Friday, February 25, 2011

Secret Kiss Cupcakes

This is a recipe I found on I haven't made them for a while, but I think it is always fun to find a surprise in your cupcake!
The recipe has you make your cupcakes from scratch (which I will include) but I just used the perfect cupcake recipe from the blog and added the hershey kisses in the middle!
Super easy and a fun surprise for all the cupcakes eaters!
Secret Kiss Cupcakes
  • 3 1/3 cups flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup baking cocoa
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 1 cup butter, melted
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract

(Or you can use a box mix of yellow or chocolate cake and follow the box directions or use the Perfect Cake Mix Cupcakes Recipe on this blog)

  • 30 milk chocolate candy kisses, unwrapped (I got 24 cupcakes when I made them)
  • Frosting

Mix your cake mix by following the box or perfect cake mix cupcake directions.

Or if making from scratch: In a bowl, combine the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda and salt; mix well. Combine the buttermilk, butter, eggs and vanilla. Addd to dry ingredients; mix well.

Fill paper-lined muffin cups 2/3 full. Press a chocolate kiss in to the center of each cupcake until batter completely covers the candy.

Bake at 375 (or follow box or recipe directions if using mix) for 20-25 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean! Frost when completley cooled!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Pita/Pizza/Pretzel/Bread Sticks

I was given this recipe from a email recipe exchange! I didn't get any pictures, but I made the Pizza dough and it turned out awesome!!!
The bread sticks were really great too (so I heard!)!!
This recipe is quick and versatile!
Thanks for sharing and so glad to have another yummy bread recipe!
Pita/pizza/pretzel/ bread sticks

2 C. Warm Water
1 1/2 Tbsp. Yeast
2 Tbsp Sugar
2 tsp. salt
4-5 cups flour

Mix together until you have a sticky dough that pulls away from the side of the bowl. Let rise 1 hr. (this is the only rise that you have to do with this recipe)

Pitas: Roll small balls of dough into flat circles (about 8 inches), place in preheated oven (about 450) on a hot cookie sheet or baking stone. Bake for 3-5 min, they should puff up in the center, if they don't they work great to fold over.

Pizza: Roll out and top with your favorite pizza toppings, bake 20-25 min at 400 degrees or until bottom is crisp.

pretzels: Roll into long, thin ropes and fold over to make pretzel shape. Dip in water mixture that is about 1 cup water, 2 tsp baking soda , sprinkle with salt and bake at 400 for about 10 min. Brush with butter and add more coarse salt if desired.

Bread sticks: Roll into 2 rectangles. Place on cookie sheet, brush with butter, garlic, salt, Parmesan cheese, and anything else you want. Cut in to strips. Bake at 400 for 20 or so min. Brush generously with melted butter again after removing from oven. Serve warm. :)

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Strawberry Jam

I ordered some extra strawberries with my Bountiful Basket and have loved all the strawberries at my house! My kids are eating them like crazy and loving them too!
I kept a few baskets aside and made jam the other day and love it! (I was even able to order more strawberries this week too!)
I made a batch of Freezer Jam and then Regular Jam! They both turned out great and I love having the fresh jam!~

Just follow the directions on your Fruit Pectin box and make jam!~

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Beef Fajita Nachos

Doesn't that just look Scrumptious!
2 words described this meal ~ YUM and YUMMY!
The marinade for the flank steak was super good and great flavor. You do have to prepare in advance, since the flank steak marinates for 24 hours! It is definitely worth it! This steak would be great for fajitas in a tortilla too! We served ours with refried beans also!
Make sure you do the peppers and onions, they were yum!
Beef Fajita Nachos
(The pioneer Woman blog)
Flank Steak Marinade:
  • 1 flank steak
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 2 whole limes juiced
  • 4 whole canned chipotle peppers (1 can), with a little sauce
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 whole handful cilantro (which I omitted since I have a cilantro hater at my house!)

To prepare the steak, combine the olive oil, lime juice, garlic, chipotle peppers (just add a little sauce from the can too), and cilantro in a food processor or blender. Blend until totally combined.

Place flank steak and marinade in a large plastic bag or dish. Make sure to coat the meat. Seal bag or cover dish tightly and refrigerate for 24 hours at least!


  • 2 whole peppers, cleaned and sliced (I used a yellow and orange one)
  • 2 whole yellow onions (I used 1 onion)
  • olive oil ~ for frying
  • tortilla chips
  • Grated cheese ~ I blended cheddar and monteray jack
  • guacamole ~ we sliced avocados on top instead
  • salsa
  • sour cream
  • refried beans
  • I also made my Black Bean dip

When ready to make nachos, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Drizzle olive oil on your grill. Cook the meat on an outdoor or indoor grill over very high heat, about 4 minutes per side! Remove the steak from grill and set aside to rest.

In a large skillet, heat a couple tbsp olive oil over med-high heat. Add onions and peppers and cook for 3-5 minutes, or until somewhat soft and start blackening. (You should also be heating your refried beans at this point!) Remove from heat when done.

Slice your meat into strips. Then cut them again into smaller bite size pieces. You can cut your peppers and onions into smaller pieces at this point too!

Arrange tortilla chips on a cookie sheet. Generously place cheese on top of your chips. (I didn't place enough cheese the first time and ended up adding more on top after they had cooked, so make sure to add lots of cheese!) Place cookie sheet in the oven and cook for 3 minutes or so, or until cheese is melted.

Remove from oven and place your meat and peppers/onions on top. Then you can scoop what you want on your plate and add whatever toppings you desire!

Repeat with remaining meat and vegies, or save for another day!

ENJOY!! They are really really good!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Mushroom and Swiss Sliders with Spicy Fry Sauce

This is yet another Pioneer Woman recipe that turned out yummy!
It was a new way to make a hamburger, and the fry sauce was really good!
You don't have to make these small, but they were perfect for my boys and actually good portion control if you are trying to eat less!
Mushroom and Swiss Sliders with Spicy Fry Sauce
(The Pioneer Woman)
Fry Sauce:
  • 1/3 cups mayonnaise
  • 2 tbsp ketchup
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper (I used 1/2 tsp and found it spicy enough for me!)

In a small bowl, mix mayo, ketchup, and cayenne. Stir together until totally combined. Set aside.

Ingredients: Mushrooms and Onions

  • 4 tbsp butter
  • 1/2 whole onion, finely diced
  • 8 ounces mushrooms, chopped finely (next time I am going to not chop the onions and mushrooms finely and just leave them sliced. I think that will be just as good!)
  • 4 dashes Worcestershire sauce
  • salt and pepper

Melt butter in a large skillet. Add onions and cook over medium heat for 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Add mushrooms and toss around. Add Worcestershire, salt and pepper. Cook for several minutes over medium heat, or until all the liquid is evaporated. Transfer mushroom mixture to a separate bowl, scraping all contents from the skillet.

Ingredients: Hamburgers

  • 2 lbs ground beef
  • 4 tbsp heavy whipping cream
  • 4 dashes Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp salt
  • pepper
  • Swiss Cheese
  • Dinner rolls for sliders, or hamburger buns if making bigger

Mix ground beef, heavy cream, Worcestershire, and salt and pepper in a bowl. Use your hands to thoroughly mix ingredients.

Form 1/4 - 1/3 cup of the meat mixture into patties. Make an indentation with your thumb to keep the patties from plumping too much when they cook. In the same skillet as you cooked the mushrooms, melt 1 tbsp butter over medium to med-high heat.

Add 4 patties at a time, indented side face up. Cook for 4 minutes, then flip. Spoon generous portions of the mushroom mixture on each patty. Then top with cheese. Place lid on pan and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes or until burgers are cooked through and cheese melted. Remove and keep warm and cook remaining meat.

Toast halved buns under the oven broiler. Spread generously with fry sauce. Place patties between buns and serve!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Valentine Chocolate Bark

This is a yummy easy Valentine treat! Or a treat for any day, just add different sprinkles or put none on at all!

Valentine Chocolate Bark
  • 2 bags white chocolate chips ~ she used Ghiradelli, but I had Hersheys and they worked fine)
  • 2 bags semisweet chocolate chips ~ again Ghiradelli, but I had western family and it was fine again. I used 1 1/2 bags though!
  • 2 cups Rice Krispies ~ start with 2 cups, I ended up adding 3 1/2 cups Rice Krispies
  • conversation hears and sprinkles

Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.

Place 3/4ths of the white chocolate chips in a glass or metal bowl. Place over a pan of simmering water and stir until melted. Remove from heat and stir in the remaining white chocolate chips until melted. ~ If the chocolate is too thick you can add 1 tbsp Crisco. (I didn't need to do this)

Stir in the Rice Krispies ~ It seemed like too much white chocolate, so this is when I started adding about 1/2 cup at a time until it seemed a better combination.

Spread onto the lined cookie sheet. Spread so thin, but that you can't see the pan. ~ an offset spatula works great.

Melt the semi-sweet chocolate chips using the same method as above. I used 1 1/2 bags here instead of 2 and it was plenty of chocolate for me! (You shouldn't need the Crisco here!)

Using an offset spatula, gently spread over the white chocolate.

Sprinkle on the conversation hears if wanted and sprinkles. Let set up until hardened. Break into pieces and enjoy!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Oatmeal Muffins

I have the King Arthur Flour All-Purpose Baking Cookbook!
I have to admit I haven't used it a lot! I am now trying a new goal to make bread every Monday. I am now looking at this book alot!!
It has more than just bread recipes, although the info on bread and recipes is WOW! Maybe a little overwhelming with all the info, but definitely good info!
I found this muffin recipe and it turned out really good. These aren't a sweet muffin but they do describe them as a "low-calorie treat"!!
Plan ahead, because you do soak the oatmeal in buttermilk over night! They are worth it and I know low-calorie treat doesn't include putting butter on top, but that is totally worth it too!
Oatmeal Muffins
(King Arthur Flour Bakers Companion)
  • 1 cup oats
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 4 tbsp melted butter
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 cup raisins ~ Optional!

In a small bowl, combine the oats and the buttermilk. Cover and refrigerate overnight!

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. In a large bowl, combine the buttermilk and oat mixture, brown sugar, butter, egg, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

Gently stir in the flour and raisins ~ the mixture will be very thick at this point!

Scoop into 12 greased muffin cups and bake for 20 minutes (watch this, mine were done at about 15minutes) or until the tops are light golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean.

Remove from oven, let cool for 5 minutes on a rack and turn out on a rack to finish cooling!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Creamy Chicken and Wild Rice Soup

I found this recipe on Jack and Jill's Kitchen. I have found a love for Wild Rice and decided yesterday with the snowy weather we needed soup.
This soup was a hit with my family. It was hearty and it was yummy. Had lots of great flavor and good yummy veggies!
I halved the recipe for my family and it was perfect. We had enough for us and leftovers for 2!
Creamy Chicken and Wild Rice Soup
(Jack and Jill's Kitchen)
  • 10 cups water
  • 10 bouillon cubes or 10 tsp chicken base ~ chicken base found at Costco!
  • 4 chicken breasts ~ can be frozen too!
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 2 boxes Rice a Roni Wild Rice flavor
  • 1 onion, finely chopped ~ I used the dried onions, which worked out great!
  • 2 cups chopped carrots
  • 1 cup celery, finely chopped
  • 1 small can stems and pieces mushrooms ~ I didn't add!
  • 2 cans cream of chicken soup

Fill your pot with water and bring to a boil.

Add chicken, onion, b0uillon, salt, and pepper and bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium and simmer about 25 minutes. Remove chicken pieces from the boiling broth after the 25 minutes. Use scissors or knife and cut or shred your chicken. Return chicken to the pot. The chicken should be cooked through.

Add the carrots, celery, mushrooms and boxes of rice (pour in the rice and seasoning packets that come along in the box). Cover and let simmer about 15 minutes more, until the veggies and rice are cooked.

Add the cream of chicken soups, turn up the heat and let it come to a boil. Once the soup is thickened (this takes just a few minutes after it comes to a boil again) it is ready to be served. ~ I added about 2 cups of hot water to this soup. The picture above was taken before the water was added. I wanted more of a soup, not a stew. I also found the seasonings to be really strong and the water softened it up alot! Just add how ever much hot water to make it the consistency you want. The flavors should still be strong enough!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Banana Bread

I found this recipe on the Pioneer Woman Blog. I wanted to find another bread recipe for when I don't have cream cheese (which by far is a really really good recipe!)!!
This recipe was really good, I really wanted to drizzle chocolate sauce over the top of it, but I refrained. Or even add chocolate chips to it, but I again refrained!
Next time I might add some cinnamon to it, but overall it was easy and moist! I do think next time I wont put as much in the bundt cake pan and cook some in a smaller loaf pan. My bread was really tall! I liked that this was in a bundt pan. It makes it kind of fancier if you need something to take someone, maybe with chocolate drizzlied on top!!!
I had a friend tell me that they like to toast their banana bread in the toaster the next day and put butter on it! I tried this and it was super good and a new way to eat it for me!
Banana Bread
(The Pioneer Woman Blog)
  • 2 sticks butter (I did 1 stick butter, 1 stick margarine)
  • 1 1/2 cups + 2 tbsp sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups mashed ripe bananas
  • 4 cups + 2 tbsp flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 1/2 cups sour cream

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour bundt pan (I normally just spray the pan, but I did flour this time because I often times have difficulty getting these breads out in one piece).

Cream butter and sugar together. Add eggs, one at a time, beating for a few seconds after each addition. Add mashed bananas and beat.

Combine dry ingredients in a separate bowl.

Add dry ingredients and sour cream alternately to the mixing bowl. Beat well until combined. Pour into bundt pan and bake for 1 hour 10 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean (Mine took the whole time!).

Invert on a cooling rack and allow cake to cool before slicing and serving with softened butter.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Fruit Salad with Citrus Glaze

I bought a bag of frozen mixed fruit a while ago and decided to finally try it out! The fruit was actually really good. I get nervous about frozen fruit being mushy or not having great flavor, but this was yummy! I made the glaze from the back of the bag and it was really good with it and not too over powering with the fruit!
Fruit Salad with Citrus Glaze
(from Dole Frozen Mixed Fruit Bag)
  • 1 cup pineapple juice
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp lemon juice
  • 1/4 tsp lemon zest
  • 1 1/2 tsp cornstarch
  • 1 pkg (16 oz) Dole fresh frozen mixed fruit, thawed ~ about 4 cups

Combine pineapple juice, sugar, lemon juice, lemon zest and cornstarch in medium saucepan.

Cook, stirring constantly, over medium-high heat until mixture comes to a boil. Reduce heat to low; cook 2 minutes or until slightly thickened. Cool slightly. Sauce can be served warm or chilled.

Spoon glaze over fruit. Refrigerate any leftovers in airtight container!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Chicken Spaghetti

I found this recipe on Jack and Jill's Kitchen! It was really good and everyone loved it! My family has been kind of tired of regular spaghetti and this was a great change!
You make it in the crock pot which was a big bonus for me!
I halved the recipe for my family and it made a lot even halved!!
Make sure that you add an hour to your when you start! Once the chicken is done and shredded it needs another hour with the saucy stuff!
Chicken Spaghetti
(found on Jack and Jill's Kitchen)

6 chicken breasts (I added more just because I was planning on feeding more than just my family) ~ I even used frozen chicken
1 onion chopped (I always use a sweet variety)
1 pkg. sliced mushrooms ~I didn't add these because of the boys
2 pkgs dry spaghetti sauce mix - use McCormick
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup butter (can substitute with chicken broth. I used 1/4 cup each butter/broth)

Cook in crock pot 4-6 hours on high or 8-10 hours on low. I found my chicken was done sooner, so watch!

When done shred the chicken with a fork then add:

2 8 oz pkg. cream cheese
2 cans of cream of chicken soup

Stir. Cook on low for 1 hour longer. Serve over angel hair pasta.