Saturday, June 28, 2014

Cafe Rio Pulled Pork

This is THE recipe folks, I have found it!!
(Thank you, oh, Sweet Basil for this recipe and picture credit to Favorite Family Recipes)
Never fear, you can now enjoy that pulled pork salad or quesadilla or burrito in your own home and of your own talents and patience - much less patience than is required at the take out line in Cafe Rio - am I right??
Impress your friends!
This recipe is sweet, tender, and irresistible, i keep going back to the fridge for a fork full.

3 to 4 lb pork shoulder/butt roast
Olde El Paso sauce packet - garlic
I cup A&W Root Beer
2 Cups Brown Sugar

In a large crock pot whisk the ingredients together and pour over pork
Cook on low for 6 hours then pull out, shred the meat, removing fat from meat, (and discard -Ew)
place meat back in sauce (this is where the magic happens) and cook for another hour or two.
Move the meat into another dish and save about 1/4 of the sauce with it to keep it moist and flavorful - this also acts as the sauce base or wet portion of whatever dish you choose.

Of course you could find the recipes for theirCilantro Lime Rice rice or their Cilantro Lime Dressing to get it perfect, but I just added some Korr's Spanish rice, back beans from a can, fresh cilantro from my garden,  a squeeze of lime and voila!

Pineapple Cheesecake Bars

This is my new favorite recipe!  I have made these three times now and they keep getting better and better....
Amazingly chewy shortbread crust, creamy pineapple filling and tons of coconut.  If pineapple and coconut are your thing; this recipe is for you!

Preheat oven to 350:

3 cups flour

1 1/2 cups sugar

1 1/2 cups butter, room temperature

In a medium bowl combine flour, sugar and butter. Mix until crumbs. Press into large cookie sheet (12x17x1) and poke holes in the crust with a fork. Bake at 350 degrees 15-20 minutes or until lightly browned. While the crust is baking, prepare the coconut topping and cream cheese filling.

Coconut Topping:

2 Tablespoons butter, melted

3 cups sweetened coconut, grated

In a small bowl, mix together melted butter and coconut. Set aside.

Cream Cheese Filling:

16 ounces cream cheese

2 eggs

4 Tablespoons sugar

4 Tablespoons milk

2 teaspoons almond extract

2 teaspoons vanilla

1 20 oz can crushed pineapple undrained

Combine cream cheese, eggs, sugar, milk, almond extract and vanilla in a large bowl. Beat with electric mixer until smooth. Add crushed pineapple and mix. Pour cream cheese filling over baked crust. (Will be runny) Sprinkle coconut topping over cream cheese filling. Bake at 350 degrees 18-20 minutes or until coconut has browned and middle is set. Chill for at least one hour before serving.

I topped these with strawberries and whipped cream for Easter.....yes I did!  They were so pretty!
Picture and recipe from "The Sisters Cafe"

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Vanilla-Raspberry Cream French Toast

With Croissants!
I love brunch and this is the creamiest, dreamiest french toast ever! Croissants are great for a different texture than boring old bread

(recipe and picture from Taste of Home)
CATEGORY: Breakfast/Brunch
TIME: Prep/Total Time: 30 min.

1/4 cup sugar
1/2 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 cup heavy whipping cream
2 egg yolks
1/2 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 cup vanilla ice cream

2 cups fresh or frozen raspberries (or any berries)
2 tablespoons sugar

3 eggs
4 croissants, split in half
2 tablespoons butter

In a large saucepan, combine the sugar and flour. Stir in cream until smooth. Cook and stir over medium-high heat until thickened and bubbly. Remove from the heat. Stir a small amount of hot filling into egg yolks; then return all to the hot pan, stirring constantly. Cook and stir until mixture reaches 160°. Remove from the heat.
Gently stir in vanilla and ice cream until the ice cream is melted. Place in serving bowl. Place plastic wrap over the surface of the sauce; cool.
For berry sauce, combine raspberries and sugar in a saucepan. Simmer, uncovered, for 1 minute. Remove from the heat; set aside.
In a shallow bowl, beat eggs. Dip both sides of croissants in egg mixture. On a griddle, brown croissants on both sides in butter. Serve with vanilla and berry sauces.

Yield: 4 servings.

This is SO good. More like a desert then a breakfast dish. The original recipe made a lot of vanilla sauce so if you double this you'll have a lot left over. The sauce is great on apple pie,or french toast souffle.
AND I just tried this vanilla sauce WITH the raspberry sauce on my Peach Cobbler Recipe and it ROCKED.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Chocolate Chip Cream Cheese Cookies

These little beauties are my new favorite cookie.  They are easy to make, moist, chewy, perfectly chocolaty, and just plain awesome, the texture and richness of this cookie is wonderful. You don't taste the cream cheese but it does make it very rich and moist; Cornstarch does the same thing pudding mix in a cookie does to keep it moist.
You DO need to plan ahead because these need to be refridgerated before baking so they do not spread and thin out.

Yield: 2 dozen

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 8 minutes

Total Time: 2.5 hours, for dough chilling


1/2 cup (1 stick) butter softened

1/4 cup cream cheese, softened

3/4 cup light brown sugar, packed

1/4 cup granulated sugar

1 large egg

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons cornstarch

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 tsp salt

2 1/4 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips or chunks (I used 1 cup chips and 1 1/4 cups chunks)

1. Combine butter, cream cheese, sugars, egg, vanilla, and beat on medium-high speed until fluffy, about 5 minutes (or use an electric hand mixer and beat for at least 7 minutes).

2.Stop, scrape down the sides of the bowl, and add the flour, cornstarch, baking soda, optional salt, and mix until just combined, about 1 minute.

3.Add chocolate chips and chunks, and beat momentarily to incorporate, or fold in by hand.

4.Using a medium 2-inch cookie scoop, form heaping mounds (I made 28). Place mounds on a large plate, flatten mounds slightly, cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or up to 5 days to avoid the cookies spreading too thin..

5.Preheat oven to 350F, place cookies on baking sheet, spaced at least 2 inches apart.. Bake for 8 to 9 minutes, or until edges have set and tops are just beginning to set, Do not bake longer than 10 minutes as cookies will firm up as they cool. Allow cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before removing and transferring to a rack to finish cooling.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Dark Chocolate Peppermint Bundt Cake

Dark Chocolate Peppermint Bundt Cake
This cake is dark and moist and very festive! Its subtle mint flavor is reminiscent of the holidays but could be enjoyed any time of the year.
2 ounces dark chocolate, chopped
3/4 cup boiling water
1 cup sugar
1 cup dark brown sugar, firmly packed
1 3/4 cups flour
3/4 cup cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup buttermilk
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 +1/8 teaspoons peppermint extract
1/2 cup canola oil
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Brush a 10 cup Bundt pan with some melted butter and dust with cocoa powder (I use a paper towel for the butter then tap the cocoal powder around the pan and use a pastry brush to help coat if needed)
Put chocolate in a bowl, add boiling water and whisk until chocolate is melted and mixture is blended well.
Whisk both sugars in a medium bowl. Sift flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt over the sugars. Stir mixture to combine (break up any brown sugar clumps with your fingers).
Using the whisk attachment, beat buttermilk, eggs, both extracts, oil and melted chocolate on low speed until combined. Add the dry ingredients in two parts and beat until each part is incorporated. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl and beat on medium low speed for 3 minutes. Pour into the prepared pan and bake for 45 minutes or until  center of the cake comes out clean. Cool for 15 minutes then invert onto wire rack. Cool completely.
The Ganache should be added just before serving :)
Dark Chocolate Ganache
Place 5 ounces of good quality dark chocolate (chopped) in a heat proof bowl. In a small saucepan bring a 1/4 cup of heavy cream and 2 Tablespoons of light corn syrup just to a boil. Remove from heat and pour over the chocolate. Stir until mixture is smooth/chocolate is completely melted. 
Glaze the Bundt
Drip about half the ganache onto the top of the cake. Chill the cake for 5 minutes in the fridge, then add the rest of the ganache. Sprinkle with crushed candy canes. Serve immediately (with peppermint or vanilla ice cream).

Monday, April 23, 2012

Sugar Cookie Bars

This little beauty is our favorite! I'm bringing this recipe to the forefront again due to it's popularity. AND It's all I can do to stop myself from making more.....

This scrumptious delight combines all I love and try to duplicate in a sugar cookie; thick cookie, moist and chewy and a great tasting dough -  Pair this with your favorite frosting and it's perfection!
1 cup shortening or butter
2 c sugar
4 eggs
4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
2 T vanilla
2 tsp almond extract
4 c flour

Grease jelly roll pan, preheat oven to 375. Mix all ingredients and spread evenly in pan. Bake for 15-16 minutes until slightly browned
Wait till mostly cooled and spread with your favorite frosting.

I was in a hurry so used a can of whipped cream cheese frosting, added a tsp of almond flavoring, and colored it to my son's request. (blue!) and added sprinkles.

 I like shortening better than butter for a more "chewy" texture instead of "cakey" These are fast and easy, and always popular! Yum!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Chocolate Marshmallow Pudding Cake

Chocolate Marshmallow Crock Pot Pudding Cake

Okay folks, I've made this twice now with rave reviews!  Warm, gooey pudding cake with just the right ammount of sweetness.  Enjoy!!

Pic fro,m and recipe adapted from Bless this Food

You Need:

1 package chocolate cake mix
1 small package chocolate instant pudding mix
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup sour cream
1/3 cup butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 1/4 cups milk, divided
1 small package chocolate cook-and-serve pudding mix

1 1/2 cups miniature marshmallows
1 cup semisweet mini chocolate morsels


1. Beat cake mix, next 5 ingredients, and 1 1/4 cups milk at medium speed with an electric mixer  2 minutes, stopping to scrape down sides as needed. Pour batter into a lightly greased 4-qt. slow cooker.

2. Cook 2 cups milk and pudding mix in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring often untill boiling.
3. Pour cook-and-serve pudding over batter.

4.  Cover and cook on LOW 2 1/2 hours. Check for cake like texture on top; Then it it done.
5. Turn off slow cooker. Sprinkle cake with  marshmallows and chocolate morsels. Let stand 15 minutes or until marshmallows are slightly melted.

Serve warm with ice cream if desired

Friday, March 2, 2012

Macaroni and Cheese

 Recipe from Pioneer Woman

Preheat oven to 350 degrees
4 cups dried macaroni
1/4 cup (1/2 stick or 4 tablespoons) butter
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 1/2 cups whole milk
2 heaping teaspoons dry mustard (more if desired)
1 egg, beaten
1 pound cheese, grated
1/2 teaspoon salt (more to taste)
1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt (more to taste)
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

*Optional spices: cayenne pepper, paprika, thyme

Cook macaroni until very firm. Macaroni should be too firm to eat right out of the pot. Drain.
In a small bowl, beat egg.
In a large pot, melt butter and sprinkle in flour. Whisk together over medium-low heat. Cook mixture for five minutes, whisking constantly. Don’t let it burn.
Pour in milk, add mustard, and whisk until smooth. Cook for five minutes until very thick. Reduce heat to low.
Take 1/4 cup of the sauce and slowly pour it into beaten egg, whisking constantly to avoid cooking eggs. Whisk together till smooth.
Pour egg mixture into sauce, whisking constantly. Stir until smooth.
Add in cheese and stir to melt.
Add salts and pepper. Taste sauce and add more salt and seasoned salt as needed! DO NOT UNDERSALT.
Pour in drained, cooked macaroni and stir to combine.
Serve immediately (very creamy) or pour into a buttered baking dish, top with extra cheese, and bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until bubbly and golden on top.
Serves 6
YUM YUM YUM!! I was never a big fan of homemade mac&cheese, I've never liked any kind I've had that's homeade.
My favorites were Kraft (of course!! BUT have you SEEN the calories in that mix???) Velveta Shells and Cheese (Same Problem), and Boston Market (Didn't check the Nutrition Analysis on that one....), but this is WAY creamier than all the rest. And probably way healthier too because I know what's in it! I used all Medium Cheddar but will try it with some Motz or Colby next time just for fun.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Slow Cooker Curry Chicken

Slow-Cooker Chicken Curry recipe

Adapted from:

4-6 large Chicken Breasts
2 small jars chunky salsa (one medium, one mild)
1/2 diced onion
3-4 T Curry
1-2 cups sour cream

Place Chicken, salsa, onion, and curry into a slow cooker; cook until chicken is cooked through and tender (about 3-4 hours) Be careful; my cooker does this in 2 hours!
Remove chicken to a platter; mix sour cream into remaining sauce and serve separately.

Serve chicken over rice and pour sauce on top.

Best Recipe Ever!! Simple; yummy, crowd pleaser, wow!

Double Rainbow Cupcakes

These were really fun to make!
You need:
  • A white cake mix - any kind is fine; as long as it's white
  • 6 different food colors (splurge for the fancy stuff that Wilton has; you'll thank me; mixing colors is not easy)
  • 5 different colors of chocolate candy melts - or you can color white candy melts the colors you want with the above food colors.
  • Wax paper and tape
  • 11 plastic baggies.
  • White fluffy frosting for the cloud effect
Here's where the double rainbow comes in......

Ta Daaaaaaaaa!
Mix your white cake mix according to package directions; divide into 6 bags evenly (or however many colors you want. Drop the corresponding food colors into each back and start mixin!

Get some helpers (aren't mine cute!) Cause this takes awhile....
All done?
Ready your cupcake liners and in backwards rainbow order take one baggie at a time, cut a small hole in the bottom, and start squeezing out batter in the cupcakes like so.....

Until your liners are 1/2 full

Then bake and cool.
During the baking process you can start on your chocolate rainbows. (Doesn't that sound just perfect! One of the most beautiful things on earth paired with one of the most beautiful things on earth?!)
Get your template, cover it with wax paper and tape it down to your work surface.
Melt one color of chocolate at a time in a sandwich bag; sealed;  in the microwave at 50% power for about a minute.
Then cut a small hole in the bottom and begin!
It doesn't have to be perfect (as you can see)

Then continue with your next colors; I alternated mine so the earlier color had time to set and to help keep myself in the lines; but color order would work fine too if you're disciplined.

I filled in with blue then yellow and let them set for about an hour

Then frost your cupcakes and carefully peel your rainbows off the wax paper and set them on top! Refrigerate until ready to serve or the rainbows will fall over. :)