Love Me Some Fun-Fetti!

>> Wednesday, September 29, 2010

*GASP* Becca- Pictures!! Are you proud!?!

Who doesn't love a good 'ol Fun-Fetti cake!?!

Well my friend at work sure does... and so we were having a little celebration for her recent wedding and I decided to bake a cake for the occasion.

Is was on complete accident the way this turned out. As I was going to pour the mixture into my 2 9" rounds, I realized I have NO CLUE where they are (lost in the move, at someone elses home... who knows) and so I decided to make a bunch of Cup Cakes instead... WAIT- I have ONE small square pyrex dish I can use. So I will do both (and thats when the creativity poured in... or perhaps I was watching Cake Boss. Dont judge!)

Recipe: Cake Mix and two cans of frosting (I used one Fun-Fetti frosting and the other Butter Cream)


Cake - Do as directed on box :) Sorry folks- I am not a fancy baker.

Once both Cup Cakes and Square cake is baked- allow to cool.

*I stuck mine immediately into the freezer. Its much easier to work with a cake when its frozen.

Remove from pan and shave off the top of the cake with a carving knife (or cake leveler) to level out flat. Flip cake over so bottom side is up. That will be your base.

Frosting - With the Butter Cream I added blue coloring.

I frosted the cup cakes like normal with the fun- fetti frosting and then placed in the freezer while I frosted the cake.

I used the blue frosting on the cake. I made sure to put a generous portion on top so that it didn't tear the cake while frosting.


Once the cake is frosted remove the cupcakes from freezer and figure out your arrangment. (you can go crazy stacking... or like me, four cupcakes to form a square and one on top!)

You will need a toothpick or something to hold the cupcakes in place. I cut wooden cabbob sticks in half and used those since they were stronger.

I hid the sticks through the cupcakes with a dot of icing on top.

I dotted the sides and stuck in back in the freezer over night!!

Finished product- SO CUTE!! Not a pro... but still fun!



>> Friday, September 24, 2010

This recipe comes from my favorite magazine, Real Simple. And just as the title suggests, it is pretty simple.

pizza dough (Use this recipe or this one, or just buy the refrigerated ones)
1/4 lb. sliced salami
4 c. fresh spinach
1/2 lb. thinly sliced provolone
olive oil

Shape the dough into a 12-by-15-inch rectangle. Top with salami, spinach, and provolone. Working from a short end, roll us the dough. Place seam-side down on an oiled baking sheet; brush with olive oil. Bake at 425 degrees until golden brown, 25-30 minutes.

I have made this recipe several times and we really enjoy it. Feel free to substitute any of the ingredients for your favorite toppings. Last night I used ham, provolone, tomatoes, and mushrooms because that's what I had on hand.
Be creative!


Cheesy Potato Soup

>> Wednesday, September 22, 2010

This is my very favorite soup. I think it is better than any soup I have ever had - seriously. It is perfect for Fall and Winter! (It is also perfect for pretending like it is Fall or Winter!) It is also easy - I usually only need to get Velveeta in order to make this - simple ingredients with amazing taste!


3 Cups diced raw potatoes
1 1/2 Cups Water
3/4 Cup diced celery
3/4 Cup diced carrots
1 can corn, drained (optional)
1 TBS dry minced onion (or 1/4 Cup diced onion)
1 tsp parsley flakes
1 tsp garlic powder
Salt & Pepper to taste
1 can Cream of Chicken soup
2 Cups Milk
8 oz. Velveeta

Combine potatoes, water, celery, carrots, onion, parsley flakes, and S&P in a large pot. Cook on low heat - simmering until all are tender. Stir in can of soup, milk, corn, and Velveeta. Heat and stir frequently until cheese melts. Serve.


*I don't think it is possible for something to be "too cheesy" so I double the Velveeta and use the whole little 16 oz. cube. It's awesome.

*I have used both red and russet potatoes in the past and both work great.

*Fresh & Easy sells a little tub of "stew vegetables" with carrots, celery and onion already diced up. I just used that little tub and took out half the onion so it wasn't too onion-y.

*Crackers, goldfish, crumbled bacon, or shredded cheese make great toppings.

*I have also made this into a freezer meal in the past. What I do is put the potatoes, vegetables and seasonings in a freezer bag and freeze. If I buy a huge log of Velveeta I will cut a piece of that and freeze it as well. Then the day I make the soup I just take out the vegetables (already diced = saved time) and the cheese, let them thaw, then all I need to have ready is the water, milk and can of soup.

*I haven't tried this, but I bet frozen cubed hashbrown potatoes would work just as well. Why not? If somebody tries that, or has in the past with soups, let me know how it turns out. (I REALLY hate peeling potatoes)


Banana Bread

I was going to post this forever ago when all the banana bread recipes were coming out, but I forgot. And since I made this bread the other day I took pictures so I could post it now :)

Banana bread

1 cup sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil (I tried coconut oil instead this time and it gave it a totally different flavor! It was good, but I'm partial to the original taste :))
2 eggs
1 cup (2-4) mashed bananas
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup sour cream
1 1/2 cup flour
1 tsp soda
1/2 tsp salt

Mix first 3 ingredients. Then add mashed bananas, vanilla, and sour cream and mix well. Lastly add the dry ingredients and mix well, but not so long that it gets too fine. Grease and flour a bread pan and bake at 350 degrees for 50-60 minutes.

This is my favorite bread recipe! The sour cream makes it so moist and yummy. Sometimes I'll sprinkle cinnamon sugar on the top before I bake it. It gives the crust a little crisp :)


Puerto Rican Beef Steak

>> Monday, September 20, 2010

This recipe is one of my in-laws favorite. My father in-law is from Puerto Rico and we have this meal all the time since it's so simple to make.
Needed: Cube Steak
Large Onions (half an onion per steak)- sliced
You start by placing the cube steak into a casserole dish and pouring enough vinegar to completely cover them. Then top with onions and let sit for at least 15 mins (I like to let mine sit for an hour but this meal still tastes great sitting for only 15.)
Once meat has sat in vinegar, heat a splash of oil (only enough to keep steak from sticking to pan) and beef steak, leaving vinegar and onions in the casserole dish, into frying pan. Cook completely.
Once beef steak is completely cooked add vinegar and onions to frying pan.

Simmer until onions are tender, there will be a lot of juice still in the frying pan (which is the best part).

Serve Steak and onions over rice (I use white or jasmine) and top with sauce.

Sorry I don't have more pictures, I forgot to take them. Hope you all enjoy!


Cheese & Spinach Baked Ziti

>> Sunday, September 12, 2010

I made this last night, and it was really yummy! It wasn't as complicated as it sounded. Although I had to exclude the spinach because I didn't get on the making of this dish before my spinach leaves liquidized in my fridge. The girls ate it up- I wish there would have been spinach to get some vegetables down them. Next time! I will not procrastinate until the produce is spoiled!

What you need:

16 oz. penne pasta
1 bag (6 oz) baby spinach leaves
1 jar marinara sauce
1 c. ricotta cheese
1 c. shredded mozzarella cheese
3/4 c. grated parmesan
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. pepper

Preheat your oven to 350. Cook pasta to al dente or less (so the noodles will soak up the sauce when baking) Add spinach during the last minute. Drain pasta & spinach, then return to (large) saucepan. Stir in marinara sauce, ricotta, 1/2 c. mozzarella, 1/2 c. parmesan, garlic powder, and black pepper into pasta. Pour into 9x13 pan, sprinkle remaining cheese on top. Bake for 30 mins. uncovered.


Chocolate cake cookies

>> Saturday, September 11, 2010

Ok, so I have been a little 'MIA' in the cooking realm lately but this week I made these SUPER easy and YUY cookies (pics coming soon- as I find my camera cord- again- use your imagination) they are DIVINE and SO easy- Ashely I am sharing this for you! (They are not so friendly on the waistline- soooo indulge! they are worth it;) You will need:

1 box Devils food cake mix
1 stick of butter room, temperature
1 brick (8 ounces) cream cheese (I go for Philly, it just tastes better!) softened to room temperature
1 egg

Mix in a bowl until well blended- it gets pretty thick to I have to use a rubber spatula to get the dough 'unstuck' sometimes

Chill dough in refridgerater two hours (or more)but at least until well chilled- then preheat oven to 350 and bust out an ungreased cookie sheet. Get a shallow bowl and pour some powdered sugar in it. Then Scoop dough with spoon into balls (about poing pong size) and roll the ball in powdered sugar until coated- standard cookie sheet usually allows 15 to a sheet- bake for 12 min leave on rack a minute or two then move to cooling rack. These are good warm, better later when they cool and shockingly even BETTER the second day! seriously! ENJOY!!


Broccoli Salad

>> Thursday, September 9, 2010

I tasted this salad a while ago at a pot luck and I loved it so much that I googled the recipe so I could make it for a family party. So all the credit goes to Diana Rattray :)

Broccoli Salad

5 cups fresh broccoli florets
1/2 cup raisins (I used craisins)
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
1/2 cup cooked crumbled bacon
1/4 cup red onion, chopped (I left this out because I don't like raw onion)
1 cup frozen peas, thawed

1 cup mayo
2 Tbsp vinegar
1/2 cup sugar

Mix salad together in big bowl. Make dressing in separate bowl. Combine and chill for 2 hours before serving.


Chicken Stuffed Tomato Bakes

>> Monday, September 6, 2010

This particular meal came to me nearly by accident.  I had about ten tomatoes in my fridge that were starting to get soft, so I knew I had to eat them soon.  I also made my own chicken broth earlier that week, so I had a lot of chicken that I needed to eat up too.  Last night, I didn't have any any clue of what to cook for dinner... until it hit me: "How about I make some sort of chicken stuffing and put it in hollowed tomatoes... they do stuff like that as appetizers in fancy restaurants, right?" So I started looking through my fridge to see what I could use to make the "stuffing part". After looking, here's the ingredients I came up with:

10 vine tomatoes (they work best because they are round enough on the bottom, and not too big)
1 chicken breast , cooked and shredded
1/2 large onion
4 garlic cloves
1 handful of spinach
1 cup shredded mozzarella
1 tsp basil
1 tsp parsley
1 tsp salt
1/3 cup parmesan cheese
oil for drizzling

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray. Rinse tomatoes. Slice off tops of tomatoes, then with a spoon, carve out the inside pulp of each tomato. Place hollowed tomatoes onto baking sheet, set aside.

 Place pulp remains into food processor of blender.  Add to pulp the remaining ingredients (except parmesan and oil), and blend until you have a pulpy mixture.

Spoon mixture into each tomato, leveling off the top of each.

Sprinkle each tomato with parmesan cheese, then drizzle the top with oil.

Bake in the oven for 20 minutes.  Let cool for 5 minutes, then enjoy!  Serves 2-3

Can be served as an appetizer or a main dish. We ate it as a main dish, with garlic toast as a side.

*Note: There will be left over stuffing. You can use it to stuff other tomatoes, or save it for the next morning to  be the filling of an omelet for two (which is what we did)!  :)

**Note Note: If you want it to be more creamy, try adding 4 oz. of cream cheese. I didn't add any because 1. I wanted it to be healthier, and 2. I didn't have any! haha


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