Thursday, September 12, 2013


Everyone has heard that familiar question before....."Sure we will be able to make it to the party. What can we bring?"  Such a simple question and yet I always find myself at a loss when it comes to replying. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE when relatives bring something to our parties because lets face it, planning a party can be somewhat overwhelming. From balloons to food to decorations and so on, there are lots of things to do and usually (if you are a procrastinator like me), not a lot of time to do them.  I always feel rude when someone asks me what they can bring to a party and my response is "whatever you would like". I honestly am thankful for anything they do. So when my Aunt asked me the question before my son's party, my response was the same robotic response as always: "Whatever you would like to bring."  One thing I do know is that I am always pleasantly surprised when it comes to her, and this time was no different.  
She arrived the day of the party with these two super cute candy treats, which fit perfectly with the Mickey Mouse theme. I asked her how she made them because I couldn't pass up the opportunity to blog about them. 

First, she melted several pieces of chocolate in the microwave, being super careful that the chocolate did not burn.  Once the chocolate was completely melted and creamy, she dipped several cherries (with stem still attached) into the melted chocolate and placed each one onto a lined baking sheet.  Before the chocolate re-hardened, she gently attached a Hershey kiss sideways (see above) using the melted chocolate as "glue".  Add two almond slivers for ears and with black gel cookie icing, add the eyes and nose. Super simple and super cute!

Begin by unwrapping several Milky Way miniature candy bars and set them on a lined baking sheet.  Using a butter knife, carefully make an indention through the chocolate shell of the candy bar (this is where the bear will sit). Add one teddy bear cookie to each candy bar. Next, using some melted chocolate, place 4 drops of chocolate (two on each side) where the wheels would be. Add M&Ms as the wheels. Now your Candy Bar Cars are complete. How cute are they?  My Aunt added little flags with Mickey Mouse symbols so that they would go with the party theme. 

I got so many compliments on these at my son's party. Not only were they very cute looking on the cake table, but they tasted so good!  


In keeping with the Mickey Mouse theme for my son's 3rd birthday party, I wanted a really cute dessert to have next to the cake for the kiddos. But these sweet treats were a big hit with everyone!  I mean who wouldn't like all that chocolate?  They were super easy to make and didn't really require many ingredients.
*1 box Chocolate cake mix
*1 can Chocolate cake frosting
*1 lg. package Oreo cookies

You begin by preparing the cake mix as directed on the box. Place batter into muffin tins and bake. (This should make 18-24 cupcakes depending on the brand). While they are in the oven, place half the package of Oreos into a food processor and chop until you have small cookie crumbs.  Place in a bowl and set aside. 

Once the cupcakes are done baking and have cooled completely, begin frosting them with the chocolate icing making sure you get plenty of icing on each one (you want to make sure that there is enough icing for the ears to stick into later).  After icing a cupcake, gently dip it in the cookie crumbs making sure to coat the icing completely. (see picture above).  I prepared these cupcakes the night before my son's party. Once i had all the cupcakes iced and dipped in the cookie crumbs, i placed them in plastic storage containers and finished them the next day.  

When I was ready to set up for the party, I removed the cupcakes from the containers and added the "ears".  This was pretty simple since i got them ready the night before by gently separating each cookie, scraping out the cream, and saving each chocolate halve. That way on the day of the party all I had to do was take two cookie halves and gently stick them into the icing so that they resembled Mickey's ears.  How simple is that? Say Cheers!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013


For years I have loved to buy Apple Chips in the store, they were sweet, crunchy, and best of all....a lot healthier than regular potato chips.  I used to buy them in bulk and then one day, I went grocery shopping and NONE. There were none to be found in any of the grocery stores around here. I have to admit I was more than a little bummed. I even looked online from the manufacture to see where they were still being sold.  Then one day, I realized how simple these should be to make and decided to attempt it.  It is probably the simplest recipe in existence and they come out perfectly! Here's how I made these scrumptious treats!

*2 Apples (duhhh)
*1 tbsp. Cinnamon
*1/4 cup Sugar
*Mandolin Slicer (optional...but it sure does make this recipe a million times simpler)

The first thing you do is preheat your oven to 250* (you don't want it any higher because it can make the sugar burn).  Next, line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper.  Once your baking sheets are prepared, you are ready to slice your apples. 
I use a mandolin slicer because I prefer the simplest method possible when it comes to this. I absolutely hate chopping or slicing things when cooking and so I decided to spend the money on buying a slicer like this that has settings for all different types of slicing/chopping/etc.  However, if you do not have a slicer like this, you can surely slice the apples your self.  You want to get very slin slices so that they crisp up like chips.  The thicker the slices the softer your chips will be (and who wants soggy chips). 
Once you slice your apples, you want to lay them in a single layer on the baking sheets.  You can overlap the edges, but I wouldn't overlap anymore than what I have pictured.  If they overlap too much, they won't crisp either and you will end up with one big chip. 
Next, combine 1/4 cup of white sugar and 1 tbsp. cinnamon in a small bowl.  You may think that it doesn't make a lot for all those apple slices, but trust me, you won't even end up using all that.  Once you combine the sugar and cinnamon, just lightly sprinkle some on each apple slice.  You won't need much because apples are naturally sweet.  Then place apples in the oven for 3 hours (yes 3 hours), they need to bake on very low heat for a long time in order to dry out.  After about an hour and a half, flip all the slices over. (They will be slightly stuck to the parchment paper, but should be no more difficult to peel off than peeling a new sticker off the backing sheet).  They won't be crispy at this point.  Place back in the oven for the remaining hour and a half.  Once the 3 hours are over, turn the oven off and leave apples in the oven for another hour while the oven cools.  This will crisp the chips up nicely.  Then enjoy :)

Sunday, April 28, 2013


Two of my hubby's favorite dishes are stuffed shells and buffalo chicken wings. So I thought "why not combine these two yummy dishes into one?"  I figured that stuffing large shells with a mix of cheeses, chicken, and hot sauce would be super scrumptious! They turned out amazing and quickly became a often requested meal in our home!
*1 box large shells
*1 pkg.  blue cheese crumbles
*1 chicken breast
*1 (8 oz.) pkg.  cream cheese, softened
*1/2c  blue cheese dressing
*1/2c  hot sauce
For the sauce:
*3 tbsp. butter
*1/4c  hot sauce
*1/4c  blue cheese dressing
Cook shells according to directions on box, but only until shells are cooked but still firm.  Drain and cool. Drizzle with a little olive oil and toss gently to keep them from sticking together.
Cook chicken breast in skillet with a drizzle of olive oil, until browned and cooked through.  Let cool and shred with a fork.
Add shredded chicken to bowl with red hot, blue cheese crumbles and dressing, and cream cheese. Mix until blended.  Stuff shells with mixture and place in large baking dish.

In saucepan, melt butter and hot sauce until heated then add 1/4 cup of blue cheese dressing.  Drizzle over shells. Bake in oven at 375* for 15 minutes.  

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

"OMG" Orange Creamsicle Cake

I came across a recipe online recently, for a creamsicle cake and thought it was something different and sounded tasty. So the other day, I finally decided to try and make it for an Easter dessert.  As I followed the recipe, I noticed that the cake in no way resembled the picture and seemed as if it would end up being a big pan of mush that may or may not have ended up tasting somewhat like a creamsicle.  So after some thought, I decided to attempt to make this cake my own way. It turned out fantastic and tastes just like the creamsicles that I used to love when I was a kid! This is one of those recipes that tastes so good that it's dangerous! Luckily EVERYONE liked it and I wasn't left with much :)


*1 box yellow cake mix
*2 (3 oz.) pkgs orange flavored Jell-O
*1 (5.1 oz.) pkg vanilla instant pudding mix
*1 cup milk
*2 eggs
*2 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
*1 tub Cool Whip, thawed


The first thing that you do is bake the yellow cake as directed on the box in a 13x9 inch cake pan.  Once the cake is done, let it cool completely. I left mine cool for several hours. If you proceed before the cake is completely cooled you will end up with a mushy cake. 
Once the cake is cooled, Mix 1 package of the orange Jell-O with 1 cup of boiling water and 1 cup of cold water.  Make sure it's dissolved completely. Then poke holes into the cooled cake with a knife and pour Jell-O over top (this is the same way you make a typical Jell-O poke cake).  Once you've poured the Jell-O over the cake. Cover and refrigerate for several hours. I left mine in the fridge for like 6 hours. You want to leave it in a while so that the cake firms up after putting all that liquid into it. 

After the cake has chilled for several hours, mix pudding mix, milk, vanilla, and the other package of orange Jell-O. Using a whisk, beat the mixture for several minutes until it becomes a thick pudding mixture. Spread over top of the cake. Cover and refrigerate for another 1-2 hours.

Remove from fridge and frost with Cool Whip and decorate with orange zest!  Yummy Yummy!  Store in the refrigerator!

Monday, April 1, 2013


Recently my husband came across a picture of a strawberry desert that looked super yummy and asked me to make it for him. But just like a man, he shows me only a recipe and not even so much as a word to tell me what exactly it was.  So using my wife super powers, I tried to figure out what the dessert could possibly be and then make my own version of it...the outcome?? A super yummy Strawberry Cream Cheese Cobbler :)


*1 egg, lightly beaten
*1 cup milk
*4 ounces cream cheese
*2 quarts strawberries, washed and cut in half or quarters
*1/2 tsp. salt
*1 stick of butter (1/2 cup)
*1 cup flour
*1 cup sugar
*2 tsp. baking powder

Start by preheating your oven to 350*. Wash and slice strawberries in half (or for bigger strawberries, cut into quarters).  Melt butter in microwave and pour into a 13x9 glass baking dish.  Next, combine egg, sugar, milk, baking powder, flour, and salt.  Pour mixture over top of melted butter in baking dish.  Do not mix together. Add strawberries in a single layer to the mixture.  Next, cut cream cheese into small pieces and place on top of strawberries. 

Bake in oven for 35-45 minutes or until top is golden brown and edges are bubbly.  Serve warm!

Monday, March 25, 2013


Both my husband and I love Italian food and I find myself making some sort of pasta dish once a week. And while neither one of us want to give up pasta completely, I have been trying to limit it to a side dish instead of the main course.  Growing up my mother and grandfather used to make chicken parmesan quite frequently and I loved it! However, when I met my husband, I quickly learned that for some reason chicken parmesan is one of his least favorite meals.  The outcome? I just don't make it. :(  But today I decided to make a variation and see if I could change my husband's mind....the new outcome? He really liked it! I was shocked! And the best part? It's healthy!!!

*4 boneless skinless chicken breasts (butterflied)
*2 cups shredded low-fat mozzarella cheese
*12-16 slices pepperoni
*Salt & pepper
*1 clove garlic, minced

*1 jar spaghetti sauce
*1/2 box spaghetti, cooked


Preheat oven to 450* and spray a glass baking dish with non stick cooking spray.  Butterfly boneless, skinless chicken breasts and season with salt and pepper.  On one half of each chicken breast, place minced garlic, oregano, mozzarella cheese, and 3-4 slices of pepperoni. Fold other half over and secure with toothpick if needed.

On top of chicken breasts, place additional minced garlic, oregano, and spoon spaghetti sauce on top.  Bake in oven for 25-35 minutes or until chicken is completely cooked.  Remove from oven and sprinkle remaining mozzarella cheese on top. Return to oven until cheese is melted.  Serve with a side of spaghetti!

This tastes amazing and it is super healthy.  I think it tastes even better than the breaded and fried version!

Sunday, January 27, 2013


In complete contradiction to my healthy recipe from last post (that's what women do, right? Contradict ourselves..), here is a recipe for a total guilty pleasure.  This heavenly, chocolate rich dessert is perfect for any chocolate lover! I like chocolate but once a month I LOVE chocolate! And this dessert is A-M-A-Z-I-N-G!!


*1 cup      granulated sugar
*1 cup      light brown sugar
*4 eggs
*1 1/2 tsp.  vanilla extract
*2 sticks    butter
*1/2 cup    flour
*3/4 cup    dark chocolate cocoa powder
*1 cup       dark chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350*.  Prepare baking dishes:  Take a 2-quart baking dish and spray with cooking spray. Then place the dish inside a larger baking dish. Set aside.

Melt both sticks of butter in the microwave.  In a large mixing bowl, place brown and white sugar and the 4 eggs.  Using a mixer, beat sugar and eggs on high until thick and creamy.  This will take several minutes. Add flour, cocoa, and vanilla to mixture in bowl and beat on a low speed just until mixed. Add butter and combine on low speed. Using a spatula mix in chocolate chips.

Pour mixture into prepared baking dish and spread evenly.  Carefully add hot water to outer baking dish until it reaches halfway up the outside of the inner baking dish. Bake 60-70 minutes or until the sides/top is like a gentle crust. Inside will be very soft (something between a brownie consistency and a pudding consistency). Carefully remove from oven. Let cool on counter for at least 35-40 minutes. Serve with ice cream! Enjoy~



It's no secret that my husband and I like the taste of bar type food.  If my husband had his choice, we would be eating wings and breaded mushrooms 3 or 4 times a week.  But even though we both think these foods are totally yummy, neither one of us want all the fat and calories that go with it. 

Just like with my "Oven Baked Buffalo Wings" (see the recipe HERE), I have found a somewhat healthier way of making some of our favorite foods.  One food that I really find yummy is breaded pickles.  I like them so much that I tried to come up with a way to make them at home (without all the fat and calories).  And just like my recipe for buffalo wings, by eliminating the deep frying process, you eliminate lots of calories!! Here is my recipe for super yummy oven baked breaded pickles!

*1 jar     dill pickle chips or spears (your preference)
*1    egg
*2 tbsp.  milk
*1 cup    flour

*1 cup    panko bread crumbs
*Cooking spray


Preheat oven to 450*, place a large cookie sheet into the oven while it heats up. Once oven is heated, remove the cookie sheet and spray with non-stick cooking spray. While oven is heating up, drain pickle chips on paper towels. 

Beat egg and milk together in a small bowl. Place flour in another bowl and bread crumbs in a separate bowl.  Dip pickle slices into flour, then egg, and then bread crumbs.  Make sure to coat pickle slices completely with bread crumbs.  Place slices onto cookie sheet and spray the top of the pickles with cooking spray. This will help them brown and crisp. 

Bake for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown.  Turn slices over and spray with more cooking spray.  Bake for an additional 8-10 minutes or just until golden brown.  Serve with Ranch dressing or my favorite, horseradish sauce. Enjoy!!

Friday, January 4, 2013


Today while perusing my pantry and refrigerator for ideas about dinner, I decided to throw together this yummy side dish. With a few simple ingredients that I already had in my kitchen, I threw together something that my husband raved about! It's the perfect side for chicken, steak, anything! The next time you go to a potluck gathering, look no further than this super simple, totally tasty dish!
*1 (24oz.) container  Sour Cream
*1 (8oz.) pkg. Cream Cheese
*2.5 cups  Cheddar Cheese, shredded
*10-12 slices bacon or turkey bacon (cooked until crispy, crumbled)
*1-2 pkgs. dry Ranch dip mix (depends on your liking)
*1 pkg. (30oz.) frozen  hash browns, thawed
Preheat oven to 450*. In a large bowl, combine sour cream, cream cheese, cheddar cheese, bacon, and dry ranch dip mix.  Once mixed well, add hash browns and combine.  Place in a large baking dish that has been sprayed with cooking spray. Bake for 1 hour, stirring once half way through.  And that's it, it couldn't get any easier :)