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Friday, October 31, 2014

Banana Crumb-Topped Muffins


  • 1 ½ cup Flour
  • 1 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1/3 cup Butter; melted
  • 3 Large Ripe Bananas
  • ¾ cup Sugar
  • 1 Large Egg
  • ½ tsp Salt
  • Crumb Topping:
  • 1/3 cup Brown Sugar; packed
  • 2 TBSP Flour
  • ¼ tsp Cinnamon
  • 1 TBSP Butter; cold
  • ¼ cup Walnuts (or pecans); finely chopped

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. and grease muffin tins or fill with cupcake/muffin paper liners.
2. In a large bowl combine all the dry ingredients except sugar.
3. In another bowl combine the bananas, sugar, egg, and melted butter. Mix well. Stir in the dry ingredients.
4. For the topping, combine brown sugar, 1 TBSP of cold butter, 2 TBSP of flour, cinnamon, and walnuts.
5. Fill the muffin cups 3/4 full then sprinkle the topping mixture on each. (Double topping if desired.)
6. Bake 20 minutes of until the muffins are done in the center.

Blueberry Biscoff Cookies

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup Biscoff Spread
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup white chocolate chips
  • 1 cup dried blueberries

1. Add butter, sugars, and Biscoff to a large bowl. Beat on medium speed for 3 minutes. Add egg and vanilla, and continue to beat about one minute or until well combined.
2. Whisk together flour, salt, cinnamon and baking soda and add to wet ingredients. Beat on low speed until just combined. Add white chocolate and blueberries and stir until just combined. Cover dough and refrigerate for about an hour.
3.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray baking sheet lightly with nonstick spray or line with parchment paper. Scoop dough onto prepared baking sheets using 1-1/2 tbsp scoop.
4. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. Makes about 42-43 cookies. 

*from Kevin and Amanda

Family Favorite Buttermilk Pancakes

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs, slightly beaten
  • 1 Tbsp canola oil
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 1 tsp vanilla

1] Preheat a griddle or skillet over medium heat.  Sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and sugar into a mixing bowl.
2] Add the eggs, oil, buttermilk and vanilla.  Stir to combine making sure to incorporate all the flour. When making pancakes it is important not to overmix or you will have rubbery pancakes instead of yummy pancakes.  
pray pan with non-stick cooking spray and pour batter into about 4" circles.
3] Allow to cook until bubbles are visible throughout the pancake, turn over and cook until golden brown.
4] Serve with your favorite syrup or fresh fruit and powdered sugar. Makes about 24 4" pancakes.

Lemon Parmesan Chicken

  • 2-4 chicken breasts (we cut 2 larger chicken breasts in half to get the perfect sized portion so 4 "halves" all together. You can use as many as you want!)
  • 1/3 c. Lemon Juice
  • Parmesan Cheese
  • Lemon Pepper

In a greased baking dish place chicken breasts. Pour in the 1/3 c. Lemon Juice. Sprinkle Parmesan Cheese over all the chicken breasts. Dash a few lemon pepper sprinkles. Cover the baking dish with foil. Cook at 350 for about 45-50 min. Until chicken is done. Garnish with parsley. Serve with your favorite Italian noodles! DELISH!

Strawberry Cashew Salad

Author: Ashley
Recipe type: Salad


  • 1 cup raw spinach
  • 1 cup green or red leaf romaine lettuce
  • 5-6 strawberries, remove stems & slice in half
  • ¼ cup cashews (salted or unsalted—I like salted against the sweetness of the strawberries and the dressing)
  • 2 tbsp Light Poppy Seed Dressing (or preferred variety)

1] Toss together spinach and lettuce on a plate or in a salad bowl, top with strawberries and cashews then drizzle with dressing!
2] Serve and enjoy! Yields 1 single serving.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Buffalo Shrimp Sandwiches with Spicy Avocado Ranch


Buffalo Shrimp and Sauce

  • 1 pound of peeled and deveined raw shrimp
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 7 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup hot sauce
  • 1 teaspoon seasoned salt

Spicy Avocado Ranch

  • 1 large avocado, peeled and pitted
  • 1/2 cup greek yogurt
  • 2 teaspoons fresh parsley, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons dried dill
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons hot sauce (I use Franks)
  • pinch of salt and pepper

For the Sandwiches

  • 1 baguette, toasted
  • lettuce, for layering
  • 4 ounces blue cheese, crumbled
  • buffalo sauce, for drizzling
  • spicy avocado ranch, for spreading

In mixing bowl or glass measuring cup combine the melted butter, hot sauce and seasoned salt. Whisk to combine. Place the shrimp in a medium size bowl and toss with 2 tablespoons of the buffalo sauce and the olive oil. Make sure you coat the shrimp all over. Set aside. Reserve the remaining sauce.
To make the spicy avocado ranch. Combine all ingredients in a food processor and blend until creamy, scraping down the sides occasionally when needed. Taste and season additionally if desired. The avocado ranch can be stored in a seal-tight container for 1-2 days.
Preheat the grill or grill pan over high heat. Grill shrimp about 2 minutes per side or until shrimp turn pink. Remove from the grill and toss the grilled shrimp with a few tablespoons of the remaining sauce. Don't use all the buffalo sauce, you want some to drizzle on the sandwich.
Preheat the broiler with the rack in the upper third position. Halve the baguette and then halve again (you should now have 4 baguettes). Place each baguette directly on the oven rack and broil until toasted and brown around the edges, 2 minutes. Remove from the oven and slice each baguette in half length wise.
Spread the spicy avocado ranch evenly across the bottom of each baguette. Layer on the lettuce, a sprinkle of blue cheese and a drizzle of buffalo sauce. Place the shrimp in an even layer across the bottom of the baguette. If desired drizzle with more spicy avocado ranch, buffalo sauce and another good sprinkle of blue cheese. At thins point you can throw them in the oven under the broiler to melt the cheese for about 1 minute. This is not crucial, but it is good! Place the top half of the baguette on top. And now, Enjoy!

How to Freeze Mango

Freezing mango is very simple.

Cut it out and arrange it on a baking sheet or a 13×9 pan depending on which pan fits in your freezer.
Cover the top and bottom of the pan with plastic wrap.
Let fruit freeze for 24 hours.
Then transfer mango from the pan to a freezer bag and return to the freezer for long term freezing.

Marbled Gingerbread Bundt Cake

Yields - Two bundt cakes, one tin with a 3 cup capacity and the other with a 9 cup capacity (You can use a 14 cup capacity tin, just make sure you bake the cake for longer)

Ingredients for the dark cake batter

  • 280 grams (2 cups) Cake Flour
  • 1 teaspoon Baking flour
  • 2 teaspoons Ground ginger
  • 113 grams (1 stick) Unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 70 grams (1/2 cup) Light brown muscovado sugar
  • 70 grams (1/2 cup) Dark brown muscovado sugar
  • 3 pieces Stem ginger in syrup, minced
  • 4 Large egg yolks (You’ll need the whites in the light batter)
  • 100ml Molasses
  • 250ml Buttermilk

1. Pre-heat your oven to 170C,350F. Spray your bundt tins evenly with cake release spray then turn the tins upside down onto a paper towel so any residue can drip away. Set to one side.

2. In a medium bowl sift together the flour, baking powder and the ground ginger, set to one side.

3. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment mix together the butter, light muscovado sugar and the dark muscovado sugar until you have a smooth, creamy, fluffy mixture. Scrape down your bowl with a spatula.

4. Add the egg yolks, molasses and the minced stem ginger and mix together until smooth and slightly lighter in colour. Scrape down your bowl with a spatula.

5. Using the medium speed of your mixer, starting and ending with the flour, add 1/3 of the flour, mixing until the flour just starts to disappear then add 1/2 the buttermilk and keep doing the same until everything has been added. Do not over mix you want your batter to be light and luscious. Scrape down the bowl once more with your spatula to make sure you get every last bit of your batter mixed thoroughly together.

6. Transfer your batter to a medium size bowl and set to one side whilst you make the other batter.

Ingredients for the light batter

  • 350 grams (2 1/2 cups) Cake flour
  • 1 teaspoon Baking powder
  • 113 grams (1 stick) Unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 200 grams (1 cup) Vanilla scented caster sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon Pure almond extract
  • 250ml Buttermilk
  • 4 Large egg whites

1. In a medium bowl sift together the flour and baking powder, set to one side.

2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment mix together the butter and the vanilla scented caster sugar until you have a smooth, creamy, fluffy mixture. Scrape down your bowl with a spatula.

3. Add the pure vanilla extract and pure almond extract and mix for 30 seconds.

4. Using the medium speed of your mixer, starting and ending with the flour, add 1/3 of the flour, mixing until the flour just starts to disappear then add 1/2 the buttermilk and keep doing the same until everything has been added. Do not over mix you want your batter to be light and luscious. Scrape down the bowl once more with your spatula to make sure you get every last bit of your batter mixed thoroughly together.

5. Whisk the egg whites until you get stiff peaks then using your spatula gently fold through the batter until they remain no longer visible.

6. Now comes the extra fun part. Using two large dessert spoons, one for each batter, add one spoonful of each cake batter, alternating each one as you go. Once one layer of your cake tins have been filled do the same again but placing a different cake batter on top of the previous layer. Fill up your cake tins until all of your batters have been used up. Next get a cake tester and swirl around the batter in any directions that you wish to.

7. Smooth the tops over and bake your smaller bundt cake for 20-25 minutes and the larger one for 30-35 minutes. Leave the tins on a wire rack to cool for 30 minutes then transfer your cakes to the wire rack to cool completely.

Recipe adapted from Maida Heatter’s Cakes, forward by Nancy Silverton

* Store each bundt cake wrapped in parchment paper in a cake tin with a tight-fitting lid for up to 3 days. Keep in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight.

Slow Cooker Hawaiian Ribs

Course: EntréeSkill Level: Easy
A delicious and EASY meal! Dump it in the slow cooker and let it do all the work for you!


  • 2 lbs. boneless beef short ribs
  • 1/3 cup reduced sodium soy sauce
  • 2 Tbsp. brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp. honey
  • 3 Tbsp. pineapple juice
  • 3 1/2 tsp. minced garlic
  • 1/2 tsp. Chinese 5 Spice powder

1] Spray slow cooker with cooking spray or insert a slow cooker liner.
2] Evenly distribute rib meat inside slow cooker.
3] In a small bowl, combine soy sauce, brown sugar, honey, pineapple juice, minced garlic and Chinese 5 Spice powder and stir until evenly combined. Dump over rib meat.
4] Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours.

Spring Vegetable Lo Mein


Serving Size: 4-6


  • 1 (10 ounce) package dried lo mein noodles
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 1/2 small head cabbage, thinly sliced (1 cup)
  • 1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced lengthwise
  • 1 red orange pepper, thinly sliced lengthwise
  • 1/4 pound mushrooms (any variety is fine), stems discarded and caps thinly sliced
  • 6 ounces (maybe about a cup and a half) snowpeas, trimmed (I never trim mine, but you might want to)
  • 1 carrot, peeled and cut into matchsticks
  • 1/3 cup soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon fish sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sambal oelek (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh ginger, grated
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced or grated
  • 2 cups cooked chicken, sliced into bite-size pieces (optional, I made this with the chicken)
  • 1/4 cup chopped cashews (or peanuts), for sprinkling
  • fresh cilantro, chopped, for garnish


  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the noodles to the boiling water and cook according to package directions. Drain and set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large, heavy skillet or wok (you want it big guys), heat the sesame oil over high heat. When the pan is hot add the red pepper, orange pepper, mushrooms, snowpeas and carrots. After about 3 minute add the cabbage . Stir fry for 2-5 minutes longer or until the vegetables have just begun to soften, but have not lost their crunch. This took me about 5 minutes.
  3. While the vegetables cook combine the soy sauce, rice vinegar, toasted sesame oil, fish sauce, sambal oelek, ginger and garlic, Whisk to combine and set aside.
  4. When you feel the vegetables are ready add the sauce and stir fry for a 2-3 minutes to cook the garlic and ginger. Add the noodles (and chicken, if using) and toss well. Stir fry for one more minute and then remove from heat. Serve immediately and garnish with chopped fresh cilantro and chopped cashews.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Barbecue Bacon Hot Dog


  • 4 all beef hot dogs
  • 8 strips cooked bacon
  • 1/2 red onion, thinly sliced (I used a mandolin)
  • 1 cup milk
  • olive oil for frying
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 4 Tablespoons barbecue sauce
  • 4 ounces shredded cheddar cheese

Place the hot dogs on the grill and heat on medium heat. While that is going on, make the onion straws. I used a red onion since I love the flavor more then yellow.

In a separate bowl, add the milk. On a plate, add the flour and chili powder. Dip a few of the onions at a time into the milk then dredge it in the flour. Add olive oil to a skillet and fry on medium to high heat a few at a time as to not overcrowd the skillet. When they’re brown, set them on a napkin to absorb the excess grease and repeat until all your onions are cooked.

Your hot dogs should be done by now. I cooked them on my stovetop indoor grill so I can turn them occasionally while I was cooking my onion straws. Now it’s time to assemble!  I put my barbecuse sauce on the bun, added my bacon, then the dog, then the onions and topped with cheese.

Don’t these look amazing! We eat lots of hot dogs during the summer, so I’ve been trying to “shake it up” with my recipes. This barbecue bacon hot dog was wonderful!! All the flavors blended together spell summer to me and I’m sure it will for your family as well. And it came pretty close to the Chili’s burger I love so much. Enjoy!!

Cauliflower 2 Unusual Ways

For the cherry and cauliflower smoothie

  • 1/2 banana
  • 1/2 cup semi-skimmed milk
  • 1 pot of Activia 0% cherry yogurt
  • 1 tsp honey 
  • 2 small to medium sized cauliflower florets
  • handful of frozen cherries

For the cauliflower crostini

  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil plus extra
  • 1 small red onion, diced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1 baguette
  • parsley to garnish
  • salt and pepper

All right, let's cook:
For the smoothie, begin by pouring the milk into your blender. Next, add the florets, banana, cherries and yogurt. Drizzle over the honey and blitz until smooth and frothy.

For the crostini, boil the cauliflower until tender, should take about 10 to 12 minutes. Remove the cauliflower using a slotted spoon and keep the water.

Add the olive oil to the water along with the onion and garlic. Cook over a medium heat, stirring occasionally. Don't let the garlic and onions burn as it will make the dish taste bitter. Preheat your oven to 180C. (Need a conversion? Click here!)

Put the cauliflower back in the pot and season with salt and pepper and cook for about five minutes, just to bring the flavors together and to reduce some of the water. At this point, you want about 2 inches of water in the pan, drain off any excess, reserving it just in case you need it.

Tumble the contents of the pan into a food processor and pulse to a chunky puree. Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary. If the puree is too thick, drizzle in a bit of the cooking liquid until you reach your desired consistency. Sprinkle with parsley, cover and set aside.

Slice the baguette into medallions or triangles, arrange on a baking tray and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Toast the baguette pieces to your preference. Spoon or pipe the puree onto the toast and serve.

S’Mores Frozen Coffee

Makes 2

  • 3 cups of your favorite, unflavored, brewed coffee, (cold)
  • 5 large marshmallows
  • 2 tbs hot fudge
  • 1 packet of sweetener (or regular sugar)
  • Frozen coffee ice cubes (about a cup)

1] I usually have some frozen coffee ice cubes in the freezer during the warm weather, to use in frozen coffee beverages. Freeze some coffee cubes the night before, so you will have it in the morning.
2] Combine the ingredients in the blender and pulse until smooth.
3] Serve immediately and enjoy the deliciousness!

Southwest Sweet Potato Black Bean Egg Rolls

Total Time: 45 minutes
Yield: 10 egg rolls
Serving Size: 2 egg rolls

Adapted from Gluten Free Goddess' Sweet Potato Black Bean Enchiladas


  • 1- 15-oz can organic black beans, rinsed, drained
  • 1- 15 oz can corn kernels, drained
  • 1- 29 oz can sweet potatoes in light syrup, drained, lightly mashed
  • 1/4 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1- 4 oz. can diced green chiles
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • Sea salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 10 egg roll wrappers

1] Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with foil and rub or spray with olive oil.
2] In a medium bowl mix all ingredients except egg roll wrappers until evenly mixed.
3] Lay a wrapper out on a plate and place it like a diamond in front of you. Place 6 tablespoons (I used a 3 tablespoon cookie scoop, two scoops each roll) or approximately 1/3 cup of the filling, placing in a spread out in a line in the center, keeping at least 1 inch from edges.
4] Take the corner closest to you and wrap it over the filling. Bring the corners pointing to the left and right of you in to the center over the filling. Starting with the edge closest to you, roll the egg roll away from you.
5] When there is about 1 inch of the last point left, take some water on your finger and dampen the corner. Continue rolling the egg roll until it is sealed.
6] Place seam side down on a foil lined baking sheet sprayed with olive oil. Repeat above process with remaining rolls.
7] Spray the tops of the egg rolls with olive oil or brush it on lightly, and then bake in oven for 20-30 minutes, until golden brown and crisp.

There is no dipping sauce for these, but my husband and I enjoyed them with a little sriracha sauce.

SweetFire Chicken {Panda Express Copycat}

  • 2 boneless/skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite sized pieces
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup cornstarch
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 4 tablespoons cold water
  • 1-2 teaspoons red pepper flakes
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 6 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 1 can (20 oz) pineapple tidbits, drained
  • 1 red bell pepper, cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 1/2 onion, cut into 1 inch pieces
  • Canola or vegetable oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Green onions, thinly sliced

Set up for breading: place flour in a large Ziplock bag, put beaten eggs in a shallow dish, and put the 1 cup cornstarch in a second shallow dish. Salt and pepper the chicken then place them in the Ziplock, seal, and shake to coat. Using tongs, pull a chicken piece from the bag, dredge in egg, then coat in the cornstarch. Set aside. Repeat until all the chicken is coated.

In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. When hot, fry the chicken in batches being careful to not overcrowd. Set aside on a paper towel lined plate as they finish.

To make the sauce, stir together the cold water and 3 tablespoons cornstarch in a small bowl. Set aside. Combine the red pepper flakes, garlic, sugar, 1 cup water, vinegar, and some salt in a small saucepan. Heat until boiling then whisk in the cornstarch mixture. Whisk until the sauce is thickened, then reduce to low.

In the skillet you used for the chicken, heat a bit more oil and add the red bell pepper and onion. Cook until slightly softened, about 3 minutes. Add the pineapple and cook another minute.

Add the chicken back into the skillet along with the sauce and heat through.

Garnish with green onions.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Amaretta Pound Cake


  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 c butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 c solid shortening
  • 3 c sugar
  • 6 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1/3 c Amaretto
  • 1 c milk, room temperature


  1. Spray a ten inch tube pan with non-stick spray.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  3. Sift flour, salt, and baking powder together.
  4. Cream butter, shortening, and sugar with an electric mixer until light and flufy.
  5. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  6. Mix in Amaretto.
  7. Add milk and flour alternately, beginning and ending with flour mixture.
  8. Pour batter into prepared tube pan.
  9. Bake for 1 hour 30 minutes. (Start checking at 1 hour 20 minutes, your oven may be hotter than mine.)
  10. Cool in pan on wire rack 30 minutes before inverting on a platter.


Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Yield: 2 servings
Serving Size: 1 mojito


  • 2 tbsp fresh mint leaves
  • 2 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 4 oz rum
  • 1/2 lime, quartered
  • 2 tbsp fresh blackberry juice (I pressed the blackberries through a strainer to get the juice)
  • Club soda
  • 2 mojito glasses or 2 tall glasses

Place 1 tbsp mint leaves into each mojito glass.
Pour 1 tbsp of the blackberry juice into each glass.
Squeeze a little of 2 lime quarters into each glass. Then drop the lime quarters into the glasses.
Pour 1 tbsp sugar into each glass. Press with a muddler.
Add 2 oz of rum to each glass.
Add ice to each glass until it is 3/4 full.
Top off with club soda, shake (I used the glass and a cup since I don't have a fancy mixer) and then add the mixture back to the glasses.

Blue Cheese Smashed Avocado and Roasted Tomato Grilled Cheese



  • 1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 avocado, lightly mashed
  • 1 cup fresh arugula
  • 4-6 ounces blue cheese, crumbled
  • 4 slices seedy bread
  • softened butter, for spreading

1. heat the oven to 400 degrees F.

2. Grease a baking sheet and add the halved tomatoes. Toss the tomatoes with olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast for 25 to 30 minutes, remove from the oven and set aside. When the tomatoes are finished roasting turn the oven to broil.

3. Lightly mash the avocado with the salt and pepper. Spread one side of each bread slice with softened butter. On the unbuttered sides evenly spread the mashed avocado among the insides of all 4 slices of bread. Add the blue cheese right on top of the mashed avocado. Place the slices of bread on a baking sheet and broil for 30 seconds to 1 minutes. Just until the blue cheese begins to melt. Remove from the oven and heat a skillet over medium heat.

4. Divide the arugula in two and place right on top of the melted blue cheese and then add a handful of the roasted tomatoes. Place the other half of the bread on top to make a sandwich. Place both sandwiches in the skillet. Cook until cheese is melted and both sides are golden brown, at least 3 minutes per side. Lower the heat if the bread gets too brown. Serve immediately

Cake Batter Rice Crispy Treats (Halloween Style)

recipe from Gimme Some Oven


  • 4 tablespoons of butter
  • 1 (10 ounce) bag of mini marshmallows
  • 1/2 cup of yellow cake mix
  • 5 cups of rice crispy cereal
  • 1 small container of sprinkles (I found these adorable Halloween sprinkles with cute little spiders in it at Walmart.)

Over low heat, melt the butter and then add in your marshmallows.  Once the marshmallows begin to melt remove the pot from the heat.  Whisk in the yellow cake mix and then add the cereal, I added it one cup at a time and incorporated each cup a bit before adding the next. Add in half of the sprinkles and gently mix - try not to let the sprinkles bleed.  Pour this mixture onto a baking dish (any size you want.) I then used plastic wrap to press the mixture evenly into the pan you can use your hands or a spatula.  Top with the remaining sprinkles and let this sit  for about 30 minutes so everything sets up.  Then cut into squares. and Enjoy!!

Zucchini Fritters with Asian Dipping Sauce

Yield: 4 servings (approximately 8 fritters)

These golden fritters are crispy on the outside, creamy on the inside, and accompanied by a sweet and salty, Asian-inspired dipping sauce.

For the dipping sauce:

  • 3 tablespoons rice wine vinegar 
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce 
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar 
  • Crushed red pepper flakes, to taste 

For the fritters:

  • 1 1/2 pounds zucchini (about 3 large), grated 
  • 1 teaspoon salt, divided 
  • 1 egg 
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour 
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch 
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely minced 
  • Freshly ground black pepper 
  • 1/4 cup canola oil

For the dipping sauce: 
In a small bowl, stir together vinegar, soy sauce, sugar, and pepper flakes until sugar is dissolved.
For the fritters:
Mix grated zucchini with 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and place in a colander over the sink to drain. After 10 minutes, transfer zucchini to the center of a clean kitchen towel, wrap towel around it jellyroll-style, and squeeze out over the sink until all water is extracted.
Place zucchini in a bowl and mix in egg, flour, cornstarch, garlic, remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, and pepper, to taste.
In a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat (do not allow it to smoke). Use a 1/4 cup measuring cup to scoop mounds of zucchini into the oil, and flatten slightly. Do not overcrowd your pan; you will need to work in two batches.
Cook each fritter for about 3 minutes or until the underside is golden and crispy; flip and cook for 3 more minutes on the other side.
Transfer fritters to a paper towel-lined plate, lightly sprinkle with salt, and allow them to drain. Serve hot with dipping sauce. 

Tips, Tricks, and Variations
It is important to squeeze as much water as possible out of the zucchini using the kitchen towel.
If you cannot eat the fritters immediately, you may keep them warm in a 200°F oven for up to 30 minutes. Reheating is not recommended as they will become soggy.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Chili Cheese Tater Tot Casserole

Yield: 8 servings

  • 1 bag (32 oz.) tater tots
  • 1½ lb. lean ground beef
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • A few shakes of Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tbsp. chili powder
  • 2 tsp. cumin
  • 8 oz. tomato sauce
  • 8 oz. can of water (use the empty tomato sauce can)
  • 2 cups (8 oz.) Cheddar cheese, shredded
  • Sour cream (optional)
  • Green onions, sliced (optional)

Preheat oven to 400°F.

Arrange the tater tots in the bottom of a 9x13-in. baking dish. Bake for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a large skillet, cook and crumble the beef with the salt, pepper and onion until the beef is no longer pink. Drain if necessary. Return the mixture to the skillet. Add the Worcestershire sauce, chili powder, cumin, tomato sauce and water to the skillet. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until it reaches your desired consistency. (I like ours the consistency of Sloppy Joe's, but make yours how you like it).

Top the baked tater tots with the chili. Sprinkle with the cheese. Return to the oven and bake an additional 10-15 minutes or until the cheese is melted and the casserole is heated through. To serve, top individual portions with sour cream and green onions, if desired.

Garlic Parmesan Potatoes


  • 1/2 cup Italian Dressing
  • 4 Garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp. Pepper
  • 2 Tbsp. Olive Oil
  • 6 Potatoes, diced
  • 1/3 cup Parmesan Cheese..or more to taste!
  • 2 Tbsp Parsley, dried

Wash and dice potatoes.
In large bowl, combine potatoes, italian dressing, salt,pepper,and garlic cloves.
Allow potatoes to sit in dressing mixture while heating oil in skillet over medium heat.
Once hot, add potatoes to pan, reserving some of the leftover dressing mixture in bowl.
Cover and cook potatoes for about 10-15 minutes or until potatoes are fork tender.
Uncover and increase heat to medium high, adding some of the reserved italian dressing if pan seems a little dry.
Heat over medium high until potatoes are crisp and browned.
Remove from heat and toss with Parmesan cheese and parsley. Enjoy!!

Simple Cheesy Millet Cakes


  • 1 cup dry millet
  • 2 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup cheddar cheese, grated
  • 1/4 cup Monterrey jack cheese, grated
  • 1 teaspoon fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large clove garlic, chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste

To cook the millet, bring the two cups of chicken broth to a boil in a 2 quart saucepan (you can use water if you wish) then add the millet. Bring back to a boil then set it on simmer for about 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and let stand for 10 minutes. Remove from the pan and place it in a mixing bowl.

Add the cheeses, garlic and parsley and mix together well. The cheese should be slightly melted at this point.

Form the millet mix into hockey puck sized patties by rolling them in your hands then flattening them out a bit. Sprinkle them with salt and pepper. In a large skillet over medium heat, place the olive oil and heat until a drop of water can bounce off it.

Cook the patties over medium to medium-high heat until golden brown, 5-8 minutes a side. Flip them at least once during the process. I like mine lightly golden, but you may like yours a bit darker and crispier, it’s up to you. Serve immediately.

These wonderfully nutty little patties were an excellent side dish for the stuffed pork chops I made last week. They are cheesy but not greasy and the unique texture really added to the experience.  I really loved how these turned out and am looking forward to making them again.

Sweet & Sour Chicken Recipe

{Makes 6 Servings}

  • 6 Chicken Breasts
  • Garlic Salt
  • Black Pepper
  • 3/4 cup Flour
  • 1 Egg Beaten


  • 3/4 cup Sugar
  • 1/2 cup Vinegar {I like to use red wine vinegar}
  • 1/2 cup Chicken Stock
  • 3 1/2 Tbsp Catsup
  • 1 Tbsp Soy Sauce

1.  Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

2.  Sprinkle Chicken with garlic salt and pepper on both sides. Dip chicken in beaten egg, then cover in flour. Brown in hot oil.

3.  Place in baking dish.

4. Put the sauce ingredients into a sauce pan and heat. Pour over chicken. {I like to double the sauce recipe so the chicken is almost fully covered.}

5. Bake uncovered for 1 hour. {If you don't double the sauce recipe you will want to turn the chicken once or twice during baking.}

Thai Grilled Beef with String Beans

  • 1 1/2 pounds flank steak
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1/4 cup lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon Asian fish sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon chili paste, or 1 teaspoon seeded, minced serrano chile
  • 1 teaspoon granular sugar substitute
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced scallions
  • 1 pound fresh green beans, trimmed
  • salt and pepper to taste

Heat grill or grill pan to high.  Heat a large sauce pan of salted water to boiling.

Rub steak on both sides with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.  Grill until desired doneness, about 4 minutes per side for medium-rare.  Remove from heat and place on a cutting board to rest 5 minutes.

In a large bowl, whisk together lime juice, fish sauce, chili paste, sugar substitiute, cilantro, and scallions.  Set aside.

While steak is resting, add beans and cook until crisp-tender, about 3 minutes.  Drain.

Thinly slice meat across the grain.  Toss with lime juice mixture, adding any meat juices from the cutting board.  Add beans and toss.  Serve warm.

Serves 4.

Recipe adapted from The South Beach Diet Quick and Easy Cookbook, by Arthur Agatston.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Beer-Barbecued Brisket

  • 1 5-6 pound beef brisket
  • 1/2 cup sweet and salty dry rub (recipe follows)
  • 2 cups of your favorite BBQ sauce, plus more for serving (I like Smokey Joe's and Kansas City BBQ sauces)
  • 1 1/2 cups ketchup
  • one 12-ounce beer
  • 3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • juice of 1/2 an orange (save the squeezed half)
  • 1 tablespoons Dijon mustard

Season the brisket all over with the dry rub, place in a large resealable plastic bag, and refrigerate 4-6 hours or overnight.

Combine the barbecue sauce, ketchup, beer, Worcestershire sauce, orange juice, and mustard in a large bowl and stir to mix.  Remove the brisket from the 'fridge and pour the barbecue sauce mixture over the meat.  Reseal the bag, turn to coat the brisket all over, nad let sit at room temperature for about 1 hour.

Prepare a hot fire in a charcoal or gas grill.  For charcoal, keep the coals on one side of the grill.  For gas, keep one side on medium heat.  You want areas of direct and indirect heat!  Also preheat your oven to 325.

Remove the brisket from the bag, reserving the marinade, and place on the hottest part of the grill, directly over the coals, and sear 5 minutes per side.  Move the brisket to the cooler side of the grill, cover, and cook for another 30 minutes, basting the meat with the reserved marinade and turning several times.

Remove the brisket from the grill and transfer to a cast-iron or other ovenproof skillet with a tight lid.  Pour the reserved marinade over the brisket and turn several times to coat.  Ensure the meat is positioned fat side up and add the reserved squeezed orange juice half.  Cover the skillet and cook in the oven, undisturbed, for 3 to 3 1/2 hours, until fork-tender.

Remove from the oven, transfer the meat to a platter and let rest, loosely covered, about 20 minutes before slicing.  Serve warm with additional barbecue sauce.

Serves 6-8.

For the dry rub:

  • 1/3 cup ground paprika
  • 2 tablespoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons unpacked brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 tablespoon dry mustard

Combine all ingredients and stir to combine well.  Use immediately or store in an air-tight container for up to 1 month.

Makes about 1 cup rub.

Recipe adapted from Southern Kitchen, by Sara Foster.

Frozen Watermelon Smoothies


  • 3 cups of frozen watermelon
  • 1 cup cold watermelon juice ( or water)
  • Raw Agave syrup, Maple syrup or any sweetener of your choice to taste
  • Juice of 1/2  large lime
  • 1 large banana 

Blend all ingredients in Vitamix or in a strong blender.
Serve immediately with a wedge of lime.

1. Cut the watermelon in small chunks and freeze on a cookie sheet so it doesn't all stick together. Then throw it into baggies when frozen. ( about 8 hours) . Otherwise it may freeze in one large clump and that could be very hard on your blender. Melon balls are cute too.

2. When cutting the watermelon, reserve the watermelon juice in a jar and keep it in the refrigerator overnight. ( you can also just use water)
3. Don't skip the banana. The first time I made the smoothie, I did ( skip the banana)  and then I added it back in. The banana really adds something to the drink.

4. Add some rum if you desire. This makes one refreshing and delicious coctail for a party!

This recipe is raw,  vegan, dairy free, and gluten free.

Southern Style Coleslaw


  • 1 large head cabbage, shredded
  • 2-3 medium carrots, shredded
  • 1 cup mayonnaise (or miracle whip)
  • 1/4-1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper

In a large glass bowl, toss together cabbage and carrots; set asisde.

In a glass mason jar, add mayonnaise, sugar, and vinegar.  Place the lid on the jar and shake until dressing is smooth and creamy.  Taste to see how much salt and pepper to add.

Pour over cabbage mixture and fold altogether until all the cabbage and carrots are completely coated.

Stuffed Eggplant

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Yield: 4 servings
Serving Size: 1/4 eggplant


  • 1 medium to large eggplant
  • 1 slice of stale bread (or toasted bread)
  • Milk
  • 1 small to medium onion
  • 1/4 - 1/2 cup cheese (I used Gruyere because that's what I had, but another cheese would work too)
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 tsp oregano
  • 1/4 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1/4 tsp basil
  • Dash of cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 tbsp fresh cilantro

1. Preheat the oven to 355 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. Start by bringing a pot of water to boil and cooking the eggplant for about 10 minutes. (Note: in the photo, my pot is really too small so I had to rotate the eggplant and cook it for longer. Just use a bigger pot.)
3. In the mean time, cut your stale or toasted bread into pieces and soak in some milk. I put the bread in a container and added enough milk to cover the bottom of the container.
4. Dice the onion and cook it in some butter or oil until golden brown.
5. If your cheese is not already shredded or grated, cut it into small pieces or shred it.
6. Mix the cooked onion, cheese, bread, egg, and spices in a bowl to create the filling and set aside.
7. Once the eggplant is cooked (it should feel soft), remove it from the water and slice in half length-wise.
8. Remove the flesh of the eggplant with a spoon or melon baller. This might be a bit difficult to do and be careful to leave about 1/8 to 1/4 inch of eggplant inside the skin. Chop up the eggplant you removed and mix it in with the filling.
9. Place the eggplant halves in a baking dish and fill with the stuffing. They will probably look over-full, but that is ok.
10. Bake the eggplant in the oven for 30 minutes.

Turkey Feta Burgers


  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 handfuls spinach, chopped
  • 1/2 red onion, chopped
  • 1/4 cup feta cheese crumbles
  • 2 tsp oregano
  • 1 1/3 lb. ground turkey
  • 1 tbsp grill seasoning (Montreal Steak Seasoning by McCormick is what my Great Aunt and I used)

1. Saute spinach, onion and garlic in olive oil for about 5 minutes.
2. Set aside to cool.
3. Add it and remaining ingredients to the onions and mix.
4. A little of olive oil can be added if you wish.
5. Shape into patties and grill, fry or freeze.
6. Serve with 1 1/2 cup Greek yogurt mixed with juice of 1/2 lemon, 1 cup shredded arugula.
7. Optional, garnish with onion and slices kalamata olives.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Dark Chocolate Cherry Peanut Butter Oat Bites


  • 2 Tbls unsalted butter
  • 2/3 cup creamy peanut butter (I used Skippy Natural)
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 Tbls honey
  • 1 cup quick oats
  • 1 1/2 cups crispy rice cereal
  • 1/3 cup dried cherries, chopped OR cherry flavored dried cranberries
  • 1/3 cup bittersweet or dark chocolate chips or pieces, chopped
  • 1/4 cup dry-roasted peanuts, finely chopped

1. Melt butter in a saucepan over medium-low heat.
2. Remove from heat and stir in peanut butter, sugar, vanilla, honey oats, and rice cereal.
3. Let mixture cool for about 20 minutes. (Don't want the chocolate to melt.)
4. Stir in cherries and chocolate chips.
5. With a heaping tablespoon of mixture, form into balls pressing firmly to keep balls together.
6. Roll balls in chopped peanuts, pressing lightly to coat.
7. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
8. Notes: I used my food processor to chop the peanuts. Just pulse until they reach the desired consistency.
9. Yields 18 balls.

Recipe adapted from All You Magazine.

Greek Crostini

Yield: about 25 crostinis
Cuisine: Mediterrarean
Course: Appetizer
Skill Level: Easy

This appetizer is insanely delicious! tzatziki sauce, tomoato, red onion, cucumber and feta combine to bring the perfect recipe.

1 loaf Baguette Bread thinly sliced into (about 20-25 slices)
1 1/2 cups plain yogurt or sour cream
1/4 cup shredded cucumber
2 tsp. minced garlic
1/4 tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 1/2 tsp. vinegar
2-3 Roma Tomatoes diced
1/2 medium red onion chopped fingernail size
3 oz. crumbled feta cheese crumbled
1/8 cup shredded cucumber

1. Brush baguette slices lightly with olive oil. Put them on a foil covered baking sheet and broil until edges had browned about 2-3 minutes. Remove from oven and let stand.
2. To make tzatziki sauce, combine yogurt (or sour creame), shredded cucumber, minced garlic, salt, olive oil and vinegar in a medium bowl and stir until well combined.
3. Spread each cooled crostini with 1-2 tablespoons of Tzatziki sauce. Store any tzatziki sauce leftovers in an air tight container in the fridge.
4. Sprinkle each tzatziki topped crostini with a few tomato pieces and red onion pieces. Top with some crumbled feta cheese and a little bit of shredded cucumber for an added pop of color.

Maple Bacon Biscuits

Yields 16
Prep Time 10 min
Cook Time 15 min
Total Time 25 min


  • 1/2 lb. bacon, cooked and chopped
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 2 Tbsp. melted butter


  • 2 Cups flour
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 4 Tbsp. butter, cold
  • 1 Cup milk
  • 1 Tbsp. sugar
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon

FOR THE SYRUP: (optional)

  • 2 Tbsp. butter, melted
  • 1/4 Cup maple syrup
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon

Preheat oven to 475 degrees.

Grease a 9 in (2 in deep) round or 8 inch square baking pan. Line bottom with parchment paper.
Cook the bacon until medium will continue to cook in the oven don't overdo it.
Chop the bacon and add to bowl with the brown sugar, flour, syrup and melted butter.
Stir to combine and pour into prepared baking pan. Spread evenly.

Combine flour, baking powder and salt in large bowl.
Cut in the butter until crumbly.
Add milk and stir to form a sticky dough.
Spoon dough, by heaping tablespoons, over the maple bacon topping in pan.
Combine the cinnamon and sugar and sprinkle over the dough.
Bake for 10 minutes...then turn off oven and leave biscuits sit in the oven for another 5 minutes until golden.
Remove from oven and invert onto plate immediately.

FOR THE SYRUP: (optional)
Combine butter, syrup and cinnamon in small bowl.
Melt together in microwave. Stir and drizzle over biscuit when serving.

These are plenty sweet without the addition of the buttery syrup at the just gives a nice extra something to the biscuit. Feel free to exclude it!

Adapted from King Arthur Flour

Peaches and Cream Mini Dessert

Camille @ Growing Up Gabel


  • 36 mini vanilla wafer cookies
  • 8 ounces softened cream cheese
  • 3 ounce package peach flavored gelatin
  • 1 cup Del Monte sliced peaches, diced
  • 6 ounces whipped cream
  • To make mini desserts, you will need 6, 2-3 ounce dessert dishes or cups.

1. In a medium bowl, mix cream cheese and dry gelatin powder with an electric mixer until well blended.
2. Mix in peaches and whipped cream. Save a few peach peaches for garnishing the top of the desserts.
3. Put a mini vanilla wafer in the bottom of dessert dishes. Put 2 teaspoons of peach mixture on top of the cookie. Layer a few more times until dish is full, ending with peach mixture. Garnish with small piece of peach.
4. Refrigerate until firm. Serve.

Tuna and Avocado Stuffed Tomatoes


  • 5 oz chunk light tuna in water, drained
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • 1/4 avocado, diced
  • 1/2 Tbls fresh dill, chopped
  • 2 medium tomatoes
  • salt and pepper to taste

1. Cut the tops off of two tomatoes and scoop out the seeds and the core with a spoon. Set aside.
2. Combine tuna, lemon juice, avocado, dill, salt and pepper.
3. Spoon into tomatoes and serve.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Bayou Bourbon Meatloaf

Serves 5-6

  • 1 cup crushed round butter crackers
  • 2 capfulls Onion Onion
  • 3 tbsp Bayou Bourbon Glaze
  • 2 beaten eggs
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • black pepper to taste
  • 1 1/2 pounds lean ground beef

Combine all ingredients, except meat; whisk to blend. Add beef; blend well. Press mixture into a greased loaf pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 65-70 minutes. Drizzle with additional Bayou Bourbon Glaze if desired.

Kentucky Derby Pie Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars


For the cookie Crust

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons water
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup chocolate chips

For the filling

  • 1 + 1/2 sticks (12 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened
  • 3/4 cups sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons bourbon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups chocolate chips
  • 1 cup whole pecans

Bourbon Sauce

  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons bourbon
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt

To Serve

  • Ice cream (optional)
  • whipped cream (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 375° F. Grease a 9x13 inch baking dish
2. To make the cookie crust. Combine the flour, baking soda and salt in small bowl. Beat butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla extract in large mixer bowl until creamy. Add eggs. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Add the water. Beat to combine. Stir in chocolate chips. Spread evenly in the prepared baking dish.
3. Bake for 10-12 minutes.
4. While the crust bakes makes the filling. Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, flour, salt, and bourbon and continue to mix until well combined. Fold in the chocolate chips and pecans. Pour batter over the cookies crust. Bake until filling is set and the top is light golden brown, about 45 minutes. If the top starts to get too brown cover it with foil. Allow bars to cool for at least 30 minutes before cutting.
5. While the bars cool make the bourbon sauce. Whisk together the heavy cream, bourbon, and salt in a small bowl. Set aside. Combine the brown sugar and water in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring the mixture to a boil. Once it begins to boil watch closely and whisk until the mixture starts to smell like caramel and turn a golden color, and then to a light brown. This will take about 5-6 minutes. When you see that it has started to turn brown, slowly pour in the heavy cream mixture, whisking constantly and quickly. Continue to heat over medium-high until mixture has thickened and is a light caramel color, about 5 minutes more (dont let it get too thick, it will thicken as it sits). Remove from the heat.
6. Cut the bars and if desired, serve with ice cream, whipped cream or both! Then drizzle on the bourbon sauce.

Salmon with Pomegranate Tea Glaze

Author: Alea
Prep time:  2 hours 5 mins
Cook time:  10 mins
Total time:  2 hours 15 mins


  • 1 – 2 pounds salmon
  • ½ cup water
  • 2 Bigelow Pomegranate tea bags
  • 1 tablespoon pomegranate vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch

1. Bring the water to a boil and steep the tea bags for 5 minutes. Squeeze all of the liquid from the tea bags.
2. Combine the pomegranate tea, vinegar, honey, sugar, and cornstarch in a small sauce pan. cook over a medium flame until the sugar has dissolved. Simmer for an additional 5 minutes until it becomes a thin syrup.
3. Pour half of the glaze over the salmon and let it marinate fro 2 hours. Reserve the remaining glaze to put on the cooked salmon.
4. After marinating cook the salmon at 400 degrees for 10 minutes or until it is cooked through and easily flakes with a fork.
5. Serve immediately, with glaze drizzled over the top.

Smothered Sweet Potato Fries


  • 15-20 oz of sweet potato fries (I like Alexia)
  • 1 cup of chopped, cooked bacon
  • 3 oz pepper jack cheese
  • salt

Bake the sweet potato fries according to the package until crispy.
Spread half of the fries over the plate that is oven safe. Lightly salt.
Grate half of the cheese over the fries and sprinkle with half of the bacon.
Spread the remaining half of fries over the top.
Grate the remaining cheese, evenly, over fries and sprinkle with remaining bacon. Add a little more salt over the top.
Bake for about 3-5 minutes at 400.

No Bake Oreo Cheesecake Bites

For Crust:

  • 20 Oreo cookies, crushed
  • 3/4 cup butter, melted
  • 2 Tbsp. sugar\
  • dash salt

For Filling:

  • 2 8 oz pkgs. cream cheese, softened
  • 3/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 8 oz. carton sour cream
  • 8 Oreos, crushed

For dipping chocolate:

  • 12 oz. semisweet chocolate chips
  • 6 oz. white chocolate chips
  • oil or shortening for melting

To make crust, combine Oreos, sugar and salt. Then, stir in butter. Press mixture onto bottom of 9 x 13 baking pan.

Next, prepare filling by mixing cream cheese, powdered sugar and sour cream on medium high speed for five minutes. Then, fold in Oreos. Gently pour filling on top of prepared cookie crust. Freeze until firm.

When cheesecake is firm, cut into small squares or rectangles. Heat semisweet chocolate chips and oil or shortening in small sauce pan over low heat. Add more oil or shortening until chocolate is pouring consistency. While chocolate is still warm, dip the squares, one by one into chocolate until completely covered. Let cool on wax paper. Next, melt white chocolate chips in small saucepan over low heat with enough oil or shortening to reach pouring consistency. With fork, drizzle melted white chocolate over cheesecake squares. Return to freezer and freeze until ready to serve. If preparing a few days or weeks ahead, keep stored in an air-tight container or Ziploc bag in freezer until ready to serve. Enjoy!

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Chocolate Hazelnut Swirl Cheesecake

Let's start with the hazelnut crust base. For the hazelnut crust, you need:

  • 1 cup of [all-purpose] flour
  • 1/3 cup of [firmly-packed] brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup of hazelnuts, chopped
  • 5 tablespoons of [unsalted] butter, cut into tiny cubes

To make the hazelnut crust:
1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees [and place your oven rack in the middle of your oven if it isn't there already]. Lightly grease a  [non-stick] springform pan just to be extra careful.
2. In your food processor: add in the flour, brown sugar, and chopped hazelnuts. Pulse several times to combine those three ingredients before adding in the cubed butter. Pulse several more times until the butter is incorporated in nicely. Firmly press the crust mixture into the bottom of your springform pan.
3. Bake for about 12 minutes [in your preheated oven] [or until the edges are light brown]. Remove from oven and let the crust cool completely.
4. At this point, lower the oven temperature to 300 degrees to bake the cheesecake.

Now onto the cheesecake filling. For it, you will need:

  • 2 (8 ounce) packages of cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 (14 ounce) can of sweetened condensed milk
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
  • [about] 1/2 cup of Nutella [or your choice of chocolate-hazelnut spread]

For the filling:
1. In a large bowl, beat your cream cheese until it is smooth. Gradually beat in sweetened condensed milk. Add in your eggs and vanilla extract. Do not over beat the mixture, just beat it until your mixture is smooth.
2. In another bowl, separate about 1 and 1/2 cups of the cream cheese mixture. Add in the Nutella to the smaller batch and mix it.
3. On top of your [baked and completely cooled] crust, pour about half of the yellow cheesecake batter.
4. Next, pour about half of the chocolate hazelnut batter on top of the yellow batter. Repeat the layers. Originally, I planned on swirling the batter from the top to give it a marble cake look, but when I poured the final chocolate hazelnut batter on top... it looked so pretty as is that I left it as it was.
5. Place cheesecake in the center of the middle oven rack [in the preheated 300 degree oven]. Bake for about 50 minutes, or until edges are light brown and center is almost set.
6. At this point, I turned my oven off, but left my cheesecake in the oven, with the door open for about 30 minutes so the center could completely set. At that point, I removed the cheesecake from the oven to let it cool. The hardest part.

Apparently you are supposed to let cheesecakes cool in the fridge for about 12-24 hours before you cut into it. Yeah, that wasn't going to happen. Does about an hour sound okay? Because that's how long I lasted :)

Oh well, it will just be that much better tomorrow.

P.S. This post is a part of my "What's for Dinner" series, where I share what I've been cooking and my recipes. Grab and share my button:

Honey Rye Waffles

3/4 cup rye flour
1/4 cup flaxseed meal
1 1/4 cups white whole wheat flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups fat-free (or low-fat) buttermilk
3 tbsp honey
2 eggs
2 tbsp canola oil
1 tsp vanilla

1. Preheat waffle iron.
2. In large bowl, combine flours, flaxseed, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Whisk to combine. In smaller bowl, combine buttermilk, honey, eggs, oil, and vanilla. Add to dry ingredients and stir until combined.
3. Cook in waffle iron according to manufacturer's directions. Makes 8 waffles.

Nutritional Info (per waffle): 221 calories; 7.3 g fat; 31.5 g carbohydrates; 6.5 g fiber; 9.0 g protein.


Delicious and easy way to make horchata at home!
Author: Jen Nikolaus
Recipe type: Drinks
Cuisine: Mexican

1-2/3 cups uncooked white long-grain rice
5 cups water
2 cinnamon sticks
½ cup white sugar
3 cups milk
2 tsp. vanilla

Pour the rice and 2 cups water in a blender. Blend until the rice begins to break up, about 1 minute. Add the last 3 cups of water and blend for an additional 30 seconds. Let rice and water sit on counter for anywhere from 3+ hours.
Strain the rice water into a large pitcher and throw away the rice. Stir the cinnamon sticks, sugar, milk and vanilla into the rice water. Chill. When thoroughly chilled, stir up and pour over ice. So refreshing and delicious!