Thursday, August 17, 2017

No Bake Peanut Butter/Chocolate Bars




This is for sure the hottest summer I have experienced since we have lived in Michigan!! The air conditioning "battle," with the hubby has been going on for months! He doesn't like to be cold and I don't like to be hot! I usually win, because I tell him I get really cranky if it's too hot at night and I can't sleep. I have been concentrating on making "no bake," desserts because even using my oven with the air conditioning on, I still sweat!! I made these bars shortly before Lauren came home from her summer job about a week ago (she worked at a camp). I think she had one from that "batch." Lauren and the hubby both wanted me to make these bars again, so I told my husband when he went to Meijer this past Sunday to pick up some powdered sugar.  I got all set to make them, but then realized I had no brown sugar!  Last night, close to 10 p.m., I told Lauren it was getting too late to make these bars. She had been looking forward to having them for hours and given that we are "night owls," around here, I whipped some up. Before the chocolate had barely gotten hard on the top, both the hubby and Lauren had some!! I may have to make a third batch!!


Ingredients

1/2 cup unsalted butter
1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
16.3 ounce jar smooth peanut butter, any brand
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
10 ounce bag dark chocolate chunks

In a medium saucepan put the butter, brown sugar and the peanut butter. Slowly bring the mixture to medium heat, stirring constantly with a large spoon, until smooth, but not boiling! Immediately remove from heat and add the vanilla and the powdered sugar. Stir ingredients together until smooth and all ingredients are incorporated in. Press into an ungreased 9x13 inch pan. The mixture will still be a little warm, so press down with the back of a spoon or a dinner knife to distribute evenly. In a small saucepan or bowl, melt the dark chocolate chunks until smooth. Spread evenly on top of the peanut butter mixture. Leave at room temperature until the chocolate hardens or pop into the fridge to cool it quicker!!!

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Frozen Strawberry and Yogurt Popsicles


I am always on the "hunt," for easy recipes!! This definitely ranks up there, for sure, with just two ingredients!!! If you don't have a popsicle mold, now is a great time to buy one. In the summer, you can usually find popsicle molds in the dollar-type stores. The large "big box," stores will start marking down their summer items once the back-to-school stuff starts rolling in. This past Thursday, I was in one of my favorite "big box," stores and the piped in music was Christmas jingles. Okay, I think that may be rushing the season just a bit, don't you think?!?!?!



Ingredients

Two 5.3 ounce containers Vanilla Greek Yogurt,
  any brand, I used Chobani
16-ounces fresh strawberries, hulled and sliced

Put the yogurt and sliced strawberries into a blender and puree. Pour the mixture into a popsicle mold and freeze for a minimum of 12 hours. Run under warm water to loosen the molds to remove the popsicles. For breakfast a few days ago, I gave one of these to Dominic. I think he thought it was pretty cool having a popsicle for breakfast!



 Note: I was able to get seven popsicles out of the mold I used.


Thursday, July 20, 2017

Couscous and Zucchini


I can count on one hand how many times I have made couscous in my life. Until I looked it up on the Internet, I didn't even know what it was!! Yes, I was that clueless! As dinnertime was approaching last night and my marinated pork chops were almost done in the oven, I was scrambling to figure out a side dish. I had zucchini and a box of couscous, so how about mixing them together?!?! I was in the midst of making this "concoction," when the hubby arrived home. I told him what I was whipping up and he had a one word response, "interesting." All righty then.  When I put some of my "concoction," on his plate, I waited for a reaction. He had two helpings! When dinner was over and we were cleaning up the dishes, I asked him if he would eat it again. He said he would! Cool!!

FYI - this is super scrumptious left over the next day, I know because I had some for lunch this afternoon!!

Ingredients

4 cups zucchini, peeled and chopped
1/2 cup onion, chopped
2 tablespoons canola oil
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon curry powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 cup water
2/3 cup couscous, any brand
  I used Near East

Cover the bottom of a large frying pan with the canola oil.  Add the zucchini and onions and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally with a large spoon until the onions and zucchini start to get soft and tender. Sprinkle the cumin, curry powder, salt and pepper evenly over the onions and zucchini. Immediately add the water, stir to mix in the spices and bring to a boil. Remove frying pan from the heat, add the couscous, stir to combine and cover for five minutes. Fluff with fork and serve.



Friday, July 14, 2017

Key Lime Cream Cheese Pie



When I told my husband that I was going to make a key lime pie recently, he seemed particularly intrigued. I later found out why. He said that's his favorite kind of pie! I had no clue. You would think after 26 1/2 years together I would know that!! We haven't changed a bit, have we?!?! The hubby has a little more "snow," on his "rooftop," and I have acquired a few extra pounds, but other than that....






Anyways, this pie has just five ingredients, but oh my, it is SO good!!! The hardest part was waiting overnight to let it set. That's right, you don't need to put it in the oven, let your fridge do all the work!!! My husband got the first bite and told me, "this is really good!"  I have a great hubby, he likes 99.9% of the food I make 🙂. A happy wife is a happy life!

Ingredients

6-ounce ready-to-eat graham cracker pie crust
14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup lime juice
8-ounce bar cream cheese, softened
8-ounce container whipped topping, thawed

In a medium size bowl, put the condensed milk, lime juice and cream cheese. Using an electric mixer or a large spoon, beat until smooth. Pour into graham cracker crust. Spread whipped topping evenly on top. Put in fridge for 12 hours. Serve immediately and keep covered in fridge.

*Note: feel free to use whatever brand you like for the ingredients. I am partial to the Kroger brand, so that is what I used. Enjoy!!



Saturday, June 17, 2017

No Bake Rocky Road Bars



I have had marshmallows on the "brain," for a while now and finally decided to do something about it Thursday afternoon!!! It has been a tad toasty here lately and I did not want to turn on the oven, so a "no bake," recipe was a perfect option. You need just four ingredients and two hours to make this tasty treat, SO, if you are wondering what to take to your next gathering, whip up some of these bars, they are sure to be a big hit!

Ingredients

1 cup dry roasted peanuts, unsalted
10-ounce bag miniature marshmallows
2 cups milk chocolate morsels
14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk

Cover the bottom of a 9 x 13 inch pan with aluminum foil and then spray with non-stick spray. Set aside. In a large bowl, put the peanuts and marshmallows. Set aside. In a medium saucepan, put the chocolate morsels and sweetened condensed milk. Bring to a medium heat, stirring occasionally with a large spoon just enough to melt the chocolate morsels. Don't boil! Pour over the ingredients in the large bowl. Stir gently with a large spoon until the peanuts and marshmallows are covered in the chocolate mixture. Pour into the prepared pan and spread evenly. Put in fridge for a minimum of two hours and then cut into squares. Store up to five days covered in the fridge.

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Baked Dutch Baby



This has got to be one of the easiest breakfasts I have ever made and it has just six ingredients. It looks kind of fancy, doesn't it??? A "typical," Dutch Baby is cooked in a cast iron skillet. We have one, but it is buried in a box in the back room of our basement somewhere! I decided to bake it in a glass pie pan instead. All I can say is YUM!!! After a super duper busy weekend, it was nice to slow down a little this morning and have a slice of this with a steaming hot cup of coffee!


Ingredients

2 large eggs
1/2 cup milk
2 tablespoons white sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup white flour
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. In a medium size bowl, put the eggs, milk, sugar and vanilla extract. Beat well with a whisk or large spoon until well combined. Gradually, add the flour a little bit at a time until all the flour has been added. Beat well. The mixture should be thick and creamy. In a small bowl in the microwave or in a small saucepan on the stove, melt the butter.  Add the melted butter to an ungreased 9-inch pie pan (I used a glass one), so it covers the bottom of the pan. Pour the mixture in and bake for 20 minutes.  Remove from oven and let it cool slightly. Enjoy as is, top with fresh fruit or with powdered sugar.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Beef Taco Casserole


This December will be 27 years since I met my hubby. Pretty much since the beginning of our relationship, I have cooked and/or baked for him. That probably adds up to a lot of meals!!! One day last week, he came home from work and said something along the lines of, "what kind of concoction are you making?"  I sometimes get in a "rut," so when he saw different ingredients laid out on the kitchen counter, he was intrigued. When we sat down to eat, the hubby had two VERY large helpings. Guess he liked my "concoction!" LOL. I like to say the hubby and I are like a fine wine, we get better with age!!!!!

 



Ingredients

1 1/2 pounds ground chuck
14.5 ounce can stewed tomatoes,  undrained
15 ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup sour cream
2 tablespoons taco seasoning
2 cups tortilla chips, crushed
2 cups mild cheddar cheese, shredded


Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a medium saucepan, brown meat until no longer pink and it is cooked through. Remove from heat and drain off grease. Stir in tomatoes, black beans and sour cream and stir well with large spoon.  Set aside. In a 9 x 13 inch ungreased pan, spread the crushed tortilla chips in an even layer. Spread half of the meat mixture, then half of the cheese, then the other half of the beef mixture, ending with the other half of the cheese. Bake for about 25 minutes or until heated through. Makes eight servings.

Sunday, April 2, 2017

"Healthier" Breakfast Cookies


You would think that these breakfast cookies would be completely devoid of flavor considering there is no flour, white sugar, butter, margarine, shortening, canola oil or chocolate in them. Well, back about four years ago, I put a recipe for breakfast cookies on this blog. While they were yummy, they also had a lot of extra ingredients that I knew I could eliminate, to make them "healthier." Up until a few months ago, I would regularly buy Oreos when I would go to the Kroger. I was putting them in Dominic's lunch, but I also would eat way too many of them. They are very addicting!!! I finally came to the conclusion, that if I didn't buy them, then I wouldn't eat them!! In the past couple of weeks, I have had more than one person tell me that Dominic looks thinner. I  personally think it is because he stopped eating all those Oreos! I decided to come up with a "healthier," version of my original breakfast cookies from four years ago! These taste pretty darn good, if I do say so myself!! By the way, Dominic LOVES these cookies!!!!!


Ingredients

1/2 cup + two tablespoons old fashioned oats
1/4 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
1 cup creamy peanut butter
1 large egg
2 tablespoons honey
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup cereal, crushed
  (your choice)
*I used the Kroger version of Rice Krispies 😉

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking/cookie sheet with parchment paper. Set aside. In a large bowl, put all the ingredients in the order given and stir with a large spoon. To make these cookies all the same size, I used a 1/4 cup of batter for each, rolled into a ball and flattened slightly with the palms of my hands. I was able to make nine cookies. Bake for about 13-15 minutes, then remove from oven and let them sit on the sheet for five minutes before removing them to a wire rack to continue cooling.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Ham and Cheese Mini Omelettes



Eggs around here have been very cheap. Aldi  has had a dozen for 64 cents for several weeks!! I was trying to think of a different way to use eggs. I love omelettes and I used to make my stepson "made to order," omelettes when he was younger. He would be so appreciative, that it made me happy to do it for him! During the week, I am hustling to get the hubby and Dominic to work and school respectively, that we never get a chance to eat breakfast together. Lately, on the weekends, Sunday has become the day we eat breakfast together and I've just been making scrambled eggs.  In my lifetime, I've probably made thousands of cupcakes and muffins, but I have never thought of using the muffin tins to make mini omelettes.  This recipe was so easy, quick and on the table in about a half hour. We usually buy a ham for Easter and we inevitably have tons left over!! I think I know what I'm making Easter Monday for breakfast!😉
 
Ingredients

12 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon curry powder
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 cup cooked ham, cubed
1 cup Swiss cheese, shredded

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 12-cup muffin tin liberally with non-stick cooking spray. Set aside. In large bowl, crack the dozen eggs. Beat well with fork and add the curry powder, pepper, ham and cheese and with a large spoon, combine well. Pour into the muffin tin, distributing
evenly. Bake for 20-22 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into a mini omelette comes out clean. Remove from oven and let them sit for five minutes before you remove to a wire rack.  *Feel free to make your mini omelettes all cheese, all veggies - whatever you want!!

Friday, February 24, 2017

Southern Pecan Praline Cookies




"Fat Tuesday" is just around the corner! Even though I grew up in Maryland, I love Southern food, particularly New Orleans cuisine! I have eaten jambalaya, crawfish, hush puppies, dirty rice, the list goes on and on. I have never made any of the traditional, "Mardi Gras," desserts like a "King's Cake," but how about pralines?? Pralines are candy typically made of pecans and brown sugar. How about making it into a cookie instead?? These were pretty delicious if I do say so myself!!! Of course I had to "sample," a few!!!

Ingredients:

1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/3 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup white flour
 3/4 cup pecans, chopped

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line a large cookie sheet with parchment paper.  Set aside. In a large bowl, cream the butter and the brown sugar until creamy with an electric mixer or by hand with a large spoon.  Add the vanilla extract and flour. Mix until well combined. "Fold," in the pecans. Roll into 18 equal sized balls and place them on the cookie sheet. Bake for 18 minutes or until the bottoms of the cookies are starting to turn light brown. Remove from the oven and let the cookies sit on the cookie sheet five minutes, before transferring them to a wire rack to continue to cool.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Overnight Honey Nut Granola


At 5:43 a.m. this morning, our phone rang. It was a recording from the school district informing us that Dominic's school was closed due to the weather. We had about 4-5 inches of fresh snow on the ground! Well, this is Michigan after all. Last night, I had prepared this granola, expecting to take a baggie of it with me this morning to eat in the car on the way to a 9:30 a.m. meeting. Well, my meeting was cancelled, so I ended up scooping a cup or so of this yummy granola into a bowl, adding fresh blueberries and strawberries and then pouring milk on top instead!!! An added benefit - it kept me filled up for hours. When I eat cereal out of a box, I usually start feeling light-headed and hungry well before lunchtime. Maybe it's all the oats?!?!?!


Ingredients

1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
1/4 cup honey
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ginger
1 1/2 cups old fashioned oats
1 1/2 cups quick oats
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. In a large bowl, mix the butter, honey, cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger with a large spoon until smooth.  Add the two different types of oats and combine until all the oats are covered with the butter and honey mixture. Stir in the walnuts and mix well. Pour into an ungreased jelly roll pan (11  x 17 inches) and spread evenly. Bake for 10 minutes and then turn the oven off. DO NOT open the oven door for at least 10 hours - basically overnight. When ready to eat, pull the pan out of the oven and break into small clusters with a spatula, a large spoon or your hands. Makes approximately five cups.  Store in a covered container or a Ziploc-type bag at room temperature up to one week for maximum freshness.  To make my "on-the-go granola," I added Craisins, mini chocolate chips and sunflower kernels.




Looks pretty tasty doesn't it?? Other good "add-ins," are peanuts, almonds, pecans, dark chocolate chips, peanut butter chips - pretty much just about anything that is your favorite. How about sprinkling the plain granola on top of some vanilla ice cream? Okay, I'm getting hungry now!

No Bake Peanut Butter/Chocolate Bars

This is for sure the hottest summer I have experienced since we have lived in Michigan!! The air conditioning "battle," with ...