Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Homemade Twix Bars

Remember how I made that 6-Minute caramel? It has it’s purpose now – inside these Homemade Twix Bars.
I love a good Twix every once in a while, don’t you? And since finding this faster than fast caramel, they are beyond easy to make! Crumbly, light cookie crust with a chewy, gooey caramel, topped with delicious chocolate. You’ll love these!

Cookie Crust (recipe follows)
1 recipe Homemade 6-Minute Caramel (recipe found here)
2 cups chocolate chips (milk or semi-sweet, whichever you prefer)

Cookie Crust
1 cup butter, room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
2 cups all purpose flour
1/4 t baking powder
1/2 t salt
1/2 t vanilla
2 T milk

Cream together your butter and sugar with a mixer until light and fluffy.In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.  Slowly add this to the butter mixture. Finally, at low speed, add in the milk and vanilla.

Line a 9x13 pan with parchment paper. Press the dough into the bottom of the pan. Cover and refrigerate until firm. Bake at 300 degrees for 20-30 minutes, turning the baking sheet half-way through baking. Remove and cool completely.

After crust has cooled completely, make the caramel and add it directly to the top of the crust. Let caramel completely cool and set.

Melt chocolate chips in 15 second intervals in the microwave, stirring in between. Top the caramel with the melted chocolate. Allow to completely cool by placing it in the fridge. After cookies are solid, they’ll just pop right out of the pan. Cut into squares and serve!! Enjoy!!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Southwest Salad Dressing

This salad is the best. EVER. I got this recipe from my sister-in-law, Alyssa. She changed my life with it when I visited a few months back. It’s the dressing that makes it super-duper good. It’s a southwest dressing with a little bit of a kick. It’s like nothing I’ve had before and I’m completely addicted. 
And besides the dressing being AMAZING, you can make the salad what you want! Put whatever the heck you want in there. I usually always do fresh corn and black beans, but I’ve put quinoa in there, blue cheese, sliced almonds, crushed up tortilla chips, avocado, red peppers, you name it – I’ve done it. That’s what I like about it! My favorite thing to do right now is marinate some shrimp in the dressing itself and then grill them for a great salad topper. YUMMMM. The key to the salad is the dressing. Get creative!!
I've made this for 2 parties so far and have been asked countless times for the recipe. It's SOOO good!!!

Southwest Dressing:
1/3 cup seasoned rice vinegar
1/4 cup lime juice
1 clove garlic, minced
2t chipotle chili powder
2T honey
1/2t sea salt
1 cup cilantro
3/4 cup olive oil

Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Pour on your favorite salad or use as a marinade.

For the Salad:
1-2 heads romaine lettuce
1 bag baby spinach
2-3 ears fresh corn, cooked
1/2 c black beans
1/4 cup cotija cheese (or any kind of mexican cheese)
1-2 avocado, diced
tortilla chips, crushed (I like to use Tostitos Roasted Garlic and Black Bean chips…or you can use southwest tortilla strips)

Toss your creation into a large salad bowl and top with the Southwest Dressing.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Homemade 6-Minute Caramels

Who doesn’t want caramel in 6 minutes? Who doesn’t want SUPER delicious, SUPER soft, perfect caramel in 6 minutes? This is my new favorite thing to make. It’s just too easy! Would you believe that it’s made in the microwave in 6 minutes? Nope, you wouldn’t. I was super shocked at how perfect they came out.  It makes such a great gift too. And look in the next couple of weeks where I turn this delicious caramel into homemade Twix bars…YEEESSSS!

1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup light Karo syrup
1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk 

Combine all ingredients.

Cook 6 minutes, stirring every two minutes. 

Stir and pour into lightly greased dish – I like a 9x13 because it gives a thin layer. Let cool completely. 

Cut, wrap in wax paper & store in air tight container. I like to cut big squares and then roll them up slightly into a log, then wrap them in wax paper. If you want it thicker, just pour into a smaller dish to cool and then cut. Enjoy!!

*From food.com

Monday, September 3, 2012

Rattlesnake Bites

These were a fun, easy option for dinner. You also could whip these up for an appetizer, lunch or a snack. The filling is so scrumptious! I had a lot leftover because I only had 1 tube of the crescent dough, so I just added some Pepperjack cheese and we ate it as a dip for chips. Yum!

1 pound ground beef (I use ground turkey)
1 (4oz) can diced green chilies
1 (80z) package cream cheese, cubed
1/4 t ground cumin
1/4 t chili powder
2-3 tubes refrigerated crescent dough

In a large skillet, cook beef and chilies over medium heat until meat is no longer pink, then drain. Add the cream cheese, cumin and chili powder.

Separate crescent dough into triangles. Place 1 T of beef mixture in the middle of the triangle roll up, pinching it closed so no filling is showing.

Place on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake at 375 degrees for 11-14 minutes or until golden brown.

*From Taste of Home