Saturday, June 13, 2015

Cajun Black Eyed Peas



These were the best Black Eyed Peas I've ever had! Maybe even better the next day, served over quinoa. The spice is just perfect. Makes you feel like you're in the South. Mmm Mmm!

I think I will make a double batch next time, as I wanted more leftovers.

Cajun Black Eyed Peas

Ingredients
2 cans black eyed peas drained and rinsed
1 small/medium yellow onion diced
2-3 cloves of garlic peeled and minced
1/2 package of center cut bacon (approx 6 slices)
1tsp Cajun seasoning
1/8tsp paprika
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp chili powder
2 cups water

Directions
-Use scissors to cut bacon strips into smaller chunks about 1/2 or 1/4 inch x 1/2 or 1 inch
-Fry bacon in pan until you have your bacon bits
-Remove bacon from pan to drain on paper towel
-In bacon drippings saute the diced onion for 2 minutes. Add minced garlic for 2 more
 or until onion is iridescent.
-Add black eyed peas and spices. Stir.
-Add water. Stir.
-Simmer low, covered for 1- 1/2 hr.
-Let cool and store in fridge until ready to reheat and use.
-Serve over brown rice or quinoa with a garnish of the homemade bacon bits

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Cold Pea Salad


This salad is so simple to make, yet everyone loves it when I take it to cookouts. It is fast to throw together, and can be made ahead of time. The peas give this salad a fresh feel to it. Most come back for 2nds and even 3rds.


Cold Pea Salad 

Ingredients
2-16 oz frozen peas, thawed and if needed, drained
6 strips of bacon, cooked and crumbled
3/4 cup Cheddar Cheese, diced small. (Just a little bigger than peas)
3/4 cup Mozzarella cheese, diced small. (Just a tad bigger than peas)
1/2 of a red onion, diced small
1 cup mayonnaise
3 TB sour cream if you have it on hand
salt and pepper to taste

Directions
In a large bowl, mix together all ingredients except bacon.
Stir softly until well blended.
Refrigerate covered until ready to serve. 
Remove from fridge, stir in bacon and serve.

(I have also made this salad with the peas frozen. As long as there is not any frost built up on the peas, it is fine to do this. If there is frost build up, the salad could be runny when the frost melts into water. If you use frozen peas free of frost, be sure the peas are thawed in time to serve. I like to use frozen peas so that they thaw part way in the fridge, and then the salad can sit out at a BBQ before serving and be ok.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Salted Caramel Butter Bars

     I found these Salted Caramel Butter Bars on Pinterest. In the past, I have found a handful of recipes on Pinterest that were disappointing. I think some people are just great photographers, which makes you want to try their food. Then, it's a let down. 

     This is NOT the case with these Salted Caramel Butter Bars. They are AWESOME. I cut them in a smaller size than usual, as they are rich. Their buttery base accompanied by the soft caramel layer within is like heaven in your mouth. 

     I gave away a few to a couple of my neighbors, and fed more than a few to a couple of Dan's teammates that were over for dinner. And of course, I enjoyed quite a few with my morning coffee for a couple days in a row. 



Salted Caramel Butter Bars
Recipe slightly adapted from: The Domestic Rebel

Ingredients
  • 2 cups (4 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 & ½ cups powdered sugar
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour, plus 2 Tbsp set aside
  • 1 (11.5 oz) jar salted caramel sauce
  • Sea salt

 Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Line a 13x9" baking pan with foil, extending the sides of the foil over the edges of the pan. Spray the foil liberally with cooking spray and set aside.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the butter and sugar until creamy and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Beat in the powdered sugar and vanilla. Lastly, beat in the four (4) cups of flour until a soft dough has formed. Press HALF of the dough evenly into the bottom of the prepared pan. Refrigerate the remaining dough.
  3. Bake the crust for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven but keep the oven on. In a small bowl, combine the caramel sauce and remaining 2 Tbsp flour until blended. Pour the caramel mixture evenly into the crust, then crumble the remaining dough on top to cover the caramel layer. Sprinkle lightly with sea salt, and remember that there's salt in the caramel sauce, too :)
  4. Return to the oven and continue baking for an additional 25-30 minutes or until golden brown and the caramel is bubbly. Mine took about (33-34 minutes). Cool completely before cutting into squares.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Peep Nest Cupcakes




Peep Nest Cupcakes

Kids will have so much fun making and eating these Peep Cupcakes. They will feel so sneaky making the secret nests in each Peep Cupcake. Have fun this Easter making memories with your family and friends!! 

Ingredients
-Cake Mix 
-Eggs
-Oil 
-Water
-Vanilla frosting
-Green food coloring
-Easter Egg candy of choice. I chose whopper eggs.
-Easter sprinkles
-Peep Chicks

Directions
-Make cupcakes according to directions.
-Once they have cooled, us a small knife to cut a little "nest" out of the center. 
-Put an Easter Egg candy and Easter sprinkles in the nest. 
-Mix green dye in the frosting until it is a green as you wish. 
-Pipe the frosting around the cupcake and place a peep on top the nest to cover the goodies.





Sunday, March 22, 2015

Easter Peep Pops

 
 
 

This Easter, make some Peep Pops with the kiddos! My niece Chloe and I made some while Colby was taking his nap. Peep Pops are delicious little chocolate covered Peeps on a stick.





Easter Peep Pops

Supplies
1 bag of Wilton candy melts (chocolate or any Easter color you wish)
2 packages of bunny peeps
Sticks
Marshmallows
Cheap zipperless sandwich bags
Ribbon
Microwave safe bowl
Waxed paper

Directions
-Poke stick into bottom of each Peep. Poke at least half way through.
-Cut marshmallows in half.
-Lay out a sheet of wax paper.
-Melt the candy melts according to package directions in microwave safe bowl.
-Dip each Peep into the chocolate. Use a spoon or the spatula to cover it entirely.
-With the Peep over the bowl, tap the stick on the edge of bowl to help the chocolate drop smoothly off to make a nice even coating.
-Lay the chocolate covered Peep on the wax.
-Place one of the cut marshmallows on the Peep bunny to make the tail. When the chocolate dries, the tail will stick.
-Once all of the Peeps have hardened and set up, peel them off the wax paper one at a time and place a sandwhich bag over each of them.
-Use a pretty colored ribbon to tie the bag shut.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Leftover Cranberry Sauce Recipes

Leftover Cranberries from Thanksgiving or Christmas? NO problem! Here are a few ideas for your leftover cranberry sauce.

I made this recipe for Cranberry Sauce this year.
Crockpot Cranberry Sauce

It was FABULOUS! I made a batch a week before Thanksgiving to see if it was the one I wanted to share with everyone else. Sure enough! It was! I used it up in a few creative ways because I knew I would be making more in just a few days for the real Turkey Day. To use it up, I came up with quite a few goodies!

If you have leftover Cranberry Sauce this year, try these yummy ideas.

Leftover Cranberries for Breakfast

Cranberry Peanut Butter Toast
-Make your toast, spread a thin layer of peanut butter, and then top with a thin layer of leftover cranberry sauce

Cranberry Oatmeal
-1/3 cup old fashioned oats, 2/3 cup water, 1 TB chia seed, sprinkle of cinnamon, 1/8 cup chopped walnuts.
Toss all ingredients in a bowl. Stir, microwave for 2 1/2 min or until oatmeal is done.
Add a spoonful or too of leftover cranberry sauce. Stir and enjoy.

Cranberry Orange Zest Muffins
Click blue wording above for recipe.

Leftover Cranberries for Appetizers and Snacks

Cranberry and Pecan Baked Brie
Click blue wording for link to recipe. Use Leftover Cranberry Sauce in place of craisins and cut the sugar in half as the cranberry sauce is already a little sugary. 

Cranberry Goat Cheese Toasted Baguettes
-Baguette
-Fresh Goat Cheese
-Cranberry Sauce

-Mix goat Cheese with Cranberry Sauce - proportions to taste
-Set aside covered in fridge
-Slice baguette thin. Butter lightly on both sides and toast in 400 degree oven for just a couple minutes on each side or until toasted like a grilled cheese.


Leftover Fresh Cranberries for Christmas Decor
(From  www.fruitcake.com)
Start with a bag of fresh cranberries, a thick sewing needle and heavy nylon thread. Measure a length of thread proportionate to the area you are decorating. Thread the first cranberry, loop the bottom of the thread up and over it and tie it in a knot. (If you are having trouble pushing the needle through the cranberries, try using a push pin first.) String the rest of the cranberries onto the thread. Finish by tying the last piece on the same way you did the first cranberry. Cut away any extra thread. Decorate with your cranberry garland!

Monday, November 17, 2014

Crockpot Cranberry Sauce

Crockpot Cranberry Sauce is so easy to make. It's sweetness with a hint of tart is just PERFECT! A little orange zest comes out once in a while as well due to the orange marmalade.

This is a MUST MAKE Cranberry Sauce for Thanksgiving and Christmas! I will be making this Crockpot Cranberry Sauce every single holiday from now on. So So Good!!!

By far my favorite Cranberry Sauce to date. 







































Crockpot Cranberry Sauce
Recipe from The Frugal Girls

Ingredients
1 bag of Fresh Cranberries (12 oz)
1/4 cup water
10oz jar Smucker's Orange Marmalade (3/4 cup)
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 tsp cinnamon

Directions
Toss all ingredients in the crockpot and stir until combined
Cover and cook on high for 3 hours
After 3 hours, or after cranberries have began to pop, stir the cranberries. If any are left whole and have not popped, gently smush them while stirring.
Leave the lid off and continue to cook on high for 15-30 minutes or until most liquid is gone.


*Keeps for 1 week or so in fridge.
*Great make ahead recipe.
*After Thanksgiving, use this spread on peanut butter toast, or in these breakfast muffins.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Mojito Fruit Salad

I apologize for the lack of a great picture in advance. I've made this salad twice, and both times it all gets eaten before I get a chance to take a good pic. This Mojito Fruit Salad is far too tasty to wait for a picture to share so I'm posting anyway.

Mojito Fruit Salad takes me back to the Florida Keys with every bite. I would drink my way through the Keys with Mango Mojitos. MMmmm!



Mojito Fruit Salad
Recipe adapted from Farmhouse Rules

Ingredients
1 pear
2 small apples (As long as you have about the same amount of apple, pear, and mango. 
   My apples were tiny so I used two.)
1 mango (or peaches if they are easier to find)
1/8 cup honey
1/8 cup lime juice
Handful of fresh mint

Directions
Dice/cut fruit into small pieces. I like mine about the size of my finger nail.
Toss all in bowl and stir into the honey and mint until it is mixed evenly throughout.
Mince the mint and stir that in. 
Let sit in fridge for 1-24 hours before serving. 

Optional-My guess is you could put a few drops of rum in as well if you wanted to make an adult salad. 

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Pumpkin Coffee Cake with Pecan Streusel



 

This delicious Autumn inspired Bumpkin Coffee Cake is a true delight. I made it a couple Sundays ago while the baby was napping. By late morning I was making deliveries around the neighborhood to all of the other football wives. The men were out of town that Sunday for the game in Detroit. We kicked butt in the game. Dan kicked a game winning
58 yarder! Therefor I am officially calling this Pumpkin Coffee Cake my good luck coffee cake.

Moist and delicious, I slightly adapted this recipe from the BHG website. Pretty much what I did differently was add more spice. I use more nutmeg than recommended and added cinnamon and cloves. Because what is Fall with no cinnamon and cloves?


I love that there is absolutely NO dryness to this coffee cake, I believe the use of brown sugar, and sour cream are to credit for that.  It is pure perfection. 


Pumpkin Coffee Cake with Pecan Streusel
Slightly adapted from Better Home and Gardens

Ingredients
-Pecan Streusel Ingredients-
1/3 c flour
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
3TB cold butter
1/3 cup chopped pecans
-Coffee Cake Ingredients-
1 c canned pumpkin
1/3 c packed brown sugar
1/3 c dried cranberries
1 TB flour
2 c flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp ground cloves
1/2 c butter, softened
1 c granulated sugar
2 tsp teaspoons vanilla
2 eggs
1 container regular sour cream (8oz) 


Directions

-Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

-Grease and flour a 9-inch springform pan, or spray with baking spray; set aside. 

-To prepare Pecan Streusel, stir together flour, brown sugar, and nutmeg. Cut in the cold butter using a pastry cutter or running two butter knifes across one another, until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in pecans. Makes about 1-1/2 cups.set aside.   

-To prepare the coffee cake, In a small bowl, stir together pumpkin, brown sugar, dried cranberries, and the 1 tablespoon flour; set aside.

-In a medium bowl, stir the 2 cups flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, nutmeg, cinnamon, and ground cloves. 
-In a large bowl, beat butter with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. 
-Add the granulated sugar and vanilla. Beat until combined, scraping side of bowl occasionally. 
-Add eggs one at a time, beating after each addition. 
-Alternately add flour mixture and sour cream to butter mixture, beating on low speed after each addition just until combined (batter will be stiff).
-Spread 2-1/2 cups of the batter in the prepared pan, building up edge to form a 1-inch rim. 
-Spoon pumpkin filling into center of pan, spreading to make an even layer. 
-Carefully spoon the remaining batter in small mounds on top of the pumpkin filling; gently spread batter to cover pumpkin filling. 
-Sprinkle Pecan Streusel over batter.
-Bake for 60 to 70 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. 
-Cool in pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Loosen and remove sides of springform pan. 
-Cool completely on wire rack. 
-Makes 12 servings.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Tortellini Salad

I made this Tortellini Salad the other night to take to a friends house. They invited a few of us over for ribs so I decided to whip up something new. I love our Buffalo Bills friends. They are always willing to try new things. Everyone really liked this salad so I am sharing it with you.

I love the flexibility of Tortellini Salad. I am sharing the ingredients and measurements that I like to use, but feel free to follow your taste buds and add whatever you like. You could go the Greek route with feta, cucumbers, tzatziki etc. You may choose to make it a Tortellini Caprese Salad, or maybe add artichokes, green olives....whatever you like!

I suggest using my recipe the first time. You will LOVE it! Then, the second time, get creative and add or omit anything your taste buds desire!



Tortellini Salad

Ingredients
All measurements can be adjusted to taste. These are my measurements and how I like it. Feel free to add more or less of anything, add artichokes, different cheeses, peppers, green olives, etc.
-1 - 19oz package of frozen cheese tortellini - Cooked according to package directions,
  rinsed and cooled to room temperature.
-Half a bag of fresh spinach roughly chopped small
-8 oz fresh mozzarella diced
-A dry pint (2 cups) of cherry tomatoes - washed and halved or quartered
-1 - 3.8 oz or 2 -2 oz can(s) sliced black olives, drained
-Approx 8 oz. stick of pepperoni sliced thick and cut into bite sized pieces.
  (Can use hard salami too)
-Small handful of sliced banana peppers or peperroncinis
-Approximately 3/4 cup Paul Newman's Olive oil and Vinegar dressing
-Approximately Basil Pesto 6oz
 (I used Classico brand. it was an 8oz jar so i had a little left.)
-Fresh ground pepper

Directions
-Toss all ingredients except dressing and pesto in a large bowl.
-Carefully toss.
-In a small bowl mix the dressing and basil pesto.
-Pour mixture over the salad and toss to coat evenly.
-Store in fridge for 2-3 hrs to let flavors blend and dressing simmer down and soak in a
 bit.
-When ready to eat, remove from fridge, toss to redistribute dressing.
-Taste and Serve.
(If you like a sharper taste, or think it needs a little extra dressing, feel free to add more dressing to it. But I think this is perfect for my buds)

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Taco In A Bag



Taco In A Bag, Walking Taco, Traveling Taco. Whatever you call it, it is gooood.

Back in grade school, Taco In A Bag was sold at high school basketball games in order to raise funds for one of the many school clubs. I totally forgot how fantastic these Walking Tacos were until recently, when my sisters and I were talking about how it is one of my brothers favorite weekend meals.

I decided to make Taco In A Bag for my son's 1st Birthday. I could make everything a day in advance,easily use up leftovers, freeze extra taco meat, and the clean up is a breeze as you throw most everything away! BINGO!


Taco In A Bag is perfect for feeding a crowd. Taco Salad in a bag? With minimal clean up? Yes Please! Tailgating, Camping, Casual Party, etc. It's great for any occasion!



Taco In A Bag

Ingredients
Individual bags of Nacho Doritos
Taco Meat
Shredded Lettuce
Shredded Cheddar
Taco Sauce
  Optional:
    Diced Tomatoes
    Diced Onion
    Olives
    Sour Cream
    Ranch
    Salsa

Directions
-Dice, cut, cook and store all Taco In A Bag ingredients ahead of time to make life easy.
-Reheat meat and keep warm on stove on low or crock pot
-Set out all ingredients
-Hold the bag of Doritos in one hand. With a long side up, use scissors to trim JUST the top 1/8 inch off of the bag, all the way across the long way so that the bag of chips is like a pocket.
-Using both hands hold the bag open side up, and use fingers to crunch the chips.
-Once the Doritos are crunched into smaller pieces, add all of the taco ingredients into the bag that you like, starting with meat.
-Use a plastic fork to mix and eat directly from the bag. 
-When you are finished, toss the bag and fork......or keep the fork and make another Taco In A Bag!


Saturday, July 5, 2014

Chocolate Chip Cookie S'mores

S'MORES!!! A staple of summertime fun! Here's one I tried the other day. Fun and something different. 
Use peel and bake cookies for convenience. Dip in hot fudge at the end for a little extra chocolate. 




-Big Marshmallows
-Chocolate Chip Cookies (peel and bake for convenience)
-Optional - Dipping Fudge or Chocolate Sauce

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

How To Cut Watermelon Sticks

This is my new favorite way to cut and enjoy watermelon. Watermelon sticks are fast and easy to cut, and convenient to snack on. Watermelon sticks are perfect for all ages, and will be the talk of your next cookout. I eat more watermelon when it's cut into sticks. It makes it a one hand activity instead of two....and way less mess.

Follow the pictorial below so you know how to cut watermelon sticks.


How To Cut Watermelon Sticks

Start with a whole seedless watermelon

Slice in half

Place one half aside, and leave the other half on the board

One half at a time, slice in rows as shown in picture. This will leave you with the traditional half moon slices.

 Cut and discard the very ends of the watermelon half. One half moon piece at a time, slice from rind to fruit to cut into sticks.
 
(Another example)

(Another example)

 (Another example)

 Can easily be cut many sticks at a time. Mainly it is like dicing an onion. Cut all rows one way, then cut the opposite direction.





Saturday, May 24, 2014

One Pot - No Peek - Mushroom Beef Tips

No Fuss. No Mess. Delicious. Three important characteristics of a darn good meal. These One Pot - No Peek - Mushroom Beef Tips provide a hearty home cooked meal, without all the work.

Everything is mixed up and cooked in the same dish. Simply throw it in the oven and walk away. Go outside and play with your kids, run errands, go see a movie. In 3 hrs, come back. Ta-da! Dinner!

Tender, juicy, fall apart beef, with thick brown gravy and big yummy mushrooms. Mmm!



One Pot - No Peek - Mushroom Beef Tips

Ingredients
2lb Chuck Roast
1/2 onion
8oz fresh mushrooms
.87 oz packet of Low Sodium Brown Gravy
1 can Cream of Mushroom Soup
1.25 oz packet of Lipton Beefy Onion Soup Mix
1 1/4 cup water

Directions
In a 9x13 baking dish, or a large pan with lid that is bakable, put the soup, soup mix, gravy mix, and water. Whisk until mixed.

Use kitchen sheers to cube up the meat into 3/4-1 1/2 inch cubes. Toss into wet mixture and mix.

Cut onion into pieces, and rinse mushrooms. Toss in and mix until everything is coated evenly.

Cover with lid or tinfoil, and bake at 300 for 3 hrs.

Serve over mashed potatoes, quinoa, egg noodles, or rice.



Saturday, May 17, 2014

Lunch Lady Peanut Butter Bars

Remember those totally awesome Peanut Butter Bars that the Lunch Ladies would make when you were a kid? I got the recipe folks! And it is spot on! These soft and chewy peanut butter based bars have a thin layer of whipped peanut butter on top to make them extra peanut buttery. They are finished with a magnificent layer of cocoa puff tasting chocolate frosting. 

Take me back Baby! These bars rock! They are easy to make and delicious. I am taking them to a BBQ today. I know they will go fast. Why do I know this? Because I have already "trimmed" the pan of bars four times. 

I just can't help myself. 





Lunch Lady Peanut Butter Bars
Slightly adapted from TRIED AND TRIED AGAIN

Ingredients
Base:
1 1/2 C Flour
1 tsp. Sea Salt
½ tsp. Baking Soda
¾ C Unsalted Butter softened
¾ C Sugar
¾ C Brown Sugar
2 tsp. Vanilla
1 1/2 C Chunky Peanut Butter (split into two 3/4 cup portions)
2 Large Eggs
1 ½ C Quick Oats (or Old Fashioned Oats pulsed a few times in a blender - whatever you have. Same thing.)

Frosting:
½ C Unsalted Butter softened (1 stick)
3 ½ C Powdered Sugar
3 T Cocoa Powder
¼ C Milk
1 tsp. Vanilla

Directions
-Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 
-In a small mixing bowl, mix together flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
-In a large mixing bowl, cream together butter, sugars, 3/4 C peanut butter, eggs and 
 vanilla until light and fluffy. 
-Gradually add dry ingredients, mix just until incorporated. 
-Stir in the oats.  
-Use clean palm or butter wrapper to press dough into a greased 11 x 15 Jelly Roll Pan 
 (cookie sheet with edges). My pan was about 12x16.
-Bake on center rack for 15 minutes, or until golden brown.  
-Cool for at least 15 minutes. (This is a good time to clean up your kitchen and make the 
 frosting.)
-To make the frosting, whip the remaining ¾ C Creamy Peanut Butter at high speed 
 until it becomes lighter colored and fluffy. 
-Glob the whipped peanut butter onto the cooled cookie base in a few different clumps 
 to make spreading easier. 
-Use the back of a rubber spatula to carefully spread the whipped peanut butter evenly 
 over the cooled cookie base. It will be a thin layer.
-Next, add butter to a small sauce pan and melt. 
-Add the milk and cocoa. Whisk.
-Cook over medium heat, stirring with the whisk constantly.  
-Heat just until boiling.  
-Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla. 
-Add the powdered sugar. Aggressively whisk until thickened, lumps of powdered sugar 
 are gone, and the chocolate mixture is smooth. 
-Pour over the peanut butter and gently spread over the peanut butter covered cookie. 
 This will be a thin layer as well.  
-Cool completely, and slice into bar cookies.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Pudding Mix Chocolate Chip Cookies


Pudding Mix Chocolate Chip Cookies are awesome! These chocolate chip cookies are soft and chewy. I think the brown sugar and the pudding mix are the key ingredients. I found this recipe on allrecipes.com. These chocolate chip cookies received 4.5 out of 5 stars when reviewed 7,556 times. I figured that many people can't be wrong, so I gave this recipe a whirl. 

It was an absolute hit! On allrecipes the recipe is called Award Winning Soft Chocolate Chip Cookies. I decided to call them Pudding Mix Chocolate Chip Cookies because I think that is the ingredient that makes them different from all other recipes. 

I sent these cookies into the Buffalo Bills locker room with my husband, and also greeted our new neighbors with a plate or two. Everyone loved them! I kept a couple back, to see how they keep, and they were great 4 days later too! 


Pudding Mix Chocolate Chip Cookies
Recipe Source: allrecipes.com

Ingredients
- 4.5 cups flour
- 2 tsp baking soda
- 2 cups soft butter
- 1.5 cups packed brown sugar
- 1/2 cup white sugar
- 2 (3.4 oz) packages instant vanilla pudding mix
- 4 eggs
- 2 tsp vanilla
- 4 cups chocolate chips

Directions
-Preheat oven to 350 degrees
-In a bowl mix the flour and baking soda together. Set aside.
-In the mixing bowl place the butter, and both sugars. Beat them together fast, creaming
 them.
-Slow the mixer down a bit and pour in the powdered pudding mixes. Mix until blended.
-Stir in the eggs and vanilla until blended in.
-Blend in the flour mixture.
-When everything is blended evenly, add the chocolate chips.
-Drop cookies by rounded spoonfuls or rolled balls, onto an ungreased cookie sheet.
 (Size a bit smaller than a ping pong ball.)
-Bake for 11-12 minutes in the preheated oven. Cookies are done when the edges are golden
  brown.
-Remove from oven, let cookies sit for 1-2 minutes before removing onto cooling rack.


Saturday, April 12, 2014

Easter Egg Fruit Pizza

Easter Egg Fruit Pizza is perfect for Easter Dessert! It is beautiful and brilliant as any Easter Dessert should be! Easter Egg Fruit Pizza is fun to make and tastes great too!

I chose to make two fairly good size Easter Egg Fruit Pizzas, but you can do whatever your Easter filled heart desires. I think if you had a house full of kids, it would be fun to make little individual Easter Egg Fruit Pizzas and let them all decorate their own.

Easter Egg Fruit Pizza can be as easy or hard as you wish. You can make your cookie base from scratch, and make your cream cheese frosting, or you can buy both from the store! I chose to buy a powder mix cookie dough and then make my own frosting.






Easter Egg Fruit Pizza
Idea from Sugar Hero

Ingredients
- Fruit of your choice, washed and dried
- Your favorite sugar cookie recipe or store bought dough or dough mix 
- 8 oz brick of cream cheese
- 1/3-3/4 cup powdered sugar (your choice for your taste and texture)
- 1 tsp vanilla
- Food coloring of your choice - optional

Directions
-Make sugar cookie dough, roll out 1/4-1/2 inch thick into an egg shape.
-Bake on a parchment paper covered baking sheet until light golden around the edges and baked in the middle.
-Once cooled, mix up the frosting by placing the room temperature cream cheese, sugar,
 vanilla, and 2 drops of food coloring in a mixing bowl and whipping it up until smooth.
 (I chose blue food coloring and about 1/2 a cup of powdered sugar. The amount of both
 of these can be adjusted to suit your liking.)
-Spread the cream cheese frosting on to the egg shaped cookie(s) and decorate with fruit.
-Enjoy, or refrigerate covered until ready to serve.Remove from the fridge about 15-30
 minutes before serving

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Kristine's Easy Shrimp



I got this recipe from my dear friend, Kristine. She made them for a gathering we had. I knew from the very first bite, that I just HAD to have the recipe. Not only are Kristine's Easy Shrimp easy to make, they are easy to eat as well! Just pick up by the tail and eat.

It's peel-n-eat shrimp, without the peel!

That is what I love about them. Kristine's Easy Shrimp recipe is easy peasy lemon squeezey! Perfect for entertaining, or if you are a shrimp lover like Dan and myself, you can make a half batch for dinner along side a salad or vegetable.




 





 



Kristine's Easy Shrimp

Ingredients
2 - 2 1/2 lbs peeled and deveined large raw shrimp
3/4 cup butter
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup ketchup
1 large or 2 small lemons sliced
2 TB Old Bay seasoning
1 TB Italian seasoning
2 TB chili sauce
2 tsp sriracha
1 large french bread sliced

Directions
Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
Line shallow broiler pan with aluminum foil. Set aside.
In a microwave safe bowl, melt butter in microwave.
Stir the rest of the ingredients except the shrimp and bread into the melted butter.
Place shrimp on the lined pan and pour the butter/seasoning mixture over the top.
Toss to coat. Spread evenly over surface of pan, and pop in the oven for 25 minutes, stirring and turning shrimp after 10 minutes.
Serve warm or room temperature with sliced french bread to dip in the sauce.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Restaurant Style Smoked Fish Dip

     Recently Dan and I took a little vacation weekend in the Florida Keys with some friends. The guys chartered a boat with Warbird Fishing and really brought home the bacon! They caught two different types of Mackerel, two different kinds of Snapper, and a Grouper or two. (See their catch HERE.)
    
     They had to toss the Grouper back as it was out of season, but we were able to keep the Mackerel and Snapper. We walked away with about 65-70 lbs of fresh fish from the sea. All cleaned for us too! Double score!
    
     That night we took a bunch of it to Lazy Days where they offer a "hook-n-cook" on their menu. You hook, they cook. Boy was that tasty! The rest of the fish we brought home. We froze about half, and Dan experimented with the rest in the smoker.
    
     We tried two ways of smoking. 1-Cover in large grain kosher salt, smoke, then remove salt. 2-Sit in salt brine, rinse, smoke. We preferred the latter of the two. The first was too salty even after removing salt and rinsing. Maybe I will have to do a post on smoked fish. If anyone is interested, comment here or email me.

     Anywho, this Restaurant Style Fish Dip is just like, if not, BETTER than the Smoked Fish Dip you get in the restaurants down here in Florida and the Keys. Trust me. YUM!! Because we had so much fresh smoked fish, I made Restaurant Style Fish Dip for the neighbors, two other families of the fisherman, another couple of friends who watch our dog when we are gone, my sister, and a bunch for ourselves. No one could stop raving about it. So So Good!

All in all this is a fast, easy, award winning caliber recipe that can be made a day or two in advance if need be. I encourage you to double or triple the recipe because you will find yourself eating this for lunch, not just an appetizer.


Smoked Fish Dip


Restaurant Style Smoked Fish Dip 
We used fish caught and smoked by Dan. If you purchase smoked fish, the salt content and smoke intensity may vary so adjustments to liquid smoke and Old Bay Seasoning may need to be made.

Ingredients
2 cups large chunk smoked fish
2 TB mayonnaise
4 TB sour cream
1/2-3/4 tsp Old Bay Seasoning
4 drops Chipotle Tabasco hot sauce
quick dash of Worcestershire sauce
4 drops of mesquite liquid smoke
fresh black pepper to taste
(Crackers, pickled jalapenos, and hot sauce for serving) 

Directions
-Break fish into large pieces and remove any stray bones. (See pic below)
-Measure out and put into a large bowl. Set aside.
-In a smaller bowl, mix all other ingredients until smooth.
-Pour mixture over the fish, and stir with fork until fish is coated with sauce.
-As you mix with fork, the fish will break up a bit until it is broke and mixed to desired
 consistency.
-Chill until ready to serve.
-Serve on cracker with pickled jalapeno and dash of hot sauce.







  

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Peanut Butter Filled Pretzel Puppy Chow

I am not usually a pretzel person. I like pretzels. I just wouldn't choose them first when put on a table with other snacks. Pretzels filled with peanut butter however, change this. They are called Peanut Butter Filled Pretzel Nuggets. They change my opinion on pretzels.

I didn't think I could like Peanut Butter Filled Pretzel Nuggets any more than I already did. But then...I covered them in a melted chocolate mixture and rolled them in powdered sugar.

Ta-Dah!
Peanut Butter Filled Pretzel Puppy Chow! (Or Peanut Butter Filled Muddy Buddies if that's what you call it.)

Peanut Butter Filled Pretzel Puppy Chow will change your taste buds' life. Believe me. You thought regular Puppy Chow was good. You just wait.

I made a double batch of Peanut Butter Filled Pretzel Puppy Chow along with Grandma's Garlic Ranch Pretzels for our recent weekend in the Keys with friends. Both were a hit!




Peanut Butter Filled Pretzel Puppy Chow
Recipe Source: Crazy For Crust

Ingredients
18 oz Peanut Butter Filled Pretzel Nuggets
1 cup chocolate chips
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1/4 cup butter (4 TB)
4 cups powdered sugar
Bag of M&M's approx. 10 oz. (I chose Almond M&M's.)
Gallon Ziploc Bag

Directions
-Measure chocolate chips, creamy peanut butter, and butter into a large microwave safe
  bowl.
-Pop in microwave for 1 minute.
-Stir vigorously to melt lumps.
-If still lumpy, microwave for 30 seconds and stir again.
-All should be melted smooth at this point. If not, microwave again for a few more
  seconds.
-Set aside.
-Measure 2-3 cups of the powdered sugar into the big Ziploc.
-Set aside.
-Dump your the Peanut Butter Filled Pretzel Nuggets into the chocolate mixture.
-Stir with rubber spatula until all are generously coated.
-Dump the chocolate covered pretzel nuggets into the powdered sugar bag.
-Dump the remaining 1-2 cups of powdered sugar on top of the pretzels.
-Close bag with some air still inside, and roll the top over a time or two.
-Hold the top of the bag and the bottom of the bag.
-Shake well to coat the Peanut Butter Filled Pretzel Nuggets thoroughly with powdered
  sugar.
-Dump contents of the bag onto a cookie sheet or some waxed paper in a single layer to
  cool to room temperature.
-Store in an airtight container in the fridge or on the counter top.
-Serve topped with Almond M&M's for great color and presentation.




  • 18 ounces peanut butter stuffed pretzel nuggets (you can use a little more if your package is bigger, but not more than 24 ounces)
  • 1 cup milk chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 3-4 cups powdered sugar
  • About 10 ounces M&Ms (Plain, Peanut, Pretzel, or PB would all work), if desired

  • Read more at http://www.crazyforcrust.com/2014/01/peanut-butter-pretzel-muddy-buddies/#LmXJP2DA2bEPvyVo.99

  • 18 ounces peanut butter stuffed pretzel nuggets (you can use a little more if your package is bigger, but not more than 24 ounces)
  • 1 cup milk chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 3-4 cups powdered sugar
  • About 10 ounces M&Ms (Plain, Peanut, Pretzel, or PB would all work), if desired

  • Read more at http://www.crazyforcrust.com/2014/01/peanut-butter-pretzel-muddy-buddies/#LmXJP2DA2bEPvyVo.99

  • 18 ounces peanut butter stuffed pretzel nuggets (you can use a little more if your package is bigger, but not more than 24 ounces)
  • 1 cup milk chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 3-4 cups powdered sugar
  • About 10 ounces M&Ms (Plain, Peanut, Pretzel, or PB would all work), if desired

  • Read more at http://www.crazyforcrust.com/2014/01/peanut-butter-pretzel-muddy-buddies/#LmXJP2DA2bEPvyVo.99