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Snow Cream

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With all the snow on the ground here in my little town, and a fresh one to two inches already today, I thought this might be the perfect recipe to post.  My kiddos got to enjoy this treat just a few days ago, and I think I’ll be taking a big bowl out to get some more snow right after this post.  We just can’t seem to get enough snow cream around here.  


I remember eating snow cream in the winter when I was a kid, and am so glad I’ve been able to share the fun with my kids.  Snow cream is so different from any other ice cream.  It’s got its own flavor and texture that make it special…even magical!  I hope you are able to get out and play in the snow…and while you are at it…make some snow cream!

Apologies to all of you who don’t have any snow to play in and/or eat!  Make a trip to WV…we are absolutely covered up right now!  And I’m loving it!!!


Snow Cream


1 cup milk

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 tsp. vanilla

Large bowl full of FRESH snow


In a large bowl, mix together the milk, sugar, and vanilla.  Add the snow and mix.  Keep adding snow until you reach desired thickness.  Scoop into a bowl and enjoy this simple, yummy, winter treat!



Chocolate Pretzel Fudge

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I recently made this fudge for Thanksgiving, and it was wonderful!  I love to bake and make desserts, but I have never made fudge before.  This recipe was so easy that a kid could do it…seriously, I think I’m going to let my kids in on the fun next time.  All you have to do is melt a few ingredients, toss in some pretzels, chill and cut, and you have some really yummy fudge.  If you like chocolate covered pretzels, which I really do, you will love this fudge!  It would be perfect to make for the holidays.  Who doesn’t want something easy to make and totally delicious to serve up at Christmas dinner?  Hope you enjoy this fudge as much as I did!


Chocolate Pretzel Fudge


12 oz. bag milk chocolate chips (I’m a Nestle Toll House girl)

1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

1 can sweetened condensed milk

2 Tablespoons milk

1 cup broken pretzel pieces

extra pretzels for top


Melt all the ingredients, except the pretzels in a saucepan over medium heat.  Stir frequently.  Remove from heat when chocolate is melted and smooth.  Stir in the pretzel pieces.  Pour into a foil lines 8×8 baking pan (you’ll thank me for this when you are cutting the fudge later).  Press whole pretzels on top of the fudge and refrigerate for at least 3 hours.  Lick the pan while you wait for the fudge to harden (you’ll also thank me for this when you’re making yum, yum noises).  Remove from foil and cut into squares.  Serve at your party and be a hero.

It’s as simple as that…hope you enjoy!

And if you’re feeling really frisky, you could dip some pretzels in white chocolate to serve with the fudge.  Double the fun!


Mother’s Day and Mocha Caramel Sea Salt Cupcakes

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Happy Mother’s Day to all you other momma bloggers out there!

I had a most wonderful day with my kids and my momma and the rest of my loving family.  When hubby asked what I wanted for Mother’s Day, I couldn’t think of anything because I have everything I need.  I have been so blessed.  However, I did get a morning serenade, breakfast in bed, and homemade cards from my little kiddos and hubby…so sweet.  When I asked my mom what she wanted from me for Mother’s Day, she said, “Make me some of those Mocha Caramel Cupcakes.”  So, along with a few other gifts, she got her cupcakes.  We don’t need much to be happy…just love and cupcakes!

I thought I would give all of you the recipe for these super easy, super yummy cupcakes as a Mother’s Day gift.

(Or a Happy Sunday gift if you aren’t a momma.)

Mocha Caramel Sea Salt Cupcakes



1 box Yellow Cake Mix (I prefer Duncan Hines)

2 containers Chocolate Frosting (Ditto)

3 Tbsp. Coffee Extract

Caramel Dessert Topping

Course Sea Salt


1.  Prepare cake mix according to directions on box.  Add 3 Tbsp. Coffee Extract (more or less according to taste).  Mix.  Pour into cupcake liners in a  muffin pan.  Bake according to directions on box.  Allow to cool.

2.  Frost cupcakes with chocolate frosting.  I used a No. 2A round tip to frost mine.

3.  Drizzle caramel dessert topping over cupcakes.

4.  Sprinkle course sea salt onto cupcakes.

5.  Devour!  Mom likes to devour hers with a cup of coffee.  I like a mug of milk.  To each their own!

Here’s a picture of me with my sweet momma many years ago.  Aren’t mommas the greatest?


Kids In The Kitchen: Thumbprint Cookies

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Today, since it was rainy and cool and we could not have class outside, my kiddos and I enjoyed class on the couch followed by a wonderful time playing in the kitchen.  We have been wanting to bake thumbprint cookies for a while, so today we did!  Oh, how I love thumbprint cookies!  They are easy to make, budget friendly, fun for kids, and so very deliciously addictive.  In fact, out of the 3 dozen we made, I think we have 4 left…thanks to a little help from our family visiting today.  I really have to get that recipe for my sis-in-law!

So, here are my little chefs demonstrating the joys of baking thumbprint cookies…enjoy!


Thumbprint Cookies


1/4 cup packed brown sugar

1/4 cup shortening

1/4 cup butter, softened

1/2 tsp. vanilla

1 egg yolk

1 cup all-purpose flour

1/4 tsp. salt

1 egg white

1 cup finely chopped nuts (I used pecans)

Filling of choice:  Nutella, strawberry jam, lemon curd, peanut butter…I usually mix and match, but today we went straight for the Nutella!


1.  Heat oven to 350F.  In medium bowl, add softened butter, shortening…


Add the brown sugar…


And the vanilla…


And the egg yolk.  (Save that egg white in a small bowl for later!)


Mix with a spoon.



Now, add the salt…


And the flour…


And stir some more until everything is mixed together.


2.  Shape the dough into balls.


Place the egg white in a small bowl and the nuts in another.  Set up an assembly line with the dough, egg, nuts, and cookie sheet.  The kids love this part!


Dip each ball into the egg white.


Then, roll it in the nuts.


Place balls on an ungreased cookie sheet.  And, the best part yet…press your thumbs…


or fingers…


into the center of each cookie to make an indentation, but don’t press too hard. You don’t want to break the little cookies!

3.  Bake about 10 minutes or until golden brown.  Quickly remake indentations (moms, not kids, as the cookies are still super hot!).  If you haven’t already burned all the feeling from your fingers as I have, and don’t really want to touch cookies that are 350F, you can use the end of a wooden spoon to do this.  Let cookies cool slightly and transfer them to a plate.  Fill each thumbprint with about 1/2 tsp. of filling (or more if you know what’s good for you!).


Try to wait until they are filled before eating them.  My daughter can hardly contain herself!



4.  Last, but not least, enjoy all your hard work.  Maybe even share them with your kids.  After all, they did help.  And please, share with your family, because they can smell them and will travel to your house to steal them all.  Trust me, I know!

Jumbo Carrot Cake Cupcakes

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As promised, here is the recipe for the carrot cake cupcakes I made for Easter!  They are so very yummy, and since they are only semi-homemade, they don’t take as much effort.  That’s a double win, especially around the holidays.  I typically associate carrot cake with Easter, but these cupcakes are so moist and delicious, I will have to make them again, and soon!  I hope you enjoy them as much as my family and I did!


Jumbo Carrot Cake Cupcakes


1 box carrot cake mix (I used Betty Crocker for this recipe)

1 cup water

1/2 cup vegetable oil

3 eggs

1 tsp. ground cinnamon

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1 medium-sized carrot, grated

8 oz. can crushed pineapple, drained

1 cup sweetened flaked coconut

1 cup raisins

1 recipe Glaze (recipe to follow)

1 recipe Buttermilk Cream Cheese Frosting (recipe to follow)


1.  Preheat oven to 350F.  Line a jumbo muffin pan with 12 jumbo baking cups.

2.  Follow package directions for first 4 ingredients.

3.  Add cinnamon, vanilla, carrot, pineapple, coconut, and raisins to batter.  Beat just until blended together.

4.  Spoon batter into baking cups (I use an ice cream scoop…works great!), and bake for 20 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

5.  Let cool slightly in pans.  Brush glaze over warm cupcakes. Remove from pan to a wire rack and let cool completely.

6.  Frost each cupcake with Buttermilk Cream Cheese Frosting. (I used metal tip no. 1M)

7.  Now, you can decorate them or not…it’s up to you.  Throw on some sprinkles or candy carrots.  I tinted some of my cream cheese frosting and made my own carrot design on top.  Just use your imagination!  That’s what makes cake decorating so fun!!!

Glaze Recipe


3/4 cup sugar

1/2 cup buttermilk

1/2 cup butter


Bring all ingredients to a boil in a saucepan over medium-high heat.  Cook about 5 minutes, stirring constantly.  Remove from heat and cool slightly before brushing on the cupcakes.

Buttermilk Cream Cheese Frosting


1/2 cup butter, softened

8 oz. cream cheese, softened

2- 16 oz. boxes powdered sugar

4 Tbsp. buttermilk (or more, depending on how thick you want your frosting)


1.  Beat butter and cream cheese together until creamy.

2.  Gradually add powdered sugar, beating at low speed until blended.  (This is the messy part!)  Then, beat at high speed until creamy.  Frosting will be very thick at this point.

3.  Start adding buttermilk 1 Tbsp. at a time and beat at high speed until you reach your desired thickness.  The buttermilk adds extra creaminess and a little kick to the cream cheese flavor.  Yum!

My Easter Weekend

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Happy Easter to you all!  I have had such a wonderful, busy, weekend celebrating this holiday with my family.  I have been so busy that I have completely neglected my blog!  I am sure most of you reading understand that sometimes you are just too busy living life to take the time to blog about it.  But, I thought you might like a little look into the way we celebrate Easter as a family.

We had a blast coloring eggs…like we do every year.  I remember doing this when I was a little girl.  I think this is something most families enjoy…that would explain the massive amounts of egg coloring kits available.  Too many choices!  We went with marbellized eggs this year…pretty cool!  Although, I prefer the eggs wraps.  I always thought it was so fun to watch them shrink instantly around the eggs!




Next, we had our annual Easter egg hunt in the yard.  I learned from a childhood lesson not to hide the real eggs!  They really start to stink when you miss one…gross!  So, we hide tons of plastic eggs all over our yard and set the kiddos loose.  They run around like crazy trying to make sure they find the most eggs, even though there is no reward for finding the most.  What is it with competitiveness between siblings?



We spent the rest of the afternoon enjoying the warm sunshine with cousins.  We caught “spring peepers” and tadpoles in a ditch.  It’s the simple, and slightly gross, things that bring  joy to children.

When we finally made it home, it was time to start a new tradition…thanks to The Pioneer Woman.  We made Krispy Easter Eggs together!  My kids love to get in the kitchen, and they really enjoyed this fun, slightly messy, experience.







Easter Morning has arrived!  Who doesn’t love waking up entirely too early on Easter Morning to the sounds of your kids shouting “The Easter Bunny came, the Easter Bunny came!”?  Our bunny always brings outdoor toys and crafty toys…and, of course, CANDY!  This year, the kiddos were so excited to get bubbles, sidewalk chalk, play dough,  Shrinky Dinks, and a stuffed bunny.  I’m so glad my kids still appreciate simple toys…I think they actually prefer them!




We had a wonderful church service celebrating the true meaning of Easter.  I am so blessed to get to teach the little kids in our church.  Even though they enjoy the fun of the Easter Bunny, they still know the true reason we celebrate…Jesus.  And they are able to understand the simplicity of a thing we sometimes tend to complicate in adult life.  Oh, to have faith like a child!

We always have Easter dinner at my hubby’s momma’s house.  We always say we are not going to cook as much this year.  We always cook entirely too much, and we always eat entirely too much…ugh, my belly is full!

My contribution to the meal was my super buttery mashed potatoes.  Can you put too much butter in mashed potatoes?  To me, that’s what makes them taste so good.  I also made some yummy cupcakes…I will eventually post recipes for these.  I love a good cupcake…it’s up there with cheesecake on my fave dessert list!  Confetti cupcakes with a birdie’s nest on top  and jumbo carrot cake cupcakes…that’s what I call a sweet Easter celebration!



I am so fortunate to have all these wonderful traditions and celebrations, and all the wonderful people in my life to celebrate them with.  I hope your Easter was as special as mine!  I happened to notice a theme to my blog…simplicity.  I think life is so much more fun when we slow down and enjoy the simple things…like hunting eggs and playing with bubbles, and accepting the simple truth of Christ’s love.  So, I hope you had a “simply” wonderful, happy Easter!!!


Kids in the Kitchen: Oatmeal Cranberry White Chocolate Chip Cookies

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Clearly, there is a lot of cooking going on in my house.  I love to cook, and so do my kids.  Today, they were dying to make some cookies after we finished up with school.   We have made these cookies many. many times, and we love them!  They are super yummy…and the oatmeal and cranberries make them sort of healthy…right?  Sure they do!

So, here are my kids demonstrating the process of making delicious Oatmeal Cranberry White Chocolate Chip Cookies…hope you enjoy this as much as they did!


Oatmeal Cranberry White Chocolate Chip Cookies


2/3 cups butter, softened

2/3 cups brown sugar, packed

2 eggs

1 1/2 cups old-fashioned oats

1 1/2 cups flour

1 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp. salt

1 1/4 cups dried cranberries

2/3 cups white chocolate chips (or a little more if you know what’s good for you!)


1.  Preheat oven to 375F.

2.  Use an electric mixer to beat the butter and brown sugar together until fluffy.  Hope you don’t have as much trouble getting that packed brown sugar out of the measuring cup as we did…making cookies is hard work!  Whew!


3.  Add eggs, mixing well.

4.  Combine oats, flour, baking soda, and salt in a separate bowl.  Add to butter mixture gradually, mixing after each addition.




5.  Stir in dried cranberries and white chocolate chips.



6.  Drop by spoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets.  Bake for 10-12 minutes.  Cool on wire rack.  Makes about 2 1/2 dozen cookies.




7.  Dress up like cowboys and cowgirls before devouring your cookies!  Mmmm, good, yummy, yee-haw!!!  The wearing of the cowboy hats makes the cookies taste better…really!  You should try it!




A St. Patrick’s Day Feast

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Slainte!  I hope you all had a very happy St. Patrick’s Day!  It is one of my favorite holidays to celebrate.  I have a very strong Irish heritage…my granny was a Fitzpatrick!  I have also been to Ireland, and once you’ve seen all that unearthly green, it calls to you.  Ireland truly holds magic.  So, yes, I love to celebrate St. Patty’s Day!

I had my family up for a St. Patty’s Day feast complete with Corned Beef and Cabbage, Irish Soda Bread, and a delicious Apple Cake.  I know St. Patrick’s Day was yesterday, but you might want to make this yummy meal next year to celebrate with your family!

Here are the super yummy recipes:

Corned Beef and Cabbage Dinner


This is a traditional dinner eaten in the U.S. to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day.


2 lbs. small red potatoes

1 1/2 cups baby carrots

1 onion, cut into wedges

2-4 lbs. corned beef brisket with seasoning pack

1 small head of cabbage, cut into wedges

1/2 stick butter

salt and pepper, to taste


1.  Place potatoes, carrots, and onions in a slow cooker.  Top with corned beef brisket.  Sprinkle contents of seasoning packet.  Add enough water just to cover brisket.

2.  Cover and cook on low setting for 8 to 10 hours.

3.  About 40 minutes before serving, place cabbage wedges in a large pot.  Cover with water, and add 1/2 stick of butter and salt and pepper to taste.  Bring to a boil and simmer for 30 to 40 minutes, or until crisp-tender.

4.  Make Potato Sauce.  (Recipe to follow)

5.  Serve brisket and all vegetables on a large platter with a bowl of Potato Sauce on the side…family style.

Potato Sauce


1/2 cup sour cream

1/4 cup mayonnaise

2 Tbsp. prepared Horseradish

2 tsp. Spicy Brown Mustard


Mix all ingredients together in a small bowl.  This is wonderful to dip the red potatoes in, and I also like my corned beef dipped in it!

Irish Soda Bread


Soda bread is a staple in Ireland, and is so easy to make!  Cut a cross in the bread to ward off evil, or let the fairies out!


vegetable oil

3 2/3 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for dusting

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. baking soda

1 3/4 cups buttermilk


1.  Preheat oven to 425F.  Oil a baking sheet.

2.  Mix together the flour, salt, and baking soda.  Pour in the buttermilk, and mix well using your hands.

3.  Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead lightly.  Shape into an 8 inch circle.  Place the dough on the baking sheet and cut a cross in the top.

4.  Bake for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown.  Serve warm with lots of butter!

Apple Cake


Legend says that St. Patrick planted an apple tree in a settlement outside of Armagh.  Today, Armagh County is known as Orchard County and has apple festivals and tours.  Pretty cool, huh?  Whether the legend is true or not, this cake is absolutely, without a doubt, delicious!  Especially when it’s still warm from the oven…yum!


2 large Granny Smith apples

1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour

2 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp. salt

1 stick butter

1/2 cup sugar

2 eggs

2 Tbsp. milk

Streusel Topping-

1 cup all-purpose flour

6 Tbsp. butter

1/2 cup sugar


1.  Preheat oven to 350F.  Grease a 9 inch round springform pan.  (Or use cake release, which I prefer.)

2.  Make the streusel topping.  Cut butter into flour until the mixture resembles bread crumbs.  Stir in the sugar and reserve.

3.  Peel, core, and thinly slice apples.  Mix flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt in a bowl.  Put butter and sugar in a separate bowl and beat together.  Gradually beat in the eggs.  Slowly mix in the flour mixture.  Mix in the milk.

4.  Spoon the batter into the pan and smooth and even out the top.  Cover with sliced apples and sprinkle the streusel topping evenly on top.  Bake for 1 hour, or until top is lightly browned.  Let cool slightly before removing the sides of the pan.  Slice and serve still warm!

I hope you will enjoy these dishes as much as I did…and may the luck of the Irish be with you.  I guess it already is if you are lucky enough to eat such good food!  I love food!!!

Vanilla, Butter, and Nut Pound Cake

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This is one of my very favorite cakes.  It is delicious, tender, and wonderfully textured.  It doesn’t need a frosting or a glaze, or ice cream on the side.  It is best served alone.  I found this recipe on a Superior vanilla, butter, nut flavor bottle.  I don’t think that brand of flavoring is even around anymore, at least I can’t find it.  I’m glad I kept the recipe, because I’m not sure life would be nearly as happy without this cake!  Hope you enjoy!

P.S.-  This cake is NOT low fat, but it is so worth the extra pounds!


Vanilla, Butter, Nut Pound Cake


1/2 cup vegetable shortening (Crisco)

2 sticks butter

3 cups sugar

3 cups all-purpose flour

1 cup milk

1/4 tsp. salt

6 eggs

3 tsp. vanilla, butter, nut flavor


Heat oven to 325F.  Grease a bundt or tube pan and dust with flour.  (I use cake release which has absolutely changed my baking life.)  Cream shortening and butter together.  Add sugar and salt gradually.  Add eggs 1 at a time beating after each addition.  Add flavor to milk, then add alternately with flour to above mixture, beating until smooth.  Put into prepared pan and bake at 325F for 1 1/2 hours or until done.

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