Thursday, November 13, 2014

Vanilla Dreamboat Dessert

This layer dessert is light and heavenly. My whole family loved it, and I have to admit that I kinda, sorta, maybe licked the pan clean.

*Found on High Heels and Grills via Pinterest

Vanilla Dreamboat Dessert

1 pkg regular golden Oreos, finely crushed
6 Tbsp. butter, melted
1 pkg. {8 oz.} cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 Tbsp. cold milk
1 tub {12 oz.} Cool Whip, divided
2 pkgs. {3.4 oz.} instant vanilla pudding
3 & 1/4 cups whole milk, cold
1 bag white chocolate chips


Directions:

In a large bowl, combine Oreos and butter and mix until crumbs are fully coated.
Press the crumbs into an ungreased 9x13 inch baking dish.
Place the pan in the refrigerator while you work on the additional layers.
In a medium bowl, mix the cream cheese until light and fluffy.
Add 2 Tbsp. milk and sugar and mix well.
Fold in 1 & 1/4 cups Cool Whip.
Spread this mixture over the crust.
In another bowl, {sorry about all the dirty dishes!} combine the vanilla pudding with 3 & 1/4 cups milk and whisk until pudding starts to thicken.
Spread the pudding mixture over the previous cream cheese layer.
Let the dessert rest for about 5 minutes so the pudding can firm up further.
Spread the remaining Cool Whip over the top.
Sprinkle the chocolate chips evenly over the top.
Place in the freezer for 1 hour or refrigerator for 4 hours before serving.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Slow Cooker Mashed Potatoes

This is one of my favorite things to make in a crock pot. It's so simple, but my whole family loves mashed potatoes, and it can turn an ordinary weeknight meal into something pretty special.

Slow Cooker Mashed Potatoes

2 pounds red potatoes, cut into 2 inch pieces, peeled or unpeeled, your choice
½ cup sour cream 
1/4 cup butter
¼ cup milk
2 teaspoons minced garlic
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

INSTRUCTIONS
Spray the inside of a slow cooker with cooking spray. Add chopped potatoes. Cover and cook 2 hours on high or 4 hours on low.
Add sour cream, butter, milk, garlic, salt, and pepper to potatoes. Use a hand mixer to blend together all ingredients. Give them a taste and add more salt if desired. Serve plain, or with any favorite toppings such as gravy, or cheese and bacon!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Mini Chocolate Donuts

I made these mini chocolate baked donuts for a baby shower, and they turned out very yummy. I like the chocoate ones better than the pumpkin, but it's mostly because of the chocolate glaze on top. It's delicious and definitely my favorite part!
I'm lucky enough to have a donut maker, but you could also bake these in a donut pan.
I found this recipe HERE.

 Chocolate Donuts

3/4 Cup Flour
1/2 Cup Sugar
3 TBS Cocoa
1/2 TSP Baking Soda
1/4 TSP Baking Powder
1/4 TSP Salt
1/4 Cup Milk
3 TBS Vegetable Oil
1 Egg
1/2 TSP Vanilla
1/4 Cup Hot Water

Chocolate Glaze
1/4 Cup Melted butter
2TBS Cocoa
1 1/2 Cup Powdered Sugar
1 TSP Vanilla Extract
1-3 TBS Hot Water
Sprinkles To Top (Optional)

Instructions
Turn on your donut maker. (or preheat oven to 350 and slightly grease a donut pan)
In the bowl of an electric mixer or a large mixing bowl combined flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Then add in sugar.
Mix in milk, vegetable oil, egg, and vanilla mix until smooth.
Slowly stir in hot water until completely combines. Batter will be thin.
Fill a piping bag with your batter. A round tip will be helpful, but I love to use Wilton’s new batter tip. It allows you to squeeze out batter without it dripping at all – mess free!
Lightly grease your donut maker (or donut pan). Quickly squeeze batter into each cavity until full. Donuts will begin to bake and rise so you’ll want to work quickly. If your a bit slow you can always fill just half the cavities at a time.
Let them bake in donut maker for 7 minutes (add a few extra minutes if baking in the oven).
Gently pop them out with a fork, lay them on a wire rack to cool. Repeat steps 6-8 until your batter is gone.
In a small bowl mix together cocoa and powdered sugar. Add in melted butter and vanilla then stir until fully combined.
Slowly add in hot water one TBS at a time until you get a nice dipping consistency.
Dip cooled donuts into the glaze and place back on the cooling rack, it helps to place a piece of wax paper underneath to contains the mess.
Dip half of your donuts, add sprinkles, then repeat with the other half.


Mini Pumpkin Donuts



My mom gave me a donut maker for my birthday last year. I was so excited to try out some donut recipes, but I just never pulled it out. I was asked to bring something breakfast like to a baby shower, and I knew that mini donuts would be perfect! The donuts are baked not fried, so there is a big difference. I tried out 3 recipes, and while all three were pretty good, none of them blew me out of the water. Probably because they are baked not fried. ha, ha However, I'm excited to try out some more recipes and see if I can find "the one".
I found this recipe HERE


Mini Pumpkin Donuts

Ingredients for Donuts:
1 1/2 c flour
1 T ground flaxseed (optional)
1/4 c brown sugar, packed
4 T granulated sugar
1 t pumpkin pie spice
1/4 t salt
1 1/2 t baking powder
1/2 t baking soda
1 t vanilla
1 (small) can pumpkin puree
1/2 c buttermilk
Ingredients for Glaze:
1/2 T milk
4 T powdered sugar

Directions
In a small bowl combine all dry ingredients for donuts.
In a separate bowl mix vanilla, pumpkin and buttermilk.
Mix the dry ingredients with the wet ingredients and whisk by hand until fully incorporated.
Put batter in Select Brands babycake Donut Maker and cook for approximately 4 minutes or until fully cooked.
Let donuts cool.
Mix glaze ingredients.
Dip donuts into glaze and let set before enjoying.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Twix Muddy Buddies

We love anything Twix. I knew I had to make these, and wow, they were delicious and addicting. I tried to follow the recipe, Here, but there was way too much chocolate for only 4 cups of Chex, so I doubled it, and tweaked it here and there, to make the end result. Yummy stuff!

Twix Muddy Buddies

  • 10 Cups Rice Chex Cereal
  • (2) 12 ounce bag milk chocolate chips
  • 30  kraft caramel squares
  •  2 Tablespoon Heavy Cream
  • 12 Shortbread Cookies
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 4 Twix Bars, chopped
  • 5 kraft caramels (optional for final drizzle)*
INSTRUCTIONS
  1. In a big bowl place chex cereal. In a microwave safe dish, or over low heat on the stove, melt the milk chocolate chips. If in the microwave, melt 30 seconds at a time until smooth and be careful not to let burn and clump.
  2. Pour the melted chocolate over the chex cereal and mix until the cereal is completely covered in the chocolate.
  3. Melt the caramel and heavy cream. Drizzle this over the chocolate covered chex. Stir lightly getting all of the cereal pieces drizzled in caramel.
  4. Pulse the shortbread cookies in a food processor until fine. Combine with the powdered sugar in a gallon sized bag. Divide the shortbread/powdered sugar mix between 2 gallon ziplock bags. Dump the chex cereal and shake to coat in the powdered sugar shortbread cookie crumbs. Add Twix pieces.
  5. If you want a final caramel drizzle, lay them out on a parchment covered cookie sheet. Melt the 5 caramels and drizzle on the top of the muddy buddies.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Hamburger Stroganoff

My husband loves simple comfort food so when I ran across this recipe on Pinterest, I knew he would love it. And I was right. It was the perfect meal for my husband. Actually we all loved it. I thought it was pretty tasty.

Hamburger Stroganoff

1/2 c. minced onion
1 clove garlic
1 lb ground beef
2 Tbs flour
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 – 8 oz can sliced mushrooms, optional
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 c. sour cream
1/4 c. butter
Egg Noodles or Rice

Instructions
Saute onion and garlic in butter. Stir in meat and brown.
Stir in flour, salt, pepper & mushrooms. Cook five minutes, drain off grease.
Stir in soup and simmer, uncovered 10 minutes.
Stir in sour cream and garnish with parsley.
Put on noodles or rice. I always use egg noodles.

Monday, May 12, 2014

White Texas Sheet Cake

I got asked to make a Texas sheet cake and I decided to try this white one. I'm not a fan of chocolate cake including the Chocolate Texas Sheet Cake, so I was hoping this one would be something a little different and yummy. It proved to be just that. I really liked it and so did everyone that tried it. The original recipe says to make it in a 9x13 pan so it's thicker but I spread it onto a cookie sheet so it's a little thinner, but makes a lot more slices. Next time I will leave the almond extract out as I'm not a fan of that flavor but a lot of people really liked it.


Ingredients

FOR THE CAKE:
1 cup Water
1 cup Butter, Cubed
2 cups Flour
2 cups Sugar
2 whole Eggs, Beaten
½ cups Sour Cream
1 teaspoon Salt
1 teaspoon Baking Powder
1 teaspoon Almond Extract
¼ teaspoons Baking Soda


FOR THE FROSTING:
1 cup Sugar
½ cups Unsweetened Cocoa, Sifted
½ cups Milk
4 Tablespoons Butter
2 Tablespoons Light Corn Syrup
4 cups Powdered Sugar, Sifted
2 teaspoons Vanilla Extract

Preparation

Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease or spray a 9X13 rectangular baking dish and set aside. (I used a big cookie sheet)

In a small saucepan over medium heat, add the water and bring to slight boil. Once the water has been brought to a boil, add the cubed butter. Stir with a rubber spatula until butter has completely melted. Then remove pan from heat and set aside.

In a large bowl, add the flour, sugar and eggs and mix to combine. Then slowly pour in the warm water liquid while beating the mixture. Make sure you pour it in very slowly so the eggs don’t turn into scrambled eggs. Once the water has been added, the mixture should be smooth. Then add the sour cream, salt, baking powder, almond extract, and baking soda.

Once the mixture is well blended pour it into the baking dish and smooth the top. Place pan in the oven. Bake for 30 minutes, but start the frosting about 20 minutes in.

For the frosting: In a large saucepan on medium high heat, whisk together the sugar and cocoa powder. Then whisk in the milk, butter, and corn syrup. Continue to stir until all ingredients are well blended. Remove pan from heat. Slowly add in the powdered sugar one cup at a time stirring after each addition. Once all the powdered sugar is added, add the vanilla extract and mix to combine.

As soon as the cake comes out of the oven, pour the frosting on top. Allow the cake to cool and the frosting to completely set before serving.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Cheesy Bacon Potato Bites

Holy Yum! These were too good. You just can't go wrong with cheese, bacon, and potatoes. I actually made them for a all women get together but after the fact I realized these are probably considered total man food. ha, ha Oh well. They were delicious. In fact, my husband stole quite a few before he got kicked out of the house full of women. He begged me to save him some, and of course, I did. It's the perfect appetizer.

Cheesy Bacon Potato Bites

2 lbs. potatoes, I used 3 large potatoes
6 slices of bacon, cooked, drained & chopped (reserve 1 tablespoon of the bacon grease).
2 cups medium cheddar cheese, shredded
4 green onions, chopped
salt & pepper to taste


1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Brush cookie sheet5. Sprinkle with shredded cheese, salt and pepper to taste and chopped bacon. very lightly with reserved bacon grease.
2. Wash & slice potatoes, somewhere between 1/4 and 1/8 inch thick. I like them best on the thick side.
3. Place potato slices in a large pot, cover with water & cook until water boils. Boil for about 5 minutes or less, depending on the thickness of your potatoes. You DON'T want them cooked through, and you definitely still want them firm or they will fall apart.
4. Carefully drain potatoes and arrange on prepared cookie sheet, shingle style, slightly overlapping. Lightly brush potatoes with reserved bacon grease. Or if you are anti-bacon grease, brush with vegetable oil or olive oil.
5.Bake for 15 minutes until potatoes are cooked through. I placed it under the broiler for 2 minutes after baking for a little extra crunch. Top with chopped green onions.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Baked Penne with Chicken, Broccoli, and Smoked Mozzerella

I love any kind of pasta dish. When I read the ingredients in this recipe I knew it was going to be true love. It definitely did not disappoint. The sundried tomatoes were the real star for me. They gave this pasta dish a jump up the delicious ladder. My whole family loved it and there were not even any leftovers unfortunately.

Baked Penne with Chicken, Broccoli, and Smoked Mozzerella

INGREDIENTS

Topping:
3/4 cup bread crumbs (store-bought or make your own)
2 tablespoons butter, melted

Filling:
1 bunch broccoli (about 1 ½ pounds), stalks cut off, florets trimmed into 1-inch pieces
12 ounces penne pasta (or whatever pasta you have)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, minced
6 medium garlic cloves, finely minced or pressed through a garlic press
1 teaspoon dried thyme
¼ cup all-purpose flour
2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
1 ½ pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts (about 3), trimmed and cut into bite-size pieces
3 ounces smoked mozzarella, shredded (I used fresh mozzerella cubes, but will try to find the smoked mozzarella next time I make it)
8 ounce jar oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, drained and chopped into pieces

DIRECTIONS
In a small bowl, combine the bread crumbs and butter and set aside. Lightly grease a 9X13-inch baking dish and set aside.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and make sure the oven rack is placed in the middle of the oven. In a large pot, bring the water for the pasta to a boil. Stir in one tablespoon salt and the broccoli. The broccoli cooks quickly so stay close! Cook the broccoli for 1 minute, until it is bright green. Quickly remove the broccoli with a slotted spoon to a plate. Return the water to a boil and add the pasta and cook until al dente, about 1-2 minutes less than how you would eat it normally (it will cook a bit more in the oven while baking). Drain the pasta in a colander and toss with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Leave it in the colander and set it aside.
Wipe the pot dry. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil and return to medium heat until shimmering. Add the onion and cook until softened and beginning to brown, about 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic and thyme; cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds, stirring constantly. Add the flour, salt and pepper, and cook, stirring constantly, until golden, about 1 minute. Slowly whisk in the broth and cream; bring to a simmer, whisking often. Add the chicken and cook, stirring occasionally, until cooked through, about 6-7 minutes. Stir in the sun-dried tomatoes and smoked mozzarella.
Add the cooked pasta and broccoli to the sauce; stir to combine. Transfer the pasta mixture to the prepared baking dish and sprinkle with the bread crumb topping. Bake until the casserole is bubbling and the crumbs are lightly browned, about 15 minutes. Serve immediately.

Nutella Cheesecake Fruit Dip




I love a good fruit dip, but when I saw this Nutella one on Pinterest, I just knew I had to try it. I love Nutella. All my kids love Nutella. I knew this recipe just could not go wrong. I hosted a neighborhood Bunco game at my house and decided to make the Nutella Dip as one of the appetizers. It turned out amazingly delicious. I know I'll be making it again.

Nutella Cheesecake Fruit Dip

Ingredients
1 cup heavy cream
1 (8 oz) pkg cream cheese
3 Tbsp powdered sugar
3/4 cup Nutella

Directions
In a mixing bowl, using an electric hand mixer, whip heavy cream until stiff peaks form. In a separate mixing bowl, whip cream cheese and powdered sugar until smooth, about 1 minute. Add nutella and blend until well combined. Add half of the whipped cream and gently fold mixture until nearly blended then add remaining whipped cream and gently fold mixture until well blended.Serve with strawberries or graham crackers. Store in refrigerator in an airtight container.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Cupid's Cloud

I made these yummy treat for our Valentine's Day dinner. I absolutely loved it. It was really simple to throw together. I love that it was so light and fluffy. Most of my kids really enjoyed it also. I mixed mine a little too much. If you just barely mix it, you get a really pretty white and pink swirl.

Cupid's Cloud - A Valentine's Day Dessert

1 cup whipping cream
1 tbsp sugar
½ tsp vanilla
2 cups frozen raspberries (see notes)
½ cup sugar

Instructions
In a mixer, whip together the whipping cream, 1 tbsp sugar, and the vanilla. Set aside.
In a food processor blend together the frozen raspberries and ½ cup sugar.
Once the raspberries have been blended, fold them in to the whipping cream.
Evenly distribute the dessert between 4-5 dessert cups or fancy glasses.
Refrigerate until you are ready to eat them! (see notes)

Notes
Things to Note:
- You can make this dessert in the early afternoon of the same day that you are going to eat it. That way it will be ready for dessert when you are!
- You can use any type of fruit that you would like: strawberries, blueberries, mango.
- I like to use frozen fruit for this because it doesn’t get pureed down like fresh fruit does. But either type is delicious and works for this dessert.

* Recipe from www.aprettylifeinthesuburbs.com

Friday, February 7, 2014

No Bake Peanut Butter Cookies




My sister in law brought these cookies to a family party and they were so amazing. I think the actual title of the cookies is "Holy Crap These Are Amazing" cookies. Ha, ha I guess that is the warning that should accompany them. You've been warned!

No bake Peanut Butter Cookies

1 cup sugar
1 cup corn syrup
1 jar (18 oz ounce) peanut butter, crunchy or smooth (I like creamy.)
6 cups corn flakes
3 oz good quality chocolate of your choice

Directions
Combine sugar and corn syrup in a medium saucepan. Place over medium-high heat and stir until the mixture comes to a full boil. Remove from heat and stir in the whole jar of peanut butter. Mix well.
Add corn flakes to a large bowl. Pour peanut butter mixture over corn flakes and mix well, taking care to coat all of the corn flakes.
With a tablespoon or cookie scoop, scoop out and form into 1-2 inch balls, depending on your preference, and place them on a cookie sheet lined with parchment or wax paper.
Put the chocolate in a small bowl and melt in the microwave for about 30 seconds. Stir until smooth.
Drizzle the melted chocolate over the cookies.

*From Sticky Gooey Creamy Chewy . com

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Caramel Crispix

Bad photo, delicious snack. This is a relatively simple "chex mix" type snack. And I think that's why I loved it so much. There was nothing but amazing caramel and the cereal itself. You could easily throw in nuts, coconut, and any other ingredient you think would go well, but I prefer it plain. Over the Christmas break, I ate my weight in this stuff, but it was so delicious. I couldn't get enough, and I never got tired of it. 

Caramel Crispix

8 - 9 cups Crispix Cereal
2 cups of butter
2 cups of brown sugar
½ cup Light Karo syrup
½ tsp Vanilla
½ tsp Baking Soda

Melt butter in a sauce pan. Add brown sugar and bring to a boil. Add Karo syrup, vanilla and baking soda. Boil for about 5 minutes on medium high heat. 
Dump dry cereal in a large bowl. After caramel sauce has finished bowling pour over cereal and lightly stir with a wooden spoon. 
Enjoy!

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Peaches and Cream Crumble Bars


I found this recipe on Tasty Kitchen and have since made it several times. I'm usually not a fruity dessert type person. I much prefer chocolate and caramel, but this was pleasantly surprising. I really enjoyed the juicy peach filling and the smooth shortbread crust. A perfect combination for a winning dessert.

FOR THE SHORTBREAD:

2 sticks Unsalted Butter, Cut Into Small Chunks
¼ cups Brown Sugar
½ teaspoons Kosher Salt
2 cups Flour
FOR THE FILLING:

1 Tablespoon Butter
½ cups Peach Jam
3 Large Peaches, Pitted And Thinly Sliced
12 ounces, weight Cream Cheese, Softened
¼ cups Sour Cream
½ cups Sugar
1 Tablespoon Flour
2 Eggs
1 teaspoon Vanilla
FOR THE CRUMB TOPPING:
1 cup Flour
¼ cups Sugar
¼ cups Brown Sugar
½ teaspoons Ginger
1 teaspoon Cinnamon
¼ teaspoons Salt
1 stick Unsalted Butter, melted

1. For the shortbread crust: Preheat the oven to 350 F. Line a 13 x 9 inch baking dish with foil, then grease the foil on all sides. Set the dish aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter until it begins to soften, about 30 seconds. Add sugar and salt and beat on low speed until just combined. Add the flour and beat on low speed until incorporated then increase to high speed and beat until a cohesive dough is formed. Using your fingers, press the dough into the baking dish and bake for 20 minutes or until puffy and golden brown. When it’s done remove it from the oven and start the next step.

2. For the filling: Brush shortbread crust with 1 tablespoon of melted butter. Spread peach jam evenly over the crust, then layer with sliced peaches. To make the cream layer, put the cream cheese and sour cream in a bowl and beat on high speed until smooth. Add sugar and 1 tablespoon flour and beat another 30 seconds. Add eggs and vanilla and beat until smooth and thoroughly combined. Pour cheesecake mixture over peach slices. Set aside.

3. For the topping: In a small bowl, combine flour, sugars, ginger, cinnamon, and salt. Pour melted butter over all of it and use your fingers to mix everything together until coarse crumbles form. Sprinkle over the top of the cheesecake layer. Bake again at 350 F for 30 minutes or until crumbles are golden brown and center is set.