Friday, May 31, 2013

Boston Butt--Pulled Pork

This was a very easy roast to put together. I cooked it all night long for a Memorial Day get together. I let people add their own BBQ sauce if they wanted. I liked mine just plain.

Boston Butt--Pulled Pork

Pork roast--Beth used a 2 # roast
garlic--fresh or granulated
apple cider vinegar

Spray crock with Pam,( or use a crockpot liner) sliced onions in first, then butt, then season with salt and pepper, and garlic.  Add 1/4 cup of water and 1/4 cup of apple cider vinegar.  Cook for 10 hours on low.  Shred and keep warm.  Beth added a bit more water and apple cider vinegar when reheating.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Salted Rolo Brownie Cookies

Kathleen and Jenna came across this recipe on Pinterest and decided anything with chocolate and caramel together had to be good. We really loved them! We did find that they needed to bake a little longer than 12 minutes in order to come off the pan. However, when they were warm, we drizzled some 3 ingredient caramel sauce over them and they were to die for! 

Salted Rolo Brownie Cookies

  • 16 oz semi sweet chocolate, chopped
  • 4 Tbsp butter
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 1/3 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped Rolo candies, approx 30-35 pieces
  • flaked sea salt for sprinkling

  1. Preheat oven to 350°
  2. Line baking sheets with parchment paper, set aside
  3. Over a double boiler, melt the chopped chocolate and butter together.
  4. Meanwhile in large bowl combine eggs, sugar and vanilla, whisking until combined.
  5. In a smaller bowl, combine flour and baking powder, set this aside also.
  6. When chocolate is melted, slowly add it to the egg and sugar mixture in small amounts, stirring vigorously until incorporated.
  7. When chocolate and egg mixture is combined, stir in the flour mixture.
  8. Fold in the chopped Rolo candies.
  9. Drop by heaping tablespoon on prepared baking sheet.
  10. Bake 10-12 minutes until centers are just set. **Jenna and Kathleen's notes: We found they work MUCH better if you let them go 12-15 minutes or until they aren't very gooey. They come off the parchment paper a lot easier.
  11. When cookies are done, remove from oven and immediately sprinkle with flaked sea salt.
  12. Let cool on baking sheet for 3-4 minutes before transferring to wire rack to finish cooling!

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

2 Ingredient Caramel Sauce

Jenna and Kathleen are back with yet another guest post. We were in the baking mood while our mom was out of town. What is better than homemade caramel sauce? ....That's what we thought! Jenna was skeptical that this method of making caramel sauce would work, but it really does and it tastes great. Curtis Stone, a chef sometimes on The Biggest Loser TV show said this is healthy because there isn't any butter and we buy that theory! In the link below, there is a video of Curtis making this if you need a visual of the "amber" color of the sugar. 

Curtis Stone

Step 1: Sugarpan
Sprinkle about 1/2 cup of granulated sugar in a heavy medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Gently shake the saucepan to distribute the sugar evenly over the bottom of the pan.
Step 2: Melt
Allow the sugar to melt, watching closely and moving the pan over the burner to ensure the heat is equally distributed and the sugar melts evenly. Do not stir the sugar at this point, as doing so will cause the sugar to crystallize.
Step 3: Golden Brown
Once all the sugar has melted, continue to cook the sugar syrup without stirring for about 8 minutes, or until it becomes golden brown, swirling the pan occasionally.
Step 4: Bubbles
Once the sugar has turned golden brown, add about 3/4 cup of heavy cream and stir to blend. The mixture will bubble vigorously when the cream is added, so be sure your saucepan is large enough to contain the caramel mixture.
Step 5: Caramel Melt
Simmer over medium heat for about 3 minutes or until the caramel melts and the sauce thickens slightly.
Step 6: Put it on Everything
Remove the sauce from the heat and serve. Caramel sauce is perfect with just about every type of dessert, such as ice cream, grilled or poached fruit, cheesecakes, bread puddings, apple tarts, gingerbread, waffles and custards.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Philly Cheese Steak Tater Tots

This is Kathleen again, doing one last guest post before my Mom is back! I have been craving these for a long time so I finally decided to recreate them! One of my favorite food trucks in Austin, Way South Philly, makes these and they are delicious! You will not be disappointed if you try these!

Philly Cheese Steak Tater Tots

Store bought tater tots
2 TBSP Butter
1/4 cup chopped onions
1/2 TBSP McCormick Steak Seasoning
1/2 TBSP Worcestershire Sauce
Deli Roast Beef, thinly sliced and chopped.
Cheese Sauce

Bake a servings of tater tots as directed on the package. After baking them for the specified time, broil them for 2-3 minutes, flipping once, to get them crispy.
As the tater tots are cooking, start some chopped onions in a pan over medium heat with about a tablespoon of butter. Once the onions are soft and have some color, sprinkle with steak seasoning and cook another minute or so.
Take the onions out of the pan and add the other tablespoon of butter. Add roast beef and cook for about 30 seconds, just to warm it. If you cook the beef longer than this, it gets tough. Add the steak seasoning and Worcestershire and stir.
Now, put the tater tots on a plate, top with onions and beef and drizzle with cheese. Enjoy!

Monday, May 27, 2013

Lime Margarita Bars

Hey guys! This is Jenna, Beth's daughter, stopping in to guest post these bars!  These bars are yummy and great for summer! Try them, I know you'll love them! 
Lime Margarita Bars

from Mr. Food

2 cups finely crushed pretzels (Make sure they are crushed fine or they will float to the top)
1/4 cup sugar (We needed 1/3 cup)
1 stick butter, melted (We needed 1 stick+ 2 tbsp)
2 cans sweetened condensed milk
3 eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup fresh lime juice
4 tsp grated lime peel

Preheat oven to 350. Line 9x13 pan with foil and butter (I just sprayed it well and they came out fine). 
Combine pretzels, sugar and butter in bowl. Firmly press over bottom of prepared pan. Bake about 10 minutes until crust is firm. Cool slightly.
In a large bowl, combine rest of ingredients. Pout over crust.
Bake 25-30 minutes or until center is firm. Cool completely. Pull foil out of pan and cut into bars.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Nacho Cheese Sauce

Hey there. My name is Kathleen and I am Beth's daughter. I am doing a few guest posts while she and my dad are vacationing in California this week. I love cheese sauces, but do not like eating processed food all the time. This recipe was seriously better than the can and was cheesy and yummy! Try it, you'll like it!
Nacho Cheese Sauce

Adapted from:

1½ tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon corn starch
½ cup evaporated milk (I used 3/4-1 cup- regular milk would probably work)
1 ounce cream cheese, cubed
1 cup sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
1/8 cup Monterey Jack, shredded
½ tablespoon hot sauce (to start, see below)
1 tablespoon paprika

Shred the cheddar and the Monterey Jack before you start, because you'll need to add everything quickly. Melt the butter in a heavy-bottom sauce pan and stir in corn starch.
Add the milk. Chop the cream cheese into small cubes so it will melt faster, and stir into the butter and milk until it’s melted and smooth. Add the cheddar and stir until it is well melted. Add the Jack and stir again. Add the paprika and hot sauce. Stir well and serve hot. Unlike the fake cheese sauces, this one sets up again when it gets cold.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Fudge Filled Brownie Bars

The girls made these and brought them to school for my 'boys' while my sister was here.  Everyone loved them.  They were a dense brownie and I liked that it made a jelly roll pan.  I shared these with the staff.
Fudge Filled Brownie Bars

Taste of Home Cookies cookbook

1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour

3/4 cup packed brown sugar

3/4 cup butter, softened

1 egg yolk

3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract


1 package fudge brownie mix (13-inch x 9-inch pan size)

1 egg

1/3 cup water

1/3 cup canola oil


1 package (11-1/2 ounces) milk chocolate chips, melted

3/4 cup chopped walnuts, toasted

In a large bowl, combine the first five ingredients. Press onto the bottom of a greased 15-in. x 10-in. x 1-in. baking pan. Bake at 350° for 15-18 minutes or until golden brown.

Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine the filling ingredients. Spread over hot crust. ***Let sit for a few minutes  before spreading so as not to tear up bottom layer.  Bake for 15 minutes or until set. Cool on a wire rack for 30 minutes.

Spread melted chocolate over filling; sprinkle with walnuts. Cool completely. Cut into bars. Yield: 4 dozen.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Strawberry Julius

I had some fresh strawberries I needed to use up. This was delicious! It serves 4.

Strawberry Julius


1 cup Water

1/2 cup Milk  Beth used Cream

1 cup Sugar  Beth used Splenda

1 tsp. Vanilla extract     

1 lb. Strawberries, stems cut off

1 tray Ice


Mix all of the ingredients in the blender until smooth. Enjoy!!!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

S'mores Popovers

I had crescent rolls that I needed to use and knew we would love this. I had one package of regular rolls and 1 package of the sheets. I liked the sheets best--just unroll and cut into 8 squares. Don wanted more chocolate in these.

S'mores Popovers

Crescent rolls 
Chocolate chips

Mini marshmallows

Graham crackers, crushed

Place unrolled crescent rolls in separate muffin tins. Fill with chocolate chips, marshmallows, and crushed up graham crackers. Fold to close. Cook at 350 F for approx. 15 minutes.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Red Velvet Neiman Marcus Bars

Kathleen made these for Mother's day. They were very good--especially if you like a dense brownie.

Red Velvet Neiman Marcus Bars

1 box of red velvet cake mix
4 eggs
1 stick melted butter
1 box of powdered sugar
8 oz package of cream cheese, softened

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease one 13x9 inch pan.

In bowl, combine cake mix, 2 eggs and melted butter.  Spread in bottom of pan.

In a second bowl, beat with electric mixer, powdered sugar, 2 more eggs and cream cheese until smooth.  Spread on top of crust mixture.

Bake 35-40 minutes until edges are brown and center set (it will still be slightly wobbly in the middle).

Cool on counter 30 minutes, then refrigerate 2 hours up to 2 days.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Fat Flush Water

I adapted this recipe that I found on the web to make a 1 gallon . I was able to use the fruits and vegetables for 2 gallons worth. After that, the cucumbers get too soggy.

Fat Flush Water

1 Whole grapefruit sliced thin

 2 tangerines sliced thin

 ½ cucumber, sliced

 2 peppermint leaves(Beth used a few drops of peppermint extract)

 Ice – as much as you like
Put this in a gallon pitcher and fill with water and ice.  Best if you let sit over night

Monday, May 20, 2013

Bacon Omelet Roll with Salsa

I got this recipe in an e mail last week and wanted to try it.  I made it Mother's Day night and ate it all week.  The original recipe called for flour mixed in with the eggs.  To make it lower in carbs, I omitted it and the recipe worked out great.

Bacon Omelet Roll with Salsa  

adapted from

8 eggs
            1 cup  milk
1/3 cup  flour
1 red pepper, finely chopped
            8 slices  cooked Bacon, crumbled
3 green onions, finely chopped
1 tsp.  dried oregano leaves, crushed
1 cup  Shredded Sharp Cheddar Cheese
1 cup  Chunky Salsa, warmed

  HEAT oven to 350ºF.

LINE 15x10x1-inch pan with parchment paper, with ends extending over shortest sides of pan. Spray with cooking spray.
BEAT eggs and milk in large bowl with whisk until blended. Stir in next 4 ingredients. Pour into prepared pan. Bake 14 to 16 min. or until edges are almost set. Top with cheese; bake 2 min. or until melted.
ROLL up omelet immediately, starting at one short end and peeling off paper as omelet is rolled. Place on platter; cut into slices. Serve with salsa.


Sunday, May 19, 2013

Baked Cranberry Orange Doughnuts with Orange Vanilla Glaze

The girls made these one day while I was at school. We all loved these and will make them again.


Baked Cranberry-Orange Doughnuts with Orange-Vanilla Glaze

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup sour cream (preferably not low-fat)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries (finely chopped)
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1-2 tablespoon orange juice (more if needed to achieve drizzling consistency)          
In the bowl of an electric stand mixer, stir together flour, baking powder, salt and baking soda.
In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs, sour cream, and sugar. Stir in oil.
Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, stirring just until combined. Stir in 1 teaspoon vanilla, orange zest and dried cranberries.
Spoon batter into a lightly greased doughnut pan, filling each cavity about 2/3 full. Bake at 350 for approximately 12 minutes, or until a wooden pick inserted in the center of one of the doughnuts comes out clean. Dump doughnuts from pan immediately and cool on a wire rack. While doughnuts are cooling, prepare the glaze.
For the glaze, stir together powdered sugar, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla and orange juice, adding the juice 1 tablespoon at a time until the glaze is a drizzling consistency. Drizzle over doughnuts.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Alfredo Sauce

The girls made this sauce to use on Italian Nachos. It was easy to make and tastes great just off the spoon! :-)

Alfredo Sauce

4 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon garlic, minced
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 1/2 cups half-and-half
2 1/2 cups grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, or other good-quality Parmesan
  1. In a heavy, medium saucepan melt the butter over low heat. Add the garlic and then the flour and stir to combine. Cook, stirring constantly, for 3 minutes. Increase the heat to medium and whisk in the half-and-half little by little. Cook until thickened, about 4 to 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove from the heat; add 2 cups of the grated Parmesan. Season with the salt, pepper and stir until cheese is melted and sauce is smooth. Cover and set aside. *If the sauce becomes a bit thicker than you might like, simply add some milk or more half & half.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Avocado Stuffed Burger

These were very good, but lacked a bit of seasoning.  Next time I will add some chopped garlic or garlic salt to the avocado mix.  We liked these.
Avocado Stuffed Burger

2 # ground beef

2 avocados

1 cup sun-dried tomatoes, chopped NO OIL

Juice of 1/2 a lemon

Zest of 1 lemon

2 tablespoons black pepper

2 teaspoons sea salt

Bacon fat (Optional)

1.    Preheat your grill to medium-medium high heat

2.    Put your ground beef in a large mixing bowl and add black pepper, 1 teaspoon of sea salt, and the zest of one lemon

3.    Mix well and then using your hands form into thin patties all the same size (you need them thin because you will be using two of them to make one patty)

4.    In another mixing bowl combine avocados, sun dried tomatoes, lemon juice, and the remaining teaspoon of sea salt.

5.    Mash the avocado and mix ingredients well to get as smooth as you like

6.    Place your avocado mixture on the bottoms of half of the burgers, ensuring you leave room to seal the burgers without it leaking out

7.    Put your other patty over the top of your mixture and pinch the edges of your burgers together to seal all the way around

8.    Now go out and grill to your liking. I normally do about 6-8 Minutes per side on my grill but yours may be different. Ensure you cook evenly on both sides of the burger or you will end up with an undercooked and an overcooked side

9.    While grilling, I drizzle my burgers with bacon grease and it adds an amazing flavor

10.  When done grilling, allow your burgers to rest for 10 minutes and then serve. You can use the rest of your avocado mixture to top your burgers with and go to town


Thursday, May 16, 2013

Caramel Cereal Treats

While 'reading' my new cookie cookbook that my friend Janet gave me(yes, I READ cookbooks like I read a's a sickness, I think)I stumbled upon this recipe. My school secretary LOVES Sugar Smacks cereal, so I knew I would make these and take to school. They are easy to make and everyone liked them.

Caramel Cereal Treats
adapted from Taste of Home cookies cookbook

8 cups Sugar Smacks cereal
13/4 cups dry roasted peanuts
1 package (14 ounces) caramels
1/2 can sweetened condensed milk
1 tablespoon butter
2 cups milk chocolate chips

In a large bowl, combine cereal and peanuts; set aside. In a large microwave-safe bowl, combine the caramels, milk and butter.
Microwave, uncovered, on high for 1-2 minutes or until caramels are melted, stirring every 30 seconds.
Pour over cereal mixture; stir to coat. With greased hands, pat
mixture into a greased 15-in. x 10-in. x 1-in. pan.
In a microwave, melt chips stir until smooth. Cool slightly. Spread over bars. Let stand until set. Cut into bars. Yield:  3-1/2 dozen.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Whole Chicken in the Crockpot

I had a whole chicken in the freezer and made this recipe up one day. I knew I would be late getting home from school, so wanted dinner all done, except for a salad. This was perfect, except that 10 hours was a bit too long. The white meat was a bit dry since the chicken was up out of the juices by sitting on top of the potatoes.

Whole Chicken in the Crockpot

1 whole chicken
baking potatoes

Wrap baking potatoes in foil and place on the bottom of the crockpot. 

Stuff the chicken with onion(I cut it half) and a few garlic cloves.

Sprinkle salt, pepper, garlic and paprika on all sides of the chicken and place the chicken on top of the potatoes. 

Cook on low all day.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Oreo and Caramel Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

I had all the ingredients to make this, so this was dessert for the night the girls came home from college for the summer.  This was easy to put together and tasted great.  Not too rich, but small pieces are just right!
Oreo and Caramel Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated white sugar
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 cups Gold Medal® All-Purpose Flour
1 cup quick-cooking or old-fashioned rolled oats
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips, plus a few more for sprinkling on top

24 Double Stuff Oreos
1 cup or so of jarred caramel

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 9x13-inch pan with nonstick spray.

2. Prepare the cookie dough: Place the butter and sugars in a large bowl. Beat with an electric mixer until smooth and creamy. Add the egg, egg yolk and vanilla. Beat well. Whisk together the flour, oats, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl. Add to the butter mixture. Beat until everything is well incorporated, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Stir in the chocolate chips.

3. Prepare the bars: Using half of the batch of cookie dough, place dollops into the prepared pan and press with greased hands to press and make an even layer in the bottom of the pan. (I spray my hands with nonstick spray for this part). Set the Oreos on top of the dough- four rows of 6. Drizzle caramel on top- about 1 cup- over and around the Oreos. Spoon small dollops of the remaining cookie dough on top. Don't worry if the dollops don't completely cover the Oreos/caramel. Just drop small bit of the cookie dough all over the tops of the cookies. The cookie dough will spread out as you bake it.

4. Bake until lightly browned, 20 to 25 minutes. Sprinkle a few more chocolate chips onto the baked cookies, then set aside to cool completely, then cut into 32 bars.


*These are easiest to cut when they have chilled for a while. You'll be able to get nice, clean cuts when they're firmer, then they'll soften up a bit when they're at room temperature again.



Monday, May 13, 2013

Low Carb Breakfast Casserole

Here is another breakfast casserole that can be made on the weekend and eaten all week. With the girls home from college now, I am really trying to be quiet in the mornings before I leave for school. This is the perfect breakfast to pop in the microwave.

Low Carb Breakfast Casserole

1lb ground beef
1lb ground sausage
1 8 oz block cream cheese
half an onion, chopped
half a green bell pepper, chopped
a carton of fresh mushrooms, or one can drained
8 eggs
shredded cheese, to cover top of casserole
hot sauce (optional of course)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Chop the veggies and get them sautéing in a large pot/pan in butter or olive oil. Once the veggies are soft, add both of the meats and get them browned up almost done, season with salt and pepper. Drain grease and return to pan. Put 8 oz of cream cheese over low heat in with the meat and cook until thoroughly mixed. (This is where you can add some hot sauce of your choice to the mixture if you want.) Spread mixture into a well greased 9x13 pan. Evenly spread out the meat mixture but don't pack it down too tight.

In a separate bowl  beat up eggs and salt and pepper. Pour eggs over meat mixture and then cover with your favorite shredded cheese.

Cook in the oven for about 30 minutes, you want to make sure the eggs are cooked, everything else is already done.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Caesar Avocado Dressing

This was a great tasting dressing that you can make as thin or thick as you like it.
Caesar Avocado Dressing

yield: 2/3 cup dressing

1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 ripe avocado
juice of 1 lemon
1 clove garlic, minced
salt & pepper, to taste
olive oil and/or water {optional}

In the bowl of a food processor or small food chopper, place mayonnaise, avocado, lemon juice, garlic, salt and pepper. Blend until smooth. Stream in oil or water to get desired consistency. Toss with Caesar salad and serve: romaine lettuce, bacon, Parmesan cheese and croutons.


Saturday, May 11, 2013

Homemade Dishwashing Detergent

I have seen recipes like this for years and finally decided to try it. I really like how it cleans my dishes and you only need 1 T per load. Make sure to get Arm and Hammer WASHING soda, found in the laundry detergent aisle. I found it right next to the Borax. The LemiShine is near the dishwashing detergent.

Homemade Dishwashing Detergent

2 C. Borax

2 C.  Washing Soda

1/2 Canister LemiShine (about 6 ounces)

Add all of the ingredients into a container and blend until free of any lumps.

Add 1 T. to dishwasher for a full load.

*If you live in a humid climate, the powder may tend to clump up. It's easy to break it up, but keeping a silica gel packet (that comes inside shoe boxes, etc.) will prevent clumping


Friday, May 10, 2013

Avocado Salsa

This was very yummy. I even ate it for breakfast with my eggs!

Avocado Salsa

3 avocados diced chunky

1/4 cup chopped red onion

3 Roma Tomatoes diced

1/8 cup fresh cilantro finely chopped

1 Tbsp. lime juice

1/4 tsp. garlic salt

1/8 tsp. pepper


1.     After you have diced and chopped the avocados, red onion, Roma tomatoes and cilantro, combine in a medium bowl. Add lime juice, pepper and garlic salt.

2.     Toss and lightly stir to combine flavors.


Thursday, May 9, 2013

Magic Turtle Bars

This was another recipe I made to put in the care package for the girls.  I used 1 bag of caramel bits and 2 bags of chocolate chips.  These were VERY yummy!
Magic Turtle Bars


·        2 cups crushed vanilla cookies (I used imitation Vanilla wafers)

·        1/2 cup butter melted (1 stick)

·        2 bags semi sweet chocolate chips

·        1-2 bags Kraft Caramel Bits

·        2 cups coarsely chopped pecans

·        1 cans sweetened condensed milk


1.     Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2.     Lightly spray or grease a 9 x 13 pan.

3.     Combine crushed cookies and butter till combined and cookie crumbs are moist. Spread evenly in bottom of pan, pressing down to form a crust.

4.     Now start layering the rest of the ingredients. 1 bag chocolate chips, caramel bits, pecans (save out about 1/4 cup for the top), second bag of chocolate chips, remaining pecans.

5.     Drizzle sweetened condensed milk over the entire pan, make sure to cover all the nooks and crannies.

6.     Bake for 25-30 minutes, just until milk begins to turn golden. Let cool completely before cutting.

7.     Store in airtight container. If you choose to refrigerate these bars, bring them back to room temperature before eating.