Gelatin Poke Cake

Years ago, I used to make gelatin poke cakes for different occasions.  They were one of Hubby’s favorite desserts.  Then I stopped making them for some reason.

Hubby’s birthday was last week.  I decided to make a gelatin poke cake for his birthday cake. Wee One helped me make the cake.  He also got to choose the flavor of the cake (funetti or yellow) and the flavor of the gelatin.  Imaginative One also helped me ice the cake.

Hubby loved the cake.  He told me the reason he loved it so much is because it a very moist cake.  Hubby even took the remainder of the cake to work to share with his co-workers.

Gelatin Poke Cake - Inside the cake
Gelatin Poke Cake – Inside the cake
Singing to Hubby
Singing to Hubby

Visual Recipe:

Pouring in the cake mix
Pouring in the cake mix – We followed the cake directions on the box.
Spraying down the cake pan
Spraying down the cake pan
Ready to go into the oven
Ready to go into the oven – Bake as directed on the box
The gelatin
Meanwhile make the gelatin – 1 box of gelatin to 1 cup of boiling water, make sure the gelatin is dissolved, add 1/2 c. of cold water
Cake and gelatin
Cake and gelatin – Allow the cake to cool a little bit (15 minutes or so) before poking the cake.
Poking the cake
Poking the cake – We used a skewer.
Pouring the gelatin
Pouring the gelatin – After poking the cake, pir the gelatin over the cake.
Imaginative One frosting the cake
Imaginative One frosting the cake – Allow the cake to cool for at least a half hour to an hour more before icing it with whipped topping (Cool whip).
The cake frosted
The cake frosted

Gelatin Poke Cake

Stars of the recipe:

For the cake:

  • 1 box of either yellow or funetti cake mix – plus the ingredients on the box

For the gelatin:

  • 1 box of gelatin (any flavor)
  • 1 c. boiling water
  • 1/2 c. cold water

For the topping:

  • 1 container of whipped topping (Cool Whip)
  • Sprinkles

Steps:

  1. Preheat the oven according to the cake box directions.
  2. Prepare the cake mix according to the cake box directions.
  3. Spray down a 9 by 13 pan.  Pour the prepared cake mix into the 9 by 13 pan.
  4. Bake according to the cake box.
  5. Once the cake is baked, pull the cake out and allow to cool for about 15 minutes.
  6. While the cake is cooling, make the gelatin.  In a bowl, place the gelatin powder.  Pour 1 c. of boiling water over the gelatin powder.  Stir until dissolved.  Add the 1/2 c. of cold water.  Stir.
  7. Poke holes in the cake using a skewer or straw.
  8. Pour the gelatin over the cake.
  9. Allow the cake to cool for about an hour.
  10. Spread whipped topping over the cake.  Decorate with sprinkles.
  11. Place in the fridge for 3 hours.
  12. Enjoy!
The boys thought it would be funny to say Hubby was 93.
The boys thought it would be funny to say Hubby was 93.
Inside the cake
Inside the cake

Happy Eating,
Traci

Menu Plan Monday – September 28

This week I am going to use the crock pot for our dinners. I have been busy with work and have been staying later then usual. The result is we haven’t been eating homemade meals.

On Saturday morning, the Wee One and I went shopping.  We got all the meat and other ingredients for the meals.

After we got home from shopping, I put the hamburger in the crock pot. While we were having family time, the hamburger was cooking. The cooked hamburger is going to be used for sloppy Joes and the soup. Then I put the stewing meat into smaller containers since I bought a family pack.

Onto the meal plan:

Monday – roasted chicken in the crock pot, baked potatoes, veggie

Tuesday – sloppy Joes, chips, salad

Wednesday – Italian beef and pasta soup, crescent roll, salad

Thursday – out to eat, the Wee One, Hubby, and I are going to a concert

Friday – beef stew with Easy Peasy Cheesy Garlic bread made from leftover hamburger buns

Saturday – Potluck dinner

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The Wee One trying apple butter at the Apple Fest

Happy Eating,
Traci

Weekly Ramblings – September 26, 2015

This has been an odd week for me cooking wise.

  • Sunday – I cooked a great dinner for Hubby’s birthday.
  • Monday – I had a training after work so I grabbed food on the way home.  I was STARVED.   The rest of the family ate leftovers.
  • Tuesday – We had a Boy Scout potluck dinner.  Hubby was on his own while the rest of us ate at the potluck.  I warmed up a tray of mac and cheese for the potluck.
  • Wednesday – Hubby made ravioli for the family.  I did bake cookies.  I used the make ahead chocolate chip mix for the cookies.
  • Thursday – Once again, I had to stay after work for a meeting.  Since we had a busy night, I stopped and got myself some dinner on the way home.
  • Friday – For a third time, I had to stay after work for another meeting.  The Imaginative One had to be dropped off for a weekend camp so Hubby took care of feeding them.  I ended up ordering Chinese for myself because I had some online training to complete last night.

Here are some recipes I posted this past week:

Creamy Tomato Soup
Creamy Tomato Soup
Applesauce Overnight Oatmeal
Applesauce Overnight Oatmeal
Easy Peasy Cheesy Garlic Bread
Easy Peasy Cheesy Garlic Bread

I’m planning to use the crock pot for our dinner next week so that my family can have home cooked meals instead of just eating whatever.  I’ll post my menu on Monday.  🙂

I do have two more recipes I want to post but haven’t had a chance to post them.

On my other blog, I posted pictures of the boys playing with bubbles, blessings, and a summer recap of the Crohn’s Conservatory and Harriet Beecher Stowe’s House.

Happy Eating,
Traci

Easy Peasy Cheesy Garlic Bread

When we eat pasta dishes at our house, three of us enjoy eating garlic bread with our dinner.  The Wee One refuses to eat garlic bread.  That means extra garlic bread for the rest of us.

The other day I decided to make us garlic bread using hoagie buns from Sam’s Club.  The result was pure deliciousness.  Hubby really loved it.

This recipe was easy to put together and get onto the table.  Use leftover rolls, Italian bread, or French baguette to make the bread.

Easy Peasy Cheesy Garlic Bread

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Stars of recipe:

  • Leftover rolls, French baguette, or Italian bread (You can even use hot dog buns.)
  • 1/2 to 1 Tbsp. of butter, melted per bread (More if a bigger piece of bread, less if a smaller piece of bread – It also depends on your preference.)
  • 1/2 to 1 Tbsp. of granulated garlic
  • 1/4 c. Italian blend shredded cheese

Steps:

  1. If using left-over buns, open them up.  If using bread, cut into smaller pieces.  Place on a cookie sheet.
  2. Melt the butter in the microwave (mine took a minute).
  3. Spread butter on buns or bread.
  4. Sprinkle garlic over the butter.
  5. Sprinkle shredded cheese over the garlic.
  6. Place in oven and broil for 3 minutes or so.  Watch the bread so it doesn’t burn.
  7. Enjoy!

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Creamy Tomato Soup

Sometimes I get a craving for the classic combo of grilled cheese and tomato soup.  I really don’t like condensed tomato soup unless I doctor it up with basil.  So when I had the craving for it, I decided to try making a homemade version of the soup.  It ended up being yummy!

This recipe came from Rachael Ray.  When I was a novice cook, I watched her 30 minute meals A LOT.  Hubby credits her with teaching me to cook .  During our first few years of marriage, we had some really interesting meals.  Dry hamburger patties were the norm.  Hubby got us cable so I would watch the Food Network.  Slowly the meals I was cooking became better. Continue reading “Creamy Tomato Soup”

Applesauce Overnight Oatmeal

Until a few years ago, breakfast was not a favorite meal of mine.  I almost never ate breakfast which is not a good habit to get into.  Then I made a resolution in 2013, to eat breakfast every day.  I did 98% of the time but a few times I forgot to – usually if I was sick.  I’ve been getting into the habit of not eating breakfast some mornings or grabbing breakfast at school.  Those breakfasts are not the healthiest so I need to rethink breakfast once again.

In August of 2013, I wrote a blog post about 6 Easy Breakfast Foods.  One of the foods I mentioned is oatmeal.  Oatmeal can be eaten hot or cold.  It can be savory or sweet.  I have not eaten savory oatmeal though.  I took oatmeal packets with me to Walt Disney World when we went during my Spring Break in 2014 with a hot water kettle.  Mornings were oatmeal and coffee and then running around the parks.

March 31 (1) April 2 (1)

Lately, I have been craving oatmeal for breakfast. I tried to make some overnight oats for breakfast on Friday. However it was very runny. So I did not eat it since it was unappetizing.

I tried to make a different overnight oatmeal Friday night. It ended up being much better then Friday’s oatmeal. It tastes just like fall. Yum!

A year ago, I had made this recipe while the boys and I were on a road trip so I knew it was good. However I stopped eating oatmeal for a while.  Actually I continued to eat oatmeal but in the form of granola.

So why is overnight oatmeal a great choice for breakfast?

  1. It can be made up the night before.
  2. You don’t need to cook anything.  Just place in the container and go so it’s great for when you are on road trips.
  3. You can dress it up almost anyway you like.

Some overnight oatmeal recipes call for yogurt while other’s don’t.  This one is one that does not call for yogurt.  Instead I use applesauce as the binder.  You can either use homemade applesauce or store bought.  It’s totally up to you.  If you are using unsweetened applesauce, feel free to sweeten the oatmeal up with some honey.  If you want to add some protein, add some nuts.  I think walnuts are a great type of nut for this overnight oatmeal.

Onto the recipe:

Applesauce Overnight Oatmeal

Adapted from Cheap Recipe Blog 

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Stars of the recipe:

  • 1/2 c. rolled oats (don’t use quick oats or steel cut oats)
  • 1/2 c. milk of choice (cow, almond, coconut – I used almond.  It tasted wonderful.)
  • 1/2 c. applesauce – (homemade or store bought)
  • 2 tsp. cinnamon or apple pie spice
  • 1/2 to 1 Tbsp. honey or sweetener of choice – optional
  • 1/4 c. chopped nuts – optional (I used walnuts.)

Steps:

  1. In a jar or mason jar, place the oats, milk, applesauce, cinnamon, and sweetener if using.
  2. Put the lid on and shake up.
  3. Place in the fridge overnight or for at least 3 hours.
  4. When you are ready to eat it, take it out of fridge.  Allow to sit on the counter for 10 or so minutes to take the chill off.
  5. Add the nuts, if using.
  6. Enjoy your breakfast!

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Happy Eating,
Traci

Random Ramblings

This blog has been around for five years (June 2010).  However, I stopped writing on it in Feb. 2014.  I tried to pick it up on the blogger platform and did until August 2014 but then just stopped.

Now I’ve decided to restart the blog.  I need ideas of what topics to write about.  If you could please comment on this post or on my Facebook page.

That’s the other things I wanted to talk about.  I created a Facebook page for this blog back in 2010.  I don’t do much with it because I only have 64 likes on the page.  I really would like to have more likes on it.  It’s named Ramblings of my Crazy Life after my second blog.  Here is a link to it.  Please go and visit it and post what you would like me to blog about either cooking wise or life wise.  If it’s doing with cooking or feeding my family, I’m put it on this blog.  If it’s about life, I’ll post it on the other blog.

I also have a Pinterest account for this blog.  Since I haven’t used this blog in a while, I haven’t put anything new on it lately.  I’m not a big Pinterest user so I don’t go on there often.

My ultimate goal for this blog is it to be like a recipe book for my boys when they are young men and start off life cooking for themselves.

I cannot believe that when I started this blog, they were only 5 and almost 7 years old.  They are now 10 and 12 years old.  They still will ask me “What’s for dinner?” when I come home from work.

Here is some pictures of some foods I cooked or whipped up this week:

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Applesauce Overnight Oatmeal and my morning coffee
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Easy Peasy Cheesy Garlic Bread
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Copy Cat Wendy’s Frosty – Before I post this recipe, I need to make sure of the measurements. This was an accident that turned out great.

Have a great week.  Oh and the link to my Facebook page is on the sidebar.  Please go over and check it out.

Happy cooking,

Traci

Hamburger Patties

Since Hubby needs to be out the door soon after I get home, quick meals are important.

Hamburgers are one meal that can be put on the table quickly.  Cook up some fries with it or serve some potato chips to serve with the hamburgers.  Add some raw veggies and you have a complete meal.

Hint about the hamburgers – Shape the patty and then put an indentation in the middle.  This will allow the patty to retain it’s shape as it cooks.

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Hamburger Patties

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Stars of the Recipe:

  • 1 to 2 lbs of ground beef (80% or 85%) – The more fat the juicer they will be
  • 1 to 2 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
  •  2 Tbsp. dried minced onion or grated fresh onion
  • 1 to 2 Tbsp. of your favorite seasoning

Steps:

  1. Heat up a skillet to med. high heat or preheat your indoor grill.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, add the meat, Worcestershire sauce, onion, and seasoning.
  3. Mix together but don’t over mix.
  4. Form into patties and make sure to make an indentation in the middle.  (My patties are the size of my hand cupped. )
  5. Cooked until cooked through.  If on griddle, turn after about 3 to 5 minutes. Allow to cook for 3 to 5 more minutes.
    Hamburger is cooked thoroughly when its internal temperature is 160 degrees.
  6. Enjoy either on a bun or without a bun.  Top with your favorite toppings.  We had thousand island sandwich spread and cheddar cheese on our burgers.

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Homemade Thousand Island Sandwich Spread

When I was in college back in the 1990’s, I worked at McDonald’s.  I usually worked at the front counter, front drive-thru, or back drive through.  Hubby knew I was someone special because I would take an order, take money, and be eating my dinner in the office next to the drive-thru all at the same time.  He couldn’t believe I could multi-task like that.

One of the great benefits of working at McDonald’s was the free food.  As a poor college student, it was greatly appreciated.  I loved Big Macs and chicken nuggets with hot mustard sauce and sweet and sour sauce.  Yes, I know chicken nuggets from McDonald’s are not real chicken nuggets.

The special sauce on the Big Mac’s was one of my favorite parts of the sandwich.  I’ve made a homemade version of the special sauce.  It’s absolutely delicious.

Homemade Thousand Island Sandwich Spread

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Stars of the recipe:

  • 2 Tbsp. mayo
  • 2 Tbsp. ketchup
  • 1 Tbsp. pickle relish
  • 1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce (not pictured above)

Steps:

  1. Place all ingredients in a small bowl.
  2. Mix together until well combined.
  3. Serve on your favorite hamburger or sandwich.
  4. Enjoy!

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One Pan Pork Chop Dinner

This is an easy meal to impress your guests with.

On Sundays, we usually eat dinner with my mother-in-law.  It’s a tradition that started when Hubby and I were just married.  My father-in-law usually made the dinner.  When he died, we continued the tradition.  Sometimes I make the dinner.  Other times my mother-in-law makes the dinner.  Then there are times we eat out for Sunday dinner.

This is one dinner that I made for our Sunday dinner.  It was easy to put together.  It’s important to make sure the pork chops are thin cut so they bake in the same amount of time as the veggies.  Serve bread on the side to make a whole meal.

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Prior to going into the oven

One Pan Pork Chop Dinner

adapted from Eat at Home

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Stars of the recipe:

  • 4 to 6 thin cut pork chops
  • 1 lb. fingerling potatoes or red or yellow potatoes cut into either halves or quarters depending on their size
  • 3 – 4 c. cut veggies (I used broccoli and zucchini)
  • your favorite seasoning mix
  • salt
  • pepper
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Steps:

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Brush Extra Virgin Olive Oil on a big baking sheet.
  3. Toss the potatoes in a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil and coat with salt and pepper.  Place on the cookie sheet
  4. Toss the veggies in a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil and coat with salt and pepper.  Place on the cookie sheet next to the potatoes.
  5. Place the pork chops in the remaining space on the sheet or on another baking sheet.  Coat with your favorite seasoning.
  6. Bake at 425 for 25 to 30 minutes or until the pork chops are fully cooked (145 degrees Fahrenheit) and potatoes are tender.
  7. Enjoy with a salad and/or favorite bread.

This post has been linked to:
Treasure Box Tuesday

“Chef Paul’s World Famous Pancakes” or Wee One’s New Favorite Pancakes

Disclaimer:  I don’t know Paul.  He attended the same church my grandma did back in 1994 but that’s all I know.

In 2007, my grandma fell and broke her leg.  Since she had to go live in a nursing home, we had to clear out her house.  That was a somber and tedious task.  I ended inheriting some of her cookbooks.  One was from the church she was a member of.  I ended up putting the cookbooks in her the bench I also inherited from her.  When I finally did pull the cookbook out, I was pleasantly surprised.  On some of the pages were notes about the contributors of the cookbook.  It was so nice to see her handwriting once again.

This summer I once again pursued the book and found this recipe for pancakes.  I made them for Imaginative One’s 12th birthday.  (When did he get so old??)  They loved the pancakes.

When I made the recipe again, Wee One ate 8 of the pancakes.  I think he approved of the recipe.  He also told me how good they were. Onto the delicious recipe:

World Famous Pancakes

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Stars of the recipe:

  • 2 c. all purpose flour
  • 2 Tbsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 c. sugar
  • 2 lrg. eggs
  • 2 Tbsp. oil
  • 2 c. whole milk

Steps:

  1. Heat up the griddle to 400 degrees or medium high heat.
  2. Grease the griddle with vegetable oil or butter.
  3. Sift flour, baking powder, and sugar together in a large bowl.
  4. In another bowl, beat the eggs, oil, and milk until well blended.
  5. Add liquids to the dry ingredients.  Mix until creamy with little lumps.
  6. Ladle the batter onto the griddle using a ladle or 1/4 c. measuring cup.
  7. Cook until bubbles form and edges look dry.
  8. Flip and cook for a minute more.
  9. Enjoy!!!!

This post has been linked to:
Treasure Box Tuesday

Make Ahead Chocolate Chip Cookie Mix

IMG_1404We love chocolate chip cookies around here.  However, I’m not always in the mood to mix up a full batch of cookies.  Make ahead chocolate chip cookie mix to the rescue.  The dry ingredients are already mixed up so all you need to do is add the wet ingredients and mix.

Hint:  Use an electric mixer because it’s harder to mix by hand.  It’s doable just harder to get all the ingredients mixed together.
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These can be stored for 3 months in an airtight container.  I used zippered storage bags.

Make Ahead Chocolate Chip Cookie Mix

Adapted from Lauren’s Latest

IMG_1401Stars of the recipe:

  • 1 1/2 c. all purpose flour
  • 1/2 c. brown sugar
  • 1/2 c. granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 c. chocolate chips

Steps:

  1. Mix all of the ingredients together in an airtight container.
  2. Store for up to 3 months.

Chocolate Chip Cookies using the Make Ahead Mix

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Stars of the recipe:

  • Make Ahead Mix
  • 1 stick softened butter (1/2 c.)
  • 1 Tbsp. vanilla
  • 1 Tbsp. milk
  • 1 egg

Steps:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Place all of the ingredients in a mixing bowl.
  3. Mix together until well incorporated.
  4. Drop cookie dough by tablespoons onto a baking sheet.
  5. Bake for 8 to 9 minutes.
  6. Allow to cool for at least 2 minutes before removing it from the tray.
  7. Enjoy with a glass of milk, cup of tea, or a cup of coffee.

I got at least 36 out of my dough but the original recipe got 18 out of her mix.