Thursday, February 28, 2013

Double Chocolate Cookies

Some days are chocolate kind of days. Today was that day. I knew when I woke up in the morning that sometime during the day I was going to find a way to consume some chocolate. Believe it or not my freezer is full of a bag with mini candy bars. Almost one of each kind. It is waiting for me…calling my name and waiting for a time this summer when I can have a chocolate eating party. It would have been sooo easy to reach into the freezer and eat that Reese's peanut butter cup making my mouth water. But then I thought of my baby boy who was busy laughing as he put the remote in and out of a metal can over and over like it was the funniest thing in the world. And I knew that Mr. Reese’s would have to wait. But there had to be a way to make egg free butter free chocolate chocolate cookies. I found a recipe full of eggs and butter and went on my merry way changing things until I felt like I had dough that just might bake into a cookie. And let me tell you….we most definitely had cookies my friends! One of the best cookies I have had in a long time. They were super soft and perfectly chocolaty. Yum.
chocolate cookies
Here is what you need:
1/2 Cup Oil (I used canola)
1/4 Cup Applesauce
1/2 Cup Sugar
1 Cup Brown Sugar
1 tsp Vanilla
2 tsp Baking Powder
1 tsp Baking Soda
1/2 tsp Salt
2 Cups Flour
1/2 Cup Cocoa
3 Tbsp Almond Milk (Any milk will work)

Mix all ingredients in a bowl in no particular order. When you are done you won’t necessarily have a ball of dough like when you make normal cookies. The dough will be just a little bit crumbly and separate. It is okay! Just take the dough and mush it together in a ball place on cookie sheet and flatten the ball just a little bit with a cup.

Bake at 350 for 8 minutes. They won't seem done but leave them on the cookie sheet for about 5 minutes and they will be perfectly ready for eating.

Tips from Kj:
Add Chocolate Chips! Or pieces of candy…Reese's pieces, m&m’s, butterfingers crushed, etc. I would have if I had any.
The flattening cookie step is optional! I did it for the first sheet and not the second and I actually kinda like the thicker cookie…it is really soft in the middle)

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Sunday, February 24, 2013

Apple Crisp with Caramel Sauce (Our Sizzling Apple Pie)

When I was dating my hubby we felt like we had money! We would take each other out all the time! Then we got married and it was like all of our money was sucked into a black hole and we felt like we had to save save save all we could. Anyone else feel like that? We still go out on dates and do things but we are so super frugal now it is a little crazy. I am almost afraid to leave college and go into the real world because I only know how to be frugal. How to not buy that gallon of ice cream, steak, shrimp, cheesecake because we can’t afford it. It is going to be really weird when I am able to do those things. I think I will feel awkward spending money. We’ll see.

Anyway. During our dating lives we would always to go Applebees on the 4th of every month. (because we met that day) and have sizzling apple pie. Which just so happens to be the best thing ever. Once we were married we stopped going as much and I decided that this was just not acceptable and that we needed our own version of sizzling apple pie that we could have every month. After probably 5 months I came up with one that we LOVE. It is so good. With our without ice cream you will be wanting more! I wish I had a picture with ice cream for this post but we didn’t have any and ate every single bite and licked the pan clean before I had time to buy any.

And now for the recipe that will change your life:











For the crisp:

4 Apples peeled and chopped into squares
3 Tbsp. Lemon Juice
1/3 Cup Sugar
1 tsp. Flour
1/2 tsp. Cinnamon

Place the chopped apples in either a pie pan or an 8x8 baking dish. Squeeze the lemon juice on the top. Mix the sugar, flour, and cinnamon together and sprinkle over the apples. Mixing so all of the apples are coated.


1 Cup Oats
1/3 Cup Flour
1/3 Cup Brown Sugar
1/4 tsp. Baking Powder
1/8 tsp. Baking Soda
2 Tablespoons Butter

Put all ingredients in a bowl and mix with 2 forks until it is crumbly. Sprinkle all over the top of the apples.

Bake at 350 for 30 Minutes. It will be nice and golden brown on top when it is done.

Meanwhile make the caramel sauce. This is sooooo easy and really yummy!

Caramel Sauce:

In a  saucepan melt 2 Tablespoons butter. Add 6 Tablespoons brown sugar and 1/2 cup milk. (I used vanilla almond milk) Simmer for about 3 minutes and then you are done! It is a very runny caramel sauce but it is perfect for this apple crisp. And for mug brownies…as a side note.

Tips from Kj:

ADD ICE CREAM. It only adds to the goodness! You can never go wrong with a scoop, or two, or three!

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Thursday, February 21, 2013

Desserts in a Mug

So a while ago my mom was telling me how she made a brownie in a mug in the microwave. She sent me the recipe and it was awesome because it had no “allergies” in it. And it was personal sized just for me! I was immediately obsessed with Mug anything, but especially the brownie. I liked the recipe she had found but I felt like it could use a little tweaking. After a while and a TON of trial mug brownies I have now decided on the ultimate mug brownie recipe:


1/4 Cup Flour
1/4 Cup Sugar
2 Tablespoons Cocoa Powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp Vanilla
2 Tablespoons Oil or Melted Butter
3 Tablespoons water

Mix in Mug. Microwave for 1 Minute 40 Seconds.

Mark began to get jealous of my mug brownie deliciousness each night and asked me to make him a mug something. He loves snickerdoodles so I decided a “cinnamony” mug cake would do the trick. I just tweaked my brownie recipe a bit and came up with an awesome Mug dessert. I had one too and it was so yummy! Definitely a keeper! 


1/4 c flour
2 Tbsp Sugar
2 Tbsp Oil
3 Tbsp Milk
1 tsp Cinnamon
1/4 tsp Baking Powder
1/2 tsp Vanilla

Mix in mug. Microwave for 1 Minute 30 seconds.

Tips from Kj:

Adding a tablespoon of peanut butter to the brownie one is yummy!

Adding caramel sauce to either mug dessert is also super good!

If you have chocolate chips you can add it to the brownie and make it extra chocolaty!

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Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Mandarin Chicken

I love Mandarin Chicken at Panda Express…the only problem is that I have a HARD time with fatty pieces of chicken…or of anything for that matter. Sometimes at Panda the mandarin chicken has fatty pieces. But they are disguised!! So I’ll be happily eating my chicken and then eek I am chewing on a piece of fat. Haha Anyone who knows me knows that I can’t handle that. One. Little. Bit. Instead I die. I am so picky about my meat eating that if we are having KFC Mark picks all of the chicken off of the bone to me and puts only the completely white pieces on my plate. In general if meat has bones in it,  I won’t eat it. It is something I get teased about a lot but it is just part of who I am.
I have mentioned this before I think probably 3 times now that we can’t go out to eat Chinese food because of Jayden’s allergies and Chinese being full of Soy. So yay no fatty panda Mandarin Chicken. I don’t have to worry about it! But if you only knew how much I ADORE Panda Express. Chinese food is my best friend. And I miss it. Yesterday we were craving Chinese and I told Mark to choose one recipe from Panda and I’d try to re-create it.
Enter tonight's dinner. I made enough for us to have this twice. We ate both dinners worth in ONE night. It was amazing, delicious, wonderful, fabulous, and I am making it again tomorrow!
I had to make a home made “soy sauce’ for this and this is how I made it. It actually worked great!

Soy Sauce:
1 1/2 Cups Water
1/8 tsp garlic powder
4 Tbsp Beef Broth
4 Tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
2 tsp Corn Syrup
1 tsp Brown Sugar
1/4 tsp Ginger
Shake of Pepper

Mix all together and simmer for about 10 minutes in a saucepan. You can use this in any recipe that calls for Soy Sauce!

Now for the Ingredients for the Mandarin:

2 Chicken Breasts Cut into Strips and Seared (We used our George Foreman Grill but you could brown them in the pan before mixing the sauce)
In a saucepan mix the following ingredients together:
1/4 Cup Soy Sauce (Or your substitute)
1 Tablespoon Orange Juice
2 Cloves Minced Garlic
1/8 Tsp Ground Ginger
1/4 Cup Water
2 tsp Corn Starch
2/3 Cup Sugar
Add the chicken breasts and simmer for about 10 minutes.
Serve with rice, fried rice, chow mien noodles. Whatever floats your boat!

Tips from Kj:

DOUBLE this recipe because you will eat it all the first night. It is that good.

I add mushrooms to everything I think. And I am thinking about adding mushrooms when I make it tomorrow. And probably broccoli. That is one thing I love about Chinese food. Pretty much anything goes!

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Sunday, February 17, 2013

Orange Rolls with Cream Cheese Glaze

I decided to whip up one of my hubby’s favorite treats for Valentines day this year. I figured it couldn’t be too hard. I already love making cinnamon rolls so just add some orange zest and ta da you have orange rolls…right?? Actually yes! Right! (Plus a few other tweaks) Normally I buy these at the store in the little tubes that scare you when you open them. This year with our poor college student “no money for Valentines rule” I had to go homemade. This morning he was headed to the fridge to get his usual bagel and I was getting my baby up for the day…running into the kitchen I probably looked like a crazy person as I pretty much forbade him from opening the fridge. Then I proceeded to get out his surprise breakfast and he seemed pretty excited.
Something you should know about these rolls is that if you have a sweet tooth. It will be satisfied. And it might even beg you for more! My hubby doesn’t have too much of a sweet tooth and he said they were very good just very sweet…he ate it all though so that was a good sign that he really did think it was good! If he thinks something is too sweet and it is not good he’ll just leave it there on his plate…for me to finish after I finish mine. Which I always am happy to do! I was drooling wishing I could eat one. I think I’ll freeze one to eat when my baby boy is weaned. Or I’ll just make a whole batch just for me in May :)
These are super easy and yummy just make sure you have a few hours where you will be at home when you make them. They need a little bit more attention than other recipes.

For the ROLL DOUGH you need:

1 Package Yeast
1 Cup Warm Milk
1/4 Cup Hot Water
1/4 Cup Butter
1/4 Cup Sugar
1 tsp Salt
1 egg
1/8 C Orange Juice
1 Tsp Orange Zest
1 Tsp Vanilla
3 1/2-4 Cups Flour

In a small dish dissolve the yeast in the hot water let it sit for about 3 minutes. Meanwhile mix the milk, butter, sugar, salt, and egg together. Add yeast mixture and mix well. Add 3 cups of flour at first and then add more until you have a ball of dough. Lightly flour a flat surface and knead for about 5 minutes. Place ball of dough in a greased dish and cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled or for about an hour. (I normally warm up my oven as  I’m making the dough turn it off and place the dough in there)
While your dough is rising make the filling.

For the FILLING you need:

1/2 C Butter Melted
1 C Sugar
2 Tablespoons Orange Zest
1/8 Tsp Nutmeg
1 Tbsp Brown Sugar
Mix Sugar, Zest, Nutmeg, Brown Sugar and set aside.
When the dough has finished rising punch it down divide it in half and roll it out into a long rectangleish shape. Brush the dough with half of the butter:
Sprinkle half of the filling mixture over the top of that:

Now you have to decide if you want large rolls or small rolls. If you want mini rolls start on the long side and roll it into a long tube. Slice the rolls about 1 inches thick and place in a baking dish so there is space between them. If you want big rolls roll it from the short side and cut them the 1 1/2 inches thick and place them in a baking dish big enough that there is space between them. You want them to have room to rise up and get comfy. See Below:
Let rise for another 45 Minutes. I told you you couldn’t leave! These babies need your tender love and care. While you wait you can make the glaze!

For the Cream Cheese GLAZE you need:
2-3 C Powdered Sugar
4 Tablespoons Cream Cheese
4 Tsp Milk
1 Tsp Orange Juice
1 Tsp lemon Juice
Mix starting with 2 Cups powdered sugar and mix adding more until you have a consistency you like. I like thicker glaze so I used more powdered sugar.

Now your rolls have risen. You might be feeling worried. There seems to be a lot of liquid in the pan. Oh no! It is okay. You WANT that! It is buttery orangey goodness. It will leave a yummy “sauce” on the bottom of your roll. It is good. Promise!
Bake at 375 for about 15 minutes for the small ones and 20 for the large ones. But watch them closely when the time gets near. You want them to be nice and golden on top.
Then brush your glaze over the top and there you have it!
Tips from Kj:
If you want to make these into cinnamon rolls that will work too! Omit the orange juice and zest from the dough. (You will need a little less flour)

For the filling use the same amount of butter but mix 1 Cup Sugar, 4 Tbsp Brown Sugar, and 2 Tbsp Cinnamon to sprinkle over the top of the butter.

For the glaze just don’t use orange juice or lemon juice. You might need a few extra teaspoons of milk and a little more cream cheese.

I am linking up at: Sugar & Slice :) Come party with me! Pin It

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Guest Post: Apple Pie Sticks

I am so excited for our guest blogger today. I love going to Katie’s blog and finding amazing ideas for every holiday and event you can think of. The ladies at To Entertain share the best recipes, party ideas, and absolute cutest decorations. They give so many details that even if you don’t normally bake, craft, or party plan you will feel like you can do anything they post. Plus they are all so cute and nice their posts are very fun to read! If you love to party, entertain, or even just eat delicious treats this blog is for you. Go check it out and I promise you won’t be disappointed. And now for the real good stuff:

Hi there! My name is Katie and I'm a contributor for to entertain! A little bit about us...
We are a little bunch of ladies who love to entertain. From dinner parties to play dates, you'll find all of our best recipes, hostess tips, company advice, favorite "tried & true" products, complete parties, and DIY party details & how-to's. We would so love for you to stop by! Something else that's pretty special about us? We're all pretty unique. Some of us are empty-nesters, Some of us are no-kidders, some of us spend our days wiping noses & changing diapers, one of us spends evenings helping with 5th grade homework. Faith is pretty important to each of us and we come from a few different denominations. Some of us are living the poor student life, and some are enjoying the harvests of a long life of work. Some are health food nuts & some of us add bacon to everything. Some of us believe strongly in thank you notes & RSVP's while other's are of the Facebook & evite generation. One thing we all have in common? We each share a passion for entertaining, for hosting guests, for creating and delivering experiences. Come follow us & join our fun!

Baby Shower 2010


A little bit about me...
My name is Katie and I'm the wife of a poor graduate student, momma to two sweet tiny ones, and a latter day saint. In my posts you'll find, budget friendly ideas, themed play dates, wholesome good fun, uber yummy recipes and entertaining lessons I'm learning...since I'm not as seasoned as some of the other gals. My entertaining mantra would be “keep calm & party on” (and the only thing nerdier than the fact that I just said that is that I have an entertaining mantra) I say Bah! with rules & clean kitchens (although I’m sure my mother would disagree) however you like to do it--paper plates from the grocery store or china you spent weeks personally hand painting guest’s initials on, do it because you love it and do it however you like! I do it because I love it. I love thinking up the details for themes, I love creating an environment, I love helping people have a good time, I love food. I grew up loving the hustle and bustle of preparing for a big event (stuffing the goody bags, hanging streamers, smelling the food, hanging out in the kid’s room listening to muffled adult laughter and grown up words) but I try not to sweat the small stuff and enjoy the outcome right along with my guests! Whatever happens…triple digit weather & a broken air conditioner, baby fingers in your cake, 30 screaming 10-year olds with glitter everywhere? Love it!  Entertaining should be fun!
Now on to the good stuff, right? A few weeks ago we celebrated our 2nd daughter's 1st birthday. It was a day full of togetherness...playing on the playground with cousins, riding the train with grandma, laughter and chatter in between bits of yummy food, silly hats, cute boots, my sweet baby *excuse me* big girl, smiling with fistfuls of cake, and these...


Apple pie sticks, pie on a stick, pie pops, whatever you'd like to call them, they are delicious and so stinking adorable. They were a perfect addition to our country themed party but I think they'd be pretty perfect in a bouquet for a Valentines Day treat
(teacher, friend, grandma, hubby??)

Apple Pie Sticks Tutorial:
You'll need:
1 store bought pie crust dough (made about 30 pops for me)
6 inch lolly pop sticks (craft store)
1 can pie filling (I used apple, you can use any you like)
1- egg white
2 inch cookie cutter
parchment paper
small bowl of water
1. Roll out pie dough on a floured surface about 1/8 of an inch thick
2. Using the cookie cutter, cut out pie halves

apple pie on a stick

3. place pie halves on the baking sheet spaced as shown and add the lolly stick by pressing lightly. The trick to not having the sticks fall through with the weight of the pie and is placing them just below the top of the pie as shown, and then not testing the weight until they are completely cool. (Mine held up all day!)
4. Add your food processed (my can of apple pie filling came with big slices of apples) or already chunky apple pie filling. You're only going to add about a teaspoon or the filling will start to leak through your edge.
5. Dip a clean finger in your water bowl and run it around the rim of a second pie half and top off the pie half on the baking sheet. lightly press the rims together and then using a fork, press around the edges to get that fancy apple pie look. Use a pin or the fork to poke a few holes in the top of the pie for steam venting.

apple pie on a stick1

6. lightly brush the tops of the pies with your egg wash
7. Place in the oven for 15-20 min (golden brown) at 375 degrees.
*Tips: touching the pastry dough and then the lolly sticks will make the sticks a bit greasy. After baking, golden brown finger prints will show up on the sticks so make sure to wash hands in between touching the pastry dough.
*For a cutesy touch you can add granulated sugar sprinkles before baking or I added a sprinkle of cinnamon & sugar
*When removing cooked pies from the baking sheet before completely cooled, carefully and cautiously remove them by the pie top (not the stick!) with a spatula. Once cooled, they'll be much more durable.


To see the rest of our little cowgirl's hoedown, come visit us! Thanks so much for letting me stop by!

K aren’t those about the cutest most awesome things you have ever seen? The only tip from Kj today is to really go check out their blog. You will love it. I promise!

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Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Valentines Treats

The day of love is coming…make treats for your husbands, friends and neighbors! Here are some twists on two of my recipes that make great valentine surprises!

Recipe Link HERE
I just made these with strawberry cake mix and rolled them in sprinkles after filling the middles with cream cheese frosting. If you want to you can cut your cookies into hearts after baking to spread a little more love!

Recipe link HERE
For these I used Cheesecake pudding this time. Then I dipped some in sprinkles, left some plain, and drizzled chocolate over the others. These are so good with the cheesecake filling. YUM!
What is your favorite Valentines recipe?? I’d love to check some of them out if you leave links in the comments below!
Happy Month of Love. I hope someone spoils you and makes you feel loved!

This post was featured on: Sugar & Slice I feel so loved! Head on over there and visit! Pin It

Food Network Debut

Okay that title is a little misleading…I really had my MBASA debut today. MBASA is a spouses association for the spouses of MBA students at BYU. Because I have a baking blog and love to bake and cook they asked me to teach a cooking class to some of the wives. I was so excited and had so much fun! The women in MBASA are amazing and I am so glad to be part of such an amazing group of ladies! Even though I know the class went well and it really was a lot of fun here is a play by play of how it really felt to be teaching this class…haha

So I gathered my supplies, put on my “food network” face and off I went. I spent hours before thinking of the things I would say, do, jokes I would tell…etc. It was going to be fabulous, funny, witty, charming, you name it I would be it! I was going to get a call from the Food Network the next day because of the rave reviews sent in by all of my new fans! Right??? Maybe not quite….

I got started making Brownie Bites and was feeling great minus my shaking hands when I turned on my kitchen aid hand mixer and it fell to pieces! Okay not all to pieces but it broke. I hadn’t even started into my “Giada De Laurentiis” script (I like to watch her show so I was pretending I was her) and my mixer breaks! It is okay I tell myself and I kept going using a whisk. The brownie bites turned out great and everyone was happy eating yummy treats.


Move on to Funnel Cakes….I only had medium eggs not large and without knowing some of the milk spilled in the car on the way there. The batter was SO THICK. It wasn’t funneling. So I added water…still not funneling. Finally borrowed milk from the girls house it was at and we got our funnel cake on! I was worried now that I had lost the faith of probably 2/3 of the people there that I had any talent at all. haha At this point I felt like one of the contestants on the very first day of “The Next Food Network Star” that gets voted off in the end because they couldn’t describe how the food was smelling to the camera because the viewers at home couldn’t smell it so they had to help them smell with their imagination….sorry back to the subject at hand. 


I think all in all it actually went better than I am imagining in my head. Maybe all the women were sitting there thinking that I seemed to elegantly dance as I moved from stove to counter to sink and that the way I whisked the brownie filling was like watching Julia Child in her kitchen….I actually think I am going to try to keep telling myself that this is what they were thinking. Maybe I really will get that call from the food network….


I can tell you this: If nothing else…the kiddos loved the food! I figure that since I am a mom that is a pretty good result. I will need my kids to love my food. So I have some good reviews from children ages 3-8 if you want to hear them :)

I also have a greater appreciation for people with cooking shows than I ever had before.

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Sunday, February 3, 2013

Tapioca Pudding Bread

Mark supposedly loves tapioca pudding. I bought him some for the elk hunt…he never ate them. I sent him some in his lunches thinking he had eaten them. Then one day I looked in his backpack to put his lunch in there and I found all 4 uneaten pudding cups. So at this point I decided he was never going to eat them. (And I wasn’t going to believe him that he loved them anymore) The funny thing is that normally if he doesn’t eat his treats. I just eat them. Problem solved. But unfortunately I can’t eat them so I wanted to figure something else out to do with them. Enter: Tapioca Pudding bread…..


This was a total experiment. I was not sure how it would turn out. In the end it was super yummy! (According to my taste testers: Mark and my neighbors) Originally I was trying to make tapioca pudding cookies. As I went long I realized the batter was more the consistency of bread so I changed course!

Here is what you need:

4 Tapioca Pudding Cups
1 Cup Sugar
1/2 C Brown sugar
2 Eggs
1 tsp Vanilla
1/2 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp Baking Powder
1/4 tsp Baking Soda
3 C Flour
Preheat oven to 350

Cream tapioca pudding and sugar in a mixing bowl. Then beat in the eggs and vanilla. Add the remaining dry ingredients and beat until combined. Pour into greased bread pans (I made 2 loaves) Bake for about 30-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.

While baking make this:

Cream cheese frosting (This is Marks Recipe he used on my blue velvet cake last year on my birthday)

16 oz. cream cheese softened
1/2 cup unsalted butter softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar sifted
pinch of salt
First blend butter and cream cheese and then add the rest of the ingredients beating until smooth and creamy. Spread on top of the cooled bread loaves.

Tips from Kj:

Mark and our neighbors liked this bread the most warmed in the microwave.

This is a great dessert to use when you can’t get your kiddos to eat. From what I have heard they eat dinner better than they ever have to get a bite of this! Pin It