Friday, June 6, 2014

Temporary Goodbye

I’m sorry to say that at this point in time, I must take a hiatus from my blog. Mike and I are planning a big change in our lives that’s going to require a lot more of our time and energy, making it difficult for me to keep up with the daily responsibilities of Melding Magic. I do want to thank you all from the bottom of my heart for being so welcoming and supportive. It’s been such a pleasure and honor getting to know each and every one of you. Writing this blog has been such a joy for me.  I do plan on keeping my blog online; so if you need to revisit any of my recipes, they will still be there for easy access. Once again, thank you all (you’re the best)! Until we meet again.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Cheesy Macaroni and Beef Casserole

Even the finickiest eater will not be able to resist a second helping of this hearty casserole. Mike describes this as a cheesy goulash. It’s a blend of ground beef, onions, garlic, red bell pepper, seasonings, tomatoes and elbow macaroni, combined with plenty of Cheddar cheese and baked until golden brown. A stick-to-your-ribs meal that’s kid-friendly, husband approved and easy on the budget. This flavor-packed, cheesy casserole is perfect for any night of the week and is sure to become a family favorite. 

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Neapolitan Bundt Cake

Last week I had to bake a surprise birthday cake for someone I didn’t know. So, of course, my dilemma was, “what kind does he like?” Do I assume everyone loves chocolate? Or, maybe he prefers vanilla, or even strawberry. Then I remembered a recipe I’ve had for years. It’s impressive, easy to make (meaning, no cake decorating skills required), and it’s a combination of vanilla, chocolate and strawberry flavors. I knew that would be the perfect choice for this occasion: a Neapolitan Bundt Cake. You prepare a white cake mix (according to package directions), then divide the batter into 3 equal portions. Chocolate syrup is added to one bowl. Strawberry extract and red food coloring is added to another. And, the vanilla cake portion is left as is. You spoon each flavor, in layers, into a prepared bundt pan. Don’t stir, or swirl. The cake does its own magic as it bakes. Last, but not least, top it off with a creamy chocolate glaze. The final result is a deliciously moist and festive cake that looks like you spent hours preparing. This is definitely a show-stopper for any impromptu event. 

Monday, June 2, 2014

Strawberry Pancakes

I rarely keep pancake mix in the house, because, with just the two of us, when I do buy mix, the “use by” date expires long before I get around to finishing the box. So, when we’re in the mood for pancakes, I need a quick and easy “made from scratch” recipe. This recipe fits our needs to a tee. The batter is made from ingredients already in the pantry. It’s as simple to make as a packaged mix; and, the addition of sliced strawberries in the batter makes it a perfect summertime breakfast. The pancakes cook quickly and evenly and turn out light and fluffy. But, the real star of the show is the luscious strawberries! Instead of being used as a topping, the pancake itself is studded full of fresh, ripe berries. What a perfect way to start off your morning!

Friday, May 30, 2014

Sparkling Moscato Peach Sangria

Peach Sangria

With Memorial Day comes the unofficial start of summer, when everything heads outdoors.  Barbecues, picnics and backyard parties abound. Nothing hits the spot in summer’s sultry heat like a cool, refreshing cocktail. But, during those backyard celebrations who wants to spend all their time manning the bar? Creating individual drinks is time consuming, costly and removes you from the action. Big batch beverages are economically feasible and allow you to entertain effortlessly. And there’s nothing more stylish and fun to serve than sangria. Stir up some crowd-pleasing libation with this refreshing blend of Moscato wine, peach schnapps, peach seltzer and white peach slices. This recipe for Sparkling Moscato Peach Sangria is a pitcher perfect summertime thirst-quencher.

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