Sunday, May 19, 2019

One Bowl Buttery Corn Muffins

The best homemade cornbread muffins I've ever made! Easy recipe that can be made in just one bowl. Makes 12 Muffins**

1 stick melted butter (½ cup)
2 large eggs
¾ cup faux buttermilk*
2 T honey
½ cup sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt

¾ cup cornmeal
1 ¼ cup flour

Preheat oven to 400. In a large microwave safe bowl (glass or ceramic) melt the stick of butter. Stir in eggs, milk, honey, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Sprinkle cornmeal and flour evenly over the top. Stir with long fork or whisk until just combined. Bake at 400 degrees for 14-16 minutes or until golden brown and inserted toothpick comes out dry.

*faux buttermilk = scant tablespoon of vinegar plus milk up to 3/4 cup total volume

**I use the red silicone muffin pan from Aldi and the cups are a little bit bigger than the standard muffin tin.

Thursday, May 9, 2019

Kristi's Kitchen Hacks #2 - Baby Tasting Spoons!

I keep a stash of plastic baby spoons in my kitchen drawer right next to the stove and it has been life changing! This way I always have a tasting spoon while I'm cooking. I also use them for serving toppings at the table like sour cream, etc. They are just the right size and you aren't using up all your regular spoons!

Sunday, May 5, 2019

Cinnamon Streusel Topped Coffee Cake Muffins

Crumb Topping
1/4 cup melted butter (salted)
3 tablespoons white sugar
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 cup flour

1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
3/4 cup milk
1/3 cup canola oil

1/3 cup powdered sugar
1-3 teaspoon milk

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Make crumb topping by melting the butter in a microwave safe bowl, preferably glass. Then stir in the sugars, cinnamon, salt, and flour until well mixed. It will form into small balls. Spread the mixture onto a silicon baking mat or sheet of parchment paper. Spread it into a thin layer and let dry.

In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda and salt. In a large glass measuring cup or another bowl, whisk together milk, canola oil and egg. Pour wet mixture over dry ingredients and stir using a rubber spatula or long fork until just combined.

Scoop the batter into 10-12 muffin cups (I have a silicon muffin pan whose cups are slightly larger so in mine it makes 10 muffins). Break up the dried crumb topping with a ground beef masher or spatula edge until it is crumbly enough to sprinkle. Sprinkle crumb topping evenly over all the muffins, using your fingertips to gently press the crumbs into the batter. Bake for 20-24 minutes, or just until a tester inserted in the center comes out clean.

To make the glaze, combine powdered sugar and milk and stir until smooth and can be drizzled over muffins (adding more milk or sugar as necessary). When the muffins are done, cool for 10 minutes and drizzle the glaze on each muffin. Allow glaze to set before serving.

Slightly adapted from

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Kristi's Kitchen Hacks #1 - Easy and Fast Way to Frost Sugar Cookies

Kristi's Kitchen Hacks #1 - Piping the frosting is the easiest and fastest way I've found to decorate sugar cookies when making for a party or event!

My cookie recipe here and my frosting recipe here!

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Easy Sew Easter Egg Bunting Banner

Made this for Easter, super easy sewing project! Only takes 1-2 hours. I glued tiny clothes pins on the back of mine, 1 inch down from the top, so that I could adjust them on the bias tape string and take them on and off. Could also use ribbon to hang them on or twine. Biggest expense was purchasing pinking shears because I didn't have them. Was able to us a 40% off coupon at Hobby Lobby and got the Fiskar's brand for about 18 dollars total. I used low fill batting and ironed flat between each step. I just printed out an egg shape from the internet. Traced with a marker, sewed in from the marker 1/4 inch. Cut with pinking shears on the pen line. Used double wide bias tape for the string. Picture instructions of each step below.

Inspired by

Just FYI, the HOME letter decor is from LTD Commodities

Monday, April 8, 2019

DIY Water Based Acrylic Stain

Whenever I do small wood projects I just make my own stain out of acrylic paint and water. Costs nothing and doesn't have dangerous fumes! You can use it indoor. You can adjust the color however you want with the addition of black, red, brown, or yellow acrylic paint and water. Just be sure to stir it well and frequently while using. I seal the wood with MinWax Polyacrylic.

Sunday, April 7, 2019

Little Einstein's Rocketship Cake

Made this for my daughter's birthday a few years ago. Used my cake paint for the red and blue on top of a white frosting. Colored the red sucker stick with a red sharpie. The wings are made of cut sugar cone and graham crackers. Links to my recipes below:

Cake Paint Recipe

Cake Recipe

Frosting Recipe

Saturday, April 6, 2019

DIY Photo Print Hanging Boards with Clips

I take a ton of pictures and I love to print them out ... but I'm obviously not going to cover my walls in frames. So I came up with the idea to make different size boards that have clips I can easily change out the pictures. Item list and picture instructions below.

Item List for Horizontal Board
- from Lowes, they have ridges and interlock. Came in a package for about 1 dollar a piece
- steel cables for string
- ferrule and stop kit from lowes (the most expensive part!), used a hammer to smash them flat on the concrete patio
- tiny clothespins from hobby lobby
Used my DIY water based acrylic wood stain
- I sealed the wood with MinWax Polyacrylic.
- attached to wall with 3M velcro strips for the individual board, use wire to hang the large board

Item List for Vertical Board
- boards from lowes in craft wood section
- used small finishing nails for vertical board and hung a small metal clip from scrapbook section of Hobby Lobby
- Used my DIY water based acrylic wood stain
- I sealed the wood with MinWax Polyacrylic.
- hung on wall with picture frame hanger

Friday, April 5, 2019

Girl or Boy Baby Monster Cake

Made this for my daughter's first birthday because she is our little Monster. Used a small circle with a half ball cake form on top. Used sugar cones for horns, oreos for eyes and teeth, chocolate chips for the center of the eyes, and sugar pearls from Hobby Lobby for the tops of the horns. Frosting was cream cheese buttercream flavored with crushed freeze dried strawberries. Could make green, blue, or yellow frosting for a boy cake. Link to my cake recipe.

Sunday, March 24, 2019

Cream Puff Shells

So easy to whip up, I'm almost afraid to share the recipe :) Filling options are endless! The perfect dessert for special events, book club, or to share at a dinner party!

1/2 cup butter
1 cup water
1/2 tablespoon sugar
1 cup flour
4 eggs (room temp*)

Preheat oven to 375 and line cookie sheets with parchment or a silicone baking mat. Combine butter, water, and sugar in large nonstick saucepan over medium heat stirring frequently. Once it comes to a boil remove from heat and stir in flour. Bring pot back to burner on medium heat and stir constantly for 2 minutes with a spatula or wooden spoon, the dough should start forming a ball. Transfer dough to mixing bowl and let cool for 5 minutes. Turn on stand mixer or hand mixer and beat at low to medium speed adding one egg at a time until each is well blended in. Once all eggs are incorporated continue to beat for 30 seconds or until the dough is smooth and glossy.

Use a small to large cookie scoop to form cream puff shells on parchment or silicone baking mat lined cookie sheet. Make sure each shell is about 2 inches apart. If desired smooth any bumps on the top with a wet finger. Bake at 375 for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. If you are cooking two trays, switch halfway through. Turn the oven off and open the door to release the heat and steam. Let the shells dry in the oven with the door closed for an additional 10 minutes. Transfer shells to cooling rack to cool completely. Store in airtight container until ready to serve. Fill with fillings options listed below. Can be spooned into after cutting a hole out of the top or piped in with a pastry bag.

Filling Options:

  • chopped fruit
  • sweetened whipped cream
  • sweetened whipped cream mixed with cocoa powder or crushed freeze dried berries
  • lemon curd

*Quickly get eggs to room temperature by immersing uncracked eggs in a bowl of warm water or cracking the eggs into a bowl and letting them sit for a few minutes.

Monday, March 18, 2019

Zucchini and Tomato Pasta Sauce

I wrote this recipe as result of the fact that Aldi almost always sells zucchini :) It's a great way to incorporate it into a meal and a nice variation from traditional spaghetti sauce. I make it about once a month. Very quick to prep and it can be paired with any kind of pasta!

1 pound bite sized zucchini pieces (from approximately 2 medium)
2 T olive oil
2 T minced garlic
1 - 14.5 oz can Italian style petite diced tomatoes, with juice (or regular variety plus one teaspoon Italian seasoning)
1 - 8 oz can tomato sauce
1 T spaghetti seasoning mix
1 teaspoon sugar (optional)
salt and pepper to taste
hot pasta for serving
fresh parmesan for topping

Heat oil to medium low in large frying pan. Add garlic, once it starts to sizzle, stir for one minute. Add the zucchini, turn up to medium heat, and saute stirring frequently for 5 minutes. Add can of tomatoes, tomato sauce, and seasoning mix. Cover, reduce to medium low. Simmer for 5 minutes or until zucchini reaches desired tenderness. Salt and pepper to taste. Serve over hot pasta noodles and garnish with fresh parmesan.

Sunday, March 10, 2019

Raw Sweet Potato Sticks - Snack Idea!

The easiest and healthiest way to eat a sweet potato, raw! My friend Leslie introduced me to this idea when she had some at a party. I didn't know you could eat raw sweet potato?!?! Much like a carrot but a lot sweeter :) This is now a favorite healthy snack of mine.

sweet potato, peeled

Using a very sharp knife, cut peeled sweet potato lengthwise into slices and then into sticks. Store in airtight container in the fridge. Will keep for at least a week!

Friday, March 1, 2019

Homestyle Chicken Noodle Soup

Homemade, from scratch, version of Campell's Homestyle Chicken Noodle Soup

2 boxes chicken broth (32 oz)
2-3 stalks celery, chopped
3 carrots, peeled and chopped
2/3 cup frozen green peas
8 ounces shredded chicken (from baked split chicken breast)
4 ounces thin soup noodles (can find in Hispanic section)
salt and pepper, to taste

Bring chicken broth to simmer in large stock pot. Cook celery, carrots, and peas, covered, until tender. Add chicken and noodles. Cook covered until noodles reach desired tenderness, should take about 5 minutes. Salt and pepper to taste. Serve with bread.

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Hashbrown Pancakes

Easy, filling, and tasty! Gluten free and the addition of meat is optional. Makes 4-5 pancakes. Be sure to read the tips at the bottom. I make these once a week now! Adapted from a recipe found on the back of the frozen shredded hashbrown bag.

2 cups frozen shredded hash browns (thawed)*
3 eggs (whisked with a fork)
½ cup shredded cheese
¼-½ cup crumbled cooked sausage, bacon, ham, or chopped pepperoni slices** (optional)
¼-½ teaspoon seasoned salt, like Lawry's (depending on saltiness of meat or salt preference level)
½-2 tablespoons oil (for cooking)
sour cream for garnish/topping (optional)

Heat oil in frying pan on medium low to medium heat (½-1 tablespoon should be enough if using a good nonstick pan)***. Besure to spread oil evenly over pan. Place a single shred of potato in the oil and when it sizzles then the oil is ready to cook in. Combine potatoes, eggs, cheese, meat, and spices in bowl.

Using a medium ice cream scoop (large cookie scoop), scoop out  onto your heated frying pan and press down a little bit to shape into a flattened circle. Cook with lid on for 2 minutes on first side and 1.5-2 minutes on second side, until golden brown and egg is cooked. I leave the lid on while cooking to create more steam to make sure the egg gets cooked quickly without burning the pancake.

Place on paper towels prior to serving to drain any excess grease. Sprinkle with kosher salt and/or black pepper prior to serving.  Garnish with sour cream.

*Thaw on counter or in microwave at 70% power for 30 second increments, stirring between.

**I cooked a bunch of crumbled sausage ahead of time and froze in little bags to have on hand for this recipe.

***My stove settings go from 1-10, I cook these pancakes on 4.

Saturday, February 9, 2019

Twinkle Twinkle Little Star Cake

Made this cake for my daughter's second birthday, after her very favorite song! Moon and stars were made out of my sugar cookie recipe. Then I brushed a powdered sugar and milk glaze over them and dipped them in gold or white sprinkles. Made cake from two layers of 6 inch round cake pans. Cake stand is from Hobby Lobby. Frosting is my cream cheese buttercream recipe. Link to my cake recipe.