Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Apple Butter Apple Pie

This pie is my second attempt at an apple pie and my first at making a lattice top. Surprisingly, the lattice top wasn't too hard. I liken it to making the basketweave design on cakes. And it just looks so pretty! Well, prettier than my usual pies look. And the sides aren't burnt! Thanks to a well-timed pie shield buy at our last minute shopping adventure before Christmas.

I made this for our Christmas dinner with friends here in town and it was wonderful! We even got comments that we could be invited back next year just to have this pie come back. :) I think that's a good sign.

Apple Butter Apple Pie
Recipe adapted from Smithfield Recipes

1 box of refrigerated pie crust or your own recipe. (I was lazy this year and used the premade crusts.)

  • 7 Gala Apples
  • 2 tablespoons 7Up or lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup apple butter
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 7 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 ground cloves
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
Egg Wash
1 egg, beaten with a little bit of milk


For Crust:
  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  • Roll out one premade crust and place in an ungreased pie pan. 
  • Using the other crust, cut the pie crust into 1" strips (they don't have to be perfectly even) and set aside until the fruit mixture is ready.
For Filling:
  • Peel and slice all the apples. Toss the apples in some 7 Up to prevent the apples from browning. I got a tip this year to do this versus lemon juice because the lemon juice makes the apples too tart for me. But you could most certainly use lemon juice.
  • Add the apple butter to the apples and stir to combine.
  • In a separate mixing bowl, stir together the sugar, flour, cinnamon and cloves.
  • Sprinkle the dry ingredients over the apples and stir thoroughly. 
  • Spoon the fruit into the pie shell. It will be a tall mound.
  • Place the butter on top of the apples, making sure to place them all around the pie.
  • A great tutorial on making a lattice top is here
  • If you want to make a regular top, place the second dough on top of the apples and crimp the sides. Use the extra dough to make designs on top of the pie if desired. Add slits to allow the stem to escape.
  • Brush the pie with the egg wash mixture. 
  • Set the pie on a sheet pan and bake for 30 minutes at 400 degrees.
  • Reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees and continue to bake until it has browned and the fruit is bubbling around the edges (another 30-35 minutes). 
  • Cool 30 minutes before serving. 

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas!

Wishing you and your family a very merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Peanut Butter and Nutella Fudge

This holiday season baking bug has finally truly hit me. I baked all morning and it felt good. I feel like I've got my baking mojo back. Yay!! :)

Making and tasting it brought back so many memories of the holiday season. I love making these kind of recipes. And our lucky friends and neighbors will have this fun variation of my family's fudge on their tray of holiday cookies.

Peanut Butter and Nutella Fudge
an original creation by Tracy

  • 1 pound powdered sugar
  • 6 tbsp butter (I used margarine)
  • 1/3 package mini marshmallows
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 4 tbsp milk
  • 3/4 cup peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup Nutella
  • Heat ingredients until smooth. 
  • Add peanut butter and Nutella to mixture, stir until completely incorporated.
  • Pour mixture into 8" greased pan and refrigerate until cool and able to cut into bit sized pieces.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Chocolate Cookie Bark

This post was meant for last week and then on Monday and here it is Tuesday evening and the post is still not up. My heart was just not in it after the shooting in CT. As a former elementary school teacher, my heart is broken. I just don't know what to say.

Chocolate Cookie Bark
Recipe from Caramel Potatoes

  • Graham Crackers (I used Honey but it called for Chocolate)
  • 2 bags of chocolate chips (I used a combo of white chocolate and semisweet chips but it would be amazing to use the dark chocolate and mint chips)
  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees. 
  • Line a 11 x 13 baking sheet with foil.
  • Spray the foil with cooking spray.
  • Line the pan with the graham crackers, making one single layer.
  • Cover the graham crackers with the chocolate chips, making a nice even layer on top.
  • Bake for 2-3 minutes until the chips are glossy. Run a knife through the chips to spread the chocolate around the crackers.
  • Remove the bark from the pan (keep the foil - just slide the foil off the pan) and let cool. 
  • You can refrigerate for an hour instead of letting it sit on the counter. 
  • Break into pieces and enjoy!

Monday, December 17, 2012

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Soft Sugar Cookies (12 Weeks of Christmas Treats)

These cookies are one of my favorite cookies to eat during the holiday season, the cookies are soft and the icing is sweet (but not too sweet) and the sprinkles add a tiny extra bit of crunch that is the perfect addition. These cookies are similar to Lofthouse style cookies, un-iced I'd say they resemble a Nilla Wafer cookie but then again, I was eating one of the ones that we were a little more done. :)

Soft Sugar Cookies
Recipe from Two Peas and Their Pod

Cookie Ingredients:
  • 6 cups All Purpose Flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, at room temp
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups sour cream (I used about 1 cup because I bought the wrong size container, whoops!)

Cookie Directions:
  • In a large bowl whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt; set aside.
  • Cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.
  • Add eggs, one at a time, to the butter/sugar mixture and mix until well combined. 
  • Add the vanilla extract and sour cream and mix until well blended.
  • Add the dry ingredients slowly, beating until the dry ingredients are incorporated. The dough will be sticky.
  • Divide the dough in half and flatten into rectangles that are about 1/2 inch thick. Cover dough with plastic wrap and let chill in the fridge for at least 2 hours. 
  • Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.
  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  • When the dough is fully chilled, sprinkle the dough with a little bit of flour and roll out to 1/4 inch thickness. Using your favorite cookie cutters, cut out dough and place on a parchment lined cookie sheet about 1and 1/2 inches apart. The cookies won't spread too much so you can place them pretty close together. 
  • Bake at 425 degrees for 7 minutes or until the edges are lightly golden brown. 
  • Immediately move to a wire rack to cool. When cookies are completely cool, ice them with the following frosting. 
Frosting Ingredients:
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 6 tablespoons heavy cream
 Frosting Directions:
  • In a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and vanilla extract together.
  • Slowly beat in the powdered sugar and salt.
  • Add the heavy cream and beat until the icing becomes smooth, light, and fluffy.
  • If desired, add food coloring.
  • Frost the cookies, add sprinkles (if desired) and let the frosting set before storing the cookies.

It's that time again, the 12 Weeks of Christmas Treats blog hop! Thanks to Brenda at Meal Planning Magic for hosting us this year! Let's see what everybody baked up this week. :) After seeing all these treats, I'm kinda sad we aren't having our holiday party this year, I would love to make so many of these wonderful treats!

Friday, November 30, 2012

Snowman Marshmallows (12 weeks of Christmas Treats)

I have to confess I saw this idea Sweet Adventures of Sugarbelle's blog ( Snowman Marshmallows) and couldn't resist. They are just too darn cute not to share. Perfect to put on a cup of hot chocolate or just plain fun to eat! I didn't pipe on the decorations but used my trusty food color pens to make the faces. I did dust them with some powdered sugar and cornstarch mixture to give them the snowy look. :)

  • Jumbo marshmallows
  • Black icing or food coloring pen
  • Orange icing or food coloring pen
  • 3/4 cup of powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup cornstarch

  • Using a food safe pair of scissors, cut the marshmallows in half. Make sure to try and keep the marshmallow as round as possible. I had to stretch a couple to make sure the faces stay round. 
  • Lay the marshmallows with the cut side up.
  • Dip the marshmallows in the powdered sugar and cornstarch mixture. Dust off the excess sugar mixture.
  • Draw snowman eyes, nose, and mouth on the un-cut side of the marshmallow with either icing or a food safe coloring pen.
And now you have a festive treat for your loved ones! I know I cannot wait to make this for the little kids in our lives. I'm sure they will love them. 

Let's see what the other talented bakers baked up this week. And as always, thank you Brenda @ Meal Planning Magic for hosting the blog hop! It's been a blast so far! :) 

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Peppermint Butter Mints (12 Weeks of Christmas Treats)

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!
It's hard to believe it's here already. It seems just like yesterday it was Halloween. And it's really hard to get into the holiday spirit when it's 80 degrees
today. I'm hoping these little mints with their festive colors get us in that holiday spirit. And I didn't have to turn on the oven to make them! :)

These are buttery peppermint candies that melt in your mouth. Funny story about these: after I made these, I left them on the counter to dry and left to go help out a friend. I was gone longer than I thought and texted hubby to wait on these because they needed to dry but I was too late! I think he was wondering about these (and me!) after he tried them initially. So definitely give them the time to dry out! Or they will taste kinda gummy and you don't want that. :)

They are incredibly easy to make and they make a lot! I can see making gift containers for neighbors, friends, teachers.

Homemade Butter Mints
recipe from Fearless Homemaker

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 5 cups of powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons of milk 
  • 1 tsp peppermint extract
  • Food coloring of your choice
  • In a stand mixer, beat the softened butter until light and fluffy, roughly for 1 minute. 
  • Add the powdered sugar and mix until the sugar mixture is dry and crumbly. Make sure to scrape down the sides of your bowl as you go. 
  • Add the milk and peppermint extract and mix until a dough forms. It should be very thick. It definitely reminded me of playdough when it came together. 
  • Depending on how many different colors you want, divide the dough accordingly. 
  • In order to get the bright colors, I used Americolor gel colors in Super Red and Leaf Green. I used a couple of drops to get the colors bright and vivid. It was hard to stir the colors in so I just mixed the color by hand. Good thing, I have food safe gloves on hand!
  • Dust a piece of parchment with powdered sugar and break of small chunks of the dough. Roll these chunks into logs and then with a butter knife, cut them into small bite sized pieces.
  • Lay out in a single layer and dust them with powdered sugar. Let them dry for at least 24-48 hours. 

Let's see what the other talented bakers have made this week! And as always, thank you Brenda @ Meal Planning Magic for hosting the blog hop!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Andes Mint Cake Balls (12 Weeks of Christmas Treats - Week 8)

So sorry I am late to the blog hop!:( Please forgive my absence the last two weeks as our family went through the loss of a beloved family member and we have been traveling back and forth to the Midwest. While we were there under sad circumstances, it was great to see the Midwest in the fall and feel those colder temperatures.

Now that we are back home, I am starting to feel the holiday spirit. It doesn't hurt that all the Black Friday commercials are starting. Anybody else braving Black Friday? Hubby and I are in the market for a new TV so I imagine we will be out there early as can be! And I definitely think I need these cake balls for that Black Friday holiday spending spree! Filled with decadent chocolate cake and Andes mints. Oh yum! They are so easy to make and absolutely yummy!

Andes Mint Cake Balls
Recipe Inspired by Make It Sweet Cake Ball Class

  • Chocolate Cake Mix
  • Additional Ingredients To Make The Cake.
  • About 1/4 cup of Icing
  • About 1/2 cup of Andes Mints
  • Coating Chocolate
  • Sprinkles
  • Make the chocolate cake as directed on the box. 
  • Allow chocolate cake to cool to room temperature.
  • In a stand mixer, add sections of the cake and mix until the cake is thoroughly crumbled.
  • Add the icing to the crumbled cake mix until the cake resembles a cookie dough consistency. In this step, you may use all the 1/4 cup of icing or you may not. They key is to get the cake mix moist but not too moist.
  • Chop up the Andes mints and add them to the cake mix. Stir until just combined.
  • Using a cookie scoop, scoop the cake mixture into balls and then chill the cake balls in the fridge for 2-3 hours until cold. The cold will help the chocolate harden over the cake balls when we coat the cake balls. 
  • Melt coating chocolate via your preferred method (I prefer to melt my chocolate in small containers in the microwave) and then dip each cake ball into the chocolate making sure to tap off all the excess chocolate before setting them on a cookie sheet covered with parchment paper. 
  • Sprinkle on the sprinkles right after dipping so that the sprinkles can adhere to cake balls. 

Let's see what the other talented bloggers made this week. And thanks again to Brenda @ Meal Planning Magic for hosting the blog hop!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

I'll be back next week

I apologize for my absence on the blog for the past two weeks but we have recently had a death in our family. Our traveling to and from the funeral has prevented me from making cookies these past two weeks. I do promise to back next week with a treat for the holiday season.

Please enjoy the links to the other treats and and as always, thank you Brenda @ Meal Planning Magic for hosting the blog hop!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Peanut Butter and Pretzel Truffles (12 Weeks of Christmas Treats - Week 5)

Is it just me or does anybody else just love the sweet and salty combination in desserts? And these truffles are the perfect solution to my sweet and salty dessert craving. Plus it has peanut butter and chocolate and what girl can resist that combo? :) Perfect for your holiday trays or gifts for your neighbors and friends. I love giving homemade gifts to the people in our lives, do you?

Peanut Butter and Pretzel Truffles
Recipe Adapted from Brown Eyed Baker

  • 1 1/4 cup crushed pretzels
  • 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • A pinch of salt
  • 3 tablespoons powdered sugar
  • 1 cup of Wilton chocolate candy melts or semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable shortening (I used a hi-ratio shortening because that's what I had on hand)
  • 1/4 cup peanut butter, melted
  • In a small bowl, combine the peanut butter, butter, brown sugar, and salt. Stir until all ingredients are blended well. 
  • Add the pretzel pieces to the the peanut butter mixture and mix until well blended.
  • Slowly add powdered sugar to peanut butter mixture and mix well.
  • Line a cookie sheet with parchment or waxed paper.
  • Using a small cookie scoop, scoop the peanut butter mixture and then roll into balls. 
  • Place peanut butter and pretzel balls into the refrigerator for 30 minutes or until the truffles are firm.
  • When the truffles are firm, prepare the chocolate for dipping. Melt the chocolate and vegetable shortening at 30 second intervals until completely melted. Depending on the power of your microwave, you may want to melt the chocolate at half-power so you don't burn it.
  • Working one at a time, dip the truffles into the melted chocolate and use a fork to roll the truffle around to make sure the truffle is completely covered.
  • Let any excess chocolate run off the truffle (I like to use a plastic fork and gently tap it on the side of my bowl to get the excess chocolate off) and then transfer the truffle to the parchment or waxed paper.
  • Repeat with all the truffles.
  • Return the truffles to the refrigerator to chill for another 30 minutes to help the truffles finish setting up.
  • Melt the extra peanut butter in a pastry or ziploc bag and pipe designs on top of the truffles. Top the truffles with a small piece of pretzel or some pretzel crumbs.
  • Store in the refrigerator in an airtight container. 

It's that time again! Let's see what the other bloggers have baked up for us this week. Check out Brenda @ Meal Planning Magic to see how to join the party!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Pie Bites (12 Weeks of Christmas Treats- Week 4)

Ok, I have to admit something to y'all. These pie bites are ah-mazing. And so super easy that I seriously dread telling you the recipe because it is so simple. But I'm a giving girl and you'll thank me later for this awesome recipe, I just know you will.

Chocolate Pudding Pie Bites
Recipe from Food Pusher via Pinterest

  • Refrigerated Pie Crust
  • Instant or Ready to Cook Chocolate Pudding
  • Whipped Cream in a Can

  • Roll out refrigerated pie crust to 1/8" thick and cut into desired shapes (I used a scalloped square cookie cutter).
  • Poke holes into the crust so that the pie crust doesn't bubble over.
  • Bake for 11-13 minutes until golden brown.
  • Make the pudding following the directions on the box and let chill for at least 2 -3 hours.
  • Pipe the pudding onto the crust with a piping or ziploc bag.
  • Add a dollop of whipped cream to the top of the pudding.
  • Add some sprinkles to the top for a bit of color. :)
  • Serve immediately. 
  • If you need to make these ahead of time, wait on the whipped cream (trust me, on this one! :) ) And then put the whipped cream on top just before serving.
Seriously, that is it! And your friends and family will thank you. Enjoy!

Let's see what the other bloggers are baking up this week. Drop by Brenda's @ Meal Planning Magic to find out how to join in on all the fun.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Chocolate Amaretto Whoopie Pies (12 Weeks of Christmas Treats)

As we continue our journey with holiday treats, my contribution is a bit different this week. Normally, I would make whoopie pies during summer time but these are so good that I broke my unwritten rule. They would be so pretty drizzled with melted red and green melted chocolate.

I like the contrast of white on dark on these whoopie pies. You could also add some sprinkles on the chocolate before they harden and make it festive that way as well.

One thing I will mention is that these are so good just out of the fridge. I would definitely recommend keeping them in the fridge (if they last more than a few hours!)

Chocolate and Amaretto Whoopie Pies
Recipe Adapted from Tracey's Culinary Adventures

  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 cups unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tablespoon baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 2 cups buttermilk, room temperature
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp amaretto liquor or extract (I used extract)

Directions for the Cookies:
  • In a medium bowl, sift the flour, salt, cocoa powder, baking soda, and baking powder together.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, roughly about 3-4 minutes. 
  • Add the eggs and beat until just combined. 
  • Mix in the buttermilk and amaretto extract (the batter will look a bit curdled at this point but it will come together in the next step). 
  • With the mixer on low, gradually add the dry ingredients, beating until just combined. Make sure not to over mix.
  • Chill the dough for 30 minutes. 
  • Line baking sheets with parchment paper. 

 After dough is chilled...
  • Preheat oven to 350 F. 
  • Using a small cookie scoop, portion the batter onto one of the prepared baking sheets, spacing the cookies about 2 inches apart. (smooth down any rough edges or peaks sticking up with a wet fingertip.)
  • Bake (one sheet at a time) for about 10 minutes, or until the cookies spring back when gently pressed. 
  • Transfer the baking sheet to a wire rack and let the cookies cool for a few minutes then remove the cookies to the wire rack to cool completely. 
  • Repeat with all of the dough, alternating baking sheets.

Marshmallow Creme Frosting
  • 2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened to room temperature
  • 7 oz jar of marshmallow fluff
  • 1 tsp clear vanilla extract
  •  Mix all ingredients together with either a hand mixer or stand mixer until smooth and light and fluffy.
Assembling tips:
  • Match the cookies based on size.
  • Transfer the filling to a piping or ziploc bag and pipe a small amount on the flat side of a cookie.
  • Melt some white chocolate in a piping or ziploc bag and drizzle over completed whoopie pies and let set for a few minutes before eating.

Let's see what the other bloggers have on tap this week! Check out Brenda @ meal Planning Magic for details about joining us!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Peanut Butter and Chocolate Chip Cookies (12 Weeks of Christmas Treats)

It's another week of the 12 Weeks of Christmas Treats! I loved seeing all the goodies everyone baked up last week. It's so much fun getting ideas for holiday treats. Each year, we throw a holiday party and I love being able to have new desserts for everyone to try. :)

Check out all the links at the bottom and go make some new bloggy friends! Thanks again to Brenda @ Meal Planning Magic for hosting us this year. :)

Here is my contribution to this week's list of goodies: Peanut Butter and Chocolate Chip Cookies with Almonds. I love the combination of peanut butter and chocolate together and these cookies do not disappoint. They taste like a Reese's Peanut Butter Cup cookie with a little bit of crunch from the almonds. Yum! Comfort cookies for sure.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies with Almonds
Recipe from Fearless Homemaker (adapted slightly)

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature 
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar 
  • 1/4 cup sugar 
  • 1 egg 
  • 3/4 cup creamy peanut butter 
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda 
  • 1 1/4 cups all purpose flour 
  • 3/4 cup chocolate chips 
  • 1/2 cup almonds, diced
  • Cream the butter and sugars together using a hand held mixer or a stand mixer with the paddle attachment. 
  • Slowly mix in the peanut butter, egg, and vanilla (in that order). 
  • Gently add in the baking soda, flour, and salt, making sure not to overmix.
  • Fold in the chocolate chips and almonds. 
  • Chill dough in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes. 
  • After chilling, preheat oven to 350 degrees. 
  • Drop chilled dough by teaspoonfuls onto a parchment lined cookie sheet.
  • Bake cookies for 8-10 minutes. 
  • Cookies might not look completely done in the middle but will set up as they cool. 
  • Cool on a wire rack for at least 10 minutes and then enjoy! 

Monday, October 1, 2012

New Look

A couple of new changes to the blog are going on this week. I am excited about the new design, the cupcake header is a picture of my favorite cupcake design. The ruffles are so pretty. :) I'm working on changing the comment section as well. I want to be able to thread comments and have a bit of a cleaner look to the comment section. Plus having the ability to reply to each comment has always been on my wish list.Hopefully, that will be up and running soon. Hope you enjoy the changes!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies with Sea Salt

Two seasons ago, I vowed never to watch The Chew because it had taken the place of All My Children. Did anyone else feel that way? It took some months but I finally decided to give The Chew a try and I found did actually enjoy it. Maybe it's the combo of Clinton and Michael, who knows but it's certainly on my watch list now. Especially since Michael Symon made these babies. Oh my, chocolate molten heaven. They are best straight out of the oven. Delectable gooey chocolate paired with chocolate and sea salt. Yum!

Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies with Sea Salt
Recipe by Michael Symon of The Chew

  • 1 Stick unsalted Butter (room temperature)
  • 1/2 cup Sugar
  • 1/2 cup Dark Brown Sugar
  • 1 Egg
  • 2 teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 1 1/2 cup All-Purpose Flour
  • 1/4 cup Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon Baking Powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt
  • 1 cup Dark Chocolate Chips
  • 2 tablespoons Flaked Sea Salt (or more as needed)
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  
  • Line baking sheet with parchment.
  • In a medium bowl, gently whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together butter, sugar and dark brown sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg and vanilla extract until incorporate.
  • Gradually add the flour mixture into the butter mixture. Make sure not to over mix or cookies will be tough. On the last addition of the flour mixture add the chocolate chips and fold to incorporate.
  • Scoop 2 heaping tablespoons of batter and drop onto baking sheet. For a more uniform cookie measure each scoop and roll into a ball before placing on baking sheet. Place dough 2 inches apart. Sprinkle a generous pinch of salt onto each cookie.
  • Bake for 10-12 minutes or until the center of the cookies are just set. For a crispy cookie bake for 2 more minutes. 
  • Let cool slightly on sheet pan and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

And it's that time of year again! 12 weeks of Christmas Treats! Thank you Brenda from Meal Planning Magic for hosting this blog hop again. I had so much fun last year and I can't wait to see what everybody bakes up. :)


Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Well, hello again!

 Hello! Hello? Oh hi, so glad you are still here.

So sorry for the lack of posting this spring and summer. I really have no excuse other than I am a bad blogger. Life got ahead of me and some things had to go to the wayside for a bit. I apologize and I plan to back with at least 1 -2 posts per week this fall and winter. :)

But I'm back and just in time for the 12 Weeks of Christmas Cookies blog hop that starts in a few weeks. I'm so excited to be a part of the blog hop again and see all the lovely creations my fellow bloggers make. :)

Stay tuned for some more cookie, cupcake, and cake recipes this fall.


Friday, February 10, 2012

Chocolate Covered Strawberries

Why haven't I made these before? They are super simple to make and you can decorate them any way you please. I made these for my husband as a different type of sweet treat (he's been eating cookies for a few weeks now) and they are as delicious as they are simple.

Here's my attempt, what do you think?

Happy Friday everyone!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Valentine Heart Cookies

Just for my hubby!

Here's a quick peek at some Valentine cookies I made this week. I was practicing some new techniques. :)

Thursday, January 19, 2012

My Adventures in Stuffed Pepper Making

I absolutely love bell peppers. It's one of those foods I refused to eat when I was a child and then my father-in-law came along and made me try one and I was hooked. I cannot get enough of them. Peppers as a snack, on a salad, in stirfry or pasta, I love 'em. So why on Earth have I not made stuffed peppers before?

Hmmm, I'm not a terribly huge fan of ground beef so perhaps that is why but these stuffed peppers are different. They are Southwestern style stuffed peppers. I knew that would get my husband's attention. He loves anything spicy. And he loved these but one word of warning: they are filling! I could barely finish one pepper and my husband got down one and half.

Southwestern Stuffed Peppers
Recipe adapted from Kayln's Kitchen

  • 6 large bell peppers, any color (red, green, yellow, orange)
  • 1 lb. extra lean ground beef
  • 1/2 onion, chopped 
  • 1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can diced tomatoes (14.5 oz. can)
  • 1 can (4 oz.) diced green chiles
  • 1 tsp. chile powder 
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 2 cups cooked white rice 
  • 1 cup grated cheese
  • 1 cup salsa
  • Preheat oven to 375 F.
  • In large frying pan, brown ground beef well and drain off fat.
  • Add onions to beef mixture and saute for  3-4 minutes, until well softened.
  • Add rinsed black beans, tomatoes and juice, green chiles and juice, chile powder, and cumin.
  • Reduce heat to low and simmer 5-10 minutes or until most of the liquid has evaporated.
  • If you are lucky enough to have a helper, they can do this step while you make the filling but if not just let the beef mixture simmer while you cut and seed the peppers.
  • Cut off the tops of the peppers and carefully remove all the seeds. If you are having trouble with them staying upright, you can cut a very slim slice from the bottom of each pepper to even out the bottom.
  • When the beef mixture seems fairly dry, turn off heat and mix in cooked rice and cheese, and salsa. Place peppers in a dish small enough to hold them compactly and then stuff each pepper with the meat/rice mixture, pushing it down so peppers are tightly filled. Put the tops back on the peppers and then cover with foil.
  • Bake at 375 for 30 minutes. Remove foil, and bake 10-20 minutes more, until tops are slightly browned and pepper skin can be pierced easily with a fork. Serve immediately.


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