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Saturday, June 21, 2014

Macaroni Salad


16 oz elbow macaroni, jumbo or regular
2 cup real mayonnaise
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp garlic powder
1 1/2 tsp celery salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
3 Roma tomatoes, diced and seeded
1 medium cucumber, peeled, seeded and diced
1 small red onion, diced
1 small green bell pepper, seeded, diced
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese


Cook the pasta in salted water per the package directions until al dente. Drain well.  In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, buttermilk, sugar, vinegar, onion and garlic powder, celery salt and black pepper.  Add the remaining ingredients, reserving the shredded cheese.  Mix well.  Taste and adjust the salt if needed.  Add the shredded cheese after the salad has cooled.  Chill for at least 4 hours and stir well, before serving.   

Yield: 16 servings


Five Bean Salad


Bean salad is an old fashioned type of refrigerator salad.  Lately, I've been doing a lot of nostalgic cooking, so, it was time to add this salad to my recipe archives. The flavor of the brine has a sweet and sour edge and we enjoy a bit of heat by adding red pepper flakes. It's a perfect salad for making in advance and it gets even better the longer it sits.


16 oz frozen cut green beans, steamed and cooled
1 [15] oz can garbanzo beans [chickpeas], drained
1 [15] oz can cannelini beans, drained
1 [15] oz can baby lima beans, drained
1 [15] oz can light red kidney beans, drained
3/4 cup white balsamic or apple cider vinegar
3/4 cup olive oil
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp celery seed
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes [more or less to taste]
1 medium red bell pepper,  diced
1 large sweet onion, thinly sliced


 Steam the green beans per the package directions and cool.  Place the remaining beans in a colander and rinse under cold water.  In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the vinegar, olive oil, sugar, salt, garlic powder, onion powder, celery seed and red pepper flakes until the sugar has dissolved.  Add the  beans, diced red bell pepper and onion to the bowl.  Gently toss until combined.  Store chilled in a shallow air tight container.  Gently stir periodically to evenly distribute the brine for at least 1-2 days before serving.  May be made up to a week in advance.  Yield: 20 servings

Cook's note:

When storing this salad, I recommend that you use a large shallow air tight container.  Each morning flip the container to allow the brine to evenly marinate all of the ingredients.


Sweet Pea Salad

If you've ever seen recipes for classic pea salads they often use canned peas.  Although I am a fan of pea salad, I prefer the taste and texture of frozen petite or baby peas, instead of the canned variety when I prepare this classic side salad.


1 [24] oz package frozen petite or baby peas
1 1/2 cup real mayonnaise or Miracle Whip dressing
2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 Tbsp sugar [or to taste, omit if using Miracle Whip]
2 tsp Mrs Dash Original Blend
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp celery salt
table salt & black pepper to taste
1 [4] oz diced pimentos drained, reserve 1 Tbsp juice
5 green onions, thinly sliced
1 1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
6 slices bacon, cooked & crumbled
2 large eggs, boiled, peeled & chopped


To thaw the peas, blanch in salted boiling water for 2 minutes.  Drain and cool.  In a medium-size mixing bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, apple cider vinegar, sugar, Mrs Dash, garlic powder, onion powder and celery salt.  Adjust the table salt and black pepper to your taste. Add the pimentos plus 1 Tbsp of reserved juice.  Mix well.

 Add the blanched peas and the remaining ingredients.  Reserve a few bacon crumbles, shredded cheese and sliced onions for garnishing.  Use a large spatula to gently fold together until the ingredients have combined.  Chill for at least 2 hours prior to serving.  Yield: 10-12 servings

Cook's note:

If desired, the peas can be thawed in the microwave.


Creamy Dill Dip

Creamy Dill Dip
Serve this versatile dip with assorted cut-up vegetables, crackers or chips. Or, use as a topping for baked potatoes.


ServesMakes 1 cup or 8 (2-tablespoon) servings.


  1. Mix all ingredients in medium bowl until well blended. Cover.
  2. Refrigerate at least 1 hour to blend flavors.


Kitty Litter Cake

Kitty Litter Cake Recipe
"Great Halloween cake! You'll need a new kitty litter box, box liner and litter scoop as props to get the full effect with this cake!"


Original recipe makes 20 servings  
1 (18.25 ounce) package German chocolate cake mix 
1 (18.25 ounce) package white cake mix 


  1. Prepare cake mixes and bake according to package directions (any size pan).
  2. Prepare pudding according to package directions and chill until ready to assemble.
  3. Crumble sandwich cookies in small batches in a food processor, scraping often. Set aside all but 1/4 cup. To the 1/4 cup add a few drops of green food coloring and mix.
  4. When cakes are cooled to room temperature, crumble them into a large bowl. Toss with 1/2 of the remaining cookie crumbs, and the chilled pudding. You probably won't need all of the pudding, you want the cake to be just moist, not soggy.
  5. Line kitty litter box with the kitty litter liner. Put cake mixture into box.
  6. Put half of the unwrapped tootsie rolls in a microwave safe dish and heat until softened. Shape the ends so that they are no longer blunt, and curve the tootsie rolls slightly. Bury tootsie rolls randomly in the cake and sprinkle with half of the remaining cookie crumbs. Sprinkle a small amount of the green colored cookie crumbs lightly over the top.
  7. Heat 3 or 4 of the tootsie rolls in the microwave until almost melted. Scrape them on top of the cake and sprinkle lightly with some of the green cookie crumbs. Heat the remaining tootsie rolls until pliable and shape as before. Spread all but one randomly over top of cake mixture. Sprinkle with any remaining cookie crumbs. Hang the remaining tootsie roll over side of litter box and sprinkle with a few green cookie crumbs. Serve with the pooper scooper for a gross Halloween dessert.


Summer Sand Pudding

sand pudding


1 pkg Vanilla Wafers
3 or 4 Oreos
8 oz Cream Cheese
1/4 C Butter
2/3 C powdered sugar
2 small pkgs French Vanilla pudding mix
2 3/4 C Milk
12 oz Cool Whip
Crush Oreos and Vanilla Wafers in a food processor.  In a separate bowl, cream together softened 8 oz cream cheese, butter, and powdered sugar. In another bowl, mix pudding with milk.  Add to cream cheese mixture.  Fold in cool whip.  Layer into buckets with sand, pudding, sand etc.

Hope you all enjoy and try this at your next summer picnic!


Sunday, June 15, 2014

Lemon Rosemary Grilled Chicken

Lemon Rosemary Grilled Chicken
Prep Time: 5 minutes 

Cook Time: 14 minutes

Lemon and rosemary bring the flavors of the Mediterranean to this easy grilled chicken recipe.


  1. Mix oil, lemon juice and seasonings in small bowl. Place chicken in large resealable plastic bag or glass dish. Add marinade; turn to coat well.
  2. Refrigerate 30 minutes or longer for extra flavor. Remove chicken from marinade. Discard any remaining marinade.
  3. Grill chicken over medium-high heat 6 to 7 minutes per side or until chicken is cooked through, turning frequently.

Lemon Pepper Dill Tilapia

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes

If you think cooking fish at home is too difficult, then this flavorful seasoning-made-simple mix was made for you.

Your family can enjoy moist flavorful Tilapia seasoned with all natural lemon, dill, pepper and other spices in just 15 minutes. Serve with a lightly dressed salad of mixed greens, oranges, strawberries and red onion.




 Bake: .
  1. Preheat oven to 450°F. Empty Seasoning Mix into shallow dish. Brush fish with oil. Coat lightly on both sides with Seasoning Mix.
  2. Place fish in single layer on foil-lined shallow baking pan.
  3. Bake 10 minutes or until fish flakes easily with a fork.
  4. Pan-Fry:.
  5. Empty Seasoning Mix into shallow dish. Moisten fish lightly with water. Coat lightly on both sides with Seasoning Mix. Discard any remaining Seasoning Mix.
  6. Heat oil in large nonstick skillet on medium heat. Add fish; cook 3 to 5 minutes per side or until golden brown and fish flakes easily with a fork.
I'm cooking now!

Cooking Tips:

Variation Tip: Seasoning Mix is also great on tilapia, cod, halibut and shrimp.

Homemade Sweet Cucumber Chips

Sweet Cucumber Chips
Sweet cucumber chips taste so fresh and complement any sandwich.

Prep Time:  20 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes


Makes: 4 pint or 8 half-pint jars.

  1. Wash cucumbers well with cold water. Trim ends and cut into 1/8-inch thick slices. Place cucumber slices into 4 hot sterilized pint or 8 half-pint canning jars.
  2. Mix remaining ingredients in medium saucepan. Bring to boil on medium-high heat, stirring to dissolve sugar and salt. Reduce heat to low; simmer 5 minutes.
  3. Ladle over cucumbers, leaving 1/4-inch headspace. Stir each jar well. Cool. Cover with metal lids and screw on bands.
  4. Refrigerate pickles. Shake jars once a day for 3 to 5 days to redistribute seasonings and blend flavors. Store in refrigerator up to 2 months.


Homemade Refrigerator Bread Butter Pickles

Refrigerator Bread Butter Pickles
Bread & Butter Pickles are the perfect accompaniment to sandwiches and burgers. Or, chop up to use in potato salad.


Makes: 4 pint or 8 half-pint jars.


  1. Wash cucumbers well with cold water. Trim ends and cut into 1/8-inch thick slices. Place cucumber slices into 4 hot sterilized pint or 8 half-pint canning jars.
  2. Mix remaining ingredients in medium saucepan. Bring to boil on medium-high heat, stirring to dissolve sugar and salt. Reduce heat to low; simmer 5 minutes.
  3. Ladle over cucumbers, leaving 1/4-inch headspace. Stir each jar well. Cool. Cover with metal lids and screw on bands.
  4. Refrigerate pickles. Shake jars once a day for 3 to 5 days to redistribute seasonings and blend flavors. Store in refrigerator up to 2 months.


Homemade Sweet Pickles

Easy Summertime Sweet Pickles

Pickle lovers of the world: Check out these mouthwatering recipes for homemade pickle goodness. Our bold spices make it easy to get the flavors just right. 

Easy Sweet Pickles:


Makes: 2 1/2 cups.


  1. Place cucumber slices and onions in medium glass bowl. Set aside. Mix remaining ingredients in medium saucepan. Bring to boil on medium-high heat, stirring to dissolve sugar and salt. Reduce heat to low; simmer 5 minutes.
  2. Pour hot liquid and spices over cucumbers and onions. Cool slightly. Cover.
  3. Refrigerate pickles at least 2 hours before serving. Store in tightly covered container in refrigerator up to 2 months.
I'm cooking now!

Cooking Tips:

Serve these pickles on burgers or hotdogs to add piquant crunch.


Slow Cookers BBQ Pulled Pork

The perfect slow cooker recipe is here! Pulled BBQ pork cooks up nice and juicy in this popular recipe. You might want to have extra rolls on hand.



  1. Place pork in slow cooker.
  2. Mix Seasoning Mix, ketchup, brown sugar and vinegar until blended. Pour over pork. Cover.
  3. Cook 8 hours on LOW or 4 hours on HIGH. Remove pork from slow cooker.
  4. Shred pork, using 2 forks. Return pork to slow cooker. Mix and heat with sauce before serving. Serve on sandwich rolls, if desired.

Cooking Tips:

Test Kitchen Tip: Use 3 pounds boneless pork loin roast in place of the pork shoulder roast.

Slow Cooker Tip: For best results, do not remove cover during cooking.

Slow Cooker Tip: For fast easy cleanup with no soaking or scrubbing, use Reynolds Slow Cooker Liners.


Honey Butter Ambrosia


1 cup sugar 1 cup heavy cream
1 cup honey
3 sticks butter (or 3/4 lb), softened
1 tsp vanilla 


In a sauce pan combine sugar, cream and honey. Heat on medium high heat and stir until it comes to a boil. Boil for 1 minute. Put the softened butter in a blender or food processor , and pour the hot mixture over the butter. Blend on medium speed until mixed well. Add vanilla, and blend again. Pour mixture into a container, cover and let cool in the refrigerator. Keep refrigerated. Serve on warm bread, toast, oatmeal or pancakes.

Source: ittybittyhomestead

Pumpkin Torte


• 1 package yellow cake mix (regular size)
• 1 can (15 ounces) solid-pack pumpkin, divided
• 1/2 cup milk
• 4 eggs
• 1/3 cup canola oil
• 1-1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice, divided
• 1 package (8 ounces) Cream Cheese, softened
• 1 cup confectioners' sugar
• 1 carton (16 ounces) frozen whipped topping, thawed
• 1/4 cup caramel ice cream topping
• 1/3 cup chopped pecans, toasted 


1. In a large bowl, combine the cake mix, 1 cup pumpkin, milk, eggs, oil and 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice; beat on low speed for 30 seconds. Beat on medium for 2 minutes. Pour into two greased and floured 9-in. round baking pans.
2. Bake at 350° for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks to cool completely.
3. In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese until light and fluffy. Add the confectioners' sugar and remaining pumpkin and pumpkin pie spice; beat until smooth. Fold in whipped topping.
4. Cut each cake horizontally into two layers. Place bottom layer on a serving plate; spread with a fourth of the filling. Repeat layers three times. Drizzle with caramel topping; sprinkle with pecans. Store in the refrigerator. 

Yield: 10-12 servings.


Ritz Carlton Lemon Pound Cake


3 cups all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
3 cups sugar
1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup shortening, room temperature
5 large eggs
1 cup whole milk
6 Tbsp lemon juice
1 lemon, zested

Preheat oven to 350F

Spray or butter and flour 2 loaf pans or one large Bundt pan.

Sift flour, baking powder and salt into medium bowl. Set aside.

Using an electric mixer, cream together butter, shortening and sugar. Add eggs one at a time, beating until well blended after each one.

Add dry ingredients in three additions to butter mixture alternately with milk, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Beat at low speed just until blended after each addition. Mix in lemon juice and zest.

Pour batter into prepared Bundt cake pan. Bake until tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 55 minutes. Cool cake in pans for 15 minutes; turn out onto racks and cool completely.

Pina Colada Pie


• 2 cups pecan shortbread cookie crumbs (about 16 cookies)
• 1 cup sweetened flaked coconut
• 1/4 cup butter, melted
• 1/3 cup sugar
• 2 tablespoons cornstarch
• 1 (8-oz.) can crushed pineapple in juice
• 1 (8-oz.) package cream cheese, softened
• 1 1/2 cups cream of coconut, divided
• 2 large eggs
• 1 cup whipping cream 


lightly toasted shaved coconut, pineapple wedges, fresh pineapple mint sprigs 


1. Preheat oven to 350°. Stir together first 3 ingredients; firmly press on bottom and up sides of a lightly greased 9-inch pie plate. Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until lightly browned. Transfer to a wire rack; cool completely (about 30 minutes).
2. Stir together sugar and cornstarch in a small heavy saucepan; stir in pineapple. While stirring constantly, bring to a boil over medium-high heat; cook (keep stirring!) 1 minute or until thickened. Remove from heat; cool completely (about 20 minutes).
3. Beat cream cheese at medium speed with a heavy-duty electric stand mixer, using whisk attachment, until smooth. Gradually add 1 cup cream of coconut, beating at low speed just until blended. (Chill remaining 1/2 cup cream of coconut until ready to use.) Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating just until blended after each addition.
4. Spread cooled pineapple mixture over bottom of pie crust; spoon cream cheese mixture over pineapple mixture.
5. Bake at 350° for 38 to 42 minutes or until set. Cool completely on a wire rack (about 1 hour). Cover and chill 4 hours.
6. Beat whipping cream at high speed until foamy. Gradually add remaining 1/2 cup cream of coconut, beating until soft peaks form; spread over pie.


Kentucky Chocolate Pecan Pie


• 3 eggs
• 2 egg yolks
• 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
• 2/3 cup light corn syrup
• 1/3 cup butter, melted
• 2 tablespoons Kentucky bourbon, optional
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
• Dash salt
• 1 cup coarsely Diamond of California Chopped Pecans or chopped walnuts
• 1 unbaked pastry shell (9 inches)
• 1 egg white, lightly beaten
• 3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips
• 1 cup heavy whipping cream
• 2 tablespoons confectioners' sugar 


1. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs, yolks, brown sugar, corn syrup, butter, bourbon if desired, vanilla and salt. Stir in nuts.
2. Brush pastry shell with egg white. Sprinkle with chocolate chips. Pour filling over chips. Bake at 350° for 40-45 minutes or until set. Cool on a wire rack.
3. In a small bowl, beat cream until it begins to thicken. Add confectioners' sugar; beat until stiff peaks form. Dollop on pie just before serving. Refrigerate leftovers. 
Yield: 6-8 servings.
Source: ittybittyhomestead

Black Forest Cheesecake Cake


Cheesecake layer:

2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup granulated white sugar
Pinch of salt
2 large eggs, room temperature
1/3 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup cherry pie filling

Chocolate Cake Layers:

1 3/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons sugar
1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup Hershey’s cocoa
1-1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1-1/4 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons milk
1/2 cup canola oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup boiling water

Cream Cheese Frosting:

2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 cup cherry pie filling
grated chocolate, optional


Cheesecake layer:

Preheat oven to 325ºF. Put a kettle of water on the stove to boil. Spray a 9-inch springform pan with nonstick spray and line the bottom with a round of parchment paper. Set aside.
In a stand or electric mixer, beat cream cheese, sugar, and salt until well combined. Add in eggs one at a time, beating at low speed until smooth. Beat in the vanilla and sour cream. Pour the batter into the prepared springform pan. Put dollops of cherry pie filling scattered across the top of the cheesecake batter. Use a butter knife to hide the cherries and swirl the pie filling in to the batter.
Set a metal broiler tray on the bottom oven rack. Carefully pour the hot water from your kettle into the broiler tray. Place the springform pan in the oven on the rack above the boiler tray.
Bake the cheesecake for 45 - 55 minutes. It should be set to the touch and not jiggly. Remove the cheesecake and let it cool on a wire rack for about 10-15 minutes, run a butter knife or spatula around the edge to help prevent cracking.
Cool for at least an hour, then place the pan into the freezer and let the cheesecake freeze completely for several hours, or overnight.

Cake layers:

Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour two 9-inch round cake pans. Set aside.
Stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl. Add eggs, milk, oil and vanilla; With a mixer, beat on medium speed for about 2 minutes. Carefully, stir in boiling water. The batter will be very thin. Pour batter into prepared cake pans.
Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks. Cool completely.


In a large mixing bowl, beat cream cheese, butter and vanilla with an electric mixer until blended. Add powder sugar and beat until smooth.

Assemble the cake:

Place one cake layer in the center of a cake plate or platter. Remove the cheesecake from the springform pan, layer the cheesecake layer on top of the bottom cake layer. (I had to let my springform pan warm up a bit before it would open.) If your cheesecake layer is not the same size as your cake layer, you may need to trim it before adding it. Peel off the parchment. Place the 2nd cake layer on top of the cheesecake.

Frost the cake:

Apply a thin layer of frosting to the top and sides of the cake to create a crumb coat. Put the cake in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, apply a second layer of frosting to the sides. Pipe a decorate edge on top of the cake. Add the remaining cherry pie filling to the top of the cake and carefully spread it up to the decorated edge. Sprinkle grated chocolate on decorated edge and sides of the cake. Keep cake refrigerated until ready to serve.

Source: ittybittyhomestead

Baked Garlic Brown Sugar Chicken


o 4 boneless & skinless chicken breasts
o 4 tbsps brown sugar
o 4 garlic cloves, minced
o 3 tsps olive oil


1. Set the oven to 500 degrees.
2. Grease pan.
3. Fry garlic with oil until it becomes soft.
4. Put the garlic in brown sugar.
5. Put the chicken in a dish for baking.
6. Put the garlic on the chicken.
7. Combine salt and/or pepper as you like.
8. Bake without cover for approx 20 mins.
Source: ittybittyhomestead

Chocolate-Orange Truffle Cake


1      box chocolate fudge cake mix Water, vegetable oil and eggs called for on cake mix box
1      tablespoon grated orange peel
1      container Betty Crocker® Rich & Creamy chocolate frosting
1/3   cup whipping cream
1/2   cup semisweet chocolate chips 


• 1 Heat oven to 350°F (325°F for dark or nonstick pans). Make, bake and cool cake as directed on box for two 8-inch or 9-inch rounds--except add orange peel to batter.
• 2 Fill layers and frost side and top of cake with frosting. In 1-quart saucepan, heat whipping cream over medium heat until hot (do not boil); remove from heat. Stir in chocolate chips until melted and smooth. Let stand 5 minutes.
• 3 Carefully pour chocolate mixture onto top center of cake; spread to edge, allowing some to drizzle down side. Refrigerate about 1 hour or until chocolate is set. Store covered in refrigerator.
Source:  ittybittyhomestead

Banana Pudding Cake



2 sticks butter, softened
1 3/4 cups sugar
3 eggs + 2 egg whites
3 tsp vanilla
3 cups all-purpose flour
3 1/2 tsp baking powder
One 1.34oz box instant, sugar-free banana pudding mix
1 cup milk

Filling: Whisk together the following ingredients and refrigerate until assembling cake (~10minutes).

One 1.34oz box instant, sugar-free vanilla pudding mix
1 1/4 cups skim milk
1 cup Cool Whip (or whipped cream)

To brush on layers: Mix together the following:

1 Tbsp sweetened condensed milk
1 Tbsp skim milk

You’ll also need:

2-3 medium ripe bananas
3-4 cups Cool Whip for frosting

Step 1: Make the cake

Preheat oven to 350 F. Prep three 8″ round pans by lining the bottom only with parchment paper. Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Slowly beat in eggs and egg whites, one at a time. Beat in vanilla until well combined.
In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and pudding mix. Add into wet ingredients in three separate additions, mixing until just combined. Don’t over mix!
Stir in milk until combined. Divide batter and pour into pans. Bake 22-25 minutes or until cake is golden and begins to pull away from sides of pans.
Allow cake to cool 15 minutes in pan. Loosen and remove from pan. Allow to cool another 1-2 hours on a wire rack.

Step 2: Begin layering

Level each cake. Place first layer on cake plate. Brush with a little milk mixture.

Line banana slices on top of cake. Spread 1/3-1/2 of the filling mix on top of bananas.

Place next cake layer on top of filling. Repeat with milk mix, filling, and final layer.

Step 3: Frost

This is the fun part. Frost with Cool Whip and decorate as you wish. I crushed some mini Nilla wafers and spread on top. Then used the wafers along the sides.

Whew! Sounds super complicated, but it was simple to make. You may also want to put some Nilla wafers in between the layers. You know, if you’re feeling extra fancy and decadent.
Source: ittybittyhomestead

Blackberry And Lime Italian Meringue Pie

Lime Curd:

• 1 cup fresh lime juice
• 3 large eggs
• 3 large egg yolks
• 3/4 cup sugar
• 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
• 1/2 teaspoon unflavored gelatin
• 3/4 cup chilled heavy cream 

Blackberry Compote:

• 1 cup fruity red wine, such as Shiraz or Cabernet Sauvignon
• 1/2 cup sugar
• 3 cups blackberries
• 1 Blind-Baked Pie Crust in a 9' deep-dish glass or metal pie pan (see Master Pie Crust recipe) 


• 3 large egg whites, room temperature
• 1 cup sugar
• 2 tablespoons corn syrup
• 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
• 1 cup blackberries (about 1/2 pint)

Lime Curd:

• Set a strainer over a medium bowl; set aside. Stir lime juice, eggs, egg yolks, and sugar together in another medium bowl. Set bowl over a large saucepan of gently simmering water (do not allow bottom of bowl to touch water). Whisk until mixture has thickened, the whisk leaves a path when lifted from curd, and an instant-read thermometer registers 175°, about 15 minutes. Add butter to curd, one Tbsp. at a time, whisking to blend between additions. Strain curd into prepared bowl. Press plastic wrap directly onto surface of curd. Chill until cold, about 2 hours. DO AHEAD Can be made 2 days ahead. Refrigerate curd.
• Sprinkle gelatin over 2 Tbsp. water in a small bowl; let stand until gelatin is soft, about 10 minutes. Using an electric mixer, beat cream until soft peaks form. Add gelatin mixture; continue beating cream until just before firm peaks form. Fold whipped cream into lime curd. Cover; chill.

Blackberry Compote:

• Bring red wine, sugar, and 1/2 cup water to a simmer in a medium saucepan over high heat; reduce heat to medium and simmer until reduced to 1/2 cup, 20-25 minutes. Let cool. Add 3 cups berries; fold gently to coat.
• Spread compote in an even layer over baked crust. Spoon lime curd over berries, smooth top, and chill for 1 hour.


• If toasting meringue in oven, preheat oven to 450°. Place egg whites in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. Beat whites in mixer until soft peaks form. Set aside. Stir sugar, corn syrup, and 1/4 cup water in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat until sugar dissolves. Attach a candy thermometer to side of pan. Increase heat to medium-high and boil without stirring, occasionally swirling pan and brushing down sides of pan with a wet pastry brush, until thermometer registers 238°, 6-8 minutes. Remove pan from heat.
• Meanwhile, beat whites in mixer until soft peaks form. Beat in salt.
• Slowly pour hot sugar syrup down side of bowl into whites and beat until meringue is firm and glossy. Continue beating until cool, about 4 minutes. Spoon meringue over lime curd, leaving a 1" plain border, and sculpt decoratively. Tuck 1 cup berries in and around meringue.
• Bake pie until meringue is toasted in spots, 3-5 minutes (or use a kitchen torch to brown). Chill for 30 minutes before serving. Do Ahead: Pie can be made 3 hours ahead. Keep chilled.

Source: beautifulthingshearthandhome

Caramel Chocolate Cake


• 1 package German chocolate cake mix
• ¾ cup packed brown sugar
• 6 tablespoons butter, cubed
• 2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
• ½ cup finely chopped pecans
• 1 package (3.4 oz) instant butterscotch pudding mix
• 1 cup cold milk
• 2 ½ cups whipped topping 


1. Prepare and bake cake according to package directions for two 9-in. round baking pans. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks to cool completely.
2. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, combine the brown sugar, butter and cream. Cook and stir over low heat until sugar is dissolved. Increase heat to medium. Do not stir. Cook for 3-6 minutes or until bubbles form in center of mixture and color is amber brown. Remove from the heat; stir in pecans. Cool at room temperature for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
3. In a small bowl, whisk pudding mix and milk for 2 minutes. Let stand for 2 minutes or until soft-set. Fold in whipped topping. Cover and refrigerate until thickened, about 20 minutes.
4. Place one cake layer on a serving platter; spread with 3/4 cup pudding mixture. Top with remaining cake layer; spread remaining pudding mixture over top and sides of cake.
5. If necessary, reheat pecan mixture in a microwave for up to 30 seconds to achieve a spreading consistency. Spoon pecan mixture around edge of cake. Store in the refrigerator.
Source: Ittybittyhomestead

Heavenly Peanut Butter Cookies

For the cookies:

1 1/2 cups quick oats
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup honey roasted peanut butter (you can find it freshly ground at Whole Foods. all it is is honey roasted peanuts ground into peanut butter, which gives it a slightly sweet, roasted honey flavor)
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 egg

For the filling:

1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar
1 cup smooth peanut butter*

Preheat an oven to 350°F. In a medium bowl, mix the oats, flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside. In a large bowl, mix butter, both sugars, egg, peanut butter, and vanilla. Pour oat mixture into peanut butter mixture, stirring until just mixed. Place rounded teaspoonfuls of batter on an ungreased baking sheet, leaving 2 centimeters between each one. Using your finger, pat dough down so they form small flattened circles. Bake for 8 minutes. Let cool completely on cookie sheet.

While the cookies are baking, whisk together the confectioner’s sugar and peanut butter until light and airy, about 5 minutes.

On a work surface, place half of the cookies upside down. Whisk the filling to lighten it. Dollop 1 tablespoon of filling into the center of each upside down cookie. Place second cookie on top of filling and press together until filling just comes to the edges.

*do not use natural p.b. for this - the frosting will come out thick and heavy
Source: ittybittyhomestead

Snickers Cheesecake


For the Crust:
2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1 stick unsalted butter; melted
3 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt

For the Cheesecake:

4 sticks of cream cheese, 8 oz each; room temperature
1 1/4 cup granulated sugar
4 large eggs; room temperature
3/4 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

For the Topping:

20 Mini Snickers; cut in fourths
1/3 cup roasted peanuts; chopped
1/4 cup caramel syrup


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Tightly wrap a 9 inch springform pan in heavy duty foil. This step prevents leaks when using a water bath. I also take the extra step by placing the foil wrapped spring form pan inside an oven bag while baking.

2. Mix together the crust ingredients and press into the bottom of your pan and about 1 inch up the sides. Bake for 7 minutes and cool completely on a wire rack.

3. Begin to boil a large pot of water for the water bath.

4. In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with your paddle attachment, combine the sugar and cream cheese and cream together until smooth. Add eggs, one at a time, fully incorporating each before adding the next. Make sure to scrape down the bowl in between each egg. Add heavy cream and vanilla and mix until smooth.

5. Pour batter into prepared crust. Place pan into a larger pan and pour boiling water into the larger pan until halfway up the side of the cheesecake pan.

6. Bake 45 to 55 minutes, the edges will appear to be set, but the center will still have some jiggle to it. At this point, close the oven door, turn the heat off, and let rest in the cooling oven for one hour. After one hour has passed, carefully remove the cheesecake from the water bath and place on a cooling rack to cool completely. Once the cake is completely cooled, place it into the refrigerator for at least 5 hours.

7. Top with Snickers bars, peanuts and caramel.


- A tightly covered cheesecake can be stored in the refrigerator for up to five days. The cheesecake can be stored for approximately 2 months in the freezer. I recommend you freeze this variation without the topping (Snickers, peanuts, caramel). To defrost, allow cake to defrost in the refrigerator overnight.

Source: ittybittyhomestead

Baked Chicken Breast


2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2⅓ teaspoons plus 1½ teaspoons salt
1⅛ teaspoons plus ¾ teaspoon ground black pepper
4 eggs
1 cup milk
¾ cup lemon juice
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese, firmly packed
½ cup all-purpose flour
6 tablespoons salted butter
3 tablespoons olive oil
Chopped chives for garnish


1. Wash and thoroughly pat the chicken dry.
2. Butterfly or pound the breasts so they are ¼- to ½-inch thick, and then season both sides with ⅛ teaspoon of the salt and a pinch of the ground black pepper, for a total of ¼ teaspoon salt and ⅛ teaspoon pepper.
3. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, ½ cup of the lemon juice, garlic, 1¼ teaspoons of the salt, and ½ teaspoon of the black pepper. Set the bowl aside.
4. In another mixing bowl, whisk together the Parmesan cheese, flour, the remaining 2⅛ teaspoons of salt, and the remaining 1¼ teaspoons of black pepper. Set this bowl aside too.
5. Melt the butter with the oil in a large, heavy skillet over medium heat.
6. Dip the chicken in the dry ingredients, coating it on both sides, then in the wet ingredients, then again in the dry ingredients. A thick coating will be evident on the breasts.
7. When the butter's foaming has subsided, sauté the chicken in batches, 3 to 4 minutes per side, until both sides are golden brown. Transfer the finished pieces to a warm serving platter.
8. When you are finished sautéing the chicken, deglaze the pan with the remaining ¼ cup lemon juice. Swirl the mixture together, and pour the lemon-butter sauce over the top of the breasts. Garnish with the chopped chives and serve.
Source: ittybittyhomestead

Hawaiian Carrot Cake With Coconut Icing


• 1 cup (240 ml) chopped canned pineapple
• 4 cups (1 L) grated carrot
• 2-1/2 cups (315 g) all-purpose flour
• 1 tablespoon (14 g) baking powder
• 2 teaspoon (10 g) baking soda
• 1 teaspoon (7 g) salt
• 2 teaspoons (10 g) cinnamon
• 1 teaspoon (5 g) nutmeg
• 1 cup (227 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
• 1-1/4 cups (250 g) golden brown sugar
• 4 eggs, at room temperature
• 2 tsp (10 ml) pure vanilla extract
• 1/2 cup (120 ml) whole milk, at room temperature 

For the Icing

• 2 pkgs (250 g each) regular cream cheese, at room temperature
• 1 cup (227 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
• ¼ cup (60 ml) sour cream or natural yogurt
• 1 teaspoon (5 ml) pure vanilla extract
• 2½ cups (315 g) icing sugar
• 1 cup (75 g) sweetened flaked coconut


1. Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Spray or oil two 9-inch round cake pans.
2. Finely chop drained pineapple, place in a sieve and press with a spoon to remove as much juice as possible. Grate carrots using a food processor. Measure out 4 cups and set aside.
3. Place flour in a large bowl. Sprinkle with baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. Stir until blended.
4. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter on medium speed until creamy. Gradually beat in sugar, then beat on medium for about 5 minutes. Beat in eggs, then vanilla.
5. Beating on low speed, add about a third of flour mixture and beat just until mixed, followed by half the milk. Repeat additions, ending with flour. Batter will be very thick. Gradually mix in pineapple and carrots.
6. Divide between prepared pans and smooth with a small offset spatula. To remove air pockets, bang pans on counter 5 to 6 times. Bake until centers seem set when lightly tapped, about 40 to 45 minutes. Place on a baking rack to cool. After about 15 minutes, turn cakes out of pans and cool completely on racks. It’s best to bake cakes a day ahead of icing and leave at room temperature overnight. 

For the Icing

7. Cut cream cheese into chunks. Place butter in a bowl and beat with an electric mixer until creamy. Beat in sour cream and vanilla. Reduce speed to low and beat in cream cheese, piece by piece. Beating too much will cause thinning. Add about a third of the icing sugar and beat on low until just mixed in. Scrape sides of bowl and beaters occasionally.
8. Gradually add remaining sugar, beating just until smooth. If too thick or thin, work in a little sour cream or sugar. Remove about a quarter of the icing to be used on top cake layer and set aside. Stir coconut into the remaining icing. 

Assembly of the Hawaiian Carrot Cake

9. Slice cakes horizontally in half. Place top of 1 cake, dome-side down, on a platter. Spread with a third of the coconut icing leaving a narrow border of cake around edge.
10. Lay the bottom of that cake, cut-side down, on top. Spread with half the remaining coconut icing, leaving a narrow cake border. Top with the bottom half of the second cake, cut-side down. Spread with the remaining coconut icing, leaving a cake border.
11. Top with the final layer, cut-side down. Spread with plain icing right to the edges. Garnish with toasted, fresh coconut. Best to refrigerate several hours or overnight before serving.
Source: ittybittyhomestead

Strawberry Butter Cream Cake


• 1 (18.25-ounce) Package white cake mix
• 1 (3-ounce) Package strawberry gelatin
• 4 Large eggs
• ½ Cup sugar
• ½ Cup finely chopped fresh strawberries
• ½ Cup milk
• ½ Vegetable oil
• 1/3 Cup all-purpose flour
• Strawberry Butter cream Frosting (see below)
• Garnish with whole and halved strawberries

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Beat cake mix, strawberry gelatin, eggs, sugar, chopped fresh strawberries, milk, vegetable oil and all-purpose flour at low speed with an electric mixer for 1 minute. Scrape down sides, and beat at medium speed for 2 more minutes, stopping to scrape down sides, as needed. (The Strawberries should be well blended.)
2. Pour batter into 3 greased and floured 9-inch round cake pans.
3. Bake at 350 degrees for 23 minutes, or until cakes spring back when pressed lightly with a finger. Let cool in pans on wire racks for 10 minutes. Remove from pans, and cool completely (about 1 hour.)
4. Spread the Strawberry Buttercream Frosting between layers and on top and sides of cake. Garnish with whole and halved strawberries. Serve immediately, or chill for up to 1 week.

To make ahead: Prepare recipe as directed. Chill, uncovered, for 20 minutes or until frosting is set. Cover well with wax paper, and store in refrigerator up to a week.

Strawberry Buttercream Frosting


• 1 Cup butter, softened
• (32-ounce) Package powdered sugar, sifted
• 1 Cup finely chopped fresh strawberries


1. Beat butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until fluffy (about 20 seconds). Add sugar and strawberries, beating at low speed until creamy. (Add more sugar if frosting is too thin, or add strawberries if too thick.)

Note: I have cut the icing sugar in half (16 oz) and cut the strawberries to about a half cup to get a less sweet, thicker icing.
Source:  ittybittyhomestead

Apple Dumplings Turnovers


2 (8 ounce) cans crescent rolls
2 sticks butter
1½ cups brown sugar
1 teaspoons vanilla
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 ½ cup 7 Up (or other lemon soda)
2 Apples


Butter a 13 x 9 inch baking dish.
Preheat the oven at 350 F.
Peel and core apples, than cut each apple into 8 slices
Roll each apple slice in a crescent roll and place in a buttered dish.
Melt butter, stir in sugar, vanilla and cinnamon, and when it’s thickened, remove from heat and pour over the dumplings.
Pour the soda in the middle and along the edges of a pan(not over the rolls)
Bake for 35-45 minutes, or until they become golden brown.
Serve warm.

Source: ittybittyhomestead

Strawberry Lemonade Layer Cake



One box of strawberry cake mix (plus oil, water and eggs as directed on box)
8oz. Philadelphia Cream Cheese (softened to room temp.)
1 packet (0.23oz.) of Kool-Aid Lemonade
Yellow food coloring gel (as desired for color)
2cups Jet-Puffed Marshmallow Creme
8 oz. Cool Whip Topping
Fresh strawberries to garnish.


Make cake according to box and bake in 2- 9 inch round cake pans as directed. Turn finished cakes over on cake racks and allow to cool completely.

Cream together cream cheese, lemonade and yellow food coloring until smooth.

Mix marshmallow creme in and then mix in Cool Whip until completely smooth. Refrigerate until cake is cooled and cut.

Cut each cake layer in half.

Alternating layers of cake with layers of filling, assemble cake. End with layer of filling.

Top with sliced strawberries.

Refrigerate and serve chilled.

Brown Sugar Carmel Pound Cake


1 ½ cups butter softened
2 cups light brown sugar, packed
1 cup granulated sugar
5 large eggs
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup whole milk
1 8oz bag toffee chips (I use Heath)
1 cup pecans, chopped

Caramel Drizzle:

1 – 14 oz can sweetened condensed milk
1 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons butter
½ teaspoon vanilla extract


Preheat oven to 325 spray a 12 cup Bundt pan with cooking spray or grease and dust with flour

Beat butter until creamy. Add sugars beating until fluffy. Add eggs one at a time. In medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt. Add flour mix to batter alternately with milk, beat until just combined. Stir in toffee chips and pecans. Spoon batter into pan and bake 85 minutes or until wooden pick comes out clean. To prevent excess browning, cover cake with foil while baking.

Let cake cool in pan for 10 minutes. Remove from pan, and let cool completely on a wire rack. Spoon caramel drizzle over cooled cake.

Directions for Caramel Drizzle:

In a medium saucepan combine condensed milk and brown sugar; bring to a boil over medium-high heat, whisking frequently. Reduce heat, and SIMMER for 8 minutes, whisking frequently. Remove from heat; whisk in butter and vanilla. Let cool for 5 minutes before using. NOTE: Make sure to drizzle the caramel while it’s still HOT.

When cooled the caramel does somewhat harden.

Source: Itty Bitty Homestead