Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Melissa's Zucchini Bread


  • 3 cups all-purpose flour 
  • 1 teaspoon salt 
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda 
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder 
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon 
  • 3 eggs 
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 1/4 cups white sugar 
  • 3 teaspoons vanilla extract 
  • 2 cups grated zucchini 
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts 

Grease and flour two 8 x 4 inch pans. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C).

Sift flour, salt, baking powder, soda, and cinnamon together in a bowl. Beat eggs, oil, vanilla, and sugar together in a large bowl. Add sifted ingredients to the creamed mixture, and beat well. Stir in zucchini and nuts until well combined.

Pour batter into prepared pans. Bake for 40 to 60 minutes, or until tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in pan on rack for 20 minutes. Remove bread from pan, and completely cool.

Crockpot Refried Beans

Melissa: "We love these and make them often and have them for the week, so so good!"   I can't wait to try these!


  • 1 onion peeled and halved 
  • 3 cups dry beans (I do 2 c. Pinto 1 c. Black beans.) 
  • JalapeƱo optional (I usually add a few in from a jar) 
  • 2 TBL. Minced garlic 
  • 3 tsp salt 
  • 1 3/4 tsp pepper 
  • 1/8 tsp cumin (optional) 
  • 9 cups water or chicken broth 

Soak beans overnight. Drain and put everything in the crockpot. Stir.

Cook on HIGH for 8 hours adding more water if needed. Once cooked, strain them reserving the liquid. Mash beans and onion, or remove onion, whatever your preference is. Add reserved liquid as needed until you reach your desired consistency.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

White Chocolate Dipped Ginger Cookies

Yield: About 2 1/2 dozen

  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour 
  • 1 tsp baking soda 
  • 1/2 tsp salt 
  • 2 tsp ground ginger 
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon 
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves 
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg 
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter , softened 
  • 1/2 cup + 3 Tbsp granulated sugar , divided 
  • 1/2 cup packed light-brown sugar 
  • 1 large egg 
  • 1/4 cup molasses 
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract 
  • 3 cups white chocolate chips 
  • 3 Tbsp shortening 
  • Red and green candy melts (or tinted royal icing) (optional) 

In a mixing bowl whisk together flour, baking soda, salt, ginger, cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg for 20 seconds, set aside.

In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together butter, 1/2 cup granulated sugar and brown sugar until well blended. Mix in egg, then blend in molasses and vanilla. With mixer set on low speed, slowly add in dry ingredients and mix until combined. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and chill 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees during last 10 minutes of chilling. Scoop dough out about 1 1/2 Tbsp at a time, shape into balls then roll in remaining 3 Tbsp granulated sugar. Transfer to Silpat or parchment paper lined baking sheets, spacing cookies 2 inches apart (keep dough chilled that is not currently baking), flatten tops just slightly (to evenly level).

Bake in preheated oven 8 - 10 minutes. Cool on baking sheet several minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

In a microwave safe bowl, melt 1 cup white chocolate chips with 1 Tbsp shortening at a time in microwave on HIGH power in 10 second intervals, stirring between intervals, until melted, smooth and fairly runny (I did batches of it because it will cool as your dipping, plus its easy to burn so you don't want to work with too much of it at a time. Then once you've used it up melt more, you may not need all 3 cups). Dip half of each cookie in melted white chocolate mixture then run bottom of cookie slightly along edge of bowl to remove excess, then return to Silpat or parchment paper to set at room temperature.

If doing the holly decoration, melt candy melts according to directions on package (I worked in small batches because it sets quickly, maybe 9 chips at a time, plus you won't need much). Pour into a piping bags fitted with a #4 tip and pipe decorations. Allow to set a room temperature.

Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins

"My kids gobble these up." -Melissa

  • 1 cup white sugar 
  • 2 cups flour 
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda 
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla 
  • 3 tablespoons sour cream 
  • 2 eggs 1/2 cup butter, softened 
  • 2 or 3 ripe bananas - I always use 3 bananas 
  • 3/4 cup chocolate chips 

Mix all ingredients together until moistened. Add chocolate chips by sprinkling on the tops of the muffins before baking. Pour into greased muffin baking tray or use muffin paper liners. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes or until golden brown. Recipe makes 12 muffins.

Recipe found HERE.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Graham Cracker Crust #2


  • 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs (from about 9 whole graham crackers) 
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar 
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, optional 
  • Pinch of salt 
  • 7 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted 

If you’re using whole graham crackers, finely crush them in a food processor or place them in a ziploc bag and roll with a rolling pin.

Stir graham cracker crumbs, brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt together in a large bowl. Add melted butter and stir with a fork. Press mixture into the bottom and up the sides of a 9” pie plate. Press hard to compact. You can use a glass to press the bottom, but use your fingers to press the sides.

To make a no-bake pie: Chill pie crust for at least one hour before filling. Cover if chilling longer. Make pie as directed.

To make a baked graham crust: Preheat oven to 325°. Bake crust for 10 minutes, until it just starts to brown. Cool completely before filling.

Swig Sugar Cookie Link

Melissa likes this Swig Sugar Cookie Copycat Recipe found HERE.

(She specifically asks on her site not to copy her recipe and post anywhere else, so I've just linked it above.)

Chocolate Chocolate Chip Nothing Bundt Cake Copycat Recipe

We have all had this cake. We've all made this cake. It's hard to believe we didn't have the recipe on here sooner! It is THE chocolate bundt cake recipe to have! Soooooooooooooo yummy!!

  • 1 pkg Devil's Food Cake Mix 
  • 1 small box instant chocolate pudding 
  • 1 c. sour cream 
  • 4 large eggs 
  • 1/2 c. water 
  • 1/2 c. oil  
  • 1 1/2 c. mini chocolate chips 
For the frosting
  • 1 (8 ounce) pkg. cream cheese, softened 
  • 1/4 cup butter , softened 
  • 1 1/2-2 cups powdered sugar 
  • 1 tsp . vanilla extract 

The night before: Mix first six ingredients together in a mixer or with beaters. Stir in chocolate chips. Pour into a greased bunt cake pan (cooking spray works great). Bake at 350 degrees for 45-50 minutes. Remove from oven. Let cool for 20 minutes. Remove cake from bundt pan by placing a plate upside down over the bundt pan. While holding the plate firmly on top of the bundt pan, flip both over so the cake comes out onto the plate. Cover the cake with plastic wrap and place it in the fridge overnight before frosting. 

Before serving: In a medium bowl, cream together the cream cheese and butter until creamy. Mix in the vanilla, then gradually stir in the powdered sugar. Start with 2 cups then keep adding more until it is nice and thick. Spoon the frosting into a Ziplock resealable gallon bag. Clip one bottom corner of the bag. Squeeze frosting out of the bag onto the cake in strips as pictured above.