Friday, July 31, 2015

Caramelized Onion Dip

I could eat this dip with a spoon! I have to admit, I licked the bowl. Very simple ingredients too. I will be making this again.

You will need a large skillet, a medium skillet and a bowl that holds about 4 cups.


3 lbs yellow onions about 3 large and 1 small, thinly sliced
1/4 cup oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 Tablespoons white vinegar
1/3 lb bacon
1 1/2 cups mayonnaise
1 cup sour cream

In a large skillet heat oil at medium heat until it shimmers. Add onions and reduced heat to medium low to low depending on your stove, stir occasionally. The onions will get deep in color, it takes about 45 minutes. Take off heat, add vinegar, stir and let cool.

In a medium skillet cook bacon on medium heat. I sliced my bacon before hand so that I didn't have to crumble them. Either way works just fine. Drain the bacon on paper towels.

In a bowl mix sour cream, mayonnaise, bacon and onions. Serve with a spoon, just kidding! Crackers, flat bread, pita or the classic potato chip would be great. So would vegetables!

I have to tell ya, I won't find that packaged onion dip edible anymore. Luckily this is pretty quick to put together.

This concludes our cookbook segment. We are so glad we choose Lucinda Scala Quinn Mad Hungry Cravings.

We look forward to sharing our other cookbooks with you!

Have a wonderful weekend!

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Heart Pie Pops

I just have to say that these are AMAZING!!  They are really easy to make and are completely worth the extra time.  Everyone will be impressed with them!  You can use any preserves or jam that you like - or make your own!  I cheated and bought store made pie crusts, but since I had a ton of other things to make I didn't have a lot of time.

Heart Pie Pops

Pie crust

Preheat oven to the temperature suggested by your pie crust directions.  Roll the pie dough into 1/8" thick and use a cookie cutter to make the hearts.  Place a dab of filling into the center of half of the hearts and spread it to 1/4" from the edge.  Press a stick onto the length of the center - just to the edge of the filling.  Cover with a second pie crust and firmly press the edges.  Use a fork and indent the edges for a decorative edge.  Brush on melted butter and sprinkle with sugar, then poke with a fork on either side of the stick.  Bake for 10-15 minutes until golden brown.

See it's easy - it just takes a little time!  I made them with cherry preserves and no one could stop eating them - they were just so yummy!!

Have a great day

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp

Late night dessert. I picked up strawberries, I already had rhubarb so of course I had to make something. I really wanted to make a pie. I'm to the point in my baking where I'm comfortable with pie crust, biscuits, and scones. You really do need to know what you're feeling and how the dough is acting. It just takes time and confidence and in my case a lot of reading and watching how it's done. I'm a visual and written person, I need to both to understand.

On to the recipe!

Adapted from here.

You will need a 9 by 11 baking dish or 2 qt or bigger, greased. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Big bowl, medium bowl and a little bowl and 2 spoons.


6 stalks rhubarb chopped
2 cups hulled and sliced strawberries
1/2 cup sugar

Crumb topping :
1/2 cup butter melted, 1 stick
1 cup flour
1/2 cup quick cook oats
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup dark brown sugar, packed
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt

In a large bowl combine Rhubarb, Strawberries and sugar combine well. Pour into prepared pan. In a medium bowl combine flour, sugars, cinnamon, and salt, add butter until well combined. Sprinkle the crumb mixture on top. Bake for 30-40 minutes. Let cool to set and serve, if you want, with whip cream or ice cream!


Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Macaroni and Cheese

I too had a recipe that I didn't like. I made the macaroni and cheese recipe from Mad Hungry Cravings. I think mine was chef error! It tasted wonderful before I put it into the oven. I didn't have panko, I ran out, so per her notes I could swap out bread crumbs. As I'm sitting here realizing that they are not swappable. Panko had bigger flakes and is lighter, bread crumbs are fine and heavy. My problem was it was like putting a layer of dry sponge on top. It soaked up the favors and dried out the dish. I was going to make notes here to say use less crumbs or more butter. I personally would not even bake it. Or if I was making it for company I would cover with foil with extra shredded cheese on top to help it not dry out.

Let's get started

Preheat oven 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Set out a 9 by 13 pan.


1 lbs macaroni or any small shape pasta
7 Tablespoons butter, divided
1/4 cup flour
1 quart whole milk
12 oz shredded cheese, any combo you like, this time I used Gruyere and sharp cheddar.
Pinch of cayenne
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 1/2 cup of panko or 3/4-1 cup bread crumbs

In a large pot boil pasta as instructed on packaging. Meanwhile in a large skillet melt 4 Tablespoons butter at medium high heat, add flour and cook for 2 minutes until brown and fragrant. Slowly add milk and bring to a boil and thickened. Remove from heat and slowly add shredded chews stirring after each addition. Add cooked pasta and stir until combined. Put in baking pan. Mix crumbs and remaining 3 Tablespoons butter, sprinkle over the top and bake for 20-30 minutes.

When it was ready to eat, I took a scoop, the bread crumbs were still dry and pouring off like sand. It was like eating sandy glue. I was focusing on the bread crumbs, I couldn't taste the wonderful cheese sauce like before. It was sad, my favorite thing to eat is macaroni and cheese. I'm going to try this again and see if my thoughts will make it better. Trust your instincts, I was thinking I should have added more butter. I also have made the cheese on top and put foil on and it turns out wonderful.

Let us know if you make it and how it turns out or your suggestions!

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Baked Potato Poppers

I wasn't sure if I should share this recipe or not at first - usually I like to say how much I like a recipe and that's why I share it.  This time I thought I would go ahead and share it since I was the only one who didn't like it!  I shared some with friends and even Eric -and they all loved them!  So maybe it's just me ;)

This is another recipe from our Cookbook of the Month: Mad Hungry Cravings by Lucinda Scala Quinn.  Try it out for yourself and tell us what you think!!

Baked Potato Poppers

2 large potatoes (about 1 pound)
1/2 cup flour
1 tbsp cornstarch
1/2 tsp coarse salt
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
1 large egg yolk
1 1/2 cups panko bread crumbs
1/4 cup oil

Preheat the oven to 425° and place a rimmed baking sheet inside.  Shred the potatoes and cover with boiling water for 10 minutes.  Drain and press to remove as much water as possible.  Mix in all of the ingredients except the panko crumbs and oil.  Scoop and roll the potato mixture into balls and coat with the panko crumbs.  Remove the pan from the oven and coat it with half of the oil, place the balls onto the pan and drizzle with the remaining oil.  Cook for about 30 minutes until crispy and browned - turning once.

For the ones for Eric, I just put the balls onto an ungreased pan and baked them - they did not brown, but they still got crunchy.  He really liked them and has asked me to make more!  He says they are like a potato dumpling more than a tater tot...maybe that's my problem - I really wanted tater tots!! Lol :)

Here are the links to the other recipes from this cookbook:

Honey Mustard Wings
Cheddar Drop Biscuits
Creamed Spinach

Have a great day!

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

A New Pot Rack...and the Start of Something More

I'm sure that it will come as no surprise that one of my biggest goals is to have an organized kitchen!  I have maybe mentioned it a time or thirty...
Eric and I have been doing lots of boring behind-the-scenes things that I don't mention, but we've finally gotten to the interesting stuff!!  Last weekend we started working on our cabinets and I am so excited by how they are turning out :)  We made the pot rack and then attached two lid holders to the inside of the cabinet - so now I have an easy way to get to a pan without having it all stacked (one of my biggest complaints lol).  I haven't put anything away yet because we painted the front edge of the cabinets and knowing me I will drop something and ruin it :/  When I first started looking for ideas for pot and pan organizing I saw a pot rack that slid out of the cabinet, but because of the fake drawer panel on the cabinet it wasn't really possible for my kitchen.  Instead I came up with this idea for a pot rack inside the cabinet and Eric really did a great job!  I'll definitely share a picture when I get it all loaded up!

As I said before, we also got the front edge of this set of cabinets done.  It doesn't look like much but I'm very happy with the color and I can't wait to get the rest of the cabinets done and the doors painted!!

Here's a reminder of my kitchen inspiration:

Find it here on Houzz

Have a great day!

Friday, July 10, 2015

Honey Mustard Wings

This was a simple recipe and you know how I love those! I choose chicken wings from Mad Hungry the cookbook we are cooking from this month.

Her original recipe is teriyaki glazed wings. At the end of the recipe she has notes about different types of wings, one of them is this recipe so I decided to make this version instead. With our new eating habits we are doing less sweet food so I wanted to stay away from those delicious sauces like teriyaki. Of course I know honey is sweet, it is more nutritious than granulated sugar.

This recipe can serve 4 people easily. She said or two hungry college students, hehehe.

I will be exploring new ways to make a glaze for these wings. I love how she understands how to make them perfect. Cook them then begin to glaze.

You will need a sheet pan and bowl with a spoon or spatula.


2 lbs chicken wings
2 tablespoons oil
1/8 cup honey
1/8 cup mustard (we used yellow and it's good)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. In a bowl toss wings with oil and salt, I would toss and then sprinkle some salt on until it all had some on it. Place on baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes. Meanwhile make glaze, combine honey and mustard. Brush glaze on and return to oven for 5 minutes, flip over wings and glaze again. Flip one more time and glaze. I then turned on the broiler for a couple of minutes and let them get crispy.


Thursday, July 9, 2015

Organizing My Decorative Stuff

I recently changed out the items on my dining room hutch, so I wanted to find a way to organize and store the items that I removed.  We are still working on finishing the upper cabinets for my pantry, and this is where all of my seasonal decorative things will be stored in the future, so it will be great to have everything ready to put away when they are done.  I decided to use plastic storage boxes because they will stack and keep everything safe.  I found these boxes at IKEA for $3 each, which makes them very affordable!  Nine boxes will fit into each of the cabinets, so that will be a lot more storage than just using the single shelf in each cabinet.  I started with the three in the picture, but now I need to go back and get more boxes!!

I'm excited every time I figure out how to organize something new - it's silly but fun!!

Have a great day!

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

4th of July Mini Pies

I made these little cuties for the 4th. I love this basic tart dough recipe from Pampered Chef. You can bake these and fill with what ever you want from sweet to savory. I found out you roll and cut the dough as well.

You will need a mini muffin tin, tart shaper or some thing rounded and small that will fit into the wells. Small biscuit cutter or small star shaped cutter. Medium size bowl and small scoop.

Ingredients *

1/2 cup of softened butter
3 oz cream cheese softened
1 cup flour

Pie filling

Combine butter, cream cheese, and flour well. With the small scoop fill the wells, shape the dough by pushing in the center with the shaper to make space for the filling. Fill with your choice of pie filling.  *I just realized I tripled the ingredients because I threw in the whole block of cream cheese (I often do this) so I just made more. Which means I had left overs for the cut outs on top. So you can double or quarter the recipe so that you can have a little extra for the top. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until browned around the edges.


Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Cheddar Drop Biscuits

I'm so excited that Felicia and I decided to start using our cookbooks on a regular basis!!  We have a lot of really great cookbooks that we never use, because Pinterest or internet searches are just so convenient!  I love  Pinterest, but I either need to stop buying cookbooks or use, we have a great way to search our cookbooks for recipes (I wrote about it last year, you can find the post here) and now we have a fun way to explore different cookbooks each month.  We decided that we would pick a cookbook each month, and we would each pick four recipes to make and share (one each week).  I have to say that I am already glad we did this - my very first recipe is amazing!  

Felicia already shared that this month our recipes are from Mad Hungry Cravings by Lucinda Scala Quinn.  I chose the Cheddar Drop Biscuits...they were so good I couldn't stop eating them!  They were even better the next day as a breakfast sandwich with egg and bacon.  I was very sad that I only had 1 left to have for breakfast!!  I think I might try making frozen breakfast sandwiches with these in the future...

2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
Pinch cayenne pepper (I actually used paprika instead)
6 tbsp cold butter, cubed
8 ounces sharp white cheddar, shredded (I think any kind of cheese would work)
1 1/3 cups buttermilk
3 tbsp chopped chives

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.  Combine the dry ingredients in the bowl of a mixer.  Add the butter and mix on low until small pea sized lumps are formed.  Using a spatula, stir in the shredded cheese.  Using a low speed, add the buttermilk and chives and mix until the dough comes together.  Drop the dough into baking sheets with parchment paper, leaving 2" spaces between.  Using 1/4 cup measurements you should have 16 biscuits.  Bake for 12-15 min until golden brown.  

Amazing...can I say that enough to get you to try making these yourself??  These are so good I have made them twice in a week - and eaten way more than I should (stupid scale)!!!

Here are the rest of the recipes we've made from this cookbook:

We would love to here about your favorite recipes from cookbooks!  Comment and share!!

Have a great day!

Friday, July 3, 2015

Creamed Spinach

Beth and I decided to cook from our cook books! We love Pinterest but we have all these books and it is time to start using them.

Beth bought a wonderful subscription online to catalog our books and have the ability to search for recipes and ingredients minus the instructions.

We chose a favorite, well they are all my favorite, Mad Hungry Cravings by Lucinda Scala Quinn. We are going to do a recipe a week from her book for 1 month.

Then the next moon will be a new book!

Today I made creamed spinach!

I didn't realize how much spinach is 2 1/2 pounds. So I cut the amount in my recipe by quite a bit. I need to keep enough for our drinks in the mornings. The recipe turned out super cream and it is so tasty! Even the kiddo went back for more, that's saying something!

You will need a big pot, a colandar and a large skillet.


8 oz spinach (if you have more by all means do more)
3 Tablespoons butter
1/4 cup flour
1 cup milk
Salt and pepper
A pinch of nutmeg (I didn't use this)

First rinse the spinach, don't dry, the water on the leaves is enough water for the spinach to steam with. Place spinach in a pot and cook over medium heat with the lid on. When the leaves have cooked down, drain and squeeze out the liquid.

In the large skillet melt butter over medium heat, add flour and whisk for 1 minute. Add milk and continue to whisk. Turn off heat add salt, pepper and nutmeg if using. Add spinach and enjoy!

This isn't her exact recipe, we'll say this highly inspired and slightly adapted.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Refrigerator Bran muffins

I was excited about this recipe...still am! Although I would make some slight changes just so that I am super happy. Change #1 would be that I would crush the flakes a bit. The kind I get are huge. So there's giant pieces when you take a bite. Awesome flavor though, just for picky texture people it doesn't work! Change #2 is I would cut this recipe in half for my small family of 3. We just couldn't eat that many. If you want a great size recipe for a bake sell this would be perfect.

I got the recipe here. She says she puts the batter in her 8 cup bowl and keeps it in the refrigerator, the liquid alone almost filled an 8 cup cup bowl. So I think that was a typo! This makes a lot! It should keep in the refrigerator for 2 weeks. I figured I can make them on Mondays, when I'm all out I will make the batter the Sunday before.

My son loves these even with out the blueberries. I have to tell you though He went nuts for them even more.

Ok for real now, let's get to the recipe!

You will need a big bowl and a lined or greased muffin tin if you plan on baking some now. Preheat the oven at 400 degrees Fahrenheit.


15 oz bran flake cereal
5 cups all purpose flour
2 1/2 cups sugar
5 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
4 cups buttermilk
1 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs
1 1/2 cups raisins or craisins optional
Fresh or frozen blueberries optional
Chopped pecans options

This is where I would put the bran flakes in a gallon size bag and take a rolling to it! It shouldn't be dust but definetly broken. In a large bowl sift flour, baking soda and salt. Add cereal and stir. Combine buttermilk, eggs, and oil pour over cereal mixture. Stir until combine. You scoop into prepared muffin time top with raisin, craisins, blueberries or nuts if desired. Bake for 20 minutes and cool for 10 minutes.

Place batter in refrigerator. Use within 2 weeks. No need to stir, just scoop out what you need and put the batter back into your refrigerator.

I can't help it, I have all muffins with butter, try it! So amazing!

I hope you enjoy this recipe as we did!
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