Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Almond Bark Puffcorn

I just had to share this quick recipe so that everyone can enjoy it over the upcoming holiday. I first tried this yummy snack last Christmas when it was brought to one of the schools where I work. I was fascinated by the delicious blend of salty and sweet. It is even more amazing when you learn how easy and simple the ingredients are for this addicting treat! If you are looking for a unique homemade gift for a friend or a tasty contribution for a family get together......this is it!
Almond Bark Puffcorn

1 (24 oz.) package Almond Bark
1 (3 1/2 oz) regular sized bag of Puffcorn
sprinkles (optional)

In a medium size microwaveable bowl, put the entire block of almond bark. Microwave for 90 seconds and then stir until completely melted. Empty the bag of puffcorn into a large bowl. Pour the melted almond bark on top of the puffcorn and stir until it is completely coated.  Spread out onto wax or aluminum foil. Shake sprinkles across the top (if desired). Allow to dry and then place into ziploc bags or a plastic container. 

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Red Velvet Crinkle Cookies

This is one of those stand by recipes that you know will turn out delicious even if it is super easy!!! Red Velvet Crinkle Cookies are the perfect treat for a Christmas party, cookie exchange or neighbor gifts. You can change the flavor of the cookie by using different cake mixes...but my favorite will always be red velvet. The recipe only requires a few ingredients but delivers big on taste!!!
Red Velvet Crinkle Cookies

1 box of Red Velvet Cake mix
2 eggs
1/3 cup of vegetable oil
1 cup or more of powdered sugar 

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Mix together red velvet cake mix, eggs and vegetable oil in a large bowl (batter will be thick). Put powdered sugar in a separate small bowl.Use a cookie scoop to form dough into balls and then roll each ball in the powdered sugar until covered. Place on a Pam sprayed cookie sheet.....leaving about 2 inches between cookies. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes until the cookies brown slightly on the edges. 
Makes about 2 dozen cookies. 

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Easy Zuppa Toscana Soup

Recently I purchased a new cookbook called Fix It and Forget It Slow Cooker Magic from Hobby Lobby in the fall decorations section. It has 550 everyday crockpot recipes....so I had to buy it!!! Ironically enough when I made the Zuppa Toscana soup, I was so rushed in the afternoon that I was unable to get the ingredients in the crockpot. So I adapted this recipe into an easy one pot meal that came together in just 30 minutes. It was truly a breeze to cook and the results were delicious!! This soup will definitely be in our regular dinner rotation especially during the cold winter months. We served the soup along with crusty French bread.....so good!!!

Easy Zuppa Toscana Soup

1 lb. ground Italian Sausage (Mild)
4-6 potatoes, chopped 
1 small onion, diced
3-4 garlic cloves, minced
32 oz. carton chicken broth
1 cup kale, chopped
1 cup heavy whipping cream
2 Tablespoons flour
red pepper flakes, to taste
salt & pepper, to taste

In a large soup pot, brown sausage until no longer pink. Add onion and garlic; stir until tender. (5 minutes) Add potatoes to soup pot; then add the 32 oz. carton of chicken broth...plus additional chicken broth or water if needed to cover the potatoes. Boil for 10-12 minutes or until the potatoes are done. In a separate small bowl, whisk together flour and cream until smooth. Stir flour/cream mixture and chopped kale into the soup pot. Simmer on low for 20-30 minutes until broth thickens slightly. Serve soup in bowls and season with red pepper flakes and/or salt & pepper to taste. Enjoy!!!

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Crockpot Sausage Green Beans & Potatoes

I'm a big fan of easy "all in one" crockpot meals! Nothing is better than putting in a little time of meal prep in the morning and ending up with a delicious dinner that the whole family will eat. You don't even need a piece of paper to remember these simple ingredients at the grocery store. Of course you could swap out the veggies to whatever you prefer but we loved the combo of potatoes and green beans. This made plenty of food for our family of five which allowed us to have yummy leftovers for lunch the next day. Enjoy this with a slice of French bread and a side salad......pure comfort food!!!
Crockpot Sausage, Green Beans & Potatoes

8-10 small potatoes, peeled and diced
1 large onion, chopped
2 (14 oz.) packages smoked sausage, sliced
2 (28 oz.) cans cut green beans

Place potatoes on the bottom of a greased crockpot. Layer chopped onions and sliced sausage. Pour both cans of green beans (do not drain the liquid) on top. Season with salt, pepper, garlic powder and onion powder if desired. Cook on low for 8 hours.  
Original recipe from 


Thursday, May 19, 2016

Paula Deen's Chocolate Chip Ooey Gooey Butter Cake

Usually when you see the name "Paula Deen" beside a recipe, you would automatically assume that it isn't very diet friendly!! Of course this recipe is no exception and has a total of TWO sticks of butter plus a heaping side of powdered sugar and chocolate!!  I've been anxious to try this decadent dessert for awhile and used the excuse of my kid's last day of school to treat ourselves. I've made similar versions of this recipe in the past which include Paula Deen's basic Ooey Gooey Butter Cake and the Pumpkin Ooey Gooey Butter cake recipe. This recipe does not disappoint and provides the perfect combination of sweet chocolate with rich cream cheese. We tried our first bite a few hours after it baked while it was still warm and gooey. It was also yummy the next day cold right out of the refrigerator. This would be a great summer treat served along with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or anytime you need a unique dessert for a pot luck!!!
Paula Deen's Chocolate Chip
 Ooey Gooey Butter Cake

For the crust:
1 box yellow cake mix
1 large egg
1 stick salted butter, melted (8 tablespoons)
For the filling:
1 (8 oz.)package cream cheese, room temperature
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 box powdered sugar (16 ounces)
1 stick salted butter, melted (8 tablespoons)
1 package semisweet chocolate chips (12 ounces) (original recipe only calls for 1 cup chips)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly butter or spray Pam inside a 9 x 13 inch baking dish. Pour cake mix into mixing bowl, add egg and melted butter. Mix until well combined with a electric hand mixer. Scrape batter into prepared baking dish. Using clean hands, press the dough evenly into the bottom of the pan; set aside. In the used mixing bowl, beat cream cheese until fluffy. Add 2 eggs and 1 teaspoon vanilla; beat until very well combined. With mixer at medium-low speed, gradually add powdered sugar until thoroughly combined. Gradually add 1 stick melted butter and then the bag of chocolate chips; mix well.  Pour filling mixture over the crust batter and spread evenly. Bake at 350 degrees for 40-45 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool for at least 2 hours before cutting. 

Pumpkin Gooey: Use a spice mix instead of yellow cake. Follow the original recipe, adding a 15 ounce can of pumpkin pie filling and an extra egg to the cream cheese filling. Bake as usual. Top each serving with a dollop of whipped cream. 
Peanut Butter Gooey: Use a chocolate cake mix instead of yellow cake. Add 1 cup creamy peanut butter and an extra egg to cream cheese filling. Bake as usual. 

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Tamale Casserole

I'm always excited to find another yummy casserole recipe to add to my collection. This tamale recipe did not disappoint!!! The end result creates a cheesy Mexican style dinner that can be easily adapted to your likes with the addition of salsa, guacamole, sour cream, diced onions and/or cilantro on top!!! I chose to bake this casserole in a 9x13 inch glass pan; but the recipe is written for options of baking it in a 9x9 inch pan or large cast iron skillet. I liked the 9x13 pan size because it makes a thinner cornbread crust and produces more servings which is great for leftovers the next day! 
Tamale Casserole

1 box of Jiffy Corn Muffin Mix (standard 8.5 oz box)
1/3 cup milk
1 egg
1 small can (4.5 oz) diced green chiles
1 can of corn or creamed corn 
1 pound ground beef
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 can (10 oz.) enchilada sauce (I used Mild)
2 cups shredded cheese (I used Mexican blend)

Optional toppings: Salsa, Guacamole, Sour Cream, Cilantro, Lime wedges, Diced Green Onions, Shredded Cheese

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Whisk together Jiffy Corn Muffin Mix, milk and egg. Stir in green chiles and corn. Pour into a greased 9x13 inch baking pan. Bake until set (a toothpick should come out clean) about 20-25 minutes.  While cornbread is baking, combine beef with spices and saute in a skillet over medium heat until fully cooked, about 10 minutes. If needed, drain grease and set aside. Once cornbread is done baking, reduce oven to 350 degrees. Poke holes in cornbread with a fork and pour the enchilada sauce over it. Top with the ground beef and then the shredded cheese; cover with aluminum foil. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes. Remove foil and bake until cheese begins to brown, about 5-10 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes before serving with desired toppings.
Original recipe from 2 Teaspoons

Monday, February 22, 2016

Custard Cake

After seeing this "magic" recipe floating around pinterest this past month, I just knew that I had to try it!!! I'm so glad I did because the taste is yummy and unique. Overall the recipe looked pretty easy with basic ingredients and like magic it separates into three layers....a cake layer on top, a custard layer in the middle and another thin dense crust on the bottom.  Plus the options for creativity with this recipe are endless!!! I'm already planning out different ways to make this with chocolate flavors, lemon flavors, etc... The original recipe creates a layered dessert that blends together vanilla cake and traditional custard pie. It isn't overly sweet which is a nice fresh change from your typical cake type dessert. This would be the perfect spring-time treat to keep in your refrigerator and cut a small piece whenever you like! I love the flavor of nutmeg with custard pie so I added a few shakes of ground nutmeg on my serving. So surprisingly good!!!!
Custard Cake

1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled
2 cups milk, lukewarm
4 eggs, separated 
1 1/4 cups powdered sugar
1 Tablespoon water
1 cup flour
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Optional: powdered sugar for dusting and/or ground nutmeg for dusting 

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Lightly grease a 8x8 baking dish, set aside.   In a medium size bowl, whisk the egg whites until stiff peaks form and set aside.  In another large bowl, beat the egg yolks and 1 1/4 cups powdered sugar until it turns pale yellow.  Then mix in the melted butter and the  Tablespoon of water (for about 2 minutes) until evenly combined.  Mix in the flour until evenly incorporated. Slowly beat in the milk and vanilla extract until everything is well mixed.  With a spatula or large spoon, fold in the egg whites, 1/3 at a time. Repeat until all of the egg whites are folded in. (The batter will look runny, weird and lumpy) Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 45 to 60 minutes or until the cake is barely jiggly in the center.  If the top browns too quick before the minimum of 45 minutes, then cover the cake with aluminum foil for the remainder of cooking time needed. Allow cake to completely cool before cutting. You may dust with powdered sugar before serving.