Monthly Archives: April 2013

Chili and Cornbread

Chili and Cornbread

Need an easy, delicious, hearty meal?  May I suggest chili and cornbread!  I absolutely love chili (mainly as an excuse to eat copious amounts of cheese and sour cream) and it’s super simple to make, especially if you make it in a crock-pot (such a strange word).

chili and cornbread

First brown up come ground beef in a skillet with a small chopped onion and a few cloves of garlic.  When the beef is done drain off the grease and transfer the beef to a crock-pot.  Add in beans, crushed tomatoes with chili, tomato sauce, a jar of salsa, brown sugar, chili powder, paprika, cumin, ancho chili powder, chipotle chili powder and salt and pepper.  Stir it all around and let it cook.  It’s that simple.

Chili in Crock-Pot

Now, for a delicious accompaniment to the chili, what’s better than some cornbread.  You just mix up some corn meal, flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, oil, milk, and an egg.  Place it in a greased pan and bake it.


After the chili is and cornbread are done serve them up in a bowl with some sour cream, shredded cheese, and jalapeno.  Yum!

chili and cornbread



Crock Pot Chili

Serves 6-8


4 lbs. ground beef

1 medium onion – chopped

3 cloves garlic – minced

15 oz can black beans

15 oz can kidney beans

15 oz can pinto beans

16 oz jar salsa (I use medium, adjust heat based on your preference)

60 oz jar tomato sauce

10 oz can diced tomatoes with green chilies

1/2 cup brown sugar

1 tablespoon chili powder

1 tablespoon paprika

1 tablespoon cumin

1/2 tablespoon ancho chili powder

1/2 tablespoon chipotle chili powder

10 oz can diced tomatoes with green chiles

salt & pepper to taste

sour cream (optional for serving)

shredded cheese (optional for serving)

jalapenos (optional for serving)

Brown beef in a large skillet with the onion and garlic

Drain the grease and place the beef in a crock-pot

– Add the remaining ingredients to the crock-pot and stir

– Cook on high for 4 hours or low for 7 hours

Serve garnishing with jalapenos, sour cream, and shredded cheese as desired




Yields: 1 – 9×9″ baking dish


1 1/2 cups yellow corn meal

1/2 cup flour

1 tablespoon baking powder

1/2 cup sugar

1 teaspoon salt

1/3 cup canola oil

1 cup milk

1 egg

– Preheat oven to 425 °F

– Combine dry ingredients in a bowl

– Combine wet ingredients in a second bowl

– Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients, stirring just until combined

– Pour into a greased 9×9″ baking dish

Bake for 20-25 minutes at 425 °F




Fruit Cocktail Cupcakes

Fruit Cocktail Cupcakes

Twice a year my church has a yard and bake sale.  When I was younger one of my cousins would make Fruit Cocktail Cupcakes for the bake sale.  My grandparents would give me a few dollars to buy whatever I wanted, and I would always buy two or three of these cupcakes they’re delicious!  Normally baked goods require chocolate for me to rave about them, but these cupcakes are absolutely fantastic, very moist and full of flavor, plus they’re super, super, simple to make.

fc cupcake

Mix together flour, sugar, baking soda, eggs, and a can of fruit cocktail by hand

fcc batter

Pour them into lined cupcake pans, and place them in the oven to bake.

fcc pan

Let the cupcakes cool.

fcc baked

For the coconut icing combine butter, sugar, flour, and milk in a pan on the stove. Cook the mixture until it boils, and simmer for ten minutes.

fcc icing

Then remove it from the heat, stir in vanilla, and coconut, and let it cool.

fcc icing

Finally, spread the icing over the cupcakes.

fcc done




Fruit Cocktail Cupcakes with Coconut Icing

Yields: 24 cupcakes



     2 cups flour

     1 3/4 cups sugar

     2 teaspoons baking soda

     2 eggs

     16 oz can fruit cocktail (do not drain)

Coconut Icing

     1 stick butter

     1 cup sugar

     1 tablespoon flour

     1 cup milk

     1 teaspoon vanilla

     12 ounces sweetened flaked coconut

For the Cake

     – Preheat oven to 350° F

     – Combine all ingredients by hand in a large bowl

     – Scoop batter into lined cupcake pans

     – Bake at 350° for 20-25 minutes

For the Icing

     – Combine butter, sugar, flour, and milk in a saucepan and bring to a boil

     – Simmer for 10 minutes, mixture will darken slightly and thicken

     – Remove from heat and stir in vanilla and coconut

     – Allow icing to cool and spread on cooled cupcakes

Peanut Butter Dog Treats

Peanut Butter Dog Treats

This is Scout, he turned 2 yesterday.  Scout is half Australian Cattle Dog, Half Black Lab, 100% hyper and spoiled.  He’s my brother’s dog, but I’m pretty sure he likes me better, especially after I made him Peanut Butter Dog Treats for this birthday.

scout yard

The treats are super simple to make, only 4 ingredients: whole wheat flour, baking powder, peanut butter, and milk (if your dog is allergic to milk you could use water or oil).  I found this recipe about a year ago but I have no recollection of where it’s from and a google search provided me with nothing, I guess that’s what I get for not writing down the source with the recipe.  Anyway, you just combine all the ingredients (I mixed them by hand).

dog treat dough

Roll them out and cut into desired shapes.  I found the nifty dog bone shaped cookie cutter at a kitchen supply store, but I’ve made them with regular cookie cutters before, Scout didn’t seem to notice a difference.

dt rolled out

Then pop them in the oven to bake.

dt baked

Let them cool and share them with your favorite pup!

Scout and treat



Peanut Butter Dog Treats

Yield: 3 Dozen Treats


2 cups whole wheat flour

1 tablespoon baking powder

1 cup peanut butter

1 cup milk (can substitute water or oil)


– Preheat oven to 375 °F

– Combine all of the ingredients in a bowl (I mixed them by hand)

– Roll out on a lightly floured surface to 1/4″ thickness

– Place on a lightly greased baking sheet

– Bake for 20 minutes at 375 °F

– Remove from oven, allow to cool, and share with your favorite dog


Peeps S’mores

Peeps S’mores

This past weekend my family had our first campfire of the year (hooray for warm weather)!  My favorite part of campfires are hands down, without a doubt, s’mores (chocolate AND gooey, melty sugar? yes please).  When it comes to making s’mores I have very strong opinions on proper assembly, two marshmallows, and a half a bar of chocolate (don’t even try that three square nonsense) are absolute necessities, I take my s’mores VERY seriously!  However, this weekend I strayed from my go to, and used marshmallow peeps in place of plain marshmallows.  The result?  Delciousness!  The sugar crystals on the outside of the peeps harden slightly, tasting almost like the burnt sugar top of creme brulee.


peeps smores

Break a graham cracker in half and top one half with half of a Hershey’s chocolate bar.  Roast your peeps over the fire until they’re swollen and slightly browned all round.


peeps over fire

Once your peeps are done place them on top of the chocolate.

peeps on chocolate

Cover the peeps with the second half of a graham cracker, and enjoy!

peeps smores 2


ps bite


Peeps S’mores

Serves 1


1 graham cracker

1/2 of a Hershey’s chocolate bar (1.55 oz bar)

2 marshmallow peeps


– Break the graham cracker in half and place the chocolate on top of one half of the cracker

– Place the peeps on a long fork and toast over a fire, rotating until peeps are lightly browned on all sides

– Carefully place the toasted peeps on top of the chocolate and cover with the remaining graham cracker half



Kale Fruit Smoothie

Kale Fruit Smoothie

Over the past few days the weather has been warm and gorgeous!  While everyone else in my family complains about it being too hot for early April I’ve been taking advantage of the heat by going on long walks with the dog, and sitting outside on the front porch with a book and this delicious kale fruit smoothie.

kale smoothie

It’s super simple, delicious, and healthy (and it’s a really pretty color).  I usually never measure anything, I just throw whatever looks good in the blender, so feel free to play around with the amounts in the recipe.  All you need are 5 ingredients: kefir (or you can use Greek yogurt, the smoothie will just be thicker), a banana, frozen peaches, frozen mango, and kale (trendy super-food of the moment).

kale smoothie ingredients

Throw it all in the blender.

ks blender

Mix it up and serve.






Kale Fruit Smoothie

Serves 1


1/2 cup plain kefir (or Greek yogurt)

1 banana

1 cup (packed) kale

1/2 cup frozen peach slices

1/2 cup frozen mango chunks

– Combine all ingredients in a blender

– Pour into a glass and serve



Chicken Parm

Chicken Parm

I don’t think I’ve ever met anyone who doesn’t like chicken parm, I mean, it’s a pretty delicious food, how could you not love it?   Whether it be in chicken and pasta form or chicken sub form, the combination of breaded chicken, cheese, and tomato sauce is clearly a winner, so here’s a recipe so you can make it yourself.

chicken parm

Pound out some boneless, skinless chicken breasts so they’re pretty flat.

chicken in bag

Then set up a battering station, egg in one bowl, and flour/seasoning mixture in another.

chicken parm station

After you dredge the chicken in the egg and then the bread crumb mixture put it in a pan with some hot oil and let it cook.

cp in pan

Then flip it over and cook the other side.

cp in pan 2

Then cover it with cheese and put it in the oven.

cp cheese

Serve it up covered in tomato sauce (feel free to make your own, I was lazy and just warmed up a jar of sauce) with a side of spaghetti, or in a nice sub roll, whichever your heart desires!



Chicken Parmesan

Serves 6


6 boneless skinless chicken breasts

3 eggs

1 cup bread crumbs

1/2 cup wheat germ (or additional bread crumbs)

1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

2 tablespoons Italian Seasoning (basil, oregano, parsley)

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon onion powder

1 teaspoon salt & pepper

8 oz mozzarella cheese – shredded

canola oil

1 box spaghetti (I used whole grain)

48 oz. jar spaghetti sauce (or make your own)

– Preheat the oven to 400 ºF

– Place the chicken breast in a plastic bag one at a time and pound until thin

– Crack eggs into a shallow bowl and beat

– In another bowl mix the bread crumbs, wheat germ, Parmesan cheese, and spices

– Cover the bottom of a large skillet with canola oil and heat

– Working one at a time, dip the chicken breasts into the egg wash, then coat with the bread crumb mixture and place in the hot oil, cooking for 3-5 minutes on each side until gold brown

– Place fried chicken breasts on large baking sheet, when all the chicken is fried, sprinkle with more Parmesan cheese, cover with the shredded mozzarella and place the baking sheet in the oven for 15 minutes

– Cook spaghetti according to box directions

– Heat spaghetti sauce (or make your own)

– Remove chicken from oven and serve with spaghetti and sauce, garnishing with Parmesan cheese if desired




March 2013: A Review


Here it is folks, a review of March 2013 – my top posts and links to other blog posts I found and loved this month (they’re all food-related and mostly sweets… it’s been that kinda month!).

My Top 3 Most Viewed Posts

  1. Spice Cake and Nanny’s 90th Birthday Party – We had a party for my grandma and I made some yummy cakes                                       My brother, Nanny, and I at the party
  2. Chocolate Peanut Butter Eggs – Pretty much the best part of Easter pb eggs and eggs
  3. Oven Roasted Pork Loin and Veggies – Easy, delicious dinner  finished pork roast

My Top 10 Favorite Links of the Month

  1. Cake Pan Cookies Stuffed with Almond Joys (from Vanilla Sugar Blog) – Chocolatey coconut delicousness


    From Vanilla Sugar

  2. Irish Cream in a cupcake, what more could you want?? (from Pass the Sushi)


    From Pass the Sushi

  3. Say this five times fast:  Carrot Cake Cheesecake Cake (from Wicked Good Kitchen)

    Carrot Cake Cheesecake Cake 5

    From Wicked Good Kitchen

  4. I’ve been on a big guac kick lately and this Cheesy Guacamole (from What’s Gaby Cooking) looks like a great twist on the classic

    Cheesy Guacamole from

    From What’s Gaby Cooking

  5. And speaking of condiments for tortilla chips, let’s take a look at this Mango Pineapple Salsa (from Brown Eyed Baker)

    Mango-Pineapple Salsa

    From Brown Eyed Baker

  6. This milkshake (from Two Peas and Their Pod) combines two of my favorite things – mint chocolate chip ice cream and brownies


    From Two Peas and Their Pod

  7. What’s better than cookies?  Cookies with seven different kinds of Easter candy in them (from Picky Palate)!

    Monster Easter Cookies by Picky Palate

    From Picky Palate

  8. The Mexican version of my favorite Italian food, Mexican Lasagna (from Homemade Delish), I’m sold!


    From Homemade Delish

  9. Tilapia with a Creamy Chili Sauce (From Realistic Cooking Ideas), somebody make me this for dinner.  Pretty please?

    Tilapis with Chili Cream Sauce Final Picture

    From Realistic Cooking Ideas

  10. And last but not least, I have some brown bananas begging to mingle with nutella in this bread (from Eat My Shortbread)


    From Eat My Shortbread

What are your favorite links from March?