Tag Archives: Tonya’s weekend potluck

simple friday faves…

simple friday faves…


`1.)  Basketball.  Can’t beat it.  It’s in full swing for all four kids.  Thankfully half of our kids play on the same team and it will be that way for 3 years.  How sweet is that?

And finally we took advantage of last year’s Christmas gift and got Landon some personalized basketball shoes.  They are supposed to arrive December 22nd.  What I wouldn’t give for him to forget about them so I could wrap them up and put them underneath the tree for him this Christmas.  Think that will work?


20141120-232622-84382287.jpg2.)  The tribe surrounding my girls continues to bless them weekly.  Last week, it was supporting all three of them at the musical The Music Man.  Speaking of musicals, I loved it.  If I could watch a musical every weekend for the rest of my life, I would be ok with that.

20141120-232621-84381422.jpg3.)  My house is ready.  Bring it on.  Love the comfort, sights, smells, and sounds of Christmas.


20141120-232624-84384027.jpg4.)  Nothing quite as satisfying as having your dinner cooking away first thing in the morning.  And this crock pot?  I am in love with this appliance.  I polish it.  I’m not kidding.  It is a workhorse in my kitchen and will continue to be through these winter months.

s20141120-232623-84383173.jpg5.)  So these Mary & Martha square cups have been a favorite ever since they were first introduced this fall.  But I had never baked in them.  Until this week.  They are PERFECT for cornbread muffins.  And I have the PERFECT cornbread recipe.  It’s one of those recipes that I have in my head and my “go to” for cornbread.  It’s about 30% cornbread and 70% pure dessert.  And all you need is a yellow cake mix, jiffy cornbread mixes, eggs, oil, water and the Mary & Martha square baking cups.  I am linking this recipe to the Weekend Potluck because it’s just a great basic recipe.

Cornbread Muffins

Yellow Cake Mix

2 Jiffy Cornbread Mixes

4 eggs

1 cup water

2/3 cup milk

4 TBSP vegetable oil

Mix all together until just combined.  Fill your Mary & Martha square baking cups 2/3 full.  Place cups directly on baking sheet and bake in a 350 degree oven for 22-25 minutes or until middle of muffin cup is set.

Serve with butter, honey, or white corn syrup.  But honestly, they are good and perfectly sweet just on their own!

20141120-232626-84386051.jpg6.)  Mary & Martha has been a favorite this month for me and my hostesses.  The lanterns have been so much fun to decorate for fall and now Christmas.  And I can’t even tell you how much I LOVE to see this come across my facebook page…


You can’t beat that testimony.

FridayFavorites***Linking up with Andrea and friends!!

Apple Cider Nog

Apple Cider Nog



Doesn’t this picture just say it all?  If it doesn’t say it to you, let me just tell you.  This Apple Cider Nog is the best drink to have ever touched my lips.  I am not kidding you.  It is so delicious.  And I will be the first to declare that you “don’t drink your calories”.  But with this drink?

I. didn’t. care.

20141114-054418-20658176.jpgApple Cider Nog

Apple Cider

Aspen Mulling Spices

Half and Half








20141114-054802-20882892.jpgWhen you get a copy of a recipe that looks like this,

you know it’s gotta be good.

20141114-054803-20883882.jpgI changed this recipe up just a very little bit by adding a couple of tablespoons of these mulling spices that are my absolute favorite for apple cider.  And, a bit of vanilla–because it sounded good.


If you don’t, you will get a curdled mess.  It happened to me and I figured it out on my third attempt.

But, it was so worth it.

This is a PERFECT holiday drink.  And if you want to add rum, you can do that as well.  Sharing today at the weekend potluck party!!


This is absolutely delicious.


Bacon Wrapped Onion Rings

Bacon Wrapped Onion Rings

I haven’t had recipes I have felt compelled to share at Tonya’s Weekend Potluck for awhile now.  But this week has changed that.  Oh my.

Bacon Wrapped Onion Rings

20141114-054212-20532031.jpgAll you need is:

Sweet Vidalia Onion

Thick Cut Bacon of your choice

Seasoning of your choice


Cut onion into half inch rings and season with seasoning of your choice.  Garlic powder, seasoning salt, cajun seasoning, pepper, anything goes!!

Next wrap bacon all the way around your onion.  You can use a toothpick to keep in place if needed.

Lay directly on your grill and grill until onions are soft and bacon is crispy.

Enjoy as a side to any meat you are grilling.  OR, take your burger to the next level as an addition to your burger toppings.

Seriously, these are awesome.


Bundt Cake Bonanza!!—Grandma Stella’s Favorite



With the arrival of Mary & Martha’s new paper bakeware, I’ve been dreaming of bundt cakes.  And bundt cakes that are made in these adorable little bundt pans.  Aren’t they cute?  And in such pretty spring colors!!

Thinking of bundt cakes, there is really one delicious bundt cake recipe that comes to mind.  From Grandma Stella.  And the most blessed thing about this recipe is that she wrote it out for me.  I really need to get it laminated.  Grandma Stella passed away a few years ago.  Such a blessing she was.  And this bundt cake brings back memories of her every single time I make it.  It’s delish.  And I think it’s even better when in a cute little bundt pan!



1 pkg. yellow cake mix (she used Duncan Hines)

1 pkg instant vanilla pudding

3/4 cup corn oil

3/4 cup water

4 eggs

1 tsp. butter flavoring

1 tsp. vanilla

Mix 1/2 cup ground nuts of choice, 1/4 cup sugar, 2 tsp. cinnamon and set aside.

Grease pan well.  (But in the Mary & Martha pans there is NO greasing!!).  Sprinkle 1/4 cup nuts mixture in bottom of pan. being careful not to get too close to edge.  Combine cake mixture, pudding, oil, water—mix well.  Add 1 egg at a time, beating well.  Set timer and beat at high speed for 6 minutes.  Shortly before end of mixing, add extracts.  Layer batter and nut mixture, end with batter.  Bake at 350 degrees for about 35-50 minutes, depending on oven.  Test with broomstraw (what is a broomstraw??!!!).  Remove from oven on rack for 8 minutes.  Then remove from pan—glaze immediately with pastry brush.

Glaze—1 cup powdered sugar, 3 T. milk, 1/2 tsp butter flavoring, and 1 tsp vanilla all whisked together.

This is a super moist bundt cake that is perfect as a dessert OR a breakfast and brunch item.  I’ve used it for both.

Now…the fun part!!!!

Bundt Cake Bonanza!!!!

Friday, February 28th at 7:00 pm

My Home

Fellowship with yummy coffee, and all of your favorite bundt cakes!!!

I can hardly wait!

I’ve got LOTS of bundt pans, which means there can be LOTS of guests.

Bring your favorite bundt cake in our Mary & Martha bundt pans (get one from me!!!) and copies of your recipes.

I will provide Grandma Stella’s bundt cake and yummy coffee.


Contact me to pick yours up or I’ll deliver…to the locals, that is!

{sharing this recipe at Tonya’s Weekend Potluck!!}

the BEST “OOPS” Cookie EVER!!!



Have you ever had a teeny-weensy cooking/baking mistake that completely ruined something you were excited about, something that took time and effort, something that was supposed to be so good?

And then?  It’s not.

My daughter and I had this experience yesterday.  We were trying to make this highly-anticipated, much raved about recipe from a friend.  Click {HERE} for the original recipe as shown on Pinterest.

Well, you know that teensy-weensy little baking mistake turned out to be a quadrupling the butter mistake.

I wrote all about what happened {HERE}.

That was yesterday.


I had so much cookie dough (like half of it) that I just had to figure out a way to use it.

And the results?


Like seriously ROCK!

Now, I have to tell you, I had already tampered with the recipe.

But now it is a whole different cookie.  Which we like to call…



• 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

  • 1 cup oatmeal (quick oats)

• 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
• 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
• 1/4teaspoon salt
• 1 cup salted butter, softened
• 1 cup creamy peanut butter
• 3/4 cup granulated sugar
• 1/2 cup light brown sugar
• 1 large egg
• 1 tablespoon milk
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
• 3/4 cup white chocolate chips
• 1/2 cup peanut butter chips

1/2 cup Heath bits

  • 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

• 1 cup chopped pretzels
• Sea salt, for sprinkling


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or Silpat baking mat. Set aside.
3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, oatmeal, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
4. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the butter and the peanut butter together until fluffy. Add the sugars and beat until smooth. Add the egg and mix until combined. Add the milk and the vanilla extract and mix again.
5. Add the flour mixture and beat until flour disappears. Stir in the white chocolate chips, peanut butter chips, semi-sweet chocolate chips, Heath bits and pretzels.
6. Drop cookie dough by rounded tablespoons onto prepared baking sheet. Sprinkle each cookie with sea salt.
7. Bake for 10-11 minutes, or until cookies are slightly brown on the edges.
8. Cool the cookies on the baking sheets for 2-3 minutes, then move to a wire rack to cool completely.


What you are left with is an amazing cookie, like none other you have ever tried!

The BEST “OOPS” Cookie EVER!!!

And they taste even better packaged up all cute with our new Mary & Martha paper bakeware large and mini loaf pans, draped with a re-usable placemat or napkin.

Just sayin’.

{if you are interested in the products of Mary & Martha, LIKE my business page on Facebook!!}

Excited because my great cookie mistake gave me a reason to participate in Tonya’s Weekend Potluck!

Apple Symphony Brickle Dip


This dip is so addictive! Oh my. A good friend of mine has been making it this fall season and then another friend started making it. And then? I tried it. And now I’m making it nonstop.

I changed it up a big because I was too lazy to call and get the recipe. How pathetic is that? But this worked well with what I had on hand. Basically after getting the original recipe, I decreased the amount of sugar, and added a secret ingredient…my all time favorite Hershey’s Symphony Bar. Yummo.  Hence the name I am calling this dip…

Apple Symphony Brickle Dip

2 (8 oz) packages of cream cheese

1 large Hershey’s Symphony Bar with almonds and toffee, chopped

1 bag of baking Heath bits

3/4 cup brown sugar

1 tsp. vanilla

Cream sugar, cream cheese, and vanilla together until smooth.

Add Heath bits and candy bar until mixed.

Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Cut up HoneyCrisp apples (the best!!) and serve with dip

You can also dip just about anything with it and it will be good.

I am not kidding.

You guessed it—this recipe is making its way to Tonya’s Weekend Potluck!!

Hard Working LunchBox Smoothie



If you ever struggle when packing your kids’ lunches, this post is for you!!!

If you are even slightly as obsessive as I am about your kids’ lunches including a fruit and veggie, this post is for you!!!

If you get excited when Tonya has a Weekend Potluck, this post is for you!!

If you love to learn new tips on making your life easier, this post is for you!!!

If you want to jump up and down for joy that besides the fruit and veggie, you are also providing protein, calcium, and iron—well, then–this post is for you!!!

So…tell me.  Is this post for you???

First of all, I am going to give you the recipe for…

The Hard Working LunchBox Smoothie!!!

listed in the order to put in your blender or Vita-Mix (don’t know what a Vita-mix is?  Click HERE, it will change your life as you know it.)

1 cup Simply Orange Juice (or the juice of 2 oranges)

2 cups Fresh Spinach

1 Vanilla or Peach Chobani Yogurt (best greek yogurt ever—you choose flavor)

1 cup frozen Black Cherries (NO SUGAR ADDED)

1 cup frozen Mango (NO SUGAR ADDED)

Splash of REAL Vanilla

Sprinkle of Cinnamon

Blend all until smooth.


Now that you have seen the Vita-Mix and everything is blended perfectly smooth and there is no hint of green spinach anywhere to be found, you can pour into glasses for drinking right away…


You can fill the small Ball freezer jars and freeze.


Now here is where your smoothie goes to work even harder for you. Keep in mind, it’s already providing a practically balanced meal for your Littles….

BUT, as a frozen smoothie, you can now use this smoothie as your cold pack in your child’s lunch.  By the time lunch time comes around, it is perfectly thawed and the rest of their lunch has been kept fresh.  It is the nifttest little thing.  And THAT is why it the Hardest Working LunchBox Smoothie ever!!

(smoothies are not limited to the ingredients listed above.  If you’d like it sweeter and want to provide some potassium—throw in a banana!  If you love all of the antioxidants of berries—grab strawberries, raspberries, and blueberries!  Need more protein?  Add in some nut butter of your choice.)

The possibilities are really endless.  Just don’t forget the spinach, Popeye.