Saturday, January 14, 2012

How To Make an Ice Ring or Wreath in a Bundt Pan

This was something else that we put together for the church activity the other night. I know it is kind of funny to have a water or ice recipe but it tasted very yummy and looked cool! So maybe this is more of a "how to" than a "recipe" post.

Refreshing Lemon Cucumber Water
My friend Jenny found this drink online. She finds great recipes and you can check out her blog at To make the water, thinly slice a lemon and a cucumber and place it in cold drinking water. Refrigerate. Giving it a little extra time in the refrigerator will allow the water to absorb some of the lemon cucumber flavor. Add ice and enjoy! I had never had cucumber in my water before but it was really yummy and went great with the slight lemon flavor. Instead of cubed ice we added an ice ring for a garnish.

Fruited Ice Ring
I have seen these before at weddings and whatnot but had never made one myself. Not only was it easy and cute...but it's a great way to save your ice maker from having to recover from a party (something our ice maker never does very well!). Here are some easy steps to make an ice wreath for you punch bowl.

1) Decide what kind of drink you will be making
2) Choose fruit that you think will look pretty in your ring and also won't change the flavor of your drink once it melts. (For example we were making lemon/cucumber water so I used lemons and cucumber in mine and garnished it with pomegranate to give it a brighter color)
Other ideas of pretty fruit: Oranges, limes, grapes, cranberries, melon, etc.)
3) Fill your bundt pan to desired thickness with fresh fruit.
4) Cover fruit with a portion of whatever drink you are using. Be careful not to fill your pan above the fruit level or your fruit will all float. Using the same drink to make your ice means that it won't dilute your punch as it melts. If you are using your ring in water then you can just use water to make the ice.
5) Place pan in a level spot in your freezer until it is frozen solid.
6) When ready to use remove from freezer and remove ice from pan. (Mine slid right out of the pan but you may need to run it under warm water to get it to release)

Friday, January 13, 2012

Veggie "Pizza" Snack

I guess it's "things to do with crescent roll dough" week here at neighborjulia! My friend and I did refreshments for a church activity this week and I promised to put the recipes up on my blog! So here is the first one! This is a quick appetizer that I make all the time. I actually use it as a side dish and my kiddos gobble it up! It's kind of a tricky way to get your kids to eat salad. I don't know about others...but my kids are not huge lettuce eaters so they usually end up just eating the toppings out of it. This recipe is great because it is ONLY toppings. Tomatoes, bell pepper, cucumber...yum!

There's lots of different sauces you can use too. I used low fat sour cream mixed with a little ranch dressing for mine. An even healthier option is to use plain yogurt to make a low fat veggie dip and spread that on. I went to an activity once where a sister made it with spinach dip and it was delicious. Caeser dressing is also great. If you don't want to make something, there is a large varieties of veggie dips at the store that would work great. You can probably find them in the produce section or in the refrigerated section by the sour cream. Just play around with it and see what your family likes!

Veggie "Pizza" Snack
2 cans crescent rolls (or make your own. Click here for Butterhorns recipe)
1 cup your choice of veggie dip (see above for ideas)
3 carrots- shredded (apx. 1 cup)
1 cucumber- chopped
2 roma tomatoes- chopped
1 large yellow bell pepper- chopped

Roll out crescent roll dough on a large jelly roll pan. Pinch dough together to form a large rectangular crust. Bake according to package directions (apx. 350 degrees for 12-16 minutes) or until golden brown. Remove from oven and allow to cool for about 10 minutes. Meanwhile shred carrots and chop up your other veggies. Spread cooled crust with desired amount of dip. Top with 2/3 of the shredded carrots. Top with you other veggies and garnish with the remaining shredded carrots. Refrigerate until ready to eat!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Quick Jalapeno Poppers

My husband loves jalapeno poppers. And while I know how to make them...I usually just end up buying frozen ones from the store to save time. So when I saw these cheater poppers on Pinterest I had to give them a try! I have to admit that I never actually read the recipe. I just saw the picture and put it together myself. So they might have some better ideas on there. This is just what I tried. We had them for New Year's eve and I will definitely be making them again. They were very quick to make and were a big hit! Give them a try!

Quick Jalapeno Poppers
8 oz. cream cheese
2 packs crescent rolls (Or make your own dough Here's my recipe: Butterhorns)
2 to 3 fresh jalapenos (I only used to 2 but next time I would probably do 3 so that they were a littler hotter)
6 pieces cooked bacon (I used the precooked kind that you can microwave)

Cook bacon and crumble. Remove seeds from jalapenos and chop into bite sized pieces. Seperate dough into triangles. In the middle of each triangle place a dollop of cream cheese, 2 pieces of jalapeno, and part of the crumbled bacon. Fold all three triangle into the center and pinch edges closed. (I kind of rolled it like I was making a crescent roll and then pinched the other corners in. Basically you can form it however you want...just make sure it's totally closed so the filling doesn't bake out) Bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes.