Archives for November 2012

Stuffed Pizza Cupcakes

I’ve finally started Christmas shopping. Last year I had most of it done by the very first week in December. Yeah, I was a little nuts wasn’t I? Nuts or extremely genius I’d say. This year, I’m probably going to do a lot of my shopping online. Since I’ve stopped blogging at Saving with Amy, I’m very much less in-tune with the current deals and steals across the web.

It’s a weird feeling not being on top of the latest deals.

But my sanity is currently intact so I’m not going to complain. It took a long time to make my decision to quit blogging deals and in the end, it was best for me and my family. And now I get to spend my time making yummy food and fun DIY projects to share with you!

These, my friends, might just be your family’s new favorite snack. When I made these, I had no idea how excited that my family would get about them. They have been requested over and over again. Hubby even wants me to make some for him to take for lunches.

There is nothing better than making something that is requested a second time. Well at least in my book anyways.

I made these earlier in the day and just reheated them for dinner and they were perfect. You could just make them on demand, but I needed the daylight for my pictures. But it goes to show that these are great for making ahead of time for a party or lunches.

You start by rolling out a store-bought pizza dough. Get it as long and flat as you can. It doesn’t have to be perfect.

Next, spread about 1/2 a jar of pizza sauce over the entire pizza dough, leaving about an inch around the edges.

Then sprinkle the entire thing with mini pepperonis. I was going to use the regular size, but when I came across these, I thought they might work better for this. And I was right! So glad that I used the smaller. It made it possible to get a bite of pepperoni in each bite without them trying to separate.

Then cut the dough in half.

Place about 4-5 pieces of cut up string cheese across the dough like this.

Then proceed to roll the dough up. Once rolled, cut it into 1 inch pieces doing your best to keep all the fillings inside.

Place the rolled up pieces into a greased muffin pan with the swirled part facing up.

You’ll top with a little more mini pepperonis and some shredded cheese before baking. Then bake them up and you’re done!

SO amazingly yummy! Everyone will be bound to love these. Come on, pizza dough filled with sauce, pepperoni, and cheese? I think so!

Stuffed Pizza Cupcakes
Recipe Type: Main Dish, Snack
Author: Pennywise Cook
5 simple ingredients lead to the tastiest of all cupcakes. STUFFED Pizza Cupcakes!
  • 1 pkg Store-Bought Pizza Dough
  • 1/2 Jar Pizza Sauce
  • 1 c. Mini Pepperonis, Divided
  • 1/2 c. Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
  • 6 Mozzarella String Cheese, cut into 1 inch pieces
  1. Preheat oven according to pizza dough’s directions.
  2. Begin by rolling out the pizza dough flat. Spread the pizza sauce over the dough, leaving 1 inch around the edges. Sprinkle with 1/2 c. mini pepperonis. Cut the dough in half.
  3. Lay 4-5 pieces of string cheese across the dough, adding more as you roll. Do this with both of the pizza doughs.
  4. Cut into 1 inch pieces and place in a greased muffin pan with the swirled side up.
  5. Bake according to your pizza dough’s directions checking after about 12 minutes. When tops begin to brown, remove from oven.
  6. Use a knife to separate from the pan and cool.

Like this post? SHARE it!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Easy Vegetable Beef Soup

I sincerely apologize for not getting on here last week and wishing you guys a very Happy Thanksgiving! I’m normally a lot better about that, but this year I decided to truly disconnect from the outside world. Well, everything except for Words with Friends. I’m not sure that I could live without that.

So even though this is very late and you’re probably tired of hearing it, HAPPY THANKSGIVING! And now I can officially move on into the Christmas season. I’m just not the type to feel Christmas-y until I’ve digested my turkey and dressing. Anyone else feel that way?

We had a very fun-filled Thanksgiving with family and friends. I got to see my best friend from high school and even ran a 5k on Thanksgiving morning. It really was a great Thanksgiving. I hope that you enjoyed yours as much as I did!

I’ve got another recipe for you today that comes from my momma. It’s funny how our cooking skills and what we learn in the kitchen usually comes from those we are closest to. When I was little, watching my mom cook was nothing but dinner for my belly. But these days I look back on those days as valuable knowledge. And it’s especially fun to cook with her now.

This Vegetable Beef soup is a regular when I visit my mom and also here in our home. It’s simple, it’s fast, and it’s incredibly tasty.

The absolutely perfect soup to warm your soul on a chilly night.

This soup can be whipped up in no time. Even on those last minute weeknights when you have no idea what to make for supper. In fact, most of the ingredients are things you’ll probably already have on-hand.

The bulk of this recipe is the beef and plain old canned veggies. It really doesn’t get much easier than cracking open a can or two and making a soup that tastes like you’ve been working hard on it all day long.

I can’t wait for you to try this recipe out! Let me know what you think if you do…

Easy Vegetable Beef Soup
Recipe Type: Main Dish, Soup
Author: Pennywise Cook’s Momma
Warm up on chilly nights with this super easy, yet tasty vegetable beef soup!
  • 1 lb Lean Ground Beef
  • 1 Medium Onion, Chopped
  • 4 Cans Veg-All
  • 1 (28 oz) Can Diced Tomatoes, Undrained
  • 1 (15 oz) Can Tomato Sauce
  • 6 Beef Bouillon Cubes
  • 6 Cups Water
  • 1 and 1/2 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1/4 tsp Pepper
  • 1 tsp Italian Seasoning
  1. In a large dutch oven or soup pot, brown ground beef along with onion. Drain.
  2. Stir in the remaining ingredients and heat over medium heat until boiling. Reduce heat and simmer for 10-15 minutes.
  3. Serve with crackers and enjoy!

Like this post? SHARE it!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Butterscotch Pretzel Treats

Thanksgiving is in TWO days! This year has just flown by. Have you finished all your big feast shopping? I sure hope so, because the stores are nuts about now. I was in a few stores the other day and just gave up. You know those trips to the store when you have only a couple of items. Then you get in line only to realize that for those 2 items you’ll have to wait in line for 20 minutes. That’s about the time that I start to justify whether or not it’s absolutely necessary that I get those items.

I usually just give up.

I wanted to share with you guys these awesomely yummy treats that I made the other day. When I’m feeling experimental, I pick up things I think might go well together and then kinda throw it together. As you know, sometimes it works well and other times, well, it completely bombs.

I’m human and a novice cook, so what can I say?

So this is why I was so very happy when these tasty Butterscotch Pretzel Treats turned out so yummy! So easy with just 4 simple ingredients and they take literally minutes to make.

They resemble that of rice krispie treats, but I used pretzels instead of the rice krispies. And oh did that make them yummy. I just love the hint of salty that  you get with these sweet treats.

The first thing you want to do is get all of the pretzels out of the bag. The reason that I want to unscore pretzels is because the bag tends to have a ton of salt at the bottom, so don’t just pour the entire bag of pretzels into your ziploc. Use your hand to get them out leaving all the salt at the bottom of the bag.

Use meat mallet or something heavy to break up the pretzels a bit.

It’s really not essential that you make them super small. Just get them fairly broken and be done. Put them in a bowl.

Then it’s time to melt up your marshmallows with a little bit of milk. This may be the longest step in the whole process.

Pour the melted marshmallows in with the pretzels and use your spoon to mix it all up really well. There tends to be pretzel crumbs at the bottom, so make sure to incorporate those too.

Pour it all into a greased 9×13 dish and flatten out. Set that aside while you get the butterscotch going.

Using your preferred method, melt the butterscotch chips until smooth. Some people feel comfortable using the microwave, but I’m not good at that so I always use a make-shift double boiler for this.

Pour the melted chips over the marshmallowey pretzels and place in the refrigerator to set.

Cut into bars and serve! It’s so easy to make these and they are SO good. A nice little change from your everyday rice krispie treats, don’t ya think?

Butterscotch Pretzel Treats
Recipe Type: Dessert, Snack
Author: Pennywise Cook
With only 4 ingredients, these Butterscotch Pretzel Bars and easy AND incredibly yummy!
  • 1 12 oz Package Butterscotch Chips
  • 1 12 oz Package Pretzel Sticks
  • 1 10 oz Package Mini Marshmallows
  • 2 Tbsp Milk
  1. Remove the pretzels from their bag and transfer to a large ziploc bag. Make sure to use your hands to remove them and not pour the entire bag in. This will avoid getting all of the salt into your treats.
  2. Using something heavy, break the pretzels inside the ziploc until fairly small. Pour into a mixing bowl.
  3. Place the milk into a large saucepan. Pour in marshmallows and melt over medium heat until smooth.
  4. Pour the marshmallows into the pretzels and combine well. Making sure to get the pretzel crumbs incorporated well. Pour into a greased 9×13 dish and flatten with the back of a wooden spoon.
  5. Meanwhile, melt bag of butterscotch chips in microwave or over a double boiler until smooth. Pour over pretzel mixture and spread completely over top.
  6. Place in refrigerator to set. Cut into bars and serve!


Like this post? SHARE it!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

California Wine Club is Nothing to Wine About

Could there be anything better than enjoying a cozy evening with a glass of wine and great conversation? Maybe a really tasty meal as well, but the wine really helps doesn’t it? I’m not a big drinker, but I do enjoy really good wine to take the edge off every now and then. I’m a MOM, what do you expect?

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve randomly picked a bottle out at the liquor store just hoping that it would taste decent. I’m no expert, but I know what I like and also enjoy trying new wines. Especially those recommended by friends. You know those friends, the ones that know everything about every wine out there.

We all have one of those friends don’t we?

Enter the California Wine Club. They are kinda like that friend. Bruce and Pam Boring started this club over 20 years ago. Each month, they travel California’s fertile wine country to local wineries. They meet the families that run them and taste their wine. Then they share them with the club! It’s like a “cookie of the month club”, but with wine.

My favorite part is that they all come from family-run mom & pop wineries. Usually, that’s where the hidden gems are and it’s awesome to be able to try wine that you might never have been able to experience before.

I received a membership this month and was thrilled to receive my first shipment! Each month, your membership comes with 2 bottles of wine. One red and one white. But they will work with you if you prefer all white or all red. You’ll also receive a copy of their magazine Uncorked. It’s full of info about the wine you’ll be drinking along with tips, recipes and more. Plus, discounts and special offers for reordering your favorites.

The coolest thing is that they share with you the story behind the winery where your wine came from. There is even a picture of the people/family that run it in the magazine. Plus, ahem, you get wine set to your front door. How incredibly awesome is THAT?

It really is cool idea. And with Christmas around the corner, this would make a stellar gift idea for the wine lovers that you know. Or you know, just a treat for yourself. Once you join, there’s no obligation. You can cancel anytime which means you can give it a try. They have a few different options of shipments to choose from as well.

Wanna check it out for yourself? Here’s how to find them:
California Wine Club Facebook
California Wine Club Twitter

And you do NOT want to miss out on my next post about these folks y’all. There might just be a giveaway in the works and I can’t WAIT to share! Stay tuned.

This review was made possible by Mom Spark Media. Thoughts are my own. I received a 2 month Membership to the California Wine Club for the purpose of this review.

Like this post? SHARE it!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Ridiculously Easy Brown Bag Popcorn

I wish I had a dime for all of the “duh” moments that I’ve had in my life. I will not go into any specifics with you, but just know that sometimes I’m not the brightest crayon in the box. 🙂

Now that I’ve thoroughly dissed myself, we’ll move on to this awesome new revelation that I’ve made! It’s been a long time, but a friend of mine guest posted on Saving with Amy about how to make your own popcorn. I remember reading it and thinking oh that’s neat and looks really easy. And then I just moved on with my life to never try it out for myself.

Not sure why I didn’t because I am HOOKED on this stuff now!

You see, to make about 8 or 9 cups of your very own popcorn, all you need is a brown bag like this one. You can get 50 of them at Dollar Tree for a buck! And you need 1/3 cup of unpopped kernels. You can also get these at Dollar Tree for a buck!

For $2, you’ll have popcorn coming out of your ears…

Have you ever looked inside one of those prepackaged bags of popcorn? There are all sorts of things in there that are pretty much unnecessary. Sure it’s nice to have salt or butter flavor, but with all the added fat too? This easy brown bag method makes it easy to make pure popped corn without adding any extra nonsense. In fact, I actually like it plain just like this. No butter or salt needed!

Just try it once and you’ll be hooked like me. It’s too incredibly simple not to.

Ridiculously Easy Brown Bag Popcorn
Recipe Type: Snack
Author: Pennywise Cook
A brown paper sack and popcorn kernels are all you need to make your very own popcorn!
  • 1 Brown Paper Bag
  • 1/3 c. Unpopped Kernels
  1. Pour to kernels into the brown bag. Fold the top down about 2 times.
  2. Place in microwave and heat on full power for 1:45- 2 minutes. This will depend on your microwave, but 2 minutes is about right for mine. Just stop it once there is about 2-3 seconds between kernel pops.

Like this post? SHARE it!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

My Momma’s Chili

The day has finally come when I get to share with you one of my favorite recipes of all time. Now that it’s getting chillier outside, it’s time to make up a big pot of chili! I look forward to this part of the year practically all year long.

This my friends, is my momma’s chili recipe. She’s been making it for us since I can remember and it’s the best that I’ve ever eaten. It could be that I’m biased because, well, it is my momma’s. But I’m going to say that this isn’t the case because I’ve tried a lot of chili in my time. I even had the opportunity to go to Cincinnati recently and try the “world famous” Skyline Chili.  It was just ok to me. I don’t really understand the hype behind it to be honest.

Maybe I’m just a southern gal, but I like my chili to be extra chunky. It’s got to be hearty and fill me up and keep me warm. After all, what’s the point in eating chili otherwise?

I asked you guys on the Pennywise Cook Facebook Community recently if you enjoy your chili with corn chips or cornbread. I guess I should’ve included crackers because many of you said that’s what you eat yours with.

I have grown up eating chili with corn chips. I just couldn’t imagine eating chili any other way. They are like peanut butter and jelly to me. However, it was pointed out that this is almost more like a Frito Pie rather than chili. So if you prefer, eat your chili with whatever you’d like. Cornbread, crackers, corn chips, or nothing at all!

No matter what you eat your chili with, I highly recommend this recipe if you’re going to make chili. It’s full of flavor and perfect for a weekday or weekend meal. Plus a pot of this stuff will last you all week! That’s one of my favorite things about making up a big pot. We’ll have lunches covered for days. And because it’s so good, you won’t hardly get tired of eating it.

This is a crockpot-friendly meal, but I can assure you that it comes together rather quickly. The key is to brown your ground beef along with the onion, green pepper, and garlic. This saves so much time. Then it’s just a matter of heating everything else through.

You may never make another chili recipe again…

My Momma’s Chili
Recipe Type: Main Dish
Author: Pennywise Cook’s Momma!
This chili recipe is hearty and filling and may be the last chili recipe you ever make!
  • 1 lb Lean Ground Beef
  • 1 Onion, Chopped
  • 1 Green Pepper, Chopped
  • 3 tsp Minced Garlic
  • 28 oz Can Diced Tomatoes (undrained)
  • 6 oz Can Tomato Paste
  • 3 cans water
  • 15 oz Can Light Kidney Beans (drained)
  • 15.5 oz Can Pinto Beans (drained)
  • 3 Tbsp Chili Powder
  • 1 Tsp Salt
  • 1/4 Tsp Pepper
  • 1/2 Tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1 Tsp Cumin
  • Dash salt and pepper
  1. In a large pot or dutch oven, brown ground beef along with onion, green pepper and garlic. Add salt and pepper to taste. Drain if needed.
  2. Stir in diced tomatoes, tomato paste, 3 tomato paste cans of water, kidney beans, pinto beans. Heat oven medium high for about 10 minutes.
  3. Stir in chili powder, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and cumin. Stir well and bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer for about 5-10 minutes or until heated through.

Like this post? SHARE it!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

2-Ingredient Oreo Bark

How did your family do with the time change? Everyone enjoy their extra hour of sleep at your place? With 2 girls under 5, there was no extra hour of sleep here. They just don’t cherish that hour like we do. I even had a conversation with my 5 year old the other night about how mommy and daddy like sleep. She just couldn’t grasp why we would enjoy wasting so much time with our eyes closed. That whole conversation was a lost cause. It never really went anywhere and contained no resolution for her.

Sometimes it’s better to just not try and explain things to a 5 year old, huh?

Last week, I had a hankering for something Oreo. I can’t ever bring myself to actually indulge in eating oreos, but I do like to make things containing them. Go figure. I had a package of white chocolate chips in the pantry and some individual packages of Oreos.

Can you say simple? That’s all that I needed to make this incredibly tasty candy bark. It took literally minutes to make and satisfied my Oreo hankering times 2.

I found myself eating so much of it that I sent it to work with the hubby. That’s my secret weapon, y’all. You notice sometimes I don’t always make “healthy” things. Those are usually the ones that I try to send away to a friend or to work with hubby.

It all starts with a cookie sheet covered in wax paper. Crumble up about 12 or so Oreos and lay them around the cookie sheet. Melt up your white chocolate chips and pour them over the Oreos. Smooth out and place in the freezer for about 10 minutes or so and YOU’RE DONE.

Does it get any easier?

This, my friends, would make a fantastic food gift for Christmas! Simple wrap it up in a fancy tin or treat bag and tie with a Christmas bow and you have one cheap and cheerful gift!

Who wouldn’t enjoy Oreo Bark?

2-Ingredient Oreo Bark
Recipe Type: Dessert, Snack
Author: Pennywise Cook
With only 2 simple ingredients, you can make a Christmas gift or tasty snack within minutes!
  • 12 or so Oreos (Crumbled)
  • 1 (12 oz) Package White Chocolate Chips
  1. Line a cookie sheet with wax paper. Spread the crumbled Oreos around the sheet.
  2. Melt entire bag of white chocolate chips according to the package or in a double boiler.
  3. Once melted pour over the Oreo pieces and smooth out. Place cookie sheet in freezer for about 10 minutes and then break into pieces.

If you don’t have a double boiler to melt your chocolate chips, just use two sauce pans. Place hot water in the bottom one and the chocolate chips in the top. Bring the water to a rolling boil and melt the chips.

Like this post? SHARE it!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

A Challenge: 30 Days of Thanks

Today marks the very first day of November. Can you believe it? That means that Christmas is just 55 days away. But before we get into the Christmas spirit, it’s time to get into the thankful spirit.

While I’m thankful all year long, it feels right to make November the month of thanks. Every one of us is truly blessed in so many ways. Why not share your blessings with those around you?

For the next 30 days, I’m going to be posting on my personal facebook and Pennywise Cook twitter account 1 thing that I’m thankful for each day. I encourage you to do the same on your social media sites! We often see people posting about complaints and concerns throughout social media, but how awesome would it be to have a movement of folks sharing things that they are blessed with and spreading positivity?

If you do choose to share on twitter, you can use the hashtag #30DaysofThanks and join in on the fun! I’d also love for you to tag Pennywise Cook on twitter too! I considered sharing my thanks on the Pennywise Cook facebook page, but I was thinking it would be a little much for your facebook stream. What do you think?

At the end of the 30 days, I’ll come back here and post my 30 Days of Thanks for you to see them all.

Now go!

Tweet, facebook, Google+, Myspace, whatever you’d like your thanks for the next 30 days!

Like this post? SHARE it!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...