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Bio: Hey Honey Pies!! Hope you don't mind me calling you that. I'm Monique, the slightly crazy chick that's going to guide you through all of these tried and true recipes! We're gonna have fun, laugh a little, and create some downright delicious dishes! Grab a recipe and lets go!!

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    Easy Cocktails Three Ways

    February 25th, 2015

    Oh man, I can’t even tell you how excited I was to create this boozy post! I get reeeeal happy when things involve cocktails. Is it just me or do cocktails make everything “funner”? Especially when they are colorful, fruity and come in various forms.

    Today we are doing cocktails three ways baby, all inspired by Simply Beverages new line of juice drinks! We’re going to be whipping up Mixed Berry Margarita Jello Shots, Tropical Tequila Sunrise Popsicles and Fruit Punch Daiquiris. Heyyyy party over here!

    new simply juice drinks

    When Simply Beverages asked if I’d like to sample and review their new juice drink flavors it was a no brainer. I was all like …”uhhh heck yeah!”  I’ve already told you guys how obsessed I am with that darn addictive Simply Blueberry Lemonade right? Well the new flavors are Tropical, Mixed Berry and Fruit Punch- all flavors are made with simple ingredients, real fruit juice with no preservatives, color, or artificial flavors. I was super anxious to be the first to get my paws on these.

    The juice drinks arrived at my doorstep already perfectly chilled and ready for sampling. My family and I gathered around for an impromptu juice tasting party! The winning flavor in our house: All of them!

    With that first sip I was expecting to be hit with the sweet, bold, POW, in your face type flavor that I’ve come to expect and love from Simply Beverages. Instead I was pleasantly surprised at just how light and crisp these new juice drinks were. They are perfect to throw into an afternoon/evening cocktail.

    Shall we? Let’s go!

    Tequila Sunrise Popsicles

    tequila sunrise popsicle recipe

    First up is this recipe for Tropical Tequila Sunrise Popsicles using Simply Tropical. This flavor is my husband’s favorite which wasn’t surprising since he lives for the Simply Pineapple Orange. The Tropical flavor has a really nice pop of mango with hints of pineapple.

    Very light and refreshing. In this popsicle recipe it replaces regular orange juice, giving them a delicious tropical flavor. The texture of these popsicles are fantastic thanks to the frozen pineapple. Summer time can’t come quick enough because these bad boys will definitely be poolside this year.

    Tequila Sunrise Popsicles
     
    Author:
    Serves: (depend on size of molds)
    Ingredients
    • 1 cup pineapples chunk
    • 1 cup Simply Tropical Juice Drink
    • ¼ cup tequila
    • grenadine (1 tsp per each possible)
    Instructions
    1. Combine all ingredients except for the grenadine in a blender.
    2. Blend until smooth.
    3. Pour into popsicle molds.
    4. Add a teaspoon of grenadine into each popsicle mold. (Do not stir. The grenadine will slowly make its way to the bottom on its own)
    5. Freeze.
    6. When ready to eat, run popsicle mold under warm water.
    7. Enjoy.

    Mixed Berry Margarita Jello Shots

    mixed berry margarita jello shots

    Next we have Mixed Berry Margarita Jello Shots using Simply Mixed Berry. This is my favorite flavor!! I had so many ideas flowing through my head on how to use this delicious juice in a cocktail. I ended up having to purchase two more bottles during my recipe testing because I kept drinking it all.  I made mixed berry spritzers and sangrias which were great but I decided to go with a fun jello shot!  I seriously could not stop eating these little cuties and wow do they pack a punch.  Be careful!  They are fun enough for a girls night in and classy enough for a bridal shower brunch!

    Mixed Berry Margarita Jello Shots
     
    Author:
    Serves: 24 shots
    Ingredients
    • 1 cup Simply Mixed Berry Juice Drink
    • 3 Tablespoons raspberry jello (could also use other berry flavors)
    • 3 Tablespoons lime jello
    • ½ cup triple sec
    • ¼ cup tequila (can cut back if desired)
    • ¼ cup club soda
    • Fresh raspberries and blackberries
    Instructions
    1. In a large bowl microwave juice until boiling.
    2. Stir in jello until completely dissolved.
    3. Let cool.
    4. Stir in triple sec, tequila and club soda.
    5. Pour mixture into portion cups. (It's easier to pour the mixture into a large glass measuring cup first)
    6. Place a blackberry and a raspberry into each portion cup.
    7. Refrigerate until firm.

    Fruit Punch Daiquiris

    fruit punch daquiri recipe

    Last we have Fruit Punch Daiquiris using Simply Fruit Punch. This was Isaac & Ethan’s favorite.  I think all kids love fruit punch anything right? I can’t wait to use this juice in my classic fruit punch recipe in the future. It’s super fruity!  I decided to make some frosty fruit punch dairies with it this time. I omitted the rum so the boys could have some and they loved it!

    Frozen Fruit Punch Daiquiri
     
    Author:
    Serves: 2
    Ingredients
    • 3 cups frozen mixed fruit (I used peaches, strawberries, grapes, blueberries, mango, pineapple, raspberries and blackberries)
    • ¾ cup frozen limeade concentrate
    • ½ cup Simply Fruit Punch Juice Drink
    • ¼ cup rum
    • Powdered sugar, to sweeten if needed (I didn't need any since my fruit was really sweet)
    • 1-2 cups ice.
    Instructions
    1. Add all ingredients to a blender except for the ice.
    2. Puree until smooth.
    3. Add in ice and crush until you reach a slushy consistency.
    4. Pour into chilled glasses.
    5. Serve immediately.

    There you have it, an excuse to try out some delicious cocktail recipes and Simply Beverages new juice drinks! And when you do, feel free to invite me over!

    Cocktails 3 ways: Jello shots, Popsicles, daiquir

    Have you tried Simply’s new juice drinks yet? If so which is your favorite?

    This post was sponsored by Simply Beverages but all opinions are mine.

    No Comments "

    Sweet & Spicy Pulled BBQ Chicken Sandwiches

    February 20th, 2015
    “Sweet, smokey, spicy  pulled BBQ chicken sandwiches recipe that’s easy to make and comes together super quick! Great dinner for busy evenings!”

    Guess who’s moving this week?? Woop whoop!! Me….again. I think I have really set a record for how many times a broad can move in a years span. Unlike the other few moves, I’m actually really excited about this one since it involves Divas Can Cook getting it’s own studio and a lot of other cool changes. More on that later. Today it’s all about easy pulled BBQ chicken sandwiches.

      1/2 cup ketchup 3 T sugar 3 honey 3 T  apple vinegar 3 T mustard 1/4 c. broth (didn’t add) 4 T. butter 2 teaspoon chili powder 1/2 t. celery salt 2 teaspoon paprika 1 T. Worcestershire 1 teaspoon liquid smoke 1/4 cayenne pepper

    Needless to say I’ve been super busy with moving and a ton of other projects so dinner in my house lately has consisted of easy dishes like this one.

    The name of this BBQ sauce sums it up pretty darn well, sweet and spicy! But it’s also very vinegary thanks to the apple cider vinegar and mustard. It’s almost right up there with Carolina style BBQ sauce which I LOVE but my hubby hates. How are you gonna be from the Carolinas and not like the classic Carolina mustard based BBQ sauce? Huh hubby, huh?  I digress…

    sweet smokey pulled BBQ chicken sandwiches

    This BBQ sauce satisfies us both.  It’s plenty of sweet and spicy which it what he lives for ( I mean, helloooo he married me!) and it’s smokey and vinegary which is one of my favorite flavor combinations.

    Sweet & Smokey Pulled bbq chicken sandwiches

    Oh and let me just state this right off the bat, you MUST MUST MUST serve these pulled BBQ chicken sandwiches  topped with some good ol southern coleslaw. It’s a must ya hear me! The coleslaw really calms this sauce down to the right level. Serve it on some buttered and toasted potato buns with a a side of zesty fries and corn on the cob and you are in for one easy, quick and flavorful meal!

    sweet smokey pulled BBQ chicken sandwiches

     The flavors only magnify if you let this sauce simmer for a few minutes or if you let it sit overnight, which my grandmother says is mandatory. Whenever I make pulled BBQ chicken sandwiches though it’s usually because I need  a fast homemade dinner and so I never take the extra time to fool around with the BBQ sauce. I just mix it up, stir it in and eat.

    Watch me make these sweet & spicy pulled BBQ chicken sandwiches from start to finish!

     

    5.0 from 1 reviews
    Sweet & Spicy Pulled BBQ Chicken Sandwiches
     
    Author:
    Serves: 4 sandwiches
    Ingredients
    • 2 lbs seasoned bone-in chicken breast, cooked and shredded (see note)
    • HOMEMADE BBQ SAUCE
    • ½ cup ketchup
    • 3 Tablespoons yellow mustard
    • 3 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
    • 3 Tablespoons granulated sugar
    • 3 Tablespoons honey
    • 4 Tablespoons butter, melted
    • 1 Tablespoon worcestershire sauce
    • ¼ teaspoon celery salt
    • ¼ teaspoon smoked salt
    • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
    • 2 teaspoons chili powder
    • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
    • liquid smoke, several dashes
    • Buttered and toasted potato buns
    • Coleslaw (optional)
    Instructions
    1. In a large bowl combine all of the sauce ingredients.
    2. Taste and adjust seasonings if needed. (Don't be alarmed at the bold flavor, it won't taste as strong once it's combined with the chicken)
    3. Heat the sauce on medium and let it barely simmer for about 5-10 minutes (optional)
    4. Mix sauce into shredded chicken a little at a time until your desired consistency is reached (I never use all the sauce since I just like my chicken to be lightly coated.
    5. Top the prepared potato buns with the BBQ chicken and then top with cole slaw (optional but recommended)
    6. Serve hot.
    Notes
    To really speed the process, you can use a rotisserie chicken. I brushed my bone-in chicken with a little olive oil and then sprinkle with a mixture of salt, pepper and garlic powder. Then I roasted them on 425 F. for about 35-45 minutes.

    1 Comment "

    Chewy Red Velvet Brownies

    February 11th, 2015
    “A chewy, light, red velvet brownie full of that classic red velvet flavor. Drizzled with white chocolate or cream cheese and top with walnuts!”

    I was suppose to post these delicious, chewy homemade red velvet brownies around Christmas time and forgot all about them! Here it is almost Valentines day and they are finally making their appearance. Better late than never. I think it’s well worth the wait though.

    red velvet brownies recipe

    Seriously these are the best red velvet brownies I’ve ever had in my entire 21 years of life! (Yes I’ve been 21 for many years) I’ve tried so many red  velvet brownie recipes.

    red velvet brownies recipe 7

    Being from the south it’s kinda hard to avoid red velvet anything. I must say though I’ve been disappointed most of the time when it comes to red velvet brownies. Usually folks just make chocolate brownies and throw in some red food coloring and call it “red velvet”

    chewy red velvet brownies recipe

    Uhhhh no bueno man!!!! Red velvet is a very distinctive, delicate flavor. It has that slight cocoa flavor intertwined with a mild vanilla flavor and a very slight tartness from the buttermilk and vinegar. It’s the best flavor EVER when you get it right.

    red velvet brownies recipe 2

    These red velvet brownies does an AMAZING job at capturing that perfect balance. Not to mention they are so soft and chewy with a slightly cake-like texture. I’m on a limited sweets diet so I’ve allowed myself one brownie a day. It’s the end of day 4 and I’ll be doggone if these red velvet brownies are not as soft as the day I made them! Usually I can never get homemade brownies to last more than 3 days without getting a tad bit dry.

    red velvet brownies recipe

    These brownies are  fantastic plain and even better drizzled with cream cheese glaze or white chocolate. I wanted the glaze to harden up so I used white chocolate and added chopped walnuts. They were so heavenly and light. Cutting them into bite sizes was the perfect amount of sweetness and made them so fun to eat.

    red velvet brownies recipe 3

    Watch me make these chewy red velvet brownies from start to finish!

     

    5.0 from 4 reviews
    Red Velvet Brownies
     
    Author:
    Ingredients
    • 10 tablespoons butter, melted
    • 1 cup white sugar
    • ½ cup brown sugar, packed
    • 2 eggs, slightly beaten
    • ¼ cup buttermilk
    • ½ teaspoon white vinegar
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • 2 tablespoons red food coloring
    • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
    • 1 cup all-purpose flour
    • ½ teaspoons salt
    Instructions
    1. Preheat oven to 325 F.
    2. Line an 8 x 8 glass dish with greased parchment paper.
    3. In a large bowl cream together butter, white sugar and brown sugar.
    4. Mix in egg.
    5. Mix in buttermilk, vinegar and vanilla. (Batter will be speckled).
    6. Add food coloring and mix to combine.
    7. Mix in unsweentened cocoa powder.
    8. Add flour and salt.
    9. Mix until smooth and well combined, being sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl.
    10. Pour batter into prepare pan.
    11. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until center is set and toothpick inserted into center comes out clean.
    12. Remove brownies and let cool. (I place mine in the fridge when they are warm to speed up cooling.)
    13. Cut brownies into small squares.
    14. Drizzled with melted white chocolate or cream cheese icing and sprinkle with walnuts (optional)
    15. Store in airtight container
     

    Want More Red Velvet Flavor? 

    easy red velvet cupcakes recipe easy cream cheese frosting recipe

     

    Red Velvet Cupcakes

    the best red velvet cake recipe

     

    Red Velvet Cake

    Red velvet pancakes recipes

     

    Red Velvet Pancakes

    5 Comments "

    Old Fashioned Peanut Butter Oatmeal No-Bake Cookies

    February 8th, 2015
    “Creamy, sweet, peanut buttery old fashioned peanut butter oatmeal no bake cookies! A classic, old school recipe that makes the best no bake cookies ever! They stay soft and creamy for days!”

    O to tha M to tha freakin G!! Shut the front door alllllllll the way!!! I can’t believe I almost forgot about these old fashioned peanut butter oatmeal no-bake cookies!! These were like….EPIC in my elementary school cafeteria. Please tell me you remember these??

    peanut butter oatmeal no bake cookies recipe

    There wasn’t much good that came from our public school cafeteria (besides that cheese pizza with the square pepperoni) but about once a week they got it right!! The day they made the from- scratch peanut butter oatmeal no bake cookies!!!!! Ohhhh yeaaaaaaah!

    peanut butter oatmeal no bake cookies recipe

    When that mean ol cafeteria lady plopped one of these down on your lunch tray it was like receiving a hunk of gold wrapped in plastic wrap! Kids went crazy over these cookies.  I couldn’t wait to crack open my milk carton and indulge in that creamy, sweet peanut buttery goodness.

    peanut butter oatmeal no bake cookies recipe

    Was I the only one that tried to sit next to the kid with the peanut butter allergy just to get first dibs on his cookie???…. Probably so. I was just as food obsessed then as I am now! Sad. Oh well. peanut butter oatmeal no bake cookies recipe

    My mother always made the kind with chocolate which is great, but there is just something about the plain peanut butter that I will  never get tired of. Its been YEARS since I made these no bake peanut butter cookies. I’m talking over 15 years!!

    peanut butter oatmeal no bake cookies recipe

    Isaac didn’t have a clue what I was talking about so of course I just HAD to use this rainy afternoon to create a batch of good ol fashioned peanut butter oatmeal cookies! What mother wouldn’t want their child to be well versed in cookie knowledge.

    There is something magical about baking with kids on rainy days. I love it!! We spent most of the afternoon lounging, reading books,  & eating cookies (waaaaay too many cookies) *sigh*.

    peanut butter oatmeal no bake cookies recipe

     

    These peanut butter no bake cookies are sweeeeeeeet, creamy and packing in all that peanut butter flavor. Did I say sweet? They’re amazing and addictive and one of my favorite cookies ever, ever, ever!! If you love peanut butter then please, you must make these. Like today! Because they are super easy and did you see that part that said “no bake”?

    Yeah you don’t even have to turn on the oven. Just plop them onto wax paper, let them set and them get to enjoying them. A double win since I didn’t even have to go to the store for ingredients. I had everything right there!

    peanut butter oatmeal no bake cookies recipe

    It’s ALL about the peanut butter!!!

    Because I wanted them to taste as old fashioned as possible I went with Skippy peanut butter! Even as an adult I still love that peanut butter! Now if you really want to get the real, authentic taste of these peanut butter oatmeal no bake cookies get your hands on some of that government peanut butter!! I kid you not, that’s the kind we had in the cafeteria. It was AWFUL on a choke sandwich (peanut butter sandwich) but throw that extra thick, pasty stuff in some cookies and my God!!! Talk about good!!

    IMG_0443

    Watch me make these Old Fashioned Peanut Butter Oatmeal No Bake Cookies from start to finish!

    5.0 from 1 reviews
    Old Fashioned Peanut Butter Oatmeal No-Bake Cookies
     
    Author:
    Ingredients
    • 4 tablespoons butter, chopped
    • 2 cups white sugar
    • 1 cup warm whole milk, divided
    • ⅛ teaspoon cream of tartar
    • 1 cup peanut butter
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla
    • 3 cups rolled oats, divided (1 minute quick oats)
    Instructions
    1. Place 2 sheets of parchment paper on a counter or flat surface. Set aside.
    2. In a large nonstick pot or deep skillet, melt butter over medium heat.
    3. Stir in sugar and ½ cup milk until combined.
    4. Add in cream of tartar just when mixture begins to bubble slightly.
    5. Bring to a rolling boil and as soon as it comes to a roiling boil continue cooking for 2 MINUTES while stirring constantly. See note.
    6. Remove from heat.
    7. Stir in peanut butter and vanilla extract.
    8. Add half of the oats and stir until well combined.
    9. Stir in just enough of the remaining milk to create a thick and creamy batter. (may not need all of the milk)
    10. Stir in remaining oats.
    11. Working quickly, drop batter by the spoonful onto the parchment paper. Make them as big or as small as you'd like.
    12. Let the cookies sit for 20-30 minutes to set.
    13. Once set, wrap individually in plastic wrap and store in an airtight container.
    Notes
    ONLY BOIL FOR 2 MINUTES. If you boil too long the finished cookie will be dry, crusty and crumbly. If you don't boil long enough the cookies will not set. (This has happened to me before and I placed them in the fridge for about 20 minute to set them)

    Best way to store: Wrap each cookie in plastic wrap and place in an airtight container. If you just store them all piled up in a container without wrapping them in plastic wrap they may stick together.
     

    1 Comment "

    Spicy Crispy Fried Chicken

    January 29th, 2015
    “Crispy spicy fried chicken recipe that’s full of cajun flavor and seasoned to perfection. A buttermilk brine ensures a juicy, tender piece of fried chicken every time!”

    Spicy , Crispy Southern Fried Chicken Recipe

    I swear my readers and I have some form of telepathy because every time I start really craving a recipe I get a flood of requests for it. It’s crazy… and kinda scary.

    Well for the last two weeks I’ve been getting a lot of requests for a crispy spicy fried chicken recipe. I don’t fry chicken much but I’ve been in such a mood for some. Oh how I’ve longed to sink my choppers into some juicy, crunchy  hot fried chicken. I thought about hitting up Popeyes or KFC to get a quick fix of their cajun spicy fried chicken but I couldn’t bring myself to do it, especially since I’ve been doing so good with  avoiding fast food this year.

    Spicy , Crispy Southern Fried Chicken Recipe

    I decided to just go ahead and put in the work myself! Nothing beats fresh, organic homemade fried chicken anyway! Thankfully my husband agreed to go to the grocery store at 9pm to pick up all the ingredients.

    This spicy fried chicken recipe is pretty easy and straight forward. I’ve told you guys how I use to be terrified of frying chicken but I seriously think my former chicken-frying fearing self could have handled this recipe.

    Spicy , Crispy Southern Fried Chicken Recipe

    It’s  super crispy, crunchy,  juicy, with a nice spiciness. You can easily make it SUPER spicy by doubling the heat if you dare. I have little kids so I have to be easy on heat. My husband LOVES spicy foods. The kind that makes you pant a little while eating.

    Spicy , Crispy Southern Fried Chicken Recipe

    I usually divide up the batch and go crazy with the cajun spice, cayenne and hot sauce for his portion. I seriously don’t see how people eat stuff that spicy. I don’t like for my food to cause me pain.

    Spicy , Crispy Southern Fried Chicken Recipe

    The buttermilk brine is mandatory so don’t even think about skipping it or I’ll find out!! It makes for some CRAZY juicy and tender fried chicken.

    Spicy , Crispy Southern Fried Chicken Recipe

     

    Make A Complete, HOMEMADE Southern Style Chicken Dinner!!

    Who needs KFC, Bojangles or Popeyes!! Make it a full home cooked chicken dinner complete with some creamy crunchy cole slaw, buttermilk biscuits, mashed potatoes, southern  green beans, cajun fries, mac n cheese, sweet & smokey corn on the cob and southern sweet ice tea! Click on the link to go to those recipes!

    Not into spicy fried chicken? Try my country style fried chicken or my baked fried chicken recipe!

     Watch me make this crispy, spicy fried chicken from start to finish!


    Spicy Crispy Fried Chicken
     
    Author:
    Ingredients
    • BRINE
    • ½ gallon buttermilk
    • 4 cloves garlic, crushed
    • ½ white onion sliced
    • ½ cup hot sauce ( I used Franks)
    • 3 Tablespoons salt (optional, but adds great flavor)
    • 3 lbs fresh whole chicken, cut up
    • SEASONING BLEND
    • 1 Tablespoon sugar
    • 1 Tablespoon salt (can add more if desired)
    • 1 Tablespoon black pepper
    • 1 Tablespoon onion powder
    • 1 Tablespoon cayenne (can more if desired)
    • 1 Tablespoon cajun seasoning
    • 1 Tablespoon paprika
    • 1 Tablespoon garlic powder
    • 1 Tablespoon poultry seasoning
    • 1 teaspoon celery salt
    • 1 teaspoon smoked salt
    • ½ tablespoon chili powder
    • 3 cups self-rising flour
    • Egg Mixture
    • 3 eggs
    • ¼ cup water
    • ½ cup hot sauce (can use more if desired)
    • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
    • Peanut oil or shortening, for frying
    • Cajun seasoning, for sprinkling (if desired)
    Instructions
    1. In a large bowl, lined with a brining or roasting bag, combine buttermilk, garlic, onion slices, ½ cup hot sauce and salt (if using).
    2. Add chicken and tie the bag close so that the chicken is completely submerged in the brine.
    3. Refrigerate for up to 3 hours.
    4. Pour off the brine and shake off excess brine from chicken. (You can rinse if desired. I didn't)
    5. Combine the seasoning blend.
    6. Taste the seasoning blend to make sure it is salty and spicy enough for your taste. Adjust the seasoning if needed.(It should taste bold)
    7. Place chicken on a baking tray and sprinkle on up to half of the seasoning mixture generously over the chicken on both sides. Set aside.
    8. Mix the rest of the spices into the flour. DO THIS GENTLY. IF THAT SPICY FLOUR "SMOKE" GETS IN YOUR NOSTRILS IT WILL BURN. TRUST ME. Taste the flour and make sure it tastes seasoned Add in more seasoning to your liking. Flour SHOULD taste seasoned. (I usually add in more salt, garlic powder, onion powder, and cayenne)
    9. Place the flour mixture into a large paper bag.
    10. Add chicken to the bag.
    11. Close the bag tightly and shake to coat the chicken.
    12. Remove the coated chicken from bag and shake off the excess flour. Set aside.
    13. In a large dish, combine eggs, water, hot sauce and garlic powder.
    14. Dip each piece of coated chicken into the egg mixture and shake off the excess egg mixture. (Use one had to place the chicken in the mixture and the other hand to pull it out to minimize clumping)
    15. Place chicken back into paper bag and shake to coat one last time.
    16. Remove chicken from bag and place on a plate. It's time to fry!
    17. Add oil to deep skillet and heat until a test piece of flour fries gently. (about 350 degrees. See Note)
    18. Add chicken to skillet and cook until golden. (Oil should completely cover chicken. Fry dark meats together and white meats together. Do not overcrowd the pan.)
    19. When done, place chicken on a plate lined with paper towels to drain.
    20. Sprinkle with cajun seasoning as soon as the chicken come out of the oil, if desired.
    21. Serve hot and add hot sauce!
    Notes
    Cooking the Chicken:
    Average Cooking Time for 325 degree:
    White Meat- 16-20 minutes (I cooked mine for 13 minutes)
    Dark Meat- 20-30 minutes (I cooked mine for 16 minutes)
    As you can see my cooking time varies a lot from the standard cooking time. My chicken was small so you may need more or less.

    2 Comments "

    Fluffy Homemade Buttermilk Pancakes (Grandma Barb’s)

    January 23rd, 2015
    “Fluffy, homemade buttermilk pancakes recipe that’s quick, easy and a family favorite! Add whipped butter and scratch-made maple syrup for an unforgettable down-home breakfast!”

    I love going to visit my grandmother in the mountains.  She’s great company and her cooking is nothing short of a blessing. The last time I stopped in for a visit she made a HUGE brunch for us. We were just passing through but she insisted, as always, that we allow her to cook us something to eat. The only answer to that is ,”Sure mama if you insist” : )

     easy fluffy  buttermilk pancakes recipe scratch

    She went into the kitchen and I kid you not, no less than 20 minutes later we sat down to the best homemade buttermilk pancakes, scratch-made maple syrup, homemade breakfast sausage,  fluffy scrambled eggs, southern grits, crispy hash browns and a huge bowl of chilled diced melons. It was a gorgeous spread!

    easy fluffy  buttermilk pancakes recipe scratch

    How does she do it??!?? You can’t even get this kinda speedy service at a restaurant. We always joke about her having little elves in the kitchen helping because she whips up homemade meals so fast.

    easy fluffy  buttermilk pancakes recipe scratch

    Everything  was delicious especially those doggone pancakes and syrup!! She insisted that it was just her normal buttermilk pancake recipe except she ran out of buttermilk and had to use half whole milk and then she added a bit extra vanilla extract and brushed them with butter while they were on the griddle. I guess that made all the difference!

    easy fluffy  buttermilk pancakes recipe scratch

    The homemade pancake syrup really took these fluffy, light buttermilk pancakes to the next level.  Man that syrup is good!!! So buttery and sweet with the  perfect amount of old fashioned maple flavor. I have that recipe coming up!

    easy fluffy  buttermilk pancakes recipe scratch

    In her generous fashion she quickly wrote out the recipe for me and I’ve been making them non-stop it seems.  My boys are currently in a pancake fanatic stage and Ethan has been requesting them for dinner.

    fluffy easy fluffy  buttermilk pancakes recipe scratch

    I really think I like these homemade buttermilk pancakes better than my other favorite pancake recipe. I guess one can never have too many favorite pancake recipes huh?

    easy fluffy  buttermilk pancakes recipe scratch

    Although these buttermilk pancakes are light and fluffy, they are not to delicate to hold up to a good drizzling of hot syrup! Not to mention they are really easy to make and I usually have everything on hand.

    easy fluffy  buttermilk pancakes recipe scratch

    Be sure to serve these bad boys piping hot, fresh off the griddle!

    Watch me make these homemade buttermilk pancakes from start to finish!!


    4.7 from 3 reviews
    Homemade Buttermilk Pancakes
     
    Author:
    Ingredients
    • 2 cups all-purpose sifted
    • 2 teaspoons baking powder
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 1 teaspoon baking soda
    • 2 tablespoons sugar
    • 2 eggs
    • 1 cup warm buttermilk
    • 1 cup warm whole milk
    • ¼ cup real butter, melted
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    Instructions
    1. In a large bowl sift together flour, baking powder, salt,baking soda and sugar. Set aside.
    2. In a medium bowl beat eggs until fluffy and uniform in color.
    3. Whisk in buttermilk and whole milk.
    4. Stir in melted butter and vanilla extract.
    5. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients.
    6. Pour the wet mixture into the well.
    7. Gently add the dry ingredients into the well and stir until flour is incorporated. (Be very careful here and do not over stir. Batter should be lumpy.)
    8. Heat a nonstick griddle to 350 F. (This is the standard tempt. but griddles seem to heat differently. I have to heat mine to 300 F. It may be best to do a test pancake first to test out what is the best temp for your griddle)
    9. Place ⅓ cup worth of pancake batter onto the hot griddle. (I spread the batter out a little as I'm pouring it on since the batter is thick if it has sat for a while.)
    10. Cook pancakes until bubbles break on the surface and then flip them over and cook the other side until golden. (see note)
    11. Spread melted butter on top of each pancake and place in a stack.
    12. Serve hot with syrup and whipped butter.
    Notes
    If your pancakes are pale on the underside yet bubbles are breaking on the surface then your heat is too low.
    If your pancakes are golden or brown on the underside before bubbles begin to break on the surface then your heat is too high.
     

     

    7 Comments "

    Slow Cooker Meatball Stroganoff

    January 16th, 2015
    “Easy, creamy crock pot meatball stroganoff recipe.  Meatballs are slow-cooked in a creamy homemade sour cream celery mushroom sauce and tossed with egg noodles to create an effortlessly delicious dinner good enough for company!”

    I’m currently obsessed with Target’s Simply Balanced frozen, fully-cooked turkey meatballs. Have you tried them before? It’s right up there with Amy’s frozen cheese pizza in our house. This is not a sponsored post by the way. Simply Balanced probably doesn’t even know I exists or that I’m in love with 95% of their products.

    Creamy Slow Cooker Meatball Stroganoff Recipe Slow Cooker

    I’ve been making stuff with these meatballs every single week for the last….. I don’t know how many months.  Not only are they freakin delicious but they win major points with me by not adding pork (so hard to find pure turkey meatballs geez!) AND I can pronounce and understand all of the simple ingredients. So thank you Simply Balanced. Thank you for being… simple.

    Creamy Slow Cooker Meatball Stroganoff Recipe Slow Cooker

    So far I’ve used these meatballs for subs, cocktail meatballs (you know that famous grape jelly, cocktail sauce, BBQ flavor), I’ve used them in gravy served over mashed potatoes and today I’m using them to make this super easy, creamy slow cooker meatball stroganoff. These meatballs are PERFECT for slow cooker recipes! Of course though you can use your favorite frozen, fully-cooked meatballs but be sure they are full of flavor!

    Creamy Slow Cooker Meatball Stroganoff Recipe Slow Cooker

    OK pull out those crock pots ninos!! It’s time to whip up some creamy meatball stroganoff!!  (Random fact: I hate the word stroganoff. )

    This  slow cooker meatball stroganoff recipe was one of my go-to recipes after I had Isaac. It was just so easy to make and so creamy and comforting. I stocked the freezer with several bags a few month before I went into labor. Yeah…I was one of those type preggo women. And if you have a pregnant friend, make her a couple batches  for her freezer. She’ll love you.

    Creamy Slow Cooker Meatball Stroganoff Recipe Slow Cooker

    Now about that condensed cream of mushroom and celery soup……… make your own! Like, seriously, make your own.

    I highly recommend whipping up the recipe for the homemade cream of celery & mushroom soup listed below. Condensed soup is so easy & quick to make from scratch.  They contain real ingredients and of course no MSG (I’m really sensitive to MSG these days. Guess I’m getting old)  A lot of crock pot recipes call for condensed soup and as you may have notice on this blog, you won’t find a can of that stuff here. If it’s one area I’m bougie with it’s that one!

    Not that I’m against canned condensed soups I just think they taste….well….flat! And they are loaded with weird stuff…a lot of weird stuff. Check the label an be prepared to asked “wtf!”.

    I mean..if I’m going to eat some chemicals at least let it taste good! Like…McDonalds fries….or cream cheese….or butter flavored shortening…you get my point right?

    This homemade condensed soup recipe can last up to a week in the fridge so make it ahead if you’re going for the super convenience factor.

    I have a whole other post and video dedicated to making homemade condensed soups but for now I’ve included a recipe below. Told you it was easy. Of course you can used store bought if you must. Use half a can of celery and half a can of mushroom to add some depth.

     

    Watch me make this slow cooker meatball stroganoff from start to finish!

     

     

    4.5 from 2 reviews
    Slow Cooker Meatball Stroganoff
     
    Author:
    Ingredients
    • 1½ cups homemade condensed cream of mushroom & celery soup (see recipe below)
    • 1 cup low sodium beef broth (warmed)
    • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
    • 2-4 tablespoons yellow onions, finely diced (optional)
    • 2 cloves garlic, minced
    • 1 lb frozen, fully cooked meatballs (can use half this amount if desired)
    • ½ cup sour cream (can add more if desired)
    • 3 cups egg noodles, prepared
    Instructions
    1. Add condensed soup, beef broth and Worcestershire sauce into the slow cooker.
    2. Stir until well combined.
    3. Add onions (if using) and garlic.
    4. Taste the sauce and add seasonings if desired (I didn't add any to mine)
    5. Add frozen meatballs and stir.
    6. Place lid on crock pot and cook for 4 hours on high or 6-8 hours on low.
    7. Stir in sour cream.
    8. Stir in prepared noodles or spoon the mixture over the noodles.
    9. Serve and garnish with fresh parsley or green onion.

     Here is the recipe for the homemade condensed cream of celery & mushroom soup!

    4.5 from 2 reviews
    Homemade Condensed Celery Mushroom Soup
     
    Author:
    Serves: about 1.5 cups
    Ingredients
    • ¾ cup regular chicken stock or vegetable stock (I prefer chicken)
    • ½ cup heavy cream, warmed
    • 4 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
    • 2 tablespoons celery, finely diced
    • 2 tablespoons mushrooms, finely diced
    • ⅛ teaspoon salt, plus more to taste if needed (see note)
    • ⅛ teaspoon celery salt
    • ⅛ garlic powder
    • ⅛ onion powder
    • ⅛ black pepper
    Instructions
    1. Add stock to a large sauce pan and bring to a light boil.
    2. In a small bowl add the warm heavy cream and stir in the flour until flour is dissolved.
    3. Stir flour-cream mixture slowly into the stock, stirring constantly.
    4. Reduce heat and add remaining ingredients.
    5. Cook for 2-3 minutes or until thickened and celery is tender.
    6. Condensed soup will thicken more as it cools
    7. Taste and adjust the seasonings if needed.
    8. Store in an air-tight container in the fridge for up to a week.
    Notes
    You will need to adjust the seasoning deepening on how flavorful you broth is. I used chicken broth which was already pretty salty and flavorful so I didn't need much seasoning. Taste and adjust the seasoning until the flavor is bold. Since this is a condensed soup, it's good if it's on the salty side.

    (Remember this is a condensed soup and not meant to be eaten as is. Use as you would a regular can of store bought condensed soup by adding it to recipes of adding water to create a soup)

    5 Comments "

    Healthy No-Bake Peanut Butter Chocolate Granola Bites (Energy Bites)

    January 10th, 2015

    I got hipped to energy bites in 2006 when I visited this amazing Farmers Market in Hermosa Beach.  Talk about a variety of healthy snacks!! It seemed like as soon as I got home recipes for these amazing granola energy bites  were popping up everywhere! Isn’t that crazy how that happens?

    no bake engery bites peanut butter chocolate healthy granola snack recipe 2

    If you’re wondering what the heck is an energy bite? Well it’s a little ball of healthy, wholesome ingredients that will keep you full and satisfy that sweet tooth.  You can really make them into any shape you want but balls are so cute. It’s basically just a form of healthy granola with a cool name that makes you wonder what it tastes like.

    no bake engery bites peanut butter chocolate healthy granola snack recipe 8

    These peanut butter chocolate energy bites are freaking awesome because:

    1.) Perfect for before or after workouts.
    2.) Curbs the appetite and sweet cravings.
    3.) Portable and cute!
    4.) No-baking required
    5.) Easy, wholesome ingredients
    6.) Kids LOVE them!
    7.) Great for increasing breastmilk in nursing moms (I’m trying to ween my little guy so this was not a good perk for me, but wonderful for new mommies looking to build up a low supply)
    8.) They taste GREAT!!! 9.) Very versatile! I’ve made oatmeal raisin, harvest (with various nuts and berries), cake batter, you name it!! They are really fun to experiment with. 

    Ok you get the point and it’s always a great thing to have recipes for healthy no-baked snacks right? Well go ahead and add this to the list because they are fantastic!!

    It didn’t take long for me to start experimenting with different flavors thanks to pinterest! Chocolate peanut butter is my favorite hands down though!! You just can’t go wrong with the classic chocolate peanut butter combination.

    no bake engery bites peanut butter chocolate healthy granola snack recipe

    These no-bake energy bites really knocks out my sweet tooth and keep me from snacking on cake and cookies. Y’all know my sweet tooth is something fierce…um hello cookies and cream blondies topped with vanilla ice cream and chocolate syrup, remember those? lol

    no bake engery bites peanut butter chocolate healthy granola snack recipe 5

    You guys begged me to post a “healthier” snack option after that recipe and I knew instantly that these peanut butter chocolate energy bites would be a great option for all my dieters out there (including me!)

    Here are the brands that I used. I got everything from Target except for the honey.

    • Raw Honey (from Farmers Market)
    • Creamy Peanut Butter (Smuckers Creamy Organic Peanut Butter)
    • Unsweetened Coconut Flakes (Let’s Do Organic Unsweetened Coconut Flakes)
    • Ground Flaxseed (Bob’s Red Mill Ground Flaxseed Meal)
    • 1 minute Oats (Quaker)
    • Rice Krispies (Gluten-Free Rice Krispies)
    • Mini Chocolate Chip (Enjoy Life dairy, soy and nut free chocolate chips

     

    Watch me make these No-Bake Peanut Butter Chocolate Energy Bites from start to finish!


    5.0 from 2 reviews
    Healthy No-Bake Peanut Butter Chocolate Bites (Energy Bites)
     
    Author:
    Serves: 24 balls
    Ingredients
    • ½ cup peanut butter
    • ½ cup raw honey
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (optional)
    • ¼ cup unsweetened coconut flakes
    • ¼ cup ground flaxseed meal
    • 1½ cups oats (I used 1 minute oats for texture reasons)
    • ½ cup Rice Krispies
    • ¼ cup mini chocolate chips (can use more)
    Instructions
    1. In a large bowl, cream together peanut butter and honey.
    2. Fold in vanilla extract if using.
    3. Stir in ground flax seed, coconut flakes, oats, Rice Krispies and mini chocolate chip.
    4. Stir until well combined (this takes a lot of stirring) Mixture should be thick and sticky.
    5. Freeze for about 10 minutes or until chilled.
    6. Use a mini ice cream scoop to scoop out the mixture.
    7. Roll into balls.
    8. Store in an airtight container in the fridge or counter.
     

    3 Comments "

    Cookies & Cream Blondies

    January 7th, 2015
    “Soft, chewy homemade Oreo blondies loaded with oreos, semi-sweet and white chocolate chips, topped with vanilla ice cream and drizzled with chocolate syrup. This cookies and cream blondie recipe is just as easy as it is decadent!!”

    I rrrrreally hate to start the new year off with this Cookies and Cream Blondies recipe y’all, really I do.  Please don’t cut me. I know this is diet season but seriously this  blondie recipe has basically been begging, torturing…. THREATENING me to give it a try. So I did. Yesterday. And it was magical!  I have no regrets.

    cookies and cream Oreo Blondies recipe

     

    It’s basically my  favorite M & M blondie recipe with the addition of Oreos…and white chocolate….and ice cream….and chocolate syrup.  Honestly I didn’t even plan on throwing that whopping blob of vanilla ice cream and chocolate syrup on top but see what had happened was……… I wanted to.

    cookies and cream oreo blondies recipe

    You might be mad at me at the moment for tempting you during your gullible stage, but once you make these  cookies and cream blondies (on your cheat day of course) you are gonna be calling me your new best friends, especially if you are a blondie whore like myself.

    In my book a blondie can do no wrong honey! They are so daggum versatile. I mean really you can throw just about any kind of cookie, candy, nuts or fruit  into the dough and have it come out tasting pretty darn good.

    cookies and cream oreo blondies recipe

    I love recipes like that and these cookies and cream blondies are……..life giving!!! They will mess around and get you DELIVERT!!!

    cookies and cream Oreo Blondies recipe

    Ok hold on, let me take you on the experience I had. Imagine this:  A warm, chewy blondie with pockets of melted white & semi-sweet  chocolate chips and Oreo pieces. Now picture that cold creamy vanilla ice cream slowly melting down onto it.

    cookies and cream Oreo Blondies recipe

     

    Your fork is now gliding into the ice cream and then into that soft, chewy blondie. Your taste buds are now in flavor-texture heaven. The crisp and chewy edges of the blondie with it’s gooey center, those Oreos mixed with the ice cream and chocolate syrup……Are you feeling the vibe?

     

    cookies and cream Oreo Blondies recipe

    It’s truly an experience that I wish on everyone. Make them.

    Watch me make these Cookies & Cream Oreo Blondies from start to finish! 


    5.0 from 2 reviews
    Cookies & Cream Oreo Blondies
     
    Author:
    Ingredients
    • 2¼ cup all-purpose flour
    • ½ teaspoon salt
    • ½ teaspoon baking soda
    • 12 Tablespoons butter, melted
    • 1 cup brown sugar, packed
    • ½ cup granulated sugar
    • 1 egg
    • 1 egg yolk
    • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
    • 1 cup Oreos, crushed (plus more for decoration)
    • ½ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (plus more for decoration)
    • ½ cup white chocolate chips (plus more for decoration)
    • Vanilla ice cream and chocolate syrup, if you're naughty
    Instructions
    1. Preheat oven to 325 F.
    2. Grease a 9 x 13 pan and line with greased parchment paper. Set aside.
    3. In a medium bowl whisk together flour, salt and baking soda.
    4. In a large bowl cream together butter, brown sugar and granulated sugar.
    5. Mix in the egg and egg yolk until well combined.
    6. Fold in vanilla extract.
    7. Mix dry ingredients into wet ingredients.
    8. Fold in crushed Oreos, semi sweet & white chocolate chips.
    9. Press dough evenly into prepared pan.
    10. Press additional chocolate chips and crushed Oreo pieces gently into the dough.
    11. Bake for 25-30 minutes.
    12. Remove from oven and let cool.
    13. When warm, slice into bars.
    14. Plate and top with vanilla ice cream and chocolate syrup.
    15. Serve warm.
     

    3 Comments "

    Bacon Wrapped Smokies (Brown Sugar Chili)

    December 31st, 2014

    (Dec 31. 2014 Video and more pics coming soon!! Wanted to get this recipe up before New Years in case anyone was looking for a quick appetizer!)

    Honestly you guys…I wasn’t even going to post this recipe for these bacon wrapped smokies because I felt like they needed a dip to go with them and I just didn’t have time to run back out to the store in holiday chaos for more ingredients for the dip I wanted to make.

    BUUUUUT my husband and son said I HAD to post these and that they didn’t need a dip at all.  Really…hmmm ok. They loved these classic little things and you would have seriously thought they were eating candy. I guess it’s a guy thing.

    These bacon wrapped smokies did grow on me though after I made a simple mayo-ketchup dip to go with them. ( I love me a dip honey!)  I’ve made these bacon wrapped smokies before and made a creamy coleslaw dip to go with them that is fabulous (just basically pureeing homemade cole slaw and adding in more of the coleslaw “sauce mixture”  to make it creamier. Sounds so gross but it’s really good with these) Another day, another time I guess.

    The mayo-ketchup dip was great with them as well and um hello…quick and easy! You just can’t go wrong with any type of sausage or meat and a mayo-ketchup sauce.  I think it’s called fry sauce. Who would think a 2 ingredient dip can taste so good right?

    These bacon wrapped smokies  recipe is crazy easy as well.  I think all appetizers should be easy, don’t you?  Basically you’re just going to coat bacon strips in a simple mixture of brown sugar and chili powder, wrap them nice and snug around the lil smokies, stab them with a toothpick and roast them bad boys in the oven until the bacon is crisp.

    And there you have; quick, simple, flavorful man meat candy that will disappear in record speed.  You’re welc!

    Watch me make these bacon wrapped lil smokies from start to finish!

     

    Bacon Wrapped Smokies (Brown Sugar Chili)
     
    Author:
    Ingredients
    • 4 tablespoons butter, melted (if using a lean bacon like turkey)
    • 1 lb. bacon (I find the less fat on the bacon the better. I used turkey)
    • ⅔ cup brown sugar, packed
    • 2 tablespoons chili powder
    • 14 oz. lil beef smokies (cocktail sausages)
    • toothpicks
    • ½ cup mayonnaise
    • ½ cup ketchup
    • few dashes hot sauce (optional)
    Instructions
    1. Preheat oven to 400 F.
    2. Line a medium size baking sheet with foil paper and coat with melted butter. (if using lean bacon) Set aside.
    3. Cut bacon into thirds and place in a bowl.
    4. In a small bowl mix together brown sugar and chili powder.
    5. Sprinkle bacon strips generously with the brown sugar mixture until both sides of each strip is well coated. (Reserve some of the mixture to sprinkle oven smokies before going into the oven.)
    6. Wrap one strip around the smokies and secure with a toothpick.
    7. (the wrapping part is not fun and pretty messy since the bacon will begin to release juices)
    8. Place smokies on prepared baking sheet and sprinkle with remaining brown sugar chili mixture if desired.
    9. Bake for 15-20 minutes.
    10. Turn the oven to broil and broil until bacon is crisp around the edges (keep a close eye on them, you don't want to set the toothpicks on fire! Yikes!)
    11. When they come out place them on paper towels to drain.
    12. Make the fry sauce by combining ketchup and mayo. (taste best when left to sit for few hours in the fridge)
    13. Garnish with parsely flakes for a pop of color.
     

    No Comments "

    Sparkling Fruity Champagne Punch

    December 26th, 2014
    “This fun, fruity sparkling champagne punch recipe is easy to make and super refreshing! Great for any celebration and easy to change the flavor and color of this punch!

    This punch is so doggone easy it’s ridiculous. I can’t even tell you how many times and in how many different colors and flavors I’ve made this champagne punch.

    sparkling fruity champagne punch recipe easy

    It is always well received, I mean how can you resist a fizzy cold glass of champagne punch with fresh frozen fruit ice cubes!?

    sparkling fruity champagne punch recipe easy

    It’s super versatile too by simply changing the soda flavor. For strawberry I’ve use strawberry grape juice (clear kind), strawberry cream soda, and pink champagne with frozen strawberries. So good!

    sparkling fruity champagne punch

     

    Today though I’ve decided to keep it super basic for New Years toasting! This fruity, fizzy champagne punch uses frozen strawberries, blueberries and tart green apples, but you can use any fruits. I do try to avoid banana though. They get really slimy.

    sparkling fruity champagne punch recipe easy

    You’ll want to make sure the fruit is completely frozen and not just chilled since they will be acting as the ice cubes to keep the punch cold. I mainly serve this punch as the toasting punch and not the main punch.

     

    sparkling fruity champagne punch recipe easy

    If you plan on using this punch as the main punch you might want to create a juice ice ring to keep the punch cold throughout the party.

    sparkling fruity champagne punch recipe easy Note: This taste REALLY great when the fruit has had a chance to hangout in the punch as well. We think it tastes like starbursts. Sometimes I’ll cut up extra fruit and let it sit in the punch while it’s chilling and then strain the punch when I’m ready to serve it, that way the punch is infused with some of the fresh fruit juices (it does tint the punch a light pink color though) It’s good either way  : )

    sparkling fruity champagne punch recipe easy

    Watch me make this sparkling fruity champagne punch from start to finish!


    Sparkling Fruity Champagne Punch
     
    Author:
    Ingredients
    • 64 oz. bottle of 100% White Grape juice (can also use sparkling grape juice)
    • 1 liter lemon-lime soda or ginger-ale (I always use Sprite)
    • 1 (750 ml) bottle Moscato Champagne
    • Frozen fruits, diced: strawberries, green apples, blueberries
    Instructions
    1. Add white grape juice, lemon-lime soda and champagne in a large pitcher.
    2. Stir and refrigerate until chilled.
    3. To serve, place frozen fruit i to glasses and pour on the champagne punch.
    4. Serve immediately.

    1 Comment "

    White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies

    December 21st, 2014
    “The best soft, chewy white chocolate macadamia nut cookies ever! This recipe is full of white chocolate chunks and macadamia nuts. Classic homemade buttery, vanilla flavor with a faint hint of coconut! Better than mall cookies”

    It took me many years to even try a white chocolate macadamia nut cookie. For some reason it just seemed like an odd combination and didn’t intrigue me at all. Yep even the ol sugar cookie got more love. And then it happened.

    white choclate macadamia cookie recipe 2

    My sister and I went to the mall and  American Cookie Company were giving out free samples (why don’t they do that anymore?) of white chocolate macadamia nut cookies.  I was starving so I happily accepted. OMG with that first bite sweet angelic sounds began to play and I was bathed in a warm light.

    white chocolate macadamia nut cookies recipe 6

    What was this buttery, vanilla, chewy, deliciousness I was experiencing! OMG that was the best cookie I’d ever tasted in my life…..my life y’all! Yes most of it was due to extreme hunger but still, it was good!! White chocolate macadamia nut cookie please forgive me for prejudging you all these years. I was young.  Dumb. Uninformed.

    white chocolate macadamia nut cookies1

    Ever since I came to the light I’ve been in love with these cookies. It’s not my all time favorite cookie but it’s up there with these white chocolate raspberry cheesecake cookies and that’s saying a lot!! I’ve tried a lot of white chocolate macadamia nut cookies recipes but this recipe right here!!!! Yep she’s a winner!

    Everybody that has had these cookies LOVES them! I think it tastes even better than American Cookie Company but hey, I could be biased.

    white chocolate macadamia nut cookies recipe

    These white chocolate macadamia nut cookies are fluffy and chewy. I mean just look at those adorable wrinkles of chewiness.

    The flavor is amazing! So old-fashioned and classic with it’s buttery notes of vanilla , brown sugar and faint coconut flakes. Yes  I said coconut FLAKES! Don’t leave the coconut out people! I’ve discovered that’s the secret ingredient in those infamous mall white chocolate macadamia nut cookies. The coconut also makes these cookies super chewy and helps maintain the moisture for days. It’s not overpowering though.

    white chocolate macadamia nut cookies recipe

    I was tempted to add some coconut oil or some coconut extract to up the coconut flavor even more just because it compliments the white chocolate and macadamia nuts so doggone well,  but my coconut-hating husband said the coconut flakes were the perfect limit.  He loved these by the way!

    Watch me make these fluffy, chewy white chocolate macadamia nut cookies from start to finish!


    White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies
     
    Author:
    Serves: 2 dozen
    Ingredients
    • 2½ cups all-purpose flour
    • 1 teaspoon baking soda
    • ½ teaspoon salt
    • ½ cup real butter, room temperature
    • ½ cup butter-flavored shortening
    • 1 cup brown sugar, packed
    • ½ cup granulated sugar
    • 2 eggs
    • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
    • ½ - 1 cup sweetened coconut flakes, finely shredded AND minced (I used 1 cup)
    • 4-6 oz white chocolate chunks, divided
    • 1 cup macadamia nut, chopped, divided
    Instructions
    1. Preheat oven to 375 F.
    2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
    3. In a medium bowl whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
    4. In a large bowl cream together butter, shortening, brown sugar and white sugar.
    5. Mix in eggs one at a time.
    6. Stir in vanilla extract and coconut.
    7. Mix the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until all the flour is incorporated.
    8. Fold in half of the white chocolate chunks and half of the macadamia nuts.
    9. Scoop out two spoonfuls of dough using mini ice cream scoop and roll into a ball.
    10. Place on the prepared cookie sheet and flatten dough slightly.
    11. Place additional white chocolate chunks and macadamia nuts into the dough.(This will give it a nice appearance)
    12. Bake for 6-7 minutes or just until the edges are barely starting to brown. Cookies will appear slightly undercooked.
    13. Let cookies rest on hot pan until pan is cool enough to touch.
    14. Place cookies on a cooling rack to finish cooling.
    15. Store in air tight container.

    1 Comment "

    Roasted Honey Mustard BBQ Chicken Thighs

    December 12th, 2014

    I hope you guys never get tired of chicken recipes because I have a ton of them and plan on sharing every last one! I truly believe you can never have too many easy, quick and delicious chicken recipes. Amen sister?

    roasted honey mustard BBQ chicken thighs  recipe baked

    These roasted honey mustard BBQ chicken thighs are on repeat these days. The kids love this recipe. Isaac says the honey mustard sauce tastes like Chick-Fi-la and that’s why he likes it so much. Hmm…I think it tastes way better but whatevs!!

    roasted honey mustard BBQ chicken thighs  recipe baked

    These chicken thighs are sticky, messy, saucy, and literally finger licking good!! You already know what you’re getting into by combining a smokey BBQ sauce with creamy, tart and slightly sweet homemade honey mustard sauce right? A flavor explosion I tell ya!

    roasted honey mustard BBQ chicken thighs  recipe baked

    We started off eating these roasted honey mustard BBQ chicken thighs (whew long title!) the polite way with a fork and knife but by the end of the meal we were all picking chicken off the bone with our fingers, licking them clean and slathering on more sauce. There was no shame at that table.

    roasted honey mustard BBQ chicken thighs  recipe baked

    Roasting the  chicken thighs really does create the best flavor…. and that sauce!!! So good!

    I’ve made the honey mustard sauce before when I posted the homemade chicken nuggets. It really is an incredible honey mustard sauce and I always find myself going back to that recipe.

    honey mustard chicken thighs baked

    “Can I use boneless, skinless chicken breast?” you ask? Well the answer is simple,  “No”.  You’re probably gonna do it anyway aren’t you?  Here’s why I say no. Chicken thighs are epic in this recipe. They are flavorful and very forgiving. Even if you accidentally overbake them a little they still come out super juicy! And man does that thigh meat really soak up the sauces!

    honey mustard

    If you must use chicken breast, try using the bone-in kind (with skin). This sauce needs something to cling to and the juices from the well seasoned skin just sink down into the chicken creating something….. amazing!

    Watch me make this Roasted Honey Mustard BBQ Chicken Thighs from start to finish!


    4.2 from 5 reviews
    Roasted Honey Mustard BBQ Chicken Thighs
     
    Author:
    Ingredients
    • 1.5 lbs bone-in chicken thighs (about 5 medium thighs), completely dry
    • 2 tablespoons butter
    • 2 tablespoon olive oil
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • ½ teaspoon black pepper
    • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
    • ⅓ cup smokey BBQ Sauce (I used Sweet Baby Ray's)
    • ½ cup mayonnaise
    • ½ cup sour cream
    • 2 tablespoons yellow mustard
    • ¼ cup honey
    Instructions
    1. Preheat oven to 425 F.
    2. Combine butter and olive oil in a small bowl.
    3. Brush chicken thighs lightly with olive oil & butter mixture.
    4. Combine salt, black pepper and garlic powder.
    5. Season chicken generously on both sides with seasoning mixture.
    6. Place chicken on a roasting pan.
    7. Roast for 20 minutes.
    8. Remove from oven and brush with BBQ sauce.
    9. Return to oven and roast for another 15 minutes.
    10. Meanwhile prepare honey mustard by combining mayonnaise, sour cream, mustard and honey. (note: This sauce gets better when it has had a chance to sit for at least 30 minutes so make ahead if possible)
    11. Remove chicken from oven and brush with honey mustard sauce.
    12. Return to oven and broil until chicken is done, skin is crisp and sauce is sticky, about 10-15 minutes.
    13. Let rest for 10 minutes before serving.
    14. Brush on additional honey mustard if desired.
    15. Garnish with parsley flakes.
     

    8 Comments "

    Slow Cooker Beef and Broccoli

    December 4th, 2014
    “Family favorite slow cooker beef and broccoli recipe. Juicy, flavorful beef simmered is a homemade sauce with bright crisp broccoli over a bed of white rice! Crock pot beef and broccoli that’s better than take out!”

    slow cooker beef and broccoli recipe

    Thanksgiving is over and I am still exhausted, what about you? It seems like I’ve been in the kitchen 24/7 and today I said “mama tiiiiied chile”!  But that doesn’t matter because mama’s never get the day off huh? Oh well, I wouldn’t trade my job in for the world!

    slow cooker beef and broccoli recipe crock pot

    With busy days like this I  simply turn to one of my best friends, my slow cooker!!! If you’re wondering why I don’t have many slow cooker recipes on this site, it’s because I had dreams of starting another site dedicated solely to my families favorite crock pot recipes.  What in the world was I thinking y’all? Like ….where did I think I was gonna find the time to do that? LOL Bless my heart!

    slow cooker beef and broccoli recipe

    I decided to just post all those yummy slow cooker recipes right here on Divas Can Cook instead! Today it’s all about this beef and broccoli baby!! Gosh how I love this dish!!  It’s quick, easy, with simple ingredients. Beef and broccoli is one of my favorite take-out meals  so I was all over trying the homemade crock pot version.

    slow cooker beef and broccoli recipe

    It comes together so quick and even quicker if you triple the recipe and freeze all the prepared ingredients in freezer bags, which is what I normally do. Then I just plop the whole bag in the slow cooker and go on about my day. Love it!

    slow cooker beef and broccoli recipe

    This beef and broccoli is ready in only 3-4 hours which means you can throw this stuff in the slow cooker on your lunch break and get off work ready to eat lunch  #2. Or am I the only one who eats two lunches??? This dish is full of flavor and taste much better in the crock pot than if you made it on the stove top. Mainly because those strips of beef get to simmer slowly in all that soy saucy, garlicky, brown sugary, brothy goodness. Don’t plan for leftovers and make sure you use a really goooooooood low sodium soy sauce here since that is the dominant flavor.

    slow cooker beef and broccoli recipe

    Broccoli Tip: I simply can NOT get down with certain veggies cooked in the slow cooker and broccoli is one of them! I like my broccoli bright, fresh tasting with a bit of a bite. This is why I steam fresh broccoli in the microwave for a few minutes as opposed to throwing it in the crock pot with the rest of the ingredients. Although you can totally do that if you don’t mind super tender broccoli.

    Watch me make this slow cooker beef and broccoli recipe from start to finish!


    5.0 from 4 reviews
    Slow Cooker Beef and Broccoli
     
    Author:
    Serves: 4
    Ingredients
    • 1.2 lbs steak (I used flank steak), cut into strips
    • ½ cup white or yellow onions, diced
    • 3 cloves garlic, minced
    • fresh ginger, grated (optional)
    • 1 cup chicken or beef broth, warmed
    • ½ cup low sodium soy sauce (I like Kikkoman)
    • ⅓ cup brown sugar, packed
    • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
    • ¼- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
    • 2-3 tablespoons cornstarch, to thicken
    • 3-4 cups fresh broccoli, steamed (see note)
    • white rice, prepared
    • Garnish (red pepper flakes, sesame seeds)
    Instructions
    1. Add steak, onions, garlic and fresh ginger into the slow cooker. (I prefer using my small slow cooker with this recipe)
    2. In a medium size bowl stir together broth, soy sauce, brown sugar, sesame oil, and red pepper flakes until brown sugar has dissolved.
    3. Pour mixture into slow cooker and stir.
    4. Place the lid on the slow cooker and cook on low for 3-4 hours or until steak is tender to your liking.
    5. Stir in cornstarch to thicken the sauce. (Alternatively you can scoop out ¼ cup of broth mixture and mix it with cornstarch to create a thick sauce and then pour this back into the slow cooker to prevent lumps. I never do this though)
    6. Taste and adjust seasonings if desired (sometimes I'll add in some powdered onion and powdered garlic, black pepper, sriracha and salt, depending on the type of broth & soy sauce I use)
    7. To serve, place rice on a plate and top with beef and broccoli.
    8. Garnish with red pepper flakes and sesame seeds if desired.
    Notes
    To steam broccoli, place broccoli in a glass bowl with ¼ cup of water.
    Cover with plastic wrap and microwave for 5-7 minutes. Be careful not to over cook.
     

     

    6 Comments "

    Sweet Potato Cake w/ Marshmallow Frosting & Pecan Crisp Topping

    November 24th, 2014

    “Homemade sweet potato cake recipe with marshmallow glaze and topped with pecan crisp. It’s like a sweet potato casserole in cake form! “

    I had some sweet potatoes that were about to sprout on me so I needed to use them up ASAP. I asked you guys on Facebook which sweet potato  recipe you wanted and sweet potato poundcake won by a landslide! I couldn’t agree more, there is nothing like a good ol homemade , fresh sweet potato cake honey!

    sweet-potato-cake-recipe-3

    I’m not sure if I’d call this cake a poundcake though. The texture is more on the cake side. Either way it’s delicious and there’s just something southern and comforting about the sound of a “homemade sweet potato cake”. Don’t you  just get that welcoming, cozy feeling when you say it? No?

    sweet-potato-cake-recipe

    Well maybe you will after you make this cake and your entire house is smelling like a slice of cinnamon heaven. Don’t you dare think about skipping that homemade pecan crisp! I’m not a fan of nuts in my cake but that crisp provided such a perfect little crunch! I was tempted to break out the vanilla ice cream and sprinkle on more pecan crisp but I held back. Gotta pace myself since Thanksgiving is right around the corner and I have every intention of eating like a BEAST! Yayy!!

    sweet-potato-cake-recipe-1

    This sweet potato cake recipe starts with fresh sweet potato puree, no cans here, for an authentic sweet potato flavor . It’s spiced with the dynamic spice sisters: cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and cloves. I love these girls together. Feel free to cut back or increase the spices to your liking but be careful with that clove! Whew she’s a strong one!

    sweet-potato-cake-recipe-4

    The marshmallow glaze  goes great on this cake! Marshmallow + sweet potatoes = Yum every time!!  I decided to give this sweet potato cake a casserole spin by adding on some pecan crisps It made for a pretty presentation even when left messy. But you may wanna take your time and make it all purdy if you’re making it for a special occasion.

    sweet-potato-cake-recipe-2

    Like most sweet potato and pumpkin desserts it tastes SO much better the next day! The first day it had more of a spice cake taste but by the next day that sweet potato flavor was shining through in all her glory!

    Watch me make this sweet potato cake w/ marshmallow frosting and pecan crisp topping  from start to finish!


    5.0 from 2 reviews
    Sweet Potato Cake w/ Marshmallow Crisp Frosting
     
    Cook time
    Total time
     
    Author:
    Serves: 12
    Ingredients
    • CAKE
    • 2¼ cups all-purpose flour
    • 2 teaspoons baking powder
    • 1 teaspoon baking soda
    • ½ teaspoon salt
    • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
    • 1 teaspoon nutmeg (can use less if desired)
    • 1 teaspoon ginger
    • ½ teaspoon ground clove (can use less if desired
    • 1 cup butter, softened
    • 1 cup granulated sugar
    • ½ cup light brown sugar, packed
    • 3 eggs
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • 1½ cup fresh sweet potato puree, (about 3 medium sweet potatoes) (See note)
    • ¾ cup buttermilk
    • PECAN CRISP
    • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
    • ½ cup pecan pieces
    • ¼ cup oats
    • ½ cup light brown sugar, packed
    • 3 tablespoon butter, softened
    • MARSHMALLOW GLAZE
    • 1 cup marshmallow creme
    • ¼ cup powdered sugar
    • 3-4 teaspoons heavy whipping cream
    Instructions
    1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
    2. Generously grease and flour bundt pan. Set aside.
    3. In a medium bowl combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and clove. Set aside.
    4. In a large bowl, cream together butter, granulated sugar and brown sugar.
    5. Mix in eggs one at a time until batter is fluffy.
    6. Fold in vanilla extract.
    7. Combine dry ingredients with wet ingredients a little at a time while alternating with the buttermilk.
    8. Fold in sweet potato puree.
    9. Spoon batter into prepared pan. Jiggle the pan to smooth out the batter and release air bubbles.
    10. Bake for 35-45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean or with only a few moist crumbs clinging to it. Check on the cake at the 30 minute mark.
    11. Let cake cool in pan until the sides of the pan is warm to the touch.
    12. Carefully remove cake from pan and allow to cool completely on a cooling rack.
    13. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl combine all of the pecan crisp ingredients.
    14. Spread the crisp onto a foil-lined baking sheet in a single layer.
    15. Bake for 10-15 minutes or until golden, tossing half-way through.
    16. Allow crisp to cool completely. Crisp will become firmer as it cools. Set aside.
    17. Make the marshmallow frosting by combining all marshmallow frosting ingredients in a medium bowl, stirring firmly until silky and pourable.
    18. When cake has cooled completely, pour on the marshmallow frosting and top with pecan crisp.
    19. Place in the refrigerator to firm up the frosting.
    20. Serve. (I prefer to serve this cold but it can also be served at room temperature)
    Notes
    Sweet Potato Puree: Cook sweet potatoes in microwave until fork tender. Let cool and them spoon the flesh into a food processor. Puree until thick, smooth and creamy, adding enough water so that it reaches a mashed potato consistency.

    This cake taste the best the next day but the frosting taste best the first day! I'd make the cake a day ahead and frost with ready to serve, but don't worry if you can't. It still taste great on the first day but the sweet potato flavor is stronger on the next day.
     

    3 Comments "

    Southern Smothered Baked Turkey Wings

    November 21st, 2014
    “Southern baked smothered turkey wings recipe slow baked in the oven and covered in creamy gravy full of sautéed fresh onions, peppers and celery. A true southern, soul food favorite”

    Smothered baked turkey wings take me back to Sunday dinners as a child. My grandmother cooked a soulful spread every Sunday and the entire family would come over and eat. She had many different Sunday meals that I remember but one of my favorites was smothered baked turkey wings with rice, collard greens, mac n cheese, candied yams and cornbread!

    southern smothered baked turkey wings recipe

    I find it so cool that I can create that exact meal and have my boys chowing down just like I use too.Only thing is that Isaac wouldn’t touch these southern smothered turkey wings with a ten foot pole lol. Ethan and my husband on the other hand devoured an entire plate full.

    southern smothered turkey wings recipe

    These easy smothered baked turkey wings are full of southern spirit! I cooked them slow and low in the oven so that they are super  tender. The thick and creamy homemade gravy is full of bits of onions, bell peppers and celery. Serve this over a bed of white rice and you have some true, comforting food for the soul.

    southern smothered turkey wings recipe

    I had such a hard time taking a picture of this dish. It’s not the most appealing looking dish but man oh man it is good!! You can strain the gravy if you prefer your gravy silky and smooth but I just LOVE having those onions, peppers and celery in there. So good!

    I prefer to make the gravy a day ahead so it has time to sit and mingle with all those veggies! It really adds a nice depth of flavor. My grandmother would always make her gravy on Saturday night and it was torture knowing we couldn’t dig in until Sunday dinner. Pure torture!

    southern smothered turkey wings recipe

    Now one thing I’ve heard people say they hate about smothered BAKED turkey wings is the chewy/slimy skin on the turkey. I’ve found that if I broil the wings for the last few minutes it really crisps up the skin, just be careful not to overdo the broiling we don’t want to dry out the meat. My grandmother would bake her wings to get them tender and then lightly fry the outside to get the skin crispy before smothering them in gravy. It’s all optional and a personal preference really.

    Watch me make these smothered baked turkey wings from start to finish!

     

     

    5.0 from 4 reviews
    Smothered Turkey Wings
     
    Author:
    Ingredients
    • 4 lb turkey wings
    • olive oil
    • SEASONING MIX
    • 1 tablespoon salt
    • 1 tablespoon poultry seasoning
    • 1 tablespoon parsley
    • 1 tablespoon onion powder
    • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
    • 1 teaspoon black pepper
    • 2 teaspoons cajun seasoning
    • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
    • GRAVY
    • 2 celery sitcks, diced
    • ½ green bell pepper, diced
    • ½ white onion diced
    • mushrooms, dice (optional)
    • 6-8 tablespoons butter
    • ½ cup all-purpose flour
    • 3 cups chicken broth
    • ½ cup whole milk, warmed
    • ½ cup heavy whipping cream, warmed
    • salt, pepper, parsley, onion powder, garlic powder, to taste.
    Instructions
    1. Preheat oven to 275 F.
    2. Combine seasonings.
    3. Brush wings evenly with olive oil to coat.( Could also use melted butter)
    4. Sprinkle wings generously with seasonings, massaging seasonings into wings. Add more olive oil to help distribute the seasoning if needed. (use as much of the seasoning as desired)
    5. *optional step for more flavor* Cover wings and let marinate for 4 hours or overnight.
    6. Place the wings in a roasting pan and over tightly with foil.
    7. Bake for 2½ hours.
    8. *optional step for a crisp skin* Uncover for the last few minutes and broil both sides to crisp up the skin.
    9. Drain the excess juices from pan (you could also use some of the juices for broth if desired.)
    10. Line the pan with foil and place turkey into the pan. Set aside.
    11. To make the gravy, melt butter in deep skillet.
    12. Add chopped veggies and sautéed until almost tender.
    13. Whisk in flour and cook over medium heat until flour is golden and no longer has a raw flour taste.
    14. Whisk in chicken broth, milk and heavy cream.
    15. Simmer until gravy has thickened to your liking.
    16. Pour the gravy over the turkey, cover and bake for 45 minutes to an hour.
    17. Serve immediately with rice.

    8 Comments "

    Easy Mini Pumpkin Pie Bites

    November 13th, 2014

    “Creamy homemade mini pumpkin pie bites with a scratch-made buttery, flaky crust . Easy to make recipe! Perfect portable fall dessert ”

    My husband has been asking me to make a pumpkin pie all month. He even created a Pinterest board called Pumpkin Pies with over 45 pins of pumpkins pies and pumpkin inspired dessert and sent me an invite. Really?  I love him though.

    mini pumpkin pie bites recipe

     

    I’ve been doing so much baking lately; pumpkin spice cakes, caramel cakes, pound cakes geez! There was no way I was gonna have a pumpkin pie in the fridge as well.  My waistline is seriously telling on me these days, but I can never say no to this man when it comes to cooking his favorite things. It just lights up his world like a kid on Christmas.  I figured these mini pumpkin pie bites were the perfect alternative to baking an entire pumpkin pie.

    mini pumpkin pie bites recipe

    They’re easy, packs in all the flavors of homemade pumpkin pie, portable and downright adorable! Everybody loved these little mini pumpkin pie bites and hubby and son requested them again. *rolling my eyes* I won’t like though, I think I like these WAAY better than regular pumpkin pit.

    mini pumpkin pie bites recipe

    They sure don’t last long at all because they are so doggone fun to eat and convenient. I think we have about 3 more in the fridge which I’m sure Isaac and Ethan will finish off tonight.

    mini pumpkin pie bites recipe

    The homemade pie crust is amazing!!  It’s my go-to pie crust recipe for any type of sweet pie. It has the flaky, layered texture of pie crust with the buttery taste of a biscuit. The pumpkin mixture is sweet, creamy and perfectly spiced for such a tiny bite. I topped them with cinnamon cool whip, but I highly recommend piping on homemade cinnamon whipped cream.

    Make up a batch of these mini pumpkin pie bites and take them into the office. Then just sit back and watch how fast they disappear.

    Watch me make these mini pumpkin pie bites from start to finish!


    5.0 from 2 reviews
    Mini Pumpkin Pie Bites
     
    Author:
    Serves: makes 24
    Ingredients
    • PIE CRUST (all ingredients should be really cold)
    • 1¼ cup all-purpose flour
    • 1 tablespoon sugar
    • ½ teaspoon salt
    • ¼ cup butter (chopped)
    • ¼ cup butter-flavored shortening
    • ¼ cup cold water
    • PUMPKIN FILING
    • ¼ cup brown sugar
    • ¼ cup white sugar
    • 4 tablespoons butter, softened
    • 1 egg
    • ½ cup heavy whipping cream
    • 1 tablespoon flour
    • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice (can add more if desired)
    • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
    • 1 cup canned pure pumpkin
    Instructions
    1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
    2. In a medium size bowl whisk together flour, sugar and salt.
    3. Cut in butter and shortening until crumbly.
    4. Stir in cold water.
    5. Stir until dough forms.
    6. Press dough into a disk.
    7. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
    8. In a large bowl combine white sugar, brown sugar and butter until creamy.
    9. Mix in egg, heavy cream, flour and vanilla until creamy.
    10. Fold in pumpkin. Batter will be speckled.
    11. When pie dough has chilled remove it from fridge and knead lightly a few times.
    12. Flour a work surface and pat dough out about ¼ inch thick.
    13. Use a small round cookie cutter to cut out 2-inch circles.
    14. Place the dough circles into a non-stick mini muffin pan.
    15. Press the perimeter of the pie dough so that they completely fill the tin. Use a fork to create ridges on the mini pie crusts if desired.
    16. Place the batter into the pie crusts using a mini ice cream scoop.
    17. Shake the pan or use a knife to level off the top.
    18. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until the centers of the pie is set. Be careful not to over bake. Pie may be a little jiggly when it comes out of the oven but will set completely as it cools. Pies will be puffy when they come out of the oven, but will sink back down when cooled.
    19. Cool pies on the counter and then top with cinnamon cool whip.
     

    5 Comments "

    Southern Creamed Corn w/ Bacon

    November 10th, 2014

    “Creamy, southern-style creamed corn made with fresh roasted corn, cream, milk, sugar, and topped with smokey bacon”

    Have your parents ever told you what your first food was? Mine was creamed corn.  My mother told me that she gave me a bite of her creamed corn when I was  7 months old and I nearly attacked her entire plate trying to get more.

    fresh southern creamed corn recipe

    I still LOVVVE creamed corn to this day but rarely make it. Whenever I do decide to make it I vow to make it more often. I forget just how comforting and delicious fresh, homemade creamed corn can be.

    fresh southern creamed corn recipe

    I could seriously eat this stuff as a meal and be perfectly happy. Southern-style creamed corn is sweet, super creamy, fattening, delicious and downright addictive!! Paired that sweet, creaminess with some salty, smokey bacon and baaaaaby YES!!  It’s the perfect compliment to a soul food meal of spicy roasted turkey wings, collard greens, candied yams and cornbread. That’s what my grandmother always served with it.

    fresh southern creamed corn recipe

    If this is your first time having homemade fresh creamed corn let me introduce you to this delicious side dish! You want to start with fresh corn and either grill or roast the corn in the oven.

    fresh southern creamed corn recipe

    These two methods creates the most amazingly delicious corn and really brings out the natural sweetness of the corn. If  you can’t find fresh corn, then go with the frozen corn as a last resort.

    fresh southern creamed corn recipe

    Now let me tell ya, I’ve had southern creamed corn prepared with all kinda stuff like cream cheese, half n half, almond milk, etc. My favorite way is to simply use some good ol heavy cream and regular milk.  It makes for the creamiest, richest southern creamed corn I’ve ever had! I love it and hopefully you will too. Some southern creamed corn recipes choose to thicken the corn with only pureed corn and that works just fine too if you prefer it that way, but be sure not to puree too much of the corn, we don’t want baby food!

    Watch me make this Southern Cream Corn from start to finish!

    4.7 from 3 reviews
    Southern Creamed Corn
     
    Author:
    Serves: 4
    Ingredients
    • 2½ cups fresh roasted corn (about 7-8 ears of corn)
    • 1 cup heavy cream
    • ½ cup milk
    • 1-2 tablespoons sugar
    • 5 slices bacon
    • 1 tablespoon bacon grease
    • 1 tablespoon flour
    • salt and pepper
    Instructions
    1. Preheat oven to 425 F.
    2. Place corn directly on oven rack and roast for 20 minutes (do not remove husk)
    3. Let roasted corn cool off.
    4. Cut kernels from cob into a large bowl.
    5. Add in heavy cream, milk and sugar. Set aside.
    6. Fry bacon in a deep skillet, leaving 1 tablespoon of oil in the skillet.
    7. Chop bacon into pieces and set aside.
    8. Add flour to hot oil and stir until flour is golden and cooked.
    9. Add in corn mixture.
    10. Simmer until thick and creamy, about 30 minutes.
    11. Remove from heat and add salt and pepper to taste.
    12. Garnish with chopped bacon and parsley.
    13. Serve immediately.
     

    6 Comments "

    Easy Pumpkin Spice Cake w/ Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting

    November 6th, 2014
    “Made from scratch, moist, fluffy pumpkin spice cake recipe with cinnamon cream cheese frosting. Easy to make recipe and perfect for the holidays!”

    I’ve been wanting a homemade pumpkin spice cake with cream cheese frosting all week!  My grandmother makes the best from-scratch pumpkin spice cakes and sells them around the holidays. She even uses her own fresh pumpkin puree.  (Here’s the recipe for homemade pumpkin puree incase you want to give it a try )

    pumpkin spice cake recipe 2

     

    However since Grandma Barb is 2 1/2 hours away in the snowy mountains, my only option was to get my hind parts into that kitchen and make one myself! Thankfully this pumpkin spice cake recipe is crazy easy and the results are worthy of any bakery in my opinion.

    "/

     

    If you’ve been looking for a homemade pumpkin spice cake recipe that’s moist, fluffy, and packs in all that old fashioned pumpkin flavor then here ya go! Oh don’t mention it, you’re more than welcomed!

    pumpkin spice cake recipe 1

    Just be prepared for that delicious pumpkin spice aroma to float throughout your house, totally teasing you while this cake is baking. It’s heavenly. I topped this pumpkin spice cake with an easy cinnamon cream cheese frosting.

    pumpkin spice cake recipe 3

    I have several cream cheese frosting recipes on my site so take your pick.  Some nuts would have made this pumpkin cake sing from the rooftops. I didn’t have any though. So it didn’t sing. But gosh is this thing GUUUUUUD!!

    Watch me make this Easy Pumpkin Spice Cake w/ Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting from start to finish!

    4.8 from 10 reviews
    Pumpkin Spice Cake w/ Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting
     
    Cook time
    Total time
     
    Author:
    Serves: 12
    Ingredients
    • 3 cups all-puprose flour
    • 1½ teaspoons baking soda
    • ¼ teaspoon salt
    • 1 cup light brown sugar, packed
    • 1⅓ cups white sugar
    • ¾ cup of butter, softened
    • 3 eggs
    • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
    • 1 tablespoon pumpkin spice
    • 1½ cup buttermilk
    • 15 oz. 100% pure pumpkin (canned)
    • CINNAMON CREAM CHEESE FROSTING
    • 2 (8 oz) packs cream cheese, softened
    • ½ cup butter softened, softened
    • 1 teaspoon heavy cream
    • 4 cups powdered sugar
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • cinnamon (as much as you like. Can also use pumpkin spice)
    Instructions
    1. Preheat oven to 275 F.
    2. Grease and flour 3 round ( 9-inch) cake pans. Set aside.
    3. In a large bowl whisk together flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
    4. In a large bowl cream together sugars and butter.
    5. Beat in each egg one at a time.
    6. Fold in vanilla and pumpkin spice.
    7. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients, alternating with the buttermilk.
    8. Fold in pure pumpkin.
    9. Pour batter evenly into the cake pans.
    10. Bake for 30-35 minutes (check it at 25 minutes) or until toothpick inserted in center comes out with moist crumbs attached. (do not overbake. Cake will continue cooking while it cools)
    11. Let cake sit in pans for 5-10 minutes before removing and placing on a cooling rack to cool completely.
    12. While cake is cooling make the frosting.
    13. Cream together cream cheese, butter and heavy cream.
    14. Mix in powdered sugar a little at a time until creamy.
    15. Fold in vanilla and cinnamon.
    16. Frost cooled cakes.
    Notes
    Cake taste best the next day. (stronger pumpkin flavor)
     

    23 Comments "

    Caramel Apple Crisp

    October 29th, 2014

    Something about the words “apple crisp” just makes me feel all cozy inside. I immediately think about colorful fall leaves, comfy sweaters, and  crisp autumn air. Probably because  the only time we had apple crisp growing up was in the fall time when fresh farm apples were everywhere.

    easy caramel apple crisp recipe

    I could always tell when apple crisp was in the oven from that signature buttery, cinnamon apple caramel aroma! It is heaven and I can truly say that every part of the apple crisp is my FAVORITE!

    easy caramel apple crisp recipe 5

    My grandmother always diced up tiny pieces of  caramel chews and sprinkled it throughout the apple crisp. It gave it that simple extra something and now I find myself doing the exact same thing. I mean if you’re gonna have apple crisp you might as well have caramel apple crisp right?

    easy caramel apple crisp recipe 2

    This caramel apple crisp is divine! Loaded with tart, granny smith apples that compliments the sweet caramel and that buttery, cinnamon oatmeal crisp topping so well. It’s sweet but not too sweet for a scoop of vanilla ice cream on the side! Speaking of which, is apple crisp really complete without vanilla ice cream? It just seems….unnatural.  So be natural.

    easy caramel apple crisp recipe 3

    This caramel apple crisp is such a comforting classic dessert and comes together so easily with simple ingredients.  It’s the perfect ending to a fall dinner and company worthy.

    caramel apple crisp recipe

    If you’ve got yourself some apples you need to get rid of I implore (new word I can’t stop using) you to make this caramel apple crisp recipe….like… ASAP!!

    Watch me make this caramel apple crisp from start to finish!

    5.0 from 3 reviews
    Caramel Apple Crisp
     
    Cook time
    Total time
     
    Author:
    Serves: 6
    Ingredients
    • SPICED APPLES
    • 5-6 granny smith apples, peeled, cored and sliced
    • 2 tablespoons flour
    • ¼ cup white sugar
    • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
    • ½ cup caramel chips
    • CRISP
    • ½ cup quick oats
    • ¾ cup all-purpose flour
    • ¼ cup brown sugar, packed
    • 2 tablespoons white sugar
    • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
    • 6 tablespoons butter
    • 2-3 tablespoons melted butter (for drizzling, optional)
    Instructions
    1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
    2. Add sliced apples to a large bowl, set aside.
    3. In a small bowl combine flour, white sugar, and cinnamon.
    4. Sprinkle over apples and toss to fully coat apples in mixture.
    5. Spread apples evenly into a casserole dish.
    6. Sprinkle caramel chips over apples. Set aside.
    7. In a large bowl combine oats, flour, white sugar, brown sugar, and cinnamon.
    8. Cut in 6 tablespoons butter until mixture is crumbly.
    9. Sprinkle topping evenly over apples.
    10. Baked for 30 minutes or until golden.
    11. When crisp comes out of the oven drizzle with melted butter.
    12. Serve hot with a scoop of vanilla ice cream!
    apples

    8 Comments "

    Homemade Diaper Cream & Diapering Tips!

    October 22nd, 2014

    Since finding out on Facebook that so many of my readers are moms expecting their first child (what’s up with that? Must be something in the water!), I thought a post on diapers, wipes and a homemade diaper cream recipe would be right on time! Feel free to pass this post along to your prego friends if a new baby is not on your agenda anytime soon or ever again (raises both hands).

    Let’s chat, I want to know the BEST baby advice you’ve ever received. Can you remember what it was? For me it was about diapering and it came from the best source ever, my grandmother!

    homemade diaper cream recipe

    I didn’t change my first diaper until I was 27. I had just given birth to my first son Isaac and the nurse said, “He’ll be having his first poop soon which will be very thick and tar-like so be prepared.” That poop came at 2:33 a.m. (yes I write everything down) and let’s just say, I wasn’t prepared… at all. What the…!!

    I had so much stuff on that hospital bed trying to figure out what went on first. There were diapers, wipes, baby powder, diaper rash creams, baby bottom balm, vaseline, changing pad and even a peepee teepee (don’t ask because I never used that thing). I’d been given so much baby product advice that I overwhelmed myself with such a simple process.

    homemade baby diaper cream

    Thank God for Grandma! She gave me the best advice that day to just, “keep it simple.” She said, “All you need to do is find a good-fitting diaper for that baby, some reliable wipes and use this homemade diaper cream. Give all that other junk away.” Hahaha, she rocks!

    6 years and 2 boys later I’ve only used diapers, wipes and her amazing homemade diaper cream for diaper changes. We’ve never even had to deal with diaper rash (fingers crossed), which I think is pretty darn awesome.

    So let’s talk about these three items, shall we?

    My Diapering Essentials & Tips

    homemade diaper cream recipe

    Wipes: Wipes will be your best friend for many years to come (just ask any mom). Stock up! Isaac is 6 and I still find myself whipping out Ethan’s baby wipes to clean something off his face, ears or hands while we’re out. It totally annoys him but it’s better than the mama’s spit and thumb technique that I got growing up. I started off by making my own wipes for Isaac and then I went to using washable cloth wipes.

    homemade diaper cream recipe

    By the time Ethan came along, I switched to Target’s up & up wipes

    homemade diaper cream recipe

    These wipes are soft and strong with just the right amount of moisture to get the job done. I seriously hate when wipes are too dry or too wet. They are made with botanic fibers, and since they are hypoallergenic and alcohol-free they can be used on the face as well. Grab your favorite scent or play it safe with no scent at all, which is the one I use. Whatever tickles your fancy.

      homemade diaper cream recipe

    Grandma’s Homemade Diaper Cream: This diaper cream is everything! It uses only five natural ingredients: shea butter, cocoa butter, coconut oil, vegetable glycerin and beeswax. You can add a drop of lavender oil for scent if you’d like.

    Here’s the recipe:

    4.8 from 9 reviews
    Homemade Diaper Cream
     
    Ingredients
    • ¼ cup raw Shea butter
    • ¼ cup raw cocoa butter
    • ¼ cup coconut oil
    • 1 tablespoon pure beeswax (I used the pellets)
    • 2 Tablespoon vegetable glycerin
    Instructions
    1. In a small pot, add Shea butter, cocoa butter, coconut oil and beeswax.
    2. Melt over low heat.
    3. Once melted remove from heat and stir in glycerin (and lavender oil if using)
    4. Use a mixer and beat until creamy.
    5. Pour into a jar and let cool. Mixture will be thick and creamy.
    6. Wash pot and beaters immediately.
    7. To use, spread a thin layer of cream over babies bottom during diaper change.

    This homemade diaper cream is pure, simple and effective! The Shea and cocoa butter moisturizes, the beeswax helps create a protective barrier, the glycerin helps bind it all together and the coconut oil provides natural antimicrobial properties. Create a batch and pour it into travel sized containers. The cream is rich, thick and really creamy so a little goes a long way. I applied a thin layer with every diaper change when the boys were little but as they got older I just applied a thick layer at night or whenever I remembered during the day.

    homemade diaper cream recipe

    Diapers: Finding your favorite diaper (whether it’s cloth or disposable) may take a lil trial and error. I personally think it’s all about the fit. Right now I’m trying out the new Target’s up & up cotton enhanced diapers.  They were on sale for $19.99 for 64 size 6 diapers!

    homemade diaper cream recipe

     

    homemade diaper cream recipe

     So far so good when it comes to absorption. They have soft-stretch on the waist and sides which helps get a good fit. I was drawn to the fact that the core is enhanced with cotton.

    homemade diaper cream recipe

    Ok so I’m stepping off my mommy-opinion soapbox and inviting you all to step on!

    What baby advice has helped you the most? Leave your comment below and automatically be entered for a chance to win one $100 Target GiftCard!

    (Oh and I’ll give you a serious side eye if you say “sleep when baby sleeps” because we all know that is rarely possible and I’m pretty sure the woman who thought of that had a nanny! )

    Sweepstakes Rules:

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    This giveaway is open to US Residents age 18 or older. Winners will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by e-mail. The notification email will come directly from BlogHer via the sweeps@blogher email address. You will have 72 hours to respond; otherwise a new winner will be selected.

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    84 Comments "

    Creamy Chicken Noodle Soup

    October 20th, 2014
    “Easy creamy chicken noodle soup recipe loaded with chunks of chicken, onions, carrots, celery, fresh parsley, noodles and garlic in a savory, creamy broth.  Even more comforting than regular chicken noodle soup!”

    Creamy chicken noodle soup recipe

    This fresh, easy, creamy chicken noodle soup is quickly  becoming my favorite. Every year I tend to crave a particular soup all season long. Last year it was broccoli cheddar soup and this year it’s creamy chicken noodle soup. I’m ashamed to say how many times I’ve made it. We can’t seem to get enough of it around here and it’s a true winner since  Isaac & Ethan likes it.

    IMG_8626

    This creamy chicken noodle soup comes together so easily too especially when you cheat and use leftover rotisserie chicken.  I’ve been so busy lately that I’ve been cheating a lot with Targets rotisserie chickens. We always have leftovers so I whip up this soup to get rid of it.

    Creamy chicken noodle soup recipe

    If you thought regular homemade chicken noodle soup was cozy and comforting then wait until you taste his luscious, creamy cousin. This creamy chicken noodle soup is full of all the fresh flavors of homemade chicken noodle soup like chunks of chicken, carrots, celery, onions, garlic, fresh parsley and noodles but with a creamy twist.

    If you normally love cream based soups then you MUST try this one. I knew I was going to fall in love when I first made this soup because I can never resist a creamy style soup (um heeellllo creamy cheeseburger soup)

    Creamy chicken noodle soup recipe

    This is pure comfort food so don’t go asking me about calories and thang. I’m not sure I want to know since I’ve had many, many…. many bowls. Lord help me. If you’re looking for an easy, quick, filling and delicious dinner to make on a crisp fall or winter evening then this is what you want honey!

    Creamy chicken noodle soup recipe

     

    Watch me make this creamy chicken noodle soup from start to finish!

     

    4.8 from 6 reviews
    Creamy Chicken Noodle Soup
     
    Author:
    Serves: 10
    Ingredients
    • CHICKEN NOODLE SOUP
    • 3-4 carrots, diced
    • ½ white onion, diced
    • 3-4 celery stalks, diced
    • 2 tablespoons butter
    • 7 cups chicken broth (I used Better Than Bouillon chicken soup base)
    • fresh parsley, chopped
    • 3 cups egg noodles, dry
    • 1 lb chicken, cooked and diced
    • ¼ cup butter
    • ¼ cup flour
    • 2 cups whole milk
    • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
    Instructions
    1. In a large pot, melt 2 tablespoons of butter.
    2. Add carrots, onions and celery and sauté until tender.
    3. Add in chicken broth and fresh parsley.
    4. Bring to a boil.
    5. Add in noodles and cook until noodles are tender, about 7-8 minutes.
    6. Remove from heat.
    7. In a saucepan over medium heat melt butter.
    8. Stir in flour and whisk constantly for about 1½ - 2 minutes.
    9. Slowly pour in milk, whisking constantly.
    10. Stir in heavy cream and bring to a light boil.
    11. Boil lightly until sauce thickens, continue stirring.
    12. Pour sauce into chicken noodle soup and stir until combined.
    13. Add in cooked diced chicken.
    14. Season with salt and pepper if needed.
    15. Serve immediately.
    16. Garnish with chopped fresh parsley.
     

    13 Comments "

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