Lazy Sundays: Springtime

River in the Springtime

It’s Springtime.

The River stirring with the melting snow coming off the mountain.

The sound out my window, of new baby birds chirping into the early dawn.

Tulips peeking out of the snow covered ground.

Springtime Tulips

New baby fawns frolicing off the mountain side…to EAT my tulips coming out of the ground.

Waiting for Summer to arrive next… to go frog hunting before bedtime.

SimplyGloria.com  Catching Frogs

Hearing the joyful squeals of all the children riding their bikes out until sunset.

Going for evening walks after dinner holding hands.

So, until then… we’re not yet done with saying good-bye to catching snowflakes on our tongues.

Catching Snow

Just waiting for springtime to come upon us…

While still waiting for Ol’ Man Winter to leave.

Coconut Butter Cookies

Coconut Butter Cookies by SimplyGloria.com

 Coconut Butter Cookies are buttery clouds of a cake-like cookie rolled in sweet coconut.

I wanted a puffy, cake-y, buttery cookie —  So, I decided to use a Yellow Butter Cake mix for this recipe.

 I’m an “all from scratch” kind of baker.  But sometimes, I let loose a bit and use cake mixes for cookies and bars!  (whoo, I know.)  I have to admit there’s nothing wrong with a boxed cake mix.  I mean, you have endless amounts of base flavors!  I really love to bake cakes from scratch, though.  But I occasionally buy a box for special, fast treats like this one.

Coconut Butter Cookies - SimplyGloria.com #coconut

You will not be disappointed at how buttery these cookies are.  They are very easy and fast to whip up!

There’s only a few simple ingredients you need to go with the Yellow Butter Cake mix:  a cube of butter, 1 egg, and flavoring extract.  And, of course the star of the cookie just isn’t butter flavor…but coconut!  Here’s how you begin…  But first start by preheating your oven at 350 degrees.

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Cut the butter into pieces and place in a large microwavable bowl.  Melt the butter for 30 seconds.  Add a few more seconds if not completely melted.  Add the package of cake mix.  Mix together with a large spoon.  No mixer needed for these!

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It will be a little dry at first.  Mix in the beaten egg and 1 tablespoon of Brandy.  Yep, the hard stuff!!  (It will bake out.)  But if you opt to not use it,  you can substitute the brandy for vanilla or butter extract.

I actually love to bake with brandy.  It gives the baked goods so much flavor!  (Although, one time when I used more than a tablespoon of brandy for some other cookies… and was feeling a leetle funny after munching on a lot of batter!)

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Now the cookie dough will be all smooth!

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Put 3/4 cup of coconut into a separate bowl.  Use a medium sized cookie scoop and make some buttery balls of dough.  The dough will still be very soft…but still roll-able.  Roll the dough into the coconut and roll again between your palms.

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Place on a baking sheet with a lined silicon mat or parchment paper.  Place about 1″ and a half apart from each other.  Bake for 8 to 10 minutes.

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Rest on the hot baking sheet (or stone) for 3 to 5 more minutes to finish slowly cooking.  Then cool on a rack or some paper towels on top of counter.

Coconut Butter Cookies by SimplyGloria.com  # coconut #cookies

Enjoy these clouds of buttery, coconut cookies, my friends!

These Coconut Butter Cookies were included in “10 Delicious Cookie Recipes” at The Taylor House!

**My Coconut Butter Cookies are linked up to party with {Truly Lovely Blog} & {Designed Decor} & {The Thriftiness Miss} & {Love and Laundry} & {Real Housemoms}

Coconut Butter Cookies
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 

 

This recipe makes about 2 dozen cookies.
Ingredients
  • 1 Butter Recipe Yellow Cake Mix
  • ½ cup of butter, melted
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 1 tablespoon brandy (or butter/vanilla extract)
  • ¾ cup coconut

Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Melt butter in a large microwave safe bowl for 30 seconds, or until completely melted.
  3. Stir in the package of cake mix with a large spoon.
  4. Add in a beaten egg and brandy (or extract).
  5. Mix very well.
  6. Use a medium cookie scoop (or make medium size balls of dough by hand) and roll between your palms to form even shaped balls.
  7. Roll into the coconut in a separate bowl.
  8. Shape once more between your palms with the coconut on the ball of dough.
  9. Place on a baking sheet about 1″ and a half from each other.
  10. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes.
  11. Leave on already hot baking sheet for 3 to 5 minutes before taking off to cool.

Notes
Recipe by Gloria Phillips (SimplyGloria.com)

Triple Peanut Butter Chex Bars

Triple Peanut Butter Chex Bars - SimplyGloria.com  #PeanutButter #Chex

 I am a PEANUT BUTTER fanatic!  That’s why I had to go all out with the name —  Triple Peanut Butter Chex Bars!  

Something about melted peanut butter and marshmallows mixed in with some crunchy chex cereal…it is just a crunchy peanut butter-y experience!

I’ve been making these for my boys since they were little… the older boys, that is.   And, they still think this is such a treat whenever I make them!  These bars are gobbled up before the day is even over!

Triple Peanut Butter Chex Bars by SimplyGloria.com

After these bars are cooled down and cut into squares… then they’re dipped in melted white chocolate with peanut butter chips!  Oh my!

I usually make these with Reese’s Pieces.  But since I took a little pit stop in the Easter candy isle…we ended up with other peanut butter filled candy this time.

This is super easy to mix up!  One bowl and the microwave.  Here’s all what you’ll need for this recipe:  marshmallows, creamy peanut butter, a few tablespoons of butter, only 5 cups of corn chex, peanut butter candy pieces, white chocolate and peanut butter chips.

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Put a small (10 ounce) bag of mini marshmallows in a large microwavable bowl with 3 tablespoons of butter.

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Melt for 1 minute.  Take out and stir.  Put in for an additional 30 seconds.  Or until completely melted.

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Add 3/4 cup of creamy peanut butter.  Put back into microwave for another 20 to 30 seconds to heat the peanut butter just a little bit.

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Stir the warm peanut butter through the melted marshmallows.

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Add 5 cups of corn chex to the melted mixture.  And kinda fold it all in together.  Don’t worry about breaking up some of the chex.  It all comes out perfectly delicious!

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Pour in some peanut butter chips and peanut butter pieces and mix a little more.

Triple Peanut Butter Chex Bars by SimplyGloria.com #pb

Put the whole peanut butter, marshmallow-y delicious mess into a 8 x 8 inch baking dish.  (You can put in a little bigger pan, the bars just won’t be as thick.)

Let these bars set up and completely cool (about 15 minutes, if you can wait that long!)  But while you’re waiting to cut into these… go ahead and get the final step ready.

SimplyGloria.com #pb

Pour 1/4 cup of peanut butter chips and 1/4 cup of white chocolate chips.  Melt in microwave for 30 seconds and stir.  Put back into melt for 10 seconds intervals, if needed.  Just keep stirring and the chips will melt by the heat you’ve already done.

Triple PB Chex Bars by SimplyGloria.com

When you’ve cut the bars, dip the bottom of them into the white chocolate and peanut butter melted mixture.  And set on wax paper or parchment paper to finish cooling the melted bottom.

Triple Peanut Butter Chex Bars

Look at how the creamy marshmallows blend well with the peanut butter.  It is just a ooey-gooey event of crunchiness!

Triple Peanut Butter Bars @ SimplyGloria.com

Enjoy, my peanut butter lovin’ friends!

Triple PB Chex Bars by SimplyGloria.com #chex #pb

Triple Peanut Butter Chex Bars
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 

 

Ingredients
  • 1 (10 ounce) bag of mini marshmallows
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • ¾ cup creamy peanut butter
  • 5 cups corn chex cereal
  • ¾ cup peanut butter chips, divided
  • ¼ cup white chocolate chips
  • 1 and half cups of peanut butter candy

Instructions
  1. Melt butter and marshmallows in a large microwavable bowl for 1 minutes. Stir together.
  2. Add another 30 seconds to continue melting.
  3. Add creamy peanut butter.
  4. Put back in microwave for 20 to 30 seconds to warm the peanut butter.
  5. Mix thoroughly.
  6. Add 5 cups of corn chex cereal, ½ cup of peanut butter chips and candy pieces.
  7. Mix until all is evenly covered.
  8. Put in an 8 x 8 inch pan to set and cool down.
  9. Melt white chocolate chips and ¼ cup of peanut butter chips in a small bowl in the microwave fro 30 seconds. Add another 10 seconds, if needed.
  10. When bars are cooled, cut into squares.
  11. Dip the bottom of the bars into the melted chips.
  12. Put on wax paper or parchment paper to set up the melted peanut butter mixture.
  13. Enjoy!

Notes
Recipe by Gloria Phillips (SimplyGloria.com)

For another peanut butter-y recipe that will also satisfy your craving…

try my {Peanut Butter Cake} with Peanut Butter Cream Cheese Frosting!

Peanut Butter Cake - Simply Gloria #peanutbutter

**My Triple Peanut Butter Chex Bars are linked up to party with {Lolly Jane} & {Farmhouse Porch} & {Cedar Hill Ranch} &{Crafty Texas Girls} & {The DIY Dreamer} & {If It’s Not Baroque} & {Mom On Timeout} & {I Gotta Create!} & {Six Sisters Stuff} & {Sew-licious Home Decor} & {Roxy’s Kitchen}

Chicken & Bacon Lasagna Roll Ups

Chicken and Bacon Lasagna Roll Ups - SimplyGloria.com

 Lasagna Roll Ups are everything you’d find in a traditional lasagna dish.  Except the filling and sauce is all rolled up with each individual lasagna pasta.  Everything stays tucked in!

These are not your usual lasagna roll ups, though.  Each pasta is filled with an abundance of cheeses;  tender, shredded chicken;  crispy bacon sauteed with onion and garlic;  and finally, topped with Parmesan Cream Sauce!

Chicken Bacon Lasagna Roll Ups - SimplyGloria.com

It just seems as though chicken and bacon were very much made for each other!

So, let me show you how to make these pillow-y delights!  Super easy!

Start by frying 1 pound of chopped bacon.  Then add the diced onions and garlic.

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Saute for about 2-3 minutes more.  Just to soften the onions and garlic.  The aroma is amazing!  Then, drain onto a plate with paper towels.

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Shred 2 cups of already cooked chicken breasts.  (About 2 medium sized chicken breasts.)  Set aside with the bacon.

 Add 8 lasagna pasta pieces to a large pot of boiling water.  Cook 2 minutes less than what the instructions on the box say.  Because, it will finish cooking in the oven.

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After you drain them, lay them on paper towels to get all the excess water off.

While the pasta is “draining”… start putting together the filling.

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In a medium size bowl, stir together the ricotta cheese, cream cheese, sour cream and parmesan.  Stir in salt, pepper, onion and garlic powder.

Now it is time to start assembling the roll ups.

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Divide the cheese filling evenly onto each pasta.

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Lay the shredded chicken across.  Then sprinkle on the bacon, onion and garlic.

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Sprinkle some grated Parmesan and start rolling up!

Have a medium size baking dish ready beside your pasta.

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Spread some Parmesan Cream Sauce on the bottom of the baking dish.  By doing this, it gives the pasta enough to just “sit” on and absorb from the bottom (and not just from the top).  Also, prevents the pasta from sticking or burning on the bottom.

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Put the lasagna roll ups with the seam side facing down towards the pan.

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Add the rest of the cream sauce onto the top of the roll ups.

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Sprinkle with some mozzarella and Parmesan and a few more pieces of bacon.

Bake in a preheated 350 degrees oven for 25 to 35 minutes, uncovered.  Allow this dish to rest for 5 to 10 minutes before serving.

Bacon and Chicken Lasagna Roll Ups - SimplyGloria.com

If you like chicken and pasta, try this easy one pot meal… 

Creamy Chicken Pasta Skillet with SimplyGloria.com #skillet

Creamy Chicken Pasta Skillet

and another easy and delicious Lasagna Roll Up recipe…

Buffalo Chicken Lasagna Roll Ups by SimplyGloria.com #lasagna

Buffalo Chicken Lasagna Roll Ups

Chicken & Bacon Lasagna Roll Ups
Individual servings of lasagna. Each lasagna pasta is rolled up with sauce, chicken, and bacon. Smothered in more sauce and baked to perfection! This dish may be prepared ahead of time and put into the refrigerator. When doing this, increase your oven time to 40 to 45 minutes to get warm all the way through. This recipe makes 8 individual servings of lasagna roll ups.
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Ingredients
  1. 8 lasagna pasta, cooked and drained.
  2. 1 pound bacon, diced, cooked and drained
  3. 1 small red or yellow onion
  4. 6 cloves of garlic, crushed
  5. 2 boneless chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
  6. 2 cups of Parmesan Cream Sauce (link within the post)
  7. ½ cup mozzarella (to sprinkle on top)
  8. ½ cup grated Parmesan (to sprinkle on top)
Filling
  1. 1 cup ricotta cheese
  2. ½ cup sour cream
  3. 6 oz. cream cheese
  4. ½ cup grated Parmesan
  5. 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  6. 2 teaspoons onion powder
  7. salt and pepper, to taste
Instructions
  1. Add 8 pieces of lasagna pasta to a large pot of boiling water.
  2. Cook pasta 2 minutes less than the directions on the package. It will finish cooking in the oven.
  3. Drain pasta in strainer and lay pasta onto paper towels to dry off excess water.
  4. Shred chicken breasts. Set aside.
  5. Cut and fry bacon.
  6. Add diced onions and crushed garlic 3 minutes prior to baking being finished.
  7. Drain bacon mixture onto a plate with paper towels. (It will catch the excess fat.)
  8. In a medium size bowl, mix together the ricotta cheese, sour cream, cream cheese, Parmesan and seasonings.
  9. Divide and spread the filling onto the cooked pasta evenly.
  10. Add the shredded chicken onto each pasta.
  11. Sprinkle the bacon mixture on top of the chicken and cheese mixture. (Save some for the top after you roll up the pasta.)
  12. Sprinkle some Parmesan on top of the bacon and chicken.
  13. Spread ½ cup of Parmesan Cream Sauce on the bottom of a medium baking dish.
  14. Roll the pasta and put seam side facing down into the sauce that is in the baking dish.
  15. Cover the roll ups with the rest of the cream sauce.
  16. Top with pieces of bacon.
  17. Sprinkle mozzarella and Parmesan on top.
  18. Bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees for 25 to 35 minutes.
  19. Let it rest after taken out of oven for 5 to 10 minutes.
Simply Gloria http://simplygloria.com/

And of course, you’ll need some bread to dive into any sauce that you may have left on your plate!

Garlic Parmesan Bread Sticks with SimplyGloria.com #bread

Garlic Parmesan Bread Sticks

 

Loves from SimplyGloria.com

 

DIY Painted Dining Table

DIY Painted Table SimplyGloria.com  #DIY

 This now revamped table is where my family eats meals together every night.

Where I feed 3 STARVING high schoolers and one 1st grader every day for school lunch.

This table is where we read and do homework after school.

Where we play the Scooby-Doo board game… while always eating homemade cake, of course.

 

My Family’s Table

 

When I first laid my eyes on this table… it had cob webs in all the crevices.  It was dusty and laying in the corner of a shed screaming for some LOVE.

This table did get some attention from the previous owner.  My husband’s friend had taken it all apart and did all the hard work already:  sanded it!  (I refuse to sand wood…I just prefer to “prime”… with a spray can!)  I was so happy he offered to let me take it home!  I was beyond ecstatic!

before painted

I had BIG plans for this sexy beast…just didn’t come to me  for about 3 months later.  I pondered about what color I was wanting it to be.  Wondered if I would distress it in any way.  And, figuring out how to make it so the top of the table was food-proof.  I didn’t want to use stain.  It had a leaf to put in, to extend the table length.  I didn’t need the leaf.  My goal was to keep a small (intimate) table for my family.  So I tossed the leaf.  And focused on my family’s sweet table.

I finally came up with the idea of (spray) painting it all the color Atlantic Almond.

paint

 But then, it so needed something on the top for character.  I figured since it already had a center line down the middle, (because of the missing leaf)… I’d use it as a guide and paint a design.  I decided to hand paint the Fleur de lis.  (The Lily flower, in french.)

DIY Painted Table - SimplyGloria.com

You can easily use a pencil so you can erase any mistakes.  When I got it to where I liked it… and it looked as even as I could make it.  I outlined the design with a marker.  I used craft paint to color in the design.  It then looked too sharp and needed some shading to soften the dark brown color with the almond color.  So, I happened to have some of this laying around.

antique glaze

I dabbed some dark brown antiquing glaze with a dry cloth.  Starting where you want it to be the darkest.  Then working your way out.  Have a clean, dry cloth to dab the excess with your other hand.  The glaze gives you plenty of time to work and shadow your way to where you want it.

clavos

I added some more character to the lip/border of the table top with 2″ large distressed decorative nails.

DIY Dining Table (decorative nails on lip of table)

Since these nail heads are 2″, I spaced them far enough apart to where they didn’t crowd each other.  Or, be too far apart.

DIY Dining Table #DIY

My final touch was having  glass cut to fit the dimensions exactly for the table top.  I measured from one edge to the other to where I wanted it to fit exactly.  (The cost was $60.)  It would protect the paint from all of the daily activities with using this table.  I placed glass table top rubber pads under four points of the glass.  This allows the glass to sit off the surface and stay put.

DIY Dining Table - SimplyGloria.com #DIY

My total cost for this project was about $130 — Glass, nail heads and paint…table itself was given to me.

Have you thought of redoing a piece of furniture?  AND, putting your own personality onto it …making it a piece of your own?  That’s what so fun about doing things like this!

**My DIY Painted Table is linked up to party with {I Gotta Create!} & {From Dream To Reality} & {Six Sisters’ Stuff} & {Your Homebased Mom} & {I Heat Naptime} & {If It’s Not Baroque Design Blog} & {Funky Junk Interiors}

 

This Fleur De Lis designed table was featured with:

Architecture Design Blog

Mint Triple Chocolate Cookies

Mint Triple Chocolate Cookies - SimplyGloria.com #mint #chocolate #cookie

I am a cookie fanatic!  Especially when it comes to moist, chocolatey, brownie-like texture with a hint of mint.  These Mint Triple Chocolate Cookies are incredibly soft and chewy!  Literally, melt-in-your-mouth kind of cookie!

Did you see the amazing words:  TRIPLE CHOCOLATE?!  Because I couldn’t have presented you just any chocolate cookie today… it had to be one baked with 3 types of chocolate inside!  The reasoning behind the TRIPLE CHOCOLATE in this creation of a cookie is:  the melted chocolate, cocoa powder, and chocolate chips!

Mint Triple Chocolate Cookies

Oh!  And adding to all that chocolate is MINT!

    I simply just added mint baking chips.  SO convenient!  The only unwrapping of  mints is to slap one on top of the round ball of dough before going into the hot oven.

You’ll think these cookies are a breeze to make!  No need to even get the mixer out.

Mint Triple Chocolate Cookie

Start with a microwave safe mixing bowl.  Melt the butter for 30 seconds.  (10 seconds more, if needed.)

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Stir in 1 cup of chocolate chips into the melted butter.

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Mixing until all the chocolate chips are melted.  No need to put back into the microwave.  The butter should be heated just enough to melt the chocolate morsels.

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Beat 1 egg in a separate bowl, then add to the chocolate mixture.  By having the egg beaten, it helps incorporate it all through the melted chocolate a little easier.  Pour in 1 teaspoon of vanilla.  Stir together.

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Pour in a whole can of deliciousness:  sweetened condensed milk!  This gives it the moist, chewy, and soft consistency for the cookie.  It is used as the “sweetener” instead of using sugar.  Stir until all mixed together.

Set aside for a few minutes while you put the dry ingredients into another bowl.

I like to always mix together the dry ingredients into a separate bowl instead of just adding each one into the wet ingredients.  Because it prevents over mixing the dough.  And when it comes to a recipe that has cocoa and flour.  I think it is especially a great idea to mix together before hand.  By doing so, it breaks up any lumps in the cocoa powder in with the flour.

dry ingredients

Measure the flour, cocoa powder, salt and baking soda.  Whisk together thoroughly until there is no more white (flour) visible.

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Pour the dry ingredients into the chocolate mixture.  Stir with a large spoon to get it all mixed together.

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Now it is time to start adding the chunks of chocolate and mint goodness into the bowl of chocolate heaven!

adding chips to cookie dough

Form into large 1 and 1/2 inch balls.  Roll between both hands and set on baking sheet about 2 inches apart.  Press down with your palm of your hand slightly enough to flatten just the top.  You may set more candy chocolate mints on top of the dough if you’d like to add a little more pizzazz to the cookie!

Mint Triple Chocolate Cookie Dough

Bake in a preheated 350 degrees oven for 8 minutes.

Mint Triple Chocolate Cookies.

Leave on baking sheet for another 4 to 5 minutes to allow the cookies to finish baking slowly.  This also helps set them up before completely cooling.  I will almost always just slide my parchment paper off the sheet onto the counter after the few minutes… instead of using a spatula.  Then there’s no chance to mess up the perfection you just created!

Mint Triple Chocolate Cookies SimplyGloria.com #mint #chocolate #cookies

Enjoy this massiveness of chocolate and the simplicity of mint all joined together in one cookie!   That is, if you can stop at just ONE!  I never can.  (=

Mint Triple Chocolate Cookies
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 

 

Using a large cookie scoop will make these cookies 3 inches wide when baked. This recipe makes 16 to 17 large cookies. You may form smaller cookies. But when doing so, reduce the time to 6 minutes. And cool on hot baking sheet for 2 to 3 minutes.
Ingredients
  • ⅓ cup butter, melted
  • 2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips, divided
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 and ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cup cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 (10 ounce) bag mint baking chips, divided

Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Melt butter in a large microwave safe bowl for 30 seconds.
  3. Stir in 1 cup of chocolate chips until all melted. No need to put back in microwave. It will melt the more you stir.
  4. Add egg into the melted chocolate.
  5. Add vanilla into the egg and melted chocolate mixture. Stir until all combined.
  6. Pour in the entire can of sweetened condensed milk. Stir until all combined.
  7. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt.
  8. Add the dry ingredients to the melted chocolate mixture.
  9. Stir with a large spoon to combine all the ingredients.
  10. Stir in the other 1 cup of chocolate chips and ¾ of the bag of mint baking chips.
  11. Scoop into 1 and ½ inch round balls and roll between hands.
  12. Place on baking sheet 2 inches apart. Use parchment paper or silicon sheet to prevent sticking and burning on the bottom of baking sheet.
  13. Slightly push down the top of the rounded ball of dough.
  14. Sprinkle the rest of the mint baking chips on top of dough before placing in oven.
  15. Bake for 8 minutes on the middle rack.
  16. Take out when timer rings.
  17. Leave on baking sheet for 3 to 4 more minutes to finish the slow baking process.
  18. When completely cooled, the cookies may be stacked upon each other.
  19. Store in an air tight container for up to 3 to 5 days.

Notes
Recipe Source: Best-Ever Cook Book Nestle Toll House Modified by Gloria Phillips (SimplyGloria.com)

Buttermilk Pancakes

 

Buttermilk Pancakes - SimplyGloria.com-

This is one of the things in our morning routine before school…making HOMEMADE  Buttermilk Pankcakes.

Yes, almost every morning…for the past 6 years!

My little East will eat a (shorter) stack for breakfast and even some as a bedtime snack.

I HAD to have buttermilk pancakes every morning while I was prego with my East.  Funny how things turn out like that, right?  Now he’s a pancake fanatic!  (By the way, these are so much less expensive and taste better than store bought.)

So, diving into a stack of homemade buttermilk pancakes drowning in syrup in the morning or evening…maybe you’re a “syrup dipper” like me…  But making them at home only takes a few minutes!  Besides, you can freeze them individually.  Then pop these babies in the micro to heat up within 30 seconds and devour!

There’s only a few EASY steps to making the fluffiest buttermilk pancakes in your home.

buttermilk pancakes.

First, whisk all the dry ingredients together–flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

In a separate bowl, beat one egg into the buttermilk with the vanilla.

buttermilk pancakes with SimplyGloria.com

Add the wet ingredients into the flour mixture.  Change to a large enough spoon to gently stir with.  Having a lumpy batter is a good thing!  Even some tiny flour spots are okay.  (If you over mix, you will have flat pancakes.)

Set the batter aside for a few minutes while you start to heat up your skillet or frying pan.  Set your pan on medium-high heat.

Making Buttermilk Pancakes - simplygloria.com

Add about 1 tablespoon of butter to your heated pan.  If your butter immediately starts turning brown, your pan is too hot.  Wipe it out and do another dab of butter.

Then it’s time to add your pancake batter.

SimplyGloria.com

Allow it to cook without touching or flipping it for about 2 minutes.  (Early “flippage”, will also cause it to deflate.)

The arrows show when it is getting ready to do some flip action.  You’ll start to see little air bubbles pop…the more air bubbles you see, then you’ll know it’s time to flip.  Although if you’re a peeker, gently lift a tiny side with your spatula and see if it is golden brown.   When ready–FLIP!

Cook the other side for another 2 minutes.

And Whola!  You’ve just made some pillow-y, soft, fluffy pancakes!  And not to mention…all from scratch!

What is your favorite topping to put on some homemade buttermilk pancakes?

Buttermilk Pancakes - SimplyGloria.com  #pancakes

This recipe makes 6 medium sized pancakes.  So you can go BIG or go small!  This recipe is easily doubled.

If you’d like to freeze some for later, let the pancakes cool.  Then wrap them in an air tight feezer-type wrap, individually.

Buttermilk Pancakes
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 

 

Ingredients
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons butter

Instructions
  1. Whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and soda.
  2. Beat the egg into the buttermilk with the vanilla.
  3. Add the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients.
  4. Gently stir with a large spoon.
  5. Do not over mix. (Lumpy is GOOD!)
  6. Add 1 tablespoon of butter to the heated surface.
  7. Add ¼ cup of batter (per pancake).
  8. Allow to cook for about 2 minutes.
  9. Flip pancake when you see air bubbles and when the edges are dry.
  10. Cook the other side for 2 minutes, as well.
  11. Now you have fluffy homemade pancakes!
  12. MAKES 6 medium sized pancakes. Can be easily doubled.
  13. To freeze: Wrap in air tight freezer wrap, individually.

Notes
Recipe Source: Better Homes and Gardens Junior Cook Book. Modified by Gloria Phillips (SimplyGloria.com)

Pulled Pork Chili

 

Pulled Pork Chili - Simply Gloria

  This isn’t just any Chili…it is the marriage between pulled pork and fresh salsa.  Then simmered to perfection!

In my home, we have celebrations about anything!  And food is always involved!  Most of the time, the food IS the main reason to throw a party.

I recently hosted a Chili Competition at our home with all our family.  I made judging sheets for every one that had a bowl(s) of chili.  And awarded amazing prizes to all the participants.

Chili Competition - Simply Gloria

  We also made sure there were all the fixings to go along with the six competitors chili to eat!

 And the Chili Title went to…my 15 year old son! (left)

My son made his own creation with some pork and beef he had grilled for hours and pulled it all together in a tomatoe/beef base.  I loved it so much that I thought I’d make my own version of some easy pulled pork chili myself.

To begin making this Pulled Pork Chili, you need the star of the dish:  2 pounds of a pork sirloin roast.

First, put your seasonings (paprika, thyme, onion and garlic powder, kosher salt and pepper) in a small bowl with olive oil.  Cover the entire pork with it.  Sear it in an already heated frying pan on medium-high heat for 2 to 3 minutes on each side.  By doing this, (anytime you want to put this kind of meat in the crock pot) it seals in all the flavor and juices while it slowly cooks.

Preparing Pork Roast

Put the pork roast into the crock pot with 1 can of onion soup.  (Or 1 cup of  beef broth and 1 small onion, chopped.)  Set on low and let it do it’s thing for about 5 hours.

An hour before you want to pull your pork out of the crock pot…prepare your base for your chili.

IMG_4955

In a large pot, mix 1 can of tomato paste with 4 cups of beef broth and half an envelope of onion soup mix.  Start on medium-high heat…while you add the rest of ingredients.

fresh salsa and canned tomatoes

Add 4 cups of fresh salsa from the your local grocery deli.  (Harmon’s, for us Utahns.)   (The fresh salsa has all the flavor conveniently all chopped and ready for you.)   And 1 can of stewed tomatoes.

Seasonings for Pulled Pork Chili

Add all your seasonings to your pot.  Once the chili starts to boil, turn your heat down to medium-low uncovered.  By doing this, it will allow the chili to thicken.  Don’t forget about it completely!  Stir it often and keep it at a low simmer.

Once your sauce starts to thicken up (after about 45 minutes), you can then pull out your pork roast.   Do not shred it completely into little pieces…it will come apart more when you stir it into your chili.

Pulled Pork for Chili

   (Note:  I apologize for the not-so great lighting below–a dark storm was rolling in.  But, I wanted to show you what the pork should look like when you put it in your already thickened chili.)

IMG_4969

Let it finish simmering on low for about 10 minutes…just to marry the pork and flavors all together.

Pulled Pork Chili - Simply Gloria #chili

My husband and I pour this over tortilla chips and melted pepper jack cheese on top.  And a bowl of chili on the side!

Pulled Pork Chili - Simply Gloria Blog

What is your favorite way to eat chili?

This post is linked up to party with Your Home Based Mom!

Pulled Pork Chili
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 

 

Ingredients
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 teaspoon thyme
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • pepper
  • 1 can french onion soup
  • 2 pounds pork sirloin roast
  • 1 (6 oz.) can tomato paste
  • 4 cups beef broth
  • ½ envelope of french onion soup mix
  • 4 cups fresh salsa
  • 1 (14 oz.) can stewed tomato
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 and half teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon thyme

Instructions
  1. To prepare the pork roast:
  2. Put your seasonings (paprika, thyme, onion and garlic powder, kosher salt and pepper) in a small bowl with olive oil. Cover the entire pork with it. Sear it in an already heated frying pan on medium-high heat for 2 to 3 minutes on each side.
  3. Put into crock pot and pour the can of french onion soup and a few dashes of worcester sauce.
  4. Cook for 5 hours on low heat.
  5. Prepare your chili base 1 hour before pulling the meat out of slow cooker:
  6. In a large pot, mix 1 can of tomato paste with 4 cups of beef broth and half an envelope of onion soup mix. (Medium-high heat)
  7. Add 4 cups of fresh salsa and 1 can of stewed tomatoes.
  8. Add the chili powder, cumin, paprika, onion and garlic powder, and thyme.
  9. When it comes to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low uncovered. And let it simmer.
  10. Stir the chili often.
  11. Once the sauce starts to thicken up (after about 45 minutes), pull out the pork roast out of the slow cooker.
  12. Shred into large pieces and stir into the chili.
  13. Let it all simmer for 10 more minutes to pull all the flavors together with the pork.
  14. Enjoy!

Notes
Recipe Source: Gloria Phillips (SimplyGloria.com) Inspired by my son’s award winning chili of 2012 (=

Garlic Cheesy Bread

How to make easy Garlic Cheesy Bread - SimplyGloria.com

Garlic Cheesy Bread is by far the fastest and easiest thing to make to go along with any meal.  Or even just by itself!

Making this bread is topped with a lot of garlic…and cheese, of course!

Garlic Butter

Mix 6 cloves of chopped garlic and 2 tablespoons of garlic spread (or garlic powder) into 10 tablespoons of very soft, unsalted butter

Spread on top of cut french bread.

Toasting Garlic Bread

Put in the oven on the middle rack and set on BROIL at 450 degrees.  Toast the bread until it just starts getting golden on the top and edges.

before melting cheese

Top with 2 to 3 cups of grated mozzarella cheese.  Don’t be shy about covering all the way to the edges!  Sprinkle some parmesan cheese and then some more garlic spread.

Pop back into the oven.  But this time, lower the broil temperature to 400 degrees.

How to make the perfect Garlic Cheesy Bread

Pull out of oven when the cheese starts to bubble and turn golden.

Cool down for a few minutes and cut into pieces.

I promise you won’t stop at just one piece!

Easy Garlic Cheesy Bread - SimplyGloria.com

What is your favorite “dunk-able” meal to dip these babies in?

Garlic Cheesy Bread
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 

 

Ingredients
  • 1 loaf of french bread, sliced horizontally
  • 10 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 6 cloves of fresh garlic, peeled and chopped
  • 2 tablespoons of garlic spread (garlic powder)
  • 2-3 cups of mozzarella cheese, grated
  • Half a cup of parmesan cheese

Instructions
  1. Mix chopped, fresh garlic and garlic spread into the very softened butter.
  2. Spread onto the opened french bread.
  3. Set in oven on the middle rack on BROIL at 450 degrees.
  4. Take out of oven when the butter has turned to a golden color.
  5. Top with the mozzarella cheese.
  6. Sprinkle the parmesan cheese and some more garlic spread.
  7. Turn oven temperature down to 400 degrees (still on BROIL).
  8. Put back into the oven until the cheese melts and starts to bubble.
  9. Take out to cool for a few minutes and cut into pieces.

Notes
Notes: If your oven does not have a broil temperature gage…still set on the middle rack and watch it closely. Recipe Source: Gloria Phillips (SimplyGloria.com)

Basic Cream Sauce

Basic Cream Sauce

The White Cream Sauce (also known as a Bechamel Sauce) is the Mother of all sauces.  It is very universal.  You can add any cheeses to melt into it for Alfredo sauce and mac & cheese.  It all comes together with only 3 ingredients and under 10 minutes!

  I make this basic cream sauce in a lot of my recipes…which I’m going to share with you very soon!

There’s a very simple process to start this exquisite sauce…

Steps to making a Rue

Melt 2 tablespoons of butter (the REAL stuff).  Melt on medium-high heat in a sauce pan.

Once the butter is all melted, add 2 tablespoons of flour.  And start whisking!  Add about 1 to 2 teaspoons of salt and some pepper.  If you’re using ‘salted butter’ you might not need that much to start off.  Remember, you can always add a little more later…you just can’t take it back out.

 Depending on what I’m pouring this sauce on–I like to sprinkle in some garlic and onion powder.  Along with some Italian seasoning all into the flour and butter.  The reason being, is because it intensifies and enhances the seasonings through the heat.

Whisk the butter-flour mixture (also known as a ‘Roux’) for about 2 minutes to cook the taste of flour out.  Add 1 cup of heavy whipping cream, keep stirring.  You’ll start seeing it thicken within about 1 minute.  Therefore, add the other 1 cup (a total of 2 cups of heavy whipping cream) and keep stirring.  The sauce will then start reheating back up and be thicker within 3-5 minutes.  (Depends upon how your pan and burner kicks out the heat.)

Basic Cream Sauce - Simply Gloria

When you get it to a creamy, thickened consistency, turn heat to low and stir in cheeses.  Once melted, set aside.  Make sure to do a taste test to see if you need more salt/pepper before serving.

 Pour over your favorite pasta!  Or even a baked potato…now THAT is heaven!

What is your favorite dish to indulge in with some creaminess bliss?

Basic Cream Sauce
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 

 

Ingredients
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream (16 ounces)
  • salt and pepper (to taste with your preference)
  • (optional: 1 cup or more of your favorite cheese)

Instructions
  1. Melt butter in a medium sauce pan.
  2. Once butter is melted, add 2 tablespoons of flour and stir with a whisk to prevent any lumps.
  3. Add salt and pepper. Cook and stir for 2 minutes.
  4. Pour 1 cup of heavy whipping cream into the butter-flour mixture and continue stirring. It will start thickening in less than 1 minute.
  5. Add the rest of the cream and stir.
  6. The sauce will then start reheating back up and be thicker within 3-5 minutes.
  7. Take off heat once thickened.
  8. (Optional: Stir in your favorite cheese to melt.)
  9. Pour over your favorite pasta!
  10. Makes 2 cups of Cream Sauce.

Notes
Recipe Source: Gloria Phillips (SimplyGloria.com)

 

For another really great cream sauce, try this one!

Parmesan Cream Sauce from SimplyGloria.com

Parmesan Cream Sauce

Peanut Butter Cake

National Peanut Butter Lover's Day

 Yay!  Today is the day to celebrate!  And nothing’s better than to have some extreme (and I mean, extreme) peanut butter cake!

Peanut Butter Cake

I love this day!  Not only because I LOVE peanut butter…more than chocolate.  It’s true.  But because it happens to land on MY birthday.  So I thought I’d bake a moist, tender, peanut buttery cake topped with creamy peanut butter frosting to devour.

The reason this peanut butter cake is so delicately moist, is because of the buttermilk.  This cake will literally MELT in your mouth!  And the peanut butter frosting has cream cheese in it to balance out all the peanut butter.  But really, there’s no such thing as TOO much peanut butter, right?

Making a cake from scratch should not be intimidating at all.  Just follow the instructions and more importantly, ALWAYS read the recipe thoroughly before starting.  With any recipe, for that matter.

PB Cake

In a medium size bowl, whisk all the dry ingredients together:  2 and a half cups all-purpose flour; 1 and 1/4 cup sugar; 1 and 1/4 teaspoon baking soda; 1 teaspoon baking powder; 1/4 teaspoon salt…set aside.

In a liquid measuring cup mix together, 1 cup buttermilk, add two eggs and 2 teaspoons vanilla.  Whisk together to break the yolks.  Also, set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, put in half a cup of butter-flavored shortening and 1 cup of creamy peanut butter.  Mix very well for about 1 minute.  (You want to make sure it is well blended.)

Now, this is where you start blending it all together into some amazing yummy-ness!

Once the peanut butter and shortning is mixed, start alternating the dry ingredients and the wet ingredients.  Scrape down the sides and bottom and give it one more little blend around to make sure everything is incorporated.  But do not over mix…the flour will make the batter tough.

3 layer PB Cake

As you can see, the batter is very thick.  I dare you NOT to lick the spoon clean!

Spray your pans and cut some parchment paper to fit into the bottom.  Equally distribute the batter into 3 (5 inch) round  or 2 (9 inch) round pans.  Spread the batter evenly.  Put in a preheated 350 degrees oven.  Bake for 25-27 minutes.  Check it at 25 minutes with a toothpick inserted in the middle.  If it comes out clean…pull them out and let the cakes cool for 10 minutes.  Then use a knife around the edges of the pan to loosen the cake then tip them out gently.  Cover and cool…then frost!

PB Lover's Cake

To make the ever so creamy frosting…just blend together 1 full package of cream cheese (softened) and 1 cup of creamy peanut butter.  Mix until you no longer see the cream cheese.  Add 1/4 cup of heavy whipping cream and mix while adding  the 3 cups of powdered sugar…1 cup at a time.  If you want the  consistency to be thicker, add 1/4 cup of powdered sugar at a time.  Layer and frost.

Peanut Butter Cake - Simply Gloria #peanutbutter

This will absolutely calm the cravings of  the biggest peanut butter lover!

 It’s just some amazing peanut buttery bliss!

This post is linked up to party with Inside BruCrew Life;  Mom On Time Out  &  I Gotta Create!

Peanut Butter Cake
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 

Serves: 8-10
 

Ingredients
  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter
  • ½ cup butter-flavored shortening
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2 and ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 and ¼ cup sugar
  • 1 and ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ salt
  • Frosting:
  • 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese
  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter
  • ¼ cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3 cups powdered sugar

Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a medium size bowl, whisk all the dry ingredients together. Set aside.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, put in butter-flavored shortning and creamy peanut butter. Mix very well for about 1 minute. You want to make sure it is well blended.
  4. Once the peanut butter and shortning is mixed, start alternating the dry ingredients and the wet ingredients. Scrape down the sides and bottom and give it one more little blend around to make sure everything is incorporated.
  5. Do not over mix…the flour will make the batter tough.
  6. Divide into sprayed 3 (5 inch) or 2 (9 inch) round cake pans with parchment paper cut to fit inside the bottom.
  7. Bake for 25-27 minutes.
  8. Let cakes cool. Then frost.
  9. For the Peanut Butter Frosting:
  10. Cream together the peanut butter and softened cream cheese.
  11. Add ¼ cup of heavy whipping cream and mix while adding the powdered sugar…1 cup at a time.
  12. Layer and frost.

Notes
If you want the consistency to be thicker, add ¼ cup of powdered sugar at a time. Recipe Source: Gloria Phillips (SimplyGloria.com)

Sewing Table Makeover

Sewing Table Redo

 When it comes to making over an old piece of furniture, you need to allow yourself to have THE VISION and make it your own!

Sewing Table (Before)

You may even walk right past something that looks old, banged up and UGLY!

I came across this old sewing machine table (with the 1970’s sewing machine still inside!) at the local D.I. (Utah’s thrift store).  It needed some love!

I instantly HAD to take it home!  My husband thought I was crazy.   But of course, I had to spell out THE VISION to him…but he still didn’t see it.  I took it home anyways (and for  $10, it was definitely a great buy.)

Sewing Table - Before

So, to have the VISION of something like this…you have got to use your imagination.  I was not looking for a sewing machine table nor would I use it as that.  (I do love to sew, though!)

  I wanted to use it just as a little table, maybe put our massive 19″ television on top of it.

I ended up just folding the floppy side shut and started painting.  SPRAY paint, that is!  Seriously, how easy is that?!

Sewing Table Makeover

I didn’t have to sand it down at all.  Isn’t that the best part?!  *Note:  If you do NOT want any of the hardware painted (hinges, etc) take them off or tape them very well.  I chose not to…I was being a little inpatient.

I first started with an all-purpose {Primer Spray}.  I did two coats…just to make sure!

After allowing it to dry for a couple hours…I then started spraying the {paint color} I chose.  I used 2 cans.  I then let the paint dry in between coats.  And allowed it to completely dry overnight.

Shading Technique in Sewing Table

I wanted more of an antique look.  I mean, look at those legs!  They needed the attention they deserve.

I decided to antique and distress the legs.  Along with the top edges with some {black wood stain}.  All you need to apply it with, is an old piece of (dry) cloth…in my case, it was my husband’s socks.

Make sure you shake the can of stain very well before opening.  Dab a small part of the cloth into the can of stain (or even what’s on the inside of the lid, to start with).  And work the cloth around and INSIDE all the grooves of the wood.  Use another piece of (dry) cloth to wipe and dab the excess in the same direction.  (If you’re wiping the stain horizontally, swipe the excess the same way.)

Shadow Edging Sewing Table

I did the same technique with the stain on the top.  But instead, you’d want to start on the edge and work your way towards the middle…don’t go all the way, remember just the edges.  Keep dabbing–not rubbing the stain.  Especially on the FLAT top surface.  Alternate with the clean cloth as you’re SHADING in the areas.   Allow the stain to dry for at least 24 hours.  No need to seal it with anything…it already has it in it!

Sewing Table (After)

I love pieces with a lot of detail in them!  Especially all the grooves and knobs.  Don’t you think it makes it more interesting and full of character?

(After) Sewing Table Makeover

Make a piece of whatever you find a part of who you are!  Don’ t be afraid to be BOLD and full of personality!

*Note:  Notice the antique distress shutters sitting on top of my table?  I thought I’d share that as well…I got them on {Etsy} and painted them myself!