Saturday, May 10, 2014

Homemade from the store - Pasta salad & cupcakes

Hey all!!

As Mother's Day approaches, a lot of us out there are cooking today. And I am no exception to that either. We are all gathering at my mothers house tomorrow for the afternoon. I have decided to take some pasta salad and some cupcakes for dessert.
When it comes to making things from scratch, I am no good at it. But I can read directions like nobodys business. So when I chose my recipes, I also chose ways of working around buying it at the store, and making it my own.

First, the Pasta salad. Most of you may pick a pasta, then get some dressing and spices and chop up veggies and things. No thanks!!! I bought a couple boxes of Suddenly Salad by Betty Crocker, for about $1.00.   This comes with the pasta & a seasoning packet. The instructions tell you to mix the seasoning with oil. Now I don't mind, at all, the way this taste. But I like to try to put my own spin on things.
1 - cook the pasta from the box and run under cold water when done cooking.
2 - Add Italian salad dressing, to taste.
3 - Sprinkle in some of the seasoning packet from the box, to taste.
4 - Optional, but I like to chop up some cheese and pepperoni and toss that in too. (pepperoni is not in the pic below, but it was added last minute)

 Next, is Cherry Chocolate cupcakes. I saw this combination on Pintrest, but the batter recipe was made from scratch and I cannot bake from scratch. Instead, I bought a box of chocolate cake mix, regular vanilla icing, and some cherry extract.
1 - Mix the cake batter per the box directions.
2 - add about a tablespoon of the cherry extract to the batter and mix.
3 - Bake per box directions.
1 - Add a bit of red food coloring to the icing.
2 - Add a bit of cherry extract to the icing, to taste and mix.

Yummmmm!!!! Happy Mother's Day!!!!