh.  I love citrus so these worked for me.

I would suggest that you take them off the pan as soon as you can otherwise they will glue to it and it will be impossible to get them off.  Pouring some hot water in your pan and letting it soak will get the glaze off if it hardens.

Orange Crescent Rolls

1/2 cup packed brown sugar
2 tbsps butter
1 tbsp grated orange peel
3 tbsps fresh orange juice
2 (8 oz) can Pillsbury Recipe Creations dough (or crescent roll dough)

Heat oven to 375º.

Spray a 12 inch round pizza pan with cooking spray.

In a small saucepan, combine the brown sugar, butter grated orange peel, and orange juice and cook over medium heat until sugar has melted and mixture is bubbly. Set aside.

Take out the dough and leave it unrolled. Cut each roll into 12 pieces (Cut in half, cut each half in half, then cut in thirds). Arrang ethe slices on the greased pizza pan. Spoon the brown sugar mixture over the rolls.

Bake for 13-15 minutes (Mine took a bit longer but yours may not so keep and eye on it) until golden brown. Remove from pan with a pancake turner and serve warm.

Makes 24 rolls.

Happy Cooking!

Lemon Curd Cupcakes

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I don’t know why I am on such a sweets kick but I am.  I found this recipe in the Cake Mix Doctor Cupcakes book.  They were mini-cupcakes in the book but I made regular-sized ones.  The minis would be great for a shower or tea party and I like these for an Easter dessert.

As per my usual, they were easy to make.  I used Dickinson’s Lemon Curd but you could make your own if you wanted too.

Lemon Curd Cupcakes

Cupcakes:

I box lemon cake mix
1/ 1/3 cups water
1/3 cup lemon curd
1/3 cup vegetable oil
3 large eggs

Lemony Cream:

1 cup whipping cream, chilled
1 tbsp confectioner’s sugar
1/3 to 1/2 lemon curd (I used the rest of the jar because I LOVE lemon)

Heat oven to 350º. Line mini cupcake pans or regular cupcake pans with cupcake liners (I also sprayed some Pam over the liners and the tops of the pan).

Mix the cake mix, water, lemon curd, oil and eggs in a large mixing bowl, following the directions on the cake mix box. Spoon or scoop (I use an ice cream scoop for regular cupcakes) into pans, filling 2/3rds full.

Bake until golden, 20 to 25 minutes for regular size cupcake and 15 to 20 for the mini cupcakes. Remove plans from oven and place pans on wire rack to cool for 5 minutes. Then take the cupcakes out the pan carefully and let cool in the rack until completely cool.

Prepare Lemony Cream. Place bowl and beaters in the freezer for a few minutes then pour the cream into the chilled bowl and beat with a mixer on high speed until the cream has thickened. Stop beating and add the sugar. Beat again until stiff peaks form. With a spatula, gently fold in the lemon curd. Use right away or chill for up to 8 hours before using.

Frost cupcakes with the lemony cream covering the top of the cupcake completely. Top with slivered strawberries or raspberries or blueberries if desired.

Store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Makes 24 regular cupcakes or 4 dozen mini cupcakes.

Happy Cooking!

Lemon Cheese Dessert

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Lemon is one of my favorite flavors ~ in fact, I love all citrus ~ so whenever I see a citrus recipe, I save it.  I remember my Nana making something like this only it was chocolate, which is good, too.  I totally forgot about this dessert and was reminded of it while looking through a cookbook recently.

It’s easy and I made it using sugar-free products where I could which is always a good thing and I dare you to tell the difference between the full sugar dessert and the sugar free.

Lemon Cheese Dessert 2

Lemon Cheese Dessert

Crust:
1 cup flour
1/2 cup butter, melted
1/2 cup chopped pecans or walnuts
1 tbsp powdered sugar

Cheese Filling:
1 cup powdered sugar
1 (8 ounce) cream cheese, softened (I used lite)
1 cup cool whip, thawed (I used sugar free)

Pudding Filling:
2 (4 ounce) pkgs lemon instant pudding (I used sugar free)
3 cups milk
2 tbsps lemon juice

Topping:
2 cups cool whip, thawed (I used sugar free)
1/2 cup chopped pecans or walnuts, optional

Preheat the oven to 350º. Grease a 13×9 baking dish.

Mix all the crust ingredients together until crumbly. Press into the prepared pan ~ it will seem like you don’t have enough dough but you will. Bake in oven for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and cool completely.

To make the cream cheese filling, in a medium bowl, stir together the powdered sugar and cream cheese until well combined. Fold in the cool whip until combined and spread the mixture over the cooled crust.

To make the pudding mixture, combine pudding mixes and milk in a large bowl. Beat on low speed with a mixer until thickened. Stir in the lemon juice. Pour mixture evenly over the cream cheese layer, spreading to edges. Chill for 20 minutes.

After20 minute chill time, spread the 2 cups of the cool whip over the pudding layer and sprinkle with the chopped nuts if desired.

Cover and refrigerate for several hours. This dessert can be made a day ahead. Cut into squares and serve.

Makes about 15 servings.

Lemon Cheese Dessert

Happy Cooking!

My Signature