Friday, June 9, 2023

Asian Cucumber Salad

1 large cucumber, peeled and sliced
1 T. toasted sesame oil
2 tsp. sriracha
2 tsp. maple syrup
2 tsp. soy sauce
1 tsp. rice vinegar
1-2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
1 T. sesame seeds

Slice prepared cucumbers and set aside. In a bowl combine remaining ingredients. Pour the dressing over the cucumbers and stir. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Friday, June 2, 2023

Hawaiian Guava Cake

1 strawberry cake mix (we used Betty Crocker but any brand should work. Just substitute the water for guava juice).
1 c. guava juice
3 eggs
1/2 -1/3 c. vegetable oil (check the cake box for specifics on oil.)

Cream Cheese layer:
1 (8 oz.) pkg. cream cheese, softened
1/3 c. granulated sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1 (8 oz.) container Cool Whip, thawed

Guava topping: (this works great for 9x13 pan. For a 15x10 in. pan I will double this topping next time.)
2 c. guava juice
1/2 c. granulated sugar
1/4 c. corn starch
3 T. water

Prepare cake batter according to instructions on the box. Replace the water for guava juice. Pour batter into a greased 9x13 baking sheet. I also like a 15x10 inch cookie sheet for a thinner cake. Bake cake according to instructions on the package. Let the cake cool completely.

While cake is baking you can prepare the cream cheese layer and guava topping. 

For the cream cheese layer: In a medium bowl add cream cheese and beat with a mixer until fluffy. Add sugar and vanilla. Combine well. Fold in cool whip and place in refrigerator until ready to use.

For the guava topping: In a medium saucepan bring the 2 c. of guava juice and 1/2 c. granulated sugar to a boil.  Remove from heat. In a small bowl combine cornstarch and water. Add cornstarch mixture to prepared guava juice and whisk until well combined. Return to heat and stir constantly until the mixture returns to a boil. Boil for 1 minute until mixture begins to thicken. Remove from heat and let cool. 

Once cake is cooled, spread the cream cheese mixture evenly over the cake. Pour the guava topping on top and spread evenly. Refrigerate until ready to serve. 

Pickled Strawberries


1 1/2 c. sliced strawberries (to fill a pint jar)
1/3 c. white balsamic vinegar
1 T. sugar 
Sea Salt, pinch
1 T. peppercorns
water, to fill the rest of the jar
Baguette, sliced (lightly brush with olive oil and toasted)
Goat cheese
Thyme sprigs
Honey, for drizzling


Place sliced strawberries into a pint canning jar. Add the vinegar, sugar, salt and peppercorns. Add water until liquid is barely covering strawberries. Secure lid and lightly shake to combine ingredients. Store in refrigerator and use within a day. Strawberries tend to go mushy after too long. 

To serve: Toast baguettes. Top with goat cheese, strawberries, a sprinkle of thyme and drizzled honey. 

Pickled Veggies

2 garlic cloves, sliced
8 radishes, sliced
1/4 head cauliflower, sliced
1 medium carrot, peeled and cut into coins or matchsticks
1 celery stalk, sliced
1/2 medium red onion, sliced
1-2 jalapeƱos, ends trimmed and sliced depending on if you want heat
2 tsp. whole peppercorns

1 c. white distilled vinegar
1/4 c. apple cider vinegar
1 1/4 c. water
2 tsp. sea salt
1 T. granulated sugar

Add prepared veggies to a large canning jar.

In a small saucepan combine the vinegars, water, salt and sugar. Stir and cook over medium-high heat to a boil and until sugar/salt have dissolved. Slowly pour the brine into the canning jar with the veggies. Secure the lid to the jar and let cool until room temperature. Transfer to the refrigerator. Veggies can be eaten at any time and will keep for 3-4 weeks. *These have not been prepared for appropriate long term storage.  Delicious as a snack or try serving on a charcuterie board with meats/cheeses. Also, yummy on hot dogs. 

Art City Special Salad

1 large head of Romaine chopped or any other mixed greens
1/2 bag of Spinach
2 Herb Marinated Grilled Chicken Breasts, chopped
1/2 red onion, sliced
1 c. grated Mozzarella Cheese
1 c. Almonds (+ 1/4 c. sugar for coating)
6-8 strips of Bacon, cooked and crumbled
Poppy Seed Dressing
Naan Bread, optional on the side



Add all of the above ingredients to a large bowl. Lightly toss with Poppy Seed dressing or serve dressing on the side. 

For the nuts: In a skillet, combine the nuts and sugar. Turn heat to medium, stirring constantly with a spatula until the sugar melts and coats the nuts. Immediately scrape the nuts onto a parchment lined cookie sheet, spread and let cool. 

Almond Cake


1 c. butter
2 c. all-purpose flour
2 c. sugar
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 c. sour cream
1 tsp. almond extract
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt

1/2 c. butter
1/4 c. milk
4 1/2 c. confectioners' sugar
1/2 tsp. almond extract
1 c. sliced almonds


Add butter and water to a large saucepan and bring to a boil. Remove from heat; stir in the flour, sugar, eggs, sour cream, almond extract, baking soda and salt until smooth.

Pour batter into a greased 15-in. x 10-in. baking sheet. Bake at 375 degrees F for 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center of the cake comes out clean and the cake is golden brown. Remove from oven and cool. 

Frosting: In a large saucepan, combine butter and milk and bring to a boil. Remove from heat; stir in sugar and almond extract. Spread over cake and sprinkle with sliced almonds.