Monday, November 18, 2013

Parmesan Broccoli

This is one my favorite new recipes.  It's definitely been a real crowd pleaser at my house.  I've always had a hard time getting my son to eat vegetables, but he absolutely loves this.  Broccoli is now his favorite vegetable.  Yay!   The wonderful thing about this recipe is that it doesn't have to be used with just broccoli.  I've replaced the broccoli with green beans and it is just as amazing. 

This recipe is definitely going to be going into my holiday recipe list. I hope you enjoy it as much as my family does!

Parmesan Broccoli (adapted from Six Sisters Stuff)
2 cups broccoli, cut into bite-size pieces
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
1/3 cup fresh shredded Parmesan cheese

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Place all of the broccoli into a large bowl and drizzle with the olive oil.  Sprinkle with garlic salt and mix everything together.  Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Spread the broccoli mixture on top of the aluminum foil.

Place in the oven for 15 minutes or until golden brown.  Place back into a bowl as soon as you can and mix with parmesan cheese.  Serve immediately.


Saturday, November 2, 2013

Oatmeal Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies


Apparently my love of fall is not just limited to decorating, but has also grown to include the flavors of fall.  I have seriously grown to love pumpkin.  It doesn't match my love of cheesecake, but it's up there and it's tied with anything caramel and apples.

I combined 2 or 3 different recipes to make these oatmeal pumpkin chocolate chip cookies.  I love the flavor of the chocolate and the pumpkin mixed together, but these would also be fantastic with just the pumpkin flavor alone. 

Oatmeal Pumpkin Chocolate ChipCookies
2 1/2 c. quick-cooking oatmeal
2 c. flour, spooned and leveled
1 large egg + 1 egg yolk
1 1/4 c. lightly packed light brown sugar
1 c. sugar
1 T. vanilla extract
1 c. pumpkin puree
2 t. pumpkin pie spice
1/2 t. cinnamon
1 t. baking soda
1 t. baking powder
1 and 1/2 t. cornstarch
1/2 t. salt
3/4 c. (1.5 stick) butter, melted
1 and 1/2 c. chocolate chips
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray cookie sheets with non-stick spray or line with parchment paper.

In a large mixing place the flour, baking soda, cornstarch, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and pumpkin pie spice all together.

In a separate bowl, mix together the melted butter, light brown sugar and white sugar.  Mix until no brown sugar lumps remain.  Whisk in the egg, the egg yolk and the vanilla extract. Mix in the pumpkin.   Combine the dry ingredients and the wet ingredients.

Mix in the chocolate chips and oatmeal.  Allow to chill in the refrigerator for 1 hour.

Drop by tablespoons 2 inches apart onto the prepared cookie sheets.

Bake for 11-12 minutes. Let stand for approximately 3 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.


Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Spicy Corn Dip

Happy Fall Y'All
My absolute favorite season is fall.  I love the colors of fall and I try to decorate my house with fall colors whenever I can get away with it.  One of the things I also think of about in the fall is tailgating and watching sports.  I'm not really a fan of football (sorry, I'm more of a hockey fan) but I do love the food.  I also enjoy making a meal out of appetizers.
The other thing that goes along with fall is the cold weather and lots of activities.  My kids are in 3 different activities and add that to homeschool and life can get pretty busy so anything quick and easy is perfect.
This is one of those dips that you can make as spicy as you prefer.  I enjoy it less spicy so I used the mild rotel, but you can make it as spicy as you like.  I know some people who would love this with jalapenos or chopped up chili peppers in adobo sauce.
Spicy Corn Dip
1 can white corn, drained
1 can yellow corn, drained
4 oz. cream cheese
1 can rotel, drained
1/2 t. ground chili pepper
1/2 t. cumin
1/2 t. garlic
1/2 c. shredded cheddar cheese
1 bag tortilla chips, I prefer Fritos

Mix all ingredients together, except the chips, in a microwave safe bowl.  Microwave in 1 minute intervals until the cream cheese and cheddar cheese are melted.  Serve with chips for dipping.


Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Disney Princess Cake

My little girl turned 3 recently.  How did that happen?  She absolutely adores the Disney princess so I decided to make her a princess castle cake and put on all of the Disney princesses.  Unfortunately, I forgot to take a picture before my youngest took all of the towers off of the castle. 

Keeping the kids away from the castle and not playing with the castle was the biggest struggle I had with the cake.  My youngest especially thought this castle was for playing.  She didn't quite understand that this for eating.  By the time we were actually ready to eat the cake, the princesses had been moved to several different spots.

My daughter already had the Disney princesses and they were the perfect size to be cake toppers.  The castle was made with rice krispy treats, gumpaste and fondant. The cake itself is covered in fondant.  The rocks that you see at the bottom of the cake are chocolate rocks.  They looked incredibly realistic but tasted wonderful.

It's hard to see in this picture, but the half circle portions of the grass are imprinted using a vine imprinted roller.  I thought it brought a touch of elegance and I can't wait to use that roller again.

I'm kicking myself because one thing I didn't think of until later was that I could have used small waffle cones for the roofs of the towers.  That would have saved myself a lot of aggravation from having to mold the rice krispy treats into points.  That also would have probably been easier to cover in fondant and would have created a neat pattern through the fondant.  Oh well, next time. 


Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Skinny Double Chocolate Chip Muffins

I adore these muffins.  My kids love anything chocolate and they always think they're getting a treat when they can eat chocolate for breakfast.  The amazing thing about these muffins is that they don't have a lot of sugar.  These muffins are with unsweetened applesauce, honey and Greek yogurt.
The other thing I adore about these muffins, besides the chocolatey goodness, is that they are easy to make.  I've made these with the help of my 3 kids and even though some of the ingredients amounts didn't get put into the batter perfectly (somehow additional flour, sugar and chocolate always get added when baking with my kids) the muffins still turned out to be amazing.
Skinny Double Chocolate Chip Muffins (source: Sally's Baking Addiction)
3/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup honey
2 large egg whites (or 1 large egg)
3/4 cup vanilla Greek yogurt (or regular yogurt, plain or vanilla)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips, plus a few more for sprinkling on top

  1. Preheat oven to 425F degrees. Spray 12-count muffin pan with nonstick spray. Do not use liners.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the applesauce, sugar, honey, egg whites, greek yogurt, and vanilla extract.  Whisk all together.
  3. Sift  the flour, cocoa powder, salt, baking soda, and baking powder together. Slowly stir in the wet ingredients, being careful not to overmix.  Fold in the mini chocolate chips. The batter may look a little chunky.  This is alright.
  4. Divide the batter evenly amount 12 liners - fill them all the way to the top if you can. Bake for 5 minutes at 425F. Keeping the muffins in the oven, reduce the temperature down to 375 and continue to bake for 13 more minutes. Insert a toothpick into the center of one muffin. If it comes out clean, they are done. If not, bake for only 2 more minutes.
  5. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 3 minutes in the pan, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. 

Friday, August 23, 2013

Crockpot Enchilada Casserole

I love this casserole.  It's quick to throw together and it delicious.  The first time I ever saw this recipe was on the The Crockin' Girls website.  If you've never checked them out before I highly recommend them.  They provide videos and recipes once a week and they have a ton of slow cooker recipes on their site. 
The original recipe looked delicious, but I made a few changes to fit my family's preferences.  The original recipe had ground turkey, but I changed that to ground beef.  You could also use sausage, shredded chicken or shredded beef.  I also changed the corn tortillas to flour tortillas.  I've always preferred flour tortillas to corn tortillas, especially when it comes to leftovers, but it's whichever you prefer.  I've also used taco seasoning when I make this recipe, although I like it without as well.
The original recipe also calls for this to be cooked on LOW for 3 hours.  My slow cooker only takes about 2 hours or I find it gets burned.  My slow cooker runs hotter so it doesn't take as long as some of the recipes call for.  The cooking time will vary depending on your slow cooker.
Crockpot Enchilada Casserole
1/2 onion chopped
1 lb. ground beef
1 T. cumin, or to taste (or leave out the cumin and replace with 1 package taco seasoning and 2/3 c. water)
1/2 c. light sour cream
2 c. low fat cottage cheese
5-10 flour tortillas
2 c. mozzarella cheese or Mexican cheese
1 (10 oz) can mild red enchilada sauce
Cook onion until tender and then add the ground beef.  Cook until the ground beef is cooked through.  Add the cumin or taco seasoning and water (the water isn't needed unless adding the taco seasoning) to meat mixture halfway through cooking the meat. 
In a mixing bowl, combine the sour cream and cottage cheese.  Mix in the meat mixture.  Mix well.
Spray the crockpot with non stick cooking spray.  In layers, line the bottom of the slow cooker with the flour tortillas. 
Spread half of the meat and cheese mixture on top of the flour tortillas. Sprinkle with a layer of mozzarella cheese or Mexican cheese.  Top with a layer of flour tortillas.  Cover with remaining meat and cheese mixture.  Sprinkle a layer of mozzarella or Mexican cheese on top.  Cover with a layer of flour tortillas.  Pour the red enchilada sauce on top and sprinkle with a final layer of mozzarella or Mexican cheese.  Cook on LOW for 3-4 hours.
Turn the heat off and let sit for 10 - 15 minutes to let the sauce thicken.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Grilled Ranch Chicken with Spicy Ranch Mayo

I haven't been posting as regularly as normal.  I've had family come into town for my daughter's birthday and for the past couple of weeks I've had sick kids and been sick myself.  Needless to say I haven't felt much like blogging or cooking.  Luckily, I have tons of recipes that I have already made or created that I need to blog about. (Yes, I am that much of a planner.)

I originally made this recipe using Italian dressing as the marinade.  You can see that recipe here.  It is now one of our go to grilling recipes.  We liked that recipe so much that I decided to make a ranch version of this recipe. 

Grilled Ranch Chicken with Spicy Ranch Mayo (adapted from favorite family recipes)
4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
Chicken marinade (see below)
8 slices thick-cut bacon
4 slices Colby Jack Cheese
4 fresh kaiser rolls, lightly toasted
Spicy Ranch Mayonnaise (see below)

Chicken Marinade:
1 pkg Ranch dressing mix
1/2 c. olive oil

 Spicy Mayonnaise:
1 c. mayonnaise
1 T. Ranch dressing mix
1 tsp. paprika
1 1/2 Tbsp. hot sauce

1. Pound chicken breasts until thin and place in ziploc bag.
2. Combine marinade ingredients and pour into ziploc bag with the chicken. Allow to marinade for at least 1 hour.
3. Cook the bacon until nearly done.
4. Toast the kaiser rolls
5. Remove the chicken from the marinade (throw away the marinade) and grill the chicken until cooked through.
6. As the chicken is grilling place the bacon on the grill. Be careful to not burn it.
7. Just before you take the chicken off the grill put the colby jack cheese on it.
8. Combine the spicy ranch mayo ingredients and spread over toasted kaiser rolls.
9. Add chicken and bacon to each roll.


Friday, August 16, 2013

Super Easy Cornbread


This is a super yummy cornbread recipe!  It's a copy cat version of the Boston Market cornbread.  I had never been to Boston Market until we went to visited my brother to celebrate his college graduation and on our way home we went to a Boston Market.  The cornbread was different than I had ever tasted before.  It tasted like cornbread but had a sweetness added to it as well.  This is now my husband's favorite cornbread recipe.
Super Easy Cornbread
2 boxes Jiffy Cornbread Mix
1 box Yellow Cake Mix (one without pudding in the mix)
Pour boxes all into one large bowl and mix in the ingredients called for in the back of the mix boxes. 
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Pour the batter into a greased 9 x 13 baking dish.  Bake for 30 - 45 minutes.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Jelly Donuts

Whenever my in-laws go to their hometowns in the summer they always bring back bismarks from a local bakery.  They are incredible.  I had never heard them called bismarks before though.  I had just heard them called jelly donuts.
One of the things I love about jelly donuts is that you can use whatever type of jelly you like as the filling.  These were blackberry, but my favorite are probably the raspberry filled ones. 
These were the third type of donuts I made with the Kopy Kat Krispy Kreme Donuts recipe.  The other was the Chocolate Covered Cream Filled Donuts.  For the Jelly Donuts, I covered them with powdered sugar because the jelly donuts my in-laws always bring back are covered with powdered sugar and I've never seen them that way before.  If you prefer a glaze over them you can always use the glaze recipe from the Kopy Kat Krispy Kreme Donuts.
Jelly Donuts
Kopy Kat Krispy Kreme Donut recipe and ingredients
Piping Bag
Coupler for Piping Bag
Size 10 Piping Tip
2 c. Powdered Sugar
Jelly in the flavor of your choice
You will need to follow the Kopy Kat Krispy Kreme Donut Recipe. After the dough has risen, turn dough onto floured surface; roll around lightly to coat with flour. Gently roll dough 1/2 in. thick with floured rolling pin. Cut with floured large round cookie cutter or a donut cutter with the center piece removed. Cover and let rise until double, approximately 30 - 40 minutes.

Heat your oil to 350F. Place the donuts in the oil. Cook on each side for about 1 minute. Remove the donuts from the oil and place on a rack to drain.

While the donuts are cooling, place the jelly into a piping bag fitted with a coupler and a large piping tip.

Place the piping tip into the donut and put approximately 1 tablespoon of the jelly into the donut. 

Put 2 c. powdered sugar into a small mixing bowl and coat the donut with the powdered sugar. 


Friday, August 9, 2013

Chocolate Cream Donuts

The day I made kopy Kat Krispy Kreme donuts I decided to make more than just regular glazed donuts but wanted to use the same dough recipe for the base. 
These chocolate covered cream donuts are incredible! They have a chocolate ganache layer with a vanilla cream center that's not too sweet. The vanilla and chocolate flavors play off of each other and melt in your mouth. If you love chocolate, you could make a chocolate cream instead of a vanilla cream.

Chocolate Covered Cream Filled Donuts
You will need the Kopy Kat Krispy Kreme Donut Recipe, divide if desired
Ingredients for Kopy Kat Krispy Kreme Donut Recipe
A piping bag
A size 10 piping tip
A Coupler for the piping bag
Chocolate Glaze:
2 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips, melted
8 T. heavy cream
Cream Filling:
1 (3 oz.) package vanilla or chocolate pudding
1 c. milk
1 container of Cool Whip
Canola Oil

You will need to follow the Kopy Kat Krispy Kreme Donut Recipe.  After the dough has rise, turn dough onto floured surface; roll around lightly to coat with flour. Gently roll dough 1/2 in. thick with floured rolling pin. Cut with floured large round cookie cutter or regular donut cutter with center piece removed.  Cover and let rise until double, approximately 30 - 40 minutes. 

Heat your oil to 350F. Place the donuts in the oil. Cook on each side for about 1 minute. Remove the donuts from the oil and place on a rack to drain.
While the donuts are cooling mix 1 package vanilla or chocolate pudding with 1 c. milk.  Whisk together until the mixture starts to thicken.  Fold in 1 container of Cool Whip.  Place the pudding mixture into a piping bag fitted with a large piping tip. 

Place the tip into the donut and put approximately 1 tablespoon of the vanilla pudding mixture into the donut. 

Take the 2 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips and melt them in the microwave at 30 second intervals.  Once the chocolate chips are melted, mix in the heavy cream.  Dip the top of the donut into the chocolate glaze until the top of the donut is covered.  Allow the glaze to harden.


The best icing!! All you do is mix one vanilla pudding packet with half of the milk called for on the package. Whisk until it begins to thicken. Then fold in one container of Cool Whip. A great frosting spread on cakes and piped onto cupcakes, a tasty filling in crepes or on waffles along with some fruit...way less sugar too!!!!

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Kopy Kat Krispy Kreme Donuts

I love donuts or is it doughnuts?  I have no idea.  My absolute favorite are cake donuts and all of the different donuts I'm seeing on pinterest have me seriously wanting to try about a dozen different recipes. 

Anyway, back to this recipe.  I remember the first time I tried Krispy Kreme Donuts.  My dad was at some meeting and my mom and I decided that we needed to try some Krispy Kreme donuts.  We had heard about them and how wonderful they were so we badly wanted to try them.  I absolutely loved their glazed donuts.  There's something about a warm donut that is wonderful and addicting.  One night I was watching an episode of Duck Dynasty and Jase was talking about how there was nothing so important going on that you couldn't wait 10 minutes for a hot donut.  I can totally relate!

These make a ton of donuts so you can cut the recipe in half or do like I did and create different donuts with the dough.  I made jelly donuts and chocolate covered cream filled ones. 

Krispy Kreme Donut Recipe (adapted from Nurse Loves Farmer)

3 (1/4 oz.) packages yeast (I used Red Star Platinum yeast)
1/2 c. warm water
2 1/4 c. milk, scalded, then cooled
3/4 c. sugar
1 1/2 t. salt
1/2 c. shortening
7 1/2 c. all purpose flour
canola oil for frying

1/2 cup butter
3 cups powdered sugar
2 1/4 teaspoons vanilla
6 -9 tablespoons (90-135ml) evaporated milk (can substitute regular milk or water for milder flavor)


Proof your yeast by adding it to the warm warm.  Mix it up and let the yeast mixture rest.  Scale the milk and let cool.  Combine yeast, milk, sugar, salt, eggs, shortening and 3 c. flour.  Beat on low for 30 seconds, scraping the bowl constantly.  Beat on medium speed for 2 minutes, scraping the bowl occasionally.  Carefully, stir in remaining flour until smooth.  Cover and let rise until double  (about one hour)

After the dough has rise, turn dough onto floured surface; roll around lightly to coat with flour.  Gently roll dough 1/2 in. thick with floured rolling pin.  Cut with floured donut cutter.  Separate donuts and holes, as they take different frying himes.  Cover and let rise until double, approximately 30 - 40 minutes.

It's time to make the glaze.  Melt the butter and stir in powdered sugar and vanilla until smooth.  Add milk until you reach the desired consistency.

Heat your oil to 350F.  Place the donuts in the oil.  Cook on each side for about 1 minute.  Remove the donuts from the oil and place on a rack to drain.

Dip your donuts into the glaze and set them on a rack to dry. 

Monday, August 5, 2013

Copy Cat Old Chicago Sicilian Pepperoni Rolls

This is another copy cat recipe from Old Chicago.  A friend ordered these one night at Old Chicago and they looked so yummy that I had to try and recreate them.  Since I hadn't actually tried them myself, I did a google search for what cheeses were in Old Chicago Sicilian Pepperoni Rolls.  Every search I came up with had pepperjack cheese as one of the cheeses.  My family isn't very big on anything spicy so I decided to use monterey jack cheese instead.  I was also surprised to discover they had ranch dressing. The ranch dressing keeps the dough moist and adds a hint of flavor to the pepperoni rolls. They were a hit!

Sicilian Pepperoni Rolls
Frozen Bread Dough
Ranch Dressing
Montery Jack Cheese or Pepper Jack Cheese
Minced Onion
Pizza Seasoning
Pizza Cheese
Parmesan Cheese

Thaw the frozen bread dough.  Roll out thin and cut into rectangles.  Mine were about 2 in. by 3 in. rectangles.

Put a teaspoon of ranch dressing onto the bread dough.

Spread out the ranch dressing
Place a slice of montery jack or pepper jack cheese onto the center of the rectangle. 

Place the pepperoni on top of the cheese.  I used 3 pieces of pepperoni for each rectangle.
Sprinkle a little bit of pizza seasoning onto the pepperoni.

Sprinkle a tablespoon of pizza cheese on top of the pepperoni.
Roll up the rectangle and fold a small portion of the bottom up.
Place into a greased muffin tin and sprinkle with parmesan cheese and pizza seasoning.
Bake at 350 degrees for 20 - 30 minutes.


Friday, August 2, 2013

Alfredo Spaghetti Pie

This is a copy cat version of Old Chicago's Alfredo Spaghetti Pie.  I had this for the first time about a month ago and I loved it!  It was different than the usual baked spaghetti pie but you still get that spaghetti sauce flavor.  I also love the combination of Alfredo sauce and spaghetti sauce.  There's something about the combination of the cheesey flavor of the alfredo sauce and the tomato of the spaghetti sauce that I absolutely love.
Alfredo Spaghetti Pie
1 (8 oz) package of spaghetti noodles
2 jars Alfredo sauce, divided
1 package Italian Cheese, divided.
2 eggs
1 jar Marinara sauce
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Boil the entire package of spaghetti noodles.  Drain the spaghetti noodles.  In a large mixing bowl, combine the cook spaghetti, 1 and 1/2 jars of alfredo sauce and 1 and 1/2 cheese and 2 eggs.  Mix everything together.  Place into a 9 x 13 baking dish.  Bake for 30 minutes.  Add the remaining alfredo sauce to the top and cover with the remaining cheese.  Cook until golden brown.  Let sit for 10 minutes to set.  Pour marinara sauce on plate and place a piece of alfredo spaghetti pie in the center. 

Monday, July 29, 2013

Country Gravy Casserole

This is one of our favorite things to eat for Saturday morning breakfast.  There's something about the combination of the biscuits, cheese, sausage, egg and country gravy that makes this meal incredible.  It's filling and oh so yummy. 

I have made this for relatives relatives when they come to visit and people usually go back for seconds.  My dad even went back for seconds and this is huge because he is an incredibly picky eater who hates casseroles.  I know weird, right.  This casserole may have been the breakthrough though. 

I also love because you can put the ingredients together the day before and cook it the next morning.  It still tastes wonderful!

Country Sausage Gravy Casserole (source Miss Information Blog)
1 tube Grands biscuits
1 package of sausage
6 eggs
1/2 c. milk
1 c. shredded cheddar cheese
1 package Country Gravy or Sausage Gravy (made according to package directions)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray a 9 x 13 pan with nonstick cooking spray.  Cut the Grands biscuits into 1 inch pieces and line the bottom of the pan.  Brown the sausage, drain and scatter over the biscuits.  Sprinkle 1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese over the sausage.  Whisk together eggs and milk and pour it over the pan.  Make the gravy according to package directions and pour it over the pan.  Bake in the oven for 30 - 45 minutes.


Friday, July 26, 2013

Berry Berries Smoothie

There is a restaurant is our city that is completely vegetarian and lactose free.  I have been wanting to go there for ages and we finally went there for my birthday.  One of the the things we tried was a berry smoothie.  It was wonderful!  I decided I needed to be able to make this at home.

Berry Berries Smoothie
1/2 c. strawberries
1/2 c. blueberries
1/4 of a banana
1/2 c. coconut milk or regular milk
1 1/2 c. grape juice
1 c. ice (optional)

Mix all ingredients together in a blender.  Mix until well blender.  Pour in a glass and serve.


Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Idaho Nachos

One of my favorite things to eat at Granite City is their Idaho Nachos.  I love the melted cheese all over the waffles fries and the dipping sauce is incredible.  It had been a while since I had eaten any Idaho Nachos are Granite City so I did a recipe search for the Granite City Idaho Nacho Dipping Sauce and came up with this one.  I made a few adjustments but the recipe is incredibly close to the actual dipping sauce.  The secret is the Worchestershire sauce.   

Idaho Nachos
1 package waffle cut fries
1 1/2 c. shredded colby jack cheese
1 T. sour cream (optional)
2 T. bacon bits (optional)
1 c. diced tomato (optional)
Idaho Nacho Dipping sauce (recipe follows)

Idaho Nacho Dipping Sauce (adapted from Food)
1 c. sour cream
1/2 c. mayonnaise
1/4 t. onion powder
1/4 t. garlic powder
1/4 t. curry
1/8 t. paprika
1 t. Worchestershire sauce

In the oven cook the waffle cut fries until desired doneness.  On a large plate place half of the waffle cut fries and sprinkle with half of the shredded colby jack cheese.  Place the remaining fries on top and sprinkle with the remaining cheese.  Top with the sour cream, bacon bits and tomato.

In a mixing bowl, mix the sour cream, mayonnaise, onion powder, garlic powder, curry, paprika, and Worchestershire sauce. 

Divide the dipping sauce into smaller bowls for each person.



Monday, July 22, 2013

Butter Pecan Cream Cake

After our nephew's graduation all of the parents got together and did a reception for the graduating class.  One of the parents baked cakes and one of those was an Italian Cream Cake.  By the time I found out about this cake all that was left was the crumbs.  A common ingredient in Italian Cream Cake is coconut which is not something commonly found at our house.  Hubby doesn't like coconut and rather than eating the whole cake by myself, I decided it was a better idea to come up with a version of Italian Cream Cake without the coconut. 
The taste of the cake is incredible!  The butter toasted pecans truly add to the flavor so you won't want to skip it.  Sometimes this cake tasted more like butter pecan ice cream and other times it tasted like a cake version of pecan pie.  

Butter Pecan Cream Cake (adapted from Taste of Home)
{For Cake}
2 1/3 c. pecans, chopped and divided
2 c. white sugar
4 eggs
1 c. evaporated milk
3 c. all-purpouse flour
1 1/4 c. butter
1 t. vanilla
2 t. baking powder
1/2 c. oil

{For Frosting}
 1 package (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened
1/2 c. butter, softened
1/2 c. evaporated milk
6 c. confectioner's sugar

{For Cake}
Heat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease and line the bottom of 3 - 9 inch cake pans with wax paper.  Melt 1/4 c. butter in a large baking pan.  Add pecans and coat evenly with  butter.  Bake for 1520 minutes, stirring frequently.  Set aside to cool.

In a large mixing bowl, cream 1 c. butter, sugar and oil.  In a small bowl, crack eggs and add vanilla.  Add eggs 1 at a time into the creamed mixture.  Beat well after each egg addition.  Sift together the flour and baking powder.  Mix the evaporated milk alternately with flour into creamed mixture.  Stir in 1 1/3 c. pecans.

Pour the batter evenly into prepared pans and bake for 25-30 minutes.

{For Frosting}
In a large bowl, beat together cream cheese and butter.  Mix in 1/2 of the powdered sugar.  Add vanilla and evaporated milk.  Beat until smooth.  Mix in remaining powdered sugar.  Stir in 1 c. chopped pecans.


Friday, July 19, 2013

Sparkling Strawberry Lemonade

When hubby and I first met the block he lived on had an annual block party.  It was soo much fun!  The block would all get together and hire a DJ, rent a bouncy house and everyone would bring tons of yummy food.  One of the neighbors would always make a drink he called Riptides.  I've since heard it called summer beer, among other names. 

The other day I was in the mood for Riptides so I decided to make a non-alcoholic version with the addition of strawberries.

Sparkling Strawberry Lemonade
1 can pink lemonade frozen concentrate
1 pint strawberry sorbet
4 - 5 cans ginger ale

In a blender combine the strawberry sorbet and pink lemonade concentrate.  Blend well.  Pour the mixture into a punch bowl or large pitcher.  Mix well and serve.


Monday, July 15, 2013

Caramel Apple Dip

My MIL gave me the recipe for this and I absolutely love this dip.  It's super easy to make and the combination of the vanilla, brown sugar and cream cheese makes a caramel and cheesecake flavor that is wonderful!  I can feed my cheesecake addiction without having to make an entire cheesecake.

Caramel Apple Dip
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
2/3 c. brown sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla

Place all ingredients into a small mixing bowl.  Mix all ingredients until blended.


Friday, July 12, 2013

Super Mario Bros. Cake

Hubby's birthday and Father's Day are close together.  We were going to be spending hubby's birthday at his parent's house so I decided rather than bring all of my cake decorating supplies to his parents house I would just make him a Father's Day cake instead. 

We got engaged and found out we were expecting our first on hubby's birthday so it's always been a special day to us.  In fact, hubby played Super Mario Bros. while I was in labor with our first.  It was a 46 hour marathon labor so he figured he needed to do something to keep him from going stir crazy!  The whole time I was making this cake the theme song from Super Mario Bros. was going through my head.

I also decided to do this cake because it's relatively easy and you only need a few cake decorating supplies.  I used pre colored fondant, but you can also just buy white fondant and color the fondant the different colors needed.

You will need:
Blue gel food coloring (for the frosting)
Super Mario template
Sharp knife
Red fondant (or red food coloring)
White Fondant
Blue Fondant (or blue food coloring)
Black Fondant (or black food coloring)
Black Food Coloring
Brown Fondant
Tan Fondant
Food Safe paint brushes
Brown Food Coloring
Black Food Coloring
Yellow Fondant

I started by printing out a template image of Super Mario which you can find here.  Please excuse the water marks on the face.
Cut the Super Mario image out and cut the hat off of Mario.

Roll out fondant.  Using a sharp knife, cut out the outline of Super Mario's face.
Once you have done the outline of Mario, cut out the facial features of Mario.

This is the eyebrows, hair and mustache of Mario.

Place Mario's facial outline on top of the cake. (If you look closely you can see the finger prints of my 1 year old.  She helped me out a lot with this cake.  If was peanut butter and delicious!)

Place the hat and hat lid on top of Mario's facial outline.  I did the lid of the hat separate and placed it on top of the hat in order to give it more dimension.

Place the white of the emblem on Mario's hat.

Place the M of Super Mario onto the emblem.

Place the brown fondant down for the eyebrows.  You can also paint them on using brown food coloring.

Place the mustache on Mario

Place the eyes, nose and hair on.

Give Mario his blue eyes.  You can also paint the blue and black onto Mario's eyes using food coloring.

This would have been a little better had I had an airbrush machine, but I painted a little bit of brown food coloring onto his face to mimic the shadows on his chin, ears and nose.  I rubbed any excess off with a paper towel.

I used a star cookie cutter to cut out yellow fondant and painted on the star's eyes using black food coloring.
This tutorial was shared on Tuesday Talent Show



Monday, July 8, 2013

Hockey Puck Cookies 2

These are my son's favorite cookies.  When my son asked me to make these cookies he gave me his version of how to make these.  He said, "first you take the round crackers and you put peanut butter in the middle.  Then, you put the black over it and TA-DA you're done!"  The whole time this description was going on he was bouncing around.  That is actually a really good description of how to make these cookies.  They are that easy!

I've heard tons of different names for these cookies.  When I first tried these cookies my husband's family named them after my BIL.  I have since heard them called PMS cookies and hockey puck cookies.  Since we are big hockey fans at our house we've begun to call them hockey puck cookies.  I think when they were called PMS cookies they had the addition of marshmallow fluff along with the peanut butter.

Hockey Puck Cookies
2 Sleeves Round Butter Crackers (I used Ritz crackers)
Creamy Peanut Butter
1 pkg. Chocolate Candy Coating

Melt the Chocolate Candy Coating.  You can use a double boiler or a place it in a microwave and melt at 30 second intervals.  Take a cracker and spread peanut butter on top.  Place a 2nd cracker on top of the peanut butter.  Dip the peanut butter crackers into the chocolate until completely coated.  Place on wax or parchment paper to allow the chocolate to cool and harden. 


Wednesday, July 3, 2013

4th of July Recipe Ideas

Since the 4th of July is tomorrow I thought I would put together a list of recipe ideas.  They are all simple and don't take a lot of prep work so you can spend plenty of time with family and friends.

4th of July Recipe Ideas