Thursday, October 31, 2013

Veggie-Beef Chowder with Mozzarella

From: Progresso website

1 lb lean ground beef
1 bag (12 oz) frozen mixed vegetables
1 can (18 oz) Progresso Recipe Starters creamy portabella mushroom cooking sauce
3/4 tsp Italian seasoning
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

In a saucepan, cook beef over medium-high heat 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until beef is thoroughly cooked; drain.

Stir in 1/4 tsp salt and all remaining ingredients except cheese and croutons. Heat to boiling. Reduce heat; simmer uncovered 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are tender.

Sprinkle 2 tablespoons cheese in each soup bowl; fill bowls with chowder. Sprinkle with croutons.

Thumbs up! I know the pictures don't do it justice. Trust me, this is one of the easiest soups you'll throw together, but the flavor is amazing! I will absolutely make this one again and I definitely recommend it to you!

Friday, October 18, 2013

Crash Hot Potatoes

From: The Pioneer Woman

New potatoes
Olive oil
Kosher salt
Black pepper

Begin by bringing a pot of salted water to a boil. Add in as many potatoes as you wish to make, and cook them until they’re fork-tender.

Next, generously drizzle olive oil on a sheet pan.

When the potatoes are tender, place them on the cookie sheet, giving them plenty of room to spread out.

Next, grab your potato masher and gently press down on the potato until it slightly mashes. Rotate the masher 90 degrees and continue flattening it.

Brush the tops generously with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Grab your herbs - chives... thyme... rosemary... whatever is available. Chop finely and sprinkle on top.

Cook in a 450-degree oven for 20-25 minutes.

Thumbs up! Of course I added cheese to ours because in our house it is a sin not to add cheese onto a potato. Or anything else, for that matter. These are an awesome quick fix except for the boiling of the potatoes, and of course they're delicious. What could go wrong with a recipe like this??

Pepperoni Pizza Puffs

From: Lick the Bowl Good

  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • pinch of salt
  • pinch of red pepper flakes 
  • 3/4 cup whole milk
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup cubed pepperoni
  • 1/2 cup store-bought pizza sauce
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Grease a 24-cup mini-muffin pan. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, Italian seasoning, salt and red pepper flakes (if using) ; whisk in the milk and egg. Stir in the mozzarella, Parmesan and pepperoni; let stand for 10 minutes.

Stir the batter and divide among the mini-muffin cups. Bake until puffed and golden, 20 to 25 minutes.

Meanwhile, microwave the pizza sauce until warmed through. Serve the puffs with the pizza sauce for dipping.

Thumbs up! Look, you really can't go wrong with these ingredients, right? This is a simple recipe that is great for parties, appetizers, or church dinners. I will definitely make it again and highly recommend it!

Elephant Ear Cookies

From: Martha Stewart

1 cup pecan halves
1/3 cup sugar, plus more for surface
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 3/4 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
AP flour, for rolling
2 sheets frozen puff pastry (17.3 oz package), thawed
1 large egg, beaten well

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Toast pecans on a baking sheet until fragrant and lightly toasted, 8 to 10 minutes. Let cool completely.

Grind pecans, sugars, cinnamon and salt in a food processor until very finely chopped (mixture should resemble very coarse sand).

Raise oven temperature to 400 degrees. Place puff pastry sheets side by side on floured parchment; press together at seam to form a 9 1/2-by-18-inch rectangle. Roll out to an 11-by-20-inch rectangle using a rolling pin. Transfer pastry on parchment to a baking sheet. Cover loosely with plastic wrap; refrigerate until firm, about 45 minutes. Brush generously with beaten egg, and evenly sprinkle with pecan mixture, patting it into dough. Starting with a short side, use one hand to roll up as tightly as possible, holding unrolled portion firmly with other palm. Brush off excess flour with a dry pastry brush as you are rolling, and press sides back into shape (they tend to splay). Roll tightly in parchment.

Freeze dough until firm, about 20 minutes. Cut crosswise into 1-inch slices. Generously sprinkle a work surface with granulated sugar, and coat both cut sides of dough slices in sugar. Press dough slices to flatten slightly. Roll out into 6- to 7-inch rounds on sugared surface, sprinkling more sugar on top as needed. Place on parchment-lined baking sheets, 3 per sheet; refrigerate until firm, about 30 minutes. Bake in batches until golden brown, 17 to 18 minutes, rotating halfway through. Let cool on baking sheets.

Thumbs up! I almost didn't get to taste-test these because they were gone so quickly after I made them! I made these for Hunter's 3rd birthday party a few weeks ago. They were actually really easy, especially if you've ever made a "roll" before, so don't let the instructions scare you with all the wording. I will definitely make these again in the future (although puff pastry sheets are ridiculously expensive!) and I would highly recommend this recipe to you!

Mini Nutella Cups

From: Daisy Chubb

1 cup butter (softened)
1 cup white sugar
1 cup packed brown sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease your mini muffin tin). Cream butter and both sugar in bowl until light, smooth and fluffy. Beat in eggs and vanilla until fully incorporated. Gradually add dry ingredients (flour, salt, baking soda) until all the flour is mixed in.  Roll dough into balls 1.5 inches thick. Pop them in the mini muffin tin and bake for 10-12 minutes, until golden brown but not too dark around the edges.

When done, remove from oven and let sit for about 2 minutes. Then make wells for the nutella with a shot glass, a similar object or a spoon. Add 1 tbsp Nutella to each cup – it will start to melt quickly so you can swirl it around and make it nice and smooth.

Let cool 15-20 minutes in tin. Remove from tin and place in your mouth. Repeat. Nutella will solidify in about an hour.

I don't have a mini muffin tin, so I made mine in a regular muffin tin. I'm not ashamed to admit I basically ate the middle out of these cookies. With a regular muffin tin, there was just more cookie than Nutella, and the Nutella is soooo good... we just can't have that! I would love to make these with a mini muffin tin. I would definitely recommend this recipe if you have a mini tin!

Egg in a Red Pepper

From: Not Martha

1 red bell pepper
1 Tbsp olive oil
4 large eggs
Salt and pepper
1 Tbsp grated parmesan
4 slices crusty bread, toasted

Remove seeds from pepper and 1/2-inch thick rings. It’s not totally important that all the rings be the same thickness.

Heat olive oil over medium heat in a frying pan or skillet.

Place peppers in olive oil.

Then one-by-one, crack an egg into a small dish and pour it into the pepper.

Sprinkle with salt and pepper and let fry for about 3 minutes.

Some of the egg may leak out from under the pepper, but for the most part, you should be OK.

Once eggs are mostly set, flip the entire pepper over. This has to be a quick movement, or else you risk the egg/pepper falling apart.

After you flip all of the peppers, sprinkle parmesan cheese on top. Cook for one minute.

And place pepper egg on a piece of toast.

Thumbs up! What a yummy, light(ish) breakfast! I meant to blog about this back when red peppers were really in season but I got way behind on blogging. This is such a yummy breakfast. The crunchiness of the red pepper is perfect with the egg. The instructions I posted are from the Not Martha blog, so I tweaked a little. I didn't put them on toast at all, although I do think that would be delicious. And instead of using parmesan cheese, I used cheddar. It was divine. The key to making it pretty (not like it really matters) is to gently pour the egg into the pepper. If you dump the whole egg, it will spread out a lot. And trust me, that does not affect the flavor, just the attractiveness! I definitely recommend this easy recipe.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Starbucks Lemon Loaf

From: Jenn's Random Scraps

1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
3 eggs, room temperature
1 cup sugar
2 Tbsp butter, softened
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tsp lemon extract
1/3 cup lemon juice
1/2 cup oil
zest of one lemon

1 cup powdered sugar
2 Tbsp whole milk
1/2 tsp lemon extract

Preheat oven to 350. Grease and flour a 9 x 5 loaf pan.

In a large bowl, combine flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt.

In a medium bowl, combine eggs, sugar, butter, vanilla extract, lemon extract and lemon juice with a mixer until blended.

Pour wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and blend until smooth. Add oil and lemon zest and mix well.

Pour into loaf pan and bake for 45-60 minutes until toothpick comes out clean. Remove from oven and pour glaze over it, then cool in pan on a rack.

Whisk the glaze ingredients to combine before you pour over the loaf.

Thumbs up! I love lemon bread and this was a great recipe! Not sure if it is really the copycat recipe or not, but it's definitely yummy! I actually do have a lemon bread recipe that is a lot different from this one that I have never posted on this blog! It is even more lemonicious than this recipe! I will make it soon and post it - in involves lemon pudding which adds some more zing. I think this is an awesome, simple recipe that you can easily whip up for dessert or brunch or a potluck. I highly recommend it and I'll be making it again!

Pineapple Chicken Tenders

From: Here

1 cup pineapple juice
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup soy sauce
2 lbs chicken breast tenderloins

In a small saucepan over medium heat, mix pineapple juice, brown sugar, and soy sauce. Remove from heat just before the mixture comes to a boil.

Place chicken tenders in a medium bowl. Cover with the pineapple marinade, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

Preheat grill for medium heat. Thread chicken lengthwise onto wooden skewers.

Lightly oil the grill grate. Grill chicken tenders 5 minutes per side, or until juices run clear.

Thumbs up! I actually just cooked it in the oven at 325 degrees for about 15 minutes. I do think this would be a great grilling recipe. I think this was a great flavor. I actually halved the ingredients because my husband doesn't love sweet chicken marinades. So if you want to tone the flavor down some you could definitely do that. If you do like sweet marinades I wouldn't change it a bit.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Chocolate Peanut Butter Pretzel Bars

From: Food Fanatic

4 cups crushed pretzels
1 cup peanut butter
14 oz can of sweetened condensed milk
1 1/2 cups chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line an 8x8 baking dish with parchment paper.

In a small saucepan over low heat, melt the peanut butter and condensed milk together and stir to combine.

Add the pretzel crumbs to a large bowl and mix in the peanut butter mixture, stirring to coat.

Press the crumb mixture into the prepared dish and bake for 15-20 minutes or until set.

Remove from the oven and sprinkle the chocolate chips on. Return to the oven for 1-2 minutes. Remove and use a spatula to spread the chocolate chips evenly across the top.

Cool before cutting.

I think I would have liked these better in a 9x13 pan. I think the flavor combination is amazing and you can't go wrong with it. I just think the crumb layer was overpowering. It was very thick and hard to bite into because of the thickness. I would like to make these again in a longer pan, because I think it would make a big difference. If you try these I would love to hear what you thought!
  • 4 cups crushed pretzels
  • 1 cup peanut butter
  • 14 fluid ounces sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 1/2 cups chocolate chips
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