Monday, June 26, 2023

Homemade Coffee Creamer

Hello, hello!  

Welcome back!  Been awhile since I have seen you.  I have some reasons, but all in all, I am good and hope to find you doing well too!  Who has done the official switch from hot to iced coffee?  I do both all year, but I have got to tell you, this recipe may have changed my life completely.  An iced cinnabon coffee...YES!  Equally good in a hot coffee this just hits different with an iced one!

Let's get to what you need.  I tested this with milk AND with creamer, but the half and half gave it the right amount of richness I wanted without being to rich.  This is NOT a sugar free recipe, I repeat, NOT sugar free but it is free of the insane amount of chemicals in your store-bought varieties.  I am working hard to eliminate chemicals when I can.  Eww, just look at those labels!
  • 2 cups half and half
  • 1 14 oz can sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 Tbsp vanilla extract
  • 2 Tbsp cinnamon (optional)          

Tuesday, April 18, 2023

Pistachio Fluff/Watergate Salad

 Hello!  It is AH-MAZING to be back with you all!  I took a much-needed, unexpected break, but I am refreshed and am excited to share this recipe with you.

This is kind of a retro recipe, and probably thousands have shared it but here we are.  I have seen this salad so many time, but....  I have sisters who are OBSESSED with all things cottage cheese (which I LOATHE) and I can't trust a stinking salad they make because it always has cottage cheese in it!  The short story is, if they ever offered it, I was too scared it involved cottage cheese and never partook, so to speak.

Fast forward to 2 weeks ago, my beloved Uncle Tom passed away.  Love you Uncle Tommy!  We were at his funeral dinner and I saw said salad.  I decided to try it.  I asked one of my least trusted cottage cheese sisters if it was in there and she said, "NO, it is pistachio fluff", because that was supposed to increase my trust in her.  We sat down, I took a deep breath and tried it.  MIND BLOWN.  How simple of a recipe could be so good is beyond me!  I came home, told my husband and he asked me to make it.

Sister number 1 told me how to make it and here we go!

  • 1, 3.4 oz box of INSTANT pistachio pudding.  Don't try to make the cook and serve work. It won't!
  • 1, 20 oz can of crushed pineapple WITH the juice, don't you dare drain it!
  • 1 oz container of whipped topping (you can always make your own, I stayed true to the retro version)
  • 2-3 cups of marshmallow but my inner child used the whole bag.  WHAT? She is naughty!
  • 1/2 cup pistachios, walnuts or pecans (optional)
Now it is this easy.  Combine the pudding mix and pineapple WITH juice until completely combined and nice and green!  Fold in the entire container of whipped topping.  Now the marshmallow thing, was all just a happy mistake.  Let your inner child measure the marshmallows.  Sprinkle in your nuts if you are choosing to use them and make sure the entire thing is well combined.  Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hours.  

Now I won't tell you if I am or am not eating some for dinner right now as I type this but I can just vouch the longer it sits the better it is.  

I have seen this served as a side dish, a dessert, I mean what matters is that you actually eat it! Am I right?

I hope you enjoy, don't forget to watch the video on my YT channel, and hit FOLLOW on this page!  So glad to see your beautiful faces!


Saturday, February 11, 2023

Water Ice/Italian Ice

 Hello friends!  Let's get a few things out of the way before I share this SUPER easy recipe with you that is most commonly enjoyed from a BOWL.  In fact, it is so SUPER easy won't even need any ingredients that you don't already have on hand, I am almost positive.  So, the fact that all you need to do is decide on the flavor and size of the BOWL is incredible and delicious!

Now that you get the reason, I had to make some Philly food, let me introduce to you "Water Ice" or "Italian Ice" if you have never had it.  It is basically a simple syrup flavored with lemon and a main flavor, that when frozen and stirred during that process becomes almost like ice cream.  Here is what it is NOT....

  • Slush
  • Slurpy
  • Snow Cone
  • Ice Cream
  • Shaved Ice (which is a close second for summer treats for us)

I wanted to share a cheesesteak, a real one, but the lines are so broken where the poor thing is concerned, I don't have the qualifications to even fix that one.  Just know it is a "cheesesteak" not a Philly, not a Philly steak, not any of those.  Cheesesteak, say it with me. (I am laughing, because someone inevitably is going to think I am a pretentious snot, when really, I am just well, laughing)

Lets get to this and you will have plenty of time to make a batch, I suggest a double batch honestly, same amount of time, and if you are into experimenting, try "a couple or 3" (my dad always used to say that) different flavors!  Vanilla is our favorite so that is what I am sharing with you today!

You can find this recipe on my YouTube channel as well, right HERE...

Don't forget to SUBSCRIBE and give my videos a THUMBS UP if you enjoy them!  Heck leave me a comment and let me know who YOU are cheering for in the Superbowl this year!

2 cups water (I use hot tap water

3/4 sugar

1 tsp lemon juice (don't leave this out!)

1 tsp vanilla or whatever other flavor you enjoy.

In a post, add in water and sugar, allow to come to a simmer and simmer for 3-4 minutes, until ALL sugar is dissolved completely.  DO NOT add flavorings yet! ACCKK!  Remove from heat and place in a glass or plastic container.  NOW add flavorings and stir.  Let sit for 1 hr. at room temp, then place into a container with a lid and put in the fridge for 1 hr.  Just get it a little cooler your room temp.  If you love heat, put it in the fridge and if you love icicles on your nose, just leave it on your counter.  The point is, now get it in the freezer.  I stir mine every 3 hours or so for a few hours if I can and then I let it go overnight.  Chef's Kiss.  It is a cold sweet treat that will become a fast MUST HAVE at all times.  I mean if it isn't, I don't even know why you are here, because you can't possibly be a real Eagles fan.  Am I right? teehee

Enjoy the heck outta this one.  And for the record, the world won't end if the Eagles don't win, but I sure want them to really bad, but the Kelsie brother thing is so heartwarming, and game food is so delicious and singing the fight is all so, so good!


Friday, December 23, 2022

The Best Sugar Cookies

 YOU GUYS!  It is Christmas Eve, EVE! ACKK!  I had to do it, I had to go pick up a couple of stocking stuffers today.  I swore it wasn't going to happen this year, but I don't mind so much.  The hustle and bustle are exciting to me and celebrating the birth of Jesus is the MOST exciting.  I don't care if he was born in March, this is when we celebrate, and I am here for it!

I tried ad am going to succeed in getting 3 cookie recipes up this week.  One more will follow Christmas Eve morning or late, late tonight!  In the wee hours of the morning!  It is only 3 ingredients, so buckle in.

There are so many sugar cookie recipes out there, but in my humble opinion this is the best.  If you cake it at just the right middle time, you get soft amazing sugar cookies, bake it for 1 maybe 1.5 minutes longer and you have a crunchy crispy cookie on your hands!  Roll them out thicker for soft as well, and thinner for crispy.  There are so many ways to control this one and make it like you want it!  I would love to chat more, but time is moving on faster than I want, and I have to get this last recipe filmed for you so let's get to it friends!

You will need:

  • 2/3 cup shortening
  • 2/3 cup butter (room temp)
  • 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 3/4 cup flour

Preheat your oven to 350F,  In a bowl with a hand mixer or standing mixer, add in shortening and butter.  Mix until fluffy and combined.  Add in sugar and mix until combined.  Next crack in your eggs, vanilla, baking powder and salt and mix until completely combined and smooth.  Add in flour in 2 additions.  Mix until JUST combined and then stop!  If you over mix your dough, you will be eating Christmas hockey pucks, and nobody has time or teeth for that.  Now here is where the choices come in.  For cut out cookies, refrigerate for 1, or up to 2 hours before rolling out and using cookie cutters.  If you are just rolling them into balls, and rolling in sugar, go for it.  The sooner the better because well, it is obvious the sooner you taste test!  

Cut Out Cookies For a softer, thicker cookie, roll out thick and bake for about 12-13 minutes.  For a thin crispy cookie, roller thinner and bake about 12-13 minutes.  

REMEMBER: your oven may run hotter or cooler than mine, so you keep checking that first pan and go from there!


Wednesday, December 21, 2022

Ganache Thumbprint Cookies

 There is so much merriment going around these days that just typing this recipe makes me excited and happy for Christmas!  I am so happy to see you all again.  It has been a bit of a personal struggle the last few weeks in my life but, I am going to try and get some last minute cookie recipes up!  Get to baking friends!  Have you done all your baking and it is tucked safely in the freezer until cookie plate or tin making comes for friends and family?

This is a super easy recipe, I just wanted to make thumbprint cookies but change up the jam, because to know me is to know I am not a huge lover of fruit.  I know...

But, thanks to my dislike of jam, this little butter-ish, only slightly sweet cookie is EASY and quick.  I even did a video for you and that will be down the page a bit. You take a bit and then you get this little pop of rich and deep chocolate flavor, and it is the perfect match!  Not overly sweet but still sweet enough.  Does that even make sense?  Guess you will have to try it to find out.  I am in a time crunch here, I have Peanut Butter Balls, in the freezer, and just edited some family baby photos I took.  Let's get to the recipe!

  • 1 cup softened butter
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups AP flour
  • ganache (sm. recipe below)
Preheat your oven to 350F.  I use a silicone mat, but you could lay your cookie sheet with parchment paper or use a nonstick spray.  In a bowl with hand mixer or in a stand mixer, combine all ingredients, with flour last.  (we will make the ganache later) Mix until just combined.  You may think this dough won't hold together but I promise it will!  The heat of your hands as you roll them into balls will keep them together.  Roll all dough into balls and bake for 15 minutes.  When you take them out, let them sit and cool for about 3 minutes, using your thumb or the end of a spoon, make your "thumbprint".  I did mine before I baked them and ended up having to redo them anyway.  Don't burn yourself!  Set aside to cook the rest of the way.

In a small glass bowl or glass measuring cup, heat up 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream.  Heat until it bubbles around the outside.  Add in 1/2 cup milk or semi-sweet chocolate chips.  Let sit for 5 minutes and then stir until it is dark in color and rich!  Now using a way smaller spoon than I did, fill up the thumb print with your ganache and refrigerate for about 10 minutes to give it a headstart or let sit at room temp until the chocolate has set.  Oh so good!

Store in an airtight container or freeze in a storage bag, ot just eat them.  I mean isn't that the end goal anyway?

ENJOY holiday baking and holiday eating!

Saturday, November 12, 2022

Chocolate Caramel Apple Bark

 Good afternoon my dear friends.  I am so happy to see you back, and welcome to anyone who may be new here!  We are back with an easy dessert for fall, or anytime you need something sweet.  These are getting right up outta this house and going to work with my husband.  They aren't safe here.  And neither am I!

I have seen this "recipe" if you will, all over the place.  I mean, I have seen them done 10 different ways.  Make your own caramel, caramel sauce (still haven't figured out how that works), caramel bits, traditional get my point.  I would have chosen to make my own caramel, it is so easy, but I had already bought these caramels, and can we get to the real questions??  Do you say CARMEL, or CARAMEL?  Inquiring minds....

I can't believe Thanksgiving is 2 weeks away.  Random I know.  I am not cooking this year!  Well, I am but just having the holiday at my sisters so I am bringing Pineapple Stuffing because my family can't have a holiday without it, green beans, because I accidentally bought 10 bags of frozen green beans while doing my Wal-Mart grocery delivery order, and stuffing, because I like mine best.  I will probably crank out a huge pan of baked mac and cheese as well for good measure.  I think I am subconsciously all ready for it to be here.  Thanksgiving dinner is my favorite meal of life, besides good seafood which is hard to come by in Nebraska!  The end.

I will have explained in this video why I did a few things differently than maybe some other recipes you have seen for this.  I did change up a major thing which was using freeze dried apples instead of fresh.  Ain't nobody got time to risk apples turning brown, including me!  I hope you enjoy and HAPPY FALL!!  Sending blessings to you all!

You Will Need:

  • 2 cups chocolate or white chocolate chips (I choose 1 cup of milk chocolate and 1 cup white chocolate
  • 2 cups of caramels (measure before melting)
  • 1/2 cup pistachios (shelled)
  • 1 cup freeze dried apples (smoosh them up a little so the bark is easier to break when done) OR use 1 apple of your choice, diced small.
  • pretzels, between 1/2 to 1 cup.  
Line your cookie sheet with a silpat or parchment paper.  Melt your chocolates you can do it in the microwave or on the stove.  If you do them in the microwave, you need to heat them in 30 second increments, and stir between ever 30 seconds.  If you overheat/scorch them, it will be a clump of what appears to be half dried mud.  Not a good look or taste.  Now you canc use all chocolate chips, milk or semi-sweet, but I opted for 1 cup of white chocolate chips and 1 cup of milk chocolate chips because I don't LOVE chocolate with the caramel apple flavor.  No don't come for me, a little is fine, but the entire base of the bark, no thanks.  It worked out more than perfect.  Make sure your chips are at room temp when you heat them.  Mine were out of the freezer and tried to seize up but I rule and caught them in the nick of time.  You will see this on the video.  When I spread the chocolate out, I then crushed up pretzels in my hand.  You can lay them out nice and tidy if you so choose, I didn't so choose.  I then sprinkled the pistachios on.  I saw some bare spots and panicked!  Hehe

Next, melt the caramel, SLOWLY heat it.  I did my caramel on the stove.  When it is completely melted, (keep stirring soldier) stir well and then pour on top of the chocolate/pretzels/pistachio layer and spread out evenly.  I left a small border so you could see the chocolate layer around the edges.  Work quickly so you can get your apples on top before it sets.  I just used my hands to crunch up my apples still in the bag.  I happened to get these apples at Dollar Tree because I was there, and we have tried them before, and I didn't want to use fresh apples. Problem solved.  Get them on, press them down a bit and let sit for at least 1 hour.  

Break it up and place in an airtight container.

The textures of this you awesome.  A slight chew from the freeze-dried fruit, crunch from the pistachios and pretzels, creamy chocolate, chewy all comes down to the fact you just need to make these.  It doesn't have to be more difficult than that!


Tuesday, November 1, 2022

Cinnamon Caramel Crunch

Hello friends!

Hoping this finds you all happy and healthy!  It is November 1st.  WHAT?  How is this even possible?  NOVEMBER!  CHRISTMAS SEASON!  AACCKK!  Most unnerving is that there will be snow soon.  At the beginning of every winter, I ask myself why we are still here?!  Then the first snow happens, and I am thrilled, and then I am over it again.  I mean, it is what it is.  Right?  

This is an easy little snack, fun for your kids' lunchboxes, snack time or anytime.  I am using things up in my pantry and I challenge you to do the same, use things already in your cupboards or freezer, pantry, or wherever you may keep your food.  Don't let anything go to waste, go bad, or become unusable.  I don't think you can have too many of these quick snack recipes.  I feed people, it is what I do, so when someone is coming over.... forget about it!

Be ready to get addicted to this.  I always try to warn you but, I mean, it is the least I can do!

Let's get the show on the road.  
  • 5 cups oyster crackers
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1.5 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 T granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
Get your oven preheated to 350F.  Line a cookie sheet with foil and set it aside.  Place the oyster crackers in a large bowl and also, set them aside. 

In a medium saucepan, combine the butter and brown sugar.  Once it is melted bring it to a boil and let boil for 2 minutes while you stir.  DO NOT, I repeat DO NOT forget you are dealing with hot sugar, and you WILL land in the ER if you try and taste this!  After 2 minutes, remove from the heat and add in 1.5 tsp cinnamon and the vanilla.  Stir until completely combined.  Pour over the oyster crackers and stir with a rubber spatula until the crackers are well coated.  Pour unto your cookie sheet and spread them out into as single of a layer as possible.  Bake for 10-15 minutes.  WHILE that is happening, mix together your 2T sugar and 1tsp cinnamon, you will need to sprinkle your crackers when you remove them with this mixture and let sit until cooled.  Break up the crackers and store in an airtight container or a Ziploc bag!