Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Pumpkin Gooey Butter Cake

My sister-in-law made this cake for Christmas this year - it is a recipe from Paula Deen and you can find it here at The Food Network as well. It is so delicious and tasty that I had to share. The best thing since Pumpkin Pie!



1 (18 1/4-ounce) package yellow cake mix
1 egg
8 tablespoons butter, melted


1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin
3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
8 tablespoons butter, melted
1 (16-ounce) box powdered sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Combine the cake mix, egg, and butter and mix well with an electric mixer. Pat the mixture into the bottom of a lightly greased 13 by 9-inch baking pan.

To make the filling: In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese and pumpkin until smooth. Add the eggs, vanilla, and butter, and beat together. Next, add the powdered sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and mix well. Spread pumpkin mixture over cake batter and bake for 40 to 50 minutes. Make sure not to overbake as the center should be a little gooey.

Serve with fresh whipped cream or cool whip if you're lazy like me!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Contest Winner - Jules

No one else entered so it's by default but that doesn't matter - Jules email us your contact info so I can get your prize sent!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Jalapeno Cornbread


3 cups buttermilk cornbread mix
2-1/2 cups milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
3 eggs, beaten
1 cup chopped onion
2 tablespoons sugar
1 cup cream style corn
1/2 cup finely chopped jalapeno peppers
1-1/2 cups Mexican blend cheese, shredded
6 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
1/4 cup chopped pimiento
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder


Combine cornbread mix and milk in a mixing bowl. Add remaining ingredients in order. Pour into three greased 8-inch square baking pans, or one 9x13x2-inch baking pan and one 8-inch square baking pan. Bake at 350° for 35 to 40 minutes. This cornbread is delicious with chili or pinto beans. Jalapeno cornbread freezes well.

This recipe was submitted by Jules who blogs at The fat chefs love to cook - check out her blog! This is also the only entry to our contest so far - still 2 days to get your entries in!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Sweet Potato Bake


3 cups cold mashed sweet potatoes (about 6 potatoes)
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup butter softened
3 eggs
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/4 cup flour
2 tablespoons cold butter


Beat together all ingredients above (except topping) until smooth. Transfer to a greased baking pan. Combine all topping ingredients and cut in butter until crumbly. Sprinkle over potato mixture. Bake uncovered at 325 for 45-55 minutes or until golden brown on top.

This will be a big hit at your thanksgiving dinner - sweet and delicious!

Thanksgiving is coming - a great time for food AND a contest!

Submit a recipe for your favorite Thanksgiving dish for a chance to win a Baked Apple Pie Petite Jar Candle from Celebrating Home for the smell of fresh baked apple pie without the work!

The Rules:

  • Contest will run for 2 weeks and end on Nov 15th
  • Recipe should follow the theme of the blog - Simple & Tasty
  • Recipe should be something that you would serve at Thanksgiving
  • Submit your recipe via email (see the link on the right)
  • Leave a comment letting us know you entered
  • Winner will be chosen at random from all entries
  • Good Luck!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Slammin' Skillet Black Beans


2 C cooked black beans (or 2 cans)
Two peppers, diced (one red and one green if ya like, for color)
1 Med. onion, diced
1 Small can diced tomatoes & their juice (Or salsa..)
1 diced chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, plus a spoonful of the sauce**
Optional: 1/2 c. corn
**If you can't find chipotle peppers in adobo, just get a can of Ro-Tel Tomatoes with chilis and use those. Be aware that for lightweights ONE chipotle pepper chopped fine is plenty for this recipe but if you want to use a couple, more power to ya.
1 TBSP Chili powder
1 Tsp. cumin
Splash of lime juice (Rose's is okay if you have a big bottle of that because you are a drinker like me. Not that I'm a 'drinker'...not like that. Oh, never mind.)


First: Prepare any kind of rice you like...I put mine in the steamer & then got to work on the beans.
Saute onion until nearly translucent and add peppers, saute until they are soft and smell nice. (I used butter, you can use what you like). Stir in beans, corn, spices, tomatoes, and chipotle peppers and simmer until everything is heated through. Add splash of lime. (I didn't have fresh limes so I used a little Rose's. I don't think it matters; just gives it a little sweetness and zip.)
Serve over rice. I would have added a dollop of sour cream and some cheese but I was 'making do' and it was just as good without it.
Could also be used as a burrito/taco/whatever filling. Could also be used as a rather muscular salsa/nacho topping.

This recipe was submitted by Kimberly of Dispatches from the Northern Outpost.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Delicious Onion Rings...


3-4 large sweet yellow onions
1 bottle beer (I used Coronoa)
2 cups flour
Salt & Pepper - I sometimes add a bit of garlic powder too
Vegetable Oil - enough to fill the bottom of your pan to about 3/4" or use a deep fryer


Peel the onions and slice them - can be thin or thick sliced your choice, I go for medium sized slices. Break into rings and put in a bag or container - sprinkle with flour and shake them up to coat with flour.

Mix the flour, salt and pepper and any other seasonings you choose to add, then using a whisk mix in the beer and keep whisking until well blended.

Heat your oil - if you have a deep fryer fantastic but if not a deep skillet will work. Heat the oil on Medium High until a drop of the batter dropped in sizzles and floats, if you have a thermometer it is about 350 degrees.

Dip your onions in the batter and turn a few times to coat, then add them to the hot oil a few at a time, turn after a minute or so.

Drain on paper towels, add salt and enjoy!

I sometimes combine ranch dressing with BBQ sauce to make a nice tangy dipping sauce.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Chocolate Zucchini Cake


1/4 c. butter flavor Crisco
1/2 c. vegetable oil
1 3/4 c. sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 c. sour milk (sour milk by adding 1/2t vinegar)

2 1/2 c. flour
6 tbsp. cocoa
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. cloves

2 c. grated zucchini
1/2 bag mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
3/4 cup milk chocolate chips


Preheat oven to 325.

Cream butter and sugar; add oil, eggs, vanilla, and sour milk. Beat well with mixer. Add dry ingredients to creamed mixture. Beat well. Stir in grated zucchini and chocolate chips.

Put in a greased 9 x 13 inch cake pan. Sprinkle with 3/4 cup milk chocolate chips and more mini chips if desired. Bake at 325 degrees for 40-50 minutes or until done.

Enjoy plain or add a scoop of your favorite ice cream or a dollop of whipped cream!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Chile Con Queso


1lb ground beef - browned and crumbled into small pieces
1 package chili seasoning (I use McCormick's HOT)
2 cups mild cheddar cheese shredded
2 cups cubed Velveeta cheese
3-4 cups milk
1 cup salsa (I use PACE Triple Pepper Salsa)

Chips - I like SCOOPS!


Brown the beef and drain (rinse to remove excess fat) and then add the chili seasoning and set aside. In a large sauce pan put 3 cups of milk and add the cheeses, stir constantly over medium heat until cheese is melted. If the mixture is too thick add more milk a bit at a time stirring until well blended and continue until desired consistency is reached. Mix in ground beef and the cup of salsa and blend well until smooth.

Serve with chips.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Cream Puffs with Dark Chocolate Filling


1/2 cup margarine
1 cup water
1 cup flour
1/4 teaspoon Salt
4 eggs

1/4 cup cornstarch
1/2 cup sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
3 cups whole milk (I used 1-1/2 cups 2% milk and 1-1/2 cups light cream)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
6 ounces semisweet chocolate chips, coarsely chopped



Preheat oven to 400. Bring water to a boil, melt margarine in boiling water. Once it is melted turn to low heat, add flour and salt and stir vigorously until mixture forms a ball. Remove from heat, beat in eggs one at a time until mixture is smooth after each addition.

Place spoonfuls of batter on ungreased baking sheet, making 12 mounds. Bake at 400 for 45 minutes. Immediately remove from baking sheet to cooling racks to cool.


Combine the cornstarch, sugar and salt in the top part of a double boiler. Slowly whisk in the milk, mix well and use a spatula to scrape the bottom and ensure all dry ingredients are mixed in. Put over the bottom part of the boiler with gently simmering water. If you don't have a double boiler using two sauce pans one slightly smaller that will nest inside works just fine and this is what I did.

Stir frequently scraping the bottom and using the wisk to prevent lumps from forming. After approx 10 minutes the mixture will start to thicken up, when it is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon add the chocolate and stir until it is all melted and the mixture appears dark and smooth.

Remove from heat and pour into a pan to cool - cover with saran wrap placed on the surface of the pudding to prevent a film from forming.

Cool for at least 30 minutes.

When puffs are cool and pudding has cooled it's time to assemble - it's best to only assemble the number you plan to serve as they don't keep well assembled. Cut the top 1/3 off the cream puff, spoon in the filling and then replace the top, sprinkle with powdered sugar or drizzle with melted chocolate or top with whipped cream - lots of choices.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Lick The Bowl Guacamole


2 avocados (should yield easily to firm pressure)
1 tomato
1/2 red onion
lime juice


Cut avocados in half, discard seeds. Use a spoon to scoop the flesh out of the skin. Cut up tomato and red onion. I cut them pretty small, but it's a matter of preference. Add lime juice, salt, cilantro, tomato and onion. Stir till the avocado binds everything.

Yields enough for 2-3 servings

Slacker Fudge

This is the easiest, most foolproof fudge recipe I've ever heard of. It's still somewhat sensitive to the humidity level, so it's not a rainy day activity.


7 oz. marshmallow creme
1 1/4c. sugar
2/3c. evaporated milk
1T butter (you can use more- up to 1/4 c.)
1/4 t. salt
1 1/2 c. semisweet chocolate chips
1 1/2 c. milk chocolate chips
1 t. vanilla


Line an 8x8 pan with foil. In a large saucepan, combine marshmellow creme, sugar, milk, butter and salt over medium heat. Bring to a boil, cook 5 minutes. Stir constantly. Remove from heat, stir in chocolate until smooth. Add vanilla and any additions (I use mini marshmallows and slivered almonds for rocky road). Pour into pan and chill for 2 hours or until firm.

Chicken Parmesan


Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts (1 per person you wish to feed)
Flour for dredging
1-2 eggs
Italian Seasoned Bread Crumbs
Grated Parmesan (or Romano which is what I use)
Mozzarella or Provolone Cheese

Pasta (I prefer angel hair)
Spaghetti Sauce (can make your own or use your favorite jar sauce)


Preheat oven to 350 and use a broiler pan or a baking sheet with a cooling rack on it to cook chicken on. Spray with nonstick spray to prepare.

Place chicken breasts between sheets of saran wrap or put in big plastic bag - pound flat with meat hammer of if you don't have one a rubber mallet from the workshop works well too! ;-) Pound the breasts to about 1/2" thick all over.

Place flour in a bowl big enough to dip chicken into.
Beat eggs with a fork in a bowl big enough to dip chicken into.
Pour 3 parts bread crumbs to 1 part grated Parmesan cheese and mix well with a fork.

One at a time dredge the chicken breasts in flour, then dip in eggs, and then place in bread crumb mixture and coat well on both sides.

Heat a few tablespoons of olive oil in a skillet and brown the chicken pieces on both sides - may need to add more oil between pieces of chicken.

Place the browned crispy chicken on the broiler pan or baking pan with racks and place in the oven. Bake 20-30 minutes until chicken is completely cooked and juices run clear. Then pour a few tablespoons of preheated sauce on top of chicken and cover with mozz or provolone cheese, return to the oven to melt cheese.

While the chicken is baking - heat water and boil your pasta, then heat up your sauce and combine the pasta and sauce so it's ready when the chicken is done - make sure to reserve some sauce for on top of the chicken.