Sunday, November 19, 2017

My blog peeps...Apple pie recipe is here for the Holidays!


Photo taken from Google images
Apple pie...
An American classic and Holiday staple.
Let me share how to make a fantastic apple pie. Read the entire recipe and you will find a tip for an added zip at the end!


Apple Pie


Filling:


         4-6 apples (peeled, cored and cut into chunks)*

         ¾ cup of cinnamon sugar

         1 tablespoon of flour


Crumble Topping:

         1 cup of flour

         1 cup of brown sugar

        2 tsp cinnamon

        4 Tbsp. butter, cold

1 unbaked pie crust



Preheat your oven to 375*.

Peel and cut your apples into small pieces.

Place your apples into your pie crust. Add sugar and flour to your apples and gently mix with your hands to combine ingredients.

Combine your crumble topping in a separate bowl.

First add your flour, sugar and cinnamon. Then, add butter and blend with a pastry blender or with your hands (do not melt butter, add cold).

Sprinkle topping over the apples.

Cover the edge of the crust with foil for the first 25 minutes while baking.

Remove foil and continue to bake for another 30 to 35 minutes.

Your total baking time will be for 50 to 60 minutes.

Eat it warm with ice cream or chill before serving!

* If you are a coffee addict, use coffee ice cream to top your pie!

*For an added zip, add ½ can of crushed pineapple to apple mixture before baking…this makes for an apple pie with a twist!

Order your pie plate right here...



Looking to make your own pie crust in a snap? Here are TWO easy pie crust recipes! 

Best EVER Sweet Potato Casserole

photo: google images
I know, I know, you see the title, "Best ever sweet potato casserole" all over the internet. But, I can not tell a lie. This is truly the best I have ever had! I make the same exact recipe every year...I never deviate.

I am a firm believer in Boston Markets sweet potato casserole...but this one I love just a smidge more!

Now, here is the question of the ages....is this a side or a dessert? It is a great debate. I say...it is a sweet side, so enjoy with dinner!

Best EVER Sweet Potato Casserole

Casserole
  • 4 cups sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 1 1/2 cups white sugar
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • 3/4 cup butter, melted
  • 1 cup evaporated milk
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 2 cups mini marshmallows
  • 1 cup flaked coconut
Topping
  • 2 cups crushed corn flake cereal
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 3/4 cup pecan bits
  • 3/4 cup butter, melted

Boil potatoes until tender (or used canned sweet potatoes).
Preheat oven to 400*.
Spray 9x13 baking dish with butter spray.
In an extra large bowl, mash up potatoes then add the remaining casserole ingredients.
Mix together well and pour into prepared baking dish.
In a separate bowl, combine topping ingredients.
Spread topping over casserole.
Bake for 25 to 30 minutes...until bubbly.

Order your 9x13 baking dish today! Pyrex is my fave! 


Friday, November 17, 2017

Customize your sprinkle cookies for any Holiday...



Problem: I love lemon sprinkle cookies, but want to serve them for Thanksgiving. How could I make them festive for this Holiday?

Answer: Use different colored sprinkles to make these lemon sprinkle cookies suitable for any Holiday!


Lemon sprinkle cookies always catch the eye because of the various colors of sprinkles that surround each one.


For Christmas, use red and green sprinkles.
For birthday sprinkle cookies, use multiple colored sprinkles.
You can also use chocolate sprinkles for a Thanksgiving look or orange and brown sprinkles for a Halloween themed cookie.

Go beyond the sprinkle! Try using small Holiday shaped candies to roll your cookies!



Lemon sprinkle cookies

         ¾ cup margarine

         1 cup sugar

         2 eggs

         ½ tsp salt

         ½ tsp baking powder

         2 to 2 ½ cups flour

         1 ½ tsp vanilla

         1 box instant lemon pudding mix

         Colored sprinkles


Preheat oven to 350*.

Line 2 cookie sheets with non-stick foil.

Cream together margarine and sugar.

Add eggs one at a time.

Add flour, salt and baking powder.

Add vanilla and pudding mix.
Pour sprinkles onto a paper plate.

Spoon a teaspoon at a time into sprinkles and coat each cookie.

Place on cookie sheets about 1 inch apart.

Bake for 9 to 11 minutes.

Check out these Christmas themed sprinkles!

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Reese's fudge, Reese's fudge, Reese's fudge! Could it be so easy?


Can you believe that Thanksgiving is next week? It seems unreal to me, but I'll live. And whether I believe it or not, it's still coming! Yikes! 

I have an easy, rich and delightful recipe for you to try. Your family and friends will love it and think you spent hours making it! But, in all honesty, it may take you 15 minutes to prepare this scrumptious dessert. 


No bake Reese's Peanut Butter Cup Fudge 
  • 1 bag semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk
  • 16 Reese’s peanut butter cups

Prepare 8x8 square baking dish by lining it with no-stick foil.
Line dish with 12 Reese’s cups and set aside. 
Add into a 4 cup glass Pyrex measuring cup: chips and milk and stir. 
Place into microwave for 1 minute (on high heat) and stir.
Place back in for 30 seconds, remove and stir.
Do this until it is completely melted. Be sure you stir it every time you check it because chocolate chips keep their shape until they are stirred. So, it may appear that they are not melted and can easily burn if you do not stir them.
When ready, pour into prepared pan.
Top by crumbling the remaining cups over the top of the fudge and gently press them into the fudge.
Refrigerate a minimum of 3 hours and cut into 1 inch squares.



Get two 8x8 baking dishes in just 2 days with PRIME! 


You're welcome! :) 




You can also make your own peanut butter cups! You can use any shape mold, included the peanut butter cup candy molds you can buy. If you do not have candy molds, you can use a mini muffin tin to make your cups!

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Best pie crust tips ever! (And super easy recipe)




Have you ever made a pie crust that was too crumbly, too wet or too sticky? Check out this   list of tips to help you make the best crust for your pie.


Flaky Pie Crust

           1 cup plus 2 Tbsp. un-sifted flour

           1/2 tsp. salt

           1/3 cup oil (any vegetable oil)

           2 Tbsp. water

Stir together and roll out between 2 pieces of waxed paper.

If your dough seems wet, add a touch of flour until it reaches the desired consistency to roll.


Problem: Crust will not form.

Fix: If your crust is crumbly and will not stick together to form into a ball, chances are it is    not moist enough. Try adding a few drops of water until it holds together.

Problem: Crust cracks as you roll it out.

Fix: If your crust is cracking as you roll it with your rolling pin, it may be too cold. Allow it to warm to room temperature and try rolling it again.

ProblemDough is sticking to the rolling pin.

Fix: If your dough is sticky, it may be too warm. Place in refrigerator for 10 minutes and try  again. You could also try and add a slight amount of flour to the dough to get it to stop         sticking.

Problem: Crust is not brown.

Fix: If you would like a nice brown look to your crust, brush it with milk or an egg wash        before baking.

Tips:

If you are pre-baking your pie crust, do not stretch it into the pie plate. Be sure to roll it out  large enough to fit. Also, you can poke holes in it to keep it from puffing up while baking.

To get your pie crust easily into your pie plate, roll it out on a piece of waxed paper and       then flip it over onto the plate. Remove waxed paper and you are all set!

Need a new rolling pin? 

Thursday, November 9, 2017

It's the most CRANBERRY time of the year...



You sang the title of this blog post in your mind (to the tune of, It's the most wonderful time of the year) as you read it, didn't you? You're giggling now, right?

Chances are most of us have eaten cranberries in cranberry sauce, but what else can you do with these berries and their juice?

Make a drink:

Fill a glass ½ full with soda water or carbonated water and the rest of the way with cranberry juice, or cran-apple juice. Top with a few fresh cranberries. You can also add a dash of          orange juice if you would like to.


Make a snack:

Ants on a log: Cut a stalk of celery into 3 pieces. Add peanut butter to each piece. Top with dried cranberries…red ants on a log!

OR

Mix together: 1 block of cream cheese, 1 cup walnuts (chopped), 1 cup dried cranberries and add to a stalk of celery. This will fill about 12 celery stalks. Cut each in half and serve as a      tasty appetizer.

Bake with them:

Add 1 cup of dried cranberries to your oatmeal cookie dough.

OR

Add to pancake batter or on top of pancakes or french toast.

Garnish your cakes with them:

In a bowl, beat pasteurized egg whites until light. Dip fresh cranberries into the whites then  coat them with sugar. Let them dry and use them to decorate your baked goods.

Cranberry bark:

Melt a bag of chocolate chips. Add 1 cup of dried cranberries. Spread onto a no-stick foil      lined cookie sheet. Refrigerate until hard. Crack apart into pieces.

Cider:

Warm cran-apple juice and some ground cinnamon... makes a great quick cider!

Decorate with them:

String dried cranberries and popcorn on a string and decorate your Christmas tree or house.

Need more ideas? Buy this book...

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Squash it!

Anyone else love to see the autumn squash on the shelves at the grocery store? They always look so pretty and often times, interesting with their crazy shapes. They really do make fantastic table arrangements! But, how about the eating? Let's go over a few things...


Spaghetti Squash

How many recipes for this pasta alternative have YOU seen on Pinterest? I have definitely seen my fair share.
However, my FAVORITE way to fix it and eat it has already been explained in a past post by mwah..
Spaghetti squash: How the heck do I cook this stuff?


Pumpkin

Pumpkin is super easy to cook, then be used in pies, cookies, breads, dips, pastas, and much more. I have read several articles about how pumpkins are used for much more than pies in this day and age.

Preheat your oven to 350*.
Line a jelly roll pan with non-stick foil.
Using a large serrated bread knife, slice pumpkin down the center.
Scoop out seeds and set aside for later.
Add enough water to just cover the bottom of the prepared pan.
Place pumpkin sides, open side down on pan, on water.
Bake for 30 minutes to 1 hour, checking every 15 minutes. Bake time will depend on the pumpkin size.
Cook until mushy to the touch.

Butternut Squash

This is an amazing sweet potato alternative. Anything you do with a sweet potato, it is safe to say, you can do with butternut squash!
I like to bake mine in the crockpot.

Turn crockpot on high.
Place 1 cup of water into crockpot.
Poke squash with a fork to make holes throughout.
Cook for 4 to 5 hours, until soft to the touch.

You can add cinnamon to the water if the flavor will go with what you are going to make. It will make the house smell fragrant of fall.


Looking for new squash recipes? It's a great time for a new cookbook! 

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Making Halloween Candy?





Halloween is here again! Ever ask yourself this question: How could I make my own molded candy?
I'm sure most of us have given it a thought at one time or another. Here is how:
 

  1. Purchase some plastic candy molds in shapes that you like. For Halloween I would suggest ghost or pumpkin shapes. Michael's or AC Moore would be great places to purchase said molds.
  2. Buy bags of chocolate flavored candy disks to make your molded chocolates. Again, Michael's or AC Moore will have these. 


One important tip when working with melted disks is to be sure that NO water gets into the mix. It will make it clump up and the entire batch will be ruined.


Quick mocha latte candy mold recipe
  • 1 bag of milk chocolate flavored disks
  • 3-5 teaspoons instant coffee granules

Melt chocolate disks in a double broiler.
Add coffee granules to melted disks.
Spoon mixture into molds.
Refrigerate 15 minutes or until hardened.
Remove from molds.

Other flavor ideas:

Make your own Reese's filling:

  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1 cup powdered sugar 
Add melted chocolate to mold, just enough to coat.
Add a dab of filling on top of coated mold.
Top with melted choco0late and refrigerate.
BAM! Homemade Reese's!

Chai chocolates add:
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ginger
  • 1/4 tsp cloves 
Add ground spices to melted chocolate.
Pour in molds and refrigerate. 

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Eggnog...oh, how we love thee!


Oh, eggnog...how we love thee! It is that time of year again. I bought our first carton of the year this week! I like the Horizon Organic eggnog, myself :)

Of course we drink this rich, sweet treat…but, try making drinks or baking with it too!

Mix it:
In an 8-ounce glass, pour in 3 ounces of eggnog and 4 ounces of Sprite or Ginger Ale. They balance each other out wonderfully!

How about using it as creamer in your coffee?

Eggnog smoothie? Try mixing 1 banana, ½ cup eggnog, ½ cup milk and ½ teaspoon of cinnamon and mix in a blender.

Bake with it:
Try using eggnog in the place of milk in some of your favorite Holiday recipes. Try it in cookies, cakes, pies and puddings.

Eggnog facts:

  • Eggnog is made from: milk, cream, sugar, eggs (beaten), cinnamon and nutmeg.
  • Eggnog is thought to have come to us from England.
  • Silk makes a “soy eggnog” that is super tasty!
  • Eggnog is typically served in the United Stated and Canada.


Eggnog Crisps

  • ½ cup (1 stick) butter or margarine, melted
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg,
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 ½ cup cake flour
  • ½ cup ground pecans
  • ½ tsp ground nutmeg
  • ¾ cups M&Ms, minis*

Preheat oven to 350*.
Line 2 cookie sheets with no-stick foil.
Cream butter and sugar.
Add egg and vanilla.
Combine flour, ground pecans and nutmeg in a separate bowl.
Add to creamed mixture.
Add M&Ms.
Drop by heaping tablespoons onto prepared sheets.
Press down gently.
Bake for 9-11 minutes, until edges are lightly golden.
Should make about 3 dozen cookies.

* If you do not have M&M minis, you can use regular sized M&Ms in this recipe.

Need new cookie sheets? Purchase these for a great price on Amazon...


Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Thanksgiving morning pumpkin bread with cream cheese icing


Pumpkin time is here! Every Thanksgiving morning, I serve pumpkin bread with cream cheese icing for us to eat while we watch the Macy's parade. I bake it the night before so it is easily served. 

Picture this: 

  • Me...sitting on the couch sorting through Black Friday coupons from the Thanksgiving Day newspaper.
    Husband...sitting on the floor messing on his computer.
    Kids...sitting in the living room playing with toys/electronics. 
    As we all watch the parade!

It is a fantastic morning! Now, you can enjoy this easy pumpkin bread with your family too!

Easy Pumpkin Bread


1 box white cake mix
1 cup canned pumpkin (or fresh puree)
1 egg
1 cup milk
1 single serving cup of apple sauce (4 ounces)
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1 shake ground cloves
Chai sugar*
Butter spray


Preheat oven to 350*.
Spray 2 loaf pans with butter spray and then lightly coat them with chai sugar. In a bowl add cake mix, pumpkin, egg, milk, apple sauce and spices. Mix well with wire whisk, removing all lumps. Pour evenly into two pans. Sprinkle chai sugar over the top of each. Bake for 55 minutes.




Deanna's Chai Sugar
2 shakes ground pumpkin pie spice
2 shakes ground cinnamon
1/4 cup white granulated sugar
Mix all ingredients together and store in an air-tight container or plastic bag. You can easily double or triple this recipe.

For an extra treat, make this cream cheese icing to spread over your bread:

Icing

4 ounces cream cheese, soft
1/2 stick butter or margarine, soft
1/2 tsp vanilla or bakers mystery flavor
1 1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/2 tbsp milk
Mix cheese and butter with a fork. Add remaining ingredients and mix well. Slice bread and serve icing along side.

*You can also use cinnamon sugar instead if Chai sugar!

Basic Cinnamon Sugar

1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
1/4 cup of white granulated sugar
Mix ingredients together and store in an air-tight container or plastic bag.

 

Need glass loaf baking dishes?


Saturday, October 14, 2017

Food Network Thanksgiving magazine review 2017

Yep! The big Thanksgiving issue of the Food Network magazine is already out and for sale!

My mother-in-law lent me hers to go through and I wound up buying my own copy. Partially because I was going to give the new copy to her. Why you may ask? Because I absentmindedly wrote in hers while taking the "What's Your Pie IQ" quiz. Whoops!

All in all, it seems like a good compilation of Thanksgiving recipes. There is something for everyone.

I really like how the magazine opened...with a letter from the editor where she admits to forgetting to add a recipe for homemade rolls to the magazine. So, to fix it, she added her moms dinner roll recipe.

Here is a snapshot I took of the cute story with the recipe:

Also included in the magazine are three tear out bookmarks from Folgers. I thought that was a neat touch. Definitely something we can all use for our books or magazines. I almost tore them out of my mother-in-laws magazine, but thankfully I did not! Yikes!

One of my favorite recipes is Bobby Flays Pumpkin Pie with Cinnamon Crunch Topping. Wow and Yum!

At the end, there is a, "Color This Dish" contest. The magazine has a black and white slice of pie that we can use, photocopy or go online to print. We are instructed to color it and then submit it to Food Network to possibly win a $500 or $50 prize.
I would say this magazine is worth the $4.99 plus tax!

To make buying easy, click the link below to purchase your copy!


Friday, October 13, 2017

A complete fall inspired meal: Cheesy...soupy...bready!


I am trying out something new with this post! Since so many of us find ourselves doing more cooking and baking in the fall, I have put together a complete meal (including recipes)! We begin with a cheesy appetizer, an autumn soup you can make in the crockpot or on the stove and then we finish up with applesauce bread...an old-fashioned recipe (that I have no clue where it came from).

Let's get started! Maybe this weekend you can make all three:

Baked Cheese Dip 

  • 1 block of cream cheese, 8 ounces, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise 
  • 8 ounces cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1/2 onion, diced fine

If using oven, preheat to 325*. If using crockpot, set on low or high.
Spray 8x8 baking dish or crockpot with non-stick cooking spray.
In a bowl, mix all ingredients together well.
Pour into baking dish or crockpot.
If using oven, bake for 30 minutes. 
Serve warm with torn crusty bread or your favorite crackers!

Butternut Squash Ravioli and Spinach Soup

  • 2 containers of fresh, butternut squash filled ravioli (frozen cheese filled can be used as well)
  • 1 large box organic vegetable stock
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 cups fresh spinach
  • Salt, pepper and garlic powder, to taste
  • Grated Parmesan cheese

Add stock and water into a large pot.
Add spices until you are satisfied with the flavor.
Bring to a simmer.
Add ravioli. 
Add spinach. I like to tear mine up into small pieces.
When the ravioli float to the top, they are done. Usually about 8-10 minutes.
Ladle into bowls and top with grated cheese.

Old Fashioned Applesauce Bread 

  • 1 1/4 cups applesauce 
  • 1 cup white sugar 
  • 2 eggs 
  • 3 tablespoons milk 
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour 
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil 
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda 
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder 
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon 
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg 
  • 1/2 ground allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt 
  • 1 Cup raisins 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  
Lightly grease inch loaf pan. (You can spray it with cooking spray)
In a large bowl, combine the applesauce, sugar, oil, eggs and milk; beat well.  
Shift in the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, 
nutmeg, allspice, and salt; stir until smooth.  
Fold in 1 cup of raisins.  
Pour batter into prepared loaf pan. 
Bake for 60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean. 

So, what do you think? Are you happy with my selections? Should I make more posts like this? Let me know what you think! :) 

Everyone needs a good pair of kitchen shears!

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Coffee, Coffee, Coffee, Cookies and Coffee

I am no stranger to coffee. I have had my fair share...the good, the bad and the ugly. I am not prejudice. I will give a cup a try from anywhere. Let me prove this to you...






See! NO STRANGER to coffee. Of course, I have my preferences, but every coffee drinker does.

I also enjoy making coffee at home. In a regular coffee pot! Imagine that. Am I the last person on earth that does this?

I am going to show you an easy recipe I figured out when I used to sell Party Time Mixes. You can do this with a package of hot cocoa as well. Let me introduce to you...(drum roll), MUDSLIDE COFFEE!


You may be thinking, hmmmm...what type of cookie would go good with mudslide coffee? I've got you covered... Russian tea cakes, my friends, Russian tea cakes: 


Russian Tea Cake Cookie Recipe

1 Cup margarine, room temperature
1/2 Cup powdered sugar
1 Tsp. vanilla
2 1/4 Cup flour
1/4 Tsp. salt
3/4 Cup chopped pecans (or walnuts)*
Powdered sugar for rolling

Preheat oven to 375*.
Prepare a cookie sheet with non-stick foil.
In a large bowl: mix margarine, sugar and vanilla. Mix in flour, salt and nuts until dough holds.
Form into 1 inch balls and place ½ to 1 inch apart on cookie sheet.
Bake 10-12 minutes until set, not brown.
Immediately roll in powdered sugar. Allow to cool and roll in sugar again.

To make plain without nuts, just omit them from the recipe.

Have a lovely fall day! 


Click here to buy coffee!


Sunday, October 8, 2017

It's official...Fall is here and so is Rachael Ray's October magazine!


Happy Fall! Time for baking, cooking, cool air and open windows! I have gotten back into the cooking and baking spirit now that the weather is cooling down. I plan to post some new recipes soon.

The end of September I was asked to participate in a local Oktoberfest event at Lafayette Village Shopping Center in Raleigh, NC. Savory Spice Shop asked me to sell my baked goods at their shop! I accepted the invitation, baked for two days and I SOLD OUT! In TWO hours! It was a good day.



I do have an opinion about this months Every Day Magazine for ya... If you do not subscribe, I suggest you purchase a copy! It is packed full of fall inspired recipes. A couple of my favorites are: Sweet Potato Hummus and Potato Parsnip Rosti. "Yum-O" as the lady herself says.


Happy Baking and Cooking Season! 

Get your issue here!

Monday, July 31, 2017

Ready for fall...who's with me?


Tomorrow is August 1! September will be here before we know it and that means fall is just around the corner. Fall is my favorite season, with winter coming in a close second. So, get ready to see autumn inspired recipes coming from this blog!

Several days ago, I had a taste for pumpkin spice...so, I made pumpkin spice coffee creamer and it hit the spot!
I use French Vanilla, non-dairy coffee creamer (powder) and I add cinnamon, cloves and ginger to taste. You can see in this picture, how it looks before I shake it up...


You could also use regular flavored powder creamer and add your own sugar then add the ground spices. I prefer using the vanilla creamer because it is already sweetened.

Happy soon to be pumpkin spice season, everyone!


Sunday, July 2, 2017

July 4th, Red, White and Blue shortbread


Happy Firecracker weekend!

For your red, white and blue pleasure, I have made a batch of shortbread with preserves and a crumble topping!

I do make these to sell for my bakery: The Fiery Whisk and because of that, I can not reveal my exact recipe. However, I can still help you whip up a batch for the sparkly weekend. How, you may ask? Take a look:

First, bake a batch of Easy Shortbread

Second, before baking, choose your favorite flavor of preserves. I chose blueberry, strawberry and fig. Spread the preserves over the shortbread before baking.

Lastly, combine a quick Streusel topping (Here is a recipe from the baking goddess herself, Martha Stewart.)

Add your topping over the preserve layer and bake according to the Easy Shortbread recipe directions.

Whalaa...you now have your own, buttery, tasty, satisfying, red, white and blue shortbread dessert for Firecracker weekend.

Happy Baking!





Sunday, June 25, 2017

Reese's cup caramel popcorn recipe


Popcorn. It is the perfect snack for any season! Eat it plain or add sweet or savory flavors for a special snack.

What do I do with popcorn, you may ask...
I make a sweet and sticky treat! Many of us have tried caramel popcorn, but have you tried HOMEMADE caramel popcorn with Reese's Peanut Butter Cups added in? Chances are, the answer is no. It's not too late! Try this easy recipe today.

It took a total of 15 minutes to make this exquisitely sweet treat.

Reese's Cup Caramel Popcorn

  • 1 bag of microwave popcorn (SkinnyPop has great options)*
  • 6 Reese's Peanut Butter Cups (Use 8 for more peanut butter goodness)


  • 1 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 4 1/2 tablespoons butter, salted
  • 1/4 cup corn syrup, clear
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

Pop corn and then pour into a large bowl (I like the That's a Bowl from Tupperware).
Shake the bowl so that any un-popped seeds fall to the bottom.
Remove popped kernels by placing them back into the microwave bag.
Dump out un-popped kernels into the trash.
Place popped kernels back into the bowl.

Add sugar, butter and syrup into a microwave safe glass bowl (I like to use a large Pyrex measuring
cup).
Place mixture into microwave for 1 minute.
Remove and stir.
Place back into microwave for 1 minute.
Remove and add baking soda.
Stir well (mixture will fizz up).

Pour over popcorn.
Mix well with a spoon and be sure each piece of popcorn is coated with caramel.

While popcorn cools, unwrap and cut peanut butter cups. Cut into small pieces.
Add to Caramel corn and mix until combined.

Tip: If the popcorn is still hot, the chocolate will melt. I prefer to have my bits un-melted, but the choice is yours.


* I absolutely love that SkinnyPop is Non-GMO! In addition, it is free from artificial flavors and ingredients! Click here to read more about SkinnyPop.

Click to buy this Tupperware bowl that is perfect for this recipe!

Monday, June 19, 2017

Mom serves screwed up banana pudding dessert... due to toddler induced insanity


What does this title really mean? First, you must read this: Why a 3 Year Old Can Prohibit Proper Baking

Then, you will understand the title of this post as well as what I am going to write next...

I was distraught. I was frustrated. And I was ready for a glass of wine. By time we went over to my in-laws for Father's Day, I was heavily feeling all three. The melt-downs were at an all time high...for my 3 year old and for ME!

I got through the dreaded banana pudding recipe. Yes, I did. I covered it and placed it in the fridge until it was time to travel to my in-laws house for our Chinese food dinner. The pecan pie looks fabulous, if I might add. The banana pudding sure looked pretty, but how it was going to taste was up for grabs.

After dinner, my sweet husband cleared our plates and placed both desserts onto the table...along with plates, forks, so forth and so on. He scooped out banana pudding on to everyone's plate and also gave us each a wedge of pie....which looked amazing, but I may have already mentioned that.

Keep in mind, no one was aware of what transpired during the making of the banana pudding. As far as they all knew, I followed the recipe and it was going to be spectacular! (Just as it was the last time I made it.) As the family baker, people come to expect perfection...sad, but true.

We all dug in to our dessert plates and everyone OOOHHHED and AHHHED over how wonderful the desserts were. I was shocked! The banana pudding was edible! It was over the top sweet, but edible! I thought the texture was off...almost a little gritty, but no one else said anything about it tasting like sandpaper, so I kept my mouth shut.

Can you guess who liked it the most? My 3 year old! The one who created the recipe havoc to begin with. Such is life!

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Why a 3 year old can prohibit proper baking...


Happy Daddy's Day to all! As a treat for my husband and his dad today, I graciously baked a chocolate pecan pie AND banana pudding!
Upon waking this morning, I began the baking spree. First, I made my famous chocolate pecan pie...with a homemade pie crust, of course. My 3 year old sat in awe as I taught her how to make a crust and prepare the pie. Before I knew it, poof, bam, pow...the pie was in the oven. That was easy and kind of fun!

Then, I started on the banana pudding. Not just any banana pudding, the Not Yo Mama's Banana Pudding!  This truly is the best I have tasted to date. Little miss was hungry so, before I got too far, I made her something to eat. As she ate, I began assembling this amazing pudding dessert. I didn't get very far before she asked for a snack. Sooooo, like any good mommy, I got her a snack. Then, things got crazy.
I placed the Chessman cookies into the bottom of the 9x13 baking dish. She decided she wanted to EAT the cookies. She was reprimanded and then I explained that those cookies need to stay in the dish in order for me to make the banana pudding. Well.....that did not fly. A meltdown ensued. I recognized her desire for a cookie, so I gave her a couple of crumbs from the Chessman cookies after she calmed down. That wasn't good enough. I gave her one of her cookies that come in a tin. After she ate it, she began banging the tin on the counter, which created a loud, horrible clanking noise. I asked her to stop and it continued. At the end of my rope, I grabbed the tin and yelled, "STOP!" And you guessed it...another melt down.
At this point, Daddy's morning to sleep in was over and he came downstairs to help out mommy.
Keep in mind, through all of this, I am TRYING to assemble the pudding! After I cut the bananas and placed them on top of the already arranged cookies, I realized that I screwed up the pudding mixture. Great. Just great.
I forgot the MILK! I mixed the box of pudding in with the sweetened condensed milk instead of regular milk. Well, too bad. I continued making the dessert. It is now in the fridge. I will let you know how it turned out!

Sunday, June 4, 2017

New Jersey coffee cake cookies!



If you know me, you know that I am a New Jersey girl at heart. Which is why I came up with my recipe for New Jersey Coffee cake...that you can view HERE. It has more crumb than cake....just the way a coffee cake should be!

I then decided to try and make this magnificent creation in cookie form. And guess what? I did and it was a success. Which brings us to why we are here today...For the recipe! So, without further delay, here it is:

NJ Coffee Cake Cookies
  • 3 1/2 cups flour
  • 10 tbsp. butter, salted
  • 1/3 cup shortening
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 eggs, large
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
Topping
  • 3 1/3 cups flour
  • 1 cup butter, soft
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 2 - 3 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Powdered sugar for coating


Preheat oven to 350*.
Line 2 cookie sheets with non-stick foil.

Prepare crumb topping mix all dry ingredients together in a large bowl. Cut in butter. Mix with pastry cutter until combined and crumbly. If you don't have a pastry cutter, use your hands! Set aside.

Cream together butter, shortening, brown sugar, white sugar and cinnamon.
Add eggs and vanilla and continue to mix.
Add dry ingredients: flour, baking powder and salt.
Mix until dough forms.
Scoop mixture onto prepared baking sheet with an ice cream scoop.
Make an indent in each cookie with the back of the ice cream scoop.
Add crumb topping onto each cookie. Add as much as possible and press it into each cookie.

Bake 10 minutes or until golden on top.

Cool and dust with powdered sugar.




*This recipe was adapted from cookies and cups!