Quick Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

Quick Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

*Makes about 4 cups of frosting

½ cup (1 stick, 8 tablespoons) butter, softened to room temperature
3 ounces cream cheese, softened to room temperature
16 ounces powdered sugar (about 3 ½ cups)
¼ cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

In a large bowl using a handheld mixer or the bowl of an electric stand mixer, beat the softened butter and cream cheese together until it is light and creamy, about 2 minutes. Mix in the vanilla. Add the powdered sugar gradually and mix in fully after each addition. Cream at low speed until well blended and creamy. Pour in the heavy cream and whip until the frosting is light and fluffy.

For a chocolate butter cream you can add 4 oz of melted chocolate or 1/2 C. of cocoa.

Homemade Wheat Thins Style Crackers

Homemade Wheat Thins Style Crackers

Homemade Wheat Thins Style Crackers

Homemade Wheat Thins Style Crackers

Easy homemade whole wheat crackers that taste remarkably similar to Wheat Thins! Thin, crunchy, and salty -- you will love these crackers!


About 8 ounces of crackers


1 1/4 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon paprika
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) cold butter, sliced
1/4 cup water
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
Salt, for topping


1. Combine flour, 1/2 teaspoon salt, sugar, and paprika in a medium bowl. Cut in butter with a fork or pastry blender, until small crumbs form. Or, combine the dry ingredients and butter in a food processor bowl and pulse until crumbly.

2. Make a well in the center, and add the water and vanilla. Stir to mix, then use clean hands to knead a few times, just enough to form a ball of dough. (Add just a tad more water, only if needed.) Divide dough into two pieces and cover with a clean towel.

3. Lightly grease two 11x15-inch baking sheets* and sprinkle lightly with salt. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

4. On a lightly floured counter, roll each piece of dough into a thin rectangle approximately 11x15 inches. (Be sure to lightly flour the dough as you roll, so it doesn't stick to the counter!)

5. Transfer the sheet of dough to the baking sheet. Use a pizza cutter or sharp knife to cut dough into squares. Trim edges if desired. Sprinkle tops with salt.

6. Bake at 400 degrees for 5-10 minutes, until crisp and lightly browned. Crackers will become more crispy as they cool, so don't over-bake! (Remove edge crackers that are getting too dark if the middle crackers aren't quite done yet, and continue baking.)

7. Remove baked crackers from sheets and cool on a wire rack. Serve warm or cool, plain or with dips or and store leftover crackers in a sealed bag or container.

Rolled out cracker dough
Roll out the dough to fit your baking sheet, place on the sheet, and then cut with a pizza cutter into squares

Homemade Wheat Thins Style crackers

Homemade Wheat Thins Style crackers

Additional Notes:

*I used stainless steel, but you can use whatever you have. Other options include lining the sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat, or using a baking stone (increase baking time if using a baking stone).

Original recipe ingredients from King Arthur Flour Whole Grain Baking cook book. Instructions and photos are my own.

The un-trimmed edges, a perfect snack
I don't trim the edges before baking, so we snack on these first! :)

Preparation Time:

15-20 minutes

Cooking Time:

5-10 minutes

Tammy's Review:

These crackers are very good! They taste quite similar to Wheat Thins.

I think these crackers are fairly easy to make. When you consider the high price of a box of "real" Wheat Thins, these crackers are well worth the time!

Yes, it's a small chunk of time. I estimate 15-20 minutes to make the crackers, and then 5-10 minutes to bake. And then there's the clean-up. But the kids can help make these, and have a great deal of fun with it, too!

And, the amount of work involved can be reduced if you use a food processor to blend the butter into the flour.

Macaroni and Cheese

UltimateComfortFood Macaroni and Cheese

2 cups shredded cheese…throw some sharp cheddar in there so it’s not too bland
1 egg…preferably from my chickens…I’m being over run with eggs here
1 cup sour cream
2 cups small curd cottage cheese…never use large curd for anything…it’s gross
garlic…as much as your rommates or husband will allow you to put in
salt and pepper to taste
8 ounces of pasta…I prefer rigatoni, as it holds the cheese in there so well…mmmmm

preheat oven to 350
cook pasta according to package
mix together: sour cream, cottage cheese, egg, garlic, salt and pepper
add cheese, mix
add cooked pasta, mix super well
pour into a 2-quart baking dish
bake at 350 for 30 minutes

BIG and CHEWY Chocolate chip Cookies

BIG and CHEWY Chocolate chip Cookies


3 1/2 cups all purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
16 tablespoons (2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 1/4 cups packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 large egg yolks
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 (12 oz) bag semisweet chocolate chips

Heat oven to 325. Whisk the flour, baking soda and salt together in a large bowl and set aside.

Beat the butter and sugars in a large bowl using an electric mixer on medium speed until combined, about 1 to 2 minutes. Beat in the eggs, egg yolks, and vanilla until combined, about 30 seconds, scraping down the bowl and beaters as needed.

Reduce the mixer to low speed and slowly mix in the flour mixture until combined, about 30 seconds. Mix in the chocolate chips until incorporated.

Working with 1/4 cup of dough at a time, roll the dough into balls and lay on parchment paper (I didn't have any and just sprayed sheets with Pam) lined baking sheets, spaced about 2 1/2 inches apart. Bake until the edges are golden but the centers are still soft and puffy, about 17 to 20 minutes.

Let the cookies cool on the baking sheets for 10 minutes, then serve warm or transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely.

Outrageous Brownies

Outrageous Brownies


Copyright 1999, The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook This was adapted from a recipe for chocolate globs in the Soho Charcuterie Cookbook.


  • 1 pound unsalted butter
  • 1 pound plus 12 ounces semisweet chocolate chips
  • 6 ounces unsweetened chocolate
  • 6 extra-large eggs
  • 3 tablespoons instant coffee granules
  • 2 tablespoons pure vanilla extract
  • 2 1/4 cups sugar
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 cups chopped walnuts


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Butter and flour a 12 x 18 x 1-inch baking sheet.

Melt together the butter, 1 pound of chocolate chips, and the unsweetened chocolate in a medium bowl over simmering water. Allow to cool slightly. In a large bowl, stir (do not beat) together the eggs, coffee granules, vanilla, and sugar. Stir the warm chocolate mixture into the egg mixture and allow to cool to room temperature.

In a medium bowl, sift together 1 cup of flour, the baking powder, and salt. Add to the cooled chocolate mixture. Toss the walnuts and 12 ounces of chocolate chips in a medium bowl with 1/4 cup of flour, then add them to the chocolate batter. Pour into the baking sheet.

Bake for 20 minutes, then rap the baking sheet against the oven shelf to force the air to escape from between the pan and the brownie dough. Bake for about 15 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. Do not overbake! Allow to cool thoroughly, refrigerate, and cut into 20 large squares.

Buttercream Icing

Buttercream Icing

Original Recipe Yield 2 -1/2 cups


  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 2 tablespoons milk


  1. In a large bowl, cream together the butter, shortening, and vanilla. Blend in the sugar, one cup at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the milk, and continue mixing until light and fluffy. Keep icing covered until ready to decorate.

Soft Butter Spread

Soft Butter Spread



A fluffy butter mixture that's easily spreadable


2 cups


1 cup (2 sticks) butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup canola oil
1/2 cup water, at room temperature


1. Using an electric mixer, blend butter on HI until fluffy.

2. Continue mixing, and slowly add oil. Continue mixing and slowly add water. Mixture will turn white and be very light and fluffy!

3. Chill until set. (See additional notes.)

Soft butter spread on pancakes... one of many great ways to use this soft butter spread!
Soft Butter Spread on pancakes...
One of many great ways to use this butter spread!
Soft butter spread
Soft butter spread
Additional Notes:

*This mixture may be stored in the refrigerator or at room temperature. At room temperature, it is very soft and fluffy. From the fridge, it is still spreadable, and softens or melts quickly.

This spread is great for toast, bagels, bread, pancakes, or grilled cheese sandwiches. In fact, I thought the grilled cheese sandwiches were extra crispy when I used this spread instead of plain butter!

We have tried adding salt to this recipe, which makes it taste even better (I love salt) but can make the water separate after being stored in the fridge a while.

Preparation Time:

5 minutes