Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Did Someone Say Nutella? Peanut Butter Nutella Cake

This recipe was chosen as a feature item at:

I don't know about the rest of you, but I can spend endless hours searching blogs for recipe inspiration.
The inspiration for this recipe was found at Bake or Break Recipes.
You know, at least you should by now, that I can't just follow a recipe. I almost always have to "kick them up a notch", as Emeril would say.....
When I came across this recipe and seen the word peanut butter, I automatically thought of Nutella. Why does peanut butter remind me of Nutella?
Nutella = chocolate, peanut butter = peanuts
But put the two together and you have chocolate peanut butter.....and I know in the foodie law books you cannot, should never, don't even think about it, separate chocolate and peanut butter.

When the cake batter hit the pan, I heated about a half cup of Nutella in the microwave (13 seconds) just to soften it a little and swirled into the peanut butter cake batter. Isn't that gorgeous? I didn't really want to bake it after that picture.....

Then I topped it with the required 1 cup of reserved flour mixture, and sprinkled mini chocolate chips on top.

This is what it looked like right out of the oven. And to give you a little visual whole entire house smelled like peanut butter and chocolate. I think that scent should be captured in a candle....
This cake ended up with crunchy top and moist middle. The way a cake should be. Actually, it kind of reminds me of a coffee cake.

This recipe is linked to:

Mandy‘s Recipe Box


Recipes For My Boys - Thursday's Treasures


Peanut Butter Nutella Cake

2 1/4 c. all-purpose flour
2 c. light brown sugar
1 c. creamy peanut butter (I used extra crunchy and used a mounding cup)
1/2 c. butter, soft
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 c. milk
1 tsp. vanilla
3 eggs
1/2 c. Nutella, softened in microwave for 13 seconds
1 c. mini chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Coat a 9x13 baking pan with cooking spray. Set aside
Using an electric mixer, combine flour, brown sugar, peanut butter, and butter. Mix well.
Remove 1 cup of the flour mixture and set aside.
To the remaining flour mixture, add baking powder and baking soda. Mix in milk and vanilla. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition.
Transfer batter to baking pan. Heat 1/2 c. Nutella in microwave for 13 seconds. Pour over cake batter and swirl into batter with a butter knife. Sprinkle top with reserved flour mixture, and sprinkle with mini chocolate chips. Bake 35-40 minutes (mine took all the 40 minutes). Test with wooden pick. When wooden pick comes out clean, it's done.


Monday, May 28, 2012

A Minister's Dessert: Strawberry/Peach Cream Dessert

I love strawberry season! How about you?
And this is perfect for Memorial Day!
A huge thank you goes out to the service men/women that have served and are currently serving.

Are you wondering why this dessert isn't plated and photographed for you? If I were you, I would be wondering why....
I couldn't cut into this dessert because it was delivered to my Minister. He had shoulder surgery and demanded that I make him a treat. Yup, he got right down mean about his demands....
Ha! And if you believe that, I have an elephant in my back yard. No really, I do.....

I delivered this dessert to my laid-up Minister and he was nice enough to share. So yes, I did get to taste this amazing dessert. I will for sure be making this over and over and over and over.
But I think I will experiment with it and try different fruit flavors. I bet this would be awesome in blueberry.
Even though I didn't get a piece of this plated for you, I tried my best to get a picture of the different layers that showed through the dish. Pretty, huh?

This recipe is linked to:

Foodie Friends Friday

Strawberry/Peach Cream Dessert

1 package Pecan Sandies cookies, crushed
1/2 c. butter, melted

1/2 c. Domino Light sugar blend
1 pkg. (3 oz.) strawberry jell-o
2 TBS cornstarch
1 can (12 oz.) lemon/lime soda
1 pkg (8 oz.) cream cheese, soft
1 c. confectioners' sugar
1 carton (8 oz.) frozen whipped topping, thawed
Sliced fresh strawberries and frozen (thawed) peaches to equal 6 c.
1/3 c. unsweetened pineapple juice

In a small bowl, combine the cookie crumbs and butter; press into the bottom of an ungreased 13 x 9 inch dish.
In a small saucepan, combine the sugar, gelatin and cornstarch; stir in soda until smooth. Bring to a boil. Cook and stir for 5 - 7 minutes or until slightly thickened. Cool to room temperature, stirring occasionally.
Mean while, in a large bowl, beat cream cheese and confectioners' sugar until smooth. Beat in whipped cream until blended. Spread over crust. Combine strawberries, peaches, and pineapple juice. Arrange over cream cheese layer. Pour gelatin mixture over top. Cover and refrigerate overnight.


Friday, May 25, 2012

Thinking of my Mom: Casing Frank Red Potato Soup

We had a cookout a couple days ago and I ended up with some left-over grilled casing franks.
Oh how I love casing franks on the grill. Especially when they get dark and the skins split.....

I know it's not soup weather for crying out loud....but potato soup is considered a comfort food, and I need all the comfort I can get....

As I was thinking about what to do with my left-over casing franks, other than reheating and sticking in a bun, thoughts of my Mom came flooding in. My Mom used to make a hot dog potato soup when I was a kid. We would eat that soup until the pot was dry. Yes, it was that good.....
So, I did my best to recreate my Mom's hot dog potato soup.
And I measured everything out for you.

This recipe is linked to:

Casing Frank Red Potato Soup

12 c. water
6 tsp. chicken soup base
1/2 of an onion, chopped
Lots of crushed black pepper
2 large garlic cloves, sliced
Let onion and garlic simmer in the broth while you wash and chop potatoes

5 med. regular potatoes, peeled and cubed
8 med. red potatoes, washed and cubed
Add the potatoes to simmering pot and let them simmer for 10 - 15 minutes, or until fork tender.
Remove 2 cups of the soup and blend in a blender. Return to soup pot.

Add 5 grilled casing franks, sliced

Add 1/2 c. heavy cream
1 1/2 c. milk
1/2 of a stick of butter
Heat to desired temperature. Sprinkle with parsley flakes.
You can also add some instant potato flakes if the soup is not thick enough for you.


Wednesday, May 23, 2012

I Need Help: Strawberry/Lemon Scones

Everyone loves strawberries, right? Aren't those strawberries gorgeous? These strawberries were so big that some of them covered the whole palm of my hand. As I put the package of strawberries in my cart I was saying a silent prayer, "Please don't let these awesome strawberries be hollow in the middle."
You know how that is, right? Sometimes they can look gorgeous on the outside, but be empty on the inside, like some people. These berries were very good. I was really impressed.

I've never made scones before, so I had no idea what I was doing. I had to have help from Munchkin Munchies. Mine don't look as good as theirs, but they tasted fantastic.

Mine turned out kind of like a cake, and I thought scones were suppose to be more like biscuits. But according to a good friend of mine, she said that scones can be either way, cake like or biscuit like. Thanks Michael Ann (The Big Green Bowl), love ya!
That's one thing about the blogging find good friends around every corner of a page click.

Strawberry/Lemon Scones

2 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
2 TBS sugar
1 TBS baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 c. butter (chilled and cubed)
2 c. chopped fresh strawberries
1 TBS lemon zest
Juice of half a lemon
2 eggs beaten
1/2 c. heavy cream (save a little for brushing on the scones before baking)

sanding sugar
2 TBS. heavy cream
1/2 c. prepared lemon curd

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
In large bowl mix together flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. With pastry blender, cut in butter cubes until mixture has coarse crumbs. Gently add strawberries and the lemon zest. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and set aside.
In a medium bowl, mix together eggs, lemon juice, and cream. Add egg mixture to flour mixture. Gently stir until moistened.
Place dough onto a well floured surface. Gently knead the dough by folding and pressing it about 7 times. Move dough to a lightly floured parchment-lined baking sheet (or stoneware baking sheet - that's what I used). Pat dough into a 3/4 inch thick circle. Cut circle into wedges and separate each slightly.
Brush wedges with cream and sprinkle with sanding sugar. Bake 16 - 20 minutes or until golden brown. Drizzle scones with lemon curd mixture once they are slightly cooled. Sprinkle with more sanding sugar.


Monday, May 21, 2012

"NO WAY!" Coffee Ice Cubes

I know most all of you are on Pinterest. Don't you just love spending hours looking at all the great food and ideas that are available there?
And if you're not following me yet, you can follow me here.

The coffee cubes is a Pinterest item that caused me to say, "NO WAY!" This is one that I had to try for myself.
I used the Kahlua K-cup, brewed the coffee, and then poured it into small ice cube trays. Into the freezer they went, and the next day I had frozen Kahlua coffee cubes to pour my Silk vanilla soy milk over.
In the top picture you can see where the coffee cubes are beginning to melt. When they melt they create coffee; cold coffee; and everyone most everyone loves iced coffee, right?

This is one beverage that you don't want to miss. Very creamy and refreshing.

This recipe is linked to:
Foodie Friends Friday

Friday, May 18, 2012

Guests Will Come Back For More: Feta Cheese Ball

Oh this is great!! If you love feta cheese, you will love this cheese ball. And what a perfect appetizer for any meal.

This recipe was inspired by the A+ Taste of Home Recipe book from Schools Across America. A graduation gift to me from one of my best buds and church family member. She knows exactly what I like and what my favorite things are. Isn't it great to have friends like that?

And just look what my amazing oldest daughter gave me for Mother's Day....An apron with Country Sugar sewn on the front. Another amazing thing when your children know their mother so well.....I can honestly say that I have raised some awesome children.

Don't limit this cheese ball to pretzels or crackers. This cheese ball is awesome stuffed in the well of a celery heart. I know, I tried it.....

Now, how did I create this amazing feta cheese ball appetizer? This is how:

This recipe is linked to:


Mandy‘s Recipe Box


Feta Cheese Ball

2 pkgs (8 oz.) cream cheese, soft
3 TBS olive oil
1 c. crumbled feta cheese
1/2 of a sweet onion, minced
2 large garlic cloves, minced
1 TBS fresh dill weed, a little more for sprinkling
2 tsp. dried oregano
3/4 tsp. coarsely ground pepper
Pretzels or Bagel chips for dipping

In a large bowl, beat cream cheese and oil until smooth. Stir in the feta cheese, onions, garlic (I minced the onion and garlic together in a mini food chopper), dill, oregano, and pepper. Cover and refrigerate for at least an hour.
Shape cheese mixture into a ball. Wrap in plastic wrap; refrigerate for another hour. Plate and sprinkle with fresh dill. Garnish with pretzels or bagel chips.


Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Not The Norm: Golden Potato Salad

Are you tired of the original mustard potato salads? Sometimes I long for something different. Something that is going to wake up my taste buds. This potato salad is very unique and will be made time and time again for family gatherings and picnics.

I used the mini golden potatoes for this recipe. Some of the potatoes were so mini that all I had to do was cut them in half. And they are so cute when they are so small. Most of them I quartered though.

I ended up with gorgeous photos of this salad, and I wanted to show them all to you, but I won't make you scroll any more than you have too. I'm sure you get the idea with the few photos that are present.

Now onto the recipe......(WOW!! This post was short and sweet and to the point.) That's probably the way you like them, right? It takes time to read blog posts, and who has the time now a days?

Golden Potato Salad

3 pounds mini golden potatoes (2- 1lb. 8oz. bags), washed and cut into cubes
1 sweet red pepper, chopped
1 small sweet onion, chopped
1 1/2 c. mayonnaise
2 1/2 TBS. olive oil
2 1/2 TBS balsamic vinegar
2 1/2 TBS Dijon mustard
3 1/2 tsp. snipped fresh dill (you can save a little for sprinkling on top)
3 tsp. sugar
salt and pepper to taste

Place potatoes in a large saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 10-15 minutes or until tender. Drain; cool for 15 minutes.

In a large bowl, combine the red pepper, onion, and potatoes.

In a small bowl, whisk the mayonnaise, olive oil, vinegar, mustard, dill, sugar, and salt and pepper. Pour over potato mixture; gently toss to coat. Sprinkle with a little reserved dill. Refrigerate until serving.


Monday, May 14, 2012

Sweet Potato Minis

Is there anything better than a bowl full of sweet potato mini muffins? I don't think so.....

I had just treated myself to a brand new mini muffin pan. I have never owned one, so of course I had to try it out right away. The feeling of a brand new mini muffin pan is similar to a little girl getting a brand new Barbie..... Especially if your a dedicated "foodie" like me. I had to take it out of the package and play right away.

I think these mini muffins are great with a pad of butter and eaten warm. But I was skipping through a cooking magazine (can't remember which one) and seen an awesome picture of sweet potato muffins topped with sour cream and bean salsa. HMMMM!! That sounds interesting. So, I topped some of my minis with sour cream and bean salsa. They were good, but it's one of those things that you have to adjust a taste for. So, you can eat them either way; warm with butter, or topped with sour cream and bean salsa.

Sweet Potato Mini Muffins

1 c. bread flour
1 1/2 c. all purpose flour
1 TBS baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1/2 c. melted butter
1 (15 oz.) can sweet potatoes, drained (I boiled 2 medium sized, peeled and chopped, sweet potatoes and mashed them with the butter and milk)
1/4 c. milk

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
In a bowl, combine the flours, baking powder, and salt. Mash the sweet potatoes with butter and milk. Add the dry ingredients until just blended.
Place dough in mini muffin pan (dough it thick). I used a small/medium sized cookie scoop. Place in oven for 8-10 minutes, or until golden brown.
Remove to wire rack. Serve warm.


Friday, May 11, 2012

MOM! IT'S HERE!! The Big Kahuna

It's here ladies and gentlemen.....THE BIG KAHUNA! This recipe was inspired by Taste of Home. Don't you just love Taste of Home? And some of the names for their recipes are quite funny.

The Big Kahuna? Who comes up with a name like that? Too funny!!

But anyway, the Taste of Home recipe called for BBQ pulled pork. I used BBQ shredded chicken. Jack Daniel's BBQ shredded chicken as a matter of fact.

This pizza will be made over and over in this house. Everyone loved it!

And with this date being close to Mother's Day, this would make the perfect treat for MOM. And it can be a family project.

I used the Meijer whole wheat pizza crust that's ready to be topped and put in the oven. Only 12-15 minutes and you have a great pizza.

I brushed the crust with a little olive oil before I put the toppings of fresh chopped pineapple, sliced onion, and Jack Daniel's BBQ chicken. No pizza sauce required with this one.

Then I topped the pizza off with smoked mozzarella cheese that I picked up at the meat market. Smoked mozzarella and BBQ chicken? Holy Cow! I think I have just taken a trip to a topical paradise......
Great stuff in this pizza.

I just know MOM will love this. Make your plans today to create this for your special MOM. She will love you for it.....

This recipe is linked to:

The Big Kahuna Pizza (compliments of Taste of Home)

1 prebaked whole whole wheat 12 in. pizza crust
Olive oil
1 container refrigerated fully cooked BBQ shredded chicken (Jack Daniel's)
Chopped fresh pineapple to your liking.....
Sliced sweet onion to your liking....
1 lb. shredded smoked mozzarella cheese

Place pizza crust on an ungreased 12 in. pizza pan. Spread brush on a little olive oil. Place chopped pineapple and sliced onion on the crust. Top with BBQ chicken. Sprinkle shredded smoked mozzarella on top and follow the baking directions for the crust. Mine was 450 degrees F. for 12-15 minutes. When the cheese starts to brown it is done.



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