Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Avalanche Bars

Rice Krispie treats are always great but sometimes it's fun to try a variation. These bars were so good. They're definitely a kid favorite and my husband loved them too. The best part about it was they were super easy to make. I think I'll add this to my list of go to desserts.

Printable Recipe

Avalanche Bars
12 oz white chocolate chips
1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
3 cups Rice Krispies
1 1/2 cup mini marshmallows
1/4 cup mini chocolate chips (I used regular sized)

Lightly grease a 9x9 pan and set aside. In a large, microwave-safe bowl, melt the white chocolate chips for one minute. Stir, then continue to microwave at 30 second intervals until chips are completely melted. Add the peanut butter to chocolate and mix well. Stir in rice krispies. Let the mixture cool for 10 minutes, stirring a few times. Add the marshmallows and chocolate chips and stir to combine. Press the mixture into prepared pan and spread evenly. Press down lightly with the back of a spoon. Do not press too hard or the bars will become dry and tough. Garnish with additional chocolate chips, if desired. Cool completely before cutting into squares.

*This recipe can be easily doubled and put in a 9x13 pan.

Recipe source:  Mel's Kitchen Cafe

Past recipes:
One year ago: White Almond Sour Cream Cake
Two years ago: Salsa Beef Stew

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Mini Meatball Sandwiches

Meatball sandwiches are one of my favorite things ever! I thought this recipe was great because these are sliders so they're a little easier to eat. This is a great recipe for kids. My kids loved it! It would also be a fun appetizer for a party.

Printable Recipe

Mini Meatball Sandwiches
1 lb ground chuck or ground beef
1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 tsp salt
freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup milk
2 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 medium onion, diced
1 jar spaghetti sauce
12 dinner rolls or slider rolls
6 slices provolone cheese, cut in fourths

Mix together meat, bread crumbs, garlic, salt, pepper, and milk. Roll into heaping tablespoon-sized meatballs.

Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onions and cook for one minute. Add meatballs and brown for one minute on each side. Pour in spaghetti sauce; shake pan gently to mix. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes.

When ready to serve, cut each dinner roll down the middle. Place a wedge of provolone on the top and bottom of each roll. Spoon a meatball with the sauce onto the bun. Serve immediately.

Recipe source: Pioneer Woman

Past recipes:
One year ago: Chicken Enchiladas with Roasted Tomatillo Salsa
Two years ago: Chicken Pot Pie

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Slow Cooker Lemon Garlic Chicken

Printable Recipe

Slow Cooker Lemon Garlic Chicken
1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts
2 Tbsp butter
1/4 cup water
3 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp chicken bouillon granules
1 tsp dried parsley
1 (8 oz) pkg cream cheese, softened

In a small bowl, mix together oregano, salt, and pepper. Rub on chicken. Melt butter in a large skillet. Brown chicken for about 3 minutes on each side. Place in a crock pot. In the same skillet, mix together water, lemon juice, garlic, and chicken bouillon; bring to a boil. Pour over chicken in crock pot. Cook on low for 4-5 hours. Remove chicken and cover to keep warm. Add parsley and cream cheese to the crock pot; mix well. Heat for 15 minutes. Ladle sauce over rice or pasta and top with chicken.

Recipe adapted from Six Sisters' Stuff

Past recipes:
One year ago: Pork Hawaiian
Two years ago: Crock Pot Chicken

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Red Velvet Brownies with White Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

Last night my husband made steak topped with bleu cheese and lobster tails for our Valentine's dinner so I got a break from cooking. But I did make these delicious brownies. I think I may have a new addiction. This frosting is the best frosting I have ever tasted. It has a hint of white chocolate that gives it a little something special.

Printable Recipe

Red Velvet Brownies with White Chocolate Buttercream Frosting
3 Tbsp cocoa powder
1 oz red food coloring (or 2 Tbsp)
2 tsp vanilla extract, divided
1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt

1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
4 oz good quality white chocolate (not chips), melted
2-3 Tbsp heavy cream

Preheat oven to 350. Butter and flour an 8x8 baking pan.

In a small bowl, slowly stir together cocoa powder, food coloring, and 1 tsp vanilla into a thick paste until there are no lumps of cocoa. Set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together butter and sugar at medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Stir in remaining 1 tsp vanilla. With the mixer off, add cocoa mixture. Turn the mixer to medium speed and beat until mixture is one uniform color. Slowly add the flour and salt and mix on medium-low speed, just until combined without overmixing.

Remove the bowl from mixer and stir with a rubber spatula to ensure all of the flour has mixed in and it's all one color. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for 30-40 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool completely before frosting.

To make frosting, place butter in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Cream butter until soft and fluffy. Beat in vanilla. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add powdered sugar 1/2 cup at a time. Allow the sugar to mix in before adding the next 1/2 cup. Add in the melted white chocolate and beat on medium speed until incorporated. With the mixer on low, add the heavy cream 1 Tbsp at a time until it reaches desired consistency.

Makes 16 brownies

Recipe adapted from Smells Like Home

Past recipes:
One year ago: Just Like Lofthouse Sugar Cookie Frosting
Two years ago: Sugar Cookies

Monday, February 13, 2012

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Valentine's Day

Can you believe Valentine's Day is next week? Wasn't it just barely Christmas? It seems like the older I get, the faster time seems to go by. Valentine's Day isn't usually a huge deal in our house. My husband doesn't think he needs a special day to say "I love you" when he says it to me every day. But I still think it's a really fun holiday. My husband always makes me a gourmet dinner on Valentine's Day so I'm definitely looking forward to that. I'm also looking forward to the Valentine's baking. I made a list of some of my favorite dishes that would be perfect for Valentine's Day. I hope your Valentine's Day is fabulous!

Every year I make sugar cookies and frost them with my kids. These are the best sugar cookies!

You could make the same cookies but use this frosting recipe instead.

If you want sugar cookies but don't want to take the time to cut them out, you could make these yummy bars. 

I love these Oreo Truffles. I found pink chocolate at the craft store and I thought it would be perfect for Valentine's Day!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Sauteed Brussels Sprouts with Bacon

I've always loved brussels sprouts. My family, not so much. We had brussels sprouts in our Bountiful Baskets two weeks in a row and I was so excited. The first week, I roasted them with olive oil and salt and pepper. My 3 year old loved them but my other kids hated them. So when we got them the second time, I found this recipe with bacon. I knew they would be delicious because everything is better with bacon, right? I told my kids they had to try them even though they hated them the first time and guess what? They loved them! Now I'm actually craving this. It was so good!

Printable Recipe

Sauteed Brussels Sprouts with Bacon
3 slices bacon, chopped
1/4 tsp dried thyme
1/2 cup diced onion
1/3 cup chicken broth
1 lb brussels sprouts, trimmed and quartered

In a large skillet, cook bacon until crisp. Remove from pan and drain all but 1 Tbsp of the bacon grease. Add thyme and onion and saute for about 3 minutes or until onion is tender. Add chicken broth and brussels sprouts. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and cover. Simmer for about 6-10 minutes or until crisp-tender. Sprinkle with bacon.

Recipe adapted from Cooking Light

Past recipes:
One year ago: Lindt Chocolate Truffle Cupcakes
Two years ago: Oven Fried Chicken

Friday, February 3, 2012

Southwest Avocado Bean Dip

I started a bunco group with some of my friends in my neighborhood. It's a great chance for me to have a much needed girls night every month. The first game night was at my house. I made this dip along with these sugar cookie bars and it was a huge hit! This dip would also be great for the Super Bowl since it's coming up this weekend.

Printable Recipe

Southwest Avocado Bean Dip
1 avocado, chopped
1/2 cup sour cream
juice of 1 lime
1/4 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp salt
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup frozen corn, thawed
1 tomato, chopped
2 Tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped
Wheat Thins

Mash avocados in a medium bowl; stir in sour cream, lime juice, cumin, and salt. Add all remaining ingredients except crackers. Mix well. Cover and refrigerate for at least 15 minutes. Serve with Wheat Thins.

Recipe adapted from Kraft Recipes

Past recipes:
One year ago: Lemon Garlic Tilapia
Two years ago: Catalina Chicken

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Chicken Fettuccine Skillet

Printable Recipe

Chicken Fettuccine Skillet
16 oz fettuccine
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 1/2 lb chicken or turkey, cut into cubes
1/2 cup onion, diced
1/2 cup celery, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup mushrooms
2 cups milk
1/2 tsp salt free seasoning (like Mrs. Dash)
1 tsp salt
2 Tbsp cornstarch
1/2 cup fat free half & half
1/3 cup parmesan cheese
3/4 cup mozzarella cheese
1-2 Tbsp fresh parsley or 1 tsp dried

Heat olive oil in a large skillet. Add chicken and cook until cooked through. Remove from skillet.

While chicken is cooking, cook pasta as directed on package. Drain and set aside.

Add onion, celery, and garlic to the same skillet that the chicken cooked in. Add a little water if necessary. Saute for 3-5 minutes or until tender. Add mushrooms and cook until tender. Add milk, and seasonings. Bring to a boil; reduce heat. In a small bowl, whisk together cornstarch and half & half. Stir into skillet. Cook for about 2 minutes, until thick and bubbly. Stir in parmesan cheese and chicken. Add fettuccine to skillet and heat through. Sprinkle with mozzarella cheese. Place until broiler for 2-3 minutes or until cheese is melted and starts to brown. Sprinkle with parsley.

Serves 6-8

Recipe adapted from Real Mom Kitchen

Past recipes:
One year ago: Andes Mint Brownies
Two years ago:  Boston Cream Pie


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