Easter M&M Cookies………

Easter is just a couple of weeks away! This year is just speeding by. I feel like I was just making Valentine treats and now it’s time to start on the Easter treats. I was actually going to make some M&M cookies, but then thought OH! I’ll use Easter M&M’s. I’ve tried a few different M&M cookie recipes. This is my go to recipe. Soft, chewy, buttery……..perfect with a big glass of cold milk. The melted butter in this recipe gives them a chewy, caramel like taste.

I chopped up my M&M’s into pieces. You don’t have to do that, but I like the little bits of chocolatey crunch in every bite. I added some  whole M&M’s too, for pertyness. 🙂

Stay tuned for some more Easter treats coming your way soon. Wouldn’t it be nice to make your own Easter treats to give some bunny? You would make them very hoppy. Sorry, I couldn’t resist. I’ll stop now and be quiet….you won’t hear a peep outta me. Annoying huh? My thoughts Eggxactly. Ok, ok, I’ll stop! I’ll go bake some more cookies…..you too. Go bake.

Easter M & M Cookies

1  1/2 sticks of butter (12 tablespoons) of butter, melted
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup regular sugar
1 egg plus the yolk of 1 egg
2 cups plus 2 tablespoons of all purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 cup chopped M&M’s (you can leave them whole if you want)

Heat oven to 325.
In a mixer, mix the butter and sugars until creamy and well mixed. Add egg and egg yolk. Mix until thoroughly combined. Gradually add the flour and baking soda, mixing until it all comes together. With a spoon, mix in the M&M’s.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Scoop dough out into balls. I use a cookie scooper (about 2 Tblsp). Place dough balls about 2″ apart on baking sheet. Poke a few whole candies partially into the cookies. Bake for 11-14 minutes, until cookies look a bit fluffy. Once they settle, they will look a bit crinkly and yummy. Let them cool completely on baking sheet.

They will not taste as good when they are still warm as they will once cooled and set. Trust me.

Makes about 16  3″ cookies.

Note: I have found that chilling the dough over night, really makes a difference in the cookie. They are delicious as is, but chilling the dough makes it so much better! Trust me. (yeah, yeah, I know….who wants to wait, right?)

Creamy Fettucini Alfredo…….

I haven’t made fettucini alfredo in years. For one thing, it’s so very rich. Then, it seemed that whenever I did try making it, I would end up with a glumpy cheese mess, sitting in the middle of some cream.  But then I was watching tv and saw one of the chefs (The Pioneer Woman) making it.  I liked her technique. It was simple, the cheese doesn’t glump up like a glue ball and it looked so good. So, I decided to try her technique. The only thing I do different, is that I add some cream cheese to my sauce. It’s really simple….you’re going to love this!

This is great as a main dish or as a side dish to some fish, chicken or beef. Or, you can mix in some chicken and broccoli and that’s delicious too.

The key is to have your cream and butter mixture HOT and have your cooked pasta HOT.


Easy Fettuccini Alfredo
serves 5-6

1 stick of butter (1/2 cup)
1 cup heavy cream
2 oz. soft cream cheese
2 cups of parmesan cheese (grated)
salt and pepper to taste
1 pound box of fettucine noodles

Start cooking pasta according to directions on package. When it’s just about done, start on the cream mixture:
In a large skillet, melt the butter, cream cheese and the heavy cream together. Don’t let it boil. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Sprinkle 1 cup of the grated parmesan cheese into a large serving bowl. Pour the hot cream and butter mixture over the cheese. Don’t stir it. Drain your hot pasta (reserving a bit of the hot pasta water) and place the pasta in the serving bowl over the cream and cheese mixture. Give it a good toss and add the remaining cup of cheese. Toss again. Add some of the hot pasta water  if you need to thin it out a bit. Garnish with chives or parsley.


Strawberry Coconut Margarita……………..

I am on a margarita kick lately. I hadn’t had one in years and all of a sudden I started wanting them again. I used to order plain margaritas. But now I like strawberry……blended, on the rocks….yum! Recently, I went to a restaurant that serves a house special margarita. It’s a coconut margarita, served on the rocks. They put shredded coconut all around the rim and it is delicious. It’s so refreshing and for some reason it seems to disappear quickly. Maybe it’s the sun that makes it evaporate or something. I mean, it’s there one minute and then all of a sudden it’s gone! I just don’t know how it happens!

Anyway, I’m not all that crazy about coconut. It’s ok in small doses. But I am crazy in love with coconut margaritas. I happened to have some strawberries on hand  so I thought I would add them to my homemade coconut margarita. Oh, holy crap these things are good. I mean like REALLLLLL good. If you don’t like tequila, these are delicious with vodka too….I just had to try it with vodka too. I did it for you all.  🙂 See how nice I am?

Look how pretty this drink is…..

Strawberry Coconut Margarita

For 2 people or 1 thirsty person

4 ounces of good tequila
6 ounces  of my margarita mix* (below) or you can use your favorite
4 ounces of cream of coconut (I use Coco Lopez)
2 ounces of heavy cream or half and half
6 fresh strawberries,  (or more), smooshed with a fork. Sprinkle with sugar if berries are not sweet
crushed ice (I use regular ice cubes and smash the hell out of them)
salt and/or shredded coconut for rim (optional)

Homemade Margarita Mix:*
1 cup water
1/2 sugar
1 cup fresh squeezed lime juice

For the Margarita Mix: Heat the water and sugar just until the sugar is all dissolved. Remove from heat, add lime juice. Allow to cool. Store any leftover in a jar or bottle and keep refrigerated.

For 2 drinks on the rocks: In a shaker or large jar, add tequila, margarita mix, cream of coconut and crushed strawberries. Give it a good shake. Add the heavy cream or half n half. Shake again. Dip the rims of 2 glasses in water or lime juice and then kosher salt and or shredded coconut. Fill glasses with ice and pour the drink over the ice. Garnish with a lime wedge or a strawberry.




Easy Blueberry Muffins…………

I’ve made many kinds of blueberry muffins. Most were good.  But you wanna know something? My favorite blueberry muffins are the ones they sell at Costco. Yep, I love those things. Super moist and blueberry-ish….a lot more dense than most muffins.

In fact, I don’t know why I even bother to make blueberry muffins. Every time I do, I tell myself I like Costco’s better. But I do like baking them because they are pretty. Don’t you think? I love the color of blueberries and the way the color bleeds into the batter. We all love blueberry muffins.

I must say that these particular muffins here, are very good. They are light, but full of berries….full. They are great plain, or hot, with a bit of butter.  The very light sugar crumb topping is a sprinkle of sweetness. Kinda like me. Hahahahah. Don’t you hate when you get a blueberry muffin and you get like one blueberry in the whole big muffin? My friend took me to a popular restaurant here in San Diego. “They have the BEST blueberry muffins and loaded with berries”, she said. Welllllll, so out comes my muffin. I broke it open and there it was….one single berry. ONE. I asked the server, “Is this a blueberry muffin?” “yes, it sure is” she replied. I said, “Well, you may want to call  it something else…..like just muffin, cuz where are the blueberries?” She started laughing and went to get me another muffin. Oh boy, the next one had 2 blueberries!! woohoo!! We all started laughing, but what the heck!!! My friend told me I was being too picky since I was a baker. Oh no she dint. Anyway, when you make these muffins, nobody will be complaining about a lack of blueberries.

Gonna pour me a hot cup of coffee and enjoy one of these berry good muffins. You too?

Easy Blueberry Muffins
makes 6

1 cup all purpose flour
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup butter, salted
1/2 cup sugar
1 large egg
1/4 cup milk or half and half
1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries

Sugar  Topping (optional)

2 tablespoons brown sugar (I used white sugar. I wanted a lighter topping)
1  1/2 tsp flour
1  teaspoon vegetable oil

Heat oven to 350. Line a muffin pan with 6 paper baking cups.
In a medium sized bowl, whisk together the softened butter and sugar. Add the egg and milk and whisk well. Add the flour, salt and baking powder. Using a large spoon, mix, but don’t over mix. Add the blueberries and gently fold them into the batter. The batter is thick.

Fill the 6 baking cups with the batter. They will be full, but that’s a good thing!

In a small bowl, mix together the sugar topping. Sprinkle it on top of the 6 muffins and gently press it on top onto the batter.
Bake for 20-25 minutes (I did 22 minutes). Stick a tooth pick into the center. You should have no crumbs on the toothpick. Remove from oven and allow to rest for at least 15 minutes before you eat. Otherwise, you will burn your face off. So be patient and wait and have some soft butter ready!


Crock Pot Spicy Pinto Beans……………………….

I remember my dad always making beans. Marine Corp beans, he would call them. He and my mother loved them. It was usually navy beans, ham hock and onions. I hated those frickin things. Gag. The only time I ever really liked beans, was if they were the sweet baked beans, or refried bean, or if they were in chili. Then one day I tasted my friend Diana’s beans. She brought in a big ol crock pot of them into the office. I wanted to hug that crock pot…..and Diana too. Hahahah. I kinda hung around the crock pot, hoping there would be some left at the end of the day. Diana, you make the best beans in the world. After reading this post, I bet you’re thinking “Hmmm, I should make Betty some beans”…….right? 🙂

She puts some kind of magic in her beans, and mine aren’t as good as hers. But I must say, these beans I made, are pretty tasty. I think my dad would have even liked them….they sure taste better than Marine Corp beans.

Crock Pot Spicy Pinto Beans

1 pound bag of dry pinto beans
5 cups of water
1 chicken or beef bouillon cube
1 cup salsa (your favorite kind)
1 tsp onion powder
3 fresh garlic cloves
2 fresh jalapeno peppers (I used red fresno chiles and green jalapenos)
1/2 pound bacon, diced
1/2 – 1 cup diced ham or a ham bone
1 tsp black pepper
salt to taste, once beans have cooked for awhile
minced onion and cilantro for garnish

Rinse beans thoroughly and drain. Dump into a crock pot along with everything else. Turn crock pot on low and let it cook for 8 hours.

Now, how easy is that…..seriously! When you’re ready to serve, just top with some minced onion and cilantro and maybe a nice hot tortilla. I actually like my beans over rice.

– Prior to cooking, I don’t soak my beans over night. I just don’t feel it’s necessary.
– If you don’t have any leftover ham or a ham bone, add more bacon. Yep, you heard me..more bacon.
– Sometimes I add some chorizo to the beans. YUM.