Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Caterpillar Snacks!

In the summer, I try to come up with creative ideas for healthy snacks because if my kids are the tiniest bit bored, they think they are hungry, and of course they just want candy and sweet treats, nothing healthy. I came up with this caterpillar idea one day, and my kids just love it!! They ask for it all the time. They especially like to help me assemble the caterpillars. Sometimes, I'll let them decorate their caterpillars with mini marshmellows or sprinkles for an extra special treat.
Caterpillar Snacks
1 Apple (sliced)
1 Banana (sliced)
About 2 tbsp peanut butter
Mini marshmellows and sprinkles optional

Slice your apple and banana and using the peanut butter stick them together alternating between banana and apple. Stick on raisins for eyes using the peanut butter. You could also put rainsins on the banana and apple body making spots.
Watch your children's eyes light up with pleasure!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

White Chocolate Chip Macadamia Nut Blondies

Wow, that's a mouthful... literally. ;) My husband's favorite cookie is White Chocolate Chip Macadamia Nut, so when I found the recipe for blondies, I knew I couldn't go wrong. They were a snap to make, and wonderfully soft and delicious. You can change the size of the pan to bake them in, making them thicker or thinner, depends on how you like your blondies.
Now... let's all say White Chocolate Chip Macadamia Nut Blondies 3 times as fast as you can. ;)

White Chocolate Chip Macadamia Nut Blondies

1 cup butter, at room temperature (2 sticks of the real stuff)
1 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
2 eggs
1 tablespoons vanilla extract
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 cups white chocolate chips
1 cup macadamia nuts, toasted and rough chopped (see note below)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Place butter and sugars in the bowl and cream until smooth.
Add the eggs and vanilla extract and mix until smooth.
Mix theflour and baking powder together in a separate bowl.
Slowly add the flour mixture to the batter and mix until a dough is formed.
Fold the chips and nuts into the dough.
Once the dough is blended, grease a 9"x13" pand and pour the batter in. Place in the preheated 350 degree oven.
Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until set.

To toast macadamia nuts : Spread nuts in a single layer on a baking sheet. Place in 400-degree F. oven. Toast until golden (about 5 to 7 minutes) stirring half way through.
*Recipe adapted from AllRecipes.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Nutella Icecream

Time for some yummy summer treats! Anyone who knows me, knows that I am a nutella lover. I could eat it by the spoonful. Mmmmm.... When I came across this recipe for Nutella icecream, I knew it was a match made in heaven! It was delicious, but I think next time I will try adding in some cocoa powder to give it a more chocolatey flavor or maybe chopped chocolate chips... the possibilities are endless.
Nutella Ice Cream
1 cup nutella
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 cup whole milk
1 – 1/3 cups heavy cream
2 tsp vanilla extract
Combine the Nutella and sugar until smooth. Add the milk. Blend on low speed until smooth and the sugar is dissolved. Stir in the heavy cream and the vanilla.
Place in your ice cream maker and let it run for 20-25 minutes. Let it sit in a freezer overnight.
*Recipe and picture courtesy of Carrie's Sweet Life. I couldn't wait long enough to take a picture, I was too busy devouring it. ;)

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Sun Dried Tomato Chicken Roll ups and AWARD

If there is one thing that I absolutely love, it's sun dried tomatoes. This recipe was surprisingly simple and delicious. And I'm always looking for recipes with sun dried tomatoes... I just have a thing for them. Can't get enough! I found it over at Gianina Cucina. I also received an unexpected but very pleasant surprise this week: My first award! Wow, that was totally unexpected.


2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup seasoned bread crumbs
1 1/2 cups ricotta cheese
1 cup oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, drained and chopped
8 chicken breast cutlets (1 1/2 pounds) (or 2-3 chicken breasts, cut and pounded thin)
1/2 lb. deli-sliced provolone cheese
1/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Position a rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat to 400 degrees.
Cover a rimmed baking sheet with foil and grease the foil.
Place the beaten eggs and bread crumbs into separate shallow bowls. In another bowl, mix the ricotta and sun-dried tomatoes.
Dip the chicken cutlets into the egg, then coat with the bread crumbs and place on a work surface. Place a slice of provolone and a heaping tbsp. of ricotta mixture on each cutlet. Roll up and secure with toothpicks.
Place the chicken roll-ups side by side on the prepared baking sheet and drizzle with the olive oil. Bake until the chicken is golden and the cheese is bubbling, about 20 minutes. Enjoy!

Allison at Dinner At Our House gave me this award, and I'm tickled pink to pass it on. I'm supposed to pass it on to 15 blogs that I've recently discovered. I'm passing it to:

1. Gianina Cucina

2. Miranda's Recipes

3. My Sister's Cucina

4. Carrie's Sweet Life

5. Birthday Nurse

6. The Story of a princess and her hair

7. Komfy Kountry Krafts

8. Taste and Tell

9. Satisfying My Sweet Tooth

Technically I'm supposed to pass it on to 15 people, but 9 will have to do.

Thanks Allison!!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Pretty Layered Jello

It's the season for treats and salads that cool you off. This is one of my favorites. It's not a hard recipe, but it requires a day in advance. You have to let each layer set up before adding the next to achieve that oh so pretty and impressive look. I forgot to take a picture of mine, but I found this picture on Cafe Zupas. So pretty!

2 1/2 c boiling water (per packet)
4 - 6 oz. packets of various jell-o flavors and colors (strawberry, blue rasberry, orange, grape)
4 oz. sour cream
4 oz. cream cheese
2 Tubs Cool Whip
Place 9×13 glass baking dish in refrigerator on level surface for at least 20 minutes or until completely chilled.
Whip the sour cream and cream cheese together until well combined in a large bowl. Add in the cool whip, whisking until smooth. Set aside.
In another bowl combine one packet of jell-o with 2 1/2 cups boiling water, let it cool slightly, about 10 minutes. Pour 1 1/2 cup of the jell-o into the chilled baking dish making sure it covers the entire bottom and place back in the refrigerator until when you touch it, it is mostly set. With the remaining 1 cup of jell-o whisk in 3 - 4 Tablespoons of the cheese/cool whip mixture until smooth. Pour the jell-o/whip mixture on top of the set jell-o layer. Repeat for each flavor of jell-o making sure each layer is set before adding another (about 15 minutes).
Tips:Make sure that each layer is set well enough (it’s pretty much solid to the touch) before adding on a new layer.
Don’t forget to let the newly mixed jell-o & boiling water cool before you add the next layer on, if not it will melt the other layers and things will get all kooky with layers between, separated and to the sides of each other.
Once you get into the rhythm of making the layers, it becomes quite easy. You’ll be setting one jell-o layer in the fridge, while the next flavor is cooling.
Sometimes I spread the top with Cool Whip before serving... and sometimes I don't. Whatever makes you happy.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Triple Chip Cookie Bars (the easy way)

We've been so busy this summer, that I've seriously slacked in the kitchen area. But I have some recipes lined up that I've been wanting to try, so hopefully I'll get back on track soon!!

Here is a great go-to recipe that is very quick and easy. It is perfect to take to a last minute BBQ, get together, or bake sale. And let's face it, you just can't go wrong with cookies and 3 types of chocolate chips. Mmmmm....

Triple Chip Cookie Bars (Cake Mix Cookie Bars)

1 Box Cake mix (I like to use yellow or white)
1 Egg
1/2 cup Oil
1/4 cup Water
1/4 cup chocolate chips
1/4 cup butterscotch chips
1/4 cup white chocolate chips

Mix cake mix, egg, oil and water in a bowl until almost all the lumps are gone.
Add the 3 different chips.
Bake in a greased 9 X 13 pan at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes.
Cool and cut into squares.

If you have the time, you can melt 1/4 cup chocolate chips with a teaspoon of water or crisco and drizzle over the top. It makes them look pretty... ;)

See? What did I tell you... Easy peasy. It's also a great recipe to have kids help in the kitchen.