Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Salted Caramel Turtle Cookies

These homemade cookies are so amazing. In fact, they are even more deadly than they appear. They are the perfect mix of sweet and salty with an added bonus of sticky and ooey gooey caramel drizzle.
Source:Krissy's Creations

3/4 cup Butter
2 cups = 2 tablespoons Flour
1/2 tsp Baking Soda
1/2 tsp Salt
1 cup Golden Brown Sugar
1/2 cup Sugar
1 Egg
1 Egg Yolk
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
1/2 cup Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
1/2 cup Caramel Bits
1/2 cup Chopped Pecans
15 Caramel Candies
1/4 cup Heavy Cream


First, melt the butter in a large bowl. Now, in a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, and salt. Whisk these ingredients together until combined.

Next, add the brown sugar and sugar to the butter. Mix this together with a spoon. When well combined, add the egg and egg yolk. Next, stir in the vanilla followed by the dry ingredients.

In a separate small bowl, add the chocolate chips, caramel bits, and pecans. Mix these together and add to the cookie mix. Make sure everything is mixed well so you can get a little bit of everything in each bite! Next, refrigerate the dough for 15 minutes.

Finally, the cookie baking! Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Scoop dough onto a cookie sheet. I used an ice cream scoop, and took the ball and separated it into two balls. Bake for 10 minutes and check the cookies, mine needed to go for 2 more minutes. Let the cookies cool on the pan for 10 minutes and then move them to a cooling rack. While the cookies are on the cooking rack, let's prepare for the drizzling!

Put a long sheet of wax paper (about 2 feet) on the counter. When your cookies have cooled, move them to the wax paper.

Put the caramel candies in a bowl and melt in the microwave for 1 minute. Take the bowl out and stir, put back in for 30 more seconds and then add the heavy cream. Continue heating up for 30 seconds until the caramel is smooth. This took 2 and a half minutes all together for me.

Take the spoon and dip it into the caramel and shake over the cookies! This is by no means the most delicate technique you have ever seen, but definitely the most effective! Let the caramel harden on the wax paper and store in an air-tight container!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Buffalo Chicken Pizza

This is one of the many versatile recipes I was talking about using, Buffalo Chicken. This is a super easy lunch, dinner, or snack!

1 Philsbury Premade Pizza Dough
1 cup of shredded mozzarella
2 cups of Buffalo Chicken

Roll out the pizza dough onto a lightly floured counter. Once you roll it out, try as hard as possible to just make it work. Once you mess up and roll it into a dough ball and try to start again, it becomes unbearable. Really. I wanted to throw it away.

Next, layer the chicken and then the cheese on top. Put as much as you want, just be careful not to make it too heavy! Bake according to the directions on the dough package!


Tuesday, February 21, 2012

30 before 30

Or what started to be 30 before 30. When I first started making this list I thought I would have trouble thinking of 30 things, I could not have been more wrong. There are so many recipes that I cannot wait to try and many that I am terrified of! Dry yeast being number one! I am confident that I will conquer all of these! I am 23 years old and will be 24 in July. Hopefully, this list will be well completed before 30.

1. Beef Wellington
2. Braised short ribs
3. Meatloaf
4. Meatballs
5. Chicken Cordon Bleu
6. Chicken Noodle Soup
7. Lobster
8. Scallops
9. Gumbo
10. Shrimp Au Gratin
11. Shrimp and Grits
12. Stuffed Shrimp
13. Lobster Bisque
14. Risotto
15. Quinoa
16. Cous Cous
17. Polenta
18. Creamed Spinach
19. Browned Butter
20. Marinara
21. Ravioli
22. Gnocchi
23. Fettucinni
24. Tortilla
25. Pizza Dough
26. Bread
27. Soft Pretzels
28. Donuts
29. Cheesecake
30. Creme Brûlée
31. Chocolate Souffl'e

Bacon Wrapped Lil' Smokies

Happy Fat Tuesday!
Today's post is inspired by my husband. He wonders around Pinterest and finds crazy things that he would like for me to make him. I usually don't, they are just too crazy for my taste. These bacon wrapped lil' smokies have been on his recipe board for a few months. When I found out he was giving up bacon for Lent, I knew what I had to make for him! He has raved about these ever since they came out of the oven, and they are about half gone. These would be wonderful for a football watching party, potluck, or anywhere else you need to bring that appetizer that everyone loves!
Source: Tasty Kitchen

1 lb. package of Beef Lil' Smokies
12 slices of Maple flavored Bacon-uncooked
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper

First, the prep work, put the lil'smokies onto a sheet pan, pat dry with paper towels, and place in the freezer for 30 minutes.

Next, cut each slice of bacon into thirds. Put the bacon on a paper plate with paper towels in between each layer. Refrigerate these until the lil' smokies are ready. This is a very important step that you should not skip, even in a time crunch. This will make the wrapping process so much easier because it will not slip out of your hands.

While you are waiting for the lil' smokies and bacon to get really cold, make the glaze! Whisk together the brown sugar, maple syrup, mustard, and pepper. And, wait.

Remove the lil' smokies from the freezer and the bacon from the refrigerator. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Now, wrap each lil' smokey with one slice of bacon and press the lil smokey down, to close the seam. Place each lil' smokey onto a sheet pan that is lined with heavy-duty aluminum foil (two coats.)

Using a spoon, spoon out a little of the glaze onto each little smokey. Bake for 30 minutes. I thought the bacon needed to be a little crispier, so then I put the oven on broil and left them in for another 3 minutes.

These have proven themselves to be worthy, as they are now all gone. Enjoy!

Easy Chocolate Croissants

Have you ever needed a dessert, fast. Unexpected guest? After-school snack? Dessert gone bad? Or the absolute worst.. a full on Chocolate Attack? This will fix all of your needs in just 10 minutes. A serious lifesaver.
Source: My Kitchen

1 package of 4 pre-made Phillsbury flaky butter croissants
1 cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Unroll the croissants onto a sheet pan. Distribute the 1 cup of chocolate chips evenly throughout all 4 croissants. Roll them up, pop into the oven for 12 minutes, and voila- dessert! Enjoy!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Beef Tips Over Rice

This recipe may look familiar.. that is because it was from my first blog entry! I still have room for lots of improvement, LOTS, but I wanted to leave that entry as is, and update the recipe. This is still my mothers recipe, but I added some measurements to the shakes and pinches!
Source: My mom- aka- Carol's Kitchen

4-5 lbs of stew beef
2 cans of beef broth
2 tbsp Worchestire sauce
4 tbsp Al bold and spicy
1 tsp Ground white pepper
1/2 tsp Black Pepper
1/2 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp McCormick's worchestire black pepper

First, put a large skillet on medium-heat on the stove. Next, brown the stew beef until it is cooked completely. Get your crockpot out. Set it to the low setting and add all of the beef and drippings from the skillet. Now, add all of your ingredients the broth, worchestire, A1, salt and your peppers. Let these ingredients simmer for about 4 hours.

Serve over white rice prepared as directed on the package. Also, serve a yummy bread with this meal to soak up the juices!

I make 2 cups of rice when I make this meal. This is to make sure we have plenty of rice and beef for leftovers :)

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Mexican Style Chocolate Ice Cream

Ice cream? In February? I know, my husband wanted it and picked out which one he wanted. I couldn't say no. I have been reading about stocking your freezer lately and I figured having some homemade ice-cream would be a great addition.

This ice-cream is so delicious. It is sweet chocolate with just the right amount of warmth from the cinnamon and cayenne. I was a little weary about making it. I would have chosen something very plain like vanilla, but this is perfect. As soon as I started mixing the ingredients together, I knew these recipe was a keeper.
Source: Cuisinart Recipe Booklet

2 cups whole milk
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon cayenne (the recipe says 1 to 2 pinches, depending on how spicy you like it)
pinch salt
2/3 cup granulated sugar- divided
5 large egg yolks
6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, roughly chopped- I used the Ghirardelli brand, yum :)

First, make sure your ice-cream bowl is completely frozen.

Then, put a medium saucepan on medium plow heat and whisk together the milk, cream, vanilla, spices, salt and 1/3 cup of the sugar. Enjoy the smell of these ingredients as you wait for the mixture to come to a boil.

Next, combine the yolks and the remaining sugar,1/3 cup, in a medium bowl. Whisk this for a few minutes until the mixture is pale and thick.

Next, place the roughly chopped chocolate in a large bowl.

The first mixture should have come to a slight boil, now whisk about 1/3 of this mixture into the yolk and sugar mixture. We are tempering the egg mixture here. Add another 1/3 of the warm mixture to the yolk and sugar mixture. Return the yolk/sugar mixture that has been mixed to the original saucepan. Stir this mixture, with a wooden spoon, until it thickens, only a few minutes.

Pour the mixture into the bowl of chocolate; whisk the mixtures together to melt the chocolate.

Bring the completed ice-cream mixture to room temperature.

Finally, place this mixture in the refrigerator for 2 hours. Put this in your ice-cream maker for about 30 minutes.

Place this ice-cream into the freezer until it reaches desired consistency. Enjoy!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Cheesy Chicken Enchiladas

I love chicken. It is so versatile and so easy to display huge flavor combinations! I decided on chicken enchiladas. I served these with my version of mexican rice. These is a great and easy week-night meal.

1 package of chicken- breast or tenderloins
2 cups of your favorite salsa
1 teaspoon garlic salt
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 cup of milk
1/4 cup of heavy cream
2 teaspoons of cumin
2 cups of monterrey jack cheese- shredded
1 cup of sharp cheddar-shredded
1 cup of your favorite cheese for topping- I did half monterrey jack and half sharp cheddar
12 corn tortillas
Source: The Barbee Housewife

For the chicken:
First,I put 8 chicken tenderloins into my crockpot and set it on low. You could swap out the tenderloins for breasts, or whatever you have. I then added my favorite local salsa, garlic salt, cumin, and black pepper to the crockpot and let it simmer on low for 6 hours. Next, I shredded the chicken and let it soak up the juices while I started the enchilada sauce.

For the sauce:
First, take the milk and heavy cream and put in a medium saucepan on low. Add the cumin. Next, when the milk and heavy cream mixture starts to bubble, add the cheese. Stir for about 5-8 minutes until you cheese and liquids have blended well.

For the main dish:
Now, the chicken and the sauce are ready, it's time to put together the enchiladas! First,preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Next, get out a 9x13 pan, spoon half of your enchilada sauce into the pan and spread out. Then, heat up your corn tortillas for 30 seconds in the microwave. This will make them much easier to roll.

Put a few spoonfuls of the chicken in each corn tortilla and top with sharp cheddar. Roll them up tightly and place in the pan with the seam side down.

Fill up the entire pan, tightly. Top with the remaining enchilada cheese sauce and spread it out evenly over the enchiladas. Sprinkle the shredded cheese on top.

Bake for 15 minutes on 350 degrees. Enjoy!

Chocolate Lava Cake

This is my husband's favorite dessert. He orders it every time it is on the menu for dessert, sometimes even two (our cruise this January). I had never attempted it because I thought it was too intimidating. It was not, at all. In fact, it was so easy I will be making it again. It is very impressive! An added bonus is that you can make these ahead of time and just pop into the oven when you sit down for dinner.
Source: So Tasty,So Yummy.

5 oz semisweet chocolate,chopped- a really nice chocolate stands out, so splurge if you can!
10 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 large eggs
3 large egg yolks
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup AP flour

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. First, grease 4 Ramekins with butter lightly and spray with Baker's Joy. Next, using a medium saucepan melt chocolate and butter over low heat until melted. Whisk eggs and egg yolks in a large bowl. ext which in the sugar, then add the chocolate and butter mixture and the flour. Whisk until well blended. Pour equally into the 4 ramekins.

Bake for about 15 minutes, check at 10 minutes. This will depend on how big your ramekins are. When the top is crispy and done take out of the oven. Let sit on the counter for 5 minutes. You can get out your plates, ice cream, and forks at this time! Then use a knife to loosen the cake around the edges of the bowl. Turn over onto plate and garnish with ice cream!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Heath Bar Blondies

Ethan loves Heath candy bars. A few weeks ago when I was in the grocery store, I found heath bar bits. They have been sitting in the pantry ever since. I wasn't really sure what to do with them. I found this great recipe after a broad search "heath bars." I knew that the dense-ness of the bar, the brown sugar, and the heath bar bits would make this the absolute perfect bar. These were so easy to make and they were ready in no time. The only hard part about this recipe is waiting for them to cool!
Source: Lovin' From The Oven.

1 cup of AP flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup melted butter
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup of Heath bits

First, preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

After that is done, cream together the brown sugar and melted butter.

Next, beat in the egg and vanilla. Add the dry ingredients to the batter and mix until blended.

Finally, stir in the Heath bits. Do not just add them to the mixer, use a spoon!

Then, pour the mixture into a greased 8x8 pan. Bake for 30 minutes.

After taking them out of the oven let the blondes completely cool before cutting. This is the hard part, I think Ethan has asked me 3 times if he could have one yet! :) These taste awesome. If you dare, add vanilla ice cream :)

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Snow Cream

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow. Finally, snow! It has been pouring snow since 10 o'clock this morning. Usually West Texas gets quite a bit of snow, but not this year. We are excited! Now on to the snow cream...

This is a comfort food, to the max for me. My mother has been making this for me and my brother and sister every snow day as long as I can remember. It is so simple, yet so yummy.

Snow Cream

Fresh snow- I mean fresh from outside off of the top of the car, preferably
2 cups of milk- evaporated, whole milk, skim milk, heavy cream- just whatever you've got!
1 cup of sugar

Fill an entire pitcher with this fresh snow. It will melt down when you add the milk. Stir in the milk and the sugar. Add more milk if you want it more slushy or add more snow if you would like it thicker. I like to make it a little thicker and then leave the pitcher on the table. The snow cream will melt in the pitcher as the day goes on- eat it as is, or add more snow!

Here is another picture, in honor of my mom. She always makes things so special and beautiful. She is my inspiration for everything. She uses crystal any chance she gets, and a glass full of snow cream is no exception. She has these fabulous long teaspoons that just make all the difference. Here is my attempt!

And here is the little Snow Princess herself, in all of her glory.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

The Easiest Weeknight Pasta

This is a meal that is SO easy and has so many possibilities, depending on your taste or just what you are in the mood for. Okay, it's Wednesday and you are already tired of cooking, and it's only the middle of the week. This is the perfect meal, it will be ready in less than ten minutes, and... No take out :)

First the Pasta. You can use what ever type of pasta you have in the pantry, or you can use pre-packaged 4 cheese ravioli, found in the deli section of your supermarket, I use buitoni. when I am at the grocery store I always pick up a variation of their pasta. Buitoni also makes tortellini pre made which you can put on a skewer for a quick appetizer with cheese and fresh deli meats. These pastas are always life savers! Back to the pasta-- boil water and throw in the pasta for the amount of minutes on the package. Add some salt and olive oil. The olive oil is to help the pasta from sticking and this is also the only time you can flavor the pasta itself, hence the salt.

Next, the Alfredo sauce. I have tried countless recipes for my go-to Alfredo sauce and I finally have adapted enough recipes to form my own.
Source: All Recipe's

1 stick of butter
1 8 oz package of cream cheese
2 cups of milk
3 teaspoons of garlic salt
2 teaspoons of black pepper
4 oz Parmesan cheese
4 oz mozzarella cheese

First, melt the butter on medium heat. Add the cream cheese and garlic salt once the butter is melted. Whisk together until smooth, slowly add the milk, and continue whisking. When there are no lumps, add the cheeses and black pepper, and stir until melted.

Finally, the toppings for your pasta. Not that it even really needs any, but if I served my husband a meatless dish, he would assume it was an appetizer, definitely not the main course. I crumbled up some crispy bacon and placed on top. You could use browned sausage, turkey, bell peppers, mushrooms, basically whatever you have in your refrigerator. Enjoy!!

After dinner, the leftover sauce is great for freezing and using for another meal. Also, you can cut back on a lot of calories by using a butter substitute such as, I Can't Believe It's Not Butter or Smart Balance, reduced fat cream cheese, and skim milk. The sauce will still be divine!