Saturday, October 22, 2011

Homemade Candy!: Rolo Turtles and Butterfinger Bites

Who doesn't like homemade candy? Better yet...who doesn' t like really easy homemade candy? Here are two recipes that I have made for ages and everyone goes nuts over them. They could not be any simpler. The Rolo Turtles were my grandmother's favorite candy to make before she died and she brought them to every gathering we had! So Halloween is coming up and maybe you guys can make some of these candies for parties or office gatherings (not for passing out for Trick-or-Treat...I'm pretty sure the parents will just throw it away...LOL).

Rolo Turtles

Ingredients (use as many of each as you want candies):
Square pretzels
Pecan halves
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Toast pecan halves in the oven for about 10 minutes or until fragrant. Cover a cookie sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil. Place pretzels on cookie sheet. Top each pretzel with an unwrapped rolo. Place in the oven for about 3 minutes, or until rolos are soft enough to smash down with a pecan half. Remove from oven and place a pecan half on top of each rolo and push down to form the candies. Allow to dry completely (can place in fridge to firm up more quickly if desired.)

Butterfinger Bites

Creamy Peanut Butter
Chocolate Alomond Bark (can use vanilla Almond Bark if desired)
Make mini sandwichs using two Cheez-its and peanut butter in between (make as many as desired). Melt chocolate almond bark in the microwave. Dip each Cheez-it sandwich into the melted chocolate until completely covered (I find using a fork works best so the excess chocolate can drip off) and place on wax paper to dry.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Bubble Up Enchiladas

So part of my (hopefully) more frequent posting is my new weekly meal planning. I have started to plan out my weekly meals the weekend before and I gather my recipes and ingredients and make a shopping list for the things I need to pick up for the week ahead. This is really aimed to get me out of the cooking rut that I've been in for awhile and I'm now looking forward to cooking dinner every day instead of trying to think of what I have thawed out and trying to make it into something like usual.

For my first meal...I have finally given into the hype and made Bubble Up Enchiladas. I've seen these all over the internet and knowing our love of enchiladas I figured what the heck. In these "enchiladas", refrigerated biscuits replace the tortillas and it is made into a casserole using typical enchilada flavors. Overall this was really good and quick. I did use reduced fat biscuits, cheese, and lean hamburger meat...but you can do it however you like.

Bubble Up Enchiladas (adapted from and

1 pound ground hamburger (or turkey if you prefer)
1 can refrigerated biscuits (I used Reduced Fat Grands)
1 (10 oz) can enchilada sauce
1 (8 oz) can tomato sauce
1 packet taco seasoning
1 1/4 cups shredded Mexican cheese

Brown hamburger meat and drain. Stir in enchilada sauce, tomato sauce, and taco seasoning. Cut each piece of biscuit dough into 4 pieces, stir into hamburger mixture. Spray a baking dish with cooking spray, pour mixture into baking dish and bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes. Pull out casserole and top with cheese, bake an additional 10 minutes until cheese is melted and bubbly. Serve with salsa and sour cream!

Two Recent Cakes: Apple-Cream Cheese Bundt Cake and Lemonade Cake

I have been falling down on taking pictures of my stuff lately for you guys due to temporarily misplacing my camera...but it is now safe and sound and I can take pics again! Also (lucky for you guys) Pinterest has totally revived my cooking spirit so hopefully I will be posting a lot more often now since I am seeing all of these amazing recipes that I must try!

So recently I have made two cakes and they were both delish. The Apple Cream Cheese Bundt Cake is perfect for fall and you must try it NOW! The cream cheese swirl and praline frosting are what make this cake special. The Lemonade Cake may seem a bit summery but who cares? It is totally delicious and another doctored up cake can you beat that? And you don't have to zest or juice any lemons in the making of this is made with frozen lemonade concentrate! Can't be good right...wrong! I said the same thing but it is one of the best lemon cakes I've ever had.

Apple-Cream Cheese Bundt Cake (from Southern Living Magazine Sept 2011 Issue)

Cream Cheese Filling:
1 (8 oz) package of cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
2 Tablespoons all-pupose flour
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Beat first 3 ingredients at medium speed with an electric mixer until blended and smooth. Add eggm flour, and vanilla; beat until just blended.

Apple Cake Batter:
1 cup finely chopped pecans
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
3/4 cup canola oil
3/4 cup applesauce
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 cups of peeled and finely chopped Gala apples

Preheat oven to 350. Bake pecans in a shallow pan for 8-10 minutes or untit toasted and fragrant, stirring halfway through. Stir together 3 cups of flour and next 7 ingredients in a large bowl; stir in eggs and next 3 ingredients, stirring just until dry ingredients are moistened. Stir in apples and pecans. Spoon 2/3 of apple mixture into a greased and floured (or use Baker's Joy) 14-cup Bundt pan. Spoon cream cheese filling mixture over apple mixture, leaving a 1-inch border around edges of pan. Swirl filling through the apple mixture using a paring knife. Spoon remaining apple mixture over the filling. Bake at 350 for 1 hour to 1 hour and 15 minutes or until a long wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool cake in pan on wire rack for 15 minutes; remove from pan to wire rack to cool completely.

Praline Frosting:
1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup butter
3 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup powdered sugar

Bring brown sugar, butter and milk to a boil in a 2 quart saucepan over medium heat, whisking constantly; boil 1 minute. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Gradually whisk in powdered sugar until smooth and stir until mixture begins to cool and thicken slightly. Drizzle over cooled cake. Can add chopped pecans for garnish if desired

Lemonade Cake (from

1 lemon boxed cake mix
4 eggs
1 1/4 cup milk
1/3 cup vegetable oil
2 tablespoons lemonade from concentrate

2 tablespoons lemonade from concentrate
1 cup powdered sugar
1 tablespoon water

1 (8 oz) block cream cheese, softened
1 stick butter, softened
3 tablespoons lemonade from concentrate
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
5 1/2 cups powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray 2-8" round cake pans with cooking spray. In a large bowl, beat all of the ingredients for the cake batter together on low for 30 seconds, then on medium speed for 2 minutes. Divide batter evenly between the two cake pans and bake according to package directions until cake is set and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let the cakes cool in the pan for about an hour, do not remove. When the cakes are cool, level them out so that they are flat on top. Poke holes in the cake using a fork.

For the glaze, combine the powered sugar, lemonade, and water in a medium bowl, stir until smooth. Pour equally over the top of the cake layers (still in the cake pans). Cover and let sit for at least an hour, but overnight in the fridge is best (cover with plastic wrap).

For the frosting, Cream butter and cream cheese together until combined. With mixer on low, add the lemonade and vanilla. Slowly add the powdered sugar and then beat on medium for 1-2 minutes until smooth.

When ready to frost, remove the cakes from the refrigerator and loosen around the edges with a butter knife so that the cakes will release easily from the pans. Stack and frost as desired.