Sunday, October 14, 2012

Chocolate Peanut Butter Popcorn

I'm addicted to flavored popcorn. Enough said! Here is a recipe for Chocolate Peanut Butter Popcorn. 

Chocolate Peanut Butter Popcorn

12 cups air popped popcorn 
1/2 cup softened butter
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup peanut butter
3/4 cup melted milk chocolate chocolate chips

  1. Pre Heat oven to 250 degrees F
  2. Pop popcorn and set aside.
  3. In a large glass bowl combine the butter, brown sugar and marshmallow cream. 
  4. Cook mixture in microwave for 3 minutes. Stopping in between each minute to stir. 
  5. Stir in peanut butter and mix until smooth.
  6. Pour mixture over the popcorn and stir quickly til coated evenly.
  7. Pour popcorn into a oven safe pan. (I use a jelly roll pan or a large cake pan) Bake for 45 minutes. Stir every 15 minutes. Take out of oven.
  8. Melt milk chocolate chips and then put into a pastry bag and drizzle over the baked popcorn and stir till chocolate is coating the popcorn. 
  9. Let cool and store in air tight container.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Salted Caramel Pretzel Chocolate Chip Cookie

Now try and say that twice! Salted Caramel Pretzel Chocolate Chip Cookie. Yep, it is exactly what it says it is. I found this recipe on Pinterest via The Diary of Daves Wife. Basically if it has all of my favorite ingredients listed in the title it must be good. And it is!

Salted Caramel Pretzel Chocolate Chip Cookie

Yield: About 34 Cookies

3/4 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 egg
2 tsp vanilla
2 cups flour
2 tsp cornstarch
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup chocolate chips 
1 cup caramel bits
1/2 cup pretzel pieces
Sea Salt


1. Pre heat oven to 350 degrees F
2. Cream together butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Add egg and vanilla and blend in.
3. Mix in flour, cornstarch, baking soda and salt.
4. Stir in Chocolate Chips, Caramel bits and Pretzel pieces.
5. Scoop dough onto baking sheets and sprinkle with Sea Salt. 
6.  Bake for 8 to 10 minutes until almost golden brown.
7. Cool for 5 minutes and remove onto a cooling rack.

Original recipe called for milk chocolate chips I used semi sweet because that is what I had. It also called for crushed pretzel pieces, I didn't totally crush mine because I wanted to taste pieces and didn't want them to get lost. Next time I will double the recipe they were so good.I ate one last night, one at work and two after dinner!   When I left for work this morning I put a sign on the cookies saying, " Don't eat all of the cookies, Love, Mom."  It actually worked. Most of the time when I make a dessert in the evening the next day when I get home from work there isn't any left. The kids actually listened to my note! 

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Fruit Salsa

Sounds weird right? In my church I serve with the Young Women. For one of our combined activities we had a salsa challenge. There was one long table with a lot of ingredients. We divided into our three class groups, then we went to the table and grabbed what ever ingredients that we wanted. The girls grabbed the typical tomatoes, jalapenos, cilantro, salt, pepper, green bell peppers and onions. I then started to grab the mango, strawberries, pineapple and lime. We brought all of the ingredients to our table and started cutting everything! We made two salsas but could only be judged on one. Not that the traditional salsa was bad but the Fruit Salsa was much better! For the judging it was a tie between our Fruit Salsa and a traditional salsa. The traditional one won by a coin toss! Next time I think we would have three judges instead of two.

The Fruit Salsa was so good that I brought about 2 cups worth home. The next day on the way to work I stopped a bought a bag of tortilla chips to eat the fruit salsa with.  I was in a non sharing kind of mood with this oh so good salsa that I only shared it with one  co-worker and we basically ate  almost the whole thing by ourselves. So of course I had to make more a few days later. I made enough that I wanted to can it. Now you don't have to can it. It taste so good that you would probably use (eat) it all before it goes bad in the refrigerator.  I scoured the internet (looked at a few recipes) to see if there was anything special that I needed to do. I couldn't find anything special to do other that some recipes for Mango Salsa say to use green mango's not ripe ones. I was afraid of the fruit turning colors so I did add some fruit fresh and did use green mango's. Next time I would go ahead and use ripe mango's because I wanted to eat some salsa right away and some bites of mango were hard. No bueno!  Here is a picture of the finished product. 

Fruit Salsa
Yields: 5 1/2 pints 

2 large Mango's or 4 small/medium Mango's
2 Pineapples
2 lbs of strawberries
2 jalapenos
Cilantro to taste
Juice from 2 limes
1 tablespoon Sea Salt

  1. Cut up fruit (Mango, Pineapple, Strawberries) into small bite size pieces - About a quarter of an inch in size.
  2. Using gloves cut up jalapeno into very tiny pieces. You can keep the seeds for more heat or eliminate them. 
  3. Finely chop the cilantro. 
  4. Mix the fruit, jalapenos, and the cilantro. 
  5. Add the juice from two limes. (Before you squeeze them cut them in half then roll them on the counter or cutting board to loosen the juice. It will make it easier to squeeze.)
  6. Add the salt.
  7. Mix all ingredients well.
  8. At this point you can eat it and refrigerate any left overs. If you want to can it you will need to put the ingredients into a pot and cook for 5-10 minutes to get the mixture hot. Ladle hot fruit salsa into hot jars, leaving 1/4 inch headspace. Remove air bubbles. Adjust two-piece caps. Process 15 minutes in a boiling water canner.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Key Lime Cupcakes

I don't now about you but I usually make the same desserts over and over because they are good and familiar. I have been trying to broaden my scope of recipes. I've never tried anything flavored with lime before except a Cherry Limeaide from Sonic. So I decided to try this Key Lime Cupcake recipe. I must say that it was quite refreshing!

Key Lime Cupcakes


1 3/4 cups cake four
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup cool unsalted butter, cut into 8 pieces
1 1/4 granulated sugar
2 large eggs at room temperature
2 1/2 tablespoons key lime juice
1 tablespoon key lime zest
1 drop of green food coloring
3/4 cup buttermilk at room temperature


1/2 cup cool unsalted butter, cut into eight pieces
8 ounces cream cheese at room temperature cut into 8 pieces
2 1/4 cups powdered sugar
1 tablespoon key lime zest


  1. Pre heat oven to 350 F. Line cupcake pans. 
  2. Mix the cake flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt, set aside
  3. Using a mixer beat the butter on low until it's softened a bit. 
  4. Add the sugar and increase the speed to medium. Beat until fluffy.
  5. Add one egg at a time, beating well after each addition.
  6. Add lime juice, zest, and food coloring and beat until mixed. (The mix will look curdled)
  7. Add the flour in three additions, alternating with the buttermilk, beginning and ending with the flour, scraping down the bowl as necessary. Mix on low until combined. 
  8. Fill each cupcake liner 2/3 full.
  9. Bake 20 to 25 minutes. Cool completely 
  10. For the frosting, mix the butter on low until it's softened. Increase the speed to medium and add the cream cheese one piece at a time. Reduce speed to low and slowly add powdered sugar until combined. Beat in the key lime zest.
  11. Frost the cupcakes and enjoy!
You can make approximately either 36 mini cupcakes and 12 regular size cupcakes or 24 regular size cupcakes. 

I thought I "pinned" this recipe. I can't find it even looking with Google. So if this is your recipe let me know and I will credit you! 

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Piano Find and Piano Bench Re Upholstered

Did you know that many of your Cities and School Districts have surplus stores? I found out a couple of weeks ago that my kids school district has a surplus store, is open on the first and third Tuesday of each month during the school year between 6:30 am and 9:30 am. Crazy and not very many hours. If you want the really good stuff you go when the school year starts. They have shop tools, kitchen appliances, preschool play sets, T.V's, stereos, chairs and lots more! A friend went last month because he heard that they have pianos. He was able to go and buy a piano for $150! He also told me that there were 2 left. I had to get me one. I played when I was a lot younger and have wanted my kids to play but could never afford a piano. I couldn't really afford this one but couldn't pass up on the deal! When we got there they told us that one of the pianos was untuneable. I'm guessing the sound board is cracked. So I was hoping the other one was in good shape. When I saw the piano I played a few notes and I was sold. It will need to be tuned but that will be another day! 

Since it came from a school it had these large casters on them. I want to change them because I don't like the look but they sure do make it easier to move!

I was so excited to get the piano that I didn't even notice that it was missing a leg! I can fix that, someday!

My dad came over today and we were talking about the piano. I told him all I need now is a piano bench! He said he had one at home! Yeah! I don't have to pay for one! I knew it would be in rough condition. The bench is in as good as condition as the piano. I want to refinish the piano and the bench to be the same color and fix some of the scratches. For now I decided to re upholster the bench. It was pretty gross looking. I took a close up of the fabric but decided to spare you the grossness! 

It was pretty easy to take apart. Only four screws! I took off the old fabric to find an even older fabric underneath. I didn't take that one off because I was afraid to find out what was underneath that! I went through my stash of fabric to see if I had something that I could use to reupholster the bench. I added a little more batting over the really old fabric then added some red vinyl over that. 

Here is the (almost) finished project.

This is what the sides of the bench look like. When I decide a color for the piano I will take care of the bench at the same time. 

Here is a close up of the vinyl.

Now all I have to do is find a piano teacher for my 5 kids that won't cost an arm and a leg!!!