Thursday, December 29, 2011

Easy Mac and Cheese


  • 1 1/2 cups cooked elbow macaroni
  • 1 cup shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon butter or margarine


In a medium bowl, combine macaroni, cheese, milk, egg and salt; mix well.
Pour into a greased 1-qt. shallow baking dish; dot with butter. 
Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees F for 30-35 minutes or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.  


Sunday, December 25, 2011

Photo Session 1

Christmas Time
Took some Christmas Photos for my family...

Friday, December 16, 2011

Lemon Bars

Lemon Bars

1 cup butter, softened
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar
4 eggs
2 teaspoons grated lemon peel
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons powder sugar


  • Heat oven to 350°F.
  • In medium bowl mix butter, 2 cups of the flour and 1/2 cup of the granulated sugar. Press into the bottom of ungreased 13x9-inch pan.
  • Bake 15 to 20 minutes or until center is set and edges just begin to brown.4
  • In medium bowl, mix remaining 1/4 cup flour and remaining 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar with whisk. Add eggs, lemon peel and lemon juice; stir with whisk until well combined. Pour over partially baked crust.
  • Bake 18 to 22 minutes longer or until center is set and edges are golden brown. The bars will firm up as they cool. Cool 1 hour. Sprinkle with powdered sugar. For bars, cut into 6 rows by 4 rows.
  • ENJOY!!!


Homemade Tamales
Chicken, white cheese and green chili.
Mmm Mmm Mmm

 Cooked the chicken over night in a crock pot with chilies...
Now that the chicken is cooked time to shred it...
 corn husks and pre-made masa...
put the chilies that were cooking with the chicken in the blender...
 Salsa + Chicken=
 Tamales filling!!!! Mmm looks and smells so good...
 put the husks in warm water to soften...
 Time to put the tamales together...
 steamed them for 2 hours or more depending on how many were in the pot...
Finally after a long day in the kitchen and 5 dozen tamales later!
I will enjoy one now :) 

Friday, December 2, 2011

Sugar Cookies

Sugar Cookies


  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 package (3 ounces) cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1/2 teaspoon Spice Islands® pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
  • 2-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg

  • 3-3/4 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 4 teaspoons meringue powder
  • Assorted colors of liquid food coloring


  • In a large bowl, cream the butter, cream cheese and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in egg yolk and extracts. Combine the flour, salt, baking soda and nutmeg; gradually add to creamed mixture. Cover and refrigerate for 3 hours or until easy to handle.
  • On a lightly floured surface, roll out dough to 1/8-in. thickness. Cut with floured 2-1/2-in. cookie cutters.
  • Place 1 in. apart on ungreased baking sheets. Bake at 375° for 8-10 minutes or until edges begin to brown. Cool for 2 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks to cool completely.
  • For frosting, in a small bowl, combine the confectioners' sugar, water and meringue powder; beat on low speed just until combined. Beat on high for 4 minutes or until soft peaks form. Cover frosting with damp paper towels or plastic wrap between uses.
  • Working quickly, spread or pipe frosting over cookies; let dry at room temperature for several hours or until firm. Use small new paintbrushes or toothpicks and food coloring to make designs on the cookies. Let stand until set. Store in an airtight container. Yield: 4 dozen.

 ... dough chilled and ready to roll out...
 ... cookie cutters we used...
 ... hot out of the oven...
 ... just put in the oven...
... royal icing, edible markers and gel coloring...

 ... marshmallows and cinnamon bits...
 ... FUN FUN FUN...
 ... So cute...

.. So yummy too. 


Cake Pops

Christmas Cake Pops
Mmm so cute and so yummy.

Baked cake
Lollypop sticks
Melting chocolate

Have fun and be creative!

Bake the cake following the directions on the box. 
Let cake completely cool Crumble cake into large bowl.

Add most of the container of the frosting. 
The amount you need will depend on the type of cake you used and how moist it is.

You will want it to be moist enough to easily form balls, but not wet and gooey.
Mix well.
Lay out the cookie sheet with your wax paper/parchment paper on top.
Start by scooping up some of the cake and start forming into a ball.
I like to pass it from hand to hand a few times and squeeze some of the air out of it.
Roll into a ball that is about the size a quarter. Use your lollipop stick to determine how big the ball needs to be. The average cake mix will give you anywhere from 36-50 cake balls, depending on how small you roll them. Bigger cake balls will mean less cake pops.

Once you have all of the cake balls formed, place in refrigerator until cold and firm. Heat up a small amount of candy melts to attach the lollipop sticks to the balls. Place the candy melts in a bowl and microwave in 30 second increments, stirring in between each time to make sure it is evenly heated. The candy melts will be smooth and not lumpy when it is ready to use. Dip the tip of each lollipop in the candy melts and push the stick a little less than half way into the ball.

Once you have attached all of the lollipops, transfer the cookie sheet with the cake pops on it into the freezer for 10-15 minutes. Remove tray from freezer and place in the refrigerator while you dip a couple cake pops at a time. Make sure the pops are firm and cold before you start to dip them.

Ready for the fun?! Dipping and decorating is my favorite part! Heat up the candy melts in a bowl in the microwave like above (stirring every 30 seconds until smooth). This time, use enough to cover the cake when you dip it. Hold the cake pop by the stick and dip in the melted chocolate. Use a spoon to help cover the parts that are harder to cover when dipping.

Be careful not to twist too much or heat up the chocolate around the stick or you will dislodge the lollipop stick out of the ball. The more you turn and twist it, the more rough the chocolate will look on the surface. Try to dip straight down to give a smooth look. Once your cake pop is covered, use your spoon to scrape the excess off the bottom. This will keep the chocolate from pooling when you set it down. Set it on your wax/parchment paper to cool.

Peppermint Brownies

Peppermint Brownies


  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup baking cocoa
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup crushed peppermint candy, divided
  • GLAZE:
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 tablespoon shortening


  1. Line a 13-in. x 9-in. x 2-in. baking pan with foil; grease the foil and set aside. In a mixing bowl, beat oil and sugar. Stir in vanilla. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Combine the flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt; gradually add to creamed mixture. Set aside 2 tablespoons peppermint candy for garnish; stir remaining candy into creamed mixture. Spread into prepared pan.
  2. Bake at 350 degrees F for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack. For glaze, melt chocolate chips and shortening in a microwave or heavy saucepan; stir until smooth. Spread over brownies; sprinkle with reserved candy.

Yum Yum!