Friday, October 28, 2011


We have a winner!! 

Congratulations to....

The Grimmets, who said "Happy Birthday! The best birthday gift I've ever received is my kitchen aid."

What a great present!!  I don't know how I used to survive without my mixer!!

Please e-mail us at with your address so we can ship out your new fun stuff!!

Thanks for stopping by and visiting our blog!  We love receiving comments, so keep it up!!:)

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cupcakes

These are the cupcakes that I sneakily (probably not a real word) had Kyla help me bake for her surprise party with her friends.  They were so much fun to make, and so much more fun to have Kyla helping me and keep asking what they were for and if she could try one!  I just kept telling her that I just saw them and really wanted to try them out and that we'd just think of someone we could take them to.  "Can't we just try one??"  I don't know how many times I heard that during our cupcake makin' session!  Well, she got to try her PaRtY!!

They are so superbly out of this world!!  I can't even think of good enough words to describe these...let's just say I ate more than 1...but that's all I'm sayin'!

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cupcakes
Recipe from Your Cup of Cake

Vanilla Cake:
3 eggs
1/3 cup oil
3/4 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 cup sour cream
Vanilla Cake Mix (not white cake mix)

Cookie Dough Filling:
4 tablespoons butter, softened
1/3 cup brown sugar, packed
1 1/4 cup flour
7 oz sweetened condensed milk (half a can)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/3 cup mini chocolate chips

Chocolate Vanilla Swirl Buttercream:
8 oz cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line pans with 24 cupcake liners.  In a large bowl, gently combine eggs, oil, buttermilk and vanilla, then mix in the sour cream. Add cake mix and mix until smooth.
Fill cupcake liners 3/4 full (a large cookie scoop works great!) and bake for 15-18 minutes, or until an inserted knife comes out clean.

For the filling: Beat butter and brown sugar until creamy and smooth. Add flour and let mix. Add sweetened condensed milk and vanilla. Stir in Chocolate chips. Place in a small Tupperware and let refrigerate until ready to use.

When cupcakes are out of the oven, cut a cone shaped piece from the top of each cake.

Remove the filling from the refrigerator and stuff about 1 ½ -2 teaspoons of filling into each hollow cupcake.

For the Frosting: Beat cream cheese and butter until fluffy. Add vanilla and powdered sugar. Adjust the consistency using milk if it is too thick. Remove half of the buttercream from the bowl (this will be the vanilla). Add cocoa to the remaining half and beat well.

Fill your piping bag by filling one side with vanilla and one side with chocolate. It is a little tricky, but it can be done! (I saw a great tutorial HERE for doing this...put chocolate in one bag and vanilla in another and then put them into a larger bag with the top...this seems much easier to me!) Pipe over cookie dough hole and top with mini chocolate chips or chocolate chip cookies.
I had a little bit of cake batter left over after filling 24 cupcakes and so decided to try some little mini ones as well.  There was only enough for 6 and they aren't big enough to put cookie dough in the middle, but they sure were good and really cute!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Reese's Peanut Butter Cup Cake

I feel like this recipe needs a drum roll....don't quite know how to accomplish that feat on here, so you'll just have to use your imaginations!  As we've stated before, Kyla LOVES herself some Reese's, actually anything chocolate and peanut butter will do for her! 

Here's some of her favorite Peanut Butter recipes:


So anyway, when I saw this cake I knew it would be PERFECT for her birthday! 

It was really simple to put together, but looks like you spent hours on it!  Just throw some flour on your face and spritz it with some water to create the image of slaving all day in the kitchen!:)  This one was a winner!  She absolutely loved it!

Reeses Peanut Butter Cup Cake
Recipe adapted from Pamela Wynne

For the Cake:
1 box chocolate cake mix (I used devils food cake)
Ingredients listed on cake box

Prepare cake mix according to package directions.  Pour batter into two 9 inch greased and floured round cake pans.  Bake according to package directions.  Let cool for 10 minutes in cake pan, then run a knife around the edges and transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.

While the cake is cooling, prepare the filling.

1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1/2 cup Reese's peanut butter cups, roughly chopped

Heat the cream until it just begins to boil. Pour it over the chocolate in a medium bowl. Whisk together until the chocolate is melted and it is combined. Then Whisk in the peanut butter until it's all incorporated and smooth. Set aside 1/4 of the filling. Cool the other 3/4 completely, then gently stir in the peanut butter cups.

When cake and filling are cooled, spread the filling with the peanut butter cups in it on top of one of the cakes.  Place the other cake on top of the filling.  Using the reserved filling (without the peanut butter cups) spread a thin layer on the entire outside of the cake.  Place in the fridge until the fudge is set and firm to the touch.

Now prepare the frosting.

1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1/2 cup butter, at room temperature
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups powdered sugar

Cream together the butter and peanut butter. Add the vanilla, then the sugar and beat until fluffy.

Spread the peanut butter frosting over the whole cake. Decorate with peanut butter cups.
NOTE: I used almost exactly 2 small bags of miniature peanut butter cups for the fudge filling and decorating.
Enjoy a slice!
(Here's a picture of the Birthday Girl ready to dig in!!:))

Monday, October 24, 2011

Chocolate & Peanut Butter Whoopie Pies

I have been addicted to whoopie pies lately and this one I made up all by myself, which I am proud of.  This is ssssssssssooooooooooo yummy!   

There's a girl of not many words!:)  And I had to make so many spelling corrections...that girl CANNOT spell worth beans, but we love her anyway!  And she's right, she came up with this one after I had tried a new concoction as well (we'll post that one too cause it was super yummy as well!).  This one was my favorite of the 2 though...that's another fact that Kyla is very proud of!:)

Chocolate & Peanut Butter Whoopie Pies

1 box chocolate cake mix (We used triple chocolate, but any would work)
2 eggs
1/3 cup oil
1/2 cup peanut butter chips

Mix cake mix, eggs, and oil in a mixer.  It will be thick and did it right!:)  Add the peanut butter chips and mix until incorporated.  Scoop with a medium cookie scoop (win one here) onto a cookie sheet lined with a silpat or parchment paper (win a silpat here, too!) and cook for 7-9 minutes.  Let cool on pan for about 3 minutes and then transfer to a cooling rack until completely cooled. 

1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1/2 cup butter, at room temperature
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups powdered sugar

Cream together the butter and peanut butter. Add the vanilla, then the sugar. Beat until fluffy.

Place all the cookies upside down and pipe the frosting (or you could just spread it) onto half of the cookies.  Place the other cookie on top and you've got yourself a Whoopie Pie!!  And a really good one at that!!:)

Thursday, October 20, 2011

GIVEAWAY for Kyla's Birthday!

Kyla turns 12 on Saturday (for those of you who don't already know) so we want all of you out there to help us celebrate her birthday!  And what better way than by hosting a GIVEAWAY!!

Kyla has been obsessed with Whoopie pies as of late.  We have made a total of 4 different kinds in the last 2 weeks, and one of them she came up with  A fact that she's pretty proud of!:)  And I can tell you that they were HANDS DOWN my favorite of all the ones we've made so far!!  We can't wait to share them with you!

OK, back to the giveaway.  Since Kyla's a Whoopie Pie makin' machine, we figured it'd be fun to give away some essentials (in our book anyway) for making these wonderful treats.  So here you go...
A Silpat....wonderful to cook your cookies on.  It's so much better than using parchment paper, and you can use it over and over again!!  This one measures 11 5/8 x 16 1/2.  That's the size that fits into a large cookie sheet. 
And an Oxo Good Grips Cookie Scoop (medium size).  This makes the perfect size cookie for your whoopie pies.  And it is so much easier than using spoons...AMEN.

If you would like to win these 2 awesome prizes, here's what you need to do:
(leave a comment for each thing you do, please!)

1.  Leave a comment telling us your favorite birthday gift you ever gave or received.  (or something you'd like to receive!):)
2.  Become a public follower of our blog.  (right side of the screen...just click follow!)  Or let us know that you already do follow.
3.  "Like" us on facebook.  (also, on the right side of the screen).  Or let us know you already "like" us.:)
4.  Link back to the giveaway on your facebook page.
5.  Display our button on your blog.

Giveaway ends next Friday, October 28th (Kyla's Uncle Brandon's Birthday...Happy Birthday to you!:)) at 12:00 Noon Mountain Time.  Winner will be announced Friday evening.


Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Crockpot Italian Chicken

It's a known fact here at my home that I like to sleep!  It has been such a great week (so's only Tuesday too!!), I haven't gotten out of bed until at least 9:00 both yesterday and today!  It's so nice that we have the entire week off school (hubby too since he's a teacher!) and that the kids are older and can handle themselves in the morning so I don't have to get up with them. 

My little Rhett also likes to sleep in...he's a major night owl, but he can sleep in until 10:00 or so if he stays up late.  It's kind of a problem when he has to be to school at 7:45 (honestly...that's what time his preschool starts...CrAzY!)  I'm lucky to even be dressed and ready to get him there! 

Anyway, I'm lovin' this little bit a time off to catch up on some much needed rest and relaxation (kind of), we still have a pretty busy week.  Kyla turns 12 on Saturday!!  How in the world does time fly that fast?  We've got an awesome birthday cake and cupcakes for her friend party that we can't wait to make and share with you!  But until then, enjoy this easy throw in the crockpot meal that was a big hit with the fam!

Crockpot Italian Chicken

4 chicken breasts
1 packet dry Zesty Italian dressing
1 (8 oz) package cream cheese, softened
2 cans cream of chicken soup
Pasta of your choice (we chose angel hair), or rice

Place the chicken in a crockpot and sprinkle Italian dressing over it. Combine cream cheese and cream of chicken soup in a microwave safe bowl and heat a few minutes at a time, making sure to stir in between until cream cheese is melted and they are mixed together and smooth.  Pour over the chicken.  Cook on low for at least 4 hours. Once chicken is done you can leave the chicken breasts whole, cube it, or even shred it. I ended up shredding it, that was just the easiest solution!:)

If you feel the sauce is too thick you can thin it to your preferred consistency with a little milk. Serve over pasta or rice.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Candy Corn Cupcakes

These are about the easiest cupcakes in the world.  And they turn out so cute, everyone will be so impressed!:)  Perfect for a Halloween party at school or anywhere really!

Candy Corn Cupcakes
Recipe from Our Best Bites

1 18.25-oz. white cake mix
1 c. sour cream
1/2 c. vegetable oil
3 large eggs
1 tsp. almond extract
Yellow and orange Wilton food gel (about a heaping 1/2 tsp. of each)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 24 muffin tins with muffin liners.  Combine all ingredients except for food coloring in a large bowl and beat on low speed for 1 minute. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and then beat on medium for 2 additional minutes.

Divide batter equally into two bowls.  Mix about 1/2 heaping tsp. of yellow coloring into one bowl of batter and 1/2 heaping tsp. of orange coloring into the other bowl.

Divide the yellow batter evenly among the muffin tins. I used a standard cookie scoop, which measures about 1 Tablespoon.  Repeat the process with the orange batter. Bake for 20-22 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean. Remove from oven and allow to cool for about 5 minutes in the pan and then allow to cool completely on a cooling rack.
Using any buttercream recipe (you can use this one...just leave don't put the coconut on top!:)) pipe frosting on top of cooled cupcakes and add a candy corn to top it off.  Too fun & cute!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Island Coconut Cupcakes

I've had this recipe sitting around since last Spring.  And I'd forgotten about it until I stumbled upon it this morning!  If you like coconut you'll love these, and you can coordinate them to any color you'd prefer.  I had pink cupcake liners so mine were pink!:)  They turned out super cute!

Island Coconut Cupcakes

1 box white cake mix
1 1/4 cups water
1/3 cup oil
3 egg whites
1 cup flaked sweetened coconut

3 cups powdered sugar
1 cup butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
1-2 tablespoons whipping cream (milk can be substituted)
1/2 cup flaked sweetened coconut (for topping)

Heat oven to 350 degrees.  Line 2 muffin tins with cupcake liners.  Beat the cake mix, water, oil and egg whites until smooth, about 2 minutes.  Fold in the coconut.  Using a medium sized (2 tablespoons) cookie scoop, put cake into cupcake liners.  Bake for 18-23 minutes.  Cool completely.

For the frosting, mix together the butter and powdered sugar.  Mix on low until incorporated then mix on medium for a couple of minutes.  Add the vanilla and cream and mix for another minute or so. 
Pipe frosting onto the cooled cupcakes.  Place the 1/2 cup of coconut in a ziplock bag and add a drop or two of whatever color you want and shake to color the coconut.  Sprinkle colored coconut on top of the frosting, and you're ready to go!  Enjoy!

Monday, October 10, 2011

White Cheddar Chicken Pasta

I knew I was going to love this recipe, but it was more than I'd ever hoped for!!:))  I dare say I'd never had white cheddar least not that I remember & I just have to say...IT IS SO DARN GOOD!  I had Kyla try some and we were both hooked!!  We had to make a concious decision not to eat anymore so there would be some left for the sauce!  I think I've got a new problem...just what I need!

White Cheddar Chicken Pasta
Recipe adapted from Homemade by Holman

For the Chicken:
1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts, trimmed and cut into 1 inch pieces (I used 2 chicken breasts)
1 teaspoon dry ground mustard
1 teaspoon dried thyme (or 1 tablespoon fresh thyme)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoon Olive Oil

Heat Olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Mix together mustard, thyme, salt and pepper and sprinkle over the chicken pieces.  When oil is hot, add chicken

and brown until cooked through. 

Remove to a plate and cover with foil to keep warm.

For the Pasta:
1 pound rotini or other short cut pasta (bow tie or penne...I used penne)
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 small onion, finely diced
1/4 cup chicken broth
1 tablespoon spicy brown mustard
8 oz. sharp white cheddar
2 cups milk (I used skim...worked wonderfully)
1 teaspoon dried thyme or 1 tablespoon fresh thyme
1 teaspoon dried oregano or 1 tablespoon fresh oregano
Crushed red pepper flakes
Parmesan cheese to taste

Heat water to boil in a large pot for pasta.  Cook al dente and drain according to package directions.  Meanwhile, melt butter in a large skillet (I think it would be a great idea to do this in the same pan you cooked your chicken in...I didn't because I didn't think my pot would be big enough, but it would have been plenty big.  Missed out on some wonderful flavors!) over medium heat.  Add the flour and whisk to combine.  Then add the chicken broth, garlic, onions, and mustard.  Cook about 5 minutes or until onions are translucent.

Reduce heat to low and slowly add milk, stirring to combine.  Cook about 5-7 minutes more until mixture begins to thicken.

Add cheese (Heaven on a plate right there!!!) and stir to melt.

Add chicken and pasta and toss to incorporate sauce.  Add thyme and oregano and serve topped with crushed red pepper flakes and Parmesan cheese.

So pretty...and delicious!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Turtle Bars

One of my absolute favorite combinations is caramel and pecans!  So whenever I hear turtle, my ears perk up!!  I "stumbled" upon this recipe a couple weeks ago and knew I had to try them.  We had an early out from school day and so enlisted Kyla's help in making these.  She did a great job with this new recipe and we all had one for dessert that evening.  There were quite a few leftover and I just couldn't have them sitting on my counter beckoning to me, so I took them to a meeting with me to share.  PhEw....crisis adverted!!

Turtle Bars

(I have to give a shout-out to Tony, the hubby, who has always made fun of me for taking pictures of food!!  He actually got involved and arranged this plate and set it up for our picture!  Not too bad!:))
1 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 cups quick oatmeal
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup butter or margarine, melted
1 cup chocolate chips
1 jar (12 oz.) caramel syrup (caramel ice cream topping)
1 cup chopped pecans

Combine the 1st 6 ingredients until well blended.  Press half of the mixture in a 9 x 13 inch pan lined with parchment paper.  I really recommend the parchment paper because this is a sticky one and you'll have a hard time getting it out of your pan without it!  The dough is really sticky as well, but sticks nicely to the parchment, so just spread it out until it's even.  Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes.  Take out of the oven and sprinkle with the chocolate chips and pecans.  Drizzle the caramel syrup over the top.  Take the remaining dough and drop by spoonfuls over the caramel to cover.  Bake 15-20 minutes more, or until golden brown.

They will look really gooey, and that's perfect!  Just let them cool in the pan.  When they are cooled remove the parchment paper and cut them into squares and they will just come off the paper wonderfully!  And then try to eat just one!!:)

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Soft & Chewy Peanut Butter Cookies

It's hard to find a good Peanut Butter Cookie recipe!  I can't stand a hard crunchy PB cookie...they need to be soft and chewy (and stay that way)!  Well, if you have the same inclination as me & my family towards PB cookies...this is the recipe for YOU!!  These stayed so soft & chewy (well, at least for the 24 hours they were around!:)) and were absolutely wonderful!

Soft & Chewy Peanut Butter Cookies

1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup peanut butter
3/4 cup white sugar
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 egg
1 tablespoon milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/4 cup flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt

Beat together the butter & peanut butter until well combined.  Add sugars and beat until fluffy.  Add the egg, milk, and vanilla and mix until smooth.  Add flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt and mix just until blended.

Get a small bowl filled with sugar.  Using a cookie scoop, (or you can use your hand and roll out balls, but the cookie scoop is just so much easier!) scoop out balls of dough into the bowl of sugar and roll them around until the entire cookie is covered.  Place on an ungreased cookie sheet.  Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes.  Do not over bake!!  Let the cookies cool on baking sheet for about 3 minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.  Store in an airtight container at room temperature.

Makes about 3 dozen
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