Monday, January 24, 2011

Heath Bar Cake

From My Kitchen Cafe, of course! I often find myself on her food blog, just drooling! This cake is easy, delicious and very rich! We topped it with fresh whipped cream, yum!

Heath Bar Cake

1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
2 cups flour
1 stick butter, softened
1 cup buttermilk
1 egg
1 t vanilla
1 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
5-6 chocolate covered toffee bars (like Heath), chopped

Preheat oven to 350. Lightly grease a 9x13 inch pan.
In a large bowl, combine the sugars, flour and butter with a pastry cutter or fork until crumbly. Remove 1/2 a cup and set aside. Add buttermilk, egg, vanilla, baking soda and salt to the remaining crumb mixture and mix well.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan, spreading till it is even. Sprinkle the top with the 1/2 cup reserved crumbs and the chopped Heath bars. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until the center is no longer gooey but a toothpick still comes out with moist crumbs. The cake may fall slightly in the middle, but this is OK!

Serves 8-10

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Friday, January 21, 2011

Bean Dip

This bean dip has been a staple in our house since I was in high school. It is quick, easy and oh so good! My kids love this as a snack and can devour the whole thing in a matter of minutes. This is also a really good way to dress up plain old refried beans as a side dish.

Bean Dip

1 (16 oz) can refried beans
1/2 cup of your favorite salsa
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/4 cup sour cream

Mix together the beans, salsa and cheese in a sauce pan and heat until the cheese is melted, stirring to keep from burning or sticking to the bottom of the pan. When the cheese is melted, remove from heat and stir in sour cream. Serve warm with chips or as a side dish.
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Monday, January 17, 2011

Warm and Nutty Cinnamon Quinoa

I am LOVING quinoa right now. It is so good for you and I just love the flavor and texture. It is so versatile and can be used for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. I found this recipe on a website called 101 Cookbooks. This is such a wonderful, healthy breakfast I couldn't help but share it! I may have just found my new favorite breakfast!

Warm and Nutty Cinnamon Quinoa
(4 servings)

1 cup milk
1 cup water
1 cup quinoa*
2 cups berries (I used a frozen triple berry mix, thawed)
1/2 t cinnamon
1/3 cup pecans, toasted (you can use whatever nuts you like)**
honey or agave, to taste

In a medium pan mix together milk, water and quinoa. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat and simmer until all the liquid is absorbed (about 15 minutes). Add the berries and cinnamon and fold to combine. Top with nuts and honey.

*Some quinoa needs to be rinsed before using otherwise you get a bitter taste. I use Bob's Red Mill and have never had this happen but I know other brands can be bitter if not rinsed before using.

** To toast nuts place them in a single layer on a cookie sheet and cook in a 350 oven for 5-7 minutes.

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Friday, January 14, 2011

Fruit Pizza

This is one dessert that I have been making for a long time. It is easy, quick and oh so yummy! I also LOVE the way it looks and you can really change it up depending on what fruit you use.

Fruit Pizza

Sugar cookie dough (I use half a batch of these...but you can also used premade, store bought)
1 (7 oz) jar marshmallow cream
8 oz cream cheese
Fruit (I LOVE berries on this... mango, kiwi and peaches are also wonderful)

Press cookie dough evenly into a tart pan (or cookie sheet) until about 1/2 inch thick. Bake according to directions for about 10 minutes or until golden around the edges and cooked in the middle. Let cool. Mix together the cream cheese and marshmallow cream until smooth. Spread the frosting on the cooled cookie. Slice the fruit and arrange onto of the frosting anyway you like.

*If you use a cookie sheet you will probably need the full batch of my sugar cookie dough. If you only use half the batch, do not cover the whole cookie sheet, it will be to thin.
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Thursday, January 13, 2011

Chili Verde

I am completely in LOVE with Mexican food! I crave it daily, I never get tired of it, and I love to cook it. So when I saw this recipe over at My Kitchen Cafe, I immediately added it to my "must try" list. It is so good, the pork is so tender and it made for the perfect Sunday meal for my family and friends. Do plan time for this, though, and DO NOT skip the reducing of the sauce, it is VERY important to this recipe!
*I altered this recipe to use what I had on hand, this is my version

Chili Verde (Mexican Stewed Pork)
(8-10 servings)

2 T canola oil
5 pounds boneless pork roast, trimmed of as much fat as possible
salt and pepper for seasoning roast
2 yellow onions, chopped
5 cloves of garlic, finely minced
1 (15 oz) can green enchilada sauce
2 (7 oz) cans diced green chilies
2 (14 oz) cans petite diced tomatoes
1 cup beef broth
1 t ground cumin
1 t dried oregano
1/2 t pepper

Cut the roast into 3-4 large chunks. Season the pork with salt and pepper. In a large heavy pot, heat the oil over medium heat until shimmering and hot. Add the pork and brown on all sides (about 1 minute on each side), do not crowd the pork. You may need to do the pork in shifts. Leave the pork in the pot and add the onion and garlic and cook for 1-2 minutes. Place the pork, onion and garlic in the slow cooker and stir in the rest of the ingredients. Cover and cook on low for 8-9 hours. After the pork has cooked, remove it and shred it. Cover with foil to keep warm. Now pour the remaining sauce into a large sauce pan and bring to a boil. Simmer vigoriously for 20-30 minutes. Stir often to prevent sticking and burning. The sauce should be reduced by about half and thickened. Add the sauce and the pork back into the slow cooker and heat through. Serve with homemade tortillas, and all the fixings... cheese, sour cream, avocado, lettuce, tomatoes, salsa etc.
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Friday, January 7, 2011

Quinoa and Vegetable Stew with Chicken

I found this recipe over at Picky Palate. I absolutely LOVE soup (have I mentioned this before?) and am always looking for new recipes to try. I love this soup. And next time I am going to make it without the chicken, it was not necessary to me. The Quinoa has a lot of protein in it so you don't even need the chicken if you don't want it.

Quinoa and Vegetable Stew with Chicken
(8-10 servings)

2 T olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
4 stalks of celery, chopped
4 large carrots, sliced
2 cups sweet peppers, chopped
1 large zucchini, quartered and sliced
64 oz chicken or vegetable broth
1-15 oz can petite diced tomatoes
5 Yukon Gold potatoes, scrubbed and cubed into one inch pieces
3 cups cooked Quinoa
4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cooked and shredded (I used my fav Rotisserie chicken from Sam's)
2 T Dijon Mustard
1 T hot sauce
1 cup fresh parsley, chopped
Kosher salt, fresh cracked pepper and garlic salt with parsley to taste

Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat. Saute Onion, celery, carrots, peppers and zucchini until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in chicken broth, tomatoes and potatoes. Bring to a boil over high heat and then reduce heat and simmer until potatoes are tender, about 10 minutes. Reduce heat to low and add quinoa, chicken, mustard, hot sauce, salt, pepper, and garlic salt to taste. Stir in fresh parsley and simmer until ready to serve.
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Monday, January 3, 2011


This is the best recipe for homemade playdough! This is just one of the many ways we combat the cold Michigan winters. My boys think making this is so cool and they love to pick out the colors they want. I love how soft and squishy this is. I put a little peppermint extract in it so it smells yummy too!


2 cups flour
3 T cream of tarter
1/2 cup salt
2 cups water
2 T oil
1 T mint extract (optional)
food coloring

Mix all the ingredients together in a large pan. Stir constantly over medium-low heat until the moisture forms a ball. This usually takes about 5 minutes. Knead while it is still hot (this is where I add the different colors). Let it cool completely before storing a an airtight container or Ziploc bag. This DOES NOT need to be refrigerated!
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