Thursday, November 6, 2014

throwback thursday.. happy fall y'all!! pumpkin crunch cake and pumpkin cinnamon donuts!!

I loveeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee this time of year!! now don't get me wrong me i love me some summer too, especially living in vegas and near lake mead.. but i also love fall and when everything is pumpkin!! so for today's throwback thursday i wanted to share with you 2 of my favorite and easiest pumpkin recipes!! you will not be disappointed if you make them this November {or anytime of the year}!!

pumpkin crunch cake

prep time: 5 minutes
cooking time: 5-60 minutes
servings: 8-12 (depending on the size of pieces you serve)


1 box betty crocker super moist spice cake mix
2 cups pumpkin butter (my recipe can be found here) *
1 can of evaporated milk
3 large eggs
1 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
1 cup butter, melted


pre heat your oven to 350 degrees (f).  spray the bottom of your casserole dish with pam.  mix pumpkin butter with evaporated milk and eggs.. whisk to combine.. pour mixture into your casserole dish.. sprinkle dry cake mix over pumpkin mixture.. then top with pecans and chocolate chips.. drizzle melted butter over entire thing.. bake 50-55 minutes.. remove from oven allow to cool about 15 minutes and serve warm or you can serve room temperature... top with whipped topping if you would like..

* if you don't have pumpkin butter you can use 1 15oz. can of pumpkin puree, 1.5 cups sugar, 1 tsp. cinnamon, 1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice and 1/2 tsp. salt

pumpkin cinnamon chip donuts

prep time: 5 minutes
coking time: 15 minutes
servings: 12 donuts



1/2 cup butter, melted
3 large eggs, slightly beaten
1 cup sugar
1 cup pumpkin puree
1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking powder
1 3/4 cups flour
1/4 cup cinnamon chips


cinnamon - sugar {which is 2 tblsp. of sugar and 2 tblsp. of cinnamon mixed}.. any left overs put in an airtight container and use it on the best cinnamon toast ever..


preheat oven to 350 degrees {f}.. lightly spray your standard donut pan.. beat together the butter, eggs, sugar, pumpkin puree, spice, salt and baking powder until smooth.. add flour and cinnamon chips and mix until well combined.. fill the wells of your donut pan 3/4 of the way.. bake for approx. 15 minutes or until your cake tester once inserted comes out clean.. remove donut pan from oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes.. then with  a spatula loose the edges and transfer to a cooling rack.. in a small wide mouthed bowl mix the cinnamon and sugar.. while they are still warm take each donut and dip in the cinnamon/sugar mixture and place back on the cooling rack.. allow to completely cool and serve {if you don't allow to cool completely they are slightly fragile but super yummy while warm so might be worth the risk!!}

enjoy and get cook'n!!

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

take my word for it wednesday.. it was our 40th anniversary of going camping at doheney state beach.. full menu

 it's been 40 years that we've been going camping at doheney state beach and although the other campers in our group have changed.. it's pretty much always been our family.. this year we ended up having about 19 at the campsite at one point.. camping was me, pete, shell, patrick, jake, sam, curtis, janet, ollie and  amelia.. staying in hotels near the camp ground where my  mom, dad, janet's mom and dad, my cousin sharon, ollie's god father and amelia's god mother.. coming to visit from near by cities was my cousin jimmy and childhood friend {who we started this entire adventure of camping here with when we were kids} and her hubby!!

parking cars was a little crazy but there was plenty of food, laughter and good cheer!!

so to get the menu started i made a big pot of chili the morning we left.. i got up at 5:30 and put it on and then an hour before we left i turned it off.. left it in the pot put it in an ice chest and away we went..
so the first night while setting up camp we had spicy turkey chili..
the following morning i made cheesy scrambled eggs {excuse the photo it was the second post i ever did ... so this weekend i am so going to re do the photo and dish} i then made bacon and potatoes like the ones below..
home fries.. i served everything with flour tortillas on the side and the left over chili for burritos.. I also made before we left

homemade cinnamon rasin bread and orange cranberry bread.. to snack on while breakfast was cooking..
after breakfast i  whipped up a big pitcher of sangria and kept it in the cooler for when guests stopped by.. my cousin jimmy and sam loved it..
for lunch the first day i made chili dawgs and
burgers.. and just served them with chips.. hey were camping on the beach didn't want to get to fancy.. *wink*
for dinner i did a grilled el pollo loco type chicken with beans and rice.. i'll share that recipe soon..
the next morning i made fluffy chocolate chip pancakes.. i also had blue berries, strawberries and  bananas.. so some had blue berry, strawberry, chocolate chip banana pancakes.. there was all kinds of craziness going on.. i didn't make pumpkin though and i think next year i will.. i served it with the cheesy scrambled eggs again, bacon and sausage.. and of course bloody marys and mimosas..

for lunch we had sub sandwiches..
for dinner i grilled tri tip.. i cooked 4 large tri tip.. they were amazing.. i took baking potatoes cleaned them real good, rubbed olive oil all over them, wrapped them in foil and cooked them in the dutch oven.. similar to my
baked potato but cooked in a dutch oven over the grill.. i also served salad and garlic bread that i grilled on a griddle on my coleman stove.. and for desert..
 a s'more bar!!! {basically the left over s'more stuff i had left over from pete's 50th birthday bash..}

it was a busy weekend.. but we had an amazing time!! ollie caught a fish which tio pete cleaned and i wrapped in foil with some butter, garlic and lime and grilled.. pete said it was most excellent!!

jake acting as usual.. which is like a dork.. ha

pete photo bombing shell and patrick.. ha

something's never change.. :)

jake and sam going to go play catch and take frankie for a walk..

ollie with bob and poppi..

 the boys enjoying the beach..

enjoy and get camp'n!!!

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

recipe roulette.... grandmommy's sweet potato casserole

with thanksgiving coming up I thought I would share with you my grandmother's famous sweet potato casserole.. it was so popular at thanksgiving she took to showing up with the recipe already written out because she knew she would be asked by someone for the recipe!

to me it's the symbol of thanksgiving.. i could not imagine a holiday without this dish.. and i didn't use to like sweet potatoes but have alwaysssssssss loved this dish!!

the origin of the recipe is a mystery.. my grandma has always made it and that's that.. ha

the crunchy topping is to die for.. now warning there is NOTHING light, less fat or low sugar about this recipe.. it's straight up indulgent and pretty much that's why it only gets made once a year.. 

but it's amazing.. try it this year you will not be disappointed.. 

and here is the recipe in grandmommy's own hand..

and if it's hard to read here it is typed out..

sweet potato casserole
prep time: 15 minutes
cooking time: 40 minutes
servings: 8-10
1 40 oz. can of yams, mashed (or 3 cups mashed sweet potato or yams)
1 stick of butter, melted
1/2 cup of white sugar
2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup flour
1 stick of butter, melted
1/3 cup milk
1/2 cup chopped pecans
mix casserole ingredients together in a glass casserole dish {not sure it has to be glass but my grandma always liked it in the glass} then in separate medium mixing bowl combine topping mixture and pour over yams as a topping.. {don't mix in} bake at 350 degrees (f) for 35-40 minutes or until light golden  brown.. 

enjoy and get cook'n!!

Monday, November 3, 2014

grilled sweet and spicy mustard pork chops

 i feel like a bad boyfriend these days and all i am doing is apologizing for not paying attention to you guys or not being around enough.. sorry :(* but that will end soon.. it's been crazy busy here at work and pete and i have a few fun things in the works.. once they are set in stone i will share them with you.. but if all goes well and as planned look for more cold weather yummy meals and diy refurbishing posts this winter.. so without jinxing it just keep your fingers crossed for us!!
also what kept me away we went on our annual doheney camping trip and this year it blossomed to about 17 people at one point i was feeding at the campsite.. i'll share those recipes this wednesday.. in the meantime i am sharing a wonderful dish inspired by our friend lo!! thanks tina and lo!! :)

tina and lo one day were telling about a tri tip they had grilled.  they slathered it with mustard then added a dry rub then at the end of grilling it added some spicy garlic jam i had gotten lo for his bday from schepf's farm in queens creek, arizona.. well i wasn't making tri trip that night and i didn't get myself any of the garlic jam so i improvised with pork chops.. and let me tell you it came out ahhhmaaaaaaaaaaaazing!! this might be one of my favorite ways to grill pork chops!!

the hot peach pepper preserves is amazing but if you can't find something similar mixing peach preserves with hot pepper jelly will do the trick!!

grilled sweet an spicy mustard pork chops

prep time: 2-3 hours
cooking time: 15 minutes
servings: 4


4 (1.5 inch) pork chops
bbq rub {recipe below}
2 tblsp. mustard {i used a habanero mustard that was delish i've also used regular or even dijon before..}
hot peach pepper preserves {if you don't have it just combine peach preserves with hot pepper jelly to taste}


slather your chops in mustard and add dry rub all over and place in the fridge for 2-3 hours before grilling .. then when ready remove chops from fridge and bring to room temperature.. while your doing that pre heat your grill to medium-high heat..  grill the chops 5-7 minutes each side.. after a minute or so of grilling brush them with the spicy preserves.. continue to grill 6 or so minutes.. your looking for an internal temperature of 140-145.. remove chops from grill and allow to rest for about 5 minutes before serving..

bbq rub:

1 tblsp.. chili powder {i used a garlic chili powder if you don't have that use 1/2 tblsp. chili powder and 1/2 tblsp. garlic powder}
2 tsp. cumin
2 tsp. onion powder
2 tsp. cayenne
1 tblsp. smokey paprika
2 tsp. pepper
2 tsp. salt


combine all ingredients in a small bowl.. keep in an airtight container until use and any left overs keep in the container.  super yummy.

enjoy and get cook'n!!