Friday, September 30, 2011

Mexican Bubble Pizza

Since you all have loved the Chicken Alfredo Bubble Up I decided to try this Mexican Bubble Pizza and was not disappointed. I found the recipe on greens and chocolate. She's a fellow Minnesotan and I just stumbled upon her blog. I love it when you find someone with the same taste as you. Go check her out! You will have more "main dishes" coming to this blog now that my hubby is back and I have to cook for him. I was slacking a little on the main dishes and making more breakfast and snacks lately. While they are scrumptious we unfortunately can not live off them. Wouldn't that be nice if we could though?

This is the first week back at home with the hubby and was thinking I might have to get used to it again but so far I haven't had much of an adjustment. Wait. That's because I haven't hardly been home! I decided last night that there is just not enough hours in a day. Monday night was relaxing and low key which is always nice because I'm sorry Mondays are just awful enough. Going back to work, thinking of all the stuff going on for the week. They are just unpleasant! Tuesday night I had a Tupperware Party at Jason's aunt's house and did laundry after work because I was ambitious or thought I was. Then last night my Scentsy order came so I had to go through that to get ready to deliver it today, make a decent supper of Ham & Cheese Bowties oh they were yummy. And then I was off to volleyball which I totally love going and hanging out with the girls! Tonight it's delivering Scentsy and then Grey's and Private Practice! Do you have any TV shows you must watch?

This recipe is fun because it's pretty flexible and you can swap up your toppings and easily adaptable to each family members tastes. Have fun with the toppings and go wild or eat it plain with sour cream like the hubby did. Trust me the picture is of my plate not his. He's so boring! Enjoy!

Mexican Bubble Pizza
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1 lb ground beef
1 package taco seasoning mix
3/4 c. water
1 can (10.75 oz) condensed tomato soup (you can use a can of enchilada sauce too!)
1 can Grands Refrigerated biscuits
2 c. shredded Mexican cheese
2 c. shredded lettuce
2 medium tomatoes, chopped
1 c. salsa
1 (2.25 oz) can rip olives, drained
sour cream

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. In a large skillet brown the hamburger. Drain. Add taco seasoning, water and soup (or enchilada sauce) and mix well. Bring mixture to a boil and reduce heat and simmer for 3 minutes. Remove from heat.

2. Separate the dough into 8 biscuits. Cut the biscuits into 8 pieces each. Add the pieces to the beef mixture and gently stir. Spoon into a greased 9x13 in. glass dish.

4. Bake in oven for 20-22 min or until the sauce is bubbly and biscuits are golden brown. Sprinkle with cheese and bake another 10 minutes longer, or until cheese is bubbly.

Top with remaining ingredients!

Adapted from: greens and chocolate

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Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Grilled Pizza Burrito

I'm finally posting a recipe that doesn't deal with breakfast. I bet you are all a bit relieved. I'm not sure how or why I got on that kick but it was a good one. I think I noticed I didn't have many recipes for breakfast on the blog and I went overboard a bit. I'll try to do a couple posts that don't have anything to do with breakfast, but I'm not sure how long I can last without posting another one!

This "recipe" is another one of those super easy meals that doesn't really call for a recipe but I had to post it anyways. I created it last Saturday when I was needing a quick and easy lunch and I wasn't in the mood for anything time consuming. I had already made the Easy Cinnamon Rolls that morning, which yes they were easy but still I had spent time in the kitchen! I saw a picture of these online, where I have no idea, but the picture was in my head so I thought I'd make up my own little recipe.

These were so good that we not only ate them for lunch on Saturday we might have had them for Sunday lunch when we were watching some football. The hubby loves them, I love them, I love them even more because they are so easy, so I'll make them anytime he requests them that's for sure! These would also be super easy to do on the outside grill if you want to do that or even if you are camping and looking for a different treat. Enjoy!

Grilled Pizza Burrito
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Burrito Shell
Pizza Sauce
Shredded Cheese
Pepperoni (Or any pizza topping you'd like)
Garlic powder
Italian Seasoning

1. Spoon pizza sauce into the middle of the burrito shell and spread it around. you want to keep it about 3 inches from the side. Then layer on your pepperoni and shredded cheese. Sprinkle a little Italian Seasoning and garlic powder.

2. Fold two sides inward then start from a side that's not folded and roll the burrito up. There's some pictures below that will help show this!

3. Place in a panini press or a George Foreman or in a pan on the stove (you'll just have to flip it after the one side is brown).

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Monday, September 26, 2011

Speedy Cinnamon Rolls with Caramel Frosting

It's time for another Secret Recipe Club reveal today! If you aren't familar with the club I'll fill you in. We get assigned someone else's blog and we have to go to that blog and pick a recipe and try it. Then we write up a blog post on their recipe and reveal them on the same day. It's pretty fun and it's always exciting to try a new recipe and see who has your blog!

This month I was assigned A Tale of One Foodie's Culinary Adventures. I of course went and checked out the recipes right away and had to look at every single recipe on the blog to make sure I picked the right one. When I saw the recipe for Speedy Cinnamon Rolls I knew I just had to try it. You see I love cinnamon rolls but I'm not a big fan of all the work that goes along with making them. In fact, I've never made them because it scares me. When I saw this recipe and how it didn't even call for yeast I knew I had to try it. We weren't dissapointed at all. They were super simple and very yummy.

I adapted the recipe a bit and threw some apples in because it's fall and I was in the mood for some "fall" cinnamon rolls. They were awesome with apples in them. The rolls also didn't have any frosting on them and well I'm a frosting kind of girl and had to put some on my cinnamon rolls so I made a cream cheese frosting and added some caramel into it. Yummy! So if you are looking for a quick and easy cinnamon roll recipe here it is. Feel free to adapt it how you like!

Speedy Cinnamon Rolls
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3 1/4 c all purpose flour
3 Tbsp granulated sugar
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 c. buttermilk (I used a cup of vanilla yogurt)
1/2 c. whipping cream (I used milk)
1/3 c. butter, melted and cooled slightly
1/4 c. butter, softened
1/4 c. packed brown sugar
1/4 c. sugar
2 tsp cinnamon
1 apple, peeled and chopped

Caramel Frosting
4 oz. cream cheese
1 tbsp. unsalted butter
3 tbsp. caramel sauce
1 tbsp. milk
½ tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup powdered sugar

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

2. In a mixing bowl combine the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. In another bowl whisk the buttermilk, cream and melted butter. Add the liquid to the dry ingredients and stir until combined. Don't worry if it doesn't look like it's going to come together. Use your hands to kneed the dough until it comes together. If it seems a little sticky add some flour.

3. Roll out the dough on a floured surface using  rolling pin. You want the dough to be about 18 x 10 inches. Spread the dough with softened butter. Combine the brown sugar, sugar and cinnamon. Spread over dough evenly. If you want to add the apples add them now.

4. Starting with the long end roll the dough as tightly as you can. It's a little tricky if you have the apples in the there. Pinch the seam to seal and place the roll, seam-side down, on the counter. Cut the dough into 12 pieces using a sharp knife.

5. Pick up the slices and place in a greased muffin pan.

6. Bake for 25 minutes or until golden brown.

7. While the rolls are baking make your frosting. Combine the cream cheese and butter in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave in 15-20 second intervals until you can whisk the mixture together. Whisk in caramel sauce, milk and vanilla until smooth. Whisk in the powdered sugar until smooth. Drizzle over rolls.

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Friday, September 23, 2011

Pumpkin Spice Pancakes

Remember those Pumpkin Snickerdoodles I shared with you and they used only part of a can on pumpkin? That pumpkin has been staring at me every time I open the fridge saying, "Use me, Use me!" So what was a girl to do but use that pumpkin up!

It was a rainy and dreary day and I was in the mood for some soup or breakfast for supper sounded great too. Have you noticed my obsession with breakfast foods lately? Then I remember the pumpkin that kept staring me down and I started thinking. That thinking led to Tasty Kitchen because I knew there had been a pumpkin pancake recipe that interested me there. Yes I ventured out of the Pinterest world for a moment. Don't worry it will quickly suck me back in. I can go there a delete all the other pumpkin pancake recipes that I "pinned" previously because this one is on the only one I'll ever need.

I think the trick with this recipe is the beating of the eggs whites. Make sure you beat them a long time and they form stiff peaks. Then carefully fold the eggs into the batter mixture. The eggs are light and fluffy and this keeps the batter this way.

Once again I'm not a big fan of pumpkin, but I'm starting to wonder if it's actually just pumpkin pie that I'm not a big fan of. I think it's the texture that gets me with the pie. It's just mushy. I'm not a big fan of mushy. These pumpkin pancakes are light and fluffy with a bit of spice and pumpkin. Amazing. They scream fall and I'm all about fall with the weather we've been having lately. It sounds like we might get a reprieve this weekend so I think I'll send the hubby to the grill again. I have to take these opportunities while they exist because I'll be back at the cooking 100% during winter!

So if you already tried those cookies use up some of that extra pumpkin in your fridge and make these pancakes. Or you could always start with the pancakes and use up that leftover pumpkin with the cookies. Whichever suits your fancy. Enjoy!

Pumpkin Spice Pancakes
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1 1/4 Cups All Purpose Flour
3 Tbs. Sugar
2 tsp. Baking Powder
3/4 tsp. of Cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 tsp. cloves
3/4 tsp. Salt
1 1/3 Cups of Milk
3/4 Cups Pure Canned Pumpkin
4 large Eggs, separated
1/4 Cup Butter, Melted
1 tsp. Vanilla Extract

1. Preheat your griddle or frying pan.

2. Beat your egg whites in stand mixture until soft peaks form.
3. While your egg whites are mixing combine all the dry ingredients together. Whisk to combine.

4. Combine all your wet ingredients together MINUS the egg whites. Stir until mostly combined.Don't over work this. You want a few lumps.

5. Combine your wet ingredients (minus egg whites).

6. Add into your dry ingredients and whisk to combine.

7.  Fold eggs into the batter.

8. Pour 1/4 c. batter onto greased griddle or frying pan. Make sure the surface is hot before doing this or the pancakes become stuck to the pan. Trust me on this one I just might have experience. When bubbles form in the batter flip. Serve warm with syrup.

Recipe from: Sweet and Savory By Sarah

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Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Bacon, Egg & Cheese Quesadillas

Let me bring you back to my Sunday morning this past weekend. The picture goes something like this. I'm in the kitchen (surprise!) and the hubby is lounging on the couch. As I'm making muffins he asks with a sheepish grin, "Do you think you could make me a breakfast quesadillas also?" Sure, anything else I can do for you sir?

Quesadillas - Hubby is obsessed! We received a quesadilla maker for our wedding and he has not stopped making them since. I love it because when I have no other ideas for food I quick grab that and know he's going to be happy with whatever I put in there. It's basically a Sunday ritual to make quesadillas with whatever ingredient we have sitting around. I really want to try Artichoke and Spinach Dip quesadillas like you find at a restaurant next!

Ah it's all good. I love him dearly and I've only had a few days a week to treat him to home cooked meals so I better do it when I can. He'll be back after this week and things might change a little!

This isn't even hard enough to justify a recipe and sometime I think are people going to thing I'm pointing out the obvious? But these were so good and in case you wanted a recipe I thought I'd post one. They are super simple and quite tasty. It's a different twist on the plan old bacon and eggs. We have a handy quesadilla maker but you can make these in a frying pan also so don't let that stop you.

Bacon, Egg & Cheese Quesadillas
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Real Bacon Bits - Or bacon fried and crumbled
Two Burrito Sized Soft Shells
2 eggs, scrambled
Shredded Cheese

1. Scramble the eggs in frying pan. In a quesadilla maker or frying pan put one of the burrito shells down. Top with scramble eggs, cheese and bacon bits. Place the other shell on top.

2. Cook until the burrito on the bottom is golden brown and flip if you are using the frying pan. If using a quesadilla maker just wait for both to brown. Cut into 6 pieces and serve!


Monday, September 19, 2011

Cabbage Casserole

I talk about my mom a lot don't I? Well sorry I'm going to do it again in this post. No, I'm not sorry because a fab mother. Honestly. My friends used to call her mom. I mean how many mom's would make you chocolate chip cookies at 10:00 on a Friday night because your friends were hanging out downstairs and we just wanted some? Not many. But my mom would. No wonder why they liked to come out to my house even though we lived in kinda the middle of no where. Dang and I thought they liked me! Well I guess I gotta work with what I got and if it's mom's cooking/baking I got then I'll work with it.

Mom's my best friend. Kinda corny huh? She is and I'm not going to lie. Maybe it's because she's my mom and she has to love me even though sometimes I kinds snitty when I get stressed. A horrible and awful trait of mine. Ask my hubby. Ask my mom. Wait ask my little brother. Now he taught my hubby how to handle these moments. It goes something like this, "Julie need a hug? Julie need a hug?" (Julie running away and little bro chasing, catching and Julie fighting it) "Awwww Julie needed a hug!" Now my hubby does it minus the chasing usually I know by now just to give in. And it works. Gotta love my family.

Wait (easily distracted) ok back to mom and her cooking/baking. This recipe was actually passed down from my great aunt Nettie. Now she was a cooker/baker and gardener. Mom missed out on the gardener trait. But I still love her just as much don't worry. I always loved this recipe and I was surprised the first time she made it because it was cabbage. Ah the horror when I was growing up and mom made cabbage. And I liked it. Wait that shouldn't be possible but it was. Now I know why I liked it. Cream. It makes anything edible more than likely. So even if this has cabbage in it I think the cream might just cross out the healthy factor. It's awesome so if you are wondering what to do with that cabbage because you were blessed with the gardener gene here you go. If you weren't blessed I highly recommend a trip to the farmer's market or grocery store so you can enjoy this!

Cabbage Casserole
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1/2 - 1 head cabbage, chopped
1 Tbsp flour
2 tsp mustard powder
Salt, pinch
1 c. cream
7 bacon strips, cooked

1. Fill a 2 quart casserole dish with cabbage. Sprikle flour, mustard powder and salt over the cabbage. Pour the cream over the mixture. Lay bacon strips over the top.

2. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour. Cut strips of bacon with scissors before serving.

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Friday, September 16, 2011

Pumpkin Snickerdoodles

Guess how I found this recipe? Pinterest of course! The hubby is coming home for the weekend and I said I should make some food for him. He was all giddy and declared I should make cookies, and bars, and banana bread! Well, I got the cookies done. If his luck is with him I might tackle the other two throughout the weekend, but we've got a busy one coming up so we will see!

When he asked for his treats I of course went to my pinterest boards to see what I could round up. I knew I wanted something with a fall twist on it as it got incredibly cold last night (like literally freezing cold) and it felt like fall was here with an edge of winter. Apples looked like a great ingredient and I realized I didn't have any at home. Pumpkin sounded good and I knew that was in my pantry (aka coat closet hubby turned into a make shift pantry we do with what we have!).

This recipe comes from Recipe Girl and she doesn't lead me wrong so I figured I was safe making these cookies. She's also one of my blog "idols". She's made this her very own business and does all sorts of cool things like writing recipes for different companies, develops her very own recipes, guest speaks at blog camps just to name a few things. Plus her son has his own blog called Recipe Boy. He begged to get it for his birthday. Now how cool is that? She seems like a lovely lady and has amazing recipes so if you haven't checked out her website I highly recommend you go do it now and her sons for that matter!

These cookies are awesome. The pumpkin isn't overpowering and there's a hint of cinnamon coated on the outside. Plus they are soft which is a must in my book with any cookie. I'll admit I was hesitant when I saw the list of spices in the rolling sugar but I had faith in Recipe Girl and went for it anyways. I always thought I didn't like Snickerdoodles but I must because I love these cookies and I love the Gooey Snickerdoodle Bars. It must have been one of those weird kid phobias. So if you are looking for a fall treat to try out I highly recommend these lovely cookies. Enjoy!

Click here from printer friendly recipe!

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Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Birds Eye Voila!

I'm guilty. I sometimes take the easy way out. I'm not going to lie.

I know I can't be the only one that does this. Sometimes life just gets in the way and I don't have time or the ambition to whip a fabulous meal. Don't judge. Don't hate.

As part of the Foodbuzz Tastemakers program I was given free Birds Eye Voila! meals to try out. I just tried the Garlic Chicken and I'm impressed!

I definitely will be making this again. Wait. The hubby will return and I won't be able to make something with so many fabulous veggies in it. I guess I'll throw him a hot dog or something while I enjoy this scrumptious premade meal!

Unfortunately my local grocery store isn't cool enough to carry these products so I had to wait for shopping in a bigger town, but the wait was worth it. The meal I tried "Garlic Chicken" was loaded with carrots, broccoli and carrots among the pasta and chicken. It was all coated with a yummy garlic sauce. My house smelled amazing while this meal was cooking.

If you are looking for a quick weeknight meal when you are in a bind I highly recommend you check these out. You simply mix the frozen contents with a little water and cook for 10 minutes and its ready to go. The regular size bagged probably will only feed two people, but I saw on the website they have family sizes also. This would be perfect for all you lovely single people out there. I know when I lived along pre-hubby I was always looking for easy, but delicious meals!

*Disclosure – As part of the Foodbuzz Tastemaker Program, I received Birds Eye Viola! to try and write about it. Opinions expressed are my own and are NOT influenced by monetary compensation.

Upside-Down Caramel Apple Rolls

Have you noticed I'm obsessed with breakfast lately? I never used to make anything special for breakfast on the weekends. This was more than likely due to the fact I worked every other Saturday and just didn't have time. I love breakfast. I'm one of those crazy people that also make it for supper occasionally.

I'm also one of those people that don't like to spend house making breakfast. If you love to slave over rolls in the morning for hours Kudos to you. I on the other hand, LOVE, my sleep. Sometimes I wonder with age if you will grow out of needing 10 hours of sleep, but it hasn't happened to this chick yet. Ok I really don't sleep for 10 hours. During the week I usually get seven so you but your buck if I can sleep in on Saturday it is going to happen and I repeat I will NOT be in the kitchen at the crack of down!

This is why this recipe grabbed my attention right away. It uses a can of pre-made cinnamon rolls. Hallelujah, Joy to the World, I can sleep AND have yummy rolls. Perfection. It takes these rolls and adds a little jazz with a homemade caramel sauce and apples. Oh apples. I warn you this might be my next obsession at this time of year once I move on from the zucchini. PS. I might have just found another zucchini recipe to try and you might see it later depending on if it turns out!

So if you are like this chick and like your sleep or plain old don't have time to slave away over rolls in the morning this is the perfect treat for you. The original recipe says it serves 8. There is no way this served 8. I think we could have stretched it to 4, but you got it. Three of us polished this off without a problem. Enjoy!

Upside Down Caramel Apple Rolls
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1 1/2 c. apples, chopped and peeled
1 can (12.4 ounce) Pillsbury cinnamon rolls with icing
1/2 c pecan halves or pieces (I of course omitted this but it would be wonderful with)
2 Tbsp butter, melted
1/3 c. packed brown sugar
2 Tbsp corn syrup

1. Heat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray 8x8 in glass dish with cooking spray.  Spread 1 cup of the apples in pie plate.

2. Separate dough into 8 rolls.  Cut each roll into quarters; place in large bowl.  Add remaining 1/2 cup apples and pecans.

3. In small bowl, mix butter, brown sugar and corn syrup until well blended.  Add brown sugar mixture to dough mixture; toss gently to combine.  Spoon mixture over apples in pan.

4. Bake 28 to 38 minutes or until deep golden brown.  Cool 5 minutes.  Invert onto serving platter. Remove lid from icing.  Microwave icing on high 10 to 15 seconds or until drizzling consistency.  Drizzle over warm coffee cake.  Serve warm.

Recipe from: Lady Behind the Curtain

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Monday, September 12, 2011

Zucchini Waffles

Another weekends comes to a close. Always the worst part of the weekend is when you realize it is almost over once again and back to the chaos of the work week we go. We had another wonderful weekend in the Evink household. The weather was amazing. Nice and hot for September and as I look at the forecast it looks like it may be coming to an end. Low of 30 degrees on Wednesday night!

I love fall. Love, love, love it. In my mind fall is this - Chilly days filled with hoodie sweatshirts, leaves crispy and falling to the ground, apple desserts and treats, followed by pumpkin treats, the great harvest on the farm and football. What does fall make you think of?

Wait I forgot to include volleyball. My volleyball seasons starts on Wednesday night this week and I'm totally pumped. It's so much fun to get together with the girls and have a slightly competitive, but yet fun filled night.

As fall comes I need to finish posting my summer treats. I think I tell you every time I post a zucchini recipe that this will be my last for the season. Well maybe this time it will be, but I'll warn you I have two zucchinis left. Those might be reserved for some zucchini bread so I won't torture you with another zucchini recipe. I whipped these waffles up for a treat for a Saturday morning "brunch". I had to go and work at a fair for a work both and I knew my hubby needed to be fed before I left so I made these right before I left. They were super yummy. I think the cinnamon really adds to this recipe. I personally used some all-purpose flour and some whole wheat flour. If you don't have whole wheat please feel free to use all-purpose flour. Go get those zucchinis and use them up before I start throwing apple treats at you! Enjoy!

Zucchini Waffles
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1 large zucchini, shredded
2 c. flour (I used 1 1/2 c. all-purpose and 1/2 c. whole wheat)
1 Tbsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/3 c. sugar
1 1/2 c. milk
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract

1. Turn waffle maker on and let it preheat.

2. In a mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and sugar. Stir together.

3. In another bowl whisk together milk, eggs and vanilla extract. Add to the dry ingredients. Beat until smooth. Fold in the zucchini (I drained some of the moisture from the zucchini by pressing it with a paper towel). Mix well.

4. Spray waffle maker with cooking spray and spread batter on waffle maker. Make the waffle according to waffle maker instructions. Repeat with remaining batter.

Adapted from: Gimme Some Oven


Friday, September 9, 2011

Apple Crisp

I had a wonderful night tonight with an amazing friend. As you all know the hubby is once again gone and I like to stay busy through the week. I had tried to get together with my friend last week and it didn't work out so we picked tonight as the night. She's a relatively new mom, and an absolutely amazing one if I do say myself, and her hubby is a farmer so she is home alone a lot so she can related to my being home also. We thought it would be perfect to get together and entertain each other, plus then I get to hang out with her little man and he's so adorable! He's grown so much since I saw him last. He's at the age where he's giggling and cooing and talking to you and makes you sound absolutely stupid by doing the same things back!

Last night I whipped up Spasanga and had it already to go so all I had to do was stick it in the oven after work. Have you noticed this is one of my go to meals for everything? This time I split it into two 8x8 in pans and froze one of them because it makes a ton. Highly recommend this if you haven't tried it. So I got home tonight and stuck that in the oven and was looking for something yummy to throw with it and a green salad and came up with Garlic Cheddar Biscuits. Oh man those were yummy plus they are low calorie (only 90 calories) and once again I only made half of the batch. Seriously you would never guess they were "healthified". I wonder why I don't make them more often? I better change that.

After we ate supper we went on a nice relaxing walk mixed in with lots of gossip. I mean we are after all girls right? It was the perfect night for a walk. I thought wow this is an amazing night often throughout the walk.I had made this amazing apple crisp the night before so I stuck it in my oven which was still warm and when we got back it was all warmed up and perfect. Served with a scoop of ice cream and it was heaven. I'll be honest I have never made apple crisp before and I wonder why I haven't. It's not hard and I love it. I think it was because it was one of those treats that mom always made so I just let her continue to make it. My friend said she was craving apple crisp so I was more than happy to oblige after all I've been craving fall food and this screams fall to me. So if you are anxious to have some "fall" in your life go and make this apple crisp. You won't be disappointed after all it comes from "Mom's" recipe box! Enjoy!

Also check out my new post Heaven is for Real on "Beyond Food"!

Apple Crisp
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8 c. apples, peeled and thinly sliced
1 c. sugar
1 c. butter, melted
1 c. brown sugar
1 c. flour
1 c. oatmeal
1 tsp baking powder

1. Put sliced apples on bottom of 9x13 in pan.

2. Sprinkle sugar and cinnamon over the top of the apples. Apply a liberal amount of cinnamon. This is one of the best parts!

3. Mix butter, brown sugar, flour, oatmeal and baking powder. Pat down on top of apples and sugar.

4. Bake at 350 degrees for 40-45 minutes

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Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Peanut Butter Chocolate Bars

I was going to post another treat tonight but I was already asked if this was on my blog so I skipped ahead and went with this post! I realized that the blog is seriously lacking in chocolate treats. I blame me not being able to eat chocolate and Jason not being a big chocolate fan on that. When I was looking to make a treat for Jason and his dad, who was helping us with the garage, this last Saturday I went straight to my Pinterest board. I needed something that was easy and I had everything for plus who can resist peanut butter and chocolate together? I got the recipe off the blog The Girl Who Ate Everything. If you haven't checked out her awesome blog I highly recommend you go there right now and do that, well after you get done looking at mine of course! She has an awesome blog full of delicious meals and treats.

I love the fact that this recipe starts out with a cake mix you doctor up a little with peanut butter and it becomes this delicious treat. I had everything on hand for the recipe, which is always a plus. I'm not a big fan of having a ton of recipes that call for a few rare ingredients I never have on hand. Don't get me wrong a few of those are definitely welcome, but not all the time where I'm constantly running to the store because I don't know about you but I can never get out of a grocery store spending less than $50! I brought a few in for treats for my coworkers and one of them informed me this was one of those pans he could just keep going back to and nibbling on which I figured is a good sign. Enjoy!

Peanut Butter Chocolate Bars
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1 pkg. plain yellow cake mix
1 stick melted butter
1 c. creamy peanut butter
2 eggs
1 (12 oz) pkg. chocolate chips
1 can sweetened condensed milk
2 T. butter
2 tsp. vanilla
1. Mix together cake mix, butter, peanut butter and eggs. Press this into a greased 9x13 pan and reserve 1 1/2 c. of mixture for the topping.
2. Melt chocolate chips, sweetened condensed milk and butter on low heat. Once melted remove from heat and add vanilla.
3. Spread chocolate mixture over the mixture pressed in the pan and then crumble the 1 1/2 of reserved cake mixture on top. Bake for 20-25 minutes at 325 degrees. Cool completely before cutting into bars.

Adapted from: The Girl Who Ate Everything

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Monday, September 5, 2011

Healthy Zucchini Muffins

Happy Labor Day! I hope you have had a wonderful long weekend and have made the most of our final fling before summer is over. I can't believe it's already September. I actually love fall, but I live in Minnesota and I dread winter. If it was only a few months long I could handle it. For example if it snowed December 1st and it was melted by January 1st now that's my kind of a winter, but unfortunately that isn't even a possibility. I'm lucky if the snow melts in March and more than likely it will be April. I become a very cranky person in the winter. My poor hubby!

Fall on the other hand is perfect weather. I love the crisp mornings and leaves turning colors. Pulling out my sweaters and cuddling up in jeans in a hoodie. Nothing better than that in my opinion. I grew up on a farm so fall is ingrained into my brain as being harvest time. I usually call my dad in the mornings to check in on the farming progress. I remember growing up when I would often tell him that my school events could be skipped, well should be skipped, to get that crop out of the field. True farm girl for you huh? I actually live in my hometown so I get to go ride in the combine with my little brother who now farms with my dad. My mom is big on bringing a hot supper out to the field every night for the guys and gals. I think that they work for the supper most of the time. Every once in a while I'll volunteer to do that and I think she's about ready to kiss me for it!

Today we are trying to finish the siding on the garage. My hubby is currently out pounding in nails and asking when I'm coming to help, so I suppose I should wrap this post up and help him. I'm not a big help but I think he enjoys the "moral" support more than anything and if that keeps him happy I'm more than happy to oblige. Look for a post and pictures later over on Beyond Food. Hopefully we can get it all sided today before our Labor Day picnic at my aunt's house. My other aunt and uncle for Arizona are in town so it should be a good time. Which reminds dad came to help side on Saturday. Showed up hungry so I had to feed him and then my uncle from AZ came walking up the driveway. Needless to say he ate, visited and left never to pound a nail! He might be getting teased for that one for a while!

I'm sharing another zucchini recipe today. Don't worry pretty soon I'll move onto the apple and pumpkin recipes for fall! It's a healthy muffin recipe since I've had a few requests for some more healthy options I'll try to do that once in a while! Enjoy!

Healthy Zucchini Muffins
Printer Friendly Recipe

1 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
1/2 c. white sugar
1/2 c. brown sugar, packed
1 1/2 c. grated zucchini
1/2 tsp salt
2 eggs
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/3 c. applesauce, unsweetened (You can also use canola oil)
2 tsp baking powder
Cinnamon and sugar for topping (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugars, salt, baking powder and cinnamon. Set aside.

2. In a different bowl, combine grates zucchini, eggs, vanilla and applesauce. You can substitute oil for the applesauce, but I was trying to be healthy! Stir well to combine, then gently stir into flour mixture. Be careful not to overwork this - it will lead to dense muffins and no one wants those!

3. Fill lined or greased muffins tins about 3/4 full. I use a cookie scoop to do this and it works wonderfully. You can sprinkle cinnamon and sugar on for topping. Once again I omitted this because I was trying to be healthy! Bake for 25 - 35 minutes or until golden brown.


Friday, September 2, 2011

Stained Glass Jello

Looking for a fun treat for the Labor Day Weekend? I have got just the thing for you today! Oh glorious long holiday weekend I'm ready for you. I was just talking to a coworker saying I haven't had an actual vacation day since my honeymoon last August. How depressing is that? I went and switched jobs so I have to wait six months for a vacation day, which isn't bad compared to some jobs and then I got paid out my vacation at the last job when I quit so I never go to use it. I'm ready for a true vacation, although I don't have any planned!

Another little tidbit....I've added a new tab to my blog "Beyond Food". It will be posts about life and not much to do with food. It's a separate blog feed so if you've subscribed to my blog via email or Google reader you won't get these posts. If you want them make sure to subscribe on "Beyond Food" page! My first post is up and ready for you to read!

As you can see I made this treat for a 4th of July picnic and never got around to posting it till now. I figured we were all having our last big horah before the end of summer and this would be the perfect thing to share with you. It's easily adaptable to whatever colors you want to incorporate. It's cute, fun and you get lots of compliments when you bring it somewhere. I mean come on who doesn't like compliments? It makes you feel like the star of the picnic. So if you are looking to be the star (and I know you are!) I highly recommend making this. Enjoy!

 Stained Glass Jello
Printer Friendly Recipe

2 strawberry jello (.3 oz)
2 blueberry jello (.3 oz)
14 oz can sweetened condensed milk
2 envelopes unflavored gelatin (Knox)

1. Dissolve strawberry jello in 2 c. boiling water. Dissolve blueberry jello in 2 c. boiling water. Pour into two separate 9 x 13 in pans. Chill at least 3 hours (I did mine overnight). After chilling cut the jello into small blocks. Arrange blocks in a 9 x 13 in pan, mixing the colors together.

2. In a separate bowl sprinkle 2 envelopes unflavored gelatin into 1/2 c. cold water. After the gelatin blooms add 1 1/2 c. boiling water and dissolve. Add the condensed milk. Stir and let cool. Make sure you let it cool before you pour it over the jello blocks or the blocks melt and you turn out with a mess! Skim off any small bubbles.

3. Chill overnight or at least three hours. Cut and serve!

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