December 27, 2011

Happy Chanukah

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas filled with many sweet memories that will last a lifetime.
My family and I had an unforgettable Christmas this year and I could not have asked for more. Christmas is a very important remembrance of the wonderful birth of Jesus and I love to read the story of Christmas to my children and see there faces light up. This year my four year old was very interested in the manger scene and I was so touched that he wanted to know all about the birth of sweet, baby Jesus.
My family and I also observe all the Jewish holidays and this time of year we remember another miracle through the Chanukah story. If you have never read this story I encourage you to take a moment and read another miracle of Emmanuel.
Our Chanukah is filled with family fun


 and of course food!
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I always make latkes and applesauce and would love to share the recipes I use.
Click on each link for the full recipe.

Easy Slow Cooker Applesauce

Stove Top Homemade Applesauce

Latke Recipe

December 20, 2011

Blueberry Muffins Topped with Crumble

Adapted From: To Die For Blueberry Muffins 

Christmas is almost here and company is on the way. Yikes! What is for breakfast?
How about blueberry muffins topped with crumble?!
You will win your family's heart with this wonderful breakfast.

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1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup + 3 TBS white sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 tsp vanilla
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 egg
2/3 cup milk
1 cup fresh blueberries
5 TBS white sugar or brown sugar
2 TBS all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1-2 TBS cold butter, cubed
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Grease muffin cups or line with muffin liners.
Combine 1 1/2 cups flour, 3/4 cup + 3 TBS sugar, salt, and baking powder.
In a small bowl whisk vegetable oil, egg, vanilla and milk; then mix with flour mixture.
Fold in blueberries.
Fill muffin cups 3/4 of the way and sprinkle with crumb topping mixture.

To Make Crumb Topping:
    In a mixing bowl add sugar, flour, butter, cinnamon.
Cut in butter with a fork or pastry blender until you reach a crumble texture. If your butter is clumping just keep cutting in and you may need to add a bit more butter until you reach a crumble texture. Sprinkle over muffins before baking.
  Bake for 20 to 25 minutes in the preheated oven, or until done.               
Enjoy :)

December 17, 2011

Snow Dust Brownies

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Looking for a great brownie recipe? This is the one you are looking for!

3/4 cup unsweetened coca powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup boiling water
2 cups sugar
2 eggs
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 1/3 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp salt
chopped pecans (optional)

1. Heat oven to 350 and grease and flour an 8in square pan. If you double the recipe use a 9x13 pan.

2. In a large bowl stir cocoa and baking soda. Add 1/3 cup of vegetable oil and boiling water. Mix until will blended and thickened. Stir in the sugar, eggs, and remaining oil. Finally add the flour, vanilla, and salt. Mix well until all of the flour is absorbed. Spread evenly into the pan.
(I added chopped pecans on half)

3. Bake in the oven for about 45 minutes, but always check at 30 min. Allow to cool before cutting. Once cool cut into squares and dust with powder sugar.

December 16, 2011

Cranberry & Brie Tartlets

This recipe has been moved to, click here for the full recipe!

December 9, 2011

Hamburger Veggie Soup

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This recipe has been moved to, click here for the full recipe!

Cinnamon & Sugar Butter

I love flavored butters; they bring pizazz to any dish!
This is my recipe for cinnamon & sugar butter.
It’s so easy you will be amazed :0)

What you need:
1 stick of butter at room temp.
1 ½ tsp McCormick Cinnamon Sugar

In a small bowl combine butter and cinnamon sugar. Blend well!
This delicious butter will pump up the flavor of cornbread, waffles, pancakes, and toast.
Refrigerate leftovers!

December 6, 2011

Snowman Pretzel Sticks

Christmas time is underway and the cooking has begun!
These snowmen pretzel are so much fun for the kids to make. The smaller ones will love to sprinkle red and green sugar crystals and the older ones will fun have dipping pretzels in the chocolate and decorating! This is a winter treat sure to please anyone from 1 to 99 :)
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First I prepared all the candy on a sheet of wax paper for easy access.

Accessories for Pretzel Snowmen
Hats- gum drops and black jellybeans with a Twizzler rim
Eyes- mini chocolate chips
Nose- orange decorating icing
Mouth- black decorating icing
Scarf- pull a part Twizzlers
Buttons- round decorating confetti

You can easily change any of the candy accessories to fit your snowmen.

You will also need:
1 package of pretzel rods
white chocolate for dipping

This is a closer look at the jelly bean top hats with a Twizzler rim.

Melt white chocolate according to the package directions.

I used a spoon to smooth chocolate on the pretzel rods because they were too large to actually dip. Then place them on waxed paper and let the pretzels cool for a few minutes. Afterward, I allowed my little one to sprinkle sugar crystals and my older children were able to place the eyes and buttons.
Place the snowmen in the fridge for about 15 minutes to allow the chocolate to set.

Use white chocolate as glue to place the hats on top of the pretzel stick.
Dip the gum drop and jelly bean hats in chocolate and then place the hats on top of the pretzel stick. Hold for a minute or until the hat is in place. Once the hats have harden in place, wrap Twizzler scarfs around the neck of the snowmen. Add the nose with orange icing and a smile with black icing.

You now have a wonderful treat that everyone will enjoy!

December 2, 2011

Chicken & Cornbread Dressing

This recipe has been moved to, click here for the full recipe!


November 29, 2011

Sweet Fried Potatoes

Try these tasty, sweet fried potatoes to compliment any lunch or dinner menu!

 I know frying is not healthy, but lately I have been feeling naughty, so I fried these sweet potatoes in vegetable oil and served them with a light dash of creole seasoning. I am from the south and you know here in the south if you have any doubt in the kitchen, FRY it!

I enjoy preparing food too much, so I better learn to love running :)

What you need:
4 medium sweet potatoes washed, peeled, and diced
Creole Seasoning
Vegetable Oil

You can easily make this side dish healthy by evenly coating with olive oil and seasonings, place on a baking sheet, and bake at 400 degrees until potatoes are tender and as crispy as you like.

In a large frying pan cover the entire bottom of the pan in oil and heat (I use an inch or so of oil when frying). Turn on the stove to "Medium-High" heat and allow the oiled skillet to heat up for three minutes. You can test the oil by placing one diced potato in the greese and if it bubbles and floats your oil is ready!

When frying potatoes place all potaotes to one side of the pan creating a pile of potatoes to prevent splashing the oil. Then with a splotted spoon or spactula gently spread the potaoes out evenly.

Stir often to prevent sticking and burning.

Once your potaoes are golden brown turn off heat and remove potaotes with a splotted spoon or spactula and drain well on paper towles. Lightly season with salt and pepper or creole seasoning.

FYI- If you are ever out of paper towels, coffee filters work great for draining too :)

When frying always use safety!
-Never fry in glass
-Have a lid near and
-Always have baking soda on hand

November 23, 2011

New, Nifty Gadget

Wilton's Chocolate Pro®
Melting Pot

This is a fun, new gadget in my kitchen and perfect for holiday cooking. You can dip strawberries, cherries, cookies, cake pops, pretzels, and the list goes on. No need for double boilers or microwaves and the clean up is fast. This little gadget quickly melts chocolate and then keeps it warm. I purchased mine at Michael's for $15 with a 50% off coupon. I am really putting mine to use with chocolate covered strawberries.

 I tried to make Pumpkin Pie Cake Pops and they did not turn out. I think Wilton Candy Melts have changed because no matter what I did the candy melts just would not work. Anybody else having problems with Wilton Candy Melts? What chocolate do you use for cake pops?

I have been using 60% Cacao Bittersweet Chocolate Chips for chocolate covered strawberries and I am very pleased. The chocolate is very silky and elegant.

What chocolate do you use for your melting projects?

Wishing everyone a wonderful Thanksgiving and many blessing!

November 20, 2011

Libby's Famous Pumpkin Pie

This is the most traditional Pumkin Pie recipe. I do not think there is a more famous Pumkin Pie recipe out there. This famous recipe has been featured on Libby's canned pumpkin since 1950. Wow, now that is a classic!
Easy to prepare and a favorite among many, this recipe will always be marked in my books.

Try this classic Thanksgiving dessert topped with my spiced whipped topping.
This pumpkin pie also pairs well with a hot cup of coffee and my
Pumpkie Pie Coffee Creamer.
It's a Thanksgiving party in your mouth.
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
2 large eggs
1 can (15 oz.)LIBBY'S® 100% Pure Pumpkin
1 can (12 fl. oz.)NESTLÉ® CARNATION® Evaporated Milk
1 unbaked 9-inch (4-cup volume) deep-dish pie shell
Whipped cream (optional)


MIX sugar, cinnamon, salt, ginger and cloves in small bowl. Beat eggs in large bowl. Stir in pumpkin and sugar-spice mixture. Gradually stir in evaporated milk.

POUR into pie shell. I use Pillsbury Pie Refrigerated Crust.

BAKE in preheated 425° F oven for 15 minutes. Reduce temperature to 350° F; bake for 40 to 50 minutes or until knife inserted near center comes out clean. Cool on wire rack for 2 hours. Serve immediately or refrigerate. Top with whipped cream before serving.

Pumpkin Pie Creamer

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My daughter and I came up with this wonderful blend that is sure to please your senses and reminds you that you don't have to pay five dollars for your holiday peace.
This creamer is a perfect holiday compliment to your cup of coffee!

This recipe has been moved, click here to view the full recipe.

November 17, 2011

Crock Pot Apples Stuffed with Walnuts

This recipe was inspired by Charoset served during Passover. I love how simple this dish is and it can easily be described as elegant. 

6 gala apples (washed and cored)
1 cup of chopped walnuts
1 tsp cinnamon
2 TBS Manischewitz Concord Grape Wine (add more if you like)
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup of Apple Juice (I use Simply Apple)
1. In a mixing bowl combine chopped walnuts, cinnamon, Manischewitz, and brown sugar. Mix all ingredients well. Add apple juice to crock pot and then place apples in the crock pot. Stuff apples with the walnut mixture and cook on high for about 2 to 3 hours or until apples are tender.
   When serving pour juice over apples and serve warm.


Audra's Lasagna

  This is my version of traditional lasagna. I recently prepared a pan of this lasagna for my sister and her family while they were moving in to their new home.
I realized this recipe was blog worthy when she called me the next day and
told me my brother-in-law woke up thinking about how good the lasagna was the night before!
I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as my family does!
1lb ground beef
2 TBS olive oil
1 small purple onion chopped fine
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 can tomato paste
1- 15 oz can tomato sauce
1- 15 oz can diced tomato

1 cup chicken broth
1 tsp. oregano
1 tsp. basil
1 tsp. marjoram
1 tsp. garlic & herb
¼ tsp. red pepper
1 ½ tsp. sugar

salt and pepper to taste
15 oz ricotta cheese
1 egg
1 package of oven ready lasagna noodles

I recommend

(Barilla Flat
Egg Lasagna 9oz Box)
½ lbs - 1 lbs. shredded mozzarella cheese
Parmesan cheese
Sauté onion and garlic in olive oil and remove from pan then fry beef in the remaining oil. If your beef is fatty drain the grease. In a large pan add tomato paste, tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, chicken broth, onion, garlic, sugar, all herbs, salt and pepper.

meat to mixture. Cover and simmer for 25 minutes.

While the sauce is simmering beat an egg in a medium bowl. Then 

add ricotta cheese and add a sprinkle of all herbs and mix well.
Now you are ready to put your lasagna together!
Place a small amount of sauce (so the lasagna noodles do not touch the bottom of the pan) in a greased 9 x 13 casserole dish. Spread layers of noodles, ricotta cheese, sauce, and mozzarella cheese for 3 layers
. Pour the remaining sauce over the last layer of noodles. 

the top of the lasagna with mozzarella cheese, Parmesan cheese, and oregano. Bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes covered with foil. Then remove foil for an additional 5 to 10 minutes.
Call the family to the table and enjoy a wonderful family meal made by you! Serve with fresh steamed green beans, salad, and French bread. Enjoy :)

November 15, 2011

Homemade Applesauce

This is a delicious applesauce recipe! I think the secret is the golden delicious apples. Hope you enjoy this recipe as much as my family does! Your kids are sure to come running when they smell this cooking :)

4 large Golden Delicious Apples
1/2 cup of apple juice (I use Simply Apple) or water
2 TBS sugar, if you use water
(less or more, depends how sweet you want your apple sauce)
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp of  fresh lemon juice
Peel and core apples, cut into eighths. In a medium saucepan, combine apples, juice, sugar, cinnamon and lemon juice. Heat to boil and then reduce to low, cover and simmer until apples are very tender, 20-25 minutes. Remove from heat and mash coarsely with potato masher.

November 7, 2011

Coming Soon November Recipes

I have lost my camera's usb cable so I cannot upload any pictures :(
Good news I have ordered another one after looking everywhere.

Coming Soon November Recipes
-Quick Turkey Chili
-Pumpkin Pie
-Fun, New Nifty Gadget
-Pumpkin Pie Coffee Creamer
-Pumpkin Pie Cake Pops Tutorial

 Praying my camera usb cord comes in soon :)

October 28, 2011

Pancake Pen

How fun is this, a Pancake Pen! We traditional have pancakes at my house just about every Saturday, so when I saw this on a friend’s Facebook post I had to check this item out.
Walmart $6
Pancake Creator
 A must have for pancake lovers with kids! You can draw anything you want and perfect for writing out names, numbers, and alphabet letters. I am all for fun stuff in the kitchen and this was definitely a hit at my house.

October 25, 2011

Fun Halloween Cupcakes

       These fun cupcakes are sure to please your kiddos at your Halloween bash this year. 
The cake mix I used is the exact recipe off the back of the Hershey’s Cocoa box “Perfectly Chocolate Cake”. I homemade the icing and tented each bowl of icing with Wilton’s icing colors, but if you are short on time use the already made icing.
Colors- white, black, brown, green, yellow, and red     
I highly recommend Wilton disposable decorating bags for this project!
Butter Cream Icing
1 stick of butter (at room temp)
2 cups of confections sugar (sifted)
1 tsp vanilla
2 TBS of milk (add more if needed)
In small bowl mix butter and sugar at medium speed until light and fluffy. Then add milk and vanilla until blended well.
To make chocolate butter cream icing add ½ cup Ghirardelli 60% cacao bittersweet chocolate chips melted with the milk and vanilla.
I made chocolate icing for the werewolf cupcakes, but if you want feel free to color your white icing brown.
I doubled the icing recipe and I halved the recipe for the chocolate icing.
Directions for Decorating
1. First with white icing completely ice the eye and spider web cupcakes.
2. Then with green icing ice Frankenstein and Monster cupcakes, but only ice half the cupcake for the monster.    
3.  Mummies – I used Wilton tip #352 and turned the tip on the side and used a wrapped look. Each mummy is wrapped differently, so don’t worry about technique just have fun. Leave a small opening near the top for the eyes.
4.  Next start on werewolves. I used Wilton tip #18 with chocolate icing. Start in the center and sweep out till point, kind of like you are making a flower. Also create little ears.
5.  Then change to yellow for the eyes; I used Wilton’s tip #3. I used yellow eyes for the mummies and monster eyes.
6.  After that I used Wilton tip # 18 with black icing for Frankenstein’s hair. Switch to tip #3 and fill in pupils for the mummy and monster eyes, Frank’s smile, and spider web.
7.  Then Tip #3 and white icing for Frank’s eyes, monster’s teeth, werewolf’s fangs, and werewolf’s eyes.
8.  Next use red icing and tip #3 for Frank’s tongue and red shot eye.
9.  The final touch is black icing and tip #3 for werewolf’s and Frank’s pupils, and werewolf’s mouth .

Enjoy a Merry Not Scary Halloween!

October 18, 2011

Homemade Pizza

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Today I am giving step by step instructions on how to make Bread Machine Pizza Dough and Homemade Pizza Sauce. This meal is so much fun to make with the kiddos so feel free to let them join in.
This is absolutely the best bread machine pizza dough I have ever made!
This recipe makes 2 pizzas, or you can roll out several individual pizzas.

Bread Machine Dough Ingredients
original recipe found here

2 teaspoons dried granulated yeast
3 cups all purpose flour or bread flour
1 teaspoon Kosher Salt
2 tablespoons Honey
2 tablespoons Olive Oil
1 cup water, plus
2 tablespoons water
You can also use this pizza dough to make calzones.
The most amazing Pizza Sauce Ingredients
2- 6oz can tomato paste
12 fl oz of warm water
3 TBS grated Parmesan cheese
3 garlic cloves minced or 3/4 tsp garlic powder
2 TBS honey
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp marjoram
1 tsp basil
¼ tsp of black pepper
a pinch of cayenne pepper
¼ tsp red pepper flakes
Kosher Salt to taste
Mix all ingredients in a bowl and set aside.

My family loves extra pizza sauce for dipping,
but if you do not cut all ingredients in half.
Directions for Dough
1. Place all the ingredients in the order they are listed into the bread machine.

2. Select dough cycle or pizza dough cycle. The following two directions do not apply for those who have a pizza dough cycle.

3. When the dough cycle is complete, take the dough out of the machine and place it in a well greased bowl. Roll the dough around to coat the dough in the oil.

4. Cover and leave to rise in a warm place for about ½ of an hour.

5. Knead the dough lightly and adding flour as needed.

6. Cut the dough in half and roll until you have reached your desired thickness. Roll into any shape! Tip- When rolling rub flour on your rolling pin and flip the dough several times rolling out each side.

7. Then fold the sides creating a crust.
8. Place dough on foil and place in a preheated oven at 450 F for about 5 min.
Take the pizza out of the oven. Add pizza sauce, sprinkle with mozzarella cheese, and then add generous toppings of your choice. Keep the pizza on the foil and sprinkle top with parmesan cheese and oregano.

Toppings for this pizza includes: hamburger meat, diced red peppers, spinach, diced purple onions, diced baby bella mushrooms, and black olives. All these ingredients were sautéed, except the black olives, before placed on the pizza dough.
9. Place pizza in oven for about 10-15 minutes. Cooking times will vary from gas to electric ovens. When the crust is stable enough remove the foil and let the pizza cook for an additional 5 minutes or so. Removing the foil for the last 5 minutes will create a crispy crust.

Once your pizza is done call your family to the table and enjoy the fresh taste of homemade pizza made by you!

October 15, 2011

Breakfast Bowls for Dinner

Never have time to sit down as a family for breakfast. How about breakfast for dinner? I have a great quick meal waiting for you to try.
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6 eggs
2 TBS milk
6-7 small potatoes
¼ purple onion
1 package of turkey sausage
vegetable oil – enough to cover the bottom of your pans
Tony Chachere's Original Creole Seasoning
Garnish with shredded cheese, your favorite salsa, and avocados
Another great addition to this recipe is bell peppers. Add them to your potatoes or eggs. Bell peppers add wonderful color to this meal!

Directions: Wash, peel, and cut potatoes in chunks. In a large sauté pan heat vegetable oil and add potatoes and onions. Stir potatoes and onions until evenly coated with oil. Sprinkle Tony Chachere’s Creole Seasoning over the mixture and stir. Cover and cook over medium heat until potatoes are soft. Stir often to prevent sticking. If the potatoes are sticking add a little more oil.

 In a separate pan heat about 2 TBS of oil. Add turkey sausage and cook according to your desire. I like mine caramelized!

 In a mixing bowl add eggs, milk, salt & pepper to taste then happily whisk. Add butter to heated pan once your butter is melted then add your eggs. Do not stir right away. Cook over medium heat until your eggs are nice a fluffy.
Now you are ready to create your masterpiece; in a bowl add potatoes, eggs, salsa, turkey sausage, and cheese.
You just made an amazingly quick breakfast dinner!

October 6, 2011

Lentil Sausage Soup

Fall has arrived and there is nothing better than a cold day and a nice warm bowl of soup. Of course it's still hot in Texas, but us Texans can dream about cold weather.
These lentils are a combination of French Green, Petite Crimson, Golden, Black Beluga, Spanish Pardina and Ivory White Lentils. I found this Autumn Lentil Blend at Whole Foods Market in the bulk section.
Vegetable Broth
4 cups of water
½ onion sliced in small wedges
2 carrots
3 celery stalks
¼ tsp kosher salt
¼ tsp whole peppercorn
1 tsp garlic and herb
1. Combine all ingredients in a medium sauce pan. Cover and simmer until vegetable are tender. Strain broth into larger pot.
2. Place the cooked vegetables in blender and add ½ cup of chicken broth. Blend well.
3. Add vegetable puree to the large pot.

Ingredients for soup:
1-2 carrots cut into thin chunks
2 small potatoes cut into thin chunks
4 cups of low sodium chicken broth
1 ½ cup of lentils sorted and rinsed (rinse lentils in a strainer)
1 package of turkey sausage sliced and sautéed

1. Add chicken broth to the vegetable broth and bring to a boil.
2. Then add lentils, potatoes, and carrots.
3. Bring back to a boil, cover, and simmer for 20- 25 minutes. Cooking time will vary. You will know the lentils are done when they can be mashed with ease when pressed between your thumb and forefinger. Don't over cook.
4. Then add sautéed sausage.
5. Salt and pepper to taste.

Lentil and Sausage Soup
Serve with warm cornbread and enjoy!

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