Colie's Kitchen

Recipes, Cooking, Product Reviews, Giveaways, Saving Money, Couponing, Life in General,

Colie's Kitchen - Recipes, Cooking, Product Reviews, Giveaways, Saving Money, Couponing, Life in General,

Fantastic DUMP Brownies


In an effort to cut out as many pre-made boxed items I can from our diets I have been trying to find things that I can make ahead of time that will be just as easy to use when I need them.  I love boxed items because they are easy I just don’t like all the additives that can be found in the boxes.  

This is a super easy recipe that can be stored in a zip bag and used when you need it.  (To me) they taste identical to Betty Crocker brownies! I like to call them dump brownies because you can dump everything in a bag, and then when you need them they are basically ready to go just add the wet ingredients.
Another great thing about these brownies is it’s something you can throw together when company is coming over. With the holiday approaching you may have guest stopping by and it’s nice to have something warm in the oven to serve them. Plus your home will smell wonderful when they walk in the door.  
These brownies are also customizable! You can add marshmallows, chocolate chips, peanut butter chips, caramels, and so on to these brownies. Yumm-O!

I do not know who to give credit to when it comes to these brownies so if I owe you credit please let me know. I found them by clicking on a dead Pinterest link.

Dry Ingredients (For the make-ahead bag) 

  • 1 Cup Sugar
  • 1/2 Cup Flour
  • 1/3 Cup Cocoa
  • 1/4 tsp. Salt
  • 1/4 tsp. Baking Powder.
Wet Ingredients to add later 
  • 2 Eggs,
  • 1/2 Cup Vegetable Oil,
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla.


Bake in an 8×8 pan at 350 degrees for 25-45 minutes. Mine took 45 minutes, but the original recipe states 25 minutes. 
This was after 10 minutes on the table!!

Hot Dog HOT Dish

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Have you ever heard of a tatar tot hot dish? Well, this is a new twist on an old casserole! This is such a quick and easy recipe that we all love. No, it’s not super healthy or even kind of healthy, but it is what it is. If you are trying to avoid bread in your diet or cut out some calories leaving the bread out this is a great alternative. I find that serving this casserole with a big salad is a huge hit.

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You can save a lot of calories by removing the bun. You are getting the best of both worlds. Plus pairing a scoop of the casserole with a salad can be mentally pleasing if you are in need of some comfort food. Really anything you put on your hot dog you can add to this casserole. 

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  • 4 hot dogs sliced (more or less)
  • 1 Can of hot dog sauce or chili
  • 1/2 bag of tatar tots
  • 4 ounces of shredded cheddar cheese 
  • 3 sliced green onions


  1. Line an 8-1/2 x 11 baking dish with foil then lightly spray with cooking spray. Line the foil with tatar tots (about 42).
  2. Bake tatar tots according to the bag directions. While the tatar tots are cooking warm up the chili and the hot dogs (Optional).  
  3. When the tatar tots are crispy remove then from the oven.
  4. Next top the tatar tots with sliced hot dogs, then top the hot dogs and tatar tots with warmed up chili.
  5. Last add a generous amount of cheese and green onions.
  6. Bake Hot Dog HOT Dish at 400 degree for 15 minutes or until the cheese is melted. Serve Hot.

Bellemain Stainless Steel Mesh Strainers, Set of 3 Review #strainer12


One of the handiest items and most used items in my kitchen are my strainers. The Bellemain Stainless Steel Mesh Strainers are incredible because they come in three different sizes. One size has quickly become my favorite because it’s perfect to use for draining a can of veggies. The large size is perfect for pasta draining and the medium size is perfect for steaming fresh vegetables in it.

I love the Bellemain Stainless Steel Mesh Strainers because they not only come in the three sizes but they are super durable and functional. My husband has been using them to clean the vegetables he brings in from the garden. These strainers are metal and have a nice tight mesh so you can easily clean things like quinoa or rice. I love that because let me tell you cleaning quinoa is next to impossible and putting it through a strainer you lose half of it unless you have a tight mess strainer. These are perfect!

Whether you’re straining the leaves from a single cup of tea or sifting a cake’s worth of flour, this versatile trio will handle just about any type or size of sieving job in the kitchen.

Fine Mesh Works with Most Liquid and Dry Ingredients

When it comes to large pieces, such as vegetables used in making stock, any old strainer will do. But what if you’re rinsing tiny grains of quinoa … straining raspberry seeds from your marmalade … dusting confectioner’s sugar onto a cake? You need a finer mesh like the Bellemain’s.

Graduated Sizes Fit a Variety of Containers 

Get maximum straining efficiency by choosing the size that’s right for the task at hand. The smallest (3-1/8″) fits a large mug, perfect for pouring loose leaf teas through. The medium strainer (5-1/2″) is great for washing grains, straining sauces and other small batch jobs. The large one (7-7/8″) sifts flour, washes fruit and drains pasta. The three sizes nest together for space-saving storage.

Hanging/Support Loops


Enjoy convenient, hands-free straining, thanks to the sturdy loop opposite the handle. It allows the strainer to rest on a bowl or pot while you juice lemons or break eggs into it. This is especially helpful if the food you’re straining is heavy or you don’t have much hand strength. When not in use, the loop can be used as a hanging hook.

Built to Last a Lifetime, Guaranteed

 Bellemain Strainers are made of strong, dishwasher-safe stainless steel. A solid rim band anchors the mesh as well as the handle and loop, so there are no worries about the pieces coming apart under pressure. You’ll find endless uses for them, and they’ll be there for you every time. With a limited lifetime warranty, it’s guaranteed.

For more information please visit

Zesty Guacamole Salad

This is one of the many dips I made for New Year’s Eve this year. This is an excellent recipe. Thank you Sue for sharing! I love guacamole! It’s simply delicious and creamy. I especially love to slather it on a ham and cheese wrap! Remember Avocado is a good and healthy fat!


  • 2 Avocados
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 2 medium tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 medium onion, chopped fine
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper (or to taste)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper (or to taste) 
1.      Halve avocados; remove fruit by running spoon next to skin; discard seed or save for other uses.
2.      Place avocado in bowl and mash with fork; immediately mix in lime juice, incorporating well.
3.      Mix in remaining ingredients; serve immediately. 

The Simple Baker Silicone Baking Mat for Macarons Review #macaronmat


Simple Baker Premium Silicone Baking Mat for Macaron is a brilliant creation that is made especially for macarons but can be used to bake anything. I personally love baking mats. They are incredible when it comes to baking just about anything.

By using the Simple Baker Premium Silicone Baking Mat you can save calories by not having to use any oils or sprays when baking. You can also save money by not having to use parchment paper or even tin foil on your pans. The Simple Baker Premium Silicone Baking Mat is very versatile I have even gone as far as to use it as a quick hot pad. After all, if you can stick it in the oven you can put a hot pot on the mat.

The Simple Baker Premium Silicone Baking Mat is a high quality product that holds up perfectly after a ton of uses. I can’t tell you how many times I have already used this mat and it still looks brand new, and is still just as affective.

The Simple Baker Premium Silicone Baking Mat is easy to clean too. Just a little wipe down with some dish soap and air drying will do the trick. I love these baking mats and can see buying more in the future.

Simplify making macarons with THE Macaron mat to have! The Simple Baker silicone baking mat comes pre-printed with the most popular Macaron template sizes. NO MORE tracing circles on parchment paper or piecing together Macaron templates.

  • Each pattern has 2 sizes for you to use – regular-sized macarons or mini macarons. The pattern also has optional ear patterns for making cute bear macarons to spice things up or to have fun baking with kids!
  • The PROFESSIONAL mat is thick enough to ensure even distribution of heat so that your food and pastries are baked to perfection. The mat fits the standard half size baking sheets (11-5/8″ x 16-1/2″). The corners are cut to ensure that the mat is completely flat with the baking pan.
  • The mat is produced with FDA and LFGB approved FOOD-GRADE silicone making it NON-TOXIC and safe to use in the oven. The eco-friendly mat will save you money because it is reusable and durable, unlike parchment paper. The baking mat is also NON-STICK, so no need to add unhealthy grease to your foods.

For More Information Visit

Menu Plan Monday


Happy Monday Everyone!!

I hope you are all doing well and had a great weekend. Life around here has been so busy and crazy the last few weeks with school starting. I am hoping that this will be the week that we are finally back on track again. We are going to be eating out of the freezer because we have so much food that needs to be eaten. 

Here is our Menu Plan for the week! What’s on your menu?

Menu Plan Main Course Vegetables Side Dish
Monday   Chicken and Mushroom Pasta    
Tuesday  Ham and Potato Soup    Grilled Cheese
Wednesday   Chicken Fried Rice    Egg Rolls
Thursday  Korean Chicken Lettuce Wraps  Steamed Veggies  
Friday  Parmesan Crusted Chicken  Salad  Potaotes
Saturday  Dinner out    
Sunday  Oven Roasted Brisket  Carrots  Potatoes
 For More Menu Planning Ideas Visit or Check Out Our Previous Menu Plans.

Secret Recipe Club Reveal Day: Chicken & Gnocchi Soup

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It’s Finally Group D’s Secret Recipe Club Reveal Day!! Can you believe it? It seems like it’s been forever since we got our turn! The holidays seemed to put us all behind but here we are!!

This month I was lucky enough to be able to work in Sarah’s Kitchen at Fantastical Sharing. I love that I am getting to work in Sarah’s kitchen this month because not only does she have some amazing recipes but she has them so nicely organized. Let me tell you how much I appreciate that! I love a good organized kitchen!

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While perusing Sarah’s recipes I came across a recipe I knew I had to make. I had a package of gnocchi just waiting to be used. I have been wanting to do something special with it but I hadn’t found the right recipe for it until now. I chose to make Sarah’s Slow Cooker Chicken Gnocchi Soup and I am sure happy I did.

It couldn’t have been a better night to choose this recipe. It’s freezing cold and raining outside. After a long day of going in and out of the rain we were all ready for this amazing dinner.

Although the original recipe is made in the crock pot I actually made it on the stove top to save sometimes. OK let’s be real I forgot to put it in the crock pot ha! Anyway … this recipe is fantastic! It’s easy to make and delicious. What more can you ask for. It’s one of those recipes that in all honesty you can add anything to. I even had some left over baked potatoes that I added at the last minute. Delicious!

A special thank you to Sarah’s Kitchen at Fantastical Sharing for allow Colie’s Kitchen to take over her kitchen this month!

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  • 2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 Tbsp. flour
  • 3/4 cup whole milk
  • ¼ cup Parmesan cheese
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1-1/2 cups chicken broth
  • 3 chopped carrots
  • 1/2 small onion, diced
  • 2 cups cooked chicken, diced
  • 8 oz. potato gnocchi (I used Trader Joe’s)
  • 2 medium (prebaked) potatoes cubed
  • 1/4 Tbsp. Italian seasoning
  • 2 cup baby spinach, chopped


  1. To a Dutch oven add butter and melt over a medium heat. Add garlic and sauté for no more than a minute as soon as it becomes fragrant add flour slowly mixing continuously with a whisk. Cook for 1 additional minute.
  2. Add milk, little by little, whisking well after each addition and allow to thicken for about 5 minutes.
  3. Add parmesan cheese and salt and pepper, to taste. Add chicken broth and mix well.
  4. Add carrots, onion, chicken, gnocchi, and Italian seasoning.
  5. Cook on LOW for 2 hours or until the carrots are tender.
  6. 15 minutes prior to serving, add spinach and precooked cubed baked potatoes.

Roasted Garbanzo Beans/Chickpeas

This is a really interesting recipe. I had never had Garbanzo Beans/Chickpeas in my life until tonight. Roasting them turns them into a nice healthy crunchy snack. I would compare them to a corn nut. Not as good as a corn nut, but still a very good healthy snack. Be sure to watch them really well the last 20mins because they tend to get done quickly. Some of mine got over cooked. The bad part is they are different sizes so it can be difficult to get them all cooked and not have some of them over cook.
  • 2 (15 ounce) cans garbanzo beans (chick peas)
  • cooking spray/Olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon cajun seasoning, heaping
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • cayenne, to taste
  1. Drain garbanzo’s in a strainer and rinse well with cool water. Shake to help remove water. Let sit to drain while proceeding.
  2. Cover a rimmed cookie sheet or shallow casserole dish with cooking spray. Pour garbanzos on the foil and spread them into a single layer. Take a few sheets of paper towel and gently press over the top of the beans just to remove any extra liquid- speeds cooking time too.
  3. Spray top of beans with cooking spray and sprinkle seasonings over the beans. Shake pan to help distribute the seasoning and make sure the beans are all in a single layer.
  4. Place pan in an oven and set to 350 F- no need to preheat. Use lowest rack on oven and return every 15-20 minutes or so to shake the pan so nothing burns. Be gentle or they may spill over the sides. Cook until beans are browned and crispy. About 45 minutes.
  5. Remove from oven and pour into a plastic bowl with tight fitting lid to cool. Careful they are HOT to the touch!

Chunky Refried Beans

When I was a kid I hated beans I mean HATED them! There was nothing you could do to convince me to eat them. Now I love them. I can eat them right out of a can if I am given a chance. I probably have a protein deficiency or something.
I normally don’t buy canned beans. I prefer to buy them in a bag and make them myself. I like to do this for so many reasons for instance: I am trying to avoid BPA’s in canned good,  it’s a lot less expensive to make them yourself (3 to 1), and because I get to choose what goes in them. Normally I toss a bag of beans in water, let them set all night, then toss them in the crock pot and let them cook for the day. After that I bag them and freeze them. We always have beans in the freezer. I can buy a bag for $1 and it will make 3 cans worth of beans! Not bad for .33/can.
This is a quick and easy way to make refried beans and better yet they are inexpensive and full of flavor and a lot of protein.  I love the chunky beans in it too. They add a nice texture and fill you up! You can’t beat quick and easy but the icing on the cake is the great flavor!


  • ½ can refried beans
  • 1 can pinto beans (drain and wash)
  • ½ cup water
  • 2 tbsp. butter
  • 2 tbsp. bacon bits
  • 1 tsp. ground chicken bouillon granules


  1. In a skillet add butter and allow to melt
  2. To the melted butter add bacon bits and allow to heat up until the bacon begins to pop
  3. Next add refried beans and water. Mix together well
  4. Add bouillon
  5. Once the beans begin to bubble add your drained and washed pinto beans
  6. Gently fold in the pinto bean
  7. Cook until most of the liquid has evaporated or until you have a consistency you like
  8. Add salt as needed but try the beans before you add salt because of the bouillon and the bacon