Friday, March 31, 2017

Easy Cake Pop Recipe

Kathleen made Don cupcakes for his birthday. We found out the hard way that cupcakes baked in silicone pans crumble. I used those crumbles and leftover decorator icing to make these. This was my first attempt at cake balls and I need MUCH practice on the dipping part. Think my chocolate was too thick. They tasted great. The cake popes turned out purple since I had blue and pink frosting left over!

Easy Cake Pop Recipe
adapted greatly from

1 box cake mix and ingredients to bake the cake
Sprinkles or nonpareils
24 oz candy coating (like Wilton Candy Melts)
3/4 can frosting
40 lollipop sticks
Cake Pop Stand optional

Bake cake in 9×13 pan as directed on package and let cool.

Once cake is cooled crumble cake into large bowl.

Soften your frosting and stir. When frosting is soft and smooth, pour into crumbled cake and mix.

Form ping-pong sized balls with your clean hands, making sure the cake sticks together well without cracking. If there’s cracking add more frosting.

Place balls on cookie sheet and freeze for 30 minutes.

Melt the candy coating in microwave in 30 second increments. When smooth and melted, dip the ends of a lollipop sticks into the coating and press into cake balls until balls are secure on end of sticks.

Starting with the first pop you completed, dip the pops into the melted coating, making sure to coat the whole pop…letting the excess drip back into the pan.

Roll in sprinkles, etc as desired then put the cake pop into the cake pop stand and let set. Continue with remaining cake pops.

Let harden and enjoy!

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Salted Caramel Chocolate Chip Cookies

I had bought some salted caramel chips and wanted to try them in a cookie. Was so glad to find this recipe. They are delicious!

Salted Caramel Chocolate Chip Cookies

3/4 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 Tablespoons milk
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 Tablespoon cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 cups flour
2 cups quick oats
1 cup salted caramel baking chips
1 cup dark chocolate chips  Beth used semi sweet
Morton coarse sea salt, for garnish

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Beat the butter and sugars until creamy. Add the egg, vanilla, and milk and beat again.
Stir together the salt, cornstarch, baking soda, cinnamon, flour, and oats. Slowly beat into the butter mixture until everything is mixed in.

Stir in the chips. Roll into 36 dough balls. Place on a cookie sheet and bake for 7-8 minutes. Beth needed to add almost 5 more minutes---Don likes crunchy cookies!

Remove from the oven and immediately tap the tops of the cookies with a flat spatula. Let the cookies sit for 2 minutes on the cookie sheet, then remove them and place on parchment paper.

Sprinkle with coarse sea salt right away. Let cool completely. Store in a tightly sealed container.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Cajun Stuffed Chicken Breast

I was looking for a quick chicken recipe. This was perfect. I made two different batches of filling--one with mushrooms and one without because 2 of us like mushrooms and two don't. I used the extra filling in an omelet the next morning! We really liked this!

Cajun Stuffed Chicken Breast

4 large chicken breasts
1 tablespoons olive oil
4 large white or cremini mushrooms, sliced
½ red bell pepper, diced
½ green bell pepper, diced
¼ white onion, diced
½ cup shredded pepper jack cheese
 4 teaspoons cajun seasoning Beth found this was too much
 4 tablespoons butter

Use a meat tenderizer to pound out the chicken breasts until about ¼-inch thick.

Heat olive oil in a heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Saute mushrooms, bell pepper, and onions for 5 minutes, until par-cooked.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly grease a 9x13 pan.

Place a pinch of cheese in the center of each chicken breast. Place a large spoonful of mushroom and bell pepper mixture on top. Finish off with another pinch of cheese.

Carefully roll up the chicken so stuffing is completely inside. Secure the chicken with toothpicks. Place in the prepared pan. Season generously with cajun seasoning. Place a tablespoon of butter on top of each chicken breast.

Bake in the preheated oven until chicken is cooked through, to an internal temperature of 165 degrees, about 30 to 40 minutes.

Remove toothpicks before serving. You can serve the chicken whole, or slice in half, or in 1-inch slices.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Cajun seasoning

I needed this seasoning for a chicken recipe.  It was easy to put together and makes more than enough for a single recipe.
Cajun seasoning

2 tsp onion powder
2 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp oregano
2 tsp basil
1 tsp thyme
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp white pepper (if you don’t have it, just substitute black pepper) 1 tsp cayenne pepper
4 1/2 tsp paprika
2 1/2 tsp salt

Mix all ingredients together.  Store in air tight container.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Shortcut Reese Oreo Chocolate Chip Brownies

I was looking for a quick and easy dessert to put together.  I put a few different recipes together to come up with this.  IT was a hit!
Shortcut Reese Oreo Chocolate Chip Brownies

1 roll refrigerated chocolate chip cookie dough
1 pkg Oreos
1 pkg Reese peanut butter cup(Beth used Valentine shaped ones)
1 9 x 13 brownie mix and all ingredients to make brownies.

In a greased 9"x13" pan, layer cookie dough, peanut butter cups, and Oreo cookies. Make the brownies and pour over the rest of the ingredients.

Bake at 350F for 40-50 minutes, until toothpick between Oreos come out clean.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Cookie Jar Nut Cookies

While these have great flavor, they spread out and all ran together on the pan.  I also used a cookie scoop, so my cookies were very large.  The recipe DOES say to drop by TEASPOONfuls, so do try that!

Cookie Jar Nut Cookies
Taste of Home Cookie Cookbook

1 cup butter, softened
2 cups packed brown sugar
2 eggs
1/4 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 cup chopped walnuts

1. In a large bowl, cream butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in milk and vanilla. Combine the flour, baking soda, salt and nutmeg; gradually add to the creamed mixture and mix well. Stir in walnuts.

2. Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls 2 in. apart onto ungreased baking sheets. Flatten with a glass dipped in sugar. Bake at 350° for 10-12 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove to wire racks to cool.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

The Best Birthday Cake

I made this recipe for our Financial Peace party a few weeks ago.  The cake got rave reviews! 

The BEST Birthday Cake

For the cake:
2 1/4 cups sifted cake flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 large eggs, separated
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup sour cream --You can substitute yogurt or buttermilk

For the buttercream:
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
6-8 cups sifted confectioners' sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Pinch salt
Food coloring in your desired colors
Milk or cream, to thin (if needed)

To garnish (optional):
Birthday candles

Step 1:

Make the cake. Adjust an oven rack in the middle position; preheat the oven to 350 F. Grease, flour and line the bottoms of two 8-inch(or 9 inch is what Beth used) cake pans with circles of parchment paper.

Step 2:

In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set to the side.

Step 3:

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whisk the egg whites until soft peaks form. Transfer the mixture to a bowl for the moment, and set to the side.

Step 4:

Fit your stand mixer with the paddle attachment or a rotary beater. In the bowl (it's fine to use the same bowl you just used for the egg whites; no need to wash), cream the butter until fluffy and light, 2-3 minutes on medium-high speed.

Step 5:

Add the sugar(s), and mix until combined and smooth, about another 2 minutes on medium-high speed. Add the egg yolks, one at a time, stirring after each addition and scraping the sides of the bowl as needed with a rubber spatula. Stir in the vanilla.

Step 6:

Add the sour cream and flour mixtures alternately, in 2-3 additions each. Mix until the batter is smooth and lump-free, scraping the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed. The batter will be fairly thick.

Step 7:

By hand, fold the egg whites into the batter, stirring gently and only until no streaks of white remain.

Step 8:

Divide the batter evenly between the two prepared cake pans. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, rotating at the 20 minute mark. To test doneness, insert a cake tester or toothpick in the center of the cake. It should come out mostly clean.

Step 9:

Remove the cakes from the oven, and let cool for 5 minutes. Then, run a sharp knife around the perimeter of each pan, to loosen the edges. Turn the cakes out onto wire racks, gently peel off the parchment paper, and let cool completely. Once cooled, level the cakes if necessary.

Step 10:

Make the buttercream. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium-high speed for 2-3 minutes, or until very smooth. Add 2 cups of the confectioners' sugar and the salt, and stir to combine, first on low then on a higher speed as the sugar is absorbed. Continue adding the sugar, 1 cup at a time, until the buttercream has attained your desired spreading consistency. Stir in the vanilla and any colorings you'd like to add. If at any point the buttercream becomes too thick, add milk or cream, 1 teaspoon at a time, until the consistency has thinned out to your desired consistency.

Step 11:

To assemble, stack one of the cake layers on a platter, and apply a generous amount of buttercream on top, spreading it evenly all the way to the edges of the cake surface. Place the second cake layer on top; if you have leveled the cake, place the cut side down so that the flattest surface is facing up.

Step 12:

Apply a crumb coat (a thin coat of buttercream that is meant to contain crumbs and doesn't have to look pretty), and let the cake chill in the refrigerator for 20 minutes. Once the crumb coat has set, use the remaining buttercream to ice the top and sides of the cake. You can pipe designs or take any liberties with cake decorating that you like! Garnish with sprinkles and birthday candles.

Recipe notes:
This cake will keep for 3 days at room temperature in an airtight container; it can also be frozen for up to 1 month. Refrigeration is not suggested. Beth DID refrigerate it over night

    Friday, March 24, 2017

    Gluten Free Chocolate Mint Crinkle Cookies

    Kathleen had gotten some Bob's Mill Gluten free flour. I needed to make a quick dessert and these fit the bill. We all liked them.

    Gluten Free Chocolate Mint Crinkle Cookies

    1 1/2 cups gluten free flour blend (*Note, my flour blend has xanthan gum included. If yours doesn't, add 1 teaspoon.)
    3/4 cup almond flour
    2 teaspoons baking powder
    1/8 teaspoon salt
    1 cup cocoa powder
    1 cup sugar
    1/2 cup + 3 tablespoons melted butter
    2 teaspoons vanilla
    3 large eggs
    1/2 cup Andes Chocolate baking pieces
    powdered sugar for rolling the dough balls.
    1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
    2. In a large bowl, add dry ingredients and whisk to blend.
    3. In a small bowl, add all wet ingredients and whisk to blend.
    4. Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients and mix.
    5. Add Andes Chocolate pieces and mix.
    6. Scoop a little dough and roll with your hands into a ball shape.
    7. Roll the ball in powdered sugar and place on parchment paper lined baking sheet.
    8. When all of the dough is made into these balls, flatten them to 1/2 inch thickness with your hand.
    9. Bake 8-10 minutes.
    10. Remove onto a cooling rack.

      Thursday, March 23, 2017

      One-Hour Dinner Rolls

      I was in a baking mood and hadn't made yeast rolls in a while.  These were simple and delicious!

      One-Hour Dinner Rolls

      3 3/4 - 4 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
      1/4 cup granulated sugar
      1 Tbsp rapid rise yeast
      1 1/2 tsp salt
      3/4 cup cool water
      2/3 cup milk
      4 Tbsp unsalted butter, diced into 1 Tbsp pieces, plus more for tops
      1 1/2 tsp lemon juice

      Preheat oven to 180 degrees. In the bowl of an electric stand mixer whisk together 4 cups flour, sugar, yeast and salt.

      To a medium bowl add water, milk and butter and heat in microwave on HIGH power until it reaches 115 degrees on a thermometer, about 1 minute 15 seconds. Stir to partially melt butter (you just want to make sure it's softened through).

      Pour milk mixture into dry mixture in bowl of electric stand mixer along with lemon juice. Set mixer with a hook attachment then set mixer on low speed and gradually increase to medium-low, knead about 3 - 4 minutes until smooth and elastic while adding additional flour as necessary (dough should be lightly sticky but manageable).

      Cover bowl tightly with plastic wrap and rest 5 minutes. Meanwhile butter a 13 by 9-inch baking dish.

      Drop dough onto a lightly floured surface. Shape into an evenly level square, about 9 by 9-inches. Cut into 16 equal portions (don't have to be exact). Shape dough into 15 balls, while using excess dough from the 16th portion to add to smaller rounds as needed, and place shaped dough portions into prepared baking dish.

      Dampen hands with water and brush tops of dough with the water (just so they don't dry while rising in oven). Transfer to oven, close oven and turn oven off, allow rolls to rise 20 minutes (don't open oven door). Remove from oven and preheat oven to 375 degrees (this should take about 5 minutes, so just allow rolls to rest on counter while oven preheats).

      Bake in preheated oven 14 - 16 minutes until tops are golden brown. Remove from oven and run the top of a stick of butter along tops of rolls just to coat. Serve warm. Store in an airtight container (I recommend rewarming cool rolls in microwave for best results.
      Recipe source: Cooking Classy

      Wednesday, March 22, 2017

      Whole 30 Homemade Ranch Mix

      We have been making this since Kathleen has been trying to eat gluten free.  We like this!
      Whole 30 Homemade Ranch Mix

      2 tsp salt
      4 tbsp parsley
      3 tsp dill weed
      2 tsp dried chives
      4 tsp garlic powder
      4 tsp onion powder
      4 tsp dried onion flakes

      Mix all ingredients together and store in a ½ pint mason jar or other air tight container.

      2 tbsp = 1 package

      Tuesday, March 21, 2017

      Low Carb Crock Pot Pizza Soup

      I had wanted to try this and then had Don's mom stay for dinner on the spur of the minute. I made this on the cooktop and it turned out great. Next time I will use 1 can of mushrooms since 2 of my family members do not like them.

      Low Carb Crock Pot Pizza Soup
      1 (16 ounce) can crushed tomatoes (can use stewed or whole)
      2 (16 ounce) cans beef broth(can sub bouillon)
      2 (16 ounce) cans mushrooms (can use fresh if desired)
      1 medium green pepper, diced
      1 small onion, diced
      1 lb Italian sausage
      1⁄2 lb pepperoni, thinly sliced
      1 teaspoon garlic powder
      2 teaspoons dried oregano
      2 teaspoons italian seasoning
      1 cup freshly grated mozzarella cheese
      1⁄4 cup grated parmesan cheese

      Saute the sausage until brown.  Drain, and place in the crockpot.  Add all other ingredients but the cheeses.  Cook for 6-8 hours.  Spoon into bowls and sprinkle with cheese.

      Beth's notes:  If doing on cooktop, saute the onions and peppers with the sausage.  Add all ingredients but cheeses.  Bring to a boil and then turn to low and simmer for 30-60 minutes. 

        Monday, March 20, 2017

        Texas Sheet Cake with Fudge Icing

        I had taken a picture of this recipe from a magazine during a doctor visit! I made this for one of our Financial Peace classes. I put nuts on half. Next time I will bake it for a little while longer.

        Texas Sheet Cake with Fudge Icing

        Southern Living

        1 1/2 cups spicy, fruity cola soft drink (such as Dr Pepper) Beth used Coke Zero
        1 cup vegetable or canola oil
        1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
        2 cups all-purpose flour
        1 cup granulated sugar
        1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
        1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
        1/2 teaspoon table salt
        1/2 cup buttermilk
        2 large eggs, lightly beaten
        2 teaspoons vanilla extract

        Vegetable cooking spray
        Fudge Icing
        1 1/4 cups chopped toasted pecans

        Preheat oven to 350°. Bring first 3 ingredients to a boil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring often. Remove from heat.

        Whisk together flour and next 4 ingredients in a large bowl. Add soft drink mixture, and whisk until blended. Whisk in buttermilk, eggs, and vanilla. Pour batter into a lightly greased (with cooking spray) 17 1/2- x 12 1/2-inch sheet pan.

        Bake at 350° for 18 to 22 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.

        Prepare Fudge Icing, and pour over warm cake. Sprinkle with pecans. Cool completely in pan (about 1 hour)

        Fudge Icing

        1/2 cup butter
        1/2 (4-oz.) unsweetened chocolate baking bar, chopped
        3 tablespoons milk
        3 tablespoons spicy, fruity cola soft drink (such as Dr Pepper)
        4 cups powdered sugar
        1 teaspoon vanilla extract

        Cook butter and chocolate in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat, whisking often, until melted and smooth.

        Remove from heat, and whisk in milk and soft drink until blended. Gradually sift in powdered sugar, whisking constantly. Whisk in vanilla. Use immediately.

        Sunday, March 19, 2017

        30 Minute Gluten Free Meatballs

        We were looking for meatballs that didn't have breadcrumbs in them. Turns out, you don't need them! Parmesan cheese does the trick--try these! We've made them twice in a week.

        30 Minute Gluten Free Meatballs

        1 pound lean ground beef
        1 large egg
        1/2 cup onion, finely chopped (optional)
        1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
        3 cloves garlic, minced
        1 teaspoon dried oregano
        1 teaspoon salt
        1/2 teaspoon dried parsley

        1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
        2. Place all ingredients into a large mixing bowl. Mix together using your hands until well combined.
        3. Roll into 1" balls. You should have a total of 24 or 25 meatballs. Place meatballs onto a baking sheet with raised sides.
        4. Bake for 20 minutes, or until center is no longer pink.
        5. Serve warm.
          To freeze: After cooking, let meatballs cool then place into a zip top freezer bag. When you're ready to eat them remove the number you need and place into sauce pan with pasta sauce. Let simmer until meatballs are heated through.

          Saturday, March 18, 2017

          Maple Bacon Rice Krispies Treats

          Since I still have a few boxes of Patriotic Rice Krispies, I decided to try this recipe.  I took them to our Dave Ramsey class and they were well liked. 

          Maple Bacon Rice Krispies Treats
          about 20 servings

          2 tablespoons butter
          10 ounces mini marshmallows
          3 tablespoons maple syrup
          6 slices cooked and crumbled bacon, divided
          6 cups Rice Krispies cereal

          1. Line a 9x13-inch pan with parchment paper. Set aside.
          2. Melt butter and marshmallows over medium heat. Once melted and smooth, remove from heat and stir in maple syrup and half of the bacon. Add cereal and stir to combine. Transfer the mixture to the prepared pan and spread to the sides. Sprinkle with remaining bacon.

          Friday, March 17, 2017

          Easiest Banana Bread 

          I doubled this recipe and sent it to work with Jenna.  I added walnuts.  It was well liked.

          Easiest Banana Bread

          2 to 3 very ripe bananas, peeled
          1/3 cup melted butter
          1 teaspoon baking soda
          Pinch of salt
          3/4 cup sugar (1/2 cup if you would like it less sweet, 1 cup if more sweet)
          1 large egg, beaten
          1 teaspoon vanilla extract
          1 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour
          walnuts--Beth's addition

          1 Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C), and butter a 4x8-inch loaf pan.

          2 In a mixing bowl, mash the ripe bananas with a fork until completely smooth. Stir the melted butter into the mashed bananas.

          3 Mix in the baking soda and salt. Stir in the sugar, beaten egg, and vanilla extract. Mix in the flour and nuts.

          4 Pour the batter into your prepared loaf pan. Bake for 50 minutes to 1 hour at 350°F (175°C), or until a tester inserted into the center comes out clean.

          5 Remove from oven and cool completely on a rack. Remove the banana bread from the pan. Slice and serve. (A bread knife helps to make slices that aren't crumbly.)

          Thursday, March 16, 2017

          Baked Garlic Butter Chicken

          This was quick and easy to put together.  I did not put the cheese on at the end and it was very tasty.

          Baked Garlic Butter Chicken

          Yields Serves 4

          4 (16-ounces) boneless skinless chicken breasts
          salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
          1 stick (1/2-cup) butter*
          6 cloves garlic, minced
          1 tablespoon fresh rosemary leaves
          1/2 cup Shredded Reduced Fat 4-Cheese Italian
          get ingredients

          Preheat oven to 375F.

          Lightly grease a baking dish with a pat of butter.

          Season chicken breasts with salt and pepper; arrange chicken in a single layer in prepared baking dish and set aside.

          Add butter to a skillet and melt over medium heat.

          Stir in garlic and cook over medium heat for 4 to 5 minutes, or until lightly browned, stirring very frequently. DO NOT burn the garlic.

          Stir in the rosemary and remove from heat.  Pour the prepared garlic butter over the chicken breasts.
          Bake for 30 to 32 minutes, or until chicken's internal temperature is 165F.

          Sprinkle with cheese and cook for an additional 3 minutes, or until cheese is melted.  Remove from oven and let stand a couple minutes.

          Transfer chicken to serving plates; spoon a little bit of the garlic butter sauce over the chicken and serve.


          *Though we're using an entire stick of butter for the sauce, we're only ingesting about 1/2-tablespoon of the butter per serving.

          WW SmartPoints: 7

          Wednesday, March 15, 2017

          Lemon Blondies

          I made these to take to a ladies' Bible Study.  They were very goo.
          Lemon Blondies


          1/2 cup softened unsalted butter
          1 cup brown sugar
          1/2 cup granulated sugar
          2 large eggs
          1 teaspoon vanilla extract
          1 tablespoon lemon juice
          Zest of 2 lemons (about 2 tablespoons)
          1 teaspoon baking powder
          1/2 teaspoon salt
          2 cups all purpose flour


          1/2 cup softened unsalted butter
          1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
          1/4 teaspoon salt
          1 tablespoon lemon juice

          Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a 9×13” pan with foil and spray with cooking spray.

          Cream butter, brown sugar and granulated sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Add eggs, vanilla, and lemon juice and beat until combined. Add lemon zest, baking powder, salt, and flour and mix.

          Press into prepared pan (dough is sticky, spray your hands with cooking spray to avoid it sticking to your hands).

          Bake for about 16-20 minutes. (Be careful not to overcook – the center will still be jiggly when you take these out of the oven and they will finish cooking and firming up as they cool.) Cool completely before frosting.

          To make frosting: cream butter with a hand mixer until smooth. Slowly mix in the the powdered sugar and salt, then add lemon juice and mix until smooth, adding more as needed for desired consistency. Frost the cooled bars, then cut into squares.

          Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or freeze in a single layer for up to 1 month.

          Tuesday, March 14, 2017

          Crock Pot No-Bean Beef Chili

          I had stew meat in the freezer so I tried this recipe.  I liked it a lot.
          Crock Pot No-Bean Beef Chili

          2 pounds lean ground beef or cubed lean stew beef Beth used stew meat
          1 can (8 ounces) tomato sauce
          1 can (6 ounces) tomato paste
          1 (14.5 ounces) can stewed tomatoes, optional Beth used diced with roasted garlic
          2 tablespoons chili powder
          1 to 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, to taste
          1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or to taste
          1 teaspoon hot pepper sauce

          In a large skillet over medium heat, brown the ground beef, stirring to break it up. Beth added onions,bell peppers, and jalapeno, too

          When the meat is no longer pink, drain it and spoon it into the slow cooker. Add the tomato sauce, tomato paste, stewed tomatoes, if using, and the chili powder.

          Mix well and add 1 teaspoon of salt and 1/2 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper. Beth added the additional seasonings suggested below.

          Add hot sauce, such as Texas Pete's or Tabasco, if desired.

          Cover and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours or on high for 3 1/2 to 4 hours.

          Serves 4 to 6.

          Tips and Variations:

          Top with shredded mozzarella, cheddar or a Mexican-style cheese.

          If you like beans in your chili, add a can of drained pinto beans, black beans, or kidney beans about an hour before the chili is done.

          Add 1 cup of chopped onions and 1/4 to 1/2 cup of chopped bell pepper to the skillet with the ground beef.

          For a little extra flavor and sweetness, add 1 carrot, either finely chopped, shredded, or julienned.

          If you like jalapeno peppers, add a few tablespoons of minced jalapeno to the crock pot.

          Garnish with thinly sliced green onions, crumbled cornbread, oyster crackers, chopped fresh onions, guacamole, chopped cilantro, or diced fresh tomatoes.

          Additional Seasonings - 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of ground cumin, 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder or 1 clove of minced fresh garlic, 1/2 teaspoon dried leaf oregano, crushed red pepper or a dash of cayenne.

          Monday, March 13, 2017

          Gooey Nutty S'mores Crockpot Candy

          I doubled this and made this one Sunday afternoon to take for a Tuesday financial peace class.  It was a hit!
          Gooey Nutty S'mores Crockpot Candy

          1 1/2 cups nuts (I used peanuts)
          3 cups Golden Grahams cereal
          16 ounces almond bark (vanilla or chocolate), broken up
          3 cups chocolate chips
          2 cups mini marshmallows

          Place nuts and cereal in the bottom of a 6-7 quart crockpot. Place almond bark and chocolate chips on top. Cook on high for about 2 hours (check after 1 hour) until all the chocolate is melted.

          Stir to combine the nuts, cereal, and chocolate, then gently stir in the marshmallows.

          Immediately scoop candy clusters onto wax paper lined cookie sheets using two spoons. Chill to set.

          Store in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.

          Sunday, March 12, 2017

          Authentic Carne Asada

          The picture on the website looked so good, I knew I would have to try it.  The flavor was great, but I never have luck with flank or skirt steak being tender after grilling it.  We all had one small serving and then the next day, I put the meat in the crockpot for 5-6 hours.  It was fork tender after being in the crockpot.

          Authentic Carne Asada

          2 limes, juiced
          4 cloves garlic, crushed
          ½ cup orange juice
          1 cup chopped fresh cilantro
          ½ teaspoon salt
          ¼ teaspoon black pepper
          ¼ cup olive oil
          1 jalapeno, minced
          2 tablespoons white vinegar
          1 (2 pound) flank steak

          In a gallon size resealable bag, combine lime juice, crushed garlic, orange juice, cilantro, salt, pepper, olive oil, jalapeno, and vinegar. Squeeze it around to mix it up.

          Put the entire flank steak into the resealable bag. Seal it up tight. Make sure all the meat is exposed to the marinade, squishing the bag around to coat. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or overnight.
          Heat an outdoor grill to high heat.

          Remove the flank steak from the marinade, and discard excess marinade. Cook on the grill for 7 to 10 minutes per side.

          Once done, remove from heat and let rest 10 minutes. Slice against the grain, and serve.

            Saturday, March 11, 2017

            Kobe Steakhouse's Mustard Dressing

            We really liked the dressing at the steakhouse.  This comes very close to the real thing!

            Kobe Steakhouse's Mustard Dressing 

            1/2 small yellow or white onion
            1/2 cup of salad oil (I use vegtable)
            1/2 cup of white vinegar
            1 TBL prepared mustard
            1/4 cup & 1 TBL of teriyaki sauce 
            1 inch of ginger root (Peeled)
            salt to taste

            Pulverize the onion and ginger into a smooth paste, I use my food processor. Add all the other ingredients and blend it another 2 minutes. The heavier ingredients will settle to the bottom, so you must stir it well before pouring.

            Friday, March 10, 2017

            Homemade Ginger Sauce

            Kathleen made this the day after we had gone to a Japanese steak house for dinner.  Very good and tasted great!  Can be used on vegetables or as a salad dressing.
            Homemade Ginger Sauce

            Makes about 1 cup

            2 carrots, peeled and chopped
            1 green onion, chopped
            2 tablespoon ginger, finely chopped
            2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
            2 teaspoons sesame oil
            2 teaspoons soy sauce
            1 teaspoon sugar
            1 tablespoon olive oil

            Combine all ingredients into food processor and pulse for 2-3 minutes until completely smooth. While processing, stream 2 tablespoons water into mixture. Keep refrigerated

            Thursday, March 9, 2017

            Samoas Texas Sheet Cake

            I made this for our Dave Ramsey class and then sent the rest to work with Jenna.  It was good.
            Samoas Texas Sheet Cake

            For the Texas Sheet Cake:

            2 cups all-purpose flour
            2 cups granulated sugar
            1/3 cup dark cocoa powder, unsweetened
            1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
            1 teaspoon sea salt
            1 teaspoon instant coffee granules
            1 cup unsalted butter, melted (2 sticks)
            1 cup whole milk
            2 large eggs
            1 tablespoon vanilla extract

            For the Samoa Topping:

            14 ounce can sweetened condensed milk
            11 ounce bag caramel squares or caramel bits
            2 1/2 cups sweetened shredded coconut
            1/2 cup mini chocolate chips

            1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 15.5 X 10.5 inch baking dish(or jelly roll pan) with nonstick baking spray. Set aside.

            2. In a large bowl, mix the first 6 dry ingredients for the cake batter. Whisk in the melted butter, milk, eggs, and vanilla. Pour the batter in the prepared baking dish and bake for 22-25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Cool completely before proceeding. *Do not open the oven door before 22 minutes have passed or the cake might collapse.

            3. Meanwhile, toast the coconut by stirring in a skillet over medium heat, until most of the shreds are golden-brown. You could also spread the coconut flat out on a baking sheet and toast it in a 350 degree oven for 6-8 minutes.

            4. Pour the sweetened condensed milk in a medium sauce pot. Unwrap all the caramel squares and add them to the pot. Turn the heat on medium and stir continually until the caramels have melted into the mixture. Stir and simmer a few minutes longer to thicken, then remove from heat.

            5. Pour the caramel over the top of the cake and spread out evenly. Immediately sprinkle the toasted coconut and mini chocolate chips over the caramel. Tap the pan on the counter top to help the coconut settle into the caramel.

            NOTES: This cake can sit out on the countertop, covered, for up to three days, or in the refrigerator for up to 10 days. It tasted best at room temperature. 

            Making this recipe? Why not take a quick shot and share it on Instagram! Make sure to tag it #ASpicyPerspective so we can see what you're cooking!

            Wednesday, March 8, 2017

            Ultimate Gluten Free Fudge Brownies

            I made these on Valentines Day for Kathleen.  She feels better when she tries to eat gluten free.  They were very good.  See my changes in bold. 

            Ultimate Gluten Free Fudge Brownies

            ⅔ cup (2¾ oz.) almond flour
            ½ teaspoon salt
            1 tablespoon cocoa powder
            6 oz. dark chocolate, coarsely chopped*
            ½ cup (4 oz.) coconut oil Beth used butter
            1 cup coconut sugar Beth used Splenda
            2 eggs
            1 teaspoon vanilla extract
            1 cup dark chocolate chips

            Preheat oven to 350ºF. Line with parchment and lightly grease an 8x8” baking pan.

            In a medium bowl, whisk the almond flour, salt, and cocoa powder together.

            Put the chocolate and coconut oil in a large glass bowl and microwave for 30 seconds. Stir, and repeat until the chocolate and coconut oil are completely melted and smooth. Add the coconut sugar. Whisk until completely combined. The mixture should be room temperature.

            Add 2 eggs to the chocolate mixture and whisk until combined. Add the vanilla and stir. Do not overbeat the batter at this stage or your brownies will be cakey.

            Sprinkle the flour mixture over the chocolate mixture. Using a rubber spatula, fold the flour mixture into the chocolate until just a bit of the flour mixture is visible. Fold in the chocolate chips.

            Bake in preheated oven for 28-32 minutes or until a toothpick comes out with moist crumbs attached. Don't over bake!!

            Cool brownies completely before cutting into 16 equal squares with a very sharp knife.

            Brownies will keep in an airtight container at room temperature or in the refrigerator for up to 1 week, or in the freezer for up to 3 months.

            Tuesday, March 7, 2017

            Seasoned Baked Potatoes

            The other day, we were looking for an easy and healthy side dish. This recipe was simple and delicious! We broiled them at the end to get them a little more crisp.

            Seasoned Baked Potatoes

            2-4 large potatoes
            1 1/2 teaspoons paprika
            1 teaspoon garlic powder
            1 teaspoon onion powder
            sea salt
            freshly ground black pepper
            olive oil or low fat cooking spray

            Preheat the oven to 400F/200C. Wash the potatoes to get rid of any dirt (there's no need to peel them). Cut each potato in half lengthwise, then cut each half into 4 wedges so that you end up with 8 wedges form each potato. Add the wedges to a large mixing bowl. Sprinkle over the paprika, garlic powder & onion powder. Drizzle with about two tablespoons olive oil or spay with low fat cooking spray then toss everything together to coat. Sprinkle with a salt and pepper to taste. Line pan with non-stick foil for easy clean up. Spread the wedges in a single layer over a large baking tray and bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until golden and cooked through. Remove from the oven and while they are still hot, season with salt to taste.

            Tip: If using low fat cooking spray, for extra crisp wedges, 1/2 way through the cooking time, spray again and return to the oven.

            Monday, March 6, 2017

            Dutch Apple Dessert

            Just before Thanksgiving, my sister asked me for this recipe.  I realized I had never put it on the blog.  I made this(doubled the recipe--see note at bottom) and took it to church for treats recently.  It is one of our favorite desserts.
            Dutch Apple Dessert
            Eagle Brand Flyer--many years ago

            5 medium apples, peeled and diced
            1 can sweetened condensed milk
            1 t cinnamon
            1/2 c  butter
            2 T butter
            1 c bisquick
            1/2 c bisquick
            1/2 c brown sugar
            1/2 c nuts (optional)

            Preheat oven to 325.  Combines apples, sweetened milk and cinnamon. 

            In another bowl, cut 1/2 c cold butter into 1 c bisquick.   Stir into apple mixture.  

            Pour into a 9 x9 pan. 

            In another bowl, combine 1/2 c bisquick, brown sugar and 2 T cold butter until crumbly.  Add nuts, if desired.    Sprinkle over apple mixture. 

            Bake 1 hour.

            To make 9x 13 pan, double all ingredients EXCEPT the sweetened condensed milk

            Sunday, March 5, 2017

            Salted Caramel Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

            I made these really quickly for a last minute dessert(ok, I had 3 hours to make the dessert)  These were the BOMB!  Loved these and everyone else did.  I used Halloween chocolate chips--thus the orange chips in the pictures.

            Salted Caramel Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars


            1 cup unsalted butter, softened
            1 cup packed light brown sugar
            1/2 cup granulated sugar
            2 large eggs
            1 teaspoon vanilla extract
            1 teaspoon kosher salt
            1 teaspoon baking soda
            2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
            2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
            14 ounce can sweetened condensed milk
            10 ounces soft caramels, unwrapped Beth used caramel bits
            1 teaspoon flaked sea salt

            Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 9 X 13 inch baking dish with foil and liberally coat with nonstick cooking spray.

            In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the softened butter with both sugars until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add the eggs, vanilla, salt, and baking soda. Mix well, then scrape the sides of the bowl with a spatula.

            Turn the speed to low and add the flour. Beat to combine, then mix in the chocolate chips.
            Press half of the cookie dough into the bottom of the prepared baking dish.

            In a medium sauce pot, add the sweetened condensed milk and unwrapped caramels. Set over medium-low heat and stir until the caramels melt, making a smooth caramel filling. Pour the filling over the cookie dough base.

            Drop the remaining cookie dough over the caramel filling in small teaspoons-sized clumps. Bake the bars for 25-30 minutes, until the center is just set.

            Sprinkle with sea salt flakes and allow the bars to cool completely. Then lift the bars out of the pan by the edges of the foil and cut. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.

            NOTE: These bars freeze really well! We pulled 2-4 bars out of the freezer at a time and enjoyed them over the course of a month. Once thawed they taste just as good as freshly-baked.

            Saturday, March 4, 2017

            Sweet & Salty Caramel Everything Bars

            I made these to take to church for treats a few weeks ago. They were good, but the pretzel base didn't want to 'stick' to the bars.

            Sweet & Salty Caramel Everything Bars

            recipe: Better Homes & Gardens special addition: “Bars and Brownies”

            3 Cups crushed pretzels
            1/3 Cup sugar
            1 Cup unsalted butter, melted
            1/2 Cup unsalted butter
            1/2 Cup whipping cream
            1/4 Cup packed brown sugar
            1 (11 oz.) pkg. caramel baking bits OR one (14 oz.) pkg vanilla caramels, unwrapped
            2 Cup salted cocktail peanuts
            1 Cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
            1/2 Cup milk chocolate chips
            1/2 Cup peanut butter flavor chips
            1 Cup toffee bits

            1. Preheat the oven to 325°  F. Line a 9x13x2 inch pan with double or heavy duty tinfoil. Spray pan with non-stick spray. Set aside. Make the crust: in a medium bowl combine the crushed pretzels, sugar and 1 cup milted butter. Press mixture into bottom of pan. In a medium bowl combine: semisweet chips, milk chocolate chips, peanut butter chips and toffee bits; set aside.

            2. In a medium saucepan combine the remaining 1/2 cup butter, whipping cream and brown sugar. Cook and stir over medium heat until butter is melted and sugar is dissolved. Stir in the caramel bits. Cook and stir until caramel is melted and mixture is smooth. Stir in peanuts.

            3. Quickly pour the caramel mixture over the pretzel crust and smooth out caramel to evenly distribute the peanuts. Sprinkle the chocolate chip mixture over the caramel layer and bake in preheated oven at 325° F for 25 minutes or until edges are bubbly and light brown. Cool in pan on a wire rack. Using the edges of the foil, lift the entire slab of bars out of the pan. Cut into bars.

            To store: Layer bars between sheets of waxed paper in an airtight container; cover. Store at room temperature for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months.

            Friday, March 3, 2017

            Dottie's Texas Chili

            I made this a week or so ago.  I doubled this recipe and used 1 pound ground beef and 1 pound stew meat cut small.  It was very good and easy to put together.

            Dottie's Texas Chili
            From Lowcarbfriends

            1 pound ground beef
            1 large yellow onion – diced
            1 can (14.5 ounce) cut diced tomatoes Beth used pureed
            1 can (8 ounce) tomato sauce
            1 can (14 ounce) beef broth
            1 cup water
            11/2 teaspoon chili powder
            1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
            1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
            1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
            1/2 teaspoon ground oregano
            1/2 teaspoon paprika
            1 teaspoon salt
            1 teaspoon ground black pepper
            Optional: 1 can (15 ounce) black soy beans –drained and rinsed well. Beth didn't use Shredded Cheddar cheese
            Sour Cream

            Brown ground beef and onions, breaking up well. Drain well.

            Add spices and continue to cook and blend well.

            Add the remaining ingredients.

            Reduce heat, cover and simmer for at least 30 minutes or until reduced slightly.

            Add beans (if using) in the last 10 minutes, just long enough to heat through. Black soy beans have a softer texture than pinto beans and will break down faster.

            Add water or more broth if necessary.

            Serve hot with shredded cheddar cheese and sour cream.

            Posters notes:  double the recipe and use one pound of ground beef and one pound of diced stew meat.

            Thursday, March 2, 2017

            Delicious Low Carb Cornbread

            I made this to go with a chili recipe I made. I doubled this and made it in a cast iron skillet, baked in the oven. Very good!

            Delicious Low Carb Cornbread

            By truebrit on

            3 1/2 ounces ground almonds or 3 1/2 ounces almond flour
            1 ounce melted butter
            2 large eggs
            1/2 teaspoon baking powder
            1/4 teaspoon salt

            In a small bowl, mix wet ingredients, then work in the dry ingredients.

            Pour into a greased microwave-safe container (about 6-inch square, or thereabouts).

            Microwave for 2 minutes at power level 8. Bake at 375 for 18 minutes in cast iron pan.
            Cut into 8 slices, about 1 carb per slice.
            Serve with butter.

            Wednesday, March 1, 2017

            Crock Pot Peachy Dump Cake

            I had my mother in law over for dinner on the spur of the minute a week or so ago.  I decided to get out my 3rd crockpot and make dessert.  I had everything but the yellow cake mix, so used a snickerdoodle muffin mix.  It turned out great.  I had to cook this about 1 hour longer on high.  I used a 9 x 13 crockpot.

            Crock Pot Peachy Dump Cake

            2 14½ oz Cans of Peach Pie Filling
            1 t Lemon Juice
            1 Yellow Cake Mix Beth used a Snickerdoodle mix(no yellow cake mix here that day!)
            ½ c Pecans, Chopped
            ½ c Butter, Melted
            Garnish: Ice Cream

            Spray crock pot with cooking spray.  Pour in pie filling.
            Drizzle lemon juice on top.

            Mix together cake mix, melted butter.   Place mixture evenly over top of pie filling and sprinkle with pecans.

            Cover and cook on low for 4 hours or high for 2 hours.  Beth had to cook this for 3 hours on high.
            Serve with ice cream.