Thursday, December 10, 2009

Crispy Chewy Chocolate Powdered Sugar Cookies

I have been on a mission to find a recipe for these cookies a certain bakery on Ventura Blvd makes. No such luck. When I try to recreate them, they turn out funky. So after many tries... this recipe is not at all like them but an excellent substitute. These turn out similar to the Chocolate Crackle Cookie variety.

Crispy Chewy Chocolate Powdered Sugar Cookies

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

1 box Brownie mix, milk or dark chocolate (whatever you prefer)
1 cup flour
a few shakes cinnamon

In your mixing bowl combine dry ingredients and mix. Then add the following wet ingredients. Mixing after each addition.

1/2 cup water or milk
1/4 cup canola oil
1/2 bag chocolate chips
1/4 cup coconut flakes (optional)
1/4 cup chopped pecans (optional)

Powdered sugar

The dough will be sticky using a teaspoon drop spoonfulls of dough into powdered sugar. Roll until dough ball is covered in powdered sugar. Place cookie on parchment covered cookie sheet and bake for 10 minutes or until edges are set. Edges should be a bit crispy and centers chewy and browine like.

I took these to work and no one complained!

Monday, November 30, 2009

What To Do With Hot Dogs and Hot Dog Buns Leftover From Camping

Rob did the shopping for the Thanksgiving Weekend Camp Trip to California City. He always buys loads of hot dogs in many varieties and loads of Hot dog buns. We always come home with lots of hot dogs and lots of buns. So, below is a list of uses for such leftovers.

Uses for Hot Dogs

1. Chop hot dogs and make hot dog soup
2. Slice hot dogs and use in place of pepperoni on a pizza (Thanks, Mom!)
3. Fry sliced hot dogs or hot links and use as an appetizer served on a tray with mustard
4. Freeze them, for later use.
5. Using chopped hot dogs and hot dog buns make dressing! (Recipe to follow)

Uses for Hot Dog Buns

1. Make garlic cheese buns!
2. Use instead or hamburger buns for sloppy joes!
3. Use as the bread in bread pudding!
4. Chop and use to make croutons!
5. Use along with chopped hot dogs and make dressing!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Mint Fudge

Starbucks has their Peppermint Mocha. Baskin Robbins has Mint 'n Chip Ice Cream. I have my Mint Chip Fudge.

Mint Chip Fudge

1 7 Oz. Jar Marshmallow Creme
1 tsp Vanilla
12 oz bag Guittard Green Mint Chips

Put these ingrediants in a large mixing bowl.

One stick butter
2 1/2 cups sugar
5 Oz. Lowfat 2% Evaporated milk

Mini Chocolate chips (frozen)

In a large saucepan, combine 1 tsp butter, sugar and E. milk. Set remaining butter aside. Bring to a boil on medium heat until candy thermometer reads 233 degrees F. Stir continuously. Once the thermometer reads 233 degrees F, add the remaining butter and stir. Bring the mixture back to a boil and stir continuously. Once bubbled up, take off heat and carefully pour mixture into your large bowl of marshmallow, chips and vanilla. Stir until all chips are melted and the mixture becomes a lovely light shade of mint green.

Pour into a lightly greased 8 x 8 square pan. Level fudge out with a spoon and let sit for a minute or two. Sprinkle frozen chocolate chips on top of fudge. Using the palm of your hand, lightly press the mini chips into the top surface of the fudge. So the mini chocolate chips don't melt put fudge in the freezer for about ten minutes. Remove from freezer and set on counter and allow fudge to set. Once cooled, cut and put in bags for gifting.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Pecan or Walnut Bars

Any time is a good time for sweets! I am not so much the fan of walnuts, but as an adult I have acquired the taste for Pecans. Add them to cookies, Great. Make a crust out of them for cheesecake, Delish!

For these bars you can use Pecans or Walnuts. Both would be tasty in these bars. You could even do both!

Pecan Or Walnut Bars

For the Crust

2 cups flour
1/3 cup white sugar
1/8 tsp salt
a couple shakes cinnamon
2/3 cup salted butter

For the Pecan or Walnut Part

3/4 cup light brown sugar
1/4 cup white sugar
2 tbs. melted butter
1 tsp vanilla
3 eggs, white thingies removed
2 cups pecan or walnut pieces

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Mix the crust ingredients until the mixture resembles fine crumbs. Pat the crust into a greased 13x9" pan or into smaller pans or greased mini muffin tins. Bake for 20-30 minutes until golden brown. While the crust is baking mix sugars, butter, vanilla and eggs. Once well combined, fold in the nuts. Pour over warm crust and bake for 30 minutes.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Savory Mashed Sweet Potatoes

Yams, sweet potatoes... whatever you want to call them. I am NOT a fan. Never have been. The thought of a potato being sweet, eww. My Mom never made the Sweet Potato Casserole with brown sugar and spice topped with mini marshmallows. As a wee youngster I remember listening and watching Oaklahoma! wondering why in the heck would anyone make a pie out of potatoes and sweet ones? Ga-Ross!

In my previous post I made a tri tip roast in the crockpot with beer. It was one of the best crockpot meals I have had in a LONG time. Robby even truly enjoyed. Maybe because it cooked in Bud Light all day, and included Meat and Taters. Anyway, he said he did not want any of the yams on his plate. I certainly didn't either, until I tasted one little bit of it on a fork. The taste was amazing. The sweet potates were not sweet. Instead they were savory and garlicy and beefy. They were awesome. I was then inspired to mash them. And mash them I did and I actually enjoyed them tremendously!!!

If I were to make the Yams/Sweet Potatoes again, this is what I would do.

Savory Mashed Sweet Potatoes

makes 6 servings

3 yams or sweet potatoes (each chopped in 3 or 4 pieces)
Water to cover potates
3 tbs beef base
1 tbs minced garlic
1 tsp italian seasonings
1/2 tsp Lawry's seasoning salt
a few good shakes ground red pepper
1 can Bud Light beer
1/4 cup butter in slabs

Boil potatoes in beef broth and Bud Light with Italian Seasonings and garlic, over high heat until potato chunks are fork tender. Remove potato pieces from pot. Place in your mixing bowl. Mix until blended adding a slab of butter and mixing a bit after each addition. Add a little of the broth to make the mashed consistancy to your liking. Sprinkle a little salt and red pepper over mashed taters and mix again. Enjoy!

You are Welcome!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Drunken Crockpot Tri Tip Roast

At Ralphs, I found a nice little tri tip. The price was right, I bought it. Tonight we will dine on a meal cooked in the Crockpot.

Drunken Crockpot Tri Tip Roast

One 1 1/2 pound Tri Tip
3 Red Potatoes
2 Butter White Potatoes
1 Yam cut in thirds or quartered
2 Carrots, cut into 2 inch chunks
Italian Seasoning
Lawrys Seasoning Salt
Ground Red Pepper
1/2 Cup Water
1 Tbs. Beef Base
1/2 tsp. Minced Garlic
1 12 oz. can Bud Light beer

Season the bottom of crockpot with the seasonings. Place Tri Tip on top of seasoned bottom. Sprinkle the top with seasonings. Place potatoes and yam pieces over meat. Place carrots around potatoes and over meat. Sprinkle the tops with Italian Seasonings. In a small bowl mix water, beef base and garlic. Microwave for 30 seconds. Remove from microwave and stir. Pour beer in the bowl, stir again. Pour Beef and Beer mixture over the contents of crockpot. Depending on when you are serving your meal, put the cover on the pot and set on high for 4-6 hours of low 6-8 hours.

Serve the Meat and Potatoes to your Man with Buttered Wheat toast and a Bud Light!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

My List From Popper

Popper was Robby's Maternal Grandfather. What a guy! We think of him often and miss him dearly. He was one in a million. One of the most intelligent and wise men ever. He could have written the questions to at least 4 Trivial Pursuit games without having to do any research.

Memories of Popper often revolve around food. I found a special paper this week, on it a list, dictated to me by our beloved Popper from many years ago. The note paper has little angels on it and reads...

Some days, the only place to go is UP!
Until Heaven is ready, I'll just send a note.

This list has all of the things any good Italian Family would need in their refrigerator or home.

Bottles and Packages of things

Genoa Salami
Hot ham (has red pepper edges)
Proscuitini (has black pepper edges)
Sliced Provolone
Wedges of sharp cheese
Salamette (regular)
black olives
greek olives
breads and rolls
regular italian provolone
Pecorino (sheep) Parmesan Cheese (at least 3 pounds)

He also told me the best places to by these items.

Monte Carlo in Burbank on Magnolia
Romano's in the Valley

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Crispy Faux Fried Chicken Nuggets Or Strips

A day ago, I took some chicken out of the freezer. I thawed it in the fridge a day. It was still frozen. So I bathed it in a bath of buttermilk and some spices and created something wonderful.

Crispy Faux Fried Chicken Nuggets or Strips

Chicken breast (boneless and skinless) cut into bite size pieces
Lawrys Seasoning salt
ground red pepper

Panko Bread crumbs or crushed crackers
salt and pepper

Put your chicken pieces in a bowl. Sprinkle chicken with the seasonings. Pour enough buttermilk to cover and stir until pieces are bathing in the milk. Cover and put bowl in the refrigerator overnight.

When ready to cook your Crispy Faux Fried Chicken Nuggets or Strips. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Remove chicken from the fridge. On a plate pour a mound of Panko Bread crumbs or crushed crackers. Use a fork and remove a piece of chicken from the buttermilk bath. Coat both sides of chicken in crumbs and place on a baking sheet. Do this to all of your chicken pieces, adding more crumbs as needed to the mound on the plate to coat pieces. Sprinkle the tops of crumbed chicken pieces with a little salt and pepper.

Pop the baking sheet in the oven and bake for 30-45 minutes until pieces of chicken are cooked.

Serve with Seasoned corn and Mashed potatos or baked potatos. Enjoy.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Ode To Fall Crockpot Roast

For some, fall has come. Yesterday it was 103 degrees F. YUCK. Too hot. Way too hot. One of my co-workers had her husband pull out her fall harvest decorations. She is ready to decorate and make her house FALL-tastic. I am still trying to cool off from yesterday. At she is having her Thursday Ultimate Recipe Swap. You must check it out. This happens each week and you won't be disappointed. Last week's swap was featuring FOOTBALL foods. This week is Favorite Fall foods.

Ode To Fall~ Crockpot Roast

4 small Russets potatoes
4 small yukon gold potatoes
1 cup chunks of carrots
1/2 purple onion cut in sixths (wedged)
3 Celery stalks chopped in bite size pieces
2 pounds pork butt or Beef Round Roast or One whole chicken
Lawrys Seasoning Salt, Lawrys Garlic Salt, Fresh cracked pepper
Sweet Baby Ray's Brown Sugar Barbecue Sauce

Take the Crockpot out of your cabinet or storage facility. Rinse it off or clean it. Season the bottom of your crock pot. Season your choice of protein by rubbing it with dry seasonings. Then massage it with some barbecue sauce and place that in the bottom of the crock. Arrange potatoes, carrots, onion and celery around that. Put the top on the crockpot. Set it for the right amount of time and heat according to when you start preparing your dinner. I usually put mine on in the morning before I go to work, set on low for 10 hours. Everything is perfectly cooked when I get home. Oh and does the house smell amazing.

Serve with a crusty baguette and a little lettuce salad.

Monday, September 21, 2009

A Toast To Fall

Today is the last day of summer. Here in California, it does not feel like it. It was 95 degrees of dry heat. I like the warmth and the sun, but it would be nice to feel crisp cool air and actually start to see the leaves change. Maybe in another two months. But to celebrate with those who are enjoying fall and pulling out their harvest decor... two special drinks to welcome the new season.

Fall Orange Bitter

1 can frozen orange juice concentrate
1 cans Campari
2 cans water

In a pitcher, empty the contents of the orange concentrate. Fill the concentrate can with Campari and pour over the orange. Fill the can with water and add. Fill the can with water again and add. Stir. Serve over ice with a slice of orange.

Harvest Island Iced Tea

Are you ready for this twist?

1 part Citron Vodka
1 part Captain Morgan
1 part Campari
1 part Triple Sec
1 1/2 parts Sweet and Sour
splash of Diet Coke or Coca Cola

Pour various components over ice and swizzle. Enjoy!

Be sure to check out Festive Spiked Punch under drinky-poos!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Easy Cheesecake With Strawberries

Every Sunday Dinner, I try to bring a dessert. This week was Easy Cheesecake With Strawberries! Thanks to Ralphs for the 99 cents a pound Strawberries!

Easy Cheesecake With Strawberries

One premade Graham Cracker Crust
One block Cream Cheese room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 Bisquick (I had no flour, substitution, Baby!)
1 egg
a few shakes cinnamon
1/2 tsp almond extract

1/2 pound cleaned and quarterd strawberries
2 tbs. sugar

Sweetened Whipped cream

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In your mixing bowl, whip the cream cheese until fluffy. Add sugar and mix. Add Bisquick and mix. Remove white thingees from eggs and mix together. Finally add cinnamon and almond extract. Scrape sides of bowl with spatula and mix once more. Pour cheesecake mixture into Graham cracker crust. Spoon mixture around until level in the crust. Place cheesecake in oven for approximately 20 minutes or until edges are set. Allow to cool.

When ready to serve. Take a slice of cheesecake, top with a little whipped cream and a some sweetened berries. YUM YUM YUM! The flavors sing in your mouth.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Summer Drinky-poos

Summer. As summer is winding down. The temps are still toasty. There is something so wonderful about a cup filled with ice and a wonderful liquid concoction to quench your thirst. Below you will find three Fruity liquid concoctions made with various types of alcohol so every guest will have a choice.

Summer Margarita

1 can frozen lemonade concentrate
1 1/2 cans filled with Margaritaville Silver Tequila
1 1/2 cans water
juice from one lime
sliced lime wedges

Pour lemonade concentrate in a pitcher. Using the empty concentrate container/can, add the Tequila and additional water. Stir. You can serve this concoction over ice or you can blend it. The Magic Bullet is awesome blending up this yummy cocktail.

Malibu Ma-orange-o

1 can frozen Hawaii's Own Mango Orange Concentrate
1 1/2 cans filled with Malibu Coconut Rum
1 1/2 cans water

Pour the Mango Orange concentrate into a pitcher. Using the empty concentrate container/can, fill with amounts listed above of Malibu Rum and water. Stir. You can serve this Delicious drink over ice or blend. Excellent either way.

Pink Lemon Drop

1 can Raspberry Lemonade Frozen Concentrate
1 1/2 cans filled Gordon's Vodka
1 1/2 cans water

Pour the Raspberry Lemonade Frozen Concentrate into a pitcher. Using the empty concentrate container/can, fill with amounts listed above of Vodka and water. Stir. You can shake and serve this over ice or blend.

Enjoy your Summer Drinky-poos responsibly!

If you do not drink alchol, prepare the concentrates substituting the alchol for more water.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Rob's Trout In Foil

Grant Lake is not the prettiest lake in the June Lake Loop, but it has many Trout. Brown trout the rarity, Rainbows a plenty. The last two weekends we went to Grant. About six hours to get there, but well worth the drive. Last weekend I actually caught my limit. This weekend I got skunked. I prefer the catch and release method personally and I don't dine on fish. Rob loves fishing and loves to eat his fresh catch. Being the Anti-fish gal I am, he cleans and prepares the fish. He even will unhook my fish. It must be love.

Rob's Trout In Foil

Whole Fresh trout, cleaned, scales on
sliced lemon
lemon wedges
Lawry's Garlic Salt
Fresh Cracked Pepper
Cajun Seasoning Sauce
pats of butter
aluminum foil

Tear a large, heavy duty piece of aluminum foil. Rinse your trout. Sprinkle the inside of the fish with seasonings. Sprinkle a little lemon, place a few lemon rounds inside and a pat or two of butter. Wrap the trout in the foil.

Repeat with the remaining ingredients.

Place aluminum foil wrapped trout on your heated grill and cook. Cook trout on each side for about 5 minutes. Remove from grill allow to cool for a few minutes. Carefully unwrap the foil to avoid steam burns. To insure a cooked trout the eyes will be white. If the eyes are not white, re-wrap and put the fish back on the barbie. Once cooked allow to cool a bit. Using a fork loosen the scales and peel the skin off the fish. Once all of the scales are removed from the body, carefully loosen the meat from the head. Very carefully pull the head and the skeleton away from the the meat. There are a lot of bones in trout. If you do this carefully, the skeleton will be attached to the head. The car cuss is kinda funky looking, Halloween like. Everyone who has tried the trout this way LOVES it. No need for tartar sauce.

It's Not Just for Steak

Just got home from camping in the Sierras. This weekend while camping, I experimented with condiments to make a marinade. Ingredients were limited as the Men did the shopping. The guys bought two large packages of chicken. 6 bone in breasts and about a dozen boneless skinless chicken breasts. They must have thought they were serving an army. Anyhow, using a few simple ingredients I whipped up a tasty marinade.

Grant Lake Chicken

Chicken Breasts
A-1 Steak Sauce
Lawry's Seasoning salt
Barbecue Sauce
Fresh cracked pepper

Clean chicken. Sprinkle both sides with Lawry's Seasoning Salt. Pour a little A-1 over the chicken. Stir. Pour a little Barbecue Sauce over the chicken. Stir again. Sprinkle a little fresh cracked pepper over the chicken. Stir and allow chicken to marinate for a little while.

Barbecue until juices run clear. Enjoy

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Sunrise Fruit Salad

Sunrise Fruit Salad. The other day I posted Sunset Fruit Salad. What a great fruit salad that was. There are so many beautiful summer fruits. This salad features the lighter colored fruits. Fruit salads could not be simpler.

Sunrise Fruit Salad

Bite size pieces of pineapple
Green Grapes
Bite size pieces of Honeydew
Mandarin orange slices

Combine fruits. Refrigerate. Serve. Enjoy.

My friend suggested serving fruit with toasted coconut! Give it a try.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Sunset Fruit Salad

There are so many beautiful summer fruits. So many beautiful colors. I made this salad today in honor of my friend Renee.

Sunset Fruit Salad

cut cantelope in bite size pieces
cut ripe pineapple in bite size pieces
cut Seedless watermelon in bite size pieces
red seedless grapes

In a large glass bowl layer pieces of cantelope, watermelon and pineapple. Sprinkle clean grapes and clean blueberries on top. Layer until all fruits are used up. Refrigerate. Enjoy!

Friday, July 3, 2009


Monday, June 22, 2009

Spicy Meatball Sloppy Joes

Sloppy Joes seasoned like a Spicy Meatball. Hmmm? What do you think? These were FANTASTIC! Oh my gosh!

Spicy Meatball Sloppy Joes

One pound lean ground beef
Lawrys Garlic salt
fresh cracked pepper
1 Tbs. Dried chives
1/2 tsp. Italian seasonings
one small can tomato paste
one can diced tomatos with jalapenos

whole wheat hamburger buns or rolls
provolone cheese

Brown the ground beef with the seasonings until cooked. Add the tomato paste and diced tomatoes. Stir and simmer for 10-15 minutes. Put a slice of provolone on each half of the bun. Top one side with meat mixture and top with the other half of the bun. Serve and Enjoy!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

God Bless America

Memorial Day Weekend is not just a three day weekend. I think often times, people look forward to long weekends because it's an extra day off. In turn, they forget why mail isn't delivered or banks are closed and might even think of that as an inconvenience.

In Elementary School, every morning after the Pledge of Allegiance, our teacher would let a fellow student pick a Patriotic song to sing in the morning. I have never forgotten this chorus and I think of it often.

And I'm proud to be an American ...where at least I know I'm free.
And I won't forget the men who died...who gave that right to me.
And I'd gladly stand up; next to you...and defend her still today.
‘Cause there ain't no doubt I love this land...God bless the USA!
Chorus from

God Bless the USA by Lee Greenwood.

Men and Women serve our great Country. They make personal sacrifices to serve and protect America's Freedom. Some even make the ultimate sacrifice. This Memorial Day weekend take time and reflect. Whether you agree with the current wars being fought overseas, Respect and Remember what these brave Men and Women have done for our Country.

Red, White and Blue Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 cup butter room temp
3/4 cup firm packed brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp almond extract
2 1/4 to 2 1/2 cups unbleached flour
1 packet Maple and Brown sugar Oatmeal
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup white chocolate chips
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup dried blueberries

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. In a mixing bowl combine butter and sugars. Mix well until fluffy. Add the egg and mix. Add extracts and mix again. In a seperate bowl combine dry ingredients (not chips or dried fruit) and stir. Add 1/2 cup of the dry ingredients at a time and mix after each addition. Do this until all dry ingredients are used up. Fold in the chips and dried fruit.

On a cookie sheet using a tablespoon drop rounds of dough approxiamaately 2 inches apart. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until edges are set. When done, remove from oven and transfer from baking sheet to a cooling rack. Eat one when it is still warm.

Friday, May 22, 2009

What To Do With Leftover Taco Meat???

I cook for two most of the time. When it is just the two of us there is always leftover taco meat. I find I can get two meals out of one by doing this. I save a little money and have variety for meals. Below you find my recipe for Crockpot taco meat that is out of this world. One of my boyfriends friends LOVES the taco meat and is so happy when he happens to stop by and I offer him Tacos. Every time he asks for the recipe and he cannot believe it was made in the Crockpot.

Taco Meat 28413

One pound lean ground beef or turkey
1- 28 oz can diced tomatoes
1 4 oz can green chiles
1 packet taco seasoning (we use PACE)

Brown the ground meat halfway in a fry pan. Drain fat. Set aside. In your Crockpot, dump in tomatoes and chilies and stir. Add meat and stir. Add seasoning and stir again. Put the top on the Crockpot and cook on low for 6-10 hours.

When you are ready to assemble tacos you can serve them in fresh fried tortillas in canola oil. You can use corn tortillas or taco size flour tortillas. Top your tacos with cheese, sour cream, salsa, shredded lettuce... whatever you heart desires.

Now what to do with the leftovers...

Turn leftover meat into Taco Salad

Use the leftover meat for Crockpot Meat Sauce for Pasta by adding one 28 oz can of diced tomatoes and one 28 oz can Marinara Sauce. Doctor that up with some Italian seasonings and a bay leaf. Cook on low for 6-10 hours. It makes the best meat sauce.

Freeze the leftover meat for later use for tacos or your meat sauce

Turn your leftover meat into Sloppy Joe's. Add a can of tomato soup, heat it up and serve on hamburger buns.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Spicy Cheesey Cornbread

There is something so comforting about Cornbread. You can serve it with chili or soup. You can serve it alongside Barbecue. Whichever way you do, it is delicous. Serve it with a barbecue Chicken chopped salad. Just make it and enjoy it.

Spicy Cheesey Cornbread

One 8.5 oz package Betty Crocker Cornbread mix
1/3 cup milk
3 Tbs melted butter
One egg
Lawry's Garlic Salt
1 Tablespoon Grated Parmesan and Romano Cheese blend
2 slices Jalapeno Jack cheese chopped or cheddar if you prefer
1/2 cup frozen corn kernels

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. In a small mixing bowl, combine mix, milk and butter. Stir in the egg. Add a few shakes garlic salt. Stir in cheese and corn. Spray the bottom of a small pie pan with cooking spray. Pour mixture and spread evenly into pie pan. Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes. Check for doneness with toothpick after 20 minutes. When cornbread is done, remove from oven and spread a little butter on top. Allow butter to melt and seep in. Serve warm with whatever you made for dinner. Sit back and savor every bite.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Roasted Zucchini and Carrots

Trader Joe's had Zucchini Squash. I couldn't resist. I know in just a few short months, my Dad's garden will have an abundance of the green gems, but I needed a zucchini fix. So I bought some. Here is what I did with it.

Roasted Zucchini and Carrots

Olive oil
Lawry's Garlic Salt
Onion Powder
Celery Salt

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Clean the zucchini and slice into 1/2 inch slices. Slice carrots. Spray the bottom of a casserole dish with cooking oil spray. Arrange a layer of zucchini and carrot rounds on the bottom. Season with the seasonings. Drizzle a little olive oil over the vegetables. Arrange another layer and do the same. Pop in the oven for 30-45 minutes. Check on it at the 30 minute mark to see how the cooking process is going. You want them to be fork soft. Remove from oven when the are cooked to your liking. Serve them up with whatever you'd like.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Crockpot Barbecue Chicken

A long long time ago on the other side of Bouquet Canyon lived one of my friends. Her Mom was always going the extra mile for her only daughter, Kimberly. One day after softball practice, I was lucky enough to be invited to have dinner at Kim's house. I had never had barbecued chicken with barbecue sauce. We would barbecue but rarely were things basted with BBQ sauce. It just wasn't something my Dad did. Kim's Mom served the Sweet and Savory Barbecue Chicken over rice. It was one of the most amazing things I have ever tasted. Kim did not like it. I was in heaven and begged her Mom for the recipe. She said it was really easy.

Bernie's Barbecue Chicken on Nicki Lane

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 bottle of your favorite Barbecue sauce
salt and pepper

In the bottom of your Crockpot place 2 chicken breasts and season with salt and pepper. Pour barbecue sauce over breasts. Add the other two on top of that, season and pour more sauce on top. Place the lid on Crockpot and cook on low for most of the day. Easy enough?

Shred chicken a bit and stir so BBQ sauce covers. Serve Barbecue Chicken over a bed of rice.

Thanks Bernie!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Chocolate Caramel Chewy Cookies

Chocolate chewy goodness. That is what these decadent chocolate concoctions are. A simple recipe with only a few ingredients. Quick to whip up and not too long in the oven and wha-la, instant YUM.

Chocolate Chewy Cookies

One Box Devil's Food cakemix
one packet Maple and Brown sugar oatmeal
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/3 cup milk
1/2 stick melted butter (1/4 cup)
1 tsp Kahlua
1 egg
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1 1/2 cups semi sweet chocolate chips
2 or 3 rolls of Rolo candies

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a mixing bowl, combine cakemix, oatmeal and cinnamon, stir a bit. Add liquids. Mix slowly. It will start out crumbly add egg and mix until well combined. Fold in nuts and chocolate chips. Unwrap the Rolos and set aside. Spray cookie sheet lighty with cooking spray. Using a small gravy ladel, scoop up some dough. Round it off a bit and place on the cookie sheet. Take a Rolo and place it in the middle of the cookie. Do this until you run out of dough. Approxiamately 18 cookies. You can use a tablespoon if you would prefer smaller cookies. Bake in the oven for 13-15 minutes or until edges are set.

Remove from cookie sheet and cool. Store cookies lined on wax paper in an air tight container.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Brown Bananas Make...

I had some leftover bananas from the Fishing Snacks. They were nice and ripe on the verge of too ripe. So, in honor of the bananas and not wanting to be wasteful these muffins have been created. I'm not a fan of the banana. But, I can't let these go to waste. Check out's new blog, Good Cheap Eats. She has great ideas for just about everything. I went to the new blog the other day to see her post about bananas.

Chocolate Cinnamon Oat Banana Muffins
Makes 18 muffins

4 Ripe medium bananas
1/3 cup melted buttah (butter)
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 packet Maple and Brown Sugar Oats
1 tsp baking soda
a shake or two salt
1 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup Hershey's cinnamon chips
1/8 cup chopped pecans

Turn the oven to 350 degrees F. In your mixing bowl combine bananas and butter and mix. Add sugar and mix. Add the egg and mix. Add the vanilla and cinnamon. Mix. Add Oat packet and mix. Add b. soda and salt. Add 1/2 cup of the whole wheat flour at a time and mix after each addition. Fold in the chips and pecans.

Line with muffin papers or spray your muffin tin. Spoon mixture until each cup is half full. Pop in the oven and bake 20-25 minutes. Remove from oven. Allow to cool a bit and serve with a little buttah!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Jello Dessert

So many types of Jello. So little time. The varieties are unbelievable. Amazing how the flavors of Jello can change in the last few decades. There are many types of Jello Desserts. You can go to for her families favorite Pretzel Jello Dessert concoction.

Here is my Jello Dessert. I made it last night so it would have plenty of set up time. If you are daring, give it a try.

No Cook Jello Creamy Graham Dessert

For the crust

1 1/2 cups crushed Graham crackers
1/4 cup sugar
1/8 cup fine grated coconut
1/8 cup ground pecans
1 Tbs Hersheys Cocoa powder
1/3 cup melted butter

Creamy Layer

12 oz Neufectel Cream Cheese softened
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 Tbs milk
1 cup Low fat Cool Whip

Jello Layer

Cherry Jello
2 cups hot water
1 1/2 cup cold water
2 cups cleaned and cut strawberries

In a bowl mix the crust ingredients. Pat into the bottom of a 9 x 13 pan. Set aside. In a mixing bowl whip cream cheese until fluffy. Add sugar and mix. Add vanilla and milk. Whip again until combined. Fold in the Cool Whip. Spoon Creamy mix onto crust layer evenly. Cover the 9 x 13 with plastic wrap and put in the refrigerator. Put hot water in a large bowl. Add jello and stir. Let cool a bit. Add cold water and stir. Put the jello bowl in the refrigerator too it needs to set a bit. In one to two hours remove jello and the 9 x 13 from the 'frige. Spoon half of the jello mixture on top of the creamy layer. Artistically place strawberry pieces on jello layer. Pour remaining Jello on top of the berries making sure they are covered. Cover dessert and put it back in the refrigerator overnight. When ready to serve top with a little Cool Whip. Enjoy!

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Wedge Salad

What is a Wedge Salad? Crisp cool lettuce wedged and topped with yummy things. The first time I was presented a wedge salad my eyebrows got a little bent and eyeballs did a double take. I wasn't sure if the wedge of iceberg bothered me or what. I had never seen, nor heard of a wedge salad. But I tried it. It was fantastic! The vinaigrette dripped down into the wedge. The toppings just perfect and the crispness of the iceberg was amazing. To be quite honest, eating a wedge salad is easy. Date friendly. You don't have to worry about the size of lettuce. You have control of the amount of lettuce that makes it to your fork as you get to cut it.

Simple Wedge Salad
Serves 4-6 depending on appetites

One head of iceberg, root area removed. Rinsed and cleaned.
4 pieces cooked bacon crumbled
1 cup Kraft Natural Three Cheese crumbles
Mustard Vinaigrette
Fresh cracked pepper

Cut iceberg into 4 to six wedges. Rinse each wedge and dry with a paper towel. Place wedges onto their own salad plate. Pour dressing over wedge. Top with equal amounts of toppings. Crack pepper on top of each wedge before serving.

Bleu Wedge Salad
Serves 4-6 depending on appetites

One Head of Iceberg, root area removed. Rinsed and cleaned.
One cooked and cooled spicy sausage sliced and chopped in pie pieces
Bleu Cheese crumbles
Bleu Cheese dressing
Fresh cracked pepper

Cut iceberg into 4 to six wedges. Rinse each wedge and dry with a paper towel. Place wedges onto their own salad plate. Pour dressing over wedge. Top with equal amounts of toppings. Crack pepper on top of each wedge before serving.

Fancy Strawberry Wedge Salad

One Head of Iceberg, root area removed. Rinsed and cleaned,
1/2 cup strawberries (quartered)
1/2 cup feta crumbles
1/2 cup candied pecans or walnuts
White Wine Vinaigrette

Cut iceberg into 4 to six wedges. Rinse each wedge and dry with a paper towel. Place wedges onto their own salad plate. Pour dressing over wedge. Top with equal amounts of toppings.

Serve these tasty, crisp unique salads and watch your guests faces. It will be rather entertaining.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Mini Tornado Skewers

What is a Tornado? At a local meat market/restaurant you could pick up these savory chicken preparations called a Tornado. Sadly, the meat market/restaurant is gone. But, for the past few years since its closing I have been able to recreate the Tornados.

This is my rendition in smaller scale.

Mini Tornado Skewers
serves 4

4 skinless boneless chicken breast each cut into 4 pieces (16 chicken chunks)
Lawry's Garlic salt
Cajun Seasoning
8 slices of bacon cut in half
4 skewers

Sprinkle chicken chunks with garlic and Cajun seasoning. Take slice of bacon and wrap it around the chicken. Pierce with skewer so that bacon ends are fastened. Put 4 Tornados on each skewer. Repeat until all ingredients are used up.

These can be frozen at this point for later use. Or you can bake them in a 350 degree F oven for 30-45 minutes. Check with a meat thermometer to make sure it is cooked properly. If bacon is not browned enough you can nuke each skewer for 30 seconds.

I serve these with rice and seasoned corn off the cob. See the post under sides for Herb Corn. Yummy

Monday, April 27, 2009

Pickled Eggs

What do you do with the dozens of dyed Easter Eggs? Rob's family uses them in a family tradition that has lasted decades. Pickled Eggs. You know that I am not an egg fan, but I make these yearly for Rob and our Fishing Trip.

This is not the exact family recipe. I don't have it. Robby showed me how many years ago and below is my adaptation.

Pickled Eggs

A large glass jar
hard boiled eggs
jalapeno pepper slices
banana peppers
minced garlic
salt and pepper
Pickling spices (optional)
a few beets
white vinegar

Peel the eggs. Place a few in the bottom of your jar. Add some carrots and some celery. Add some J. pepper slices and B. pepper and pepperchinis. Layer again with some eggs. Sprinkle some salt and pepper. Add a beet. Layer more carrots, celery, J. pepper, B. pepper, and pepperchinis. Do this until jar is full and looks pretty and colorful. Sprinkle more salt and pepper on top and add a spoonful of minced garlic. Add pickling spices if you choose. Pour vinegar on top until the jar is full with liquid. Secure the lid on the jar and turn jar upside down so ingredients mix.

Store in the refrigerator. Eggs are best given a couple weeks to pickle.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Snacks For Fishing

The annual fishing trip!!! Fishing, Family, Food and Fun. That is what is instore this weekend! What Snacks will I pack???

Fresh cut Pineapple
Fresh Strawberries
Red and Green Grapes

Green Onion Dip

Gallo Salame
Pepper Jack
Sargento Low Fat string cheese

Avacados and Great Guacamole Mix
Tortilla chips

Pickled Eggs
Pickled Grapes (Go to Smitten Kitchen in my blog roll)

The list above provides snacks a plenty! Healthy ones too!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Meatless Main Dish

Recipes a plenty to be posted Thursday over at Check it out. The recipe swap for this week is focusing on MEATLESS Main dishes. I had to think hard about what I make as a main dish without using meat. Aside from Spaghetti or Mac and Cheese the only thing I could think of was...

Spicy Cheesy Sandwich

2 pounds Extra Sharp cheddar
1 small can chopped olives
2 10 oz can Rotel with green chilie
1/2 small jar of pimientos
3 green onions sliced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 stick butter melted
Salt and pepper
2-3 dozen small french bread rolls or sourdough
1 roll aluminum foil

Slice rolls, leaving one side hinged. Carefully remove the insides of rolls and put them in a large bowl. Add cheese, olives and Rotel to the roll insides. Mix well. In a serperate bowl add melted butter, garlic, green onion slices and pimiento. Pour this mixture on top of the bread cheese mixture and mix well.

Cut aluminum foil into 12 inch sheets. Take a roll and stuff it with 2-3 tablespoons of cheesy mixture. Place roll on aluminum foil and then wrap the cheesy sandwich. Do this to all of the rolls.

These can be frozen. (Highly reccomended, makes a quick dinner) Bake for 15-20 minutes in a 375 F degree oven. These are DE-Lish!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Happy Birthday Larry Carrot Cake

Today is my boyfriend's Dad's Birthday. He is having a cook out, where he is serving up smoked meats that he will be cooking up all day today. Larry is the King of the Grill, the Smoker, the Crockpot... When we dine at Larry's, we are always treated with a multi-course meal which is AWESOME! I always bring dessert! In honor of his Birthday I will bring Carrot Cake Cupcakes. Hopefully he will enjoy these Birthday Cupcakes Baked with LOVE with a little twist.

Chocolate Carrot Cake Cupcakes

One box Spice Cake Mix
One box Chocolate Pudding
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ginger
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1/8 tsp ground cloves
1/2 cup hot water
1/2 cup oil
4 eggs
1/2 cup sour cream
1 cup finely shredded carrots
1/2 cup finely shredded coconut
1/2 cup plus 2 tsp finely chopped pecans optional
1/2 cup raisins optional

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. In your mixing bowl combine cake mix, pudding and hot water and mix. Add Oil and mix. Add egg one by one and mixing after each addition. Fold in the sour cream and mix. Add carrots and coconut. If you choose to add pecans and raisins, add those and mix until blended. Fill your cupcake holders 1/2 full and bake 25-30 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean. Remove from oven and cool. Prepare Cream Cheese Frosting.

Not Too Sweet, Not Too Cheesy Cream Cheese Frosting

1 8oz block Neufectel Cream Cheese (room temp)
1/3 cup butter (room temp)
3 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla

In your mixing bowl combine Cream Cheese and butter and mix until light and fluffy. Add Powdered sugar by the 1/2 cup and mix well after each addition until all p. sugar is used up. Add vanilla and whip more until fluffy. Spoon frosting into piping bag and frost each cooled cupcake. Top cup cakes with the extra finely chopped pecans.

Happy Birthday Larry!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Honey Mustard Chicken

Von's had a sale on salad dressing. Personally, I am a fan of homemade Italian salad dressing. Homemade dressings are not always easy to transport while camping. So I purchased a Roka Blue Cheese for veggies. Ranch for just about everything else. Honey Mustard because I wanted to give it a try as a marinade. The bottle reads Honey Dijon ("that's a fancy word for mustard" hee hee) Vinaigrette dressing and marinade. I used it as a marinade and created this.

Honey Mustard Chicken

Skinless, boneless chicken chopped into square like chunks
Lawry's Garlic Salt
Kraft's Honey Dijon Vinaigrette dressing and marinade

Salt and pepper chicken chunks. Place chunks in a Ziploc bag. Pour some Honey Dijon onto chicken and massage bag contents until all pieces have been bathed in marinade. Zip the bag removing excess air. At this point put in the 'fridge or pop in the freezer.

When I prepared mine, I took a bag of HM Chicken out of the freezer, allowed it to thaw in the 'frige. I doubled up some heavy duty aluminum foil and made my own make shift tray. I heated up the grill and put my marinated chicken in the foil tray and cooked the chicken over the grill. I cooked it for 10 minutes and then stirred and sort of flipped the pieces of chicken around. I cooked it for an additional 10 minutes and served the HM Chicken over Trader Joe's Rice Medley. YUMMY and very moist chicken!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Tax Day Treat

I sent a big check off to Uncle Sam today. It's ok, I owed. I haven't received many refunds being self employeed and that's fine. But tonight, as I wind down from work, I did my usual surfing the net and like a fat stimulus or refund check in the mail, I find a recipe, that just thinking about it makes me smile, drool and want to cry at the same time. I love sugar but aside from that...

Head over to for Thursdays recipe swap. They are swapping cookie recipes and you will find a very special family recipe. A coveted recipe from a Culinary Queen! This Queen has been influential in my love for cooking and baking. She was my Gramma John.

Check it out immediately, make the cookies and celebrate my Gramma John's AWESOMENESS with each delectable bite!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Barbecued Potatoes and Barbecued Maui Onions

Sounds a bit weird but both are awesome! These are a huge part of our camping cuisine.

Barbecued Potatos

potatos that have been microwaved until soft sided
olive oil spray
garlic salt
aluminum foil

Tear a piece of aluminum foil that would fit the potato. Place your potato on the foil. Spray potato with olive oil and then sprinkle with garlic salt and pepper. Wrap your potato. Do this until you have the desired amount of potatos.

Put your foil wrapped potatos on the grill and cook 3-5 minutes on a side.

Remove from the grill and carefully peel off foil and top your potato with your favorite fixins. These are fantastic and receive 5 star reviews each time they are served.

Barbecued Maui Onions

Maui Onions
butter tabs
salt and pepper
aluminum foil

Trim ends and peel the outside layer off your onion. Make slits across the top of onion that form the shape of a asteric. Place onion on a sheet of aluminum foil. Place butter tabs in the slits. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Put these on the grill when you start cooking the meat. They are so good and will carmelize a bit if cooked long enough. Enjoy!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Cutie Orange Bundt

This bundt is YUMMY. The perfect mix of butter cake with orange and oats. Top with a light glaze and you have the most delicous cake. Serve as a dessert or alongside coffee or tea.

Cutie Orange Bundt

One box Butter Recipe Golden cake mix
2/3 cup orange juice
1/2 cup olive oil
one packet Maple and Brown Sugar Oatmeal
1 tbs. cinnamon
3 eggs
one California Cutie Mandarin orange peeled, skinned and broken into little orange bits

Cinnamon sugar
one packet Maple and Brown Sugar Oatmeal

Simple powdered sugar glaze

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray the bottom of your favorite bundt pan with non-stick spray and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar. Set aside.

In your mixing bowl compine cake mix, orange juice and oil. Mix on low. Add the oatmeal packet and cinnamon and mix again. Add an egg and mix after each addition. Fold orange bits into your cake mixture.

Pour half of the batter into your bundt pan. Sprinkle half of second oatmeal packet onto batter. Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar and more cinnamon. Pour the rest of the batter over. Sprinkle the top with remaining oatmeal and a little more sugar.

Place your cake in the oven for about 45 minutes. Toothpick test, when cooked remove from oven and allow to cool. Once cooled glaze your Cutie Orange Bundt.

Later enjoy as dessert or over coffee talk!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Spicy Beef Dip Sandwiches

Sam's Club has some really yummy whole wheat hoagies. The bread is sooooo good. You can use it for garlic bread, simple with butter, bread pizzas, but my favorite way to use it is for Spicy Beef Dip Sandwiches! YUM, Yum, yum. These sandwiches have recieved rave reviews in the garage.

Most of these ingredients can be purchased at Sam's Club. One stop shop, unless you don't want to buy bell peppers and onions and onions in bulk.

Spicy Beef Dip Sandwiches

Whole wheat hoagies
Jalepeno Jack cheese slices

sliced onion
sliced bell peppers
butter or olive oil
salt and pepper

Sliced Roast beef
Tone's Beef Base

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F. Slice a hinge into your hoagie bread. Open bread without seperating it and top with slices of jack cheese. Pop those in the oven.

Place onion and bell peppers onto a small fry pan and saute a bit and cook on low.

In a pan or pot place slices of roast beef. Cover with water and add a tablespoon or so of beef base. Cook over the stove until beef is warmed and beef broth is created.

Remove cheesey toasted hoagies from the oven. Top cheese with a bit of the b. pepper onion mixture and then top with beef. Ladle some of the broth into ramekins and serve immediately. These sandwiches are perfect for a cold day.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

St. Paddy's Day Cake

This is one of my favorites to make for St. Patrick's Day. What is a holiday with out a dessert? is having her Ultimate Recipe Swap this Thursday focusing on St. Patrick's Day cuisine. Be sure to check it out.

St. Paddy's Day Bundt Cake

One box yellow cake mix
one small box french vanilla pudding
1/2 cup hot water
1/2 cup canola oil
1/4 cup Bailey's Irish Cream Liquer
6 drops green food coloring
4 eggs (no white thingies)
1/2 cup sour cream

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Combine dry ingredients. Mix. Add hot water, and mix. Add oil and mix. Add one egg at a time, mixing between each addition. Once combined fold in sour cream.

Spray the bottom and sides of a bundt pan. Sprinkle a little sugar around the bottom. Spoon cake batter into the bundt pan evenly. Sprinle the top with a little sugar. Place in the oven and bake 35 to 45 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Allow cake to cool. Remove from pan and place cake on a plate. Dust with powder sugar.

Serve with fresh whipped cream and some green sprinkles.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Marinated Flank Steak

Rob has a few favorite meals from his childhood. One of them is flank Steak. This weekend, I will post another favorite... Mustard Meat. His family usually marinates the meat in Lawry's Teriyaki which is fabulous. But, I enjoy making homemade Teriyaki sauce and I change it up a bit each time. The recipe below is the recipe for the Flank Steak we had two weekends ago in Cal City. It was mighty fine and we served it with the Grilled Asparagus from a previous post.

Jamie's Teriyaki Marinated Flank Steak

Flank Steak cut into 1 to 1 1/2 inch strips seasoned with Lawry's Garlic salt and fresh cracked pepper

Depending on how much meat you are about to marinade, you might want to double this

1 cup Kikkoman Soy Sauce
1 tbs. minced garlic
1/2 tsp. ginger
1/8 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup honey or agave syrup or maple syrup (I used Maple)

Mix marinade together. Set aside. Put seasoned meat strips into a large Ziploc bag and pour marinade over. Make sure marinade hits each piece. Place bag in refrigerator. Overnight is best if possible. The flavors really get into the meat.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Grilled Asparagus

It's green and it's healthy. There are many things you can do with Asparagus. Below are two quick and easy recipes that you can cook on your grill. Little preparation and big on taste.

Larry's Prosciutto Wrapped Asparagus

2 dozen Asparagus Spears rinsed and trimmed
12 slices Prosciutto cut in half so you have two long strips
cream cheese room temperature

Spread a little cream cheese on the spear about a half inch below the fancy part running along the length of spear. Take your prosciutto strip and wrap the spear, making sure the top of the prosciutto attaches to the cream cheese and then fasten on the end also.

Do this until ingredients are used up. Place spears on a heated grill and turn until the prosciutto is heated and a bit crispy.

Garlic Grilled Asparagus

24 Asparagus Spears rinsed and plain end trimmed
Olive oil spray
Lawry's Garlic Powder

Line up your spears on a plate if you are going to grill them directly on the grill. If you are going to steam them in aluminum foil on the grill, line your spears on a generous piece of aluminum foil. Spray your spears with olive oil, roll spears a bit and spray other side. Then sprinkle with Lawry's Garlic Powder. Depending on your cooking method grill without foil for 5 to 10 minutes. Cook in the foil for 10 to 15.

Serve with whatever else you choose to grill and enjoy!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Something Yummy for Sunday Morning

There is something nice about spending time with loved ones on a Sunday morning and enjoying something yummy to eat. Below you will find a recipe for a breakfast cake that you make the night before. You simply wake up, pop it in the oven and in less than an hour and some cooling time you have a Delicious sweet breakfast to enjoy with your coffee, mimosa, tea or milk. Pair that with some fresh fruit and you have a lovely Sunday breakfast.

Overnight Whole Wheat Apple Breakfast Cake

2/3 cup butter softened
1 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 cup unbleached flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
2 packets instant Apples and Cinnamon Oatmeal
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ginger
a dash nutmeg
a dash cloves
1 cup buttermilk

Combine butter, sugar and eggs. In a seperate bowl combine dry ingredients and mix together. Slowly add dry mixture to butter mixture and blend, alternating dry additions with buttermilk. When ingredients are combined and cake batter has formed... Spray the bottom of a 9 x 13 and pour batter into the dish. Combine 1/4 cup brown sugar, 1/4 tsp cinnamon and a packet of plain oatmeal and sprinkle over the top of the cake. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the refridgerator overnight.

The next morning remove cake from the 'fridge and preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. When oven is heated pop the cake in the oven. Start your coffee and fresh fruit preparations. Bake for 45 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool a bit. Enjoy your time with your family.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Cinnamon Apple Breakfast Cake

I love baking. Others don't like it so much because I bring it to work. I once was accused of "bringing cakes to work to make co-workers fat like me", she who said it no longer gets to enjoy my cakes anymore as I don't work with her and after 15 years I realized she was not a friend. Baking relaxes me and it makes me happy to be able to share these creations with people. If the baked good ends up being their breakfast or a snack for the day, mission accomplished!

Cinnamon Apple Breakfast Cake

One box Spice Cake mix
One packet Cinnamon Apple Oatmeal
1/2 cup lowfat milk
1/2 cup olive oil
3 eggs

One packet Cinnamon Apple Oatmeal
Cinnamon Sugar

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Spray the bottom of a 11 x 9 inch disposable aluminum casserole tin. Spray the bottom with non-stick spray.

In your mixing bowl combine, cake mix, oatmeal, milk and oil. Mix. Add cinnamon and mix again. Add eggs one by one and mix after each addition. Pour half of the batter into tin. Sprinkle half of oatmeal packet, sprinkle with cinnamon sugar and cinnamon. Pour the remaining batter over oatmeal layer and then sprinkle a little more sugar and the other half of the oatmeal on the top.

Bake for about 45 minutes. Toothpick test. Once cooked, allow to cool. Serve with fresh fruit and coffee or tea. Enjoy.

Monday, February 16, 2009

The Frugal Faux Mocha

With every single thing carrying a higher price tag. It kills me to pull 5 bucks out of my wallet for a Mocha at the local Coffee Slinging Joint. I have gift cards carrying balances, but I am saving those little babies for a rainy day when I am in desperate need of a something to make me feel cozy and a caffeine fix. On camping trips in remote locations where there are no Starbucks on any corner you pass, I created the Frugal Faux Mocha.

The Frugal Faux Mocha

Fresh brewed strong coffee
One packet hot chocolate mix
flavored creamers if you want a fancy FF Mocha
Canned Low Fat Whipped Cream

In your favorite coffee mug or disposable camping cup, dump the contents of one hot chocolate packet. Fill with your freshly brewed strong coffee. Gently stir as if you were a Barista. If you want to make your FF Mocha fancy add a bit of flavored creamer.

Sit back and enjoy. Daydream about the shoes you could buy with the money you save from not buying the expensive coffee alternative every day in one week.


You can use flavored coffee. Like Hazelnut, Vanilla or add cinnamon to your favorite coffee. Then you won't need flavored creamers.

If camping and you don't have Canned whip cream use a few of the marshmallows you would use for S'mores! (:

Question for the Day? Do you think Starbucks would ever make a drive thru that would accomodate a large truck and a travel trailer?

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Chocolate Covered TOUCHDOWN Pretzel Sticks

Superbowl is tomorrow!!!! Tick tock tick tock... Last night in preparation Rob's family and I mixed up 60 pounds of Italian Sausage Meat to stuff in casings later today! Sausage will be another post, for another time.

For now it's...

Chocolate Covered TOUCHDOWN Pretzel Sticks

One Bag Trader Joe's Whole Wheat Honey Pretzel Sticks (YUM)
One container of Candiquik melted as directed on package
Crushed candied pecans
Mini M & M's
Toasted Coconut
Crushed Heath Bars
mini chocolate chips

Line counter top with wax paper or parchment. Holding one end of the pretzel and using a spoon or butter knife, dip into chocolate and use the utensil to help cover the pretzel with coating. Sprinkle topping on to the chocolate covering and place on the wax paper or parchment. Do this until Candiquik is used up. Set aside until cool and then store in an airtight container in a cool place.

Serve your TOUCHDOWN Pretzel Sticks on Superbowl on a cute platter to your guest. Their expression will let you know you scored.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Low Fat Flavorful Cake is a perfect site for recipes. They have recipes to compliment all of their spices and seasonings. You should check it out. A few years back I found a Low Fat Vanilla Cake on the site. I tried to find it and was unsuccessful. The thing that I remember about the cake was it used egg whites and had no oil. The cake is really good. Serve it up with fresh fruit and light whip cream and you have a yummy lower fat dessert.

Low Fat Cinnamon Vanilla Cake
inspired by recipe found on

1 yellow boxed cake mix
1 1/3 cup water
1/3 cup Captain Morgan Rum
3 egg whites
a few shakes cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla extract
seeds from half a vanilla bean

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Dump cake mix into mixing bowl. Add water and rum and mix. Add egg whites one by one and mix. Add vanilla and cinnamon and mix. Spray your cake pan and pour the batter in. Bake for 35 or until toothpick comes out clean. Allow cake to cool.

When ready to serve top with fresh sliced strawberries and light whipped cream. Enjoy! You won't even miss the fat.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Buffalo Chicken Taquitos!!!

Yum, Yum and YUM! People will go nuts with this twist on Buffalo Wings. I tried this about a year ago and our the garage guests went wild. Less mess and less finger licking.

Buffalo Chicken Taquitos

36 corn tortillas softened in heated oil set aside on paper towels
3 chicken breasts cooked and shredded
1 6 oz. Red Rooster Louisiana Hot Sauce
2 cups shredded Monterey Jack Cheese

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. In a large bowl combine, chicken, cheese and sauce. Stir. Spoon 1-2 tablespoons of the chicken mix onto the corn tortilla. Roll the tortilla and fix it with a toothpick. Keep rolling and tooth picking until all of your ingredients are used up.

Bake on cookie sheets for 15-20 or until flautas are browned and crispy. Allow to cool a bit and serve with celerey sticks and ranch dressing. Be sure to remove toothpicks from the flautas before serving.

We double and triple this recipe. (Uncooked flautas can be frozen. I did this and sprayed some with oil spray and cooked them. They were perfect)

Refrigerate leftover flautas. They are fabulous nuked in the micro for 15 seconds.

Cut these flautas in half to make appetizers.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Jello Shooters Baby, For Superbowl or Other Fun Party Situations...

Jello Shooters have been around for a couple decades. I was introduced to them in the mid ninties at a party. I am not a fan of Jello, but these Jello Shooters sure make some party goers smile. Do not serve them to individuals under 21 years of age and be sure to let parents of those under 21 that the jello is for adults.

Top Five Reasons to Make Jello Shooters
1. They are not messy like regular shots
2. They give you a warm and cozy feeling going down
3. Jello is fat-free
4. You can buy sugar free jello
5. Party goers will think you ROCK!

The recipe is pretty simple. You can mix and match your Jello and alcohol combinations. I have concocted some pretty tasty shooters over the years.

Jello Shooters

1 small box Jello any flavor
1 cup hot water
1 cup clear alcohol.
little plastic souffle cups

In a large glass measuring cup with a spout, boil one cup of hot water in the microwave for 2 minutes. Remove from microwave. Pour Jello granuales into the hot water and stir, until granuales dissolve. Let cool. When mixture is cool add one cup of clear alcohol. Stir. Set aside.

Line a cookie sheet with some souffle cups. Fill them 3/4 full with Jello mix. Place in the refrigerator until they are set. Keep refrigerated until ready to serve.

Here are some of my yummy Jello and alcohol concoctions.

Margarita Shooter
Lime Jello
1/2 cup Triple Sec
1/2 cup Tequilla

Cape Cod Shooter
Cranberry Jello

Lemon Drop Shooter
Lemon Jello
Vodka or Limoncello

Cherry Bomb Shooter
Cherry Jello

Captain Shooter
Orange Jello
Captain Morgan

Raspberry Shooter
Raspberry Jello

Malibu Shooter
Pineapple Jello
Malibu Rum

Enjoy your Jello Shooters, responsibly.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Superbowl Eats XLIII

27 days until Superbowl. Which teams will we see play in Tampa Bay, Florida? Whichever two teams make it, we must serve the best Superbowl Eats to honor them. We will eat to honor, their dedication, sweat, tears, and the fact that they bring families and friends together the first weekend of February for decades.

Pigs in Blankies
A Hot Appetizer everyone will love.

Pilsbury Crescent Rolls
Little Smokies
Your favorite Barbecue Sauce

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Remove Little Smokies from the plastic package. Dump them onto a microwave safe plate and nuke 'em for about two minutes. Remove Lil' Smokies from Microwave. Open and unroll crescent rolls. Cut each triangle into 4 triangles. You should get 32 Pigs in Blankies from one roll. Pop in the oven for 12-15 minutes. They should be golden brown. Serve on a platter with barbecue sauce.

Antipasti Tapas
These are simple and look great on a platter

Chunks of Salami
Chunks of Cheese (spicy jack, cheddar)
Red onion in one inch slice, cut in sixths
jalapeno stuffed olives or black olives
fancy toothpicks

Take a chunk of salami and pierce it with the fancy toothpick. Take a piece of onion and pierce that. Then cheese and top with the olive. Easy, a bit time consuming, but everyone will love these. They look great and taste terrific.

Hard Boiled Egg Footballs
For those on a protein diet.

Hard Boiled Eggs
Brown Food Dye
White crayon

Using the white crayon, draw to lines that meet around the ends of the hard boiled egg to resemble the lines on a football. In between those lines make the little lace marks. Place eggs in food dye, until the desired brown is dyed.

'Tater Skins

Small red potatoes
Canola oil spray
celery salt
shredded cheeses
green chilis
bacon bits
green onion or chives

Sour cream or ranch dressing

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Clean and pierce your potatoes. Place them on a microwave safe plate. Nuke 'em for about 2-3 minutes per side. If they feel done, cut them in half. If not nuke 'em another minute or two. After you cut them in half, use a spoon and carve out a little bowl for your toppings. Discard extra potato or use it if you want to make twice baked skins. (See directions below for those) On a cookie sheet, place potato halves skin side up and spray with canola oil and then sprinkle them with celery salt. Place the cookies sheet in the oven and bake them for 8-10 minutes. Pull them from the oven, flip them over and top them with cheeses, chilis and bacon bits. Place them in the oven for 8-10 more minutes or until cheese is melted and bubbly. Serve hot with sour cream or ranch dressing.

Twice Baked Tater Skins
Everyone loves them and you can make them with bacon or vegetarian style.

Follow the recipe above. Using the potato you scooped from skins, place in a bowl. Add a little butter and mash. Then add a little milk and mash. Once potato mix is mash potato consistency add a little cheese and chives. Fill baked seasoned skins with a spoonful of the potato mix and top as you would the skins as listed above.