Monday, September 12, 2011

Thank You!


It's time to say goodbye to my baking blog. I had so much fun blogging about some of my favorite recipes for the last year! I had a lot more time when the twins were little bitty to bake, blog and search for the best recipes. Things are a lot more crazy now, and I have very little down time. With Pinterest being the latest craze, I am sure that you are all getting your baking inspiration from there. I know I get hungry every time I log in! I'm sure that I will occasionally share some amazing recipes on my other blog. Thanks to everyone who shared my love for baking and tried some of my recipes. I loved hearing your feedback!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Soft Frosted Sugar Cookies


This is a recipe for soft sugar cookies similar to the Lofthouse cookies they sell at Wal-Mart. I normally stay away from packaged cookies but these cookies are always a temptation to me. These are wonderful! Hope you enjoy.

Ingredients:
For the cookies:
4½ cups all-purpose flour
4½ tsp. baking powder
¾ tsp. salt
1½ cups (3 sticks) butter, at room temperature
1½ cups sugar
3 large eggs
5 tsp. vanilla extract

For the frosting:
5 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
1/3 cup (5 1/3 tbsp.) unsalted butter, melted
1 tbsp. vanilla extract
7-8 tbsp. milk (plus more, as needed)
Food coloring
Sprinkles

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 350˚ F. Line your baking sheets with parchment paper or baking mats. In a medium bowl combine the flour, baking powder and salt. Whisk the dry ingredients together. In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the butter and sugar and beat together on medium-high speed until soft and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add in the vanilla. With the mixer on low speed, gradually add in the dry ingredients. Mix until incorporated and evenly mixed. Cover and chill the dough for 1 hour.

Scoop a scant quarter cup of dough and roll into a ball. Flatten the ball slightly and place on the prepared baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining dough, spacing the cookies at least 2-3 inches apart. Bake about 10-12 minutes or just until set. Don't over-bake!!! The cookies may be slightly brown on the edges...but no more than that. Let cool on the baking sheet for several minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

For the frosting, place the confectioners’ sugar in a medium bowl. Add the melted butter, vanilla, and milk to the bowl and whisk until smooth. Whisk in additional milk as necessary, 1 teaspoon at a time, until you reach your desired consistency.Add food coloring if you would like and use an offset spatula or spoon to frost the cooled cookies. Decorate and keep in an airtight container!


Thursday, August 18, 2011

English Muffin Bread


I just love quick bread recipes! Here is a quick and easy english muffin loaf recipe. I halved the recipe and made 3 mini loaves. Hope you enjoy!

English Muffin Loaf Recipe (found from Allrecipes)

Ingredients:
2 packages active dry yeast
6 c flour
1 T white sugar
2 c milk
1/4 t baking soda
1/2 c water
1 t salt
2 T cornmeal

Directions:
Heat the mlk and water until very warm in a saucepan or microwave

Combine 3 cups of flour, yeast, sugar, salt and soda in a large bowl. Add the warm milk and water and beat well. Stir in enough of the remaining flour to make a stiff batter. (i used about 5 1/2 cups total). Spoon into two 9x5 inch loaf pans that have been greased and dusted with cornmeal. Cover with a tea towel and let rise for 45 minutes in a warm place.

Bake at 400 degrees for 25 minutes. Remove from the pans and cool. ENJOY!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Car Cookies



So I finally got around to baking some cookies in the car. I know. Kind of crazy. The neighbor's were probably wondering who the crazy kids were that just moved into this house. As if the late night furniture restoration shop we have going in our garage isn't enough...now this crazy lady is baking cookies in her car...and taking pictures of it. Brooke & I had fun though, and that is all that matters. It has been so hot that we have literally been stuck in the house for several weeks. I just used an oatmeal chocolate chip recipe and scooped each cookie out with a mini cookie scooper. I flattened each cookie with my palm so that they would cook faster. It was about 108 degrees outside on Monday and it took about 2 hours for the cookies to "bake" up. They weren't the most amazing cookies I have ever made, but Brooke REALLY loved waking up to freshly baked cookies after her afternoon nap. I love watching her smile.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Homemade Ice Cream (no machine required!)


For the last two years I have been longing for the ice cream maker attachment that goes on my kitchenaid. It just hasn't been in the budget this year, and past birthday and christmas money have gone to buying clothes for my little ones or OLD furniture from craigslist. Oh well...it is probably better for all of us that we don't have an ice cream maker. I have been wanting to try this easy ice cream recipe for a long time. It is SUPER simple, and I just threw in some brownies from the freezer, chocolate syrup from the fridge, and chocolate chips from the pantry. Next time I want to add some coffee and chocolate for a mocha flavor. Go here for the original recipe and mix-in ideas.

Ingredients:
2 cups of whipping cream
1 can eagle brand condensed milk (low-fat works well!)
Your mix-ins!

Whip your cream until stiff peaks form. Add your mix-in's to the condensed milk in a large bowl. Gently fold in the whipped cream. Pour into a 2 quart container and freeze until firm, abou 4-6 hours. Enjoy!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Chicken Broth


When I need a little "help" with dinner I will pick up a rotisserie chicken from Sam's Club. It is $4.98 and we use it for several meals. I usually take a breast and the legs off for dinner. I take the rest of the meat off and use for nachos, quesadillas or salad for dinner the next night. I also use it to make meals for the twins. My favorite part of buying the chicken is using the "carcass" to make chicken broth. I just throw the bones and skin into the pot, add water and a few other ingredients and let it simmer. Use whatever you have on hand to flavor the broth. I use the broth for soup, white chicken chili, or to boil egg noodles in. Hope this helps you save a few dollars in your grocery budget!

Ingredients:
Chicken Carcass (lol)
Water
Salt/Pepper
Clove of Garlic
Carrots
Celery
Onion

Separate your chicken from the bones/skin.

Cover the chicken bones/skin with water in a large pot. Add carrots, celery, onion, garlic and spices to season. Bring to a boil and then allow it to simmer for about 30 minutes.

Allow to cool and transfer to the fridge or freezer until you are ready to use it!


Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Healthy Chewy Granola Bars


Marybeth sent some yummy treats. SO thoughtful.

My friend Marybeth gave me some YUMMY granola bars as a house warming gift a couple weeks ago. They were SO good I have made them twice since then. I love all the ingredients in them. They are made with coconut oil, which I love baking with! I have used it to make rice krispy treats, and you would never know the difference! Thanks Marybeth for such an addicting recipe! Visit her blog here for cute inspiration and great recipes.

Healthy Chewy Granola Bars
Ingredients:
1 c peanut butter (i used natural chunky)
2/3 c honey
1/2 c coconut oil
2 c oats
2 c total of coconut flakes, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds and flax seed (or make it your own!)
Chocolate Chips or Chopped Dark Chocolate

Directions:
In a medium size pan melt together the peanut butter, honey and coconut oil.

Remove from the heat and add in the nuts, oats and coconut.

Place in a 8 x 11 pan (or something similar) and smooth down the top. Sprinkle with coconut and chocolate.

Chill until set and cut into bars. Keep these stored in the fridge and ENJOY!




Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Morning Oats

Our Beautiful Kitchen


We have finally moved into our new home! We love everything about it and really appreciate all the little things. My favorite room of our house is the kitchen. I spend a lot of time in the kitchen and I love that it opens up to the living room. It has a dishwasher (my first!), granite, and several outlets. Our last little house only had 2 outlets for the entire kitchen. I know our kitchen has some amazing granite (which I love), but I can't get over the number of outlets.

Since things have been so busy here and baking has been slow, I thought I would post my favorite breakfast recipe. This is a breakfast I make for myself almost every day of the week. I love homemade oatmeal, and this is a quick and easy recipe. You can change it up with your favorite toppings for variety. The banana makes the oatmeal creamy and sweet. My favorite variation is Dark Chocolate Almond Butter and Coconut. Healthy and Hearty!

My Favorite Oatmeal
Ingredients:
1/3 c old fashioned oats
2/3 c water
splash of milk
Half of a banana (sliced)

Add-in's
Nutella (yum)
Peanut Butter/Almond Butter
Raisins/Cinnamon
Blueberries/Strawberries
Almonds/Pecans
Brown Sugar
Coconut
Chocolate Chips

Throw everything in a small saucepan and turn the heat on medium. Wait until the oatmeal starts bubbling (about 3 minutes) and stir with a spoon for just a couple minutes. The bananas will heat up and melt into the oatmeal. When the oatmeal is thick, top with your favorite add-ins and enjoy a yummy breakfast.


Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Peach Pie Bars

I can't believe it is already July! Summer is just flying by for us. I hope you are enjoying the HOT weather. Here is a recipe for Peach Pie Bars. I made these a couple weeks ago and am just now getting around to post. These are wonderful!

Peach Pie Bars

Ingredients:

Crust:
3 c flour
1 c sugar
1 t baking powder
1/4 t salt
1 c COLD unsalted butter
1 egg, lightly beaten

Filling:
5 c diced peaches
2 T lemon juice
1/2 c flour
1 c sugar
1/4 t salt
1/2 t cinnamon

Instructions:
Preheat oven to 375. Grease a 9x13 baking pan.

In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, sugar, b.powder and salt. Use a pastry blender (or your kitchen aid with the paddle) to cut in the butter and the egg. The dough will be very crumble. Press half the dough into the pan.

For the filling Place the peaces in a large bowl and sprinkle with lemon juice. In another bowl, whisk the flour, sugar, salt and cinnamon. Pour over the peaces and gently mix.

Spread the filling over the crust. Crumble the remaining crust mixture over the peach mixture.

Bake for about 45 minutes until the top is lightly browned. Allow to cool before cutting into squares.

Enjoy!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Congo Bars



Happy Monday! Just sharing a recipe for Bakerella's Congo Bar's with y'all! If you haven't tried it yet, please do. It is delicious. It is quick, easy and tasty. The only change I made was the baking time and temperature. Go HERE to see her original recipe. Have a great week!


Congo Bars (bakerella)
Ingredients:
2 3/4 c flour
2 1/2 t baking powder
1/2 t salt
2/3 c butter, softened
1 lb brown sugar
3 eggs
1 t vanilla
bag of chocolate chips, peanut butter chips, nuts or M&M's..mak your own version!

Directions:
Grease a 13x9 pan. Set the oven temp to 325.

Sift the flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl.

In a another bowl cream the butter and brown sugar. Add the eggs one at a time mixing on low between each addition. Add the vanilla.

Slowly add the flour into mixture until well blended. Stir in the chips.

Bake at 325 for about 40 minutes. Just watch until it is golden brown and the middle is set. She bakes hers at 350 for 30 minutes. I just like mine this way because the edges stay soft and not so well done.

ENJOY!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Famous New York Times Chocolate Chip Cookies


Sorry for the lack of recipes lately! Things have been very busy around here! I tried the New York Times Cookie recipe a couple weeks ago. I have been itching to try this recipe, and was NOT disappointed. Let me just say this...IT IS AMAZING. It wasn't easy just letting the dough "sit" in the fridge for 36 hours. I was very tempted to take a bite here and there. It was definitely work the time and waiting though. These cookies were perfect. I didn't get a very good picture of them, but they are about the size of my hand. Soft in the middle and full of chocolate chips. I used bittersweet like the recipe called for...I LOVE dark, rich chocolate. If you prefer something milder I suggest using semi-sweet or a mix of the two. Hope you have time to try this recipe soon....it is delightful!

New York Times Chocolate Chip Cookie

Ingredients:
2 cups minus 2 T cake flour
1 2/3 c bread flour
1 1/4 t baking soda
1 1/2 t baking powder
1 1/2 t salt
2 1/2 sticks unsalted butter
1 1/4 c light brown sugar
1 c plus 2 T sugar
2 eggs
2 t vanilla
1 1/4 pounds bittersweet disks, at least 60 percent cacao content (or use semi-sweet or dark chips)
Sea Salt (optional for sprinkling on top)

Directions:
Sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt.

In a separate bowl cream together the butter and sugars for about 5 minutes until very light.
Add the eggs one at a time, and mix well after each addition. Add vanilla. Reduce the speed to low and add the dry ingredients until just combined. Gently still in chocolate pieces. Press plastic wrap against the dough and refrigerate for 24-36 minutes. Dough can be used in batches and refrigerated for up to 72 hours.

When you are ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Scoop 3 1/2 ounce mounds of dough (the size of generous golf balls) onto baking sheet (6 to a sheet). Sprinkle lightly with sea salt and bake until golden brown, about 18-20 minutes. You can also make these smaller...just use a cookie scoop and bake 10-12 minutes!

Pull them out of the oven and enjoy a HUGE, warm cookie.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Blueberry White Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies



Fresh Blueberries. I love them. I eat them in my salads, oatmeal and by the handful. I added them to a brown sugar oatmeal cookie recipe that I love and threw in some blueberries and white chocolate chips. I love the juiciness that the blueberries bring to this cookie!

Ingredients:
1/2 c butter, softened
1 c brown sugar
1 egg
1 t vanilla
1 1/2 c oats
1 c flour
1 t cinnamon
1/2 t salt
1/2 t baking soda
1/4 t baking powder
1 c blueberries
1 c white chocolate chips

Instructions:
Cream the butter and brown sugar together. Beat in the egg and vanilla.

In a separate bowl combine the flour, oats, cinnamon, salt, baking powder and baking soda. Gradually add the dry ingredients to the creamed butter and sugar.

Gently fold in the blueberries and chips.

Drop by tablespoon onto lined baking sheets. Bake for 10-12 minutes until lightly brown.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Paula Deen's Favorite Chocolate Pie


I just love my Paula Deen Chocolate Magazine. I have made several things and they NEVER FAIL! Best thing about this pie is there isn't a pound of butter in it...that makes it healthy, right??? I had a frozen pie crust and a tub of cool whip that were taking up too much room in my freezer....so I decided to make this pie! It is cold, smooth, creamy and CHOCOLATE! It was a hit at our house and I wanted to share this easy recipe with you!

Paula's Favorite Chocolate Pie

Ingredients:
1 refrigerated or frozen pie crust, baked
2/3 c sugar
1/4 c cornstarch
1/8 t salt
6 egg yolks
2 1/2 c milk
4 ounces semisweet chocolate
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate (use semisweet if you don't have bittersweet)
1 container of cool whip (i used lite!)

Bake the pie crust as directed.

In a large sauce pan whisk together the sugar, cornstarch and salt.

In a separate bowl whisk together the egg yolks and milk. Add to the sugar mixture whisking until smooth. Bring this to a boil over medium heat, whisking constantly (YOU DON'T WANT SCRAMBLED EGGS!). boil for 1 minute. Remove from the heat and stir in the chocolate, whisking until it is melted and the mixture is smooth. Pour into the crust and chill for 4 hours. Top the pie with cool whip and sprinkle some cocoa powder or chocolate chips over the top! Enjoy!!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

The famous "Baked" Brownie


I have been wanting to try the infamous "Baked" brownie recipe for a long time. I am SO glad I did. These brownies came out fudgy with a wonderful cracked crust on top. These are definately worth the "extra" effort in the kitchen. They are amazing! I hope to get the baked cookbook one day so I can enjoy all of their recipes!

"Baked" Brownie Recipe

Ingredients:
1 1/4 c flour
1 t salt
2 T unsweetened cocoa powder
11 ounces dark chocolate, chopped
1 c unsalted butter cut into pieces
1 t instant expresso powder (or instant coffee granules)
1 1/2 c sugar
1/2 c light brown sugar, packed
5 eggs at room temperature
2 t vanilla extract

Instructions:
Preheat oven to 350. Butter the sides of a 9x13 glass pan.

In a medium bowl mix the flour, salt and cocoa powder.

Melt the chocolate, butter and expresso powder in a large bowl set over simmering water, stirring until melted and smooth. (i cheated and used the microwave! SH!) Turn off the heat but keep the bowl over the water and add the sugars. Whisk until combined and remove the bowl from over the pan. Let cool to room temperature (so you don't scramble your eggs!)

Add 3 eggs to the chocolate mixture and whisk until combined. Add the remaining 2 and whisk. Add the vanilla and stir until JUST combined. Do not overbeat or you will have cakey brownies!

Sprinkle the flour mixture over the chocolate mixture. Use a rubber spatula and fold it in until just a little of the flour mixture is visible. Pour into the pan and smooth the top.

Bake in the center of the oven for 30 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with a few moist crumbs sticking to it. Let cool completely. ENJOY!

Monday, May 30, 2011

Pepperoni Pizza Quick Bread


I LOVE quick breads. I wanted to make a savory one to go with an italian dish I was making and had some leftover sauce and pepperoni waiting to be used in the fridge. This one seemed perfect! I had some leftovers the next day and actually liked it better reheated. Brooke enjoyed her pizza "roll". Hope you enjoy!

Ingredients:
1 c all-purpose flour
1 1/2 t baking powder
1/4 t baking soda
1/2 t kosher salt
1/2 t ground black pepper
2 large eggs
2 T extra virgin olive oil
3/4 c buttermilk
1/4 c shredded Parmesan cheese
1 1/2 c shredded Mozzarella cheese
1 c quartered pepperoni slices, about 32 slices
1/2 c marinara sauce (i used some leftover spaghetti sauce!)
1 t Italian Seasoning for sprinkling
Parmesan Cheese for sprinkling

Instructions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. and spray a loaf pan with non-stick cooking spray. (i used 3 mini loaf pans)

In a large bowl put the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and pepper and mix to combine. Slowly add in eggs, oil, buttermilk, Parmesan, Mozzarella and pepperoni until just combined. Pour half of batter into prepared pan. Top with marinara sauce then pour remaining batter over the sauce. Sprinkle the top with Italian seasoning and additional Parmesan cheese. Bake for 45-55 minutes or until toothpick comes clean from center. Let cool before removing from pan. Slice and serve warm!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Chocolate Banana Upside Down Cake


Love the caramelized bananas on top.
Please ignore the blob/heart below. I tried to make it pretty. ha ha.


Here is a quick, easy & "lightened up" recipe for you to try! I wanted to make something for dessert tonight....I really like trying to make special dinners on Mondays because they help make the first of the week a little brighter. Tonight we are having honey seared chicken, fried rice and this Chocolate Banana Upside Down Cake. It is AMAZING right out of the oven...and it is low fat and low sugar without compromising the taste. I'm sure Landon will enjoy his with some vanilla ice cream on top! Hope you enjoy!

Chocolate Banana Upside Down Cake (david lebovitz)
Ingredients:
Topping:
1/3 c + 2 T brown sugar
2 T unsalted butter
2-3 ripe bananas sliced into 1/4 inch slices.

Cake:
1 1/2 c flour
1 t baking powder
1/2 t baking soda
1/2 t kosher salt
1 t cinnamon
3/4 c sugar
2 T unsalted butter, melted and cooled
2 eggs
1 c mashed banana (about 2 bananas)
1/4 c +2 T light sour cream
1/2 t vanilla
2/3 c chocolate chips

Instructions:
Preheat oven to 350.

Make the topping. Heat the brown sugar and butter in a small saucepan until the butter is melted and the brown sugar is incorporated. Pour into an 8 inch square baking pan. Arrange the banana slices over the bottom of the pan.

Whisk the flour, soda, powder, salt, cinnamon and sugar in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, mix the butter, banana, sour cream, eggs and vanilla.

Make a well in the dry ingredients and pour the wet ingredients into the well. Stir with a spatula until just combined. Fold in the chocolate chips. Spoon the mixture over the bananas and smooth it over with a spatula.

Bake for about 40 minutes until the middle is set and is firm to the touch.

Cool for about 20 minutes. Run a knife along the edges and invert onto a serving plate. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Hawaiian French Toast


So while I was doing my "clearance spot" shopping at Wal-Mart I saw this bread on sale. We buy the little rolls at Sam's, but I have always wanted to buy a BIG loaf. I usually make french toast bites with the little rolls and was excited to have bigger pieces to work with. If you like french toast...try it with this hawaiian bread. It is light, fluffy and sweet. It is currently Brooke's favorite breakfast. I saw a recipe for coconut syrup the other day...I might have to try it for this french toast!


Thursday, May 12, 2011

Oranges & Cream Cookies

This cookie recipe was inspired by a Godiva Chocolate Bar. It is a light, refreshing summer-y cookie that brings back childhood "creamsicle" memories. I honestly can't remember the last time I ate a creamsicle...but it sure does sound good! Hope you enjoy!

Oranges & Cream Cookies
Ingredients:
2 1/2 c flour
3/4 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
1 c unsalted butter (i didn't have any so I just used salted butter and omitted the salt)
1/2 c sugar
1/2 c light brown sugar
1 egg
1 t vanilla extract
2 T fresh grated orange zest
1 bag white chocolate chips

Directions:
Preheat oven to 375. Line two cookie sheets with parchment or silpat liners.

Whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt.

In a stand mixer cream the butter and sugars until creamy and light. Beat in the egg and vanilla. Gradually add the flour mixture. Stir in the zest and chips.

Drop by rounded tablespoons and slightly flatten with your palm. Bake 8-10 minutes until golden brown around the edges. Cool for a few minutes on sheet before transferring to a wire rack.

ENJOY!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Strawberry Chocolate Chip Bread


Here is a QUICK, easy, summer-y bread recipe for you. I used ONE bowl and mixed by hand...I love the kind of recipes that require only one bowl, a few measuring utensils and a spatula because we don't have a dishwasher! Hope you are enjoying the sunny weather!

Ingredients:
2 c strawberries
1/2 c sugar
1 1/2 c flour
3/4 t cinnamon
1/2 t salt
1/2 t baking soda
1/2 c vegetable or canola oil
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 t vanilla
1/2 c chocolate chips
Raw sugar for sprinkling (optional)

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350. Grease a loaf pan, mini loaf pans or muffin tins.

Puree 1 cup of the strawberries in a blender. Slice remaining cup of strawberries and place in a bowl with the puree. Sprinkle with the sugar and set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together flour, cinnamon, salt and baking soda. Add the oil, eggs, vanilla and strawberry mixture to the flour mixture and stir until just combined. Fold in the chocolate chips. Pour into your loaf pan and sprinkle with some raw sugar.

Bake at 350 until the top is golden and a toothpick comes out clean. 45-50 minutes for a loaf and about 20 minutes for muffins. I made mini-loaves and it took about 30 - 35 minutes.

ENJOY!



Friday, May 6, 2011

Taco Rice


Last month my best friend Sarah came to visit. She made us a yummy dinner...Taco Rice! I have already made it twice since then. We enjoyed it last night for Cinco de Mayo! Easy, quick and delicious! Sorry about the ugly picture....I don't really know how to make Taco Rice look as good as a cupcake would. Hope you all have a great weekend!

Taco Rice (from Tasty Kitchen)

Ingredients:
1 T Canola Oil (or veg)
3 cloves minced garlic
1/2 onion, chopped
1 lb ground beef or turkey
3 T soy sauce
1 T chili powder
1 t cumin
1/2 t salt
1 t ground black pepper

Steamed white Rice

Toppings - whatever you would like on your taco rice!
Lettuce
Tomatoes
Shredded Cheddar or Monterey Jack Cheese
Salsa
Taco Sauce
Sour Cream
Tortilla Chips for dipping!

Instructions:
Heat the oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add the garlic and onion and saute until the onions are barely soft. Add the ground beef and break it up into little pieces. Once the meat is cooked add the soy sauce, chili powder, cumin, salt, and pepper. Let this simmer until the liquid reduces.

Top rice with the meat mixture and add whatever toppings you prefer! ENJOY!



Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Makeover Coconut Rice Krispie Treats



Here is a quick and easy recipe for you. It is made a little healthier by using coconut oil in place of the butter. Try it in your regular rice krispie treats too...Landon didn't even know the difference. These are easy to throw together for a yummy treat!

Ingredients:

Cooking spray for greasing the pan
3 tablespoons coconut (or butter)
1 bag (1o oz) of regular-sized marshmallows or 4 cups miniature marshmallows
1/2 cup shredded sweetened coconut
1 t coconut extract (i didn't have any so I used some vanilla instead)
5 cups Rice Krispies cereal
1 cup toasted shredded coconut
3 ounces (about 1/2 cup) dark or semi-sweet chocolate chips, melted

Directions:

Spread 1 cup shredded coconut in an even layer on a cookie sheet (lined with parchment) and bake at 300, stirring every few minutes for 10-15 minutes until coconut is golden brown. Set aside to cool.

Grease a 9x13 pan with cooking spray or line with foil or parchment paper.

In a large saucepan, melt down your coconut oil or butter. Add marshmallows and heat over medium-low heat, stirring until melted. Stir in 1/2 cup shredded coconut and coconut extract. Remove from heat. Add Rice Krispies and stir until thoroughly coated.

Spread Rice Krispie mixture into prepared pan. Press mixture firmly into an even layer using a greased spatula or piece of wax paper. Sprinkle with toasted coconut and press lightly to adhere to the top of the treats.

Melt the chocolate chips in the microwave on medium power stirring every 15 seconds until melted and smooth. Drizzle on top of the treats.

Cool at room temperature until chocolate hardens. Cut into squares and enjoy every bite! :O)

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Flat & Crispy Chocolate Chip Cookies


I just wanted to share this flat & crispy chocolate chip recipe with you. I prefer a more soft, thick, bakery style cookie. Landon prefers the flat and crispy kind. I have to admit...these are pretty good. I kind of felt like I could eat more because they were so much thinner than my normal cookies. ha ha. Behind this jar of cookies is my new favorite kitchen tool. Thank you mom and dad for the ipad! I am loving it using it OFTEN!

Flat & Crispy Chocolate Chip Cookies
1 1/2 sticks butter
1/2 c sugar
1 c brown sugar
1 1/4 c flour
1/2 T baking soda
1/2 T salt
1 egg & 1 yolk
1/2 t vanilla
1 bag chocolate chips or M&M's (semi, dark or milk...your choice!)

Preheat oven to 325.

Melt the butter and allow it to cool slightly. Mix the sugars and the melted butter. Add the eggs slowly and mix. Add vanilla.

Sift together the flour, soda, and salt. Slowly add the dry ingredients. Fold in the chocolate.

Drop heaping tablespoons onto a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake 11-14 minutes until golden brown. Allow to cool on the sheets for a few minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.


Monday, April 25, 2011

Edible Pineapple Flowers



Martha Stewart....you are so clever. I loved this idea for cupcake toppers. Aldi had their pineapples on sale for $.99! I was so excited to use half of my pineapple for these flowers. I whipped up a batch of hummingbird cupcakes and topped them with the pineapple flowers. The only thing I did different was place them in muffin tins after they were finished in the oven to get the cupped flower effect. Go HERE to make these beautiful flowers!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Hot Cross Buns


Our family enjoyed Hot Cross Buns for breakfast this morning. It is an old English Easter tradition that I have always wanted to try. I saw them on The Pioneer Woman's site a while ago and knew that was the perfect recipe to start out on! It is her cinnamon roll base (YUM) filled with cinnamon and raisins. It is pretty tasty! Go HERE for detailed instructions. Hope you all have a wonderful Easter weekend celebrating the death and resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ! HE IS RISEN! Happy Easter!

Hot Cross Buns
Ingredients:

For the buns:
2 c whole milk
1/2 c canola oil
1/2 c sugar
1 package Active Dry Yeast
4 c flour
1/2 c (additional) flour
1/2 t (heaping) b. powder
1/2 t (heaping) b. soda
2 t salt
1/4 c sugar
1 t cinnamon
1/2 c raisins (i used a little more....we like raisins)

For the egg wash:
1 egg white
splash of milk

For the glaze:
1 egg white
powdered sugar
splash of milk

Instructions:

Combine 2 cups milk, canola oil, and 1/2 cup sugar in a saucepan. Stir and heat until very warm but not boiling. Turn off the heat and allow to cool until mixture is still warm, but not hot–about 30 minutes.

Sprinkle yeast over mixture. Add 4 cups of flour and stir to combine. Mixture will be very sticky. Cover with a towel and set aside for 1 hour.

Add 1/2 cup flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Stir till combined.

Combine 1/4 cup sugar with cinnamon and whatever other spices you want to use.

Lightly flour surface. Press to slightly flatten dough. Sprinkle a couple tablespoons of the sugar/cinnamon mixture. Sprinkle on about a third of the raisins. Then fold the dough over on itself and flatten again so the dough is “plain” again. Repeat the sugar/raisin process, then fold the dough again. Repeat a third time until all the raisins are used. (You won’t use all the sugar/cinnamon mixture.)

Pinch off ping pong or golf ball-size bunches of dough. With floured hands, quickly roll it into a ball, then turn the edges under themselves slightly. Place on a lightly greased cookie sheet. Cover and allow to rise in a warm place for at least 30 minutes…an hour-plus is better.

PREHEAT OVEN TO 400 degrees

GLAZE

Mix 1 egg white with a splash of milk. Brush onto each roll.

Bake for 20 minutes, give or take, or until tops of buns have turned nice and golden brown.

Remove from pan and allow to cool on a cooling rack.

ICING

Mix 1 egg white with enough powdered sugar for icing to be very thick. Splash in milk as needed for consistency.

Add icing to a small Ziploc bag and snip the corner. Make icing crosses on each roll, making sure they’re completely cooled first.


Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Low Fat Crunchy Granola


I decided to fill my cookie jar with something healthy this week. The cookies just kept calling my name, and I needed something guilt-free to snack on. I LOVE this granola recipe...it is super simple and quick to make. It is also very customizable. Just add your favorite nuts in place of the almonds. Add dried fruit, toasted coconut or dark chocolate chips after baking. Mmmmm. It is a great, crunchy topping for yogurt, salads or ice cream! This is a recipe for a small batch since I am the only one who ever eats granola around here. Hope you enjoy!

Ingredients:
Cooking Spray
2 c rolled oats
1/3 c brown sugar
pinch of salt
2 T water
1 t vanilla
1/2 c almonds, or your choice of nuts

Preheat oven to 275. Lightly spray your baking pan with cooking spray.

Combine the oats and nuts in a large bowl.

Microwave your brown sugar, water and salt in a microwave safe bowl for one minute. Stir in the vanilla. Pour on top of the oat mixture and stir until the oats are covered.

Pour onto the baking sheet and bake for 45 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes. Let cool completely and store in an airtight container.


Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Poppy Seed Salad Dressing


I just wanted to share my favorite salad dressing with you! I eat salad on a daily basis...and I never get tired of this dressing. It is SO easy and really compliments a fresh sumer salad. My usual salad consists of Romaine, Strawberries, Blueberries, Mandarin Oranges, Feta, Grilled Chicken and Granola or sliced almonds. Hope you enjoy!

Poppy Seed Dressing

1/2 c mayonnaise (regular, lower fat, fat free)
1/4 c skim milk
1/4 c sugar (or splenda or stevia)
1/8 c white vinegar
Poppy Seeds

Put all the ingredients into a bowl and whisk together until smooth!

Enjoy!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Jalapeño Popper Dip


I realize these are the worst pictures ever. I am not a photographer, and I definitely don't know how to make a dip look good in a picture. I can guarantee that you will love this dip though. It is wonderful...easily halved too! You can use 1/3 less fat cream cheese and olive oil or reduced fat mayo to make a "reduced-fat" version. Hope you enjoy it!

Jalapeño Popper Dip

Ingredients:

2 (8 oz.) packages cream cheese, softened
1 cup mayonnaise
1 (4 oz.) can chopped green chiles, drained
1 (4 oz.) can diced jalapeño peppers, drained
½ cup shredded Mexican style cheese
½ cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1 cup Panko breadcrumbs
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
Cooking spray

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 375˚ F.

Combine the cream cheese, mayonnaise, green chiles, jalapeños, and shredded cheeses. Mix thoroughly with a spoon or spatula until smooth and evenly combined. Spread the mixture into a 9x9 (or similar) baking dish.

In a separate bowl, combine the panko crumbs and parmesan. Stir with a fork until combined. Sprinkle over the cream cheese mixture and spray lightly over the top with cooking spray. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until the mixture is hot and the top is golden. Serve warm with baguette slices, chips, or veggies.


Sunday, April 3, 2011

Brownies with Crunchy Coconut Pecan Topping


I just have to say that these brownies were DANGEROUS. I loved the topping a little too much...crunchy and flavorful! I love any kind of brownies...cake-like or fudgy. These were definitely a little more on the cake-like side. Landon really prefers fudge brownies, so next time I will make them that way. To make this a quick semi-homemade dessert....use your favorite brownie mix and just make the topping!

Ingredients:
topping
3/4 cup sweetened flaked coconut
3/4 cup pecans, chopped
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

brownie:
1 1/4 sticks (10 tablespoons) unsalted butter
1 1/3 cups granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
3 large eggs
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a 9-inch pan.

For the topping:
Stir together topping ingredients until combine.

For the brownies:
In a saucepan melt the butter on low heat. Remove the pan from heat and stir in sugar and vanilla. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Into a bowl sift together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt and stir into butter mixture until just combined well.
Spread batter evenly in pan and sprinkle with topping. Bake brownies in middle of oven 35 to 45 minutes, or until a tester comes out with crumbs adhering to it. You may have to add a piece of foil over the top for the last half of cooking to keep the topping from getting overdone.

Cool brownies...or immediately top with ice cream and ENJOY!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Frozen Strawberry Fluffy Stuff



I just love Paula Deen...and all her yummy buttery recipes. I also love Sam's club when strawberries are in season. Our fridge is always stocked with fresh strawberries. I wanted to make something "light" and fruity and found this in her chocolate magazine. Hope you enjoy!

Strawberry Frozen Fluffy Stuff
Paula Deen

Ingredients:
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup chopped hazelnuts (i didn't have any so I used toasted pecans)
1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
6 tbsp butter, melted
1 (10 oz.) package frozen sweetened sliced strawberries, thawed or fresh strawberries
2 cups heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup sugar
Fresh strawberries and chocolate syrup for garnish (optional)

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium bowl combine flour, hazelnuts, brown sugar and cocoa. Add butter, stir to combine. Spoon mixture into ungreased baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes, stirring halfway through. Let cool.

In a large bowl combine strawberries, cream, and sugar. Beat a medium-high speed with an electric mixer until stiff peaks form. Stir in liqueur.

Sprinkle 2/3 of flour mixture into the bottom of an ungreased 10-inch spring form pan. Spoon strawberry mixture over flour mixture. Sprinkle evenly with remaining flour mixture. Cover and freeze overnight. Slice and garnish with fresh strawberries and drizzle with syrup to serve.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Thin Mints



Here is another homemade girl scout recipe! This recipe is from Baking Bites, the same place the Do-Si-Do recipe came from. I have been so "disciplined" about saying no to those cute little girls selling cookies at Wal-Mart. I just knew if I bought a box of thin mints I would not be able to excercise self control, and eat the entire box before we made it home. So instead, I made an entire batch of cookies. ha ha. I did manage to eat a few before I gave them away. I was eating one when I gave half of it to Landon. He didn't know I had baked them, and thought they were girl scout cookies. Success! The only change I made to this recipe was the coating. I had some chocolate mint candy discs on hand that I melted to coat these instead.

Homemade Thin Mints
Makes 3-4 dozen cookies

Ingredients:
2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1/4 cup cornstarch
6 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup white sugar
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1/3 cup milk (any kind)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 tsp peppermint extract

Instructions:
In a small bowl, whisk together flour, cornstarch, cocoa powder and salt.
In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar. With the mixer on low speed, add in the milk and the extracts. Mixture will look curdled. Gradually, add in the flour mixture until fully incorporated.
Shape dough into two logs, about 1 1/2 inches (or about 4 cm) in diameter, wrap in plastic wrap and freeze for at least 1-2 hours, until dough is very firm.
Preheat oven to 375F.
Slice dough into rounds not more than 1/4 inch thick – if they are too thick, they will not be as crisp – and place on a parchment lined baking sheet. Cookies will not spread very much, so you can put them quite close together.
Bake for 13-15 minutes, until cookies are firm at the edges. Cool cookies completely on a wire rack before dipping in chocolate.

Dark Chocolate Coating
10-oz dark or semisweet chocolate
1/2 cup butter, room temperature

In a microwave safe bowl, combine chocolate and butter. Melt on high power in the microwave, stirring every 45-60 seconds, until chocolate is smooth. Chocolate should have a consistency somewhere between chocolate syrup and fudge for a thin coating.
Dip each cookie in melted chocolate, turn with a fork to coat, then transfer to a piece of parchment paper or wax paper to set up for at least 30 minutes, or until chocolate is cool and firm.