Thursday, October 24, 2013

Mike Wazowski Cookies - Monsters University Birthday

My little guy turned 4 recently, and he loves Monsters Inc and Monsters University. On his birthday, he helped me whip up a bunch of these Mike cookies. I would show you the Mike cake I made to go along with them, but I accidentally dropped it on the floor before the party. It was a tragedy. Thank goodness for local bakeries that already have cakes made and frosted.

Mike Wazowski Cookies

Green Candy Melts (or white with green food color)
Candy eyeballs (found with the baking supplies)

Just melt the chocolate, dip the oreos, and stick on an eyeball.

It's so easy, and a perfect recipe to let the kids help in the kitchen.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Caprese Pasta

Simple, delicious, and full of my favorite things. You just can't go wrong with Caprese anything. The combination of basil, tomato, and fresh mozzarella is always a treat to the tastebuds.

Caprese Pasta

1 lb rigatoni pasta
1 tsp kosher salt
1 TB olive oil
2 cups prego spaghetti sauce
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 ounces mozzarella
1 cup grape tomatoes
3-5 fresh basil leaves

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
Cook pasta according to package in a large pot of water with salt. Once pasta is fully cooked, drain and drizzle with olive oil.
In a large pan warm spaghetti sauce over medium heat. One the sauce is heated, add in heavy cream and parmesan cheese. Simmer for 2-3 minutes. Once cheese is melted pour sauce over noodles.
Cut grape tomatoes in half and mozzarella in 1/2 inch cubes. Then combine the mozzarella (save about 1/4 cup) and tomatoes with the pasta. Pour into a 9x9 baking dish. Top with remaining cheese.
Bake for 20-30 minutes, or until golden brown.
Top with fresh basil. 

*Found on I heart Naptime via Pinterest

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Peanut Butter Chocolate Yum

I had to bring a dessert to a dinner and I decided on this one. I knew it would be rich and decadent. The best part about this dessert is that a little goes a long way. It is rich and peanut buttery, but smooth and cool also. I ate some for lunch the next day and it was even better than the first day I made it. 

Peanut Butter Chocolate Yum

Recipe from Taste of Home

20 Oreo cookies, divided
2 tablespoons butter, softened
1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup peanut butter
1-1/2 cups confectioners' sugar, divided
1 carton (16 ounces) frozen whipped topping, thawed, divided
20 miniature peanut butter cups, chopped
1 cup cold milk
1 package (3.9 ounces) instant chocolate fudge pudding mix


Crush 16 cookies; toss with the butter. Press into an ungreased 9-in. square dish; set aside.
In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese, peanut butter and 1 cup confectioners' sugar until smooth. Fold in half of the whipped topping. Spread over crust. Sprinkle with peanut butter cups.
In another large bowl, beat the milk, pudding mix and remaining confectioners' sugar on low speed for 2 minutes Let stand for 2 minutes or until soft-set. Fold in remaining whipped topping.
Spread over peanut butter cups. Crush remaining cookies; sprinkle over the top. Cover and chill for at least 3 hours. Yield: 12-16 servings.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

King Ranch Chicken

It's so hard for me to make a casserole dish look appetizing in a photo. I'm not a food photographer, but I will keep trying. This was a very delicious casserole that came together easily. The husband gave it a rave review, and 3 out of 4 kids cleaned their plates. Not bad! I really enjoyed it too.

Recipe from the Rotel website

King Ranch Chicken

1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper
1/2 cup chopped yellow onion
1 can (10-3/4 oz each) condensed cream of chicken soup
1 can (10-3/4 oz each) condensed cream of mushroom soup
1 can (10 oz each) Rotel Original Diced Tomatoes & Green Chilies, undrained
2 cups chopped cooked chicken breast
12 corn tortillas (6 inch), torn into bite-size pieces
2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 325°F. Spray 13x9-inch baking dish with cooking spray; set aside.
Melt butter in large saucepan over medium heat. Add bell pepper and onion; cook and stir about 5 minutes or until tender. Stir in both soups, undrained tomatoes and chicken.
Layer one-third each of tortillas, chicken mixture and cheese evenly in dish. Repeat layers twice more. Bake uncovered 40 minutes or until hot and bubbly.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Sugar Cookie Bars

I decided to make these for a neighborhood get together. I doubled the recipe and baked them in a cookie sheet so there would be lots! But then our plans changed and I ended up with a cookie sheet full of these delicious bars... very dangerous!!! I decided to put them in bags and put them in the boxes that my kids get to choose from for their lunches. It turned out to be the perfect solution. They were out of sight so I wouldn't eat them all and my kids loved having them in their lunches for the next week and a half. They were really simple to make and I really enjoyed not having to roll out the dough and cut with cookie cutters, and roll out a million more times like regular sugar cookies. I'll definitely be making them again! The only thing I changed was I used my sugar cookie cream cheese frosting instead of the plain one that was in the original recipe. I can't imagine a sugar cookie without cream cheese frosting!! 

Sugar Cookie Bars


2-1/2 cups bread flour (or all-purpose flour is fine)
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
1 egg
1-1/2 Tbsp. sour cream
1 tsp. vanilla extract


1/2 cup butter, softened
8 oz package of cream cheese (softened)
4 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup half and half
1 tsp. vanilla
Pinch of salt
Several drops of red food coloring 


COOKIES: Preheat oven to 375 degrees F and grease a 9x13 inch baking dish.
In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. (The longer you beat it, the fluffier your cookies will be.)
Add egg and combine well.
Add sour cream and vanilla and mix until completely blended.
Slowly add the flour mixture and stir until well combined.
Gently press the batter into the greased baking dish and spread out with hands. (If you butter your hands, this will help with the stickiness.)
Bake 17-20 minutes, or until edges become lightly golden.
Set aside to cool completely.
FROSTING: In a medium bowl, cream together butter, cream cheese, powdered sugar, and half and half until light and fluffy.
Stir in vanilla and salt, combine well.
Add food coloring until desired color.
Frost your cooled cookie bars evenly.
Cut into squares and serve.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Princess Pie

I was asked to make the dessert for a family BBQ and I dove head first into my Yummy Stuff Pinterest board. There are so many things I want to make so when I get the chance, I'm overjoyed. I've been really into coconut lately, and I knew most of my in laws really like it, so I decided on this Princess Pie. It did not disappoint. It was fairly easy to pull together and everyone loved it! My father in law even stole some to take home with him. If you love coconut or even just a light summery dessert, this is the one to try. 

Princess Pie

1cup flour
½cup butter, melted
2Tbs sugar
½cup chopped pecans - optional
Mix and pat in an 8x8 inch pan, bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes, until just beginning to turn golden. Do not over bake.

Layer two:
8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1 cup powdered sugar
1 cup whipped topping
Beat together sugar and cream cheese. Fold in whipped topping. Spread on cooled crust.

 Layer three:
1 small package coconut cream instant pudding
 1 1/2 cups whole milk (any milk will do, but whole milk makes pudding so much tastier)
Mix until thickened. Spread over cream cheese mixture.
 Top with remaining tub of whipped topping. Toast 1 cup coconut. Sprinkle evenly on dessert. Refrigerate.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Homemade Refried Beans

I feel like I'm always running out of refried beans. We have tacos a lot and I put refried beans in my taco meat. It's how my mom did it and it's how I do it. Anyway, since we have tacos at least once a week, I'm always needing refried beans. I finally decided to just make my own and now I have a nice little stash in my freezer. Perfect!! It is very yummy just to use for chip dip too.

Homemade Refried Beans

1 pound dry pinto beans
1 medium onion, diced
1 medium jalapeño, diced small, seeds removed.
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
6 cups water
2 1/2 teaspoons salt

Rinse beans with cool water. Place in a slow cooker. Add onion, jalapeño, garlic, cumin, chili powder, and black pepper. Pour water over the top. Cover and cook on high for 4-5 hours or on low for 8 hours. (The longer they cook, the easier they will be to mash.) After the beans are cooked, remove as much water as possible (I usually get about one cup of liquid out) and reserve in a small bowl or measuring cup. Mash the beans and add the reserved liquid as needed. Make them a little thinner than you like them, because they will thicken as they cool. Add the salt, and mix well. Serve warm.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Chocolate Pudding Zucchini Muffins

It's that time again. The time where I have zucchini coming out of my ears. I love to find new recipes for my zucchini and this one was a definite keeper. The muffins were so rich and most and reminded me a lot of those giant chocolate muffins from Costco. I love those chocolate Costco muffins! I can tell I will be making a lot more of these in the coming weeks. 

Chocolate Pudding Zucchini Muffins 

3 eggs, beaten
1 c. cooking oil
1 1/4 c. sugar
1 large package chocolate instant pudding
2 c. grated zucchini
2 tsp. vanilla
3 c. unbleached flour (white or wheat)
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 - 2 cups semi sweet chocolate chips (however chocolatey you want to make it)

Beat eggs, oil, sugar, pudding mix, vanilla and zucchini together.
Blend dry ingredients and add to zucchini mixture; mix well. Add chocolate chips.
Scoop into greased muffin tins. I added a few chocolate chips to the top of the batter after they were in the muffin tins just to make them look pretty on the top.
Bake 17-20 minutes at 350°.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Cinnamon Roll Cake

This is such a delicious cake. It tastes so much like a cinnamon roll! It satisfies that cinnamon roll craving in a fourth of the time that it takes to make real cinnamon rolls. I can't wait to make it again.

I found the recipe on Miranda's Recipes

Cinnamon Roll Cake

3 cups flour
1/2 t salt
1 cup sugar
4 t baking powder
1 1/2 cup milk
2 eggs
2 t vanilla
1/2 cup butter, melted

Mix everything together except for the butter. Slowly stir in the melted butter and pour into a greased 9x13 pan., Mix all the ingredients together until well combined. Drop evenly over the batter and swirl with a knife. Bake at 350 for 28-32 minutes.

1 cup butter, softened
1 cup brown sugar
2 T flour
1 T cinnamon

Mix all the ingredients together until well combined. Drop evenly over the batter and swirl with a knife. Bake at 350 for 28-32 minutes.

1 (8oz) package cream cheese
1 cup powdered sugar
1/4 cup milk

Cream together until smooth and a little runny. If it’s too runny, add more powdered sugar. If it’s too thick add more milk. Pour over hot cake. Serve warm.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Crock Pot Chicken Fajitas

I love fajitas! They are one of my favorite meals to eat, but I rarely make them because they are pretty time consuming. However, I came across this great recipe (can't find the site now) for crock pot fajitas and decided to give it a try. It was so simple to make and very yummy. The vegetables were a little bit soft, so I might try adding them a little bit later next time. Easy, yummy, perfect!
I took the picture with my phone so it doesn't look super appetizing but they were delicious.

Crock Pot Chicken Fajitas

1 yellow onion, sliced
3 sweet peppers, sliced
1 ½ pounds boneless chicken breast or thighs
1/4 to ½ cup chicken broth, depending on preference (leave this out if you prefer a drier fajita filling)
½ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons cumin
1 ½ tablespoons chili powder
Squirt of lime juice
Fajita Toppings

Combine sliced onion and peppers in the bottom of a greased crockpot.
Lay chicken on top of veggies.
Pour chicken broth over top.
Sprinkle everything with cumin, salt, and chili powder.
Give a nice quirt of lime juice over the top.
Cover and cook on low for 4-8 hours (or on High for 4 hours) or until meat is shreddable.
When meat is done, shred with two forks and stir back into juices. Serve meat mixture with slotted spoon on tortillas and top with guacomole, sour cream, salsa, cheese, and whatever else you want.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Perfectly Smooth Raspberry Icecream

The heat has come with a vengeance and what better way to fight it than home made ice cream? My daughter has a little recipe book called The Unofficial Harry Potter Sweet Shoppe Book. We love looking through it and have tried many things out of it. This delicious recipe came from that book, and it really was one of the best ice creams I've ever eaten. So smooth, so perfect, so yummy.
It did require a lot of prep work, but it was worth it.

Raspberry Icecream

12 oz fresh or frozen raspberries, thawed if frozen
3/4 cup granulated sugar, divided
1 cup heavy
2 cups whole milk
4 large egg yolks

1. Process the raspberries with 1/4 cup of the sugar in a blender or food processor until smooth. Push the mixture through a sieve with a rubber spatula into a bowl, pushing down on the solids to squeeze out as much juice as possible. Discard the solids.

2. Combine the heavy cream, milk, and remaining sugar in a medium saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until hot but not bubbling. Temper the egg yolks by slowly pouring 1 cup of the hot milk mixture into the egg yolks while whisking constantly. Pour the yok mixture into the pot while whisking constantly. Continue whisking over medium high heat until the mixture thickens slightly but before it begins to boil. Pour the mixture through a sieve into another bowl.

3. Whisk in the raspberry mixture and transfer it to an airtight contianer. Cool to room temperature, then chill in the refrigerator until very cold, about 6 hours or overnight.

4. Remove the cold mixture from the refrigerator and whisk in the raspberry mixture that settled to the bottom. Transfer to an ice cream maker and freeze according to the manufacturer's instructions. Transfer to an airtight comtainer and freeze until firm, about 6 hours or overnight.

Makes about 4 cups.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Quick and Easy Salsa

I have started making my own salsa for everything. I used to do it occasionally, but since I found a recipe that I really like, and it's super quick and easy, now I just have to have it homemade. The jar stuff doesn't cut it anymore. I started with a recipe I found online, and tweaked it here and there until I found it just perfect for my taste. Yum! It's the perfect snack.

Quick and Easy Salsa

1- 14 oz can diced tomatoes
1- 10 oz can Rotel
1/2 small onion, roughly chopped
2 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
1/2 jalapeno, seeded 
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
small handful of cilantro, washed
juice of 1 lime (1Tbsp)

Put all the ingredients in the base of a food processor and process for 30 seconds or more until all the ingredients are finely chopped and salsa is desired consistency. 

Monday, May 20, 2013

Paula Deen's Banana Pudding

Any food from Paula Deen has got to be good, but this pudding was absolutely divine! My little guy who is 7 loved it so much that he told me for his next birthday he didn't want a cake, he just wanted this pudding. That's saying something. It really is delicious. I changed Paula Deen's Chessman cookies to Nilla Wafers because I like them better.

Banana Pudding

5-7 bananas, sliced
3 cups milk
1 box Nilla Wafers
2 small boxes instant FRENCH vanilla pudding
1 {8 oz.} pkg. cream cheese
1 {14oz.} can sweetened condensed milk
1 {12 oz.} container Cool Whip

Line the bottom of a 9x13 pan with Nilla Wafers. Slice your bananas and layer evenly on top of the wafers. Combine the milk and pudding mix and blend using a handheld mixer.In a separate bowl, mix together cream cheese & condensed milk until smooth. Gradually fold in whipped cream.Add the cream cheese mixture to the pudding mix & stir until well blended. Pour the mix evenly over the bananas.Layer the remaining Nilla Wafers on top of the mix to top it all off.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Creamy Berry Salad

This has to be my absolute favorite fruity salad/side. It is beyond heaven. I have had the recipe for quite some time, but I can never manage to snap a picture before it's devoured. I finally got a picture the other day at a BBQ that I brought this too. Good thing I was fast because it was gone in minutes. It really is the perfect side to bring anywhere.

Creamy Berry Salad

1 bag frozen raspberries (you can also use mixed berries)
1 tub cool whip or 1 small carton whipping cream whipped until stiff
1 32 oz container vanilla yogurt
1 small package cheesecake pudding mix

Let berries sit out about 15 - 20 minutes before you assemble the salad. Dump berries in a large bowl. Add cool whip and yogurt. Sprinkle on the pudding mix. Mix together really well until salad is combined and looks pretty. Chill before serving.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Chocolate Layer Dessert

This is one of my favorite desserts. It's super simple and yet it makes an impression, and is super yummy. I usually make it when I run out of time to make anything fancy and start to panic when I realize I'm supposed to bring a dessert to an event. It comes together quick and is great for a potluck.

Chocolate Layer Dessert

1 tube (16-1/2 ounces) refrigerated chocolate chip cookie dough (or homemade cookie dough)
1 package (8 ounces) Philadelphia® Cream Cheese, softened
1 cup powdered sugar
1 carton (12 ounces) frozen whipped topping, thawed, divided
3 cups cold 2% milk
1 package (3.9 ounces) instant chocolate pudding mix
1 package (3.4 ounces) instant vanilla pudding mix
Chopped nuts and chocolate curls, optional

Let cookie dough stand at room temperature for 5-10 minutes to soften. Press into an ungreased 13-in. x 9-in. baking pan. Bake at 350° for 14-16 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on a wire rack.
In a large bowl, beat cream cheese and confectioners' sugar until smooth. Fold in 1-3/4 cups whipped topping. Spread over crust.
In a large bowl, whisk milk and pudding mixes for 2 minutes. Spread over cream cheese layer. Top with remaining whipped topping. Sprinkle with nuts and chocolate curls if desired.
Cover and refrigerate for 8 hours or overnight until firm.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Jalepeno Cream Cheese Rolls

I told my husband I had made cinnamon rolls for him, and he was super excited. When I put these on the table, he was a little skeptic... but when he tasted them, he was pleasantly surprised and happy. These are a simple appetizer and really yummy. I ate quite a few myself.
*Found through Pinterest with no link to a website

Jalapeno Cream Cheese Rolls
1 tube regular Crescent Rolls
1 (4 ounce) can Diced Jalapenos (you will actually only use half of this can)
3/4 (8 ounce) cube cream cheese, room temperature
1 Tbsp. sugar

Note: The ingredients above make 32 little rolls. I've also used a can of Diced Green Chilis with great success.
Preheat oven 375 degrees.

Cut your cube of cream cheese and throw about 3/4 of it into a bowl. Now take almost half of your Jalapenos from the can and throw in with your cream cheese. 
To your bowl with your cream cheese and Jalapenos, add your Tablespoon of sugar. This is an important step.
Take your fork and mash it all up really well. Be sure to incorporate all that sugar in really well.
This is where you can do a little taste test. I prefer a bit more spicy poppers, so I added just a bit more jalapenos.
Set your bowl of cream cheese jalapenos aside for now.
Open up your tube of crescent rolls and place on your cutting board.
Separate them into two rectangles. Now pinch together the perforations to create two nice rectangles. Sometimes I like to use my little mini rolling pin afterwards, to make it a nice and smooth rectangle.With the back of your spoon, spread half of the cream cheese mixture, onto one of the rectangles. Save the other half of the mixture for the other rectangle. (You will have TWO rectangles per tube of crescent rolls.)
Once you've spread your half portion of cream cheese on one of your rectangles, start with the LONG end of the roll, and roll up.
Once it's all rolled up, you will need to cut your log into 16 pinwheels. Place your 16 rolls, standing up, on a cookie sheet that has been sprayed with Pam. 
Make sure you stand them up, with the cream cheese facing upward.
Pop these into the oven for about 13 minutes until they are golden brown. Keep an eye on them, as each oven varies.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Cool Chocolate Mint Oreo Cookie Trifle

I made this for a fun St. Patrick's Day themed dessert when I had family over for dinner. It turned out to be "knock your socks off" good. The trifle bowl was licked clean (not even kidding) and people were begging for more. It really was that good. I can't wait to make it again. I doubled the recipe to put in my trifle dish. The original recipe is for individual trifle size bowls.

From The Slow Roasted Italian

Chocolate Mint Oreo Cookie Trifle

12 OREO Cool Mint Cookies, chopped
1 (3.9 oz) package JELL-O Chocolate Fudge Pudding
2 cups cold milk
2 cups heavy whipping cream
¼ cup powdered sugar
1½ teaspoons pure mint extract
OPTIONAL: 8 drops green food coloring
20 Andes Mints, chopped

Beat pudding mix and 2 cups cold milk with an electric mixer (or whisk) for about 2 minutes. Refrigerate until ready to assemble.

Whip heavy cream using an electric mixer with a whisk attachment until you can see light tracks from the mixer. Add powdered sugar and continue to whip. Add mint and coloring. Mix until whipped cream can hold a peak. (Lift mixer up and there is a tip of cream on the mixer). Refrigerate until ready to assemble.

Chop Oreos and Andes mints. Set aside.

Assemble: Add ¼ of Oreos to the bottom of each trifle dish. Spoon ¼ of pudding directly on top of Oreos. Reserve a tablespoon of chopped mints. Add ¼ of remaining mints to trifle, directly on top of pudding. Top with whipped cream. Sprinkle with reserved mints.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Toffee Chip Poke Cake

I have made this several times and each time, there is not a single piece left. It's a crowd pleaser for sure. I love that it is so easy to make, and I usually always have the ingredients on hand. All of my kids have requested this multiple times. So delicious!

Toffee Chip Poke Cake

1 yellow cake mix
1 jar Smuckers Caramel ice cream topping
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 tub Cool Whip, or homemade whipping cream
Heath Toffee Chips

Follow the directions on the cake mix box to make the cake. After it is done baking, let cool.
Poke holes all over the top of the cake with the handle of a wooden spoon. Poor the can of condensed milk over the top. Next pour the jar of caramel over the top. Frost cake with Cool Whip. Generously sprinkle Toffee Chips on top.
Refrigerate until ready to serve. I've found I almost like it better the day after it is made. Best served cold.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Reese's Pieces Bars

I've been making a lot of treats lately, and these have made an appearance quite a few times. It's our new favorite treat. I'm usually not a huge fan of Peanut Butter stuff, but these are so delicious. And you just can't resist those itty bitty Reese's Pieces. Yum!
Reese's Pieces Bars

7 cups Reese's Puffs Cereal
12 oz Miniature Marshmallows
4 T Butter
1 bag mini Reese's Pieces (found by the chocolate chips)

Lightly spray a 9x13 pan and set aside.  In a large bowl, count out the cereal then set aside.
In a large pot, melt the butter over medium heat, then add the mini marshmallows.
Stir constantly, until marshmallows are completely melted, to prevent scorching.
Immediately pour over cereal and stir until completely covered.  Add 2/3 of the Reese's Pieces to the mixture... the pieces will become all melty gooey.  Spread into the 9x13 pan.  If necessary, spray hands or spatula with cooking spray to prevent sticking as you press the mixture into the pan.

Pour the rest of the Pieces onto the top of the mixture, and lightly press so that they adhere to the still sticky marshmallows.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Chocolate Chex Mix

Oh, the deliciousnes...This chex mix recipe was out of this world... and so dangerous. My family keeps begging me to make more, but I know what will happen when I do. I'll eat it all.

Chocolate Chex Mix

8 cups Chocolate Chex cereal
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
6 tablespoons butter or margarine
3 tablespoons light corn syrup
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, MINI size
1 cup MINIATURE marshmallows
1/2 cup caramel bits (found by the chocolate chips in the baking aisle — or chop up regular caramels)
1 Tbsp heavy cream
1/2 cup MILK chocolate baking chips (or more if you’re a huge chocolate fan)
1/2 cup vanilla (white) chocolate baking chips
1 tsp coarse sea salt

Into large microwavable bowl, measure cereal; set aside. Line cookie sheet with waxed paper or foil.
In 2-cup microwavable measuring cup, microwave brown sugar, butter and corn syrup uncovered on High 1 to 2 minutes, stirring after 1 minute, until melted and smooth. Stir in baking soda until dissolved. Pour caramel mixture over cereal, stirring until evenly coated. Microwave on High 3 minutes, stirring every minute. Spread on cookie sheet. Cool 10 minutes. Break into bite-sized pieces.
Make sure Chex mixture is cool to the touch (so candy doesn’t melt.) Evenly sprinkle mini peanut butter cups candy and miniature marshmallows over Chex mixture.
In small microwavable bowl, microwave caramel baking bits and cream uncovered on High about 1 minute or until chips can be stirred smooth. Use a spoon or fork to drizzle over snack. Microwave the milk chocolate baking chips next, starting with 20-seconds and stirring, then at 20 second intervals until the mixture is completely smooth (microwave temps vary, so watch the chocolate and stir frequently until it’s of drizzling consistency). Drizzle over the snack mixture. Then microwave the vanilla (white) baking chips in 20-second intervals, stirring until smooth, and drizzle that over the snack mixture. (Note: The vanilla and milk chocolate chips should not need cream added.) Quickly sprinkle coarse salt over all while candy drizzles are still wet.
Refrigerate until set. Break apart and store in tightly covered container.

*Recipe from Quick and easy recipes

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Butter Cake with Caramel Buttercream Frosting

I've had this recipe pinned for awhile and last weekend happened to be the perfect time to try it out. It was a bit labor intensive but so worth it! I have never tasted frosting like this. It was so incredible. I may or may not have eaten with a spoon right out of the bowl. 

*From Add a Pinch

Butter Cake with Salted Caramel Buttercream Frosting

Butter Cake Recipe
  • 3 cups flour, all-purpose
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 cup softened butter (2 sticks)
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 eggs, room temperature
  • 1 cup buttermilk, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
Salted Buttercream Frosting Recipe
    First Stage
    • 2 cups sugar
    • 1 cup buttermilk
    • ½ cup Crisco vegetable shortening
    • ½ cup butter
    • 1 teaspoon baking soda
    Second Stage
    • ½ cup butter
    • ½ teaspoon sea salt
    • 2 cups confectioner’s sugar
    Butter Cake Recipe
    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
    2. Prepare 3 9-inch cake pans with shortening and flour.
    3. Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt with a whisk in a large bowl. Set aside.
    4. Cream butter until fluffy and then add sugar. Cream together for about 8 more minutes.
    5. Add eggs, 1 at a time, and cream together after each.
    6. Add flour mixture and buttermilk, alternately, beginning and ending with flour. Combine each addition of flour and then turn mixer on high to add air into the batter.
    7. Add vanilla and beat well. Turn mixer on high once vanilla has been incorporated for about 10 seconds to lighten batter.
    8. Divide among pans and bake for 25-30 minutes until set.
    9. Turn out of pans onto cooling racks and allow to cool completely.
    Salted Caramel Buttercream Recipe
    1. Add all ingredients from the first stage of the frosting recipe in a 3-4 quart pot. Stir ingredients with a wooden spoon as cooking over medium-low heat.
    2. Cook to softball stage (235-245 degrees on a candy thermometer as well as using the cold water test).
    3. Remove from heat and pour into a large mixing bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer. Using a whip attachment, whip the caramel until it has cooled enough to touch lightly.
    4. Add the butter and salt from the second stage of the frosting recipe to the mixing bowl and whip.
    5. Add confectioner’s sugar in ½ cup increments, stopping after each to scrape sides of mixing bowl. Turn mixer onto high for about 10 seconds after each addition to incorporate air into the frosting.
    6. Adjust the amount of confectioner’s sugar to result in a frosting that will hold it’s shape.
    7. Frost cake and store on a cake plate covered with a dome or an airtight container.
    8. Best served within 1-3 days.
    For easier frosting of cake, wrap tightly in parchment and aluminum foil and freeze overnight. Brush the cake with a pastry brush to remove loose crumbs and then frost the cake with a light layer of frosting to create a crumb coating. Then, frost the cake as normal.

    Saturday, January 26, 2013

    Crock Pot Teriyaki Chicken and Vegetables

    During my recent pregnancy, I couldn't stand the sight, smell, or thought of Chinese food... let alone the taste. Now that I'm finally getting back to "normal", I've been craving some Chinese food! This recipe was surprisingly easy and delicious. Both my husband and I give it two thumbs up. 

    Crock Pot Teriyaki Chicken and Vegetables

    1 boneless, skinless chicken breast per 1-2 people (I make 2 and it feeds 3 of us)
    2 green onions chopped
    1 1/2 cups of chopped broccoli
    1 cup of chopped carrot
    Teriyaki marinade
    Soy sauce
    1 Tbs honey
    salt, pepper, garlic to taste
    rice (I use brown)

    1. Spray the inside of your crock pot with cooking spray and put the frozen chicken breasts in. Season with salt, pepper, and garlic. Add 1 to 1 1/2 cups of the teriyaki marinade, honey, and chopped green onions. Cook on high for 2 hours or on low for 4 hours.
    2. Add the broccoli, carrots and a couple of shakes of your soy sauce and cook on high for another hour.
    3. Shred the chicken inside the crockpot. It's super tender so it's easy to use 2 forks to shred. If you need more teriyaki, add more now. Taste the sauce and season if needed. 4. Allow food to cook for another 20 minutes without a lid on it so the sauce can thicken. During this time you can get your rice.
    5. Serve your Crock pot Teriyaki Chicken and Veggies over rice .

    Wednesday, January 16, 2013

    Butterfinger Blondies

    The last few months of my pregnancy, I was obsessed with Butterfingers. When I found this recipe on Pinterest, it felt like fate. The blondies are so decadent and the topping is divine. I ate way too many of these, but they were worth every calorie!

    Butterfinger Blondies

    1 cup butter
    1 cup light brown sugar
    1/2 cup granulated sugar
    2 tsp vanilla
    2 eggs
    2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
    1 tsp baking soda
    1 tsp coarse sea salt
    2 cups coarsely chopped Butterfinger Bars (approx 16 “Fun Size” bars) 
    Preheat oven to 350°
    Cream butter and sugars in mixing bowl.
    Add the vanilla and eggs and mix until incorporated.
    On low add your dry ingredients (flour, salt and baking soda) until just combined.
    Stir in your chopped Butterfinger.
    Spread in a 9×13 baking dish and bake for 25 minutes until center is JUST set.
    Remove from oven and cool completely.

    Preparation time: 5 minute(s)
    Cooking time: 25 minute(s)

    1/2 cup room temp butter (1 stick)
    1/2 cup vegetable shortening
    2 1/2 – 3 cups powdered sugar
    1/2 cup chopped Butterfinger Bars (approx 4 “Fun Size” bars)
    Cream the butter and shortening together until smooth.
    Add in you powdered sugar on low speed.  Turn speed up to medium and mix until smooth
    Stir in your chopped Butterfinger. (I sprinkled mine on top rather than stirring them in!)
    Spread on your cooled blondies

    Friday, January 11, 2013

    Loaded Baked Potato Soup

    It has been so cold lately, and all I have wanted to eat is soup. We have eaten a lot of soup at our house the last month, and there has been no complaints. I found this delicious soup on Pinterest and when I discovered that it came from the Carnation Cafe at Disneyland, I was absolutely ecstatic! That little cafe has some great memories for me and I just love Disneyland! This is seriously the best potato soup I have ever eaten. It was so good!

    Loaded Baked Potato Soup

    1 pound bacon, roughly chopped
    1 medium yellow onion, diced
    1 large carrot, peeled and diced
    3/4 cup diced celery
    4 large Russet potatoes, peeled and diced
    4 medium red potatoes, diced
    1/4 cup flour
    2 cups chicken or vegetable stock
    Coarse salt, freshly ground pepper, to taste
    4 cups heavy whipping cream
    Optional garnishes: chopped chives, bacon bits, sour cream, shredded cheddar and Monterey Jack cheese

    1.        In a 6- to 8-quart stockpot over medium heat, fry bacon until crisp.
    2.       Remove bacon and drain on paper towels, reserving half for garnish. In bacon fat, cook onions, carrots, and celery until the onions are translucent. Add potatoes and cook for 4 minutes, stirring occasionally.
    3.       Whisk in flour and stir constantly over low heat until the flour is cooked and the mixture has thickened slightly, about 5 to 7 minutes. Add chicken stock and half of the bacon. Season with salt and pepper.
    4.       Over medium-high heat, bring the soup to a simmer and cook for 25 minutes or until the potatoes are soft. Mash some of the potatoes for thicker, creamier texture. Add whipping cream and simmer for 5 minutes.
    5.       Adjust thickness by adding water or stock. Soup should have a creamy consistency.
    6.       Season to taste, and garnish with toppings.