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Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Devilishly Good Chocolate Cake

This is THE PERFECT chocolate cake! It's easy to make, the texture is soft, and it's devilishly good. Do yourself a favor and make it ASAP!

    This is my go to chocolate cake! I use it as the base almost every time I need chocolate cake. It is so easy to make. You can do it with a mixing bowl and whisk, no fancy equipment or ingredients required! It is sure to win you over as well!

Monday, February 27, 2017

Easy Family Meal Plan Week 8

    The weather is looking a bit more seasonal, which is both good and bad.  Good because it is February after all and mosquito bites should not be a thing in IL this time of year.  Bad because our daffodils popped through the ground and our blackberry bushes are getting little green leaves.  I don't want either being ruined by a freeze at this point.  Unfortunately there isn't much we can do about the weather.  Fortunately we can at least have delicious food.  This week's menu looks like just the thing to see us through!

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Bananas Foster Baked Oatmeal

Dig in and celebrate! This banana baked oatmeal is topped with sliced bananas in a buttery brown sugar sauce. It is perfect for Mardis Gras or any day!

    Can you believe it is almost Fat Tuesday? Time to party! What are you doing to celebrate?  I am a little too old and tired for some of the more traditional Mardi Gras celebrations.  But that doesn't mean I don't like to live it up a little bit extra in the name of a good time.  Everyone has their own traditions, that is part of what makes it fun.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Victorian Sponge Cake

2 layers of sponge cake sandwich fresh whipped cream, strawberry jam and fresh strawberries. My take on a tea time classic treat.

      It's Cake Slice time again!  Actually, I'm a day late.  I wanted to join in on a little Presidents Day celebrations, so I made a..... wait for it.... cake!  And I didn't want to bombard you with two cakes in one day.  Because, well, I have manners.  And self control.  And moderation and all that good stuff.

     I must have been in a berry cake kind of mood too, because yesterday I shared a Blueberry Bundt Cake and today my cake has strawberries.  I guess it is that time of year where berries are on my brain!

Monday, February 20, 2017

Presidential Blueberry Bundt Cake #PresidentsDayRecipe

This recipe is adapted from the White House Pastry Chef's recipe for blueberry bundt cake. It is delicious, easy and perfect for spring, President's Day or 4th of July!

      Wooohooo! It's Presidents Day! In the past, it has not been much of a cause for celebrations.  But I will let you in on a little secret.  I am a municipal employee now which means I get these kinds of days off!  I actually enjoy my job more days than I don't, but a day off is still a cause for celebration! (I mean, always, right?!) So when Sue from Palatable Pastimes suggested doing a fun collection of presidential recipes, I couldn't resist.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Easy Family Meal Plan Week 7

    I hope your forecast is as nice as ours has been.  We have been seeing sixties... in February!  That is nearly unheard of, especially for this many days!  Of course it does kind of make you wonder if it is really a good thing in the long run, especially since we have already seen mosquitoes (still in February?!) Hopefully it is just an anomaly and not a sign of greater changes. Either way, we have been getting out an enjoying it.  After all, it seems like there has to be another shoe that is going to fall and now we'll have a blizzard next week or something.  Let's all cross our fingers and toes and hope that doesn't happen.  Meanwhile I will be strapping on some tennis shoes and heading out to play with my little man.  Thank goodness we have the menu planned for the week and my shopping is done.  Now all I have to do is share the menu with you.  I hope you enjoy it!

Friday, February 17, 2017

Pecan Pie Baked Oatmeal

Pecan pie is now an acceptable breakfast!  This pecan pie inspired baked oatmeal is delicious, nutritious and hearty!

I received oatmeal from Flahavan's Irish Oatmeal to try.  As always, opinions are all honest and my own.

     By now you know how much we love oatmeal.  We love it in cookies, muffins, bread, cake and granola.  I have a whole board on Pinterest devoted to it and it even has it's own category here on the blog.  But one of our absolute favorite ways to have it is as baked oatmeal.  It is amazing how many different ways there are to make it.  We've enjoyed baked oatmeal with all different kinds of fruit, pumpkin and even chocolate.  Mmmmm, chocolate oatmeal!  If you haven't tried that one yet, you really should!  But I thought it would be fun to come up with something a tiny bit different this time.  So, I present to you: Pecan Pie Baked Oatmeal.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Marlene's Sour Cream Cookies - Rolled Version

These sour cream cookies are a long time family favorite recipe.  They are soft, flavorful and perfect as drop cookies or cut outs.

   My Aunt Marlene would never claim to be a cook.  In fact, she often claims just the opposite.  However, I have never once been to her house and had there be a lack of yummy treats.  So really she just sells herself short!  I remember her making these for us when we were kids.  We had never had sour cream cookies before and we loved them! She usually made them as drop cookies. She would cover them in a yummy icing (cream cheese if I remember correctly) and they were yummy balls of deliciousness!

Monday, February 13, 2017

Easy Family Meal Plan Week 6

     It's the age old question, "what's for dinner?"  Luckily I have the answer for you.  Just look at this amazing lineup of delicious dinners and a sweet Valentine's Day dessert to boot!  So grab your forks and get ready to dig in!

Sunday, February 12, 2017

French Onion Palmiers

All of the flavors of your favorite soup are wrapped up in puff pastry for this delicious appetizer.  It is a perfect make ahead snack for your next party.

    There is just something about a good french onion soup.  The deep, slightly sweet flavor of slowly caramelized onions, a bit of crunch from the crusty bread and the gooey melted cheese topping just come together in a perfect bite.

    The problem is it is hard to eat it gracefully and even harder to eat it on the move while mingling at a party.  So, why not take those flavors and turn it into a palmier?  That's right!  Just imagine it, slightly herbed caramelized onions, melty Gruyere all wrapped in a crispy buttery puff pastry crust!

Friday, February 10, 2017

MiMi's Healthy Slow Cooker Chicken Cacciatore Soup

This soup is easy, delicious and healthy. Plus it's all made in a slow cooker while you do something else. Top with cheese for a perfect dinner on a cold night.

     I know, I know.  This probably seems a bit out of character.  I mean it's not a big chocolate cake or anything.  But as unbelievable as it may be, we do eat real food every day around here.  Shockingly that includes vegetables, fruits and healthy soups.  Because it's good for us and I do have jeans to fit into.  I mean, priorities, right?!

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Creamy Mushroom and Barley Soup

This Creamy Mushroom and Barley Soup is hearty, creamy and delicious.  It is easily made vegetarian, but will satisfy everyone! It is a perfect cold weather lunch or dinner!

bowl of creamy mushroom and barley soup ready to eat

     A warm bowl full of creamy mushroom and barley soup is sure to warm you from the inside out. It is easy to make, creamy and comforting too.  Grab a pot and get a spoon ready, you'll have a warm and tasty meal in no time.

Monday, February 6, 2017

Surprise Inside Baked Chocolate Pudding

Shhhhh!  The surprise inside is caramel! These fudgy baked puddings are decadent to be sure, but it won't stop you from licking the bowl clean. Go ahead, indulge!

     Mmmmmmm!  Love is in the air and you know what that means?  Chocolate, of course!  Some may want fancy dinners, others may want flowers, but you can get me with chocolate every time. And you know what?  This is perfect if you are going it alone this Valentine's Day and want to treat yourself to a little something decadent too.

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Grandma's Microwave Caramel Corn

The sweet, buttery, crunchy caramel corn you love can be done in the microwave to make it faster and easier.  Perfect for any party!

    There is just something about the buttery crunch of homemade caramel corn that makes you keep going back for more.  There is no stopping it and it's ok, because you won't really want to start.  The secret to getting that crunch is cooking the popcorn after coating it in caramel.

   A lot of people do that in the oven, and it works great.  But Matt's grandma has a secret that makes it so much quicker and even easier!

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Easy Family Meal Plan Week 5

     It's time for another weekly menu.  Actually I am posting a bit early this week.  The big game is tomorrow and I am sure we will all be busy making (and eating!) plenty of snacks.  Then Monday I have something super fun in store.  Let me just say that love will be in the air.  So get ready for that!!  With all of the excitement, I thought I would go ahead and share with you some dinner ideas for the week and there is a bonus of two desserts.  Do you want to know the craziest part?  It wasn't my idea and neither of them are from me!!  Who knew?  We do eat savory food around here too!  Without further ado, I present: your menu!

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Di's Porcupine Meatballs with Secret Ingredient Sauce

These meatballs have a secret and it's in the sauce! Porcupine meatballs make great for great sandwiches and sliders!

     Can you keep a secret?  I mean something that is just between you and me, nobody else can know?  Are you ready?  These meatballs are cooked in sauerkraut.

     SHHHHHHHHHHHHHH! Not so loud!  My husband might hear you!