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    Cake Batter Cheesecake (no-bake)

    July 30th, 2014

    Happy National Cheesecake Day!!! Today you get to eat as much cheesecake as you like!! How cool is that?! Well that’s the way I’m choosing to celebrate one of my favorite desserts. I’m just gonna stuff myself full of cheesecake and then start this 21 Day Fix that’s been sitting in my closet for weeks. Fair enough right? cake batter cheesecake I’m celebrating with a quick and easy cheesecake recipe called Cake Batter Cheesecake!! I went through this thing a few years ago where I was obsessed with cake batter anything. Hence the cake batter rice krispie treats, oh and the cake batter pancakes lol. Do you remember this craze? It’s like the internet was buzzing with recipes that used cake mix. I think it was the sprinkles that sucked me in.  I’m over it now. cakebattercheesecake But since you guys have been asking for another no-bake cheesecake recipe (wink) and since it’s national cheesecake day….why the heck not right!!! I made this cake batter cheesecake for my cousins baby shower (made mini cheesecakes and used pink and sage sprinkles ) and everyone loved them!! It’s a winner and super easy. cake batter cheesecake1 The golden Oreos make such an amazing crust and it goes so well with the yellow cake flavored cheesecake. This cake batter cheesecake is a great alternative to the traditional birthday cake. no-bake cake batter cheesecake recipe I love that I don’t even have to fool with the oven with this recipe and I speed up the setting time by throwing it into the freezer for a few hours. I think you are really suppose to let it set in the fridge overnight but I always cheat with the freezer for these types of no-bake cheesecakes. cake batter cheesecake Choose your texture: Do you like your no-bake cheesecakes to be fluffy, soft and creamy or do you like it partially frozen? Choose your favorite consistency here. I like the slightly frozen texture, it’s like a cream cheesecake ice cream so I store it in the freezer and let it sit out for a bit before I cut into it. My husband prefers it on the softer side because he says the crust is too hard to cut into when it’s frozen so I keep some for him in the fridge. It’s good both ways.

     Watch me make this Cake Batter Cheesecake from start to finish!!

    Cake Batter Cheesecake (no-bake)
    Serves: 8
    • CRUST
    • 2½ cups golden Oreos, finely crushed
    • 5 tablespoons butter, melted
    • 3 (8 oz) packages cream cheese, softened
    • ¾ cup powdered sugar
    • ½ cup yellow cake mix
    • 2 tablespoons milk (if mixture is too dry to mix)
    • 8 oz Cool Whip (plus more if you're going to decorate with it)
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • 1 cup crushed Golden Oreos (optional)
    • 3 tablespoons rainbow sprinkles, plus more for decorating
    1. In a large bowl stir together 2½ cups Oreos and butter until well combined.
    2. Press mixture evenly and firmly into the bottom of springform pan.
    3. Freeze crust for at least 20 minutes.
    4. In a large bowl combine cream cheese, powdered sugar, cake mix, vanilla extract, and milk (if needed).
    5. Fold in Cool Whip & vanilla extract.
    6. Fold in crushed oreos and rainbow sprinkles.
    7. Give it a taste, add more sugar if desired.
    8. Pour into prepared pan and spread into an even layer.
    9. Freeze for 2-3 hours or refrigerate overnight, or until set.
    10. Decorate as desired.
    11. If completely frozen, allow to sit at room temperature to soften up a bit before cutting.

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    Melon Ball Punch AKA Bottled Summer

    July 15th, 2014

    I have been dying to use my melon baller again after using it for my drunken melon balls recipe.  I’d been eyeing this melon ball punch for a long time on Pinterest and with this intense heat we’ve been having, it was time to give her a go! ( with a little tweaking of course ; )

    melon ball punch recipe white sangria virgin

    If summertime could be bottled up it would taste exactly like this melon ball punch. This punch just screams lazy summer days in the country.

    Maybe because it’s bursting with melon-liciousness (love that word) and it’s paired up with tart lime slices and fresh mint leaves, flavors that just compliment each other so well.  Oh FYI:  Now don’t you go letting the taste of the plain drink alone scare you off when you first mix it up like I did.

    melon ball punch recipe white sangria virgin

    Let me tell ya, when I first mixed this melon ball punch up in the pitcher I was not impressed…. AT ALL. Yes it was good but not something I’d rush to make again. My recipe critic husband was all like….”um…yeah it’s ok. I mean it’s not nasty if that’s what you’re asking”.  But then when I added the frozen melon balls, mint leaves, and lime wedges…HELLOOOOO FLAVOR!!! Wow who would have thunk that those ingredients could awaken this punch so much!  It’s like a virgin white sangria!

    melon ball punch recipe white sangria virgin

    The melon balls and mint leaves give off their flavors pretty quick and it’s definitely the missing piece to this flavor combination. The mint leaves add that touch of coolness that goes GREAT with the other flavors. So whatever you do, DO NOT SKIP THE MELONS & MINT LEAVES . Promise me!

    This melon ball punch would be GREAT for brunches, baby showers, weddings, etc. It presents very well don’t you think?  And we thought it was pretty darn fun having colorful little melon balls in our drink to snack on when we were done. Especially since they were slightly frozen and had soaked up all that yummy punch.

    melon ball punch recipe white sangria virgin

    Make up a test batch to take poolside with ya. You’ll see that the flavors just gets better and better as it sits.  It’s so refreshing that it got guzzled up pretty fast around here though.

    Light, fizzy, perfectly sweetened, refreshing and crisp, yep that pretty much sums it up. Make it!

    melon ball punch recipe white sangria virgin

    Watch me make this melon ball punch from start to finish!


    5.0 from 1 reviews
    Melon Ball Punch
    Serves: 6
    • 25.4 oz Sparkling white grape juice
    • 2 cups clear lemon lime flavored soda (I used Sprite)
    • 1 cup lemonade (I used Simply)
    • 1 small ripe watermelon
    • 1 small ripe cantaloupe
    • 1 small ripe honeydew melon
    • fresh mint leaves
    • 2 limes, sliced, plus more for garnish if desired
    1. In a pitcher stir together grape juice, soda and lemonade.
    2. Place in the fridge to chill.
    3. Use a melon baller to scoop out the flesh of the watermelon, cantaloupe, and honeydew melon.
    4. Place melon balls on a cookie sheet lined with foil.
    5. Freeze.
    6. Once frozen add a few cups of melons balls to pitcher along with fresh mint leaves and slices of lime.
    7. Stir.
    8. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to allow the flavors to blend.
    9. Serve cold using additional frozen melon balls as ice cubes.
    10. Garnish glasses with lime slice and mint leaf.



    Gluten-Free Carrot Cake (Moist & Fluffy)

    July 11th, 2014

    “It’s been a long time, I shouldn’t have left you, without a dope recipe to bake to. Bake to, Bake to!” Ha! Wow has it really been almost a month since my last recipe??? OMG I’m so sorry guys! Please forgive.


    gluten-free carrot cake recipe dairy-free


    We’ve been moving. Like AGAIN. Like back into the  house that we previously moved from!!! Who does that!!?!? I’m all unpacked and settled in for now…. and then we’ll be moving again in about 3- 4 months while this house gets gutted and remodeled.

    Whew talk about anxiety! Jesus fix it!!! lol I just keep telling myself it will all be worth it in the end. Woosaaaah!

    Ok enough about that. I’m back and I’m all yours. So let’s do what we do best, TALK FOOD baby!!I’m just now getting hip to this whole gluten-free thing and how to bake gluten-free cakes. It seems like so many people are going gluten-free by choice or for medical reasons these days. My sister-in-law and my aunt are both gluten-free, which is the reason for this gluten-free carrot cake recipe.


    gluten-free carrot cake recipe



    I promised my aunt I would make her dinner and dessert while she recovered from surgery (I haven’t forgot aunt Lisa!!) so I’ve been playing around with a few gluten-free cake recipes. I tried my hand at baking a gluten-free chocolate cake and gluten-free chocolate cupcakes a few years ago and lets just say it was wrong on all levels.  A true EPIC FAIL!!! Gritty, gummy,  super dense, flat, just gross!

    gluten-free carrot cake recipe dairy-free


    I thought this was just how gluten-free cakes tasted. I mean how good could something be without the help of fluffy white wheat flour right? Well it wasn’t until I was in Asheville, NC and tried a slice of gluten-free carrot cake from a cafe called Green Sage that my mind was totally changed. This carrot cake was light, fluffy, moist and it tasted exactly like a regular cake made with white wheat flour. Shut the front door!!!

    gluten-free carrot cake recipe 4

    I went on a mission to create a amazing gluten-free carrot cake. It needed to have a beautiful, moist crumb, loaded with sweet fresh carrots and also pass the stick to the back of the fork test. BINGO we got action Jackson!! I don’t know about you, but my greedy-self  professional cake eating self can totally just look at a cake and tell if its moist and fluffy. Can’t you just see how amazing that first bite is gonna be from looking at this picture?  You now exactly how that fork is gonna glide through dontcha? Have mercy! I could weep. Let us pray. gluten-free carrot cake recipe 9

    Ladies and gentlemen,  I present to you the very first gluten-free cake recipe on Divas Can Cook, homemade gluten-free carrot cake! I wish I could just drop the gluten-free from the title because seriously I couldn’t even tell it was gluten-free! This gluten-free carrot cake bakes up light, fluffy and moist just the way a carrot cake should! It’s lightly spiced with just the right amount of cinnamon & sweetness to pair up with that silky cream cheese frosting.

    gluten-free carrot cake recipe rice flour

    To replace the white wheat flour I used Pamela’s Artisan Flour. It’s a gluten free all-purpose rice flour blend that’s great for baking cakes. You can use it cup for cup, as you would with regular flour. You can get it on Amazon or in most whole food type stores. I’ve tried Bobs Red Mill gluten-free flour in the past and ick!  I didn’t like how gritty it made the cake taste, but some folks swear by it. Hey, whatever floats your boat! My sister-in-law uses Pamela’s a lot in her baking and she makes really great gluten-free cakes so I’m sticking with Miss Pam for now.

    gluten-free carrot cake recipe 6

    Isaac LOVED this carrot cake and my husband did the “pretend to slap an imaginary booty” dance after the first bite. That tells me that this one is a keeper for whenever we have gluten-free guests over : )

    I’ve only been playing around with gluten-free cake baking for a short amount of time and I’m def. no expert but here are a few tips I’ve picked up to pass along to ya.

    Gluten-Free Cake Baking Tips:

    Increase the flavor: I’ve noticed that gluten-free flours tend to dull the flavor of cakes just a tad. I usually double the amount of cinnamon or extracts if I’m baking a gluten-free cake adapted from a regular cake recipe. I always taste the batter. Regular cake batter is sweet and so should gluten-free cake batter.

    Add moisture: Look for ways to throw in moisture since gluten-free cakes can be notorious for being dry, crumbly and gummy. I like to use buttermilk or sour cream. Fruits also add moisture. Apples, carrots and pears are great for adding moisture. I also LOVE adding pureed fruit or veggies into the cake batter.

    Don’t over bake: This may just be me but I swear gluten-free cakes require less baking time and they aren’t as forgiving as regular cakes if you over bake them. I start eyeing my cakes like a hawk at the 15 minute mark. As soon as the middle springs back I get that baby out of the oven quick. I also like to take my cakes right from the oven to the freezer to cool. This technique creates a really moist cake and does a rapid cool since cakes continue to cook as they cool on the countertops.  I prefer to bake gluten-free cakes at a lower a temperature like 325F. if it doesn’t have many “moisture helpers” in the batter.

    Play up the texture: Certain ingredients are great for giving gluten-free cakes a moist, fluffy crumb texture. I swear by buttermilk, whipping cream and/or vegetable/canola oil for the best gluten-free cake texture. Also be sure not to over mix the cake as this will result in a flat, dry cake. Gluten-free pudding mixes are also great to throw into the batter for extra fluffiness.

    “But Monique  I can’t have dairy either, HELP!”

    No Worries Make a Gluten-Free & Dairy Free Carrot Cake!

    Oh now don’t you go worrying your pretty little head about that. Here are a few suggestions for substitutions. Now the texture won’t be quite as fluffy but it will work. Ok you ready?  Replace the buttermilk with sour rice milk or sour coconut milk (add 1/2 tablespoon of lemon juice and let it sit for a few minutes to “sour” it up a bit). For the cream cheese frosting use Tofutti’s “Better Than Cream Cheese” spread. I had to go dairy-free for 8 months while nursing and loved this stuff for making dairy-free cream cheese frosting. Use your favorite dairy-free butter substitute for the butter replacement. I like Earth Balance. Can’t have nuts? No biggie, just leave them out.  Can’t have eggs?…hmmmm… well now you’ve stumped me but I’ve heard of several egg replacement that might work like using chia seeds.

    Watch me make this Gluten-Free Carrot Cake From Start To Finish!!

    5.0 from 4 reviews
    Gluten-free Carrot Cake (Moist & Fluffy)
    Serves: 8
    • 1 cup white sugar
    • ½ cup brown sugar, packed
    • 1 cup canola oil or vegetable oil
    • 3 eggs
    • 2 cups Pamela's artisan gluten-free flour
    • 1½ teaspoons baking powder
    • 1 teaspoon baking soda
    • ½ teaspoon salt
    • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
    • ½ cup buttermilk
    • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
    • 2-3 cups carrots, finely shredded (I used a little over 2 cups)
    • ½ cup pureed carrots (optional but great!)
    • ½ cup sweet coconut flakes, finely shredded
    • FROSTING (double the recipe if you like a thick layer of frosting)
    • 8 oz cream cheese, room temperature
    • 4 tablespoons butter, room temperature
    • 2 cup confectioners sugar (may need more to thicken if desired)
    • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
    • 1 cup walnuts, chopped
    1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
    2. Grease and flour (with Pamela's flour) 2 (9-inch) cake pans. Set aside
    3. In a large bowl cream together oil, sugars, and eggs. Set aside.
    4. In a separate bowl whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon.
    5. Gradually add the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients, alternating with the buttermilk.
    6. Mix just until fully combined. (careful not to over mix)
    7. Fold in shredded & pureed carrots, coconut flakes and vanilla extract.
    8. Pour batter evenly into prepared pans.
    9. Bake for 20-25 minutes until center is set. (do not over bake!)
    10. Place pans directly into freezer to cool.
    11. While cakes are cooling prepare the frosting by first creaming together the butter and cream cheese.
    12. Add in the confectioners sugar and vanilla extract.
    13. Mix until silky and creamy. Add more sugar if a thicker texture is needed.
    14. When cakes are cooled remove them from pans and frost, sprinkling the tops with walnuts.
    This carrot cakes tastes even better the next day!


    Recipes In Rehab : (

    June 25th, 2014

    Often times here in the Divas Can Cook kitchen I’ll cook up a recipe only to decide it’s not good enough for my “best friends in my head” (that would be you). Sometimes I’ll nix the recipe altogether but often times I’ll put it in my “Recipes in Rehab” folder.

    This folder consists of recipes that are really good but just need a little something else. That extra oomph! I usually make a few notes and come back and play around with the ingredients and measurement until I feel it’s ready to be posted.

    It sucks when recipes don’t come out the way I hoped but it’s such a learning experience and have really helped me become a better cook. So today I decided to share with you guys the recipes that have been added to the folder for this month. Hopefully I will have them all doctored up and rehabilitated to share next month!

    Ice Cream Brownie Bars w/ Caramel Waffle Cone Topping

    I posted about this little creation on my facebook fan page this week. I had high hopes for it and yes it was good, (Isaac loved it!) but something was still missing. I wanted to take a bite of this and be in heaven but I was still left here on earth. Booooo! I’m thinking maybe changing the ice cream layer to cookie dough ice cream and crushing some chocolate chip cookies on top with caramel and chocolate drizzle. Then I thought about doing a red velvet brownie topped with vanilla ice cream and a cream cheese/cool whip frosting and then sprinkling the top with walnuts. So many options to make this thing amazing right! The brownie layer was perfect! It was frozen yet still soft and chewy which was exactly what I was going for. This dessert also cut like a dream. It has potential and I can see it being a cookout favorite. I’m excited about tweaking this one! Stay tuned… ice cream brown bars

    Pan-Seared Sriracha Lime Chicken Skewers

    We nailed these things for dinner one night and I just knew this video recipe would be a success but after eating them I felt like they were just “ok”. It wasn’t something that I’d want to hurry and make again. That tells me that it needs more work. Not sure what it was but I think it needed more spices. It tasted kinda flat. I mainly just tasted  Sriracha and limes. I wanted more depth with this one. A flavor explosion! I’m thinking a good spice mixture on the chicken would take these babies over the top. My hubby really liked these though .

    sirachi chicken skewers

    Peach Cobbler Cake

    This cake was really good and had all of the buttery gooeyness of a homemade peach cobbler… it just needed some more tweaks to the peach mixture. Maybe a bit more cinnamon and nutmeg with a tad bit of lemon juice to balance out the sweetness.  The cake and glaze was pure perfection. This will be an easy fix that I can’t wait to share! Also I plan to use fresh instead of frozen peaches with this one. peachcobblercake

    Baked BBQ Sweet Potato Fries

    I’ve made this recipe 7 times!! Yep 7 times just to get the texture of these things right. Trying to get crispy sweet potato fries in the oven was a pain! But I finally figured it out by salting them last and using a bit of flour and cornstartch while letting them dry out on the counter a bit before baking. The problem? The spice mixture. I wasn’t happy with the spices on this one. I wanted a BBQ taste. Something smoky, sweet, and spicy the made you wanna just keep eating them. Still working on getting that proper balance.

    baked sweet potato fries 1

    I hope you enjoyed looking at my recipes in rehab! I’m excited about perfecting them for you guys!

    Which recipe do you think I should rehab first???


    That Good Broccoli Salad

    June 19th, 2014

    You asked for it, so here it is!! Yayyyy for another  salad dish!!! (say yayyy!…. SAY IT!!!) I’m in rare form today so bare with me. “I been drankin, I been drankin” just kidding. That Beyonce song has been in my head all day. Anyway what were we talking about? Ah yes broccoli salad!!! Broccoli is one of my favorite veggies so it’s no surprise that this is one of my favy salad side dishes. Ok I know I say everything is my favorite, but it really is, even though I’ve only had it for the first time this month. Hey, I fall in love easily don’t judge me.  This broccoli salad is a classic. Easy. Simple. Side Dish Goodness. best broccoli salad recipe   It’s basically just a big ol bowl loaded with pretty, colorful, crunchy, fresh ingredients with a quick creamy dressing. Yum? Yes! Especially if you like lots of crispy bacon, cheddar cheese, red onions, cherry tomatoes….you see where I’m going here dontcha?   It’s one of those addictive dishes where all the ingredients just go so well together.  A beautiful thing happens when it all enters your mouth. Could this be…. love? best broccoli salad recipe Not only is this broccoli salad down right delicious and gorgeous, it’s a true crowd pleaser that disappears fast and goes great with grilled meats or even as a stand alone meal.Whip up a bowl for your next cookout and see what happens. And then send them to when they ask you for the recipe. You can say that we’re cousins. I’ll totally go along with it. best broccoli salad recipe

     Watch Me Make This Broccoli Salad For You From Start to Finish!

    5.0 from 4 reviews
    Broccoli Pasta Salad
    Serves: 6
    • 1 head broccoli, diced into tiny pieces (about 3 cups)
    • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, diced small (can add more)
    • ½ red onion, diced small
    • 1 cup mild cheddar cheese, diced into tiny cubes (can use less)
    • 8 oz bacon, cooked & diced (I used low sodium turkey bacon)
    • 1 cup mayonaise (I use Dukes)
    • ½ cup ranch dressing
    • 1 tablespoon parsley
    • *optional ingredients* raisins, pasta, sunflower seeds, green bell pepper,
    1. Combine first 5 ingredients in a large bowl. Set aside.
    2. In a small bowl stir together mayonnaise, ranch and parsley.
    3. Add dressing by the spoonful to broccoli mixture just until coated. (you will have dressing left over)
    4. Toss to combine.
    5. Taste and adjust ingredients if needed.
    6. Refrigerate or serve immediately.
    This salad taste best served immediately when everything is still crunchy and fresh.


    Peach Moscato Wine Slushies

    June 11th, 2014

    Wheeeew I’z tiiiiiiide! Not tired but tiiiiide! We got back from visiting the in-laws several days ago and I’m just now getting caught up on sleep, homeschool, cleaning, and all that jazz. Going on a “vacation” is definitely a chore with a super curious and freakishly mobile baby. My little Ethan doesn’t sleep good at all when he’s not in his own bed and I spent most of the time either A.) holding him since he’s cranky and clingy from lack of sleep or B.) chasing him around to make sure he isn’t eating something he shouldn’t  or tearing something apart. Exhausting!!

    peach moscato wine slushies recipes homemade

    I’m so looking forward to the days when a vacation will actually feel like a vacation (although I’m not rushing these precious baby years) When I got home I decided to give myself a little vacation from my vacation by kicking back with these frosty peach moscato wine slushies. It was heaven I tell ya and MUCH needed. Aren’t they gorg!?!

    peach moscato wine slushies recipes homemade

     Every summer I usually have a “drink of choice”. Last year I was all about these real watermelon slushies but summer of 2014 belongs to wine slushies baby!!! These wine slushies are the stuff that good times are made out of my friends!! Super simple too and they taste waaaaay better then those wine slush powder mixes you get from the store. Just grab a bottle of your favorite sweet dessert wine, some fresh fruit, sugar and boom!!! Within a few hours you’ll be on your own mini vacation as well.

    peach moscato wine slushies recipes homemade

    It is wrong that I’ve made them in a gazillion flavor combinations already? I just love having a little frosty adult treat waiting for me whenever I want it. Just pop out the lil cubes, blend  and it’s ready

      peach moscato wine slushies recipe homemade

    I couldn’t decide for the life of me which one to present to you guys because honestly you can’t go wrong with any dessert wine and your favorite fruit but Peach Moscato is definitely one of my favs!! You can get really creative and tropical and mix a variety of different fruits together if you wish.

    peach moscato wine slushies recipes homemade

    But let me warn you… ONCE YOU MAKE THAT FIRST BATCH YOU WILL CONTINUE TO MAKE THEM….OFTEN!! Matter of fact I have two freezer bags full of wine slushie ice cubes right now in strawberry peach and raspberry lime flavors.

      peach moscato wine slushies recipe homemade

    You will think of any reason to make them;  pool parties, cookouts, girls night, book clubs, reality tv treat, whatever!!! These wine slushies are sexy, delicious, addictive, fun, festive, and perfect for any occasion or no occasion at all.


    I’m so looking forward to my next cookout so I can stash the freezer with all different flavors and colors of wine slushies cubes. This totally beats having to mix up a ton of different cocktails.

    Watch me make these Peach Moscato Wine Slushies from start to finish!


    5.0 from 3 reviews
    Moscato Peach Wine Slushies
    Serves: 4
    • 1 bottle Moscato Wine (750ml) (I used Barefoot brand) plus more for blending *see note
    • 2 cups frozen peaches (unsweetened)
    • ½ cup powdered sugar (can cut back but it needs to be pretty sweet)
    1. Add frozen peaches, sugar and a few splashes of moscato to food processor or blender.
    2. Blend until completely smooth.
    3. Pour in the rest of the moscato and blend until incorporated.
    4. Quickly pour mixture into ice cube trays. (stir if peaches begin to settle on the bottom of blender jar)
    5. Freeze.
    6. Place frozen cubes in a blender. ( I never measure them out. I just toss a handful in and add more if I need it)
    7. Add a splash of wine to make blending easier.
    8. Blend until slush consistency, adding a splash of wine to thin it out if needed.
    9. Pour into wine glasses, add a straw (if desired) and serve immediately.
    10. Garnish with fresh fruit like strawberries and peach slices
    You'll need to add a few splashes of wine to the frozen ice cube for blending. You can reserve a small amount of wine or just use some wine from another bottle, which is what I do.

    ADD ice! If you like for your slushies to have those tiny little ice chips then throw in a few ice cubes and a little bit more wine!



    Southern Buttermilk Biscuits

    June 3rd, 2014

    Soft, fluffy, buttery, golden southern buttermilk biscuits! It’s enough to bring a man to his knees. Or so I use to hear growing up. I snagged my husband with the help of chocolate chip cookies so I can’t really vouch for biscuits. Although these southern buttermilk biscuits are heavenly and my husband did ask if I’d make them everyday to which I lovingly  replied “AINT NOBODY GOT TIME FA DAT!”

    southern buttermilk biscuits recipe easy

    The truth is, I could totally make these  every day because not only are they insanely easy, but they are soooooo daggum GOOD!!!! These are the kind of biscuits where you sink your teeth into that first bite and you just have to look at the biscuit while knodding yes. It takes you there honey!! To that comforting place that only a fluffy, scratch-made southern buttermilk biscuit can!

    southern buttermilk biscuits recipe easy

    Now if you normally suck at making biscuits (quickly raises hand) don’t let the process defeat you, even if your first or tenth batch doesn’t turn out right. KEEP TRYING!  You WILL get it!! There is a such thing as biscuit gods and they will shine upon you. Although you may just get them right on your first try with this recipe. It’s that easy! Biscuit making is an art form that relies mainly on the look and feel of the dough. Many biscuit recipes work just fine but you aren’t gonna get fabulous buttermilk biscuits until you learn a few tips.

    southern buttermilk biscuits recipe easy

    This is a southern girl speaking to you from experience honey because even after seeing and helping my grandmother make homemade biscuits almost every week as a child, I still could not get it right. My grandmother forgot to tell me a few valuable tips, so incase your grandmother or mother or whomever, forgot to tell you as well, Imma tell you right now. Are you leeesaning Leeenda?

    southern buttermilk biscuits recipe easy

    How to get the BEST Southern Buttermilk Biscuits Everrrr! 

    (or at least this is what changed my biscuit making game)

    1.) Keep everything COLD!!! COLD is the word of the day, m’kay!  Biscuit ingredients love to be cold. When the ingredients start to warm up before they hit the oven, they start reacting with each other and you don’t want that to happen just yet. You want all the magic to take place in the oven aka the loooove zone!  So freeze the butter and keep all the other ingredients in the fridge beforehand.  If things start to warm up while you are making them then stick it in the fridge for a bit.  Now I know why  my grandmother use to work so fast, yet gently while making biscuits. She knew she had to get these bad boys in the oven while that dough was still cold.

    2.) Use a gentle touch. Biscuit dough is so seeeensitiiiive! They like to be handled, touched and patted (never rolled) very gently. Awww, how precious! If you are rough with the dough or handle it for too long you’re gonna cause the dough to release gluten which will makes biscuits tough, dry and ugly. So stir gently, knead gently, matter of fact, sing a little love song to your biscuits. They like that.

    3.) No twisting that cutter! Whenever you go to cut the biscuits out, do not twist that cutter! I mean it! It’s hard not to do, but don’t. This seals the biscuits and keeps them from rising and cooking properly. Just go straight down into the dough and bring the cutter back up. NO TWISTING or doing any other weird stuff! Got it? I’m watching you. *pointing to both of my eyes and then at you*

    4.) Use self-rising, soft winter wheat flour. Ok now I know a few folks are gonna say “booooooo” to self-rising flour. My grandmother never used it but I’ve found out that it’s the best deal for folks who aren’t very good with biscuits. For some reason it seems to allow room for error. As much as I love adding in the salt, baking powder and baking soda to regular flour(not really) self-rising flour is the way to go for ME. Also use an all-purpose (not cake flour) white winter wheat flour like White Lilly. This brand makes the FLUFFIEST biscuits ever. I’m not even kidding you right now! Seriously. White Lily. Order it if you need to.

    Ok go forth and create big beautiful buttery batches of buttermilk biscuits…Betty!! I just had to throw another B word in there.

      southern buttermilk biscuits recipe easy

     Watch me make these Southern Buttermilk Biscuits from start to finish!

    4.7 from 6 reviews
    Buttermilk Biscuits
    Recipe type: bread
    Serves: makes 8-10 biscuits
    • 2 cups White Lilly all-purpose self-rising flour (or any other soft winter wheat self rising flour)
    • ½ teaspoon salt
    • 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
    • 1 cup buttermilk, super cold
    • ¼ cup heavy whipping cream, super cold
    • 6 tablespoon real butter, super cold
    • 2 tablespoons butter-flavored vegetable shortening, super cold
    1. Preheat oven to 450 F.
    2. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
    3. In a large bowl add flour, salt and brown sugar.
    4. Whisk until well combined. (may need to sift it to help break up the brown sugar)
    5. Grate the cold butter into the flour mixture.
    6. Add the shortening.
    7. Use a fork, whisk or pastry cutter to cut the butter and shortening into the flour mixture until it resembles large crumbs.
    8. Make a well in the center of the bowl.
    9. Mix together the buttermilk and heavy cream.
    10. Add to the center of well.
    11. Slowly and very gently begin adding the flour mixture into the well.
    12. Stir gently until the flour mixture is moistened (do not over stir)
    13. Generously flour your work surface with flour.
    14. Place dough onto floured surface.
    15. Sprinkle the top of dough with flour and flour your hands as well.
    16. Very gently, knead the dough by folding it in layers a few times while adding more flour, just enough so that the dough is not sticking to your hands or your work surface. (less flour, the better)
    17. Gently pat the dough out into a small rectangle about 1 inch thick.
    18. Flour your biscuit cutter and cut out circles.
    19. Place biscuits on prepared cookie sheet with sides barely touching.
    20. Make a small dent in the center of each biscuit with your finger (this helps tall biscuits rise without falling over)
    21. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until golden. (sometimes mine take up to 14 minutes)
    22. Brush generously with melted butter as soon as they come out of the oven. (don't skip this step)
    23. Serve hot.


    Fresh Strawberry Butter

    May 28th, 2014

    Got fresh strawberries? And a few sticks of real butter? How about a little bit of powdered sugar? Perfect! Now all you need to do is head to the kitchen and whip up some good ol’ fresh strawberry butter!! It will make you feel all homemaker-ish and stuff.

    fresh strawberry butter recipe

    My grandmother made different flavored real fruit butters a lot growing up but strawberry was always my favorite! This fresh strawberry butter is begging for a batch of piping hot and fluffy buttermilk biscuits and I have a great biscuit recipe coming up next.

      fresh strawberry butter recipe

    Slather or dip a soft biscuit in this stuff and you can’t tell me I’m not eating a strawberry shortcake desserts.  If you’ve never had strawberry butter or any kind of fruit butter then you must make it! It’s a great change of pace from regular honey butter but you use it in the exact same way as honey butter. Spread it on hot rolls, toast, bagels, biscuits, muffins, you name it!

    fresh strawberry butter recipe

    Use your favorite soft fruits; blackberries, blueberries or even peaches will work. Store this fresh strawberry butter in the fridge for up to a week or in the freezer for several week. Halve the recipe for a smaller batch. I normally do since we usually get tired of it after about a week.

    strawberry butter recipe1

    It’s fun to make different flavors, freeze them in ice cubes, and then just store the frozen butter cubes in a freezer bag. That way you can just  thaw out whatever fresh fruit butter flavor you need in a small amount. I will say that freshly made fruit butter tastes and looks better than the frozen/thawed version so if I was making this for a brunch or for guest I’d make it fresh.

    fresh strawberry butter recipe

    Watch me make this fresh strawberry butter from start to finish!

    5.0 from 5 reviews
    Fresh Strawberry Butter
    Recipe type: spread
    Serves: 16
    • ½ cup fresh strawberries, diced (make sure they are really sweet and fragrant)
    • 2 sticks real butter, (16 tablespoons) softened
    • ¼ cup powdered sugar
    1. In a large bowl cream butter with a hand mixer until whipped and smooth.
    2. Stir in powdered sugar.
    3. Fold in diced strawberries.
    4. Mix until butter is light pink and creamy.
    5. Store in the refrigerator.


    Easy Cinnamon French Toast

    May 20th, 2014

    Every Fathers Day I make my husband a special breakfast, lunch, dinner and a cake. This year though I’m just doing a really big breakfast since we’ll be out and about all day. (shhhh…don’t tell him)  I’ve already started planning the menu and cinnamon french toast was the first thing I wrote down!

    easy cinnamon french toast recipe

    Wanna know a secret? Ok I’ll tell ya. It took me a few years, yes years, to learn how to make french toast. I don’t know why but my french toast use to always come out soggy in the middle and tough around the edges. Dipping was my problem. I’d dip for too long or not enough. I figured out that you really have to become one with your bread. Listen to it. Feel it. Love it. If the bread is really fluffy and soft then dip that sucker quick and get’er out of there. If it’s a bit drier (which I prefer) then let it sit in the batter for a few seconds. It shouldn’t be so saturated that you can’t pick it up though. It takes a lil practice. Some folks get it right the first time. Boo to them. Show offs!

    easy cinnamon french toast recipe

    Anyway, now that I know how to make it we loooove cinnamon french toast in this house!!  I don’t make it often because it’s so hard to find our preferred bread, texas toast, around here. There is only one store in the area that sells it and most of the time we have to place an order. Like really? It’s freaking texas toast. You could also use brioche. Or something.

    easy cinnamon french toast recipe

    This is one of my favorite recipes to use for cinnamon french toast. It’s easy, delicious, and well, easy! The outside fries up nice and golden and the inside has that amazing light creamy/bread pudding texture (my favorite)! You’ll only need egg yolks  for this recipe. This really prevents that “eggy” taste that french toast can have (although some folks like that) . Those egg yolks also add a nice golden color don’t you think?


    Watch me make this cinnamon french toast from start to finish!

    5.0 from 4 reviews
    Easy Cinnamon French Toast
    Recipe type: breakfast, french toast
    Serves: Make 6 slices
    • 6 slices Texas toast, very lightly toasted if bread is fresh
    • ¾ cup warm milk (can also use a mixture of half n half and milk)
    • 2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
    • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
    • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
    • 2 tablespoon brown sugar
    • 2 Tablespoons melted butter
    • 2-3 eggs yolks
    1. Mix together warm milk and flour until flour is dissolved.
    2. In a small bowl stir together vanilla and cinnamon and add to milk-flour mixture.
    3. Stir in brown sugar and melted butter.
    4. Add in egg yolks and mix until well combined.
    5. Pour batter into a 9 x 13 casserole dish.
    6. Dip both sides of bread until moist but not dripping or completely saturated.
    7. Place bread on a cookie sheet while griddle is heating.
    8. Add butter to griddle and heat over medium heat.
    9. When griddle is hot, place bread on griddle.
    10. Cook until golden, flip and cook the other side until golden.
    11. Serve hot, sprinkled with powdered sugar, whipped butter and hot maple syrup.


    Easy Giant Cookie Cake ~ Soft & Chewy!

    May 15th, 2014

    Cookie pizza, giant cookie cakes, whatever you wanna call them, they are delicious and so FUN to make! Have you ever received or purchased one? They’ll run you about $29.99 for a basic 12-inch. Add decorating and personalization and the price can really add up. Make them yourself and they will look better, taste MUCH better and you’ll be able to make several for the price of purchasing one.  Oh and they are easy!


    I use to pass by them in the mall when I was a kid, wishing I could buy one or that someone would give me one.  My mother surprised me on the last day of 4th grade with my very own homemade giant chocolate chip cookie cake. It was trimmed in purple and pink frosting and the middle  said “I’m so proud of you!”. I couldn’t believe that this huge cookie was all mine! I was in heaven honey!

    Giant cookie cake chocolate chip cookie cake recipe

    Ahhh that was a good day. I decided to surprise Isaac with his first giant cookie cake yesterday. When I told him it was all for him his face lit up and he said “Whaaaaat!!! All for me? Mommy I love it!!!!!”  Gosh I love seeing that kid smile!

    Giant cookie cake chocolate chip cookie cake recipe

    This giant chocolate chip cookie cake recipe is very similar to the m&m cookie bars but the texture comes out different, more fluffier and chewier. My husband took one bite and said “wow it really is like a cookie and a cake”.


    I used all brown sugar in this giant cookie cake recipe to create a really light texture.  It’s amazing how that simple little switch changes up the recipe. Cooking is so cool isn’t it?

    Giant cookie cake chocolate chip cookie cake recipe

    Take one of these giant cookie cakes to a party and you will be loved by all, especially the kids. There is just something about eating a big ol slice of cookie in pizza form that kids love. You can get  really creative and throw in nuts, candy pieces,  etc. and just let your imagination run wild with the decorating. Giant cookie ice cream cake anyone?

    Giant cookie cake chocolate chip cookie cake recipe

    Top each slice with a dollop of vanilla ice cream and chocolate syrup and baaaaaby, things just got real!!!

    Giant cookie cake chocolate chip cookie cake recipe

    Watch me make this giant cookie cake from start to finish!!

    5.0 from 7 reviews
    Giant Cookie Cake
    Cook time
    Total time
    • 12 Tablespoons butter, melted
    • 1 cup brown sugar, packed
    • 1 large egg
    • 1 egg yolk
    • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
    • 2¼ cup all-purpose flour
    • ½ teaspoon salt
    • ½ teaspoon baking soda
    • ½ cup mini chocolate chips + more
    • decorations (m&m's, frosting, sprinkles, etc)
    1. Preheat oven to 325.
    2. Line a 12-inch pizza pan with grease parchment paper. Set aside.
    3. In a large bowl cream together melted butter and brown sugar.
    4. Mix in eggs and vanilla extract.
    5. In a separate bowl whisk together flour, salt and baking soda.
    6. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients, stirring until a soft dough forms.
    7. Fold in mini chocolate chips.
    8. Press dough evenly into prepared pan.
    9. Sprinkle additional mini chocolate chips on top. (optional)
    10. Bake for 13-15 minutes. (do not over bake. Remember cookie will continue to cook as it cools)
    11. Let cookie cool on pan until completely cooled.
    12. Once cooled decorate as desired.
    13. Serve plain or topped with ice cream!


    Homemade Strawberry Fruit Rollup (Fruit Leather)

    May 7th, 2014

    Have you ever made homemade fruit rollups? Why am I just now discovering how easy it is!?! OMG I can’t stop. I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve made these strawberry fruit roll-ups. Yeah I use to be kinda obsessed with fruit roll-ups as a child, still am! Something about peeling them off that plastic paper and taking a big bite of chewy “stuff” was magical!

    homemade strawberry fruit rollups recipe

    The real beauty of these homemade strawberry fruit roll-ups besides tasting amazing and looking amazing (checkout out those natural strawberry seeds!), is that they are made with simply fresh fruit and sugar (if you choose).  All natural strawberry fruit rollups without artificial colors, flavors, corn syrup and other “stuff? Get out of town!!

    homemade strawberry fruit rollups recipe

    Isaac and I have really enjoy making these although he doesn’t like to eat them! He just likes just unrolling and playing with them. Not surprising since he doesn’t like store-bought fruit roll-ups either. Oh well, more for mommy! This is the perfect natural snack for me since I’m trying to lose a few pounds.

    homemade strawberry fruit rollups recipe

    If you’re using super sweet fruit you can totally skip the sugar, but make sure it’s sweet. Unsweetened fruit leather isn’t very appealing, trust me, I’d know.  Make several batches because they go quick and take about four hours to make. 4 hours is a long time, but since the oven temp. is so low you don’t have to worry about heating up your kitchen.  A few yummy combinations I’ll be trying: blackberry-pear, strawberry-spinach,  peach-lemon, and mixed berry.

    Watch me make these homemade natural strawberry fruit roll-ups from start to finish!

    4.5 from 2 reviews
    Fresh Strawberry Fruit Roll-ups
    • 1 pint fresh strawberries, diced
    • sugar (enough to sweeten)
    • fresh lemon juice (optional)
    1. Preheat oven to 170 degrees F.
    2. Line a large baking sheet with a baking mat or parchment paper.
    3. Place strawberries in food processor until blended.
    4. Add enough sugar to sweeten and a splash of lemon juice( if desired).
    5. Pour into prepared pan and spread out into a thin, even layer.
    6. Bake for 4 hours or until the center is set.
    7. Remove from oven and let cool.
    8. Carefully peel up the fruit roll-up and place the sticky, smooth side on parchment paper.
    9. Cut to size so that you have an even rectangle to work with. (I usually cut off the edges of the fruit rollups since they are usually crunchy and uneven.
    10. Cut into 2-inch strips and roll-up firmly.
    11. Store in airtight container.
    Some fruit roll-ups will stay roll-up and others won't, I use a sticker to keep them rolled up. Looks cute!


    Pina Colada Breakfast Smoothie

    May 4th, 2014

    Do you remember when I told you guys that I was starting to really get into homemade protein shakes/smoothies? Well this one isn’t really a protein shake per se, but I just HAD to share it with you guys because it was so good!! Protein shake recipes coming up though!

    pina colad protein breakfast smoothie 1

    This healthy pina colada breakfast smoothie is incredible!! Don’t you just love being able to throw some healthy ingredients into a blender and have a delicious breakfast to-go in a matter of minutes, especially in the warmer months! Wednesday I made this super smooth, creamy and delicious pina colada breakfast smoothie. I didn’t really have high hopes for it, just wanted to use up the coconut yogurt that I got on sale. Low and behold, we all loved it, including Isaac who asked me to make it for his breakfast again the next day.

    pina colada protein breakfast smoothie 2

    It has all the tropical taste of pineapple, coconut and banana and is super filling. If you love pina coladas (who doesn’t!?! Show them to me!) then you are going to really appreciate starting your morning with this incredible breakfast smoothie.

    pina colada protein breakfast smoothie Make it a protein shake by adding your favorite protein powder or using ingredients like coconut greek yogurt and coconut almond milk. Perfect, replenishing drink after a workout.

    pina colad protein breakfast smoothie 3


    Watch me make this Healthy Pina Colada Breakfast Smoothie from start to finish!

    5.0 from 1 reviews
    Pina Colada Breakfast Shake
    Serves: 2
    • 1½ cups coconut milk
    • 1 cup pineapple juice
    • 2 cups frozen pineapple chunks
    • 6 oz coconut yogurt
    • ⅓-2/3 cups quick oats (I usually use a little over ⅓ sometimes more)
    • 2 bananas (frozen makes for best great texture)
    1. Add all ingredients to a blender.
    2. Blend until completely smooth.
    3. Chill for 10-15 minutes if possible to let strong pineapple flavor mellow out a bit.
    4. Serve cold.
    5. Enjoy!


    Live Below The Line Recipe: Cheesy Roasted Potatoes and Sausage

    April 29th, 2014

    What if you had only $1.50 a day to buy breakfast, lunch and dinner? Could you do it? Well thousands of people across the US, UK and Canada are taking on this 5-day challenge starting April 28-May 2  to experience what it’s like for the 1.2 billion people currently living in extreme poverty. The goal is to raise money, educate and bring awareness to this global issue.

    Live Below The Line is an awareness and fundraising campaign that aims to bring attention to extreme poverty through education. They connect individuals to the most effective organizations dedicated to ending extreme poverty.

    To learn more about this project and how you can donate,  participate and make a difference in fighting extreme hunger, visit Live Below The Line website.

    I was asked to share a recipe for those participating in the Live Below the Line $1.50 a day challenge. I knew immediately that I’d post one of my grandmothers favorite childhood meals, cheesy roasted potatoes and sausage.  Her mom made this often to feed her family of 10 on an extremely limited budget.

    Not only is this dish easy, quick, cheap, and very filling but it is flavorful as well.  It uses only 4 basic ingredients, potatoes, onion, sausage and cheese which are very versatile. They can all be used to create many other meals which is neccesary when you are trying to create a menu on such a small amount of money.

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    Cheesy roasted potatoes and sausage can be eaten for breakfast (tastes great in a flour tortilla or in an omelet), lunch or dinner.  We’re a family of 4 (although our 10-month old doesn’t eat much) this meal could serve 4 generously.

    cheesy roasted potatoes and sausage

     Cheesy Roasted Potatoes and Sausage  (serves 4-5 )

    Tips for getting food for less= FARMERS MARKET.

    I’m not sure if grocery stores will discount produce on the spot if they are bruised but the Farmers Market in my area always does. Normally this produce will be thrown away anyway so they will sell them pretty cheap to those willing to pay. Bruised apples are  great for apple sauce. My potatoes were slightly chipped and the peel from my onion had seen better days so I got them super cheap which made this meal possible for only $2.33 combined with a coupon and store sales of the kielbasa (I only used half of it) and factoring in my price for the cheese, olive oil and spices that I already had at home.

    Cheesy roasted potatoes and sausage recipe

    4.9 from 8 reviews
    Live Below The Line Recipe:
    Cook time
    Total time
    Serves: 4
    • 2 large russet potatoes
    • 1 small sweet yellow onion
    • olive oil
    • salt & pepper
    • Italian seasoning
    • 8 oz smoked sausage (I used turkey kielbasa)
    • 1½ cups Cheddar Cheese (I used a mixture of sharp and smoked)
    1. Preheat oven to 400.
    2. Line a large baking sheet with greased foil. Set aside
    3. Dice potatoes into small cubes
    4. Dice onion into small pieces
    5. Place potatoes and onion in a large bowl and toss lightly with olive oil.
    6. Sprinkle and toss generously with salt and pepper.
    7. Sprinkle and toss generously with Italian seasoning.
    8. Spread potatoes mixture evenly in a single layer on prepared pan.
    9. Dice smoked sausage into cubes and sprinkle over potatoes.
    10. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until potatoes are tender.
    11. Immediately top with cheese and return to oven and bake until cheese is melted.
    12. Enjoy!



    Baked Lemon Cake Donuts

    April 26th, 2014

    “Donuts here!! Come get your fresh lemon donuuuuts Raaaalph!!!” What movie is that line from? If you know, then you are really strange and a bit off…like me! We’ll just leave it at that. I won’t tell if you won’t.

    lemon cake donuts recipe

    Well folks it’s happened again!! Remember that lemon kick that I get on every year? It’s started up again!! I’ve made several pitchers of fresh lemonade, lemon ricotta cookies, lemon oatmeal (that was so gross, what the crap was I thinking!?) and now these BAKED LEMON CAKE DONUTS!!!  Just look at them….don’t they make you feel all happy and sunny and stuff?

    lemon cake donuts recipe 5

    You guys have been asking me for a lemon cake for the longest so hopefully these will suffice until I  can get my sisters lemon cake recipe. FYI: I’ve asked her for the recipe several times and she says “she needs to perfect it first”. Humph! Tasted just fine to me! I wonder if that’s her way of telling me “kick rocks lil girl!” ( I hope she’s reading this)

    lemon cake donuts recipe 2

    Oh well, these baked lemon donuts are amazing!!! I’m talking rainbows, unicorns and lollipops amazing!!  Sweet, tart and packed with fresh happy sunny lemon flavor. They are also crazy easy to make and a 1-bowl recipe!! #score!  I felt all Martha Stewartish after I baked up these lemon cake donuts, piled them up on a pretty white plate and went off to fold laundry all before 11 pm.

    lemon cake donuts recipe 1

    They bake up super fluffy and have the texture of a cupcake, but only in donut form. If you prefer a tighter, denser crumb then look somewhere else missy!! Just kidding,  follow the NOTES in the recipe box. Cutting back on the sugar and using oil instead of butter totally changes up the crumb texture. I prefer them light and fluffy though!

    lemon cake donuts recipe 3

    Bake up a dozen of these lemon cake donuts and give them to somebody special to brighten up their day! P.S  You totally count as somebody special. (hint hint)

    Watch me make these Baked Lemon  Cake Donuts from start to finish!

    4.0 from 2 reviews
    Baked Lemon Donuts
    Recipe type: donuts, dessert
    Serves: 1 dozen
    • 1 cup all-purpose flour
    • 1 teaspoon baking powder
    • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
    • ¾ cup white granulated sugar
    • zest of 2-3 large lemons
    • 1 egg, beaten
    • 4 tablespoons butter, softened
    • ½ cup sour cream
    • ¼ cup whole milk
    • ⅛ teaspoon vanilla extract
    • few drops yellow food coloring (optional)
    • 2 cups confectioners sugar
    • ¼ cup hot milk
    • 1½ tablespoon fresh lemon juice
    1. Preheat oven to 350.
    2. Generously grease donut pan, set aside.
    3. In a large bowl whisk together baking powder, baking soda, sugar and lemon zest.
    4. Make a well in the center of bowl.
    5. Add egg, butter, sour cream and milk to the center of well.
    6. Stir only wet ingredients together.
    7. Once wet ingredients are combined, add in the dry ingredients and stir until combined.
    8. Fold in vanilla extract and food coloring.
    9. Add batter to a piping bag.
    10. Pipe batter into doughnut pan, filling about ⅔ full.
    11. Bake for 8 minutes or until donuts spring back when touched.
    12. Let cool in pan for 2 minutes.
    13. Remove donuts to cooling rack to finish cooling completely.
    14. Prepare lemon glaze by combine all lemon glaze ingredients.
    15. Drizzle glaze over completely cooled donuts and let sit until glaze has hardened.
    16. Enjoy!
    Want a denser donut? Use ½ cup sugar and1/4 cup vegetable oil


    Salmon Tacos (Citrus Brown Butter)

    April 16th, 2014

    Have you been in a fish mood lately or is it just me? I swear Spring makes me crave fresh fish, especially fish tacos! I pile that flaky, tender fish onto some chewy, yet crisp baked flour tortillas and load it up with a ton of fresh toppings and I’m happy happy happy!! So good!! Pass the strawberry margarita punch!!

    salmon tacos recipe (fish tacos) citrus brown butter

    If you like fish tacos as well, then making these salmon tacos are a must!! A great fish taco starts with some really great fish right? For this recipe we’re using  fresh salmon and drenching that bad boy in brown butter and citrus flavors!! *swoon* Brown butter is EVERYTHING! I’m obsessed with it these days. And if you’ve never had it then you’re going to be obsessed with too. It just makes everything better and pairs up GREAT with citrusy flavors.


    salmon tacos recipe (fish tacos) citrus brown butter I could eat this citrus brown butter salmon plain, but it just gets even better when you throw it in a flour tortilla shell that’s been heated in the oven so that it’s all chewy on the inside and crisp on the outside. HEAVEN!!! And then to make your tastebuds go crazy, I’m loading the salmon tacos with fresh avocado, sweet corn, lettuce,  tomatoes, onions, and cilantro. If I had black beans I’d probably throw them in there too!! Drizzle on some of that leftover brown butter citrus sauce and baaaaaaaaaayby!!!!

    salmon tacos recipe (fish tacos) citrus brown butter

    These salmon tacos put me in the mood to just sit at the beach, eat tacos and drink margaritas.


     Watch me make these citrus brown butter salmon tacos from start to finish!

    4.7 from 3 reviews
    Brown Butter Citrus Salmon
    Recipe type: main
    • 1.5 pounds fresh salmon fillets, pat dry (I used skin on)
    • ¼ cup honey
    • salt & pepper
    • 7 tablespoons unsalted butter, chopped
    • Juice of 1 lime (1 tablespoon)
    • Juice of 1 lemon (1 tablespoon)
    • 1 tablespoon fresh orange juice
    • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
    • ½ teaspoon salt
    • ½ teaspoon black pepper
    • ½ teaspoon honey (optional)
    • Zest of lemon, lime and orange (optional)
    • 8 flour tortillas, heated in oven until crisp on outside and chewy on the inside (optional)
    • lettuce, shredded
    • tomatoes, chopped
    • avocados, diced
    • sweet corn kernels
    • red onions, diced
    1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
    2. Brush salmon fillets generously with honey and sprinkle generously with salt and pepper.
    3. Place in a foil-lined pan (skin side down). Set aside.
    4. In a light-colored pot, over medium heat, add butter.
    5. Allow butter to melt, stirring often.
    6. When butter has melted continue to stir as the butter begins to foam and bubble slightly.
    7. Keep stirring or swirling the butter constantly as the butter solids begin to turn golden in color and release a fragrant aroma.
    8. *Remove butter from heat immediately and pour into a heatproof bowl. (brown butter can burn fast)
    9. Let cool.
    10. Stir in lime juice, orange juice, lemon juice, garlic powder, honey, salt and pepper into the brown butter.
    11. Pour over salmon fillets.
    12. Bake for 12 minutes. Turn the oven to a low broil and broil for about 2-3 minutes (watch carefully) or until salmon is flaky and tender.
    13. Remove from oven and shred salmon. (add citrus zest if desired)
    14. Place salmon in prepared tortilla shells and top with toppings.
    15. Drizzle on citrus brown butter sauce.
    16. Enjoy!
    *Brown butter can burn fast so remove it from heat and place in a heatproof bowl as soon as butter begins to become golden and release a fragrant aroma. Butter will continue to cook even when it's been removed form heat so you don't want the butter to get too brown. A light golden color is perfect.


    Chocolate Chip Cookie Cheesecake Bars

    April 8th, 2014

    Me and cookie bars are like THIS *crossing fingers*  Baby I love a good brownie/bar cookie recipe!! Matter of fact, you guys are probably gonna get tired of bar cookie recipes this summer because I have several that I’m going to be listing back to back as I prep for a bake sale. I’ve got key lime pie bars, pecan pie bars, butterfinger cookies bars, Oreo cookie bars…you get the point right? You’ve been warned!

    Today though I want to share with you this fab recipe for chocolate chip cookie cheesecake bars!! These are a bake sale favorite of mine! I mean seriously, how can you turn down cheesecake sandwiched between two chewy, soft layers of chocolate chip cookies?

    chocolate chip cheesecake cookie bars recipe

    Cut them into bars,wrap them in plastic wrap, tie a ribbon around them and I kid you not,  watch how fast they sell! I’m not selling these today though, just going through several recipes to see which ones will make the cut. These chocolate chip cookie cheesecake bars are at the top of the winner lists. I mean, just look at those layers of YUM!!

    chocolate chip cheesecake cookie bars recipe

    They are super versatile too. You can throw in some peanut butter chips, holiday m & m’s, nuts, whatever! I didn’t think I’d have any cookie dough left because I kept eating it! Why is cookie dough is so doggone good??? I bet a brownie bottom crust would have been lethal!! Maybe I’ll try that tomorrow. Holy crap I’m gonna be HUGE this summer if I don’t slow down! This is for a good cause though so I’ll take one for the team. *wink*

    chocolate chip cheesecake cookie bars recipe

    What I love most about these chocolate chip cookie cheesecake bars is how chewy the cookie part is even when they are served right from the fridge! The texture of that creamy cheesecake layer and cookie layers are just perfect together!  Your teeth just sinks right in! These cookie bars are magical, rich and addicting. Make up a batch and share them….or…. just eat them all by yourself…. YOLO!!!.


    Watch me make these chocolate chip cookie cheesecake bars from start to finish!!

    5.0 from 1 reviews
    Chocolate Chip Cookie Cheesecake Bars
    Recipe type: dessert,
    • 2¼ cups all purpose flour
    • ½ teaspoon baking soda
    • ½ teaspoon salt
    • 12 tablespoons butter, melted
    • ½ cup granulated sugar
    • 1 cup brown sugar, packed
    • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
    • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
    • 1½ cups semi-sweet chocolate chips, divided, plus more if desired
    • 8 oz cream cheese, softened
    • ¼ cup sour cream
    • 1 egg, slightly beaten
    • ¼ cup powdered sugar
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
    2. Line an 8 x 8 pan with greased 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 and sugars.
    5. Stir in eggs and vanilla extract.
    6. Mix dry ingredients with wet ingredients just until a soft dough forms and flour mixture is incorporated.
    7. Press half of dough into the prepared pan in an even layer.
    8. Cover with 1 cup chocolate chips (can use more/less chocolate chips if desired).
    9. Prepare the cheesecake batter by mixing together the cream cheese, sour cream, egg, powdered sugar and vanilla extract into a large bowl until creamy.
    10. Pour cheesecake batter over chocolate chips and spread evenly.
    11. Mix ½ cup chocolate chips into remaining cookie dough.
    12. Drop remaining cookie dough over cheesecake layer until completely covered.
    13. Sprinkle on more chocolate chips (if desired).
    14. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until center of cookie is set and golden.
    15. Allow bars to cool in pan and then refrigerate for at least 3 hours (Overnight is best)
    16. Slice into bars.
    17. Store in the refrigerator.
    18. Serve cold or room temperature.



    Whipped Chocolate Buttercream Frosting~ The BEST!!

    March 27th, 2014

    Chocolate buttercream frosting is one of my FAVORITE kinds of frosting, especially when its whipped! Although I’m usually not crazy over frostings like some people, I’m a sucker for that buttery, creamy, fluffy, chocolatey buttercream!

    Screen Shot 2014-03-25 at 2.55.31 PM

    I mean just look at the ingredients of this recipe : Real Butter. Cream. Powdered Sugar. Unsweetened Cocoa Powder. Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips. Real Vanilla Extract. Sweet mother of all things Holy!  This stuff is good!

    If you’re looking for an easy, chocolatey and downright delicious old fashioned chocolate buttercream frosting them let me introduce you to this recipe right HURRR! It’s my go-to recipe for crowd-pleasing chocolate buttercream frosting and it’s…well…amazing!!

    This Whipped Chocolate Buttercream Frosting pairs up GREAT with my homemade yellow cake recipe! Check it out!

    homemade yellow cake recipe 3

    (I used a slightly different chocolate buttercream frosting recipe on this cake but after making it again with this whipped frosting OMG! I prefer whipped)

    To make the frosting that I had in the yellow cake video, (pictured above) just omit the heavy cream and follow this mixing method otherwise all other measurements are the same. In a large bowl cream the butter, add powdered sugar and mix until creamy. Mix in cocoa powder. Add in melted chocolate and vanilla extract. Mix until creamy. Stir in a pinch of salt. Done!

    whipped chocolate buttercream frosting recipe

    This whipped chocolate buttercream frosting packs in two kinds of chocolate for that true chocolatey flavor; unsweetened cocoa powder and semi-sweet chocolate chips! The texture of this easy chocolate buttercream frosting is light, airy and fluffy, perfect for frosting soft layered cakes and cupcakes.  I could seriously eat this stuff by the spoonful!

    Don’t be tempted to use milk chocolate chips, dark or semi-sweet works just great and keeps the frosting from becoming too sweet.

    whipped chocolate buttercream frosting recipe

    Tips to making PERFECT Chocolate Buttercream Frosting (or any buttercream frosting)

    1.) Let butter soften at room temperature.  Do not microwave or you may risk melting the butter. Melted butter will make for a super thin frosting and then you’ll have to overcompensate with more powder sugar, etc. Making the frosting waaay to sweet and weird tasting. To speed up the butter softening process you can cut into smaller pieces. I just take a stick out of the fridge in the morning and let it sit until I’m ready to bake. By then it’s super soft, but still hold it’s shape which is what you want. If it’s a last minute frosting and I don’t have 30 minutes to an hour to wait for the butter to soften, I’ll cheat and throw the butter in the microwave for just a few seconds while watching it like a hawk to make sure none of it is melted and then let it sit for about 15 minutes to completely soften.

    2.) Cream that butter well. The first step and important one is making sure you cream that softened butter really well!! This prepares it for all those yummy ingredients!

    3.) Sift any dry ingredients. In this recipe, the only dry ingredients we use are powdered sugar and unsweetened cocoa powder. Sifting gets rid of any lumps and makes it all powdery light. Perfect for frosting!!

    4.) Thin or Thicken carefully. If you feel the frosting is a bit too thick for your liking, thin it out gradually with tiny DROPS of milk or heavy cream (yes a little liquid goes A LONG way in frostings). If it’s too thin, let it sit for a bit FIRST since frostings become firmer as they sit. If it’s still too thin, add  powdered sugar a little at a time. I’m not a fan of this really since it changes the way the frosting will taste. Melting the butter, even a tiny bit, usually causes thinner frostings.

    whipped chocolate buttercream frosting recipe

    Watch me make this Whipped Chocolate Buttercream Frosting Recipe from start to finish!


    4.6 from 8 reviews
    Whipped Chocolate Buttercream Frosting~ The BEST!!
    Recipe type: frosting
    • 1 cup butter (2 sticks), softened, room temperature
    • ½ tablespoon heavy whipping cream
    • 1 teaspoon real vanilla extract
    • ½ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips, melted and cooled
    • ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted
    • 2½ cups powdered sugar, sifted (spoon into measuring cup to measure)
    • pinch of salt
    1. In a large bowl cream butter until fluffy.
    2. Add in heavy cream and mix until light and fluffy.
    3. Mix in vanilla extract.
    4. Mix in melted chocolate chips.
    5. Mix in cocoa powder and powdered sugar until frosting is light, fluffy and whipped.
    6. Stir in salt.
    7. Frost cake or cupcakes.
    8. Store leftover frosting in a covered container in the refrigerator. Let come to room temperature before using.



    March Menu Ideas

    March 23rd, 2014
    Be sure to head over to my savings center to print out free manufacturers coupons for this weeks menu! Click here if you need help planning your menu.

    Hi guys!!

    Last month was ca-raaay-zy! I got off course with menu planning since I had so many projects going on (and yes totally blew our food budget), but today I took the time to plan out my weekly menu so I’m sharing it with you guys first (as opposed to when the week is complete) This way you all can take advantage of the coupons that I’m using and so forth.

    Don’t forget to check what’s on sale in your favorite grocery store using ziplist (in the navigation bar). I hadn’t plan on shopping at Traders Joes this week, but after seeing on zip list  that they had organic chicken breast and organic produce for sale I’ve decided to use them this week. I’m so excited that Spring is here!! There are so many fresh veggies and fruits on sale now!! I’m happy!! You’ll be seeing more fresh produce in my upcoming menus. I’m taking full advantage of what the season has to offer at such a low price!! Happy Menu Planning!!



    Manufacturer Coupons that I’m using this week (you can print them out here) :

    menu planning coupons

    *forgot to include the coupon for snickers, hash browns, and popcorn! You can print those out as well. I’m making Snicker popcorn this week for move night and a hashbown casserole for a family brunch on Sunday.

    Local store sales that I’m using this week: (You can see what’s on sale at your favorite grocery stores through ziplist)

    Trader Joes Sales: Organic Chicken Breast, Baby Spinach, Organic russet potatoes, Organic baby carrots, sweet onion

    Target Sales: Kraft Shredded Cheese, White Grapes, Lean Ground Beef

    Food Lion Sales: Eggland Best Eggs, Fresh Broccoli, Cucumbers, Strawberries, Tomatoes, Green Bell Peppers

    divas can cook menu.002

    Weekly Menu

    Click photos for recipes if available.

    menu good green salad pizza casserole recipe


    Breakfast: Cascadian Farms Organic Fruitful O’s,  Almond milk

    Lunch: Hubby’s Spring Sweet Pea Salad

    Dinner: Pizza Casserole (served with New York Brand Texas Toast and Garden Salad)

    Sweet Green Monster Smoothie Recipe Skinny girl pasta recipe stuffed bell peppers


    Breakfast: Strawberry Green Smoothie (added strawberry yogurt and strawberries to original green smoothie recipe), served with sausage biscuits (frozen)

    Lunch:   Skinny Girl Pasta

    Dinner: Stuffed Bell Peppers

    menu classic egg salad sandwich recipe homemade hamburger helper recipe cheeseburger macaroni


    Breakfast: Organic Fruitful O’s Cereal, Almond milk

    Lunch: Egg Salad Sandwiches (serve with potato chips, grapes, baby carrots)

    Dinner: Homemade Hamburger Helper, served with salad, frozen yeast rolls

    easy baked omelet oven roasted vegetables bacon  Screen-shot-2012-11-08-at-1.58.54-PM-300x156


    Breakfast: Turkey and Gouda Baked Omelet Pinwheels (turkey sausage, smoked gouda, cheese, onions, peppers,)

    Lunch:  Bacon & Chicken Roasted Veggies (added diced chicken breast)

    Dinner:  Family Eat OUT Day!!! (using

    banana nut pancakes recipe  hot turkey and cheese sandwich recipe  grilled honey teriyaki bbq chicken recipe


    Breakfast: Banana Nut Pancakes (using Bisquick), coffee

    Lunch: Hot Turkey & Cheese Sandwiches, homemade cajun fries

    Dinner: Honey Teriyaki Chicken (roasted), serve with glazed sweet carrots, rice, sesame broccoli

    cinnamon roll cinna stacks pancakes recipe  baked homemade chicken nuggets honey mustard dipping sauce recipe Mini sausage & Kale Pizza


    Breakfast: Cinnamon Roll Pancakes (using Bisquick) (serve with scrambled eggs and turkey bacon)

    Lunch:  Homemade Chicken nuggets, (serve with stove top mac n cheese, steamed broccoli)

    Dinner: Mini Sausage Kale Pizzas, green salad

    Sausage Hash Brown Casserole Recipe

    SUNDAY (on Sundays we usually eat up any leftovers from the week and I go grocery shopping. We’re going to a brunch this Sunday so I’m making a hash brown casserole)

    Breakfast: Hashbrown casserole

    Lunch:  Leftover from freezer or I’ll make a dish or soup using leftovers.

    Dinner:  Leftovers from freezer (I freeze leftover dinners from the week )


    Snicker Popcorn, (replace Twix with Snickers), Lemon Ricotta Cookies, Banana Bread (bananas were on sale last week. Got a ton and froze a lot of them),  Healthy Ice Cream Sandwiches (Peanut Butter Banana).

    twix caramel popcorn recipe crunchy caramel popcorn how to make     lemon ricotta sugar cookies recipes lemon glaze recipe  easy moist banana bread recipe healthy ice cream sandwich recipe (strawberry banana)



    Moist Yellow Cake Recipe (Old Fashioned)

    March 21st, 2014

    Why does yellow cakes give folks such a hard time? It’s one of those cakes that if you find a great yellow cake recipe, you stick with it! I’ve been testing out yellow cake recipes off and on for awhile now.

    homemade yellow cake recipe 98

    The problem with homemade yellow cake is:

    1.) It’s hard to find a from scratch yellow cake recipe that has the texture of a fluffy box yellow cake but that buttery, homemade taste of a scratch-made yellow cake. I can’t tell you how many dry, crumbly and/or eggy tasting yellow cakes I’ve had in the past.

    2.) Um…I can’t think of anything else right now.

    homemade yellow cake recipe 1

    I’m here to tell you that YES YOU CAN have a scratch made fluffy, moist, yellow cake with a beautiful crumb texture. YES YOU CAN have that classic buttery-vanilla taste of a homemade yellow cake WITH simple ingredients. YES. YOU.CAN!!! YES. YOU. CAN!!! Sorry I’m literally sitting on the couch watching Nutty Professor  while I write this blog post. Remember that part?

    homemade yellow cake recipe 3

    Anyways, I’ve been fortunate to come across some really good yellow cake recipes, but something in me just can’t seem to stop searching, kinda like with macaroni and cheese. Never satisfied even when you’re satisfied. Well today I want to share the homemade yellow cake recipe I’ve been making for years.

    homemade yellow cake recipe 5

    It’s that classic, old fashioned yellow cake recipe with simple pure ingredients. No butter flavored shortening (which I normally put in cakes) or sour cream or yogurt (which I also love to put in cakes). It’s the kind of yellow cake I grew up eating, with homemade chocolate butter cream frosting, sprinkles and candles (yes yellow cake taste best with  candles. I don’t know why but it just does!)

    homemade yellow cake recipe 0

     This yellow cake recipe is the stuff old school birthdays were made of. You know, when most moms actually made every birthday cake from scratch. Wait, am I telling my age?? I digress…

    homemade yellow cake recipe 8

    This yellow cake recipe bakes up super moist, fluffy and velvety soft without the eggy taste that really irks me. My grandmother occasionally adds in butter flavoring to take the buttery taste over the edge, but I never seem to have that stuff on hand so I don’t add it in. I think it taste great without it. Although, if you really like the taste of boxed yellow cake, you may want to add that butter-flavored extract to replicate the taste.

    homemade yellow cake recipe

    Watch me make this moist, homemade yellow cake from start to finish!

    4.7 from 34 reviews
    Fluffy, Moist Homemade Yellow Cake Recipe
    Cook time
    Total time
    • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened, room temperature
    • 2 cups white sugar
    • 2 eggs, separated, room temperature
    • 3 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
    • 2 cups cake flour
    • 1 tablespoon baking powder
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 1 cup buttermilk, room temperature
    1. Preheat oven to 325.
    2. Grease and flour two 9-inch cake pans. Set aside.
    3. In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar.
    4. Add in egg yolks and vanilla, mixing until fully incorporated. Set aside.
    5. In a seperate bowl combine flour, baking powder and salt.
    6. Gradually add dry ingredients into wet ingredients, alternating with the buttermilk.
    7. Mix until batter is fluffy.
    8. Beat egg whites until foamy and thick.
    9. Fold egg whites into batter and mix until incorporated.
    10. Pour batter into prepared pans and spread into even layers.
    11. Bake for 30-35 minutes.
    12. Remove from oven and let cake cool in pans until pans are warm to the touch.
    13. Carefully remove cakes from pan and place on a cooling rack to finish cooling.
    14. When cakes are completely cooled frost with chocolate buttercream frosting.


    Hubby’s Spring Sweet Pea Salad

    March 16th, 2014

    “OMG I’m sooooo freakin fat today!!!” is what I was saying last week. Do you ever have days like that? When your clothes don’t look/fit right and all you wanna do is lay around and eat  cake and cookies all day? Well that was me last week.

    Meanwhile my hubby is sitting at the table looking fit and trim while munching on a green salad. He replied with “well, if you’d eat these salads I’ve been making, you would feel great like me.”  Whatever! I so didn’t want to hear that, but it’s true.

    good green salad 2

    He’s been hitting up this local salad bar for a few weeks now and bringing home all kinds of different custom made salads. He’s been bragging about how he makes the best salads and how he should open up a salad bar, have his own salad making youtube channel/blog and big daddy this and big daddy that!

    good green salad 1

    Well I decided to taste his latest creation and was pleasantly surprised by this simple little salad! I posted on Facebook last week how good this salad was and asked you guys to come up with a name for it. Lavonda McGowen came up with the name “Spring Sweet Pea Salad” and we loved it. Spring is right around the corner and this salad is perfect for it and I used Spring salad mix!

    Side note: Are you following me on Facebook yet? What are you waiting on, go on over there and chat with me! 

    Anywho, I just knew it would be boring from looking at it, I mean, where’s the frackin’ dressing???!!! I NEEEEED my ranch or caesar!

    good green salad 5

    This salad  ending up rocking my world honey and you all demanded that I post a video ASAP, regardless of how stinkin’ easy it is to make. Well your wish is my command. Hubby immediately went to the store to get the  ingredients so I could make this video for you guys. He’s such a sweetie pie aint he? He doesn’t have a  brother. Sorry.

    green salad 7

    I’m not really sure what makes this salad so good. It’s the slight sweetness of the sweet peas, the saltiness of the black olives, the nutty crunch of the sunflower seeds, juicy cucumbers and those diced hardboiled eggs!  It’s a beautiful medley I tell ya! And let’s not forget about the simple olive oil dressing.

    Yes that olive oil dressing and everything seasoned lightly with salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder and black pepper. It really lets all the flavors shine through, unlike when I drench my salad in ranch or casesar. I will def. stick to this salad dressing, which says A LOT because I am loyal to my ranch and caesar baby.

    good green salad

    This is how a green salad should taste.  Fresh, light and bursting with all kinds of flavors! Kudos to you honey bunch not only have you introduced me to my favorite chocolate chip cheesecake cookie bites but you’ve also created my new favorite green salad! You were clearly made for me!

    Watch me make Hubby’s Spring Sweet Pea Salad from start to finish!

    5.0 from 2 reviews
    Hubby's Spring Sweet Pea Salad
    Serves: 1
    • 2 cups mixed salad greens ( I used Spring mix)
    • 1 - 1½ tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (just enough to barely coat the leaves)
    • ⅛ teaspoon onion powder
    • ⅛ teaspoon garlic powder
    • ¼ teaspoon salt
    • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
    • ¼-1/2 cup cucumbers, chopped
    • ½ cup frozen sweet peas, thawed
    • 1 hard boiled egg, diced
    • 1-2 tablespoon unsalted sunflower seeds
    • ¼-1/2 cup black olives
    • 1-2 tablespoons cheddar cheese, shredded
    1. Place lettuce on a serving plate
    2. Coat lettuce leaves lightly with olive oil.
    3. Combine spices and sprinkle generously over salad. (you won't need all of the spice mixture)
    4. Toss to distribute spices.
    5. Add toppings. Throw on as much as you like. I usually don't measure this out but included a rough estimate above.
    6. Enjoy.
    I never really measure anything out. I just load on the toppings normally.
    You can also add the olive oil and spices last if you wanted everything to be coated.


    Chewy Chocolate Peanut Butter Chip Cookies

    March 6th, 2014

    Chocolate and peanut butter. Peanut butter and chocolate. Why do they go so well together?? It’s like a match made in heaven, these two! If something is peanut butter and chocolate there is a 95% chance that I’m gonna love it. Such is true with these chewy chocolate peanut butter chip cookies!

    2 chewy chocolate peanut butter chip cookies recipe

    These cookies are like the beautiful offspring of a chewy homemade brownie and a bakery soft cookie. They are dangerous. Super chocolatey with that old-fashioned cocoa taste and just the right amount of sweet peanut butter.  You’re totally gonna crave a tall glass of ice cold water or milk and  oh yeah, one cookie is NEVER enough. Don’t even think you are just gonna “taste one” not happening.

    chewy chocolate peanut butter chip cookie recipe 14

    I’m down 5 lbs so far simply by cutting back on my sugar intake, however I was helpless to these chocolate peanut butter chip cookies. I ate one after the other as soon as they came out of the oven and about 4 more once they’d cooled down. And I just HAD to eat another one for photos sake and another to know how to fully explain them for this blog post.  So…I’m just gonna like…. blame you guys for my beastly attack on these cookies, mmkay? Oh come oooon, take one for the team.

    chewy chocolate peanut butter chip cookies recipe

    It seems like these cookies were even better the next day. I kept them in the fridge and they were still chewy and soft.

    chewy chocolate peanut butter chip cookie recipe 5

    I don’t normally add chocolate chips to this recipe but I must admit, I enjoyed the semi-sweet chocolate morsels in there. Peanut butter chips are delicious and I’d been trying to think of something to do with them for about a week now.  What a great way to use to them up! Totally worth any cellulite I may have added.

    1 chewy chocolate peanut butter chip cookies recipe

    My hubby and son loves Reese cups so I knew chocolate peanut butter chip cookies wouldn’t last long, which means I wouldn’t have to be tempted for days. Isaac kept saying “ahhhh man I wish I could just have one more!” lol I know his pain. Cookies are such a weakness for all of us.

    chewy chocolate peanut butter chip cookie recipe 13

    Watch me make these chewy chocolate peanut butter chip cookies from start to finish!

    4.8 from 4 reviews
    Chewy Chocolate Peanut Butter Chip Cookies
    Serves: 30 cookies
    • 10 tablespoons butter, softened
    • ½ cup white sugar
    • ½ cup brown sugar, packed
    • 1 egg
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • 1¼ cup all-purpose flour
    • ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder, can use less if desired.
    • ½ teaspoon baking soda
    • ¼ teaspoon salt
    • ½ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
    • ¾ cup peanut butter chips, divided (may need more or less)
    1. Preheat oven to 350.
    2. Line baking sheet with parchment paper or non-stick cooking mat. Set aside.
    3. In a large bowl cream together butter and sugars.
    4. Mix in egg and vanilla extract. Set aside.
    5. In a medium bowl whisk together flour, baking soda, salt and cocoa powder.
    6. Add dry mixture into wet mixture. Stirring slowly until dry mixture is completely incorporated.
    7. Add semi-sweet chocolate chips and about ½ cup of peanut butter morsels.
    8. Use a mini ice cream scoop to scoop dough out and place onto prepared pans about 1½ inches apart.
    9. Press several peanut butter morsels into each dough ball.
    10. Bake for 7-8 minutes. Cookies will not be done.
    11. Remove from oven and leave cookies on cookie sheet to finish cooking.
    12. When pan is warm, place cookies on a cooling rack to finish cooling.
    13. Enjoy!!





    Best Southern Fried Apples

    March 3rd, 2014

    I have a serious emotional connection to southern fried apples.  There is just something about them that takes me back to childhood Sunday mornings. Every Sunday my grandmother would make a fully loaded breakfast that consisted of butter grits, homemade biscuits, scrambled eggs, hash browns, sausage, bacon, and yes, some good ol southern fried apples!!

    southern fried apples recipe 12
    That sweet, buttery cinnamon aroma drifted and lingered throughout the entire house and it was heavenly. Breakfast just wasn’t the same if fried apples didn’t make it in the line up.

    southern fried apples recipe 3

    Living in the south all of my life, I’ve had my share of “just ok” southern fried apples. It’s easy to get fried apples wrong. Very wrong. From using water, too much brown sugar,  overcooking, over spicing and so on. This southern fried apples recipe is the BEST! And I’m not just saying that because it’s just like my grandma Barb makes hers (ok maybe that’s why a teeny tiny bit).

    southern fried apples recipe

    The key to a good pan of southern fried apples is to keep it simple. No need to get all fancy schmancy by adding in syrups, extracts, juices, cornstarch, etc. I use to get all elaborate with my fried apples until I saw how my grandmother made hers. Simple just works.

    southern fried apples recipe 10

    These southern fried apples are pure perfection. Tart, sweet and spiced just right and not to mention easy as pie!! Get it? Apples. Pie. Get it? Ok never mind I’ve got nothing.

    Use these fried apples as a side dish for breakfast or dinner, throw them on top of biscuits, cornbread or ice cream and you’ve got something special.

    They are a true southern comfort food and just thinking about them makes me smile. I hope they will make you smile too : )

    southern fried apples recipe 9 


    1. Use granny smith apples. They have that perfect firm yet tender texture when cooked and the tartness goes great with the sweetness of the syrup
    2. Peel the apples.
    3. Do not overcook. You want firm to the touch, yet tender to the bite with just a tiny bit of resistance. Mushy fried apples are gross and if you do accidentally overcook them never admit defeat! Turn them into country fried applesauce and pretend that you totally meant to do that.
    4. Use real, sweet cream butter. No spreads, olive oils, etc. Many folks down south swear by using lard. I prefer the taste of butter but hey, whatever floats your boat.


    Watch me make these southern fried apples from start to finish!

    5.0 from 1 reviews
    Best Southern Fried Apples
    • 2 large granny smith apples
    • 4 tablespoons real butter, chopped
    • Juice of ½ lemon
    • 2 tablespoons white sugar
    • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
    • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
    1. Peel, core and cut apples into even slices.
    2. Melt butter in skillet over medium heat.
    3. Add apples and drizzle them with lemon juice.
    4. Let apples simmer until most of butter is absorbed and apples are tender. (do not overcook. Apples should be firm to the touch, yet tender with a little give to the bite.)
    5. Stir together sugars and sprinkle them over apples.
    6. Toss to combine.
    7. Lower heat if needed.
    8. Let apples cook until sugars are completely dissolved and syrupy.
    9. Remove from heat and sprinkle apples with cinnamon.
    10. Toss to distribute cinnamon.
    11. Plate apples and serve piping hot!
    Cooking time will vary based on apples used and thickness of apples.
    Granny smith makes the best apples for fried apples.



    Healthy Ice Cream Sandwiches (Strawberry Banana)

    February 19th, 2014

    I’ve been doing a great job at cutting back the amounts of junk food sweets I’ve been eating. It sure hasn’t been easy especially when I want to make a Dove chocolate cheesecake so bad. Oh and a caramel pecan streusel pound cake. Did I mention I got a doughnut pan last month and have been dying to make some sour cream cake doughnuts? And I saw some carrot cake cookies on food network the other day….did you hear me, CARROT.CAKE.COOKIES. YALL. Omg *sigh* You get the point right, this struggle is real!! I do have a Saturday cheat day though. *Whew*

    healthy ice cream sandwich recipe (strawberry banana) 2

    Thankfully I’ve stocked my freezer and pantry with healthier desserts and snacks to help me through this trying time and it’s WORKING! Oh and I almost forgot those little Girl Scout trolls have just started resurfacing with their delicious boxes of cookies and sweet smiles!! FML!!! Ok breath Monique.

    healthy ice cream sandwich recipe (strawberry banana) 4

    Like I was saying, I have some tricks in my own little bag, one of them being these healthy ice cream sandwiches. I won’t sit here and tell you they taste just like ice cream sandwiches or even better, because they don’t. They just aren’t those soft, chocolately vanilla ice cream bars of nostalgic heaven I grew up with. But they are a tasty little treat that won’t leave you feeling guilty after eating it and conquers the “sweets demon” like a pro. Enough for me. I’ll definitely continue making these. They rock!

    healthy ice cream sandwich recipe (strawberry banana) 6

    I really wanna try banana chocolate and banana peanut butter next. And peach banana. I hear that peaches also “cream” up when frozen and pureed  so maybe I’ll try a peaches and cream batch as well. These babies will be my saving grace this summer I just know it! Hello felt stomach, my you sure look nice!!

    healthy ice cream sandwich recipe (strawberry banana) 1

    These health strawberry banana ice cream sandwiches are made simply with ripe frozen bananas that have been blended to create a creamy ice cream texture, a few fresh sweet strawberries sandwiched between two organic,natural graham crackers. I like how clean these healthy ice cream sandwiches are. I can pronounce all of the ingredients. Win!

    healthy ice cream sandwich recipe (strawberry banana)

    It’s super important that your banana and strawberries are really sweet for the best taste!

    Make up a batch, wrap them in plastic wrap, place them in a freezer bag and stash them away in the freezer for when an ice cream attack hits. You’ll thank yourself.

    healthy ice cream sandwich recipe (strawberry banana) 5

    Watch me make these Healthy Strawberry Banana Ice Cream Sandwiches from start to finish!


    ****Update*** I made a batch of peanut butter banana and banana nutella today and they are by far my favorites so far!!! I’d recommend dividing the banana cream up so that you can make and taste a variety and pick your favorite to create a large batch. 

    5.0 from 3 reviews
    Healthy Ice Cream Sandwiches (Strawberry Banana)
    Serves: 11
    • 5 ripe bananas
    • ¾ cup sweet diced strawberries (can use other fruits)
    • 11 sheets of graham crackers (I used Organic cinnamon sugar & chocolate)
    1. Slice bananas into disk.
    2. Place in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with parchment.
    3. Freeze for 2 hours or until frozen.
    4. Place banana slices in a food processor and blend until creamy.
    5. Scoop banana into a large bowl and fold in dice strawberries.
    6. Line an 8 x 8 dish with parchment paper.
    7. Spread banana mixture into the pan in an even layer.
    8. Freeze.
    9. Cut banana mixture into squares (use a graham cracker as a pattern)
    10. Assemble ice cream sandwiches.
    11. Wrap in plastic wrap and place in a freezer bag to store.



    Sausage, Spinach, & Tomato Queso Blanco Dip

    February 19th, 2014

    Picture this: It’s Saturday. I’m relaxing on the couch, munching on sour cream guacamole chips, watching reality TV (don’t judge me), while waiting on my clay facial mask to dry. My phone buzzes with a text message that says, “On our way!” You can imagine the look on my face, right? We’ve all been there.

    I totally forgot I was hosting a family meeting. Thankfully, I had completed my weekend marathon house cleaning. Gosh, I’ve got to stop cramming my cleaning in like that. So now I just needed to get normal looking and think of a quick, easy and delicious appetizer. My family consists of serious foodies and appetizers are mandatory for any and every occasion.

    queso blanco

    So here I am fumbling through the fridge, grabbing random ingredients like I’m competing on Top Chef.

    My fridge was stocked with Johnsonville Sausage, since I was supposed to be cooking with the sausage in honor of Mardi Gras for an upcoming blog post (which you’re reading right now).

    Johnsonville Chicken Sausage is packed with flavor. And unlike most other fully cooked sausages, Johnsonville doesn’t use any filler, which makes for a juicy and firm texture and bite. I grabbed a pack of Johnsonville Chicken Sausage Chipotle Monterey Jack Cheese and said, “Ok baby, show me what you’re working with!” Yes, I really talk to my food. You should too.

    I decided on a quick and easy Sausage, Spinach and Tomato Queso Blanco Dip. I didn’t have all the ingredients that I needed so I improvised. The results were great and we were scraping down the pan by the end of the evening. Mission completed.  

    queso blanco1

    The rock star ingredient in this recipe is definitely the Johnsonville Chicken Sausage – packed with just the right amount of heat from the chipotle peppers and that creamy Monterey Jack cheese, have mercy! It’s like it was made for this dip.

    Johnsonville has a bunch of delicious sausage flavors, which you can check out here. I’ve only had the chicken varieties and they did not disappoint, so bold and full of flavor.

    One of the reasons why I agreed to review Johnsonville Sausages is because I’ve been cooking with them for years. I no longer eat pork (which is why you won’t find any pork recipes on this blog) so I’m very limited on the types of fully cooked sausages I can eat. You know the struggle if you’re in the same boat.

    queso blanco3

    With Johnsonville, I can throw that juicy chicken sausage right in between a bun and have that firm texture and bite that I use to love with pork sausages. And of course the mom in me loves that they are made with the best cuts of chicken and without fillers. They make for a perfect party food, whether it’s an unexpected family meeting or a Mardi Gras celebration.

    Have you ever tried Johnsonville Sausages?  If so, which flavor is your favorite? If not, which flavor would you most like to try?

    Leave your comment below and automatically be entered to win a $100 Visa gift card!


    Visit the Johnsonville’s website to view all of their delicious sausage varieties!

    And while you’re at it, here’s the recipe for that delicious Sausage, Spinach, & Tomato Queso Blanco Dip!


    4.7 from 48 reviews
    Sausage, Spinach, & Tomato Queso Blanco Dip
    • 1 tablespoon butter
    • 1 jalapeño, seeded, finely diced
    • ¼ cup red onions, finely diced
    • 2 Johnsonville Chicken Sausage Chipotle Monterey Jack Cheese, diced
    • ½ cup spinach, finely diced
    • 1 large tomato, seeded, finely diced
    • 4 oz. can diced green chilies(optional)
    • ¾ cup heavy cream
    • 1 lb. White American cheese, shredded
    • ¼ cup milk, plus more if desired
    • 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, diced
    1. Melt butter in a deep skillet over medium heat.
    2. Add onions and jalapeno and cook until tender.
    3. Add sausage and spinach and cook until sausage is heated.
    4. Add tomatoes and diced green chilies, if using.
    5. Stir in heavy cream and cheese.
    6. Continue stirring until cheese is completely melted.
    7. Add enough milk to reach desired consistency.
    8. Stir in cilantro.
    9. Serve immediately with tortilla chips
    Note: The cheese and sausage adds enough sodium so I served this dip with unsalted tortilla chips and buttered baguettes.


    Sweepstakes Rules:
    No duplicate comments. You may receive (2) total entries by selecting from the following entry methods:
    1. Leave a comment in response to the sweepstakes prompt on this post.
    2. Tweet (public message) about this promotion; including exactly the following unique term in your tweet message: “#SweepstakesEntry”; and leave the URL to that tweet in a comment on this post.
    3. Blog about this promotion, including a disclosure that you are receiving a sweepstakes entry in exchange for writing the blog post, and leave the URL to that post in a comment on this post.
    4. For those with no Twitter or blog, read the official rules to learn about an alternate form of entry.
    This giveaway is open to US Residents age 18 or older. Winner 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.  

    The Official Rules are available here.

    This sweepstakes runs from 2/19 – 3/23.

    Be sure to visit the Johnsonville Sausage brand page on where you can read other bloggers’ reviews and find more chances to win!    


    I use ZipList! Do you??

    February 17th, 2014

    FINALLY I’ve joined Ziplist! A lot of you guys have asked me about it and I’ve been procrastinating for the longest. (I’m horrible at putting stuff off) but this year I am determined to stay focused and just “get’er done!” when it comes to many areas of my life, including my blog.  I’ve remodeled my blog a little. Can you tell? Mainly just to tidy up a little bit and add a few new helpful features.

    divas can cook

    Ziplist is one of those helpful features! You see that little recipe box up there in my navigation bar? Well you can now add any recipe from my site to that box and even use it to create menus, and shopping lists. And not just from my site, but from a TON of other popular food sites as well.

    If you’ve never heard of or used ziplist then you are gonna love it and I’m super excited to be the one to introduce you to what could possibly change your life!!  It’s basically designed to make meal planning and grocery shopping easier and boy does it!  You can sync it up with your cell phone so you can have your grocery list, menus, recipes, with you and even menu plan on the go which I love! Best of all IT’S FREE!

    You can read more about all the cool features right here. 


    divas can cook

    Once you sign up, you can start using it right away. I love all the features but one of my favorites is the section that shows me what’s on sale in the grocery stores in my area. I plan my weekly menus off of what I already have in my kitchen and what’s on sale so this really helps me out. *side note* Look, Whole Foods has chicken breast for $2.99/ lb this week!! Yep, best believe I’ll be taking advantage of that!

    I also love that I can share my list with my hubby. He is the designated “food runner” for this site. He goes out almost every day for ingredients for Divas Can Cook and my other two food blogs (coming soon!) because I’m ALWAYS forgetting something. Gosh I love that man!

    Ziplist is also super easy to use which is a plus because I HATE leaning new things. Wait, that sounded bad didn’t it? I actually love to learn but I don’t like fooling with apps or programs that are meant to simplify my life but requires a lot of time to figure out how to use it. Does that sound better?

    But anyway, back to Ziplist being easy to use. Let’s say you want to make my scrumptious, easy red velvet cupcakes! Simply go to the recipe on my site and click on the little blue save button. Voila! You now have that recipe in your stash.

    divas can cook


    Once you add the recipe to your recipe box, you can now add it to your weekly/monthly menu. Yep you can sit in the boring waiting room and pass time by planning out your families menu.

    divas can cook

    Or send the ingredients to your grocery list. You can add other ingredients that you need to take off the ones you already have. Ziplist does all the work for you. You can even tag recipes like “Taco Night” so that you’ll have a stash of recipes to refer to whenever you need a good one for Taco Night or “Must Try” to create a group of recipes that you want to eventually get around to trying.

    Screen Shot 2014-02-17 at 4.22.13 PM

    Pretty cool huh?

    Have you used zip list yet?

    Whatcha waiting on?  Get Started!!



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    Pizza Jalepeno Poppers

    February 17th, 2014

    I started poppin’ jalapeños back in ’09. (I love saying that)  I use to always pass them up at parties because jalapeños stuffed with “stuff” just didn’t appeal to me. When I tried my first one I was hooked!  They quickly became one of my favorite appetizers. Mainly because they are so doggone easy to make and you can pretty much use whatever ingredients you have on hand to create a unique stuffed jalapeño popper or keep it simple with just cheddar cheese and cream cheese.

    pizza jalapeño poppers recipe

    I’ve made many varieties:  bacon & cheddar, philly cheesesteak, chicken alfredo, you name it! One of my favorites are these hot, cheesy pizza jalepenos poppers. Who doesn’t love pizza right? No, like seriously, who doesn’t love pizza?!? Show them to me because I seriously need to ask “WHY?!” Pizza is the best food on the planet. Take all of those flavorful pizza toppings and cram them inside of a jalepeno and you’ve got yourself a little party inside of your mouth.

    The recipe is pretty simple and you can customize it by adding your favorite pizza toppings.

    Wanna see how I make them? Let’s Go! You can find my Pizza Jalapeño Poppers recipe over on Hidden Valley!

    1 Comment "

    Easy Red Velvet Cupcakes

    February 12th, 2014

    My red velvet cake recipe is one of the most popular recipes on this blog. Recently I used my red velvet cake recipe to make red velvet cupcakes and wasn’t too thrilled with the texture anymore. (I get bored quick with a lot of things) They were too light and fluffy, yes that’s totally possible.

    easy red velvet cupcakes recipe easy cream cheese frosting recipe

    Great for a cake, not so good for cupcakes baked in paper liners. It could have been a user error since I know so many of you guys have raved about how good of a cupcake that batter makes. If you are content with it then by all means, continue using that recipe.

    easy red velvet cupcakes recipe easy cream cheese frosting recipe

    Hoooowever, I like my cupcakes to be light, fluffy  yet have some density to them so that they don’t tear apart at all when you pull off the paper. I remedied this situation easily with the one-bowl mixing method,  reducing the amount of oil and changing the ingredients ever so slightly. I also made sure I didn’t overfill the cupcake liners.

    easy red velvet cupcakes recipe easy cream cheese frosting recipe

    The results: Perfectly soft yet sturdy, super moist and delicious red velvet cupcakes with the perfect “is this is a box cake?” texture and classic, southern red velvet taste.

    Screen Shot 2014-02-12 at 1.00.34 PM

    These red velvet cupcakes are finished off with a super easy 3-ingredient cream cheese frosting and  a sprinkling of pecan pieces. Easy, peasy, delicious!

    easy red velvet cupcakes recipe easy cream cheese frosting recipe

    Watch me make these easy red velvet cupcakes from start to finish!

    4.2 from 25 reviews
    Easy Red Velvet Cupckes
    Recipe type: dessert, cupcakes
    Serves: 2 dozen
    • 2 cups sugar
    • ¾ cup vegetable oil
    • 2 eggs, room temperature
    • 1 cup buttermilk, room temperature
    • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
    • 1 oz red food coloring
    • ½ cup hot water
    • 1 teaspoon white distilled vinegar
    • 2 cups all-purpose flour
    • 1 teaspoon baking soda
    • 1 teaspoon baking powder
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 2 Tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
    • 1 (8 oz) cream cheese, room temperature
    • 4 tablespoons butter, softened at room temperature (do not melt)
    • 2 cups powdered sugar
    1. Preheat oven to 325
    2. In a large bowl mix together sugar and oil until well combined.
    3. Beat in eggs until mixture is uniform in color.
    4. Add in buttermilk, vanilla extract and food coloring.
    5. Mix until well combined.
    6. Mix in hot water and distilled vinegar.
    7. Add flour.
    8. Mix together baking soda, baking powder, salt and add to bowl.
    9. Add in cocoa powder.
    10. Mix to combine all ingredients.
    11. Line a muffin pan with cupcake liners.
    12. Pour ¼ cup of batter into each liner.
    13. Bake to 18-20 minutes or until tops are spongey to the touch. (do not over cook. SEET NOTE*)
    14. Remove from oven and let cupcakes sit in pan for 5 minutes.
    15. Place cupcakes on a cooling wrack to finish cooling.
    16. Make the frosting by creaming together cream cheese and butter. Slowly add in powdered sugar and beat until creamy.
    *DO NOT OVER COOK-It's ok if a few crumbs cling to the toothpick if doing the toothpick doneness method. In this case, cupcakes will finish cooking as it cools in the pan and be perfectly moist when cooled.




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