Sunday, April 19, 2015

Muffins? Cupcakes? You never knew you needed...

Wilton batter spoons. More specifically, "Scoop it" batter spoons.

I know. I was skeptical, too.

My mom has been talking about these for awhile now, singing their praises, really. And I thought that they couldn't possibly be that useful. But recently I was baking muffins at her house and she pulled them out for me to use, and lemme tell ya, I loved it!

These scoops portion the batter evenly for each scoop. They come in various sizes, which you can use for different jobs. My favorite feature, though, was the edges of these scoops. They are edged with a colorful line of silicone which makes it so easy to get all the batter out of the bowl without having to dirty a spatula. I was able to use every last bit of the batter, and the scoops worked well each time. By that, I mean that the first scoop of batter was as easy and clean as the last.

No drips, no overflowing cupcakes, and no extra utensils to dirty? I'm sold.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Deviled Eggs take 2

This is the best recipe for deviled eggs. My family positively devours them at every major holiday. For Easter this year, I made between 50 and 60 deviled eggs...and they were all eaten. Down to the last little bite. Granted, I have a large family, but still.

The best part of these eggs is that they only require two ingredients. Okay, and paprika. But let's not get too technical here. I usually beat the yolks with a hand mixer to get things really smooth. This makes for prettier piping. You can go the fancy route like I did, or you can do what I usually do which is to scoop the mixture into a ziplock bag, cut off the corner, and "pipe" the yolk in that way.

The secret ingredient? Marzetti's Slaw dressing. It sounds wrong, but it is so, SO right.

Picture from

The only important thing to remember with these eggs is that you should make a ton of them.


Eggs, hardboiled
Marzetti's Slaw dressing


  1. Hard boil the eggs. I like to crack all the eggs after they've been boiled (but after you've run them under cool water to chill out). I leave the cracked eggs in a pot full of cool water for a while (maybe 15-30 minutes). For whatever reason I'd swear that it makes the eggs easier to peel. It also helps to peel them under running water.
  2. Slice the eggs lengthwise, and pop all the yolks out into a large mixing bowl. Add a dollop of dressing. Be conservative, because you can always add more. 
  3. Whip the yolks with a hand mixer until the yolks are smooth, and the consistency of softened butter. You can add more dressing as needed, but you don't want the yolk mixture to get runny.
  4. Spoon into the eggs. Or scoop into a ziplock baggie and pipe into eggs. Or use a pastry bag fitted with a star tip to pipe into the eggs. Or just eat with a spoon (don't do that last one or you can't call it deviled eggs...).

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Campfire Cookery

No, I'm still here! It's been awhile since I've blogged, but that's because camping probably doesn't count if you bring your computer, or worry about finding wifi. So, in honor of missing a more regular update schedule, I'm going to blog about a few camping recipes that are super easy and delicious.

Let's start with an obvious disclaimer: I am a car camper.

We drive up to our campsite, park right by the fire ring and picnic table, and unload the car. We have a cooler large enough to fit food for several days without struggle. And we can stand up in our tent--it's that big! I make no apologies--I prefer campsites with bathrooms and easy access to running water.

So, back to the trip!

Let's start with planning: 

At least a few days ahead, figure out what you want to eat for every meal. I like to list it out in four columns, like you see below:

Day                        Meal                    Ingredients                  Equipment
1- Breakfast   Breakfast Burrito                Tortillas                          Tinfoil
                                                             Eggs                             Tongs
                                                           Sausage                           Plates
                                                          Hash browns 
                                                          Green Chiles

1- Lunch            Sandwiches                   Bread                           Knife
                                                             Sun Chips
                                                        Grape Tomatoes

As you list things out, you can start to leave things off. So, if on day 2 I'm planning to have more breakfast burrito and sandwiches, I can skip over the ingredients. I know when I'm grocery shopping that I need enough quantity of things for there to be two (or three, or whatever) meals worth of whatever ingredients are listed. This lets you skip the "Oh, SNAP! I forgot the ___________" moment as you're preparing the food.

Yum! Everything tastes better when camping!

A few tips on packing Packing:

  • Try to group the foods together in a way that makes sense to your brain. For me, that meant drinks along one side, all the condiments together, and anything you'd use for a meal grouped (so, put the sliced peppers alongside the chicken if you're making fajitas)
  • Put the food in the cooler first, then layer the ice on top. Cold sinks, so this will help you to keep your food cold longer.
  • When opening your cooler, get your things out as quickly as possible. This keeps your ice from having to work too hard to cool the temperature back down. Grouping your food helps (see tip 1)
  • Take advantage of packaging--I used an empty bread sleeve (the plastic bag it comes in) to group my grape tomatoes and baby carrots. This kept my "snack veggies" all together and in easy access.

The recipes:


Breakfast burrito

This is a tasty alternative to bringing muffins on your trip. I always feel better starting my day out with some protein, so I was really excited to find this recipe. I prepared the filling, and froze it separate from the tortillas. Once I packed things, the frozen filling began to thaw, but served as an extra ice pack. Each morning I just scooped and rolled my tortillas in foil and baked them on the grate over some campfire coals. Because everything is pre-cooked, you are just aiming to get the food hot. Roll the burritos around every few minutes or so with the tongs so nothing burns.

Alternatively, you can make the filling and create burritos which you wrap in plastic, freeze, and can pull out to heat up in your microwave during a busy work week.

  • 12 eggs
  • 1 lb breakfast sausage
  • 1 package hash browns
  • 1 can green chilies, drained
  • Shredded cheese, if desired 
  • Large flour tortillas
  1. Cook the sausage until cooked through and crumbled, drain on a paper towel and wipe out skillet, leaving a little grease for the hash browns.
  2. Cook hash browns according to package directions, combine with sausage in a large bowl.
  3. Scramble together the 12 eggs until just cooked, but still glossy. Add to the large bowl.
  4. Drain the chilies, then add to the bowl with the cheese, if using. Mix well with salt and pepper to taste. Place into the tupperware (if camping) or make into burritos (if preparing for a busy week). This makes 8-10 burritos depending on how much filling you put in each burrito.

 Banana S'More Boat

I have seen this idea floating around the internet, and always felt skeptical. I mean, why mess with a perfectly good s'more? But we had a lot of extra bananas on this trip (sale on bananas!) so I figured I'd give this a try...and they were delicious! I used a graham cracker to scoop up bites of banana, but if you are gluten-free or just don't like graham crackers you can use a spoon directly from the foil.

I made mine with chunks of chocolate from a larger bar because I didn't feel the need to bring chocolate chips when I was already bringing chocolate bars. I also ripped up larger marshmallows with my fingers. I kind of wish I had mini-marshmallows, but I think if I just cut up a few marshmallows at home before going on the trip I can avoid buying two kinds of marshmallows.

Ingredients for each banana boat
  • 1 ripe banana
  • A handful of chocolate chips (or chunks broken off a larger bar)
  • Mini Marshmallows (or pre-cut marshmallow bites)
  • Graham Crackers if desired
  1. Peel the banana and place on a square of aluminum foil. Cut the banana mostly in half lengthwise (think hotdog's okay if the banana breaks apart, but it's easier if you keep it together.)
  2. Evenly stuff the banana with chocolate and marshmallow pieces, then wrap the banana completely in foil.
  3. Roast the banana on the coals of a campfire (or over a grill) for a few minutes, until the banana is softened and the chocolate and marshmallows are melted. Open foil pouch and place on a plate (or you can eat out of the foil if you place it on a plate or something so you don't get burned)
  4. Using a spoon or graham crackers, enjoy!