Monday, February 20, 2012

♥Chocolate Raspberry Cupcakes♥

Chocolate Raspberry Cupcakes:
Chocolate Raspberry Cake:
21 oz can raspberry pie filling
¼ cup sour cream
3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
Devil’s Food Cake Mix
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon baking soda
(high altitude, add 1/4 cup flour)
Raspberry Buttercream:
8 oz cream cheese
½ cup butter, softened
3 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/3 cup frozen raspberries, thawed and strained
Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line pans with cupcake liners (yield=24).
2 Puree raspberry pie filling with sour cream in blender.
In large bowl, lightly beat eggs with vanilla and add raspberry/sour cream mixture.
Add cake mix, cinnamon, and baking soda. (For easy mixing, sift cake mix before adding.)
Fill liners ¾ full and bake for 12-14 minutes. (These bake faster than other cupcakes, be careful!
Buttercream: Beat cream cheese and butter until smooth. Add powdered sugar, vanilla and raspberry puree. Adjust consistency using powdered sugar and puree.
Pipe onto cooled cupcakes and top with fresh raspberries or chocolate pieces.
I originally found the recipe HERE after pinning it on Pinterest.  AND you can follow me on Pinterest...since I post some pretty yummy recipes once in awhile;)

Sunday, January 15, 2012

{Creamy Baked Potato Soup}

It's been rather cold around here...no snow just cold!!  So I love to make soups this time of year.  My mom makes THE best baked potato soup.  My rather picky baked potato loving husband LOVED it - yay!!

Creamy Baked Potato Soup
4-5 baked potatoes - we used about 8 small red potatoes (already baked)
pkg diced ham
shredded cheese
white sauce recipe here
salt and pepper
chicken bouillon
carton half and half

Directions -
Make your white sauce except use milk and half & half.  I alternated the milk and then the half & half as I would cook it down and get it nice and creamy.  Then I salt and pepper to taste and added about 1-2 tsp of the bouillon or until I got the right flavor.  I diced my potatoes and added them to the soup along with the ham.  Then sprinkled shredded cheese on top before serving.
ENJOY!!

--Candy Cane Snowballs--

We made these yummy little pillow cookies for Christmas neighbor treats.  They were very yummy.  You could also make them for Valentines Day with all your left over candy canes!  I found the recipe here.
Candy Cane Snowballs
  • 3 c. powdered sugar, divided
  • 1 1/4 c butter, softened
  • 2 t. vanilla (or if you’d prefer a stronger peppermint flavor, you can replace 1 t. of vanilla with a teaspoon of peppermint extract)
  • 1 egg
  • 3 c. flour
  • 1 T. baking powder
  • 1/2 t. salt
  • 3/4 c. finely crushed candy canes, divided
  • 1/2 c. granulated sugar
  • 2-3 T. milk
1. In a mixing bowl, beat 1 1/2 cup powdered sugar and butter until fluffy. Add vanilla and egg and beat until combined.
2. In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt. Stir to combine. Slowly add to mixing bowl, beating until combined, about 1 minute. Stir 1/2 cup finely crushed candy canes in by hand.
3. Roll dough into small balls using just under a teaspoon of dough. Rolls balls through granulated sugar to coat and place on baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes. Cool.
4. While cookies bake, stir together remaining 1 1/2 c. powdered sugar with 2-3 T. of milk. Add just enough milk to form a thick glaze. Drizzle over cooled cookies and top with remaining crushed candy canes immediately.
ENJOY!!

Avocado Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

Here is another Pinterest favorite at our house.
Did you know that the grill cheese is becoming one of "the" greatest trends right now?  Restaurants based just on the grill cheese are popping up everywhere.  There are quite the hottest "adult" thing to eat - lol!!  And believe me they aren't the typical cheese and bread sandwiches either.  Well when I found this one it had me hooked at avacodo -- that is my favorite!  So we have this at our house for lunch a lot:)

Avocado Grilled Cheese
whole wheat bread
mozzeralla cheese thinly sliced
ripe avocado sliced thinly
sliced tomatoes
ham -- the lady used pepperoni (but we aren't a fan at our house) or even turkey would work
Directions:
Assemble, butter both sides of your bread and toast.  We found that using a panini press really helped to keep it all squished together and not fall apart when flipping.
ENJOY!!



~THE Perfect Party Punch~

I found this punch here on Pinterest and it's from a lady that says she is the punch queen - lol!  She was very convincing that her punch is THE punch to serve at parties.  So my mom and I decided to mix it up for our New Year's Eve party.  We also just recently had it at my cousins baby shower.  It is REALLY good!!  But the lady is rather particular about how to assemble the punch so read the whole thing before you start.

The Punch
Ingredients:
1 can frozen pina colada concentrate, thawed (Bacardi makes a good one)
1 can frozen orange pineapple juice concentrate, thawed
4 liters of diet lemon-lime soda (That’s two 2-Liters for the mathematically challenged.)
1 bag of pebble ice (You can buy it at Sonic Drive-In or at most grocery stores in the deli or meat departments.)
1 bag of frozen raspberries
And now for the directions:
*Pour the thawed concentrates into your punchbowl and stir.
*Use one of the empty cans and fill it with water four times and add it to the mixture. Stir.
*Add your diet soda to the mixture. (You can use regular sugar-filled soda if you want, but I think it gets too sweet and you will also feel guilty when you fill your glass for the sixteenth time. Which you WILL.)
*Next, add about half your bag of pebble ice.
(NOTE: Please do not insult The Punch by using crappy ice cubes from your freezer. The Punch will hate you forever.) (ANOTHER NOTE: Please do not screw up the order and add the ice before the soda. You will get an ugly foam at the top of your punch bowl.) (ONE MORE NOTE: I’m sorry if it seems like I’m micro-managing this recipe. It’s just that I have already suffered bad punch experiences so that you won’t have to. I micro-manage because I care.) Let’s see….where were we? Oh, yes. We’re ready for the crowning ingredient…
*Add your frozen raspberries to the top.
ENJOY!! 

Gingerbread Cookies

For Christmas this year my son begged me to make gingerbread cookies instead of our traditional sugar cookies (thanks to a weeks worth of reading the book in school).  So I asked me friend Lori for her famous oh so yummy recipe.  These are to die for!!

Gingerbread Cookies
Recipe From Scovil Bakery, Historic Nauvoo
In a small bowl, whisk together:
2 tsp. cinnamon
½ tsp. cloves
2 tsp ginger
and set aside.
In large bowl, cream together:
¾ cup oil
2 eggs
1 cup sorghum (molasses)
1 ¼ cups sugar.
then,
½ cup hot water
In a separate bowl, combine:
6 ½ cups flour
1 tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt
the spice mixture prepared above,
then add this mixture to the wet ingredients. (Add more flour if the dough is too sticky. )
Refrigerate overnight.
Roll out dough on a floured surface. Use cookie cutter to cut out cookie shapes.
Bake at 350 degrees for 7 to 8 minutes for soft cookies; 9 to 10 minutes for crisp cookies.
Cookies freeze well and are softer and more flavorful after freezing.
Note: spraying the mixing bowl with Pam before adding the ingredients helps the dough to come out more easily.
You can make a simple glaze by mixing desired amount of powdered sugar with milk to get a smooth texture and cinnamon to taste.  Then I just dipped the cookies into the glaze and let set up.
We also dipped them in chocolate and those tasted REALLY yummy!!:)
ENJOY!!

Healthy Chicken Enchiladas

Hey friends, sorry I have put my food blog on the back burner for quite a few months.  But I promised myself I would get caught up, so be prepared for lots of yummy recipes to come.  Most of these dishes, like this one, I found on Pinterest.  If you haven't discovered the world of pinning then I dare you to start and believe me you will get hooked.  You can follow me here if you would like!
Well this recipe is from the famous celebrity nutritionist Christine Avanti and our whole family LOVED it!!  So enjoy...

Tortilla Chip Chicken Enchiladas
Ingredients:
4 oz. boneless skinless chicken breast, cubed
1 14 oz. can fired roasted tomatoes, organic
1 14 oz. can enchilada sauce, mild
½ bag Doritios, baked
2 cups cheddar cheese, fat free, shredded
1 cup Monterey Jack cheese, low fat, shredded
1 2.8 oz. can black olives, sliced, organic
1 large onion, diced
1 large bell pepper, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
½ cup cilantro
1 jalapeno pepper, minced
½ cup sour cream, non fat
Directions
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Sauté chicken cubes with garlic, salt, pepper, onions, bell pepper and jalapeno pepper for 5 minutes on medium heat add fire roasted tomatoes and simmer for another 2-3 minutes. When done remove from heat and pour into a large mixing bowl. Add fat free cheese, olives and tortilla chips, mix well. In a 9x13 inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Pour half of the enchilada sauce into the bottom of the baking dish, tilt dish to evenly spread sauce across the bottom. Next, pour meat, cheese and tortilla chip mixture into the baking dish. Pour remaining enchilada sauce over the top. Sprinkle remaining low fat cheese evenly over the top and bake for 20-25 minutes or until cheese is completely melted. Garnish with non fat sour cream and fresh cilantro.
ENJOY!!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

◘◘Baked Creamy Chicken Taquitos◘◘

I bought this cookbook when it first came out.  I was excited because our family really enjoys a lot of their recipes.  So when I thumbed through it the other night trying to find a recipe for my already cooked chicken I was thrilled when I came across these.  I love taquitos.  These are fantastic!!  Our family really - really likes them!!!!

Baked Creamy Chicken Taquitos -
Recipe by OurBestBites.com

1/3 C (3 oz) cream cheese
1/4 C green salsa
1T fresh lime juice
1/2 t cumin
1 t chili powder
1/2 t onion powder
1/4 t granulated garlic
3 T chopped cilantro
2 T sliced green onions
2 C shredded cooked chicken
1 C grated pepperjack cheese
small corn tortillas or flour tortillas
kosher salt
cooking spray

Heat oven to 425. Line a baking sheet with foil and lightly coat with cooking spray.

Heat cream cheese in the microwave for about 20-30 seconds so it's soft and easy to stir. Add green salsa, lime juice, cumin, chili powder, onion powder and granulated garlic. Stir to combine and then add cilantro and green onions. Add chicken and cheese and combine well.
You can prepare up to this step ahead of time. Just keep the mixture in the fridge.
Work with a few tortillas at a time and heat in the microwave until they are soft enough to roll without cracking. It helps to place them between damp paper towels. Usually 20-30 seconds will do it. If you find yours are cracking when you roll them or come unrolled right away, just try heating them longer and try the paper towel thing.

Place 2-3 T of chicken mixture on the lower third of a tortilla, keeping it about 1/2 inch from the edges.
Then roll it up as tight as you can.
Place seam side down on the baking sheet. Lay all of the taquitos on the baking sheet and make sure they are not touching each other. Spray the tops lightly with cooking spray or an oil mister and sprinkle some kosher salt on top.
Place pan in oven and bake for 15-20 minutes or until crisp and the ends start to get golden brown.

Dip 'em in salsa, sour cream, guacamole, or creamy cilantro-line ranch dressing below!


Enjoy!!

○○Cafe Rio Sweet Pulled Pork Salad○○

I LOVE Cafe Rio!!  I have another recipe for their salads but here is one for their sweet pork.  I included the cilantro rice recipe again and will post another version when I get it from a friend.  The dressing is one I found in Our Best Bites new cookbook.  It's sooo yummy!!  I have been eating it on everything this week;)

Cafe Rio Sweet Pulled Pork -
3 lbs. pork tenderloin
40 oz tomato sauce (or 5 8oz cans)
4 c. Dr. Pepper
3 tsp. garlic powder
4 tsp. cumin
3 tsp. molasses
Place pork in crock pot, mix all ingredients and pour over top.  Cook on low 6-7 hours, take meat out, pull apart, return to crock pot and cook another hour in the juice.
Serve in tortilla shell with cheese, black beans, rice, corn and dressing.  Or serve over salad, with cheese, rice, black beans, corn, rice, quacamole, sour cream, dressing etc.  Just like the salads you get in the restaurant.

CILANTRO-LIME RICE -
1 c. uncooked rice (long-grain, white rice)
1 tsp. butter or margarine
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. freshly squeezed lime juice
1 can (15 oz) chicken broth
1 cup water
1 Tbsp. freshly squeezed lime juice
2 tsp. sugar
3 tablespoons fresh chopped cilantro

In a saucepan combine rice, butter, garlic, 1 tsp. lime, chicken broth and water. Bring to a boil. Cover and cook on low 15-20 minutes, until rice is tender. Remove from heat. In a small bowl combine lime juice, sugar and cilantro. Pour over hot cooked rice and mix in as you fluff the rice.

Creamy Cilantro-Lime Ranch Dressing -
1 c. mayonnaise
1/2 c. milk or buttermilk
1 lime, juiced (about 2 TBL. juice)
1 packet Hidden Valley Ranch dressing (ignore directions on pkg.)
2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
1/2 c. roughly chopped cilantro
1/4 c. green salsa (La Costena or Herdez brands are common)
Hot sauce (Cholula or Tabasco) to taste - I eliminated this since I am serving it to my kids

Combine first 4 ing. in a blender.  Then add rest and blend thoroughly.  Season with hot sauce as desired.  If possible refrigerate for several hours to allow it to thicken and flavors to mix well.
Serve over salad, in the burritos or with just rice - YUM!! 
This dressing is great with taquitos in the above recipe!!

Enjoy!!!!

{Quinoa Burgers}

Sorry I have been MIA!  It's been a crazy end of summer.  But I have LOTS of recipes to post and a couple of WONDERFUL companies to tell you all about:)
First off lets start with another quinoa recipe.  Our family really likes this stuff so we have been trying out lots of new recipes with it.  This one I got again from my friend Lori.  Doug was rather confused because he wanted to know how you put it on a bun - lol!  Well you don't.  They remind me a lot like pancakes.

Quinoa Burgers -

1 C quinoa
2 C water
Cook just like rice. When it comes to a boil, reduce heat to low and cover. Simmer about 15 mins or until all water is absorbed.

3/4 C shredded cheese (any cheese that you like, we use sharp cheddar)
1/2 C cottage cheese
1 Med. carrot shredded fine
3 eggs
3 T flour (I use rice flour for the gluten free version)
2 green onion finely chopped
1/2 tsp splenda or sugar
1/4 tsp pepper
1 tsp. cumin
1/8 tsp salt
1/8 tsp garlic powder

Combine all ingredients and add cooked quinoa. Heat a skillet and add olive oil. Pour some of the mixture like a pancake if the mixture is thin or form into patties just like a hamburger if your mixture is less moist (depends on the cottage cheese, sometimes mine are too wet to form into patties- in this case I just pour it in like batter- they turn out the same either way). Fry in olive oil flipping half way through until the burgers are browned and crispy on the outside and firm.

We eat these with a little light sour cream mixed with bbq sauce, they are soooo yummy!

Friday, July 22, 2011

~Quinoa Recipes~

My family has fallen in love with quinoa.  My friend Lori gave it to Ellie one day while she was at her house playing and Ellie came home wanting me to make it.  So of course I had to get the recipe from her.

So what is it?
Quinoa (pronounced ‘keen-wah’) is a grain-like crop that is grown for its seeds.  When cooked in water, it fluffs up sort of like couscous or rice and can be used in a lot of recipes where you would normally use those two things.  You can buy red quinoa, and this lighter colored white quinoa which is cheaper at Costco.  It looks like this when cooked...
You basically cook quinoa just like you would rice. 
Here is Lori's recipe and than I found another mango one from Our Best Bites (LOVE their website and cookbook!!).  They also have more tips on how to cook it on there too.

Quinoa and Black Bean Vegetable Salad

For the salad:
1 C uncooked quinoa
1 (14oz) can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 red pepper, chopped ( I usually use about 3 chopped tomatoes instead but both ways are awesome)
1/4 C fresh cilantro, finely chopped
green onions chopped
1 C fresh corn
1 small avocado, chopped into 1 in. pieces

For the Dressing:
4-5 tbs. of fresh lime juice (juice from two limes or I have used bottled too)
1/2 tsp kosher salt, or to taste
1/2 tsp. freshly ground pepper
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 C fresh cilantro, finely chopped
1/2 C extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp ground cumin, or more to taste

Directions:
1. cook 1 cup quinoa in two cups of water (just like you would cook rice) usually about 15 mins, covered until all water is absorbed.
2. While quinoa is cooking, prepare the chopped vegetables and whisk together the dressing.
3.  Allow quinoa to cool after cooking for about 5 mins.  Fluff with a fork.  Add the beans and vegetables and toss well
4.  Drizzle dressing over salad and toss well with salt and pepper to taste.  Bring salad to room temperature before serving.  Keep fresh in a sealed container for 1-2 days.  Makes about 5 cups.
I actually like this salad hot but it is really good cold too.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

~Nutella Cupcakes~

Our family LOVES Nutella!!  So my husband is making me try these:)  They sound so yummy....
Self-frosting Nutella Cupcakes
1/4 cup butter, at room temperature
1/4 cup canola or mild vegetable oil
3/4 cup sugar
3 large eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1 3/4 cup all purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4-1/2 cup Nutella, at room temperature
Preheat the oven to 325F.
In a medium bowl, beat the butter, oil and sugar with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add the eggs and vanilla and beat until smooth.
In a small bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder and salt; add to the butter mixture and beat on low speed just until combined. The batter will be thick. It needs to be in order to swirl in the Nutella!
Divide the batter between 12 paper-lined muffin cups. Drop a spoonful of Nutella on top of each, and swirl through the batter with the tip of a bamboo skewer, knife or other pointy object. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until springy to the touch. Tilt them in the pan to help them cool. Makes a dozen cupcakes.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

--unstuffed pepper bake--

We had this for dinner last night and the kids requested the leftovers for lunch today because "It was so awesome yummy mom!" (-Dalton)
It's a recipe I received in a Smith's coupon/recipe booklet.  I have been wanting to try it for sometime now.  I love stuffed peppers but don't like making or baking them...they never really turn out.  I really think it's going at the top of my favorite list:)

Unstuffed Pepper Bake -
1 lb. ground beef
1/3 cup onion - I used a sweet wala wala
1 1/2 cups diced peppers - use red, orange and yellow, 1/2 of each
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 (14.5 oz.) can Petite Diced Tomatos, drained
1 1/2 c. brown rice (white works too)
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp Italian seasoning
1 (8 oz.) pkg shredded sharp cheddar cheese, divided
1 (15 oz.) can tomato sauce

Preheat oven to 375*
Saute beef, onions, peppers and garlic powder until beef is browned and veggies tender.  Drain off excess fat and season with salt and pepper
Stir in tomatos, rice, Worcestershire sauce and Italian seasoning.  Remove from heat and add 1 c. of the shredded cheese.
Spread mixture into 13x9 pan and top with tomato sauce and remaining cheese.
Bake uncovered for 20 minutes, until heated through and cheese is melted and bubbly.
Let stand for at least 5-10 minutes before serving.

*Tip:  I may cook rice before hand next time as our rice was still crunchy.  The recipe never called for cooked rice though.*

Saturday, March 26, 2011

--Chocolate Andes Cookies--

I received Andes Mints from Doug for Valentine's Day and couldn't wait to make cookies out of them.  When I realized I needed more than just one package I sent my husband to buy more.  He came home with cherry and toffee ones - YUMMY!!  These were such good cookies and pretty easy to make.  I made a plate up to give as a thank you to a family in our ward - they were a hit!

Chocolate Andes Mint Cookies --
3/4 cup butter
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
2 TB water
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
2 eggs
2 1/2 cups flour
1 1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
3 (4.5 oz) pkg chocolate covered thin mints - we used one mint, one cherry and one toffee
  1. In a saucepan cook sugar, butter and water on medium heat stirring occasionally until melted.  Remove from heat, stir in chocolate chips until melted and set aside to cool for 10 minutes.
  2. Pour the chocolate mixture into a large bowl, and beat in the eggs, one at a time.  Combine the flour, baking soda and salt, stir into the chocolate mixture.  Cover and refrigerate dough for at least 1 hour.
  3. Preheat oven to 350*.  Grease cookie sheet.  Roll cookie dough into walnut size balls and place 2 in. apart onto cookie sheets.
  4. Bake for 8-10 minutes, be careful not to over bake.  When out of oven press mint into the tops of each warm cookie and let sit for 1 minute.  When the mint is softened swirl with a knife or back of spoon.
Enjoy!!

Homemade Taco Seasoning

I love making Taco Soup for dinner.  Especially on a cold day!  Well a few weeks ago it was late and neither my husband or I felt like running to the store to buy taco seasoning so I googled how to make my own.  I love this almost better than the package you buy in the store!!

Homemade Taco Seasoning --
2 tsp chili powder
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp corn starch
1 tsp cumin
1/2 - 1 tsp cayenne pepper (depending on how spicey you like it)
Mix together and add to you dish.
Enjoy!!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

○Wonderful Stuff○

When Doug and I were first married I tried this.  I really didn't want to because I HATE coconut and nuts.  But boy was I hooked!!  It is so ooey-gooey melt in your mouth goodness.  I guess that's why they call it WONDERFUL STUFF;)  My mom makes this all year long for her Seminary students - it was a huge hit with her YW too at girls camp!!  You can't go wrong wrapping this up and giving it away to neighbors and friends!!!!!

Wonderful Stuff -
1 box Rice Chex (we actually like Corn better)
(OR - the original recipe calls for 9 cups Chex and 8 cups Golden Grahmns)
1 cup coconut
1 cup slivered almonds
1 cup sugar
1 cup Karo syrup
3/4 cup butter

Stir together chex, coconut and almonds in a large bowl and set aside.  Bring sugar, syrup and butter to boil in saucepan.  Boil for 2 minutes without stirring.  Take off heat and pour over cereal mixture.  Stir until well coated.  Store in air tight container.  ENJOY - and TRY not to eat all in one sitting - LOL!!:)

Breakfast Casserole!!

I got this recipe from Doug's cousin Cherie.  They have it for breakfast Christmas morning, it's been a tradition in their family for years.  Her brother posted it on their blog Our Family Treat.  I LOVE their blog and find lots of fun recipes there.  This is their picture of the casserole.  I ABSOLUTELY LOVED it!!  We made the ham one for Christmas and the sausage one for New Years at my moms and they are soo good:)  Thanks Cherie for sharing a fun tradition that I would like to make ours!!!!



Breakfast Casserole -
12 slices of bread
18 oz of grated cheese
1 pound of your favorite meat
Veggies
8-10 Eggs
Salt and Pepper
Butter

Directions: Butter all slices of bread. Place 6 slices of bread, buttered side down in a 9 x 13 pan. Then top with grated cheese, meat and veggies. Then place the other 6 slices of bread, buttered side up on the top. Beat 8-10 eggs in a bowl, with salt and pepper. Pour the eggs over the whole casserole...make sure to get all the bread covered with eggs. Cover the pan in foil and refrigerate over night. Bake at 350 for 1 1/2 hours (30 of which is without the foil). 
Tip: We make two different kids...one with chedder cheese, ham and sometimes we add onions. And then on the other one we use pepper jack cheese, breakfast sausage and peppers. Feel free to experiment!

{THE Perfect White & Chocolate Frostings}

I make this same white frosting for my Red Velvet Cake/Cupcakes but can you believe that I have NEVER thought about putting it on regular cupcakes - and it's my FAVORITE!!  So I was excited when I read that someone else thinks it's the best too.  She has pictures I posted to help when making it.  Also here is a chocolate version that sounds VERY yummy too...

Perfect Cupcake Frosting and Filling -
3 T Flour
1/2 C milk (whole milk is best, but I used non-fat when it's all I have and it's actually fine)1/2 C real butter
1/2 C sugar (that's granulated sugar, not powdered sugar)1 t vanilla extract, or other flavor if you wish.
Whisk together the flour and the milk. Heat in a small sauce pan on medium heWhisk continuously until it starts to thicken. Let it cook, while stirring, until you can start to see the bottom of the pan. It should still be liquid-ish though, like this:It's okay if you have lumps, because we're gonna strain those out right now. Place the mixture in a mesh strainer and stir with a rubber spatula to push it through.

You should end up with a nice, smooth mixture. It's almost like pudding before it's set.

Put this mixture in the fridge and let it cool completely, it's fine if it stays in there long enough to get chilly, you just don't want it warm at all. When it is chilled, you can move on to the following step.


It an electric stand mixer, beat the butter and the sugar for a minute or two until well combined and fluffy. You'll want to use the whisk attachment on a stand mixer, not the flat paddle. Then while beating, add in the thickened milk mixture and the vanilla. Beat to combine and then scrape down the sides. Don't be scared. It's going to look like a goopy mess and kind of lumpy and separated like this:


But you just wait. It's gonna blow your mind in a few minutes. Beat on med-high for 7-8 minutes. Yes, that long. I know it seems like forever, but that's when the magic happens!

After 7-8 minutes it will have transformed from that sloppy mess into something gorgeous, fluffy, and incredibly light and silky.

Use it to fill or frost cupcakes, cakes or other pastries. You can't go wrong putting this on just about anything :)
Frosts 12 cupcakes
Weight Watchers Points: 1 point per tablespoon of frosting
 Here are some helpful Notes:
1. Use real butter, and a good name-brand. Cheap butter does weird things.
2. If you beat for the 6-8 minutes and the mixture still looks strange, beat longer and at a higher speed if you can. It should come together, but it takes a little patience!
3. Store at room temperature. Frosting may separate in the fridge, but you can store it overnight if left at room temp and in a well sealed container.
4. Add extracts to your hearts content; lemon is wonderful! Food coloring is also okay.
5. The white sugar can be exchanged for brown. Try 1/2 white 1/2 brown for a warm caramel flavor.
6. Do not try to make other substitutions or additions. Sour cream, cream cheese, fruit purees all do disastrous things.


Chocolate Frosting -

Chocolate Frosting
Recipe adapted by Our Best Bites from Sugar Plum


2/3 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup milk
1 cup real butter, softened
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips, melted
Optional: Additional cocoa powder as needed


Melt your chocolate chips if you haven't already and set aside to cool.  You obviously don't want it so cool that it hardens, but you can get it close to room temperature and still have it be soft and stir-able. 


In a small saucepan, whisk together sugar, flour, cocoa, and milk; bring to a boil, whisking frequently. Boil 1-3 minutes or until thickened like a thinned pudding.  Remove pan from heat and strain mixture into a small bowl. Cool completely in the refrigerator or freezer.


When chocolate flour mixture is cooled, beat the butter until creamy, about 1 minute.  Beat in the cooled chocolate mixture until well combined fluffy, about 1 minute.  Finally add in melted chocolate and beat again until well combined and fluffy, about 2 minutes.  If desired, add additional cocoa powder to taste, up to 4 tablespoons more.  Spread or pipe frosting on to cupcakes or cake.


Makes enough to frost 24 cupcakes.


Storage:  Store unused frosting in fridge and bring to room temperature before using again.  If needed, beat with an electric beater before using. 

Peppermint Fudge Cupcake Jars --

I REALLY wanted to make these but ran out of time this holiday season.  So next Christmas they are at the top of my list.  I sitll think they sound like a good chocolate cupcake and the have a wonderful frosting and ganache recipe I wanna try.

Peppermint Fudge Cupcake Jars -
Recipe by Our Best Bites
Makes approximately 8 jars or 12 Cupcakes

Cupcakes -
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
2 1/2 Tbs unsweetened cocoa powder
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
3 oz chocolate, chopped.  Use bittersweet, dark, or semi-sweet.
1/2 C + 3 Tbs real butter, cut into pieces
3/4 C plus 2 Tbs sugar
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1 tsp vanilla extract

8 8oz wide mouth mason jars (the short squatty kind)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Place the chocolate and butter in a large heatproof bowl and microwave in 30 second intervals, stirring after each, until melted and smooth.   Set mixture aside and let cool 10-15 minutes.  In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt.  Using a wooden spoon (don't use an electric mixer) stir the sugar into the chocolate mixture until combined.  Stir in the eggs one and a time, beating with your spoon until combined after each addition, and then beat in the vanilla.  Gently fold in the flour mixture just until no traces of flour remain; do not overmix.

Place the mason jars on a cookie sheet.  Divide the mixture evenly among the 8 jars (no need for greasing the jars) or 12 cupcake liners if you're going that route.  The jars should be about half full or a little less.  Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of the jar comes out with only a few moist crumbs attached 22-25 minutes.   Remove from oven and carefully (with a pot-holder!) transfer jars to a cooling rack.  Let jars cool till at least close to room temperature before topping with ganache.

Peppermint Ganache -
4 oz semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 C heavy cream
1/4 tsp peppermint extract

Place chocolate chips in a bowl.  Heat cream in microwave until bubbles form around the outside.  Pour in bowl over chocolate chips and immediately cover bowl with plastic wrap.  Let sit for 5 minutes, add peppermint extract and then whisk until smooth.  Let cool un-covered until thickened slightly, almost like a thin pudding.

To assemble, pour 1 1/2-2 Tbs ganache over the top of each cupcake jar.  If desired, use a paring knife to first hollow out a well in the middle of the cake.  Tilt jars to distribute ganache evenly over the top of the cake and then let cool for the ganache to set.  If storing overnight, place lids and rings on jars and leave at room temperature.

Frosting -
Use this frosting recipe (or see my post), adding peppermint extract (in addition to the vanilla extract called for) at the end by 1/4 tsp to taste.  I prefer at least 1/2 tsp.  See instructions in the above post for creating a red and white striped look.  Pipe frosting on each jar, being careful to leave room for the lid.  If desired, sprinkle on some crushed candycanes and then screw on jar lids.
Storage:  Note that just because these are in jars does not mean they are shelf stable for extended periods of time.  Also, baked goods are always best fresh, that being said, here are a few storage options.

When fully made, store with lids on at room temp for a day or two.   If made up to the ganache step (before frosting) you can screw lids on and store in the fridge for 3-4 days, then frost right before gifting.  If you'd like to fully prepare them a day or two ahead of time, I would actually reverse the filling and topping.  Core out the center of the cupcakes and fill with frosting.  Place the "cap" of the cupcake back over the hole and then top the entire top with ganache and a sprinkling of candycane.  Store at room temp for 1-2 days or refrigerated for 3-4.

▬Candy Cane Cookies▬

I know Christmas is over and I am waaay behind on posting.  But my folders are stuffed full of recipes so I figured I would get caught up and post some fun holidays treats so I don't loose them.  Here is a very yummy cookie my friend Lori gave me that the kids and I made to go along with a book called "The Legend of the Candy Cane".  Not all of ours turned out pretty and I need some practice but these are delicious:)


Candy Cane Cookies -
1 Cube butter (1/2 c.)
½ C shortening
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
2 ½ C flour
1 C powdered sugar
1 ½ tsp almond extract
1 tsp salt

1 T crushed peppermint candy (reserved for after baking)
powdered sugar for dusting

Divide dough in half.  Use ½ tsp food coloring in half.  Make a big white rope
and red rope and twist together and cut into individual portions and form in the
shape of candy cane.

Bake at 350 for about 12 minutes or until lightly browned around edges.
When out of the oven, sprinkle with powdered sugar and crushed peppermint
candies.  ENJOY!!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

{Crockpot Chicken Nachos}

My friend Sara gave this to me and my family REALLY likes it.  Your house smells so yummy while it's baking too:)

Crockpot Chicken Nachos -
2-3 large chicken breasts
1 sm bag of frozen corn or canned corn drained
1 can black beans - rinsed
1 16 oz. mild salsa
8 oz. cream cheese
Put chicken in crockpot and add corn, black beans and then pour salsa over top.  Cook on low for 4 hours.  Pull apart chicken with fork then add cream cheese and cook for another half & hour on low.  Mix together and serve on chips, sprinkled with cheese.  Enjoy!!
(Note:  she suggested you add cream cheese 2 hrs. before serving rather then hour before)

~Sugar & Honey Glaze~

I searched the internet and found this delicious glaze for ham.  My mom usually buys one already glazed but didn't for Thanksgiving so we tried this one - we LOVED it!!  We found it over at cooks.com.

Sugar & Honey Glaze -

1 c. packe brown sugar
1/2 c. honey
1/4 c. drippings from ham
1 Tbl. grated orange peel

Bake ham according to directions.  About 45 min. before it's done pour glaze over top, making sure to get down inside the meat.
We actually put an already baked Ham in a crockpot and poured the glaze over top.  We let it cook on low all day.  It was so juicy and I liked the zest from the orange.  Enjoy!!

•Cranberry-Orange Jello Salad•

Gosh it's been forever since I have posted - sorry!!
The holidays crept up and I have been sooo busy.  But I wanted to post some holiday recipes for you all.  This one we had at Thanksgiving and just recently at a family party - it was a hit.  It's a dish we serve at EVERY get together with my family because it's my dads favorite.  Yet we didn't make it with blueberry pie filling like your suppose to.  Me and my mom wanted to make it festive and add cranberry and orange.  We LOVE it!!!!

Cranberry-Orange Jello Salad -
2 c. boiling water
1 lg pkg red Jello - we prefer Raspberry
1 lg can crushed pineapple (use juice)
1 can whole berry cranberry sauce
1/2 c. orange juice
1/2 c. 7-Up
1 orange - for zesting

Dissolve Jello in boiling water then add remaining ingredients.  Zest about 1 Tbl. of the orange and stir all together.  Place in 9x13 pan and refridgerate till jello sets up.  Spread topping on top before serving.  I grated more orange zest on top for color:)  You can also top with chopped nuts.
 Topping:
8 oz. cream cheese
8 oz. sour cream
1/2 c. sugar
Beat together till smooth. 

If you prefer to make the blueberry version just add blueberry pie filling instead of cranberries.  Omit the orange juice and use 1 c. 7Up instead and don't use orange zest.  ENJOY!!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Baked Pumpkin French Toast

I think we are gonna have to have this for breakfast in the morning....mmmmmm!!!!
(thanks to dana-made-it.com)

Bread+Eggs+Pumpkin
This is adaptation of my favorite Overnight Caramel French Toast recipe from Cooking Light. I've been using the recipe for years and it comes out perfect every time. And better yet, the recipe has only 2 eggs and uses lowfat milk (no heavy cream). So you don't have to feel quite as guilty for indulging, just slightly guilty.
I gave the recipe a holiday twist by adding pumpkin and spices and you know what, I may like this version every better. With all that goey caramel goodness on the bottom, what's not to like?
Here you go!

Baked Pumpkin French Toast
1 loaf french bread

2 1/2 cups lowfat milk
1 Tbl flour
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 Tbl sugar
3/4 cup pumpkin puree (canned or fresh)
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp cloves
1/4 tsp salt
2 large eggs

1 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup light-colored corn syrup
1/4 cup butter (half a stick)

2 Tbl sugar
1 tsp Cinnamon

Cut the bread loaf into thick slices.
Combine and whisk the next set of ingredients from the milk down to the eggs.
In a saucepan, combine the butter, corn syrup, and brown sugar. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly till bubbly (about 5 minutes)
Grease a 9x13 pan (I chose an oval dish) and you're ready to combine all the ingredients.
Pour the caramel mixture in the bottom of the pan:
Place the bread slices, in a single layer over the caramel syrup. Squish them in; it's okay to crowd.
Pour the milk/egg/pumpkin mixture over the top.
It may seem like a lot of liquid but most of it will soak up over night. And don't worry about splotches of pumpkin that settle as well. It will all be yummy goodness when you're done.
Place plastic wrap over the top and refrigerate for 8 hours or overnight.
When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Remove plastic wrap and sprinkle Cinnamon/Sugar mixture over the top (2 Tbl sugar, 1 tsp cinnamon).

Bake for 50 minutes and let it stand for 5 minutes before serving. It will be big a puffy at first and slowly settle down.
Pour syrup over the top and serve!


And no surprise....but it tastes even better with cool whip too. YUM. My favorite pumpkin recipe to date? I think so!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

{Cinnamon Toasted Pumpkin Seeds}

I have never been a fan of Pumpkin seeds...
Till I found THIS recipe!!  Boy oh boy are they tasty!!!!

Cinnamon Toasted Pumpkin Seeds -

1 cup raw pumpkin seeds
1 Tblsp. butter, melted
2 tsp. granulated sugar
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
kosher salt

1. Preheat oven to 275 F
2. Wash pumpkin seeds by rinsing in a colander until the water runs clear, picking out any remaining pieces of pumpkin. Drain well and spread out on a cookie sheet and pat dry with a paper towel.
3. Pile pumpkin seeds on the cookie sheet and drizzle melted butter over the pile of seeds and sprinkle on the sugar, cinnamon and a pinch or two of kosher salt.
4. Gently toss seeds until evenly coated and spread the seeds out evenly on the cookie sheet.
5. Bake in 275 F oven for approximately 30 minutes or until lightly toasted, stirring seeds every 10 minutes and checking for doneness each time.
6. Remove from oven and let the seeds cool for a few minutes.
7. Remove seeds from cookie sheet and serve!

Chances are there won't be any leftovers, but if there are, store seeds in an airtight container for a few days to preserve freshness.
Enjoy! :)

-Pepperoni Poppers-

I found this new cooking blog from Celeste's friend called THE PIE HOLE!  On there she posted a yummy recipe for these cute little things.  She suggested they looked like eyeballs and to serve them for Halloween.  So we whipped up a batch and served them for lunch.  They were a HIT - we plan to make them a lot at our house:)  BTW they are so kid friendly, my daughter loved helping make these.
Pepperoni Poppers -

1 can thin crust pizza dough
4-5 pieces of string cheese
pepperoni or ham (my favorite)
ranch or marinara for dipping

Directions:
Separate the pizza dough into 15-20 small balls, around golf ball sized or a little smaller.
Cut the string cheese into 4-5 pieces and stuff into the center of each dough ball. Seal the cheese inside the ball.
Lay on greased baking sheet and press down slightly.
Place a pepperoni on top of each ball.  And an added olive for an eerie look - hehehe!!
Bake at 425 for 15-20 minutes until golden brown and cooked through

Dinner in a PUMPKIN

I was so excited when Our Family Treat posted this recipe.  I had been searching the internet for days and the ones I found didn't sound good.  But believe me when I say this one is so YUMMY!!
Only thing we did differently was add fresh green beans (Seriously check into Bountifyl Baskets in your area if it's available - they are wonderful).  And we omitted the celery, green onion and mushrooms - sorry not a fan!!  I know I am a little late getting this posted for Halloween but pumpkins are still available and this meal is great for the colder days ahead:P
Dinner in a Pumpkin -
Ingredients:

1 medium pumpkin, remove top and clean insides out
1 1/2- 2 lbs of ground beef 1 cup chopped celery
1 onion, chopped
1/4 cup green onion, chopped
3 c. cooked rice
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 can cream of mushroom soup1/2 cup chopped or sliced mushrooms (omit if you aren't a mushroom fan)
3 tablespoons brown sugar
4 tablespoons soy sauce
salt and pepper

Brown hamburger. In another pot, cook rice (white or brown) as directed on package. Chop and saute celery, onion, and green onion. Once tender combine vegetables with hamburger, cream of chicken, cream of mushroom, mushrooms, brown sugar, soy and salt and pepper. Mix well.

Put mixture inside the pumpkin, replace lid. Place on baking sheet and into a 400 degree oven. Bake until pumpkin is tender (1 1/2 to 2 hours). Scoop out to serve, scraping sides of pumpkin to get the cooked pumpkin in the mixture. It is so good it melts in your mouth!

Monday, October 25, 2010

•Oreo Truffle Surprise Cookies•

There are no words to describe how AMAZING these cookies are!
And they are HUGE!!:)  My BIL fell in love with them and I am bribing him to come visit us if I make him a whole batch just for him.  I didn't have enough regular chocolate chips so I substituted white and it made them taste very good.  ENJOY...

Oreo Truffle Surprise Cookies-
2 sticks softened butter
3/4 Cup granulated sugar
3/4 Cup packed brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 Tablespoon pure vanilla
3 1/2 Cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 Cups chocolate chips

21 Oreos
3 oz softened cream cheese

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a stand or electric mixer beat butter and sugars until well combined. Add eggs and vanilla; beat until combined.

2. Place flour, salt and baking soda into a large bowl; mix. Add to wet ingredients along with chocolate chips. Mix until just combined.

3. Place Oreos into a food processor or blender, mix until finely ground. Place into a bowl and mix with cream cheese until dough forms. Take 1 Tablespoon of dough and roll into a ball. Continue until all dough has been rolled, you should get 36 balls, enough for all of the cookie dough.

4. With a large cookie scoop, scoop dough onto a silpat or parchment lined baking sheet. Press a little hole into center of dough and put Oreo Truffle inside, cover cookie dough around Oreo Truffle so it’s hidden in the middle. Bake for 13-15 minutes or until edges of cookies just begin to turn golden brown. Remove and let cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to cooling rack. Now…..eat up!!
 I think I found this recipe over at Picky Palate - great blog - GREAT recipes;)

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

The Best Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies Ever!!

Another Fall favorite of mine is pumpkin chocolate chip cookies and bread.  Mmmm!!  So I searched the internet for a REALLY good recipe and once again I found a great one at Allrecipes.com:)  My husband is requesting them for work and my daughter even wants to take some to her teacher at school...guess they are a hit at our house!!!!
The Best Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies Ever!
Courtesy of AllRecipes.com

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F

1 c. granulated sugar
1 c. pumpkin
1/2 c. oil (corn or canola - not olive)
Beat these three together.

Add one egg

2 c. flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1. tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. salt
sift these four together

1 tsp. baking soda, dissolved in 1 tsp. milk
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 c. chocolate chip cookies

Beat sugar, pumpkin, and oil with electric mixer. Add egg, beat.

Add sifted ingredients to pumpkin mixture.

Stir with baking soda/milk mixture. Add vanilla extract and chocolate chips. Stir (not mix).

Drop by tsp. onto ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 350 degrees F for 8-10 minutes.
Yields 3 1/2 dozen.
(I like these cookies to be really moist. To accomplish this, after cooling, store cookies in plastic containers overnight. This makes them soft; yummy. If you like a harder cookie, you can store them in a cookie jar or box after cooling.)

Monday, October 11, 2010

○YuMmY Caramel Apples○

I LOVE Fall especially the treats...so we made some homemade caramel apples the other night...
Dipped in white chocolate and regular chocolate.  Sprinkled with nuts, orange sprinkles and my ABSOLUTE favorite cinnamon sugar!!  Other toppings M&M's, crushed Oreo's, chopped candy bars, coconut, marshmallows & nuts (Rocky Road style), toffee, etc.
Our family creations...mmmm!!
I learned this year that GREEN APPLES work the BEST and the tart with the sweet makes them even better!!!!


Easiest Caramel --
32 caramels unwrapped
5 Tbl. evaporated milk
Melt caramels and milk in saucepan on low.  Cool slightly and dip apples.

Easy Caramel --
1 lb. butter
2 cups sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. salt
Cook on medium heat stirring continually, to the hard ball stage with your candy therm. (about 4-5 min).  Cool slightly and dip apples.

Creamy Caramel --
1 cup butter
2 cups sugar (white)
1 cup Karo syrup
1 can sweetened condensed milk
Cook first 3 ing. over medium heat to softball stage stirring constantly.  Then add can milk and cook to hard ball stage.  Pour into buttered dish and cool until ready to use.  Do Not put in fridge.

TIPS that I learned --
Place wax paper on cookie sheet, wash & dry Granny Smith apples, and put sticks in them.  Roll apples in caramel, wipe bottom quarter and excess with a butter knife, set on cookie sheet.  Repeat.  Once cookie sheet is full, put in fridge to cool completely before dipping in chocolate/decorating them.  Or you can even make them the night before.  Roll them in chocolate that is not too hot, then sprinkle immediately in desired toppings.  Set back on wax paper and refridgerate.  After cooled cut into wedges from the stem (like a pie) and ENJOY!!

AND here is a recipe I found today...

Honey Caramel Apples --
Recipe by Our Best Bites, inspired by Everyday Magazine

4 large (or 6 small) crisp apples, chilled in the fridge for at least 1 hour
1 Cup honey
1 Cup heavy cream
1 pinch salt (about 1/4 teaspoon)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
In a heavy sauce pan over medium heat, combine cream, honey, and salt. Once warmed and whisked together, bring to a rolling boil. Reduce heat to a simmer (it should still be bubbling, but not so hot that is splatters all over). Stir and scrape sides of pot down occasionally until a candy thermometer (you should all have one by now--they cost about 3 bucks!) reaches 260 degrees.

To reach 260 degrees can take about 30 minutes, so while your caramel is cooking prepare your apples. Wash and dry them and skewer them with a popsicle stick or bamboo skewer. Place in the fridge to continue chilling until ready to use. Also line a baking sheet or cutting board with waxed paper or parchment paper and set aside.

When caramel has reached 260 degrees, remove from heat and let sit for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. It should start thickening. You'll have to eyeball the consistency for dipping. If you'd like to help it along you can place your pot in a bowl of ice. And if it gets too hard to coat the apples, just return it to the heat until it's thin again.

Remove apples from fridge and dry them thoroughly with a towel. Dip in caramel, rolling and twirling each one so it gets well coated. Let excess drip off and then place on prepared sheet. Refrigerate for 10-20 minutes to set the caramel and then enjoy!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Honeyed Banana Berry Cake Cookies

I found this recipe over at Picky Palate and after heading to Costco to get the blueberries we finally made them this week:)  DO NOT forget to grease your pan or use parchment paper while baking these...mine stuck to my very non-stick pan horribly.  BUT they were yummy and Dalt thought they tasted like pancakes so next time we will have them for breakfast:)

Berry Good Cookies:
 1 box yellow cake mix
4 large banana's mashed
3/4 c. dried blueberries
4 TBL creamed honey or 2 TBL regular honey
Mix all ingredients.  Drop by spoon full onto cookie sheet.  Bake at 350* for 11-15 minutes.
ENJOY!!

•Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars•

School started and I feel like our lives have been crazy.  Plus I have made Cake Pops/Bites for the past three weeks so I haven't done anything very creative in the cooking/baking department:)  But I have this amazing neighbor that loves to spoil us with all of her yummy goodies every once and a while and last week she brought us these.  I called her up to get the recipe and she told me it was off of a can of Crisco or off the package of chocolate chips - funny huh!!  Because they were SO good:)  Also her daughter didn't want to wait to keep baking the cookies so she made them into bars.  Wow I don't know if I will make "cookies" again, this was so easy!!!!

Cookie Bars:
1 c. butter
3/4 c. brown sugar
1/2 c. sugar
1 egg
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp baking soda
2 1/4 c. flour
1 pkg chocolate chips

Cream sugars with butter, beat in egg, add dry ingredients and stir in chocolate chips.  Press into greased baking sheet and bake at 375* for 10 minutes.  Cool and cut into bars.
ENJOY!!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Monkey Bread!

For our first day of school we decided to make a fun, yummy breakfast.  My mom makes this A LOT for her Seminary students and it's VERY easy.  I know you probably have had it but this is our version and it's good AND great to make the night before!! 
So now it's our new Back to School tradition...

MONKEY BREAD --
24 Rhodes dinner rolls - frozen*
1/2 c. butter
1/2 c brown sugar
1 sm. pkg butterscotch pudding - the kind you cook not instant
4 tsp. cinnamon

Melt butter, sugar, pudding and cinnamon in saucepan till dissolved - don't cook longer.  Place rolls in bottom of greased bundt pan and pour mixture over.  Cover and leave out on counter over night to rise.
Preheat oven to 350* and bake for 30 minutes.

*I accidentally bought Texas Rolls so I just added about 14-16 rolls to the pan and it definitely rose too high and didn't coat them very well.  BUT they sure tasted YUMMY!!!!   Just an FYI:)
EMJOY!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

-- Give Me S'more Cupcakes --

I have seen S'more Cupcakes all over the Internet. 
And I wanted to make a fun end of Summer treat for the kids so...
Since we had left over big marshmallows, Hershey bars and graham crackers from our Summer S'more making I decided to whip up a batch.
I had just gotten a new tin full of A.M.A.Z.I.N.G. recipes from Amazon (check it out HERE).  Inside was a recipe that sounded very yummy and quick.  Let me just say it's one I am going to make A LOT!!

Give Me S'more Cupcakes --
2 c. graham cracker crumbs
1/3 c. sugar
1/3 c. mini semisweet chocolate chips
2 tsp. baking powder
3/4 c. milk
1 egg
24 milk chocolate candy kisses, unwrapped*
2 c. mini marshmallows*

Preheat oven to 350*.  Line 24 mini muffin cups with paper baking cups (I bought mine HERE).
Combine graham cracker crumbs, sugar, chocolate chips and baking powder in medium bowl.  Whisk milk and egg in small bowl; stir into crumb mixture until well blended.  Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups, filling about half full.  Press chocolate kiss into center of each cup.  Press 4 marshmallows into top of each cupcake around chocolate kiss.
Bake 10-12 minutes or until marshmallows are lightly browned.  Cool. 
ENJOY!!

*We used the Hershey bars and big marshmallows cut into four small pieces instead.  Doesn't look as pretty as the picture but sure tasted good:)

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Yummy Salads --

My Aunt Linda gave my mom this really yummy and fun recipe book a few years back called "Favorites."  It sat on my counter and I used it often.  Well Linda recently moved back to Utah and had us all at her house for my sister's Baby Shower.  At the shower, at my Baby L's Blessing and another time we went to her house she made some AMAZING chicken salads.  The recipes came from a new cookbook from the same amazing women that made the first...it's called "Keeping Up Cookbook" and you can purchase it HERE!!


Shauna Lake's Chinese Chicken Salad --
Salad:
5 c. finely shredded romaine lettuce
1 pkg oriental-flavored ramen noodles, flavor packet discarded
2 c. diced and cooked chicken
1 (11 oz.) can white shoepeg corn, drained
1 large tomato, diced
2 green onions, chopped
1/2 c. chopped unsalted dry-roasted peanuts

Dressing:
2 Tbl sugar
1 tsp salt
3/4 tsp grated fresh ginger
1/4 tsp pepper
3 Tbl white vinegar
1/4 c. oil

Whisk together dressing ingredients. Crumble noodles and toss with remaining salad ingredients.  Dress, toss and serve.

Chipotle Cheddar Pasta Salad --
1 pound pasta, any shape
1 (15 oz) can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 (15 oz) can sweet corn, drained
1 c crumbled feta cheese
1 (10 oz) pkg fresh pico de gallo, drained
1 c chopped cilantro
1 c diced red pepper
1 c grated carrots
1 c diced cucumber, peeled and seeded
2 ripe avocados, diced

1 lime, halved
1/2 (12 oz) bottle Brianna's Chipotle Cheddar dressing

Cook pasta in salted water, according to directions.  Drain and run under cold water.  Set aside.

Toss together beans, corn, feta, and remaining salad ingredients.  Squeeze 1/2 lime over the top and cut remaining 1/2 lime into wedges for serving.  Add cooled pasta and toss with enough dressing to coat.  Chill until ready to serve.  Before serving, toss with more dressing, as desired (pasta will absorb dressing as it sits).  Serve with lime wedges.
Enjoy!!