Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Candy Cane Crinkle Cookies

So, this blog has been dormant for awhile and may continue to be, but here is a new recipe.  I haven't branched out much and have really just been using recipes that I already know.  I came across a recipe for Candy Cane cookies on pinterest and decided to try it.  Here is the original link (click here)

One reason that I keep this blog (besides my avid 3 readers) is that it makes it really easy to keep track of things I can actually make ;-)

Here were the cookies:


3 whole peppermint candy canes
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 egg
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. baking powder
1/8 tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup powdered sugar

I doubled the recipe and actually used 8 candy canes.  Why not make more if you are going to go through the effort.  

Cook at 350 for about 9 minutes.

Step 1: Put the candy canes in a bag and crush them with a mallet 

 Step 2: Mix in all of the other ingredients.  (You can slowly mix them but ehy)

Step 3: Scoop them out into about a tablespoon size on a cookie sheet covered by parchment paper.  

Step 4: Cook at 350 for 9 minutes.  Let cool for 9 minutes.


Let me just say that these are better after sitting for several hours, unlike most cookies that are best right out of the oven.  They basically taste like sugar cookies with a little bit of peppermint. 

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Buffalo chicken dip- Success!!

Here's another easy, party favorite:

Buffalo chicken dip

2 cans of white meat chicken (you could use fresh, shredded chicken breasts)
1 cup fat free ranch
1 cup hot sauce (I actually use much more than this)
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 8 oz package fat free cream cheese

Just throw it in the crockpot and viola!

Serve with tortilla chips, bread, or you could turn it into a sandwich. The dip tastes better than the picture looks. BTW, I really dislike ranch and never eat it with my hot wings, but you can't even taste it!

Spinach Artichoke Dip- SUCCESS!

I tried a new recipe that I found online for Spinach Artichoke Dip. Here it is:


8 oz fat free cream cheese
1/3 cup shredded Parmesan cheese (and more for on top.... I probably used 1 whole bag between the 2)
1/3 cup fat free sour cream
1/3 cup fat free mayo
10 oz frozen chopped spinach- thawed and drained
1 large can (approx 10 oz) artichoke hearts- finely chopped
4 cloves roasted garlic
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes

You obviously don't have to use fat free, but it greatly helps and you can't taste the difference!

1) Step 1: Roast the garlic
This was new for me. You basically just bake unpeeled garlic cloves at 350 degrees for 25-30 min. As you see here:

2) Step 2:
Combine cream cheese, Parmesan, sour cream, mayo, spinach, artichokes, garlic, salt, red pepper. Mix and spread into a baking dish. Sprinkle Parmesan on top. (I completely coated it with a layer... also, I forgot to defrost the spinach, so I put it in hot water and then strained it. I think put it in a big ball and squished out all of the water)

3) Step 3:
Bake for 35-40 minutes or until the top is browned at 400 degrees. You could probably also cook in a crock pot. I baked and then put it in a crock pot to stay warm.


Sunday, January 29, 2012

Crock Pot Chicken Tortilla Soup

While my cilantro lime chicken was cooking, I used a 2nd crockpot to make this soup and served it on the size. Yum. (Click here for the original pinterest recipe).

Here are the ingredients:

1 can black beans, drained
1 can corn, drained
1 can diced tomatoes (I used a 14.5 oz can that was spicy with diced chiles)
1 can enchilada sauce, red (the recipe calls for 1 packet mix, so you could try that and mix with water)
1 can (8 oz) tomato sauce (I used low sodium)
1 can (10 3/4 oz) cream of chicken soup (I used low sodium/low fat)
2 cup milk
3-4 chicken breasts (I used 5)

I also added:
2 cans of small, diced chile peppers
2 jalapenos

Put everything in a crockpot, except the milk and soup. Combine the milk and soup in a bowl and whisk, then add it to the mix.

Cook on low for 6 hours (I cooked for 4.5 and it was good).

After it is cooked, I pull out the chicken, chop into pieces and put back in. Then, serve with Mexican cheese and crushed tortilla chips on top.


Slow cooker cilantro lime chicken

Today, I decided to take a stab at this recipe from Pinterest: Cilantro Lime Chicken.

It was very easy and very tasty. Here is the recipe:

24 oz jar medium salsa (I used 30 oz of Medium Pace Picante)
Juice from 1 lime
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped (I probably used a bit more, I just grabbed a bushel and chopped)
1.25 oz package taco seasoning (I used 2 packages)
2 jalapeno peppers
6 boneless chicken breasts (mine were frozen)
I also added 1 can of diced green chiles

Then, I threw all of this into a slow cooker for 4.5 hours (it calls for 6).

It was damn good, if I must say so myself. Here are pics:

The amount of cilantro I used

All of the ingredients in the pot

Viola..... I also added a bit of shredded Mexican cheese on top. You could serve this in a tortilla, but I preferred it alone.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Veggie lasagna- a sucessful, real recipe :-)

Now it's time for a real recipe, vegetarian lasagna. Here were my ingredients:

shredded mozzarella, fresh mozzarella, no-boil lasagna noodles, spaghetti sauce (see my rec from the stuffed shells), fresh garlic, squash, artichoke hearts, frozen spinach, portbella mushrooms, jalapeno, olive oil, dried minced onion, crushed red pepper

Here they are (ignore the onion, I got lazy):

I also attempted to add eggplant, but I couldn't get it peeled. HA!!

OK, here we go.

Step 1: Peel the squash (I used 2 squash....). I sauteed all veggies with olive oil, garlic, crushed red pepper, and dried minced onion. I had to do several batches and then save the rest in a bowl when they were done due to the very small pan I had. Again, I used this garlic:

And here are the spices:

Step 2: Cut up one jalapeno (optional...not like you're forced to do anything else I write)

Step 3: Cut up the mushrooms (ok, you don't have to go in that order)

Step 5: Sautee.... the artichoke hearts were also added now

Step 6: open up the awesome fresh mozz and give it a taste. YUM! I bought the pearls this time so you didn't even need to cut it and they worked fine

Step 7: Make up for the mozzarella by sauteing the spinach. I literally just throw it in frozen in the chunk and let it melt

Step 8: Preheat the oven to 375. Put down a layer of sauce

Step 9: Put down a layer of noodles

Step 10: Add a layer of your sauteed mix.

Sprinkle through the fresh mozz (I would have probably put in a bit more mozz than pictured)

Step 11:Cover that layer with sauce, then another layer of noodles, then another layer of sauce, then another layer of sauteed-ness. Don't forget the mozzarella!

Step 12: Cover that layer with noodles, then more sauce (I used 2 bottles in all), and then shredded mozz on top.

Step 13: Cover it with foil and bake for about 45 minutes or until the cheese it totally melted and bubbling. Notice that I used a disposable lasagna tray (about $2 at Hy-Vee) because ours is packed somewhere.


Breakfast sandwich.... this is what I get for trying something new

When I am not running late in the morning, I often try to start out the day with the breakfast sandwich. It's super easy, unless you decide to cook bacon in a skillet instead of the microwave for the first time.

Here are the ingredients:

Eggs (I use egg beaters), pepperjack cheese, turkey bacon, thin bagel

(Obviously, you can use real eggs, real bacon, real bagels/bread, or any type of cheese)

First, cook the eggs in a skillet. I literally just pour them in on med/low and stir... no fancy folding or anything

Cook the bacon (I always microwave.... here is my skillet attempt)

Hmmm...what happened...

Toast the bread, put the cheese on the bread:

Stack it all up in the sandwich:

Mmmmm.... Viola! I have to admit that I had less eggs this time because I dropped part of them on the floor. Marley dog scarfed them up. Sigh.