MagPad Dinner Table

MagPad Dinner Table

Friday, July 14, 2017

Cookies from a Cake Mix

I saw this post about making cookies from cake mixes on Facebook  from and am glad to put it on my blog.    Because I'm living in a Belize right now and don't have as many resources available to do homemade cooking, I welcome these recipes.

Here is just one sample:
Chocolate chip cookies

1 package yellow cake mix
1 cup chocolate chips
½ cup oil
2 eggs

1. Combine cake mix, chocolate chips, oil, and eggs in a mixing bowl.
2. Using an ice cream scoop or your hand, form golf ball-sized balls of cookie dough and transfer to a parchment paper-lined baking sheet.
3. Bake at 350°F/180°C for 10-12 minutes.
4. Enjoy!

You can see all of the cookies make from cake mixes by clicking here.

After I made the above recipe, I made it again with this change:  I added 1/2 apple sauce instead of 1/2 a cup of oil because with the oil it was a little too oily. I also made it with chocolate cake mix.  The cookies are very soft, but that's ok because I like soft cookies.   

Friday, May 26, 2017

Cashew Chicken Rotini Salad

Cashew Chicken Rotini Salad ~ Loaded with Cashews, Grapes, Chicken, Pasta and Dried Cranberries! Perfect Pasta Salad Recipe for the Summer!

1 (16 oz) pkg rotini
4 c. cubed chicken
1 c. seedless green grapes, halved
1 c. seedless red grapes, halved
1 (5 oz) pkg dried cranberries
1 c. ranch salad dressing
3/4 c. mayonnaise
2 c. salted cashews

Cook the pasta according to packaged directions. Drain pasta and rinse in cold water.
In a large bowl combine chicken, grapes and cranberries. Add pasta.
In a small bowl, whisk ranch dressing and mayonnaise. Pour over salad and toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate at least 1 hour.
Just before serving stir in cashews.

by Julie Evink

I found this recipe on my Facebook page.  It is from Julie's website found here.  I don't always have cashews on hand, so if that is the case I would substitute roasted or sugared almonds for the cashews.

Monday, May 8, 2017

Bug Spray

We'll be serving a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ for the next two years in Belize.  We heard that there a lots of bugs there and to bring some homemade bug spray along with Deep Insect Repellent.   I found this recipe for homemade bug spray here on

Here is another recipe that I got from site:

Homemade Bug Spray Ingredients

Essential oils: choose from Citronella, Clove, Lemongrass, Rosemary, Tea Tree, Cajeput, Eucalyptus, Cedar, Catnip, Lavender, Mint
Natural Witch Hazel
Distilled or boiled Water
Vegetable glycerin (optional)
Homemade Bug Spray Instructions

Fill spray bottle (I used 8 ounce) 1/2 full with distilled or boiled water
Add witch hazel to fill almost to the top
Add 1/2 tsp vegetable glycerin if using
Add 30-50 drops of essential oils to desired scent. The more oils you use, the stronger the spray will be. My personal favorite mix is: Rosemary, Clove, Cajeput, Lavender, Cinnamon and Eucalyptus. It works great and smells good too!

Click here to watch a video that shows how to use a diffuser to repel bugs. 

Click here for the recipe for the above bug-repelling mason jars 

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Berry Meringue


4 large egg whites (1/2 cup) or 1/2 cup refrigerated pasteurized egg whites
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 cup plus about 2 tablespoons sugar
4 cups blackberries, raspberries, or blueberries (or some of each)
1 cup whipping cream

How to Make It

Preheat oven to 225°.

In a large bowl, with a mixer (preferably fitted with wire-whisk attachment) on high speed, beat egg whites and cream of tartar until foamy. Gradually add 1 cup sugar, about 1 tablespoon at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping sides of bowl occasionally, until stiff, shiny peaks form (see tip 2 below).

Line two 12- by 15-inch baking sheets with cooking parchment or coat sheets with cooking-oil spray or butter. Mound meringue in eight equal portions (a scant 1/2 cup for each) on sheets, spacing at least 3 inches apart. Shape each into a 4-inch round (follow tip 3 below).

Bake in preheated oven until meringues sound hollow when tapped and feel firm to the touch, about 1 1/2 hours (1 1/4 hours in convection heat); switch sheet positions halfway through baking. Turn heat off and leave meringues in closed oven until completely cool, 2 to 2 1/2 hours longer. Remove from sheets.

Shortly before serving, rinse and drain berries; pat dry with a towel. In a bowl, with a mixer on high speed, beat whipping cream just until soft peaks form. Turn mixer to low and beat in sugar to taste (about 2 tablespoons).

Set meringues on dessert plates. Top with whipped cream and berries.

Tips for the perfect meringue

A wire-whisk attachment introduces air evenly into whites and creates small bubbles, which are both stronger and more flexible. Make sure the bowl and beaters are clean; any fat can interfere with the formation of the foam.

Beating the whites with an acid, like cream of tartar or vinegar, helps coagulate the egg-white protein. You want stiff, shiny peaks. The mixture should feel smooth when you rub it between your fingers.

Shape meringue mixture into bowl-shaped rounds with a small, thin spatula. The edges should be a little higher than the centers.

We had some friends from our college days over for dinner last night and they brought this fun dessert.  The recipe came from this site.  Enjoy!