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Yummy Fall Recipes

30 Sep

Working on the grand kids Halloween costumes the last few days got me in the mood to whip up these two delicious Fall recipes.

Pumpkin Spice Coffee Syrup

Pumpkin Spice Coffee Syrup

This syrup not only tastes great in iced or regular coffee, making it will fill your home with a wonderful aroma too.  Many Health Food stores carry bulk herbs and spices at prices a lot lower than the grocery stores. 


In a medium saucepan, add 1 cup water, 1 cup brown sugar, and the following spices:

3 tablespoons pumpkin puree

1 inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and sliced

4 cinnamon sticks

3/4 teaspoon whole cloves

1 whole nutmeg (grate it a little bit)

Boil mixture

Bring everything to a boil.  Reduce and allow it to gently boil for 20 minutes.   Allow the mixture to cool to room temperature. Strain and store in refrigerator for one month.  Shake before using.  

Yummy Iron Skillet Apple Pie

Yummy Cast Iron Apple Pie

Oh, man, this apple pie is sooo good and super easy to make!  I bought the cast iron skillet at Walmart for about $17.  It was already seasoned, so all I had to do was wash and dry it first.

1 stick butter

3/4 cup brown sugar

2 refrigerated rolled pie crust

1 apple pie filling (21 oz)

1 1/2 tablespoons sugar

1 teaspoon cinnamon

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Melt 1 stick of butter in a 10” cast iron skillet.  Remove 1 tablespoon of butter into a small bowl.  Add 3/4 cup brown sugar to the skillet and cook over medium heat for 2 minutes.  Remove from heat.

Place one pie crust evenly over the butter/sugar mixture. Pour the apple pie filling evenly over the crust. Mix sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle half over the pie filling.

Place the second pie crust over the pie filling, folding the excess toward the inside.  Brush the crust with the reserved melted butter and sprinkle on the remaining cinnamon and sugar mixture.

Cut several slits in the top crust. Bake for 30 minutes until the crust is golden brown.

Serve hot with whipped cream or ice cream.


Single Banana Split Cakes

23 May

I asked my husband what dessert he wanted me to make to go with the ribs we’re having tonight and he said either Banana Split Cake or Ice Cream Crunch. Mmm, it’s been a long time since we’ve had either of those!

single serve banana split cakes

Well, I ended up making these single serve Banana Split Cakes. I love using these single serve containers for desserts!

Here’s the Banana Split Cake recipe I used. I halved it to make these 6 servings.

1 stick butter, melted

2 cups crushed graham crackers

2 eggs at room temperature

½ stick butter at room temperature

2 cups powdered sugar

3 bananas

1 small can crushed pineapple, drained

8 oz. container of Cool Whip

½ cup chopped nuts

1 small jar Marchino Cherries (I left them out…we don’t care for them)

Mix the melted butter with the crushed graham crackers and press into a 9” X 13” pan. Do not bake.

Beat the 2ggs, ½ stick of butter and powdered sugar for 10 minutes (make sure you mix them this long). Spread the mixture over the crust. Top with sliced bananas and pineapple, then top with cool whip, nuts and cherries. Refrigerate at least 2 hours.

Here’s some photos I took while making my little banana split cakes.

press crumb mixture in pan

press graham cracker crust in containers

spread filling over crust

spread filling over crust…doesn’t look like much, but it’s very rich…and yummy!

top with banana and pineapple

top filling with sliced bananas and pineapple

top with cool whip and nuts

top with cool whip and nuts.  And that’s all there is to it.  Can’t wait for dessert tonight!!


Lego and Candyland Princess Birthday Party

13 Mar

For Kylan and Kinzley’s double birthday party this year, they chose the themes Legos and Princess. My daughter, Katie, added Candyland to Kinzley’s Princess theme so we could use one color scheme for both…primary colors.


Lego Candyland Party Invitation front

I made this Lego shaped invitation on my computer and printed them out on yellow card stock. Here’s the outside.

Lego Candyland Party Invitation-inside

For the inside I created a Candyland game board with the pertinent information, cut them out and glued them inside the card.


Kylan's Lego birthday wall

This is Kylan’s Lego wall. Katie made the banner using a Lego font; she covered the two pictures with a plastic tablecloth and added paper plates to make giant Legos; she added paper Ninja eyes to the balloons; built the number 6 (on the table) out of legos; painted the Lego containers, and…

Ninja Lego Lanterns

She made these cute Ninja Lego lanterns…

Kylan in his Lego shirt

and made Kylan (and his brother Caden) Lego shirts!

Lego juice box covers

She made these Lego juice box covers…

Lego and candy decorated cabinets

She decorated her cabinets like Legos and made the giant candies on top. It looked so good!


Kinzley's candyland birthday wall

This is Kinzley’s Candlyland Princess wall. Katie made the banner and I made the giant lollipops from pool noodles and cardboard rolls.

Kinzley's candyland birthday wall2

Katie made the number 3 picture using thumb tacks; she made lace and gem princess crowns for the girls, and added a candyland game board.

Kinzley's In her Candyland Princess Dress

Here’s Kinzley modeling her “new” candlyland princess dress. Katie bought the dress for just 99 cents! She bought the shoes and tights. What a cute little Princess!

Candyland Princess Dress Lollipops

I made the sucker embellishments from felt and ribbon and added opal pearls. Katie added the stripped ribbon.

Candyland Necklace

Katie also made the colorful necklace.


Lego food containers

The menu consisted of beef and chicken tacos and burritos, refried beans, savory and sweet cream cheese tortilla roll ups and chips and salsa. She build the plate holder out of Legos, and I made the Lego taco holders.

Easy Lego Themed Taco Holders

Here’s a close up of the Lego themed taco holders.

Dessert and Goodie table

Here’s the dessert/goodie table.

Kylan's Ninja birthday cake

Katie made both cakes. Here’s Kylan’s Ninja Lego cake sitting on a Lego built plate.

Kinzley's giant cupcake cake

Here’s Kinzley’s giant candy cupcake cake. It has a chocolate base filled with cake.

Kinzley's giant cupcake cake INSIDE

Here’s what it looks like inside…how colorful! It was yummy too:)

Blowing out their candles

Kylan and Kinzley blowing out their candles.

Layered Jello dessert

In addition to cake, there was jello and cool whip dessert…

Chocolate princess suckers and Legos

Chocolate Legos and Princess crowns…

Lifesaver candy containers

Assorted candy including these served in lifesaver candy containers Katie made by gluing foam letters onto metal cake pans and spray painting them.


Favor table

Here’s the party favor table that includes…

Lego Soap

Lego shaped soap…

Lego necklaces

Lego necklaces I made for the boys and purchased Crown bracelets for the girls…

candy filled plastic bear party favors

and these candy filled plastic bear containers. Katie bought and filled the containers and I made the hats and labels.

It was another successful party!

Kylan's Lego Bedroom

Afterwards, Katie used many of the Lego decorations to decorate Kylan’s bedroom…he loves it!

Single Serve Peanut Butter Pies

16 Aug

individual peanut butter piesSeveral weeks ago Kroger had Marie Callenger’s single serve desserts on sale, so I stocked up and bought the carrot cake, keylime pie, red velvet cake and coconut cream pie desserts. Each dessert included two servings…perfect for me and my husband.

marie callender containerI kept the containers knowing that I could reuse them to make my own single serve desserts. As a side note, I made the mistake of washing one of the lids in my dishwasher and it warped…ugh!

peanut butter pie close upWith company coming over for dinner I decided to make these individual peanut butter pies. I used the recipe from my Peanut Butter Pie post. I made the crust from Vanilla Wafers I had on hand, added the peanut butter filling and topped them off with some chocolate syrup, nuts and chopped mini Reeses cups. I put the lids on them and placed them in the freezer. Mmm, I can’t wait for dessert!

Hmm? Wonder what other single serve desserts I can make? Anyone have any ideas?


Chocolate Covered Ice Cream Sandwiches

5 Aug

chocolate covered ice cream sandwiches

Here’s a quick and easy ice cream treat for kids of all ages…chocolate covered ice cream sandwiches. 

insert sticks and freeze

The first thing I did was insert Popsicle sticks into each ice cream sandwich and put them in the freezer for an hour. For the kids I cut a regular ice cream sandwiches into thirds.

melt wilton chocolate

Next I melted some of the light cocoa Wilton dipping chocolate in the microwave.  I added a teaspoon of oil to thin it so it would spread better.

spread on chocolate

I spooned on the chocolate and spread it around the ice cream sandwiches and placed them back into the freezer.

decorate as desired

I melted some leftover pink chocolate, put it in a ziplock bag, snipped off the corner and decorated each sandwich.  I put them in the freezer for a few minutes and then put them in poly bags and back into the freezer until it was time to serve them. 

I want to point out that the regular ice cream sandwiches I cut started melting as I was covering them.  I had no problem with the big round sandwiches. 

Mmm, they were really good! You should give them a try!

3 Things To Do With Your Favorite Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe

26 Jan

I decided to make some chocolate chip cookies the other day. Since there’s just me and my husband, I knew we wouldn’t eat all of them before they got stale, so…

Chocolate Chip Cookies

I baked cookies from half of the dough (I added some mini M&Ms because I didn’t have enough chocolate chips).

Chocolate Chip Ice Cream Sandwiches

Then I took some of the cooled cookies and made ice cream sandwiches. I wrapped them in wax paper and then in a ziplock bag and put them in the freezer. We had one that night…Mmm, the cookie was crispy on the outside and soft on the inside!

Frozen Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough

With the remaining dough I rolled them into balls, laid them on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper and placed them in the freezer.  When they were firm, I put them in a ziplock bag and then back into the freezer. 

Later, when we get a craving for some chocolate chip cookies, all I have to do is pull them out of the freezer and bake them. 

Here’s my favorite Chocolate Cookie recipe. It makes about 32 – 3” soft and chewy cookies. 

2 sticks butter, melted and cool

2 1/4 cups flour

1/4 cup oatmeal

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 1/4 cups brown sugar

1/4 cup sugar

1 whole egg

1 egg yolk

2 tablespoons milk

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla

2 cups chocolate chips

1/2 cup chopped pecans 

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. 

Stir together flour, oatmeal, salt and baking soda in a large bowl.  Set aside. 

Pour melted butter and sugars in mixer bowl and cream on medium speed.  Add the egg and yolk, milk and vanilla and mix until well combined. 

Slowly add the flour mixture and mix until thoroughly combined.  Stir in the chocolate chips and nuts. 

Chill the dough for about an hour. 

Quickly roll into walnut size balls and place on a parchment lined cookie sheet, about 3” apart.

Keep excess dough in the refrigerator until ready to form and bake. 

Bake for 10 – 12 minutes or until golden brown.  Leave them on the cookie sheet for a few minutes, then remove them to a cooling rack.  Cool completely.

Hot Fudge Pudding Cake

23 Nov

Hot Fudge Pudding Cake

If you like chocolate, you’ll love this Hot Fudge Pudding Cake! 

Normally I make it in a baking dish, but this time I divided the recipe in half and made three individual servings in these ramekins my niece, Carrie, made for me in exchange for some sewing I did for her daughter Mykah

This recipe is so easy, you can whip it up in no time.   I’m working on turning it into one of those “recipes in a mug” gift ideas for my son-in-law who LOVES chocolate just as much as I do.  I’ll let you know how it works out.

Hot Fudge Pudding Cake

1 cup Bisquick mix

1 cup sugar, divided

1/3 cup plus 3 tablespoons cocoa

1/2 cup milk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 2/3 cup hot water 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 

Mix Bisquick, 1/2 cup sugar and 3 tablespoons cocoa in a greased 8 inch baking dish. 

Stir in milk and vanilla until well blended. 

Sprinkle the top evenly with the remaining 1/3 cup cocoa and 1/2 cup sugar. 

Pour on hot water and bake for 40 minutes or until top is firm and a toothpick comes out clean. 

Serve hot with whipped cream, milk or ice cream…and enjoy!


Caden’s Fire Fighter Birthday Party

17 Nov

It’s always fun helping plan my grandkids birthday parties.  This year Caden wanted a fire fighter party, and that’s exactly what he got yesterday.

caden kylan and kinzley at fire station

First, everyone met at a local Fire Station for a tour.  Here’s Caden (in the middle, wearing his Paw Patrol Necklace I made him) along with his brother, Kylan, and sister, Kinzley.


Fire Fighter Party Banner

Here’s his Happy Birthday banner I made.  The fire fighter I made on my cricut machine using the Everyday Paper Dolls cartridge I borrowed from my niece…thanks Lisa!

banner close up

Sorry for the blurry picture!

For the fire, I cut out flames from card stock.   Yellow first, then traced it onto orange and cut it out a little larger, traced the orange onto red and cut it out a little larger.   Then I stapled them together and taped it to the back of the banner. I hand rolled each layer forward, giving it more of a 3D effect.

fire hats above cabinets

Katie lined up fire hats along the top of her cabinets above the food counter.

Fire Fighter party gift table

This is the gift table.  She also laid out sippy cups and hats with the kids name on them.

Food Counter

Fire fighter 3 alram chili

The menu was simple.  Spicy 3 Alarm Chili (my husband made it),  False Alarm Chili (I made to top the hotdogs)…and all the toppings.

firehouse dogs

Firehouse Dogs in the crockpot…and my Dalmatian hot dog trays. There was also a fruit platter, BBQ and regular chips, punch and pop to drink.

Dessert Table

No birthday party is complete without a few sweets!

fire fighter dessert table

Katie did a good job on this. In the yellow buckets she has labeled: Stop, Drop and Roll and filled them with gobstoppers, lemon drops and Tootsy rolls. There’s also black licorice “Rescue Ropes”, red licorice “Fire Hoses”, chocolate dipped marshmallow “Flames”, chocolate dipped pretzel rod “Match Sticks”, Oreo “Fire Truck Wheels” and of course a Fire Truck cake.

Fire fighter goodie bags

Each child also received a goodie bag filled with treats and toys.  Katie bought the bags on sale (after Halloween sale) and I ironed on the fire truck picture.

rice krispie fire truck suckers

For the goodie bags, I made these chocolate covered Rice Krispie treat (boxed) Fire Truck suckers.

blowing out candles

Here’s Caden blowing out his candles.  Katie said this morning, he told her he really liked his birthday party…yea!

My Whole Wheat Almond and Apricot Biscotti

16 Nov

Whole Wheat Almond and Apricot Biscotti

I’ve been trying to think of what I could make to go with some flavored coffee I’m making to give out at our annual Christmas Eve party, and came up with biscotti.  Coffee and biscotti…a perfect match! 

At first I thought they might be difficult to make.  Boy, was I wrong!  I wanted to make a more healthier version, and these Whole Wheat Almond and Apricot Biscotti fit the bill.  They turned out good and crispy, with a nice nutty, almond flavor. 

Whole Wheat Almond and Apricot Biscotti

3/4 cup whole wheat flour

3/4 cup flour

1/4 cup packed brown sugar

1 teaspoon baking powder

2 eggs, slightly beaten

2 tablespoons 2% milk

2 tablespoons coconut oil (or canola oil)

2 tablespoons honey

1/2 teaspoon almond extract

2/3 cup chopped dried apricots

1/4 cup coarsely chopped toasted almonds (raw preferably) 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 

Lay out a long sheet of plastic wrap (for forming the dough) 

Combine the flours, brown sugar and baking powder in a large bowl and whisk to blend.

Add the eggs, milk, oil, honey and almond extract and stir until the dough just begins to come together. Add the chopped apricots and almonds. With floured hands (dough is sticky), mix until the dough is well blended. 

Place the dough on the plastic wrap and shape into a flattened log, approximately 12” long, 3” wide and 1” high.  

Form the biscotti dough

Lift the plastic wrap and invert the log onto a parchment lined baking sheet.

Biscotti After First Bake

Bake until lightly browned, 25 to 30 minutes.  Let cool for 10 minutes.

Lower the oven to 325 degrees.

Biscotti Sliced and ready for second bake

With a serrated knife, cut the log crosswise into 1/2” slices and lay cut side down on a baking sheet.  Return to the oven and bake until crisp, 15 – 20 minutes* (turning them over halfway through).  Transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely. Store in an airtight container. 

*Note: Depending upon the humidity of your kitchen and differences in ovens, they may need to bake longer to dry out. After mine were cooled, they weren’t as crisp as I wanted them, so I put them in a 300 degree oven for about 5 minutes and they turned out perfectly crisp.

The Easiest Cupcakes I’ve Ever Made!

29 Oct

Orange soda pop cupcakes

Here’s my Orange Soda Pop Cupcakes…the easiest cupcakes I’ve ever made!  Sorry the pictures a little blurry!!

whisk cake mix and soda

I took a white cake mix and added 1 1/2 cups (or one can) of orange soda pop and mixed well. I filled up 6 jumbo cupcake holders and 4 regular and baked them.  350 degrees for 15 minutes for the regular ones and about 22 – 25 minutes for the jumbo ones…when a toothpick inserted in the middle came out clean.

soda pop cupcakes on cooling rack

And here they are fresh out of the oven…I couldn’t believe they actually rose with just using pop!

iced soda pop cupcakes

Once they cooled, I iced them with a small amount of cream cheese (1/3 fat), powdered sugar and vanilla extract frosting. My husband and I both liked them. They’re more dense and moister than a regular cake mix cupcake, and had a nice orange flavor.

So, the next time you want to make cupcakes but don’t have any eggs or oil. You still can… just add some pop! Hmm, how about crèam soda or root beer cupcakes? Sounds good!

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