Best Buttercream Frosting……………

Everyone should have a good basic frosting recipe in their collection of recipes. Buttercream frosting is that recipe. It’s super quick and easy and very versatile.

Once you make this, you’ll make it again and again. I promise! Why use those yucky store-bought plastic tubs of frosting? You can whip this up in no time!

I used this frosting for this cupcake “cake” I made recently.

Easy Buttercream Frosting

1 cup butter, room temperature
8 cups powdered sugar
2 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup or more of milk, half and half or heavy cream

In a large mixing bowl, whip the softened butter until light and creamy…..about 2 minutes.  Gradually add the powdered sugar, starting at low speed. Add liquid a little at a time, increasing speed. Add enough liquid until you have your desired consistency. Whip for approximately 2 minutes.

Frost your cake or cupcakes. This batch will frost 30 cupcakes, a 2 layer round cake, or a 9×13 sheet cake.

Store any leftover frosting in the refrigerator. Allow to come to room temperature before spreading.

Note: If the weather is warm, the cake or cupcakes should be chilled and allowed to come to room temp before serving.


Cheap and Easy Chocolate Sauce…..

Big scoop of good vanilla ice cream, rich gooey fudge sauce, some nuts, whipped cream and a cherry on top. Now, that’s a  fudge sundae! Maybe throw in some bananas! Have you ever craved one of those sundaes, only to find that you had no fudge sauce????

Well, this fudge sauce is something that you can whip up in less than 10 minutes,  with simple ingredients that you most likely have in your cupboard. There is no cream, no milk, no chopped up chocolate. You will be surprised to learn that it is made with water and cocoa powder……..and are you ready for this? Flour! Yep, flour. When I first saw the recipe, I had my doubts. But I was so curious and knew I had to try it. I’m so glad I did! It’s really good…rich…and very chocolatey.  Think of how good it would be in an iced cold coffee with cream! Or how about drizzled over some fresh strawberries. Or drizzled over cake or a shortbread cookie! Or just by the spoonful! Can you imagine??

Since it’s so inexpensive to make, you could make a huge batch, pour it into jars and give it as a gift to everyone you know! Include a cute little scoopy spoon , tied to the jar with ribbon and there you go…perfect give away.

Don’t be turned off by the fact that it is water based and has flour. I’m telling you, this is good stuff. If the water thing turns you off, then try it with milk. But trust me, this is a rich delicious chocolate sauce.

Ok, too much talking. I have a sundae to make.


Cheap and Easy Chocolate Sauce

1 cup sugar
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 Tablespoons + 1 tsp flour
1 cup hot water or milk
1/4 cup corn syrup
1 tsp vanilla
1 Tablespoon butter

In a sauce pan, whisk together the sugar, cocoa and flour. Whisk in the hot water or milk, butter, vanilla, corn syrup and salt. Let it come to a boil and then turn down the heat to a low simmer. Let simmer for about 8 minutes, whisking gently. It will thicken a bit and thicken more as it cools.

Let it cool completely before pouring it into a jar. Once completely cooled to room temperature, chill. Don’t try to chill it while it’s still warm. It will get sugary and grainy.


Sloppy Cheeseburger……..

Remember sloppy Joes? I used to love those messy things…..with the ground beef and that sauce all dripping everywhere.  I can’t remember the last time I had one.

This is my version…..without the sauce. It’s more like a cheeseburger but better. The ground beef is not formed into a patty. I think it’s fun to eat it this way. It’s so simple and you can whip one up in no time! The cheese and onions are all mixed up with the ground beef, so it all stays together with that cheesy glue. Of course I had to throw in some jalapeno since I’m a spicy girl.

So, if you’re looking for a quick and easy meal, here it is! It’s prettier when using cheddar cheese, but I prefer the Monterey Jack cheese. Your choice! Use both!! Yessssssssssssss….cheeeeeeeese.

Sloppy Cheeseburger
serves 3-4

1 lb ground beef or turkey
1/2 small onion, sliced thin
1 cup shredded cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese
peppers (optional)
salt and pepper to taste
Rolls (ciabatta, hamburger buns, French bread, etc)

In a large skillet, cook the ground beef with the sliced onion. Add salt and pepper. As the beef is cooking, toast or grill the bread. I put a pat of butter in a skillet and place the rolls, cut side down, into the butter. Once they are as brown as you like, remove.

When the beef is cooked, add the shredded cheese and mix until the cheese is all gooey and melty. At this point you can add the peppers, tomatoes, or anything else you may want to add.

Scoop a generous amount into a roll and serve immediately. Soooooooooo good.

The Best Tomato Feta Bruschetta…..

Fresh tomatoes, garlic, feta, tossed with a zesty dressing………Yum. Then, you scoop that onto some toasted, crusty bread and WOW. How could something that simple taste that fabulous. Seriously. How???!!!!!!

There are so many ways to make a bruschetta. I’ve tried many a kind. I have to say, this is my favorite one. How can you go wrong with the combination of fresh, (home-grown) tomatoes and feta cheese? I mean, come onnnnnnnn. So good. If you have never had a Sun Sugar tomato, you’re missing out. Little bites of sweet tomato heaven, that just burst with flavor. I can’t get enough of them. I highly recommend planting some in your garden! You will be so happy.

This is a great appetizer to serve at a party. Or, you could make a few varieties and have them be the meal. They go great with a glass of chilled white wine or champagne! Oh yesssssss.

So easy to put together.



Tomato Feta Bruschetta

approximate quantities:

1 baguette, cut into 1/4″ slices

approximately 2 cups whole Cherry tomatoes (I used a combo of Cherry and Sun Sugar tomatoes)
2 fresh garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup sliced black olives
1/2 cup crumbled Feta cheese
2 Tblsp red wine vinegar or vinegar **
1/4 cup plus 2 Tblsp olive oil or vegetable oil  **
or use a premade Italian salad dressing (1/2 cup)
salt and pepper to taste
fresh basil to garnish (optional)

Cut the fresh tomatoes in quarters. Place them in a bowl with all of the other ingredients and give them a gentle toss. Set aside for at least 10 minutes.

While your tomatoes are bathing, prepare your bread. Heat oven to 425. Place the slices onto a baking sheet. Brush lightly with a bit of olive oil. Place sheet into the oven. Allow bread to toast until lightly browned. Remove from oven and allow to come to room temp.

Scoop tomato mixture onto your little toasts. Garnish with basil and serve immediately.

Berry Berry Topping……

Ya gotta have a good topping for your ice cream, right? Or your pancakes, or some cake! This would make an excellent topping for cheesecake, too! This is a quick and easy topping using two berries…..blackberries and blueberries. You could even throw in some raspberries. The last time that I  made this, I added some peaches. Peaches and blueberries go really well together. I have included a picture of that also.

So, whenever I go to Oregon, there is an ice cream served at one of the casinos…..Huckleberry ice cream. I can’t find huckleberries here, but they tell me it’s a cross between a blueberry and a blackberry. So, the closest I can come, is to combine the two berries. It works. I made some ice cream awhile back using the two berries and it sure tasted like the huckleberry ice cream that I had in Oregon.

Ok, back to this topping… semi huckleberry topping. This is really quick and you can mash up your berries or leave them chunky. As you cook them, they will break up, so you really don’t have to mash them at all. If you just want a syrup, just put the cooked berries in a food processor and pulse it until it’s nice and thick. You could even strain it, so that you have just the syrup.


Berry Berry Topping

approx. 1 cup blueberries
approx. 1 cup blackberries
1 peach, cut up in chunks (optional)
1/4 – 1/2 cup sugar, depending on how sweet you want it
3 Tblsp water

Pour the berries into a saucepan. Add the water and the sugar. Turn the heat on medium. Give it a good stir. When it starts bubbling, turn the heat to a simmer. As the berries heat up, they will get soft and start breaking up. You can mash them up at this point too if they aren’t breaking up on their own. Let them bubble away for about 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally so they don’t burn. Remove from heat. They will thicken up as they cool.

Now the fun part……eat it!