First blog post

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Budgeting Idea

Well, I was sitting on my couch the other day trying to figure out how many more days I  could save money. So, I grabbed one of many notebooks that I have and began writing down all the “normal” monthly bills we have. Example: water, gas, trash, phones, electric, etc. When I was done, I added it all up and put the total amount at under the list. Then I made one for other bills, loans, once a month doctor visits etc. I then totaled that one and place it under that list. After doing this, I went and grabbed my calendar from my wall and wrote down each one on the day we get paid, starting with which ones needed to be paid first. I then began to add those bills up and got a total for how much I would be paying every payday so I know what will be left over. I hung my calendar back up in a place where I can see it everyday. If you’d like more info on how I managed to get my family out of the horrible whole we were in, please feel free to email me any time at


Cookies & Cream Cheesecake

42 Oreo’s, 30 left whole and 12 coarsely chopped
2 pounds (32 oz.) of cream cheese, softened
1 cup white granulated sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
4 large eggs,lightly beaten
1 cup sour cream
pinch of salt

Preheat oven to 275*F. Line standard muffin pans with liners. Place 1 whole Oreo in each liner. Beat cream cheese at medium speed. Gradually add sugar and beat until combined. Beat in vanilla. Drizzle in eggs, a bit at a time. Beat in sour cream and salt. Stir in chopped cookies by hand. Divide batter evenly among cookie-lined cups, filling each almost to the top. Bake rotating pan halfway through, until filling is set, about 22 minutes. Transfer to wire racks to cool. Refrigerate 4 hours or overnight. Garnish with whipped cream.

Holiday Treats

Santa Hat Brownies

1 pan of your favorite brownies, cooled and cut into desired size and shape
12-16 small strawberries, cleaned and haled
Vanilla-mascarpone buttercream:
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, room temp.
8 oz. mascarpone cheese, room temp.
2 1/2 to 3 cups powdered sugar
2 tsp. vanilla
pinch of salt

Using a standard mixer with paddle attachment,beat butter and cheese until creamy, about 2 minutes. Add vanilla and salt. Add 2 1/2 cups sugar, half a cup at a time and continue beating until smooth. Add more sugar if needed.

To assemble; pipe a ring of vanilla buttercream on top of each brownie. Cut off base of strawberries so it is flat and place it upside down on each brownie, pushing slightly to secure in place. Top the tip of strawberries with a dot of buttercream to finish the Santa hats.

Holiday Treats

Chocolate Candy Cane Kiss Cookies

1/3 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1/3 cup plain Greek yogurt
2/3 cup dark cocoa powder (Hershey’s)
1 tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 cups flour
Coarse red and white sanding sugar 36 candy cane kisses, unwrapped

Beat the butter and sugars until creamy. Add the yogurt and egg and beat again. Sift together the cocoa powder, baking soda and the flour. Slowly beat in the butter mixture. Roll into 36 balls and roll in the red and white sugar. The dough will be very sticky. Place on a baking sheet. Bake at 350*F for 8 minutes. Cool on baking sheet 1-2 minutes. Remove to wax paper on counter. Press a kiss into each one of the cookies.

Holiday Treats

Gingerbread Men

3 cups flour
2 tsp. ground ginger
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp. salt
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter, softened
3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup molasses
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Mix first 6 ingredients. Set aside. Beat butter and sugar with mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add molasses, egg and vanilla; mix well. Gradually beat in flour mixture on low speed until well mixed. Press dough into a disk. Wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate 4 hours or overnight. Roll out dough into 1/4-inch thickness on lightly floured surface. Cut into gingerbread men with 5-inch cookie cutter. Place 1-inch apart on ungreased baking sheets. Bake at 350*F for 8-10 minutes. Cool completely. Now decorate!!!


Red Velvet Snowballs

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour spooned and leveled
1/4 cup coca powder
2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp.salt
3/4 cup unsalted butter(1 1/2 sticks) room temp.
3 cups powdered sugar, divided
1 Tbsp. red food coloring
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. white vinegar

1. Preheat oven to 350*F with rack in the upper and lower thirds. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Whisk together flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt in a bowl. 2. Beat butter and 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar on medium speed with electric mixer until smooth, 1-2 minutes. Reduce mixer to low speed and gradually add flour mixture, beat just until combined, 1-2 minutes. Add food coloring, vanilla and vinegar; increase mixer speed to medium and beat just until dough forms large crumbs, 15-20 minutes. 3. Shape dough into 2 Tbsp. balls. Place balls 1-inch apart on prepared baking sheets, freeze 10 minutes. Bake rotating sheets halfway through, until dry around edges, 15-18 minutes. Cool on wire rack 5 minutes. 4. Place remaining 1 1/2 cup powdered sugar in a bowl. Working one at a time, gently toss warm cookies in sugar to coat. Return cookies to baking sheets to cool completely reserve remaining sugar; once cooled toss again in batches in remaining sugar.


Vanilla Cupcakes

1 1/2 cups flour
1 1/4 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1 stick of butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs, room temp.
2 tsp. vanilla extract
2/3 cup whole milk, room temp.

Preheat oven to 350*F. Line a 12-cup muffin pan with paper liner. Whisk the flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl. Beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, scraping down the bowl as needed. Beat in vanilla. Reduce speed; beat in the flour mixture, then all the milk,then the remaining flour mixture, just until combined. Fill each muffin liner3/4 full. Bake 18-20 minutes.


Creamy Icing

1 cup milk
2 Tbsp. all purpose flour
1 cup butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Whisk milk into flour in small saucepan until smooth. Heat and stir until it boils and thickens. Cool thoroughly. Cream butter, sugar and vanilla in bowl until light and fluffy. Add thickened milk. Beat until mixture resembles whipped cream. Makes enough to fill and frost 2 layer cake, about 3 1/2 cups.


Golden Rum Cake

1 cup chopped walnuts
1 (18.25 oz) pkg. yellow cake mix
1 (3.4 oz) pkg. instant vanilla pudding mix
4 eggs
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup dark rum
1/2 cup butter
1/4 cup water
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup dark rum

1. Preheat oven to 325*F. Grease and flour a 10-inch bundt pan. Sprinkle chopped nuts evenly over the bottom of pan. 2. In a large bowl, combine cake mix and instant pudding mix. Mix in the eggs, 1/2 cup water, oil and 1/2 cup rum. Blend well. Pour batter over chopped nuts in the pan. 3. Bake in the preheated oven for 60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Let set 10 minutes in pan, then turn out onto serving plate. Brush glaze over top and sides.

Combine butter, 1/4 cup water and 1 cup sugar in saucepan. Bring to boil, boil 5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in 1/2 cup rum.


Peanut Butter Cake with Peanut Butter Frosting

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 cup light brown sugar(packed)
1 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup butter(room temp.)
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 1/4 cups milk
2 tsp. vanilla extract
3 eggs
Bag of mini chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350*F and grease and flour a 10×15-inch cake pan. In a large bowl, mix first 4 ingredients with an electric mixer, blend at low speed until crumbly. Add the next 5 ingredients, and blend at low speed until everything is wet, then beat at medium speed for 3 minutes. Pour into prepared pan and bake on the middle rack for 35-40 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean. Let the cake cool(in pan) 10 minutes, then spread the frosting on the hot cake and sprinkle 1 cup of mini chocolate chips over the frosting.

Peanut Butter-Honey Frosting:
1/2 cup peanut butter
2 Tbsp. Honey
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 cups powdered sugar
4-5 Tbsp. milk

Warm the peanut butter and honey in microwave just until it gets soft and easy to stir, then add everything else and beat until smooth. Spread over hot cake then sprinkle with 1 cup mini chocolate chips on tops and sides.