Monday, November 26, 2012

Snickers Cake

This year, I was in search of a chocolate dessert to add to our Thanksgiving table.  We were already having the traditional pies, so I wanted to make something different.  I started my search on my SWEET TREATS Pinterest board and didn't have to look any further.  This recipe was about half way down the page and I knew it would be perfect.  I have to admit that I didn't actually make this dessert.  I sent my mom the recipe to get the ingredients for me to make on Thanksgiving but she made it the day before. I'm glad she did because it was nice not having to make it on Thanksgiving Day after spending all morning in the kitchen.  This dessert was very rich.  All you need is a little tiny piece and your sweet tooth will be satisfied.  We all agreed that if we make it again we will cut down on the amount of chocolate chips and caramel in it.  If you enjoy the chocolate caramel combination, you will love this dessert.  Enjoy!

 Even miss Avery Grace wanted a bite! 
Snickers Cake
Courtesy of Six Sisters Stuff

1 German Chocolate Cake Mix

Ingredients called for on cake mix (oil, eggs, water)
1 (14 oz) bag of Kraft Caramels (or any other caramels you like)
1/4 cup milk
1/3 cup butter (which is about 3/4 of a cube)
1-2 cups chocolate chips (however many you like)
1 cup chopped pecans

Mix together cake mix as directed on the box. Pour half of the batter into a greased 9x13 baking dish and bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.
While it bakes, unwrap all the caramels (don't have your husband help- he will eat half of them. I am totally speaking from experience). Put the caramels, milk, and butter in a sauce pan and melt over low heat, stirring constantly until caramel is melted and smooth. 
Pour the caramel on the cake as soon as it is finished baking. Sprinkle the chocolate chips and pecans on top of the caramel. Spread the remaining half of the prepared cake mix batter on top. Bake for 20 more minutes at 350 degrees.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Mini Pumpkin Pies

I made these sweet treats for the hubs to take with him to work before Thanksgiving.  I love sending him in with treats and knew these bite sized sweets would be a hit.  I didn't use a pumpkin shaped cookie cutter.  I had the exact one she used but felt like it was too much work getting the crust into the pumpkin shape.  I just made sure to fill the mini muffin tin with enough crust to hold pumpkin pie filling inside. I ended up using the lid to a spice mix to cut the crust into circles.  It worked out fine.  After the dough was into the mini cups, the recipe was a cinch.  I filled the crusts, put them in the oven, and when I took them out I had mini pumpkin pies! I decided to drizzle a little melted chocolate over the top to finish them off.  From what hubs told me, they were a hit at work and gone in minutes.  Success! 

Pumpkin Pie Bites
Courtesy of Bakerella

Pumpkin Pie Bites
2 refrigerated ready-to roll pie crusts
8 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup canned pumpkin
3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
Pumpkin-shaped cookie cutter
1/2 cup chocolate morsels
vegetable oil
re-sealable plastic bags
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Use cookie cutter to cut 12 pumpkin shapes from each pie crust. You will need to roll the dough thinner than it comes out of the box.
Press dough shapes into a 24 cup mini muffin tray. (Make 12 at a time, alternating cups to make sure pie crusts don’t overlap each other.)
Apply egg whites from one egg to the top edges of each pie.
Mix cream cheese, sugar, canned pumpkin, remaining 2 eggs, vanilla and pumpkin pie spice together until thoroughly combined.
Spoon mixture into each pumpkin-shaped pie crust.
Bake for 12-15 minutes.
Remove pies to cool and repeat with second pie crust. Place the muffin tray in the freezer to cool it quickly for re-use.
Makes 24 pies. Keep refrigerated.
To decorate, melt chocolate in a heat-proof bowl in the microwave on medium. Heat in 30 second intervals, stirring in between until melted. Add a little vegetable oil to make the chocolate more fluid. Transfer to a re-sealable plastic bag and cut the corner off. Drizzle or draw faces on pies.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Cornflake, Pecan and Marshmallow Sweet Potato Casserole

I have a feeling this sweet potato casserole was served in many homes this Thanksgiving, thanks to Pinterest. 

I followed all of the directions and didn't make any changes to the recipe.  My family said it was the best sweet potato casserole recipe we've made to date.  I loved that it had the sweet and fluffy marshmallows along with crunch of the pecans and cornflakes.  I know I will be asked to make this one from here on out and have no desire to search for another sweet potato recipe. Enjoy!

Sweet Potato Casserole

Recipe Courtesy of Kraft Foods 


  • 2 1/2 pounds sweet potatoes (about 5 medium)
  • 2 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup 2% reduced-fat milk
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Vegetable cooking spray
  • 1 1/4 cups cornflakes cereal, crushed
  • 1/4 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon melted butter
  • 1 1/4 cups miniature marshmallows


1. Prepare filling: Preheat oven to 400°. Bake sweet potatoes on a baking sheet 1 hour or until tender. 
Reduce oven temperature to 350°. Let potatoes stand until cool to touch (about 20 minutes); 
peel and mash with a potato masher.
2. Beat mashed sweet potatoes, 2 Tbsp. softened butter, and next 5 ingredients at medium speed with an electric mixer
 until smooth. Spoon mixture into an 11- x 7-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray.
3. Prepare topping: Stir together crushed cornflakes cereal and next 3 ingredients. 
Sprinkle over sweet potato mixture in diagonal rows 2 inches apart.
4. Bake at 350° for 30 minutes. Remove from oven; let stand 10 minutes.
 Sprinkle miniature marshmallows in alternate rows between cornflake mixture, and bake 10 more minutes

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Pecan Pie Muffins

If you have these few ingredients in your pantry & fridge now, take my advice and make these immediately. I'm not sure whether to call these muffins or mini pies. I guess I would say they are the perfect muffin/ pie combination with a soft center and crispy edges.  Honestly, they taste like mini pecan pies.  YUM!

Pecan Pie Muffins 
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups chopped pecans
  • 2/3 cup butter, softened
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease mini or regular muffin cups generously. Grease them well or they will stick. In medium bowl, stir together brown sugar, flour and pecans. In a separate bowl, beat the butter and eggs together. Stir in dry ingredients just until combined.
  2. Spoon batter into muffin cups about 2/3 full. Bake for 12-13 minutes for mini muffins or 15-17 minutes for regular size muffins. Run a knife around the edge of each muffin and pop it out.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Turkey Wreath

How cute is this turkey wreath?  I pinned it a few weeks back and couldn't wait to make it.  You can find the original tutorial over at Baby Rabies.  I'm not going to reinvent the wheel because her tutorial is fabulous.  
But, I will tell you a few things I did to save money and a trip to the store....

1.  Instead of using a styrofoam cone, I used yellow card stock.  I folded it to make a cone and hot glued the back to the wreath. 
2.  I didn't use styrofoam balls for the eyes.  Again, I used card stock.  I cut 2 white circles, then two black.  I glued them together for the eyes.  Then, I glued a toothpick onto the back of the eyes and stuck it into the wreath.  
3.  I didn't have yellow tulle so I used white instead.  
4.  I used red felt for the waddle instead of foam.  

I just love how it looks on my door!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

DIY Post It Holders

I remember seeing this little gift a while back on Pinterest.  I had them on my to make list for over 6 months!  I even bought he materials to make them months ago, I just ran out of time or another project took precedence.  Last month, I had a few gifts that I wanted to add a personal touch to.  I remembered this project and being that both recipients are teachers, I thought this would be a great addition to their gifts.  They are so easy to make and come out super cute.  These would be a great teacher appreciation gift or gift for a coworker.  We all use post its, this is a cute way to display them.  Enjoy!

Clear Frame (about $1-2 at Walmart or Target) 
Scrapbook Paper
Post Its
Hot Glue
Any other embellishments you would like to use

Cut the paper to the size of the frame. 
Put it in the frame. 
Hot glue the post it notes to the frame.
  I glued mine towards the bottom so that I could decorate the top more.  
From there, just decorate.  I used hot glue to glue ribbon to the top and glued stickers on top of them.  
You can decorate them however you would like.  

*After the post its run out, the recipient just has to hot glue another pad onto the back*

Friday, November 9, 2012

Pumpkin Bars

Hands down one of the best pumpkin recipes I've ever made.  I made these for Halloween and my neighbors kept coming back for more.  Mine came out a little thicker than bars, more like a cake. Next time I'll make them into cupcakes so that you can eat them with your hands in a few bites. Enjoy!! 

Pumpkin Bars

Courtesy of I Heart Naptime 



  1. In a large bowl beat eggs, sugar, oil and pumpkin until fluffy. In a medium sized bowl stir together flour, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, soda, and spices. Add to pumpkin mixture. Spread in greased 15x10 inch pan. Bake at 350 for 25 minutes, or until lightly browned. Cool.
  2. For frosting cream together cream cheese, butter and vanilla. Gradually add powdered sugar. Beat until smooth and creamy. Frost on pumpkin bars.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

How To: Cookie Exchange Party

1.  Pick a date and location.

2.  Make your guest list.  

3.  Send out a save the date email or message. 
Things tend to get crazy busy from Thanksgiving on and I want to make sure my guests have the exchange on their calendars.  I decided that my cookie exchange will alwasy be the first Sunday in December.

3.  A month before the event, send out an invitation.  I do an Evite because I ask guests to share the cookie they are making in their response.  That way everyone can see what others are bringing, which will hopefully prevent duplicate recipes. You also need to decide on the rules for the swap.  

Here are my rules: 

1.  Bring one dozen of your favorite cookies on a platter, ready to share. 
2.  Bring three dozen of your favorite cookies packaged in groups of 6, for you to swap. 
*4 dozen cookies total* 
3.  Email me your recipe by November 27th.  I'll create a book of all the recipes for you to leave with.  
4.  Tell us what kind of cookie you're making in the reply section, so there aren't duplicates. 

4.  Plan the party. What will you serve?  I usually keep it simple because guests will eating lots of cookies.  I make a few appetizers. This apple pie dip is always a hit and these brie bites were delicious as well.  As for drinks, I make one festive alcoholic,  Shirley temple, egg nog and water.  I always make sure to have extra wine on hand just incase.  Then, I make extra sweets that people can snack on.  This included chocolate covered pretzels, M&M pretzels and bowls of candy.  Since your guests will be eating lots of cookies, keep the other food light.

5.  Buy decorations.  If you know you're planning on hosting a cookie exchange each year stock up on decorations after Christmas the year before.  If you're looking for decorations for that year, check out the dollar store, the dollar section at Target and Oriental Trading always has a great things for a good price.

6. Create a ballot for guests to vote on which cookie was the most unique, best tasting, most appealing and  best packaging.  

7.  Compile all the recipe the guests send you into a recipe book.  I printed them out and gave them to my guest to leave with.  You could also make a book and email it out to the guests to save on printing costs.  I just wanted my guests to have the recipes of their favorite cookies from the day. 


8.  Set up a table for all of the cookies.  I had extra plates available for guests if they didn't bring one.  I numbered the cookies so that when guests were voting, they just wrote the number. I made sure to include plastic knives at each table for guests to cut the cookies if they didn't want to take the whole thing. 

9.  Have another table set up for guests to place their packaged cookies.  

10.  Have guests vote as they are tasting the cookies and mingling (make sure to have pens).  About half way through, tally the votes.  Announce the winners.  I have little gifts for the winners (bottle of wine, holiday oven mitt & spatula, candles).  

11.  After the winners are announced, call everyone around the table with the packaged cookies.  IT'S TIME TO SWAP! I had guests draw numbers to see who goes first.  The guest with #1 went first and grabbed the cookies she wanted, then #2 and so on.  We did this until there weren't any cookies left.  I provided reusable holiday bags for guests to take their cookies home in. 

That's it.  It's the perfect way to kick off the holiday season....great friends and sweet treats!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Pumpkin Spice Rice Krispy Treats

Last month, I made these Cinnamon Bun Rice Krispie Treats.  I had no idea that there were different types of marshmallows out there until I came across the cinnamon bun kind.  Then, I heard there was pumpkin spice marshmallows.  I love anything pumpkin so I immediately was on the hunt for the marshmallows.  I ended up finding them at WalMart.  I followed the same recipe that is on the box for original rice krispie treats, but used 5 cups of krispies instead of 6.  Although both recipes were delicious, I actually enjoyed the cinnamon bun krispies a little bit more than the pumpkin spice.  Enjoy! 

Friday, November 2, 2012

Out of Treats

This little creation was inspired by a pin on Pinterest.  It was a last minute craft, the day before Thanksgiving.  I figured/ hoped it would keep trick or treaters from ringing the doorbell or knocking on the door after we went inside.  Unfortunately, just turning the lights out doesn't get the message across in our neighborhood.  

1 piece of wood
Sharpie paint pen
hot glue

Paint the wood sign orange.  I painted all sides. 
 Then, I used the Sharpie paint pen to write "out of treats" and decorate the outside.  

To hang it, I took about 24 inches of ribbon.  I folded it in the middle and hot glued it to the back of the wood.  From there I tied it into a bow.  

After that, it was ready to go on the door.   

The sign worked because we didn't have any trick or treaters afterwards.  

Happy Crafting!

Thursday, November 1, 2012


One of my favorite comfort foods is grilled cheese and tomato soup. Especially on a cool fall or winter night.  When I looked at the forecast a week or so ago and noticed cooler temperatures, I made sure to add this dinner to my menu.  I'm still on a crock pot kick, so I searched to see if there was a soup recipe I could make in the crock pot.  I decided on this one because of the amount of veggies in it and the reviews.  It isn't a smooth, creamy soup due to the vegetables but it was still good.  Hubs gave it a 7 out of 10 and that's pretty good because he's not a soup fan.  I give it a 6 because I REALLY love creamy tomato soup.  Again, a great tomato soup but if you're looking for creamy with no chunks, this is not for you.  Enjoy! 

Tomato- Basil- Parmesan- Soup 
Recipe found here 
Makes about 2 quarts (about 8 servings)
2 (14 oz) cans diced tomatoes, with juice
1 cup finely diced celery
1 cup finely diced carrots
1 cup finely diced onions
1 tsp dried oregano or 1 T fresh oregano
1 T dried basil or 1/4 cup fresh basil
4 cups chicken broth
½ bay leaf
½ cup flour
1 cup Parmesan cheese
½ cup butter
2 cups half and half, warmed (or skim milk if you’re trying to cut some calories)
1 tsp salt
¼ tsp black pepper
1.  Add tomatoes, celery, carrots, chicken broth, onions, oregano, basil, and bay leaf to a large slow cooker.
2.  Cover and cook on LOW for 5-7 hours, until flavors are blended and vegetables are soft.
3.  About 30 minutes before serving prepare a roux. Melt butter over low heat in a skillet and add flour. Stir constantly with a whisk for 5-7 minutes. Slowly stir in 1 cup hot soup. Add another 3 cups and stir until smooth. Add all back into the slow cooker. Stir and add the Parmesan cheese, warmed half and half, salt and pepper.  Add additional basil and oregano if needed (the slow cooker does a number on spices and they get bland over time, so don’t be afraid to always season to taste at the end).
4.  Cover and cook on LOW for another 30 minutes or so until ready to serve.

Blog Design by Get Polished