Monday, April 6, 2015

Avocado Hummus








This is my most favorite hummus recipe ever! So easy to make and so much you can do with it! I like to dip veggies into a bowl of this flavorful dip, I also use it to put on veggie wraps, or turkey and veggie wraps. Thanks cookingclassy.com for this recipe!

Avocado Hummus

1 (15oz) can chick peas (garbanzo beans), well drained
2 medium ripe avocados, cored and peeled
3 Tblsp olive oil, plus more for serving if desired
1 1/2 Tblsp tahini
3 Tblsp fresh lime juice
1 clove garlic, peeled
salt and pepper to taste
1/8 tsp (I use 1 tsp) cumin
2 Tblsp finely chopped cilantro leaves, for topping (I add mine to the mixer)
Optional: Red pepper flakes, for topping (I do not add this)

Pulse chick peas, olive oil, tahini, lime juice, and garlic in a food processor until smooth, about 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste, about 1/4-1/2 tsp salt and 1/8 tsp pepper. Add cumin and avocados and pulse mixture until smooth and creamy, about 1-2 minutes.
Serve topped with more olive oil if desired and sprinkle with cilantro and pepper flakes if desired. Serve with pita chips or veggies. EnJOY!


Roasted Balsamic Brussel Sprouts with Goat Cheese

I have been obsessed with brussel sprouts lately and I decided to change it up just a bit so my family doesn't get sick of them. I love goat cheese so now these things are even more addicting!

Roasted Balsamic Brussel Sprouts with Goat Cheese

1-2 lbs brussel sprouts, rinsed and dried.
1 cup goat cheese, crumbled into small pieces
salt and pepper to taste
balsamic vinegar to taste
olive oil

Preheat oven to 400. Slice brussel sprouts in half, add to baking sheet. Drizzle a small amount of olive oil onto the brussell sprouts, top with a little salt and pepper, then top with 1-2 Tblsp balsamic. Bake for 15 minutes, stir around so they dont burn, continue to roast for another 15-25 minutes until desired tenderness. When done roasting, fork tender, remove from oven. Top with additional 1 Tblsp balsamic, top with desired amount of goat cheese. Serve while hot. EnJOY!

White Trash Bars

Ok so the name is horrible, but these are freakin awesome! I used graham crackers for mine and added a dash of salt but will try the cracker version next. So sweet and yummy! This is from cookiesandcups.com

White Trash Bars

2 sleeves Ritz crackers, 60 crackers total
1 1/2 cups Heath Toffee bits
1 (14oz) can sweetened condensed milk
1 1/2 cups vanilla frosting, or buttercream (recipe below)

Preheat oven to 350. Spray an 8x8 pan with cooking spray. Crush the Ritz crackers in large zip lock bag. Pour toffee bits into zip lock bag and combine with cracker crumbs. Pour cracker/toffee mix bowl and pour in condensed milk, mix. Pour into 8x8 pan and press down evenly. Bake 15-20 minutes until edges start to become golden. Remove from oven and allow to completely cool. When cooled, frost with homemade buttercream or canned frosting. chill in refrigerator until ready to serve. Cut into squares. EnJOY!

Buttercream frosting

1 stick butter (1/2 cup) softened, not melted
4 to 4 1/2 cups powdered sugar
5-6 Tblsp milk
1 tsp vanilla extract

Put butter in mixing bowl, using electric mixer, whip butter for a minute until creamy and smooth. Add 1 cup powdered sugar at a time on low speed. Add vanilla and 1 Tblsp milk, keep adding a little milk at a time until desired consistency.

Bunny Butt Pancakes


I saw this adorable bunny butt idea floating around on facebook and I had to make them for my kiddos for Easter. So easy!

Bunny Butt Pancakes

Pancake mix (I used Krusteez) + ingredients to make mix
Whipped cream (I used the kind in the can)
Shredded coconut
mini chocolate chips/ or melted chocolate in a ziplock bag and cut off corner to pipe onto feet
1 banana
Syrup

Mix your pancake mix, enough for about 10 pancakes. Make 4 larger sized pancakes (for the butt), make 4 medium sized pancakes (for the head), make feet oval shaped, make ears smaller than feet, oval shaped. To assemble, put ears at the top of the plate first, top with medium sized pancake, top with large pancake, and place feet at the bottom. Put one slice of banana on each foot, place 3 mini chocolate chips for the toenails, then dallop a small mound of whipped cream for the tail and top with a little coconut. Serve with syrup if desired. EnJOY!

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Nutella and Peanut Butter Crescents


I saw a recipe on pinterest using nutella and peanut butter baked into cresent rolls, and yes I stopped what I was doing to make these bad boys! Oh these are so dangerous! I also made a batch of peanut butter and jelly cresent rolls for my kids lunch. I was their favorite that day.

Nutella and Peanut Butter Crescents:

Nutella
Peanut butter (I used creamy)
1 can of refrigerated Pillsbury crescent rolls

Preheat oven to 350. Unroll crescents. Place one tablespoon of nutella and one tablespoon of peanut butter into the center of the crescent. Roll the dough from the large side up. Place on greased baking sheet and bake for 8-12 minutes or until lightly golden. You can also do the same recipe using peanut butter and jelly for a fun kids snack. EnJOY!

BBQ Ranch Chicken Salad

Ok this picture sucks but the recipe is to die for! I get super board of just plain salads, so on my quest to find a new fun salad recipe I came across this little gem on www.damndelicious.net
Do it! Make it! BBQ sauce and Ranch, yes!

BBQ Ranch Chicken Salad:

1 Tblsp olive oil
2 boneless, skinless thin sliced chicken breasts
salt and pepper to taste
6 cups chopped romaine lettuce (I used baby spinach)
1 roma tomato, diced
3/4 cup canned corn kernels, rinsed and drained
3/4 cup canned black beans, rinsed and drained
1/4 cup diced red onion, optional
1/4 cup shredded monterey jack cheese
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1//4 cup ranch dressing (I used the ranch mix packet and mixed my own)
1/4 cup BBQ Sauce (I used Sweet Baby Rays, if youve never had that brand its amazing!)
1/4 cup torlilla strips (I used corn tortillas, cut into strips, spray cooking spray on top and bake at 400 for 5-10 minutes until crispy)

Heat olive oil in a medium skillet over medium high heat. Season chicken with salt and pepper to taste. Add to skillet and cook, flipping once, until cooked through, about 3-4 minutes on each side depending on thickness. Let cool before dicing into bite sized pieces. (I grilled my chicken on the BBQ). To assemble the salad, place lettuce in a large bowl; top with chicken, tomato, corn, beans, onion and cheeses. Pour ranch dressing and BBQ sauce on top of the salad and gently toss to combine. Serve immediately, top with crispy tortilla strips. EnJOY!

Egyptian Red Lentil Soup

Thank you Britt Mitchel for sharing an amazing unique soup recipe! This soup is packed with flavor, warm and tasty! Ive made it twice already! With a side of homemade naan bread, yes please!

Egyptian Red Lentil Soup

5 cups veggie broth
1 cup dried red lentils
2 cups chopped onions
2 cups chopped potatoes
8 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
1 Tblsp canola oil
2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp turmeric
1 tsp salt
1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
3 Tblsp fresh lemon juice (I added 5 Tblsp)
Salt and pepper to taste

Add the first 5 ingredients to a large pot; cover and bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer 10-15 minutes or until the lentils and veggies are tender. Remove pot from heat and set aside.
In a small saucepan, add the oil, warm over low heat until the oil is hot but not smoking. Add the cumin, turmeric and salt; cook and stir constantly for about 2 minutes or until the cumin has released its fragrance (be careful to not burn). Set spice mixture aside to cool.
Stir spice mixture into the lentil mixture; add cilantro, stir to combine.
You can puree the soup in batches, in a blender or you can use an immersion blender and blend to desired texture ( I like mine chunky).
Add lemon juice; stir to combine. Rewarm soup in pot if needed. Add salt and pepper if needed. EnJOY!

Naan Bread



Mmmmm.... yes please! I found this recipe on www.indiansimmer.com and it rocks!

Naan Bread:

2 cups flour or wheat flour
1/2 cup warm milk
1/2 cup yogurt (I used plain greek yogurt)
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 Tblsp sugar
1/2 Tblsp oil (I used olive)

Mix all dry ingredients together and make a well of flour (a little hole for the liquids to sit in the milk), (I actually just skipped the well and mixed it all in a bowl). Mix milk and yogurt together and pour half of it into the well and slowly combine it together. Add liquid slowly and combine it all together until soft dough is made. the dough should be soft enough for you to be able to dig your finger into it without applying any pressure. If dough sticks to hand too much then use a little bit of oil on your hand and then punch into the dough. Cover with damp cloth and let it sit in a warm place for at least 2 hours.
After a few hours, dust your working surface, take out the dough and knead it for about 2-3 minutes. Divide the dough into smaller balls (about 8 balls). Dust the surface again and flatten the balls to make bread which is a little thick and elongated. At this point, if desired, you can sprinkle on flavor to it. I used cumin mixed with a little melted butter and lightly spread on top of one side of the bread. You can also use cilantro or garlic. Brush the other side with water. Heat a thick bottom skillet. Once its hot place naan wet side down and cover with lid. Let it cook for about 30 seconds or until you see bubbles on it. Now cook the other side of the naan over direct flame of the burner with the help of tongs. when you see some charred brown spots then you know its done. Repeat with remaining naan. EnJOY!

Finnish Potato Salad




Thank you Anne for sharing your amazing family recipe! I don't think I could ever make a different potato salad recipe after making your recipe, it is by far my all time favorite!

Finnish Potato Salad:

Dry:
3 lbs potatoes (I used russet) peeled, cubed and boiled until just fork tender, not mushy
2-3 sweet apples, peeled and chopped
1-2 cups dill pickles, finely chopped
3/4 cup fresh parsley, minced
3/4 cup fresh dill, minced
1/2 cup green onions or chives, thinly sliced

Wet:
1 1/2 cup sour cream
1 cup mayo
1/2 cup dill pickle juice
1/2 cup milk
salt and pepper to taste

Add your cooled and cooked cubed potatoes to a large bowl. Add peeled and chopped apples, finely chopped dill pickles, minced parsley, minced dill and thinly sliced green onions. Set aside.
In a medium sized bowl, mix together all wet ingredients. Go on the lighter side with your salt and dill. Add half of your wet ingredients to the large bowl of dry ingredients, mix well. Add more wet ingredients if needed, don't add it all at once so its not too saucy. Chill in the refrigerator for a few hours. Add any more salt or dill at this point, once its had time to marinade together. EnJOY!





Nicoise Salad

I just love when people share their special family recipes! This was a recipe from Anne Groves. We celebrated Finland for our family culture night last month and Anne, being from Finland came over with her family and shared her culture with us, music, books, pictures, chocolate, oh my, sweet bread, yes please, and all kinds of amazing fun things. This salad is a new favorite for our family!

Nicoise Salad:

Lettuce, shredded (I used spinach)
Italian salad dressing mix (Good Season Brand), plus ingredients to make it
4 or 5 boiled potatoes
Green beans (I used fresh long beans)
Tuna (or salmon)
4 hard boiled eggs, chopped
1/4 cup Parsley, chopped
1/4 cup Green onions, chopped
1/2 cup-1 cup cherry tomatoes

Boil potatoes in the skin. When finished boiling (just fork tender, do not let it get mushy), remove skin, slice rounds, and marinate in salad dressing. Cook/Steam your green beans and marinate with potatoes. Refrigerate for atleast 30 minutes. Lay out your lettuce on a large platter, place marinated potato slices and green beans on top. Then lay your chopped eggs and tomatoes on top, fish on top of that and sprinkle with parsley and green onions and drizzle salad dressing over the top.
EnJOY!

Friday, February 13, 2015

Cupid Floats

Need a fun valentine drink idea? Here is a fun one I found on pinterest! Super easy!

Cupid Floats

1 can cherry 7 up
1 red licorice
2 scoops vanilla ice cream

Just like you would a root beer float, just pour in you soda, add your ice cream and top with a licorice straw with both ends cut. Yum! EnJOY!

Chocolate and Berries

I wanted to make some fun valentines treats for the weekend so here are a few I did thanks to some pinterest ideas.

Rasberry's and Chocolate:

Rinse and dry rasberries. Put one chocolate or white chocolate chip in backwards so the flat side is facing out. A fun little not so naughty treat!

Chocolate Covered Strawberries:

If using candy melts, place them in a bowl and microwave on increments of 30 seconds, stirring each time until smooth. Dip strawberry in chocolate to coat and place on parchment paper to dry.
If using chocolate chips, use a good brand. To get the smoothest results, use a double boiler. Fill bottom of boiler pan with a few cups of water, not full! bring to a boil on stove, then turn off heat. Place top of double boiler on top of hot water and pour in chocolate chips. Stir until melted and smooth. Dip strawberries in and set chocolate covered berries on parchment paper to dry.
You can use sprinkles to top, just make sure to sprinkle immediately on the chocolate covered berries before the chocolate sets up.
You can also melt white chocolate and drizzle on top of the chocolate covered berries.
Do NOT refrigerate chocolate covered strawberries or they will "sweat". Keep them at room temp.
EnJOY!









Monday, February 9, 2015

Almond Crusted Chicken With Strawberry Balsamic Sauce

Thank you cookingclassy.com for a fabulous dinner last week! The chicken on its own is great but the sauce makes it incredible!

Almond Crusted Chicken With Strawberry Balsamic Sauce

Almond Crusted Chicken:
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts (or 4 thin sliced chicken breasts)
1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
1/3 cup sliced almonds, coarsely ground
1 Tblsp chopped fresh rosemary or 1 tsp dried, crushed
salt and pepper, to taste
8 tsp canola oil, divided

Strawberry Balsamic Sauce:
1 tsp canola oil
1/4 cup diced shallot
1/3 cup strawberry preserves
3 Tblsp balsamic vinegar
1/3 cup low sodium chicken broth

Preheat oven to 350. Spray a baking pan with cooking spray, set aside. Cut through thickness of each chicken breast (or just use 4 thin sliced chicken). Should have 4 chicken breasts now. If each portion isnt about 1/2 inch thick then pound with a meat mallet until nearly that thickness.
 In a gallon size resealable bag, combine panko crumbs, almonds, rosemary and season with salt and pepper to taste (about 1/2 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper). Working with one chicken breast at a time, place in resealable bag and shake to coat, while slightly pressing as needed to get crumbs to stick to chicken.
 Heat 2 tsp oil in large non stick skillet over medium heat. Transfer two chicken breasts to pan, and cook until golden brown on bottom about 2 minutes. Then lift chicken breast and add 2 more tsp of oil, then rotate chicken to opposite side and cook until bottom is golden brown. Repeat process with remaining two chicken breasts. Transfer chicken to prepared baking dish and bake in preheated oven until chicken has cooked through, abouit 10-15 minutes (internal temp should be 165 degrees). Meanwhile prepare strawberry sauce.

Sauce:
In a small saucepan heat 1 tsp oil over medium heat. Add shallots and saute until tender. Add strawberry preserves, balsamic vinegar, chicken broth and season with salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a boil then reduce heat slightly and allow to simmer, stirring occasionally, until sauce has thickened slightly, about 5-6 minutes. Serve warm over chicken. EnJOY!

Chocolate Cresents


I found this recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com and couldnt believe Ive never tried this before! Brilliant! Stay tuned for more stuffed cresent recipes! There are endless possibilities with what you can do with these!

Chocolate Cresents

1 Pillsbury cresent dough, refrigerated can
2 cups chocolate chips, for filling and for drizzling

Ok here goes the complicated instructions: unroll, fill, roll up, bake. Too easy! You can also put mini mallows in the filling too for extra goodness. Bake at 375 for 10-15 minutes. Let cool a minute or two. Melt remaining chocolate chips and drizzle on top! EnJOY!







Stuffed Breakfast Biscuits



I found this recipe on richestoragsbydori.blogspot.com and had to make it for a group of girlfriends a few weeks ago. So yummy! You can just eat it as is or top it with some gravy. You can type in biscuits and gravy, or just gravy in the upper left hand of my blog and it will pull up my favorite gravy recipe.

Stuffed Breakfast Biscuits

2 regular sized refrigerated pillsbury biscuits in a can, or 4 small cans
1 package bacon, cooked until crispy
3-4 cups shredded cheddar cheese
6 scrambled eggs
Optional: 3-4 cups shredded hash browns, cooked. Gravy recipe (Look up biscuits and gravy on my blog to find my fav recipe)

 Cook your bacon until crisp. I like to use scissors and cut my bacon in small bits to cook, it cooks faster and then you dont have to crumble it later. Drain on paper towel once cooked. Scramble eggs with a little salt and pepper. Cook your shredded hash browns and set aside.
 Open can of biscuits, stretch them out and flatten to make them bigger. Put a little egg, hashbrown, bacon bits and cheese on top of the flattened biscuit. Pull the sides of the dough together and pinch them together to seal. Place them sealed side down. Bake at 425 for 8-10 minutes or until golden brown. Optional, smother with gravy! EnJOY!











Cranberry Avacado Spinach Salad with Chicken and Orange Poppy Seed Dressing

 I have been looking for new hearty salad recipes and this one hits the spot! I plan to make this one on the regular! So good! The dressing is tangy and amazing! I found this on one of my fav recipe websites cookingclassy.com

Cranberry Avacado Spinach Salad with Chicken and Orange Poppy Seed Dressing

Dressing:
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup canola oil
2 tsp orange zest
1/4 cup fresh orange juice
2 Tblsp fresh lemon juice
2 Tblsp honey
2 tsp dijon mustard
1/4 tsp salt
1 Tblsp poppy seeds

Salad:
1 lb chicken breast, grilled
9oz baby spinach
2 medium avacados, cored and diced
1 cup crumbled feta
3/4 cup sliced almonds, toasted
3/4 cup dried cranberries

Add olive oil, canola oil, orange zest, orange juice, lemon juice, honey, dijon mustard and salt to a blender. Pulse until well emulsified. Pour into a jar and stir in poppy seeds. Refrigerate until ready to use.
Add all salad ingredients to a large bowl. Pour dressing over top and toss to evenly coat. Serve immediately. EnJOY!




Monday, January 19, 2015

Grilled Thai Spice Chicken Sliders

I couldn't resist this recipe when I heard the word "Thai", I could eat anything thai everyday! These were such a fun new recipe that will definitely be on my regular menu!

Grilled Thai Spice Chicken Sliders

9 Hawaiian dinner rolls
1 lb ground chicken
1/4 cup chopped green onion
1 Tblsp chopped fresh cilantro
1 Tblsp thai roasted red chili paste (most grocery stores carry this)
2 tsp fish sauce
1 lime, juiced
garlic powder
black pepper
9 Bok choy leaves (I used baby bok choy)
fresh cilantro
veggie oil

Sriracha Mayo Sauce
1/2 cup mayo
1 Tblsp sriracha

Season a grill pan or grill with veggie oil, turn to medium high heat. Split the hawaiian rolls in half. When grill is hot, heat both sides of the roll until you have grill marks. (You can also spread a little mayo or butter on each roll to help it get crisp). Set them aside once grilled.
In a bowl, season the meat with some garlic salt and pepper. Mix in the chili paste, fish sauce, lime juice, cilantro and green onion. (mixture will be super gooey). Form 9 small slider patties. Add some more oil to the grill pan if needed. Grill the chicken burgers for a few minutes on each side until cooked through, you dont want any pink in the middle.
Whisk together the sriracha sauce, mayo and a pinch of black pepper.
To assemble, spread some sriracha on each peice of bread. Place a piece of cilantro and bok choy on one side, place the slider on top of that and the other half of the bun. EnJOY!

Amazing Crescent Rolls




I needed a good crescent roll recipe for dinner the other night and cookingclassy.com hooked it up! I love thier blog!

Amazing Crescent Rolls

1/3 cup warm water, 110-115 degrees
2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast
1/3 cup + 1/4 tsp granulated sugar, divided
1 1/3 cups whole milk, warmed to 110-115 degrees
3/4 cup salted butter, at room temp, divided
1 large egg, at room temp
1 1/2 tsp salt
4 1/2 cups flour

Measure out warm water into a liquid measuring cup, then stir in yeast and 1/4 tsp sugar, whisk until yeast has dissolved. Let rest 5-10 minutes until mixture is foamy. Pour yeast mixture into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with whisk attachment, add in 1/3 cup sugar, warm milk, 5 Tblsp butter, egg and salt. Blend mixture until combined. Add in 2 cups flour and mix until well combined. Switch attachment to a dough hook, with mixer on low speed, slowly add remaining 2 1/2 cups lfour and mix until dough is smooth and elastic, about 4-5 minutes. Dough should be slightly sticky when touched. transfer dough to a greased, large mixing bowl and cover bowl with plastic wrap. Allow dough to rise in a warm place, free from draft, until double in size, about 1 1/2 hours.
Punch dough down and divide dough into two equal portions. Shape each portion into a ball. Roll each dough ball out on a lightly floured surface into a large circle about 13 inches across keeping an even thickness. Spread each circle of dough evenly with about 2 Tblspd butter. Cut each circle into 4 equal quarters, then each quarter into 3 wedges, using a pizza cutter. Roll each wedge up, beginning on wide edge. Transfer rolls to a buttered 10x15 inch cookie sheet or jello roll pan. Cover rolls loosely with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until double in size, about 1 hour. During the last 10 minutes of rising, preheat oven to 375.
Remove plastic wrap and bake rolls in preheated oven for 15-19 minutes until golden brown. Remove from oven and brush with remaining 3 Tblsp butter. EnJOY!

Creamy Chicken, Asparagus, and Bacon Pasta


Warning: This recipe is not for my health nut friends! Unless your really in the mood to have a super naughty indulgent meal, just look away from this recipe! Look away! Darn you cookingclassy.com for testing my willpower! This recipe may use every single pot and pan you own but its worth all the dishes you will have to do at the end of dinner. Leave out the bacon if you want it vegetarian.

Creamy Chicken, Asparagus and Bacon Pasta

1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts, pounded with a mallet to even thickness
1 Tblsp olive oil
1 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp dried thyme
1/4 tsp each salt and freshly ground black pepper, plus more for sauce
12 oz penne pasta
1 lb asparagus, trimmed of ends, remaining diced into 2 inch pieces and steamed (or roasted like I did)
2 Tblsp butter
2 Tblsp flour
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 3/4 cup milk
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
3 oz Neufchatel cheese (or light cream cheese) diced into pieces
1/3 cup finely shredded parmesan cheese
5 slices bacon, cooked until crispy and crumbled into small pieces

In a small bowl, stir together basil, oregano, thyme and 1/4 tsp salt and pepper. Srpinkle half of the herb mixture evenly over tops of chicken. Heat olive oil in a non stick skillet over medium high heat. Once hot, add chicken to skillet, herbed side down, then add remaining herb mixture on top of chicken. Cook chicken until fully cooked through, about 8-12 minutes. Transfer cooked chicken to a plate, let it rest 5 minutes then dice into pieces.
Meanwhile cook pasta according to directions listed on package, reserving 1/2 cup pasta water before draining.
Steam 2 inch pieces of asparagus, or you can roast them in the oven until just barely fork tender, then set aside.
In a clean skillet that is large, melt butter over medium heat. Whisk in flour and cook 1 minute, stirring occasionaly. Add garlic and cook 30 seconds longer, stirring constantly. While whisking, slowly pour in milk, then cream. Season with salt and pepper to taste and bring mixture to a boil, stirring constantly. Once it reaches a boil and thickens, reduce heat to medium low, add cream cheese and parmesan and cook, stirring frequently, until cheeses have melted. Toss in cooked pasta, cooked chicken and cooked asparagus and bacon and toss to evenly coat. Add in reserved pasta water as desired (I skipped the water and added just a touch more heavy cream). Serve immediately. EnJOY.

Pasta Fagioli Soup

This is an awesome copy cat recipe from damndelicious.net trying to recreate the olive garden recipe. I used turkey sausage to make it a little healthier.

Pasta Fagioli Soup

1 cup ditalini pasta (I used macaroni pasta instead)
2 Tblsp olive oil, divided
1 lb spicy italian sausage, casing removed, or regular italian sausage, or turkey sausage
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 onion, diced
3 carrots, peeled and diced
2 stalks celery, diced
3 cups chicken broth
1 (16oz) can tomato sauce
1 (15oz) can diced tomatoes
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried oregano
3/4 tsp dried thyme
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 (15oz) can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 (15oz) can white beans, drained and rinsed

In a large pot of boiling salt water, cook pasta according to package directions; drain well and set aside.
Heat 1 Tblsp olive oil in a large stockpot, or dutch oven over medium heat. Add italian sausage to the skillet and cook until browned, about 3-5 minutes, making sure to crumble the sausage as it cooks; drain excess fat and set aside.
Add remaining 1 Tblsp oil to the stockpot. cook onion, carrots and celery. Cook, stirring occasionally, until tender about 3-4 minutes. Add in the garlic and cook 1 additional minute.
Whisk in chicken broth, tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, basil, oregano, thyme, sausage and 1 cup water; season with salt and pepper, to taste. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer, covered, until veggies are tender, about 10-15 minutes. Stir in pasta and beans and cook another 4-5 minutes until heated through. Serve immediately. EnJOY!

Banoffee Pie







This pie brings back sweet memories of being in Idaho and having the most amazing friends Laura Adams and her hubby Stewart as our neighbors. I still recall Laura making this pie years ago and loving the pie so much that I have forever remembered it! So when I came across this recipe on threemanycooks.com I had to make it to reminisce some wonderful memories with wonderful friends. I changed the crust a touch because it wasn't enough. Make this recipe first thing in the am if you want it for that night because it takes time to cook the toffee and time to cool. Ps: Its name is because it's banana + toffee = banoffee 

Banoffee Pie

1 can (14oz) sweetened condensed milk, label removed
1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
3 Tblsp sugar
6 Tblsp butter, melted
2 large bananas, sliced
1 1/2 cups chilled heavy cream
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4-1/2 cup of powdered sugar (depending on how sweet you like your cream)
1/2 cup shaved semi sweet chocolate

Do not use your favorite pan for this like I did, the can may make marks on the bottom of your can after hours of cooking. Set sweetened condensed milk can in a medium saucpan with water at 3/4 of the way up the can. Make sure you remove paper label. Bring water to a simmer over medium heat; reduce heat to low and simmer, partially covered and adding water as needed, about 3 hours. Remove can from pan; let cool until warm. Do not open too soon as milk may spurt if can is hot.
 Meanwhile, preheat oven to 325. Mix graham cracker crumbs and 3 Tblsp of sugar in a medium bowl. Add melted butter and stir with fork until well incorporated. Dump crumbs into a 9 inch glass pie plate and spread evenly over bottom and up sides. Press with a large spoon or with hands. Bake about 10-12 minutes. Let cool to room temperature.
Whip cream to fairly stiff peaks with powdered sugar and vanilla extract. 
To assemble pie, spread cooled sweetened condensed milk over the bottom of the pie, top with sliced banananas, then whipped cream. Sprinkle with chocolate and refrigerate until ready to serve. EnJOY!

Bacon Pancake Dippers


After a rough weekend, I wanted to treat my kids to a fun breakfast. I mean, bacon, pancakes, and syrup? Yep, that's a fun way to start the day! Of course mine didnt come out nearly as pretty as they looked on pinterest but its all about the taste right?

Bacon Pancake Dippers

1 Batch of bisquick pancakes + ingredients the box calls for, milk eggs, etc.
12 slices bacon, cooked crispy
Maple Syrup for dipping

Preheat your griddle or pan and spray with cooking spray.
Mix your pancake batter according to directions. You want your batter on the thicker side, not super runny like mine was. Pour a long strip of batter on griddle and press a slice of your cooked and crsipy bacon on top. Carefully drizzle a little more pancake mix ontop of bacon. Once the pancake bubbles, its ready to turn. Flip your pancake over and cook another minute or two until golden.
Serve pancakes with a small side of syrup. EnJOY!

Pizza Cresent Rolls


I saw these fun little guys on recipefavorite.com and had to make them for my kiddos for lunch today. They loved them! Super easy to make!

Pizza Cresent Rolls

1 tube cresent rolls (refrigerated)
Marinara or pizza sauce
pepperoni's
4 sticks string cheese, cut in half

Preheat oven to 375. Unroll one tube of cresent rolls. Place one Tblsp on marinara or pizza sauce on large end of cresent. Layer 2 pepperoni on top of sauce and pace half of a string cheese on top of that. Carefully roll up cresent, starting from the large end rolling to the small end and pinching the sides so the sauce and cheese stays inside during baking. Place them onto a greased baking sheet and bake for 10-15 minutes or until golden on top. Serve with marinara for dipping. EnJOY!

Banana Pudding Cake




I found this recipe on pinterest while looking for a light dessert that would feed a lot of people. This one was awesome!

Banana Pudding Cake

1 box yellow cake mix + ingredients cake mix calls for
2 (3.4oz each) packages instant banana cream pudding mix
4 cups milk
1 (8oz) tub whipped topping, thawed
24 Nilla Wafers, crushed
2-3 bananas (optional) sliced

Preheat oven to 350. Prepare cake according to package directions for a 9x13 cake. Pour batter into a greased 9x13 pan. Bake until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Cool o wire rack. When completely cooled, use a wooden spoon handle (or anything you have with a rounded end) and poke holes in the cake all the way through to the bottom. If cake comes out on the handles while poking holes, use a paper towel to clean handle each time you poke the hole so it doesn't tear up your cake.
Mix the two packages of pudding mix with the milk in a large bowl. Whisk until combined and there are no lumps. Poor over the cake, making sure to fill all the holes. Use a spatula and spread evenly over the cake. Place cake in refrigerator and let pudding set. Once cake is set, slice bananas and place evenly over the jello layer on cake (optional).
Spread thawed whipped topping evenly over the cake. Sprinkle crushed Nilla wafers. Serve immediately. EnJOY!

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Homemade Hamburger Buns

Ive always wanted to make my own buns just to see how much better it would make a basic burger. I have to say, I will always make my own buns from now on. Its easy to make and so amazing! I found this recipe on tasteofhome.com

Homemade Hamburger Buns

2 Tblsp active dry yeast
1 cup, plus 2 Tblsp warm water
1/3 cup vegitable oil
1/4 cup sugar
1 egg, room temperature
1 tsp salt
3- 3 1/2 cups flour

In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Add oil and sugar and let stand for 5 minutes. Add the egg, salt and enough flour to form a soft dough. Turn onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 5-8 minutes. Do not let rise. Divide into 12 small buns, or 8 larger buns; shape each into a ball. Place 3 inches apart on a greased baking sheet.
Cover and let rest for 10 minutes. Bake at 425 for 8-12 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from pans to wire rack to cool. EnJOY!

Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken Meatballs

I love anything "buffalo-ed" so I couldn't wait to make these. They are not super spicey so don't be afraid to add all of that yummy buffalo sauce! Thanks damndelicious.net for this recipe. They are a healthier version of regular meatballs, or buffalo chicken wings.

Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken Meatballs

1 lb ground chicken
3/4 cup panko bread crumbs
1 large egg
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
2 green onions, thinly sliced
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
3/4 cup buffalo sauce
1/4 cup blue cheese dressing

Preheat oven to 400. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
In a large bowl, combine ground chicken, panko, egg, garlic and onion powder and green onions; season with salt and pepper. Using a wooden spoon, stir until well combined. Roll the mixture into 1 1/4 inch to 1 1/2 inch meatballs, forming about 24 meatballs.
Place meatballs onto prepared baking sheet and bake 4-5 minutes. Place meatballs into a slow cooker. Add buffalo sauce and gently toss to combine. Cover and cook on low heat for 2 hours. Serve immediatly, drizzled with blue cheese dressing. EnJOY!