Friday, January 8, 2010

Snow + Homemade Hot Cocoa = Warm Smiles

Yay!!! We had our first snow here in the South and that makes me very happy. I love snow! My daughter who is now 4 years old has never seen a pretty snow (except on T.V.) and has been asking for one for a while. She finally got her wish.

Now I know that all of you Northern readers are scratching your head and saying, "that is not a SNOW" and yes my Christmas decorations are still up (don't judge me!)
 But for us here in the South it can be a big deal. It has been almost 17 years since we have seen a big snow (remember the blizzard of 93') WOW!!!That was crazy fun for us. I was um....15 maybe 16 at the time and had a blast! Yes I am telling my age but I'm still a big kid.
Anyway....Chloe kept checking the snow all night last night and as soon as it even layed a little she was out making snow angels. I love to see that excitement in her. 

The face she is making is so funny. She did not realize how cold it would be to lay in the snow. LOL
She was up early this morning too and immediately wanted to make a snowman. I had to do my best explaining to a 4 year old that there wasn't enough snow to make a big snowman and that we could do a little one. She didn't care and was happy to do that.
This is what we came up with and before you laugh too hard, we actually gave him a name "Peppy".

 Not my idea but see how his eye's are kind of starry? Yes that is starlight peppermints. LOL Not my idea either. I think that he is or at least his head is very cute.
Chloe is quite proud of him too.
Once we finished up we came in to warm up to some hot homemade Cocoa with marshmallows and dark chocolate shavings. That definately makes us both smile. :)

Now how would you like the recipe? you go. Just click this link. HOT COCOA
It is very easy and yummy to make. I added the marshmallows and shaved chocolate because that's just how I like it. :)
Here's to wishing for an even bigger snow this year and even more hot Cocoa.

The Cookie Girl & CG in training!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

I just remembered !!!

As I was going through my posts from last year I noticed that I put a very tempting, teasing picture of a most delicious cake that I had made for Easter. Remember this one?

One thing I failed to do was another post of the recipe. Now that was not very nice of me was it? I mean really, who forgets something like that? But then I thought to myself, "Oh, they probably wouldn't want that old recipe anyway". Seriously, would you? Oh, Alright!!! Enough messing around with your head. I will post it for you. I suppose that it will help bring a little Spring and Summer warmth to all of this cold weather we are having. Miami even got some winter temps this week. I guess we can all use a little warming up. Just keep thinking beaches,tropical sunsets, beaches,tropical sunsets. Okay Good. Now you are ready. I hope you all enjoy making this delicious cake.


Tropical Sunset Cake

For the cake:

1 pkg. orange cake mix (I use Duncan Hines)
1 small box instant vanilla pudding
1 small box of orange jell-o
4 eggs
1 1/2 cups milk
1/2 cup oil
pink food color (optional)

For the filling:
1 20oz. can crushed pineapple (drained)
2 cups sugar
1 10oz. pkg flake coconut
1 c. sour cream
1 8oz. cool-whip
toasted coconut for the top.

In a large mixing bowl, combine first 6 ingredients and mix well. Pour equal parts into 3 greased 9" cake pans.
(you can color 1/3 of the mixture with the food color for a pretty sunset effect)

Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing to wire rack. Cool layers completely before frosting

In another large mixing bowl, combine pineapple, sugar, coconut,and sour cream.
Mix well and remove 1 cup and set aside.

Place one cake layer on cake plate and top with 1/3 of the pineapple mixture. Repeat layers 2 more times. Combine Cool-whip and the reserved cup of pineapple mixture. Mix well and cover sides and top of cake, Sprinkle toasted coconut over top and refrigerate.


Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Pace Picante Chicken Tortilla Super Bowl Soup

Okay Okay...I know this isn't a cookie post but it is a good one so just hang in there with me til the end and you will love what you see.
I know that I am not a chef, I don't even claim to be an amazing cook but I can come up with some winner recipes from time to time that my family loves. So as a part of the Tastemaker program at Foodbuzz I received two jars of Pace Picante Sauce to try out and come up with a great recipe. It took me a little bit to decide what to try and make with it but I finally did it!

I took some basic ingredients that I almost always have on hand and combined them to make a very yummy (if I do say so myself) soup. In the picture are some of the ingredients that I used.
Here is my recipe. I hope you like it!

Pace Picante Chicken Tortilla Super Bowl Soup

1 lb. boneless chicken breast
1 pkg. mild taco seasoning (I used McCormick)
1 4 oz. can green chili's
1 jar Pace Picante Sauce (I used Medium)
1 tsp. chicken flavor Better Than Bouillon
1/2 tsp. minced garlic
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp lemon pepper
1 can cream of chicken soup (low sodium)
2 fresh tomatoes diced

In a large pot, fill it half way with water and add the taco seasoning pack. Rinse chicken and add to the water. Boil for about 20 minutes or until done.
Remove chicken from the pot and set aside. Using the broth that has been made by cooking your chicken, add the remaining ingredients and stir well. You made need to whisk the cream of chicken soup in to prevent the lumps. Shred the chicken and add this back to the pot. Let this simmer for 20-30 minutes.
You can garnish with cheese, green onions, sour cream, and of course tortilla chips.

Note: I made my own tortilla strips with regular flour tortillas. I cut them in strips and sprayed both sides with cooking oil. Sprinkle with salt and bake for about minutes at 350 degrees.
This really is a simple soup to make and has a lot of flavor. For those of us who are trying to watch our figures, it is pretty darn healthy too.