Monday, 19 January 2015

Paleo Pumpkin Pie Cupcakes


For the cupcakes:
  • 1 can pumpkin or 1 1/2 cups pumpkin puree
  • 2 very ripe bananas
  • 1/2 cup coconut sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ginger
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
For the whip topping:
  • 1 can full fat coconut milk
  • 2 T maple syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla beans
  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. In a food processor, combine all the cupcake ingredients and blend until smooth. You may need to scrape down the sides a few times.
  3. Spoon the mixture into lined muffin pans. I used silicone liners for mine. They don't stick like paper liners can.
  4. Bake for 20-25 minutes.
  5. Let these cool completely before removing from the muffin liners. Since they are soft like pumpkin pie, I highly recommend putting these in the fridge after baking. It should firm them up more.
  6. To make the whip topping, open up your can of coconut milk that has been in the fridge overnight. Scoop the fatty white part off and place in a mixing bowl with the vanilla and maple syrup. Use the whipping attachment and whip the coconut into a cream. Scoop a little on top of each muffin. Enjoy!
  7. Keep these stored in the fridge. I highly recommend making the whip topping right before eating for optimal results in taste and texture. Enjoy!

Turkey Breast of Wonder (Crock Pot)

  • 1 (5-6 pound) turkey breast
  • 1/2 C orange juice
  • 1 (14 ounce) can whole cranberry sauce
  • 1 (1 ounce) package Lipton Onion Soup Mix
  • salt and pepper
1. Make sure your turkey is completely thawed. I let mine hang out in the fridge for a couple of days after I purchase it frozen. Set it on a pan, so you don't have juices running all over when you open up the bag. Cut a hole in the top of the bag and remove the packaging. Some turkey breasts come with a gravy pouch inside, be sure to remove it if yours happens to come with one.
2. Place the old bird in the crock pot.
3. Pour yourself 1/2 cup of orange juice. Add one can whole berry Cranberry sauce and one package Lipton Onion Soup mix.
4. Mix the ingredients together and pour them over the top of the bird.
5. Sprinkle a bit of salt and pepper over the top. Cover the crock pot and cook on low for 8-9 hours,
or until a meat thermometer stuck into the center of the bird reads 180 degrees. You can see I got mine a bit past 180. Don't like, turn me into the poultry police or anything, ok? It still turned out wonderful, juicy and moist.
6. Remove the turkey breast to a plate and cover it with tin foil. Let it rest for about 5 minutes. Then carve it (or shred it) up and enjoy.
NOTE: Make sure you buy a turkey breast small enough to fit in your crock pot. 


Sunday, 18 January 2015

Pumpkin Bread Rolls with Cinnamon Butter


  • 1 packet (2 1/4 teaspoons) instant yeast
  • 1 cup whole milk, scalded and cooled to lukewarm
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons (1 1/2 ounces or 43 grams) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup (4 ounces or 113 grams) pumpkin puree
  • 2 large eggs, divided
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 3/4 cups (16.88 ounces or 479 grams) all-purpose flour
  • Sliced pecan pieces, for the "stems"
  • 1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment, stir the yeast, milk, sugar, butter, pumpkin, one egg, and salt until well combined. Gradually add the flour and knead on medium-low speed until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl. Turn off the mixer and let the dough rest for 3 to 5 minutes. Continue to knead the dough on medium-low speed for another 5 minutes, or until the dough is soft and smooth. If it seems too sticky, add more flour, 1 tablespoon at a time.

Transfer the dough to a large greased bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let the dough rise until doubled in size, about 45 minutes to 1 hour.

Punch the dough down and turn it out onto a lightly floured work surface. Divide the dough into 15 equal pieces and shape into balls. Use the palm of your hand to flatten each ball slightly. With a pairing knife, cut 8 slices around each ball, being careful not to slice all the way into the center, to make the pumpkin shape. Cover and let rise until doubled in size, about 45 minutes to 1 hour.

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350°F. Using the wooden end of a small utensil or your finger to poke an indentation in the center of each roll to create a space for the "stem." In a small bowl beat the remaining egg with 2 teaspoons of water and brush all over the rolls. Bake the rolls for 15 to 20 minutes, or until golden brown. Place a sliced pecan piece into the indentation of each roll. 

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the butter for 30 seconds, or until pale in color. Add the powdered sugar, honey, and cinnamon and beat until well combined, light, and fluffy, about 1 to 2 minutes. Serve immediately or store, covered, in the fridge for up to 1 week. Bring to room temperature before serving.

Serve the rolls warm with the cinnamon butter.


One Pot Wonder Cajun Chicken Alfredo Recipe

  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into bite size chunks
  • 2 tsp. Cajun seasoning (I used Weber N’Orleans Cajun)
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 ½ cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup milk (I used 2%)
  • 8 oz. dried fettuccini pasta (half of a 1 pound box)
  • ⅓ cup grated parmesan cheese
  1. Add the oil to a large pot (or large high sided skillet). Place over medium-high heat for two minutes. Add the chicken and the Cajun seasoning. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the garlic. Cook 1 minute, stirring often.
  2. Add the broth and milk. Break the pasta in half and add it to the pot. Cover and bring to a rapid, rolling boil, stirring occasionally. *Note: Watch the pot carefully during the beginning of the cooking process as milk tends to boil over easily.
  3. Reduce the heat to medium-low and let the pasta simmer, covered, for 8-13 minutes. Stir every 2-3 minutes to prevent sticking. Cook until there is ¼ to ½ inch of liquid in the bottom of the pot.
  4. Remove the pot from the heat. Stir in the parmesan cheese. Serve immediately.
The wider the pot/skillet, the quicker the cooking time.

Friday, 16 January 2015

Crispy Smashed Potatoes

  • 2 pounds small red potatoes (1 1/2 – 2″ diameter)
  • 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (more if needed)
  • 1 teaspoon thyme leaves
  • fresh ground salt and pepper to taste

  1. Preheat oven to 500 degrees. Place one oven rack at the lowest position and one at the top position.
  2. Scrub the red potatoes and lay on a baking sheet. Add 3/4 cup of water the to the potatoes and cover with foil. Bake in hot oven for 30 minutes.
  3. When the potatoes are done, removed foil, drain, and let cool for 10 minutes. Toss potatoes with 3 tablespoons olive oil making sure each is coated with oil. Take a cup and “smash” each potato to about 1/3 – 1/2 in thick {this is the fun part}.
  4. Drizzle another 3 tablespoons olive oil on the potatoes, sprinkle with thyme leaves and salt and pepper. Place the potatoes in your 500 degree oven on the top rack and bake for 15 minutes. Move potatoes to the lower oven rack and continue to bake for another 25-30 minutes (until nice and brown).
Hmmm . . . crispy brown on the bottom, moist and tender in the center. These potatoes are so good!


Thursday, 15 January 2015


Monaco ~ is a sovereign city-state located on the French Riviera in western Europe.

Union Island, the Grenadines 


Beautiful Autumn Colors in Mehedinti Mountains, Romania 

Peter Island ~ Falcon's Nest, British Virgin Islands 

Popcorn Cake

  • 2 bags of microwave popcorn, popped with unpopped kernels removed
  • 2 cups M&M's
  • 1½ cups broken pretzel sticks
  • 16 oz mini marshmallows (8 cups)
  • ½ cup butter
  1. Prepare a large tube or bundt pan by spraying with cooking spray.
  2. You start with 2 bags of buttered microwave popcorn in a large bowl.
  3. Pick out the kernels that didn't pop.
  4. Now mix in 2 cups of M&M's and 1½ cups broken pretzel sticks.
  5. Now melt 1 stick of butter over low in a large saucepan or microwave.
  6. When melted add in a 16 oz bag of mini marshmallows (8 cups)
  7. Stir until melted and smooth.
  8. Remove from heat and pour over your popcorn mix.
  9. Stir until all the ingredients are combined and then press into the prepared pan.
  10. Cover with foil and let your cake set for at least an hour to cool.
  11. When you are ready to serve the cake loosen sides of your cake from the pan by running a butter knife around the edges.
  12. Flip your pan over onto your serving platter.
  13. Your cake should come out pretty easily.
  14. You want it to cool completely so it will cut easily.
  15. Cover tightly and store for up to 1 day.
store airtight for up to 2 days. Best if eaten same day as made.



  • one 8-ounce package cream cheese or Neufchâtel cheese
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • a few drops of Fiori di Sicilia flavor, optional but very tasty

  • 2 1/4 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup grated carrots, lightly packed; about 2 medium-large carrots

1) Preheat the oven to 400°F. Lightly grease a standard 12-well muffin pan. Or line the pan with paper muffin cups, and grease the cups.
2) To make the filling: Place the cream cheese in a microwave-safe bowl, and heat on low power for 40 seconds. Stir in the sugar and flavor. Set aside.
3) To make the muffin batter: In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients.
4) In a small bowl, whisk together the eggs, water, and oil.
5) Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients.
6) Fold in the grated carrots, stirring to combine.
7) Drop about 2 tablespoons of the batter (a tablespoon cookie scoop works well here) into each muffin cup, spreading it to cover the bottom.
8) Dollop on a heaping tablespoon of filling; a level tablespoon cookie scoop works well here.
9) Cover with enough batter to fill the muffin cups quite full. The batter will come to within about 1/4" to 3/8" of the top of each muffin cup. But don't try to use all the batter; unless you have particularly deep cups, you'll have abut 1/3 cup batter left over. Bake it in a separate custard cup, if desired.
10) Bake the muffins until a toothpick inserted into the cake part of one (not into the cream cheese filling) comes out clean, about 20 minutes. The tops of the muffins will feel firm to the touch.
11) Remove the muffins from the oven, and as soon as you're able to handle them, transfer them to a rack. If you serve the muffins warm, the filling will be molten. If you wait for them to cool, it'll firm up.


No Bake Oreo Cake Pop Cones For Halloween

  • Oreos
  • Softened cream cheese (8 oz block)
  • Candy Coating (melts, almond bark, whatever your favorite chocolate coating is)
  • M&Ms and sprinkles.
  • Mini Joy Cones

For full instructions please visit: Source

Tequeños (Venezuelan Cheese Sticks)

  • 10 ounces all-purpose flour (about 2 cups)
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 6 tablespoons cold butter, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 6 tablespoons cold water, plus more as needed
  • 12 ounces queso blanco or queso de frier, cut into slices 1/2-inch x 1/2-inch x 2 1/2-inch
  • Peanut oil, for frying
  1. Place flour and salt in the workbowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade; pulse to combine. Sprinkle butter evenly over flour and pulse until butter is cut into pieces slightly smaller than a pea, about 8 1-second pulses. Transfer dough to a large bowl.
  2. Add in egg and water. Using a rubber spatula, press dough against side of bowl until it forms into a ball. If dough is not fully forming, add additional water 1 tablespoon at a time until it comes together. Press dough into a disc, wrap tightly in plastic wrap, and rest in refrigerator for 30 minutes.
  3. Unwrap dough and place on a lightly floured surface. Roll out into a square 1/8-inch thick. Cut off edges to create a 12-inch square. Cut square into strips 3/4-inch wide.
  4. Take one strip of dough and drape end over top of one cheese slice. Wrap entire cheese slice in dough on a diagonal, overlapping dough. Cover bottom of cheese slice in dough and pinch edges close to fully seal. Repeat with remaining cheese slices.
  5. Fill a cast iron skillet with 3/4-inch of oil. Heat oil to 400°F over high heat. Place tequeños in oil and fry until crust is golden brown and blistery, 3 to 5 minutes, turning halfway through. Transfer tequeños to a paper towel lined plate, let cool for 1 to 2 minutes, then serve immediately.

Wednesday, 14 January 2015

Rolo Stuffed Ritz Crackers

  • Rolo Candies
  • Ritz Crackers
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Place Ritz crackers on a cookie sheet face side down, and top each one with a Rolo candy.
  3. Bake for 3-5 minutes to soften (but not fully melt) the Rolos, Remove from the oven and immediately top the Rolos with a second Ritz cracker. Cool completely before storing in an airtight container.

NOTE: There are about 55 Rolos candies per bag.


Cheese & Carrot Coins

  • A large carrot, washed and peeled
  • A block of cheese
  • A mini cookie cutter in a shape of your choice (I used a bear)
  • A sharp knife
  1. Cut the carrot into rounds, and cut a slice of cheese with a similar thickness to the carrot rounds. From each carrot round, cut a shape using your mini cutter.
  2. From the slice of cheese, cut a shape using the same cutter.
  3. Slide the cheese shape into the carrot round
  4. Repeat until you have as many ‘coins’ as you need.
  5. You could cook the carrot before you use it, but we preferred them raw.

Tuesday, 13 January 2015

Christmas Treats!

Hot Cocoa Stir Sticks

Burma's Cherry Crown Cake 

Christmas Cookies 


Christmas Tree Cocktails

Saturday, 10 January 2015

Pepperoni Roll Ups

  • 1 tube (8 ounces) refrigerated Pillsbury crescent rolls
  • 32 slices pepperoni (I used Hormel’s turkey pepperoni slices)
  • 4 pieces string cheese, cut in half
  • 1/4 teaspoon italian seasoning
  • 1 Tablespoon butter, melted
  • Marinara or Pizza sauce, for dipping

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Unroll crescent dough; seperate into 8 triangles. Place 4 pepperoni slices on the large end of each triangle. Place one half string cheese on the top of the pepperonis. Roll up towards point. Place roll ups atleast 2 inches apart on a lightly greased cookie sheet.
  2. Mix together italian seasoning and melted butter. Brush over the tops of the roll ups. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown. Serve warm!

Chocolate and Peanut Butter Crescent Rolls

  • 1 tube of crescent rolls
  • Peanut butter
  • Semi sweet chocolate chips
  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Place the unrolled crescent rolls onto an ungreased cookie sheet (I used my silpat mat). Spread a layer of peanut butter on each triangle; top with chocolate chips.
  2. Roll from the bottom of the triangle to the point. Place in the oven and bake for 10-11 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from the oven and serve while hot. Enjoy.

Grilled Cheese Roll Ups

  • 9 slices of wheat sandwich bread
  • 9 slices of American cheese
  • 2-1/2 tablespoons butter

  1. Cut the crust off of each piece of bread (so not to waste the pieces of crust, they can be made into croutons). Use a rolling pin to flatten each piece of bread. Lay a piece of cheese on each piece of bread. Tightly roll each piece of bread with the cheese in the middle.
  2. Heat a large skillet on low to medium heat. Add the butter to the pan (if the pan is too small for all of the roll ups, reserve half of the butter to make a second batch). With a pair of tongs, gently roll all sides of each roll up in the melted butter and lay the roll ups seam-side down in the pan. Lightly brown each side of the roll up. If the seam-side starts to open, use the tongs to squeeze the seam together. Remove from the pan and serve while warm with your favorite soup, salad, or all by themselves.

All Things Christmas!

Christmas Porch


Christmas Crafts 

Pearl glass ornaments 

Friday, 9 January 2015

Christmas Magic Cookie Bars

  • 1 stick butter (1/2 cup)
  • One 14 oz Can Of Sweetened Condensed Milk
  • 1 & 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 1 cup Holiday or regular chocolate chips (divided into 1/2 cup portions)
  • 1 cup chopped nuts (I prefer walnuts)
  • 1 cup Holiday or regular M&M's (divided into 1/2 cup portions)
  • 1 & 1/2 cups flaked coconut
  1. Unwrap butter and place in 13" x 9" pan. Place pan, with butter, in the oven and turn the oven on to 350*F. Butter can melt in pan while preheating. Keep an eye on it, checking every few minutes and pulling out of the oven when butter is melted. Please be careful while preparing recipe as pan will be very hot.
  2. Crush graham crackers in a food processor to create graham cracker crumbs (or buy crumbs).
  3. When butter is melted, remove pan from oven and carefully sprinkle the graham cracker crumbs over the melted butter. Press in lightly with fork or back of spoon.
  4. Pour sweetened condensed milk over the crumb layer.
  5. Sprinkle 1/2 of the chocolate chips, 1/2 of the M&M's & the nuts over the sweetened condensed milk layer. Sprinkle coconut on top, followed by remaining chocolate chips & M&M's.
  6. Bake in oven for 25-30 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove from oven. Allow bars to cool completely. Slice, give and enjoy!

A Lighter Version of Pampered Chef’s Taco Ring

  • 1 pound 97% lean ground turkey
  • ½ cup chopped onion
  • ¼ cup chopped green peppers
  • 1 package taco seasoning mix
  • 4 ounces reduced fat Mexican blend cheese, shredded
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 2 tubes (16 rolls total) reduced fat crescent rolls
  • 1 egg white, lightly beaten, for wash
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Brown ground beef with onion and green peppers in large skillet, breaking into crumbles. Drain any grease or liquid, then remove from heat.
  3. Stir in taco seasoning mix, cheese, and the water. Mix well and set aside.
  4. Unroll crescent dough separate into 16 triangles. Arrange triangles in a circle on a 13 inch round baking stone with wide ends of triangles overlapping in the center and points toward the outside. (There should be a 5-inch diameter opening in the center of stone.)
  5. Scoop filling evenly over the widest end of each crescent roll triangle in the ring, then finish assembling the ring by bringing the outside points of triangles up over filling and tuck under wide ends of dough at center of ring. (Filling will not be completely covered.) Brush wreath with egg white.
  6. Bake 25-30 minutes or until golden brown.
  7. Fill cooked ring center with toppings of choice, such as: shredded lettuce, salsa, chopped tomatoes, chopped onions, sour cream, or a black bean and corn salad.

Parmesan Crusted Chicken

  • 1/2 cup Hellmann's or Best Food's Real Mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breast cutlets, about 1 1/4 lbs. total weight or about 5 ounces per breast
  • 4 teaspoons Italian seasoned dry bread crumbs
  1. Place mayo and cheese in a small bowl and mix.
  2. Lay chicken breasts on baking sheet (I line my baking sheet with parchment paper to make clean up easy) and spread mayo mixture evenly atop each.
  3. Next evenly sprinkle bread crumbs atop each.
  4. Place in oven and bake for 20 minutes or until chicken is cooked thoroughly and juices run clear. Tops will be browned and chicken will be incredibly juicy. You can also finish them off under the broiler for a minute or two to get them extra browned on top.
  5. Season with a dash of fresh cracked pepper and sea salt, if desired.
  6. Serve with a veggie like these delicious fresh french green beans that I steamed.

Wednesday, 7 January 2015

Christmas Time!


Christmas lights.. 

Christmas candy..

Green Mercury Glass Trees

Frosty holly berries..

Tuesday, 6 January 2015

Cute little cookie cups filled with ice cream and topped with homemade magic shell!

For the Cookie Cups
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) softened butter
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips
  • 3 teaspoons coconut oil
  • 3 cups vanilla ice cream
  • 1/4 cup chopped peanuts
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In the bowl of an electric or stand mixer, cream together butter, sugar, and brown sugar. Add egg and vanilla and mix on medium speed until smooth and creamy.
  3. In a separate bowl, mix flour, salt and baking soda.
  4. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the batter on low speed until completely incorporated.
  5. Scoop dough into a greased standard size muffin tin, using an ice cream scoop, dividing the dough evenly between the 12 cups.
  6. Bake for 15-16 minutes. The edges of each cookie cup should be golden brown.
  7. Remove from the oven, and press down the center of each cookie with a small spice container. Let the cookie cups cool in the muffin tin for 10 minutes, then twist each one out and let it cool completely on a cooking rack.
  8. Using a small scoop, place about 1/4 cup vanilla ice cream in each cookie cup. Place them in the freezer to harden.
  1. In a small microwavable bowl, combine coconut oil and chocolate chips, and microwave for 20 seconds. Stir until chips are dissolved.
  2. Spoon the chocolate mixture over the ice cream and sprinkle with peanuts. Return to the freezer until you are ready to serve. Allow them to sit out at room temperature for 10 minutes so they are slightly softened and easier to eat.

Monday, 5 January 2015

Breakfast Ham Cups

Well, it's a little hard to say, because you could add any ingredients under the sun to these. But basically, I allowed about 1/2 egg per cup.
  • 1/2 egg per cup
  • a little heavy cream (or milk)
  • grated cheese
  • onions and peppers, diced small
  • a small pat of butter
  • a couple of young green onions
  • ham slices, a little thick
  • salt and pepper to taste

"Saute" the onions by adding a bit of butter to frozen onions/peppers microwaving for 2 minutes. Spray muffin tin cups with non-stick cooking spray and line each with a slice of ham. Add the cooked onions/peppers, then sprinkle in some shredded cheese. Pour in the egg mixture (eggs, cream, salt and pepper) and beat well with a fork. Chop a small green onion top and divide onto each. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 - 25 minutes.


Pizza Stuffed Mushrooms

  • 10 whole Baby Bella Or Crimini Mushrooms
  • 4 ounces, weight Cream Cheese, softened
  • ¼ cups Grated Parmesan Or Mozzarella Cheese
  • ¼ teaspoons Dried Basil
  • ⅛ teaspoons Dried Oregano
  • Garlic Salt And Pepper, To Taste
  • ¼ cups Finely Diced Pepperoni
  • 2 Tablespoons Finely Chopped Green Pepper
  • 2 Tablespoons Finely Chopped Red Onion
  • 2 Tablespoons Finely Chopped Black Olives
  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF. Spray two mini iron skillets with non stick cooking spray and set aside. (A sheet tray will work just fine, too!)
  2. Wash mushrooms with a damp cloth and remove stems. (They should just pop out!) Set aside.
  3. In a small bowl, stir cream cheese, parmesan, basil, oregano, garlic salt and pepper together until combined. Stir in remaining ingredients, excluding the mushrooms.
  4. Spoon into prepared mushroom caps by the heaping teaspoonful. Place 5 in each skillet and bake 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, switch your oven from bake to broil and brown the tops of each mushroom. Remove and serve hot.

Home for the christmas!


Beautiful Winter 

Simple christmas 

A House Romance

Christmas Lanterns 

Friday, 2 January 2015

Lovely Christmas decor!

Christmas tree

Christmas ~ Table 

Elegant Tree

Romancing the Home 

Christmas ~Red Tree