Monday, April 30, 2012

Root Beer Float Cake

Who doesn't like Root Beer Floats? IT was so hot this weekend(90's) and Root Beer Float remind me of summer...what a great cake! I went back to using my old websites more than Pinterest.  The last 3 things off there were I am super duper careful about what I try to make and post! :) This cake was a huge hit and really does taste like a float! I added vanilla ice cream on the plates when I served it, i just took a pic of the finished cake.
I yellow cake mix(I used my own vanilla cake recipe with added cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and all spice thrown in, about 3/4 tsp of each) You could use a boxed spice cake mix as well!
to the mix add~ 4 eggs
                            1/2 c oil
                             1 1/4 c root beer
                              1 tsp rum extract
Combine all in a bowl and mix as the directions on the box say. Pour batter in a prepared bundt pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes. Let it cool in the pan for about 10 minutes and invert on a wire rack and cool completely. Drizzle with Root Beer Glaze~ 2 cups powdered sugar mixed with 3 T root beer.  Whisk until creamy and drizzle.  I made a bit more of this to put on the ice cream after I cut and put the cake on plates.  YUM! Enjoy~

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Chocolate Chip Salted Caramel Bars

I am not having good luck with most of the recipes I am trying out from Pinterest...these, however are YUMMMMY! Who doesn't love caramel?
2 1/8 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
12 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled to room temperature
1 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups chocolate chips
10 ounces caramel candy squares, unwrapped
3 tablespoons heavy cream
Sea salt, for sprinkling over caramel and bars....lots! It adds sooooo much flavor!

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Spray an 11 X 7 pan-I used a glass Pyrex dish, with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.
 In the bowl of a stand mixer, mix the melted butter and sugars together until combined. Add the egg, egg yolk, and vanilla extract and mix until smooth. Slowly add the dry ingredients and mix on low, just until combined. Stir in the chocolate chips. Make sure not to over mix.
In a large microwave safe bowl, combine the caramels and heavy cream. Microwave caramels on High until caramels are melted, stirring every 20 seconds. This will take about 2 minutes, depending on your microwave. *mine took 1 min 20 seconds*
Divide the cookie dough in half. Press half of the cookie dough into the prepared pan, smoothing the top with the spatula. Pour hot caramel over the cookie dough. Sprinkle caramel with sea salt. Drop spoonfuls of cookie dough over the caramel and spread dough with a spatula until the caramel is covered. Sprinkle the bars with additional sea salt. Bake cookie bars for 30 minutes or until the top of the bars are light golden brown and the edges start to pull away from the pan. Cool bars on a wire rack to room temperature. Cut bars into squares and serve. Enjoy~

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Crock Pot Egg Brunch Casserole

Pinterest failed me.  This was not a recipe I will make again.  This had ZERO flavor and was not. very. good. at. all. Luckily I had planned serving fruit and on baking oven french toast and could whip up cheesy eggs instead of serving this.  Brenn put some on his plate and just looked at it the slowly looked at me.... With that, you can decide to try it or not.  I thought it looked great and easy and I love do-ahead breakfast for holiday mornings. I did not even take a pic of this disaster.....

6-8 strips of bacon, cooked and crumbled, or chopped
1 clove garlic,chopped
1 red or green pepper, chopped
1 (2 pound) bag of frozen hash browns
1 1/2 cups shredded cheese
12 eggs
1 cup whole milk
1 tsp dried dill
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper

S[ray crock pot with no stick cooking spray.  Cook and crumble bacon, set aside.  Saute the onion, peppers and garlic until soft, about 5 minutes. Place 1/3 hash browns on the bottom of the crock pot, add 1/3 bacon, 1/3 onion mix and 1/3 cheese./  Repeat layers ending with cheese.  Mix the eggs, milk and spices and pour over all ingredients in the pot.  Cover, cook on low for 8-10 hours. Good luck!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Penne Bolognese

I will admit that this is not the prettiest of dishes but it tasted so good.  Pasta is a sure hit here and this was a definite hit.  Tony, who refuses to eat left overs most of the time, ate this the next day for lunch and said it was even better the next day, if possible! I will make this again for sure! IT has a few ingredients in it that are not traditional Italian ingredients and that worried me.  They all worked together and you can taste ALL the ingredients.  IT has so many layers of flavor.  Very impressed with this recipe!
1 pound of minced beef *I used turkey*
1 box of penne boiled in salt water according to directions.  When it is al dente drain the water out and give it a splash of olive oil after you drain it so it won't stick together.
4 cloves garlic thinly sliced
4 red chiles, chopped
5 large ripe tomatoes, skinned and chopped
2 tsp brown sugar
2 tsp salt
juice of 1 lime
2 tsp dried basil
1 tsp red chili flakes
1 tsp cumin
grated cheddar cheese * I used 1 1/2 cups*
1 Tbsp butter
Parmesan cheese

Add 2 Tbsp olive oil to  a large sauce pan and add the garlic and red chilis.  Saute for 3-4 minutes until the garlic is browning, watch it carefully! Add the meat and cook about 10 minutes until it is completely done. Lower the heat and add the tomatoes, spices, lime juice and sugar.  ADd 3 Tbsp water and mix all together.  Cook until the tomatoes become soft.  Cover teh meat with a little bit more water and close the lid and allow it to cook and simmer on low heat.  You can decide how chunky or reduced you like it, we like it a little chunky.  I let it simmer for about 25 minutes. Add the cooked pasta to the sauce and stir it together, add the butter and cheddar cheese and mix well.  Top with parm cheese and DEVOUR!! Enjoy~

Monday, April 9, 2012

Pink Lemonade Pound Cake

Hello Summer! We love pink lemonade and this seemed like a winner.  It is a heavy cake with the ingredients, bottom addition of  soaking glaze plus the top glaze. It was moist and yummy! You won't be disappointed!

1 package lemon cake
1 3 ounce package instant lemon pudding mix
4 eggs
1/3 c veg oil
1/2 c whole milk
1/2 c pink lemonade concentrate
red food coloring

Glaze for bottom~
1 cup thawed pink lemonade concentrate
1/2 c white sugar
Mix well together.

1/4 c butter
2 c powdred sugar
2 Tbsp cream
1/2 tsp vanilla
red food coloring
Melt butter and add to the sifted powdered sugar, add 2 Tbsp cream and vanilla and beat until smooth.  If you like it creamier, add a little more cream until you like it.  Add your food coloring until it is the pink you like. Drizzle over cooled cake.

Preheat your oven to 350 and prepare a bundt pan with cooking spray with flour, set aside.
Combine the cake mix, pudding, eggs, vegetable oil, 1/2 c lemonade concentrate and milk and beat well to combine.  I beat mine for 2 minutes then added the food coloring to a pink color then beat again for 30 seconds. Pour into the prepared pan and bake 50 min-1 hour.  Watch the top and if it gets to dark cover the edges with foil. Remove the cake when done and immediately prick the cake with a fork all over and pour the lemonade and sugar mixture all over it.  Let it cool in the pan until almost all the way cool.  Turn the cake over on a wire rack with a cookie sheet under it and let cool completely. Drizzle the topping over the cooled cake.....Enjoy this Summery dessert!

Friday, April 6, 2012

Oreo Krispies

Gone. That is what these were. Gone.  The whole pan. Make them, soon.
1/4 cup butter
1 bag + 1 cup mini marshmallows
6 cups Rice Krispies
10 Oreos, chopped
1 12 ounce bag white chocolate chips
6 additional Oreos

Spray a 9x13 in pan.  Melt butter in a large pan over med-low.  Add the marshmallows and stir until completely melted. Remove form heat and stir in the Krispies then add the 10 chopped Oreos and combine well. Put into the prepared pan and press evenly into the bottom.  Melt the white chocolate chips in microwave at 30 second intervals, stir after each 30 seconds until melted then spread over the bars.  Sprinkle the other Oreos over the top and press into the bars.  Chill until set. Some serious restraint will be needed not to eat several of these goodies! Enjoy~

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Key Lime Bars

Yumminess with a punch! That is what these key lime bars are~ a sure hit! I printed the recipe from  I changed the crust because I bought animal crackers for this recipe and Tony found and ate the animal crackers! I used graham crackers for the crust and it was just as good, I think!


Crust~ 2 1/2 cups animal crackers*I used graham crackers*
3 Tbsp packed brown sugar
pinch of salt
4 Tbsp melted butter
Put the cookies in the food processor  with the sugar and salt.  Make fine crumbs.  Drizzle in the melted butter and process until incorporated. Press crumbs in a prepared 8 inch square baking pan that has been sprayed with cooking spray. Bake this for about 15-18 minutes.

Filling~ 2 ounces cream cheese, soft
1 Tbsp grated fresh lime zest
1 can condensed milk
1 large egg yolk
1/2 cup fresh lime juice
In a mixing bowl combine the cream cheese, lime zest and salt until incorporated. Whisk in the condensed milk until smooth then whisk in the egg yolk and lime juice. Pour the filling over the crust and bake for about 15 minutes, until the filling is set. Let the bars cool for 2 hours then chill for 2 hours.  I dusted the top with powdered sugar and then added black berries...Enjoy~

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Blackstrap Molasses and Sriracha pulled pork

Thank you Pinterest! Yum! I served this on whole wheat buns and everyone loved it! What an easy recipe that makes your house smell delicious while it is cooking all day!


Spice rub for the pork~

I let my pork sit overnight with the rub on it.
1 Tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp smoked paprika*smells sooo good*
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 Tbsp salt
dash of cayenne pepper

1 yellow onion, sliced thin
3-4 lb pork shoulder

Put the onions in the bottom of the crock pot and cup up the pork into 2 inch pieces and trim off the excess fat. Place the pork on top of the onions.

Sauce~ 1/2 c tomato paste
1/2 c apple cider vinegar
1/4 c blackstrap molasses
2 tsp Srircha hot sauce*more if you like spicy*
1 tsp ground mustard
1 tsp black pepper
Whisk all together and pour 1/2 over the pork in the slow cooker.  Keep 1/2 sauce for later.  Cook for 8 hours on low.  When the pork is ready drain and reserve the juice that it has cooked in all day.  Shred the pork with 2 forks and put it back in the crock pot. Stir in the reserved sauce and add some of the liquid for juiciness.  So good! I will make double the sauce next time.  We like out BBQ a little more saucy....Enjoy~

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Lemonade Cake

It is Spring! Spring brings lemons and I love lemons! I found this recipe on and I had to make it today! Luckily I had all the ingredients on hand so I set to work! Mmm mmm good!

1 1/3 c sugar
6 Tbsp soft butter
1 Tbsp grated lemon rind
3 Tbsp thawed lemonade concentrate
2 tsp vanilla
2 large eggs
2 egg whites
2 c flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 1/4 c buttermilk

2 Tbsp soft butter
2 tsp grated lemon rind
2 tsp thawed lemonade concentrate
1/2 tsp vanilla
8 ounces cream cheese, room temp
3 1/2 c powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Cake~ place the 1st 5 ingredients in a bowl and beat well for about 5 minutes. Add the eggs and egg whites 1 at a time and blend well after each.  Combine the flour, baking soda, salt and baking powder in a bowl and whisk together.  Add the buttermilk and flour alternately, beginning and ending with flour. Beat well after addition.  Pour the batter into 2 9 in round cake pans that have been sprayed with cooking spray. Bake for 20 minutes and cool in pans for 10 min on a wire rack.  Turn the cakes out of the pans and cool on wire rack.

Frosting~Add the 1st 5 ingredients and beat on high until fluffy.  ADd the powdered sugar and beat on low until just mixed. Chill for 1 hour.  Then assemble the cake with 12 c frosting in between the layers and the rest over the top and sides of the cake! YUM! Enjoy~

Monday, April 2, 2012

Cosmopolitan Cupcakes

It was my friends 30th birthday this weekend.  I wanted to make her something out of the ordinary. I came across this recipe on the Betty Crocker website a few months ago and was waiting for the right time to make them.  They look great! I hope she liked them!
1 box white cake mix
3 eggs
1/2 cup oil
1 cup Cosmopolitan Drink mix(without alcohol)

1/2 cup Crisco
1/2 cup butter
4 cups powdered sugar
3 TBSP cosmo drink mix(without alcohol)
red food coloring

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Mix the cake mix, oil and 1 cup drink mix, add eggs and mix for 30 seconds on low.  On medium continue to mix for another minute or 2. Fill cupcake tins with liners and fill each 2/3 full with the batter.  Bake for 17-19 minutes.  Cool and frost. Super easy!!