Cherry Cheese Crepes


For Christmas morning breakfast, I wanted to cook something festive and a bit more fancy than what I normally do.  I chose to make crepes and I had some cherry pie filling in the pantry which was begging to be used.  I also found some cream cheese in the fridge and decided to use that.  I absolutely love cherry cheese coffee cake and decided to give it  a whirl...How hard could it be?

Well, they turned out wonderful.  My children were a bit hesitant at first, but then after one bite they loved it.  I was asked when I would make them again.  I wonder how blueberry would taste?

Cherry Cheese Crepes


  • 1-1/4 cups milk
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 can (21 ounces) cherry pie filling
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract


  • In a large bowl, combine the milk, eggs and butter. Combine the flour, sugar and salt; add to egg mixture and mix well. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.
  • For filling, in a small bowl, beat cream cheese until fluffy. Beat in confectioners' sugar and vanilla until smooth; set aside.  Heat pie filling in microwave for 45 seconds add almond extract and set aside.
  • Heat a lightly greased 8-in. nonstick skillet; pour 2 tablespoons batter into the center of skillet. Lift and tilt pan to evenly coat bottom. Cook until top appears dry; turn and cook 15-20 seconds longer.  Stack crepes with waxed paper between. Cover and freeze 10 crepes for another use. Crepes may be frozen for up to 3 months.
  • Place filling onto the center of each remaining crepe. Top with 2 tablespoons pie filling. Fold side edges of crepe to the center. 



Wishing you a Merry Christmas...Thank you to all who read this little blog.  I am planning for the next year.  I hope everyone has a great 2012.

Here are a few of my favorite things:


Ella friendly Christmas treats
Christmas Trees


Here is to a wonderful holiday weekend

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Pecan Pie Surpise Bars

This is a wonderful recipe to use for Christmas Dessert.  I am giving these to my neighbors this year on my annual  cookie tray.  I was a bit afraid these failed because when I put the filling onto the crust, the crust ate up the filling.  I am not sure if this was supposed to happen, but will definitely make these again to try and find out. 

Pecan Pie Surprise Bars
18 1/2 oz yellow or butter cake mix (I used a caramel cake mix I had available)
2/3 c butter or margarine, softened
4 eggs
1/2 c brown sugar
1 1/2 c corn syrup
1 tsp vanilla
1 c pecans

Reserve 2/3 cup dry cake mix. Combine remaining cake mix with butter and 1 egg. Mix until crumbly. Press crumb mixture into a greased 13×9 pan. Bake 350° — 15 to 20 min. (golden brown).
Combine other 2/3 dry cake mix with 3 eggs, brown sugar, syrup, & vanilla. Beat (mixer) one to two min.
Pour over partially baked crust.
Sprinkle with pecans.
Return to oven 30-35 min (filling gets set)
Cool – cut into bars.

Crab Rangoon Dip

Christmas time to me means great finger foods.  I was at a Christmas party over the weekend and this scrumptious dip was served by my cousin.  It was to die for.  I had never had this before and the best part was that it was warm and gooey.  I will definitely be making it this year for my Christmas Eve appetizer feast. 

For those who don't know, my husband works every Christmas Eve until around 6 or 7 pm.  This makes it difficult for us to have dinner.  So, I make an appetizer feast and we eat  at all different times.  Then after everyone has eaten, we go to church and drive around and look at Christmas lights.  A great way to celebrate our Christmas. 



In small bowl, combine cream cheese, crab and garlic. Add swiss cheese; stir until well blended. Spread cream cheese mixture over bottom of 1 quart baking dish. Spoon sweet and sour sauce over cream cheese mixture.

 Bake at 350 degrees until outside edges are bubbly and dip is heated through about 15-20 mins.. Remove and sprinkle with thinly sliced green onions. Serve warm with crispy wonton chips.

Crispy Wonton Chips:.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cut wonton wrappers in half diagonally. Arrange half of wontons in single layer on large pizza pan or stone. Spray with oil using kitchen spritzer. Bake 8-10 minutes or until golden brown and crisp. Remove chips from pan. Cool completely


Almond Spritz Cookies--A great tradition


  • 1/2 cup butter, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract


In a large mixing bowl with electric mixer, cream butter, shortening, and sugar until fluffy. Add egg; beat well. Add almond extract. Combine dry ingredients in a separate bowl, then add to creamed mixture gradually. Press cookies 1 inch apart on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake at 350° for about 7 to 8 minutes. Cool butter cookies on a wire rack. Makes about 5 dozen almond spritz cookies.


Chicken Cacciatore--Crockpot

I am super busy this time of the year and I look for wonderful recipes that will fill me up and are low in fat.  With the holiday eating season in full swing, I try to cook something nutritious for dinner.  I love this recipe because it cooks all day while I am at work.
Chicken Cacciatore
(adapted from Rival Crockpot Cookbook)
  • 3 lbs skinless chicken thighs (bone-in; if using boneless, 8 or 9 thighs)
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 medium green bell pepper, chopped
  • 8 oz brown crimini or portobello mushrooms, roughly chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 can chopped tomatoes (about 14 oz)
  • 2/3 cup dry wine (white or red)
  • 1 Tablespoon Italian seasoning mixture, or 1 teaspoon each oregano, basil, and thyme
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/3 cup tomato paste
  • 1 inch of Parmesan cheese rind (optional)
1. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Put in crock pot set to low, and cover. Alternatively, you can brown the chicken before or after removing the skin, and then pour off most of the fat before cooking the vegetables.
2. Spoon ingredients onto the top of the chicken, and cook for 3 hours on high or 6 to 8 hours on low. About half an hour before you are ready to eat, check and adjust seasonings one more time.


Peanut Butter Blossom Cookies

These are the wonderful little cookies my mom would make every year and then I would know it was Christmas.  I can't wait to make these this weekend.  I am very excited!!  We are supposed to get some snow and I can't wait to bake.

Peanut Butter Blossom Cookies

  • 1 cup shortening
  • 1 cup peanut butter
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup white sugar for decoration
  • 2 (9 ounce) bags milk chocolate candy kisses, unwrapped
Today's cookie recipe has been in my family since I was very little.  My mom has made these cookies each and every Christmas since I can remember.  This cookie is that one cookie that makes me think Christmas.


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Grease cookie sheets.
  2. In a large bowl, cream together the shortening, peanut butter, brown sugar, and 1 cup white sugar until smooth. Beat in the eggs one at a time, and stir in the milk and vanilla. Combine the flour, baking soda, and salt; stir into the peanut butter mixture until well blended. Shape tablespoonfuls of dough into balls, and roll in remaining white sugar. Place cookies 2 inches apart on the prepared cookie sheets.
  3. Bake for 10 to12 minutes in the preheated oven. Remove from oven, and immediately press a chocolate kiss into each cookie. Allow to cool completely; the kiss will harden as it cools.


Cranberry Amaretto Cookies

Here is a great way to get that festive color onto your cookie platter!
It is a great yummy recipe also. It is also a great way to use up any leftover cranberries you may have leftover from thanksgiving!

Cranberry Amaretto Cookies


1 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1/3 cup amaretto
2 large eggs
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups chopped fresh cranberries
1 cup slivered almonds, toasted

Beat butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy; gradually add sugars, beating well. Add amaretto and eggs, beating until blended.
Combine flour, baking powder, and salt; gradually add to butter mixture, beating at low speed until blended after each addition. Stir in cranberries and almonds. Drop by rounded tablespoonfuls onto ungreased baking sheets.
Bake at 375° for 9 to 11 minutes. Remove to wire racks to cool


OOOHHH!! My Favorite Sweet Time of The Year

"Join the Virtual Cookie Recipe Exchange with Flour On My Face Prizes donated by King Arthur Flour, St Martins Press / Robin L. Olson and Garnish."

I am a baker and I love making wonderful gifts for the holidays. I give cookies to about everyone I know. Many look forward to getting these wonderful dishes each year.

Chocolate Crackle Cookies
(Adapted from The Betty Crocker Cookbook)

1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup canola oil
4 oz. bittersweet chocolate, melted
1 tsp. almond extract
3 eggs
1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
3/4 cup dark chocolate chips
1/2 cup powdered sugar

Stir together sugar and oil. Add in bittersweet chocolate until well blended. Mix in eggs and almond extract.
In small bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt, mix dry ingredients into wet ingredients, stirring until well combined. Fold in chocolate chips.
Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
Heat oven to 350
line cookie sheets with parchment paper
Place powdered sugar in small bowl
Scoop out small teaspoon of dough, drop in sugar and roll until covered. Place on baking sheet. about 2-3 inches apart.
Bake for 9-11 minutes, until just set. Take out of oven and let rest on cookie sheet about 5 minutes. Take off, cool on wire rack or parchment paper. ENJOY!


Friday Finds

Using pinterest, I found this week's friday finds.  If you haven't used pinterest before, I urge you to go and check it out.  It is a great resource and I have found many great ideas.


Toffee Cinnamon Rolls-A holiday tradition

With every holiday that I spend at my house, I make cinnamon rolls.  One year, I decided to add some toffee to my basic cinnamon roll recipe and a tradition was born.  These are the best rolls ever!!!  I can truthfully say this.  Plan some time into your day, make these special treats, and relax!!

Toffee Cinnamon Rolls

½ cup vanilla ice cream

½ cup brown sugar

1/3 cup butter

In a small saucepan, melt butter, add brown sugar and ice cream, bring to a boil and cook for 2 mins.  Pour caramel into the bottom of a lightly  greased 9x13 pan.


1 cup warm water

1 egg

3 cups bread flour

¼ cup white sugar

3 tablespoons instant powdered milk

1 ½ tsp. salt

5 tablespoons butter, softened

Place water , egg, bread flour, white sugar, powdered milk, salt, butter and yeast in mixer with dough hook attached.  Turn to medium speed and mix until combined.  Continue at medium speed for 6 minutes.  Place bread on floured workspace and knead 1/3 cup more flour into dough.  Place in a greased bowl and let rise 1-2 hours until doubled in size.  Roll out after rising.


½ cup butter softened

1 tablespoons cinnamon

½ cup brown sugar

 Mix together the cinnamon and sugar.  Smear butter onto rolled out dough. Roll up and seal edges.  Cut in 1 inch pieces.  Let rise until doubled in size.  Bake in a 350 degree oven for 20-25 minutes.  Invert baking pan onto a cookie sheet to cool rolls.  When cool sprinkle ½ cup toffee pieces on top of rolls.

Pistachio Salad

I am sharing with everyone my favorite fluffy salad.  I think it goes back in time to many holiday dinners at my grandmother's house.  This is my first holiday without any grandparents alive and I am making all my favorite dishes that used to grace their tables at our holiday gatherings. 

Pistachio Salad

1 pkg. dry instant pistachio pudding mix
1 lg. can crushed pineapple with juice
1 9 oz. container cool whip
1 pkg. miniature marshmallows
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Mix all together and refrigerate until ready to serve.

The best part about this wonderful holiday side dish is that I had all the ingredients in my pantry and didn't have to make an extra trip to the store for my late thought for Thanksgiving dinner!


Cherry Almond Teacakes (Great for Gift-Giving)

Are you looking for something different to give away in your Christmas baskets this year?  I tried this bread last night and my family loves it.  I think it would be a great addition to Christmas gifts. 

This year I am going to be doing a homemade Christmas to further deepen our family's tradition of the season.  My children are going to be getting mostly homemade items and so will some of our friends and neighbors.  I know my neighbors look forward to my homemade treats each year. 

Cherry Almond Teacakes

1 cup sugar
3/4 cup butter softened
3  eggs
3/4 cup milk
3 cups all-purpose flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/3 cup amaretto liqueur* -or- 1/3 cup milk and 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1 cup maraschino cherries, chopped, well-drained


3 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons melted
1/3 cup sliced almonds

Heat oven to 350°F. Grease bottoms only of 5 (5 3/4x3-inch) mini loaf pans; set aside.
Combine 1 cup sugar and 3/4 cup butter in large bowl; beat at medium speed until creamy. Add eggs; continue beating until well mixed. Reduce speed to low; add milk. Beat until well mixed. Add flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt; continue beating just until flour is moistened. Gently stir in amaretto liqueur and cherries. Spoon batter evenly into prepared pans.

Combine all topping ingredients in small bowl; mix well. Sprinkle over batter.

Bake for 35 to 45 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

Cool 10 minutes in pans; remove to wire cooling rack. Cool completely.

Friday Finds

Indoor snowball fight // love it!  This would make a great gift!Leftovers- Turkey soup
Indoor Snowman Fight                                                  Fiesta Turkey Soup  
Indoor Snowman Fight!  Great gift Idea for the holidays!
Leftover Turkey Soup..What to do with those leftovers?

Salted Caramel Dulce de Leche Cheesecake Bars
Salted caramel dulce de leche bars

turkey turkey
Turkey Craft
Great Turkey Placecard for Thanksgiving Dinner


Carrot Custard Pie

Photo from: Grandmaskitcen.com

This is a recipe that I am going to be serving for our family Thanksgiving.  It is a wonderful twist on Pumpkin Pie.  I tested it on the girls I work with and some were afraid to try it, but once they did they loved it! 

Carrot Custard Pie

1/4 cup granulated sugar
3 tablespoons butter, softened
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3 large eggs
1 1/4 cups grated carrots
1 1/4 cups evaporated milk
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 (9-inch) unbaked pie shell

1Preheat the oven to 425ºF. 2Combine granulated sugar and butter in a large bowl. Beat with an electric mixer set at medium speed until light and fluffy. Stir in the flour. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. 3Add the carrots, evaporated milk and cinnamon to the granulated sugar mixture and mix well. 4Spoon carrot mixture into the pie shell. Cover edge of pie shell with foil. 5Bake for 15 minutes. Remove foil. Bake at 350ºF until set, about 25 to 30 minutes. Let pie cool completely on a wire rack. Refrigerate any remaining pie.

Cran Raspberry Pie

This is a bit different twist on Cranberries.  I never thought to include cranberries in my pie, but this pie is delightful and a perfect addition to Thanksgiving!

Cran-Rasperry Pie
  • 2 cups chopped fresh cranberries
  • 1 (12 ounce) package frozen raspberries
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 tablespoons quick-cooking tapioca
  • 1/4teaspoon almond extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 Pastry for double-crust pie (9 inches)


  1. In a bowl, gently stir cranberries, raspberries, sugar, tapioca, extract and salt. Line pie plate with bottom pastry; add filling. Top with a lattice crust.
  2. Bake at 375 degrees F for 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 degrees F and bake 35-40 minutes more or until bubbly.


White Chocolate Toffee Cream Pie

Today, my recipe is a classic ice box pie.  I love these pies when entertaining a large crowd.  In the midwest where I live, you can even set them outside to chill because the weather is cold.  I hope you enjoy this lovely twist on a classic icebox pie.

White Chocolate Toffee Cream Pie
(adapted from foodily.com)

9 inch single pie crust


8 oz cream cheese, softened

1/4 cup heavy whipping cream

1  tsp pecan extract

1 (12 oz) package white chocolate chips, melted and cooled

3/4 cup ground toasted pecans

3/4 cup toffee baking bits

3/4 cup heavy whipping cream, whipped

In a large mixing bowl, combine cream cheese and 1/4 cup heaving whipping cream with an electric mixer at high speed until smooth. Beat in chocolate and extract. With a wooden spoon fold in pecans and toffee bits. Gently fold in whipped cream. Turn into pie crust and smooth top of pie. Chill pie until set, about 45 minutes to an hour.


1 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream

1/4 cup sifted powdered sugar

1 tsp pecan extract

Large rosette tip

Pastry bag

1/4 cup ground toasted pecans

1/4 cup toffee baking bits

Toasted pecans bits, dipped in chocolate, optional, recipe follows

In a medium mixing bowl, combine the first three ingredients and beat with an electric mixer until stiff. Spread  mixture over top of pie. Combine nuts and toffee bits in a small bowl. Sprinkle them evenly over center of pie. Chill until ready to serve.


      Thanksgiving Pie Week

      This week I have declared Thanksgiving Pie Week...It is a week in which I plan all my pies I am going to make for Thanksgiving.  I love to make pies and have even won some blue ribbons at the Iowa State Fair for my great pies.  This week some pies will be traditional and others will have a bit of a twist. 

      Here is the first pie to get us started.

      For me the holidays are not the holidays without a pecan pie.  This is the one I will be making this year.

      Salted Caramel Pecan Pie

      • 1 (9 inch) unbaked pie crust
      • 36 individually wrapped caramels, unwrapped
      • 1/4 cup butter
      • 1/4 cup milk
      • 3/4 cup white sugar
      • 3 eggs
      • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
      • 1/4 teaspoon salt
      • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
      • 1 cup pecan halves

      Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a saucepan over low heat, combine caramels, butter and milk. Cook, stirring frequently, until smooth. Remove from heat and set aside.

      In a large bowl, combine sugar, eggs, vanilla, salt, and cinammon. Gradually mix in the melted caramel mixture. Stir in pecans. Pour filling into unbaked pie crust.               
      Bake in the preheated oven for 45 to 50 minutes, or until pastry is golden brown. Allow to cool until filling is firm

      Bloggy Cookie Swap

      I am so excited. I signed up for The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap and I couldn't be more excited.  I absolutely love the holidays and I also love to bake, but I don't love the extra treats available during this time.  If you are a blogger, I encourage you to enter and join in the fun.  You have until this evening to sign up.  Stay tuned for more information about this project.


      Famous Apple Pie

      What do you get when you find a bag of these:

       You get my famous apple pie!!  I love this time of the year because I get to make my wonderful baked creations and I don't have to feel guilty about  them.  I love to feel cozy in my house and have the smell of something wonderful baking in the oven.  I am not always excited about the mess I create, but it cleans up!!  Well since our visit to an apple orchard a week or so ago, my family has been asking if I can make my apple pie.  Of Course today was a very snowy day and I chose to spend my morning making a pie.  AHHHH!!  Relaxation.

       My pie starts with 8 cups of apples, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg, and 1/2 cup or so of brown sugar. 
       Roll out the pie crust and place in your pan.  Do not flute the edges if you are topping your pie with another crust!

      Add your apples, dot with butter if you want to and top with the second crust.

      Now trim the edge to 1/2 inch over the pie plate and crimp the edges.  Cut a slit in the top of your pie and bake at 400 degrees for 30 mins. and then turn down oven to 375 degrees and bake for another 30 mins. or until pie bubble in the center.  That is how you know it is finshed.

      What is this white stuff?

      Well I woke up to this scene this morning!!

      Yes, it is definitely November in Iowa..What a great surprise on my day off.  It is very wet and slushy and not going to last too long.  I love winter and the snow.  I like to focus my energy into my house and on the craft projects that get neglected all year long.  I also tend to bake more and more great treats.  It also puts me in a Holiday mood!

      This year starting the week after Thanksgiving, I am going to host a winter treat week.  All in time to get us ready for Christmas.  If there is a recipe you would like to see featured, Email me at:  frugal cooking corner and I will feature your recipe.  I will make and review each recipe I am sent.  I will also be featuring some of my own treats.  Looking forward to seeing you soon. 

      As always comments are wonderful!


      Quick and Easy Spicy Chicken Gumbo

      Here is my wonderful easy spicy chicken gumbo recipe.  I had many ask for this recipe, so here it is.  All measurements may be changed in your own kitchen to make more or less for your family.  Soup is pretty unforgiving, but by using frozen and canned the time taken to cook this is easy.  When making this for my children, I omit the red pepper.  It is a great recipe for the middle of the week, or on a night you need to get moving quickly.  It is great for fall get togethers because you can double the reicpe and  be on the move fast.

      Quick and Easy Spicy Chicken Gumbo

      (Adapted from Cooking Light)


      • 4 servings rice cooked
      • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
      • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
      • 1 cup chopped onion
      • 1 cup chopped green bell pepper
      • 1 cup frozen cut okra
      • 1 cup chopped celery
      • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
      • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
      • 1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper (Optional)
      • 2 cups chopped roasted chicken breasts (or leftover Chicken)
      • 8 ounces andouille sausage, cut into 1-inch pieces
      • 1 (14 1/2-ounce) can diced tomatoes
      • 1 (14 1/2-ounce) can fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth


      • Cook rice according to package directions, omitting salt and fat.
      • While rice cooks, combine flour and oil in a Dutch oven; saute over medium-high heat 3 minutes. Add onion and next 6 ingredients (onion through red pepper); cook 3 minutes or until tender, stirring frequently.
      • Stir in chicken, kielbasa, tomatoes, and broth; cook 6 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Serve over rice.

      Week of October 24 --Meal Plan Monday

      This week it is looking kind of warm at the beginning of the week and a lot colder by the end of the week. 

      Monday:  Grilled pork chops seasoned potatoes, and glazed apple slices

      Tuesday:  Crockpot stroganoff

      Wednesday: Spicy Gumbo:  Did not make it last week.

      Thursday:  Leftovers

      Friday: Pizza

      Sat:  Eat Out at Harvest Party

      Sunday: Halloween meal (Look for post about how I make Halloween fun for the kids).

      As always I will be linking up at http://orgjunkie.com/


      Halloween Snack Mix

      Halloween is just around the corner and here is my go to snack mix

      Halloween Snack Mix

      4 cups rice chex

      4 cups corn chex

      4 cups popcorn popped

      1 bag of caramel corn

      I mix up all the cereal and popcorn.  Then I make the caramel sauce:

      Caramel Sauce:

      Caramel Sauce

      1/2 cup white sugar

      1/2 cup brown sugar

      1/4 cup water

      1/2 tsp baking soda

      combine sugars and water in saucepan on stove.  Heat until boiling then turn heat to simmer and simmer 5 mins. Pour over cereal mix, stir to combine, and bake in a 250 degree oven for 1 hour and stir every 15 mins.  When done baking pour onto cookie sheets or parchment paper to cool.  When cool break apart and mix in the candy corn or m & m's. 


      Candy Corn Cupcakes

      You can check out this recipe at The girl who ate everything.  I followed it pretty much to the letter! 

      Today I made wonderful Candy Corn Cupcakes for my daughter's dance group.  It was Fall week and they were encouraged to dress up in costumes and bring treats.  These cupcakes were the perfect addition.

      I started with a boxed white cake mix.  (Yes, I use cake mixes!  I love to make things homemade, but I still find a boxed mix does the job.)  I doctored it up using 1 cup sour cream, 2 eggs, 1/2 cup of milk, and 1/3 cup oil. 

      Took half the batter and colored it yellow

      The other half I colored orange

      Layer half yellow and half orange in standard muffin tin with liners..I chose to use Halloween inspired liners. 

      Bake according to package directions.  350 degrees for 18 minutes. 

      Frost with a white frosting and decorate as appropriate.

      I used a marshmallow frosting for some ooey gooey fun!!  The children loved these!!


      Read more about it at www.cooks.com/rec/view/0,166,152171-237207,00.html
      Content Copyright © 2011 Cooks.com - All rights reserved.
      3 egg whites
      2 1/4 c. sugar
      3/4 tsp. cream of tartar
      1 1/3 tbsp. vanilla
      3/4 c. boiling water

      Combine egg whites, sugar, cream of tartar and vanilla. Mix at low speed then add boiling water
      while mixer is at low speed. When all water is added turn to high speed and beat until peak stands.

      Caramel Apple Cake

      The weather has become COLD in my world...A sure sign that fall and holiday baking will be in full swing soon.  I absolutely love this time of year.  With the coolness in the air, I decided to go full speed ahead and bake up some of my favorites this week.  This recipe is great as a dessert option with company.  It looks very pretty on a platter or cake stand.  It also is a wonderful recipe for an afterschool snack option.  It has the great taste of caramel apples in a cake. 

      Caramel Apple Cake

      1 box spice cake mix (Plus ingredients as called for on package)
      3 c. cubed apples
      1/2 cup chopped nuts (You don't have to use these)

      Prepare cake mix according to package directions.  Add apples and nuts and stir until well blended. 

      Put in an 8 or 9 inch bundt pan. 

      Bake at 350 degrees for 45-60 minutes. 

      While the cake is baking prepare the frosting:

      Frosting Ingredients
      1/2 cup brown sugar
      1/2 cup white sugar
      1/2 cup butter
      1/2 cup heavy cream

      Combine sugars, butter, and cream in saucepan. Bring to boil. Remove from heat. Serve frosting warm or cold on warm cake.

      While the cake is baking prepare the frosting:

      Frosting Ingredients
      1/2 cup brown sugar
      1/2 cup white sugar
      1/2 cup butter
      1/2 cup heavy cream

      Combine sugars, butter, and cream in saucepan.  Bring to boil.  Remove from heat.  Serve frosting warm or cold on warm cake.


      Cranberry Stuffed Pork Roast

      Well, I chose to make a new creation in my kitchen.  Sometimes, I am not sure about a recipe I want to make, but with the temperature in the 40's and that crisp fall air.  I decided that our wonderful fall day needed a wonderful fall dinner.  I looked at my pork roast and decided it needed some flair.  I searched the grocery store, and what did I find?  I found cranberries.  The sign said just arrived.  Well, these were just begging to be used so I created a great pork roast recipe incorporating the cranberries.  This recipe has some sweet and savory vibes to it, but the family gobbled it up.  Why not use this in your own kitchen and be the hit of the day.
      Cranberry Stuffed Pork Roast

      1 Pork Loin Roast, slit cut into for stuffing purposes

      1/2 lb. cranberries

      1 Tbsp. Fresh Sage

      1 tsp. cloves

      1/2 cup brown sugar

      1/4 cup orange juice concentrate

      Heat oven to 350 degrees.  Mix cranberries, sage, cloves, brown sugar and orange juice concentrate. Stuff into the slit cut in roast.  Place in baking pan.  Bake for about 1 to 1 1/2 hours or until done.  Enjoy!! 

      My kids and husband claimed this was the best meal they have had in a while.  I served this with fresh brussel sprouts from my garden and some applesauce.  Simple meal, but good!


      Menu Plan 10/17

      Menu Plan Monday is hosted at Organizing Junkie - stop by for hundreds of menus

      This week fall is back in the air.  I haven't been very faithful in following my menu plan, but it is there and we do abide most days by it. 

      Here is this week's menu
      Monday:  Tostadas with homemade salsa
      Tuesday: Crockpot Chicken with apples
      Wednesday: Spicy Gumbo
      Thursday: Lefotvers
      Friday: Pepper Steak Crockpot Style
      Saturday:  Date night to celebrate our anniversary/Pizza for the kids and babysitter
      Sunday: Old fashioned beef stew

      For more great ideas head over to I'm an organizing junkie


      Friday Finds--Pumpkin Edition

      Here are the wonderful recipes I hope to make in the next couple of weeks.  The pumpkin cake rolls are on my agenda for tomorrow.  I usually make these and invite my mom friends over to enjoy some quiet girl time.  These also make a great fancy dessert for a special occasion.  I make one of these and pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving. 
      Pinned Image
      Pumpkin Cream Cheese Cake Roll
      Pumpkin Cupcakes with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting
      Pumpkin Cupcakes

      candy-corn sugar cookies
      Candy Corn Cookies


      Chicken Pot Pie

      Well, it is a rainy day here in central Iowa.  I spent my morning doing my schoolwork for the week.  Yes, I am in my mid-thirties and still in school.  I suppose it is my quest for greatness?  Nope, just my quest to become a Dr. and help people.  Some days I think I am crazy, but I have a wonderfully supportive husband who wants me to succeed.  What more can a girl ask for?  Today I am using leftover chicken to make a wonderful old-fashioned chicken pot pie.  This is a cure to anything that ails you.  It reminds me of something you would get at an Amish dinner table.  Very comforting! 
      Chicken Pot Pie      

      1/2 roasted chicken, chopped up
      1 cup sliced carrots
      1 cup frozen green peas
      1/2 cup sliced celery
      1/3 cup butter
      1/3 cup chopped onion
      1/3 cup all-purpose flour
      1/2 teaspoon salt
       1/4 teaspoon black pepper
       1/4 teaspoon celery seed
       1 3/4 cups chicken broth
       2/3 cup milk                    

       2  (9 inch) unbaked pie crusts


      1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C.)
      2. In a saucepan, combine chicken, carrots, peas, and celery. Add water to cover and boil for 15 minutes. Remove from heat, drain and set aside.
      3. In the saucepan over medium heat, cook onions in butter until soft and translucent. Stir in flour, salt, pepper, and celery seed. Slowly stir in chicken broth and milk. Simmer over medium-low heat until thick. Remove from heat and set aside.
      4. Place the chicken mixture in bottom pie crust. Pour hot liquid mixture over. Cover with top crust, seal edges, and cut away excess dough. Make several small slits in the top to allow steam to escape.
      5. Bake in the preheated oven for 30 to 35 minutes, or until pastry is golden brown and filling is bubbly. Cool for 10 minutes before serving.


      Wednesday Fun!

      This week I am off on Wednesday.  All school work finished and actually have a day to spend with my wonderful 4 year old little boy.

      I am so excited.  We are going to make some cookies.

      Pumpkin Pie Cookies

      • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
      • 1 teaspoon baking powder
      • 1 teaspoon baking soda
      • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
      • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
      • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
      • 1/2 teaspoon salt
      • 1/2 cup butter, softened
      • 1 1/2 cups white sugar
      • 1 cup canned pumpkin puree
      • 1 egg
      • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
      • 2 cups confectioners' sugar
      • 3 tablespoons milk
      • 1 tablespoon melted butter
      • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


      1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, ground cloves, and salt; set aside.
      2. In a medium bowl, cream together the 1/2 cup of butter and white sugar. Add pumpkin, egg, and 1 teaspoon vanilla to butter mixture, and beat until creamy. Mix in dry ingredients. Drop on cookie sheet by tablespoonfuls; flatten slightly.
      3. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes in the preheated oven. Cool cookies, then drizzle glaze with fork.
      4. To Make Glaze: Combine confectioners' sugar, milk, 1 tablespoon melted butter, and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Add milk as needed, to achieve drizzling consistency.


      Menu Plan Monday 10/10

      This week I have a very busy week ahead of me.  I also have my yearly health screen...Ugh!  Wonder where all the numbers that tell me how healthy I am will be at.  Hopefully, a little bit better than last year.  We will see.  Here is the menu for this week.  As always I will be linking up to Menu Plan Monday !

      Monday:  Crockpot tomato soup and dressed up grilled cheese sandwiches

      Tuesday:  Crockpot beef roast and all the fixins' (didn't make it last week, because summer returned)

      Wednesday: Beef pot pie

      Thursday: Cranberry pork roast

      Friday:  Leftover night

      Saturday: Hot wings

      Sunday: Roast Chicken

      Tomato Basil Soup and Grown Up Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

      Crockpot Tomato Basil Soup

      3 lbs cherry tomatoes
      4 cups chicken broth
      14 leaves fresh basil
      1 cup heavy whipping cream
      1/2 cup butter
      salt and pepper to taste


      1. Place tomatoes andstock in a crock pot. Cook for 4 hours on low. Puree the tomato mixture along with the basil leaves, and return the puree to the crockpot.
      2. Turn crock pot to high, and stir in the heavy cream and butter. Season with salt and pepper. Heat, stirring until the butter is melted. Do not boil.


      Grown up Grilled Cheese

      • 2 slices Italian bread
      • 1 tablespoon softened butter, divided
      • 1 tablespoon prepared pesto sauce, divided
      • 1 slice provolone cheese
      • 2 slices tomato
      • 1 slice Cheddar cheese


      1. Spread one side of a slice of bread with butter, and place it, buttered side down, into a nonstick skillet over medium heat.
      2. Spread the top of the bread slice in the skillet with half the pesto sauce, and place a slice of provolone cheese, the tomato slices, and the slice of Cheddar cheese onto the pesto.
      3. Spread remaining pesto sauce on one side of the second slice of bread, and place the bread slice, pesto side down, onto the sandwich. Butter the top side of the sandwich.
      4. Gently fry the sandwich, flipping once, until both sides of the bread are golden brown and the cheese has melted, about 5 minutes per side.


      Pumpkin Spice Cream Cheese Muffins

      3 cups all-purpose flour
      1 teaspoon cinnamon
      1 teaspoon nutmeg
      1 teaspoon ground cloves
      4 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
      1 pinch cardamom
      1 teaspoon salt
      1 teaspoon baking soda
      4 eggs
      2 cups sugar
      2 cups pumpkin
      1 1/4 cups vegetable oil
      8 ounces cream cheese
      Chopped pumpkin seeds or walnuts or pecans (optional)

      Preheat oven to 350. Put the entire brick of cream cheese on a piece of wax paper or parchment paper and shape it into a long log. Put it in the freezer while you mix and fill the pans, up to an hour. Unwrap and cut with a sharp knife so each cream cheese disk equals 1-2 teaspoons. If the cream cheese disks are too big around, cut thick slices and then cut them in half. This lets you push it down into the batter easier. Mix all ingredients together (except cream cheese and nuts.

      Fill muffin tins (greased or paper cups) half full. Put cream cheese disc in the middle, pressing down. Sprinkle with 1 tsp chopped nuts. Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean from the muffin part (do not touch the cream cheese!). Let cool in pans for 5 minutes, then remove to racks to cool completely. Do not touch the cream cheese until it cools.


      This recipe is being made, because I still have tomato plants that do not want to stop producing. I know that the days are limited because we should have frost anytime. Once the frost comes, there will be no more tomatoes. This recipe is definitely a keeper. I found it in my email from a friend. I was begging for recipes last week because I wanted to be frugal and not let any tomatoes go to waste. Try this recipe you won't be disappointed.

      Makes 4 servings.


      3/4 cup crumbled feta cheese

      1/2 cup low sodium chicken broth

      1/2 tsp dried oregano

      Salt and Pepper

      3/4 cup chopped olives

      1 pint grape or cherry tomatoes, halved

      2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

      4 pounds bone in chicken parts, breasts, drumsticks and thighs

      Season chicken with salt and pepper and place in a slow cooker. Top with garlic and oregano. Add tomatoes and broth. Cover and cook on low heat until chicken is tender and 165° on a thermometer, 5 hours. Top with olives and feta cheese, cover and cook 15 min. then SERVE...



      This year, I actually planted Leeks. They grew, and now I am trying to find things to make. With colder weather approaching. I am making this soup. In my house we love potato soup. I added leeks to my good old potato soup recipe and we have perfection. I never new something could be so good!! I encourage you to try this soup. If you don't have leeks don't worry. Just add a chopped onion. It will change the flavor a bit, but it will still be good on those cold days.

      Potato, Corn, and Leek Chowder

      2 Tbs. butter
      1 Tbs. olive oil
      1 1/2 C. coarsely chopped leek (about 1 lg. leek)
      1/2 C. finely chopped celery
      1/2 C. finely chopped red bell pepper
      2 C. whole milk
      3 Tbs. all-purpose flour
      3 C. fat-free, low-sodium chicken broth
      2 C. fresh corn kernels (about 4 ears)
      2 lb. cubed peeled Yukon gold or red potatoes
      1 tsp. salt
      1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper .
      1/4 C. finely chopped fresh parsley (or 2 tsp. dried parsley flakes)
      3 Tbs. chopped fresh chives

      Heat butter and oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Add leek, celery, and bell pepper;
      cook 4 minutes or until vegetables are tender, stirring frequently.

      Combine milk and flour in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk. Slowly add milk mixture to pan,
      stirring constantly. Stir in broth, corn, potato, salt, and freshly ground black pepper; and bring
      to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes or until potato is tender.
      Stir in parsley and chives.


      Apple Grunt

      I love Amish cooking. I am often reading books, and some of my favorite books are novels about Amish people. I tend to gravitate toward the simple living. I am not sure I could ever live as simply as they do, but I do like to slow myself down and enjoy a good dessert now and then. I made this for a quick weeknight dessert. It was wonderful. If doubled, it would be great for company.

      Amish Apple Grunt

      1/2 c. sugar
      2 tbsp. butter
      1 egg
      1 c. flour
      1/2 tsp. salt
      1/2 tsp. baking powder
      2 c. sliced apples
      1/2 c. sour milk or buttermilk
      1/2 tsp. vanilla
      6 tbsp. brown sugar
      1 1/2 tbsp. flour
      1/2 tsp. cinnamon
      1 1/2 tbsp. butter

      Cream sugar and butter together; add eggs and mix. Blend flour, salt and baking powder together and add to mixture. Mix soda with milk and vanilla; mix all together. Add apple slices and pour batter into a buttered baking dish. In a separate bowl, combine brown sugar, flour, cinnamon and butter, mixing until crumb texture; sprinkle over apple batter. Bake at 375 degrees for 35 to 40 minutes. Serve hot with rich milk, Half and Half or a scoop of ice cream.
      Makes 4 generous servings.


      Chicken Club Sliders-Thursday night dinner

      This recipe is a great late summer early fall dinner.  I make this when I am feeling like I need to go to a restaurant.  The kids love it and I serve it with a side of chips.  Just like a little bistro by my house. 
      Makes 8 servings.

      8 slices bacon
      Salt and Pepper
      1 clove garlic, grated
      1/2 lemon, juiced
      1/2 cup sour cream
      1/4 cup finely chopped chives
      1 tsp hot sauce
      1/2 cup buttermilk
      1 1/2 pounds skinless boneless chicken breast
      A few sprigs flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
      1 small red chile pepper, finely chopped
      1 lemon, juiced
      Salt and lots of pepper
      A few sprigs thyme, chopped
      2 large cloves garlic, grated
      1/3 cup olive oil
      2 plum tomatoes, sliced
      8 standard size English muffins, toasted
      Chopped iceberg lettuce or romaine heart

      Heat oven to 375°. Arrange bacon on a broiler pan and bake until crisp, 20 min. Let cool, then halve slices. Heat an outdoor grill or grill pan or cast iron skillet. Combine all dressing ingredients in a bowl, season to taste with salt and pepper.
      STEP 2---In a baking dish, whisk together oil, lemon juice, garlic, chile pepper, thyme, parsley, salt and pepper. Add chicken and let marinate 10 min. Grill until cooked through. Let rest briefly, then slice. Arrange chicken on English muffin bottoms. Layer each with 2 half slices of bacon crisscrossed in an "X", some lettuce, tomato, dressing and a muffin top, then SERVE...


      Dr. Pepper Roasted Pecans

      I love making my presents at holiday time. My neighbors expect to get homemade baked goods delivered to their doors during the rushed holiday season. Here is a recipe that I recently tested. These was gone very quickly. The smell while the pecans were cooking reminded me of the warm roasted nut smell at fall festivals. My husband even emerged from his man cave to find out what I was making. Thumbs up all around!

      Dr. Pepper Glazed Pecans

      1/2 tablespoons butter or margarine
      1/2 cup Dr. Pepper
      1 cup pecan halves
      1/2 tsp. cinnamon

      Melt butter in small saucepan and add Dr. Pepper and cinnamon. Bring to the simmering point, then add pecans and simmer for 15 minutes or until Dr. Pepper evaporates, stirring frequently.

      Pour pecans over cookie sheet and bake at 275 degrees F for 40 minutes or until crisp, turning at least every 10 minutes while baking.

      National Walk to School Day

      Today is national walk to school day. 

      Did you or are you going to walk to school with your children? 

      Here is a great breakfast idea for the next day you decide to walk to school!


      Read more about it at www.cooks.com/rec/view/0,1718,153178-237205,00.html
      Content Copyright © 2011 Cooks.com - All rights reserved.
      2 slices (1 inch thick) bread, sourdough
      1 fresh banana
      1/3 c. granulated sugar
      2 whole fresh eggs
      1/2 c. milk
      1 tsp. ground cinnamon
      1 tsp. vanilla extract
      Oil or shortening for frying

      Cut bread loaf into 1 inch thick slices. Cut a 2 inch pocket into one side of the sliced bread. Set aside. Split one medium sized banana in half; then cut across. Remove peeling and stuff 2 pieces in each pocket of bread. Set aside. Mix sugar and cinnamon. Set aside. Mix eggs, milk and vanilla extract until well blended. Dip stuffed bread into batter to cover entire surface. Fry in 350 degree oil for about 1 1/2 to 2 minutes on each side. Remove from oil. Let drain then roll in sugar-cinnamon mixture, covering all sides. Serve hot. Serve with whipped butter and warmed maple syrup. Yield: 2 servings.