Monday, June 25, 2012

BEST Caramel Corn {without using popcorn}

This recipe is different from my other caramel popcorn recipe. Some of the ingredients are the same but the result is VERY different.  Don't try to questions it:) Trust me, just go and get the ingredients and make it tonight! I promise it won't disappoint. I made this for my son's preschool teachers as their  end of the year gift. They loved it! Thanks Aunt Diane, you are the best cook I know!

Caramel Corn

2 bags of white puffed corn (I used the $2/bag Chesters brand)
3 sticks of butter (3/4 pound) YIKES I know but trust me
2 cups brown sugar
1/2 cup light Karo syrup
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp baking soda

Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Cover a rimmed cookie sheet with wax paper. Set aside. Pour puffed corn into a large bowl. Set aside.  Melt butter in medium saucepan. Add sugar and syrup. Stirring constantly, boil for 5 min. Take off heat and add vanilla and baking soda. Pour caramel over puffed corn and mix until corn is fully covered. Pour covered puffed corn onto the wax papered pan. Spread evenly. Bake 40 minutes but be sure to stir the puffed corn around the pan every 10 minutes or it will burn. Allow to cool and enjoy. Store in air tight container.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

sweet gift idea

I made this for my father's birthday back in February. It's all his grand children's hand-prints in the shape of "I love you" in sign language. Right after I gave it to him we found out there will be another grandchild born this year. We are so excited!

Monday, March 26, 2012

Beef Stroganoff

This recipe is surprisingly fast. All my kids ate it up too so I will definitely make this more often.

1 pound top sirloin steak
1/2 tsp. Salt
1/4 tsp. Pepper
3 T butter, divided
8 oz. mushrooms
1 small onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
3/4 cup water
1 tsp. Beef bouillon granules or one bouillon cube
2 T flour
1 T Worcestershire sauce
rounded 1/2 cup sour cream

Slice steak into strips about 2 inches long and 1/4 inch thick. Generously salt and pepper both sides. Use more in needed. Set aside.

Melt 2 T. butter in large skillet over med heat and add mushrooms, onion. Saute 4-5 min or until mushrooms are tender. Add garlic Saute for about 30 seconds. Remove mushrooms, onions and garlic from pan and set aside.

Increase heat to med-high and add one more T of butter to pan. Add beef and saute while stirring for about 3-5 minutes or until pink is no longer visible.

Whisk water, bouillon, flour and Worcestershire sauce together until smooth. Add this mixture to the beef and then add mushroom mixture in as well. Bring to simmer and cook about 2 minutes so sauce will thicken. Remove pan from heat and stir in sour cream. Serve over egg noodles or rice.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Liebster Blog


I have not been a very good blogger lately. I could list many reasons why but really there is no excuse which is why I was so surprised to be awarded one of five Liebster blogs (meaning dearest blog) from noted home.  It's an awesome design blog with so many beautiful ideas I only wish I could recreate. Amber is a very talented woman not only in design so you should check out her blog! Since I was awarded this love I wish to pass it on. I will pick 5 blogs to award.

If you are selected, you need to:
Choose FIVE up and coming blogs to award the Liebster to (they must have less than 200 followers)
  1. Show your thanks to the blogger who gave you the award by linking back to them.
  2. Post the award on your blog.
  3. List the bloggers you are giving this award to with links to their sites.
  4. Best of all, have fun and share the love!
And the Liebster Awards go to:

1. Lisa over at Chocolate Cake with Cream. She needs to open a bakery. No Joke! She also has crafts on her blog too so I love to check out what she has created. 

2. Tamber's blog Colorful Cravings  has it all! Cakes, crafts, decor and many more.

3. Andrea and Megan's blog 2nd and Strand takes two different design concepts. One from the East coast and one from the West coast. Love it!

4. Annette is one of those super moms. Her blog Tips from a Typical Mom has great tips on everything and anything you come across being a mother.

5. Last but not least is 3 little chicks blog. I love her sewing projects. They really inspire me to get my sewing machine out more often.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Neiman-Marcus $250 Chocolate Chip Cookies Recipe

 This is my version of the Neiman-Marcus cookie. Apparently someone paid $250 for the recipe.  Sorry there isn't a picture. I could not find my camera charger before we ate the whole plate of cookies. This makes about 36 great sized cookies. Follow the baking steps from my classic chocolate chip cookie recipe.

1 cup butter
1 cup sugar 
1 cup packed brown sugar
2.5 cups blended oatmeal
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon baking soda
 1/2 teaspoon salt
12 ounces chocolate chips
1 (8 ounce) Hershey Symphony bar (grated)*


  1.  Cream the butter and both sugars.
  2. Measure oatmeal and blend in a blender to a fine powder.
  3. Add eggs and vanilla.
  4. Mix together with flour, oatmeal, salt, baking powder and soda.
  5. Add chocolate chips, grated Hershey Bar*.
  6. Roll into 1 inch balls and place 2-inches apart on a cookie sheet.
  7. Bake for 10 minutes at 375° or until golden.
    *tip: blend the chocolate bar in a blender until desired similar to grated pieces.
    recipe adapted

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Kid Tested Chicken Cresent Roll Casserole

Chicken Cresent Roll Casserole **this makes enough to fill one 9x13" dish and one 8x8"dish.**

2 (8 ounce) cans Pillsbury Refrigerated Crescent Dinner Rolls
1 (10 3/4 ounce) can of cheese soup, undiluted
3/4 cup grated cheddar cheese
1/2 cup milk

4 ounces cream cheese (very soft)
4 tablespoons butter (very soft but not melted)
1/2-1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/3 cup onion, finely chopped
2 cans of diced cooked chicken
1/2-3/4 cup finely grated cheddar cheese
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
2-4 tablespoons mayonnaise
1-2 cup grated cheddar cheese (for topping)


Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter a casserole dishs (any size to hold crescent rolls). In a saucepan, mix milk, 3/4 cup grated cheese (can use more cheese if desired) and undiluted cheese soup. Heat just until the cheese melts (do not boil).

For the filling --- (make certain that the cream cheese and butter are very soft) in a bowl, mix the soft cream cheese with butter until very smooth, then add in garlic powder. Add in the chopped chicken, onion and cheddar cheese; mix well until combined. Add in 2 tablespoons mayonnaise; mix to combine (add in a little more if the mixture seems too dry). Season with salt and black pepper to taste.

Unroll the crescent rolls. Place 1 heaping tablespoon chicken mixture (or a little more) on top of each crescent triangle, then roll up starting at the thicker end. Drizzle soup mixture on the bottom of the dish.Then place the crescent rolls seam-side down on top of the creamed mixture in the casserole. Sprinkle with 1 cup (or more) grated cheese, or amount desired. Bake for about 30 minutes.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Freezer Shakes

Here is my first ant- cold cereal recipe:)  My husband goes to work early in the morning and is ALWAYS in a hurry. I am not the wife that gets up and makes him breakfast (sorry babe) so here is a great idea for making sure he gets out the door with something quick and healthy!

For this post I am using a high protein spinach shake that my husband likes. You can apply this method to any shake you like to make. We have a magic bullet so this method is perfect but you can freeze your shake in quart sized freezer bags to fit your traditional blender as well.

Take the container you will be blending the shake in and put a quart sized freezer bag in it so you don't put more than it can handle.
Stuff it with sliced bananas, blueberries, sliced strawberries, 1 tablespoon peanut butter, 1 tablespoon plain Greek yogurt, 1 tsp. Agave nectar, handful of fresh washed and dried baby spinach leaves.
Freezes in the shape of the cup so all you have to do in the morning is add nonfat milk and blend. No ice needed!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Bye Bye Cereal

For about a month we have stopped serving cold cereal in my home. I got fed up with my kids fighting over what kind of cereal they wanted or having a meltdown because the kind they like ran out. It has been much easier than I thought. Sure I have to get up 10-15 minutes earlier to make a hot breakfast but it's worth it. Most days we will do oatmeal with fruit or yogurt with granola but I have a few recipes to share. The next few recipes I post will feature make ahead yummy breakfast alternatives. The first one here is baked oatmeal. You can freeze these and set them out before and they will thaw by morning.

Baked Oatmeal Muffins

3 eggs
1 Tablespoon vanilla
1 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 cup sugar (I used no calorie sweetener instead)
1 very ripe banana, sliced
1 cup fruit of your choice or chocolate chips
5 cup old fashioned oats
1 teaspoon salt
3 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup flax seed, ground
1 Tablespoon cinnamon
2 1/2 cup 1% milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, mix eggs, vanilla, applesauce, and sugar until combined.
Add banana, and other fruit of your choice. (If using chocolate chips add them last) In another bowl, mix oats, salt, baking powder, flax seed, and cinnamon. Dump dry ingredients into wet ingredients; mix well. Pour in milk and stir until combined. Spray two 12 cup muffin tins with cooking spray or use cupcake liners. Scoop mixture evenly into muffin cups. Bake 35-40 minutes or until the center of each muffin is set. Cool and enjoy — or freeze them in gallon freezer bags.

Monday, January 16, 2012

New favorite dip

My dad told me about this recipe. I don't know where it came from but it's my new favorite dip. I have made it a few times so far and it's well worth the pomegranate work.  I am sorry for the not so great pictures. I was in a huge hurry last time I made it that I didn't take the time to make sure the lighting was good.

Pomegranate and Avacado Dip

2 pomegranates, seeds only
2 avocados,  chopped
2 tomatoes, chopped
2 Tablespoons onion, finely diced
1/2 tsp. red cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp. ground corriander
1 tsp. Salt
1 lemon, just juice

Mix all together in bowl. Let chill in fridge before serving. Serve with chips or Fritos scoops.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Goodbye Goodies

Well it's a new year and I am not pregnant (couldn't cook/bake much while sick) so my husbands diet is back on track. I made these delicious cupcakes to say goodbye to sweets for a while.

Inspired by these

Chocolate Cherry Dr. Pepper Cupcakes

3 cups all purpose flour
6 T cocoa powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
2 large eggs
1 cup buttermilk*
1 1/2 cups Cherry Dr. Pepper
3 tsp vanilla

* you can make your own buttermilk by adding 1 tsp. vinegar to milk and let sit 10 min.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line muffin pans with liners or spray with baking spray. Sift together flour, baking soda, salt and cocoa in a bowl and set aside.

In a mixing bowl or stand mixer, combine sugar and butter and beat on medium-high until light and creamy. Mix in the eggs one at a time, beating about 1 minute after each. In a large mixing cup or small bowl, combine buttermilk, Dr. Pepper and vanilla. (Make sure you wait for the foam to go down when measuring the soda and don't worry if your mixture looks curdled when you add the buttermilk.)

Beginning with the dry ingredient mix, add in 4 parts to the butter mixture, alternating with the soda mixture. Beat each addition just until incorporated.

Transfer the batter to the muffin tins, filling each tin about 2/3 of the way full. Bake for 18-20 minutes until the tops spring back when touched lightly and a toothpick inserted in the center cupcake comes out clean. Cool about 5 minutes in the pan and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
4 T Dr. Pepper

Mix together with a whisk in a small bowl. You are going to glaze the top of the un-iced cupcakes. Let glaze dry before icing. The mixture should run slowly off a spoon so you can drizzle the cupcakes but it won't run all over the place.

1 1/2 cups heavy cream
6 T powdered sugar
Maraschino Cherries for garnish

Beat cream in a chilled bowl with whisk attachment or hand mixer on low speed. Begin adding sugar, 1 spoonful at a time, increasing speed as the cream comes together. Whip the cream until it holds stiff peaks.  Pipe the whipped cream onto cupcakes as desired and top with maraschino cherries for garnish.