Two step cupcakes

In the fall of 2002 we sat down in our cellblock seats at a Predators game and said hi to the couple sitting next to us.

Fast forward almost ten (!) years, and we’re still friends with that awesome couple. The fact that Tracy brings me cupcakes when she comes to visit sure doesn’t hurt that friendship. I’m just sayin.

She brought me these and I am just fascinated by them!

Two step cupcakes

Ingredients

  • One box cake mix
  • One can of soda

Instructions

  1. Mix cake mix and soda
  2. Bake according to box directions

Tracy made this particular batch with chocolate cake mix and a diet cherry Dr. Pepper. CRAZY good, and Tracy tells me that baking 24 cupcakes with the mixture makes them one point each, for those counting such things. Isn’t that insane? And there are lots of different combination, too. White cake mix and orange soda? Spice cake and Sprite? Go crazy! What else sounds good?

Pumpkin muffins

Behold: my breakfast from now till Christmas!

These are such a lovely start to the morning. Warm and comfort food-ey and delicious even without any butter on them. I’m afraid this is another one of my scrawled-on-a-piece-of-paper recipes so I’m not sure where I originally got it, but I’ve been making them forever.

 

Pumpkin muffins

Yield: 36 muffins

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup oil
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. nutmeg
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 1 can pumpkin
  • 3 1/2 cups flour
  • 2 tsp. baking soda

Instructions

  1. Mix all ingredients till just combined — lumps are okay — and fill prepared muffin cups 1/2 to 2/3 full; bake at 350 for about 20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean

Some easy edits if you have the urge to health these up a bit:

  • Cut the sugar — these are lovely and sweet but would still be yummy with less sugar (although when you divide the sugar by 36 muffins it’s not so bad)
  • Replace 1/2 cup of the oil with 1/2 cup applesauce
  • Replace half the flour with whole wheat flour

These freeze wonderfully! I freeze them flat on a cookie sheet then drop them in a zip top bag; I take out one every night and it’s thawed by morning when the coffee is ready. You can also pop it in the microwave for a couple seconds to warm it up. Quick and easy comfort food!

Edited to add 11/12/10: Ooh I just found something! For a decadent version of these involving cream cheese check out these from Family Bites!

Savory pasta

This started as a desperation side dish (i.e. “OMGit’s7:30whatcanImakeintenminutes?!”) and turned out to be so tasty! It’s definitely going in the rotation.

Savory pasta

Ingredients

  • 4 ounces pasta
  • Salt
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese

Instructions

  1. Bring chicken broth to a boil and sprinkle in some salt
  2. Add in pasta and stir; reduce heat to medium-low (you want it just barely simmering) and put a lid on the pot; let it simmer according to cooking time on the pasta box
  3. When time is up pour into a bowl (there will be just barely any chicken broth left; pour it in too) and add a splash of olive oil. Toss to evenly coat pasta, then sprinkle with cheese.

Quick and easy, folks!

Slow cooker pulled pork BBQ

Y’all will not believe how easy this was! The fact that it cooks in the slow cooker is such a bonus, too, because what’s better than coming home to supper already done?

Slow cooker pulled pork BBQ

Ingredients

  • A pork roast
  • Water
  • Salt, plus onion powder, rib rub, or whatever spices sound good
  • BBQ sauce
  • Buns

Instructions

  1. Put pork roast in a slow cooker and sprinkle on salt and whatever spices your little heart desires; I did onion powder and a rib rub Yankee had in the cabinet. Add enough hot water to fully cover the roast and turn the slow cooker on low; ignore it for the next 8-12 hours or so, depending on size
  2. After it’s cooked through remove meat to a cutting board and chop it up, discarding fat and any bone; pour the water out of the slow cooker (pork broth! Feel free to freeze it for later use)
  3. Serve! Either on a plate or on a bun, topped with your favorite BBQ sauce

Notes

Some folks return the chopped meat to the slow cooker and add in BBQ sauce so they can cook together for a bit; I don’t because I find that cooking the BBQ sauce down makes it too sugary

How easy was that? This is great with green beans!

Guacamole

On a trip to Hilton Head Island the Yankee and I discovered this dish: guacamole topped with crab meat. This is a win. I set out to recreate it as soon as we got home, and I’m pretty pleased with the result! This is a huge party hit, too; I highly recommend.

Guacamole

Ingredients

  • Two ripe avocados
  • Two Roma tomatoes, seeded and diced
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, minced
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 cayenne pepper
  • Kosher salt to taste, but about 1/2 tsp.
  • Juice from one lime
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 medium onion, diced (or some onion powder if you hate the crunch of raw onion)
  • Eight ounces lump crab meat, drained
  • Chips (obviously)

Instructions

  1. Scoop out the avocado into a bowl and mash with a fork
  2. Stir in tomatoes, pepper, cumin, pepper, salt and lime juice, plus onion if you’re using it
  3. Top with crab meat and serve with chips