Archive for May, 2012

Lemon Drop Cupcakes

These little devils were supposed to have amazing powers and induce my labor. Four days later…I’m still sitting here pregnant. I guess I should just deal with the fact that Baby “E” is on it’s own timeline and this is only the beginning of this timeline. Pretty soon it will show me just how much it’s in control. I just try to tell myself I’m one day closer that yesterday to meeting this little babe. It really doesn’t help much to relieve my anxiety of when it’s going to happen.

These cupcakes are a bit time consuming and I thought if nothing else I was going to go into labor from slaving away over these for hours on my feet. Good thing that they were scrumptious and even if they didn’t cause me to go into labor I enjoyed every bite of them.

I bet your wondering about the story behind the “Lemon Drop Cupcakes”. My friend mentioned last week that she had heard a news story about these cupcakes inducing labor. I kind of rolled my eyes and then a few days later decided to research it. Well sure enough there’s a story out there and then I found a blog post about a lady making her sister these cupcakes and it was 9 days before her due date and she went into labor. I thought it was worth a shot. Unfortunately I was just on a sugar high for several days after this attempt of self induction!

Lemon Drop Cupcakes
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Cake Ingredients:
2 sticks butter at room temperature
2 cups white/granulated sugar
4 extra large eggs at room temperature
1/3 cup grated lemon zest (4-8 lemons, depending on size)
3 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
3/4 cup buttermilk, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Lemon Syrup Ingredients:
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/4 cup white/granulated sugar

Glaze Ingredients:
2 cups powdered/confectioners sugar
3 1/2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

Buttercream Ingredients:
2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
3 cups powdered/confectioners sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Cake Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and prepare 24 cupcake tins with liners. Cream the butter and sugar in bowl of stand mixer with the paddle attachment until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, and lemon zest.

In another bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In another bowl, combine lemon juice, buttermilk and vanilla. Add the flour mixture and the buttermilk mixture alternately to the batter, beginning and ending with the flour. Using an ice cream scoop, fill each cupcake liner 1/2 full and bake for 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Do not over bake! Remove from oven and remove from cupcake pans as soon as possible. Let cool on a wire rack.

While the cupcakes are cooling, prepare the lemon syrup.

Syrup Directions:
Combine sugar and lemon juice in a heavy-bottom pan over low heat until sugar dissolves, stirring frequently. After cakes have cooled for 10 minutes, spoon the syrup over the tops of the cupcakes, about a tablespoon of syrup per cake. Then allow cakes to cool completely before glazing and frosting.

Glaze Directions:
Combine sugar and lemon juice in a bowl, mixing with a wire whisk until smooth. Using the back of a large spoon, smooth some glaze over the top of each cupcake. Each cupcake will use about 3/4 teaspoon of glaze.

Buttercream Directions:
In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the butter and salt for about 30 seconds. Add the powdered sugar, milk, vanilla and lemon juice and beat 5-6 minutes until frosting is fluffy. If desired, add some yellow (gel or icing) food coloring. Add to piping bag and frost as desired. This makes plenty of frosting so don’t skimp on topping those cupcakes!!

Sprinkle with yellow sugar pearls, sugar, or a lemon drop candy for decoration.

Recipe from: Lemon Sugar

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I have a favorite sandwich at Perkins and I hardly ever get there so I decided to try to imitate one at home the other night. Honestly how hard could it be to make a sandwich? Not to hard thankfully! It wasn’t quite as good as there’s as they have the yummy chicken strips that are deep fried and totally unhealthy for you, but besides that I thought this sandwich was great.

The best thing is it’s totally adaptable to whatever you want. If someone doesn’t like something or wants to add another topping it’s easy to do and you don’t feel like a short hand cook when meal time comes along.

I used my Oven Baked Bacon on these sandwiches and it was great. I like my bacon nice and crispy and this definitely got it crispy!

Grilled Chicken Bacon Ranch Sandwich
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4 pieces Sourdough bread
1 3/4 c. precooked chicken strips/chicken strips
2 Tbsp ranch dressing
1 c. shredded cheddar cheese
6 slices bacon

1. Cook the bacon on the stove or in the oven. Drain bacon.

2. Brush one side of each slice of bread with butter. Brush the opposite side with 1/2 Tbsp ranch dressing. Place the chicken on top of the ranch dressing (if you are using frozen chicken strips make sure to bake them first). Sprinkle 1/2 c. cheddar cheese on top of chicken. Top with bacon and the other piece of bread, buttered side out.

3. Cook in a frying pan on stove or in a panini press. Flip once first side is golden brown if using a frying pan. Cook until cheese is melted.

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Oven Baked Bacon

Did you know that when I see a recipe that has bacon listed as an ingredient I will actually avoid making it?

I mean I love bacon don’t get me wrong but I don’t love that terrible smell in your house and the mess of the grease flying everywhere when you fry it.

These leads me to my new attempt of Oven Baked Bacon. I had heard about this, saw it and never tried. Well I finally took the leap and tried it. I will be making my bacon like this forever. It’s super simple and easy and it smells way less then actually frying it. Plus the grease drips from it, you get perfectly straight fried bacon piece and you can get it just to the right amount of crispiness.

Come back on Wednesday to see what I used my lovely Oven Baked Bacon for!!

Oven Baked Bacon

Bacon Strips
Cooling Rack
Sheet Pan

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees

2. Place your cooling rack (for cookies) on a baking sheet.

3. Spray your cooling rack with cooking spray. Place bacon strips on the cooling rack.

4. Bake 15 – 18 minutes until they reach your desired crispiness!

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Mac & Cheese Lasagna

This is a super easy fix for supper! I’m on the look out for a lot of these recipes with a baby coming any due now, hopefully. This would also be a great supper to take out to the field or to a potluck. I’m sure my mom will be excited to have another option for the field! Plus it makes a lot so you are sure to have some leftovers, which is always nice for those crazy busy weeks.

I think there are a lot of us feeling overwhelmed at the thought of going to work full time, rushing to get the kids, rushing to get supper on the table, rushing to bathe the kids, rushing to put them to bed. It’s always rushing to do something after work. I just had this conversation with one of my besties and she was commiserating with me. I know I don’t have any children yet, but as a soon to be mom I’m already thinking about the rush rush of the game. I hope this recipe helps some of you get supper on the table fast and gives you a chance to enjoy some time with the kiddos! 

This recipe takes a couple boxes of Mac & Cheese and dresses it up to make an easy and simple lasagna. It’s a great comfort dish and a no brainer on a day after work. I usually don’t use my brain much after work!

Mac & Cheese Lasagna
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2 (7.5 oz) pkgs. of Kraft Thick and Creamy Macaroni and Cheese
1 lb. ground beef
1 1/2 cups of spaghetti sauce
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella

1. Prepare the macaroni and cheese according to the package directions. I prepared it using half the amount of butter and use fat free milk to reduce the fat.

2. While the macaroni cooks, brown the beef in a skillet and drain.  Add the spaghetti sauce to the meat and stir to combine.

3. In a 9x 13 or 11 x 7 dish, spread half of the meat mixture to cover the bottom of the pan.  Follow with a layer of half of the macaroni and cheese.  Repeat the layers with the remaining meat mixture and mac and cheese.

4. Sprinkle the mozzarella over the layers and bake at 375 degrees for 15 minutes or until hot and bubbly.

Recipe from: Real Mom Kitchen

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When you bite into these little brownies it’s like a lemon exploded in your mouth. They are absolutely wonderful. Soft and chewy with a sweet glaze. And to me nothing says “summer” like lemon. I think that’s why I made these. I really want summer to officially be here that’s for sure. It’s like March was beautiful, April was rainy, May is windy…maybe better luck in June?

The hubby isn’t such a big fan of lemon, so he didn’t give his approval on these. I brought them in for the coworkers to try and they on the other hand loved them. I might have, just might have snuck the pan back into my office when there was one left so I could hoard the last one. True story.

So if you are looking for a yummy dessert to welcome in summer these are calling your name!

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3/4 c. flour
3/4 c. sugar
1/4 t salt
1 stick butter, soft
2 eggs
Juice from 1/2 lemon (about 1 Tbsp)
Zest from 1/2 lemon (about 1 Tbsp)

1/2 c. powdered sugar
1 Tbsp lemon juice
Additional lemon zest

1. Combine flour, sugar and salt in a large bowl. Mix in softened butter.

2. In another bowl whisk the eggs with the lemon juice and zest. Add to the larger bowl and mix well.

3. Pour into a prepared 8×8 pan. Bake 20-25 minutes.

*Double the recipe for a 9×13 pan. Bake 28-30 minutes

Recipe from: Rita’s Recipes

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I picked out this recipe to try because I need something quick and easy for supper one night before our birthing class. It was so simple and easy plus yummy!

Birthing class…ok now I know why I waiting until the last minute to go to this class. That’s the last possible chance. My last class is literally 5 days before my due date. No worries about finishing it though. I’m sure I’ll be one of those lucky people that go OVER my due date. After the first class I looked at the hubby and said uhhh can I cross my legs? Do you think that will prevent that pain? He laughed at me. My midwife also laughed at me when I told her my knew plan!

I have also decided that they should show those videos to high school students and it would be great birth control for them! Holy HANNAH!!! My mother’s great words of wisdom were, “Oh Julie not many people die in childbirth anymore. You will be just fine!” Uh thanks Mom?!

Back to the topic at hand….these little treats are perfect for a quick weeknight supper or lunch. They are kid friendly and time friendly. How can you go wrong with that?

BBQ Chicken Crescents
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8 fully cooked fried chicken fingers
4 slices provolone cheese, cut in half
1 can crescent rolls
1 cup BBQ sauce

1. Preheat oven to 375.

2. Separate crescent rolls into 8 triangles. Pour BBQ sauce into a bowl. Place one half slice of cheese on top of crescent roll. Dunk chicken finger into BBQ sauce and place on top of cheese. Roll up crescent and place on cookie sheet. Repeat with remaining chicken fingers and crescents.

3. Bake for 18-20 minutes or until golden brown.

Recipe from: Plain Chicken

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Mini Caramel Rolls

Yes I know that my pictures sucks of this lovely little treat. It came off my phone this weekend. I forgot my good camera, I forgot my ok camera so all I had was my crappy cell phone camera. So sue me. I ran out of the door with ten million things on my mind and the main one was I’ve got to get to the cabin! I promise to update it the next time I make this sweet treat, but it was way to EASY and WONDERFUL not to share so I improvised.

If you are hear for my food pictures you might have come to the wrong place. I try and do the best I can but I haven’t mastered the art of food photography. Sometimes they suck, sometimes they are ok and sometimes I amaze myself and think wow that really is pretty decent!

These Mini Caramel Rolls use a crescent roll to make them super simple and amazing so if you are looking for a quick weekend treat or before school treat these can be whipped up in a jiff!

Mini Caramel Rolls
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1/3 c. packed brown sugar
1/3 c. butter, cubed
2 Tbsp light corn syrup
1 1/2 tsp milk
1 tube (8 oz) refrigerated crescent rolls
2 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

1. Combine brown sugar, butter, corn syrup and milk in a small saucepan. Cook and stir over medium heat until dissolved. Pour into a greased 9 in pie plate. Set aside.

2. Separate crescent dough into four rectangles; press perforations to seal. Combine sugar and cinnamon in small bowl. Sprinkle evenly over rectangles. Roll up jelly-roll style, starting with a long side; pinch the seams together.

3. Cut each into 9 slices; place cut side down in prepared pie plate.

4. Bake at 375 degrees for 15-18 minutes or until golden brown. Cool in a pie plate for 1 minute before inverting onto serving plate.

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