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Thursday, December 31, 2015

Sweet Treats

Hello my Friends! I hope all of you enjoyed your holidays :) All of you know how much I love baking but sometimes you just want something sweet & satisfying without all the hassle of baking. A few Christmases ago, my dear friend Julie brought me buckeye balls to try & they were amazing! For those who don't know, they are essentially a chocolate peanut butter truffle...how can you go wrong with that combo?! Now, many of you will think I'm nuts when I say I am not a Reese's fan but this chocolate peanut butter delight is definitely a favorite. I hope you will try these easy,sweet delights and enjoy!

BUCKEYE BALLS
1 1/2c. creamy peanut butter
1/2 cup salted butter (at room temp.) 
1 tsp vanilla extract 
1 16-oz pkg confectioners sugar 
1 6-oz pkg semisweet chocolate chips
2 tbs solid vegetable shortening 

Instructions:
1)Line baking sheet with wax paper.
In medium bowl, mix peanut butter, butter, vanilla and sugar with hands to form a smooth dough. Mixture should be very stiff. 
2)Shape dough into balls, using 2 tsp for each (I make them smaller). 
3)Place on wax paper and refrigerate.  Melt chocolate and shortening.
4)When smooth, with toothpick, dip peanut butter balls in melted chocolate about 3/4 way down.
5)Put back on wax paper and refrigerate until set.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Sandwich Heaven

My friends there is nothing more satisfying than an awesome sandwich. One of mine & my brother's favorites is the Philly Cheesesteak. We both LOVE them! Last night I made them for my bro for dinner which is always a hit. I actually love doing them with chicken as well which is what I made tonight for myself :) Simple sauteed chicken breast with cheese,caramelized onions & vinegar peppers is how I love them. Believe me when I say that they are also low fat(YES you heard me! LOW FAT!) and if you choose to omit the bread which is fine they become gluten free :) I hope you enjoy my awesome Philly Chickens!

PHILLY CHICKEN SANDWICHES
Serves 4

Ingredients:
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut in half into cutlets & pounded to even thickness
1/2 tablespoon mayo
1 teaspoon ketchup
8 slices cheese (use your favorite but I had Velveeta singles in the house so I used those)
Vinegar peppers (I like B & G sandwich toppers sweet peppers) 

8 slices cooked bacon

4 sesame seed hoagie rolls

Method:
1) Heat a non-stick pan over medium heat. Add just a little canola oil to pan.
2)Mix ketchup & mayo together in small bowl. Spread on inside of each roll.
3)Cook chicken until done. Remove pan from heat & reduce heat to low.
4) Place 2 slices cheese on each cutlet & cover pan. Place back on low heat just until cheese melts.
5) Build your sandwich & enjoy!!

*To make caramelized onions, heat a pan on medium low heat with 3 tablespoons each olive oil & butter. Thinly slice 4 onions & add them to pan. Season with salt & pepper. Cook stirring occasionally until brown & sweet :)*

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Sweet Classic :)

I don't know about you but I LOVE good classic pound cake! I have been craving it lately. I recently recalled a conversation I had a while back with a customer at the store I work at. She told me about this pound cake recipe she uses that requires the oven to be COLD when the cake goes in. Now, all of you are probably going Huh? No way the oven has to preheat! Well I was the same way...until I tried it! This cake was incredible! Absolutely perfect! I now share with you Marge's Cold Oven Pound Cake...make at your own risk! :)

Marge’s COLD OVEN POUND CAKE

*OVEN MUST BE COLD ----- TURN OVEN TO 325 AFTER YOU PUT THE CAKE IN.*

Ingredients:
3 Cups sugar
3 cups all purpose flour
2 sticks of butter softened to room temperature
½ cup of butter Crisco
6 eggs
1 tsp. salt
1 cup milk
1 tsp. each of vanilla & lemon ( or can use two tsps.. of the same extract)

Method:
1)Cream sugar, butter and Crisco together, add eggs one at a time.  
2)Mix flour and salt together.
3) Add in flour mixture alternating with milk. Add extract, mix well.  
4)Bake in 10” tube pan at 325 degrees for 1 hour and 20 minutes  to 1 hr. and 30 minutes. (test cake, if knife comes out clean—remove from oven. *DO NOT OPEN THE OVEN UNTIL AFTER 1 HR.* Let cool & enjoy :)

Monday, May 18, 2015

A Return to Chocolate Heaven

My Dear Friends, by now you've probably realized I have an obsession with chocolate. This sinful delight has been a favorite for my entire life. I do so many things with it as you will see in future posts :) So I was thinking about my Aunt Cheryl and I remembered this absolutely killer chocolate trifle she made for my father's birthday party a few years ago...it was pure Heaven! This is definitely one of those things that you can play around with and make it your own. Now, I am all for using cake baked from scratch but by all means use the best box mix you can find. Also, feel free to substitute Cool Whip for the fresh whipped cream. I am approximating the amounts for this recipe so feel free to message me if you try it & let me know what you changed :)

DIVINE CHOCOLATE TRIFLE:
1 box chocolate cake mix (plus ingredients for making)
2  large boxes chocolate pudding (plus milk for making)
1 quart heavy cream
Heath bar toffee bits & mini chocolate chips

DIRECTIONS:
1) Make cake according to package directions & cool completely
2) Make pudding according to package &chill
3) Whip cream sweetening with powdered sugar to your taste.
To Assemble:
1)Cut cake into small cubes
2) Layer cake, pudding & cream sprinkling toffee bits & mini chips onto each cream layer. End with cream & sprinkle more toffee & mini chips to garnish.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Retro Fave

Hello All! Sorry for my long absence! Today, I decided to write about one of my all time favorite childhood desserts...Icebox Cake! Everyone remembers that heavenly frozen treat made with chocolate wafer cookies & whipped cream and how we couldn't wait until it was frozen enough to cut into! Well I know that even tho I work in a supermarket, those chocolate cookies can be a little hard to find so one day when I couldn't find them I used my favorite cookie-a good old Chips Ahoy chocolate chip. This version of icebox cake came out amazing!!!! Some recipes I have found call for dipping the cookie in milk first which I don't think is necessary. I watched an episode of Food Network's Barefoot Contessa(my favorite cooking show) & she made a version with thin chocolate chip cookies & mocha whipped cream. I happen to not be a fan of coffee or coffee flavor so I didn't like that one. Hopefully this little twist on a retro fave will satisfy your sweet tooth & that little bit of nostalgia in you :)

Chocolate Chip Icebox Cake:
2 packages of regular Chips Ahoy Cookies
3 1/2 cups heavy cream
2 tsp. Vanilla
Powdered sugar to taste

Instructions:
1) Line a springform or loaf pan with plastic wrap.
2) Whip cream with a few tablespoons of powdered sugar to taste & vanilla until stiff but soft peaks form.
3) Place a layer of cream on bottom of pan and then a layer of cookies breaking cookies if needed. Continue layering cream & cookies ending with cream.
4) Freeze until firm about 6 hrs. to overnight.
5) Remove from pan & "frost" with more whipped cream & chocolate shavings.
* Let stand 20-30 minutes before slicing.*

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

One Pan Wonder

Well my friends, if you're like me with a crazy work schedule you want to come home & make an easy dinner. Last night I made the most awesome one pan meal ever! Simple,tasty & budget friendly makes this the perfect weeknight dinner. This awesome dinner consists of chicken thighs (YUM!),potatoes & green beans...you can't get any easier & its done in an hour! Enjoy!

LEMON PEPPER CHICKEN WITH POTATOES & GREEN BEANS
Serves 6-8

INGREDIENTS :
6-8 bone in chicken thighs
1lb potatoes cut into chunks (I like Yukon Gold or Red)
1lb fresh green beans,trimmed
Lemon Pepper seasoning (I used McCormick Perfect Pinch Lemon Pepper)
10 cloves garlic,peeled
DIRECTIONS:
1)Preheat oven to 450
2) In large roasting pan, toss potatoes,green beans & garlic together with olive oil,salt & pepper.
3)Nestle chicken in pan but not on top of veggies. Drizzle olive oil onto chicken & season with lemon pepper & a little salt. Place a pat of butter onto each piece of chicken.
4) Roast for an hour until juices of chicken run clear,tossing potatoes & beans every so often.

Friday, January 9, 2015

New Year!

Hello my friends! I apologize for my absence. Life was just crazy with the holidays as I'm sure you all know. So I have been trying to figure out the perfect recipe to start the New Year and I think I have it! This is the season for hearty, comforting meals & this one is just that.
Growing up, I always loved my Nana's stuffed shells which I make whenever I can. I decided to try a different version one day so I found this one online. It combines my favorite stuffed shells with chicken & alfredo sauce & it is yummy! Here is my spin on it. Enjoy!

Chicken Alfredo Stuffed Shells
Prep Time: 15mn
Cook Time: 50mn
Total Time: 1hr 5mn
INGREDIENTS
1 box jumbo shells
2 cups shredded cooked chicken(I used a rotisserie one)
1 Large container ricotta cheese
2 cups mozzarella cheese, divided
2 eggs, slightly beaten
2 and 1/2 cups alfredo sauce (check out my recipe on here)

DIRECTIONS
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
1)Cook shells according to package directions. Lay on foil to dry
2)In a large bowl combine shredded cooked chicken, ricotta, and 1 cup mozzarella cheese. Season with salt & pepper. Add in eggs, slightly beaten.
3)Pour half of the Alfredo sauce on the bottom of a 9 x 13 inch casserole dish.
Fill the shells with the filling, then arrange the shells on top of the sauce.
4)Top with remaining sauce. Cover and bake for 35-40 minutes.
5)Rwmove foil & top with remaining 1 cup mozzarella cheese and bake uncovered for until the cheese has melted & slightly browned.
You’ll have enough filling for about 20-25 jumbo stuffed shells.