Raspberry Swirl Cheesecake Cupcakes

How adorable are these? And, being a cheesecake – they’re as delicious as they are adorable. They are a relatively quick and easy dessert to put together, and are super impressive. Everyone loves things served in cute individual portions!

I’ve been making these little guys for a couple years now. While the raspberry swirl is my favorite, I’ve also successfully made them with blueberry and strawberry as well. A perfect sweet treat to wrap up these summer days. Can you guys believe summer is almost over? It seems the older I get, the quicker time flies. Slow down with some cheesecake, ya’ll. Have a  great weekend!

Bacon Pimento Macaroni & CheeseHomemade pimento cheese is one of my very favorite things on this green Earth. I would also say the same for a good homemade macaroni & cheese. So, to combine the two – and then add bacon for good measure, just seemed natural.

I made crab cakes for dinner the other evening, and as I’d mentioned in Monday’s post – I’ve been kind of seafood-ed out lately. So I wanted to do a side dish that was amped up enough to be a meal on it’s own. I kind of threw this together with things I had on hand, and it turned out so unbelievably wonderful. I know it will be one we come back to again and again!

Sweet and Sour Chicken

We’ve been on a little bit of a seafood binge lately. Between all the crab related dishes, and that bag of clams – I feel like we haven’t had a chance to have any landlubber favorites. So, when I came across this dish on Pinterest last week, I knew I couldn’t wait a whole week to make it – and rearranged my menu plans a bit to accommodate having this for dinner one evening.

I have so many take-out favorites that I make here at home, but sweet & sour chicken was one that’d I’d not gotten around to trying out in my own kitchen. Which is surprising, because it’s one of our favorites to order. But so often it’s disappointing. The dreaded tub of orange sauce and some frozen breaded chicken pieces – and I just paid $8 for this? Ain’t nobody got time for that!

The chicken pieces are lightly breaded in cornstarch (which is great for maintaining crispiness) and quickly fried. They are then layered with red and green peppers and fresh pineapple on a baking sheet, and doused with an awesome sweet and sour sauce that’s made from ingredients you probably already have in your pantry. The whole thing goes into the oven for a bit to finish up cooking and merry all those delicious flavors together. Served over a bed of rice, with a green vegetable – like snow peas or steamed broccoli, it’s a delicious dinner that you can feel good about serving to your family. And chances are, it also kicks the pants off of any sweet & sour chicken you’ve had in the past!

Spaghetti with Clams

I’ve mentioned before that we live in a small town in a rural area, full of small towns just like ours. And in these small towns, it’s not uncommon for someone to have 2 professions. Like, the chief of police also owns the only extermination company for a 50-mile radius. Or the mayor of the town, who also owns an electric supply company. Or Jon’s boss at NASA, who farms cultured clams in his spare time…

We’ve been wanting to get a bag of “littlenecks”, the smallest and tenderest of clams, for quite some time now, but Jon would always forget to mention it to Scott for some reason or another. Finally last week, he remembered to remember, and a big bag of these guys were waiting for him in the office refrigerator on Monday morning. I knew I wanted to do a pasta with clam sauce, but all the other ones I had tried in the past were kind of lackluster. So, I turned to Giada. I’d found both of her cookbooks in the thrift shop for $1/piece (one man’s trash is another man’s comeup!) and there was a recipe that looked great, yet had a simple ingredient list – precisely what this dish should be.

And, I’m pleased to report that this recipe fully lived up to my expectations. A punch of garlic, a little bite from the addition of white wine, and then just an awesome brininess from the clams that rounds out all the flavors and brings everything together. So quick, too. Dinner is literally done in the time that it takes to boil the pasta! Winner, winner – clam and pasta dinner. Have a great weekend, kids!