©Life of a Foodie and Her Family 2008-2013, Lynn Tabor



Pumpkin Caramel Poke Cake

I made this for dessert last week for Alpha.  It was SUPER YUMMY!

16 oz can pumpkin
2 cups sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs, beaten
2 cups flour
2 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. salt
1 jar caramel ice cream topping

1 cup Heavy Whipping Cream and a bit of sugar

Preheat oven to 350.

In a mixing bowl, beat the pumpkin, sugar and oil. Add eggs and mix well.

Combine the dry ingredients and add to the pumpkin mixture, beating until combined, do not over mix.

Pour into a greased 9 x 13 inch baking pan. Bake for 30-40 minutes or, until a toothpick comes out clean.

Poke holes in the hot cake. A skewer or wooden spoon works perfectly.

Warm caramel sauce in the microwave for 30 seconds or until it flows freely. Pour over the top of the cake and spread evenly.  Let cool for 40-50 minutes and then place in the refrigerator and allow to cool completely.

Make fresh whipped cream and spread over the top of the cake.


Pumpkin Spice Cookie Cups

I made these cute little cookie cups last week for Alpha.  I did double the recipe.  The single batch makes 24 and that is listed below.

1 package pumpkin spice cookie mix + ingredients listed on package to prepare
¼ cup flour
1 package vanilla instant pudding mix
1 cup heavy cream
1 tsp of Pumpkin Pie Spice

Mix vanilla pudding mix and pumpkin pie spice with 1 cup heavy cream and whisk it until it's smooth, place in refrigerator so it will be thick and cold when you are finished baking the cookie cups.

Mix pumpkin spice cookie mix according to package directions and add in ¼ cup flour to the mixture. This will make the dough a bit stiffer.

Make 24 balls of cookie dough and place them into mini muffin pans sprayed with a baking spray so they won't stick.  Then press up the sides of the muffin pan.

Bake cookies for 10-12 minutes. Check with toothpick. Bake at 350, reduce the temp to 325 if using dark coated pans.

When removed from the oven, I like to use the end of a wooden spoon or part of my apple corer to make the well a bit deeper and cleaner looking.

Let cool 5 minutes in pan, then remove the cookie bites from baking pan and cool completely.

Place filling into a piping bag fitted with a large open star tip and pipe filling onto cookie cups.

Refrigerate them until ready to eat, remove 30 minutes before serving so they will come to room temperature.

I can't even begin to tell you how yummy these were!!!!

Easy Beer Bread

Last week was Chili night at Alpha.  Miss V made her chili on Tuesday night and I whipped up two batches of Beer Bread.

3 1/2 cups self-rising flour
(if using regular flour add 1 tablespoon baking powder and 1 teaspoon salt)
3 tablespoons sugar
12 oz. can beer (I used Octoberfest)
1 egg, beaten
1/2 stick butter softened

Mix flour and sugar together in large bowl.

Add beer, egg and butter to flour mixture and mix well.

Scrape batter into greased loaf pan; bake at 350 for 50 minutes.  This dough is very lumpy and thick.  After baking you may also brush more melted butter onto the top of the loaf to soften it a bit.

Remove and cool on a wire rack.

Teacher Appreciation lunch menu and Overnight Blueberry French Toast Casserole

Last week Miss V's class hosted the Teacher Appreciation Lunch at school.  I had asked a while ago on Facebook what would be a good theme.  I was so tired of the huge salad bar that we have done since Kindergarten.  I know the teachers love it, but I just wanted something different.  One awesome teacher suggested breakfast.  That sounded perfect and I got to planning!

We had:
Muffins, Banana Breads, Bagels, cream cheese and Pumpkin Cream Cheese
Breakfast casseroles in crock pots
Bacon, sausage links and patties

For drinks we had Orange Juice, a variety of teas and Caramel Apple Spice copycat.

 For my casserole, I made a full size version of Overnight Blueberry French Toast Casserole and skipped the syrup.

3 or 4 loaves of day old french bread, cut into cubes
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, cut in cubes
1 cup blueberries (fresh or frozen)
12 large eggs
⅓ cup maple syrup
1 cup of heavy cream
1 cup milk or cream
1 teaspoon vanilla

Arrange ½ of the bread cubes in a greased 9 x 13 pan.

Sprinkle cream cheese cubes and blueberries evenly over the bread cubes.

Top and evenly sprinkle with remaining bread cubes.

Mix together eggs, syrup, milk and vanilla in a blender.

Pour over bread cubes. Press the bread cubes slightly down to absorb the milk/egg mixture. Cover pan with foil. Let chill in refrigerator overnight.

Bake covered with foil at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

Remove the foil and bake for another 30 minutes or until fluffy and golden brown.

Well, I splurged last week and bought a new crock pot.  I put the casserole together in the crock and baked it in the oven.  When it was done, I put the crock in the base and brought it to school.  Once at school, I turned it on the warm setting.  By 10:30 it was still hot.

I do believe everyone enjoyed it and it was scraped clean!  Skipping the syrup was a good decision, it would overwhelm the casserole with sweetness.

I can wait to use this new crock pot tomorrow when I make Baked Ziti for our Church's Alpha Class.


Snake Stromboli 2014

1 pound of white bread dough
1 tablespoon sun-dried tomato pesto
1 teaspoon italian seasoning
5 ounces thinly sliced ham
5 ounces thinly sliced salami
3/4 cup shredded provolone cheese
3/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
2 egg yolk, divided
2 teaspoons water
red and yellow liquid food coloring or other colors that you would like your snake to be.

1. Preheat oven to 375

2. Line baking sheet with parchment paper; spray with nonstick cooking spray; Roll out dough into 24x6-inch rectangle on lightly floured surface. Spread pesto over dough, leaving 1-inch border. Sprinkle with Italian seasoning.

3. Layer ham and salami over dough; Sprinkle both cheeses over meats; Brush edges of dough with water. Beginning at the long side, tightly roll up dough. Pinch edges to seal; Transfer roll to prepared baking sheet, seam side down; shape into S-shaped snake or coiled snake (leave one end unattached to form head on coil.  This year I pinched off a couple pieces of dough and make eyes that way.  Attached them with a bit of plain egg wash.

4. Combine 1 egg yolk, 1 teaspoon water and red food coloring in small bowl; combine remaining egg yolk, remaining teaspoon water and yellow food coloring in another small bowl. Paint stripes, dots and zigzags over dough to make snakeskin pattern.

5. Let dough rise uncovered, in warm place 30 minutes. (Let rise 40 minutes if using a coil shape)

6. Taper one end of roll to form head. Score tail end to form rattlers, if desired

7. Bake snake 25-30 minutes; Cool slightly.  I totally forgot to make him a little tongue...oh well, it was very tastey.


Chicken and Dumplings - Updated

I made this for dinner tonight and it was soooo good!

1.5 pounds boneless chicken breasts, cut into bite size pieces
2 tbs olive oil
3 or 4 large russet potatoes peeled and diced
3 large carrots peeled and diced
1 large sweet onion
3 ribs of celery
3 bay leaf, fresh or dried
kosher salt and black pepper
2 or 3 tsp poultry seasoning
4 tbs flour
2 boxes of Kitchen Basic chicken stock
1 box of Jiffy biscuit mix
1/2 cup of warm water
2 tbs flat leaf parsley chopped
1 small bag of frozen peas

Cut chicken breasts into bite size pieces and put aside.
Heat a large pot over medium high heat and add oil, butter, veggies and bay leaf and cook -10 minutes stirring frequently. Season mixture with salt, pepper and poultry seasoning. Add flour to the pot and cook for another 2 minutes. Stir in stock and bring to a boil. Add chicken and stir.  Let boil for 10 - 15 minutes until potatoes are fork tender.

Mix the biscuit mix with water and parsley. Drop tablespoonful (or medium cookie scoop) of mix into the pot spacing the dumplings evenly. Cover pot and reduce heat to medium low. Steam dumplings for about 10 minutes. Stir in frozen peas and cook for a few more minutes.

Remove pot from heat and serve in shallow bowls.


September 8th Lunch

Boar's head Oven Gold Turkey, cheddar and spinach on a whole wheat wrap.

Fruit: watermelon

Veggies: carrots, red and yellow peppers with Rand dressing

Snacks: Oreo Yo Crunch, S'mores Grahamfuls and sour Cream and Onion Chex Mix

Capri Sun to drink


September 3rd Lunch

Spinach Wrap with Spinach, Colby Jack Cheese and Roast Beef

Fruit:  Watermelon

Veggies:  Mini Cucumber slices, Carrots and Ranch Dressing

Snacks:  Pumpkin Spice Rice Krispy Treat, Pretzels and M&M Yo Crunch Yogurt

Strawberry Kiwi Capri Sun


September 2nd Lunch

Small Croissant with Roast Beef, Colby Jack Cheese and Romaine Lettuce

Fruit Side:  Watermelon Chunks

Veggie Sides:  Snap Peas and mini Cucumber Slices

Snacks:  Iced Oatmeal Clif Kid Z Bar, Oreo Yo Crunch and Cheddar Popped Chex Mix

Orange Capri Sun to drink


Burger Cupcakes

Another one of Miss V's friends Mom asked if I could make her son some Burger Cupcakes.  I peeked around and put a couple ideas together.

I used two yellow cake mixes for the "buns" and 3 boxes of Betty Crocker Brownies (9x13) size.  I used a round cutter the size of the cupcake and got 15 "burgers" out of each pan.  I made up some of my favorite Butter Cream frosting and divided it into three bowls and tinted them yellow for mustard, red for ketchup and green for lettuce.  If I had more time I could have made fondant cheese and lettuce.  Darn...maybe next time.

Tip:  Cut the cupcakes in half first.  Then with a pastry brush dipped in water, gently wipe over the top half of the cupcake and sprinkle on sesame seeds.  Put aside to dry and assemble your burgers and use a frilly tooth pick to hold them together.

They came out so cute!!!


August 29th Lunch

Whole Wheat Wrap with Roast Beef and Colby Jack Cheese

Fruit Side:  Apple Slices

Veggie Sides:  Red Ants on a Log

Snacks:  Colby Jack Cheese Stick, Oreo Yo Crunch Yogurt and Popped Chocolate Rice Cake

Fruit Punch Capri Sun to drink


August 28th Lunch

Half a Cuban Sandwich from Publix

Fruit Sides:  Apple Slices and Cantaloupe

Veggie Sides:  Mini Cucumber slices and carrots

Snacks:  M&M Yo Crunch Yogurt and Sweet & Salty Popped Chex Mix

Fruit Punch Capri Sun to Drink


August 27th Lunch

Bagged Salad mix with extra peppers, carrots, mini cucumber slices, Roast Beef and Ham

Fruit Sides: Apple Slices, Strawberries and Nutella

Snacks:  Chocolate Chip Z Bar and Pretzels (that she also dips into Nutella)

Orange Capri Sun


August 26th Lunch

Flat Out Wrap with Salad Mix, Ham and Colby Jack Cheese.

Fruit Sides:  Pineapple chunks and Strawberries

Veggie Sides:  Cucumbers and Snap Peas with Ranch Dressing

Snacks:  Chips Deluxe Grips, Sweet & Salty Popped Chex Mix and Chocolate Chip Z Bar

Lemonade Capri Sun to drink.

Today I added an extra snack since we were heading to the library to work on homework.


August 25th Lunch

Bagged Salad mix, extra carrots, snap peas, cucumbers, honey ham, tomatoes, Colby Jack cheese, sliced almonds and Craisins with Balsamic Vinaigrette.

Fruit: cantaloupe and red grapes.

Snacks: pretzels and lemon cookie Zbar

Orange Capri Sun to drink


August 22nd Lunch

Spinach Wrap with Roast Beef and Colby Jack Cheese

Fruit sides:  Apple Slices and Cantaloupe

Veggie sides: Cucumber Slices and Snap Peas with Ranch Dressing

Snacks:  Fiber One Brownie and White Cheddar Popped Chex Mix

Lemonade Capri Sun to drink


August 21st Lunch

Spinach Wrap with Turkey and Colby Jack Cheese

Fruit Sides:  Strawberries and Cantaloupe

Veggie Side:  Sliced Yellow and Red Mini Peppers, Carrots and a couple grape tomatoes with Ranch Dressing

Snacks:  Fiber One Brownie, Cheddar Cheese Stick, Sweet & Salty Popped Chex Mix

Lemonade Capri Sun to drink


August 20th Lunch

Spinach wrap with turkey, Colby jack cheese, and salad mix.

Fruit Sides: Apple slices, strawberries and Nutella.

Veggie Sides: sliced cucumber and snap peas with Ranch Dressing.

Snacks: peanut butter crackers and a peanut butter chocolate Clif Kids bar.

Orange Capri Sun to drink.


August 19th Lunch

Today's lunch is a Spinach Wrap with Salad Mix, Roast Beef and Colby Jack Cheese.

Red Pepper Slices, Snap Peas, Strawberries, and Red Grapes.

Snacks:  Pretzels, Key Lime Pudding and an Iced Oatmeal Cookie Clif Kid Bar

Capri Sun


First day of school lunch

Salad Mix from a bag and I added in shredded carrots, yellow pepper strips, cucumbers and grape tomatoes.

Deli Turkey, cheddar cheese cubes and Ranch Dressing

Iced Oatmeal Cookie Clif Kids Bar, Cheese stick, Cantaloupe, Strawberries, Sweet & Salty Popped Chex Mix and Capri Sun.

The only thing left after lunch was the Chex Mix and Z Bar which she ate on the way home from school.


Camo/Duck Dynasty Cupcakes

I made another big batch of Camouflage Cupcakes for Miss V's friend's birthday.  Since his "theme" was Duck Dynasty I went in search of some cool toppers.  I didn't want typical plastic rings.  I found these really cool Cupcake Toppers on Etsy.

These came out cute and tasty!


Duck Dynasty Cupcake Toppers

One of Miss V's friends has a birthday coming up and his mom asked if I could make Camouflage Cupcakes again for him.  Sure!  She told me his theme is Duck Dynasty, so I went searching for cupcake toppers.  I didn't want the cheesy plastic rings.  I found a shop on Etsy called Printable Parties to Go that had the topper and wrapper.  I bought them right away.

I printed them this weekend and then started thinking of what to put on the back of the topper.  I usually use thick scrapbook paper.  So Miss V and I found some camo paper at Hobby Lobby.  Sometimes it is a pain to keep the papers together until dry so I started thinking again.  I thought maybe camo duck tape or contact paper.

Yesterday we all went to Walmart and picked up a roll of Real Tree Easy Liner.  While looking at it I started thinking it might be a bit to busy, so I picked up a roll of taupe too.

This morning I decided to make a sample of each.

Well I am liking the camo more than I expected.  What do you think?????

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