Google+ October 2013

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Easy DIY Iced Coffee Drinks at Home - No Machine Needed


Since we left Seattle I have been missing my daily coffee - probably more than what is considered normal.  But with no coffee shops within a reasonable driving distance and being on a tight budget (joys of being unemployed!), I needed a way to get my coffee fix at home without spending a bunch of money.  

Insert cold press coffee made in a mason jar - I did tell you I was in the south right??  I am pretty sure there are more mason jars in southwestern Virginia than there are people!

Monday, October 28, 2013

Beef Stroganoff - What's Momma Makin' Monday


Easy and Delicious Dinner - Beef Stroganoff

My Mom has been making Beef Stroganoff for as long as I can remember, now that she doesn’t cook any more, Dad has taken over.  Stroganoff has been a long time favorite of us kids, grandkids and great grandkids. This is a good sized recipe but I think the left overs are just as good, if not better than the original meal, it is one of those dishes that just gets better after sitting a day or two.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Pumpkin Spice Gooey Bars


So I am a chocolate girl.  Like as in dessert counts if there is chocolate involved... until these came into my life!  Let me tell you - these non-chocolate bars can be my dessert any day! I mean just look at all of that goodness - you have some pumpkin, cinnamon-y stickiness stuffed in between layers of spiced blondie (the non-chocolate brownie)! 


And the best part of these bars - they are oh so easy to make!  But don't take my word for it - go whip up a batch for yourself I promise you wont be disappointed! 

There are two ways to make these bars.  When I made these the first time I used a Duncan Hines Frosting Creation Pumpkin Spice flavor packet.  Then I found out that they were limited edition from last year so you can't get them everywhere.  So then I made them a second time using the Duncan Hines Decadent Pumpkin Spice Cupcake mix - this version makes a slightly smaller batch but just as good! 

Option 1 - If you have the Duncan Hines Frosting Creations Pumpkin Spice flavor packet use these directions:
1 Spice Cake mix
1/4 cup apple cider
1/4 cup water
1/4 oil
1 egg
1 Duncan Hines Frosting Creations Starter
1 Duncan Hines Frosting Creations Pumpkin Spice flavor packet
1/2 cup toffee bits (optional)

Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees.  Line a 13x9 pan with parchment paper (this saves lots of time cleaning later!).  I spray a little bit of oil on the pan and then press the parchment paper down so it sticks.  

Combine the Frosting Creations Starter and Pumpkin Spice flavor packet as directed on the frosting can.  Set aside. 

In a large mixing bowl, combine the cake mix, apple cider, cater, oil and eggs.  Mix until combined.  

Press 2/3 of the cake mixture into the bottom of the pan.
Spread the pumpkin spice frosting mixture over the cake mixture.  Sprinkle the toffee bits over the frosting.  Drop spoonfuls of the cake mixture evenly over the entire pan.

Bake for 350 degrees 25 - 30 minutes or until when you gently shake the pan it does not jiggle.

Option 2 - if you are using the Duncan Hines Pumpkin Spice Cupcake mix:
1 Duncan Hines Decadent Pumpkin Spice Cupcake box (it includes the cake mix and frosting)
1/4 cup apple cider
1/4 cup water
1/8 oil
1 egg
1 stick of butter, softened
1/2 cup toffee bits (optional)

Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees.  Line a 9x9  or 8x8 pan with parchment paper (this saves lots of time cleaning later!).  I spray a little bit of oil on the pan and then press the parchment paper down so it sticks.  

Make the frosting according to the directions on the box (mix softened butter with mixer on high for one minute or until light and fluffy, slowly add the frosting mix while mixing on low for another minute) and set aside.   

In a large mixing bowl, combine the cake mix, apple cider, cater, oil and eggs.  Mix until combined.  

Press 2/3 of the cake mixture into the bottom of the pan.
Spread the frosting mixture over the cake mixture.  Sprinkle the toffee bits over the frosting.  Drop spoonfuls of the cake mixture evenly over the entire pan.

Bake for 350 degrees 20 - 25 minutes or until when you gently shake the pan it does not jiggle.



Enjoy!

Are you a chocolate dessert person or a non-chocolate dessert person? If you could only have one kind of dessert for the rest of your life what would it be??

        

Monday, October 21, 2013

Gramma’s Falling Apart Pot Roast - What's Momma Makin' Monday


Growing up, pot roast was a Sunday night staple along with beef stroganoff, ham, fried chicken or BBQ pork. With all of the cooking that my Mom did week after week, I have to say that I would have gone for the “throw it in the oven and leave it” meal as often as I could! 

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Pumpkin Spice Monster Cookies


I have been without my Kitchen Aid mixer since we packed up our house back in June.  When we drove across the country we only took the essentials and while I may think my mixer is essential to every day life - others may not agree.  So I left it behind.  

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Cinnamon Apple Cider Donut Holes

Easy Cinnamon Apple Cider Donuts made with Pillsbury Lil Donut Kit

I have been on an apple cider kick lately!  I was hoping since we live out 
in the country with lots of farms somebody would be selling fresh pressed apple cider... no such luck yet so I guess Kroger will have to do!  While I was picking up apple cider I made a quick stop to the baking aisle... always a very bad idea!  They have all of their fall and holiday baking supplies out - really its my favorite time of the year - I am a nerd like that!  So I picked up a few extra necessities... I promise every bag of chocolate and holiday flavored chip I bought was necessary!  

Monday, October 14, 2013

What's Momma Makin' - Zucchini Bread


Zucchini bread, or Bikini bread as my kids used to call it when they were little (gotta love those little ears and what they hear when grown ups start talking!), has always been a favorite of mine. This recipe comes from my Aunt Pat and is the recipe I have always used. I love zucchini when it is small, young and tender but if any of you have ever tried growing this fast as lightning producer, you know it is very easy to miss a zucchini on the vine, hiding under a leaf and the next thing you know, you have one of those gi-normous, world record breaking zucchini that you have no idea what to do with.  Here is your perfect answer, wash it up, shred it up, use it fresh for Zucchini Bread or measure it out into 2-cup packages, and stick it in the freezer for future use.

Friday, October 11, 2013

National Coming Out Day: People's Stories Matter

It takes a lot of courage to show your dreams to someone else
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I don’t have a recipe to share with you today and this post is kinda really long but its important and near and dear to my heart.  Today is the 25th Annual National Coming Out Day.  To me coming out, today or any other day, is not a political or religious thing but an incredibly personal journey that somebody who identifies as gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender has to take and it is not an easy road.  

Too often we hear of people being disowned by their families, bullied in school, running away, or committing suicide.  National Coming Out Day was created to build community and awareness and I hope that one day nobody will have to “come out” but instead everyone will be accepted for exactly who they are, without questions, judgment, or fear. 

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Carmel Apple Pull-Apart Bread

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Sweet and Sticky Carmel Apple Pull-Apart Bread - perfect for fall!

It is unofficially fall here in Virginia - this weekend it was almost 90 degrees but this morning when I stepped outside the cool crisp air let me know that summer was over.  I love summer - however this summer was challenging and getting used to 90 degree weather with lots of humidity was no picnic.  So this year I am ready to welcome fall with open arms! And to celebrate the unofficial start of fall I made Carmel Apple Pull-Apart Bread.

Monday, October 7, 2013

What's Momma Makin' - Spicy Southwest Potatoes


Welcome to another addition of What's Momma Makin'! 

Another family favorite are potatoes au gratin. This version have a spicy twist to them, thanks to Aunt Laura’s creative cooking, she used to call them Southwest potatoes. Laura was an incredibly amazing woman and a fabulous cook, I will be making a few of her signature recipes this fall, classic home grown comfort food and mouth watering holiday magic, wait until you get a taste of her Thanksgiving sausage dressing!

Friday, October 4, 2013

Toffee Cinnamon Roll Cake Mix Cookies

Duncan-Hines-Frosting-Creation-Cookies

Ever since I found out that I won the Duncan Hines Spring Bake recipe contest I have been experimenting with their Frosting Creation flavor packets like crazy!  It's been fun stretching my creativity in the kitchen. Like did you know that you can use a cake mix to make cookies?! For these gems I added the Cinnamon Roll Frosting Creation flavor packet to my cake mix cookie dough - and let me tell you AMAZING!  These cookies are soft and chewy just like I like them (you can always bake them a little longer if you are a crunchy kind of person) plus these are full of flavor!