Monday, July 28, 2014

Crazy Brownies from The Pioneer Woman

The next time I want to make something deliciously sinful and decadent, this is it!!

I was watching The Pioneer Woman this afternoon and I could not believe it when she was putting these brownies together.  All I can say is look at the ingredients list!

Won't these be a big hit on the dessert table at your next party?

  • 1 box Chocolate Cake Mix, 18 To 20 Ounce Box
  • 1/3 cup Evaporated Milk
  • 1 stick Butter, Melted
  • 9 whole Peanut Butter Cups (regular Size, With The Paper Pulled Off)
  • 12 whole Rolo Candies
  • 1/2 cup Finely Chopped Pecans
  • 1/3 cup M&Ms
  • 1/4 teaspoon Salt
  • Powdered Sugar (for Sprinkling)


Preheat the oven to 350 F.

Put the dry cake mix in a large bowl and stir in the evaporated milk. (Mixture will still be dry.) Next, pour in the melted butter, stirring gently until the mix just comes together (don't over-mix.)

Divide the mixture in half and press half of it in the bottom of a greased 8 x 8-inch baking pan. Lay the peanut butter cups over the top. Peel the wrappers off of the Rolos and place them in the spaces between the peanut butter cups. Sprinkle nuts into the cracks, followed by M&M's. Finally, sprinkle the salt all over.

Put the other half of the batter on a cutting board and press it into a square a little smaller than the pan. (It will be very sticky.) Transfer it to the pan and lightly press it to cover all the ingredients. Bake for 22 to 25 minutes, or until the batter is fully baked. Allow to cool completely, then place the pan in the fridge, covered in foil, for a couple of hours.

Remove the brownies from the pan in one piece, then sprinkle on plenty of powdered sugar. With a sharp serrated knife, cut into small squares.

Source:  The Pioneer Woman

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Spaghetti Aglio E Olio

My nana often made this meal for lunch with homemade garlic bread, salad (with oil and vinegar dressing and parmesan cheese) and iced tea with lemon.  It was such a treat for me and it still remains one of my favorite meals.

The photo and the following recipe comes from Ina Garten, but I make mine a different way . . . I think much easier!

My version starts off by getting my pasta water boiling (with lots of salt) and get the pasta cooking.

At the same time, I heat up a pan and melt about 1/2 stick of butter.  Add about 2 garlic cloves, making sure the garlic does not brown.

Angel hair pasta is what I prefer and the best thing is that it is ready in three minutes, so I have to work fast to put this all together.

As the garlic is sauteeing in the butter, I start adding pasta water little by little.  (You'll need to experiment with how much pasta water you add.)  I love the way the pasta water slightly thickens the butter and also brings lots of flavor!  Right before the pasta is done, I throw in a handful of parsley.

Add drained pasta to the mixture, along with about 1/2 cup of parmesan cheese.  Mix together!  I always make sure that I have enough mixture to add to the pasta so that the pasta doesn't stick together.  I hate when that happens! Reserve some of the pasta water when draining in case you need more.

A note about my recipe . . . I prefer butter over olive oil because I really don't like the taste of olive oil.  You can use olive oil or a combination of both.  Whatever you prefer!  

All in all, I've got this recipe down to just five minutes from start to finish.  I've had lots of practice making it since I was a little girl!

The Food Network
Recipe courtesy of Ina Garten
2010, Barefoot Contessa How Easy is That?, All Rights Reserved
SHOW: Barefoot Contessa


    • Kosher salt
    • 1 pound dried spaghetti, such as DeCecco
    • 1/3 cup good olive oil
    • 8 large garlic cloves, cut into thin slivers
    • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
    • 1/2 cup minced fresh parsley
    • 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus extra for serving


Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add 2 tablespoons of salt and the pasta and cook according to the directions on the package. Set aside 1 1/2 cups of the pasta cooking water before you drain the pasta.

Meanwhile, heat the olive oil over medium heat in a pot large enough to hold the pasta, such as a 12-inch saute pan or a large, shallow pot. Add the garlic and cook for 2 minutes, stirring frequently, until it just begins to turn golden on the edges-don't overcook it! Add the red pepper flakes and cook for 30 seconds more. Carefully add the reserved pasta-cooking water to the garlic and oil and bring to a boil. Lower the heat, add 1 teaspoon of salt, and simmer for about 5 minutes, until the liquid is reduced by about a third.

Add the drained pasta to the garlic sauce and toss. Off the heat, add the parsley and Parmesan and toss well. Allow the pasta to rest off the heat for 5 minutes for the sauce to be absorbed. Taste for seasoning and serve warm with extra Parmesan on the side.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Mini Cheesecake Cookie Bites

What a cute and delicious idea!  

I didn't even know that cheesecake cups with removable bottoms existed!  Great concept for so many recipes :)

Just say cheesecake and you've got my attention!  You can't get any easier than this recipe for a last minute dessert to take to a party or just to enjoy at home.  

I've used other cheesecake recipes from Pillsbury's website and always get requests for the recipe.

Source:  Pillsbury
By Jocelyn Delk Adams
Publish Date: September 23, 2013

    • 1/2 package Pillsbury™ Ready to Bake!™ chocolate chip cookies
    • 1 package (8 oz) cream cheese, softened
    • 1/2 cup sugar
    • 1 1/2 cups whipped cream topping (from aerosol can)
    • 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
    • 1 tablespoon coconut oil


Heat oven to 350°F. 

Remove 12 dough rounds from cookie dough package; save remaining dough for a later use. 

Place 1 dough round in each of 12 mini cheesecake cups with removable bottoms.
Bake 14 minutes. Cool completely, about 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, in medium bowl, beat cream cheese and sugar with electric mixer on medium to high speed 3 to 4 minutes until smooth. 

Using rubber spatula, gently fold in whipped cream topping.
Gently spoon or pour cream cheese mixture over each cooled cookie until cup is full; smooth top until flat. Freeze at least 3 hours to set.
Just before removing cheesecakes from freezer, place chocolate chips and coconut oil in microwavable bowl. 

Microwave on High in increments of 20 seconds until chocolate is completely melted. Beat mixture with whisk until smooth.
Once cheesecakes are firm, remove pan from freezer. Gently release cheesecakes from cups. Remove cup bottoms from cheesecakes; place on cooling rack. 

Decoratively drizzle melted chocolate over tops of cheesecakes. 

Let stand 2 to 3 minutes to set before serving.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Banana Fritters

Sandra Lee always has the easiest recipes that give the illusion of spending a lot of time in the kitchen when it was super fast!

I love having a variety of banana recipes . . . I hate throwing them away when they start to ripen a bit too much.

Recipe courtesy of Sandra Lee
Recipe copyright Sandra Lee
The Food Network
SHOW: Sandra's Money Saving Meals
EPISODE: Affordable Entertaining


  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 3 cups baking mix
  • 3 ripe bananas, diced
  • 2 cups canola oil, for frying

Spiced Glaze:
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice


For the fritters: In a large bowl, whisk the eggs with the milk and sugar until blended. Stir in the baking mix and bananas until just combined.

Heat the canola oil in a large, heavy-bottomed skillet over medium heat. Using a small ice cream scoop, drop the batter into the skillet. Fry in batches until golden brown and cooked through the center, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Remove from the oil and allow to drain on a wire cooling rack set over a baking sheet.

For the glaze: Whisk together the powdered sugar, 1/4 cup water and pumpkin pie spice.

While the fritters are still warm, pour the glaze over top. Allow the glaze to set up slightly before serving.

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