Sunday, April 26, 2015

Toffee Triangles

Several months ago, my wonderful friend Donika from Mom! What's for Dinner?, sent a care package full of wonderful treats to try. These were a bit different, as they were Canadian. Some things are the same brand as what we have in the U.S., but they are made a little bit different. And let me tell you, we loved each and every bit of chocolaty goodness!

My package arrived just as we were starting our remodeling projects, which was perfect as I wasn't able to do much in the kitchen. Smarties are my favorite out of everything... If you have a chance, do try them!  Before we ate our way through the entire care package,  I stashed away the the Chipits!  I wanted to bake at least one recipe with my Canadian treats.

I didn't go crazy and experiment since I had a limited supply. I used the recipe on the bag. These were such a hit. Delicious cookie crust, with toffee goodness everywhere! So, even if you get some U.S. toffee bits, this is a great recipe and makes for a very happy husband!

Toffee Triangles  (Source: Hershey)

1 cup butter, softened
1 cup light brown sugar
1 egg yolk
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups flour
7 ounce toffee bits, divided
2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line 15x10 sheet with parchment paper. I like to have a couple extra inches of paper hanging over the edge so you can remove the bars to cut.  Set aside

In large mixing bowl, beat butter with brown sugar until fluffy. Add egg yolk and vanilla, stir until combined.  Add flour, one cup at a time, until combined. Add 1 cup of toffee bits, stirring until they are evenly distributed through the dough.

Press dough evenly into prepared pan. Bake for 18 minutes, or just until beginning to turn golden. Immediately sprinkle chocolate chips over the hot cookie "crust". Let stand for 3-5 minutes, or until chocolate chips are softened. Spread chocolate evenly over top. Sprinkle remaining toffee chips over top of melted chocolate.

Let cool for several hours. When bars have cooled and chocolate is set, remove from pan. Cut bars into squares, then cut each square in half diagonally.


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Friday, April 24, 2015

Around the Farm


Where does the time go? I was able to enjoy some time outside last weekend with my camera, and now here we are almost a week later! 

Since taking these, we have had lots more rain (and snow) so things are greening up beautifully!

My lilies :)

Buds on a lilac tree.

Truckin' Man was pulling out farm equipment getting it ready.

I had to appreciate the view and the lack of "white" in it!

Mr. and one of his Mrs.

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Strawberry Swirl Cream Cheese Pound Cake #BundtBakers

I am so excited to have joined a group of amazing bakers, #BundtBakers.  My friend, Anne, at From My Sweetheart, invited me to join in this baking fun. Let me tell you, I have only made one or two Bundt cakes in my life. My mom always gets frustrated by them, and when things annoy my mother that much, I tend to avoid them. But, I have had a Bundt pan that needed some dusting off, so this sounded like a good challenge.

#BundtBakers is a group of Bundt loving bakers who get together once a month to bake Bundts with a common ingredient or theme. Follow our Pinterest board right here. Links are also updated each month on the BundtBakers home page. We take turns hosting each month and choosing the theme/ingredient. The theme for April is "Hidden Surprise" - Bundt cakes with fillings or stuffing. There was no constraint on filling and flavor choices.The only requirement was that the cake be filled/stuffed inside. Anshie from SpiceRoots was our host for this month. If you are a food blogger and would like to join us, just send Stacy an email with your blog URL to

What a challenge it was, and I am soo excited and already looking forward to more. I have been doing a lot of reading and research on how to succeed at making a Bundt cake or bread, and am starting with baby steps on all this. I hope to be able to share some of these tips with you along the way, as I learn them myself. Tip #1 that can not be stressed enough, make sure that you grease every nook and cranny of that pan. Dust with flour or cocoa. Then double check to make sure that you didn't miss any spots, if you did go back and grease, and dust!  Martha Stewart has a short video on how to prepare your pan. Worth a watch if you are new to using a Bundt pan.

Strawberry Swirl Cream Cheese Pound Cake  (Adapted from: Southern Living)

1 1/2 cups butter, softened
3 cups sugar
8 oz cream cheese, softened
6 eggs, room temperature
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp almond extract
3/4 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup strawberry glaze

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Prepare bundt pan by greasing, then flouring. Remove any excess flour. Set pan aside.

In large stand mixer, beat butter until smooth and creamy, on medium speed. Slowly add sugar, one cup at a time. Beat until light and fluffy. Add cream cheese, beat until completely incorporated and mixture is creamy. Beat in eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
Change mixer speed to low and add flour. Add one cup at a time. When all flour has been added, stir in almond and vanilla extracts.

Pour 1/3 of cake batter into prepared pan. Smooth batter a little with back of spoon. Spoon in half of the strawberry glaze. Take a knife, and gently swirl the glaze around. Be careful to not let the glaze touch the edge of the pan. Pour 1/3 batter over top glaze, smooth again with spoon. Add remaining glaze, swirl, cover with remaining batter. Smooth to cover all glaze.

Bake for 1 hour 10 minutes or until cake is golden and a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool cake for 20 minutes then turn cake out to wire rack to cool completely.

Strawberry Sugar
1/2 cup freeze dried strawberries
1/4 cup sugar

Add strawberries and sugar to food processor. Process until only small bits of strawberries remain. Set aside.

Powdered Sugar Glaze
2 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup butter, melted
2 tbsp half and half
1 tsp vanilla
Milk, as needed

In medium mixing bowl, sift powdered sugar. Add melted butter to sugar, stir until combined. Add half and half, and vanilla mix well. Add additional milk if needed, to reach desired consistency. Once cake has completely cooled, pour or drizzle glaze over cake. Sprinkle immediately with Strawberry Sugar.


Stop by and see more amazing Bundt cakes that were made this month! Links:-

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Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Roasted Vegetable Chicken Salad


I have some of the most amazing blogging friends! They cover all parts of the globe, and so many walks of life. Terra, from Cafe Terra, whips up some of the most amazing foods. Besides being talented in the kitchen, Terra is also a contemporary romance author!

I am almost through her first novel, "Catch Me". I am loving turning every page... Yes, I am old fashioned and have to flip the pages of the actual book! Truth be told, it has been a very long time since I have sat down with a book, which is very sad because I loved to read books! Terra  has pulled me right into the first of the Winters Family Series. The fact that the story is set in North Carolina, just miles from where I was born, pulls me into the story even more. A romance story set oceanside, that is absolutely perfect.  As soon as I finish "Catch Me" this weekend, I will be ordering "Need You"! 

Now, let me tell you what else makes Terra Kelly novels so fun. There are recipes! Yes, recipes! The novels are full of the love of food, and then recipes are included at the end of the book. Isn't that fun?  Stop by this page on Terra's site and see picture of some of the other recipes that are featured.

(Included in this photo is Roasted Vegetable Swirl Egg Bread... Prettiest bread I have ever made)

As part of the "Recipe Book Blog Tour", I am so excited to share with you that I made Roasted Vegetable Chicken Salad. This is, hands down, the best chicken salad I have ever tasted. It is such a unique twist on the chicken salad I have known most of my life.  It is a healthy dish, that I felt good about eating, and fits right in with my diet.

The ingredients are so simple:
Boneless Chicken
Greek Yogurt
Roasted Vegetables

Making the roasted vegetables the night before, it took me less than ten minutes to pull this salad together. I let it set in the fridge for a couple hours for the flavors to come together. It doesn't get any easier than that!

You can find the recipe in "Catch Me".
Where do you find "Catch Me"? At Terra's Amazon page, you can order Kindle or paperback. Visit her here:

The other recipes included in "Catch Me" are:

Connie’s Bourbon Lemonade Cocktail
Melt in Your Mouth Sweet Rolls
Cherry Limeade {Please Forgive Me} Cheesecake
Roasted Vegetable Chicken Salad
Roasted Vegetable Swirl Egg Bread

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Sunday, April 12, 2015

Spring has Sprung - Around the Farm

I am so happy to see green and things growing already around the farm!
I am hoping to be bringing back "Around the Farm" to you on a regular basis.

Lilies! Already a couple inches tall.

Lilac tree's are budding.

Truckin' Man has started pulling out the tractors and equipment to get things ready for planting season.

Look at that view! No longer covered in white!

Chickens are happy for the mud to be drying up! 
They don't know it yet, but they are getting a second run added on soon. Green grass for all!

Something was sure interesting over there!

Little Hazel was having fun playing in one of the flower beds.

Has spring sprung for you?

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Easter Sugar Cookie Cups with Marshmallow Cream Frosting

It's time to Fill the Cookie Jar! The theme for April is Easter or Spring. I really wanted a cookie to capture the feel of both. I finally decided on a cookie I have wanted to try for some time. "Sugar Cookie Cups"! I see so many people make these cute adorable little cups, but I never knew what I would fill them with until very recently. One of my blogging buddies, Mandy at "South Your Mouth" had made a marshmallow frosting to use for sandwich cookies. This would be perfect for Cookie Cups! 

These little cookie cups are perfect! The frosting reminds me so much of Peeps, marshmallowy goodness with lots of sweetness. That's like Peep's right? They are an Easter candy that it's been around as long as I can remember! And you really could top these with just about any favorite Easter candy. 

These will keep for about a week in an airtight container, however I really liked the flavor best during the first couple of days. The marshmallow flavor really was perfect, but as the cookie cups sat a couple days, the butter flavor took over. Not a bad change, but I liked that marshmallow sweetness!

You don't have to have any special tools to make the cookie cups.  I made them with a gadget, and without. My preference was to use my "Mini-Tart Shaper" because I had lots more room for frosting in those cups. The cups I did by hand, turned out fine, just not as much room for frosting!

If you are interested in joining Fill The Cookie Jar group on facebook, fill out the form that can be found at Fill The Cookie Jar. Each month we bake a different theme for the cookie.
We bake, we share and we enjoy our cookies!

Sugar Cookie Cups with Marshmallow Cream Frosting

Sugar Cookie Cups
1/2 c. butter
1/4 c. vegetable shortening
1 c. sugar
2 eggs
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
2 1/2 c. all-purpose flour

Marshmallow Cream Frosting (Source: South Your Mouth)

1 - 7 oz jar marshmallow Creme
1 cup butter, softened
1 tsp. vanilla extract
16 oz powdered sugar
2 tsp milk
Food coloring (optional)
Sprinkles (optional)

In large bowl, blend butter, shortening, sugar, eggs, and vanilla.  In medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and salt.  Add dry ingredients to butter mixture, mixing well.  Chill dough for one hour.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In non-stick mini muffin pan, put half tablespoon of dough in each cup. Dip one end of mini-tart shaper into flour, then press into cookie dough cups, gently twisting, removing when dough is just below edge of cup. If you do not have a tart shaper, simply press dough into bottom of cup, and press up the sides.  Bake for 7 minutes, or until edge is just starting to turn golden. Let cool in pan for 5-7 minutes, then remove from pan and cool on wire rack.

While cookies are cooling, in large bowl whip together marshmallow creme, butter, and vanilla extract on medium high speed. Mix until fluffy. Add half of powdered sugar, and milk, mix until combined.  Add remaining powdered sugar, whipping until creamy and fluffy. If frosting is to thick, add milk as needed.

Add food coloring if desired to some or all frosting. You can use a piping bag to pipe the frosting into the cups, which I did for the swirl, but you could also use a ziploc bag and just snip the corner off. I had a blowup in the middle of these and spooned the frosting into a couple, and they looked just as adorable. Garnish as desire with sprinkles, candies, whatever! Colored coconut would be fun too!

Makes approximately 3-4 dozen


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