Saturday, March 30, 2013

3 in one deal

Happy Saturday, my blog followers!!
My first day off yesterday was wonderful. Chris and I got up and had coffee together-its the little things-and talked about how much Good Friday meant to us. I remember in high school my church would have a mid-day service that I would attend. Sometimes we get so caught up in  our own lives that we forget what a huge sacrifice was made for all of us. Tomorrow we celebrate a risen King.  Death has lost its sting. When we die, we don't have to be afraid because we will soon see our Savior.

For our first recipe, I'm going to share my Butterfinger cake. I made this last Friday for my church's Eggstravaganza cake walk on Saturday. I totally forgot to take a final picture though. So please forgive me :)

1 cake box mix(I used Butter Pecan)
2 bags mini Butterfingers
4-5 cups powdered sugar
1-2 tsp vanilla
1 8oz cream cheese
1 stick butter

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare box cake mix as directed. Once mixed thoroughly, crush around 20 Butterfingers and stir into cake mix. Separate between 2 greased cake pans and bake according to box. The cake is complete when a toothpick is inserted and removed clean.

Let cake cool completely. While it is cooling, you can mix together the icing. Cream softened stick of butter and cream cheese together in a mixer. Once fluffy, add in vanilla extract. Mix. Slowly add in the powdered sugar cup by cup. Crush 18 Butterfingers and fold into icing.

You are now ready to ice your cake! Be generous with your icing, and be creative. I decorated the edges and center of my cake with the leftover Butterfinger pieces. I hope you all enjoy this recipe. There is always a first and I believe always a way to improve. Next time, instead of cream cheese, I'm going to use peanut butter.

Recipe #2
Spaghetti Squash bake

I found this idea on Pinterest, and I thought that I would try to expand on it a little more. 
2 medium Spaghetti Squash
2 medium yellow-orange tomatoes(or of choice)-slice
Ground pepper
1 cup grated mozzarella cheese
Grated Parmesan cheese 
1 jar marinara(I used Publix garden medley)

Preheat oven to 350, and grease a casserole dish. Take both spaghetti squash and poke holes all over. Place one in the microwave for 5 minutes. Remove. While that one is cooling, place the other one in the microwave. While #2 is cooling, cut #1 in half and scrape out the pulp and seeds from the middle. Here comes the fun part! Using a fork scrape the inside out.  The inside starts to string and look like spaghetti noodles. Use about half as the bottom layer. Place tomato slices on top. Sprinkle pepper. Pour enough marinara to cover and top with 1/3 mozzarella and as much Parmesan as your desire. Layer until you have used all of your squash. Top with marinara and cheese. Bake uncovered for 25-35 minutes. 

Recipe #3 
Easter Bark

This recipe is very easy, and you can do it at any time of the year. All you have to do is use ingredients with colors that coordinate to the holiday/event. 

2 boxes White chocolate squares or 1 large Almond bark
1 box Oreos-regular or Spring
1 bag Pretzel m&ms-Pastel colors
1 bag Reese eggs-Pastel colors
1 container spring colored sprinkles

Break 1 1/2 sleeves or oreos. Place the M&M's and Reese's into a bowl separately. This way you  are prepared for when you melt the chocolate.

Put 1 box of chocolate into the microwave for one minute. Remove and stir. Place back into microwave and heat for 30 seconds. Remove and stir. Pour 2/3 onto wax paper and use knife to thin out a layer. Sprinkle candy, Oreos, and sprinkles over chocolate. Using a fork, drizzle remaining chocolate over the candy so that it melds together. Repeat until you have used all of the chocolate. Place into refrigerator until hardened. Break into pieces and you're finished! Easy, quick, and delicious!!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

2 Good for Just 1

What a beautiful day today is! I am always amazed at how beautiful our world is. Small purple flowers in the grass. Bold pink bulbs on tree limbs. Birds singing a happy song. Can it get any better?

Last week, I wanted to make something that everyone could enjoy as a treat and not worry about. Last summer, I came across a recipe for a weight watchers pie. It was around my Nanny's birthday, and her favorite pie is key lime. It was perfectly delectable. Since I love easy recipes, I knew this pie would be a great idea.

When I was going through the recipe last year, I didn't know exactly how much yogurt I needed. I got one of the key lime 6 packs,and used 4.

Last week, I made strawberry key lime. My goodness! It was refreshingly light and creamy. Did I mention easy?

2 containers fat free light strawberry yogurt
2 containers fat free light key lime yogurt
1 container medium sized fat free/lite cool whip
2 lite Keebler graham cracker crusts
In a large bowl, mix together softened cool whip and yogurt. Once creamed together, half the mixture and put into the pie crusts. Place tops onto crusts, seal, and place in freezer to set for around 4 hours.
YUM!!! You can interchange the yogurt with any flavors you want. A recipe cannot get much better than this. I hope you all enjoy! What flavors will you use?

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

With A Little Help From Our Friends Part 2

I met one of the sweetest people in the world last year, and we had the pleasure of having her and her two children over for dinner a couple weeks after we moved in. Chris and I were wanting to have her paint some pieces for our new home, and who better than a precious friend? Since that night, she has been working on our little creations. This past Friday, we got the first one.

How gorgeous is this painting? I honestly could not stop going into my dining room because I was in awe with how beautiful and perfect it all looks together. 

...Back to Saturday. So, while all of the chaos of getting showers and cleaning the house is going on, I'm trying to decide how we are going to get everything ready in time. Then I realized, if we are still baking something when company gets here, then we are still baking. There is nothing wrong with a hot dish coming out of the oven, especially when its called Hot Cheesy Bean Dip. 

Here's the recipe I got from My Life as a Mrs

1 8oz cream cheese
1 jar of salsa(we used the 15oz Publix brand of Black bean and corn salsa)
1 can Bush's Chili starter beans
1 1/2 cups cheese(we used 2% Mexican)
1 bag of tortilla chips(Scoops are the best)

Preheat oven to 350. Spray a casserole dish with non-stick spray. Spread softened cream cheese in bottom of dish. Drain the can of beans but do not drain. Put beans and salsa on top of cream cheese. Bake for 30 minutes or until the edges are bubbling. Remove dish from the oven and top with cheese. Bake another 5-10 minutes or until the cheese is melted.

Recipe Numero Dos: Rattlesnake Bites from Taste of Home

1 lb lean ground beef or turkey
1 8oz cream cheese softened
4oz chopped green chilies
1/4 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp chili powder
3 tubes Pillsbury crescent rolls

Preheat oven to 375. Brown beef in skillet. While meat is cooking, mix cream cheese, spices, and chilies in a bowl. Spray baking sheet with non-stick spray. When meat if finished cooking, drain and mix with cream cheese spread. Unroll crescent rolls. On the small end of the crescent rolls, place about 1 tbsp of the mixture. Roll and fold in ends. Place on baking sheet with seam side down. Space rolls about 1-2 inches apart. Bake for about 15 minutes or until golden. 

I was so glad that I made these. Out of the 24 we made, we had less than 10 once the party ended. This will definitely be a hit at your next get together. 

 Rattlesnake Bites+ Taco Pizza

Last but definitely not least, Buffalo Cauliflower Bites. I have to admit I was reluctant to try this one. I know it is a healthy alternative to buffalo chicken and wings and I LOVE both and veggies, BUT not everyone likes crazy veggie options like I do. Chris mostly made these, and he did a great job! They were a hit!!!(Especially with me)

Here's what you need
1 medium head of cauliflower
1/2 cup of egg substitute(we used Eggbeaters)
1/2 cup AP whole wheat flour(*new* for us. Delicious!)
1 tbsp garlic powder
1 tbsp onion powder
2/3 cup Frank's hot sauce or Buffalo sauce
1 tbsp light butter

Preheat oven to 400 degrees and spray casserole dish with non-stick spray. Then get 2 bowls. In one bowl, put the Eggbeaters. In the other bowl, add the flour, garlic powder, and onion powder. Chop the cauliflower in mini florets. Place handful of florets into egg and then into the dry mixture. Once coated, place in greased casserole dish. 

Bake in oven until the cauliflower is soft. Remove from oven. 

In a small saucepan, melt the hot sauce and butter together. Once melted, pour over cauliflower. Laaloosh stated to only pour 1/2 mixture on top of the cauliflower, but I poured all of the sauce over the veggies. Place back into oven and bake for another 5-8 minutes. Serve warm. 

Buffalo Cauliflower Bites

These bites were AMAZING!! I definitely will be making more of these very, very soon!

Monday, March 11, 2013

With A Little Help From Our Friends

From Day 1 of being in our new home, Chris and I knew we wanted to have a "welcome" party to have friends over to see our new home. Home is where the heart is, and we love to open our hearts to others. With that being said, we want our home to not only feel safe to us but to our church, friends, and family. Chris was sweet enough to make the invitations and send them while I was working (a lot) the past month. (Did I mention that I am still treated like a queen after almost 2 years of marriage? I'm incredibly blessed.)

Last week while I was off, I cleaned and raked my brain with what I should have as snacks for our little get together. I didn't decide until the day of, of course.

1. Hot cheesy bean dip
2. Taco pizza(a repeat recipe) Taco Pizza Recipe
3. Double trouble aka birthday cake Oreos wrapped in sugar cookie dough
4. Rattlesnake bites
5. Buffalo cauliflower bites aka heaven in a dish

It was quite a task to take on when all five of these little delights had to be baked. BUT I was up for a challenge :)

*I found these recipes on Pinterest*

First up was the Double Trouble cookies.This recipe came from The Domestic Rebel.

Birthday cake Oreos(or any Oreo of your choice)
2 rolls of Sugar cookie dough

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Spray your muffin tins with non-stick spray. Next, take 1/12 of the dough. Flatten it and place an Oreo in the middle. Wrap dough completely around the cookie and dip in the sprinkles.

Place in the greased muffin tin. 1 roll of dough made a dozen cookies. Bake for 15-17 minutes. You want the edges to be golden and the center set. Enjoy!!

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Brown Sugar Overload

Do you ever have times when it feels like you do 2 things in life? Me too. Recently, it has been work, work, work, and then when I do get a day off I magically turn into a couch potato. I love my job and what I do, so I wouldn't trade all this time for anything.

Because I've been working so much, I haven't posted any new recipes lately. That all ends today. The best part, you ask. I have TWO! Two recipes that are to die for!

The first one....Brown sugar chocolate chunk cookies. I have made this recipe before, and I adore these little delights. The original recipe is from Baking Bites. This one batch of dough makes about 36+ cookies. You will need it to make that much because these won't last long once they come out of the oven.

2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt (pref. kosher salt)
14 tbsp butter, room temperature
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
1 large egg
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups dark or semisweet chocolate chunks

Mix the liquid ingredients together first. Then, add the salt, baking soda, and brown sugar. Once thoroughly mixed, slowly incorporate the flour. After the wet and dry ingredients are mixed, add the chocolate chunks. I used the entire bag in my dough. You can never have to much chocolate.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. I used two baking sheets to make all of these. So once one batch was finished baking, I could pop another once in the oven. Spray your baking sheets with non-stick cooking spray. I used a spoon for my measurements, and dropped the spoonfulls of dough onto the baking sheets about two inches apart. Bake for twelve minutes or until the edges of the cookies are golden brown. 

Once you remove the cookies from the oven, give them a minute to set up and ENJOY!!

Recipe Number 2: Homemade Sweet Potato Mash

I have to admit that with this recipe, I do not have measurements. I truly felt like a cook yesterday because I added ingredients until I had the right taste and texture. 

First, I started with 4 large sweet potatoes. While I washed and sliced the potatoes, I had a pot of water getting ready to boil. I have noticed in the past that when you slice the potatoes, they do not take as long to soften when you boil them. 

Once the potatoes are sliced and the water is boiling. Boil the potatoes until the are soft. Stir occasionally. 

Remove from the stove and drain the water. I then put the potatoes in a giant bowl and grabbed my potato masher and got to work! Can I just say that that tool is the bomb?! I added about a cup of butter and 3 tbsp milk and continued to mash. Once I felt like the potatoes had the consistency I wanted, I added around a cup and a half of brown sugar and 5 tbsp cinnamon. Stir together. Depending on how sweet you want your sweet potato mash, add more brown sugar. 

I took these to Lifegroup last night, and came home with enough for one person. I am so thankful it was a hit because I left the skin on all of the potatoes while I boiled and mashed them. Fiber and nutrients never hurt anyone. I hope you all enjoy!

Next time I plan on adding toasted pecans to the mash. I just might be doing that next week. What else would you have added?