Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Mini Fruit Pizzas

Well first off, I know it's been awhile, but between the studio (www.artasticcraftstudio.com if you haven't checked it out, do!) and some major life changes, life has been crazy. Unfortunately, there are no longer two cooks in the kitchen (unless you count Lilly the dog....she is generally in the kitchen when I am...so maybe I will stick with my Two Cooks, One Kitchen title). I will also be teaching Kindergarten in the fall on top of the studio. I am questioning myself as to whether I am crazy or not! I am very excited about this opportunity and just love my new school. 

Secondly and more importantly, tonight I made these Mini Fruit Pizzas 

and O.M.G. they were pretty tasty! So tasty, they required a photograph in the middle of the sentence. Our Bunco group meets at the studio every month (twice for July) and we do potluck. Of course, I always have to bring something new to wow the group (you have no idea of how much pressure it is) and as of lately, something easy! I have been craving the fruit pizza we used to have at camp for Mother-Daughter Weekends and then later during camp (www.camphoneycreek.com - everyone should go to summer camp - seriously). It is soooooo yummy and I just knew it would be the perfect thing to bring to tonight's Bunco. After the above Instagram post and request from my fellow Bunco rollers, it required a blog post and what better recipe to make a blog comeback with?!?! I have even created a Pin for this so you can always keep this recipe handy!

Mini Fruit Pizzas

2 dozen sugar cookies (I cheated and used the Pillsbury break-apart kind. Don't judge. I said I needed easy!)
1 1/2 8 oz blocks of cream cheese, softened 
1/2 cup powdered sugar
24 slices of strawberries (5-7 strawberries depending on their size)
1 can of peach halves (cut to get 24 slices, you will have extra)
48 blueberries
2 kiwis cut (into 24 slices)
1/2 banana (cut into 24 slices)
1/4 cup apricot or peach preserves (I got fancy and used the HEB Peach-Mango More Fruit)
1 tsp water

1. Bake your cookies from scratch, from the package or if you don't even know who Paula Deen is (I still love you Paula!), store bought ones will suffice. Let cool completely.

*** Sorry there is no picture of this step.... I mean I could post a pic of the cookie dough package, but I thought you would probably know what 2 dozen sugar cookies looked like)***

2.  Make sure the cream cheese is softened (if you forgot like I always do, open the cream cheese and put it in a bowl of the stove while the cookies are baking. If you bought the cookies...heat the oven and pretend you are baking the cookies to soften the cream cheese. You are welcome) and add the 1/2 cup of powdered sugar. Beat with a mixer until nice and fluffy. Spread cream cheese mixture on to each cookie. I just used a heaping knifeful (apparently spoonful is a real word, but my computer has put a red broken line under the word knifeful) on each cookie and still had some extra. 

3. Place one slice each of strawberry, kiwi, banana, and peach and two blueberries on top.

4. Combine water and preserves into a microwave safe bowl. Microwave for the 30 seconds and then brush the mixture over your fruit toppings using a basting brush. Refrigerate at least 30 minutes.

I actually baked the cookies, made the cream cheese mixture and sliced the fruit the night before (notice how pretty it looks in each bowl! I thought you might like an up close picture it was so pretty!)

You can also add or delete any kind of fruit. This is also just as delicious if you make brownie-cookies (they are made from brownie mix!) and top with the cream cheese mixture and strawberries or raspberries. It can also be done by rolling sugar cookie dough out and making a regular round or rectangle like pizza.

I hope you enjoy these Mini Fruit Pizzas as much as we did at Bunco tonight! One of my sweet friends had 4 of these babies, needless to say, I can't say I blame her! Even though I went 5-7 and didn't have any Bunco's tonight, at least this recipe was a winner!

Disclaimer: This is not the official Camp Honey Creek recipe, I just kind of made this up as I went along and as my friend Dawn says, "sprinkled a little bit of magical unicorn horn dust on it to make it delicious!"

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Chris' Casserole: Sausage, Biscuit, & Gravy Casserole

This delicious recipe is the breakfast version of Chicken Pie . . . and is equally delicious. I created the dish for the of the early morning Fightin' Texas Aggie Spirit of '02 Tailgate Crew tailgates this season . . . . and it was requested for all morning tailgates after. It's biggest fan is Chris (who it is named after because he couldn't get enough of it and even had it after the game he liked it so much). This post is way over due (sorry Laura!) even though it was a repeatedly requested blog post. So here it goes . . .

Chris' Casserole: Sausage, Biscuit, & Gravy Casserole

3 lbs ground sausage (1 hot, 1 regular, and 1 light)
1/2 cup flour
4 cups milk
1/4 tsp pepper
salt to taste
2 cups buttermilk 
2 cups self rising flour
3 tbs butter

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

1. Brown sausage over medium heat in large skillet.
2. Sprinkle 1/2 cup of flour over browned sausage and stir. The mixture will become thick. Add salt and pepper.
3. Slowly add 1/2 cup of the milk stir and repeat. Add remaining milk and simmer until the gravy becomes thick. Stir constantly.
4. Place sausage gravy in a greased 13x9 pan.
5. Combine the self-rising flout and buttermilk until well mixed.
6. Spoon 12 biscuits (3 rows of 4) onto sausage gravy.
7. Cut butter into 12 equal pieces and place one slice on each biscuit
8. Bake at 425 F for 45 minutes until biscuits are browned

Excuse the picture . . . this was taken after the serving line started. It went fast and had to pause the serving spoon just to snap the picture. This picture does not do justice for this deliciousness!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Leftover Veggie Tray to Creamy Veggie Soup

You know the veggie tray that is left at the end of every party that no one wants to take and it ends up in the trash? After reading this, you will NEVER leave behind another veggie tray again. Ever. In fact, I hope this post will inspire all out wrestling matches similar to those often seen at weddings between all the single ladies and the bride's bouquet. Yeah, this recipe is that good. And worth a black eye and bandaids if you are the victor of the veggie tray.

With the studio, I am often "blessed" with the leftovers from the parties. Monday night was no exception and I was left with not one, but two veggie trays in addition to a variety of other delicacies. I tried to push them on my bunco group the next night, but everyone only took the mandatory three carrots and one piece of celery. No one likes raw broccoli and I can't say I blame them. Anyways, I hadn't had soup in three days and was going through withdrawals (yes I have a soup problem) and with this cold weather, I don't know if I was shivering from the temperature or not having have had a hot liquid fix. So soup was on the menu for dinner. It was also one of those days that there was an NCIS marathon on USA and I was getting crafty (don't judge, it's my profession), so I didn't make it to the store. Based off a potato soup recipe I made recently, I had this idea for a vegetable version . . . OMG. It was awesome. The kind of awesome I kept sneaking back to the kitchen for and was ticked my computer was dead so I couldn't immediately blog about it awesome. Awesome.

***Disclaimer: This is one of those "flexible" recipes . . . meaning I will try to be specific, but you kind of just got to go with it.***

Creamy Vegetable Soup

- Left over veggie tray (carrots, celery, broccoli, snap peas, and anything else that might be on it)
- 1 Onion
- 1 can Cream of Chicken soup
- 1 can Creamy Portabella Starter (Progresso) or 2 cans of Cream of Mushroom 
- 1/4 cup Chicken Broth
- 1/2 tsp Salt
- 1/4 cup Milk
- 4 oz Cream Cheese (room temp)

*Note: This was made in my small crock pot so keep that in mind

- Chop veggies and onions. I filled my small one about 3/4 the way full. 
- Add soup, liquids and salt, stir well
- Cook on high for 4-5 hours or on low for 6-8 depending on your crock pot (yes they all have different definitions of "low")
- Add cream cheese and cook for 30 min more

Oh yeah . . . did I mention that it's one of those really easy recipes? Because it is. And the best part . . . I didn't buy the veggie tray! All the ingredients I just happened to have in my kitchen and it could be made "healthy" with the better for you soups and fat free cream cheese! Oh yeah, and you are getting your veggies! This soup definitely satisfied my soup habit and I cannot wait to snag the leftover veggie tray at the next together. Yes I will throw elbows for it!

PS - Excuse the service ware. We went with the colored plastic instead of the breakable ware. Our breakable bowls suck for soup so we stuck with the faithful colored plastic bowls. Also, my veggie tray pic was after I chopped the veggies . . . yeah, it was a big veggie tray.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Tiramasu Brownies

Yes you read the title of this post correctly . . . Tiramasu Brownies. I will just go ahead and say, "You're welcome!" now because trust me, you will be thanking me later for this recipe that will put you in a heavenly sugar bliss. 

This is one of those simple recipes. And by simple, I mean 1) it's really easy and 2) you can't really mess this one up. Not mention this recipe has a lot, and I mean a lot, of ingredients that are delicious on their own so by pure common sense, when united together they create pure fantasticalness! (Yes, "fantasticalness" is a word according to my automated spell checker.) So now that I have raved about this dessert, here's how it goes:

Tiramasu Brownies

1 box brownie mix (for 13x9 pan) + ingredients to make brownies (I told you it was simple!)
2 small boxes cheesecake pudding mix (white chocolate or vanilla will work in primitive conditions)
1 cup milk
20 crushed Oreos (I didn't lie about delicious ingredients)
1 16 oz container whipped topping
1/4 cup instant coffee granules 
2 tablespoons chocolate morsels or 1/2 of a Hershey's Bar
1/4 teaspoons cinnamon

1. Prepare brownies as directed on the back of the box in a 9X13 pan. Let cool       completely.
2. In a bowl, combine milk and instant coffee granules.  Add half the
    whipped topping and all the pudding mix; whisk until smooth.  

3. Coarsely chop the Oreos and fold into pudding mixture. 
4. Spread filling over brownie.
5. Spread remaining whipped topping over desert. 

6. Grate chocolate morsel over the brownie and garnish with a sprinkle of cinnamon.
Yield 20 servings 


  • I have also added Baileys to the oreo/pudding mix . . . not too shabby . . .
  • Use an additional 8 oz container of whipped cream to pipe around the dessert to make it pretty
  • Sprinkle with mini holiday m&m's for a festive touch
  • Not a coffee lover, don't worry about the coffee. If coffee is your lifeline, add more!
  • FYI: the cheesecake pudding mix comes in a sugar free version as does brownie mix, whipped cream, and Oreos in case you need a less-sugar-yet-still-delicious kind of dessert

Monday, September 24, 2012

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Cake Balls

I've always been quite fond of those little bites of goodness called cake balls. Of course I always have to bring something delicious for Bunco and since it's fall, I thought I would try my hand at cake balls and why not pumpkin ones. These little treats were also well loved by all at the tailgates and other gatherings. They are a little time consuming, but the first bite will be well worth your time.

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Cake Balls

1 box Duncan Hines Spice Cake Mix
1 can pumpkin
1 block cream cheese, softened
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1 package of white chocolate bark
Sprinkles, Nuts (Optional)

1. Preheat oven to 350 and spray the baking dish of your choice with cooking spray.
2. Combine cake mix and pumpkin until well mixed and pour into your dish.
3. Bake according to directions.
4. Allow cake to cool completely.
5. Using a beater, beat cream cheese, vanilla, and powdered sugar to make the icing.
6. Using a fork to shred the cake, transfer the cake crumbs into a large bowl.
7. Add the cream cheese icing and combine until mixed.
8 . Using a melon baller or small scoop, form small balls and place on cookie sheet lined with wax paper (You will have a couple or more depending on the size of your cookies sheets)
9. Place in freezer for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, melt the white chocolate bark in double boiler on low heat with a tablespoon of milk.
10. Using a fork, dip cake ball into the chocolate and tap on the side to shake off excess chocolate. Place back on cookie sheet and top with sprinkles or nuts if desired. Repeat until all the cake balls on the cookie sheet have been covered and place the sheet back in the freezer for another 10 minutes. If chocolate starts to thicken, add a tablespoon of milk.
11. I like to place mine in mini cupcake wrappers for easy serving purposes.

These little fabulous delights scream fall and taste even better!

The Original Jalapeño Popper Dip Recipe

Probably one of my most favorite dips! Always a crowd pleaser. I generally use just one jalapeño, but you can add more or keep the seeds to add a little kick! And don't forget an extra half for the signature garnish!

Jalapeño Popper Dip

2 blocks cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 jalapeño, seeds removed and finely diced
1 4 oz can green chilies
1 pkg/jar of real bacon pieces
3/4 cup parmesan cheese, divided

1. Preheat oven to 350
2. Place the cream cheese in a small baking dish and place in oven for 5 minutes.
3. Remove cream cheese from oven and add mayo, combine until well mixed.
4. Add the rest of the ingredients, reserving a 1/4 cups of the parmesan cheese and a small amount of bacon pieces and jalapeño.
5. Top the dip with the remaining parmesan cheese, jalapeño, and bacon pieces.
6. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes uncovered.

We enjoy this dip with Frito Scoops and it has been a popular dish at all the gatherings and tailgates. There are a few versions of this recipe roaming around, but this has by far been declared the best!

Note: The picture above is a double recipe to meet the demand

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins

In addition to the weather, leaves changing, and decorations, nothing says "Fall" better than the smell of pumpkin treats baking in your oven. With the change in weather already occurring, the itch to get my fall decor has been intensely growing. So today, up went the fall decor and in the oven went the first batch of pumpkin treats - Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins.

These are an incredibly easy, but absolutely delicious treat that will fill your home with the smell of fall happiness (there are no words to describe the bliss that is still overtaking the house as my fingers fly over the keys trying to describe the joy). I used a spice cake mix in order to use something out of the pantry as Daniel has declared I have a couponing habit (I call it being thrifty), but you can use a spice cake recipe eliminating the wet ingredients. Even better news, these babies are semi-healthy as the oil and eggs are replaced by pumpkin and pumpkin alone. With fat free cream cheese, these little joys can become a fall staple in your kitchen.

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins

1 box  Duncan Hines Spice Cake Mix
1 15 oz can of pumpkin puree
1 8 oz block cream cheese
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp vanilla

1. Line a cupcake pan with 12 cupcake papers and spray with cooking spray. Pre-heat oven at 350
2. Combine the cake mix and pumpkin until well mixed
3. Beat the cream cheese with powdered sugar, cinnamon, and vanilla until fluffy.
4. Fill the cupcake wrappers half full and use a spoon to make a little well in each cupcake.
5. Place a heaping teaspoon full of cream cheese mixture into each center.
6. Cover with remaining pumpkin batter. 
7. Bake at 350 for 25 - 35 minutes (I use stoneware so my baking times are a little longer).

Optional: I sprinkled mine with oatmeal and cinnamon sugar for decor.

Don't worry if they are full going into the oven as my picture shows below. They will not rise as much as they normally would had you used eggs and oil.

Now assuming your fall decor is already up, your house is ready for fall!

Side comment: Does anyone put their pumpkins and turkeys out at the same time? I have convinced myself that this is completely normal as my fall comes down the week before Thanksgiving in order for Christmas to go up. By putting them out now, I am able to give my turkeys as much face time as possible.  And my jack-o-lanterns get turned around after Halloween to be just pumpkins. Totally normal . . . right?