Friday, March 29, 2013

Bunny Bark

I love making different barks for each holiday, I have made this 4th of July one in the past. When I saw this recipe for bunny bark, I knew it had to go on our Easter menu. This would be perfect for making with the kids, there is lots of crumbling/breaking oreos and pretzels and then sprinkling sprinkles and m&m's at the end.

This bark is just simple goodness, a little salty and a lot of sweet. Everyone loves this and goes crazy for it that tries it. It is so easy to make and looks beautiful.
Source:The Adventures of Mini-Martha, via Your Homebased Mom

14 Oreo Cookies, broken into pieces
1 1/2 cups of Pretzels, broken into pieces
24 oz. of Baking White Chocolate
1 cup of M&M's, spring colors

First, cover a baking sheet with wax paper.

Now, in a large bowl mix the cookies, pretzels, and m&m's together. Spread over the baking sheet.

Next, melt the white chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl, for 1.5 minutes and then every 30 seconds until completely melted, stirring in-between each interval.

Pour the melted chocolate over the cookie mixture and top with m&m's and sprinkles before the chocolate sets.

Place in the refrigerator or freezer until completely set. Break into pieces and store in an airtight container.

Happy Cooking,
The Barbee Housewife

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Cookie Butter Funfetti Triple Chip Bars

Easter is almost here! I love all of the Easter baking and this year I have been embracing cooking with Easter candy. It is life-changing. You know what else is life-changing? Trader Joe's. I am obsessed. I have been begging my husband to take me, it is 5 hours away, we finally went. Guess who else is obsessed? It isn't just me, Ethan is too. We are hooked. We are soon moving half-way across the country, in just a few short months, and he asked me if there was a Trader Joe's there. There is! We are so excited.

Ethan has become mildly obsessed with Biscoff, so I knew he would go completely crazy over Cookie Butter. It was on our list to get. We walk in and they are sampling it, he takes a sample and a jar. While I am perusing the meyer lemons, he is snatching another jar and putting it in the cart. When we get to the peanut-butter aisle, he picks up another jar (#3), I have to draw the line somewhere and tell him we will be back and to put it up. This stuff is seriously addicting. He asked me to make him a bar with this cookie butter in it and I found these bars. They are ridiculously gooey and delicious.

If you can't find any cookie butter, try biscoff spread. If you can't find that, try 1/3 cup of peanut butter + 1 tablespoon of  smashed cookies (molasses, ginger, or graham crackers) + 1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon.
Source: Averie Cooks @ Love, Veggies, and Yoga

1 box of Funfetti Cake Mix
1/2 cup of Butter, unsalted
1 Egg, large
1 teaspoon of Vanilla Extract
1/3 cup of Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
1/3 cup of Butterscotch Chips
1/3 cup of White Chocolate Chips
1 can of Sweetened Condensed Milk, 14 oz.
1/3 cup of Cookie Butter, heaping

First, pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees.

Next, prepare a 9x13 in pan with aluminum foil and cooking spray.

Now, in your mixing bowl, combine the cake mix, butter, egg, and vanilla. Mix until combined. Press this mixture in the pan creating the first layer.

Sprinkle the chips all over the dough evenly, making the second layer.

Now, in another mixing bowl, mix the condensed milk and cookie butter. Pour this over the chips.

Bake for 24-26 minutes for really gooey bars or 26-30 minutes for firmer bars. I baked for 25 minutes. Let them sit and cool in the pan completely before serving.


Happy Cooking,
The Barbee Housewife

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Lemon Pepper Shrimp Scampi

Shrimp scampi has always been a favorite meal of mine to order out at restaurants, after making this at home, I know it will be a reoccurrence. This meal was ready in under 20 minutes and on the table, making this a perfect weeknight meal.

Lemon, pepper, garlic, and butter are the soul mates of shrimp, I am sure of it. It is a perfect match and is just pure bliss. The angel hair pasta cooks in just 5 minutes after water has boiled and the shrimp only need to cook one minute on each side. This really could not be any easier. It was ready faster than you could drive to pick something up and was a million times better. This recipe serves 4 people, but you can easily cut it in half to serve 2. To make this a complete meal, I recommend serving a side salad and white wine.
Source: Cooking Light Magazine, Nov. 2012, Submitted by: David Bonom, March 2009

4 oz. of Angel Hair Pasta
2 tablespoons of Fresh Parsley, chopped
3/4 teaspoons of Salt, divided
4 tablespoons of Butter, + 2 teaspoons, divided
1.5 pounds of Jumbo Shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 teaspoons of Garlic, minced
2 tablespoons of Lemon Juice, freshly squeezed
1/4 teaspoon of Black Pepper, freshly ground

First, cook your pasta according to the package. Drain. Stir in the chopped parsley and 1/4 teaspoon of salt. Set aside.

While your pasta is cooking, melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a large non-stick skillet. Sprinkle all of the shrimp with 1/2 teaspoon of salt and add half of the shrimp to the pan. Cook for one minute on each side, or until almost cooked. Remove shrimp to a plate. Add 2 teaspoons of butter to the hot pan and cook the other half of the shrimp the same way. Transfer the shrimp to the plate with the other shrimp.

Now, add the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter to the pan. Add the garlic, stir continuously for about 30 seconds, until the garlic is barely golden. Add the shrimp, lemon juice, and pepper to the pan, cook for 1 minute or until the shrimp are completely done.

Serve over angel hair pasta, eat immediately.


Happy Cooking,
The Barbee Housewife

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Crock-Pot Jerk Pulled Pork with Caribbean Salsa

I love my crock-pot, but only when it comes to meats. They cook low and slow and shred perfectly. You then have meat to top over rice, potatoes, quesadillas, nachos, pizza, the possibilities are endless. I love playing around with different flavor profiles to switch it up. This jerk seasoning is so delicious. It is warm from the cinnamon and nutmeg and then spicy. I love it. This was a great dinner, it simmered all day, all I had to do when I got home is make the rice and salsa. You make this the night before and refrigerate all night long, so you really get the meat tender and the great flavors in it.

This dinner was a winner in my house. We both loved it so much. I paired it with my Cilantro-Lime Rice and just substituted white for the brown since that is what I had. The salsa was a real keeper. I will be making this salsa again, even without the pork. It was so easy to put together and the flavors were so good together. The tangy from the mango and the smooth avocado, yum! This was great just served on chips if you have any leftover!
Source: Skinnytaste

For the Pork:
3 lb. Pork Tenderloin
6 cloves of Garlic, minced
3 tablespoons of Jerk Seasoning
1/2 teaspoon of Sea Salt
Juice of 1 Lime
1/2 cup of Fresh Orange Juice

For the Caribbean Salsa:
1 Avocado, diced
2 Mangos, peeled, seeded, diced
1 1/2 tablespoon of Red Onion, chopped
1 tablespoon of Cilantro, chopped
3 tablespoons of Lime Juice, freshly squeezed
Salt and Pepper, to taste

First, cut a few slits in the pork and stuff half of the crushed garlic in the holes. I usually do the prep of raw meat on a sheet of wax or parchment paper, so I can throw it away afterwards.

Next, get out a large container that can be covered and refrigerated overnight. You can also use your crock-pot for this step.

Now, combine the remaining garlic, jerk seasoning and sea salt. Rub all over the pork. Place the pork in your container. Pour the lime and orange juice over it. Refrigerate for 5 hours or overnight.

Next, place in your crock-pot or turn on your crock-pot. Let this cook on low for 9 hours or high for 5 hours until the meat shreds easily with two forks.

After the time has elapsed, shred the meat. Place the meat back in with the juices and let cook for 15 more minutes.

While the pork is cooking for the last 15 minutes, make the salsa. Combine all of the ingredients and season with salt and pepper, to taste. If not using immediately, refrigerate.

Serve the pork with salsa on top.


Happy Cooking,
The Barbee Housewife

Friday, March 22, 2013

Biscoff Granola Bites

These will take you no time at all to make and will save you even more time! These are the perfect snack, whether you use it for your breakfast or an after-school snack. They are formed into bite size pieces which make them ideal for on-the-go. Make these this weekend and have snacks all week long!

Biscoff spread is a spread made of crushed up cookies, yum! This is paired with honey and white chocolate chips to form the best little sweet treat. Oh yeah, and rice krispies and oats!

This recipe makes around 24 bites. You can easily double the recipe for your household if you need to, just make sure to use a bigger saucepan.
Source: Mother Thyme

1/3 cup of Honey
1/3 cup of Biscoff Spread
2 tablespoons of Unsalted Butter
1 cup of Rice Krispies Cereal
1 cup of Rolled Oats
1/4 cup of White Chocolate Chips

First, place the honey, biscoff spread, and butter in a medium sauepan over medium heat until it is creamy and smooth.

Now, remove the saucepan from the heat and stir in the rice krispies and oats. Once these are combined, fold in the white chocolate chips.

Next, roll these into golf ball-size balls and place on wax paper in the refridgerator for 15 until set.

You can store these at room temperature once they have been set.


Happy Cooking,
The Barbee Housewife

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Loaded Baked Potato Dip

Happy March Madness Day! I am completely aware this is not a day, however, I am also completely aware that it will be difficult to drag my husband away from the television and he will constantly be wanting snacks. This dip is so delicious and addicting. I am warning you. You have to serve it with Lay's ruffled potato chips or it will not be the same. Each bite will taste like a bite of a loaded baked potato.

This is always a favorite at parties and will be gone very quickly. It is a dip that has bacon and cheese in it. Those are the sure qualities of a star dish. This dip is very easy to make and you may have all of the ingredients in your refrigerator already. When I was adding all of the ingredients, I was thinking this is way too much bacon and cheese, but once again, this dish proved to me there is no such thing as too much bacon or cheese. Just keep stirring until it is all combined.
Source: Danity Chef, via Brown Eyed Baker, originally

16 oz. of Sour Cream
16 slices of Bacon, cooked and crumbled
8 oz. of Sharp Cheddar Cheese, shredded
1/3 cup of Green Onions, thinly sliced

First, get out a bowl that is resealable and will fit in your refridgerator. Mix all of the ingredients together in this bowl. Set aside a little of the bacon, cheese, and green onions for topping when ready to serve.

Now, refrigerate for at least one hour before serving. Top with additional toppings and serve with potato chips.


Happy Cooking,
The Barbee Housewife

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Avocado and Cucumber Tartine

I get so bored with lunch, too often I have leftovers, or the dreaded sandwich. I have been making more of an effort towards lunch lately and it has been paying off. It doesn't take much work, just a little planning. This tartine was ready in just a matter of minutes, and was eaten that fast too. It was a very filling lunch without being too heavy and leave me wanting a nap.

The avocado provides a creaminess to the toasted bread and the crunch from the cucumbers gives this the perfect balance for the perfect bite. The vinegar that the cucumbers are tossed in provides acidity and you will be completely satisfied with this lunch and not need anything else.
Source: Smitten Kitchen Cookbook by: Deb Perelman

1 6-inch Baguette
1 Avocado, halved, pit removed
1/2 cup of Cucumber, minced and seeds removed
1 1/2 teaspoon of Rice Vinegar
1/2 teaspoon of Toasted Sesame Oil
Pinch of Salt
2 teaspoon of Sesame Seeds, white, black, or a combination

First, split your bread so you have a top and bottom half, toast the halves. I throw them under the broiler for a few seconds.

While your bread is toasting, combine the cucumbers, rice vinegar, sesame oil, and salt in a small bowl.

Now, either mash your avocado on each baguette half or slice and layer.

Next, pile the cucumber salad on top of each baguette half and sprinkle with sesame seeds.


Happy Cooking,
The Barbee Housewife

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Sriracha Hummus

Okay, I really like hummus. I really do, but I usually just buy it at the grocery store, which I have always thought was excellent. I loved the flavors, supremely spicy, roasted red pepper, chipotle, etc, but when I saw this recipe I stopped in my tracks. Sriracha! Really? Yum! This hummus has excellent sriracha flavor, unlike those Lay's chips, which do not have enough flavor at. all.

This was really easy to make. However, there was one small task that took a little time, but makes all the difference. Peeling the chickpeas! There is a small outer layer on the chickpeas that you can squeeze off of them and will result in the creamiest, smoothest hummus you have ever laid you eyes, tongue?, on!

You can enjoy this hummus with your favorite dipping snacks, carrots, celery, pretzels, naan, whatever you like or you can use it on a spread for your favorite sandwich. Both are excellent. This hummus tastes excellent the next day, but after that, I have no idea. It did not last that long!
Source: Budget Bytes

1 can of Chickpeas, 15 oz.
2 tablespoons of Olive Oil, + another 1/4-1/2 cup
1/4 cup of Lemon Juice, freshly squeezed
1/4 cup of Tahini, this is ground sesame seeds and can be found near the Asian cooking supplies
1 clove of Garlic
1/2 teaspoon of Salt
1/4 teaspoon of Cumin
2 tablespoons of Sriracha

First, drain the chickpeas and rinse well. Now peel your chickpeas, pinch the outer skin off of each chickpea. Yes, this is tedious. Yes, you really need to do it.

Now, put the chickpeas, olive oil, tahini, lemon juice, garlic clove, salt, cumin, and sriracha into your food processor or blender. Pulse until smooth, adding more olive oil if needed. I added 1/4 cup more, for a creamier texture add 1/2 cup more, total.

Taste and adjust, if you want it spicier, add more sriracha. I drew a little star on top of the serving bowl, so I had a little extra in each bite!


Happy Cooking,
The Barbee Housewife

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Oven-Baked Ranch Pork Chops

Pork, the other white meat. It is no secret around here about my love for pork, whether it is pulled pork or pork tenderloin, however, we do not eat that many pork chops. I don't know why and that is coming to a stop, right here and right now, starting with this recipe. There are always a few recipes that you keep up your sleeve and have most of the ingredients on hand, all the time. This is a new recipe for you to add to your arsenal!

The reason these oven-baked ranch pork chops really stood out to me was because:
1. Only 3 ingredients
2. Baked, not fried
3. Super moist from the ranch dressing
4. Crunchy exterior
5. Only takes 20-30 minutes to make

Do you really need any more reasons to make this recipe? This is a perfect week night meal. We served this with oven roasted potatoes and skillet corn.
Source: Simple Gourmet Cooking, via I Was Born to Cook

Boneless Pork Chops, you can use bone in but the cooking time will take longer
1-2 Cups of Ranch Dressing, your favorite brand
2-3 Cups of Italian Bread Crumbs or Italian Panko

First, pre-heat your oven to 450 degrees.

Now, prepare a baking sheet with aluminum foil, spray it with cooking spray.

Next, place 1 cup of ranch dressing in a bowl, you can add more as needed, and 2 cup of bread crumbs in a bowl.

Now, coat the pork with the dressing and then coat with the bread crumbs, really press down to adhere as much of the bread crumbs as possible on all sides.

Place the coated pork chops on the baking sheet. Bake until cooked through and internal temperature reaches 145 degrees, about 20-30 minutes depending on the thickness of your pork chops, mine cooked in about 25 minutes. Switch you oven to broil on high, to brown the tops of the pork chops for about 1-2 minutes. Keep an eye on them so they do not burn! (Side note: invest in a digital thermometer, you can pick it up anywhere and it eliminates the guessing game of if chicken and pork is done.)


Happy Cooking,
The Barbee Housewife

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Southwestern Brisket Tacos with Chipotle Slaw

You know those days, the one that has so much stuff planned into it, you just know you will be exhausted before dinner? This is the type of recipe you want for those days. You spend about 15-20 minutes in the kitchen in the morning and that is it. Dinner will be ready with only the time it takes to heat up a tortilla and assemble a taco.

These tacos have the best southwesterny flavor to them. The sauce is so delicious, but really, when can you go wrong with cumin and chipotle peppers? Those are some of my favorite flavors and marinated with the brisket for hours, yum. The chipotle slaw gives a great contrasting crunch to the tender fall-apart meat. Do not skip the slaw. These were served to a very hungry crowd and they were devoured and so were the leftovers.

A few tips for this recipe! When you are looking for chipotle chili's in adobo sauce they are usually found in the Mexican cooking aisle next to the green chili's, taco shells, etc. You will only need 1-3 peppers from the can, so, instead of wasting and buying another can the next time you need it, individually portion it out into small ziplock bags and label. I do the same with the adobo sauce in 1 tablespoon increments. Next, when you are getting ready to prep the brisket for the crock-pot, have all of ingredients ready and in front of you.
Source: Food Network, via Smitten Kitchen, via Cook Like a Champion

Ingredients for the Brisket:
3 lbs. of Beef Brisket
Salt & Pepper
2 tablespoons of Vegetable Oil
1 can of Whole-Peeled Tomatoes, 14.5 oz.
1-3 chipotle chilis in adobo sauce, minced,1 pepper to just get the flavor 2 for spice and 3 for extra spicy (peppers NOT cans)
5 cloves of Garlic, minced
1 White Onion, thinly sliced
1/4 cup of Apple Cider Vinegar
1 tablespoon of Chili Powder
2 teaspoons of Ground Coriander
2 teaspoons of Ground Cumin
1 1/2 cups of Water
2 Bay Leaves
1/4 cup of Molasses
Flour Tortillas
Additional Toppings: Shredded Cheese, Avocado

Ingredients for the Chipotle Slaw:
2 tablespoons of Adobo Sauce, from the chili's
1/2 cup of Mayonnaise
2 tablespoons of Honey
1 tablespoon of Lime Juice
2 cups of White Cabbage, shredded
1/4 cup of Red Onion, finely chopped
1/4 cup of Green Onions, thinly sliced


First, get all of your ingredients out and measured out. Place a skillet on the oven. Put your crock-pot nearby.

Next, blend or use a food processor to blend the tomatoes and chipotle peppers together. Set aside.

Now, liberally season the brisket with salt and pepper.

Next, heat the oil in your skillet over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, sear the beef about 2-3 minutes on each side, you want very golden/dark brown sear marks on all sides. Place the beef in the crock-pot, on low, with tongs.

In the same hot skillet, add the garlic and onion, cook until fragrant, about one minute.

Now, pour in the vinegar, allow it to boil until it is almost gone. Then, add the pureed tomatoes and chipotle peppers. Sprinkle in the spices, water, bay leaves, and molasses. Let this cook for a few minutes, no more than 5, while stirring.

When the sauce is well combined, pour over the beef in the crock-pot.

Now, prepare the slaw. Whisk together the adobo sauce, mayonnaise, honey, and lime juice. Toss with the cabbage and onions. Add salt and pepper to taste. Place in the refrigerator until ready to eat.

Now, cook the beef for 8-10 hours on low. Remove the bay leaves and then shred with two forks.

Serve on warmed tortillas with additional toppings, if desired.


Happy Cooking,
The Barbee Housewife

Monday, March 4, 2013

Roasted Sausages and Grapes

Some of my favorite recipes are the ones with the simplest ingredients that when cooked in the proper way just shine. This is one of those recipes. I would have never thought to serve sausage roasted with a balsamic vinegar reduction with roasted grapes, but I do think this is my number one favorite way to eat sausage. The grapes were transformed when they were roasted and were very sweet, which was a perfect contrast to the spicy sausage. This was a very no frills meal, but like the flavor profiles and combinations would impress anyone.
Source: Ina Garten-Barefoot Contessa-Foolproof

1.5 lbs. of Italian Hot Sausage
1.5 lbs. of Italian Sweet Sausage
3 tablespoons of Butter, unsalted
2.5 lbs. of Seedless Green Grapes, removed from the stems
1/4 cup of Balsamic Vinegar, use the best you have- it really makes a difference

First, pre-heat your oven to 500 degrees.

Next, bring a large pot of water to a boil. When it is boiling, add the sausages, boil for 8 minutes. Remove the sausages with tongs and set on a plate.

Now, melt 3 tablespoons of butter in a large, 12x15 inch, roasting pan. When melted, toss the grapes in the butter.

Next, nestle the sausages in the pan with the grapes, in one layer.

Roast for 25-30 minutes, turning once half-way through, until they are browned and the grapes are tender.

During the last 5-10 minutes of roasting, place the balsamic in a small sauepan over medium-high heat and boil for 2 minutes to slightly reduce.

Transfer the sausages and grapes to a serving platter and drizzle with the balsamic vinegar reduction. Serve warm with polenta or mashed potatoes.


Happy Cooking,
The Barbee Housewife

Friday, March 1, 2013

Chocolate Chip Cookies with Nutella, Brown Butter, and Sea Salt

When I make sweets are the Barbee household, they are made with one person in mind, Ethan. He loves to have something sweet in our cake tray at all times. I usually make one thing a week, it varies from fruity pebble marshmallow treats, to these oatmeal butterscotch bars, or something decadent and chocolate. Well, I saw this recipe and tried to justify the fact that he would love them, but I don't know who I was trying to fool. I knew these would be MY guilty pleasure.

These were like Death by Chocolate Chip Cookies, the best chocolate chip cookies ever. They taste so simple and have all of the things you love about a chocolate chip cookie, but then the nutella, brown butter, and sea salt change the game. These are a little more time intensive than your basic chocolate chip cookie, but you will not regret spending the extra time in the kitchen.
Source: Ambitious Kitchen, via Annie's Eats

1/2 cup of Nutella
1 cup of Butter, unsalted
2 1/4 cups of Flour
1 1/4 teaspoon of Baking Soda
1/2 teaspoon of Sea Salt, + more for finishing
1 cup of Brown Sugar, golden
1/2 cup of Sugar
1 Large Egg, + 1 egg yolk
2 1/2 teaspoons of Vanilla Extract
1 tablespoon of Greek Yogurt or Sour Cream
1 cup of Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
3/4 cup of Dark Chocolate Chips


First, line a small baking sheet that will fit in your freezer with parchment or wax paper. Now,  place the nutella in a small ziplock or piping bag, press it all down to one corner of the bag. Snip that edge off and twist the top of the bag, so it doesn't come out of the top. Pipe 24 small dollops of nutella about 1-1 1/2 teaspoons each. Place in the freezer for 2 hours until hardened, you can always leave them in longer.

After the time has elapsed, place the butter in a skillet over medium heat. Melt the butter completely, and continue to cook the butter, whisking frequently, until the butter foams, bubbles and starts to brown. Whisk until the butter is browned evenly, being careful not to burn. Set aside and let cool.

Next, in a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

In your mixing bowl, combine the sugars and brown butter. Mix on medium speed until blended well and smooth. Blend in the egg and egg yolk, after combined, add the vanilla and greek yogurt or sour cream.

Now, with the mixer on low speed slowly incorporate the dry ingredients to the mix until just combined. Stir in the chocolate chips. Place in the dough in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.

While the dough is chilling, line the baking sheets with parchment paper or a silpat mat.

Next, pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees.

Now, time to make the cookies. Use a medium cookie scoop (about 2 tablespoons) and place an indention in the middle of the ball with your thumb. Place one nutella dollop inside and form the edges to completely enclose the nutella.

Place the cookies on the baking sheets, 2-3 inches apart. Bake for 7 minutes and then rotate the pan and bake for 7 more minutes, until the cookies are golden brown and set. When the cookies are finished baking, sprinkle with sea salt. Let sit on the pan for 5 minutes, then move them to a wire rack to cool. This will yield about 2 dozen cookies.

Serve warm with milk for the best results!


Happy Cooking,
The Barbee Housewife