Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Crock Pot Chocolate Cake

If you follow my blog you know I use my Slow Cooker a lot. Nothing's better than coming home after work and having dinner ready to go. As you continue to use your slow cooker you learn some dishes are more suited to the slow cooker than others.

Until recently, I had never used my slow cooker for a dessert. A few weeks ago during one of our first camping trips, I tried this Apple Crisp. Wow, dessert does work in the slow cookert!! After my first success, I found this recipe for Crock Pot Chocolate Cake. I never would have thought a chocolate cake would bake in the slow cooker but it does. Don't expect the same texture as a cake baked in the oven. The texture of a slow cooker cake is more like a flourless chocolate or pudding cake. A trick I learned when I made the Apple Crisp is to take a towel or a few paper towels and put them under the lid. You'll find this absorbs the steam and moisture and helps the desserts to bake. If you're a camper, like I am or if you don't want to heat up your oven this summer, give this cake recipe a try!

Crockpot Chocolate Cake
  • 1 pkg. two layer chocolate cake mix
  • 3 oz. pkg. instant chocolate pudding mix
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 cups sour cream
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup milk chocolate chips


Spray a 4 quart crockpot with non-stick cooking spray and set aside. In a large bowl, combine the cake mix and pudding mix. In a medium bowl, beat the eggs with the water, then add the sour cream and oil and beat until smooth. Add to the dry ingredients and beat well. Stir in the chocolate chips.

Pour into crockpot. Cover slow cooker and cook on low for 6-8 hours, until top springs back when touched very lightly with finger. 8-10 servings

I am linking this to Tasty Tuesday's, Tempt My Tummy Tuesday and Tuesday's at the Table.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Meet Me On Monday

Happy Monday! It's short work week for me. We're taking Friday as a vacation day to get a jump start on our 4th of July camping trip!!

If you want to join in the Meet Me On Monday fun, you can find the details at Never Growing Old!

1. What is your favorite food?
This is a tough one! Pizza, Pasta, Potatoes. You know all of those foods that aren't really good for you! Although I do love veggies, too!

2. What color scheme is your bedroom?

3. Do you carry a donor card?
Absolutely! If you don't, please think about getting one today!

4. In your opinion, is the glass half empty or half full?
Half full!!! I try to always remember how lucky I am!

5. Vanilla or Chocolate?
CHOCOLATE!!!!!! Actually, that's probably my favorite food. :)

What's your favorite food?

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Pink Saturday

Happy Pink Saturday!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Cookie Carnival - Chewy Peanut Butter Cookies

I enjoy baking but I can't remember the last time I made cookies! I seem to gravitate towards desserts instead of cookies. I decided to join Cookie Carnival, a baking group that features two cookie recipes each month. As a member of Cookie Carnival, you can bake one or both of the recipes and post them anytime during the month. Simple and fun!!

I am excited to share my first Cookie Carnival recipe, Chewy Peanut Butter Cookies. When I think of Peanut Butter Cookies, I think of those I learned to make as a kid. You know the ones where you criss cross the tines of a fork on the top of the cookie? I love the ingredients in this recipe! Besides the usual ingredients, there's oats and coconut! They add crunch and flavor to the cookies. I made jumbo cookies and they took every bit of 20 minutes to bake. At the end of 20 minutes, they still looked a little wet in the middle but as they were fine after the cooled. Even if you're not a coconut fan, give this recipe a try. You'll keep reaching in the cookie jar for more!!

Chewy Peanut Butter Cookies
Recipe Courtesy of Smucker's

1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup Creamy Natural Peanut Butter, stirred
2 large eggs
2 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup All Purpose Flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 cups quick rolled oats
1 cup flaked coconut


1HEAT oven to 350°F. Beat sugar, brown sugar, butter and peanut butter in large mixing bowl on medium speed of electric mixer until creamy. Beat in eggs, milk and vanilla. Mix well. Combine flour, baking powder and baking soda; stir in rolled oats and coconut. Add to peanut butter mixture and beat on low speed until well blended. Cover and chill 30 minutes.
2Drop by heaping tablespoonful, 2 inches apart, onto ungreased cookie sheets. Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until light brown around edges. Cool 2 minutes before removing to wire rack to cool completely.


JUMBO CHEWY PEANUT BUTTER COOKIES: Prepare dough as directed above. Drop by 1/4-cupfuls, 3 inches apart, onto ungreased cookie sheets. Bake 14 to 17 minutes or until light brown around edges. Makes 1 1/2 dozen.
I am linking this to Miz Helen's Full Plate Thursday, Foodie Friday and Sweet Tooth Friday!!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

In My Garden

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Crockpot BBQ Chicken

I am envious of those of you who take beautiful photographs of the main dishes you've prepared. I struggle to get the shot set up and still eat before everything is cold. This is one of those photos! Photo aside this is a great chicken recipe. Chicken is a staple at our house and I am always looking for new recipes.

I found this one over at One Crazy Cookie. Tiffanee, thanks for a great addition to my chicken repertoire.

Crock Pot Barbeque Chicken
chicken pieces (I used 4 chicken thighs)
1 cup BBQ sauce
1/4 cup balsamic vinaigrette (I used balsamic vinegar)
1/2 cup pop (I used Root Beer. Tiffanee says Cherry Coke Zero is her favorite to add. )
1 Tablespoon minced onions
3 Tablespoons brown sugar
Place all ingredients in crock pot. Stir to combine and cook on low for 4-6 hours.

Update: (Optional) About 30 minutes before you are going to eat mix up 1-2 tablespoons cornstarch in a little bit of water and mix it in the sauce. Replace the lid, keep it on low and cook about 30 minutes. Stirring occasionally. This will allow the sauce to thicken up a bit.

I am linking this to Tasty Tuesdays, Tuesday's at The Table, Tempt My Tummy Tuesday and Your Recipe My Kitchen!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Meet Me On Monday

Did you have a nice weekend? Hot and humid here but a wonderful weekend just the same!

Monday means two things, back to work and Meet Me on Monday! If you'd like to join Meet Me on Monday, you can find the details here!

1. What feature of the opposite sex do you notice first?
Okay I know I am getting older, I don't even know!

2. Do you talk to yourself?
All the time! Sometimes, I even answer myself, too!

3. What is your current relationship status?
Very happily married to the love of my life! Maybe that's why don't have an answer for #1.

4. Do you have a garden?
Yes, herbs, tomatoes, peppers, zucchini, brussels sprouts, peas and beans. Sounds MUCH bigger than it is. Most of those, it's just one plant!

5. What is your favorite licorice flavor?
I don't like licorice!

How about you, what's growing in your garden this summer?

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Pink Saturday

I've been absent from Pink Saturday the past few weeks. We've been out of town, without internet access, so I've had no way to link to Pink Saturday. I am guessing there's a way from my phone but have yet to be successful.

Today I am sharing a couple of pink roses from my garden.

Happy Pink Saturday !!!!!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

From The Good Life

Sadly enough today's From The Good Life doesn't reflect such a good life for many. Here in Omaha, as well as all around us we're experiencing terrible flooding. Having lived in the midwest all of my life, I've experienced flash flooding and some river flooding but never anything like this. Farmland and towns have become lakes, highways are closed and levee's are breaking. I was amazed on Sunday when I spoke with my son, who lives in Los Angeles, he hadn't heard anything on the news about what was going on here. Just this week, I've started to see a bit in the news about the devastation but certainly, or so it seems, not as much as when disaster occurs on the east or west coast.

Photograph courtesy of St. Joseph Post

The really sad part is this could go on for weeks or even months, as the release of water continues from Gavin's Point Dam in South Dakota. Please keep all of the people effected by this in your thoughts!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Father's Day Tee Time Cupcakes - Martha Stewart Cupcake Club

When Rachael asked me to host June's Martha Stewart Cupcake Club, I thumbed through the book trying to decide which recipe to choose. Father's Day Tee Time Cupcakes, the perfect choice for June.

Don't tell Martha but I cheated a bit on these. (Didn't she do that on something, too?) Anyway, with a lot going on preparing for Mike's graduation party in Minnesota, I used a boxed cake mix! Okay and canned frosting, too! At least I am honest and letting you all know, I could have passed them off as homemade and you'd you have never known.

These cupcakes were so fun to put together. After searching everywhere for something to use for the golf ball, I settled on a white gumball. Since the gumball was kind of large, I made giant cupcakes. The balance of the ingredients were easy to find! I used construction paper for the pin flags. If you're looking for something fun to make for Father's Day, give these a try.

Father's Day Tee Time Cupcakes

24 Cupcakes (Your choice of flavor)
White Icing of your choice
1 to 2 cups green sanding sugar
18 round white candies
1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs (3 -4 sheets finely ground in food processor)

1. Using an offset spatula, spread each cupcake with a smooth layer of icing. Pour green sanding sugar into a small bowl. Dip tops of frosted cupcakes in the sugar, then sprinkle more on top to coat completely.
2. To create putting greens, make flags (you will need 18). Cut out lengths (3 to 4 inches) from white grosgrain ribbon. Fold each length around one end of a wooden skewer, and adhere folded sides together with hot glue or double sided tape. Cut ribbon into a triangle shape and plant the skewer into a cupcake. Place a small white candy "ball" near the flag.
3. To create sand traps, spoon about 1 teaspoon graham cracker crumbs in the center of each of 6 cupcakes. With your thumb, make an indentation in the middle of each pile of crumbs, shifting to one side to form a steeper side or an irregularly shaped trap.

Refrigerate 30 minutes to allow frosting to set.

You can find the other MSC member's cupcakes here!

I am linking this to Sweet Tooth Friday and Miz Helen's Full Plate Thursday !!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Quick Crescent Taco Pie

Have you participated in the Celebrity Cook Along over at Happier Than A Pig in Mud ? If not, you should check it out. Each month, she chooses a chef or in this month's case, a company. You pick a recipe and blog about it.

This month's Celebrity Cook Along is Pillsbury! To make it even better, Jo at LazyonLoblolly is giving away a Dough Boy and a cookbook! Gotta love that Dough Boy...and Pillsbury!

When I think of Pillsbury, I often think of desserts. Since I am always looking for new dinner ideas, I chose a main dish. If you like tacos, give this one a try! It was DELICIOUS, one I will be making again soon. It's quick and easy to put together and make's a great weeknight dinner.

Superspeedway Taco Pie
Recipe Courtesy of Pillsbury
1 (1.25 oz) package taco seasoning
1 pound ground beef
1/2 cup water
1 (8 oz) package refrigerated crescent rolls
2 cups crushed tortilla chips
1 cup sour cream
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

In a large pan brown your ground beef. Drain of the grease and stir in the seasoning mix and water. Simmer for 5 minutes.

Separate crescent dough into 8 triangles. Place the triangles in a ungreased 10 inch pie pan, pressing to form a crust. Sprinkle 1 cup tortilla chips over the bottom of the crust, Spoon meat mixture over crust and chips. Spread sour cream over meat mixture and cover with cheese. Sprinkle the remaining chips over the top.

Bake at 375 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until crust is brown.

I am linking this to Tasty Tuesday, Tuesday's at the Table, and Tuesday Night Supper Club.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Secret Recipe Club

One of my favorite things about participating in a blog hop is the new friends you meet. Secret Recipe Club introduces you to new blogging friends and new recipes! Here's how it works, each month you're assigned another person's blog, you choose a recipe from their blog and post about! Can you keep a secret? If you're going to participate in Secret Recipe challenge, you have to! You can't reveal the blog or the recipe until the posting date! How fun is that!! Secret Recipe Club is the creation of Amanda at Amanda's Cooking!

This month I was assigned the blog, Haggis and the Herring! Haggis and the Herring is a husband and wife blog team who feature "tasty recipes tested in our kitchen – drawing from flavours around the world including our English, European, Mediterranean and South-Asian food experiences." There were so many recipes to choose from, it was hard to narrow it down to just one.

We love roasted potatoes, so after much deliberation, I chose Crunchy Roasted Potatoes and Carrots. In this recipe you boil the potatoes and carrots before roasting. I've seen lots of recipes where you boil potatoes before deep frying them. I cut my potatoes into large chunks instead of a dice. I used 1/2 regular paprika and 1/2 smoky paprika. Mine didn't get very crunchy but maybe that's because I made them on a silpat instead of parchment? We really enjoyed these, they were just a little spicy with a lot of flavor.

Crunchy Roasted Potatoes and Carrots
by Daniel Saraga November 3, 2010
Courtesy of The Haggis and The Herring

Serve it as a side or eat it alone for the pure comfort-food value.
5 or 6 potatoes, diced, (peeled, optional)
2 carrots, peeled and sliced into 3/4" rounds
3-4 tbsp olive oil
2 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
to taste salt

1. Boil potatoes and carrots in salted water until soft (15-20 minutes).2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.3. Drain and run potatoes and carrots under cold water for 2-4 minutes, drain again and let dry for 2-3 minutes.4. In a small bowl, mix oil, paprika, cayenne and a pinch of salt.5. Toss potatoes and carrots in oil mixture and transfer to a parchment-lined baking sheet.6. Roast for 30-45 minutes, until outside is golden and crispy.
Prep time: 10 mins Cook time: 1 hour Total time: 1 hour 10 mins Yield: 6 servings

Friday, June 10, 2011

Snickerdoodle Bundt Cake

What if your favorite cookie could also be a cake? It can be if you love Snickerdoodles. I found this recipe over at Let's Dish. When I read Danelle say it was one of the best cakes she'd eaten recently, I was sold. I made this cake for a co-workers birthday and Danelle is right, this one is a keeper. It's so moist and tastes just like Snickerdoodles!

Snickerdoodle Bundt Cake
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 cup white sugar
2 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup white sugar
1 cup light brown sugar
3 eggs, at room temperature
2 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup sour cream

In a small bowl, combine 1 cup of sugar and 2 teaspoons of cinnamon; mix well. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Generously spray a 9-inch Bundt pan with cooking spray, being careful to cover all the nooks and cranies, as well as the center tube. Gently dust the entire inside of the pan with about 1/3 cup of the cinnamon and sugar mixture, set the rest aside.

Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside. Beat just the butter on medium speed for one minute. Add the white sugar and mix for 3 minutes, until light and fluffy. Scrape down the bowl and blade and add the brown sugar. Mix for 2 minutes until the mixture is light brown and uniform in color. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in the vanilla. Add the flour mixture alternately with the sour cream; beat well. Spread half of the batter into the prepared pan. Sprinkle with 1/2 of the remaining cinnamon sugar mixture Spread the rest of the batter into the pan and sprinkle any remaining sugar mixture over the top. Bake in the preheated oven for 55 to 65 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean. Allow to cool for 10 minutes before inverting onto a wire rack to cool completely.

I am linking this to Full Plate Thursday and Foodie Friday !!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

From The Good Life

I am excited to have my first guest poster on Little Bit of Everything. He's my photographer, my taster, my supporter and my best friend. If you haven't already guessed, it's my husband Tim. Thanks for all you do for me!

Hi! I am Julie's husband, Tim aka "The Photographer". I seem to be on standby 24/7 as I never know when Julie is whipping up that next creation in the kitchen or I need to photograph something PINK! When Julie asked if I wanted to be her first guest blogger, I knew I had to tie something fun together, incorporating my pictures and of course food.

With summer temperatures rising this week it takes me back to our vacation this winter in Cabo San Lucas. Our friend Larry and I went fishing in the Pacific. We had the option to fish inland (small fish and lots of them) or head out in the ocean 40 miles and the chance for Yellow Fin Tuna. We went for fun and adventure and we found it. I never knew Tuna traveled with Dolphins. It was an amazing site to see hundreds of Dolphins and Tuna jumping at the same time next to the boat.

As a kid in Minnesota, I learned seeing a fish jump and catching a fish are two different things. We were lucky enough to catch a nice 15 pound Yellow Fin. After reeling him in, our deck hand filleted the fish out at 40 MPH on the back of the boat. If you have ever cleaned fish it’s hard enough doing this standing still. We ended up with 4 nice fillets that would sure taste good on the grill this summer.

This week, We fired up the grill to enjoy our catch. We lightly covered the 1 1/2 inch thick filets with olive oil and seasoning. Having never grilled this type of fish, our wisdom and Google said to cook 2 minutes each side. The joy of cooking is to experiment and learn. Looks like we needed to sear on one side and flip over after 1 minute, or less as they were a little bit over done. Still tasty, it brought back great memories of a great vacation.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Strawberry Rhubarb Dump Cake

One of my favorite signs of Springtime is rhubarb. Although rhubarb desserts aren't my first choice, I like them better than I did as a kid. There's so many great recipes using rhubarb. My favorite rhubarb recipes are those that combine rhubarb and another fruit. When I ran across this recipe over at Finding Joy in My Kitchen, I bookmarked it to try.

If you have rhubarb in your garden, give this recipe a try. This cake has great flavor and the coconut gives the topping a nice crunch.

Grandma's Strawberry Rhubarb Dump Cake
Recipe courtesy of Finding Joy in My Kitchen

4 C rhubarb
1 C sugar
3 T cornstarch
1 box (4 servings) Strawberry Jello
1 small can crushed pineapple
1 box dry yellow cake mix
1/2 C butter
1/2 C coconut

Combine rhubarb, sugar and cornstarch in a pan and heat until warm; stirring frequently as rhubarb cooks and becomes thick. When thicken, pour rhubarb into a 9x13 glass pan. Sprinkle with strawberry jello and 1 can of crushed pineapple (do not drain, use the juice!).

Meanwhile, mix together cake mix and butter until crumbly. Stir in coconut. Sprinkle over the rhubarb mixture.

Bake at 350 for 60-70 minutes.

*If you wish to make a bottom crust, place 1/2 of the cake mixture over the bottom of the cake pan and press to form. Bake crust for 10 minutes at 350. Then pour cooked rhubarb over the top and follow the directions above.

I am linking this to Tasty Tuesday's, Tempt My Tummy Tuesday and Tuesday's at the Table.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Meet Me On Monday

I hope everyone had a great weekend!!! It was so hot and humid here, more like July or August than June. What happened to Spring?

Meet Me on Monday is fun way to get to know more about your fellow bloggers. If you'd like to participate, you can find the details at Never Growing Old!!

1. What is was the last piece of candy that you ate?

A Reeses Peanut Butter Cup! I made Graduation Cap Candy Pops today! (Look for a post on those sometime in the next couple of weeks.)

2. Do you "read" in the bathroom?
NO!! Isn't that a guy thing?

3. I can't stand when someone _________?
Wow, this one was hard. Just ask my husband, I am sure he would tell you there's tons of things I can't stand but I had trouble coming up with one.

How about when someone brings their young child to a nice restaurant? To me there's nothing worse than sitting there trying to enjoy a nice dinner and at the next table is a two year old banging their spoon.

4. Do you do daily, weekly or monthly grocery shopping?
Weekly! I try to plan the week's menu, scour the grocery ads and then do my grocery shopping on Sundays.

Do you plan your menu's in advance or are you a spur of the moment cook?

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Friday, June 3, 2011

Salt and Pepper Chicken

Isn't it great when you find a recipe you love? Even better when the recipe requires very little time and only has two ingredients? Yes, that's right, besides the chicken itself, just two ingredients. When I saw this recipe over at There's Always Time To Cook, I knew I'd be giving it a try. Carol said it was outstanding! Curious, I tried it that same weekend. She was right, it IS outstanding. In fact, we liked it so well, we had it again the following weekend while camping with friends. I am planning on adding rosemary next time.

Grilled Salt and Pepper Chicken
Source: original recipe can be found at Martha Stewart online
Courtesy of There's Always Thyme to Cook

1 tablespoon coarse salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 whole chicken (3 to 4 pounds), quartered, rinsed, and patted dry ( I used thighs, and removed the skin!)

Preheat grill to medium-high.

Combine salt and pepper. Rub chicken with mixture, covering all sides and shaking off excess. (You may not need all of the mixture.) Or put the mixture in a ziploc with the chicken and shake it all up. Let stand at room temperature 30 minutes.

Place chicken on grill, skin side down. Close cover, and grill 8 minutes. Flip chicken, and close cover. Grill until chicken is cooked through, about 15 minutes more.

Transfer chicken to a plate, and let rest 15 minutes.

I am linking this to Foodie Friday at Designs by Gollum.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

From The Good Life

Tim's son Michael graduated from high school! Congratulations, Mike! We're so proud of you!!!

Mike will be attending The University of Nebraska Omaha this Fall. We are looking forward to watching you grow in this next chapter in your life!!!