Sunday, November 13, 2016

Coffee Gelee - Secret Recipe Club - The Finale

It's the second Monday of the month and that brings us Secret Recipe Club.  I'm not a fan of Monday's!  Normally,  Secret Recipe Club Monday's are the exception.  This Monday, however, I'm sad!  It's Group B's final posting.  I've been a member of Secret Recipe Club almost since the beginning, most of the time as a member of Group B.  A big thanks goes to all of the leaders and hostesses of this fun group, without them, we wouldn't have been posting as long as we have.

Not sure exactly how long I had been a member of SRC, I searched my blog and found my first post was in June of 2011.   In reading my first post, I was reminded of the "friends" I've made over the years, how much fun it has been. Reading my first post was bittersweet, my first reveal featured Daniel of the Haggis and the Herring.  Daniel was one of the SRC members who passed away, far too soon, in September of 2012.  Thanks to all the bloggers who have had my blog over the years and to everyone's blog I had the pleasure of featuring, it's been a great ride!!   Sniff, Sniff!!

Now it's time to find the happiness in this final post.  When I read who I had been assigned for my final reveal, I was THRILLED to see it was Terri of Our Good Life.  I've been following Terri since before she became a member of SRC.  Actually I think I found her by following her daughter Ashley.  When I first started following Terri, I felt an instant sisterhood.  Terri lived at the time in Jefferson City, Missouri and is a big University of Missouri fan.  (My son graduated from there and despite how hard it is to be a fan, right now, we're football fans too!).  Terri and her husband, retired and moved to St. Charles, Missouri in 2013.  If you read her blog, you'll get a glimpse into their beautiful home and life in St. Charles.  She also shares with her readers, her travels, great recipes and family events.  If you haven't visited Terri's blog, you're missing out, stop by soon to say hello!!

I was looking for something different, perhaps something I'd never made before for the final SRC reveal.  I found the perfect choice,  Terri's Coffee Gelee.  Unlike Terri, I love coffee, so I couldn't wait to give this interesting dessert a try.   I used a chocolate/coconut flavored coffee and tossed in a teaspoon of espresso powder for a little extra zip.  I also added about a teaspoon of vanilla because vanilla makes everything taste better!

What a fun a versatile dessert this is, perfect light dessert at the end of a heavy meal or how about to serve at a luncheon or shower?  The flavor possibilities are endless, not to mention different flavored whipping cream!  Thanks Terri for a great recipe and blogger friendship!

 Coffee Gelee
 Ingredients (4 servings)
  • 2 c brewed coffee, strong is better
  • 1/2 c water
  • 1/2 c sugar, white or brown (I used brown)
  • 1 pkg unflavored gelatin
  • whipped cream for topping
  • mint for garnish
In a sauce pan, stir the water and sugar together and bring to a boil. Boil for 1 minute and set aside.
In a small bowl, soften gelatin by adding 4 T cold water and stirring. Set aside.
Add the coffee to the sugar water. Stir until incorporated. Add the softened gelatin and stir until gelatin has melted.
Pour into serving dishes, about 1/2 c of liquid per container.
Let sit 8 hours or until gelatin has firmed up.
Top with whipped cream, sprinkled with instant coffee granules.

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Caramel Apple Crumb Muffins - SRC

Happy Halloween!!! Can you believe it's Halloween?  Not sure where this year went.

Five Monday's in October brings us a bonus Secret Recipe Club reveal.  I am a bit sad as I write this, Secret Recipe Club is going away.  This will be my second to the last post.  November will be our last posts.  I've been a member since the beginning and it's been such a fun group.  Sad to see it end.  Do you have a fun group you're a member of?  I'm looking for a new one of two to join.

For this month, I was assigned Pale Yellow.  Tracy, the blogger behind Pale Yellow describes herself as,  "Informal science educator/curriculum specialist by day, baking blogger by night, former Michigander, current Rockaway Girl".  I really like why Tracy says she blogs, "In defining what this is blog is, it was effortless to describe what the blog is not: I am not a recipe developer, I am not a baker for hire (although if you ask me nicely, I do take orders), I am not here to quit my day job, and I am not here for shameless self promotion."  Very similar reasons to why I blog, although I would like to quit my day job.

With the theme of this reveal being fall, around here nothing says fall like apples.  Tim went with our friend, Lynn the landscaper, to pick apples.  I'm guessing he came home with 20 pounds?  I was drawn to Tracy's recipe for Caramel Apple Crumb Muffins, a perfect combination of fall flavors.

My muffins didn't exactly turn out like muffins, they were more like a gooey cake.  Absolutely delicious!  Trying to figure out where I messed up and I'm just not sure.  I knew the batter going into the pan was way too liquid.  Rather than adjust it, I decided to go with it and I'm glad I did.

Caramel Apple Crumb Muffins
Recipe Courtesy of Pale Yellow
Yield - 8 muffins

1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted & divided
 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  1 cup + 5 tablespoons flour, divided 
1/4 cup old fashioned oats
 2 teaspoons cinnamon, divided 
1/4 teaspoon + a pinch of salt, divided
 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons sugar 
1 teaspoon baking powder
 1/2 cup diced apples 
1 egg yolk
1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk , (I used regular milk) 
1 teaspoon vanilla 
1/3 cup caramel bits
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 ˚F and liberally spray your muffin tins with Baker’s Joy.
  2. Crumb topping - Melt the butter and let cool slightly.  Set aside.
  3. In a small bowl whisk together the brown sugar, 5 tablespoons flour, oats, 1 teaspoon of cinnamon, and a pinch of salt.
  4. Mix in 3 tablespoons of melted butter until the mixture is moist.  Set aside.
  5. Muffins - Whisk together 1 cup flour, sugar, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, and baking powder.  Toss in the apples.
  6. In a liquid measuring cup mix together the almond milk, vanilla, 3 tablespoons melted butter, and the egg yolk.  Stir into the dry ingredients until just combined.  Stir in the caramel bits.
  7. Spoon into the muffin tins until about half full.  Fill the rest of the tin with the crumb mixture.  Really press the crumbs into the top.
  8. Bake for 18-20 minutes until the tops are brown and the middle is set.  Let cool completely on a wire rack before removing from the muffin tin.
  9. Store in an airtight container.

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Banana Bread Crumble - Secret Recipe Club

It's Secret Recipe Club reveal day!  Not familiar with this fun party?  You can find out more here!  For the month of October, I was privileged to be assigned, Lemon and Cheese, hosted by a blogger from across the pond, as they say!  Nicola is a Librarian in London and loves to cook.  She says " I love any sort of food and trying out new things, but tend to stick to simple cookery, with lovely fresh ingredients as well as a few helpful freezer items! Lemon and Cheese are my two favorite foods so expect a lot of them!". What a creative and fun name for a blog!!!

Nicola has an extensive recipe collection on her blog.  I spent several evenings browsing her blog.  I was thinking I wanted to make something that had an unusual ingredient or was a recipe I wouldn't normally make.  A few Sunday afternoon's ago, our first real fall day, I was in the mood to bake.  I sat down to browse the baking section of Nicola's blog.  When searching for a recipe, I try to locate one where I have the ingredients on hand.  One particular recipe caught my eye, Banana Bread Crumble.  At our house, both banana bread and crumbles are popular, so why not try a recipe that combines the best of both.

We loved this crumble, reminded me of a bread pudding with a crumble on top.  This recipe is a keeper!!!   Served alongside a scoop of chocolate ice cream, delicious!!

Banana Bread Crumble 
Recipe Courtesy of Lemon and Cheese
(Serves 6-8)

140g self-raising flour
200g sugar
240ml milk
113g butter, melted
4 medium-size ripe bananas, sliced
For the crumble topping:
150g light brown sugar
70g self-rising flour
113g butter, softened
90g oats
Preheat the oven to 180C. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, and milk until just blended. Whisk in the melted butter.
Pour the batter into a lightly greased 28cm x 18cm baking dish. Top with the banana slices. 
To make the topping, in a medium bowl use a fork to stir together the brown sugar, flour, and butter until it forms a crumbly mixture. Stir in the oats.
Sprinkle the topping mixture over the banana slices. Bake for 40-45 mins or until golden brown.
Serve with vanilla ice cream and chocolate sauce if you're feeling wicked


Saturday, September 24, 2016

Zucchini Noodle Salad

Zoodles are all the rage these days. Last year for Christmas, Tim gave me a spiralizer.  We tried one of the "cheapies" we picked up somewhere for a few dollars, with not great results.   This spiralizer works beautifully, producing three different size spirals. 

With zucchini is everywhere at the farmers market and an abundance of our garden cherry tomatoes, a perfect time for spiralized salad.  I used the thick spiral for this recipe.  The spiralizer also makes perfect "noodles" for pasta.  At our house, we prefer the real ones!  What do you make with your spiralizer?

Zucchini Noodle Salad

For the Dressing:
1/4 cup olive oil
3 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
1 clove garlic
Salt and black pepper, to taste

For the Salad:
2 large zucchini, ends trimmed
1 1/2 cups grape tomatoes, halved
1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
3 tablespoons freshly chopped basil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste


1. For the dressing,  in a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, vinegar, garlic, salt, and pepper. Set aside.
2. Use a spiralizer to make the zucchini noodles, according to manufacturer's instructions. Alternately, you can use a mandoline or vegetable peeler.
3. In a large bowl, combine zucchini noodles, tomatoes, feta cheese, and basil. Toss to combine. When ready to serve, drizzle dressing over salad and season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Note:  This salad is best dressed and served immediately.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Greek Lentil Salad

As the summer growing season is the midwest comes to a close, I'm sharing one of my favorite salads from this summer.    Fresh tomatoes, fresh cucumbers, salty feta and lentils make for a healthy, delicious side or lunch salad.  I sent this picture to my son who said it looked just like the salads they enjoyed in Greece last year. 



 Greek Lentil Salad

Recipe courtesy of Vegetarian Times

1 cup French green lentils, rinsed and drained
¼ small onion
2 bay leaves
1 large shallot, finely chopped (¼ cup)
2 Tbs. lemon juice
1 small cucumber, diced (1 cup)
2 medium tomatoes, diced (1 cup)
¼ cup chopped fresh mint
1 Tbs. olive oil
¼ cup crumbled feta cheese


1. Place lentils, onion, bay leaves, and 6 cups water in large saucepan; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, and cook 25 to 30 minutes, or until lentils are tender. Drain, remove onion and bay leaves, and cool.
2. Stir together shallot and lemon juice in large bowl. Add lentils, cucumber, tomatoes, mint, and oil; stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper, if desired. Chill 1 hour, or overnight. Serve topped with feta.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Too Much Chocolate Cake - Secret Recipe Club

September?  Already?  Each month at Secret Recipe Club time I am reminded how quickly time is passing and to stop and enjoy each moment!  We've had a beautiful fall like weekend here!  Hope you're enjoying this time of year in your part of the world.

For this month's reveal, I was assigned Making Miracles.  Rebekah, the blogger behind Making Miracles says " this blog began in 2006 as a way to record my experiences in surrogacy and has evolved over the years to include my day to day life, including what my kids and puppies have been up to and the latest recipes I've enjoyed creating in the kitchen."  Stop by her blog, she has some amazing stories and recipes! 

For SRC reveals, the first recipe category I usually browse, is what else but desserts?  Not only because I love desserts but also because I send something to work with Tim for their treat day each month.  Rebekah has a fabulous selection of desserts to choose from.  As I was reading the list of Cakes and Cupcakes, my eyes were quickly drawn to the recipe entitled Too Much Chocolate Cake.  I found myself thinking, no way!  In my book there's no such thing as too much chocolate anything.  As I read the recipe, I was reminded of a cake I used to make years ago that was a very similar if not identical recipe.  Remembering just how moist and delicious this cake was, I decided this was the recipe for this months reveal. 

Rebekka made her cake in a bundt pan, I used a 9 x 13.  While still, warm, I topped the cake with a quick chocolate glaze.  The glaze just intensifies the moistness of this cake.  Delicious chocolate goodness ... never too much for me!

 Too Much Chocolate Cake
Recipe courtesy of Making Miracles

1 (18.25 ounce) package devil's food cake mix
1 (5.9 ounce) package instant chocolate pudding mix
1 cup sour cream
1 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs
1/2 cup warm water
2 cups semisweet miniature chocolate chips


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together the cake and pudding mixes, sour cream, oil, beaten eggs and water. Stir in the chocolate chips and pour batter into a well greased 12 cup bundt pan.
  3. Bake for 50 to 55 minutes (20 minutes for cupcakes), or until top is springy to the touch and a wooden toothpick inserted comes out clean. Cool cake thoroughly in pan at least an hour and a half before inverting onto a plate If desired, dust the cake with powdered sugar or top with frosting.

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Pulled Pork Poutine

Have you ever had Poutine?  It's not something you see a lot on the menu in Nebraska but it's a favorite of my husband, Tim.   Poutine is a Canadian dish, originating in the province of Quebec, made with French fries and cheese curds topped with a light brown gravy

I'm always looking for creative ways to use leftover pulled pork.  This take on poutine combines  French fries, juicy pulled pork, creamy cheese curds, and a beer barbecue gravy. This gravy is delicious!!  The leftover pork and gravy makes a great sandwich, too. 


Pulled Pork Poutine


2 pound pork shoulder
12 ounces bottled barbecue sauce
12 ounces beer
20 ounces frozen French fries
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
1/2 cup cheese curds
2 tablespoons chopped chives


  • Add the pork shoulder to a slow cooker. Pour in the barbecue sauce and beer. Cover and cook on low for 8 hours.
  • When the pork is done cooking, scoop out 1 cup of the liquid from the slow cooker and set aside.
  • Remove any large chunks of fat from the pork and discard. Shred the meat with two forks.
  • Prepare the French fries according to package directions.
  • While the fries are cooking, prepare the gravy. In a small sauce pan, melt the butter over medium heat. Whisk in the flour and cook for 1 minute.
  • While whisking, slowly pour in the reserved liquid. Continue cooking and whisking until the gravy has reached the desired consistency. The longer it cooks, the thicker it will get.
  • Top the fries with as much of the pulled pork as you'd like. Sprinkle on the cheese curds and pour on as much gravy as you'd like.Top with chives before serving.
  • Store any leftover gravy in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 3 days. To reheat, heat in a small saucepan over low heat while whisking. Store leftover pulled pork in the fridge for up to 5 days.

Monday, August 29, 2016

Banana Blueberry Pancake Squares

Despite Monday being my least favorite day of the week, I love months that have five Monday's.  Five Monday's means a bonus Secret Recipe Club reveal!  The SRC bonus reveals always have a theme.  What better theme for August than back to school?

My assigned blogger for the August themed reveal is Our Eating Habits.  Jamie, the blogger behind Our Eating Habits says her two favorite things are Christmas and Disney!  For sure, who doesn't love Christmas and Disney.  She home schools her children, has a mug collection and lots of great recipes on her blog. 

For the first day of school, I always tried to make Justin a special breakfast.  Although today, he's not a sweet breakfast eater, I think when he was in grade school Jamie's recipe for Banana Blueberry Pancakes would have been a hit!!  Pancakes without having to trying to keep them all warm while the rest cook makes this a perfect recipe for a school day.  Prepare the batter and bake for about 25 minutes, doesn't really get much easier than that!  Plus pretty sure this would work fine with pancake mix with the fruit added, to really cut down on time needed!!

Banana Blueberry Pancake Squares
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 Tbsp. granulated sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 over-ripe banana
  • about 1 cup milk, maybe a bit more
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup blueberries – frozen works great
  • Butter and Syrup for serving
1. Grease a 13×9 inch baking dish. Pre heat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Mix dry ingredients together in mixing bowl.
3. Mash banana in bottom of large 4 cup measuring cup. Add enough milk to equal 1 2/3 cups. Stir to combine. add eggs, vanilla and oil. Stir to combine. Pour over dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Stir in blueberries.
4. Pour into prepared baking pan. Bake for 25 minutes. Test with toothpick to insure it has cooked in the middle. Serve with butter and syrup.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Watermelon Yogurt Popsicles

If you ask any member of my family, they'll tell you I own every kitchen gadget known to man.  After recently purchasing the Instant Pot, that might be true ... almost.  Also, I suppose if you ask them, they will tell you I don't always use all of them.  A couple of years (or more) ago the wonderful associates that work for me, gave me a gift card to a local kitchen store.  Intrigued by the Zoku and knowing this was a splurge, I decided to purchase it.  Of course, like anything, I used it a lot when I first got it.  Since, then it's been sitting ready to go on a shelf in the freezer.

I'm all about having a sweet treat in the evening.  Truth is, I have a horrible sweet tooth.  The reason or at least the person I am going to blame is my Dad.  I'm guessing there's a malt shop in heaven and my Dad is the number one "soda jerk" as they used to call them.  When I was kid, every night, I'm remembering pretty much without fail, I had a dish of ice cream or a malt.  My Dad made the best malts, the kind that used the malted milk powder and lots of ice cream and syrup.  So you get the picture? You see why I have a sweet tooth!!

In an effort to try and manage the calories in those sweet treats, I dusted the ice crystals of the Zoku and made Popsicles.  If you're not familiar with how the Zoku works, you pour in the liquid and in 5 - 9 minutes, you have Popsicles.  Easy!!  The directions say you can make a second batch without refreezing but I never had very good luck with making a second batch.   These make a perfect summertime treat and a super nutritious snack kids will love to eat.

Watermelon Creamsicle Pops

1 cup watermelon chunks
1 container of greek yogurt (I used coconut)
1 T. honey
Pinch of Salt
  1. In a blender, add a heaping cup of watermelon.
  2. Add the yogurt, honey, and salt. Blend for another 15 seconds to mix.
  3. Pour the blended mixture into the ice pop molds and freeze.
  4. After filling the Zoku maker, I poured the remaining in regular freezer pops mold.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

White Bean Caprese Salad

We've had interesting weather these past few months.  We had an almost nonexistent spring, felt like we went straight from chilly into a hot and humid summer, with lots of rain.  I'm not crazy about this weather but our garden sure is.  We've had the largest and best tomato crop in the five years we've been in this house.

What I wouldn't give to live somewhere we could enjoy this type of produce year round but since that's not in the cards in Nebraska, we'll make the most of what we have!  Cherry tomatoes are the best and the variety we have this year is so sweet.  You can just pop them in your mouth and eat them.   We enjoy lots of Caprese Salads. I love this take on Caprese Salad.  It's filling, easy and delicious!

White Bean Caprese Salad
Recipe Courtesy of Skinny Taste
Servings: 6
  • 1 (15-oz) can Great Northern (or White Kidney) beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 cups quartered cherry tomatoes
  • 2 1/2 oz fresh mozzarella, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 garlic clove, finely minced
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 10 fresh basil leaves, chopped
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp balsamic glaze
Combine beans, tomatoes, basil, mozzarella, garlic, salt and pepper. Drizzle with olive oil and finish with balsamic glaze.

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Perfect Peach Cobbler - Secret Recipe Club

August?!!  Am I the only who can't believe it's August already?  Where did this summer go?  Despite being bummed it's already August, I am thrilled to share my August Secret Recipe Club post with you!  This month I was assigned the hard working leader of the Secret Recipe Club group I belong to, Camilla, the blogger behind Culinary Adventures with Cam.  When describing herself, Camilla says "I've crammed a lot of different things into four decades: florist, waitress, SCUBA divemaster, stock photo agency manager, stroller fitness teacher, writer, editor, and au pair. I lived and worked in Rome for 13 months. That's where I learned to cook, visiting the markets, talking to farmers and fishmongers, and pestering them on how to prepare this and that."  Wow, what a fun life!!

A couple of Saturday night's ago Tim and I were driving back into the neighborhood from dinner and we noticed one of our neighbors had picked all of the peaches off their tree and set them in the driveway with a sign FREE PEACHES.  Free?  Yes, please.  What do you think of when you think peaches?  I think cobbler or jam.  Cobbler lead me to Camilla's Perfect Peach Cobbler.  

Camilla added rhubarb to her cobbler and just so happened I had a bit left in the freezer.  The peaches I used were fairly small and didn't yield as much as I would have liked, so I added a few blueberries.  I was intrigued by the use of olive oil in the topping!  After having used butter for years and taking the time to work it into the flour, I may be using olive oil from now on, so much easier!!  We really enjoyed this cobbler, a perfect way to showcase summer fruits!  Thanks, Camilla!

Perfect Peach Cobbler

Filling Ingredients
  • 4 C sliced organic peaches
  • 1 C sliced organic rhubarb
  • 1 T ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 C packed organic brown sugar
  • 2 T flour
  • 1 t ground nutmeg
  • 1 T ground cinnamon
  • dash of ground cardamom
  • 2 T butter
Topping Ingredients
  • 1 C white whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 C packed organic brown sugar
  • 3/4 t baking powder
  • 3 to 4 T olive oil
  • 1 T pure vanilla extract
  • 1 egg
  • 1 t ground nutmeg
  • 1 T ground cinnamon
  • dash of ground cardamom

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and butter a baking dish.
With a wooden spoon mix all of the filling ingredients until thoroughly combined and the peaches and rhubarb are all coated with the other ingredients. Spoon the filling into the prepared pan and dot with 2 T butter that's been cubed.
For the topping...stir until all the ingredients are combined. The consistency will be like a crumble top. Spoon the topping over the fruit and use a spatula to spread it over the fruit. 
Bake the cobbler for 40-50 minutes, until the topping is golden brown and the filling is bubbly. Let cool for 5 minutes before serving. Serve hot.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

My New Best Friend!

For the past several years, I've been debating whether or not to purchase a pressure cooker.  I would see recipe posts using a pressure cooker and say maybe I should get one?  Then I would think I have no more room in the kitchen and most recipes seemed to be ones I could make in my crock pot.

Before, I start let me say this isn't a sponsored post, just my own thoughts.  If you're an Amazon Prime member, you're familiar with the Prime Day sales from a couple of weeks ago.  One of the items on sale was the Instant Pot, prior to Prime Day, I had never seen an Instant Pot.  The Instant Pot is touted as Pressure Cooker, Slow Cooker, Rice Cooker, Yogurt Maker and more.  On Prime Day, the cooker was on sale for $69.99.  Okay so now I was thinking, if this pot really can be my rice cooker and my slow cooker, maybe I do have room for this in the kitchen??  I did some reading and everything I read was this was the best gadget since sliced bread.  I was hooked and ordered one.

Two days later when the Instant Pot arrived, Tim and I unpacked it and attempted to steam some carrots for dinner.  It was quite intimidating at first, lots of steps and buttons and in the back of my mind, all I could think of was the old pressure cookers that would blow up.  Really I don't want to have this blow up in my kitchen?!!!  Our first attempt at the steamed carrots was a bit of a bust because I didn't realize time had to be based on the cooker coming up to pressure, so 4 minutes is really 14+ minutes, allowing for the 10 or so minutes for the unit to come up to pressure.

Once I became familiar with the ins and outs of the Instant Pot, I was over the fear of it blowing up and ready to experiment with what I could make.  Ten days or so later, the Instant Pot is my new best friend.  I've made pasta and meatballs, chicken breasts for chicken curry, chicken broth from a carcass (which finishes in 30 minutes!), lentils, corn on the cob and hard boiled eggs.

Hard boiled eggs are just one of many things  Instant Pot users rave about! Thinking I would make egg salad for lunch this week, I decided to give them a try! The reviews are correct, if you've ever struggled with peeling eggs, you'll agree.  These eggs peeled perfectly and were beautifully cooked!  Yep ... I'm on the bandwagon (albeit a little late, the Instant Pot has been available for a while),  I love the Instant Pot!!!

Instant Pot Hard Boiled Eggs
  • Eggs (as many as you like to fill the bottom of the pot rack or a steamer basket)
  • 1 cup water
  • Instant Pot electric pressure cooker
  1. Pour the water into the pot, and place the eggs in a steamer basket if you have one. If you don't, just use the rack that came with your pot.
  2. Close the lid, set for 5 minutes at high pressure.
  3. It will take the cooker approximately 5 minutes to build to pressure and then 5 minutes to cook. Let the pressure naturally reduce for an additional 5 minutes after the cooking cycle completed, and then do a quick pressure release. That's around 15 minutes, total.
  4. Place the hot eggs into cool water to halt the cooking process. You can peel immediately, or wait.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Bacon Cheeseburger Pie

If you're looking for a dinner for the kiddos or the grandkids, give this one a try. I took the easy way out and used a store bought pie crust. Tastes just like a cheeseburger without the grill.

Bacon Cheeseburger Pie

Recipe Adapted from Spend with Pennies

1 uncooked pie crust (store bought or prepared)
1 pound lean ground beef
1 onion, chopped
5 slices raw bacon, chopped
⅓ cup panko bread crumbs
1 teaspoon yellow mustard
3 tablespoons barbecue sauce
1 tablespoon ketchup
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
½ teaspoon black pepper
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1 egg
¼ cup milk


Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Brown ground beef, onion and bacon until no pink remains. Drain well. Remove from heat and stir in bread crumbs, mustard, barbecue sauce, ketchup, Worcestershire and pepper. Place mixture in prepared pie crust.
In a small bowl, combine cheese, milk and egg. Spread over meat mixture.
Cover the edges of the pie crust with foil or a pie shield to prevent over browning. Bake 15 minutes, remove foil and bake an additional 15 minutes.

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Lime and Beer Cupcakes - SRC

Can you believe it's July?  This year, like all of them, is flying by.  The second Monday in July brings us Secret Recipe reveal day!  Not familiar with this fun club, you can fine the details here.  This month, I was assigned WhyIamnotskinny, love that blog title!  Maxine, the blogger behind WhyIamnotskinny is a South African food blogger living in Brussels (Belgium).  She says, " I am definitely not skinny, have a REAL appetite and am pretty sure that there is a 2nd stomach reserved for desserts and sweet treats. Sharing a home with HIM (aka the wonderful husband) and our first child (born 2015 – aka Little Miss) – you can follow me on my journey through recipes, restaurants and all round love of food."  The idea of a second stomach could most certainly apply to me!

I enjoyed my tour around Maxine's blog.  Fun and interesting to see the ingredients with different names.  Courgette is what we call zuchinni, brinjal is what we call eggplant.  While I thought about choosing a savory recipe using one of these ingredients, I settled where I do most months with dessert.  Whenever I can, these sweets go to work with Tim for his monthly food day.  Otherwise, I really would need that second stomach. I chose to tweak Maxine's Lime and Beer Cake recipe just a bit and make cupcakes.  Of course, we gave these a try before sending them to work and enjoyed the light texture and hint of lime!

Lime and Beer Cupcakes
Recipe Courtesy of WhyIamnotskinny

100g butter, softened (1/2 cup)
200g sugar (1 cup)
2 eggs
225g self-raising flour (scant 1 cup)
200ml Ale (I used a cream ale)
2 lime (zested and juiced)
  • Cream butter and sugar together
  • Add eggs, beating between each addition
  • alternative mixing in flour and beer
  • Add zest of 1 lime & juice of 1 lime
  • Place into muffin tin with cupcake liners
  • Bake for 30min at 180C (350 degrees)
  • Remove from oven and cool
  • Mix together icing sugar and juice of the other lime and spoon over the cake

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Hot Fudge Caramel Ice Cream Cake

We've had a really HOT late Spring and early Summer in Nebraska. One particularly hot Saturday when we were having friends for dinner, I wanted to find a dessert that didn't require the oven or the stove top.  Normally when in search of a dessert that doesn't require cooking, I choose a trifle.  With the hot weather, I really wanted something cold.  Ice Cream!!???  A quick search on Pinterest and I was drawn to this one ...  hot fudge?  Yes, please!!!

Layers of ice cream bars, hot fudge, caramel, whipped topping, and chocolate chips make this tasty treat look much more difficult than it really is.  My dinner guests were so impressed, they thought I worked for hours to create this.  I was quick to reveal just how easy this dessert is to make but that's not the best part!   This ice cream cake is sooooo good!

Hot Fudge Caramel Ice Cream Cake
  • 18 ice cream sandwiches (you may need more if they’re the square kind)
  • 2 cups hot fudge topping
  • 3/4 cup caramel topping
  • 1 container (8 ounce) Cool Whip
  • 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
  1. Microwave the fudge and caramel topping for about 25 seconds to loosen it and make it spreadable, if necessary.
  2. Line the bottom of a 3-quart rectangular baking dish with a layer of the ice cream bars (9 of them; trim if necessary.) Spread half of the hot fudge, followed by the caramel, and then Cool Whip over the sandwiches. Sprinkle on half of the chocolate chips. Repeat layers.
  3. Freeze until firm, about 1 hour. Cut into squares and serve.
You can make this up to 3 days ahead of time and frozen, tightly covered. Let thaw for about 5-10 minutes before slicing.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Rhubarb Vinaigrette

What do you think of when you think of rhubarb?  In my kitchen, I think dessert.  Rhubarb can be used in so much more than just desserts.  How about a beautiful salad dressing?  Tart rhubarb makes a delicious base for a vinaigrette.  I neglected to get a photo in the jar but if you look closely you can see how beautiful it is from this photo.

Rhubarb Vinaigrette
Recipe Courtesy of Dinner with Julie

1 rhubarb stalk, thinly sliced
2 Tbsp. honey
2 Tbsp. rice vinegar (red wine or raspberry vinegar would work well too)
2 tsp. grainy Dijon mustard (or to taste)
1/4 cup canola or mild olive oil

In a small saucepan, simmer the rhubarb with 1/4 - 1/2 cup water for 5 minutes, or until very soft. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
Put the rhubarb into a blender with the honey, vinegar and mustard. Pulse until smooth. With the motor running, slowly pour in the oil.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Smoked Gouda Potatoes

If you live in a city where the temperatures are soaring into the upper 90's or 100's, this probably isn't a recipe you want try.  Trust me, though, it's a good one to save for when the temperatures cool down.  The smoked Gouda gives these a wonderful flavor ... cheesy goodness!! 

Smoked Gouda Potatoes
  • 1 clove garlic, halved
  • cooking spray
  • 2 pounds peeled and thinly sliced potatoes
  • 4 tablespoons melted butter
  • salt and black pepper
  • 1 cup grated smoked gouda
  • 1 cup whole milk
  1. Preheat oven to 325.
  2. Rub the inside of a casserole baking dish with garlic. Spray with cooking spray.
  3. Layer half the potatoes in the dish. Pour over two tablespoons of the melted butter. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and then 1/2 cup of the smoked gouda. Repeat for second half of potatoes. Pour milk over potatoes.
  4. Cover tightly with aluminum foil and bake for 1 and 1/2 hours. Uncover and bake for 15 more minutes to brown. 

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Pink Lemonade Cupcakes

For the June edition of Secret Recipe Club, I was assigned, Nichole of Cookaholic Wife.  Nichole says, " I get a great sense of satisfaction when in the kitchen, whether it be cooking or baking, although baking is what I do to relax. Nothing makes me happier than feeding people. It's not enough to cook dinner for Tom and I throughout the week. I bring baked goods into work nearly every Monday morning."  Now this is the kind of coworker we all wish we had!!

The trend here at Little Bit of Everything has been to bake using cake mixes and today's post is no exception.  For June's Secret Recipe Club, I wanted to find a "summer" recipe.   I love all things pink and these cupcakes caught my eye.  What a fun recipe for a picnic or little girl's birthday party.  These cupcakes were fun and easy to put together and oh so delicious!

Pink Lemonade Funfetti Cupcakes
Recipe adapted slightly from Cookaholic Wife
Yield: 20 cupcakes

    • 1 cup water
    • 1 1/2 single-serve packets of Crystal Light Pink Lemonade drink mix (I used raspberry Crystal Light)
    • 18.9 oz. box funfetti cake mix
    • 1 stick of melted butter (Nichole's recipe used applesauce, much healthier!)
    • zest from 1/2 a lemon
    • 1 drop pink food coloring  (I didn't need this)
    • sprinkles
1. Stir together the water and the pink lemonade mix.
2. Preheat the oven to 350 and line cupcake tins with paper liners.
3. In the bowl of your stand mixer, combine the cake mix, applesauce, lemon zest, vegetable oil, food coloring and pink-lemonade mixture. Mix until all of the ingredients are combined.
4. Scoop the batter into the cupcake pans. Top with additional sprinkles and bake for 22 minutes.
5. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool.

I topped these with cream cheese frosting and additional sprinkles." title="click to view in an external page.">An InLinkz Link-up

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Cinnamon Roll Cookie Bars

I feel like I say this frequently, I love to bake but sometimes after work I am just too tired.  I've discovered there's so many treats you can make using a boxed cake mix.  Needing to make treats for a coworkers birthday, I found this recipe for Cinnamon Roll Cookie Bars.  Who doesn't love all things cinnamon roll?  These were delicious and tasted just like cinnamon rolls, not to mention quick and easy to make. 

Cinnamon Roll Cookie Bars
Recipe courtesy of Blissful Whimsy

1 box yellow cake mix
1/2 cup melted butter
2 eggs
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons cinnamon

2 tablespoons milk
2 cups powdered sugar

Mix all ingredients and pour into a greased 9"x13" baking dish. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes.
When perfectly baked remove from the oven and pour icing over the top.

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Strawberry Pretzel Jello Salad - SRC

What does a five Monday month mean in the Secret Recipe Club world?  Memorial Day weekend and an extra Secret Recipe Club post!  Does it really get any better than that?  Well, maybe but it's pretty good in my world, so I will take it!!

The extra SRC reveals always have a theme.  To go along with Memorial Day, our theme is picnics.  Who doesn't love a picnic?  Nothing says summer like a picnic.  

For the bonus SRC, I was assigned Dessert Before Dinner!  What a great blog title, I love it!! Stephanie the blogger behind, Dessert Before Dinner says, "
I started this blog to keep track of my favorite recipes, tried and true things, and pictures. It has evolved so much as I've become more involved in blogging and various communities. I draw my inspiration from a combination of cookbooks, other blogs and family recipes. I always throw my own spin on them, but they are all good jumping off points. "  Very similar to why I started my blog, how fun it that?!!

 The recipe I chose, is a throwback to my childhood.  We used to have this "salad" all the time.  I haven't had this in years and you know what? I like it!  Nothing better than a good jello salad, with a little sweetness and crunch added.

I had a little trouble getting the pretzels to stick to the bottom of the pan.   I chose to mix the cream cheese mixture together with the pretzels and use for the crust. 

Pretzel Salad

  • 2 cups crushed pretzels
  • ½ cup melted butter
  • 3 Tbsp sugar
  • 8 oz cream cheese
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 10 oz cool whip
  • 16-20 oz frozen strawberries or raspberries
  • 2 3 oz boxes strawberry or cherry jello
  • 2 cups boiling water.
  1. Crush pretzels and mix with butter and 3 Tbsp sugar. Spread on the bottom of a baking dish and bake at 400 degrees for 10-15 minutes until crisp and set.
  2. Remove crust and let cool completely.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Not Your Mom's Rhubarb Crisp

I think it's finally Spring here!!  We've had the strangest Spring, cold weather and lots of rain!  In the Midwest, we look forward to the fresh produce that is Spring, rhubarb, asparagus and radishes!

Tim planted an asparagus patch this Spring!  Which means in three, yes three years we will have asparagus.  I can't wait, asparagus is my favorite vegetable!

Last year, Tim planted a rhubarb patch, like the asparagus it takes a few years to get going.  Our friend, the landscaper,  brought me a huge bag of rhubarb from his garden.  In anticipation, I'm sure, of his annual rhubarb pie.  Isn't the color beautiful???

Growing up, I remember rhubarb stewed on the stove with a little sugar added.  My Dad loved it, me not so much!  As an adult, I've grown to maybe not love but like rhubarb.  I almost always make some form of rhubarb crisp or jam.  Looking for something different this year, I found this recipe for
Rumchata Rhubarb Crisp.  If you're not familiar with Rumchata, it's a rum cream made as an authentic replica of the best Horchata you have ever tasted. It is made from scratch using real ingredients — rice, sugar, cinnamon and vanilla.  Watch out, though, it's way too good and a little bit can go along way, if you know what I mean.

If you're looking for a new take on a crisp, give this one a try!  I think I may give this a try with the apples in the freezer, for a kicked up apple crisp.  Yum!!

Rumchata Rhubarb Crisp Recipe
Recipe Courtesy of Dairy Carrie
  • 1 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup quick cooking rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup melted butter
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 4 cups sliced rhubarb
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 Cup Rumchata.
Start off by preheating your oven to 350. Get out a 8×8 baking dish and smear a little dab of butter on the sides and bottom.

Chop your rhubarb up into medium size pieces. 

Mix the flour, brown sugar, cinnamon and oats. Melt the butter and add the vanilla and add it to your bowl of dry ingredients.  Mix it all together. It’s going to be crumbly. Take half of your mixture and press it into the bottom of your pan. You want to pack it down pretty well.

Place the chopped  rhubarb in a plastic bag and add the cornstarch. Toss the rhubarb around so it’s coated with the cornstarch. Put your rhubarb in the dish.  Pour the Rumchata over the top of the rhubarb.

Bake for 55 minutes until golden brown and bubbly!  Delicious by alone, topped with whipped cream or ice cream. 

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Cake Mix Snickerdoodles

I love to bake!  However, sometimes after working all day, I just don't have the energy for baking.  I've discovered recipes using a cake mix as a base.  Cake mix recipes save time and are often just as delicious as those made from scratch.  

These Snickerdoodles were no exception, in fact, they may be better than some scratch recipes I've tried.  The original recipe calls for a white cake mix.  I used a yellow cake mix, the only difference I think is the color.  If you're looking for a quick cookie recipe or one to make with the kids or grandkids, give this one a try!

 Cake Mix Snickerdoodles (Recipe courtesy of Betty Crocker)


1 white cake mix (I used yellow)
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 egg
2 Tbsp sugar
1 tsp cinnamon


  • 1 Heat oven to 350°F (325°F for dark or nonstick cookie sheets). Mix cake mix, butter and egg in large bowl with spoon until dough forms (some dry mix will remain).
  • 2 Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Mix sugar and cinnamon in small bowl. Roll balls in cinnamon-sugar mixture. Place about 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheet.
  • 3 Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until set. Remove from cookie sheet to cooling rack.

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Pineapple Upside Down Cake Freezer Jam

For May's edition of Secret Recipe Club, I was assigned Micha, the blogger behind Cookin' Mimi.  She says, "The food you will find here on Cookin’ Mimi is exactly what I cook every day. It’s a mix of traditional Southern food, good old American home cooking, and my favorite ethnic inspired dishes."

After browsing Micha's blog, I settled on this Pineapple Upside Down Cake Freezer Jam.  If you haven't made freezer jam, give it a try!  It's easy to make and who doesn't love homemade jam on their toast??!!!  I found this recipe intriguing, I love the idea of pineapple upside down cake in a jam.

This jam is a beautiful color and is a tasty addition to any morning breakfast.  I'm also thinking I will give this a try as a glaze for grilled chicken.

Pineapple Upside Down Cake Freezer Jam
Recipe Courtesy of Cookin' Mimi

  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 5 Tablespoons Instant pectin
  • 2 20 ounce cans crushed pineapple in pineapple juice- drained
  • 1/4 cup diced maraschino cherries
  • 1/8 teaspoon vanilla
  • 5 1/2 pint freezer jars or containers
  1. In a large bowl stir together the sugars and the pectin. Mix until well blended.
  2. Add the pineapple, cherries, and vanilla. Mix for three minutes.
  3. Ladle into clean freezer jars, leaving about 1/2 inch head space. Add lid.
  4. Let sit until thickened, about 30 minutes.
  5. Label and refrigerate or freeze.
  6. Refrigerate for 3 weeks or freeze for up to one year.