Reuben Nachos

I have to credit my love for cooking to my grandma’s yes, but later in life to Rachael Ray. Now I know a lot of people don’t like her and I have my moments where I just want her to come to reality because she always says, Your local store has blank blank blank. Well I live in Middle American and Rural America at that and our local store doesn’t always have things she refers to, example shallots. 

But the thing about her is she came up with the idea of 30 minute meals. I was home from college one Christmas and got in to watching her show. I guess there was nothing else on so I got hooked on Food Network but I believe one of the first recipes she ever made was Mexican Lasagna. Truth be told I love Mexican food and I love Lasagna so you combine the two in 30 minutes or less and I’m sold. I remember calling my mom at work and asking her to pick up ingredients (texting wasn’t really an option at the time). When mom got home I made it and fell in love.

From then on I was hooked on watching her show. I then branched out to others but like I said, I want to credit her. I think it was that 30 minute meals thing and the fact that even if we couldn’t find what she was talking about in Rural Middle America I learned how to substitute. As you can see from the above picture I also learned what a Rue is. It’s a combination of butter and flour cooked down and then added to liquid as a thickening agent. Oooo look at me go. Are you impressed?

Eventually Rachael Ray came into daytime TV. When Mark and I started dating I told him I really liked her and her show. I meant the one on Food Network but he thought it was the one on daytime tv. Because of that miscommunication I started watching her daytime TV show. 

Since 2010 I have quit watching her as much. In fact in the last year I can’t remember a time I’ve taken a minute to watch her daytime tv show or really any show of hers on Food Network. Is she even on Food Network anymore? I don’t know. One of the shows I did watch though, she made New York Deli Nachos.

I tried them once before, in fact it was early on in Mark and my marriage. It’s a combination of kettle chips and all the things that go into a Reuben Sandwich. Holy YUM! Mark loves Reuben Sandwiches so I knew this would be an easy sell for him. But here recently I was sitting here thinking, what are we going to have for dinner. Like I said the initial time we had these was early on in our marriage (we’ll have been married 7 years this year) and it hit me like a freight train I wanted these reuben nachos.

When he got home from work, I left our little girl with him and ran to the store after the ingredients. The only thing I couldn’t find was the shredded lettuce, but we luckily had a brand new package in the refrigerator. It’s a layer of kettle chips and meat and cheese sauce and sauerkraut and lettuce and just yummy stuff.

Let’s just say this hit the spot. Between the 4 of us who were eating on this for dinner, there wasn’t a bite leftover. Yes, they were that good. I’m just saying, go to the store, get the ingredients, and try them now. You won’t be disappointed!

New York Deli Nachos

Ingredients
  • Ridged, thick-cut or kettle potato chips or frozen waffle fries
  • 2 tablespoons canola or olive oil
  • 3/4 pound thick-cut deli pastrami, about 3 slices, diced
  • 3/4 pound sliced 1/4-inch thick corned beef, diced
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1/2 pound sauerkraut, rinsed and drained
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 2 rounded tablespoons flour
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 1 cup grated Swiss cheese
  • 1 cup chopped or grated Muenster cheese
  • 2 rounded tablespoons spicy deli mustard
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 1/4 cup relish
  • Salt and pepper
  • Shredded lettuce
  • Sliced or chopped deli pickles

Preheat oven to 250F.

Place potato chips on a large rimmed baking sheet and warm in oven or bake waffle fries to package directions.

Heat a skillet over medium-high heat with the oil. Add beef and onions, and cook until crispy at edges and hot through. Add sauerkraut and saut until warmed through, about 1-2 minutes.

Heat a saucepot over medium to medium-high heat. Melt butter and whisk in flour. Whisk in milk, season with salt and pepper, and thicken. Melt in cheeses and stir in mustard.

In a bowl, stir together sour cream, ketchup and relish; season with salt and pepper.

Arrange warm chips or waffle fries on a platter. Top with meat and cheese sauce. Drizzle with Russian dressing and top with lettuce, onions and chopped deli pickles.

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Deep Dark Chocolate Cake

Do you ever just get it in your head you want to do something? Please tell me I’m not alone on that! Friday I spent the day decorating some cookies for a birthday party. I asked my friend Jody if she had a cake for her son’s birthday and she said that her kids don’t really like cake. Not like cake? What a sin. haha! Nah, not really.

I can’t always say I’m a huge fan of cake, but sometimes I just want cake. That day I just so happened to get it in my head I wanted cake. Earlier int he week I found a recipe for a cake I thought I might want to try but the “icing” has white wine in it and it isn’t cooked down. When you cook with alcohol, if you actually cook it, you’ll get rid of the alcohol. If you cook a cake such as a rum cake, the icing on it doesn’t get cooked either.

The other cake that really stood out to me was one of my grandma’s recipes for a Deep dark chocolate cake. This cake is friggin awesome! Now truth be told I’m not a huge chocolate anything fan. This cake though makes me want to eat every last bite. I found the recipe a few years ago in some of my grandma’s recipes. After she passed away I got all of her recipes/recipe books. I just stumbled across this and have loved it ever since. In fact, this is the best chocolate cake I’ve had I think!

The real kicker about the recipe is it said milk but there wasn’t a given amount. Later in the instructions it said it was supposed to be a thin batter. Mark and I set out to figure out how much milk was needed. We played around with it and decided the amount of milk is 3/4 of a cup. It works and we get a thin batter. When you bake it… Oh. My. Gosh!

Prepare your pan. I always use Bakers Joy. Like I’ve stated before, Food Network did a study to find the best and I swear it’s only like around $3 for the can. It’s not the most expensive. That makes it even better, right? Yeah, I thought so too!

The icing in grandma’s recipe calls for 1 tablespoon milk. When I was making my icing the other day the humidity was really wonky. If you didn’t know, we’re kind of floating away here in the midwest. Hey, come dead of summer we’ll be asking for rain. Unfortunately a bunch of people have a lot of flood damage so I’m not writing it off or anything, just simply saying. One last thought, I saw on Wednesday we’re supposed to get more rain.

Anyway, back to the icing. Play with the icing. Sometimes you need a few more tablespoons of milk to make it thin out and other times you don’t. Weather has a HUGE factor on baking sometimes. Just make iced sugar cookies! You’ll quickly learn!

I have to say I couldn’t wait to dive in to this cake. Holy yum! It has a nice soft silky taste to it while the icing sets up and almost has a fudgy type consistency to it. And the chocolate isn’t overbearing. One factor when you are someone like me who isn’t a HUGE chocolate fan. I’m okay not having chocolate for months at a time, but every once in a while you just need chocolate and on top of that cake. So why not combine the two and have this Deep Dark Chocolate Cake. It’s dreamy! LOL

Deep Dark Chocolate Cake

  • 1 3/4 Cup Flour
  • 2 Cups Sugar
  • 3/4 Cup Cocoa
  • 1 1/2 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1 1/2 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 Cup Vegetable Oil
  • 2 Tsp Vanilla
  • 3/4 Cup Milk
  • 1 Cup Boiling Water

Combine dry ingredients.
Add: eggs, milk, oil, vanilla, water
Pour into a 9×13 greased & floured cake pan. Batter will be thin.
Bake at 350 degrees. 35 to 40 minutes.

Fudge Icing

  • 1 Stick Butter
  • 3 Tbsp Cocoa powder
  • 1-3 tbsp milk
  • 1 lb powdered sugar

Melt butter. Add cocoa. Mix in milk and powdered sugar.

Frost Cake

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The Pineville Grill {Pineville, MO}

If there’s one thing I can tell you about myself on this rainy morning, it would be, I like Breakfast food. There, I said it. This coming from the person who is not now nor has ever been a morning person. I seriously can’t tell you my favorite breakfast food either. I like biscuits and gravy, I like omelets, I like pancakes, I just like breakfast food and sometimes it is difficult to go eat breakfast and make up my mind what I really want. I’m glad we got that out of the way :).

I woke up this morning and laid in bed watching it storm like crazy. Last weekend we were under flash river flood warnings and this weekend we are too. The only difference is we live on top of a hill here and last weekend we were camping at the Trails for Kids held at Crag O’Lea in Pineville, MO.

My husband Mark and I along with a bunch of our friends are on the Trails for Kids committee so we started camping on Wednesday evening so that we could be there to help check people in. Little did we know what our weekend was going to have in store for us. WOW!

But Thursday morning we woke up and we were all hungry so we decided to drive in to Pineville and eat breakfast at the Pineville Grill.

The Pineville Grill

Like I said, the girl who isn’t a morning person likes her breakfast food! This was an omelet that had pretty much everything. eggs, bacon, sausage (although I had them hold the sausage), ham, cheese, onions, bell peppers, and more cheese. Mine came with a side of either toast or biscuits and gravy or something else… I went for the biscuits and gravy. I’m actually glad I did because my darling little ate quite a bit of my biscuits and gravy. Apparently she’s a biscuits and gravy fan too.

She also likes pancakes so that’s what we ordered her. She even got it in the shape of Mickey Mouse… one of her favorites. Now this wasn’t a bad pancake but it wasn’t my favorite either. Yes, I tried a bite. It wasn’t nearly as sweet as normal pancakes. Like I said, not terrible but not the best either.

Mark and Jared got something called Skuttle Browns. It was a skillet that had hashbrowns and cheese and sausage and ham and eggs your way. They also got pancakes as a side. They weren’t impressed with their pancakes either. I didn’t try a bite of theirs… I didn’t need to, I could eat the little’s if I wanted pancakes. Hey, she was eating my biscuits and gravy.

Other than that, I’m not sure what else to tell you. I like breakfast food but we already established that. Today is another soggy wet day and we’re under another flood watch, maybe even warning now. Luckily we live on a hill, so we just have to worry about the bottom of our driveway because like the olden day phrase, I walked up hill both ways to school, I really did. down the hill to go up it to meet the bus then down the hill to go up back to the house. Does that make me old? Just a thought….

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Cherry Pie

What is the best Pie Crust recipe without a good pie to go in it? Earlier this month I shared with you a recipe for PW’s Flat Apple Pie (also known as a Galette as we found out) and that was the pie crust I used for that. Really though, my favorite Pie when it comes to fruit pies is a Cherry Pie. YUM!

While you can buy cherry pie filling in the can, it’s almost just as easy to make your own. Now once upon a time I had a cherry tree in my yard. Boy I miss that cherry tree. The thing with Cherry trees is really the only time of year they give off cherries is late May early June depending on the weather. You also have to be especially quick so the dumb birds don’t eat all your fruit! The off time of year, where in the world do you find the tart cherries (or sour cherries as I like to call them)? 

When I went to Walmart, because as you may or may not know I live in one of those small towns in a flyover state where all we really have is Walmart, all they had were the big sweet cherries. They are okay to make a Cherry pie with, except you just cut down on the sugar added. But truthfully the tart cherries are the better tasting cherries in a cherry pie.

Finally I went to Reasor’s in Tulsa one one of my trips there and they had the tart cherries in bags. I may or may not have stocked up on them. Then once I came back home, I went to Food for Less and they have them too. <insert Happy Dance 💃> With that being said, all you need to make your own cherry pie filling is the cherries, water, sugar, and cornstarch. Yes, it is easy to open up a can, but it tastes so much better when it is homemade! And it is truthfully just as easy!

If you’ve noticed, usually a cherry pie has the lattice work on top. In the past, Mark and I have placed each piece right there on top of the pie, but the other day we decided to do the lattice work on a piece of parchment paper, place it in the freezer for about 15 minutes, and then transfer it over to the pie. Do you hear those angels singing? OMG, that made all the difference in the world and it was super simple! Yey!

This particular pie was made for a Bake Sale for Trails for Kids. Trails for Kids is a trail ride used to raise money for our local CP Center.

Last year I made a giant chocolate chip cookie in a cast iron pan that went for $130. I felt the pressure to try again to outdo myself. This year it didn’t just rain but it poured! We had flooding and almost had to emergency evac due to rivers flooding and everything else. I’m pleased to announce that we were all okay and even with the horrible weather we had a great turn out. Numbers were down but you always have good and bad years.

Anyway back to this Cherry pie… I placed it in a Cast Iron Pie Plate that my friend Tracy introduced me to last fall. This particular pie brought $50. Okay okay, so not as good as last year but I’ll definitely take it! 

Here was my finished pie that went into the auction. Really, the real winners are the kids who benefit at the CP Center from the Trails for Kids trail ride and all the other fundraisers and activities throughout the year.

So my Cherry pie………

Cherry pie

Ingredients:
  • 3 cups pitted cherries
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • approximately 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 Cup cornstarch matched with just enough water to make a slurry
Instructions:

1. Combine fruit and sugar in a pan and stir together. If cherries are soft and mushy, you won’t need additional water, but if cherries are firm, add 1/4 to 1/2 cup water. Bring to a boil.
2. Mix cornstarch with some cold water (about 3 tablespoons of cold water with 1/4 c cornstarch making a slurry), whisking to remove lumps.
3. When cherries are boiling, add cornstarch slurry mixture while stirring constantly to prevent lumps. Add enough thickening agent to make the consistency you desire. We like our pies fairly thick.  Stir until the juices are clear.  When the filling looks clear, it’s fully cooked. Over-cooking will start to break down the filling. If you want your pie to be more of a red color, add a couple drops of food coloring (optional; I never do this.)
4. Pour into pie crusts and bake pies at 425 degrees for about 30 minutes or until browned.

Additional Notes:

*You can use sour or sweet cherries for this recipe, but you will need to adjust the sugar if using sweet cherries. I would use about 1/2 to 3/4 cup of sugar for sweet cherries.
**Cornstarch thickens, and will continue to become thicker as your mixture cools. Do not make it as thick when hot as you would like it to be when it has cooled, or it will be too thick.

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The BEST Pie Crust

I have the Best Pie Crust Recipe for you today. How do I know it’s the best? Because I’ve tasted it obviously!
A couple years ago at our house we had a cherry tree, boy I miss that cherry tree! Mark and I went out and picked the cherries and then it was time to make a pie. That particular day we didn’t have any eggs so we were trying to come up with a recipe for pie crust that didn’t require it to sit in the refrigerator for hours upon hours AND didn’t require eggs. Finally I went through a cookbook that my grandma had placed some recipes in. I read through the list of ingredients and it didn’t say eggs so SCORE! We started measuring out all the ingredients and then as we got halfway or better through it, bam, 1 egg. Palm to forehead moment. At that time we had some friends who lived just around the corner so we went and grabbed some eggs from them.
At that time I think we remarked, this better be a good pie crust. Let me tell you, this pie crust is awesome! In fact, another story, my father-in-law wasn’t having the best of luck with pie crusts and one day was talking to me about that. I mentioned I had my grandma’s and told him to at least try it once. From then on he was hooked. With all that, I’m telling you, this is THE BEST Pie Crust.
If you are looking through the list of ingredients, you’ll notice 5 cups of flour. That seems like a lot. But one thing to consider is this makes 4 pie crusts. Perfect. Use 1 or 2 for your pie and save the other two for another pie. Just wrap tightly in cling wrap and put in a freezer bag, then place in the freezer for that next time you need or want a pie.
If you plan on blind baking this (aka nothing in it but pie weights) bake at 350˚ for 15 minutes. If you plan on baking with pie filling then bake at the temperature and time of the specified pie. Simple as that! And trust me, you’ll thank me for this recipe! It’s our go to pie crust and boy is it yummy!

The BEST Pie Crust

Ingredients (4 crusts)
  • 5 Cups Flour
  • 2 Cups Shortening (can use cheap kind and using part margarine works too)
  • 2 Tbsp Sugar
  • 2 Tsp Salt
  • 1 Egg
Instructions:
Blend to small lumpy stage.
Then put an egg in a 1 cup measure. Add 2 tbsp vinegar or lemon juice and blend. Fill to top of cup measure with very cold water, stirring as you do. Then pour over above mixture and toss lightly until it rolls into a ball.
Divide into 4 smaller balls; flatten each slightly. Use what you need for your pie or pies and put remainder in a plastic zip lock bag and freeze until needed. Keeps very well.
Then fill with your favorite filling. If you’re making a cream pie of sorts, place in a 350 degree oven for about 15 minutes to bake, otherwise, bake the crust when you’re baking your pie (ie apple, cherry, etc).
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Carrot-Walnut Cupcakes minus the Walnuts!

Here it is Monday after Easter and I think I’m still in a food induced comma. I sure hope you ate well, I know I did! By now I’m sure you’re aware I challenged myself to bake all 12 cupcakes in the Food Network Magazine January/February 2017 edition. The editor says there doesn’t need to be a reason to have a cupcake, therefore one for every month. This month happens to be the Carrot-Walnut Cupcakes. Those would be perfect for Easter, right? We didn’t eat them on Easter though… nope, but the week of, you bet!

I should immediately point out, I didn’t put in the walnuts, that’s why the title says minus the walnuts. Mark doesn’t handle nuts real well (we’ll leave it at that.. haha) and I’m not crazy about Walnuts. If I had used any nuts, they would have been Pecans. I prefer the milder taste of a pecan over a walnut any day.I wasn’t sure about these cupcakes when I initially started mixing up the batter. The smell of the cinnamon and nutmeg seemed to overpower the small amount of flour. Truthfully, how they know how to mix up to get exactly 12 cupcakes is amazing. Now If I could just learn to measure out exactly 12 cupcakes. I tried the ice cream scoop method and came up shy. If nothing else, I hope to learn how to make perfect cupcakes by this challenge!

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Eagle Drive-In {Joplin, MO}

Eagle Drive-In. Must I say anymore? I think the pictures can do the talking for themselves!

This is the JoMo Po’ Boy. Calamari, Eagle Sauce, Tomato, and a whole bunch of other stuff. I obviously didn’t eat it, I don’t eat seafood. Mark though, he LOVED it. Oh and Eagle Sauce they say is similar to Thousand Island dressing, but better. This came with a side, fries were the obvious choice. Then there is the choice of sauce to go with the fries. That is Eagle Sauce.

This is the Black and bleu Burger. It was also thoroughly enjoyed. Now I don’t eat Bleu Cheese either, but my mom LOVED it. She went with a side of fries too. Her sauce of choice, Garlic Aioli.

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Rainbow Cupcakes

I’m sure you were worried, but no need to. Just because I took a few weeks off to move over to WordPress with this blog, I am still keeping up with my Monthly Cupcake from Food Network Magazine, January/February 2017 issue.

When I woke up the morning I made these, I was worried about having 2 ingredients. Lemons, which I was fairly certain I had and Cake Flour, which I was pretty sure I didn’t have. I did go to the pantry to see if I had cake flour and surprisingly I did. WHAT?!?! I guess I bought it for something else one day and had some left over. So… if you don’t have cake flour, not to fear! Make your own! Wait, what? Make your own cake flour. Yup! You read that right!

Cake flour:

1 cup all-purpose flour minus 2 tbsp (that is subtract 2tbsp of the ap flour). Then add in 2 tbsp corn starch. Use your handy dandy sifter and sift 5-6 times to incorporate the corn starch. Bam, your own homemade cake flour.

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Chocolate-Strawberry Cupcakes

If there is one thing they tell you to do, it’s try something new. While baking cupcakes isn’t a new concept for me, I’m not so good at it. It’s really always been a bit of a challenge for me, and I’m not really sure why. So when the January/February 2017 Food Network Magazine came out and they had a whole section devoted to cupcakes for each month, I just knew I had to partake… and at least try.

As we know, I messed up the January cupcakes just a bit… but it was more icing related issues than it was cupcake related issues. And the cupcakes themselves were excellent.

When I saw the cupcakes for this month, I was quite excited. While they don’t want them to be for a special occasion but say a random Tuesday, these cupcakes scream Valentine’s Day to me. No, I didn’t make them on Valentine’s Day or even for Valentine’s Day because I was busy getting ready to attend a wedding, but I knew I was going to make them no matter what.

This morning I had a few minutes so I went into the kitchen, gathered up all the ingredients and went about my way making Chocolate Strawberry Cupcakes.

One of the ingredients it called for was instant espresso powder. Well, I didn’t have any and didn’t have much luck finding any at the store either, so I used instant coffee instead. Really other than the fact that it isn’t quite as strong of a flavor, they are easily swap-able with each other.

Other than that one swap, I followed the recipe to a T.

This month I was able to measure out the batter into 12 cupcakes compared to last month when I somehow only wound up with 11 cupcakes. So I’m making progress.

The cupcakes called for a glaze over the warm cupcakes of strawberry jam or jelly mixed with lemon juice. I used jelly. I have to point out that between the nice chocolate flavor with the flavor of the icing, I didn’t really taste the strawberry layer. I took my Mother-in-law over a cupcake this morning when I went to check on cows and she too didn’t really taste that strawberry jelly layer.

Unfortunately this isn’t the “right” time of year for strawberries. While I liked them, hubby thought they were a little under-ripe.

When I was making my frosting, or icing if you prefer, my white icing tasted great. The white chocolate melted up nicely, then mixed with the powdered sugar, butter, milk, and vanilla, it turned out to be a very good tasting icing. Not to sweet, but it was sweet enough, and I’m not a huge fan of white chocolate.

Sadly, my chocolate icing on the other hand, when added to the butter, then mixing in the powdered sugar, vanilla, and milk, something happened and it got chunky. I’m not exactly sure what I did incorrectly, but there were those chocolate chunks in my chocolate icing. Whoops. Why does it seem like I keep messing up the icing in these cupcakes?

Then… piping the icing on…. <sigh>. So I prepared my piping bag, it said to use a large circle tip. Well from my years in cake decorating classes, the teacher said to fit with a coupler and just use that. That’s what I proceeded to do… I placed my white icing in one side of the bag and the chocolate in the other just as the directions suggested. That’s when things went down hill fast. I started squeezing out to get both colors. Well this makes just enough icing for all 12 cupcakes.

In the end I was short icing so I had to spread it on with a spatula. So while they weren’t real pretty, they tasted pretty darn good, but hubby didn’t really agree. He wasn’t crazy about the different flavors together… but my mother-in-law on the other hand agreed with me. I’m not sure there needed to be the strawberry layer because it didn’t really shine through, but otherwise, the cupcakes were pretty good. I like the icing too, so I assume this might make a good cake some day…. never know….

Chocolate-Strawberry Cupcakes (via Food Network Magazine, Jan/Feb 2017, pg 59)
Ingredients:

  • For the Cupcakes
    • 1 c flour
    • 1/2 tsp salt
    • 1/2 tsp baking soda
    • 1/2 c unsweetened cocoa powder
    • 1 tsp instant espresso powder
    • 3/4 c whole milk
    • 1 c sugar
    • 3/4 c vegetable oil
    • 1 large egg
    • 1 tsp vanilla
    • 1/4 c strawberry jam/jelly
    • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • For the Strawberries & Icing:
    • 6 oz semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
    • 12 medium strawberries
    • 2 oz white chocolate, finely chopped
    • 1 1/2 sticks (12 tbsp) unsalted butter, room temp
    • 2 pinches salt, separated
    • 2 tsp vanilla, separated
    • 2 tbsp whole milk, separated

Directions:
For the cupcake:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350˚F. Line a 12-cup muffin pan with liners.
  2. Whisk the flour, salt, and baking soda together in a medium bowl.
  3. Combine the cocoa powder and espresso powder in a large bowl
  4. Heat the milk in a small saucepan over medium heat until hot but not simmering; pour over the cocoa powder mixture and whisk until smooth.
  5. Let cool a few minutes, then add the granulated sugar and whisk until dissolved.
  6. Whisk in the vegetable oil, egg, and vanilla, then whisk in the flour mixture until combined.
  7. Divide the batter between the muffin cups, filling each about 2/3 full.
  8. Bake 20 minutes, or until cupcakes spring back when gently pressed.
  9. While the cupcakes are baking, mix together the strawberry jam/jelly with the lemon juice and brush on the warm cupcakes.
  10. Transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.

For the Chocolate covered strawberries

  1. Microwave 4oz semisweet chocolate in a microwave safe bowl, stirring, until melted.
  2. Dip the strawberries in the chocolate; place on wax paper.
  3. Let set, 20-30 minutes.

For the Icing:

  1. Microwave the white chocolate and the remaining 2 oz semisweet chocolate in separate bowls, stirring each, until melted.
  2. Let cool.
  3. Beat 6 tbsp butter and a pinch of salt with an electric mixer on medium-high speed until smooth.
  4. Beat in the melted white chocolate.
  5. Add 1 c confectioners sugar; beat until fluffy, about 3 minutes, then beat in 1 tsp vanilla and 1 tbsp milk
  6. Set aside the white chocolate icing
  7. Repeat steps 3-6 with the semisweet chocolate to make semisweet chocolate icing.
  8. Spoon the white chocolate icing onto one side of a piping bag fitted with a large round tip. Spoon the semisweet chocolate icing next to the white chocolate icing so the two flavors are side by side; pip swirled icing onto the cupcakes.
  9. Top each with a chocolate-dipped strawberry.
  10. Enjoy, especially on a random Tuesday.
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Oatmeal Cookie Pancakes

I’ve been trying all morning to get a picture uploaded and it won’t upload. It really isn’t of much other than the fact my iPhone is obsessed with where my vehicle is parked. Every morning and even multiple times per day my phone gives me a message that it knows where my vehicle is and it’s marked. I giggle every time. I can’t help myself. That has nothing to do with today’s post other than it is a funny, random, daily fact.

In other news, it’s morning. Morning means breakfast. When we woke up this morning, we were hungry. Now my toddler seems to think that eating chocolate candy bars for breakfast is all she needs to survive. I’m here to tell her differently… And I always have to be the bad person, telling her that.

She does like pancakes, you know, unless Frozen is on tv, then nothing matters. This morning I thought I’d try out one of my old favorites. When I was in college I got in to watching Rachael Ray 30 Minute Meals on Food Network. One day she had a recipe for Oatmeal Cookie Pancakes. Now if there is something I can tell you about when I was younger, we didn’t always have staple ingredients in our house like say my grandma would have or even some of my friends parents. One of those staples I’m talking about is milk. I have to say, having a toddler and a husband who both love milk… that helps with that staple ingredient… as long as the 2 of them haven’t drank it all.

This morning though, I decided to make these delicious pancakes. Throughout the years, I’ve learned to sub this out for that if I didn’t have that. Remember, we didn’t have the “staples” like the people on Food Network assumed you kept at all times. This recipe calls for milk. I had milk but didn’t want to have to walk to the other fridge to get it, so I had buttermilk handy. I thought I’d sub that in. That gave these a tang to them.

Really, I thought the tang from the buttermilk would be okay because it called for sour cream. Now the sour cream… well I had a tub in the fridge that said good through March 17, 2017. Good right? NOPE! Oh no, when I took the lid off, there was mold on it. No bueno so that immediately went into the trash. Yuck!

I just decided to leave the sour cream out. I know you can sub in Greek yogurt, but we didn’t have that either.

And if we’re keeping score I left out the raisins and walnuts. I’m not a fan of walnuts.

So here’s the original recipe in all its glory. YUM!

Oatmeal Cookie Pancakes – Rachael Ray
1 cup oats
1 cup flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp ground cinnamon
2 oz,1/4 cup, chopped walnuts
3/4 cup sour cream
3/4 cup milk
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla
2 really ripe bananas, smashed
3/4 cup raisins
1/2 stick butter, 1/4 cup, melted
Maple sugar or honey for drizzling

Mix dry ingredients, first 7, in a bowl.  Mix wet ingredients, next 4, in another bowl.  Whisk the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until just combined, then fold in the bananas & raisins (optional).  Stir in the melted butter.

Heat the griddle over medium heat and spray with cooking spray.  Cook pancakes, each about 1/3 cup, until bubbles form on top, then turn.  Cakes will cook in about 2 minutes on each side.  Serve with honey or syrup.  Keep cakes tented with foil as they come off the griddle to keep warm.

Helpful hit: If you cannot find really ripe bananas, just nuke them in the microwave for about 15 seconds and they will become super soft.

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