Thursday, July 10, 2014

Andes Mint Puppy Chow

I found this recipe today off of some cooking blog and decided to give it a try. If you like puppy chow and if you like Ande's mints, well then you are going to love this! It is super simple to make, which makes the whole thing better!

Andes Mint Puppy Chow


6 cups of Rice Chex Cereal
1 2/3 cups of Andes Mints (If you don't want to get that much Andes mints, you can mints with chocolate chips. I did this and it still tasted great!)
Brownie Mix or 1 cup powder sugar with 2 tbsp. of cocoa.


1. Put the Chex cereal in a large bowl
2. Melt the Andes mints in a pot over medium low heat. Stir until completely smooth.
3. Dump the chocolate mint mixture into the cereal and gently fold until cereal completely covered. 
4. Put the cereal mix into a large plastic bag.
5. Put either the brownie mix or the power sugar/cocoa mix into the bag. Close the bag and then shake until the sugar has covered all the cereal.
5. Put on cookie sheet to cool.
6. Then eat and enjoy!

Very easy to do, which makes this recipe even better! I chose to use the powder sugar and cocoa because I already had those ingredients and it seemed cheaper to me. I thought that tasted great but I also saw the comments raving about the brownie mix idea. So, whatever you feel is best!

Friday, March 21, 2014

Black and White Later Cake

I made quite the decadent cake recently, for a Relief Society birthday celebration dinner. The cakes were meant to be centerpieces, so I thought I should try for something fancy. I had the idea perfectly layed out in my head: 3 layers of chocolate cake with white filling, covered with chocolate curls. That was it. No frosting to cover the layers; no added fuss. Just three naked layers. Unfortunately, that idea was shattered when my cakes did not come out of the pans too easily. They were a big mess, in fact. 

So I moved onto my next idea: 3 layers of chocolate with the white filling...but with a semisweet ganache coating on the whole cake! I thought that would look nice and smooth, and taste delicious! I made the ganache, coated the cake...and the cake started falling apart even more. The top layer was probably about 1/8-inch larger than the bottom two layers, so the ganache simply fell over that top edge and left the bottom layers not accounted for. After a failed attempt of spooning the ganache onto the sides of the cake, I resorted to the save-all: whipped cream.

Vince and I made a quick trip to the store and I moved on to my last attempt at making this thing worthwhile. I whipped it up, frosted the cake, and topped it with my large chocolate curls (that I had made previously)...and it looked beautiful! I was pleased with its appearance, that's for sure! And if I might add, it was a hit at the party. 

So in summary: I made the layers, filled them with the Vanilla Butter Filling, poured the ganache over all the layers, topped the entire cake with whipped cream, and then decorated with chocolate curls. All the recipes are included below.

Not only did it look elegant, which is what I was going for, but it tasted phenomenal. I love chocolate, so chocolate...upon chocolate...upon chocolate...and topped off with whipped cream, was pure bliss. Don't be scared away by all the layers! They're really not too hard to do, and it would have come together much quicker had I known I was going to do ALL of it! Enjoy!

Black and White Layer Cake

From Grandma's Pantry... "Shon's Birthday Cake" (Adapted from the very first Taste of Home Magazine ever, I think)

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp b. powder
  • 2 tsp soda
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
  • 2 c. sugar
  • 1 c. oil
  • 1 c. hot water
  • 1 c. milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla 

Sift together all dry ingredients, including the sugar.  Add oil, hot drink and milk; mix at medium speed for 2 minutes.  Add eggs and vanilla and mix another 2 minutes.  Batter will be thin.  Grease (and flour/cocoa) pans and bake 325 degrees for 25-30 minutes.

I used 3 9-inch round baking pans and sprayed them with cooking spray and then coated them with plain cocoa powder so as to avoid any white flour chunks on the outside of the cakes. I would suggest cooling them for at least 15 minutes prior to dumping them onto a wire rack to cool completely after cooking; I don't think I waited long enough and all of mine fell apart. Hence the LAYER cake. 

Vanilla Butter Filling:

  • 1 c milk
  • 5 T. flour
  • 1/2 c butter
  • 1/2 c shortening
  • 1 c. sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla

Combine the milk and flour in sauce pan; cook until thick.  Cover and refrigerate.  In a mixing bowl, beat butter, shortning, sugar and vanilla until creamy.  Add chilled milk/flour mixture and beat for 10 minutes, or until fluffy.  

Ganache (Adapted from The Pioneer Woman)

  • 8 oz. semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 c. heavy whipping cream
  • 1/4 c. plus 2 Tbsp. corn syrup
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
Heat cream and corn syrup over medium heat. Put chocolate chips in medium-large bowl. Add vanilla to cream mixture, then pour cream mixture over the top of the chocolate chips. Whisk together until melted, smooth, and glossy.

Whipped Cream 

  • 1 pint heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 c. (or to taste) confectioner's sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
Whip the whipping cream with an electric mixer until soft peaks form. Add the confectioner's sugar and vanilla and whip until stiff peaks form.

Large Chocolate Curls (Adapted from The Pioneer Woman)

  • 3 oz. semisweet and/or white chocolate chips
  • 1 Tbsp. shortening
Combine the shortening and chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl. Melt until smooth. Pour the melted chocolate out onto a baking sheet and spread into a thin, rectangular layer. If using semisweet chocolate, put into the freezer for about 2 minutes before removing. If using white chocolate, place in the refrigerator for 1-2 minutes. (Time's vary. It took me a while to figure out the right temperature. I had to use trial and error - freeze/refrigerate and thaw - to get the chocolate the correct consistency.) When the chocolate is ready, you should be able to scrape a somewhat sharp spatula or something across the pan/chocolate and the chocolate will curl. 

I used 2 batches of the semisweet chocolate and 1 batch of the white chocolate. Freeze the curls until ready to use. Freeze any leftover for future use!

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Toffee Apple Dip

This is the best apple dip ever---caramel-y taste with a little crunch.  Tastes even better when you have a cute red-head to go with it!

1 (8 oz) pkg cream cheese, softened
1/3 cup brown sugar

Mix these 2 ingredients with fork and let stand for 15 minutes while sugar dissolves.  Then add:
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
6 oz Heath bar almond toffee chips

Serve with slices of your favorite variety of apple!

Sunday, June 30, 2013

TGI Friday's Brownie Obsession

I will be honest, I haven't tried to make this recipe but if it is like the one at the restaurant, then they are amazing! So, I thought I would post it for anyone who might want to give it a shot.

Pre-heat oven 350
Grease 9 x 13 pan


1 2/3 granulated sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
2 tbsp water
2 bars (4 oz) unsweetened Giradelli baking bar, broken into pieces
2 eggs
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/3 flour
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/3 tsp salt
1/2 cup shopped nuts (optional)

Microwave sugar, butter and water in large microwavable bowl on high for 4 to 5 minutes or until it is bubbly, stirring once. Add baking bars; stir until melted.
Add eggs one at a time until incorporated. Stir in vanilla extract. Add flour, baking soda and salt; stir well add nuts. Pour into prepared 9 x 13 baking pan.
Bake 15 - 20 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out slightly sticky. Cool in pan on wire rack, cut into bars.

To serve

Place brownie in shallow bowl. Top with chocolate sauce(recipe below). Put a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top. Drizzle Carmel sauce(recipe below) over the ice cream and sprinkle with chopped pecans.

Chocolate sauce

2/3 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup sugar
6 oz semi-sweet Giradelli chocolate baking bar(broken into pieces)

Heat the cream with the butter and sugar in a bowl over a saucepan of barely simmering water. Stir until smooth. Add the chocolate to the cream mixture. Stir over simmering water until it is melted and thoroughly combined. Let cool at room temperature.

Carmel sauce

3/4 cup brown sugar
4 tsp cornstarch
2/3 cup whipping cream
1 tbsp butter

In a saucepan combine brown sugar and cornstarch. Add whipping cream and butter. Bring mixture to a boil stirring constantly. Then, reduce heat. Cook and stir for 2 more minutes. Cover and cool. Chill in the refrigerator until serving time.

Andes Mint Cookies

We haven't posted anything in here for a while, so I thought I would try to revive it! Here is the recipe for the  cookies that are super easy to make but everyone loves them!

Andes Mint Cookies


1 box of Devils Food Cake Mix
1/2 cup Oil
2 eggs
1 cup of chocolate chips
Andes mints


Combine cake mix, oil and eggs in a large mixing bowl. Add in chocolate chips. Roll dough into balls and place on baking sheet. Bake 7 minutes at 350 degrees. Immediately after removing from oven, place a mint on each cookie. After 1-2 minutes, use a knife to spread the mint over the top of the cookie. Cool. (I think it taste better chilled, so I always put in them into the fridge.) Eat and enjoy! :)

chocolate mint cookies 2 1024x1024 marvelous chocolate mint cookies
(I didn't take this picture, found it on the internet)

Monday, January 7, 2013

Holiday Eclairs

So, it appears this blog has died a I post.  Our ward Christmas party had a dessert competition.  I made homemade eclairs and won best over-all dessert with this recipe.  Not too shabby.  There were probably 40-50 desserts in the running.  Shane thought they tasted good; I did not actually get to taste one, but I trust...everyone's judgement :)  They look laborious, but are actually pretty simple, so don't be nervous.  I even took these pictures on my own and did not copy them off the internet!  Enjoy.

Holiday Eclairs

Choux Pastry

1/2 c. butter
1 c. water
1 c. flour
1/4 tsp. salt
4 large eggs
Cream Filling
1 (4-serving size) package instant vanilla pudding mix
2 c. milk (or as called for on pudding package)
1 c. heavy cream
1/4 c. powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 tsp. salt
Chocolate Icing
1/3 c. semisweet chocolate chips
2 Tbsp. butter
1 c. powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
3 Tbsp. hot water
  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.  Lightly grease a large cookie sheet and set aside.  
  2. In a medium saucepan, combine 1/2 c. butter and water.  Bring to a boil, stirring to melt butter.  
  3. Reduce heat to low and stir in flour and salt with a wooden spoon until the mixture begins to form a stiff ball of dough.
  4. Remove from heat and add eggs, one at a time, stirring vigorously after each addition to ensure they are incorporated.  Work quickly, especially with the first one, to prevent it from cooking into scrambled eggs on the bottom of the warm pan.
  5. With a spoon or pastry bag fitted with a large tip, spread/pipe the thick dough onto prepared cookie sheet into 10 strips approximately 1 1/2 x 4" each (or make them smaller so you can have more; they puff up quite a bit in the oven).
  6. Bake for 15 minutes, then reduce heat to 325 and bake another 20 minutes, until puffed and golden and hollow sounding when lightly tapped on the bottom.  When removed from oven, IMMEDIATELY pierce the ends almost through to the other side to let steam escape and prevent any sogginess in the middle.  This hole is also where you will be piping your filling into.  Let cool completely before filling and icing (this will only take about half an hour).
  7. For CUSTARD FILLING: Combine pudding and milk in a bowl and mix according to package directions.  In a separate bowl, beat the heavy cream with an electric mixer until soft peaks form.  Beat in 1/4 c. powdered sugar, 1 tsp. vanilla, and 1/4 tsp. salt.  Fold whipped cream into pudding.
  8. Scoop mixture into pastry bag fitted with a smallish tip and pipe mixture into centers of eclairs until full.
  9. For ICING: Melt the chocolate and 2 Tbsp. butter over low heat in a saucepan (or in the microwave, stirring after 30 seconds and giving additional 10 sec. increments as needed until fully melted).  Stir in 1 c. powdered sugar and 1 tsp. vanilla.  Stir in hot water, 1 Tbsp. at a time, until icing is smooth and reaches desired consistency.  Drizzle, pipe, or spread over filled eclairs.
  10. Store in fridge.  

Thursday, November 1, 2012


I've tried so many chili recipes to get a really good one...and I think this is that really good one.  I made it for our Halloween party at our house last night and everyone loved it!  I think it's a keeper.

1 lb. ground beef
1 large onion, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 yellow or green bell pepper, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
3 cloves garlic, diced
2 c. kernel corn, I used frozen
2 - 16 oz cans chili beans, mild
1 - 16 oz can black beans
1 - 28 oz can tomato sauce
1 - 6 oz can tomato paste
1 Tbsp. cumin
1 Tbsp coriander (I didn't have this, so I didn't use it.  I guess I don't know how it would taste with it)
1 tsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. dried cilantro
1/2 tsp. or more chili powder, to taste (I only used 1/2 tsp)
1 1/2 c. beef broth
salt and pepper to taste
olive oil

Preheat a large soup pot.  Drizzle with olive oil.  Add ground beef, chopped onions, bell peppers, celery and garlic to pot.  Brown meat and cook veggies until tender.  (I already had cooked ground beef, but I would say drain the ground beef here).  Add corn, beans, tomato sauce and tomato paste.  Add spices and broth.  Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer.  Simmer for at least 1 hour, stirring occasionally.  Serve with saltines or corn bread.

Okay, so I actually cooked all the veggies in a skillet and just through everything else in the crock pot while veggies were cooking.  Then, I added the veggies [and ground beef] and cooked it on low for a few hours, letting the flavors simmer.  I think the crock pot would be the easiest way.  Then we served it with Fritos.