Monday, November 7, 2011

White Chicken Chili

This is a recipe that a friend brought to the same baby shower that I made the caramel apple bars (see below). It was good enough that I requested the very next day.What I like about this chili, the taste is really good and the additions of melting the cheese and sour cream at the end gives is a creamy consistency. It goes together pretty quickly.

White Chicken Chili
(adapted from "The Food Nanny Rescues Dinner" by Liz Edmunds

 1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts (cooked and diced)
1 T. olive oil
1 small white onion, diced
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
1 small can diced green chiles, drained
2 - 15oz. cans white beans, drained
4 c. water
4 t. "Better Than Bouillon" chicken base
2 t. ground cumin
2 t. dried oregano
1/2 to 1 t. cayenne pepper (I used these amount of spices - it was just the right amount, spicy but not too much so)
1 t. salt
1 c. sour cream
2 c. shredded Monterey Jack cheese
  chopped tomato
  chopped cilantro
  diced avocado

Heat oil in large pan over medium heat.  Add the onion and garlic, and cook and stir until the onion is translucent, 2-3 minutes.  Add the chicken, chiles, beans, chicken base mixed with water, cumin, oregano, and cayenne.  Simmer 30 - 45 minutes.  Add the sour cream and cheese, and continue cooking until the cheese is melted.  Keep warm until serving.  Serve in bowls and top with tomatoes, avocado, and cilantro.

Edited: I baked 3 chicken breasts and shredded them for my chicken. Ialso used 2 more cups of water and 2 more tsp of chicken base. I wanted my chicken chili to be between a soup and a chili consistency. I also only used 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper since I was serving it to my kids. I figured I could add more later, but thought it had the right amount of kick.

This is definitely going in my stack of favorites! We served our with these mozzarella, pesto, bacon and tomato paninis (recipe HERE).

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Caramel Apple Cheesecake Bars with Streusel Topping

Made this tonight for a baby shower. They got rave reviews :) (thus the reason I need to post it, so that some of my lovely friends can get it here). We love rave reviews. Even though they have multiple layers, they really didn't take that long to put together. You bake the crust then layer the rest on and bake it one more time. Then drizzle the caramel on top. The caramel really only took about 5-7 minutes to cook, so don't be intimidated.

Caramel Apple Cheesecake Bars with Streusel Topping

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened

Cream Cheese Layer:
2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

3 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and finely chopped
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Streusel Topping:
1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1 cup all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup quick cooking oats
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
1 cup caramel sauce (homemade recipe below)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a small bowl, stir together chopped apples, two tablespoons sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, combine all the streusel topping ingredients and mix until crumbly. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, combine flour and brown sugar. Cut in butter with a pastry blender or two forks until mixture is crumbly but combined. Press evenly into a 9X13-inch baking pan lined with aluminum foil. Bake for 10 minutes or until lightly browned.

While the crust is baking, in a large bowl, beat cream cheese with 1/2 cup sugar until smooth. Then add eggs, one at a time and then the vanilla. Mix well. Pour over the warm crust.
Spoon the apple mixture evenly over the cheesecake layer. Sprinkle the streusel topping over the apples. Bake for 30 minutes until the filling is set.

Cool the bars to room temperature. Drizzle with the caramel topping (or plate individual slices and drizzle with topping one by one).

Caramel Sauce:
4 tablespoons butter
1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
½ cups half-and-half or cream
Pinch of salt
1 tablespoon vanilla

Mix butter, brown sugar, half-and-half or cream, and salt in a saucepan over medium-low heat. Bring the mixture to a simmer and cook while whisking gently for 5 to 7 minutes, until thickened slightly. Add the vanilla and cook another minute to thicken further. Turn off the heat and pour the sauce into a jar. Refrigerate until cold. If the caramel sauce has cooled in the fridge long enough to harden, warm slightly before drizzling on bars.

Edited: I got this from I don't love using a ton of bowls (less to clean later) so I mixed my base in one bowl. While it was cooking I mixed whipped up my cream cheese mixture in my mixer, then cut up my apples in the same bowl I mixed the base. When crust was done, I poured cream cheese, then apple mixture, then mixed streusel in apple bowl (used the same bowl 3 times) and finished with that. So I onlyh needed one bowl and my mixer. 

The caramel might seem intimidating, but it really wasn't that tough to do. It came together in just about 7 minutes. Cook to just under soft ball stage so they it is thick enough that it doesn't run off the bars. If you don't want to go to the trouble, I suppose you could just using ice cream topping.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Salted Caramel Butter Bars

The name says it all. Whats not to like? Salted caramel.... butter. 

Salted Caramel Butter Bars

1 lb salted butter at room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
2 tsp. vanilla
4 cups all purpose flour

For the filling:

1 bag (14 oz) caramel candies (about 50) unwrapped
1/3 cup milk or cream
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 Tbl coarse sea salt (optional)

To make the crust:

In a large bow, combine the butter and sugars. Using a mixer o medium speed, beat together until creamy. Add the vanilla and beat until combined. Sift the flour into the butter mixture and bea on low speed until a smooth soft dough forms.

Spray a 9 X 13 inch baking pan lightly with non-stick cooking spray. Press 1/3 of the dough evening into the pan to for a bottom crust. Bake approximately 20 minutes (mine took about 25 minutes). Let cool for 15 - 20 minutes

While bottom crust us baking and remaing dough is chilling, make the caramel filling. Place caramels in a microwave safe bowl. Add the cream/milk. Microwave on high for 1 minutes. Remove from the microwave and stir until smooth. If caramels are not completely melted, microwave on high for 30 second intervals, stirring after each interval until smooth.

Pour the caramel filling over the crust. If you are going to salt the caramel, sprinkle it on caramel layer now.

Remove the remaining chilled dough from refrigerator and crumble it evening over the caramel. Return the pan to the oven and bake until the filling is bubbly and the crumbled shortbread topping is firm and lightly golden, about 25-30 minutes (mine took 30-35 minutes)

Let cool before cutting into squares. These are very rich, so cut them into 1" squares.

Also the recipe says to put 1/3 on the bottom then bake, after adding the caramel layer you crumble the other 2/3 of the dough on top. I think I would do 1/2 on the bottom and crumble the other half on top.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Honey Sesame Chicken

Saw this recipe a few weeks back and put it on my list of things to try. We like chinese food, but

1. hate the prices (when you are feeding a family of 6, 2 being full grown men/boys) and

2. sometimes it can be really fattening or the chicken can be a little junky.

What I loved about this recipe... the taste.

What I didn't love.... coating and frying all the chicken pieces.

When I try this again, I think I will cut my chicken into pieces and then just cook them in a pan with a little olive oil. Remove the chicken, make the sauce, replace the chicken in the pan to coat with sauce. Then serve over rice. This makes the recipe much easier (don't you hate the smell in your kitchen after frying stuff) and much healthier. Yes, the crunchy battered coating is delicious, but if you are lazy like me, this is a good alternative. Or maybe I should say I am looking for a healthy alternative. Doesn't that make me sound more posh?

The sauce was easy and very tastey. I cut the oil down by half and doubled it as I wanted enough sauce to drizzle over on the rice when serving. I actually doubled the recipe, so really I quadrupled the sauce recipe.

Honey Sesame Chicken


1 ½ lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts (cut into 1” chunks)
Oil (for deep frying)

4 tablespoons cornstarch
¼ cup flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ cup water
½ teaspoon salt
1 egg
1 egg white

1 ½ tablespoons oil
2 teaspoon ginger (minced)
3 tablespoons garlic (minced)
1 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon rice wine vinegar
½ cup water
1 teaspoon cornstarch (mixed with 1 teaspoon water)
Sesame seeds (for garnish)

Step 1: In a large bowl mix all batter ingredients together until smooth. Cover and allow the batter to site for at least 30 minutes. Add the chicken to the batter tossing to coat.

Step 2: Heat a deep fryer to 350 degrees. Fry chicken bits in patches for 2 minutes or until batter becomes firm. Drain on paper towels.

Step 3: To make the sauce. Heat 1 ½ tablespoons of oil in your wok. Add garlic and ginger and stir fry for 30 seconds. Add salt, honey, vinegar, and water. Mix well. Combine 1 teaspoon of water with 1 teaspoon of cornstarch. Add to the sauce and Simmer for 2 minutes.

Step 4: Coat chicken with the sauce and garnish with sesame seeds. Serve with white rice.
(Makes 4 servings)

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Steak or Chicken Fajitas

(picture borrowed from

This recipes comes from one of my favorite food blogs I've made it twice and the hubs has raved both times. He said if he closed his eyes he felt like he was eating fajitas at a good restaurant. I think it's especially delicious because you marinade the meat (I used chicken) and vegetables beforehand and then grill them all which adds a lot of yummy flavor. If you are a fan of Mexican food, I would definitely give this recipe a try!

Chicken or Steak Fajitas

Measurements of meat and vegetables are approximate. Adjust depending on your preference and the number of people you’re serving. This will serve about 4-6.

1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts, chicken thighs, or steak
2-3 bell peppers, stem and membranes removed and peppers quartered
1 large onion (any color/variety) sliced into 1/2″ slices
1/4 C fresh lime juice
1/3 C water
2 T vegetable oil
2 cloves garlic, pressed or finely minced
3 t vinegar
2 t soy sauce
1-2 t liquid smoke*
1 t salt
1/2 t chili powder, or chipotle chili powder
1/2 t cayenne pepper
1/4 t ground black pepper
1/4 t onion powder

*If you’re not familiar with liquid smoke, you can find it near the bbq sauces. Don’t make this without it! It’s definitely one of the key components. It makes things yummy and smoky and super flavorful. And if you’re wondering, it actually is real smoke in liquid form. Interesting, eh?

Place meat in a zip-top bag or shallow dish. Place vegetables in another. In a medium bowl, combine all marinade ingredients and whisk well. Reserve 3-4 Tablespoons of marinade for later use. With remaining marinade, add a splash to the vegetables (enough for a light coating) and the remaining to the meat. Marinate for 4-6 hours and up to overnight.

Preheat bbq grill (my preference), indoor grill pan, or large skillet. If you’re using a grill, place everything on at the same time. If using a skillet, slice peppers and onions first. Cook chicken for a few minutes on each side until cooked through and remove from pan. Cover with foil to keep warm. Add vegetables and cook until crisp tender.

Remove vegetables from cooking surface and slice. Slice meat. Toss with reserved marinade and serve along side any or all of the following:

Flour Tortillas
Black Beans
Lime-Cilantro Rice
Pico de Gallo
Diced avocado
Sour Cream (sorry, we just buy that one!)

Friday, June 10, 2011

Chocolate Chip Cookie Pie

No, it isn't healthy.

Yes, it is delicious.

I attempted once before to make a recipe like this. Of course it was when we had company over and it earned a "fail" award. It was to greasy and never really set up.

We have a restaurant in town that makes very yummy pies and one is a chocolate chip cookie pie. Since we love all things chocolate chip cookish, I had to give it another try.


This was wonderful with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and a little chocolate sauce dribbled over the top.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Pie

1 unbaked 9-inch pie crust, homemade or store-bought.
2 large eggs
1/2 C flour
1/2 C white granulated sugar
1/2 C packed brown sugar
3/4 C real butter, softened (1 1/2 sticks)
1 C chocolate chips (semi-sweet or dark works best, you might find milk too sweet)
1 C chopped pecans (you are welcome to make it without nuts)

Vanilla ice cream, or sweetened whipped cream for serving (a must! I prefer ice cream)

optional: chocolate sauce (honestly, doesn’t really need chocolate sauce, but it looks pretty!)

Preheat oven to 325° F.

Beat eggs in large mixer bowl on high speed until foamy. Beat in flour, granulated sugar and brown sugar. Beat in butter. Stir in morsels and nuts. Spoon into pie shell.

Bake for 55 to 60 minutes or until knife inserted halfway between edge and center comes out clean. Cool on wire rack or serve slightly warmed. Serve with ice cream or whipped cream.

*There have been several comments about pies turning out runny. First and foremost, follow the instructions, completely (no margarine or anything from a tub!) I’ve made a million of these and never had that happen so I honestly have no idea. The recipe is correct as written, it comes straight from Nestle! The only thing I can think of is that altitude might be a factor. One reader suggested adding 2 Tbs of flour if you’re at a high altitude. If anyone finds that solves their problem, let me know!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Homemade Ice Cream cookoff - Bring It!

Our Butler family reunion is in less than a month. As is customary, we are having a cooking contest. This year, since it will be summer and we want to try something that we haven't done before, we are doing.....


So let the games begin and may the best family win!

When we get back the middle of July, we will be posting the recipes and pictures of the contest. Hopefully at least one batch will turn out decent. :)

If you have a wonderful homemade ice cream recipe or any tips, please share in the comments.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Honey Roasted Red Potatoes

We were invited to a friend's house for dinner. I asked what I could bring, she said "How about a potato dish?". Of course you can never go with the same old thing, so I found this recipe and we really enjoyed it. I like something that takes just a little preparation, pop it into the oven with little maintanence and in a bit of time you have a yummy dish.

I thought this would be good for summer with all the grilling that goes on.

Honey Roasted Red Potatoes

1 lb Red Potatoes
2 Tablespoons diced Onion
2 Tablespoons Butter
1 Tablespoon Honey
1 teaspoon Dry Mustard
1 pinch of Salt
1 pinch of ground black pepper

Heat over to 375 degrees. Cover 11 X 17 pan with foil which has been sprayed with cooking spray. Wash and dry potatoes, then cut into cubes. Spread on pan then sprinkle onions over the top. Mix butter, honey, dry mustard, salt and pepper in a bowl then drizzle over the top. Mix so all the potatoes are covered.

Cook for 35 minutes or until potatoes are tender.

I ended up doing 5 lbs of potatoes because there were quite a few people eating (so I mutltiplied the recipe by 5). I would cut down on the butter by about maybe half as they did end up a just a little greasy. Delicious, but a bit greasy :)

I added more onion than called for because I loved carmalized onion and potatoes. You could do them in a little bigger chunks than diced.

I stirred every 15 minutes or so and I ended up cooking mine for a little over an hour. I like them a little brown and carmalized. Sprinkle a little extra salt and pepper at the end to taste.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Cinnamon Sugar French Toast Bites

Since I have all my children back at home, I am attempting to make a hot cooked breakfast. When you only have 2 children and they don't usually like eating a big breakfast, it makes it a little tougher to put the time and energy into doing anything to complicated, especially when you are NOT a morning person.

I found this recipe at Multiply Delicious and thought I would give it a try. It was a fun take on an old favorite and a big hit with ALL the kids. Granted, it does take a little bit more work cutting the bread into cubes and cooking them individually. But because of this, it becomes a finger food and great to grab and eat when you children are running out the door to school or work. I do have a few recommendations that I will post at the bottom.

Cinnamon Sugar French Toast Bites

3 Tablespoons Sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 large eggs
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Pinch of Salt
1 loaf french bread, cut into 1-inch cubes
2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
Maple Syrup

In a large bowl, stir together the sugar and cinnamon. Set aside.

In a large shallow bowl, whisk together the eggs, buttermilk, milk, vanilla, and salt until blended. Place the bread cubes in the egg mixture and using a large spoon, toss gently until the cubes are evenly coated and all the egg mixture has been absorbed.

In a large frying pan over medium heat, melt 1 tablespoon of the butter. Add half the coated bread cubes and cook, turning often, until golden brown on all sides, about 5 minutes. Transfer the cubes to the bowl holding the cinnamon sugar and toss to coat. Repeat with the remaining bread cubes and 1 tablespoon butter.

Divide the french toast bites into individual servings and sprinkle with remaining cinnamon-sugar. Serve with maple syrup.

Here are my suggestions:

First I think I would cut these into strips instead of cubes. Then you could eat them like French Toast dippers. They would be easier to cook (not as many things to turn), but they could still be a finger food and you could still roll them in the cinnamon sugar.

In the recipe it says to put half the bread cubest into the batter then into the pan. I felt mine got a little to soggy. Even after cooking all the edges slowly, they were a bit to mushy inside for my liking. But this is coming from a girl who doesn't like runny eggs :) So, the fact you have now cut your bread into strips, it makes it easier to dip them individually into the egg mixture, then put them into the pan without to much soaking.

I would also consider adding 3 or 4 eggs instead of just the two. But I do like mine a little thicker and eggier (is that a word?).

I also served mine with THIS SYRUP, instead of the maple. You already have the buttermilk, so whip up a batch of this. Just remember to put it in a larger pan because it at least doubles while boiling and you don't want it to burn or bubble over. You can keep this in the fridge and is yummy on ice cream or just eating with a teaspoon when not on a diet :)

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Chicken Skewers with Sweet Red Chili Sauce

Don't Count Me Out!

It is May 31st and here I am keeping my promise to post at least monthly. I almost missed the deadline and in this family if you mess up there are some (Lorri) that will never let you forget it. I have had some grand intentions of posting, in fact my computer is full of pictures I have taken of foods we love, but do I share - NO! Yes, I am the sister that is hoarding her delicious recipes! Not to fear though, I am making a decision, right here - right now, to share so that you too can be an amazing cook like me. Okay just kidding - I'm not that great, but every once in a while I make something that is pretty dang good and I will start sharing. Take for example this last weekend, I grilled up some really, really good chicken, it is perfect for a group or just your family. I ended up marinading 8 lb. of chicken plus 3.5 lb. of steak (recipe to come later) and there was not even a morsel left. I highly recommend you trying this out ASAP - let me know what you think!
Chicken Skewers

30 wooden skewer sticks - soak in water 30 minutes before threading chicken strips so the skewers don't burn on the grill.

4 large chicken breast (I use tenderloins, just more of them) - cut into 1/2 inch strips

1/4 c. soy sauce
1 T. brown sugar
2 T. fresh lime juice
1 T. honey
1 T. fresh ginger, minced
1 clove garlic, minced

In a small mixing bowl, whisk together soy sauce, brown sugar, lime juice, honey, ginger and garlic. Put chicken strips in a gallon ziploc bag and pour marinade over the top - seal it up. Let marinade for a couple of hours or I like to prepare this the night before and let it sit in the fridge overnight for some really good flavor. Right before grilling thread the chicken onto skewer sticks then grill on medium heat 5- 10 minutes, turning often. Discard marinade. Serve chicken with a bowl of Sweet Red Chili Sauce for dipping. Delicious!!

Note: keep the marinade to chicken ratio equal so you get the wonderful flavor in the chicken - don't skimp!

Red Chili Sauce

1 red bell pepper
1/2 c. water
1/2 c. rice vinegar
1/2 tsp. toasted sesame oil
1/2 c. sugar
1/2 tsp. soy sauce
2 T. corn starch
1/4 tsp. crushed red chili flakes
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
In a blender puree all ingredients. Pour mixture into a small pan and bring to a boil. Stir constantly and cook until sauce thickens. Serve warm or chill.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Raspberry Applesauce Jello

This is from my mom and I have had to ask her for it several times. So to save her the headache of finding it one more time, I posted it here for easy access. Also, thought it would be good to share with berry season closing in on us. I love the texture the applesauce adds to this. Definitely a favorite of our family... and easy.

Raspberry Applesauce Jello

3 (3 oz) packages raspberry Jello
3 cups 7-up (you can mix water with the 7-up to make 3 cups)
Lots of Raspberries (about 3 packages frozen)

Boil 7-up then add jello slowly, stirring until desolved. Add enough applesauce to make 6 cups. Pour into a 9 X 13 pan. Add lots of raspberries (to your liking). Chill for 3-4 hours or until set. You can top with Cool Whip if you want.


Thursday, May 19, 2011

Chicken Salad

A few things I love about summer are BBQing, fresh fruits and vegetable, and yummy salads. This is one of my favorites. In fact my sister, Wendi, and I had a chicken salad cookoff. We were so sure everyone woule like ours the best that we both ended up doubling our recipes. Needless to say we had PLENTY of chicken salad. That, and I am sure I was the hands down winner :)

This recipe is from a friend our family has known for quite a while. She is a fantastic cook. You know the type. When she has a recipe you know you want a copy because there isn't anything that she makes that isn't wonderful.

Thanks Marilyn!

Chicken Salad

3 cups chicken, cooked and cubed (I think you could use your canned chicken too)
1 cup grapes (red or green)
1 cup slivered almonds
3 cups celery (I use less as my family aren't celery fans)
1 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup whipping cream, whipped (love the creaminess this adds)
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
salt and pepper to taste

Mix he chicken, grapes, almonds and celery. Mix mayonnaise, whipped cream and lemon juice. Fold into chicken mixture and serve on lettuce leaves or croissants.

Taste it before serving and add whatever salt and pepper you want to your liking.

Yummy! Making this Saturday for lunch!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

BBQ in a Jar

Seriously, doesn't this look fun! I am not sure I could eat a quart size amount of food. You could adjust this and offer pint size ones too.

So basically the jist is that you layer all things BBQ in a jar and they served theirs with a jar of lemonade.

Here is how the layers go...

BBQ Baked Beans
Smokey Pulled Pork
Lemon Slice

Here is the link to Givers Log, where you can see more pictures and the recipe for the smokey pulled pork. It is an interesting recipe as they put the pork in a brine for 2 hours, then you roast for another 4 1/2 hours. Her husband is from the south and loves a "good" BBQ. So this is on my definite list of things to try this summer.

Also, read several comments on this if you are a little leary. I guess the layering is done in several restaurants down south and anyone who has tried is loves it. Be brave.. try something new :)

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Traditional Chicken Enchiladas

Matt and I have been on the search for a couple years for a great Enchilada recipe similar to the one we have at our favorite mexican restaurant. It doesn't have the red or green enchilada sauce, it's a more of a white sauce but we couldn't figure out what it was. I've seen the recipes using cream cheese and we knew that wasn't it either...there is no hint of cream cheese in our favorites. I finally came across this recipe one day and gave it a go. We both agreed it was the closest thing we've had to the ones at the actual restaurant and we really liked them! This will be our go to enchilada recipe from now on! This picture is from the website ( I got the recipe from as I've been having issues with transferring pictures from my camera to my computer.

Traditional Mexican Chicken Enchiladas Recipe

Ingredients -
12 corn tortillas
3 cooked chicken breast halves, no bones or skin, shredded
½ cup chopped green onions
½ cup chopped fresh cilantro
2 cups chicken broth
1 cup sour cream
¾ cup minced onion
12 oz shredded cheddar cheese
4 oz chopped green chilies
¼ cup butter
¼ cup all purpose flour
Vegetable oil for frying


Preheat the oven to 375ºF. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a large frying pan over a medium high heat, and then fry the tortillas on 5 seconds per side until they are pliable. Do them individually and add more oil as required. Drain the tortillas on paper towels and keep them warm.

Divide the chicken, onion (not green onion) and 10 oz of the cheese between the tortillas. Roll them up and place in a greased baking pan, seam side down. Melt the butter in a pan over a medium heat. Add the flour and whisk until it begins to boil. Add the broth, stirring continuously.

Add the chilies and sour cream. Stir occasionally and do not let the mixture boil. Pour this mixture over the enchiladas when hot and thick. Bake the Mexican chicken enchiladas for 20 minutes then top with the rest of the cheese and bake for a further 5 minutes. Use the green onions and cilantro to garnish them.

Serves 6

PS- I kept my promise Lorri! Are you proud?!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Cake Pops

It was my turn to make birthday treats for the young women in our church. I wanted to do seomthing fun and different. After a little bit of brainstorming, my daughter and I decided to try cake pops. They have been wandering around on the internet ever since Bakarella made them famous. But now Starbucks is selling them as a quick, around 100 calorie treat.

They turned out pretty good and got very positive reviews. So positive that seconds were in order.

This recipe is very easy. The trickest part is coating the cake pop with chocolate or candy melts. I think it just takes a bit of practice.


1 box cake mix - chocolate is the most dense and easiest to work with, but we did strawberry withoug any problems.

1 can of store bought frosting - we used vanilla but then read the cream cheese is better. Of course you would do chocolate with chocolate cake.

bag of candy melts - or you can use melted chocolate, but the candy melts stayed melted longer AND you don't have to worry about tempering your chocolate. You can find these at most craft stores for a couple of dollars.

Sticks - popscicle style or candy sticks from craft store.

sprinkles, chopped nuts, crushed oreos or whatever else the imagination can think of

Mix cake mix according to package. Pour into a 9 X 13 foil lined pan that has been sprayed with pam. Cook then let cook. Put cake in a mixing bowl and break up with your hands. Scoop 1/2 a container of store bought frosting into the cake and mix. This should bring you back to your playdough days. Great activity when taking out your troubles on :)

I used my cookie scoop and scooped up the dough, rolled it in my hands to form a ball. At this
point I melted the candy melts and dipped the end of my stick into the candy melts then into one of the cake balls stood up in styrofoam (or anything you can think of to hold them up to dry).

I also read later than some people put them in the fridge to help the cake get a little sturdier before coating with candy melts or chocolate. Mine turned out fine, but I do agree this would be helpful.

Melt candy melts/chocolate in microwave dish. Start at 1 minute at 50 percent power, then drop down to 30 second intervals at 50 percent power, stirring in between. Make sure there is NO WATER or MOISTURE. If it gets into the candy melts or chocolate it will seize up and get crumbly. If you want to color white chocolate, use a gel food color, not liquid.

If you need to remelt candy melts, do so at this time by putting the bowl back in the microwave at 30 second intervals at 50 percent power. Stirring in between until ready.

One bag of candy melts will do approximately 20 1 1/2" round cake pops.

Hold your cake pop sideways and spoon the chocolate/melts over while turning the cake pop until coated. Place back in your styrofoam holder. You can also dip them in sprinkles, oreos, nuts before putting them in your holder or sprinkle over the top after.

See, not to hard. The perfect size treat and very eye appealing. Would look great on a dessert table or maybe birthday treats for your kids class.

Here are some other ideas of decorating with the same basic recipe.


Sheep Cake Pops

Easter Eggs

Here they are displayed upside down

How about Thomas the Train display

As you can see, you are only limited by your imagination. There are monster cake pops, christmas trees, Hello Kitty, cupcakes... just google it and then start planning your next party or wedding :)

Friday, May 6, 2011

Bread Cones

I saw this recipe awhile ago and bookmarked it for further exploration later. For some reason, this seems like such a fun spring idea. Maybe making the cones and putting some delcious chicken salad in them. I can see a picnic or luncheon with the ladies.

The one thing about this recipe is that they use small metal cones to wrap the dough around. I don't know about you, but I loaned all my fancy metal cones out and never got them back (okay, I never really had any to start). I did find that one suggestion was to use sugar ice cream cones and wrap foil around them, THEN wrap your dough around the foil. Another woman tried using cardstock (she used old brochures mailed to her). She wrapped them in the shape of a cone and then wrapped the foil around them. Then wrapped her dough around the cone. She said it worked fine. So now I have given you some inexpensive options.

Here is the recipe below, and is the site the hosted it. They have detailed step by step directions with pictures. Which makes it a little easier I think. Also, HERE is the recipe card version.

Bread Cones:



  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 3 tablespoons oil
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 beaten egg
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 1/4 teaspoon instant yeast
  • 3 1/2 to 4 cups bread flour

Egg Wash:

  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon milk


Pour milk and water into a saucepan and heat to a scald. Pour this into a large bowl, allow to cool to lukewarm. Add in oil, sugar and salt; mix with a wooden spoon till well blended. Add in beaten egg and 2 cups of flour; mix till smooth with a wooden spoon. Add in instant yeast and mix. Allow to sit for 10 minutes uncovered. Now, start to slowly add in more flour. When the mixture becomes to hard to mix, pour out onto a well floured surface and knead in more flour for 8 minutes. The dough will become smooth and elastic. Add just enough flour that the dough no longer sticks to your hands while kneading. Add a tablespoon of oil to a clean bowl and place the dough into the bowl. Turn over a few times to lightly coat all sides with oil. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rest till double in bulk, about 1 hour. Remove dough and knead a few time to release the gas. Now cut the dough into 8 pieces. use a scale to make sure each piece is equal in weight. Allow to rest for 5 minutes. Take each piece and roll into a 36 inch rope. Roll ropes around the greased 6 inch cream horn tubes. Place onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper and cover with plastic wrap. Allow to rest for 30 minutes. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 20 - 22 minutes or till golden brown. Place onto a wire rack and allow to cool for a couple minutes before removing the tubes.

I would be curious if you could take this same technique and maybe try it with your favorite dough. If anyone does this, let us know how it works. Good Luck!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Island Pork

Yes, I know you thought we had all died and no one was manning the blog.

BUT, this weekend I spent some time with my sisters and they are


to putting at least one new recipe on each month. Funny thing was, my one sister kept telling us all these wonderful, delicous recipes that she had made that were definitely blog worthy. Hmmm, holding out on us?

So here is a new contribution. My mother-in-law brought this recipe back from Utah. I believe she got it from my sister-in-law who got it from someone and so on. It was delicious. It is also one of those recipes that you put in in the morning and when it is time for dinner, and life is scattered and falling apart, you have a warm yummy meal for your family.

Island Pork

2 lb Pork Tenderloin

Season with:
2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp cinnamon

Sear seasoned pork in 2 tablespoons of oil in a frying pan.

Mix the following together and rub over tenderloin.
1 cup packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons chopped garlic
1 tablespoon tabasco sauce

Bake in covered pan at 300 degrees for 3-4 hours (or place in crockpot and cook for 6-8 hours).
Pull apart and serve with coconut rice and mango.

Coconut Rice

2 cups rice (can be white or brown, I prefer Jasmine)
1 1/2 cups water
1 can coconut milk (can be found in ethnic section)
1/3 cup of sugar (or more to your taste)

Cook for 15 minutes. Turn off stove and let sit for 10 more minutes or until done.

Serve rice with Island Pork topped with fresh mango. YUM!

I don't have a picture yet, due to the fact I haven't made it. My mother-in-law served it at our family dinner. I then requested the recipe and have it on my list of things to make the end of this week or beginning of next. So watch for it :)

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Freezer Breakfast Burritos

It's a new year, and of course new resolutions. One, attempting to have healthier breakfast options for my family. When my boys where home, I found it worth the time and effort to get up and scramble some eggs or make something "hearty". Now that it is my two girls at home, they often just want something quick and on the go. We have done the hard boiled eggs, bagels and cream cheese, so I wanted to add something new and tasty to our repertoire.

These didn't take long to assemble and are quick to grab out of the freezer, reheat in the microwave and go. The other thing I like about these breakfast burritos, you can really add whatever your family likes. The ingredient list is just a suggestion, I added some hash brown potatoes to mine. You could make a couple this way, some others another way, depending on the likes of your kids.

Breakfast Burritos

12 eggs
1 lb sausage or bacon
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
12 8" round flour tortillas

Fry bacon or sausage until done. Mix eggs together, drain pan of most of the grease then cook scrambled eggs however you desire. Warm tortillas in microwave for about 30 seconds. Take one tortilla and put about 1/4-1/2 cup of eggs down the middle. Add some sausage/bacon and cheese. Roll up like a burrito folding one end in.
I then wrapped my breakfast burrito in parchment paper. After all the burritos are made and in parchment paper, I put them in a large ziplock bag and put them in the freezer.

Remove breakfast burrito from freezer, microwave for 1 minute 30 seconds on 80 percent (you will have to see what works best for your microwave through trial and error) and enjoy.

*My husband said he thought they would be good with a little salsa added when making the burritos. You could also do some cooked green pepper, different cheeses, cooked onion or green onion.