Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Big Game

Well the big day is a few days away!  Some of you ladies, you might be scratching your head and saying, "What!! Christmas is behind us!". But I am not talking holidays, I am talking football.  I am a lover of sports. I understand football.  I love watching any game the Wolfpack plays (except last night).  ACC games are important, and I can even watch a good game without my husband home.  I am in no way an athlete, but I am a great fan!  I have asked him several times does he like having a sports loving wife, and he says yes.  I believe him!  

So back to the big day...I am talking football...and more importantly I am talking the Super Bowl.  We don't just watch for the commercials or half time show.  Nor do we watch for the food, even thought that is a great part.  We watch for the game!

The 49ers will take on the Ravens as brother is pitted against brother.  The coaches for the two teams are brothers, and it is the first match-up of its kind.  Talk about sibling rivalry.  It should be a great game!

But, never the less, the food is a great part of the evening as well.  I have already shared most of my recipes that I make on Super Bowl night... guacamole, spinach dip, and french dip sandwiches are part of our usual spread.  I also make chocolate fondue for strawberries and other goodies.  (Yes you have to plan for a night of a little food splurges.)  This year, I will be making a treat I made over our icy weekend...Roasted Chickpeas.  Chickpeas are what we make hummus out of, and this treat is addictive.  They are great plain or on a salad.  They are very nutty and you can use any spice you would like.  Simple and healthy.  Also, I have a great peanut butter bars that are very tasty, and they travel well.  I took these to a recent community group at church and they were a hit.  So if you are watching with a group this is a great dessert to take.  No matter if you are watching the big game or not,  I hope you try these treats and your family enjoys!

Roasted Chickpeas

1 or 2 cans of chickpeas - rinsed, drained, and patted dry with a paper towel (drying is essential)

Olive oil spray
Spices of your choice...examples - Italian spice blend and garlic; seasoning salt; chili powder, or if you like it really spicy cayenne pepper

I tried chili powder and a little seasoning salt this time, and it was good.  Line your 10x15 pan with tin foil.  Put your chickpeas on sprayed pan and spray the tops as well.  Sprinkle seasoning and shake pan well to evenly distribute.  Make sure beans are not touching...this is very important.  I learned that if they are touching they are steaming and not roasting and they will not get as crunchy.  Bake at 375 for about 20-30 minutes or until the desired crunchy factor,  and shaking the pan every 10 minutes.  So good!

PB and Choc Cookie Bars

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking pwd
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup peanut butter
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1/4 tsp salt
3 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup pb chips
2/3 cup choc chips

Preheat oven to 325.  Cream butter and pb.  Then add sugars.  Next beat in 1 egg at time and last vanilla.  In a separate bowl, mix dry ingredients.  Slowly add to dry mix.  Mix well and then incorporate both flavored chips.  Spread in a greased 13x9 pan and bake for 35-40 minutes or until browned and toothpick comes out clean.  

Today's Verse

"Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves."  Philippians 2:3

French dips -

Monday, January 28, 2013

I love spending time with you...

Well we are thawing out here in NC.  Only here can we have ice and sleet and less than a week later expect temps in the 70s.  We have the best of both worlds, that's why I love it here so much!  We had early dismissal from school on Friday and a delay this morning, so we have been in the house a little extra this weekend.  Lot's of family time...good and bad!  Fun with the games and hot chocolate and movies we watched.  Not so fun with the cabin fever and running and little squabbles with the girls.  But I wouldn't trade any of it for a thing!

Last week my almost 3 year old and I went to the store to gather a few supplies for the weekend.  My little one is growing and has been asking more and more to walk in the store and not ride in the cart.  Well she had been great all morning, so I gave in.  We were cruising down the isles and she was being a great helper, when she stopped and looked up with her huge brown eyes.  I was not prepared for what came next.  She said, very sincerely, "I love spending time with you Mommy!"  I knew that was what she had said, but I had to ask her to say it again.  She again, smiling big, said, "Mommy I love spending time with you."

I teared up; I stopped and hugged her tight.  I looked at her and told her that I loved spending time with her as well.  Through the potty training arguments, the picky eating that threatens to drive me cray, the terrible two tantrums, and all the lovely things that comes with a toddler, my little angel said words I will hold in my heart forever.  Yes, I am sure she has heard it from somewhere else.  And, I know she might not truly understand what it means, but it warmed my heart more than I could have imagined.

I truly love spending time with my girls.  They are a gift from God, and although there are days when I want to pull my hair out, I wouldn't trade a moment for a billion dollars.  I have heard it said, and I have probably even typed it here before... the days are long but the years fly by.  Every season of motherhood has it's difficulties, but it is a blessing to be called mother.

When reflecting on this little scene, I was thinking as a parent how much those words meant to me.  I then began thinking, "Have I ever said that to my heavenly Father?  Do I let Him know that I love spending time with prayer, in reading, in studying, in worship and praise.?"  He would love to hear those words from His children, just as I loved hearing them from my own.  Am I only spending time with Him when I need something, or do I truly seek to spend time with Him everyday because He loves me and I love Him?

Today's Verse
"The LORD thy God in the midst of thee is mighty;  he will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy; he will rest in his love; he will joy over thee with singing."  Zephaniah 3:17

God is with us; He loves us and rejoices over us.  He longs to spend time with us, not because we have to or  feel like we need to, but just because we want to.  I challenge us today to grab our Bibles, tell our children we need a few minutes alone, and tell God how much He means to us.  Tell Him we love spending time with Him.  To hear my child say those words made my day, I can't imagine how it would make God's day if He heard it from all His children!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

What's Cookin" Wednesday

Another meatless Monday recipe...

Burrito Pizza

1 canned pizza dough
1 cup refried beans
1 cup favorite salsa
1 cup drained and rinsed black beans
1 cup drained and cooked frozen corn
1  1/2 cup cheddar cheese
1/2 cup mozzarella cheese  

Spray 11 x 15 pan with olive oil.  Pat dough out to pan size. Bake at 375 for 8-10 minutes.  Remove from oven and spread the refried beans over entire crust. Follow with salsa, beans, corn, and then cheeses.  Return to oven for 12-15 minutes longer or until cheese is bubbly and has desired brownness.  

Garnish with tomatoes, sour cream or guacamole.  This was a hit with my crew and I hope your family enjoys!

Today's verse
Psalms 143:8 
"Cause me to hear thy lovingkindness in the morning; for in thee do I trust: cause me to know the way werein I should walk; for I lift up my soul unto thee."

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

The name game

So we have two new members in our family.  Before you jump to any conclusions...they are pets!  Our girls are now the proud owners of a beta fish and a water snail.  The weekend was full of excitement as we have prepared to go purchase these little creatures.  My oldest daughter was excited about meeting a fish "expert" and she was super excited to pick out her new little responsibility.

When we approved the girls' choices, we were pleased with their decision.  But, I have to say I was even more pleased with their name choices.  You never know what could come out of a little ones mouth sometimes, and naming a family pet is an important decision.  My oldest daughter had said she wanted to see her fish before she decided on a mature!  I was expecting to have to guide and direct them to a good name, but boy did they prove me wrong.  When we started our trip home with our new pets I posed the "What are we going to name them?" question.  Without much debate the fish, which belongs to my oldest daughter, was named Tuffie (because he is a fighting fish), and the water snail, which belongs to my youngest daughter, was named Nella.

Nella and Tuffie are making themselves at home and they are enduring the endless taps on the glass and four gawking eyes.

I was reminded of choosing a name for my girls when we were expecting their arrival.  Names are important and remain with you for a lifetime.  We debated and compared and made lists and read books.  Deciding on that final name was a hard decision.  We thought of initials and nicknames and even what the name could rhyme with.   I wish picking out the girls' names would have been as easy as our pet's names were.  When we finally agreed on our choice, I felt such a huge relief.

I think God puts a big emphasis on names as well.  Throughout the Old Testament, we read long, long, and did I mention long, lists of names from the tribes and priests and the genealogies.   Just today I was reading in 1 Chronicles and the lists of names seemed to be endless.  We can contemplate what the importance of the these names might be, but one thing is certain...God cares about each and every person, and He has a reason for those names to be listed.  He knows and loves His children.  He has named the stars (Psalms 147:4) and He has made us and called us by our name as well (Isaiah 43:1).

Today's Verses
"I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine.  As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father:  and I lay down my life for the sheep."  John 10:14-15

When we have accepted Jesus and know that He died for us, we become His.  That is the most important name we could ever have...child of God.  He knows us by name (Psalms 91:14); He laid down His life for us, and when we accept Him we are His forever!  He has written His children's names down in the book of life (Rev 20:15 and 21:27), never to be erased!

Thursday, January 17, 2013


I am suffering from another "Wait" in regards to a dream/prayer request.  I admit to getting my hopes up.  I admit to thinking this was going to finally be a "Yes".  When the "No just wait some more" came again, I wanted to cry.  Ok, I did cry a little.  "When Lord, when???"

But, I can't know that now.

So I focus on the positives.

I can list other prayers that have already been answered in 2013.  I am thankful that my heart is not troubled over the answer telling me to continue to wait.  My heart is calmed because I am not focusing on the desires of my heart, but I am focusing on waiting for God's perfect timing.

I thought this was the "yes" we have been waiting 3 years for, but when it wasn't, I looked for comfort in my Bible.  And I found it...

Today's Verse
"Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer."  Romans 12:12

I am not going to lose hope.  I am not going to turn my back on God and say, "He must not care because He is not answering how I think He should."  I am going to continue to pray for guidance and know He will let us know when His "yes" is coming.  "Shew me thy ways, O LORD" Psalms 25:4.

Are you being asked to wait again?  "Rejoice in hope" that the wait will be answered exactly when it should be; be patient in the trial knowing growth occurs in the times of wait, and continue in prayer because we are "always to pray" Luke 18:1.  Even when the answer seems so far away or so impossible, God is right there working it out for our good and for His glory!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

What's Cookin' Wednesday!

So, in a quest to eat a little healthier this year, the theme has to be to try something new.  Boring food is, well, just that...BORING!

As a child, I refused to try anything new.  Even in the beginning of being a young wife, I was suck on the same old dishes with not much variety.  It was not until my oldest daughter was about 2 did I realize I wanted her to eat healthy and that in turn meant I needed to make some changes.  I began trying veggies and really trying to eat more fruit and fresh produce.  This same girl who refused a salad at my own bridesmaid luncheon, now eats a salad almost daily.

So this year I am trying to avoid the croutons and the cheese on that here are the new things I am trying out and I encourage to try something new in your family too!  You may not like my choices so pick something else.  Set a small goal and try to stick to it...rather it be eating one piece of fruit a day or eliminating croutons from a salad.

I had heard of Arugula on the food network for years, so when I finally saw it in the store recently, I had to try it.  The package, which is just like the spinach package, describes it as bold and zesty.  The food network often describes it as peppery.  I have been using this in my salads as well as on my turkey wraps for a little something new and a little kick. It is tasty!  Also on my salads, I have been using wasabi peas.  This is not advised if you do not like spicy spicy spicy food.  These are  a hot little treat, but it provides great crunch and exactly what I needed to add pizzazz to my salad.  This mama's lunch box just got a make over and it is tasty!

The wrap is simply a tortilla, shaved thin turkey meat, 2 Tbps sun-dried tomatoes and 1/4 cup frugal leaves.  I use mustard on my wraps.  The salad is spinach, arugula, carrots, tomatoes and a sprinkle of peas with fat free Italian.  Good Stuff!

As for the recipe from yesterday, I was trying to make cereal coated french toast sticks.  The cereal was scorching in my pan no matter the heat and I even tried 2 different pans.  So I took the remaining 6 pieces of bread and cubed it with 1/2 cup of frozen blueberries and baked at 400 for about 15-20 minutes.  I served with syrup.  The girls and I loved it.  The bread had been dipped in 2 eggs and 1/2 cup of milk and 1 tsp of cinnamon.  I think I can definitely "play" with this recipe to make it a little better, but I was glad I didn't have to throw anything away!

So I hope your family enjoys and I hope you will try something new in the coming weeks!  You never just might like something!

Today's Verse
"But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength"  Isaiah 40:31a

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Magnificent Messes

I have so many stories of ruined recipes that it is too many to count.  As much as I love to cook, I can easily have a dish be a complete failure.  Example...Christmas is when you want your dishes to be the most delicious morsels every!  Especially when you are cooking for a new group of people.  This was the case at my husband's Christmas party this year.  This was a new group of people at a new place of employment.  I was nervous.  What if nobody liked my food?  What if they didn't like me?  Well of course there were some freak out moments in the kitchen, but all in all it went well and I think the food was pretty good.  There was one dish though, one I had been sooooo excited about, and it tasted pretty bad!  It was not inedible, but it wasn't the great tasty treat I had envisioned.  I followed the recipe to a T, something I rarely do, and I just didn't like the end results.  

I should have followed my instincts.  One step didn't make sense to me.  It sounded odd and out of place, but I ignored the warning and followed the process.  After my disappointment, I told my mom about the instructions and she agreed that it didn't make sense to do what it said to do.  I wouldn't have had such a mess if I had only listened to that little voice.

Just like other messes I have found myself in.  

I am teaching my girls about listening to that little voice.  That nudge that says "You really shouldn't do that."  That quiet feeling that whispers "You know better."  The moment when you can choose the right or wrong and your heart is beating fast begging you to choose right.  It is so important to listen to that voice, follow your heart, and know that the Holy Spirit is guiding you in the right direction.  Our children are born sinners just like we are.  And they are going to make mistakes just like we do.  But if we teach them to listen to the Voice, tell them the importance of choosing right, and most importantly pray for their little hearts to be drawn to God,  we can help them avoid some messes.

Today's Verse
John 14:26 "But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you."

So today I was working on a new recipe for tomorrow's post...and well, it didn't turn out.  I didn't want to just throw it all away, so I came up with something else.  It is pretty tasty, but I really can't tell you how I did it :-(.  I was trying to make cereal covered french toast sticks, but I ended up making a french toast bake.  Maybe one day I can recreate the recipe and share.  

In the moment of taking my mess and making something edible, I was reminded of when God does this with my life messes as well.  

There have been trials in my life that have turned out as a blessing  (Example - my missing transcript that lead me to the love of my life!), and messes that I made by choosing wrong and God has made the mess into something magnificent.  And it is important to teach our children that can happen too.  It is not a free ticket to mess up, but it is a knowledge that we are covered by His mercy.  God can use any mess and any person for His glory.  His grace abounds and His love is infinite!  He can turn any mess into something delicious!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Creeping In

In my post last Thursday, I referred to the song 10,000 Reasons by Matt Redman.  (If you haven't heard it, I encourage you to look it up on YouTube and listen to it!)  The last two sentences of the first verse is part of my prayer for this year.  No matter what, "Whatever may pass, and whatever lies before me, let me be singing when the evening comes."

Well, imagine my excitement and peace when we sang this very song at our church on Sunday.

I came back from stepping out of the worship center during fellowship time.  I opened the doors to be greeted with the congregation singing this wonderful song.  I felt the biggest smile come on my face.  I was a little disappointed that I had missed the majority of the song, but I was so glad to sing the end.  I was in for a great surprise when our pastor came up to the pulpit to begin the sermon only to decide he wanted us to sing the song again.  I almost jumped up and down!  I was truly ecstatic to hear and sing the whole song.

I was on cloud nine for the rest of the day and Monday...but then it started creeping in!


I began thinking...what could happen to test my prayer this year?  So many things could go wrong and my singing could be stopped.  The bad thoughts started whirling along with all the terrible scenarios that could take place.  Could I really sing my praises to God at the end of the day if any of these fears actually happened?  My joy was being sucked away and replaced with a gripping fear of what may come in 2013!

Then, a series of events began to take place.  Events that could only come from God to calm my troubled heart.  Devotions with a lasting effect.  Verses to turn my focus away from the "what might could happen" and towards my heavenly Father.

It began with me beginning a new book that directed me to Psalms 103 where I read..."Bless the LORD, O my soul:  and all that is within me, bless his holy name.  Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits:  Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases;  Who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowned thee with lovingkindess and tender mercies; Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things"  verses 1-5a.  These words are used in the chorus of the song!

Then a calming devotion Tuesday by Dr. Charles Stanley where he wrote, "How, then, can we rejoice when we face trouble?  It is through our hardships that Christ often makes Himself known to us.  If we lived trouble-free lives, what need would we have for a Savior?  Rather, it's because we live fragile lives that we can see Jesus clearly.  When we face a problem head-on with the certainty that God will provide a solution and the strength to endure, we gain spiritual stamina."

Deep breath.

It is going to be ok.  Fear go away.  Get thee behind me Satan.  Whatever comes this year, I am facing it with my focus on God and not on the fear that was creeping in.

And then, for the icing on the almost 3 year old wanted to sing this morning with her new guitar.  Without any prompting from me, she began to strum the strings and sing to the top of her lungs over and over again..."OOOOOO my soul".

That might be the only part she could remember, but it was the only part I needed to chase any fears left away!

Today's Verse
"Trust in him at all times"  Psalms 62:8

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

What's Cookin' Wednesday!

So I am feeling a little bad for last week's chocolate post during the most popular week for vowing to eat healthier.  So I hope to redeem myself today.  I begin with a black bean burger that my girls and even my meat loving husband loved!!!  YAY!  I am sure you may of heard of the "meatless Mondays" concept before, but I think it could be used on a busy Monday night or a relaxing weekend supper!  Also, as a twist, we had our "burgers" on toasted english muffins.  Tasty.

I prepared the dessert recently when having pulled pork sandwiches.  I prepared a lean pork loin in the crock pot with just seasoning salt, onion powder, garlic powder and chili powder and then shredded the meat and put on hotdog buns.  The girls ate their sandwiches plain, but my husband and I had a hot, hot, and did I say hot sauce.  We are from Easter North Carolina, home of the vinegar based bar-b-q.  I mixed a little melted butter, apple cider vinegar, a touch of kethup, Worcestershire sauce, a touch of brown sugar, chili powder, onion powder, garlic powder, hot sauce, and ground pepper flakes.  (So after that bonus recipe)  Around here, banana pudding and bar-b-q go hand in hand.  So I made healthy banana pudding cups.

So here is to eating a little healthier in 2013 and I hope your family enjoys!!!

Black Bean Burgers

1 can of black beans (drained and rinsed)
1/4 cup of egg product (or 1 egg)
2/3 cups of panko crumbs

I blended the beans in a small food processor before adding to a bowl and mixing in egg and panko crumbs.  From this point I removed enough for my 2 daughters.  I formed small patties and sprinkled with a touch of salt.  Then I added...

1 small seeded and chopped roma tomato
1 Tbsp chopped pickled jalepeno
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp dried cilatro

Form patties and place on indoor grill (like a Foreman Grill) and cook for about 8-10 minutes.  These could also be cooked in a nonstick skillet for 4-6 minutes each side.  The girls put a little cheese on theirs.  My husband and I put a little salsa and guacamole on ours.  Delish!

As for the banana pudding, the girls and I made a regular  instant vanilla pudding mix with skim milk.  In a small bowl, crumble a half of sheet of graham cracker in large chunks, top with 3 Tbsp of the vanilla pudding, top with 1/2 of chopped banana and drizzle with 1 tsp of caramel topping.  It taste decadent for very few calories!

Today's Verse

The LORD is my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in him."  Lam 3:24

Monday, January 7, 2013

The little things matter

While on break, my husband and I celebrated our 9th anniversary.  I cannot believe it has been nine years since I walked down the isle to marry the love of my life.  The Lord has blessed us immensely.  Has it always been an easy nine years?  No.  But it has been worth every minute and every disagreement.

We do not really get each other gifts for anniversaries.  We always go out for dinner and some after Christmas shopping while my mom keeps the girls.  I always joke that his birthday date is always chaotic, as his birthday is November 30th and we do our Christmas shopping while celebrating.  Then our anniversary date, which is December 27th, is nice and relaxing.  The hoopla is over and we can relax and take a deep breath!

This year however, my husband surprised me with a small, but very sentimental surprise.  Our first Christmas we were dating, Christmas of 2000 to be exact, he gave me a little band with sapphires and diamonds. In the band was carved, I LOVE YOU.  How sweet!!!!  Well a small diamond chip
had fell out year before last.  I was heart broken.  Well he had snuck in my jewelry box and took the ring to be fixed.  This present was worth more than any thousand dollar piece of jewelry could every be worth to me.  I was so surprised and sooooo happy to have my treasure back.

While thinking of my excitement, I thought of some other ways the little things matter.  I know in my walk with Lord I can feel so unworthy and insignificant sometimes.  I am not winning souls everyday.  I am not sacrificing everything to be on the mission field.  I am just little old me, doing the small things I can here and there to serve the Lord.  But no matter how little or insignificant I might feel, I know God loves me as much as the preacher who teaches a church of 10,000.  He died for me, He accepted me, and He cares for me the same way He does for all of His children.  Even the small and menial tasks I do for Him might not seem like a lot, but the little things matter to in His eyes.

Today's Verse - from our sermon yesterday at church
"And the vessel that he made of clay was marred in the hand of the potter:  so he made it again another vessel, as seemed good to the potter to make it."  Jeremiah 18:4

Thursday, January 3, 2013


My house looks plain again.  There are no lights to twinkle, shiny things to break (My almost 3 year old was a pro at breaking Christmas treasures this year.  Thank the Lord for crazy glue!)  stockings are no longer hanging and the bows and Christmas dishes are all put away.  I already miss the Christmas carols and my little one asked me today, "Is Christmas really over?"

Yes, it is passed for now, but blink and it will be here least for us adults.  The little ones seem to think it takes a lifetime to come back around.

A funny thing happened on Christmas morning.  It is a tradition that my husband has a Santa tracker on his phone for all the little cousins to check at my Nanny's house on Christmas eve.  Christmas morning, after the presents had been ripped into, we were getting ready to head to our next gathering.  My husband unplugged his phone and there was the Santa tracker.  It had already reset and said to check back in 364 days.  We laughed!  Christmas wasn't even over and there was already a countdown to when old St. Nick would be coming again.

January can be boring, dull and sometimes even depressing.  The everyday life of a stay-at-home mom can seem mundane and monotonous after the tinsel is put away. The weather here has been gloomy and chili which doesn't help with the winter blues as it is often called.  We have to get back into our normal routines, which does not include the exciting events that can lead up to Christmas.  There may be fun things to look forward to, but most do not hold the joyful excitement  that Christmas can evoke.   

We may have been waiting for answers from our heavenly Father last year, but He is still asking us to wait.  There may be situations we were hoping would improve after the new year began, only to see them get a little worse.  The lists of things to do, to organize, to improve and so on seems incredibly long and overwhelming in the new year.  But as the song "10,000 Reasons" by Matt Redman says...

The sun comes up, it's a new day dawning
It's time to sing Your song again
Whatever may pass, and whatever lies before me
Let me be singing when the evening comes

It's a new day, a new year, a new chance to be renewed.  We are looking forward to the exciting things this year will bring.  Let's pray together for a great 2013 and to be used however the Lord sees fit to use us.  And no matter what comes our way, "Let me be singing when the evening comes."  

Today's Verses
Psalms 146:1-2 
Praise ye the LORD.
Praise the LORD, O my soul.
While I live will I praise the LORD:
I will sing praises unto my God while I have any being.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013



Welcome to 2013.  It is here and 2012 is behind us.  Time to look ahead and prepare for the year to come.  We have been busy setting new goals, starting new lists, discussing new prayer requests and creating new budgets and spreadsheets.  Everything that comes with preparations for a new year is exciting but a little scary.  We don't know exactly what the new year will hold, but thankfully we know Who holds the days to come.  God knows what we will face, and we trust in Him to carry us through the year to come.  We pray whatever comes our way it will be used to bring Him glory!

Today's Verse for you in the new year
"The LORD bless thee, and keep thee:"  Numbers 6:24

Today is Wednesday so I have to share with you some yummy recipes.  If watching what you eat is one of your new year's resolution, these recipes are not going to help!  You might could use these chocolate goodies for the next special day on the calendar...Valentines Day (AKA - my oldest daughter's birthday so the countdown is on!)  These were my most asked for recipes of the Christmas season.  I ended up making 2 of the cakes because it was so tasty.  I have provided the links below and I hope your family enjoys.  

Giant Ganache Woopie Pie from Betty Crocker (A quick note of the 2 changes I made...I only used 1 stick (1/2 cup) of butter in the filling and I used milk chocolate chips in the ganache.) 

box Betty Crocker® SuperMoist® devil's food cake mix (about 1 2/3 cups)
cup water
cup vegetable oil
cup butter or margarine, softened
jar (7 oz) marshmallow creme
cup powdered sugar
teaspoon vanilla
cup whipping cream
oz semisweet baking chocolate, chopped
  • 1Heat oven to 350°F (325°F for dark or nonstick pans). Spray bottoms and sides of two 8-inch round cake pans with baking spray with flour. In large bowl, beat cake mix, water, oil and eggs with electric mixer on low speed until moistened, then on medium speed 2 minutes, scraping bowl occasionally. Pour into pans. Bake 14 to 20 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes. Remove from pans to cooling racks. Cool completely, about 1 hour.
  • 2In large bowl, beat filling ingredients with electric mixer on high speed until light and fluffy. On serving plate, place 1 cake layer, rounded side down. Spread filling over cake, spreading slightly over edge. Top with second layer, rounded side up.
  • 3In 1-quart saucepan, heat whipping cream over low heat until hot but not boiling. Remove from heat; stir in chocolate until melted. Cool about 10 minutes. Pour ganache onto top of cake; spread with spatula so it just begins to flow over edge of cake. Store loosely covered.
Caramel Cashew Clusters from Taste of Home


  • 2 pounds milk chocolate candy coating, coarsely chopped, divided
  • 1 cup salted cashew halves
  • 28 caramels
  • 2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream


  • Line baking sheets with waxed paper and butter the paper; set aside.
  • In a microwave, melt 1 pound of candy coating; stir until smooth. Drop by scant tablespoonfuls onto prepared pans. Let stand until partially set, about 3 minutes. Top each with six or seven cashews. Let stand until completely set.
  • In a small heavy saucepan, combine caramels and cream. Cook and stir over low heat until melted; stir until smooth. Spoon over cashews. Reheat caramel over low heat if it thickens. Melt remaining candy coating; spoon over caramel. Let stand until set. Yield: 2-1/2 dozen.