Sunday, April 13, 2014

Strawberry Oatmeal Pancakes - SRC

 What does the second Monday of the month mean in the blogging world?  It's the day the members of Secret Recipe Club's group B reveal their assigned blogger.   This month, I was introduced to Jen of Jen's Journey.  Jen's been blogging since 2007, WOW!  She's a mom of two teenagers and is married to her high school sweetheart.  Be sure to take a minute and check out the variety of recipes on her blog.

I don't post breakfast recipes very often.  Jen's recipe for Strawberry Oatmeal Pancakes caught my eye and made for a delicious Sunday morning breakfast.  I decided to use instant banana bread oatmeal.  This gave the already yummy pancakes a hint of banana.  Who doesn't love strawberries and bananas. 

Strawberry Oatmeal Pancakes
 Recipe Courtesy of Jen's Journey
  • 1⅓ cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup whole wheat flour
  • ¼ cup old-fashioned oats (I used instant banana bread oatmeal)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups nonfat buttermilk
  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled
  • ¼ cup honey, divided  (I used agave)
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup of strawberries sliced in half 
  1. Whisk together all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, oats, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl.
  2. In another bowl, whisk together buttermilk, melted butter, 2 tablespoons honey and egg in a medium bowl.
  3. Add buttermilk mixture to flour mixture, stirring just until moistened.
  4. Heat a nonstick griddle or large nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray over medium heat. Pour about ¼ cup batter for each pancake onto hot skillet; sprinkle with 4 to 6 strawberry halves.
  5. Cook 3 minutes or until tops are covered with bubbles; turn and cook other side. Repeat with remaining batter and berries.
  6. Top with any remaining berries, and drizzle with remaining 2 tablespoons honey.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Robert William Johnson 4/15/19 - 4/8/14


My father, Robert (Bob) William Johnson died Tuesday April 8, 2014 in Gretna, Nebraska, one week shy of his 95th birthday.  Born in Kansas City, Kansas on April 15, 1919 to Swedish immigrant parents, Bob was the only one of their four children to be born in the United States. He graduated from Rosedale High School in 1937 before enlisting in the Air Force on December 1, 1939. 

On December 7, 1941, Bob survived the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.  He continued his service in the Pacific theater throughout the duration of the Second World War before being honorably discharged on October 16, 1945. 

 Bob worked for various companies around Kansas City including Midwest Research Institute and King Radio, where he retired after 20 years. 

 Bob remained active into his nineties and enjoyed birdwatching, crossword puzzles and building vintage model boats. Bob will be remembered for his smiles and his songs. 
Dad, you will be missed!!!

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Tie Dye Cake

A couple of weeks ago, Tim's boss was turning 50 and he inquired about my cake decorating "skills".  Although I did take a series of cake baking classes a few years ago, lack of time prevents me from cake decorating as much as I would like.  I agreed, under one condition, I could find a fairly easy cake to bake.

Turning 50, meant she was born in the 60's.  What was popular in the 60's?  How about tie dye?  There's lots of examples of tie dye cakes on line.  After reading about a few of them, I said I can do this??!!!

I decided to make a three layer cake, two 8" and one 9" layer.  In hindsight, I wish I had done three 8" layers.  It was really hard to get the frosting smooth on the ledge between the 8 and the 9" layer.  In addition I made one 8" layer as a test.  I wanted to cut into one and see how it looked.

 The process is fairly easy but be sure to allow plenty of time.   Start by preparing a white cake mix according to the directions.  (I used two cake mixes).  Divide them into 6 bowls, and make each bowl a different rainbow color. Line the bottom of two 9 inch cake pans with wax paper, and grease the side.  Layer your cake batter in circles.  The first directions I looked at suggested using a spoon, which is what I did on my test cake.  It worked okay but for the additional layers, I decided to use a measuring cup with a spout.  A little more work but a lot easier to pour into circles.  Use about 3/4 of the bowl for your bottom color, then use a little less of each color as you continue. Layer your second cake pan in the opposite order. 

 Bake according to the directions on the box.  Allow the cake to cool and frost with your favorite buttercream frosting.  My frosting didn't look as smooth as I would have liked and the more I tried to smooth it the worse it looked.  Then I remembered a technique I learned when I took cake decorating classes.  Once your frosting has developed a bit of a crust,  use a piece of parchment and use your fingertips to smooth the frosting along the parchment.  Works great!!!

Using food coloring gel in 6 colors, starting on the outside, make circles with the gel.  Using a small, flat paintbrush, starting at the center, brush towards the outside of the cake.  You'll need to clean your brush often, or use multiple brushes.  Continue until you don't really see any more gel patches on your cake.   Slice and enjoy!!!

Monday, March 31, 2014

Love Chicken...Tenders!

Tim's grandson Paxton, LOVES chicken!!  Usually when he visits on a weeknight, we have some form of noodles, also a favorite of his.  When he stayed with us a couple of weeks ago, I wanted to make something besides noodles.  After reading a few recipes for Chicken Fingers, I came up with my own version.  Alongside these Mac & Cheese Cupcakes, a perfect kids meal!

Chicken Tenders
1/3 cup pancake batter
1/3 cup panko bread crumbs
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp garlic salt
1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
1 egg
1 lb chicken tenders
Cooking spray

Preheat oven to 450°F. Spray cookie sheet with nonstick cooking spray.

Mix together pancake mix, breadcrumbs, cheese,  garlic salt and oregano leaves. Pour on large plate.

In shallow dish, beat egg slightly. Dip the chicken tenders in egg and then dredge in bread crumb mixture.

Place chicken tenders on the cookie sheet.  Lightly spray chicken with cooking spray. Bake 15 minutes.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Pacifier Cupcakes

One of my coworkers is about to become a grandmother for the first time.  We celebrated the event with a mini grandmother shower.  Being the baker of the group, I volunteered to make treats.  I wanted to make something fun and cute to celebrate the occasion ... something that didn't require a lot of work.

I did some searching on Pinterest and found these cute pacifier cupcakes.  They are so easy to make.
All you need are wintergreen lifesavers and jelly belly's.  The instructions I found used Royal Icing to glue them together.  I decided to use Wilton Candy melts, much quicker and easier.  I saw some recipes that used the color jelly belly of the baby and others, like mine, that used the color of the pacifier. 

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Macaroni and Cheese Muffins - SRC

 It's Secret Recipe Club reveal day!  For those of you who aren't familiar with Secret Recipe Club, you can read all about it here!!!  I enjoy reveal day but my favorite part of SRC is getting to know my assigned blogger for the month and choosing a recipe!!!  This month, I was assigned Mostly Food & Crafts.  Danielle is a SAHM with two kids.  She enjoys cooking, crafting and says her kids are good eaters, yeah!  If you haven't visited her blog, stop by, she has lots of terrific recipes and fun crafting projects.  

After several nights of browsing, I settled on Macaroni and Cheese Muffins.  Paxton, Tim's grandson, loves anything with noodles so I knew these would be hit with him.  With the exception of the crackers, I followed the recipe as written.   I think I didn't bake mine long enough or it was a little too cheesy, I had trouble getting mine to stay in cupcake form.  regardless, this makes a delicious, creamy mac n cheese.  I popped my leftovers into the freezer, they'll be perfect for lunches.  

Macaroni and Cheese Muffins
Recipe Courtesy of Mostly Food and Crafts
Round butter-flavored crackers
1 (8-ounce) package elbow macaroni
1 can cheddar cheese soup
1/2 cup cooking creme or milk (I used milk)
3 cups shredded sharp Cheddar cheese  (keep 1/4 cup out to sprinkle on top)
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Coat a 12-cup muffin tin with cooking spray or use muffin wrappers. Place a cracker in the bottom of each muffin cup and set aside.

Cook macaroni according to package directions; drain and return to pot. Stir in remaining ingredients until well-blended.

Spoon mixture into muffin cups and sprinkle with extra cheese.
Bake 15 to 18 minutes, or until heated through. Let stand for 5 minutes, remove from tin with knife if you didn't use the muffin papers.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Biscoff Krispie Mallow Bars

I love trying new dessert recipes, there's so many to choose from.    Last week, Tim's office had a treat day.  With over 200 recipes pinned to my "Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth" board, which one to choose?  Since I needed to bake on a weeknight, I was in search of something easy.

Have you seen all of the different Rice Krispie treats recipes?  Rice Krispie treats are easy  to make, so I settled on this recipe.   With the addition of a crust, these are a little different than traditional Rice Krispie treats.  I substituted semi sweet chocolate chips for white chocolate chips.  Tim said the crew at work gave them rave reviews. They were a little too sweet for my tastes and I love sweet desserts.

Biscoff Krispie Mallow Bars
Recipe courtesy of Julie's Eats and Treats

  • 1 yellow cake mix
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 c. melted butter (divided)
  • 3 c. miniature marshmallows
  • 1 c. white chocolate chips (I used semi sweet chips)
  • 1 c. Biscoff
  • 1/2 c. corn syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 4 c. Rice Krispies


  1. Mix the cake mix, egg and 1/4 c. butter. Press into a greased 9x13 pan. Bake for 10-12 minutes at 350 degrees.
  2. Put the marshmallows on top of the hot crust. Return to oven for 3 minutes or until puffed up.
  3. Melt the white chocolate chips, Biscoff, corn syrup and 1/2 c. butter. Add vanilla and mix. Pour over Rice Krispies in a large mixing bowl. Mix well.
  4. Pour over marshmallows. Refrigerate, but make sure to cut before they get to hard!