Thursday, December 27, 2012

Crazy For Cupcakes - New Year's

New Year Bubbly Cupcakes

New Year"s Eve Cupcake Shooter's

Party Streamer Cupcakes 

Cupcake Sparkler

Print Friendly and PDF

Project Snowflake

On December 14, the peace and innocence of Newtown, Connecticut was shattered and 26 people lost their lives, 20 of which were dear, sweet children. I have no words ...

Now the students and faculty of Sandy Hook Elementary School are preparing to begin classes again in a new location. To ease their return, the Connecticut PTSA has organized The Snowflake Project to create a winter wonderland in their new school.

I think this is a wonderful idea and I am so happy to be able to do something ... anything ... to help. So who is with me? Let's get the word out and give these kids a gorgeous snowy wonderland to welcome them to  their new school and to show them that we care.

So grab the button, spread the word, and get creating ... And make sure to come back on 1/9 for a Project Snowflake linky party.

Here are the details ...

They are asking for everyone to make and send snowflakes for them to hang around the school. Their only request is that the snowflakes have no words on them ... think bright, and sparkly, and happy, and magical ...

Snowflakes are to be sent by January 12, 2013 to:

Connecticut PTSA
60 Connolly Parkway
Building 12, Suite 103
Hamden, CT 06514

You can check out the CT PTA website or Sandy Children Help on Facebook for more information or updates. They are also putting together a photo album of the snowflakes; you can send photos to Please include a note to let them know where the snowflakes are coming from (school, grade or age, town etc).

<a href="" target="_blank"><img src="" border="0" alt="Photobucket" /></a>

Print Friendly and PDF

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Crazy For Cupcakes - Christmas

Edible Ornament Cupcakes

 Hello, Cupcakes

Candy Cane Christmas Tree Cupcakes




Eggnog Cupcakes with Spiced Rum

Bakers Royale

Print Friendly and PDF

Espresso and Hazelnut Cake Bites

I made these oh so delish cake bites for work and let me say 
everyone just loved them, made a few extra for home too.
If your a coffee lover ( like me ) your really going to like the espresso bites, plus the hazelnut ones are awesome too.

* Click on image for larger picture *

The first ones I made are the espresso ones with chocolate CANDIQUIK.


2 packages (16 oz.) Chocolate CANDIQUIK
1 box Chocolate Cake Mix (plus ingredients required for cake)
1/2 of a (16 oz.) container chocolate fudge frosting
8 Tablespoons coffee grounds (instant/fresh ground/espresso)
Garnish: Espresso beans


Prepare cake mix as directed on box. Add 8 tablespoons 
of ground coffee beans (or instant coffee)   
to cake mixture before baking. 
Once finished baking, allow to cool.

Crumble cake into a large bowl. 
Mix thoroughly with 1/2 – 3/4 container
of frosting (depending on how “doughy” you want your cake balls.
Tip: it may be easier to use fingers to mix together with frosting).
Chill mixture for approximately 2 hours in the refrigerator 
(you can speed this up by placing in the freezer).

On a wax lined baking sheet, roll mixture into 1 inch balls. 
use a coffee scoop or melon baller to get perfect sized balls!)

Melt Chocolate CANDIQUIK according to the 
directions on the package.
With a spoon, quickly dip each cake ball into the Chocolate
 CANDIQUIK and coat completely. Lift out of chocolate 
and set on wax lined baking sheet.
Top each cake ball with an espresso bean before coating is dry. 
Drizzle with chocolate Candiquik.

The second ones I made are the hazelnut ones
with vanilla CANDIQUIK made with coffee creamer
You make these just like the ones above but instead of using
chocolate cake mix use white, instead of chocolate Candiquik
use vanilla and then use 1/4 cup coffee creamer instead
of the frosting when you crumble your cake.

Print Friendly and PDF

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Day Of Remembrance

Taking a day of silence in remembrance of 
the victims in Friday's shooting. 
There will be no blog posts or Facebook 
updates sent out until Tuesday. 
Thoughts and Prayers to the victims 
and their loved ones. ♥

Print Friendly and PDF

Red Velvet Whoopie Pies

Red velvet...I think most people like them
and one little man in my house I know
just l o v e s them! So it was no big shock
when I made these, brought one into my son
and he just lite up. Yup, they are that good!!

* Click on image for larger picture *

Yields: 24
Total Time: 1 hr 30 min
Prep Time: 50 min

1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2  large eggs
1  teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1  tablespoon liquid red food coloring
1/2 cupbuttermilk
8 ounce cream cheese, at room temperature
1 cup marshmallow cream, such as Fluff
Red and Green pearlized sanding sugars, for decorating


Heat oven to 375 degrees F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour,
cocoa, baking soda, and salt.

Using an electric mixer, beat the sugar and butter
in a large bowl until light
and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in the eggs,
then the vanilla and food coloring.

Alternately add the flour mixture and buttermilk,
 mixing just until incorporated.

Drop level tablespoons of the batter onto the prepared baking sheets, spacing
them 2 inches apart. Bake until the tops
are set and spring back when lightly
pressed, 6 to 8 minutes.

Let cool on the baking sheets for 5 minutes,
then transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely.

While the cookies cool, using an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese
 until smooth. Add the marshmallow cream
and beat until fluffy, about 3 minutes.
Spread 1 level tablespoon of filling onto half of
the cookies, then sandwich with the remaining cookies.

Sprinkle sanding sugar around the edges of the
whoopie pies. Serve immediately
or refrigerate, in a single layer, covered, for up to 5 days.

Bring to room temperature before serving.

Print Friendly and PDF

Creamy Ricotta and Tomato Penne

Pleasantly surprised how much my boys
liked this dish..and want it again. This dish is lighter
then lets say, Rigatoni, but has all the
flavor if not more. 

*Click on image for larger picture*

Prep time:10 minutes
Cook time:13 minutes
Serves 4


3/4 pound penne or rigatoni
1 cup ricotta cheese, at room temperature
1/4 cup olive oil
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved (or quartered if large)
Dash of Oregano


Cook the penne in boiling salted water until tender but firm,
about 11 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a shallow serving bowl, mix 3/4 cup of the ricotta 
with 1 teaspoon of salt and 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper.

Drain the pasta, then add to the ricotta and toss to combine. 
Cover the bowl to keep warm.

In a medium skillet, warm the oil over high heat. 
Add the cherry tomatoes
 and cook just until the tomatoes are softened, about 1 minute. 
*Don't over cook or they turn mushy*

Pour the mixture over the pasta and toss carefully just to combine.
Garnish the pasta with oregano and serve at once.

Print Friendly and PDF

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Christmas Favorites

I wanted to share some of  my  favorite Christmas 
desserts with you, I hope you enjoy these wonderful 
creations and try them out for yourselves. 

Print Friendly and PDF

Monday, December 10, 2012

Bruessel Sprouts and Bacon Gratin

Well, I  never thought I would be posting a recipe 
about Brussel Sprouts,  my son really likes them, me... 
not so much, until I made these. 
I liked them so much I even had seconds, yup seconds, 
thats how good they are. If your like me and never really
liked them or never tried them before, 
or better yet, if you do like them, you have 
to try this recipe!
If ya do, let me know what you think of it.

* Click on image for larger picture *

8 servings prep time: 20 minutes
cook time: 45 minutes
total time: 1 hour 20 minutes


For the Brussels Sprouts:

2 pounds Brussels sprouts
6 ounces bacon, cut into ¼-inch dice
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
¾ teaspoon salt
Fresh ground pepper
1 cup + 2 tablespoons heavy cream

For the Topping:

1 cup plain bread crumbs
6 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon ground pepper


1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F and adjust oven rack to high position.
Remove the outer leaf layers of the Brussels sprouts,
slice off the stem ends, and then halve them lengthwise.

2. In a medium bowl, toss together the Brussels sprouts,
bacon, melted butter, salt and pepper.
Arrange in a single layer in a 9x13-inch baking dish.
Bake for 25 minutes, stirring twice during cooking.

3. Meanwhile, toss together all of the ingredients for
the topping in a small bowl; set aside.

4. Remove the pan from the oven and pour the cream over top of
the Brussels sprouts; use a spoon to toss together, ensuring all of the
sprouts are coated in cream. Arrange them again in a single layer in
the pan. Sprinkle the topping evenly over the top of the
Brussels sprouts. Return to the oven for an additional 15-20 minutes,
until the cream is bubbling and the topping is golden brown.
Let rest for 15 minutes before serving.

Print Friendly and PDF

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Apple Fritters

Ok, so I don't know why I have been on a apple kick lately,
 but I have and decided to whip up some fritters tonight 
and they were so good!
 This was my first time making fritters
I usually don't like frying, because of the smell, yeah I know...
My bf doesn't understand why I don't like the smell either.  ;)
*candles burning*
Any who, this recipe is very easy and your 
just gonna love them!

* Click on image for larger picture *


1 heaping cup AP flour
1/3 cup sugar
1 tsp. baking powder
dash salt
1 – 2 tsp. cinnamon 
(depending on how much you love cinnamon)
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 T. butter, melted
1 egg
1/3 cup milk + plus more if needed
1 – 1 1/2 cups chopped apple, your favorite kind for eating, 
peanut sized or smaller
oil for frying
 powdered sugar for dusting


Mix all dry ingredients together, slowly add the wet ingredients 
minus the apple. 

Carefully mix until well combined but 
not overly beat,gently fold in apple pieces. 
The batter should be the consistency of a light cake mix.

Once the oil is ready 
(when a test drop of dough floats to the top of the oil, )
then using a cookie scooper or soup spoon, 
place a 4-5 balls of dough into the oil. 
Be careful not to overcrowd and 
watch carefully for the underside to turn golden brown, 
then gently flip over and continue frying until done,
take out and dust with powdered sugar.

Print Friendly and PDF

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Monday, December 3, 2012

Baked Honey Mustard Chicken

Who doesn't like chicken and honey... Added with some
spices makes for a delish dinner that your
whole family will enjoy.

* Click on image for larger picture *

PREP 15 mins
COOK 45 mins

recipe makes 6 servings

 6 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
 salt and pepper to taste
 1/2 cup honey
 1/2 cup prepared mustard
 1 teaspoon dried basil
 1 teaspoon paprika
 1/2 teaspoon dried parsley


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F

Sprinkle chicken breasts with salt and pepper to taste, and
place in a lightly greased 9x13 inch baking dish.

In a small bowl, combine the honey, mustard, basil, 
paprika, and parsley. Mix well. 
Pour 1/2 of this mixture over the chicken, and brush to cover.

Bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes. Turn chicken pieces
over and brush with the remaining 1/2 of the honey mustard mixture.

 Bake for an additional 10 to 15 minutes, or until chicken is
no longer pink and juices run clear. Let cool 10 minutes before serving.

Print Friendly and PDF

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Holiday Brownies

Grabbed myself a nice chilled glass of milk and enjoyed
these yummy holiday brownies, ( I only had one...tonight ).
Simple and easy to make but taste so good!

* Click on image for larger picture *

PREP 20 mins
COOK 40 mins
Makes 12 servings


 3/4 cup butter
 3/4 cup chocolate chips
 2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
 1 1/2 cups sugar
 1 cup flour
 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
 4 eggs
2/3 cup holiday morsels


Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Butter a 9"x9" square baking pan

In a double boiler over low heat, melt butter and chocolate chips
together and remove from heat

In a separate bowl, combine dry ingredients

When the chocolate/butter mixture has cooled a little
whisk in the eggs and vanilla

Note: it is important to cool the chocolate/butter mixture
or the eggs will cook

Add the dry ingredients and whisk to combine

Stir in 1/2 of the holiday morsels

Pour batter into prepared baking pan, sprinkle the remaining
morsels on top of batter

Bake for 40-45 minutes or until a knife
 inserted into center comes out clean.

Print Friendly and PDF

Apple Phyllo Triangles

One lonely apple...
Left over from my visit to the farmers market,
I really didn't want to eat it, 
so I decided to make some triangles for the 
family for after dinner.  Made with a simple 
powdered sugar glaze.
Family loved them, next time though I need to make more. lol

* Click on image for larger picture*

Makes: 4 servings
Prep 15 mins
Bake 375°F 15 mins


1 medium baking apple, peeled and chopped (1 cup)
2 tablespoons raisins
1tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 sheets phyllo dough
2 tablespoons margarine, melted
Nonstick spray coating


For filling, in a small mixing bowl combine apple, raisins, sugar, 
flour, lemon juice, and cinnamon. Set aside. 

Lightly brush 1 sheet of the phyllo dough with some of the 
melted margarine. Place another sheet of phyllo dough on top of 
the first sheet, then brush with margarine. Top with the third sheet
 of phyllo. Do not brush with margarine.

Cut the stack of phyllo sheets lengthwise into four strips.
For each triangle, spoon one-fourth of the filling 
about 1 inch from one end of each strip.

Fold the end over the filling at a 45-degree angle. 
Continue folding to form a triangle that encloses the filling, using the 
entire strip. Repeat with remaining strips of phyllo and filling. 
Place triangles on a baking sheet sprayed with nonstick spray coating. 
Brush the tops of the triangles with the remaining margarine.

Bake in a 375 degree F. oven about 15 minutes or until golden. Serve warm or cool.

Simple Powdered Sugar Glaze

1 1/4 cups powdered sugar
3 tablespoons milk (more if needed)


Mix milk into sugar.
Add more milk, 1 Tbs at a time, if needed to
achieve desired consistency.
Drizzle on desired product.

Print Friendly and PDF

Philly Cheese Pot Roast Sandwiches

I just love a good pot roast dinner, but I know sometimes
my son gets a little tired of the meats and potatoes dinners,
so I was pretty happy when I came upon this recipe.
From the first bite the whole family loved it and kept talking about
how "yummy and awesome" it was. So if you want to skip the
traditional pot roast dinner, try these, you wont be sorry.

P.S. If you like dipping your sandwiches in juice,
you will get plenty of juice in your slow cooker

*click on image for larger picture*

Philly cheese pot roast sandwiches

Servings: 8
Prep Time: 20 mins


1  2 1/2 - 3 pound boneless beef chuck pot roast
1  cup chopped onion (1 large)
1/4  cup Worcestershire sauce
1  tablespoon instant beef bouillon granules
2  cloves garlic, minced
1  teaspoon dried oregano, crushed
1/2  tea poon dried basil, crushed
1/2  teaspoon dried thyme, crushed
8  hoagie buns or kaiser rolls, split and toasted
8  slices American cheese ( I prefer white )


Trim fat from meat. Cut into 1-inch pieces. In a 3 1/2- or 4-quart
slow cooker, combine meat, onion, Worcestershire sauce,
bouillon granules, garlic, oregano, basil, and thyme.

 Cover and cook on low-heat setting for 10 to 12 hours
or on high-heat setting for 5 to 6 hours. Stir to break
up meat cubes. If using low-heat setting, turn to high-heat setting.

 Cook, uncovered, on high-heat setting
for 30 minutes more, stirring often to break up meat.

 Preheat broiler. Using a slotted spoon, place meat mixture
on the bun bottoms. Top with cheese. Place bun bottoms with
meat on a baking sheet. Broil 4 to 5 inches from heat about
1 minute or until cheese is melted and bubbly. Cover with bun tops.

Print Friendly and PDF