Chocolate Chip Pistachio Cake
With St. Patrick’s Day around the corner, Chocolate Chip Pistachio Cake is the perfect green treat!  This cake is much like a traditional chocolate chip pound cake but with a hint of pistachio and almond. The pistachio pudding mix gives the cake a green color, and the flavor is subtle and delicious! This recipe came from an Arkansas friend during our newlywed days, and the cake is always a hit wherever I take it!

Chocolate Chip Pistachio Cake is super simple to throw together. Basically dump the ingredients, mix, and bake!

Chocolate Chip Pistachio Cake

1 box Pillsbury white cake mix with “pudding in the mix”
1 box Pistachio pudding mix
1 t. almond extract
3/4 cup oil
3/4 cup water
2 eggs
12 oz bag semi-sweet chocolate chips
Baker’s Joy baking spray

Preheat oven to 350°.

Mix all ingredients except chocolate chips with a mixer.  Stir in chocolate chips. Spray a bundt pan with Baker’s Joy and evenly pour in batter.

Bake 40 minutes.  Check to see if knife comes out clean and add a couple of minutes to bake time if needed.

Turn out onto a cake plate and sprinkle with powdered sugar, if desired.
Printable Recipe
Linking to:
Tidy Mom, Weekend Bloggy Reading, The Freshman Cook, Kitchen Fun with My 3 Sons, Diana Rambles

Christmas Recipe Ideas!

Merry Christmas week!  If you are like me, you may feel like Christmas snuck up on you this year and blink! Exams are done, kids are home, and Santa Claus is loading his sleigh!

After a Thanksgiving table blowout, mom and I vowed that our Christmas lunch should be simple…at least simple-er.  If you are putting your final grocery list together and are still wondering “what to fix” or “what to take,” browse through this list of tried-and-true favorites and add the ingredients to your list!  There are just a few listed here, but be sure to browse the pull-down categories on my homepage for even more great recipes!

Here are a few of our Appetizer favorites…

Hot Bacon and Swiss Dip
Hot Bacon Swiss Dip

Marinated Cheese
Marinated Cheese

Seasoned Oyster Crackers (These also make wonderful happies for neighbors, and they are quick and easy to make!)

Cream Cheese Sausage Balls

If you are looking for a new side dish or two, I promise these will be a favorite at your table!

Green Bean Bundles
Bacon-Wrapped Green Beans

Shoepeg Corn Casserole

Or perhaps you want a little something different for Christmas Eve Dinner!  These three ideas are always a hit!

Shrimp and Grits Casserole
Shrimp and Grits

Cheese Soup
Cheese Soup

White Bean Chicken Chili
white bean chicken chili
And last but not least…Dessert.  Most of us have traditional pies that have been at our table for years, but maybe you want to throw a little something different in the mix! Here are some ideas:

Chocolate Chip Pie
Chocolate Chip Pie

Double Chocolate Mocha Trifle

Almond Torte
almond torte

Minnie’s Chocolate Pie (from the movie “The Help”)

Be sure to let me know if you give any of these recipes a try!  Merry Christmas to you and yours as we celebrate God’s gift of Jesus to the world.


Oreo Truffles

Oreo Truffles have been trendy and popular on Pinterest for years, yet I have never made them until now!  The outside of these adorable desserts is a creamy almond bark shell, and the inside is a moist, yummy Oreo filling!  It’s almost like taking a bite of oreo cookie dough! Lainey and I are hosting our first annual Mother/Daughter Cookie Swap this weekend, and Oreo Truffles will be her contribution.  (Maddie and I hosted this party for years in Arkansas, and it remains a highlight of her elementary years!)

Oreo Truffles can be made well in advance and frozen, so they are the perfect treat for when you know you will be pushed for time but still need something homemade and fun!

Oreo Truffles

1 pkg regular Oreos
1 block cream cheese, softened completely
16-18 oz vanilla almond bark (8-9 squares)
½ t. Crisco (to thin almond bark, if necessary-optional)
Sprinkles, crushed candy canes, crushed oreos, etc. for topping (optional)

Spread a sheet of wax paper onto a large cookie sheet before you get started.

In a food processor, pulse oreos until they are all fine crumbs.  If you do not have a food processor, place oreos in a large Ziploc bag and crush with a rolling pin until they are fine crumbs.

Pour crumbs into a separate bowl and add softened cream cheese.  With the back of a spoon, combine crumbs and cream cheese, pressing down into bowl until crumbs are evenly moistened.  Form 1-inch balls and place onto the wax paper. *Tip: Make the balls smaller than you think they should be.  Remember the almond bark will harden and increase the size of the truffle a good bit). Freeze truffles at least one hour or even overnight, as the dough will not hold the melted almond bark if it is not cold enough. This also gives you the option to do some of the work ahead of time!

When you are ready to coat the truffles, melt the almond bark according to the package directions, adding ½ t. Crisco. Remove the truffles from the freezer and set up a separate cookie sheet or flat surface covered with a large sheet of wax paper.  Now you are ready to dip the truffles in the candy coating!

The easiest way to coat the truffles is to rest each one a fork and lower it into the melted almond bark.  Gently lift the truffle out and tap the fork on the side of the bowl to allow excess almond bark to drip back into bowl.  Transfer truffles onto wax paper by placing end of fork onto cookie sheet and wriggling the truffle gently onto the paper.

Sprinkle your desired toppings on each individual truffle as soon it comes of the melted almond bark.

Refrigerate truffles to set the almond bark coating.  It is optional, but I think these are best served cold!

Printable Recipe



Oreo Layer Dessert

Oreo Layer Dessert

Chances are, you have eaten your fair share of Oreo Layer Dessert at church potlucks or family gatherings over the years, and it is one of those desserts that has stood the test of time!  While there are a hundred versions of Oreo Layer Dessert out there, this one boasts 5 layers, making each bite a little bit of heaven on your fork!

Oreo Layer Dessert

1 pkg Oreos
6 T. butter, melted
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup sugar
2 T. cold milk
12 oz. container frozen whipped topping, thawed
3 1/4 cups milk
2 (3.5 oz) pkgs chocolate pudding

Layer one:

35 oreos, crushed in food processor
6 T. butter, melted

Mix together and press into a 9×13 pan.  Refrigerate at least 10 minutes.

Layer two:

8 oz. cream cheese
1/4 cup sugar
2 T. cold milk
1 1/4 cup whipped topping

Mix well and spread over layer one.

Layer three:

3 1/4 cup milk
2 pkgs chocolate pudding

Mix together until thick and spread over layer two.

Layer four:

Spread remaining whipped topping from 12 oz. container over layer three.

Layer five: (Optional)

3-4 Oreos, crushed

Sprinkle on top of layer four.

Refrigerate for a few hours, cut into squares, and enjoy!

Printable Recipe

Do you have a version of Oreo Layer Dessert that you love?

Oreo Layer Dessert

Linking to:

Weekend Bloggy Reading, Mop It Up Monday, Jam Hands, Monday Funday, 52 Mantels, One Artsy Mama, Design, Dining, and Diapers, TwelveOEight

Double Chocolate Mocha Trifle


Double Chocolate Mocha Trifle has made an appearance before here at the blog, but it was ages ago, buried deep in the archives.  This rich, crowd-pleasing trifle is a go-to when I am taking dessert anywhere!  I made it last week for Staff Appreciation at school and decided to update photos to bring the post back to life!

Double Chocolate Mocha Trifle blends two chocolates, a hint of coffee, and crunchy toffee to bring together heaven in a trifle bowl!

Find an inexpensive glass trifle dish at Target, Wal-Mart, or Bed, Bath, and Beyond.

Double Chocolate Mocha Trifle

1 pkg brownie mix (plus ingredients to make brownies)

1 3/4 cups cold milk

2 pkgs (3.4 oz each) white chocolate instant pudding and pie filling *Can substitute vanilla if white choc is unavailable

1/4 cup warm water

4 t. instant coffee granules (I use Folgers)

8 oz container frozen whipped topping, thawed

1 bag Heath English toffee bits

Bake brownies according to package directions in a 9×13 baking dish.  Cool completely.

In a large bowl, whisk dry pudding mix into milk until mixture begins to thicken.  Dissolve coffee granules in warm water and add to pudding mixture, mixing well.

Fold in whipped topping, mixing well.

Cut brownies into 1-inch cubes (*Tip-Spray pizza cutter with Pam to cut brownies easily!)

To assemble trifle, layer 1/3 of brownie cubes onto bottom of the trifle bowl.  Top evenly with 1/3 of pudding mixture using spatula.  Then, sprinkle a thin layer of toffee bits.  Repeat layers two more times.


Chill 30 minutes before serving.

Serves 12.

Printable Recipe


Recipe adapted from Pampered Chef.

Linking to:

High Heels and Grills, Mom on Timeout, House of Hepworths, Embracing Change, 52 Mantels, Design, Dining, and Diapers, Tidy Mom, Weekend Bloggy Reading, Chef In Training

Minnie’s Chocolate Pie from THE HELP

Most of you have probably seen the movie, The Help, and  remember Minnie’s infamous chocolate pie scene!  This recipe is minus one ingredient meant just for Hilly, and you will love Minnie’s original version!!  Minnie’s Chocolate Pie is simple, classic, and easy to make.  It is perfect for any occasion all year long.

I received this recipe from Lee Ann Flemming, who is a Greenwood, Mississippi local, hired to be a food stylist on the set of The Help.  (The Help was filmed in Greenwood).  

At Christmas, my mom had the pleasure of meeting Lee Ann in person in my hometown of Jackson, Mississippi where she was signing cookbooks.  Lee Ann wrote Minnie’s Chocolate Pie recipe on a scratch piece of paper for me, which I treasure.  No doubt she can quote the recipe in her sleep after making 53 pies during the filming of The Help!

For the crust, you can use the roll-out, refrigerated Pillsbury pie crust dough if you are in a pinch for time, but this homemade version below really makes the pie!!  Don’t be afraid of it!  It is super simple to throw together.

Minnie’s Chocolate Pie

Pie Crust:
(or refrigerated Pillsbury roll-out pie crust…follow package instructions)

1 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 t. sugar
1/2 t. salt

1/2 cup oil
2 T. milk

In a small bowl, whisk together the oil and milk.

Then, mix dry ingredients in a separate bowl, and add milk/oil mixture, using a fork to blend and moisten well.

Push mixture evenly into pie plate, using your fingers to crimp edges.

Pie Filling:
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 T. unsweetened cocoa powder
4 T. unsalted butter, melted
2 large eggs, beaten
3/4 cup evaporated milk
1 t. pure vanilla extract
1/4 t. salt
Whipped Cream, for serving

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  

Make homemade pie crust according to directions above, or gently roll out refrigerated pie crust dough into pie plate and follow directions on Pillsbury box for baking crust before filling.

In a medium bowl, whisk the sugar with the cocoa powder, melted butter, beaten eggs, evaporated milk, vanilla, and salt until smooth.

Pour the filling into the crust and bake for 40-45 minutes.  The filling should be set around the edges, but a little jiggly in the center.  At about 20-25 minutes bake time, cover the crust with strips of foil.   Use scissors to cut thin foil strips and gently lay them around the top of the pie crust until end of bake time.  

Allow to cool completely before cutting individual slices.  Top with Redi-Whip, Cool Whip or fresh whipped cream to serve!

We prefer this pie served cold, and you can store it in the refrigerator.  



Almond Torte

If you are like me and love the flavor of almond, then this treat is for you!  This simple-to-make almond torte is rich and delicious, not to mention it makes a beautiful presentation.  Perfect for baby or wedding showers, luncheons, or just because you are craving something sweet!

Almond Torte

1 1/2 sticks regular butter
1 1/2 cups self-rising flour
2 eggs 
1 1/2 cups sugar + extra for sprinkling crust and top
2 t. almond extract
1/4-1/2 cup sliced almonds
Parchment paper
Pam cooking spray
9 or 10-inch Springform pan (pictured below)
Melt butter.  Place flour, eggs, sugar, and almond extract into mixing bowl.  Add melted butter, and blend well with electric mixer.  Lock bottom of Springform pan into place.  Line Springform pan with a cut-to-fit piece of parchment paper for easy removal from pan.  Spray paper with Pam.    
Sprinkle greased parchment paper generously with sugar, coating entire surface.

Pour torte batter evenly into pan and sprinkle a light coating of sugar over entire surface.  Then sprinkle sliced almonds over top.  Add more or less of each, if desired.

Bake 30 minutes at 350 degrees.  Cool completely and unlock Springform pan.  Using a spatula, gently pull away cake from the bottom of the pan, remove parchment paper, and slide onto a serving plate.  Cut small slices to serve.  Enjoy!