Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Susan's Sugar Cookie Bars

I love sugar cookies!
I don't love making sugar cookies.
It just takes so long to roll out the dough and cut out all the cookies.
That's why I LOVE these sugar cookie bars!  So much easier and just as delicious.  This recipe is my favorite.  I think it's the almond extract and cream cheese.  I got the recipe from my mother-in-law, who is a fabulous baker.  You will love these!!

1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup butter, softened
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 egg
1/2 tsp. almond extract
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
2 1/2 cups flour

1/2 cup butter, softened
4 oz. cream cheese, softened
3 1/2 cups powdered sugar (I just use a 16 oz. box)
little bit of milk
1 tsp. vanilla
food coloring (optional)

*Mix butter, cream cheese, sugar, and egg until light and fluffy.  Add extracts and mix for one minute.  Add dry ingredients and mix for a couple minutes.  Press dough into a jelly roll (cookie sheet) pan.  Bake at 350 for 20 minutes.  Cool completely before frosting. For frosting, mix butter and cream cheese until smooth.  Add the rest of ingredients and mix until smooth.  Frost bars and cut to serve!

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Semi-Homemade Banana Cream Pie

As much as I like to bake, pies are not my specialty.
My sister, Holly, is the pie-maker in the family.
But, my daughter wanted to make pies for Thanksgiving, so we busted out these banana cream pies using a semi-homemade approach.  They were delicious!

2 frozen pie shells
2 large packages cook-n-serve vanilla pudding
3 bananas
2 pints whipping cream

*Mix up the pudding according to package directions and chill in fridge. Bake pie shells according to package directions and let cool. When ready to assemble, spread a little pudding in the bottom of each pie shell.  Slice 1 1/2 bananas into each pie.  Cover with the rest of the pudding.  Whip the cream with a mixer until stiff.  Add 1/3 cup sugar and a little vanilla while mixing. Scoop over pies using a cookie scoop.  Chill until ready to serve.

Monday, November 21, 2016

Carrot Sheet Cake

I married into a family loaded with good cooks/bakers.
My husband's immediate family, plus his relatives on both sides, are excellent with food.  His Cunningham side of the family put together a family cookbook about 14 years ago and it is a treasure.
So many good recipes that we love.  This cake recipe is from his Grandma Cunningham and I had never tried it before until this weekend.  We loved it!

4 eggs
1 cup oil (I used canola)
2 cups sugar
2 cups flour
2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. salt
3 cups shredded carrots
2/3 cup chopped walnuts (I used pecans)

Beat eggs, oil and sugar until smooth.  Add dry ingredients and mix well.  Stir in carrots and nuts.  Pour into a greased cookie sheet (jelly roll pan) and bake at 350 for 25 minutes.  Cool before frosting.

1 pkg 8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 stick butter, softened
1 tsp. vanilla
4 cups powdered sugar
2/3 cup chopped walnuts (I used pecans)

Beat together until smooth.  Spread over cooled cake.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Chocolate Layered Dessert

This dessert is definitely one of my top 5 favorite homemade desserts.  It's one of those things that I feel like I could eat the whole pan and not even feel bad about it.  It has many names in our family, but for the sake of this family-friendly blog, we'll call it the Chocolate Layered Dessert.
You can call it whatever you want, just make sure you call me when you make it.

1 cup walnuts, finely chopped
1 cup flour
1/2 cup butter, softened
*Blend together well and spread in a 9X13. Bake at 350 for 25 minutes. Let cool.

First Layer:
1 cup powdered sugar
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 small tub cool whip
*Beat powdered sugar and cream cheese until smooth. Add cool whip. Spread over cooled crust.

Second Layer:
1 small box instant vanilla pudding
1 small box instant chocolate pudding
3 cups milk
*Mix for 2 minutes. Spread over cream cheese layer. Top with another small tub of cool whip.

*Side-note: I use real whipped cream instead of cool whip because I have gross-out issues with cool whip. It takes a little longer but it is well worth it.

Friday, November 4, 2016

Chocolate Cake with Toasted Marshmallow Filling

My sister-in-law, Jen, is an amazing cook/baker.  Everything she makes is good.  Our whole family gets excited to see what she is going to bring to our gatherings.
She made this cake for my nephew's birthday and it was DELICIOUS.  The frosting, the filling, the cake...it was all perfection.

2 cups flour
2 1/2 cups sugar
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, preferably Dutch process
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1 cup vegetable oil
1 cup sour cream
1 1/2 cups water
2 Tbs. white vinegar
1 tsp. vanilla
2 eggs

*Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter the bottoms and sides of four 8-inch round cake pans.  Line the bottom of each pan with a round of parchment or waxed paper.  Butter the paper.
*Sift the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda and salt in a large bowl.  Whisk to combine.  Add the oil and sour cream and whisk to blend.  Gradually beat in water.  Blend in vinegar and vanilla.  Whisk in eggs and beat until well blended.  Scrape down sides and make sure batter is well mixed.  Divide evenly among the 3 pans.  Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until toothpick inserted comes out clean.  Let cool in pans for 20 minutes.  Invert onto a wire cooling rack, peel off paper liners and let cool completely. (Cakes are very soft so you might want to freeze them for 30 minutes before assembling).

For the Toasted Marshmallow Filling:
16 large marshmallows
1 cup powdered sugar
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1 (7½-ounce) jar Marshmallow Fluff

For the Malted Chocolate Frosting:
2 cups unsalted butter, at room temperature
4 cups powdered sugar
¾ cup Ovaltine Classic
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
8 ounces semisweet or dark chocolate chocolate, melted and cooled
½ cup heavy cream

Make the Toasted Marshmallow Filling: Place the marshmallows on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil and sprayed with nonstick cooking spray. Place on the lowest rack of oven, and broil marshmallows until nice and brown on top, keeping an eye on them the entire time so they don't burn. Remove pan from oven and gently turn the marshmallows over, and broil until the other side is golden brown.

Beat the butter and powdered sugar on low speed until blended together, about 1 minute. Add the vanilla extract and increase the speed to medium-high; beat for 3 minutes. Stop the mixer, add the Marshmallow Fluff and toasted marshmallows, and mix on the lowest speed for about 1 minute, scraping the sides of the bowl as necessary.

Make the Malted Chocolate Frosting: Beat the butter and powdered sugar on low speed until blended together, about 1 minute. Add the Ovaltine, vanilla and salt, and continue to beat on low until well combined, about 1 to 2 minutes. Add the melted chocolate and beat on medium speed until smooth, about 2 minutes. Add the heavy cream and beat on medium-high speed for another minute.

Assemble the cake by layering cake and marshmallow filling and frosting with chocolate frosting.

*Cake recipe from Becoming Betty and frosting/filling recipes from Brown-eyed Baker.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Betty is on Instagram!

Becoming Betty has an Instagram!
Follow along to find out when I post a new recipe, what I like to buy at the grocery store, and where I like to eat out!


Friday, October 28, 2016

Semi-Homemade Sweet Cornbread

Everyone loves chili in the Fall and everyone loves cornbread with their chili.  This is a delicious way to make cornbread that tastes homemade but takes only seconds to throw together!

2 boxes Jiffy cornbread mix
2 eggs
2/3 cup milk
1/2 cup sour cream
3 Tbs. honey

Mix well and pour into a 9x13 greased pan.  Bake at 350 for 18-20 minutes.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

BBQ Pork Sandwiches

There's nothing better than a delicious dinner that you can make in the crockpot.  Life is busy and the crockpot saves so much time!  We love these BBQ pork sandwiches.  Super easy and super filling.

2-3 lb. pork loin roast
3/4 cup water
1 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. garlic salt
1 tsp. fresh ground pepper
Hamburger buns or rolls
Butter, softened
BBQ sauce

*Cook pork roast in crockpot all day on low with the water and seasonings.  Don't put any BBQ sauce in crockpot.  Shred up when done cooking.  When ready to eat, generously butter the bread of your choice.  Toast, butter side down, on the stove in a frying pan. This is crucial...don't skip it.  Top toasted rolls with pork and your favorite BBQ sauce.  We love Sweet Baby Rays sauce.  Enjoy!

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Green Chicken Enchilada Casserole

It's always good to have a few solid casserole recipes for those times when you need a good potluck item or when you take dinner to a big family.  Even better is having casserole recipes that are easy but still taste great!  I got this recipe from my friend/cousin (frousin), Kylie, at a big family picnic we had at the park in the Spring.  It tastes just like chicken enchiladas but without the hassle of rolling up enchiladas.  Yay!

1 1/2-2 cups cooked chicken (you can use canned, rotisserie or cook it and shred it yourself)
Cooked rice (I used 1 1/2 cups before cooked)
1 can green enchilada sauce (I used half of a big can)
1 can cream of chicken soup
1/2 cup sour cream
2 cups shredded cheese
salt/pepper to taste
1 tsp. garlic powder
pinch of oregano and cumin
onion, if desired

Mix all ingredients together in a big bowl using only half the cheese.  Pour into a 9x13 and cover with remaining cheese.  Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.

Monday, September 12, 2016

The Easiest Homemade Lasagna

If you are still buying frozen lasagna, this is the recipe for you.
It really could not be easier and is so delicious.  I mean, who doesn't love homemade lasagna?!  Whip up a green salad and some garlic bread and you are golden.  A super easy meal that people will be super impressed by.

1 1/2 lbs. lean ground beef
1 jar marinara (I use Trader Joe's tomato basil)
16 oz. cottage cheese
8 oz. sour cream
1 cup parmesan
18 slices of mozzarella (or shredded works, too)
8 oven ready lasagna noodles (I use Barilla)

*Brown the ground beef on stove.  Add marinara sauce and simmer.  In a 9x13 pan, put a little bit of the meat sauce.  Just enough to cover the bottom of the pan.  Lay down 4 of the noodles.  Mix the cottage cheese and sour cream together in a bowl.  Spoon half of that mixture over the noodles and spread.  Put 6 slices of the mozzarella over that.  Pour half of the remaining meat sauce over the mozzarella.  Sprinkle half of the parmesan.  Start again with noodles and repeat steps.  Top with remaining slices of mozzarella.  Cover with foil (without it touching the cheese) and bake at 350 for 1 hour.  Remove foil and bake for 10 more minutes.

Sidenote:  You can make the lasagna bigger by doing more meat sauce and more white sauce.  I will often do that when we are feeding more than just our family of six.  All the other ingredients stay the same.

Friday, September 9, 2016

No Bake Chocolate Crispies

I got this healthy treat recipe from my healthy friend, Jill.
She is always looking for delicious recipes that are also clean and nutritious.  She brought me some of these and I was instantly hooked. These will definitely satisfy your chocolate cravings.  Almost like a candy bar but way better for you.

1 cup almond butter (or organic peanut butter)
2/3 cup raw honey
1/4 cup chia seeds
1/4 cup raw cacao powder (or unsweetened cocoa powder)
1/3 cup coconut oil
1 Tbs vanilla
1/4 tsp sea salt
6 cups crisped brown rice (found in a bag at Sprouts)

Mix together all the wet ingredients in a bowl by hand.  Add the chia seeds, cacao, and salt and then mix well.  Add the crisped rice and stir until evenly coated.  Chill for 1-2 hours and then form into balls and refrigerate until serving. (Jill brought it to me in a little loaf pan).

*Recipe from a friend to a friend to a friend.  Originally thought to be from Green Smoothie Girl.

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Favorite Chicken Marinade

We have been using this simple chicken marinade for years.  It makes for some awesome grilled chicken.  I like to use chicken thighs when we grill because they are so tender and juicy.

1 cup Sprite
1 cup soy sauce (I use low sodium)
1/2 cup oil (I use light tasting olive oil)
2 garlic cloves, minced (or garlic powder)

Put chicken in a big zip-loc bag.  Pour in the marinade ingredients and seal up the bag really good.  Move the bag around so the ingredients mix together and the chicken is all covered.  Keep in fridge until ready to grill.  Marinade at least a few hours or even overnight.  If you don't have access to a grill, you can also broil them on a cookie sheet in the oven for about 12 minutes on each side.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

The Perfect Omelette

Years ago on Oprah, I saw a segment about how to make the perfect omelette.  I have been using this method ever since and it really does work.  I have egg issues and cannot eat eggs unless they are very well-cooked.  No egg juice!  I never order eggs at restaurants because I'm too afraid of egg juice.  So I love this method because I can make sure my omelette is well-done!

Step 1:  Crack two eggs into a bowl.  Add 1 Tbs of water.  Whisk really well with a fork.

Step 2:  Pour eggs into an already butter/sprayed pan that has been heating over low-medium heat.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper.  With a spatula, push in the sides to the center and let the eggs fill in the gaps.  Do this like 3 times until there is no more runny eggs.  Then flip.

Step 3:  Add toppings to one side of the omelette.  Then fold over the other side.  Cook for about a minute on each side.

Step 4:  Serve and enjoy!!

Friday, August 12, 2016

Teriyaki Chicken

We love this homemade teriyaki sauce!  I found this recipe in my ward (church) cookbook years ago.  It's so easy and so good!  I used to add the sauce to the chicken in the crockpot, but then I decided I liked it better when we added it right before serving.  That way it has more flavor.  Try it and see what you think!

1 Tbs. cornstarch
1/2 cup cold water
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup vinegar
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tsp. ginger (I used about half this much)

*Mix cornstarch and cold water until smooth.  Combine with the rest of the ingredients in a saucepan.  Stir over medium heat until thick and smooth.  Serve over chicken and rice.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Red and White Pasta

I saw this recipe a couple of years ago on one of my favorite blogs, 71toes.  It's a great way to feed a lot of hungry kids.  It has become the favorite pasta dish at our house.

For the RED SAUCE:
1 lb. mild breakfast sausage (I use Jimmy Dean)
1 onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 bottle of marinara (I use Trader Joe's Tomato Basil)

*Cook sausage with onion and garlic, drain grease, add marinara.

4 Tbs. butter
1 cup whipping cream
1 8oz. package cream cheese
1 clove garlic, minced
1/3 cup parmesan cheese

*Melt the butter, then add whipping cream, cream cheese, garlic and parmesan.  Whisk together on stove for a couple minutes until smooth and thick.

*In a 9x13 pan, layer one box of cooked penne pasta, the white sauce, the red sauce and then cover with shredded mozzarella.  Bake at 350 for 25 minutes.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Browned Butter Rice Krispie Treats

I don't want to say that I don't like Rice Krispie Treats, it's just that they have never been one of my favorite desserts.  I usually go for something that involves chocolate.  But this summer I was at at Girls' Camp with my church and I walked into the cabin where the cooks were staying and someone offered me a Rice Krispie Treat. I never turn down food, so of course I accepted.  I took one bite and demanded to know who had made them.  Just kidding, I'm not demanding.  I asked nicely.  They told me Amanda made them (she was the head cook at camp).  I asked why they tasted so dang good.  They said she browns the butter.  I thought to myself, "She's a genius."  Why had I never thought of that?!  Seriously, such a simple tweak to an already easy recipe, but such a huge difference in the taste.  You gotta try these.


2 sticks butter (don't be trippin' it's fine)
1 (16 oz) bag mini marshmallows
1 (12 oz) box Rice Krispie cereal

*Melt butter over medium heat, stirring frequently, until brown.  This takes like 7-8 minutes so be patient.  And don't burn it!  Add marshmallows and remove from heat.  Stir until all marshmallows are melted.  Add cereal and mix well.  Spread into a 9x13 pan or onto a cookie sheet.

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