Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Sweet Potatoes or Yams

We had Thanksgiving in California at Todd's brothers house!  We had a great dinner and even experimented a little!
Heather found this recipe on  They were super yummy and a really good flavor adding the spices to it!
Sweet Potatoes or Yams
(adapted from
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 bag large marshmallows
  • about 6-7 medium yams or sweet potatoes
Boil your sweet potatoes with the skins on until the skins start to crack.  Peel the skins off (or the skin will just peel off to the touch) and slice.  My mom always peels the sweet potatoes or yams first and chunks them.  She then covers them and boils them until tender~just like regular potatoes.  I don't think it matters what way you do it, just make sure your potatoes are tender.

Put your sliced yams in a 9 x 13 pan.  We then sprinkled brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg over the top.  Next we dolloped the butter over the tops of them.  Next cook this in a 350 degree oven until the butter and sugars are melted, about 10 minutes or so.  (Next time we were going to try putting the butter, brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg in a saucepan.  Melting it all together and then putting it all over the cooked potatoes and skipping the baking part again?) 

Now add your marshmallows all over the top and broil until they are golden!  Don't take your eyes off or you will have burnt mallows!  YUMMY!!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Pomegranate Mold (or Penny Jello)

This is a Thanksgiving tradition at our house!  My mom has been making this jello for a long time and this year Heather and I made it!
We have nicknamed it the Penny jello because when I was a kid we always ate Thanksgiving in the dining room.  We never ate in there but on special occasions.  My mom invited this lady named Penny over for Thanksgiving and we had this jello.  We were always told to have our best manners and you can say were sternly told to have our best manners!
So this year we were in the dining room having our best manners when Penny started eating the jello.  She proceeded to pick the pomegranate seeds out of her mouth and not eat them or eat around the seed or something.  She used her hands and everything in the dining room!  My sisters and I were all a little shocked to say the least!  We now can't eat this salad without thinking of her and laughing about the dining room episode!
It is a very good jello and a yummy way to use pomegranates!
Pomegranate Mold Salad
(source unknown, been made for years at my house!)
  • 1 3 oz pkg strawberry jello
  • 1 3 oz pkg raspberry jello
  • 1 small can mandarin oranges, drained
  • 1 medium can crushed pineapple, drained
  • 2 cups pomegranate seeds, about 4 pomegranates
  • 1 can whole cranberry sauce
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
Dissolve jello in 3 cups water~1 cup hot, 2 cups cold

Mix together remaining ingredients in a bundt pan or jello mold or even a 9 x 13 pan.  Make sure to grease the bundt pan in order to get the jello out.

Pour jello over mixture and refrigerate.  We always make this the night before so it has adequate time to set up!  If using a bundt pan, you may need to soak the pan in warm water to get it to come loose!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Rice Krispy Turkeys

I found this idea on Pinterest.  I love that site and would recommend it to anyone for great ideas!
It was a simple fun way to get the kids involved in helping to make place cards at the table.  We didn't add eyes or a beak, but I really liked the simpleness of this anyway!
Rice Krispy Turkeys
  • Rice Krispies
  • Marshmallows
  • Chocolate for dipping
  • candy corns
  • white frosting if making eyes
  • Sucker sticks
Make your Rice Krispy treats in a 9 x 13 pan.  Once made, form into balls, we made about 17 small balls.

Melt your chocolate.  We used yummy See's candy chocolate bars, but any dipping chocolate or chocolate chips works.  Use a double boiler.

Dip the tops of your balls and then let firm up a bit.  Decorate and put onto your sticks.

We filled the cups with pretzels, popcorn and candy corn which looked very fall and festive.  The turkeys were a little top heavy, so next time I may add more candy corns on the bottom.  Write your guests names on the cups and they look super fun on the table!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Cheeseburger Soup

Yummy, Yumm-o, Yummtastic, Yummerific,...
These were some of the words that my family used to describe this soup!  Well the words "This is yummy mom" were used, which are words to melt any mothers heart!  My husband was even completely thrilled and loved dinner too!
This is a Taste of Home recipe and received 4 stars! The ingredients were almost all ones I had on hand~the only thing I had to buy was Velveeta.
Very easy and a very comforting soup!
Cheeseburger Soup
(Taste of home)
  • 1/2 lb ground beef
  • 3/4 cup chopped onion
  • 3/4 cup shredded carrots
  • 3/4 cup diced celery
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1 tsp dried parsley flakes
  • 4 tbsp butter, divided
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 4 cups diced, peeled potatoes (1 3/4 pounds) (or use red potatoes and you can leave skin on)
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 2 cups (8 ounces) process cheese (Velveeta)
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4-1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
In a sauce pan, brown your ground beef; drain and set aside.  While your beef is cooking, chop your onions, shred (grate with a cheese grater) your carrots and dice your celery.  I put all these ingredients in one bowl and then added the basil and parsley to it.

Once your beef is done and you have removed it from the pan, use the same pan and saute your onion, celery, carrots, basil, and parsley in 1 tbsp butter. 
Cook until veggies are tender, about 10 minutes. 

After the veggies are tender, add your broth (I did 3 cups water with 3 bouillon cubes), potatoes and beef.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 10-12 minutes or until potatoes are tender.

While everything is simmering, melt remaining 3 tbsp butter in a small skillet.  Add flour; cook and stir for 3-5 minutes or until bubbly.  Add this to your soup (when potatoes are ready) and bring to a boil.  Cook and stir for 2 minutes.  Reduce heat to low and stir in the milk, cheese, salt and pepper.  Cook until cheese is melted.

Remove from heat and stir in the sour cream.  Enjoy with saltine crackers!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Cowboy Quesadillas

I found this recipe on Our Best Bites website.  They always have great recipes and they are usually recipes with ingredients that I have on hand!
This one was the same!  My family all liked this, but I will say it was just an easy revved up version of a quesadilla.  My kids ate them, but didn't really like the dipping sauce.  I liked it too, but thought next time I might try substituting the barbecue sauce with sour cream.
All the ingredients are good together and I liked the barbecue sauce, but I think I would prefer sour cream!
Very easy and a way to make a quesadilla more of a meal than just cheese!  Also a great way to use leftovers!
Cowboy Quesadillas
  • 1/2 cup white rice
  • 1/3 cup black beans
  • 1 cup diced cooked chicken
  • 1/3 cup fresh frozen corn (no need to thaw)
  • 2/3 cup diced tomato (didn't add~I don't like tomatoes!)
  • 3 tbsp sliced green onions
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded cheese ~ any type you like!
  • 1/4 cup barbecue sauce (or try sour cream!)
  • small tortillas, fajita size
Combine rice, beans, chicken, corn, tomato, green onion and shredded cheese.  Add barbecue sauce (or sour cream) and stir to combine.  Place about 1/3 of the mixture on half of a tortilla and fold over to close.

Heat a skillet to medium heat.  When hot, spray with cooking spray and place your filled tortilla on top.  Cook until golden brown or slightly crisp and turn over to cook on other side!

Serve with a barbecue dipping sauce (equal parts barbecue sauce and ranch dressing) or try more sour cream, guacamole, or salsa and enjoy!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Moist Pumkin Spice Muffins (with Cream Cheese Frosting)

I love pumpkin and like to make lots of pumpkin this time of year!  I found this recipe on Tasty kitchen and had to try it.  This may now be my new go to recipe for pumpkin muffins! 
 I didn't make the frosting because I didn't have any cream cheese!  I do have to say that they were super moist and didn't need the frosting.  I am sure the muffin would be super good with the frosting, but they were really good without too!
Moist Pumpkin Spice Muffins (with Cream Cheese Frosting)

Muffin Ingredients:
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 4 tbsp butter, cut into pieces
  • 1 cup (heaping) pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 cup evaporated milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
For Frosting
  • 1/4 cups softened butter
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 lb powdered sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Generously grease a 12 muffin tin.

Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and salt.  Then combine with pastry blender or you can sift together.  Cut in butter pieces with 2 knives or pastry blender until it is fully incorporated.

In a separate bowl, mix together pumpkin, evaporated milk, egg, and vanilla.  Pour pumpkin mixture into the flour mixture.  Fold gently until mixture is just combined.

Pour the batter into the greased muffin pan(I used muffin liners).  I filled all 12 spots.  Sprinkle with topping mixture over all the batter filled tins.

Bake for 25 minutes.  Your toothpick should come out clean.  Let cool in pan for 15 minutes, then remove and allow to cool.

Ice with cream cheese frosting.  To make frosting~mix all ingredients in a mixer on high until soft and whipped.  Spread onto completely cooled muffins!  Store frosted muffins in refrigerator, icing will soften at room temp.!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Spider Cookies

I found this idea on a blog, not sure which one but it was a great simple idea!  It is a little late for Halloween, but it will definitely work for next year or maybe if you were having a spider man birthday party!
Spider Cookies
  • Oreo Cookies
  • M & M's
  • Pull apart Twizzlers (red or black)
  • Frosting
Cut your twizzlers to the size of your spider legs.  Next push your legs into the yummy oreo centers.  I learned as I went it was much easier to pull the top off of the oreo and push the legs in the filling that way.  I then put a little frosting on top of the filling and placed the top back on.

Next 2 dots of frosting for the eyes and then place your M & M's on top!  You are done and the kids will love them!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Reeses Cheesecake Brownies

It seems at times trying new recipes is a lonely place!  I hear people tell me about new recipes they try, and I always say "Add it to the blog!".  I have decided it must be my job to be experimental (which I fully enjoy!)!  So now my friends are sending me samples and recipes for the samples to add to the blog!  That works too!
This is a recipe Desiree tried and I sampled!  They are very yummy and I am glad to just have a little sample and not the whole pan~I would probably eat them all!  So enjoy and share with others to sample too!  Also a great way to use up that Halloween candy!
Reese's Cheesecake Brownies
(from Desiree via 
  • 1 19.5 oz box chocolate fudge brownie mix
  • 1 8 oz pkg. cream cheese, softened
  • 1 14oz can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 12 oz Reese's pieces candy
  • 1 12 oz bag milk chocolate chips
  • 3 tbsp whipping cream
  • 12 large Reese's peanut butter cups, chopped
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Lightly coat a 9x13 pan with cooking spray.

Prepare the brownie mix, according to pkg. directions.  Spread the batter in your pan, and set aside.

In a large bowl, beat cream cheese with mixer until fluffy.  Add sweetened condensed milk and peanut butter and beat until smooth.  Stir in Reese's Pieces candies.  Spoon the mixture over the brownie batter.  Spread evenly.

Bake for 40 minutes or until cheesecake layer is set and edges are golden brown.  Cool for 30 minutes and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

In a small bowl, microwave the chocolate chips and whipping cream for 1 minute or until chips are melted.  Stir until smooth.  Spread over cheesecake layer.  Sprinkle Reese's Peanut Butter cup pieces over top.  Store covered in refrigerator until ready to serve!