really good recipes

7 clever kitchen tips that just may change your life

October 28, 2014

I’m always on the lookout for tips that make my time spent in the kitchen more efficient and effective.

kitchen tips

I guarantee that some of these smart shortcuts and ingenious ideas will have you saying “Why didn’t I think of that?”…

The next time you make any recipe that calls for shredded chicken just remember this terrific timesaver that we found on Blue Cricket Design. Instead of pulling out the cutting board–use the beater attachment on your Kitchen Aid Mixer and you’ll be finished in less than a minute.

Got a recipe that calls for cutting butter into flour? Katie from Good Life Eats recommends keeping some butter in the freezer, then grating it with a cheese grater. A great tip for bakers that make lots of pie crusts or biscuits.

Love garlic but not the peeling? Follow the easy instructions on The Pin Junkie and you’ll be in business in no time at all–you’ll be amazed at the easy two step process.

This technique will come in handy the next time you’re serving up pancakes to the little ones. End the battle with a fork and knife by cutting their pancakes with a pizza cutter…perfect every time! Brooklyn from Cook and Craft Me Crazy believes this shortcut is a must for every mom out there.

We all love the convenience of a non-stick spray…but maybe don’t care for the all chemicals or preservatives in it. Just 2 Sisters can show you how to make your own at home–using just olive oil and water. Extra bonus: it’s a moneysaver!

You’ve spent all that time baking a beautiful cake. Here’s the inside secret to keeping it fresh after you cut it–sliced bread and toothpicks. Wanna know how this works? Just head over to Created by Diane where you will find all the details.

Your cutting board may not be as clean as you think it is. Rachael from All Kinds of Yumm was amazed at the results when she used fresh lemon and kosher salt to disinfect hers. Head over to her blog to check out the before and after.

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mug cakes in minutes

October 24, 2014

Satisfy your sweet tooth and cake cravings quickly (and quite cutely) with a mug cake!  I whipped up this caramel apple number from our Mug Cakes recipe book for a fall evening treat.

mug cakes book Here’s what you need:

2 tablespoons of unsalted butter

1 grated apple

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

1 egg

2 tablespoons milk

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/4 cup sugar

6 tablespoons self rising flour

pinch of kosher salt

caramel sauce

whipped cream

 caramel apple mug cake In a large mug combine the butter, cinnamon and apple and microwave for 30 seconds until butter is melted.  Whisk in egg with fork.  Stir in milk, vanilla and sugar, then add flour and salt.  Beat the batter until smooth.  Fold in the caramel sauce and divide into two mugs.  Microwave separately for 1.5 to 2.5 minutes each until risen and firm.

mug cake recipe

Top with whipped cream & caramel sauce and enjoy this warm autumn treat!

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spooky sips that will send a chill up your spine

October 21, 2014

We continue to be amazed at the creative recipes that fellow bloggers come up with–and Halloween is no exception. You’ve come to the right place whether you’re looking for the perfect Halloween Party punch or searching for a few tempting cocktails for the adults.

spooky sips for halloween

We’ve even included one liquid refreshment that will light up the night. Happy Haunting!

This drink may look gory, but it tastes amazing according to Krissy from Self Proclaimed Foodie. Her delicious Vampire Cocktail will surely get stir up some conversation at your Halloween get-together.

Amber from Dessert Now Dinner Later concocted this colorful Candy Corn Punch with the magic of “layering”. Want to learn how?-head over to her blog to get all the details.

What would Halloween be without a little Black Magic? This creepy cocktail is ghoulishly dark and is brimming with the luscious flavors of citrus and black cherries. Sound intriguing?-Adventures in Cooking has the full recipe here.

Amy from A Healthy Life for Me scared up a few spirits and created her own flavorful drink for Halloween…the Witch’s Brew Cocktail. Surprisingly, this thirst quencher has a twist of coconut and pineapple~a treat for the tastebuds!

Turn down the lights, break out a black light and wait for the excitement to begin! Head over to Girl Loves Glam to find out the secret ingredient that McKenzie uses to make this eerie version of a classic lemonade that she calls “liquid ghost drink”.

Here’s a yummy way to warm up your little trick-or-treaters after a long night of roaming the neighborhood…Halloween Hot Chocolate! Debbie of Made from Pinterest used a basic recipe of white hot chocolate, then explains how you can really get creative with your color and topping choices.

What little ghost or goblin wouldn’t like a taste of this Spooky Shirley Temple? Now that marshmallow-y peeps are available for almost holiday, it’s easy to conjure up a ghastly drink for the kiddos and that’s exactly what Kellie from Nest of Posies did (and even added in some Pop Rocks for a little extra color and excitement).

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savor the flavors of fall with a sip of sangria

October 7, 2014

Sangria isn’t just a fun, fruity  summer drink. It’s so easy to take your favorite bottle of wine and infuse the very essence of the season.

sangria recipes

Whether it’s abundant apple harvests, delicious cranberries, or a dash of tasty cinnamon–these flavors add up to a cocktail you’ll want to cozy up with….

The Effortless Chic Blog has a fabulous recipe for the Perfect Fall Sangria. Make sure that you stock up on cinnamon sticks to serve with these tasty drinks!

Christina of Dessert for Two devised this clever recipe for Sparkling Fig Sangria to serve to her out-of -town visitors. The only problem?–she can’t decide whether she likes it better served warm or cold :)

If you loved caramel apples as a kid, then here’s one you need to try…head over to The Wholesome Dish and check out Amanda’s grown up version of this childhood treat-Caramel Apple Sangria.

Here’s a recipe that you might want to tuck away for Thanksgiving (although, it will be here before we know it).  This easy-to-make Cranberry Sangria is the perfect drink to serve your guests this year. It can be made the night before and all you have to do is take it out of the fridge and let your friends go to town!

If you love lemon and lime–make sure you try this  Spiced Sangria With Citrus. Claire from The Kitchy Kitchen says that mulling spices were her inspiration when she came up with this delicious drink.

Another way to give your cider a kick is by adding some ginger brandy, white wine and club soda.  We made this for our annual neighborhood party this past fall and got lots of requests for refills.

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skip the slice and have your pie in a jar

October 1, 2014

There’s just something so cute and satisfying about individual dessert servings–all lined up and looking delicious (an added bonus: these would travel well if you need to make something for a potluck).

pies in jars recipes

Also, with these scrumptious pies in a jar–you’ll never have to worry about making a mess when you attempt to cut that first slice (am I the only one that has that problem?).  Here’s to a delicious dessert on your table tonight!

I’m not sure which appealed to me more in this recipe…Easy, No Bake or Peanut Butter! If any of these also peak your interest, then head over to Baking A Moment where you’ll find all the details on how to make your very own Easy No-Bake Peanut Butter Pie Jars.

No pie post would be complete without fruit. We found a divine recipe for Mini Peach Pies in a Jar on the Home Cooking Memories Blog. Brandie came up with a great shortcut and used fruit cups as a base for mouthwatering pie filling.

Pumpkin season is in full swing right now, so what better time to whip up these No Bake Pumpkin Pies In Jar? Lindsay from Life, Love & Sugar was inspired to come up with her own version after she enjoyed a similar desserts at various restaurants.

These Mason Jar Mud Pies can be easily made using store bought coffee ice cream, but Kelly from The Lily Pad Cottage also shares her yummy recipe for the homemade version on her blog.

I was struck by this unusual flavor combination and bet it would be wonderful…the Mini Lemon Honey Meringue Pies from Sugar and Charm sound absolutely amazing! Eden describes her recipe as a nice balance between the perfect slight tang of lemon and sweetness of sugar and honey.

This fancy little dessert-Mini Mason Jar Blueberry Pie-was baked using pre-made pie dough and homemade filling. Wouldn’t you love to serve up this delightful dish to your family or guests tonight?  The Handmade Mood has all the details here.

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it’s tailgate time!

September 24, 2014

Are your weekends filled with football games?? Whether you’re tailgating with the gang at the stadium or enjoying the game at home with your family, there are always plenty of hungry mouths to feed.

tailgate treats

This week we’re taking the guesswork out of what to serve–everything from delicious dips to a couple of sweet football themed desserts!

Kelli from The Good Weekly describes this Walking Taco as the perfect tailgating food. It’s basically taco ingredients in a bag of Doritos or Fritos–it’s both satisfying and easy to handle if you’re out and about socializing before the big game.

We bet the Chocolate Dipped Football Pretzels that we found on My Husband Ate All My Ice Cream will be a big hit at your next tailgate party. You can whip up this easy treat using only three ingredients!

Jen’s recipe for  Creamy Buffalo Chicken Dip will have your football fans coming back for seconds.  Head over to her blog- Yummy Healthy Easy- where you will find the complete recipe.

You don’t have to be a native of the Badger State to enjoy this delicious appetizer… break out a bag of pretzels and serve up some Wisconsin Beer Dip to your guests. It’s no wonder this tasty dip is a tradition at family gatherings and tailgate parties.


Pizza fans will love this bite-size version of a classic–these Pepperoni Pizza Puffs may be small in size but they really deliver on the flavor front. If we’ve got your mouth watering, be sure to check out the full instructions on The Country Cook.

If you’re short on time, these Baked Ham and Swiss Sliders can be made a day ahead of time and kept in the fridge until you are ready to bake–then just a few minutes in the oven and you’re ready to head out to the game.

If you want to learn how to turn a pan of ordinary brownies into Football Brownies, you must check out the Confetti Sunshine Blog where Sara shares her insider tips!

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Take a peek at these pretty pink eats

September 17, 2014

It’s possibly the most fun color on the planet…PINK! Add a touch of it to almost anything (including food) and the wow factor automatically kicks in.  pink eats

Here are recipes for  a few dishes that aren’t typically a shade of pink–but somehow these resourceful bloggers came up with a way to make it work.

Who wouldn’t love to wake up to this sweet breakfast treat? These Pink Ribbon Cinnamon Rolls are easy to make–Christi of Love from the Oven whips up this amazing recipe using a cake mix along with a few other ingredients.

Meet the sweet sister to red velvet cupcakes~Pink Velvet Cupcakes. Audra from The Baker Chick advises you to go all “pink and sparkly” with these. Her friends loved them!

Pink M&Ms are the top secret ingredient in Ali Bee’s Bake Shoppe recipe for Pink and White Chip Cookies. These moist and fluffy treats look too good to pass up.

Check out the Strawberry Pecan Fudge that we found on Dear Crissy. It  looks almost too lovely to eat and is made using only 3–yes 3–ingredients. It just doesn’t get much simpler than that!

KC came up with the recipe for her Pink Delight to serve at her family’s New Year’s Eve celebration–but this pretty drink can be enjoyed any time of the year. She made it non-alcoholic so the whole family could enjoy it, but says you can add to sparkling champagne to kick it up a notch for the adults.

She had me at the words “No Bake” :)  Take a look at the No Bake Strawberry Milkshake Cheesecake recipe that Lindsay is sharing over at Life, Love, & Sugar. A quick and colorful alternative to a traditional cheesecake that can require quite a bit more effort.

It’s starting to feel like soup weather around here, so I may need to try the Pink Soup with Roasted Onions and Broccoli from the Golubka Kitchen. In all honesty, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a more beautiful soup…a feast for the eyes and the appetite!

Chocolate Covered Katie has got a great way to start off your day…raspberries reign supreme in the recipe for her Yogurt Breakfast Bowl.  Just mix up  a few ingredients in your blender and you’re good to go!

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7 cures for your coffee cake cravings

September 2, 2014

No matter how you like your coffee…black, with sugar and cream, or flavored–the perfect companion is a slice of delicious coffee cake (and homemade is always better!) While the basic recipe may be the same, we found quite a few talented bloggers that have come up with their own version of this classic~all featuring one ingredient that sets it apart.

coffee cake recipes

If you’re ready to savor the flavors of fall, keep reading–you’re sure to stumble upon a new coffee cake recipe that will satisfy your sweet tooth.

If you like citrus, then you’ll definitely want to try the Lemon Curd Coffee Crumb Cake recipe that we found on the Wallflour Girl Blog. Her recipe is both sweet and tangy (it’s topped with a delicious vanilla drizzle).

If chocolate is at the top of your list, then you might prefer the Chocolate Chip Coffee Cake from A Kitchen Addiction. Jessica’s recipe can turn an ordinary morning or afternoon into something a little more special :)

It’s that time of the year when pumpkin steps up and takes front and center in lots of treats, so that would make it the perfect time to try the Pumpkin Coffee Cake from My Sweet Savannah.  This mouthwatering version is topped with a brown butter icing—yum!

Just from looking at this pic, I can almost taste the delicious crunchy topping on RedHead Can Decorate’s Cinnamon Coffee Cake. Just add scrambled eggs and fruit for the perfect breakfast menu.

Here’s another nod to Fall…the Upside-Down Cinnamon Apple Coffee Cake courtesy of The Lady Behind the Curtain. Her scrumptious version is loaded with lots of pecans and apples.

Mavis from One Hundred Dollars A Month shares her unique take on coffee cake here–one that features the flavors of vanilla and pear. The recipe evolved from a blueberry buckle recipe that took on a whole new life.

We’re sure you’ll want to Take a Megabyte of the delightful Strawberry Coffeecake that Megan is serving up on her blog. She admits that it was hard to photograph it because she wanted to eat it so badly!

Like original recipes that will have your guests saying “I want more”?  We love sharing our finds. Don’t want miss out on our future features… simply sign up to receive these blog post in your inbox.

7 clever campfire recipes

August 19, 2014

As summer is winding down, one last adventure may be on your calendar…a camping trip. In addition to your campfire classics- make this year especially memorable by trying out a few new dishes on your menu.

campfire recipes

These tasty offerings may even have your pickiest diners coming back for seconds!

A burger for breakfast? Yes-according to Emily of the Jelly Toast Blog. Her Campfire Breakfast Burger is actually perfect any time of the day. These delicious sandwiches start with a black pepper cheddar biscuit and are loaded up with a sausage patty and an egg.

Looking for a really quick and easy option? This Camping Quesadilla from the Cupcake Diaries Blog is your answer. Alli says to make things even simpler, prepare the chicken at home ahead of time and then all you have to do at camp is load up your ingredients, cook over the fire, and dinner is served.

Hankering for a bite between meals? Then the Campfire Spinach Dip that we found on Twin Dragonfly Designs may be right up your alley. If for some strange reason you have any leftovers just keep the foil packet close to the fire where it will stay warm and melty until everyone is ready to dig in again.

Campfire Popcorn- 3 ways…whether you like yours fruity and nutty, hot and smoky, or sweet and sticky-The Juggling Act Mama has got a recipe that you need to check out. She shares her basic popcorn recipe then shows you how to create the perfect snack to enjoy on your next camping trip.

The recipe for these Campfire Orange Cinnamon Rolls is not only clever, but sooooo easy! All you need are store-bought cinnamon rolls and 8 oranges. Here’s the cool part: the oranges are hollowed out and used as a cooking vessel for the rolls and add an infusion of orange flavor into the rolls. Want to learn more? Head over to the Oleander and Palm Blog to find the directions for this delicious breakfast.

Sometimes a new spin on an old favorite is all it takes to get the kids to come running! Take your everyday hot dogs and turn them into Spider Hot Dogs (looks like they might even cook a little faster with this method).  Take a trip over to the Naptime Creations to check out Emily’s instructions along with other suggestions for campfire cooking.

End your day with a sweet treat by making these S’More Cheesecake Campfire Cones courtesy of the Making Memories With Your Kids Blog. You wrap up these goodies in foil and heat them up until creamy and velvety.

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corn-on-the-cob kicked up a notch

August 12, 2014

While I’ve never been a big fan of canned or frozen corn, corn-on-the-cob is a whole different story. There’s nothing quite like biting into a  fresh, sweet, buttery cob of corn in the summertime.

I recommend taking advantage of this delectable veggie while it is in season–who can resist? And here are a few new ways to make a good thing even better…


Just looking at this photo–you know that this side dish is bursting with flavor.  If you like a little heat, try out the Spicy Hoisin and Sesame Glazed Corn Recipe over on the BetsyLife Blog.

Talk about texture and flavor…your tastebuds won’t know what hit them once you take a taste of this Mexican Street Corn that we found on A House In The Hills.  These cobs are drizzled with a lime crema sauce and topped with cashews and cilantro.

You’ll probably want more than Just A Taste of this Cheesy Roasted Garlic Corn. In her recipe, Kelly slathers these ears with roasted garlic aioli, grated Parmesan, and a squeeze of fresh citrus.

Over on the Frugal Living Mom Blog, Jen is serving up her version of Curried Corn On The Cob. Adjusting the heat on this is easy–simply use a milder curry powder.

Have you ever even considered incorporating fresh corn into a pizza? Ashley was inspired to come up with her mouthwatering recipe for Bacon, Corn, and Caramelized Onion Pizza from her childhood when her mom used to treat her by ordering delivery pizza and renting movies on the weekends. Take a trip over to the Baker by Nature Blog, where she reminisces  about those fun times with her mother.

If you’re looking for the perfect side dish for your BBQ, your search has ended. Christine of First Home Love Life suggests  you let this Sweet and Spicy Corn Salsa sit in the fridge for a few hours ahead of time so that all of the unbelievable flavors can mix and mingle for a while–then serve it up with tortilla chips!

Silky, smooth, and creamy are the delicious details that Debi uses to describe her Fresh Summer Corn Soup. You can find the step-by-step recipe over on the her blog, Life Currents.

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April McCrumb

I'm April McCrumb ~ a creative gal from Michigan that loves to share clever gift ideas, simple recipes, my favorite tunes & all things crafty.  Thanks for stopping by my whimsical world. I hope you enjoy your visit.

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