Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Yo! Let's make some Fro Yo!!

What do you do when one of your beautiful friend gives you a fro yo/ice cream maker? Go to the grocery store and immediately buy everything you need and get that bad boy cranking!!
Seriously that's exactly what you do!

I did a little Internet searching and sort of kind of winged this recipe and it came out perfect!!

Not too sweet, not to tart! Fro Yo perfection!!

Go get yourself a fro yo/ice cream maker and make batches of happiness!!

Enjoy and Keep on Making Stuff!

Vanilla Fro Yo

2 cups plain Greek yogurt
2 cups low fat vanilla yogurt
1/8 cup of sugar
1 cup of fresh fruit if you want fruit.

Mix yogurts and sugar. Then add to your machine per the directions.
I added a cup of fresh sliced strawberries. You could add anything your little fro yo eating heart desires!

Here I am bare faced and pony tailed excited about my first ever batch!!!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Best Macaroni Salad Ever!!

I had this crazy craving for macaroni salad. But not the goopy mayo-ie kind. I wanted something different, something with new ingredients in it.

And also something that did not involve elbow macaroni. There are only 2 things in this world elbow macaroni should be used for...1 of them is Macaroni and Cheese and the other is crafting. I mean who doesn't love a well made macaroni necklace!

So I did a little poking around the internet and found this recipe. Of course it's from Pioneer Woman. I kinda sorta like her stuff! Her recipes never ever fail me!

This here fancy pants macaroni salad has olives and roasted red peppers and I really gave it a fancy spin by using BOW TIE PASTA!! That’s right I am as fancy as you thought!

Oh man is this pasta salad good. I ate it with every meal for 3 days then sadly it was gone. :( I will for sure be making this again. For my friends who invite me to their next BBQ don't be surprised if I show up with a yummy bowl full of bow ties!!

One more thing...I kind of made the sauce to taste. I'm a add as I mix kind of gal. I'm certain I used more of everything than what the recipe calls for because that’s just what I do!

Sooooo because I was too busy stuffing my face with this salad I forgot about a pretty pic. So serve yourself up some in your fancy "china" and go about your day! My macaroni salad really helped me get through some brutal expense reports. Hehe!

Enjoy and Keep on Making Stuff!!

The Best Macaroni Salad Ever


4 cups Elbow Macaroni
3 whole Roasted Red Peppers, Chopped (more To Taste, Can Also Use Pimentos)
½ cups Black Olives, Chopped Fine
6 whole Sweet/spicy Pickle Slices, Diced (about 1/2 Cup Diced)
3 whole Green Onions, Sliced (white And Dark Green Parts)
½ cups Mayonnaise
1 Tablespoon Red Wine Or Distilled Vinegar
3 teaspoons Sugar, More Or Less To Taste
¼ teaspoons Salt, More To Taste
Plenty Of Black Pepper
¼ cups Milk (more If Needed)
Splash Of Pickle Juice (spicy Sweet Pickles)
Extra Pickle Juice To Taste
Preparation Instructions

Cook the macaroni in lightly salted water according to package directions. Drain and rinse under cold water to cool. Set aside.

Mix together mayo, vinegar, sugar, salt, and pepper. Splash in enough milk to make it pourable. Splash in pickle juice for extra flavor. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed. Set aside.

Place cooled macaroni in a large bowl and pour 3/4 of the dressing. Toss and add more dressing if you’d like. (Dressing will seem a little thin, but it will thicken up as salad chills.)

Stir in olives, roasted red peppers (or pimentos), pickles, and green onions. Add more of any ingredient if you’d like more stuff going on! At the end, splash in a little more pickle juice and stir.

Chill for at least 2 hours before serving. Sprinkle with sliced green onion to serve!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Did you know...

I have all these weird and somewhat use facts and tips stored in the junk drawer of my brain.
Yes my brain totally has a junk drawer. You know like one in the kitchen that's full of totally useful things but when you see it you have no idea what it's for.

Anywho so I'm going to randomly share them with you!

Here we go!

Did you know if you place a wooden spoon over a boiling pot of let's say pasta it won't overflow?
Me either!! But guess what!!! It works!!
Try it!! Store this fact in your junk drawer and I bet you will use it again!!

I'd love to hear what tips, tricks, and tools you have in your junk drawer. Leave me a comment and I'll gladly try yours out!!

Enjoy and Keep on Making Stuff!!

Honeybun Cake vs. Whopper with Cheese

Over the recent months I have noticed something...

I've become a stress cooker and baker as opposed to a stress eater.

When I'm stressed out or really wound up I always find myself in the kitchen looking to make something.

Last night while I was baking this Honeybun Cake it came to me. The feeling of satisfaction I used to get from gulping down a double whopper with cheese combo is the same feeling I get now after I cook or bake something and it turns out delicious.


What happens is I get the urge to be in the kitchen then I have to find the perfect recipe that suits the moment. That in itself is a process! Once I am in the zone there is no stopping me. I have baked 3 batches of cookies for no reason other than I was having a horrible week and for some reason the thought of baking made me happy.

You see the process is this...
Have food or baked good I shouldn't eat or don't want
Find someone who will love it and see how happy home cooked food makes them
Stress gone

Before I would eat everything I made. Now if I have a bite or two that's a lot.

I don't know what happened to me but I don't think I mind the change. My waistline certainly doesn't.

So I had a bad week and I saw this recipe and said... I HAVE TO MAKE THIS!! is a great recipe resource!

So here's here to hoping your week is stress free and if you do get a little frazzled just remember tomorrow is another day.

ENJOY and Keep on Making Stuff!

Tasty Kitchen

1 box (18.25 Oz. Box) Yellow Cake Mix
4 whole Eggs
1 cup Sour Cream
¾ cups Vegetable Oil
1 cup Light Brown Sugar
2 teaspoons Cinnamon
2 cups Powdered Sugar
6 Tablespoons Milk
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract

Preparation Instructions:

Preheat your oven to 325 degrees.

By hand, blend the cake mix, eggs, sour cream, and oil until well-incorporated. The mixture will be pale yellow; it's okay if it has some lumps! Then set aside.

In a separate bowl, mix together the brown sugar and cinnamon until well-blended; set aside.

Pour half of the cake batter into a greased 13×9 pan, spreading the batter out into a thin layer. Add half of the swirl mixture to the top, covering the entire layer of batter. Don't be alarmed if it looks like you're over-saturating the cake-it'll taste great! Pour the rest of the batter on top, and spread the batter until the cake is even. Top the cake off with the rest of the swirl mixture. With a knife, swirl the batter until you create a beautiful masterpiece (I always pretend I'm a barista pouring cream into a cappuccino because I'm really nerdy like that).

Place the cake into the oven and bake for 45-50 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.

While the cake is baking, make the glaze. In a bowl, mix the powdered sugar, milk, and vanilla until glaze is of desired consistency. When the cake comes out of the oven, immediately pour glaze onto the hot cake. You might have to pick up the cake and tilt it to spread the glaze evenly. Let the cake sit for a few minutes so the glaze can set and serve warm or at room temperature.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Who doesn't love a good salad!

Cucumbers + Fresh Dill + Red Onion = My latest obsession!!!

Here is something I just realized....

Not only are all my close friends superclaifragilistic! They are ALL amazing cooks!! I mean how does this happen and how did I get so lucky!

So my darling universe thank you for blessing me with these people and all of their goodness.

On Memorial Day I headed over to Keith and Jeanie's. 2 of my most fav peeps. I could go on and on why I just adore them but I'm sure you get the jist of things!
Jeanie made lots of great things to eat while Keith manned the grill.

BUTTTT this cucumber salad she made was so good. Good like if someone tried to take yours off your plate there may be some sort of altercation!

It's simple and fresh and perfect for a summertime gathering or if you want to make a huge bowl and eat the entire thing yourself. I mean this didn't happen but it could ahaha!

Enjoy and Keep on Making Stuff!!

Here it is for your dining pleasure.....

Cucumber Dill Salad
4lbs. - cucumbers peeled and sliced thin
1 - medium to large red onion peeled and sliced thin
1/2 cup - fresh dill chopped
1 cup - mayonnaise ( I used Hellman's light)
1 cup - sour cream (I used light sour cream)
1 tsp. - garlic powder
1 tsp. - celery salt (I didn't have any so I left it out and it was just fine)
1 tbsp. - sugar
2 tbsp. - cider vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste

I mixed all the dry in a small bowl and all the wet in another combined then added the veggies.

I recommend putting this in the fridge for a bit to chill. Although it was good right after I made it, chilling it does make it taste better for some reason. I guess it gives everything a chance to hold hands and say hello.

I have been eating this pretty much daily since I made it. Soon the giant bowl I made will be empty and I will obsess over the next tasty salad recipe I find. It's what I do! HEHE!

Friday, May 4, 2012

Winner winner fritter dinner

Who gets a ton of emails a day full of delicious food and lovely DIY crafty items....ME!!!

I look at all of them. I admire all of them. I even recreate a lot of them.

This was one I knew I must try. Something about it sounded sooooooooo good!

I did a little modification but it was very simple to make and the fritters were a meal in themselves. We ate them with a great salad and the dressing I posted a couple entries back.

This blog has some really great entries. Check it out but don't blame me when you run out of ink and paper from printing so many of them!

Enjoy and Keep on Making Stuff!!

Cauliflower Fritters

1 head cauliflower

2 eggs

1/4 cup water

1/2 teaspoon of salt

freshly ground pepper

1/4 cup chopped green onion ( I used chopped red onion because it's what I had)

1/4 cup chopped freshly parsley

1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons flour

1 teaspoon oil

Cut the cauliflower into quarters, and trim off the root and leafs. Trim off any suspect brown bits as well. Chop it roughly and wash. Set a steamer with an inch of water in it and put the cauliflower in a steaming basket. Steam until very tender (about 12 minutes). Remove from the steamer and allow to cool.

In a large bowl, whisk the two eggs gently. Chop the cauliflower fine and add to the eggs along with the water, salt, onion and parsley plus lots of black pepper. Slowly stir in the 1/2 cup of flour. If it is still very moist add the remaining flour. Taste and add salt and pepper as necessary.

Heat a large skillet to medium heat. Once hot give it a spray with cooking spray if you have some and add the teaspoon of oil. Spoon the mixture in big clumps of about 2-3 tablespoons onto the pan. Gently flatten with a spatula. Allow to brown on one side, carefully flip and brown on the other side. About 3-4 minutes per side. Once browned on both sides you can transfer to a cooling rack in a warm oven if you want to keep them warm. Continue until all fritters are cooked.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

I made Whoopie...pies!!

Let's keep this entry simple like this recipe!

Pioneer Woman never let's me down! I've been wanting to make these little nuggets of goodness for awhile now.

If you have not heard of PW then you need to check her out! Shes pretty freaking awesome!!

Now if only my blog was a smidge as amazing as her. IF ONLY!!

Oatmeal Whoopie Pie


2 cups Brown Sugar
1/2 cup Butter, Softened
1/4 cup Shortening (Crisco)
2 whole Eggs
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1 teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
1 teaspoon Baking Powder
3 Tablespoons Boiling Water
1 teaspoon Baking Soda
2-1/2 cups Flour
2 cups Quick Oats
Marshmallow Creme
5 Tablespoons All-purpose Flour
1 cup Milk
1 teaspoon Vanilla
1 cup Butter
1 cup Granulated Sugar
Preparation Instructions

*Cookie recipe adapted from The Best of Amish Cooking, by Phyllis Pellman Good.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Cream brown sugar, butter, and shortening. Add eggs and mix. Add salt, cinnamon, and baking powder and mix. Mix baking soda and boiling water, then add to the bowl and mix. Add flour and oatmeal and mix well.

Scoop dough onto parchment-lined cookie sheets so that you have rounded heaping teaspoons. Bake for 10 minutes, being careful not to burn. Remove from oven, transfer to a cooling rack, and let the cookies cool completely.


Scoop small amounts of marshmallow fluff onto cookies, then press a second cookie on top. Freeze immediately if not serving right away, or serve right after filling (fluff will ooze.)


(That's the Best Frosting I've Ever Had)

In a small saucepan, whisk flour into milk and heat, stirring constantly, until it's very thick. Remove from heat and let it cool to room temperature. Stir in vanilla.

Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. You don’t want any sugar graininess left. Then add the completely cooled milk/flour/vanilla mixture and beat the living daylights out of it. If it looks separated, you haven’t beaten it enough! Beat it until it all combines and resembles whipped cream.

Scoop a small amount onto cookies, pressing a second cookie on top.

Enjoy and Keep on Making Stuff!


Friday, April 13, 2012

Beans and Rice and Everything Nice

Everyone has certain foods that could eat very often. For me it's homemade chicken noodle soup, chips and salsa, and this salad.

Originally this salad did not have rice, and without rice it's just as awesome but I have grown to prefer it with.

For me the ingredients are things I ALWAYS have in my cupboard.

This little concoction can be used in so many ways. I also like to put some on a tortilla with some chicken and make a sort of burrito. I like it with a little avocado on top too but I'm pretty sure avocado on top of just about anything is going to be good.

So you know beans and rice are a great combo. Lots of protein and amino acids. There is nothing in this salad that's bad for you. If you are like me and like to make sure most of what you eat is not only delicious but fuel for your body this salad is right up your alley.

There is no real name for this most of the time I just call it the beans and rice salad.

Beans and Rice Salad

1 - can of black beans
1 - can of corn
1 - can of diced tomatoes (I like fire roasted)
2 - cups of white rice
1 - cup of vinegar
1/2 - cup of olive oil
1/3 - cup lemon or lime juice
2 - Tbsp of minced garlic
1 - Tbsp of garlic powder
1 - Tsp of sea salt
1 - Tsp of pepper

Cook the rice and set aside. I just use instant white rice. I tried it with brown and didn't care for it with this.

Drain your cans and put everything in a large bowl.
Now add everything but the rice to the bowl and give it a stir. Once you have everything mixed add the rice.

I always add more garlic etc after its all mixed until it's to my liking. I'm the kind of cook that doesn't really use exact measurements in things. I like to just toss in a little of this and a little of that.

Once it's done you can eat it right away or I like to chill mine in the fridge for about a hour. This also gives the rice time to absorb more of the "juices".

There are so many things you can do with this versatile salad. Let me know if you make it and what modifications you have done!

Enjoy and Keep on Making Stuff!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Salad Salad I Love Salad

Thank goodness this isn't a video blog because all you guys would be seeing is me sitting here shoveling salad in my mouth like it's my last meal!

For Easter I decided to keep the salad very basic not knowing what everyone liked.

I looked for a copy cat recipe of the Olive Garden salad dressing because it's the only thing great about that place. I found about 100 versions. I took what sounded like it would be tasty and mixed it up in my trusty bullet.

Now I know this salad and dressing was a hit because it was 100% gone at the end of the night.

For the salad I used the following:

1 - small head of iceberg
4 - small bunches of "artisan" lettuce of choice.
1 - medium red onion
3 - small peppers I used red yellow and orange ( 1 of each)
1 - pint of black olives from the olive bar at the grocery store. ( I rinsed mine and let them dry off to take away the brininess)
1 - bag of Italian style croutons.
1 - cup of fresh grated parmesan cheese
1 - cup of fresh grated Romano cheese
1 - handful of cherry tomatoes

Clean chop mix and chill in the fridge while you make the best dressing ever!

Before I give you the dressing recipe I didn't really measure I like to just toss stuff in so these measurements are approximate. Just make and adjust according to your taste and consistency preferences

Sorta Kinda Olive Garden Copy Cat Dressing:
1 Tbsp Italian Seasoning
1 Tbsp Garlic Powder
1 TBSP Minced Garlic
2 Tbsp Parsley (I used flakes)
1 Cup light mayo (I used Hellmann's light I don't suggest using miracle whip because its sweet and runny)
2 Tbsp of olive oil
1/3 - 1/2 Cup White vinegar (add a little at a time and watch your consistency)
2 Tbsp of grated parmesan cheese
2 Tbsp of grated Romano cheese
1 Tbsp Lemon Juice

I put everything in my bullet blender and gave it a few pulses and just added things as I saw fit after I taste tested of course. The recipe this is based off of called for corn syrup and I had some but I didn't feel it needed it so I left it out. I can't imagine the flavor would change much with this added.

Adapted from this dressing recipe:

So make this dressing and put it on every salad you make. My handsome fiancé said " it's so good we don't need to buy dressing ever again. " There you have it! We got a winner!

Enjoy and Keep on Making Stuff!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Lasagna Soup should be a food group!

So let me first start by saying I am horrible New Years Resolutioner! I said I would update my blog more often and lookie here it's April 5th. Seriously Barbie could you be a bigger slacker. My answer is YES!

I love soup! It's no shocker considering I have an entire binder of just soup recipes and a folder in my favorites dedicated to soup.

In my random internet blog search I found not only an amazing soup recipe I found a SUPER amazing blog. I always admire these folks who have entry after entry and all these great features. How do they do that? Between work, the gym and being my fabulous self I don't have enough time in the day! Please I need to know your secret!

So check out A Farm Girls Dabbles ( and you will probably print and or save a million of her entries like I did and run out of paper and ink!

I only changed 2 things about this recipe... I used 1 lb mild Italian sausage and 1/2 lb hot and I just used lasagna noodles. I put them in a big zip lock and gave them a lil smash with the bottom of a small sauce pan aahaha. Hey it seemed like the right thing to do and it worked.

By suggestion I cooked the noodles separately and added them to the soup after so they would not absorb the broth.

I know soup is mainly a fall winter thing but it couldn't hurt to make a pot of this and keep it in the freezer for the chili rainy summer days. You know the ones where you sit around and watch horrible made for TV movies and documentaries all day thinking about all the things you SHOULD be doing!

With all that rambling....

ENJOY and Keep on Making Stuff!

Lasagna Soup
Click here for the blog entry I got this from (

for the soup:
2 tsp. olive oil
1-1/2 lbs. Italian sausage
3 c. chopped onions
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
2 T. tomato paste
1 28-oz. can fire roasted diced tomatoes
2 bay leaves
6 c. chicken stock
8 oz. mafalda or fusilli pasta
1/2 c. finely chopped fresh basil leaves
salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

for the cheesy yum:
8 oz. ricotta
1/2 c. grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 tsp. salt
pinch of freshly ground pepper

2 c. shredded mozzarella cheese

Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add sausage, breaking up into bite sized pieces, and brown for about 5 minutes. Add onions and cook until softened, about 6 minutes. Add garlic, oregano, and red pepper flakes. Cook for 1 minute. Add tomato paste and stir well to incorporate. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes, or until the tomato paste turns a rusty brown color.

Add diced tomatoes, bay leaves, and chicken stock. Stir to combine. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes. Add uncooked pasta and cook until al dente. Do not overcook or let soup simmer for a long period of time at this point, as the pasta will get mushy and absorb all the soup broth. You may even want to consider cooking the noodles separately, and then adding some to individual bowls before ladling the soup over them. This would be an especially smart move if you are anticipating any leftovers. Right before serving, stir in the basil and season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

While the pasta is cooking, prepare the cheesy yum. In a small bowl, combine the ricotta, Parmesan, salt, and pepper.

To serve, place a dollop of the cheesy yum in each soup bowl, sprinkle some of the mozzarella on top and ladle the hot soup over the cheese.