Smothered Pork Chops

If you love pork chops, you're really going to love these!  They're so moist the meat will fall off the bone when they're done.  Then...THEN there's the yummy sauce on top!  We not only poured ours over our chops, but also our mashed potatoes!  You could even boil up some egg noodles and serve them on the side with the sauce on top!  Did I mention the sauce is delicious?!?  If you think you'll really love it too, go ahead and double that yumminess!

Note: Measurements for breading ingredients are approximate - it may take a little more depending on the size of your chops.  Chicken breasts can be substituted for the pork chops as well.


Smothered Pork Chops

4-6 Pork Chops
Garlic Powder
Seasoning Salt
2-3 Eggs, Beaten
1/4 Cup Flour
2 Cups Bread Crumbs (I used Panko, but the seasoned Italian breadcrumbs would work too)
Olive Oil
1 Can Cream of Mushroom Soup
1/2 Cup Milk
1/3 Cup White Wine
2 Tbsp Worcestershire Sauce (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Rinse pork chops, pat dry, and season both sides with garlic powder and seasoning salt - set aside.  Set up your breading station: put beaten eggs in shallow bowl, flour on plate, and your bread crumbs in another shallow dish.  Dredge chops in flour, dip lightly in egg, and coat well with bread crumbs.  Heat a couple tablespoons of olive oil in medium pan over medium-high heat.  Fry chops 5 minutes on each side, until breading is browned (adding oil to pan as needed with subsequent chops).  Transfer chops to 9x13 pan, seal pan with foil, and bake for 1 hour.  While chops are baking; mix together soup, milk, wine, and worcestershire to create sauce.  After chops have baked for 1 hour, cover with sauce mixture, re-seal with foil, and bake another 30 minutes.


Banana Bread

There are probably a 100 million banana bread recipes out there that are ALL good, but I have to share yet another yummy one I happened to make!  In some random google search I came across this recipe and boy am I glad I did!

Tip: I used 2 - 8" loaf pans with perfect results.  You can also add 1 cup of toasted pecans if you wish.


Banana Bread

1 Cup Butter, softened
2 Cups Sugar
4 Eggs
3 Cups Flour
2 Tsp Baking Soda
2 Tsp Salt
2 Cups Banana, mashed (approximately 5 bananas)
2 Tsp Vanilla
1 Cup Sour Cream

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease loaf pans.  Whisk flour, baking soda, and salt (and pecans if desired) together in bowl - set aside.  In separate bowl,  mash bananas - add sour cream and vanilla until combined.  With stand mixer, cream together butter and sugar until fluffy (3-5 minutes).  Add eggs, one at a time.  While mixer is running, add banana mixture and mix until just combined.  Stir in flour mixture by hand - making sure any batter on the bottom of the bowl is well incorporated.  Pour batter into prepared bans and bake for approximately 45-60 minutes.  Bread will be golden brown, with toothpick coming clean from the center.  Let bread cool for 20 minutes in pan before turning on wire racks to finish cooling.


Baked Ravioli

This probably doesn't classify as a recipe, but I'm going to share it anyways!  Thanks to pinterest I saw this idea.  I wanted to call is "Lazy Lasagna," but not everyone likes to admit they took the "lazy" way to supper! ;)  My kids went crazy over this dish and it literally took me less than 10 minutes to get in the oven!


Baked Ravioli

1 Bag Frozen Ravioli (use whatever flavor you prefer - we used beef ravioli)
1 Jar Marinara Sauce
2 Cups Shredded Mozzarella
Parmesan Cheese

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.   Spray bottom and sides of 9x13" pan with cooking spray.  Take about 1/2-3/4 Cup of sauce and spread on bottom.  Put a single layer of ravioli over sauce.  Top with 1/2 of the remaining sauce and 1 cup of shredded mozzarella.  Repeat layer, starting with ravioli.  Sprinkle very top with parmesan cheese.  Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes.  Remove foil and bake for additional 10-15 minutes - until bubbly and hot in the center.  Let cool for 10 minutes before serving.


Wee Bit Spicy Chili

I love a good hearty chili!  Especially on a cool fall day and even more so on a wintery day here in Minnesota!  I came across this recipe and after laughing for quite some time decided I must give it a try!  I gave it a few tweaks and love it so!  The green beans are an addition I've never had in chili, but they give it a wonderful depth of flavor.  FYI: as the title states, it is a wee bit spicy, so my kids didn't quite enjoy as much as the adults did.


Wee Bit Spicy Chili

1 Tsp Basil Leaves
1 Tbsp Onion Powder
3 Tsp Chili Powder
2 Tsp Ground Cumin
2 Tsp Ground Cayenne Red Pepper
1 Tbsp Garlic Powder
2 Tsp Sugar
2 Tbsp Flour
1 - 29 oz Can Tomato Sauce
1 - 15 oz Can Tomato Sauce
1 - 14.5 oz Can Petite Diced Tomatoes
1 - 15 oz Can Light Red Kidney Beans, drained
1 - 15 oz Can White Beans, drained
1 - 14.5 oz Can Cut Green Beans, drained
1 - 14.5 oz Can Corn, drained
2 lbs Ground Beef
1/2 of a Sweet Onion (ie: vidalia), chopped
1/2 of a Green Pepper, chopped
3 Cloves of Garlic, minced
2 Tbsp Brown Sugar

In small bowl, mix together basil, onion powder, chili powder, cumin, cayenne red pepper powder, garlic powder, sugar, and flour to make seasoning.  In large pot, dump sauces, tomatoes, beans, and corn - set aside.  In skillet, brown hamburger with onion and garlic.  Add green pepper to hamburger when about 1/2 done and finish browning.  Drain hamburger mixture.  Add hamburger mixture to pot with tomatoes and beans.  Stir in brown sugar and about 1/2 a beer to pot and bring to a boil (enjoy the other 1/2 of the beer).  Once at a boil, cover and turn down to simmer.  Allow to simmer for as long as you've got - remembering to stir occasionally.

Serve with freshly shredded cheddar cheese, sour cream, saltines, or whatever is your favorite with chili!


Kinky Malibu Barbie Jello Shots

Just a little bit of adult fun being added to MCC today! :)  These were a big hit at a recent ladies night out event I brought them to! 


Kinky Malibu Barbie Jello Shots

1 Box Peach Jello
1 Cup Boiling Water
1/2 Cup Kinky Liqueur
1/2 Cup Malibu Coconut Liqueur

Dissolve jello in boiling water, stir in kinky and malibu. Pour into desired shot cups. Chill. Serve.

Tip: 2 ounce condiment cups (usually come with lids like these) are great for preparing these!  I used 3 oz Solo cups and it was a bit much as a single shot.

Disclaimer: This recipe is intended for adults of legal drinking age.  Please do not drink and drive!


Baked Garlic Shrimp

I LOVE seafood and so does my family!  When I came across this recipe, I just KNEW I had to make up a batch (ok ok, a double batch) and give it a whirl!  It was SO easy and delicious!  I used frozen shrimp (thawed) to save some moola, but feel free to use fresh if it's available in your neighborhood!  Tip: remove tails before making this up - it makes inhaling eating the shrimp so much easier!


Baked Garlic Shrimp

1 lb Raw Shrimp, peeled and deveined
4 Cloves Garlic, minced
2 Tbsp White Wine
Salt and Pepper
4 Tbsp Butter, Melted
1/2 Cup Panko Bread Crumbs
2 Tbsp Fresh Italian Parsley, finely chopped

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  In large bowl, mix together shrimp, garlic, and white wine.  Pour into baking dish and spread out evenly.  Season with salt and pepper.  In another both, use fork to mix together butter, bread crumbs, and parsley.  Sprinkle mixture evenly over the top of the shrimp.  Cook for approximately 15-18 minutes, until shrimp turn pink and opaque.


Salted Caramel Mocha Cupcakes

This recipe is brought to you by Krysta and her cupcake craftiness!  She has contributed many other yummy recipes to MCC over the last couple of years and this one sure won't disappoint!  If you're a fan of chocolate, coffee, salted caramel, and cupcakes (who isn't?), you better whip up a batch of these!


Salted Caramel Mocha Cupcakes

The Best Chocolate Cake Ever: (Adapted from
1 Devils Food Cake Mix (I used chocolate fudge)
1 Small Box Instant Chocolate Pudding
1 Cup Greek Yogurt (can substitute with sour cream)
3/4 Cup Vegetable Oil
4 Eggs, beaten
1/2 Cup Almond Milk
1 Tsp Vanilla
2 Cups Mini Chocolate Chips
1 Packet Starbucks VIA Instant Coffee (I used caramel)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a very large bowl, mix everything together except the chips. Whip until somewhat fluffy. Batter will be THICK. Stir in chips and pour batter into cake pan of choice (I use cupcakes - it will make 24 cupcakes at LEAST).  Bake as directed on the back of the cake box (I use as a guide and usually add a few minutes - typically takes 22 min for cupcakes).

When cooled completely, use a sharp knife and cut in a circle around the middle of the cupcake to “core” the cupcake for the filling.

Salted Caramel Creme Filling:
1 Jar Archer Farms Salted Caramel Fudge Dessert Topping (bought at Target)
1/2 Pint Heavy Whipping Cream

Whip dessert topping in mixer 2-3 minutes until fluffy - slowly add whipping cream and whip until stiff peaks form. Put into gallon ziploc bag and refrigerate for 10 minutes.  Cut the corner off the bag and pipe into cored cupcakes.

Espresso Buttercream Frosting: Makes enough to frost 12 cupcakes (double this recipe)
1 cup (2 sticks) Unsalted Butter, at room temperature
2½ Cups Powdered Sugar
1½ Tsp Vanilla Extract
1½ Tsp Espresso Powder (I used 1/2 packet starbucks VIA caramel)

Mix the espresso powder into the vanilla until dissolved; set aside.  Using the whisk attachment of a stand mixer, whip the butter on medium-high speed for 5 minutes, stopping once to scrape the sides of the bowl. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the powdered sugar a little at a time, waiting until it is mostly incorporated before adding more. Once all of the powdered sugar has been added, scrape the sides of the bowl and increase the speed to medium-high and whip until fluffy, about a minute or two. Add the espresso and vanilla mixture and continue to mix at medium-high until it is completely incorporated, scraping the sides as necessary.


Kelly's Buffalo Chicken Chowder

To say I have a family of GREAT cooks is an understatement!  It should be no surprise I learned most of my skill from my mother, grandmother, and all the other wonderful cooks and bakers we enjoy in our family.  My cousin Kelly is no exception!  She lovingly shared this recipe for all of you today!  The recipe below serves 4 - feel free to double, triple, or more as needed!  She also pre-made the soup and then warmed in a crock-pot the next day.


Kelly's Buffalo Chicken Chowder
Adapted from Closet Cooking

2 Tbsp Butter
1 lb Chicken, cut into bite sized pieces
1 Cup Onion, diced
1 Cup Celery, cut into small pieces
1 Cup Carrot, cut into small pieces
2 Cloves Garlic, chopped
2 Tbsp Flour
3 Cups Chicken Stock
*Hot Sauce, to taste (I used 1/4 cup Franks Red Hot sauce)
1 Large Yukon Gold (or other boiling potato), peeled and cut into bite sized pieces
Salt and Pepper, to taste
1 Cup Heavy Cream (I used half and half)
1/4 Cup Blue Cheese, crumbled

Melt the butter in a large sauce pan over medium heat.  Add chicken and saute until golden brown, about 8-10 minutes.  Add onion, celery and carrots and cook until tender, about 10-15 minutes.  Add garlic and flour and cook until fragrant, about a minute.  Add the chicken broth and deglaze the pan. Add hot sauce and potatoes, bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 20-30 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper, mix in the cream and blue cheese and remove from heat when the cheese has melted.

Pumpkin Bundt Cake with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Icing

As soon as fall rolls in and I start looking through my recipes, I gravitate right towards anything with pumpkin in it!  I came across this recipe awhile back and was finally able to bake up a version in my kitchen.  So yummy and every bit of fall with the lovely mix of spices! I used frozen pumpkin puree I had on hand, but you could also use canned pumpkin puree.  I left my icing a little thicker and just spread it with a spatula the best I could.  If you want a little thinner and "drizzly" go for it!


Pumpkin Bundt Cake with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Icing

3 Cups Flour
1 Tsp Baking Soda
2 Tsp Baking Powder
1 Tsp Salt
2 Tsp Cinnamon
1/2 Tsp Ginger
2 Tsp Nutmeg
1 Cup Butter, softened
1 Cup Sugar
1 Cup Brown Sugar
4 Eggs
1 Cup Milk
1 Cup Pumpkin Puree (put the whole 15oz can of pumpkin puree in, if it's what you have on hand)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease and flour bundt pan, set aside.  In medium bowl, whisk together flour, soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg - set aside.  Cream together butter and sugars until fluffy.  Add eggs one at a time and then milk and pumpkin puree until well combined.  Slowly add in flour mixture - beat for 2 minutes.  Pour into prepared bundt pan and bake for 50-60 minutes (until cake tester comes out clean).  Let cool for 15 minutes before inverting.  Continue to cool another 10-20 minutes before icing.

1/3 Cup Butter, softened
4 oz Cream Cheese, softened
2 Cups Powdered Sugar
1/2 Tsp Cinnamon
1 Tsp Vanilla
1/4-1/3 Cup Milk, depending on preference

With a mixer, blend together butter and cream cheese until fluffy.  Add powdered sugar, cinnamon, and vanilla.  Slowly add in milk until icing is to desired consistency.  Pour/spread over you cake!


Peanut Butter Candy Corn M&M's Cookies


You see those up ^^^ there??  They're pretty amazing!  They totally gave me the inspiration for today's recipe!  Candy Corn M&M's were out last year for Halloween season and due to my love of white chocolate, I snatched up a bag right away!  Last week when I was out doing my weekly cruise around Target, I noticed they were back out in the Halloween aisles.  The wheels immediately started turning because they belonged baked in something yummy!  Then it hit me...PEANUT BUTTER COOKIES!  To say they turned out amazing is an understatement!  The combo of yummy peanut butter chewy, yet crispy cookie with a punch of white chocolate is so yummy!

This is a GREAT base peanut butter cookie recipe and are yummy all on their own!  They have a very similar texture to Mrs. Field's famous peanut butter cookies.  And when Candy Corn M&M's aren't in season, substitute with your favorite white chocolate chip! :)


Peanut Butter Candy Corn M&M's Cookies

2 1/2 Cups Flour
1/2 Tsp Baking Soda
1/4 Tsp Baking Powder
1/4 Tsp Salt
1 Cup Butter, softened
2 Cups (1 - 16 oz container) Peanut Butter
1 1/4 Cups Sugar
1 1/4 Cups Brown Sugar
3 Eggs
2 Tsp Vanilla
1 Bag Candy Corn M&M's

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  In medium bowl, whisk together flour, soda, powder, and salt - set aside.  With mixer, cream together butter, peanut butter and sugars until nice and fluffy.  Add eggs, one at a time, and then vanilla.  Slowly add in flour mixture until combined (don't over mix).  Stir in M&M's.  Cover bowl and refrigerate for at least 15 minutes.  Drop dough by rounded teaspoonfuls (I use a standard cookie scoop) and then flatten with the back of the scoop in the middle (I keep my dough in the refrigerator between batches).  Bake for 16-20 minutes (mine were perfect at 17.5), until edges are just starting to brown - do NOT over bake.  Let cookies cool on pan for 5 minutes before transferring to cooling rack.

*Yield: Approximately 6 Dozen Cookies

Chicken Taco Soup

Who doesn't love a meal that practically makes itself?!  I first had this wonderful crock-pot meal over a year ago at a women's retreat and have been making it ever since.  I finally remembered to snap a few pictures quick so I could share with all of you over here!


Chicken Taco Soup

1 Onion, chopped
1 - 16 oz Can Chili Beans
1 - 15 oz Can Black Beans
1 - 15 oz Can Corn, drained
1 - 8 oz Can Tomato Sauce
1 - 12 oz Bottle/Can Beer
2 - 10 oz Cans Diced Tomatoes with Green Chilies (Rotel)
1 Packet Taco Seasoning
3 Whole Skinless and Boneless Chicken Breasts
Optional Toppings: Shredded Cheese, Sour Cream, Crushed Tortilla Chips, etc

Put onion, beans, corn, tomato sauce, beer, diced tomatoes, and taco seasoning in crock-pot.  Stir until blended, then lay chicken breasts on top, pushing down until just covered by soup mixture.  Turn crock-pot on low, cover, and cook for at least 5 hours.  Remove chicken breasts and shred with 2 forks and put back in crock-pot, stir and cover.  Continue cooking on low for at least another 30 minutes to 2 hours.  Served topped with shredded cheese, a dollop of sour cream, and crushed tortilla chips if desired.


Zesty Stuffed Shells

Stuffed shell recipes seem to be a "dime-a-dozen" around places like Pinterest and the internet in general.  I love stuffed shells and when I came across this recipe, I just had to try my own version of it.  My own misinterpretation of the amount of red pepper flakes the recipe called for caused ours to have a little extra heat, but what is listed below should be just right (because three little tornadoes around my ankles wouldn't distract me at all while I'm cooking dinner)!  Even with the added heat, my kids ate right up and I'm sure yours would too! This meal was meant for a 9x13" pan, but I split the recipe into 2-8x8" pans - one got put in the oven and the other in the freezer for another night.  I absolutely loved the addition of lemon zest in this recipe!  We will definitely be enjoying this version of stuffed shells again!


Zesty Stuffed Shells

Zest of 1 Lemon
1 Box Jumbo Pasta Shells (at least 25-30 shells)

1/3 Cup Olive Oil
1 Tsp Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
3/4 Tsp Fine Sea Salt
4 Cloves Garlic, minced or finely chopped
1 - 28 oz Can Crushed Tomatoes
1 - 14 oz Can Crushed Tomatoes

1 - 15oz Container Ricotta
1 Egg, beaten
1/4 Tsp Fine Sea Salt
2 Cups Shredded Mozzarella, divided
3 Tbsp Chopped Chives

Oil a 9x13" pan (approximately 1 tbsp olive oil) and sprinkle with 1/2 the lemon zest, set aside.  Start a large pot of water boiling for the shells and preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Cook the shells al dente in well salted water according to package directions.  Do not over-cook or they will tear while you are trying to fill them.  Let cool long enough to be handled.

Sauce: Combine olive oil, red pepper flakes, salt, and garlic in cold saucepan.  Stir while you heat pan over medium/high heat.  Saute around 45 seconds - everything will become fragrant, but you will not want the garlic to brown.  Stir in crushed tomatoes and bring to gentle simmer for 2-3 minutes.  Remove from heat (taste test to see if more salt is needed and add now if needed - be careful not to burn your tongue) and let cool.

Filling: Stir together ricotta, egg, and salt in medium bowl until just combined.  Then stir in 1 cup mozzarella and chives, set aside.

Spread 1/3 of the sauce across the bottom of the pan. Fill each shell with ricotta mixture, and arrange in a single layer across the pan. Ladle the remaining sauce over the shells, sprinkle with remaining mozzarella and cover with foil.  Bake for 30 minutes, uncover and bake an additional 15 minutes (or until the shells are cooked through). Sprinkle with the more chives if desired and serve.

Tip:  All of the components of this dish can be pre-made separately the week you want to use them.  Making this a great meal to throw together on a week night.


Root Vegetable Beef Stew

Here in Minnesota fall is upon us.  We are rising to cool crisp mornings, crunchy leaves under foot, and the scamper of squirrels hurrying to bury their treasures for the winter.  Fall is also when my urge and desire to have a big bowl of warm and yummy soup with some crusty bread peaks!  My mom tells me I wanted nothing to do with stew when I was younger, but yet I have some the yummiest memories of a bowl of stew with barley!  Due to these memories, a few months back I started pinning stew recipes and I was finally able to try this recipe!  It did not disappoint and I love how it isn't completely traditional.  There are no potatoes in it and it has the wonderful addition of sliced mushrooms  (I bought the sliced mini portabella mushrooms in the fresh produce area)!  I doubled the recipe with no issues and now have some in the freezer for another day!


Root Vegetable Beef Stew

1/4 Cup Flour
1/4 Tsp Sea Salt
1/8 Tsp Ground Black Pepper
3/4-1 lb Beef Round, cubed
3 Tbsp Olive Oil, divided
2 Large Stalks Celery, chopped
1 Cup Chopped Carrots
1 Cup Pealed & Chopped Rutabega
1 Cup Fresh Mushrooms, sliced
1/3 Cup Pearled Barley
1 Qt Beef Broth, divided
1 Bay Leaf
Opt: 1/4 Cup Chopped Parsley for garnish

In medium bowl, combine flour, salt, and pepper.  Toss beef cubes in flour mixture until all sides are coated.  Reserve any leftover flour mixture.

In soup pot (or large dutch oven), heat 2 Tbsp olive oil over medium heat.  Brown beef on all sides and remove to plate.  Add remaining tablespoon of oil to pot.  Stir in celery, carrots, rutabega, and mushrooms and scrap up any brown bits from the bottom of the pan.  Cook vegetables for 2 minutes, stirring frequently.  Add barley and continue to cook for an additional minute.

Whisk 1/4 cup beef broth into remaining flour mixture until mixed well.  Add slurry, along with remaining broth, beef cubes, and bay leaf.  Bring to boil and reduce heat to simmer, stirring occasionally.  Simmer for 1 hour (uncovered) or until beef is tender and stew is thickened.  Remove bay leaf, garnish with parsley if desired and serve.


Raspberry Peach Jam

My husband fell in love with some similar jam we paid $8/jar for.  As he was emptying the jar I realized I needed to find a way to make it myself and save us some change!  A local christian teen support group in our area does fundraising by selling YUMMY Colorado peaches - mouth watering, juice running down your arms peaches.  Every year we pick up a box and enjoy every single fuzzy peach!  So, this year I decided to take some and make some jam!  This was my first ever attempt at jam and it turned out wonderful!  One of the best parts, it really wasn't horribly time consuming to make!

Here are some tips on blanching (removing the skin of) your peaches (scroll down to step 6).  I choose to use frozen raspberries (I thawed earlier in the day) instead of fresh because I already had them on hand.  If fresh is cheaper and more available, go for it!  When it comes to mashing, chopping, etc of your fruit - that's entirely based on preference.  If you want a chunkier jam; chop your peaches in small chunks and mash your raspberries (straining through a cheesecloth if you want seedless jam).  Because I am not picky and it took less time, I simply pureed all of my fruit in my VitaMix before putting it in the pot.  A blender, food processer, etc will all do the same job.

This is the recipe I followed, but you'll want to double check the directions on your box of pectin before starting.  I yieled 7 1/2 pints of jam!


Raspberry Peach Jam

2 1/2 Cups Raspberry Puree
5 1/2 Cups Peach Puree (about 8 large peaches)
6 Tbsp Lime Juice (lemon will work too)
9 Tbsp Classic Pectin
10 Cups Granulated Sugar

Prepare all of your canning equipment prior to starting (waterbath canner, jars, and lids) and measure ingredients for recipe.

Combine fruit puree and lime juice in heavy saucepan.  Gradually stir in fruit pectin.  Over high heat, bring mixture to full rolling boil that cannot be stirred down, stirring constantly.  Add all of the sugar, stirring to dissolve.  Return mixture to full rolling boil.  Boil hard 1 minute, stirring constantly.  Remove from heat and skim foam if desired.  Ladle hot jam into hot jars, one at a time, leaving 1/4" headspace.  Wipe rims (very important step), center lids on jars and tighten bands until finger-tip tight.

Place filled jars in canner (making sure they are covered by 1-2" of water).  Place lid on canner and bring to steady boil.  Once water is boiling, process jars for 10 minutes.  Turn off heat, remove lid, and let jars stand for 5 minutes.  Remove jars and cool (do NOT press down on seals, just let them be) for at least 12 hours.  Once cool, clean your jars and store your homemade yummy jam!


Butterscotch Toffee Cookies

These cookies are buttery, crispy, soft in the middle, and just plain yummy!   I love a good cookie with butterscotch chips and with the added bits of toffee in these, I was in heaven.  I made large cookies and got about 2.5 dozen (baked for 14-16 minutes).  I'm sure if you made average size you would get close to 4 dozen yummy cookie goodness to share!


Butterscotch Toffee Cookies

4.5 Cups Flour
1 Tsp Salt
1 Tsp Baking Soda
1 Tsp Cream of Tarter
1 Cup Butter, softened (do NOT substitute)
1 Cup Brown Sugar, packed
1 Cup Granulated Sugar
1 Cup Oil
1 Tsp Milk
2 Tsp Vanilla
1 Egg
1 - 12 oz Pkg Butterscotch Chips
1 Cup Toffee Pieces

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In large bowl, sift together (or us my trick: mix with a whisk) flour, salt, baking soda, and cream of tarter then set aside.  Next, cream together butter and sugars with mixer until fluffy.  Slowly add in oil, milk, vanilla, and egg - mix until well combined.  Add in reserved flour mixture a little at a time.  Stir in chips and toffee pieces.  Drop by tablespoonfuls, flattening the dough with the back of scoop/spoon (these will not spread much).  Bake for 8-10 minutes, edges will just be starting to brown - let sit on pan for 5 minutes before transferring to wire rack to finish cooling.


Chicken & Rice {Hotdish}

I have been making this hotdish for a looong time.  In fact, I first got the recipe from a family I babysat for when I was 14. With a busy family, this is really easy to put together - I bet even your babysitter could do it! :)


Chicken & Rice Hotdish

1 Can Cream of Chicken Soup
1 Can Cream of Mushroom Soup
1 Cup Chicken Broth (1 Cup Hot Water + 3 Bullion Cubes)
1 Cup Milk
3 Cups Instant Rice (such as Minute Rice
3 Chicken Breasts, cut-up
1 Bag Frozen Sliced Carrots

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Mix all ingredients in 9x13 glass pan (yay for no extra dirty bowls!) and bake for 60-75 minutes until nice and bubbly.


M&M Cookies

Hi Everyone!  Sorry, I haven't been around much lately.  Life has been extremely busy.  Just wanted to let you know I'm still cooking and baking up a storm!  Many of my posts may contain iPhone pictures, but I do intend to post more often!

Note:  This is a great base recipe, you can change up the M&M's for your favorite "chip."


M&M Cookies

1/2 Cup Butter, softened
1/2 Cup Butter Flavored Shortening
1 Cup Brown Sugar, packed
1/2 Cup White Sugar
2 Eggs
1 1/2 Tsp Vanilla
2 1/2 Cups Flour
1 Tsp Baking Soda
1 Tsp Salt
1 1/2 Cups M&M's

Cream butter, shortening, and sugars together until fluffy.  Add eggs and vanilla.  In another bowl, sift together dry ingredients (or use a whisk to mix together), then add to butter mixture a little at a time until well belded.  Stir in M&M's.  Drop by teaspoonful and bake for 9-12 minutes, let cool on pan before transferring to a cooling rack.

I made these with mini M&M's and placed a few on top of each dough-ball before baking.  I also used one of my smaller scoops and got about 60 cookies out of the batch.


Blueberry Cream Pie

The other day I stopped by a Trader Joe's store on my road trip home.  If you've never been to one, I highly suggest stopping at one.  We don't have one locally, so I love to stop and get some unique things for the pantry and freezer.  I sure wish they would get on the ball and build one closer to me!!

How does this bring me to blueberry pie?  Well, my husband LOVES blueberries - more specifically the wild variety that are small and tart (vs. the giant store bought monsters from California).  Trader Joe's just happens to have some awesome bags of frozen wild blueberries for sale!  My intention was to just make a standard blueberry pie, but then I started looking around on Pinterest where I had pinned this recipe and I decided to whip it up instead!  Let me tell you, this pie did NOT disappoint!  We weren't able to wait for it to completely cool and man was it good and even better as a cold slice out of the fridge the next day!

Pie.  It's what's for breakfast dessert!

I used a pre-made pie crust (from Trader Joe's), but your standard shortning crust recipe (right off the Crisco can) would work great for this pie!


Blueberry Cream Pie

1 Pie Crust
1 egg + 1 Tbsp Cold Water

3 Cups Blueberries
1 Cup Sugar
1/3 Cup Flour
2 Large Eggs, at room temperature
1/2 Cup Sour Cream
1/2 Tsp Vanilla

Crumb Topping:
2 1/2 Tbsp Brown Sugar
2 Tbsp Sugar
1/2 Tsp Cinnamon
Pinch of Nutmeg
1/4 Cup Unsalted Butter, melted
2/3 Cup Flour

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Lay crust in 9" pie plate and crimp edges - place in refrigerator while making filling.  For the filling; mix together sugar and flour, add eggs one at a time, then add sour cream and vanilla - beating until smooth.  Take crust out of the fridge, spread blueberries in bottom and pour filling evenly over the top and set aside while making crumb topping.  In small bowl, mix together brown sugar, sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg with a fork - add melted butter until mixed and then add flour, stirring until crumbly.  With fingers, crumble topping over blueberries and filling.  Whisk together 1 egg and 1 Tbsp cold water, then brush over exposed edge of pie crust.  Bake for 50-55 minutes.  Let cool before slicing and serving!

Tip:  If using frozen blueberries, let thaw completely before using.  I set mine on top of a few folded paper towels in a bowl to soak up some of the extra juice before using. 


Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Pound Cake

Oh man, this cake is dense and wonderful!  If you crave peanut butter and chocolate as much as I do, you better run and make this one!  We've nicknamed this one the "two glass of milk" cake because you're going to need a big 'ol jug of milk to go with it (or a nice cup of coffee)!

As you can tell by the puddle around the cake, I got a little carried away with the glaze.  Who doesn't love glaze though?!  I also was a little impatient and didn't let the cake cool, but man it was worth eating it warm!


Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Pound Cake

3 Cups Flour
1 Tsp Baking Powder
1/2 Tsp Salt
1 Cup Creamy Peanut Butter (do not use natural)
1/2 Cup Butter, softened
3 Cups Sugar
6 Large Eggs
2 Tsp Vanilla
1 1/2 Cups Chocolate Chips

1 1/2 Cups Powdered Sugar
1/4 Cup Creamy Peanut Butter
1/4 Cup Milk
1/2 Tsp Vanilla
1/4 Cup Mini Chocolate Chips

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Butter and flour a 10" tube pan well (or use baking spray generously).  To prepare cake; in medium bowl, whisk or sift flour, baking powder, and salt - set aside.  In the bowl of your electric mixer cream peanut butter and butter, then add sugar and beat for 5 minutes.  Add eggs one at a time and vanilla - beating until well combined.  Add flour mixture a little at a time, until just combined.  Pour into prepared tube pan, then tap on counter gently to remove any air bubbles.  Bake for one hour, then check to make sure it's not browning too quickly (if it is, place some tin foil loosely over the top) and continue baking for another 20 minutes, until toothpick comes out clean from the center.  Remove from oven and let cool for 20 minutes, then flip and let finish cooling completely.

To make glaze; mix all ingredients with a whisk until smooth.  Slowly drizzle over cooled cake.  Then sprinkle mini chocolate chips on top.  Glaze will take a bit to set, but the process can be quickened by putting the cake in the fridge.

*Note: To make this truly sinful, try cutting up Reese's peanut butter cups instead of the chocolate chips!


Ham & Swiss Sliders

These are SO much better than just your everyday ham and cheese sandwich!  They are great party food - whether it's a football game with friends or a baby shower!  The sandwiches can be made a day ahead and stored in your refrigerator until you're ready to bake.  As for the mustard sauce, even the pickiest child in my house will eat these! :)


Ham & Swiss Sliders
recipe adapted from here

24 Dinner Rolls (you'll want the good ones from the bakery)
24 Pieces Honey Ham (double this is you're using small pieces of ham)
24 Slices Baby Swiss (I cut the deli slices in half)
1/4 Cup Mayonaisse
1/4 Cup Miracle Whip

Mustard Sauce
1/2 Cup Butter, melted
1 Tbsp Poppy Seeds
1 Tbsp Minced Onion
1 1/2 Tbsp Yellow Mustard
1/2 Tsp Worcestershire Sauce

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In small bowl, mix together mayo and Miracle Whip.  Spread mixture inside each side of the cut bun.  Place a slice of ham (or two) and a slice of cheese on the bun and close.  Put on baking sheet or heavy pan; laying close together.

In a medium bowl, mix together all ingredients for mustard sauce with whisk.  Use a basting brush to coat the top of the buns until all the topping is used.  Let mixture soak and set into buns for 10 minutes.  Cover with foil and bake 12-15 minutes until cheese melts.  Remove foil and bake another 2-3 minutes to crisp up the buns.  Serve warm.