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September 19, 2010

4 Ingredient Chocolate Cookies

Yep, you read that right! These cookies have just 4 ingredients!  How simple can it be, really?
And, they are really good, kid friendly, and just plain easy...Lovely!

1 pkg. chocolate cake mix
1-8 oz. frozen whipped topping, thawed
1 egg
1/2-3/4 c. powdered sugar
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Mix the first three ingredients together until very will incorporated.  The dough will be stiff.
Drop by teaspoon full into the powdered sugar, rolling to coat the ball completely.  
Place the ball on a baking pan that has been lined with parchment paper.  Press down the ball with the bottom of a cup that has been dipped in the powdered sugar.
 Bake for 12-15 min, until the cookie has 'cracked' open and appears just slightly wet withing the cracks.
Cool completely on a wire rack, store in a covered container.  Makes approx. 3 dozen cookies.
Yummy, yummy, in your tummy!
Note:  Try making these with a lemon cake mix too-great!

September 18, 2010

No Bake Brownies-no kidding!

I knew the minute I saw the title of this blog that I was going to love it! 
See?  I love cookbooks, I read them like other's read literature, I collect them, I re-read them, again and again, I spend hours browsing through them in other words, Kristan, the self titled Cookbook Queen is a woman after my own heart!
Well, then I started browsing through her blog, and yep, I spent HOURS reading her recipes and notes, and I'm hooked!  Here is one of the recipes to first catch my eye!

Quoted from Kristan's blog:  "For today, because it's been so dang hot outside, I chose the no bake brownies. And I get that you may be skeptical, I was at first too. How brownie-like can they taste? I can assure you that although they are not exactly typical, they are definitely a brownie. Crushed vanilla wafers soften to a cakey consistency that is just right."
~2 c. semisweet chocolate chips
~12 oz. can evaporated milk
~3 c. vanilla wafer crumbs
(crush the contents of an entire 12 oz. box)
~2 1/2 c. miniature marshmallows
~1 c. sifted powdered sugar (Do NOT skip the sifting)
~1/2 tsp salt
~1 c. chopped cocktail or dry roasted peanuts

Line a 8"  or 9"  square pan with foil, leaving a 2"  overhang on 2 sides. Generously grease with butter and set aside.
Combine chocolate chips and 1 1/4 c. evaporated milk in a microwavable bowl. 
Microwave on low power, stirring every 30 seconds 
until chips are fully melted. Set melted chocolate mixture aside.
In a large mixing bowl, combine vanilla wafer crumbs, marshmallows, powdered sugar, salt and peanuts. Stir until blended. Reserve 3/4 c. melted chocolate mixture for the top of brownies. Add remaining melted chocolate mixture to the crumb mixture. Stir until well combined. Using fingers, press evenly into bottom of prepared pan.

Add 1 tsp. remaining evaporated milk to reserved melted chocolate mixture. Stir until smooth. Spread evenly over chocolate crumb mixture. Chill in pan 1 hour or until chocolate is set.

These brownies can be stored at room temperature for up to 3 not freeze them.
Disclaimer: Reading her blog is dangerous.  It will consume you, and your family won't know where your at!

September 14, 2010

Eggs Benedict

My husband and I love eggs benedict, but hollandaise sauce can take more time to make that I like, so I was really happy to find this quick and easy recipe!
Many thanks to Sara over at Readhead Recipes for this great dish!  And take a minute to hop over to her blog, she has great recipes there!

Simplified Eggs Benedict
egg gravy, see below
4 eggs
4 slices of Canadian bacon, heated up in small frying pan
2 English muffins, cut in half and toasted

Faux-Hollandaise (aka Egg Gravy)
2 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsp flour
1/4 tsp yellow mustard
1 1/2 c milk
salt and pepper to taste

Melt butter over medium heat in saucepan. Add flour and stir with wooden spoon until slightly golden in color. Add mustard and a little salt and pepper. Slowly add the milk, a few tablespoons at a time until well incorporated. Once all milk is in, bring to a soft boil until the thickness is to your liking. If it gets too thick you can add more milk.
Poach eggs and toast just before ready to eat. To poach eggs bring water to a soft boil, turn heat to low. Drop eggs in gently and let simmer over low for about 4-6 minutes or until yolks are hard enough for you. To test, push gently on the yolk with the back of a spoon. Remove with slotted spoon and drain off water.
To assemble place English muffin, then Canadian bacon, then egg, then sauce. Serve immediately and eat up (cause nobody likes cold eggs).
Serves 2.

September 11, 2010

Snickering Krispie Treats

Megan and I are junk food junkies (well, ok, it's really just me, but I need company).
This recipe will make you very happy... 4 ingredients, and huge raves from your family!

6- (1.76 oz) Snickers with almonds candy bars
(this is the standard size candy bar)
6 c. crispy rice cereal
2/3 c. butter 
(don't substitute with margarine, the water content will make the cereal flat and soggy)
2 c. miniature marshmallows

In a large saucepan over medium low heat melt butter.  Cut each candy bar into 4 pieces, and add to melted butter, stir constantly until candy bars are almost completely melted, then add marshmallows and continue to stir until everything is completely melted and incorporated together. Mix in cereal, making sure it is all well coated.  Immediately pour into a 9 x 13 pan that has been lightly coated with non-stick spray.  Press evenly and lightly into pan, let cool, then cut into squares.  Store in an airtight container (if they even make it to the container without being gobbled up).

I have also made these using the creamy caramel Mars Bars.

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September 10, 2010

Vanilla Cupcakes (Dairy Free)

These wonderful cupcakes are actually a vegan recipe, but don't let this put you off, they are delicious!  If you or a someone you know if lactose intolerant, go for these, and try the frosting recipe too!

 RECIPE: Vanilla Cupcakes

Vegan Vanilla Cupcakes
  • 2 cups + 2 Tablespoons all purpose flour, sifted
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup + 2 Tablespoons sugar
  • 1-1/2 cup vanilla soy milk or soy creamer
  • 1 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Sift all dry ingredients and set aside.  Add all wet ingredients to the dry and stir until smooth.  Scoop evenly into 24 cupcake liners and bake at 350 degrees F for 15-20 minutes until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.  Remove from oven and cool completely. 

This frosting recipe is one we have posted before, but it is so much quicker to have these 2 recipes available in one post, don't you think?
     Dairy-Free Butter cream frosting 
½ cup vegetable shortening 
½ teaspoon salt 
4 teaspoons vanilla extract 
6 cups powdered sugar 
½ cup coconut milk, shaken and well mixed before measuring
 In a large bowl, mix together shortening, salt, vanilla, and 2 cups of the powdered sugar. Add in remaining sugar, 2 cups at a time and alternate with coconut milk. Add more coconut milk to thin and more sugar to thicken the icing, if needed. Beat on high speed for 10 minutes until light and fluffy.

September 9, 2010

Puffy Rice Balls

This fun and simple recipe dates back to my childhood.
It can not be simpler!
Be sure to make a double or triple batch because like rice krispie treats, these get snatched up fast!
6 c. puffed rice cereal
1/2 c. butter
6 c. miniature marshmallows
 In a large sauce pan melt butter over medium heat.  Add marshmallows, stir constantly until marshmallows have melted and are completely incorporated. (at this point I always add 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract, but the original recipe does not call for it)
Immediately stir in the puffed rice cereal until completely coated.
Form into balls, let set on waxed paper for about 15 min. Store in a covered container.
Helpful hint:  The mix is very hot when you start to form the balls.  Have a small glass of cool water on hand and dip your hands in it between balls.  This keeps your hands from burning, and also keeps the cereal mix from sticking to your hands! (see I told you this was helpful)
The recipe makes about 13 balls in the size you see above.

September 7, 2010

Donut Muffins

(A note from Lindsay over at Our Family Treat)  A few weeks ago we were watching "The Best Thing I Ever Ate." Someone said the best thing they ever ate was a donut muffin. Of course we knew we had to make donut muffins. Their our four words I would use to describe these muffins...THE. BEST. MUFFIN. EVER! Well in my opinion at least! These muffins were quickly devoured by me and my kids...and Brooks and his friend from work. They make the perfect breakfast, dessert, after school snack, dinner...ok really you can make them for anything, you will just want to make them.

(it's worthy of 2 pictures:))

Makes 12 muffins

1/3 cup oil
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg
3/4 cup milk
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 3/4 cups flour

1/2 cup melted butter
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 tablespoon cinnamon

Mix together oil, sugar, egg and milk. Then add dry ingredients. Mix well. Grease muffin tin, and bake at 350 degrees for 18-20 minutes. While the muffins are baking mix together sugar and cinnamon in one bowl, and melt butter in another. When muffins are done cooking, remove from tin. Coat each muffin in butter and then in cinnamon/sugar mixture.  Enjoy!

I love desserts-obviously.  This is a recipe you just have to try.  I made these this afternoon, and they were so good I ran to my computer to re-post this recipe for you!!! YUMM-O!
So easy, and yet so decadently delicious.  You can impress your friends and family with your baking skills and no one will ever realize how quick and easy these are to whip up-Yaaa Hoo!

September 5, 2010

Easy ham rolled biscuits

This was a favorite meal for my kids, and with 3 ingredients (plus a couple more for the optional dipping sauce), its very economical and fast!!  I love fast!  These are a tasty after school snack too!
2 tubes buttermilk biscuits (10 ct.)
2 pkg. (2oz.) luncheon meat
(ham, turkey, chicken, beef-which ever is your family's favorite)
5 individual string cheese 

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Open the tubes of biscuits and separate. Cut each string cheese into 4th's. Using 1 biscuit, press out with your hand to a 4-5" slightly oval shaped circle.

Take 1 slice of meat, fold in half, lay on top of pressed out biscuit, then place 1 piece of the string cheese on the end closest to you.  Roll up, pressing seam and ends together to seal.Repeat these steps for each biscuit.
Place on a baking sheet and bake for about 12 min. until golden brown.

While the roll ups are baking prepare the dipping sauce:

1/2 c. mayo or salad dressing
3 Tbsp mustard
(you can use any kind of mustard you like, honey mustard is delicious for a slightly sweeter taste)
2 Tbsp. milk
3 dashes Tobasco sauce (optional)
Mix very well in a small bowl.

VOILA THE DISH IS COMPLETE!! See, it's so easy and your children will love helping out!  I usually serve these with just potato chips and fruit.  These also make great appetizers.

September 4, 2010

Amber's QUICK creamy pasta dinner

 What can be simpler than a dish with 5 ingredients, one your kids are sure to love, and is ready to serve in under 30 minutes? A great basic pantry dinner, you can adapt to your family's tastes.

Creamy Pasta and Spinach

  • 12 ounces spaghetti, uncooked (I use thin spaghetti noodles-my family's preference)
  • 1 lb.  ground sausage (I actually use roasted, shredded chicken which I purchase from Costco)
  • 1 jar (24 oz.) spaghetti sauce-use your favorite
  • 4 oz.  Cream Cheese, cubed
  • 1 cup frozen spinach, thawed and drained (ya I hate spinach. Leave it out, or maybe replace it with a different veggie like chopped broccoli)

Cook spaghetti as directed on package.
While spaghetti noodles are cooking, brown meat in large skillet. Stir in sauce and cook on low heat 3 to 5 minutes, add cream cheese and spinach and stir until cream cheese is melted and completely incorporated.
Drain spaghetti and toss with sauce.  It's fabulous!

September 1, 2010

Coca Cola Cupcakes

I have noticed a huge trend in cupcake making lately!  And oh my gosh the yummy things that people are creating is astounding!
I have got to create a new category all about cupcakes because there are just too many to pick and choose from...
Here's a great one from A Cuppy Cake Life!

Coca Cola Cupcakes

Let me just tell you, the fudge frosting for these is reason enough to make them! In fact, you may find yourself eating it by the spoonful before it even hits the cupcakes. It really is that good! Now these cupcakes do contain cola, but you don't taste it. It just makes them super moist.

When filling your muffin tins or liners, do not fill past halfway. Trust me! I threw out half of these because they were destroyed. The rest were really ugly which is why they are in mason jars. Since I put them in jars, I decided to add a few extra touches. If you are making them to stand alone, mix the pecans into the fudge before frosting. I cut the cupcakes in half (like a layer cake). I put in a layer of cupcake, then fudge, mini marshmallows, pecans, the other half of the cupcake, more fudge, whipped cream, and finally more pecans. I used pint-sized jars. If you use a larger jar you could fit two cupcakes in each one. As always, just have fun with it!

Coca-Cola Cupcakes
(Makes 24 regular cupcakes)

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup buttermilk
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup Coca-Cola
½ cup butter
½ cup vegetable oil
¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
4 cups large marshmallows

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line muffin tins and set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, sift together flour, sugar, and baking soda. With an electric mixer, beat in buttermilk, eggs and vanilla until well mixed. Set aside.

In a small saucepan, mix cola, butter, oil, and cocoa powder. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and add marshmallows. Cover with lid and allow marshmallows to begin to melt. Stir until well mixed. You may have to put back over low heat to completely melt the marshmallows. If so, stir constantly.

Combine marshmallow mixture and batter with electric mixer until well incorporated. Spoon into liners, filling no more than halfway. Bake for 14-18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Allow to cool in pans for 5 minutes before removing to wire racks to cool completely.

Fudge Frosting

¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
6 tablespoons Coca-Cola
½ cup butter
1 pound powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup chopped pecans

In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine powdered sugar and vanilla. Set aside.

In a small saucepan, mix together cocoa powder, cola, and butter. Heat over medium heat until mixture comes to a rolling boil, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Add to the powdered sugar mixture (along with pecans if desired) and beat together until frosting is thick and has cooled. Top cupcakes and enjoy! 
Great Labor Day Weekend Treat don't you think? Yummy!