Tuesday, June 10, 2014

The Tell of Two Birthday Cakes


May is a crazy busy month for us!  Audrey and William's Birthdays are a week apart.  There is also the end of school and everything that comes with that.  Then both my girls had recitals.  Now things have calmed down a bit or at least how calm summer can get.  I wanted to share Audrey and William's cakes because they were super fun to make and eat!  

I love getting my Kraft Food & Family Magazines and E-mails and the first cake I made was on the cover of their Spring issue.  I showed it to Audrey and she loved it!  With a rainbow cake you must have a My Little Pony theme, right?  So that is what we did.  


 What is so great about this cake is that each layer is not colored with food coloring.  It is colored and flavored with Jello!  I let her pick the flavors.  The pink layer is watermelon, then orange, lime and then blue raspberry.  It was super yummy!


Rainbow Layer Cake
adapted from Kraft Foods

2
pkg.  (2-layer size each) white cake mixes, divided
3
Tbsp.  (1/2 of 3-oz. pkg.) each JELL-O Raspberry Flavor Gelatin, Orange Flavor Gelatin, Lime Flavor Gelatin and Berry Blue Flavor Gelatin (or whatever flavors you like)

make it

HEAT oven to 350ºF.
GREASE and flour 2 (9-inch) round pans; cover bottoms with parchment. Prepare cake batter from 1 pkg. cake mix as directed on package. Pour half into separate bowl. Add dry raspberry gelatin mix to batter in one bowl; mix well. Stir dry orange gelatin mix into remaining batter. Pour into prepared pans.
BAKE 28 to 30 min. or until toothpick inserted in centers comes out clean. Cool cakes in pans 15 min.; remove from pans to wire racks. Cool completely.
REPEAT with remaining cake mix and dry gelatin mixes, washing cake pans between uses.
 Next was William's Birthday he is obsessed with trains!  He wanted a Thomas cake so this was best as I could do.  But he loved it!
Love the look on his face!  Makes me happy!
 I got the idea for this cake from a Betty Crocker Cake cook book someone gave me.  It was pretty simple to make and I loved adding all the candy and cookies.  

I did make a few changes.  I thought mini loaf pans would be easier to frost then cutting up a big cake loaf.  The pan I have is from Pampered Chef and it is the stone quad pan.  So I made one big cake in a regular loaf pan and then mini loaves. I think my pans are bigger than average so I made two cake mixes instead of one.  With the extra batter I made a few cupcakes.  


New Month New Flexi

Sunday, May 4, 2014

3 for 100 Mini Pumpkin Muffins


I don't know about you but May is just a super busy month.  School is coming to an end and tons of activities come with that.  Then dance and piano recitals are coming up.  I have also a big itch to plant tons of plants in my yard!  We moved into our home almost a year ago and we weren't able to do much yard stuff because it was a little late to plant things and we were occupied with unpacking.  Never thought I would like to garden but I just can't help looking at every garden section in every store!  I just have to be patient and wait for everything to grow now!  We kinda had a cold snap last week and I was a little worried about some of my plants, but it looks like they survived.

Today is a fall recipe and not really spring time, but they were good, quick, easy and perfect for a busy month.  Besides my kids love muffins, especially mini muffins.  I didn't even make them for breakfast they are yummy for dinner or snack.  What is also great is that 3 of these little babies are only 100 calories!


Mini Pumpkin 

Muffins


Ingredients

  • 1 cup whole-wheat or all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 can (15 oz.) 100% Pure Pumpkin
  • 2 large eggs, slightly beaten
  • 1 cup lowfat granola cereal, crumbled (optional)
  • Recipe adapted from Libby' Pumpkin





Directions

PREHEAT oven to 350º F. Paper-line or grease mini-muffin pans.

COMBINE flour, pumpkin pie spice, baking soda, baking powder and salt in small bowl. Beat sugar and oil in medium mixer bowl until blended. Add pumpkin and eggs; beat well. Gradually stir in flour mixture. Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups, filling 2/3 full. Sprinkle each with about a 1/2 teaspoon of crumbled granola. Press granola lightly into batter.

BAKE for 15 to 20 minutes or until wooden pick inserted into centers comes out clean. Cool in pans for 10 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely. Store muffins in covered containers or resealable plastic bags. 

I made my own granola to sprinkle on top.  

Basic Granola
INGREDIENTS
  • 3 cups rolled oats (not instant)
  • 3 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract



  • INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Heat the oven to 300°F and arrange a rack in the middle.
  2. Place the oats, brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt in a large bowl and stir to combine; set aside. 
  3. Place the honey, oil, and vanilla in a small bowl and stir to combine. Pour over the oat mixture and mix until the oats are thoroughly coated. 
  4. Spread the mixture in a thin, even layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes, then stir and continue baking until the granola is very light golden brown, about 5 to 15 minutes more. 
  5. Place the baking sheet on a wire rack and cool the granola to room temperature, stirring occasionally, about 20 minutes. (Note: It will harden as it cools.) 
  6. Store the granola in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks. 
Recipe adapted from CHOW

Lilla Rose released a special Mother's Day Flexi Clip for the month of May.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Reese's Peanut Butter Cup Rice Krispies Treats

 My husband is a sucker for Rice Krispies Treats, but I mean who isn't, right?  My friend made this recipe one day and shared some with us.  The original recipe said to add the peanut butter cups to the rice krispie mixture and then roll them into little balls, but who has time for that?  My friend is clever and thought just to dump it in a 9x13 and voila!  I like to sprinkle the chopped peanut butter cups on top so you know what you are in for, the most chocolaty, peanut butter, yumminess! 

Reese's Peanut Butter Rice Krispies Treats 
1 Cup Sugar
1 Cup Corn Syrup
1 1/3 Creamy Peanut Butter
4 1/4 Cup Rice Krispies
1 Pinch of Salt
6 Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, chopped (I might have added more, but I can't remember)
1/2 cup Chocolate Chips
In a large sauce pan over medium heat, melt the sugar, corn syrup, and peanut butter until smooth and evenly combined.Remove from heat.
Quickly add the salt and cereal and stir to combine thoroughly. Add the chocolate chips and stir again. Pour mixture into a lightly greased 9x13 pan. Add chopped Reese's peanut cups to the top and press slightly.  Wait to cool and cut into squares.
Recipe adapted from Six Sisters Stuff

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Chicken Enchilada Casserole


I love Mexican food!  But the extent of my Mexican Cuisine making skills are just regular beef tacos.  I have an old chicken enchilada recipe that I have made quit a bit and it is alright.  I use flour tortillas when making that recipe, because I am not a big fan of yellow corn tortillas (texture issue!).  But when I use flour tortillas they get so soggy!  So when I found this recipe it was answer to my tortilla problem!  First of all it is super easy to make, you just dump it all in a pan.  No rolling, cracking tortillas with filling oozing out.  The chips on the bottom actually stay pretty crisp and even the next day for leftovers were not to bad.  

 Chicken Enchilada Casserole

Ingredients:
4 chicken breasts, cooked and diced
1 (10.75 oz) can cream of chicken soup
2 (4 oz) cans diced green chilis
1 (16 oz) container sour cream
1/2 onion, finely diced
1/2 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
salt and pepper to taste
1 (10 oz) package tortilla chips
1 cup Monterrey Jack cheese, grated
1 cup cheddar cheese, grated
Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix all ingredients except for the chips and cheeses together. Spray a 9x13" baking pan with non-stick cooking spray. Place chips in the bottom of the baking pan and pour chicken mixture over chips. Top with grated cheese and bake for 30 minutes or until hot and bubbly. Serve with your favorite toppings (lettuce, tomato, salsa, avocado, hot sauce, etc).
Serves 6-8.
Recipe adapted from Six Sisters Stuff

April's Flexi Clip of the Month

Sunday, March 30, 2014

No Bake Strawberry Lemon Cookie Pie



I am in a book club and what else is better than getting together with friends and talking about a book?.....getting together with friends and talking about a book and having a yummy dessert.  

Last book club my friend Wendy made this amazing dessert!  I could not stop thinking about it the next day so you know it was that good!  First I texted Wendy to see if the recipe was on her Pinterest board or where I could find it?  Found the recipe and I think I went to the store that day and bought all the ingredients.  I couldn't make it that day because it has to sit in the fridge for a bit.  So I made it the next day!  It is just so delicious and you wouldn't believe how simple to make!  This will defiantly be a go to dessert of mine.  Oh and the book was good also....Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys

Here are the layers of cookie, strawberry, cool whip yumminess.

No Bake Strawberry Lemon Cookie Pie
Ingredients
Crust
2 cups graham cracker crumbs
3/4 cup butter, melted

Filling
1 1/2 15.25 oz packages lemon cream cookies (I used lemon Oreos)
1 cup milk
8 oz cool whip
16 oz carton strawberries
Instructions
1. Grease a 9 inch pie pan.
2. Combine graham cracker crumbs and melted butter. Press into the bottom and up the sides of the greased pie pan.
3. Put milk into a small bowl that will allow for dipping the cookies.
4. Dunk cookies, one at a time, and add to the pie pan to make a single layer of cookies on the bottom of the crust. I needed just more than half of one package for the first layer.
5. Add half of the Cool Whip and spread evenly over the cookies.
6. Slice about half of the strawberries and make a single layer of strawberries on top of the Cool Whip.
7. Dunk more cookies, one at a time, and add to the pie pan to make a second layer of cookies on top of the strawberries.
8. Add remaining Cool Whip and spread evenly over the cookies.
9. Slice remaining strawberries and spread on the top of the pie.
10. Add cookie crumbs or graham cracker crumbs on top to finish it off, if desired.

11. Cover and chill for about 8 hours before serving.

Recipe adapted from Life Love and Sugar

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Stitch Fix #3


Since my birthday is coming up I thought I would get me another Stitch Fix.  I was excited to open the box and find some nice spring pieces.  If you want to know more about Stitch Fix you can read here and here.
Renee C
Gabe Striped Maxi Skirt
I have a few maxi skirts so this wasn't anything new to me, plus it had horizontal stripes and I hate them going across my butt!  So this was not a keeper.

Papermoon
Waters Diamond Print Maxi Dress
 I knew I was going to like this item right away.  I am in need of more dresses.  It also was very comfortable and it had some elastic around the waist so I am not just wearing a sack.  It was also the perfect length.  I kept this dress for sure!

Splendid
Ruben Tab-Sleeve Open Cardigan
 This looked great and felt great but it was so expensive (for me anyway)  I couldn't bring myself to purchase a cardigan for what they were asking.  I did not keep this one.

41 Hawthorn
Freddy Sleeveless Chiffon Dress
 I know the 80s are back but I could not pull this off.  Did not like the color, fabric and it was too short.  Not a keeper!

Mia Melon
Paloma Back Cutout Jersey Top
 I loved this shirt, it felt nice and the cut was great.
  
 The back was also cool.  But I would have to always wear a shirt underneath because I don't like to show to much skin.  Did not keep the shirt.

So I got one dress from this stitch.  Overall it has been a fun process and I might get another fix sometime in the summer and slowly build a wardrobe.  I have loved the items I have gotten each time and when I wear them I definitely feel more put together.  Also Stitch Fix has given me ideas when I go out shopping and trying on clothing that I might have not tried before.


Disclosure:  I was not compensated at all for my post.  I chose to try and pay for Stitch Fix on my own and share with all of you.  I do, however, get credit for referrals.  If you choose to try Stitch Fix yourself, please sign up from the links I provided in my post so I can get credit for the referral. 


Friday, February 21, 2014

Crock Pot BBQ Chicken

We love chicken at our house.  Now that we have found Zaycon Foods we love chicken even more.  Check out their website where you can buy 100% natural chicken with no added hormones, additives or artificial ingredients! They also carry other wonderful items.

I love crock pot cooking so put the two together and it makes me and my family very happy.  We tried this recipe on Super Bowl weekend and it was delish!  It made a lot because the Zaycon Chicken Breats are huge!  So it will feed a crowd or eat the leftovers for lunch or freeze it!

Sweet Baby Ray’s Crock Pot Barbecue Chicken
Ingredients
  • 5 to 6 boneless skinless chicken breasts thawed
  • 1 (18 oz ) bottle of Sweet Baby Ray’s BBQ sauce (we used our favorite Famous Dave's Bottled BBQ Sauce) 
  • 2 tablespoons vinegar 
  • ½ cup of brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • add in:
  • ½ to 1 full (18 oz ) jar of Peach Preserves (optional) I used a half a jar
Instructions
  1. Mix all ingredients together (except the chicken)
  2. Put chicken in the crock pot and pour sauce mixture over the top.
  3. With a large spoon, stir all together, coating chicken well.
  4. Cook on low for 4 to 6 hours, or until chicken is fall apart tender.
recipe adapted from Get Off Your Butt and Bake

Serve it on rolls or not and with a side of oven fries and coleslaw, Yum!
Easy Apple-Cranberry Coleslaw

I love this Coleslaw because it isn't weighed down with mayo and it tastes great even the next day.

Here are a few of my families other favorite chicken dishes
Grilled Chicken Tacos



Aloha Chicken
This is one our most favorites and sorry this photo does not give it justice.