Friday, December 31, 2010

Baby Cakes

For Christmas I asked for a mini cupcake maker. My husband actually bought it for me, which was surprising because he really thought it was dumb.

I am surprised at everything it makes. Quiche , mini pies, and of course muffin and cupcakes.

So for a NYE party we are attending I made red velvet w/ cream cheese frostings. French vanilla w/ vanilla and chocolate frosting. And of course, chocolate with chocolate frosting and some with vanilla frosting.

I did cheat this time and used box mixes, but in the future I hope to make more with different from scratch recipes.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Still around

It has been a very long time. I am still around just not in the kitchen much at all. I am hoping to change that soon with some holiday baking.

Is there anything you love to make at the holidays?

Sunday, October 24, 2010

shameless plus

do you swag? I do and LOVE it. I have earned swagbucks which I turned into amazon giftcards. I use it a lot and love it.

Search & Win

Thursday, October 7, 2010

more fall baking

The weather is nice. The bread is gone and so are the apple bars. So, back in to the kitchen I went.Baking is a fun activity for me . I could spend all day baking.

We are having beef burgundy for dinner, so I wanted a roll to go with them. I found a recipe for the best dinner rolls so I gave them a try. Very good. We will definitely have these again.

I also made spiced apple cake . It came from the Williams- Sonoma New Healthy Kitchen :Desserts cookbook. It is pretty good, very moist. I drizzled caramel on Jays and he liked it that way.

All Fall

My friend Kara invite me to join up with some other military bloggers with a weekly topic. I thought it might be fun.

This week is all about fall.

Favorite things about fall:

Living in the south the biggest thing would be the cooler temperatures. It is so hot here most of the year, that fall it finally starts to cool off a little.

Fall is my favorite season. I love all things apples and all things pumpkin. Sweaters and boots. Hot chocolate and pumpkin spice lattes. Little kids asking for candy in cute costumes. College football. And the start of hockey.

I can open the windows and let some fresh air in. Lighting pumpkin and harvest scented candles.

Of course, fall baking. Apple pies and cakes. Pumpkin pies, breads, and muffins. It is cool enough to turn up my oven and not be overly hot in my kitchen.

Fall Decor:

I do not have a lot out yet, I would like to do more, but havent bought much yet.

Halloween Costumes:

We do not dress up unless we are going to party, so no pics of that.

Monday, October 4, 2010

beautiful fall baking day

Today was a great day for baking. It was cool. I could open up the windows and enjoy fall. Turning on the oven was actually nice.

A friend of mine posted this on facebook last week. They sounded so good. So I made them today. Glazed Apple Bars.

Note - I do not have a jelly roll pan. So I made it in a 9 by 13 pan. I baked for 50 min. They turned out great.

I also wanted some fall bread. So I found a bread recipe for oatmeal bread. It was so good.

Honey Oatmeal Bread.

We cut it tonight and I sampled it. Pretty good. A little dense, but for snacking bread that is OK.

I used about 6 c flour. And i baked it at 375 for 30 min.

recipe #5

For me I found this spicy . It was not to bad , but I do not like spice, at all. My husband said it was not spicy at all.

This came from Williams-Sonoma Slow Cooker cookbook

Chicken and Sausage Gumbo

2 T olive oil
4 skinless boneless chicken thighs
3/4 lb andouille sausage
1/2 lb okra
1 red bell pepper seeded and chopped
3 stalks celery chopped
1 yellow onion chopped
2 T flour
2 c chicken broth
1 can diced roma tomatoes
1/4 t cayenne pepper
steamed rixe

In a large frying an over med-high heat, warm 1 T of the oil. Add the chicken and cook until lightly browned on all sides, about 8 min. Transfer the chicken to the slow cooker, then add the sausages. Scatter the okra, bell pepper, celery and onion on top.l

Return the frying pan to med-high heat and add the remaining 1 T oil Sprinkle the flour in the pan and cook, stirring constantly, until golden brown, about 4 min. Stir in the broth and the tomatoes with their juices and raise the heat to med0high. When the mixture comes to a boil, removes the pan from the heat. Season with 1/2 t salt and the cayenne and then pour over the vegetables, chicken and sausages.

Cover and cook on the high heat setting for 4 hrs or the low heat setting for 8 hrs. Season to taste with salt and cayenne. Ladle the gumbo over steamed rice and serve.

I will definitely make this again, if only for Jay.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Recipe #4

Well, Recipe #4 was a keeper. I kept it simple and roasted a chicken. Which was perfect because yesterday was a very cool fall day in the south.

I used a recipe from my Today's Kitchen Cookbook (if you are new here, cookbook links are in cookbook name and if I link a recipe or a blog it will be in the name)

Perfect Roast Chicken

1 6lb roasting chicken
1 lemon
1 large onion *peeled
1 sprig fresh rosemary
1/2 c white wine (I just used cooking wine)

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Clean and rinse chicken, drain well, and pat dry.

Cut the lemon in half, crosswise, and squeeze the juice directly onto the chicken skin, rubbing it in as you squeeze. Cover all the skin with lemon juice. Place the onion and rosemary into the cavity of the chicken.

Place the chicken on a rack in a heavy roasting pan. Pour the wine into the roasting pan and place in preheated over. ROast for 30 min. Lower the heat to 375 and continue to roast for another hour or until the chicken skin is golden-brown and crisp, thigh meat is soft to the touch, and an instant read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the breast reads 155 degrees F.

Remove the chicken from the oven and let stand 5 min. Carve and serve.

We loved this. I seasoned my bird with pepper and garlic salt. The rosemary added a nice flavor to the bird. It was an easy recipe and very quick and easy.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Recipe #3

Not every recipe can be a keeper right? And it is OK to have an epic fail in the kitchen right? I keep telling myself this. Dinner last night was horrible, to say the least. I could not even eat it. Jay finished his, said it was edible. I read the recipe wrong and used three times the amount of lemon I was suppose to . It was so lemony that is tasted acidic. Not a good dinner. Oh well. Dessert was awesome.

I was in the mood for something fallish . And I had apples. So I went to I just searched apple. And this is what I decided on.

Apple Strudel

It was so good. Oh so good. I didnt use caramel with mine, but Jay did. Also, I luckily read the comments first and made 2 full strudels and one small one. It was so much topping and the sheets were small. The last little I made for a friend and picked out the raisins in hers. I liked what the raisins added though.

It makes A LOT of glaze, so I recommend cutting that in half. Also, I drained my raisins after sitting as the comments said to do.

I will be making this again soon. It was so easy and good.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Recipe #2

This recipe was compliments of a friend. She posted on facebook. It looked good, so we tried it. Two thumbs up.

No Bake Tamale Pie

Easy Skillet Meals Good Housekeeping Favorite Recipes

We tried a new recipe tonight and really liked it so I thought I would share.


4 teaspoons vegetable oil (I use Olive Oil)
1 small onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed with garlic press
1 pound lean ground beef (or turkey)
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 log (16 ounces) precooked polenta, cut crosswise into 8 slices
1 jar (16 ounces) medium hot salsa
1 cup frozen whole-kernel corn
1/2 cup loosely packed fresh cilantro leaves, chopped

1. In nonstick 12-inch skillet, heat 2 teaspoons oil over medium-high heat. Add onion and cook until golden, about 3 minutes. Stir in garlic; cook 30 seconds.

2. Stir in ground beef and cook, breaking up meat with side of spoon, until meat is no longer pink, about 5 minutes. Add chili powder, cumin, and salt; cook 1 minute.

3. In nonstick 10-inch skillet, heat remaining 2 teaspoons oil over medium-high heat. Add polenta slices, and cook until golden on both sides and heated through, about 10 minutes.

4. Meanwhile, add salsa and grozen corn to meat mixture; cook 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in cilantro.

5. Spoon meat mixture into deep-dish pie plate or shallow 1 1/2-quart casserole. Arrange polenta on top.

We enjoyed this. I added cheese and some sour cream to mine . I found it spicy , but I have a wimpy spice level. Jay said it did not taste to spicy to him.

Recipe #1

From Sunday - Thursday I will be making a new recipe.

Day one came from Williams-Sonoma Food Made Fast : Slow Cooker

Sorry, no picture , I forgot. Oh well.

Sauerbraten with Red Cabbage

Boneless beef chuck roast 3-4 lbs
salt and freshly ground pepper
1 tsp ground ginger
2 chopped yellow onions
1 cup beef broth
3/4 c cider vinegar
1/2 c brown sugar
1 bay leaf
1/2 head red cabbage , thinly shredded
12-15 gingersnaps, finely crushed (I used my food processor)

Season the chuck roast on all sides with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with ginger and pat the seasonings into mear. Place roast in slow cooker and add the onion. In a small saucepan over high heat combine the broth and vinegar and bring to a boil.Add the brown sugar and stir until it dissolves. Pour the liquid over the roast and add bay leaf.

Cover and cook on high for 3 hours or low for 7 hours. Add the cabbage , using a spoon to push into the liquid. Sprinkle the cabbage with 1 tsp salt and continue cooking for 1 hour.

Remove and discard the bay leaf. Transfer the roast to a cutting board and the cabbage to a serving bowl. Stir enough of the gingersnaps into the liquid to form a thick gravy. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Slice the meat across the grain . (note - mine just fell apart when touched). Divide the meat and cabbage among plates. Spoon the gravy on top and serve.

My review- This was so good. I served with mashed potatoes and mixed vegetables. We really enjoyed it and went back for seconds. This will be made again and I cannot think of anything I would do different.

A Week of New Recipes

Fall is coming. The temperature is slowly falling. Yes, I live in the south so a temp of 80 is a drop.

I recently ordered a bunch of cookbooks and plan to starts using a bunch of new recipes . I will share the really good ones, of course. All the cookbook names will have a link to the book in it.

I love the Today show so I really wanted to get this book Today's Kitchen Cookbook.

I am trying to use my slow cooker more, with fall coming I like to have heartier meals. And on Tues and Thurs we have to eat late so we have been eating not healthy lately on those days. So, by using the slow cooker we can eat healthier .

Williams - Sonoma Food Made Fast Slow Cooker

The Gourmet Slow Cooker
. This one looks very good, a lot I want to try.

And to add to my Williams- Sonoma addiction a few more cookbooks

Food Made Fast Small Plates

New Healthy Kitchen Desserts

New Healthy Kitchen main dishes

I have a few more cookbooks on the way and have seen a few more from Williams-Sonoma I may need to buy . Along with a new bookshelf to house them all.

Monday, August 30, 2010

oh how I love thee.............

I have a new love or two in my kitchen. I just wanted to share.

I love peanut butter cookies. I am the only one here who eats them. So, I dont make them very often. It takes a while and for me it is not worth it. So I saw this recently and decided to try.

For a mix this is not bad. It does not make a ton of cookies , but they are good. I can see them in cookie jar coming up.

Today I wanted garlic bread. Publix was out of garlic bread. So, I saw this and decided to make my own.

Needless to say. AWESOME. I will definitely get again. I just love it. It was so good. I was told that this was the best garlic bread ever. And from now on this is how will make it .

I just bought some french bread, cut it , slathered it on and baked . So good.

slow cooker bourbon chicken

So. It has been a while. The summer heat must have gotten to me. I have not been cooking a lot. It is so warm in the house that turning on my oven is the last thing I want to do, so I just do not do it.

On Sunday I was feeling a bit under the weather and still need to cook for the other half. I had chicken and figured if I used my crockpot I would not heat the whole kitchen up. So I searched for a simple recipe. My husband is a not a big crockpot cooking fan so I knew dinner would be met with some complaints.

I made bourbon breast of chicken . Imagine my surprise when the other half loved it. It may his love of alcohol helped, but he ate two servings.

It was really good. Easy to make and had a lot of taste. I can see having this in the winter.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

my new website

We are trying to raise funds to adopt. I recently made flip flops and got some requests for them.

So here is my new adventure.

I hope to be up on etsy soon.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

New Baked Good Tuesday

Yes, a day late in posting. I did make it yesterday.

We recently spent a few days at Disney (which in the middle of July is NOT the Happiest Place on Earth, just saying) . Anyway, I was inspired to pull out an old cookbook. Mickey's Gourmet Cookbook.

I knew I wanted a simple bread. While I like to spent time baking there are times I want quick and easy, so that is what I did.

Italian Bread (makes 7 small loaves)

3 c. ICE COLD water
7 c. bread flour, divided
2 pckgs quick rise yeast (I use jarred so I used 4 1/2 tsp)
1 T salt

In an electric mixer with a dough hook, add ice water. Sift together 5 cups flour and yeast. Add to water and mix well. Blend until a sticky dough forms . Sift together remaining flour and salt and add to sticky mixture. Blend on medium speed for approximately 5 min until a drier dough forms. Remove from bowl and knead for 2 to 3 minutes. Let dough rest for 30 minutes, covered, in a warm place.

Divide dough into 7 equal pieces and knead each piece, forming a small round loaf. Place formed dough on a lightly greased baking sheet and let rise til double in bulk (30 to 40 minutes)

Bake in a preheated 400 degree oven for 30 to 40 minutes until nicely browned

These were very simple and very good. We really enjoyed it and I shared extras with friends . I also froze a couple for a later date .

Thursday, July 29, 2010

New Dessert Thursday : Dessert Pizza

I was in a baking mood today. I made the banana bread I listed below, a batch of pretzels for myself and a friend, and then new I needed to get back to my three new recipes a week plan, so I wanted a new dessert. I wanted easy. Quick. And something with fruit, because it is summer.

So, again I went to my friend, the internet. Went to one of my favorite sites, and just typed in dessert. After I gagged at the first recipe, avocado dessert, I got on with my search. And my final choice was

Dessert Pizza

Can we say E A S Y. So easy. It was so easy I was afraid it would be tasteless. Not so. It is so good.

I did add a half pack of vanilla pudding to the cool whip. I also used all berries on mine. Strawberries, blueberries, blackberries and raspberries.

My grade : B +

I really do like it, but feels like it is lacking something. I would however make it again and I think for a party it is great to take.

The Banana Bread quest - again

I have been out of town for what seems like forever. So this morning I ran to the commissary on base to pick up a few things. I saw bags of really ripe bananas for super cheap so I decided it was a good day to make some bread.

I found this recipe

Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

I am sure this one is a keeper. In all honesty, I was worried because while it was baking it got so dark. I am not a fan of a hard crust at all. When I bit into it , I was very pleasantly surprised because it was not overly hard.

My grade : A

It is very moist and has a great flavor , but not overly sweet.

I am however, still on a quest for the BEST banana bread recipe.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

New Entree Sunday : Pasta with Tomatoes

It is new entree Sunday. This morning I asked my husband what he was in the mood for. I was wondering Italian? Mexican? Chinese? He responded Croatian. Well, since I have never even tried to make Croatian food, I decided to do Italian. So, off to the web I went . I looked up Italian recipes and found this site.

After I searched the recipes and wiped the drool off my keyboard, I finally narrowed it down to this recipe.

Pasta with Tomatoes

Recipe Review grade : C+

This was easy to put together . It smelled great while cooking. It was not a bad recipe, but nothing great and grand . It was definitely edible but I am thinking I will not make it again . Neither one of us and our friend who dined with us were overly impressed. I would have guessed with all the spices it would have had a lot of flavor, but it seemed pretty bland.

To go with our dinner I knew I wanted bread, because, if we are being honest here, the best part of a good Italian meal is good bread. Good garlic bread. I have had a recipe saved for a while and decided today was a great day to make it.

Herb Garlic Rolls

My recipe review grade: A-

For a yeast recipe, super easy. They went together east and only had a rise time of an hour. For my herb I used Oregano . These were excellent. Very light in texture. The garlic butter added a lot of flavor. Will definitely make these again for sure.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Homemade garlic bread

Today was a busy baking day.

Tonight's bread started out as what will I make for dinner? Hmmm, baked spaghetti sounds good. But we have no garlic bread. Oh, let me see what I can find online. Hmm, this one just needs italian bread. Oh, I can make that . Then came another hunt. And most italian bread took to long. So I searched more. And came up with this

Italian Bread

This was one of the easiest loaves of bread I have ever made. The recipe was easy. The only hard part was watching how much flour you add, but I seem to bake enough so I knew when to stop. Rise time was short. Not a lot of shaping. I did cook it for 4 minutes longer.

Then I took my Italian loaf and made it into this

Garlic Bread

I made my butter and let it sit for a bit to get pretty soft. I chose to do the soft version of the bread. I would say it turned out pretty good. We both ate 4 pieces. No need to waste good carbs,

Dessert Thursday : Vanilla Cupcakes

Today is new dessert Thursday. Now, to clarify, by new dessert I mean a new recipe. Some of the desserts may be plain jane to you, but sometimes boring is good.

Today I knew I wanted a new recipe, but , to be honest, I live in Georgia, it is so hot and I did not feel like going to the store. So it needed to be simple and something I could make with ingredients I had on hand. Add in my dream about owning a cupcake shop. I knew I wanted to make cupcakes. So, off to the web I went.

I landed at

and I chose to make

Vanilla cupcakes

These cupcakes were easy to mix up and quick to bake. I checked at 18 min and should have taken them out, but I did not. So I did an extra two minutes. They are not burnt by any means, but the outsides are a little tougher than I like.

I added a bit more (1/2 c) sugar to my frosting. I like a heavy frosting.

The end result. A light cupcake that by itself is not too sweet. So when you add in the frosting you have a nice combination. One I will make again. I could see this cupcake being good with many frostings.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Herb Bread

I was ready to get back to baking and ready to play with yeast again. So while be lazy at the pool I decided to bake this afternoon. I came home, surfed one of my favorite bread websites.

and I came across this recipe

Herb Bread recipe

It was easy to put together. My complaint would be the dough was very sticky. Next time I will add a bit more flour.Overall though the flavor was strong and I liked the herbs in it. My greatest critic, the husband, said I can make it whenever I would like too. That folks, is a thumbs up.

Starting something new

I do not know about you , but I love magazines. Cooking ones are a must buy for me . And every time I sit down and read them I tear out a ton of recipes. I have now acquired quite the stack of recipes and still have a stack of magazines (that I add to regularly) to go through.

So what I have decided to do is start going through them , one recipe at a time. I probably wont start in on it until August as July is filled with vacation and other obligations, but I may be able to do a day here and there.

Tuesdays will be a new baked good recipe. Most likely a bread or roll or something with yeast.

Thursdays will be a new dessert recipe.

Sundays will be a new entree day.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

oh heaven, on a plate

When I was a little girl we would go to a restuarant in Michigan. It was a fast food place called Mr. Fables. It is no longer in business, but they had the BEST, and I mean, BEST onion rings. Lightly battered. I have looked for a similar recipe , but never found one for full rings. I found a close, very close,second for onion straws.

The Pioneer Woman Onion Strings

I made them Friday night for dinner and then, well, we had them again tonight. Or I did. And I may have eaten one to many .

I highly recommend this recipe.

Saturday, June 12, 2010


I know. I know. No recipes lately. It is so very hot here in the south I have not wanted to even look at my oven, let alone, turn it on.

Anyway, today's post is to blog about a giveaway. Go check it out.

Friday, May 28, 2010

New Cookbooks

There is something about a new cookbook. I sit down and read cookbooks like I read a regular book.

We live in a smaller town. We have a small bookstore here, but they do not have a large selection of books. So today we went up to the larger town/city close to us. And I hit up a real bookstore. Of course, I walked out with a new cookbook or two. Plus I got a book on smoothies, which is a new love of mine. We live in the deep south and since it gets so hot here in the summer, a smoothie often hit the spot when I do not choose to eat a big lunch .

Anyway, back to my point. New cookbooks. Now, I am pretty frugal when it comes to books. I own so many I need to be practical. So I hit the bargain area. I came across two that I really liked, so they came home with me. I can not wait to see down and read them. I need a dessert to take this weekend, so maybe this will inspire me.



Things I love

I am blog reader. I have always read this blog and have enjoyed it. Every week she does a show us your life. I decided to chime in this week.

This week's theme is things I love.

First and foremost, I love my husband. Above anything else.

And in no real particular order I love
my family
my friends
Sonic sweet peach tea
the beach

and since this is my baking journal more than a true blog things I love about baking
new cookbooks
fresh baked bread
sharing baked good

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Tastefully Simple

My husband and I are trying to make our dream of parenthood come true. We need more funds to adopt, so I have started selling Tastefully Simple. Every penny I make will go towards our dream. If you are interested in helping us, feel free to order or host a party , catalog is fine.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

strawberries with custard

Since we have so many strawberries I am trying to use them. Spring is over in the south and while we wanted dessert we did not want anything heavy. I was flipping through the Williams-Sonoma savory desserts cookbook and came across a recipe for strawberries with custard. So I decided to whip it up.

I tossed 2 cup strawberries with some sugar and let them refrigerate for a few hours.

To make the custard you need
1 c. milk
2 egg yolks
1/4 c. sugar
2 tsp flour
1/2 tsp lemon zest
1/2 tsp vanilla

In a saucepan over med. heat warm the milk until small bubbles form on edge,but not boiling. In a bowl beat the egg yolks, sugar and flour until mixture is pale and thick. Slowly pour in milk while stirring constantly. Pour the contents of the bowl into the saucepan. Stir in lemon zest and heat over low . Stir continuously until the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. About 5 min (mine took almost 8) . Stir in vanilla. Pour in bowl. Press plastic wrap directly on custard (Prevents a skin) . Let cool.

To serve : put down a layer of strawberries. Place custard on top and lay more strawberries over custard. Top with whipped cream.

This was so good. We really enjoyed it and can not wait to try it with other berries. I love blackberries and think it would be so good with that.


homemade strawberry pie - sort of

Since my husband is home we recently went strawberry picking. For my local friends we went here / Needless to say we came home with some strawberries.

I have to date made a pie, cleaned and hulled 6 cups and have some reserved for tonights dessert which I will post tonight.

So, we love strawberry pie. I do cheat and get pre made crust because I cannot make a crust to save my life. My mother and grandmother can make great pie crust. Me, not so much.

So I baked my crust. I cleaned and hulled 4 cups of strawberries. I then made this strawberry glaze. It was so easy and so good. I then gently turned in the strawberries and put the mixture in the pie crust. I chilled it then we ate. I top mine with the canned whipped cream. My husband uses cool whip. To each his own.


cake with lemon filling and lemon buttercream frosting

First off, I am a good baker. I am not, however, a good cake assembler. So there is no picture of the entire cake, because pretty it is not.

My husband absolutely loves lemon. And since he returning from six months overseas , I felt it was important to make something for him. And since I am not a lemon fan this was all for him.

I made this cake with filling and frosting.

It was a bit time consuming . You make each part by itself and them assemble it.

I tried a small slice and really it was not bad. My husband said next time to make the cake lemon too. And for him, I would.

I would definitely make this again and may like to try it with other fruit flavors in it.


Wednesday, April 28, 2010


I am going to be branching out and starting putting a few cooking recipes on here.

I got this
for my birthday.

I have wanted it for a while. My good friend surprised me with it. As I try it , I plan to put the good (and maybe the bad) on here.

My husband is coming home soon and my cooking and baking will be picking back up.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Bunny cupcakes

This is what I did for the kids for Easter.

I used reduced sugar cake mix and it is not bad. I frosted with white icing. The ears are big marshmallows with frosting and sprinkles on it. Eyes are mini chocolate chips. Nose is butterscotch chips. Cheeks are mini marshmallows. Whiskers are pull and peel twizzlers.

Simple. Easy. Cute.