Monday, January 27, 2014

Mint Chocolate Cookies

I had just started a new job (many moons ago now). I was yet to be married, so still working under my maiden name.
A couple of weeks into it, I am sitting at my desk, minding my own business and this little lady (maybe 5 ft tall) comes flying up to me.
"What is your father's name?"
(She almost sounded angry, I wasn't sure if I should answer or not)

I answered and her face just lit up like sunshine.
"I knew it!!" She yelled! (we had quite the audience at this point)

She then proceeds to tell me that she worked with my father at another company (in the same building we currently worked in, funny enough) when I was born.
She then went on about how my father would come in with pictures of me to show off to everyone.

How sweet!

I promptly emailed my father and asked if he knew Ms. So-and-So.
I think if he could have jumped through the email he would.

"OMG she was my boss for a few years. I have never had a boss like her before, or ever again. I loved working for her!"

The next time my father was up visiting, we set a date to have lunch. It was a tearful , sweet reunion.
I know they kept in touch after that, which they both enjoyed.

We lost her a few years ago to cancer. She is well missed.

She lives on though, in a pile of recipes she had emailed me over the years. This is one of them.
The cookies are amazing...but oh my word are they serious when they use the term "sticky mess"!

1 Box devil’s food cake mix
2 Eggs
2 Tbsp water
2 Tbsp oil
½ Cup cocoa
1 Pkg chocolate chips
2-3 Drops peppermint extract

1. Preheat oven to 400
2. Combine cake mix, eggs, water, oil, and cocoa (blend well, this WILL be a sticky mess)
3. Let dough stand for 20 minutes
4. Shape into very small ½ inch balls
5. Smash down dough balls with a spoon covered in cooking spray
6. Bake for 8 minutes
7. Let cool to room temperature
8. Heat chocolate chips in double boiler
9. When chips are completely melted, add peppermint extract
10. Frost cookies with mint chocolate mixture or dip cookies in mixture


This Recipe was shared on:
Monday: Flour Me With Love, Make Ahead Meals for Busy Moms, Feeding Big, A Southern Fairytale, Will Cook for Smiles, Frugal Foodie Mama, A Bright and Beautiful Life, Inside Bru Crew Life, New Mama Diaries, Jam Hands, Yummy Healthy Easy, A Peek into my Paradise, Adventures in Mindful Living, The Chicken Chick
Tuesday: Pint Sized Baker, A Peek into my Paradise, The Bitter Side of Sweet, The Road to 31, Cornerstone Confessions, My Joy Filled Life, Table for Seven, Yesterfood, Chef in Training, Mandy's Recipe Box, Kathe with an E
Wednesday: Recipes for our Daily Bread, Dizzy Busy and Hungry, Wine and Glue, White Lights on Wednesday, Buns in my Oven, Ginger Snap Crafts, Mom's Test Kitchen, Lady Behind the Curtain, Crafty Allie, Lemoine Family Kitchen
Thursday: Lambert's Lately, Sweet Haute, Sweet Bella Roos, What's Cooking Love, Saving 4 Six, Miz Helen's Country Cottage, Embracing Change, The Nourishing Gourmet
Friday: The Grits Blog, Play Party Pin, Love Bakes Good Cakes, Endlessly Inspired, Dizzy Busy and Hungry, A Peek into my Paradise, Craft Dictator, Cooking with Curls
Saturday: Six Sisters Stuff, Whats Cooking with Ruthie, The Weary Chef, Cheerios and Lattes, Simply Gloria
Sunday: A Peek into my Paradise

Friday, January 24, 2014

Almost Famous!

Paula from Blogging on the Side is doing interviews of other bloggers.
A "meet and greet" so to speak!

Last round, I was hesitant.
Naturally quiet an shy, I wasn't real sure this is something I wanted to do at all.

Watching the others who had been interviewed, I decided it was short, non invasive, and just well done by Paula.

This time around, I took a deep breath and decided to jump right in and answer the questions.
I am stupidly nervous about it, for a multitude of reasons.

Hubby is tired of hearing me about it, I am more than sure!

Got my email the other day stating that my interview would be published today.

Wake up this morning, open my email, and...there I am.
At least it's done! I put myself out there, and now it's over.

Thank you for the opportunity Paula, it was a new experience!

If curiosity has gotten the best of you, feel free to jump over here and read what was said.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Betty Crocker Macaroni and Cheese

The girl child has a soft spot for the "blue box" mac and cheese.
I think we all have a childhood memory of it.

Something about that neon orange powder just makes us small again.

I saw this new Betty Crocker brand in the store and grabbed it to have on hand in the cabinet.
One night, we were being lazy and decided to try it.

I started making it like the regular "blue box" and THEN read the directions. Oops! Start all over again!

With this version, you mix everything together and cook it. There is no draining involved.
I am all about skipping a step...remember...we were being lazy!

Macaroni is all made, and we all take a bite.
Not so impressed.

It wasn't just didn't have the greatest of flavors.

I don't think I will be buying it again, even though it was convenient to make.

Update: We did buy it again, because it was on sale. It's a quick meal for the girl when she is home on a snow day or whatever. 

Monday, January 20, 2014

Taffy Apple Tartlets

Yet another Pampered Chef recipe!

I have a friend who lives in FL, and we are always trying to surprise each other with great things in the mail.
It makes for a smiley day, don't you think?

I had made these and packaged some up to send to her.
Needless to say, she was pleased!
She was even a good girl and decided to share with her man.

¼ Cup dry roasted peanuts
2 Lg granny smith apples (peeled, cored, and diced)
¾ Cup caramel sauce
2 Tbsp all purpose flour
1 (15 oz) package refrigerated pie crusts (softened)
12 caramels (unwrapped)

1. Preheat oven to 400
2. Chop peanuts, set aside
3. Combine apples, ½ cup caramel sauce, and flour. Mix well.
4. Microwave apple mixture on high 5-6 minutes or until bubbling and thickened.
5. Stir apple mixture and set aside
6. Unroll one pie crust onto lightly floured surface
7. Using a cutter, cut 12 circles out of the dough
8. Press dough circles into a mini muffin pan
9. Repeat with other dough
10. Cut caramels in half. Place one piece in each dough cup.
11. Spoon apple mixture evenly into shells.
12. Sprinkle with peanuts
13. Bake 14-16 minutes or until edges are golden brown
14. Drizzle with remaining caramel sauce


This recipe was shared with:
Monday: Flour me with Love, Pioneer Momma, New Mama Diaries, Kitchen Table Art, Jam Hands, The Chicken Chick, Call me PMC, A Southern Fairytale, Inside Bru Crew Life, Pint Sized Baker, Feeding Big
Tuesday: Anyonita Nibbles, Mandy's Recipe Box, Chef in Training, The Country Cook, Yesterfood, Table for Seven
Wednesday: Recipes for our Daily Bread, Dizzy Busy and Hungry, Wine and Glue, Lady Behind the Curtain, Crafty Allie, Lemoine Family Kitchen, Buns in my Oven, Real House Moms, Ginger Snap Crafts, Mostly Homemade Mom
Thursday: Sweet Haute, Lamberts Lately, Saving 4 Six, It Bakes me Happy, Embracing Change, Miz Helen's Country Cottage, Sweet Bella Roos
Friday: Craft Dictator, Play Party Pin, Love Bakes Good Cakes, Anyonita Nibbles, A Peek into my Paradise, Endlessly Inspired
Saturday: Six Sisters Stuff, Cheerios and Lattes, Will Cook for Smiles, The Better Baker, Coffee with us 3, Yummy Healthy Easy

Monday, January 13, 2014

Chocolate Brownies

Chocolate brownies are a weakness.
I collect recipes for them like some people collect souvenirs.

This one is handwritten by someone, in my large, random, recipe pile. I gathered this along the way somehow, but neglected to note from who or if I liked them!

Note: After making this batch, it is confirmed, they are yummy!

1 Cup butter
3 ½ oz unsweetened chocolate
4 Eggs
1 Cup sugar
1 Tsp vanilla
1 ½ Cup flour
½ Tsp baking powder
1 Tsp salt
1 Cup chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 350
2. Melt butter and unsweetened chocolate. Cool.
3. Beat 4 eggs until creamy
4. Add sugar, beating constantly
5. Add vanilla and cooled chocolate
6. Combine flour, baking powder, and salt.
7. Add chocolate mixture to flour mixture
8. Spread in a greased 9 x 13 inch pan
9. Sprinkle chocolate chips on top.
10. Bake for 30-35 minutes


This recipe was shared with...
Monday: Flour me with Love, Make Ahead Meals for Busy Moms, A Southern Fairytale, Pioneer Momma, Kitchen Table Art, Frugal Foodie Mama, Uncommon Designs, New Mama Diaries, The Chicken Chick, Jam Hands, Feeding Big, Inside Bru Crew Life
Tuesday: Pint Sized Baker, Chef in Training, Anyonita Nibbles, Mandy's Recipe Box, Kathe with an E, Our Table for Seven, Yesterfood
Wednesday: Dizzy Busy and Hungry, Recipes for our Daily Bread, Wine and Glue, Moms Test Kitchen, Lady Behind the Curtain, Lemoine Family Kitchen, Buns in my Oven, Mostly Homemade Mom
Thursday: Lamberts Lately, Sweet Haute, Sweet Bella Roos, Whats Cooking Love, Saving 4 Six, Miz Helen's Country Cottage, Embracing Change, The Grits Blog
Friday: Craft Dictator, Play Party Pin, Love Bakes Good Cakes, This Ole Mom, A Peek into my Paradise, Endlessly Inspired, Crumbs and Chaos, Thirty Handmade Days, Cooking with Curls
Saturday: Coffee with us 3, Six Sisters Stuff, Whats Cooking with Ruthie, Cheerios and Lattes, The Weary Chef, Simply Gloria, A Peek Into my Paradise

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

pizzeria! by DiGiorno

I happened across a coupon for a new pizza by DiGiorno and figured...why the heck not! I like DiGiorno. I like coupons. I like having a quick meal in the freezer for those insane nights.
What do I have to lose here?

I got to the store, and either there was a major run on these pizzas, or the store only ordered one flavor to try on the customers.
We ended up with the Supreme. I prefer cheese. Whateves...not the end of the world.

What I did not care for was the price.
I can get a large, fresh cooked pizza at my local shop for the same price as this frozen pizza.
Happy I had my coupon on hand!

One crazy Saturday we were looking for a quick lunch. I tossed this baby in the oven.
It smelled really fantastic!

We ate it...and wondered what the big deal is.
What makes this so special, or even new?
It tasted very similar to every other frozen pizza.

They have a satisfaction guarantee...but I consider myself satisfied, I would not use this option.

Would I buy it again, yes.
Would I specifically go for that item? Not so much.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Beef Stroganoff

Hubby happened to have a day off work a couple of weeks ago. I took full advantage and left a "honey do" list for him.
Imagine my surprise when he called me at work and said "hey, I finished what you left me, and you have a grocery list on the fridge, is it complete? Want me to run to the store and do the shopping?"

I could have fainted. I am glad I was sitting down at my desk!
Let's be realistic, I was fully aware it might turn out like this....

Or, more likely, this...

In the essence of saving time, I decided to take my chances with it. How bad can he do?

One item on my list was steak tips.
I just knew that wouldn't be an issue, hubby dearest is all about his steak.

I told him to get extra as I was making a marinade and wanted to make two batches of steak. One to eat that night, and one to freeze for a quick meal later on.

I reach into the fridge and find...a warehouse store sized package of stew beef.
Ask to get steak, assuming filet mignon is coming into the house and I get stew beef?

Yes, I am that mean wife that sent him back to the store. 
I separated up the stew beef into freezer bags and planned to make lots of beef stew.

Then I happened across this recipe online.
I tried it, we really liked the flavor...but not the meat itself.
We decided to try this again one day, but to make it in the crock pot so the meat would be more tender.
OR...make this with chunks of left over pot roast or roast beef.

My regular stroganoff

2 Lbs cubed stew beef
1 Can cream of mushroom soup
1 Can onion soup
Noodles or Rice

1. Mix soups together.
2. Add meat to casserole dish. Pour soup mixture over top.
3. Cover and bake at 325 degrees for 90 minutes
4. Serve over egg noodles or rice

Yeah, the thawed bag-o-beef could be a little prettier, somehow.

This recipe was shared with:
Saturday: Six Sisters Stuff, Yummy Healthy Easy, Will Cook for Smiles, Your Homebased Mom, Cheerios and Lattes, The Weary Chef
Sunday: Mommy on Demand, A Peek into my Paradise
Monday: Flour me with Love, Tumbleweed Contessa, A Southern Fairytale, Flour me with Love, Frugal Foodie Mama, A Bright and Beautiful Life, Feeding Big, Jam Hands, Inside Bru Crew Life, A Peek Into my Paradise
Tuesday: Chef in Training, Kathe with an E, Mandy's Recipe Box, Yesterfood, Anyonita Nibbles, Dizzy Busy and Hungry, Table for Seven
Wednesday: Wine and Glue, Lady Behind the Curtain, Recipes for our Daily Bread, White Lights on Wednesday, Moms Test Kitchen, Gingersnap Crafts, Lemoine Family Kitchen, Buns in my Oven, Gooseberry Patch
Thursday: Sweet Haute, Lamberts Lately, Sweet Bella Roos, Saving 4 Six, Whats Cooking Love, Miz Helen's Country Cottage, Embracing Change, Play Party Pin, Endlessly Inspired, Sugar and Dots
Friday: The Grits Blog, Craft Dictator, Love Bakes Good Cakes, The Country Cook, This and That, Livin the Mom Life, A Little Claireification