RECIPE: Sugar Cookies!

sugar cookies

These Sugar Cookies are a staple of my family’s holiday baking! The secret to making these stand out from a traditional sugar cookie is the addition of almond extract. Of course, if you don’t like almond, you can simply use vanilla; but the almond gives it a distinctly special flavor. With Easter just around the corner, you can use pastel colored sugar for a festive touch!

SUGAR COOKIES

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup Crisco (I used Butter Flavored)
  • 1 egg
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoons cream of tarter
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • Splash of vanilla extract
  • Extra sugar for rolling dough in; I like to use a colored sugar related to the holiday

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Grease cookie sheets with non-stick cooking spray.
  3. In a mixing bowl, beat together sugar and Crisco. Add in egg, beating well.
  4. Add in flour, cream of tarter, 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda, pinch of salt, and almond and/or vanilla extract. Mix until just combined.
  5. Using a cookie scoop, roll one scoop of dough together in your hand to form a ball. Roll the ball of dough in sugar. Place on the greased baking sheet and press down with the bottom of a glass.
  6. Bake for 8-10 minutes.

CLICK HERE FOR MORE RECIPES! 🙂

RECIPE: Easy Cheesy Breadsticks!

breadsticks

I love the cheesy breadsticks at our local pizza joint, but if I don’t feel like going out, I can make them myself using this quick and easy recipe!

EASY CHEESY BREADSTICKS

Ingredients:

  • Refrigerator pizza crust
  • 4 tablespoons melted butter or margarine
  • 1/4 cup of grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoon of minced garlic (I really like garlic, but you could leave this out)
  • 1 cup (or more if you really like a lot of cheese!) of shredded mozzarella cheese

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees
  2. Spray a cookie sheet with cooking spray
  3. Pop open the Pillsbury pizza dough and arrange it on the cookie sheet
  4. Melt the butter/margarine and add in the Parmesan and garlic (optional). Spread this mixture evenly over the pizza dough.
  5. Top with the shredded mozzarella cheese
  6. Bake for 12 minutes
  7. Slice into sticks and serve with marinara or ranch dressing for dipping

CLICK HERE FOR MORE RECIPES!

RECIPE: Sugar Cookie Frosting (White Icing)

frosting

Up until last year, I’d never made white icing before, instead always using the pre-made stuff in the plastic tubs. However, when I recently wanted to make some sugar cookies (CLICK HERE for my Roll Out Sugar Cookie recipe!) but was out of frosting, I went in search of a recipe.

I found this one online and decided to give it a go….and it was amazing! It tastes very much like the frosting that a popular bakery in town used to make before they closed last year. I will definitely be making this frosting again, not just for cookies but cakes, too!

SUGAR COOKIE FROSTING

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups confectioner’s (powdered) sugar
  • 1/2 cup shortening, butter or margarine
  • 5 tablespoons milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • food coloring, if desired

Directions:

  • In a large bowl, beat together sugar and shortening until smooth.
  • Gradually add in milk and vanilla until blended.
  • Beat for 5 minutes.
  • Color with food coloring, if desired.

frosting 2

frosting 3

CLICK HERE FOR MORE RECIPES! 🙂

RECIPE: Deviled Eggs!

eggs

The one thing I am asked to bring to every single family get-together are my Deviled Eggs! I honestly think they are the only reason my family even invites me over! 😉

I use the unusual combination of Miracle Whip and sugar in my eggs. Yes, sugar! The sugar gives these egg such a wonderful sweet flavor that is very different from the sour, tart eggs that most people prepare.

I don’t use exact measurements for these eggs, instead relying on my years of experience to get them just right. However, I will give you the basic instructions and let you use your own taste if you decide to make these yourself. 🙂

DEVILED EGGS

Ingredients:

  • Hard-boiled eggs, cooled
  • Miracle Whip
  • Sugar
  • Paprika (for garnish)

Directions:

  1. Once eggs have been hard-boiled and cooled, slice them in half vertically and scoop the yellow yolks into a food processor. If you don’t have a food processor, use a hand or stand mixer.
  2. Beat eggs until they are broken down into small crumbs. Add in a heaping spoon of Miracle Whip and beat. Keep adding in Miracle Whip until the mixture is smooth and creamy.
  3. Add in sugar to taste. I estimate that I used 2 tablespoons of sugar per one dozen eggs.
  4. To easily pipe the egg yolk mixture into the egg white shells, take a wide glass or mug and put a plastic bag inside with the edges folded over the rim. Spoon the egg mixture into the bag.
  5. Snip off one corner of the bag and pipe the mixture into the egg white shells.
  6. For garnish, sprinkle on paprika.

I also filmed a video of this recipe:

CLICK HERE FOR MORE RECIPES! 🙂

RECIPE: 3-Ingredient Apple Cake!

3-ingredient-apple-cake

With three pantry staples, you can whip up a homemade apple cake in under an hour! Note that you can use any flavor of cake mix you like or have on hand, whether it be vanilla, white, yellow, or spice.

3-INGREDIENT APPLE CAKE

Ingredients:

  • 1 box of cake mix
  • 1 can of apple pie filling
  • 1/2 cup melted butter/margarine

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Spread the apple pie filling on the bottom of a 9×13-inch cake pan
  3. Sprinkle dry cake mix on top of apple pie filling
  4. Pour melted butter/margarine
  5. Use a fork to blend the dry cake mix into the apples and butter – it doesn’t have to be perfect, you just want to make sure you don’t have a large section of dry mix showing
  6. Bake for 30 minutes
  7. Serve with ice cream or whipped topping

CLICK HERE FOR MORE RECIPES! 🙂

REVIEW: Spring Walmart Beauty Box!

9

My Spring Walmart Beauty Box arrived this week! I’m actually subscribed to both versions of this box – Trendsetter and Classic – but thus far have only received one this season. It’s been a crazy week with bringing Charlie home, and the week before that was nuts with work and appointments; but I do remember getting an email asking if I wanted to “opt in” to a special version of the Spring box, which I did. So this may be the only box I get. Time will tell!

Anyway, these boxes arrive four times per year – Winter, Spring, Summer, and Fall – and are only $5 with FREE shipping. You can choose one or both versions of the box; and you are only charged once the boxes ship.

The box I received this week was packed full of the following travel size products:

  • Colgate Optic White Beauty Toothpaste
  • Dove Advanced Care Deodorant
  • Biore Baking Soda Acne Scrub
  • John Frieda Frizz Ease Daily Nourishment Conditioner
  • Schwarzkopf Gliss Shampoo & Conditioner
  • Neutrogena Hydro Boost Lip Shine
  • Rimmel Stay Matte Foundation

This box came with well more than $5 worth of products; and since they are all items I can use, I’m quite pleased. I’ve tried so many different beauty subscription boxes over the years, and I have to say that Walmart’s Beauty Boxes consistently deliver the most affordable options with the most usable products!

RECIPE: Cranberry Almond Granola!

granola

If you haven’t made homemade granola before, you have been missing out! This recipe is easy to make, tastes amazing, and is healthy, too! You can vary the nuts and dried fruits if you would like; but the combination of almonds and cranberries is so good. I eat this as a cold cereal with milk, but you would also warm it up. My dad likes it sprinkled over yogurt.

CANBERRY ALMOND GRANOLA

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups of old fashioned oats
  • 1 and 1/2 cups of sliced almonds
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup cooking oil
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 and 1/2 cups of dried cranberries

Directions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 300 degrees.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together the oats, almonds, brown sugar, salt and cinnamon. Set aside.
  3. In a small saucepan, heat up the oil and honey together. Whisk in the vanilla.
  4. Pour the warmed liquid over the oat mixture, stirring gently until the oats are coated.
  5. Spread in a jelly roll pan and bake for 40 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes.
  6. Cool completely before adding in the dried cranberries.
  7. Store in an airtight container.

CLICK HERE FOR MORE RECIPES! 🙂

RECIPE: 3-Ingredient Nutella Brownies!

nutella brownies

If you are on Pinterest, Facebook, or Instagram, you’ve likely seen people posting about these 3-Ingredient Nutella Brownies. If you love the chocolate hazelnut spread Nutella as well as fudgy, chewy brownies, then this is the recipe for you! A video of me making these is also at the bottom.

When I first made these, they ended up overbaked. Most recipes are saying to bake these for as long as 30 minutes; but after 25 minutes, mine we on the verge of burning. I made them again and checked on them after 15 minutes; I ended up baking them for 20 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the middle came out clean. And 20 minutes was definitely the magic number!

I had watched a video of these being made where the baker mixed up the batter by hand. However, this is a very thick, dense batter; I HAVE to use a stand mixer or hand mixer to make these!

3-INGREDIENT NUTELLA BROWNIES

Ingredients:

  • 13-ounce jar of Nutella
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 2 eggs

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Spray an 8×8 or 9×9 inch baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.
  3. In a mixing bowl, beat together the Nutella, flour and eggs until thoroughly blended.
  4. Pour the brownie mixture into the baking dish and bake for 20 minutes.
  5. Allow to cool completely before cutting.

CLICK HERE FOR MORE RECIPES! 🙂