Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Almond Joy Brownies

I have many recipes waiting for me to post!  I don't know why I have no motivation, maybe its the heat?  Maybe its the summertime business we all seem to be experiencing??
Maybe I am just plain lazy??
Whatever it may be, I am still cooking, just not blogging!
This recipe was a hit and yummy!
Chocolate, Almonds, Coconut!!!  Who couldn't ask for a better combination!  I didn't do the Chocolate topping but served them with hot fudge and ice cream on the side.  I don't think it needs the topping, but I will include the option for you to try!
Almond Joy Brownies
(Beantown Baker)
For the Brownie:
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 cup + 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1/2 cup + 2 tbsp cocoa
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 Tbsp vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  • 2 cups shredded, sweetened coconut
  • pinch salt
  • 2/3 cup + 2 tbsp sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 cup whole almonds, chopped
Chocolate Topping:
  • 3 oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped (or 1/2 cup bittersweet chocolate chips)
  • 2 oz semisweet chocolate, chopped (or 1/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips)
Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and lightly grease an 8 x 8 pan.

In a saucepan over low heat, melt your butter.  Then add your sugar and stir to combine.  Heat until hot but not bubbly.  It will become shiny looking as you stir it.  This helps dissolve the sugar and give the brownie a shiny crust.

Transfer your sugar/butter mixture to a mixing bowl.  Stir in the cocoa, salt, baking powder, and vanilla.

Whisk in the eggs, stirring until smooth.

Add your flour and chocolate chips.  Stir until smooth.

Spoon your batter into your prepared pan.

Next, combine your coconut, salt and sweetened condensed milk.  Stir to combine.  Drop your coconut mixture onto your brownie batter.  Drop evenly all over and then take a knife and swirl it into your brownie batter.

Sprinkle your chopped almonds on top and bake for about 30 minutes.  A cake tested should come out clean when done.  You may have a few moist crumbs, which is fine.  Remove from oven and cool.

~For the chocolate topping, melt your chocolate until completely melted in your microwave in 20 seconed intervals or on the stove in a double boiler.  Spread melted chocolate on top of the brownie.  Your brownies can be warm or completley cooled.  Refrigerate overnight and enjoy!

I omitted the chocolate topping and we ate the brownies the same day and served with hot fudge and ice cream which was super good too and omitted the waiting period! 

Monday, July 2, 2012

Honey-Lime Chicken Skewers

I didn't get a picture of these, but they were super yummy and a great marinade!

Honey-Lime Chicken Skewers
  • 3 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • juice of one lime
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1-2 tsp Siracha, or I used a honey garlic one
  • red pepper flakes, to taste
  • 2 tbsp cilantro
  • 1 lb skinless, boneless chicken breasts
In a small bowl, combine your ingredients, through the cilantro.  I didn't use the cilantro because my husband doesn't like it.  Mix thoroughly.

Pour the marinade over cubed chicken breasts and turn to coat.  Cover and allow to marinate for at least 1 hour.

Put on your skewers and then grill on medium high heat for 6-8 minutes per side.  Make sure juices run clear and enjoy!

Friday, June 29, 2012

Strawberry Sherbet

The Dad at our house got an ice cream/sherbet/sorbet/yogurt maker for fathers day! 
We finally tried it and made this Strawberry Sherbet.  It was yummy, cool, refreshing on these hot summer days and it had 4 ingredients!
I love this ice-cream maker and I am starting to feel guilty like I gave him a present I wanted!  But I keep telling myself it is benefiting him too!
Strawberry Sherbet
  • 2 cups hulled strawberries (I think we could have added more strawberries too!  Love the strawberry flavor!)
  • 2 cups low fat milk
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup sugar
Place strawberries in a food processor or blender and puree until smooth.  If you don't want the seeds you can pour this mixture through a strainer and get some out!

Stir in the milk, lemon juice, and sugar.  Refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight.  Make sure your mixture is thoroughly chilled.

Pour the chilled mixture into your ice-cream maker bowl and follow your recommended instructions for freezing and enjoy an awesome summer treat!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Oriental Chicken Salad and Dressing

Oh my goodness!  Yum! 
Can I have this at least once a week!?  Or everyday?
This was sooooo good and everyone devoured theres!  It was such a good summer meal, especially since it is soo easy to prepare!
A great easy salad that had great flavor too!
Oriental Chicken Salad and Dressing
  • Romaine lettuce, chopped
  • Mandarin Oranges
  • Cooked, seasoned and sliced chicken (used Montreal Steak Seasoning for Chicken to season mine)
  • Sliced Almonds
  • Chow Mein Noodles
Dressing
  • 1/4 cup mayonaise
  • 4 tbsp rice wine vinegar
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 2 tbsp sesame seed oil
  • 1 tsp dijon mustard
Get all your ingredients prepared and ready.  I opened 2 cans of oranges and just made enough chicken for my family with a little left over.  You can adjust this to as many or as little people as you need to feed.

Keep your ingredients separated so that you can have leftovers another day.  I put my sliced chicken in one bowl, then the oranges in another and so forth.  You then start with placing your lettuce in your bowl or on your plate.  Top with your oranges, chicken and then top with your almonds and chow mein noodles.  Now you are ready for your dressing.

Combine all your dressing ingredients and whisk until smooth and blended.  Pour over your individual salads and enjoy! 

Todd took this to work and I separated it into small containers with the lettuce in the biggest and then he put it together and it was a great leftover lunch!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Pioneer Womans Cinnamon Rolls

I have a favorite cinnamon roll recipe.  It was one I got from a friend when I first got married and have loved it ever since.
I was in the mood to try something new and since I have practically loved every recipe from Pioneer Woman, I decided to try hers!
They were yummy and just as good as her pictures showed!  She uses a maple frosting that is fun to try every once in a while too!
So if you are in the mood for cinnamon rolls (well maybe not this week with 100 degree temps) give these a try or maybe just try her frosting with your own favorite recipe!
I also highly recommend both her cookbooks!  They are awesome!
Cinnamon Rolls
(Pioneer Woman cookbook Recipes from an Accidental Country Girl)

Dough
  • 1 quart (4 cups) whole milk (I just use what I have, but I am sure whole milk would make them a WHOLE lot yummier!!)
  • 1 cup oil
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 pkgs (4 1/2 tsp) active dry yeast
  • 9 cups flour (I used half wheat and half white)
  • 1 heaping tsp baking powder
  • 1 scant tsp baking soda
  • 1 tbsp salt
Filling
  • 2 cups melted butter
  • 1/4 cup ground cinnamon
  • 2 cups sugar, plus more as needed
Maple Icing
  • 2 lbs powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup whole milk (or whatever you have on hand)
  • 6 tbsp melted butter
  • 1/4 cup strongly brewed coffee (I just used more milk here!)
  • Dash of salt
  • 1 tbsp maple flavoring or maple extract
For the dough, heat your milk, oil, and sugar.  Do over medium heat and warm it up but don't let it boil.  Set it aside and let cool to lukewarm.

Once it is lukewarm, sprinkle your yeast on top and let it sit for 1 minute or until you start seeing it working.

Now pour this mixture into your mixer and get ready to mix!  Add 8 cups of your flour and stir until combined.  Cover with a clean towel and set it aside to rise for about 1 hour.  Make sure you have a warm spot or if you are lucky enough to have a proofer on your oven, stick this pot of yumminess inside there!

Remove your towel after an hour and you should see a yummy rised dough.  Now add your baking powder, baking soda, salt and the remaining 1 cup of flour.  Mix with your dough hook again and combine.  If you need to add more flour to make it not incredibly sticky, do so!

Now the joy of this recipe is that she says you don't have to use it right away!  I haven't tried this with hers, but she says you can put the dough in the refrigerator for up to 3 days and just keep punching the dough down if it rises up over the bowl!

If you are using the dough right away (or you are ready to use it from the refrigerator), take half your dough and roll it out to a large rectangle.  You may want to flour your work surface to prevent sticking!  Now comes the yummy goodness!  I gave her measurements for butter, cinnamon and sugar.  You can use her measurements and use half for this part of the dough and half for the other part or you can wing it like I do and just sprinkle till it looks good!  The most important part is to make sure you do the melted butter first!  Make sure you try and spread evenly and don't get too close to the edges so you can roll them up and not loose too much buttery yumminess!

Begin at the long end and start rolling the dough up.  Try and keep it tight!  When you reach the end, pinch your seams together.  Now use a knife and cut your rolls into 1 1/2 inch slices.  (You can see a great step by step on her blog if I have confused you by now!)

Pour a couple tablespoons in your pan (she uses pie pans, or I like jelly roll pans or whateve you want to cook them in) and make sure the butter coats the pan.  Place your cut rolls in your pan making sure you don't overcrowd your rolls.  Repeat this until you are out of dough and then do the same with your other half of dough.

Cover your rolls with a clean towel and let rise for about 20 minutes.  During this time, preheat your oven to 375 degrees.  You can now get a head start on your dishes, or take a much needed break!

Now remove your towels and bake for 13-17 minutes or until golden brown.  Don't overly brown them, you will be sad if you do!

While they are baking, make your icing!

In a large bowl, whisk together your powdered sugar, milk, butter, coffee(or more milk), and salt.  Add your maple flavoring.  Whisk until smooth.  Taste and add more maple, sugar, or butter if you feel it needs anything else!  The icing should be thick but pourable!

While the rolls are still warm, pour your maple icing all over the top, making sure to get all the edges covered.  As they sit the rolls will absorb the icing and make them super yummy!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Shredded Tex-Mex Crock-Pot Chicken

I love a good crock-pot meal!  I have instituted another meal day!
We do Breakfast Wednesdays and now I am doing Crock-Pot Tuesdays!
It is nice to have my meal almost put together in the morning and then we can play longer in the afternoons!  This will really come in handy when the town pool opens!
This chicken had really great flavor and we loved it in burritos and nachos.
Try this easy dinner on one of these hot summer days coming up!
Shredded Tex-Mex Crock-Pot Chicken

  • 4 chicken breasts (mine were even frozen and it turned out great)
  • 1 1/4 tsp cumin
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp coriander
  • 1/4 tsp paprika
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1/3 cup chicken broth (I just used water!)
  • 1/3 cup (packed) cilantro leaves, chopped (didn't add since someone at my house HATES cilantro)
  • 2 limes, juiced
  • 1 large onion chopped (not finely though)
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded and minced (I just sliced mine)
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
Heat your oil in a medium sized pan.  Add your chopped onion and saute for 5 minutes.  Add your cumin, chili powder, coriander, paprika and garlic.  Saute for another 2 minutes.

Now add your chicken broth or water to deglaze the pan.  Basically you are trying not to leave behind any flavor and getting all those brown bits off the bottom of the pan!  Turn your heat off and set aside!

Sprinkle the chicken with the salt and pepper.  Add to crock pot and then squeeze your lime juice on top.  Add your cilantro, jalapeno, and pour your onion-garlic mixture over top!

Cook on low for 3-5 hours.  Remove when done and shred your chicken.  You can now add your onion mixture to your chicken or I left it out and it still had tons of flavor.

Now it is up to you to eat it up!  Serve as soft tacos with shredded lettuce, avocado, tomato, cheese, sour cream, refried beans, salsa or whatever your heart desires!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Asian Inspired Flat Iron Steak

We are carnivores at our house and nothing seems to be better than a good cooked steak!  (or one that is Todd endorsed!!)
Well I also love a meal where part of it involves cooking outside by my husband!  Nothing better than having a little help with dinner!
This steak had great flavor and was really tender!  My husband usually prefers meat flavor instead of marinade, but even he liked this a lot!
We ate it with rice and it was loved by all!
Asian Inspired Flat Iron Steak
(From Pioneer Woman Black heels to Tractor Wheels book)
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup sherry (or 1/4 cup vinegar, 1 tbsp sugar & then add water to make 1/2 cup of mixture for a substitute)
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 2 tbsp sesame oil
  • 2 heaping tbsp minced ginger (or I used powder)
  • 2 tbsp (3-5 cloves) minced garlic
  • 1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 flat iron steaks
  • Can garnish with roasted sesame seeds and slivered green onions
Whisk all the ingredients, except steaks! :)

Place the steaks and marinade in a Ziploc bag and chill in the refrigerator for 3-6 hours.  Then grill them to your preferred doneness!

Allow your steaks to rest for 5 minutes and then enjoy!  And sprinkle some of the garnish if you desire!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Charlotte's "Best of Show" Brownies

I found this recipe in the Billings Gazette.
This recipe was the recipe of a lady who died in 2007, but won the "Best of Show" ribbon at the fair for these brownies!
I would give these brownies a ribbon!
They were moist and full of chocolatey goodness!  I ran out of time and didn't even get the frosting made too!  They were delicious without the frosting and I am sure they would be great with too!
You make them in a 9 x 9 pan, which is good because you wont have leftovers to eat all day the next day!
Charlotte's Best of Show Brownies
(Billings Gazette)

  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
Cream butter and sugar.  Add your eggs and combine.  Add your flour and then your cocoa powder.  Stir in 1 tsp vanilla. 

Pour into greased 9 x 9 pan.  Bake at 325 for 35 minutes.

Cool and then top with frosting.


Chocolate Fudge Frosting
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 bag chocolate chips (about 1 cup)
  • 1 tsp vanilla
Bring butter, milk and sugar to a boil.  Remove from heat.

Add chocolate chips and vanilla.  Stir until smooth. 

Frost your cooled brownies and ENJOY!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Country Egg Scramble

I found this on the real mom kitchen site a while back and hadn't had a chance to try it!
This was a yummy hearty breakfast Wednesday meal for our family.  We ate this with Blueberry Muffins!  YUM!
Simple and yummy and was a hit with all!
Country Egg Scramble
(realmomkitchen)
  • 6-7 medium sized red potatoes, cubed (I just used baking potatoes that I had on hand and guesstimated the size!  You can't really go wrong!)
  • 8 eggs
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp pepper
  • 4 medium green onions, sliced about 1/4 cup (left these out since I didn't have any)
  • 6 slices bacon
  • 1 cup cheese, whatever you have on hand should work
First off you need to cook your cubed potatoes.  So fill your pot with enough water to cover your potatoes and heat to boiling.  Then cook until your potatoes are tender, but not falling apart!

Beat your eggs, milk, salt and pepper with a fork or wire whisk.  Beat them until the egg mixture is a uniform yellow color.

In a large skillet, cook your 6 slices of bacon until crispy and then remove from heat.  When you eventually have to crumble the bacon, I like to cut the bacon before I cook it with my kitchen scissors so it is already crumbled.  Place your cooked bacon on a paper towel lined plate to help drain some grease!

Next add your potatoes to the skillet and cook them in the bacon grease left in the pan.  If you think there is too much grease, drain a little but leave enough so you can brown up your potatoes.

Cook your potatoes in the grease until browned, turning occasionally.  Stir in your green onions if you are using them and cook 1 minute longer stirring constantly.

Pour your egg mixture into the skillet with the potatoes.  As the eggs begin to set on the bottom and side of the pan, gently lift cooked portions with your spatula so that thin, uncooked portions can now flow to the bottom.  Avoid constant stirring!

Cook 3-4 minutes or until eggs are thickened throughout, but still moist.  Dice up your bacon, or put your already crumbled bacon on top and then sprinkle with cheese!

Enjoy with a nice warm muffin!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Chocolate Chip Brownies

Chocolate Chip Brownies are yummy!
They don't need frosting either!
They are all gone, so sad!
Another great brownie and another yummy way to eat your daily chocolate serving! 
 Doesn't everyone have this in there diet!??
Chocolate Chip Brownies
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cup butter, melted
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/3 cup cocoa
  • 1 1/2 cups chocolate chips
Lightly beat your eggs.  I did this by hand too!  Add your sugar, butter and vanilla.  Stir this until all the butter is completely combined.  Meaning the butter will no longer separate from the mixture.

Sift together the flour, cocoa, baking powder, and salt.  I did sift this together.

Add your flour mixture in thirds to your wet mixture.  This makes it much easier to mix this together by hand.  Mix just until blended.  Fold in your chocolate chips.

Pour into a greased 9 x 13 pan.  The recipe says to flour your pan, I didn't and they came out fine, but do what you think :)!

Spread your batter to the edges of your pan.  Bake 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes.  Let cool in your pan and enjoy, really enjoy! 

(I found out later that the rest of the brownies were thoroughly enjoyed with ice-cream, sliced strawberries and chocolate sauce on top!  YUMMM!)

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

How to make Homemade Croutons

So with baseball and we just ended soccer, dinners have become more interesting and rushed! 
I was thinking that I didn't want another night of whatever we could find in the freezer, so I put together a chef salad!
The only thing missing was croutons to make it really good!  I was planning to go to the store, but thought all I need is croutons and if I go to the store I will buy...you know what I mean!
So I went to the trusty Internet and decided why can't I make them!  Needless to say there are many recipes for them and they are truly better than the store bought version and they were simple too!
So, we will be making croutons at our house from now on and I will double the amount next time because they were all eaten.  In fact I couldn't keep hands off them as they cooled on the baking sheet before dinner even started!
So as we head into summer, make a big batch of croutons (and don't go buying them at the store :) one day and eat salad all week! YUMMMMMMMMMM!

How to make homemade croutons
  • loaf of quality bread, cut into about 1-inch cubes (I used sour dough bread I had)  ~ preferably the loaf to be a day or two old
  • about 1/4 cup olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • seasonings ~ Italian seasoning, garlic powder, onion powder, Parmesan cheese
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

In a large bowl, put your bread cubes.  Now evenly drizzle your olive oil on top.  I didn't measure my olive oil, I just drizzled and tossed together until it looked evenly coated.  Season with salt and pepper and add your additional seasonings as desired.  I seasoned mine with garlic powder.

Toss again making sure all seasoning are evenly distributed.

Spread your bread cubes in a single layer on a baking sheet.  Bake until golden brown, turning the bread to brown on all sides.  Cooking time will depend on your bread thickness.  The recipe said she did it for 15-20 minutes, mine took longer by 10-15 minutes.  Watch carefully though, you don't want burnt croutons!

Remove when done from oven and let them cool completely on the pan.  Try to keep any taste tasters at bay!  It may be hard because the smell was so enticing and it traveled throughout the house!!

Store any leftovers in an air tight container.  Use within a week or freeze for up to 6 months!

Variations:
  • Season with a salad dressing instead of oil and herbs
  • Bake in a toaster oven (for smaller amounts)
  • Use different kinds of breads (rye, sandwich bread, etc.)

Monday, May 21, 2012

Potatoes Romanoff

I have now made these potatoes twice and this was the first picture able to get!  Why you ask??  Because they were gone before I could get a picture!  My family isn't so sure about taking time to take a picture before we eat and sometimes I try not to embarrass my family when we have other people over!
So here we have it and they were fabulous!  That was just the first word that came to mind!
These potatoes are easy and the ingredients are usually ones I have on hand!  The only thing to remember is that you cook the potatoes in advance!  I am sure you could probably cook the potatoes in the morning and then put it together in the evening, but part of the ease is that I put the kids to bed, put the potatoes in the oven, sat down and watched a movie and turned the oven off after an hour and I was done!  So easy! 
If you don't have air conditioning as we head into the summer months, you may want to save this for the fall or I guess you could cheat and use store bought hash browns??
Either way they were YUMMY!!
Potatoes Romanoff
  • 3 large baking potatoes (or I did about 6 medium potatoes)
  • 3/4 cups minced shallots (I omitted this, due to I don't have shallots laying around my kitchen:)
  • 2 1/2 cups grated white cheddar cheese (I just used regular cheddar since it was what I had)
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups sour cream
  • I added bacon bits to mine too!
First off, I want to say that this is super simple and you can adjust as you want.  I didn't even really measure the second time I made this because how to you mess up with potatoes, cheese and sour cream!

Bake your potatoes first.  Do this the night before.  Bake 425 til done or about 40-60 minutes depending on the size.  The recipe recommends to wrap them in foil.  I did this the first time, but not the second and they seemed fine both ways! 

Let potatoes cool to room temp and then put them in the refrigerator over night  or if you are like me and you forgot about them in the oven, let them sit there and then put them in the fridge in the morning :)!!

Now your potatoes are chilled, grate them, skins and all!  I used my large box grater or it was recommended to use a food processor.  Put your grated potatoes into a large bowl and sprinkle with the shallots, 1 3/4 cups of your cheese, salt and pepper.

Use your hands and gently toss this all together.  Make sure you don't compress or squish your potatoes.  Fold in the sour cream.  Transfer this into a 1 1/2 quart dish.  (I doubled this both times and a doubled recipe fits nicely in a 9 x 13 pan)

Sprinkle the remaining cheese on top.  Now you can sprinkle bacon bits on top too!

Bake at 350 degrees until the tops are golden brown.  About 30 minutes.  We put them under the broiler at the end to help brown up the cheese too!

Friday, May 18, 2012

Best ever Oatmeal Chocolate Chip (or Raisin) Cookies

Well these cookies have lived up to the title!  My family has absolutely loved them!  We have a disagreement going though about which is better ~ raisin or chocolate chip!!  We are even thinking to try craisin or craisin chocolate chip???
These cookies are soft and flavorful and really are a great oatmeal cookie!
Best ever oatmeal chocolate chip cookie
(found on a blog that I forgot to write down! OOPS!)
  • 1 cup butter or margarine softened
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 3 cups quick oats (or I did 2 cups regular oats)
  • 2 cups chocolate chips (or divide your dough and do 1 cup raisins and 1 cup chocolate chips)
OK, the original recipe says that these taste better mixed by hand!  I looked away at these directions and used my mixer!  So you decide. but the thought of mixing all this by hand wasn't happening!  Just remember, we thought they were super good mixed in the mixer!

Mix your butter and sugars together.

Add in eggs, vanilla, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon.

Stir in your flour, then oats.  This is where I did do a little hand mixing.  I divided my dough in half and hand mixed in my raisins in one side and chocolate chips in the other half.  (If you find your raisins are hard, just soak them in warm water while you get the cookie dough made and it should soften them up!)

Bake at 375 degrees for 8-10 minutes.  They are done when they start turning golden brown in color.

Great on there own, with a glass of milk, or I really wanted to make an ice-cream sandwich with them!  YUM all 3 ways!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Ben's Birthday Cookies and Cupcake Cake

Since I am always looking for ideas when it comes to my kids birthday cakes, I thought I would post what I did for Ben's birthday!  I am by no means an expert, just a closet baker who enjoys trying new ideas!
 These are sugar cookies with just white icing and a food pen.  I won this set of food pens a long time ago and had never used them.  We went with a baseball theme, since Ben is in the middle of baseball right now. 
The pen worked really well, but best to use when the icing is wet and not completely set.  I was impressed and thought I would buy some again when they ran out!
I saw this on pinterest (I know so 2012 to be saying found on pinterest!!) and I will say it was easy and so fun to make a cupcake cake!  This was my first attempt and I am sure next time it will look better and more filled in, but I thought it wasn't too bad! 
Here is the frosting recipe I used!  It was super good!!

  • 1 cup room temperature butter
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 4 tbsp heavy cream (or I used whipping cream since it was what I had)
Whip all this together and adjust the powdered sugar or cream to get the desired consistency and spread away!  Save your leftovers and spread it between 2 graham crackers!  A total childhood memory I can't get over and recreate whenever I can!  YUMMY!!!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Spicy Lemon Garlic Shrimp

This is another great find from my new Pioneer Woman cooks cookbook.  I did mess up a little and bought the wrong shrimp!  OOPS!  But all in all the recipe was good and easy and oh sooo buttery!  I think next time I might try this with half the butter and I am sure it will still be plenty.  But then again, when I buy the right shrimp, maybe it will be right!
Spicy Lemon Garlic Shrimp
(The Pioneer Woman cooks cookbook)
  • 1 cup cold butter, cut into pieces
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley (if using dried, 1 tsp dried = 1 tbsp fresh)
  • juice of 2 lemons
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 lbs raw shrimp, deveined, shells on
Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. 

Add your butter and garlic to a food processor.  Then add your parsley, lemon juice, salt, and red pepper flakes.  Pulse this mixture several times until everything is mixed together.

Arrange your shrimp on a baking tray in a single layer.

Dot the top of each shrimp with your butter mixture. (The cookbook has great pictures and step by step pictures throughout!  Love it!!)

Roast the shrimp in your oven until the shrimp are cooked through and the butter is bubbly, about 20 minutes.  Serve in a large bowl making sure to keep the juices and drizzle all over the shrimp.

She recommends serving with crusty french bread so you can dip your bread in the yummy buttery juices!  We ate ours with some yummy flank steak, french bread and baked potatoes!  It was super yummy!

Monday, May 14, 2012

Pioneer Woman Tres Leches Cake

I made this cake way before Cinco de Mayo, but as said in previous posts, I have been a slacker and haven't wanted to get on the computer!  So here it is many days after, but still a really good cake to try any time!
It was moist, and easy to make!  I dont' know if I would have thought to make this except I bought Pioneer Woman's new cookbook and was wanting to make something from it!  Cake it was!
It is definitely a yummy (and no chocolate) recipe and it was really simple to make!
Try it today!  I dare you!  You wont be disappointed!
Tres Leches Cake
(The Pioneer Woman Cooks cookbook)
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 5 large eggs, separated
  • 1 cup plus 3 tbsp sugar
  • 1/3 cup milk (she says whole milk, but I used 1% that I had on hand)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 12 ounce can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 14 ounce can evaporated milk (I think I found I had a 14 ounce can sweetened condensed and 1 12 ounce evaporated and it was fine)
  • 1 pint plus 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • Maraschino cherries for garnish if wanted!
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease and flour your 9 x 13 pan.  Really follow this because I didn't and was unable to get mine out of the pan! 

Combine the flour, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl.  Set aside.

Add the egg yolks and 3/4 cup of the sugar to a mixing bowl.  Beat them until very light in color.  Then add your 1/3 cup milk and vanilla.  Beat until just combined.

Pour this over your flour  mixture and stir gently until combined with a rubber spatula.

In a clean mixing bowl, beat your egg whites on high speed until soft peaks form.  Add 1/4 cup sugar and then continue beating until the whites are stiff but not dry.

Gently fold your egg whites into the bowl with the other ingredients.  Don't over mix!  Again Don't Over mix!!  Stop just short of it all being completely mixed in!

Spread the batter in your baking pan and bake the cake for 35-45 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.  Remove the cake and let it cool completely in the pan.  It will be spongy looking!

When the cake is cool, invert it on a platter.  This is where I ran into problems.  If you can't get it out, then just do the next steps in the cake pan.  It worked fine for me!

Poke holes in your cake all over with a fork.  Combine your sweetened condensed milk, evaporated milk, and 1/4 cup heavy cream.  Slowly pour this all over your cake!  Make sure to get it all over the edges and evenly coat the surfaces!  Some of the liquid will pool all around the cake too!

Allow cake to sit for 30 minutes to soak up all that milky goodness.  Then whip your 1 pint heavy cream with the remaining 3 tbsp sugar until thick.  Spread this all over your cake!  YUM!!!

Cut into squares and be prepared for people to ask what is that?? and promptly want the recipe!

Friday, May 11, 2012

Thick and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

It doesn't seem like I am ever satisfied with the chocolate chip cookie recipe I have!  I do have a few of them and the ones in my recipe book have all been winners!  But for some reason I keep trying new ones and looking for new ones!  I don't know why, maybe I will figure it out one day!
These cookies were definitely thick and chewy and good!
They were yummy dunked in milk and would have made great ice cream sandwich cookies for summer time!
Thick and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies
  • 2 cups plus 2 tbsp flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 sticks butter, melted and cooled until warm
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 egg plus 1 egg yolk
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1-1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper or spray with cooking spray.  I lined mine with parchment paper.

Whisk your flour, baking soda, and salt together.  Set aside.

Cream your butter and sugars together until thoroughly blended.  Beat in your egg, egg yolk, and vanilla until combined.  Add your dry ingredients and beat until combined.  Stir in your chips or mix on low.  Add 1 cup and see if it is enough for you before you do 1 1/2 cups.

OK~This is where you gives you a new way to make cookies!  I tried it and thought the cookies were cool looking, but definitely not a have too!

Roll about 1/4 cup dough in your hand and make a ball.  Now hold your ball between 2 fingertips and tear it in half.  Rotate the halves 90 degrees until the jagged edges are facing up and then squish the balls together at the base to form one ball.  Place the formed balls with the jagged edges up on your baking sheets.  This will give them a cool edgy appearance.

Bake until cookies are golden brown and outer edges start to harden and middles still soft and puffy ~ about 15-18 minutes.  Cool the cookies on the sheets and then remove to your cooling racks!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Peanut Butter-Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

OK I have taken a slight hiatus from posting new recipes.  This is not due to lack of trying new things, but lack of desire to sit at the computer!  See my computer in the kitchen died last fall and I have had to use the archaic old lap top that was bought ages ago and wasn't being used!  It is a pain to use and periodically just turns off!  I guess it is a good timer to monitor your Internet or computer use!!
Well, I made these cookies in April!  They were so yummy and definitely on my make often list, especially since I just bought the big jumbo jars of peanut butter at Costco!
The cookies are soft and the combination of peanut butter and chocolate are always a good combo in my book!  The other bonus in my eyes is that they make about 16-20 cookies!  Just enough to eat and not too many leftovers for my house!  My true love is a hot cookie out of the oven!!
Peanut Butter-Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 stick or 1/2 cup butter at room temp
  • 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup oats
  • 3/4-1 cup chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside!  (If you have an Allison's pantry dealer near you, you totally need to get there parchment paper sheets.  They come in sheets to fit your cookie sheets exactly!  I love it!  No curling sheets, cutting to size, etc!  Totally worth every penny!

Whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt and set aside.  (I don't often set aside my dry ingredients, probably because I am too lazy!  So do if you like, she recommended it but I think I just added the dry ingredients a little at a time!)

Cream together the butter, peanut butter, sugar, brown sugar,and vanilla extract.  Do this for about 3 minutes.  Add the egg and beat to combine.  On low speed, gradually add your whisked dry ingredients (or add them a little at a time like I do!  Live dangerous!!).  Add your oats, and then chocolate chips.  The original recipe called for 1 cup, but I thought it was too many chocolate chips, so I adjusted my recipe for next time to 3/4 cup.  I would recommended to start with 3/4 and see what you think!

Use a large cookie scoop and drop your dough onto your prepared parchment lined baking sheets.  Place about 2 inches apart at least and bake for 10 minutes or until lightly golden.  Cool completely on your baking sheets and then store in an air tight container!

Enjoy some peanut butter chocolate goodness and no you are getting your oats as well!

Friday, April 6, 2012

Chocolate Muffins

Chocolate is yummy!  Yes it is yummy for breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks between breakfast and lunch, between snacks, between lunch and dinner, between snacks again, after dinner and maybe just maybe (if you exercised today) before bed!  I just love a good cup of hot chocolate!
So needless to say, I had to try these muffins!
They were yummy and chocolaty and a great breakfast treat!
Chocolate muffin and a grapefruit!
Yes that was my breakfast yesterday and I thoroughly enjoyed it!

Chocolate Muffins
(found on pinterest from www.mybakingaddiction.com)
  • 1 3/4 cups flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 3 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips, plus 1/4 cup for sprinkling
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/3 cup oil
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Lightly grease a 12 cup muffin tin or place liners in your pan.

In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cocoa, sugar, and 3/4 cup chocolate chips.

In a medium bowl, combine the milk, oil, egg, and vanilla.  Whisk to combine.

Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir until combined.  There will be lumps because your chocolate chips are in there!

Divide your batter among your muffin cups.  Sprinkle with the remaining 1/4 cup chocolate chips on top.

Bake in preheated oven for 18-20 minutes or until muffins are done, spongy and risen.  They totally remind me of the Costco muffins, only smaller!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Twice-Baked New Potatoes

I ordered, or pre-ordered the new Pioneer Woman cookbook for my sister for her birthday!  Well actually I ordered one for myself too!
I really like the pioneer woman's blog and her cookbooks have been great too!
Potatoes are an easy add to a meal, but sometimes I get tired of the same old baked or mashed potato.  So I tried this and it was a success!  I wont say it is good for you, but it is very yummy.  Another bonus is that you can make them in the morning when you have more time and then do the final bake right before dinner!
It takes a little extra work, but it was worth it in the end.  The recipe made more than my family could eat, but the leftovers were really good once again for lunch!
Twice-Baked New Potatoes
(The Pioneer Woman Cooks Food from my Frontier cookbook)
  • 12 new potatoes, scrubbed clean (I used regular russets, about 6-7)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, softened (I used the neufachtal and room temp)
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 1/2 cups Monterey Jack cheese, grated (I used Colby jack)
  • 1 tbsp minced chives (optional if you don't have any)
  • 1 garlic clove, finely minced
  • salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. 

 Place your potatoes on a cookie sheet and drizzle with the olive oil.  Toss them around to coat, or rub them with your hands.  Roast your potatoes.  If you are using new potatoes, about 20-25 minutes is recommended or until they are tender and skins are crisp.  If using russets, bake for about 60 minutes or until tender and skins are crisp.

Now you need to halve your potatoes.  I waited a little to let them cool down.  Use a spoon and scoop out the insides of your halves.  Leave a little bit on the edges to keep your skin in tact and keep its shape.

Put your scooped out potato in a bowl and add your sour cream, cream cheese, jack cheese, chives, and salt and pepper.  Mash with a potato masher until mixture is smooth and taste it see if needs more seasonings.

Scoop your mixture into your potato skin shells.  You can now cover and refrigerate if you want to make these in advance before dinner.

If you are eating now, bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown on top!  Enjoy with steak, chicken or whatever you fancy!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Rainbow Pinwheel Cookies

I found these on pinterest!  They are Dr. Seus inspired cookies!
My kids had a great time helping me make them!
They turned out really fun and the best part is I didn't have to frost them and the kids got to help!
This would also be a fun way to make theme cookies.  For example, you could mix your favorite sports teams colors together and swirl them!
Rainbow Pinwheel Cookies
  • 1 recipe your favorite sugar cookie dough (mine is the sour cream sugar cookies on this site!)
  • Liquid food coloring, 5 colors
  • Rainbow sprinkles, or I used colored sugar sprinkles
Preheat oven to recipes temperature.

Make your dough.  Divide your dough into 5 equal parts or as many colors as you want to do.  Color each part the color you want.  We used purple, red, yellow, green and blue.  The original poster said neon colors work really well, I will try that next time!

I mixed my colors in with my mixer.  I didn't clean it in between, so some of the colors got mixed up, but it worked fine.

Now, chill your dough as needed.  Make sure it is good and chilled so that it wont get too sticky as you work with it!

This is where my kids came in and helped!  Now you need to form your different colors into grape size balls.  I noticed that it didn't really matter the size, just that bigger balls made bigger cookies and bigger portions of one color than another just made that color more prominent than the others.

So make your different color balls.  When you have 1 of each color, combine them into a ball, like a multi color beach ball.  Now roll the ball into a snake and then coil together.

Roll your edges into the sprinkles if desired and cook for the time recommended on your cookie recipe!

Super good and super fun cookies!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Turnovers

Todd and I decided one night to experiment and make something new!
I had traveled with him on a charter to Jackson Hole where we ate an apple turnover at the Bunnery.  We love to go to the Bunnery.
We had fun making these, but they are time consuming and many, many, steps.  If you want the recipe we found it in the King Arthur Cook book.  I will tell you, there are many steps. 
We didn't quite master the light flakiness of the one we ate at the Bunnery, but they were pretty good.
We just might have to try and make them again, another day!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Double Chocolate Butterscotch Brownies

We really like brownies at our house!
We seem to make them once a week for family night and for some reason I am always wanting to find something new or different!
I have a few favorites, but I just can't keep from trying new ones!
This one was really moist and the butterscotch was a new flavor!  We couldn't leave good enough alone and topped our brownies with cool whip!  Whipped Cream or ice cream would have been better, but cool whip was our only option!
Another yummy option for your brownie craving!!
Double Chocolate Butterscotch Brownies
(pinterest via www.ingoodtasteblog.net)

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup butterscotch chips
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/3 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray or butter an 8 x 8 pan and then cover with parchment paper.  Make sure your parchment paper overhangs your pan.  Spray or butter your parchment paper also.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt.  Set aside.

In a double boiler, melt chocolate chips and butter.  Let cool slightly, and then add your eggs one at a time and mix.  Add your vanilla extract and combine until smooth.

Add the flour mixture to the chocolate mixture and mix until combined, being careful not to over mix.  Stir in your butterscotch chips.

Spread your batter into your prepared pan and bake for 30-35 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.  It took me about 40 minutes to get mine done.

Let them cool completely in the pan and then use your parchment paper overhangs and pull out of pan.  Cut into squares and enjoy!