Homemade Vanilla Pudding Mix

When I found this recipe for homemade vanilla pudding, it made me smile. I have been trying to cut out most if not all sources of processed food chemicals from our diet and I have been very sad about the things we may have to give up forever. Thanks to Brown Eyed Bakers DIY Vanilla Pudding Mix, Pudding won’t be one of them 🙂


Dump Cake Two Ways!

Photo Credit: Pioneer Woman

OK, so I promised dump cake two ways. The first way is one of my favorite comfort foods that grandma used to make. I love it because it is warm, gooey, delicious, buttery and just completely wonderful.

Traditional Dump Cake

Here is the recipe:

1 16 oz can crushed pineapple

1 20 oz can cherry pie filling

1 box yellow cake mix

1/2 to 2/3 cups chopped nuts, optional

1/2 cup butter* (2 sticks)

* I implore you to use real butter, you will thank me for it later 😉


  • Lightly grease bottom of 13 x 9 baking dish.
  • Dump crushed pineapple directly in baking dish and spread evenly. 
  • Dump cherry pie filling over top of crushed pineapple and spread evenly.
  • Evenly sprinkle dry cake mix over top of cherry pie filling
  • Sprinkle nuts if using them on top of cake mix
  • Cut both sticks of butter into thin slices and place on top of dry cake mix covering the entire thing
  • Do NOT mix
  • Pop into 350 degree oven for 45 minutes to an hour until top is golden bubbly

Now, get a fork, hide in a corner and eat right from the pan as if to have it all for yourself! (Yes, I really do. Well, I don’t really hide in a corner, I just threaten to pierce with a fork  anyone who comes near me dump cake…lol)

Now, I have always enjoyed my dump cake and as brilliant as I like to think I am, I find myself wondering why I never thought to make it with chocolate cake! This Chocolate Cherry Dump Cake from Lynn is absolutely brilliant. Like a chocolate cherry coke on a fork. You will need Cherry Pie Filling, Coca Cola ( or any cola of your choice) and a chocolate cake mix to make this delight a yummy reality.

I have been on a mission to put less preservatives in my families mouths and I am wondering how this would work with home made cake mix and or home canned fruit. Stick around, I may just  have to try it out and see how it goes.

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Chocolate Chip Toffee Cookie Dough Dip!

I usually skip all recipes for cookie dough dip despite how good they look because I always thought they were actual cookie dough with raw eggs. To my surprise, the only ingredients found in this recipe for Chocolate Chip Toffee Cookie Dough Dip from Robyn at add a pinch are cream cheese, butter, powdered sugar, brown sugar, vanilla, chocolate chips and toffee bits!

This looks like it has all the necessary flavors for an awesome cookie dough taste without the risk of eating raw eggs. I Love it! Can’t wait to try it!

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White Chocolate Cream Cheese Icing

This weekend when I went shopping, I finally picked up a tub of Kraft’s new Philadelphia Indulgence, White Chocolate flavor. I was thinking this would be a good treat for my bagel and boy was I wrong. The flavor of the cream cheese was delicious, but for some reason it didn’t go well with my bagel at all, but it did inspire me to create my very first original icing recipe.

 If you haven’t tried this cream yet, it is delicious all by itself. It is so smooth, you could probably eat the whole tub of it right off of the spoon.


2 unsalted butter sticks (room temperature)

1 tsp vanilla

3-4 cups of powdered sugar

1 8oz tub of Philadelphia Indulgence Cream.

I used white chocolate but I am sure the regular chocolate flavor would work as well.


  • Cream Butter and Philadelphia Indulgence
  • Add vanilla and mix until blended
  • Add powdered sugar 1 cup at a time until you reach the desired consistency.

I piped this lovely icing atop a devils food cupcake and it seems to be getting rave reviews from the family. I hope you like it. If you decide to give it a try, let me know what you think 😉


Mocha Chocolate Mousse Cupcake

Pinterest strikes again! Don’t these look sinful? Grace at My Sweet Life came up with this recipe for a Mocha cupcake with Chocolate Mousse Icing and they look fabulous.  The cupcake recipe sounds divine with ingredients such as cocoa powder, espresso and buttermilk to make it moist and delicious.

Two of my Favorite Things: White Chocolate and Strawberry

Two of my favorite things, white chocolate and strawberry. I love them both, so I was glad to find Amanda’s Recipe for White Chocolate Cupcakes with White Chocolate and Strawberry Icing These look so yummy and delicious that I cannot wait to try them. I should have called this post three of my favorite things. I just love a yummy cupcake 😉

Tutorial on Swirling Icing

More Cupcakes

Make Your Own: Body Wash

I am so excited to be making my first Around The House post. I finally got around to trying a recipe for homemade body wash and I am thrilled to be sharing the results with you.

Here is what you will need:

3 Bars of Soap, I used Dial for Men

Approximately 12-13 cups of water

I shredded my 3 bars of soap in the food processor and then emptied it into a stock pot. I initially only add about 2 cups of water because I learned the hard way that soap expands when it gets heated. If you don’t want liquid soap all over your stove and your floor, be careful about how much water you put in to start with.

I melted the soap over medium heat while stirring pretty much continually, mostly because I don’t know if the soap will burn or who knows what else. Once the soap was melted, I removed it from the heat, added the rest of the water and stirred it a bit. I then covered the pot and left it until morning.

The soap was a bit hardened but I just mixed it with a whisk to break it up and then mushed it with my fingers until it was a good consistency. This recipe did come out a little bit “snotty” but the integrity of the soap seems great. It lathers well and washes clean.

I think next time I may experiment with adding glycerin, or I may try Jillee’s Idea of just sticking with Dove soap which she says comes out great because of all of the moisturizers.

Overall, I am very happy with the outcome of this project. I ended up with about 123 ounces of body wash. Those of you who know anything about me know that I am an avid couponer. After this, I may become reformed. You can get 24 ounces of body wash for around $1 to $1.50 when couponing. This recipe got me 24 ounces of body wash for $.56 or about 2.3 cents an ounce! I originally paid $2.79 for the 3 bars of soap and here is where the couponer in me comes out. I paid regular price for this soap (which kills anyone who is a true couponer) If I had couponed for the soap, the bottom line would have been even lower and I would probably be doing a happy dance 🙂

Just look at all the bottles I filled with my homemade body wash! Just 2.3 cents an ounce and I have recycled these plastic containers as well!

So Good Restaurant Style Salsa

So good, So Easy! This was my first ever attempt at making my own salsa. I never realized how easy it would be, and how delicious! It instantly reminded me of authentic Mexican Restaurant Style Salsa.  We had this on our burritos last night and it was awesome.

The Pioneer Woman has outdone herself again. The only change I will make the next time I make this recipe, and I will make this recipe again, is probably not to put in an entire jalapeno, seeds and all. I have to admit, I am a wimp when it comes to spice and it was way too hot for me, not to mention the incident with my eye…lol 😉

On a side note, I like to eat my salsa with doritos. It is an excellent flavor combination that I made quite on accident and I am glad I did!

I would also like to note that I do not usually like raw vegetables. I just can’t stand the texture, but since this is made in the food processor, this recipe has great versatility. I was able to make it very smooth and the raw vegetables didn’t bother me at all but that doesn’t mean you can’t make yours as chunky as you like!

Hot Fudge Sauce

This Hot Fudge Sauce is part of Get off Your Butt and Bakes No Bake Hot Fudge Oreo Cupcake Recipe, but I thought it deserved a post in it’s own right. I can imagine a million possibilities where this sauce could be used in many other treats.

Caramel Apple Bites


Caramel Apple Bites

This is a genius idea. What a great way to make a usually messy snack into a wonderful, party friendly finger food! These Caramel Apple Bites are so cute and I can think of so many possibilities, including candy, chocolate, nuts, pretzels, you name it. Wouldn’t some Hot Fudge Sauce drizzled over these be yummy?