Sunday, December 30, 2012

Snow Cream

 We've had a lot of snow the past week, so it was the perfect opportunity to make snow ice cream or as we call it, snow cream! It's so delicious, and my kids just can't get enough.

10 cups fresh snow
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 tsp vanilla

Mix it all up until it comes together and is creamy. Serve with your favorite toppings and sprinkles. So hard, right?

This sweet little treat is what has kept me busy this December. Hopefully I'll be back to cooking and baking and posting soon.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Chocolate Chip Caramel Cookie Bars

Well, I failed again at taking pictures of all my Thanksgiving deliciousness that I made this year. I was determined to get some of my Thanksgiving recipes up on my blog this time, but it was absolute chaos and madness at my house and I failed to get even one picture of the food. The turkey, sweet potatoe casserole, banana cream pie, chocolate cream pie... oh yes, I made it all from scratch and it was all divine.
Anyway, all is not lost. The week before Thanksgiving I made these delicious little bars and loved them. They are easy peasy, and incredibly delicious. They hold up well in my kids' lunches and I had them more than once for a late night snack. 

Chocolate Chip Caramel Cookie Bars

4 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 cups butter, melted and cooled to room temperature
2 cup light brown sugar
1  cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 large egg yolks
4 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 cups chocolate chips
1 bag caramel candy squares, unwrapped
4 tablespoons heavy cream


1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Spray a 11 x 13 inch pan with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, salt, and baking soda. Set aside.
3. In the bowl of a stand mixer, mix the melted butter and sugars together until combined. Add the egg, egg yolk, and vanilla extract and mix until smooth. Slowly add the dry ingredients and mix on low, just until combined. Stir in the chocolate chips.
4. In a large microwave safe bowl, combine the caramels and heavy cream. Microwave caramels on High until caramels are melted, stirring every 20 seconds. This will take about 2 minutes, depending on your microwave.
5. Divide the cookie dough in half. Press half of the cookie dough into the prepared pan, smoothing the top with the spatula. Pour hot caramel over the cookie dough. Drop spoonfuls of cookie dough over the caramel and spread dough with a spatula until the caramel is covered. 
6.Bake cookie bars for 30 minutes or until the top of the bars are light golden brown and the edges start to pull away from the pan. Cool bars on a wire rack to room temperature. Cut bars into squares and serve.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Fluffy French Toast

I love french toast, but I have problems every time I have made it. It's either soggy or doesn't have enough flavor. I was determined to find a recipe that was easy for me, but also tasty and delicious. I found just the one on All Recipes. I have since made this 3 or 4 times and it is delicious. Every last piece gets eaten. I love breakfast and I especially love breakfast for dinner. Yay for more yummy breakfast recipes!

Fluffy French Toast

1/4 cup all purpose flour
1 cup milk
1 pinch salt
3 eggs
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp white sugar
12 slices of thick bread

  1. Measure flour into a large mixing bowl. Slowly whisk in the milk. Whisk in the salt, eggs, cinnamon, vanilla extract and sugar until smooth.
  2. Heat a lightly oiled griddle or frying pan over medium heat.
  3. Soak bread slices in mixture until saturated. Cook bread on each side until golden brown. Serve hot.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Pumpkin Pretzels

This is one of the simplest recipes ever... not even a real recipe. But I liked them so much that I knew I needed to get it in my "recipe book". (AKA - this blog) There is just something perfect about sweet chocolate and salty pretzels together. I love how quick and easy these are and perfect for last minute treats or spur of the moment cravings. ;)

Pumpkin Pretzels

Orange Candy Melts
Green mini M&M's

Melt your candy melts in the microwave at 30 second intervals until smooth. Drop pretzels in candy melts and use a fork to coat both sides. Remove pretzels after they have been coated to wax paper. Quickly place a green M&M for the stem. The candy melts dry fast so I would drop about 5 pretzels in my bowl of melted "chocolate" and remove them all, and then place the M&M's. That seemed to work perfectly.
You could also use white chocolate tinted with orange food coloring.

Happy Halloween!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Cheesy Vegetable Chowder

I've been in the mood for warm and comforting soups. It's that time of year when the chill in the air just screams for soup. Luckily, I have a vast resource of recipes through Pinterest. It's nice to never run out of ideas. This soup was especially tasty. My family slurped it up. There wasn't even any left for my hubby to take to work the next day. I will definitely double the recipe next time.

Cheesy Vegetable Chowder

2 Tablespoons butter
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 cup finely chopped carrot
1 celery stick, finely chopped (feel free to add more celery if you like celery; I don't, so I don't add much)
1 Tablespoon minced garlic
4 cups chicken broth (I usually use a mixture of low-sodium chicken broth and broth made with chicken soup base because it gives it such nice flavor)
2 large baking potatoes, peeled and chopped
1 Tablespoon flour
1/2 cup water
2/3 cup milk
2 cups chopped broccoli
2 heaping cups shredded cheddar cheese

Melt the butter in a large soup pot.  Add onions, carrots, and celery and saute over medium heat until tender.  Add garlic and cook 1 or 2 additional minutes.  Add chicken broth and potatoes, bring to a boil, and cook until potatoes are tender.  Mix flour with water, add, and simmer until soup is slightly thickened.  Add milk and broccoli and cook until broccoli is just tender and soup is heated through.  Stir in cheese, allow to melt, and serve.

*Found on Pinterest from Lulu the Baker

Friday, October 12, 2012

Berry Kiwi Summer Salsa with Cinnamon Sugar Chips

I made this delightful little salsa 10 or more times this summer. It quickly became my family's favorite. My husband loved it so much, he didn't want to share with any of us! And I made it so often that soon, I figured out my 10 year old could make the Cinnamon Chips while I made the salsa. It went a lot faster that way!! Definitely get a kitchen helper to move things along in the kitchen. I love my little helpers. 
This was my favorite new recipe of the summer and I'm sure we'll be making it well into winter too. It's so delicious, we just can't stop eating it.

Berry Kiwi Summer Salsa
2 kiwis chopped
2-3 firm, tart apples chopped
2 cups strawberries chopped
1 cup fresh or frozen raspberries (I always use frozen)
1 TB granulated sugar
2 TB brown sugar
2 TB your favorite jam (homemade works best)
1 TB cream of coconut (optional)
Chop the kiwis, apples, and strawberries into small chunks about like this:
Combine with raspberries in a large mixing bowl.  Add sugars and jam.  I also like to add a little cream of coconut for some island flare.  You can usually find it in the ethnic foods section or the alcohol mixers section.  Lemon or orange zest is a good addition as well.

Cinnamon Sugar Tortilla Chips
8-10 flour tortillas
1/2 cup melted butter
1 cup granulated sugar mixed with 1-2 TB of cinnamon (depending on how “cinnamon-y” you like it)
Lay tortillas on large cookie sheets.  You may want to put tinfoil down first for easier clean-up.  Brush both sides of the tortillas with melted butter.  Sprinkle both sides with cinnamon and sugar mixture.
Using a pizza cutter, cut tortillas into strips or triangles.  Bake at 375 degrees for 8-10 minutes.  Do not over bake.  Serve with berry kiwi summer salsa.

*Found on Pinterest from How Does She

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Sausage, Bean, and Pasta Soup

The weather has turned chilly and I have been in the mood for yummy soups. I have come across some yummy recipes and have been busy trying them out. We really liked this sausage one. It was filling and comforting and perfect for the crisp, cool days we have been having. We always have to have breadsticks or some type of roll or bread to dip in our soup. It's a must. Breadsticks go perfectly with this yummy soup.

Found on Pinterest from The Italian Dish

  • 1 cup dried cannellini or cellini beans or 1 15-ounce can of any beans you like, drained
  • 1 pound ground sausage, turkey or pork
  • 1/2 medium onion, diced
  • 1/2 medium carrot, diced
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil 
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 15-ounce can diced tomatoes 
  • 6 to 8 cups chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • salt and pepper 
  • 1 cup ditalini pasta, or any small pasta
  • grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese 
If using dried beans, place them in a pot, cover with cold water and let soak for several hours or overnight. Drain.
In a large pot, brown the sausage.  Remove from pot.  If there is a lot of fat left in the pot, pour this out but do not wipe out pot.  Add onion, carrot and olive oil and saute for 2-3 minutes until soft.  Add garlic and saute about a minute more.  Add the tomatoes, 6 cups of the chicken broth, thyme, bay leaf, some salt and pepper, the drained beans and the sausage and cover the pot. Cook for an hour over low heat, at a gentle simmer.
If using dried beans, check for doneness at this point.  (If using canned beans, add the pasta now.)  If the beans are not soft enough, cover the pot again and cook for another 30 minutes or until the beans are soft. Add the pasta and cook, uncovered, until the pasta is tender.  Check the seasoning and add more salt and pepper to taste.  If the soup is too thick for your liking, you can add more chicken broth.
Serve with grated cheese on top and an extra drizzle of olive oil.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Rolo Brownie Trifles

 And now for a decadent, delicious, can't get enough of dessert recipe. I feel like I haven't posted many sweets lately... and it's not that I haven't been making or eating them, that's for sure. I just keep making my old standbys and, more often than not, buying the pre packaged store made goodies. I've been really lazy lately with my huge belly and the little peanut inside taking up all my energy and motivation. 
However, I did host a Bunco night and decided to make these spectacular little trifles for dessert. I've had them pinned for awhile and knew it was time to make them. 
They were a little time consuming, but totally worth every minute!!! I had extra caramel sauce that I put in the fridge and have been using as an ice cream topping. It's so incredible. The caramel sauce is what really makes these.

Rolo Brownie Trifles
with Caramel Sauce and Chocolate Whipped Cream
Makes 1 large trifle, or 6 minis
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 rolls of Rolos Candies (about 18 candies), quartered, plus 2 1/2 more rolls, chopped (leaving one whole Rolo per trifle for garnish.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour and 8 x 8 inch glass baking dish; set aside.
In a medium bowl, combine the cocoa powder, flour, salt, and baking powder; set aside.
In a medium saucepan, melt the butter. Once melted, remove from heat and whisk in the sugar until combined.
Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Stir in the vanilla.
Whisk in the dry ingredients until combined and pour the batter into the prepared pan.
Evenly distribute the Rolos over the top of the batter.
Bake for 30 – 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out with a few crumbs clinging to it. Allow brownies to cool completely before serving or cutting into bite sized pieces.
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon corn syrup (or agave syrup)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt, crushed (optional, but I do recommend at least 1/2 teaspoon for more depth)
Place the sugar, water, and corn syrup in a small saucepan, stirring to combine. Without stirring, bring to a boil over high heat, swirling the ingredients in the pan occasionally. Continue boiling until the mixture reaches an amber color, about 10 minutes (although this varies, depending on your stove). Remove from heat and very carefully (the mixture will quickly expand and sputter) add the cream in a slow steady stream, being sure to stir constantly. Once combined, add the salt and butter and continue stirring until both are completely melted and combined. Cool to room temperature before using.
2 cups heavy cream
3 to 4 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
In a large bowl, or the bowl of a standing mixer, whip the heavy cream and cocoa powder on medium high speed until it starts to thicken. Reduce speed to low and sprinkle the sugar into the cream. Turn mixer to high and continue whipping until firm peaks form. Stir in vanilla. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
Assemble trifles: Layer the bottom of your trifle dish with whipped cream, cover with a layer of bite sized brownie pieces and some chopped Rolos, drizzle with caramel, and repeat until the bowl is filled and you’ve used all of your ingredients. Garnish with chopped Rolos, more caramel, and whole Rolos on top.

 I doubled the recipe so I had 12 mini trifles. They got rave reviews and I was really sad to see them all eaten up. I would have loved to have leftovers of these to eat the next day!! Even though it's 11:00 at night, I'm craving one of these bad boys right now. It's the best dessert I have made in a really long time!

Found on Pinterest, originally made by Bakingdom. I just love Pinterest!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Crispy Southwest Chicken Wraps

This is my new favorite meal. I can not get enough of it! I eat it for lunch and dinner almost every day. It could be because I'm pregnant... but my family seems to really like it also. I love that I can make a big batch of the filling and have it in the fridge ready to make up the wraps anytime of day or night... and I have to admit... I've made a few in the midnight hours before. Easy and delicious! My kind of recipe.

From Mel's Kitchen

Southwest Chicken Wraps

1 cup cooked rice, warm or at room temperature
1 cup cooked, shredded chicken (or other leftover meat, like shredded pork or beef)
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 green onion, finely sliced (white and green parts)
1/2 red or green pepper, diced
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
juice of 1 lime
1/2 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
2 cups shredded cheese (I use a combination of Monterey jack and sharp cheddar)
Sour cream (optional)
6 burrito-sized flour tortillas
Mix rice together with chili powder, cumin and garlic salt. Add remaining ingredients except for cheese and sour cream. Sprinkle cheese over tortillas, leaving 1/2-inch border around edges, then arrange chicken and rice mixture down the center of each tortilla. (Optional: I like to dollop little bits of sour cream over the cheese before arranging chicken and rice mixture down the center – it makes the wraps delightfully creamy.) Roll stuffed tortillas, leaving edges open and slightly flatten the wraps with the palm of your hand. Spray seam-side of the wrap lightly with cooking spray.
Heat a large non-stick skillet (or griddle) over medium heat for 1 minute. Arrange wraps, seam-side down, in pan or griddle and cook until golden brown and crisp, about 2-3 minutes per side. Cooking them seam-side down first helps seal the long edge so they don’t fall apart. Transfer to a plate and repeat with remaining wraps. Serve warm.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Zuppa Toscana

It's that time again. Time for delicious soups and warm breads. Although I am a complete summer girl and love summer best, sometimes fall is a nice change... especially since I have been sweating constantly for the past 2 months. Being pregnant in the summer is not fun! This soup was absolutely perfect. My whole family loved it. There wasn't even any leftovers for lunch the next day. Tragic, but a sure sign of success.

Zuppa Toscana

  1. 4 slices bacon, diced
  2. 1 lb ground hot Italian sausage
  3. 1 large yellow onion, diced
  4. 4 cloves garlic, minced
  5. 4 cups (32 oz) chicken stock
  6. 3 cups russet potatoes, cubed
  7. 3/4 tsp sea salt
  8. 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  9. 2 cups kale, in bite size pieces
  10. 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  11. parmesan cheese, grated
In a large pot, cook the bacon until crispy. Drain the grease. Add the sausage, breaking it apart as it cooks. Once sausage is browned and crumbled, drain off grease leaving a tbsp to saute the onion.
Push the sausage and bacon to the edge of the pot and add the onion to the center; saute until translucent; add garlic; saute until fragrant.
Stir in the stock and potatoes, season with salt and pepper, and simmer for about 20 minutes or until potatoes are tender.
Add kale and heavy whipping cream. Bring to a simmer. Top with parmesan cheese, when serving

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Mexicorn Dip

I found this delicious dip on Pinterest. I served it at a family reunion and the bowl was licked clean. A couple of weeks ago, I hosted Bunco night and made it again. I have already had 5 people request the recipe. It's definitely a keeper. It seriously is so good.

Mexicorn Dip

  • 2 cans (11 Oz. Can) Mexicorn, Drained
  • 1 can (4 Oz. Can) Chopped Green Chiles
  • 1 whole Bell Pepper, Chopped
  • 3 whole Green Onions, Chopped
  • 2 whole Jalapenos, Chopped (without Seeds)
  • 8 ounces, weight Shredded Cheddar Cheese
  • 1 cup Sour Cream
  • 1 cup Mayonnaise

Mix all together. Chill in refrigerator until ready to serve. Serve with Fritos.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Apple Toffee Dip

This is one of my favorite fruit dips of all time. It is so delicious. I could easily eat it with a spoon! I love that it's easy to throw together too. I made it for a get together I had, and someone accidentally dipped a chip in it and ate it. I laughed and said it was an apple dip, but they kept eating it with chips. So there you go... it's so good you can dip anything in it!

Apple Toffee Dip

2 - 8oz cream cheese (softened)
3/4 cups brown sugar
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 pkg heath toffee bits with chocolate

Mix everything together and refrigerate until firm. Serve with apple slices!

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Chicken Artichoke Casserole

My sister likes to send me recipe cards she finds out of magazines, and I can never resist trying them out. This recipe came from a Taste of Home magazine, and I was a tiny bit hesitant to try it just because I wasn't sure I wanted an artichoke dip flavor for a casserole dinner. I don't know, it seemed weird to me. I'm glad I decided to give it a try because it was delicious and my family slicked it right up. Yum.

Chicken Artichoke Casserole

2 cups uncooked bow tie pasta
2 cups cubed cooked chicken
1 can (14 oz) artichoke hearts, rinsed, drained, and chopped
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 cup shredded parmesan cheese
1 cup mayonnaise
1/3 cup milk (2 %)
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp pepper
1 cup onion and garlic salad croutons, coarsely crushed

Cook pasta according to package directions. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine the chicken, artichokes, soup, cheese, mayo, milk, garlic, onion powder, and pepper. Drain pasta; add to chicken mixture.
Transfer to a greased 2 qt baking dish. Sprinkle with crushed croutons. Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees for 25 - 30 minutes or until heated through.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Baked Cream Cheese Spaghetti

Another hopelessly bad picture, but at least there is a picture. I think this was leftover lunch the day after we had it. I make a lot of dishes and simply forget to snap a picture, so at least I remembered the next day with this one. It turned out to be a great dinner that was simple and a fun twist on regular spaghetti. My kids love spaghetti so I try to find different dishes that incorporate the same basic ingredients. This was another Pinterest find. Love that site!

Baked Cream Cheese Spaghetti

12 oz spaghetti
1 (28 ounce) jar prepared spaghetti sauce
1 lb lean ground beef
1 tsp Italian seasoning
1 clove garlic, minced
8 ounces cream cheese
1/2 cup parmesan cheese, grated

Preheat oven to 350 F degrees.
In a skillet, brown the ground beef until cooked through; drain fat and stir in spaghetti sauce.  Set aside.
Cook spaghetti according to directions on packet.  Drain and place cooked spaghetti in bowl.  Add cream cheese, Italian Seasoning and minced garlic.  Stir until cream cheese is melted and the spaghetti is thoroughly coated. 
Lightly grease a 9x13" pan.  Spread a small amount of meat sauce in the bottom of the dish.  Put spaghetti on top of sauce and top with remaining meat sauce.  Sprinkle parmesan cheese on top.
Bake for 30 minutes, until bubbly.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Texas Trash

This dip is so yummy and so easy! It's a great alternative to the traditional 7 Layer Dip because it cuts out a few layers and simplifies it to a cheesy goodness. Found on Pinterest, of course!

Texas Trash

1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1 cup sour cream
2 cans (16 ounces, each) refried beans
1 packet taco seasoning
2 cups cheddar cheese, shredded
2 cups monterey jack cheese, shredded

DIRECTIONS:  Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix together cream cheese and sour cream in a large bowl. Mix in refried beans until combined. Stir in taco seasoning.

Spray a 9x13 baking pan with cooking spray. Spread mixture evenly into the bottom of the baking dish. Sprinkle the top with both cheeses.

Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until cheese in melted and slightly browned. Serve with tortilla chips.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Crockpot Beef Stroganoff

I didn't grow up eating beef stroganoff like so many did, but my husband did and it's always been one of his favorites. I never remember to put it on the dinner rotation. I came across this crock pot version on Pinterest, and knew I needed to make it. It came out perfect! My husband ate 3 large helpings and all my kids licked their plates. I was surprised at how much I really enjoyed it too. It's definitely going on the dinner rotation now! I love that it's so easy!
Found on Heather's Bytes

Crock Pot Beef Stroganoff

1-2 lbs cube steak, cut into one-inch pieces
2 cans condensed golden mushroom soup (no substitutes!)
1 cup chopped onion
1 Tb Worcestershire sauce
1 14 oz can beef broth
8 oz button mushrooms, cleaned and quartered (optional)
salt and pepper to taste
4 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup sour cream
In the crockpot, combine the meat, soup, onion, Worcestershire sauce, mushrooms, salt and pepper and beef broth. Cook on low for 5-6 hours (or on high for 3). Stir in cream cheese and sour cream about half an hour before serving, stirring every ten minutes or so.
Serve over cooked egg noodles or rice.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Cowboy Dinner

I have been so bad about posting recipes lately. I have good excuses, I swear. My really good camera decided to stop working, and my little point and shoot camera completely broke. It has been torture without a camera. I finally decided on another cheap point and shoot camera, and it has been so frustrating. It seems I downgraded accidentally. So I have made quite a few things but hardly ever remember to take pictures because I hate my camera so much. And, I am 16 weeks pregnant with baby #5! Yes, that is right. So not only am I exhausted all the time, spending time in the kitchen is one of the last things I feel like doing. Hopefully, someday, I'll be back to my old self, but until then I just have to cringe at all my pictures, and pretend they aren't as bad as they really are.

Now, onto this delightful dinner. I originally found the recipe on Pinterest from Mel's Kitchen. I have changed a few things from the original recipe. It was a big hit with my entire family. We all loved it and licked our plates clean. It has become a favorite on the dinner rotation. The flavors are perfectly balanced, and it has a real home cooked, country taste to it. It reminds me of being home.

Cowboy Dinner

Beef Mixture:
2 pounds lean ground beef
1 small yellow onion, diced
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 cup frozen corn kernels or can of corn
1 1/2 cups salsa (jarred or homemade)
1 can refried beans
1 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
Cornbread Topping:
½ cup cornmeal
1 ½ cup flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1/3 cup oil
2 eggs, beaten
1 ¼ cup milk
Preheat the oven to 375. Lightly grease a 9X13-inch pan and set aside.
In a large 12-inch skillet, brown the ground beef and onion, adding the salt and pepper, over medium-high heat until the beef is no longer pink. Drain the grease from the pan. Stir in the corn, salsa, and beans. Pour the beef mixture into the prepared 9X13-inch baking pan and set aside.
For the cornbread, combine the cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl. Make a well in the center and add the oil, beaten eggs and milk. Whisk together until just moistened and no dry spots remain.
Sprinkle the cheese over the beef mixture and pour the cornbread batter over the cheese and beef mixture. Gently spread the cornbread to the edges of the pan, evening it out over the top of the casserole.
Bake for 40-45 minutes until the edges are bubbly and a toothpick inserted into the center of the cornbread comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs. Let the casserole stand for 10 minutes before serving.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Cookies and Cream Popcorn

Yes, it is another popcorn post. I just can't get enough popcorn recipes. Every time I see one on Pinterest, I have to try it out. It's also probably because popcorn is the easiest thing to make requiring no time or effort and I'm all about being lazy these days. Warning: It's addicting! This stuff is so good!

Cookies and Cream Popcorn

1 bag kettle corn or 5 -6 cups air popped popcorn
12 Oreos, crushed finely
6 oz vanilla candy melts

- Pop bag of popcorn according to package instructions. Remove any unpopped kernels.
- Mix the popcorn and crushed Oreos together until evenly distributed. (I found that most of the oreos sank to the bottom, but once I drizzled on the candy melts, it was easier to distribute.
- Melt candy melts in the microwave in 30 second intervals, mixing well in between until glossy and smooth.
- Drizzle half of the candy melts over the popcorn and use a rubber spatula to coat evenly.
- Add the rest of the candy melts and toss mixture gently for about a minute.
- Spread mixture onto a large sheet of wax paper and allow candy coating to set completely - about 20 minutes.  Store in an airtight container.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Tomato and Mozzarella Pasta al forno

Anyone who knows me, knows that I would choose pasta over anything else to eat. I just love a good pasta dish.This one was a treasure to find. Not only is it delicious, but so easy and quick. I can't wait to make it again.

Tomato and mozzarella Pasta al forno

2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, crushed
2-14 oz. cans diced Italian plum tomatoes
1 tsp. dried oregano
1 lb. pasta (tubes)
8 oz. mozzarella cheese, cubed
2/3 c. parmesan

Directions:Heat oil in skillet. Add garlic and cook over medium high heat, 1 min. Add tomatoes and oregano and simmer rapidly, stirring occasionally until thickened, 15 min. Add S&P.Meanwhile, cook pasta. Toss pasta with sauce. Place half of pasta in an oiled 9×13” dish.Cover with half parmesan and half mozzarella. Top with remaining pasta, then parmesan and mozzarella. Bake at 400° for 15 minutes.

*Found on Annies Eats

Monday, May 21, 2012

Sausage and Egg Breakfast Casserole

This was another breakfast casserole I had to make for a crowd a few weeks ago. I've since made it twice more, and it never disappoints. This one is my absolute favorite. I'm a big sausage fan, and the ingredients combine to make such a delightful experience. I could have this for breakfast every day of my life and not get tired of it. It's good stuff!

Sausage and Egg Breakfast Casserole

3/4 pound ground pork sausage
1 tablespoon butter
4 green onions, chopped
1/2 pound fresh mushrooms, sliced
10 eggs, beaten
1 (16 ounce) container low-fat cottage cheese
1 pound Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
2 (4 ounce) cans diced green chile peppers, drained
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup butter, melted

Place sausage in a large, deep skillet. Cook over medium-high heat until evenly brown. Drain, and set aside. Melt butter in skillet, and cook and stir the green onions and mushrooms until tender.
In a large bowl, mix the eggs, cottage cheese, Monterey Jack cheese, and chiles. Stir in the sausage, green onions, and mushrooms. Cover, and refrigerate overnight.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease a 9x13 inch baking dish.
In a bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Blend in the melted butter. Stir the flour mixture into the egg mixture. Pour into the prepared baking dish.
Bake 40 to 50 minutes in the preheated oven, or until lightly brown. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Cajun Chicken Pasta

I really wish I could take a decent picture of food... it's on my long list of things to do... learn to take good food pictures. But until then, just imagine that the picture is succulent, decadent, absolutely mouthwatering because this dish was all that and more. I just can't even begin to describe the deliciousness of this dish. I am a true pasta lover, and I have had some magnificent pasta in my time, but this dish was so amazing. I was so happy that it was easy and I could make it at home with not a lot of real effort. Sometimes, it's the little things.
You are going to need to double this recipe. Just trust me on this.

Found on Pinterest from Blog Chef

Cajun Chicken Pasta
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts (cut into small strips)
4 ounces linguini (cooked all dente)
2 teaspoons Cajun seasoning
2 tablespoons butter
1 green onion (thinly sliced)
2 cups heavy whipping cream
2 tablespoons sun-dried tomatoes (chopped)
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon dried basil
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
¼ cup parmesan cheese

Step 1: Place chicken strips and Cajun seasoning in a bowl, toss the chicken with the seasoning until the chicken strips evenly coated with the seasoning.
Step 2: In a large skillet over medium heat, melt butter. Add chicken and sauté the chicken for 5 to 7 minutes or until the chicken is fully cooked (the internal temperature has reached 165 degrees).
Step 3: Reduce heat to low. Add green onions, heavy cream, tomatoes, basil, salt, garlic powder, and black pepper. Cook until heated through. Pour over hot linguini and toss with parmesan cheese.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Twix Caramel Popcorn

For Christmas I got an air popcorn popper and I use it all the time. The freshly popped corn is so much better than the microwave junk. My kids love watching which is an added bonus. I have come across quite a few outrageous popcorn recipes and have had so much fun trying them out. This twix popcorn was divine! I have to admit that I skipped the last steps of baking it in the oven. We just couldn't wait that long! Instead I just drizzled the caramel, then stirred in the twix bars and then drizzled with melted chocolate.

Twix Caramel Popcorn

5 quarts plain air popped popcorn
1 cup butter
2 cups light brown sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
20 "fun size" Twix candy bars, chopped
2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips, melted-to drizzle over popcorn
1. Preheat oven to 250 degrees F. Place popcorn in a large bowl and set aside.
2. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt butter. Stir in brown sugar, corn syrup, and salt. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Boil without stirring for 4 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in baking soda and vanilla extract. Pour caramel in a thin stream over popcorn, stirring to coat. Gently stir until all of the popcorn is covered.
3. Place popcorn on two large shallow baking sheets and bake in preheated oven, stirring every 15 minutes, for about an hour. Remove popcorn from oven and let cool completely.
4. Break popcorn into pieces and mix in chopped Twix candy bars. Drizzle popcorn with melted chocolate. Let the popcorn sit until chocolate hardens, about 30 minutes. Store at room temperature in an airtight container.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Crockpot Honey Sesame Chicken

I have tried a few Asian crock pot recipes and they turned out pretty bleh, so I was trying not to have high hopes. BUT this one was finally a good one! This one was a fantastic one!! My husband rated it a million and a half stars. He liked it so much that he ate it for dinner, a midnight snack, and breakfast the next morning. It was so easy too!

Crockpot Honey Sesame Chicken

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (thighs would be fine too)
Salt and pepper
1 cup honey
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup diced onion
1/4 cup ketchup
2 tablespoons vegetable oil (could also use olive oil or canola oil)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional - doesn't really add heat, just adds more flavor)
4 teaspoons cornstarch dissolved in 6 Tablespoons water
Sesame seeds

Season both sides of chicken with lightly with salt and pepper, put into crock pot. In a small bowl, combine honey, soy sauce, onion, ketchup, oil, garlic and pepper flakes. Pour over chicken. Cook on low for 3-4 hours or on high 1 1/2 – 2 1/2 hours, or just until chicken is cooked through. Remove chicken from crock pot, leave sauce. Dissolve 4 teaspoons of cornstarch in 6 tablespoons of water and pour into crock pot. Stir to combine with sauce. Replace lid and cook sauce on high for ten more minutes or until slightly thickened. Cut chicken into bite size pieces, then return to pot and toss with sauce before serving. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and serve over rice or noodles.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Sunday Brunch Casserole

Recently, I helped with a brunch and brought two different breakfast casseroles. I had both in my recipe file, but couldn't remember the last time I had made these... I just knew they were good enough to be in my recipe file. I was so happy I decided to stick with these recipes and not try anything new. They both turned out delicious!
This Sunday Brunch Casserole was a different spin than your traditional breakfast casserole with sausage. I loved that it had bacon, eggs, cheese, and potatoes. Yum, yum! You can easily make it the night before and stick it in the fridge until morning. I will definitely be making this one again soon.

Sunday Brunch Bacon Casserole

  • 1/2 pound sliced bacon
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped green pepper
  • 12 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 (16 ounce) package frozen hash brown potatoes, thawed
  • 1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper

  1. In a large skillet, cook bacon over medium heat until crisp. Remove to paper towels; drain, reserving 2 tablespoons drippings. Crumble bacon and set aside. In same skillet, saute onion and green pepper in drippings until tender; remove with a slotted spoon.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs and milk. Stir in hash browns, cheese, salt, pepper, onion mixture and reserved bacon.
  3. Transfer to a greased 13-in. x 9-in. x 2-in. baking dish. Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees F for 35-45 minutes or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean.