Tater Tot Cassarole

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This is a really quick and easy recipe. I tried it for the first time myself the other night and have to say it was fantastic.

Ingredients:

1 bag frozen tater tots

1 lg can cream of mushroom soup

1 lb. ground beef

1 bag frozen peas

Directions:

Brown ground beef. Add soup and peas. Place in a baking dish and then line the top with the tater tots. Bake until tater tots are done.

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Chocolate Covered Cherry Cupcakes

I absolutely love chocolate covered cherries. So when I first tried this cupcake from Chesapeake Bakery Company, here in MD, I was in total love and knew I needed to find the recipe for them.  So, of course, I scoured the internet to find the one I liked the best and Viola!.  375724_10201067304636524_202173400_n

Now I have to say I am a one stop shopper, I hate having to go to 15 different places to buy 1 ingredient and I try to stay as local as I can due to the ease of things, but the tart Cherry juice that is in this recipe I ended up having to go to GNC to purchase and it was not cheap.  But nonetheless, without it the recipe just wouldn’t have been what it is…delicious.

Ingredients:

Cake:

1 box of devils food cake

1/2 c. Hershey’s special dark unsweetened cocoa powder

3 eggs

1 c. sour cream

3/4 c. vegetable oil

3/4 c. tart cherry juice

Ganache:

4 oz. semi sweet chocolate, finely chopped

5 oz. heavy whipping cream

( to only do half of your cupcakes, just cut this in half)

Cherry Buttercream:

1 c. tart cherry juice (reduced to 1/3 c.)

1 1/2 c. unsalted butter, room temperature

4 c. powdered sugar

1 tbsp. meringue powder

1/2 tsp. vanilla

3 tbsp. milk

Garnishes:

Maraschino cherries

Sprinkles

Directions:

A few hours before our cherry juice into a small saucepan and reduce over medium heat.  Cool completely

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Cake:

Combine all cake ingredients and mix on low speed until mixed well.  Then beat on high speed or 3 minutes.  Fill cupcake liners 1/2 full and place a cherry in the center, then cover w/ remaining batter.  Bake 14 – 18 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.  Let cool completely.

Ganache:

Place chocolate and heavy whipping cream into a microwave safe bowl and heat on high or 30 seconds.  Remove and stir.  Heat again for another 30 seconds, stir until chocolate is completely melted.  

Take cupcakes and dip them, so that the top is completely cover.  Shake off any excess.

Cherry Buttercream:

Place butter in mixer and beat for 2 minutes.  Pour in cherry juice and beat together.  In a separate bowl combine powder sugar and meringue powder.  Add gradually to butter and cherry juice.  Add vanilla and 1 tbsp. milk to moisten and then whip on medium speed until very light and fluffy, adding remaining milk to achieve a smooth and creamy consistency for piping.

Pipe onto ganache covered cupcakes.

Add garnishes

I only covered 1/2 of my cupcakes with the ganache as you can see from the picture. It is your preference as to whether or not you actually want to cover them.  Also I have to say that this was my first ever attempt at a buttercream frosting.  It turned out really good, but I did make a few of my own adjustments to the recipe.

Strawberry Filled Cupcakes covered with Ganache and a Chocolate Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting

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I wanted to put this up on Valentines Day, but have just been so busy with the store I didn’t have the time. So I hope that you enjoy them now.

Ingredients:

Cake:

1 Strawberry Cake Mix

(prepared according to the box)

Filling:

4 oz. cream cheese, softened

1/2 stick of butter, softened

5 strawberries, pureed

1 tbsp. strawberry jelly, jam, or preserves

2 c. powdered sugar

Ganache:

4 oz. semi sweet chocolate, finely chopped

5 oz. heavy whipping cream

( to only do half of your cupcakes, just cut this in half)

Chocolate Strawberry Frosting:

8 oz. cream cheese, softened

1 stick of butter, softened

3 cups powdered sugar

4 strawberries, pureed

1/2 tbsp. strawberry jelly, jam, or preserves

1 ts. vanilla

1 sm box of chocolate instant pudding 

Directions:

Prepare cupcakes according to cake mix box and bake. Then let cool. 

For Filling: Beat cream cheese and butter together, until fluffy.  Add pureed strawberries and strawberry jam, jelly, or preserves; mix well.  Gradually add in powdered sugar. Once cupcakes have cooled, fill each center of cupcake with piping bag and filling tip.

For Ganache: Place chocolate and heavy whipping cream into a microwave safe bowl and heat on high for 30 seconds.  Remove and stir.  Heat again for another 30 seconds, stir until chocolate is completely melted.  

Take cupcakes and dip them, so that the top is completely cover.  Shake off any excess. Let set for at least 10 minutes so that ganache can set up. I, myself,  actually let them set over night.

For Chocolate Strawberry Frosting: Place butter  and cream cheese in mixer and beat for 2 minutes.  Pour in pureed strawberries and add strawberry jam, jelly, or preserves; beat together.  In another small bowl mix powdered sugar and chocolate pudding;  add gradually.  Add vanilla and then whip on medium speed until very light and fluffy.

Pipe onto ganache covered cupcakes.

Garnish with Strawberry Flowers or slices.

Banana Quesadillas

Just a little something to share today!

Ingredients:
4 bananas
4 oz.  of chocolate chips
2 tbsps of butter
3 tbsps  and 2 tsps of cinnamon
1/4 c. of sugar20130429_214426
6 ( 8″) tortilla shells
2 tbsps of brown sugar

Slice bananas and place in a bowl.  Add 2 tbsps of brown sugar and 2 tsps of cinnamon. Mix, cover, and refrigerate for about 30 minutes.

Mix 3 tbsps of cinnamon and 1/4c. sugar together in a small bowl. Melt 2 tbsps of butter and brush on the top of tortilla shells, then sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar.

Place your tortilla shell with cinnamon side down. Add your bananas in the center, sprinkle a handful of chocolate chips over your bananas and then place another tortilla shell on top. Cook until chocolate is melted.

I used my Quesadilla maker, but a frying pan can be used. And in one of my quesadillas I added peanut butter on it, because I love peanut butter and bananas together.

Peanut Butter Brownie Pie

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Each Thanksgiving we set out on a mission to have each family bring at least one new dish. This was a recipe that my mother in  law posted to my daughters Facebook and she thought it was a must try. I will admit that in the video they made their very own brownies, but we decided we would cheat a little to save on time.

Ingredients:

1 box of brownie mix of your choice

1 (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened

1 c.  creamy peanut butter

1 1/4 c. powdered sugar

1 (8 oz.) tub of whipped topping

3 Reese Cups

1 c. semi sweet chocolate chips

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Make brownie mix according to package. Pour into a 9″ pie pan and bake until done. Let cool completely.

In mixer, blend cream cheese and powdered sugar. Add peanut butter and mix thoroughly. Fold in whipped topping. Spoon on top of cooled brownie.

In a food processor or blender chop up Reese cups. Take Reese cup bits and chocolate chips and add to the top.

Refrigerate for at least an hour before serving.

This turned out to be a great recipe and was the hit at the dessert table.

 

Unbelievably Awesome Peanut butter cake

This is without a doubt a fantastic slice of peanut butter heaven and my peanut butter loving son simply stated that this cake was unbelievably awesome. With all of the holiday gatherings coming up this would be a great addition to the dessert table.

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2 C of flour
2 C of sugar
1/2 tsp of salt
1 tsp of baking soda
1 C of butter
1 C of water
1/4 C of peanut butter
2 eggs
1 tsp of vanilla
1/2 C of milk
Combine flour, sugar, salt and baking soda in a mixing bowl and set aside. In a saucepan combine butter, water, and peanut butter and bring to a boil. Add this to the flour mixture and mix, then add the eggs, milk, and vanilla. Mix well, pour into a large cake pan and bake at 350 for about 40 minutes or until golden brown and springy to the touch.

Now for the icing, Combine 1/2 C of butter, 1/4 C of peanut butter, 1/3 C of milk in a saucepan and bring to a boil, Remove from heat and add 4 C of powdered sugar and 1 tsp of vanilla, mix well and pour icing over a warm cake. It will be ooyee gooyee deliciousness.

Banana Muffins – No Flour No Oil

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My girls are up and out of the house early each morning during the school year. Yet neither of them get up early enough to fix themselves breakfast. And with breakfast being the most important meal of the day I am always on the lookout for something they can grab and go but still nutritious. These muffins are a perfect fit for both.

Ingredients:

1 cup vanilla greek yogurt

2 ripe bananas

2 eggs

2 cups of old fashioned oats

1/4 cup  light brown sugar ( you can use dark, if you prefer)

1 1/2 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place all ingredients into a blender or food processor.  Mix until smooth and the oats are completely broke down. Butter muffin pans and pour prepared batter into each cavity.  Bake 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Let cool 10 minutes. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

I usually just make the jumbo muffins, because that way they are usually gone within a day or so. I have only made the smaller ones, one time and unfortunately due to the ingredients they only last two to three days. So if you make the smaller muffins I recommend only keeping a few in the refrigerator for your family to eat,but freeze the rest until you need them. I

f you prefer not to butter your muffin pans, you can use spray. Butter just seems to give them a crunchier outside. Also, because these muffins lack the flour often times deflate in the center and that is perfectly normal. The picture that you see above is a beautiful muffin, but alas I am just terrible at taking good pictures to use, so I opt to often times use stock images.

Image courtesy of duron123 at FreeDigitalPhotos.net