Friday, August 28, 2009

Chocolate Cupcakes

It's my most favorite day of the year! It's my birthday! I decided that there was no better way than to celebrate with some homemade chocolate cupcakes! I made these to take to daycare with me yesterday as birthday treats for my two year old kiddos, and most of them only ate the frosting (I guess Betty Crocker stole the show there...) but it was still delicious and they were still super excited to get to eat chocolate cupcakes instead of rice cakes for snack!


...2 cups sugar
...2 eggs
...3/4 cup butter (or applesauce or yogurt. I just used butter cause it was all I had on hand)
...1/2 cup boiling water
...2 1/2 cups flour
...3/4 cup cocoa
...2 teaspoons baking soda
...Pinch of baking powder
...1 teaspoon of vanilla
...1 cup boiling water


Mix sugar, eggs, butter and 1/2 cup boiling water together. Add remaining ingredients and mix well. Pour into cupcake pan and bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes.

The Verdict...

I'm not gonna lie. I was worried about this. Usually homemade chocolate cake turns out pretty disasterous for me, but these were absolutely DELISH! (despite that the 2 year olds in my class would only eat the frosting. But I took that with a grain of salt. They're two.) Perfectly moist and chocolatey to boot! I'm definetely making this my new chocolate cake recipe...for cakes and cupcakes alike! YUM!

To see other tasty dishes, check out the Recipe Swap going on over at The Grocery Cart Challenge!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

BLT Pizza

My across the street neighbor is obsessed with his gardening. Let me repeat that...obsessed. He is out in his garden 24/7 taking care of things, and I always have to giggle when it's raining and he's standing outside with a hose watering it. Now that's some garden devotion. So when he showed up at my door with a grocery bag full of tomatoes, I was giddy! They were huuuuggee! And so red and juicy! I had to figure out recipes to use them up without having salad every night, so I finally decided to make up this BLT pizza that's been on my menu plan for weeks. And I'm not disappointed one bit! One of the great things about this pizza recipe is it's so easy to make ahead, unlike most pizzas! The crust can be tossed in the freezer until you're ready to use it and the toppings can all be chopped and refrigerated until it's time to eat. Now that's more excuse for take out with simplicity like this!

...3/4 cup water
...1 tablespoon olive oil
...1 teaspoon salt
...2 1/2 cups flour

Place ingredients in bread machine in order listed. Run machine on dough cycle. Roll dough out with rolling pin to desired size/thickness. Place on pizza pan and bake for 18 minutes at 350.


...6 slices bacon, cooked until crispy
...Cheddar Cheese

Thinly spread mayonnaise onto baked pizza crust and lay bacon on top. Cover with cheese and bake an additional 10 minutes. Top with lettuce and tomato.

The Verdict...

SO good! I love homemade pizza and I love BLT's. This was the perfect marriage of the two. It doesn't get any better than this! And what a great summer recipe! Garden produce on a pizza, delish!
To see more great recipes, check out the Ultimate Recipe Swap over at Life as Mom. And for more recipes showcasing tomatoes, check out In Season Recipe Swap over at Tammy's Recipes!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

The Easiest Shepherd's Pie You'll Ever Make!

This is the easiest Shepherd's Pie you will ever make! It's simple, but still delicious! This is my "It's been a crazy day, I'm exhausted and don't want to cook!" standby! I do have a little more complex Shepherd's Pie recipe, but this is the one I most often make as it is easy, great for crazy days and still delicious!


...Mashed Potatoes (I make my own. You can use instant if you wish)
...1 can cream of mushroom soup
...1/2 lb. hamburger
...Veggies (you can use fresh. I use frozen ones that I get for free with coupon!)


Brown meat and combine with vegetables and cream of mushroom soup. Spread in an oven safe dish. Top with mashed potatoes and bake at 350 for 30 minutes.

The Verdict...

I was so beat when I got home from work last night, and the last thing that I wanted to do was make some elaborate supper. So I whipped up this shepherd's pie in a matter of seconds and went about my business. I served this with fresh fruit and hubs really enjoyed it. This is actually one of his favorite meals, and when he saw what I was making he gave me a huge hug and kiss and said "I really love you!"

Apparently shepherd's pie is the way to this man's heart....

To see some more really great recipes, check out Tasty Tuesday over at Balancing Beauty and Bedlam!

Sunday, August 23, 2009


This recipe was orginally called Beef & Bean Pockets. How boring. So I renamed it. Because I changed the recipe too, so it was deservant of a new name. And I think that the new name describes it well. When I gave hubs a choice the other night between the baked spaghetti or this, he chose the baked spaghetti. Little did he know this was still going to be made, just not that night. I don't think he liked it. Oh well. I did, he ate it anyways, and it was good!


...Taco Meat (I used leftovers and it worked wonderfully!)
...1 can black beans
...1 onion, chopped
...2 cups tomato, chopped
...8 oz. tomato sauce
...1 teaspoon garlic powder
...1 tablespoon brown sugar
...1 teaspoon chili powder
...1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
...1/8 teaspoon dried thyme
...1/8 teaspoon marjoram
...1/8 teaspoon oregano
...1/8 teaspoon parsley flakes
...Pita breads


Place meat, tomatoes, tomato sauce, onion, brown sugar and seasonings in a deep skillet. Simmer for 1 hour. Add beans and continue cooking on a higher temperature until heated through. Serve in pita breads.

The Verdict...
I liked this! I thought it was really good! I added a dallop of sour cream to the top of the pita and it was delish! It had spice, but not so much that I wanted to cry. It was just enough to keep things interesting. I will definetely be making this again, and I really do believe that this would be a great meatless meal as well! Oooo, and maybe add some corn! That would just make this dish!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Baked Spaghetti

I never really understood the concept of baked spaghetti. I wasn't really sure how it was all different from regular spaghetti other than it sat in the oven for a half hour, making my electricity bill rise all the more. I'm still not seeing a world of difference other than this was creamier. At any rate, this was good, and baking it for a half hour was well worth it! Especially since I double tasked and baked up another batch of zucchini bread for my freezer at the same time!


...1 pkg. spaghetti (16 oz.)
...1 lb. ground beef
...1/2 cup chopped green pepper
...1 medium onion, chopped
...1 can cream of mushroom soup (undiluted)
...1 can (8 oz.) tomato sauce
...1 can tomato soup (undiluted)
...1 cup water
...2 tablespoons brown sugar
...1 teaspoon of salt (I omitted this. Feel free to do the same.)
...1 teaspoon dried basil
...1 teaspoon oregeno
...1/2 teaspoon marjoram


In a large pot, cook spaghetti according to package directions. Break spaghetti in half before placing in the pot. Meanwhile, in a skillet, brown the beef with green pepper and onion. When the meat is no longer pink, drain and stir in a bowl with soups, tomato sauce, water, brown sugar, and seasonings. Drain spaghetti and stir into the meat sauce. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes. Sprinkle with cheese and bake for 10 minutes longer or until cheese is melted.

The Verdict...
This was so tasty! It was creamy and saucy all at the same time. Hubs loved this and gave a resounding "yes!" when I asked if he liked it! So despite that I don't understand the whole "baked" concept...this recipe is sticking around. For a long, long, long time! Yum!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Cucumber Salad

As you may have noticed from a few recent posts, I'm loving on our local farmers market! So, last week when I was at our grandma's house she asked what kinds of veggies there were a lot of at the market. I mentioned pickling cucumbers, and she instantly started rattling off this recipe. I made a mental note, and picked up the cucumbers on Saturday at the market. Sunday at a family reunion, one of grandma's sisters made this and hubs was raving about how much he loves it every time grams makes it. So I came home and made a big 'ol batch for him!

...3 Pickling Cucumbers
...1 onion
...1/2 cup sugar
...1/2 cup vinegar

Thinly slice cucumbers and onion. Place in bowl and cover completely with salt water. Cover bowl and let soak for one hour. After soaking, drain salt water from cucumbers and onions and combine with 1/2 cup sugar, 1/2 cup vinegar and 1/2 cup water. Refrigerate until serving. Cucumbers will shrink from sitting in this mixture.
The Verdict...
This is ever so tasty! So summer like and light! Hubs gobbled it right up, while it took me careful babying of the salad because I felt it was a lot of onions. But I did end up eating it all. I think next time I'll try less onions, and cut them into chunks instead of long slices. Otherwise, this is another success in my book!

To see more great recipes using up your cucumbers, check out In Season Recipe Swap over at Tammy's Recipes!

Also be sure to check out Ultimate Recipe Swap over at Life as Mom for a great selection of a variety of recipes to try!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Slow Cooker French Dip

I enjoy a good french dip sandwich. I never much understood the whole au jus concept, but the meat and the sandwich...good! My mother in law gave us some frozen roast beef a few weeks back, and I knew right away that I wanted to try french dip with it.

The Ingredients...

...Roast beef of some sort (beef roast, sliced roast beef, etc.)
...1 beef boullion cube
...2 1/2 cups water
...1 can beer
...1 pkg. dry onion soup mix
...1 bay leaf
...1 tsp. rosemary
...1 tsp. thyme
...1 tsp. garlic powder


Place all ingredients in slow cooker and cook on low for 8-9 hours. Serve on rolls.

The Verdict...
These were good! Not quite as good as something you would get in a resturant, but I enjoyed it nonetheless! I made french rolls by using this french bread recipe, and just making 6 mini loaves instead of two larger. It worked out well! I don't think hubs liked this so much, so when it comes time to reheat this as leftovers, I'm going to make Philly Cheesesteak Sandwiches with it.

Monday, August 17, 2009


I first made this last Christmas for one of out get togethers and it was gobbled right up! I kind of forgot about the recipe until I was prepping for a family reunion yesterday and I just couldn't decide for the life of me what I wanted to make. I thought of this recipe for some reason, and decided to go for it!

The Ingredients...

...1 cup sour cream
...1 cup mayonnaise (I used the homemade mayo)
...1 cup shredded cheese
...1 cup chopped tomatoes
...6 bacon strips, cooked and crumbled


Combine all ingredients thoroughly and refrigerate until serving. This dip can be served with crackers, chips or cut up bagels.

The Verdict...

Hubs was practically giddy when I told him this was what I was planning on making for the reunion. He loves this stuff! And, I too, must admit that it is mighty tasty! It was a hit at the reunion (as well as last Christmas when I made it for the first time!). This is a tasty dip that is a sure crowd pleaser!

To see other great recipes check out Tasty Tuesday over at Balancing Beauty and Bedlam!

Zucchini Bread

I was sooo excited when I brought home two zucchini from the farmers market last weekend. And then in my refrigerator they sat for a week. I really did not want to bake with them...I wanted to use them in a main dish of some sort. But I caved this morning and made some zucchini bread. I was not let down! I'm glad I made this, and am planning on using the rest of the zucchini for a few more batches for the freezer!


...2 cups shredded zucchini
...3 eggs
...2 cups sugar
...3 cups flour
...1 cup plain yogurt
...1 tsp. vanilla
...1/2 cup raisins
...1 tsp. cinnamon
...1 tsp. baking soda
...1 tsp. salt
...1/4 tsp. baking powder
...1/2 cup sour cream


Combine all ingredients well. Pour into two loaf pans and bake at 350 for an hour.

The Verdict...

Oh my! This is delicious! A great quick bread recipe that is a nice change of pace from banana bread! I can't wait to bake up more loaves and keep them in the freezer for during the winter! This would be soo tasty on a chilly winter morning with a cup of tea snuggled in pj's (can ya tell I love fall/winter and can't wait for it to get here?!?)

Sunday, August 16, 2009


I don't know why it took me so long to make mayonnaise from scratch! This is absolutely delicious, 100% easy, and, as with all homemade recipes, it tasted a million times better than store bought! You HAVE to try this!


...1 egg
...1 1/2 tbs. white vinegar
...1/2 tsp. salt
...1/8 tsp. garlic powder
...1 tbs. powdered sugar
...1 cup oil (you can use any kind you want. I used vegetable because it's all I had on hand)

Place egg, salt, garlic powder and powdered sugar in bowl. Wisk until well combined. Slowly pour oil in while wisking quickly. Continue wisking until oil is mixed well.

The Verdict...

I positively couldn't believe how good this tasted! I completely prefer it to store bought now! I haven't done up any cost comparisons yet, but I'm eager to see how it compares!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Tuna Salad

This is such a simple recipe, and I feel slightly silly for sharing it, but it's hot and I don't want to cook! So this is what I made for lunch yesterday, with my own little twists! I enjoy this, and make it often when it's too hot to cook. I only make tuna salad in the summer, strangely. Probably because in the winter I enjoy using my oven, it aids with heating the house ;)


...1 can tuna
...Pickle Relish (yes. my relish is in packets. My mother in law found a box for cheap at Sams Club, so it's what I use!)
...Tomatoes (not pictured)
...Ranch Dressing (not pictured)


Dump tuna in a bowl. Add enough mayo to make it creamy, but not too much. Add ranch dressing until salad has reached desired consistency/creaminess. Stir in pickle relish, as much or little as you desire. Chop tomato (not a lot) and stir in. Serve on bread with lettuce and tomato slices if desired.

The Verdict...
The ranch dressing added just the right amount of tang to this salad, and the tomato chunks add a little extra veggie serving as well as a little more flavor!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Sloppy Joes!

I love sloppy joes! And I could have SWORE that I posted this recipe already, but I can't seem to find it, so I guess not....

Sorry, No Picture!
...1 lb. ground beef
...1/4 cup chopped onion
...1/2 tsp. garlic powder
...1 tsp. prepared yellow mustard
...3/4 cup ketchup
...3 tsp. brown sugar
In a deep skillet, brown hamburger with onions. When meat is done, stir in garlic powder, mustard, ketchup and brown sugar, mix thouroughly. Cover skillet and simmer for 30 minutes.

My Thoughts...

This is not only delicious, but it's easy too! This tastes just like my grandma used to make her homemade sloppy joes (or, as they're better known as here in the midwest - maidrites). Yum!
To see what other delicious recipes people are cooking up, check out Tasty Tuesday over at Balancing Beauty and Bedlam!
Related Posts with Thumbnails