Saturday, September 8, 2012

Hot Fudge Brownie Cake

I’ve seen this recipe in many different forms, many different names, and many different blogs/magazines.  This version is from Southern Living (can you get any better?) and is the most fool proof that I’ve seen.  It is most delicious the first night you make it but heats up well for any leftovers.  My favorite part about this recipe is that is mainly uses ingredients I have on hand so I can whip it up for a quick dessert.


-1 cup flour

-2 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa

-2 tsp baking powder

-1/4 tsp salt

-1 1/4 cups granulated sugar, divided

-1/2 cup milk, room temperature

-3 Tbsp vegetable oil

-1 tsp vanilla extract

-1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar

-1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa

-1 1/2 cups boiling water


1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Stir together flour, next 3 ingredients, and 3/4 cup granulated sugar in a large bowl; stir in milk, oil, and vanilla.  Spread batter in a lightly greased 8 inch square pan.

2.  Combine brown sugar, cocoa, and remaining 1/2 cup granulated sugar in a small bowl; sprinkle over batter in pan.  Using a spoon, gently drizzle 1 1/2 cups boiling water over batter, being careful not to disturb layers (do not stir).

3.  Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes or until a cake layer forms on top and layer springs back when touched.  Let cool on a wire rack 25 minutes.  Serve warm.


Friday, March 16, 2012

Buttery Snack Cake with Broiled Coconut Topping

When I got married, my Mom bought me a beautiful “Bridal Edition” Betty Crocker cookbook.  Honestly, I haven’t opened it in 6 years!  It’s one of those that is pretty to look at but not terribly practical for regular cooking.  The other night my husband was desperate for some dessert so we pulled out all the cookbooks and started looking.  This recipe caught our eye and I’m so glad because it is DELICIOUS!  The topping is so yummy and gooey and compliments the cake perfectly.  The cake isn’t super sweet so it’s great for snacking.  Worth a try!


-1 1/4 cup flour

-1 cup sugar

-1/3 cup butter, softened

-3/4 cup milk

-1 1/2 tsp baking powder

-1 tsp vanilla

-1/2 tsp salt

-1 large egg

-Broiled Coconut Frosting (below)


1.  Heat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease bottom and sides of a square pan (either 8 or 9 inches) or round pan, with shortening; lightly flour.

2.  Beat all ingredients except Broiled Coconut Frosting with electric mixer on low speed 30 seconds, scraping bowl constantly.  Beat on high speed 3 minutes, scraping bowl occasionally.  Pour into pan.

3.  Bake 35 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.  Make Broiled Coconut Frosting.

4.  Set oven control to broil.  Carefully spread frosting over hot cake.  Broil with top of cake about 4 inches from heat about 2 minutes or until frosting in light brown.  Watch carefully so frosting does not burn.  Cool 15 minutes.  Serve warm or cool.

Broiled Coconut Frosting

-1 cup flake coconut

-1/3 cup packed brown sugar

-1/4 cup butter, softened

-2 Tbsp milk

Mix all ingredients.


Friday, March 2, 2012

Baked Ziti

I love Baked Ziti but never found a recipe that I liked or found easy enough to throw together for a meal.  This one was in Family Circle Magazine and looked so yummy that we gave it a try.  Winner for sure!



-2 Tbsp olive oil

-1 medium onion, chopped

-3 cloves garlic, sliced

-1 can (28 oz) whole tomatoes

-1 can (15 oz) tomato sauce

-2 Tbsp tomato paste

-2 tsp sugar

-1/4 tsp salt

-1/4 tsp black pepper

-1 can (14.5 oz) basil and oregano diced tomatoes, drained

-1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, chopped (I substituted dried basil)

Ziti and Cheese:

-1 box (16 oz) ziti (I used the new smaller Ziti from Barilla and it was really great for my toddler)

-1 bag (8 oz) shredded mozzarella cheese

-1/4 cup grated Parmesan or Pecorino Romano cheese


1.  Heat oven to 375 degrees.  Coat a 13x9 baking dish with cooking spray.

2.  Sauce – Heat oil in a saucepan over medium heat.  Add onion and cook 4 minutes.  Add garlic and cook another minute.  Stir in whole tomatoes and their juice, breaking tomatoes apart with your hands or a wooden spoon.  Stir in tomato sauce, tomato paste, sugar, salt and pepper.  Simmer, stirring occasionally, for 20 minutes.

3.  Remove pan from heat.  Stir in diced tomatoes and basil.

4. Ziti and cheese – Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to boiling.  Add ziti; boil 10 minutes (or follow directions on box).  Drain and transfer to a large bowl.  Add half the sauce to bowl with ziti.  Stir to coat.  Pour ziti mixture into prepared dish.  Top with remaining sauce and then sprinkle with the cheeses.

5.  Bake at 375 for 20 to 25 minutes, until bubbly and lightly browned.  Cool 10 minutes.


Monday, February 27, 2012

Chocolate Gooey Butter Cookies

Paula Deen.  Cream Cheese.  Yup, that’s all you need to know!  These are the BEST chocolate cookies I have ever had.  6 ingredients and done.  So rich and yummy.  Enjoy!


-1 (8 oz) brick cream cheese, room temperature

-1 stick butter, room temperature

-1 egg

-1 tsp vanilla extract

-1 (18 oz) box moist chocolate cake mix

-Confectioners sugar, for dusting


1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2.  In a large bowl with an electric mixer, cream the cream cheese and butter until smooth.  Beat in the egg.  Then beat in the vanilla extract.  Beat in the cake mix.  Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours to firm up so that you can roll the batter into balls.

3.  Roll the chilled batter into tablespoon sized balls and then roll them in confectioners sugar.  Place on an ungreased cookie sheet, 2 inches apart.  Bake 12 minutes.  The cookies will remain soft and “gooey.”  Cool completely.


Monday, February 20, 2012

Stuffed Winter Squash

This is a recipe that I cut out of Family Circle magazine forever ago and had wanted to try but didn’t necessarily have the guts.  I don’t know – sometimes healthy recipes scare me because I’m not sure if my family will like them.  This one was a home run for sure.  My 3 year old ate it up without a word from me!  I actually substituted 1/2 cup rice for the bulgur wheat and 1 cup chicken broth with that. 


-3 acorn squash, cut lengthwise and seeded

-1 Tbsp maple syrup (I just used pancake syrup on hand)

-1/2 cup walnuts, chopped (optional)

-2 tsp canola oil

-1 large onion, finely chopped

-1 large celery stalk, thinly sliced

-1 Granny Smith apple, cut into 1/4 inch cubes

-1/3 cup raisins, chopped (they suggest golden, I used what I had on hand)

-1/4 cup uncooked bulgur wheat (I used 1/2 cup uncooked rice)

-3/4 cup chicken broth (if using the rice, use 1 cup broth)

-1/4 tsp ground cinnamon

-1/4 tsp salt


1.  Heat oven to 400 degrees.  Grease a jelly roll pan (15x10x1).  Brush cut surfaces and inside of acorn squash with maple syrup.  Arrange squash, cut-side down, on pan.  Bake in 400 degree oven for 30-40 minutes, until tender.

2.  Toast walnuts in nonstick skillet over medium heat, stirring, 5 minutes or until golden.  Transfer to paper towel.

3.  Heat oil in skillet over medium-high heat.  Add onion and celery; sauté 3 minutes, until just tender.  Add apple, raisins, bulgur wheat, broth, cinnamon, and salt.  Cover; simmer 15 minutes, until bulgur is tender and liquid absorbed.  Stir in toasted walnuts.

4.  Reduce oven heat to 375 degrees.  Flip squash cut-side up.  Fill with apple mixture.  Drizzle with 1 tablespoon syrup.  Bake in 375 degree oven for 15 minutes.  I sprinkled a little brown sugar on them before serving.


Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Chocolate Malt Cookies

Okay, so let’s be honest here.  I’ve stunk it up at getting on this blog!  2012 has been a rough start for us – lots of colds for me and the girls, plus I’ve had two different muscles in my back that have frozen up on me in the last month.  It’s been rough!  But I have lots of good things in the works.  I have 6 DELICIOUS recipes that I need to type up and put on here.  I also have some wonderful organizing tips as we all get ready for spring cleaning.  Working on a before/after of closets that I have organized that you will love!

In the meantime, I have a couple old recipes in here that I typed up but never posted.  In honor of Valentine’s Day, here is a yummy cookie recipe.  Do you love Whoppers candy?  Then you will LOVE this recipe.  The chocolate cookie is really good but biting into the Whopper is what makes these so tasty.  I’ve had this recipe forever and it stays in rotation for good reason!


-1.5 cups sugar

-1.5 cups butter (3 sticks), softened

-1 tsp vanilla

-2 eggs

-3 cups flour

-4 Tbsp cocoa powder

-2 tsp baking powder

-1/2 tsp salt

-granulated sugar for rolling

-Malted milk balls (I buy the big carton)


1.  Heat oven to 400 degrees.  In large bowl, combine sugar and butter; beat until light and fluffy.  Add vanilla and egg; blend well.

2.  Add flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt; mix well.  Shape dough in 1” balls; roll in sugar.  Place on cookie sheet.

3.  Bake at 400 degrees for 7-10 minutes or until edges are set.  Remove from oven and immediately press 1 malted milk ball into center of cookie.  Cool 2 minutes; remove from cookie sheet.


Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Spaghetti Squash


Okay, so last year I did a little “how-to” on cooking acorn squash.  I guess I didn’t know that such an easy food was a mystery to a lot of people.  I thought I’d talk a little bit about spaghetti squash today.  It comes after it took me telling all the people in the check-out line of the grocery store what it was.  :)  Spaghetti squash is a little guy with a lot of bang for his buck.  They aren’t typically very expensive and they are super yummy.  Even the kids will enjoy it . . . maybe . . . well, you know how kids are.

I’ve seen a lot of different techniques for cooking spaghetti squash.  I don’t like boiling them in water, etc.  Dry roasting in the oven is going to be the easiest.  If you have a sharp knife (and are very very careful), you can cut the squash in half, scoop out the seeds and put it rind side up in a lightly greased casserole dish or roasting pan.


If you do not want to try that, you can still put the entire squash in the dish as above without cutting it.  If you cut the squash, cook it in a 375 degree oven for 30 minutes.  If you decide not to cut it, cook it in a 375 degree oven for about an hour.  The flesh of the spaghetti squash will not get soft or mushy when it is done.  It will still be a little firm and that is what you want so that you get those yummy strands.

DSC_0022Next, you want to use a fork to scrape out the flesh.  I usually do this when it is still a little warm and use an oven mitt or a hot pad to hold it.  My husband helped me on this day so I could get a picture.

DSC_0024  As you can see, the flesh will come out in strands like spaghetti (hence the name).  You can pretty much clean it all the way to the outside rind.  It produces a lot of yummy squash and should last you a couple days.

Now, from here there are many schools of thought on how to flavor your squash.  My parents empty a can of crushed tomatoes over it and eat it more like spaghetti.  I’ve seen a recipe where you add 1/4 cup chicken broth, 2 Tbsp olive oil, chopped parsley and salt and pepper.  Personally, I like to melt some butter into it (easy to do when it’s still hot) and add salt, pepper, and freshly grated parmesan cheese.

DSC_0027 YUMMY!  I was able to fool my toddler into thinking it was pasta and she ate it.  That is, until she heard me say it was squash.  Then all bets were off.  Anyway, enjoy it now because it’s typically not around all year.  Enjoy!

P.S. – I’m working on better pictures this year.  What do you think?


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