Monday, April 30, 2012

Chocolate Caramel Brownies

Do you love chocolate? Are you a self confessed chocoholic? Then you are going to love these bars!

I'll admit that I don't cater to the chocoholics that read this blog due to the fact I can't have chocolate, or rather not to much. I did sneak a bite of these little babies though so I can report back that they are fantastic and rich!

These bars are simple and easy. The biggest pain was unwrapping the caramels although I heard they have a new invention and you don't have to unwrap the caramels. I can't wait to check for those next time I buy caramels. I had to use these up first! I brought the bars to work and I'm pretty sure I saw one of my co-workers walking out with three of them from the kitchen! These would be amazing with a scoop of ice cream too!

Chocolate Caramel Brownies
Chocolate Caramel Brownies

2/3 c. evaporated milk, divided (5 oz)
1 package caramels
3/4 c. butter, melted
1 box of German Chocolate Cake Mix
12 oz chocolate chips

1. Melt caramels with 1/3 c. evaporated milk on stove top. Set aside to cool.

2. Mix cake mix, 3/4 c. melted butter and 1/3 c. evaporated milk

3. Spread 1/2 of the cake mixture on the bottom of a greased 9x13 pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 6 minutes.

4. Take out of oven and pour chocolate chips and caramel mixture on top. Then top with remaining cake mixture. Bake for 15-18 minutes.

5. Remove and let set before serving. Make sure they cool completely or they are a mess! Stick them in the fridge or freezer if you get impatient!

Recipe from: What's Cookin' with the Johnstons

Shared on the following sites - Please give them a visit!


Friday, April 27, 2012

Cinnamon Twists

I love a little treat for breakfast on the weekends. But I'm also not looking to slave in the kitchen for hours waiting for my treats!

Yes I love rolls and donuts but I'm not a big one to make them as it's to time consuming and I always have five million other things running through my mind that I should be doing too!

These little Cinnamon Twists come together in a jiffy and they puff up and melt in your mouth. Super easy for a weekend treat for the family or if you really like your family a treat during the week!

Cinnamon Twists
Cinnamon Twists

1 box frozen puff pastry, thawed

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees

2. Fold out the sheets of puff pastry. Combine the sugar & cinnamon to taste. Sprinkle the sugar & cinnamon over the puff pastry sheet.

3. Cut the pastry into strips of about 1 inch. Fold the strips in half and twist.

4. Place on baking sheet lined with paper. Bake until golden brown ~ about 15 minutes.

Recipe from: Nifty Thrifty Things

Shared on the following sites - Please give them a visit!


Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Barbecue Cups

Here's a simple, kid friendly and fast meal for supper on a busy weeknight!

I have you sold already don't I? The last thing I want to do after work is come home and slave away over a hot stove. I'm guessing you are the same way aren't you?

You can do a lot of different variations on these Barbecue Cups. I'd love to try a Taco Cup or a Sloppy Joe Cup or even a Pizza Cup!

I saw this recipe first on The Country Cook and I'm telling you if you haven't went and checked out her blog you need to do it right now. She truly speaks to my heart and prepares all of my favorite dishes before I even know they are my favorite! Go show her some love!

Barbecue Cups
Printer Friendly Recipe

1 lb ground beef
3/4 c. barbecue sauce
1 tbsp dry minced onion
1 (16.3 oz) Grand Biscuits
1 c. shredded cheddar cheese

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

2. Spray muffin tin with nonstick cooking spray. Separate biscuits and place in muffin tins. I seperated a little off each top to get them to fill 12 muffin tins. Press dough up and along sides.

3. In a large pan, brown and crumble ground beef. When beef is done drain the grease off. Put ground beef back in the pan and add in BBQ sauce and dried minced onion. Stir well.

4. Divide meat mixture between muffin tins. Sprinkle each one with shredded cheddar cheese.

5. Bake for 10-12 minutes until biscuits are golden brown and cheese is melted.

Recipe from: The Country Cook


Monday, April 23, 2012

Deviled Egg Salad Sandwiches

It's once again time for the Secret Recipe Club reveal day! For those of you that aren't familiar with this little group, which is now a large group, every month we are assigned a blog and we get to pick a recipe from that blog, then try it out and write about it. We "reveal" what blog we were assigned and what recipe we picked on the same day. It's a great way to find new blogs and try new recipes!

This time I was assigned Creative Kitchen. I saw these Deviled Egg Salad Sandwiches and I was instantly craving them. The funny thing is I didn't really think I liked Egg Salad, but yet I couldn't get them off my mind. I'm going to blame weird pregnancy cravings for this one. I'm glad I tried them out because they were great and I look forward to making them in the future!

Deviled Egg Salad Sandwiches

7 eggs, hard boiled & shelled
4 T mayo
2 tsp white vinegar
1/2 tsp dry mustard
Squirt yellow mustard
1/4 minced/grated sweet onion
Salt, pepper & paprika to taste

1. Separate yolks from whites. Place yolks in medium sized container. Mash them and add in mayo, vinegar, dry mustard, yellow mustard, sweet onion, salt, pepper and paprika.

2. Dice egg whites and place in a separate bowl. Mix with egg yolks and refrigerate.

3. Eat plain, on a bun or with crackers.

Recipe From: Creative Kitchen


Friday, April 20, 2012

Gooey Cinnamon Carrot Poke Cake

As soon as I saw this on Pinterest I knew I HAD to make it. There was no if, and or but about it. It was screaming at my from the page.

I set to work on this one Sunday afternoon as it takes a little bit of time, but don't be scared! I was just whipping up the final touch, the frosting, when my brother called and wondered what I was up to. As soon as I said making some frosting he quickly replied he was on his way over.

He had just went out to eat with a friend and was to full to try out the cake, but I promised to send a few pieces home with him. The next day I received a text asking how many thousands of calories those bars had in them. I had to inform him it was a cake so it was probably something like three gazillion.

He also informed me it was the best cake and that it tasted like I just had made it because it was so moist, but I hadn't! It's always nice to hear great things about your cooking or baking so he knew he was buttering me up, but I enjoyed it anyways!

Gooey Cinnamon Carrot Poke Cake
Printer Friendly Recipe


2 c. all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
3 large eggs
3/4 c. buttermilk
3/4 c. vegetable oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/4 c. plus 2 Tbsp sugar
2 c. peeled and grated carrots (2-3 large carrots
1 1/2 c. sweetened flaked coconut
1 (8 oz) can crushed pineapple (do not drain)
1 c. chopped pecans

Buttermilk Glaze
1 c. sugar
1/2 c. buttermilk
1/2 c. butter
1 Tbsp light corn syrup
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp vanilla extract

Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting
6 oz cream cheese, softened
1/4 c. butter, softened
1 Tbsp brown sugar
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
3/4 tsp vanilla extract
2 c. powdered sugar

1. Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray 13x9 in pan with non-stick cooking spray. Set aside.
2. For cake, whisk together flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt in a medium bowl. Set aside.

3. Place eggs, buttermilk, vegetable oil, vanilla extract, and sugar in a large bowl and mix until smooth. Slowly add in dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Gently fold in carrots, coconut, pineapple, and pecans. Pour batter evenly into prepared pan and bake 35 to 40 minutes or until cake springs back when pressed.

4. While the cake is baking prepare the glaze. Add sugar, buttermilk, butter, corn syrup and baking soda to medium sized saucepan over medium eat. Vigorously stir mixture for about 8 minutes. The glaze with turn a light amber color. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla extract. Set aside until ready to use.

5. When the cake comes out of the oven, immediately poke holes in cake. I used the back of a wooden spoon. Pour the buttermilk glaze evenly over the top of the hot cake. Let cake cool completely.

6. For the frosting mix together cream cheese and butter until light and fluffy. Add brown sugar, cinnamon and vanilla extract and mix until combined. Slowly add powdered sugar and mix until smooth. Spread evenly over cooled cake.
Recipe adapted from: Life's Simple Measures

Shared on the following sites - Please give them a visit!


Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Macaroni Salad

The hubby has requested this salad since were were married I think. I had some leftover ham in the fridge so I decided to attempt this recipe. It really wasn't an "attempt" as it's a pretty simple recipe, but this was round two on it!

The first time I made this I didn't have his mother's recipe and he just didn't think it tasted right so after that I learned, always get the original! I bugged his sister and she delivered so I had the actual recipe this time.

I'm proud to say his whole face lit up when he saw that I had made this salad. This salad must be his favorite because he even remembers his mom made it for graduation! He then quickly dished himself an entire bowl and snuck off to the basement to watch his "shows" and enjoy the salad.

This would be perfect for all your summer grilling and time at the lake!

Macaroni Salad
Printer Friendly Recipe

16 oz shell macaroni (boiled with 1 Tbsp oil)
1/2 tsp celery salt
1 tsp onion salt
1 pt salad dressing
3/4 tsp mustard
1/4 tsp seasoning salt
8 oz cheddar cheese, grated
1 pkg frozen peas, rinsed with warm water
Diced ham

1. Boil shell macaroni according to directions. Drain, rinse with cold water and set aside.

2. Mix together celery salt, onion salt, salad dressing, mustard, seasoning salt in large bowl. Add noodles, cheddar cheese, peas and ham. Mix well. Chill until serving.

Shared on the following sites - Please give them a visit!


Monday, April 16, 2012

Soft Chocolate Chip Cookies

For Christmas my nephew request chocolate chip cookies for part of his present. I figured with so many goodies around at Christmas time I'd save it for another time and put an "IOU" in his Christmas present. Well finally four months later I'm delivering on my present!

I've been looking for a chocolate chip cookie that stayed soft and I think I finally found it! This little bugger is so soft and it reminds me a little of the "Soft Batch" chocolate chip cookies. Once I knew this recipe was going to turn out I loaded a plate up my nephew and sent him a picture message asking if I should share with him. He of course, replied with a YES!

His dad happened to be over and I told him I'd send them home with his dad. His quick reply was, "No I'll come over and get them because I'm going to a friends house by your house." He then informed me that he didn't think they would make it home if he gave them to his dad! Don't worry his dad got a full belly worth of cookies also!

Soft Chocolate Chip Cookies
Printer Friendly Recipe

2 1/4 c. flour
1 tsp baking soda
3/4 brown sugar, packed
1/2 c. butter, softened
1/2 c. shortening
1/4 c. sugar
1 (4 oz) package instant vanilla pudding
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/8 tsp almond extract
2 eggs, beaten
2 c. chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees

2. Combine flour and baking soda. In a large bowl beat brown sugar, sugar, butter, shortening, pudding mix, vanilla and almond extract. Mix until well blended.

3. Add eggs and mix well. Beat in the flour mixture. Stir in chocolate chips.

4. Drop by teaspoonfuls onto parchment lined baking sheet. Bake 10-12 minutes. Cool for 2 minutes on pan and then remove to cooling rack.

Recipe from:

Shared on the following sites - Please give them a visit! 


Friday, April 13, 2012

Reese's Pieces Peanut Butter Cookies

Back when I was young aka during high school I worked at a gas station for many years. During these years I ate a ton of Reese's Piece Peanut Butter Cookies that I used to bake there. In fact we always accidentally "broke" a few so we could eat these. They were soft and chewy and the outside would get a bit crunchy. I still drool whenever I see them when I go to the gas station.

I've been on the hunt of a recipe for cookies like this and this is the closest that I have come to finding a comparable recipe. The cookies stay nice and soft and chewy even a few days old. Once again this is a must in my book!

Reese's Pieces Peanut Butter Cookies
Printer Friendly Recipe


3 c. flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 c. butter, room temperature
1/4 c. shortening
1 c. sugar
1 c. brown sugar, packed
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 c. Reese's Pieces

Peanut Butter Mixture
1 c. creamy peanut butter
1/4 c. butter, room temperature
1/4 c. honey

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix the ingredients for the peanut butter mixture.

2. In a medium bowl, mix flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside. In a large bowl cream the butter, shortening and both sugars until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, beating well after each one. Add vanilla and the peanut butter mixture. Add the flour mixture by the cupful and beat at a low speed until fully mixed. Mix in the Reese's Pieces.

3. Line your baking sheets with parchment paper. Drop dough onto sheets about 2 inches apart. Bake for 11minutes. They won't look quit done but this will keep them soft! Remove from oven and let them sit on the baking sheet for 1 minute, then remove to a cooking rack.

Recipe from: The Spiffy Cookie

Shared on the following sites - Please give them a visit! 


Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Easy Red Velvet Cake

I love making special treats for people. If my baking can bring a smile to someones face that's all I ask for.

One of my co-workers mentioned a while back that they loved Red Velvet Cake and their mom always used to make it for their birthday. I tucked this little bit of knowledge in the back of my mind and used it with their birthday came around.

I was a bit nervous about this cake because I had never made a Red Velvet Cake before. This one was super easy and it starts out with a boxed marble cake mix. On a side note do you know how hard it is to find a marble cake mix these days? I live in small town MN and we have one grocery story. It does not carry marble cake mix. I say this is a sin and it should be considered a staple cake mix, but they aren't asking me. I have to make sure to grab one whenever I happen to be at a larger grocery store which is an hour away. Luckily for me I happened to have one on hand!

Easy Red Velvet Cake
Printer Friendly Recipe


1 package (18 1/4 oz) fudge marble cake mix
1 tsp baking soda
2 eggs
1 1/2 c. buttermilk
1 bottle (1 oz) red food coloring
1 tsp vanilla extract

5 Tbsp all-purpose flour
1 c. milk
1 c. butter, softened
1 c. sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract

1. In a mixing bowl, combine contents of cake mix and baking soda. Add eggs, buttermilk, food coloring and vanilla; blend on low until moistened. Beat on high speed for 2 minutes.

2. Pour into two greased and floured 9 in round baking pans. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes or until toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks to cool completely.

3. For frosting, whisking flour and milk in a saucepan until smooth. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Cover and cool to room temperature. In a mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar. Add milk mixture; beat for 10 minutes or until fluffy. Stir in vanilla. Frost between layers and over top and sides of cakes.

Recipe from: "Best of Country Cake" by Taste of Home

Shared on the following sites - Please give them a visit! 


Monday, April 9, 2012

Poppy Seed Chicken

I've come to the conclusion you guys all like recipe with interesting titles. Maybe I should rename this recipe just to get your attention...

Do you want to know how I came to this conclusion? It's because the famous "Crack Dip" that I just posted a few weeks ago has the most page views of any recipe on this blog. So yes it is a pretty amazing recipe but I've made other pretty amazing recipes that haven't got nearly that much attention. I think I'm onto something hear. So I'm going to rename this recipe "Heroin Chicken"...just kidding! I don't think that would go over quite as well somehow. Of course maybe I could name it Opium Poppy Seed Chicken because word has it on the street that if you take a drug test after eating Poppy Seeds it will come up positive for Opiates.

I'm a Minnesotan and I always love a good hot dish so this caught my eye right away. It was pretty easy to whip up after work and it made plenty so we had leftovers. I love leftovers. In fact I'm eating this for lunch right now.

So go make this dish and give it some love even though it doesn't have quite as great of a name as the "Crack Dip" did!

Poppy Seed Chicken
Printer Friendly Recipe


5 cups chicken breasts, cooked and cubed
1 cup sour cream
2 cans condensed cream of chicken soup
2 cups crushed Ritz crackers (about 1 1/2 rolls of crackers)
1/2 cup melted butter
1 T poppy seeds
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1/4 tsp celery salt
1 tsp minced garlic
1 T lemon juice
1/4 tsp pepper
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Boil raw chicken breasts for 20 minutes. Let chicken cool slightly and cut into one inch cubes. Place cubed chicken in a greased 9x13 casserole dish.
3. Stir together the condensed soup and sour cream. Add the Worcestershire, celery salt, garlic, lemon juice, and pepper to the soup and sour cream mixture. Pour over the chicken.
4. In a separate bowl, stir together the crushed crackers, poppy seeds and melted butter. Sprinkle over the chicken and sauce.

5. Bake for 30 minutes in the preheated oven, until the top of the casserole is browned and the sauce is bubbly. Serve plain or over rice.

Recipe From: The Girl Who Ate Everything

Shared on the following sites - Please give them a visit! 


Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Chili's Copycat Salsa

Salsa is one of those things I've always wanted to make, but have never had enough guts or ambition. I even bought this little Tupperware gadget to make salsa last summer. It sat in a box, neglected and gathering dust in my basement closet.

I'm so glad I finally took a leap and it! Sure some of the ingredients do come from cans and I hope to graduate to a garden this summer and fresh salsa from that, but in the meantime I'm quite satisfied with this little recipe. Plus fresh salsa in the winter? What a great thing!

I loved this salsa because it has the hint of lime in it that so many restaurants have in their salsas. I'm always a sucker for the chips and salsa that some restaurants give you. This did not let me down!

Chili's Copycat Salsa Recipe
 Printer Friendly Recipe

1 can (28 oz) whole tomatoes, drained
1 small (4 oz) can diced jalapenos
1/4 c. yellow onion
1 tsp garlic salt
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp sugar
1 tsp lime juice

1. Place all ingredients together into a food processor or blender and puree until smooth

2. Serve with tortilla chips

Recipe from: Six Sister's Stuff

Shared on the following sites - Please give them a visit! 


Monday, April 2, 2012

Easter Recipe Round-Up

Do you have your menu all planned out for Easter? I hope not because I have some great ideas for you! If you do maybe you can alter it a bit!

If you are looking for a little bit different main entree these "Sweet 'N' Sour Meatballs" would be great!

Or you could go with "Scalloped Potatoes with Ham & Cheese"

If you are still looking for that perfect side dish here are a few ideas....

The "Broccoli Cauliflower Casserole" is one of my all time favorites! It was always a staple in our house at the holidays. 

If it's the potatoes you need help with this "Twice Baked Potato Casserole" is perfect. I'll be bringing this to our Easter!

Need a salad or two? 

This "Layered Strawberry Salad" is always fun and makes a great presentation plus kids love it!

Or this "Cashew Coleslaw Salad" is always yummy..

Of course we can't forget DESSERT!!!

Maybe you are looking for a cake? This "Strawberry Vanilla Poke Cake" is a crowd pleaser where it's taken! I think I'm drooling just looking at this picture...

If cake isn't your thing then maybe this "Cherry Crunch Pie" will satisfy your sweet tooth!

Last but not least is the "English Trifle"

Now I need to go bake something! Hope you enjoyed the "Easter Recipe Round-Up"