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10.30.2012

Halloween Eats & Treats Round-Up



   I put together a collection of Halloween inspired eats & treats, for some last minute ideas for today. From spooky treats, to warm and comforting dinners, below you can find some delicious food to fill your tummy before you head out trick or treating!

I hope you all have a SPOOKTACULAR day! Mwahahahahahahaha ;)



HAPPY HALLOWEEN! 



(click on the recipe title below the picture to take you to the recipe)































10.29.2012

Candy Corn Rice Krispie Cupcakes


 
   On Saturday I was deciding on a dessert to take to our families Halloween party, and dreamed up these Candy Corn Rice Krispie Cupcakes! I haven't met a kid who doesn't like a Rice Krispie treat, and thought turning some into 'cupcakes' that look like Candy Corn would be super cute!

  They were really easy to make (regardless of the long instructions. Promise!) and they were really yummy! I love Rice Krispie treats that keep a chewy texture, and these fit the bill! Needless to say, they were a big hit at the party. Everyone loved them!


Candy Corn Rice Krispie Cupcakes
Recipe by: Holly Lofthouse

9 cups crispy rice cereal, divided
1 1/2 sticks butter
2 (16 ounce) bags mini marshmallows, divided
yellow gel food dye
orange gel food dye (or red and yellow to mix)
1 (16 ounce) container Vanilla frosting
1 cup powdered sugar
Candy corns

Directions: Spray two 12-cup regular muffin tins with non-stick spray. Set aside.

In a large saucepan, over medium heat, melt a half stick (1/4 cup) of butter. When butter is almost completely melted, add in 8 ounces (half bag) of the mini marshmallows. Stir constantly until marshmallows start to melt. Squeeze in 3-4 drops of yellow food dye (more or less, depending on how dark a yellow you want). Stir well to combine color into melted marshmallows. Remove from heat.

Pour 3 cups of the crispy rice cereal into the yellow marshmallow mixture, quickly but gently stir to combine.

(The next part is sticky! So be patient, and use non-stick spray on your spoon to help distribute the mixture into the tins)

Add about 2-3 Tablespoons of yellow rice krispie mixture into each of the muffin cups. Let stand for a minute or two to slightly cool, and then using the back of a spoon, press the mixture into the bottom of the cups. Repeat with all 24 muffin cups. Then set aside.

In another large saucepan, over medium heat, melt the remaining butter (1/2 cup). Once butter is almost melted, pour in 1 (16 ounce) bag of marshmallows into the melted butter. Stir constantly until marshmallows are just about melted, and then squeeze in 3-4 drops of orange food dye. Stir well to combine color into melted marshmallows. Remove from heat.

Pour in 6 cups of the crispy rice cereal into the orange marshmallow mixture, and quickly but gently stir to combine.

Take 1/2 cup of the orange rice krispie mixture and place it into each muffin cup, on top of the yellow mixture. Repeat with all 24 muffin cups. Then with the back of a greased spoon, press orange mixture into the cups. Let stand atleast an hour or two to let rice krispies cupcakes set. (Or you can loosely cover them with saran wrap, and place in fridge for 30 minutes)

Meanwhile, pour the container of vanilla frosting into a medium bowl. Add in the cup of powdered sugar, and using a whisk, whisk together until all combined. Scoop frosting mixture into a decorating bag fitted with a tip of your choice (or you can use a sandwich baggie and cut off one side).

Gently remove each rice krispie cupcake from the pans. (They should come out very easy). Pipe frosting onto each cupcake and decorate each with a candy corn.

Makes 24 cupcakes.


10.24.2012

Taco Ranch Chili


 It's that time of year for chili's and soups, and I couldn't be happier :) I love me a warm, comforting bowl of chili on a cold day. This Taco Ranch Chili is so delicious and healthy! (well if you don't add the cheese or sour cream, and if you ask me, those are necessities)

 This worked really great in the crock pot. I went home on my lunch hour and browned some ground beef, and then threw all the rest of the ingredients in the crock pot. It was so nice to come home to dinner all ready. Not to mention, my house smelled so good!


Taco Ranch Chili
Recipe adapted from: Full Hands- Full Hearts

1 lb lean ground beef
1/2 cup diced onion
2 cups chicken broth
1 can (11.75 ounce) diced tomatoes with green chilies (Rotel)
1 can (16 ounce) tomato sauce
1 can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 packet Taco Seasoning mix
1 packet Buttermilk Ranch Seasoning mix
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon cumin

TOPPINGS:
shredded cheese
tortilla chips
sour cream
diced tomatoes
sliced green onion


Directions: In a large skillet, cook the ground beef and onion together until beef is no longer pink. Drain grease.

Add beef and onion into a crock pot, and then add in all the other remaining ingredients. Stir together. Cover crock pot with lid. Cook on Low heat for 6 hours, or on High for 3-4 hours. Serve with all your favorite toppings!


10.22.2012

Glazed Orange Bundt Cake



  It's no surprise how much we love Halloween at our house. I talk about it all the time. I actually decorated for it extra early this year. Extra early, as in, the middle of September...  : /

  Because of that I've confused my kids. Ever since that weekend Emma asks me all the time,
"Mom, is today the day we finally get to go Trick-Or-Treating??"

My guilty response is always, "Um.. No Em. Sorry honey. We still have a while." 

  She gets sooo sad every time I tell her that, and it breaks my heart. She's only 5, therefore, has no sense of time. So I guess I've learned a lesson. Decorating for a holiday 6 weeks in advance, is a no no.



  This Glazed Orange Cake is unbelievably delicious! It's very moist, has just the right hint of orange flavor, and gorgeous as well! I decided to add some fun sprinkles to the top after I poured on the glaze. It gave it a cute little Halloween look :)


Glazed Orange Bundt Cake
Recipe adapted from: Deals to Meals

Cake:

1 (15.25 ounce) box yellow cake mix
1 (3.4 ounce) box instant vanilla pudding mix
1 cup orange juice
2 Tablespoons orange juice concentrate
1 Tablespoon orange zest
4 eggs
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 Tablespoons dry orange gelatin powder (powdered Jell-O)

Glaze:

2 Tablespoons butter, softened
2 Tablespoons orange juice concentrate
1 teaspoon lemon juice
3 cups powdered sugar
Zest & the juice from one orange


Directions for the cake:  Mix together all of the cake ingredients in a large bowl. Beat with an electric hand mixer on medium speed until it's all combined and smooth. Pour mixture into a greased and floured bundt pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted close to center, comes out clean.

Let cake cool in pan for 12 minutes. After 12 minutes, carefully turn out cake onto a cake platter or plate.

For the glaze: Mix together all of the glaze ingredients in a medium bowl with a whisk. Whisk until it is very smooth. Pour glaze over warm (not hot) cake. Serve and enjoy!♥









10.15.2012

Zombie Eyeball Cookies


   I have another fun treat for Halloween! These Zombie Eyeball Cookies will be a hit with everyone! Super cute, and really easy to make! You only need 4 ingredients to make these creepy lil' eyeballs!

  Vanilla wafer cookies, white candy coating, M&M's and some food gel, and you will have some more scary Halloween goodies in no time!


Zombie Eyeball Cookies

1 box Vanilla Wafer cookies
8 ounces White candy coating or white chocolate bark
Blue Plain M&M's
Red food/decorating gel
Black food/decorating gel
Toothpicks


Directions: Melt candy coating or white chocolate bark in a microwavable-safe bowl, according to package directions. Dip the tops of the cookies, one at a time, into the melted candy coating, and then place on a wax-paper lined cookie sheet.

Top each coated cookie with one blue M&M candy. Place one dot of black food gel into the center of each M&M, to create the pupil of the eye.

Squeeze a dime-size amount of red food/decorating gel onto a paper plate. Dip the end of a toothpick into the red food gel, and gently make zig zag lines around the blue M&M's, on each cookie, to create the 'blood-shot' eye effect.

Let cookies rest about 20 minutes, to let the gel set, before eating. Serve and Enjoy!





















10.10.2012

Chicken Pot Pie Biscuits


  These Chicken Pot Pie Biscuits were absolutely delicious! My family gobbled these up fast when I made them for dinner the other night. I love it when an easy recipe turns out so good. I actually heated one up for breakfast the next morning.

Yep, I did. Don't judge me..

  I was telling my Facebook friends how I save so much time by chopping up all my vegetables a week in advance. After I get home from the grocery store, I wash them, and get them all chopped up and placed in their own individual baggies, so they are ready when I need them in a particular recipe. The ones I know I'll be using within a day or two, I keep in the fridge. The ones I know I wont need until the end of the week, I freeze, so they stay fresh.

 For example, when I was making these yummy biscuits, it was so nice to already have all the veggies chopped up and ready to go! It really makes my life just a tad bit easier, and getting dinner on the table a little bit faster :)







Chicken Pot Pie Biscuits
Recipe adapted from: Littlebgcg

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into small cubes
1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon dried Thyme
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 cups water
3 medium carrots, peeled and diced
4 ribs celery, diced
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 tub Knorr Homestyle Chicken Stock
1 1/2 Tablespoons cornstarch
3 Tablespoons heavy whipping cream
1 (8 count) can refrigerated Jumbo Biscuits

Directions: Place the cubes of chicken, olive oil, thyme,garlic and pepper in a medium bowl. Mix together, and then cover and place in refrigerator for about 10-15 minutes to marinate.

Boil 2 cups of water in a medium saucepan. Add the diced carrots, celery and onion. Boil for 5 minutes. Remove the vegetables from the water (now vegetable stock) with a large slotted spoon, and place vegetables on a plate. Set aside.

Reduce heat to medium-low and add the tub of chicken stock to the water. Once it comes to a simmer, mix the cornstarch with 2 Tablespoons of water and pour it into the saucepan. Then add the heavy cream, diced chicken pieces and the vegetables back into the saucepan.

Let simmer until the chicken is no longer pink and fully cooked. About 15 minutes. Remove from heat.

While mixture is cooking, unravel biscuits from can, and roll each biscuit out into a flat circle.

Place each flattened biscuit dough into a muffin tin. Ladle 1/3 cup of chicken/veggie filling into the center of each biscuit dough. Seal and wrap the dough over the filling. Repeat with all biscuits.

Bake in a 350 degree F, preheated oven, for 15 minutes or until biscuits are golden brown.
Let stand 5 minutes before serving. Enjoy ♥




















10.08.2012

Mummy Cupcakes


   Anyone who knows me, knows I LOVE HALLOWEEN! I think it's such a fun holiday! I love everything about it.The decorations, the costume's, the candy, the pumpkin carving....  Not the scary movies so much, though.

   I saw these fun Mummy Cupcakes originally on Pinterest, but the idea comes from Gina, over at Skinny Taste. She used her low fat chocolate cupcake recipe, but I just made my cupcakes from the ever delicious Betty Crocker Devil's Food cake mix box.

  The 'Mummy' face is super easy to create. So easy, the kiddos could do it theirselves at your Halloween Party!


Mummy Cupcakes
Idea from: Skinny Taste

18 chocolate cupcakes

2 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup butter, softened to room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 Tablespoons boiling water
1 bag M&M's 

Combine powdered sugar, butter, vanilla and boiling water in a medium bowl. Mix all together with a spatula until combined. Spoon mixture into a sandwich baggie.

Cut off a small piece of one corner of the baggie. Pipe frosting onto each cupcake in a zig zag.
Top each cupcake with two M&M's to create the Mummy face.

Makes 18 Mummy Cupcakes.


10.05.2012

Weekend Potluck# 38



I'm LATE to the party again! Sorry. Atleast I have a good excuse though.. I ran 6 miles this morning.

Yep. I did and I feel great! But I came home to a sick kid... so that wasn't great. 

Anywhoo.. let's get this party started!


Now, let's take a quick peek back at last week...


The recipe with the most clicks was ~



Creamy Hamburger Casserole

Creamy Hamburger Casserole by The 4 Little Fergusons

Recipes that caught our attention ~

Candy Corn Gooey Cake Bars

Candy Corn Gooey Cake Bars by Inside BruCrew Life
Taco Ranch Chili
                                          Taco Ranch Chili by Full Hands, Full Hearts

 

Your hostesses ~

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10.01.2012

Hot Fudge Sundae Cupcakes {Smart Balance Butter Contest}





   I am SUPER excited to share this recipe! Not only because it's a chocolate cupcake, topped with buttercream frosting and homemade hot fudge... (*drooool*) but because it's the recipe I entered into the Smart Balance Butter Contest today!

  I was contacted by Smart Balance to participate in their contest! I was honored to be asked by them, and even more excited to find out that the winner will recieve an amazing trip to Canyon Ranch in Miami, FL!!

BUT WAIT... there's more! I'm not in this just for me to win. You could also win! If my recipe wins the contest, I will be able to offer a giveaway on my blog for a chance for one of my readers and a guest to win the trip to Canyon Ranch, too!!!

  So I am begging for your help today. I need you all to head on over to Smart Balance's Facebook page and 'LIKE' my picture for these amazing Hot Fudge Sundae Cupcakes! The blogger with the most 'LIKES' on their recipe picture will win. So tell EVERYONE you know to head over and 'LIKE' my picture, so we can win this contest together!

THANK YOU to anyone that's willing to take the time to vote for me. I truly appreciate it :)



Hot Fudge Sundae Cupcakes
Recipe by: Holly Lofthouse
Makes 20 cupcakes

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup Smart Balance butter, softened
1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup milk ( I used 2%)


Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line 20 muffin cups with foil or paper liners. Set aside.

In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

In a large bowl or stand  mixer, cream butter and sugar together until combined. Beat in eggs, one at a time, just until combined. Add in vanilla.

Gradually add the flour mixture, and the milk, beating on low speed, until just combined. Don't over mix.

Fill the muffin cups about 2/3 full of batter. Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until a tooth-pick inserted in center comes out clean. Let cupcakes cool completely before frosting.


Classic Buttercream Frosting

1/2 cup Smart Balance butter, softened
5 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
pinch of salt

In a large bowl, beat the butter and 2 cups of powdered sugar together, on low speed, until creamy and combined. Pour in the milk, vanilla and salt and another 2 cups powdered sugar. Beat until creamy and the consistency you like. ( I like mine thicker, so I use all 5 cups of the powdered sugar)

Frost the cooled cupcakes with the buttercream frosting.


Homemade Hot Fudge 

1/2 cup Smart Balance butter
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
6 ounces evaporated milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

In a medium saucepan, add the butter, cocoa powder, sugar and evaporated milk. Heat on medium heat, whisking constantly, until butter melts and mixture comes to a boil. Let boil for 8-10 minutes, whisking constantly, until mixture gets really thick. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla extract. Let stand for at least 15 minutes to cool slightly, before drizzling on the frosted cupcakes.  Enjoy!♥