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Monday, January 31, 2011

Hockey Cake

I have made this cake for my son and two of my nephew's birthdays. It's so simple that I might make it for our end of the season party.

All you need is to make a cake in a 13x9 pan and flip onto a cookie sheet. Buy the hockey guys at your local cake store and you could even use all store bought frosting.

I decided to do something fun on the inside too. I divided the batter into into 3 bowls and added food coloring to two of the bowls.
Pour one color in at a time, adding the new color directly in the middle
Bake as directed and see the FUN inside too

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Separating an Egg

I was talking to some friends who don't cook and I said something contained egg yolks and they didn't know how to get just the yolk. It was then that I decided to add a new tab...Cooking tips/terms

Here is how you separate an egg.
Crack the egg over a cup or bowl. Tilt one side so the yolk goes into half of the shell and the white slides into the bowl.

Flip the egg into the other half of the shell, getting rid of all the white. Hope that makes sense

Friday, January 28, 2011

Chicken Cheese Crescents

What to do with a crescent roll?? Crescent rolls are pretty tasty all by themselves so I figured you couldn't really screw anything up. These are good alone or with some soup. I don't have "exact" measurements because I wasn't thinking I'd be posting this. Then, I thought, why not, it will be perfect for a Superbowl snack;)

So what you'll need:

1 C cooked Turkey or Chicken chopped
1/2 C favorite Cheese ~ I used Pepper Jack
Small handful chopped Spinach
1/3-1/2 C Mayo

Mix it all together and put a heaping Tablespoon in the middle of the crescent roll. Fold the sides in, making a packet. Bake according to package directions and serve warm.

Bundle up

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Easy Cheesy Book 2

I was cleaning out a cupboard and came across a book that I completely forgot about from a couple of years ago. I read it while waiting for my son to come out of the rink or a game to start. Pretty Little Mistakes by Heather McElhatton
Thanks again Amazon for the image.

This book is a choose your path or travel and then it goes from there. You make a choice after reading a few pages, turn to the page that coordinates with your "choice". The path you choose can be anything stupid, to funny to a bit disturbing. Each "story" line only takes about 20 minute maximum to read through, sometimes it ends abruptly in a few minutes. I don't recall many "Happily Ever After" endings but maybe I made bad choices, lol. There are over 150 different endings. So, if you missed it when it was all the rage, pick it up now for a good discount:)

Monday, January 24, 2011

Tequila Lime Chicken

This is another Pioneer Woman recipe. I prepared it a bit different and not only was really it good. It would be great to serve at a Superbowl party. Give it a try!

What you'll need:
3 whole Limes, Juiced
5 cloves Garlic, Peeled
3 whole Jalapeno, get most of the seeds out and give a rough chop
1 teaspoon Kosher Salt
½ cups Cilantro
½ cups Tequila
5 Tablespoons Olive Oil
4 whole Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts
3 Green Peppers sliced
1 large Red Onion sliced

Combine lime juice, garlic cloves, sliced jalapeno, salt, cilantro, and tequila in a blender. Pulse until combined. Turn on the blender and drizzle in the olive oil until it’s all combined.

Slice chicken breasts. Place in a plastic bag and pour in marinade. Seal bag and marinate for several hours or (preferably) overnight. Throw on a grill pan and pan fry, took about 10 minutes.

Have your peppers and onions sliced and ready to go in another pan. Sprinkle with a little salt and cook for about 5 minutes, I like mine with a little crunch left.

Mix the chicken and peppers together and serve with warm tortillas and favorite toppings.

Juice your limes
This is how you get the husk off of garlic. Put the flat side of the knife against the garlic and press down. The husks crack off easily.
Spoon out most of the seeds and make sure you are wearing your rubber gloves
Leave a few seeds for heat.
Rough Chop and into the blender with
All blended..such a pretty shade of green
Marinate your chicken for a few hours
Chop and season with a slight sprinkle of kosher salt
Cook your chicken. I used my favorite grill pan.
Peppers and onions cooked to your liking. I like them with a little crunch
Mix it all together and MMMMMMM

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Wheaties Box

I've told you all about my kids and their Miracles for Mitch fundraising and today they got their ultimate trophy...a Wheaties box with their photo!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Kinda Freaky

I saw this and thought it was freaky. I told my kids, they thought it was cool. What do you think??

This year we will experience 4 unusual dates.... 1/1/11, 1/11/11, 11/1/11, 11/11/11

NOW go figure this out.... take the last 2 digits of the year you were born plus the age you will be this year and it WILL EQUAL

.... 111 ...

Friday, January 21, 2011

Surprise Chocolate Cupcakes

I made the Surprise Devil Food cake awhile back and promised I'd show you the cupcakes when I made them. So, here they are. I forgot to take a photo of the finished cupcakes but you get the idea.'ll need
Devil's Food Cake Mix prepared according to directions
1 brick of Cream Cheese~softened
1 C Sugar
1 Beaten Egg
Pinch of salt
1/2 bag mini Chocolate Chips

Mix cake mix in bowl.

Mix beaten egg, cream cheese, sugar and salt in another bowl. When mixed, add chocolate chips. To make cupcakes, pour batter half full into cupcake liners. Drop a spoonful of cream cheese mixture into center and bake according to cupcake
directions on box. Makes about 28 cupcakes. Frost with your favorite chocolate
canned frosting. YES, you know my secret..I use canned frosting on these babies;)

Ready for oven
Ready for frosting

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Roasted Cauliflower Soup

I saw this recipe on Pioneer Woman awhile back and thought about making it. But, I'm not a huge fan of cooked cauliflower. I heard somewhere that if you roast cauliflower that even your toughest critic will eat it. I didn't bother giving it to my toughest critics. We all know that they don't like soup and cooked vegetables are a huge stretch so I saved myself the aggravation, made a half batch and shared with Kristen and Alanna.

I also altered a bit so I'll post the recipe the way "I" did it and if you would rather make it Pioneer Woman style, you can do that too.

Here is what you'll need:

1 head Cauliflower, cored and chopped
3 cloves Garlic minced
drizzle of Olive Oil~couple teaspoons
1 large Carrot minced or handful of baby carrots minced
1 stalk Celery minced
1/2 Medium Onion minced
3 C Chicken or Vegetable Broth
1 T Pepper
1 T Parsley ~ I only had dried
1/4 C butter
1 C Milk~I used skim because that's what I had
4 T Flour

And, here is how you'll use your ingredients.

1 head Cauliflower, cored and chopped
3 cloves Garlic minced
drizzle and toss with Olive Oil~couple teaspoons

You all know how I feel about sizes of vegetables in my soup, not too big, not too small. Cut according to the size "you" like. Put in a cake pan and roast at 450 for about 20 minutes.

While that's roasting...

1 Carrot minced
1 stalk Celery minced
1/2 Medium Onion minced

Toss into a soup pot with a teaspoon of Olive Oil. Toss around on low for a few minutes, allowing the vegetables to soften. Add 3 C Chicken or vegetable Broth and teaspoon of pepper and let it simmer until the cauliflower is done cooking. Add the cauliflower and let simmer together while you prepare the next step.

Melt 1/4 C butter in sauce pan.

Mix together
1 C Milk~I used skim because that's what I had
4 T Flour
Whisk together with the melted butter until thickened. Pour into soup. Add 1 T parsley. Heat through and serve.

Here is the chopped cauliflower
Carrots and celery sweating it out. You'll be adding Chicken or Vegi broth next
This is what the butter, flour and milk will look like when it's ready to add to the broth and vegis. It's a bit thick, kind of like a thin milk shake. Pour this into the broth. Add a tablespoon of parsley and heat through

Monday, January 17, 2011

Pot of Water

Yep, you heard me...a POT OF WATER.

If you live in Minnesota during January, your house gets dry which doesn't do pleasant things for your skin, your throat or your nose. To get some humidity in the air I fill a soup pot with water and throw in a chopped apple and a tablespoon of cinnamon and put it on a slow simmer on the stove. Does wonders for the air AND it smells like you're cooking something yummy. My kids are no longer fooled that a dessert is in the oven;)

Friday, January 14, 2011

Gluten Free Brownies

I was looking around at other blogs and this recipe grabbed my attention. Her title was Gluten Free Black Bean Brownies from Katie at Intentionally Katie. I have a friend whose sister is Gluten Free so I'm always looking out for something for her so I thought I'd try it.

I could not believe that adding black beans and very little oil would create a decent brownie. To say I was skeptical was an understatement.

I made them quietly in the kitchen, tasted the batter, which was good and put them in the oven. I frosted them with my kids favorite cooked frosting and served to the toughest critics on the block simply stating it was a new recipe.

Claire said, "they were a little too moist but I liked them". Max asked for another one. I thought they were good but I'm more of a chewy brownie girl, these are more cake like because of the texture/moistness. People at work liked them and asked for the recipe.

I don't think I will ever tell the kids that they contain black beans, they can figure that out on their own. You also don't need to frost them if you don't want to. They tasted good without, we just like any excuse to eat fudge frosting at our house.

So, give them a try and tell me what you think.

1 can Black Beans, drained and rinsed
2 Eggs
1 T Olive Oil
2 T Apple Sauce (or 2 T more Olive Oil)~I used Apple Sauce
1/4 C Cocoa powder
pinch of Salt
1/2 t Baking Powder
1 t Vanilla
3/4 C Sugar
1/2 C Semi Sweet Chocolate Chips

Put eggs, olive oil, vanilla and apple sauce in bottom of blender. Add beans and liquify, you shouldn't see any chunks. Stop and add the rest of the ingredients and I pulsed until it was all incorporated. Pour batter into greased 8x8 pan, sprinkle with chocolate chips and bake at 350 for about 30 minutes or until tester put in the middle comes out clean. Cool, frost and serve.

I will add that you could not serve these warm, they fell apart when trying to take them out of the pan (my kids like warm brownies with ice cream so they had to wait another 15 minutes)

Fudge Frosting

2 T Butter
2 T Milk
1 T Cocoa
Bring to a boil. Add
1 t Vanilla
3/4 C Powdered Sugar
Whisk until smooth and pour on top of brownies.

Looks like regular brownie mix to me
Ready for the oven
The kids LOVED them

Thursday, January 13, 2011

2nd Place!

We just played in our final tournament of the year. We were playing for 1st place and were down 1-0 with 59 seconds left on the clock. Scramble, Scramble...puck goes in...NO GOAL. The referee had blown the whistle by mistake, yes mistake, he apologized after the game. It's the second time this year that we ended up losing a game because of a bad call.

I have taught my kids that the referee is the one who calls the game. They are human and mistakes happen. Sometimes you're on the receiving end of that bad call and it is what it is. Sucky lesson but a lesson none the less.

I am proud of them for going hard and not giving up. Here they are, very tired with their 2nd place trophy. Congratulations boys!!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Potato Soup

I think it's been awhile since I posted a crock pot soup recipe. I kind of forgot about this one and I needed something to get the chill out of my bones. It's easy and yummy so give it a try.

What you'll need:
7 medium Potatoes, peeled and cut into pieces
1 medium Onion chopped
1 large Carrot peeled and diced (or handful of baby carrots)
2 stalks celery chopped
4 C Water
4 Chicken Bouillon cubes
1 T Parley Flakes
1/2 t Pepper
1 1/4 t Salt
1 T Garlic Powder
1 can Evaporated Milk

Put all the ingredients except milk into your crock pot and cook on low 10-12 hours or high for about 4. Mash potatoes a little bit with a fork or hand masher. Add milk, heat through and serve.

I never do this but you could top with chopped chives, cheese or bacon for a nice touch.

Here is how I chop the potatoes. 6 of them I chop into chunks and 1 of them I slice into bite size pieces. I like how the different sizes give texture to potato soup.
Potato soup doesn't photograph well or should I say, "I" don't photograph it well. But here's the finished product.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011


I have a friend whose blog is called "Things That Make Me Twitch". I'm stealing her tag line today. I was standing in line at Target last night and 3 year old Susie didn't want to sit in the cart. She was backwards in the seat area, leaning over the bar. I kept holding my hands out because I thought she was going to fall.

Susie's Mom was watching her from the front of the cart and would say in that sing song voice my children have never heard when they are being naughty, "Susie, that's not acceptable". "Susie, sit on your bottom". "Susie, Mommy would like you to sit on your bottom".

Susie ignored her Mother and continued to do back bends over the bar of the cart. Mommy continues to beg the child, did I mention she was 3, to sit on her bottom. I had to use every ounce of restraint to not pick the child up, turn her around and TELL her to sit on her "bottom" the correct way!

Why does this make me twitch? Because I am SO tired of parents who don't want to be the bad guy, they don't want to make their child upset, they don't want to give their child boundaries or teach them acceptable behavior. Would she have let Susie run into the street? I venture to guess the answer would be no. But I wonder if she realizes if Susie were to drop head first onto the concrete floor of Target, the chance of a head injury would be LARGE!

But my clincher and why I had to post my "twitch". After they paid, Mommy was pulling the cart away so I could step up to pay and Susie wanted to play with the credit card pad and pen. She is now STANDING in the sitting part of the cart. And, what does the Mother say?? "Susie, you can't play with that right now because that lady (me) will get mad because it's her turn". Ummm, what?!? How about, "Susie, sit down and don't touch that, it's NOT a toy". And, yeah Susie, this "lady" is mad but not at you. I'm mad at your Mother for not giving you rules or expectations. Susie should be a blast to be around in about 10 years, I wish them luck.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Lemon Bars

If you live in Minnesota, you are feeling my pain. Holidays are over, the weather is BRUTAL, the month is LONG, spring isn't for a few months and my flip flops..yeah I'm not seeing those anytime soon.

So, I decided to bring a little summer INSIDE and make Lemon Bars. I love Lemon Bars. It was a bonus that I had some raspberries and blueberries in the freezer but if you don't they are just as good without. I'm also trying to be good about my diet so I only made 1/2 the recipe and shared them with Alanna (they are her favorite too and I shouldn't sabotage only my diet) because I will eat the entire pan if given the chance. The recipe that I'm posting is for a 13x9 pan.

1 1/2 C Flour
1/2 C Powdered Sugar
3/4 C Cold Butter

Mix together and press into 13x9 pan. Bake at 350 for 15 minutes.

4 Eggs
1 1/2 C Sugar
3 T Flour
1 t Baking Powder
1/2 C Lemon Juice
Berries ~ Optional

Whisk together and pour on top of crust. Bake for 20-25 minutes. Dust with powdered sugar and serve.

Chop up your cold butter, it's easier to work with if you chop it up into pieces. You could use a pastry mixer but you know my style, less gadgets the better. So, mix your flour and powder sugar together and use two forks to mash the butter and flour mixture together.
You're going to mix the flour and powdered sugar in until it's crumbly and there are no chunks of butter. Pat this down and put in a 350 degree oven for 15 minutes. Remember we're pretending this is a 13x9 pan;)
This is your crust out of the oven, I could have probably baked this for another minute or two but I was in a hurry
Pour the filling on top, place your berries on top if you choose and bake for 20-25 minutes until golden around the edges and set in the middle.
Sprinkle with powdered sugar and have a little taste of summer!

Friday, January 7, 2011

Roasted Vegi and Wild Rice Soup

Alanna and I went out to lunch and decided to share a sandwich so we could get a bowl of the soup of the day, Chicken Wild Rice. I don't know what comes to your mind but to ours...creamy, yummy comfort soup.

We got something very similar to this recipe instead. A spicy, sassy wild rice soup. We were both completely disappointed at the time, but afterward I found myself craving it. I tried my best to recreate since I had some left over wild rice, Alanna claims I was successful so I hope you enjoy.

I am going to put everything you need, so you'll have your grocery list and then how it all played out.

6 C Chicken Broth ~ I actually had homemade turkey broth I used
1 can Fire Roasted Tomatoes with Garlic
1/2 C Carrots minced
2 stalks Celery minced
1/2 t Cayenne
few cranks of the pepper mill
1 T Tastefully Simple Garlic Pepper ~ if you don't have this, just use Garlic Powder
1 - 1 1/2 C chopped cooked Turkey or Chicken
1/2 Red Pepper chopped
1/2 Green Pepper chopped
3 cloves Garlic minced
1/2 medium Onion chopped
1/2 Zucchini chopped ~ or use whole and skip yellow squash
1/2 Yellow Squash chopped
1/4 lb of fresh Green Beans snapped into bite size pieces
Handful of Asparagus, snap off the tops and use those only. Use the stalks for a stir fry
1-2 t Olive Oil
1/2 to 1 t Red Pepper Flakes
2 - 2 1/2 C cooked Wild Rice or Brown Rice would work too.
Couple handfuls of fresh spinach chopped

And, this is how you'll use it all

6 C Chicken Broth ~ I actually had homemade turkey broth I used
1 can Fire Roasted Tomatoes with Garlic
1/2 C Carrots minced
2 stalks Celery minced
1/2 t Cayenne
few cranks of the pepper mill
1 T Tastefully Simple Garlic Pepper ~ if you don't have this, just use Garlic Powder
1 - 1 1/2 C chopped cooked Turkey or Chicken

Get this all on the stove and simmer at a medium heat for about 30 minutes.

1/2 Zucchini chopped
1/2 Yellow Squash chopped
1/2 Red Pepper chopped
1/2 Green Pepper chopped
3 cloves Garlic minced
1/2 medium Onion chopped
1/4 lb of fresh Green Beans snapped into bite size pieces
Handful of Asparagus, snap off the tops and use those only. Use the stalks for a stir fry

Toss with a slight drizzle of Olive Oil, maybe a couple teaspoons. Throw into cake pan, sprinkle with 1/2 to 1 teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes and roast for 10-12 minutes at 450. Dump into soup pot.

Add 2-2 1/2 C cooked Wild Rice or Brown Rice would work too.

Cook for another 10 minutes just to blend the flavors. Add a couple handfuls of chopped fresh spinach, give it a stir and serve.
Makes 6 bowls.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Banana Walnut Bundt Coffee Cake

I had some bananas that were forgotten on the counter AND I found some walnuts that I bought for Christmas and didn't use. What goes better than bananas and walnuts??

I wanted to try something a little different. I started to go healthy but then decided, what the heck, let's just do this;)

1/2 C Walnuts, Chopped ~ optional
½ C Brown Sugar
¼ C Sugar
3 t Cinnamon
2 T Soft Butter
Mix this together for your dry topping

2 C Flour
½ t Salt
1 t Baking Powder
1 t Baking Soda
1 C Sugar
4 Egg Whites or 2 whole Eggs
2 t Vanilla
4 Mashed RIPE Bananas
1 C Light Sour Cream or Yogurt ~ I've used both
1/4 C Soft Butter

Mix the wet ingredients, add the dry to make your batter. It's kind of sticky, not like a cake mix, more like a wet bread dough.

1/2 C Powdered Sugar
1 T Milk
1 t Vanilla
¼ C Chopped Walnuts~optional but I put them in IF I used them inside so everyone knows nuts are involved. Mix together and drizzle over the top of the cake.

Preparation Instructions
Spoon half the batter into a well greased bundt pan. Top with 2/3 of the dry filling. To make the cake “prettier”, try to keep the filling from touching the edges of the pan. Spoon rest of the batter into pan and top with remaining dry filling. Bake at 350 for about 35-45 minutes, test with skewer to make sure skewer comes out clean of batter. Top will be a golden brown. Cool for about 10 minutes and flip onto favorite cake plate.

Drizzle your glaze over cake and serve.

If you want to make this even easier and don’t want to mess around with a bundt pan, you can pour into 13×9, top with dry filling and bake for about 20-25 minutes, top with glaze. Here is your batter. See what I mean about being sticky. This is what a bundt pan looks like. Remember though you can use a 13x9 cake pan and get the same results so if you don't have one, don't let that stop you.

Spoon 2/3 the batter into the pan and sprinkle with 2/3 of your dry ingredients. Try to keep it from the edge, makes for a prettier cake. And, they aren't really "dry" they are more moist, kind of like wet sand...I know that doesn't sound appetizing but I'm trying to give you a visual;)
Spread the rest of the batter on top.
Top with rest of the dry filling. Bake for 35-45 minutes until tester comes out clean.
You can stop here

OR you can make it that much better with a drizzle
If you're like me, this won't be your only piece