Thursday, July 30, 2015

Birds' Nests

For Easter we have spent the last few years heading over to my Aunt's house for the day. This has been our tradition since I was very little. My aunt takes care of all the main food, but we all pitch in with appetizers and little treats to share. I saw these on Pinterest and knew that I HAD to try them. For one, they are made from chow mein noodles - which I LOVE and second of all they looked delicious because they include chow mein noodle! Yummy!

Birds' Nests
(Recipe found at via Pinterest)

1/4 cup butter
4 1/2 cups mini marshmallows
1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
4 cups chow mein noodles
candy eggs (mini Cadbury eggs, M&Ms or jelly beans)

In heavy saucepan over med. heat melt butter and marshmallows until smooth. Stir in peanut butter and chocolate chips until melted. Remove from heat and stir in chow mein noodles. Work on wax paper and form 18-24 mounds. Dip fingers into cold water as you work to prevent the mixture from sticking and shape each mound into a nest. Fill with 2 or 3 candies each. Cool and store in airtight container if they last that long.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Baked Spaghetti

This was such a yummy recipe... and EASY to make! The kids love spaghetti and will eat so much of it when we sit down at the table. I saw this recipe and wanted to try the baked version and I am so glad that I did. They tasted delicious and the meatballs added to the top was some that the kids loved. It made 8 mini loaves so I figured that we would have leftovers for the next day but the kids loved them so much that the two we had leftover had to be cut in half and passed out amongst the kids... Shoot - it was a good thought anyhow! :) It did call for a homemade alfredo sauce, but I went the lazy way for once and just used a jarred sauce.

Baked Spaghetti
(Recipe found at via Pinterest)

6 cups cooked thin spaghetti noodles
12 ounces alfredo sauce
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
Italian Meatballs (small bag)
25 ounces marinara sauce

Preheat oven to 350 and grease mini loaf pan. Mix cooked spaghetti with alfredo sauce. Fill each of the mini loaves with the pasta and press down on the top to pack in it, adding more as necessary. Sprinkle the tops with about 2 tablespoons shredded mozzarella cheese. Bake for about 25 minutes at 350. While the spaghetti is baking, heat Italian meatballs and marinara sauce. Put a little sauce in each bowl, add one of the baked spaghetti loaves, top with Italian meatballs and more marinara sauce.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

BBQ Ranch Chicken Wonton Cups

I made these for our ECFE class when we had a potluck and they were a huge hit... All the kids, especially my own, chowed on these! The adults were also asking for the recipe before we were even finished eating. I love a great hands on meal that the kids are excited about as well.

BBQ Ranch Chicken Wonton Cups
(Recipe found at via Pinterest)

2 chicken breasts, chopped
1 cup BBQ sauce
1/4 cup ranch dressing
Wonton wrappers
shredded mozzarella cheese

Cook up your chicken breasts; then chop into small pieces. Preheat your oven to 375. Combine the chicken, barbecue sauce, and ranch dressing in a medium sized bowl. Spray your muffin tins with non-stick spray. Place a wonton wrap in each section and gently press it down to the bottom. Place a small spoonful of barbecue-ranch chicken mixture on top of each wrap. Then sprinkle mozzarella cheese on top. Then re-layer again: wonton, chicken mixture, cheese. (Each cup will have two layers of all ingredients.) Cook at 375 for 18-20 minutes.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Bread Mini Muffins

My niece was a part of my daycare this year and she LOVED to be able to cook and bake with me so we did a lot of that! A lot of time she would ask to bake and I would check out what we could make with the ingredients that I had on hand... This was one of those days - luckily I always have browned bananas in my freezer and mini chocolate chips in my pantry! :) These were fantastic!! I am in love with mini muffins and how they are so fun and popable. These were a hit with everyone that we shared them with...

Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Bread Mini Muffins
(Recipe found at via Pinterest)

3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup sugar
1 large egg
1/2 cup mashed banana (about 1 medium banana)
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon powdered sugar
1-2 tablespoons whole milk
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350. Generously coat donut pans/mini muffin tin with cooking spray. In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. Set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk together sugar and egg. Then add banana, oil, and vanilla extract, mixing until thoroughly combined. Stir in the flour mixture, stirring until there are no lumps. Transfer batter to a piping bag, or to a Ziploc bag with the tip cut off. Carefully fill each donut indentation 3/4 full. Bake for 7-9 minutes or until donuts are slightly browned and spring back when touched. Remove from oven, transfer to a cooling rack, and let cool completely. Place wax paper under a wire rack to collect any drippings for an easy cleanup. Then, in a small bowl, whisk together peanut butter and 1/2 cup powdered sugar. Slowly add 1 tablespoon milk, whisking constantly until you get a smooth frosting. Add remaining tablespoon of milk and / or sugar if needed to get the right consistency. Dip the top of each donut into the frosting and transfer to a wire rack. Then dip the top of each donut into the chocolate chips and press to coat. Donuts can be stored in an airtight container for up to 2 days but are best when eaten fresh.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Cake Mix Waffles

This was a fabulous little treat for the kids after school one day. I mixed up a package of cake mix that I found on sale after Valentine's Day (blue raspberry flavored) and made these on the waffle iron. The kids thought that this was one of the more fun treats that we have had for a while. I topped it with ice cream and folded it in half and ate it like a sandwich - delish!!

Cake Mix Waffles
(Recipe found on Pinterest)

cake mix
ingredients listed on cake mix package

Mix up cake mix. Cook on heated waffle iron. Top with ice cream if desired.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Chicken Stew with Cornmeal Dumplings

Again, a warm stew/soup on a rainy day is the best! It is even better when it is thrown together in the crock pot so that you don't have to stand over it and watch it. The dumplings were not as doughy as when I have made chicken and dumplings before so I liked that much better than normal chicken and dumplings. I doubled the batch so I was able to send the extras over to my grandparents house to share with them and my aunt and uncle that were staying with them at the time. They cleaned it up pretty quickly and raved about it the next time that I stopped over. For them I also made a loaf of this whole wheat garlic herb bread. Super yummy! :)

Chicken Stew with Cornmeal Dumplings
(Recipe found at via Pinterest)

12 ounces boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 medium carrots, thinly sliced
3 stalks celery, thinly sliced
1 cup frozen corn kernels
1 cup frozen green beans
1 medium onion, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon fresh rosemary, finely chopped
1 teaspoon fresh thyme
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
3 cups fat free chicken broth
1 cup fat-free milk
1/4 cup whole wheat all-purpose flour

1/4 cup whole wheat all-purpose flour
1/4 cup cornmeal
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 egg white
1 tablespoon fat-free milk
1 tablespoon canola oil
1/4 teaspoon salt

In a 1 1/2- or 2-quart slow cooker, combine carrots, green beans, celery, corn, onion, garlic, thyme, rosemary, and salt & pepper. Top with chicken. Pour broth over mixture in cooker. Cover and cook on low-heat setting for 7 to 8 hours or on high-heat setting for 3 1/2 to 4 hours. To make dumplings, stir together flour, cornmeal, baking powder, and salt in a medium sized bowl. In a small bowl combine egg white, milk, and oil. Add egg mixture to flour mixture; stir just until moistened. With chicken still in the pot, break it up into pieces or shred it. In a small bowl, combine milk and flour until smooth. Stir into mixture in cooker. Using a spoon, drop cornmeal dumplings dough into 8 mounds on top of hot chicken mixture. Cover and cook for 20 to 25 minutes more or until a toothpick inserted into a dumpling comes out clean. (Do not lift cover during cooking.)

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Brown Sugar Oatmeal Cookies

These are seriously one of the most delicious cookies that I have ever made! They are soft and chewy and so yummy that I ate waaayyy more than I should have... The combo of the coconut and the oatmeal is fabulous and they were gone quickly after I made them.

Brown Sugar Oatmeal Cookies
(Recipe found at via Pinterest)

1 cup butter, slightly softened
1 1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
3/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoon vanilla
2 eggs
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1 cup quick cooking oats
1 1/2 cup shredded, sweetened coconut

Preheat oven to 350. Cream together butter and sugars, until they are well-combined. Add one egg and mix until it’s fully incorporated. Then add second egg and vanilla and mix until everything is evenly incorporated. Add baking soda, baking powder, and salt to the wet mixture. Mix until well-distributed. Add about 1/2 of the flour and mix until the flour is JUST incorporated. Scrape down the sides of your bowl, and then add the second half of your flour, mixing until just incorporated. You don’t want to overmix. Add oats and coconut, mixing until they’re JUST incorporated. Roll dough into balls, or use a cookie scoop to evenly portion out the dough. Place the dough balls on a baking sheet lined with parchment or a silpat liner, leaving about 2″ between each cookie. Bake for 8-10 minutes, until the edges are very lightly brown, but the center is still light in color and puffy. This will result in a very moist, very chewy cookie. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for about 5 minutes, then move them to a cooling rack. Once they’re fully cooled, they can be stored in a ziploc bag or airtight container for up to a week.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Smoked Sausage Alfredo Bake

This recipe had quite a few steps to it but it was definitely worth the work. It was a great cheesy main dish that my family really enjoyed, especially with the chunks of sausage thrown in.

Smoked Sausage Alfredo Bake
(Recipe found at via Pinterest)

16 ounces dry pasta
3 tablespoons butter
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
3 tablespoons flour
1 cup chicken broth
2 cups half and half
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
2 cups mozzarella cheese, divided
1-2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1 (12 oz) fully cooked smoked sausage, any variety

Cook pasta according to package directions until just al dente; drain. While pasta cooks, melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, 1-2 minutes. Stir in flour. Whisk in chicken broth until smooth, then stir in half and half. Add salt, pepper, cayenne, and red pepper flakes and simmer until sauce is thickened, about 5 minutes. Stir in Parmesan cheese and 1 cup of mozzarella until cheeses are melted and smooth. Slice sausage into 1/4 inch pieces and add to the sauce, along with the chopped parsley and cooked pasta. Season with additional salt and pepper if needed. Preheat broiler. Pour the pasta mixture into a lightly greased, 9x13 inch baking dish. Top with remaining mozzarella cheese. Broil for 2-3 minutes, or until cheese is bubbly and golden.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Summer Pasta Salad

We had a potluck for my sons' cub scout Raingutter Regatta and I decided that I wanted to try this new pasta salad that I found on pinterest. It was easy to through together and had a great taste to it. It definitely makes a lot so I am glad that I didn't double it like I have a tendency to do! This will be another great repeat when I have to bring a side dish along somewhere...

Summer Pasta Salad
(Recipe found at via Pinterest)

5 cups cooked small shell pasta (approximately 3 cups dry)
3/4 cup diced raw carrots
1/4 cup diced onion
8 ounces (1 1/2 cup) diced ham
1 (8 ounces) package (1 1/2 cups) frozen peas
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
16 ounce container light sour cream
1/2 cup french dressing
1/2 tablespoon Lawry’s seasoned salt
1 cup shredded colby jack or cheddar cheese

Stir together the cooked pasta, carrots, onion, ham and peas. Separately, blend the sour cream, french dressing, salt, pepper and seasoned salt. Stir into pasta. Fold in half the cheese. Pour into serving dish and top with remaining cheese. Cover tightly. Chill several hours before serving. Best made the day before.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Taco Wonton Cups

I have found a few different recipes using wonton cups and I think that they are fun and easy way to make a meal for the kiddos. I love that they can pick them up with their fingers and just chomp into them! They thought that these were a blast and any take on a taco is a hit at our house. I kept these plain with no toppings for a super easy meal and they were gone quickly!

Taco Wonton Cups
(Recipe found at via Pinterest)

1 pound ground beef
1 package taco seasoning
shredded cheese
taco toppings, if desired
wonton wrappers

Begin by browning the ground beef. Preheat your oven to 375. Drain off any grease and the taco seasoning to the meat mixture; combine well. Spray your muffin tins with non-stick spray. Place a wonton wrap in each section and gently press it down to the bottom. Place a small spoonful of meat-sauce mixture on top of each wrap. Then spread a thin layer of the cheese, and finally a spoonful of salsa. Then re-layer again: wonton, meat, cheese, salsa. (Each cup will have two layers of all ingredients.) Bake for 18-20 minutes. Allow 3-5 minutes to cool, then top with additional toppings.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Peanut Butter Cup Caramel Corn

When we head over to visit with my husband's family when they come into Minnesota for a few days I love to stock them up on sweet treats... This year there was a lot of grab and go goodness which included the orange scones that I posted about yesterday, puppy chow, a variety of cookies and this delicious popcorn. It is super addicting, especially to someone that LOVES the combination of peanut butter and chocolate. I tried to stay away from it as much as I could, but I definitely found my hand wandering into the container more often than not! :)

Peanut Butter Cup Caramel Corn
(Recipe found at via Pinterest)

20 cups popped popcorn (about 2 bags of popcorn or 1/2 cup kernels)
2 1/2 tablespoons butter
2/3 cup packed brown sugar
2/3 cup light corn syrup
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup honey roasted peanuts
2 cups peanut butter chips
1/2 tablespoon vegetable shortening
2/3 cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 250. Place popcorn in a large bowl. Spray two large shallow baking dishes with non-stick cooking spray. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt butter. Stir in brown sugar, corn syrup and salt. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Boil without stirring 3 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in peanut butter and vanilla. Pour over popcorn, stirring to coat. Transfer coated popcorn in the prepared baking dishes and bake in preheated oven, stirring every 15 minutes, for 1 hour. Remove from oven and let cool completely then break into pieces. Stir in peanuts. In a microwave-safe bowl, combine the peanut butter chips and vegetable shortening and heat for 2-2 1/2 minutes or until smooth, stirring every 30 seconds. Drizzle over the popcorn and toss to combine. In a microwave-safe bowl, melt the chocolate chips until just melted and smooth (about 1-1 1/2 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds). Transfer to a Ziploc bag and cut a small corner of the bag and drizzle over the popcorn. Place the two pans in the refrigerator until chocolate has hardened. Break into small pieces and serve.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Orange Scones

These scones were melt in my mouth delicious... I am not a big fan of any kind of zest and usually avoid putting it in anything I cook, even if it calls for it. I sucked it up and put it in these fabulous orange scones and they were awesome! Soft and flaky and definitely yummy right out of the oven or the next day!

Orange Scones
(Recipe found at via Pinterest)

1/3 cup sugar
zest of one large orange or two medium oranges
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, frozen
1/2 cup sour cream
1 large egg

3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 cup powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2-4 tablespoon freshly squeezed orange juice

Preheat oven to 400 degrees and set oven rack to the middle position. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, set aside. In a medium-sized bowl, gently toss flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside. In a separate small bowl, whisk sour cream and egg until completely smooth. Set aside. In a large bowl, stir sugar and orange zest together until sugar is moistened and zest is evenly distributed. Pour in flour mixture and toss to combine. Grate frozen butter into mixture. Using your hands, work in the butter until the mixture resembles a coarse meal. Gently stir in sour cream mixture until just about combined. Do not over work the dough! Again, very gently press the dough against the sides of the bowl a few times and form a ball. The dough will be sticky at first but will come together as you form it. Place dough on a lightly floured surface and lightly pat into an 8" circle about 3/4" thick. Use a very sharp knife to cut into 8 triangles (like a pizza). Transfer triangles onto prepared baking sheet in a circle shape, leaving about 1" between each one. Bake scones for 15-17 minutes or until the tops begin to golden. Don't take them out too early or they will be too soft. Allow them to cool for 10 minutes on the pan before transferring onto a wire rack to finish cooling completely. During this time, prepare glaze. Stir together melted butter, confectioner's sugar, vanilla and orange juice until smooth. Once completely cooled, drizzle glaze on top of scones with a spoon.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Monster Cookie Dough Cupcakes

My oldest son's birthday fell on a day that his cousins had a baseball game. I usually pack up a supper for my kids and definitely include some kind of yummy treat for the night. I told him that since it was his birthday he could pick whatever he wanted for the treat. He found these yummy cupcakes on my pinterest board and wanted to try them. These are not for the faint of heart... More calories than you want to know about! But oh so sweet and delicious... I knew that we would be at the game with A LOT of other people, so I made up a double batch and took them with. They double batch was gone before we got home! Super yummy and so sweet that you might want to share with a friend... or hog it to yourself because it is so delish!

Monster Cookie Dough Cupcakes
(Recipe found at via Pinterest)

1/4 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1 cup sugar
2 whole eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups flour
1 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/3 cup milk
1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips

Cookie Dough Frosting:
8 ounces cream cheese, softened (don't use reduced fat or fat free!)
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1-2 cups powdered sugar
3 Tablespoons brown sugar
3 Tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup oats
3/4 bag plain mini M&Ms
3/4 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350. Use a mixer to whisk together all of the cupcake ingredients except for the chocolate chips. Stir in the chocolate chips with a spoon or spatula.
Fill each cupcake liner about 2/3 full of batter. Bake for 20 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean. Let cool on a wire rack. Meanwhile, use a mixer to beat together the cream cheese, butter, and peanut butter until smooth. Mix in the brown sugar, flour, vanilla, and oats. Mix in the powdered sugar 1 cup at a time. Finally add the M&Ms and chocolate chips, mix well. Use a large cookie scoop or ice cream scoop to scoop out the cookie dough onto the completely cooled cupcakes.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

BBQ Chicken Salad

There is a bagged salad by Marketplace that I buy every once in a while at the grocery store that is a BBQ Ranch salad. It is super yummy and I love it, even if it means a few extra calories when I am trying to eat healthy. This recipe made me think of that salad and I thought that a homemade version would be so much yummier (and healthier), so I knew that I needed to try it. I was right - it was fantastic!! Also, it had the added bonus of chicken involved so it was perfect for a main meal at my house. I doubled the recipe and threw in whole cans of everything canned and the whole fam gobbled it up. In fact my two oldest boys took it for lunch the next day as well. It was fabulous and another redo at this house!

BBQ Chicken Salad
(Recipe found at via Pinterest)

1 tablespoon olive oil
2 boneless, skinless thin-sliced chicken breasts
salt and pepper, to taste
6 cups chopped romaine lettuce
1 tomato, diced
3/4 cup canned corn kernels, drained
3/4 cup canned black beans, drained and rinsed
1/4 cup diced red onion
1/4 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/4 cup Ranch dressing
1/4 cup BBQ sauce
1/4 cup tortilla strips

Heat olive oil in a medium skillet over medium high heat. Season chicken breasts with salt and pepper, to taste. Add to skillet and cook, flipping once, until cooked through, about 3-4 minutes per side. Let cool before dicing into bite-size pieces. To assemble the salad, place romaine lettuce in a large bowl; top with chicken, tomato, corn, beans, onion and cheeses. Pour ranch dressing and BBQ sauce on top of the salad and gently toss to combine. Serve immediately, topped with tortilla strips.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Apple Fritter Bread

This has been on my pinterest board for a while now. I am a big fan of apple fritters and they are usually my go to at the bakery near our town. They are so soft and flaky - yumm.... maybe I need to take a trip to the bakery soon! :) So, when Teacher Appreciation Week came along and I was looking for a fun bread recipe to go with my slogan "There's no "breader" teacher than you." I came along with one and knew that this was my chance to try it. To quote my 4 year old "Oh My G-O-S-H!" this stuff was the bomb! I made these into mini loaves and sent 2 loaves per teacher which left me with a couple left over. I honestly had to bag it up because I kept going back for more and more! I will DEFINITELY be making this recipe again, probably sooner than later!

Apple Fritter Bread
(Recipe found at via Pinterest)

1/3 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2/3 cup white sugar
1/2 cup butter, softened
2 eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 3/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 cup milk
2 apples, peeled and chopped (any kind), mixed with 2 tablespoons granulated sugar and 1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 cup of powdered sugar
1-3 tablespoons of milk or cream- (depending on thickness of glaze wanted)

Preheat oven to 350. Use a 9x5 or 4 mini loaf pans and spray with non-stick spray. Mix brown sugar and cinnamon together in a bowl. Set aside. In another medium-sized bowl, beat white sugar and butter together using an electric mixer until smooth and creamy. Beat in eggs, 1 at a time, until blended in; add in vanilla extract. Combine flour and baking powder together in another bowl and add into creamed butter mixture and stir until blended. Mix milk into batter until smooth. Pour half the batter into the prepared loaf pan; add half the apples and half the brown sugar/cinnamon mixture. Lightly pat apple mixture into batter. Pour the remaining batter over apple layer and top with remaining apples and brown sugar/cinnamon mixture. Lightly pat apples into batter; swirl brown sugar mixture through apples using knife or spoon. Bake in the preheated oven until a toothpick inserted in the center of the loaf comes out clean, approximately 50-60 minutes. To make glaze, mix powdered sugar and milk or cream together until well mixed. Let cool for about 15 minutes before drizzling with glaze.

Monday, July 6, 2015

Saltine Cracker Toffee

Again I was searching for a yummy snack for my cub scout group and I had forgotten all about them coming. That meant scrounging through what I had at home... This recipe calls for everything that I keep stocked in my kitchen which could be a bad thing... These are super addicting and I think that the hubs and I had a hard time putting these down! So delish - I can't even tell you how to store them because the entire pan was gone that night, either from 9 hungry boys or from 2 sweets loving parents! :)

Saltine Cracker Toffee
(recipe found at via Pinterest)

40 salted saltine crackers or enough to line your pan
1 cup unsalted butter
1 cup packed brown sugar
2 cups milk chocolate or semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 400 and line a cookie sheet with at least a 1/2 inch edge or jelly roll pan with aluminum foil or parchment paper. Line saltine crackers in a single layer on the cookie sheet. In a small pot combine sugar and butter and bring to a boil. Once mixture is at a boil, continue boiling for 3 minutes. Mixture should be a deep caramel color. Immediately pour over saltines and spread to cover crackers completely. Bake at 400 for 5 to 6 minutes. It will get all bubbly. Remove from oven and sprinkle chocolate chips over the top and let sit a couple of minutes to melt. Spread melted chocolate and top with chopped nuts if desired. Cool completely and break into pieces.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Monster Cookies

I wasn't too sure about these monster cookies as I was making them - they were super crumbly and I was not impressed with how they were holding together. But, I pushed through and started squeezing them into balls so they would stay together and then pushing them down when they were on the pan. They taste super yummy and my husband LOVED them, but I think that I will keep up the search for an easier monster cookie that will hold together with less work.

Monster Cookies
(Recipe found at via Pinterest)

1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup white sugar
3/4 cup creamy peanut butter
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup quick cooking oats
3/4 cup m&ms
1/4 cup chocolate chips
1/4 peanut butter chips

Preheat the oven to 350. Combine butter, brown sugar and sugar in a large bowl mixer. Add the peanut butter, stir again. Add the egg, stir, vanilla stir. Measure in the baking soda and flour and stir just until combined. Stir in the oats, m&ms, chocolate chips and peanut butter chips. Scoop using a cookie scoop or two teaspoons measuring about 2 tablespoons onto a cookie sheet. Press down gently as they do not spread on their own. Bake for 9-10 minutes but no longer. You want these to stay soft. Remove from the oven and let cool on the cookie sheet for 2-3 minutes then move to a cooling rack.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Zucchini Chocolate Chip Muffins

I'm telling you - zucchini, sweet and savory go hand in hand. These are a yummy muffin that is good for breakfast or snack... Try using mini chocolate chips to make mini muffins - a popable option! :)

Zucchini Chocolate Chip Muffins
(Recipe found at via Pinterest)

1 cup finely shredded zucchini
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 large egg
2 tablespoons canola oil
1/4 cup honey
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup skim milk
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 375. Spray a muffin tin with nonstick spray or line with muffin liners. Set aside. In a large bowl whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In a medium bowl whisk together the egg, canola oil, honey and vanilla. Add skim milk and stir until combined. Slowly pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients and stir until incorporated. Fold in shredded zucchini and chocolate chips. Don’t overmix. It’s okay if a few lumps remain. Divide batter evenly between prepared 9 muffin cups and place in the oven. Bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Remove from the oven and let muffins cool in muffin pan until they’re safe to handle, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.