Friday, October 31, 2008

Kitty Litter box cake!

So what is this gross monstrosity you might ask? Well it's actually a cake. A pretty good cake to be honest. Notice the "poopies"? Realistic, aren't they? Everybody @ school was pretty grossed out but know what? The cake is GONE! Of course I did make this for my son's 6th grade class & it turned out awesome. They were all properly impressed!

kitty litter box cake -

  • 1 spice or German chocolate cake mix
  • 1 white cake mix
  • 1 large pkg vanilla instant pudding mix
  • 1 pkg vanilla sandwich cookies
  • Green food coloring
  • 12 small Tootsie Rolls
  • New, cleaned litter box
  • New, cleaned litter scooper

  1. Prepare the cake mix according to the directions on the box. Use any size pan. Allow the cake to cool to room temperature.
  2. Prepare the pudding mix and put it in the refrigerator for now.
  3. Crumble the white sandwich cookies in small batches in a food processor (scrape often to get every little piece) or by hand. Set aside all but about 1/4 cup.
  4. Measure 1/4 cup of cookie crumbs and add a few drops of green food coloring to it. Mix with a fork or shake everything in a jar.
  5. Crumble the room temperature cake into a large bowl. Toss it gently with half of the remaining white cookie crumbs and enough chilled pudding to moisten (not soak) the crumbs.
  6. Put the cookie crumbs and pudding mixture into a brand new, clean litter box.
  7. Heat three unwrapped Tootsie rolls in a microwave safe dish and until they're soft and pliable. Pinch the ends so they are no longer blunt--you want them to look convincingly like what cats put in the litter box, right? Repeat this process with as many Tootsie rolls as you'd like to add, microwaving them in batches of three.
  8. Bury the shaped Tootsie rolls in mixture and sprinkle them with the other half of the cookie crumbs.
  9. Scatter the green cookie crumbs lightly over the top. This will mimic real litter, where many of the grains are often blue or green.
  10. Shape 3 more Tootsie rolls and scrape them on top of the cake. One can hang over the side of the litter box. Sprinkle them lightly with cookie crumbs.
  11. Place the box on a newspaper and sprinkle a few of the cookie crumbs around. Serve with a brand new, cleaned litter scooper for that extra touch!
This is a very fun cake that most people will have a great time w/. Hope you enjoy!

Halloween cake balls

Here are my cake balls. Didn't they turn out great? I was a little concerned about melting the white bark to dip the balls in but it was all good.

So the recipe is easy. Make any cake mix. After it's cooled crumble it w/ either your hands or a fork. Then add (yes, I know it's pretty disgusting!) 3/4 can vanilla frosting. Mix well & take about a walnut size amount of mess & roll into a ball. You will need to wash your hands every so often in order to keep the balls smooth. Place the balls on a cookie sheet & place in the freezer for about an hour. Next melt some vanilla bark & add desired food coloring (the gels & pastes work better than the liquid). Dip the balls in the chocolate & place on the cookie sheet. Let set. Easy, peasy!! Oh & I put lollipop sticks into the balls for easier dipping & eating!

Now if you'd like a better recipe form check out the Pioneer Woman & see what I mean!

Monday, October 6, 2008

Ground Beef Tacos

Time to make an old favorite @ my home. Tacos. Not your average tacos but maybe better than you think. I'm afraid that the ingredients are according to taste!

You will need:

Hamburger (I used a large family pack this time so that I could freeze some)
1 onion - chopped

chili powder
corn tortillas
canola oil

So let's start our tacos by putting the ground beef in a frying pan. I used an electric one because it holds more

While the ground beef gets started cooking, I peel & rinse in COLD water a yellow or spanish onion.

Now chop that onion & add it to the ground beef making sure that you are stirring the meat.

After it is cooked until it is no longer pink you are left w/ some juice. You can do one of three things.
a) leave juice in meat
b) drain juice
c) drain & Rinse w/ warm water cooked ground beef.

I go w/....

Option c)! I really like to get some more of that grease out even though I used 91% lean ground beef. Then I take it a step further & rinse the meat. I know, I know but to each her/his own I say!

After the meat has been drained I add some salsa. Usually whatever I have on hand although I had this stuff from Costco & it was actually pretty good. Please remember though that organic salsa won't have any preservatives & so won't last in the fridge as long as regular salsa.

Remember when I said that it was made according to your tastes? Well here it is. I typically just dump some in. It should have enough that when you stir it you can still see it. I actually didn't have quite enough but we'll pretend that I did. 'Kay?

After you stir in the salsa it's time to add the chili powder. Again this is according to taste. We like it to have a little kick so I add a bit, maybe try a bit & then add more. I'm a firm believer in trying while you cook. That way you know the flavors & amount of spice your family & friends can handle.

But wait! There's more! Don't forget the cumin! It too, is an integral part of the flavoring process. If you have never used this before add in a 1/2 - 1 tsp per lb to begin w/. You can always add more. Don't forget to taste, taste & then just because, taste again!

Looks pretty yummy, yes? If @ this point it looks a little dry add about 1/4 - 1/2 cup of water. Replace the lid on the pan & let it all simmer for a bit. Actually just while you fry the corn tortillas will be good.

Time to fry the tortillas! Ummmm.

Using a small skillet pour enough oil in to cover the bottom of the pan.

Turn the burner on med - high. While the oil is heating up get your plate ready.

Put about 4 paper towels on the plate. Don't fold up. You'll need them to blot the excess oil off of the tortillas.

These are corn tortillas not to be confused w/ flour. They are typically smaller than a flour tortilla.

When the oil is warm (maybe a minute but you can add a little piece of the tortilla to the oil first. When it starts to sizzle you'll know that the oil is plenty hot.)

Take a hold of your tortilla w/ a pair of tongs & gently slide it into the oil. Please be very careful as it is extremely easy to burn yourself on the oil.

Fry the tortilla for about 10 - 15 seconds on each side. You'll know when it starts to darken & the tortilla will bubble up.

Turn the tortilla over & cook for a few more seconds on the other side. Pick it up using the tongs. Try to let the oil drip for a minute & slide another tortilla in. Meanwhile take cooked tortilla & place on prepared plate w/ paper towels. Can you see the difference in the cooked tortilla (on plate) & the uncooked that was just put in the oil?

Put two on the plate in opposite corners & place paper towel over top. Bloat some of the excess oil away.

Now for the good part. When you have fried enough tortillas for each person take a tortilla & put on plate.

Typically I like to put the meat on next but these tortillas were a little too soft & the meat kept "bustin out". So I put the cheese on first. It really helped.

Next comes a spoonful of the meat. Yummmm.

And of course what taco is complete w/o the lettuce.

Now @ this point I would love to show you how I actually eat a taco but my daughter came along & wante this one so I gave it to her. And the next one? Well..

snarf, chew, snort, chomp, chomp, chomp...

And that, my friends is how I make tacos. Enjoy!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Tenderest, moistest ham ever!

Ham. Let's face it. It's just plain good. Well through desperation I found a way to make it better as long as you like a sweet ham. No brown sugar, no extra salt. Just plain ham.

Start w/ one large crockpot that is sprayed w/ cooking spray. No need to make a bigger mess than you'll already have, eh? (Yes, I did clean the lid before I used the pot! & the pot!!)

Next I used canned crushed pineapple. I have to admit that fresh would probably be tastier but canned it was! I think I was actually on the phone w/ one of my sisters @ the time. Hi, sis!

The Ham. Beautiful, isn't it? I thought it was a lovely big ham. Nice & pink. Do not buy a flavored ham. Just do a plain ham. Trust me when I say that you don't need anything but the ham!

After spraying the crock pot w/ cooking spray (I used butter flavor) open a can of crushed pineapple & dump it in!

I went to put the ham in but it was too big. So cut it up I did & in the process I cut out some of the fat. Don't worry, you won't miss it. As I put the ham in I layered some pineapple w/ it. I think I ended up using 4 cans. That was one big ham!

Guess what? Everybody loved it so much that I forgot to get some pix. Trust me when I tell you that this is the best way ever to prepare a ham. It literally fell off the bone. Now that can be somewhat bad when you want to make sandwiches but the flavor is such that no one seemed to mind. I'll remember to take a pix @ Thanksgiving. How's that!


Crushed Pineapple
Cooking Spray

Use large crock pot. Spray w/ cooking spray. Dump in 1 can of crushed pineapple. Add ham & as much pineapple as needed. Cook all day until tender. Eat.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Sharon's Jalapeno Poppers

Simple, simple, simple. Once you've made these you'll never want to eat anything else! Well, okay, you will but these are delicious & you can choose to make them wimpy or Macho so that everyone can eat them.
Take 2 cups of bisquick & add 4 cups of grated cheese (I used sharp cheddar because that's what I had) plus 1 lb of cooked sausage.
When I buy hamburger or sausage I tend to cook some of it up so that I don't have to do so later. Unfortunately this meant that today I didn't have a sausage roll to show but that's what you use. Spicy (hot) or mild rolled sausage.
The above shows what it looks like once you stir it up. This is just the dry ingredients.I forgot to show you that you will need gloves. Always use gloves when working with chili peppers. Otherwise it can & will burn your skin not to mention anything else (like eyes) that you touch!
Look. I glow!
I asked a very nice hispanic woman (who was also buying peppers) which jalapenos were the best & she said to use this brand.
Not certain what happened to this photo because it looks fine in my photo file. But if you look closely you will see that I've added water to the white tupperware bowel & the mix looks different. You want to add enough water so that the mix forms a dough that can be easily shaped.
Take a pepper & cut the top off. Just my personal preference. I mean I want to be able to eat the whole thing not have to throw some away! So you've cut the top off. I usually cut it in half lengthwise & then I slice it in half horizontally.
Take a teaspoon of cream cheese & top the pepper.
Next take some of the dough mix & form a walnut in the shell sized ball.

Flatten the ball out.
Take your pepper with cream cheese & place on top of flattened dough. Take dough & wrap around pepper. Don't put too much as it will take longer to cook.
Place on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake in a 375F oven for 15 - 20 minutes
Voila! Yummy! This has got to be one of Hubby's favorite things that his sister has ever made. The woman is a seriously awesome cook who likes to recreate things she's had in restaurants. Me? I just like to copy her cooking! Mmmmmm

Sharon's Jalapeno Poppers

Bake in 375F oven for 15 - 20 min

2 C Bisquick
1 lb grated cheese (use any kind you like)
1 lb sausage (she uses Jimmy Dean, hot) cooked & some of the juices drained off but save some to add to dough.
Jalapeno peppers (can use fresh but canned works just as good & is much faster!)

Combine first 3 ingredients. This makes wrapping for peppers. Take peppers & pop the tails off & de-seed. If you leave seeds in this will make for a much spicier popper. ALWAYS WEAR THICK RUBBER GLOVES WHEN DOING THIS. You can also halve the peppers if you don't want them too hot or big.

Using spoon put amount desired of cream cheese in/on pepper.

Make small ball with some of the Bisquick mix & coat the peppers with it. Do not make the coating thick. Just enough to go around the pepper.

Bake on ungreased cookie sheets for 15 - 20 min @ 375F.

If using fresh peppers, broil peppers for a few min until skins start to crinkle. Makes de-seeding a lot easier. Also try holding pepper under cold running water (fresh or canned) when de-seeding or taking the tails off.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Banana Chocolate Chip Cookies

Yummy! I'll have to redo this photo the next time I make them but as of now they are all gone! I have actually cut & cut this recipe. The original calls for 10 cups of flour etc...

400F oven for 8 - 12 minutes depending upon oven.

1 1/3 C shortening
2 C white sugar
4 lg eggs
2 C mashed ripe (not dead though!) bananas
2 tsp vanilla

Cream above ingredients together & then add:

5 C flour
8 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp soda
2 C chocolate chips ( I use half semi sweet & half milk chocolate)

Mix together & drop by spoonful on lightly greased cookie sheet. Bake @ 400F for 8 - 12 min. Then watch them disappear!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Tasty fruit dip

The world's easiest, best tasting, loaded with calories fruit dip. This recipe is from my Mom. Mom's always have the best stuff!

Combine above two ingredients with a hand mixer.

Dip in fruit & voila!

I love to dip:

fresh pineapple

You get the pix!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Candied Almonds

This is one of the easiest things I know how to make & yet it packs quite the punch in salads.

1/3 cup white sugar
1/3 cup slivered almonds

place in frying pan on medium heat. Stir constantly. As sugar is melting it will get "harder" to stir. When sugar is melted it will be easy. Don't burn!

Turn out almonds on heat proof surface. I like using silicone cutting pads. Let almonds cool. Then serve.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Cookie Schnitzel as told by H

My two wonderful children decided to make cookies yesterday (which they never did, by the way!) & H came up with her own recipe. I had a very hard time keeping a straight face while I was writing this down but then I decided that I really need to do more baking with her as some of her ingredients are a bit questionable!

Cookie Schnitzel by H

3 C milk
2 C water
1 C sugar
a little bit of chocolate (so that it will taste better)
4 C powder (she wasn't certain what powder was but I suspect she means flour)
just very, very lite sugar (because you don't want it to taste bad)
1 bit of flour

crumble up and bake it for 3 min. Then eat!

H was so excited to have come up with this. I'm not certain if I should let her make this or not. It all boils down to whether she'll be too upset after making them & realizes that they didn't work! lol Gotta love kids. They are so wonderful!!!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

First post! - Yummy breakfast pizza

My first recipe that I decided to use is Breakfast pizza! It is quick & easy & relatively not too bad for you!

Yep, made out of the "Good Stuff"!

What it looks like in the dish before putting on the rest of the ingredients.


1 (12-oz) package reduced fat sausage
1 (8-oz) tube reduced fat crescent rolls
1 Cup frozen shredded hash browns (can also use refrigerated hash browns)
2 oz. (1/2 cup) shredded Cheddar cheese
3 eggs
1/8 tsp pepper
2 Tlbs milk

Heat oven to 375F. Cook ground sausage until no longer pink. Drain.

Separate dough into 2 long pieces. Place in lightly greased 13x9 inch pan. Press over bottom & up the sides to form crust making sure that there are no holes. Try to spread it as evenly as possible.

Spoon sausage evenly over crust. Sprinkle with potatoes & cheese. Beat eggs well & then add remaining ingredients. Mix well & pour over cheese in crust.

Bake @ 375F for 18 - 23 minutes or until center is set (touch lightly with finger) & edges are deep golden brown. Serve hot with cold green salad & fresh fruit.

*This is one of my "fall back upon" recipes. To make it easier I buy 4 or 5 tubes of sausage & cook it. I rinse it in warm/hot water & drain. Then I divide it into 4 or 5 freezer bags & freeze. Voila! The only real work to the meal is done.

**You might have noticed that there is no salt in this recipe. I don't like salt very much so I omit it if possible & if not I use low sodium salt. You might be surprised by how good it is without the additional salt!

The finished product.