Thursday, December 8, 2011

Cake Mix Cookies

I have been so busy lately but wanted to make a little treat for my kids....and myself...who am I kidding right!!

And I had some cake mix in the food closet SOOOOO

Cake mix cookies!!!
Very easy...Super Yummy!!

Take any flavor cake mix, add 1 egg, and 1 stick of butter

Mix together

And then spoon in your chips or nuts or whatever you want...M&M's are very fun and tasty additions.

Now you can drop these puppies on a cookie sheet and bake like normal cookies

Or you can add a stick and have cookie pops...

OR if you are really lazy (like me!) you can spray a 13x9 inch pan with cooking spray and put all of the batter in...cookie bars anyone!?

Bake at 350 degrees for 9-10...Unless you are making the cookie bars then you need to bake them for 15-18 minutes.... 

They are yummy

For chocolate cake mix you need a little more fluid so they won't be dry so also add in 2 Tbsp of water.

Here's the recipe all in one place in case you'd like to copy and print. :)

Easy Cake Mix Cookies

1 box any flavor cake mix
1 egg
1 stick of butter
(If use chocolate cake mix add 2 Tbsp water)

Mix in your yummies....chocolate chips, nuts, m&m's....or leave plain if you'd like

Drop cookies on pan and bake for 9-10 minutes!



Saturday, December 3, 2011

Twinkle Twinkle

I am a fan of MCP Actions blog where the author Jodi has everything from photoshop tutorials to weekly photography projects.  The reason I'm writing about her blog tonight is because of the photography project.  She called it MCP 52, and each week a new theme is revealed for those of us who would like to take the challenge.  Each week 10 photographs are chosen and featured on the blog.
I joined in on the challenge two weeks ago and the theme of that week was water.  This is the picture that I submitted for that theme.

This weeks theme is Traditions.  My family goes to the cemetery every year to decorate the graves of our loved ones with Christmas flowers or wreaths.  We all were there today and this is the picture I chose to submit for this weeks challenge.

Last week (I saved the best for last) the theme was Twinkle Twinkle and there were a lot of pictures of Christmas lights.  I thought I would play with something different and let Gabe play with sparklers while I snapped pics.  I opened my shutter speed so I could get all of the light rays and this is what I came up with.  I played with the hue and saturation in Photoshop to get the different color and I really like the result.

Now the best news is that this picture was chosen and presented on MCP Actions blog!!!!   I am so thrilled and just tickled that my picture was chosen among all of the other fabulous entries.  Check out her blog and take a look.....and you could even join me for the challenge...

Have a great day!!


Sunday, November 27, 2011

Pumpkin Dump Cake

First I want to say I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving and enjoyed time with family and friends.  Our Thanksgiving was eventful this year because we gained another family member....but that's another story.... :)

Back to the cake...YUM

My mom made this cake for every Thanksgiving and it is part of our family holiday tradition.

My sister has made this in previous years but this Thanksgiving the task fell on me....

Just as a side note, when my mom died I inherited her recipe box and looking through the handwritten recipes in this box has been amazing.  What a treasure!

Mix the pumpkin, egg, evaporated milk, sugar, pumpkin spice and pour into a 13x9 baking dish (pre-sprayed with cooking spray)
Then sprinkle cake batter mix on top of the pumpkin mixture and follow it with crushed pecans.

Then melt some butter and drizzle over the pecan/cake mix crust

Bake on 350 for 50 minutes and enjoy when cooled....YUM

Here's the complete recipe :)

Pumpkin Dump Cake
1 Large can of pumpkin
2 1/2 tsp pumpkin spice
1 can evaporated milk
1 cup sugar
3 eggs
1 box yellow cake mix ( I used butter recipe cake mix)
1 1/2 cups chopped pecans
1 1/2 sticks of butter

Preheat your oven to 350 and spray 13x9 inch baking pan with cooking spray.  Mix pumpkin, pumpkin spice, evap. milk, and sugar with a mixer and pour into prepared baking pan.  Sprinkle dry cake mix on top of pumpkin and sprinkle chopped pecans on top.  Drizzle melted butter over top of it all and bake it for 50 minutes.  Let it cool and maybe even chill before eating.



Tuesday, November 22, 2011

The Newseum

Last week I had the privilege to visit the Newseum in Washington DC with my sons 7th grade class.  I had never even heard of the place so I really did not know what to expect.

When we entered to building we were directed to a 4D movie experience.  They made this sound like it was optional but I am so thankful that we didn't skip it!!  WOW!!  I really don't know how else to describe it...just WOW!

After the movie (which is not very long), we went into the museum.  Put simply, the Newseum is a museum of news worthy events. 

The first thing we saw was a huge section of the Berlin Wall.

I remember when the wall came down so this was a very neat thing to see....I was completely mesmerized with the West Berlin side of the wall....
It never even dawned on me to look at the other side until my Drew said "Hey mom, look at the other side..."

Wow......I got chills. There really are no words.....Just a stunning thing to see.

This is one of the East Berlin guard towers.

As we walked through the Newseum we saw the remains of the antenna and the top of the North Twin Tower building from 9/11

We saw a short film that documented the media reactions and actions during the 9/11 tragedy and how important it was that the events were documented.

We also saw many other interesting items including The Unibombers cabin

And an original printing press....

We only had a short time to tour the Newseum but it was an amazing trip. 

Thanks for looking and as always...
Smiles :)


Monday, November 14, 2011

Milton Willett

This post is dedicated to my father-in law Milton Willett who passed away on October 17th. 

My father-in-law was one of my favorite people! 

He loved to play with the kids, loved to tell jokes and just loved his family!!  He (and my mother-in-law) accepted me and Morgan & Andrew as their very own from the first time we met.  Words cannot express how much that means!

He died too young but he loved and lived life to the absolute fullest.

I don't know what else to say....I loved him and I will miss him dearly.

These pictures were taken last summer when we traveled to Louisiana to see our family there.

"God saw you getting tired and a cure was not to be.
So He put His arms around you and whispered “come to me.”

With tearful eyes we watched you, and saw you pass away.
Although we loved you dearly, we could not make you stay.

A golden heart stopped beating, hard working hands at rest.
God broke our hearts to prove to us, He only takes the best."
(Author unknown)

All my love.....until we meet again.....

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Cupcakes for My Baby

15 years ago today my life was changed forever as I became a mommy for the first time.  Motherhood has been such a blessing.  A challenge at times, yes....but always a blessing.

I can hardly believe that so many years have gone by....

I still remember the day she was born..(of course)....I had to go in for induction at 41 weeks....UGH
But I was excited to have my baby, hold her in my arms and get my body back. All of you mom's know what I'm talking about. 

I remember thinking she looked like a little sumo wrestler.  She was such a chubby little thing weighing 9 pounds 8 ounces.  But she was also so beautiful with dark curly hair and beautiful brown eyes.

She has grown into such a lovely young lady, with a great sense of humor and a silliness that is priceless.

She is self confident enough to be herself and not worry about what others think about her but she is also a caring friend, sister and daughter.

She is one of my favorite people!

OK  enough mush :) 

I made her some cupcakes today.
They were just from a box mix....devils food cake and I sprinkled some semi-sweet morsels in as an extra yummy surprise.

They turned out perfect!  And then I made some cream cheese frosting....YUM

And piped it onto the cupcakes.

Hope she likes them!!

I thank God for blessing me with my daughter (and the 3 boys too of course).

Did I mention that she's beautiful?  Well...she gets that from me! :)

Happy Birthday Morgan!!!


Thursday, September 22, 2011

Milky Way Cake

A few months ago Pioneer Woman had a recipe on her blog featuring a "Milky Way Cake"
The cake she made looked REALLY gooey and yummy

A friend of mine used to make a cake by the same name but hers was a Bundt Cake....and DEEElicious!!!
I wanted to try to make it similar to how I had eaten it before so instead of using Pioneer Woman's recipe, I searched for another.  (Sorry PW....)  But if you would like to make both and do a taste all means then check out Pioneer Woman's website

I found a cake recipe that looked fairly easy on and tweaked the icing with one I found on 

So first you start with your milky way bars....

And melt them in a pot with some butter....sounds yummy already and smells good too!

Then separate your eggs....yolk in one bowl, whites in another...
Mix the yolks with some buttermilk and baking soda
And in another bowl place the flour and salt

By now there are bowls EVERYWHERE!!

And don't forget to keep mixing your melting yummy candy bar mixture (I kept my heat on medium low so I wouldn't burn it)
When that's melted to perfection turn off the heat and add your sugar and mix

The egg whites need to be beaten with a mixer until "stiff but not dry".  I think I did this right.  Have never beaten my egg whites like this but it was pretty neat to watch as they went from runny to fluffy to airy....

OK.... back to the melty mix.  Add your buttermilk mixture and your flour mixture in 3rds....and mix well....
I just mixed with a spoon...turned out great.

Then fold in your egg whites.  Mix with spoon until it looks uniform.

Then pour into a prepared pan (greased and floured)

And place in a preheated oven (325 degrees) for 1 hr 15 minutes....I only baked mine for an hour.  I guess my pan was thin and it cooked faster....just keep an eye on your cake when time gets somewhat close and judge "doneness" for yourself....I do the fork test.

Isn't that pretty....

I let the cake cool for a while but it was probably a tad bit warm still when I made and drizzled the icing on top..

For the icing I used some semisweet chocolate morsels, butter, corn syrup and vanilla....all melted and drizzled on top.

YUM!!!!  It certainly was a big hit with everyone!

Cake Recipe from
Again, the last 2 ingredients on this recipe are for the "icing" and I omitted that step because I didn't want a hard shell.

Icing recipe from
This as tasty.....

Hope you enjoy and if you do the taste test be sure to let me know which way is best.


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Monday, September 19, 2011

Football Theme Birthday Cake

My Drew turned 12 last Friday and since he loves football, I thought this cake would be great.  I was inspired by cakes seen on

If you ever want to spend hours just looking at cakes and getting tips from others, check it out!!

Anyway, I the cake I made was inspired by two seperate cakes, I just used the components I liked.

Here was my timeline (in case you are wondering How long does it take to make one of these cakes!)

On Friday I made 2 batches of marshmallow fondant. (took about an hour....give or take....more time is spent on the clean up process)

On Saturday I baked the cakes...

On Sunday I made the buttercream icing ad coated the cakes with the crumb layer and then added the fondant.
The whole process took me about 4 brown didn't cooperate the first time around and I had to scrap and restart.

I covered the bottom cake with green and the top with brown fondant.

Then I cut strips of white fondant for the field markers and the laces on the football.

I wrote the numbers and Happy BDay message with buttercream.  I will claim that I was running late to my sons bday party and thats why I left the "D" out of Happy Birthday Drew......

Well, thanks for looking and enjoy this splendid fall weather.


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Sunday, September 4, 2011

Toffee Bars

I haven't baked anything yummy lately so I was browsing cook books on my book shelf.  I have many cookbooks but don't always cook from them....
for instance, this Betty Crocker cookbook.....I've probably had it for 5 years or more and have made ZERO recipes from the book!!

So I was looking and found a recipe for Toffee Bars....

Well, I love toffee...and I had all of the necessary ingredients so I thought why not!?  Plus we are going to a cook out later and I can take these yummy bars along so they don't sit in my house and call my name....

My food does that to me sometimes, calls my name....says complete sentences such as "Bronwyn, come have some of me....I am so what if you eat too many calories today, you've been doing good and you can always go for a walk/run later"

I know other people hear their food too which is why I haven't sought professional help.

Back to the bars....I gathered my butter, vanilla, flour, salt and brown sugar (I just love brown sugar) and chocolate chips....

Mix the butter, sugar, egg white ( I accidentally used the whole egg...oops)  and vanilla....mix it until creamy and then add the flour and salt

Spread the mixture into an ungreased baking dish and bake

Remove from the oven and sprinkle the chocolate chips on top....the recipe called for 2/3 rd cup of chips....but I thought Really!!??  That's not enough chocolate so I just dumped the whole bag on top.

Let the chips soften and then spread them all over the top of the cookie base.

Doesn't that look YUMMY?

The recipe also says you can sprinkle with nuts...that would be tasty but I was also thinking some Heath Bar crumbles would be delish.....Alas, I had neither!

Once cooled enough so I could hold the pan comfortably, I put the whole thing in the refrigerator....I want the chocolate to be hard....

Ok I couldn't wait for the chocolate to harden and had to cut a piece to taste.  Have  I said YUMMY yet in this base is so buttery and tasty and the chocolate....well is chocolate so enough said...

Recipe...(Adapted from the Betty Crocker cookbook)

1 cup (2 sticks) Butter
1 cup brown sugar, packed
1 tsp. vanilla
1 large egg yolk (or you could just use the whole egg like I did...)
2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp salt
2/3rd cup chocolate morsels (I used a whole bag of semi-sweet)
nuts or heath bar crumbles or any variety of M&M's would be colorful and tasty

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.  Mix butter, brown sugar, vanilla & egg yolk, add flour and salt and continue to mix until creamy.  Spread the batter into an ungreased rectangular baking pan (13x9x2).  Bake for 25-30 mins.  Upon removal from oven, sprinkle the chocolate morsels on top and when they get gooey, spread them across the top of the cookie base.  Then you can add any topping you would like.

Hope you all have a fabulous Labor Day weekend and to all my Biggest Loser competition......EAT UP!!!


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