Jun 302010

Tonight we had left over Pepper Bacon Burgers with Ranchero Corn.

Everything is better with BACON!!!

the Ingredients

Corn and Bacon!

Adding the Sauce

All Mixed Up


Ranchero Corn

1/4 pound bacon
2 11 ounce cans Mexican style corn, drained
1/4 cup ranch salad dressing (I use Spicy Ranch)
1 teaspoon lime juice
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper

Cook bacon in large skillet over medium heat until crisp. Drain on paper towels. Discard drippings. Crumble bacon.

In same skillet. combine cooked bacon and corn. Reduce heat to low: cook 5 minutes or until thoroughly heated, stirring occasionally.

Meanwhile. in small bowl, combine salad dressing. lime juice, cumin and red pepper flakes: mix well.

Add dressing mixture to corn mixture; mix well. Remove skillet from heat.

I really like this corn. I wish I knew where I got this recipe but I have no idea!!!

Jun 302010

Today I wanted to make cupcakes. Amara requested that the cupcakes be pink with red frosting and orange sprinkles. Who am I to argue?!?!?

Cupcake Ingredients

Mixing the (PINK!) Batter

Going in the Oven

Just Out of the Oven

Frosting Ingredients

Red (honest it’s red) Frosting

Ready to Eat!

Basic White Cupcakes

1 18.25 ounce box white cake mix
1 1/4 cups buttermilk
1/4 cup butter, melted
2 whole eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
Billy’s Vanilla Buttercream (recipe below)

Beat first 6 ingredients at low speed with an electric mixer just until dry ingredients are moistened. Increase speed to medium, and beat 2 minutes or until batter is smooth, stopping to scrape bowl as needed.

Place paper baking cups in muffin pans, and coat with cooking spray; spoon batter evenly into baking cups, filling each two-thirds full.

Bake at 350° for 19 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire racks 10 minutes; remove cupcakes from pans to wire racks, and cool 1 hour or until completely cool.

Billy’s Vanilla Buttercream

1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks) room temperature
6 cups powdered sugar (6 to 8 cups)
1/2 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla (I also add 1/2 tsp almond extract)

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter until smooth and creamy, 2 to 3 minutes. With mixer on low speed, add 6 cups sugar, milk, and vanilla; mix until light and fluffy. If necessary, gradually add remaining 2 cups sugar to reach desired consistency.

These are very yummy! I could eat them all.

Cupcake recipe here and frosting recipe here.

Jun 292010

Today I did no baking or cooking for dinner because we got a new puppy!!! His name (so far) is Bogey. And he is very cute!!

Bogey when we first met.

After all the paper work.

Backyard Bogey!


So far he is getting along well with the other animals. He’s interested in them but not chasing them and they are very happy about that. Newt (our other dog) is indifferent for now, but I think that she will come around.

Jun 282010

This was SUPER EASY!!! Love it!!! I got the recipe from here.

the Ingredients

In the Crock Pot

Justin Cutting it Up

Ready to EAT!!

Chili Pot Roast

1 3 pound beef pot roast
1 1/2 cups beef broth
1 14.5 ounce can diced tomato, undrained
1 4 ounce can diced green chiles
1 teaspoon ancho chile powder
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
chopped fresh cilantro, optional

Combine all ingredients in slow cooker. Cover and cook on LOW for 8 to 10 hours. Serve with cooked potatoes and corn or other side vegetable. Garnish the roast with a little chopped fresh cilantro, if desired.

Like I said super easy and very good. Will make this again for sure.

Jun 282010

Today I made another batch of cookies. These ones are a little different but yummy all the same. I didn’t add the walnuts as I’m not really a fan!

the Ingredients


Going in the Oven

Just out of the Oven

My Racks!!

Blue Ribbon Chocolate Chip Treasure Drops

1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/2 cup flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 14 ounce can sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 1/3 cups coconut
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup walnuts, finely chopped

Heat oven to 375  degrees.

In a small bowl, mix graham cracker crumbs, flour and baking powder. In  a separate large mixing bowl, beat the sweetened condensed milk and butter until  smooth.(a small hand mixer works well) Add Graham cracker crumb mixture; mix  well. Stir in coconut, chocolate chips, & walnuts.

Drop by rounded  tablespoons on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 9 or 10 minutes or until lightly  browned. Store these loosely covered at room temperature. Makes about 3 dozen.  They last DAYS if put in a tight plastic container.

This made 6 dozen.

Jun 272010

Tonight we ate curry. It was a new recipe and even though I added some cayennes (from my garden!) it was just kind of bland. The meat was very tender however!

the Ingredients

Adding the Onions and Cayennes

Curry Paste!!

Pre-Coconut Milk

All Ingredients Added

After Cooking for 90 mins.

Ready to Eat!

Coconut Beef Curry

1 1/2 pounds beef stew meat, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 whole onion, thinly sliced
3 whole cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon Thai red curry paste
1 13.5 ounce can coconut milk
1 cup water
4 sprigs fresh Thai or opal basil, thinly sliced

In Dutch oven, heat oil over medium-high heat until hot. Cook and stir beef in 2 batches; brown evenly. Return beef to pan. Season with salt. Add onion and cayennes and continue cooking 5 to 8 minutes or until onion is translucent; stir occasionally. Add curry paste and continue cooking 3 minutes; stir frequently.

Stir in coconut milk and water. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to low. Cover tightly and simmer 1-1/4 to 1 1/2 hours or until beef is tender.

Add basil sprigs and return mixture to a boil; remove from heat. Serve over rice. Garnish with thinly sliced basil, if desired.

Jun 242010

Deep in my freezer is a secret. Okay not really deep or a secret but still in my freezer (!) is a bag. This bag contains what I like to call the “mystery” chips. Do you ever just need 1/2 a cup of chips? What do you do with the rest of the bag? You put it in the freezer for Mystery Chips!!! For some reason mine usually contains a lot of toffee bits, which is just fine with me!! Anyway you can really use any chips for this recipe, I just used the Mystery Chips!!! And these cookies are quite good by the way and I have no idea where I got the recipes!

the Ingredients


Chocolate Mixing

Cookie Dough!

On the Sheet

Do you like my rack??

Chewy Chocolate Mystery Chip Cookies

2 cups flour
3/4 cup cocoa
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cup butter, softened
2 cups sugar
2 whole eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 cups mystery chips, or any chips you want!

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Sift together the flour cocoa powder,baking sodaand salt. Set aside.

In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar.  Add eggs, one at a time, then vanilla. Add the dry ingredients and mix well. Finally, stir in the chocolate chips and nuts.

Drop cookies by rounded spoonfuls onto unprepared cookie sheets. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven. Do not over bake!!! Cool on cookies sheets 2 minutes. Then EAT!!!!

Jun 222010

I found this recipe here.

the Ingredients


Adding the Turkey

5 Patties to Be

Grilling the Patties

Mine Shown with Tomatoes and Guacamole!

Pepper Bacon Burger

Makes 5 (easily could have made 6 and probably will next time)

1 whole egg, beaten
1/4 cup bread crumbs
6 strip bacon, crisply cooked and crumbled
4 whole serrano pepper, finely chopped, or 2 jalapenos
2 tablespoons milk
1 20 ounce package ground turkey
1 whole Anaheim chili pepper, seeded and cut into rings
1 whole onion, thinly sliced and separated into rings
2 tablespoons margarine or butter
5 whole lettuce leaves
5 whole sandwich thins, or hamburger buns, split and toasted
5 slices cheddar cheese slices

In a large mixing bowl stir together egg, bread crumbs, bacon, serrano or jalapeno peppers, and milk. Add ground turkey and mix well. Shape meat into five 3/4-inch-thick patties.

Grill patties, on an uncovered grill, directly over medium coals for 15 to 18 minutes or until an instant-read thermometer inserted in side of patty registers 160 degrees F, turning once.

Meanwhile, in a small saucepan or skillet cook the Anaheim or mild green chili pepper and onion in margarine or butter about 10 minutes or until onion is tender. Serve burgers on lettuce-lined buns. Top burgers with cheese and pepper-onion mixture.

Now Justin and I are not a big fan of the onion so I just sauted the Anaheim pepper in butter and left out the onion all together. I thought these burgers were awesome!!! Even Justin, who is super picky, ate the sauted pepper and seemed to enjoy it.

Jun 212010

Sorry I haven’t been around much the last couple of days. My daughter was sick so there wasn’t much cooking going on. I fully intend to make up for it starting with these. I go the recipe here. It made 24 cupcakes and I really am trying hard not to go eat one. We shall see how long that lasts!

Cupcake Ingredients


Adding the Toffee Bits

Ready for the Oven

Fresh out of the Oven

Frosting Ingredients

Mixing it Up


Ready to EAT!!

Cream Soda Toffee Cupcakes

2 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
3 whole eggs
1 tablespoon molasses
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup cream soda, not diet!!
3/4 cup English toffee bits
Brown Butter Frosting
1/2 cup butter, divided
2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1 tablespoon buttermilk, as needed

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line eighteen 2-1/2-inch muffin cups with paper bake cups; set aside. Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and 1/4 teaspoon salt; set aside.

In large bowl beat butter with electric mixer on medium to high 30 seconds. Add sugars; beat until well combined. Beat in eggs, one at a time, on low until combined. Beat in molasses and vanilla.

Alternately add flour mixture, buttermilk, and cream soda to butter mixture, beating on low speed after each addition until combined. Stir in 1/2 cup of the toffee. Fill cups 3/4 full. Bake about 18 minutes or until tops spring back when lightly touched. Cool in pans on racks 5 minutes. Remove from pans; cool. Frost; top with remaining toffee.

Brown Butter Frosting: For brown butter, in saucepan heat 1/4 cup butter over medium-low heat until lightly browned, about 8 minutes; cool. In bowl beat 1/4 cup softened butter with mixer on medium 30 seconds. Add cooled brown butter; beat until combined. Add 2 cups powdered sugar, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla, 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg, and dash salt. Beat in 1 to 2 tablespoons buttermilk until spreadable. Use immediately. If frosting begins to set up, stir in a small amount of boiling water. Makes 1 1/4 cups frosting.

I haven’t had one (and it’s KILLING ME!!) but the batter and frosting were both really good!! Hopefully Justin will let us know if they are as yummy as the look.

UPDATE: My will is weak tonight and I broke down and had one. It was good, it was very very good!!!

Jun 182010

As you may or may not know I like to dabble in gardening. This year I had Justin build me 2 beautiful planters.

Anyway I bought many plants for my wonderful planters, including a tomatillo plant. I have never grown the tomatillo before so I asked the lady at the nursery if it need a cage or anything. She said that she honestly didn’t know as she herself had never grown one. So I planted it and it was growing real good!!!

It was starting to dwarf the plants next to it. My mom and I even had to stake it. The only problem I was having was that while it was flowering, the flowers would just fall off. It was really starting to make me upset. Everyday I would go water and there would be a bunch of little flowers on the ground. It was sad!!! I thought that maybe I was over watering it or something, so I decided to do a little research on the interwebs. And this is what I found out- “Also be aware that tomatillos are not self fertilizing. This means that you need at least two tomatillo plants in order to get fruit.” Let’s just say I was not amused!!! First off I felt that the nursery lady should have known this, and now it’s too late to put another plant in because that one is hogging up so much space. Admittedly I should have done some research myself but you would think that when you go to a nursery they would know these things and pass on the knowledge! Last night I did the only thing I could do which was pull up the plant. It pained me as it was at least 4 feet tall and quite pretty, but I really had no other option…