Thursday, April 29, 2010

Chocolate Covered Cherry Cake

It is an oldie but a goodie folks...and can you say, simple, simple, simple?!  I guess that has been a theme of mine lately.  Oh well.  This cake has 4 ingredients, and don't ask me about the science behind it, because all I know is it works.  I have a cherry lovin' little girl that was in hea-ven with this, and helloooo, who doesn't love chocolate and cherries?  They go together like Mac and Cheese, Burt and Ernie, Peanut Butter and Jelly, Edward and Bella.  Ok, I will stop now.  Let's just say there is a reason it was the grand prize winner of the 1974 Pillsbury Bake Off!

     For Cake:
  • 1 box Devil's Food Chocolate Cake (18.25 oz)
  • 1 can Cherry Pie Filling (21 oz)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon Almond Extract
     For glaze:
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 1/3 cup whole milk
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Coat a 13"x9" cake pan with non-stick spray.
In a medium bowl, combine chocolate cake mix, cherry pie filling, eggs, and almond extract with a mixer on low for one minute.  Scrape down sides and continue to mix on medium for 2 additional minutes.  The batter should look thick and well blended.  Pour batter into prepared cake pan, smoothing with rubber spatula.  Place in oven and bake until it springs back to the touch and starts to pull away from the sides, about 30-35 minutes.  Remove cake from oven and place cake pan on a wire rack to cool while you work on the glaze.
For the glaze, in a small saucepan bring butter, sugar, and milk to a boil making sure to stir constantly.  Boil for 1 minute, still stirring.  Remove from heat and pour in chocolate chips, stirring until smooth and melted..  Pour over warm cake.  The glaze may appear thin, but it will thicken once cooled.  Cool the cake for 20 minutes before digging in.  Enjoy!

This recipe is linked at:
Tidy Mom's I'm Lovin' It
Simply Sweet Home Friday Favorites
Mommy's Kitchen Sunday Potluck
Eat at Home

Recipe Source:  Cake Doctor

Monday, April 26, 2010

Parmesan Crusted Dijon Chicken

Here is a play-by-play of what happened a few nights ago at dinner.
Kiddos are playing outside and Hubby working in his office.  Instead of having them come help set the table, I do it and lovingly set all the food on the table.  Parmesan Crusted Dijon Chicken, Cheddar Broccoli Rice, and Steamed Normandy Veggie Mix.  Usually when I am taking a picture of a dinner dish for the blog, I am doing it as my kiddos are tapping their feet and pounding their silverware on the table  waiting oh so patiently for me to take my picture.  Tonight, I thought I would have plenty of time to set up a nice shot.  I thoughtfully platted my plate and started snapping.  Then, out of nowhere, the smell hit me.  The heavenly smell of this scrumptious dish made my stomach snarl like I hadn't eaten it years.  I was on my feet and out the door yelling at the kiddos to "GET INSIDE NOW!  IT IS TIME TO EAT" then headed for my Hubby's door, tapping on the glass....louder and louder.  After too many more minutes of handwashing and meandering to the table, FINALLY, everyone was at their seats,  ready to take a bite of their chicken.
"WOW!" said the Hubby Love
"OH.  MY.  GOSH!"  said Kiddo B
"AWESOME"  said Kiddo A while giving a double thumbs up
Long story short, total hit!  Don't you love it when you remember a recipe you haven't made in a long time that seems like new?! 

  • 4-5 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 ½ cups bread crumbs, I like to use the Italian style 
  • ½ cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon Worchester sauce
  • ½ cup melted butter
  • 1 clove garlic, finely minced (you can use the jarred or frozen garlic equivalent)
  • 1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Mix bread crumbs, salt, and parmesan cheese.
Melt butter in separate bowl and add garlic, Worchester sauce, and Dijon mustard.
Allow butter mixture to cool a bit, then dip chicken in mixture to coat.
Dip coated chicken in crumb mixture. Place in baking dish , 13"x9" works well, that has been sprayed with non-stick spray or butter.
Cook for 45 minutes – 1 hour until cooked through.

This recipe is linked at:
Tidy Mom's I'm Lovin' It
Simply Sweet Home Friday Favorites
Mommy's Kitchen Sunday Potluck

Friday, April 23, 2010

Cookie Dough Pie

Yup, you read that right.  Cookie.  Dough.  Pie.  I'll give you a moment.....
While cruising through some food blogs, I came across this recipe on Big Red Kitchen and had it copied into my "must try" file immediately.  I am totally seeing many variations of this to experiment with, but I just had to share the original.  Now.  Immediately.   My family and I agree it is kind of like an ice cream cake (pie) with cookie dough bits in it.  Ok, I will quit talking about it and just give you the IN-SANELY easy recipe....

  • 15.25 ounce package Original Chips Ahoy Cookies (not the chewy kind)
  • 8 ounces Cool Whip
  • 2 cups milk (see note below)
  • Chocolate Sauce, for drizzle
Quickly dip cookies in milk, shake off excess liquid, and layer in 9 inch pie plate, breaking cookies to fill any gaps. Once the first layer is complete, top with a thin layer of Cool Whip. Repeat twice more making last layer of Cool Whip a bit thicker. Garnish with chocolate syrup if desired. Place in freezer 2-3 hours before serving. Serves 6-8.

Note- You must dip quickly or your pie will be very soggy. Make sure to shake off excess milk as well so that you do not have a puddle of milk in your pie. You will have leftover milk but you do need that amount to get the cookie completely immersed. The final product will be like a soft cookie dough-like consistency.

This recipe is linked up at:
Tiday Mom's I'm Loving It
Simply Sweet Home's Friday Favorites
Mommy's Kitchen Sunday Potluck

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

BBQ Meatballs

Yum, yum, yum, and yum!  This was my first venture into the meatball arena that wasn't accompanied by marinara sauce and spaghetti noodles.  Boy am I glad I did...venture that is.  Though I would have to say, we think of these more as little meatloaf meatballs because it isn't what I think of as a BBQ sauce.  Whatever it reminds you of, it is total comfort food here!
So, if you have tried Pioneer Woman's BBQ Meatballs already, then you know what I am talkin' about.  If you haven't tried them yet, make them as soon as will be happy you did!


  • 1-½ pound Ground Beef
  •  ¾ cups Oats
  • 1 cup Milk
  • 3 Tablespoons Very Finely Minced Onion
  • 1-½ teaspoon Salt
  • Plenty Of Ground Black Pepper (to Taste)
  • 1 cup All-Purpose Flour (coating For Frozen Meatballs)
  • Canola Oil
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 2 Tablespoons sugar
  • 3 Tablespoons white vinegar
  • 2 Tablespoons worcestershire sauce
  • 4 Tablespoons (to 6 Tablespoons) finely diced onion
  • 1 dash(es) Tabasco - optional...which I optioned out of.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Combine all meatball ingredients. Roll into medium-small balls and place on a cookie sheet. Place sheet in freezer for five minutes.
After 5 minutes, remove meatballs from freezer and immediately dredge in unseasoned flour.
Brown meatballs in canola oil until just brown. Place into a baking dish, like a 9"x13" pan.
Combine all sauce ingredients. Pour over meatballs and bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes. Serve with  mashed potatoes.

This recipe is linked up at:
Tidy Mom's I'm Lovin' It
Mommy's Kitchen Sunday Potluck

Monday, April 19, 2010

Unbelievable Chocolate Chip Cookies

And I am not just talking about the taste! They also earn the title of unbelievable because of a super secret ingredient and the fact that they are pretty darn healthy! I am not above withholding things from my family, especially when it comes to sneaking good for you stuff into my little unsuspecting brood. I always crack a grin and stifle a giggle when I see my kiddos digging into these gems. Many people turn their nose up when they find out the secret ingredients in these cookies is...ready for it...BEANS, but once they try them and see that YOU CANNOT TASTE THE BEANS in them, they are positively giddy at the idea of getting all of that extra fiber and protein in such a yummy treat!

  • 1 cup Flour Blend (see note below)
  •  1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  •  1/2 teaspoon salt
  •  1/4 cup rolled oats, finely ground in a food processor
  •  2 Tablespoons blanched, slivered almonds, finely ground in a food processor (omit if allergic)
  •  8 Tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
  •  1/4 cup white sugar
  •  1/4 cup brown sugar
  •  1 large egg
  •  1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  •  1/4 cup white bean puree (see note below)
  •  1/2 to 3/4 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
  •  optional extra boost - 1 cup of chopped walnuts or dried berries such as blueberries or raisins

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
In a medium bowl, whisk together Flour Blend, baking soda, salt, ground oats, and ground almonds (optional). Set aside.
In a separate bowl, beat butter and both sugars until creamy. Beat in egg, vanilla, and White Bean Puree. Add dry ingredients and mix on low speed. Stir in chocolate chips (and raisins, dried berries, and/or walnuts).
Make two-bite cookies by dropping rounded half tablespoons, spaced 2 inches apart onto nonstick or parchment-lined baking sheets.
Bake for 12-14 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool on a metal rack. Again, once cooled you CANNOT TASTE THE BEANS!
Store cookies in airtight container at room temperature.

Flour Blend:
To make the “flour blend”…sift together 1 cup white all purpose flour, 1 cup whole wheat flour, and 1 cup wheat germ. Use what you need and store the rest for future recipes.

White Bean Puree:
Drain and rinse a can of cannellini beans (Great Northern) put in blender or food processor and process until consistency of peanut butter. You may need to add 1 TBSP or so of water

This recipe is linked up at:
Tidy Mom's I'm Lovin' It
Simply Sweet Home's Friday Favorites
Mommy's Kitchen Sunday Potluck
Eat at Home

recipe source: The Sneaky Chef

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Blueberry Tea

I am inspired to share today's post with you because I am not feeling well. Anytime I am not feeling well, this is my "go-to" drink, but I have been known to drink it when I am feeling perfectly skippy because it is yummy. The medicinal power of this tasty treat cannot be overlooked though. I first started drinking this back when I was singing. Well singing after college for those NC friends who are gasping in disbelief. It does an amazing job cleaning out your throat, sinus, head, and...well....mucus. Gluck, I cannot believe I just used the word mucus in a food blog. Sorry. ANYWAY it really is amazing, just ask any of my friends whom I have made it for when they were feeling icky. Even my hubby has been known to drink a couple of these teas and wake up perfectly healthy. Can I get a witness?!?! So, here we go...whether you are feeling ill or just want a fabulous hot beverage!

  • 8 ounces hot decaf black tea
  • 1 shot Amaretto
  • 1 shot Grand Marnier
  • BIG squeeze of lemon
Pour your Amaretto and Grand Marnier into your hot tea, squeeze the lemon over top and stir to combine. Amen.
This post is linked at:
Tidy Mom's I'm Lovin' It
Mommy's Kitchen Sunday Potluck

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Taco Pasta

Make your own taco night does not work well with my family. Kiddo B loves them, Kiddo C will fill the taco shell with just sour cream and cheese, and Kiddo A will make the tacos talk until the shell breaks, then bring on the melt down! This dish is SO much easier for them to eat and SO much easier on me, not dealing with all the taco drama....not to mention, a complete breeze to put together! So whether you are looking for a taco alternative, or just want to change things up a bit, give this a try!

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 packet taco seasoning, 1.25 ounces
  • 1 can tomato sauce, 15 ounces
  • 1 can corn - drained, 15 ounces
  • 1 can black beans - drained and rinsed, 15 ounces
  • 1 package shell or elbow pasta, 8 ounces. Cooked according to package directions and drained.
  • 1 can chopped green chilies - drained, 4 ounces
  • 1 can diced tomatoes - drained, 15 ounces
  • 1 can Campbells condensed cheddar soup (OPTIONAL, but adds a fabulous creaminess)
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese, divided. You could also use a Mexican Blend or Colby Jack.
  • 1 cup broken tortilla chips.
  • Optional toppings to garnish before eating - shredded lettuce, sour cream
In a skillet, brown ground beef over medium heat. Drain and add taco seasoning, tomato sauce, corn, beans, diced tomatoes, can of condensed cheddar soup, and green chilies. Bring to a simmer. Stir in cooked pasta. Place in a 9" x 13" pan. Top with 1 1/2 cups of cheese. Sprinkle broken tortilla chips over cheese and top with remaining 1/2 cup cheese. Bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees, or until heated through and cheese is melted and bubbly. ENJOY!

This post is linked at:
Tidy Mom's I'm Lovin' It
Mommy's Kitchen Sunday Potluck
Eat at Home

Monday, April 12, 2010

Peanut Butter Pretzel Sugar Cookies with Two-Tone Chocolate Drizzle

Whew! That is a mouthful...but, at least after a bite of these, it will be a happy mouthful! The lovely Leslie, aka, The Hungry Housewife started this insanity. Only some minor tweaking ensued. They are sweet and salty, crunchy and tender, chocolate and peanut butter. It is basically a party for your mouth. For convenience and speed sake, I also used a sugar cookie mix. You could of course substitute your favorite sugar cookie recipe, but really, why wait any longer than necessary to put these in your belly.

  • 1 package Betty Crocker Sugar Cookie Mix, 17.5 ounce pouch
  • 1 stick softened butter
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 2 cups pretzels, broken into little bits
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup white chocolate chips
  • 1 tsp shortening, divided
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
In a medium bowl, mix together cookie mix, butter, egg, and peanut butter until smooth. Using a small cookie scoop, roll into 1" diameter balls. Roll the cookie dough balls in broken pretzel pieces until well coated. Place on an ungreased cookie sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes until lightly browned on edges. Remove from oven and do not try to take off of baking sheet until cooled. They will fall apart if you do. Trust me, and the several cookies I had to eat straight away because of that. Once all cooked and cooled, melt your chocolate chips with 1/2 tsp shortening in microwave. Start with 30 seconds, stir, and continue in 10 second intervals until smooth. Pour into a small sandwich baggie, making a small snip in the corner and quickly drizzle over all cookies. Repeat same process with white chocolate chips. Allow chocolate to set up...if you can't wait, throw them in the fridge or freezer for a few, then ENJOY!!!

This post is linked at:
Tidy Mom's I'm Lovin' It
Mommy's Kitchen Sunday Potluck
Baking and Creating with Avril
Frou Frou Decor
Eat at Home

Thursday, April 8, 2010

German Chicken Paprikash

Happy Thursday! We made our first trip to the beach on Tuesday, and I got a bit crispy. The kiddos and I are total water rats, so it was great for us to get our toes wet. On a happier note, though the plants are still sexing all over the place (yes, I just used the word sexing), my allergies are well under control now...hip, hip hooray! Apparently, this is the highest pollen count EVER in the big NC. Oh what our neighbors must think at us bringing all these records with us. Record snowfall, record cold, record pollen.

I thought I would be the odd one today and give you a non-Easter, or should I say, non-Easter leftover recipe. Not that this is what we are having...heck I have Ham and Bean Soup in the crock pot as we speak, haha! BUT, I did make this last week and it was delish! This is another authentic German dish from my Aunt Ingrid, though I did do some very minor tweaking. German Chicken Paprikash....."Waiiiiter, there is too much peeppper in my Paprikash..." Name that movie. It is really good and a breeze to put together. The leftovers are GREAT, in fact, I think this would be a good dish to make a double batch of and freeze one for a simple meal at a later know like when you get back from the beach ;)

  • 2 TBSP oil of canola or olive oil
  • 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into bite sized pieces
  • 1 large yellow onion, diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 3 TBSP Hungarian Paprika
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 TBSP corn starch
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
In a deep skillet, heat oil over medium high heat. Add onion and cook just until tender. Sprinkle some salt and pepper over chicken and add to skillet, cooking chicken just slightly, do not brown. Add paprika, garlic, and green pepper, stirring to combine. Turn heat to low, cover pan with lid and allow to simmer for 1 hour. The chicken will render its own cooking juice, which is divine!
After an hour, dissolve cornstarch in water and add to chicken mixture, stirring to combine. Once thickened, stir in sour cream and remove from heat. At this point, start adding salt and pepper to taste. Go slow, you can always add more. Serve over rice, noodles, mashed potatoes, or spaetzle. ENJOY!!!

I just had to share my favorite picture of our beach day. My sweet kiddo C LOVES being buried in the sand. I caught her as she was laughing hysterically when I shouted "EEEKKK! A head in the sand!" Give your soul a smile today, go kiss the ones you love twice, just because!

This recipe has been linked up at:
Mommy's Kitchen Sunday Potluck!
Eat at Home

Monday, April 5, 2010

Chicken Tortellini Caesar Salad

I hope all of you had a GREAT weekend! Here in the NC, I have experienced pollen in epic proportions, UGH! I had heard that the allergies here were rough, so I went to the Farmer's Market and bought some local honey a few weeks ago and had the kiddos started eating it right away. They have barely had a runny nose. Me, not so much. Have I said UGH yet?! Seriously people, this is crazy! I am talking yellow dust coating cars and roadways!

Enough about that. I had planned on waiting to share this recipe until it was a little more summer in more parts of the country, but I can't wait any longer. Because it is 90 degrees today, and because it is going to be 92 degrees tomorrow and we are going to the beach. Because everyone more than likely gorged themselves yesterday and are wanting something on the lighter side. But more so, because I feel like I need to spread the love and not horde this amazingly simple scrumptious creation. So, I give you my SIG-nature recipe for Chicken Tortellini Caesar Salad....though calling it a recipe is a stretch. This meal says summer to me. This meal says, "it is too hot and I am too tired to cook" to me. This meal is freaking AWESOME!
  • 1 chicken, cooked and deboned. You can take some help from the store and buy a rotisserie chicken, which is what I almost always do :)
  • 24 ounces of refrigerated cheese tortellini. I buy the Costco-sized twin pack and and use 1 of them. Otherwise, buy 2 packages of the "regular sized" tortellini in the refrigerated section, about 9 ounces each
  • 2 heads of Romaine lettuce, washed and excess water removed.
  • 1 cup, more or less to taste your favorite Caesar Dressing. If you do not have a favorite, I HIGHLY recommend using "Briannas Home Style Asiago Caesar Dressing"
  • Shredded Parmesan cheese for garnish
Cut chicken meat into bite sized pieces. Set aside while you prepare rest of salad.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and add cheese tortellini. Cook according to package instructions. Once cooked, drain pasta and run cold water over until temperature of tortellini has cooled thoroughly to at least room temperature.
In a VERY large bowl, tear washed Romaine lettuce into bite sized pieces. Add chicken and tortellini, gently mixing to distribute all ingredients evenly. Starting with 1/2 cup adding up to 1 cup Caesar dressing, stir until all pieces are coated with dressing. Garnish with desired amount of shredded Parmesan cheese. ENJOY!!!

This recipe has been linked up at:
 Mommy's Kitchen Sunday Potluck!
Simply Sweet Home's Friday Favorites
This Chick Cooks
Country Cooks Across America