Monthly Archives: June 2012

Amaretto Brownies


I am posting this recipe because others really liked it. I’m not a huge Amaretto fan (not a big fan of the taste…makes me think of marzipan!) but I baked these for “A” night and they got good reviews. So if you DO like Amaretto, you will probably like these and they’re super easy to make.

Amaretto Brownies

2/3 cup slivered almonds – toasted (optional)
8 oz. semisweet baking chocolate
1/3 cup butter
1 1/4 cups flour
1 cup sugar
2 tbsp Amaretto
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 eggs

  • Heat oven to 350°. Grease 13x9x2 pan.
  • Put 1/3 cup almonds in a food processor. Cover and process on and off until ground. Chop remaining almonds and set aside (I did not add the slivered almonds to my brownies).
  • Melt chocolate and butter in 3 quart saucepan over low heat, stirring until smooth. Remove from heat.
  • Stir in remaining almonds, flour, sugar, Amaretto, baking powder, salt, and eggs.
  • Spread batter in the pan and bake 22-27 minutes until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
  • Cool completely.
  • Frost with Amaretto Frosting and sprinkle with chopped almonds if desired.
  • Cut as desired.

Amaretto Frosting

2 cups powdered sugar
3 tbsp butter – softened
1 tbsp Amaretto
1 or 2 tbsp milk

  • Mix all ingredients until smooth.
  • Spread evenly over brownies.

Enjoy 🙂

(recipe from Betty Crocker Cookie Cookbook)


Kielbasa & Apple Pasta Bake

English: Two Fuji apples. In 1992, Washington ...

Two Fuji apples (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’ve made this a few times now and each time we eat it we remember how much we love it! We last made it for one of our Smith nights and our guests liked it as well. You’d be surprised how yummy the kielbasa/apple/cheddar combo tastes!

Kielbasa & Apple Pasta Bake

1 lb. rigatoni pasta
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 large onion – sliced
1/4 cup flour
4 cups milk
3 cups shredded extra sharp cheddar cheese
1 tsp hot pepper sauce
1 tsp salt
14 oz. cooked kielbasa – sliced into 1/4 inch thick rounds
3 Fuji apples – cored and cut into 1/2 inch chunks

  • Heat oven to 350°. Coat a 10 cup baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.
  • In a large pot of lightly salted boiling water, cook the pasta until tender according to package directions. Drain.
  • In a large saucepan, heat olive oil over medium high heat. Add onion and cook 5-7 minutes until softened.
  • Stir in the flour and cook for a minute more.
  • Gradually whisk in the milk. Bring to a boil, stirring continuously. Boil for about 1 minute or until thickened. Remove from heat.
  • Set aside 1 cup cheese for later. Stir in the remaining 2 cups cheese, hot pepper sauce, and salt into the milk mixture until smooth (the sauce mixture will look kind of gross, but trust me, it tastes delicious!).
  • In the pasta pot, toss pasta, cheese sauce, kielbasa, and apples. Spoon into the baking dish. Cover with foil.
  • Bake, covered, at 350°, for 30 minutes. Uncover. Stir pasta mixture. Sprinkle with remaining cheese. Bake about 10 minutes more until cheese is melted. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.

Is your mouth watering yet? Enjoy! 🙂

(recipe from Family Circle Cookbook)

After School Dip

English: A stack of Nabisco Graham Crackers.

English: A stack of Nabisco Graham Crackers. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’ve made this dip a few times now and each time that it’s served, people rave about it! It’s so simple to make and you can dip a variety of items in it. I usually serve it with apple slices and graham crackers. You could also use ginger cookies, ‘nilla wafers, or other fruits!

After School Dip

8 oz. package cream cheese
1 tbsp milk
3 tbsp dark brown sugar
1/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1/3 cup raisins (optional – I leave these out as I’m not a big raisin fan)

  • Using a food processor or blender, combine cream cheese and milk. Do not overbeat.
  • Add brown sugar and pumpkin pie spice. Mix until blended.
  • If you’re adding raisins, transfer mixture to a bowl and then add the raisins.
  • Serve with your choice of dippers and enjoy 🙂

(recipe courtesy of Family Circle Cookbook)

Smith Fun Night “A” Edition


This was our end of February party. The food was really good and the company was even better 🙂

Here is what we served:

After School Dip
Angel Wings
Artichoke & Spinach Dip (courtesy of Tastefully Simple)
Avocado Onion Salad (courtesy of Kim P.)
Avocado Dip (courtesy of Danielle)
Asian Lettuce Wraps (courtesy of Kim P.)
Apple & Keilbasa Pasta Bake
Amaretto Brownies
Applesauce Spice Cupcakes 
Apple Crisp (courtesy of Amanda and Chris)
Apple Spice Cookies (courtesy of Kim L.)

I will be posting many of the above recipes as there are too many good ones!

We played Apples to Apples and watched Anchorman and Aladdin. It was a great night with great friends 🙂

Half & Half Cupcakes


Sorry for the lack of posts lately! Work has been super busy as my school is going through re-accreditation and we recently had a family vacation to Florida (at least that part was fun!). But now I’m back and can get back on track! 🙂

This is a super easy recipe that I found on pinterest. The options are endless and you can mix and match so many different types of brownie or cake mixes! I chose to try the combo in the recipe; brownie batter topped with strawberry cake. It was yummy, but not as delicious as I had expected. I will use a different flavor combo next time that I want to bake “half & half cupcakes” as I have dubbed them 😉

Half & Half Cupcakes

2 different boxes of baking mixes (for this one I used 1 box brownie mix and 1 box strawberry cake mix)

Preheat oven to 350°.
Mix each box separately and add the required ingredients.
If you’re using brownie batter, add this to your cupcake liners first. Fill about 1/3 full.
Spoon the cake batter over the brownie batter (or other cake batter), filling about 2/3 full.
Bake until tops are golden brown, about 20 minutes.

I brought them to school for Valentine’s Day…the girls and I called them Pinkalicious Cupcakes! Enjoy – and if you decide to bake these, please leave a comment on which flavors/types of mix you used! 🙂