Mexican Black Beans

Mexican Black Beans

Mexican Black Beans

This is such a quick and easy way to spice up a can of black beans before you use them in tacos or burritos or tostadas or whatever!

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 teaspoons freshly pressed garlic

2 teaspoons taco seasoning

1/2 teaspoon onion powder

2 (15.5 oz each) cans black beans, rinsed and drained

2/3 cup tomato juice

1/2 teaspoon salt

Heat olive oil, garlic, taco seasoning, and onion powder over medium heat for 2 – 3 minutes.  Add black beans, tomato juice, and salt and stir until combined.  Let beans cook, stirring occasionally, for 8 – 10 minutes or until most of the liquid has evaporated.

recipe from Food Love


Sweet Corn Cake

Sweet Corn Cake

Sweet Corn Cake

My friend Ann gave me this recipe that her sister Julie created as a knockoff from the corn balls at El Torito Restaurant.  She did a fantastic job, it is delicious!  I made it to go with our traditional Halloween night chili and everyone loved it!

1 can corn, drained

1 can creamed corn

1 box jiffy corn bread mix

2 eggs

1/2 cup softened butter

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup mayonnaise

Mix all ingredients with a fork until well blended then pour into a greased 9 x 13″ pan.  Bake 30 – 40 minutes at 350.

Rice Krispie Treat Monsters

Rice Krispie Treat Monsters

Rice Krispie Treat Monsters

Halloween is almost here and if you’re not quite ready then here is a quick and easy, not to mention adorable, treat idea for you.

2 boxes (8 count each) prepared Rice Krispie treats

1 (8 oz) bag candy melts in your choice of color

candy eyes

Halloween sprinkles

chocolate chips

1  Unwrap rice krispie treats.  Melt candy melts according to package directions.

2  Dip one end of a Rice Krispie treat in the melted candy melts then place on a piece of wax paper.  Immediately decorate with candy eyes, sprinkles, and chocolate chips as desired, pressing then down lightly into the chocolate.  (I used the chocolate chips as neck bolts, horns and hair.)

3  Allow candy melts to set completely before removing from wax paper.

Here’s a closer look at the monsters:

Rice Krispie Treat Monsters

Rice Krispie Treat Monsters

(This idea is all over Pinterest so I don’t know who to give credit too.)

Chocolate Caramel Coconut Cookies

Chocolate Caramel Coconut Cookies

Chocolate Caramel Coconut Cookies

There is a bakery near me called “The Sweet Tooth Fairy” and they make their version of the Girl Scout Samoa cookie that is to die for!  However, they only have it occasionally, not all the time.  I dream about that cookie so imagine how excited I was to find this knockoff recipe for the cookie of my dreams (literally!)!  Last night was Book Group at my house so I decided it was the perfect time to try this recipe and it did not disappoint!


1 1/2 cups sugar

1 cup (2 sticks) softened butter

1 egg

2 teaspoons vanilla

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 cup milk

3 cups flour

Chocolate Layer/Drizzle

2 cups melted chocolate candy melts

Caramel Drizzle/Frosting Flavor

1 bottle or jar of your favorite caramel sauce

Caramel Frosting

2 sticks softened butter

3 – 4 cups powdered sugar

1/4 cup milk

1/2 cup caramel sauce (from your jar or bottle)

Coconut Sprinkle

2 cups toasted coconut (to toast coconut, simply put coconut in saucepan over medium – medium high heat and cook, stirring occasionally, until coconut starts to brown, about 5 – 10 minutes)

To Make Cookies:

1  Preheat oven to 350.

2  Cream butter and sugar.  Add egg and vanilla and mix well.  Add remaining ingredients and mix until combined.

3  Using a large muffin/cupcake scoop or 1/4 cup measuring cup, form dough into large balls and place on lightly greased or silpat lined cookie sheets, 6 to a sheet.  Press down lightly on balls to flatten them.

4  Bake about 10 – 12 or until cookies are just starting to brown at edges.  Remove from oven and let cool completely.

5  Dip or brush bottoms of cooled cookies with the melted chocolate.  Place cookies with chocolate side up on racks to allow chocolate to set.

To Make Caramel Frosting:

6  Mix all frosting ingredients together in mixing bowl.  Frosting should be thick.

To Assemble Cookies:

7  After chocolate is set on bottoms of cookies, flip cookies over and frost with a generous amount of frosting, drizzle with caramel sauce, sprinkle with toasted coconut and then drizzle with melted chocolate.

recipe from Crazy Little Projects



Loaded Potato Soup

Loaded Potato Soup

Loaded Potato Soup

I made this for dinner the other night.  It was easy to make but took a bit of time which was worth it!  Just go slow and follow the directions carefully and you will be rewarded for your time and effort.

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 1/2 cups chopped onion

6 cups chicken broth

2 pounds baking potatoes, peeled and cubed

2/3 cup butter

3/4 cup flour

4 cups milk

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon pepper

1 cup diced cooked ham

1 cup crumbled real bacon (from Costco bag)

8 oz sour cream

2 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

1  In 12″ skillet, cook onion in olive oil until tender.

2  In 6 quart Dutch oven, mix onion, broth and potatoes.  Heat to boiling, reduce heat and cook 10 minutes or until potatoes are tender.

3  Meanwhile, in same skillet, melt butter over low heat.  Stir in flour with whisk until smooth.  Cook and stir 1 minute.  Gradually stir in 2 cups milk.  Pour milk into potato mixture.  Add remaining 2 cups milk and salt and pepper.  Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly with whisk, until mixture is thick and bubbly.

4  Stir in ham, bacon, sour cream, and 2 cups cheese.  Cook until heated through and cheese is melted.  Top individual servings with more bacon and cheese if desired.

recipe from Betty Crocker

Fast No Fuss Pasta

Fast No Fuss Pasta

Fast No Fuss Pasta

I don’t think I’ve mentioned it but we’ve been in the process of moving into a new house the past few weeks and mealtime has become mostly takeout which to be honest I’m getting sick of plus it’s no good for the waistline!  The other night I just decided it was time to stop unpacking boxes and actually try and make some dinner so I raided my new beautiful pantry and threw this dinner together all with ingredients that I had on hand.  It was delicious!

1 (16 oz) package your choice of pasta, prepared according to package directions (I used rotini)

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 tablespoons dried onion (or whatever you have on hand – real onion, onion powder, frozen onion)

2 (14.5 oz each) cans diced tomatoes (I used the Italian kind), not drained

1 teaspoon basil

1 teaspoon oregano

1 teaspoon Italian seasoning

1 teaspoon garlic powder

Parmesan cheese

1  Cook pasta according to package directions.

2  While pasta is cooking, heat olive oil in large skillet over medium heat.  Add onion to oil and saute for 1 – 2 minutes then add remaining ingredients, stir to combine and bring to a simmer.  Allow to simmer until pasta is done.

3  Serve sauce over pasta with a sprinkle of Parmesan.

Quadruple Chocolate Naked Cake

Quadruple Chocolate Naked Cake

Quadruple Chocolate Naked Cake

It was Zach’s 29th birthday on Saturday so I created this chocolate filled extravaganza as part of his birthday feast!  It was decadent!

2 layers chocolate cake prepared with this recipe

mousse/frosting filling layer

1 small box instant chocolate pudding mix

1/3 cup powdered sugar

1 cup milk

4 oz whipped cream cheese

8 oz thawed Cool Whip

ganache layer

8 oz semisweet baking chocolate

1 cup heavy whipping cream

1 tablespoon butter

candy layer

1 regular size Kit Kat bar

Hershey Kisses and Hugs


Mini Reeses Peanut Butter Cups

or whatever candy your heart desires!

1  Prepare cake layers according to instructions found in link above and allow to cool completely.

2  Prepare chocolate filling – whisk together pudding mix and powdered sugar then whisk in milk until smooth with no lumps.  Beat in cream cheese until smooth with no lumps.  Fold in Cool Whip carefully with a spatula.  Place in fridge for 1 hour.

3  Prepare ganache – Break up chocolate into small pieces and place in bowl.  Heat whipping cream until just starting to boil then pour over chocolate in bowl.   Allow to sit until chocolate is melted then stir in butter until mixture in smooth.  Allow to cool to room temperature.

4  Assemble cake – place one cake layer on serving platter with bottom side up, spread filling over layer allowing to spill over the sides just a bit.  You probably won’t need all of the filling.  Next place second cake layer over filling, bottom side up, pressing down slightly.  Pour ganache over top of cake to cover entire top, allowing some to spill down the sides.  You probably won’t need all of the ganache either.  Decorate with candy as desired.  Store in fridge.

frosting/filling recipe from Just A Pinch Recipes