Sunday, August 31, 2014

Brownie Pie

Brownie Pie...RIDICULOUS!

Brownie Pie
serves 12
  • 2 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • Filling
  • 4 oz chopped semi sweet chocolate Baking bar
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • Topping
  • 3 cups mini marshmallows
  • Frosting
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 3 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3 Tbsp milk
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
How to Make
  1. Preheat oven to 350°
  2. Crust
  3. In medium bowl combine all the crust ingredients until evenly mixed. Press graham cracker mixture into and up the sides of a 9" Springform pan. Set aside.
  4. Filling
  5. Melt butter and chopped chocolate together in microwave or over a double boiler. Whisk in flour, cocoa powder, eggs, vanilla, salt and sugar until combined. Pour over crust.
  6. Bake pie for 45-50 minutes. (Original recipe stated bake time as 1 hour- 1 hour 15 minutes. My pie was done at 45, so please make sure to check yours after 45 minutes and add extra time if necessary).
  7. When pie is done remove from oven and turn oven to broil setting. Sprinkle marshmallows onto pie and place back in oven for 30 seconds to 1 minute until marshmallows are puffed and lightly golden.
  8. Place pie on cooling rack and prepare frosting.
  9. Frosting
  10. In medium sauce pan melt butter, cocoa powder and milk together over medium low heat, whisking constantly. Once melted, remove from heat and add in powdered sugar, stirring until smooth.
  11. Using a butter knife, loosen the pie from the sides of the springform pan and remove the sides of the pan. Pour frosting on top of the pie.
  12. Pie can be served warm or room temperature.
recipe lightly adapted from Southern Living magazine

One Bowl Apple Cake

One Bowl Apple Cake - This cake is so moist and rich and just perfect for this time of year. (and easy to make!)
*To Save this recipe, simply Share it to your timeline so you can make it later*
2 eggs
1 3/4 cups sugar
2 heaping teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 cup oil
6 medium Gala or Fuji or Honey Crisp apples
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
Preheat oven to 350°. In a large bowl, mix the eggs, sugar, cinnamon and oil. Peel and slice the apples and add to mixture in bowl (coating as you go to keep apples from turning brown.) Mix together the baking soda and flour and add to the ingredients in the bowl. Mix well (best with a fork) until all of the flour is absorbed by the wet ingredients. Pour mixture into a greased one 9x13 or two 9″ round pans. Bake for approximately 55 minutes.
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Copy Cat Cinnabons

You’re in the middle of mixing up a batch of delicious Copy Cat Cinnabons when you notice you’re short on butter! Oh no! The kids were looking forward to these, and it’s so difficult to stop in the middle to run to the store. What to do? Simple! Check out some of these common baking substitutions and keep on going!
Baking Mix: If you are ever short on pancake, baking, or biscuit mix, know that they are completely interchangeable. Most of these mixes contain almost the exact same ingredients as the other. You can also easily mix up your own with 5 cups of flour, ¼ cup of baking powder, 2 tablespoons of sugar, a splash of salt, and 1 stick of butter or margarine. You can seal this mixture up and keep it for about 6 weeks if the container is airtight.
Baking Powder: Hate it when you grab for the baking powder, to find you only have baking soda? Not a problem; with baking soda and cream of tartar, you can make your own! Just mix 2 parts tartar to the 1 part of soda, and you’ll be good as gold.
Brown sugar: Brown sugar, white sugar, and confectioners sugar may all look different, but they taste almost identical in most places. You can easily substitute brown and white sugar one-to-one, but add an additional ¼ cup of confectioner’s sugar to the 1 cup of the other two.
Butter:  This one can be tricky depending on the recipe.  Margarine (not the soft tub type) can often be used in baking.  Cooking oils, like vegetable oil, will substitute one-to-one with butter in most baking.
Butter Milk:  Place 1 tablespoon of lemon juice or vinegar in a 1 cup measuring cup.  Fill to 1 cup with milk and let sit 5 minutes.  Works perfectly every time!
Cake Flour:  Does your recipe call for cake flour?  While the type of flour called for in the recipe is best, in a pinch for each cup of cake flour, use 1 cup of all purpose flour minus 2 tablespoons.
Half & Half Cream:  To make 1 cup of half & half, place 1 tablespoon melted butter in a 1 cup measuring up and top up with whole milk.
Heavy Cream:  Need some heavy cream but only have milk?  Combine 3/4 milk with 1/4 melted butter to replace 1 cup of heavy cream.
Eggs: Always seem to run out of eggs? No sweat! In baking, you can substitute one egg for half of a banana, or ⅓ cup of applesauce. This will also help if you are trying your hand at vegan baking! The fruit can add a little bit of a different flavor to your light breads and cakes, but you may like it!
Honey: Corn syrup and honey are interchangeable, one-to-one. You can also use white sugar mixed with a little water, one-to-one as well!
Mayo: If you don’t like the fat content of mayonnaise, or if you just ran out, you can substitute real, plain greek yogurt. Also, if you need mayo in small amounts in your recipe, you can exchange it for sour cream.
Sour Cream:  Substitute sour cream in recipes for yogurt…  same measurements.
Unsweetened Chocolate:  Need some unsweetened chocolate?  Substitute 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder and 1 tablespoon shortening for each ounce needed.
Cream of Tartar: Did you know you can exchange the cream of tartar for lemon juice or vinegar? The exchange rate is doubled, so if you need 1 teaspoon of tartar, added 2 teaspoons of lemon or vinegar.
Allspice: Make you own! Just mix two parts cinnamon to one part ginger, and one part cloves. Super simple!
1 Package of Active Dry Yeast:  1 Package of Active dry yeast is equivalent to 2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast.

Friday, August 29, 2014

pecan Pie Bars

German Chocolate Pecan Pie Bars are a wonderfully delicious combination of chocolate crust, more chocolate, coconut, and pecans. A great crowd pleaser!
These are, without a doubt, the best pecan pie bars I’ve ever made. I am usually reluctant to throw out such accolades, but it is completely appropriate in this case. If you are a fan of German chocolate cake, then I think you’ll love them, too. If you don’t like coconut, you can just leave that out and add more pecans or maybe some chocolate chips.
German Chocolate Pecan Pie Bars
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 59 minutes
Yield: 24 bars (about 2-inch square)
German Chocolate Pecan Pie Bars
  • 3 cups pecan halves
  • 1 & 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 3/4 cup cold butter, cubed
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
  • 1 & 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup light corn syrup
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 cup sweetened flaked coconut
Preheat oven to 350°.
Arrange pecans in a single layer of a shallow baking pan. Bake 8-10 minutes or until lightly toasted. Stir halfway through baking.
Line bottom and sides of a 9"x 13" baking pan with aluminum foil, leaving an overhang on two short sides. Grease foil.
Whisk together flour, confectioners' sugar, and cocoa. Add cold butter, and combine with a pastry blender* until mixture resembles coarse meal. Press mixture into bottom and about 3/4-inch up sides of prepared pan.
Bake crust for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and immediately sprinkle chocolate chips evenly over crust. Allow to cool on a wire rack at least 30 minutes.
Place eggs in a large mixing bowl, and beat lightly. Add brown sugar, corn syrup, and melted butter. Whisk together until smooth. Stir in coconut and pecans. Pour evenly over partially baked crust.
Bake 28-34 minutes, or until edges are golden and filling has set. Cool completely on a wire rack. Then, refrigerate for an hour.
Using foil overhang, lift bars from pan and place on a cutting board. Use a sharp knife to cut into bars.
*You can also mix crust ingredients in a food processor, but I prefer mixing this way.
Recipe adapted from Southern Living, September 2012.

cleaning with Lemon from the Queen of Clean

Lemon juice is nature’s bleach and disinfectant. You can use juice from a lemon or lemon juice from the bottle.
All Purpose Cleaner:
In a spray bottle combine 2 cups water, 2 tablespoons of lemon juice, ½ teaspoon of liquid dish soap, 1 Tablespoon of baking soda and 1 teaspoon of Borox. Label bottle. To use: shake well and spray and wipe for hard surfaces.
Removing rust from white clothes:
Apply undiluted lemon juice to the stain and lay in the sun. This also works on baby formula.
Spots on countertops and similar surfaces:
Not for granite Make a paste of lemon juice and Cream of Tartar or lemon juice and baking soda. Apply to the stain and let it sit until the spot is gone. Reapply if needed or simply add more lemon juice.
Clean brass :
This tip is for solid brass NOT brass plated. Solid brass is gold colored on both sides and brass plated is gold on one side and black on the other. Apply salt to half of a lemon and rub over the brass. Rub until a shine appears then rinse well and dry.
Bleach alternative:
Use ¼ cup of lemon juice and ¼ cup of white vinegar mixed in 1 gallon of warm water. Soak clothes for about 15 minutes prior to washing. You can dump the bucket right into the washer and add your detergent.
Remove stains from hands:
Rub hands with lemon juice to remove stubborn stains. For heavy stains, add salt to the lemon juice and rub firmly, Rinse well and dry. I use this to exfoliate my hands and keep them soft. After I use this mixture I rinse and lightly dry and then apply my lotion.
Butcher Block and cutting boards:
When these become stained rub them liberally with lemon juice and let sit overnight. Wash and rinse before using.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Sweet Corn Chicken Chowder

and need not be too complicated too... 

Just like this Chicken and Sweetcorn Soup... with left over roast chicken, either fresh corns or canned creamed corn... all done in less than 15 minutes
2 cans of creamed corn
1 fresh corn-
3 cups of leftover roast chicken - shredded
2 eggs - give it a light whisk
1.5 liter of water
2 maggi chicken stock cubes
a dash of sesame oil
white pepper

  1. Bring water to boil in a stockpot. Drop in the Maggi cubes. 
  2. Add shredded chicken, creamed or fresh corn. Bring to boil.
  3. Season to taste.
  4. In a steady stream, pour in the egg.
  5. Lower the heat to a simmer for 5 minutes or until the egg is cooked.
  6. Add white pepper.
  7. Turn off the heat and add a dash of sesame oil.
  8. Serve.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Storing your produce

storing fruits and vegetables
Photo by: Thinkstock
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When it comes to taste, fresh produce definitely has canned and frozen versions beat. And it goes without saying that packaged goods just can't compare to homemade guacamole or fresh-squeezed orange juice, but the key to savoring these flavors is keeping fruits and veggies fresh once you bring them home from the store. Read on for the best ways to store everything from apples to avocados, so you can make the most of your produce.
Store in the refrigerator to keep crisp for three to four weeks or store outside of the refrigerator in a cool, dry place to keep crisp for about one week. Tip: "You want to store apples in the refrigerator in a plastic bag," says Elizabeth Pivonka, president of Produce for Better Health Foundation. "Apples give off ethylene, a natural gas, which will make lettuce and other produce turn brown. The plastic bag will prevent that." Photo: Thinkstock
Store avocados at room temperature for up to a week until they are ripe. Once they’re soft to the touch, move them to the refrigerator, where they can keep for up to another week.Tip: If the avocados you bought aren’t soft enough to eat yet, you can ripen them in a jiffy: Just throw them into a paper bag with a banana (bananas produce the most ripening-inducing ethylene of any fruit). They'll be guacamole-ready in about a day. Photo: Thinkstock
Store in the refrigerator to keep fresh for up to 10 days. How long depends on the variety of berry, but blueberries will stay fresh the longest. Tip: Berries are one of the most perishable fruits because they’re so thin-skinned. Washing them and leaving them on the counter will cause them to mold within hours, so don't wash them until you intend to use them. The dusty covering you see on berries is called the "bloom," a natural preservative that keeps them fresh. “When you wash any fruit or vegetable, you’re removing its natural outer layer, which will cause it to ripen even faster," says Robert Schueller, director of public relations for Melissa’s Produce.
Citrus (grapefruits, oranges, etc.)
Store in the refrigerator to keep fresh for two weeks, or store at room temperature to keep fresh for seven to 10 days. Schueller points out that because citrus fruits have a tougher skin, they will last longer than most other fruits. Tip: Meyer lemons and limes have a shorter shelf life, only two weeks in the refrigerator.
Store grapes in a plastic bag in the refrigerator for up to two weeks. Grapes also have a bloom, so it’s best not to wash them until you’re ready to eat them.
Store unripe pears at room temperature for approximately five days. Once ripe, refrigerate for up to a week. Tip: To check for ripeness, Pivonka recommends checking the “neck” right next to the stem for a slight softness. If you want to speed up ripening, put pears in a paper bag.
Store pomegranates in the refrigerator, where they will last two to three weeks depending on how ripe they are.
"Tomatoes should be stored in a cool, dry place and enjoyed within a week once they’re fragrant and soft to the touch," according to Schueller. You want to avoid refrigerating tomatoes because it puts the fruit into cold shock and inhibits the taste. Tip: Avoid storing them in plastic, because the trapped ethylene will cause them to ripen more quickly.

Bell Peppers
Refrigerate peppers for up to two weeks or store them at room temperature to keep fresh for about a week.
Broccoli and Cauliflower
Keep cauliflower and broccoli in their wrapping and place in the refrigerator, where they will last three to five days. Pivonka recommends using them before the ends turn brown.
Greens (lettuce, spinach, etc.)
All leafy greens should be stored in the refrigerator and will last three to seven days. If leaves aren’t prebagged, wash and wrap loosely in a paper towel (to keep the water from rotting the leaves), then put in a plastic bag. Tip: Schueller suggests keeping heads of lettuce whole: “When you cut up lettuce, you’re cutting the pores, which will produce more ethylene." Photo: Dorling Kindersley/Getty
They should be stored in their packaging in the refrigerator and used within five to seven days. Like other produce, mushrooms will perish faster if they’re presliced.
Root Vegetables (onions, potatoes, etc.)
Store in a cool, dry place—ideally in an open basket away from the oven. While most last approximately a month, baby potatoes have a shorter shelf life of about 10 days. Tip: Keep these items away from light, which causes them to sprout and turn green, advises Schueller.

Chicken Enchilada Bake

  • 1 1/2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts, approximately 3 cups, cooked and cut into bite size pieces
  • 1 can cream of mushroom soup (10 3/4 ounce)
  • 1 can cream of chicken soup (10 3/4 ounce)
  • 10 ounce can Rotel (drain excess liquid) 
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup milk 
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 1/2 cup shredded Mexican blend cheese (divided in half)
  • *12 corn tortillas - prepared/softened - see note below.  (Flour tortillas can be  substituted for corn - I highly recommend using corn.  If you use flour tortillas, skip the softening process.)    
  • fresh lime (optional) cut into wedges
  • fresh cilantro (optional)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Spray a 9x13 baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.  Prepare your corn tortillas and set aside.  In a large bowl mix the soups, rotel, sour cream, garlic powder and milk.  Reserve 3/4 of the mixture and set aside.  with the remaining 1/4 of mixture, add the cooked chicken and 3/4 cup shredded cheese.  Next, add a little sauce to the bottom of the baking pan, enough to coat the bottom lightly (see photo).  Spoon chicken mixture into each tortilla, roll and place seam down in baking dish, side by side (see photo).  Spoon the reserved sauce evenly over rolled tortillas and top with remaining cheese.  Place in oven on middle rack and bake for approximately 30-35 minutes until cheese bubbles.  Serve hot with fresh cilantro sprinkled on top and fresh squeezed lime juice.   Enjoy!

*I used The Pioneer Woman's method from her White Chicken Enchiladas recipe to softened the corn tortillas - briefly dropping the tortillas in hot canola oil for 6-8 seconds on each side and then placing them on paper towel to soak up the excess oil. Head here for the simple steps and another great recipe: White Chicken Enchiladas   

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Lemon Poppyseed Cake

Lemon Poppyseed Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

yield: 10 SERVINGS

prep time: 2 HOURS 5 MINUTES

cook time: 55 MINUTES

total time: 3 HOURS


for the cake-
1 cup sugar
zest of 2 lemons
3 eggs
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup milk + 1/2 teaspoon white vinegar
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon poppy seeds
1/2 cup melted butter
for the frosting-
3 oz softened cream cheese
1/4 cup softened butter
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup powdered sugar


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray 9 inch cake pan with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.
In a large bowl, stir sugar and lemon zest together to create a damp mixture that resembles damp sand. Except it tastes much much better. ANYWAYS. Stir in eggs and vanilla until smooth.
In a liquid measuring cup, stir milk, vinegar and lemon juice together. Set aside.
In a separate bowl, whisk flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt together to combine.
Alternate stirring in wet and dry ingredients until everything is added into the cake batter. Gently stir in the poppy seeds and melted butter. Pour into prepared pan and bake 45-55 minutes or until baked thoroughly and toothpick comes out clean after being inserted. Cool 15 minutes in cake pan before removing to rack to cool completely.
For the frosting, whip all ingredients together until light and fluffy. Spread over cool cake and serve.

Frozen biscuits

I've fallen in love with these Homemade Freezer Biscuits! Never buy 

  • Jill Kellough Burnette My husband makes our biscuits from scratch very similar to this but he adds leftover bacon crumbles and chopped jalapeƱo to the mix for flavor!!
    Like · Reply · 9 · 16 August at 23:25
  • Elisha Reeder If you'd like a buttermilk biscuit recipe, here's mine...
    2 C. Flour
    3 Tablespoons baking powder

    1 teaspoon salt
    1 stick butter
    1/2 - 1 C. buttermilk
    sift dry ingredients, add butter and mix til crumbly. Add buttermilk until batter is consistency of cottage cheese. Turn out on floured surface. knead in about 1/4-1/2 c. sifted flour to make smooth. Cut with biscuit cutter (or old green bean can). Place on cookie sheet and freeze for 30-min to an hour. Cook at 450 for about 10 min.
    These puff up really well and my husband loves them. You'd never know they were frozen.

    Variation: Add 1 C. Sharp to batter right after adding buttermilk. Spoon onto pan, freeze for 1 hour. Cook at 450 for about 10 min. melt 2 T. butter, mix in about 1/4-1/2 teaspoon garlic powder and 1/2 teaspoon of italian seasoning. Brush butter mix onto cheese biscuits for red lobster biscuit.

    I hope this was ok to post...but I just saw that someone asked about if they puffed up and someone else posted that they didn't, so I thought I'd post these knowing that these did.