Thursday, June 30, 2011

Blueberry Apple Cake

So last night in the midst of my heat exhaustion, I still managed to make a cake! I am having dinner with some girl friends tonight and had not really made anything since the weekend, so I thought why not! Extra blueberries and apples = make something!! So I got this recipe from a friend and she can't recall where she got it from, so this is not something I came up with on my own. I did follow the directions and to be honest, was a little disappointed at how dry the bottom of the cake was, so if I were to make it again, I may only keep it in for about 48 mins vs. 55. It is still quite tasty though!
I think with a scoop of ice cream, it would actually make up for any dryness in the cake and be a hit! I will make it again for sure!

Blueberry, Apple Cake- highly adapted from anonymous!

1.5 cups of All Purpose Flour
2 tsp. of baking powder
1/2 tsp. of salt
6 tbsp. of unsalted butter melted
2 tbsp. of cold butter (this will be used on the top of the cake-so you must cut into pieces when ready)
3/4 cup of light brown sugar along with an extra 2 more tbsp. for the topping
1/2 cup of whole milk ( I only had fat free)
2 large eggs
2 apples, a little under a pound. I had smaller apples so I used 3.- cored, peeled and thinly sliced
1 cup of blueberries
1/4 tsp. of cinnamon
whipped cream or ice cream to top (optional, but due to the cake being a little dry, I would serve with some ice cream and maybe heat it up a little as well.)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees
Butter or spray your spring form pan (8 or 9 in cake pan would work as well)
Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt in one bowl
In another bowl, whisk melted butter, 3/4 cup of brown sugar, milk and the eggs.
Add the wet mixture to the flour mixture and spread batter evenly into prepared pan.
Arrange apple slices over the batter and then sprinkle the blueberries on top. Gently press the fruit into the batter.
Top with the extra brown sugar, cinnamon and dot the remainder of the butter over the top. (personally if I would make this again, I would mix those ingredients together to make a crumble topping)
Bake until top is golden brown, apples are tender and cake tester comes out clean. But as I mentioned earlier, I think 55 mins was too long, I would check it at about 48 mins.


Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Stella and Dot Jewelry!

A friend of mine just became a Stella and Dot rep! If you have never been to a party with this jewelry, it is great! Good deals and great finds for everyone! Check out her info below if you are interested in having a party!

Hi! I wanted you to be among the first to know I'm officially a Stella & Dot stylist! I'm excited about this new venture and decided to sell Stella & Dot jewelry because A) I love the fun, chic jewelry, and B) it's a great company.

I'm just getting started, so pretty please let me know if you're interested in hosting a jewelry party - it's simple, and you get FREE, stylish Stella & Dot jewelry! Or, for instant gratification, click on my website below to start shopping. Thanks!

Chantal Sheaffer
Independent Stella & Dot Stylist
Discover what all the buzz is about on my Stella & Dot website:
Looking for a fun way to earn extra income? Ask me about joining my team as a stylist >

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Semi Homemade- Baked Ziti with Italian Sausage and Peanut Butter Brownies

Last week my friend Karen had a huge tree fall in her backyard. It ended up doing a lot of damage which is a total bummer. Being a new mom, and working full time I decided to take a little stress away and make her a good hearty dinner and dessert last night. I had a friend in town for the day, so I did not have time to make everything homemade, but I must say everything was really yummy, and pretty quick to make!
For the main course I wanted to make a nice tray of baked ziti with Italian sausage. Typically I would make my own sauce, but this time I just spiced up a bottle of Classico with some spices and let the sausage really soak into the sauce for added flavor. I mixed in the sauce, meat, ricotta and mozzarella and topped it with more mozzarella and shredded parm. I cooked it at 350 for about 30 mins or so and it was quite tasty.
We both had two big bowls! Oink Oink!
Now on to dessert. I have been buying Krusteaz brand a lot lately. They have so many different selections of baked goods to make and honestly everything I have made has been fantastic.

For these I added in about two heaping teaspoons of chunky peanut butter, but since I did them in a smaller pan and they were so thick, I think I should have added more. But they were still super gooey and delish!
So there ya have it, I nice semi home cooked meal, and low fat too, ha! NOT! But I must say it was well worth all the fat!!! Enjoy-

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Raspberry and Lemon Butter Cream Birthday Cake!

Today is one of my very dear friends birthdays! She is a big Hello Kitty fan and last year I made her this awesome Hello Kitty Birthday cake, definitely one of the best cakes I have made to date!
However, this years cake may have it beat! It was so yummy and I must say very well done, in both taste and decoration-- hee hee. I am becoming quite the professional! ha

I got the idea for this cake after buying a Betty Crocker Dessert cookbook last weekend. I changed the recipe up a little though. I did use white cake mix and added in 6 tablespoons of raspberry preserves in the batter. Now that is not what it called for, but in my excitement to make the cake last night, I did not read the directions clearly! oops! But it turned out in my favor as the cake has a hint of raspberry now! For the butter cream, I used a basic butter cream recipe, but added only 2.5 cups of powdered sugar vs. 3. It also called for three tablespoons of lemon juice ( I used fresh lemon) and two teaspoons of lemon peel. I also added about a tablespoon of whipping cream to make it light and fluffy!

In between the layers I added in fresh raspberries and the lemon butter cream. Delish! The cake was nice and light and I must say adding in fresh fruit really made it! I know Heather was pretty pumped, as you can see below!
And the funniest part of it all was that my aunt Claire was only in charge of the candle, and here is what that looked like!HA

Now, obviously we know that Heather is not four, but I must say she sure does have the energy of someone that age - hee hee ;)
Overall, it was a great lunch with fabulous friends and delicious cake- thumbs up if you ask me! So Happy Birthday again Heather!!!! love you xoxo- Enjoy!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Family Dinner Night!

This past weekend I stayed with my two cousins, as my aunt and uncle were out of town attending a wedding. We ate out mostly, but Saturday night was family dinner night! Knowing that the kids can be picky eaters, I needed to stick to the basics, however it had to still be something yummy. My aunt had left chicken breasts, potatoes and had some broccoli in the fridge, so there we had it. I must say I think I turned it in to quite the meal!
I roasted the potatoes and seasoned them with one of my all time favorite blends!
Johnny's Garlic Spread, a staple in my house. It is great on just about anything!
The rest of the meal was quite simple to make, just pounded out the chicken into cutlets and breaded and fried them, then steamed some broccoli and ta da, a fantastic meal for all to enjoy!
Oh and I forgot, I added a mixture of fresh ripe tomato, a bit of fresh basil, minced up a clove of garlic and olive oil to my dish, for a little added flavor:)

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Queen’s Feast- Charlotte Restaurant Week is back July 15 – 24

Charlotte Restaurant week is coming back! For those of you who have never participated, it can be a really good deal! I will be honest in saying, choose wisely, some times it really is no better than your average visit price wise -- I have had both good and bad experiences. I think this go round if I decide to check a place out, it will be somewhere I typically don't go to -- probably cause it is too pricey! ha-- you know like a Ruth's Chris or something like that, where the steak is 30 bucks alone on a daily basis!!!
Looks like the site will be up to date with information and menu's at the end of this week! You gotta check it out! I have to admit, for those of you who don't know me, I LOVE looking at menu's, so I am getting pretty excited for the site to be updated! hee hee Enjoy-

Ideas for 4th of July Weekend! Enjoy!

Found a few fun ideas for those staying in town over the 4th! Courtesy of!

Celebrate with Earth Fare Southpark, 721 Governor Morrison Blvd, on Saturday, July 2nd, 2011. They’re having a big cookout and family bash 11:30am to 3pm with food, live music, family activities, and games with prizes. It’s all FREE for military personnel, firefighters, and police officers. For everyone else burgers, potato salad and frozen lemonade will be $1 each.
Charlotte Symphony Orchestra’s Summer Pops Season includes a Celebrate America concert. It will be at Belle Johnston Park in Pineville on July 1st, Village Park in Kannapolis on July 2nd, and Symphony Park at SouthPark on July 3rd, all at 8:15pm. The concerts in Pineville and Kannapolis are free, and the one at SouthPark is $10 for adults, free for those under 18.
The Coca-Cola 4th of July Festival spans three days (Saturday, July 2nd – Monday, July 4th) at the U.S. National Whitewater Center. It’s free and features three live bands each evening starting at 4pm, followed by fireworks.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Dream Bars!

For some reason I have really been wanting to make a dessert with coconut in it. So I searched around and found something that looked good, but when I went to grab the coconut out of the cabinet, I noticed it had a recipe on the back entitled "Dream Bars". How could I resist! Now, by no means are these low fat and I was a little nervous to be honest as to how they would turn out with the ingredients listed. See below:

1 1/2 cups of flour
2 cups of brown sugar packed
1/2 cup butter or margarine
3 eggs
1tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. vanilla
1/4 tsp. salt
1 1/2 cups Chef's Select coconut
Combine flour, 1/2 cup brown sugar and butter until particles are fine; use low speed of mixer. Press into bottom of ungreased 13"x 9" pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 mins. Beat 1 1/2 cups brown sugar with eggs just until blended. Mix in remaining ingredients. Spread over partially baked crust. Bake 20-25 mins or until golden brown. When cold, cut with sharp knife.

So how did they come out you ask, as this picture is a little hard to tell....ABSOLUTELY DELISH!! I can 't explain it any other way than to say the bottom is like a cookie, the middle is like the filling of pecan pie and the top is crispy coconut and I added some chocolate chips for added flavor....which by the way tastes great, but not necessary! So I give them a thumbs up and will make them again for sure. Can't wait to share with my friends and family this weekend..Enjoy-

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Intermezzo Pizzeria & Café- Grilled Veggie Pizza

Every Wednesday I go to cardio tennis, one of my ultimate favorite work outs! Midwood Tennis Academy and my coach Tom Edsall rock. Whether you are a tennis player or just like a kick a** work out, you MUST attend this class at least once, I guarantee you will end up joining the session.....but, this post is not really about tennis, it is more about what you can eat when you are done playing tennis, due to the massive amount of calories you burn;)
I have become pretty close with another girl in class, Wendy, and finally we made a plan to grab a drink and some food after class. Now our options are kind of limited due to how hot and sweaty you get, but I had the perfect place in mind.....Intermezzo. I have been several times and am quite the fan. It is off Central Ave, super close to the courts, so perfect place and she had never been, so even better. I love taking people to places they have not checked out, especially when it is a place I rave about!
Due to the fact that I am trying to be somewhat healthy, I decided to get the grilled veggie pizza 10 inch- typically not what I order, but boy am I glad I did. Wendy is a vegetarian, so she got the grilled veggie sandwich, which I must say looked killer. They really do "grill" all the veggies before adding them to their homemade bread (which by the way is a staple in many dishes and unbelievably yummy). They do the same for the pizza..which was loaded with tomato, zucchini, onion, squash, asparagus goat cheese and mozzarella.
Now I must say, typically I would take a picture at the restaurant while I am there, but did not bring my camera since I was coming from tennis:( So this pic does not do it justice, but notice there are only 3 small pieces left and that is really only because I would have felt super non healthy eating the whole pie all by myself, but I could have done it no problem!!! Check it out- leftovers I can't wait to have!!!!

So if you have never been or just never tried the grilled veggie pizza, you must check it out! Here are the details!
Monday-Saturday 11am-2am
Sunday 12pm-2am
Serving full menu until midnight.
Intermezzo Pizzeria & Café
1427 E.10th Street
Charlotte, NC, 28204

PS, if looking for other killer meals on the menu, I recommend the following:
Roasted Red Pepper Bruschetta

Ricotta and Goat Cheese Crostini

Grilled Steak Sandwich
Quattro Formaggi Pizza (my all time fav)
And for wine....

Mollydooker "Two Left Feet" Shiraz/Merlot/Cabernet Sauvignon (South Australia) 2009


Thursday, June 9, 2011

Vietnam Grille in Charlotte, NC

Well after all my excitement of my best friend coming into town, as luck would have it her flight got cancelled and she is no longer coming..totally bummed out. But on a positive note, I was invited to dinner with my friend Jenny and her mom to Vietnam Grille over off of South Blvd, 5615 to be exact, right next to the Pet Smart Shopping Center. Now I must admit I was not really that excited as for some reason I thought I would not like Vietnamese Cuisine, but boy was I wrong! It was fantastic and to top it off, you can bring  your own wine in there with no corkage fee!
To start, Jenny and I split a number 4, which was Goi Cuon/Shrimp and Pork Rolls. I have to say, the lighting was not fantastic so the picture does not do it justice, they were killer! I guess most Vietnamese spring rolls have mint leaves in them, which I have never had, and it was really yummy. For dinner I ordered a number 46, which they call Com Tam Tom Nuong, or Char-grilled Lemongrass Shrimp over Broken rice- which again, I had never had and was really tasty, especially after you poured the "Nuoc Mam" sauce all over it. The portion was huge for only 10.50! To be honest, the whole menu is very reasonably priced, I mean for the 3 of us, it was only a little over 30 bucks...since we brought our own wine!
Jenny got a number 36, Bun Ga Nuong or Rice Vermicelli with Char- Grilled Chicken, again, huge portion and on 7.95!!!
So if you have never tried Vietnamese or love it and have never checked this place out, it is a must! They are open 7 days a week from 11am til 9:30pm...or you can email them at
Enjoy! I know I did!!!

Updated Oatmeal Cookies..Betty Crocker spiced up a bit!

So last night I was woken up by my sweet little pup having a bad dream. I am a pretty light sleeper, so it takes me a while to fall back asleep, especially when I start thinking...and of course last night I was thinking about my cookies and thought they really could have used a little more chocolate! So early this morning I decided to melt the remainder of the chocolate chips in a double boiler, added a little cinnamon and some sea salt, as I love the sweet and salty combo and dipped the edges of each cookie in the mixture...check out the pics below!!! OMG so delish!!! Enjoy--

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies Betty Crocker Style! ;)

One of my very best friends is coming to visit me this weekend and I am really looking forward to the weekend..we have lots of things planned, which is in total Melissa fashion...and this visit has given me yet another reason to make something yummy! As I took a look around my kitchen to see what I had, what I could make and what would be a crowd pleaser, I realized I had all the ingredients for Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies, one of my favs!
So off to the Internet I went to search my favorite sites and I came across more than I could handle...there are so many crazy new ideas for cookies out there. And then I thought to myself, why not just stick with the basics this time....and then Betty Crockers web page popped up and who better for back to basics is Betty Crocker! The recipe makes about 3 and a 1/2 dozen plenty for me and a few extra for my friend who is coming to visit, ha oink oink! Check out the recipe and pics below and enjoy-

1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
1 cup butter or margarine, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 egg
2 cups quick-cooking oats
1 1/2 cups Gold Medal® all-purpose or unbleached flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips (6 oz)
1 cup chopped nuts, if desired
  1. Heat oven to 350°F. In large bowl, stir brown sugar and butter until blended. Stir in vanilla and egg until light and fluffy. Stir in oats, flour, baking soda and salt; stir in chocolate chips and nuts.
  2. Onto ungreased cookie sheet, drop dough by rounded tablespoonfuls about 2 inches apart.
  3. Bake 9 to 11 minutes or until golden brown. Cool slightly; remove from cookie sheet to wire rack.
Makes 3 1/2 dozen cookies

Friday, June 3, 2011

Chickadee's Cafe on Elizabeth Ave.

I just got back from Chickadee's Cafe over on Elizabeth Ave, with my aunt and friend Marsha. For those of you who recall Dickadee's Deli that was over on East, these are the same owners! It is located right next to the Visualite. It is super cute, with great art work on the walls. Most all the tables were packed and lots of people coming in for to go orders as well. Everything that past our table looked delish! I decided to get the "Rachel" which is a Turkey Ruben, but I substituted kraut for was super yummy. They have several different sides to choose from, but i got the homemade chips. My aunt got something that Dickadee's had on their menu - the "Turkumber" I think that is how you spell it, but basically Turkey and Cucumber with a killer dill mayo and Marsha had a piled high BLT. Everyone was very happy with their meals. I will go back for sure...esp with a bill like the one below!!! 8 Bucks for lunch! Can't beat it with food that good!
So if you have not been, you must check it out! Enjoy-

Honeyed Blueberry Banana Bread...

I realized last night that my bananas were going bad and my blueberries might not last much longer, so there I found myself on Food Gawker amongst other sites trying to find something I could make with them, but that did not include butter! Surprisingly enough, I found a did not call for butter or sugar, but lots of honey! So thanks to Cook Book Archeology, I made this very moist and pretty dense bread. It is a very different consistency than most breads and I would assume that is due to the honey, however it is quite tasty! Check out the pics below and Enjoy-

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Chow Down Uptown-A Food Truck Festival June 2nd-July 28th Every Thursday.

Just found this out from Find Your Center another great site for things to do around town!

Chow Down Uptown-A Food Truck Festival

June 2 - July 28 2011 at 5:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Location: Seventh Street Parking Lot
260 East 7th Street, Charlotte, NC
Taking place at the Seventh Street Parking Lot located across from Seventh Street Station is the 1st Annual Chow Down Uptown-A Food Truck Festival event in Uptown Charlotte!

Food vendors will be showcasing delicious choices including duck confit tacos, gourmet pizza, italian heroes, pulled pork grilled cheese sandwiches, BBQ ribs, pastries, cupcakes and more! This is a BYOB event so please bring your cooler of beverages, your lawn chair and appetite! FREE admission (vendor pricing applies).

Support your Charlotte food trucks and local vendors at Chow Down Uptown!
Chow Down Uptown

Parking is available at the Seventh Street event parking lot for $5.00

Cupcake Delirium
Jim's South Philly Cheese Steaks
Outdoor FeastsRoots Farm Food
SouthernCakeQueen "A little piece of Heaven"
Sticks and Cones Ice Cream

Roots Farm accepts debit & credit cards. Cash only for other vendors.

Warehouse Vintage Sale 6/9-11th

I found out about this warehouse sale on Looks like it could be worth checking out!

Here is what the site had to say about the last sale that was held!

I shopped at The Potato Sack’s April sale and found a couple of fun finds. I found a set of wooden “stacking cats” (like those Russian stacking dolls) for my niece. They were just a couple of dollars. And I found a beautiful planter (complete with a plant) for my mother-in-law for Mother’s Day. There were items ranging from a dollar on up to memorabilia and vintage furniture. I enjoyed looking at everything.
The sale will be back at the same location June 9th, 2011 to June 11th. It might be a spot to find a unique Father’s Day gift.
If you enjoy shopping for unique, vintage items, you’ll want to check out The Potato Sack’s next sale. The Potato Sack, at 2001 West Morehead Street, is a Warehouse Flea Market that holds periodic sales. The next one is from June 9th to June 11th, 9am to 4pm each day. You’ll find lamps, chandeliers, rugs, art, antiques from England and France, retro pieces, dining tables, chairs, and more.