February 28, 2012

Lime Jell-O Poke Cupcakes

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Today I am skipping my Tuesday's Kitchen Tip to bring you a
cute little cupcake!

Lime Jello Poke Cupcakes

There is something about cupcakes that make me smile :)

My precious sister bought me these cute cupcakes liners from
Pick Your Plum

Cupcake Liners
and invited me to share a cupcake recipe for
these adorable liners at her
Pick Your Plum Party!

If you have any projects using
Pick Your Plum products
head over to
Ashley and Jenette’s  Party
and l
ink up  any creations, projects, gifts, or tutorials.
(This includes showing us ways to wear or pair any fashion items such as shirts, scarfs, jewelry, etc.)

Oh and by linking your favorite PYP post, you are entering to win a PYP Mystery Box full of amazing products!! The winner will be announced on March 7th as our next party begins


I picked the green polka dot cupcake liners for this recipe in honor of St. Patty’s Day!

Lime Jell-O Poke Cupcakes

Ingredients for Cupcakes
( I used this Simple White Cake Recipe)
makes 12 cupcakes

1 cup white sugar
1/2 cup butter
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 3/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 cup milk
3 oz box of lime Jell-O
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour or line a muffin pan with paper liners.
2. In a medium bowl, cream together the sugar and butter. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, then stir in the vanilla. Combine flour and baking powder, add to the creamed mixture and mix well. Finally stir in the milk until batter is smooth. Pour or spoon batter into the prepared pan. 
3. Bake cupcakes 20 to 25 minutes.
Cupcakes are done when it springs back to the touch.

You can pick any flavor of Jell-O!
I used lime because it’s green and Wilton’s Rainbow Sugar Sprinkles because it fits the St. Patty’s Day theme!

4. Boil 1 cup water and add 3oz box of Jell-O, stir until completely dissolved.
5. Poke holes in cupcakes with fork or toothpick. Don't be afraid to poke right down in the cupcake, you want plenty of holes for the jell-o to seep into.

Poke Cupcakes

6. Using a spoon or medicine dropper, pour gelatin mixture over cupcakes (about a TBS or so on each cupcake)

Jello in Cupcakes

7. Place cupcakes in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours. Then top with whipped topping, decorate, and enjoy!

I used homemade whipped topping and tinted it with Wilton’s green icing color.

Recipe for Whipped Topping
2 cups heavy whipping cream
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 TBS of powder sugar sifted
Wilton’s green icing color
(add a little at a time to reach desired shade)

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. Beat in vanilla and sugar until peaks form. Now add icing color a little at a time to reach your desired shade.

After topping your Jell-O Poke Cupcakes with whipped topping add pretty and festive sprinkles and enjoy!

These cupcakes are perfect for any gathering!
Enjoy :)

February 27, 2012

Fried Banana Split

Original Source 

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My daughter was amazed with this recipe when watching Giada De Laurentiis on Food Network and asked if we could make this
Fried Banana Split for dessert over the weekend!
I am so glad we tried this recipe because it was a perfectly light and enjoyable dessert for the whole family and super easy to prepare!
Definitely a keeper!

Fried Banana Split


Chocolate Sauce:
1/2 cup bittersweet chocolate chips
1 tsp oil, such as coconut or vegetable

Small pinch cayenne pepper


1 tablespoon unsalted butter
4 slightly under ripe bananas, cut lengthwise in half and then cut crosswise in half
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1/3 cup sliced almonds, toasted


Fried Banana Split Collage

For the chocolate sauce: I used a homemade double broiler. In a small sauce pan filled half way with simmering water place a small stainless steel mixing bowl inside the pan. Add chocolate chips and oil. Stir chocolate with a spatula until chocolate has melted. Set aside.

For the bananas: Place the brown sugar in a pie dish or on a plate. roll the bananas in the brown sugar until coated evenly. Melt the butter in a sauté pan over medium heat until the butter becomes golden brown. Place the bananas in the hot pan cut-side down. Turn the bananas when they have a golden brown color and the sugar forms a crunchy coat on the bananas, about 30 seconds per side (do not allow bananas to become soft and mushy). Plate banana and spoon the chocolate sauce over the bananas. Sprinkle with the toasted almonds, and serve immediately.

To toast the almonds: Place slice almonds in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake in a preheated 350 degrees F oven for 6 to 8 minutes until lightly toasted. Cool completely before using.



February 23, 2012

Easy Beef Stroganoff

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This dinner is a simple and tasty dinner option on a busy day.
Here is my fast homemade spin on this classic dish!

Easy Beef Stroganoff

1lbs. ground hamburger meat
2- 12oz cream of mushroom (I use Pacific Organic)
1/2-3/4 cup of low sodium chicken broth or beef broth
(either one works well)
1 TBS Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp of garlic and herb seasoning
1/2 tsp onion powder
1 tsp dry parsley flakes
1/3 cup of sour cream
salt and pepper to taste
shredded parmesan
1 package of  extra broad egg noodles

(such as No Yolks)

Brown hamburger meat in a large skillet.
If needed, drain grease from hamburger meat.
Then add cream of mushroom, Worcestershire sauce, and seasonings to the skillet.
Slowly add broth until your desired consistency bring to a simmer for about 5-10 min. Then add sour cream and mix well.

Serve over extra board egg noodles, top with
shredded parmesan, and serve with steamed veggies!

Hope you enjoy this quick and easy dinner option
at your dinner table tonight!
It beats the box stuff if you know what I mean :)

Thank you for stopping by and have a wonderful day!

February 20, 2012

Banana Spiced Chocolate Chip Muffins


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Banana Spiced Chocolate Chip Muffins

All I can say is about this recipe is YUM! You must try these :)
Perfect with your morning coffee and the kids will love these for breakfast or a hidden surprise in their lunch!

makes approximately 2 dozen

3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 eggs, beaten
3 medium ripe bananas (mashed)
1 tsp vanilla
2/3 cup of whipped topping (optional)
2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 tsp ginger
1/4 cup of milk
1/4 cup chopped pecans
3/4 cup mini chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 400 F.

In large bowl beat together sugar and oil. Add eggs, bananas, vanilla, and whipped topping and mix well.

Whisk together flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and cloves. Add flour mixture to the banana mixture, then add milk
Stir only until combined, batter may be lumpy.

Fold in chopped pecans and chocolate chips. Pour batter into a lined muffin pan. Bake about 15-20 minutes or
until a toothpick inserted into center of muffin comes out clean.
Then remove muffins from pan and
place them on a cooling rack to cool completely.

* I add homemade whipped topping when I have it available.

Recipe for Whipped Topping:

2 cups heavy whipping cream
1 tsp vanilla extract
½ cup of powder sugar sifted

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. Beat in vanilla and sugar until peaks form. Enjoy on top of coffee, cupcakes, pancakes, fruit, or waffles.
The possibilities are endless!

February 15, 2012

Shredded Chicken Tacos

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Ok, I will admit I am not a huge crock pot girl!
I know a lot of women love this gadget in their kitchen,
and I do too, but
I just do not use a crock pot very often.
Well, I was on Pinterest (no way) and have recently seen a lot of pins for crock pot chicken tacos.
I know this is nothing new but I have actually
never tried this before!
Shocking isn’t it, so off to the store I go!
Most recipes I have seen only have a few ingredients: a jar of your favorite hot sauce, juice of a lemon, maybe a package of taco seasoning, and 4 chicken boneless chicken breast.
Easy, right?
Well of course when I get to the store they are OUT of my
favorite hot sauce, so what was I to do!
Hello! Grab fresh ingredients to make my own; I can do this!
The outcome was the most delicious, tender, shredded taco meat I have ever made. I think these may be fool proof!

Shredded Chicken Tacos

How I made the hot sauce for the chicken:

5 roma tomatoes (peeled)
2 garlic cloves minced
1 TBS jalapeno seeded and finely minced
1/2 sweet onion finely chopped
handful of chopped cilantro
1/4 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp chili powder
4 TBS of fresh lemon juice
1/2 tsp salt
a few turns of fresh ground pepper

2 TBS vegetable oil
1 can of mild Rotel
1 TBS honey

Put all ingredients in a food processor and pulse a few times until you reach your desired consistency.
You can also use a blender.

Add 4 boneless, skinless chicken breast to the crock pot and pour the hot sauce over the chicken. Cook on high for 4 hours and you will have amazingly tender chicken taco meat!
I am sold :)
Definitely making shredded chicken tacos again!
Don’t forget to pack your taco with all those nutritious, yummy toppings: shredded lettuce, sour cream, black olives, avocados, tomatoes, shredded cheese, or whatever your taco desires!

A fun tip!
Put sour cream in a baggie, zip close, and cut a small hole in the corner for a evenly spread of sour cream.

sour cream in baggie

February 14, 2012

Happy Valentine’s Day


Happy Valentine’s Day!
I love this holiday because it is all about love and
where would we all be with out True Love.
Today and everyday I am reminded of my one true Love who searched for me and never forsakes me.


I am so thankful for all the Love in my life, my amazing husband (who is in Afghanistan working on base), my wonderful children, and my loving family.
My cup over flows :)

If you missed out on any Valentine fun here
@ Once a Mom Always a Cook
here is a
Valentine Recap

Frozen Hot Chocolate
Perfect for watching your waist line!

Frozen Hot Chocolate_thumb[3]

Valentine Sugar Cookies
”You are too sweet!”

Valentine Sugar Cookies[4]

Brownie Batter Dip
My most popular recipe find yet

Brownie Batter Dip[4]

I Heart Family Dinners
A memorable night your family will not forget!


Melted Crayon Hearts
"You Melt My Heart”

crayolas in a heart shaped pan[14]

Hope your day is filled with Love!
Happy Valentine’s Day

Tuesday’s Kitchen Tip {how to sharpen your knifes}


Did you know the most dangerous thing in your kitchen is a
dull knife?!
I found a quick 60 sec video on how to test your knife’s sharpness and how to correctly sharpen your knives.

You have to be sharp in the kitchen, and that goes for your knives too!

Hope everyone learned something new today!
Thank you for stopping by and have a wonderful day :)

February 13, 2012

Frozen Hot Chocolate

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Original Source

Serendipity is a NYC ice cream parlor that's famous for its over-the-top Frozen Hot Chocolate. When I get a chance to visit New York this is one place I want to be with my love!

Guess what?!
I found a recipe that will take you to NYC with your love right in the comfort of your home! This recipe is from Joy Bauer, click here for the original source. If you are looking for yummy healthy recipes she has a huge variety to choose from. Everything I have tried is always full of flavor, low calorie, and a big hit with my family!

Another surprise…without the whip cream it has only
150 calories per serving!
Perfect if you are watching your waist line this Valentine’s Day!

Frozen Hot Chocolate

Makes 4 Servings

1/2 cup chocolate syrup
1 cup milk, evaporated, fat-free
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 cups ice cubes


1. Combine chocolate syrup, evaporated milk, vanilla, and ice in a blender and blend until smooth

2. Pour into glasses, and garnish with a dollop of whipped topping or a sprinkling of chocolate shavings if desired.

Mexican Hot Chocolate: Add ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon.

Peppermint Hot Chocolate: Substitute ¼ teaspoon mint extract or 1/8 teaspoon peppermint extract for the vanilla extract.

Happy Valentine’s Day

February 10, 2012

Valentine Sugar Cookies

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This was my first time making roll out sugar cookies!
I am such a drop by the spoonful kinda girl!
When I was looking for a recipe I went to the one and only
If you have never stopped by to visit this blog, hop over there right now! Marian’s blog/website is packed full of how to tutorials.
I did not attempt royal icing, but it is on my to-do-list.

For icing I used my whipped topping recipe, find the recipe below!

Valentine Sugar Cookies
Click here for the Sugar Cookie Recipe.
I halved the cookie recipe and it made
approximately 20 heart shaped cookies
for the size of cookie cutter I was using.

How to make…

Pink Whipped Topping

I use whipped cream often in the place of icing. YUM YUM!


2 cups heavy whipping cream
1 tsp vanilla extract
½ cup of powder sugar sifted
Wilton’s pink icing color
(add a little at a time to reach desired shade)

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. Beat in vanilla and sugar until peaks form. Enjoy on top of cupcakes, cookies, or heart shaped pancakes. The possibilities are endless!

After topping your heart cookies with whipped topping add pretty and festive sprinkles and enjoy!

Happy Valentine’s Day!

February 8, 2012

Egg Roll Stir Fry

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This recipe is something my mom made when I was growing up. It was always a big hit and still is today in my kitchen.  Basically, Egg Roll Stir Fry is the inside of an egg roll without the crispy wrap, so it can be considered a healthy alternative to the fried egg roll!
I want to share this fun recipe with you so lets get started…

Egg Roll Stir Fry 2

What you need:

1 lbs. of ground beef, pork, or chicken (I use beef)
1 head of cabbage (on the smaller side)
You can also add bok choy (optional)
3-4 medium carrots
1/4 onion chopped finely
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 heaping tsp of fresh grated ginger
1/2 tsp garlic powder
3 TBS oil (sesame or vegetable)
4-5 TBS low sodium soy sauce
2 TBS rice vinegar
1/2 tsp fresh ground pepper

First, shred cabbage with a serrated knife. It is important to cut the cabbage with a serrated knife because it will shred the cabbage.

Shredded Cabbage

I apologize for the blurry picture :(

Next, chop bok choy. Then place cabbage and bok choy in a large mixing bowl. Shred the carrots with a vegetable peeler and toss well.

Shred Carrots with a Vegetable Peeler

Then brown your ground meat with
finely diced onions and minced garlic. Drain grease from meat if needed.

Ground Beef

As you can see below, you fill the pan full of cabbage, bok choy and carrots. Now you add fresh grated ginger, oil, soy sauce, vinegar, garlic powder and ground black pepper.

If you have to split the mixture because you do not have a large sauté pan or wok, half the cabbage mixture, ground meat, ginger, oil, soy sauce, vinegar, garlic powder, and black pepper between batches.

Once you have everything in the pan toss with tongs until coated evenly. Cover and cook over medium heat until cabbage has wilted, toss occasionally!

Egg Roll Stir Fry 1

If you ever have any questions about my recipes or instructions please contact me.

I hope you and your family enjoys this recipe as much as my family does!

Thank you for stopping by
have a wonderful, blessed day!


February 7, 2012

Tuesday’s Kitchen Tip {Chop with a Smile}

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Today I miraculously had spare time so I decided to chop up several onions, garlic cloves, and bell peppers. This will save me oodles of minutes in the kitchen later on this week. Most of the recipes I cook require sauté onions and garlic. Having prepared ahead means less stress and frustration, which equals a happier Momma!

Store in air tight containers and use within 3 days or less.


Tips for cutting onions -

Quarter and soak onions in ice cold, salted water for up to an hour. Soaking the onions may relieve the strong taste and odor.
(My grandmother always used this method)

Another suggestion is to cut a fresh lemon in half and rub the lemon on your cutting board. The lemon should help tame the fumes of the onion while chopping.
(Advice from a military man, my husband)

You can always use the tip from The Help and place a matchstick between your teeth; the fumes will be caught in the match head and there will be no crying.

One more tip is to use a small fan if you've got one; it will help circulate the air and remove the fumes from your eyes.

Make sure you always use a sharp knife!

Hope you found today’s tip helpful because
I want everyone to be able to
chop an onion with a smile!
Thank you for stopping by and have a wonderful, blessed day!

February 6, 2012

Brownie Batter Dip

Original Recipe Found Here

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Brownie Batter Dip

I found this amazingly, addictive Brownie Batter Dip recently at
Raising 4 Princesses 
and had to give it a try!
Wow, it is a keeper!!! It will have your taste buds dancing :)
This dip is a perfect addition to your sweet Valentine’s Day Party!
This has already been made twice in my kitchen.
I have been putting it in my kiddos lunch and pairing it with fresh strawberries and Graham Crackers!


1 (8 ounce) 1/3 less fat cream cheese (softened)
1/2 cup butter (room temp)
2 cups powdered sugar
5 TBS flour
5 TBS cocoa powder
2-3 TBS milk (add more if needed)
1 teaspoon vanilla


 cream together cream cheese and butter

 alternate adding powdered sugar and milk

 mix in remaining ingredients until smooth and tempting

 add more powdered sugar or milk to reach desired consistency

Happy Valentine’s Day :)
Thank you for stopping by!

February 2, 2012

Dutch Oven Sweet Chili Meatballs

This recipe has moved to Cherishedbliss.com, click here for the full recipe!

Dutch Oven Sweet Chili Meatballs

Also great served as dinner with
garlic mash potatoes and sweet corn on the cob
served on top of wild rice with steamed green beans! 

February 1, 2012

Tuesday’s Kitchen Tip {how to remove those nasty water deposits off your fridge water dispenser tray}

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Hello All! I know I am a day late on this post, but things have been hectic around here.
Today’s kitchen tip is how to remove those nasty water deposits off your fridge water dispenser tray! I live in the Houston area and we have extremely hard water and because of this we have to battle hard water mineral deposits.
I have actually tried to scrub, dishwash, and bleach this tray and nothing seemed to remove these mineral deposits.
Before and After Fridge Water Dispenser Tray
Well the answer was in my kitchen the whole time. White Vinegar!
Who knew?
I love cleaning with vinegar. I make my own glass and all purpose cleaner with a vinegar mixture and I use vinegar as a fabric softener in the laundry, but I never knew it tackled hard water mineral deposits until now!
I know this may not be news to some of you, but I was pretty happy I found a “green” solution to this battle!
Soak water dispenser tray in white vinegar overnight and in the morning give it a soft scrub and rinse!
You will be amazed! I know I was :)
-This also works for shower heads
the kitchen sink sprayer!
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