Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Carrot Cake in a Cup + FREE Printable Gift Tag

Easter is right around the corner and it always makes me think of Carrot Cake.  Usually I make My Mom's Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting.  And while I sometimes make them in cupcake form, I wanted a more "giftable" treat this year. A while back I stumbled upon Carrot Cake Mug Cake from my pal Madi over at Mildly Meandering.  You may remember I made her Rosé Meringue Cookies for our Freaky Friday Cookie Exchange.  I was so happy with the way those cookies turned out, I just knew her Carrot Cake Mug Cake would be wonderful.  Mug cakes make the best little gift because you simply mix the ingredients right in the mug and pop them in the microwave for a minute or two.  The perfect single serving sweet treat.  I adapted Madi's recipe a little bit so I could present the dry mix in gift form.  The recipient's will only need to add the butter, carrots and milk to the dry mix.  I found the cutest little spring cups at Dollar Tree.  They were the perfect size for the single serving cake.  I mixed the batter up right in the cup and popped them in the microwave.  I topped mine with a dollop of whipped cream.  A scoop of vanilla ice cream would be delicious as well.  Madi suggests serving hers topped with whipped cream, shredded carrot and chopped pecans, which makes a gorgeous and tasty garnish!  If you're yearning for a sweet Easter treat, or looking for a gourmet gift for your Easter bunny, whip up some Carrot Cakes in a Cup, they are quick as a bunny!

Microwave Carrot Cake in a Cup
A little taste of Easter in one minute!
Quick as a bunny...
Whip up the dry mix and gift in a
little cup or carrot-orange mug!
The ideal Easter treat...
Add the instructions on the free printable
tag for a sweet little gift.
All tied up with a spring time ribbon...
Add the wet ingredients to the dry mix.
In less than two minutes you've got
an Easter Bunny worthy dessert!
Top with a dollop of fresh whipped cream,
a scoop of vanilla ice cream and throw on
some chopped pecans and shredded carrot
for an additional treat!

I've included some FREE printable gift tags with
the instructions for making the cake.

Click on the image to enlarge.
Right click and save to your computer.
Open with the software of your choice
and print onto cardstock.These images are my exclusive artwork.
Please be courteous when using these printables 
and remember they are for personal use only.

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

"Tostchadas" A Delicious Tostada/Enchilada Hybrid

One of my best-loved things about being a food blogger (besides eating) is making friends in the foodie world.  I've met lots of great folks who share my love of cooking good food.  My pal Cydnee, AKA  Tampa Cake Girl runs a business making some of the most lovely cakes, cupcakes and other desserts you've ever seen.  She stays busy delivering her sweet treats in the Tampa, Florida area.  I've gotten to know Cydnee over the last few years.  We share tips and recipes and sometimes frustration with the internet and social media.  We've even collaborated on a dish.  Cydnee is a huge fan of Outback Steakhouse and has several awesome "copycat" style recipes on her blog.  She created "My Sinful Sundae" as a play on Outback's Sydney's Sundae.  Sidney/Cydnee.  Get it?  It truly is a sinful sundae topped with strawberries, toasted coconut and my Red Wine Dark Chocolate Hot Fudge Sauce.  In addition to her sensational sweets, she is also a busy food blogger her shares lots of fun savory recipes as well.  One of my favorite go-to weeknight recipes is her "Tostchadas."  It's a hearty tostada, with the flavors of an enchilada.  It's simple to prepare, with lots of flavor.  A fun alternative to a plain 'ol taco night.  On occasion I've been known to speed things up by using pre-made tostada shells, but it it truly worth the effort to fry your own corn tortillas.  This time I went the extra mile and fried a few extra for homemade chips.  My family loves the tostchadas, but raved over the chips as well.  Hop on over to Cydnee's blog and say hello.  You just might find your family's new favorite recipe!
A delicious tostada/enchilada hybrid
This is an "assembly dish."
Have your beans and sauce and meat warmed and ready.
Fry up your tortillas and assemble your meal.
Fry up the corn tortillas until crisp.

Dip each crisp tortilla into warmed enchilada sauce.
Place on a plate.  Spread with warm refried beans.
Top with chicken or beef.
Repeat Layers.
Serve topped with shredded lettuce,
chopped tomatoes, shredded cheese
and salsa of your choice.

Make the family rave even more.
Fry up the extra tortillas for chips.

The best side dish to Tostchadas EVER.


by: Tampa Cake Girl

corn tortillas
oil for frying
1 pound rotisserie chicken meat or cooked ground beef
1 can enchilada sauce
1 can refried beans
shredded lettuce
chopped tomatoes
shredded cheese
taco sauce or salsa

In a large skillet, over medium-high heat, fry the tortillas in oil until crisp.  Remove to a paper towel-lined platter.  (You'll want at least two tortillas per serving so fry up as many as you need.)  Meanwhile, in a small saucepan warm the enchilada sauce.  In a separate saucepan, heat the refried beans so they are spreadable.  This is an "assembly" dish, so have all of your prep done ahead so the tostchadas can be assembled and eaten right away.  To assemble: Dip a fried tortilla into the warm enchilada sauce and place on a plate.  Spread with a layer of refried beans and top with chicken or beef.  Top with another enchilada sauce-dipped tortilla and repeat the layer of beans and meat.  If you're really hungry you can continue stacking these layers.  (I usually stop with two tortillas, but the sky is the limit here.) Serve topped with shredded lettuce, chopped tomatoes, shredded cheese and your favorite salsa.

Prep Time: Approximately 30 minutes

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

St. "Patties" Day Homemade Peppermint Patties + FREE Printable Gift Tags

St. Patrick's Day is almost here.  While we don't usually celebrate much, I do decorate and try to cook some kind of fun treat for the day.  I am in fact Irish in heritage.  My great great grandfather was full Irish.  Fun Fact, there is a small town in Southeastern Oklahoma named after him: McMillan.  So I wear my green with pride!  Normally my go to treat for March is Lucky Charms Bars which are essentially Rice Krispie Treats made with Lucky Charms cereal.  It's a must try because: MORE MARSHMALLOW.  This year I decided I'd try something new to share.  Mr. Devilish Dish loves chocolate and mint together.  Junior Mints, Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream, mints at the Olive Garden.  All his favorites, so I had him in mind when making these.  Normally you'd think homemade peppermint patties would be appropriate at Christmas time, but they sell Junior Mints year round so I think we're okay here.  AND once you call them St. Patties, then you've got an utterly Irish treat, perfect for some St. Patty's Day sharing.  I've even included some printable tags.  I simply cut them out, folded them over, and stapled them onto the Ziploc Snack Bags.  Whether you are Irish, or just Irish for a day: You are sure to be lucky with a platter of patties for St. "Patties" Day!
An Utterly Irish Treat!
Peppermint Patties for St. "Patties" Day

Only 4 ingredients...

Perfect for gift giving...
Simply attach one of my FREE printable tags below:
Click on the image to enlarge.
Right click and save to your computer.
Open with the software of your choice
and print onto cardstock.
These images are my exclusive artwork.
Please be courteous when using these printables
and remember they are for personal use only
Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Homemade Peppermint Patties

1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
1 teaspoon peppermint extract
6 cups powdered sugar
1 (24 ounce) package chocolate almond bark

In the bowl of a stand mixer combine the condensed milk and peppermint extract.  Gradually add the powdered sugar, a cup at time until the mixture is very thick.  (It will be a little thicker than the consistency of Play Doh.) Divide mixture into 4-6 sections and roll into logs.  (I wanted my finished patties to be a little bigger than a quarter, but feel free to make yours a little bigger if desired.)  Wrap each log in plastic wrap and freeze at least 1 hour or over night.  Keep the logs in the freezer, removing one at a time, until ready to dip so they will hold their shape.  Slice each log into 1/4-inch discs.  In a microwave-safe bowl, melt the chocolate almond bark in 30-second intervals (stirring between) until melted and smooth.  Using a fork dip each peppermint disc into the melted chocolate, coating evenly.  Place on a waxed paper-lined cookie sheet until chocolate has hardened.  Repeat with remaining logs in the freezer.  These can be stored in an air-tight container at room temperature or try them frozen for a cool treat! 

Prep Time:  Approximately 1 hour total               Cook Time:  Needs to Freeze

Yield: Approximately 132 quarter-sized patties (Not counting rejects and ones we couldn't resist eating)

NOTE: I found it easier to work with a smaller log of dough at a time.  You want it to stay cool so the patties maintain their shape.  Cut off a section and leave the remainder in the freezer or form smaller logs. 



Thursday, March 1, 2018

Border Crossing Queso

A while back I shared a recipe for the Border Crossing Restaurant's Green Chile Stew.  The restaurant is sadly long since gone.  For years it was a favorite in Norman, Oklahoma.  Patterned after The Shed Restaurant in Santa Fe, New Mexico, it was a staple of southwest cuisine in our area.  I ran across two recipes in my Aunt Judy's things after she passed away.  One was the recipe for Green Chile Stew which is worth its weight in gold.  The other was the famous queso recipe.  This is the queso ahead of all quesos.  When I shared the stew recipe on some local websites and message boards, the number one response besides, "thank you" was "do you have the queso recipe?"  As promised, here it is.  It's a very simple queso, with Velveeta as the base.  It's thick and rich, and a great foundation for anything you want to add in.  One variation the restaurant offered was queso with their stew added in.  Since the stew recipe is now readily available, I suggest you try that combination as well.  You won't be disappointed.  In fact, my husband and I opted to stay in for Valentine's Day, celebrating at home this year.  Our menu was homemade chicken taquitos with Border Crossing Queso for dipping.  I rounded out the snack fest with some Chocolate Covered Snickers Strawberries for dessert.  If there is one way to show my husband the amount of love I have for him, it is with this queso!
Just like the restaurant...
Thick, creamy and rich.

Serve with chips, AND on top of your meal.
Note, this thickens quickly.
If you have a fondue pot, or chafing dish
it would be ideal for serving this queso.

A flavor of Norman's past...
Try some Green Chile Stew mixed in for a
true flavor of The Border Crossing.


2 pounds Velveeta cheese, cut into cubes
5 ounces cream cheese, cut into cubes
1 (4 ounce) can diced green chiles (or more to taste OR use roasted Hatch chiles if you have them!)
2 ounces finely diced white onion
3 ounces whole milk

Heat in a double boiler.  Whip until smooth.  Serve with chips and on top of your meal.

Prep Time:  Approximately 10 minutes     Cook Time: Approximately 20 minutes

NOTE: The original recipe came in a HUGE quantity.  We could it down to a manageable amount.  Here is the original as written:

15 pounds Velveeta Cheese
2.5 pounds cream cheese
1 1/2 pound hot chopped green chiles
1 pound diced onions
3 cups milk
If you love the flavors of The Border Crossing,
Try my husband's famousGreen Chile Stew:
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