Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Red Sauce for Pork Tamales

15 large dried chilies (such as Anaheim, New Mexico, California, or pasilla) - * All are pretty mild except the pasillas
2 1/2 cups of water
4 -5 garlic cloves
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons olive oil or 2 teaspoons melted shortening
Remove stems and seeds from dried chili peppers.
 Place peppers in a single layer on a baking sheet.
 Roast in 350°F oven for 2 to 5 minutes or until you smell a sweet roasted aroma, checking often to avoid burning.
 Remove from oven and soak in enough hot water to cover for about 30 minutes or until cool. 
 Put peppers and 2 1/2 cups of water into a blender (use fresh water, usage of the soaking water will result in a bitter sauce)
Add garlic, cumin and salt.
Cover and blend until smooth. 
Use a colinder to strain the mixture and throw away the chunks that do not mix in the blender
 In a 2-quart sauce pan, stir flour into oil or melted shortening over med heat until browned.
Carefully stir in blended chili mixture.
Simmer uncovered for 5 to 10 minutes or until slightly thickened. (If sauce gets too thick, stir in up to 1 cup of water. 
Pour into cooked and shredded pork.

Note: When working with chilies, use rubber gloves to protect your skin, and avoid contact with your eyes. Wash hands throughly with soap and water to remove all of the chili oils.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Bacon Wrapped Jalepeno Poppers

Believe me when I say that these guys will be the first things gone at your holiday party.

Bacon Wrapped Jalepeno Poppers

1 pkg cream cheese (8 oz) room temperture
3/4 tsp garlic salt
1/4 tsp pepper
10 jalapeno peppers
10 slices bacon

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Cut jalapenos in half, length-wise and remove all of the seeds and membranes.. Whip cream cheese, garlic salt and pepper with a hand blender. Fill each jalapeno half with cream cheese mixture.

Cut bacon slices in half. Wrap each jalapeno with a slice of bacon. Secure bacon by sticking a toothpick through the middle of each jalapeno.

Bake on a pan with a rack in a 325 degree oven for atleast 40 minutes making sure bacon is fully cooked.

The taste best when served hot, but also taste good served at room temperature.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Cheesy Potatoes My Way

Cheesy potatoes, funeral potatoes, call them what you want, are usually too dry and bland for my liking. I just amped it up a bit  and it turns out so much better. I served these at my sister's bridal shower and everyone loved them.

Cheesy Potatoes

1 package frozen shredded potatoes (got mine from fresh and easy, Ora Ida just seem to be too thick and mealy for this recipe)
2 cans cream of chicken soup
2 cups sour cream
1/3 cup green onions
1 1/2 cups sharp cheddar cheese
 Pepper, to taste
2 sleeves Ritz crackers, coarsely smashed
5 Tbsp butter, melted

In a large bowl, mix cream of chicken soup, sour cream, green onions, cheese and pepper together. Mix in the potatoes and pour in a 9x13 casserole dish. Add smashed crackers on top and pour melted butter over the crackers.

Bake 30 minutes at 350.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Ooey Gooey Cinnamon Rolls

This is a slight adaptation of PW's cinnamon rolls. They turned out absoluely fantastic which is a good thing considering that I'll be serving them at my sister's bridal shower brunch this Saturday!

 2 cups Whole Milk
1/2 cup Vegetable Oil

1/2 cup Sugar
1 package Active Dry Yeast
4 cups (Plus 1 Cup Extra, Separated) All-purpose Flour
1 teaspoon Baking Powder
1 teaspoon Baking Soda
2 teaspoon Salt
1/2 cup Melted Butter
2 cups  Brown Sugar
Generous Sprinkling Of Cinnamon

Cream Cheese Frosting

1/2 cup butter
8 oz cream cheese, softened
1 lb powdered sugar
2 Tbsp milk

Preparation Instructions

Mix the milk, vegetable oil and sugar in a pan. Scald the mixture (heat until just before the boiling point). Turn off heat and leave to cool 45 minutes to 1 hour. When the mixture is lukewarm to warm, but NOT hot, sprinkle in package of Active Dry Yeast. Let this sit for a minute. Then add 4 cups of all-purpose flour. Stir mixture together. Cover and let rise for at least an hour.

After rising for at least an hour, add 1 more cup of flour, the baking powder, baking soda and salt. Stir mixture together. (At this point, you could cover the dough and put it in the fridge until you need it – overnight or even a day or two, if necessary. Just keep your eye on it and if it starts to overflow out of the pan, just punch it down).

When ready to prepare rolls: Sprinkle rolling surface generously with flour. Take half the dough and form a rough rectangle. Then roll the dough thin, maintaining a general rectangular shape. Drizzle 1/4 cup melted butter over the dough. Now sprinkle 3/4 - 1 cup of brown sugar over the butter followed by a generous sprinkling of cinnamon.

Now, starting at the opposite end, begin rolling the dough in a neat line toward you. Keep the roll relatively tight as you go. Next, pinch the seam of the roll to seal it.

Spread 1 tablespoon of melted butter in a seven inch round foil cake or pie pan. Then begin cutting the rolls approximately ¾ to 1 inch thick and laying them in the buttered pans.

Repeat this process with the other half of the dough. Let the rolls rise for 20 to 30 minutes, then bake at 375 degrees until light golden brown, about 15 to 18 minutes.

For the frosting, mix together all ingredients listed and stir well until smooth. It should be thick but pourable. Taste and adjust as needed. Generously drizzle over the warm rolls. Go crazy and don’t skimp on the frosting.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Pan Roasted Porkchops

This is one of the best pork chop recipes I have had thus far! You will definitely not be disappointed. It is adapted from Sweet Nicks blog. You can check it out for the original recipe. I tweaked it a bit to our liking and it turned out fabulous. I think the brining here is the key. They were so tender and juicy, and the sauce is to die for. Made it with mashed potatoes and the sauce also complemented them as well. I doubled the recipe (except the brine which was enough) and it fed 4 adults and 1 kiddo perfectly.

Pan Roasted Pork Chops

Pork Chop Brine:

Dissolve in one gallon resealable freezer bag:

2 cups hot water
1/2 cup kosher salt
1/2 cup brown sugar
6 cups cold water

Dissolve salt and sugar in hot water. It helps to set the bag inside a large bowl in case of spills or leaks. Add ice water to brine. This will cool the brine quickly. Add the pork and seal the bag and refrigerate for 1-2 hours. Just before cooking, dry chops to remove excess brine.

4 1″-thick brined rip chops
2 T olive oil
1 T garlic, chopped
1 T sweet onion, chopped
1 T shallot, chopped
1-1/2 cups chicken broth
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 T apple cider vinegar
1 T Dijon mustard
1/4 cup half and half

Preheat oven to 425. Season chops with pepper. Dust lightly with flour. Brown one side in olive oil over medium-high heat. Turn, cover and roast in oven for about 10 minutes. While the chops are in the oven, in the same pan saute onion and shallot in the drippings over medium-high heat until soft. Add garlic. Deglaze pan with broth. Add sugar and vinegar; reduce by half. Add Dijon mustard and half and half and pork chops to pan and cook for 2 minutes each side until sauce is thick. Makes 1 cup sauce.

Perfect Pizza Crust

No, it's not just good pizza crust or even great pizza crust - this truly is the perfect pizza crust recipe. Given to me by one of my besties (she came over to make me pizza AND then cleaned my kitchen after I had the baby!) Amazing? Yes I think so :) I don't have a picture yet, it gets eaten too fast! But I am sure I will get one up soon because we are now pronouncing a weekly pizza day in our house. 
What are your favorite topping combinations? We love Canadian bacon with sweet onions and pineapple on one side and mushrooms with bell pepper and pepperoni on the other side and we are all happy campers! Ive also put motz. cheese folded under the crust... it is so great. I'd imagine this recipe would be great for bread sticks too.
Perfect Pizza Crust
Yeilds: 2 pizza crusts
2 cups warm water
4 1/2 tsp. active yeast
5 cups plus 3 Tbsp flour
1 Tbsp kosher salt
Olive Oil
Preset your oven to 425 degrees. In a small bowl mix the water, yeast and 2 Tbsp flour for a couple seconds. Sprinkle 1 Tbsp flour on top. Place aside for 2-3 minutes.
In a large mixing bowl wisk together the rest of the flour and salt. Pour in the yeast mixture and stir together until fully incorporated. Kneed the dough for a full five minutes on a floured surface adding a bit more flour if dough is too sticky. Split dough in half and put in a bowl covered with plastic wrap for 20 minutes.
Roll rested dough out to desired size. Poke the entire surface with a fork and then brush the entire surface lightly with olive oil. Place on pizza stone or a greased pizza pan. Add your favorite sauce, cheese and toppings. Bake for 20 minutes.
*A GREAT sauce is much easier then you think. Just pour tomato sauce on the uncooked dough, sprinkle with garlic salt and italian seasoning (i like to extend the seasonings out to the crust) Top with mozzarella cheese and toppings, and enjoy!

Perfect Pumpkin Cookies

Perfection in cookies in my book means that every time I walk through the kitchen I have to grab one as I pass by because I just can't get enough. So this to me is a perfect recipe. 
Don't ask me how many I ate.
Because I will lie to you and say "only 2...ish"
But you will know better then that.

  I made them twice this week and sent home the recipe with my sister who was visiting because her fiancee couldn't get enough of them! :) Perfect pillowy pumpkin perfection!

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies adapted from Joy the Baker

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon powdered ginger
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves or allspice
1 egg plus 1 egg yolk
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup butter flavored crisco
1/4 cup butter
1 1/2 cup canned or fresh pumpkin
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup dark chocolate chips, or any chip you like

Position a rack in the middle of the oven . Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Wisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and spices together in a medium bowl for 30 seconds and set aside. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 1 minute. Stop the mixer and scrape the sides of the bowl as needed during mixing. On low speed, mix the eggs, pumpkin, and vanilla until blended. Mix in the flour mixture to incorporate it. Mix in the chips.

Using an ice cream scoop with a 1/4-cup capacity, scoop mounds of the dough onto the prepared baking sheets, spacing the cookies at least 2 1/2-inches apart. You could also simply use a 1/4-cup measuring cup if you don’t have a scoop. Use a thin metal spatula to smooth and flatten the rounds.

Bake the cookies one sheet at a time until the tops feel firm and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out dry, about 10 minutes. Cool them on the baking sheet for 5 minutes.

Dust the cooled cookies lightly with powdered sugar. The cookies can be stored in a tightly covered container at room temperature for up to 4 days.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Light and Fluffy Waffles

Had breakfast for dinner last night... now I just wish I had doubled the recipe for this morning! The texture of these waffles are perfect, not too chewy and wonderfully fluffy. Enjoy!

Light and Fluffy Waffles

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 egg
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
2 tablespoons butter, softened
2 tablespoons shortening
1/2 cup half-and-half
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/4 teaspoon vanilla

Combine flour, salt and baking soda in a medium bowl and stir to combine.Beat the egg in another medium bowl until its about doubled in size, and combine with sugar, butter, and shortening, mixing well until smooth. 3 Add the half & half, buttermilk and vanilla and mix well. 4 Add the dry flour mixture to the wet mixture while beating and mix until smooth. 5 If you can, cover and chill overnight, though the batter can be used right away. 6 Rub a light coating of vegetable oil on a waffle iron, and preheat it. 7 Leave the batter out of the refrigerator to warm up a bit as your waffle iron is preheating. 8 Spoon 1/3 to 1/2 cup of batter into the waffle iron and cook for 3 to 4 minutes or until the waffles are light brown.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Whats Keeping Me Away...

... is this little girl. She'll be a week old tomorrow and we are so grateful for friends that have brought us dinner all week long. As amazing as that has been, I'm dying to get to cooking again! Here are a couple meals I have planned for next week:
Breakfast for Dinner (using a new waffle recipe)
Pot Roast (new recipe)
Spaghetti (have leftover sauce I froze from last week)
White Bean Chicken Chili
Taco Night (with Cilantro Lime Rice and Black Beans)
BBQ Pork Ribs
Ill post the recipes afterwards just to make sure they are as good as they look!
I also have another pumpkin to puree this week... I am going to try a recipe for pumpkin butterscotch cookies or a pumpkin cobbler. So until then!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Fresh Pumpkin Spice Loaf

Love LOvE LOOOOOVE this recipe :)
Of course the pumpkin puree can be substituted with canned pumpkin, but personally I love the flavor of fresh puree in baking over the canned stuff.

Fresh Pumpkin Spice Loaf

2 cups fresh pumpkin puree
4 eggs (whites can be used for lower cholesterol)
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup applesauce
2/3 cup water
2 cups sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla ext.
2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
2 tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. all spice
1/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour two 7x3 inch loaf pans. In a large bowl, mix together pumpkin puree, eggs, oil, applesauce, water and sugars and vanilla until well blended. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, all spice and pumpkin pie spice . Stir the dry ingredients into the pumpkin mixture until just blended. Pour into the prepared pans.Bake for about 60 minutes in the preheated oven. Loaves are done when toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Fresh Pumpkin Pie

(please ignore the smudgy fingerprints of a little girl who just couldn't resist)

I have a gorgeous and most curly headed three year old, whom I would give the world to. She is a girl after my own heart who loves all the things her mommy does especially cooking. So naturally when she was given a couple pumpkins from our neighbors garden all I heard from her was how she wanted to make pumpkin pie with me. So we did! And it turned out so good, I've never made a fresh pumpkin pie pie from scratch before but man does it make a difference! I didn't make my own pie crust, oh come on give the 9 months along pregnant lady a break! :) But I do plan on making my own come the holidays this year.

To prepare the pumpkin puree you will need 1 small pumpkin. Cut off the stem top and discard, cut pumpkins in half and discard all the nasty membranes and seeds. Actually YOU should save the seeds and roast them but I can't stand the flavor. Cut each half in thirds. Take a large microwave safe bowl/dish and place about 1 inch of water in the bottom. Place the pumpkin slices in the bowl and cover with plastic wrap making sure to seal the sides well. Microwave for about 10-13 minutes or until the flesh can be pierced easily with a fork. The skins will easily (sometimes not so easily) peel off. From here you can mash the pumpkin or blend it up for the puree.
I ate a couple pieces right out of the bowl before i pureed them...so good! I imagine it would be heavenly with a smudge of butter, parm cheese and a little salt and pepper :)
So here is the recipe I used, I found it online and made a couple slight changes :)

Fresh Pumpkin Pie

1 frozen pie shell
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
2 cups fresh Pumpkin Puree
3/4 cup evaporated milk
1 tsp vanilla
2 large eggs, lightly beaten, plus

1 egg for glaze
1 tablespoon heavy cream

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Use parchment paper to line the baking sheet then set it aside. Combine sugar, brown sugar, flour, salt, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, pumpkin spice, pumpkin puree, and 2 eggs in a large bowl. Beat well. Add evaporated milk and vanillla. Combine. Set aside.

Make the glaze: Beat the remaining egg, and combine with heavy cream. Brush glaze very lightly on edges of pie shell. Sprinkle edges with sugar. Fill pie shell with pumpkin mixture. Transfer to prepared baking sheet.
Bake for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 degrees F, and continue baking for 30 minutes more. Cool on a wire rack.

Yield: 8 servings

Monday, September 20, 2010

Spiced Sugar Cookies

What a great cookie recipe, just in time for fall too! Found this on Tasty Kitchen. I can only dream of these smushed together with some buttercream frosting! YUM

¾ cups Unsalted Butter, Softened
1 cup Firmly Packed Light Brown Sugar
1 whole Large Egg, Lightly Beaten
¼ cups Unsulfured Molasses
2 cups Flour
2 teaspoons Baking Soda
1 teaspoon Cinnamon
1 teaspoon Ground Ginger
½ teaspoons Ground Cloves
¼ teaspoons Salt
1 cup Granulated Sugar, For Rolling Cookies

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter until light and fluffy. Add the light brown sugar and blend until evenly incorporated, scraping down the sides as needed. Add in the beaten egg and molasses; blend.

In a separate mixing bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ground ginger, ground cloves and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the mixer, in batches, scraping down the bowl after each addition. Chill the dough, covered, for 1 hour.

Scoop out the dough by the tablespoon, roll into a ball and roll in the granulated sugar. Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet, 3″ apart. Bake the cookies at 375 degrees for 10 minutes. Rotate the pan halfway through the cooking time.

Transfer the cookies, using a metal spatula, to a rack and let them cool

White Bean Chicken Chili

Hooray for new crock pot recipes!! I found this recipe this morning while browsing one of the blogs I follow, Chef Mommy. Can't wait for it to cool down so I can make this. Enjoy! If you happen to read this and have a favorite slowcooker recipe, do please share! Thank you!

1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 medium onion, chopped
1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 tablespoon oil
2 cans (15 1/2 ounces each) Great Northern Beans, rinsed and drained
1 can (14 1/2 ounces) chicken broth
1-2 cans (4 ounces each) chopped green chilies (I'm a wimp and only used 1 can)
1 teaspoon salt, divided
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon pepper, divided
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 cup sour cream (I used reduced fat)
1/2 cup whipping cream

cilantro, chopped (to garnish)
paprika, (to garnish)


1. Season the chicken with half the salt and half the pepper.

2. Then, in a large saucepan, saute chicken, onion and garlic powder in oil for 3-4 minutes.

3. Add the chicken mixture to your slow-cooker. Add beans, broth, chilies and seasonings to slow-cooker as well. Cook on low for 4 hours.

4. After 4 hours, shred the chicken with a fork and stir in sour cream and whipping cream, let cook for another 15 minutes on low.

5. Garnish with fresh cilantro and a sprinkle of paprika, if desired. Serve immediately. This is especially good served with tortilla chips.

Makes about 6 servings.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

BBQ'd Pulled Chicken Sandwiches

I am smelling the smokey BBQ'd goodness of these from my crock pot as I type this. I can't wait for dinner!!!
Update: Yummyness factor is pretty serious here folks, this one is a definite keeper!
Recipe and picture from a great blog
Cinnamon Spice and Everything Nice

Barbecue Pulled Chicken Sandwiches
(Sauce adapted from Steven Raichlen via Serious Eats)

2 cups Ketchup
1/4 cup Cider Vinegar
2 tablespoons Worcestershire Sauce
3/4 cup packed Brown Sugar + 2 tablespoons
1 tablespoon Molasses (didn't have)
1 tablespoon Yellow Mustard
1 tablespoon Chile Powder
1 teaspoon Smoked Paprika
1 teaspoon Onion Powder
1 teaspoon Salt
1/2 teaspoon Black Pepper
2 tablespoons Tabasco sauce (I used Franks Red Hot Sauce)
1 large onion, thinly sliced in half moons
3-4 boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut in half (I used 7 small chicken thighs)
1 + 1/2 cup extra sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
4-5 hamburger buns or soft rolls

1. In a medium mixing bowl whisk, ketchup, vinegar, Worcestershire, brown sugar, molasses, mustard, chile powder, salt, pepper and Tabasco together until well combined.

2. Pour into crock pot, add onions and chicken breasts. Cook on low 4 hours or high 2 hours.
Remove chicken to a large plate or cutting board and cool to the touch. Keep barbecue sauce warm in crock pot. When chicken is cool enough to handle shred it by pulling it apart by hand. Return to crock pot and mix with sauce or add to a medium bowl and mix in additional sauce.

3. Serve on toasted buns with cheddar cheese.

Easy version: Use a rotiserrie chicken. Simmer the barbecue sauce in a saucepan for about 20 minutes while you 'shred' the chicken. Add the shredded chicken to the sauce, heat through and serve.

Shrimp Pasta with Tomato Cream Sauce

With the baby due in just 10 more days I find it incredible that I have the energy to actually get dinner prepared and on the table, get this... on time too! I made this last night and it was SUUUPER tasty. My three year old thought the shrimp was chicken and ate her entire plate. HA I love when that happens! If you are not a shrimp fan, I'm sure you can substitute it with chicken and still get great results.
Adapted the recipe and borrowed the pic from
Pioneer Woman.

You can click on the link for illustrated step by step instructions.

Shrimp Pasta with Tomato Cream Sauce

¾ pounds Penne Pasta (was out so I used Farfalle)
1 pound Shrimp (used ready to cook shrimp and salt and peppered those babies)
2 Tablespoons Butter
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
1 whole Onion (small)
2 cloves Garlic
½ cups White Wine (or To Taste) (used chicken broth instead)
1 can Tomato Sauce (8 Oz) (used about 12 oz.)
1 cup Heavy Cream (used 1/2 cup cream and 1/2 cup fat free milk)
Fresh Parsley, to taste
Fresh Basil - To Taste (was out so I used a good couple shakes of Italian seasoning)
Salt To Taste
Pepper To Taste

Fresh Parmesan to grate on top

Cook the penne pasta until tender-firm, also known as al dente.

Peel, devein and rinse (under cool water) 1 pound of extra large shrimp. Heat about 1 tbsp. butter and olive oil in a skillet. Add the shrimp and cook for a couple minutes until just opaque. Do not overcook them. Remove from heat and let cool for a few minutes. Now, put the cooked shrimp on the cutting board and pull off the tails. Chop the shrimp into bite –sized pieces and set aside.

Finely dice one small onion. Mince two cloves of garlic.
In a large skillet heat 1 tablespoon of butter and 1 tablespoon olive oil. Add the garlic and onion and sauté, stirring occasionally. After the garlic and onions have cooked a bit add your white wine. Let the wine evaporate for a few minutes, stirring occasionally. If you would rather not use wine, you can use low-sodium chicken broth instead (about ½ cup).

Now add an 8-ounce can of plain tomato sauce. Stir well until combined. Then add 1 cup of heavy cream. Continue stirring. Turn heat down to low and let simmer.

Now chop your herbs, about a tablespoon of chopped parsley and about the same amount of chopped basil, or if you’re feeling very proper, chiffonaded.

Now add your chopped shrimp back into the tomato cream sauce. Give it a stir and add salt and pepper to taste. Throw in your herbs and stir until combined. Finally add your cooked penne pasta and give it a good stir.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Raspberry Sour Cream Coffee Cake


And that's really all I have to say about it :) I found this recipe and adapted it a bit from Tasty Kitchen.

2 1/2 cups Flour
2 teaspoons Baking Powder
½ teaspoons Salt
½ cups Butter, Softened
3/4 cups sugar
3/4 cups brown sugar
2 whole Eggs
1/3 cup fat free milk (original recipe was much too thick so this helped thin it out a bit)
1 cup Sour Cream
1 cup Raspberries (mine were fresh but frozen)

1 cup Sugar
⅔ cups Flour
2 teaspoon Cinnamon
¼ teaspoons Salt
½ cups Butter

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Grease a 9×13 pan.

Combine the flour, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl. Set aside.

Cream the butter in a large bowl until light, add the sugar and beat until light and fluffy. Mix the eggs in one at a time. Mix the dry ingredients into the creamed mixture, alternating with the sour cream, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients. Add milk until just incorporated. Pour half of the batter into the prepared pan, spoon the berries over the batter, sprinkle 2 Tbsp sugar and 1/2 tsp cinnamon over the berries. Top with the remaining batter.

For the topping, combine the sugar, flour, cinnamon and salt in a medium bowl. Add the butter and cut it into the dry mixture until the mixture is crumbly. Sprinkle the topping over the cake.

Bake for an hour or until a tester comes out clean. (Mine was done in 35 minutes so watch the time!)

Thursday, September 2, 2010

White Chicken Enchiladas

Update: Made this tonight for dinner as is - no changes, and it's fabulous, definitely keeping this one around!

Soooo... here is my re-vamped blog. It's not perfect but I wanted to simplify things on here.
Trying this one out for tomorrow nights dinner. I just don't see how this recipe can go wrong!

White Chicken Enchiladas

2-½ cups Cooked, Shredded Chicken
2 cups Reserved Broth From Chicken
3 Tablespoons Canola Oil
12 whole Corn Tortillas
1 whole Large Onion, Diced
3 whole 4 Oz Cans Whole Green Chilies, Diced
1 whole Jalapeno, Seeded And Finely Diced
1 teaspoon Paprika
½ cups Heavy Cream
2 Tablespoons Butter
2 Tablespoons Flour
1 cup Sour Cream
2-½ cups Monterey Jack Cheese, Grated
Salt And Pepper, to taste
Picante Sauce (optional)
Cilantro, Chopped

Heat 2 tablespoons canola oil in a small skillet over medium-high heat. Fry tortillas for no longer than 20 seconds, just to soften (do not allow to become crisp.) Place tortillas on a large towel or stack of paper towels to drain.

Heat 1 tablespoon canola oil in separate skillet over medium heat. Add onions and jalapenos and saute for 1 minute, just to start the cooking process. Add chicken, half of the green chilies, and 1/2 teaspoon paprika. Stir together. Add 1/2 cup chicken broth and stir. Add cream and stir, allowing mixture to bubble and get hot. Turn off heat and set aside.

In a separate large skillet, melt butter and sprinkle in flour. Whisk together and cook over medium heat for one minute. Pour in 1 1/2 cups chicken broth. Whisk together and cook for another minute or two. Stir in the other half of the chilies. Reduce heat, then stir in sour cream. Add 1 1/2 cups grated cheese and stir to melt. Add 1/2 teaspoon paprika. Check seasoning and add salt and pepper as needed.

To assemble, spoon chicken mixture on top of tortillas, one by one. Top with plenty of cheese and roll up. Place seam side down in a 9 x 13 casserole dish.

Pour cheese mixture all over the top of the tortillas. Top with extra cheese if you’d like, then bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Sprinkle generously with chopped cilantro.

Serve with picante sauce, if desired.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Under Construction

I don't get to be on here as often as I like so when I get a few minutes to update things I'll put it all back into order :) Sorry for the mess!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Ribbon Sandwhiches

I had to copy a friends post for these sandwhiches, they were seriously so good. Thanks Miranda! She served these at her son's first birthday party and now they are on the menu for my baby shower ha!


WARNING!! Eaters discretion is advised. Recipe may cause over eating....

2 loaves of bread sliced horizontally. (this can be ordered from most bakeries, just ask for ribbon sandwich bread)

Cream cheese filling:
8 oz package of cream cheese softened
1 1/4 cups crushed pineapple drained slightly
1/4 cup sugar

Combine and mix well

Chicken Salad Filling

4 cups cooked chicken shredded
1 cup celery finely minced
1/3 cup yellow onions finely minced
1/2 tsp salt
pepper to taste
1 Cup Mayonnaise

Combine ingredients and stir until well blended

Using 3 slices of bread, spread cream cheese on bottom layer, then next layer of bread, spread with a small amount of mayo, then cover layer with chicken mixture. Then add top layer of bread spreading top and bottom with mayonnaise. (We only did mayo on one side of the bread, but you can do what you want!) If desired top with paprika and dry parsley flakes. Trim crust on all 4 sides and slice each loaf into 12 sandwiches. Should have 24 sandwiches.

Red Velvet Cake/Cupcakes

I've been looking for a great Red Velvet recipe for awhile and I think I have found a winner... for now. The texture is light and perfect and the cake is not too sweet. I'm still working on the frosting, the one I made from Paula Deen is super sweet, but much too cream cheesy and rich for my liking. Tastes like what you would put on cinnamon rolls. I can't wait until the holidays so I can make a full on cake, I just halved the recipe and made a dozen cupcakes for the test run.

I'll post the frosting recipe for kicks but I think I know what needs to be done to lighten it up a bit.

Red Velvet Cake/Cupcakes
Adapted from Paula Deen's recipe

2 1/2 cups flour
2 cups sugar
1 tsp. salt
2 Tbsp cocoa
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 cup oil (can be partially or fully substituted with plain yogurt, sour cream, or applesauce but that may affect the texture a bit)
2 eggs, separated
1 1/2 cups buttermilk (I used fat free milk plus 1 Tbsp. vinegar)
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
2 oz. red food coloring (all I had was pink and I didn't add that much so mine were more rose colored)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Combine in a large bowl flour, sugar, salt, cocoa and soda. Sift or whisk together and place aside.

Separate the egg whites from the yolks, beat whites until soft peaks form (about a couple minutes) Place the whites aside.
In a medium owl blend oil, egg yolks, buttermilk, vanilla. Slowly blend (or hand mix) into flour mixture until just blended. Do not over mix. Mixture should be not too thick and not too runny either. Gently fold in the egg whites until just blended.

For a cake bake in 3 8-inch round greased and floured cake pans for 20-25 minutes, check with a toothpick.
For cupcakes bake for 18 - 20 minutes. Will make 2 dozen
Cool completely before frosting.

(I omitted the coconut and pecans and just a note to self I believe it can be lightened up with a flour and milk sauce and less conf. sugar)

1 8-ounce package cream cheese
1 stick butter softened
2 cups melted marshmallows (or fluff)
1 (1-pound) box confectioners' sugar
1 cup shredded coconut
1 cup chopped pecans

Blend cream cheese and butter together in a mixing bowl. Add marshmallows and sugar and blend. Fold in coconut and nuts. Spread between layers and on top and sides of cooled cake.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Rainbow Fruit Salad

This is a refreshing fruit salad that can be tailored to whatever fruit you have, try it with kiwi, blueberries, raspberries, etc! The glaze is a fresh and tangy complement to the fruit.

Rainbow Fruit Salad

2 peaches, peeled, pitted and sliced
2 oranges peeled and sliced
2 cups of strawberries hulled and sliced
1 cup of seedless grapes (green or purple/red)
1 cup melon balls
Pineapple Lime Dressing

In a large bowl, combine fruit. Add dressing and GENTLY stir to coat. Serves 8.

Pineapple Lime Dressing

In a small bowl combine:
1/2 cup pineapple juice
1 tsp finely grated lime peel
3 Tbsp. lime juice
3 Tbsp. honey
1/2 tsp ginger
Wisk until blended.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Cinnamon Roll Pancakes with Cream Cheese Syrup

The name says it all... HOLY YUM! It's like a cinnamon roll without the guilt, well without most of the guilt anyways! :) The pancakes came out nice and fluffy this time, I have tried other recipes and that have been heavy and dense. I adapted this recipe from Tasty Kitchen.

Cinnamon Pancakes with Vanilla Cream Cheese Syrup

1-½ cup All-purpose Flour
3 Tablespoons White Sugar
½ teaspoons Salt
4 teaspoons Baking Powder
1 Tablespoon Cinnamon
2 whole Eggs divided
1 cup Milk
¼ cups Butter, Melted
1 Tablespoon Vanilla

In medium bowl, combine flour, sugar, salt, baking powder and cinnamon with a whisk. Whisk well to make sure everything is combined.

In a small bowl whip the egg whites for a couple minutes until peaks start to form. Place aside.

In separate large bowl, beat together egg yolks, milk, butter and vanilla. Stir in flour mixture. Gently fold in whipped egg whites until incorporated. (Important for fluffy texture!)

Heat a lightly oiled griddle or frying pan over medium heat. Pour about 1/4 cup batter onto griddle. Brown on both sides.

Serve warm with syrup drizzled over the top.

Vanilla Cream Cheese Syrup

¼ cups Butter, Melted
2 Tbsp. Cream Cheese, softened
Dash Of Salt
1 Tablespoon Maple Syrup
1 tsp vanilla ext.
¼ cups Whole Milk (more If Needed)
1 cup Powdered Sugar

Beat all ingredients together until smooth, adding more milk as needed.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Super Easy Zucchini-Squash Dish

This is a perfect way to use up some of that zucchini and squash you have collecting in your garden or on your countertop. It can be used as a side dish or can be placed on top of cooked spaghetti noodles.

1 Tbsp (glug) of olive oil
1 cup thinly sliced zucchini
1 cup thinly sliced yellow squash
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 cups spaghetti sauce (or tomato sauce dressed up with garlic and italian seasoning)
Fresh Parmesan cheese
Sprinkling of cheddar cheese

On low heat drizzle olive oil to coat bottom. Add your zucchini, squash, onions and let saute for a minute or two. Pour spaghetti sauce over veggies and cover with a lid. Let simmer for 15 minutes or until the veggies are cooked through. Add some fresh grated parmesan and a sprinkle of cheddar over the mix and let simmer covered for 5 more minutes.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

BBQ'd Maple Glazed Salmon

This is one of my favorite ways to enjoy salmon. It's super quick and easy and so good you'll want to lick your fingers when your done :)

BBQ'd Maple Glazed Salmon

1/4 cup maple syrup (tastes better with the real stuff but it's expensive and the fake stuff works nicely in a pinch)
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon garlic salt
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 pound salmon
A couple squirts of your favorite BBQ sauce (mine are Sweet Baby Rays and

1.In a small bowl, mix the maple syrup, soy sauce, garlic, garlic salt, and pepper.
2.Place salmon in a shallow glass baking dish, or a
Ziploc baggie and coat with the maple syrup mixture. Cover the dish, and marinate salmon in the refrigerator 30 minutes, turning once.
3. Throw on the BBQ on medium heat, and baste with the remaining marinade. (15 min?)
4. For the last 3 minutes of cooking put a squirt of BBQ sauce on each fillet (both sides) and brush to cover. Important to do this only the last couple minutes of
BBQing, you only want the sauce to start caramelizing not blackening. Salmon is done when the middle flakes easily with a fork. Enjoy!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Texas Sheet Cake

I made this for the 4th of July BBQ we were invited to. It turned out fantastic and I even brought the leftovers to a pool party the next day where it tasted even better! I wouldn't make this for a weekday dessert (the butter content was driving me insane while I was baking :D ). It is definitely an indulgence that is meant to be shared with others.
Texas Sheet Cake

2 cups Flour
2 cups Sugar
¼ teaspoons Salt
4 Tablespoons (heaping) Cocoa
2 sticks Butter
1 cup Boiling Water
½ cups Buttermilk (I use regular milk with a touch of vinegar, let sit for 5 minutes)
2 whole Beaten Eggs
1 teaspoon Baking Soda
1 teaspoon Vanilla
½ cups Finely Chopped Pecans
1-¾ stick Butter
4 Tablespoons (heaping) Cocoa
6 Tablespoons Milk
1 teaspoon Vanilla
1 pound (minus 1/2 Cup) Powdered Sugar

Preparation Instructions
In a mixing bowl, combine flour, sugar, and salt.
In a saucepan, melt butter. Add cocoa. Stir together.
Add boiling water, allow mixture to boil for 30 seconds, then turn off heat. Pour over flour mixture, and stir lightly to cool.
In a measuring cup, pour the buttermilk and add beaten eggs, baking soda, and vanilla. Stir buttermilk mixture into butter/chocolate mixture. Pour into sheet cake pan and bake at 350-degrees for 20 minutes.
While cake is baking, make the icing. Chop pecans finely. Melt butter in a saucepan. Add cocoa, stir to combine, then turn off heat. Add the milk, vanilla, and powdered sugar. Stir together. Add the pecans, stir together, and pour over warm cake.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Chicken Salad Croissants

I modified this recipe from Allrecipes.com. It turned out really yummy! I used to think grapes in the mix were disgusting... until I actually tried it! Somehow it is just so good :) To make it more savory add a couple crumbled strips of bacon. To make it more crunchy add slivered almonds or cashews. In a pinch you can use canned chicken but it tastes MUCH better to cook the chicken and shred it yourself.

2 1/2 cups diced cooked chicken ( I grilled mine in Italian dressing and garlic on the stove top)
1/2 cup thinly sliced celery
1 cup halved red grapes
1/4 cup finely chopped green onion
3/4 cup mayonnaise
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 squirt prepared mustard
1 dash Worcestershire sauce
salt and pepper to taste
1.Combine chicken, celery and grapes in large bowl; set aside. In another bowl, whisk together remaining ingredients; add to salad and toss to coat. Chill until serving. Serve atop croissants.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Weekly Menu

Monday- Creamy Farfalle Pasta with Chicken and Broccoli

Tuesday- Crockpot Pulled Pork sandwiches

Wednesday - Broccoli and Beef served with rice (just bought a mix for the sauce and marinade)

Thursday - Salmon with Maple Glaze served with asperagus

Friday - Leftover night!

Saturday - Grilled Cilantro Lime Chicken with Fresh Corn Salsa served with Spanish Rice

Sunday - we do Sundays easy... be it mac and cheese or chicken nuggets!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Glazed Bacon Wrapped Weenies!

Someone great once said "everything's better with bacon on it" and it is so true... Now I just need an excuse to make these because I really reeeeeally want to!

Bacon-Wrapped Li’l Smokies in a Brown Sugar and Maple Glaze

1 pound Li'l Smokies
12 ounces, weight Center-cut Bacon
⅓ cups Brown Sugar
¼ cups Maple Syrup (the Real Stuff)
1 Tablespoon Dijon Mustard
A Small Pinch Of Cayenne (optional)

Empty the smokies onto some paper towels and blot them dry. Dry smokies will allow the bacon to adhere better. Place the dried smokies in a single layer (keeping them separated) onto a small cookie sheet. Place in the freezer for 45 minutes.

While the smokies are in the freezer, cut the bacon into thirds. Separate each piece of bacon and place on a large cookie sheet in a single layer. Put the bacon in the fridge for at least 30 minutes. The well-chilled smokies and bacon will help to keep everything from getting too slippery when you wrap the smokies later.

When it is nearly time to take the smokies out of the freezer, preheat the oven to 350F. Line a rimmed sheet pan with heavy-duty aluminum foil. Make the glaze by whisking together the brown sugar, maple syrup, mustard, and cayenne (if using). Whisk the mixture well to ensure that the larger pieces of brown sugar have broken up.

Wrap a piece of bacon around each smokie, pressing firmly on the final edge of the bacon to better ensure it does not spring open during baking. Try not to stretch the bacon when wrapping the sausages. Place the bacon-wrapped smokies onto the foil-lined sheet pan, seam side down. Continue with the rest of the bacon and smokies. Using a spoon, put a little bit of the thick glaze on top of each bacon-wrapped smokie, trying to coat each one evenly. You should have just enough glaze to do the entire batch.

If they won't stay wrapped you can secure them with a toothpick.

Bake the smokies for about 35 minutes or until they are lightly brown on top. Immediately transfer the smokies to a serving plate or a slow cooker set on low to keep warm. These a very addictive. I apologize in advance.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Triple Chocolate Muffins

No not a cupcake... you don't feel as bad eating a chocolate muffin for breakfast then you would a cupcake right? Therefore it is a muffin, it puts my mind at ease. :) I got about a dozen and a half out of this recipe. So good though!

Triple Chocolate Muffins

Yield: 12 muffins

1/4 cup (4 Tbsp) butter
1/4 cup sour cream
4 ounces (4 squares) semi-sweet baking chocolate
2 cups flour
2/3 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa, sifted
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/4 cup buttermilk (I make my own SO Easy! Per 1 cup milk add 1 Tbsp. vinegar or lemon juice and let sit 5 minutes)
1 large egg
2 tsp. vanilla
1 cup semi sweet or milk chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Butter or spray the 12 molds in a regular-size muffin pan or fit with paper muffin cups. Place the muffin pan on a baking sheet.

2. Melt the butter and chocolate squares together in a microwave safe bowl for 1 minute. Stir and heat for intervals of 30 seconds stirring in between until chocolate is completely melted. Add sour cream and stir until incorporated. Set aside.

3. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In a large glass measuring cup or another bowl, whisk the buttermilk, egg and vanilla extract together until well combined. Pour the liquid ingredients and the melted chocolate mixture over the dry ingredients and, with the whisk or a rubber spatula, gently but quickly stir to blend. Do not over mix the batter. Stir in chocolate chips. Divide the batter evenly among the muffin cups.

4. Bake for about 17 minutes, or until a thin knife inserted into the center of the muffins comes out clean. Transfer the pan to a rack and cool for 5 minutes before carefully removing each muffin from its mold.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Ice cream revisited

Found this great recipe for chocolate ice cream over at The Brown Eyed Baker
Gonna make it just because!
For a classic super yummy vanilla bean recipe revisit last years post here.

Chocolate Ice Cream

Makes about 1 quart

2 cups heavy cream
3 tablespoons unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
5 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate
1 cup whole milk
¾ cup granulated sugar
Pinch of salt
4 large egg yolks
½ teaspoon vanilla extract

1. Warm 1 cup of the cream with the cocoa powder in a medium saucepan, whisking to thoroughly blend the cocoa. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer at a very low boil for 30 seconds, whisking constantly. Remove from the heat and add the chopped chocolate, stirring until smooth. Then stir in the remaining 1 cup cream. Pour the mixture into a large bowl, scraping the saucepan as thoroughly as possible, and set a mesh strainer on top of the bowl.

2. Warm the milk, sugar, and salt in the same saucepan. In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolk. Slowly pour the warm milk into the egg yolks, whisking constantly, then scrape the warmed egg yolks back into the saucepan.

3. Stir the mixture constantly over the medium heat with a heatproof spatula, scraping the bottom as you stir, until the mixture thickens and coats the spatula (170°F on an instant-read thermometer). Pour the custard through the strainer and stir it into the chocolate mixture until smooth, then stir in the vanilla. Stir until cool over an ice bath.

4. Chill the mixture thoroughly in the refrigerator, then freeze it in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions. (If the cold mixture is too thick to pour into your machine, whisk it vigorously to thin it out.)

This Weeks Menu, just because...

...i'm sick of five o' clock rolling around everyday and wondering the same thing... what the heck will I make for dinner tonight?

...i'm tired of over spending on food I think I am going to make during the week then I never do and end up throwing half of what I bought away because its spoiled.

i'm ready to make this part of life a little simpler, let's see if this helps and lets's hope I stick to it!

Click on the links for the recipes!

Monday - Homemade Spaghetti, Lion House Rolls, asparugas (amended! We spent the day at Disneyland and had Chic Fil A instead!)

Tuesday - Southwest Chicken Salad (store bought southwest salad mix topped with grilled chicken, fresh corn, black beans, cilantro and avocado)
Fresh Strawberry Pie (making with graham crust, the hub is no fan of regular pie crusts)

Wednesday - Mondays spaghetti dinner (going to spread butter, parm cheese, italian seasonings and garlic salt on rolls and possibly make them into breadsticks Olive Garden style!)

Thursday - Crispy Yogurt Chicken, roasted potatoes, salad

Friday - Night Off - something easy like mac and cheese or chicken nuggets

Saturday - White Chicken Enchiladas

Sunday - Leftovers!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Sweet and Spicy Drumsticks

Too not make the kitchen get too hot in the summer, instead of sticking them in the oven you can make foil packs and put them on the BBQ. Yum!
Recipe and photo courtesy of Tasty Kitchen

Update: I made this last night YUM! I used boneless skinless thighs and marinated them in 2/3rds of the sauce for a couple hours and then BBQ'd them right on the grill for about 25 minutes, basting them with the rest of the sauce while they cooked. I am also going to crank up the hot sauce next time, it needed just a little more kick, I used only 2 tsp. of Frank's Red Hot Sauce and i'm going to try a Tbsp or 2 next time.

1 cup Apricot Preserves
½ cups Ketchup
¼ cups Soy Sauce
2 teaspoons Minced Garlic
2 - 4 teaspoons Hot Pepper Sauce
3 pounds Drumsticks (about 12)

Preheat oven to 350F. In a small saucepan, combine preserves, ketchup, soy sauce, garlic and hot pepper sauce. Cook and stir over medium-low heat until preserves are melted.

Arrange drumsticks in a single layer on a 13 x 9″ baking pan. Pour sauce over drumsticks, turning to coat. Bake, uncovered, for 40-45 minutes or until chicken is done, spooning sauce over drumsticks while baking. Serves 6.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Breadsticks with Parmesan Herbed Butter

I am a out of control carb-aholic... there I said it! How I feel so much better to have that out there. One of my absolute favorite things to eat is bread. Give me any bread, roll, pastry, bread stick, crust, etc. to munch on and I'm pretty much a happy camper.

These are great and airy and fluffy with just enough salty herb pop to make your mouth happy.
Still on my journey to make Olive Garden style breadsticks, these are as near as I've got to them so far!

Breadsticks with Parmesan Herbed Butter

1 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast
1/4 cup sugar, divided
1 cup warm water (110 degrees to 115 degrees)
1 tablespoon and 1-1/2 teaspoons vegetable oil
1/2 egg
1/2 teaspoon salt
2-1/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more

1/2 cup butter, melted
1 1/2 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese
1/8-1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
Couple good shakes of italian seasoning (5 or 6?)
1/8 tsp salt

In a large mixing bowl, dissolve yeast and 1 tablespoon sugar in warm water. Let sit for 5-10 minutes or until it becomes frothy. Add the oil, egg, salt, flour, and remaining sugar. Beat until smooth. Now add more flour 1/4 cup at a time until you form a soft dough. Turn onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 40 minutes.
Punch the dough down. Turn onto a floured surface; divide into 18 pieces. Shape each piece into a 6-in. rope. Place 2 in. apart on greased baking sheets. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 25 minutes. Meanwhile mix melted butter, parm cheese, garlic salt, italian seasonings and salt in a small bowl. When sticks are done rising, brush amply with butter mixture.
Bake at 400 degrees F for 10-11 minutes or until golden brown.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Triple Threat Brownies

Found this recipe and photo on Tasty Kitchens website. These little treats have a brownie base, cream cheese frosting middle, and a topping of chocolate and peanut butter Rice Krispies. Holy cow! I can't wait to make these.

Triple Threat Brownies

1 box Brownie Mix
16 ounces, weight Cream Cheese
½ cups Butter, Softened
2 cups Powdered Sugar
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1 cup Coarsely Chopped Peanuts
1-½ cup Milk Chocolate Chips
1 cup Peanut Butter
3 cups Rice Krispies Cereal

For the brownie base, mix brownies according to package directions or use your favorite recipe. Bake in a 9×13 pan and allow to cool completely.

For the cream cheese frosting, beat together cream cheese, butter, powdered sugar, and vanilla until fully mixed. Spread on top of cooled brownies and sprinkle with nuts.

For the chocolate peanut butter rice krispies topping, in a large pan, combine chocolate chips and peanut butter over low heat. Continue stirring until the chocolate and peanut butter are melted. Stir in cereal, making sure to coat all the cereal with the peanut butter chocolate mixture.
Spread the cereal mixture on top of the brownies and frosting and chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
Keep covered and store in the refrigerator.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Ranch Chicken Pizza

Recipe and photo courtesy of Annie's Eats

Made this for dinner tonight... Yumma!

Chicken Ranch Pizza

½ batch of perfect pizza crust (or Fresh and Easy also has a fab pizza dough in the fridge section)
¼ cup Ranch dressing
¾ cup shredded mozzarella cheese
½-1 grilled chicken breast, chopped into bite-sized pieces I grilled mine over the stovetop with a teriyaki sauce)
1 tomato, seeded and diced
2-3 green onions, chopped
¾ cup shredded cheddar cheese

Preheat the oven and a pizza stone to 500° F. Allow the stone to heat for at least 30 minutes. In the mean time, cut a round of parchment paper the size of your pizza stone. (Alternatively, use a pizza peel.) Sprinkle lightly with cornmeal or semolina flour. Gently roll out the pizza dough into a large circle, leaving a thicker ring around the edge for the crust. Spread the Ranch dressing in a thin layer evenly over the unbaked crust. Sprinkle with shredded mozzarella. Top with grilled chicken, tomato and green onions. Sprinkle with shredded cheddar. Once assembled, carefully transfer the parchment round and pizza to the preheated baking stone and return to the oven. Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and browned. Slice, serve, and enjoy!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Peanut Butter Easter Truffle Eggs

1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 jar (17.3 ounces) creamy peanut butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 package (2 pounds) confectioners' sugar

6 cups (36 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips
1/3 cup shortening

In a large bowl, beat cream cheese, butter, peanut butter and vanilla until smooth. Beat in sugar. Form rounded tablespoonfuls into egg shapes. Place on waxed paper-lined baking sheets. Chill for 30 minutes.
In a microwave-safe bowl or heavy saucepan, melt chocolate chips and shortening: stir until smooth. Dip eggs until coated; place on waxed paper to harden.
For more decorative eggs, place about 1/4 cup melted chocolate in a small plastic bag. Cut a hole in the corner of the bag; pipe chocolate over tops of eggs. Store in the refrigerator. Yield: about 5-1/2 dozen.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Mushroom Pasta with Bacon

Mushroom and Bacon Pasta

(Adapted and pic courtesy of The PW)

2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
3 slices Thin Bacon, Cut Into 1/2-inch Pieces
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 package (10 Ounce) White Button Mushrooms diced
1 cup Low Sodium Chicken Broth
1 cup Half-and-half
¼ cups Heavy Whipping Cream
3 whole Green Onions, White And Light Green Parts Sliced
¼ cups Flat-leaf Parsley, Minced
½ cups Freshly Grated Parmesan Cheese
Salt To Taste
Freshly Ground Black Pepper, To Taste
1 pound Angel Hair Pasta
Extra Parmesan, For Sprinkling

Preparation Instructions
Cook pasta according to package directions.
In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add bacon pieces and cook until light brown but not crisp. Remove bacon from pan and set aside. Do not clean pan.

Add mushrooms and garlic to pan. Toss/stir around and cook over medium-high heat for 5 minutes; increase heat to high if needed to help mushrooms begin to turn golden brown.
Pour in chicken broth. Stir, scraping the bottom of the pan to loosen any bits. Cook over medium-high heat for several minutes, or until the liquid is reduced by half.

Reduce heat and pour in half and half and cream. Stir and allow to bubble and thicken for a couple of minutes. Add sliced green onions and parsley, then cook for one more minute. Finally, add Parmesan and stir, allowing cheese to melt and incorporate into the sauce. Turn off heat.
Add cooked pasta to a large bowl. Add half the sauce from the pan. Toss with tongs. ***Add 1/2 cup hot pasta water at this point if the pasta mixture is too thick and gunky. Toss and add more water until it reaches the consistency you need.***
Serve pasta in individual bowls, topping each helping with the rest of the sauce. Sprinkle with extra parsley and extra Parmesan.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup

It's M-Mmm-good!! My sweet husband made this for me when I was down and sick the other day. I swear it was the one thing that made me feel so much better. I love to serve this with my buttermilk bread.

Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup

2 quarts quality chicken broth
1 quart water
1 store-bought salt and peppered roast chicken
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 large onions, cut into medium dice
2 large carrots, peeled and cut into rounds or half rounds, depending on size
2 large stalks celery, sliced 1/4 inch thick
1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
2 small bay leaves
3 cups egg noodles
Chopped italian parsley
Salt and pepper to taste

Bring broth and water to a simmer over medium-high heat in a large soup kettle. Meanwhile, separate chicken meat from skin and bones; reserve meat. Throw skin away or give it to a furry friend as a special treat! Add bones to the simmering broth. Add thyme and bay leaves. Reduce heat to low, partially cover and simmer until bones release their flavor, 20 to 30 minutes.

Strain broth through a colander into a large container; reserve broth and discard leaves and bones. Return kettle to burner set on medium-high.

Add oil, then onions, carrots and celery. Saute until soft, about 8 to 10 minutes. Add chicken and broth. Bring to a simmer. Add egg noodles and parsley and cook until tender. Salt and pepper to taste.

Fresh Sweet Corn and Avocado Salsa

This fresh and colorful salsa is perfect as a dip or I also love to serve it over my cilantro lime baked chicken. Yum!
photo courtesy of The Pioneer Woman

Fresh Sweet Corn and Avocado Salsa

4 ears Sweet Corn
½ whole Red Onion, Diced
2 whole Very Firm Avocados, Diced
½ whole Jalapeno, Seeded And Finely Diced
½ whole Hot Chili Pepper, Seeded And Finely Diced
1 whole Juice Of Lime
Plenty Of Chopped Cilantro
Salt To Taste
1 Tablespoon Vinegar
1 teaspoon Sugar

Slice kernels off the corn, and combine it with all remaining ingredients in a bowl. Cover and refrigerate before serving

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Mandarin Chicken Pasta Salad

I don't have a pic for this yet, I had it at a bridal shower a year or so ago and had to contact the bride for the recipe! I've been craving it ever since, it's an excellent party dish. I'll be making it for my sister's baby shower at the end of this month.

Mandarin Chicken Pasta Salad

1 bag fusilli, rotini or bowtie pasta
4 small chicken breasts
2 cans mandarin oranges
1/2 cup chopped green onions
1 cup chopped celery
1 bottle of Brianna's Poppy Seed Dressing
1 cup sliced almonds or cashews
salt and pepper to taste

Cook pasta according to package directions. Steam chicken on stove top with 1-2 cups of water, covered for about 20 minutes. (Check water level at close to the end you don't want to burn the bottom of the chicken.) Check to make sure fully cooked. Cut into 1/2 inch pieces. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, maybe a little garlic salt.

Drain the oranges. Blend in dressing, as well as the rest of the ingredients. Chill until served. Tastes excellent in croissants or dinner rolls.

Potatoes au Gratin

Potatoes au Gratin
adapted from Pioneer Woman

4 large Russet potatoes, peeled or scrubbed
2 Tbsp. butter
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup fat free milk
3 1/2 Tbsp. flour
3 tsp. minced garlic
1 tsp. salt and more for sprinkling potatoes
Freshly ground pepper to taste
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Smear butter all over bottom and sides of a 8x8 baking dish. Slice potatoes and then cut into fourths, giving them a small sprinking of salt. In a seperate bowl wisk together cream, milk, flour, minced garlic, salt and lots of ground pepper (don't skimp, you'll regret it :) )

Place 1/3 potatoes in the bottom of the baking dish. Pour 1/3 of cream over potatoes. Repeat two more times, ending with the cream mixture. Cover with foil and bake for 40 min. Remove foil and bake for an extra 15-20 minutes until potatoes are golden brown and bubbly. Add the grated cheese on top of potatoes and bake for 3 minutes more or until the cheese is melted and bubbly.