Monday Menu ~ The Ultimate Brownie

Last week the girls and I were home alone since the husband was off working in Georgia for a client and they wanted me to make brownies. Now, they weren’t asking for the regular run of the mill type brownie. No… they wanted something different. Something special. Something full of cookies.

What could be better than chocolate chip cookies, oreo’s, and brownies all mixed together into one special bar? Well, nothing really. Of course we didn’t just mix it all together we layered them! I think that the only thing that could make them better is a scoop of vanilla ice cream and some hot fudge.

The ultimate brownie is really easy to make and are pretty simple to change up by using different cookies or other flavored Oreo’s (like the fudge filled ones for the ultimate double/triple chocolate brownie).

Alright, so let’s start with the ingredients.

  • 2 packages of ready to bake cookies
  • Oreo’s
  • Brownie mix 13×9 pan size (plus ingredients to make them)
ultimate brownie ingredients
Making these are simple.
Pre-heat the over to 350 degrees & spray your 13×9 pan with cooking spray.
Press cookies into the pan making sure that you fully and evenly cover the bottom of the pan.
pressing cookies into pan
Now, here comes the fun part. You can place the Oreo’s on top of the cookie dough whole or you can do what we did. Crush them up and spread them all over.
oreos on cookie dough
Kids are great at helping with this part…. as long as they don’t eat all the cookies. Oh… This is where I mention that we just crushed cookies until we felt that there was enough on top of the cookie dough.
Make the brownies according to the directions on the box.
making the brownies
Pour all of the brownie batter on top of the Oreo’s and cookie dough.
pouring the batter
Make sure that you spread the batter as evenly as you can over top of the cookies and put them in the oven to bake for about 30 – 35 minutes or until the brownies are done. Be careful to not over cook them! It’s better to have them a little under done.
ultimate brownie
Now look at that…. that is the ultimate brownie! These are incredible warm out of the oven when they’re still a little gooey but trust me on this one… you can barely eat one because they’re so rich and sinful.
What do you think? Are you going to try the ultimate brownie?
What would you do to change the recipe & make them your own?

Monday Menu ~ Breakfast Omelet Muffins

I’m a big fan of breakfast foods; pancakes, french toast, eggs & fried potatoes, any of it really. Breakfast foods aren’t just for breakfast either! We often have breakfast for dinner and it’s one of my kids favorites.

Recently I asked Stephanie from The Scoop on Poop and My Write Side if she wanted to guest post, she agreed, and then sent me the most amazing recipe! It’s an omelet and muffin combined into one rather delicious breakfast treat. I love how easy & versatile this recipe is. You can use any cheese you like, crumbled bacon or any other meat you want, or no meat at all, any veggies you want (spring onions taste divine and give a sweet touch of color too), and you could even let the kids help! Let them make their own Breakfast Muffin to help encourage them to eat their veggies!

These are so good, your whole family will want more than one!

1 pound Pork Sausage, diced
1 cup broccoli florets (or other veggie)
8 large eggs
1/4 cup cheese
1/4 cup milk (or half and half depending on how you’re feeling that day)
1/2 tbsp. vegetable oil
1/2 tsp. baking powder (out of baking powder? Use 1-1.5 tsp. flour)
salt & pepper to taste
Freshly grated Parmesan Cheese as needed

1. Preheat oven to 375 F.
2. In a large sauté pan, over medium high heat, brown Italian Sausage for about 5 minutes, or until the
sausage is no longer pink. Remove from heat and stir in broccoli.
3. Whisk together eggs, milk, oil, cheese, and baking powder. Season with salt and pepper.
4. Lightly spray a 12-cupcake pan with oil. Spoon out the sausage and broccoli mixture evenly into each
5. Ladle the egg mixture over sausage and broccoli.
6. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.
7. Bake for 15-20 minutes.

If your out and about the internets go check out some of Stephanie’s incredible fiction writing over at My Write Side….  you won’t be disappointed.

Monday Menu ~ The Caramel Story

Once upon a time there was a girl who fell in love with sea salt caramels from the local bakery & coffee shop but alas the cost was high and she had to hide them when her children came around. Yes, hide the candies from the kids!

She dreamt that one day she would be able to make caramels that were soft, sweet, and with a bit of saltiness that more delicious than anything anyone had ever tasted.

So she set out on a journey to find the perfect recipe and craft the best caramels. She searched high and low and finally settled on a recipe that Google had led her to. But the directions were lacking….. so she searched some more and finally came up with what she thought was the perfect recipe.

The caramels were a success! Not perfect though but definitely a place to start at and work towards perfection.

Sea Salt Caramels ~ Ingredients

  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 lb bag of brown sugar
  • Dash of salt
  • 1 cup of light corn syrup
  • 1 can (15 oz) sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • Sea salt
Melt the butter in heavy 3 qt saucepan, add in the brown sugar and salt stirring until thoroughly combined. Blend in corn syrup and gradually add in the sweetened condensed milk.
stirring the caramel
Stir constantly with a wooden spoon until the mixture comes to a boil.
caramel boiling
Once mixture comes to a boil, attach candy thermometer and stop stirring and let it cook until it reaches 250 degrees.
caramel at 250 degrees
Remove it from the heat and stir in the vanilla. Pour into a buttered 9 x 13 pan. Let it cool for about 10 minutes and then sprinkle with sea salt.
Sea Salt Caramel
Cool for several hours and cut into small pieces and wrap in wax paper. If you want to add a little something more to your caramels cool for several hours and then top with chocolate. Enjoy!
Now the hunt does not end here… because another recipe was found. One that looked like it could be the ‘one’. She happened upon a recipe by David Lebovitz for Salted Butter Caramels that looked like they were exactly what she was looking for… it was like the good faeries were there guiding her in the right direction.
Have you made caramels before?  Did they turn out how you wanted?
You know what… now that I think about it for a moment maybe it was the Faerie Hobmother who was guiding her along!! The Fairy Hobmother also led to her to the great Faerie Overlords website too… OH My!! There are so many things there to help with the making of caramel and everything else sweet & delicious!
The girl was so happy and thanked the Faerie Hobmother who ever so kindly gifted her with a $50 gift card to Amazon! Oh the books she can buy for her Kindle!
Wouldn’t it be awesome if the Faerie Hobmother came to visit you? Silly question… if you comment you have the chance of being visited too!
The End.

Monday Menu ~ Philly Cooking Creme

I was going to skip today’s post because I’ve been sick, then got pink eye, and just to not feel left out my 2 year old son decided to get pink eye and puke on me all in the same day. That warrants skipping, right? But I made a deal with myself and can’t skip…. I’m sticking to my guns. So bear with me…. this one may not be all that good.

Have you ever had one of those nights where you had no clue what you were going to make for dinner and then while wandering the grocery store you happened upon one of those demo ladies who made something really tasty and you knew at that moment you found dinner?

Or maybe that just happens to me.

Anyway she handed my daughter and I this little cup of magic. Chicken, rice, broccoli, and Philadelphia Lemon Herb Cooking Creme. YUM! She gave me complete instructions and we were on our way to a tasty dinner.

Philadelphia Cooking Creme

First of all I was surprised how good the delicious the Lemon Herb Creme was…. smooth, a bit of lemon flavor… not to much though, and fresh herbs. Honestly, I don’t think that I could have done better with a sauce. We’ve tried a couple of the other Philadelphia Cooking Creme’s and they were good too but not on the same level as the Lemon Herb.

The ingredients are super simple.


2 cups of rice – white, brown, instant, or not. You could even use the precooked rice.

12 oz bag of frozen broccoli

4 chicken breasts

1 tub of Philadelphia Lemon Herb Cooking Creme


Season and brown the chicken and when it’s down set aside to cool a bit so you can cut it up.

Cooked chicken

While the meat is cooking get the rice started as well as the broccoli. So here comes that last easy step… mix the rice, chicken, broccoli, and Cooking Creme all together and let simmer on low for a couple minutes. Season with salt and pepper if you think it needs it.

I had my camera sitting on the counter so I could take all the pics that I needed and then…. then I forgot about it. It wasn’t until I was putting the leftovers into a dish that I realized that I hadn’t got a picture of the finished product. Sorry…. but this time all you get are the leftovers.

the leftovers

Have you tried the new Philly Cooking Creme’s yet? Which one is your favorite?

I wasn’t paid to talk about the Philadelphia Cooking Creme’s or even give a sample to try out but I would be more than happy to if they were to send me some! This are purely my thoughts and opinions on a tasty sauce.

Monday Menu ~ The Cake Fail

I had high hopes and they were totally squashed.

Last week I shared the incredible Lemon Ice Box Cake with you and because it used 12 egg whites I was left with 12 egg yolks that I didn’t want to just throw away. Like any other foodie I went in search of recipes that my family would like and I was happy when I found a cake that could use all of the yolks. I was pretty surprised too! It sounded delicious…. Daffodil Chiffon Cake.

I followed the directions to the letter and the batter was beautiful. Light, fluffy, and the palest yellow color.

the batter

I baked the cake according to the directions… 1 hour in a 350 degree oven. I’m pretty sure that an hour was to long because I took the cake out about 7 minutes early and it was done. I’m thinking that I could have taken it out probably 10 or more minutes early and it would have been a lot better.

I let the cake sit upside down while it cooled and when I pulled it out of the pan disappointment set in. It was to dark in color and very crumby…. I brushed off the excess and was hoping that it’d be alright once I frosted it.

Maybe you can help me. Here are the ingredients and instructions that I have for the cake, but there has to be something that can be done to make it better.

12 egg yolks
1 1/2 c. sugar
1/2 c. boiling water
1 1/2 c. sifted cake flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. lemon flavor

Beat egg yolks until very thick and lemon colored. Add sugar in small amounts and keep beating. Add boiling water and beat 30 seconds, add sifted dry ingredients gradually, then add flavorings, beat all well (about 5 minutes). Bake in 350 degree oven for 1 hour in an ungreased 10″ or 12″ angel food pan. Cool upside down before removing.

While it was baking it smelled like scrambled eggs were cooking…. it was kind of gross. I checked the cake and it looked fine but there was a definite egg smell that I feared wasn’t going to go away once it was done.

There was one thing that did save the cake and that was the strawberry buttercream frosting that I made. It was wonderful and would have been even better if it were on a good cake.

3 sticks of softened butter

4 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar

1 tablespoon milk – I left this out because the strawberry puree was enough

1 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

3 tablespoons strawberry puree (if you want the frosting seed-free, you can put the puree through a sieve before adding to frosting)

strawberry puree

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, whip butter for 8 minutes on medium speed. The butter will become very pale & creamy.

Add remaining ingredients, except strawberry puree, and mix on low speed for 1 minute, then on medium speed for 6 minutes. Frosting will be very light, creamy, and fluffy and then add in the strawberry puree and mix until incorporated.

I will say that the cake, once frosted, look half way decent.

cake w/o strawberries

Of course after adding the strawberries on the top it looked even better.

topped with strawberries

 So tell me what I did wrong!!



Monday Menu ~ Lemon Ice Box Cake

A while back I saw a cake on Pinterest that looked simply amazing and of course I repinned it in hopes that I’d actually make it one day. Well, I didn’t make it. Instead I decided to make my own cake that was sort of similar. It was something that I’ve had in mind for a while and thought that it’d be better in the spring or summer instead of the dead of winter. And this is the result… a Lemon Ice Box Cake.

Light, fluffy, not to sweet, and full of lemon flavor!

This past Christmas I received an angle food cake pan that I had been wanting for a while and it was finally put to use when I made my first ever angel food cake. I was really nervous because after all the reading that I had done there were so many things that could ruin the cake…. because if the cake failed then I would have nothing to post! I can’t stress how worried I was… especially since my 2 year old refused to nap and insisted on helping me with everything.

I took my time and made adjustments based on all the various reviews and recipes that I had read on the Internet and am pleased to say that it turned out incredible! It was absolutely perfect!


  • 1 3/4 cups sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup cake flour, sifted
  • 12 egg whites (the closer to room temperature the better)
  • 1/3 cup warm water
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract – or any flavor you prefer
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cream of tartar


  • Heavy whipping cream – I used a pint and a half
  • Powder sugar – I’ll be honest…. I didn’t measure this. I added some mixed, tasted, and added more until it was to my liking
  • Lemon curd – I used a 10 oz jar of Dickinson’s Lemon Curd


For the cake

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a food processor spin sugar about 2 minutes until it is superfine. Sift half of the sugar with the salt the cake flour, setting the remaining sugar aside.

In a large bowl, use a  whisk to thoroughly combine egg whites, water, extract, and cream of tartar.

frothy eggs

After 2 minutes, switch to a mixer. Slowly sift the reserved sugar, beating continuously at medium speed.

beaten egg whites

Once you have achieved medium peaks, sift enough of the flour mixture in to dust the top of the foam. Using a spatula fold in gently. Continue until all of the flour mixture is incorporated.

adding in flour

Carefully spoon mixture into an ungreased tube pan.

in the pan

Bake for 35 minutes before checking for doneness with a wooden skewer. (When inserted halfway between the inner and outer wall, the skewer should come out dry).

cake is done

Cool upside down on cooling rack for at least an hour before removing from pan. This is really important! You need to do this so the cake doesn’t sink.

cooling upside down

Once it’s cool run a knife along the edge to release it from the pan.

For the frosting

In a mixer whip the cream until it almost to the stiff peaks point and then add in the powder sugar. Mix just until combined and then add in the lemon curd. Continue to whip until it is thick

Put it together

2 layers

I sliced the cake so there were three layers and frosted each layer and then covered the rest of the cake. Note… you need to somehow mark the cake so you can line up the layers exactly so the cake is level. I didn’t do this so it looked lopsided when I was done with it.

Once it’s frosted put it in the fridge for a little while just to make sure that it’s well chilled.

Eat it

ice box lemon cake

This is the best part! Slice it up and sit back and enjoy this light cake. This is perfect for the spring or summer when you want dessert but it’s just to warm to eat something heavy or it’s to hot to bake! Make the cake early in the morning and then once it’s frosted pop it in the fridge till later in the evening.

You could add any flavoring to the frosting that you like if lemon isn’t your thing. I think that I’ll try it with strawberry next time!

Now I have 12 egg yolks left and have to figure out what to do with them! Any suggestions?


Monday Menu ~ Death by Chocolate Cupcakes

In following through with my cupcake theme around here this week I have something that just about everyone will love and if you don’t then …. well, we’ll have to talk later.

Chocolate. That is the theme this week.

Lots and lots of delicious chocolate.

I’ve been watching the Food Network and Cooking Channel for a while now and they both seem to feature bakeries and and more specifically ones that feature cupcakes. I’ve never seen so many amazing desserts and I’ve been inspired to create some of my own tasty treats.

Death by Chocolate! This recipe was one that I came up with after thinking what could I combine together to make the best ever cupcake. Well, cupcakes and truffles. Pure genius, right?

The recipe is really simple but is a bit more time consuming than your regular cupcake, but it’s really worth it. So lets get to it.



  • 10 oz bag of Toll House dark chocolate chips
  • 5 Tbsp butter
  • 3 Tbsp heavy cream

Melt the chocolate chips and the butter together until smooth and then stir in the heavy cream. Let cool for about an hour in the fridge.

truffle chocolate


  • Chocolate cake mix – any flavor you like is fine
  • Ingredients for the cake
  • Instant chocolate pudding mix

Make the cake per the recipe on the box and then stir in the pudding mix.


  • 1/2 cup shortening – I used Crisco
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 3/4 cocoa powder – I used Hershey’s Special Dark
  • 4 cups of powdered sugar
  • 3 – 4 tbsp heavy cream – I used close to half of a pint

Whip the butter & shortening together and then add in the cocoa powder and vanilla and mix till combined. Add in the powdered sugar one cup at a time and mix well then add in the cream until it’s light and fluffy.


Once the truffle mixture is ready prepare your cupcake pan with papers or cooking spray.

ready for truffles

Fill the cupcake paper about halfway and make a little dent in the middle.

truffle in the middle

Scoop up a truffle and place it in the middle of the cupcake and then fill the remainder with batter, making sure that it’s fully covered.

ready for the oven

I made mine using a large cupcake pan (ignore how yucky it looks) and they took about 30 minutes to bake. But I think that if you used a regular pan then it’d take closer to 20 minutes. Just a note… using the toothpick method to test these won’t work because of the truffle in the middle.

Once they’re cool you are ready to frost them!

Finished cupcakes

I have to say that these were pretty good, but not exactly perfect. I was expecting the truffle filling to be softer than it was, but it still tasted really good! Next time I will add more heavy cream to the mixture so it’s softer.

They do require a tall glass of milk and a fork to eat! But it’s worth every single bite!

tasty cupcakes

Hope you enjoy the cupcakes!

Do you have suggestions for a flavor of cupcakes to be features here? I’d love your suggestions.

Monday Menu ~ Meatballs with Mac & Cheese


Welcome back to Monday!! Now, don’t get me wrong I still feel that Monday should be part of the weekend, but since I can’t change the way the world seems to run the next best thing would be to fake being be happy about it.

Lately, I’ve been on a hamburger kick for some reason… mostly in search of the best hamburger that a restaurant has to offer. I try to make burger but it seems that everyone can make a burger better than me so this week I made meatballs instead. I know… I know… they’re almost the same as a burger, but it’s just not the same.

These meatballs are based on the recipe for meatloaf that I made a couple of weeks ago from the Pioneer Woman but with a few changes to make it even better after a phone call I had with my sister. We call each other to plot out what we can make for dinner or what kind of unique recipe we can create. It’s a fun game really… that and pondering all the great meals we’d make if we were closer that our families won’t eat.


Follow the directions that the Pioneer Woman has for meatloaf in her recipe, leaving out the parmesan cheese. But before mixing it all together there are a few special ingredients that you need to add in…..

baconBacon! why… everything is better with bacon!

cheeseShredded cheddar cheese!

Add these two amazing items in and you have bacon cheeseburger meatballs! Now roll it into a meatball shape, get your hands a bit wet with cold water to help keep the meat from sticking to your hands helps.


In a large skillet brown the meatballs in batches so you don’t over crowd them.

Browning Meatballs

When you have all of the meatballs browned finish them off in the oven for about 20 – 30 minutes depending on how big they are.

While the meatballs are in the oven start the mac & cheese. Now you can use your favorite recipe or you can check out mine… Okay… it’s not really mine. But it is my go to recipe  and I’m always adding this or that, changing it up for something different. For this meal I left out the broccoli and chicken and used 3 different kinds of cheddar cheese. YUM! Creamy…. smooth… perfect… that is how I would describe this mac & cheese.

mac & cheese

Now the meatballs I served with the sauce that the Pioneer’s Woman recipe uses to top the meatloaf, veggies, and of course the mac & cheese. And the best part…. the family loved it all!

Do you take a recipe and change it up? What is one of your favorite go to recipes?

Monday Menu ~ Cupcakes

Who doesn’t love cupcakes? I know that I do… little bites of delicate cake that you can make miniature, big, or just regular sized. Filled or frosted or even both are absolutely delicious and who can resist one of those tasty treats. And with that thought I decided to try and come up with some unique and delicious cupcakes that I can share with all of you.

This could be a lot of fun because one of my passions is baking and coming up with tasty treats to share with friends and family. Although a new flavor of cupcakes every week could lead me shopping at the local tent & awning store for my clothing… chances are many of them will end up at the office!

This week my inspiration is coconut and chocolate… two of my favorite things and similar to a Mounds Bar I suppose. Really, it started with a quick bread mix that I found at Target and using the alternate directions on the back of the box and and the thought that I could make them better than just plain cupcakes.

Target coconut quick bread


  • Coconut quick bread mix
  • 1/2 cup of water
  • 1 stick of butter melted
  • 1 egg
  • 12 dark chocolate Hershey Kisses

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and place 12 cupcake papers in a cupcake pan.

Mix all of the ingredients together except for the kisses.

batter in bowl

Using a small scoop – I used my Pampered Chef scoop – and put one level scoop into each cupcake paper. Now here comes the fun part… in the middle of each place one Hershey Kiss and then top with another level scoop of batter.

Hershey Special Dark Kisses

kiss in the middle

Bake for about 25 minutes. When they’re done resist the temptation to eat one and let them cool on a rack until they’re completely cooled and then frost.

Cooling cupcakes


1/2 cup shortening – I used Crisco

1/2 cup butter

1 tsp vanilla

3/4 cocoa powder – I used Hershey’s Special Dark

4 cups of powdered sugar

3 – 4 tbsp milk – you can use more or less depending on the consistency you want.

Whip the butter & shortening together and then add in the cocoa powder and vanilla and mix till combined. Add in the powdered sugar one cup at a time and mix well then add in the milk until it’s the consistency you want.

Frosted cupcakes

These cupcakes are incredible for something that came from a box mix! The cupcake itself was moist and full of coconut flakes while the frosting…. oh the dark chocolate frosting is… mmmmm…. delicious!

Now, if you can’t find this mix at your Target you can use a white cake mix and add some coconut flakes and coconut extract and get the same results.

Tasty cupcakes

OH… and here’s the biggest surprise of them all! I used my DSLR for all the pictures this time instead of my iPhone!

So back to cupcakes… what flavor would you like to see me create? Do you have a favorite flavor?

Monday Menu ~ Fail or not?

I don’t know what happened this week but I guess I didn’t make anything that was really worth writing about and of course that leaves me without something awesome to share with you. Don’t get me wrong… I did feed my family but it was all pretty lame stuff… taco salad, leftovers, and stuff like that. We may have even gone out once too.

So, I failed. But I didn’t want to not post something because there are a few things that I made this week I can share with you that were tasty but they were from a mix or a recipe from someone else.

banana chocolate chip monkey bread

This tasty thing you see above is a banana chocolate chip monkey bread! It’s a mix that I picked up at Target while there a couple weeks ago and let me tell ya… totally worth it! It was warm, gooey, sweet, and perfect for a weekend breakfast with a large glass of milk (because without it you can’t get through a couple bites).

Is your mouth watering yet?

Andrew & his quiche

The one thing that I did make this week that was mostly homemade was a spinach and Gruyere cheese quiche. I have to say that it was pretty amazing, but then again how can you mess up a quiche? I mean it’s eggs in a pie crust and if you’re lazy like I am you buy the crusts pre-made and egg beaters to make it simple.

Andrew really loved it… can you tell? He helped me make it by pouring the eggs and stirring it again and again once it was in the pan. I only wish that he would have actually eaten some for dinner… he didn’t even touch it.

Eggless brownies

Brownies! I love chocolate (who doesn’t?) and brownies, but because I hadn’t gone shopping last week I didn’t have eggs which we all know are key to making just about anything. Well, I found an incredible brownie recipe that doesn’t require eggs.

These brownies are fudgy and are just like something that you can make from one of those box mixes. The only changes that I made were that I left out the honey, used all white sugar, and threw in some chocolate chips for good measure. Oh! And if it weren’t for my brownie craving I wouldn’t have found the chocolate cake recipe to end all other recipes! Seriously… check out the Chocolate Wasted Cake!

Pioneer Woman Meatloaf

What you see above is the most wonderful meatloaf ever and a huge thanks goes out to the Pioneer Woman for creating this. What is better than meatloaf that is totally wrapped in bacon and then smothered in a sauce that is better than plain ketchup any day of the week? Nothing. The only thing I did different was add onion and garlic because they need to be in just about everything that I make but other than that I did nothing else… I even bought plain old white bread because that’s what the Pioneer Woman said to use! Try it and you’ll love it too!

Did you make anything this week that was awesome?

What do you think… was my week a recipe fail or not?