Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Easy Instant Pot Dirty Rice Ready In Under 30 Minutes

I followed this recipe to a "T" except I used a whole pepper and the recipe originally called for 1/2 bell pepper. We LOVED this! I served it with BBQ shrimp!

Easy Instant Pot Dirty Rice Ready In Under 30 Minutes


4 oz Bacon chopped Beth used 5 strips
1 lb Breakfast Sausage
1 Medium Onion chopped
1 rib Celery chopped
1 Bell Pepper chopped
1 Tbsp Garlic chopped
2 tsp Cajun seasoning
1 Bay leaf
1/2 tsp Dried Thyme
1 Can Chicken Broth 14 oz
1 1/2 Cups Long Grain Rice
1 Tbsp Soy Sauce
1 Tbsp Worcestershire Sauce

Set your Instant Pot to Saute and toss in the first 6 ingredients. 

Saute in Instant Pot until the onions are clear (about 10 minutes). Make sure you stir about every 2 minutes.

Pour in the rest of the ingredients and give it a stir.

Set your Instant pot to Manual (high) for 15 minutes. Seal the lid and let it cook!

Once the time is up, let it naturally release for about 10 minutes, then you can quick release. When I'm cooking rice in my Instant Pot, I like it to release naturally as long as I can just to make sure the rice has had time to absorb all of the moisture.

Remove bay leaf and serve.

Monday, April 29, 2019

Cinnamon Oatmeal Cookies

I made these cookies while my parents were here before Easter. I tried using the cookie scoop, but liked them rolled smaller, better. They flattened out too much with the cookie scoop.
Cinnamon Oatmeal Cookies
Taste of Home Cookie Cookbook

1 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 cup packed brown sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 cups quick-cooking oats

1. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Combine the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, baking powder and salt; gradually add to creamed mixture and mix well. Stir in oats.
2. Shape into 1-1/2-in. balls. Place 2 in. apart on ungreased baking sheets. Bake at 350° for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown. Cool for 1 minute before removing to wire racks.

Sunday, April 28, 2019

Doctored Up Caramel Cake

I made this cake while my parents were here. It was quite tasty. We all loved the frosting!

Doctored Up Caramel Cake


  • 1 box white cake mix, 
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup jarred caramel sauce, divided in half
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, 1 cup
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 3 cups powdered sugar

  1. Preheat the oven to 350º F.
  2. In a large mixing bowl combine the cake mix, sugar, flour, and salt. Add in the eggs, milk, buttermilk, and sour cream, beat with an electric mixer until combined, 2-3 minutes. Add in half of the caramel sauce, mix into the batter.
  3. Spray a 9x13 inch pan with non-stick cooking spray. Pour the batter into the pan. Drizzle the remaining caramel on top of the batter and use a knife to swirl the caramel into the batter.
  4. Bake for 36-39 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Allow the cake to cool completely before adding frosting.
  1. In a small-medium sized pot over medium heat on the stove, melt the butter and brown sugar. Stir frequently until melted. Allow the mixture to come to a simmer.
  2. Once simmering, add in the heavy cream, stir and allow the mixture to return to a simmer.
  3. Once it simmers again, remove it from the heat and immediately whisk in the powdered sugar, one cup at a time. It’s okay if there are a few powered sugar lumps.
  4. Immediately pour the caramel icing over the cooled cake (the icing will set quickly so be sure to move fast) and spread into a even layer. Allow the icing to set and cool before serving.

Saturday, April 27, 2019

Jamaican Lentil Salad

The girls made this for lunches a week or so ago. They really liked it.

Jamaican Lentil Salad


2 cups cooked lentils

1/2 15 oz can of pineapple chunks (or fresh pineapple)
1/2 red onion, finely diced
1/4 jalapeno, finely diced
1/2 green pepper, finely diced
1 bunch cilantro, roughly chopped

1/4 Cup Pineapple juice (from the can of tidbits)
1 Tbsp Avocado oil
2 tsp Reduced-sodium soy sauce (GF if needed)
1-2 Large jalapenos, roughly chopped, to desired spiciness.
1 1/4 tsp Fresh lime juice
3/4 tsp Fresh ginger, minced
3/4 tsp Ground nutmeg
3/4 tsp Ground allspice
1/4 + 1/8 tsp Ground thyme
1/4 + 1/8 tsp Ground cinnamon

Mix cooked lentils, diced pineapple, red onion, jalapeno, green pepper and cilantro. Refrigerate for several hours or up to several days.

In a dry pan over medium-low heat, gently toast coconut flakes, constantly stirring just until golden brown.

Just before serving, mix with dressing and top with slivered almonds and coconut flakes. We meal-prepped for the week and kept the dressing, salad, almonds and coconut in separate containers. It tasted even better the more the flavors of the salad melded throughout the week!

Friday, April 26, 2019

Pan-Fried Asparagus

This was quick, easy and a tasty side dish.

Pan-Fried Asparagus

1/4 cup butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon coarse salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 pound fresh asparagus spears, trimmed

Melt butter in a skillet over medium-high heat. Stir in the olive oil, salt, and pepper. Cook garlic in butter for a minute, but do not brown. Add asparagus, and cook for 10 minutes, turning asparagus to ensure even cooking.

Thursday, April 25, 2019

Make Ahead Buttery Bread Machine Rolls

These are soft and light buns. I made these while my parents were here and we had BBQ ribs.
Make Ahead Buttery Bread Machine Rolls

1 cup milk (110 degrees F.)
½ cup butter, room temperature
¼ cup granulated sugar
2 eggs, room temperature and lightly beaten
¾ teaspoon salt
4 cups bread flour
3 teaspoons instant yeast

Place all ingredients in (in order given), in bread pan of your bread machine. 

Select DOUGH setting and press start. 

When dough cycle has finished, remove dough from pan and turn out onto a lightly-floured surface. Shape pieces of dough into 15 balls and place in a greased pan to make the rolls. Allow to rise one hour before baking. 

If freezing, freeze now (for up to one month). 

Before baking, allow rolls to thaw completely and rise overnight. 

To Bake: Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Bake in a regular oven approximately 20 to 25 minutes or until they are a light golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool slightly. Serve warm or at room temperature. 

Brush with butter and favorite blend of seasonings or herbs (optional)

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Bread Machine Parmesan Garlic Bread

This bread had a great taste.  The top of my loaf sank quite a bit and I am not sure why.  We still enjoyed it!

Bread Machine Parmesan Garlic Bread 


1 1/3 cups water --11 ounces
1/3 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/4 cup unsalted butter melted
1 tablespoon minced garlic
3 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup Grated Parmesan Cheese The powdery stuff.
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried oregano
2 teaspoons Kosher Salt
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
 1packet active dry yeast


2lb.Bread Machine

Add the water, olive oil, melted butter and minced garlic to the bread pan. 

Add all of the dry ingredients, except for the yeast, to the bread pan. Finally, make a small depression into the flour with your finger and add the dry yeast to the depression. Make sure you do not allow the yeast to come in contact with any liquids. 

Select the basic setting on the bread machine and press start. 

Once the bread is finished, allow it to cool for 10 minutes.

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Pressure Cooker Mexican Rice

Jenna made this to go with our tacos one night.  Delicious and quick!
Pressure Cooker Mexican Rice

2 cups long-grain rice
1/2 white onion (chopped)
1/2 cup tomato paste
3 cloves garlic (minced)
1 small jalapeño (optional)
2 teaspoons salt
2 cups water

Electric Pressure Cooker (such as an Instant Pot)

Sauté rice, onion, garlic, and salt in olive oil over medium heat for 3-4 minutes, until fragrant.

Mix water and tomato paste until thoroughly combined, then add into the pressure cooker along with the jalapeño, whole.

Lock lid onto the pressure cooker and select the High Pressure function.

Cook white rice for 3 minutes, and brown rice for 22 minutes.

Allow pressure to release naturally. Release any remaining pressure after 15 minutes.
Fluff rice with a fork, and serve hot.

Monday, April 22, 2019

Basil and Garlic Steak Marinade

I used this marinade on NY Strip steaks.  They turned out tender and quite tasty.
Basil and Garlic Steak Marinade

4 of your favorite grilling steaks


1/3 cup soy sauce
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
1/3 cup Worcestershire sauce
1/2 cup olive oil
3 tablespoons dried basil Beth used 2 T fresh
3 large garlic cloves minced or pressed
1 tablespoon dried parsley flakes
1 teaspoon pepper

Combine marinade ingredients in a liquid measuring cup and pour into a large plastic bag. Give it a little shake.

Add steaks and marinate for at least two hours, preferably overnight, up to 24 hours, flipping once halfway through so that the steak is evenly flavored.

On your grill or using a griddle, cook steaks until they reach your preferred level of doneness.

Allow steaks to rest for at least 5 minutes before serving.

Sunday, April 21, 2019


This was easy to put together and tasted great! I had everything on hand to make this while my parents were here.
The Farm Stand
2 cans (29 ounces each) sliced peaches
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
6 tablespoons quick-cooking tapioca
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, optional
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup cold butter, cubed
2 large eggs, room temperature, lightly beaten
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup butter, melted
2 tablespoons lemon juice
Vanilla ice cream, optional
Drain peaches, reserving 1/2 cup syrup for the sauce. In a large bowl, combine peaches, brown sugar, tapioca, cinnamon if desired, lemon juice and vanilla. Transfer to an ungreased 11x7-in. baking dish. Let stand for 15 minutes.
In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt; cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in eggs. Drop by spoonfuls onto peach mixture; spread evenly. Bake at 350° for 50-55 minutes or until filling is bubbly and a toothpick inserted in topping comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes.
In a small saucepan, combine the brown sugar, flour, salt, butter and reserved peach syrup. Bring to a boil over medium heat; cook and stir for 1 minute or until thickened. Remove from the heat; add lemon juice. Serve with cobbler and ice cream if desired.

Saturday, April 20, 2019

Lemon Pudding Cookies

These were easy to make. I only got about 20 cookies out of this mix.

Lemon Pudding Cookies
adapted from allrecipes.com

1 cup buttermilk baking mix
1 (3 ounce) package instant lemon pudding mix
1 egg
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup granulated sugar for decoration

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C). Grease 2 large cookie sheets.

Mix baking mix, pudding, egg and oil in a large bowl until dough forms.

Roll dough into 1 inch balls. Place balls 2 inches apart on the cookie sheets. Roll in sugar and then flatten into 1/4 inch thick cookie with bottom of a glass.. Bake until just golden brown on the edges, about 10 minutes. Transfer to racks and cool completely.

    Friday, April 19, 2019

    Peanut Butter Fudge Bars

    These are very rich but yummy bars. Cut them small and make sure to have a big group of people to help you eat them!
    Peanut Butter Fudge Bars
    Southern Living Feb.2019

    1 (18 3⁄4-oz.) pkg. brownie mix
    1 (10-oz.) pkg. peanut butter chips
    1 (14-oz.) can sweetened condensed milk
    1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    Pinch of salt
    1 12 oz. pkg, cups semisweet chocolate chips
    3/4 cup heavy cream
    1/2 cup roasted salted peanuts, chopped

    Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray a 13- x 9-inch baking pan with baking spray. Prepare brownie mix according to package directions in prepared pan, baking at 350°F until a wooden pick inserted in the middle comes out clean, about 25 minutes.  Cool completely, about 1 hour.

    Place peanut butter chips, sweetened condensed milk, peanut butter, vanilla, and salt in a medium microwavable bowl. Microwave on HIGH 1 minute. Stir until smooth. Spoon over cooled brownies, spreading in an even layer.

    Place chocolate chips and cream in a small microwavable bowl. Microwave on HIGH until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth, about 2 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds. Pour over peanut butter mixture on brownies, spreading in an even layer. Refrigerate brownies until top chocolate layer is firm, about 1 hour. Sprinkle with peanuts. Slice into 32 bars.

    Thursday, April 18, 2019

    Praline Cookies

      These are very quick to make.  They are very tasty--kind of like pecan pie bars. 
      Praline Cookies
      Pampered Chef
      1/2 cup butter melted
      1⁄2 cup brown sugar, packed
      1⁄2 cup sugar
      1 egg, lightly beaten
      1 1⁄2 cups all-purpose flour
      1 1⁄2 teaspoons vanilla
      1 1⁄2 cups chopped pecans
      powdered sugar

      Preheat oven to 375.
      In large bowl, combine melted butter, sugars, egg, flour and vanilla; mix well. Add pecans; mix well. 
      Drop dough by tablespoons 2-inches apart onto ungreased cookie sheet. 
      Bake 12-15 minutes. Cool 2 minutes before removing to cooling rack.
      Cool slightly; sprinkle with powdered sugar.

    Wednesday, April 17, 2019

    Banana Nut Muffins

    I made these up with some very ripe bananas.  They were quick and easy and quite tasty.

    Banana Nut Muffins

    1 cup all purpose flour
    1/2 cup whole wheat flour
    1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
    1/4 teaspoon salt
    1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
    1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
    1 stick salted butter 1/2 cup, melted
    3 large ripe bananas mashed
    1/2 cup sugar
    1/4 cup  brown sugar packed
    1/4 cup milk
    1 large egg
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    3/4 cup - 1 cup walnuts toasted, chopped

    Preheat oven to 350°F. 

    Whisk flours, baking soda, salt, nutmeg and cinnamon together in a large mixing bowl. Set aside.
    Melt butter. Set aside. 

    In a separate mixing bowl, mash bananas with a fork. Mix in butter, both sugars, milk, egg and vanilla. Stir until well combined. 

    Combine wet ingredients into dry ingredients. Stir until just combined - do not over mix.
    Fold in half the walnuts. 

    Spoon batter evenly into 12 greased or paper lined muffin cups. 

    Sprinkle remainder of walnuts over top of muffins. 

    Bake for about 22 - 26 minutes or until muffins are golden brown and toothpick inserted into center comes out clean. 

    Let muffins rest in pan on wire rack for 5 minutes. Remove from pan and let cool completely on rack.

    Tuesday, April 16, 2019

    Hot Fudge Cheesecake Bars

    I had some ganache left over from another recipe so I made these bars and used the ganache in place of the hot fudge sauce.  YUM!

    Hot Fudge Cheesecake Bars

    For the crust

    24 Oreos, crushed
    6 tbsp. butter, melted
    pinch of kosher salt

    For the cheesecake

    2 (8-oz) cream cheese bars, softened
    1/2 c. granulated sugar
    1/4 c. light brown sugar
    1/4 c. cocoa powder
    2 eggs
    1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
    pinch of salt
    1 c. hot fudge sauce, plus more for garnish
    1/2 c. chopped Oreos, for garnish

    Make crust: Preheat oven to 325° and grease an 8"-x-8" pan with cooking spray. In a medium bowl, mix crushed Oreos, butter, and salt until combined. Press tightly into prepared pan.

    Make cheesecake: In a large bowl, beat together cream cheese, granulated sugar, light brown sugar, and cocoa powder. Add eggs one at a time, then add vanilla and salt and beat until combined. Fold in hot fudge sauce. Pour mixture over crust. 

    Bake until only slightly jiggly, about 40 minutes. Let cool slightly, then refrigerate until firm, 3 hours, or up to overnight. 

    Drizzle with more hot fudge and sprinkle with Oreos. Slice into bars and serve.

    Monday, April 15, 2019

    Vegetable Biryani in the Instant Pot

    Kathleen made this and it is so very good! We went to an Indian grocery store to get the Biryani Masala spice mix.

    Vegetable Biryani in the Instant Pot


    1 cup Basmati rice
    1/4 cup Cauliflower florets
    1/2 cup Chopped carrots
    1/2 cup Chopped potatoes
    1/2 cup Chopped onion
    1/4 cup Cilantro
    2 tbsp Chopped mint
    2 tbsp Chopped Ginger and garlic (one Tbsp each)
    Salt to taste
    1/2 cup Yogurt / Curd
    Pinch of Turmeric powder
    1/2 tsp Chili powder
    1/2 tsp Coriander powder
    2 tbsp Biryani Masala
    3 tbsp Oil
    1 tsp Cumin seeds
    1 1/2 cup Water -

    Wash and soak rice in water for at least 30 minutes. Drain the water and keep it aside.
    In Instant Pot, turn to medium heat Saute, heat oil. As the oil gets hot add cumin seeds and let it crackle.
    Now add all the vegetables one by one with chopped garlic and ginger. Mix well and cook them for 4 to 5 minutes over medium heat.
    Add Salt, chili powder, turmeric powder, Coriander powder and yogurt / curd. Mix well and cook it for 2 more minutes.
    Add soaked rice and water. Add chopped coriander and mint leaves.
    Mix well. Cover and turn on rice for 8 minutes. When it beeps, set a timer for 8 minutes and let the pressure naturally release for 8 minutes. Then release remaining pressure, open the lid and gently fluff the rice.

    Sunday, April 14, 2019

    Keto Meatball Casserole

    I made this and served it over spaghetti squash for me and noodles for Don!  Yum!


    Keto Meatball Casserole 


    2 lbs. Ground beef
    1 c. Crushed pork rind crumbs
    ½ c. Parmesan cheese
    1 ½ tsp. Italian seasoning
    ½ tsp. Basil
    3 Cloves minced garlic
    Salt and pepper to taste
    1 Egg beaten
    1 ½ c. Low carb marinara sauce
    1 ½ c. Shredded mozzarella cheese

    Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
    Combine 2 lbs of ground beef with 1 cup of crushed pork rind crumbs in large mixing bowl. Place pork rinds in a Ziploc bag and crush with rolling pin until they are finely crushed
    Add in ½ cup of grated Parmesan cheese.
    Mix in 1 ½ tsp of Italian seasoning and ½ tsp of Basil.
    Add salt and pepper to taste.
    Stir in 3 cloves of minced garlic.
    Pour in 1 beaten egg.
    Combine all ingredients together mix with your hands until they are well incorporated.
    Form the meat mixture into 24 equal meatballs, and place them in greased casserole dish.
    Bake the meatballs for 30 minutes, draining off any excess juices when they are done.
    Top the cooked meatballs with 1 ½ cups of low carb marinara sauce.
    Sprinkle with 1 ½ cups of Mozzarella cheese.
    Bake for an additional 10 minutes and serve over a bed of spinach or your favorite noodle substitute

    Saturday, April 13, 2019

    Oatmeal Scotch Chippers

    These are yummy. You, like me, probably have all the ingredients on hand to make these!

    Oatmeal Scotch Chippers

    In The Kitchen With America's Favorite Brand Name Recipes

    1 1/4 cups  Butter Flavor All-Vegetable Shortening

    1 1/2 cups firmly packed brown sugar

    1 cup granulated sugar

    3 large eggs

    1 1/4 cups  Crunchy Peanut Butter

    4 1/2 cups quick rolled oats

    2 teaspoons baking soda

    1 cup (6 oz. pkg.) semi-sweet chocolate chips

    1 cup butterscotch chips

    1 cup chopped walnuts

    Heat oven to 350°F.

    Combine shortening, brown sugar and granulated sugar in bowl of electric mixer. Beat at medium speed until well blended. Beat in eggs. Add peanut butter. Beat until blended.

    Combine oats and baking soda in medium bowl. Stir into shortening mixture with spoon. Stir in chocolate chips, butterscotch chips and nuts. Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls 2 inches apart onto ungreased baking sheets. 

    Bake 10 to 11 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool 2 minutes on baking sheets. Place on cooling racks to cool completely.

      Friday, April 12, 2019

      Easy Instant Pot Chicken Breasts

      I made these for a salad I was making us for dinner.  Quick and easy and very tasty. I used the seasonings in the picture, but use your favorite blend.

      Easy Instant Pot Chicken Breasts

      2 or more chicken breasts
      favorite seasonings
      1 T veg or olive oil

      1. Turn your Instant Pot onto Saute and wait for the screen to read HOT.
      2. Pat your chicken breasts dry with a paper towel,then sprinkle tops of the chicken breasts with spices.
      3. When the Instant Pot is hot, add a tablespoon of oil, and then place the chicken breasts in seasoning-side down. Sprinkle the rest of the spice mixture on the chicken. Brown each side for two minutes.
      4. Pour in 1/3 C water and use a spatula to loosen anything stuck to the bottom of the pot. Place on the lid and turn the valve to sealing. Turn the Instant Pot on to high pressure and set the time for five minutes.
      5. Let the pressure release for ten minutes, then release any remaining pressure. Slice, shred, or serve the chicken.

      Thursday, April 11, 2019

      Hard Boiled Eggs for the Instant Pot

      Hardboiled eggs were the first thing we tried in our instant pot.  They are super easy to make.  You can try 5 minute cook time, but we have found with ours, we like 6 minutes.

      Hard Boiled Eggs for the Instant Pot

      1 c water

      Place eggs on the trivet or just on the bottom of the instant pot insert.  Add water.  Put lid on the pot and make sure the pot is set to seal.

      Set your Instant Pot to 6 minutes on manual. or, if you have an egg setting, use it and add 1 minute. When it's done, set the timer for 5 minutes and let the steam release naturally.

      Place the eggs in a bowl of ice water and let sit for 5 minutes.  The eggs are ready to peel(quite easily) and eat!

      Wednesday, April 10, 2019

      Oreo Chex Party Mix

      I made this to send with Jenna on a road trip to Arkansas.  It is very tasty and quick and easy to make.

      Oreo Chex Party Mix
      adapted from https://www.chex.com

      1 box (14 oz) miniature Oreo™ chocolate creme sandwich cookies
      10 cups Rice Chex™ or Corn Chex™ cereal
      14 oz vanilla-flavored candy coating (almond bark)
      1/2 cup holiday-colored candy-coated chocolate candies

      Line large rimmed cookie sheet with waxed paper. In large resealable food-storage plastic bag, add 1 1/2 cups of the cookies. Seal bag; crush cookies with rolling pin, scraping cookies from inside of bag with spatula.

      In large bowl, add cereal. In medium microwavable bowl, microwave candy coating uncovered on High 1 to 2 minutes, stirring after 1 minute, until melted and smooth. Stir in the crushed cookies. Pour onto cereal; mix until coated well.

      Spread on cookie sheet, separating pieces slightly, refrigerate 15 to 20 minutes or until set.

      Carefully break cereal mixture into bite-size pieces. In large serving bowl, mix cereal pieces, chocolate candies and remaining whole cookies.

      Tuesday, April 9, 2019

      Andes Mint Cake

      I made this for company the day after St Patrick's day.  It was a delicious cake.  The ganache made WAY too much--next time I will cut it in half.  I have used the ganache in 2 other recipes.

      Andes Mint Cake
      adapted from Delish.com

      1 box devil's food cake mix--make according to box
      1 package andes mints for garnish

      For ganache
      24 oz chocolate chips--Beth used 1 pkg mint chips and 1 semi sweet
      2 c heavy cream

      For Buttercream

      1 cup butter (softened)
      5 cups powdered sugar
      1 teaspoon peppermint extract
      6 drops green food coloring (optional)

      Bake 2 9 inch cakes according to package directions. Let cool completely. Meanwhile, make ganache. In a large saucepan over medium heat, bring heavy cream to a simmer until tiny bubbles form around the edges. Remove from heat and add chocolate chips, whisking until combined. Let mixture cool until it reaches spreadable consistency, at least 30 minutes, before frosting cake.

      Make butter cream by adding all ingredients together and beat until well mixed. Place one cake on cake plate. Spread with butter cream and then top with remaining cake.

      Top with ganache--can spread over all the cake or let drizzle down the sides. Decorate with andes mints.

      Monday, April 8, 2019

      Easy Instant Pot Mac and Cheese

      Jenna made this for a quick dinner a few weekends ago.  It was delicious!

      Easy Instant Pot Mac and Cheese


      1 pound rotini (or other pasta shape, such as macaroni)
      4 cups water
      3 tablespoons butter, cut into cubes
      1 teaspoon salt
      1/2 teaspoon paprika
      1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
      dash or two of cayenne
      4 ounces cream cheese, cubed
      3/4 cup  milk **
      2 c shredded sharp cheddar cheese
      1 c shredded Monterey Jack cheese
      minced green onions, optional

      Add pasta, water, butter, salt, paprika, garlic powder, and cayenne to Instant Pot; mix.

      Secure lid and set pressure release valve to sealing. Select Pressure Cook (or Manual) button, then set to High Pressure for 4 minutes.

      When time is up, do a Quick Release, then open lid.

      Stir in cream cheese until pasta is coated.

      Add milk, cheddar, and Monterey Jack to pot. Stir until smooth, then season to taste with salt and pepper.**We didn't need to add the milk since there was still some liquid in with the macaroni.

      Serve Mac and Cheese immediately, sprinkled with green onions, if desired. Enjoy!

      Sunday, April 7, 2019

      Kentucky Butter Crunch Cake

      I made this and took it to a neighborhood Bible study.  Everyone loved it.  See my notes in bold in the recipe.
      Kentucky Butter Crunch Cake
      adapted from https://recipe-me.com

      2 sticks butter, room temperature
      4 oz cream cheese, room temperature
      1 Cup brown sugar
      1 Cup white sugar
      4 eggs, large
      1 Tbs vanilla extract
      3 Cups flour
      1 Cup buttermilk
      1/2 Tsp baking soda
      1 Tsp baking powder
      pinch of salt

      Crunch Topping:

      1 stick butter, room temperature
      1 Cup cream cheese, room temperature
      3 Cups confectioners sugar
      1 Tsp vanilla
      3 Tbs milk or cream to thin, use more if needed
      2 Cups toasted coconut
      2 Cups chopped almonds

      Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
      Grease and flour bundt pan or spray with nonstick cooking spray.
      With a mixer, cream butter, cream cheese, and sugars until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beat about 30 seconds between each egg.  Add vanilla. 

      In a separate bowl mix flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Add flour in batches alternating with buttermilk, end with flour. Beat about 30 seconds on low between each addition.

      Pour mixture into bundt pan and bake 60-65 minutes at 350 degrees. 

      Remove from oven, allow to cool about 10 minutes and flip onto cake plate. 

      Poke holes in cake using a skewer, pour the reserved 1 cup of glaze into cake (see below).
      Allow to cool 10 more minutes, and top with remaining glaze.

      To make glaze/ crunch topping:

      Mix butter and cream cheese in a mixer until light and fluffy,  Add powdered sugar and vanilla.
      Thin with milk or cream about 3 tablespoons or more if needed.
      Microwave glaze for about 15 seconds.
      Reserve 1 cup of glaze for first topping on cake. This is pretty thick---more like a frosting than a glaze.
      Fold in toasted coconut (see below) and almonds into remaining glaze as the final topper. Beth didn't fold this in.  I put coconut on half the cake and almonds on the other half.

      To Toast Coconut:

      Place coconut into a dry skillet and heat over medium heat, stirring constantly for a few minutes, once coconut starts to brown, remove from heat, continue stirring, remove from pan, place on a plate and allow to cool. Beth made this before the cooktop was hooked up so toasted the coconut on a cookie sheet in the oven--about 15 minutes on 350, while the cake was baking.

        Saturday, April 6, 2019

        Reese's or Heath Pieces Banana Cake

        After putting my remodeled kitchen back together, I decided I need to use up what I have on hand. I altered this recipe and it turned out great!   I took these to a ladies' Bible study.


        Reese's or Heath Pieces Banana Cake

        adapted from https://backforseconds.com

        1/2 cup salted butter (softened)
        1/4 cup oil
        2 large bananas (mashed)
        1 cup granulated sugar
        2 eggs
        1 teaspoon vanilla extract
        1/2 teaspoon salt
        3/4 cups milk
        1/2 cup plain greek yogurt or sour cream
        1 tablespoon baking powder
        2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
        1 cup mini Reese's Pieces Beth used Heath Pieces-9 oz package
        1/2 cup unsalted butter (softened)
        1/2 cup cocoa powder
        2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
        2-4 tablespoons milk or cream
        1/3 cup mini Reese's pieces Beth used Heath bits

        Preheat oven to 350
        In a large mixing bowl. cream together the butter, oil, banana, and sugar. Mix in the eggs, vanilla, and salt. Add the milk, yogurt, and baking powder and mix well. Slowly mix in the flour. Stir in Reese's pieces. Pour batter into a greased 9x13" pan and bake 25 minutes or until tester inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Let cool completely.

        In a mixing bowl, beat the butter, cocoa, sugar, and 2 TBS milk until creamy. If too thick, add more milk 1 TBS at a time until desired consistency is reached. Spread over the cooled cake and sprinkle with Reese's pieces.

        Friday, April 5, 2019

        Perfect Instant Pot White Rice

        We have made rice in the instant pot at least once a week since we got it. This is the easiest thing to make!
        Perfect Instant Pot White Rice

        1 cup rice
        1 cup water
        1 tsp . cooking oil
        1 pinch salt

        Rinse the rice in cold running water until the water runs clear.  Add rice, water, salt, and oil to the Instant Pot.

        Lock the lid and cook on the Rice setting. 

        Allow the pressure to release naturally for 10 minutes and then quick release remaining pressure.
        Fluff the rice with a fork.

          Thursday, April 4, 2019

          Sweet Cornbread for the Bread Machine

          I tried this recipe and we really liked it. It would be great with chili or soup.

          Sweet Cornbread  for the Bread Machine

          2  eggs, at room temperature
          1 cup milk
          1/4 cup butter, at room temperature
          3/4 cup sugar
          1 teaspoon salt
          2 cups all-purpose flour 
          1 cup cornmeal
          1 tablespoon baking powder
          Add all ingredients to your bread machine in the order listed. Select the Quick Bread cycle.

          Wednesday, April 3, 2019

          Rice Crispy Cookies with Chocolate and Butterscotch Chips

          These are very tasty. I let some bake a bit longer to become a bit crunchier.

          Rice Crispy Cookies with Chocolate and Butterscotch Chips

          1 cup butter softened (2 sticks)
          3/4 cup brown sugar
          3/4 cup granulated white sugar
          2 eggs
          1 teaspoon vanilla
          1 teaspoon salt
          1 teaspoon baking soda
          2 1/4 cups flour
          1 cup chocolate chips
          1 cup butterscotch chips Beth used sea salt caramel chips
          2 cups crispy rice cereal

          Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

          In a small bowl, sift together flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside.

          Beat butter, vanilla and sugars until light and fluffy. Add eggs and beat well.

          Gradually stir in the flour mixture and beat until well combined.

          Gently stir in chocolate chips, butterscotch chips and cereal.

          Drop by rounded tablespoon onto cookie sheets.

          Bake for 10-12 minutes.

          Cool on cookie sheets for 3 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.

          Tuesday, April 2, 2019

          Crock Pot Polynesian Beef

          This was so very yummy! I love having dinner cooking in the crockpot all day! This was so good!


          Crock Pot Polynesian Beef

          adapted from https://numstheword.com/crock-pot-polynesian-beef/

          1 1/2 teaspoon Lawry's seasoning salt
          1 teaspoon paprika
          1 teaspoon ground ginger 
          1 teaspoon black pepper
          2 lbs stew meat
          2 cloves of garlic, minced
          1 (20 ounce) can of pineapple chunks with juice
          2 beef bouillon cubes
          1/4 cup white vinegar
          2 medium onions, largely chopped
          1 (10 ounce) can mild Rotel tomatoes
          3 Tablespoons brown sugar  Beth used 2 T Splenda Brown Sugar
          2 Tablespoons cornstarch
          1/4 cup water
          2 Tablespoons soy sauce 
          1 large green pepper, chopped in large pieces

          Put meat in the crockpot. Add garlic, pineapple with juice, bouillon cubes, pepper, vinegar, onions and Rotel..

          Cook on low for 6-8 hours, until beef is cooked through and tender.

          In a small bowl combine brown sugar, cornstarch, water and soy sauce. Chop a green pepper and add to the beef mixture.

          Pour the brown sugar mix over the beef, stir and cook on high for 30 minutes - 1 hour, or until mixture thickens.

          Serve over rice or mashed potatoes.

          Monday, April 1, 2019

          Crack Keto Broccoli and Cheese

          This was very easy and we all loved it---even my non broccoli eater!

          Crack Keto Broccoli and Cheese


          16 oz package of frozen broccoli
          4 oz of softened cream cheese 
          4 oz of shredded cheddar cheese
          4 strips of cooked bacon
          salt and pepper to taste

          Preheat oven to 350 F

          Cook the broccoli on the stove top until tender-crisp, drain well.  Beth cooked it in the microwave for 4-5 minutes.

          Put broccoli in a greased 2 quart casserole dish

          Mix in the cream cheese, cheddar cheese, salt, pepper and bacon. Mix well.  

          Bake for 25 minutes or until warmed through.