Monday, December 18, 2023

Apple Butter Cake

 The desire to make this cake was part of a brainstorming session with my son, who usually has to come up with a dinner once a week. Most of the time that means eating out. This time we thought of a spin on the apple butter pumpkin pie we occasionally make over the holidays. My son was initially thinking of an apple butter pumpkin cake, but we just went with an apple butter cake instead, with apple butter frosting and apple butter and apple butter frosting in the center.

One of the things we brainstormed was whether to make the cake from scratch or to use a box cake. We ended up with a box cake with a few changes to the ingredients, including some apple butter in the cake mix.
I don't do cakes that often, my cakes ended up uneven. I did take the time to actually weigh out the batter so that it would be an even amount in my two baking pans. The batter was not level in the pans so they did not end up that even. I believe most bakers do trim off the tops of layered cakes anyway, what we ended up doing was putting the bottom cake upside down and the top layer right side up.
Overall, this apple butter cake idea turned out to be successful. I was a little worried because I was changing the ingredients recommended for the cake mix, but it was delicious. It had a nice apple butter flavor.
So here is the recipe for the apple butter cake:
For the cake:
Yellow box cake mix
1 cup milk
1/3 cup of melted butter
2 eggs
1/4 cup apple butter.

Combine all the ingredients. divide in two greased and floured round cake pans. Bake according to the directions on the box cake or 350 degree (F) oven for about 20 minutes or until the cake is done. Let the cakes cool for a bit until taking them out of the pan.

Make the frosting:
1/2 cup butter at room temperature
2 1/2 cups of powdered sugar
2 Tablespoons of apple butter
1 Tablespoon of apple cider (I guess you could use apple juice, milk, or water) 

After the cakes are completely cooled. put your bottom cake on a plate. I spread some apple butter on top of that layer. I spread some frosting on the bottom of the top layer before putting it over the bottom cake. Then frost the cake. Enjoy!

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Saturday, December 16, 2023

Thanksgiving Food

 We did not have turkey on Thanksgiving. I was given a ham from work. We had the choice of ham or turkey and a pie. I prefer to have ham over turkey. This year my husband had taken back over the holiday cooking. Last year I had to make the Thanksgiving meal because my husband had just had back surgery. That was hectic last year.

Of course, we got to have green bean casserole!
We had twice-baked sweet potatoes.
We also made biscuits from the can.
Our sons worked on Thanksgiving day and both worked in the food industry and brought home leftovers from work. We did not need to make dinner!
I had a French silk pie from my work, and one of my sons also brought home a French silk pie. My pie was still partially frozen, so I ended up putting it back in the freezer, My other son brought back a tray full of desserts.

Here is my plate of food!
Sorry to do this post almost a month after Thanksgiving. But, you know, life just gets in the way.

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Monday, November 27, 2023

Food from our trip to Wisconsin

 This trip involved my husband, my son, and myself visiting my childhood home for a week.

This trip was doomed from the start. My son was recovering from a cold and my husband was starting to show signs of starting one. My husband did end up spending most of the trip in our hotel room.

We started out our trip like we normally do, with breakfast at IHOP. For lunch, we stopped off at a restaurant in Brooklyn, Iowa that was connected to a gas station. My son had a burger, my husband had the chili bowl, and I had the fish and chips. I could not identify what kind of fish it was. My husband says it was a catfish. If it was catfish, then that was the best catfish I ever had. I usually don't like catfish. That evening we just had Arby; 's because it was only a couple hundred feet from our hotel.

The next day, my husband's cold had gotten worse and he decided to spend the next two days at the hotel while my son and I hung out with my mom. We spent the next day planning what we would eat while we were there visiting. We decided on Pizza the first night we were there. We got the pizza from our favorite cheese store, Simon's Specialty Cheese. While I was there, I picked this tasty pecan pastry because the free breakfast that came with the hotel was not that good. 

My poor husband had fallen out of the hotel bed on the second night of our trip. He recently had double knee surgery and was unable to get up. I could not get him up either so I had to call 911. We decided he did not need to go to the emergency room, but we did go to urgent care the next day. He just had pain in his shoulders, and they prescribed something for the pain. He did spend the day with my mom, but she could tell he was not feeling well.

Going through my mom's dishes, I found these cute ice cream dishes. We usually had a couple scoops of ice cream at the end of the meal.
We had breakfast one morning with my aunt. Whenever we got a chance to visit with my aunt we would go to Landreman's Family Restaurant. I had the breakfast burrito. Later in the trip, we would get lake perch from the trip. We always get lake perch when we visit because we can't find it in Nebraska.

The only other food items I recorded during the trip were the burgers we made and the cheesy potatoes.

We wrapped up our Wisconsin trip by heading back to Simon's Cheese to get the cheese we wanted to bring home with us. The trip overall was hanging out with my mom, my sister, and my brother. My mom is 80 years old and we wanted to discuss if mom was going to remain living in our childhood home or move to a small place. For now, we had decided that she remain at home and not move.

So no it was time for the long drive back, my husband was still not feeling well. We noticed during the trip that he was not getting better and ended up making an emergency stop in the emergency room. We stopped at a small hospital just outside Cedar Rapids. His blood pressure got dangerously low and he we septic. He ended up spending three days in a Cedar Rapids hospital. He is o.k. now, but we never did find out the cause of his illness. 

So that was our trip, the last time I was in Wisconsin was 2 years ago. I am not sure when I will get a chance to visit again. I am in the process of changing jobs and will have to accumulate vacation time.

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Saturday, September 09, 2023

Where We Ate On Our Latest Trip To Florida

 Hello! I want to share our latest vacation eats from our latest vacation. We live in Lincoln, Nebraska and we drove down to Jacksonville, Florida. My son was invited to a wedding he wanted us to drive him to Florida.

We almost always start out any road trip with Breakfast at IHOP. I had the avocado toast. It was really good. I especially enjoy the roasted cherry tomatoes on top. It was the energy I needed to start out the trip. After all, I was doing all the driving on the trip. We mostly had snacks throughout the day and had a big dinner at Cracker Barrel.  in Cape Girardeau, Missouri.

It was the next day and we made to Kennesaw, Georgia. We had started out our day with a free breakfast at the hotel. As with the day before, we had decided to snack during the drive and had a big dinner. We had decided to use UBER Eats to order our food and order from Miller's Ale House. I got the Zingers Salad, which was barbeque chicken on a salad. so good. My husband got French Onion Soup and my son got a burger and pot stickers. 

We arrived at our destination the next day. It started out with a free breakfast at the hotel we got there around late afternoon. My son and I got a bite at Hardee's and my husband got pizza later. At this point, my husband and I had no real plans for what to do while we were in Florida. It was more of my son hanging out with friends than attending a wedding in a few days.

Speaking of weddings, we did get a chance to meet the groom and his sons at Miller's Ale House. I got Zinger's again, but this time I indulged in macaroni and cheese instead of salad. It was delicious. I could not finish the macaroni and cheese. My son finished it for me. 
That evening my son ordered a chicken tender sub from a local grocery chain called Publix. I was still full from lunch. I am not sure where my son found to room to have a sub. He had a burger and ate the mac and cheese I mentioned earlier.

For the next day, we decided to do some sightseeing in St. Augustine. Because of my husband's mobility issues, most of the day was spent riding the sightseeing trolly. We had lunch at Auggie's Draft Room

I had a jalapeno and bacon quesadilla with fries.  We also drank lots of water. We were getting water everywhere we went. we spent most of the day outside and it was in the 90's. We were both exhausted from the heat by the time we were done. However, we did learn a lot of information about St. Augustine that we might not of known if we just walked around the city.

That evening we ate at 4 Rivers Smokehouse. My husband for the burn ends, found it a little spicy. However, he doesn't like his food that is spicy at all. I never had a Cuban sandwich, so I got that. I enjoyed it. I would do a Cuban sandwich again.

For our final day of sightseeing, we decided to go to the Jacksonville Zoo. They had a scooter to rent because there was no way he would be able to walk around. We ate snacks at the zoo. We had Dipping Dots and my husband had snowcones. 
That evening we ate at a Pizza and Italian place in a nearby strip mall. I go lobster mac and cheese and tiramisu. The mac and cheese was just ok. Tiramisu is always delicious.

So it was time for the long drive back home. We (or I) decided to visit our daughters in Kansas on the way back home. I kept seeing billboards for Captain D's throughout the trip and we finally decided to stop for lunch on the way back. We don't have one where we live. It was tasty. It is similar to Long John Silver's. It is a fast-food fish chain.
When we stopped for the day, we decided on Mexican food. I got fish tacos. Against our better judgment, we got deep-fried ice cream. 

We saw advertising for Toot's Restaurant during our drive and had to stop and check it out. I got the seafood salad. It was tasty.
My son and my husband got the Chocolate Brownie Monster Bash, supposedly the single serving. There is a fishbowl portion. That evening we had stopped in O'Fallon, Illinois. There was a Steak 'n Shake near the hotel and my son wanted to check it out.
For most days, we had the free breakfast at the hotel. We were not impressed with the hotel we stayed at in O'Fallon and there was an IHOP within walking distance so breakfast at IHOP it is. So I decided not to have breakfast food and decided on fish and chips for breakfast. I just wanted to have something different. Not a bad decision. 

That day we reached Lawerance, Kansas after driving across Missouri, we stopped and an Ozark Gift shop to get souvenirs and fudge. Whenever we visit my daughter in Lawrence, we have been getting Hawaiian Bros. This is a restaurant that is not near us and they have delicious Hawaiian comfort food.

For our final day on the road, we visited our other daughter in Manhattan, Kansas. We decided to meet up at Cox Bros. I got the special for the day, brisket tacos. After visiting with our daughter and her boyfriend for a couple hours. We finally headed home.

Overall, it was a good trip. Our son got to meet his long-time gaming friends for the first time in person and spent the most time with them. What vacation is next? Probably my visiting my family in Wisconsin.

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Wednesday, September 06, 2023

Sweet Treats Pic


This is just a quick pic of some of the treats my son brought home from work. He works for a local country club. Very exclusive and very expensive to get in. These tasty treats were left over from an event. If you know someone who works in the food industry, you would know it is not uncommon to bring home food. Even my son, who works as a dishwasher would occasionally bring home food.

This does look like a hot mess, but it is a tasty hot mess.

It looks like there are cakes and brownies, and the one on top is a raspberry bar. 

Which one would you like to try?

Let me know in the comments.

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Sunday, July 30, 2023

The Instant Pot Is My New Favorite Kitchen Tool

The Instant Pot has become my new favorite tool in the kitchen. Rice has come out perfect and meat has come out nice and tender. Dinner is done in a fraction of the time, which is great for weeknights.

My younger daughter had gifted us with her Instant Pot. She did not want it anymore because she felt intimidated by it. The instant pot is a pressure cooker, it can be dangerous if you are not careful. Just ensure the seal is in good shape and wait to open the lid until the pressure is released.

So far I have made rice, chicken, pork, and beef tips in the Instant Pot. I have found that meat has come out nice and tender in about 30 minutes. To make white rice, for every cup of rice, you add 1 1/4 cups of water. Use the rice setting on the Instant Pot. The dish pictured below is beef tips with Mac and Cheese and creamed peas.

I look forward to getting to make more dishes in the Instant Pot.

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Sunday, July 02, 2023

Favorite Toffee Squares Recipe

 I have done many posts that include these tasty treats, but now it is time to share this tasty recipe. I am doing this as part of my YouTube Christmas in July series. This is my favorite treat at Christmas time, but I should make these more often, these cookies are delicious!

You will need:

1 cup of butter

1 cup of brown sugar

1 egg

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 cups of flour

1/2 teaspoon of salt

6-8 ounces of milk or semi-sweet chocolate like chocolate bars or chocolate chips

optional chopped nuts for the topping

Preheat oven to 350 degrees (F).

Cream butter and brown sugar.

Add the egg and vanilla.

Mix in the flour and the salt.

Spread the dough (which might be challenging) onto a greased baking sheet and form a rectangle that is 1/2 inch thick.

Bake until light golden brown, about 15 minutes.

While the bar is still hot, add the chocolate on top and give it a minute or two for the chocolate to melt.

Evenly spread out the chocolate and top with chopped nuts (or other toppings of your choice)

let the chocolate set up and cut it into squares.


Check out the Short I made {Here}

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Friday, June 30, 2023

Lemon Cream Cheese Cookies


These are like the cream cheese cookies I have made before. These have a lemon flavor from a lemon cake mix. I like how these turned out. Nice lemony flavor. Yum!

Here is the recipe for these cookies.

1 box of lemon cake mix

1/4 cup of butter at room temperature

8 ounces of cream cheese at room temperature

zest of a lemon

1 egg

1/4 t vanilla or a lemon extract or lemon juice

Cream butter & cheese
Blend egg and vanilla
Add cake mix 1/3 at a time, mix well
Chill dough for 1/2 hour
Drop scant teaspoonfuls on an ungreased baking sheet. Or you can also drop the cookie dough into some sugar in a small dish to coat the cookie before baking. Slightly press down the cookie.
Bake 350 degrees for 8 to 10 minutes. Just bake it until it is done, don't let it get brown.

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Saturday, May 06, 2023

My Son Made Chicken A La King

 My son is responsible for cooking one night a week. Mostly he orders out, but he does occasionally cook. He made his own version of Chicken A La King.

He made the mashed potatoes, though I think traditionally it is served on top of biscuits. In this case, he used the store-bought ones in the can. He did ask me if I wanted to make the biscuits from scratch.  Chicken A La King usually has mushrooms in it, which he does not like, so he had them on the side cooked in butter and garlic. 

I asked for a recipe, but he never gives me one.  He usually wings it (Just like this blog!) and just tells me what is in it. So here is what went into his version of Chicken A La King:
Rotisserie chicken - He was going to cook this himself, but my husband and I talked him into getting rotisserie chicken.Carrot, celery, onion -  a mirepoixCreamPeasChicken stock -  homemadeRosemary, thyme

Here is some other stuff he made with the dish:Garlic mushroomsCan biscuitsMashed potatoes,  he used chicken stock in the potatoes

He also made Peach Cobbler. It was just canned pie filling and a crumb topping. I think he did not make enough topping to cover the pie filling and it wasn't crisp enough, but still very tasty.
Everyone loved his version of Chicken A La King. I may have to encourage him to cook more often. And when he does, make sure he gives me the recipe so I can share it with you.

Next, he plans on making fish tacos. The only thing he is going to make is the slaw for the tacos. He is using the frozen fish fillets we have on hand along with the flour tortillas. 

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Sunday, March 26, 2023

Just Make Your Own Trail Mix

 One day I had bought trail mix at the grocery store, and my husband asked why when I could just make my own. It is mostly just nuts, raisins, and M&M's.

So I started making my own.

By making your trail mix, you can edit what you want in it. I added mixed nuts and cashews, along with some raisins and M&M's. There are other mix-ins I do like to add. I did add pretzels, burnt peanuts, and sesame sticks. Burnt peanuts have a tasty hard candy coating around the peanut. Sesame sticks have a slight soy sauce take to them that I like. I think I am going to stop adding pretzels. They seem not to mix in too well with the size. The last batch of pretzels I added had a garlic flavor to it and I did not like how it went with the other flavors.

So that is my trail mix. I usually eat this as a meal at lunch if I don't have anything else planned.  I do have to be careful not to go crazy with this because I am sure there are a lot of calories in this.  So next time, just make your own trail mix to suit your needs.

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