Tag Archives: copycat

English Toffee and Holiday Favorite Ingredients from Dollar General

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Dollar General for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

Every year I make up treats for neighbors and friends.  What I make changes a little every year, but the fun is in the planning and delivery of the plates.  My kids get involved, arguing over who gets to take which plate to which family.   We take an evening early in the month of December and instead of sitting in front of the television, we give.  It may be wishful thinking on my part, but  I like to think that that evening of sharing sweets with friends sets the tone for the month.

This year, I did my ingredient shopping at Dollar General, which has lower prices than most of my local stores.  They have a full line up of ingredients for all of my holiday baking needs. I find that their Clover Valley brand is just as good as most name brands.  They had a great big section all set up specifially for making treats.

I was able to get plates, candies, sugars, chocolate chips, nuts, crackers, and many other ingredients for less than $25.  I came home and fired up my stove and microwave.  I made homemade caramels, peanut brittle, fudge, chocolate covered Ritz sandwiches and English toffee and then filled 16 plates.

English Toffee has been a family favorite since I was a little girl when my mom started making it.  It is really simple to make.  I am not very good at making dipped candies, but because this recipe is broken into randomly sized pieces on purpose, there isn’t a lot of stress over whether it looks right or not.

English Toffee and Holiday Favorite Ingredients from Dollar General
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 Tbsp water
  • 2 Tbsp corn syrup
  • 12 oz chocolate chips
  1. Melt butter in a medium sized saucepan.
  2. Add sugar, water and corn syrup to the pan.
  3. Cook over low heat to 290 degrees F, about 20 minutes.
  4. Line a rimmed cookie sheet with foil.
  5. Pour hot mixture over foil.
  6. Sprinkle with chocolate chips.
  7. Wait a few minutes and then spread the chocolate evenly over the toffee.
  8. When cool, break into bite sized pieces.


The Dollar General Holiday holiday section can serve all of your needs.  Not only are there foods and supplies for favorite holiday recipes, but there are decorations, lights, present wrapping supplies, stocking stuffers, and great ideas for presents from toys to electronics.


IHOP Copycat Pancakes

IHOP copycat pancakesWith all of the pancake recipes I have on this blog, I was shocked to find out that I didn’t have this, my basic recipe, on here somewhere.  In fact, I think I remember posting it when I started in 2008, but for some reason, it is gone.  Perhaps the photos were terrible (which most pre-2011 are).  However, this is a recipe that you must have.  I have never met a breakfast eater that didn’t love them. Continue reading

S’mores Poptarts

S'mores PoptartsI recently joined a Facebook group dedicated to recipe round-ups.  It’s a place to ask for and give recipe links for specific foods, like peaches or oatmeal.  Recently a couple have gone through for S’mores.  There are more s’mores recipe variations out there than you might think: cheesecake, donuts, tarts, cookies, ice cream, popcorn.  The list goes on and on.  My imagination was inspired, so there will be a few s’mores variations showing up here, starting with these poptarts. Continue reading

Homemade Onion Soup Mix

You cannot easily buy gluten-free dried onion soup mix….so of course, I made my own!!  You must make sure that your bouillon powder is gluten free. Herb Ox is one such brand.

Homemade gluten-free onion soup mix

Homemade Onion Soup Mix
  • ¾ cup dried chopped onions
  • ¼ cup beef bouillon powder (Herb Ox brand)
  • 4 tsp onion powder
  • ½ tsp crushed celery seed
  • ½ tsp coconut palm sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  1. Combine all ingredients.
  2. Store in an air tight container.


Tools used in this recipe:
(affiliate link)

Gluten Free Eggs and Bacon Hot Pockets

Gluten Free Bacon and Egg Hot Pockets

Sometimes being gluten-free means giving up fun foods.  Other times, it means adjusting; substituting one thing for another.  This time, with this recipe, you don’t have to give up anything!  These gluten-free hot pockets are wonderful.

Gluten Free Bacon and Egg Hot Pockets

5.0 from 1 reviews
Gluten Free Eggs and Bacon Hot Pockets
  • for the pastry:
  • ¼ cup cornstarch
  • ¼ cup arrowroot powder
  • ¾ cup millet flour
  • ¾ cup rice flour
  • 1 Tbsp xanthan gum
  • 1 cup butter
  • ½ cup cold water
  • for the filling (per every 2 hot pockets)
  • 1 scrambled egg (cooked)
  • 2 slices cheese
  • 1 Tbsp crumbled, cooked bacon
  1. In a food processor, combine all the pastry ingredients except the water.
  2. When the mixture is crumbly, slowly add the water and pulse until a dough forms.
  3. Roll out the dough and cut into 6-8 inch squares,
  4. Place half the filling on one square and fold under and pinch the ends of the dough.
  5. Place the other half of the filling on another square.
  6. Make enough filling for the amount of hot pockets you want.
  7. Bake at 425 degrees for 10-15 minutes or until browned and puffy.
  8. Do not overbake.


Tools used in this recipe:

(affiliate links)

My Version of a Dole Whip

Copycat Disney Dole Whip

I am not sure I will ever get used to the humidity of the East.  I think part of the trouble is air conditioning.    I mean women wore thirty layers with corsets in the 1800s.  Men wore long sleeves and ties.  Here I am in shorts and a tee shirt and I am complaining.  If there wasn’t such a huge difference between in the house and out of the house, in the car and out of the car, in the store and out of the store, maybe I’d get used to it.  It’s a theory anyway. Continue reading

Lofthouse Copycat Cookies

Lofthouse Cookie Copycat Recipe

I might just as well get the bad news over with….there’s no sense keeping you in suspense all the way through my ramblings.

I am discontinuing “Your Recipe, My Kitchen” as of right now.  Because I participate in at least 5 monthly challenges, some of which are based on using recipes from other blogs, I am finding that I don’t have enough time each week to make and post the things I want to.  I made a huge dent in my bookmarked recipe list.  That will have to do.  So thank you to all who have faithfully linked up each week.  Luckily, in this blogging world, where one steps down, another usually comes up with something else to fill in. Continue reading

Copycat Costco Chocolate Chip Muffins (mini sized)

Copycat Costco Chocolate Muffins in mini size

Am I the only one who adores(ed) Costco chocolate chip muffins?  I could never buy a 12 pack of them because I’d end up eating all most of them.  Well, here is a mini version that will take all of the guilt out of having them in the house (unless you start popping them like grapes and I am totally not responsible for that!) Continue reading

Cheddar Bay Biscuits: Secret Recipe Challenge

I love reveals.  From  HGTV to What Not To Wear, I love the “ta-da” factor.  Today is Group B reveal day for the Secret Recipe Club and I think it is even more fun to be part of the reveal than to watch it.  This month, I was given Patricia’s blog Butter Yum.  I have enjoyed reading her blog for a long time, so it was especially nice to be given her blog from which to choose a recipe.  I still need to make pizza using her 10 Secrets for making Pizzeria quality Pizza.  I have had that page bookmarked since she posted it in May 2010.  This time, however, I was short on time.  We have been passing a nasty virus through our house since Thanksgiving week.  Princess Pat is just finishing a course of antibiotics for an ear infection and the Thinker is home from school with “walking” pneumonia and another set of meds.  What we needed was biscuits to go with some chicken soup!

The original recipe was baked by ButterYum Jr., Patricia’s daughter.  I made just a few changes according to our tastes and what I had in the cupboard.  Instead of parsley, I used chervil.  Honestly, I am not sure where my parsley is.  It’s bothering me a little that the bottle seems to have walked off.  Anyhoo, I also added a bit more garlic and cheese.  I ask you: Is there such thing as too much garlic and cheese?  Not when it comes to biscuits.

(adapted from ButterYum’s delightful version)

Cheddar Bay Biscuits: Secret Recipe Challenge
  • 2 cups biscuit mix
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • ¼ tsp garlic powder
  • ⅔-3/4 cups milk (start with the smaller amount)
  • 3 Tbsp melted butter
  • ¼ tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp kosher salt
  • 1 Tbsp chervil (or parsley)
  1. In a bowl, mix together butter, cheese and ¼ tsp garlic powder with a pastry blender.
  2. Add milk and stir with a fork until a soft dough is formed.
  3. Using a small ice cream scoop, place in a greased 10 inch cake pan or on a greased baking sheet or a greased 9X9 pan.
  4. (If you want them to bake separately, use the baking sheet and leave space between them, if you like them all clumped together, use the smaller pans).
  5. Bake at 450 degrees for 10 minutes or until golden brown.
  6. (it takes longer if the biscuits are touching).
  7. While the biscuits are baking, combine the melted butter, second ¼ tsp garlic powder, kosher salt and chervil (parsley).
  8. When the biscuits are done, remove from the oven, brush them with the butter mixture.

Homemade Clif Bars: Your Recipe, My Kitchen

Homemade Clif Bars

There are some days when I just don’t feel like cooking.  Even a foodie can have an off day.  However, the family still expects to be fed regardless of my level of enthusiasm.  They even expect dessert!  On such days, when I don’t have ice cream in the freezer, I turn to no-bake desserts.  They whip together in less than five minutes and satisfy every sweet tooth in the family (and there are a lot of teeth in 7 mouths!!) Continue reading

Beef Taquitos: Your Recipe, My Kitchen

Beef Taquitos

My family has always loved Mexican food of all kinds.  Our two years in Arizona only reinforced that love affair.  Now that we are in Florida, there aren’t Mexican restaurants on every other corner. When I  find myself craving South-of-the Border flavors, I have to head to my kitchen.  Luckily, there are still good Latin sections in the grocery stores in this area. Continue reading

Chicken Gnocchi Soup Copycat: Your Recipe, My Kitchen

For my birthday, my mother-in-law gave me a gift card to the Olive Garden.  It was a wonderful present because 1. it represented two dates for me and my husband, 2. it wasn’t something I was going to have to find a place to store and 3. it was an opportunity to go out and eat….for free.  Remembering that I live in Small Town, AZ, with limited restaurants and that my in-laws live in a Seattle suburb so there were few options for gift cards.

Chicken Gnocchi Soup

Wheat Meat: Make Your Own Monday #50

How To Make Your Own Seitan

This post is going to show you how to go from this (whole wheat berries):

to this (taco flavored gluten or wheat meat):
This is probably something that most of you have never even considered.  Wheat as meat?!  However,  as a meat substitute, using the gluten in freshly ground wheat flour is a pretty frugal thing to do.  I saw a 25 pound bucket of wheat at my local Sam’s club this week for about $15.  You could get about ten meals out of that bucket.  How often do you spend $1.50 or less for the meat in your meal?
Gluten is where the protein is in wheat.  It’s the thing that so many people have trouble with.  If you don’t have any intolerance, you may want to experiment with it. I was once told that 1 cup of raw gluten has 72 grams of protein in it.  That’s like 12 ounces of hamburger or a dozen eggs or I don’t know how many cups of cooked beans!
All you need is
8-9 cups freshly ground whole wheat flour (that’s about 6-7 cups of whole wheat berries to begin with)
4-5 cups water
1 Tbsp of meat base (beef, pork, chicken)
Mix the flour and water for about 10 minutes straight.  I use my heavy duty Kitchen Aid at speed 4.  If you want, you can do this by hand, but you will probably need to take some breaks.  This is a great workout!  After ten minutes with the mixer (or maybe 20 minutes by hand, counting rest time) it will be really  elastic.
Using the same bowl, cover the wheat mixture with water.
Leave the bowl in the sink and with your hands, vigorously knead the dough.  It will feel sort of like play dough.  When the water is really tan and thick (because you are working all of the bran out of it), remove the glob of gluten from the water and transfer to another bowl. You can save the bran in the water.  I know it’s possible, but I haven’t had any luck.  Otherwise, just save the liquid to use in bread, stews, gravies, desserts or to water plants…they love it.
Back to the gluten.  After saving the first water, just start rinsing the gluten under the faucet (with that second bowl under it to catch pieces that may fall out of your hand.  Keep moving it, squeezing out the bran with your fingers until it resembles an alien mass (fibrous, stretchy, with no tiny brown flecks in it).  Drain off all of the water (use a sieve or colander).  Place the gluten glob back into the bowl and grab that 1 Tbsp of meat base. You are going to work it into the gluten and if you thought anything before this was hard, Ha!  This is the really hard part.  Stretch the gluten, mash the base into it, keep going until the gluten seems to have changed color a bit and most of the base is worked in.
Stretch out the gluten on a jelly roll pan (or large cookie sheet with a lip) and add 1/4 cup water.  Bake it at 350 degrees for 1 hour.  Add more water if the top seems to be crisping.
This is really weird looking stuff…the entire way through the process.  At this point, it is springy, but firm instead of gloppy like it was before baking.  To make a ground meat substitute, tear the gluten into smaller pieces and run it through a food processor.
At this point, you can use it just like hamburger.  You can also freeze it to use later (but after all of that work, you may just want to enjoy the fruits of your labor).  You can cut it half and half with real meat or use it by itself.  I like it in chili or tacos.  The stronger the seasoning you add at this point, the harder it will be to tell that it isn’t real meat.   My kids took one look at it and asked if I was using steak for the tacos that night (I had a hard time not giggling, but I kept a straight face and said,  “No, it’s not steak.”)  They all raved at how tasty the soft tacos were that night.  Not one suspected he wasn’t eating beef.
How to make wheat seitan, a meat substitute
You can also cube the gluten when it comes out of the oven.  Use it in pot pies in place of chicken or turkey or in stews.  I wouldn’t recommend using it in pieces bigger than cubes.  I have heard of people cutting it into “steaks” but I don’t think I would like the texture.
I plan to use a lot of wheat meat in 2011.


Cake Donuts

Old Fashioned Cake Donuts

Anyway, for this week, I made buttermilk donuts.  My favorite “non yeast type” of donut are buttermilk crullers or sinkers.  Do you know what I mean?  They are those really heavy, glaze soaked donuts.  I have been wanting to try to make them for a long time.  I figured that December, the month of calories, would be the perfect time to do it.  I didn’t quite achieve the soaked glaze…I think maybe the donuts have to sit for at least a day with a thinner glaze than I used, but in my house?  There is no way any donut is going to last 24 hours. Continue reading