Thursday, December 15, 2011

Chocolate Peppermint Trifle

There are certain times when you should go all out when making a dessert and then there are times when cutting corners is a very good thing. I always think that if you can save time and still come up with an amazing dessert you should go for it. This Chocolate Peppermint Trifle is the perfect example of using mixes instead of made from scratch in order to save time....and who doesn't like to save time during the holidays? I'm bringing this to a PTSA holiday party and I can't wait to see the ladies dig into this yummy dessert.

1 Chocolate Cake Mix plus 1 tsp Peppermint Extract
1 Large Tub Cool Whip
1 Large Boxes Jell-O Chocolate Pudding
6 c Milk
Crushed Candy Canes
Andes Mints, finely chopped
1 Chocolate Candy Bar

Mix cake mix according to box with the addition of peppermint extract. Follow all box directions and bake in a 9x13 pan. Let cool and then cut into small squares. Crush candy canes in a food processor or place in a large Ziploc and take a hammer to the bag, add crushed candy to Cool Whip. Make pudding according to box directions and chill in fridge until ready.

To assemble the trifle, take a trifle bowl or other pretty glass bowl and place a small amount of pudding on the bottom, next add a layer of cut up chocolate cake. Sprinkle cake layer with chopped Andes mints; next add candy cane Cool Whip. Repeat 3 times or until you are out of ingredients or your trifle bowl is full. I always finish with a layer of Cool Whip. Take the chocolate candy bar and make small curls using a vegetable peeler; I do this over the top of the finished dessert and it makes it look amazing!
Served immediately or refrigerate until ready to eat.

Crush the candy in a food processor
Mix into Cool Whip
Start with a small amount of pudding
Add cake
Chopped Andes mints
Candy Cane Cool Whip..repeat


Sunday, December 11, 2011

Quick and Easy Meatball Sliders

I had an interesting experience this weekend, I attended a party where a lifelong vegetarian decided to start eating meat. The host had everyone bring some type of meat dish, there was bacon wrapped everything plus ham, ribs, chicken, fried grasshoppers, fish and much much more! I decided to play it safe (trying to protect the poor guy's stomach) and made some yummy Meatball Sliders. They were a huge hit and were gobbled up quickly. You can make your own meatballs, but for this version I'm going to advise using store bought ones, just because it truly makes it a quick and easy meal!

1 large bag small All Beef Meatballs (from the freezer section at store)
1 large bottle Pasta Sauce
2-3 dozen Hawaiian Rolls (small rolls)
Provolone cheese, sliced into fourths

Heat meatballs and sauce in a large pan or for a few hours in a crock pot. Slice rolls and place a fourth of a slice of provolone cheese on bottom half of roll, place a meatball with sauce on top of cheese and firmly place top of roll back on. Served immediately!

I prepared these after I got to the party, I didn't want them to sit and the prep time is so quick. (I brought pre-heated meatballs and sauce)


Thursday, December 8, 2011

TIme to make the RUM BALLS!

Today I'm making one of my favorite holiday treats, Rum Balls. I've been making these and giving them out to friends and neighbors for years and they are always heavily requested. I posted about them last year but thought you'd like another chance to see how they are made. You can also roll them in powdered sugar instead of granulated sugar for a different look. 
Remember, these are for adults only!!


Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Let The Christmas Baking Begin!

Christmas means baking season and I'd like to highlight a few of my favorite cookie recipes.
 I make all these every year and they never disappoint.  They are super simple and freeze nicely.

Another great recipe is the Perfect Florida Christmas Cookie, these are so yummy you'll gobble them up, so make a double batch! 
Perfect Florida Christmas Cookie

Last but not least is my favorite Sugar Cookie recipe. These cookies are so popular every year my girlfriend makes them with me and then takes them to Alabama for the holidays. You can never have too many "good" sugar cookie recipes. 
Best Sugar Cookie Recipe

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Christmas Treats

I can't believe it's been a year since I started this fun food blog journey! I've made so many new friends, who would have thought that would happen? Thanks so much for everyone's support, it's meant so much to me!!

 Here is one of my favorite and easy treats to make during the holidays!!

Follow this link and make some for you and your friends!!


Monday, November 28, 2011

Chocolate Frosting

My oldest son turned 22 last Saturday and he requested yellow cake with chocolate frosting. I'm always on the lookout for frosting recipes, and when my neighbor recommended this one I knew I needed to try it. All I can say is YUMMMMM!! It's super easy and really chocolaty; you've got to give this a try! 


  • 2 cups butter (no substitutes), softened
  • 9 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 2 1/2 cups baking cocoa
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup milk


In a large mixing bowl, cream butter. Gradually beat in confectioners' sugar, cocoa and vanilla. Add enough milk until frosting reaches spreading consistency. This recipe makes way more than you need for a 2 layer cake, but I'd rather have too much than too little. I froze the remainder of the frosting for future use.


Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Carrot and Turnip Mash

Every family has that one special recipe that's become a tradition at Thanksgiving, this one belongs to my husband's side. When I first married into the family I was reluctant to try this side dish, I'd never had turnips before and cooked carrots weren't my favorite. But once I tried this delicious dish I quickly became hooked. The sweetness of the carrots mixed with the starchy turnips are just too good to pass up. It's a super quick and easy recipe to make.


4 Large Turnips, peeled and quartered
10 Large Carrots, peeled and cut
1 stick Butter
1/2-1 c Half and Half
Salt to taste

Bring peeled and cut up carrots and turnips to a boil (add some salt to water), let simmer for 20 minutes or until fork tender. Drain water and add butter and 1/2 c half and half, you can add more half and half if you'd like it creamer. ( Pretend you're making mashed potatoes) Using a hand or stand mixer mix carrots and turnips until combined, but not smooth. You don't want them as smooth as mashed potatoes, I find that texture is too much like baby food.

Cover with water and add salt, bring to a boil
So good!


Monday, November 21, 2011

Oreo Turkey Place Holders

Last year I made these cute place holders for Thanksgiving, and let me tell you they were a HUGE hit! The kids loved making them and the adults thought they were pretty cool. We made them the night before and it quickly became a family affair. I did have a little bit of a problem with humidity here in Florida, but I'm guessing most of you will be having cooler weather than we usually do. I originally found this idea at Our Best Bites, check them out, they are amazing. 

Double Stuffed Oreos
Candy Corn
Peanutbutter Cups
Chocolate Frosting
Yellow Frosting
Optional, Red Frosting
Optional, Black sprinkles for Eyes
I used candy coated sunflower seeds for the feet and gobble part.. or whatever that's called

Follow the instructions from Our Best Bites

I wasn't food blogging last year so I didn't take very many before pictures
These are so easy!
Gobble Gobble


Sunday, November 20, 2011

My Favorite Stuffing Recipe

A few years ago I came to the conclusion that regardless of what I thought... I COULDN'T do it all! This especially rings true at Thanksgiving time, I used to run around the kitchen like a crazy woman trying to cook, entertain my guests and keep everything clean. NOT ANY MORE! Now I cook and freeze my sides the week before turkey day, this way all I have to do is reheat them. Of course I still cook my turkey, ham, gravy and rolls on Thanksgiving, but for the most part I get everything else done ahead of schedule.

Today I made my favorite stuffing recipe, this is the same one my mom made while I was growing up. It's from the old red Betty Crocker cookbook and I absolutely love it. I've adapted it a bit, but for the most part it tastes just like mom used to make.

2 loaves cheap white bread, broken up into pieces
3 c Chopped Celery (with leaves)
1 1/2 c Finely Chopped Onions
1 1/2 c Butter
2 tsp Salt
1 tsp Ground Sage
1 tsp Dried Thyme
1/2 tsp Pepper
1-1 1/2 c Chicken or Turkey Stock

Either dry your bread out the night before, or if you live in a humid place like me tear it into pieces and place on cookie sheet and bake in low oven for 20 minutes, or until dry. Cook and stir celery and onion in butter in large pot until celery is tender; remove from heat.

Take dried bread and pour chicken or turkey stock over the top, just enough to slightly dampen bread. Add spices to celery and onion mixture and then stir in bread. Mix together and pour into casserole dish. Cover and bake in 375 oven for 30 minutes or until hot and bubbly. My husband always likes it a little bit brown on top, so I usually take the cover off after 30 minutes and continue to bake it just long enough for a crust to form (10 min or so)

Include the celery leaves
Yumm, butter, onions and celery
Pour some chicken stock over the top of bread crumbs
Just enough to soak it up
Add spices, then bread
Ready for the freezer


Thursday, November 10, 2011

Veggie Turkey Platter

Thanksgiving is almost here, yikes, and I don't know about you but I am NOT ready!!! I stumbled upon this darling appetizer idea and this will definitely appear on Turkey Day at my house. Such a cute and easy idea,  I'm guessing even picky kids will eat their veggies. I found the instructions HERE, check it out!


Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Holiday Breakfast Ring

I've posted this recipe before but I wanted to make sure that you see this so that you can make it for your family this holiday season. It's quickly become a family favorite in our home and I know you'll love it too!


Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween

Halloween is always a night where I make food that easy to eat on the run. Tonight we are having
some of my favorites, Sausage Ring , Taco Soup, and Avocado Dip. I hope you and yours have a safe and Happy Halloween!


Saturday, October 29, 2011

Caramel Apples

I can't believe that Halloween weekend is here, where did the time go? This is my favorite time of year and the only thing that would make it better is a little bit cooler weather here in sunny Florida. This is a super easy method, I use store bought caramels instead of making my own, this way everyone can make and enjoy these.

2 bags Kraft Caramel Squares
Wooden Sticks
10 or so Granny Smith Apples
Chocolate Flavored Almond Bark (found near chocolate chips in store)
White Chocolate Flavored Almond Bark

Toppings I used
Crushed Oreos
Cinnamon and Sugar
Candy Corn Flavored M&M's

Unwrap the caramels and melt according to package direction. Wash apples and firmly place stick through the core of the apple. Place apples on non stick sprayed parchment paper. Once caramels are completely melted dip apples into them covering them almost to the top, shake off excess and place on sprayed parchment paper. Dip all apples and place them into the fridge to harden, let refrigerate at least 15 minutes. After taking out of fridge place melt almond bark according to package directions. Take apple by stick and dip into melted chocolate, shaking off excess. Next dip into desired topping and place back on sprayed parchment paper. Return to refrigerator to harden.

When ready to enjoy your apple take out wooden stick and slice apple and EAT!!!
I used bagged caramels instead of making my own...shhh don't tell
Have you tried these new m&m's?? delish!!
Spray parchment paper with Pam
Melt caramels on stovetop
Prepare apples
Dip apples into caramel
Let excess drip off
Place on parchment paper and refrigerate
Sorry forgot to use the camera for a bit. Dip caramel apples into
melted almond bark and roll in toppings
Caramel/chocolate/crushed Oreos
Caramel/white chocolate/cinnamon sugar