Saturday, March 31, 2012

Week of: Cake + 100 "Cake" Recipes

I am still having trouble accessing my old computer which has the last two cake recipe photos on it that I wanted to share. So I feel like a total looser with a capital L because I have only actually shared three new cake recipes this week as part of my cake themed week. (Total disappointment, I know!)

But I have had fun this week (and all month long) celebrating my blog's birthday! This week was especially fun with the cake recipes I have shared and a special cake cookbook giveaway.

Usually after I end a theme week, I do a wrap-up or overview of the recipes I featured that week. I am going to do the same today, but I thought I would kick it up a notch (or 97!!!) (you know because of the total fail I mentioned above) and have an Internet round-up of some beautiful, mouth watering, diet ruining, cake (and cake themed) recipes.
Be warned this is an extensive and long list (and blog post), but it was fun looking for these recipes and I thought you might enjoy looking drooling over them! (Now just for 100 reasons to make cake!)


Cakes:
German Chocolate Cake (Kitchen Concoctions)
Strawberry Lemonade Layer Cake (Easy Baked)
Greek Honey Cake (Kitchen Concoctions)
Chocolate Oreo Cake (Mommy? I'm Hungry)
Pumpkin Cake Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting (Kitchen Concoctions)
Red Velvet Sheet Cake with Nutella Fudge Icing (Picky Palate)
Dulce de Leche Tres Leches Cake (Kitchen Concoctions)
Sweet Potato Cake with Toasted Marshmallow Topping (Lick the Bowl Good)
Tropical Carrot Cake (Annie's Eats)
Chocolate Cake (Kitchen Concoctions)

Cupcakes:
Red Velvet Cupcakes (Kitchen Concoctions)
Sweet Corn Cupcakes with Honey Buttercream (Culinary Concoctions by Peabody)
Chunky Monkey Cupcakes with Chocolate Peanut Butter Frosting (Kitchen Concoctions)
Caramel Apple Cupcakes (The Girl Who Ate Everything)
One Bowl Vanilla Cupcakes for Two (Kitchen Concoctions)
Strawberry Colada Cupcakes (Taste and Tell Blog)
Peanut Butter Brownie Cupcakes (Kitchen Concoctions)
Cappuccino Cupcakes (Kitchen Concoctions)
Luscious Lemonade Cupcakes (Kitchen Concoctions)
Diet Soda Cupcakes (Kitchen Concoctions)

Frosting:
Cookies 'n Cream Frosting (Kitchen Concoctions)
Magical Frosting (Mel's Kitchen Cafe)
Candy Corn Frosting (Kitchen Concoctions)
Strawberry Buttercream (Baked Perfection)
Peanut Butter Chocolate Buttercream Frosting (Kitchen Concoctions)
Peanut Butter Frosting (Kitchen Concoctions)
Coconut Pecan Frosting (Kitchen Concoctions)
Chocolate Buttercream Frosting (Kitchen Concoctions)
Vanilla Buttercream Frosting (Kitchen Concoctions)
Citrus Buttercream Icing (Kitchen Concoctions)


Cheesecake:
No-Bake Cheesecake (Kitchen Concoctions)
No Bake Nutella Cheesecakes (My Baking Addiction)
Rocky Road Cheesecake (Bakers Royale)
No-Bake Banana Cream Cheesecake for Two (Heather's Dish)
Crock-Pot Cheesecake Recipe (A Year of Slow Cooking)
Caramel Pumpkin Pecan Gingersnap Cheesecake (The Pioneer Woman)
Creamy Lemon Cheesecake Yogurt Cupcakes (Skinny Taste)
Marbled Red Velvet Cheesecake Brownies (The Novice Chef)
S’mores Cheesecake (Culinary Concoctions by Peabody)
Lime Cheesecake Dessert Squares (Kitchen Concoctions)

Cake Balls/Bites/Pops:
Bananas Foster Cake Bites (Taste and Tell Blog)
Peanut Butter and Nutella Cake Balls (Baked Perfection)
Red Velvet Cheesecake-Stuffed Cake Balls (Willow Bird Baking)
Banana Cake Balls (Kraft)
Key Lime Pie Cake Bites (Real Mom Kitchen)   
Red Velvet Cake Balls (Bakerella)
Strawberry Shortcake Cake Bites (Taste and Tell Blog)
Coconut Cake Truffles (Confessions of a Cookbook Queen)
Cheesecake Pops (The Sister's Cafe)
Orange Lavender Cake Balls (Salt Tree)

Cake Batter Treats:
Cake Batter Cinnamon Rolls (How Sweet It Is)
Cake Batter Truffles (The Girl Who Ate Everything)
Birthday Cake Batter Popcorn (Tastsy Kitchen Blog)
Cake Batter Ice Cream (Annie's Eats)
Cake Batter Martinis (How Sweet It Is)
Cake Batter Muddy Buddies (The Girl Who Ate Everything)
Cake Batter Cream Cheese Frosting (Confessions of a Cookbook Queen)
Cake Batter Blondies (Taste and Tell Blog)
Cake Batter Ice Cream Sandwiches (Grin and Bake It)
Funfetti Cake Batter Dip (Little Bitty Bakes)


Pancakes:
Pumpkin Pancake (Kitchen Concoctions)
Lemon Cornmeal Pancakes with Strawberry Sauce (Eat Live Run)
Pancake Mix (Kitchen Concoctions)
Bacon and Corn Griddle Cakes (Recipe Girl)
Carrot Cake Pancakes (Lick the Bowl Good)
Oatmeal Pancakes (Kitchen Concoctions)
Cake Batter Pancakes (How Sweet It Is)
Banana Pancakes (Annie's Eats)
Brownie Batter Pancakes (Skinny Taste)
Mini Maple Chocolate Chips Pancake Muffins (Bakerella)

Decorated Cakes:
Pilgrim Hat Cupcakes (Kitchen Concoctions)
April Fool's Cupcakes (Our Best Bites)
Mini Graveyard Cakes (Kitchen Concoctions)
Pirate Birthday Cake (The Sister's Cafe)
Sesame Street Cupcakes (Annie's Eats)
Bat Cake (Mel's Kitchen Cafe)
Tow Mater Cupcakes (Family Go, via Bakerella)
Donut Reindeer Cupakes (Culinary Concoctions by Peabody)
Pink Skull and Crossbones Cake (The Hunrgy Housewife)
Owl Cupcakes (Annie's Eats)

Coffee Cake/Snack Cake:
Rise and Shine Coffee Cake (Kitchen Concoctions)
Cinnamon Pecan Coffee Cake (Lick The Bowl Good)
Grands Little Coffee Cakes (Kitchen Concoctions)
Banana Streusel Snack Cake (Good Life Eats)
Lemon Blueberry Coffee Cake (Real Mom Kitchen)
The Best Coffee Cake. Ever. (The Pioneer Woman)
Upside-Down Cinnamon Apple Coffee Cake Recipe (Lady Behind the Curtain)
Blueberry Lemon Coffee Cake Muffins (Lauren's Latest)
French Toast Coffee Cake (Kitchen Concoctions)
New York-Style Crumb Cake (Smells Like Home)


Other:
Cake Mix Bread (Kitchen Concoctions)
Starbuck’s Iced Lemon Pound Cake Copycat Recipe (Picky Palate)
Strawberry-Lime Shortcakes with Coconut Cream (Kitchen Concoctions)
Magnificent Strawberry Shortcake (My Favorite Recipes)
Homemade Yellow Cake Mix (Mel's Kitchen Cafe)
Cake Mix Cookies (Cafe Zupas Blog, via Taste and Tell Blog)
Cupcake Milkshake (Confessions of a Cookbook Queen)
Banana Split Ice Cream Cake (Sweet Anna's)
How To Swril Colored Icing for Cupcakes (Our Best Bites)
How To Make A Cupcake Tower (Annie's Eats)

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Giveaway: Cookbook of Your Choice- Closed

Update (4/6/12): This giveaway is now closed. The winner, chosen by random.org, is comment number 10, Lisa. Lisa please contact me within 72 hours to claim your prize. If after 72 hours winner has not claimed their prize a new winner will be chosen and notified. Thank you to all who entered.

Because my blog's birthday month is almost over. Because the recipe I had planned today is on a different computer that for some reason I can't seem to access. Because it is cake week, and cake is fun and delicious. Because I want to thank you guys for a fun three years together, I have a giveaway!
(oh but first the winner of the Walmart gift card giveaway was chosen and announced which was comment number 54, Grace Ann. Grace Ann. Congrats Grace Ann! Please note if I don't here from you soon a new winner will be notified.)

Today's giveaway is all about cake, cake cookbooks! Below are some of my current favorite cake cookbooks that I just can't seem to get enough of.

One lucky Kitchen Concoctions reader will win their CHOICE of ONE of the cookbooks below.


Cake Pops: Tips, Tricks, and Recipes for More Than 40 Irresistible Mini Treats
Cupcakes, Cookies & Pie, Oh, My!
Martha Stewart's Cupcakes: 175 Inspired Ideas for Everyone's Favorite Treat
Baking with the Cake Boss: 100 of Buddy's Best Recipes and Decorating Secrets

And even though they are not specifically cake related I am loving these two new cookbooks and have included them in the options too!


Joy the Baker Cookbook: 100 Simple and Comforting Recipes
The Pioneer Woman Cooks: Food from My Frontier

HOW TO ENTER GIVEAWAY:

You have SIX separate ways to enter the cookbook giveaway! (NOTE: Please leave a SEPARATE comment for each response below):
1. Leave a comment on this post sharing which cookbook listed above you would like to win.

2. Become a follower of Kitchen Concoctions through Google Friend Connect.

3. Tell someone about this giveaway, whether it be on a blog, Facebook or Twitter and leave a new comment letting me know and sharing the link.
4. For a fourth entry to this giveaway, head over to Kitchen Concoction’s Facebook page and click ”Like”. Then come back here and leave a separate comment letting me know you did.

5. For a fifth entry follow Kitchen Concoctions on Twitter. Then come back here and leave a separate comment letting me know you did.

6. And last but not least I finally broke down and joined the Pinterest craze! For a sixth entry head over and follow me on Pinterest and leave a comment letting me know!

This give-away closes Thursday, April 5, 2012 at 11:59 PM CST. Winner will be chosen at random (by random.org) and will be announced sometime shortly after the give-away ends. Winner must contact Kitchen Concoctions within 72 hours at kitchen_concoctions at hotmail dot com to claim prize. If winner has not claimed prize within 72 hours then a new winner will be notified. Giveaway for US residents only.

NOTE: Please check back shortly after giveaway closing to see if you are a winner. As much as I would like to run all over the Internet world looking for you, I do not have the time. So you as the winner MUST contact me with your information.

"Disclosure: This giveaway is sponsored by Kitchen Concoctions. All opinions are my own."

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Website Wednesday: Chunky Monkey Cupcakes with Chocolate Peanut Butter Frosting

Ahhh spring!

I shared my love of this season last week when I was tearfully saying good bye to soup season.


My love for spring runs deep.

One thing I do not love about this Spring, however, is all of these crazy diets that practically every.one.I.know is on!

Don’t get me wrong I have been craving fresh fruits and spring salads and I am trying to cut back on the heavier foods and be a bit more consistent in my work outs (you know with short weather here and all)….


But come on people! Absolutely no carbs? No sugar? No dairy? Shakes, powders, and potions?!?

I believe in all things in moderation!


I couldn’t let Eric’s birthday pass without cake (of course…. How can you have a birthday without cake?)! I searched high and low for the.perfect.cake.recipe and ended up creating this Chunky Monkey Cupcakes with Chocolate Peanut Butter Frosting.

These cupcakes are omg. Insane. Droolworthy. Ruin your crazy good for nothing diet good.


I know because since *every.single.person.I.know* is on some crazy diet and are barley touching any form of *real* food with a ten foot pole, I got to enjoy (read: stuff my face) almost every single one of these cupcakes. All.by.myself. (oh… errr… Eric MAY have had one of his birthday cupcakes….)
I do not regret it! In fact I am quite happy that my *friends* (really being a food blogger can I even call these so.called.dieters my friends) are all on diets so that I can keep all these cupcakes to myself. Their. Loss.

These are it, people. The cupcake I have waited my whole life for! (have I convinced you to make these yet?)

(dieters, think what you want of me)

One Year Ago: Ultimate Panini
Two Years Ago: Guinness Shepherds Pie
Three Years Ago: Butterscotch Sweet Potato Cookie Sandwiches


Chunky Monkey Cupcakes with Chocolate Peanut Butter Frosting
Printable Version
Prep Time: 20 minutes Cook Time: 18-22 minutes Makes approximately 20 cupcakes

½ cup butter, softened
½ cup packed brown sugar
½ cup sugar
3 large ripe bananas, mashed
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups + 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup buttermilk
1 1/4 cup chocolate chips
1/3 cup chopped walnuts
Chocolate Peanut Butter frosting, recipe below

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Cream together butter and both sugars until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time mixing well after each addition. Beat in bananas and vanilla.

Sift together 2 cups flour, baking powder, soda and salt. Add flour mixture alternately with buttermilk to banana mixture. Beating just until blended.

Toss chocolate chips with remaining 1 tablespoon flour. Stir chocolate chips into batter.
Divide batter evenly among 20 paper lined muffin cups. Bake for 18 to 22 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

Let cool in pan for 5 minutes, then remove to a wire rack to cool completely. Once cupcakes are completely cool frost with chocolate peanut butter frosting and top with chopped walnuts.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Buttercream Frosting
by Heather of Kitchen Concoctions: www.kitchen-concoctions.com
Prep Time: 10 minutes Makes approximately 2 cups frosting

1/2 cup butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup peanut butter
5-6 tablespoons milk
½ cup cocoa powder
2 ½- 3 cups powdered sugar

Cream together the butter and vanilla extract. Add the peanut butter and mix thoroughly. Slowly add in the cocoa powder and powdered sugar one cup at a time alternating with the milk, mixing until desired consistency is reached.

Chunky Monkey Cupcake recipe inspired by Food.com
Chocolate Peanut Butter Frosting by Heather of Kitchen Concoctions: www.kitchen-concoctions.com

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Sunday dinners are all about dessert

I have talked before about my Mom being a simple cook but a wonderful baker. But whether my Mom was cooking simple dinners or her famous banana bread or pies she was always making the same things. I guess she felt so comfortable with her tried and true recipes that she never strayed!

One meal though that was always special was Sunday night dinner. That is when my Mom took a little extra time to make dinner and have everything from dinner rolls, side salad, to dessert! Sunday dinner was the one night when dinner wasn’t rushed or quickly eaten to run out the door to a choir concert, or girl scouts, or soccer practice. It truly was a special time!


Of course as a child (heck even as an adult) I always looked forward to the dessert at Sunday dinner! ; ) And even though my Mom was *known* for her moist banana bread, chunky chocolate chip cookies, and pies that could send Paula Deen running, Sunday desserts were much simpler. Strawberry pie using store bought strawberry glaze, boxed brownies with Blue Bell ice cream on top, or strawberry shortcake!

Strawberry shortcake is such a humble dessert with three main ingredients, strawberries, pound cake, and whip cream! However, I love this kicked up tropical version (seriously, Eric and I were licking our plates)! Even with a few extra ingredients this recipe is still uber simple.


I choose to use store bought angel food cake but feel free to make your own. I did make my own whip cream (as written in the recipe below), which is really quite easy, but if you are crunched for time you could use thawed frozen whipped topping and just stir in the vanilla and coconut extracts to and the extra umph!

But however you choose to throw this dessert together just make it! It would make for a lovely (and easy peasy) Easter dessert or dessert for any family dinner large or small!

One Year Ago: Gingered Beef Stir-Fry Recipe
Two Years Ago: Guinness Shepherds Pie
Three Years Ago: Butterscotch Sweet Potato Cookie Sandwiches


Strawberry-Lime Shortcakes with Coconut Cream
Printable Version
Prep Time: 15 minutes Wait Time: 15 minutes Serves 6

6 slices pound cake or angel food cake
1 pint sliced fresh strawberries
1/3 cup granulated sugar
2 limes, juiced and zested
2/3 cup toasted coconut*

Coconut Whipped Cream:
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup powdered sugar
2 teaspoons coconut extract
1 teaspoon vanilla

Mix sliced strawberries, sugar, lime juice and zest. Stir well and set aside. Stir occasionally over about 15 minutes. You want the sugar to dissolve and form a light syrup.

For the cream, place whipping cream in a bowl and beat with an electric mixer for about one minute. Slowly add in powdered sugar, and both extracts. Continue beating until soft peaks form.

Slice cake and spoon a layer of strawberries on top, including some of the syrup! Top with a generous dollop of whipped cream and sprinkle with coconut.

*Toasted coconut: Preheat the oven to 375F. Spread the desired amount of sweetened coconut on a cookie sheet or other oven-safe dish. Place in the oven and cook for about 2-5 minutes, depending on how much you are doing. Stir often, about every 30 seconds, to avoid burning. The coconut will be dry and lightly browned when done.

Adapted from Our Best Bites Cookbook, seen on Taste and Tell Blog

Monday, March 26, 2012

A Month of Birthdays

March is a big month in our house! Birthdays, birthdays and more birthdays! Eric, my brother-in-law, and nephew all share the same exact birthday. Eric then has three cousins with March birthdays and I have a cousin and an aunt with (you guessed it) March birthdays. Happy Birthday to you all!


Plus not to mention March is this little blog’s little birthday! All these birthdays mean lots of fun and lots of celebrating! I love any excuse to celebrate anything, so of course I am in hog heaven right now!

I hope you have enjoyed a few more giveaways this month to celebrate things and since March is sadly coming to an end I thought that this last week should strictly be devoted to none other than the single most popular celebration food, cake (man that was the longest run on sentence ever)!

This week is all about cake! Cupcakes, cake pops, frosting, cake themed giveaways, and more.

First up itty bitty Brownie Bites with Peanut Butter Frosting. I going to be honest here folks and the frosting in this recipe is really the star of the show here. Use a boxed brownie mix or your favorite homemade recipe just make them tiny (because it’s cute and everything tastes better when it’s cute) and defiantly don’t skimp on the frosting!

One Year Ago: Gingered Beef Stir-Fry Recipe
Two Years Ago: Guinness Shepherds Pie
Three Years Ago: Butterscotch Sweet Potato Cookie Sandwiches


Brownie Bites with Peanut Butter Frosting
By Heather of Kitchen Concoctions: www.kitchen-concoctions.com
Printable Version
Prep Time: 10 minutes Cook Time: 12-15 minutes Makes approximately 30-34 bites

1 batch basic brownies, enough for 9x13 inch pan (homemade or box mix)
1 batch peanut butter frosting, recipe below

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray mini-muffin tin with baking spray.

Mix brownies according to recipe or package directions. Using tablespoon, spoon brownie batter into prepared muffin tin. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until tops spring back when touched or toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

Let brownie bites cool and top with peanut butter frosting.

Peanut Butter Frosting
By Heather of Kitchen Concoctions: www.kitchen-concoctions.com
Printable Version
Prep Time: 10 minutes Makes approximately 2 cups frosting

1/2 cup butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
5-6 tablespoons milk
½ cup peanut butter
3- 3 1/2 cups powdered sugar

Cream the butter and vanilla extract. Slowly add the peanut butter. Add in the powdered sugar one cup at a time alternating with the milk, mixing until desired consistency is reached.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

So Long Soup Season

I have enjoyed soaking in the sweet smells of spring, the luscious rays of sunlight, and the pleasant temperatures the last few weeks. I haven’t even been bothered by all the stormy showers because of all the gorgeous wild flowers that pop up afterwards.

Ahhhh. Spring!


One (and probably the only thing) I will miss about the winter weather is the soup! I was on a real soup kick this winter. Like, I’m talking one pot of soup every week since October.

But soup isn’t really springy. Sigh! Spring is all about salads and fresh fruits and vegetables and anticipation of shorts and swimsuits.

But these great soup recipes really can’t wait till next year (so expect to see a few over the next few weeks). Plus if you are like my sister who lives up North, (practically in Canada) and still have 30 degree temps in March, you may appreciate a few end of the season soup recipes!


Who doesn’t love pizza! What a brilliant idea to take a weekly staple and transform it into a hearty, heartwarming soup! The crock-pot makes soup making a breeze and totally makes for the bestest soup eva’!

Crock-pot Pizza Soup
Printable Version
Prep Time: 15 minutes Cook Time: 8 hours Serves 6

1 jar (14 ounce) pizza sauce
3 cups chicken broth
1 ½ cups water
1 green bell pepper, seeded and diced
1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced
1/2 medium yellow onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 pint cherry/grape tomatoes, cut in half
½ pound sausage, cooked and crumbled
1 cup sliced pepperoni, sliced in quarters
½ tablespoon dried basil leaves
1/2 tablespoon dried oregano
1 cup dried shell pasta
Parmesan or mozzarella cheese, as needed, for serving

Prepare vegetables and sausage. Combine all ingredients except pasta and Parmesan cheese in crock-pot. Cover and cook on low for 7-9 hours.

Thirty minutes before serving, add the dry pasta, and turn to high.

Serve topped with shredded mozzarella or Parmesan cheese.

adapted from A Year of Slow Cooking

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Website Wednesday: Secret Sirloin Steak

I don’t know about your family, but we don’t eat much beef in our house.

I’m sure Eric hates it.


Chicken, chicken and more chicken. With a little ground turkey, sausage, tilapia, or some cut of pork mixed in for variety.

Every once in a rare blue moon, if some cut of beef is on sale for a rock bottom price or if it is a special occasion I pick some up.

But beef is expensive.


But it was on sale recently.

Now sirloin can be a rather tough and inexpensive cut of meat so marinating is a necessity. This recipe produces a juicy flavorful tender steak with a simple sauce for serving.

Oh and did I mention that after marinating this cooks up in less than 15 minutes.

I think I will be a beef lover for life!

Secret Sirloin Steak
Printable Version
Prep Time: 10 minutes Cook Time: 15 minutes Wait Time: 2 hours 35 minutes

¼ cup plus 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce, divided
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons olive oil
¼ cup minced onion
¾ teaspoon season salt
2 cloves minced garlic
3 pound sirloin steaks
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley or ½ tablespoon dried parsley

Combine 1/4 cup of the Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice, oil, onion, salt and garlic; mix well and set aside.

Place steak in zip top bag.

Pour marinade mixture over steak. Marinate steak in refrigerator for 2 hours.

After marinating, let steak come to room temperature. Place steak and marinade in baking dish.

Preheat broiler and broil for 7 to 10 minutes on each side or until done as desired, brushing occasionally with marinade.

Remove steak to serving plate. Let sit for 5 minutes before slicing.

In a small saucepan melt butter. Stir in parsley and remaining Worcestershire sauce.

Pour sauce over steak and serve.

Adapted from Food.com

Monday, March 19, 2012

Giveaway: $25 Walmart Giftcard

This giveaway is now closed. The winner, chosen by random.org is comment number 54, Grace Ann. Grace Ann. Congrats Grace Ann! Please contact me within 72 hours to claim your prize. Note: If winner has not claimed prize within 72 hours then a new winner will be notified.
It's Monday. I'm exhausted. How 'bout a giveaway? Yup. Sounds good to me!

But first, the winner of last week's My Memories Digital Scrapbook Software giveaway (chosen by random.org) is comment number 4. Congrats Dana! Please email me within 72 hours to claim your prize. Note: If winner has not claimed prize within 72 hours then a new winner will be notified.

Now for today's giveaway!


Looking to spice up your weekly dinners or sweeten your next family gathering with an extra special dessert? Bake-Off.com now has 100 new recipe creations from Pillsbury Bake-Off finalists from across the country. Whether you are in the mood for Breakfast & Brunches, Entertaining Appetizers, Dinner Made Easy, or Sweet Treats, Bake-Off.com has tons of new ideas that are simple to make and sure to wow your loved ones.


  • Head to your local Walmart where you can find great savings on refrigerated Pillsbury products including: Pillsbury Original Crescent Rolls, Pillsbury Cinnamon Rolls, Pillsbury Pie Crust, and Pillsbury Cookies among other items


  • Don´t forget to check everydaysaver.com/Walmart before you head to your nearest Walmart to find additional coupons and offers.



  • Having trouble deciding which of these mouthwatering recipes to make first? Here are just a few of the delicious ones available on BakeOff.com:
    To celebrate Bake-Off.com I have a $25 Walmart gift card to giveaway to one lucky Kitchen Concoctions reader.

    HOW TO ENTER GIVEAWAY:

    You have SIX separate ways to enter the $25 Walmart Gift Card Giveaway! (NOTE: Please leave a SEPARATE comment for each response below):

    1. Leave a comment on this post sharing which recipe listed above you would like to make. After the giveaway is over I will make and share the recipe with the most comments (votes).


    2. Become a follower of Kitchen Concoctions through Google Friend Connect.

    3. Tell someone about this giveaway, whether it be on a blog, Facebook or Twitter and leave a new comment letting me know and sharing the link.

    4. For a fourth entry to this giveaway, head over to Kitchen Concoction’s Facebook page and click ”Like”. Then come back here and leave a separate comment letting me know you did.

    5. For a fifth entry follow Kitchen Concoctions on Twitter. Then come back here and leave a separate comment letting me know you did.


    6. And last but not least I finally broke down and joined the Pinterest craze! For a sixth entry head over and follow me on Pinterest and leave a comment letting me know!


    This give-away closes Monday, March 26, 2012 at 11:59 PM CST. Winner will be chosen at random (by random.org) and will be announced sometime shortly after the give-away ends. Winner must contact Kitchen Concoctions within 72 hours at kitchen_concoctions at hotmail dot com to claim prize. If winner has not claimed prize within 72 hours then a new winner will be notified. Giveaway for US residents only.

    NOTE: Please check back shortly after giveaway closing to see if you are a winner. As much as I would like to run all over the Internet world looking for you, I do not have the time. So you as the winner MUST contact me with your information.

    "Disclosure: The gift card, information, and giveaway have been provided by Walmart and General Mills, through MyBlogSpark."

    Wednesday, March 14, 2012

    Website Wednesday: Waffle House Waffles

    If you have never spotted that black and yellow Waffle House sign a mile away and stepped on the gas to get there faster, you might not be a true southerner.

    If you have never had a hot fresh Waffle house waffle, you might not be true southerner.

    You might think I am kidding, but I never realized how important Waffle House was until I met Eric and his family. They are hard core Waffle House fanatics and while I had heard of them and have been to a Waffle House once or twice in my life (my life prior to Eric), we just don't have that many here in Texas. Which was a huge disappointment to Eric when he first moved here.

    I did not understand the big deal about WH, until I went with Eric for the first time to Georgia and saw from Louisiana to Georgia there was one Waffle House every mile! (I kid. I kid. But there were a lot).


    Since the closest Waffle House to where we live is a good 25 minute drive out of the way we don't enjoy it often! One morning Eric and I both wanted a nice big breakfast and I suggested treating to Waffle House, to my shock Eric said no that because of our other plans for the day it would be to far out of the way. We decided on a nice big breakfast at home instead and I was crazy excited when I stumbled upon this recipe for Waffle House waffle knock-offs (when searching for a new waffle recipe).

    Eric says this isn't quite the same as the WH original, but we both thought they were wonderful waffles(I actaully like them a whole lot better than a waffle recipe I shared a few months back), and I will actually make this my 'go to' waffle recipe for here on out (at least for now!). Oh and FYI these waffles freeze and reheat well in the microwave, toaster, or oven; which is even better!


    Waffle House Waffles
    Printable Version
    Prep Time: 10 minutes Cook Time: 10 minutes Serves 4

    1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
    1 teaspoon salt
    ½ teaspoon baking soda
    1 egg
    1/3 cup granulated sugar
    4 tablespoons butter, softened
    ½ cup half-and-half cream
    2/3 cup milk
    ¼ teaspoon vanilla
    1/3 cup chopped pecans, optional

    Combine flour, salt and baking soda in a medium bowl and stir to combine.

    Lightly beat the egg in another medium bowl and combine with sugar and butter; mixing well until smooth.
    Add in the half and half cream, milk, and vanilla and mix well.

    Add the dry flour mixture to the wet mixture while beating and mix until smooth.

    Spray waffle iron with non-stick cooking spray, and preheat it.

    Spoon 1/3 to 1/2 cup of batter into the waffle iron, and top with pecans if desired. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes or until the waffles are light brown.

    Note: Batter can be refrigerated overnight. Allow chilled batter to come to room temperature before cooking in waffle iron.

    adapted from Food.com

    Tuesday, March 13, 2012

    Celebrate St. Patty’s Day with a Little Irish Luck and Lots of Traditions

    Hey YOU.... Did you know Saturday is St. Patrick's Day? Well in case you missed the memo it is! I had hoped to have a St. Patty's theme week for this week, full of some fun green recipes and but of course time got away from me and here we are the week of St. Patrick's Day and I only have two day's worth of things to share. Yesterday's recipe for Sweet Potato and Turkey Shepherd's Pie and today's article all about Irish food that I wrote for meal planning and recipe site.
    So here's to green eats and a little Irish luck. By the way if you need more St. Patty's Day recipe ideas or fun ideas check the bottom of this article or check out my St. Patty's Pinterest page (are you following??)!


    With the fun parades, cute symbols, and tasty food; everyone loves to be Irish on St. Patrick’s Day! But the origin of this popular Irish holiday dates back one thousand years and is to honor the death of St. Patrick, Ireland’s patron saint. This religious holiday is celebrated on March 17 in Ireland and countries around the world; with traditional festivities including Irish mass and celebrations of Irish culture.

    Since St. Patrick’s Day celebrations center around feasting, take time to explore some traditional Irish foods. Most of these foods are made with simple ingredients and are easy to cook.
    
    • Corned Beef and Cabbage is a popular meal enjoyed by many. Cabbage has long been a staple in Irish diets but this dish was traditionally served with Irish bacon and not corned beef. It was not until the turn of the century, when Irish immigrants fled to America, that they learned to use corned beef as an inexpensive substitute.

    • Shepherd’s Pie is a historical Irish casserole that is traditionally made of lamb meat or mutton and topped with mashed potatoes. Depending on the region, this dish is also known as Hunters Pie or Cottage Pie.

    • Irish Soda Bread is simple table bread that came about in the 1800’s. It gave people the opportunity to make bread at home in a cast-iron pot cooked directly on coals. Soda bread uses baking soda to make the dough rise, instead of yeast; which was popular because it is inexpensive and nonperishable. Today many American versions contain raisins, nuts, and seeds; but traditional Irish versions are plain and simply adorned with a cross like shape. This shape is to help during the baking process as well as represent a religious cross in this predominately Catholic country.

    • Irish Beer and St. Patrick’s Day go together like milk and cereal! The Irish are known for their rich, flavorful beers and brew three main types: lagers, ales, and stouts. Lagers are lighter and crisper; ales tend to be darker and slightly richer; and stouts are luscious, smoky, and malty in flavor.

    To celebrate St. Patrick’s Day and honor Irish traditions, make one of these Irish foods today!

    Guinness Shepherds Pie (Kitchen Concoctions)
    Chocolate Stout Cupcakes with Baileys Cream Cheese Frosting (Skinny Taste)
    Sweet Potato and Turkey Shepherd's Pie (Kitchen Concoctions)
    Irish Soda Bread (Bluebonnets and Brownies)
    Crescent Cristo Sandwich Loaf (Kitchen Concoctions)
    Green Velvet Cheesecake Shamrocks (The Novice Chef)
    Honey Marmalade Mustard Glazed Corned Beef (Good Life Eats)

    Monday, March 12, 2012

    Kiss Me I'm Irish

    I am a group of peeps who can say this on St. Patty's Day and it actually be true! While my family has been here in America for generations, my ancestors came directly from Ireland many (and by many I mean many) years ago. While that Irish accent and those Irish traditions have mostly evaporated from my family, the red hair, fair skin, and freckles has transcended generations (both my brother and sister fit this description)!

    I guess you can say I am like most people these days because even though my ancestors came from Ireland, they also came from Germany, Scotland, Switzerland, England and France. So I would bet that it is safe to say there are only a *few* people these days that are full blood Irish! I guess those 'kiss me' shirts should be changed to "Kiss Me I'm 100% Irish"! Wink. Wink.


    And even though those Irish traditions are long lost, I do love learning about celebrating other cultures and heritages when various holidays roll around. So if you are looking for a great Irish inspired recipe to make for St. Patty's Day Saturday, Shepherd's Pie is a great classic recipe loved by all! I love this version made with ground turkey and sausage (the sausage is a must, it gives it so much flavor and I even used turkey sausage) and is topped with a beautiful sweet potato mash mixture!


    Sweet Potato and Turkey Shepherd's Pie
    Prep Time: 20 minutes Cook Time: 40 minutes Wait time: 5 minutes Serves: 6
    Printable Version

    2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
    2 large baking potato, peeled and cubed
    2 large carrots, peeled and diced
    1 cup half and half cream (or milk)
    1/2 cup sour cream
    1 pound ground turkey
    ½ pound sausage
    1/2 cup chopped onion
    2 stalks celery, chopped
    2 clove garlic, minced
    1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
    1/2 cup chicken stock
    1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
    1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
    1 1/3 cup herb-seasoned stuffing mix
    1 ½ cups frozen mixed vegetables
    salt and black pepper to taste
    ½ cup cheddar cheese, shredded
    1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
    ½ teaspoon paprika

    Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Lightly grease a 2-quart, deep-dish casserole pan.

    Place the sweet potato, russet potato, and carrot in large pot. Add enough water to cover the vegetables. Place pot over medium heat and bring to a boil. Cook until tender enough to pierce with a fork, 8 to 10 minutes; drain.

    Place the drained potato and carrot mixture in a large mixing bowl; mash lightly. Add the 1/2 cup half and half cream and sour cream. Blend the potato mixture with an electric hand mixer set to medium until smooth and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
    Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Cook the turkey and sausage in the hot oil until browned, 4 to 5 minutes. Add the onion, celery, garlic, and poultry seasoning. Cook until the turkey and sausage is cooked through and no longer pink. Increase the heat to medium-high. Pour the chicken stock into the turkey mixture. Whisk together the remaining half and half cream and flour until smooth. When the chicken stock begins to boil, add the flour mixture to the stock and stir until it thickens. Remove from heat and stir in Worcestershire sauce.

    Pour the turkey mixture into the bottom of the prepared casserole dish. Sprinkle the stuffing mix over the turkey mixture. Arrange the mixed vegetables atop the stuffing mix. Season with salt and pepper. Spoon the potato mixture over the vegetables, spreading to cover all the way to the edges of the dish. Top potatoes with cheese, nutmeg, and paprika.
    Bake in preheated oven until top is slightly browned, about 20-30 minutes. Allow to rest 5 minutes before serving.

    Adapted from Food on the Table

    Friday, March 9, 2012

    Giveaway: My Memories Digital Scrapbook Software

    This giveaway is now closed. The winner of the My Memories Digital Scrapbook Software giveaway (chosen by random.org) is comment number 4. Congrats Dana! Please email me within 72 hours to claim your prize. Note: If winner has not claimed prize within 72 hours then a new winner will be notified.
    Hi friends! Continuing like I promised in having weekly giveaways in March, for my blog's anniversary this month, I *HAVE* to share another giveaway today! ; )

    But first, the winner of last week's Kroger gift card giveaway (chosen by random.org) is comment number 16. Congrats Elena! Please email me within 72 hours to claim your prize. Note: If winner has not claimed prize within 72 hours then a new winner will be notified.
    NOW, for today's NEW giveaway!
    I have always had a passion for photography and scrapbooking! In high school and my early 20's I was obsessed with learning photography (yes with an old Cannon camera that was my Dad's from the '60s) and paper scrapbooking. I have clipped, and colored, and pieced together tons of scrapbooks for friends and loved ones over the years. I loved this creative outlet. I have hundreds of dollars of paper, and stickers, and scissors, etc. I still love turning my precious photo memories into treasured books but unfortunately in the last several years that hobby and passion has fallen by the waste side. It is still something I love but I lack the time and the space to do it.
    This is a passion I miss but was thrilled when I was contacted by My Memories, a digital scrapbook software. I had never even considered digital scrapbooking and after playing with the software I found that I love it!
    My Memories is an award winning digital scrapbook software that is extremely easy and fun to use. My Memories Suite is rated #1 by Amazon and TopTen Reviews. Using this software, anyone can create digital scrapbooks, photobooks, cards, calendars and gifts without having to buy expensive and complicated software programs.

    I have only begun testing this software! It is easy to use and comes with a ton of backgrounds, embellishments, fonts, photo editing capabilities, and more. You can use some of the premade templates or make your own.
    I used a premade template to make this birthday page for the birthday boy:

    You maybe thinking why would I host a giveaway like this on a cooking blog. Well I see so many possibilities on how I can use this digital scrapbook software to edit my food photos, make banners or buttons, or even a Kitchen Concoctions calendar! See this yummy collage:
    Or how about a card for Easter?

    The possibilities are endless! Keep reading below on how you can enter to win a copy of My Memories Suite (a $40 value). But even if you don't win or want to give this software to a friend, My Memories has graciously given Kitchen Concoctions readers a $10 discount off the purchase of the My Memories Suite Scrapbook software and a $10 coupon for the MyMemories.com store - $20 value!

    Simply copy and paste this discount code: STMMMS68197

    HOW TO ENTER GIVEAWAY:

    You have SIX separate ways to enter the My Memories Suite Scrapbook Software Giveaway! (NOTE: Please leave a SEPARATE comment for each response below):

    1. Head over to My Memories and choose your favorite digital paper pack or layout, then leave a comment telling which ones you chose.

    2. Become a follower of Kitchen Concoctions through Google Friend Connect.

    3. Tell someone about this giveaway, whether it be on a blog, Facebook or Twitter and leave a new comment letting me know and sharing the link.

    4. For a fourth entry to this giveaway, head over to Kitchen Concoction’s Facebook page and click ”Like”. Then come back here and leave a separate comment letting me know you did.

    5. For a fifth entry follow Kitchen Concoctions on Twitter. Then come back here and leave a separate comment letting me know you did.


    6. And last but not least I finally broke down and joined the Pinterest craze! For a sixth entry head over and follow me on Pinterest and leave a comment letting me know!


    This give-away closes Friday, March 16, 2012 at 11:59 PM CST. Winner will be chosen at random (by random.org) and will be announced sometime shortly after the give-away ends. Winner must contact Kitchen Concoctions within 72 hours at kitchen_concoctions at hotmail dot com to claim prize. If winner has not claimed prize within 72 hours then a new winner will be notified.


    NOTE: Please check back shortly after giveaway closing to see if you are a winner. As much as I would like to run all over the Internet world looking for you, I do not have the time. So you as the winner MUST contact me with your information.

    Disclosure: I was provided a copy of the My Memories Suite software for myself and the giveaway as well as all the information provided above. All opinions are my own.

    Wednesday, March 7, 2012

    Website Wednesday: Greek Rice Pilaf

    I love the month of March! It is by far my next busiest month of the year (besides December). With Eric's birthday, my nephew's birthday, my brother-in-law's birthday, the blog's anniversary month (I have lots of fun things planned), SXSW (a two week film, music, education, interactive conference in the ATX), and other spring events; March makes for a busy month! But even though it is pure craziness it is so much fun! But needless to say I am already exhausted and we are only one week into this busy month! Lol!


    Another reason I love March is because March and April makes for some beau-TI-ful weather here in Texas! Last year we were unseasonably cold during the winter months and were in the mists of a horrible draught, thus causing some rather dry and ugly landscape and scenery. But this year... this year we have had a very mild 'winter' and lots of rain, so we are swimming in fields of green blue, seeing those famous Texas bluebonnets starting to pop all over! I love it! Plus not to mention the PERFECT temperatures of 72 degrees! Love!

    Something else I love about Spring is all the fresh foods and Spring produce! I am trying to incorporate more of these brilliantly vibrant foods into my diet and this Greek Rice Pilaf was a great way to use some fresh Texas spinach from the market! L.O.V.E. This dish is also great because it combines both your starch and veg for a complete side dish!


    Greek Rice Pilaf
    Printable Version
    Prep Time: 10 minutes Cook Time: 10 minutes Serves: 6

    1 tablespoon olive oil
    ½ medium onion, chopped
    1 garlic clove, minced
    1 teaspoon Greek seasoning
    1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
    1 ½-2 cups fresh spinach, chopped
    2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
    ½ cup frozen green peas
    2 cups cooked rice
    ½ cup feta cheese, crumbled

    Heat oil in a heavy skillet over medium heat. Add onions and cook until they begin to soften, approximately 3-4 minutes.

    Add the garlic, Greek seasoning and pepper and sauté for 1-2 more minutes.
    Stir in the spinach, lemon juice, and green peas.
    Cover and cook for 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally.

    When the spinach is limp stir in the hot, cooked rice. Serve topped with the feta.

    Adapted from Food.com

    This recipe is linked to: Life as a Mom grain recipe swap

    Monday, March 5, 2012

    Website Review: Tasty Kitchen

    Am I the only one that still gets thrown off with the month of February? Even though we had an 'extra' day this year I always seem to get behind on everything every year during the last part of February and first part of March!

    In an effort to catch up and get back on tract, today is the overall review of last month's selected website as part of the Website of the Month series (since Wednesday is the first Wednesday of March and time to start sharing a new site!).


    February's site was Tasty Kitchen. If you are not that familiar with it, it is the recipe sharing website started by Ree Drummond, The Pioneer Woman. It is basically a recipe site with member only uploaded recipes. It is a great way to discover new blogs since a lot of bloggers share their recipes on this site (myself included), but you do not have to be a blogger to share your great recipes!

    Here's what it is all about:

    Pictures: Tons

    Since most recipes are submitted by food bloggers there are tons of photos! With that said, they are obviously not the same quality photos and not every recipe has a photo but it is strongly encouraged. However, if using Internet Explorer you might have some troubling loading your photo so it is best to use Firefox when using this site.
    Prep Time, Cooking Time, and Number of Servings listed: Yes

    Every single recipe has this information included. You can even change the number of servings and the recipe ingredients will also automatically change. You can also choose to have the measurements show in Metric or US conversions.

    Nutritional Information provided: No

    Clear, easy to follow directions and ease of preparation: Yes and No
    For the most part the directions are clear and easy to follow. But keep in mind that these are strictly user submitted recipes and therefore the way the recipe is written may not be as formal as a professional recipe. However, the recipes are proof read by a TK employee before they are made visible to the public so hopefully any major errors are caught. The recipes range from extremely easy to more complicated.

    Easily available ingredients and budget friendly: For the most part

    Since these recipes are member submitted, members just like you and me, most of the ingredients are easy to find and not too expensive but that is not always the case.
    Variety of recipes: All types of recipes

    This site is huge and has tons or recipes. From homemade hot sauce, to red velvet fudge, to tasty dinner and breakfast recipes, they've got it all.

    Meal Planning Feature: No

    Source of recipes: All recipes are submitted by members

    You can view all recipes whither you have a TK account or not but cannot add recipes without setting up an account. As I mentioned above, since a lot of recipes are submitted by other bloggers (bloggers we all know and love), most of these recipes can be trusted as a good, reliable recipe.

    Cost: FREE!

    Special feature:  I love that this site is very friend oriented. When you create an account you can 'add' your friends, send them messages, rate recipes, post comments, and add your own recipes. Once you have an account you can save recipes you want to make to your personal 'cookbook' as well as save the recipes you share. There is even a TK blog that highlights the site's recipes. And when you click on a recipe the site 'recommends' other related recipes at the bottom. A few things I am not a fan about is there is not print button. Also it is kind of difficult to add recipes (and that is the reason I have so few of my own recipes shared). Instead of being able to copy and paste you have to add in each ingredient and choose from a drop down box the tablespoon, ounce, etc.

    In case you missed it here is what I made:






    Disclosure: I am not compensated for this review. They are just my thoughts and opinions about a site I love and use!

    Friday, March 2, 2012

    "We Are Austin Live" and "Austin Home and Garden Show"

    First I want to welcome any new friends to the site! Thanks for stopping by and I hope you will stay and look around a while, both with your eyes and your tummies!

    For those of you that didn't catch it. Today I filmed a cooking segment on the local CBS station, KEYE, for their local talk show all about all things Austin. Today's show was all about the home and garden show happening this weekend at the Austin Convention Center. I will actually be doing the cooking demonstrations for the home and garden show on both Saturday and Sunday.


    If you can stop by, Saturday I will be demoing Pasta Ratatouille, a hearty pasta dish inspired by the French classic side dish of stewed vegetables. Saturday's demo will take place at Noon | 1:30 p.m. | 3:00 p.m. | 4:30 p.m. Sunday's demo will be the light and refreshing Southwestern Corn and Black Couscous Salad with Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette (recipe below) that I prepared today on "We Are Austin Live". Sunday's demos will take place at Noon | 2:00 p.m. | 3:30 p.m. So if you are looking for something to do this weekend and live in Central Texas, come visit me! There are still some discount tickets available too (click here for info).

    And in case you missed the segment here is the video clip. I do have to say I felt a lot more comfortable this go a round than my last TV appearance but did get a case of the 'ums'! Lol!

    KEYE TV We Are Austin.com :: Lifestyle - Austin Live - "Kitchen Concoctions" at the Home and Garden show

    This salad is light and refreshing yet flavorful and filling. It would make a wonderful side dish to some grilled chicken or steak or even some pan seared fish. Or make it your main dish for a light lunch!


    Southwestern Corn and Black Couscous Salad with Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette
    by Heather of Kitchen Concoctions: www.kitchen-concoctions.com
    Printable Version
    Prep Time: 10 minutes Cook Time: 5 minutes Serves: 4-6 for a side dish or 2-4 for a main dish

    1 cup water
    1 cup couscous
    4 tablespoons olive oil
    1 lime, zested and juiced
    1 tablespoon honey
    2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
    Salt and pepper, to taste
    1 (15.5 ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
    1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen corn
    1/2 medium onion, chopped
    1 garlic clove, minced
    1 teaspoon cumin
    1/2-1 teaspoon chili powder, to taste

    Bring water to a boil. Once water begins to boil stir in couscous and remove from heat. Cover and let stand for 5 minutes.

    Combine 3 tablespoons oil, lime juice and zest, honey, cilantro, salt and pepper to form vinaigrette. Whisk to combine thoroughly.

    Heat remaining oil in large sauté pan over medium heat. Add corn, black beans, cumin, and chili powder, salt and black pepper, to taste. Cook for 4-5 minutes until heated through.

    Once corn and beans are cooked, mix prepared couscous and vinaigrette together and serve. Can be served warm or at room temperature.
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