December 19, 2012

Merry Christmas Pancakes

Every Christmas I make a traditional breakfast of Chocolate Chip Pancakes and Homemade Whipped Topping, but this year I am adding cocoa!
I would love to share this recipe with you so let's get started!

Chocolate Chip Pancakes with Chocolate Whipped Toppping

Chocolate Chip Pancakes
makes approximately 10 pancakes
2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
2 TBS sugar
4 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 cup milk or buttermilk ( add a little more if needed)
2 eggs (slightly beaten)
1 tsp vanilla
4 TBS vegetable oil
3/4 cup chocolate chips

Combine dry ingredients together. Then mix in milk, oil, eggs, and vanilla. Mix until all lumps are gone and then gently stir in chocolate chips.

a lightly greased griddle to medium heat, adjust heat as needed. I use an electric griddle and set the temperature to 350 degrees.  Pour or scoop approximately 1/3 cup of batter onto the griddle, use more or less batter to create your desired size of pancakes. Brown pancake on both sides and serve warm!

Top pancakes with...

Chocolate Whipped Topping
2 cups of heavy whipping cream
5 TBS powder sugar (add more or less to your liking)
3 TBS cocoa powder
1 tsp of vanilla extract

Chill your mixing bowl and beaters in the freezer for about 10 minutes. Then in a large metal bowl, whip cream until stiff peaks are just about to form.
Then beat in vanilla, sugar, and cocoa powder until peaks form.

Decorate your pancakes with festive sprinkles, chocolate chips, and a dusting of powder sugar! I hope you and your family will enjoy these very yummy Christmas pancakes this year!

December 17, 2012

Latkes to Eat

This past weekend my family and I celebrated the last night of Chanukah with yummy latkes and applesauce. The most wonderful thing about Chanukah is remembering the miracles of long ago. If you have not had a chance to read the Chanukah story I challenge you to read a piece of history that will never be forgotten.
This year I experimented with a yearly traditional potato latke recipe and it turned out wonderful. I would love to share this recipe with you so lets get started!


4 medium sized potatoes
1 zucchini
1 small red onion
1 egg, slightly beaten
1/2 tsp salt (or to taste)
pepper to taste
5 heaping TBS flour
*oil for frying

Wash, peel and grate potatoes, zucchini, and onion. Strain potatoes, but not too dry. Add grated onion, zucchini, salt, pepper, and the egg, mix well. Add flour and beat into potatoes, mixing well. Heat enough oil to cover bottom of frying pan, about 1/4 inch of oil. Heat oil until it reaches 350 degrees. Carefully drop by heaping tablespoonful's into hot oil. Adjust heat as needed. Press on the latkes as they are frying to create a pancake like appearance. Brown on both sides. Drain on absorbent paper. Serve immediately or keep latkes in a warm oven until ready to serve.

Delicious served with
applesauce or sour cream. For a wonderful Easy Slow Cooker Applesauce recipe click here.

Cilantro Lime Sour Cream
8 oz light sour cream
juice of 1 lime
zest 1 lime
1 TBS chopped cilantro (add more if you like)

Mix all ingredients and dollop over latkes.

Enjoy! :)

December 14, 2012

Guest Post {Morgan from Color in Motion 5K}

Hey guys! This is Morgan from Color in Motion 5k. I am so excited to join you on Once a Mom, Always a Mom to tell you about our 5k race coming to Houston and offer Audra's readers an awesome deal for the Color in Motion 5k fun run on February 2. Color in Motion 5k is the funnest color 5k run and a great event to bring the whole family to! This race also benefits the local Houston charity, Girls on the Run.

**Use the discount code- ONCEAMOM to register and get 10% off race registration at

If you'll allow me, I'd love to share with ya'll one of my favorite recipes that you should try the night before your Color in Motion 5k. This recipe is wonderful for moms because it is easy, filling and can be easily adapted for picky kids. This is a great meal to share with your family before a Color in Motion 5k as it has the carbs and protein to keep you going.

Chicken Burritos

2-3 chicken breasts, cut into small chunks
1 large onion, diced
1 packet of taco seasoning
2 cups cooked white rice
1 15oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 15oz can corn, drained
salt and pepper to taste

Sauté the chicken breast chunks in a couple tablespoons of butter for 3-5 minutes on medium-high heat. Add onion and season with salt and pepper. Cook until the chicken is done. Reduce the heat to medium-low and stir in the cooked rice and taco seasoning. Mix in the rinsed black beans and the can of corn. Continue to cook until the mixture is heated thoroughly. Spoon into flour tortillas, and serve.


So you may be asking what makes a Color in Motion 5k race than other races you may have participated in. Well let me tell you...

Color Chasers, the runners, being the race in a clean, white t-shirt. At each kilometer there is a color pit where our wonderful volunteers throw powder color on the Color Chasers as they go by turning their sparkly white clothes into a bright palette of color. The Color in Motion 5k race is is not a timed, so run, walk, jog, whatever your prefer. This 5k is less about competition and speed and more about being active and having fun.

What also makes Color in Motion different than your average 5k race is the awesome after party. The Color in Motion 5k run is followed by an after party where there will be music, dancing, vendors and a color throw.


Doesn’t that look fun? Having participated in one, I can promise you this is an event you DEFINITELY don’t want to miss out on.

So what do you have to do to join in on this fun?

Go to and register using ONCEAMOM to get 10% off, get your white t-shirt ready, bring your friends and get ready to have a great time and support a great cause while doing it.

December 13, 2012

Turkey Cranberry Salad

What to do with all the turkey leftovers?
Make Turkey Cranberry Salad, of course!

Turkey Cranberry Salad

*I used the leftovers of my Breast of Turkey Roast, click here for the recipe. This is my first recipe for Turkey Cranberry Salad, but next time I am going to omit the pickle relish and add fresh parsley.

2 cups shredded or cubed turkey
1/2 cup dried cranberries
3 TBS purple onion finely chopped
2 tsp dijon mustard
1 celery stalk finely chopped
3 heaping TBS sweet pickle relish (optional)
1 hard boiled egg, smashed well
2/3 cup of light mayo
juice of 1 lemon
salt and pepper to taste

Add all ingredients to a medium bowl and mix well. Serve immediately or refrigerate.


December 11, 2012

Boneless Breast of Turkey Roast Prepared in the Slow Cooker

The holidays are in full swing and the best time to bake and cook is right now. Family and friends enjoy nothing more but to have delightful memories and delicious food to treasure each holiday :) Well today I am going to give you my recipe for A Herb Breast of Turkey Roast prepared in the slow cooker. Cooking this turkey in the slow cooker is a great alternative to roasting a turkey in the oven, always comes out juicy and tender. Let get started...

Turkey Breast in Slow Cooker

3lbs Boneless Breast of Turkey Roast, thawed
3/4 cup white wine
1/2 cup low sodium chicken broth
2 sprigs of rosemary
2 sprigs of oregano
(optional, I had oregano available in my herb garden so I used it)
3 sprigs of thyme
1/2 red onion, cut into wedges
2 stalks of celery, cut into 3 sections
3 carrots, cut into 3 sections
4 garlic cloves
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/8 to 1/4 tsp sage (or fresh sprigs)
kosher salt and fresh ground pepper to taste

First, pour white wine and chicken broth into the slow cooker. Add turkey roast and place skin side up.

Next, rub  the top of the turkey with nutmeg, sage, salt and pepper.

add all the fresh vegetables, garlic and herbs around the turkey.

and cook on low 8 hours until the internal temperature of the turkey reaches 170.

4 hours, check temperature at center, ends and near top for food safety. Turkey must reach 140 degrees within 4 hours.

When ready to serve remove turkey from slow cooker and strain the broth. Serve broth over sliced turkey. The turkey is so tender I couldn't even get full slices on the plate in this photo!

Turkey Breast Slow Cooker


November 15, 2012

Easy Slow Cooker Applesauce

Nothing makes your house smell like the holidays like a crock pot full of apples. Making applesauce is so easy and I hope you will enjoy this recipe with your family soon! Your kiddos will be smiling :)

Slow Cooker Applesauce

In this batch I used:

4 large Honey Crisp Apples
5 Gala Apples
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon

* You may use any combination of apples or adjust the sugar and cinnamon to your taste. Some apples are sweet enough that you do not have to add sugar.

First, peel and core apples; then slice each apple in wedges. Add enough water to the slow cooker to cover the bottom, a few tablespoons. Place apple wedges in the crockpot and sprinkle with brown sugar and cinnamon. Cook on high for 3 to 4 hours or until the apples are tender.
Crock Pot Applesauce

Next, gently mash the apples with a potato masher until you have applesauce.

Crock Pot Applesauce 2

Serve warm or let applesauce cool and refrigerate.

November 13, 2012

Dulce de Leche Bottom Cupcakes

I know I promised this recipe a few days ago but life happens!
This is such a fun recipe and I would love to share it with you, so lets get started!

Dulce de Leche  Bottom Cupcakes 1

This was actually my daughter's cupcake chose for her 16th party, so it had to be good! A few months back Ann from The Fountain Avenue Kitchen posted an easy slow cooker recipe for Dulce de Leche. My family and I have never tried Dulce de Leche, but after reading her post I envisioned these cupcakes. Black Bottom Cupcakes are a family favorite in this kitchen and I thought how lovely the Dulce de Leche filling would be in the middle of this delicious chocolate cupcake :)

I am so glad we tried it because these cupcakes turned out soOoooOoo good!

*Next time I make these cupcakes I am going to add another egg to the Dulce de Leche filling because it was a little heavy and fell to the bottom, hence the name Dulce de Leche Bottom Cupcakes! This cupcake was very delicious, but I was hoping the filling would of been in the middle! My daughter loved the cupcakes and said she would not change it, but I still want to experiment!

Dulce de Leche  Bottom Cupcakes 2


For the Dulce de Leche recipe, click here

1 large egg at room temperature, slightly beaten
16 oz dulce de leche

* I chose to slow cook the Dulce de Leche for 10 hours because I wanted a more pudding texture for the cupcakes.

Cake Mix
adapted from Chocolate Galore Cookbook
makes 24 cupcakes

2 ¼ cups- cold water
¾ cup- melted butter
1 TBS- vanilla extract
2 TBS- balsamic vinegar
3 ½ cups – all purpose flour
¾ cup- cocoa powder
2 tsp- baking soda
2 ¼ cups- sugar
1 tsp salt
¾ cup- semisweet chocolate

 Preheat - the oven to 350 and line a muffin pan with paper cupcake liners.

Make the filling- in a medium bowl mix the egg and the dulce de leche until smooth.

Prop up a pastry bag in a tall glass with the bag’s wide opening at the top. Fold the top of the pastry bag down over the glass. Scrape the filling mixture into the pastry bag. Set the filled pastry bag aside.

Mix the liquids- In a small mixing bowl combine water, melted butter, vanilla extract, and balsamic vinegar.

 Make the batter- In the a large bowl, use a whisk to stir together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, sugar, and salt until evenly blended.

Slowly pour the liquid mix into the flour mixture. Stir until the batter is smooth.

Pour in the batter- Fill each lined muffin cup three-quarters full. 

 Add the filling- Pick up the pastry bag and plugging the tip with one hand, twist the top of the bag to close it. Using one hand to guide the top and the other to squeeze the top of the bag, insert the tip into the center of one of the cupcakes. Gently squeeze a small amount of the dulce de leche filling into the batter. You will see the chocolate batter rise as the filling fills the middle.

 Bake the cupcakes- sprinkle the top of each cupcake with the chocolate chips.

Put the muffin pans in the oven and bake until a thin skewer inserted in to the center of a cupcake comes out clean. Bake about 25 min.

Let the cupcakes cool in the pans for 20 minutes, then lift out the cupcakes and put them directly a cooling rack for about 30 minutes or until completely cool.


November 6, 2012

October 30, 2012

Blueberry Explosion Pancakes

Yes, it is no secret that my family adores blueberries and these Blueberry Explosion Pancakes really hit the spot on a relaxing Saturday morning with the family! I am excited to share my recipe with you so let’s get started :)

Blueberry Pancakes 

makes approximately 10 pancakes
2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
2 TBS sugar
4 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 cup milk or buttermilk ( add a little more if needed)
2 eggs (slightly beaten)
1 tsp vanilla
4 TBS vegetable oil
1 cup of frozen or fresh blueberries

Combine dry ingredients together. Then mix in milk, oil, eggs, and vanilla. Mix until all lumps are gone and then gently stir in blueberries.

a lightly greased griddle to medium heat, adjust heat as needed. I use an electric griddle and set the temperature to 350 degrees.  Pour or scoop approximately 1/3 cup of batter onto the griddle, use more or less batter to create your desired size of pancakes. Brown pancake on both sides and serve warm!

Homemade Blueberry Syrup
2 cups blueberries, fresh or frozen
1 cup water
1 cup sugar
2 TBS corn starch

On medium low heat cook water, sugar, and cornstarch until thickened. Stir in blueberries and simmer for 10 minutes, stir occasionally. Pour syrup over a warm stack of blueberry pancakes.

Blueberry Pancake Bite

October 24, 2012

October 19, 2012

Red New Potatoes and Green Beans

Red New Potatoes and Greens Beans are a family favorite side here in my kitchen! Sometime we even eat this as a meal with fresh steamed corn on the cob, total comfort food for the whole family! Perfect for cold and rainy days and you can't forget about the cornbread when serving this southern dish!

Red Potatoes and Green Beans

Red New Potatoes and Green Beans
5-6 red new potatoes, cut into evenly sizes
1 Ib fresh green beans, washed and snapped
1/2 sweet yellow onion sliced into wedges
6 cup low sodium chicken broth or vegetable broth
3 TBS butter
1 tsp garlic and herb seasoning
1 tsp salt (or to taste)
1/2 tsp pepper (or to taste)
Creole seasoning (to taste)

In a large stock pot add new potatoes, green beans, onion, chicken broth, butter, and seasonings. Cover and simmer for approximately 30 minutes or until potatoes and green beans are tender.

Serve warm and enjoy!

October 11, 2012

Carne Guisada Tacos

Carne guisada is Spanish for "stewed meat". This dish is really great for those cool days and when you are looking for something different to prepare. These tacos can be prepared over the stove top or placed in a slow cooker, your choice.  Either way you prepare this dish the outcome is delicious!
This Mexican stewed meat is wonderful served with warmed flour tortillas, over rice, or as a warm stew.

Carne Guisada Tacos

adapted from- HEB ShowTime

serves 8
2 pounds of beef stew meat
salt and pepper
olive oil
2 cups of Pico de Gallo, see my recipe below
6 TBS flour
2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp oregano
3 cups chicken broth
1- 4 oz can green chilies

Pico de Gallo
4 roma tomatoes, chopped
1  jalapeño, seeded and chopped (add seeds if you want more spice)
2-3 garlic cloves minced (depending on the size of your garlic cloves and taste)
1/2 sweet yellow onion, chopped
1/4 cup chopped cilantro (or to taste)
juice of 1 lime or lemon
kosher salt and ground pepper (to taste)
1 tsp apple cider vinegar

Mix all ingredients together and enjoy the freshness and the aroma of all these wonderful Mexican flavors!
Makes approximately 2 cups.

Season be
ef with salt and pepper. Heat 2 TBS of oil in a large skillet over medium -high heat. Brown beef and transfer browned beef to slow cooker. Add more oil to the same skillet and then add pico de gallo and cook for about 3 minutes. Then add flour and seasonings and combine well.
Slowly add broth to skillet while constantly stirring. Bring to a boil and stir until thickened slightly. Add green chilies and then pour mixture over beef and cook 4-6 hours or until beef is tender

You can also prepare this beef mixture on the stove top. After browning meat and preparing the mixture, simmer for about an hour and a half, or until beef is tender. Stir occasionally, to prevent sticking. I have prepared this dish both on the stove top and in the slow cooker and both are delicious. Serve with warmed flour tortillas, over rice, or as a warm stew. Garnish with pico de gallo, avocados, and sour cream.


October 4, 2012

Apple Spice Cupcakes Topped with Caramel

Recipe by: Christian (Audra’s daughter)

The first day of fall arrived in September, and now suddenly everything is changing. Leaves are switching colors, cooler temps are here, and spices such as cinnamon and nutmeg are finding their way back into recipes. With all the change I decided it was time for a new cupcake recipe in my family’s kitchen, so I went to search on Pinterest where you can find any cupcake idea, literally. I found many inspiring fall cupcake recipes. Considering all the ideas, I created these amazing Apple Spice Cupcakes that I would love to share with you! I can definitely say I am falling for fall indulging in this cupcake. It has the perfect amount of spice, nutty-ness and applely goodness all wrapped up in a cupcake liner. This cupcake would be a great fall treat for bock parties, Halloween parties, and any fall related event. Now with no more delay here is the recipe…

Apple Spice Cupcake

Makes 12-14 cupcakes

Spice Cupcake
1/2 cup of brown sugar
1/2 cup of white sugar
1/2 cup of butter
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1 & 1/2 cups of flour
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp.nutmeg
1/4 tsp. ginger
1/4 tsp. all spice
1 & 3/4 tsp. baking powder
1/2 cup of milk

Apple Mixture
2 granny smith apples
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
sprinkle of sugar
1 TBS of corn syrup

Caramel Sauce
Recipe from: My Baking Addiction
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
1 TBS of corn syrup
1/2 cup heaving whipping cream
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. of salt (optional)

Toasted Pecans
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1 TBS butter melted


Fist make toasted pecans- Mix chopped pecans and butter until evenly coated, then spread pecans on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.
Bake at 350 for about 10 min or until toasty!

Then in your preheated oven of 350 degrees get ready to add apples. Peel, slice, and chop the apples into small cubes. Then place in a small pan (I used a pie plate) add spices and corn syrup and stir together. Place in the oven for 10 minutes. This allows the apples to soften and soak in fall flavors.

Apples and Spice in oven

While the apples are in the oven make the cupcake batter.
In a medium bowl, cream together the sugars and butter. Beat in the eggs, one at a
time, then stir in the vanilla. Combine flour, spices, and baking powder, add to the creamed mixture and mix well. Then stir in the milk until batter is smooth. Finally once apple mixture is done combine with the batter and stir in.

Apples in Batter

Pour or use an ice cream scoop to place batter into the prepared pan. Fill each muffin cup about 3/4 full. Place in the oven at 350 degrees for about 15 to 20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool for about 10 minutes.

Next comes the caramel:

Step 1. Place sugar, water, and corn syrup in a small saucepan and stir until the sugar is completely moistened. Place a candy thermometer into the pot and make sure that the tip is submerged. Place on medium to low heat.

Dissolving Sugar

Step 2. Stir consistently, until the sugar completely dissolves and the syrup is bubbling. Stop stirring and allow the mixture to boil undisturbed. When the mixture gets to about 300 degrees keep a close eye because the temperature will rise fast and at 325 degrees be prepared to take it off at any second. I made this recipe several times and the recipe I followed said to take it off at about 350, but for me I noticed the perfect temperature is 330 to 335. It is amazing how even 5 degrees can make a difference because in one version I took the pot off at 340 and it still tasted burnt.

Caramel Boiling Point

Step 3. Once at 330 to 335 degrees remove from heat. Pour in the heavy cream slowly because it will bubble up furiously. Then add vanilla and salt.

Adding Heavy Cream to Caramel

Allow to cool for about 5 to 10 minutes before placing into another container. Once both caramel and cupcakes are cool enough, spread the caramel on top of the cupcakes. Top with toasted pecans and indulge. Their will be extra caramel left to place in coffee, put on apples, and to eat off the spoon, it’s that good. The caramel stays good in the refrigerator for about 3 weeks and if left on the counter for 3 days. If you want you can refrigerate the cupcakes. They are best served warm, so if refrigerated stick in the microwave for about 10 seconds.

Apple Spice Cupcakes

I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as my family and I did.
Thank you for stopping by.

October 2, 2012

Creamy Avocado Dip Served with Baked Chicken Taquitos

Creamy Avocado Dip with Chicken Taquitos

This meal was such a big hit with my family that I had to share it with my readers. The Baked Creamy Chicken Taquitos recipe came from the wonderful, yummy blog, Mom, What's for Dinner?, click here for the full recipe! Christi's blog is all about yummy gluten-free food the whole family will enjoy, so if you are looking for a gluten free recipe blog, her blog is the one to follow! I made a Creamy Avocado Dip to pair with these amazing taquitos and I hope you enjoy this recipe! Not only does this Creamy Avocado Dip go well with baked chicken taquitos, it is a great topper for taco, nachos, or just simply corn chips.

Creamy Avocado Dip 
2 large ripe hass avocados
1/2 package of 1/3 less fat cream cheese (4oz), softened
juice of 1 small lemon
2/3 cup of your favorite hot sauce or pico de gallo,
click here for my pico de gallo recipe
chili powder to taste
cumin to taste
kosher salt and pepper (to taste)

Peel and seed avocados. Transfer into a mixing bowl and mash avocados with a potato masher until mashed. Stir in cream cheese and hot sauce. Add lemon juice and season to taste. Garnish with cilantro and chopped tomatoes.


September 29, 2012

Lattes for Two

Post by: Christian (Audra’s daughter)

A big mystery to me has always been how to make the perfect latte, and one Saturday my mystery was solved. I really wanted to surprise my mom with a good cup of coffee and one of her favorite coffees is a White Chocolate Mocha from Starbucks. With that thought in mind, I went into my kitchen and whipped up this recipe for a White Chocolate Latte. (Literally whipped up the recipe) This wonderful drink became an instant favorite for the both of us and is often made on Saturdays. Because of its deliciousness my mom asked me to post this recipe in honor of our lovely Saturday morning tradition and National Day of Coffee. I hope you can share this latte with someone special soon.

White Chocolate latte

(makes 2 lattes)
1/3 cup White Chocolate Chips
(I use Nestle White Chocolate Chips)
1 cup Milk (We use 1%)
1 tsp. of Vanilla Extract
9 oz. extra bold or double strength coffee or
16 oz. when using light roast coffee

Step 1: Make your coffee and set aside. In a small sauce pan heat milk and vanilla on medium/low heat . While waiting for it to warm, measure out about 1/3 cup chocolate chips. I use a little over 1/3 cup so I guess you could consider it a “heaping” 1/3 cup. I have made several variations of this latte and found that this is the perfect measurement, because 1/2  cup makes the drink too sweet while a little less than 1/3 cup is not sweet enough for our taste.

White Chocolate Chips

Step 2: Stir milk occasionally until it is slightly bubbling on the sides and is steamy. This indicates the milk is warm enough to add the white chocolate chips.


Step 3: Whisk the chocolate chips until melted and after they are melted continue to whisk until enough foam has formed. This  usually takes about a minute or two. 


Step four: Divide coffee equally into two cups.Then equally pour this delicious creamer into each cup to desired taste. I usually put a half a cup to a forth a cup of the creamer in each cup depending on the strength of the coffee.

Tip: To get foam on the top of the coffee hold the spoon at the edge of the pot and pour creamer. Then scrape the top of the creamer from the pan with the spoon to collect foam and place on the top of your coffee.


I hope you and your coffee buddy enjoy this recipe as much as me and my mom do. Thank you for stopping by and Happy National Coffee day!

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