Burger Cake

I would LOVE to take the credit for this cake...but I can't. My husband made it. Seriously, he did. One thing a lot of people don't know about him is how good he is in the kitchen. He can make anything I can and sometimes he can even do it better.

My son had a scout dinner the other night & they had to make a cake with their dads. I found instructions for this one on the Betty Crocker website with complete instructions. He modified it a little after reading some of the reviews and it turned out amazing!

Big Burger Cake

1 box white cake mix
1 box brownie mix
Strawberry jam
sesame seeds (or poppy seeds)
Piped green frosting
licorice strips

Creamy Peanut Butter Frosting
3 cups powdered sugar
1/3 cup peanut butter
1/3 cup milk
2 Tbs. unsweetened baking cocoa

Make the white cake according to the box directions and bake in two 9 inch rounds. Make the brownie according to the box directions and bake it also in a 9 inch round.

Cut the top off of one of the cakes to resemble the bottom "bun". Pipe green frosting around the edge to look like lettuce and then set the brownie on top of the frosting. Spoon strawberry jam around the top edge of the brownie all the way around. Don't skimp, you want the jam to spill over the edges and look like ketchup! Fold a licorice strip in a U shape and press into the top of the brownie to look like a tomato. Then you can put the other white cake on top!

In a medium bowl mix the powdered sugar and peanut butter, then stir in the milk until smooth and spreadable. You may need to add a little more, just do it a tsp. at a time. Frost the outside edges of the bottom "bun" and then frost the entire top cake. Sprinkle with the sesame seeds!

My son was looking at the cake when it was done and said it needed some french fries. He decided to cut up the discarded cake from the bottom bun into little fries and it looked great! What a smart guy! He and his dad just added some more jam for "ketchup" and it was complete. So, next time you need a fun cake give this one a try!


turkey meatballs & spaghetti

We have been trying to eat well and exercise everyday in this house. Last year Pete and I followed the Body for Life program and felt great. It was easy to do and we both felt like we weren't giving up anything. We loved how much we could eat and how we were still reaching our goals. So, for Christmas this year one of Pete's presents was the "Eating for Life" cookbook. It is fantastic!

This book comes with amazing tips, recipes and beautiful pictures. And the best part - all of the recipes are made with NORMAL ingredients you would find in your home! Ok, there might be an occasional new spice, but it is not anything you wouldn't like to add to your spice rack. It is exciting for me to find a book I can cook from and know I am feeding my family healthy meals!

Last night I made the recipe titled "Spaghetti and meatballs." I had to really read into the ingredients because I am not a meatball fan. I decided to try this one anyway...I had all the ingredients. Oh my gosh! This was so good! All of my kids had seconds and I liked it so much I ate two of the meatballs for breakfast...cold! YUM!

Turkey Meatballs & Spaghetti (from Eating for Life)

1 lb. lean ground turkey
2 egg whites
1/2 cup dry breadcrumbs
1/4 cup water
1/2 onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup fresh parsley, minced
2 tsp. dried basil
1 tsp. ground black pepper
3 cups low-fat marinara pasta sauce
12 oz. spaghetti
1/4 cup reduced-fat parmesan cheese

Preheat oven broiler.

In a large mixing bowl, combine turkey, egg whites, breadcrumbs, water, onion, garlice, parsley, basil and black pepper. Mix ingredients thoroughly and the shape into 1 1/2 inch diameter meatballs.

Arrange meatballs on a baking sheet and place under broiler for 10-12 minutes (I did a little longer - phobia about under-cooked meat!), turning occasionally until they are browned on all sides.

While the meatballs are in the broiler, prepare spaghetti according to its package directions.

Place a portion of spaghetti on each plate, cover with a portion of meatballs and pasta sauce. Serve and enjoy!


Rotisserie Chicken Taco Soup

I bought a rotisserie chicken at Costco for dinner the other night and had a lot leftover. So, I came up with this soup to use up all the good chicken I had left! It was a big hit with my family!

Chicken Taco Soup

Rotisserie chicken - shredded (as much as you like!)
1 tbsp. olive oil
2 cups chicken broth
2 cups water
1 package taco seasoning (or 1/4 cup)
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 1/2 tbsp. red taco sauce
6 oz. can tomato paste
1 cup diced onion
1 cup diced celery
1/5 cups frozen corn
avocado slices
tortilla chips

Take the shredded chicken and heat it up in a skillet. Add the taco seasoning to the chicken and stir until it is well coated. Allow the chicken to heat all the way through and then set aside.

Add your onion and celery to a soup pot with a tiny bit of olive oil and heat on low for a couple of minutes. You want the onion to be soft and translucent. When it is done, add the chicken broth and water to the pot. Then you can add the rest of the ingredients.

Add the chicken to the pot and cook the soup on low for about 20 minutes. So easy! You could do this in the crock pot also & could add more flavors (beans, rice...). Next time, I will add some fresh lime... so many options. We topped ours off with cheese, avocado, tomato, cilantro & chips. Yum!


Caramel Corn

This is one of my mom's recipes and has always been a favorite of mine. I have a love of popcorn and have some almost every night. Sometimes it is fun to add a little sweet with the salt! This recipe is really fun because you can make it chewy or a little bit crunchier. I always opt for the chewy caramel corn!

Caramel Corn

Enough popcorn to fill two 9x13 pans when popped
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup butter
1/4 cup light corn syrup
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking soda

Pre-heat your oven to 200 degrees. Heat the sugar, butter, corn syrup and salt in a saucepan until it is just bubbly around the edges. Cook over medium heat for five minutes, do not boil. It should look just like this...isn't the color amazing!

Remove it from the heat and stir in the baking soda. This is when the fun happens! While you stir the color will lighten and it will become foamy. Caramel magic.

Pour the caramel over the popcorn and stir. If you want chewy popcorn then it is ready after you mix. At this point you can mold it into fun shapes also. If you want it a little bit crunchier, then bake it for about 15 minutes in the pre-heated oven.

You will love it! It makes a great treat - especially for Home Movie night!