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!

Cucumber and Avacado Rolls


This recipe looked too good not to try. Why can't healthy be tasty and fun?! I found this recipe on williams-sonoma.com but I hated the sauce recipe their website used so I made a different one I had made from a different recipe I made a few months ago. I also added cooked shrimp to my rolls. I just cooked my shrimp in a little olive oil and sprinkled with salt, pepper, chili powder and cumin. Dont be intimidated with using the rice papers if youve never used them before, they are very easy to make.

Cucumber and Avacado Rolls

2 avacados
20 rice paper rounds
Green lettuce leaves
Basil leaves
Mint leaves (I left these out)
Cilantro (I added this, not original to the recipe)
2 carrots, coarsely shredded
1/2 english cucumber, cut into thin strips

Halve, pit and peel the avacados and then cut them into 1/2 inch slices.
Place a wide, shallow bowl of warm water (NOT HOT) on a work surface. Lay a clean kitchen towel next to the bowl. Dip 1 rice paper round into the water for a few seconds to soften (dont let it get mushy). Then lay it flat on the towel. Dip a second round into the water and let it soften, then lay it directly ontop of the first rice paper. Place a small piece of lettuce in the center, put basil and cilantro on top. Layer on the carrots, cucumber, carrots. If using shrimp, add on top in center. Carefully roll up, bottom and top flap first, then one side folded over and rolled tightly. Dont over fill. Using a sharp knife, slice in half on an angle. Serve with a sauce. Eat immediately. EnJOY!

Dipping Sauce:

2 tsp curry powder
pinch of red pepper flakes
2 Tblsp honey
2 tsp rice vinegar
2 oranges, zested and juiced

Toast the curry and red pepper flakes in a small saucepan over medium heat, about 1 minute. Add honey, vinegar and orange juice and zest. Bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally, until the sauce is heated through, 1-2 minutes. Remove from heat, set aside until ready to eat dinner.

Fried Rice


Thank you Gimmesomeoven.com for this heavenly recipe! I was very happy with how this recipe came out and super easy to make. According to this blogger, cold rice is key in making this dish.

Fried Rice

3 Tblsp butter, divided
2 eggs, whisked
2 medium carrots, peeled and diced
1 small white onion, diced
1/2 cup frozen peas
3 cloves garlic, minced
salt and pepper
4 cups cooked and chilled rice
3 green onions, thinly sliced
3-4 Tblsp soy sauce, or more to taste
2 tsp oyster sauce
1/2 tsp toasted sesame oil

Cook rice, cool and place in refrigerator until ready to cook your fried rice.
Heat 1/2 Tblsp of butter in a large skillet over medium high heat until melted. Add whisked egg, cook until scrambled, stirring occasionally. Remove egg and transfer to a seperate plate, set aside.
Add an additional 1 Tblsp butter to the pan and heat until melted. Add diced carrots, onions, peas and season with a generous pinch of salt and pepper. Saute about 5 minutes or until the onion and carrots are soft. Add garlic and cook 1 minute.
Add remaining 1 1/2 Tblsp of butter, and stir until melted. Immediatly add the rice, green onions, soy sauce and oyster sauce and stir until combined. Continue stirring for an additional 3 minutes to fry the rice. Then add in the cooked eggs and stir to combine. Add the sesame oil, stir to combine and remove from heat. EnJOY!

Apple Cookies


I thought these were a cute idea for a healthier treat for my kiddos. They absolutely loved these. I found this recipe idea from paleoeatsandtreats.com

Apple Cookies

1 apple
peanut butter or almond butter 
Topping ideas: almonds, non sweetened shredded coconut, peanuts, chocolate chips or m&ms.

Slice apples into rounds, after sliced cut out center to remove core. I used an apple corer but you can use a knife as well. Spread a thin layer of peanut butter. Top with your toppings of choice. Serve immediately so the apples do not brown. EnJOY!

Cinnamon Roll Waffles




Pinterest can be dangerous! This recipe is why! So easy to make and such a fun treat! 

Cinnamon Roll Waffles

1 can refrigerated cinnamon rolls (I used pillsbury brand)

Preheat your waffle iron. When ready to cook, spray a little cooking spray on the iron and place 3 cinnamon rolls on the iron, one on each side and one in between. I also put half of a roll on each side as well to make them full waffles. Cook until golden brown but be careful to not overcook. Smear on or drizzle on some of the frosting that comes in the can with the cinnamon rolls and EnJOY!










Monday, January 5, 2015

Slow Cooked Hoisin Pork Wraps with Peanut Slaw and Homemade Hoisin Sauce



Thank you thank you Molly Delmonte for sharing this amazing recipe! This is seriously one of my all time fav recipes! The slaw definatly topped it off and would not make it without it. I made my own tortilla recipe, you can type in tortilla on my blog and it will bring up the recipe. I also made my own hoisin sauce, it is too easy not too and so much tastier than a bottled jar. This recipe makes a lot so you could certainly cut the recipe in half if you dont have a large crowd like I did when I made this.

Slow Cooked Hoisin Pork Wraps

6 lbs pork butt, trimmed of thick fat
salt and pepper
6 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed (I roughly chopped mine)
1 large piece of fresh ginger, about 5 inches long
1 bottle of hoisin sauce (12-15 oz) or make your own, see recipe below*

Rub the trimmed pork shoulder/butt all over with salt and fresh cracked black pepper. Put in the slow cooker. Add smashed/chopped garlic, tucking them around the pork. Peel and grate the ginger and put in too. Pour the hoisin sauce over everything. Cover and cook on low for about 10 hours.
 When finished and tender, use two large forks to shred the meat and mix it with the sauce.

To serve:
Place the hoisin soaked meat onto a warmed tortilla and top with peanut slaw. EnJOY!

Crunchy Peanut Slaw:

1 medium head of green cabbage, out leaves and core removed
1 1/2 cups roasted, unsalted peanuts (I roughly chopped mine)
1 bunch green onions
1 cup chopped cilantro
salt and pepper

Dressing:

1/2 cup light oil, like canola (I used a little less)
3 Tblsp rice vinegar
1 Tblsp sugar
1 Tblsp sesame oil
1 tsp soy ssauce

Shred cabbage very finely. The fineness of the shredded cabbage is really what makes this salad. You want it in thin threads and bite size lengths. Toss with the peanuts in a large bowl. Chop the green onion and cilantro and toss into slaw.
Whisk the dressing until emulsified, then taaste and edjust to your own preferences of sweetness and saltiness. Toss in with the cabbage.

Homemade Hoisin Sauce 
(I doubled this sauce recipe for my hoisin meat)

4 Tblsp soy sauce
2 Tblsp peanut butter or black bean paste (I used peanut butter)
1 Tblsp honey
2 tsp rice vinegar
1/8 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp sesame oil
10 drops suracha sauce or a chinese hot sauce (recipe called for 20 drops but I used less)
1/8 tsp black pepper

Mix all ingredients together and whisk for a minute or two until the peanut butter mostly blends in.

Cauliflower Crust Pizza







Pinterest, you win! I was so curious when I saw this recipe from www.brunchtimebaker.com to see what a cauliflower pizza would taste like. It was delicious! The only thing I would do differently would be to place my pizza on the lower rack while baking the first time to crisp the bottom of the pizza more. I also made my own sauce and did a margarita version of the pizza but you really could do any pizza toppings you wanted. This recipe is for a cheese pizza.

Cauliflower Crust Pizza

1 small head of cauliflower (about 2-3 cups once processed)
1/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese
1/4 cup mozzarella cheese
1 egg
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp basil or rosemary, minced fresh or dry
1/2 tsp oregano, minced fresh or dry
1 cup marinara sauce
1-2 cups mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven to 500. Remove the stems from the cauliflower and cut into chunks. Place the cauliflower into a food processor and pulse it until it resembles the texture of rice. If you dont have a food processor, you can use a cheese grater or chop it very finely.
 Microwave the processed cauliflower uncovered in a microwave safe bowl for approximatly 4-5 minutes on high. Remove it from the microwave and allow it to cool for atleast 5 minutes. After the cauliflower is slightly cooled, place it in a kitchen towel and squeeze all the liquid out of it. Be sure to squeeze as much out as possible or else you will have soggy pizza.
 Combine the cooked cauliflower, egg, garlic, cheese and seasonings. Stir until a dough texture forms. Spread the cauliflower mixture out onto lightly greased parchment paper or a pizza pan, in the shape of a pizza crust.
 Bake the crust (use one rack lower than the middle rack) for approximately 10-15 minutes or until the crust is golden and crispy. Once cooked, remove from oven and add your toppings, marinara first, then cheese, or a margarita version using fresh mozzeralla sliced.
 Place the pizza back in the oven but this time turn on the broiler, bake for about 2-5 minutes until the cheese melts. Keep a close eye on it! If doing a margarita version, once its completely done in the oven, sprinkle on some fresh basil slices. Slice and EnJOY!

Homemade Marinara Sauce

1 (28oz) can san marzano or other good quality tomatoes, whole and peeled
1/4 tsp salt, I used a little more
4 large cloves of garlic, peeled
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes, or more if you like it spicy
1/2 tsp ground oregano

Place ingredients in food processor and mix! Viola! If you have a smaller processor you may need to make in two batches.






Parmesan Cauliflower Bites

I saw this recipe on www.damndelicious.net and had to try it! I made both a fried version and a baked version and I think I liked the baked version best! This recipe is for a small head of cauliflower. If you have a medium or large you may want to double the panko and parmesan breading and use an extra egg. Be careful you dont use a seasoning salt, if you do only use 1/2 tsp or you will have super salty bites!

Parmesan Cauliflower Bites

1/2 cup veggie oil
1 cup panko crumbs
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 Tblsp Emerils Essence Creole Seasoning (If you are using a different creole seasoning, make sure its not a seasoning salt! Or if thats all you can find only add 1/2 tsp or your bites will be too salty).
4 cups cauliflower florets
1/2 cup flower
2 large eggs, beaten

Heat veggie oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. If using oven, preheat to 425. In a large bowl, combine panko, parmesan and emerils essence; set aside.
 Working in batches, dredge cauliflower in flour, dip into eggs, then dredge in panko mixture, pressing to coat.
 If baking in oven, place battered cauliflower onto a lightly sprayed (with pam cooking spray) baking dish, spray top with a little cooking spray. Bake for 10-20 minutes, until desired softness. I dont like mine super soft.
 Add cauliflower to the skillet, 5 or 6 at a time and cook until evenly golden and crispy, about 2-3 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel lined plate. Serve immediatly. EnJOY!

Italian Cream Soda


I was searching for a fun new years eve drink to toast with the fam and came across something Ive always wanted to try, Italian sodas! I found this on www.butterwithasideofbread.com
The hardest part of this recipe was finding the Rasberry syrup! I searched 4 different stores. I finally found it a Bevmo, luckys and safeways carry the vanilla syrup and I think walmart and costplus also carry both types of syrup. You can alter the recipe as well, if it is too sweet add less syrup.

Italian Cream Soda

club soda
half and half
Torani syrups, vanilla and rasberry
Ice

For one soda, place 1/2 cup club soda, 2 Tblsp rasberry Torani syrup, 1 Tblsp vanilla Torani syrup, 1 Tblsp half and half and 3 ice cubes. Add the half and half last, then top with whipped cream and cherry! Serve with a straw to be able to stir the drink. EnJOY!

Chicken Parmesan Casserole


 This recipe is supposed to be a freezer meal recipe, but it didn't make it to my freezer. Super easy to make and delish! If your in a super duper rush like I was trying to referee three small children and cook dinner at the same time, you can substitute rotisserie chicken instead. I think it took 2 rotisserie chickens. I found this recipe on www.thrivinghomeblog.com

Chicken Parmesan Casserole

4 cups cubed, or shredded chicken, cooked
1 jar (28 oz) marinara sauce
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
1-2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1 cup panko or whole wheat bread crumbs
1-2 Tblsp olive oil
fresh herbs, chopped (parsley, basil, oregano, etc.)
salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 350. Lightly grease an 8x8 casserole dish with cooking spray. Spread a couple Tblsp of the marinara on the bottom of the dish. Layer on top the cooked chicken, dump the rest of the marinara sauce on top. Next, top with cheeses until all the chicken is covered.
 In a small bowl, mix the breadcrumbs, olive oil, fresh herbs, and a dash of salt and pepper together. Sprinkle the seasoned breadcrumbs on top. Bake for about 20-25 minutes or until golden on top and bubbling on the sides. You can also turn on the broiler for 2 minutes if the top isn't crisp enough. EnJOY!









Sunday, December 28, 2014

Marshmallow Fondant



I have tried making fondants years ago and failed. After seeing how expensive it is to buy it now, I decided to give it one more try. The Wilton recipe was awesome, normally fondant is no bueno but homemade, Im a fan! Prepare for ooey gooey and a good upper arm workout and the fondant needs to rest for several hours to over night.

Marshmallow Fondant

1 pckge (16 oz or 9 cups) white mini marshmallows
2-5 Tblsp water
2 lbs (about 8 cups) sifted powdered sugar (I skipped the sifting part)
1/2 cup solid vegetable shortening

Place marshmallows and water in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave 30 seconds on high; stirring until mixed well. Continue microwaving 30 seconds more; stir again. Continue until melted, about 1 1/2 minutes.
 Place 3/4 of the powdered sugar (about 7 cups) on top of the melted marshmallow mixture. Fold sugar into marshmallow mixture. Flavoring can be added at this point if desired. Place solid vegetable shortening in easily accessed bowl so you can reach into it with fingers as you are working. Grease hands and counter GENEROUSLY; turn marshmallow mixture onto counter. Start kneeding like you would dough. Continue kneading, adding additional confectioners sugar and re-greasing hands and counter so the fondant doesnt stick. If the marshmallow fondant is tearing easily, it is too dry; add water (about 1/2 Tblsp at a time) kneading until fondant forms a firm, smooth elastic ball that will stretch without tearing, about 8 minutes.
 Its best to allow fondant to sit, double wrapped, overnight. Prepare the fondant for storing by coating with a thin layer of solid vegetable shortening, wrap in plastic wrap and then place in resealable bag. Squeeze out as much air as possible. Marshmallow Fondant will keep well in refrigerator for several weeks if needed. If using within a few days dont put in refrigerator, keep in dark, cool place like a pantry.
 When not working with fondant, make sure to keep it covered with plastic wrap or in a bag to prevent it from drying out. When ready to use, knead fondant until smooth. Roll out fondant 1/8 inch thick.
 To color fondant, if you need to tint the entire batch add a little icing color to the melted marshmallow mixture before adding powdered sugar. For smaller amounts of tinted fondant, add icing color to portions of fondant as needed. I used 2 batches of fondant to make the cake in this picture, 9 inch cakes and about 4 inch cakes and had plenty left over. One batch goes a long way. EnJOY!

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Nutella Mini Pancake Kabobs

I saw these cuties on pinterest last week and couldn't wait to make them! They are super easy to make and so adorable! A dilish and light breakfast idea! Thank you www.tablespoon.com for the recipe idea!

Nutella Mini Pancake Kabobs

1 small bottle Bisquick shake and pour pancake mix (or any way you want to make your pancake batter will work just fine as well)
1 small jar Nutella
1 lb fresh strawberries, washed, dried, stems removed, sliced into 1/2 inch thick slices
2-3 large firm bananas, peeled and sliced into 1/2 inch thick rounds
4 wooden skewers broken in half to make 8 small kabobs, if using for kids cut off the sharp ends

Prepare the pancake batter according to package directions and pour small dabs of batter onto a hot, lightly greased griddle for 1 1/2 inch diameter pancakes, about 3/4 Tblsp of batter per mini pancake.
Cook the mini pancakes for about 1-2 minutes on each side or until lightly browned. Spread some nutella on each of the pancake bites and layer the ingredients onto the kabob sticks. Serve immediately so the banana does not brown. EnJOY!

Ginger Bread Cookies

I needed a good ginger bread recipe to make for my sons class and happened to have just watched pioneer woman the same week where she made these fun cookies. They make a lot and are very tasty! If your looking for a yummy frosting to top these with, see my easy butter cream recipe posted right before this recipe.

Ginger Bread Cookies

6 cups flour
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp allspice
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1 1/2 cups packed dark sugar
3/4 cup (1 1/2 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup dark molasses
2 eggs
1 Tblsp maple extract

In a large bowl, combine flour, salt, allspice, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, and nutmeg, and whisk them together. Set the mixture aside for a minute.
 In an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the brown sugar and softened butter until fluffy. Drizzle in the molasses, mixing well and scraping the sides halfway through if needed. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the maple extract and mix well. Add the flour mixture in 3 batches, beating on low until just combined after each addition. The dough will be pretty dense and slightly dry to the touch. Thats the way you want it. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate it for at least 2 hours.
 When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment.
 Roll the dough out 1/3 inch thick, you can either roll between 2 sheets of plastic wrap to avoid using flour and having flour on your cookies, or do what I did and just use flour underneath the dough and sprinkle on rolling pin, because after all...your going to slap on frosting and toppings anyway. Use any cookie cutters you like, then transfer cookies onto the prepared baking sheets. Bake until the cookies are baked through but still soft, about 10-15 minutes. EnJOY!