Thursday, February 28, 2013

Guest Post: Veronica's Cornucopia - Oreo Cookie Cake



Veronica is one of my newest blogging buds, but we've become fast friends through email. 

It's so fun to get to know more about other bloggers, and I have really enjoyed knowing Veronica more and appreciate her sense of humor and outlook on life. 

She has won a lot of Blue Ribbons at the Kansas State Fair...red, and white ones too.  So you just gotta know she knows her way around the kitchen. 

She's quite the cake baker/decorator also and when I saw her Oreo Cake, I asked if she'd be willing to share with my readers.

Thanks so much Veronica....'the stage' (um...the kitchen) is all yours Sweetie...



(holding her blue ribbon and sweepstakes-winning carrot cake!
She's so humble I had to ask about it! - Marsha) 


Hi, my name is Veronica, and like Marsha, I'm a good cook (well, I'm an OK cook) but I'm a better baker! I'm 32 years old and have been baking since I was about nine. It started out of necessity, because sweets weren't allowed in the house. Strangely enough, I discovered all the ingredients necessary for making them in the pantry, so without Mom's permission, I just started following the recipes I found in cookbooks and newspapers, and creating sweet treats for
myself
the whole family. Despite the "no sweets" rule, no one ever tried to stop me, most likely because my parents were too happy eating the fruits of my rebellion to protest!

Over time, my specialty became cake, and I've come a long way since my first cake that overflowed the pan and created a huge burnt mess on the bottom of our oven. Today I have won several ribbons at our state fair for my cakes (you can see some of my award-winning recipes here), and I'm happy to report I haven't burnt a cake on the bottom of the oven in over a year. :)

I'd like to share a blue-ribbon winner with you today that is the most popular recipe on my blog right now, despite having posted it almost 2 1/2 years ago! This Oreo Cookie Cake is stuffed with crushed Oreos both in the cake and in the frosting and despite not liking Oreos (sorry!), I love this cake. Love it! I don't know what it is about incorporating the Oreos into a white cake, but it is just so, so good. The icing in particular--I could just eat a bowl of it with a spoon.

Ready for the recipe? On your mark, get set, BAKE!



Oreo Cookie (or Cookies 'n Cream) Cake



Cake
1 Box white cake mix
Eggs, water and oil as called for on the box
~OR your favorite white cake recipe
15 Oreos, crushed

Frosting
1 (8 oz) package cream cheese, softened
1 (16 oz) box powdered sugar
1 (8 oz) container Cool Whip, room temperature
15 Oreos, crushed
¼ tsp. pure vanilla extract

Optional
extra Cool Whip & crushed Oreos for decoration

Cake: Grease and flour two 8" pans. Prepare cake according to package directions (or recipe directions), stirring in the crushed Oreos to the batter before dividing between prepared pans. Bake as directed on box or in recipe. Remove cake layers from oven and allow to cool completely on cooling rack.

Frosting: In mixer, cream the cream cheese and sugar. Add vanilla, mix well, and stir in Cool Whip. Mix well. Fold in crushed Oreos until well blended & frost cooled cake. If desired, pipe Cool Whip swirls around the top of the cake and pipe a border on the bottom, and sprinkle crushed Oreos over the Cool Whip. Refrigerate cake until ready to serve and refrigerate any leftovers.


* Cake may be baked in a 13 x 9 inch pan or you can even make cupcakes; change the baking time according to the package instructions or your recipe.

Recipe source: Veronica's Cornucopia

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

3 Bommin' Bean Dishes {Blast from the Past}

What a yummy dish. I love surprising folks with a 'secret' ingredient. 
Even those who don't care for sauerkraut, love these beans.
I serve over 200 folks on the street for a local "Bean Days" festival and these
get raves again and again.  Another easy 5 ingredient recipe. 





This simple recipe is best with fresh green beans, but frozen make for a great dish too.  MMM good!

Easy Old-Fashioned Green Beans




This is one of the best bean salads I've ever tasted. 
Simple and delicious..using canned beans, you can make it any time of the year. 

Tasty Three Bean Salad



Sunday, February 24, 2013

Pina Colada Oatmeal Smoothies



We drink a lot (!) of smoothies at our house.  Sometimes hubs just isn't in the       mood for a warm breakfast and so we'll share a smoothie. 

I was so happy to see this recipe at Calculus to Cupcakes. The recipe comes down the line from Martha Stewart...somewhere back in it's beginnings. I LOVE Pina Colada anything....and had everything on hand too.  That always makes a recipe a winner with me. 

And it's a healthier recipe.  That always grabs me by the neck too. 

The Greek Yogurt adds protein, the oatmeal adds some more, and I even added half a scoop of protein powder too.  Not only delicious, but it will sustain us for the morning too. 

Just in case you've never had oatmeal in a smoothie before, the oatmeal gets ground up and you don't even notice it. 

This recipe makes 4 servings, but can easily be halved. 



PINA COLADA OATMEAL SMOOTHIES
2 -1/2 c. pineapple
1 c. fat free Greek yogurt
1 c. dry oats
1 - 14 ozs. can light coconut milk
2 bananas, peeled and sliced
1 scoop vanilla protein powder, optional
2 c. ice

Place all ingredients except protein powder & ice into the container of a blender or food processor.  Process/blend until smooth.  Add the p.powder & ice and process/blend until it reaches the desired consistency you love most.
Pour, Serve & Enjoy!! 

Linked to Weekend Potluck
             Scrumptious Sunday
             Gooseberry Patch Roundup - Smoothies


                                                                 

Friday, February 22, 2013

Pepperoni Pizza Puff



This is a simple and easy 'throw together' recipe given to me by my dear friend Kristal. 

This woman hosts her 4 children and their families EVERY Sunday after church - I sure admire the closeness they share!  Her grandkids just adore their GRAMMY. 
(But then, so do I=) 

She knows a good dish when she sees (& tastes!) one...
I'm sooo fond of recipes with 5 ingredients or fewer...this only has
FOUR! 

I think this would be super to feed your grandkids or any teenagers. 

When I served it to friends, the man remarked "That's sort of like monkey bread".

I said "Yes, yes, it is".  

Why even your (older) kids could make it for themselves! 
(it does require a knife for cutting)

I cut the pepperoni in half, layed it on a paper towel and put it in the microwave for a minute to draw out some of the grease. 

Other than that - it's just mix and bake....I love recipes like this!

This recipe makes a 9" X 13" panfull...I easily cut it in half. 

Be creative...substitute browned burger, sausage or ham if your family doesn't care for pepperoni...add Italian seasonings, or mushrooms....



PEPPERONI PIZZA PUFF 


4 cans (7.5 ozs each) buttermilk biscuits, cut into 1/6's 

1 - 5 ozs. bag pepperoni slices
1 - 15 ozs. pizza sauce
1 - 8 ozs. pkg. shredded mozzarella


Preheat oven to 350. 



Mix everything together and place in a greased 9" X 13" baking dish. 

Bake uncovered for 25 - 30 minutes until hot and bubbly. 


How can you beat that for easy??? 

Linked to Weekend Potluck

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Guest Post: The Country Cook - Banana Pudding Poke Cake

I'm so tickled to share a guest post with you all today!  

My good buddy and co-host of Weekend Potluck, Brandie....
AKA, The Country Cook...
has agreed to let me share one of her amazing recipes with you.

We all know about the "Cake Boss" on tv...I love to tease Brandie she's the
"Cake Queen" of Blogland.  She has lots of special poke cake recipes at her blog and shares every day, simple down-home cooking.  

One the things I love most about this special woman is that she's real!  She is not pretentious at all. 

What you see is what you get...and look at that beautiful face would ya?  

We hope to meet face to face one day and I can hardly wait!

I love this gal and am pleased as punch to share one of her favorite dishes with you today..

Take it away Bran....


I live in the beautiful mountains of Southwest Virginia and publish TheCountryCook.net, a website dedicated to classic American and family favorites. 
I love Puddin' Poke Cakes, Potatoes, Pot Pies and Peach Cobbler 
(say that three times fast!). 

I am also a working Momma who understands the challenges of today’s busy families and shares many recipes that are quick and easy to prepare so families have more time to enjoy each other (and a tasty meal) together at the supper table. 


Now click on the link below (above the photo) and go to her blog for a lovely step by step presentation of this yummy Banana Pudding Poke Cake...she shares tutorials for all of her dishes.  Spend some time looking around there....you'll be so happy you did.  I love how she has photos on both sidebars...SO inviting!


Doesn't that look fantastic? I love that she only adds bananas when serving. 
This is one of her own creations. 




Thanks for coming over to my side of Blogland Brandie....love you Girl! 

These are just a few of Brandie's recipes that I've made and shared too...

Easy Cheese Danishes  - absolutely a favorite! 
Strawberry Shortcake Cake  - what a fun summer treat.
Mini Chicken Pot Pies  - I love the simplicity of a biscuit crust. 

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

3 Favorite 'Awesome' Desserts {Blast from the Past}


Not only is this dessert tasty, I also used my own homemade sweetened condensed milk (link at the post) and make it nearly sugar free!  It's such a scrumptious dessert! 




If you've never made these apple dumplings before, you have been missing out!
They bake in (diet) 7-up and have the best sauce ever! I have friends who have made these for 100 teenagers at camp and they loved them. Sugar-free Option!



My family would tell you I saved the best for last!

This easy 5-ingredient dessert is fit for a king...
it can be made ahead and the recipe makes enough to feed a crowd. 
Hope you'll give it a try soon. 

Ice Cream Pies


Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Tasty Wilted Spinach



I don't get enough vegetables in me and was excited to see this recipe from Angie at A 'lil Country Sugar. Angie is a local friend that I met through blogging (she came to one of my first cookbook signings back in 2010), and we just happened to see each other at a restaurant recently.  That was fun as we hadn't connected in a while...face to face anyway. 

My mom use to make wilted lettuce often, so I knew I would love this dish. 
The only change I made to Angie's recipe was to use less butter and oil. 
I had my new Christmas non-stick pan and didn't need it.  (and there's bacon grease!!=) 

Actually, hubby was not home that evening and I ate the whole thing myself!
It made a tasty meal just for me. 

What a great way to dress up fresh spinach! The nutmeg and lemon juice make it just perfect. 

Wonderfully delicious & flavorful!!


WILTED SPINACH 

1 med. onion, chopped
2 - 3 slices bacon, diced
2 - 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped 
2 TB. butter
2 TB. olive oil
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
1 # baby spinach leaves
Juice of 1/2 medium lemon

Cook and stir onion, bacon, and garlic in butter and oil in Dutch oven over medium heat until bacon is crisp and onion starts to brown. Reduce heat, stir in salt, pepper, and nutmeg.
Remove from heat and stir in spinach. Stir just until wilted. Drizzle with lemon juice. 

Serve hot.

Linked to Weekend Potluck

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Soft Oatmeal Butterscotch Cookies


I saw this yummy cookie at my daughter's Debbie's blog 
and had to make them right away...


Really!  I HAD to do it!





I am a Cookie Monster who needs a fix often, and this was it for this day! 

And since I love butterscotch & caramel kinds of flavors...

Well, as I said..I HAD TO! 



They are very tasty, but I made the mistake of adding too many chips.

Did you ever think that was possible?  I think it is....I just finished off the opened bag and then wished I wouldn't have.  

I wanted more of the oatmeal flavor, so take my advice...unless you are a butterscotch nut, measure the chips and have a better cookie.

Deb said her family just raved about how perfect they were, so that's all it took. 

I had to prove them right!




And I did! 




SOFT OATMEAL BUTTERSCOTCH COOKIES 

1/2 c. (1 stick) butter, softened
1/2 c. packed brown sugar
1/4 c. white sugar
1 egg
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 c. all purpose flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1-1/4 c. old fashioned oats
1-1/4 c. butterscotch chips



Preheat oven to 350.

In medium bowl, mix butter and sugars for 2 minutes until creamy.  Stir in egg and vanilla.  

In small bowl, combine flour, salt and baking soda.  Add to butter mixture and blend well. 

Stir in oats and butterscotch chips.  Dough will be stiff.

Scoop or roll into balls and place on ungreased cookie sheet.  Slightly flatten with fork or back of spoon. 

Bake 9 - 11 minutes or until just golden.  Allow to sit on cookie sheet for 1 minute before removing to cooling rack. 

(I would suggest you bake the first batch the least amount of time just to see how they turn out...you don't want them dry) 

Nummy...Nummy....for your Tummy...

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Leader Enterprise - Feb. 6, 2013 - A Love Story - chocolate treats


This sweet story from the book "Stories from the Heart" compiled by Alice Gray shares a lesson that can be applied to all of our relationships, not just a spouse. May this simple reminder help make your Valentine's Day sweeter for you and all those you love.
"The Small Gift" - retold by Marilyn K. McAuley from Morris Chalfant, The Lutheran Journal. Rev.Chalfant tells of a couple who were celebrating their golden wedding anniversary. The husband was asked what the secret was to his successful marriage. As the elderly are wont to do, the old gentleman answered with a story.
His wife, Sarah, was the only girl he ever dated. He grew up in an orphanage and worked hard for everything he had. He never had time to date until Sarah swept him off his feet. Before he knew it she had managed to get him to ask her to marry him.
After they had said their vows on their wedding day, Sarah's father took the new groom aside and handed him a small gift. He said "Within this gift is all you really need to know to have a happy marriage." The nervous young man fumbled with the paper and ribbon until he got the package unwrapped.
Within the box lay a large gold watch. With great care he picked it up. Upon close examination he saw etched across the face of the watch a prudent reminder he would see whenever he checked the time of day - words that, if heeded, held the secret to a successful marriage. They were "Say something nice to Sarah".

What a precious thought!
We all can learn from those few words. I love this quote from Ralph Waldo Emerson: You cannot do a kindness too soon, for you never know how soon it will be too late.
Valentine's Day is a great time to celebrate love with chocolate! After being  'on the wagon'  of healthy eating the past few weeks, it's great to enjoy a special treat. Chocolate, especially dark chocolate, has healthy benefits.
This awesome and easy chocolate pudding, made in the microwave, is comfort food. It can be enjoyed quickly too, another plus! It's wonderful eaten warm, or chilled. I make it for my sweetie, using splenda, and it turns out every time. Recipe can easily be doubled.
THICK CHOCOLATE PUDDING   
1/3 c. sugar(or splenda)
1/4 c. baking cocoa
3 Tb. cornstarch
1/8 tsp. salt
2 c. (1%) milk
1 tsp. vanilla extract
whipped topping, optional
In a 2-qt. microwave-safe bowl, combine the first four ingredients. Gradually stir in milk (a whisk works great), until smooth. Microwave, uncovered,on high for 2 minutes; stir. Microwave 3 - 5 minutes longer or until thickened, stirring after each minute. Stir in vanilla. Pour into individual serving dishes; cool. Enjoy warm or refrigerate. Garnish with whipped topping if desired. Yield:3 - 4 servings (or 2 good-sized ones!)
These truffles are a healthy snack, covered in dark chocolate. Delicious even if you're not watching what you're eating.

APRICOT ALMOND TRUFFLES

1/2 c. whole, natural, unsalted almonds
1-1/2 c. dried Turkish apricots
1 Tb. honey
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1/8 tsp. salt
3 ozs. dark chocolate (60 - 70% cocoa solids), chopped

Place almonds in dry skillet over medium-high heat (or just use roasted) and cook, stirring frequently, until they are toasted and become fragrant, about 5 minutes. Set aside to cool slightly. Put the almonds in a food processor and pulse a few times until the nuts are coarsely chopped. Add the apricots, honey, cinnamon, ginger and salt to the processor; process until ingredients are finely chopped and begin to stick together, about 45 seconds. Roll the mixture with your hands into heaping teaspoon-sized balls and set them on a baking sheet lined with waxed paper.

Place a small bowl or double boiler over a saucepan of barely simmering water, over low heat. Place half the chocolate in the bowl and stir until melted. Remove the saucepan from the heat and add the remaining chocolate, stirring until it is melted. 

Roll the apricot balls in the melted chocolate, one or two at a time, until they are all covered. Place them back on the waxed paper, then chill in the fridge until set, about 15 minutes. Serve and store at room temperature. 

No one will guess these luscious bites of WOW are diet-friendly!


GOOEY CARAMEL COCONUT BROWNIES

1 - (18 ozs) box moist-style devil's food cake mix
(or low-fat brownie mix)
1 - (15 ozs) can pumpkin puree (rinse can with a little water and add that too)
1 sugar-free caramel pudding snack( 60 cals. each or less)
1/4 c. light or fat-free caramel dip (or caramel ice cream topping)
2 Tb. finely chopped pecans
2 Tb. shredded sweetened coconut, chopped

Preheat oven to 400. Spray 9" X  13" baking pan with nonstick spray and set aside. In large bowl, combine cake mix with pumpkin and water. Stir until blended. (Batter will be thick). Spread into prepared baking pan and smooth out the top (using a spatula sprayed with cooking spray works nicely) Bake until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean, 20 - 25 minutes. Cool completely.

Meanwhile, in medium bowl, combine pudding, caramel dip, pecans and coconut. Mix well. Cover and refrigerate until brownies are ready to serve. Evenly spread pudding mixture over brownies. Slice & enjoy!

Yield: 16 servings - 4 WW Points Plus each

CHERRY PIE FLUFF


1 - (20 ozs) can no sugar added cherry pie filling

1 - (4 serv. size) box sugar free cheesecake pudding mix
8 ozs. fat free cool whip

Combine cherry pie filling with pudding mix. Fold in cool whip. Chill and enjoy.
Weight Watchers Points (Prior to Points Plus): heaping 3/4 c. = 3 points, 2/3 c. = 2 points

HAVE A HAPPY HEART DAY!

Friday, February 15, 2013

Easy Taco Pie & Weekend Potluck #54

WELCOME TO WEEKEND POTLUCK!

AND...

This fabulously easy and wonderfully tasty dish will satisfy your family's hunger.  Crescent rolls make this a simple dish to prepare on a busy evening. 



Just a little reminder....I am off on a getaway with hubby and won't be hosting Weekend Potluck for short while. I will miss you all and look forward to reconnecting with you when I'm home.  Do hope you'll link up at one of the other blogs!

Now, let's take a quick peek back at last week...

The recipe with the most clicks was ~

”Fried” Ice Cream
”Fried” Ice Cream by Everyday Mom’s Meals

Recipes that caught our attention ~

Strawberry Lemonade Bars
Strawberry Lemonade Bars by Turnips to Tangerines
Mexican Lasagna
Mexican Lasagna by Julie’s Eats & Treats

And, a personal favorite ~


Chocolate Fondue by IN CINDY'S KITCHEN

If you were featured this week, please snag the button below and wear it proudly...=)
Weekend Potluck Featured

Your hostesses ~
Remember that when you link up, it shows on all FIVE blogs. Plus…

We TWEET. We PIN. We LIKE.

Linky Guidelines:

If you wish to be a featured recipe or for us to promote your recipe either on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest, you MUST follow these instructions.
  1. Please link up to your exact post and not the main page to your blog.
  2. LINK BACK HERE from your post so that others can find the fun. (Need help linking back? Read this or watch this great instructional video.) You can use the button below or a direct link within your post.
When you are kind enough to follow our guidelines, we work hard to get you as much exposure as possible so that your time here is well invested. We want this to be a fun and rewarding experience for everyone!

Weekend Potluck Linky




Thursday, February 14, 2013

Guest Post: DJ's Sugar Shack - Chocolate Bread Pudding for Two

HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY EVERYONE! 




I'm tickled to have my friend Dawn from DJ's Sugar Shack sharing a guest post today...a chocolate-y treat for two.   We crossed paths somewhere in BlogLand a while back and were quick to connect.  She lives in Alaska and I use to. That's always fun.  Thanks so much for sharing Dawn! 

Take 'er away....


Hi Everyone! I'm Dawn and I like to share my adventures in baking & other sweet treats over at DJ's Sugar Shack. I can't tell you how thrilled I am to be sharing a recipe here today. I absolutely love to stalk Marsha's blog:) I've made several of her recipes and have never been disappointed.



I'm originally from New Orleans, but ended up moving to Alaska after college. I took a summer job in Denali National Park and I'm still here 12 years later. My love for cooking and baking developed some time after I moved to Alaska. Looking back, I think I was missing good old N'awlins cooking and decided it was time to figure out a way to make it myself. My grand-parents are excellent cooks; they taught me to cook many of my favorite dishes over the phone, via letters and when I visit.


Today I will be sharing Chocolate Bread Pudding for Two.

This has been on my "to-do" list for quite a while and boy have I been missing out. This dessert was so rich and chocolatey. I used Sweet Hawaiian Bread & I think that might be what made this so delicious. That and the Kahlua, yummy. Thankfully, this recipe only mades two servings. If it had made more, I don't know how I would have resisted eating several helpings.

Look at all that ooey-gooey chocolatey goodness.
Chocolate Bread Pudding for Two
Adapted from Cooking Light

Ingredients:

  • 5-6 slices cubed Hawaiian sweet bread (other sweet breads can be substituted)
  • 2/3 cup 2% reduced-fat milk
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
  • 2 tablespoon Kahlua
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 ounce dark chocolate, coarsely chopped
Directions:
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  • Cut the Hawaiian sweet bread in to cubes. Place bread on baking sheet, in a single layer. Put in oven for 5 minutes, just long enough to toast the bread.
  • Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the milk, sugar, cocoa, Kahlua. vanilla extract, almond extract & egg. Add bread to mixture & toss lightly to coat bread. Cover and place in refrigerator for at least 30 minutes and up to 4 hours.
  • Spray 2 ramekins with cooking spray.
  • Divide half of the bread mixture between the two ramekins and sprinkle with half the chopped chocolate. Divide remaining bread mixture between the ramekins. Top each with half of the remaining chocolate.
  • Place ramekins in an 8x8 baking pan. Fill pan with hot water. There should be about 1 inch of water in the pan
  • Bake for 35 minutes or until set.
  • Serve warm.
  • Optional- top with whipped cream or fresh berries.
Big thanks to Marsha for having me today!

I would love it if some of you stopped by DJ's Sugar Shack to check out the fun treats I'm whipping up.



(As I wipe the drool from my chin...) 
Thanks so much Dawn....
Marsha