Dear anybody who is nice enough to view this blog:

I'm not going to claim to be a cook, baker, whatever. I like to make treats, and I'm slowly getting into cooking meals. There are two main purposes for this blog: 1) I think it will inspire me to cook/bake more often, and 2) I like when people share recipes with me, so I figured this would be a fun way to share the recipes that I like.

I hope you like some of the recipes I find. Also, I would love you forever if you shared your favorite recipes with me. Remember, cooking newbie here. Thanks!

Friday, October 8, 2010

Taco Soup

I'll start off with saying I'm sorry. I'm sorry for not taking any pictures of the soup. I'm sorry because now you'll always be craving this soup. I'm sorry because it might have burned your mouth.

I'm not a huge fan of most of the ingredients, but when you put them together — goodness — it's like heaven. Well, actually it's really hot so it's probably more like ... anyways, it's good.

1-2 pounds of ground beef
1 onion, chopped
2 cans of pinto beans
2 cans of pink (or red) kidney beans
1 can of corn
1 can of Mexican style stewed tomatoes
1 can of diced tomatoes
1 can of tomatoes with chiles
1 can of diced green chiles (medium)
1 package of taco seasoning
1 package of ranch dip seasoning

First, brown the meat. While you're browning the meat, put all of the other ingredients in a pot and start cooking. I usually drain everything except the tomatoes and chiles. Once the meat is browned, drain out the grease and throw in the meat. If you're cooking over the stove, leave the soup on for an hour or two. Slow cooker, maybe about five hours.

Top the soup in your bowl with some Fritos, cheese, sour cream, etc.

This recipe is so simple and delicious. It will soon become a favorite.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

cake cookies

Cake cookies. Two delicious treats in one.

• 2 eggs
• 1/2 cup vegetable oil
• cake mix of your choice
(I have a deep love for german chocolate and confetti mixes.)

• preheat oven to 350ยบ
• mix it all together
• make into cute little cookie balls
• bake for 8 minutes
• stuff face

(Recipe and directions courtesy of Kate Knowles)

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

glazed lemon cupcakes

I love lemon flavoring. There used to be a lemon-flavored jolly rancher, and it was my favorite. Unfortunately, it was probably the least popular flavor, and it got replaced by blue raspberry. So I decided that I would make lemon cupcakes for my 23rd birthday. This recipe is not that hard, and it's tasty. It has a definite lemon kick.

1/2 cup unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsps. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup low-fat buttermilk, or plain low-fat yogurt (I used the buttermilk)
1 tsp. vanilla extract
Zest of 1 lemon, finely grated, plus juice, plus 2 tablespoons more lemon juice for the glaze
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
2. The original instructions say to butter and flour the muffin tin, but I used a flour spray and sprinkled on a little flour for good measure.
3. In a medium bowl, whisk the flour with the baking powder and salt.
4. In a small bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, vanilla, lemon zest and juice of 1 lemon. Set aside.
5. With an electric mixer, cream butter and granulated sugar until light. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
6. With the mixer on a low speed, add flour mixture in three batches, alternating with two additions of the buttermilk mixture.
7. Divide evenly among muffin cups. If your using regular sized muffin tins, bake around 15-20 minutes. The original recipe used jumbo muffin tins and said 20-25 minutes.
8. Cool for 10 minutes in the tin, then cool completely on a rack.
9. Set rack over wax paper. In a small bowl, stir confectioners' sugar with remaining lemon juice until smooth. To get it to more of a thick glaze consistency, I added a couple of tablespoons of milk. It didn't seem to drip down the sides without the milk. Also, it mellowed out the lemon kick of the glaze. Once you pour the glaze on, kind of spread it to the edges, and then let it drip down the sides.

** This recipe is originally from **

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

snickerdoodle cupcakes

I have a semi-quest to find the tastiest cupcake recipe. Snickerdoodle cookies are one of my favorites; however, the cupcake version didn't quite measure up. Don't get me wrong, they were good. Just more of a spice cake taste than I was expecting.

Ingredients: Cupcakes
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups cake flour (not self-rising), sifted
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 3/4 cups sugar
4 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups milk

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line muffin tins with paper liners. Sift together both flours, baking powder, salt and 1 tablespoon cinnamon.
2. Cream butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until each is incorporated. Beat in vanilla. Add flour in three batches, alternating with two additions of milk, and beating until combined after each.
3. Divide batter evenly among liners, filling each 3/4 full. Bake, rotating tins halfway through, until a cake tester inserted in centers comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Transfer tins to wire racks to cool completely before removing cupcakes.

Ingredients: Seven-minute frosting
1 1/2 cups plus 2 tablespoons sugar
2/3 cup water
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
6 large egg whites

1. Combine 1 1/2 cups sugar with water and corn syrup in a small saucepan; clip a candy thermometer to side of pan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until sugar dissolves. Continue boiling, without stirring, until syrup reaches 230 degrees.
2. Meanwhile, use an electric mixer to whisk egg whites until soft peaks form. With mixer running, add remaining 2 tablespoons sugar, beating to combine.
3. As soon as sugar syrup reaches 230 degrees, remove from heat. With mixer on, pour syrup down side of bowl in a slow, steady stream. Raise the speed; whisk until mixture is completely cool (test by touching the bottom of the bowl) and stiff (but not dry) peaks form, about 7 minutes. Use immediately.

**This recipe is originally from

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Black bean crock pot chicken

I love crock pot recipes, and this one is so simple. I got this recipe from Ashley, my sister-in-law. She made this for my 20th birthday, and I thought it was so delicious. I just had to have the recipe. So far, everyone who has tried it has loved it.

4 to 5 boneless/skinless chicken breasts (thawed)
1 can black beans (drained)
1 can corn (drained)
1 15 oz. jar of salsa (it doesn't matter if it's mild, medium or hot — your choice!)
1 8 oz. pkg. of cream cheese

1. Thaw the chicken.
2. Put the thawed chicken, black beans, corn and salsa in the crock pot.
3. Let that cook for 4 to 5 hours
4. Put the cream cheese in 30 to 45 minutes before it's done.
5. Once it's done, serve over rice.

Side notes: I used 2 cans of black beans. I also like to put the mixture in tortillas. It's a little runny, so tortillas may not be the best choice for everyone.

Friday, January 8, 2010

chocolate-mint truffle cookies

After many weeks (or months) of saying I was going to make the chocolate-mint truffle cookies, I finally made them. They actually weren't too hard to make. I learned a few things, and I think the next time I make the whole process will go a lot smoother. But I didn't light anything on fire so I'd say it already went really smooth.

1/4 cup butter
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips, divided
1 egg
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/8 tsp. peppermint extract (I just used mint extract)
1 cup flour
1/3 cup baking cocoa
1/4 tsp. baking powder
1/8 tsp. salt
1 pkg. (4.6 oz) mint Andes candies, chopped, divided
2 tsp. shortening, divided
1/2 cup vanilla or white chips

1. Over low heat, melt butter and 1/2 cup chocolate chips. Remove from heat; stir until smooth. Cool slightly.
2. Stir in the egg, sugars and extracts.
3. Combine flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt; stir into the chocolate mixture.
4. Fold 3/4 cup Andes candies.
5. Roll dough into balls. Place on ungreased baking sheet.
6. Bake at 350˚ for 8-10 minutes or until tops appear slightly dry.
7. Cool for 1 minute before removing to wire racks to cool completely. (I forgot to do this with one of the little cookies, and it tore off the bottom. So I highly recommend the wire racks.)
8. In a microwave, melt 1 tsp. shortening and remaining chocolate chips and Andes candies; stir until smooth. Melt vanilla chips and remaining shortening; stir until smooth.
9. Dip half of the cookies in melted chocolate mixture; dip remaining cookies in melted vanilla mixture. Immediately sprinkle with toppings of your choice. Let stand until set.
Yields about 2-1/2 dozen.

OK. So I mostly followed the recipe. I actually forgot to put in the salt, so I guess it doesn't fall apart without that 1/8 tsp. I would probably make the little chocolate balls a little smaller. Oh, we didn't make any vanilla topping — why make vanilla when you have chocolate? Also, I would dip the cookies once. Wait, then dip them again. I think it would have a better coating with two dips. For toppings, I favored the chopped almond.
This recipe is from the November/December 2009 Taste of Home.

Friday, January 1, 2010

banana bread

When it comes to baking, most everyone has something that they feel like is their "thing." Banana bread is my thing. I really like making it, and a lot of people really like eating it. :) Hopefully, you will too. It's not too hard to make — come on, if I can do it, you can too.

1 cup of sugar
half a tsp. of salt
1 tsp. of baking soda
2 1/4 cups of flour
1 cube of butter
2 eggs
4 mashed bananas
1 cup of chocolate chips
generous splash of cinnamon
dash of nutmeg
generous splash of vanilla
dash of brown sugar

1. Preheat the oven to 325˚
2. Mix all of the dry ingredients together first.
3. Add the eggs, butter, mashed bananas, cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla and chocolate chips. (side note: mix the bananas in one or two at a time.)
4. Put the mixture in a bread pan or muffin tins.
5. If you want to, sprinkle sugar on top — gives a little sparkle. :)
6. If your baking in a bread pan, it'll take about an hour. If you using muffin tins, 30 to 35 minutes.