Archive for Holidays

July 8th, 2014

Crockpot Refried Beans

Crockpot Refried Beans

Seriously Refried Beans.  Beans don’t seem that appealing I know.  Refried beans were never one of those things that I really wanted to dip in a spoon and just eat. The refried beans out of a can just don’t seem that appetizing. However, since I have started making my own I can’t get enough of them. These beans are seriously AMAZING!  I can’t even describe the difference between homemade and the canned ones.  They are not even really the same thing at all.   I’d be happy with a bowl of these Refried Beans and a bag of tortilla chips – Dinner!

It does take a little thought ahead of time to make sure your beans have long enough to cook, but other than that they are so simple. I live to double the recipe (make sure your crockpot is big enough) and freeze them in smaller portions to pull out when we need them.

Crockpot Refried Beans

Crockpot Refried Beans


1 pound dry pinto beans, rinsed and sorted
1 jalapeno, seeded
1 1/2 – 2 yellow onions
3-5 teaspoons minced garlic, divided use
2 Tablespoons white vinegar
about 5 Tablespoons bacon drippings
1 lime


Note – I live at a high elevation, so I place my beans in the crockpot the night before and cook on low overnight. If you live lower, you can cook them the morning of, or overnight if you are worried about them cooking through. You can’t over cook them. :)

Place beans in crockpot and cover with water until water is at least 2 inches above the beans. Add the jalapeno and 1 onion that has been peeled and cut in half, and 3 teaspoons minced garlic. Cook on high 6-8 hours.

When the beans are tender, reserve about 1/2 cup of the cooking liquid, discard remaining liquid. Place the beans, cooked vegetables (jalapeno, onion and garlic) and the vinegar in a blender or food processor. Blend until desired consistency is reached using the reserved liquid a little at a time. Return to crockpot on low.

Mince the remaining onion (use your judgement here – either a half or whole onion). Heat the bacon drippings in a skillet over medium-high heat; add the minced onion and remaining garlic and cook until tender. Add to the beans and stir to combine. Add salt to taste, be generous. Before serving, stir in the juice from 1/2 of the lime. (Again, add more if desired.) I like my refried beans topped with a little Cotija cheese.


July 3rd, 2014

4th of July Recipe Favorites


We’ve updated our 4th of July recipe list to give you even more delicious ideas to help you make your menu sparkle for the big celebration!  We hope you have a safe, happy, and delicious holiday!


Strawberry Fruit Dip 
Piña Colada Fruit Dip
Cheesecake Dip
Salad on a Stick
Bruschetta with Fresh Tomato and Basil
Easy Stuffed Bread with Pesto
Mexican Street Corn 
Tortellini Skewers
Chicken Salad Cups
Crab Cakes with Rémoulade 
Roasted Asparagus and Goat Cheese Tarts
Spinach Artichoke Bites
Corn, Bacon and Chile Crostini
Easy Stuffed Bread with Pesto
Creamy Parmesan Ranch Dip
Meatball Sliders
Spinach Artichoke Dip
Chipolte Black Bean Dip
Mexi-Corn Dip
Buffalo Chicken Dip
Baked Parmesan Crab Dip
Grilled Corn and Poblano Guacamole
Restaurant Style Salsa
Mango Pineapple Salsa
Pepper Blend Cheese Ball
Easiest Ever Appetizer


Pizza Pasta Salad
Potato Salad
Firehouse Potato Salad
Loaded Baked Potato Salad 
Onion Roasted Potato Salad with Bacon
Watermelon, Arugula and Feta Salad Wedges
Cucumber Salad
Black Bean Confetti Salad
Favorite Spinach Salad
Layered Tortellini and Spinach Salad

Roasted Pepper Pasta Salad
Chicken Pasta Salad
Shrimp Pasta Salad
Bacon Fried Corn
Cheddar Zucchini Pie
Baked Beans
Squash Bake
Roasted Parmesan Tomatoes
Scallion Sweet Potatoes {On The Grill}
Mexican Street Corn {Elote}


Flavored Lemonade Bar
Sweet Liberty Straw Flags
Layered Drinks {4th of July Style}
Raspberry Lemonade
Sparkling Rhubarb Lemonade
Brazilian Lemonade
Mango Agua Fresca
Cotton Candy Fizz
Orange Cream Smoothie
Summer Slushies
Blueberry Lemonade Spritzer
Hawaiian Lemonade
Watermelon Slush


Spiral Cut Hot Dogs
Restaurant Style Baby Back Ribs 
Grilled Steak Sandwich with Peppers and Onions
Caramelized Jalapeno Burger with Pepper Jack Cheese
Chipotle Lime Glaze for Summer Grilling
Grilled Hawaiian Chicken
Grilled Lasagna
Blueberry BBQ Sauce
Marinated for Flank Steak or Chicken
Cedar Plank Salmon with Honey Pepper Glaze 
Fajitas- Chicken or Beef
Grilled Skirt Steak Tacos with Spicy Red Onion Guacamole
Marinated Steak with Caramelized Onions
The “7-6-5″ Method for Perfect Grilled Pork Tenderloin {works every time}
Balsamic BBQ Chicken
Grilled Cauliflower with Kalamata Vinaigrette
Grill Bread
Grilled Pineapple Sundae with Brown Sugar Lime Sauce
Grilled Peaches

{Not Off the Grill, but will feed a Crowd}
Pulled Pork with Apple Cider Sauce {slow cooker recipe}
Zesty BBQ Chicken {Crockpot}
Crockpot Barbecue Ribs


Strawberry and Cream Cake
Red Velvet Brownie Cheesecakes
Red, White and Blueberry Sundaes
All-Star Cupcakes
Fresh Peach Pie
Fresh Strawberry Pie
Rhubarb Pie
Strawberry Crumble Pie
Strawberry Pretzel Ice Cream Pie
Rhubarb Cheesecake Pie
Lemon Blueberry Cream Pie
Orange Creamsicle Pie {Kool-Aid Pie}
Grasshopper Ice Cream Pie
Peanut Butter Pie
Cherry Pie
Chocolate Hazelnut Pie
Swedish Apple Pie
Apple Pear Raspberry Crisp
Blackberry Pie Bars
Crushed Raspberry Tart
White Chocolate-Peppermint Mousse Pie
Custard Pie with Fresh Peaches and Summer Berries
Cherry Crunch Pie
Chocolate Chip Pie
Banana Cream Pie (made with ice cream)
Cream Cheese Pie (Simple Cheesecake)
Lemon Marshmallow Tart
Strawberry Rhubarb Crumble
Blackberry Cobbler
Strawberry Shortcake with Sweet Cream Biscuits
Chocolate Ice Cream
Vanilla Bean Ice Cream
Hot Fudge
Marshmallow Hot Fudge
Texas Sheet Cake
Blonde Texas Sheet Cake
Cream Cheese Sheet Cake
Fresh Apple Cake with Browned Butter Frosting
Peanut Butter Sheet Cake
S’more Cake
Picnic Cake
Funnel Cake
Strawberry Lemonade Poke Cake
Peanut Butter Fudge Cake
Chocolate Chip Bundt Cake
Brown Sugar-Pecan Cupcakes
Coconut Bread
Smore’s Cookie Bars
Sugar Cookie Bars
Monkey Bars
Frosted Peanut Butter Bars
Peanut Butter Rice Krispie Bars
Peanut Butter Bars with Chocolate Frosting
Chocolate Chip Pecan Pie Cookie Bars
Oatmeal Fudge Cookie Bars
Chewy Peanut Butter Bars with Chocolate Chips and Coconut
Pineapple Cream Cheese Bars
Red Velvet Buttermilk Brownies with Cream Cheese Frosting
Snickerdoodle Brownies
Dark Chocolate Brownies
Butterscotch Brownies with Brown Sugar Frosting
Chocolate Chip Blondies
Triple Chocolate Chocolate Chunk Cookies
New York Times Chocolate Chip Cookie
Peanut Butter Cookies
Oatmeal Scotchies
Praline Cookies
Individual Fruit Pizza
 Red Velvet Brownie Cheesecakes


Sweet Liberty Cookie Bark
Sweet Liberty Printable Tags
Stars and Stripes Forever
4th of July Strawberry Sticks
Strawberries and Cream White Chocolate Bark


K&J Siggie

July 2nd, 2014

Strawberry and Cream Cake

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If I had to list an all-time favorite dessert of my family, this Strawberry and Cream Cake would be right up at the top of the list.  This is the cake my oldest son always requests for his birthday, and it just isn’t summer without it!

This amazing dish combines a white cake layered with a mixture of whipped cream and cream cheese {yum} – then it’s finished off with a strawberry pie -type topping {double yum}.


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The beautiful red color and fresh berries makes it a perfect finish for your 4th of July celebration or it will make any day a celebration!


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Strawberry and Cream Cake


1/2 prepared white cake mix (make a few cupcakes with the extra batter)

1 (8 oz) package cream cheese

2 cups powdered sugar

1 1/2 cups whipping cream

1 pkg Danish Dessert Strawberry Pudding*

4 cups strawberries, sliced


Preheat oven to 350.

Bake the cake mix batter (a generous half of the mix) in a 9×13 baking pan coated with cooking spray for about 15 minutes or until center set.  Cool.

To make the cream cheese layer, whip the cream cheese and powdered sugar until light and fluffy.  Whip the cream and fold into the cream cheese mix.  Spread over the top of the cooled cake.

To make the strawberry topping combine the Danish Dessert with 1 3/4 cups of water in a medium sauce pan until completely dissolved.  Bring the mixture to a boil for 1 minute.  Remove from heat and cool 10-15 minutes.  Add strawberries and let cool completely.  Pour the strawberry mixture of the cream cheese mix and refrigerate the cake for 3-4 hours before serving.

*Note:  the Junket Brand Danish Dessert is often hard to find.  It’s usually with the jello products or you can order it on Amazon.  It also comes in Raspberry which is also really really good!




July 1st, 2014

Easy 4th of July Strawberry Sticks

Strawberry Sticks

Today is July 1st and that means on Friday people around the country will be celebrating the 4th of July. There will be picnics and barbecues going on all over the county and fireworks will light up the night skies. Hopefully, it will be a day filled of family, friends, good food and a whole lot of fun.

Every celebration needs great food, and these Easy 4th of July Strawberry Sticks are festive. Decorated in Red, White and Blue they are perfect for all those picnics and barbecues; or how about while watching fireworks.

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If you are planning to make a few of these 4th of July Strawberry Sticks, be sure to make plenty. These don’t last long, before you know it the entire batch of them is gone. ;)

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Easy 4th of July Strawberry Sticks

1 package strawberry wafer cookies
12 oz. white chocolate (can use chocolate chips, melting wafers, baking squares, etc)
additional chocolate, melting wafers and/or sprinkles for decorating


Line a baking tray with wax paper; set aside. Melt white chocolate according to package instructions. Dip each wafer cookie into chocolate until completely covered. Lift cookie out with a fork and allow excess to drip off and place on prepared baking tray. Repeat with desired number of wafer cookies. Place cookies in the refrigerator until chocolate is set.

To Decorate:

If using sprinkles, add before setting the chocolate in the refrigerator other wise, drizzle with contrasting chocolate, if desired after chocolate has set.


June 27th, 2014

Red Velvet Brownie Cheesecakes

Red Velvet Brownie Cheesecakes


We’ve got one week until the fourth of July!  What an amazing holiday when the entire country comes together and celebrates with family, friends, good food, and fireworks!  Such a celebration definitely needs a special dessert.   These Red Velvet Brownie Cheesecakes would be a all-star finish to the day!

A red velvet brownie topped with cheesecake and fresh berries, and of course it’s always cuter served in individual jars!


Red Velvet Brownie Cheesecakes


Note:  If you want to put a lid on these little cakes be sure to leave room at the top for the berries.  If you want to share them on the 4th of July we recommend adding this or this free printable to the top for an added dash of sparkle!


Red Velvet Brownie Cheesecakes


1 cup flour
1 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup water
1 egg
1/4 cup buttermilk
3/4  teaspoons vanilla
1 tablespoon red food coloring
12 ounces cream cheese, softened
2/3 cups sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 cup heavy whipping cream, whipped
2 cups fresh berries (I used raspberries, blueberries, and diced strawberries)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In mixing bowl stir together the flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt; set aside.

In a medium saucepan combine butter, cocoa powder, and 1 cup water. Bring mixture just to boiling, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Add the cocoa mixture to flour mixture; beat with an electric mixer on medium to high speed until thoroughly combined. Add eggs, buttermilk, vanilla, and red food coloring. Beat for 1 minute (batter will be thin).  Divide the batter into 8 1/2 pint wide-mouth jars.

Place jars on a baking sheet and bake about 18-20 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool completely.

To make the cream cheese topping, beat cream cheese and sugar until light and fluffy.  Add the vanilla.  Fold in the whipped cream until completely incorporated.  Top each red velvet brown with cream cheese mixtures. Note, I used a pastry bag to pipe the cream cheese mixture in.  Refrigerate at least 2-3 hours or overnight.  When ready to serve top with fresh berries.

Makes 8 half-pint or 1 cup brownie jars.




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Caramel Potatoes

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