Sunday, September 13, 2015

Bacon and Cheddar Stuffed Tater Tots

The first NFL Sunday is like a holiday in our house. It's a serious deal and we have a huge guy only get together here that lasts all day. So what do I do when our basement is full of men watching football? I'm making all the food for the day - and trying to watch football myself. 

BP had been having this party for years, long before I ever came into the picture. So I've always been here to support him by making sure it still happens and that the food comes out in waves. It's a long day for me but it's totally worth it.

A few weeks ago I did a dry run of these tater tots. To say they are delicious is an understatement. They are also extremely filling. The three of us didn't eat more than 4 tots a piece. 

We start planning the menu for the all day shindig and these are thrown out. Not a problem. A little time consuming, but I can prep them ahead of time and fry them up when we are ready for them. My plan was working perfectly, and then it totally blew up in my face. Every single tot fell apart while frying. Every. Single. One. They just started to float apart or when I flipped them they broke in half and tore shredded apart. 

What's that you ask? That is a heap of half fried tots that have fallen apart. The first time I made these I used thick shredded hash browns (Simply Potato is what I used). This time around I used your generic store brand shredded hash browns that were thinner. So note to self - buy the thick ones next time. 

Even though today's run was a huge flop, I will make these again. They do make a great football snack.

Cheesy Bacon Stuffed Tater Tots

2 lb bag frozen shredded hash browns
3 eggs
2 tbsp flour
1 1/2 tbsp Salt 
1 tbsp pepper
Cheddar Cheese cut into 1" squares
Cooked Bacon cut into 1" squares

In a large bowl mix together shredded hash browns, eggs, flour, salt and pepper. Mix until combined. 

Preheat a large skillet with vegetable oil 1/4 full.

Take a small handful of mixture and place a chunk of cheese and bacon in the middle. Wrap mixture around bacon and cheese completely and form into a tater tot shape. Repeat until all ingredients have been used. 

Place each tot into oil, frying until golden brown. Flip onto other side to cook evenly. Take out when completely golden brown and place on paper towel lined plate.  Repeat until all tots are cooked.

Friday, July 31, 2015

Coconut Cake

To say we've had a busy summer is an understatement. Work is extremely busy and stressful and it's not leaving me much time for baking. When I do have some free time, I'm making new versions of some classics. Let's just say that Nutella Brownies and Nutella Rice Krispie Treats were a huge flop. And the conversation from BP's dad, Papa C, is that we should stick to the classics - and after all the baking fails I've had lately, I agree.

Things have been really stressful for me and just when I'm having one of the worst day ever, BP comes out and proposes to me. So suddenly my worst day has turned into the best day ever. And it kicked off my birthday weekend in the best way. I'm now engaged to my best friend, the man who I couldn't love more than I do and who completely gets me and loves me for me. He truly is the best thing that's ever happened to me.

Papa C and I have birthdays two days apart. And of course I was going to bake him a cake for his birthday - whatever he wanted. It took him some time, but he finally came in with a request for Coconut Cake. Done. Not a problem at all. We go out for a joint birthday dinner celebration and head home for some cake. And man oh man were the men excited.

To say this was a huge hit in our household is an understatement. Papa C LOVED this cake. Ate a piece of it every day all week. That cake didn't stand a chance. Coconut lovers rejoice - here is your new favorite cake.

Coconut Cake
Makes one 9" square or round layer cake

1 1/2 cups butter, room temperature 
3 1/2 all purpose flour
1 tbsp plus 1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 cup packed sweetened shredded coconut
2 2/3 cups sugar
4 large eggs plus 4 large egg whites
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups unsweetened coconut milk plus more for topping

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour two 9" cake pans. Set aside. In a large bowl, mix together flour, baking powder, salt and shredded coconut. Set aside.

2.  In a large bowl beat butter and sugar until fluffy and light, about 5 minutes. Add whole eggs and egg whites; mix until combined. Add vanilla extract and beat until combined. With mixer on low, add half of the flour mixture and stir until combined. Add in milk, stir until combined. Add in the remaining flour mixture and stir until combined. 

3.  Divide batter equally between prepared pans. Bake, rotating Galway through, until cakes are golden brown, 50-55 minutes. Let cool completely.

Coconut White Frosting
2 lbs (8 cups) confectioners sugar
3 cups shortening
1 tbsp vanilla extract
4-6 tbsp unsweetened coconut milk
Shredded coconut

1.  In large bowl, beat shortening on medium high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.

2.  Add confectioners sugar 1/2 cup at a time, alternating beating on high for 10 seconds after every second addition. Repeat until all the confectioners sugar has been added.

3.  Add the vanilla extract and beat until incorporated. Add coconut milk one tbsp at a time until you reach desired consistency. Beat on high for 10 seconds. Frost cake immediately. Add shredded coconut to the top of the cake. 

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Golden Oreo Eyes

Summer is officially here in Northern Virginia. And with that being said, turning the oven on in our house is the last thing I want to do when it's 95 degrees plus 90% humidity. And when BP asked me to make him something for a work lunch his office was having it was time to go through all my recipes and see what I could find. 

Work has been extremely busy for me lately. Working 9 hours days and then coming home to turn the oven on was the last thing I wanted. I needed something easy and quick that didn't require the oven. Any truffle would of done really, but these are great and BP hasn't had them before. 

Since these were for his office lunch, BP only got to taste one....but man was he in love with these things. He loves the Golden Oreos and white chocolate as it is, but putting them together I made him the ultimate treat. Needless to say they're a huge hit with his coworkers as well. 

So here you go - a great easy no bake recipe - and even more importantly it's delicious. 

Golden Oreo Eyes

1 package Golden Oreos
1 3.9 oz package Vanilla Instant Pudding
1/2 cup cold milk
1 lb chocolate melting bark
1/2 cup white chocolate chips

1. In food processor or by hand, crush Oreos into small pieces. Place in large now and set aside. Line a cookie sheet with parchment or wax paper and set aside. 

2. In a small bowl, add instant pudding into the milk and mix constantly for 2 minutes. 

3. Pour pudding mixture into crushed Oreos and mix by hand until well combined. 

4. Scoop Oreo pudding mixture by teaspoon or cookie scoop onto prepared cookie sheet. Freeze for at least 10 minutes, no more than 30 minutes. 

5. Melt chocolate bark according to directions and dip each ball into melted chocolate. Shake off excess and place on fresh piece of wax or parchment paper. 

6. Once chocolate has set, melt white chocolate in a small bowl, 30 seconds at a time. When chocolate is melted, mix together until smooth. Take a fork and dip into melted chocolate and drizzle over the tops of each ball. Let set.

Can keep refrigerated if desired. 

Monday, March 16, 2015

Triple Cookie Butter Cupcakes

If you haven't had Cookie Butter you don't know what you're missing. Also called Biscoff or Speculoos, it's a must try. By far one of the most amazing and addicting things ever invented. It's been years since I've had some and last week BP and I were out and about and we saw some. He had never had it before and was curious when I said it was life changing good. Even the lady who checked us out at the store said it was amazing. So when we got home that day we are it straight from the jar.....and BP was hooked. Needless to say the jar didn't even make it a week. Pretty much anywhere you use Nutella you can use Cookie Butter. 

And when we were halfway through our jar, I found this amazing recipe. With a couple of tweaks I knew it would be a home run. And sure enough Saturday night was poker at our house - which meant I had to make something, so why not these? 

Ok before you judge, yes that's a lot of cookie butter and cookies. But the cookies were on sale and I knew whatever I didn't use for the cupcakes the cookie butter would get used/eaten. I only used two jars of the cookie butter and a package and a half of the cookies. 

Let me tell you these things are amazing. A huge hit with everyone who ate them. And if you're not a fan of a lot of frosting you can take the cookie and eat some of the frosting that way. 

Triple Cookie Butter Cupcakes
24 cupcakes


  • 3 cups all-purpose flour 
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt 
  • 12 tablespoons of unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup milk
  • 24 speculoos cookies broken in half
  • 1 1/2 cups cookie butter

    For the Frosting:

    2 cups butter room temperature 

    1 1/2 Cups Speculoos Cookie Butter

    6 Cups powdered sugar

    6 Tbsp Milk

  • Speculoos cookies for garnish


  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Line cupcake pans with liners and place half a cookie into each one, set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt.
  4. In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition, mix in vanilla.
  5. Add flour mixture and milk alternately, beginning and ending with flour. Scrape down the bowl- don't over mix the batter.
  6. Divide batter evenly among liners, filling each about three-quarters full. Bake until tops spring back when touched, about 20 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack; let cool for 5 minutes and then remove from pan. Let cupcakes cool completely.
  7. Use a paring knife to core a small little but out of each cupcake and fill with a small dollop of cookie butter. 

    For Frosting:
  1. Cream together the butter and cookie butter. Add the powdered sugar one cup at a time until thick. Add milk and mix on high until smooth and creamy. 
  2. Spread or pipe onto the cooled and filled cupcakes and top with speculoos cookie.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Gooey S'mores Cookies

I love S'mores, it's not really a secret at this point anymore. Anytime I see a recipe for anything dealing with it, I have to make it. Shocker I know. So when I saw these cookies I knew I had to try them. If they were going to be anywhere near the S'mores Cookies I make all the time, then these would be a great addition to my collection. 

With an impromptu day off from work Thursday due to snow, I was at a loss with what to do. BP left for work early and was already at work by the time it really started to snow heavily. So I was home with nothing to do - which meant baking would happen during the day. 

I love me some cookie dough and this is delicious. Always a good sign of a good cookie. 

Yum yum yum. I will say these are delicious - and extremely easier than the other version I make. A good tip is to make sure that you have no marshmallows on the edges of the cookies. If you do they will melt during the baking process. Just stick them ontop of the cookie or cover them with some dough and they will be perfect. 

I put these out for a game night we had and they didn't last long. Always a good sign. 

Gooey S’mores Cookies

Makes 4 dozen cookies 


1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 2/3 cups flour
1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs 
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups Semi Sweet Chocolate Chips
2 cups mini marshmallows


1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and set aside. 

2.  Using a mixer, cream the butter and sugars until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the egg and vanilla and beat for an additional 2 minutes.

3.  In a separate bowl, whisk together the graham cracker crumbs, flour, baking powder, and salt. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, and mix on low speed until the dough just comes together. 

4.  Add the chocolate chips and mix until chips are evenly distributed. Add the marshmallows and stir by hand - if you mix in a mixer the marshmallows get torn and squished. 

5.  Using your cookie scoop or a large spoon, place 1.5 tablespoon sized scoops of dough onto the prepared cookie sheet. Bake for 10-12 minutes.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Red Velvet Milky Way Dark Cookies

Looking for a fun Valentine's Day treat? These are perfect! I actually made these for my Girls Night with some of my favorite ladies. But to get into the swing of the holiday, I thought these would be a good way to kick off the weekend. 

If you can't bake from scratch, these cookies are for you. Using a boxed cake mix is as easy as it gets. The hardest part is cutting up the mini milky ways, I promise. I was done from start to finish in 30 minutes. Can't beat that. And they are ridiculously tasty. 

Red Velvet Milky Way Dark Cookies
Makes about 3 dozen cookies


  • 1 Box Red Velvet Cake Mix
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tablespoons canola or vegetable oil
  • 1 bag Milky Way Dark Minis, cut in half 
  • 1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. and line a large baking sheet with a silpat liner or parchment paper.
  2. Place cake mix, butter, egg and oil into a large mixing bowl. Stir to combine. Cut up Milky Way bars into chunks and stir into dough along with the chocolate chips. Scoop dough onto prepared baking sheet placing about 1 inch apart. Press each cookie down almost flat about 1/2 inch thick. Bake for 11-13 minutes, until baked through. Let cool on baking sheet for 10 minutes before transferring to cooling rack.

Makes about 3 dozen cookies


Saturday, February 7, 2015

Hot Chocolate Truffles

Finally the weekend and I have time to bake! It's been too long - things have been hectic here to say the least. Finally a weekend where we didn't have any plans and we were taking full advantage of things. Which for me meant baking and BP it was playing his Xbox One. 2 nerds in paradise I tell you. 

So while he was getting in army tanks and running things over, I was making these. We are hot chocolate lovers in this house - especially hot chocolate with marshmallows. Nothing beats that on a cold night - yes we do get those during the winter believe it or not. Although I do have to say that I've been here for 3 years now, there is no way I could ever survive another winter up North. No way. 

Let me tell you, having a container full of these in our fridge is a dangerous thing. Once you plop one of these into some hot milk and let it melt, oh man it's hard to wait. You even get a nice melted marshmallow layer on top too....I had to add some more marshmallow though. 

Hot Chocolate Truffles
Makes around 20 

3 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips 
1 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/2 jars mini mallow bits 


1. Place all ingredients in a medium pot and melt together on low heat until smooth, stirring constantly. 
2. Put pot in fridge and let cool until stiff enough to scoop, about 1 1/2 - 2 hours. 
3. Make small scoops, about 2 Tablespoons each (I used my cookie scoop), and scoop out onto a parchment lined cookie sheet. Freeze for 1 hour. 
4. Remove scoops and roll into balls. Roll all of them at once. If you go back and forth you will have chocolate coated marshmallow bits. 
5. Press the marshmallow bits into the truffles. 
6. Wrap each ball in saran wrap and keep chilled until ready to use.
7. When ready, drop chocolate balls into 1 ½ cups of hot milk and stir!

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Cake In A Mug

It's been a rough week here. BP got the flu and I had a sever sinus infection. Luckily BP didn't have a case that was really bad and he went to the doctor early enough for Tamiflu to work it's wonders. So after cleaning the whole house to make sure all the flu germs were gone and countless loads of laundry, and rest for myself, it was time for something sweet. Plus I just bought my bridesmaid dress for both of my sisters weddings. This will be the 7th & 8th time I will be a bridesmaid and it will happily be my last. I deserved a treat. 

My endless search for the new Ben and Jerry's cookie core flavors have come up empty, so why not make a single serving cake in one of our larger coffee mugs? This is even great for those of you who say you can't bake. Even better for those of you who have kids who want something quick or if you're just craving cake. 

Since the cake is still warm I put all the frosting in the middle and let it melt a little to cover the top of the cake. Let me tell you for how little effort you put in, this thing is amazing. Perfect for those cravings that come out of nowhere. 

Cake In A Mug
Makes one cake in 12 oz mug


  • 2 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 5 tablespoons self-rising flour (if you don't have any on hand, recipe to make your own is at the end of the recipe)
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/2 tablespoon rainbow or confetti sprinkles
  • Frosting: 
  • Canned frosting, whipped cream, hot fudge, any topping you would like 


Lightly grease a 12-ounce microwave-safe mug and set aside. In a 2-cup microwave-safe measuring cup or bowl, microwave butter until just melted, about 10 seconds. Add sugar and stir. If mixture is hot, allow it to cool before adding egg yolk. Beat in egg yolk with a fork. Stir in milk and vanilla. Add flour, salt and sprinkles and stir until batter is smooth.

Pour batter into mug, filling it no more than halfway. Microwave for about 60 to 70 seconds, or about 10 to 15 seconds after cake has risen and peaked. Cake will fall and may appear wet, but should spring back to touch. If not done, microwave 10 to 15 seconds longer and check for doneness. Do not over cook or cake will become tough and spongy. Allow to cool slightly and set up before serving. Cake is best when enjoyed shortly after it's prepared.

Use canned frosting, whipped cream, ice cream, etc to top.

* You may split this into two 6-ounce ramekins or tea cups and adjust cooking time to 40 to 55 seconds for each, cooked individually.

If you do not have self-rising flour, you can make it by whisking together 1 cup all-purpose flour, 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder and 1/4 teaspoon salt.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Homemade Pancakes

Ah the weekend. Time to sleep in and relax. This weekend is filled with football playoffs, and wouldn't you know it both of our teams are in it. Lots of excitement in our house to say the least. So why not start our day off with a good breakfast. 

Downstairs I went to make pancakes, BP's request. He doesn't ask for pancakes a lot. I think in the 2+ years we've dated I've seen him eat pancakes 3 times. So needless to say the boxed mix we had in the house had expired. Now most people would say oh well and make something else, not me. I know making pancakes from scratch is so easy. And they are even tastier than the box mix. It doesn't take any extra time or need anything fancy, you will have everything you need for these in your house. And once you make them you will never go back to a box mix. 

Light, fluffy and so tasty. These were a huge hit with BP. 

Homemade pancakes 

1 cup plus 1 tbsp all purpose flour
2 tbsp sugar
2 tsp baking powder 
1/2 tsp salt
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 cup milk
1 large egg 


1. Preheat pan or griddle over medium heat.

2.  In a medium sized bowl (use one with a pour spout of you have it), combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Mix to combine ingredients.

3.  Add milk, vegetable oil and egg to dry ingredients. Whisk until combined and no lumps of flour are present. 

4.  Met butter on hot pan or griddle. Pour pancake batter to make either silver dollar sized or large circles. 

5.  Cook until edges puff up and bubbles are present in pancake. Carefully flip pancake over and cook other side. 

6.  Repeat with remaining batter. Once all pancakes are cooked, top with syrup, fruit, chocolate chips, etc. 

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Maple Bacon Biscuit Bake

Another year over and a new one starting. After a great night with friends and us sleeping in, I made breakfast for us. Nothing new lately. We've been having a lot of eggs lately and I wanted to make something amazing to go along with eggs.

With BP and his dad still sleeping, I got up and showered and then started breakfast. This is something I've wanted to make for a long time but just haven't seemed to get around to it. Today was the day I was finally making it. I didn't  even tell BP what was for breakfast just went downstairs and got to making it. 

Now I have to say, it did take me longer than I thought it would. I didn't prep like I normally do for when I bake - mistake on my part. I highly suggest getting everything ready before you start and that way you're not behind and this will move along quickly. But once I got going it picked up pace and before I knew it they were baking away in the oven and I was cooking eggs. 

The smell of these in the oven was mouth watering.  I couldn't wait for them to get out of the oven. 10 minutes seemed like forever.

When it was (finally) ready I cut a piece and snuck a quick taste - you know, strictly for quality control. Oh man was this better than I could of ever imagined. I quickly made a plate for all 3 of us and it was time to eat. To say this was a hit in our house would be an understatement. BP's dad is the biggest fan of this. So much so that he's already requested it again. 

Maple Bacon Biscuit Bake
Makes one 9"round pan 

1 lb bacon, cooked and chopped into small chunks
1/3 cup dark brown sugar
1/4 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup maple syrup
2 tbsp melted butter 

2 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup cold butter, cut into pieces
1 cup cold milk


1.  Preheat oven to 475 degrees. Lightly grease pan and set aside.

2.  Make topping. Cook bacon and then chop into small pieces (1/2" or slightly smaller). Combine bacon with brown sugar, flour, maple syrup and butter. Mix well to combine. Pour mixture into prepared dish and flatten out so mixture is evenly spread over bottom of pan. Set aside. 

3.  Make biscuits. Whisk dry ingredients together in a small bowl. Add in butter and work butter into mixture until it is crumbly. Add milk and stir together to make sticky dough. 

4.  Scoop heaping tablespoons (using a cookie scoop works perfect here) on top of topping later. 

5.  Bake for 10 minutes. Turn oven off and leave biscuits in oven for 5-10 minutes more, until they are golden brown on top. 

6.  Remove from oven and immediate turn pan over onto a large plate. Lift pan off and scrape any topping left off bottom of pan. Cut or pull apart biscuits and serve.