Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Cheesy Bacon Potato Bites

Holy Yum! These were too good. You just can't go wrong with cheese, bacon, and potatoes. I actually made them for a all women get together but after the fact I realized these are probably considered total man food. ha, ha Oh well. They were delicious. In fact, my husband stole quite a few before he got kicked out of the house full of women. He begged me to save him some, and of course, I did. It's the perfect appetizer.

Cheesy Bacon Potato Bites

2 lbs. potatoes, I used 3 large potatoes
6 slices of bacon, cooked, drained & chopped (reserve 1 tablespoon of the bacon grease).
2 cups medium cheddar cheese, shredded
4 green onions, chopped
salt & pepper to taste


1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Brush cookie sheet5. Sprinkle with shredded cheese, salt and pepper to taste and chopped bacon. very lightly with reserved bacon grease.
2. Wash & slice potatoes, somewhere between 1/4 and 1/8 inch thick. I like them best on the thick side.
3. Place potato slices in a large pot, cover with water & cook until water boils. Boil for about 5 minutes or less, depending on the thickness of your potatoes. You DON'T want them cooked through, and you definitely still want them firm or they will fall apart.
4. Carefully drain potatoes and arrange on prepared cookie sheet, shingle style, slightly overlapping. Lightly brush potatoes with reserved bacon grease. Or if you are anti-bacon grease, brush with vegetable oil or olive oil.
5.Bake for 15 minutes until potatoes are cooked through. I placed it under the broiler for 2 minutes after baking for a little extra crunch. Top with chopped green onions.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Baked Penne with Chicken, Broccoli, and Smoked Mozzerella

I love any kind of pasta dish. When I read the ingredients in this recipe I knew it was going to be true love. It definitely did not disappoint. The sundried tomatoes were the real star for me. They gave this pasta dish a jump up the delicious ladder. My whole family loved it and there were not even any leftovers unfortunately.

Baked Penne with Chicken, Broccoli, and Smoked Mozzerella

INGREDIENTS

Topping:
3/4 cup bread crumbs (store-bought or make your own)
2 tablespoons butter, melted

Filling:
1 bunch broccoli (about 1 ½ pounds), stalks cut off, florets trimmed into 1-inch pieces
12 ounces penne pasta (or whatever pasta you have)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, minced
6 medium garlic cloves, finely minced or pressed through a garlic press
1 teaspoon dried thyme
¼ cup all-purpose flour
2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
1 ½ pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts (about 3), trimmed and cut into bite-size pieces
3 ounces smoked mozzarella, shredded (I used fresh mozzerella cubes, but will try to find the smoked mozzarella next time I make it)
8 ounce jar oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, drained and chopped into pieces

DIRECTIONS
In a small bowl, combine the bread crumbs and butter and set aside. Lightly grease a 9X13-inch baking dish and set aside.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and make sure the oven rack is placed in the middle of the oven. In a large pot, bring the water for the pasta to a boil. Stir in one tablespoon salt and the broccoli. The broccoli cooks quickly so stay close! Cook the broccoli for 1 minute, until it is bright green. Quickly remove the broccoli with a slotted spoon to a plate. Return the water to a boil and add the pasta and cook until al dente, about 1-2 minutes less than how you would eat it normally (it will cook a bit more in the oven while baking). Drain the pasta in a colander and toss with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Leave it in the colander and set it aside.
Wipe the pot dry. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil and return to medium heat until shimmering. Add the onion and cook until softened and beginning to brown, about 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic and thyme; cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds, stirring constantly. Add the flour, salt and pepper, and cook, stirring constantly, until golden, about 1 minute. Slowly whisk in the broth and cream; bring to a simmer, whisking often. Add the chicken and cook, stirring occasionally, until cooked through, about 6-7 minutes. Stir in the sun-dried tomatoes and smoked mozzarella.
Add the cooked pasta and broccoli to the sauce; stir to combine. Transfer the pasta mixture to the prepared baking dish and sprinkle with the bread crumb topping. Bake until the casserole is bubbling and the crumbs are lightly browned, about 15 minutes. Serve immediately.

Nutella Cheesecake Fruit Dip




I love a good fruit dip, but when I saw this Nutella one on Pinterest, I just knew I had to try it. I love Nutella. All my kids love Nutella. I knew this recipe just could not go wrong. I hosted a neighborhood Bunco game at my house and decided to make the Nutella Dip as one of the appetizers. It turned out amazingly delicious. I know I'll be making it again.

Nutella Cheesecake Fruit Dip

Ingredients
1 cup heavy cream
1 (8 oz) pkg cream cheese
3 Tbsp powdered sugar
3/4 cup Nutella

Directions
In a mixing bowl, using an electric hand mixer, whip heavy cream until stiff peaks form. In a separate mixing bowl, whip cream cheese and powdered sugar until smooth, about 1 minute. Add nutella and blend until well combined. Add half of the whipped cream and gently fold mixture until nearly blended then add remaining whipped cream and gently fold mixture until well blended.Serve with strawberries or graham crackers. Store in refrigerator in an airtight container.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Cupid's Cloud

I made these yummy treat for our Valentine's Day dinner. I absolutely loved it. It was really simple to throw together. I love that it was so light and fluffy. Most of my kids really enjoyed it also. I mixed mine a little too much. If you just barely mix it, you get a really pretty white and pink swirl.

Cupid's Cloud - A Valentine's Day Dessert

1 cup whipping cream
1 tbsp sugar
½ tsp vanilla
2 cups frozen raspberries (see notes)
½ cup sugar

Instructions
In a mixer, whip together the whipping cream, 1 tbsp sugar, and the vanilla. Set aside.
In a food processor blend together the frozen raspberries and ½ cup sugar.
Once the raspberries have been blended, fold them in to the whipping cream.
Evenly distribute the dessert between 4-5 dessert cups or fancy glasses.
Refrigerate until you are ready to eat them! (see notes)

Notes
Things to Note:
- You can make this dessert in the early afternoon of the same day that you are going to eat it. That way it will be ready for dessert when you are!
- You can use any type of fruit that you would like: strawberries, blueberries, mango.
- I like to use frozen fruit for this because it doesn’t get pureed down like fresh fruit does. But either type is delicious and works for this dessert.

* Recipe from www.aprettylifeinthesuburbs.com

Friday, February 7, 2014

No Bake Peanut Butter Cookies




My sister in law brought these cookies to a family party and they were so amazing. I think the actual title of the cookies is "Holy Crap These Are Amazing" cookies. Ha, ha I guess that is the warning that should accompany them. You've been warned!

No bake Peanut Butter Cookies

1 cup sugar
1 cup corn syrup
1 jar (18 oz ounce) peanut butter, crunchy or smooth (I like creamy.)
6 cups corn flakes
3 oz good quality chocolate of your choice

Directions
Combine sugar and corn syrup in a medium saucepan. Place over medium-high heat and stir until the mixture comes to a full boil. Remove from heat and stir in the whole jar of peanut butter. Mix well.
Add corn flakes to a large bowl. Pour peanut butter mixture over corn flakes and mix well, taking care to coat all of the corn flakes.
With a tablespoon or cookie scoop, scoop out and form into 1-2 inch balls, depending on your preference, and place them on a cookie sheet lined with parchment or wax paper.
Put the chocolate in a small bowl and melt in the microwave for about 30 seconds. Stir until smooth.
Drizzle the melted chocolate over the cookies.

*From Sticky Gooey Creamy Chewy . com

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Caramel Crispix

Bad photo, delicious snack. This is a relatively simple "chex mix" type snack. And I think that's why I loved it so much. There was nothing but amazing caramel and the cereal itself. You could easily throw in nuts, coconut, and any other ingredient you think would go well, but I prefer it plain. Over the Christmas break, I ate my weight in this stuff, but it was so delicious. I couldn't get enough, and I never got tired of it. 

Caramel Crispix

8 - 9 cups Crispix Cereal
2 cups of butter
2 cups of brown sugar
½ cup Light Karo syrup
½ tsp Vanilla
½ tsp Baking Soda

Melt butter in a sauce pan. Add brown sugar and bring to a boil. Add Karo syrup, vanilla and baking soda. Boil for about 5 minutes on medium high heat. 
Dump dry cereal in a large bowl. After caramel sauce has finished bowling pour over cereal and lightly stir with a wooden spoon. 
Enjoy!

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Peaches and Cream Crumble Bars


I found this recipe on Tasty Kitchen and have since made it several times. I'm usually not a fruity dessert type person. I much prefer chocolate and caramel, but this was pleasantly surprising. I really enjoyed the juicy peach filling and the smooth shortbread crust. A perfect combination for a winning dessert.

FOR THE SHORTBREAD:

2 sticks Unsalted Butter, Cut Into Small Chunks
¼ cups Brown Sugar
½ teaspoons Kosher Salt
2 cups Flour
FOR THE FILLING:

1 Tablespoon Butter
½ cups Peach Jam
3 Large Peaches, Pitted And Thinly Sliced
12 ounces, weight Cream Cheese, Softened
¼ cups Sour Cream
½ cups Sugar
1 Tablespoon Flour
2 Eggs
1 teaspoon Vanilla
FOR THE CRUMB TOPPING:
1 cup Flour
¼ cups Sugar
¼ cups Brown Sugar
½ teaspoons Ginger
1 teaspoon Cinnamon
¼ teaspoons Salt
1 stick Unsalted Butter, melted

1. For the shortbread crust: Preheat the oven to 350 F. Line a 13 x 9 inch baking dish with foil, then grease the foil on all sides. Set the dish aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter until it begins to soften, about 30 seconds. Add sugar and salt and beat on low speed until just combined. Add the flour and beat on low speed until incorporated then increase to high speed and beat until a cohesive dough is formed. Using your fingers, press the dough into the baking dish and bake for 20 minutes or until puffy and golden brown. When it’s done remove it from the oven and start the next step.

2. For the filling: Brush shortbread crust with 1 tablespoon of melted butter. Spread peach jam evenly over the crust, then layer with sliced peaches. To make the cream layer, put the cream cheese and sour cream in a bowl and beat on high speed until smooth. Add sugar and 1 tablespoon flour and beat another 30 seconds. Add eggs and vanilla and beat until smooth and thoroughly combined. Pour cheesecake mixture over peach slices. Set aside.

3. For the topping: In a small bowl, combine flour, sugars, ginger, cinnamon, and salt. Pour melted butter over all of it and use your fingers to mix everything together until coarse crumbles form. Sprinkle over the top of the cheesecake layer. Bake again at 350 F for 30 minutes or until crumbles are golden brown and center is set.