Chihuahua Dog Cup Cake:
from April 2011 blog titled Mexican Chihuahua Party....gone awry

These tasty pups are from the Hello Cupcake! cookbook. 
Cake mix
Vanilla frosting
small tube of chocolate frosting
black jelly beans
black frosting
white frosting
chocolate wafer cookies like Famous or Oreo
  1. Using serrated knife or kitchen shears cut the cookies into halves for ears.
  2. Dye white frosting light brown. (I used a bit of chocolate frosting to achieve this.)  Spread layer of frosting onto the cupcake.
  3. Cut marshmallow in half crosswise.  Place on top of cupcake.  Ice sides of mallow first, gently holding the mallow in place with one finger.  Then ice top of mallow.
  4. Ice the two ears with frosting and insert into the cupcake edge.  Don't place too close to the edge or the ears will lack support and fall. Outline with white frosting.
  5. Place one jelly bean sideways in the middle of the "snout" for the nose.
  6. Cut the other black jelly bean in half and place on the cupcake for eyes. (I ran out of black jelly beans and used M&M's instead.)
  7. Use some black frosting to form a mouth.  You can buy frosting with a tip or squeeze the frosting into a Ziploc.  Snip a small hole in one corner.  Squeeze the frosting out threw the hole in the baggie.
  8. All done!
Owl Cupcakes:

These are also from Hello Cupcake!


chocolate cupcake mix (or cheat like me and boy pre-made and frosted chocolate cupcakes.) ;)
chocolate frosting
junior mints

  1. Bake and frost or buy chocolate cupcakes.
  2. twist apart an Oreo (it helps to microwave a hand full of them for 3-4 seconds.  Just helps to keep the frosting all on one side of the cookie.)
  3. Place two opened oreos on the cupcake for eyes.  Save the unfrosted half of the Oreo.
  4. Put chocolate frosting in a Ziploc with the corner snipped.  Squeeze a dab of frosting on to the back of a junior mint. Place junior mint onto the white of the Oreo.
  5. dig up a banana Runt and place below and between the Oreo eyes for a beak.
  6. take the unfrosted Oreo half  and cut in half with a serrated knife.  Stick the halves into the cupcake just above the eyes, curve side in.  These are the little owl "horns."  Frost the horns with the chocolate frosting.  Add a few pipes of frosting between the eyes.  Wa-la!
Human Puppy Chow:
from April 2011 blog titled Mexican Chihuahua Party...gone awry

1/2 cup butter or margarine
2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips (one 12 oz bag)
1/3 cup peanut butter (for those with peanut allergies simply omit the peanut butter.  Still works and tastes great!)
9 cups of Corn Chex or Rice Chex (note that Corn Chex is gluten free)
3-4 cups of powdered sugar

  1. In a large sauce pan, melt together butter, peanut butter, and chocolate chips
  2. Stir until all is evenly distributed and all is completely melted.
  3. Measure out chex into a large bowl
  4. Pour chocolate mixture over chex and fold until all the chex are completely covered in the chocolate mixture.
  5. One cup at a time, add powdered sugar and fold after each addition, until the mix is more powdery and less sticky oowey.
  6. Put one cup of puppy chow in each guests bag.  I used brown lunch sacks.
African Peanut Soup:
from April 2011 blog, My Mommy Has a Dancing Heart

2 onions, chopped
1 TBS peanut or vegetable oil
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp ginger root peeled and grated
1 cup chopped carrots
2 cups diced sweet potatoes
4 cups vegetable stock or water
2 cups tomato juice
1 cup smooth peanut butter
1 TBS sugar (optional)
1 cup chopped scallions or chives

In a large soup pot, hear oil and saute onions until transparent. Stir in the cayenne pepper and fresh ground ginger. Add the carrots and saute two more min. Mix in the potatoes and stock or water, bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until vegetables are tender, about 15 min.

In a blender or food processor, puree the veggies with the cooking liquid and tomato juice. Return the puree to a soup pot. Stir in the peanut butter until smooth. Taste the soup. Its sweetness will depend upon the carrots and sweet potatoes. If necessary, add a little sugar to enhance the other flavors.

Reheat the soup slowly, stirring occasionally to prevent scorching. To thin soup, add more water, stock or tomato juice. Serve topped with plenty of chopped scallions or chives.  Serve over rice if desired.  Shrimp or other meats can be added as well.

My Favorite Beef Stew:

Found this on A Year of Slow Cooking blog.  So delicious!  The seasonings are unusual, including things like cinnamon! A little spicy.  This is what I make almost every time we have guests to the Colorado House.  It makes the house smell great and welcoming.

1 lb beef chuck stew meat
5-6 cloves of minced garlic
small bag of red potatoes, washed (I dump mine in whole but you can cut them in half)
3 green onions chopped
3 cups beef stock
1 cup baby tomatoes (again, I leave them whole but halved is good too.)
1 cup baby carrots
1/2 T red pepper flakes
1 tsp all spice
1 bay leaf
1 tsp cumin
2 cinnamon sticks
2-3 apples cubed (optional)

Use a 6 quart crockpot.  (At least something over 4 qt.)
  1. Toss all ingredients into the crockpot.  (It's OK if your meat is frozen) cook on low 8-10 hours or on high for 6.  Ta Da!  You're done! Serve with rolls, salad and a red wine....mmmm!
Italian Beef Sandwiches:

This is one of my favorite, fast and fabulous meals! 


cheap beef roast
cheap can of beer
jar of sliced pepperoccini peppers
hoagie rolls

  1. Toss it all into the crockpot and cook on low for 8-10 hrs.  I don't reccomend high for 6 because this is one of those things that is better the slower and longer it's cooked.
When it's done pull the roast apart with a fork.  It will be so tender and juicy it will just fall apart!  Fill a hoagie roll with the beef and maybe garnish the top with a few of the sliced pepperoccinis.  In a seperate dish ladel in a bit of the au jus (broth) and dip the sandwich in with every OMG bite!

Coconut Cream Pie:
Recipe courtesy of Emeril Lagasse
from my January 2011 blog titled Sweet Success!

1 baked 9 in. pastry shell
2 1/4 cups whole milk
3/4 cup sugar, plus 1/4 cup for the egg whites
3 eggs, separated
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 tsp vanilla
1 3/4 cups toasted coconut
1 T butter

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. 
  2. In a saucepan, whisk the 2 cups of the milk and 3/4 cup sugar together.  Place the pan over medium heat and bring the liquid to a simmer. 
  3. Whisk the egg yolks together.
  4. Temper the hot milk into the egg yolks.  (This means to take a spoonful at a time of the hot milk and add it to the yolks.  If you put the yolks into the hot milk they will cook.)
  5. Whisk the egg mixture into the hot milk mixture.
  6. In a small bowl, dissolve the cornstarch in the remaining milk, making a slurry. (pasty mix)
  7. Whisk the slurry into the hot milk mix.  Bring the liquid up to a boil and reduce to simmer.
  8. Cook the mixture, stirring constantly, until the filling is thick, about 4-6 min.
  9. Fold in the vanilla, coconut, and butter. Mix well.
  10. Pour the filling into the prepared pan and cool the pie completely.
  11. Using an electric mixer with a whip attachment, whip the egg white to soft peaks. 
  12. Add the remaining sugar and whip the egg white to stiff peaks. Spread the eggs whites over the top of the pie.
  13. Place the pie in the oven for about 3-4 min. or until the meringue is golden brown.
Valentine Shortbread Cookies with Ganache:
recipe courtesy of Joy of Cooking and modified by Caren and I
from February 2011 blog, One Step Closer


2 cups of flour
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp pure vanilla extract


1/2 cup whipping cream
4 oz. mini semi-sweet chocolate chips

  1. In a separate bowl whisk the flour with the salt.
  2. In the bowl of your electric mixer (or with a hand mixer) beat the butter until smooth.  Add the sugar and beat until smooth. Beat in the vanilla extract.
  3. Gently stir in the flour mixture just until incorporated.
  4. Flatten the dough into a disk shape, wrap in plastic wrap, and chill the dough for about an hour.
  5. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F with the rack in the middle of the oven.  Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  6. On a lightly floured surface roll out the dough until it is about 1/4 in. thick. Use a cookie cutter to cut out heart shapes.  Place the cookies about 1 in. apart on the prepared baking sheet.
  7. Bake for 10 min. and then cool on a wire rack.
  8. In a saucepan cook 1/2 cup of whipping cream until it bubbles.  Take off the heat
  9. Whisk in 4 oz of mini semi-sweet chocolate chips until melted.
  10. Dip the heart cookies half in. Set on wax paper to cool.  Or dip in face down to coat the whole top of the cookie, then drizzle with white and pink frostings!
Potato Soup:
my own recipe

My family loves my potato soup!  It's the one thing I really get right.  Gabriel always has 2nds (3rds if we let him) and Drew has said many a time that this will DEFINITELY be served in his restaurant.

I was out of chives when I made this for lunch.  Should definitely be there.


Potatoes (As many potatoes as people you will be serving + 2)
chicken broth (optional)
shredded cheddar
sour cream
green onions

  1. Peel and quarter potatoes and boil in a large pot until soft for mashing.
  2. Drain the water.
  3. Mash the potatoes
  4. Add about 2 TB butter
  5. Alternate milk and hot water until a soupy consistency (you can replace water with chicken broth instead if wanted)
  6. Serve garnished with all your favorite baked potato fixings.  Start with cheddar, a dallop of sour cream, sprinkled with bacos and chives.  Salt and pepper to taste.
Basically, just make mashed potatoes and then water it down until it's soup.  You can also cut up a few more potatoes into chunks and boil them, then add to the soup to make it chunky and a little more hardy.

Drew-Bug's Escargot:

A can of shelled snails
Snail shells
garlic butter


Rinse the shells.

Rinse the canned snails.

Put a knob of butter into a snail shell.

Stuff a snail into the butter filled shell and seal with another knob of butter.

Into the oven, bake at 375 for 12 min.