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Ice cream cone cupcakes

January 26, 2013

cupcake cones2Ice Cream Cone Cupcakes

I made cupcakes in ice cream cones once quite a while back, and it was a disaster.  The cake mix baked over the tops and ran all over the place.  It did nothing but make a big old mess in my oven and I had to throw them all away.  When I walked by these teeny, tiny ice cream cones when I was grocery shopping the other day, I couldn’t resist the urge to buy them and try again.

I have to admit, that the first batch went straight to the trash.  Major flashback.  But I persevered and ended up with these adorable little cupcakes.  How stinkin’ cute are they?  The trick for me was definitely to only fill them halfway full.  They baked up just a little above the tops of the cones and were perfectly baked inside.  And with a nice swirl of frosting on top, they even look like ice cream cones.  Love!

cupcake cones1Just to show how small they really are, here’s a shot of my Sam holding one.

Recipe:  Ice Cream Cone Cupcakes

boxed cake mix (and necessary ingredients) or favorite cake recipe
ice cream cones

Make cake batter, as per directions on the box or your recipe.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Set ice cream cones inside the cups of a muffin pan.  (I used a mini muffin pan for these little cones.)  Spoon batter into cones, filling halfway.  Bake for 13-15 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.  (If using regular sized cones, baking time will be 18-20 minutes.)  Allow to cool completely before frosting.

For those who need to know….


Peanut butter chocolate chip cookies

January 20, 2013

pb chocolate chip cookiesPeanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

I was looking through my old bookmarked recipes the other day and came across this one.  It claimed to be for peanut butter cup lovers, and I’ve got a houseful of those, so I thought they were worth a try.  These were pretty delicious and the recipe made a bunch!  Enough, in fact, to freeze half for another time so we wouldn’t eat them all at once.  Plus, this way I’ll get to look awesome two times just by baking once.  See how that works?

Recipe:  Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

(from Cowgirl Chef)

1 c. butter
1 c. white sugar
1 c. brown sugar
2 eggs
1 c. peanut butter
2 1/2 c. flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 1/2 tsp. soda
½ tsp. Kosher salt
2 cups milk chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350.  Cream butter and sugars.  Add eggs and mix well.  Add peanut butter.  Sift the flour with baking powder, baking soda, and salt and add to peanut butter mixture.  Mix only to combine.  Fold in chocolate chips and chill in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes.  Bake cookies 12-14 minutes.

Beef & lentil sloppy joes

January 17, 2013

sloppy joesBeef & Lentil Sloppy Joes

If you don’t already have a love of lentils, I really urge you to get to know them better.  Invite them to lunch.  Then have them over for dinner.  You’ll be so glad you did, because they bring loads of protein, fiber, and important vitamins to the party.

We had these beef and lentil sloppy joes for lunch over the weekend, and had enough leftover for a couple workday lunches.  I suggest serving them on a toasted roll with some melted cheese and a handful of crunchy chips on the side.

Sharing the lentil love with some of my favorite lentil recipes …

refried lentils
beef and lentil soup
stewed lentils and tomatoes
lentil sausage soup

Recipe:  Beef & Lentil Sloppy Joes

(from Can You Stay for Dinner?)

1 cup uncooked green lentils
4 cups water
½ lb lean ground beef
1 medium yellow onion, diced small
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 Tbsp. chili powder
2 tsp. oregano
1 tsp. salt
15 oz. can tomato sauce
1/4 c. tomato paste
3 Tbsp. brown sugar
1 Tbsp. yellow mustard

“Put the lentils in a small sauce pot and pour in 4 cups water. Cover and bring to a boil. Once boiling, lower heat and simmer for about 20 minutes, until lentils are soft. Drain and set aside.

About 10 minutes before the lentils are done boiling, set a large frying pan over medium heat. Saute the ground beef and onion for about 7 minutes, crumbling with a spatula as you cook, until the beef is no longer pink. Add the garlic and saute a minute more.  Add the cooked lentils, the chili powder, oregano and salt and mix. Add the tomato sauce and tomato paste. Cook for about 10 minutes.

Add the brown sugar and mustard and heat through. Turn the heat off and let sit for about 10 minutes, so that the flavors can blend.” Broil or grill rolls before filling with sloppy joe mixture.




S’mores treats

January 12, 2013

smores treatsS’mores Treats

My brother-in-law threatened to remove me from his favorites list yesterday because I haven’t posted anything new in almost a month.  Seemed a little harsh to me, but, just for him, I ran straight to the kitchen and mixed up these s’mores treats.

(Well, not really.  I really made them for my Claudia, but I know she’d share with Uncle Jim if he were here!)

Recipe:  S’mores Treats

3 Tbsp. unsalted butter
1 (10 3/4 oz.bag) of marshmallows
6 cups of Golden Grahams cereal
handful of milk chocolate chips
handful of mini marshmallows

Pour chocolate chips into a bowl and allow to chill in the freezer.  Spray an 8″ square pan with cooking spray and set aside.  Melt butter and the bag of marshmallows over low heat until melted and smooth.  Remove from heat and stir in Golden Grahams until coated.  Wait one or two minutes and stir in chilled chocolate chips.  Then add mini marshmallows.  Press mixture into the baking pan with the back of a spoon you’ve sprayed with cooking spray.  Cool completely and cut into squares.

Peppermint patty brownies

December 15, 2012

peppermint browniesPeppermint Patty Brownies

Yum, yum, and yum.  Three layers of goodness.  A brownie topped with peppermint frosting, finished off with ganache and crushed candy.  I am such a lover of all things peppermint and this fits the bill perfectly.

If you want to go the full homemade route, by all means, make your brownies from scratch.  I was definitely going for quick and easy, so I used a boxed mix.  But with the peppermint layer and the creamy ganache, even my humble boxed brownies reached great heights.

Recipe:  Peppermint Patty Brownies

(adapted from how sweet it is)

your favorite boxed mix and necessary ingredients

Peppermint Patty Layer:
2 c. powdered sugar
1 1/2 Tbsp. unsalted butter, softened
3 Tbsp. evaporated milk
1/4 tsp. vegetable oil
1/4 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 tsp. peppermint extract

1/2 c. dark chocolate chips
2-3 Tbsp. evaporated milk

chopped candy cane Hershey kisses or crushed candy canes

Prepare brownies according to package directions, or make them using your favorite brownie recipe.  While brownies are cooling, mix peppermint patty frosting.  Combine powdered sugar, butter, evaporated milk, vegetable oil, vanilla extract, and peppermint extract in the bowl of an electric mixer.  Beat until smooth and creamy.  Spread over brownies and place in refrigerator until set, about 30 minutes.

To make ganache, gently heat evaporated milk until warm and pour it over chocolate. Stir for a few minutes until smooth and creamy.  Spread on top of the peppermint layer.  Sprinkle with chopped candy cane Hershey kisses or crushed candy canes.


Pumpkin chia butter

November 20, 2012

Pumpkin Chia Butter

I discovered chia seeds and hemp seeds over the summer, and I can’t rave about them enough.  The health benefits are incredible and they really are one of nature’s perfect foods.  I loved the blueberry chia jam I made, but with the arrival of Fall weather and pumpkin recipes everywhere, I got a little creative and made pumpkin chia butter.  It’s delicious on top of toast, but I also love it stirred into Greek yogurt or as a topping for waffles or pancakes.

Recipe:  Pumpkin Chia Butter

(inspired by and adapted from

1 29-oz. can of pumpkin puree
3/4 c. apple juice or apple cider
1/2 c. light brown sugar  (If you have more of a sweet tooth than I do, you can add another 1/4 c. of brown sugar.)
1/4 c. pure maple syrup
2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
3-4 Tbsp. chia seeds
2 tsp. pure vanilla extract

Combine pureed pumpkin, apple juice, brown sugar, maple syrup, and pumpkin pie spice in a medium saucepan.  Mix well.  Bring mixture to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes.  Add chia seeds and continue to simmer until thickened, about 10 more minutes.  Stir frequently.  Remove from heat and stir in vanilla extract.  Allow to cool slightly and transfer to small mason jars or reusable containers.  Pumpkin chia butter should be stored in the refrigerator.  Pumpkin chia butter can also be frozen, but be sure to leave a little space in the top of the jar if freezing to allow for it to expand a bit.

Turkey fun

November 17, 2012

I made these yummy turkeys a couple years ago, but wanted to share them in case you might be looking for a silly way to get the kids excited about Turkey Day.   They were both huge hits with kids and teachers alike, plus they’re healthy snacks.  And frankly, just plain fun!

Paper Bag Popcorn Turkey and tutorial found at one charming party.  

Fruit turkey directions from Family Fun magazine.


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