1 Mississippi

There was no doubt the love she had for her grandbabies.

There was no doubt the love she had for her grandbabies.

1 Mississippi.  This is how I measured a second when I was a kid.  Seconds are constant.  It rolls into minutes, then to hours, then to days, then to weeks, then to years.  Most seconds go unnoticed.  But, sometimes that second that you think is unimportant just may be the most important moment of your life.  Those seconds can change you, instantly.  It took a mere 3 Mississippi’s to change our life, our family’s life.  No notice, just time ticking, staying constant and rolling into minutes as we are left faced with an eternity of what-ifs, whys, hows, and grief.

We lost another great woman, wife, mother, grandmother, aunt and friend yesterday to those seconds.  She was a young 55, too young.  Those 14 hours in the hospital following those drastic seconds put life in to perspective.  I find myself constantly telling my kids: “One second” “In a second” Just wait a second”.  What if I don’t get that “one second” again?  That second may pass me by, turning into days, weeks, months and years-of regret.  Will I regret that one second I missed to watch my son play Minecraft?  Or will I miss that one second to rock my daughter’s baby doll to sleep?  Or will I miss that one second to feed my youngest son his bottle?

Those seconds have changed all of our lives in one way or another.  We will always be missing a part of our family.  Seconds will keep ticking, as if nothing happened.  Eventually, the seconds will drag into years.  The void will still be there, but my mother-in-law got to spend 31,558,152.96 x 55 seconds on this earth.  And with that time, she was able to bless so many people with her being, including me for the past decade.  May she rest peacefully in heaven and continue to bless us from above.  Much love to my mother–in-law, Karen.

Continue to watch over your grandbabies.

Continue to watch over your grandbabies.  Rest peacefully.  <3

Chocolate Buttercream

Chocolate Buttercream Frosting!

Chocolate Buttercream Icing!

Who doesn’t like LOVE chocolate?!  Ok…I don’t really LOVE it…and neither does my husband…or my mom…or…I could go on.  Silly, I know.  But, this frosting seems to make everyone LOVE chocolate.  It’s silky-smooth texture melts ever so delicately in your mouth.  And, it’s simple to make.  It’s just like making a regular buttercream icing, but you add cocoa.  Not too hard, right?!  I paired it with a white cake this time, but try a peanut butter cake with it.  Yummm!  (I think I have already told you my love for reese cups, so I guess you understand why I would love that combo!)  Give it a try, even if you don’t LOVE chocolate!  You may just LOVE this!

Chocolate Buttercream Icing Recipe:

1/2 cup shortening
1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
3/4 cup cocoa
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 cups powdered sugar
3-4 tablespoons milk, as needed

Directions:

In large bowl, cream shortening and butter together. Add cocoa and vanilla. Gradually add sugar, one cup at a time, beating well. When all sugar has been mixed in, icing may appear dry. Add milk and beat until fluffy.

*TIPS:  You can use all shortening, all butter, or all margarine.  However, I recommend the shortening and real butter combo!

Cupcakes we made over the weekend!  The chocolate are on the right, yumm!

Cupcakes made over the weekend! The chocolate are on the right, yumm!

Pizza! Pizza!

Pizza! Pizza!

Pizza! Pizza!

It’s pizza night at our house!  I hope we aren’t the only family who resorts to pizza for dinner a couple times one time a week.  Tonight though, I resisted the urge of the convenience of Little Caesar’s $5 pizza and Papa John’s yummy garlic sauce and made my own pizza.  I’ve made pizza before.  We like to make it when we are trying to watch what we eat.  (You can make lots of low-cal, delicious pizza’s!)  Homemade pizza is just sooo good.  And sooo simple to make.  I make sure to keep these ingredients on hand so when I am at a loss of what to cook I can throw a pizza together quickly (plus you can use these ingredients for lots of other things!)  That way we save money, time, and lets be honest…eating your own food is satsifying.

Pizza Dough Recipe:

1 package active dry yeast (2 1/4 tsp)
1 teaspoon white sugar
1 cup warm water
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon salt

Directions: (I use a KitchenAid Stand Mixer with dough hook, but you can mix by hand.)

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. In a bowl, dissolve yeast and sugar in warm water. Let stand until creamy, about 10 minutes. Stir in flour, salt and oil. Beat with dough hook until smooth. Let rest for 5 minutes. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and roll out about 1/2″ thick. Transfer to a pizza stone or lightly greased baking pan. Add desired toppings and bake in preheated oven for 15 to 20 minutes, or until golden brown.

I sprinkled Parmesan cheese and Italian seasoning on the dough before I added pizza sauce. Then I added the sauce, a provolone/mozzarella cheese mixture, and pepperoni. Yummy!

Make it a pizza night!

Make it a pizza night!

*Tips: Frozen pepper and onion blend makes a yummy and healthier pizza! Also, use part-skim mozzarella cheese to reduce the calories.

*Tips: Try rotel and cheese, yumm!

*Tips: I use spaghetti sauce most of the time because that’s what I keep on hand.

Easy Meatloaf

Simple, delicious meatloaf!  Yumm

Simple, delicious meatloaf! Yumm

Need a simple meal for this coming week?  Before you head out to the store this weekend, make sure you have all the ingredients for this meatloaf recipe.  Don’t worry, there’s not many ingredients!  This is one of my kids (AND Husband’s) favorite dinner.  I have tried many, many, many variations (and many overly complicated variations) of meatloaf, but this one is our personal favorite.  I think it’s the sweet topping that does it for us.  We like pairing this with mashed potatoes and corn.  Simple and delicious!  Make it a meal this week.  :)

Easy Meatloaf Recipe:
1lb ground burger
1/4th of an onion, chopped
10-15 saltine crackers
1 egg
1/2 cup milk
salt, to taste
pepper, to taste

Easy Meatloaf Topping:
1/3 cup ketchup
2 tbsp mustard
2 tbsp brown sugar

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a loaf pan. Mix all ingredients (except the topping ingredients) by hand in a large mixing bowl. Pat ground burger mixture firmly into prepared loaf pan. Mix topping ingredients in bowl, pour on top of meat. Bake for 1 hour.

*TIPS: Use a muffin pan and make individual loafs. Kids love this! (Note, you only have to cook the meatloaf in the muffin pan for about 40 minutes),

**TIPS: If you do not have saltine crackers, any cracker, bread crumbs, or even pieces of bread will work!

Simple, delicious meatloaf!

Throw all ingredients into a bowl and mix by hand!

Press meatloaf in greased loaf pan and pour sauce on top, then bake!

Press meatloaf in greased loaf pan and pour sauce on top, then bake!

Strawberry Delight

delight

Need a quick, no-bake dessert for Easter dinner this weekend?  Or a graduation party?  Or a family reunion this summer?  This recipe is perfect for all your events this spring and summer!  This Strawberry Delight is a quick, refreshing, no-bake dessert.  It is great for cookouts!  I know the weather here is finally warming up, which means we will be cooking out a lot!  Pair this dessert with great grilled food and great company.  It’s also easy to double this recipe if you need a quick dessert to take to a big crowd!  Nothing fancy, but you can never go wrong with strawberries and cream cheese!

*Recipe for Strawberry Delight:

1 large package vanilla instant pudding
1 1/2 cups cold milk
1-8 oz package cream cheese, softened
1-12 oz container cool whip, thawed
1lb strawberries, sliced
1 container strawberry glaze
1 angel food cake

*Directions:
In a bowl, mix pudding and milk until thickened. Add cream cheese until mixed. Fold in cool whip. Tear angel food cake into pieces and mix into pudding/cream cheese mixture. Put mixture into 9×13″ pan. Pour strawberry glaze on top. Add sliced strawberries.

*TIP:  The strawberry glaze is generally in the produce section by the strawberries.  It’s Marzetti brand at my Walmart.

**TIP: Instead of putting it in a 9×13″ pan you can mix all the ingredients together and put in a big bowl to serve!

I used a 9x13" pan this time, but I typically mix everything together and throw it in a big bowl!

I used a 9×13″ pan this time, but I typically mix everything together and throw it in a big bowl!

Strawberry yumminess!

Strawberry yumminess!

The Best Recipe of Your Life

fam

The Best Recipe of My Life. http://melissarosicphotography.com/

I am about to give you the BEST recipe of your life.  But, before I do, I want you to know that I am typing this behind blurred eyes, and some lines with tears flowing gently down my cheek.  The past few weeks months have been tough.  My last grandparent, my grandma, just faced death head on.  I mean, I guess we all can go at anytime, but this is real.  Reality has struck us that one generation is now gone physically, and here we are…left to live without her.  We are left to live without her, but not what she has instilled in us all.  She has been a caregiver, a confidant, a cook, a ‘mean’ grandma with a paddle (or a house slipper)!  She has been our grandma, one who has loved every single child, grandchild, and great-grandchild.  The recipe you ask?  I’m getting there.  I attribute my love for the kitchen partially to my grandmother.  My fondest memories were sharing a meal with all of my family at the jam packed kitchen table on a hot day with no air conditioning fighting over who got to sit by the fan.  Food has a way of bringing people together.  I think that’s why I love cooking and baking, especially with my kids and my husband.  With that said, here is the best recipe of your life.  Thank you grandma, may you rest peacefully knowing the love you have brought to many.  We love you.

*BEST Recipe of Your Life:

  • Great-Grandparents
  • Grandparents
  • Mom
  • Dad
  • Siblings
  • Nieces
  • Nephews
  • Step-parents
  • Aunts
  • Uncles
  • Cousins
  • Pets
  • Friends

*Directions:

  1. Get together, make the time.
  2. Call each other, even when you don’t want to talk.
  3. Don’t fight or stay mad at one another.
  4. Tell them you love them, even after that fight.
  5. Resolve your issues, whatever they may be.
  6. Take time with one another.  You won’t regret it.
  7. Be there for each other, through the good and the bad.
  8. Respect each other, and each other’s life choices.
  9. Share with one another.  Let them know you.
  10. Don’t judge.  It’s not our place.
  11. Make memories, and lots of them!
  12. And, above all…Love one another.

*TIPS: We ALL have time to spare to spend with our family.


I know this is not my typical post.  My grandma and family have been weighing heavy on my mind.  We lost a great woman in the early morning hours, but we gained a beautiful angel in heaven.  I just want to share how  important it is to spend time with one another.   I am so grateful to have 25 years with my grandma.  I am saddened that I never got to meet my other grandmother, but my mom says I get my love of the kitchen from her too.  See how important life is?  We are shaping our children and grandchildren’s future right now!  So, I leave you with this.  What do you want your grandchildren to get from your being?

grandma

Much love, grandma.

Cinnamon Rolls

Homemade Cinnamon Rolls with Cream Cheese Icing!  Yummmm

Homemade Cinnamon Rolls with Cream Cheese Icing! Yummm

Aren’t cinnamon rolls such a treat?  Cinnabon cinnamon rolls were always a favorite of mine growing up.  We don’t have a Cinnabon locally, but when we would go shopping in Pittsburgh my mom and I would end our trip with a gigantic, cinnamony, delicious, Cinnabon cinnamon roll.  But guess what?  Making cinnamon rolls as delicious as Cinnabon (or better!) is sooo super simple!    Who knew?  Not me!  Not until I started making pepperoni rolls.  Several have asked what to do with the leftover pepperoni roll dough (if there is any!)  I have never frozen the dough, but I’m sure you could.  However, I like making cinnamon rolls with the leftover dough!  Yummm!  Give it a try!  It looks intimidating, but it’s not difficult.  My 3 year old daughter helps me make them!🙂 The dough recipe is from my pepperoni roll post found here:  https://mrscrislip.wordpress.com/2014/04/10/pepperoni-rolls-almost-heaven/

 

*Kaycee’s Cinnamon Roll Recipe:

  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • 1/2 cup scalded milk, cooled
  • 1/2 tsp white sugar
  • 1 package active dry yeast (2 1/4 tsp)
  • 5 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted

*Cinnamon Roll Filling:

  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tbsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted

*Cream Cheese Icing:

  • 8 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 4 cups powdered sugar

*Directions:
*This is made using a KitchenAid Stand Mixer and a dough hook. If making by hand, follow directions to step 4.  At step 4 knead the dough by hand.

1. Dissolve 1/2 tsp sugar in 1/2 cup warm water. Add yeast and let stand for about 5 minutes.
2. When yeast is ready add milk, melted butter, and beaten egg to yeast mixture.
3. Mix flour, 1/2 cup sugar and salt in a separate bowl.
4. Using a dough hook, add flour mixture slowly to yeast mixture until the dough is no longer sticky. It’s okay to add more flour if the dough is still sticking to your fingers when you touch it.
5. Take dough out of bowl and form into a ball. Put back in bowl and cover with a clean towel and let rise in a warm, draft-free place. Let rise to double in size, about 90 minutes.
6. Once dough is doubled in size, punch the dough down and roll out into a ‘rectangle’ on a lightly floured surface, about 1/4″ thick.
7.  Make the filling:  mix brown sugar, white sugar, and cinnamon together.
8.  Spread melted butter on rolled dough (basting brush works well).  Sprinkle with sugar mixture.
9.  Roll dough from top of long edge to bottom.
10.  Cut the dough in 1 1/2″ slices.  Place rolls touching side-by-side in greased 8×8″ pan or round cake pan.
11. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Let the rolls rise while oven is preheating, or longer if you have time.
12. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until tops are slightly brown.
13. While rolls are baking, make the icing.  Cream the cream cheese and butter together.  Once mixed, add vanilla.  Mix well, then add powdered sugar slowly until mixed.
14. Once rolls are done cooking and slightly cooled, ice the cinnamon rolls with cream cheese icing.
15. You did it! Enjoy the greatness!

*TIPS:  I halved the recipe and got 11 rolls.  Which means a full recipe will yield almost 2 dozen!

**TIPS:  If I’m not using leftover pepperoni roll dough and just making cinnamon rolls, I add extra sugar to the dough to make it slightly sweeter.  

Dough rolled out, rolled down, and then sliced with a pizza cutter.

Dough rolled out, rolled down, and then sliced with a pizza cutter.

Rolls right after cutting, then rolls after rising a second time, and then rolls baked!

Rolls right after cutting, then rolls after rising a second time, and then rolls baked!

Beat the Clock: Crock Pot Chicken & Stock

Crock Pot Whole Chicken!

Crock Pot Whole Chicken!

I love baking, but I also cook everyday most days.  I hate spending hours cooking so I always look for the short and sweet recipes.  Nothing fancy, but tasty!  I know we all live crazy lives and busy schedules, so sometimes a crock pot meal can really help us out.  As Spring approaches for my family our schedule is getting jam packed with baseball, dance, and finals.  This recipe is one of my favorite crock pot meals because it’s so cheap, quick, and tasty.  The best part is you get 2 meals for one price!  Why not give it a try this week when your day is just going to be too much for cooking…or just give it a try because it’s delicious!  

Crock Pot Whole Chicken Recipe:

  • 3 or 4 lb whole chicken
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1 onion

Directions:
1. Combine the dried spices in a bowl.
2. Loosely chop the onion and place in bottom of slow cooker.
3. Remove any giblets from the chicken and then rub spice mixture all over.
4. Put chicken on top of onions in the crock pot, cover it, and turn it on high.
5. Cook for 4-5 hours.

*Lots of Tips:

  • You can get a whole 3 or 4 lb chicken for about $5!!  This feeds my family of 5+ leftovers and chicken stock!
  • There is NO need to add liquid to the pot because the chicken will create lots of juice that you can later use to make a yummy stock!  (See below!)
  • Most of the time I just rub the chicken down in salt, pepper, and garlic. Or I use a garlic and olive oil mixture.
  • You can cook on low for 8-9 hours. Make sure chicken is cooked to 165 degrees.
See how juicy it gets?!

See how juicy it gets?!


 

DON’T FORGET TO MAKE YOUR STOCK! HERE’S HOW:

  • Leftover chicken bones and carcass
  • 1 rib of celery
  • 1 carrot, roughly chopped (no need to peel)
  • 1 tsp parsley
  • 1 tsp garlic
  • salt
  • pepper

Directions:
1. Remove all edible meat from the chicken and leave the bones, skin, cooking juices, and onions in the crock pot.
2. Add the celery, carrot, and spices on top and then fill the crock pot with water. Leave about a 1/2″ at the top.
3. Turn crock pot on low after dinner and cook all night long or in the morning for 8-10 hours.
4. Strain the stock to remove all bones, vegetables, etc.
5. Refrigerate or freeze stock.

*TIP: I freeze my stock in quart size freezer bags. This is great for soups or rices!
*TIP: You can also freeze the stock in ice cube trays for those times you need just a little stock!

 

crock2

All the bones and stuff. My husband does this part for me!

After I added water.  I improvised and used baby carrots!

After I added water. I improvised and used baby carrots!

Pepperoni Rolls: Almost Heaven

West Virginia Pepperoni Roll

West Virginia Pepperoni Rolls with Pepperjack Cheese!

I was born and raised and still reside in the wonderful state of West Virginia. To me, it’s home and it’s beautiful. There’s nothing more amazing then to witness the four season’s of our state and to munch on a pepperoni roll. Many may ask “what is a pepperoni roll?” This is a common question, as many people even in West Virginia are unfamiliar with it. The pepperoni roll originated in North Central West Virginia around the 1940’s. Coal miner’s needed a lunch that was portable and long-lasting. So, they would pack a piece of bread and a piece of pepperoni for lunch. Eventually, one of the miner’s decided to bake pepperoni inside of bread, thus giving us the wonderful pepperoni roll! This is by far my most asked for recipe…and I am about to give it to you!  My daughter, Chloee, absolutely loves helping me make these.  She calls them “Rollies”.  She’s a great help, as you will see!

One request:  Please, please, please try to make the dough! Bread sounds so scary to make, but it’s really not! And, it tastes sooo much better than store bought.  (Yes, this is coming from the one who uses boxed cake mixes.)

*Kaycee’s Pepperoni Rolls Recipe:

1/2 cup warm water
1/2 cup scalded milk, cooled
1/2 tsp white sugar
1 package active dry yeast (2 1/4 tsp)
5 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
2 tsp salt
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup butter, melted
8oz pepperoni slices
8oz pepperjack cheese (optional)

*Directions:
*This is made using a KitchenAid Stand Mixer and a dough hook. If making by hand, follow directions to step 4.  At step 4 knead the dough by hand.

1. Dissolve 1/2 tsp sugar in 1/2 cup warm water. Add yeast and let stand for about 5 minutes.
2. When yeast is ready add milk, melted butter, and beaten egg to yeast mixture.
3. Mix flour, 1/2 cup sugar and salt in a separate bowl.
4. Using a dough hook, add flour mixture slowly to yeast mixture until the dough is no longer sticky. It’s okay to add more flour if the dough is still sticking to your fingers when you touch it.
5. Take dough out of bowl and form into a ball. Put back in bowl and cover with a clean towel and let rise in a warm, draft-free place. Let rise to double in size, about 90 minutes.
6. Once dough is doubled in size, punch the dough down and then form into balls.
7. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a baking pan with butter.
8. Lightly flour your work surface.  Flatten the dough balls by hand and form a rectangle.
9. Butter the top of the dough and add 6 pieces of pepperoni and your choice of cheese. Roll length-ways and pinch closed. Butter top of roll.
10. Place on pan. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until tops are slightly brown. Add butter to top of cooked pepperoni rolls.
11. Enjoy a piece of our Heaven!

*TIP:  The yeast is ‘ready’ when it’s bubbly, foamy, and gross looking.

**TIP:  To scald milk, just bring it to a boil.  That means you can boil it in the microwave.  It only takes a couple minutes.

pepp2

Dough is ready to be covered and set in a warm place to rise. Please note, I have never NOT had a mess of flour to clean up after I made these.

Dough has doubled!

Dough has doubled!

My helper punching the dough down after it doubled in size.

My helper punching the dough down after it doubled in size.

Dough is flattened, has been buttered, pepperoni is down, and cheese is on top.  Next, just roll it and pinch it shut.

Dough is flattened, has been buttered, pepperoni is down, and cheese is on top. Next, just roll it and pinch it shut.

Crazy for Caramel

Brown sugar cupcake injected with caramel and topped with a buttercream and caramel icing drizzled with caramel.

Brown sugar cupcake injected with caramel and topped with a buttercream and caramel icing drizzled with caramel.

When my mom came over tonight and started cleaning the kitchen I knew what she was wanting…CUPCAKES!  (Hehe, although she says she was just being a good mom.)  Either way, she got her cupcakes!  These cupcakes are made-from-scratch cupcakes.  Unlike my other cupcakes that use doctored up cake mixes.  I’m still not a huge fan of made-from-scratch cakes, but these were yummy.  They didn’t rise as much as I would like.  And, they were a little ‘dense’…but that could be from all the CARAMEL injected in them!  This is a brown sugar cupcake with caramel injected into it, topped with buttercream and caramel icing, drizzled with caramel! It gives me a sugar high just thinking about it!

 

Here’s the recipe for Brown Sugar Cupcakes:

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 stick of butter or margarine
1 cup of packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup of buttermilk

Directions:

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line muffin tin with papers. Combine flour, baking powder and salt; set aside.

Cream butter and brown sugar until fluffy. Add eggs, one a ta time until each are mixed in. Add vanilla. Alternating adding flour mixture and buttermilk until combined.

Bake for 25 minutes.

*TIP: No buttermilk? No worries! You can make buttermilk by taking a cup of milk and adding 1 tbsp of white vinegar OR lemon juice. Cool, huh?

 

Recipe for Caramel sauce:

2 cups brown sugar
1 can (12-14 oz) sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup margarine or butter
1 tsp vanilla

Directions:

Stir sugar and condensed milk together. Heat over low to medium heat. Stir until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat. Add butter and vanilla. Stir well.

Caramel or Carmel?

Caramel or Carmel?

*TIP: This is more of a ‘runnier’ caramel sauce. We used a medicine dropper to inject the cupcake with the caramel sauce after the cupcake was cooled. We used a basting brush to brush the top of the cupcake.  Then, we drizzled it on top of the icing.

**TIP:  This is a GREAT caramel sauce for kids to dip apples in!  Yumm!

 

Buttercream/Caramel icing:
We used this recipe found here: https://mrscrislip.wordpress.com/2014/03/25/white-almond-sour-cream-cupcakes/
Then, we added 3 tbsp of the caramel sauce to it!

Caramel or Carmel?

Cupcakes for Mom

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 611 other followers