Monday, December 28, 2015

Best of 2015

It seemed like this year was crazy when it came to time management. I really don't know where it went. I have been spending more time trying to get organized which could be what is taking up my time. One of my goals for next year will be to continue to become organize. Another goal will be to bake more. I'm going to try new recipes inspired from The Great British Bake Off except for next week. Next week, I'm going to post a recipe for Italian Cream Cake. I've been wanting to try baking the cake for awhile. Doesn't Italian Cream Cake sound good? Also next year, I'm going to do a repeat year. Many of the recipes I will be making for dinner will be past recipes I've posted. So, my plan is to post my menu for the week on Monday for which recipes I'm repeating. During the week, I hope to make a post but on Friday I will be posting new recipe I had told you about the previous week. Even if I have an epic fall, I will let you know even though we will still eat it unless it is burnt. Then only the trash will get to devour the creation. Also, I'm going to let the kids take more pictures. They really like doing it and it saves me some time so I can do fun things like become more organized! Just kidding. 

Favorite Breakfast:
 
Quiche Lorraine (My husband's pick was the PB pancakes but he was out voted.)
 
Favorite Meat:

Chicken Bastilla (crazy huh? But we loved it!) 
 

Favorite Bread:
 
Brotchen Bread (German rolls)
 
Favorite Pasta:

Yakisoba (Vegetables with Pasta)

Favorite Cookie:
 
Swig Sugar Cookies (Cookies with frosting is always a winner!)
 
Favorite Dessert:
 
Tuxedo Cake (My daughter keeps picking everything PB.) 

I'm wishing you a wonderful 2016!

Happy New Year!                           

Monday, December 21, 2015

BBQ Chicken Soup

Surprise! I decided to post one more recipe before the new year. I have been wanting to make this recipe for awhile. I thought my guys would really like it in which they did. My daughter really liked it too. My husband even says he will make it another time for us since it is really easy. I have added a new tab for easy recipes to make for my honey. This recipe is really easy since it is a slow cooker recipe. I actually think I've only used my slow cooker three times since buying it several years ago. This time of year I seem to have no time and I really don't want to eat out much so the slow cooker was great. I hope you have a great holiday and I will be posting my favorite recipes for the year next week. Since I have been busy, my beautiful daughter took the photos for me. She did a great job even with one ugly looking dish. Why post recipes? So, I can easily find them to make them again. Enjoy!
BBQ Chicken Soup
2 lb. boneless chicken breast
1 medium onion, chopped
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 can (15.25 oz.) Southwestern style corn
5 cups chicken broth
1 cup barbecue sauce (I used Jack Daniels original BBQ sauce)
1 tsp salt
top with cheddar cheese

Directions: 
  1. In a large slow cooker, add the chicken, onion, garlic, and corn.
  2. In a large bowl, mix the chicken broth, barbecue sauce, salt, and pepper.
  3. Pour the chicken broth mixture over the chicken.
  4. Cover and cook for 6 minutes.
  5. Carefully, remove the chicken breast and place onto a plate.
  6. With two forks, shred the chicken breast.
  7. Return the chicken breast to the soup mixture and cover. Cook for 30 minutes.
  8. Serve with cheddar cheese or other desired toppings like crushed corn chips. 
Recipe adapted from Betty Crocker.

One year ago......................................I made Walnut Biscotti.
Two years ago....................................I made Gingerbread Cinnamon Rolls.
Four years ago....................................I made Potato Latkes.
Did you already know.........................
-Crock Pot is the brand name for a slow cooker.
-In 1936, Mr. Irving Naxon patent the crock pot.
-His mother inspired him for the slow cooker since his mother would make cholent which is a Jewish bean based stew that cooks all night. 

Monday, November 30, 2015

Minestrone Soup

The holidays are upon us. During the holidays, I tend to eat more sweets. Well, this year I'm going to try to be good. At least, it is my plan. Also, I have been cooking with the kids more. I made the pie crust and helped the kids make pies for Thanksgiving. The best thing is the kids have been cooking more since I have been cooking less. I love it. Since Thanksgiving is always a large meal, I like to make something healthier. I keep trying to make minestrone and finally figured what I was doing wrong. I needed to add less pasta. Also, I added more herbs. It was so good. My kids loved it. My daughters really liked it.This will be the recipe I will be using from now on when I want to make minestrone soup.
Minestrone Soup
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 large zucchini, chopped
1 cup frozen green beans
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 large carrot, chopped fine
4 cloves of garlic, minced
4 cups vegetable broth
1 can (15 oz.) red kidney beans, drained
1 can (15 oz.) great northern beans, drained
4 cans (14 oz.) diced tomatoes   
2 Tbsp dried parsley
1 Tbsp dried oregano
1 bay leaf
2 tsp salt
1 tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp dried thyme
2 cups fresh baby spinach, sliced thin
1/2 cup small shell pasta

Directions:
  1. In a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. 
  2. Add the onion, celery, garlic, green beans, zucchini, and carrot. Saute for 5 minutes.
  3. Add the vegetable broth, tomatoes, beans, and spices. Stir and bring the soup to a boil.
  4. Reduce the heat and allow the soup to simmer for 20 minutes.
  5. Add the spinach and the pasta. Cook for 20 minutes or until desired consistency.
  6. Season to taste.
Recipe adapted from Food.com.

One year ago.......................I made Garlic Knots.
Three years ago...................I made Honey Crostini.
Four years ago.....................I made Breakfast Potatoes.
I will apologize now but I will probably not be posting much until after the holidays. Then I'm going to bake more. I want to try more complex recipes. I will let you know the week before what I'm baking if anyone wants to give me some pointers. Since I have been blogging for many years now, my other plan for the blog will be to repost some of my recipes I really liked. I wish you a wonderful holidays!!!!
I love this girl!

                                                       Happy Holidays!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, November 16, 2015

Spiced Pumpkin Cheesecake

Since I haven't made many desserts lately, I asked my husband what I should make. Well, this was his pick. It really was a good pick. It is a heavy cheesecake but still creamy. I loved the crust which is a nice balance the cheesecake. The cheesecake was a hit at my house. I had purchased four small spring form pans and the remaining batter I placed into cupcake liners and baked. Also, the leftover cheesecake I'm going to try freezing. My brother in law is going to visit in a week and I'll share some with him. Also, I want to share some with my sister when she visits soon. She is a fan of pumpkin cheesecake too.
Spiced Pumpkin Cheesecake with Gingersnap Crust
Crust: 
50 gingersnap cookies
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
6 Tbsp unsalted butter

Filling:
4 (8 oz.) packages cream cheese, room temperature
1 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1 Tbsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground allspice
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp salt
4 large eggs
2 large egg yolks
1 Tbsp vanilla extract
1 (15 oz.) can pumpkin 

Directions:
  1. On the outside of the spring form pan, line with aluminum foil. Set aside. 
  2. In a food processor, pulse the gingersnaps until crumbs. 
  3. Add the brown sugar and pulse to combine. Set aside.
  4. Melt the butter in the microwave.
  5. Add the melted butter to the gingersnap mixture and pulse to combine. 
  6. Press the gingersnap mixture into a 9 inch spring form pan. 
  7. Place the crust into the refrigerator for 5 minutes.
  8. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  9. Place the crust into the oven and bake for 10 minutes. 
  10. Remove and set aside to cool.
  11. In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese for 5 minutes. 
  12. Scrap down the sides when needed. 
  13. Add the brown sugar and combine.
  14. In a small bowl, combine the cinnamon, ginger, allspice, nutmeg, and salt. 
  15. Add the cinnamon mixture to the cream cheese mixture. Mix until incorporated. 
  16. Add the eggs one at a time and then the egg yolks. 
  17. Add the vanilla and the pumpkin. Mix until incorporated.
  18. Pour the cheesecake batter into the crust. The batter will fill to the rim of the spring form pan.
  19. Place the spring form pan in the center of a roaster pan. 
  20. Add hot water to the roaster pan until the water reaches the middle of the outside of the spring form pan to create a water bath. 
  21. Place the cheesecake into the oven.
  22. Bake the cheese cake for 1 hour and 30 minutes or until the cheesecake is golden in color and the cheesecake only jiggles a little in the center when tapped. 
  23. Remove the cheesecake from the oven and carefully loosen the buckle on the side of the spring form pan. 
  24. Allow the cheesecake to cool at room temperature. 
  25. Cover and allow to chill overnight before serving. 
Recipe adapted from finecooking.com.

One year ago...............................I made Creamed Pearl Onions.
Three years ago...........................I made Green Beans and Bacon.
Four years ago.............................I made Whip Cream.
Did you already know....................
-The word pumpkin is derived from the Greek word pepon which means large melon.
-Pumpkins are a fruit.
-The average pumpkin weighs 13 pounds.

Monday, November 9, 2015

Vegetarian Yakisoba

I will admit it. Lately, I just haven't been cooking. I only have so much time in a day so I have to pick clean or cook. Now, my kitchen tends to be clean which makes it easy to cook but there are other things I have to do like organize closets, file papers, and help with Science projects. So, I have to pick which activity to do. If you ask my husband, he will always pick for me to cook. Well, Science projects can't wait. I have to become more organize. In addition, I have been working out more which takes away more time from the kitchen. Then when I've been in the kitchen I have been making a lot of dishes I have already made. I really am trying to enter the new year with a more organized home. To help, I will probably only blog once a week. So, I just didn't want you to wonder where I went. To save some time, I have been trying easier recipes. I think it still is one of his favorite recipes since I've already made it twice recently. The first time I made this recipe I didn't add broccoli but the second time I did. My husband had requested no meat in the dish since it is how he would eat it in Japan. This really is a great recipe.
Yakisoba
1/3 cup soy sauce
1/3 cup rice wine vinegar
1 1/2 Tbsp sugar
12 oz. pasta (Soba noodles, Udon noodles, Stir fry/ramen, etc.)
3 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 onion, thinly sliced
1 lb. broccoli, chopped
1 lb. Napa cabbage, sliced thin
2 large carrots, sliced matchbox thin
2 tsp ginger paste
3 scallions, chopped

Directions:
  1. In a small bowl, mix the soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, and sugar. Set aside. 
  2. Cook noodles according to the package. 
  3. Drain and rinse under cold water. Set aside. 
  4. In a large wok or skillet, heat the oil over medium high heat. 
  5. Add the onion and saute for 5 minutes.
  6. Add the broccoli and cook for 3 minutes.
  7. Add the cabbage and carrots. Cook for 5 minutes.
  8. Stir in the ginger paste.
  9. Add the noodles and the soy sauce mixture.
  10. Gently toss to incorporate.
  11. Cook for 5 minutes.
  12. Serve immediately garnished with the scallions.
Recipe adapted from Food.com.

One year ago.............................I made Honey Peanut Butter Cookies.
Two years ago...........................I made Roasted Green beans with Walnuts and Cranberries.
Three years ago.........................I made Lasagna Soup.
Four years ago...........................I made Roasted Chicken
Did you already know................
-Yakisoba is a fried noodle dish with vegetables and meat.
-Yakisoba is a popular dish sold by street vendors. 
      (In Japan, my husband would order this dish from a man with a cart.) 
-Some other garnishes for Yakisoba is seaweed powder, pickled ginger, or fish flakes.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Mini Chocolate Chip Cookies

When I make cookies, I use the ice cream scooper. So, the cookies tend to be very large. The kids like it but I think it is a little much. I've tried several times to make mini cookies but I just couldn't get it right. I would burn the edges and the middle wasn't cooked right. Well, I finally figured it out. The kids were surprised they could eat the cookies in one bite. It didn't stop them from eating several of them. I love chocolate chip cookies so this recipe is great. Plus with Halloween here, it is great to eat less cookies.
Mini Chocolate Chip Cookies
2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla
2 1/2 cup all purpose flour
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 cup semi sweet mini chocolate chips

Direction:
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. 
  2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside. 
  3. In a large bowl, cream the butter with the brown sugar and sugar. 
  4. Add the eggs one at a time. Mix until incorporated. 
  5. Add the vanilla and mix well. 
  6. Add the flour, baking soda, and salt. Mix until incorporated. 
  7. Fold in the chopped chocolate chips. 
  8. Refrigerate for 1 hour.  
  9. Scoop the chilled dough into about 1 Tbsp balls onto the cookie sheet spaced about 3 inches apart.
  10.  Bake the cookies for about 15 minutes or until the edges are golden brown. 
  11. Remove from the oven and allow to cool on the pan for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
 Recipe adapted from Toll House Chocolate Chip Cookies.

One year ago..........................I made Seasoned Chicken with sweet potatoes.
Two years ago........................I made Pirate Cookies.
Three years ago......................I made Chocolate Brownie Cookies.
Four years ago........................I made Mummy Cake Pops.
Did you already know...............
-Almost half of Americans celebrate Halloween. 
-Americans will spend over $2 billion on candy for Halloween.
-Americans will spend almost $2 billion on Halloween decorations.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Apple Cinnamon Cookies

My oldest daughter went apple picking three times! Yes, three times. She does love apples. Unfortunately, I didn't make it. When we planned to go, we had bad weather. I hadn't realized how fast the year had gone. When we finally made it to the farm, we had missed apple picking by a week so we picked up so pumpkins and a bag of apples. I have been adding apples to everything. These cookies are very good.
Apple Cinnamon Cookies
2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 cups sugar
2 eggs
1/4 cup milk
1 medium apple, peeled and grated
1 tsp vanilla extract
4 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cream of tartar
1/2 tsp salt
1 Tbsp cinnamon 

Directions:
  1. In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter and oil.
  2. Add the sugar and cream until fluffy.
  3. Add one egg at a time. Mix well.
  4. Add the milk, apple, and vanilla extract. Combine well. 
  5. Add the flour, baking soda, cream of tartar, salt, and cinnamon. Mix until combined. 
  6. Refrigerate for 1 hour. 
  7. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  8. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  9. Scoop about 2 inch balls of dough. 
  10. Space the cookies about 3 inches apart.
  11. Bake the cookies for 12 to 14 minutes or until the edges are slightly golden. The middle of the cookies should be soft but set.
  12. Remove from oven and allow to cool on the baking sheet for at least 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.
Recipe by Jen of Sweet Morris.

One year ago...............................I made Apple Cinnamon Muffins.
Two years ago.............................I made Chili Mac.
Three years ago...........................I made Mars Alien Cupcakes.
Four years ago.............................I made Vanilla Buttermilk Cupcakes.
Did you already know......................
-The first apple trees planted in the United States were by the pilgrims.
-In an apple, the pockets that hold the seeds are called carpels.
-Apples are grown in all 50 states.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Pierogies with Kielbasa and Caramelized Onions

It sure feels like Fall. It has been cold in the morning but I'm glad it warms up during the day. I know some parts of the country have seen snow. Crazy! Well for some reason, my children have been asking for pierogies. I like to serve the pierogies with kielbasa but wanted to do something a little different. I figured I would make it with caramelized onions, spinach, and an apple. Yes, I added an apple and my son didn't even realized until my husband said something. He had saw me chopping up the apple.
Pierogies with Kielbasa and Caramelized Onions aka Goblin Face
1 tsp olive oil
1 large yellow onion, chopped
1 apple, chopped
2 cups baby spinach, chopped
1 package kielbasa, sliced
20 pierogies, potato and cheese

Directions:
  1. In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium heat.
  2. Add the onion and saute for 10 minutes.
  3. Add the apple and spinach. Saute for 10 minutes. 
  4. Remove the caramelized onion mixture onto a plate. Set aside.
  5. Add the kielbasa to the skillet and brown. 
  6. Remove and add the kielbasa to the caramelized onion plate. Set aside.
  7. Add the pierogies to the skillet.
  8. Cook the pierogies for 5 minutes on each side. 
  9. Add the caramelized onion mixture with the kielbasa to the pierogies.
  10. Gently combine the mixture. 
  11. Heat for a couple of minutes.
  12. Serve immediately. 
Recipe by Jen of Sweet Morris.

Two years ago..........................I made Snail Cookies.
Three years ago........................I made Pretzel Dogs.
Four years ago.........................I made Chicken Enchiladas.
Did you already know....................
-Kielbasa originates from Poland. 
-Pierogies originate from Eastern Europe.
-The only apple native to America is the crab apple.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Sausage Gravy

Recently, we headed to Vermont for a wedding. It was beautiful. The foliage was at its peak. It was cold. Even the kids were ready to head back to the South. Being back, I decided to make a popular Southern breakfast. We had sausage gravy over biscuits. My husband loves sausage gravy. He told me that this was the best sausage gravy he ever had. Isn't he a sweet husband? He said the sausage gravy should be a food group all by it self. I tried to shape the biscuit as a skull. I guess I will have to practice a little more.
Southern Sausage Gravy aka warty skulls
1 (16 oz.) Jimmy Dean Country Mild Sausage
1/4 cup all purpose flour
2 1/2 cups skim milk
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper

Directions:
  1. In a large skillet, brown the sausage over medium heat until cooked thoroughly.
  2. Sprinkle the  flour over the sausage.
  3. Stir in the flour well and cook for 1 minute. 
  4. Stir in the milk and mix well. 
  5. Allow the gravy to thicken. Stir often. 
  6. Season with the salt and pepper. 
  7. Serve when the gravy reaches the desired consistency. 
Recipe adapted from The Kitchen

One year ago...........................I made One pot Mac and Cheese.
Two years ago.........................I made Buffalo Chicken Soup.
Three years ago.......................I made Crab Rangoon.
Four years ago........................I made Pumpkin Whoopie Pies.
Did you already know...............
-The first week of October tends to be ideal to observe the foliage in Vermont and Maine.
-This week the foliage is at its peak in Connecticut. 
-The red foliage are the foliage from sugar maple, dogwood, sourwood, Luquidamber, and black gum trees.

Friday, October 16, 2015

Pumpkin Muffins

I've heard the term helicopter parents but my husband and I think we are probably more like a surveillance aircraft parents. We give the kids some distance but we can still see them. We will provide advice which some of the kids (the older ones) do not like to listen. When the kids have a problem, we are there for them but we ask them if they can handle the issue or if they need help. We will discipline the kids but we don't beat them. If they behave, they are rewarded. If they misbehave, they are either removed from the situation or they are not rewarded with their favorite technology. We don't try to control every situation. How can we? We will help with their homework but we won't do it for them. We will not clean their rooms or make their beds for them. They can do it now and they will be able to do it when they are adults. Do the kids have chores? Yes. Do the kids have manners? Yes. Do the kids have morals? Yes. Are they reminded about chores, manners, and morals? Yes. We really try to lead by example. We don't run around wild. We are not rude to others. We work hard. The nice thing is my oldest daughter has told me how she was glad I didn't do everything for her since she needs those skills as an adult. Often, I have the kids help in the kitchen. Normally, they like to help. They didn't help with these muffins besides eat them. Maybe it was a good thing they didn't help since I can only imagine the toppings they would have picked. The muffins did come out really good. I brought some to work and the ones with toppings were popular. The kids preferred the muffins with no toppings. I liked the ones with the toppings. I tried to make a pumpkin muffin which wasn't so heavy. I thought I did a pretty good job.
Pumpkin Muffins aka Jack O'Muffins
3 cups all purpose flour.
2 Tbsp pumpkin pie spice
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup butter
2 1/4 cups sugar
1 can (15 oz.) pumpkin
2 large eggs
1/2 cup milk
2 egg white
toppings: sunflower seeds, honey roasted sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, praline pumpkin seeds

Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Line a muffin tin with cupcake liners. Spray the cupcake liners with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, pumpkin pie spice, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
  4. In a large bowl, cream the butter with the sugar until fluffy.
  5. Add the pumpkin, the 2 large eggs, and milk to the butter mixture. Mix until incorporated. Set aside.
  6. In a medium bowl, whisk the egg whites until soft peaks form.
  7. Add the flour mixture and mix until just combined. 
  8. Gently fold the egg whites into the flour mixture. Combine until just incorporated.
  9. Evenly distribute the batter into the cupcake liners.
  10. Sprinkle with desired toppings. 
  11. Bake the muffins for 15 minutes or until cooked through.
Recipe created by Jen of Sweet Morris. 

Two years ago..........................I made Witch Brew.
Three years ago........................I made Fried Sausage Dumplings.
Four years ago.........................I made Pork Chops with Garlic and Herb.
Did you already know.......................
-The first surveillance aircraft used were hot air balloons.
-Surveillance aircrafts are often used by government agencies for information gathering including the military and FBI.
-Surveillance aircraft are manned while drones are unmanned surveillance aircraft.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Meatloaf

One of my family's favorite meal is meatloaf. Yes, meatloaf. It is not a pretty dish. It is actually scary looking. Yes, it is the perfect recipe to post for October. This is the meatloaf recipe my Mom made us as a kid. It is simple. It is fast and my husband makes it often for us. My Mom told me that she had found the recipe in a woman's magazine when we were little. The recipe was for the microwave and it was not shaped as a loaf but as a ring. I still make it in a ring since I actually think it cooks better that way. We always eat it with ketchup, mashed potatoes, and carrots. We normally have this meal at least twice a month. Simple is sometimes better.
Meatloaf aka bones and flesh
1 lb. hamburger
1 yellow onion, chopped
4 slices of bread, torn
1 large egg
2 Tbsp Poultry seasoning

Directions:
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the hamburger, onion, bread, egg, and poultry seasoning. 
  3. Mix just until incorporated.
  4. Place in a baking dish and form a ring. 
  5. Cover and bake the meatloaf for 1 hour or until thoroughly cooked through.
  6. Serve warm. 
Recipe provided by Jen's Mom.

Two years ago...........................I made Two Tone Halloween Cookies.
Three years ago.........................I made Chocolate Cookies.
Four years ago...........................I made Sloppy Joes.
Did you already know...........................
-Since 5th century A.D., the Romans have made meat with fillers.
-During the Depression, meatloaf was a popular way to stretch a meal containing meat.
-Meatloaf is versatile recipe which ingredients vary by region and diners.

Monday, October 12, 2015

Buttermilk Waffles

Do you prefer waffles over pancakes? My daughter does. I prefer pancakes. When we are at a hotel, my daughter normally will make some waffles. My son just wants to use the waffle maker but he prefers eggs. Well, I surprised the kids by making some waffles. This recipe I created about twenty years ago. I didn't use the internet to look up recipes. I would use the cookbooks I had. Well, I wanted to make some buttermilk waffles but there were none listed in the cookbooks I had. So, I created this one. I served the waffles with whip cream, raspberries, and maple syrup. To serve waffles for breakfast is the best way to make my daughter a happy girl. My daughter even helped to cook some. She told me her Mickey waffles looked a little scary. I thought her Mickey waffles looked like they had been in a fight. I called her Mickey waffles: scrappy.
Buttermilk Waffles aka Bodiless Mickey
2 eggs
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup vegetable oil, plus to coat waffle iron
2 1/2 cup buttermilk
2 Tbsp brown sugar
2 Tbsp sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt

Directions:
  1. Heat the waffle iron. 
  2. In a large bowl, beat the eggs until fluffy.
  3. Add the flour, oil, buttermilk, brown sugar, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. 
  4. Mix just until smooth. 
  5. Carefully brush the waffle iron lightly with some vegetable oil. 
  6. Carefully, add some batter to the waffle iron. 
  7. Bake until golden brown or waffle iron signals done. 
  8. Carefully, remove and serve hot.
Recipe by Jen of Sweet Morris.

Two years ago.................................I made Roasted Tomato and Pepper Soup.
Three years ago...............................I made Roasted Vegetable Panini.
Four years ago................................I made Black Forest Cherry Torte.
Did you already know....................
-On November 18, 1928, Mickey Mouse made his first official film debut in "Steamboat Willie". 
-Mickey Mouse was created by Walt Disney and Ub Iwerks.
-Until 1947, Mickey Mouse was first voiced by Walt Disney.

Friday, October 9, 2015

Dark Chocolate Cupcakes

     When we were in Maine, my son took school a little serious. He has always found school easy. Why? It is because he is very competitive. If his sister could do it, then he was going to make sure he could do it. He would try to help her with her homework in which she would get really angry about. She didn't need his help because he is two grades lower than her. Is he any smarter than her? No but boy he really likes to win. In school, he was fortunate to have teachers who would push him. If he found a subject easy, they seemed to make his learning a little more challenging. When we moved to North Carolina, he did slack. Before, he had never even missed a spelling word. Now, he was missing a lot of words. Did he still make honors? Of course but the effort was not there. I've told my kids that what is important is there effort and not the grades. They really need to work as hard as they can. I really feel that is what makes someone go far in life. Well, my son is taking his school a little more serious again. Maybe it is because his sister really does? Whatever the reason, I am glad.
     Now to these cupcakes-my daughter loved them. I think she ate the majority of them. My two guys liked them too. It could have been the peanut butter frosting I used. I did try placing a mini peanut butter cup in a few of the cupcakes. Don't do it. The peanut butter cup sank to the bottom and burned. The guys didn't care since they just peeled the peanut butter cup away and ate the rest. Good thing I only had done it to a couple.These are some dark cupcakes. They are as dark as an October night!
Dark Chocolate Cupcakes aka Dark, very dark Cupcakes
3/4 cup milk
1/2 cup dark cocoa powder
8 oz. unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2 eggs
1 cup all purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt

Directions:
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Line a muffin tin with cupcake liners. Set aside. 
  3. Heat the milk for 1 minute until warm. 
  4. Mix the milk with the dark cocoa powder. Set aside. 
  5. In a large bowl, cream the butter, sugar, and brown sugar. 
  6. Add the vanilla and the eggs to the butter mixture. 
  7. Stir in the dark cocoa powder mixture.
  8. Add the flour, baking soda, and salt. Mix until incorporated. 
  9. Bake the cupcakes for 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
  10. Allow the cupcakes to cool on a wire rack before frosting.
Recipe by Jen of Sweet Morris.

Two years ago...................................I made Apple Crisp.
Three years ago.................................I made Mace Crumb Muffins.
Four years ago...................................I made Cheesy Basil Stuffed Chicken.
Did you already know........................
-The darkest time of the night is half way between dusk to dawn. 
-In October, the constellations Aquarius and Pegasus are easy to view.
-Before dawn tomorrow, Jupiter and Venus can be viewed above the moon.