Thursday, January 24, 2013

Artichoke Sun Dried Tomato Tortellini

Super quick recipe that is tasty! You can make it two different ways, I have given both recipes to use. The first recipe is for people who are a bit more conservative with their food, the second has more flavor for those who like to experiment!

1lb Tortellini
1 8oz block cream cheese
1/4 cup milk
2T butter
2T pesto

Cook the tortellini as directed. Drain and allow it to sit in the strainer while you create the sauce. In the same stock pot that you made the pasta, turn heat to medium low and add in cream cheese, milk and butter until the butter has melted. Add the pasta back to the pan and add in the pesto. Stir on medium low to continue making the sauce until the cream cheese has been blended throughout.

2nd version
1/2 cup artichokes
1/2 cup sun dried tomatoes
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
1t black pepper
While making the sauce and before adding the pasta back in, add in 1/2 cup of artichokes, 1/2 cup diced sun dried tomatoes and 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese with 1t black pepper. Once the sauce begins to steam add in the pasta and pesto, mix until completely blended.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Easy Sloppy Joe Skillet

This is a super easy meal that I make when I am in a pinch for time. It takes 20 minutes and uses 2 dishes which makes clean up quick!

1 lb ground turkey meat
1T Worcestershire Sauce
1 cup elbow macaroni
1 16oz can kidney beans
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 16oz can Manwich

On the stove boil a small pot of water and at the same time in a large skillet pan put ground turkey on medium heat to cook. Add in the elbows and allow to boil for 10 minutes. While the pasta is cooking, use a spatula to break the turkey into small pieces and add in the Worcestershire sauce. Once the turkey and pasta are both cooked, drain the pasta and add to the skillet, add in the remaining ingredients and turn heat to low, stirring to mix the ingredients. You don't need to wait for the turkey meal to cool to feed to younger kids as the room temperature Manwich and other ingredients will quickly cool it to an edible temperature.
Enjoy!! (Serve with a side of garlic bread!)

Friday, January 11, 2013

Peanut Butter Frosting

Fluffy, light, delicious, peanut buttery... what more can I say? This is the frosting I used on top of the chocolate cup cakes and it was a hit. My niece was literally eating it out of the bowl.

2 cups confectioner sugar
1 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup stick of butter room temp
4 T milk

Place the confectioner sugar, peanut butter and butter in a medium bowl. Add in the Milk 1 T at a time and use a hand mixer to blend in between each addition of milk. Add more milk as you go until it is the desired consistency, for a thicker frosting use 2T for something smoother use 3-4T.

I used a ziploc bag and cut a rather large corner off to pipe the frosting on in a nice dollop.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Tortellini vegetarian soup

This is one of my favorite quick winter soups to whip up. There are many variations of it with sausage, diced tomatoes etc. Here is a quick easy version.

1 bag frozen tortellini
3T butter
1 small onion minced
1 clove of garlic minced
1 bag fresh baby spinach
3 cups chicken broth
1 can cannelloni beans
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese

In a large pot boil water and cook tortellini until  it begins to float. Drain into a strainer and leave to the side. In the same pot melt butter on medium low, add in onion until sauteed and then add in garlic, cook for 2 min. Add in spinach and stir until spinach has wilted completely. Add in broth and turn heat up to medium. Drain cannelloni beans and add in with tortellini and then when the soup has heated to desired temperature sprinkle parm cheese on top. Enjoy! I often serve with fresh rolls or big croutons.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Homemade chocolate cupcakes

3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup sour cream
1/3 cup canola oil


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 12-cup standard muffin tin with paper liners.
Into a medium bowl, sift together cocoa, flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside. In a mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each, then beat in vanilla. With mixer on low speed, add flour mixture in two batches, alternating with sour cream and beginning and ending with flour add in 1/3rd cup oil.
Pour batter into cups, filling each 3/4 full. Bake until a toothpick inserted in centers comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes.

The batter is somewhat thicker than typical cupcake batter but it tastes great.

The cupcake in the picture isn't iced yet (obviously); I'll create a frosting this weekend and post.


Samoa Girl Scout Cake

This Samoa cake is one of the BEST cakes I have ever made. It does take a bit of time and attention to make two batters as well as the topping but it is so worth it.
Some other recipes recommend to make the frosting first however I made it as the cake was cooking and then chilled it in the fridge until the cake was cool enough to frost. Also some recipes have you make the Dulce De Leche homemade in the crock pot or by boiling the condensed milk, honestly just buy Dulce De Leche it's so much more convenient. Happy baking! 

Batter #1 Ingredients

  • 1 stick of butter, softened
  • 1 cup of dark brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup All Purpose flour
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup whole milk

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Beat butter and sugar on medium high until fluffy. Add in eggs, one at a time, mixing well. Add in milk and mix until well combined. In a separate bowl sift together the remaining dry ingredients. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients slowly and mix until well combined.

Batter #2 Ingredients
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup + 2 Tbsp All Purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup + 2 Tbsp cocoa powder
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 cup boiling water
  • 1/2 cup milk

Beat oil and sugar on medium high until combined. Add in egg, mixing well. Add in milk and vanilla and mix until well combined. In a separate bowl sift together the remaining dry ingredients. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients slowly and mix until well combined. Stir in boiling water.

Grease and flour the bundt pan well. Layer the cake, pouring some of the brown sugar batter, then cocoa batter, then brown sugar, until both batter bowls are empty. Tap the bundt pan on the counter a couple of times to remove bubbles. Bake approximately for 1 hour or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. (mine only took about 50 minutes). Let the cake cool for 15 minutes in the pan and then turn it out onto a cooling rack until completely cooled before frosting.


  • 1 18oz bottle Dulce de Leche
  • 1/2 cup confectioners sugar
  • 2 T coconut rum
  • 2 sticks butter, softened
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 cup toasted coconut divided
To toast the coconut you want to put the coconut in a fry pan on medium heat, you will start to hear it sizzle and then see it begin to turn golden, stir throughout the toasting process to ensure that no area cooks more than the rest, it burns pretty quickly so keep a watchful eye. As soon as you feel it is done, TURN OFF THE HEAT!! trust your instinct with this otherwise you will burn it. 

Beat Dulce de Leche, butter, confectioners sugar, vanilla and salt for 3 minutes. Add in  1 cup toasted coconut. Chill for 1 hour.
Frost the cake and then use 1 left over cup of coconut to coat the cake. Wa-La!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Gluten Free vegetarian taco dip

My cousin Tess is the queen of this dip. We have many gluten free people in our family so we can't make a taco dip with the store mixture due to allergies. Here is an awesome recipe that pleases everyone and often disappears first on the appetizer table!! Enjoy super easy for kids to make as well.

1 block cream cheese
1 can refried beans
1 jar salsa
1 2 cups Taco cheese

Heat oven to 350
In a 9x9 pan spread cream cheese evenly on the bottom, layer with refried beans, salsa and then cheese. Bake at *350 for 20 minutes or until cheese is melted. Serve with corn tortillas or fritos.