Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Zucchini Bread Pancakes

Fall is sure in the air around here. In the mornings I wake up to that crisp air that reminds me of walking out to the school bus with leaves covering the ground. The leaves aren't covering the ground yet but by the feel in the air it might not be long. Then I went and looked at the forecast and it looks like it's going to be close to 90 degrees on Thursday. There went that theory out the door!

I'm excited for fall. It's one of my favorite seasons. I'm dreaming of all kinds of pumpkin and apple desserts and we will throw in a few Halloween themed dishes too! There's nothing better than coming home at night and throwing on my sweats and hoodie and hunkering down for the night. Ahhhh this makes me excited! Throw in some football games with yummy appetizers and what's a girl not to love? Plus I love my Scentsy and I'm so excited for all the fall scents. In fact I broke down and tried out the new Pumpkin Marshmallow scent tonight and it's simply amazing!

It was a rainy and dreary day today and if the hubby was home I think I might have made this recipe again for supper because in my opinion breakfast for supper on days like this is a marvelous invention. Either that or something in the crock pot or soup. Wait. Soup in the crock pot. Now we are talking! Sweet. Another thing I'm excited to make this fall.

Ok where were we? Back to this recipe. My wonderful coworker brought a bag of zucchini to share and I snatched up a few. I've been dieing to try out this recipe I've had "pinned" on Pinterest. Addicting website I tell you. I've got a gazillion recipes and add about 20 more a day. I could cook 12 hours a day for a year and I wouldn't be able to make them all. Wow I'm having a hard time focusing tonight! The recipe....I like to try out new things with zucchini and this sounded wonderful. It's like a pancake and zucchini bread mixed into one yummy creation. It's a bit sweet but just a bit so it's still great like a pancake. If you are trying to use up all that zucchini before you start tackling those yummy fall recipes I would definitely try this one out. I'll give you fair warning that it makes a ton of pancakes so if it's just two of you I would cut it in half or freeze the extras. Enjoy!

Zucchini Bread Pancakes
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1. c all purpose flour
3/4 c. whole wheat flour
1 tsp salt
4 tsp baking powder
3 Tbsp sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 1/2 c. milk
2 eggs
2 c. zucchini, shredded
1 tsp vanilla
3 Tbsp butter, melted

1. In a large mixing bowl, combine dry ingredients: flour, salt, baking powder, sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg. In another bowl, whisk together milk, eggs, zucchini, vanilla, and melted butter. Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients and stir until well-combined.
2. Coat a griddle with butter or spray with cooking spray and set to medium-high heat. Drop 1/4 c. of batter onto the griddle; cook 1-2 minutes on each side, until brown and cooked through.

Freezing Directions:

Flash freeze on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. When frozen, transfer to gallon freezer bag. To defrost, place three pancakes on a plate and microwave for 30-60 seconds, until warm throughout.

Adapted from: Once a Month Mom


Monday, August 29, 2011

Strawberry Bread - Secret Recipe Club

This last month I joined the "Secret Recipe Club". It's a group of us bloggers that have established a fun little thing and each month you are assigned someones blog and then you get to pick a recipe from that blog to try out and post about on a given day. Neat-o huh? None of us know who has your blog until the "reveal date". I love trying recipes and am always looking for a new one on someones blog so this was right up my ally.

This month I was assigned Mele Cotte's blog. It's got tons of recipes to look at and try. Now I'm going to tell you she's a bit more "daring" with her recipes than I am. Mine tend to reflect my Midwestern heritage and use the simple ingredients but her recipes definitely have a bit more flare involved so if you are looking for some flare definitely go to her blog and check it out after all who can't use flare in their lives?!

I picked out the Strawberry Bread to try out for my post because the hubby loves love loves strawberries. The bread was moist and wonderful. The only thing I would change next time is to leave out the cardamom spice and try cinnamon and/or nutmeg. I'm not a big fan of cardamom and was a little hesitant on it when I saw it but figured I would try it exactly as the recipe calls for it. I think it leaves a weird aftertaste but that's just my opinion! Enjoy!

Strawberry Bread
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1 cup (2 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 ½ cup sugar
6 large eggs
2 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 cups all-purpose flour
4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
2 tsp ground cardamom
1 cup sour cream
3 cups chopped fresh strawberries
1 cup sliced almonds (I omitted these for the hubby BUT I would love them in the bread)

1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease and line two 9 x 5 inch loaf pan with parchment paper hanging over the long sides for easy removal.

2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and ground cardamom; set aside. With the paddle attachment of an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3-4 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well and scraping down the sides of the bowl after each addition. Add the vanilla extract. With the mixer on low speed, add the flour mixture and sour cream alternately, starting and ending with the flour. Mix until just combined. Gently fold in the chopped strawberries and half the almonds.

3. Divide the batter between the prepared pan and sprinkle with the remaining almonds. Bake about hour, or until the bread is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out almost clean.
Place on a wire rack to cool and then remove the bread from the pan. Serve warm or at room temperature. This bread can be frozen. Yields two 9 x 5 inch loaf.


Friday, August 26, 2011

Cake Batter Ice Cream

I grew up in a household that only made homemade ice cream on very special occasions. Maybe once a year. I always remember that when it was made there was excitement in the air. My parents always made it sound like a huge ordeal to make ice cream, but the reward was well worth it. The ice cream was always vanilla and way better than any store bought ice cream. Someday I might share this recipe with you but it will have to be a very special occasion as it is my Grandpa Boots's recipe. Yup his nickname was Boots. How awesome is that? I have no idea how he got this or why but that's what everyone called him!

Remembering how special it was making homemade ice cream when I was growing up I made sure to register for an ice cream maker for my wedding. My mom bought it for me because she knew the memory that went along with it. The apple doesn't fall far from the tree on this one. It took my just shy of my first anniversary to whip the ice cream maker out of it's box. Looking back I should have gotten a smaller more easily useable one but nope I went with the big old fashioned one. Let this be your warning if you need to get one You even have to soak the wood barrel of it or it leaks the melting ice! Good thing this recipe made it worth it.

The recipe I tried out was Cake Batter because I LOVE Cold Stone Creamery's cake batter. The ice cream was smooth and rich. The hubby looked and me and said I don't think I've ever had home made ice cream this smooth. He usually thinks it has ice crystals. My Grandpa's recipe doesn't have ice crystals but maybe the ice cream he's used to does! You won't be disappointed with this recipe plus it's not as hard as my parents make it out to be but it's a bit time consuming! Enjoy!

Cake Batter Ice Cream
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2 c. heavy cream
1 c. half and half
1/2 - 3/4 c. white granulated sugar
1 Tbsp vanilla extract
3/4 c. dry yellow cake mix, unprepared

1. Stir together the half & half, and sugar until sugar is dissolved. This does not take long just stir with a spoon. Stir in the heavy cream and vanilla.

2. Measure out the dry cake mix. If you have a sifter use it as the cake mix gets lumpy and you don't want lumps in your ice cream. I actually don't have a sifter (I know what a hoar!) so I just used a whisk and whisked the lumps out. Stir in the cake mix into the cream mixture until it's completely mixed and the mixture is smooth.

3. Make sure the ice cream base is cool before putting it in the ice cream freezer for processing. If you used cold half & half and cream then the base should be ready to process. If the base is room temperature put it in the refrigerator and cool. Once the base is cool pour it into the bucket of your ice cream maker and process according to manufactuer's instructions.

4. After processing, put the ice cream into a bowl or other container, seal, and place in the freezer for several hours to allow the ice cream to get firmer.

Recipe From: That's Some Good Cookin'


Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Creamy Primavera Risotto Cakes

As part of the Foodbuzz Tastemakers program I was selected to try out the new Birds Eye Chef's Favorites. It's a line up of steam fresh and ready to serve veggies in minutes. I'm a big fan of steam fresh veggies and have frequently tried them before. My hubby isn't a big veggie fan so if I can have a bag that I can steam and save the leftovers for the next night I'm all for it.

I tried the Creamy Primavera Risotto. I've actually never had Risotto so I tried half of it as is - out of the bag after I had steamed it. It was good but nothing that knocked my socks off. The second half I made into a cake after it had cooled. I put a little olive oil in a frying pan and fried the cake over medium heat for 10-15 minutes, flipping it half way through. I definetely liked his option better as it added a little crunch to it. If you are looking for a healthy option this might not be for you. Make sure you read the labels on the back of these bags!

Look for this product in your grocery freezer in September!


Zucchini Cookies with Cream Cheese Frosting

I had some zucchini that definitely needed to be used up. Like yesterday. I did the typical Zucchini Bread and I still had some left so I was determined to find something different that I could use it up in. I told my mom I wanted to make pancakes and she didn't think that sounded good. I still think it sounds good but I didn't go with the pancakes because the hubby was gone for work and I knew I'd have to much on hand. I decided to try out these cookies. Wow. I'm sure glad I did. They were wonderful! These cookies are soft even after a few days which is a must in my book plus you top them with a cream cheese frosting that hardens just enough to be perfection. They even turned my mom into a believer that you can actually do something with zucchini other then make it into bread.

I'm not going to say that this whole cookie making process didn't go without a little mishap. Back in college my professor always told us to make sure that we read our recipes through and double checked them. I remember one time none of us did this in class and we were making marshmallows. Lets just say it didn't end pretty and there were grown students getting reprimanded for not following directions and it ended with us having to clean up and not make marshmallows. Not a pretty scene. You would think that after that incident I'd learn to read my recipes, but nope it didn't happen. I got to the "add flour" step in the recipe and there was no flour listed. I might have panicked. Without much of a choice I just started adding flour until I thought it formed a cookie dough. I did a test cookie. Nope to runny. Added some more flour. Tested another cookie. Just perfect. Success! I'll try and make sure all the ingredients are listed on this recipe for you!

This recipe does make a lot. I mean a ton of cookies so if you don't have an army to feed or a lot of friend and family to share with you might want to cut it in half. I shared my cookies with my sister-in-law and her family (who just had the most adorable baby boy ever!), my brother-in-law, my co-workers, my parents, my hubby ate a you get the idea. I think you could easily freeze these for later also. I added raisins to my cookies but feel free to throw in some chocolate chips instead if you aren't a raisin fan. Enjoy!

Zucchini Cookies with Cream Cheese Frosting
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3 eggs
1 c. sugar
1 c. brown sugar
1 c. vegetable oil
2 c. grated zucchini
3 tsp vanilla
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp salt
4 c. flour
1 c. raisins

4 oz cream cheese, softened
4 Tbsp butter, softened
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 c. powdered sugar

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Beat eggs until light and fluffy. Add oil, sugars, zucchini and vanilla. Mix well.

2. In a separate bowl combine flour, soda, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Add to egg mixture and mix well. Add raisins.

3. Drop onto greased baking sheet. Baked 10-12 minutes or until edges start to turn golden brown. Cool completely and the frost.

4. For the frosting cream butter and cream cheese. Add vanilla. Mix in powdered sugar until the right consistency. Add more if needed. Frost cookies.

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Monday, August 22, 2011

Ham & Cheese Crescent Rolls

These were sure a hit! I made them on Saturday for lunch. Oh wow what a perfect Saturday. It was seriously one of those days you just don't ever want to end. For once we had nothing going on at all. Zippo. Nada. Nothing. Amazing I tell ya! The hubby was peacefully outside working on the garage while I was inside doing laundry, cleaning. The usual Saturday chores, but it was nice to be able to take my time because I knew I didn't have to be anywhere. The windows were open. A breeze was flowing through the house. It was just so peaceful. I kinda want to go back to that day.

This recipes comes from the blog Life by Jill Marie. This is kinda funny and I just have to share this with you if you don't know me very well. Jill is actually my high school classmate's mom. I grew up having Jill as one of my "basketball moms". We were like a family. Our traveling team was on the road for basketball about 2-3 months in the late winter early spring every weekend. I think there was around 12 of us girls and I have to admit the parents were kinda like surrogate parents to me. Ah the memories. I never ever thought I'd be blogging and sharing recipes along with Jill and exchanging tips and tidbits with her. If you haven't checked out her blog I highly recommend it. She's an amazing lady and an even better cook/baker!

The recipe I'm sharing with you is super easy to throw together and the ingredients are ones you might even have on hand. It's perfect for a quick lunch. Like I said earlier it was a big hit with the hubby. In fact you will notice that it makes 8 servings. Ummm we had none left. Yup that's right none. I had 1 1/2 rolls. Now you do the math and figure out how many the hubby ate. After he ate one and was oohing and ahhing over it. I said I'll send the leftovers with you this week for lunch. He looked at me and said ummm I don't know if there will be any leftovers. We had two left and then he looks at them and says well that's not enough for a meal and gobbled them down too. Enjoy!

Ham & Cheese Crescent Rolls
Printer Friendly Recipe

1 can crescent rolls
8 thin slices ham
4 slices cheese

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Separate crescent rolls into 8 triangles. Cut each slice of cheese in half. Place a slice of ham on each triangle. Place a strip of cheese down the center of the ham. Fold edges of ham in to match the shape of the crescent roll. Roll each crescent roll up ending at the tip of the triangle. Place tip down on a greased cookie sheet.

3. Bake 15-19 minutes or until gold brown.

Adapted from: Life by Jill Marie


Friday, August 19, 2011

Chocolate Zucchini Cake

Do you have Zucchini coming out of your ears? This is the perfect recipe for you then! It "hides" zucchini in a wonderful dessert so you can forget your even eating it. I actually don't have zucchini coming out of my ears or anywhere else for that mater. I can only dream of having a garden. Next year I'm hoping I get one. Currently our yard is a bit under construction with building a garage and all. Maybe next year I can have zucchini coming out of my ears like the rest of you!

This wonderful recipe actually comes from my mom and it originated from my awesome sister-in-law. Yup that's right I called an in-law awesome. She's married to my older brother and she pretty much rocks. I can only hope and pray that the little brother marries someone half as amazing as this woman. We usually make it in two 8 x 8 inch pans and then freeze one so you can enjoy it later.

As you all have heard my hubby is working out of town during the week a lot of time, so mom decided that she better make him a treat and send it with him so he didn't starve to death. Now, mother do you really think your daughter is going to let her hubby starve? I would hope you raised me better than that and trust me there is never a shortage of food around our house. I'm sure you all figured this out with all these recipes. I really think she just likes to spoil him and she doesn't want to admit it! Another thing that mysteriously arrives at our house is chocolate chip cookies. I'll come home from work and there will be a plate of cookies on our counter. I wonder who the cookie fairy is?? Enjoy!

Chocolate Zucchini Cake
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1 stick butter
1/2 c. oil
1 3/4 c. white sugar
2 eggs
1/2 c. buttermilk
1 tsp vanilla
2 1/2 c. flour
4 Tbsp cocoa
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp soda
1 tsp salt
2 c. grated zucchini
Chocolate Chips & Nuts

1. Cream butter, oil & sugar. Add buttermilk and vanilla. Sift dry ingredients and add. Mix in zucchini. Put in greased 9 x 13 or 2 - 8 x 8x in pans. Sprinkle chocolate chips and nuts on top.

2. Bake at 325 degrees for 40 - 45 minutes or 35 minutes for 8 x 8 pans.


Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Crispy Chicken Burrito

I rarely feel the need to post something as soon as I make it but a couple nights ago it was a different story. I had to post this one next and I had to share this one with you. I was going to post something else, but I had to scratch that idea because this was so amazing. I was looking for something to make and I just couldn't make another pasta dish, casserole or plain old meat dish. This is the thing I was looking for and I definetely wasn't dissappointed.

This recipe tastes like it came from Taco Johns or for you people that aren't blessed with those I'd say Taco Bell! The burrito shell is crispy and the inside is packed full of creamy chicken yuminess. It's a bit of a mix between a Taco joint and a Chipotle. I live in the middle of no where so it's a special occasion when I get to a Chipotle and I usually hit one up everytime I have a chance.

The best thing about this recipe is that you can easily adapt it to your wishes. Don't like chicken? Use some beef instead. Don't like beans? Leave them out (which my hubby just informed me he might like them better without them!). Want some peppers in there. Add them in! See the possibilities are endless. Enjoy!

Crispy Chicken Burritos
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1 c. cooked rice, still warm
1 lb cooked shredded chicken
1 can black beans, rinsed & drained
1 1/2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp garlic salt
2 c. shredded cheese
Sour Cream
6 burrito sized soft shells

1. First make your shredded chicken by putting chicken in boiling water for 20 minutes. Don't overcook or the chicken with get dry. Cool until you can shred the chicken. In the meantime cook the rice.

2. Mix rice, chili powder, cumin and garlic salt together in a bowl. Add chicken and beans to mixture.

3. Arrange chicken and rice mixture down center of burrito. Sprikle cheese over chicken mixture. Top with a little sour cream and salsa. Roll stuffed tortillas up and secure with a toothpick.

4. Spray tortilla with cooking spray. Heat a skillet over medium heat or heat griddle. Arrange 2 wraps seam side down in pan and cook until golden brown and crisp, about 2-3 minutes per side.


Monday, August 15, 2011

White Chocolate S’mores Gooey Cake Bars

Oh my goodness these bars are pretty much to die for. Ooey and gooey and rich and yummy. I mean really rich and yummy. I can only take about two bites and that's enough until I go back later for more. I mean I kinda of want to stick my face in the pan. Is it bad I'm actually admitting to this and telling you? I thought I better tell you so when you make them and want to do the same thing you know it's completely normal, well if you consider me normal and all!

I made these Saturday and I was doubtful on them when I took them out. I snatched a piece of the corner and it was a bit crunchy but oh man I think the edge might be my favorite part of the bar because the marshmallow is crunchy and tastes like it's been roasted over a campfire. Then I tried the middle and changed my mind because it's so ooey and gooey. It's a toss up so I guess the whole pan is just amazing.

My parents stopped over Saturday afternoon in between a wedding ceremony and the reception we were going to. I served up some Summer Slush and these bars. I'm not sure which they liked better but I know they liked them both. My mom and dad kept saying how good they were and good 'ol dad kept slicing little pieces off the bars. YUMMY!

My tip on this recipe is that I skipped lining the pan with tinfoil and I think you might want to include this step if you are looking for pretty bars. Also, it says to cut the crust off on the edges and it will make a "prettier" bar. It will make a nice looking bar but I'm going to say the edge is some of my favorite part so if you do this make sure to keep the edge for snacking on! Enjoy!

Remember to go enter my 1st Giveaway to celebrate reaching 500 followers on facebook by midnight Monday, August 15th, 2011!

White Chocolate S'mores Gooey Cake Bars
Printer Friendly Recipe

1 box yellow cake mix
1 large egg
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, softened
4 1/2 full graham crackers
10 ounce bag white chocolate chips
2 cups mini marshmallows
1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. and line an 8×8 inch baking pan with tin foil that’s been generously sprayed with cooking spray. Make sure foil goes all the way up and over the edges for this one. It will be a full pan.

2. Place cake mix, egg, and butter into a large mixing bowl. Mix until a nice dough forms similar to a cookie dough. Press half of the dough into the bottom of the prepared pan. Layer with graham crackers, white chips then marshmallows. Top with remaining half of dough pressing evenly. Drizzle sweetened condensed milk over top. You might want to go a little light on this as mine had to much and was a bit runny even when the bars were done.

3. Bake for 28-33 minutes, until cooked through and golden brown on top. Remove from oven. Let cool for 5 minutes then take a plastic knife and run along edges to loosen marshmallow (this will make your life easier when pulling foil out of pan to remove bars. Let cool completely then remove bars from pan with foil edges. Cut off all edges if desired, about 1/2 inch each side. I save the edges to snack on too. Cut bars into squares and serve. They are delicious room temperature or chilled.
12 to 16 servings

Adapted From: Picky Palate

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Saturday, August 13, 2011

Blueberry Muffins & 1st Giveaway!

Good morning everyone! I am announcing my first giveaway today in celebration of reaching 500 "likers" on facebook. I'm actually already at "540" likers and I was only at 480 yesterday. WOWZERS!

I'm also sharing with you an amazing Blueberry Muffin recipe that would be perfect for breakfast tomorrow morning. The best thing about this is the blueberries literally explode in your mouth when you bite into the muffins. This is the first muffin recipe I've shared on my blog, but I've actually did two "guest posts" with other blogs and they both were muffins. If you want to check those recipes out please head over to A Dash of Thyme for my "Crumb-Topped Strawberry Rhubarb Muffins" and to Carrie's Sweet Life for my Banana Crumb Muffins. While you are there check out their other fabulous recipes and tell them I sent you!

This recipe looks complicated but the directions are just very thorough so don't let that scare you away!

Blueberry Muffins
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2 c. flour
1 Tbsp baking powder
1 egg
1 c. sugar
4 Tbsp butter, melted and cooled slightly
1 1/4 c. sour cream
1 1/2 c. frozen/fresh blueberries

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a standard 12-cup muffin tin (or line with paper liners) and set aside.

2. Whisk the flour and baking powder in a medium bowl until combined. Whisk the egg in a separate medium bowl until well-combined and light-colored, about 20 seconds. Add the sugar and whisk vigorously until thick, about 30 seconds. Add the melted butter in 2 or 3 additions, whisking to combine after each addition. Add the sour cream in 2 additions, whisking just to combine.

3. Add the berries to the dry ingredients and gently toss just to combine. Add the sour cream mixture and fold with a rubber spatula until the batter comes together and the berries are evenly distributed, 25 to 30 seconds. Small spots of flour may remain and the batter will be very thick. Do not over mix.

4. Using a large spoon or a cookie scoop sprayed with nonstick cooking spray, divide the batter amount the muffin cups.Fill them full if you want a pretty muffin that falls over the edges. Trust me they won't actually make a mess! Bake until the muffins are light golden brown and a toothpick or thin knife inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes, rotating the pan from front to back halfway through the baking time. Immediately remove muffins to a wire rack and cool for at least 5 minutes. Serve immediately or at room temperature. Store leftovers in an airtight container at room temperature.

Recipe Adapted From: Brown Eyed Baker

Now onto the giveaway directions!!

To enter this giveaway please follow the directions below. The giveaway with run through midnight Monday August 15th, 2011.

Open to US residents only. I love everyone but I can't afford to send it overseas or out of the country. Sorry!

You must leave a separate comment for each entry. You can enter up to three times. Please make sure to leave your email address when you enter.


1. Follow me on Facebook - If you already are then just tell me that!

2. Follow me on Twitter - If you already are just tell me that!

3. Follow me with Google Friend Connect - If you already are just tell me that!

Good Luck!


Friday, August 12, 2011

Twix Cookies

I bought a bag of Twix fun sized candy bars a while ago at the “Dent & Bent” store in my hometown and they’ve been staring at me ever since. So when I saw this recipe online I went “Ah! That’s what I can use those things for!”

The “Dent & Bent” store is like my favorite thing in our small town. It’s a little grocery store that carries only shelf stable food that the package is a bit damaged, the store went out of business and they bought what was left etc. Every time you go in there it’s a bit of an adventure and you never know what you will come up with. Usually I come away with a few good things like these Twix bars!

Once again I’m allergic to chocolate so I’m going off of my hubby’s, bro-in-law’s and niece’s opinion on the cookies, but I do know they stayed soft for a few days before they were gone. My niece ate up two of them quickly and I lost track of counting after three for each of the guys! The trickiest thing about this recipe is getting the cookies off this pan so let this be your warning. If you take them off right away they crumble, but if you wait too long the caramel sticks to the pan. I found out that the best way to get them off the pan is to let them cool almost completely and then loosen them up and let them cool the rest of the way. Enjoy!

Twix Cookies
Printer Friendly Recipe

2 c. + 2 Tbsp flour
½ tsp baking soda
12 Tbsp butter, melted & cooled until warm
1 c. brown sugar, packed
½ c. white sugar
1 egg + 1 egg yolk
2 tsp vanilla
2 c. chopped Twix bars
1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
2. Chop Twix bars up. In a medium bowl whisk together flour and baking soda. 
3. In another bowl mix butter and sugar until thoroughly combined. Beat in egg, yolk and vanilla until combined. Add dry ingredients to sugar mixture and beat on low until just combined. Gently stir in Twix.
4. Drop dough onto greased cookie sheets. Bake for 15-18 minutes. Rotate pan halfway through. Cool almost completely. When the cookie is still slightly warm loosen cookie on the baking sheet or it will stick.

Adapted From: Sprinkled with Flour

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Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Mini Meatball Sandwiches

I have the hardest times with dinners, or what others call "lunch" when you aren't from the Midwest. I hate this meal. Well that might be extreme but I struggle with making something for it. I always go the easy way with mac & cheese, grilled cheese, pizza, pigs in a blanket ok so you get the point.
Usually it's Saturdays when I struggle with this meal the most and lately we've had people over to help with the garage and I have to feed them and I never seem to plan ahead at all for this meal. It's like the forgotten meal to me. I go through and do a menu plan for the entire week, go to the grocery store and then it ends up being Saturday I'm going "Crap what on earth was I thinking"? Or maybe there was a lack of thinking that constituted my problem.

Last week I was totally on the ball and planned for the dreaded dinner on Saturday. Oh like it was dreaded, that might be me just being a bit drama filled. I picked out a Mini Meatball Sandwich recipe that I had "pinned" on Pinterest. By the way if you want to follow me go check it out and if you haven't used Pinterest I highly recommend getting started. If you need an invite just ask me!

Where was I? Oh back to the Mini Meatball Sandwiches. I had put this on the menu for Saturday and low and behold I realized Saturday morning this would be the day we wouldn't have anyone to eat it! Luckily, bless his heart, the hubby's older brother showed up and helped us for the day and we got the entire garage shingled! I also treated him to this for dinner, I mean it was the least I could do when he was out there sweating on our behalf. The recipe got rave reviews and it will be a keeper. So if you struggle as much as I do with dinners put your mind to rest and serve this up next time. Enjoy!

Mini Meatball Sandwiches
Printer Friendly Recipe

1 lb ground beef
1/2 c. Panko or Breadcrumbs
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 tsp salt
Black Pepper
1/2 c. milk
2 Tbsp Olive Oil
1/2 onion, diced
1 jar marinara sauce
12 Dinner rolls
12 Slices Provolone Cheese

1. Mix meat with bread crumbs, garlic, salt, pepper and milk. Knead together with hands. Roll into heaping tablespoon sized meatballs.

2. Heat olive oil in LARGE skillet over medium heat. Add onion into skillet and cook for one minute.

3. Add meatballs and brown one minute. If your skillet isn't that big you might have to do this in two different batches. Flip the meatballs over gently with a fork and brown the other side another minute. Add enough marinara over meatballs so they won't burn. I would guess I used about  1/2 of the jar. Shake pan throughout cooking to mix. Simmer with lid on for about 20 minutes.

4. Put Provolone cheese on bun and spoon meatballs and sauce on bun.

Adapted from: The Pioneer Woman


Monday, August 8, 2011

Chicken Alfredo Bubble Up

The hubby is a big fan of a local pizza joints chicken Alfredo pizza. I on the other hand am not a big fan of it. I am a fan of the concept but I think it needs something extra like a little bit more seasoning. It's just a bit blah. When I saw this recipe I went ohhhh ya the hubby is going to like this and woohoo I can adjust the seasonings to my liking. Hey this might just work! So I put it on the menu plan for the week soon after that. I'm proud to say it was a big hit.

Not only was it a big hit but it's super easy to make. It uses premade biscuits and all you had to do is cook some chicken and throw it together with a few seasonings, biscuits and a jar of Alfredo sauce. The kids will love it and I'm positive the hubby will too. There are many "bubble up" recipes out there and I am going to continue trying them after this hit.

My biggest tip on this recipe is make sure the biscuits are done in the middle. I set the timer for 25 minutes and just as I stuck it in the oven I hear a panicked "Julie!!!" from outside. The hubby was in a panic as his cell phone had just completely died on a Friday night. I quick grabbed an old one and ran up town to get it switched over (I think I deserve BIG wonderful wife points!). I left him with strict instructions to take out the supper in 25 minutes. Well, he succeeded but he didn't make sure it was completely done in the middle. It might have needed a few more minutes but it was still great! Enjoy!

Chicken Alfredo Bubble Up
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2 cans Grands Biscuits
1 lb jar Alfredo Sauce
2 c. Mozzarella Cheese
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp garlic salt
1 1/2 tsp Italian Seasoning
1 lb chicken, cubed & cooked

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

2. Cut each biscuit into 6 pieces and place in bowl. Toss biscuits with Alfredo sauce, garlic powder, garlic salt & Italian Seasoning.

3. Add chicken and half of cheese. Toss until well blended.

4. Spray a 9 in x 13 in pan with cooking spray. Pour biscuit mixture into the pan and top with remaining cheese. Bake at 375 degrees for 25 - 35 minutes or until biscuits are done. Make sure the middle is done!

Adapted from: Plain Chicken


Friday, August 5, 2011

Shredded Potato Casserole

Cheese and potatoes. In the same dish. Did I mention lots and lots and lots of cheese? How can you go wrong? I'm saying you probably can't, but in this dish you for sure won't.

Then you top it with just a little bit of crunch with the Krispies. Mmmmm Heaven on earth. Seriously. Also, I think I'm a carbaholic, but at least I've admitted it. Isn't that the first step?

Oh did I mention these are super duper easy. I mean it uses frozen hash browns. You don't even have to chop, dice, shred or what not to make these potatoes.  

I bet you are falling in love just I like might have. Never mind. I did fall in love. I think I want more.

I promise you that if you try these potatoes you won't be disappointed. Wait do I say that in every post? I suppose I do because I wouldn't share it with you if I wasn't in love with the dish! Enjoy!

Shredded Potato Casserole
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1 can (10 3/4 oz) cream of mushroom soup
1 c. sour cream
1/2 c. milk
1 c. shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 c. butter, melted, divided
1 package (30 oz) frozen shredded hash browns, thawed
1 c. Rice Krispies
1/4 c. grated Parmesan cheese

1. In a large bowl, combine the soup, sour cream, milk, cheddar cheese and 1/4 c. butter. Stir in hash browns.

2. Transfer to a greased 13 in x 9 in x 2 in baking dish.

3. Combine the Rice Krispies, Parmesan cheese and remaining butter; sprinkle over the top of hash brown mixture.

4. Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 50-60 minutes.

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Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Cherry Crunch Pie

This is originally my recipe except my mom stole it, well she borrowed it, well maybe I just shared it with her. I happened upon this recipe while in college. I'm not sure in what cooking class I made it in but it became a fast favorite of mine. At least I got one thing out of my $40,000+ education that I'm not really using except in my blog! That's right I have a Bachelor's in Hotel/Restaurant Management and I'm a successful Service Coordinator for a telecommunications company. Funny how that happens isn't it? Don't get me wrong, I love my job, but my education is rather useless at this moment in time. I did use it for about 4 years after college, but after that I moved to a smaller town and there's not much calling for it. I did learn lots of fun cooking tips and things like that which I use in everyday life. And you lucky people get to read about!

This is a super easy recipe and totally yummy, but unfortunately the hubby is not a fan of cherries so I don't have the opportunity to enjoy it very often. Remember how I told you he was going to be gone for a while during the week for work? Well, I may have used this to my advantage. No no no I'm not telling you I made it and invited my parents over, although that would have been a fantastic thing for a wonderful daughter like me to do. Actually my mom invited me over and told me I could pick whatever I wanted. This was definitely one of my top priorities. Along with several other dishes I will be sharing with you. My hubby frequently tells me I am spoiled by my parents. Now that I share this information with you I'm sure you might agree with him. Well the truth is I might be spoiled but I prefer to say I'm just loved!

This dessert is the best when it is served while still warm and fresh out of the oven. Well let it cool a little bit or that ice cream that you top it with will melt! Enjoy!

Cherry Crunch Pie
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1/2 c. butter, softened
1 c. brown sugar
1 c. flour
1 c. oatmeal
1 can cherry pie filling

1. Mix first four ingredients together.

2. Use 1/2 of mixture as a pie crust, pack firm in a pie plate.

3. Add cherries on top of crust.

4. Sprinkle other 1/2 of mix on top.

5. Bake 30 minutes or until brown on top at 350 degrees.

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Monday, August 1, 2011

Summer Slush

One hot, sweaty day at work (why am I complaining I was inside in the A.C. while my hubby was outside shingling...) I was treated to this awesome slush by a coworker. In the afternoon she came in and asked if I'd like a glass of slush. Who can turn down that when she's delivering it to you? It totally hit the spot and was so yummy I needed it for the blog. That's right NEEDED it so you all could experience its yumminess too.

This weekend I had the perfect excuse to make it. We had our end of the season softball tournament and a few of us camped this weekend also so I knew I'd have lots of friends to enjoy it with. I also knew that it was supposed to be super hot and humid and I would be welcoming an icy drink by the end of the day! Yup see I was just looking out for myself. Typical right?

Speaking of hot and humid...which it was...this makes the perfect time for storms. Saturday night we were sitting around the campers saying how it would be cool to see a tornado. Well low and behold we got our wish! It was a few miles north of the town we were in so we just sat by the lake and watched it grow, and grow and touched down in a field then dissipated with no one getting hurt. Now that's my kind of a tornado!

If you are looking for the perfect summertime treat to round out a cookout with your friends this slush will not disappoint! Enjoy!

Summer Slush
Printer Friendly Recipe

6 c. water
4 c. sugar
46 oz pineapple juice
12 oz frozen orange juice concentrate, thawed
2 - 12 oz frozen Welch's Strawberry Breeze concentrate, thawed
Sierra Mist
Vodka (optional)

1. Bring the water and sugar to boil. Cool the mixture.

2. Add the pineapple juice, orange juice and strawberry juice. Stir twice during freezing.

3. Serve with Sierra Mist and vodka.