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Monday, October 31, 2011

Halloween Cupcakes

Boo! My daughter had to make cupcakes for her work party and she came to my house so we could make them together. I'm usually not one for liking most of the scary type Halloween things, but how could I say no to spending time with my beautiful daughter? :)
So we made these spider web cupcakes and shattered glass cupcakes. I talked to her today and she said they were a big hit at work!!

For the spider web cupcakes. Just bake cupcakes and frost with orange frosting. Then use black gel to make 3 or 4 circles around the cupcake. Then use a knife to "drag" through the circles and create the spider web look.
For the shattered glass cupcakes. Just bake cupcakes and decorate with white frosting. Then make sugar glass (see recipe below) and use red gel food color (the gel works better than the liquid for this effect) and put it on like blood on the glass.


Sugar Glass:
2 cups water
1 cup white corn syrup
3 1/2 cups sugar
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
Mix ingredients and cook until it's 300 degrees on the candy thermometer. Then pour out onto a buttered cookie sheet. Let cook and harden. Break into "glass"

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Cinnamon Apples

Oh my goodness, these apples are amazing! Who cares that it's 89 degrees outside still and iced tea is the drink of the day instead of hot apple cider? I care....but not enough that it stopped me from making these delicious apples. These are so simple to make and the blend of cinnamon and apple together is perfect. I like to use the actual cinnamon spice in my foods, but this is the first time that cinnamon candies have ever been involved. I am usually not a big fan of cinnamon candy, but I made the exception for this dish. So glad I did!!
4 large apples, peeled, cored and sliced
1/4 cup butter
1 bag cinnamon red hot candies

Place your peeled and sliced apples (you can chop them if you want bite size pieces) into a large skillet. Add the butter and cinnamon candies. Cook on medium heat, stirring frequently, until all the candies have melted. Then put a lid on the skillet and cook until apples have achieved the softness that you desire. You can serve these hot, warm or cold if you choose. The more they cooled, the more the cinnamon taste came through.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Caramel Apples

Ok so I admit that I have been known to go buy Caramels and melt them to make caramel apples. But I found this recipe for home made caramel on Pinterest and made it this morning. It may still feel like summer outside, but I am just pretending that it feels like Fall  and it's time for caramel apples. These are really yummy. The caramel  may be a bit more "chewy" than store bought, but it sure was much more fun making them. You are probably thinking, "why doesn't she just go buy caramels?" Well...I truly think it takes just as long to unwrap all those individually wrapped caramels as it does to whip up your own, besides, nothing is better than home made! I know mine don't look very "professional" but hey I'm just a mom that likes to bake and cook. I can cook it up, I just need someone else to come over and make them look pretty. I made 6 of them and none of them are the same!
Caramel/Milk Chocolate/Peanut
Caramel/White Chocolate
Caramel/White Chocolate/Milk Chocolate
Caramel/ Peanut Butter/Chocolate/Peanut
Caramel/Roasted Marshmallow
Here is the link to the home made caramel recipe!
http://tastykitchen.com/recipes/desserts/grandma-bettye28099s-caramel-apples/

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Vegetable and Pasta Soup

I'm pretty sure no one actually needs to learn how to make vegetable soup, but just in case, I decided to blog this tonight. I am still waiting for the weather to get cold and stay cold, but in the mean time, I just had to make soup. Too bad I can't make it in the morning when it's still nice and cool outside. Southern California had better figure out pretty soon that it's Fall or I'm going to be seriously disappointed. Wait...I already am!! So in the afternoons, I still hibernate while patiently waiting for the day time cold weather to finally come and stay. I say cold, but we all know in Southern California, that it's never truly that COLD, it's just less warm haha! (except for the nights...bbbrrrrr)
This soup was so delish!! My hubby probably would have preferred it with some chicken  or some kind of protein in it, but I was just hungry for vegetable soup tonight. I can't wait for leftovers tomorrow. Yummy!!
* I took a picture of my hubby's serving and forgot to take a picture of mine, which had fresh shaved parmesan and fresh basil on the top as garnishes. 


2 Tbsp olive oil
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves of garlic, chopped
2 stalks of celery, chopped
3 carrots, peeled and chopped
1 can green beans (I didn't have any fresh, but you can use fresh also)
3/4 tsp Italian seasoning
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes ( you can use less if you don't want your soup spicy at all)
Salt/Pepper to taste
1 Tbsp thyme
1 (28 oz) can of diced tomatoes
6 cups water
2 cups rainbow rotini (or your favorite pasta)

In a  large soup pot, melt the butter and toss in the onion, garlic, celery, carrots, green beans, italian seasoning, crushed red pepper flakes, salt, pepper and thyme. Cook until the vegetables are semi soft. Add the can of tomatoes (including the juice) and the water. Simmer for 20 minutes. Add your pasta and cook for about 10 minutes. *You can also serve this with freshly grated parmesan cheese on top, and/ or fresh basil.

Jolly Rancher Lollypops

This by far will be the easiest thing you ever make in your lifetime! It requires only 1 ingredient and a little bit of time. I love how colorful they are and the best part is, that you can change the flavor combination to suit your tastes.
Here is your big ingredient list:
Jolly Ranchers :) oh and I guess you need lollipop sticks too ;)

Heat oven to 275. Spray a cookie sheet with Pam thoroughly. Place 3 Jolly Ranchers together. Leave a big enough space between sets of 3 Jolly Ranchers to place the stick after they come out of the oven.
Place the cookie sheet into the oven for 6-8 minutes, or until the candy is completely melted. Take out of the oven and immediately place a lollipop stick into each one, 3/4 of the way up the sucker. Very gently, roll the stick in the sucker until it is coated with the candy. Leave until they are cooled all the way down. Enjoy :)

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Garlic Parmesan Edamame

I have two words for this one. YUM YUM! I love Edamame by itself, but this just gave me even more reason to love it. I'm pretty sure I ate more than my fair share tonight, but fortunately I have some left to take to work tomorrow. The hubby really liked them too. He personally thinks that they are not worth all the effort to get the edamame out of the shell, but I sure think they are.
Here is a link to the recipe!
*Note: I skipped the food processor part of this recipe and I just cooked my garlic in the olive oil. Made it much quicker and more simple!

http://28cooks.blogspot.com/2008/10/garlic-parmesan-edamame-so-other-night.html

Slow Cooked Apples

Cooking this today made my home smell absolutely wonderful. Now if the weather would just cooperate and make it actually seem like it's FALL instead of an extended summer like we are having here in So Cal. I admit that a few times today, I actually went over to the crock pot, lifted the lid and took a big whiff. Ok...Ok...so my spoon actually went in it also to taste test. These didn't need to be taste tested, but it sounded like a reasonable way to explain away why I was constantly lifting the lid. I mean if I'm going to let that kind of steam escape from the pot, just to smell the darn stuff cooking, then I might as well take a taste while I'm there, right? Don't answer that ;)
8 granny smith apples, peeled, cored and sliced into 8 wedges each
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 Tbsp flour
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
6 Tbsp melted butter

Spray your crock pot THOROUGHLY with Pam. Coat it at least twice. Place the apples into the bottom of the crock pot. Drizzle the lemon juice over them and stir. In a bowl, mix up the sugar, brown sugar, flour, cinnamon and nutmeg. Stir it and then pour it over the apples. Stir to coat all the apples with the sugar mixture. Drizzle melted butter over the apples and stir again. Cook on low for 3 hours or high for 2 hours. Serve warm!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

7 up Biscuits

When I first saw these biscuits on the Internet, I seriously thought it might be a joke. Then I looked at the ingredients and thought "hhmmm these just might taste pretty good. So when I went grocery shopping, I bought the ingredients necessary to make them. I think this just might be my new favorite biscuit/dinner roll. Really easy....really fast....really good and oh so buttery.


2 cups Bisquick
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup 7-up
1/4 cup melted butter

Preheat oven to 450.
Cut sour cream into biscuit mix, add 7-Up. Makes a very soft dough.
Sprinkle additional biscuit mix on board or table and pat dough out. Cut biscuits with a biscuit cuttter or just cut them into sqaures. Melt 1/4 cup butter in a 9 inch square pan.  Place cut biscuits in pan and bake for 12-15 minutes or until golden brown.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Sweet and Salty Bacon Wrapped Pretzels

 Sweet, salty, crunchy, chewy, spicy! Those are the words I would use to describe this treat. My company tonight definitely loved these and I will remember these as a "go to" recipe for a pot luck type appetizer dish. They are quick to make, easy as pie and are a crowd pleaser!! :)

 1 package of bacon, cut into halves
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
3 Tbsp chili powder
3 Dashes cayenne pepper (next time I'm going to use more cayenne and make this good and spicy)
1 package Pretzel rods


Preheat oven to 375.
Break the pretzel rods in half. Cut the bacon slices in half also. In a bowl, (use a flatter edged bowl for easily dipping the bacon), stir together the brown sugar, chili powder and cayenne pepper. Dip each bacon half into the brown sugar mixture, pushing down and making sure you coat all sides of the bacon with the sugar mixture thoroughly. Wrap the dipped bacon half around the half of a pretzel rod. Cover the entire rod with the piece of bacon. (for some pieces it only "almost" covers them, that's ok)
Place the covered pretzels onto a broiler pan (or any pan that has holes for the fat to drip through into a bottom container) so that when the bacon cooks, the fat drips off of them into the broiler pan below. Bake at 375 for about 15 minutes. Let these cool as the pretzel "hardens" back up after it cools a bit. Serve!

Pork and Chicken Posole

I love feeding people. I truly think it's my calling :) So when a phone call came at the last minute this afternoon that my daughter and son in law were on their way over with friends....I didn't have to panic because I had almost finished cooking a big pot of home made posole. I am pretty sure it was a hit as there was none left to send with my hubby to work tomorrow. This is not a quick recipe, but it sure is an easy one. This picture does not do this soup justice as you really can't see all the goodies snuggled down deep in the broth, but trust me it's yummy! Also, this picture was taken before I added all my garnishes to the top of the soup.
2 small-med onions, diced
1 lb pork, cut into bite size pieces
2 lbs chicken, cut into bite size pieces
12 cups of beef broth
2-4 lbs of hominy, drained (canned is fine)...use as much or as little as you like
1/4 cup garlic, minced
4 cups red chili sauce ( I use las palmas colorado sauce..it's like enchilada sauce)
1 Tbsp cumin
1 Tbsp oregano
4-8 Dried New Mexico Chilies

* for garnish: Chopped cabbage, diced onion, cilantro, fresh lime juice

In a large soup pot, heat your onion, pork and chicken. When meat just begins to brown, add the beef broth, hominy, garlic, chili sauce, cumin and oregano and the dried chilies. Stir well. Cook for about 2 hours or longer, until hominy is softened. Use a spoon to dip out all the dried chilies. Make sure you dip out the stems also. Throw all the chilies away.  Serve with your favorite garnishes.