Friday, August 28, 2015

Caramel Cake

I'm not sure if this was really a fail. Or maybe I failed, the frosting wasn't really wasn't working. I re read the recipe and I was supposed to mix it (frosting) until creamy and have spreading constancy. I put it on the first layer and it seemed fine. It didn't spread well, so it looks horrible. I only took a picture of the cut cake and not the whole cake.

With that little tweak it would have been awesome. It taste great. One of my better cakes in fact.

You will need 2 - 9 inch cake pans greased. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.


1 8oz container sour cream.
1/4 cup milk
1 cup butter, softened
4 large eggs
2 3/4 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
Whipped cream caramel frosting

Combine sour cream and milk in a small bowl. In a large bowl beat butter at medium speed until creamy gradually add sugar beating well. Add eggs 1 at a time beating well after each addition. In a medium bowl combine flour, baking powder, and salt. Alternating with flour mix and sour cream mixture, beginning and ending with flour. Beating well after each addition. Stir in the vanilla. Pour into prepared pans and bake for 30-35 minutes or until wooden pick comes out clean. Let cool in pans for 10 minutes, remove from pans onto cooling racks and let cool for 1 hour.

Whipped cream caramel frosting


1 cup butter
2 cups firmly packed brown sugar
1/4 cup plus 2 Tablespoons heavy whipping cream
2 teaspoons vanilla
3 1/4 cups powdered sugar.

Meanwhile make the caramel sauce. In a small pan melt butter over medium heat. Add brown sugar; bring to a boil stirring constantly. Stir in whipping cream and vanilla. Bring to a boil. Remove from heat and let cool for an hour. Transfer to a mixing bowl and gradually add powdered sugar beat on high until creamy and spreading constancy.

Spread frosting between layers, top and sides of cake.


Leslie's Chicken and Wild Rice Casserole

I don't know who Leslie is but bless her. This is my favorite, family and friends too, casserole. It is my ultimate comfort food. This recipe is great for a pot luck or freezer meals. Depending on your size of family you can get 2-4 dishes out of this. We are a family of 3 so I could put this in 4 and have it be plenty. If we're really hungry then 3 is also great.

I just have to say real quick, I'm sorry I haven't been blogging. My mind has been racing, evidently for no reason. It's the first year of kindergarten for my kiddo this year. So I have been acting like a crazy women. Plus my husband has committed to a couple of huge events and we had a friend from CA stay with us. So it's been crazy all around.

I really like that we have started our cooking from our cookbooks. Today's recipe is my most used recipe from Southern Living, Comfort Foods.

Like I said this makes quite a bit. You can scale it down if you need to. This really does freeze well. I prepped a little. This recipe is forgiving though. You can prep the beginning and then prep as you go.

You will need a big baking dish or 2 - 9 by 13's. I was also just thinking if you wanted, you can throw this in the slow cooker. The ingredients are all ready cooked it just needs to reheat. Preheat your oven, if cooking right away, 350 degrees Fahrenheit. A family size skillet or a smaller skillet and big bowl to mix the ingredients in. I forgot how much it makes so I needed a bowl to mix everything.

2 - 6.2oz fast cooking long grain and wild rice mix
1/4 cup butter
2 medium onions, diced
4 celery sticks, sliced
2 - 8 oz cans sliced water chestnuts, drained
5 cups chopped cooked chicken
4 cups shredded cheese, divided (16oz)
2 cans of cream of mushroom (if you have time make your own it's worth it)
1 cup milk
1 16oz sour cream
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1/2 teaspoon Pepper
2 cups bread crumbs
2.25 oz sliced almonds

Prepare rice as instructed in a medium pan. Meanwhile in a large skilled melt butter, sauté onions and celery. Add water chestnuts, chicken, 3 cups cheese, cream of mushroom, milk, sour cream, salt and pepper. Stir and remove from heat. Pour into pan(s) when ready top with bread crumbs bake for 35 minutes or until bubbly. Top with almonds and the remainder of cheese and let bake for 5 minutes. To tell you the truth I have combined the crumbs, cheese and almonds altogether and baked the whole thing. I actually think it tast better this way. I have talked about my dislike of bread crumbs before so this mixture helps.

If your wondering why my dish looks so small I just baked off a little for Xander and me for lunch. The rest I'm keeping for a potluck this weekend. The more this dish sits the better.

Also like I said I've been slacking so there will be another post later today and 2 more on Monday.

I hope you like it as much as we did.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Wacky Cake

One day I was browsing my Facebook and I ran across a picture of the yummiest looking chocolate cake!  I serious thought about that cake for 2 days before I finally got off my butt and made it (well, actually I did very little - I had a kitchen helper lol).  What made the cake more interesting was that it was called Wacky Cake, because it has no eggs, butter or milk in it - and yet it looked sooo good!  Well, I would definitely say it was well worth making!  The cake went together in 10 minutes and only used one pan and a fork (and the measuring stuff but those don't count ;) ) ...and it was moist and tasty!!  The frosting took more time and was good but very rich - unfortunately I didn't save the recipe so if I run across it I will definitely post about it.

1 1/2 cups flour
3 Tbsp cocoa (unsweetened)
1 cup sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp white vinegar
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
5 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 cup water

Preheat the oven to 350°.  Prepare an 8x8 pan by wiping with a small amount of oil.  Combine the dry ingredients in the same pan.  Make 3 holes and place the vinegar, vanilla and oil in seperate holes.  Cover the whole thing with the water and mix completely.  Bake until knife is clean when tested, about 25 minutes.

Easy, right?!  I will definitely be making this when I have a craving for a fast easy cake!  I got the recipe from here.

Have a great day!

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Blueberry Sweet Muffins

My kitchen is still filled with things from the pantry, but I decided I really wanted to make blueberry muffins anyway!  I used the recipe for our Cookbook of the Month: Southern Living Comfort Food.  I liked it, but I didn't love it.  It was really easy and I would totally make it again though.   I ended up not having blueberries (oops, they sat too long), so I stole the can of blueberries out of the boxed mix I had shooting around lol.  I definitely think the fresh ones would have made them better!  

1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/3 cup milk
1/4 cup oil
1 egg
1 cup fresh/frozen blueberries
Extra sugar

Preheat your oven to 400° and add muffin cups to your muffin tin (or grease it, but that's so much more work lol).  Combine the dry ingredients in a medium bowl.  Mix the milk, oil and egg together and add to the dry ingredients.  Fold in the blueberries.  Fill muffin tins up 2/3 and sprinkle the tops with sugar.   Bake for 20-25 min until golden brown.  Remove from pan to cool.


Tuesday, August 18, 2015

The Pantry...Again?!

I was hoping to get some baking done over the weekend, so I would have something yummy to share (plus I feel like I'm letting our awesome Cookbook of the Month down lol).  Unfortunately for my stomach (but fortunately for my kitchen!), we worked on installing the pantry cabinets and started putting on the doors!!!  BTW, by we I mean Eric did all the work and I helped lift things and handed him stuff :)

Eric did such an amazing job getting all of this put together, and I am sooo happy with the results!  I was even able to start putting all of my china and knick knack's away up top.   As you may notice it is higher that I can reach, but I'm not to worried since it's all things I'll only need a few times a year when I want to change what's on display around the house.

What all this meant was there was no baking - I just got the mess cleaned up (shoved back on the shelves) last night, and even more will have to come back off once he's ready to replace the veneer on the lower cabinets.  So no recipes or fun stuf...just pictured of my pantry that I could stare at all day long!

Have a great day!

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Banana Oatmeal Cookies

I was thinking of this idea and then I was talking to a friend about the flavor so I went out on a search. I found this recipe. I search for Banana Oat Cookies and they were all the 2-3 ingredient healthier recipes. I wanted a yummy cookie with lots of flavor. I change oat to oatmeal and I was successful!

They turned out soft and scrumptious! I had planned on throwing in nuts, it was smelling so good I decided not too. I didn't bake them all so I will add some tomorrow when I finish baking them!


3/4 cup softened butter
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 bananas or 1 cup
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 cup all purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoon cornstarch
3 cups old fashioned oats

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a baking sheet with parchment or foil or a silplat!

In a medium bowl with a hand mixer blend butter, egg, vanilla, banana and sugars. Add flour, baking soda, cinnamon, corn starch and baking powder blend until combined. Hand mix the oats in. Using a cookie scoop drop by rounded spoonfuls. They do spread out but not too much. Flatten the tops slightly with the back of a spoon. Bake for 10-12 minutes. Let rest a little before moving to a cooling rack to complete cooling.

I think you could enjoy these for breakfast, they are similar to oatmeal!

I adapted from this recipe.


Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Progress Made on the Pantry!

I don't have a lot to talk about today because we've been working in the bookshelf boxes for the pantry all weekend (well, mostly)!! So, here is a picture of the boxes!! I'm so excited, but we still have a lot to do to install them and finish the trim edge...back to work!!

Have a great day!

Friday, August 7, 2015

Fresh White Bread

It rained a little this week. The Fall season crept into my mind for a little bit, I began pinning warm dips. I came back to reality when the heat came back and had an ice cream bar! I do love baking, luckily we have AC so that I can. One of the program's we are working on in Xander's therapy is independent activities. One of them is making a sandwich. Every time I buy bread it doesn't get eaten, so I figured I would make it instead. It always gets eaten!

I messed up a little, luckily it all worked out. I set out the butter but forgot to put it in towards the beginning. Then I didn't add the remainder flour, I should have realized it didn't look right. It's been awhile since I made bread from scratch.

This is my new favorite recipe and I will be making this again. This makes 2 big loaves.

You will need a big bowl, oil, 2 loaf pans, stand mixer with the dough hook, paddle attachment, foil and a clean towel.


4 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
3/4 cup warm water
1/4 cup sugar
1 Tablespoon salt
3 Tablespoons unsalted butter
2 2/3 additional warm water
9-10 cups all purpose flour
1/4 cup melted butter to brush on the tops

In the bowl of your stand mixer combine the yeast and 3/4 cup warm water with the paddle attachment. Let activate for 5 minutes. This is where I prep the other ingredients. Add sugar, salt, butter and additional water mix until combined on slow. Adding 1 cup at a time, add 5 cups of flour to the mixture until smooth. Still on slow add remaining flour. Remove paddle and attach dough hook, knead for 10 minutes. Lightly grease a large bowl. Put dough in the bowl and turn it once to cover the dough in oil. Cover with clean towel and let rise for 1 hour. Grease your loaf pans.

Punch down the dough. Divide by 2 and roll each out about 12 by 12 squares. Then start rolling one of the edges like a burrito. Tuck the ends and place in a loaf pan. When both are in their pans cover again with the towel and let rise agin for an hour.

Just before they are done rising, preheat your oven at 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Move your rack to the second from the bottom position.  Bake for 15 minutes and then cover with foil to prevent the tops from burning and bake for 15 more minutes. Brush the tops with 1/4 cup melted butter and let sit for a little bit before you slice. I usually can't wait, I like warm bread with butter!

I got this wonderful recipe here.


Thursday, August 6, 2015

Yummy Peanut Butter Cookies

Felicia and I had so much fun doing recipes from our Cookbook of the Month last month!!  We hope that you were inspired to pick up a favorite cookbook and make a new recipe too!  This month we chose Southern Living Comfort Foods!!  My mouth starts watering just looking at the cover :)

For my first recipe I chose OldFashioned Peanut Butter Cookies!  I always forget how much I really love them, until I can't stop eating them!!  These are amazing and you get a lot of dough out of the recipe.  I ended up being too impatient and I made drop cookies before seperating and putting the rest in the fridge.   I plan to only make a few at a times so I don't eat to many at once!   I also want to try making Nutter Butters with them...mmm I can't wait to try those and I'll definitely share.

1 cup butter, softened
1 cup peanut butter
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
2 eggs
2 1/2 cups flour
2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 tbsp vanilla

Cream the butter and peanut butter together then add both sugars and continue until combined.  Mix in the eggs.  In a small bowl combine the flour, baking soda and salt.  Add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture in small increments, mixing thoroughly between.  Add the vanilla and mix until everything is well mixed.

For immediate cookies, preheat the oven to 375° and drop scoop fulls onto parchment paper.  Roll the balls in sugar and use a fork to press the centers down - making the traditional criss cross pattern.  Bake for 7-9 minutes.  The cookies are done when the edges are just turning golden - this will give you crunchy outsides with soft insides!

For cookies later, refrigerate the dough by wrapping it in plastic.  When you're ready to make them, simply follow the steps above.  You will just need to roll the dough into balls instead of using a cookie scoop.

Ta-Da delicious peanut butter cookies in less than 20 minutes!

Have a great day!

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

A Personalized Scrapbook and Eiffel Towers

This was a really easy project and it was fun to make something that was personalized for Felicia for her birthday.  After looking for something ready made and finding nothing - I decided to do it myself!  I took a plain white scrapbook and used Mod Podge to adhere the scrapbook paper to the cover.  I laid it out first to decide how I wanted to look (don't just go slapping on whatever lol), then I spread a layer of the mod podge onto the bare cover and covered it with the base paper.  Then I painted on another layer over that and added the detail (the eiffel tower - which I cut out).  I then put 3 layers of Mod Podge on top of all of it, waiting 30 minutes between  each one.  Once it dried I was all done!! See didn't I say it was easy!!

I also used the same eiffel tower stencil (I drew it on plain drawing paper to use for a few things) to make silhouette 3D eiffel towers for table decorations.  I just cut out two of the same size outines, cut one in half and glued them to either side of the second one.  I used foam paper so they would be sturdier, but I think any heavy duty paper would work.  These were really easy too - but they were pretty time consuming.  I think it took about an hour and a half to make 5 I think.  (It was really, really hard to get a good picture of these - but there were pretty cool!)

Has anyone guessed the theme and color scheme used for Felicia's party yet?  I think we were too subtle! Lol

Have a great day!
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