Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Quinoa Stuffing

With the holidays amongst us I am looking for some healthy alternatives for Thanksgiving side dishes... I'm pretty excited about this one!!! Stuffing that's actually GOOD for you & DELICIOUS to the taste!! All the savory flavors of stuffing without the heavy carb loaded bread!! It's a keeper for sure! 

1 cup dry quinoa (rinsed)
2 cups chicken broth- or water
2-3 fresh sage leaves, sliced into strips (ground sage will work too)
1 small onion, diced small
1 clove garlic, minced
2 carrots, diced small
2 stalks celery, diced small
fresh button mushrooms (about 1/4 cup diced small)
2 sprigs fresh thyme, chopped
Salt & pepper to taste
olive oil & or butter for sauteing
Other stuffing options- dried cranberries, water chestnuts, pine nuts...make it your own!! 
First cook quinoa in chicken broth covered  for about 18 minutes or until all the liquid is absorbed. -Just like cooking rice (I also add one of the sage leaves to the broth that the quinoa is cooking in) While quinoa is cooking, in a medium skillet, saute onion, garlic, celery, & carrots in olive oil about 8 minutes or until it starts to soften, add chopped mushrooms & saute another 5 minutes. Add fresh thyme and sage. Salt and pepper vegetables to taste. Once quinoa is cooked add to vegetables and combine. This is where I taste to see if it needs more sage? (this is what really gives it that stuffing flavor!) More salt or pepper? I promise you will never miss your old Thanksgiving stuffing!! YuMmY!!

Friday, October 26, 2012

Gingersnap Granola

Gingersnap Granola? Yes! This is truly a favorite at my house anytime of year. I have put it in jars at Christmas time & given it as gifts to my family & neighbors. Hope you enjoy!! Much love!

Gingersnap Granola-6 cups 6 grain cereal or plain oats
1 cup wheat bran
1/4 cup sesame seeds
1 cup pumpkin seeds
1 cup sunflower seeds (shelled)
1/4 cup flax seeds
2 cups shredded coconut
2 cups craisins (any dried fruit will work here)
1 cup coconut oil plus 2 tbsp (canola or olive oil would work too)
1 cup molasses plus 2 tbsp
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1 cup brown sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp allspice

Preheat oven to 275. In a very large bowl combine 6 grain cereal, wheat bran, sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds, flax seeds, craisins, & coconut.
Heat in a medium saucepan coconut oil, molasses, vanilla, brown sugar, salt, cinnamon, ginger, & allspice; gently whisk. Melt to a syrup like consistency and pour over dry ingredients. Stir to coat evenly. Pour over a 10x15 in cookie sheet and gently press down. Bake for 45 minutes. Turn the oven up to 325 & bake another 15 minutes. Stir the granola just once and let rest to room temperature. Break into pieces and store in an airtight container. DELISH!!!

Monday, September 24, 2012

Indian Pudding

This Indian Pudding reminds me of a warm gingerbread pudding. It's not too sweet so if you're looking for sweeter you could always add a little brown sugar to it. I found this recipe online along with a few other variations but they were all fairly similar. It screams Thanksgiving! Hope you enjoy! 

4 cups milk (any kind will do)
1/2 cup cornmeal
1 tbsp butter
1/2 cup molasses
1/2 cup maple syrup 
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon ( I added a whole tsp)
1/2 tsp ground ginger
Pinch of nutmeg & pinch of ground cloves
2 eggs, beaten

Butter a 2 quart casserole dish and set aside. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. In a medium-large saucepan bring milk to a simmer but do not boil. Once it is simmering, slowly whisk in cornmeal. Keep whisking to remove any lumps. Cook on low heat, stirring continuously, about 7 minutes until mixture has thickened enough to coat the back of a spoon. Remove from heat  & stir in butter, molasses, maple syrup, salt, & spices until well blended. In a separate small bowl beat the eggs & add about 1/4 cup of the hot liquid to the eggs while whisking. Add the tempered egg mixture to the big pot and whisk to combine. Pour mixture into buttered casserole dish & bake for about 1-1/2 hours or until the center is set. I let mine rest almost an hour before serving and it was STILL very warm. It will continue to set up a bit as it cools. Serve with either Vanilla Ice Cream or a drizzle of cool heavy cream. *My kids also liked a little sprinkling of cinnamon sugar over each serving! YUMMY!!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Chewy Gingersnap Cookies

I have been making these cookies for over 10 years and they are my most favorite cookie hands down! What's not to love with all that warm & spicy chewy goodness...my family LOVES them and I think yours will too! Happy baking friends! 

2/3 cup oil (vegetable or canola)
1 cup sugar
1 large egg
5 tbsp molasses
2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon ( I add a heaping tsp)
1/2 tsp cloves
1 tsp ground ginger- I also have added fresh grated ginger in place of the ground ginger. I still add about a tsp if it's fresh
Extra sugar for rolling

In a large mixing bowl combine oil, sugar, & egg; mix well. Stir in molasses. Sift together dry ingredients ad gradually add to wet. It will be a stiff dough as it should be so you can roll into balls. Roll into about 1 tbsp sized balls (you can make them larger or smaller just be sure to adjust baking time according to size of cookie) then roll in sugar. Bake at 350 degrees 8-10 minutes. Yield: 2 1/2 dozen

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Flourless Pumpkin Protein Pancakes

This recipe was inspired by a recipe I found on Pinterest...not sure who's blog it originally came from but kudos to this awesome recipe. I made a few changes to make it fit to my diet and here is what I came up with. Happy healthy eating!!

1/2 cup pumpkin (not pie filling)
1/2 cup + 4 tbsp water
1/2 cup oats-not instant (I like to use a 6 grain cereal)
1 scoop vanilla protein powder
3/4 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
2 egg whites
1 tbsp flax seeds
1 tsp chia seeds
1-2 tbsp agave nectar (use any sweetener you like)
Blend all ingredients in a blender to make a pancake batter. Make each pancake over a skillet like any other pancake. These pancakes are much more delicate than a regular mix so flip them carefully. Crazy, healthy, GOOD!!! Much love!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Sweet Lemon Blossoms

These remind me of a baked doughnut that is smothered in a tart lemon icing...little bites of heaven! If you like lemon desserts you will LOVE these delightful bites of lemony goodness!! Made with a cake mix makes them extra easy to whip up too!!

1 (18.25 oz. box) yellow cake mix
1 (3.4 oz.) instant lemon flavored pudding mix (I used vanilla pudding mix & it was pretty amazing)
4 large eggs
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
4 cups confectioners' sugar
1 tablespoon lemon zest (about 1 lemon)
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons water
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray miniature muffin pans with nonstick cooking spray. In a large bowl, combine cake mix, pudding mix, eggs, and 3/4 cup oil. Beat for 2 minutes. Spoon 1 tablespoon of the batter into each muffin tin, and bake for 12 minutes. Let rest about 5 minutes in pan before turning the cakes onto a cloth towel.
In a medium bowl, sift confectioners' sugar. Add lemon zest, lemon juice, remaining 2 tablespoons oil, and water, stirring until smooth. Dip the cakes into the glaze while they are still warm, covering as much of the cake as possible. Place the cakes on a wire rack with wax paper underneath to catch the drips. Let the glaze set thoroughly before storing in an airtight container.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Sweet Lemon Zucchini Bread with Lemon Vanilla Icing

So I originally found this recipe on Pinterest but made a few changes. It's sweet & cake like & Lemon-tastic tasty!! Got Zucchini? Well here you go...

2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1/2 cup coconut oil (canola or vegetable oil can be substituted)
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup buttermilk
Juice of 1 lemon (or 2 Tablespoons lemon juice)
Zest of 1 lemon
1 cup grated zucchini (you don’t need to peel the zucchini before grating it)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 9×5″ loaf pan or 3 mini loaves; set aside.
In large bowl, blend flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside.
In medium bowl, beat 2 eggs well, then add canola oil and sugar, and blend well. Then add the buttermilk, lemon juice, and lemon zest and blend everything well. Fold in zucchini and stir until evenly distributed in mixture.
Add this mixture to the dry ingredients in the large bowl and blend everything together, but don’t overmix.
Pour batter into prepared 9×5″ loaf pan or 3 mini loaves and bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes, (mini loaves for about 35 min)or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean (if your oven tends to run hot, check the loaf after 40 minutes; Cool in pan 10 minutes, then remove to a wire rack and cool completely.
1 cup powdered sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Juice of 1 lemon (or 2 Tablespoons lemon juice)
In small bowl, mix powdered sugar, lemon juice, & vanilla until well blended. Spoon glaze over cooled loaf. Let glaze set, then serve.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Chocolate Fudge Zucchini Cookies

Got Zucchini?? What to do with ALL that zucchini that you can't pick fast enough from your garden? These chewy & chocolaty cookies will be your new favorite! The zucchini makes them especially moist & delicious! Mmm...

1 1/4 cups all-purpose Gold Medal flour
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
5 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup Dutch process cocoa
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup plain Greek yogurt
 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup finely shredded zucchini
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

 Preheat oven to 350°. Line a large baking sheet with a Silpat or parchment paper and set aside.
 In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt; set aside. Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Remove from heat; stir in cocoa powder and sugars. The mixture will be thick and resemble sand-that's ok. Add the yogurt and vanilla extract. Stir until smooth.
Gradually add to the flour mixture, stirring until moist. Stir in zucchini and chocolate chips.
 Drop by level tablespoons 2 inches apart onto prepared baking sheets. Bake for 10 minutes or until almost set. Cool on baking sheet for 2-3 minutes or until cookies are firm. Remove cookies from sheet and cool completely on wire racks.
Note-Squeeze the shredded zucchini in a paper towel and pat dry to remove the excess water before using.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Flourless Protein Muffins

Okay so these muffins can be made so many ways...I've made banana/chocolate/apple cinnamon/pumpkin of course not all of them combined, pick your flavor & use suggested amount below but the options are plenty!  I make them about once a week and I'm always throwing different things in & substituting different ingredients and it's all whipped up in the blender. Easy peasy! I haven't taken a fancy picture yet so the one you see is a batch of pumpkin muffins I took that I sent to my sister on my phone but you get the idea, right?
1 cup oats (old fashioned kind, not quick cooking)
1 cup plain low fat greek yogurt (any yogurt works here, I've also used cottage cheese)
1/4 cup milk (I use coconut or almond but any will do)
2 eggs
1/4-1/3 cup sweetener of choice -you can adjust the sweetness to your liking
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
pinch of salt
1-2 scoops vanilla protein powder (use chocolate for chocolate muffins if you have it)
2 tbsp flax seeds
1 tbsp chia seeds
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon (When I make the pumpkin or apple cinnamon I also add some nutmeg, allspice, cloves, all the warm spices that belong with apples & pumpkin)
2 bananas/1 cup pumpkin puree/1/3 cup cocoa powder/1 green apple grated (of course NOT all of them, pick your muffin flavor & use suggested amount)
Important: The paper liners don't work well when baking with a base that does not include flour, they always seem to stick to the paper. I sprayed the muffin tin with non-stick cooking spray or you can use foil cupcake liners or a silicone muffin pan.
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray tin with non-stick cooking spray or line 12 muffin tins with silicone or foil liners, (or just use a silicone muffin pan).
2. Place all of the ingredients in a blender or food processor, and blend until oats are smooth.You may need to help it along by scraping down sides a few times.
3. Divide batter among cupcake liners, and bake for 18-20 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean.
You can change this & add other seeds, chocolate chips, dried fruit, etc. Enjoy!!

Monday, August 6, 2012

Banana Bread Breakfast Quinoa

With all the yummy taste of indulgent banana bread without the sugar, flour, & guilt! This breakfast treat will have you going bananas!!

1 very ripe banana – mashed
¼ cup dry quinoa
¼ cup almond milk (or milk of your choice)
2 Tbsp walnuts
½ tsp pure vanilla extract
¼ tsp cinnamon
Cook the quinoa on the stove to package instructions. After the quinoa has finished cooking (while over low heat), stir in the almond milk, mashed banana, vanilla, and cinnamon. Mix the walnuts into the quinoa or add on top. Transfer to a bowl and enjoy warm. Yield- 1 serving

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Pepperoni Pizza Puffs with Homemade Pizza Sauce

How adorable are these cute little puffs of cheesy pizza goodness?! Little bites of pizza perfection served with my all time favorite & simple pizza sauce! You're gonna love these!! 
 3/4 cup flour
3/4 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp garlic powder

3/4 cup whole milk

1 egg, lightly beaten

1/4 tsp salt

4 oz mozzarella cheese, shredded (about 1 cup)

2 oz mini turkey pepperoni, (about 1/2 cup)

1/2 cup pizza sauce

Pre-heat the oven to 375°. Grease a 24-cup mini-muffin pan. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, garlic powder and baking powder; whisk in the milk and egg. Stir in the mozzarella, and pepperoni; let stand for 10 minutes. Stir the batter and divide among the mini-muffin cups. Bake until puffed and golden, about 20 minutes. Meanwhile make Pizza sauce over stove. Serve the puffs with the pizza sauce.

Pizza Sauce-
1 8oz can tomato sauce
1 tbsp olive oil
1 half of an onion minced
1 garlic clove minced
Dash of sugar
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tbsp Parmesan cheese
Salt & pepper to taste

Saute onion & garlic in olive oil in a medium saucepan for about 1 minute. Add herbs and seasonings. Pour in tomato sauce & sugar. Let simmer on low about 10 minutes. Add Parmesan and taste for seasoning. YUMM!!

Friday, August 3, 2012

Pumpkin Protein Shake

After so many years of having blah protein shakes this one brings me much hope that there are many ways to jazz up those protein packed muscle drinks! I especially love this one because the pumpkin is full of fiber & vitamins not to mention it is more like a dessert than a health drink!! Yumm!!

In a blender combine-
8-10 ounces of water (any kind of milk would work here I just wanted less calories)
1-1/2 scoops of vanilla protein powder (your favorite brand)
about 1/3-1/2 cup of canned protein (not the pumpkin pie filling!) 
a couple shakes of pumpkin pie spice or ground cinnamon, or both! 
a few ice cubes if you want it thicker.
fresh grated nutmeg & extra ground cinnamon to sprinkle over top (optional)
That's it! This takes the protein drinks to a whole new delicious level! Enjoy!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

One Ingredient Ice Cream

One ingredients Ice Cream...you've probably heard about it but have you tried it? I've gone BaNaNaS for it!! Okay I added a little cocoa powder so that makes two ingredients but chocolate & bananas belong together, it would have been a sin not to!! This creamy cold concoction is a healthy eaters dream come true! 
Ingredients- Bananas!
Once your bananas start to ripen, you know a few brown spots is good! Once they've gone too ripe save those ones for baking. Peel & place bananas in a zip lock bag and seal out as much air as possible. Now freeze them till they are rock hard. Once frozen process them in a food processor. At first it will just look like a bunch of frozen banana crumbs...okay keep processing. Scrape down the sides & give it another whirl. Keep processing until it turns into a creamy ice cream consistency. It's like MAGIC!! Eat it while it's cold, or store in an airtight container in the freezer. If you want to use a little cocoa powder add about 1 tsp or so while processing!! This is without a doubt the healthiest "Ice Cream" you will ever eat! Enjoy!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Apple Enchiladas

These are a delightful twist for an apple dessert! Apple Enchiladas swimming in a light & rich caramel sauce...they are sinfully GOOD!!

3 granny smith apples peeled & diced
2 tbsp butter
1 tsp ground cinnamon plus extra for sprinkling
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 tbsp flour
1-2 tsp lemon juice
pinch salt (it makes everything better!)
(you can use store bought apple pie filling for this but why? This is just too easy & much tastier)
8 medium flour tortillas (I used low carb ones, you could also use whole wheat if you want, any will work)
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup water
1/4 tsp butter extract (optional)
pinch salt

In a medium saucepan saute diced apples in butter. Add brown sugar, cinnamon, lemon juice, flour, & salt. Saute about 5 minutes or until apples are slightly tender. Fill each tortilla with about 1/4 cup apple filling and roll up burrito style. Combine all sauce ingredients except butter extract in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly; reduce heat & simmer 3 minutes if using add extract. Pour sauce over enchiladas & let stand for 30 minutes. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. Let rest about 10 minutes and serve with sauce and vanilla ice cream. YUMM!!!

Mini German Pancakes

How adorable are these?! Perfect serving sized portions every time too! This is the only way to make them! 

6 eggs
1 cup milk (you can use skim or low fat milk if you want)
1 cup flour
1/4 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 425. Spray cupcake pans with no-stick cooking spray. Mix eggs, milk, flour and salt just enough to blend. (Do not over mix. Batter will be lumpy.) Pour batter in cupcake pans. Makes approx. 12-16 mini German pancakes. Bake 18-25 minutes depending on type of cupcake pan and the amount of batter in each cupcake tin. Remove from oven. Let cool for just a minute or two. Remove mini pancakes from pan. Serve with maple syrup & powdered sugar or top with your favorite fruit preserves . Enjoy!

Marbled Orange Fudge

What a perfect Summer time treat! Orange & Vanilla Fudge swirled together make for a creamy creamsicle  like taste...you're gonna want this one! 

1 ½ tsp plus ¾ cup butter, divided
2-1/2 cups sugar
¾ cup heavy whipping cream
1 package (10-12 ounces) vanilla or white chips
1 jar (7 ounces) marshmallow crème
3 tsp orange extract
12 drops yellow food coloring
5 drops red food coloring

  1. Grease a 13x9 in. pan with 1 ½ tsp butter; set aside.
  2. In a heavy saucepan, combine sugar, heavy cream, & remaining butter, cook & stir over low heat until sugar is dissolved.
  3. Bring to a boil; cook & stir for 4 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in chips & marshmallow crème till smooth.
  4. Remove one cup & set aside. Add orange extract & coloring to remaining mixture; stir until blended.
  5. Pour into prepared pan. Drop reserved marshmallow mixture by tablespoonfuls over the top; cut through with a knife to swirl.
  6. Cover & refrigerate until set. Cut into squares

Yield: 2 ½ pounds

Monday, July 16, 2012

Muffin Tin Individual Scalloped Potatoes

Perfect side dish to any meal!!

6-8 medium red potatoes
1/2 stick of butter
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 scallions
fresh herbs, rosemary or thyme
12 tsp half and half
salt and pepper
Bake your potatoes at 400 degrees for about 18 minutes; potatoes should be firm. Set aside and let cool till they can be handled, then slice.
Place 1/2 Tbs pats of butter in each mold of a muffin/cupcake pan, then a slice of potatoes, a pinch of salt and pepper, then cheese, scallions & fresh herbs. Repeat layers, potato, salt & pepper, cheese, scallions, herbs. Top each mold with another pad of butter and drizzle each with 1 tsp of half and half.
Bake in the oven at 400 degrees for 20 – 25 minutes, until cheese is melted and potatoes are browned. So DELISH!!

Rosemary Dijon Chicken

This is not the usual combo of ingredients but they sure marry well in this dish! The chicken is super moist & full of flavor!! And so easy to put together!!

5 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
 1/2 cup Dijon Mustard
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 Tbsp rice wine vinegar
Fresh rosemary
Salt & pepper to taste

In a 13x9 in baking dish combine Dijon, maple syrup, & rice wine vinegar. Whisk to combine well. Season chicken breasts with salt & pepper and place in Dijon sauce turn chicken to coat on both sides. You can bake it right away but I covered mine and let it soak up the marinade for about 4 hrs prior to baking. (more flavor!) Bake in a 450 degree preheated oven for about 35 minutes basting the chicken with sauce about halfway through cooking. Remove from oven & let rest 5-10 minutes so all the yummy juices can be redistributed through the chicken. Sprinkle the fresh rosemary over chicken before serving. Serve with your favorite sides. YUMM-O!!!

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Flourless Chocolate Protein Muffins

Who ever said a muffin can't be good for you? These Chocolate Muffins are flourless, protein packed, zero sugar, & filled with all the goodness of flax & chia seeds. Oh...and they're charmingly delicious! That's right, you CAN have your muffin & eat it too!! Happy Healthy Eating! 

1 3/4 cups oats
1 egg + 2 egg whites
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt (any plain yogurt will work)
1 1/2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
2 scoops chocolate protein
2 tbsp raw chia seeds
1/4 cup flax seeds 
1 cup hot water
1/2 cup sugar substitute (you can add more if you want them sweeter)
1-2 tbsp dark chocolate mini-chips (just enough to sprinkle a few on top of each muffin)
Pour all ingredients except chocolate chips in a blender or food processor. Blend until the oats are ground and mixture is smooth. It will be thick and you will need to help it along by scraping down sides. It took me a few minutes of blending to mix it well. Pour mixture into prepared muffin tins (close to full) & bake 8 minutes @ 350 degrees, remove from oven and sprinkle mini chocolate chips onto each muffin. Return to oven and bake an additional 3-5 minutes. Cool in tins before removing. Once chilled store in airtight container in refrigerator. Yield: 12 muffins  ENJOY!!!

Monday, June 25, 2012

Orange Creamsicle Cookies

If you're a fan of orange creamsicles you are going to LOVE these chewy citrus delights! So you're not a fan of orange creamsicles?? Well you are going to LOVE these chewy citrus delights. If you find that you do not like these cookies I would consider having your taste buds examined...something might be wrong with you! ;) So here's the simplest recipe that makes the best cookie you may ever put in your mouth. Okay I kinda like them. A LOT. 

2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 tsp orange extract
2 tablespoons orange zest (about 2 oranges)
1 cup white chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a small bowl, combine flour, baking soda, and salt; set aside.
In a large bowl, cream butter and sugars until light and creamy. Beat in egg, orange extract and vanilla until smooth. Gradually add flour mixture until combined. Stir in orange zest and white chocolate chips.
Drop rounded teaspoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets. Do not flatten cookies; it will make them dry. Bake 8 - 10 minutes or until golden brown around edges. Do not overcook! Cookies will be plump. Cool for several minutes on cookie sheets before transferring to rack to cool completely. Store in airtight container. EAT!!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

BEST Cupcakes EVER!


This is the BEST cake/cupcake recipe that I have used for years & it could not be easier!  You can switch the cake mix & pudding flavors to whatever you like...And the buttercream is my all time favorite for cakes, cupcakes, & cookies!

1 box devils food cake mix
1 small chocolate fudge pudding mix (dry)
¼ cup flour
½ cup vegetable oil
1 cup water
4 eggs
1-8 0z. container sour cream

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Combine all ingredients in the order given
  3. Put cupcake liners in muffin tin
  4. Fill each liner about 2/3 full
  5. Bake in pre-heated oven for about 25-30 minutes or until cupcakes spring back when touched
  6. Let cool & frost
  7. DELISH!!! Yield:2 dozen cupcakes

    Buttercream Frosting
    ¾ cup butter, softened
    ¼ cup shortening
    ½ cup milk
    ¼ tsp salt
    1&1/2 tsp vanilla
    2 lbs powdered sugar
    Combine all ingredients to spreading consistency

    You can spread or pipe onto cupcakes but piping will use alot more frosting...but it's so cute!! ENJOY! 

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

No-Bake Butterscotch Pretzel Bars

These are crunchy, sweet, salty, and velvety smooth all at the same time... the light & crumbly peanut butter bottom is the part I can't resist!! If you like butterscotch you will LOVE this treat!!
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 cup creamy peanut butter
6 tablespoons butter, melted
2 cups crushed pretzels (about 6-1/2 ounces)
1-11 ounce package (about 2 cups) butterscotch-flavored pieces
1/4 cup whipping cream
1/2 cup coarsely crushed pretzels
1/2 cup chopped peanuts
1. Line a 13x9x2-inch pan with foil. Lightly coat the foil with cooking spray; set aside. In a large mixing bowl, stir together powdered sugar, peanut butter, and melted butter. Stir in 2 cups crushed pretzels. Press mixture firmly into the bottom of prepared pan.
2. In a heavy medium saucepan, combine butterscotch pieces and whipping cream. Stir over low heat until pieces are just melted.
3. Carefully spoon and spread butterscotch mixture over crumb mixture in pan. Sprinkle 1/2 cup coarsely crushed pretzels and the peanuts evenly over butterscotch mixture; press gently.
4. Cover and chill for at least 2 hours. Cut into bars to serve. Store in refrigerator for up to 1 week.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Sticky Toffee Pudding

This is just too dang super duper yummy in my tummy CRAZY good!!! The cake (pudding) starts out very dense, and then.....you smother it in this sweet, sticky toffee sauce until the cake has soaked it all up and it becomes the ultimate yummiest dessert you've ever had!! Ever? I think so.

1/2 cup butter, softened
2 cups powdered sugar
2 eggs
3 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 cup boiling water

Toffee Sauce-
1 cup butter
2 3/4 cups brown sugar
1 pint whipping cream
1 tsp butter extract

First grease a 9x13 in cake pan. For the pudding cream the butter & powdered sugar, add eggs & beat till smooth. Gradually mix in flour (mixture will be dry) Boil 1 cup of water & add baking soda to water. Gradually mix in hot water, mix until well combined. Spread batter into prepared pan and bake @ 350 for about 30 minutes or until cake is light golden. (Cake will feel kinda hard & dry, don't worry you didn't mess this up!! Keep going) In a medium saucepan combine all the toffee sauce ingredients over medium heat, bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer & simmer about 3 minutes. Remove from heat. Poke holes in cake with a fork (poke it good, the more you poke the more that yummy sauce can seep down into it) Pour half of the warm sauce over cake & let it absorb for about 30 minutes. Serve cake with fresh whipped cream & extra warm toffee sauce. That's it, you are officially in heaven!!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Coconut Lime Ice Cream w/ Dulce de Leches

Cool, creamy, tart, & tangy are just a few words for this super refreshing treat!
3/4 cup half and half
1 cup sweetened shredded coconut
1/4 cup granulated sugar
Pinch of salt
4 large egg yolks
1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup fresh lime juice
1 Tablespoon finely chopped lime zest
1 teaspoon coconut extract
1. In small sauce pot, combine the milk, coconut and salt. Stir with a wooden spoon over medium heat. Continue simmering until it has reduced to by about a fourth. Cover and allow to steep for one hour. After one hour, strain the coconut milk into a measuring cup. Reheat milk mixture over medium-low heat.
2. In a separate bowl, whisk egg yolks. Once milk mixture is hot, temper the yolks by adding half of the mixture into the eggs, whisking constantly. Return mixture to saucepan, and heat until thickened.
3. Pour sweetened condensed milk, lime juice and zest into a large mixing bowl, over an ice bath. Strain custard into the cream, stirring until cooled. Add coconut extract, stir, and place in refrigerator until thoroughly chilled, about 5 hours or overnight.
4. Once chilled, add to ice cream maker and follow manufacturer’s instructions.
For the Dulce de Leche- This is the EASIEST version for this thick caramel sauce...1 ingredient! 
1 can of sweetened condensed milk (14 oz) 
Pierce a small hole on top of can (can opener works great for this) Place can in a small  saucepan, add enough water to go 3/4 of the way up the can. Simmer on low for about 3 hours. Remove from water & let rest about an hour to cool. Pour over ice cream, cakes...makes a great dip for apples. Store leftovers in a plastic container in refrigerator. Now how easy was that?!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Berry Creamy Cheesecake

  • This oh so easy to make cheesecake is so creamy delicious & smooth...with  a sweetened pretzel almond crust you will be in berry-licious heaven!! Great way to use up all those fresh berries that come this time of year!!
  • 1 1/2 cups small pretzel twists (2 ounces; about 33)
  • 2 tablespoons sliced almonds, toasted
  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1 envelope unflavored gelatin
  • 1 1/2 8 ounce tub light cream cheese, softened
  • 1 8 ounce carton light dairy sour cream
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1/2 8 ounce container frozen light whipped dessert topping, thawed
  • 1 cup quartered or halved fresh strawberries
  • 1 cup fresh mixed berries (blueberries, blackberries, raspberries)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. For crust: 1. In a food processor, combine pretzels and sliced almonds; cover and process until finely crushed. Add butter & brown sugar; cover and process until combined. Press pretzel mixture on the bottom of an 8- or 9-inch springform pan. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool on a wire rack.
For filling: 2. Place the water in a small saucepan; sprinkle with gelatin (do not stir). Let stand for 5 minutes to soften. Cook and stir over low heat until gelatin dissolves; set aside to cool slightly.
3. In a large bowl, combine cream cheese, sour cream, powdered sugar, and almond extract; beat with an electric mixer on medium speed until smooth. Add gelatin mixture; beat until combined. Fold in whipped topping.
4. Spread half of the filling evenly over cooled crust. Top with half of the berries & quartered strawberries. Spread the remaining cream cheese mixture over berries. Cover and chill cheesecake for 4 to 24 hours or until set. Run a long sharp knife around edge of cheesecake to loosen; remove side of pan. Cut cheesecake into wedges. Top each serving with some of the remaining berries & strawberries.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Chocolate Cupcakes with Oreo Buttercream Frosting

Best cupcake/cake recipe...EVER!! 
Really any cake mix would work for this...like a yellow cake mix using a vanilla pudding mix instead or any flavor pudding too! It's the sour cream that makes these cupcakes so incredibly moist and fluffy! I've been making this same recipe for years and now I'm happy to share it with all of you!

1 box devils food cake mix
1 small chocolate fudge pudding mix (dry)
¼ cup flour
½ cup vegetable oil
1 cup water
4 eggs
1-8 0z. container sour cream

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Combine all ingredients in the order given
  3. Put cupcake liners in muffin tin
  4. Fill each liner about 2/3 full
  5. Bake in pre-heated oven for about 25-30 minutes or until cupcakes spring back when touched
  6. Let cool & frost
  7. DELISH!!! Yield:2 dozen cupcakes

Oreo Buttercream Frosting
¾ cup butter, softened
¼ cup shortening
½ cup milk
¼ tsp salt
1&1/2 tsp vanilla
2 lbs powdered sugar
2 cups finely crushed oreos
Combine all ingredients to spreading consistency
Mix in crushed oreos

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Strawberry Cream Cookie Snaps

  • How cute are these little cream filled cookie snaps?! Almost too cute to eat...almost. They take a little extra work but are sooo worth it!! It's strawberry season folks so put them to good use in this Strawberry-licious recipe!! 
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons seedless strawberry jam
  • 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream, whipped
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted and cooled
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh strawberries
  • Additional sugar 
    • For filling, in a small bowl, combine cream cheese, sugar and jam until blended. Fold in whipped cream and food coloring if desired. Chill.
    • In a small bowl, whisk the sugar, flour, egg whites, vanilla and salt until smooth. Whisk in butter until blended. Line baking sheets with parchment paper. Preparing four cookies at a time, drop batter by 1-1/2 teaspoonfuls 4 in. apart onto prepared pan. Bake at 400° for 5-8 minutes or until edges are lightly browned.
    • Immediately remove one cookie at a time from parchment and form into a tube around a greased clean round wooden clothespin. Press lightly to seal; hold until set, about 20 seconds.
    • Remove cookie from clothespin; place on waxed paper to cool. Continue with remaining cookies. If cookies become too cool to shape, return to oven for 1 minute to soften. Repeat with remaining batter.
    • Just before serving, pipe or spoon filling into cookie shells. Dip end of cookie into strawberries and additional sugar. Refrigerate leftovers. Yieldabout 2 dozen. Recipe adapted from Taste of Home