Category Archives: Recipes

Cate’s Cranberry Sauce

Just in time for Thanksgiving here in the States, I thought I’d share my easy but oh-so-delicious cranberry sauce recipe.  It’s totally stolen off the package, with a few little additions that make it a little more fun. First, the basic recipe:

1 cup Orange Juice
1 cup sugar
1 bag cranberries

Heat the juice and sugar until sugar is melted. Add cranberries and bring to a boil. let boil 5-10 minutes, depending on how “chunky” you like your sauce (more time means more berries pop and it becomes a smoother jelly).

Optional add ins:

Orange slices
Apple chunks
1 tspn. Cloves or Cinnamon

Happy Turkey Day, everyone!




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Reader Recipe – Cupcakes

Okay, this sounds way too delish for words. Thanks to Natasha! I’ll let her tell you about this:

I made these and then couldn’t stop eating them. I LOVE sweet and salty.
So, chocolate cupcakes with salted caramel frosting.
I found both recipes online and put them together.

One Bowl Chocolate Cupcakes
from Martha Stewart’s Baking Handbook

Makes 2 dozen


2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/4 cups dutch process cocoa powder
2 1/2 cups sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 large eggs, plus 1 large egg yolk
1 1/4 cups milk
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cup warm water

Preheat the oven to 350.

Sift together flour, cocoa, sugar, baking soda, baking powder and salt into the bowl of an electric mixer.

Attach bowl to a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. add the eggs, egg yolk, milk, oil, vanilla and warm water. Beat on low speed until smooth and combined, about 3 minutes.

Divide evenly among the muffin cups, filling each about two thirds of the way. Bake for 20-25 minutes.

Salted Caramel Frosting


1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons water
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
12 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 1/2 sticks), at room temperature
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup powdered sugar


Briefly stir together granulated sugar and water in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Continue cooking, without stirring, until mixture turns dark amber in color, about 6 to 7 minutes.

Remove from heat and slowly add in cream and vanilla, stirring with a wooden spoon until completely smooth. Set aside until cool to the touch, about 25 minutes.

Combine butter and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and beat on medium-high speed until light in color and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Reduce speed to low, add powdered sugar, and mix until completely incorporated.

Turn mixer off and scrape down the sides of the bowl, then add caramel. Beat frosting on medium-high speed until airy and thoroughly mixed, about 2 minutes. Cover and refrigerate until stiff, about 45 minutes, before using.

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Reader Recipe #3 – Apple Cake

This recipe comes to us from Anna, who also has a very timely suggestion for what to do with the plethora of apples out there. Plus, there’s sauce! I love sauce! Thanks, Anna!

This recipe for Apple Cake tastes good with or without the sauces.
Apple Cake
1 cup oil, 2 cups sugar, 2 eggs, 1 tsp. vanilla, 1 tsp. salt, 1 tsp. baking soda, 2 tsps. baking powder, 2 1/2 cups All Purpose flour,  3 cups chopped apples.
Beat oil, sugar, eggs and vanilla together. Blend in dry ingredients. Stir in apples. Press into lightly oiled 13 x 9 pan.
1/3 cup brown sugar, packed, 1 tsp. ground cinnamon, 1/2 cup nuts, chopped
Combine ingredients and sprinkle over cake.
Bake 350 degrees for 35-45 minutes or until done in middle.
Vanilla Sauce
1 cup sugar, 2 tablespoons All Purpose flour, 1 1/2 cups whipping cream, 1/2 tsp. butter, 2 tsps. vanilla extract
Blend sugar and flour in saucepan. Whisk in whipping cream. Add butter. Cook on medium heat, whisking until thickened. Add vanilla and stir.
Cinnamon Sauce
2 cups boiling water, 2 cups light brown sugar, packed, 1/4 cup butter, 1/4 cup flour, 2 tsps. vanilla, 1 1/2 tsps. ground cinnamon, 1 tsp. salt
Combine in saucepan. Bring to boil, stirring constantly.
Serve cake warm with vanilla sauce or cinnamon sauce.

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Reader Recipe #2: Pumpkin Pancakes

This one comes to us from the lovely lady with whom I lived for three years of college. Yes! College roomies are totally eligible to enter my contests. Especially considering she knows things I’d rather keep quiet. hehe Kidding. Maybe.

Here is her easy recipe for pumpkin pancakes just in time for the holidays! Thanks, Karla!

Pumpkin Pancakes

2 ½ cup Aunt Jemima

3 tablespoons brown sugar

2 ½ teaspoons pumpkin pie spice

1 egg

1 ¾ cup milk

2 tablespoons oil

1 cup pumpkin

Sift all ingredients together until slightly lumpy. Cook on a hot, greased griddle, using about 1/4 cup of batter for each pancake. Batter is dense so you will need to spread the batter out a bit. Cook until brown on one side; turn and brown the other side. Top with whipped cream or syrup.


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Reader Recipe – Chicken Dish

Time to start sharing some of our contest entries! This comes from Kelli, and it looks awesome! Thanks, Kelli!

Chicken Dish

oven temp: 400 degrees
bake time: 50-60 minutes
prep time: 15-20 minutes

In an oven safe dish (size will depend on how many chicken breasts you use), place one can of cream of mushroom soup to cover the bottom, place 4-6 chicken breasts on top, add one can of cream of mushroom soup to cover the breasts, sprinkle each breast with cayenne pepper to your liking, place in oven and bake for 50 minutes, top each chicken breast with grated cheese (any type you like) and melt for approximately 10 minutes in the oven. Your chicken should be 180 degrees or higher inside temp.

You can serve with Stove Top stuffing or mashed potatoes and a vegetable.

Hope you enjoy!


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Recipe of the Week – Caramel Dip

I am spending the week trying to get a book in my head (NaNo starts Sunday) and trying to get the crud out of my sinuses. Still, when my neighbor brought over a huge bag of apples the other day, I had one thought: caramel.  I love caramel-dipped apples, and adore caramel on ice cream, so I thought I would share a little dip I made up last night.

1/2 stick salted butter
2 cups brown sugar
1 can sweetened condensed milk

In a medium saucepan, melt butter over medium-high heat. Add sugar and stir until moistened by butter. Add milk slowly by thirds, stirring after each addition. Allow to boil for 15 minutes, adjusting heat accordingly and stirring frequently so it does not burn.

Now this step is vital – allow to cool for 1/2 hour. Otherwise your first bite might lead you to the ER. This stuff is hot when it comes out of the pan.

Can be used to dip fruit, put over ice cream, as a cake or pie topping – anywhere you’d use caramel!

I brought a little bit to work with me today, and will heat it for about 30 seconds in the microwave before dipping my apple. Yummy!!


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Recipe of the Week – Tater Tot Casserole

Notice how I started with upper-crust recipes from Let’s Dish and am heading toward more day-to-day meals? Kind of a commentary on how my life really works, I guess. I do the complicated stuff sometimes, but most of the time we have some good old standbys we go for around here. This is one of them.

If you’re from the Upper Midwest, you know this recipe already. Heck, you probably were weaned on it. As for me, it was something I never heard of until I moved here from Wyoming eons ago. Now it’s something warm and cozy I can make that the kids will eat.


1 pound ground beef
1 bag frozen mixed veggies
1 can Cream of Mushroom soup
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 bag tater tots

Brown the ground beef and season as desired (I use onion and pepper). Mix in a casserole pan with the vegetables, soup, milk and cheese. Top with tater tots (I sprinkle tots with some kosher salt) and bake in a 350 dgree oven for half-hour to 45-minutes or until tots are golden brown and crispy.

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