Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Welcome Chickies and Awesome Pumpkin Cake with Caramel Cider Sauce

So one week ago today, we got a little box from the post office with our 19 adorable little chicks inside!  We were super excited and they are so CUTE!
This was the first time I had ordered chicks and never thought they would arrive in such a tiny box!
Here they are in their new, temporary home {I had put together 3 large boxes to make one long "room" for them; food and water at one end and the heat lamp on the other.}...
Very temporary because I discovered that if the cats had a chance they could "fall" right through the top openings which I had left for myself to feed, water and love these little ones!  {Luckily I discovered this before I had picked up the chicks!}
But since I had the unexpected possibility of cats in with the chicks and I didn't want to take the chance of this happening; I drilled a small hole in the top of our large dog carrier and hung the light in there.  Now the cats and the kids can't get to the chicks but can watch them as they please.  
We've moved the carrier into the coop with the other birds so that they can start to get used to each other.  
The only problem with it is that the cats think it makes for a great place to sit and watch the chicks and take a nap throughout the day!

Our wonderful girl, Toothless has also started laying; her's is the beautiful green colored egg.
So on to the great recipe I am also going to share with you!  I like pumpkin anything, any time of year.  But I have been craving a good pumpkin dessert, not the usual pumpkin and cream cheese combination!  I don't know if its the change in the weather or what but pumpkin just sounds so good!
So here is my new favorite pumpkin cake; I found the recipe from Mommy's Kitchen!  Its light, fluffy  and has such great flavor that you don't really need anything to top it, although the Caramel Cider Sauce is tasty.

Ingredients for Cake:
-1 1/2 cups flour
-1 cup sugar
-1 1/2 tsp baking powder
-1 1/2 tsp baking soda
-1/2 tsp salt
-1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
-dash of nutmeg
-3/4 cup oil {I always use canola; I wonder if you could substitute applesauce too; I bet you could, for a super healthy cake!}
-15 oz. canned pumpkin
-2 eggs

Ingredients for Caramel Cider Sauce:
-1/2 cup brown sugar
-1 tbsp cornstarch
-2/3 cup apple cider {I made my own, its very easy!}
-2 tbsp milk
-2 tbsp butter
-salt to taste

*Instead of the milk and butter {I did this as a substitute for heavy whipping cream} you can use the 2 tbsp heavy whipping cream, plus 1 tbsp butter that the original recipe calls for.

Process for Cake:
1. Combine sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, oil, pumpkin and eggs in a mixing bowl.  Mix well.
2. Add flour to mixture.  Mix well, scrap sides and mix again.
3. Spread batter mixture in a greased 9 x 13 inch baking dish.
4. Bake at 325 degrees for about 30 minutes.
5. Cool cake completely.

Process for Caramel Cider Sauce:
1. Whisk brown sugar and cornstarch in an unheated saucepan.
2. Add cider, milk, butter {or heavy whipping cream} and salt.  
3. Cook over medium-high heat, whisking constantly, until large bubbles form around the edges, about 3 minutes.  
4. Reduce heat to low and allow to thicken, about 2 minutes.

To serve, slice cake and top with warm Caramel Cider Sauce!
This would also be great with vanilla ice cream!  Enjoy!

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Homemade Real Apple Cider made in the Crockpot

This is super simple and takes very little hands on time!  I found the recipe from AllRecipes.  One of the reviewers said that she combined everything in her crockpot and let it cook all day while she was at work.  
So I took that idea and ran with it; because what's easier than putting something in the crockpot and letting it do the work for you?  You don't have to stir unless you feel like it, you don't have to watch it to make sure it doesn't burn... awesome!

I also wanted to share with you this very cool dragonfly that my husband found while working outside the other day...
-10 to 15 apples, quartered  {I actually sliced mine into about 8 slices per apple; I thought more surface area = more flavor}
-1 tbsp ground cinnamon
-1 tbsp ground allspice

-3/4 c. sugar, optional {I didn't use any sugar and I like it with just the sweetness from the apples.}

1. Place apples in large crockpot.
2. Sprinkle cinnamon, allspice and sugar {if using} over apples.
3. Top apples with enough water to cover them, they will float.
 You can see how full my crockpot was...
4. Cover crockpot and allow apples to cook on low for 8-10 hours or overnight.  {I started mine in the afternoon and let them cook overnight.}
5. Allow apple mixture to cool, so its easy enough to work with.  Then strain through a sieve or fine-holed colander.
The pitcher on the right was just stained through a sieve.  The pitcher on the left I ran through my trusty juicer, so I got a little pulp which you can see rises to the top; just shake and drink, delish!

I ended up with about a gallon of cider, which I mainly made so that I could make the Caramel Cider Sauce for this awesome Pumpkin Cake.  Enjoy!

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Monday, September 16, 2013

Amazing Crockpot Pork Roast

This is a fantastic and super easy pork roast.  It makes excellent sandwiches and wraps; paninis would be awesome too!  I'm sure the leftovers would also be great in pasta or eggs! 
I combined two different recipes to come up with this one.  Enjoy!
-5 to 6 lb. pork picnic roasts, shoulders, skin on
-salt and pepper to taste

-1 tsp cumin
-3 tsp garlic powder
-2 tsp oregano
-1 tsp pepper
-1 tsp salt

-1 or 2 chopped onions {or about 1/2 cup dried minced onions}
-about 1 cup chicken broth
1. Generously season all sides of the pork roast with salt and pepper.
2. Sear all sides of the roast in a skillet over medium-high heat. {As you can see I used my small egg pan to sear the roast; I had made eggs for the kids this morning and just rinsed out the pan and used it since it was already "dirty".}
Make sure you sear all sides; this will give the roast an extra dimension of flavor and takes the roast from great crock-pot roast to fantastic crock-pot roast!
3. Place roast in crock-pot.
4. In a small dish, combine cumin, garlic powder, oregano, 1 tsp pepper and 1 tsp salt.  Sprinkle and/or rub the seasoning mixture over all sides of the roast.
5. Add chicken broth and chopped onion along the sides of the roast, being careful not to rinse off the seasoning from the meat.  {I used dried minced onion and water with chicken bouillon.}
6. Set crock-pot to low and allow roast to cook for 8-10 hours {or on high for 5-6 hours}.  Roast should fall apart easily.
7. Remove roast from crock-pot and shred, the meat should pretty much fall apart if you push or pull on it.
8. Enjoy with fresh rolls or bread; drizzle with some of the sauce surrounding the roast for a great saucy sandwich.

*The next night for supper we had the leftovers in wraps; I just rewarmed and simmered the meat in the sauce on low for about 3 hours in the crock-pot.
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Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Recipe Index

Green Onion Dip
Spinach Artichoke Dip
Seasoned Oyster Crackers
Mango Raspberry Salsa
Awesome Stuffed Mini Sweet Peppers
Pineapple Orange Salsa
Apple Salsa
Hot Cheddar & Mushroom Dip
Herbed "Cheesecake" Vegetable and Cracker Dip
Jello Flavored Popcorn
Super Ranch Dip
Homemade Nacho Cheese
Sour Cream Horseradish Sauce
Chocolate Covered Almonds
Pink Cracker or Vegetable Dip
Mom's Fruit Pizza
Mom's Awesome Refrigerator Pickles
Mom's Vegetable Pizza

Homemade Apple Cider Vinegar

Liquid Chai Tea Concentrate
Homemade Apple Brandy
White Sangria
Blackberry Brandy Sangria
Peppermint Martini Jelly Shots
Peppermint Mocha Coffee Creamer
Homemade Nesquick
Real Homemade Apple Cider in the Crockpot
Pumpkin Granola


Steel Cut Oat Bread
Homemade Pita Bread
Spiral Apple Bread
Hawaiian Bread or Rolls
Homemade Hamburger or Hotdog/Brat Buns
Cinnabon Rolls
Cheesy Garlic Bread Sticks
Flavorful Herb Bread
French Bread with Homemade Garlic Butter
Crusty French Bread
"Pillsbury" Crescent Rolls
Garlic Bread Sticks
Homemade Hamburger Buns
Rainbow Bread/Soft Sandwich Bread
Fantastic Foccacia Bread
Icebox Butterhorns
Honey "Wheat" Sunflower Seed Bread
No Knead Artisan Crusty Bread
New York Style Pizza Crust {Makes 4 Crusts/Freezable!}
Homemade Baked Doughnuts
Yeasted Cranberry Bread
Homemade Baguette
Soft Pretzel Buns or Rolls


Double Chocolate Banana Bread
Lemon Zucchini Poppy Seed Bread
Cream Cheese Filled Banana Bread
Fresh Herb & Cheese Bread
Six Banana Banana Bread
Peanut Butter Banana Bread
Garlic Cheddar Biscuits
Cranberry Orange Bread
Honey Muffins
Cream Cheese Banana Bread
Apple Pie Bread & Apple Pie Spice


Fluffy Blueberry Waffles
Overnight Crockpot Breakfast
Overnight Apple French Toast
Raspberry Cream Cheese Coffee Cake
Spiral Apple Bread
Gingerbread Waffles with Hot Chocolate Sauce
Cinnabon Rolls
Eggs Benedict Bake with Cheesy Hollandaise Sauce
Honey Muffins
Fluffy Pancakes
Blueberry Sauce
Belgian Waffles
Overnight Blueberry French Toast
Blueberry Coffee Cake
Crunchy Breakfast Bowls
Ginger Pear Coffee Cake
Baked Apples with Toasted Marshmallows
Homemade Baked Doughnuts
Pumpkin Granola
Mom's Overnight Caramel Rolls
Apple Peel Jelly or Syrup


Fresh Salsa
Dandelion Jelly
Rhubarb Triple Berry Pie Filling
Cranberry Chutney
Tomato Chutney
Awesome Zucchini Relish
Homemade Barbecue Sauce
Homemade Ketchup
Canned Pasta or Pizza Sauce
Canned Green Tomatoes for Fried Green Tomatoes
Canned Mandarin Oranges {Clementines}
Homegrown Canned Sauerkraut
Mom's Awesome Refrigerator Pickles
Apple Peel Jelly or Syrup
Blueberry Nectarine or Peach Jam


Homemade Chili Seasoning
Ranch Mix #1
Ranch Mix #2
Homemade "Lipton" Onion Soup Mix
Homemade Apple Pie Spice


Mongolian Beef
Salisbury Steak
Mom's Three Bean Hotdish
Creamy Beef Roast
Molasses Glazed Baby Back Ribs
Crockpot Sloppy Joe Mix  {you can use frozen meat}
Crockpot Mongolian Beef
Ham with Gravy
Molasses Glazed Baby Back Ribs
Amazing Pork Roast
Chicken Thighs with Carrots & Potatoes
Dry Rub Turkey
Chicken Bacon Ranch Pasta
Chicken Gyros with Tzatziki Sauce
Stuffed Pepper Soup
Taco Soup
Cheesy Meatball Soup
Beef & Barley Soup
Pizza Soup
Lasagna Soup
Awesome Split Pea & Ham Soup
Bacon Cheeseburger Chowder
Baked Potatoes
Cranberry Fruit Sauce
Everything Stuffing
Cheesy Veggies or Corn
Creamy Au Gratin Potatoes
Refried Black Beans
Apple Crisp
Cinnamon Glazed Apples
Chocolate Lava Cake
Spinach Artichoke Dip
Hot Cheddar & Mushroom Dip
Homemade Greek Yogurt
Real Homemade Apple Cider
Pumpkin Butter


Peach Puff with Strawberry Salsa
Easy Fruit Tart
Balsamic Strawberries
Pumpkin Roll
Crockpot Cinnamon Glazed Apples
Baked Apples with Toasted Marshmallows
Mom's Fruit Pizza
Frosted Banana Bars
Salted Peanut Chews
Double Lemon Bars
Salty Chocolate Scotcheroos
Marshmallow Bars
Sweet Cherry Vanilla Cake
Chocolate Marvel Cake
Spiced Fruited Bundt Cake
French Apple Cake
Chocolate Date Cake
Cream Cheese Coffee Cake
Blueberry Pancake Cupcakes
Banana Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
Ginger Pear Coffee Cake
Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake with Salted Caramel Sauce
Chocolate Cake
Golden or Peppermint Cupcakes
Fudgy Pistachio Bundt Cake
Blueberry Coffee Cake
Any Flavor Jello Cake
Crockpot Chocolate Lava Cake
Pumpkin Cake with Caramel Cider Sauce
Ovaltine Cupcakes with Ovaltine Frosting
Cranberry Cinnamon Cheesecake
Amazing Sour Cream Pumpkin Cheesecake
Cut Out Cookies with Glossy Icing
Candy Corn Peanut Butter Cookies
Chocolate Chip Cookies
Giant Chocolate Chip Cookie
Mom's Monster Cookies
Double Crusted Rhubarb Triple Berry Crisp
Maple Apple Crisp
Crockpot Apple Crisp
Excellent Apple Crisp
Banana Cream Cheese Pie
Cinnamon Graham Cracker Crust
Crunchy Caramel Apple Pie
Squash Pie {Better than Pumpkin Pie}
Caramel Apple Pie
Fool-Proof Pie Crust
Peaches & Cream Pie


Homemade Apple Cider Vinegar
Garlic Butter
Herb Butter
Caramelized Onion Gravy
Cinnamon Honey Butter {like Texas Roadhouse}
Blueberry Sauce
Ranch Dipping Sauce
Oriental Vinaigrette
Cheese Sauce
Homemade Green Onion Chive Cream Cheese
Sour Cream Horseradish Sauce
Herbed Dipping Oil
Caramel Cider Sauce
Pumpkin Butter


Crockpot Mongolian Beef
The Best Beef Stew
Steak Gyros
Marinated Steak
Crockpot Beef & Barley Soup
Crockpot Molasses Glazed Baby Back Ribs
Crockpot Creamy Beef Roast

Crockpot Salisbury Steak

Cheesy Chimichangas
Old Fashioned Meatloaf
Crockpot Stuffed Pepper Soup
Mom's Three Bean Hotdish
Donair Sandwich Meat
Sensational Sloppy Joes
Crockpot Taco Soup
Cheesy Meatball Soup
Homemade Italian Sausage
Double Crust Stuffed Pizza
Taco Stuffed Pasta Shells
"Asian" Roll Ups
Cheese Stuffed Mini Meatloaves
Lasagna Soup
Cheeseburger Pizza
Crockpot Overnight Breakfast
Hidden Cheeseburgers
Mom's Meatloaf or Meatloaf Patties
Mock Filet Mignon
Crockpot Sloppy Joe Mix  {you can use frozen meat}
Beef & Hominy Casserole


North African Grilled Chicken
Crispy Rosemary Chicken
Crockpot Chicken Thighs with Carrots and Potatoes
Dry Rubbed Turkey
Peking Pizza
Crockpot Chicken Bacon Ranch Pasta
Marinated Turkey Breasts or Whole Turkey
Grilled Mojito Chicken


Peking Pizza
Marinated Pork Tenderloin
Slow Roasted Pork Shoulder
Crockpot Overnight Breakfast
Crunchy Cheesy Hotdog/Brat Sandwiches
Great Baked Ham Sandwiches
Crockpot Ham with Gravy
Mummy Pizzas
Awesome Crockpot Split Pea & Ham Soup
Amazing Crockpot Pork Roast
Ham & Potato Casserole


Garlicky Shrimp Pasta
Crab or Tuna Creamy Filled Pasta Shells
Lemon Butter Fish Fillets


Tortellini & Spinach Soup
Cheese Enchiladas


Mom's Garden Potato Salad
Mom's Macaroni Salad
Moroccan Raw Carrot Salad
Creamy Coleslaw with Grapes & Walnuts
Black Bean & Rice Salad
Popcorn Salad
Mom's Broccoli Slaw
Farmer's Salad
Oriental Vinaigrette for Lettuce
Lettuce Salad with Bacon Almond Dressing
Crunchy Apple & Grape Salad
Cotton Candy Salad
Mom's Cucumber Salad
Mexican Coleslaw
Mom's Cucumber Salad


Summer Roasted Vegetables
Quinoa Side Dish
Awesome Stuffed Mini Sweet Peppers
Crockpot Baked Potaoes
Dutch Oven Scalloped Potatoes
Stove Top Macaroni & Cheese {like Panera's Mac n' Cheese}
Mom's Cheesy Hash Brown Potatoes
Everything Stuffing
Cheesy Vegetables or Corn
Lemon Roasted Potatoes
Mexican Rice
Crockpot Creamy Au Gratin Potatoes
Ultimate Twice Baked Potatoes
Cheesy Zucchini Patties
Onion Baked Potatoes
Excellent Mexican Coleslaw
Fresh Homemade Creamed Corn
Honey Garlic Pasta
Mom's Vegetable Pizza


No Knead Artisan Bread
Homemade Extracts
Homemade Apple Brandy
Dandelion Jelly {like local honey}
Homemade "Lipton" Onion Soup Mix
Homemade Hawaiian Bread or Rolls
Peppermint Coffee Creamer
Baking Mix {Bisquick Substitute}
Homemade "Nesquick"
Ranch Mix #1
Ranch Mix #2
Homemade Cheese Sauce
Homemade Greek Yogurt
Liquid Chai Concentrate
Homemade Apple Pie Spice
Condensed Cream of ... Soup Mix Substitute

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