Saturday, October 29, 2011

Candy Corn Cheesecake

Good afternoon bloggers! If you are just joining us for the first time, I welcome you. I'm your host, Mandie. Today, I am re-writing this blog. I wrote it previously and deleted it by accident. So, needless to say, this would have been posted hours ago. We will be making a delicious candy corn cheesecake in celebration of Halloween. Before we begin, I would like to share a little background about this delicious treat. Candy corn was created in the 1880's by George Renninger of the Wunderle Candy Company. The 3 colors mimic the appearance of kernels of corn. Did you know that Brach's is the top retailer of candy corn? They sell enough candy corn each year to circle the Earth 4.25 times if the kernels are laid end to end. The NCA (National Confectioners Association) estimates that 20 million pounds of candy corn are sold annually and can be found in multiple colors for the various holidays that they are being used on, such as Valentine's Day, Christmas, Easter, and Thanksgiving. That's pretty cool, huh? Okay, now that we've had a little schooling, let's get to baking!

Candy Corn Cheesecake

You will need:

  • 2 cups finely crushed Oreo cookies
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 3 packages cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 8 ounces mascarpone cheese, at room temperature
  • 8 ounces sour cream
  • 1.5 cups honey
  • 1.5 cups granulated white sugar
  • 6 large eggs
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • yellow color paste (or gel)
  • orange color paste (or gel)
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream, for topping
  • candy corn, for topping decoration


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. 
  2. Spray a 10 inch springform pan with nonstick cooking spray.
  3. To Prepare The Crust: In a medium bowl, mix cookie crumbs and butter. Press the mix into the bottom of the prepared pan. 
  4. Bake for 10 minutes, then remove from the oven and let cool.
  5. To Prepare The Cheesecake: In a large bowl, combine cream cheese, mascarpone, and sour cream. 
  6. Beat at medium speed with an electric mixer until smooth, about 3 minutes. Add honey and sugar, then beat until combined. 
  7. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. 
  8. Using a rubber spatula, scrape down sides of bowl, and beat until smooth. Reduce the speed to low. 
  9. Add flour, cream, and vanilla, then beat until combined. 
  10. Divide the batter into thirds, reserving one-third of the batter white. 
  11. In one bowl, add a small amount of yellow color paste, then whisk until combined and add more color until desired hue is reached. 
  12. In a second bowl, repeat this process with the orange color paste.
  13. Pour the yellow batter into the baked cookie crust. 
  14. Bake 30 to 35 minutes, just until set and no longer jiggly. 
  15. Remove from the oven and let cool for 20 minutes.
  16. Pour the orange batter on top of the baked yellow layer. 
  17. Bake again for another 30 to 35 minutes, just until set and no longer jiggly. Remove from the oven and let cool for 20 minutes.
  18. Pour the remaining untinted batter onto the baked orange layer. 
  19. Bake one last time for another 30 to 35 minutes, just until set and no longer jiggly. 
  20. Remove from oven and let cool completely.
  21. Refrigerate for 24 hours. 
  22. Gently run a sharp knife around the edge of the pan, then release the sides. 
  23. Slide a long, sharp knife under the bottom of the crust and carefully slide the whole cheesecake onto a platter, removing the bottom of the pan.
  24. In a medium bowl, whip 1/2 cup of heavy whipping cream at high speed until stiff peaks form, then spread the whipped cream on top of the cheesecake. 
  25. Use candy corn to decorate.
  26. Enjoy!

I hope you and your children have a wonderful halloween weekend carving pumpkins, making delicious sweets and trick or treating. I'll catch you all on the flip side. Next week, we start our Thanksgiving celebration. Happy blogging to all! <3

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Fang-tastic Dracula Cupcakes

Good afternoon bloggers! Welcome to another spooktacular edition of Everyday Meals. I'm your host, Mandie. Today, we will be baking Dracula cupcakes. I'm going to touch on the subjects of vampires and Dracula just a bit before we actually begin though. Vampiric entities have been recorded in many cultures and may go back to "prehistoric times", but the term vampire was not popularized until the early 18th century, after an influx of vampire superstition into Western Europe from areas where vampire legends were frequent, such as the Balkans and Eastern Europe. The vampire has many names from many different areas such as vrykolakas in Greece and strigoi in Romania. John Polidori's 1819 novella The Vampyre established the archetype of charismatic and sophiticated vampire. It was said that this story influenced Varney the Vampire and eventually, Bram Stoker's Dracula. Bram Stoker defined the vampire's modern form and also spawned numerous film, television, and theatrical interpretations that we are familiar with today. Phew! I think after that explaination, that I am ready to make some cupcakes! Let's go!

Fang-tastic Dracula Cupcakes

You will need:

  • 24 cupcakes, baked in paper liners
  • 2 cans chocolate frosting
  • 3 quart-size ziptop freezer bags
  • 1 can vanilla frosting
  • 24 mini cupcakes or plain muffins
  • 4 red licorice strings, cut into 1.5 inch pieces
  • Chocolate sprinkles
  • 12 Tootsie Roll Midgees


  1. Bake your cupcakes according to the box instructions.
  2. When they are done baking, let cool for 10 minutes before beginning the frosting process.
  3. Spoon 3⁄4 cup chocolate frosting into a ziptop bag and snip off a tiny corner. 
  4. Frost the larger cupcakes with the remaining chocolate frosting.
  5. Spoon 2 tablespoons of vanilla frosting into a ziptop bag and snip off a tiny corner. 
  6. Smoothly spread 1 tablespoon of the remaining vanilla frosting onto each mini cupcake.
  7. Pipe double arches on the mini cupcakes with chocolate frosting for the hairline, but be sure to pipe to the edge of the cupcake, then fill in for hair. 
  8. Place red licorice on the faces for mouths and 2 sprinkles lengthwise on each for eyes. 
  9. Pipe vanilla frosting onto the licorice for fangs. 
  10. Place the mini cupcakes on their sides on top of the larger cupcakes.
  11. On a cutting board, roll out each Tootsie Roll Midgee into a 2 inch circle. Cut out an 11 x 2 inch square from each, then cut the square diagonally to make 2 triangles. 
  12. Place 1 triangle onto each side of face (the frosting will keep it in place), slightly folding the long tip ends for collar.
  13. Chill in the fridge until ready to enjoy!

At first, I was a little confused about how to make this recipe, but all in all, it's really simple. The mini cupcakes threw me through a loop, but I finally figured this cute little cupcake out! Anyway, I am glad you all could join me for this awesome recipe and I will catch you all on the flip side. Happy blogging to all! <3

Monday, October 24, 2011

Graveyard Pudding

Good afternoon bloggers! Welcome to another frightfully amazing edition of Everyday Meals. I'm your host, Mandie. For this entry of Everyday Meals, we are venturing into the graveyard... well, not ACTUALLY, but we will be taking our time and creating one for dessert! I learned about this dish years ago, but obviously, back then I was too young to understand the recipe and what went into this dish. Finally, I managed to stumble across this delicious treat again and I feel compelled to share it with you all. Let's cut the chatter and get into the kitchen for a bit of fun!

Graveyard Pudding with Whipped Cream Ghosts

You will need:

  • 4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • 4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into bits and softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 6 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3.5 cups milk
  • 3/4 cup cold heavy cream
  • 2 teaspoons confectioners' sugar
  • 1 package chocolate sandwich cookies, crushed
  • Gummy worms, garnish

Are you ready?

  1. In the top of a double-boiler, or in a metal bowl set over a pot of barely simmering water, melt the bittersweet and unsweetened chocolates, stirring, until smooth. 
  2. Add butter and vanilla and stir to incorporate, then remove from the heat. 
  3. In a bowl, beat the egg yolks. 
  4. In a medium, heavy saucepan, whisk together the sugar, cornstarch, and salt. 
  5. Add the milk in a stream, whisking constantly. 
  6. Bring the mixture to a boil, whisking constantly to keep lumps from forming and remove from the heat. 
  7. Add 1 cup of the hot milk mixture to the yolks and whisk until smooth. 
  8. Add the beaten yolk mixture to the saucepan with the hot milk and bring to a simmer over medium-low heat. 
  9. Simmer, whisking constantly, until thick and smooth, about 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and whisk in the melted chocolate mixture. 
  10. Transfer to a large bowl. 
  11. Cover with plastic wrap, pressing down on the surface to prevent a skin from forming, and refrigerate to cool. 
  12. In a medium bowl, whip the cream until soft peaks start to form. 
  13. Add the confectioners' sugar and continue beating until stiff peaks start to form. 
  14. Fold half of the whipped cream and most of the crushed cookies into the cooled pudding mixture. 
  15. Spoon into a 9 inch square glass baking dish. 
  16. Sprinkle with the remaining cookies. 
  17. Spoon the remaining whipped cream in blobs on the top for "ghosts" and garnish with gummy worms, slightly poking them down into the surface. Serve immediately, or refrigerate until ready to serve.
  18. Enjoy!

I hope you all have enjoyed creating something that will entice friends and family this upcoming holiday. Have a wonderful afternoon and evening. I will catch you all on the flip side. Thanks for joining me and I hope to see you all again! Happy blogging to all! <3

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Halloween Treats: Frankenstein and Frankenstein's Bride Cakes

Good afternoon bloggers! Welcome to a brand new, spooky edition of Everyday Meals. I'm your ghastly hostess, Mandie. Today, I've got a double whammy for you all. I'm sure most of you have heard of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, yes? And I'm sure many of you have heard of The Bride of Frankenstein (also subrooted from Mary Shelley's book). Today, we are taking the spooky couple and making cakes out of them! Here's a little trivia before we begin... Mary Shelley was 18 when she conceived the idea of Frankenstein. She and her love (later husband), Percy Bysshe Shelley, visited Lord Byron at the Villa Diodati by Lake Geneva in Switzerland. The weather was cold and dreary that summer and the group stayed indoors. Mary, her lover, and Lord Byron had turned their conversation toward galvanism and returning a corpse or body parts to life, when Lord Byron suggested that each of them write their own supernatural tale. Mary Shelley had dreamt her story and thus, the story began... Well, let's wrap up our history lesson and get to baking some spooky snacks!

Frankenstein Cake

You will need:

  • 1 package chocolate cake mix
  • 1 package cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 carton frozen whipped topping, thawed
  • Moss green paste food coloring
  • 1 can chocolate frosting
  • 1 Swiss cake roll or "Ho Ho"


  1. Prepare the cake batter according to package directions. 
  2. Pour the batter into a greased and waxed paper-lined 13 x 9 inch baking pan. 
  3. In a small bowl, beat the cream cheese, sour cream, sugar, egg and vanilla until smooth. 
  4. Drop the mixture by tablespoonfuls about 1 inch apart onto the batter. 
  5. Bake at 350 degrees for 40 to 45 minutes or until the center is firm when lightly touched. 
  6. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from the pan to a wire rack to cool completely. 
  7. To make Frankenstein, cut a piece of cake for the head (about 10 inches x 7 and 3/4 inches) and neck (about 2.5 inches x 4.5 inches). 
  8. Cut two pieces for ears (about 2 and 3/4 inches x 1/2 inch). 
  9. Save the remaining cake for another use. 
  10. Position the head, neck and ears on a covered board. 
  11. Place 1/4 cup whipped topping in a small bowl and tint dark green with moss green food coloring. 
  12. Cut a small hole in the corner of a small plastic bag and insert a round pastry tip #3, then fill with the tinted topping. 
  13. Set aside. 
  14. Tint the remaining whipped topping moss green. 
  15. Frost the face, neck and ears, building up areas for the forehead, nose and cheeks. 
  16. With the reserved dark green topping, pipe the mouth, stitches on the neck and forehead, and eyes with pupils. 
  17. Cut a hole in the corner of another pastry or plastic bag and insert the pastry tip #233. 
  18. Fill with chocolate frosting and pipe hair 1.25 inches from the top of the head to the forehead and about 4 inches down both sides of the head. Cut the cake roll in half width-wise and place on each side of the neck for bolts. 
  19. Store in the refrigerator to chill.
  20. Enjoy!

Let's take a moment to breathe before we begin on our Bride. Okay, are we ready? Let's go!

Frankenstein's Bride Cake

You will need:

  • 1 package yellow cake mix
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup shortening
  • 8 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 3 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • Purple and green paste food coloring

  1. Prepare the cake mix according to package directions. 
  2. Pour the batter into two greased and floured 9 x 5 inch loaf pans. 
  3. Bake at 350 degrees for 35 to 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. 
  4. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from the pans to wire racks to cool. Place cakes end-to-end on a 22 x 8 inch covered board. 
  5. In a large bowl, cream the butter and shortening until light and fluffy. Beat in 6 cups confectioners' sugar, milk, vanilla and salt. 
  6. Beat in enough remaining confectioners' sugar to achieve spreading consistency. 
  7. Set aside 1/4 cup white frosting for hair. 
  8. Remove 3 cups frosting and tint purple. 
  9. Tint the remaining frosting green. 
  10. For the bride's face, frost the top and sides of one cake with green frosting. 
  11. Frost the second cake with a thin layer of purple frosting. 
  12. Insert a medium star tip in each of two pastry bags, then fill one bag with the remaining purple frosting and the other with the reserved white frosting. 
  13. Pipe wavy purple hair with streaks of wavy white hair on the bride. 
  14. Decorate the bride using assorted candies. 
  15. For eyes, use halved marshmallow, halved black raspberry candy and black shoestring licorice. 
  16. Add a Jordan almond nose. 
  17. Make a smiling mouth and dimples using red shoestring licorice, red colored sugar and halved red raspberry candy. 
  18. For ears and earrings, insert gummy stars and candy corn into the side of the cake. 
  19. Attach spice gumdrops for bolts. 
  20. Use black shoestring licorice and black licorice pastels for scar. 
  21. Add a spider made with a black raspberry candy and black shoestring licorice strips.
  22. Place in the refrigerator to chill.
  23. Enjoy!

I hope you all had fun making these cakes. In my opinion, Halloween is not complete without something Frankenstein. I will catch you all on the flip side with more Halloween treats. Happy blogging to all! <3

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Halloween Week Day 7

Good afternoon bloggers! Today, we complete our (very long and drawn out) Halloween Week. I know, I know... I should have completed this DAYS ago, but I love Halloween so much that I wanted it to last for a while. If all goes well, I may stick with the Halloween theme and do some tasty Halloween treats in the upcoming weeks. Today, however, we are finishing with a ghoulish stew that'll brighten any child's face and warm their bellies. Stews are similar to soups, and many people cannot tell the difference. Soups contain more liquid than stews and are less thick. Stews have been around since ancient times. Scythians, during the 8th to 4th centuries BC, were known to "put flesh into an animal's paunch, mix water with it, and boil it like that over the bone fire..." Interesting, huh? Well, now that we've have a little schooling in the background of stews, let's get in the kitchen and concoct some stew of our own!

Beef Stew with Ghoulish Mashed Potatoes

You will need:

  • 2 pounds beef stew meat, cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 1 pound fresh mushrooms, halved
  • 2 cups fresh baby carrots
  • 2 medium parsnips, peeled, halved lengthwise and sliced
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 1.5 cups beef broth
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 8 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 2/3 cup sour cream
  • 6 tablespoons butter, cubed
  • 1 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons water


  1. In a 5 quart slow cooker, combine the first 11 ingredients. 
  2. Cover and cook on low for 8 to 9 hours or until beef and vegetables are tender. 
  3. About 30 minutes before serving, place potatoes in a large saucepan and cover with water. 
  4. Bring to a boil. 
  5. Reduce heat, then cover and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes or until tender. Drain and return the potatoes to the pan, then add the sour cream, butter and 1/2 teaspoon salt. 
  6. Mash until smooth. 
  7. Set aside 12 peas for garnish. 
  8. Add the remaining peas to the slow cooker, and increase heat to high. 
  9. In a bowl, whisk the flour, water and remaining salt until smooth and stir into stew. 
  10. Cover and cook for 5 minutes or until thickened. 
  11. Divide the stew among six bowls. 
  12. Place mashed potatoes in large resealable plastic bag and cut a 2 inch hole in one corner. 
  13. Pipe ghost potatoes onto the stew and garnish with the reserved peas.
  14. Enjoy!

I hope you all have a wicked afternoon. I will catch you on the lfip side and I promise to come baring Halloween treats for you and your family to enjoy! Happy blogging to all! <3

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Halloween Week Day 6

Good afternoon bloggers! We are making our biggest attempt to finish this very long and dragged out Halloween week. Today, we will be working with chicken wings and food coloring! I love working with food coloring. You can have something so ordinary and it will end up looking fun and entertaining. We will  be making a dish called Barbecued Bat Wings. I know... it sounds horrible, but the taste will be amazing and your children will have a blast eating the "bat wings". We will also be skipping our trivia for the day in order to get right to the recipe. Let's get in the kitchen and get the ball rolling!

Barbecued Bat Wings

You will need:

  • 4 pounds chicken wings
  • 2 cups ketchup 
  • 1.5 cups molasses 
  • 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar 
  • 3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce 
  • 2 tablespoons sugar 
  • Hot sauce to taste
  • Salt
  • Black pepper
  • Black food coloring
  • Blue food coloring
  • Green food coloring

Let's do this!

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. 
  2. Boil the chicken wings for twenty minutes in a large pot. 
  3. While the wings are cooking, prepare the sauce. 
  4. Whisk together the ketchup, molasses, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, sugar, hot sauce, salt, and pepper until smooth in a large roasting pan. 
  5. Add enough black, blue, and green food coloring to the sauce to make a dark black sauce. 
  6. Place the pan in the oven and bake for 10 minutes, stirring once. 
  7. Drain the wings well and add them to the sauce and toss to coat evenly, poking the wings liberally with a fork. 
  8. Bake for 20 minutes, then increase the temperature to 450 degrees. 
  9. Toss the wings in the sauce again to coat evenly. 
  10. Bake until the sauce is thickened and slightly blackened, flipping the wings over occasionally, about another 15 minutes. 
  11. Serve hot or at room temperature.
  12. Enjoy!

I hope you have a great Sunday. Enjoy this creepy recipe. Share it, hide it, or do what you do. I hope this was a fun recipe for you all and I'll catch you all on the flip side. Happy blogging to all! <3

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Halloween Week Day 5

Good afternoon bloggers! Welcome to a very spooky edition of Everyday Meals. I'm your creepy hostess, Mandie. Today, we will be making two (2) spectacularly ghoulish meals for this upcoming Halloween. These meals are sure to entice your children, your neighbors, and your friends. We will be concocting Scary Pasta with Eyeballs as well as Cannibal Cajun Brain. Sounds disgusting, right? Well, you're wrong. These are delicious and fun meals that will top of the holiday in style! Let's get in the kitchen and get cooking!

Cannibal Cajun Brain

You will need:

  • 3 pounds shrimp, peeled, cooked, de-veined
  • 2 small roasted red peppers, julienned
  • 1 green onion, sliced into 2 inch pieces, julienned
  • For the Gelatin Mixture:
  • 2.5 cups chicken broth
  • 1.5 tablespoons unflavored gelatin
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup tomato paste
  • 3 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 2 teaspoons Cajun seasoning
  • A pinch of salt

  1. Into a purchased  jello brain mold, layer your shrimp in, tails facing the middle of the brain. It's best if you layer them into the brain mold with the tails facing the middle, according to each "hemisphere" of the brain. This will give you the most realistic look. 
  2. Tuck the shrimps in close together. 
  3. Drop bits of roasted pepper and green onion in around the shrimp. These should look like veins and nerves when you're finished. 
  4. Repeat, alternating between shrimp and vegetables, until you fill your Jello brain mold. 
  5. Make your gelatin according to package instructions.
  6. In a small saucepan, bring the chicken broth to a boil. 
  7. Remove from heat and stir in the unflavored gelatin. 
  8. Stir in the lemon zest, juice, tomato paste, garlic, honey, cajun seasoning, and a pinch of salt. 
  9. Pour this mixture over the shrimp in your brain mold, filling to the top. Discard any extra. 
  10. With a rubber spatula, smooth the top of your shrimp and gelatin to create a smooth surface. 
  11. Refrigerate until firm, at least several hours. 
  12. To unmold, set your Jello brain mold in a bowl of hot water for a few seconds. 
  13. Place a serving tray underneath, then flip your mold over. 
  14. The brain should pop right out. 
  15. Serve with "fava beans and a nice Chianti"!
  16. Enjoy!

Ready for our next spooky recipe? Let's go!

Scary Pasta with Eyeballs

You will need:

  • 15 Fresh Plum Tomatoes 
  • 2 tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 2 teaspoons Finely Chopped Garlic
  • 4 tablespoons Fresh Chopped Basil
  • 1 teaspoon Sugar
  • Grated Parmesan Cheese
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 1 pound linguine
  • 12 small Fresh Mozzarella Balls
  • 4 large Black Olives

  1. Chop the tomatoes into 1/4 inch pieces.
  2. Heat olive oil in large skillet or saucepan.
  3. Add garlic to the saucepan, then saute for about 3 minutes.
  4. Add tomatoes and basil with the garlic. 
  5. Simmer for about 15 minutes using the straight part of a spatula to “chop” the mixture while it cooks.
  6. Add sugar, Parmesan cheese and salt and pepper and allow to simmer 20 minutes on medium heat “chopping” and stirring occasionally.
  7. While the tomatoes are cooking, boil pasta for 11 to 12 minutes or until cooked to desired firmness.
  8. Drain the pasta and place in a large serving bowl. 
  9. Press one black olive into the middle of each mozzarella ball. 
  10. Top the pasta with mozzarella "eyeballs". 
  11. Serve immediately.
  12. Enjoy!

I hope you all enjoy this fabulous day. Your children should get a kick out of these awesome recipes, as should anyone who stumbles across them! Happy blogging to all and I'll catch you on the flip side! <3

Monday, October 10, 2011

Halloween Week Day 4

Good morning bloggers! Welcome to another spooktacular edition of Everyday Meals. Today, we are keeping with the Halloween trend and we will be making some amazingly fun burgers that you and your kiddos will enjoy! Did you know... the first burger listed on a printed American menu was in 1826 from a restaurant called Delmonico's in New York? The original Delmonico's was owned and operated during the 19th and early 20th centuries. They closed down due to the Prohibition-era slowdown in 1923, but many people have opened shop using the Delmonico's name. Okay, I do want to say that this recipe is an easy one, so feel free to kick off your shoes, plant a smile on that face and enjoy the ride! Let's get cooking!

Jack-O-Lantern Burgers

You will need:

  • 1 envelope onion soup mix
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons prepared horseradish
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 2.5 pounds ground beef
  • 10 slices process American cheese
  • 10 hamburger buns, split


  1. In a large bowl, combine the soup mix, ketchup, brown sugar, horseradish and chili powder. 
  2. Crumble the beef over the mixture, then mix well. 
  3. Shape the meat into 10 patties. 
  4. Grill, broil or pan-fry until the meat is no longer pink. 
  5. Cut eyes, a nose and a mouth out of each cheese slice to create a jack-o-lantern (your children can help here by using a safety knife made out of plastic if allowed). 
  6. Place the cheese on the burgers and cook until the cheese is slightly melted, about 1 minute. 
  7. Serve.
  8. Enjoy!

I hope you all found this recipe extremely easy. Come back tomorrow for something a little more challenging. I will catch you all on the flip side. Happy blogging to all! <3

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Halloween Week Day 3

Good afternoon bloggers! Welcome to a brand new edition of Everyday Meals. I'm your host and recipe holder, Mandie. We are keeping with the trend of Halloween this week and what is Halloween without pumpkins? Pumpkins are gourd-like squashes that are native to North America. The word pumpkin originates from the word pepon, which is Greek for large melon. The French then adapted this word to pompon, then the British changed the word once again to pumpion and later, American colonists finally changed the word to that of which we call it today. Did you know that the oldest evidence of pumpkin-related seeds were found in Mexico between 7000 and 5500 BC? Also, pumpkins are indeed a fruit that can range anywhere from 1 pound to anywhere over 1,000 pounds! That's amazing! Now, back on topic. Today we will be utilizing our pumpkin for a soup. Let's get in the kitchen and make something delicious!

Pumpkin and Butternut Creamed Soup

You will need:

  • 6 cups cubed butternut squash
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 3 carrots, chopped
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 8 cups chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • salt to taste
  • 6 small sugar pumpkins, halved and seeded
  • 1 cup grated Asiago cheese, divided

Let's do this!

  1. Place the butternut squash cubes in a saucepan, cover with water, and bring to a boil over medium heat. 
  2. Reduce the heat and simmer until tender, about 30 minutes. 
  3. Drain off all the water and set the squash aside. 
  4. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. 
  5. Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray. 
  6. Melt the butter in a large skillet, then cook the carrots, onion, and celery until tender, about 10 minutes. 
  7. Place the vegetables, cooked butternut squash, cream, and sour cream into a blender. 
  8. Cover, and puree until smooth, working in batches if necessary. 
  9. Transfer the blended vegetables to a soup pot, then stir in the chicken broth, nutmeg, black pepper, and salt. 
  10. Bring the mixture to a simmer over medium-low heat, then simmer gently for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. 
  11. While the soup is simmering, place the pumpkin halves, cut sides up, on the prepared baking sheet, and bake in the preheated oven until the pumpkin flesh is cooked through, 15 to 20 minutes. 
  12. Start the broiler, and place the pumpkin halves under the broiler about 6 inches from the heat source to brown the cut side of the pumpkins, if desired. 
  13. Place a pumpkin bowl into a decorate soup plate and serve the soup in the pumpkin bowls. 
  14. Sprinkle each serving with Asiago cheese.
  15. Enjoy!

I hope you all have a fabulous day. I sure am getting excited for the upcoming holiday! Stay tuned for more Halloween themed dinner ideas. Happy blogging to all and I'll catch you on the flip side! <3

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Halloween Week Day 2

Good morning bloggers! Welcome to another warm edition of Everyday Meals. We are obviously going to be sticking with the Halloween theme, since that is our theme this week. We are going to be making an AMAZING chili today. It's called Holy Trinity Chili. For those of you who are not aware of what the Holy Trinity is, here's a little background before we begin. The trinity defines God as three divine persons: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. These three persons are distinct, yet coexist in unity together, yet all three person of the Trinity are of one being. The Trinity is considered a mystery of the Christian faith. As for our chili, the Holy Trinity is in referrence to how many meats we will be using, so no mystery there. And for the actualy Holy Trinity, religion, and faith, we shall not be discussing that further, I mean, it's Halloween Week! Let's get in the kitchen and start a wonderful meal!

Holy Trinity Chili

You will need:

  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 1 (12 ounce) package smoked sausages, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 9 slices bacon, diced
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 2 onions, diced
  • 1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste
  • 1 (14 ounce) can beef broth
  • 1 (28 ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 1 (15 ounce) can mild chili beans, with sauce
  • 2 (15 ounce) cans pinto beans, drained
  • 3 Anaheim (New Mexico) chile peppers, seeded and minced
  • 3 jalapeno peppers, seeded and minced
  • 3 serrano peppers, seeded and minced
  • 3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons chipotle chile powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • salt and pepper to taste

Long list, right? Let's move on.

  1. Brown the ground beef in a large soup pot over medium-high heat until cooked and crumbly, then drain and set aside. 
  2. Brown the sausages as well, then set aside. 
  3. Reduce the heat to medium and stir in the bacon. 
  4. Cook until the bacon has released its fat and is begins to turn crispy. 
  5. Stir in the garlic and onions, then cook until the onions softened and turn translucent, about 5 minutes. 
  6. Stir in tomato paste to coat the onions. 
  7. Pour in the beef broth, diced tomatoes, chili beans, and pinto beans. 
  8. Add the Anaheim peppers, jalapeno peppers, and serrano peppers. 
  9. Season with Worcestershire sauce, brown sugar, chipotle powder, and cumin. 
  10. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer for 2 hours, or until thickened, stirring occasionally. 
  11. Season to taste with salt and pepper, then simmer for 5 additional minutes before serving.
  12. Enjoy!

I thank you all for joining me today. I hope those of you in the Northern states, or over seas stay warm with this delightful recipe. Have a fantastic day and I'll catch you on the flip side. Happy blogging to all! <3

Monday, October 3, 2011

Halloween Week Day 1

Good afternoon bloggers! Welcome to another entry of Everyday Meals. You all know who I am, so let's skip the introductions. We all know that Halloween in coming up here in the states. This excites me. I'm a true Halloween person. I enjoy dressing up and baking treats that corolate to the day. So, like I was saying before I made myself giddy for Halloween... I thought it would be awesome if we could do a week of Halloween Inspired dishes. We are going to be starting our week with a dish called Dead Man's Meatloaf. I want to give you all a little background on meatloaf first before we begin though. Meatloaf has European origins. Minced meat meatloaf was mentioned in the famous Roman Cookery collection, Apicius, as early as the 5th century. Meatloaf is a traditional Belgian, German and Dutch dish and is a cousin to the Italian meatball. The contemporary American meatloaf didn't appear in cookbooks until the late 19th century. Okay, now with a little history and background, let's go have some fun and make something witchy!

Dead Man's Meatloaf

You will need:

  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 pounds lean ground beef
  • 1 tablespoon Cajun seasoning
  • 1 cup seasoned bread crumbs
  • 1 pitted black olive, cut in half
  • 1 cup ketchup


  1. Melt the butter in a skillet over medium heat. 
  2. Cook and stir the garlic, onion, and celery in the hot butter until the onion has softened and turned translucent, about 10 minutes. 
  3. Transfer the vegetables to a mixing bowl and allow to cool. 
  4. Preheat an oven to 350 degrees. 
  5. Place a sheet of aluminum foil onto a baking sheet and spray with nonstick cooking spray. 
  6. Crack the eggs into the mixing bowl with the vegetables, and mix until the egg is smooth. 
  7. Add the ground beef, Cajun seasoning, and bread crumbs. 
  8. Mix with your hands until the mixture is evenly blended. 
  9. Form the meat mixture into the shape of a stick man. 
  10. Bake in the preheated oven until no longer pink in the center, about 35 minutes. 
  11. An instant-read thermometer inserted into the center should read at least 160 degrees. 
  12. Once done, place the olive halves onto the head for eyes, and pour the ketchup onto the abdomen. 
  13. Return to oven, and bake 10 more minutes. 
  14. Serve with a plastic knife impaled in the abdomen for effect.
  15. Enjoy!

I hope you all get a kick out of this dish. If you have children, they will enjoy helping out with dish, for sure! Have a great day and I'll catch you all on the flip side. Happy blogging to all! <3

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Grilled Spicy Lamb Burgers

Good afternoon bloggers. Welcome to another edition of Everyday Meals. I'm you're host with the most (recipes, of course), Mandie. Today we are taking our cooking to the grill. I figured, we might as well soak up what we can of some of the warm weather before it gets chilly with Fall all ready upon us. We are going to be grilling burgers, but not just any burgers. We are going to be utilizing lamb as our meat substitute. Lamb is the meat of a sheep in it's first year. Lamb is typically sorted into 3 kinds of meat: loin, hindquarter, and forequarter. The forequarter includes the neck, shoulder, front legs, and the ribs. The hindquarter includes the rear and the hip. Finally, the loin includes the ribs between the two. Here in the United States, there are approximately up to 8 types of cuts of lamb, but we won't go into those right now. Why don't we meet by the grill instead and cook up some tasty burgers instead?

Grilled Spicy Lamb Burgers

You will need:

  • 1 pound ground lamb
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint leaves
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano
  • 1 tablespoon garlic, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon sherry
  • 1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon molasses
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 4 pita bread rounds
  • 4 ounces feta cheese, crumbled

Phew! What a shopping list! Let's continue.

  1. Preheat the grill for medium heat. 
  2. Place the lamb in a large bowl, and mix with the mint, cilantro, oregano, garlic, sherry, vinegar, and molasses. 
  3. Season with cumin, allspice, red pepper flakes, salt, and black pepper, and mix well. 
  4. Shape the meat into 4 patties. 
  5. Brush the grill grate with oil. 
  6. Grill the burgers for 5 minutes on each side, or until well done. 
  7. Heat the pita pocket briefly on the grill. 
  8. Serve the burgers wrapped in pitas (or buns) with feta cheese.
  9. Enjoy!

Well done on making an excellent lamb burger! I hope you all walk away with a sense of pride in your hearts and joy in your bellies. Have a great day and I will catch you all on the flip side. Happy blogging to all! <3

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Cochinita Pibil

Good morning bloggers! I want to welcome you, as always to another delightful entry to Everyday Meals. I'm going to skip the formalities since we are on a time crunch. The meal that we are making today will take quite a bit of time to make... roughly 7 hours total with prep and cooking time. I do want to run through what we are making, along with some trivia. Today, we are making a Mexican dish. It's called Cochinita Pibil. Cochinita means baby pig, so a real cochinita pibil involves roasting an entire suckling pig. This dish is from the Yucatan Peninsula. In alternative recipes, pork shoulder or pork loin may be used. Traditionally, chocinita pibil was buried in a pit with a fire at the bottom to roast it. The word pibil means buried. We will be nixing the ground roasting for a more modern and highly used method: the oven. Well, let's grab our "Kiss the Cook" aprons and get to it!

Cochinita Pibil

You will need:

  • 1 red onion, sliced thin
  • 3 habanero peppers, sliced
  • 10 limes, juiced
  • salt to taste 
  • 3 ounces dried guajillo chile peppers, seeded and de-veined
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 3 pounds boneless pork shoulder, cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 3 cups fresh orange juice
  • 1 cup white vinegar
  • 1 bulb garlic, peeled
  • 7.5 ounces achiote paste


  1. Combine the onion, habanero peppers, lime juice, and salt in a bowl, then cover and refrigerate while preparing and cooking the pork. 
  2. Use rubber gloves when preparing the habanero peppers and avoid touching your eyes, nose, or skin while slicing peppers. 
  3. Place the guajillo peppers in a bowl and pour enough hot water over the peppers to cover. 
  4. Allow the peppers to soak until they are softened, about 10 minutes. 
  5. Heat the oil in a large skillet at medium-high heat. 
  6. Season the pork with salt and pepper and cook in the hot oil until completely browned, 15 to 20 minutes. 
  7. Transfer the pork to a slow cooker. 
  8. Combine the guajillo peppers, orange juice, vinegar, garlic, and achiote paste in a blender, then blend until smooth. 
  9. Pour the sauce over the pork cubes in the slow cooker. 
  10. Cook on High until the pork easily falls apart, 6 to 8 hours. 
  11. Remove the pork to a serving dish and shred with 2 forks. 
  12. Pour the achiote sauce over the shredded pork. 
  13. To serve, top with the onion-habanero salsa.
  14. Enjoy!

I thank you all for joining me today. I hope you all have an excellent Saturday with your families. I'll catch you all on the flip side. Happy blogging to all! <3