Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Detox Tea

So I am trying to make more healthy life choices and something I have trouble with is drinking enough water. I found  this detox tea that not only helps with my bloat but it seems to make me thirsty which helps me drink more water and it doesn't taste bad!! I'm only on day 3 of the 7 day detox but so far its great!!

1 dandelion tea bag (found mine in the organic section)
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon pure cranberry juice (no added sugar, organic)
60 oz water

Steep the bag in hot water for 20 minutes and then mix the remaining ingredients. Drink this once a day every day along with your water intake. It will help curve your appetite and de-bloat  you! Hope it works for you like it has been working for me!!

Monday, March 30, 2015

Fun Bridal Shower Game!

So we have all been to the dreadful bridal shower where they serve chips, soda, and a game that bores you to tears. I went to my friend Shannon's baby shower recently and they played this really cute game that I had to steal for the bridal shower I was planning.

I went to the dollar store and got 12 brown bags and some tissue paper. I printed out the letters BRIDAL SHOWER and filled each bag with something that begins with that letter that the bride to bring on her honeymoon! Some letters were harder than others and we had to stretch but here is what we used!!

B - Brush
R- Razors
I- Ibuprofen
D- Drivers License
A-Aloe Vera
L- Lingerie

S- Sunscreen
H- Hair tie
O- Oil (massage oil)
W- Waterproof mascara
E- Earrings
R- Rum (she was going to St. Luca!)

There are tons of other things you could maybe do for the letters. Here a few girls guessed
B-Blush, Bra, Bathing suit
D- Deodorant
E- Eye cream, Earplugs
H- Hat, Head band
O- OFF! Bug spray

You can also spell out different words like the Bride to be name or last name or Wedding. You can also change it up and do different things you'll find at a wedding. You can be as creative as you want!

Mimosa Bar!

For Sarah's Bridal shower, her sister had the idea of doing a Mimosa bar and it was a huge hit! I was pleasantly surprised how tasty everything was!

The jars to hold the juice were from the dollar store and she bought chalk board tags which we uses a white marker to write on with (chalk is so hard to write with) We did a grapefruit juice, orange juice, strawberry juice, and raspberry lemonade juice. We kept it simple on the fruit using strawberries, black and raspberries, oranges, and pineapples. Lemons would have been yummy too! The guest loves them! 

We served them in these cute mason jars with fun straws. The Raspberry lemonade was the crowd favorite! 

I might just start making them for me on the weekends! So yummy!

Light Lemon Blueberry Cake

I got this recipe from my cooking light pampered chef book and it is amazing! It is hard to believe it is lower in calories and in carbs! I also made a few adjustments to make it even healthier!

Cake and Filling:
1 can blueberry pie filling
1 package lemon cake mix
3 egg whites
1 cup water
1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 lemon
1 cup boiling water
1 package lemon gelatin

Preheat the oven to 375 Degrees F. Lightly spray and 9x13 baking dish.
Spread the blueberry pie filling out in the prepared pan.
In a separate bowl mix the cake mix, egg whites, water, and apple sauce. Stir until well blended and pour evenly on top of blueberry filling.
Four the pudding, boil 1 cup of water (I just place mine in a bowl and microwave for 1 minute) Pour the gelatin in until its dissolved. Add 2-3 tablespoons of fresh squeezed lemon juice. Pour the gelatin mixture evenly over  the cake layer.
Bake 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
Let stand for 10 minutes. Some times I will sprinkle some powdered sugar on top but it is not necessary. It is quite delicious. You can serve it with fat free cool whip too! I personally like the best after its been placed the refrigerator! It is excellent cold! Enjoy!


I make this drink anytime I have a party or a gathering and its a huge hit! Everyone from men, women, people who like to drink, and people who drink sparingly all love this! It is a strong drink but the citrus covers it up so well you cant tell!!

For this Big Jar I did 4 times the recipe but depending on how many guest you have you can always double or in my case use 4 times the amount! Here is the recipe for a small pitcher!

1 can of limeade (In the frozen juice section)
3 cans of water (use the limeade can)
9 oz of tequila
6 oz of triple sec
1 bottle of Corona

Mix together and enjoy!

For the big jug I kind of estimate and taste test. I usually use silver tequila and use about 2-2.5 cups of that. 1.5 cups of triple sec (I use the cheapest brand usually) 4 cans of limeade with their respected amounts of water and I get the mini coronas and use 5-6 of them (It depends on the crowd and the event how much booze I use) It is so  easy and you can make the night before so it is already ready the day of! You can also cut up lemons and limes for a more festive look!

Sarah's Bridal Shower

After a month of planning the Bridal shower for the beautiful bride to be finally arrived! Me and the Jessicas had so much fun planning it and it turned out so cute! I mean look at all this food!

We did the Homemade Corn Salsa, Spinach Dip, Loris famous cheese ball, veggies, Bacon Jalapeno Eggs , BBQ Pigs in a blanket, brownies, cupcakes, crock pot meatballs,  and made our own cheese tray! We had about 11 guest and the food was the perfect amount. You don't want to do too much or you will break the bank and no one will eat it all. You also don't want to do too little, it will make the presentation look bare and guest will not want to eat if no one else is eating. I also like to use matching colors or colors that complement each other for dishes. It make the food more visually appealing and use different heights to present the food! It will make you look like you have more than you have! And look at these cupcakes Kristi made!! They were hands down the best part of the food so delicious!

Me and the Baker!

We also had some yummy drinks! I have never had a Mimosa bar before and It turned out so cute and was a huge success! 

And can't forget the Margaronas! Always a Party favorite!

For games we did some of the typical "How well do you know the bride" and "Bride or Groom" which were really fun! We also played a game that I adapted from a baby shower.

The bags all spelled out "Bridal Shower" and in each bag there was an item the bride would have to bring with her to their honey moon! Look how we filled the bags here!

Can't forget the gifts either! Whats the fun of playing the games with out a prize!! Every thing in the baskets were $1 and the baskets them selves were 50 cents each!

jessica made the favors that were just to die for they were so cute. They were little mason jars filled with pop corn and they said "Thanks for popping bye!" A cute inexpensive way to end the evening!

She even stamped cute little love birds on the tags!

We also bout some flowers from the dollar store and sale flowers from Michaels and flower bombed the party! They are a cheap and easy way to add some festive decor and can be reused! I used these for Kristis baby shower! 

Our bride had so much fun and so did our guest! Hopefully some of these little hacks can help you plan a great bridal shower as well!!

Friday, March 27, 2015

Yummy Turkey Meatloaf

Now meatloaf can be a questionable dinner choice. I grew up hating meat loaf. I'm not sure if it was the mystery meat in it or if I was just freaked out by a log of meat. It certainly was not my first choice for a meal.  A few years ago my fiance asked me to make a meatloaf. Lets just say I was sweating bullets. How can I make a meal for someone when I loath the final product? I had recently bought a "Cooking Light" magazine which had a healthy turkey meatloaf recipe in it (originally from Good Housekeeping). Well I figured, I will try to be healthy, I will eat just about anything that can help me loose weight and what do you know I LOVED IT! It was the perfect zest and heartiness. It was filling, delicious and healthy!

1 tsp olive oil
2 medium celery stalks, finely chopped
1 small onion, chopped
1/2 tsp minced garlic (or 1 chopped garlic clove)
2 lb lean ground turkey
1/4 cup fresh whole wheat bread crumbs (from 1 1/2 slices of bread)
1/3 cup skim milk (I used unsweetened almond milk)
2 egg whites
1/2 cup ketchup, divided
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
Salt and Pepper
1 tbsp Dijon Mustard

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a medium non stick skillet, cook the oil on medium heat and add the chopped onions and celery. Cook for 8-10 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Stir occasionally.
Add the garlic and cook for an additional 1 minute. Transfer the veggies to a bowl to cool slightly.
In the bowl the the cooked vegetables, add the bread crumbs, ground turkey, milk, egg whites, 1/4 cup ketchup, Worcestershire sauce (I like to add an extra tablespoon for some extra flavor), salt, pepper. (I also recently started adding Italian seasoning to the mix).
Mix all ingredients with hands until well combined but not over mixed. Transfer the loaf to a baking sheet and form into the shape of a log. In a small bowl mix the remaining ketchup and Dijon mustard. Spread the ketchup mix over the loaf.
Bake the loaf for 55-60 minutes or until an internal thermometer reaches 160 degrees F. Let loaf sit 10 minutes before serving! Enjoy!

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Watermelon Sugar Cookes

With warm weather approaching what better way to get in the mood for spring than festive cookies? They are easy to make and look like you are crafty with cookies! (even if you are like me and you are terrible with icing!) Fun twist for the typical iced sugar cookie! (thatswhatchesaid.net)

1 roll of sugar cookie dough (You can get the refrigerated kind or the mix in the cake aisle)
1 can hot pink icing
Mini chocolate chips
Green food coloring 

Preheat the oven according to the cookie package.
If you bought the mix kind, make the dough according to the package and add around 10 drops of green food coloring.
If you bought the refrigerated pack, cut up the dough and add 10 drops of food coloring and knead the dough with your hands until the color is evenly spread out through out the dough. 
Roll the dough back into a log and refrigerate for about 30 minutes.
Slice the cookie log into 1/4 inch slices and place on to the cookie sheet (If you are having a hard time rolling the dough smoothly, you can make small round balls and flatten them out and place them on to the cookie sheet).
Bake the cookies according to the package, remove the cookies before they brown.
Let cool for around 10 minutes before icing. 
Take a knife or spatula and cut the cookies in half to create the crescent shape. 
Add the pink icing and sprinkle on the chocolate chips for the seeds! Mini watermelon cookies! So cute and so yummy! Enjoy!

DIY Coffee Creamer

So on this new healthy kick I have been looking into ways of cutting out processed foods in my diet. One thing I refuse to give up is my daily coffee but some of the creamers are packed with artificial flavors and sugars so I started playing around with a few things and found a substitute that taste good and is better for you!!

1 can condensed milk
2-3 cups unsweetened almond milk
1 tsp vanilla

Mix the ingredients together and voila!! Depending on how thick you want the creamer is how much almond milk I would add. 2 cups seemed to be the perfect amount for me but if you want it thinner add more until you like the consistency of it. If you want to switch up the flavors try adding different flavorings besides the vanilla like almond! 

Lemon Cringle Cookies

These are a fun addition to my yearly Christmas cookie bunch! They are super easy to make and add a little zing to the other cookies! (browneyedbaker.com)

1 box lemon cake mix
2 eggs
1/3 cup oil
zest of 2 lemons
2 tbsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp lemon extract
1/3 cup powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
In a large mixing bowl stir the cake mix, eggs, oil, lemon zest, lemon juice, and lemon extract until well blended.
Place the powdered sugar in a bowl.
Take the dough and roll into small 1 inch balls.
Drop each cookie ball into the powdered sugar until coated and place on the cookie sheet.
Bake for 8-10 minutes or until the edges are lightly brown. It is important not to over cook these. They should stay yellow and soft. Cool for 2-3 minutes on the cookies sheet before transferring to a cooling rack. These are one of my favorite cookies! Enjoy!

Oreo Cream Cake

This is the mother of ALL desserts. Every single time I make this the dish is licked clean and everyone is asking for seconds! I have made a few variations to this dessert ( like the strawberry shortcake recipe on here!) but this one is still the crowd favorite. The original dessert is from house344.com

1 pkg Oreos
1/2 cup melted butter
1 large box instant chocolate pudding
Milk for pudding
2 - 8oz Cool Whip
8 oz cream cheese, softened
1 cup powdered sugar

Crush the whole package of cookies. (I like to take a large ziplock bag and throw a handful in at a time and crush them up and transfer them to a bowl. ) Save 1/2 cup to sprinkle on top.
Pour the remaining crumbs in a 13x9 pan. Pour the melted butter over the crumbs, stir,  and press down to make a crust.
Make the pudding according to the package and set in fridge for it to firm.
In a separate bowl, mix the cream cheese until smooth and slowly add the powdered sugar until well blended. Fold in 1 tub of cool whip to the cream cheese batter.
Now we will start layering, on top of the oreo crust, spread out your cream cheese layer. On top of the cream cheese spread out the chocolate pudding, than spread the remaining cool whip tub on top on the pudding. Finish the desert by sprinkling the extra oreo cookies on. Chill until ready to serve. You are going to want to eat this in one sitting it is so delicious! Enjoy!

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Honey Lime Sriracha Chicken

So me and the fiance are trying to look at different ways to cut out calories and start slimming down for the big day! One thing we are incorporating in our diet ore is baked chicken, which lets be honest, can be quite a bore sometimes. So after looking at a few recipes I decided to make my own sriracha sauce to spice things up and it turned out perfect! Its well balanced between spicy and sweet with a nice little kick. We cant wait for it  to get warmer so we can try this sauce out of some wings!!

1/2 cup hoisin sauce
2 tsp minced garlic
3 tbsp organic honey
2 tbsp sriracha sauce
1/4 cup water
2 limes
4 boneless skinless chicken breast

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
In a bowl mix the hoisin sauce, garlic, honey, sriracha, water, and salt until well blended.
Dip the chicken breast one at a time in the sauce and lay down in a greased 9x13 baking dish.
Once all breast have been coated, pour the remaining sauce on top on the chicken breast.
Take 1 lime and squeeze all the juice over the chicken breast and slice up the second lime and layer over the chicken.
bake for about 20-25 minutes or until chicken is fully cooked. Enjoy!

Monday, March 16, 2015

Pizza roll up snacks

If you are going to a party or when the Super Bowl comes back around and you need a go to snack food look no further! Pizza rolls are super easy and always a hug hit!

2 cans crescent rolls
1 bag pepperonis
Mozzarella cheese sticks
Italian dressing
Parmesan cheese (optional)

Heat the oven according to the crescent roll packages.
Take crescents and roll the triangle out.
On the wider end of the triangle roll up 4 pepperonis and half of a mozzarella cheese stick.
Roll the crescent roll and lay seam side down on a prepared baking sheet.
Bake according to the package or until a golden brown.
While baking, in a small bowl mix some Italian dressing and Parmesan cheese together. Brush the mixture on top while cooling (it gives it a zesty kick)

You can also get marina sauce for dipping! These are so addicting! Enjoy!

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Mango Avocado Salsa

Looking for different ways to liven up your tacos with out adding bad calories? Or a way to add more flavor to chicken with out a lot of unhealthy fats? I have the answer for you! Avocado mango salsa! Its so fresh and delicious and good for you! We love to put it on top of marinated pork, in shrimp tacos, and so many other yummy summer dishes!

1 mango
1 avocado
1 tomato
1 small onion
1 tbsp lime juice

Chop up all the ingredients and mix together! Depending on what you like you can add more or less of something (I love tomatoes so I always use a ton). If  you are feeling lazy the sell a premade mix with the tomatoes, lime, cilantro, and onions at your local grocery store (pico). Hope you enjoy this! 

Healthy baked oatmeal

There is nothing better than starting your day off right! I like to begin my mornings with a big cup of coffee or tea and a yummy breakfast! Extra bonus points if its a healthy breakfast and this baked oatmeal is! I love it because you can make it the night before and just warm it up each morning. Delicious, convenient, and healthy! (sohowsittaste.com)

1 cup old fashion rolled oats (or steel-cut oats for an even healthier breakfast)
1/4 cup chopped walnuts, divided (optional)
1/2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 cup sugar free maple syrup
1 cup skim milk (or almond milk)
1 large egg
2 tbsp unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 tsp vanilla
2-3 ripe bananas, peeled and sliced
1 cup other fruit (blueberries, raspberries, or my favorite Apples!!)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease a 2 quart baking dish.
In a medium bowl mix the oats, half the nuts if using any, baking powder, cinnamon (if you are doing apples as your fruit I recommended using a little more cinnamon), and a pinch of salt.
In a liquid measuring cup, combined the syrup, milk, egg (lightly beat) butter, and vanilla. (Make sure ingredients are stirred together)
Spread the sliced bananas on the bottom of  the greased pan on a single layer. Top with half your fruit (berries, apples) Sprinkle the dry oat mix over the fruit. Pour the liquid mix evenly over the oats.
Sprinkle the remaining nuts and fruit over top.
Bake for 30-40 minutes or until top is browned. Let cool 10 minutes before serving and makes for great left overs! Enjoy!

The yummy way to healthy!

So we have all been on one of those diets where you are starving and despite all your efforts you don't lose the weight so we give up. Well on my journey to fitness I will share with you any recipes or ideas that I come across that have really made the experience more enjoyable for me! Lets start with a salad! Anyone can make a salad but will it be a healthy salad and will it be delicious and filling? I was inspired by the Panera Bread Spinach power bowl to make my own and oh boy was it worth it because this is so yummy! And good for you!

So I just honestly did a basic salad but its packed with so much yummy goodness. The base of the salad is spinach. I also had a spring mix of lettuce that I used as well. Spinach is such a great vegetable to incorporate into your diet, its full of many nutrients and vitamins.  I chopped up some tomatoes, cucumbers, and onions and tossed them in. I also chopped up some cilantro which helps give it a nice zing flavor. Its so delicious! You can swap our a few of the vegetable or add others that you really love!

1 cup spinach
1/2 cup lettuce mix
Sliced cucumbers
Sliced tomatoes
1-2 tsp chopped fresh cilantro
Sliced red onion
2 tbsp hummus (I use roasted red pepper)
1/4 lemon
salt and pepper
1/4 boneless skinless chicken breast

First brown your chicken. I like to sprinkle mine with salt and pepper and throw it into the oven. You can also brown it on the stove but avoid using a lot of oil. I usually prepare my chicken in bulk for salads for the week so I like to use about 2-3 breast and cut them up and store them.
Chop up your onions, tomatoes, cucumbers, and cilantro.
Layer the spinach and salad mix into your bowl and top with veggies and chicken. Take the lemon and squeeze the juice over the salad (I usually will cut the lemon in half and will use 1 half for 2 salads). Than put a small amount of hummus on the salad. Mix up and enjoy!! Its so yummy and filling and good for you! A lot of salad dressings are full of sugars and saturated fats. The lemon juice and hummus is a better alternative. Happy eating!

Chewy Butterfinger Cookies

When making my yearly Christmas cookie batch I was looking for fun new cookies to put in and behold I found  the chewy butterfingers cookies! I love butterfingers and I love cookies so naturally I would love butter finger cookies! (sallysbakingaddiction.com)

1 3/4 cup flour
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 egg
8 fun sized butterfinger candy bars, chopped

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Combine flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
In a separate bowl, beat sugar and butter until fluffy, beat in egg.
Gradually beat in flour mixture and stir in butterfingers.
Batter will be very thick.
Drop slightly rounded tablespoons of dough onto a greased cookie sheet.
Bake for 10-12 minutes or until lightly browned. Enjoy!

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Arkansas Bacon BBQ Green Beans

Going to a barbecue and looking for the perfect side dish? Look no further!! These Arkansas style green beans will be the best dish there! They are sweet and savory and will have all your guest talking! (allrecipes.com)

5 cans of green beans, drained
7 slices of bacon ( I used the precooked bacon and depending on the crowd I might use more than 7)
2/3 cups brown sugar
1/4 cup melted butter
7 tsp soy sauce
1 1/2 tsp garlic powder

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Place the drained green beans in a greased 9x13 pan.
Cook bacon in microwave and let cool before crumbling,
When bacon is cool enough to touch, crumble and mix in with the green beans.
In a bowl, mix the melted butter, soy sauce, garlic powder, and brown sugar.
Pour the mix evenly over the green beans and stir a little to mix it.
Bake for 40 minutes. Let cool a few minutes before serving to guest.


Easy Enchiladas

I have many recipes on here from the easy party snack the made from scratch dessert but what about the basic home dinner? These are not any thing fancy or hard to make. My mother showed me how to make them and they are the most requested thing in my house hold. So here it is, the extremely easy and affordable beef enchiladas!

1 lb beef
1 bag of Mexican mixed cheese
1 small can green chilies
1 large can enchilada sauce
1 package beef seasoning
1 package tortilla shells
sour cream (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Brown beef in pan and add chilies and taco seasoning according to package (will usually have you drain and add water) You can omit the chilies if you want a milder enchilada.
In the bottom of a 9x13 pan, pour a thin layer of enchilada sauce. Take a tortilla shell and fill it with a spoon full of the beef and chili mixture. You can make them as thin or as thick as you want. Roll up the enchilada and place seam side down in the pan.
Once all your enchiladas are rolled, pour the remaining enchilada sauce on top and cover with cheese. As you can tell in the pictures we love cheese on ours!

Bake for about 10-15 minutes or until cheese is melted.

We have played around with these where they are just cheese inside, or beans (I love using mexican corn and black beans as a filler, so yummy!)

Garnish with sour cream and enjoy!

DIY Oatmeal Bath Bomb

Like most people, my skin gets really dry in the winter time. I have looked at different home remedies for soothing my dry and achy skin and the best one is just plain oatmeal!! I take about 1/2 t 1 cup of raw oatmeal and toss in a blender. Chop it up until its almost all powered (you don't want it too fine). Take a set of stockings and fill it the the oatmeal power and tie it off. Leave a little bit of stocking on the end so you can tie it around the faucet.

Tie the oatmeal sack onto the faucet and let the warm water run over it while filling up the tub. While sitting in the bath I also like the take the sac and run it over my skin for a little extra moisturizing. It makes my skin so silk smooth!! I do this about once a week to keep my skin silky soft and smooth!! It pairs nicely with a glass of wine while taking a bath ;)

Cinnamon Roll Casserole

Everyone needs a go to breakfast dish if you have guest over or if you are invited to a brunch! Well this one is certainly a crowd pleaser and its so easy! They will think you slaved in the kitchen all morning! (thedishydecorator.blogspot.com)

2 cans refrigerated cinnamon rolls with icing
4 eggs
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
2 tsp ground cinnamon (I am heavy handed on the cinnamon! We love it so I add more)
2 tsp vanilla
1 cup chopped pecans (optional)
1/4 cup maple syrup
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease a 9x13 dish.
Separate both cans of dough, setting icing aside. Cut each roll into 8 pieces (I cut mine like a mini pizza.) Place the pieces into the greased dish.
In a medium bowl, beat eggs. Beat into the heavy cream (make sure they are well blended or they will bake funny into the casserole). Add cinnamon and vanilla until well blended. Pour the mix evenly over the cinnamon roll pieces.

If you choose to use pecans (we don't and its still delicious) sprinkle them over the rolls. Drizzle with the maple syrup. 
Bake for 20-28 minutes or until golden brown. 
Cool for 10-15 minutes.
Remove covers from icing and microwave 10-15 seconds or until thin enough to drizzle.
Drizzle icing over the casserole. I make this for our Christmas breakfast. Its SO yummy! Enjoy!

Strawberry shortcake pudding cake

With summer right around the corner we know that strawberry season is upon us!! I love deserts with strawberries. From short cake to chocolate covered strawberry cake, there are many things to do with this delicious summer fruit. Me and Johnny were having guest over one night and I wanted to make an easy but delicious summer treat and this hit the spot! It took only a few minutes to prepare, and was so yummy!!

Optional: Additional fruit (bananas, blueberries,etc)
Angel food cake (use the store made kind of whip up a batch of your favorite one!)
1 large package instant cheesecake pudding (and milk for the pudding)
2 - 8 oz packages cream cheese, softened
1 cup powdered sugar

Prepare the cheesecake pudding as instructed on the package and set aside.
Blend the cream cheese together and slowly add powdered sugar. Once blended, fold in one of the cool whips. This will be your cream cheese layer, set aside.
Now comes the fun part, layering!! You can change this part up by adding different fruits or a different layering combo.

Start layering with crumbled angel food cake on the bottom. If you are using any other additional fruit like bananas or blueberries place a later on top of the angel food cake. On top of the fruit and bread, put the cream cheese layer on. On top of the cream cheese layer, pour on the pudding. On top of the pudding put another layer of angel food cake and fruit. On top of the fruit, put the whole can of whipped cream that was not used. On top of your deliciously layered masterpiece put your final fruit on top!

The best thing about this dessert is the variety. You can layer strawberries through out, you can do bananas inside and put strawberries on top, you can layer with strawberries and blueberries for a red, white, and blue dessert!

Typically I make this in a 9x13 dish so it layers out nice. In the trifle dish, because its taller and narrower we had to do more layers in smaller amounts. If you do it in a flatter dish just layer each ingredient once ( Bread, fruit, cream cheese, pudding, cool whip, fruit) Hope you enjoy this as much as we do!!

Monday, March 9, 2015

Oreo Cheesecake Bites

One of my favorite things to make is cheesecake! Its so creamy and delicious! I could eat the whole cheesecake in one sitting! Well how do we make cheese cake even better? We add Oreo to it and cut up to make little cheesecake bites! (melskitchencafe.com)

36 Oreo Cookies, divided
1/4 cup butter
4- 8 oz packages cream cheese, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup sour cream
1 tsp vanilla
4 large eggs
 4 oz semi sweet chocolate
 4 oz white chocolate

Preheat over to 325 F. Line a 9x13 baking dish with foil, with the ends extending over the sides.
Crush 24 Oreos, melt the butter and mix with Oreo crumbs. Press the crumb mix into the bottom of the prepared pan.
In a large bowl, mix the cream cheese and sugar until well blended. Add sour cream, vanilla, and eggs one at a time, mixing until just blended.
Chop remaining cookies and stir into the batter.
Pour the batter over the crust.
Bake the cheesecake for 35-40 minutes or until the sides are set and the center is almost set.
Cool on a wire rack in the pan.
When the cheesecake is completely cooled, cover with plastic wrap and chill for at least 2 hours.
When chilled, life the cheesecake out with foil overhang and cut into pieces. The cheese cake is yummy just like this but you can melt the chocolate and drizzle it over the bites for an even yummier desert!
Serve chilled! Enjoy!

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Churro Cheesecake

This is also known as Sopapilla cheesecake but I like to call it Churro cheesecake! We make it for desert when we have taco nights or Mexican. Its a crisp yet light and fluffy dessert and OH MY is it delicious! I made them for a friends bridal shower and they were a huge hit! (from mybakerlady.com)

2 cans Pillsbury crescent rolls
2 (8oz) packages cream cheese, softened
1 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup butter, melted
Cinnamon & sugar (1 tbsp cinnamon to 4 tbsp sugar)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Unroll and spread 1 can of crescent rolls on the bottom of a greased 9x13 pan. Press all the seams together.
Combine the softened cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla until well combined. 
Spread the mix over the first crescent roll layer.
Unroll the second crescent roll and lay it on top of the cream cheese layer, pressing seams together (It is easier to unroll on parchment paper, press the seams together, and flip over on top of the cream cheese layer).
Spread the melted butter on top and sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar (we like a lot on top of ours!)
Bake for 20-30 minutes. You can eat them warm or place in the refrigerator to eat them cooled!


Southern butter pecan balls

I LOVE THESE! Some one would always make them and I never knew what they were called until I finally came across the recipe! I always include these in my Christmas cookies to switch it up a bit. They are so yummy! and different! Pecans are probably my favorite nut to cook with so naturally I would love these! (From thecountrycook.net)

1 cup butter flavored vegetable shortening
1 cup powdered sugar (plus more for coating)
2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/8 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups pecan chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Line cookie sheet with parchment paper (don't use a non stick spray, paper is highly recommended)
In a medium bowl, combine shortening, powdered sugar, and vanilla. Mix until smooth (use low setting at first.)
In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking soda, and salt.
Slowly ad the flower mixture to the shortening mixture.
Stir pecans into batter (make sure these are nice small chips)
The batter will not look like typical cookie batter, so don't fret.
Roll dough into walnut sized balls and place about 1 1/2 inch apart from each other on sheet.
Bake for about 15 minutes or until edges slightly brown.
Let the cookies cool down a little. While they are still warm (but not burning to the touch) roll the cookies into the extra powdered sugar.
Place the cookies on wax paper or a plate and let them finish cooling.
When completely cool, roll in the powdered sugar for a second time.

So yummy! Enjoy!

Andes Mint cookies - The easiest cookies you'll ever make!

When we make these cookies we are lucky if they make it out the door! They are so rich and delicious its hard not to eat them right out of the oven! And  they are so easy to make! There are only 4 ingredients!! Recipe from sixsistersstuff.com

1 Devils food cake mix
1/2 cup oil
2 eggs
1 package of Andes mints

Preheat over to 350 degrees.
Mix cake mix, oil, and eggs together.
Drop spoonfuls of dough onto a greased baking sheet. 
Bake for 6-9 minutes (Do not over cook these, there are best when fluffy)

While the cookies are still hot, place an Andes mint on top of each cookie. In a few minutes they will be melted. Take the back of a spoon and spread out on the cookie like frosting. 

You can eat them warm or wait for them to cool! They are delicious both ways! Enjoy!

Crock Pot Chicken Noodle Soup

Nothing cures the soul like a good bowl of chicken noodle soup! The can might be able to give you a quick fix of what you are craving but there is nothing like a hearty bowl of chicken noodle from scratch and now you can make it in the convenience of your crock pot! We love to use our crockpot in our home. Its easy and time saving! Here's a bonus.... this soup is healthy too!! Its always a win win with healthy, easy, and quick! Recipe from inspireddreamer.com

1 1/2 cups carrots, chopped
2 ribs celery, chopped
1 medium cooking onion, sliced
2 slices ginger, peeled
2-3 stocks fresh rosemary (I am not a big rosemary fan so I tend to cut down on this and use other spices like thyme, bay leaf, and parsley)
8 boneless, skinless check thighs
1 container low sodium chicken broth
1 cup white wine
coarse salt and pepper
2 cups egg noodles

Spray crock pot with a non stick spray. Add carrots, rosemary (or other spices) celery, onion, and ginger.

Arrange chicken on top of vegetables. Add broth,wine, salt and pepper.

Cook on low for 8 hours.

Shred chicken with forks, add noodles and cook on high for 20-30 minutes. Enjoy!

Confetti Cookies

My fiance loves funfetti anything. Funfetti cake, funfetti cookies, and certainly funfetti cake pops! And besides who doesn't love something with sprinkles on it! It just makes life more fun!! This recipe comes from averiecookies.com and are a part of my annual Christmas cookie batch! After making these super fluffy cookies I started baking more with corn starch and holy cow what a difference! They are always so chewy and delicious!

1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cups granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 1/2 tsp imitation vanilla (you can use real vanilla)
1 1/2 tsp almond extract
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp corn starch
3/4 tsp baking soda
3/4 cup sprinkles


Combined the butter, sugar, egg, extract, and beat on medium-high speed until well blended. (About 5-7 minutes or until light and fluffy). It is important the mix is nice and fluffy to insure the fluffy cookies.

Add flour, cornstarch, baking soda, salt and mix until well combined.

Add sprinkles, mixing until just incorporated (I typically fold mine in by hand.)

Form 2 tablespoon size mounds (recommended to use a 2 inch cookie scoop). Place mounds on a plate and flatten slightly with your palm. After all cookies are prepared and flatten, wrap them in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours (or up to 5 days) before baking. DO NOT bake with warm dough.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease 2 cookie sheets. Place mounds on cookie sheet at least 2 inches apart. Bake for 8 minutes (no longer than 9), or until the edges have set. These cookies should not turn golden, or they are over baked.

Allow cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to finish cooling. Enjoy!

Monday, March 2, 2015

Classic Fudge Frosting

I love making cake from scratch and that includes the frosting! I've had a great cream cheese frosting recipe that was my go too but now I love this fudge chocolate frosting more. I've tried a few recipes but they can be too bitter sometimes. This one is the perfect blend of chocolate and sweetness. Found on the Hershey's website!

Ingredients: (makes 2 cups of frosting)
1/2 cup butter, melted
2/3 cup Hersheys cocoa
3 cups powdered sugar
1/3 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla extract

Melt butter and stir in cocoa. Add milk than slowly add powdered sugar (adding additional milk if needed.) Stir in vanilla. Enjoy!

Almond Cookies

Every year for Christmas, I slave in the kitchen days before to get all my cookies ready! I am going to share with you come of my favorite recipes! This was a newer one that I tried a few years ago that i found on the-girl-who-ate-everything.com.

1 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp almond extract
2 cups flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp almond extract
3 tsp water
Almond slivers (optional)

Preheat over to 400. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
In a bowl, blend the butter, sugar, and almond extract.
In a separate bowl, mix the flour, baking powered, and salt. Add the flour mixture slowly to the butter mixture until well combined.
Roll into small balls and flatten slightly. Cook for 7 minutes (they will not look done.)
Cool cookies until they are just warm. Place sliced almonds on top of each cookie.
For the glaze:
Combine the powdered sugar, almond extract, and water. Drizzle a spoonful of glaze on top of the almonds and cookie. Enjoy!

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Roll

When fall arrives I start stocking the house with everything pumpkin. I love pumpkin pie, pumpkin spice, pumpkin bread, pumpkin candles, and most of all pumpkin rolls! The cream cheese layer is so yummy and addicting. Be careful when you make these! One will never be enough! I have tried a few versions of this but the best one is right on the back of a Libby's pumpkin can!

1/4 cup powdered sugar
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon (I love to cook with cinnamon, so we add a little more)
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp salt
3 large eggs
1 cup granulated sugar
2/3 cup Libby's Pumpkin
(you can all walnuts if you want, Johnny hates nuts so we omit)
8 oz cream cheese, at room temperature
1 cup powdered sugar
6 tbsp butter, softened
1 tsp vanilla
Extra powdered sugar for decorating

For the cake:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease 15x10 inch jelly roll pan (I did not have a jelly roll pan so I used a glass baking dish that was close the measurements) Line with wax paper (DO NOT SKIP  THIS STEP) Grease and flour paper. Sprinkle a thin, cotton kitchen towel with powdered sugar.

Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, and salt into a small bowl.
In a separate bowl beat eggs and granulated sugar until well blended, than stir in pumpkin. Stir in flour mixture. Spread evenly into a prepared pan. (if you are using nuts, sprinkle them on top)

Bake for 13-15 minutes or until the top of the cake springs back when touched. (if using a dark colored pan start checking at 11 minutes. It is important not to burn the cake)

Immediately loosen and turn cake onto prepared towel. (Please be very careful with this step, I have burned my fingers multiple times trying to get the cake out) Carefully peel off paper. You made need a fork or a knife to help guide the paper off the pumpkin roll. Do no fret if it doesn't come off perfectly.

Roll up the cake and the towel together (like you would roll up a cinnamon roll, starting with the narrow end). Cool on wire rack.

For the filling:
In a small bowl, beat the softened cream cheese and butter until well blended. Add in 1 cup powdered sugar and vanilla. When cake is cool, carefully unroll and remove the towel. Spread the cream cheese layer on the cake. Re-roll  the cake and wrap in plastic wrap to keep its shape. refrigerate for at least an hour (recommended over night) Sprinkle with powdered sugar before serving.


PF Chang Chicken Lettuce Wraps

If you have ever been to the PF Changs restaurant than you know exactly what these scrumptious lettuce wraps are! When I found the recipe on damndelicious.net I thought it was almost too good to be true. I made them during our recent snow storm and it was a huge hit!!!! They took less than 20 minutes to make are were delicious!

1 tbsp olive oil
1 lb ground chicken
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 onion, diced
1/4 cup hoisin sauce (we added a little more for flavor)
2-3 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbps rice wine vinegar
1 tsp of Sriracha (we love Sriarcha sauce so we had WAY more than 1 tsp)
8 oz can water chestnuts, chopped
2 green onions, thinly sliced
Salt and Pepper for taste
1 head of lettuce


Heat olive oil in a saucepan over medium high heat. Add ground chicken and cook until brown, 3-5 minutes (will not get as dark as when browning beef). Make sure to crumble the chicken while it cooks and drain any excess fat.

Stir in garlic, onion, hoisin sauce, soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, ginger, and Sriracha until onions have become translucent. (1 -2 minutes) Stir in chestnuts and green onions until tender. Season with salt and pepper.

Spoon chicken mixture into leaflets (I found it easier to put the lettuce in a bowl and make more of a lettuce bowl) If you like spicier food you can add more Sriracha on top! Enjoy!