Monday, November 23, 2015

a side of Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is almost here!! 

A day all about family!  We celebrated the Taylor family Thanksgiving over the weekend and my sister gave me this sweet surprise written by my nephew

"I love my aunt and uncle because they take us places" AND he loves our cat!  Awww my heart melted!   I'm so thankful for my sweet nieces and nephew!

Of course, Thanksgiving is all about the food too :)  I'm not sure what I'm looking forward to the most...the green bean casserole, sweet potato casserole or pumpkin pie.  Mmmmmm



In the midst of all of the casseroles and desserts I do try to throw in a few healthy side dishes.  So this year I made Roasted Brussel Sprouts and Butternut Squash with a Dijon Vinaigrette.




I was a little worried my family wouldn't touch brussel sprouts 



But they were gobbled up (see what I did there? Gobble Gobble) 

Get the full recipe here

And, of course, Thanksgiving isn't complete with pumpkin pie

I did my twist on the classic...Apple Butter Pumpkin Pie

You can't go wrong with apple butter and pumpkin pie together!  Get the recipe here


What is your must-have Thanksgiving dish?

Happy Thanksgiving!

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Creamy Tomato Artichoke Soup

I spent the weekend recovering from having my wisdom teeth out 


Ok that may be a bit dramatic.  Unfortunately though I did have some complications.  My osteoporosis resulted in a few minor jaw fractures so three days later it still hurts to talk, drink and eat.  The only thing that doesn't hurt...cuddling up and watching movies! 

My husband and I have never seen a single Harry Potter movie and with Halloween coming...now was the perfect time!

After three days of liquid and soft foods I started to get hangry. (hungry + angry = watch out!) I needed something more than oatmeal, mashed potatoes and pudding.
I needed comfort food STAT! 

What's more comforting than tomato soup?  Creamy Tomato Artichoke Soup!


I wasn't up for a complicated recipe so this was perfect!  Just a few simple ingredients I had in the pantry and ready in 15 minutes!

Ingredients:
28 oz can Fire Roasted Tomatoes
14 oz can Artichokes
1 onion
2 cloves garlic
1 cup water
2 bay leaves
1/2 teaspoon Oregano
1/2 teaspoon Basil
1 cup Cashew milk
Salt and pepper to taste

Saute the onion in a little bit of oil on medium heat until translucent.  Add in the garlic and saute for a minute being careful to not let it burn.

Drain the can of artichokes and chop them up.  Stir in the chopped artichokes, can of tomatoes, cup of water, bay leaves, oregano and basil.  Simmer for 10 minutes

Using an immersion blender (or if you don't have one, transfer to a blender) blend until you get a consistency you like.

Stir in 1 cup of milk.  I used Silk Unsweetened Cashew Milk but dairy milk would work as well.

Warm, creamy and delicious.  Now...back to laying on the couch recovering.



Adapted from A Couple of Cooks



Monday, September 28, 2015

Pumpkin Spice Mania

It's that time of year when we all seem go pumpkin spice crazy! From Pumpkin Spice Lattes to new pumpkin flavored twists on Oreos and M&Ms...Pumpkin spice is everywhere!


There's so much I love about fall

 but my favorite thing may be these Pumpkin Butterscotch Mini Muffins!

Every time I share these on my Facebook page I get a ton of requests for the recipe so here it is again

I adapted it from http://allrecipes.com/recipe/112976/mini-pumpkin-butterscotch-muffins/?internalSource=search%20result&referringContentType=search%20results


I made the following changes to make them a bit lighter:

Ingredients:

1 cup white flour
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 cup brown sugar Splenda blend
1/2 cup Stevia
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup Egg substitute
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 cup canned pumpkin
1 (6 ounce) package butterscotch chips- I didn't use the whole package. I just placed 3 chips in each muffin to evenly distribute them.

Directions:
Sift the Flour, White and Brown Sugars, Cinnamon, Ginger, Nutmeg, Baking Soda, Baking Powder  and Salt together.


In a separate bowl whisk the egg, applesauce and pumpkin together.

Pour the wet ingredients into the dry, mixing just until combined.

Grease your mini muffin tin with cooking spray.  Spoon the mix into the pan leaving a little room at the top of each.  They will rise.  I like to fill the cups 3/4s of the way.  Press 3 (or more!) butterscotch chips into each mini muffin.

Bake at 350 for 10-12 minutes.

Pop one...or two...or three in the morning for breakfast and enjoy! 



Happy Fall! 

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Tequila Lemon-Lime Bars

It's Cinco de Mayo!  Can't wait to have a few Margaritas after work tonight?  



you don't have to!! How about Tequila IN A LEMON LIME BAR! 

Yes please!! 

I made these Tequila Lemon Lime Bars today and they are heaven!



Ingredients For Crust:
3/4 cup softened butter
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

Ingredients for Filling

4 eggs
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/4 cup all-purpose four
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup lime juice 
1/3 cup lemon juice
2 drops green food coloring
2 tablespoons milk
3 tablespoons tequila

Additional powdered Sugar For Dusting

Instructions
-- Preheat oven to 350° F. Grease a 13x9-inch pan with cooking spray.
--Prepare the crust: Mix 3/4 cups of room temperature butter and 1/2 cup powdered sugar with your Stand Mixer (or hand held electric)  Slowly mix in 1 3/4 cup of flour on low. Press into the bottom of your greased pan. Bake 22 to 25 minutes or until set and slightly browned at the edges.

For the Filling:

--Whisk together 4 eggs and 1 1/2 cups of sugar. Add in 1/4 cup flour and 1/2 teaspoon salt and whisk until blended.   Whisk in 2/3 cup lime juice, 2 tablespoons of milk. Stir in tequila and 2 drops of green food coloring.

Once the crust is done:

--Pour the filling over the baked crust and pop it back in the oven for 25 to 27 minutes longer or until center is set.
Be sure to cool your bars completely before sprinkling on a little more powdered sugar on top! Keep them in the fridge until you are ready to serve!  

Enjoy!!! 

Friday, April 3, 2015

Easter fun

Easter is Sunday and I'm participating in a bake sale for "Breast Friends" from Chesapeake Regional Medical Center so I set out to make some cute treats!

First up- "Bunny Food" 

I followed this recipe here but have a few tips of my own to add...break your pretzels in half! I learned this lesson the hard way when I went to fill up my bags.  The pretzel rods are too big!  Once you dip them in the candy melts you won't be able to tell.

Next up- Flower Pot Cookies. 


These were my favorite because they are so quick and easy!

All it takes is a package of pre-cut Nestle Toll House Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough, Nutella and Oreos!

Instructions:
Spray a muffin tin with non-stick spray

Place a pre-cut cookie dough square in each muffin spot.  Press down with your thumb to make an indent in each one.
Bake at 350 according to the package instructions.
As soon as you remove them take a spoon and make a bigger "hole" for the dirt in the middle.  Be careful not to cut through!
Once they cooled I filled mine with a spoonful of Nutella and topped it with crushed Oreos to look like dirt.

The flowers I found at AC Moore.  I broke out the glue gun to add the toothpicks and a little bling.


Almost too cute to eat!  But I hope you will tomorrow at Mister Jim's Subs in Chesapeake from 10am-12pm! 



Monday, March 30, 2015

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Easter Eggs

Easter is this weekend so you know what that means...Eggs filled with delicious peanut butter and Cadbury creme are everywhere! 


I decided to make my own and fill it with cookie dough!!  Because who doesn't like raw cookie dough? 

I found this recipe on Pinterest  and knew I had to try it.  Easter Egg Cookie Dough Truffles.  YUM!


but really...It's what's on the inside that counts right? 
Some of mine turned out prettier than others. 

So here's the trick that I learned.  Refrigerate your cookie dough overnight.  THEN try to smooth it out and shape it into eggs.  Put it back in the freezer for another hour before you try to dip it in the chocolate. 


These may not solve all of your problems, but they come close.  Happy Easter! 

Get the full recipe here

Monday, March 16, 2015

St Patrick's Day Treats

St Patrick's Day is tomorrow!
I'd much rather have a glass of milk these days than beer...especially when it's paired with some chocolate :)  So I got into the St. Patrick's Day spirit yesterday by making these Peppermint Patty Brownie Cookies!


Mine looked NOTHING like the recipe I found on Pinterest but they tasted good so that's all that matters, right?  Recipe here

I continued with the Mint Theme- My husband's birthday is this week and since he LOVES mint chocolate ice cream 

I made him Mint Chocolate Chip Fudge.  



It tastes like mint chocolate ice cream...in fudge! 



Ingredients: 
3 1/4 cups white chocolate chips
3/4 cups mini chocolate chips
2 tablespoons butter
1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk
2 teaspoons mint extract 
Green food coloring

Combine your white chocolate chips and butter in a microwave safe bowl and heat on high for about a minute. Stir and if needs longer, heat for 30-45 additional seconds.  Mix in the can of sweetened condensed milk, mint extract and green food coloring and let sit for a minute to cool.  Fold in 3/4 cup of the mini chocolate chips.

Line an 8x8 pan with foil and spray with cooking spray.  Pour your fudge mixture into the pan and top with the remaining 1/4 cup of mini chocolate chips.   Refrigerate for 2-3 hours.  

That's it!  You have mint chocolate chip fudge perfect for St. Patrick's Day...or any mint lover!





Friday, March 13, 2015

Red Velvet Oreo Truffles

There's no WRONG way to eat an Oreo but the best way...Twist It, Lick It and Dunk It!


When Oreo announces a new flavor I get excited


Maybe a little TOO excited.


The latest...Red Velvet!!


oh YUM!  I needed them but I couldn't find them anywhere!  So I mentioned my plight on Facebook and BOOM Red Velvet Oreos were delivered to my door.  Our listeners rock!  I got a few TOO many packages though so I decided to do a little more than Twist, Lick and Dunk these.  I made truffles!



Ingredients:
18 Red Velvet Oreo Cookies
4 oz Cream Cheese
White Chocolate Almond Bark


Combine the Oreos and Cream Cheese in a food processor and blend together.

Roll into balls and place in the freezer for 30 minutes.

Melt white chocolate bark in the microwave or a double boiler and dip the frozen balls in.   I used the White Chocolate Almond Bark squares and melted one at a time to judge how much chocolate I would need. 

Top with melted semi-sweet chocolate or sprinkles!  I found Red Velvet Cake sprinkles!  
 

Add caption
I had to share with my coworkers but you can just keep them for yourself.  No judgement!  

Monday, January 26, 2015

Super Bowl Sunday Snacks

Super Bowl Sunday is coming!  And I'm excited...for the commercials!

There have already been some good ones popping up online...like this BMW commercial


LOL I remember getting my first email address as a freshman in college and having to ask "what do I do with this?"

Remember this one from last year?


Well it looks like Budweiser is going to break our hearts all over again. They released these GIFs of the new commercial coming.


I'm  not sure I'm ready for this...
OMG...my  heart can't handle it!

One thing I can handle the Super Bowl snacks :)  

  
I couldn't wait so I went ahead and made these Peanut Butter Football cookies with Peanut Butter and Chocolate frosting

And these Nutella Football Truffles


A few of my footballs came out a little deflated :)  But they still taste delicious! 

You can find the recipe here  

Super Snack Sunday here we come! 



Monday, January 19, 2015

Cauliflower Pizza Crust

Every once in a while you just need a lazy weekend!  This weekend was mine.  It was all about the couch, cozy PJs and the Food Network

at one point my husband looked at me and said "we should go get the cats sweaters with human hand prints all over them"  Best idea ever!!!


Of course sitting around watching nothing but the Food Network will make you want to eat EVERYTHING! 

But since I don't have the amazing capacity to eat like the Gilmore Girls (seriously where did they PUT all that food?) that's when this Cauliflower pizza crust idea came to mind. 


I've made it before and it tasted great but was a bit crumbly so I did a little more research and this is the secret.  Once you've strained the cauliflower "rice", transfer it to a clean, thin dishtowel. Wrap up the steamed rice in the dishtowel, twist it up, then SQUEEZE all the excess moisture out!  No more crumbly crust!  

Another tip- while your oven is pre-heating, put your cookie sheet in to warm up.  The recipe called for it to be baked at 500 degrees for 10-15 minutes but I went with the low and slow method.  400 for 35 minutes and it was perfect!  

1 small to medium sized head of cauliflower. Mine yielded 2 cups once processed.
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, dried basil, dried oregano and garlic powder
1/2 cup mozzarella cheese (I used vegetarian friendly Sargento)
1 egg (I used American Humane Certified eggs from Target)

Cut up your cauliflower into small chunks and pulse it in the food processor until it becomes a rice-like texture.

Microwave it un-covered for 4 minutes.

Wait for 5 minutes until it cools and then SQUEEZE!!


In a large bowl combined the riced cauliflower with the dried spices, cheese and egg.

On a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper press your "dough" out into a pizza shape.  I decided to create two mini pizzas. One for my husband to put meat on and a veggie for me.

While the crust is cooking, saute any veggies that you want to put on top.  I went with green pepper, mushroom and olives.   


Place your toppings on the cooked crust along with pizza sauce and cheese and pop it back in the oven for 5-10 minutes until the cheese melts. 

That's it!  Eat away guilt free...unless, of course, you're the one who takes the last piece.