Something Wicked This Way Bakes

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cut cake close up

It is only April but I couldn’t wait to try a Halloween version of this cake. As you recall I made this cake a few posts back with spring colors. When I say I couldn’t wait to make this cake what I meant was: I made this cake and took it to the family Easter dinner. At this point my family just took me bringing a Halloween cake to Easter in stride. It took many years but I think they have finally accepted Halloween is my lifestyle not a holiday. If they did not like the cake theme my family kept that to themselves. They were impressed with the swirled color effect. They said the cake was tasty also.

So here is the instructions to make this cake. Once you learn the process you can customize the colors for any holiday or party theme.

Ingredients:

1 white cake mix
3 eggs
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 ¼ cup water
1 tsp. vanilla extract (optional)
Pam to spray the pan
Food coloring or icing coloring gel
Any items you want to decorate with (I used gummy mummy)
1 can white frosting

Use a Bundt pan.

Preheat your oven to the temperature on the box directions. Spray/grease your Bundt pan.
If you read the box directions for a white cake mix it calls for 3 egg whites. That’s because you don’t want to yolk to mess up your white cake. Since we are going to color the batter it is okay to use 3 whole eggs.

Add the items listed on the cake box along with vanilla extract to a large bowl. Mix your cake according to box directions. After it is mixed thoroughly, divide the batter between three bowls. I find it works out better if you don’t get the amounts totally even.
So now you have 3 bowls of white cake mix, now get your food coloring. I use the gel colors, I find they work better. One color to each bowl. Orange, green and purple. Halloween colors. Mix, mix and mix some more. Get rid of all that white.

color gel

color gel

Divide batter into 3 bowls. Mix in colors. Layer in pan

Divide batter into 3 bowls. Mix in colors. Layer in pan

Take the bowl with the most batter and pour in pan first. Follow with the bowl with next most amount. Finish with the bowl that has the least. You don’t want to cover each color completely. I have a picture so you can see what I’m talking about.

Stick that pan in the oven and let the cake voodoo happen.
Now the cake is baked. Let it cool before you turn it out of the pan.

The spring color cake I made the other week, I divided the icing into three bowls and colored the icing with the same colors I used in the batter. This time I decided to go with red to look like dripping blood.

Put the icing in a bowl. Heat in microwave 25 seconds. You want the icing running so you can drizzle over cake. You may have to heat it a few more seconds if the icing is still thick after 25 seconds. BUT before you decide it needs to heat more give it a good stir, that maybe all it needs. Once you have it runny enough to drizzle add your color and mix away. Once mixed good drizzle that bloody concoction like you want that cake to resemble a crime scene.

without gunny mummy

without gunmy mummy

Let the icing cool then add your decorations.

Done! Now sit back and enjoy your evil creation.

bloody cake 2

uhhh 5

Here is the link to where I learned this technique. Actually it’s the pin that will gateway you to the site.
Here is the post where I made this cake with spring colors.

Something Wicked This Way Bakes

1

cut cake close up

It is only April but I couldn’t wait to try a Halloween version of this cake. As you recall I made this cake a few posts back with spring colors. When I say I couldn’t wait to make this cake what I meant was: I made this cake and took it to the family Easter dinner. At this point my family just took me bringing a Halloween cake to Easter in stride. It took many years but I think they have finally accepted Halloween is my lifestyle not a holiday. If they did not like the cake theme my family kept that to themselves. They were impressed with the swirled color effect. They said the cake was tasty also.

So here is the instructions to make this cake. Once you learn the process you can customize the colors for any holiday or party theme.

Ingredients:

1 white cake mix
3 eggs
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 ¼ cup water
1 tsp. vanilla extract (optional)
Pam to spray the pan
Food coloring or icing coloring gel
Any items you want to decorate with (I used gummy mummy)
1 can white frosting

Use a Bundt pan.

Preheat your oven to the temperature on the box directions. Spray/grease your Bundt pan.
If you read the box directions for a white cake mix it calls for 3 egg whites. That’s because you don’t want to yolk to mess up your white cake. Since we are going to color the batter it is okay to use 3 whole eggs.

Add the items listed on the cake box along with vanilla extract to a large bowl. Mix your cake according to box directions. After it is mixed thoroughly, divide the batter between three bowls. I find it works out better if you don’t get the amounts totally even.
So now you have 3 bowls of white cake mix, now get your food coloring. I use the gel colors, I find they work better. One color to each bowl. Orange, green and purple. Halloween colors. Mix, mix and mix some more. Get rid of all that white.

color gel

color gel

Divide batter into 3 bowls. Mix in colors. Layer in pan

Divide batter into 3 bowls. Mix in colors. Layer in pan

Take the bowl with the most batter and pour in pan first. Follow with the bowl with next most amount. Finish with the bowl that has the least. You don’t want to cover each color completely. I have a picture so you can see what I’m talking about.

Stick that pan in the oven and let the cake voodoo happen.
Now the cake is baked. Let it cool before you turn it out of the pan.

The spring color cake I made the other week, I divided the icing into three bowls and colored the icing with the same colors I used in the batter. This time I decided to go with red to look like dripping blood.

Put the icing in a bowl. Heat in microwave 25 seconds. You want the icing running so you can drizzle over cake. You may have to heat it a few more seconds if the icing is still thick after 25 seconds. BUT before you decide it needs to heat more give it a good stir, that maybe all it needs. Once you have it runny enough to drizzle add your color and mix away. Once mixed good drizzle that bloody concoction like you want that cake to resemble a crime scene.

without gunny mummy

without gunmy mummy

Let the icing cool then add your decorations.

Done! Now sit back and enjoy your evil creation.

bloody cake 2

uhhh 5

Here is the link to where I learned this technique. Actually it’s the pin that will gateway you to the site.
Here is the post where I made this cake with spring colors.

The Whole Enchilada, Story of a Casserole

1

so yummy

So I shared with you how to make your own Taco seasoning a few days ago. I had found a few Mexican recipes on Pinterest I wanted to try. Each recipe called for Taco seasoning. It was cheaper for me to make my own seasoning mix. Here is one of the recipes I tried.
The Enchilada Casserole was the first dish I tried. It turned out to be a fairly easy recipe. You brown your meat, layer everything in your cooking dish then bake away. Throwing it together was quick. The baking took the longest amount of time. While the dish was baking I went out to do some yard work.
When it was time to take the casserole out of the oven I came back inside. Oh my goodness. The house smelled so darn good. Like a Mexican restaurant.
I was lucky to get to take the few pictures I did take. My hubby was hovering over me, demanding me and the camera get out of his way. Seems I was standing between him and the enchilada casserole. I snapped a few quick photos then moved out of his way. He helped himself to HALF of the casserole. While walking away with plate in hand he said. “You can take all the pictures you want now.”
I cut me a small piece and joined my husband on the couch. Yes we are living room eaters. Very rarely do we sit down to the dining table to eat. He finished his dinner before me. He took his empty plate to the kitchen. A few minutes later I followed him. The casserole was so good I wanted another small piece. Imagine my surprise when I saw an empty casserole dish.
I looked at the hubby and said, “What the fudge?” to be honest I didn’t use the word fudge.
“Oh I thought you were done so I put the rest in a container to take to work tomorrow.” Being the good wife I am I told him it was okay. I told him it was okay but in my mind I was planning his demise. Don’t judge, the enchilada casserole was that good, but luckily for the hubby I didn’t follow through with my evil plan. This time.
We now have another recipe that will be a regular on the menu.
I would share the pin but Pinterest has decided it is a link to spam. Thankfully I had saved the recipe to my recipe folder.

Enchilada Casserole

Ingredients:
1 lb. ground beef
1 lg. onion, chopped
2 ½ c. salsa
1 15 oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 tbsp taco seasoning
6 flour tortillas (you can use corn tortilla if you want)
1 sm. Can of corn, drained
¾ c. sour cream
2 cup shredded Mexican cheese blend

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Cook beef in onion in a large frying pan. Drain. Return to pan. Stir in salsa and taco seasoning. Add beans and corn. Stir. Add sour cream and stir well.

Meat mixture before adding sour cream

Meat mixture before adding sour cream

With sour cream mixed in

With sour cream mixed in

 

In a 2 qt. casserole dish spoon out a layer of the meat mixture. Sprinkle with cheese.

meat and cheese, bottom layer

meat and cheese, bottom layer

 

bottom layer with tortilla

bottom layer with tortilla

three layers

Cover with a tortilla. Repeat layers until dish is full. The top should have the most cheese. Bake 20 to 25 minutes.

 

I’m sure this would be just as good made with shredded chicken also.

 

baked

 

 

 

 

 

Birthday Cake and Evil Ideas

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5

Landyn, a good friend and co-worker had a birthday coming up. Last year I made her a layered multi-colored cake for her twenty-first birthday. I just couldn’t make her a plain old cake after last year. This year I had to top the multi-colored cake.

So I took to Pinterest. Oh the pins I scrolled through. So many pins yet no cake screamed ‘Landyn’. I know I spent over an hour looking for the perfect cake. I left Pinterest, I hoped maybe a break would help. I would make dinner for the husband and myself, maybe read a little, catch up with some family on FB. Then I would venture back to the land of cake pins.

The birthday cake gods must have taken pity on my plight. I signed onto FB and there it was THE CAKE. My cousin found a cake on Pinterest, shared it on FB and tagged me in it. It was another multi-colored cake but so damn amazing looking. I immediately went and pinned that cake.

I love this cake, you can do so many different themes with it. My mind was going crazy with ideas, one idea stuck with me. A dark evil idea. Finally I had to reign in the brain so I could focus on the task at hand.

I went with the colors used in the Pin. They were pink/purple/yellow. Easter and spring colors. Landyn’s birthday was so close to Easter I figured those would be good colors to go with.
I read the instructions. I knew this was going to be easy as pie or as we now say at the crypt, easy as heart shaped pancakes.

One thing that was used for the cake I did not have was a Bundt pan. I went and borrowed one from one of my Aunties. This was an old sad well used pan. The inside coating was flaking off. My aunt mentioned she used the old one all the time, she was looking for a new one, but hadn’t been able to find one that was budget friendly yet.

Well I took that pan home. I looked at it and decided I was not going to let my aunt keep using a pan that the coating was coming off of. She is all the time doing nice things for others I decided it was time to do something nice for her. I went to the store, again the cake gods did me right. I found her and myself really good quality pans at a fantastic price.

So now I had the pan. I gathered all the ingredients and began my newest cake quest.

Spring Color Birthday Cake
Ingredients:
1 white cake mix
3 eggs
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 ¼ cup water
Pam to spray the pan
Food coloring or icing coloring gel

Preheat your oven to the temperature on the box directions. Spray/grease your pan.
If you read the box directions for a white cake mix it calls for 3 egg whites. That’s because you don’t want to yolk to mess up your white cake. Since we are going to color the batter it is okay to use 3 whole eggs.

Mix you cake according to box directions. After it is mixed thoroughly, divide the batter between three bowls. I find it works out better if you don’t get the amounts totally even.
So now you have 3 bowls of white cake mix, now get your food coloring. I use the gel colors I find they work better. One color to each bowl. Mix, mix and mix some more. Get rid of all that white.

Take the bowl with the most batter and pour in pan first. Follow with the bowl with next most amount. Finish with the bowl that has the least. You don’t want to cover each color completely. I have a picture so you can see what I’m talking about.

layers of color

Stick that pan in the oven and let the magic happen. Oh how I stressed from this moment on. I worried that my cake would not turn out anything like the pin. I envisioned Landyn cutting into her cake and finding a disaster inside. I would not know the outcome until first break (10 a.m.) the next day.
Now the cake is baked. Let it cool before you turn it out of the pan.

baked

Here is what I like about the pin I followed. You don’t have to mix up any frosting. You just use a canned frosting. White of course. Divide it up between 3 bowls. Take you first bowl of frosting and heat in up in the microwave for 20 to 25 seconds. You want it runny so you can drizzle over cake. Once it’s runny time to color it. Just like you colored the cake batter. Mix and mix it good. Now spoon it over your cake. Do the other 2 bowls of frosting the same way.

Done!

6

I did not heat my frosting for 20 seconds. I heated it 12. Mistake. The icing was too thick to drizzle like I wanted it. I have done another cake since and heating the frosting 20 to 25 seconds works better.

So journey through time to the next day. It’s break time. Landyn has knife in hand. She cuts the cake. SUCCESS! I was so happy that if I was the hugging type I would have hugged everyone in that break room. The cake looked great and tasted pretty darn good too. (yes I’m tooting my own horn)

Oh sweet success

Oh sweet success

This is an easy way to bake a cake that will make you look like a rock star! It may have taken 15 minutes to mix the batter, divide it, color it and get it in the oven. So little effort with such a big pay off.

I have so many ideas for Halloween cakes using this recipe. Gloriously evil dark ideas. Oh the fun I shall have. Don’t be surprised if you see another post with this recipe in a few weeks or even days. It will be Halloween themed of course!

Here is the pin. The multi-colored Bundt cake is beautiful. Go check it out.

cut 2cut 3

What the Peep? Cake

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bunny3
It is apparently cake baking week here at the crypt. I’ve been baking cupcakes or cakes everyday this week. Family gatherings, birthdays and tomorrow, Easter dinner.

A year ago I hosted a baby shower for my daughter who was expecting her first child. We had peep smores at the shower. So for Ms. Kaylei’s first birthday I suggested we peep out the cupcakes. My daughter agreed, which was a good thing since I had just bought a ton of peeps to try out the peep cake I saw on Pinterest. I had a lot of peeps. It was a peep invasion here at the crypt. So today I’m going to kill two peeps with one post.

The peep cake pin caught my attention for the simple fact. I LOVE PEEPS! I have never met a peep I didn’t love. This cake actually had peeps mixed in with the batter. Holy Peeps in a cake, Batman! I was excited to try to make this cake. I followed the pin to the website that had the full instructions.
The instructions used a spring form pan. I don’t have one so I used two round cake pans. FYI: if you have the spring form pan, use it. Before we go any further I must tell you. This cake was delicious. Mine did not turn out as pretty as the picture on the pin but I was able to live with that. I’m sure using the spring form pan would have changed the outcome of my cake. Guess maybe I need to invest in one.

To see the instructions I followed please visit the original site for Peepza Rustica. Here is my journey I took along with my peeps.

Peeps Inside the Cake Instructions:
Ingredients
Your favorite white cake box mix or white cake recipe
About 2 dozen peeps. A variety of colors.

Heat oven to your cake recipe/box instructions. Prepare your pan.
Mix your batter. Again follow the recipe/box instructions.

Now get your peeps chop those little guys up, show no mercy. The original recipe has you chopping the peeps into tiny pieces. Mine were bigger, mainly because those things are sticky. The more you chop the more marshmallow insides are exposed and the more stickier things get. I was not a happy peep slayer when things got sticky.

Butchered peeps

Butchered peeps

If using a spring form pan: Once the peeps are chopped. Pour enough batter into your prepared pan to just cover bottom. Cover batter with your half your peep parts. Layer in more batter. Layer in rest of peeps, cover with rest of batter.

If using two round pans: Once peeps are butchered. Cover bottom of each prepared pan with a thin layer of batter. Split your peep parts into half. Layer one half in one pan the rest in the other. Cover each peep layer with rest of batter.

Bake according to recipe/box instructions or until an inserted a toothpick or fork comes out clean.

pre bake and bake

I cooled my two little cakes. Once cooled I turned them out. Before I could layer them atop one another the top layer fell apart. What the peep? The cake is just so fragile when you divide it in between two pans. I then understood why the spring form pan was used. So forgive my pictures of the little slices I was able to save.

slice 1
So you see it wasn’t a pretty sight. Oh my, it tasted so good. So incredibly good. The cake did not even need frosting. I don’t think I will make this cake again. Mainly for the fact chopping those peeps up is pretty sticky business. I just can’t convey how sticky of a mess it was.

Peep Topped Cupcakes Instructions:

Bake your cupcakes. I made chocolate.
Frost the cupcakes.
Add your colored sugar or sprinkles. (optional)
Now pop a peep on top of each cupcake.
The chick peeps you just have to place on top of cupcake and push down slightly.
The bunny peeps, you need to make an indention in the icing in center of cupcake and hope the bunny stays upright when you place it on the cupcake.

Ain't no party like a Peep party!

Ain’t no party like a Peep party!

Party time with my peeps!

Party time with my peeps!

Kaylei grabbed a cupcake with a bunny on top. Crammed the cupcake into her face. When she pulled the cupcake away there was the bunny peep sticking out of her mouth. She is such a cute peep slayer. The other kids loved the peep cupcakes also. What’s not to love? An awesome cupcake with a marshmallow peep on top. Life just doesn’t get any better.

The poor peep. He didn't stand a chance.

The poor peep. He didn’t stand a chance.

I hope you try adding peeps to your next cake. Either inside your cake or placed on top as a decoration. I’m sure you and others will enjoy the amazing peep/cake combo!

Thanks for joining me on a Pinteresting peep adventure!

Scrub a Dub Dub – DIY Body and Hand Scrub

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trio scene

Today I will be sharing recipes for two types of scrubs. One is a strawberry scented body scrub, for a gift, the other is a pumpkin spice hand scrub (it can also be used as a body scrub but your shower/tub will get slick). The hand scrub is for me.

My sister, we will call her D had her 30-something birthday a few weeks ago, I would tell you the exact age but she would never forgive me. Let me tell you something about my sister. She is spring/summer where I am fall/winter. When the first blooms fight their way out of the earth after winter my sister comes to life. She smiles more, there is excitement in her voice when she talks about her garden plans, and she will happily spend her days sitting out in the sun reading a good book. Me, my life is fall. When the days get shorter and there is that cool bite in the air, that is my time. Oh I still love to garden in the summer but I’m not happy out in the hot sun. I worry about bursting into flames.

For Ds birthday I decided to make her a summer scented body scrub. The recipe I used is similar to whipped coconut lotion. You just add an extra ingredient.

D has always loved strawberries. The scent and the taste. A few years ago she suddenly developed an allergy to strawberries. I don’t mean she breaks out in hives, no it’s an allergic reaction that requires a trip to the ER. She misses strawberries dearly. I went on Amazon to find some strawberry fragrance to use in her body scrub. If she can’t eat them I can at least give her strawberries in a safe way. I ended up getting a multi-pack with several summer scents.

 


 

Strawberry Body Scrub

Ingredients:

1 cup to 1 ½ cups coconut oil.

Vitamin E oil (1 tbsp) optional

Tea Tree Oil (just a few drops) optional

1 to 2 cups Brown sugar

Strawberry fragrance (12 drops or more depending on how strong you want the scent)

Bowl

Hand mixer

Fork

Container for the scrub. For a gift I use a pretty glass jar with lid, for me I just use a plastic container with a lid.

I must tell you this will be a thick body scrub. Not a runny oily one. I like the thick ones with coconut oil for the shower. Coconut oil seems to just run down the drain if the water is hot enough whereas the runny oils tend to stick to the tub making a slick mess which could result in slips and falls. This I have learned the hard way.

Instructions:

Scoop out several big spoonful’s of coconut oil.(it is a solid oil, like lard). If you don’t have a measuring cup, six or seven heaping spoonful’s should be plenty.

Add your vitamin E and tea Tree oil if you are using them.

Now with your hand mixer, whip up the coconut oil until is the consistency of a thick hand lotion. This will take several minutes.

Add your fragrance.

Mix it in by hand or mixer.

Now add you brown sugar. Use enough to make the concoction feel more like a paste instead of a lotion. Usually one to two cups. Mix it in by hand, with a fork. Fork just seems to work better than a spoon.

making scrub

Smell your wonderful scrub. If the scent isn’t strong enough now is the time to add more.

Now your are ready to put the scrub in pretty jars to give as gifts. This filled three 4 oz. jam jars and one slightly larger decorative canning jar. D got strawberry whipped coconut lotion, body and hand scrub.

sisters


 

Here is the recipe for hand scrub I use when I come in from the garden. I have dirt on my hands and a ton under my nails. This scrub does a good job of getting that stubborn dirt off my hands. I keep a small jar by the kitchen and bathroom sink. I got this recipe from Pinterest. Pumpkin Spice Scrub. On Pinterest it is called a body scrub but I like it as a hand scrub.

p s hand scrub

Pumpkin Spice Hand Scrub *

Ingredients:

2 cups brown sugar

1 cup granulated sugar

2 tbsp pumpkin pie spice

1 cup of vegetable oil. Since this is just to get dirt off my hands I don’t use the more expensive oils.

Bowl for mixing.

Jars for storage.

Instructions:

Mix the dry ingredients: the two sugars and pumpkin spice together. Mix well. Try to get all the lumps out. Add oil and stir. If it is too thick add more oil until you get it to the consistency you want.

*This will make a heck of a lot of hand scrub. I halved the recipe, it was still too much. I could tell it was going to be too much before adding the oil. So I poured the dry mix in the two jars I was using then added the oil to the jars. I had quite a bit of dry mix left. I just poured the remaining dry mix into a labeled baggie to use at a later date. It was a warm breezy day when I made these scrubs. I had windows and doors open enjoying the nice weather. Sadly as I was pouring the dry mix into a baggie the wind slammed the front door shut making me jump out of my skin which resulted in half of the mix missing the bag and spilling into the floor. And on my pants leg. And down my shoe. Do you know how sticky brown sugar is? Pretty darn sticky I discovered.

Now if you are using this for gifts go with the full recipe. I don’t know how many jars it will fill up but I’m sure it will be more than plenty.

How easy was that? Once you learn the process there are so many scents you can use to customize your own scrubs.

open scrub

 

Lemon, Limes and Cookie Cakes

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lemon cookies 1

I have been in search of a good lemon cookie recipe. I still haven’t found The Lemon Cookie Recipe. The one were the cookie is not hard but not so soft it falls apart in your hand. Until I find that recipe I will share all the others I try in my search.

This one I decided to try because I just happened to have a box of lemon cake mix. The recipe was similar to a crinkle cookie. I made the two batches following the directions. Oh how I love the taste of lemon. Oh how the lemon taste in this cookie was too much. To try to tone it down the last batch I baked crinkle cookie style. They were good but still the lemon was too strong. These cookies are very soft and will fall to pieces easily.

The original recipe called for a lemon icing. I decided to go with a lime icing to try to balance the flavors. In my opinion it worked.

The husband tried the cookies, he said they were okay. He is not a lemon fan. Which was good for me. I had lemon cookies all week long. For first break at work, last break and for dessert after dinner. I was a very happy Gotha.


 

Lemon Cookies

Ingredients:

1 box lemon cake mix

2 eggs

1/3 cup oil

Mix ingredients by hand.

Set in freezer to harden.

Roll into 1 inch balls.

Place on greased cookie sheet

Bake at 375* for 7-8 minutes.

Cool and frost with lemon or lime frosting.

 

Lime Frosting (or lemon)

Ingredients:

4 cups of confectioners’ sugar
1/3 cup fresh lime juice
3 tablespoons of water or milk (I prefer milk)

Mix until smooth. Spoon over cookies.

Some I covered heavily with frosting others much less.

IMG_5646IMG_5649

Thank you for joining me on another Pinteresting adventure. Hopefully one day I will find that perfect lemon cookie.

lemon cookies

 

Meatball Adventures

2

cooked meatball 1

I’m trying to cut pasta out of my life. Trying is the key word. So I have been searching for recipes to try that will still give me a bit of the foods I miss. I found a recipe on Pinterest for meatball sub casserole. I am also cutting back on breads but pasta has to go completely. Pasta is an addiction for me, I cannot have a little, I cannot control myself. I have to say bye to it completely.

Meatball Sub Casserole

Ingredients:
1 loaf Italian bread, cut into 1-inch thick slices
1 (8 oz.) package cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 tsp. Italian Seasoning
1/4 tsp. pepper
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1-lb. pkg. fully cooked frozen meatballs, thawed
1 (28 oz.) jar pasta sauce

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350F degrees.
Toast bread slices
Arrange bread slices in a single layer in an 9×13 baking dish.
In a bowl, combine cream cheese, mayonnaise and seasonings.
Spread mixture over bread slices.
Sprinkle with 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese.
Layer in the meatballs.
Spoon sauce over meatballs and cheese mixture.
Cover with remaining cheese.
Bake uncovered for 30-35 minutes.

I did not use a whole loaf of bread, I used less than half. After toasting a few slices I tore them to good size pieces to line the bottom of casserole dish. The cream cheese I used was actually a product that is new to me, it’s half cream cheese and half Greek yogurt.
I mixed it with the mayo and seasoning. It was not an easy process spreading it over the bread. But I powered through and got it done. I assembled the rest of the casserole, threw it in my trusty oven and baked away.

uncooked

While the meatball sub casserole was baking I used that time to go through my make-up case to see if any items needed to be replaced. When I say make-up case I mean my horror/zombie make-up case. I should probably be ashamed how much horror make-up I have but the dark side of me feels no shame. One day I will show you what all I have in that case. My everyday make-up? I hardly wear any, when I do it’s lipstick and mascara. In case you are wondering, all the make-up was good only thing that I need to replenish is my liquid latex. I’m down to one bottle of blood but that should get me through my next zombie walk. That took up the 35 minute bake time. I checked the casserole the cheese had not browned any so I baked it 10 more minutes. That did the trick.

How was it? My husband loved it! He ate two plates of it! I was not a fan, mainly because I’m not a big cream cheese or mayonnaise person. Now I did love the meatball, sauce and mozzarella. Those three baked together paired with a salad is a meal I could get behind.

The pin I found on Pinterest led me to The Country Cook blog. You can find the recipe I used there. She has pictures to take you through every step if you need them.

Giving up pasta is not easy but I was able to kick my artificial sweetener addiction so I can conquer this pasta addiction…maybe.

cooked meatball

Tame Your Evil Side, Feed it Cookies

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Crinkle cookies

Crinkle cookies

Crinkle Cake Mix Cookies. OH YES! This is more than a recipe, it’s a technique that once you learn the cookie possibilities are endless. Endless really? No. But there will be a lot of cookie possibilities.

The air was cold, the wind had a bitter bite to it. Good cheer was abundant. Decorated trees peeked out of frosty windows. Yes it was that time. Christmas. I always plan a raid on those Who’s down the mountain this time of year. I will celebrate Christmas but I’m not a big fan of it. Why you ask? Well I am full of evil and darkness but that’s not the reason I’m not a Christmas fan. To some people (I’m one of them) the holiday is just a reminder of what has been lost. The hubby and I lost a child some years ago. We tend to stay home more during the holiday and only limit our outings to work and family gatherings. We avoid the public as much as possible, it is too hard, even after all these years, to be out and around people during the holiday season. It seems our sadness and heartache intensifies that time of year.
Why am I sharing this sad story? Not for pity. I want people to know when a co-worker, neighbor or even a stranger ‘Bah humbugs’ Christmas it’s not because they are bad it’s because it is just to painful. So please keep that in mind next holiday season. Don’t be angry or pity them just understand for some of us we don’t celebrate Christmas we just try to survive it.

Okay now that I’ve bummed out myself and maybe even you let’s cheer up by baking some crinkle cookies! Since I’m home most of the holiday season I spend time on Pinterest and a whole lot of time baking. It’s nice to have a full belly of some fresh baked goodness when you are going on all those Whoville raids.

Me and my Grinchy self was snooping around Pinterest looking for some cookie recipes I could make to share at a family gathering. What grabs my who hash hoarding soul’s attention? GRINCH CRINKLE COOKIES! I repeat: Grinch. Crinkle. Cookies.

Here is the direct link to the blog by Cookin’ Cowgirl and her “How the Grinch Crinkled Christmas” cookies. If you visit her site, stay awhile and wandering around. She has some great recipes. I mostly go by her recipe but I have changed it slightly. You may prefer her recipe so hit that link that will transport you to the Cookin‘ Cowgirl (after you scroll down past this first recipe and check out my devils food crinkle cookie recipe).

The cookies have the word Grinch in them because the cookies are green not because it’s made from real Grinches. I’m sure that’s a relief to know!

Green Cake Mix Crinkle Cookies

1 white cake mix.
6 tbsp melted butter.
1 tbsp vanilla extract.
2 eggs.
Green food color.
Powdered sugar.
Mix cake mix, butter and eggs together.
Add food color, mix well.
At this point I put my dough into freezer for several minutes to firm up. It works better for me that way.
Remove from freezer. Roll a spoonful dough into powdered sugar. Once covered roll into ball. Bake at 375 degrees 8 to 9 minutes.
Transfer from cookie sheet to wax paper to cool.grinch2

Below is the cookies I ended up making for my family get together.

Devils Food Crinkle Cake Cookies
1 box devils food cake mix.
2 eggs.
1/2 cup vegetable oil.
2 tbsp coffee.
Mix by hand.
Set in freezer 30 minutes(makes it easier to roll).
Roll in powdered sugar. I use 2 spoons to cover dough in powdered sugar before rolling them into balls. Bake in a preheated 350 degree over for 8 minutes. Transfer to wax paper to cool.
*Line cookie pan with parchment paper. Makes clean up easier. I store the cookies in a plastic container, each layer is covered in wax paper to keep each layer of cookies from touching. These cookies are delicate and will stick to each other.

These cookies disappeared like diamonds at a kleptomaniac convention. I set them on the dessert counter at my grandmothers, went to car to grab the other things I cooked, walked back to the dessert counter and bam! No more cookies. They were gobbled up that fast. Everyone was expressing their disappointment that I hadn’t brought more.

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So one recipe used melted butter the other oil. You can adapt either recipe to any cake mix. Easy as heart shaped pancakes. (if you’ve read my other postings you totally get that)

Candied Pecans

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Two years ago I found a pin for candied pecans, I made several batches to give as Christmas gifts to family and friends. To go off point a moment, why say family and friends? Don’t friends before all is said and done become family? Okay back to the pecans.

Thankfully I wrote the recipe down because for some reason I no longer have that pin, pinned. I have found a few pins/recipes similar it over the years but most are more involved, but have the same outcome. Why use more steps if you don’t have too? So here is the recipe. I have also made candied almonds and peanuts with this recipe.

Candied Pecans

Ingredients:
1 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
2 egg whites
2 tablespoons water
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1 pound pecan halves

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 250 degrees F. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. In a bowl, combine the sugar, cinnamon and salt, mix; set aside.
3. In a large bowl, whisk together the egg whites, water and vanilla extract. Add your cinnamon/sugar mixture, stir. Add the pecans to the bowl and stir with a rubber spatula, making sure they are all moistened.
4. Pour the coated pecans onto the prepared baking sheet in a single layer. Bake for 1 hour, stirring them every 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool to room temperature. The pecans can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 weeks. (but they will be long gone by then).

These things should be called candied crack. They are that good.

I box these up with some chocolate covered pretzels, some fudge, cookies and a few other goodies to give as gifts for the holidays.
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