Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Artichoke Dip Bites

This is a super easy and fun appetizer. When I served these at a get together with friends they were gone in a flash. You could also try putting spinach in for a spinach and artichoke dip taste, but I like just plain artichoke dip the best.

Artichoke Dip Bites

1 pkg cream cheese (8 oz)
1 cup mayo
1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese
1/2 cup shredded mozzerella cheese
1 can artichoke hearts, chopped
1 tbsp Basil
1 tbsp parsley
2 cloves garlic, minced
Wonton Wrappers

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly coat mini-muffin tins with cooking spray.

Mix cream cheese, artichokes, cheeses, mayo, garlic, basil, and parsley in a medium sized bowl.

Line prepared mini-muffin pan with wonton wrappers, lightly pressing into place to form a cup. Using a small spoon, fill each cup with mixture almost to the top.
Bake for 8-10 minutes, until edges are browned and crisp and the filling is hot and melty. Let cool for about 5 minutes before serving.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Back to School Cupcakes

  1. I saw this cute idea on the Family Fun website and decided to make it for my kids as a surprise when they got home from their first day of school. It was super easy and my kids LOVED it. They thought it was the coolest thing ever. We also gave some to their friends that live next door and I put one in their lunches the next day. Family Fun has such good ideas that are always easy and successful.

    Back to School Cupcakes

    Yellow, whtie, and green frosting

    chocolate covered grahm cookies

    red skittles or other candy

    white good & plenty candies (I used white tic tacs)

    Cover the cupcakes with yellow frosting and allow them to sit for an hour before decorating. Dab each red Skittle or M&M with a bit of green frosting for the apple's leaf, then set them aside.

  2. Put a tablespoon or two of white frosting into a small plastic bag for piping. Cut a very small hole in a corner of the bag, twist the top of the bag closed, and secure it with a rubber band or twist tie. Piping the frosting gently out of the hole, write messages on the chocolate-covered graham crackers. Leave space at the bottom of the cookie, where it'll be stuck into the cupcake.

  3. Cut a groove in the cupcake's frosting with a knife, then fit a blackboard into the groove. Add one Skittle or M&M apple and a piece of Good & Plenty chalk, as shown.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Cookies and Cream Cheesecake Bites

Oreos and cheesecake... Is there anything better? These were divine. I gave most of them away because I knew I would sit and eat them all if they were left sitting on my counter. I liked that they were simple but impressive. The recipe is from Martha Stewart's Cupcakes.

Cookies & Cream Cheesecake Bites

  • 42 cream-filled sandwich cookies, such as Oreos, 30 left whole, and 12 coarsely chopped
  • 2 pounds cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 4 large eggs, room temperature, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • Pinch of salt
1. Preheat oven to 275 degrees. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners. Place 1 whole cookie in the bottom of each lined cup.

2. With an electric mixer on medium high speed, beat cream cheese until smooth, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Gradually add sugar, and beat until combined. Beat in vanilla.

3. Drizzle in eggs, a bit at a time, beating to combine and scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Beat in sour cream and salt. Stir in chopped cookies by hand.

4. Divide batter evenly among cookie-lined cups, filling each almost to the top. Bake, rotating pan halfway through, until filling is set, about 22 minutes. Transfer to wire racks to cool completely. Refrigerate at least 4 hours (or up to overnight). Remove from tins just before serving.

Monday, August 22, 2011

A Fun Lunch

We had a ton of leftover grilled chicken from a family BBQ, and I decided to use it the next day in kebabs for the kids. I just used what I had on hand which was cheddar cheese, string cheese, the chicken, and pepperoni. It was such a HUGE hit with the kids that I wanted to put it in my recipe book (this blog) to remember. The kids loved it so much and I enjoyed it also. It's a great twist on lunch and so easy!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Strawberry and Cream Cookies

When I first saw this recipe on Tasty Kitchen, it looked so interesting that I knew I needed to make them. The texture was really smooth and quite unlike any cookie I've ever tasted. After tasting the first one out of the oven, I wasn't blown away, but thought it was pretty good. But then I found that I couldn't stop eating them... especially with the dusting of powdered sugar. It's a deadly recipe. Secretly addicting you to the strawberry creamness. We loved them!

Strawberry and Cream Cookies

  • 1 package (8 Oz. Package) Cream Cheese, Room Temperature
  • ½ cups Butter, Room Temperature
  • 1 whole Egg
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • 1 package (18.25 Oz.) Strawberry Boxed Cake Mix
  • ½ cups Powdered Sugar

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.

In a large bowl with an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and butter until smooth. Beat in the egg. Mix in the vanilla extract. Lastly, mix in the cake mix until thoroughly incorporated.

Cover bowl and refrigerate for 2 hours.

Roll the chilled batter into 1″ sized balls and then roll them in powdered sugar. Place on an ungreased cookie sheet, 2 inches apart. Bake 12 minutes. The cookies will remain soft and gooey.

Cool completely and sprinkle with more Powdered sugar.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Egg & Cheese Muffin and an easy idea for back to school breakfast

I love making egg, chesse, and sausage muffins for breakfast, but I rarely do just because it's time consuming. I'm going to share with you an easy way of doing it, plus a way to make breakfast quick and easy during the school year! Yay!

Okay, first... the secret to a perfectly round egg that sits on your English Muffin just right is to bake them in a cupcake tin. So easy! Don't forget to rub a little bit of butter in the muffin tins or spray with cooking spray. It only takes about 10 -15 minutes to bake. I like to cook the yolk hard when I make them for freezing and a little softer if we are eating them right away.
While your eggs are cooking, cook up some sausage or bacon and slice or shred some cheese. You can toast your English Muffins on a cookie sheet while the eggs are cooking. Two birds with one stone... Nice!
Okay, now you have all your yummies, so it's time to assemble. It's pretty simple. Just stick your egg on the bottam half of your muffin and stack on whatever else you want. I always do a few of just egg and cheese because one of my daughters doesn't like sausage. Also, try and use a multi grain English Muffin. In a sandwhich like this, you can't taste any difference and it's a bit healthier. If you want to eat them after assembling, pop them back in the oven for a few minutes to melt the cheese.
To freeze to use for an easy, quick breakfast later, stick the muffins on a baking sheet and put them in the freezer, uncovered and unwrapped. Leave them in there for about an hour. This gives them a chance to give off some moisture and freeze a bit. If you were to wrap them up right away then there would be some liquid that would condense. Not good.

But don’t forget about them or they’ll get freezer burned. Pull them out after an hour or so and wrap them individually in plastic wrap or foil and then store them in a freezer safe plastic bag. They will keep for a few weeks without a problem. I've kept them up to a month and they have still tasted great.
Simple, Easy, tasty, and you'll love yourself later when you can pull them out for an easy breakfast.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Hot & Sweet Drumsticks

Recently, a couple friends and I started doing menu planning together. We each come up with 2 recipes (for a 2 week time period) in different genres and then rotate the genres every 2 weeks. It's been phenonemal having 3 dinners a week planned out and ready to go. It really does help with the chaos of every day life. This little gem came from Tasty Kitchen. We loved it! My kids love eating drumsticks, and this was a different twist than how I normally make them. We ate every last drumstick.

Hot & Sweet Drumsticks
  • 1 cup Apricot Preserves
  • ½ cups Ketchup
  • ¼ cups Soy Sauce
  • 2 teaspoons Minced Garlic
  • 2 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.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Chicken Provolone Roll Ups

I always love a good chicken recipe, and this one definitely didn't disappoint. It was very moist, and the cheese really sealed the deal for me. I should have made more because my husband was upset that it was all gone and he wanted more to take for lunch. Definitely a keeper for us!
*From Miranda's Kitchen

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 8oz bottle Italian dressing
1 cup Italian bread crumbs
8 T parmesan cheese
8 slices Provolone cheese

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Place chicken breast, one at a time, in a plastic bag and pound thin. Mix bread crumbs and parmesan cheese together and set aside. Put Italian dressing in a large bowl. Place 2 pieces of cheese on thin chicken and roll-up. Dip in Italian dressing and then in bread crumbs and parmesan cheese. If necessary, to keep from unrolling, place a toothpick in each chicken breast. Bake 25-30 minutes until golden brown. Let stand 5-10 minutes before serving.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Cake Batter Pancakes

These fun pancakes would be perfect for a birthday, but we like to make them quite often. They are delicious and such a fun way to start the day. You just can't be grumpy when you begin the day with sprinkles.

Cake Batter Pancakes

  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup yellow cake mix
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1-2 cups milk
  • assorted sprinkles

Combine flour, cake mix, baking powder, sugar and salt in a bowl and mix. Add 1 cup of milk, egg and vanilla extract and stir until smooth. You want the batter to look like regular pancake batter; not too thin, not too thick. This will vary greatly on the brand of cake mix you use. Start with 1 cup of milk and add more if needed. I suggest a small taste test as well to see if the pancakes are flavored enough.

Preheat a skillet on medium heat (or an electric grilled and turn it to 250 degrees). Fold desired amount of sprinkles into batter. Pour batter in 1/4 cup measurements onto skillet and let cook until bubbles form on top, about 2-3 minutes. Flip and cook for 1 minute more. Serve with vanilla glaze.

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 tablespoon milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • assorted sprinkles
Mix milk, extract and powdered sugar until glaze forms. You may need to add a little more sugar or water/milk to reach desired consistency. Mix into glaze and drizzle on pancakes. (I doubled the glaze recipe)

*Recipe from Chef in Training