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Hope you enjoyed following along!

I am sorry for the lack of posts the last few months.  My life has changed from a quiet stay at home mother, to a busy stay at home mother.  With our new house, one child in school now, and a very very busy toddler it never ends.  I no longer have time to share awesome recipes but will continue to cook.  Please feel free to follow me on pinterest or facebook to keep up with what I am cooking.  You all should be able to access my recipes still, if I do this right!

Surprise Candy Bar Brownies

With all that Halloween candy to use up we came up with some fun surprise brownies.  The kids had a blast adding in the candy bars.  It was even more fun to see what kind of candy bar you ended up with in your piece of brownie.  Tasty treat with a scoop of ice cream.

Happy little helpers!

Happy little helpers!

Don’t forget how important it is to get kids interested and in the kitchen.  They learn how to cook and be independent.  It is a memory they will never forget.  Recipes and baking are a great way to learn fractions and math.  Foodies are born in the kitchen, I grew up always helping in the kitchen and so will my kids.

Surprise Brownies:

  • 1 box or recipe for 9×13″ pan brownie mix, prepared and ready to pour
  • multiple fun size candy bars or larger ones but into bite size pieces (the more variety the better)

 

Prepare a 9×13″ baking dish by lightly greasing.

Pour 2/3 of the batter into the baking dish.

Follow by pressing different candy bar pieces into the brownie mix.  The kids love this part so get some helpers.

Surprise Candy Bar Brownies

Pour the remaining batter even over the candy bars being sure to at least cover each candy.  Spread with a spatula if needed to cover all bars.

Surprise Candy Bar Brownies

Bake as directed on box or recipe.

Surprise Candy Bar Brownies

Cool completely and serve everyone their very own surprise brownie.  You can serve them warm with ice cream as well, but the candy is extra gooey.

Surprise Candy Bar Brownies

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Hand Meatloaf

Bloody Hand Meatloaf

This is a repost from last Halloween, cook up a spooky dinner.  Just an idea who knows what is in store for this year.  Are you planning any creepy meals this year?

For 2012 Halloween I thought it would be fun to make a festive dinner before trick or treating.  My daughter is 4 and is getting really into holidays in general.

Hand Meatloaf:

Hand Meatloaf

So I made meatloaf (any favorite recipe will do), shaped it into a hand added some onions as fingernails and a wrist bone.

The last 10 min. of baking I put on my usual meatloaf sauce mixture, which added a bloody hand effect.  It was great!

 

Roasted Loaded Potatoes

After craving baked potatoes and Mr.Picky refusing to eat them I created a happy medium.  I made roasted loaded potatoes as I am calling them.  Roasted potatoes are one of Mr.Picky’s favorite ways to eat potatoes so I thought why not loaded it up like a baked potato.

Bacon, cheese, and potatoes can this combination even go wrong?  Of course the potatoes were well seasoned and roasted with some fresh garlic.  I will admit I ate two servings with sour cream atop.  The kids loved them “minus the green things”, as my daughter put it.  Although loaded with fat it was a wonderful change to the general roasted potato.

Roasted Loaded Potatoes

Roasted Loaded Potato Bites:

  • 8-10 red potatoes, scrubbed and diced
  • 2 Tbs olive oil
  • 2-4 cloves garlic, crushed
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/2 dry ranch seasoning package
  • 1 cup cheddar or cheese blend, grated
  • 4-6 slices bacon, cooked and chopped
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • sour cream or ranch dressing to top your potatoes

In a large bowl toss together potatoes, oil, garlic, salt, pepper, and ranch seasoning until well coated.

Roasted Loaded Potatoes

Spread potatoes on a sheet pan and bake at 400 degrees for 40 minutes, flipping at least once.

Once your potatoes are cooked to your liking, just tender or crispy.  Top with 1/2 the cheese, bacon, onions, and the other half of the cheese to hold it in.

Place back in the oven for about 5 minutes until cheese is nicely melted.

Serve with a dollop of sour cream or ranch dressing drizzled atop.

Applesauce Pancakes from scratch

Applesauce Pancakes by scratchSo pancakes usually just do nothing for me.  They usually just feel heavy in my stomach and are a bit sweet with syrup on them.  Rarely do I make them and if I do I want good pancakes by scratch.  When looking for a new recipe to try I came across Mom’s Applesauce Pancakes Recipe – Allrecipes.com.  I found this last year just after I had finished canning about 25 quarts of applesauce.

My kids loved this recipe and enjoy eating them both fresh and cold for snack later in the day.  The smell alone as they cook is like a fresh apple pie in the oven.  A bit of maple syrup is pretty tasty on this apple cinnamon flavored cake.  Unlike the original recipe which can be made with boxed pancake mix, I have altered the recipe to be completely homemade.

Applesauce Pancakes:

  • 1 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 Tbs sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 Tbs butter, melted
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 cup applesauce
  • 1 1/4 cup milk

Combine flour, salt, sugar, and cinnamon.  Whisk until combined well.

Add in remaining ingredients and whisk until smooth.  If the batter is thick for your liking, simply add a bit more milk.

Does it look a little purple?  It is probably because I used blackberry applesauce but regular is great.

Does it look a little purple? It is probably because I used blackberry applesauce but regular is great.

Prepare as you would any other pancake batter.  I cook mine on my electric skillet set to 350 degrees or in a pan over medium heat.  Cook pancakes until bubbles form on the cake and flip, continue to cook about 1 minute more.

Best Bread and Butter Pickles

My husband’s family loves bread and butter pickles.  I remember Mr.Picky telling me how much he likes them, personally I am a dill pickle girl.  In fact I thought I hated bread and butter pickles, as it turns out it is probably just store-bought ones I dislike so much.

Best Bread and Butter Pickles
Last year I had canned dill pickles and dill beans, amongst numerous other things.  I thought I was through with canning when my grandmother gave me one large cucumber after the other.  The cucumbers were nice slicer cucumbers but I could only eat so much.  I decided I would look up a recipe for bread and butter pickles and give it a whirl.  Bread and Butter Pickles II Recipe – Allrecipes.com had the best ratings so it was the recipe I went with.

This recipe was amazing and not too sweet.  It turns out I do like bread and butter pickles.  I especially love the peppers and onions in the jar as well.  Sometimes we top our sandwiches with the pickles or I will chop up the peppers,onions, and pickles to make a relish.  The relish is particularly wonderful in tuna salad.

Best Bread and Butter Pickles:Best Bread and Butter Pickles

This recipe yields 8 – 1 quart jars

  • 25 cucumbers, sliced
  • 6 onions, thinly sliced
  • 2 green peppers, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1/2 cup salt
  • 3 cups cider vinegar
  • 5 cups white vinegar
  • 2 Tbs mustard seed
  • 1 1/2 tsp celery seed
  • 1/2 tsp whole cloves
  • 1 Tbs ground turmeric

In a large bowl, mix together cucumbers, onions, green bell peppers, garlic and salt. Allow to stand approximately 3 hours.

In a large saucepan, mix the cider vinegar, white sugar, mustard seed, celery seed, whole cloves and turmeric. Bring to a boil.

Drain liquid from the cucumber mixture. Stir the mixture into the boiling vinegar mixture. Remove from heat shortly before the combined mixtures return to boil.

Transfer to sterile containers. Seal and chill in the refrigerator until serving.

Or can in a water bath for 15 minutes.  Allow to cool before storing.

Susan’s Coffee Cake

Susan's Coffee CakeI am not sure who Susan is, but Grandma has been making her coffee cake since I was a little girl.  I suppose I will need to ask her soon, if she even knows who she is or if she clipped the recipe out of the paper  years ago.

Coffee cake is so yummy, as long as it is not to dry.  Then again there is a reason you eat it with coffee to wash it down.  Susan’s coffee cake on the other hand is nice and moist because it has an amazing buttermilk glaze on top to soak into the cake.  I was looking through my recipe box and had put this recipe to the side to make.

Not once have I made this recipe on my own.  It has probably been at least 15 years since I have eaten it.  Grandma would make coffee cake if they were having company for brunch.  I would get it eat it if I was lucky enough to be over there when the company came.

Sorry about no post yesterday, we were camping.  Camping was fun but along with camping comes a lot of work for me, the mom that always is prepared for everything.  I try to plan all my meals and get anything done ahead of time.  This way I might actually get to enjoy our camping vacation.

For dinner I had lots of ideas and I made a big container of chunky chicken salad for lunches.  But what to make for breakfast?  Mr.Picky would like a hot breakfast every morning including potatoes, eggs, some gravy if he had his choice.  When you’re camping this is completely possible but a lot more work than I was willing to put in for a two-day trip.

I recently learned my husband who hates sweets enjoys coffee cake.  This was after I sent him to the store for a few items and he came home with two large boxes of coffee cake mix and was on a mission to eat some (but that is a whole nother story).  Then it clicked, I could make Susan’s Coffee Cake but with no nuts for Mr.Picky and bring it camping with us.  Talk about a no cook meal that everyone would be happy with.  I did bring some bananas in which everyone was required to eat before they had cake for breakfast.

Susan’s coffee cake fresh out of the oven was tempting, I wanted to dig right in.  We ate it two days later and it was still amazing.  I had a few disposable tin containers with lids, that just worked perfect to take my cake in camping.  It sealed great and was really a no mess breakfast.  I hope you can enjoy this recipe as much as we did.  I am sure I will be making this a lot more often now.

Susan’s Coffee Cake:Susan's Coffee Cake

This yields a 8 x 8″ pan, and would easily feed 6-9 people a good size piece.

Cake:

  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup shortening
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Topping:

  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 Tbs flour
  • 1 Tbs butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup nut, chopped ( I would use pecans or walnuts)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 Tbs water

Glaze:

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 cup butter

For the cake prepare a 8 x 8″ square baking pan by greasing it lightly.

Mix together sugar, shortening, egg, and milk.  Meanwhile sift or whisk together flour, baking powder and salt.  Then combine the two mixtures to form a smooth thick batter.

Spread batter into pan.

Combine all the topping ingredients in a small bowl.  My topping is going to look verily smooth because I left out the nuts.Susan's Coffee Cake

Spread topping on top of batter as best you can, I used the back of a spoon to lightly spread it around.

Bake the coffee cake at 375 degrees, for 25-30 minutes.  Check with a toothpick, when it comes out clean of the center your cake it is done.

The last few minutes of baking combine all the glaze ingredients in a small sauce pan.  Over medium heat while stirring, heat the mixture until boiling.  Boil for one minutes and remove from heat.

Pour the hot glaze over the hot coffee cake evenly.  Allow the coffee cake to cool before serving.

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