by Dana Patterson on Dec 03, 2012
I made a promise to myself this holiday season and that was to not let the hustle bussle get to me and actually take time for the season with my kids. Usually the holiday season just passes me by and I did not want my kids to have the same feeling. So, here’s one of our many crafts/recipes that we’ve done so far.
Yes, I know these aren’t the beautiful flowers like Jamie did, but decorating with candy can hide the not so good with icing talent.
So easy and a huge hit with the kids!
All you need is:
– Yellow cake mix box with the ingredients they have listed (or your flavor of choice)
– White icing (I cheated and used store bought)
– White sugar-like sprinkles
– Mini chocolate chips
– Butterscotch chips
– Aluminum foil cupcake wrappers (or your wrapper of choice)
I bought these Wilton sprinkles at Target in the baking section.
All you do is:
Bake cupcakes according to box. Let cool completely. Ice them, turn it upside down and dip into sugar. Decorate with the chocolate and butterscotch chips. So easy, so good, so cute, and so fun!
Here they are all together!
Aren’t they so adorable?!?!
My 3 year old having so much fun!
But please, don’t give me all the credit!!! I got this adorable idea here.
Lastly, remember to enjoy the season!
by Jamie Hinckley on Nov 15, 2012
Seriously guys, this soup is awesome. It it so perfect to warm you up on a cold fall day! We had a cold front come though here after Hurricane Sandy and everyone was freaked. Cold in Florida is 60 degrees by the way. Funny after coming from cold Virginia winters! You should have seen the sweat shirts and hoodies flying off the racks though!
Anyway, I looked all over for a good potato soup recipe to use and found this. I picked this one because it is made with cream cheese instead of heavy cream. I made a huge pot of it and left it in the crockpot for everyone to eat all day. It was soooooooo good and perfect on cool fall day! You can’t go wrong with this recipe!
Baked Potato Soup
5 lbs Russet potatoes washed, unpeeled, and cut into 1 inch cubes (I did peel mine… didn’t want to give the kiddos and excuse to turn their nose up)
1 medium yellow onion
5 tsp minced garlic (above 10 cloves)
64 oz chicken stock or broth
16 oz softened cream cheese
1 Tb Seasoned Salt
Garnishes of your choice: I love bacon crumbles, shredded cheese, and green onions
***Add all the ingredients except the cream cheese to the crock pot and cook on high for 5 to 6 hrs. Puree the cream cheese and half of the soup in the blender and pour back into crock pot (I admit I did not do this since I wanted my potato soup to be extra chunky… I just added the cream cheese straight to the crock pot). Stir well and serve with whatever toppings you want.
So, so good… I am craving another bowl!
by Dana Patterson on Nov 13, 2012
I think I found the BEST chocolate chip cookie recipe. I found it a few weeks ago when my mom was in town watching the girls so Brian and I could go to a Redskins game (hush it, they actually won this one AND R.G. III ran an 80 yard touchdown). Anyways, Ella was begging to make cookies with my mom so I quickly found this recipe on food dot com. I searched through several highly rated reviews and they mostly used crisco. NO THANKS! That stuff looks like straight up lard to me and I can’t imagine putting that in my mouth. So, I found this OVERLY delicious recipe! They are so moist and chewy. I promise you won’t regret it if you make these. Ella and I actually made them again!
These are so delicious!
Here’s what ya need:
2 cups all-purpose flour (280 gms)
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour (20 gms)
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
12 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled until warm (170 gms)
1 cup brown sugar (packed, light or dark, 236 gms)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk, from a large egg
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups chocolate chips (semi-sweet, milk chocolate or any combination, 300 gms)
1 cup walnuts (114 gms, chopped) (optional)- I didn’t have them on hand
All you do is:
1. Preheat oven to 325°F.
2. Cover 2 large cookie sheets with parchment paper Mix flour, baking powder & salt in a bowl or bag and set aside.
3. Mix butter and sugars with with a mixer until blended and smooth, add egg, yolk & vanilla.
4. Mix until incorporated.
5. Add dry ingredients and mix until just combined.
6. Stir in chips and optional nuts.
7. Divide into 18 equal balls, a 2″ cookie scoop works just about perfectly, about 60 gms each.
8. EVENLY space 9 on each cookie sheet.
9. Bake for 12-18 minutes, rotating front to back and top to bottom after 8 minutes.
**You want these to be chewy so make sure you don’t overcook! They should just be golden around the edges.
Add this to your holiday cookies! Happy baking!!!
by Dana Patterson on Nov 05, 2012
“You can take the girl out of the country, but you can’t take country out of a girl.” I’ve always loved meatloaf. Even the slap-on- your-plate kind of meatloaf. Recently, I’ve found a cute and
stuffy nice looking way to make it. Instead of baking it in a loaf, bake it in a muffin tin! You still get the same delicious taste, but you feel a little more prim and proper eating it. You also get more of the crunchy feeling. So yum.
Look at this delicious meatloaf!
I’m giving you one of my closest friends mother in-law’s recipe. It was also from my recipe party.
Here’s what ya need:
1 1/2 lbs. ground beef
1 cup cracker crumbs
1 onion, chopped fine
1/2 cup tomato sauce
1 egg, beaten
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup tomato sauce
1/2 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup water
2 tbsp. vinegar
1/4 cup worchestire sauce
1 1/2 tbsp. prepared mustard
How you make it:
Preheat oven t0 450 degrees and lightly spray muffin pan with pam. Mix the sauce ingredients together separate from the meatloaf ingredients. Put meat mixture into muffin pan so it’s just to the top. Take a big spoon and make a dent on top to pour the sauce. Pour sauce on each section of meat. Bake for 20 minutes. Pour more sauce when it’s done because it’ssodanggood! Yum yum yum.
Here it is in the pan.
Happy Meatloaf Making! Here’s one more close-up!
Best meatloaf ever!
by Jamie Hinckley on Oct 30, 2012
Looking for a quick and cute Halloween snack for the kiddos? Try these witch hats! They take seconds to make and are adorable. I am bringing these to my son’s school Halloween party tomorrow.
I go the idea off pinterest like everything else. Ha!
All you need are some Hershey kisses, Keebler Fudge Striped Cookies, and frosting. I am sure it would look better with Halloween Orange frosting, but hey it is 930pm the night before Halloween and I am just throwing this together. Last minute planners miss out! I blame it on tonights soccer game… which we sadly lost 5 to 1.
by Dana Patterson on Oct 30, 2012
Maybe if you’re lucky, I’ll share my chili recipe too!
Here is the perfect meal for the cold fall and winter days. This cornbread is so amazing! It’s so moist and sweet. Mmmmmmm I’m drooling right now. I’ve had so many compliments on this recipe, so I guess the secret should come out. This is thanks to my mother in-law who got this from a sailor.
Here is what you need:
Ingredients for Delicious Cornbread
2 boxes jiffy corn muffin mix
16 oz sour cream
2/3 cup of sugar
2/3 cup of oil
1 can cream style corn
Preheat over to 375 degrees
Pour into 9×13 pan
30-40 minutes until done
Needs to cook until knife comes out clean – – this doesn’t look the prettiest, but cut it into squares and place it on a pretty white plate.
Wahhhhhhhlaaaaaaaa…. It’s finished (after making sure the knife comes out clean). Cut it into cute squares and make it look pretty on your plate!
by Jamie Hinckley on Oct 17, 2012
Lately I have been in search for the best crock pot recipes… with four soccer games a week I sort of have to! Anyway, I love love love chicken tortilla soup. Maybe it stems from my love of ALL Mexican food, but either way I was on the hunt for the best tortilla soup recipe! I have tried several different varieties and finally found a recipe I LOVE.
I cooked this recipe three times changing it just a bit each time until I was satisfied. The original recipe is from here, but I changed it a bit to what it is now.
Doesn’t it look awesome! So good with a little part skim shredded cheddar and sour cream. I try to do low fat sour cream, but I just can’t. I love it too much.
Chicken Tortilla Soup
32oz box chicken broth
2 handfuls of chopped cilantro
one squeezed lime
2 cans diced tomatoes
1 can green chilis
1 large yellow onion
2 cans black beans, drained and rinsed.
2-3 Tb tomato paste
1 can sliced olives
2 pacs of chicken taco seasoning
***Throw the chicken in the crockpot (you can use frozen chicken if you want). Sprinkle taco seasoning packets over the chicken and let cook in the crock pot on high. After 2-3 hrs the chicken will shred easily with a fork without much effort. Add all the rest of the ingredients and cook for another 2-3 hrs in the crockpot on high (or low if you want it to be done later). Serve with cheddar cheese, sour cream, and tortilla chips if desired.
by Dana Patterson on Oct 15, 2012
Some of my fondest memories with my mom are making sugar cookies at Christmas (mostly because I loved using cookie cutters). I’ve started to do this with my three year old as well and I believe she loves it just as much. I love Halloween, so I bought the ghost cookie cutter (@ A.C. Moore) a few years back to make some for Halloween. I guess these really aren’t called “Boo Sugar Cookies”, but I thought it was appropriate for Halloween coming up. I use Alton Brown’s recipe because I’m sure he’s searched and found the best scientific way to do it. They are so.dang.good.
Here’s the recipe:
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1 tablespoon milk
- Powdered sugar, for rolling out dough
My sweet one loves to make cookies and is starting to share my love for the kitchenaid mixer!
Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside. Place butter and sugar in large bowl of electric stand mixer and beat until light in color. Add egg and milk and beat to combine. Put mixer on low speed, gradually add flour, and beat until mixture pulls away from the side of the bowl. Divide the dough in half, wrap in waxed paper, and refrigerate for 2 hours.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Sprinkle surface where you will roll out dough with powdered sugar. Remove 1 wrapped pack of dough from refrigerator at a time, sprinkle rolling pin with powdered sugar, and roll out dough to 1/4-inch thick. Move the dough around and check underneath frequently to make sure it is not sticking. If dough has warmed during rolling, place cold cookie sheet on top for 10 minutes to chill. Cut into desired shape, place at least 1-inch apart on greased baking sheet, parchment, or silicone baking mat, and bake for 7 to 9 minutes or until cookies are just beginning to turn brown around the edges, rotating cookie sheet halfway through baking time. Let sit on baking sheet for 2 minutes after removal from oven and then move to complete cooling on wire rack. Serve as is or ice as desired. Store in airtight container for up to 1 week.
She loved dumping sprinkles on them.
He also has a frosting recipe, but I took the Sandra Lee method and used store bought. I know, I’m a cheater. One fun thing we did two Halloweens ago was have a contest with some friends of ours using this recipe. I actually posted this picture on Facebook and people voted. We used all the toppings we had at that moment and used orange Halloween store bought icing. Left to right, 1-4, which is your favorite?!?! We had a lot of fun as adults while we watch the little ones eat and trade candy!
Our cookies from Halloween 2010.
Now, get your ghost cookie cutter and make them! It’s so fun!
by Jamie Hinckley on Oct 11, 2012
I am so in love living in Florida lately! Took the boys to the beach yesterday… the beach in October! Awesome, right?! The best part was how clear the water was. I could stand neck deep in the water and look down and still see my blue toenail polish. LOVE!
As I type this, my boys are out swimming in my sister’s pool with my brother-in-law. I am just loving the outdoor life here! My sister keeps trying to get me to go kayaking with her (apparently that is really big down here too), but I admit that I have this unnatural fear of gators and can’t get myself to go anywhere near a body of water that is not the ocean. Ha! I have convinced her that we should take up paddle boarding in the ocean instead! I will let you know how that goes once we get going!
Anyway, I finished off a nice family fun weekend with this yummy chewy chex mix! It is similar to this one that I posted in the past, but a little different variation. After I posted the last chewy chex mix I got a few emails of different variations others like.
This version is from my sister-in-law and is oh so yummy! It’s made with chocolate chex, honey roasted peanuts, and peanut butter M&M’s instead of corn chex, slivered almonds, and peanut M&M’s.
Chewy Chex Mix
1/2 box of Chocolate Chex cereal
1/2 box of Golden Grahams cereal
1 cup Karo syrup
1 cup granulated sugar
1 stick of butter
1 package of peanut butter M&M’s
1 package of honey roasted peanuts
***Mix the cereals together in the largest bowl you have. Melt the butter, karo syrup and sugar together in a medium sauce pan stirring constantly. Bring mixture to a boil for several minutes. Poor over cereal mixture and stir until completely combined and starting to cool. Add the M&M’s and peanuts and mix completely. Lay wax paper across your counter and spread chex mix across it until it dries.
My sister-in-law likes to bake hers in the oven at 275 degrees for 10 minutes to dry it out faster. My mom likes to just keep stirring hers in the bowl every few minutes until dries. I admit, I am lazy and just spread mine out on some wax paper and let it sit. It only takes 20 to 30 minutes.
by Dana Patterson on Oct 08, 2012
I make this often in the fall because it’s so delicious and so simple to make. It also has a great pumpkin flavor in it. I love fall!
You can serve it with vanilla wafers, ginger snaps or apple slices.
I promise if you take it to your next get together that it will be all gone! Here’s the recipe:
Pumpkin Cream Cheese Dip
- 1 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened
- 1/2 cup canned pumpkin
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 3/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
Mix ingredients together…. and there you have it!
Such a quick, great fall recipe!