Friday, December 10, 2010

Chocolate Mousse Filled Snickers Cupcakes


These are absolutely, positively the most delicious cupcake I've ever had. You should make them immediately. They might seem too "chocolatey" and sugary, but in fact they're not. They're perfection. Don't fight it...just give in and indulge in the most sinful, delectable cupcake you've ever tasted!!

Cake:
1 box Devils Food cake mix
1 small box chocolate fudge pudding mix
4 eggs
1 cup milk
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup vegetable oil

Mousse Filling:
2 cups whipping cream
2 cups melted chocolate chips

Butter cream Frosting:
1 stick butter, softened
2 1/2-3 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup cocoa
1/2 t vanilla

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 24 cupcake tins with liners. To prepare cupcakes place the cake mix, pudding mix, eggs, oil, milk and sour cream into stand mixer. Beat until well combined, about 1 1/2 minutes. Scoop batter evenly into 24 cupcake liners. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until cupcakes are cooked through, a toothpick comes clean from center. Remove and let cool.

2. To prepare mousse, whip heavy cream with a stand or electric mixer until looks like whipped cream, until stiff peaks form. Gently fold in melted chocolate that has cooled for 5 minutes. Continue folding until well combined then transfer batches into a piping bag. When cupcakes have cooled press the tip of the piping bag into the center of the cupcake about 1 inch then press mousse into center. It doesn’t take much, just one firm squeeze is perfect. Continue filling all the cupcakes.

3. To prepare frosting, beat the butter, powdered sugar, cocoa and vanilla until well combined and a nice frosting consistency. You might need to add a tablespoon or 2 of milk to get the consistency you need. Spread over cupcakes then top with chopped Snickers.

*From Picky Palate


Thursday, November 18, 2010

Crispy Onion Chicken

This recipe calls for honey mustard and at first I was wondering how I would change that, but decided to go for the original recipe. It was delicious! It gave it a nice tang. This is just too easy to not try...so just do it.

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
4 Tbsp. honey mustard
1 c. crushed French's Fried Onions

Coat the chicken with honey mustard. Roll in the crushed onions. Place on a foil lined baking sheet. Bake at 375 degrees or until juices run clear. It's that easy. Now do it.

*From Mandy's Recipe Box

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Oreo Cheesecake Cookies

Sorry for the gap in posts. We moved to Vegas and I got in a cooking rut. So weird how your greatest hobby can turn into the last priority on the list. But I'm back!! I found these on Tasty Kitchen and made them for a dinner group and got rave reviews. I must admit that they were pretty tasty. I don't know if you've ever tried Chocolate Creme Oreos, but if you haven't you must. They should be illegal! If they are around it's big trouble for me cause I can eat probably 20 without even blinking. I've made the switch to using them for everything and anything that requires Oreos...including my appetite:) Enjoy these cause they'll go fast!!

1/2 cup butter, softened
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 cup sugar
1 t vanilla
1 cup flour
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips (or I just used regular and chopped them up)
1 cup Oreo cookies, crushed

Preheat oven to 375 degrees and line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Set aside.

In a large bowl, cream together the butter and cream cheese using a hand mixer until they are well combined.

Add the sugar and vanilla and mix until ingredients are well combined. Add the flour and mix on low until the flour is incorporated. Stir in the mini chocolate chips.

Scoop the dough into 1″ balls (I used a scoop to insure all measured the same) and roll in Oreo cookie crumbs so cookie is covered. Place covered cookie balls onto the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 12 minutes, or until the edges are golden and the tops are slightly puffed.

Cool on the pan for two minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool. Enjoy!

*From Tasty Kitchen

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Roasted Italian Cheese Potatoes

I've always been a fan of roasted red potatoes. Such a great go-to easy recipe that goes with so many things. Naturally, when I saw this one I knew I had to try it. The end result is fantastic! A perfect twist on an original goodie.
2 1/2 lbs red potatoes, cut into medium size chunks
1 pack (1/3 ounce) Good Seasons Dry Italian Dressing Mix
1/4 cup oil
1 cup shredded parmesan or asiago cheese
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a large bowl mix potatoes, dressing mix and oil. Place in 9x13 pan and spread out evenly. Bake for 40 minutes, turning after 20 minutes. For the last 5 minutes, sprinkle cheese on top and put back in oven until cheese is sufficiently melted.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Peanut Butter Truffle Brownies

These are the most perfect thing I've ever made. Period. The truffle filling is SO smooth and delicious. In my mind there is nothing better. You must try it. I got RAVE reviews. It's my new go-to recipe for brownies.
For the Brownies:
1 (18.3oz) box fudge brownie mix
Water, vegetable oil, and eggs as instructed on box
Filling:
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
2 cups powdered sugar
2 T milk
Topping:
1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup butter, cut into pieces
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease the bottom of a 9x13 cake pan. Make brownies according to box directions. Cool completely.
In a mixer, beat filling ingredients until smooth and fluffy. Spread over brownie base.
In a small microwavable bowl, place topping ingredients. Microwave on high for 30-60 seconds and stir till smooth (I do this on the stovetop on low.) Spread over filling. Refrigerate at least 30 minutes or until set. Cut and enjoy!! Store in refrigerator.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Spanish Style Quinoa with Chicken

Who has had Quinoa before? Not me. I've always thought it was an interesting grain that I wanted to try, but never have. It actually is extremely healthy for you and is packed with protein. It tastes like a really small brown rice granule - delicious, but with texture, just the way I like it. My mom is always in for some obscure natural grain so on a girls night we made it. Let me just tell you...it was DELICIOUS!!! I absolutely LOVED it! You bet I'm making this over and over and over. At first I was thinking that it was chick food, but was surprised to see that the next day when I was looking for it in the fridge for lunch...my dad had taken it to work! Evidently men like it too...and he's a meat and potatoes kind of guy. Pretty impressive, if you ask me. It's packed with flavor, but a surprisingly extremely healthy dish! You know I wouldn't post some health-conscious dish if it was delicious. Trust me!!
3/4 lb skinless, boneless chicken breasts
1 carrot, split lengthwise
4 cups water
4 chicken boullion cubes
1 cup quinoa, rinsed
Put chicken, carrot, water and boullion cubes in a sauce pan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Skim, cover and simmer for 10 minutes or until chicken is done. Remove chicken and carrot, strain broth and return 2 cups of broth to the saucepan. Add quinoa, cover and cook for 15 minutes. Remove from heat, fluff with fork, cover and set aside. While quinoa is cooking, cut chicken into bite size pieces. Dice carrot. Set aside
2 T olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
1 small green pepper, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 lg. tomato, peeled, seeded and chopped (I used a can of unsalted petite diced tomatoes)
1/2 t paprika (I omitted)
1/4 t ground cumin
1/2 t pepper
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
2 T salsa
In a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat, add onions and cook for 5 minutes. Add green peppers, garlic and tomatoes and cook for 10 more minutes covered. Stir in paprika, cumin and pepper. Add chicken, carrots and beans and simmer for 5 minutes to blend flavors. Toss with quinoa and salsa. Heat through. Serve immediately. Delicious!
*From the Highland Ward Cookbook

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Hot Chocolate Triple Chocolate Chip Cookies


I just had to try these because they looked so interesting. I'm always up for a twist on basic recipes. When I first looked at the recipe it seemed like too much flour and that they would be cakey and dry. And then on top of it you add almost a cup of hot chocolate mix! So I just decided to follow the directions exactly, not changing anything, to see if it truly would work. Let me just tell you...these are the best cookies I've ever had! They are SOOO moist and chewy and crisp on the edges...everything I want in a cookie. And surprisingly, they aren't too sweet. They are incredibly addicting also, so just beware. I put out about 30 cookies for 4-5 people and I was left with 5 after about 30 minutes. You must try these!!!

2 sticks butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2/3 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 t vanilla
3 1/4 cups flour
4 (1oz) packets hot chocolate mix (I used Stephens Belgium Dark Chocolate and Stephens Milk Chocolate - a little less than 1/2 cup each.)
1 t salt
1 1/4 t baking soda
1 cup each white chocolate chips, semi-sweet chocolate chips, and milk chocolate chips

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Cream butter and sugars until smooth. Beat in eggs and vanilla until combined. In a separate bowl, combine flour, hot chocolate mix, salt and baking soda. Add to wet ingredients in 3 to 4 parts, making sure all is incorporated. Fold in chips. Chill the dough for an hour or so. With a tablespoon, scoop out and shape into a ball and place on baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Bake for 10 minutes exactly or until edges are golden brown. Let cool for 5 minutes before removing from pan. ENJOY!!

*From Tasty Kitchen

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Green Chile Enchiladas

These are divine! To me, they are way better than regular enchiladas. Plus it makes a ton so I was able to bake a regular pan and another that I froze for a later date. Such a winner for me. I LOVE LOVE LOVE these and I urge you to love them too.

4 large chicken breasts, cooked and cubed
2 cans cream of chicken soup
1 1/2 cups sour cream
1 (4oz) can diced green chilies
2 cups pepper jack cheese, shredded
2 cups cheddar cheese, shredded
1/2 cup sour cream
1 (4oz) can diced green chilies
1 small can sliced black olives
About 18 tortillas

Mix chicken soup and 1 1/2 cups sour cream and 1 can diced green chilies. Add Pepperjack cheese and chicken. Put into tortillas (not too full) and wrap tightly. Put in prepared 9x13 (and I also used another 8x8 pan that I stuck in the freezer). Make the sauce by whisking sour cream and green chilies. Pour over top of tortillas. Top with cheddar cheese and olives. Cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes and remove foil and bake another 10 minutes until cheese is melted and bubbly. Enjoy!!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Chocolate and Caramel Apple Pie Galette

Found this gem on Picky Palate. I have to admit that I'm definitely not a huge fan of fruit desserts, but sometimes I can squeeze in an apple pie here and there if I'm in the mood and it looks oh so delicious. This was one of those times. The truth? Because this recipe requires Rolos sprinkled on top. I LOVE recipes that are twists on old-time classics! Don't judge, but I HAD to pretty much triple the amount of Rolos because I'm just that kind of gal. If I'm going to do something, I'm goin all the way. The apples: so tender. The flavor: so caramely. The end result: perfection.

3 T butter
2 apples, peeled, cored and diced (I prefer Granny Smith)
3 T brown sugar
1 t cinnamon
1 roll ready made pie crust (I prefer Pillsbury)
15 Rolo caramels, quartered
Caramel sauce
Powdered sugar for dusting

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Add diced apples, brown sugar and cinnamon. Cook and stir for 5 minutes until apples are softened.

Roll out pie dough on baking cookie sheet. Pour apples into center of the dough, leaving a 1 1/2 inch border all the way around. Top with quartered Rolos. Take edges and fold over to make a pleated edge.

Bake for 30-35 minutes (I went the full 35, maybe even a few min longer) until edges are golden brown. Remove and cool. Drizzle with caramel sauce and dust with powdered sugar. I like to eat it about 10 minutes after it's been out of the oven when it's still warm, but not scalding hot - of course topped with a scoop of ice cream :)

*From Picky Palate

Monday, September 13, 2010

Restaurant Style Salsa

I got this from The Pioneer Woman. She's amazing and so I trust all she makes. So naturally, I trusted her salsa recipe...also for the simplicity of less chopping. It's made with all canned tomatoes, which I was VERY skeptical of. When it was done, Justin and I tasted it and...it wasn't that good. I was DEVASTATED!! So I sadly wrapped it up and put it in the fridge in hopes that someone somewhere would eat it so it didn't go to waste. About 5 hours later my mom says, "That salsa you made is absolutely delicious!!" I thought she might be mistaken because I definitely didn't like it. The next day I tried it...DELICIOUS!! I guess it gets better as it sits. I'm not kidding - 200 times better than when I first made it! So my suggestion is to make it the night before you want to eat it. That Pioneer Woman...she knows everything. I am DEFINITELY making this again!

1 (28oz) can whole tomatoes with juice
2 (10oz) cans Rotel tomatoes
1/4 cup chopped onion
1 clove garlic, minced
1 whole jalapeno diced (I omitted this because I'm super wimpy with spicy food - keep in mind that the Rotel has some heat of it's own)
1/2 t salt
1/4 t garlic salt (my addition)
1/4 t sugar
1/4 t cumin
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
1/2 whole lime juice

Dump everything into a food processor. Pulse until desired consistency is reached. Test for seasonings. DONE!! Refrigerate at least several hours.

*From The Pioneer Woman

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Layered Enchilada Bake

This is AWESOME! It's such a great twist on an old classic of enchiladas. There is NO enchilada sauce in this recipe. The sauce is created with salsa and taco seasoning. Then you cool it down with some sour cream...so delicious. I'm DEFINITELY making this again...it's a keeper.

1 lb. Lean ground beef
1 large Onion, chopped
2 cups favorite Salsa
1 can (15 oz.) black beans, rinsed
1/4 cup Zesty Italian Dressing
2 T Taco Seasoning Mix
6 Flour tortillas (8 inch)
1 cup sour cream
2 cups shredded cheese - Mexican blend or cheddar

Preheat oven to 400 degrees

Brown meat with onions in a large skillet on medium-high heat; drain off fat. Stir in salsa, taco seasoning, black beans and Italian dressing.

Arrange 3 tortillas in a single layer on the bottom of a 9x13 baking dish. Cover layers with half of the meat mixture, then 1/2 cup sour cream, then 1 cup cheese. Repeat layers and then cover.

Bake for 30 minutes, covered, and then 10 minutes uncovered. Let stand 5 minutes before cutting.

*From Kraft Recipes

Cheesecake-Filled Chocolate Chip Cookies

I saw these on Sadies Kitchen and knew I wanted to make them. I love cheesecake and chocolate chips. The were HUGE, but didn't disappoint! Just know you're going to share one with like 4 other people! Delicious!
Cookies:
2 1/4 cups flour
3/4 tsp baking powder
3/4 t salt
1 cup butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 large egg
2 T milk
1 t vanilla
2 cups chocolate chips

Cream Cheese Filling
8-oz cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup white chocolate chips or 2-oz white chocolate, melted and cooled
3 T powdered sugar
1 T granulated sugar
1 t vanilla

First, make the cookie dough. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt.

In a large bowl, cream together butter, sugar and brown sugar until light. Beat in egg, milk and vanilla extract. With the mixer on low speed or by hand, blend in the flour mixture, stirring only until no streaks of flour remain. Stir in chocolate chips.

Make the cream cheese filling. Combine all filling ingredients in a medium bowl and mix at medium-high speed until smooth. Set aside.

Preheat oven to 350F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper (I didn't do this...I actually forgot...but they were fine and came off the pan perfectly.)

Divide dough into two equal parts. Place each on a sheet of wax or parchment paper and shape into a log. Wrap in paper and chill logs for 1-2 hours, until firm. (I just stuck the whole bowl of dough in the fridge without making the logs and just removed globs that I shaped into balls and then flattened and it was fine.)

Remove dough logs from the fridge. Using a sharp knife, divide each log into eight even slices (total of 16 big slices of cookie dough).

Working with one piece of cookie dough at a time, flatten the dough into a 3-4-inch wide dish between your palms. Place about 1 tbsp cream cheese filling in the center of the dough, then pinch the sides of the dough together to seal. Work carefully so all the filling is sealed inside. Place on the baking sheet. Repeat with remaining dough.

Bake for 15-18 minutes, until cookies are golden brown around the edges. Cool on the baking sheet for 2-3 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container.

*From Sadies Kitchen, originally from Baking Bites

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Oreo Cupcakes


These are super good! They are also fun for the kiddos. It's a mix of cupcake, marshmallow and cookies that does NOT disappoint! Next time I think I would add a little more marshmallow cream because when it bubbles up and gets a little toasted and a little chewy and is oh so delicious. The basic cupcake mix is simply AMAZING! If you want you could just bake the cupcakes without putting a whole Oreo in the center - that would be delicious also. They are the perfect cupcake for a party and you bet I'll be serving these at my next one!

1 French Vanilla cake mix
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup oil
4 eggs
1 small box instant vanilla pudding mix
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
5 Oreo cookies, crushed plus 24 whole Oreos for inside cupcakes
1/2 cup marshmallow cream, plus 1/2 cup to layer inside

Cream Cheese Frosting recipe, found here

6 Oreos, crushed for garnish

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Using your stand mixer, beat the cake mix, water, oil, eggs, pudding mix, cream cheese, 5 crushed oreos and 1/2 Cup Marshmallow cream until well combined, about 1 minute.

Line muffin tin with paper liners and place 1 tablespoon of batter into the bottom of each cup. Layer with an Oreo (pressing down into the batter) then a dollop of marshmallow cream, then 1 more tablespoons of batter. Should be about 3/4 full. Don’t fill more than that or you’ll have a mess in your oven.

3. Bake for 18-20 minutes or until just golden brown and cooked through. Let cool completely. Frost and sprinkle with crushed Oreos.

Makes 24 normal size cupcakes

*Adapted from Picky Palate

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Lionhouse Rolls

Oh boy. These could be the death of me! I made a batch for a family dinner and they were wiped CLEAN....not one to spare. I was actually really impressed at how easy they were! In fact, they are so easy I'm making them for our family reunion coming up this weekend. They are the perfect roll to make and then freeze - my kind of roll! So in case you were wondering...perfection.

2 T active-dry yeast
2 cups warm water
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup butter or shortening (I used butter)
1 egg
2 1/2 t salt
2/3 cup nonfat dry milk
5-6 cups flour

In the large bowl of an electric mixer, (I use my Kitchenaid) combine yeast and water. Let stand 5 minutes or until good and bubbly. Add sugar, shortening, salt, dry milk, 2 cups flour and egg. Beat together until very smooth. Add remaining flour gradually (about 1/2 cup at a time) until a soft but not sticky dough is formed.

Turn dough onto a lightly floured board and knead until it is smooth and satiny ( I actually don't knead the bread for as long as it says to...I never do and it turns out as perfect as ever.) Return dough to an oiled bowl and cover to let rise until doubled. (about 1 1/2 to 2 hours)

Separate dough into three portions. Roll out each portion into a circle and cut with a pizza cutter into 8 pie-shaped pieces (triangles) (or 12 pieces if you want smaller rolls - this is what I did). Roll up crescent-style and place on baking sheet. Cover with saran wrap that has been sprayed with nonstick cooking spray and let rise until doubled, about 45 minutes. Bake at 375 degrees for 12 minutes - until nicely browned.

Makes 2-3 dozen rolls depending on the size you make the rolls.

*From the Lionhouse in Salt Lake City, but I actually got them from Sadies Kitchen.

Chocoflan

Normally you wouldn't see me sporting any sort of flan on my site because I'm definitely not a fan. But my cousin, Annie, made it for a party and it was TO DIE FOR!!! I'm serious! It's amazing. The flan topping isn't so much like flan...I would describe it more like a rich custard topping - more like a crem brule topping. Anyway, when you serve it you drizzle a little more caramel topping over the top and it seems like you're eating a decadent, expensive dessert. You MUST try this!!

1/4 cup caramel sauce

For the cake:
10 T butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1 3/4 cups flour
3/4 t baking powder
3/4 t baking soda
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1 1/4 cups buttermilk


For the flan:
1 (12-ounce) can evaporated milk
1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
4 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
3 eggs
1 T vanilla


For garnish:
1/4 cup caramel sauce

Directions:
Put an oven rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F.
Coat a Bundt pan with a little butter, then coat the bottom with 1/4 cup caramel sauce and put it in a large roasting pan. (The roasting pan will serve as a water bath during baking.)


For the cake:

Add the butter and sugar to a bowl and using an electric hand mixer or stand mixer, beat until light and fluffy, then beat in the egg. Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and cocoa in a medium bowl. Beat 1/3 of the flour mixture, and 1/2 of the buttermilk into the egg mixture. Repeat, ending with the flour mixture. Blend until well incorporated.


For the flan:

In a blender, combine the evaporated milk, condensed milk, cream cheese, eggs and vanilla. Blend on high for 30 seconds.


Scoop the cake batter into the prepared Bundt pan and spreading evenly. Slowly pour the flan mixture over the cake batter. Cover with foil and add about 1-inch of hot water to the roasting pan.


Carefully slide the pan into the oven, and bake 1 hour (I had to bake mine for about 1 hour 30 minutes), until the surface of the cake is firm to the touch, or an inserted toothpick comes out clean. When cake is done, remove from the water bath and cool completely to room temperature, about 1 hour.


Invert a large, rimmed serving platter over the Bundt pan, grasp tightly together, jiggle a little and flip over. Remove the pan and scrape any remaining caramel from the pan onto the cake and serve!


*The batters may appear to mix when you pour them into the pan, but they completely separate while baking, with the flan ending up on the bottom when it's inverted. Traditionally, it is chilled 24 hours before serving, but personally I like eating it at room temperature.


*For the caramel topping, I just use caramel ice cream topping and it's delish!
*From the Food Network

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Snickerdoodle. Blondies

I love snickerdoodles. I always have. But it seems like so much trouble to make them! You can't just whip them up in a second and that bugs me. So I found these. They are DELICIOUS!! It's a snickerdoodle in a bar. Dare I say they are better than the actual cookie?? You basically make the dough, put it in a pan and then douse it in cinnamon sugar. They were SO scrumptious that they left us all wishing I would have doubled the recipe...so that would be my only suggestion...DOUBLE IT!!! You will regret it if you don't!

1/2 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1/4 t salt
1 egg
1 1/2 t vanilla
1 cup flour
1 T sugar + 1 t ground cinnamon (I doubled this also...you want it good and covered in sugar:))

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line an 8×8-inch baking pan with aluminum foil (I just sprayed it with cooking spray...they popped right out after I baked them.)

In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in salt, egg and vanilla until well combined. Add in flour and stir until no streaks of dry ingredients remain. Pour dough – it will be thick – into prepared baking dish and smooth it into an even layer.
Stir together remaining 1 tbsp sugar and 1 tsp ground cinnamon. Sprinkle dough evenly with cinnamon sugar mixture.
Bake for about 30 minutes, until bars are set and the edges are just very lightly browned. Cool in the pan before slicing.

*From Baking Bites

Blueberry Lemon Cake with Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting

Talk about the ultimate summer dessert! This is refreshing, light and delicious. I had a huge container full of home-grown blueberries from our friend down the road and wanted to find a way to use them up. Lemon and blueberries just go so perfect together! And with the cream cheese frosting with just a hint of lemon finishes it off a wonderful, refreshing bang. I took it to a family party and everyone was raving about the moistness of the cake and merriment of flavors. It was gone as fast as I put it out. Try it and you won't regret it!

Cake:
2 cups plus 6 T cake flour
2 t baking powder
1 t salt
3 cups fresh blueberries
1 cup milk
2 t vanilla
2 t lemon rind
1 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
4 eggs

Frosting:
2 (8oz) packages cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup butter
4 cups powdered sugar
1 t lemon rind
1 t vanilla
3 t lemon juice
1 t lemon rind for garnish

Cake Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter three 9-inch round cake pans (I just did this in a 9x13 pan and it worked out perfect.) If using cake pans, butter them, line with parchment paper and then dust with flour.

Sift cake flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl. Transfer 1 T of the flour mixture to a large bowl. Add fresh blueberries and toss to coat. Set aside.

Stir milk, vanilla and grated lemon rind in a small bowl. using a mixer, beat butter until light and creamy. Gradually add sugar, beating until mixture is light and fluffy
Beat in eggs 1 at a time until well blended.

Beat in flour mixture alternately with milk mixture in 3 additions each, until just blended. Fold in blueberries. Divide batter equally among pans. Bake cakes until tester inserted into the center comes out clean, about 25 minutes (about 35-40 minutes for a 9x13).

Cool cakes in pans for 10 minutes and then turn cakes out on racks to cool completely (or just take it out and let cool completely in 9x13 pan).

Frosting Directions:
Using electric mixer, beat cream cheese and butter until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in powdered sugar. Beat in lemon peal, lemon juice and vanilla. Cover and refrigerate until just firm enough to spread, about 30 minutes.

You can either assemble a layered round cake or just frost your 9x13 pan. Garnish with remaining lemon rind. Enjoy the flavors of Summer!!!

*Adapted from food.com

Pepperoni Pizza Puffs

Found these on Lick the Bowl Good and almost DIED!!! They are SO awesome! I had a slew of kids over here one day and whipped these up in no time and they ate them ALL right down to the last crumb. My mom, Justin and I also enjoyed quite a few:) They are delicious and the perfect kid-size meal.

3/4 cup flour
3/4 t baking powder
1 T Italian seasoning
3/4 cup milk
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 cup mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 cup chopped pepperoni
1/2 cup pizza sauce for dipping

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease a 24 cup mini-muffin pan. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and Italian seasoning; whisk in the milk and egg. Stir in the mozzarella, Parmesan and pepperoni; let stand for 10 minutes.

Stir the batter and divide among the mini-muffin cups. Bake until puffed and golden, 20 to 25 minutes.

Meanwhile, microwave the pizza sauce until warmed through. Serve the puffs with the pizza sauce for dipping.

NOTE: All my batter did not fit into the 24-mini muffin pan. So I made a full size muffin or 2 with the leftover batter. Some pans are larger than others so you may not have have an issue.

* From Lick the Bowl Good

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Mexican Casserole



This is a gem I found in the Highland 23rd Ward Cookbook. Oh how I LOVE ward cookbooks!! This is such an awesome find. It can go as a full-on casserole or a base for other delicious dishes. Originally it says to top with Frito chips and cheese. You can leave it at that and just serve the casserole on it's own or you can make the basic casserole and eat it as burritos, use it for the filling in enchiladas, navajo tacos, or just a side dish. The possibilities are endless. I even used leftovers...plopped them in a smaller pan, topped it with cheese, threw it in the oven for about 15 minutes and had an instant dish for a potluck dinner. Love it and SO delicious!

1 (4oz) can diced green chilies
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 (14oz) can stewed Mexican tomatoes, diced with juice
1 (14oz) can diced tomatoes with juice
1 medium onion, diced
1 (4oz) can chopped black olives
2 cups UNCOOKED white rice
1 packet taco seasoning
4 cups cubed, UNCOOKED chicken
1 (14.5oz) can chicken broth
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) cold butter cut into small pieces

Spray a 9x13 baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. In a large bowl mix together green chilies, cheese, tomatoes, onion, olives and uncooked rice. Add taco seasoning, chicken and chicken broth. Stir until well combined. Pour into baking dish. Sprinkle top evenly with cold butter pieces. Cover tightly with heavy duty tin foil. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour 15 minutes. Remove from oven.

Optional for Casserole:
Remove from oven, remove foil, sprinkle with Frito chips and 2 cups Mexican cheese. Don't cover. Return to oven for 10 minutes or until cheese is melted and bubbly. Enjoy!

Chocolate Sour Cream Bundt Cake with Homemade Hot Fudge Sauce

I was getting the 3rd degree around here for not making a chocolate dessert lately...so I knew this would do the trick! This cake is the definition of chocolate. If you are a chocoholic, you should look no further. This original cake recipe calls for a ganache topping, but I was feeling like I wanted a sweeter topping since the cake was so dense and dark. So I opted to top it with a hot fudge sauce. You can definitely just either make the ganache or buy a jar of hot fudge sauce from the store if you're in a time crunch...but I DEFINITELY recommend making this homemade hot fudge! This hot fudge has to be THE BEST I've ever had...no more jars for me - perfect on this cake and then we used the leftover for ice cream sundaes on 4th of July. Perfection.

For the cake:
1 cup cocoa powder
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup boiling water
2 1/4 cups flour
1 1/2 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
20 T (2 1/2 sticks) butter, softened
2 1/2 cups firmly packed brown sugar
5 eggs
4 t vanilla
1 1/2 cups sour cream
1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat an oven to 325 degrees F. Grease the Bundt Cake Pan and dust with cocoa powder; tap out the excess.

To make the cake, in a bowl, combine the 1 cup cocoa powder and the 1 cup chocolate chips. Add the boiling water and whisk until the chocolate melts and the mixture is smooth and blended. Set aside.

Sift together the flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the flat beater, beat the butter on medium speed until smooth and creamy, 30 to 45 seconds. Reduce the speed to low, add the brown sugar and beat until blended. Increase the speed to medium and continue beating until the mixture is light and fluffy, about 5 minutes, stopping the mixer occasionally to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the eggs one at a time, beating until incorporated before adding more and stopping the mixer occasionally to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Beat in the vanilla until incorporated, about 1 minute.

Reduce the speed to low and add the flour mixture in three additions, alternating with the sour cream and beginning and ending with the flour, beating just until blended and no lumps of flour remain. Slowly pour in the chocolate-cocoa mixture and beat until no white streaks are visible, stopping the mixer occasionally to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Using a rubber spatula, gently fold in the chocolate chips.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan, spreading the batter so the sides are about 1 inch higher than the center. (This made way more batter than could fit inside my bundt pan, so I made another small bread pan full of batter.)Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out with only a few moist crumbs attached to it, 60 to 65 minutes. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let the cake cool upright in the pan for 15 minutes. Invert the pan onto the rack and lift off the pan. Let the cake cool completely, at least 1 hour.

Hot Fudge Sauce:

1 cup (2 sticks) butter

1/3 cup cocoa powder

3 cups sugar

1 (12oz) can evaporated milk

1 t vanilla

Combine butter, cocoa powder, sugar and evaporated milk in a saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil and boil for 10 minutes, or until very thick. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Carefully pour hot mixture into a blender and blend for 2-4 minutes (to make thicker.)

Pour over cooled bundt cake letting it drizzle over the sides

Top with crushed candy bar of your choice (I always choose Symphony with Almonds and Toffee)

Enjoy!!!

*Cake recipe adapted from Lick the Bowl Good

*Hot Fudge recipe from allrecipes.com

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Spicy Turkey Meatballs

Now, now. Don't start freaking out because I mentioned the word "turkey" right next to meatballs. You have no idea what you're missing. My mom introduced me to these. She said "let's make these turkey meatballs" and I seriously thought...no thanks, but we made them anyway. As we were mixing the meat and spices I was thinking they were going to be bland, dry and gross. Boy was I wrong. These were OUT OF THIS WORLD!!! I LOVED them! They were tender, flavorful and juicy....and healthy. Go figure. We made a double batch and froze half of them for future quick dinners. Genius. Give them a try...especially with the spaghetti and white sauce with smoked Gouda cheese - absolutely delicious!

Meatballs:
2 lbs ground turkey
1/3 cup chopped onion
2 cloves minced garlic
2 eggs (you can just use egg whites here as a healthier option - just add 1 T skim milk with them)
2 t chili powder
1/4 cup dried bread crumbs (you can use ground up garbanzo beans here for a healthier option)
1 T dried parsley
1 t black pepper
1/2 t salt

1 lb spaghetti (use whole wheat pasta here for a healthier option)
1 8oz package low fat cream cheese
2 cups milk
4 oz smoked Gouda cheese, grated

For the meatballs, mix all ingredients together and form into 1-1 1/2 inch balls and place on a baking sheet. Bake at 375 degrees for 20 minutes.

Cook spaghetti according to package directions. In a large skillet or large saucepan, melt cream cheese over low heat. After melted, add milk and whisk until smooth, bubbly and thick. Add half of the cheese to the mixture and stir until melted. Add spaghetti to the sauce. Plate spaghetti topped with meatballs and extra Gouda cheese.

*We also made a marinara sauce (for my dad...the baby) and it was ABSOLUTELY delicious mixing the red sauce with the white!! Try it...you won't be disappointed.

Butterfinger Cookies

Butterfinger has to be one of my favorite candy bars of all time. So, naturally, when I found this recipe I knew we were meant for each other! It has the beautiful taste of a peanut butter cookie with the crispity crunch of the Butterfinger chunks. And...some chunks caramelized and became ooey, gooey goodness. If you like peanut butter cookies, THESE are the cookies for you! When you first bake them they might seem like they are underdone and extremely soft, but don't fetter...after they cool they firm up.

1 cup sugar
1 1/3 cups brown sugar
1 stick butter
4 eggs
3 running over teaspoons vanilla
2 1/2 cups chunky peanut butter
2 cups flour
1 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
20 ounces Butterfingers, chopped up into large chunks

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Mix butter, sugars, eggs and vanilla in mixer. Add peanut butter and mix. In a separate bowl combine flour, baking soda and salt. Add to peanut butter mixture and mix until blended. Fold in Butterfingers.

Bake on greased cookie sheet for about 9-12 minutes (I cooked them the full 12 minutes in my oven.)

* From Confessions of a Cookbook Queen...by the way my new favorite dessert site...you are going to probably be seeing A LOT of desserts from this one!

4th of July Cake



Such a simple, light and delicious cake! Happy 4th!

1 French Vanilla box cake mix
1 recipe cream cheese frosting (found here)
1 tub whipped cream
raspberries
blueberries
1 strawberry
Red and Blue food coloring gels

Mix cake according to package directions. Divide batter in half. Color one bowl full of batter red and the other blue. Pour into 2 prepared 8 inch round cake pans. Bake according to package directions.

Make cream cheese frosting according to recipe above. Fold in whipped cream to make a light and fluffy frosting. Layer cooled cakes with frosting and then frost entire cake. Garnish with berries. Enjoy your holiday!!!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Chicken Bakes


And we're back!!!

With all this business of having a baby, moving, and being low on the funds, I've lost myself in the mix. My identity was cooking...now I'm just surviving. Till yesterday. I FINALLY got the urge and desire to start cooking again. Let me just say...it feels GREAT!!! And lucky for you I'm starting it off with a bang...which means you're going to have to hit the gym...

If you've ever been to Costco, you know what these are. They serve them in the food court there and also in the freezer section. They are VERY delicious! I saw on Justin cousin, Jen's, blog that they made them. I immediately went on the hunt for the "secret" recipe. I'm not exactly sure if these are the same - ingredient for ingredient - but they sure tasted like it! My dad was even raving about them and he doesn't stray much from his basic meat and potato meals. And don't tell anyone, but I sneaked in a little whole wheat flour cause I was a little low on white flour. Nobody noticed and I didn't tell! HAHA!! Jokes on them...

I'm also sure that the dough they use at Costco is the absolute best, but I don't have the funds and live about 40 minutes from one now...not so convenient. So I have a go-to recipe for all of my pizza doughs that is just awesome (don't forget that I added that whole wheat flour and it was delish...definitely a trick I will be using often in the future.)

Double recipe of my homemade pizza dough found here

Cooked, diced chicken (I used rotisserie chicken ironically from Costco)
Ceasar salad dressing (make sure it's a quality kind...I've had a lot of crap in my day)
Shredded Monterey Jack cheese
Shredded Mozzarella cheese
1 bunch green onions, diced
Crumbled bacon (I just used a small bag of real crumbled bacon for ease)
Parmesan cheese

Divide dough into 8 equal pieces. Marinate the chicken in some Cesar dressing, just enough to cover each piece...not drenched.

Roll out 1 dough ball into a 11x5 rectangle. Spread about 1 teaspoon of Cesar dressing on the dough. Sprinkle marinated chicken evenly over top. Top with both cheeses, green onions and bacon to your liking. Roll the 5 inch side over the ingredients into a tight roll.

Place seam side down on a greased baking sheet. Top with another teaspoon of Cesar dressing and then sprinkle with parmesan cheese. Bake at 400 degrees for 20-25 minutes until golden brown.

Makes 8 chicken bakes. (If you think you don't need this many...don't be silly - make them all. They are a cinch to freeze and make the perfect quick and easy go-to lunch or dinner for the manly folk...and the child folk)

*From recipezaar.com

Honey Wheat Bread


I've been making this bread for years now and don't know why it's taken me so long to put in on here!! It's the best, most delicious bread I've ever had. I LOVE it. Bryce loves it. My other half loves it. Doesn't it look just delicious cooling on the railing of the porch? Let me just say yesterday when I made these I was feeling like such a home-maker. You know...yeast, rising dough, fresh warm bread...that'll do it to ya.

I got this recipe from my cousin, Jenna, years ago. She made it and I ate it. Then I bugged her daily till I got it. She found it on allrecipes.com (which also is a favorite of mine.) The thing that's so wonderful about it is you use half whole wheat flour and half white. This tactic must be used to trick the people eating it. It's got the whole wheat goodness, but the look and texture of a white bread. GENIUS!! I also like how it doesn't use any white sugar, just honey. The flavor is phenomenal! Just try it...it's so easy. If I can do it - you can too...seriously.

3 cups warm water (about 110 degrees F)
2 (.25 ounce) packages active dry yeast
1/3 cup honey
5 cups bread flour
3 tablespoons butter, melted
1/3 cup honey
1 tablespoon salt
3 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
2 tablespoons butter, melted

In a large bowl, mix warm water, yeast, and 1/3 cup honey. Add 5 cups white bread flour, and stir to combine. Let set for 30 minutes, or until big and bubbly. (A little trick I use in situations where I don't have a nice warm porch is I turn the microwave on for 1 minute with nothing in there. Then I open it and put the dough in there for a warm place to rise. I also will turn my oven on and when it gets to about 150 degrees, I turn it off. Then I put the dough in there to rise. Both ways work like a charm!)

Mix in 3 tablespoons melted butter, 1/3 cup honey, and salt. Stir in 2 cups whole wheat flour. Flour a flat surface and knead with whole wheat flour until not real sticky - just pulling away from the counter, but still sticky to touch. This may take an additional 2 to 4 cups of whole wheat flour. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to coat the surface of the dough. Cover with a dishtowel. Let rise in a warm place until doubled.

Punch down, and divide into 3 loaves. Place in greased 9 x 5 inch loaf pans, and allow to rise until dough has topped the pans by one inch.

Bake at 350 degrees F for 25 to 30 minutes; do not overbake. Lightly brush the tops of loaves with 2 tablespoons melted butter or margarine when done to prevent crust from getting hard. Cool completely

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Strawberry Lemonade Cupcakes

These are just the perfect definition of Summer! After I made these I realized that I probably could have just made a french vanilla cake and added lemon juice and zest and it would be just as good or even better. Also, the original recipe called for a strawberry buttercream frosting, but after seeing how involved it was I opted to just use my own strawberry cream cheese frosting and it was delicious. Either way, the combination of lemon with strawberry is just awesome!!

3 cups flour
1 Tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 cups sugar
4 eggs, at room temperature
3 Tbsp lemon zest (from 3 lemons)
2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice (from 1-1.5 lemons)
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup buttermilk
Strawberry Cream Cheese frosting, recipe follows

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Prepare muffin tin by either spraying with baking spray or lining with paper liners.

Whisk flour, baking powder and salt together and set aside. Cream butter and sugar on a high until pale, light, and fluffy (about 5 minutes). Add eggs one at a time, mixing thoroughly before adding the next one. Add lemon zest, lemon juice, and vanilla. Turn mixer to the low, and add the dry ingredients in three batches, alternating with the buttermilk in two batches. Mix only until just incorporated.

Fill each muffin cup ~3/4 full. Bake for 25 minutes or until a skewer shows only moist crumbs attached, rotating the pans at the halfway point. Allow cupcakes to cool completely in the pans before removing.

Yields: 24 cupcakes

Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting

2 (8oz) packages cream cheese, softened
1 stick butter, softened
1 t vanilla
4 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup strawberry feezer jam (homemade is the best way to go, but if you don't have it, you can get it at any grocery store)

Cream cream cheese and butter until there are no lumps. Add vanilla and powdered sugar and beat until smooth. Add jam and beat again until well incorporated.

*Cupcakes from Dinner and Dessert

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Chocolate Cream Cheese Toffee Bars

I saw these when I was watching the Food Network and knew I needed to make them! They are so easy because you use already prepared everything pretty much. In the original recipe she used only 2 toffee bars, but I upped it to 4 because it didn't seem like enough. She also used toasted almonds on top, but we're not much of the nut type, so I left them out. These are absolutely divine! I think it's my new favorite dessert by far. The proportions are so perfect...with the cream cheese, chocolate and cookie. The toffee bar is so perfectly crunchy too!! LOVE THEM!!
1 pound refrigerated sugar cookie dough
4 toffee bars, chopped (I used Heath bars)
1/2 t vanilla
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 (8oz) cream cheese, room temperature

Position an oven rack in the middle of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Spray a 8x8-inch nonstick baking pan with vegetable cooking spray. Lay a 6 by 18-inch piece of parchment paper in the pan, allowing the excess paper to overhang the sides. Spray the parchment paper lightly with cooking spray.

In a medium bowl, combine the cookie dough, 1/2 of the chopped chocolate-toffee candy pieces and vanilla extract. Using damp fingers, gently press the dough into the prepared pan. Using the tines of a fork, prick the dough all over. Bake for about 20 minutes until the crust is lightly browned. Cool for 15 minutes.

Place the chocolate chip in a medium bowl. Place the bowl over a pan of simmering water and stir until the chocolate has melted. Cool the chocolate mixture for 10 minutes. Whisk in the cream cheese until the mixture is smooth. Using a spatula, spread the chocolate mixture over the cooled crust. Sprinkle the remaining chocolate-toffee candy pieces over the chocolate mixture. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours until the chocolate layer is firm.

Peel off the parchment paper and cut into 1 1/2 by 2-inch bars. Serve at room temperature.

*From the Food Network

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Baked Chicken Bacon Alfredo

I knew I needed to make this dish the second I saw it. It's from one of my favorite food blogs, Our Best Bites, and I must say it's become a family favorite. It's going into my dinner rotations as a staple. It's that good. I was actually able to throw it together in a cinch because I used the grilled, sliced chicken breasts from Costco, crumbled bacon from a bag, and already shredded mozzarella cheese. For some reason I had all the ingredients in perfect proportions leftover from other meals. It was meant to be! Either way, this dish is out of this world and deserves a try. Also, the Alfredo sauce in this recipe is TO DIE FOR!!

8 oz. penne or bowtie pasta
1 recipe Guiltless Alfredo Sauce - recipe follows (1 16-oz. jar would work in a pinch)
2 chicken breasts, grilled and chopped (about 2 c. chopped chicken)
6 oz. (1/2 package) cooked bacon, chopped
1 12-oz. jar marinated artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
1/2 c. chopped green onions (about 1 decent-sized bunch)
1 c. shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
Salt and pepper, to taste

Guiltless Alfredo Sauce
2 cups low fat milk (not skim)
1/3 cup (3oz) low fat cream cheese
2 T flour
1 t salt
1 T butter
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup Parmesan cheese

Put milk, cream cheese, flour and salt in a blender and blend until creamy. Saute butter and garlic in saucepan until tender, about 30 seconds. Add mixture from the blender. Stir constantly until thick, about 3-4 minutes. When it's nice and thick, remove from heat and add Parmesan cheese and cover. Let stand for 10 minutes. Stir until creamy.

Preheat oven to 350.

Prepare pasta according to package directions.

While pasta is cooking, prepare Guiltless Alfredo sauce. When pasta is done, drain and add to the sauce. Toss with chopped chicken, bacon, artichoke hearts, green onions, and 1/2 c. mozzarella. Season to taste.

Transfer mixture to an 8x8" baking dish and sprinkle with remaining 1/2 c. mozzarella cheese. Cover with aluminum foil and bake at 350 for 20 minutes or until heated through and cheese is bubbly.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Chocolate Trifle


Now people...this dessert will change your life. I got it from Abby's friend, Devin. It has to be the most amazing thing I've ever put in my mouth. We served it at Justin's graduation party and it was GONE in all of 2 seconds. I left to feed the baby for approximately 15 minutes and came out to NOTHING!! That's how good it is. In fact, it was so good that we made it again for Camryn's blessing lunch 2 days later. It was gone again in 2 seconds. You are going to die...just be ready for it.

1 extra large container Cool Whip
3-4 T Cocoa powder
1 jar caramel topping
1 can sweetened condensed milk
2 boxes favorite brownie mix
3 Heath bars crushed

Make up the brownie mix according to box directions, but bake in a sheetcake pan. Bake until just set in the middle. Let cool completely.

Mix Cool Whip and cocoa powder until well combined.

In a trifle bowl, layer brownies, sweetened condensed milk, caramel, chocolate Cool Whip, and crushed Heath bars 3 times. Enjoy!!

*I actually crushed up an extra large Symphony bar with Almonds and Toffee and it was just amazing. Also, the original recipe calls for homemade whipped cream where you buy whipping cream and whip it to the consistency you like while adding sugar and cocoa to taste. I was going to do that, but the Cool Whip with cocoa powder seemed easier. Also...when I made it again, I just bought the Brownie Bites from Costco instead of making homemade. They were wonderful. So there are some shortcuts that you can take if you're short on time. It's also best when you make it a few hours before you serve it and put it in the fridge so that the sweetened condensed milk and caramel kind of soaks into the brownies. Pure deliciousness!!!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Fettuccine Alfredo

This is THE BEST Fettuccine Alfredo I've ever had! It's so simple and only has 4 ingredients. AND it's from The Pioneer Woman, so you can't go wrong. I trust her...with ALL my cooking needs - and probably a lot more. She's just pure genius!! Try this...you won't be disappointed. Although you might have to stop eating for several days after to even out your calorie intake! Now EAT THIS!!! and then hit the treadmill...

1 stick butter
1 cup heavy cream (I used half and half)
1 lb Fettuccine noodles
2 cups Parmesan cheese
salt and pepper to taste

Cook pasta according to package directions.

In a saucepan or skillet, warm butter and cream. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Grate Parmesan cheese and place half of it into a large serving bowl. Pour warm butter/cream mixture over the top.

Drain pasta and immediately pour it into the bowl.
Toss a couple of times, then sprinkle in the other half of the Parmesan.

Toss to combine, thinning with pasta water if necessary.
Serve immediately as a main course or accompaniment to meat or salad.

* From The Pioneer Woman

Steak Marinade

I'm definitely NOT a meat eater or meat cook. I'm just no good at it. Justin on the other hand loves meat and is trying his hand at making delicious meat. We got these steaks and needed a good marinade. I searched the internet and ended up with this...pure deliciousness. We marinated overnight and it was superb. Also at the last minute, I threw in some chicken breasts cause I thought we wouldn't have enough meat and it was awesome! So I am recommending using this marinade for steaks and for chicken because it worked so well for both.

1 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/3 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup lemon juice
3 T Worcestershire sauce
1 T pepper
2 T Dijon mustard
1 onion, sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced

Combine all ingredients and add meat. Marinate at least 8 hours or overnight for delicious meat. I put everything in a large Ziploc bag and then put it in the fridge. Remove from fridge and let sit about 20-30 minutes to take the chill off. Grill on indoor or outdoor grill. Enjoy!!

*For precise directions on how to cook a steak ALWAYS turn to the Pioneer Woman.

*From All Recipes

Snickerdoodle Cupcakes

I found this recipe on Dinner & Dessert. I was so intrigued by the title that I had try them. The actual cupcakes were more of a muffin consistency - dense and not as sweet - but it ended up being great because the frosting is sweet. I usually don't like buttercream frosting, but decided to try it instead. I ended up making a cinnamon cream cheese frosting also. They both turned out GREAT! Either one is delicious. So if you like cinnamon and snickerdoodle cookies, then you will LOVE these cupcakes!

Cupcakes:

1 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 cups cake flour (recipe here if you can't find it in the store you went to like me...)
1 T baking powder
1/2 t salt
1 T cinnamon
1cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
1 3/4 cups sugar
4 eggs
2 t vanilla
1 1/4 cups milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners or grease well. Sift together both flours, baking powder, salt and 1 T cinnamon.

With an electric mixer on medium-high speed, cream butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until each is incorporated, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Beat in vanilla. Reduce speed to low. Add flour mixture in three batches, alternating with two additions of milk, and beating until combined after each.


Divide batter evenly among lined cups, filling each 3/4 full. Bake until a toothpick comes out clean (about 13-15 minutes for me). Transfer tins to wire racks to cool completely before removing cupcakes.

Cinnamon Frosting:

20 T (2½ sticks) butter, softened
2½ cups powdered sugar
1/8 T salt
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 tablespoons heavy cream (I used half and half)
2 tablespoons cinnamon (or to taste)

In standing mixer fitted with whisk attachment, beat butter at medium-high speed until smooth, about 20 seconds. Add powdered sugar and salt; beat at medium-low speed until most of the sugar is moistened, about 45 seconds. Scrape down bowl and beat at medium speed until mixture is fully combined, about 15 seconds; scrape bowl, add vanilla, cinnamon, and heavy cream, and beat at medium speed until incorporated, about 10 seconds, then increase speed to medium-high and beat until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes, scraping down bowl once or twice.

Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting:

2 (8oz.) pkgs. cream cheese, softened
½ c. butter, softened
2 tsp vanilla
4½ - 4¾ c. sifted powdered sugar
1 T cinnamon

Beat cream cheese, butter, vanilla and cinnamon until light and fluffy. Gradually add 2 c. powdered sugar, beating well. Beat in enough of remaining sugar to make frosting of spreading consistency. Yields 3 cups.

*Cupcakes and Cinnamon Frosting from Dinner & Dessert

Homemade Macaroni and Cheese

This is just oh so good and the definition of comfort food! I grew up with a version of this classic. The base sauce with noodles comes from Auntie in the Grandma Lyman Cookbook and she always made it when I was growing up. I added my little twist on it to just take it way over the edge. Even Justin likes this and he's definitely not a mac and cheese fan. If your in need of good old fashion comfort food cooking, look no further cause nothing beats this!!

2 T butter
5 T flour
2 cups milk
1/2 t onion salt
1/2 t pepper
2 cups cubed Velveeta cheese (or I just do 1/3 of the 32oz block...or a whole small package)
1/2 c grated cheddar cheese + 1 cup
1 lb cooked elbow macaroni
2 c grated Monterey Jack cheese
Panko bread crumbs

Melt butter in small saucepan. Whisk in flour. Whisk 1 cup milk. Then add onion salt and pepper. Mix in 1 more cup of milk and keep heat low. Add Velveeta cheese and cheddar cheese. Simmer on low until cheese is completely melted - it will be thin. Pour over macaroni. Now at this point you can just serve as you would any other macaroni and cheese. OR you can take it to the next level and make it baked.

Add 1 cup Monterey Jack cheese to the macaroni and stir till well combined. Pour 1/2 of your mixture in a deep baking dish (bigger than 8x8, but smaller than 9x13). Sprinkle on 1/2 cup each of cheddar cheese and Monterey Jack. Pour the remaining 1/2 of the macaroni mixture. Top with 1/2 cup each of cheddar cheese and Monterey Jack. Coat the top with Panko bread crumbs. Spray top with nonstick cooking spray or melted butter. Bake at 350 degrees for about 20-30 minutes or until breadcrumbs are golden brown and cheese is bubbly. ENJOY!!!

PS - This is AWESOME as leftovers!!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Strawberry Cheesecake Pie


This is the perfect Spring/Summer dessert. It's so light and refreshing. It calls for a 1/3 cup strawberry jam. and I ran out of homemade freezer jam. After I cried my eyes out I went to the store to find a replacement. I definitely can't go back to the jar jam...GROSS!! So in the freezer section (actually where I found the pie crust) there it was. Freezer jam. Waiting for me to buy it. So if you can't wait for the next batch of your homemade freezer jam, definitely check out your grocers freezer because your problems could be solved.

semisweet chocolate
1 pastry shell (9 inches), baked ( I use frozen Marie Callendars)
1 (8oz) cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup sour cream
5 T Sugar
1/2 t vanilla
3 to 4 cups fresh strawberries
1/3 + cup strawberry jam

Directions
In a large saucepan, melt chocolate over low heat, stirring constantly; spread or brush over the bottom and up the sides of the pastry shell. Chill.
Meanwhile, in a large bowl, beat the cream cheese, sour cream, sugar and vanilla until smooth.
Spread over chocolate layer; cover and chill for 2 hours.
Mix strawberries and jam until combined. Arrange strawberry mixture over the filling. Melt the remaining chocolate and drizzle over the top.

*From Eileens recipes.

Alpine Chicken

I got this delicious recipe from the Highland 23rd Ward Cookbook...let me just tell you that this book has some gems!! How is it that all ward cookbooks are the absolute best?! This recipe definitely didn't disappoint. It was super easy and everyone loved it! It has tons of flavor and the chicken was super moist.

6-8 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
6-8 slices Swiss cheese
6-8 slices thin sliced ham
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 package Chicken Stove Top Stuffing mix
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter

Place chicken in the bottom of a 9x13 pan. Layer ham and cheese slices over chicken. Spread an entire can of cream of chicken soup over cheese. Melt butter and mix with dry stuffing mix. Sprinkle over top. Cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour. Uncover and bake for another 15-30 minutes. Delicious!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Fish in Foil

This is the easiest, tastiest, healthiest thing I've ever had!! My mom showed this to me tonight and I was stunned! When she asked me if we like fish, I was a little weary because I only like fish cooked right. I can't stand dry fish. So when I tasted this I was SUPER surprised! It's moist and flavorful...just PURE delicious! It's also great for people who are super busy because you can make these foil dinners up when you buy the fish and put them in the freezer to have on hand for a quick, anytime lunch or dinner. And it made me love it even more when she told me it was only 100 calories each! The fish steams and releases it's own juices that is just to die for!! You must try this because it's just too dang good and easy...and healthy.

Tilapia Fillets - however many you want (and you can also use Salmon instead.)
Lemon Pepper
1 red pepper, cut into strips
Foil

Spray a strip of foil with olive oil cooking spray. Place 1 fish fillet in the middle of the foil. Sprinkle Lemon Pepper over top of fish. Place 1 red pepper slice over top of fish. Bring the top and bottom of the foil over top of fish and roll down, then fold in the sides. (At this point you can place in the freezer for future use.) Place in 350 degree oven for 20 minutes. If placing in the oven straight out of the freezer bake for approximately 30 minutes.

*If you are using Salmon, you can leave the top of the foil open to let the top of the fish crisp up a little...delicious.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Torte

This is definitely good...extremely rich...but good. The best part about it is the frosting because it's a creamy peanut butter cream cheese frosting. Can't beat it. And it involves Reese's Peanut Butter Cups. We all know how I can't resist those! In the original recipe she used 2 8x8 pans, but I just used one 9-10 inch pan, let it cool and then cut it in half to make a top and a bottom. I liked doing this because it made the cake part a lot more moist and you only have to dirty one pan!

For the Cake:
1 Cup butter, melted
1 cup cocoa
2 cups sugar
4 eggs
4 t vanilla
1 cup flour
1/2 t salt
About 20 pieces Reese's peanut butter cups, chopped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray prepared pans (either 2 8x8's or 1 9inch) and line with parchment paper, then spray parchment paper.

In a medium bowl combine the butter and cocoa and stir until cocoa is dissolved. Add the sugr, 1/4 cup at a time and mix well. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, and mix until incorporated. Stir in the vanilla, flour and salt and combine until flour is no longer visible. Fold in peanut butter cups and put in prepared pans. Bake for approximately 25-30 minutes and then remove and let cool.

Run a knife around the edge of each pan and turn out onto cooling rack. Once cooled, cut the cake in half length-wise and put the bottom cake layer on a platter. Spread 1/2 cup or more of frosting on top of layer and place the top layer of the cake back on.

For the Frosting:
1 (8oz) cream cheese, softened
1/2 stick butter at room temperature
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/3 cup creamy peanut butter

In a bowl, beat cream cheese and butter until light and fluffy. Gradually add powdered sugar one cup at a time, mixing after each addition. Continue to beat on medium speed for 4 minutes. Add peanut butter and beat until thoroughly blended. Spread frosting on cooled cake, top with chopped peanut butter cups. Cut into slices and serve.


* From Mmm...Cafe

Smothered Barbeque Chicken

I know the picture struggles, but I just really don't care!! HAHA! I found this recipe and thought it would be something that Justin would absolutely LOVE! Since my mom has been here she has been feeding Justin his kind of meals...MEAT, MEAT, MEAT. I'm not much of a meat lover myself, but I have to say that this chicken is a winner! The meat is extremely tender...like nothing I've ever had. It was also super easy with minimal ingredients. Definitely a keeper.

1 whole 3-3 1/2 pounds cut-up frying chicken
2 T seasoned salt
2 T olive oil
4 T butter
2 cups favorite barbecue sauce

Use paper towels to make sure your chicken is dry before beginning. A wet chicken will just sit in the pan and boil instead of getting nice and dark and crispy like we want for this recipe. Place the chicken on a plastic cutting board or other washable surface. Sprinkle all sides liberally with seasoned salt.

Add the olive oil and butter to a large skillet and heat over medium-high heat until the butter melts. Add the seasoned chicken, skin side down, and cook until a deep brown color forms. Turn the chicken oven and repeat on the other side.

Remove the chicken pieces from the pan and place them on paper towels to drain. Pour off excess fat from the pan.

Add all the chicken pieces back to the pan, nestling them in so that they all fit. Pour over the barbecue sauce.

Bring to a boil, then cover and reduce the heat to simmer. Cook for 45 minutes to 1 hour or until the chicken is tender. Check during cooking time and add 1/4 to 1/2 cup water if needed to prevent the barbecue sauce from burning, but not so much that the sauce thins out.

*From Tasty Kitchen