Monday, October 31, 2011

THIS WEEK'S CRAVINGS #53 (MEN COOK) and Homemade Salsa

The Theme is: MEN Cook

(Did you know that the first Thursday in November is

Well, I've been trying for weeks to get my husband to cook dinner and it never happened. First you have to know that he NEVER cooks (only spaghetti and I already posted that), read about that here and he works ALOT of hours. I just don't mean he comes home late everyday. I mean he works 7 days a week, 12 hours a day, and when he is not working he is sleeping, his bed time is 6:30pm (SERIOUSLY). I can say we LOVE the overtime money, because it is helping us make leaps and bounds on our Dave Ramsey plan, but it does really suck sometimes. But, I had a very important post to come up with! I NEEDED a "MAN COOKING DINNER". I did the next best thing and recruited  my two adopted sons, Adam & Garrett. They really aren't adopted they are my twins best friends, since birth. They are part of a set of triplets (their sister is away at college, in New York) and my girls are twins (in case you are a new reader) and they are all BEST-BEST-FRIENDS. Here are the twins and the boys a few years ago. 

It was a busy weekend, I cooked a full Thanksgiving dinner on Saturday (it was delicious and I will be posting all the new recipes BEFORE Thanksgiving just in case you want some new ideas for this year). And on Sunday we had a celebration birthday dinner for my best friend, the triplets mom and for the triplets (except we had to Skype Brenda in New York). Carol made a mexican feast and it was YUMMY! We all came home stuffed. Garrett made the Homemade Salsa, and Adam will be making us a batch here at our home tonight (Adam is a regular guest at our house because his work and college are much closer to our house then his own home, so he visits us often and we love it)! Here are a few of my favorite pictures of them!

I LOVE THESE GUYS! Adam, Garrett, Brenda, Ashlyn & Kayley
I know they will be friends forever and ever!!!
Adam first made this Homemade Salsa for a Salsa Contest in his Spanish Class his freshman year in High School, he is now a freshman in college and they have been making it ever since.

YES, this recipe won FIRST PLACE.

Homemade Salsa
the Lee Family Recipe, received from a friend

1 serrano chili, fresh & cut
2 jalapeno chili, fresh & cut
1 cup water
bundle of Cilantro, use about a quarter of the bunch
1/2 brown onion
1 or 2 garlic cloves
2 regular size cans of stewed tomatoes, use the Mexican Spice
salt to taste

In the blender mix cut chili's, crush garlic, cut up onion and water. Blend well and set aside in a bowl. Blend can of tomatoes and cilantro (no stems). Mix the tomato mixture with the other and add salt to taste. Serve with tortilla chips and a mexican feast.

Please Grab Our Button !!!

This Week's Cravings Upcoming Linky "THEMES"
Here is a complete list of the past and what's coming up next on THIS WEEK'S CRAVINGS!

November 7 - HAPPY LINKY-versary to THIS WEEK'S CRAVINGS (share a cake)

November 14 - Your Best PUMPKIN Recipes

November 21 - Thanksgiving Dinner & Desserts

November 28 - French Toast, Pancakes, Waffles & More

This is a BLOG Party hosted byMOMS CRAZY COOKING, From My Tiny Kitchen and Big Bears Wife . If you are a regular link-up we're excited to see what you made this week. If you are new please read and follow the simple rules, so that everyone can enjoy the linky party! If you forget to follow the theme, your post will be deleted. Please don't feel hurt, just come back and link up a recipe that follows the theme. Thanks a million, we look forward to blogging with you!

The LINKY PARTY is opened ALL Week!

PLEASE do not link more then 3 recipes per week.
This week's theme is: MEN COOKING
Please only link recipes with our theme!

This week's theme is: MEN COOKING
Please only link recipes with our theme!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Apple Praline Coffee Cake

Fresh home with lots of apples from our Apple Picking trip. We are making apple recipes like they are going out of style. We camped for the entire weekend, my husband, my son and my parents along with some family friends and I came back with lots of fresh apples. My girls weren't able to come with us because of dance and work, so I was sure to share all the apples with them when I got home.

My daughter, Kayley decided to jump into the kitchen and make this recipe Apple Praline Coffee Cake. (I think I may be rubbing off of my kids a little.) This makes me a happy mama. I had already made some delicious apple recipes while camping, Pepper Jack Grill Cheese with Apples, Hot Caramel Apples (in crock-pot), Pioneer Woman's Apple Dumplings and a few Apple Muffins, but my girls weren't there to share them with me, so they were hungry for some apple goodies too.

Apple Praline Coffee Cake
found at Honey and Jam

1-1/2 cups chopped peeled apples
1/3 cup sugar
2 tsp cinnamon, divided
3 cups all-purpose flour
3 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 eggs, beaten
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup milk

Heat oven to 375 degrees with oven rack in the middle. Spray a nonstick 10-cup Bundt pan with nonstick spray.

Combine apples, sugar, and 1 teaspoon cinnamon in medium bowl. Combine flour, baking powder, remaining 1 teaspoon of cinnamon, and salt in another medium bowl.

Beat butter in bowl of a heavy-duty mixer on medium speed until creamy, scraping down sides of the bowl. Gradually add sugar and continue beating until light in color. Beat in eggs and vanilla.

Reduce mixer speed to low and add the flour mixture in three additions, alternating with milk. Beat until smooth.

By hand, stir in the apple mixture. Spoon the batter into a prepared pan, and spread evenly.

Bake 45-60 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. The apples should be fork-tender. Cool on a wire cooling rack 15 minutes and remove from pan.

Praline Glaze

1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/4 cup butter
1 cup powdered sugar, sifted
2 tbsp whipping cream or milk
1/2 cup chopped pecans

Heat the brown sugar with 1/4 cup butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Bringing mixture to boil while stirring constantly. Reduce heat to low and cook until butter is absorbed, about 1 minute. Remove from heat and add whipping cream/milk and powdered sugar. Beat until smooth. Add in the pecans right before you drizzle it over the cake and let it run over the side.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Pioneer Woman's Apple Dumplings

This recipe tastes as good as it looks. And go-figure it's another amazing recipe found on the blog of  The Pioneer Woman. I am just loving her cook book and my daughter and I are determined to make every recipe in her cookbook. I suppose we better hurry up because I just pre-ordered her new cookbook that comes out next year.

What a great recipe for a hot Apple Dumpling. I can't even say I've ever even had an Apple Dumpling, but this recipe was great! It was so quick to put together and the results seemed like I had slaved hours in the kitchen (which I had not)! I made these in my motorhome kitchen while camping. So, if I can make them there, anyone can make them.

Apple Dumplings
adapted from Pioneer Woman's Blog (February 2008)

2 sticks butter (I would like to try with only one stick of butter, next time)
1 tsp vanilla
1-1/2 cups sugar
2 tubes crescent rolls
2 granny smith apples
12 ounces of Mountain Dew (use only half the can)

Cinnamon & Pecans (chopped)

Serve with Vanilla Ice Cream

Peel and slice your apples. Wrap each slice in a crescent dough triangle and place in sprayed (greased) 9 x 13 pan. In a bowl, melt your butter and stir in sugar and vanilla, lightly mix and leave grainy. Pour over top of the wrapped apples. Pour one-half of the can of Mountain Dew all around and sprinkle with cinnamon and pecans. Place in 350 degree oven for 30 to 40 minutes. Serve hot with ice cream!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Wizard / Witches Hats

Everything is edible, and there are no forks & plates to clean up! - Gooseberry Patch Blog

Wizard / Witches Hats
from Gooseberry Patch Halloween Cookbook

Ice Cream Cones
Melting Chocolate
Halloween Sprinkles
Kebbler Cookies, I used the kind with chocolate on one side (use this side UP)

These cookies really are EASY-PEASY! Just melt the chocolate in a bowl. (then it's better to transfer the chocolate to a large flat bowl, like a pie tin). Roll the ice cream cone in the chocolate, use a butter knife to stick inside the cone and then you don't have to touch with your hand. Sit them up right on a waxed cookie sheet and let dry. Then melt a little more chocolate and dip the ends in the chocolate to use like glue to adhere the cones to the cookie, there will be wet chocolate all around the edges when you press down and then this is when you can add the sprinkles too and they will stick! :-)

They look so cute on a plate with my MUNCHABLE MICE that I made last year.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

It's National Pumpkin Day!!!

It's National Pumpkin Day!!!

You guys are gonna love this cake! You'll have to wait til next week for the recipe! I just wanted to give you a sneak peak.... this recipe will be one of the first Thanksgiving Guest Bloggers on MOMS CRAZY COOKING. (I still have some spots open if you are interested in guest posting read here).

And since it's National Pumpkin Day, I thought I would share with you one
more of my favorite pumpkin recipes: Pumpkin Dump Cake

Click here for all the Pumpkin Recipes

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Nerd Cupcakes & Pioneer Woman's Flour Frosting

A Nerd Cupcake, yep I've seen it all now. I came across this cupcake on Pinterest. This is my new hobby, Pinterest it's an amazing place to play, browse and find so many fun things! Click on over to check it out and/or click on the right and get an invite to come play. I only pin recipes but you can pin anything and everything you find on the Internet to your board. Don't wait, like I did. Check it out now: Pinterest. Now, let's get to these Nerd Cupcakes.

One of my twin daughters LOVES Nerds. And I mean she really really loves them and so when I found this cupcake I knew this had to be one of the cupcakes for their party. While we were in New York last month for their 18th birthday she found a GIANT Nerd box... I think I might have to try and find one of these in California and buy it for her.

I have to say that these cupcakes were the first to go at the party, and NO not just the kids ate them. Everyone took one bite and said WOW these are so good. No one could believe there were nerds throughout the cake and on top of the frosting. I do NOT like Nerds, and I LOVE these cupcakes.

I took about 1/2 box of the 6 oz Nerds and mixed it in the cake mix.
This is the coolest trick to dip the top of your cupcakes in a bowl of the Nerds.

Nerd Cupcakes
found the Nerd idea at Bake it in a Cake
used my own cake recipe

1 box Vanilla Cake Mix
1 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup butter, melted
4 large eggs
3 oz Nerds Candy

Preheat oven to 350. Place paper baking cups into regular size muffins. In a large bowl, combine cake mix, buttermilk, butter and eggs. Beat at low speed with an electric mixer just until dry ingredients are moistened. Increase speed to medium and beat 3 to 4 minutes, or until smooth, stopping to scrape bowl as needed. Add in the Nerds and mix by hand.

Spoon batter evenly into prepared baking cups, filling two-thirds full. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes, or until a wooden pick insert in center comes out clean. Let cool in pans on wire racks for 10 minutes. Remove to wire racks to cool completely before frosting.

Plain Flour Frosting
from Pioneer Woman "That's the Best Frosting I've Ever Had"

5 tbsp flour
1 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup Butter
1 cup Sugar (not Powdered Sugar)

In a small saucepan, whisk flour into milk and heat, stirring constantly, until it thickens. You want it to be very thick, thicker than cake mix, more like a brownie mix is. Remove from heat and let it cool to room temperature. It must be completely cool before you use it in the next step. Stir in vanilla.
While the mixture is cooling, cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. You don’t want any sugar graininess left, mix for at least 4 to 6 minutes. Then add the completely cooled milk/flour/vanilla mixture and beat the living daylights out of it, another 4 to 6 minutes. Put your timer on and just wait, watch it transform into amazing frosting. Beat it until it all combines and resembles whipped cream.

This frosting is plain, very plain. There is not a sweet taste to this, which is perfect for this recipe because the Nerds are so powerful. These cupcakes need a smooth light frosting.

Monday, October 24, 2011


The Theme is: Halloween Candy, Treats & More
(Please share with us your favorite Halloween Recipes
or What to do with your left-over candy!)

A blast from the past! My little guys... Ashlyn, Justin & Kayley (from 1999).

Halloween is so much fun! And the CANDY! Love it! My kids love sorting their candy every year. We pile it up, separate it out, count it and then they even put it all in separate ziploc bags. Then they throw it back in the bowl and usually it never all gets eatin'. So, today I am going to show you some fun things to do with your left-over candy.

Here is my little guy sorting all his candy flavors.

  • Reeses Peanut Butter Cups: Finely chop 6 peanut butter cup and add to 2 cups pancake batter.
  • Rolo Chocolate Covered Caramels: Stir into hot coffee or hot chocolate.
  • Tootsie Rolls: Line a baking sheet with foil and brush with oil, add 3 cups popcorn and 14 candies cut in half. Bake at 350; stirring occasionally, 8 to 10 minutes.
  • Chocolate Covered Raisins: Mix 1/4 cup of equal parts of mini marhmallows, salted peanuts and the raisins to make a trail mix.
  • Any kind of Hershey Chocolate Bars, Mr. Good Bars and more: Cut 8 mini bars in half and place 2 halves into a Pillsbury Crescent rolls, roll up and bake as directed.
  • Butterfingers: Mix 5 crushed mini bars with 2 cups of softened vanilla ice cream, re-freeze and then eat. 
  • Ideas found from Food Network Magazine - October 2011
I am going to share with you our love of making Candy Pancakes. One of my daughters friends shared this with us about 4 years ago and we've been making them ever since. But first check out my cute kids... with their candy of course.

Ashlyn, Justin & Kayley (a blast from the past)!

These candy pancakes can be made with any kind of candy! Even NERDS! Yep, one of my daughters love making them with Nerds, my little guy loves marshmallows, and the other twin likes Reeses and bananas. Myself, I love chocolate and marshmallows. But really it's all good. Last year camping we made an entire Pancake Bar with loads of toppings and everyone got to pick whatever they wanted.

Candy Pancakes
recipe stolen from Ashley 

Favorite Pancake Batter
Any kind of candy

Mix up your favorite batch of pancake batter. Do NOT mix the candy in the batter. Spray the pan with non-stick spray or use butter. Pour batter and then add the toppings in the uncooked side of the batter. Let cook all the way until you see the batter bubbling, then flip. Leave for a few minutes until done. Serve hot with syrup.

Please Grab Our Button !!!

This Week's Cravings Upcoming Linky "THEMES"
Here is a complete list of the past and what's coming up next on THIS WEEK'S CRAVINGS!

October 31 - National "Men Make Dinner" Day

November 7 - HAPPY LINKY-versary to THIS WEEK'S CRAVINGS (share a cake)

November 14 - Your Best PUMPKIN Recipes

November 21 - Thanksgiving Dinner & Desserts

This is a BLOG Party hosted byMOMS CRAZY COOKINGFrom My Tiny Kitchen and Big Bears Wife . If you are a regular link-up we're excited to see what you made this week. If you are new please read and follow the simple rules, so that everyone can enjoy the linky party! If you forget to follow the theme, your post will be deleted. Please don't feel hurt, just come back and link up a recipe that follows the theme. Thanks a million, we look forward to blogging with you!

The LINKY PARTY is opened ALL Week!
PLEASE do not link more then 3 recipes per week.
This week's theme is: HALLOWEEN
Please only link recipes with our theme!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Sharing Scrapbook Pages - October 2011

My other LOVE is scrapbooking and ever since digital-scrapbooking came out... I now LOVE it even more. You can see many of my family scrapbook pages here, I try and share atleast once a month. This last month (as most of you know who already read my blog), I surprised my twin daughters with a dream trip to New York City for their 18th Birthday (and as an added bonus it was my 40th birthday too). My mom, their grandma came with us too and we had an AMAZING trip! I am so happy that I pulled off this surprise for my girls! They grow up way too fast, but I am excited about this next part of their lives.

Enjoy these pages from our trip to New York City.... (my twins tell me they are now moving to NYC after college)

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Cream Cheese Frosting

This is a simple frosting recipe, but it's now my ONE and ONLY Cream Cheese frosting I use. I made one of the cupcakes for my daughters party with this frosting, so I thought I would share this recipe with all of you! Enjoy!

Cream Cheese Frosting
from a friend Carol

8 oz cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup butter
1 tsp vanilla
4 cups powdered sugar

Mix all together in an electric mixer and blend until fluffy! Add food coloring if you wish.

This cupcake recipe is also on my blog Chocolate Chip Cupcakes!

Friday, October 21, 2011

WANTED: Holiday Guest Bloggers

I am on the count down for the Holidays! November will be here in just 10 days, Thanksgiving is only 34 days away (my son and I are going to Oregon) and then Christmas is 65 days! Only 65 days to complete all of my baking & Christmas shopping! And I do ALOT of baking, I really mean ALOT! (Last year I made over 70 goodie baskets for friends, neighbors, coaches, teachers and family members). I can't believe it, I knew this year would go by quick... but READY, SET, HERE IT GOES!!!

I will be doing the 12 Days of Christmas Goodies (again!) YEAH! This was so much fun last year and this year it's even more exciting because I will be making 12 NEW items to share with all of you, plus I will be able to give away my NEW goodie in my gift baskets. I will be adding a linky party to each day with a "THEME" and you guys can link up your baking too! So, be on the lookout!

If you haven't signed up yet to get MOMS CRAZY COOKING posts to your email every day, then make sure you do that ASAP, you don't want to miss out on all the Holiday happenings!

WANTED: Holiday Guest Bloggers

Now onto the reason for this post. I am trying something NEW this year on my blog! I am involved in a number of different challenges, groups and linky parties and I LOVE everyone of them. With being involved so much, I am meeting some A-MAZ-ING bloggers (yeah, that's YOU!). I thought it would be a great idea to have some of my blogging friends as guests on MOMS CRAZY COOKING.

If you are interested in Guest Posting a recipe of any kind, please send me an email (click here), and I will send you all the details. I am looking for guests for November and December. I will be doing a Thanksgiving Theme for November and a Holiday Baking/Gifts for December. I will include everyone who submits a guest post, as long as it fits into MOMS CRAZY COOKING guidelines. I know ultimately this is a win-win situation for both bloggers and I am thrilled to partner with you on this.
Watch for these buttons in November & December for Guest Bloggers. And yes this means DOUBLE the amount of recipes coming from MOMS CRAZY COOKING, because not only will you be seeing Guest Posts, I too will be cooking & baking all month long! Now, let's get this party started!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Hot Caramel Apples (crock-pot)

Caramel and Apples the two ingredients for IMPROV COOKING CHALLENGE. Yes, I joined another challenge, why not! I love cooking and I love a challenge and this gives me an assignment and a deadline, two additional things I love.

I had just bought some fresh apples from Oak Glen on an Apple picking weekend and decided to pull out all my apple recipes. I found this crock-pot recipe and I knew I had to try it. Before we even returned from camping for the weekend. I made up this recipe, loaded it in my crock-pot for our long-drive home and by the time we returned home I had Hot Caramel Apples prepared. Gotta' Love Motorhomes and the ease of crock-pot cooking.

I am excited about this new challenge as it will teach me to cook with two items that I may have over looked at one time or another. I searched through lots of recipes believe it or not to find one that had both Apples and Caramel. Alot of my recipes had one or the other, but not both.

Hot Caramel Apples (crock-pot)

4 large tart apples, cored
1/2 cup apple juice
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
12 red-hot candies
1/4 cup butter
8 caramels
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Whipped cream, optional

Peel about 3/4 in. off the top of each apple; place in a slow cooker. Fill the center of each apple with 2 tablespoons of sugar, three red-hots, 1 tablespoon butter and two caramels. Pour juice over apples.  Sprinkle with cinnamon.

Cover and cook on low for 4-6 hours or until the apples are tender. Serve immediately with whipped cream if desired.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Honey Garlic Chicken (crock-pot)

I've been using my crock-pot and lovin' every minute of it. Every Monday and Wednesday night at our home is crock-pot night. It's so easy to pour all the ingredients into the crock-pot before I leave for work and it's ready when everyone arrives home. The girls have dance and my son plays golf on Monday's & Wednesday's and this method has made my life so wonderful.

I have been using a cookbook called More Make it Fast, Cook it Slow. I have about 25 recipes bookmarked, so I don't think I'll be running out of ideas anytime soon. Today's recipe is a chicken recipe and I made this with chicken tenderloins and they worked great. It changed it up a little bit from the normal chicken breasts and everyone loved it.

Honey Garlic Chicken (crock-pot)
adapted from More Make it Fast, Cook it Slow Cookbook

6 to 10 chicken tenderloins, frozen
1 tbsp minced garlic
1 tsp dried basil
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup ketchup
1/3 cup honey

In your slow-cooker put the chicken into your cooker. In a small bowl combine the rest of the ingredients, then pour evenly on top of the chicken. (Tenderloins cook faster then breasts, so watch it at about 4 hours, and mine crock-pot is HOT, so sometimes it's done at about 3 to 4 hours.) Cover and cook on low for 4 to 6 hours.

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