UPDATED…Red, White and Blue Whoopie Pie

Hi reader.  It’s been awhile.  I won’t make excuses except for that I’ve been enjoying some Colorado sunsets:

View from our Garage

From the Passenger Seat

Oh, and I’ve been taking some cake decorating classes – the Wilton one at Michael’s, which was totally fun, but actually a lot of work.  Once I get better, I’ll post some then and now pics.

Now that another great holiday is upon us, I have a recipe to share.  I have to admit, this one isn’t totally tweaked for high altitude modifications yet, but I love the taste.  That’s a great start, and I really like where this is going.

Red, white, and blue whoopie pies!  Well, Red (Velvet), white, and blue(berry) whoopie pies…totally yummy!  If all of these make it to the BBQ tomorrow night before Floyd has a meltdown and eats them all, I’ll be surprised. 🙂  Guess what – also super easy.

Red, White, and Blue Whoopie Pies

adapted from Chocolate Sandwich Cookies


  • 2 boxes of red velvet cake mix
  • 4 eggs
  • 2/3 cup of vegetable oil
  • 1 8 oz package of cream cheese, softened
  • 2 cups confectioners sugar
  • 1 pint blueberries
  1. Preheat the oven to 325
  2. Mix the first three ingredients together.  Roll into 2 inch balls and place on a cookie sheet with parchment paper.  I found that 6 cookies at a time worked the best because these spread for me.  They stayed as a rounded shape when I gave them plenty of space.
  3. Bake for 12 minutes.  Allow to cool on the cookie sheet before moving to the cooling rack.
  4. Once cookies have cooled, combine cream cheese and confectioners sugar until smooth and spreadable.
  5. Spread mixture on cookies and add blueberries.  Top with another cookie to make the sandwich.

Makin' whoopie (pies!!!)

Sooo, mine turned out flatter than I would like.  I’ll definitely be trying this again to try to get the fluffier version of these cookies.  I’ll post an update once I’ve mastered this to let you know about the high altitude modifications.

Until then, enjoy the finished product for now:

how patriotic!!

Happy 4th!  Stay safe!

***OH MY GAWD!  I take it all back.  These cookies are perfect.  No joke.  Do you remember those Little Debbie Oatmeal Cookies that you used to have last week in elementary school?  These cookies are the EXACT consistency of that.  I can’t wait to try this with other cake mixes…imaginations are running wild over here.  Strawberry cake mix and margarita filling?  Spice cake with an apple filling…I am thinking there is more to come.  🙂

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how did i get so crafty?

Okay – I will finally admit it.  I am officially a “crafter” – not just a crocheter (is that a word?), but an actual craft weirdo.   I read craft blogs, bookmark AWESOME projects that I will never do, and have a never ending pile of supplies that I really should go through before ever getting near Michael’s again (who am I kidding?  I’ll be there next week).

I feel pretty proud of myself because I bookmarked this page quite some time ago on Crap I’ve Made (great name for the blog by the way, but I digress…) and – wait for it – I actually made it.

Instructions are easy, and despite the fact that I had a small fight with the wonder under and seriously regret the decision on not pulling out my sewing machine to take care of the stitching (yes, I did it by hand tonight 0 what was I thinking?!?), I am quite pleased with the outcome.

perfect for a cute little one year old nephew

Since I have two adorable nephews that are 4 weeks apart in age, there will be another one of these coming shortly, but now they can be dressed for the occasion this summer all thanks to me.  🙂

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Chocolate Pecan Pie for First Saturday in May

In my family, we don’t call it “Chocolate Pecan Pie”, but the name that we call it is actually trademarked.  Let’s just say that it it has to do with a very big horse race we have every year on the first Saturday in May.

This pie is my specialty and a common request from my friends.  In fact, when I was actually at the horse race this year with these lovely ladies, my coworkers were a little put out that I didn’t bring in a pie to celebrate the occasion.

some of my favorite people made it!

So, here I am, a week later, making a few pies to bring into work.

It isn’t a hard pie once you get the hang of it, BUT it did take me SEVERAL years to figure out the high altitude adjustments.  Let me go through the family recipe for those at sea level, and then I will make notes for those with less oxygen in their air.  😉

Chocolate Pecan Pie

  • Pie Crust (I haven’t mastered this yet…on the to-do list for 2010, but I just get the Marie Callander’s frozen pie crust – make sure to get the deep pie pans!!)
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips
  • 1 stick butter (melted)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup white corn syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup pecans
  1. Spread chocolate chips evenly along the bottom of the pie pan.
  2. Mix melted  butter, sugar and corn syrup.  Add vanilla.
  3. Lightly beat the 4 eggs.  Pour eggs into mixture and beat 1-2 minutes with mixer.
  4. Pour in pecans, and lightly mix until pecans are wet.
  5. Pour into pie pan.  Shake pie pan until pecans rise.
  6. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour OR until the filling doesn’t sway back and forth like liquid when you shake it (it should look more like jello when you shake the pie pan).  I found that it cooks best on the middle rack.

High Altitude Notes

When I first started making this pie in Colorado, it erupted like a volcano every time, no matter what I did.  I ended up purchasing a cookbook – Pie in the Sky, and began experimenting with their suggestions.  They had a pecan pie recipe in their book, and after realizing that sugar boils at a lower temperature at higher altitudes, I first started my lowering the temperature to 325 degrees.

I was still getting smaller volcanic eruptions.  So, I started not putting all of the filling in the pie pan.  This made it difficult to gauge the pecans (they don’t come out of the bowl as easily), and I tried ladling the pie filling into the pie pan prior to adding the pecans.  Once in the pie pan, I sprinkle the pecans over top evenly, then dunk the pecans in the filling below gently with a fork to wet them with the filling.

Pushing Pecans Down

hard to capture in a picture, but pushing pecans down

After everything is in the pan, I baked at the lower temp of 325 for about 50-60 minutes or until the filling moves as described in the steps above.

**Side note – what do I do with this extra pie filling?  I put it in a custard dish covered with chocolate chips and top with pecans in the same way to make a mini-pie.  “Floyd’s Pie” in honor of my husband.  I bake until it is set as well.

Hope you enjoy this as much as I do!

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I’ve been busy

SOOOO – yeah, I am not sure what happened to the month of April.  Quick trip home, busy work schedule, and the start of the beer in hand kickball league.  Yowza!!  Not to mention what is going to go down in May – Kentucky Derby, Graduations, Birthdays, Weddings, oh my!  Not going to lie.  It’s going to be an intense month.

I did accomplish one thing in my spare time…surprise!!  Another baby blanket!!  This one is a little different than the last few.  I will post instructions on how to do a ripple soon (really easy!), but for now, enjoy the pic.

Soon-to-be Baby Boy will enjoy this blanket!

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Baby Blanket #3:

Baby Boy Blanket!

(Original Post Here)

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Yummy Yummy Granola

Have I mentioned that I love, LOVE, L-O-V-E brunch?  Well, breakfast food in particular, but nothing beats a good brunch on the weekend.  It’s relaxing and delicious…just my style.  That was our theme for Gourmet Club this month (my pick!).  I definitely had a hard time narrowing down the exact recipes that I used this morning, but I would not had changed my decision at all – Elegant Egg Strata, Brown Sugar Bacon Twists, Potato Pancakes, Homemade English Muffins, and Peach Mango Smoothies – more posts on those to follow if I get around to it.  🙂  (BUT – as a side note, the appetizers and desserts were A–MAA-ZIINGGG too!)

But speaking of breakfast…can I share a granola recipe that I made up as I went along last week?  It felt like I read almost a million recipes for granola last weekend, and after awhile, they all sounded the same.  So, I went to the bulk aisle of the wonderful Sunflower Market, picked up a little of this and a little of that, and out poured this fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants super easy recipe.

Yummy Yummy Granola

(all dry ingredients are approximate…there is no science behind this one folks, and if you don’t like something, substitute with another dry ingredient of choice)

  • 6 cups quick oats
  • 3/4 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds
  • 1/4 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/3 cup mini chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 3/4 cup honey

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix dry ingredients together thoroughly.  Mix oil and honey together and warm in the microwave (this took about 45 seconds for me, but I would do it in 15 second intervals to be sure to not get it too hot).  Pour into dry ingredients and mix thoroughly until coated.

Spread ingredients onto baking sheets (preferably with and edge), and bake for 20 minutes until golden brown.  Let cool completely, and then break up and put in a storage container.

sooooo good!

Not kidding when I say that this has gone super fast this week, and I fully plan on making some more to munch on very soon.  I very much enjoy the touches of pecans and chocolate throughout personally.  Hope you enjoy too!

Posted in Baking, Recipes | 1 Comment

Chocolate Guinness Cupcakes with Bailey’s Buttercream Icing

Top o’ the morning to ya!

Living so close to so many Irish pubs here in Denver, it is hard to not already be in the spirit for this week’s upcoming excuse to drink holiday.  Not being Irish (that I am aware of), I can take or leave the holiday for the most part, except for the fact that I love that everyone (and I mean EV-ER-Y-ONE) will go out to join in the festivities.  It is hard for me to pass up a time to socialize with that many people.  🙂

But what sort of foodie would I be if I just cared about the Guinness?  Sure, it tastes good, but let’s make it into something delicious.  A quick search for Guinness Chocolate Cupcakes, led me to a couple of recipes, but I was intrigued by one that used a box of devil’s food cake mix and chocolate pudding…my knowledge of both of these products knew that they would produce a light an airy cupcake.  Perhaps, even one that did not fall as soon as they came out of the oven!  Should this high altitude baker dare to even dream of the day?!

You can find this recipe on The Pioneer Woman’s Community Site – Tasty Kitchen, but it wouldn’t be a day in my kitchen if I didn’t make my own modifications  (I used what pudding I had, and I took them our far sooner than the time said, but the recipe below follows the way that I did it – Also, as a side note, I typically don’t care for cream cheese icing, so I used a buttercream icing from this recipe on Smitten Kitchen, and the Car Bomb Cupcake recipe was a second runner-up to what I was going to use for this.)

Without further adieu, here is my version that turned out perfectly at an altitude of a mile high:

Chocolate Guinness Cupcakes with Bailey’s Buttercream Icing

Makes about 24 cupcakes


  • 1 box Devils Food Chocolate Cake Mix (18 Ounce Box)
  • 1 box Instant Sugar Free, Fat Free Chocolate Pudding (1.4 Ounce Box)
  • 4 whole Large Eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 cup Sour Cream, at room temperature
  • ¾ cups Guinness Beer, at room temperature
  • 1 stick Butter, melted
  • Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips (optional)


  • 2 sticks of butter, at room temperature
  • 4 cups of powdered sugar
  • 6 Tablespoons of Bailey’s Irish Cream (can substitute milk or heavy cream)

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a regular sized muffin tin with paper liners.

2. In a large mixing bowl, combine cake mix, pudding mix, eggs, sour cream, beer, and melted butter.   Mix on medium speed for 1-2 minutes until thoroughly combined. Batter will be thick and almost look like a mousse/pudding.

4.  Spoon batter into cupcake liners to about 3/4 way full.  I stuffed about 5-6 chocolate chips in the center…because, come on, it needed more chocolate.

5.  Bake for 16-18 minutes (or until the toothpick comes out clean). Remove from pan and allow to cool completely.

6.  Make frosting by whipping the butter in the mixing bowl for several minutes until it very light and fluffy. Slowly add the powdered sugar, a few tablespoons at a time.  When the frosting looks like the right consistency to spread, drizzle in the Baileys (or milk) and whip it until combined.  If it gets to thin, add powder sugar a little bit at a time.

7.  Frost cupcakes when cool. And enjoy!  (Store in refrigerator)

it's like you are looking at a Guinnes in cupcake form...

I deemed this a “keeper” recipe by the number of “Mmmm’s” Floyd said while picking up every single last crumb.


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