Friday, November 14, 2014

Oreo Rice Krispie Treats

We like to have "snuggle nights" with our boys.  They get to stay up late and watch something fun or play games as a family.  It is a HUGE deal in our house and they will do almost anything to not miss out on these special nights!  Of course there are treats involved! It is usually some sort of milk shake, but when there is no ice cream in the freezer, you have to think quick!  I knew I had the stuff for Rice Krispie Treats but was in the mood for something a little more.  So, I added Oreos! Such a fun twist to an already quick and easy treat! They were a big hit with the "snuggle night" boys!

Oreo Rice Krispie Treats

4 T butter
5 1/2 cups mini marshmallows
5 cups Rice Krispie cereal
20 oreos, crushed
1 t vanilla

Grease a 9x13 pan and set aside. In a large bowl, combine Rice Krispies and crushed Oreos (I just smashed them in a large baggie). Set aside. Melt the butter and marshmallows in a large pan over medium heat, stirring constantly. Once the marshmallows are melted and the mixture is smooth, add vanilla and stir to combine.  Add the Rice Krispies and crushed Oreos to the melted marshmallow mixture.  Stir until evenly combined.  Press into prepared pan and let them cool and set.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Perfect Dinner Rolls

I am a little embarrassed at how many bread/roll recipes I have on here!  But lets be honest, I have a love affair with bread and LOVE trying new recipes.  Every couple of weeks I get an urge to try a new recipe and when I find a good one I just have to share!  These beauties are the perfect dinner roll, not too sweet, puff up perfectly and have a light, fluffy, buttery texture.  Pure heaven! I got the recipe here.

Perfect Dinner Rolls
(15 rolls)

1/4 cup lukewarm water
1 cup warm milk
1 T melted butter, plus one more T for brushing on the tops of the rolls
2 eggs
2 T sugar
1 1/2 t salt
 2 1/4 t yeast
4 1/2 cups flour

Combine the water, milk, butter, eggs, sugar, salt and yeast in the bowl of a mixer.  Add 2 cups of the flour and mix until smooth.  Add the remaining flour 1 cup at a time.  Mix until the dough forms a smooth ball.  You may not need all the flour.  Continue mixing the dough for 4-5 minutes.  The dough should feel elastic and slightly sticky.

Place the dough in a clean bowl sprayed with cooking spray.  Cover and let it rise until it has doubled about 45 minutes to 1 hour.

Spray a 9x13 inch pan with cooking spray.  Gently deflate the dough and divide into 15 equal parts.  Shape the dough and place into the prepared pan.  Brush the tops with melted butter.  Cover the rolls and let them rise for about 30 minutes or until they are double in size.

Preheat oven to 375.  Bake the rolls for 15 to 20 minutes or until they are golden brown.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Herbed Sliced Potatoes

We harvested about 60 pounds of potatoes from our garden this year!  So I am always looking for new ways to cook up these beauties!  I found this recipe here and LOVED that I got to use fresh herbs from my garden to season them! They were so easy, beautiful and delicious!  They will be gracing our table time and again!

Herbed Sliced Potatoes

4 large potatoes or 6 smaller ones
4 T butter (about 1 T per potato)
1 t course sea salt
2-3 T chopped, fresh herbs (I used thyme, basil, rosemary, and flat leaf parsley)
1/4 cup fresh grated parmesan, I used asiago, romano and parmesan mix

Preheat the oven to 400.  Wash potatoes and peel if desired (I used Yukon Gold, very thin skin, and left the skin on). Place each potato between two wooden spoons and slice until you hit the spoons.  This will cause the potato to be sliced but still hold together on the bottom.  Mix the herbs into the melted butter and brush onto the sliced potatoes making sure to get the butter and herbs between the slices.  Sprinkle with the sea salt.  Bake for 45 minutes.  Once or twice while cooking, spoon the butter that has dripped off back onto the potatoes. Sprinkle the potatoes with the grated cheese and put back in the oven for about 10 minutes or until the potatoes are soft and the cheese is melted.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Peach Cobbler Muffins with Vanilla Bean Glaze

Peach season is one of my favorite times of year! Late summer, not quite fall, last Saturday before school starts time of year.  I used this muffin base with chocolate chips and kept thinking to myself, this is all wrong!  It needs peaches, not chocolate chips!  So a couple of days later I added fresh diced peaches and vanilla bean glaze.  And like magic, these muffins were born!  They will made as many times as possible during this most delicious season!  Happy going back to school!

Peach Cobbler Muffins with Vanilla Bean Glaze
(12 muffins)

2 cups flour
1/3 cup white sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar
2 t baking powder
1/2 t salt
2/3 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup butter, melted and cooled
1/4 cup coconut oil
2 eggs
2 t vanilla
1 large peach (or two small ones) peeled and diced small

Vanilla Bean Glaze

1 cup powdered sugar
2 T milk
1/2 t vanilla bean paste (you can use vanilla extract too)

For the muffins:

Preheat the oven to 400.  Grease muffin pan or use liners.
In a large bowl, mix together flour, sugars, baking powder and salt.  Set aside.
In a smaller bowl, whisk together buttermilk, eggs, melted butter, coconut oil and vanilla bean paste.  I add the coconut oil to the warm butter and stir them together to melt the coconut oil.  
Add wet ingredients to the dry and mix until almost all the flour is absorbed.  Add the diced peaches and gently fold them in until they are incorporated and the flour is all absorbed.  Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin pan. Bake for 15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean and the edges are golden brown.  While the muffins are cooking make the glaze.  

For the Glaze:

Place all the glaze ingredients into a bowl and whisk until smooth.  While the muffins are still hot, drizzle glaze over the muffins.  Let them cool for 5-10 minutes.  Serve warm!

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Amazing Chocolate Chip Cookies

It seems like every family has something that they are "known" for.  Well, growing up, my family was "known" for our chocolate chip cookies.  Some of my first memories are of making cookies.  This is how we learned fractions, how we learned the basics of cooking, how we celebrated and how we mourned.  We always used the same recipe, it was one of the first things I knew by heart.  So you could imagine my utter sadness when I moved out of state and our tried and true cookie recipe did NOT work!  I have spent the last 17 years looking for another recipe that would replace my lost recipe.  Now, I have come across and shared some great cookie recipes on here but this recipe takes the cake,  at least when it comes to a good old simple, straight up chocolate chip cookie! These remind me of my family's recipe that stopped working the minute I left California behind.  They are chewy, slightly crunchy around the edges, wonderfully flavored, and perfect straight out of the oven!  I found the recipe here.  I adapted it slightly.

Amazing Chocolate Chip Cookies
(2 1/2 - 3 dozen)

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 t cornstarch
1/2 t salt
1 t baking powder
1 t baking soda
1 cup butter, softened to room-temp
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
1 large egg plus 2 egg yolks
1 T vanilla extract (yes 1 Tablespoon!)
2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cornstarch, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. Set aside.

In a large bowl, mix together butter, brown sugar and white sugar and cream until fluffy. Next add the eggs one at a time, mixing to incorporate each. Then add the vanilla and beat until smooth.

Add the flour in 3 intervals, mixing slowly and well.  Lastly, stir in the chocolate chips.

Place the dough in the fridge for at least 1 hour or up to 24.  If longer than 1 hour, make sure it is in an airtight container so it won't dry out.

Scoop the dough into Tablespoon sized balls and place on a cookie sheet about 1 1/2 inches apart.

Bake for 10-12 minutes.  They are done when the edges are golden. Cookies may seem slightly undone but remove from oven, they will continue to cook for a minute.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Orange Dream Machine (Our Version)

Our boys wake up almost every Saturday and ask to go to Jamba Juice. Their preferred flavor choice?  Orange Dream Machine. Everytime!! SO I finally decided I could probably make it cheaper and maybe even healthier.  Here is what I came up with and it has passed the taste test by every boy, including my husband!

Orange Dream Machine (Our Version)
(about 6 cups)

2 cups Orange Juice
1/2 cup Greek Yogurt (I used Honey flavored, if using plain you will need to add more sweetener)
1 scoop (2 oz) vanilla protein powder
1/2 t vanilla extract
2 T agave, or more to desired sweetness
3 cups of ice, or until desired consistency
2 Calamondin oranges (optional, I happen to have a tree.  They are really small about the size of a large grape) You could add 1/2 of a mandarin or a couple slices of a regular orange.

Place all the ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth. Adjust ice for consistency and agave for sweetness.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Lemon Zucchini Bread

I don't know about you, but when our zucchini plant starts producing we have a couple of frantic weeks that we have way more zucchini than we possibly know what to do with.  I have to get creative quick! So when I saw this lemon zucchini bread pop up on Pinterest I knew I had found a winner!  I mean lemon?! Zucchini?! Sweet bread?! Yes, Yes, YES! It did not disappoint! Although I have to say, the lemon dominates! The zucchini was just there as my justification that I was eating healthy! Add in the bonus of using one more of these fast growing, fast producing veggies and this bread is a keeper! Original recipe found here.

Lemon Zucchini Bread
(1 loaf)

2 cups flour
3/4 t salt
2 t baking powder
2 eggs
1/2 cup avocado oil (or canola)
1 1/3 cups sugar
2 T lemon juice
zest of 1/2 a lemon
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 c grated zucchini


1 1/3 cups powdered sugar
2 T lemon juice
1 T milk

Preheat oven to 350. Mix together flour, salt and baking powder and set aside.  In a large bowl beat the eggs.  Add the oil and sugar and mix until blended.  Add the lemon juice, buttermilk, and lemon zest to this mixture and mix well.  Stir in the shredded zucchini.  Add the dry ingredients to the wet and stir until well combined.  Grease a loaf pan and pour the batter into it.  Bake at 350 for 40-45 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.   While the bread is cooling, mix up the glaze.  Pour the glaze over the warm bread.  Let the glaze set before slicing.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Disappearing Marshmallow Bars

My friend brought these to a play date at the park and I think I may have moaned when I bit into one, I know, embarrassing! But they are that good!  The name of these definitely has a double meaning.  The first is that the marshmallows really do disappear when you cook them and the second is that the bars, themselves, disappear quickly because no one can keep their hands off! It is truly a sacrifice to wait for them to cool!  I never seem to be able to make it until they are completely cool before eating my first 1 or 4!

Disappearing Marshmallow Bars

1 cup butterscotch chips
1/2 cup butter (1 stick)
1 1/2 cups flour
1 cup brown sugar
2 t baking powder
1/2 t salt
1 t vanilla
2 eggs
2 cups mini marshmallows
1 1/2 cups chocolate chips

Heat oven to 350.  Grease a 9x13 pan with cooking spray.  In a sauce pan, over medium heat melt the butter and butterscotch chips together.  Stir constantly until smooth.  Be careful not to over heat these or  ooh them too long, they will separate. (I had this happen, I used an immersion blender to bring them back together).

Cool butterscotch and butter to room temperature.  In a large bowl mix together the flour, brown sugar, baking powder, salt, vanilla, eggs and butterscotch mixture, until smooth.  The batter will be thick.  Now stir in the marshmallows and chocolate chips.  Spread the batter into the prepared pan.

Bake for 25-30 minutes.  The center will feel a little soft, but will firm while cooling.  Let cool for 2-3 hours before cutting, if you can!

Friday, April 18, 2014

Perfect Black Beans

There is something wonderful in the simplicity of beans and rice!  I love how easy this recipe comes together.  It takes boring canned black beans and makes them into a meal!  They are so flavorful and satisfying!  I can't remember where I got this recipe from, so I apologize for not linking to the original recipe! We like these plain, over rice, or even topped with chicken, guacamole, cheese and salsa. The options are endless!  We refer to this meal as Chipotle style.  Start with beans and add what you want!

Perfect Black Beans
4-6 servings

4 t olive oil
1 bell pepper, seeded and chopped (I used orange, any would work)
1 onion, finely chopped
5-6 cloves of garlic, minced
2 (16 oz) cans black beans, drained and rinsed
1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
1 t dried thyme
1/2 t dried oregano
1 bay leaf
1/2 cup water
1/4-1/2 cup fresh, chopped cilantro
salt and pepper to taste

In a medium saucepan, heat oil over medium heat.  Add the onion, bell pepper and garlic and sauté until soft and tender, stirring regularly. Stir in the beans, tomatoes, broth, thyme, oregano, bay leaf and water.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the sauce thickens, about 45 minutes.  Stir in the fresh cilantro and salt and pepper (to taste).  Discard the bay leaf. Serve as desired.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Crockpot Pasta

I found this recipe on Pinterest and then changed it to what I had on hand and liked.  Such a great, easy crockpot meal!  Now who can argue with that!

Crockpot Pasta
1 lb. Italian seasoned ground turkey
1/2 onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 can tomato sauce
1 can stewed tomatoes
1 t Italian seasoning
1 t oregano
8 ounces campanelle pasta, cooked
1 1/2 cups fresh spinach
1/2-3/4 cup mozzarella cheese, grated
1/4 cup mixture of Parmesan and Romano cheese, grated

Brown the ground turkey.  Drain and then add onion and garlic.  Cook until onion is translucent.  Put into slow cooker with tomato sauce, stewed tomatoes, and spices.  Cook on low for 4-6 hours.  Add cooked pasta, fresh spinach and cheeses.  Stir until cheese is melted and spinach is wilted. Serve hot with this Artisan bread!

Monday, April 7, 2014

Chocolate Nutella Strawberry Trifle

I think the name says it all!  This is really such a yummy dessert! Be prepared to share, it makes a ton! I found the original recipe here, but tweaked it a bit.  Besides being delicious all together, this is the best "from scratch" chocolate cake recipe I have ever made!  It really needs its own post but I couldn't wait to share this with you!

Chocolate Nutella Strawberry Trifle


2 cups (250 g) cake flour
1 t (6 g) salt
2 t (10 g) baking soda
1 t (5 g) baking powder
3/4 cup (69g) unsweetened cocoa
2 cups (400 g) sugar
3/4 cup (180 ml) vegetable oil (I used avocado oil, it is healthier and you can't tell at all)
1 cup (240 ml) hot coffee (I am not a coffee drinker so I used Choffy.  It is roasted cocoa beans, seriously amazing stuff!)
1/2 cup (120 ml) buttermilk
1/4 cup (60 ml) cream
1/4 cup (60 ml) milk
2 large eggs
1 1/2 t vanilla bean paste

Preheat oven to 350.  Line 2, 9inch round cake pans with parchment paper circles. Spray with cooking spray.
Sift together flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder, cocoa, and sugar in a large mixing bowl.
Add the *hot coffee or Choffy, oil, milk, cream and buttermilk and beat for 2 minutes.
Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the vanilla and eggs. Beat for 2 more minutes. It will be very liquid-y.
Pour batter evenly into prepared pans. Bake for about 30 minutes.  The cake is ready when the cake springs back when lightly touched or when a toothpick comes out clean.
Let the cake cool for about 10 minutes in the pans.  Loosen the sides and remove to a cooling rack. Cool completely.

*This needs to be really hot to help dissolve the sugar and flour

Nutella Mousse

1 cup (250 ml) Nutella
5 T water
2 T (30 ml) butter, softened
1 1/2 cups (250 ml) whipping cream

Set a heat proof bowl over a pot of simmering water (The bottom of the bowl should NOT touch the water) and melt the Nutella with the 5 T water.  Mix until smooth.  Add the butter and mix until combined. Remove from heat.

In another bowl, whip the whipping cream until stiff peaks form. Fold 1/3 of the whipped cream into the melted Nutella.  Now add the rest of the whipped cream and fold until fully incorporated.  Refrigerate until ready to use.

Whipped Cream

2 cups whipping cream
1 t vanilla
1/3 cup powdered sugar

Whip all ingredients together until stiff peaks form.

2-3 cups sliced strawberries


Cut cooled cake into pieces.  Using a trifle bowl place a layer of cake on the bottom.  Spoon on 1/2 of the Nutella mousse. Top with 1/3 of the sliced strawberries.  Add another layer of cake, them the rest of the mousse.  Add another 1/3 of the strawberries.  Add another layer of cake and then top with whipped cream.  I left the last strawberries whole to put on the top.  Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Lemon Drop Cookies

I LOVE lemon!  Anything lemon! So when my dear friend made these for a luncheon and I ate half the plate, I knew I was in trouble!  {Thanks Ashley ;) }They are soft and chewy and tart and sweet!  I know, perfect, right?! Just wait until you make them, I dare you to not eat half the plate! The original recipe is found here.

Lemon Drop Cookies
about 4 dozen

1 1/2 cups butter, softened
2 cups sugar
3 eggs
2 t vanilla
1 t lemon extract
4 cups flour
1 1/2 t baking soda
1 1/2 t baking powder
3/4 t salt
zest of 1 lemon
6 oz. lemon drops, crushed (NOT lemon heads)

1  1/2 cups powdered sugar
juice of 1 lemon

Preheat oven to 350.  Cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  Add eggs and flavorings and blend well. Sift the dry ingredients together and slowly add to the wet ingredients. Add the lemon zest and crushed lemon drops and mix until combined.  Drop tablespoonfuls onto a cookies sheet covered in parchment paper** and flatten slightly with the palm of your hand or a fork.  Bake for 10-12 minutes.  While they are baking whisk together the lemon juice and powdered sugar to make the glaze. Let the cookies cool for 1 to 2 minutes and then brush the glaze over them with a pastry brush. Let them cool completely.  After they were cooled, I drizzled a little more glaze over the top to make them look striped.

*Lemon drops can be hard to find, I found them at my speciality grocery store and I also saw them at Michaels Craft store

**Make sure you don't skip this step!  The little candy bits will totally stick to the cookie sheet and make it hard to get your cookies off! Plus, when you are brushing the glaze on, it tends to drip and this makes cleaning the pans or starting another batch a snap!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Breakfast Scramble for One

Some mornings {ok, most!} I struggle to just get my kids to school. Forget the fact that I have to feed them, pack lunches, make sure their crazy bedhead won't embarrass me as a mother, etc… BUT, then, after I drop them off, its just me and my little {big} guy at home.  So, once I have started my washing machine and sometimes my dishwasher, I finally get to think about me.  This can be VERY short lived! But eating a good breakfast seems to make my day less daunting.  This breakfast scramble has been my go to, the last couple of days.  Inspired by these beautiful, fresh eggs my sweet neighbor brought me!  Don't they look all Easter-y?!  They just called to me to make a light healthy breakfast out of them.  So I went to work, and sat down {ALONE} at my table, grabbed my Kindle, and just savored my minute alone! Hope you enjoy this with a little quiet time of your own! HAPPY SPRING!

Breakfast Scramble for One

2 eggs, slightly beaten
1 T diced onion
diced ham or bacon
2 T diced tomato
a small handful of fresh spinach
shredded cheese
olive oil
salt and pepper

Heat a drizzle of olive oil in a pan over medium heat.  Add onion and ham.  Cook until onion is soft and ham just starts to brown on the edges.  Add eggs and stir until eggs are cooked.  Add tomato and spinach and continue stirring until the spinach is wilted.  Salt and pepper to taste. Top with shredded cheese.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Cheesy Potatoes

This is a recipe my Grandma Twinkle always made to go with a Honey Baked Ham.  They go together perfectly!  This makes such a great Easter meal!

Cheesy Potatoes

1 lb. frozen hash browns
1 cup chopped onions
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup butter, melted
8 oz cheddar cheese, shredded
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 375.  Grease a 9x13 pan.  Mix all the ingredients together until combined.  Press potato mixture into prepared pan.  Bake for 1 hour or until golden brown on the edges.
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Friday, February 28, 2014

Giant Chocolate Chip Cookies

I needed these today! Just a moment of weakness or a burst of inspiration, either way, they were YUM!  Sometimes I just like to go in the kitchen and start throwing ingredients together to see what I come up with.  There is nothing special in these, just a different combination of measurements but I am digging how they turned out! Maybe they are just better because they are bigger

Giant Chocolate Chip Cookies
about 15 BIG cookies
(cookies are about 4 inches across)

3/4 cup butter, softened (1 and 1/2 sticks)
1/4 cup coconut oil
3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
3/4 cup sugar
2 t. vanilla
1 egg plus 1 egg yolk
1 t. baking powder
1/2 t. baking soda
1/2 t. salt
2 1/4 cups flour
1 cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 325. Cream together butter and coconut oil.  Add both sugars and mix well.  Add vanilla, mix again.  Next add egg and egg yolk and mix until incorporated.  Add baking powder, baking soda and salt, mix.  Add the flour and mix until there is no more white.  Add the chocolate chips last.  Once it is all combined, make ice cream scoop size balls and put 6 on a cookie sheet covered in parchment paper.  Make sure to leave lots of room for spreading. Bake at 325 for 15 minutes or until golden brown on the edges.

*When you are making cookies this size, baking for longer time on lower temp allows for the cookie to cook at the way through.

Thursday, February 27, 2014


This is a recipe that my family made growing up.  They were always a favorite special breakfast for us and I love that I can carry on the tradition with my kids!  They were a little skeptical about these but when I explained they were simply round pancakes, they jumped on board quickly!  We love topping these with fresh strawberry jam and powdered sugar but lots of things are delish.  Some things to try are: Syrup, nutella, apple sauce, fresh berries… I could go on, but I think you get the picture.  These do need a special pan.  It is called an Aebleskiver pan, Amazon has them for around $20.  It is a cast iron pan with round holes in it.  Aebleskivers are a Danish tradition.  The Danish cooks liked to use a long knitting needle to turn them in the pan.  You can use a fork, or I like to use a kabob skewer, it was just easier for me.

makes about 30

2 cups buttermilk
2 cups flour
2 eggs, separated
2 t. baking powder
1/2 t. salt
1/2 t. baking soda
2 T. sugar
4 T. melted butter
oil for cooking

Separate eggs and beat the whites until stiff peaks form. Mix all the other ingredients, except the egg whites, together and mix until smooth.  Fold in the egg whites last.  Put about a tablespoon of oil in the bottom of each Aebleskiver pan cup, heat until oil is hot. Once the oil is hot, pour about 2 Tablespoons of batter into each cup.  When they start to bubble around the edges, turn quickly. Continue turning and cooking the ball to keep it from burning.  It is done when the entire outside is golden brown and it is cooked through the middle.  I inserted a toothpick in the middle to check for doneness (Is that a word?). Once it is done, place on a paper towel covered plate.  Serve hot with any toppings you desire.

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