Sunday, December 30, 2012

Perfect Fluffy Hash Brown Potatoes

Have you ever cooked frozen hash browns only to have a gummy, globby mess?  I have countless times!  I know, the instructions say to brown and flip only once.  Sorry, but I can't help myself.  Standing at the stove, my hands have to be moving and that includes moving and flipping the stuff in the pans, after all, what else do you have to do while standing there?

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Quick No Bake Individual Cheesecake Bar

Who doesn't love cheesecake? Ok, hard to believe, but there are some people who don't but I don't know many people who would turn it down. In most cases, you say cheesecake and people start to get weak in the knees and almost get that Homer Simpson dreaming of donuts look. The other observation I have made with people loving cheesecake is that they love all different kinds of toppings. How about your next gathering serving up a batch of these delicious quick and easy no bake individual cheesecakes and let your guests top their own with a variety of toppings to choose from?

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Create Your Own Cake Pop Stand

Cake pops are pretty popular these days especially during the holidays.  For those of you who do not know what a cake pop is, it is a mixture of baked cake combined with a binder such as frosting to make a dough the consistency of play dough.  Dough is scooped (I use a small cookie scoop) and rolled into little balls.  You then take a lollipop stick and dip just a small part of one end into melted chocolate and then press it into the cake balls and set aside to set up.  Once these have hardened, dip the balls into smooth melted chocolate (using almond bark or candy melts).  You need to have the melted chocolate quite liquidy and smooth.  There are so many tutorials on YouTube on how this process is done as well as many blogs.  One of my favorite tutorials is Candy Quik on how to make cake pops.  My other favorite tutorial is Hungry Happenings tutorial on chocolate  By giving you this information from my peers, I can go into making a lovely display for your cake pops or anything on a lollipop stick.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Cut Out Cookies, Simplified

I don't know if you have the same opinion of cut out cookies as I did but they were not my favorite thing to make.  What a hassle.  Make the dough, refrigerate, roll out hard stiff dough and is not uniform in thickness.  Well, not any more!  I found the "Tidy Mom" way and it changed my opinion of making cut out cookies forever! 

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Mis-Shapened Fried Egg Problem Solved

I love fried eggs, but in my house, fried eggs are a lot like snowflakes, no two are alike.  Problem solved!!!  Again, I was "thumbing" through Pinterest and found a blog where a wide mouth canning ring was used to make the perfect fried egg.  Low and behold, it worked!

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Bacon Breadsticks

A few years ago, I found a recipe for appetizers while surfing the net and was quite intrigued with the idea of bacon wrapped breadsticks.  I was strolling through The Dollar Store last weekend and saw the skinny breadsticks and remembered I had a mental note tagged inside my head that I wanted to try them.  Well I did and they were good! 

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Packaged Brown Gravy Tip - You Won't Believe This

I was at a friends house and she had served roast beef and gravy.  The gravy was unbelievable, I could have just drank the gravy it was so good.  I asked her how she made her gravy and she laughed at me.  She showed me that it was a brown gravy mix with a secret ingredient.  "What could this secret ingredient be?" I thought to myself, I need to know.  After a little prodding, I wriggled it out of her.  Balsamic vinegar.  Huh?  How could that be?  I didn't believe her, I thought that she was pulling my leg.  So the next time I made a package of brown gravy, I tried a little balsamic vinegar and low and behold, she was right.  I had to experiment with it a little and found the formula to be this:

1 package of brown gravy mix (prepared as directed) + 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar.

Sounds odd, but nobody will believe you that you are serving them brown gravy mix from a package.  Or, they will want your recipe.  It will be up to you if you want to dilvulge the secret.  It could be just between you and me.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Easy Pumpkin Spice Cookies

Ahhhhhh, fall is in the air! I love the look and smells of fall. Here in the Pacific Northwest the trees leaves are starting to turn from green to the reds and yellows. Each and every September I get the uncontrollable craving for pumpkin dishes. Among my favorites are these easy pumpkin spice cookies. They are so simple to make and just four ingredients (which I like) for the cookies and you can use a tub of premade frosting for the top but don't forget to lightly sprinkle with nutmeg. The cookies are so soft and moist and people request these from me each fall as if we cannot start the season without them. I use the double recipe because, a) they go quickly, and, b) it uses a whole can of pumpkin and if you use vanilla frosting in the tub, it uses one whole tub so there are no leftovers. I hope you give them a try.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Ultimate Mini Deep Dish Pizza

Ok, this is not exactly a new idea, but it is a new twist on french bread pizza - deep dish french bread pizza. I love how this turns out and makes a perfect party food. With football season starting, it would also make a perfect snack for all of your football buddies. Also great for birthday parties, pot lucks, and for lunch or dinners. Make them all the same or different, whatever you choose.

Monday, August 20, 2012

The Dreaded Writing On a Cake Phobia I Have

Who else out there has the same phobia piping onto a cake? I found a picture on Pinterest that wasn't cake related but you could see the light bulb turn on over my head! The picture showed drawing onto styrofoam (click here for blog) and I remembered in my Wilton class using piping gel in reverse print to mark your cake for piping.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Cackleberry Breakfast Sandwich

What is a cackleberry you ask?  Well, it is not a berry at all, it's a diner term for an egg (get it, lol).  The cackleberry breakfast sandwich is an english muffin with an egg patty and is similar to McDonald's Egg McMuffin but better.  Now that summer is coming to an end, it's time to start thinking about back to school for the kiddos. Mornings get hectic getting them ready for school and a breakfast sandwich makes for a great meal on the go.  I have been using a silicone ring in a frying pan and making them one at a time but I recently came across a wonderful pan by Wilton for making whoopie pies and can make a dozen patties at once and it is the perfect size for english muffins. 

Friday, July 13, 2012

Pinterest Challenge #1

If you are unsure what Pinterest is, the best way to describe it is a collections of pictures that are attached to links.  Hope that makes since.  But it also goes beyond that with pinning and liking and following.  Most of the things I pin are home, craft, and of course, food.  I have a lot of projects pinned and thought I would pass on my successes and failures of things I have tried.

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Ultimate Bacon Burger

Inspiration for this post came from watching a program on television that was all about bacon.  Who doesn't love bacon?  Nobody I know.  I love a good bacon burger but do you use thick bacon, thin bacon, crispy or not crispy bacon?  Don't you dislike biting into the burger and pulling the bacon out of the burger?  Ugh!  I felt like one of those lame infomercials - "there has to be a better way".   The program featured a burger joint called Slater's 50/50 Burgers which if you can't figure out is 50% hamburger and 50% bacon.  That was when the lighbulb turned on over my head.  The concept sounded amazing but I thought the ratio was wrong.  I figured a 1/3 bacon to hamburger would be ideal. Here is how I made my Ultimate Bacon Burger

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Why do people not make Iced Tea from scratch?

I have been drinking iced tea since I was knee high to a grasshopper.  I grew up drinking this and drink tea everyday iced or hot.  I don't care much for soda or fruit juices, but I will on occasion have a glass or two.  It does puzzle me how people do not know how or did not know that you could make iced tea with tea bags.  There are even the people who think that you can only make it during the summer making "sun tea" not knowing you can make it all year long.  No, you do not buy the instant tea powder (phew-phew), don't care for that at all!!!!!  That is why I am always hesitant to ordering iced tea in restaurants because I know that is what they are going to serve me.  And, I don't like it overly sweetened.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Napa Cabbage, Cilantro, Lime Coleslaw

This is my favorite coleslaw.  I usually eat it all week and still am not tired of eating it.  I only dress the portion that I am eating.  The salad needs to be crisp and when you put the dressing on it the cabbage goes limp by the next day.  If you are going to serve this at a party, dress the salad just prior to serving.  My favorite dinner is this salad and a turkey burger.  I found this recipe in a Food Network Magazine by Tyler Florence but changed the cabbage from Savoy to Napa.  The salad dressing is pretty thick and would also make a good chip dip (guilty, I have done it).  It is very refreshing and everywhere I have served this coleslaw people rave about it.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Spinach Dip You Will Be Asked to Bring To Parties Forever!

A co-worker brought spinach dip to a pot luck at work several years ago.  I could not for the life of me stay out of this dip.  I have had spinach dip before and liked it but there was something about this version that kept drawing me in.  What was it that I could not resist about this dip?  I had to find out the secret about this dip.  After talking to the co-worker, I found out that it was so simple, just added one extra ingredient and that could take a good dip to over the top dip.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Lemonade Rolls

I loved the idea of taking a yellow cake mix and making cinnamon rolls in my last blog Cake Mix Cinnamon Rolls so I decided to try a lemon cake mix (I love just about anything lemon).  I pondered on what to put in the middle as cinnamon filling on a lemon flavored roll did not sound appealing.  And then it clicked, lemonade drink mix sounded real good! 

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Cake Mix Cinnamon Rolls

I was surfing the internet about a year ago and printed out a bunch a recipes that I just recently came upon and this one still intrigued me, Cake Mix Cinnamon Rolls which I found on  So, I got up early this morning and made them.  They were a bit sweet and because I use kosher salt sometimes it doesn't have the same bite as regular table salt so I doubled the salt in the recipe so if you use regular table salt, only use 1 tsp.  Other than the salt/sweet thing which is not a big thing, I liked how they turned out and I keep thinking of all the different possibilities with the different cake mixes and the frostings .  In this recipe I used a yellow cake mix, but in the future, I am thinking funfetti, or spice (possibly with pumpkin) and maybe even a lemon, chocolate or strawberry.  Just not sure at this point what to use for the fillings except maybe a lemon curd for the lemon.  After making them, I realized that I should have cut the dough in half and rolled them out and cut them as my working surface was not big enough to do the whole roll out like it should have been, so keep that in mind when you make them.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Scruffy Pupcakes

I absolutely flipped when I saw the cover of the book Hello, Cupcake!: Irresistibly Playful Creations Anyone Can Make and had to purchase the book to find out how to make these adorable cupcakes.  I attempted to follow the instructions but got confused about the piping bag and had problems with the marshmallows.  So, still wanting to accomplish making a scruffy dog cupcake, this is what I came up with.  My daughter has a special request to come up with a version of her dog Stewie (chiweenie), I will be giving this one quite a bit of thought. 

Monday, March 5, 2012

Green Rice

Ok, I know this is not an Irish dish, but it green so I am making this a St. Patrick's Day recipe blog.  This rice dish was always a family favorite and was always on the Thanksgiving Day dinner table when I was young.  The origins of this recipe is unknown but my family is Norwegian and am assuming that is the roots of this dish but I may be wrong.  It was from my Grandmother handed down to my Mother and now me.  It is a dish that always reminds me of family gatherings of my youth.  I hope you give it a try, it is a great dish.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Reuben Poppers with Zesty Dill Horseradish Dip

After overwhelming response from my Pizza Poppers post, I have been trying to figure out another savory type recipe that uses the Babycakes Cake Pop Maker.  This countertop appliance makes the perfect size appetizers and desserts and the best part of all, it only takes 4 minutes per dozen to cook. 

I love a good Reuben sandwich which is my first choice when going out to eat at lunch and wanted to include all of the elements into an appetizer that is easy to eat and not messy like the sandwich can be.