Monday, October 31, 2011

Honey Bun Cake

I have no pictures of this cake.  I decided to make it on Saturday morning.  Brenn and his friends came home form basketball practice and as soon as it cooled enough(mind you there was still seam coming from the cake) they devoured the entire cake.....I will make it again this week so the rest of us can try it! :)

1 box yellow cake mix
4 eggs
1 cup sour cream
3/4 c canola oil
1 c light brown sugar
2 tsp cinnamon
2 c powdered sugar
6 Tbsp milk
1 tsp vanilla

Oven to 350 degrees and prepare a 9x13 baking dish with spray.  Combine the cake mix, eggs, sour cream and oil and mix well. There could be lumps and that is ok. In a small owl mix the brown sugar and cinnamon.  Pour 1/2 cake min and spread in the bottom of the dish.  Spread all of the brown sugar and cinnamon over the batter.  Finnish with the rests of the batter and use a knife to spread it around then make S shapes over the top to swirl the cake. Bake 35-45 minutes until tester comes out clean. As soon as the cake is out spread the glaze on the top.  Whisk the powdered sugar, milk and vanilla until it is a glaze. it sets after a few minutes.  Enjoy~ I hope to soon! :)

Friday, October 28, 2011

Creamy Northern Beans and Ham

I got a little head of myself this week.  The forecast was cooler than normal and I had a couple hearty dishes ready to was 83 degrees the day I decided to make this pot of ham and beans.  But it was well worth it.  Brenn had 3 bowls and asked me to make it again soon! That makes it a hit here. There is quite a bit of liquid that is not showing up in this picture.  I served it with corn bread.  The whole house smelled wonderful.

1 pound pkg northern beans, rinsed and picked through
3-4 meaty ham shanks.*I only had 2 so I cut up a ham steak to throw in with the shanks*
1 onion diced
2 cloves garlic minced
salt and pepper to taste
1/3 cup brown sugar at the last minute

Throw the rinsed beans, onion, salt, pepper and ham to a crock pot and add enough water to cover the beans by about 2 inches, around 7 cups. Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours or until beans are tender. Pull the meat off the bones and return to the crock, add the brown sugar and stir.  YUM! Easy, warm and even easy clean up! Ta da...a winner! Enjoy~

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Chocolate Chip Pie

This is a crazy pie, I did not know what to think when I read the recipe.  The kids wanted it so I made it.  the recipe makes 2 and the whipped cream makes more than enough for 2 pies. IT was a fun switch up on a regular pie and they loved it!

2 3/4 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp soda
1 1/2 tsp  baking powder
1 cup unsalted butter, soft
1 1/2 c light brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
3 large eggs
1 Tbsp vanilla
2 cups mini chocolate chips
2 cups chopped walnuts **I did not add these**

Whipped Cream
I found and fell in love with Chocolate Whipping Cream! Yep! It is only for the holiday season and I just saw it and thought it would go fabulously on this pie.  I was right! Regular whipped cream would work just as well!
1-2 pints heavy whipping cream
1/4 c powdered sugar
1/4 cup mini chocolate chips

Oven at 350 degrees.  Grease 2 pie pans and set aside.  Sift the flour, salt, baking soda and baking powder**Remember I am not a sifter ~I whisk together the ingredients and call it good and it works just the same and it less time consuming AND less messy!** Cream together the butter and both sugars. Add eggs 1 at a time and mix well. Add vanilla then flour mixture, bits at a time. Mix until all combined.  Fold in 2 cups of the chippers and nuts. Dived the dough between the 2 pie plates and smooth the dough. Bake about 30 min**I had to bake mine 45 minutes**.  They need to be soft, yet firm to the touch.  Throw some foil over the top if you think they are getting too brown.  Cool completely.  Beat the whipping cream and powdered sugar until soft peaks form and add the chippers.  *I would mention that this is HEAVENLY*. Chill the cream until ready to serve.  Top the pie pieces with the cream and devour!  Enjoy~

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Gingerbread Minis

I know, I know...pumpkin, apples and ginger stuff! It is Fall, I can't help it. These are great little snacks, breakfast or additions to ice cream.  I will be using this type of minis a lot! They are small but pack  huge flavor, don't let the size fool ya!
This recipe made a little more than 4 dozen minis and you can make regular sized muffins out of this recipe.

1 cup dark brown sugar
2 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp nutmeg**My favorite spice for the Fall**
1 egg
1/2 cup molasses
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup melted butter

Heat oven to 350 and spray muffin tins.  **I use the Bakers spray now that has the added flour in it and it works wonders!** Combine the flour, sugar, soda, salt and spices in a bowl and set aside.  Mix the egg, molasses, buttermilk and butter.  Add the 2 together and stir together until mixed.  Fill muffin tins and bake for about 15 minutes. **I used a melon baller to fill the mini tins it was not messy at all** These do not overbake so you can fill them about 3/4 full. They slide right out of the tins and cool them on a wire rack...Pop in your mouth and enjoy~

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Pumpkin Pie Cake

It was finally below 80 for a couple of days last week and I HAD to fill the house with the yummy smell of pumpkin.... Pie, cake, was wonderful! This cake is good.  I am not sure of the 'crust', but I will try it again!

Yellow cake mix
1/2 cup melted butter
1 egg
1 29 ouncepumpkin
1 1/2 c sugar
1 tsp salt
2 tsp cinnamon
1 t ginger
1/2 tssp cloves
4 eggs
2 cans of evaporated milk*12 ounce cans*

Mix the cake with melted butter for 30 seconds, add egg and mix until combined. Press the mix into a large greased jelly roll pan.  Combine the sugar and spices in a small bowl and set aside. Beat the 4 eggs for about 1 minute or until frothy. Add the sugar mixture and the pumpkin and mix well. Pour the canned milk in and mix, again. Pour the filling over the crust and be careful not to overfill.  I did nit use the entire filling in the cake.  I baked the left over  in custard dishes and had an additional dessert. Bake the cake for 1 hour at 350 degrees.  Serve with whipped cream or cool whip.  Brooklyn ate it for breakfast, too.  Enjoy~

Monday, October 24, 2011

Loaded Potatoes

This is a great side dish although I will make it creamier next time.  I  like the added depth of the Ranch. The kids gobbled it up!
1 16 ounce sour cream container
2 cups cheddar cheese
3 ounces bacon bits
2 green onions sliced*I did not add these*
1 pkg Ranch dip mix
1 24 ounce bag of frozen hash browns

In a large bowl mix sour cream, cheese, bacon, onion and Ranch.  Throw in the potatoes and coat with the mixture.  spread in a greased 9x13 baking dish and bake at 350 degrees fo r40 minutes.  I added more cheese to the top and will add more sour cream in the mix next time! Enjoy~

Friday, October 21, 2011

Spaghetti with Italian Sausage and a Simple Red Sauce

Since we are HUGE Italian fans(and Tony is Sicilian) I love to try new pasta dishes! This was so simple and will make it again, although with more sausage since the kids picked it all out and gobbled it up!
1-1/2 lbs sweet Italian sausage
1 pkg spaghetti, cooked, drained and set aside
1 -28 ounce can crushed tomatoes
2 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
5 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/4 cup  fresh basil, torn
Parmesan cheese

Broil the sausages for 5 minutes on each side or until done.  Cut sausage into bite size pieces and return to broiler, on a baking sheet, and broil for about 2 minutes or until done.
HEat olive oil in a skillet or pan over medium heat.  Add crushed red pepper and garlic and saute for 1 minute.  Stir in tomatoes, sugar and salt and cook until thickened, about 4-5 minutes. Add the sausage to the sauce, stir well.  Add pasta and mix, add basil and parmesan and serve! Ta-da! Easy! Enjoy~

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Kabob Marinade

I am not a huge fan of kabobs but the kids are.  Last week I threw a new marinade together.  The veggies were AWESOME in this marinade. I put sausage, pineapple, red and green peppers, zucchini, onion, cherry tomatoes, yellow squash and mushrooms on the skewers, veggies only for me and they were good.  I will use this marinade again.  Easy and tasty! I don't have a photo of the marinade...oops.

~Marinade Recipe~
1/2 cup honey
1/4 cup spicy brown mustard
2 Tbsp canola oil
1 Tbsp soy sauce*I used low sodium*
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 tsp fresh ginger root, minced

I combined these all in a bowl and whisked until all mixed and threw it in a ziplock and added the veggies I brushed everything when I was grilling*You could broil as well*  This had a great flavor and was really yummy! Enjoy~

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Caramel Apple Bake

This is a versatile dish.  I made it for a dessert and Brooke told me it would be better as breakfast and she ate it for breakfast the next morning.  I would have to is lighter than a regular dessert and definitely not heavy. I would serve it with cream and heated in the morning.  For dessert we had vanilla ice cream. You can certainly play with it! It is kind of a crumble, as you are to turn it upside down for the caramel to be on top...ugly to look at but yummy for your tummy!
1 1/2 Bisquick
2/3 c sugar
1/2 c milk
1 tsp vanilla
2 medium apples, peeled, cored and sliced thin
1 Tbsp lemon juice
3/4 c brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1 c boiling water

Heat your oven to 350 degrees.

Whisk together the baking mix and sugar. Stir in milk and vanilla until just incorporated.  Spread into an UN greased square pan.  In another bowl toss the apples with the lemon juice and put the apples on top of the batter. In bowl #3 *yes, lotsa bowls used* mix the brown sugar and cinnamon then sprinkle evenly over the apples. Pour the boiling water over the apples.  Bake for 50-60 minutes until golden, bubbly and a tester comes out clean. When serving turn out the pieces so the carmel is on the top*This is where it gets messy*  Eat and Enjoy~

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

7UP Biscuits

I was tired of my regular biscuit recipe and I made these when Britt was home from Florida last week. They were a hit then and I have made them 2 times since.  I have found a winner! They are devoured before the kids sit down at the table. So easy and yummy!
 2 c baking mix**Bisquick**
1/2 c sour cream
1/2 c 7up
3 Tbsp butter melted.

Dump the baking mix and sour cream in a bowl and stir.  Add the 7up and mix, it will be very sticky.  Make sure to add some Bisquick or flour on the working surface so it is easier to work with the stickiness. Shape the dough into a 9 in square and cut into 9 biscuits.  Pizza cutters work wonders on the dough! Pour 2 Tbsp melted butter in the bottom of a 9 inch baking pan to coat the pan. Bake at 450 degrees for 12 minutes.  Brush the rest of teh elted butter on to top and EAT!!! Enjoy~

Friday, October 14, 2011

Pumpkin Cake with Caramel Apple Sauce

Gone. I made this cake last night and it is gone. The kids asked me to make it again today. I guess that means it is a keeper! It is so easy and can be literally thrown together in no time and can be warm or room temp. YUM!


1 1/2 c flour
1 c white sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
 dash of nutmeg
3/4 c oil... I used 1/2 c pumpkin spice oil and 1/4 c apple sauce  You can use canola oil for the whole amount
1 15 ounce can pumpkin
2 eggs

Whisk the flour, soda, powder, salt, nutmeg and cinnamon together and set aside.  Combine oil, pumpkin and eggs in a mixing bowl and throw in the dry ingredients. Mix well. Pour into a prepared 9 x 13 inch pan and bake at 325 degrees for 30 minutes.  Cool and top with the sauce before serving.

I doubled this recipe.  I put it on the cooled cake and then drizzled it on the plates before serving and added a bit more to the top. YUM!
1/2 c brown sugar
1 Tbsp cornstarch
2/3 c apple juice
2 Tbsp heavy cream
1 Tbsp butter
pinch of salt

Whisk the brown sugar and cornstarch in a medium sauce pan.  Add the juice, cream, salt and butter.  Cook over med-high heat, whisk constantly.  Large bubbles will form and that is when you know you need to reduce to low and allow to thicken(2 min or so).Drizzle it over the cooled cake and cool the rest and top as desired. Presto! YUM!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Apple Pie Cupcakes

Holy Yumminess, Cooking friends! I would say these are a better breakfast  cupcake than a dessert.  Warmed up with coffee or hot chocolate is our preference.  That was my neighbors idea since she prefers warm apples.  I concur! These are ooey gooey and messy but worth the mess!

3 cups sifted cake flour
1 Tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup unsalted (room temp) butter
2 c sugar
4 eggs
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
1 c milk
**I will add 1 tsp cinnamon next time for added flavor** The cake itself is pretty plain and needs a little kick!

2 Tbsp butter
2 tsp cinnamon
2-3 Tbsp sugar
3  large apples, you know the drill....peeled, cored, diced, .

Vanilla butter cream

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line 2 cupcake pans with liners.Before you start you need to know that these bake over and up....fill the cups only 2/3 full or you will have a mess and they cakes will not be pretty!

Sift cake flour, baking powder and salt**I do NOT sift! I throw it in a bowl and use a wire whisk and it works the same in less time and mess** Cream the butter and sugar on medium-high speed until light and fluffy(2 minutes). Beat eggs in 1 at a time and scrape bowl after each addition.Add vanilla and mix well. Add the dry ingredients alternately with milk ending with the dry. Stir only until combined.  Divide batter evenly into the pans. Bake until done, 18-22 minutes. Cool in pan for 5 min. then transfer to a wire rack to cool all the way. When cooled use a cone method and remove the center of the cupcakes.  Make sure not to go too deep but deep enough to get a good amount of ooey gooey apples in every bite. eave a rim around the top of the cupcake so they look pretty and you can ice them properly.

Heat butter in a medium skillet over med-high heat and add cinnamon and sugar.  Cook this mixture until it gets bubbly, careful not to burn the sugar and cinnamon! Lower the heat to medium and stir in the apples.  Mix well and cook until they are tender(10 min). Remove from heat and cool all the way.  Once cool fill the center of the cupcakes with the filling and ice with vanilla butter cream! This looks complicated to make and assemble but it goes very fast and it is really quite easy! Try it! Enjoy~

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Belgian Waffles

YUM! Our oldest visited this past week from Orlando.  Britt brought her roommate and ELizabeth brought me a gift...the Disney EPCOT International Food and Wine Festival cookbook!! SCORE!!! I knew while they were here I had to make something from the cookbook.  I chose the Belgian Waffles with Berry Compote and Whipped Cream.  They wre so good! I did not take a picture of the fruit as it took away from the really pretty waffles.  I make waffles a lot but these are so special, fluffy and flavor packed! You have to try these!

This makes enough for 4-6. I doubled since we were having 12.  There were a few left over.

2 1/2 cups flour
2 Tbsp sugar
1 tsp active dry yeast
1 1/2 c water
1/2 cup milk
2 Tbsp beer
1 egg
1 Tbsp vanilla
1 stick of butter, melted

Sift flour into a large bowl and add the sugar and yeast.  Create a well in the center of the mixture.  Add water, milk, beer, egg and vanilla.  Stir mixture until just blended.  (There will be lumps but they dissolve as the batter rests) Add melted butter and stir.  Refrigerate batter overnight.  Bring mixture to room temp and ladle waffle batter into a Belgian waffle maker, cook.  Serve warm with whatever you prefer.  I will post the compote later.  These are Delish! Enjoy~

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Creamy Chicken Tacos/Nachos

This is versatile and super easy! I have been sick this week and I knew I was not going to want to cook tonight so I browsed the internet(here) to come up with something I could throw into the crock and let it cook all day.  I don't keep meat on hand but I did  have frozen chicken breasts(Tony doesn't like chicken) that I needed to use. This called for FROZEN chicken breasts! Ta da! Winner winner chicken dinner...literally! :) This is a horrible photo....the color is better than this looks.  It was a hit, so don't judge the photographer....remember I am not feeling well... :)


5 frozen(yipee) chicken breasts
1 1/2 cup salsa
2 cans cream of chicken soup
2 1/2 T taco seasoning
1 T maple syrup
1 tsp fresh lime juice
1 T butter
1/2 cup sour cream
1 can chili beans**I added these at the end because the gravy was so runny**

Serve over tortilla chips or as a taco!

Spray the crock with cooking spray and place the frozen chicken breasts in the bottom.  In a mixing bowl stir the ingredients except the butter and sour cream.  Pout it over the chicken.  COver and cook for 4 hours on high or 6-7 on low.  SHred the chicken and add the butter and sour cream, stir and cook 1 more hour! Easy and Yum!! It uses all ingredients that are staples in my pantry so it was perfect for a low key cooking day! Enjoy~

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Pound Cake w/ Peanut Butter Glaze

When I found this recipe on RecipeGirl I knew the kids would go NUTS over this! It is the heaviest pound cake I have ever made.  It is so dense and rich that they could only eat 1/2 piece.  Brenn took a lot  to school today.  It sure is a pretty cake!

3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup creamy peanut butter
1/2 cup butter, at room temperature
3 cups granulated white sugar
6 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups chocolate chips
1 1/2 cups sifted powdered sugar
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup mini chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Spray 10-cup tube pan generously with nonstick spray. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside. In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to cream together peanut butter and butter. Add sugar and beat an additional 5 minutes. Add eggs and vanilla; beat until well combined. Add dry ingredients a little at a time, beating just until incorporated. Stir in chocolate chips. Scrape batter into prepared tube pan. Tap it a couple of times on the counter to shake out any hidden air pockets.
 Bake 1 hour and 20 minutes, checking on the cake at 1 hour to make sure it's not browning too quickly on top. If browning too quickly, just place a piece of foil loosely over the top of the pan. When a toothpick is inserted into the center of the cake and comes out clean, your cake is done. Let cool for 20 minutes, then flip it onto a rack or platter and let it cool completely.
In a medium bowl, whisk together powdered sugar, milk, peanut butter and vanilla until smooth. Drizzle glaze over the top of the cooled cake, letting it drizzle down the sides. Sprinkle chocolate chips on top. Holy YUM,Batman! Enjoy~

Monday, October 3, 2011

A New (to me) Apple Crisp

We love apples in the Fall! I ran across this recipe on It's a Keeper and thoughts I had to try it.  We were not disappointed! It was yummy!!

The Best Apple Crisp
10 Cups apples, peeled, cored and sliced
1 cup sugar
1 Tbsp flour
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 c water

1 cup quick oats
1 cup flour
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup butter, melted
Spread apples in an even layer in a 9x13 pan.  In a medium bowl combine the sugar, flour and cinnamon. Pour this over the apples, evenly.  Pour water on top of that.

Combine all the topping ingredients in a medium bowl.  Mix until it is crumbly and sprinkle over the apples. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes. YUM! Easy and delish! Enjoy~