Tuesday, December 30, 2014

One Pot Chili Mac And Cheese

Good evening foodies and bloggers! This entry is coming a little later than I would have liked. You know how I said yesterday that everyone but my husband and son were illness free? Well that still stands, but my husband has taken a sharp turn. He feels even worse than he did yesterday. I've had to take my son to the doctor's and keep a close eye on my husband. It's been crazy to say the least, so tonight we will be making a rather easy dinner. It requires 1 pot and a few delicious ingredients. Grab those aprons and I'll meet you in the kitchen!

One Pot Chili Mac And Cheese
Yields 4 Servings

You will need:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 8 ounces ground beef
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 3/4 cup canned white kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 3/4 cup canned kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1.5 teaspoons cumin
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 10 ounces uncooked elbows pasta
  • 3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves


  1. Heat olive oil in a large skillet or Dutch oven over medium high heat. 
  2. Add garlic, onion and ground beef, and cook until browned, about 3 to 5 minutes, making sure to crumble the beef as it cooks; drain excess fat.
  3. Stir in chicken broth, tomatoes, beans, chili powder and cumin; season with salt and pepper, to taste. 
  4. Bring to a simmer and stir in pasta. 
  5. Bring to a boil; cover, reduce heat and simmer until pasta is cooked through, about 13 to 15 minutes.
  6. Remove from heat. 
  7. Top with cheese and cover until melted, about 2 minutes.
  8. Serve immediately, garnished with parsley, if desired.
  9. Enjoy!

Thank you for joining me tonight. I hope you enjoy this super simple meal. I'll be back tomorrow, possibly with a dessert recipe, or maybe even a breakfast recipe. I'm not sure yet, but stick around to find out! Have a great evening, and happy blogging!


Monday, December 29, 2014

Turkey Meatloaf

Hello loves! I'm back, and most of my family is healthy again. The flu knocked us on our tookuses! The only members of my family that are still sick are my husband and my son. Now that I'm back, I want to bring us back to speed with a delicious recipe. As most of you know, I love meatloaf. I don't discriminate. I love all meatloaf equally, be it original meatloaf, Italian meatloaf, turkey meatloaf, cheesy meatloaf... I can carry on, but I'm eager to start our entry tonight. So, without further ado, I present:

Turkey Meatloaf

You will need:

  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 cup onion, diced
  • 1 teaspoon garlic, minced
  • 3/4 cup carrot, grated
  • Pepper, to taste
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • 2.5 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 cup parsley, chopped
  • 1 cup bread crumbs
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 pound ground turkey


  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  2. In a small bowl, combine the ketchup, brown sugar and 1 teaspoon of the Worcestershire sauce. 
  3. Set aside.
  4. Heat the olive oil in a small skillet and saute the onion, garlic, and carrot until soft. 
  5. Stir in the pepper, salt, and remaining 1.5 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce and then transfer the mixture into a large bowl.
  6. Pour the breadcrumbs, milk, and parsley into the bowl.
  7. Add in the eggs, turkey, and 2 tablespoons of the ketchup mixture. 
  8. Mix everything together until well combined and then transfer the mixture to a loaf pan, patting to smooth the top into a rounded loaf.
  9. Pour 1/2 cup to 3/4 cup of the remaining ketchup mixture on top of the turkey and spread evenly. 
  10. Bake 50 to 55 minutes.
  11. Slice and serve.
  12. Enjoy!

Thank you for joining me tonight. I'm glad to be back, and like usual, I will be back tomorrow now that things have smoothed out. Stay tuned and I promise a delicious recipe for y'all! I'll catch y'all tomorrow. Happy blogging!


Saturday, December 27, 2014

Oh No! It's the Flu!

Fellow bloggers and friends,

I know I told you that I'd be back this past Monday, but it turns out that my 6 month old ended up with a 101.9 fever and the flu. I rushed home from work only to rush back out to the emergency room. The following days after that, I came down with the flu, as did my mother, and my baby sister. It has been making it's rounds in our house courtesy of my niece and nephew's day care. They also got the flu! Talk about one sick family!

I will be back as soon as everyone gets better (including myself). Stay tuned for an entry coming soon, more than likely next week at some point. I hope you all had a great holiday, and we will see y'all soon!


Sunday, December 21, 2014

Candy Cane Swirl Cheesecake

Good evening my food loving, Christmas holiday celebrating friends! Tonight we are making a recipe that is some what similar to a recipe I made with my big sister, Jessica, many years ago. On our second Christmas together wayyyy back in 2009, Jessica and I made from scratch a peppermint swirl cheesecake. It was heavenly!

We honestly had no idea what we were doing, but we made it work. It was a big hit in our family. Everyone tore into the cheesecake in a matter of minutes, and they all gave it a rating of 10 out of a possible 10! It's super easy to please our family as long as there's dessert around! Tonight, we will try our hands at yet another cheesecake recipe, and I hope y'all like it! So without further ado...

☃On the twenty second day of Christmas recipes, your hostess gave to you☃

Candy Cane Swirl Cheesecake
Yields 12 Servings

You will need:

Chocolate Crumb Crust:

  • 1.5 cups chocolate wafer crumbs, (about 27 chocolate wafers)
  • 1/3 cup butter, melted
  • 2 tablespoons sugar

Cheesecake Filling:

  • 3 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 ounces white chocolate, melted
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon Pure Peppermint Extract
  • 10 drops Red Food Color


  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. 
  2. For the Crust, mix chocolate wafer crumbs, butter and sugar in medium bowl until well blended. 
  3. Press evenly into bottom and 2-inches up sides of 9-inch springform pan. 
  4. Set aside.
  5. For the Filling, beat cream cheese and sugar in large bowl with electric mixer on high speed until well blended. 
  6. Add melted white chocolate; mix well. 
  7. Add eggs, 1 at a time, mixing on low speed after each addition just until blended. 
  8. Add sour cream, flour and peppermint extract; mix well. 
  9. Remove 1/2 cup of the batter. 
  10. Add food color; mix until well blended. 
  11. Alternately drop plain and tinted batters by spoonfuls into prepared crust. 
  12. Cut through batter with knife several times for marble effect.
  13. Bake 55 minutes or until center is almost set. 
  14. Turn off oven. 
  15. Leave cheesecake in oven 2 hours or until cooled. 
  16. Remove from oven.
  17. Refrigerate 4 hours or overnight. 
  18. Run small knife around sides of pan to loosen crust; remove sides of pan. 
  19. Store leftover cheesecake in refrigerator.
  20. Enjoy!

Thank you for joining me on our last night of holiday sweets! Tomorrow we start serving up actual Christmas dinner recipes. Stay tuned because we have some delicious recipes coming your way! For now, have a great night, and happy blogging to all!


Saturday, December 20, 2014

Ornament Cupcakes

Hello foodies and friends! Tonight we celebrate day 21 of our 25 Days of Christmas Recipes. Now, if you celebrate the holiday, you know very well that there is a surplus of ornaments hanging around every store, every window, every tree, the whole nine yards. We seriously cannot turn a corn without seeing some form of an ornament or decorated tree.

Tonight, we will be making our own ornaments. The difference though is ours will be cupcake ornaments! With this recipe, you can rally your friends and family, host a cupcake party, and decorate these bad boys any way you want! If you have children, this will be a fun way to spend some time with them during the holiday season. So, without further ado, I present:

☃On the twenty first day of Christmas recipes, your hostess gave to you☃

Ornament Cupcakes
Yields 24 Servings

You will need:

  • 1 box white cake mix
  • Water, vegetable oil, and egg whites according to cake box
  • 6 cups powdered sugar
  • 2/3 cup butter or margarine, softened
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons milk
  • 24 small candy canes
  • Red and green jelly beans
  • Red cinnamon candies
  • Red string licorice
  • Red and green candy-coated chocolate-covered sunflower seeds


  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. 
  2. Place paper baking cups in each of 24 regular-size muffin cups or spray with cooking spray.
  3. Make and bake cake as directed on box for cupcakes, using water, oil and egg whites. 
  4. Cool 10 minutes. 
  5. Remove from pans to cooling racks. 
  6. Cool completely, about 30 minutes.
  7. In large bowl, mix powdered sugar and butter with spoon or electric mixer on low speed. 
  8. Stir in vanilla and 3 tablespoons milk. 
  9. Gradually beat in just enough remaining milk to make frosting smooth and spreadable. 
  10. Frost cupcakes generously.
  11. Create ornament designs using assorted candies. 
  12. Use top of candy cane to create a “hook” on each cupcake.
  13. Enjoy!

I'll be back tomorrow. Starting on Monday, we will be making actual dinner and side recipes pertaining to the holiday. Stay tuned, and I hope to see all of y'all back tomorrow! Happy blogging!


Friday, December 19, 2014

Christmas Caramel Popcorn

Hello lovelies! You know those wonderful little popcorn tins that come out at Christmas time? You know how they stuff those wonderful tins full of 3 types of popcorn? I love those tins. My big sister, Jessica,  loves those tins. I love the cheddar popcorn. I love the caramel popcorn. I don't mind the normal popcorn...

Some people may say that I will go out of my way to buy a tin yearly. It's true. I love those decorated little tins. They are utterly adorable and make great ornament containers. Our entry tonight is all about delicious caramel popcorn. We'll be getting festive though and throwing in colors! I love colorful things as well, so I'm really excited to share this entry with y'all.

☃On the twentieth day of Christmas recipes, your hostess gave to you☃ 

Christmas Caramel Popcorn

You will need:

  • 3 bags butter and salted popcorn, popped (remove any remaining kernels)
  • 3/4 cup butter
  • 1.5 cups brown sugar
  • 1/4 + 1/8 cup light corn syrup
  • 1/4 + 1/8 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • red and green food coloring

  1. Preheat oven to 250 degrees.
  2. In a medium saucepan, melt together the butter, brown sugar, and corn syrup. 
  3. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently. 
  4. Boil over low heat for 5 minutes. 
  5. Remove from heat and add the baking soda and vanilla
  6. Place each bag of popcorn in a 9x13 pan coated with cooking spray. 
  7. Pour approximately 1/3 the caramel over one pan of popcorn. 
  8. Toss to coat.
  9. Place half of remaining caramel in medium bowl and add red food coloring until you reach the desired shade of red. 
  10. Immediately pour the mixture over the second pan of popcorn. 
  11. Toss to coat.
  12. Add green food coloring to the remaining caramel until you reach desired shade of green. 
  13. Immediately pour over the third pan of popcorn. 
  14. Toss to coat.
  15. Bake for 45 minutes, rotating pans and stirring each pan with a spatula coated with cooking spray every 15 minutes. 
  16. Cool completely before serving.
  17. Enjoy!

Thank you for joining me tonight. I'll be back tomorrow with another Christmas recipe. Stay tuned the rest of this week as we finish off our 25 Days of Christmas Recipes. We will finish the week with a couple of actual holiday recipes, not just sweets and treats. I can't wait to share those with you! I'll catch y'all on the flip side!


Thursday, December 18, 2014

Hot Cocoa Santa Hat Brownies

Welcome my foodie loving, Christmas fanatics! Tonight, we are celebrating the joy of Santa hats, and hot cocoa. Oh, and brownies! When I think of the holiday season, I instantly think of snow, cold weather, snuggling under a blanket, and drinking a big mug of hot cocoa. I also think of decorating the Christmas tree, and wearing Santa hats on Christmas day. Now, my family doesn't often make brownies for Christmas, but it's not uncommon.

Tonight, we will be combining all of the thing I listed above: Satan hats, hot cocoa, and brownies. It's a really cute holiday recipe that will get the thumbs up from all your family and friends. Are we ready to begin? Allons-y!

☃On the nineteenth day of Christmas recipes, your hostess gave to you☃

Hot Cocoa Santa Hat Brownies
Yields 30 to 36 Brownies

You will need:

  • 1.25 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup milk chocolate hot cocoa mix
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tub Vanilla Cool Whip Frosting, thawed
  • sprinkles
  • mini marshmallows

  1. In a large mixing bowl, blend the sugar, flour, hot cocoa, cocoa powder, melted butter and eggs together. 
  2. Mix until completely combined.
  3. Line a 13x9 baking dish with parchment paper. 
  4. Pour batter into parchment paper. 
  5. Bake in a 375 degree oven for 22 to 25 minutes. 
  6. Remove and cool completely.
  7. Remove brownies from pan by lifting parchment paper. 
  8. Place on cutting board. 
  9. Using a 1.5-inch circle cookie cutter, cut brownies. 
  10. Top brownies with a swirl of Cool Whip frosting by putting frosting in a pastry bag with an open tip and pipe onto each brownie. Immediately sprinkle with red sugar. 
  11. Top with one mini marshmallow.
  12. Eat immediately or store in refrigerator until ready to serve.

I'll be back tomorrow, so stay tuned. Thank you for joining me for day 19 of our 25 Days of Christmas Recipes! Happy blogging to y'all!


Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Chocolate Peanut Butter Balls

Hello my Christmas recipe loving foodies! Tonight, we are making another recipe near and dear to my heart. Each year, while I lived with my best friend, my sister-in-law, we always psyched ourselves up for the Christmas season. We knew that when the time rolled around, we would be making peanut butter balls. It was a tradition. The first time we made them, the chocolate was perfectly melted. It was magical! The second time, the chocolate was very difficult. There were other times we made them, but those two times are the times that stick out to me. We made a great team, and I hope you and your family can find the same enjoyment and feelings of doing something as a family as we did! Now that I don't live with my big sister, I wanted to do something to remember the great holiday times. This will be my first holiday without her. This recipe is for you, Jei Jei!

☃On the eighteenth day of Christmas recipes, your hostess gave to you☃ 

Chocolate Peanut Butter Balls
Yields 55 Servings (1 Ball = 1 Serving)

You will need:

  • 2 cups creamy peanut butter
  • 3/4 cup salted butter (softened)
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 3/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 packages (1 lb each) Chocolate Almond Bark

  1. Mix the peanut butter, salted butter and vanilla together in a large bowl.
  2. After they are well mixed together, add in the powdered sugar, a little at a time. 
  3. You may need to add a bit more or a bit less powered sugar. 
  4. You have enough powered sugar when the mixture holds together well in one giant ball in your mixing bowl.
  5. Cover and let sit in the refrigerator for 15 to 25 minutes until they firm up. 
  6. Shape the dough into 1-inch balls.
  7. Cover and refrigerate again, for about 15 to 20 minutes. 
  8. Melt the chocolate according to the package directions.
  9. Dip the peanut butter balls one at a time into the melted chocolate. 
  10. You can use two spoons. Dip the ball in the chocolate with one spoon and then take it out and toss it back and forth between each spoon.
  11. Let the excess chocolate drip off, as the chocolate will pool a little when you set it down. 
  12. Place the dipped peanut butter chocolate ball onto wax paper and let it harden.
  13. Chill until ready to serve. 

Once again, thank you for joining me. This recipe means the world to me, and I'm glad that I could share one of my favorite recipes for the holiday with y'all. Stay tuned tomorrow for yet another recipe in our 25 Days of Christmas Recipe theme! Happy blogging to y'all!


Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Rice Krispy Cake Surprise

Good evening foodies and friends! Christmas is fast approaching, and we all know that this holiday is chock full of surprises and gifts. Today's entry is all about surprises. I know all of you enjoy the thrill of opening gifts of Christmas morning, not knowing what awaits you. The joy and excitement on your face and your family and friend's faces as they open gifts as well practically make the holiday! This cake is very much like those gifts awaiting you. When you bring this cake to a holiday gathering, it will cause gasps and smiles, laughter and questions. People will wonder how you executed such a seemingly difficult feat! In reality, this cake is super simple. It takes less than an hour total, from start to finish. So, with much anticipation, I present:

☃On the seventeenth day of Christmas recipes, your hostess gave to you☃

Rice Krispy Cake Surprise

You will need:

  • 18 cups Rice Krispies cereal
  • 6 cups Fruity Pebbles
  • 4 bags marshmallows
  • 2 sticks butter
  • Yellow and green food coloring
  • 8-inch round cake pan 
  • 6-inch round cake pan 
  • 3-inch round cake pan 
  • Vanilla Frosting (store bought OR homemade)

  1. Start by making a batch of the Fruity Pebbles for the tree portion of the cake. 
  2. Follow the recipe on the box to make the Rice Krispie treats, but use four tablespoons of butter instead of three because this will help mold the tree shape.
  3. After the marshmallows are mostly melted, add in one tablespoon of green gel food coloring. 
  4. Mix until fully incorporated and let the mixture rest a few minutes. 
  5. Use your cake pans as a guide. 
  6. Start the base of the tree with the eight-inch pan. 
  7. Make sure the pan is thoroughly buttered. 
  8. Place the base of the tree in the freezer and start on the next layer using the six-inch pan. 
  9. When done, place it in freezer and continue on to the three-inch pan.
  10. For the top of the tree, mold it into a point instead of keeping it level.
  11. Now make three batches of regular Rice Krispie treats following the recipe on the box, again using four tablespoons of butter instead of three.
  12. Remove the other Rice Krispie layers from the freezer. 
  13. Keep the eight-inch tree base in the cake pan and remove the six-inch green tree layer. 
  14. Place it on top on the eight-inch layer. 
  15. Start filling in the green layers with your plain Rice Krispies. 
  16. Add the top green layer and continue filling around it with the plain Rice Krispies.
  17. If you happen to have an extra eight-inch cake pan, you can place it on the top of the cake to make it level and make sure the sides are even. 
  18. For an extra-sharp edge, wrap the cake exterior in wax paper and run your hands around the cake to get out all the bumps.
  19. Frost the cake with a vanilla frosting.
  20. Enjoy!

Thank you for joining me tonight. Stay tuned for day eighteen of our 25 Days of Christmas Recipes tomorrow! Have a great night, and happy blogging!


Monday, December 15, 2014

Let's Play Catch Up - Holiday Edition

Good evening bloggers and foodies! These past few days have been SUPER busy. I went to my In-Law's with my son, and my Mother-In-Love and I baked ALL weekend. I kid you not. We made 3 different types of cookies, and each cookie made 5 or 6 dozen cookies. We are hardcore cookie bakers! My MIL doesn't play when it comes to holiday season baking. She is an inspiration, truly!

Now that I'm back, we have 3 day, plus today to play catch up on. So, I'm going to cut to the chase. Are we ready?

☃On the thirteenth, fourteenth, fifteenth, and sixteenth day of Christmas recipes, your hostess gave to you☃

Holly Wreath Cookies

You will need:

  • 1 cup softened butter                               
  • 3 ounces cream cheese                                
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 cup sifted flour
  • Green sprinkles
  • Cinnamon red candies

  1. Cream butter and cream cheese in a bowl until well mixed, add in the sugar and vanilla.  
  2. Mix well.  
  3. Slowly add in the sifted flour.  
  4. Fill your cookie press up half way (a star tip and pastry bag would work fine as well) and make small circles on a cookie sheet.  Sprinkle with green sprinkles and lightly press 2 Cinnamon candies on the cookie. 
  5. Bake at 375 degrees for 8 to 10 minutes.
  6. Enjoy!


Candy Cane Brownie Lollipops
Yields 24 Servings

You will need:

  • 1 package fudge brownie mix (plus ingredients to make brownies)
  • 24 candy canes
  • 10 ounces chocolate-flavored almond bark
  • Additional decorations of your choosing

  1. Line sheet pan with a piece of parchment paper. 
  2. Lightly spray with nonstick cooking spray and set aside. 
  3. Prepare brownie mix according to package directions. 
  4. Pour batter into pan. 
  5. Bake 30 minutes, or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out with moist crumbs attached. 
  6. Remove from oven to cooling rack, and cool for 20 minutes or until slightly warm.
  7. Meanwhile, cut straight ends of candy canes off to form 4½-inch sticks. 
  8. Place candy cane tops into resealable plastic bag, and crush into small pieces; set aside.
  9. Roll brownie into 24 smooth balls. You can use a coffee scoop or something like that to make them the same size.  
  10. Then, insert candy cane sticks into centers of balls, mounding brownie around each stick.
  11. Place almond bark into small bowl. 
  12. Microwave according to package directions until smooth.  
  13. Spoon melted bark evenly over each ball, turning to coat completely. 
  14. Allow excess bark to drip off. 
  15. Dip into reserved crushed candy canes or jimmies, and stand upright on a piece of parchment paper. 
  16. Repeat with remaining almond bark, lollipops and crushed candy. 
  17. Let stand until set.
  18. Enjoy!


Christmas Cherry Thumbprint Cookies
Yields 36 Servings

You will need:

  • 2 sticks Butter, Softened
  • 1/2 cup Sugar
  • 2 whole Egg Yolks, Stirred
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • Zest Of 1 Lemon
  • Zest Of 1 Orange
  • Juice Of 1 Lemon
  • 2 cups All-purpose Flour, Sifted Twice
  • Candied Green And Red Cherries

  1. Cream butter and sugar until fluffy.
  2. Add egg yolks, vanilla, orange peel, lemon peel, and lemon juice, and mix until combined. 
  3. Use rubber spatula to scrape bowl, then mix again.
  4. Add sifted flour and mix until combined. Place dough in a Ziploc bag and refrigerate for at least one hour, or until firm.
  5. When ready to make the cookies, preheat oven to 300 degrees. 
  6. Cut candied cherries in half.
  7. Roll dough into small balls and set on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper or a baking mat. 
  8. Gently press the cherry halves, cut side down, into each ball.
  9. Bake for 20 minutes, removing from oven before they start to brown. 
  10. Cool on a wire rack.
  11. Enjoy!


Sugar Cookie Bars

You will need:

For the Cookies:
  • 1 Cup Unsalted Butter, at Room Temperature
  • 2 Cups Sugar
  • 4 Large Eggs
  • 2 Teaspoons Vanilla Extract
  • 5 Cups All Purpose Flour
  • 1 Teaspoon Salt
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Baking Soda

For the Frosting:
  • 1 Cup Unsalted Butter, at Room Temperature
  • 1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • 1 Pinch Salt
  • 4 Cups Powdered Sugar
  • 5 Tablespoons Whole Milk

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Line a 13X18 inch baking sheet with aluminum foil, extending the ends a few inches beyond pan.
  3. Cream butter and sugar until fluffy. 
  4. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing after each egg. 
  5. Add vanilla and mix well.
  6. In a separate bowl combine flour, salt and baking soda and stir with a whisk to combine.
  7. Add to wet mixture and mix just until combined. 
  8. Spread on prepared  baking sheet. 
  9. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. 
  10. Cool completely and frost.
  11. Meanwhile make the frosting. 
  12. With an electric mixer, beat butter  until smooth and creamy. 
  13. Add vanilla and salt. 
  14. Add powdered sugar in 1 to 2 cup increments until combined. 
  15. Add milk and mix until smooth and spreading consistency. 
  16. Spread over cooled cookie and top with sprinkles.
  17. Enjoy!


Okay y'all, I will be back tomorrow with a new recipe. We will finally be back on track with our 25 Days of Christmas Recipes. Stay tuned to see what we have in store! 


Thursday, December 11, 2014

Traditional Shortbread

Good evening foodies and friends! Tonight's recipe is one that really hits home for me. Every year, my big sister and I make this recipe. It wouldn't be the holidays to me without this recipe. Now, I'm sure you might be scratching your heads a little bit, but I will fill you in: traditional shortbread. I couldn't imagine having Christmas without it on our menu. The only difference between my sister's recipe and this recipe would be the addition of powdered sugar as a topping, but it's really a preference kind of thing. I prefer my shortbread without powdered sugar.

I'm really, really excited to get started on this recipe. I'll meet y'all in the kitchen!

On the twelfth day of Christmas recipes, your hostess gave to you

Traditional Shortbread

You will need:

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 3/4 cup all purpose flour
  • Extra sugar to sprinkle


  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  2. In a mixing bowl cream together the butter and sugar and beat until pale, light and fluffy.
  3. Mix in the flour until the dough is smooth.
  4. Once smooth, on a clean surface roll it out to 1/2 inch thick.
  5. Cut dough into 2 x 4 inch rectangles and place on a clean baking sheet.
  6. Poke holes in the top with a fork.
  7. Sprinkle with extra sugar.
  8. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes until pale golden and when done, cool on a wire rack.
  9. Store in an airtight tin.

Thank you for joining me for such an awesomely easy Christmas recipe. It's honestly one of my personal favorites, and I'm so lucky to be able to share it with all of you! Stay tuned tomorrow for a new recipe in our 25 Days of Christmas Recipes theme. Until then, happy blogging and I'll catch you on the flip side!


Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Gingerbread People

Good evening foodies! I chose this recipe because it's one of those traditional Christmas and holiday recipes. I'm obligated to do something completely traditional every now and again. If not, I would be a Grinch, and Ebenezer Scrooge. I would be the Anti-Clause. No, not really, but I wouldn't think to do a 25 Days of Christmas Recipes without this recipe. Yes folks, we will be making gingerbread men. If you are one of those people who prefer both gingerbread men AND women, that's perfectly acceptable as well. You can decorate them as you please. We shouldn't discriminate against gingerbread cookies. Maybe we should call them gingerbread people instead? That sounds good to me. Are we ready to create some gingerbread people? I am. I'll meet you in the kitchen!

☃On the eleventh day of Christmas recipes, your hostess gave to you☃

Gingerbread People
Yields 40 Cookies

You will need:

For the Gingerbread People:

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup molasses
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon ground ginger
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 4 cups flour
  • 1.5 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

For the Royal Icing:

  • 1 tablespoon meringue powder
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 4 to 5 tablespoons of water
  • red & green food coloring


  1. For the Gingerbread People: In a large saucepan, stir together sugar, molasses, water, ginger, cinnamon and cloves. 
  2. Bring the mixture to a boil and stir until sugar dissolves. 
  3. Remove from the heat and add butter. 
  4. Stir occasionally until the butter is melted and incorporated. 
  5. Let cool for 15 minutes.
  6. In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking soda and salt. 
  7. Stir the flour mixture into the molasses mixture (after it’s cooled) with a wooden spoon. 
  8. Mix until combined.
  9. Place dough into a gallon sized Ziploc bag and flatten the dough evenly into one sheet. 
  10. Refrigerate overnight.
  11. The next day, preheat oven to 375 degrees and line two cookie sheets with parchment paper. 
  12. Prepare a clean, flat surface with a light dusting of flour. 
  13. Working with 1/4 of the dough at a time, roll dough to a 1/4-inch thickness, adding flour as needed. 
  14. With a floured cookie cutter, cut dough into desired shapes. 
  15. Bake cookies for 8 to 10 minutes, until set and lightly browned. 
  16. Remove from oven and let cool on cooling racks before icing.
  17. For the Icing: Place ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer. 
  18. Using the paddle attachment, beat until icing is smooth and matte, about 8 minutes. 
  19. Color and pipe icing as desired.
  20. Enjoy!

Okay lovelies, I'll be back tomorrow. Stay tuned to see what's in store for our next recipe! 


Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Walnut Snowball Cookies

Good evening lovelies! Today at work, I ended up making these delicious confectioner's sugar covered cookies. Our client (and dear friend) called them Mexican Wedding Cookies, but I've always referred to them as snowballs. Either way, they are absolutely delicious, buttery, sugary, just yum. There's really no other way to describe them. I can only think to warn that these cookies are extremely messy. The powdered sugar gets everywhere, and that's no exaggeration.

Now I'm super excited to get started on these cookies. I'll meet y'all in the kitchen!

☃On the tenth day of Christmas recipes, your hostess gave to you☃

Walnut Snowball Cookies
Yields 3.5 Dozen Cookies

You will need:

  • 1.5 cups walnuts
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped
  • 2 cups confectioner's sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. 
  2. Line 2 large cookie sheets with parchment paper. 
  3. Spread the walnuts on a rimmed baking sheet and bake for about 8 minutes, until golden brown. 
  4. Let cool, then coarsely chop. 
  5. Reduce the oven temperature to 325 degrees.
  6. In a standing mixer fitted with the paddle, beat the butter with the vanilla bean seeds at high speed until pale, about 2 minutes. Add 1 cup of the confectioner's sugar and beat at medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes, scraping down the side of the bowl with a rubber spatula halfway through. 
  7. At low speed, mix in the salt, then gradually add the flour and walnuts and beat just until the cookie dough comes together, scraping down the side of the bowl halfway through.
  8. Roll level tablespoons of the dough into balls and arrange them on the prepared cookie sheets. 
  9. Bake the cookies in the upper and lower thirds of the oven for about 17 minutes, until they are lightly browned on the bottom. switch the sheets from top to bottom and front to back halfway through baking. 
  10. Let the cookies firm up on the sheets, about 5 minutes, then transfer them to a rack to cool slightly.
  11. Put the remaining 1 cup of confectioner's sugar in a small bowl. 
  12. Roll the warm cookies in the sugar to coat and return to the rack to cool completely. 
  13. Roll again in the sugar.
  14. Enjoy!

I hope you all enjoy these cookies as much as I do. They are perfect for any holiday party, and pretty much everyone loves them. Now, go forth and bake my darlings! I'll be back tomorrow with another recipe, but until then, happy blogging and I'll catch you on the flip side!


Monday, December 8, 2014

M&M Holiday Cookie Bars

Good evening friends and foodies! Welcome to day nine of our 25 Days of Christmas Recipes. If you are just joining us, you are in for a treat. Before we begin though, I wanted to share a video that is relevant to the recipe we are making today because we will be dealing with M&Ms. I love this video.  If you've never seen this video, you will grin after you see it. It always makes me giggle.

Now that we've had a tiny holiday giggle, I'll meet y'all in the kitchen! See you there!

☃On the ninth day of Christmas recipes, your hostess gave to you☃

M&M Holiday Cookie Bars
Makes One 9X13-inch Pan

You will need:

  • 2¼ cups all purpose flour
  • 1½ sticks butter, melted
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup white granulated
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon Vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda


  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  2. Line a 9x13-inch pan with parchment paper so that it hangs over the sides slightly.
  3. Cream butter and sugars until smooth.
  4. Add eggs and vanilla to combine.
  5. Mix flour, salt and baking soda into wet ingredients until
  6. Gently fold in m&ms.
  7. Pour batter into prepared pan.
  8. Bake for 24 to 28 minutes until golden brown.
  9. Remove from oven and allow to cool.
  10. Lift from pan with parchment paper and cut into bars.

Okay ladies and gentlemen, I'll be back tomorrow evening with another holiday treat for us all. Stay tuned, and I hope to see you all back here tomorrow! Happy blogging, and I'll catch you on the flip side!


Sunday, December 7, 2014

Berry Pavlova

Good evening foodies and bloggers! This post is coming a bit later than usual, but we are still on track thankfully! Today, I bring you a delicious treat that hails straight from New Zealand. This dish was created for Russian ballet dancer, Anna Pavlova while on tour in 1926. Yes darlings, we are making Pavlova. Typically, this dish has a crunchy crust, but tonight we are omitting that. Does that mean it's not actually a Pavlova? I'm not sure, but that's what we are calling it. This is a meringue-type dessert, so if you have a standing mixer, I must ask you to whip that bad boy out! If not, that's okay. You can make meringue by hand as well. It will just take a bit more time. So, with much anticipation, I present:

☃On the eighth day of Christmas recipes, your hostess gave to you☃

Berry Pavlova
Yields 1 Delicious Wreath

You will need:

For the Pavlova:

  • 4 eggs whites (at room temperature)
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 cup castor sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cornflour (sifted)
  • 1 teaspoon white wine vinegar

For the Raspberry Coulis:

  • 1/2 cup fresh raspberries
  • Juice from 1/2 lemon
  • 1/4 cup castor sugar
  • 1/2 tsp of brandy

For the Topping:

  • 1.5 cup fresh cream, whipped
  • 1 pomegranate
  • Raspberries, cherries and strawberries to decorate
  • Bunch of holly or fresh mint


  1. Preheat oven to 250 degrees. 
  2. Line a tray with baking paper. 
  3. Use a round baking tin to draw one large circle 8 inches wide, then draw another circle inside it approximately 5 inches wide.
  4. Beat egg whites and salt until soft peaks form. 
  5. Beat in sugar, a little at time until meringue is stiff and shiny.  
  6. Sprinkle over sifted cornflour, vinegar and fold in lightly.
  7. You should be able to up end the bowl at this stage with no fear of anything coming out.
  8. Grab a dessert spoon and scoop a dollop of meringue. 
  9. Place this dollop between the outside and inside line. 
  10. Repeat until a ring of meringue is complete. 
  11. Create a second layer of meringue on top of the first until second ring is complete. 
  12. Flatten the top by smoothing the meringue.
  13. Place meringue in oven for 2 hours at 250 degrees. 
  14. When time is complete, turn off the oven and leave meringue in the oven until completely cool. 
  15. This is very important as there will be less risk of the meringue cracking and collapsing.
  16. To make the Raspberry Coulis: Blend fresh raspberries, lemon juice and sugar together until sugar has completely dissolved. 
  17. Set aside until required.
  18. When cool, spread with whipped cream, drizzle on raspberry coulis then decorate with cherries, pomegranates, strawberries, raspberries and holly or mint.

Okay my darling foodies, I'll be back at some point tomorrow with another Christmas goody for you all. Stay tuned, and thank you for joining for our 25 Days of Christmas Recipes! Happy blogging, and I'll catch you on the flip side!


Saturday, December 6, 2014


Good evening my foodies and friends! Welcome to day 7 of the 25 Days of Christmas recipes! Today, we are getting sticky sweet. We will be whipping up a truly Southern holiday treat: Divinity. If you don't know what divinity is, I'm about to explain to you. It's a nougat-like confection, often made with nuts and fruit. The modern form of divinity can be traced all the way back to 1907.

Before we begin, I must state that low humidity is crucial for this recipe. This is to ensure that the candy dries properly. If the humidity is too high, the candy will stay spongy. If you live in a highly humid area, I would suggest buying a dehumidifier. This will help keep the air dry, perfect for this recipe. Now, I'm off to the kitchen with my mixer and candy thermometer. I'll meet y'all there!

☃On the seventh day of Christmas recipes, your hostess gave to you☃

Yields 12 Servings

You will need:

  • 2.5 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup light corn syrup
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1.5 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 cup chopped pecans

  1. In a medium sauce pan, mix sugar, corn syrup and water. 
  2. Cook over a medium-high heat, while stirring until the mixture comes to a boil.
  3. Clip candy thermometer to the pan. 
  4. Continue cooking over medium-high heat without stirring until it reaches 260 degrees.
  5. Once you no longer need to stir the sugar mixture, you can prepare the egg white. 
  6. In a large mixing bowl, beat egg whites on medium until they form stiff peaks, when pushed with a spoon.
  7. Gradually pour the hot sugar mixture in a thin stream over the egg whites, while the mixer is still set on medium.
  8. After all of the hot mixture has been added to the egg whites, increase speed to high and beat for about 3 minutes.
  9. Turn off mixer and scrape sides of bowl. 
  10. Add vanilla. 
  11. Continue beating on high until the candy starts to lose its gloss, about 5 to 6 minutes. 
  12. When beaters are lifted, the candy should fall in a thick ribbon and form a mound.
  13. Stir in nuts, then drop with a tablespoon onto wax paper.
  14. Let them set until they have cooled and the outer layer has become somewhat dry and not sticky (1 to 2 hours). 
  15. Store in an airtight container.

Okay y'all, I'll be back tomorrow. Stay tuned to see what we pull out of our Christmas bag of goodies. I'll see y'all then! Happy blogging!


Friday, December 5, 2014

Candy Cane Cupcakes

Good evening my darling foodies! If you are joining us for the first time, you've come at a great time. We are 5 days into our 25 Days of Christmas recipes. Today, we will be making cupcakes. Who in their right mind doesn't like cupcakes? Who in their right mind doesn't like candy canes? There's no escaping candy canes once the holiday season rolls around. No seriously... There's no escaping the slew of different flavors.

There are cinnamon candy canes, peppermint candy canes, strawberry candy canes, wintergreen candy canes. There are apple pie candy canes, butterscotch candy canes, and so so many more! The options are endless really. They are perfect for all types of holiday recipes, or even handing out to friends and family. Today, we will be adorning our cupcakes with traditional peppermint candy canes though. No worry though if you have a different kind. They are purely decoration in this recipe. Now, with much ado:

☃On the sixth day of Christmas recipes, your hostess gave to you☃

Candy Cane Cupcakes
Yields 36 Servings

You will need:

For the Cupcakes:

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 2.5 cups sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1.5 teaspoons peppermint extract
  • 2+3/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 cup baking cocoa
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups water

For the Peppermint Buttercream:

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 8 large egg whites
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 4 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1.5 teaspoons peppermint extract
For the Garnish:

  • Peppermint Candy Canes


  1. For the cupcakes: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 
  2. Line three 12-cup muffin pans with cupcake liners.
  3. In a mixing bow, cream butter and sugar. 
  4. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. 
  5. Beat on high speed until light and fluffy. 
  6. Stir in vanilla and peppermint extract.
  7. Combine dry ingredients; add to creamed mixture alternately with water, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients. 
  8. Pour into cupcake liners. 
  9. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 18 minutes. 
  10. Cool for 5 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks to cool completely.
  11. For the frosting: Place sugar and egg whites in the bowl of a stand mixer. 
  12. Place the bowl over a pot of simmering water. 
  13. Heat, whisking constantly, until the mixture reaches 160 degrees Fahrenheit. Mixture will be frothy.
  14. Remove bowl from heat and attach to the mixer. 
  15. Fit the mixer with the whisk attachment. 
  16. Beat on medium-high until stiff peaks form, about 10 minutes. 
  17. Reduce speed to medium and add the butter, 2 tablespoons at a time, making sure each addition is well incorporated. 
  18. If the mixture is soupy, stick the bowl in the fridge, chill for 20 to 30 minutes, and continue to beat until the mixture comes together. 
  19. If the mixture looks curdled, just keep beating. 
  20. Beat in the peppermint extract. 
  21. Frost the cooled cupcakes.
  22. Garnish with candy canes

Thank you for joining me tonight. Stay tuned for tomorrow's sweet treat! Until then, happy blogging, and I'll catch you on the flip side!


Thursday, December 4, 2014

Melting Snowmen

Hello friends and foodies! Before we begin, I have a very, very serious question for y'all:

No? Okay then. We can always melt a snowman! That is the premise for today's recipe. We will be making melting snowmen cookie type things. I don't know how to describe them because they really aren't cookies, but more of a minty, cocoa ball coated in chocolate. Well, something like that. You will see what I mean when we begin. Shall we? Allons-y!

☃On the fifth day of Christmas recipes, your hostess gave to you☃

Melting Snowmen
Makes 24 Servings

You will need:

  • 3/4 cup sweetened condensed milk
  • 1.5 teaspoons peppermint extract
  • 2.25 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 1/2 cup baking cocoa
  • 1 pound white candy coating, chopped, divided
  • 7 to 8 Starburst candies (orange for noses and colors of your choice for earmuffs)
  • 1/3 cup dark chocolate chips


  1. In a small bowl, combine milk and extract. 
  2. Stir in 2 cups confectioners' sugar and cocoa to form a stiff dough. 
  3. Turn onto a surface lightly sprinkled with confectioners' sugar. 
  4. Knead in enough remaining confectioners' sugar to form a very stiff dough (dough should not be sticky).
  5. Divide into thirds. 
  6. Shape one portion into twenty-four 1/2-inch balls. 
  7. Shape remaining portions of dough into twenty-four 1-inch balls. 
  8. On waxed paper-lined baking sheets, flatten each 1-inch ball into an irregular 1.5-inch circle.
  9. In a microwave-safe bowl, melt 2 ounces white candy coating. 
  10. Using melted coating, attach a 1/2-inch ball near an edge of each circle. 
  11. Let dry 1 hour.
  12. Using Starburst candies, cut out noses and earmuffs as desired. 
  13. Melt remaining white candy coating; cool slightly. 
  14. Working in batches of six, spoon candy coating over snowmen, allowing coating to drape over each until completely covered. Immediately attach noses and earmuffs. 
  15. Let stand at room temperature until dry to the touch, about 1 hour.
  16. In a microwave, melt chocolate chips; stir until smooth. 
  17. Using a toothpick and melted chocolate, form eyes, mouths, buttons and tops of earmuffs.
  18. Revel in your awesome decorating skills, and enjoy!

Thank you for joining us for a very "frosty" dessert entry to our 25 Days of Christmas Recipes this month. I'll be back tomorrow. Until then, happy blogging, and I'll catch you on the flip side!


Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Holiday Lollipops

Hello my dessert loving foodies! Welcome to another holiday entry to The Tasteful Texan. Today, we will be making holiday lollipops. The history of when the first lollipop is quite hazy. It's said that the modern lollipop was invented in 1908 and trademarked in 1931 by George Smith. Before Smith, the first reference of the modern term of lollipop was in 1920. Now, I don't know about you, but I love lollipops! They are great for children and adults alike. They make wonderful gifts, and they are definitely a hit when offered at parties! I'm ready to get started. If you would like, feel free to meet me in the kitchen and we can begin!

On the fourth day of Christmas recipes, your hostess gave to you

Holiday Lollipops

You will need:

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2/3 cup light corn syrup
  • 2 teaspoons flavored extract, such as mint or vanilla
  • Assorted sprinkles or candy
  • Lollipop sticks
  • Candy thermometer


  1. Line two large cookie sheets with parchment paper or Silpat baking mats. 
  2. Fill a large bowl with ice and water; set aside.
  3. Combine the sugar, corn syrup and 1/4 cup water in a small saucepan set over medium heat. 
  4. Attach the candy thermometer to the interior of the saucepan.
  5. Increase the heat to medium-high to bring the mix to a boil, stirring until the sugar has dissolved. 
  6. Using a small pastry brush dipped in water, wash down the sides of the saucepan to prevent crystals from forming.
  7. Boil the mixture for 5 to 7 minutes until it reaches 310 degrees Fahrenheit (hard-crack stage) on the candy thermometer. 
  8. Immediately transfer the saucepan to the bowl of ice water, carefully submerging the sides but ensuring no water seeps into it. Swirl the pan for 10 to 15 seconds to help the mixture cool then remove the saucepan from the bowl of ice water. 
  9. If you're using an extract, carefully swirl it into the mixture immediately after you remove the saucepan from the ice bath.
  10. Working quickly, pour the syrup onto the baking sheets to form circles that are 2 to 3 inches in diameter. 
  11. Space the lollipops 3 to 4 inches apart to guarantee they don't run into each other.
  12. Immediately press in the lollipop sticks and sprinkle them with sprinkles or candy, lightly pressing the garnishes into the syrup. Let cool completely until fully hardened then carefully peel the lollipops off the baking sheet.
  13. Enjoy!

I'll definitely be back tomorrow with another recipe. Now that I've assured that we will have 25 days of Christmas recipes (not 27), we can get back on track. I intentionally took a couple of days off for this reason. Stay tuned for tomorrow's recipe! I'll see ya'll then!


Monday, December 1, 2014

Cookie Cutter Fudge

Hello my lovelies! Welcome to another installment of The Tasteful Texan. Today, we will be working on our third day of Christmas recipes. I know I told you the other day that I'd be back with a possible dinner recipe, but I thought long and hard about it and decided to hold off on an actual dinner until Christmas draws closer. Instead, I think we should seize the opportunity for all of the delicious dessert and treat recipes that the season offers.

☃☃On the third day of Christmas recipes, your hostess gave to you☃☃

Cookie Cutter Fudge
Yields 6 Servings

You will need:

  • 1.5 cups semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup peanut butter chips
  • 1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 tablespoons butter or margarine, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • white or red decorator icing
  • Various candies
  • 6 holiday themed cookie cutters


  1. Place each of 6 cookie cutters on a 5-inch square of foil. 
  2. Seal the foil tightly around outside of each cookie cutter. 
  3. Place on the cookie cutters on the cookie sheet. 
  4. Lightly spray the cookie cutters with cooking spray.
  5. In a 4 cup microwavable measuring cup, mix the chocolate chips, peanut butter chips, milk, and butter. 
  6. Microwave uncovered on High for 1 to 2 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds, until the chips are almost melted. 
  7. Stir in the vanilla.
  8. Pour the mixture into the cookie cutter molds, filling to the top of each mold. 
  9. Refrigerate uncovered about 2 hours or until firm. 
  10. Decorate with icing and candies.
  11. Carefully remove foil. 
  12. Gently press the fudge out of the molds to serve.
  13. Enjoy!

I leave y'all with this delicious fudge. What would the holiday season be without it? In my opinion, it wouldn't be the holidays without fudge. I'm off to go hunt down my mother. She recently made he version of fudge. I'll catch y'all on the flip side! Happy blogging!