Monday, December 19, 2011

Gingerbread Pumpkin Bread

Gingerbread Pumpkin Bread

Ingredients You Need:

  • 3 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  • 2/3 cup orange juice
  • 1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin puree
  • 2 teaspoons pumpkin spice mix
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease 10 inch Bundt pan (or 2 loaf pans)
  2. In a large mixing, combine sugar, oil and eggs; beat until smooth. Add orange juice and beat until well blended. Stir in pumpkin, cranberries and spices.
  3. In medium bowl, combine flour, soda, salt, and baking powder. Add dry ingredients to pumpkin mixture and blend just until all ingredients are mixed. Pour into Bundt pan or divide batter between the 2 prepared pans.
  4. Bake in preheated oven until toothpick comes out clean, about 1 hour 15 minutes.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Mocha Chip Snowballs (adapted from previous snowball recipe)

3/4 cup margarine or butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg
2 tsp Coffee Mixture*
2 cups flour
1 tsp salt
1 cup dark choco chocolate chips
1 cup confectioners sugar

Cream butter and sugar until fluffy.
Add egg and coffee; mix well. Add the flour and salt and mix to combine. 
Fold in chips.

Roll into 1-inch ball.  Place 1-inch apart on ungreased baking sheet.  Bake at 350 for approx. 15 minutes.  Remove to wire racks.  Cool only slightly before rolling in confectioners sugar.

*I made coffee mixture by mixing enough instant coffee with water.  I did 2 well rounded tsp of instant coffee with about 2 1/2 tsp of water. 

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Cream Cheese Sugar Cookies

  • What you need:

  • 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1/3 cup softened cream cheese
  • 1 1/2 cups white sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). In a small bowl, stir together flour, baking soda, and baking powder. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, cream together the butter, sugar and cream cheese until smooth. Beat in egg and vanilla. Gradually blend in the dry ingredients. Roll rounded teaspoonfuls of dough into balls, and place onto ungreased cookie sheets.
  3. Bake 10 to 12 minutes in the preheated oven, or until golden. Let stand on cookie sheet two minutes before removing to cool on wire racks.

You can add frosting after they are cooled.  You can stick some M&Ms in the cookies while still warm.  I've also used the cookies for Snickerdoodles..roll the cookie balls in a sugar/cinnamon mixture and flatten with fingers before baking.  The best part is watching the kids munch on cookies that they love!

Snickerdoodles today!!

Getting ready to fire up the KitchenAid, get the boys ready and make some Christmas cookies.
Check back this afternoon for details of our great adventure!!!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Dark Chocolate Mint Fudge

Sweet and Minty Christmas Treat.  
I find that having all the ingredients, equipment like the spoon and pan prepared makes everything go quickly! You will love the results so much, it won't be long until you have the ingredients memorized!  You can switch different kinds of chips or extracts (vanilla, mint, almond, or even coffee)

Ingredients you'll need:
3 cups granulated sugar
3/4 cup butter or margarine (1 1/2 sticks)
2/3 cup evaporated (not condensed) milk
12 oz Dark Chocolate Chips
1 jar Marshmallow Creme
1 tsp Mint Extract
1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

Line a 9X9 pan with foil or grease generously with butter.
  1. In medium saucepan and medium heat,
  2. Melt the butter/margarine
  3. Add sugar and evaporated milk
  4. Bring to a boil and boil for 4 minutes or candy thermometer reaches 234 degrees. Stir constantly. (if you don't keep stirring you'll end up with crystallized sugar pieces in your what should be smooth fudge)
  5. Remove from heat and add chocolate chips and marshmallow creme.  Mix until smooth.
  6. Add mint extract and nuts if adding.
  7. Let sit at room temperature until firm.
  8. Enjoy!!!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Chocolate Snowballs

3/4 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg
2 tsp vanilla
2 cups flour
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup toffee bits
1 cup chocolate chips
1 cup confectioners sugar

Cream butter and sugar until fluffy.
Add egg and vanilla; mix well. Add the flour and salt and mix to combine.
Fold in chips.

Roll into 1-inch ball.  Place 1-inch apart on ungreased baking sheet.  Bake at 350 for approx. 15 minutes.  Remove to wire racks.  Cool only slightly before rolling in confectioners sugar.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Goulash...Easy Peasy!

1 package of elbow macaroni
1 jar of spaghetti sauce
1 lb hamburger
1 Tablespoon minced garlic
1/4 cup chopped onion
2 Tablespoons steak sauce
1 cup frozen corn kernels

Make macaroni according to directions. (add frozen corn when adding pasta to boiling water)

Fry hamburger in a large saucepan.  Add garlic, onion, seasonings, once browned,  add steak sauce.  Let cook for a minute or two and then add jar of sauce.

Once you drain the macaroni and corn, put back into pot and add the meat/sauce mixture.  Let simmer for about 10 minutes and serve with favorite cheese.

After eating hopefully the faces will be happy ones like this one!

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Pizza Bubble Bread


  • 2 cans regular sized buttermilk biscuits 
  • 1 jar (15oz) pizza sauce (I used an 8oz can of tomato sauce seasoned with onion, garlic and Italian seasoning.  It wasn’t too saucy)
  • ½ cup Parmesan
  • 2 cups mozzarella cheese
  • Your favorite pizza toppings (I used bacon, pepperoni and onion)
  • Cooking spray
    • Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  
    • Cut biscuits into quarters and place in medium bowl.  
    • Toss biscuits with pizza sauce and parmesan.  
    • Add pizza toppings and 1 cup cheese.  Toss until well blended.   
    • Spray a 9x13 pan with cooking spray.  
    • Pour biscuit mixture into pan and top with remaining cheese.  
    • Bake at 375 for 25-30 minutes, or until biscuits are done.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Skillet Lasagna

I LOVE easy recipes. With 2 little boys..I don't get to spend as much time as I'd like in the kitchen preparing a meal. If there is an easier way to pack all the Mama love I can into a meal...I'm all for it!!!

Check it out. I have a fridge full of meals for this week but will be making this soon and will post pictures.

Skillet Lasagna |

Monday, August 1, 2011

Crockpot Baked Beans

  • 1 lb package of dry white beans cooked according to directions on package
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced finely
  • 1/3 cup molasses
  • 1/3 cup ketchup
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tspn Liquid smoke
  • 1 1/2 cups hot water (as hot as you can from tap) I added a little chicken bouillon to add a some flavor
  • 4 -6  slices bacon, chopped

Cook beans according to directions.

In crock pot,  add all but the last 2 ingredients.  I cooked overnight in the crock pot on low. If your crockpot cooks'll need to add a little more water..or you can cook during the day so you can keep an eye on it and add more water or broth  

When finished cooking add 1/3 cup maple syrup and salt and pepper.  Don't add the salt until after beans are tender, it keeps them from cooking all the way through. 

Friday, July 29, 2011

Dakota Seed Bread

1¼ cups water
2tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp honey
2 ¼ cups flour
½ cup whole wheat flour
¼ cup flax seed meal
1½ tsp salt
¼ cup sunflower seeds
¼ cup pumpkin seeds, chopped
2 tsp sesame seeds
1 ½ tsp poppy seeds
2 ½ tsp bread machine (instant) yeast

I made it on the dough cycle and then put in a pan and let it raise a second time until it is above the pan...brushed with egg wash and sprinkled more seed. (I used toasted pumpkin seeds)  

When I went to a bread class the instructor said to always add an oven proof container filled with water to the oven when you preheat.  The added moisture adds a crispy crust without dry bread!!

Bake for 30 minutes.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

These look seriously good from

Saw this recipe on the Bisquick FB lead me to an awesome site....Plain Chicken

There were TONS of chicken recipes...for EVERY day of the still my chicken heart!!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Vacation reload

I am going through some of my old cooking magazines while on vacation...when I get back I'll be cooking up some coffeeshop favorites...and revisiting some holiday meals :-D

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Mandy Cristo Sandwiches

So I made a Mandy variation of my favorite sandwich...the Monte Cristo.

  • On four pieces of white bread I spread softened cream cheese, not too generously.
  • Then there was a little mustard (I used a fancy dijon kind)
  • a little bit of thinly sliced onion
  • Next I spread a little strawberry jam (homemade)
  • Then it was time for the turkey breast (I used 2 slices of Kirkland brand)
  • Topped it with a little bit of crispy bacon pieces.

In a bowl I whisked 2 eggs, a sprinkle of salt, a sprinkle of cinnamon/nutmeg blend, and about a 1/4 cup of liquid (Intl delight) french vanilla coffee creamer.

Put the sandwich together and dipped each side in the egg and put it right onto a preheated griddle (350) cooked each side until brown (about 4-5 minutes per side)

You can serve with a green salad, french fries...DELISH!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Calling all Cooks!!

A great chance to shine!!! Each week you can submit a blog post and recipe!

Check out America's Test Kitchen for more details!!

keeping it cool

This is my second jungle season the east coast...time flies...can't believe that I've been a VA girl for almost a year!
Click for Chantilly, Virginia Forecast
For a girl from the cloudy, gray, cool and rainy WA, the heat is something to get used to.

So to keep cool this summer and still have tasty meals, I've been trying out some new salad creations.

First keeping it cool's simple! Ready?

1 package couscous cooked according to the directions.  (I used chicken broth, curry, Montreal chicken seasoning for the seasoning)

Once cooled I add a vinaigrette dressing of my choice.  I don't add much...just enough to make it a little moist.  My favorite is a raspberry vinaigrette.  Add your choice of yummy items.  Last night I used cheese cubes,  left over crockpot chicken, strawberries, pine nuts.  YUMMY!

I'd love to hear what kinds of things you make while keeping it cool!  Have a great summer day!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Farmers' Markets

I've been enjoying going to Farmer's Markets in the area.

A couple of weeks ago we went to one in Reston.

Last weekend we went to one in Leesburg and this weekend close to home we are going to check out the one at South Riding

Sunday, May 29, 2011

and happens

Not that I've stopped I'm cooking more out of necessity rather than fun.

I did pick up a couple of fun things to try out.  I bought a couple of mini muffin pans.  I LOVE them!  With 2 little ones it sure helps to make things like cakes and muffins...miniature.

This afternoon, I'm making some banana mini muffins, some turtle brownies, a red velvet cake and also some s'mores pops. I'll post pictures and recipes for those. No we're not eating all this stuff ourselves...we're going to a memorial day bbq tomorrow so I'm responsible for the desserts.  

Tonight we are going to bbq some salmon.  We bought some cedar planks a while back and salmon bbq'd on them is AWESOME.

Can't believe that this week we've been in our new home for 10 months!  I just got my VA license this week.  Partly because mine WA license expires on Wednesday. Yep that means Wednesday is my birthday.  For my birthday my husband bought me a new digital camera.  Nothing fancy...just an awesome point and click 14.3 megapixel camera.  So far I've enjoyed playing with the camera.

So I'll be back later this evening with some photos!

Smore's Pop!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Banana Cream Dessert

1 box of instant sugar/fat free banana cream pudding (2 cups milk to make)
1 banana, diced into pieces
2 graham crackers
a drizzle of chocolate syrup

Make banana pudding according to directions.  While waiting to soft set. start assembling bowls.
In the bottom of each bowl break into small pieces 1 graham cracker, top with 1/2 banana, drizzled lightly some chocolate syrup.  Add 1/2 cup of soft set pudding...and ENJOY!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Easy squeezy white chocolate rice pudding

1 cup instant rice
1 cup water
1/3 cup raisins,  plumped up
1 box of instant white chocolate pudding (I used fat free sugar free) and 2 cups f/f milk

To make rice and plump raisins:
When making the instant rice, I bring to a boil 1 cup water and then add the rice and raisins, turn off heat and let sit for 5 minutes and then cool.

While waiting for the rice make 1 box of instant white chocolate pudding.  Fold in the rice and raisin mixture, if the mixture is wet make sure to add just the rice and not just dump it in.

It is really delicious.  You can use other flavors - banana, cheesecake, chocolate. The sky is the limit!!

Have fun!

Friday, February 4, 2011

This weekend we eat...for Monday we die....

My husband and I have decided to (gulp) diet.  More for health reasons than for fun.  At first I was very is my outlet. My sanity in a world of chaos. But then I thought...hey why not change my blog to be more healthy and supportive of people who are on the WW points program.  So gone are the yummy desserts, creamy soups and hello to more healthy.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

couscous soup

We got 10 inches of snow last night so soup sounded like a great thing to I started making creamy chicken and rice soup.  The only problem...I didn't have a package of rice to use.  The only box resembling rice in my pantry, a box of couscous.

While the taste was awesome, it just wasn't the same.  The couscous, which is a pasta, added quite a bit starch and a different texture.  Would I make it again...probably not, but it wasn't all bad.

Adventures in cooking for this girl today!!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Maple Scones from Living the Swell Life & Farm Chicks!

In the oven as we speak. The only thing I did different is toast the walnuts in butter & cinnamon and added some cinnamon to the dough. Smells WONDERFUL!! Will post pictures if they cool enough for me to make the icing and not eat them all!!!

Living the Swell Life: must-make maple scones

I made the scones.  They are delicious!!!  They were a little dry for my taste but I am going to wait for them to cool down.  I cooked for the full 18 minutes and I think I overcooked them even though the edges were only a little brown.  You should try them!!! They taste GREAT!

Stocking Your Pantry —

Have you ever wondered...what staples should I have in my pantry.

Here's an article by Paula Deen on what to put in your pantry!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Looking for a great burger? Check out this burger in Rachael Ray's magazine

I was flipping through my new Rachael Ray Magazine and found this recipe for a Welsh Rarebit Burger, Sirloin burger with a beer, mustard and cheese sauce. OH MY!!
photo by Tuna Rupp

Welsh Rarebit Burgers Recipe - Every Day with Rachael Ray

Copyright © 2009, Every Day with Rachael Ray and its licensors. All rights reserved."

Monday, January 3, 2011

New Cookbook reviews coming soon!

I signed up with another publisher to do book reviews and I'm super excited to be reviewing a couple cookbooks, kitchen how to books.  Once I go through them I'll post a recipe and review.

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