Recipes For My Boys

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Artichoke, Spinach and Cheese Stuffed Peppers

I made dip the other night and thought it would be amazing cooked in those mini sweet peppers you buy by the bagful.  I was right!  They turned out wonderful!  Now I want to get some pepper plants to put in our little garden.  If you need'll more than likely find me digging in the garden.  ~smile~

Artichoke, Spinach and Cheese Stuffed Peppers

1 lb bag of mini sweet peppers, cut in half, leaving stems on (do not eat the stems) and seeds removed.  I saved mine and going to put them in pots to see if they will grow.  ~smile~
1 can of baby artichoke hearts, rinsed, patted dry and chopped
1 box (10 oz ? ) frozen spinach, thawed, drained and squeezed dry, chopped
1 cup chopped tomatoes, canned and drained or fresh
8 oz neufchatel cheese, room temperature
1/2 to 3/4 cup parmesan, grated
1/2 mozzarella, grated, optional.  I didn't use it.
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves...I just love this herb
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground lemon pepper
sea salt to taste
olive oil non stick spray or parchment paper

Stir neufchatel cheese to soften.  Add parmesan, garlic, thyme, lemon pepper and salt to taste.  I always start with the lesser amount and add more if needed.  Always make to your taste.  ~wink~
Stir chopped tomatoes, spinach and artichoke hearts. 

For cooked dip

The first night, I cooked this in the oven at 350 degrees until warmed through, as a dip served with homemade tortilla chips.  

The next day, I spooned what was left of the dip into the peppers and cooked in a cast iron skillet.  You will need a cookie sheet with sides if just making the bagful of stuffed peppers.

For the stuffed peppers

Preheat oven to 350 degrees, spray cookie sheet with olive oil or use parchment paper.  
Spoon cheese mixture into pepper halves.  Place on cookie sheet, you can have them touching to keep them upright.  
Bake for 20-30 minutes.  If you want to pick them up and hold them, get them out early.  Make certain the filling is heated through.  I actually put them under the broiler, with the door opened a crack, on low, for 8-12 minutes.  Keeping a close eye on them at all times.  Do not leave alone or they will burn! 

Enjoy!  <3 and hugs! 

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Pineapple Bacon Jam

Yep, you read it right!  Pineapple Bacon Jam with fresh pineapple and caramelized onions...........YUMMO!!!!   My oldest is taking FCAT tests this week and I wanted to make him some of his favorite foods during the week to reward him for doing an amazing job as well as comfort him.  Y'all know how food is a comforter, soother and just an all around warmth, when things are a little It's his first "big" tests and he is very nervous about taking them.  This is one he doesn't get very often at all but really loves.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Thyme for Garlic Parmesan Egg In the Hole

I am hungry!  We got up and fed the boys, took Lucas to school...FCAT testing this week, and then the twins.  Ted and I wanted to go shopping except the places we wanted to go didn't open until 9 and 10 o' was 8:15.  We thought for a half a second about going to that fast food chain that starts with a Mc but decided our breakfast at home was 100% tastier and healthier for that matter.  I knew what I wanted all the way home.  Egg in the hole.  I started cooking them and then wanted garlic bread...yes, for breakfast.  Then parmesan and thyme came into the picture.  The result were bites of delicious goodness.  Crunchy garlic parmesan toast with a sunny side up egg seasoned with sea salt, freshly ground pepper and thyme nestled inside.  Enjoy!  <3 and hugs!

Thyme for Garlic Parmesan Egg In the Hole

slices of bread
sea salt
freshly ground pepper
ground garlic
dried thyme leaves
non stick olive oil or a little butter

Cut a hole in the middle of slice of bread.
Spray or add butter to pan.
Heat on medium high.
Put slice(s) of bread in skillet.
Brown bottom of bread, lower heat to low and flip slice(s) of bread.
Crack egg and put in the hole.
Sprinkle with salt, pepper, garlic, thyme and parmesan.
Cook until the white is set...around 5 to 10 minutes.  

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Yogurt Cake Only 2 Ingredients

I had an idea to make a cake and when I went to make..I realized my boys had eaten up the ingredient I wanted to use!  lol I looked around and found what I thought was a suitable substitute.  It was!  Only 2 ingredients and a perfect moist, delicious cake!  It was more that I thought it would be.  YAY!!  Are you ready?  Here ya go!!!

Friday, April 13, 2012

Mary's Dried Beef Chicken

My Precious Mother In Law, Mary that I miss so much, would make this amazing chicken, especially when she would have a luncheon.  Ted and I were so delighted to have her make this for us.  ;D  She finally gave me the recipe and oh my, I was so thankful!  Super easy but does take a little time to cook.  Add sliced fresh mushrooms to it to make it extra special.  Enjoy!  <3 and hugs!

Mary's Dried Beef Chicken

4 halves chicken breast
1 2 oz jar dried beef 
4 slices lean lower sodium bacon
1 can cream of mushroom soup
8 oz sour cream
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon thyme
freshly ground lemon pepper
fresh mushrooms, sliced

Preheat oven to 340 degrees.  Spray a 8x10 pan with non-stick spray. 
Dried Beef
Layer dried beef in the bottom of pan.
Rinse and pat dry chicken breast.
Grind lemon pepper on chicken breast, top and bottom.
Wrapped in Bacon
Wrap bacon around chicken breast.
Place on top of dried beef.
Soup, sour cream, thyme and garlic
Mix soup, sour cream, garlic and thyme together.  Add mushrooms if you have any.  I didn't.  ;(
Soup mixture
Spoon over chicken breast.
Cover with foil and do not open for 2 hours.
Enjoy!  <3 and hugs! 
Uncover and turn oven up to 400.  Cook for 15-25 minutes until bacon is crisp.
Serve over cooked rice, noodles or with mashed potatoes!  
Enjoy!  <3 and hugs! 

Shared with:
Weekend Potluck

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Coconut Lemon Custard Pie w/Self Making Crust

I wanted something to eat besides chocolate.  We had our Dark Chocolate Coconut Bunny Butt cake for Easter...It was good!  I still have some coconut left so I thought I would make a pie.  It has been so long since I made this...I just about forgot how.  ;D  Grab a fork and help yourself....there is always plenty.  If not, I can always make more.  Enjoy!

Stuffed Soft Pretzel Bites

I love soft pretzels and thought I would try my hand at making them from frozen dough.  Super easy and fun!  I stuffed them with everything!  Chocolate chips, colby/jack cheese, hot dogs, rolos, broccoli and cheese,  and even chocolate chip cookie dough.  Yes, I did!  ~smiles~  Only thing was....they got mixed up and I didn't know what was in each one!  LOL  We had fun guessing and biting into each one.  It was like a box of chocolates.  You just don't know what you are getting until you dive in and take a bite out of it.  And, just like have to eat what you get.  ~smile~  Mix yours up too, for a little added fun!  Enjoy!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Ricotta Chocolate Chip Cups

Lucas is sick and I wanted to make him a little snack today.  By little, I do mean little.  This made 4 mini bites, you can easily adjust and make more.  Hope you like these little darlings, he certainly did!  <3 and hugs!

Ricotta Chocolate Chip Cups
this is just a snack makes 4 mini cups

ready made chocolate chip cookie dough, or your favorite
1/4 cup ricotta cheese
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
2 teaspoon milk, more or less depending on thickness desired
favorite toppings

Chocolate Chip Cups

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease mini muffin pan. 
Get a little bit of dough, the size of a quarter.  Roll it up then make an indentation in it.  Put it in the greased muffin tin.  Repeat until desired amount is made.
Bake for 5 minutes.  Take out of oven.  I used the back of a round 1/4 teaspoon measuring spoon to make another indentation in the cookie dough.  Do not go all the way through the sides or bottom.  
Put back in oven and cook an additional 3-5 minutes.  Until brown outside is brown and inside is very close to being done.  Take out of oven, run a knife around the edges and let cool in pan for 5 minutes.  Take out of pan and cool completely on wire rack.

Ricotta Topping

Whisk ricotta cheese, vanilla, sugar and milk until incorporated and whipped.  Spoon, or pipe into chocolate chip cups.  Top with your favorite fruit or grated chocolate.  Enjoy!  <3 and hugs!  

Saturday, April 7, 2012


Friday night and I promised my boys pizza.  I look, search, and plunder through cabinets and drawers for the yeast to make the pizza.  Uh Oh!  I am in trouble!  I cannot find it!  Think, think, think....  I remember seeing a pizza made with spaghetti...I'm saved!!!!  I hope.  I get the spaghetti out and they look at me as if I have lost my mind.  ;D  I made the spizza and it Works!  Woot Woot!  It tastes like spaghetti but it is Good!  Eating spaghetti in a pizza shape with your hands...Oh Yeah!  ;D  Hope you like it!  <3 and hugs!


6 oz spaghetti, cooked al dente
salt to cook spaghetti, if desired
italian seasoning, basil, oregano to sprinkle, pick and choose or use non 
parmesan cheese
1 egg, beaten
mozzarella cheese, or as we do, string cheese...btw, 1 string cheese = 1/4 cup
spaghetti or pizza sauce
pepperoni, cooked to release grease, optional
veggies, optional 


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Cook spaghetti or use leftover.
Grease pizza pan or cookie sheet.
Toss spaghetti, 1/4 cup parmesan, and beaten egg to cover spaghetti.
Form a circle on greased pizza pan.
Sprinkle with more parmesan and cook in a preheated 350 oven for 5-7 minutes, till starting to set.
Sprinkle again with parmesan and mozzarella on top.
Top with sauce and cooked, precooked pepperoni and/or other toppings.
Cook 15 to 20 minutes, depending on ingredients. 
If the bottom is moist, place on paper towels to remove moisture.
Cut and serve.  
Enjoy!  <3 and hugs! 

Alfredo Green Bean Casserole

A spin on my Mama's, and probably yours too, green bean casserole.  The one with mushroom soup, french style green beans and fried onions.  I loved my Mama's green bean casserole and looked forward to eating it.  However, my boys like alfredo better, so....I made it with alfredo sauce and it was  HIT!    Try it for something different.  I bet your family will like it too.  <3 and hugs!

Moist and Flavorful Roasted Turkey

I saw a turkey in the freezer the other day and knew right away that is what I wanted to eat.  The only problem was I had to way for it to thaw!  Oh boy, it was so worth the wait!  Every now and then, I just have to have turkey. It seems I always associate turkey with a holiday.  The smell of turkey throughout the night and into the morning as the day begins.  My Darling Daddy would set the clock for midnight, wake up and put the turkey in the oven, having it all set to go in the fridge. It was an amazing turkey but I prefer to cook mine just before I eat it.  Sometimes I brine it but today it went straight into the oven with a lemon, lemon basil, thyme, onion and margarine...Can you say YUM?!  I hope you enjoy it, we did!

 Moist and Flavorful Roasted Turkey

1 12 lb. turkey
1 stick margarine, very cold and sliced
2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more for sprinkling
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper (to your taste), more if desired for sprinkling
2 teaspoon dried thyme, more for sprinkling
6 to 10 lemon basil leaves
handful of garlic cloves, peeled and lightly crushed or head of garlic,cut in half
1 lemon, halved
1 small onion, quartered
spray or melted margarine to baste, if needed


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Remove neck and giblets from cavities of turkey.  Save to make gravy, if you wish.
Rinse turkey and pat dry.
Sprinkle salt, pepper and thyme inside of turkey cavities, body and neck.
Place garlic, lemon and onion pieces inside turkey.
Cut cold margarine into thin slices.
Mix salt, thyme and pepper in a small bowl.
Press margarine slices into salt mixture.
Fit your hand under skin of turkey and place slices of margarine between skin and meat.
Saving a few to rub the skin with.
Put lemon basil leaves under skin and on top of meat of turkey.
Rub remaining margarine slices on skin, squeeze half a lemon over the turkey.
Sprinkle salt, thyme and pepper if desired.
Put in a roaster and cook in preheated 350 degree oven for 45 minutes.
Baste with drippings, if any.  If not,  spray or brush with margarine.
Continue to baste every 30 minutes.
It should be done in 2 hours 15 to 30 minutes or 20 minutes per pound.  Mine was done in 2 hrs. 20 minutes.   Liquid should be clear when pierced in meaty part of thigh and drumstick move easily.  Temperature should be 175 to 180 degrees in the thickest part of thigh without touching bone.  Let sit for at least 15 minutes before carving.  Save juices in pan to serve over turkey as it is or made into gravy.  Enjoy! <3 and hugs! 
First day.  Very moist and oh so yummy!
Second day...just as moist and more flavorful! 

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Banana Cream Chocolate Eclair Cake and Mama

April 1st was the 20th anniversary of my Precious Mama's passing.  There isn't a day that goes by that I don't feel the void that was made, the day I had to say goodbye.  Nobody, try as they may, can take the place of your Darling Mama, or the ones that raised you.  She is your best friend, the one you think of when something, or someone, makes you smile, laugh, frown, cry....  My Sweet Mama wasn't around when I found out I was pregnant with my oldest, my first born child, at the age of 40.  She wasn't there to hear my twins first cries.   I needed her so when I had cardiomyopathy and congested heart failure one week after my twins were born.  When the cardiologist told me he didn't know if I would live or not.  When I was alone in Cardiac ICU because my husband had to stay home with my precious newborn twins and oldest son that was 2 1/2 years old.   I was praying desperately that my boys would have their Mama in their lives and not have to go through the pain I have.  I am truly Blessed to be here with them and to hear their sweet voices call my name "Mama."  <3 <3 <3

Mama's aren't replaceable, neither are the treasured recipes they used to make and the precious recipes that accompany them.  I found one of my Mama's recipes for Chocolate Eclair Cake the other day.  A very easy, no bake cake.  I new immediately I would make it, when I told the boys, they were very excited!  I decided to use banana cream, instead of vanilla, and added bananas in the cake, it was a hit.  Hope you enjoy making this recipe and making a new memory with, and for, your loved ones.  <3 and hugs!

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Easter Chicks and Chalkboard Eggs

Since I have all this chalkboard paint, I am painting just about anything that I come in contact with.  This morning it was plastic Easter Eggs.  After they were painted, I decided to make a chick.  I was showing Lucas the chick and he had a brilliant idea to have it hidden in the egg.  I just love how smart my boys are!  <3<3<3  I then made the chick, stuffed it inside the egg and wrote, crack me on.  Write peep, peep or cheep, cheep instead.  How cute is that?!  You can go around the seam with more paint to seal it, so it really cracks open.

Thought Full Jar

We have so much to be thankful for. Yet, sometimes we just need a reminder. I made this jar, full of thoughtful words. When my boys need a gentle reminder...I guide them to the jar, they pick out a piece of paper and talk about it. <3

This was so easy to do. All you need is a jar with a lid. Chalkboard paint and a foam brush. Super easy! I painted other jars and even poster board with an outline to hang on the wall.

I bought the jar at Wal-Mart.  Each side has a square.  Just paint inside of the square and you have a customized chalkboard jar.  If you go outside of the square, just scratch the paint off.  I've washed them in the dishwasher and they do well.  Super easy!  Enjoy!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Whole Wheat Blueberry Mango Coffee Cake and Robin's Sour Cream Coffee Cake

Before I started my blog last summer, I asked a few friends and family members, if they would share a recipe with me so I could write a cookbook for my boys.  Being an older parent, I wanted to leave something for my precious boys.   My Beautiful parents have both passed away and all I have are memories.  I wanted to share recipes, and memories, with my boys, of some of our friends and a few family members.  This is how my blog began....wanting to put a cookbook together.  Then wanting more than just recipes.  I wanted pictures and memories and crafts and memories and day trips and memories.....You get the idea.  ~smile~

This recipe is adapted from our sweet friend, Robin, her original recipe follows.  She is requested to make her Sour Cream Coffee Cake for her brother often.  Enjoy them both!  <3 and hugs!

Whole Wheat Blueberry Mango Coffee Cake

1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup all purpose flour
1 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1/2 to 1 cup sugar, 1 cup was a little too sweet for us, adjust to your taste
1/2 teaspoon clear vanilla extract, optional
3/4 cup mango nectar, I use Goya
1 cup sour cream
1 1/2 cups fresh blueberries, or frozen, rinsed and drained well
Extra blueberries for garnish
2 to 3 tablespoons whole wheat flour

Mango Glaze

2 to 2 1/2 cups confectioner's sugar 
remaining mango nectar, around 1/2 cup

Directions for Blueberry Mango Coffee Cake

Preheat oven to 325 degrees
Grease 9"cake pan or bundt pan.   I used 9" cast iron skillet
Whisk together first 5 ingredients and set aside.
Cream eggs and sugar until fluffy.
Add vanilla extract, if using, and mango nectar.
Alternated dry ingredients and sour cream, ending with sour cream.
Gently fold in blueberries.

Gently fold blueberries into batter. I folded them in too gently and they were not distributed evenly throughout the coffee cake.

Put batter in greased pan.  Cook in preheated oven, 45-60 minutes depending on pan used.
After 25 minutes, turn pan around and cook another 15.
Check and cook additional time until lightly brown and toothpick comes out clean.  Mine cooked 48 minutes in cast iron skillet.

Cool in pan for 10 minutes and turn out until wire.

Turn out of pan and then flip over so it sits upright.

Directions for Mango Glaze

Whisk together nectar and 2 cups confectioner's sugar until sugar is dissolved.  Add more sugar if needed.

Robin's Sour Cream Coffee Cake

Sour Cream Coffee Cake

Topping- 1 Cup of chopped walnuts

1/2 Cup of sugar

1 TBS Cinnamon mix all 3 together in a separate bowl and put aside til batter is made

1/2 cup of butter or margarine

1 cup of sugar

2 eggs

1 cup of sour cream

1 tsp of vanilla

2 cups of flour-sifted -----)

1 tsp of baking soda ) SIFT TOGETHER

1 tsp of baking powder )

1/4 tsp of salt---------------)

Mix above ingredients together,pour half of mixture into a greased floured tube or bundt 

pan.Add half of topping mixture ,sprinkle over the batter then add the rest of the batter and 

smooth it all around and add the rest of the topping mixture on top of the batter,Bake at 

350 degrees for 45 minutes, cool then place dinner plate over top of cake to flip out of pan

and then put plate on bottom and turn right side up. Over the years I have learned that if I

spray the pan with Pam spray and really spray it well I do not need to use flour in the pan

to coat it. Hope you enjoy

Monday, March 26, 2012

Banana Mango Frozen Yogurt

AWWWW.....Brain Freeze!!!  This was the effect of eating too much of this, too fast!!!!!
Lucas is sick and wanted frozen yogurt.  Hubby didn't get a chance to get any while filling prescriptions today, so...I made some!  It isn't overly sweet so add the orange juice if you like it on the sweet side.  Hope ya like it!  We did!!!

Banana Mango Frozen Yogurt

3 bananas
1 9 oz can mango nectar, I buy Goya
1/4 cup greek yogurt
2-3 Tablespoons orange juice concentrate, optional if you want it sweeter

Pour mango nectar into a freezer worthy container.  Place in freezer along with bananas, in peels.  Freeze for 3 hours or so.  
When ready to make....  
Cut bananas and mango nectar into chunks.
Put into food processor or blender, along with greek yogurt.  
Pulse until incorporated.  Serve immediately or place in freezer for later. 
Makes 6 4oz servings.  Easily doubled.  You will need to.  Enjoy!  <3 and hugs! 

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Hershey Cake

I found this while looking through some old recipes.  I don't know who it came from, but it has been around for a long time.  When googled it will pop right up with several links to basically the same recipe.  I made mine a little different, as usual.  This time, because I didn't have everything it called for and made adjustments along the way.  It turned out great and my boys wanted to eat it up as soon as it was taken out of the oven.  Of course, I didn't let them.  ;D  Enjoy!  <3 and hugs!
Hershey Cake

4 oz Hershey Candy Bar
4 oz semi sweet chocolate bar
2 eggs 
2 cups granulated sugar 
1 1/2 sticks butter or margarine 
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 1/2 cups plain flour, sifted
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup chopped nuts
1 cup mini semi sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Grease bundt pan.  
Melt chocolate in microwave for 30 seconds and then at 10 seconds intervals until almost melted.  Stir to completely melt.
Sift dry ingredients together and put aside.  Save a couple tablespoons to toss the nuts in.
Beat butter and sugar until fluffy.  Beat in chocolate until incorporated scrapping the sides if necessary.  Beat in eggs and vanilla.
Add flour and buttermilk alternately, ending with buttermilk.
Fold in nuts and chips.
Put in greased bundt pan.
Cook in 325 degree,  preheated oven for 50 to 60 minutes.
Leave in pan for 10 minutes and turn onto wire rack.
Drizzle whole cake, or individual slices, with chocolate syrup.  Enjoy!  

Friday, March 23, 2012

The Lodge Cast Iron Cookbook Review

I just love cast iron cooking and to be able to review The Lodge Cast Iron Cookbook as my first cookbook review, is truly an honor.  Thank you very much for the opportunity, Lodge Cast Iron Cookware.

Lodge Cast Iron cooking is a way of life.  It is the most treasured of all cookware.  There isn't anything that cannot be baked, fried, sauteed, boiled, grilled, tenderized, crushed or weighted down with it.  Memories of my Mama and Grandma cooking in it are forever kept in my heart.

The Lodge Cast Iron Cookbook is a wonderful accompaniment to their cookware.  I love the style of the book.  It is soft covered yet strong enough to hold up even in my kitchen with three young boys always helping.  The pages are thick, another plus when there are little helping hands and messes abound.

The Lodge Cast Iron Cookbook includes recipes contributed by amazing cooks, from chefs to food bloggers, National Cornbread Cook-off winners to cooking show hosts and everyone in between.  The pictures stand out and make you want to head to the kitchen to grab your cast iron cookware and ingredients to create the delicious recipes you have just viewed.

There are chapters of recipes with everything you may be thinking of cooking and then some.  I could start at the beginning with Seasonal Breakfast Frittata and cook my way through Maggie Doherty's Irish Soda Bread, which I did make and loved.  I have made many recipes that are absolutely amazing.  Savannah Red Rice, by Steven Satterfield, a delicious one skillet meal with shrimp, sausage, rice, tomatoes, vegetables and spices.  One serving just wasn't enough!   This was followed by Cherry Clafouti, the recipe in the book was adapted from the book You Can Trust a Skinny Cook by Allison Fishman.  I have never made clafouti before finding this delightful recipe in the cookbook.  My family will be glad to know that this will be made over and over again in our kitchen.

I was very happy to see a metric conversion table was included in the cookbook.  It is something that I find myself needing more and more.  There is also a page that explains how to care for and re-season your cast iron, should the need arise.  I know, that on more than one occasion, mine has been placed in the dishwasher by mistake and scrubbed a little too hard.  This is also great to know, should you be lucky enough to find, or be gifted with,   cast iron that is in need of a little TLC.  I was fortunate to purchase a 25+ year old Lodge Perch Cornbread Pan yesterday.  I immediately came home and re-seasoned it and cannot wait to cook it in.   Shall I make cornbread or dessert?  Both!

Cooking Outdoors is a favorite chapter, as we spend most of out time outside.  In it you will find out how to do Camp Dutch Oven Cooking, including the number of briquettes needed and where to position them.  My favorite part of this chapter is how to Make Your Own Bean Hole and how to cook in it.  This is something I am definitely going to do.

My very favorite part of The Lodge Cast Iron Cookbook, is the sharing of precious memories that accompany treasured recipes.  To me, there is always a memory that is part of each recipe.  Whether they are from days of ole or newly made.  Nothing makes food taste better than the cooking of Treasured Recipes in Lodge Cast Iron Cookware while thinking of, and sharing, Precious Memories.  Have a beautiful time making new recipes and memories, while preserving the old.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Easter Carrot Bags

So cute!  The boys are out of school this week and I wanted to start Easter fun!  I dyed some eggs..some worked, some didn't.  Some were beautiful some, well, not so.  ~smile~
I've seen those cute carrot bags filled with goldfish in Wilton decorating bags on the internet.  For me...they are way too expensive.  I decided to make the carrots on my budget using plastic storage bags.  Super easy and a whole lot cheaper.  Have fun!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Flourless Chocolate Cake

A very different kind of cake to say the least.  My boys Love it!  The outside is a little chewy. The inside is a velvety smooth, melt in your mouth delight.  The combination of the two is amazing.  As soon as the cake was gone, my boys were asking for another one.  ~smile~

Flourless Chocolate Cake

3 eggs
1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
1 cup bitter sweet chocolate chips
1 stick unsweetened butter, cut in slices
pinch of salt
1/4 cup sugar
1 cup buttermilk 
1 6 oz box JELL-O Instant Chocolate Pudding
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Grease 8” cake pan, spring form pan or 9” cast iron skillet.  I used a cast iron skillet.
Melt chocolate and butter in microwave in 30 seconds intervals, stirring to mix after each, until chocolate is almost melted.  Then in 10 second intervals until it is completely melted.  Do not over heat.  Cool. 
Beat eggs with sugar.  Add melted chocolate and butter and mix.  Add chocolate pudding and buttermilk.  Mixture will be very thick, like pudding.
Spread into a greased pan and cook for 25 minutes, turn pan around and cook for another 20-30 minutes.  Check to see if it is done by lightly pressing on the top.  It will feel soft to touch in the middle and the edges will be firm.  

Turn out of pan, and then, turn over again so that the top is the top.   Add your favorite toppings and enjoy! 

Double Mocha Cappuccino Topping
per serving

1/4 cup Fat Free Cool Whip
1/2-1 teaspoon Sugar Free Double Mocha Cappuccino Drink Mix
Mix together and top slice of cake

This recipe received Honorable Mention on Recipe Riot

Friday, March 16, 2012

Peppermint Dark Chocolate Cake Mix Cookies

I decided to make peppermint dark chocolate cookies for my oldest son's class.  It's the last day of school before spring break starts, YAY!  St. Patrick's Day is Saturday, so I wanted to make something special.   I looked through the pantry and found cake mixes.  Yep, easy cookies are in the making for me today.  They take a little bit of time but so worth the smiles.  Update.....they were a hit with the children at school, and home!  ;D

Monday, March 12, 2012

St. Patrick's Day Blog Hop, Colcannon and Irish Stew

Happy St. Patrick's Day!  Many thanks to Joan at Chocolate Chocolate and More for inviting me to be a part of this great St. Patty's Day Blog Hop.  I am honored to be a part of it with these beautiful foodie friends!   If you haven't already, please follow each of us.  I am on facebook, goggle connect, linky follow, networkedblogs, pinterest, twitter, rss  and email subscribe.  Facebook is on the lefthand side and the others are the right hand side of this page.  Enjoy!!  <3 and hugs!

Joan at Chocolate, Chocolate and more made Grasshopper Pie
Carrie at Carrie's Experimental Kitchen made an Irish Feast

I usually end up baking something to blog but this time, I wanted to share Irish Stew and Colcannon instead.   I went on a search for St. Patty's Day recipes and Colcannon was included.  Having no idea what it was, I took a look and so glad I did.  Mashed potatoes, cabbage, ham...foods I love all mixed together with a lot of butter and milk.  Mmmmm Mmmmmm Mmmmmmm!  To add to the yumminess of the dish, I found a folk song to go with it.  LOVE!  After you view the recipes and listen to the great song that is stuck in my head now, please visit my lovely friends in our...St. Patty's Day Blog Hop!  <3 and hUgs!

6-8 medium potatoes
1 head cabbage, cored and shredded
3/4 to 1 pound smoked ham, diced
4 scallions, sliced
1 stick butter, cut in temperature
1/2 to 1 cup warm milk
salt and pepper to taste
fresh, or dried, parsley for topping

Play song while you cook this great dish.  Boil potatoes in salted water until fork tender.  Drain.  Mash together with butter and enough milk to your desired consistency.  Cover cabbage with water, add ham and boil until tender.  Take cabbage out of pot and chop into small pieces along with ham.  Gently mix cabbage, ham and scallions with mashed potatoes.  When you serve, make an indentation in the middle, add butter and sprinkle with parsley.

Did you ever eat Colcannon, made from lovely pickled cream?
With the greens and scallions mingled like a picture in a dream.
Did you ever make a hole on top to hold the melting flake
Of the creamy, flavoured butter that your mother used to make?


Yes you did, so you did, so did he and so did I.
And the more I think about it, sure, the nearer I'm to cry.
Oh, wasn't it the happy days when troubles we had not,
And our mothers made Colcannon in the little skillet pot.
Did you ever take potato cake in a basket to the school,
Tucked underneath your arm with your book, your slate and rule?
And when the teacher wasn't looking, sure, a great big bite you'd take,
Of the creamy flavoured buttered soft and sweet potato cake.
Did you ever go a-courting as the evening sun went down,
And the moon began a-peeping from behind the Hill o' Down?
As you wandered down the boreen where the leprechaun was seen,
And you whispered loving phrases to your little fair colleen

This is all that was left to take a picture of.  :D
Irish Stew

1 1/2 pounds stew meat or chuck roast cut in cubes
1 onion, cut in large pieces
4-6 potatoes, cut in cubes
3 carrots, sliced
3 stalks celery, sliced
6 cups beef broth
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon thyme
1 large bay leaf
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup seasoned flour or flour

Toss stew meat in flour.  Cover bottom of heavy pot or skillet with oil and brown meat.  Add onion and cook until lightly browned.  Add 4 cups beef broth, 1 1/2 stalks sliced celery, garlic, thyme and bay leaf.  Bring to a boil and simmer for 1 1/2 hours.  Stirring occasionally.  Add potatoes, carrots, remaining celery and broth.  Cook until vegetables are tender, around 20 minutes.  Enjoy!  <3 and hUgS!

You may enjoy these also:
Corned Beef, Cabbage and Portobello Wheat Pizza
Non-Traditional Irish Soda Bread

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Irish Soda Bread with Dried Fruit

It's almost St. Patrick's day and I have been in the mood to cook the part.  You know, Corned Beef and Cabbage,  Irish Stew.....making Shamrock Shakes for my boys.  I've never made Irish Soda Bread before and so glad that I did.  I opted for a non-traditional bread, adapting this recipe from Barefoot Contessa's recipes for Irish Soda Bread.  While it isn't traditional Irish Soda Bread,  which has only flour, soda, salt and buttermilk,  it is great bread!  I didn't have any currants, couldn't find any and my boys ate all the raisins so I used what I had ... dried fruit bits and they made the bread wonderful!   Enjoy!

Corned Beef, Cabbage, Portobello Wheat Crust Pizza

A fun way to celebrate St. Patrick's Day!  Turn your corned beef and cabbage into a delicious pizza!  

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Strawberry Grapefruit Pie

A pie with two of my favorite fruit paired together to make a yummy dessert!  The boys want strawberry, I want grapefruit.  I made a pie to keep us all happy!  Enjoy!  <3 and hugs!

Strawberry Grapefruit Pie
I received an Honorable Mention on Recipe Riot for this pie <3

1 baked deep dish pie crust
2 lbs fresh strawberries, washed and sliced
1 large red grapefruit, peeled, membrane removed and cut in sections or pieces
1/2 cup Karo Syrup, light
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/4 - 1/2 cup water
3 oz box strawberry jello
3 tablespoon cornstarch
pinch of salt and pepper
whipped cream and fruit if desired

Bake pie crust according to directions.  Wash and slice strawberries.  Place in a colander  to drain.  When dry, slice.  Put some aside for toppings.  Peel, remove membrane and cut grapefruit in sections or pieces.  Put on paper towels to remove liquid.  Save some for toppings.  Dice 1/4 cup each strawberries and grapefruit put aside.  Put a layer of sliced strawberries on the bottom of the pie shell.  Add grapefruit and sprinkle with 2 tablespoons sugar.  Add another layer of sliced strawberries.  Heat Karo Syrup, sugar,  salt and pepper, diced fruit, water *start with 1/4 cup* and cornstarch, cook until thickened, stirring continuously.  Remove from heat and add jello, stirring constantly until dissolved.  If too thick, add a little water.  Pour over fruit and place in refrigerator until set.  At least 2 hours or until firm.  Top with whipped cream and additional fruit if desired.

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