Thursday, December 24, 2009

Flan...NOT Flop.

Woooohoooo!! I figured out how to make flan! It was delicious! And, as you can see, I got it to come out of the pan with out any problems.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Butterscotch Bars

I can't remember the last time I made cookie bars. I made these because I needed something fast and easy to take to work. These were super easy. I got the recipe off the bag of butterscotch chips and they were a big hit. So easy and so yummy, I can't wait to make them again.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Another Cookie Swap

My dear friend, Debbie, hosted her annual cookie swap this past weekend. It was a blast. She is a wonderful hostess, and always goes above and beyond. Really, she prove it...those are her snowflake cookies on the white platter. So much detail, and yummy too! It was great seeing everyone, and all the cookies were delicious.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Almost as good as Thin Mints

Pudding cookies. You know I love them. Here is my latest take on my favorite cookie. This version uses chocolate fudge pudding mix and dark chocolate and mint chips. I also used crisco instead of butter. If you love Thin Mints, you'll love these cookies.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Flan Flop...

What went wrong?
This is my very first attempt at making flan. I definitely need some practice.
To answer the question of what went wrong... two things for sure...
1. I burnt the sugar..bad.
2. I turned it out of the dish to early. I should have waited and let it cool for at least five minutes.
However, all was not lost. The custard was actually pretty tasty and the consistency good.
I will try again tomorrow. Wish me luck.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Easy Pudding Cookies!

These are my all time favorite cookies! They are also the cookies I made for the cookie swap. They are super easy, and they don't take a lot of ingredients. Plus, they are moist and sweet and oh so chocolaty.
I got the recipe from but here it is, just in case you want to make these yummy treats.

Pudding Cookies
1 cup (2 sticks) butter or margarine, softened
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 pkg. (3.9 oz.) Chocolate Instant Pudding
2 eggs
1 tsp. baking soda
2 cups flour
1 pkg. white chocolate chips
BEAT butter and sugar in large bowl with mixer until light and fluffy. Add dry pudding mix; beat until well blended. Add eggs and baking soda; mix well. Gradually add flour, beating after each addition until well blended. Stir in chocolate chips.
DROP dough 2 inches apart, onto un-greased baking sheets.
BAKE at 350°F for 10 to 12 min. or until edges are lightly browned. Cool 1 min. on baking sheets; remove to wire racks. Cool completely.

Sunday, December 13, 2009


I hosted my first cookies and recipe swap this weekend. I had 18 guests. Each person made 9 dozen cookies. In all, we had over 2000 cookies! That's a lot of sugar!

Monday, November 30, 2009

pumpkin chocolate chip muffins

I got this recipe from my friend Rachele. So yummy! Spice cake mix, 1 can of pumpkin and (mini) chocolate chips. I added 2 eggs to mine, because the batter was to thick. They were so yummy. Next time I will make regular size muffins instead of mini muffins.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Leftover turkey?

Make turkey and dumplings!
Chop up some carrots, celery, and onions. (I had corn left over, so I added that too.) Toss in a pan with a little olive oil just until soft. Add shredded turkey. Then, add some poultry seasoning and if you have any leftover gravy, add that too. Add broth and cook until boiling. Once boiling, add dumplings to cook for about 20 min. I use bisquick to make my dumplings and the recipe is on the box. This is a favorite in my house.

You can also make this yummy soup with those rotisserie chickens you can get at the grocery store. Fast and easy, plus it's perfect comfort food as the weather gets cooler. Warms you right up.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Best Turkey Ever (part 1)

The best turkey ever starts the day before. I make a brine for the turkey to soak in. I use the ingredients above plus 2 or 3 gallons of water to make the brine. Mixing until the salt and brown sugar are dissolved. I also like to squeeze the juice out of the orange pieces to add more flavor.
I don't have a bowl large enough to hold a turkey, so I bought a large plastic bin with a lid. It's the perfect size and still fits easily into my fridge.

Slowly, add the turkey to the brine.

Pushing it down, until the brine covers the bird completely.

Stick in the refrigerator until bake time. I like to brine mine for about 24 hours.
Scroll down to find out how to bake the best turkey ever. (In my opinion, of course)

Best Turkey Ever! (part 2)

The next day, I drained the brine from the turkey.

Discarding all fruit and herbs. I then rinsed off the bird.

After rinsing the turkey, I stuffed it with fresh rosemary, thyme, sage...

apples, oranges, and onions...

The next thing I did is make a butter compote with butter and fresh (or dried) herbs. Once the butter and herbs were mixed together, I shoved it under the skin of the bird, on top of the breasts. Sorry, no picture of this.. Butter and camera do not get along very well.

Then, I added cut up apples, oranges, celery, onions and carrots to the bottom of the roaster.

I prefer to use my Rival roaster oven to my oven. It keeps all the heat right next to the bird and it keeps all the moisture in. No need for basting, and it is still super moist and fall off the bone tender.

This is what it looks like after cooking for four hours. It is so moist it is falling off the bones. I am telling you, this turkey is to die for! It is so good, I hardly ever have leftovers.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Yummy gifts

This past weekend, I went on a little scrapbooking retreat with a few girl friends. We had a blast! It was a such treat to get away from real life for two nights. I am very grateful I have such good friends.
Our wonderful hostess, Mary, made us feel very welcome in her home. She set us up a great work space and had some really fun scrapbooking door prizes. But, what I really want to talk about is the food! She made an amazing chicken dinner and a really tasty chicken and rice soup. Even her daughter, Holly, made us some homemade nachos one night. All of these meals were really good, but one of my favorite things was this adorable gift basket we received, full of yummy, take home treats. Each item is homemade and gift wrapped. Dill dip, cider simmer, hot chocolate, flavored coffees, and even potato soup. Mary was so sweet, she even made mini coffee recipe books. She really went above and beyond what we ever could have imagined. Thank you, Mary!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

So close to the real thing

Hubby brought this home from the store the other day. I

had been doing pretty well in avoiding it. But tonight, I just had to give it a taste...Oh My!! It is so close to real pumpkin pie, it's crazy!! You can smell the pumpkin pie spice when you open the lid up. Plus, it has little swirls of whipped cream and chunks of graham cracker crust through out. I was able to stop at a small bowl, but just barely. If you love pumpkin pie, then you have to give this a try.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Pumpkin Carving

Our Halloween pumpkins. I loved carving pumpkins this year. For one, I got to carve a white pumpkin. I've never had a white one before. I like it. Plus, Jason bought a pumpkin dremel tool. It made carving the pumpkin a breeze. I don't know how I ever carved a pumpkin with out it.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Pumpkin Chocolate Chunk Pudding Cookies

As we already know, I love pudding cookies. Here is my latest variation. Pumpkin Chocolate Chunk. They came out pretty good. So far, I haven't found a variation I don't like. If you want to try these cookies, try them soon. The pumpkin spice pudding is only available during the holiday season.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

My goodwill find

I love second hand stores because you never know what you will find. Sometime you score big, other times you bust, but either way the hunt is great fun. This particular time was kind of a bust...that is, until I found the cookbooks. I bought two new (to me) cookbooks, this is one of them.

I love rotisserie chicken! They are so versatile and they really help out in the kitchen. I love using them for soups. I make a pretty mean pot of chicken and dumplings using a store bought rotisserie chicken. This book was a great find for me, because I already know how great rotisserie chicken can be. Better yet, the book only cost me one dollar. It was originally priced at $14.95 and it's practically brand new. With as expensive as books can be, I say, check your nearest Goodwill. Make sure to go on Saturdays..everything is half price.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Bread Pudding

Another recipe that has been around forever, Bread Pudding. I enjoy this old time favorite, but have never made it until now. Pretty easy recipe to follow, and it turned out great. So far, Jessica is the only one to try it besides me. She gobbled it right up, so I think she likes it.

Got the recipe out of my trusty, Better Homes cookbook. You know, only one of the most famous cookbooks out there. It's been around for years. My mother has one, and I'm pretty sure my grandmother has one too. I love this book. I used to flip though my mom's looking for ideas. I would try the recipes, sometimes the results good, other times, disastrous. But, more on that another time. Anyway, I love this book, mainly because it's a little nostalgic, but always informative.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

A twist on my favorite cookie

I love pudding cookies!! They are my all time favorite cookie. It is similar to a chocolate chip cookie, but has instant pudding added in. I have always made them with chocolate pudding and white chocolate chips. Very tasty!! But, you can change up the pudding and mix-ins. I like to add my own twist to things, so I decided to try a different pudding and chip combo. I went with banana pudding with peanut butter chips. I love this flavor combo, so it seemed so natural to try it in my favorite cookie. And guess what... it was pretty darn good, if I do say so myself. The cookie is moist and soft, with a hint of banana and a sweet peanut buttery taste. I look forward to making these again. You can get the recipe for Easy Pudding Cookies on

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Jacob's Birthday Cake

My sister made this cute car cake (say that three times fast) for my son's 6th birthday. She and my mother have been taking a cake decorating class for the last few weeks. They are both learning so much and doing so well. I know Jacob loved his car cake. Plus, it was a nice break for me, I didn't have to worry about the cake.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Not just for Thanksgiving

Sweet potatoes... a favorite in my house. My kids love them, my husband loves them, and I love them. Canned or fresh, it doesn't matter. Tonight, we had fresh. I had intended on making twice baked sweet potatoes, but they fell apart when I started gutting them. So, I made a casserole instead. First, I baked them in the microwave. Then, I gutted them and mashed them with butter, cinnamon, and brown sugar. Add a little marshmallow fluff to the top and stick in the boiler for a few minutes. Keep an eye on them, the marshmallow browns up pretty fast. I served this with grilled chicken and asparagus with melted cheese.

My Tasty Spot on the Web

After driving everyone nuts with all my food talk, I thought it was time to start my own food blog. I love food, making it and eating it. I love to play with recipes and try new things. I am most happy in my kitchen or in my craft room. Since, I already have a craft blog, it seems only natural to start a food one. Plus, I hope this blog will help me stay creative in the kitchen.

Now, I'm no gourmet chef, so it will be more about my trials and triumphs as a home cook. The delectable to the disastrous, and everything in between. If it's my recipe, I'll share it, if it's not, I'll tell you where to find it.