Thursday, January 31, 2013


I already posted the TOP 10 RECIPES for 2012 picked from popularity of my posts and now I wanted to share MY FAVORITE RECIPES from my blog in 2012. I've picked out 10 recipes to share with you that I made this year, new to me and to my family and now they will continue to be life-long recipes that I will make over and over again. They will also be included in my Volume 3 - Family Scrapbook/Cookbook, this is when you know they are keeper recipes if they make it into the scrapbook. ENJOY, I hope you have had or will have the chance to make one of these MY NEW FAVORITES!

Homemade Cheeseburger SAUCE
If you know my family, you know we are Cheeseburger freaks, we love fast food and In-N-Out is on the top of our list. But so is a homemade hamburger, it's just as good and so I set out to create a homemade sauce and I defiantly found a winner. We make it, eat it, love it and repeat (as often as we can)!

Grandma's Apple Crisp Pie
This was a recipe that was shared with me from my mother-in-law and then I created and made it into a pie and I absolutely LOVE it, and I never ever have liked Apple Pie (and I still don't), but this Apple Crisp I LOVE LOVE LOVE. It's so delicious!

Pineapple Cupcakes
These are out of this world delicious, and I top them with my all time favorite frosting from Magnolia's Bakery in New York City; White Chocolate Frosting, OH MY! Can I have a dozen of these right now PLEASE! The cupcake recipe is actually a Weight Watcher recipe (cake mix and can of pineapples), but the frosting NOT SO MUCH!

Banana Crunch Muffins
I seem to always have bananas left over that need to be made into something, I usually just throw them into the freezer and when I get the chance I make Banana Bread for the boys, another thing I do not care for, Banana Bread. But I found this recipe and OH MY, Banana Crunch Muffins are my NEW thing. I know I will be making these again with that next batch of over ripe bananas.

Better than Anything Cake
Yep, it's THAT cake and it is pretty darn good. This cake has already been repeated several times this year.

White Chicken Enchiladas
This is now my go-to Mexican dish. I love the white enchilada style SO much better then any red sauce enchiladas. This recipe has circled the Pinterest boards for months and I am so glad I made it. And if you aren't on Pinterest yet, RUN don't WALK. It's the best thing since sliced bread (hahaha!). It is really good though! I love it!

Pioneer Woman's Fried Chicken
This is a recipe I've been trying to master for years. I made this, it's AWESOME and I will never ever try another fried chicken recipe. This is THEE one and only for me, and my hubby is happy!

Upside Down Turkey
Once I found this Turkey recipe and made it, I've never tried another. And I make about 3 to 4 Turkey's per year (which reminds me it's about time to cook me up a whole Turkey very soon), I've got 2 more in my freezer, that I grabbed for $8 bucks each.

Peanut Butter Krispies
These are a bite size snack that everyone loves. There aren't many desserts I make over and over again, but this is one that I do. My step son Brandon LOVES them and it's first on his list every time he comes to visit (and yes he is 22 years old and still loves my treats), he just can't get enough of them, I try to send some home with him as long as he doesn't eat them all before he leaves.

Panda Express Cream Cheese WonTon {copycat recipe}
I just LOVE these at Panda Express, so why not make them at home. This is a super duper great find and I am so happy I tried it out! SCORE!

Here they are MY FAVORITE recipes, ones I know I will continue to make over and over again. Blogging is SO much fun and it's really exciting each year to see how I add new recipes to my regular rotation. Plus, I love finding new desserts that will go down in our family history and hopefully be repeated for generations to come. I better get working on that Volume 3- Family Cookbook/Scrapbook ASAP!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013


Here are the TOP 10 RECIPES for 2012!

Yeah, I know January is ALMOST over, not quite though. I've got a few days left and I wanted to get out all the top posts/recipes for 2012. I had an amazing blogging year in 2012, my biggest yet. I grew my blog and doubled my readers, plus made some great extra cash on the side, it's all very exciting. I will say my cooking/blogging has decreased a bit, but only because I went from a family of 5, with daughters who LOVED to try new things, to a family of 3, with a son who eats NOTHING! And now with my Biggest Loser Diet in place, the cooking and baking around here has come to a halt.

I just love quotes, sayings and posters like prints such as these:

It's a brand new new and I hope that throughout the year, I can inspire people along the way to LIVE LIFE! "A brand-new year... to live; to believe; to give; to receive; to fall in love; to share a smile; to walk an inch; to run a mile; to dive into sunsets; to forgive; to forget; to love where you’re going; to embrace where you’ve been; to take a deep breath, close your eyes... and begin. May the new year be filled with love, adventure, and dreams come true. Welcome 2013!! :)"

Joshua 1:9 "Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified: do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you where ever you go"

Live like no one else, so later you can LIVE LIKE NO ONE ELSE (Dave Ramsey)

Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, but today is a gift!

Now, let's get on to what was my most popular recipes for 2013.... there were alot of good recipes and a few favorites that will now be family favorites for years to come.

#1 White Chocolate Candy Cane Pudding Cookies

#2 Olive Garden Alfredo {Copycat Recipe}

#6 Pioneer Woman's Chicken Pot Pie

#7 Peppermint Frosting Fudge

#8 Peanut Butter Banana Oatmeal Smoothie

#9 Egg Nog Truffles

#10 Thin Mint Girl Scout Cookie Cupcakes

And there you have it, the TOP 10 recipes that were most popular from my readers (that's YOU!) I hope you all take a look back at some of these favorites, try them if you haven't had the chance already, I'd love to hear from you. My personal favorite out of these are #9 Egg Nog Truffles, these will be made every Christmas from now on, I LOVE THEM!

Monday, January 28, 2013

French Onion Burger or Salisbury Steak Style {CAMPBELL'S KITCHEN}

I love when I come across a recipe, make it and my mouth just waters right from the first bite. Well, that is exactly what happened when I made this for dinner. I really thought, this is just gonna be another burger recipe. I wanted to stick with my New Year's diet plan so I decided to eliminate the bun and serve this new French Onion Burger over a bed of mashed potatoes. I took my first bite and it brought me back to my childhood with memories of a Salisbury Steak TV dinner, something that I absolutely love. And now I can make it from fresh ingredients and it taste SO GOOD!

I am so excited that I picked up this soup from Campbell's Kitchen, it's not something I would have ever tried if it was not for Campbell's and Foodbuzz, so THANK YOU! I promise you all this recipe will not disappoint you, the photos do not do it justice (photographing a hamburger patty isn't easy, I did the best I could). And if you have picky little kids (like me), I served my son's burger with cheese on a bun, so this recipe is good for making a delicious grown-up meal and a kid meal all in one shot.

Check out this recipe and many more at Campbell's Kitchen.

French Onion Burger {Salisbury Steak}
recipe from Campbell's Kitchen

1 lb ground beef
1 can (10 1/2 ounces) Campbell's Condensed French Onion Soup

Optional: Cheese Slices and Buns or serve over Mashed Potatoes or Egg Noodles

Shape the beef into four burger patties. Heat a 10-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Add the burgers and cook until well browned on both sides. Remove the burgers from the skillet. Pour off any fat.                                                    
Stir the soup in the skillet and heat to a boil. Return the burgers to the skillet. Reduce the heat to low. Cover and cook for 5 minutes or until the burgers are cooked through.
Traditional Burger Style: Top the burgers with the cheese and cook until the cheese is melted. Serve the burgers on the buns with the soup mixture for dipping
Salisbury Steak Style: Leave the burger in pan to cook for add'l 5 minutes flipping once. Make your choice of mashed potatoes or egg noodles and serve the burger patty on top with as much or as little gravy as you'd like.
"As part of the DailyBuzz Food Tastemaker Program,
I received free coupons and a stipend."

Presented by Campbell’s Kitchen

Monday, January 21, 2013

Tomato & Avocado Salad {SECRET RECIPE CLUB}

It's time to go healthy. I haven't blogged much since the new year start and it's because I am on a diet. I joined a neighborhood Biggest Loser Challenge, and I am eating veggies, fruit, some protein and no recipes are being made in my kitchen right now. It's bitter sweet, because I LOVE to cook, I am enjoying the lost pounds, but I've got to find a way to get back into the kitchen. When I saw this recipe on my Secret Recipe blog, I knew that this was a healthy recipe, but I had know idea I would enjoy it so much.

Here is my SECRET RECIPE CLUB post for the month of January, and this will be my last post with this club for a little bit while I try and get my blogging back up to where it was last year. My plate is full and I just need to take a step back and regroup. The blog I had was called Canela Kitchen and I pinned a whole bunch of fun recipes to try, but this one made it to the top of the list, because it was everything I could eat on my diet.

Here we go with my 21st post for the Secret Recipe Club; Group C .

Secret Recipe Club

I would say, I liked this dish just a LITTLE! :-)
Tomato & Avocado Salad
original recipe found at Canela Kitchen
made this for 1 serving

1 red tomato, cut into wedges
1/2 avocado, sliced and diced
1/4 cup white grated cheese (Mozzarella or Monterrey Jack)
1 tbsp chopped chives
1tbsp soy nuts
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tbsp balsamic vinegar

In a serving size dish layer tomato wedges and diced avocados. Sprinkle in white cheese, chives and soy nuts. Serve with a small dish of the olive oil and vinegar.

Here is a list of my past Secret Recipe Club recipes:

Golf Cupcakes {Cupcake Recipe from a Box}

My little guy is a golf fanatic, and that is saying it lightly. He golfs at least 3 days a week and would love for me to take him to the range everyday. He just joined the SC Junior PGA, so I would say that he is pretty serious about this. Believe me it's taken a lot to get to this point. He is only 13 years old and he has tried it all; Karate, Soccer, Baseball, Football, Basketball and last year even tried Volleyball. He was so so good at baseball too, he was an excellent pitcher, but his heart was not in it. It was a struggle getting him there and he just hated it. So, what's a mom to do? Try, try and try some more.

It was the summer last year and I enrolled him into his schools summer golf camp where the junior high kids got to practice with the high school kids. I went to pick him up on the first day the coach told me "he was good", I said "okay", then he said "no, he is REALLY good. and that he could practice all year with the high school kids, until the tournament season started". Justin was only in 7th grade and he was able to practice with the High School kids, he was thrilled and he did just that. Last year his 7th grade year was filled with golf-golf and some more golf. Sure he had played a little before with his dad and game or two per year, but now he was playing 3-days a week. And his dad is loving it too because now they hit plays and play a game or two each week. Such a difference in just one year.

Now it's the summer before his 8th grade year and he still has to wait one more school year to be on the High School team, so he gets to just do summer camp with them and of course practice another half-a-year until the tournament season starts. He loves every minute of it. We also enrolled him at a local golf course for weekly lessons and now he takes private lessons with a pro-golfer there too. This week we got him all signed up for the Junior PGA and he will now start competing at local golf courses all year round with kids his own age. This has been such and awesome thing to watch him grow and finally find "THAT THING" that thing he loves to do more then anything. And yes he is very hard on himself, he is really serious about his game.

My twins always have had that, they danced and were cheerleaders for 10 years, they started when they were 8 years old and now they are going off to college with a scholarship to dance. I am just so happy for my son now has "THAT THING" and that thing he loves which is golf and that this will probably carry him through high school and hopefully onto college. It's perfect timing and I knew God had a great plan for him. I will now be trading my Dance Mom Hat in for a Golf Mom Hat. It's a crazy life, but I am SO glad I am in it.
Now, onto these adorable, awesome golf cupcakes I made for my son's birthday (last year). I know blogging doesn't always happen right when you want it to, but better late than never.

The recipe for the golf ball cupcakes are quite easy, I will share my new favorite cupcake from a box recipe, and then the trick is making the golf balls and the grass from icing.
This is a new favorite of mine, cupcakes from a box but adding in so much more.

Cupcake Recipe {from a box and more}
original recipe found at Big Bears Wife

1 box white cake mix
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp salt
4 egg whites
1-1/3 cup water
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 cup sour cream
1 tsp vanilla

Pre-heat oven to 325. In a large bowl, mix together cake mix, flour, sugar, and salt. In the bowl of a mixer, mix together the egg whites, water, and vanilla. Mix on low for about 10 seconds. Slowly add the dry mix a little at a time. Mixing on low until everything is combined. Add sour cream and mix well. Add color now if desired. Mix well. Line a muffin/cupcake tin with paper liners. Fill each cupcake liner 3/4 full of batter. Bake at 325 for 25 minutes. Remove from oven and cool.

I purchased a chocolate golf mold at my local cake store, I made the golf balls by melting white chocolate and using the mold without the sticks.

I then used a favorite frosting recipe of mine, White Chocolate Buttercream frosting, this recipe hardens well after being refrigerated and made the grass look great.

White Chocolate Buttercream Frosting
from Magnolia Bakery Cookbook, New York City

1-1/2 cups unsalted butter, softened
6 tbsp milk
9 oz white chocolate, melted and cooled to lukewarm
1 tsp vanilla
3 cups sifted powdered sugar

In a large bowl, on medium speed of an electric mixer, beat the butter until creamy, about 3 minutes. Add the milk carefully and bet until smooth. Add the melted chocolate and beat well, about 2 minutes. Add the vanilla and beat for 3 more minutes. Gradually add the powdered sugar and beat on low speed until creamy and desired consistency. 

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Happy New Year

Happy Happy New Year Folks, I am still here. Busy as ever, but still here! First time ever I did not send out Christmas Cards, but this weekend I got down to it and made my family Happy New Year Cards and wrote the family letter for 2012, these will FINALLY go out in the mail tomorrow. And tomorrow is the start of my New Year, the kids are back in school, it's back to exercising for me, back to eat healthy, back to work full-time, and back to blogging. Looking forward to a great year and bringing you lots of new recipes. Hope you all had a wonderful holiday!

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