Tuesday, May 28, 2013

One Bowl Chocolate Cake

I loooooooove, loooooooooove, looooooooove chocolate! Life would not be the same without chocolate. As long as I have a big glass of milk, too much chocolate does not exist. I found this recipe years ago when I started making the kid's birthday cakes. It is very moist and fluffy and a perfect match with chocolate buttercream frosting. Yum!


One Bowl Chocolate Cake

2 cups white sugar
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 cup milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup boiling water

 Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour two nine inch round pans. 
In a large bowl, stir together the sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add the eggs, milk, oil and vanilla, mix for 2 minutes on medium speed of mixer. Stir in the boiling water last. Batter will be thin. Pour evenly into the prepared pans. 
Bake 30 to 35 minutes in the preheated oven, until the cake tests done with a toothpick. Cool in the pans for 10 minutes, then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.
Frost and enjoy!
 Recipe From All Recipes
Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

1/4 c. butter,softened
2 c. powdered sugar
3 Tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp. vanilla
2 Tbsp. milk
Mix together all ingredients in a large bowl until well combined. May need to add more milk (slowly) until frosting reaches a spreadable consistency.  
Notes: This is enough frosting to frost the top of a 9x13 cake. If you are makinga layered cake double the frosting.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Delicious Ham and Potato Soup

I am a HUGE fan of soup. It is so comforting and it just flat out tastes good. I will have soup all year round. In fact one time I had it in the middle of summer 103 degree weather while living in an un-air conditioned apartment. I take my soup eating serious people!:) This was one of my go to recipes when Brent and I were first married and I would make it when we were sick. Deelicious!

Delicious Ham and Potato Soup  
Serves 8

3 1/2 cups peeled and diced potatoes
1/3 cup diced celery
1/3 cup finely chopped onion
3/4 cup diced cooked ham
3 1/4 cups water
2 tablespoons chicken bouillon granules
1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1 teaspoon ground white or black pepper,
or to taste
5 tablespoons butter
5 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups milk

Combine the potatoes, celery, onion, ham and water in a stockpot. Bring to a boil, then cook over medium heat until potatoes are tender, about 10 to 15 minutes. Stir in the chicken bouillon, salt and pepper.
In a separate saucepan, melt butter over medium-low heat. Whisk in flour with a fork, and cook, stirring constantly until thick, about 1 minute. Slowly stir in milk as not to allow lumps to form until all of the milk has been added. Continue stirring over medium-low heat until thick, 4 to 5 minutes.
Stir the milk mixture into the stockpot, and cook soup until heated through. Serve immediately.

Recipe from All Recipes

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Chicken Cacciatore

Time for another crockpot meal! This recipe does require a little more work than just throwing it all in the crockpot, but is worth the little extra time. It's still super simple and very satisfying.The chicken gets nice and tender and just falls off the bone.

Chicken Cacciatore  (Serves 8)

8 chicken thighs, with the bone, skin removed( I left skin on)
28 oz can crushed tomatoes
1/2 red bell pepper, sliced into strips
1/2 green bell pepper, sliced into strips
1/2 large onion, sliced
1 tsp dried oregano
1 bay leaf
salt and fresh pepper to taste
1/4 cup fresh herbs such as basil or parsley for topping

Heat 1 Tbsp of oil in a large skillet over medium-high. Brown chicken on both sides a few minutes, season with salt and pepper. Add to the slow cooker. To the skillet, add a little more oil if needed and add onions and peppers. Sauté until juices release and the vegetables become golden, a few minutes.

Add to the slow cooker. Pour tomatoes over the chicken and vegetables, add oregano, bay leaf, salt and pepper, give it a quick stir and cover. Set crock pot to LOW 8 hours or HIGH 4 hours.

Remove bay leaf, adjust salt and pepper and enjoy!

Serve over pasta or rice. 

Recipe slightly adapted from Skinny Taste

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Homemade Coleslaw

Coleslaw is delicious by itself or makes a great side to anything grilled. My favorite way is to eat it on BBQ chicken sandwiches or hot dogs. Yum. With how great it is I always though it was hard to make, but it couldn't be simpler.

 1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup buttermilk
2 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 1/2 tablespoons white vinegar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
head of cabbage
1 medium carrot (about 1/4 cup)
2 tablespoons minced onion

Chop cabbage into chunks and run through your food processor, or chop fine.

Combine all of the dressing ingredients in a large bowl, whisk well.

Combine cabbage, carrots, and onion and toss well. Pour dressing over the slaw and turn to coat well.

Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving to allow the cabbage to soak up the marinade.

Zesty BBQ Chicken

This meal is super duper easy and incredibly tasty. My family and I have been on a BBQ sauce kick lately and basically have decided everything is better with BBQ sauce! And I love using the slow cooker because I can get dinner done and off my to do list first thing in the morning. It's so great to have a dinner everyone enjoys but that I didn't have to slave away all day to achieve.


3 lbs Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast Halves
1 (18 oz) bottle of your favorite BBQ Sauce
1/2 cup Zesty Italian Salad Dressing
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 Tbsp. Worcestershire Sauce

Place chicken in the crock pot.In a bowl, mix bottle of barbecue sauce, Zesty Italian Salad Dressing, brown sugar, and Worcestershire Sauce. Pour over chicken.  Cover and cook 3-4 hours on HIGH or 6-8 hours on LOW.
Use 2 forks to shred the chicken.
Serve on buns with homemade coleslaw

Recipe from Chef in Training

Friday, May 24, 2013

Brown Sugar Oatmeal Chewies

My husband loves oatmeal raisin cookies, sometimes I think more than me, so when I saw this recipe that also said they are chewy cookies it was the perfect combo so I gave it a try. When I made them I did not have coconut on hand so I left it out and added golden raisins instead. I did not miss the coconut and the raisins made it even better!

 Brown Sugar Oatmeal Coconut Chewies

1 c. butter, slightly softened
1 1/4 c. brown sugar, packed
3/4 c. sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 eggs
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 1/4 c. all purpose flour
1 cup quick cooking oats
1 1/2 c. shredded, sweetened coconut (optional)
1 c. raisins (optional)

  Preheat oven to 350°. Cream together butter and sugars, until they are well-combined.

Add one egg and mix until it’s fully incorporated. Then add the second egg, and the vanilla, and mix until everything is evenly incorporated.

Add baking soda, baking powder, and salt to the wet mixture. Mix until well-distributed.

Add about 1/2 your flour, and mix until the flour is JUST incorporated. Scrape down the sides of your bowl, and then add the second half of your flour, mixing until just incorporated. You don’t want to overmix here, or you’ll end up with tough cookies.

Add oats and coconut, mixing until they’re (say it with me) JUST incorporated.

 Roll dough into balls, or use a cookie scoop to evenly portion out the dough . If you are rolling the dough by hand, you’ll want a ball that is a little over an inch in diameter, and this should give you about 6 dozen cookies.

Place the dough balls on a baking sheet lined with parchment , leaving about 2″ between each cookie. Bake for 8-10 minutes, until the edges are veeeery lightly brown, but the center is still light in color and puffy. This will result in a very moist, very chewy cookie.

Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for about 5 minutes, then move them to a cooling rack. Once they’re fully cooled, they can be stored in a ziploc bag or airtight container for up to a week.

Notes: I followed the directions carefully and as it said did not overmix ingredients and the cookies turned out very moist and chewy as promised.

Recipe and picture from The Dough Will Rise Again

Thursday, May 23, 2013


I had never tried Gumbo until a few years ago. It was back when we still had cable and I saw Paula Deen make this recipe and I had to give it a try because it looked very tasty. The broth is so rich and smooth and all the meats lend a hand in making an unbeatable taste. If you have never had gumbo please give this a try. I am confident you will love it as much as I do.:) There are a lot of steps that take time but I promise it is so worth it.

Gumbo  8 servings

3 large boneless skinless chicken breast halves
Salt and pepper
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 pound smoked sausage, cut into 1/4-inch slices
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
5 tablespoons margarine
1 large onion, chopped
8 cloves garlic minced
1 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
3 stalks celery chopped
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
1/4 bunch flat leaf parsley, stems and leaves, coarsely chopped, plus chopped leaves for garnish
4 cups hot water
5 beef bouillon cubes
1 (14-ounce can) stewed tomatoes with juice
2 cups frozen sliced okra
4 green onions, sliced, white and green parts
1/2 pound small shrimp precooked

Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Heat the oil in a heavy bottomed Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Cook the chicken until browned on both sides and remove. Add the sausage and cook until browned, then remove. Sprinkle the flour over the oil, add 2 tablespoons of margarine and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until brown, about 10 minutes. Let the roux cool.

Return the Dutch oven to low heat and melt the remaining 3 tablespoons margarine. Add the onion, garlic, green pepper and celery and cook for 10 minutes. Add Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper, to taste and the 1/4 bunch parsley. Cook, while stirring frequently, for 10 minutes. Add 4 cups hot water and bouillon cubes, whisking constantly. Add the chicken and sausage. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat, cover, and simmer for 45 minutes. Add tomatoes and okra. Cover and simmer for 1 hour. Just before serving add the green onions, shrimp and chopped parsley.

 Notes: I serve the gumbo poured over zatarains yellow rice.

Recipe from Paula Deen

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Cilantro Jalapeno Dip

This cilantro jalapeno dip is so wonderful on chips and burgers. It packs a little heat depending on how many jalapenos you leave with the seeds in. I put 6 in and left 2 with seeds and it was pretty hot. I would say medium heat. Try it and you will have a refreshing dip.

Cilantro Jalapeno Dip
 6 to 8 jalapenos
1 bushel cilantro (meaning a huge handful)
1 packet of dry Ranch dressing mix
1 cup Sour Cream
1 cup Mayonnaise

Be sure to scoop out the seeds of the jalapenos if you want a mild dip
Puree the jalapenos and cilantro in a food processor until it looks like a paste

Mix together the cilantro and jalapeno puree mixture with 1 cup of mayonnaise and 1 cup of sour cream mix
Chill for about an hour and serve
Picture and Recipe from

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Fresh Green Beans

I make this recipe every Thanksgiving and Christmas and whenever I have a craving for delicious green beans!:) The green beans have great flavor thanks to the bacon and chicken stock and they still keep their crunch. Thank you Pioneer Woman for another great recipe!


Fresh Green Beans

 1 lb green beans
1 cup chopped onion
2 cloves garlic
1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
2 tablespoons bacon grease (can substitute 1 T butter and 1 T olive oil)
1 cup chicken broth
1/2 to 1 teaspoon kosher salt (can substitute regular table salt; use 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon)
Ground black pepper

Snap the stem ends of green beans, or cut them off in a big bunch with a knife if you’d like. Just don’t tell Granny. Melt bacon grease in a skillet over medium low heat. Add garlic and onions and cook for a minute. Then add green beans and cook for a minute until beans turn bright green. Add the chicken broth, chopped red pepper, salt, and black pepper. Turn heat to low and cover with a lid, leaving lid cracked to allow steam to escape. Cook for 20 to 30 minutes or until liquid evaporates and beans are fairly soft, yet still a bit crisp. You can add more chicken broth during the cooking process, but don’t be afraid to let it all cook away so the onions and peppers can caramelize.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Breakfast "Honduran Style"

Do you have those meals that just take you back to when you were a kid and life was perfect? All you had to do for dinner was show up and eat, way more than your share? This is exactly what this meal is to me. For those of you who don't know I am hispanic. My family moved to the states from Honduras about a year before I was born. So along with Spanish being my first language, Honduran food was my first love. This was a traditional breakfast at my house and my siblings and I still ask my mom to make it whenever we are together. Now my family later added the fried spam, which is not traditionally served with this, but we found our kids really loved it. It is up to you whether to serve the spam or not. If you do just fry spam in a little oil until golden brown on both sides. 

Oh, and for those of you who have never had plantains they have a sweet taste after frying. To pick the ripe ones you look for the ones that are a deep yellow orange color and that are turning black.  (picture below)

Refried Beans

 2 cans refried beans
1 small onion, diced
 2 Tbsp oil
1/2 tsp. onion powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder
pepper, TT (to taste)
1/4 tsp cumin

Heat oil in saucepan.

Dice onions and add to pan. Saute for 2 minutes. 

Add refried beans and seasonings. stir until well combined. Heat on low heat while you make the plantains, eggs, ranchero sauce, fried spam (optional).


 2-3 ripe plantain bananas
3 Tbsp. oil

 Heat oil in large skillet

Cut a straight line along the length of plantain through peel. Slide your thumb in between peel and plantain to peel. 

Cut Plantain into diagonal slices. 

Fry the plantains in skillet for 2-3 minutes per side until golden brown.

Place on paper towel lined plate.
Serve along side refried beans, huevos rancheros and fried spam, if desired.

Ranchero Sauce


2-3 roma tomatoes, diced
1/2 onion, diced
1 tbsp oil
salt, TT (to taste)
pepper, TT (to taste)
1/2 tsp oregano
2-3 tsp ketchup

Heat oil in saucepan

Dice tomatoes and onion, Add to pan.

Saute until onion begins to tenderize.

Add salt, pepper, oregano, and ketchup.

Stir until well combined and heated through. Serve warm over fried eggs.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Caramel Drizzle Pie

If you don't not like ooey, gooey, caramel, dessert, or heaven on earth...... this recipe is not for you. On the other hand if you are like every other person on earth you will love this simple, delicious pie. I will tell you now though it's hard to just eat one piece!

Caramel Drizzle Pie

2 (9 inch) graham cracker crusts
6 Tbsp butter
1 pkg. shredded coconut
1 c. chopped pecans
1 (14 oz)can sweet and condensed milk
1 (8 oz) pkg cream cheese or neufchatel(less fat)
1 (16oz.) tub of whipped topping
1 (12 oz.) jar of caramel ice cream topping

Place butter in a medium skillet and melt over medium heat. Add coconut and pecans, stirring to coat. Saute until coconut and pecans are lightly toasted, about 5 minutes. Set aside. 

In a large mixing bowl, whip together condensed milk and cream cheese until fluffy. Fold in whipped topping. Spoon 1/4 of cream cheese mixture into each graham cracker crust. Drizzle each with 1/4 of caramel topping. Repeat layers with remaining cream cheese mixture and caramel. Top each pie with coconut and pecan mixture. Freeze overnight.

Notes: you can eat one pie and save the other for when you have unexpected guests!:) 

Recipe from All Recipes

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Chicken BBQ Burgers

Okay so these burgers were amaze balls! I couldn't find ground chicken in my grocery stores so I used ground turkey, which I was very worried would be to gamey, but it was not at all. In fact it was super moist and so good!

 Chicken BBQ Burgers
    For the bbq sauce:
    ½ cup ketchup
    ¼ cup molasses
    2 tbsp very finely chopped (or grated) onion
    2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
    2 tbsp Dijon mustard
    2 tbsp cider vinegar
    1 tbsp brown sugar
    Hot sauce, to taste (optional)

    For the burgers:
    1 lb ground chicken or turkey
    ½ cup crumbled cornbread or ¼ cup cornmeal
    1 scallion, minced ( I used red onion)
    1 tbsp minced fresh cilantro
    ½ tsp paprika
    ¼ tsp garlic powder
    ½ tsp kosher salt
    Pinch cayenne
    2 tsp brown sugar
    2/3 cup chopped pulled pork (optional)
    5 tbsp bbq sauce, divided

    For serving:
    Grilled red onion slices
    Sharp cheddar cheese, sliced
    Additional bbq sauce
    Hamburger buns

To make the sauce: Combine all sauce ingredients in a small saucepan and heat over medium heat. Cook the sauce about 7 minutes or until thickened, stirring occasionally. The sauce should be reduced down to approximately 1 cup. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Refrigerate until ready to use. The sauce will keep, refrigerated, for about 1 week. 

To make the burgers: Heat the grill to medium-high.
In a large bowl, combine the chicken, cornbread, scallion, cilantro, paprika, garlic, salt, cayenne, brown sugar, pork, and 2 tablespoons of the bbq sauce. Lightly but thoroughly mix with your hands to incorporate all the ingredients. Add the remaining 3 tablespoons of bbq sauce to a small bowl.

Form the mixture into 4 equal-sized patties. Brush the grates of the grill with olive oil. Place the burgers and onions on the grill, and cook the burgers 5-6 minutes, then flip. Turn the onions as well. 

Brush the cooked sides with half the reserved bbq sauce. After 3-4 minutes, flip the burgers again. glazing the other side with the remaining bbq sauce. Place a slice of cheese on each patty, and lay the buns, cut side down, on the grill. Close the lid and allow the cheese to melt and the buns to toast.
Remove all the food from the grill, assembling the burgers as desired. Serve with additional bbq sauce if desired.

Recipe slightly adapted from Smells Like Home

Friday, May 17, 2013


My mama makes the best rice ever! Whenever we would have friends over or go to a friends house for dinner people went wild for her rice! Growing up we ate rice and beans at every meal. I never got sick of either, that's how good it is. So without further ado...



1/2 onion, diced
2 Roma tomatoes, diced
3Tbsp. oil
2 c. rice
4 c. water
2 tsp. salt

Heat oil in skillet over medium heat. 

Add onions and tomatoes and saute until tender. (4 minutes)

Add rice to skillet and saute for 3 minutes stirring occasionally

Add water and bring to boil then reduce heat to a simmer.

Season with salt, Cover and simmer for 20-25 minutes until all water is absorbed. 


Notes: I serve this with any Spanish or Mexican meal or with any dish that is normally served with pasta just substitute rice!:)

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Chicken Tenders and Fries

Well I don't know about you but I usually dont have extra oil layiing around in order to fry up my food. I hate frying for that reason, it just seems like a big wast of oil, not to mention how bad it is for you. So when anything calls for frying I bake. If you do it right your food will still be yummy and tender. Here are a couple of my favorite recipes.

Recipe from The Wonder Twins
Chicken Fingers

1-2 c. milk
1/2 tsp. Salt
1 T Season All
3/4 tsp Pepper
1 c. Flour
2 tsp. Paprika
 1/2 stick butter
 Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Place thawed chicken breast tenderloin strips in a bowl of milk. Let soak for 20-30 min. 
Mix remaining ingredients except butter in a gallon size ziploc bag.
Cut 1/2 stick of butter into a few pieces and place in a 9x13 pan. Melt butter in pre-heated oven. 
Spread melted butter around the bottom of the pan. Lightly spray the pan, if needed, to make sure that there are no dry spots.
Shake excess milk off of chicken and completely coat each piece with the seasoning mix. You can either shake the chicken in the bag, until coated, or dip each piece in the bowl until coated.
Place each piece of chicken in the pan.
Cook for 20 min. Turn each piece of chicken and continue cooking for 20 more minutes, or until cooked through. 
Notes: Serve with chick fil a sauce and fries(recipe below)
 Recipe from Martha Stewart
Baked Italian Fries

6 or 7 Idaho potatoes, peeled and sliced into 1/3-inch-thick French fry-style strips, soaked in cold water
4 tablespoons (1/4 cup) extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon dried Italian herbs or some combo of dried oregano, thyme, marjoram, and basil
2 cups freshly grated Romano cheese
1/4 cup parsley leaves, finely chopped
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) salted butter, cut into 6 cubes(can use less like 2 Tbsp)
Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Drain the potatoes and pat dry with paper towels. Spread 1 tablespoon of the olive oil on each of 2 rimmed baking sheets and spread out the potatoes. Overlapping is fine.
Sprinkle the dried herbs evenly over the potatoes. Liberally spread the cheese and parsley on top. 
Drizzle the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil over the cheese. Scatter the cubed butter around the pans.
Bake until the potatoes are golden brown, rotating the pans after 30 minutes, for 45 to 50 minutes total. Use a spatula to lift off the potatoes with all the crusty cheese adhered to them. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot.

Chick Fil A Sauce

We had chicken fingers and fries last night so I decided to give the chick fil a sauce a go. I tried it for the the first time a few months ago and it was love at first taste. For those of you that haven't had it, it tastes like a bbq mustard sauce. Not to mustardy or bbqy(don't you love how I make up words) though. Both flavors meld and make perfect harmony.

Recipe from Girl Plus Food

Chick-Fil-A Sauce
3/4 cup mayonnaise
2 tsp KC Masterpiece Hickory Brown Sugar Barbecue Sauce
2 tsp yellow mustard
2 T sugar
Mix all ingredients until combined and smooth.  Let sit 5 minutes for the sugar to dissolve and mix again.  Serve. 

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars

So first of all to all my regular readers, I would like to apologize for changing the look of my blog so often. I am still trying to find that perfect look. I won't make any promises to not change it anymore, but I will hopefully just keep improving on the readability and ease of use.

Okay enough of that! Now onto the recipe of the day. I decided to do a dessert today. i tried this recipe a few weeks ago and it was so freakin delicious! I've tried a different recipe like this before but this one was the perfect peanut butter to chocolate ratio. The oatmeal in it also makes it okay to have it for breakfast...right?

Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars

2 cups quick-cooking oats
1 3/4 cups firmly packed light brown sugar
1 1/2 cups All Purpose Flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup butter
1/2 cup chopped peanuts
1 cup (6 oz. pkg.) semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 large egg, beaten
1 (14 oz.) can Sweetened Condensed Milk
1/2 cup Creamy Peanut Butter

HEAT oven to 350°F. Combine oats, brown sugar, flour, baking powder and baking soda in large bowl. Cut in butter with pastry blender or 2 knives until mixture resembles fine crumbs. Stir in peanuts.
RESERVE 1 1/2 cups crumb mixture. Stir egg into remaining crumb mixture. Press onto bottom of 13 x 9-inch baking pan.
BAKE 15 minutes.
STIR together sweetened condensed milk and peanut butter in small bowl until well combined. Pour evenly over partially baked crust.
STIR together reserved crumb mixture and chocolate chips. Sprinkle evenly over peanut butter layer.
BAKE an additional 15 minutes. Cool. Cut into bars. —

Recipe from Cafe Mom
Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars
2 cups quick-cooking oats
1 3/4 cups firmly packed light brown sugar
1 1/2 cups All Purpose Flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup butter
1/2 cup chopped peanuts
1 cup (6 oz. pkg.) semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 large egg, beaten
1 (14 oz.) can Sweetened Condensed Milk
1/2 cup Creamy Peanut Butter

HEAT oven to 350°F. Combine oats, brown sugar, flour, baking powder and baking soda in large bowl. Cut in butter with pastry blender or 2 knives until mixture resembles fine crumbs. Stir in peanuts.
RESERVE 1 1/2 cups crumb mixture. Stir egg into remaining crumb mixture. Press onto bottom of 13 x 9-inch baking pan.
BAKE 15 minutes.
STIR together sweetened condensed milk and peanut butter in small bowl until well combined. Pour evenly over partially baked crust.
STIR together reserved crumb mixture and chocolate chips. Sprinkle evenly over peanut butter layer.
BAKE an additional 15 minutes. Cool. Cut into bars. 

Notes: When spreading oatmeal mixture on top, make sure your butter is evenly distributed, otherwise you will end up with powder on top instead of cooked dough. 

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Spicy Thai Noodles

I don't know about you, but I have a hard time finding a good place to get Chinese, or in this case Thai takeout. Just recently I've started to make my own takeout and trying a lot of recipes in the process. I found this little jewel on pinterest and tried it. It was delish and the kids loved it too. I served it with teriyaki chicken.

Recipe from A Small Snippet
Spicy Thai Noodles

1 box linguine or angle hair pasta
1-2 Tbsp red pepper flakes
1/4 c. vegetable oil
1/4-1/2 c sesame oil (depending on your taste or budget:))
6 Tbsp honey
6 Tbsp. soy sauce
Green onions, cilantro, peanuts (optional), toasted sesame seeds (optional)

Boil noodles. Drain.

Chop green onion, cilantro and peanuts if using.

Heat both oils and red pepper flakes in sauce pan over medium low heat. (2 Tbsp makes this very spicy so use your tast to figure how much you want to add)

Strain out pepper and reserve oil.

Add honey and soy sauce to oil. Toss with noodles and refrigerate until cold or do what I do and dig in right away!

Monday, May 13, 2013

Fruit Pizza

 This dessert is so refreshing because of all the fruit you can put on it and what funner way to eat it than like pizza.(pretty sure funner is not a word, oh well ;)) It is so simple to make if you use store bought cookie dough!

 Fruit Pizza

1 pkg. sugar cookie dough, cooked according to pkg. directions and cooled
1 4oz. pkg cream cheese ( I used neufchatel becaue it's lower in fat)
2 c. powdered sugar
2 tsp. vanilla extract
couple squirts of lemon juice
whatever fruit you want

Cook sugar cookie dough on a pizza or regular baking pan according to pkg. directions. Cool.

In a large bowl cream the cream cheese. Add powdered sugar 1/2 c. at a time so you don't make a huge mess. Add vanilla extract until well combined.

Spread your cream cheese mixture evenly over the whole, cooled, cookie dough pizza.

Add your sliced fruit. Cut into pizza slices and serve!

Notes: You can add a few squirts of lemon juice over the top so your fruit doesn't brown. You can also melt 1/2 c. of apple jelly in a small saucepan and then brush on top for a little extra shine and sweetness.

Sunday, May 12, 2013


First of all I just want to tell all you mothers out there Happy Mother's Day!!!! I hope you all have a wonderful day. I woke up to breakfast and homemade cards from my four little babies, well five if you count my big baby, my husband. I wanted to share this crepe recipe today because even though breakfast is over you can always have breakfast for dinner. Just slyly hand your husband or children the computer with the recipe opened up and say don't those look delicious. Hopefully they will catch on!;)

Recipe from Little Yellow Barn
4 eggs
1/2 c butter, melted
1/3 c sugar
1 c flour
1 c milk
1/4 c water
1 tsp. vanilla
dash of salt
In a blender place all ingredients, except flour.  Blend.  Sprinkle in flour, blend until incorporated.  Refrigerate for at least one hour.  Remove from refrigerator and blend for about a minute.  Heat 8-inch non-stick skillet.  Butter pan (about a 1/2 tsp).  
Pour 1/4 cup of batter into skillet.  I pour straight from my blender container.  Just make sure there is enough batter to cover the bottom of the pan with a THIN, THIN, THIN layer of batter.
Swirl pan around until bottom of pan is covered with batter.
 Cook for about 30 seconds, or until edges easily lift up with spatula.
Flip, Cook for 5-10 seconds.  Crepe should slide right out of pan.

Use wax paper between crepes.
Makes 18-20 crepes

Fill with whatever floats your boat. Some suggestions: sour cream and honey (my favorite), fruit, custard, pudding or savory: chicken with cream of chicken gravy on top.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Oven Burgers

Oven burgers, sounds weird right? I was very skeptical to try these, I thought for sure the bread would get soggy, but it didn't in fact the buns were lightly toasted! The cheese was gooey and yummy and the burger was seasoned wonderfully.

Aunt Kathy's Oven Burgers Recipe

 Recipe slightly adapted from Just a Pinch
Oven Burgers

8 hamburger buns
2 lbs. ground beef
1 1/2 Tbsp. montreal steak seasoning
1 large onion
american and swiss cheese slices

Combine ground beef and montreal steak seasoning in a lage bow just until combined, do not overwork meat.

Fry burgers on stovetop or grill until they are light pink in the middle not quite fully cooked. they will continue to cook in the oven.

 Add a slice of american cheese on one side of bun and a slice of swiss cheese on the other side then place cooked sirloin burger on bun and top with a slice of onion.

 Wrap each burger in foil and bake in oven at 350 degrees for 12-15 minutes. Just to melt cheese & cook onion slightly.

Serve with fries or chips or potato salad and baked beans. Enjoy!

Friday, May 10, 2013

Carne Asada

My mom makes the best carne asada, but like all great cooks she does not measure anything she just eyeballs it, which make it extremely difficult to replicate her recipes. So I decided to try and search for a recipe that tasted like hers. After many fails I found this one and it was amazing! Every time I serve it at family gatherings everyone loves it and asks for the recipe. I always serve carne asada with rice, refried beans, cabbage salad(also recipe to come soon), pico de gallo, sour cream and salsa. My favorite way is to roll all that up in a corn tortilla, but I some of you gringos, my husband, don't like corn tortillas so feel free to use flour.;)

Recipe slightly adapted from allrecipes
Carne Asada
3 pounds flank steak
1/3 cup white vinegar
1/2 cup soy sauce
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 limes, juiced
1/2 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon ground white pepper
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon paprika

Cut steak into strips. Lay the flank steak in a large glass baking dish. In a medium bowl, whisk together the vinegar, soy sauce, 4 cloves of garlic, juice of two limes, and olive oil. Season with salt, black pepper, white pepper, garlic powder, chili powder, oregano, cumin and paprika. Whisk until well blended, then pour over the steak in the dish. Turn over once to coat both sides. Cover with plastic wrap, and marinate for 1 to 8 hours.

Cook steak on the grill for about 7 minutes on each side depending on desired level of doneness. Let meat sit for 5 minutes so all the juices can redistribute and you will have nice tender meat, then dig in!

Serve in tortillas taco style with desired toppings: pico de gallo, cabbage salad, sour cream, avocados, salsa etc. Serve refried beans and rice along side.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Slow Cooker Mac 'n' Cheese

My kids love mac 'n' cheese and lets face it so do I! I needed a side dish with chicken tenders the other night, but I didn't want to have to slave away in the kitchen and the slow cooker was a great solution.Even my husband who doesn't usually eat mac 'n' cheese had four servings!

  Recipe from Six Sisters' Stuff
2 cups uncooked elbow macaroni
4 tablespoons butter
2 1/2 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese
1/2 cup sour cream
1 (10.75 oz) can condensed cheddar cheese soup
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk (I used 1%)
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard (optional)
1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Boil the macaroni in water for six minutes and drain. In a medium saucepan, mix butter and cheese. Heat over medium high heat and stir until the cheese melts. Spray your slow cooker with non-stick cooking spray. Combine cheese mixture, sour cream, soup, salt, milk, mustard (optional) and pepper in your slow cooker. Add the drained macaroni and stir again. Cook on low for 2 to 2 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Spicy Baked Shrimp with Orzo

I always hated shrimp growing up , but as I get older I realize my tastebuds are evolving. Now I love me some good shrimp. Even my kids love shrimp cooked this way, well okay 1 out of my 4 kids loved it, but that still counts right? I served it with a yummy orzo. Actually I was out of orzo so I used arborrio rice, which was still delicious. The Orzo (arborrio) was a good compliment to the shrimp because it kept everything light and refreshing.Oh and don't worry the shrimp are spicy, but not crazy spicy.

Recipe slightly adapted from epicurious

Spicy Shrimp
1/2 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons Cajun or Creole seasoning
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon soy sauce
Pinch of cayenne pepper
1 pound uncooked large shrimp, shelled, deveined (I did not want to devein anything so I used precooked, shelled, deveined shrimp)

Combine first 7 ingredients in 9x13-inch baking dish. Add shrimp and toss to coat. Refrigerate 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 450°F. Bake until shrimp are cooked through, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes.

Recipe slightly adapted from rachel shultz

  • ¾ pound orzo pasta or 1 c. arborrio rice, cooked according to pkg. directions
  • 3 pounds of shrimp
  • 1 cup scallions, minced
  • 1 cucumber, diced
  • ½ cup red onion, diced
  • 1 cup dill
  • 1 cup parsley
  • 5 ounces feta cheese
  • Salt & pepper
  • 3 lemons
  1.  In a large pot of boiling water, add orzo and stir occasionally, until cooked al dente.
  2. Drain orzo and in a large bowl mix in ½ cup olive oil, the juice of 3 lemons, salt & pepper. Add shrimp, onions, scallions, cucumber, parsley, and dill.
  3. Cover and store in fridge overnight. Add feta before serving. . Or, add feta immediately and enjoy the dish warm.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Bean and Cheese Enchiladas

Sounds so simple right and they are, but they are so delicious! The day I wanted to make these I went to my cabinet to look for red enchilada sauce and much to my dismay I was out so I made my own using this recipe and I seriously will never buy store bought red enchilada sauce again!

Bean and cheese smothered enchiladas

 Recipe slightly adapted from sweet basil

  • 1 Can Refried Beans
  • 1 Teaspoon Cumin
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Chili Powder
  • 2/3 Cup Cheddar Cheese, plus more for on top
  • Flour Tortillas

  • For the Sauce
  • 1 Can Red Enchilada Sauce
  • 1/4 Cup Sour Cream
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Cumin(omit if making you made you made your own enchilada sauce)
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Chili Powder(omit if you made your own enchilada sauce)

    For the Bean Mixture
  1. In a medium bowl, combine the beans, seasoning and cheese until smooth. Add a dollop or two to each tortilla and roll closed.
  2. For the Sauce
  3. Whisk together the enchilada sauce, seasonings (if using) and sour cream.
  4. For the Enchiladas
  5. Heat the oven to 350
  6. Spoon 1/3 Cup of the Enchilada sauce in the bottom of an 8x9 inch baking dish. Place the enchiladas seam side down and top with the remaining sauce and cheese.
  7. Bake for 30 minutes and enjoy
Notes: Serve with rice

Monday, May 6, 2013

Strawberry Cake

Yesterday was my little girl's birthday! She turned 3. I decided to make a cake and it was delicious. It was a strawberry layered cake made with strawberry jam, cream cheese whipped topping frosting and strawberries. I used a simple cake box but followed the advice of a pin on pinterest to liven it up and it worked out wonderfully. Oddly it tasted like a more stable version of Tres Leches cake with strawberries, I wasn't expecting that but it was a welcome surprise.:)

Recipe slightly adapted from Baby Gizmo
  • Frosting -
  • 2 8-oz packages of cream cheese, room temperature (I used low-fat)
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • ½ cup seedless strawberry jam
  • ¾ cup chilled heavy whipping cream
  • Cake -
  • 1 vanilla cake box mix
  • 1 box (4 oz) pudding mix
  • 1 c. sour cream
  • 1/2 c. water
  • 1/2 c. vegetable oil
  • 4 eggs
  1. FROSTING: Put a small/medium bowl in the freezer to chill. In a separate large mixing bowl, beat cream cheese and butter until smooth. Beat in sugar, then jam. Remove that chilled bowl from the freezer and beat cream in that chilled bowl until peaks form. Fold whipped cream into frosting. Cover; chill for a couple of hours until it’s firm enough to spread. (If you are in a hurry, you could put the frosting in the freezer to chill quickly.)
  2. CAKE:make and bake at 350 for 27 minutes or until toothpick inserted in middle comes out clean. Cool.
  3. Using a serrated knife, divide each layer in half horizontally. Place one half, cake side down, on a cake plate.
  4. Spread 3 TBSP of strawberry jam over the cake, then spread ¾ c of the frosting over the jam. Arrange ¾ c of the sliced strawberries on top of the frosting in a single layer. Repeat two more times with cake layer, jam, frosting, and strawberries.
  5. Top with remaining cake layer, cut side down. Spread two cups of frosting over the top and sides of the cake in a thin layer, then frost with remaining frosting. Stir remaining jam to loosen, then spoon teaspoonfuls onto the top and sides of the cake. Use the back of a spoon to swirl jam decoratively into the frosting. This recipe makes a very big 4-layer cake that will feed a lot of people.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Potato Kielbasa Skillet

Meat and Potatoes with a twist. The Dijon Mustard in this recipe gives it a really nice dimension. For those of you that don't like mustard, don't worry it does not have a strong mustard taste in the end because of the brown sugar and vinegar that balances it out. I serve this with a fried egg on top so when you break into the egg, it creates a yummy sauce with the yolk. I also add grated cheddar cheese on top and sometimes country gravy.;)

Recipe courtesy of Taste of Home


1 pound red potatoes, cubed
3 tablespoons water
3/4 pound smoked kielbasa or Polish sausage, cut into 1/4-inch slices
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon pepper
4 cups fresh baby spinach
5 bacon strips, cooked and crumbled


Place potatoes and water in a microwave-safe dish. Cover and
microwave on high for 4 minutes or until tender; drain.
In a large skillet, saute kielbasa and onion in oil until onion is
tender. Add potatoes; saute 3-5 minutes longer or until kielbasa and
potatoes are lightly browned.
Combine the brown sugar, vinegar, mustard, thyme and pepper; stir
into skillet. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for
2-3 minutes or until heated through. Add spinach and bacon; cook and
stir until spinach is wilted.

Antipasto Squares

We love anything that is like pizza in our house, but sometimes pizza can get boring so when I found this recipe I had to give it a try. It is so yummy and in my opinion better than stromboli; although, we still love us some stromboli too. These antipasto squares were so moist and buttery. You can serve with salad and some marinara sauce to dip.

Recipe courtesy of kevin and amanda

2 cans refrigerated crescent rolls
1/3 lb sliced ham
1/3 lb sliced provolone cheese
1/3 lb sliced Swiss cheese
1/3 lb sliced salami
1/3 lb pepperonis
3 eggs( i would reduce this to 2 eggs)
3 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp black pepper

Preheat oven to 350. Spray 9×13 baking dish with Pam. Unroll one package of crescent rolls and spread in bottom of dish. Layer salami, provolone cheese, ham, Swiss cheese, and pepperoni on top of the dough. In a measuring cup (or bowl), beat the eggs lightly, then stir in the parmesan cheese and black pepper. Pour 3/4 of this mixture evenly in dish. You should have a little less than 1/4 cup left. Unroll the second package of dough, and place on top of the meat and cheese. Brush with the remaining egg mixture. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes in the preheated oven. Remove foil, and bake another 15 minutes, or until dough is fluffy and golden brown. Cut into squares and serve warm.

Notes: You can buy the crecsent rolls without seams now, so it's just one big piece of dough. Much easier than trying to seal all the seams.:)

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Individual Meat Loaves

 Ina Garten. What can I say... the woman knows how to cook. I have been making these mini loaves for 5 years now and without fail it is always delicious! Serve with mashed potatoes and boom! Sinner served.
 Individual Meat Loaves
Courtesy of Food Network

1 tablespoon good olive oil
3 cups chopped yellow onions (3 onions)
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1/3 cup canned chicken stock or broth
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 1/2 pounds ground chuck (81 percent lean)
1/2 cup plain dry bread crumbs
2 extra-large eggs, beaten
1/2 cup ketchup


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Heat the olive oil in a medium saute pan. Add the onions, thyme, salt, and pepper and cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, for 8 to 10 minutes, until the onions are translucent but not brown. Off the heat, add the Worcestershire sauce, chicken stock, and tomato paste. Allow to cool slightly. In a large bowl, combine the ground chuck, onion mixture, bread crumbs, and eggs, and mix lightly with a fork. Don't mash or the meatloaf will be dense. Divide the mixture into 6 (10 to 11-ounce) portions and shape each portion into a small loaf on a sheet pan. Spread about a tablespoon of ketchup on the top of each portion. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, until the internal temperature is 155 to 160 degrees F and the meat loaves are cooked through. Serve hot

Yummy M&M Cookies

I made these cookies for dessert after dinner one night and was not really expecting anything spectacular. Boy was I wrong. It was one of those eyes roll to the back of your head recipes. So yummy! They were gooey and chocolatey and the m&m's give a nice little crunch. You have to give these a try.....why are you still sitting there! Go!
 recipe courtesy of Picky Palate
How To Make Perfect M and M Cookies by Picky Palate  

  • 1 stick/1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose Gold Medal Flour
  • 3 tablespoons Instant vanilla pudding mix
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3/4 cup mini chocolate chips
  • 1-1 1/2 cups Mini M and M’s
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. and line a large baking sheet with a silpat liner or parchment paper.
  2. In a large mixing bowl cream your butter and sugars until well combined. Add your egg and vanilla mixing to combine. Add your flour, pudding mix, baking soda and salt, stirring to combine. Add chips and m and m’s stirring to combine.
  3. With a medium cookie scoop, place dough 1 inch apart from each other. Bake for 10-12 minutes until cooked through. Let cool on cookie sheet for 10 minutes before transferring to cooling rack. Enjoy!
Makes 2 dozen cookies