Friday, October 28, 2011

Candy Corn Cupcakes

The other night I was in the mood for a cupcake and decided to try this idea I found on Pinterest.  I didn't go in and look at a recipe or anything so not sure how those were  made, but I decided it would be easy to use a white cake mix to make these.  These were simple and oh so yummy!!  If you're looking for a special treat for that Halloween or Harvest party, look no further!!

 Start by making a white cake mix according to package directions.  In a small bowl, place 2 1/2 cups of batter ( I used two but recommend  using more- I will next time).  Tint that batter yellow.  Tint the remaining batter orange.  Using a small cookie scoop, ladle a heaping scoopful into cups.

 I used a medium cookie scoop to do the orange.  Bake according to package directions.

Cool completely!!

 Frost with your favorite buttercream.  I used Wilton's recipe.

 Garnish with a piece of candy corn!!

So adorable!!!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Taco Squares

Tonight we had Taco Squares for dinner!  Every time I make these I'm reminded that I don't make them often enough.  This is such an easy recipe and is so delicious!  My mom made this frequently when we were growing up.  She actually made it as a diet recipe using ground turkey.  I use lean ground beef instead.  I've adjusted the recipe to feed our small family.  The original recipe uses a 9x13 pan so if you have a large family simply double my recipe!  I did make an oops tonight that turned out to be a good thing.  The original recipe calls for a 325 degree oven, but I accidentally set mine for 375.  After 15 minutes or so I checked and they were nice and brown.  The original recipe usually cooks for about 25 minutes.  They were so much better at the higher temperature.  The crescent rolls stayed much crispier this way.  So I'm adjusting my recipe!!  I really hope you enjoy these!!!

 This recipe calls for Crescent Rolls!  Got your attention now???

 Start by browning 1 lb. ground beef or turkey along with 1 1/2 tsp. onion flakes. 
Once meat is brown, drain liquid and add 1 1/2 T chili powder and 1/2 can diced tomatoes. Simmer for 5-10 minutes.  (Today, I made the beef mixture early in the day and placed it in the fridge.  At dinnertime, I simply reheated it and assembled the taco squares.)

 Spray 1 1/2 quart casserole with nonstick spray. 

 Place 1/2 of the crescent rolls in bottom of casserole.

 Pour all of meat mixture over rolls.

 Place 4 slices of mozzarella on top of meat mixture.

 Place the other half of the crescent rolls on top. 

 Bake at 375 degrees for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown.

 I like mine with a little lettuce and sour cream!!  My hubby adds a little taco sauce to his! 

Dinner is served!!!

Taco Squares

1 lb. lean ground beef or turkey
1 1/2 tsp. onion flakes
1/2 can diced tomatoes
1 1/2 T. chili powder
4 oz. mozzarella slices
1 can Pillsbury crescent rolls

Brown ground beef and onion flakes and drain.  Add in diced tomatoes and chili powder and simmer for 5-10 minutes.  In a prepared 1 1/2 quart casserole, layer half of the crescent rolls.  Pour all of meat mixture over rolls.  Place 4 slices of mozzarella cheese over meat mixture and layer remaining crescent rolls over cheese.  Bake at 375 degrees for 15-20 minutes or until crescent rolls are golden brown.

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Everyday Mom's Meals Church Supper
Melt in Your Mouth Monday Blog Hop

Thursday, October 13, 2011

S'mores Bars

I happened upon this recipe last night and was so thrilled I had all the ingredients.  Well, not all of them.  I didn't have Hershey bars but remembered I had some milk chocolate chips- works for me!!  These went together really quickly and are so delicious!   The perfect dessert to take to a fall party!!  Hope you give this one a try!
Start with 1/2 c. butter softened and 3/4 c. sugar.
Beat butter and sugar until creamy.
Add in egg and vanilla.
Mix flour, graham cracker crumbs, salt, and baking powder in small bowl.  Gradually incorporate into wet mixture.
Spread 1/2 of dough into bottom of 8 inch pan ( I think mine was a 9 inch pan so the dough didn't go as far). 
Spread marshmallow creme over dough.
Sprinkle on chips and add the rest of the dough.  I used a slightly larger pan so I had some gaps in my dough.  I was a little unhappy with this until I saw the result!!
Look at all that gooey marshmallow oozing through!!!!  Yummy!

S'mores Bars
Source:  adapted from Let's Dish Recipes

1/2 c. butter, softened
3/4 c. granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 t. vanilla
1 1/3 c. flour
6 sheets of graham crackers (make these into crumbs)
1 t. baking powder
1/4 t. salt
1 c. milk chocolate chips
1 7 oz. jar marshmallow creme

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease an 8 inch baking pan.  In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar with electric mixer.  Add egg and vanilla and beat until combined.  In a small bowl, combine flour, graham cracker crumbs, baking powder, and salt.  Add to butter mixture, and beat until combined.  Press half of the dough evenly in the pan.  Spread marshmallow cream over dough.  Sprinkle chocolate chips over marshmallow cream.  Spread remaining dough over chocolate chips.  Bake for 25-30 minutes.  Cool completely.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Crockpot Pot Roast with Veggies

With a 15 month old in my house, I am really trying to embrace the art of crockpot cooking.  It allows for such a stress free mealtime and more play time with my princess.  So when I received an email the other day from featuring their five most popular crockpot recipes, I knew I had to read that one!  That's where I found To-Die-For Pot Roast.  Well, of course I had to check it out.  Now, I'm not sure I would call this To-Die-For because I think that term should be reserved for brownies, cakes, and other yummy desserts.  However, this roast was so darn good!!!  We will definitely be having this again at our house!  Not only was this a delicious meal, but it was also so SIMPLE!!!  Add some slices of your favorite homemade bread for a delicious hearty meal!! 

Note:  The recipe on the above website had over a thousand comments and suggestions.  I spent lots of time pondering those suggestions in order to get this recipe to my tastes.  I did not follow the original recipe.  I added veggies, more water, and reduced the amount of the ranch dressing.  If you are sensitive to salt, you may want to consider reducing the amount of the other seasonings as well.

You will need a 3-4 pound roast, ( I used a 3.5 lb. chuck roast.), 1 pkg. brown gravy mix, 1 pkg. Italian dressing, 1/2 pkg. Ranch dressing, 5-6 small red potatoes, 1 lb. baby carrots, and 1 cup water. 
Mix dry seasonings together.  Place roast in crockpot and sprinkle 1/2 of the dry seasoning mixture directly over roast.  Mix remainder of dry seasonings with water and pour into bottom of crockpot.  Arrange veggies around roast.  Cook on low for 8-9 hours.
Remove veggies and meat from crockpot.
I added in a little flour (1/8-1/4 c.) to the liquid in the bottom of crockpot and turned the crockpot on high.  This takes just a few minutes.  Whisk flour into the drippings to make a delicious gravy.  Next time I make this, I will add a little milk too.

This is truly crockpot cooking at its best!!!

Crockpot Pot Roast with Veggies
3-4 lb. beef roast
1 pkg. Good Seasons Italian Dressing
1 pkg. Ranch dressing mix (I only used 1/2 a package!)
1 pkg. Brown Gravy Mix
1 cup water
5-6 small red potatoes
1 lb. bag baby carrots

Place roast in bottom of crockpot.  Mix together dry seasonings and sprinkle half the mixture directly on roast.  Mix the other half of dry seasonings with 1 c. water and pour into bottom of crockpot.  Arrange veggies around roast.  Cook on low for 8-9 hours. 

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Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Ham & Beans

My mom shared this recipe with me several years ago.  She made these quite often when I was growing up.  My hubby loves ham & beans so I try to make them on occasion.  This is also our New Year's Day meal!  Such a simple meal to prepare and it's great paired with homemade cornbread!! 

 Start with 1 lb. of dried Great Northern beans.  You will need to soak them in water overnight.  Mine soaked for about 12 hours.  There will be directions on the package for preparing the beans. 

 Drain soak water and rinse beans well and drain.  To drained beans, add 6 cups water.

 Then add one cup onion seasoning blend and 2 cups diced ham.

 Simmer for 1 1/2 - 2 hours or until beans are tender.  Serve with cornbread!!

Ham & Beans
1 lb. dried Great Northern beans (soaked overnight)
6 cups water
1 cup frozen onion seasoning blend
2 cups diced ham

Soak beans overnight according to package directions.  Drain soak water, rinse beans well and drain.  To drained beans, add 6 cups water, 1 cup frozen onion seasoning blend, and 2 cups diced ham.  Simmer for 1 1/2-2 hours or until beans are tender.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Texas Sheet Cake

I've been making this recipe for several years.  I found it in one of my many Gooseberry Patch cookbooks.  Unfornately, I don't remember which one.  I think it might have been Family Favorites.  A year or so ago, I was downsizing my cookbook collection and donated a few of my Gooseberry Patch cookbooks to our local library.  Before I did, I wrote down a few of the recipes from each book that I regularly used.  This was one of them.  I make this several times a year for various community and church functions.  Lots of Texas cake recipes call for buttermilk, but I like that this one uses sour cream as I always have it on hand!  The great thing about a Texas cake is not having to wait until the cake cools before you frost it.  This cake has a lot of ingredients, but it's very quick to put together and oh so yummy!!!!

I always cook both the cake and frosting in one pan.  While the cake is baking, I give the pan a quick wash and I'm ready to make the frosting.  Start with 2 sticks of butter, 4 T. cocoa, and 1 cup water.

Have dry ingredients, sour cream, and eggs ready to go.

Bring butter, cocoa, and water to a boil and remove from heat.

Add in dry ingredients.

Next, mix in sour cream.

Finally, add in eggs.  Mix well.

Pour into prepared 10x15 jelly roll pan.  Bake @ 375 degrees for 20-22 minutes.

While cake is baking, gather ingredients for the frosting.  Don't forget to sift the powdered sugar.  About a minute before the cake is ready to come out of the oven, bring 1 stick butter, 4 T. cocoa, and 6 T. milk to a boil

While waiting for above to come to a boil, remove cake from oven.  Once butter, cocoa, and milk have come to a boil, remove from heat and stir in 1 lb. powdered sugar (SIFTED), 1 t. vanilla, and 1 c. chopped pecans.  Stir well!! (NOTE:  I didn't use the pecans this time).

Carefully pour frosting ALL OVER THE CAKE.  Caution:  Don't pour the frosting all in one place and expect to be able to spread.  You'll end up with a sunken cake and just a big mess!  Slowly drizzle the frosting throughout the cake and just use a spatula to fill in any gaps in icing.


Texas Sheet Cake
Source:  adapted from Gooseberry Patch (Family Favorites???)

1 c. water
4 T. cocoa
2 sticks butter
2 c. flour
2 c. sugar
1/2 t. salt
2 eggs
1/2 c. sour cream
1 t. baking soda

Bring water, cocoa, and butter to a boil.  Remove from heat and add flour, sugar, salt, and baking soda.  Beat in sour cream and eggs and pour into a greased 10x15 jelly roll pan.  Bake @ 375 degrees for 20-22 minutes.  Top with frosting while cake is still hot from the oven.

1 stick butter
4 T. cocoa
6 T. milk
1 lb. powdered sugar (SIFTED)
1 t. vanilla
1 c. chopped pecans (OPTIONAL)

Combine butter, cocoa, and milk and bring to a boil.  Remove from heat and stir in remaining ingredients.  Beat well and drizzle over hot cake.

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