Monday, December 31, 2012

Favorite No Bake Treats of 2012

It has been a great year full of fun recipes, projects, and making new blogging friends.  I thought I would share my favorite no bake treats from 2012.  They are all easy to make and will be the hit at your parties, gatherings, or just for fun.  Thanks to all of you for a great year.  I'm really looking forward to 2013!!

Indoor Smore Bars
Nilla Wafer Treats
Mallow Pops
Cake Batter Krispie Treats
Watermelon Krispie Treats
No Bake Peanut Butter Cookies
Turkey Cookies
Oreo Lollipops
Mini Cannolis

Linked up to THESE GREAT PARTIES!!!!

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Gluten Free Apple Upside Down Cake

Recently my husband started a gluten free diet to help his tummy.  It has worked great for him.  But for me...well I'm a baker and it is tough to find good recipes for him.  However, believe it or not, he isn't a dessert fan.  I know, I know, how can that be?  Well, I grew up in a family where dessert was an everyday occurrence.  My hubby... not so much.  So, when he asked me to make this recipe for him I was thrilled.  What?  You want me to bake dessert for you?  I couldn't wait.  I was happy baking for him, and he was happy to have something he could enjoy.  I hope all of you that have a gluten allergy, or have a family member that does, enjoys this recipe as much as we did.

Ingredients for the topping:
4 Tbsp. of butter softened
½ c. brown sugar, firmly packed
1 tsp. cinnamon
½ tsp. nutmeg
1/8 tsp. salt
2 apples, cut into wedges, 12 slices per apple
½ c. walnuts or pecans, chopped

Ingredients for the cake: 
4 Tbsp. butter, melted
1/3 c. milk
4 oz. applesauce
2 eggs
½ c. brown sugar, firmly packed
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 1/2 c. Gluten Free Bisquick/biscuit mix

Instructions for the Apple Topping:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. In a small bowl, combine the butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt and stir until a smooth paste forms.
  3. Spread evenly over the bottom of an 8 inch round cake pan sprayed with gluten free nonstick cooking spray or lightly covered with butter
  4. Top the mixture with the apple slices arranged in a pattern you like.
  5. Sprinkle the chopped nuts over the apple slices and set aside.

Instructions for the Cake Batter:  
  1. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the melted butter, milk, applesauce, eggs, brown sugar and cinnamon until everything is well combined.  
  2. Add the gluten free Bisquick to this mixture and stir until everything is well combined and lump free.  You’ll notice that the batter has a much denser consistency than most cake batters.  
  3. Spoon the batter over the apple walnut mixture and smooth into place with a rubber spatula or the back of a spoon.  
  4. Bake for 40-45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.   
  5. Let it cool for five minutes before inverting it onto your serving dish.  If any apples remain in your pan simply place them back where they belong.   
** This recipe can easily be doubled and baked in a 9x12 inch pan instead.

Linked up to THESE GREAT PARTIES!!!! 
 Source:  "mooched" from - EZ Gluten Free

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Tasty Thursdays #22

Thank you so much to everyone that took the time to contribute to Tasty Thursdays #21 two week's ago.  I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas full of family, friends, food and fun. 

Did you see my 12 wonderful guests from my December Guest Post Spectacular Series?  What a terrific group of ladies!!  If you would be interested in doing a guest post please email me at  I'm looking for January and February guests.

Now on to the terrific FEATURES.
Be sure to visit them, pin them, and enjoy them!!
Reese's Peanut Butter Cup Bark from Chocolate, Chocolate and More 

Oh my!!  Bet you can't resist this one.
Citrus Bundt Cake from Call Me PMc
Don't these look refreshing after a crazy Christmas.
Festive Laundry Basket from Diana Rambles
What a fun idea for any gift.
Taco Pie from Table for 7
Yummy!!  I love Mexican food.  My family will love this.
Mini Fruit Pizzas from Annie One Can Cook
Love these made for individual treats.

 Congrats to you all.  Feel free to grab a "Featured" button. 

Now on to the next party!!
New features will be posted next Thursday!!
The Mandatory Mooch

The Mandatory Mooch
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Party Guidelines:
**If you "like" my Facebook page, you will see some of your links featured over the next week.
**I will also be pinning some of my favorites each week after the party is over.

1. Grab my button, add a text link, or add Tasty Thursdays to you linky party list.  If you don't link can't be featured.
2. Would love for you to follow me through Facebook, GFC, Pinterest, or all.
3. Link something new {MUST BE MADE BY YOU} or a great oldie that you haven't shared before.
4. No etsy shops, giveaways, round ups, business links, please.
5. Link up to your post, not your main blog
6. Link as many items, recipes, crafts, etc... as you want.
Now I want to see what you find tasty this week!

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas!!!!

I wish you all a very Merry Christmas!!  
May it be full of love, laughter, family, food and fun!!  

Thanks for all of your support in making The Mandatory Mooch such a success.  I'm looking forward to another fun year with many new posts already lined up.  Until then, I thought I would share some family pictures.  Enjoy!!

Me and my happy family

My two sweet girls

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Last Guest - Guest Post Spectacular - Susie from Bowdabra

{Handmade Christmas Gifts} Snowman Soup

Do you enjoy making handmade Christmas gifts? How about receiving them? I personally love to make and to receive handmade gifts at Christmas and anytime of the year. If I let time slip away I can easily find myself scrambling to put together gifts for people. One of my favorite quick fix craft gifts every year is Snowman Soup. We even call our homemade hot cocoa mix, Snowman Soup. Below is the recipe for my homemade hot cocoa mix. For this craft, you can purchase a premade mix or make a large batch of my mix and you’ll always have it on hand to whip up quick gifts.

Snowman Soup Hot Cocoa Mix
1 large container of powdered creamer
1 large container of Nestle’s Quik powder mix
1 lb powdered sugar
1 small box of powered milk
1 teaspoon cinnamon or nutmeg
Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl or jar with a lid.
To serve: Grab your favorite mug and use 1/4-1/2 cup of this mixture with 1 cup of hot water.
Top your cocoa with whipped topping, cocoa powder, cinnamon, nutmeg or powdered sugar. Cinnamon sticks, peppermint sticks, mini marshmallows and Hershey Kisses are wonderful additions to this drink and create “Snowman Soup.”

Snowman Soup Gift Tag 
Materials Needed:
  • Snowman Soup label (feel free to copy the below label into your word program and print it off)
  • holiday craft papers
  • double sided tape
  • stickers, stamps and other holiday embellishments
  • hole punch
  • mini marshmallows
  • Hershey Kisses
  • Cellophane gift bag or Wilton clear frosting bag
  • Mini Bowdabra
  • Bowdabra Bow Wire
  • Various Christmas Ribbons
  • More Christmas Ribbons
Hand write or print off the below saying.

Snowman Soup
Was told you’ve been real good this year.
Always glad to hear it!
With freezing weather drawing near,
You’ll need to warm the spirit.
So here’s a little Snowman Soup
Complete with stirring stick.
Add hot water, sip it slow.
It’s sure to do the trick!

1. Cut it to size and layer it on fun holiday papers, securing with a tape runner. Add a snowman sticker or stamp.

2.  Cut 24″ of Bowdabra Bow Wire and fold it and place it into the Mini Bowdabra. Take 18″ of a holiday ribbon and add 3″ into the Mini Bowdabra, pattern side up.

3. Continue to loop the ribbon back and forth in the Mini Bowdabra. Twist at the center to keep the pattern facing upward.

4. Once all the ribbon is in the Mini Bowdabra, squish down the ribbon with the Mini Bowdabra wand. Pull up the Bowdabra Wire and string on a jingle bell.  Pull up the Bowdabra Wire and tie off the bow. Don’t cut off the extra wire.

6. Add 15 mini marshmallows, 3/4 cup of Snowman Soup Hot Cocoa mix, 3 Hershey Kisses to a cellophane gift bag or a clear frosting piping bag.

7. Tie bow around the Snowman Soup, add candy cane, hole punch tag and tie it to the bag with the extra Bowdabra Wire.


Our links Bowdabra blogBowdabra PinterestSandy Sandler PinterestBowdabra Twitter, and Bowdabra Facebook sites as well as our Ribbons & Things Store and Crafters4Kids Nonprofit organization.

We have Bowdabra Designers who create projects for Bowdabra. The Snowman Soup was created by designer, Susie from SusieQTpies Scraps of Life.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Thinking of Newtown - No Tasty Thursdays linky party

With the tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut last Friday I'm not really in the party mood.  I don't know about all of you, but it has really made be think about treasuring time with my family.  I have two young children in Kindergarten and 4th grade.  The thought of losing them tears at my heart.  I can't imagine what those parents are going through.  And to the teachers and staff that they lost that day, what heros they will be remembered as.  

So, this week there will be no Tasty Thursday linky party.  Take some time to enjoy your family and friends.  Let them know what they mean to you.  The party will be back next week with features from last week's party.  Have a safe and wonderful week full of joy, memories, and lots of hugs.  ~ Nichi

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Guest #11 - Guest Post Spectacular - Sheena from Hot Eats and Cool Reads

Hi everyone! I'm Sheena, and I blog over at Hot Eats and Cool Reads. I have a spunky 5 year old daughter who keeps me busy when I'm not at work, and in my spare time I love to try new recipes and blog about them. Reading is also a hobby, so you'll find book reviews on the blog too. 

We are huge soup lovers at our house, so I'm always on the look out for some new soup inspirations. This one was made up of some ingredients I had on hand, and the inspiration from a soup I made when I first started blogging. I love the tomatoes, beans and pasta in this soup. There is so much flavor and it warms you right up! It's wonderful for a cold winter day and we've had a few of those in Minnesota lately! Brrr!

Thanks so much to Nichi for letting me share today and I hope you enjoy this soup as much as we did!

Sausage and White Bean Soup

What you need:
1 pound sausage of your choice, I used pork
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup onion, diced
1 cup shredded carrot
7 cups chicken broth
1- 15 ounce can diced tomatoes
1- 15 ounce can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup small pasta
salt and pepper

In a soup pot, brown sausage, garlic, and onion seasoned with the Italian seasoning and salt and pepper until sausage is no longer pink. Add carrots, and saute for another 2-3 minutes. Pour in the chicken broth, tomatoes, and beans. Bring to a boil and add pasta. Reduce heat and simmer until pasta is al dente, about 10 minutes, depending on which pasta you use. Add salt and pepper as desired.

Come visit me at Hot Eats and Cool Reads, Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter or Google+!

Monday, December 17, 2012

Guest #10 - Guest Post Spectacular - Evelyn from My Turn for us

Hello Everyone! 
 I'm Evelyn and I share over at My Turn for us
 My Turn For Us
 My sweet Fellow and I are newly retired from Law Enforcement and are 
in the process of obtaining the dream of traveling full time in an RV. 
 I started this blog to share my adventures with my family and friends then this 
little blog just took a life of it's own and I am just enjoying watching it grow.

 I named it for this time in my life that after years of raising three awesome kids and holding down a full time job now it is "My Turn for us" to be selfish with our days.  We have five awesome grandbabies so we do share our time making sure they have the grandparents they deserve.   

 I love to cook and travel and seeing this great country that we live in!   
I am so happy to be guest posting here at Mandatory Mooch.   
I wish to thank Nichi for the honor of being asked. 

My Fellow and I have both grown up on the Southwestern Border of the United States so about every third meal is Mexican Food.  Today I am sharing Albondigas (meatball soup with veggies)



1 /2 lbs of ground Turkey Breast
5 links of sweet Italian sausage
(healthy choices:)
1 cup rice
1 egg, scrambled
1 tsp sea salt
2 tbsp of chopped dehydrated onion
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp black pepper
2 tsp granulated garlic
1 tsp oregano
1cup fresh cilantro, very finely chopped
1 carrot, shredded
1 zucchini, roughly chopped
1 carrot, roughly chopped
2 ribs of celery, roughly chopped
1/4 head of green cabbage, roughly chopped
32 oz Chicken Stock
4 cups of water

Additional seasons will be added later


Soak the rice for 30 minutes in just enough water to cover the rice

Place the ground turkey in a large bowl, 
remove the casing from the sausages and add to the turkey.  Add sea salt, onion, cumin, black pepper, garlic, oregano and finely chopped cilantro.  Add the shredded carrot and the scrambled egg. 

Drain rice, add to the meat mixture and mix very well. Form into large meatballs about 1 1/2inches in diameter. (I use my favorite tool in my kitchen, my hands:)

Pour the chicken stock into a large stock pot and add the water.  Bring to a rolling boil.   Gently drop the meatballs into the stock. (very carefully and do NOT stir or your meatballs will break apart).
Cook for 10-15 minutes until the meatballs start to float by coming to the surface.


 Add the chopped carrot, zucchini, celery and cabbage.  Add 1tsp cumin, 1 tsp oregano, 2 tsp of black pepper and 1 tbsp of garlic. Very gently stir to combine. Cover and simmer on low for 30-45 minutes. 

Oh yes!!  Comfort foodies:)


Serve with crunchy bread and enjoy:)

For some of my other favorite Mexican dishes
please try my Gorditas,  Baja Fish Tacos and Chile Relleno Casserole .
  I want to thank Nichi so very much for being a super great host:)

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Guest #9 - Guest Post Spectacular - Posed Perfection

Hello, friends of the Mandatory Mooch! I am so excited to be guest posting today. I have been a fan of Nichi's blog for quite a while and I was thrilled when she asked me to share a fun craft with you, her sweet readers.
My name is Nici (pronounced like Nikki) and you can find me over at Posed Perfection. I'm married to Mr. Perfect for Me and I am a homeschooling mom to two great kids. At Posed Perfection, I share simple, delicious recipes, easy-to-duplicate craft projects and whatever is on my heart for the day. I hope you'll stop by for a visit real soon!

Have you finished all your Christmas shopping yet? Or are you like me, and haven't even started? There is still time to make some fun gifts for those special people on your list. While perusing a past issue of Family Circle magazine, I found this simple and fun art project.  This Modern Botanical Bloom Print was a cinch to make and would look great with Christmas inspired artwork as well.
Here's what you need to make this little botanical bloom print:

printed botanical picture
picture frame
glass from the frame
white paint pens (both fine and extra fine for more details)
colored paper or fabric for background
Begin by placing your botanical print on a flat surface. Next, line up the frame's glass over the print and start tracing the image directly onto the glass with your fine tip paint pen.   
Continue tracing until the details you want included are complete. (Yikes! Someone needs a manicure.) Allow to dry for 10-15 minutes. If there are finer details you want to highlight, use your extra fine paint pen to do so.  Keep in mind that this does not need to be a perfect match to the original.  Allow your print to dry completely. Note:  if there are words you want to include, you'll want to print the picture in a mirror image.
When your masterpiece is dry, place it in the frame with the painted side facing to the back. Put your piece of colored paper or fabric into the frame and then the backing. Turn it around and admire.  Ta-da!
This craft could be repeated for just about any genre of artwork.  Trace several different pictures and back them with vibrant colors for a whimsical wall arrangement. It's the perfect craft to make with all those thrifted picture frames you've got in your closet. ;-) Wouldn't this would make a great personalized gift for someone on your list?

For more easy crafts or some family-friendly recipes, come on over and check out my little spot in the blogosphere. I'd be delighted if you visited me :  Posed Perfection , Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest.

Thank you, Nichi, for inviting me to share this craft with your awesome readers. I am honored that you included me in your Guest Post Spectacular this month.