Happylifeblogspot

Happylifeblogspot

Welcome to Happylifeblogspot! A food blog with drool worthy recipes

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Maple Glazed Mini Pancake Bites

Maple Glazed Mini Pancake Bites

It happens to us EVERY holiday! We’re busy people. We usually have to be somewhere, or have people coming over, or have to cook. I wake up and start working in the kitchen and I get so busy that I forget to make us breakfast. […]

Cranberry Gnocchi in Brown Butter Sauce

Cranberry Gnocchi in Brown Butter Sauce

I found this wonderful recipe a few years back and have making it as a Christmas side ever since! My family instantly fell in love with it.  And I love this recipe too because it’s pretty foolproof! Ricotta gnocchi are lighter, fluffier and much easier […]

Chocolate Overload Cake

Chocolate Overload Cake

So let me talk about this cake for a minute! I baked this up for the blog and dropped a few slices off with family and friends. My brother, Danny and sister in law, Sarah, were two of the lucky recipients. After I dropped off their slices, I remembered that Sarah always, always, ALWAYS asks me for vanilla cakes and cupcakes. Chocolate just really isn’t her thing (I can’t believe anyone would say that out loud!) She basically NEVER eats chocolate cake, or at least I can’t think of a time that she has. So I just kind of shrugged it off and thought, well looks like  Danny will just have to eat both pieces. (I’m sure he would be heart broken about it! Right?!? HAHA!!) Well let me tell you, this cake is SOOOO good that it can even convert the chocolate haters!!! Sarah said it was THE BEST cake that she has ever had in her life and wanted, scratch that, NEEDED the recipe. And when she found out that it was actually a box cake mix just dolled up a bit, she really was in shock! This cake is super duper moist, extremely chocolatey, and SO easy to make!!

Here’s all that you’ll need: chocolate cake mix, chocolate pudding, sour cream, oil, eggs, water, chocolate chips, cocoa powder, vanilla extract, powdered sugar, milk, and butter. P.S. I found the Godiva chocolate pudding at Walmart! Score!! 

In a large bowl, combine cake mix, pudding, eggs, sour cream, water, and oil. The addition of sour cream makes this cake super moist. And believe it or not, it was just as delicious on day 5 as it was on day 1!

Stir in the chocolate chips by hand. I used the whole bag. It’s worth it!

Pour the batter into a greased bundt pan. And by greased I mean I sprayed the heck of that thing with cooking spray. And just when I thought I was done, I sprayed a little bit more. The secret to this cake, I mean besides the cake mix….and sour cream….ok this cake is full of secrets!!! But the real key is make sure it will slide easily out of the cake pan once it’s done baking. So cooking spray is your # one BFF 4-eva in this recipe!

Bake in a 350 degree preheated oven for 40-50 minutes or until a toothpick (inserted near the middle) comes out clean. I would check it after 40 minutes, but I typically like to lean towards the longer bake time on this one. Ok so this cake seems to rise ALOT!! Maybe my oven is small, or maybe but bundt pan is too tall, but I always end up removing the top rack from my oven when I bake this one so it has enough clearance. Remove from the oven and let cake cool completely in the pan. Once cool, run a small spatula around the edges to loosen. Flip upside down onto a platter and remove from the pan. 

Now for that glaze!!! In a medium bowl, mix together the cocoa powder, powdered sugar, vanilla, milk, and melted butter.

Whisk until it’s nice and smooth. You can add more milk if you prefer a thinner glaze.

Place the glaze in a ziplock bag, seal, and then cut a hole in one of the corners for a DIY cake decorating bag! Drizzle the glaze over the cake using a back and forth motion. No cake decorating experience needed. I just made a bunch of little squiggles. Just enough so everyone gets some of that amazing glaze on their piece!

Sprinkle with sifted powdered sugar just before serving! The frosting will absorb the powdered sugar overnight, so I like to wait until the day of serving for this part. I love how it makes it look snow covered! Isn’t that beautiful??? Bundt cakes make me feel so fancy!

Cut into slices and enjoy a piece and all of it’s chocolatey glory!!! I’d like to dedicate this one to all the chocolate lovers out there…..and all the chocolate haters too!!! Crossing my fingers you convert!

Chocolate Overload Cake

December 9, 2017
: 12
: Easy

By:

Ingredients
  • 1 box Chocolate Cake Mix
  • 1 package Chocolate Instant Pudding
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • ¾ cup water
  • ¾ cup oil
  • 1 bag chocolate chips
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter
Directions
  • Step 1 In a large bowl, combine cake mix, pudding, eggs, sour cream, water, and oil. Mix well. Stir in the chocolate chips by hand.
  • Step 2 Pour the batter into a greased bundt pan. Bake in a 350 degree preheated oven for 40-50 minutes or until a toothpick (inserted near the middle) comes out clean.
  • Step 3 Remove from the oven and let cake cool completely in the pan. Once cool, run a small spatula around the edges to loosen. Flip upside down onto a platter and remove from the pan.
  • Step 4 To make the glaze: In a medium bowl, mix together the cocoa powder, powdered sugar, vanilla, milk, and melted butter. Whisk until smooth.
  • Step 5 Place the glaze in a ziplock bag and then seal. Cut off one of the corners and pipe glaze over cake in a back and forth motion.
  • Step 6 Sprinkle with sifted powdered sugar before serving. Slice and enjoy!

We’d love to hear from you! Leave us your comments and love down below!

Cake Mix Cookies

Cake Mix Cookies

Christmas cookies?!? Ain’t nobody got time for that! Well I’m here to tell you that you do! Grrrrllll……..I got you! They very well could be the easiest cookies you will ever make! I’ve been adding them to Christmas cookie trays for years now and everyone […]

Cheesy Sausage Balls

Cheesy Sausage Balls

Is it just me or does it feel like once December 1st hits on the calendar, time actually speeds up??? I swear I blink and suddenly it’s Christmas Eve! Maybe it’s the millions of things I have to do from now until then. Or maybe […]

Classic Beef Chili

Classic Beef Chili

From now until the end of December, my to do list is about a mile long. I cross one thing off and suddenly 3 more things pop onto to the list. I don’t know how, but it just keeps multiplying!!! Pull out the Christmas decorations. Decorate the Christmas tree. Make cookies. Wrap presents. Make sure everything I ordered online shows up in the mail (that is a full time job in itself!!). And it goes on….and on……and on! If anyone is looking for gift ideas for me, a personal assistant would be great please!!! And then there’s the normal every day stuff that still has to be done, like grocery shop and make dinner. Well I’m here to help ya with that last one! I’ve got an easy, one pot, super filling, delicious, husband approved recipe, and it’s a good old fashioned chili! This is your basic chili recipe that will appeal to everyone. You can doll it up to suit your taste. Don’t like peppers, leave ’em out! Need to kick the spiciness up a notch, add some hot sauce. This is a recipe where I encourage you to do you!!! Heck if you forgot to buy a can of beans, just skip it! Pinky promise that it will still be awesome. This recipe is meant to be stress free!!! And I have a feeling that’s just what you need right about now. Toss this on the stove and go to work on that list! Think of it as an early Christmas present from me to you!

Here’s all you’ll need: ground beef, onions, peppers, garlic, chili powder, salt, oregano, stewed tomatoes, tomato sauce, and kidney beans. Chop the onions and peppers into small pieces. I will tell you time and time again, I am a total wimp when it comes to the spicy foods, so I of course, always use sweet green peppers. But you can use any kind of pepper that your heart desires to make this as mild or wild as you like!In a large pot, combine the peppers, onions, garlic, and ground beef. I started out with a dutch oven. I don’t know what made me think that I could fit two pounds of meat and all of the other chili goodness inside that lil pot, but I had to switch to my gigantic soup pot about half way through. So take it from me, grab a big pot for this one!Cook and crumble meat over medium heat until browned. Drain excess oil.Toss in the stewed tomatoes. Do not drain. We want all of that good tomatoe-y liquid right in there! Break up the tomatoes as you stir. I just corner them with a spatula and cut them in half or squish them against the side of the pot. That is a real technique. If you have picky eaters that aren’t into tomatoes, I find that if you break them up really, really good, the tomato haters don’t even mind that they’re in there. Really! I couldn’t believe it myself the first time I snuck them in. It’s really THAT good! BTW….did you notice the bigger pot??? Stir in the chili powder, oregano, salt, and tomato sauce. Bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook covered for one hour, stirring occasionally. Oh my yumm-ness!! So many good flavors!!Stir in the beans (with the liquid). Simmer uncovered for 20 minutes. Again this is an awesome time to freestyle. Do you really like beans??? Add two cans! Do you really hate beans??? Skip ’em! Make this recipe your own! For real. Go nuts!! Serve hot with your favorite chili toppings! I think cheddar, sour cream and green onions are absolutely perfection, but I also love adding crushed Tostitos. What are your favorite toppings or add ins?

Classic Beef Chili

November 29, 2017
: 8
: Easy

By:

Ingredients
  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 2 green peppers, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 4 (14.5 ounce) cans stewed tomatoes
  • 1 (15 ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 1 (15 ounce) can kidney beans with liquid
Directions
  • Step 1 In a large pot, combine the peppers, onions, garlic, and ground beef. Cook and crumble meat over medium heat until browned. Drain excess oil.
  • Step 2 Stir in the stewed tomatoes (with liquid). Break up the tomatoes as you stir.
  • Step 3 Stir in the chili powder, oregano, salt, and tomato sauce. Bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook covered for one hour, stirring occasionally.
  • Step 4 Stir in the beans (with the liquid). Simmer uncovered for 20 minutes.
  • Step 5 Serve hot with chili toppings of your choice. Enjoy!

We’d love to hear from you! Leave us your comments and love down below!

Cheesy Sweet Potato Pizza

Cheesy Sweet Potato Pizza

You’ve probably made it through your Thanksgiving leftovers by now and if you’re anything like me, you’re still not quite ready to bust out a full blown meal just yet. Most people would rather be Christmas shopping and decorating trees this weekend than stuck in […]

White Chocolate Dipped Gingersnaps

White Chocolate Dipped Gingersnaps

There’s nothing like a gingersnap to kick off the holiday season! They make the perfect addition to a Thanksgiving table or a Christmas cookie tray. I love to gift them all by themselves or in a cozy holiday basket. Best served with a nice cup […]

Ginger Streusel Pumpkin Pie

Ginger Streusel Pumpkin Pie

My Brother and Sis in law gifted me the cutest little pie pan. It’s got a big ole pumpkin in the middle with the cute little saying “Pumpkin spice & everything nice”. They obviously know that I love me some pumpkin EVERYTHING!!! As soon as I saw it I knew I had to whip up a pumpkin pie for its inaugural run. But not just any old pumpkin pie. This lil gem deserved something a bit more special than that! I decided that a Ginger Streusel Pumpkin Pie would be the only thing worthy to kickstart it’s baking career. This pie will give you all the feels!! (I credit the streusel). You really can’t find a more perfect pie to serve with Thanksgiving dinner!! And if we’re being honest, I’m about 30% turkey excited, and 70% dessert excited!!! So get out your grocery list, you’ve got a pie to bake before Thursday!!

Here’s all that you’ll need: 1 refrigerated pie crust (may I suggest our super easy Pie Crust recipe), eggs, canned pumpkin, heavy whipping cream, sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon, salt, ground allspice, ground nutmeg, ground cloves, flour, butter, walnuts, and candied or crystallized ginger.Roll out your pie crust on a lightly floured surface. I absolutely love our simple recipe Pie Crust Like Grandma Used To Make. Did I mention it’s basically 3 ingredients plus water?!? So easy!Transfer crust to a 9 inch pie plate. Flute the edges. Basically I just roll over any excess pie crust and then press my finger around the edges to seal. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, pumpkin, cream, sugars, cinnamon, salt, allspice, nutmeg and cloves. Pour the mixture into the pie pan. It smells so good already with all those spices!! I was super impressed with myself when the mixture came right up to the edge of the crust! Carefully place the pan in the oven. It’s a little runny at this point, so make sure there are no dogs (I’m talking to you Nittany and Oscar) or small children to trip over on the way. I also place ALWAYS place a baking sheet on the oven rack underneath my pie pan to catch any spills or drips. This pie really does not spread over the sides at all, so you shouldn’t have to worry about it too much, but it’s just a habit for me. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 40 minutes. Now don’t going running off quite yet! We still have the streusel topping to make. In a medium sized bowl, combine the flour, brown sugar, chopped walnuts, butter, and candied ginger. Never fear!! I found the candied ginger at Target (in case you’re like where the heck am I going to find that???) It’s in the baking aisle with all the spices and it. IS. Delicious!!!Cut in the butter. Ok so pretty much whenever a recipe says to “cut in the butter”, this is what happens. I start by cutting in the butter with a knife or a fork. You know, all classy like. And after about 2 minutes I realize that this would be so much easier with my very best kitchen gadget….my hands!!! So really the easiest (and most fun) way to do this is to just squish all the ingredients together with your fingers. As an added bonus, the warmth from your hands also helps to soften the butter as you squish (100% totally professional baking term). Then once it’s combined, I crumble it all up to look like streusel topping. Remove the pie from the oven, but don’t turn off the oven! We’re not done yet. The pie will be not quite set, which is perfect to hold all of that wonderful streusel topping!! Sprinkle the streusel on top of the pie. All of it!! Pile it one!! This is my favorite part. Bake for an additional 20-25 minutes or until set. I like to lean towards the longer baking time to make sure it’s done. If you insert a toothpick in the center it should come out clean.

Cool on a wire rack for 4 hours. Patience, patience, patience is key!! The slices will be so much prettier and easier to cut if you wait. Take it from me (someone who doesn’t always have the patience to wait). Refrigerate any leftovers, but let’s be real here! We both know there won’t be any!! What is your favorite Thanksgiving dish?

Ginger Streusel Pumpkin Pie

November 18, 2017
: 8
: Easy

By:

Ingredients
  • 1 sheet refrigerated pie pastry
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 can (15 ounces) solid-pack pumpkin
  • 1-1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • STREUSEL:
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup cold butter
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped candied or crystallized ginger
Directions
  • Step 1 Roll out your pie crust on a lightly floured surface. Transfer crust to a 9 inch pie plate. Flute the edges.
  • Step 2 In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, pumpkin, cream, sugars, cinnamon, salt, allspice, nutmeg and cloves.
  • Step 3 Pour the mixture into the pie pan. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 40 minutes.
  • Step 4 In a medium sized bowl, combine the flour, brown sugar, chopped walnuts, butter, and candied ginger. Cut in the butter.
  • Step 5 Remove the pie from the oven. Sprinkle streusel topping over the filling. Bake for an additional 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  • Step 6 Cool on a wire rack for 4 hours. Refrigerate any leftovers. Enjoy!!

We’d love to hear from you! Leave us your comments and love down below!

Italian Tortellini Soup

Italian Tortellini Soup

Soup’s on! Ok to be fair, homemade soup is on the menu at my house just about every week when it’s cold outside. But just cause it’s homemade doesn’t mean that it has to be hard! You know what I love most about making soup? […]


All Time Favorites

Chocolate Overload Cake

Chocolate Overload Cake

So let me talk about this cake for a minute! I baked this up for the blog and dropped a few slices off with family and friends. My brother, Danny and sister in law, Sarah, were two of the lucky recipients. After I dropped off […]

Classic Beef Chili

Classic Beef Chili

From now until the end of December, my to do list is about a mile long. I cross one thing off and suddenly 3 more things pop onto to the list. I don’t know how, but it just keeps multiplying!!! Pull out the Christmas decorations. […]

White Chocolate Dipped Gingersnaps

White Chocolate Dipped Gingersnaps

There’s nothing like a gingersnap to kick off the holiday season! They make the perfect addition to a Thanksgiving table or a Christmas cookie tray. I love to gift them all by themselves or in a cozy holiday basket. Best served with a nice cup […]

Creamy Chicken Marsala

Creamy Chicken Marsala

Chicken Marsala was one of the very first grown up meals that I learned how to make. You know, the kind that doesn’t come in a blue box with a stir in cheese packet. Like REAL cooking people!! The kind of meal that makes you […]

Glazed Pumpkin Cookies

Glazed Pumpkin Cookies

Soooo….I wasn’t going to release this one til the weekend….BUT, when I found out that it was #NationalPumpkinDay, I couldn’t think of a better time to get this up on the blog! This is a big one for me! This is my BEST pumpkin recipe. […]