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Monday, January 31, 2011

Chocolate Chip Muffins

i was a guest blogger today on Bright Copper Kettles and shared my recipe for these ridiculously delicious chocolate chip muffins.  Head on over there and check it out.  Try'll love 'em! :)

Caramel Apple Cake

this is must try.  it is beyond ridiculously delicious!

1 package yellow cake mix
1 package (4 serving size) Vanilla or French Vanilla flavor instant pudding and pie filling
ground cinnamon to taste (optional)
1 cup water
4 eggs
1/3 cup vegetable oil
3 medium Granny Smith Apples, peeled and coarsely chopped
20 Kraft Caramels, unwrapped
3 tablespoons milk

how to make it:
pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F.  Grease and flour 12-cup fluted tube pan or 10-inch tube pan.  Beat cake mix, dry pudding mix, cinnamon (optional), water, eggs, and oil in large bowl with electric mixer on low speed until blended.  Beat on high speed 2 minutes.  Gently stir in apples.  Pour into prepared pan.  Bake 50 minutes to 1 hour or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 20 minutes; remove from pan.  Cool completely on wire rack. 

microwave caramels and milk in microwaveable bowl on HIGH 1 - 1/2 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds until blended.  Cool 10 minutes until slightly thickened.  Drizzle over cake.

**this recipe can also be found here... KRAFT.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Mini Tortilla Pizzas

i first off want to apologize for the sloppiness of these pizzas.  I was in a hurry when making these and just threw them together one night for the kids before heading out to a birthday dinner for a friend.  the kids didn't seem to mind that they were so messily put together, because they said they tasted great! Gotta love non-picky kids!

These pizzas are just a little invention of mine that I tried one night with some left over ingredients I had in my fridge.  They are perfect for a quick meal for the kids or an after school snack.

What you need:
Spaghetti or pizza sauce
Favorite pizza topping
Shredded cheese

Place your tortillas on a baking pan, add some sauce, pepperoni, ham or any other desired topping, finish it off with some shredded cheese and pop into a 350 degree pre-heated oven and bake until cheese is melted.

I almost always have these ingredients in my fridge and love that I can whip these up in just a few minutes.


Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Menu for the week of Jan. 10, 2011

i almost didn't blog about our menu this week as it really didn't change from last week, due to a few reasons such as, we ate left overs, i was sick a couple of days so the boys fixed mac & cheese and grilled cheese sandwiches for themselves, and with dad out of town we had left over ingredients and will be able to repeat the meals this week! went grocery shopping last night and only spent $58.00 for the week, and that included toilet paper, diapers, wipes, some cleaning supplies and extra food! the budget is loving this week!!

this week meals include:

BLT sandwiches (left over ingredients so we can repeat this one!)
Mac and Cheese

Homemade mini pizzas with Spanish Rice (SUPER EASY KID FRIENDLY MEAL) **will blog this one!

Fish sticks with mashed sweet potatoes and whole kernel corn

Spaghetti with meat sauce, green  beans and french bread

Chicken swiss bundles **will blog this  one!

Chicken Alfredo, salad, and french bread

***Meal out (picking husband up from the airport and will dine in Dallas)


Monday, January 10, 2011

Peppermint Pound Cake

i made this Christmas eve for my family and it was absolutely fabulous! such a great festive flavor that everyone seemed to enjoy!

a few facts:
Prep: about 35 minutes.     Bake: 1 hour + cooling     Yield:  12 servings

1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup cutter-flavored shortening
2 cups sugar
6 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. peppermint extract
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup finely crushed peppermint candies

1-1/2 cups confectoners' sugar
1 tsp unsalted butter, melted
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/8 tsp salt
4-5 Tbsp heavy whipping cream
Additional crushed peppermint candies

How to make it!
In a large bowl, cream the butter, shortening and sugar until light and fluffy.  add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.  Beat in extracts.  Combine flour and baking powder; add to creamed mixture alternately with whipping cream.  Fold in candies.

Transfer to a well-greased and floured 10-in. fluted tube pan.  Bake at 325 degrees for 1 to 1/4 hours or until a tootpick inserted near the center comes out clean.  Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pan to a wire rack to cool completely.

In a small bowl, combine the confectioners' sugar, butter, vanilla and salt.  Stir in enough cream to achieve a drizzling consistency.  Drizzle over cake.  Sprinkle with additional candies.  Refrigerate leftovers.

Beautiful, festive, and delicious!!


Monday, January 3, 2011

Meal Planning in 2011

In 2010 I began weekly meal planning, which really helped with eliminating the big "what's for dinner?" question that I was being asked by my husband, my kids and even more importantly, myself !  It also helped me organize our pantry and made grocery shopping trips more productive and efficient, as we actually started saving money because we were sticking to our very detailed list and only buying what we needed for the weeks menu. So, for 2011 I thought I would start sharing our weekly menus and then blogging some recipes that are on the menu for the week after we prepare them.  As my husband will be in Alaska off and on over the next few months, you may notice that the kids and I resort to more "kid friendly" meals while dad is away.  These are fun for the kids and easy for me as playing the role of  mom and dad can some days be totally exhausting!

Menu for the week of January 3, 2011

Monday 1/3/11
BLT sandwiches
Spanish Rice
Tortilla Chips and Salsa

Tuesday 1/4/11
Chili Dogs
Mac and Cheese
Green Beans

Wednesday 1/5/11
Fish Sticks
Whole Kernel Corn
Sweet Potatoes - Mashed

Thursday 1/6/11
Spaghetti with Meat Sauce
Green Beans
Garlic Bread

Friday 1/7/11
Dinner out or Left overs (Dillon has a basketball tournament)

Saturday 1/8/11
Lunch: Frozen Pizza
Dinner: Chicken Swiss Bundles (will blog this recipe)

Sunday 1/9/11
Fettuccine Chicken Alfredo
Green Beans
Garlic Bread