Friday, September 30, 2011

Broccoli Cheddar Chicken Crescent Braid

This meal is so ridiculously easy. Nothing fancy, no frills. Just easy, fast, and delicious!

Broccoli Cheddar Chicken Crescent Braid
Recipe slightly adapted from 3 Kids and Us

2 cans crescent rolls
2 cups chicken chunks, cooked
2 cups cheddar cheese
2 cups fresh broccoli, chopped small
1/2 cup mayonnaise

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F On a parchment paper lined cookie sheet, spread both cans of crescents length wise to form a long rectangle. Press each of the seams to form a single layer of dough.

In a large bowl, combine chicken, cheese, broccoli and mayonnaise

Spread mixture over the center of the croissant dough evenly to create a log. Using a sharp knife, cut horizontal strips 1 inch apart down each side of the crescent dough. Fold the dough strips over the top of the chicken mixture, alternating left and right to create a braid.

Bake for 28 – 30 minutes until golden brown.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Apple Crisp Ice Cream

I am learning to love "fall" in the desert. Sure, I miss cooler temperatures and changing leaves and an actual new season. But, one thing El Paso fall has that Germany didn't is 90 degree weather. :) That means I can still break out the ice cream machine and make a fall inspired treat for my family.

This ice cream is AMAZING! My husband said it is one of the best, if not THE BEST, ice cream I have ever made. I combined my favorite vanilla ice cream with cooked apples and a delicious crisp. Wow... just delicious!

So, if you are still having warm temps, make some ice cream. And if you are cold already, well, still make some ice cream. You won't be disappointed!

Apple Crisp Ice Cream

Ice Cream:
Use your favorite vanilla recipe! Need about 2 pints.

2 granny smith apples, peeled and chopped
2 TBSP butter
1/4 tsp apple pie spice
2 TBSP brown sugar
1 tsp lemon juice

1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup flour
6 TBSP butter
1/2 cup old fashioned oats

For Apples: Melt butter in skillet. Add apples through brown sugar and saute until apples are soft. Remove from heat; stir in lemon juice. Let cool.

For Crisp: Mix all ingredients until crumbly. Pour onto cookie sheet and bake at 350 for 10-15 minutes or until crisp. Let cool and break into pieces.

Mix apples and crisp into ice cream. Freeze.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Honey Chicken

This chicken is SO delicious! Way better than take-out and disappeared quickly! YUM YUM YUM!

Chinese Honey Chicken
Recipe from BlogChef

1 ½ lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts (cut into 1” chunks)
Oil (for deep frying)

4 tablespoons cornstarch
¼ cup flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ cup water
½ teaspoon salt
1 egg
1 egg white

Sauce-1 ½ tablespoons oil
2 teaspoon ginger (minced)
3 tablespoons garlic (minced)
1 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon rice wine vinegar
½ cup water
1 teaspoon cornstarch (mixed with 1 teaspoon water)

Sesame seeds (for garnish)

In a large bowl mix all batter ingredients together until smooth. Cover and allow the batter to site for at least 30 minutes. Add the chicken to the batter tossing to coat.

Heat a deep fryer to 350 degrees. Fry chicken bits in patches for 2 minutes or until batter becomes firm. Drain on paper towels.

To make the sauce. Heat 1 ½ tablespoons of oil in your wok. Add garlic and ginger and stir fry for 30 seconds. Add salt, honey, vinegar, and water. Mix well. Combine 1 teaspoon of water with 1 teaspoon of cornstarch. Add to the sauce and Simmer for 2 minutes.

Coat chicken with the sauce and garnish with sesame seeds. Serve with white rice.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

TWD: Flip-Over Plum Cake

Holy wow is this DELICIOUS!!!!!! I made it right after the September recipes were posted and my family gobbled it right up. The plums are tossed with sugar, ginger, cinnamon, and coriander. The plums are placed on top of a delicious batter and then the batter bakes up around them. And the way it smells while cooking.... HEAVENLY!

Thanks to Becky of Project Domestication for hosting this week. The recipe (which you MUST get) can be found at her blog or on page 42 of Baking: From My Home To Yours.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Rice Krispie Trio

I had a few Rice Krispie Treat recipes bookmarked so I decided it would be fun to cut each recipe in half and make all three at once. Rice Krispies are one of those treats that you can do just about anything with. I made Nutella Krispies, Peanut Butter Cup Krispies, and Pumpkin Pie Spice Krispies. There wasn't a bad one in the bunch! YUM!

Nutella Krispies
Recipe from Sticky, Gooey, Creamy, Chewy

4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter
1 package (10 oz.) regular marshmallows or 4 cups miniature marshmallows
1 cup Nutella
6 cups Rice Krispies cereal

Melt butter in a large saucepan over low heat. Add marshmallows and stir until completely melted. Remove from heat and stir in Nutella until melted.

Add cereal. Stir with a wooden spoon or spatula until well coated. It helps to spray a little nonstick cooking spray on the spoon to keep it from sticking.

Using a sheet of wax paper, evenly press mixture into a 13 x 9-inch pan coated with nonstick cooking spray. Cool and cut into 2-inch squares.

Peanut Butter Cup Krispies
Recipe from Cookies and Cups

8 cups puffed rice cereal (Rice Krispies)
1 (10.5 oz) bag mini marshmallows
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
21 peanut butter cups unwrapped
1 cup peanut butter chips (melted)

Line a 9×9 pan with foil, and spray lightly with cooking spray.

Place your unwrapped peanut butter cups face down in your prepared pan. (You might need to cut some in half to make them fit nicely.)

Over low heat melt your butter. Add your marshmallows to the melted butter and stir until marshmallows are melted.

Remove from heat and stir in your peanut butter. When the peanut butter is incorporated stir in your krispies.

When combined dump the krispie mixture on top of the peanut butter cups and press evenly in to pan. Let sit for at least 15 minutes to cool and then flip the pan upside down releasing the krispie treats.

Peel foil back off krispies. Drizzle your melted peanut butter chips on top of the krispie treats and let set before cutting into squares.

Pumpkin Spice Krispies
Recipe from Cookies and Cups

1/4 cup salted butter
1 (10.5) oz bag mini marshmallows
6 cups Rice Krispie cereal
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

Spray 9x9 pan with non-stick spray.  Over med-low heat melt your butter. Once your butter is melted, continue to cook until butter starts to brown.
It will turn a golden brown color and develop a nutty aroma. Be careful not to burn. Once the butter begins to brown it can burn quickly. Stir up any brown bits. Add the marshmallows and pumpkin pie spice. Stir until marshmallows are melted. Remove from heat and stir in rice krispies.

When mixed spread the krispie mixture in your prepared pan. Spray a sheet of wax paper or parchment with non-stick spray and gently press the krispies down evenly. Let cool for 30 minutes and then cut into squares.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Hearty Tuna Casserole

I am surprised by how many recipes are in my old cookbook that I have never posted on the blog before. I wouldn't say they are regulars for us but that is mostly because I try so many new recipes that we don't have time to make the old ones. I was nice pouring through my old recipes and re-discovering the meals that we used to make all the time.

Hearty Tuna Casserole

3 cups cooked egg noodles
12 oz tuna, drained
1 cup celery, chopped
1/2 cup green onions, chopped
1 cup zucchini, chopped
1/3 cup sour cream
2 tsp mustard
1/2 cup mayo
1/2 tsp thyme
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup monterey jack, shredded
1 tomato, diced

Preheat oven to 350.

In a large bowl, mix all ingredients (minus cheese and tomato). Spoon into greased 2 qt casserole dish. Top with cheese. Bake for 30 minutes. Garnish with chopped tomato.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Stromboli Supreme

Here is another recipe from my old files that I have been making for years. It is so yummy and definitely a family favorite!

Stomboli Supreme

1 loaf frozen bread dough, thawed and risen
2 eggs, seperated
1 TBSP parmesan
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp oregano
2 TBSP olive oil
Bell Pepper
Italian Sausage, cooked and crumbled
Garlic salt and parmesan for topping
Marinara or Pizza Sauce, for dipping

Press dough into rectangle. Combine egg yolks through olive oil and spread on dough. Layer toppings and roll up. Beat egg whites with a little water and brush top of dough with it. Sprinkle with garlic salt and parmesan.

Bake at 350 for 30-35 minutes or until browned.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Taco Stuffed Shells

About 6 years ago I made a cookbook for family as a Christmas gift. It included recipes collected from members of the family and also a lot of recipes from me. Most of the recipes I included were favorites and regulars on our weekly menu. This was all before I started collecting recipes like they were gold so we often repeated meals throughout the month. These days we rarely eat the same thing twice in a month because I am constantly trying new things.

Last week I pulled out the old cookbook and started looking through it. I realized that there were quite a few old recipes that I have never posted on the blog. I decided to make my favorites and finally get them posted.

This recipe is one of those favorites. It isn't your ordinary stuffed shell recipe but man is it delicious. The meat is mixed with cream cheese, stuffed inside the shell, and topped with taco sauce and cheese. SOOOOO good!

Enjoy and be on the lookout for more "old" recipes! :)

Taco Stuffed Shells

1 lb ground beef
8 oz cream cheese
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp chili powder
18 jumbo shells, cooked
2 TBSP butter, melted
1 cup taco sauce
1 cup cheddar cheese
1 cup monterey jack cheese

Brown beef in skillet. Add cream cheese, salt, and chili powder; simmer 5 minutes.

Toss cooked shells in butter and fill with beef mixture. Arrange shells in pan. Pour taco sauce over shells; cover with foil.

Bake at 350 for 15 minutes. Uncover, top with cheeses. Bake 15 minutes longer or until bubbly.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Biscotti

My husband's favorite cookie is White Chocolate Macadamia Nut so when I saw this biscotti recipe I knew I would be making it soon. It was a great biscotti recipe and we all loved it!


White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Biscotti
Recipe from Surly Kitchen

½ c sugar
4 Tbl butter, melted
1 tsp vanilla
2 eggs
1 ¼ c flour
2/3 c quick oats
½ tsp baking powder
generous pinch salt
¼ c white chocolate chips
1.5 oz (generous ¼ c) chopped macadamia nuts

In a bowl, stir together flour, oats, baking powder, and salt in a bowl. Set aside.

In a mixing bowl, add sugar, melted butter, and vanilla in a bowl. Whisk in the eggs. Add the dry ingredients, along with the chips and nuts, and stir with a rubber spatula (or wooden spoon) until just combined. Cover dough and chill in refrigerator for 30 minutes minimum.

When ready to bake, remove dough from fridge and preheat oven to 350F.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or silicone baking mat. With wet hands, take the dough and form it into a rectangular loaf. Bake for about 30 minutes, until golden brown. Remove.

Allow to cool for 15 minutes. Using a serrated knife, cut loaf into desired portion size. Bake the pieces for about 6 minutes on each side, until golden and toasted.

If desired, drizzle melted chocolate over pieces. Allow to cool completely, before storing in an airtight container.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Beefy Tomato Soup

My husband says this soup reminds him of a stuffed bell pepper. Easy, hearty, and delicious! :)

Beefy Tomato Soup

1 lb ground beef
1 onion, chopped
green pepper, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp salt (more or less depending on taste)
1/2 teaspoon basil
1/2 teaspoon  oregano
3 cans tomato soup
2  cups water
2 cups  gemilli, cooked (could use rotini, small shells, or elbow)
Parmesan for serving

Cook the beef through oregano in a large soup pot until beef is cooked through. Mix in soup, water,
and gemelli. Cook until hot and bubbling. Ladle into bowls and top with parmesan.

    Sunday, September 18, 2011

    Pumpkin Pie Pancakes

    I know there are a ton of pumpkin pancake recipes out there but I am throwing one more into the mix. Instead of trying to pick from all the recipes, I created my own and I have to say they are fantastic!

    I have made these two weekends in a row and my family gobbles them up. My husband, who isn't a big pancake eater, has had seconds both times and has requested that I make these often this fall. They are amazingly delicious and taste so much like pumpkin pie.


    Pumpkin Pie Pancakes

    2 cups flour
    2 tsp baking powder
    1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
    1 tsp salt
    1/2 cup brown sugar
    3 tbsp oil
    3/4 cup pumpkin
    1 3/4 cups buttermilk
    1 egg
    1 tsp vanilla

    Mix flour through brown sugar in a large bowl. In a medium bowl mix oil through vanilla. Mix wet into dry and whisk to combine. Cook on griddle until done. Serve with maple syrup or whipped cream... or both!

    Saturday, September 17, 2011

    Minny's Caramel Cake

    The entire time I was reading "The Help" all I could think of was Minny's Caramel Cake. I LOVE caramel and was excited to try a cake with caramel. I ended up making this for my birthday and it was fantastic!!!

    I used the caramel frosting recipe for the filling and a caramel cream cheese frosting for the outside. It was such a fantastic cake!!!


    Minny's Caramel Cake
    Recipe found at Scrumpdillyicious

    Minny's Caramel Cake
    Makes one 9" 2-layer cake

    1 cup finely chopped pecans, plus extra for garnish
    1 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
    2 cups granulated sugar
    4 large eggs
    1 tsp vanilla extract
    3 cups unsifted cake flour
    1/8 tsp salt
    3 tsp baking powder
    1 1/2 cups buttermilk

    Pre-heat oven to 350°F. Cream butter and sugar with an electric mixer at medium speed for about 20 minutes or until mixture is light and fluffy. Reduce speed to low and add eggs one at a time beating well after each addition. Add vanilla and mix until blended. Combine flour, baking powder, pecans and salt in another bowl. Slowly alternate adding buttermilk and flour mixture to butter mixture, Begin and end with flour mixture and make sure to scrape down sides of bowl frequently until all is combined. Mix batter until well blended and smooth.

    Prepare 2 9-inch pans by lining the bottoms with parchment paper, buttering the side then dusting with flour. Divide the batter evenly among the 2 pans. Bake for 18-20 minutes or until cake is lightly browned and springs back and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Remove cakes from pans after cooling for 10 minutes and then cool completely on wire racks.

    Caramel Frosting:

    2 1/2 cups sugar
    1 large egg, slightly beaten
    8 tbsp unsalted butter
    3/4 cup whole milk
    1 tsp vanilla

    Melt 1/2 cup of sugar in iron skillet slowly, until brown and runny. Mix egg, butter, remaining sugar, and milk in a saucepan and cook over a low flame until butter melts. Turn the heat up to medium and add the browned sugar. Cook until it reaches the soft ball stage or until mixture leaves sides of pan. This takes about 10 minutes. Remove from fire, let cool slightly, and add vanilla. Beat until right consistency to spread. If it gets too thick add a little cream.

    Caramel Cream Cheese Frosting:

    1/4 cup light brown sugar
    10 tbsp unsalted butter
    1/3 cup whipping cream
    8 oz cream cheese, softened
    1/2 tsp vanilla extract
    Dash of salt
    1 3/4 cups powdered sugar

    Melt brown sugar and 4 tbsp butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir until sugar dissolves. Bring to a boil over medium heat; remove from heat. Whisk in cream; blend well. Transfer to a heat-resistant bowl. Cool at room temperature, stirring occasionally.

    Place remaining 6 tbsp butter and cream cheese in a large bowl; beat with a mixer on medium-high speed until smooth. Beat in vanilla and salt. With mixer running, slowly pour in cooled brown sugar mixture; beat until smooth. Add powdered sugar gradually, beating well after each addition until completely smooth. Chill slightly for a firmer texture, stirring occasionally.

    To finish:
    Sandwich layers with caramel frosting. Frost outside with cream cheese frosting.

    Friday, September 16, 2011

    Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies

    My weakness? Peanut butter and chocolate. Seriously, hand me anything with those two ingredients mixed and I am a happy camper. I saw these cookies in my September King Arthur Flour catalog and knew I would make them ASAP. I made them today for my daughter's teacher and kept a couple here at the house for the kids. I used the Reese's mini cups... they are even tinier than the normal minis. If you don't want to go buy them, you could always cut up the larger ones.


    Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies
    Recipe from KA Flour

    1 1/2 cups flour
    1/2 cup cocoa powder
    1/2 teaspoon baking soda
    1/4 teaspoon salt
    1/2 cup granulated sugar
    1/2 cup brown sugar
    1/2 cup (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened
    1/4 cup smooth peanut butter
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    1 large egg
    2 tablespoons water
    1 1/2 cups mini peanut butter cups

    Preheat the oven to 375°F.

    In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt.

    In another bowl, beat together the sugars, butter, and peanut butter until light and fluffy. Beat in the vanilla, egg, and water, then stir in the dry ingredients, blending well. Stir in the mini peanut butter cups.

    Scoop rounded tablespoonfuls of dough onto the prepared baking sheets.

    Bake the cookies for 7 to 9 minutes, or until they're set and you can smell chocolate. Remove them from the oven, and cool on a rack.

    Pumpkin Apple Streusel Muffins

    It may not quite be Fall here in El Paso (still in the 80s-90s) but that isn't going to stop me from breaking out the pumpkin! The time between my birthday and Christmas is my favorite time of year. Lots of great holidays and lots of great opportunities to make good food. Plus, pumpkin is plentiful and we all know just how much I LOVE pumpkin!!!

    This is one of my favorite pumpkin muffin recipes and I'm not quite sure why it isn't on the blog. I have been making it for 6 years or so... it is definitely a keeper! I love the addition of the apple and it keeps the muffins so moist! YUM!!!

    Pumpkin Apple Streusel Muffins

    1 1/4 cups flour
    1 cup sugar
    1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
    1/2 tsp baking soda
    1/4 tsp salt
    3/4 cup pumpkin puree
    1 egg
    2 TBSP vegetable oil
    1 cup apple, finely chopped

    1 TBSP flour
    3 TBSP sugar
    1/4 tsp cinnamon
    1 TBSP butter

    Preheat oven to 350.

    In a medium bowl, combine dry ingredients. In a large bowl, combine wet ingredients. Stir dry into wet just until combined. Fold in apples. Spoon into muffin tin.

    Combine streusel ingredients until crumbly and sprinkle over muffins.

    Bake for 20 minutes or until done.

    Thursday, September 15, 2011

    30 by 30

    Today is my 29th birthday! I wanted to do something special to mark the last year in my 20's and a bucket list was the way to go! I have seen a couple of bloggers make 30 by 30 lists and I thought it would be perfect. It is a way to push me to make some things that I have been putting off or just have never gotten around to.

    It was fun putting the list together and it took A LOT of thinking. If I see something I want to make or there is a technique I want to try, I usually just jump right on it. It took some time to come up with a good list of 30 things that would be fun!

    The list is definitely full of variety! Some things are difficult and I chose them in order to work on a special skill. Some things are easy and just something I want to try. Some are things that have been on my to-do list for quite a while and this was the push I needed to finally get them done.

    This is going to be a fun year filled with lots of good food! I hope you'll stick around and watch me chip away at this list!

    1.  Vanilla Extract
    2.  Sourdough Bread
    3.  Pita Bread
    4.  Popovers
    5.  English Muffins
    6.  Souffle
    7.  Paella
    8.  Pierogies
    9.  Bear Claws
    10. Tamales
    11. White Pizza
    12. Hand Pies
    13. Grill a complete meal
    14. Homemade Tortellini
    15. Noodles
    16. Risotto
    17. Pineapple Upside Down Cake
    18. Buttermilk Fried Chicken
    19. Boston Cream Pie
    20. Baklava
    21. Napoleon
    22. Baked Alaska
    23. Petit Fours
    24. Funnel Cake
    25. Cake Pops
    26. Macarons
    27. Bananas Foster
    28. Lattice Topped Pie
    29. Homemade Oreos
    30. Salt Water Taffy

    Wednesday, September 14, 2011

    Blueberry Jam

    I wanted to get this posted before you all run out of blueberries! This is a great way to use blueberries and it is super easy. Homemade jam on a toasted english muffin makes for a yummy breakfast!


    Blueberry Jam
    Recipe from Fine Dining Lovers

    2 pounds fresh blueberries
    1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
    1/2 teaspoon cardamom
    Pinch salt
    5 Tablespoons honey

    Wash and rinse blueberries. Place them in a stock pot with a cup of water. Bring to a boil. Cover and lower the heat. Let the mixture simmer for about 15 minutes. Add the spices, salt, and honey.

    Simmer, uncovered, on low heat, until the fruit has cooked through, about 20 minutes. Stir periodically and taste towards the end of cooking. Add more honey if desired.

    Cool and store in refrigerator.

    Italian Baked Chicken and Pastina

    My family loved this dish! It was delicous and easy to make. We will definitely be enjoying it again soon!

    Italian Baked Chicken and Pastina
    Recipe from Food Network

    1 cup pastina pasta (or any small pasta - I used Ditalini)
    2 tablespoons olive oil
    1/2 cup cubed chicken breast (1-inch cubes)
    1/2 cup diced onion (about 1/2 a small onion)
    1 clove garlic, minced
    1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes with juice
    1 cup shredded mozzarella
    1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
    1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
    1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
    1/4 cup bread crumbs
    1/4 cup grated Parmesan
    1 tablespoon butter, plus more for buttering the baking dish

    Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

    Bring a medium pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until just tender, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes. Drain pasta into a large mixing bowl.

    Meanwhile, put the olive oil in a medium saute pan over medium heat. Add the chicken and cook for 3 minutes. Add the onions and garlic, stirring to combine, and cook until the onions are soft and the chicken is cooked through, about 5 minutes more. Put the chicken mixture into the bowl with the cooked pasta. Add the canned tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, parsley, salt, and pepper. Stir to combine. Place the mixture in a buttered 8 by 8 by 2-inch baking dish. In a small bowl mix together the bread crumbs and the Parmesan cheese. Sprinkle over the top of the pasta mixture. Dot the top with small bits of butter. Bake until the top is golden brown, about 30 minutes.

    Tuesday, September 13, 2011

    TWD: Classic Brownies

    For me, you can't go wrong with a brownie. Okay, so I don't really care for cake-like brownies but that doesn't mean I'd turn one down! I added in chocolate chips to the recipe and loved the little bits of melted chocolate. YUM!

    Thanks to Anne of Anne Strawberry for hosting this week. The recipe can be found at her blog.

    Monday, September 12, 2011

    Cream Cheese Hershey Bar Cookies

    So soft, so chocolatey, SO DELICIOUS!

    Cream Cheese Hershey Bar Cookies
    Recipe adapted from Cupookies

    3 oz cream cheese
    1 stick butter
    1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
    1 egg

    1 tsp vanilla
    1/2 tsp baking powder
    1 3/4 cup flour

    4 Hershey's Bars, chopped

    Cream butter, cream cheese, and sugar until light and fluffy. Add egg and vanilla. Mix in flour and baking powder just until combined. Stir in chopped chocolate.

    Refrigerate dough for 30 minutes.

    Preheat oven to 375. Scoop out dough onto lined baking sheet. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until bottoms are lightly browned.

    Saturday, September 10, 2011

    French Bread Rolls

    Nothing finishes off a meal better than a fresh, hot dinner roll! These are so good and I have to stop myself from eating the whole batch! :)


    French Bread Rolls

    1 1/2 cups warm water
    1 TBSP yeast
    2 TBSP sugar
    2 TBSP vegetable oil
    1 tsp salt
    4 cups bread flour

    In a large bowl mix together water, yeast, and sugar. Let stand 10 minutes.

    Add oil, salt, and 1/2 of the flour. Stir in remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time, until the dough has pulled away from sides of bowl.

    Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 8 minutes. Lightly oil a large bowl; place dough inside turning to coat.

    Cover and let rise until doubled in volume, about 1 hour.

    Deflate dough and divide into 16 round balls. Place on lightly greased cookie sheet at least 2 inches apart. Cover rolls and let rise until doubled.

    Bake at 400 for 18-20 minutes or until golden brown.

    Friday, September 9, 2011

    Brat Sliders

    My husband absolutely loves bratwurst so as soon as I saw this I knew I would be making it for him. My husband said it was a "beer brat explosion" and was incredibly delicious and creamy. I know he will be requesting this again!

    Brat Sliders
    Recipe from Taste of Home

    1/2 lb bacon, chopped
    1 lb bratwurst, casings removed
    1 large onion, finely chopped
    2 garlic cloves, minced
    1 pkg (8oz) cream cheese, cubed
    1 cup dark beer
    1 TBSP dijon mustard
    1/4 tsp pepper

    Cook bacon until crispy; drain on paper towels. Cook bratwurst and onion in bacon drippings until meat is no longer pink. Add garlic; cook 1 minute more. Drain.

    Stir in cream cheese, beer, mustard, and pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, simmer uncovered for 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in bacon.

    Serve on rolls.

    Thursday, September 8, 2011

    Chicken Chimichangas

    Oh my goodness were these good!!! They required a little more work (I think about 4 pans and about 45 minutes total) but they were so worth it! My husband has requested that they go on our normal meal rotation so you know they must be good!

    I did want to mention that the recipe calls for 6 tortillas but I had enough filling for at least 10-12 (saved the leftover filling in the fridge). :)

    Chicken Chimichangas
    Recipe from BlogChef

    1 ½ cups chicken broth
    1 cup uncooked long grain white rice
    ½ cup red enchilada sauce
    1 onion, diced
    6 (12 inch) flour tortillas
    4 cups shredded cooked chicken breast
    1 pound Monterey jack cheese (shredded)
    1 (6 ounce) can sliced black olives
    4 cups refried beans
    ¼ cup vegetable oil

    In a medium saucepan combine chicken broth, rice, enchilada sauce, and diced onion. Bring to a boil, and reduce heat to low and let it simmer for about 20 minutes or until the rice is tender. Stir in shredded cooked chicken and mix well.

    Heat refried beans in a saucepan over low heat until they stir easily. Heat tortillas so that they fold easily.

    Spoon equal amounts of refried beans onto each tortillas followed by equal amounts of the chicken/rice mixture, Monterey jack cheese, and black olives. Roll up the tortillas¸while tucking in the sides.

    Heat oil in a large skillet and fry the filled tortillas, turning once, until browned on both sides. Drain on paper towels.

    Wednesday, September 7, 2011

    Anya's Apple Cake with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting

    I made this cake with my 6 year old for a special treat. She requested an apple cake and she wanted one with frosting. Most apple cakes have a thin frosting or a glaze but I know my girl... she needed A LOT of frosting.

    I came up with this combination and I must say that my little girl was VERY pleased. It was a fantastic cake and it will be made again and again. I hope you'll give it a try... it is delicious!

    Anya's Apple Cake with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting
    Adapted from

    2 cups all-purpose flour
    2 tsp baking powder
    1/2 tsp baking soda
    1/2 tsp salt
    3/4 tsp cinnamon
    1/2 tsp ground ginger
    1/8 tsp ground cloves
    1 stick unsalted butter, softened
    1 cup packed light brown sugar
    1 tsp pure vanilla extract
    2 large eggs
    1 1/2cupsunsweetened applesauce
    1 Granny Smith apple, chopped

    Preheat oven to 350. Grease an 8x8 pan.
    Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and spices.

    Beat butter, brown sugar, and vanilla  until pale and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition, then beat in applesauce. At low speed, mix in flour mixture until just combined. Fold in apples.

    Spread batter evenly in pan and bake until golden-brown and a wooden pick inserted into center comes out clean, 40 to 45 minutes. Cool in pan 15 minutes.


    8 oz cream cheese, softened
    1/4 cup butter, softened
    2 cups powdered sugar
    1/2 tsp vanilla
    1 tsp cinnamon

    Beat cream cheese and butter until combined. Add remaining ingredients and beat until smooth.

    Tuesday, September 6, 2011

    Butterfinger-Banana Milkshake

    On a hot summer day (even though fall is supposed to be coming soon!) nothing beats a delicious milkshake! This one is full of Butterfingers and bananas and is so yummy!

    Butterfinger-Banana Milkshake

    1 cup milk
    3 cups vanilla ice cream
    4 bananas
    8 miniature Butterfingers

    Place all ingredients into blender; process until smooth. Pour into glasses and top with crushed Butterfingers.

    Monday, September 5, 2011

    Zucchini-Cheddar Biscuits

    Zucchini and cheddar in a biscuit? All I can say is A-MAZ-ING!!!!!

    Zucchini-Cheddar Biscuits
    Recipe from A Cozy Kitchen

    3/4 cup zucchini, shredded (about 1 small zucchini)
    1 1/2 teaspoons salt, divided
    1 cup grated cheddar
    2 1/2 cups of flour
    1 tablespoon baking powder
    1 stick butter, cold and cubed
    1 cup milk

    Preheat oven to 450 degrees F (230 degrees C).

    Shred the zucchini. Using a cheese cloth, add the zucchini to the center and squeeze all of the excess water out. Transfer to a small bowl and add 1/2 teaspoon salt and a dash of flour. Mix and let stand for 10 minutes.

    In a large bowl, sift flour, baking powder and salt. Working quickly, add the cubed butter and break up with your hands until they’re the size of small peas.

    Add the milk, zucchini and cheddar until moistened. Drop batter, using two tablespoons, on a baking sheet lined with parchment.

    Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until edges are golden brown. Serve warm with pat of butter.

    Friday, September 2, 2011

    Taco Braid and Homemade Guacamole

    This meal was so easy and so delicious! My husband said it was like a fluffy chimichanga. I was scatterbrained when I made it and I closed it up without the cheddar. No worries, though... we just threw the cheese on top!

    And the guacamole... well, let's just say there isn't any left! YUM!

    Taco Braid

    1 recipe bread dough (can be homemade or frozen dough from the store)


    4 oz of Cream Cheese, softened
    1/2 cup Salsa
    1/2 lb ground beef seasoned with taco seasoning
    1 can (15oz) of black beans (drained)
    1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese
    olive oil
    garlic salt

    Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

    Roll dough into a 15-in. x 12-in. rectangle. Place on a greased cookie sheet. It's very important to place the dough on the cookie sheet before you fill it because once you fill it, it will be too heavy to move onto the cookie sheet. Mix salsa and cream cheese in a small bowl. Spread cream cheese mixture lengthwise down center third of rectangle, salsa, then seasoned meat and black beans. Sprinkle with cheese.

    On each long side, cut 1 inch wide strips about 2-1/2-inches into center. Starting at one end, fold alternating strips at an angle across filling.

    Pinch ends to seal and tuck under. Brush with olive oil and sprinkle with garlic salt. Cover and let rise for 20 minutes.

    Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes.

    4 ripe avocados
    1/2 cup red onion, diced finely
    2 roma tomatoes, seeded and diced finely
    1/4 - 1/2 cup cilantro, chopped finely
    1 lime, juiced
    1 teaspoon minced garlic
    salt and pepper to taste

    Cut avocados in half and remove pit. Scoop out flesh of avocado and coarsely chop it. Place in a large bowl and slightly mash with a fork. I like mine on the chunky side. Add the diced onion, tomatoes, cilantro, and garlic and toss together with the avocados. Add the lime juice, salt, and pepper to taste.

    Thursday, September 1, 2011

    Lemon Zucchini Bread

    I'm not sure why I haven't posted this bread before. I made it for the first time at least 4 years ago and LOVE it! The lemon and zucchini go so well together and it is such a moist bread. Definitely a winner! Plus, it makes 2 loaves, so keep one for yourself and give one to a friend. :)

    Lemon Zucchini Bread

    4 cups flour
    1 1/2 cups sugar
    1 pkg (3.4 oz) instant lemon pudding mix
    1 1/2 tsp baking soda
    1 tsp baking powder
    1 tsp salt
    4 eggs
    1 1/4 cups milk
    1 cup vegetable oil
    3 TBSP lemon juice
    1 tsp lemon extract
    2 cups shredded zucchini
    2 tsp lemon zest

    In a large bowl combine flour through salt. In a medium bowl combine eggs through lemon extract. Mix wet into dry and stir just until combined. Fold in zucchini and lemon zest.

    Divide between two greased loaf pans. Bake at 350 for 50-55 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

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