Tag Archives: easy

Caramel Apple Cheesecake

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I’m a sucker for cheesecake! So when I came across this recipe for Caramel Apple Cheesecake on  http://www.365daysofbakingandmore.com/2012/02/day-348-caramel-apple-cheesecake-bars-for-the-secret-recipe-club/ I knew I had to try it. And you know what it is absolutely wonderful!

Okay a little honesty here. This is the first baked cheesecake I’ve tried and I was a little intimidated by it. But you know what? It was really easy! There are a lot of steps but they go quickly! I promise. 🙂

This is the recipe exactly as it appears on her site. I didn’t have any caramels but I did have some caramel Sunday topping so I used that. 🙂

Ingredients
Crust
1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs
1/4 cup butter, melted
2 tablespoons brown sugar

Cheesecake Filling
1 8oz. package cream cheese
1/3 cup sugar
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Apple Layer
1 Granny Smith apple
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon cloves

Streusel Topping
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup flour
1/4 cup oats
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons butter, melted

Caramel Drizzle
12 individually wrapped caramels
1 tablespoon heavy cream

Directions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F, and prepare an 8 X 8-inch baking dish by spraying it with cooking spray.
In a small bowl, combine the ingredients for the crust: graham cracker crumbs, brown sugar, and melted butter, mixing well with a fork.
Place crust mixture into prepared baking dish, pressing down gently with your fingers.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese until soft and smooth, about 2 minutes.
Add the sugar, egg and vanilla and beat until smooth.
Pour over crust, spreading evenly.
In a medium bowl, combine ingredients for the apple layer:  brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves.  Mix well.
Peel, core and dice the apple into small pieces.  Add to dry ingredients and toss to coat.
Distribute evenly over the cheesecake layer in the baking dish.
In another medium bowl, combine ingredients for streusel topping:  brown sugar, flour, oats, cinnamon, and melted butter.  Mix will until a coarse meal is formed.  Sprinkle evenly over apple layer.
Bake for 30-40 minutes until streusel is golden.
Transfer baking dish to a wire rack to cool to room temperature and then refrigerate for an hour or more to set.
For the caramel drizzle, in a microwavable bowl, melt the caramels on increments of 30 seconds, until smooth, stirring in between.  Allow to cool slightly and stir in the heavy cream.
Drizzle with caramel sauce before serving.

till next time

Krista ❤

Easy Homemade Ice Cream

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I recently picked up an ice cream maker on clearance and finally got around to trying it today. After looking around for an easy ‘no fail” recipe I found this one. Only 3 ingredients and about an hour? Sure! And taste? OMG! Delicious! Its like frozen whipped cream. So here it is:

 

1 1/2 cups Cold Whole Milk

1 1/8 cups Sugar

3 cups Cold Heavy Whipping Cream

1 1/2 TBS Pure Vanilla

 

Prepare your Ice Cream Maker.

With your mixer on low mix Whole Milk and  Sugar till well blended. Add Heavy Cream and Vanilla.

Continue per your Ice Cream Makers Instructions

DIY Ice Packs

I know I have mentioned in previous posts that I have a bum hand.  Part of the problem is tendinitis on the side of my hand between the thumb and wrist.  I have been trying many things over the last 2 years, physical therapy, cortisone injections, and even a cast for 2 miserable weeks!  Nothing has worked and now I am looking at surgery to open the sheath around the tendons to give them enough room and hopefully reduce the massive inflammation that has plagued me for 2+ years.  I have used ice packs constantly to try and reduce pain and inflammation and after awhile they tend to get a freezer bunt smell to them that I just don’t want to deal with.  I also do not want to waste money to buy new ones just because they are smelly.  As often as I use them, that is expensive!   Also, my surgery is going to be scheduled in the next week or so, so it seems this would be a good time to have plenty of ice packs on hand.  So on to Pinterest I go to see what can be done.  The most common recipe is as follows.

 

3 parts water

1 part rubbing alcohol

food coloring (optional)

 

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I just want you to know…I cleaned off my kitchen table for you guys!  I have been trying failing miserably at this goal in my house.  Anyway, I gathered my ingredients and got to work.  I started with 3 cups of cold water (I know it is a little over 3, but it’s a hectic morning here and I choose my battles).  I then added 1 cup of rubbing alcohol.

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Then comes the food coloring.  I used the food coloring simply to ensure if there was a leak, I would find it.   I recommend you use the drops and not gel.  It doesn’t dissolve well, but since it is all I had on hand, it was good enough!

 

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After 2 hours I checked my little snack size baggies and found major leaks!  I transferred the smaller baggies into 2 quart size freezer zipper bags, double bagging each one.  

Next up, fill my snack size baggies leaving room for expansion when frozen.

 

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Oh yeah, having a paper-towel on hand is a VERY good idea!  I only spilled a little but it could have been much worse!  Next I just stacked them in quart freezer bags and tossed them in the freezer.  I double bagged just in case one wasn’t totally sealed.  That would not be a mess I would want to clean up!

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The next day…..

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I have ice packs!  So happy to find this works.  It will be so much cheaper.  Have a great week!

 

Lynn

Honey Teriyaki Chicken

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Dinner in my house is always a challenge due to Mr. Picky, aka my loving fiance.  I am constantly saying he has the pallet of a 5 year old, but I’m pretty sure I know some 5 year olds that will eat more than him!  I tend to buy in bulk when there is a sale so I don’t have to pay full price later.  This is how I became really tired of baked chicken breast.  We are not always the most inventive at the end of the day so I started looking for some chicken recipes that Mr. Picky will try.  Luckily I have found a winner with this recipe from http://www.frugalitygal.com/.  Honey, teriyaki, chicken.  Yep, he will eat this!  This is where I got the recipe.    http://www.frugalitygal.com/2013/09/honey-teriyaki-chicken-recipe.html#_a5y_p=1258963

  • 1.5 lbs boneless skinless chicken tenders (I had roughly 3.5lbs of chicken)

  • 1/3 cup honey (I used 1 cup of local honey)

  • 1/3 cup teriyaki sauce (I used 1 cup)

  • 1 tbsp soy sauce (3 TBSP low sodium soy sauce)

  • 1 tbsp minced garlic (I didn’t have fresh garlic so I just used about 2 TBSP garlic powder)

  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper (2 Tsp black pepper)

  • 1/4 tsp. Salt (1/2 tsp salt)

  • 2 tbsp. sesame seeds (I didn’t use these because I didn’t have them)

This is where I veered off the path of her directions.  I mixed all of this in a large bowl with a fork, sorry, I don’t touch raw chicken if I don’t have to!  My mother cut the chicken for me since my bum hand doesn’t allow for me to do that sort of thing.  Anyway, I put it in the fridge covered for 2 hours and then cooked it in a saucepan while my rice cooked away in the rice maker.  Once the sauce thickened I turned off the heat and let it stand for 5 min to thicken some more and then served over rice.  This was seriously delicious!   Oh how I love easy recipes !

Lynn

Easy Creamsicle Cupcakes

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I have been passing off these awesome cupcakes as homemade for months!  I mean, they were made at home, so they are homemade right?  Ok, ok, since I finally fessed up to the truth I can share this with you.  These are so easy and oh so delicious.  Here we go.

 

Creamsicle Cupcakes with cream cheese filling and orange cream cheese frosting

For the cupcakes purchase Pillsbury Orange Creamsicle cake mix and make according to the directions.  Once cool, core out the center of each cupcake unless you have a frosting tip that will pierce the cupcake.

Make a basic cream cheese frosting.

2 Sticks of butter softened

2 8oz packages of cream cheese

3-4 cups powdered sugar

1 TBS Vanilla

1-2 TBS Milk

Cream the butter and cream cheese together in your stand mixer, add vanilla and sugar slowly, adding milk as needed for texture.  Voila!  Cream cheese frosting is complete!

Fill a frosting bag with frosting and pipe frosting into the top of each cupcake.  Super difficult I know!

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Next take one container of Pillsbury Orange Creamsicle frosting and add it to the remaining cream cheese frosting.  Mix until combined in your stand mixer.

Fill a piping bag with frosting and whichever frosting tip you like (the first picture was a batch without a frosting tip) and frost those bad boys!  I like to sprinkle chocolate sprinkles (aka jimmies for my east coast friends) on top to make them look even more appealing.

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This does take a little time and effort, but really it is so easy to do and I have NEVER had anyone not absolutely love these!  I have to hide some in the fridge for a friend and his son and every time I text him and tell him I have cupcakes for him, he is always very excited!  I have made these for snacks at bible study, birthdays and just because.   These are just delicious.  Please try these and let me know how they go over.  I anticipate some very positive reviews!!

 

Lynn

Delicious Guacamole In Under 5 Minutes

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Every Monday night my fiance unfortunately watches WWE Wrestling.  Most of the time one of his friends comes over to watch with him.  He is a great guy, and single so of course the mom in me wants to make sure he gets fed right.  Also, he is NOT picky like my fiance and loves to try my experiments.  I decided Taco Salad was on the menu for tonight.  While at the grocery store (because of course I had nothing in the house for taco salad), I saw avocados and remembered he loves my guacamole.  I found 2 kinda soft and decided that we had a new item on the menu!

This recipe really has no measurements because it all depends on how much you like.  I did measure out what I did last night but please add or reduce as you please.  You know what you like and that’s what counts.  🙂

 

This is what you need:

2 ripe avocados

Helmans Mayonnaise

Pace Chunky Salsa

Lime Juice

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In a bowl mash your avocados with a fork, making them as creamy or chunky as you like.  I leave some decent size chunks because I LOVE the taste of avocado.   Add 1-1.5 TBS of Helmans Mayo and stir.  You want it to have a creamy texture but not have the mayo overpower the delicious avocado flavor.  I recommend you start out small with the mayo and add more if you need to.   It is difficult to remove too much mayo.  Next add in and mix 1/4 cup of your salsa. Add 1 tsp of lime juice to help prevent the guacamole from browning as fast as it tends to do.   Again this is just what I did.  If you like more, or less, by all means use what you want.   This is just what I used last night.   If you use a different brand of salsa and mayo that’s fine too.  Personally I will only use Helmans.   Anything else tastes awful to me.  The Pace Salsa was what happened to be on sale yesterday or I would have bought store brand.

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This is so easy to make and really doesn’t take much effort.  Of course you can always pretend otherwise 🙂 .  This went over just as I expected.  Loved and enjoyed by everyone everyone except for my fiance who made questionable faces at it!

I really hope you try this and enjoy it.  It is so easy and oh so delicious.  ENJOY!!

 

 

English Muffin Bread

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Ok, this recipe for English Muffin Bread is wonderful!  I love to make it and freeze some for later.  It really tastes just like English Muffins, only better because you know you made it and you are amazing!  You don’t even a Kitchen Aid to make this.  You do however need a REALLY big bowl.  The recipe makes 4 loaves but you can cut it down to whatever works for you.  I will say if you make all 4 loaves, don’t use your Kitchen Aid.  You will be right at the top of the bowl.  This is where I found the original recipe.

http://www.onegoodthingbyjillee.com/2012/02/moms-english-muffin-bread.html

 

I do need to point out that is is a great blog as well!  I find lots of great ideas here.

Here is the recipe

5 1/2 cups warm water
3 packages RAPID RISE yeast
     (I have been using regular yeast with no issues)
2 Tablespoons salt
3 Tablespoons sugar (I use local honey instead of sugar, you can use either)
11 cups flour (I use all purpose, but you can use bread flour as well)

Mix altogether, then spoon into 4 greased loaf pans.  Let rise in pans until dough reaches the top of the pans, and bake in 350 degree oven for 45 minutes or until golden brown. 10 minutes before done, brush with melted butter. Makes 4 loaves. Bread will be moist at first. Allow to COOL COMPLETELY before cutting, it will break apart if it is still warm. Makes terrific toast.  I like to toast it and put a fried egg on top, but try it how you like it. Jelly, peanut butter, the possibilities are endless.

The Wonders of Baking Soda!

Hi everyone!  Sorry I’ve been absent for so long! Hunting for a new position has taken up all my extra time. 😦 But I’m back 🙂 lol.

Anyway I went yard/estate saleing over the weekend and found this great cast iron sauce pan! For only $1!! I don’t know how many other people passed it up – it was pretty disgusting looking. The baked on grease and old food….

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But add a little baking soda and a little elbow grease and its almost as good as new!

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I know that it still needs a little work but I can use it until I get another chance to go at the outside 🙂

Another place in the house that I regularly use baking soda is in the kitchen sink. The house that I live in is OLD and more than a little run down and the sink isn’t in much better shape. Everything that goes into it leaves some kind of stain. 😦  But a little baking soda and it looks 100% better in 2 minutes! 🙂

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So there you go! get out that baking soda and a little water and bring your old, dirty, stained items that you might otherwise throw away and bring back the shine.

And the best part – No harmful fumes and its a natural deodorizer!

Until next time

With Love

Krista ❤

King Cake

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Ok, lets just start off with me saying I know Mardi Gras is over.  However, I have a niece who just loves these king cakes!  My brother in law came down to visit yesterday so I decided to try my luck with this recipe.  Now normally I am not the best at following directions, but for this recipe I followed to the letter and the result was great!  Everyone loved the cake and went on and on about how much better it was than the store bought ones.  This really is not a hard recipe, just a lot of steps.  I wish I had taken more pictures for you guys but I was trying to fix my laptop on the phone with my brother in Albany, NY and fielding multiple phone calls from work!  So while you only get one picture of the finished product, I now have a working laptop and can post again!!  YAY!  I looked over many recipes on Pinterest while trying to decide how to make this and here is the one I chose.  The directions are very detailed and easy to follow.  If you decide to try it, please let me know what you think!

 

http://www.barbarabakes.com/2011/03/mardi-gras-king-cake/#_a5y_p=1166494

Italian Chocolate Cake

I came across this recipe (not for the first time) here Chew Nibble Nosh. Looking through the recipe I thought it looked interesting 😉 then a friend told me that his mother used to make something like it when he was a kid! That was it – I had to make it!

So I looked through the ingrediance again……Riccotta?! Um OK……2 pounds?! Wow 😉

I have to admit that I expected 2 things

1 – it was going to be REALLY rich. And
2 – it was either going to be fantastic or a complete flop LOL

Well it was FANTASTIC! And while yes it was rich it wasn’t near as rich as I expected 🙂 And it looks like so much more work than it is! It’s really easy!

SO give it a try! It’s DELISHIOUS!!

By the way – make sure you have a good deep pan! This cake is HUGE! LOL

Italian Chocolate Love Cake

Cake
1 chocolate cake mix plus the ingrediance to make it
2 lbs Riccotta Cheese
4 eggs
3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla

Frosting
1 small box instant chocolate pudding
1 cup milk
1 small tub cool whip

Directions

Cake
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prep a 9×13 pan (grease and flour).

Prepare the chocolate cake according to package directions. Put in the bottom of the 9×13 pan

In a separate bowl combine the Riccotta, 4 eggs, sugar, and vanilla and beat until smooth. Pour on top of the chocolate cake mix. Yes I know this seems backward but trust me it will end up in the middle/bottom of the cake!

Bake at 350 for 1 hour. Let cool COMPLETELY before frosting! Overnight in the fridge is best!

Frosting
Combine instant pudding and 1 cup milk. Fold in the tub of cool whip until no white streaks are left. Spread over cooled/refrigerated cake.