Simple Halloween Cupcakes

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I kept seeing these cute Halloween cupcakes in magazines and around the internet, and I had to make some!  This recipe is from Real Simple magazine.  I modified it, though.  The original recipe called for pumpkin puree and pumpkin pie spice, and I’m just not a big fan of pumpkin flavor.

Halloween Cupcakes

1 18.5 ounce box of yellow cake mix (plus the ingredients called for in the package directions)
8 ounces of cream cheese, at room temperature
2 cups confectioners’ sugar
24 pieces of candy corn

Heat oven to 350. Line two 12-cup muffin tins with paper liners. Prepare the cake mix as directed. (To add the pumpkin flavoring: add 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice, and substitute a 15 ounce can of pumpkin puree for the water called for in the cake directions).

Divide the batter among the muffin tins and bake until a toothpick inserted into center of a cupcake comes out clean; about 18-22 minutes.  Let the cupcakes cool completely before frosting.

Frosting: Use an electric mixer to beat the cream cheese and sugar until creamy. Spread on the cupcakes and top each with a piece of candy corn.

Handy Boy loved these!  Also, I used an extra-moist cake mix.  It really helped to make the cupcakes super-moist and yummy.

Linking to: Tales from Bloggeritaville/Somewhat Simple/Beyond the Picket Fence/Fireflies and Jellybeans/Paisley Passions/Fingerprints on the Fridge/A Little Knick Knack/Tidy Mom/It’s a Hodgepodge Life/Chic on a Shoestring Decorating/Finding Fabulous/a little lovely/Tatertots and Jello/Hoosier Homemade/Between Naps on the Porch/Keeping it Simple/Making the World Cuter/The Girl Creative/All Things Related/Today’s Creative Blog/Lucky Star Lane

Baked Taco Sandwich

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Baked Taco Sandwich

This is an easy dinner to make on a weeknight.  This recipe is from Betty Crocker’s Good and Easy Cookbook.

1 pound of ground beef
1 envelope taco seasoning mix
1 cup Bisquick baking mix
1/3 cup cold water
3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
sour cream, if desired
shredded lettuce
chopped tomatoes

The original recipe says to use an 8×8 pan, but for some reason I started using a loaf pan.

Grease the loaf pan.  Cook beef as directed on envelope of taco seasoning mix.

Mix baking mix and cold water until smooth; spread in pan.  The dough is very sticky and thick, you can use a small spatula or knife to spread it.

Spread beef mixture over dough.

Heat oven to 450.  Bake covered with foil for 15-20 minutes or until edges are golden brown and toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.  Immediately sprinkle with cheese.  Let stand 1 to 2 minutes or until cheese is melted.  Place shredded lettuce and chopped tomatoes on top.  Serve with sour cream.

Baked Taco Sandwich

1 pound of ground beef
1 envelope taco seasoning mix
1 cup Bisquick baking mix
1/3 cup cold water
3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
sour cream, if desired
shredded lettuce
chopped tomatoes

Grease the loaf pan.  Cook beef as directed on envelope of taco seasoning mix.

Mix baking mix and cold water until smooth; spread in pan.  The dough is very sticky and thick, you can use a small spatula or knife to spread it.   Spread beef mixture over dough.

Heat oven to 450.  Bake covered with foil for 15-20 minutes or until edges are golden brown and toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.  Immediately sprinkle with cheese.  Let stand 1 to 2 minutes or until cheese is melted.  Place shredded lettuce and chopped tomatoes on top.  Serve with sour cream.

Tales from Bloggeritaville/Fireflies and Jellybeans/Paisley Passions/It’s a Blog Party/Tidy Mom/Baked Taco Sandwich

Tortilla Pie Recipe

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I found this recipe in a magazine a while ago, and it’s an easy to make vegetarian dish.  You can make it as spicy as you wish.  Handy Man wants me to add jalapeno peppers next time…yikes!

Once again, my final “presentation” looks less than desirable, but I swear it’s good!

Tortilla Pie
1 cup frozen corn kernels
2 green onions, thinly sliced
1 tsp ground cumin (you can add more, I make it 2 tsp)
1 1/2 cup salsa
1 can (15 to 19 ounces) black beans, rinsed and drained
3 burrito-sized tortillas (those are the larger ones)
8 ounces shredded Mexican cheese blend
2 tablespoons cilantro leaves (optional)

Preheat oven to 450.  Spray a large cookie sheet with cooking spray (don’t forget this step!) I just used my non stick Silpat pad on a baking sheet.

Place a 12″ nonstick skillet over medium heat.  Add frozen corn, green onions and cumin; cook for 3 minutes or until corn thaws.  Remove skillet from heat, stir in salsa and beans.

(I didn’t have any green onions this time, but I swear it didn’t taste much different without them.)

Place one tortilla on cookie sheet, top with a layer of bean mixture and some cheese.  Don’t let everything get too close to the edges, or it will all glop out.  It glops out later when you cut it and eat it, but just don’t get too close now.

Add another tortilla, top with another layer of bean mixture and cheese.  Top with a third tortilla.  Bake for 10 minutes, or until heated through.  Take it out and sprinkle some more cheese on top, and reheat for about a minute until cheese melts.

Transfer to cutting board (this is tricky, I use a large spatula for this), and sprinkle with cilantro if desired.  With sharp knife, cut into wedges to serve.  Good with sour cream.

See, all the toppings glop out when you cut into it, and eating it is super messy!  In the magazine photo, it looks all perfect, with perfectly stacked layers and such.  I just know they are GLUING everything together or something.

Anyway, it’s wicked good with some sour cream.  You can cut it into smaller triangles for an appetizer, or have it for a meal, it’s pretty filling. Try it out!

Linking to: It’s a Blog Party /All Things Related/Sew Much Ado/It’s So Very Cheri/Fingerprints on the Fridge/Frugal and Fabulous Design/Between Naps on the Porch/Blue Cricket Design/Finding Fabulous

Recipe without all the photos and snide remarks:

Tortilla Pie
1 cup frozen corn kernels
2 green onions, thinly sliced
1 tsp ground cumin (you can add more, I make it 2 tsp)
1 1/2 cup salsa
1 can (15 to 19 ounces) black beans, rinsed and drained
3 burrito-sized tortillas (those are the larger ones)
8 ounces shredded Mexican cheese blend
2 tablespoons cilantro leaves (optional)

Preheat oven to 450.  Spray a large cookie sheet with cooking spray (don’t forget this step!)

Place a 12″ nonstick skillet over medium heat.  Add frozen corn, green onions and cumin; cook for 3 minutes or until corn thaws.  Remove skillet from heat, stir in salsa and beans.

Place one tortilla on cookie sheet, top with a layer of bean mixture and some cheese.

Add another tortilla, top with another layer of bean mixture and cheese.  Top with a third tortilla.  Bake for 10 minutes, or until heated through.  Take it out and sprinkle some more cheese on top, and reheat for about a minute until cheese melts.

Transfer to cutting board (this is tricky, I use a large spatula for this), and sprinkle with cilantro if desired.  With sharp knife, cut into wedges to serve.  Wicked good with sour cream.

Lemon-Blueberry Bundt Cake

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I just made this recipe from All You Magazine.  It looked wicked good, and uses blueberries and lemon flavor, mmmmm.  Last week, Handy Boy and I picked blueberries with Magdalena and niece.  Magdalena and niece had picked before, but this was our first time picking blueberries, can you believe that?

This is the picture of the cake from All You Magazine:

Doesn’t that look pretty?  Needless to say, my cake did NOT come out looking like this.  Forget about the garnishes, my cake didn’t look nearly as nice, and of course my glaze didn’t look that nice, either!  However, it was still sooooo good. If you like any kind of blueberry dessert, or desserts with glaze, you have to try this one.

I cut it up and sent most of it to work with Handy Man, so we wouldn’t devour the whole thing ourselves.  Here’s what one single piece of my cake looked like:

Here’s the recipe.  It has a lot of ingredients, so look it over carefully.  And of course, you’ll need a bundt pan.  I was looking for an excuse to make a bundt cake anyway, I hadn’t touched our bundt pan in ages!  You’ll need a sifter as well.

Lemon-Blueberry Bundt Cake

CAKE:
– 3 cups all-purpose flour
– 2 tsp baking powder
– 1/2 tsp salt
– 1/2 cup lemon juice
– 1 tsp vanilla extract
– 1/2 cup buttermilk
– 2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
– 2 cups sugar
– 2 tsp grated lemon zest
– 4 large eggs, at room temperature
– 2 cups blueberries

GLAZE:
– 2 cups confectioners’ sugar
– 1 tablespoon buttermilk
– 2 to 4 tablespoons lemon juice

Preheat oven to 350. Grease a Bundt pan with melted butter.

Sift 3 cups of flour with baking powder and salt into a large bowl. In a small bowl, combine lemon juice, vanilla and buttermilk.

In a second large bowl, beat butter, sugar and lemon zest until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each. Add about 1/4 of flour mixture, followed by 1/4 of buttermilk mixture, mixing until just incorporated. Repeat, alternating dry and liquid ingredients, until batter is thoroughly combined. Gently fold in blueberries. Transfer batter to pan, spreading evenly.

Bake until a tester inserted into center of cake comes out clean, about 1 hour. (My oven runs hot and I baked only for 50 minutes.) Let cool in pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes, then unmold cake.

Make glaze: Mix confectioners’ sugar, buttermilk and 2 tablespoons lemon juice in a bowl, stirring until smooth. Glaze should be pourable; if it’s too thick, add lemon juice, 1 tsp at a time, until it reaches desired consistency. Pour half of glaze over warm cake. Let cool for 1 hour, then pour remaining glaze over cake and serve.

This cake has a lot of ingredients, but it was well worth it!

Linking up to It’s a Blog Party/All Things Related/Someday Crafts/Fingerprints on the Fridge/Funky Junk Interiors/Between Naps on the Porch/I Heart Naptime/It’s So Very Cheri/Today’s Creative Blog

Wicked Good Blueberry Muffins

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‘Tis the season for fresh blueberries, and I recently made these wicked good blueberry muffins.  It’s a fairly standard muffin recipe, but the fresh blueberries make all the difference. The little bit of lemon peel adds an extra something to them, as well.

Blueberry Muffins
1/3 cup sugar
1 3/4 cup all purpose flour
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
1 beaten egg
3/4 cup milk
1/3 cup oil
3/4 cup fresh blueberries
1 tsp finely shredded lemon peel

In a large mixing bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. In a separate bowl, combine the egg, milk and oil. Add egg mixture all at once to the flour mixture.

Stir until just moistened; add blueberries and lemon peel and fold into batter.

Line muffin pans with paper cups (I just sprayed my pans with cooking spray), fill 2/3 full. Bake in a 400 degree oven for 15-20 minutes or until golden.

Linking this to Fingerprints on the Fridge/All Things Related/It’s a Blog Party

Patriotic Trifle

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This is a great 4th of July or summer recipe.  It’s so light and cool. Warning, this takes a LARGE bowl. The bowl I used was big, but it still overflowed a bit.

Patriotic Trifle
1 1/2 cup milk
1 4 ounce package instant vanilla pudding mix
1 8 ounce tub cool whip
1 package angel food cake, cut into 1/2″ cubes
1 pint strawberries, sliced
1 cup blueberries

Mix pudding according to package directions, using only 1 1/2 cups of milk. Gently stir in 3 cups of cool whip. Place 1/2 of cake cubes in large serving bowl. Top with half of the fruit. Spread half of pudding mix over fruit. Top with remaining cake cubes, then remaining fruit. Spread remaining cool whip on top. Garnish with fruit if desired.

Here is a photo of the trifle with all of the yummy layers.

Here is my completely pathetic attempt to “garnish” the dessert with a few leftover pieces of fruit. Presentation is not my strong suit, and we just wanted to EAT IT.

This is a picture of the fruit trifle that Handy Man decorated several years ago, when I was having a group of friends over for a scrapbook party.

Showoff.

For the record, my ugly-looking trifle tasted just as good!

Linking up to: I Heart Naptime/It’s a Blog Party

Meatball Recipe

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This is more of a recipe that is good for fall and winter, but we’ve been dying for this lately, so I made some meatballs today.  There aren’t many ingredients, they are pretty easy to make.

Meatballs
1 pound hamburg
1 cup Italian breadcrumbs (we use Progresso)
1 tsp grated Parmesan cheese
2 eggs
1/2 tsp pepper
Lots and lots of pasta sauce. (You won’t find any home made sauce recipes on this site, har har. I’m too lazy for that. I cheated and used a brand from a jar.)

Mix the meat and all the ingredients except the sauce together.  I used my Kitchen Aid mixer to make this easier.

Roll into balls, these are about 1 1/2″ in case anyone is curious.  Needless to say, they don’t have to look perfect.

Brown meatballs in a skillet.  They just need to be partially browned/cooked, not cooked all the way through.  A little pink is ok.  We just shove them around the skillet with a spatula so they don’t rest in one place for too long.

Plop the meatballs into a crock pot with plenty of sauce.  Cook on high for 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes or so.  Then set to low and cook for about 2 or 3 more hours.  Stir about every 30 minutes so the meatballs don’t stick to the crock pot.

Test a meatball on a plate, and try not to devour them all before supper time.  Serve with pasta, or in sub rolls.  Yum!

Linking this to: All Things Related/Fingerprints on the Fridge/Keeping it Simple/It’s a Blog Party

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