Friday, September 30, 2011

Creamy Salsa Crockpot Chicken

Here is another yummy find from Pinterest.  The crockpot has become my best friend lately.  On days I work, I am able to throw in some fabulous ingredients in the morning, and not have to rush to get dinner done before I head out the door.  I loved the flavor of this chicken, it tasted wonderful over some rice.  Enjoy :) 

Creamy Salsa Crockpot Chicken
From: Chef Mommy

1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts 
1 can cream of mushroom or cream of chicken soup (I used the cream of chicken)
1 cup salsa 
1 package taco seasoning
1 cup sour cream 
cilantro, for serving (optional) 
1 15 oz. can black beans (optional)

Put chicken, soup, and salsa in slow cooker. Sprinkle taco seasoning over everything. Cook on low for 6 hours. If shredding the chicken, pull the breasts out and shred; return back to slow cooker. Stir in sour cream (and black beans, if using) and heat just until everything is combined.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

{Skinny} Pumpkin Cupcakes with Pumpkin Spiced Cream Cheese Frosting

Um...excuse me...a cupcake WITH frosting that only has 121 calories, YES PLEASE!  Not only are these great in the calorie department, but they are beyond delicious.  Just don't judge them by my piping job, one of these days I will get a tip that actually works :)

For those of you counting Weight Watcher points, this has been calculated out for you already... 3 points, and that's with the frosting.  So go ahead, indulge!

{Skinny} Pumpkin Cupcakes with Pumpkin Spiced Cream Cheese Frosting
From:  Skinny Taste

18.25 oz Betty Crocker Golden Vanilla Super Moist Cake Mix* (I ended up using a yellow cake mix)
2 tsp pumpkin pie spice 
1 cup canned 100% pure pumpkin 
1 cup water

For the Pumpkin Cream Cheese Frosting:

8 oz Philadelphia 1/3 fat cream cheese (do not use fat free) 
1/2 cup pureed pumpkin (canned is fine) 
1 tsp vanilla extract 
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice 
5 tbsp packed brown sugar

Preheat oven to 350°. Line a cupcake tin with cupcake wrappers. Combine cake mix and pumpkin spice in a large bowl. Add pumpkin puree and water, mix about 2 minutes.

Fill cupcake liners 2/3 full and bake about 20 - 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

For the frosting, combine the cream cheese, pumpkin, vanilla, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice and brown sugar until smooth. You can use a spatula to ice the cupcakes or pipe them which may require making more frosting.  Makes 24

*Betty Crocker has reduced their cake mixes, so read the labels on your box. Dunkin Hines still carries 18.25 oz boxes.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Banoffee Pie

  • Bananas. Caramel.  Need I say more?!  I have always heard that sweetened condensed milk magically becomes dulce de leche when cooked long enough, but have yet to try it.  I'm glad I did.  This recipe requires little effort with big-time results, you will not be disappointed :)

  • Banoffee Pie
  • From:  Paula Deen

  • 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 10 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 2 (14-ounce) cans sweetened condensed milk 
  • 3 large bananas
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1/3 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
See below for methods to make the Dulce de Leche (I did stove top).

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (or go the fast route and buy a pre-made crust).
Mix graham cracker crumbs with softened butter and press mixture into 9-inch pie plate. Bake for 5 to 8 minutes.
Once both the crust and toffee filling are cooled, spread half of the filling evenly inside crust. Slice the bananas and layer on top of filling. Pour remaining half of filling over bananas, spreading evenly. Whip the cream with the confectioners' sugar and vanilla (or cheat like I did and use Cool Whip)and spread on top of toffee filling and bananas.

To make the caramel or Dulce de Leche:
Stove Top Method:  Remove the label from can of sweetened condensed milk.  Put in pot and cover completely with water.  Bring to a boil and reduce heat to a simmer.  Cook for 2 1/2 hours (I would say 3 hours, mine came out a little too runny).  Be sure to keep the can totally covered in water to be safe.  The can will burst if it is not completly covered in water the whole time!  Be careful!!  When cooled enough that you can handle with can with your bare hands, it is safe to open.
Crock Pot Method:  Take the label of the can and place in crock pot.  Cover completely with water.  Put lid on and cook on low for 8-10 hours.  Just once again make sure there is plenty of water and the cans are covered the entire time!  Cool before opening.
Oven Method:  Open can of sweetened condensed milk and pour into a glass pie plate.  Cover with tin foil.  Place in a roasting pan and fill pan halfway with water. Place in a 300 degree oven and bake for 40 minutes or until is a rich caramel color.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Ranch Pork Roast and Potatoes

I know I have said time and time again how I love my crockpot, especially on a Sunday. There is nothing like coming home from church KNOWING that you do not have to cook, only relax :) I love pork in the crockpot, it always turns out great. Then you add one of my favorite flavors, ranch, and all is well!

I must say the potatoes turned out amazing as well, super soft and flavorful, my one year old couldn't get enough of them!

Ranch Pork Roast and Potatoes
3 pounds boneless pork shoulder roast
non-stick cooking spray
1 pound new red-skinned potatoes, halved
1 can (10 3/4-ounce size) cream of chicken soup
1 package (8-ounce size) cream cheese, cubed and softened
envelope (0.4-ounce size) ranch dry salad dressing mix
freshly ground black pepper (optional)
Trim fat from meat. Lightly coat a large skillet with cooking spray; heat skillet over medium heat. In hot skillet brown roast on all sides. Remove from heat. 
Place potatoes in a 3-1/2- or 4-quart slow cooker. Place meat over potatoes. In a medium bowl whisk together soup, cream cheese, and salad dressing mix. Spoon over meat and potatoes in cooker. 

Cover and cook on low-heat setting for 9 to 10 hours or on high- heat setting for 4-1/2 to 5 hours. Serve with freshly ground black pepper, if desired.

Pasta with Spicy Chicken Sausage and Pears

The other day we went to Sam's Club, and my hubby found some spicy sausages he really wanted, having no idea what to do with these particular sausages, I came home and set out on a search.  This recipe is what I came across.  I liked the idea of it, because it used a pear...and I do love using seasonal ingredients!  This really was good, something different.  The sausage gives it most of it's flavor, so make sure you buy a great sausage!

Pasta with Spicy Chicken Sausage and Pears
From:  Fruit and Veggie Guru

12 oz. fettuccini pasta
1-lbs. spicy chicken sausage, cut into ½” thick slices (we got some habenero with monterey jack ones at Sam's Club)
1 T. olive oil
1 1/2 cups white wine
1 1/2 cups red bell pepper, thinly sliced
1 Red Anjou pear, cored and cut into matchstick slices
1/2 cup grated fresh Parmesan cheese
Prepare fettuccini according to package instructions.
In large sauté pan over medium heat, sauté sausage in olive oil until sausage is cooked through and browned.  Remove sausage from pan and set aside.
Add peppers to pan and sauté until slightly tender.
Add pears to pan and sauté until heated through but still crisp.  Remove peppers and pears and set aside.
Add wine to the pan and bring to a boil, scraping the browned bits from the bottom of the pan.  Continue to boil until reduced by half.
Add sausage, peppers and pears to the wine and toss to coat.
In a large serving bowl toss the freshly prepared pasta with the sausage mixture.
Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and serve.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Crockpot Teriyaki Hawaiian Haystacks (or Chinese Haystacks)

One of the ladies in my parent's ward loves Hawaiian haystacks, but never loved the cream of chicken soup gravy mixture that most recipes use.  She shared her recipe for this AMAZING teryaki version, which I now prefer over the traditional stuff as well!  I'm telling you, this chicken is awesome and hit the spot for a yummy dinner.

Teriyaki Chicken Hawaiian Haystacks
Adapted slightly from Sandi B.

about 3 pounds of chicken (give or take a little bit)
15 oz. can mandarin oranges
15 oz. can pineapple tidbits
1 bottle Lawrys Sesame Ginger Marinade
Teryaki Sauce

Place chicken in crockpot.  Drain the juices from the mandarin oranges and pineapple over chicken (save  oranges and pineapple for a topper for the haystacks).  Dump the salad dressing over the chicken, and then enough teriyaki sauce to cover the chicken.  Turn crockpot to low and cook 8-10 hours.  About an hour before serving, shred chicken and place back in crockpot.  Also at this time, combine equal parts of cornstarch and water in separate bowl (start with 2 Tbsp each) and add to crockpot.  Let thicken. 

Serve over cooked rice and top with things like:

mandarin oranges
pineapple tidbits
shredded cheddar cheese
chopped celery
green onion
sliced black olives
diced yellow and red peppers
small chow mein noodles
sliced almonds

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Halloween Bark

First off, check me out over at Kiki Creates today!  Click below :)

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Today, do I ever have a yummy Halloween treat for you!  This Halloween bark would be adorable in a cellophane bag, tied up with some ribbon.  It is also cute sitting in a Halloween bowl for parties.  This treat is perfect for neighbors, those you visit teach, teacher gifts, and Halloween parties...the possibilities are limitless!  

I have been holding onto this recipe since last year, and am thrilled to finally share it with you!  I am a sucker for salty-sweet combination snacks, and this one has just that.  The pretzels are the star in this snack, you will not be disappointed :)  My favorite part with the whole thing is the visual just LOOKS wonderful, so it must taste great, right?!  

Halloween Bark

1 pound melting chocolate or almond bark
14 Oreos
1 1/2 cups pretzel sticks, broken
1 cup candy corn
Halloween colored sprinkles

Cover a cookie sheet with wax paper. Break Oreos and pretzels and toss them along with 3/4 cup of the candy corn onto the cookie sheet. Melt chocolate and drizzle over the top and sprinkle with remaining candy corn and some sprinkles. Allow to cool and harden completely before breaking into pieces.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Warm Apple Cake with Butter Sauce

Oh glorious fall...I'm glad you've finally come!  'Tis the season for apples, peaches, and pumpkins, of spice and all things yummy :)  Today, I'd like to share a yummy apple cake my mom had at a church function.  

Last Sunday we had this yummy cake to top off a delicious Sunday dinner, courtesy of my Momma.

Warm Apple Cake with Butter Sauce
From:  Momma

Cream Together:

1/2 c. butter
2 c. sugar
2 eggs


4 c. apples, chopped small or grated in food processor

Stir In: 

2 c. flour
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
2 tsp. soda
2 tsp cinnamon

Pour into a greased 9x13 pan and bake at 325 degrees for 45-50 minutes.

Butter Sauce

1 c. butter
2 c. sugar
1 c. evaporated milk

Mix together and heat in saucepan on low boil just to melt butter and sugar.  Remove from heat and add 2 tsp vanilla.

Serve warm with whipping cream or vanilla ice cream.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Crockpot Beef Sandwiches

Here's another crockpot recipe for you!  My mom whipped these up the other day and they were quickly gobbled down.  The meat is so tender, and with the cheese, garlic salt, and crusty bread, you cannot lose!

Crockpot Beef Sandwiches
From: Momma

4 lb. beef roast (whatever's on sale!)
1 can beef broth
1 pkg. ranch dressing mix
1 pkg. italian dressing mix
French bread
Butter spread
Garlic salt
Provolone or swiss cheese slices

Place roast on crockpot and sprinkle with dressing mixes and dump in can of beef broth.  Cook on high for 6 hours, then turn to low for 2-3 hours.  Shred beef and let sit in juices.  

Cut bread in half and butter each side of the bread.  Sprinkle garlic salt over butter.  Place cheese slices on one side of the bread.  Leave open-faced and place in broiler until cheese melts.  Place beef on sandwich.  Cut into individual sandwiches and enjoy :)

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Zucchini-Ricotta Fritters

My Father-in-law had an abundant zucchini crop this year and has been looking for recipes to use them up.  This is one of these recipes he came across.  They turned out fabulously.  They had a great hashbrown-like texture and were a great side dish to some spaghetti.  Enjoy :)

Zucchini Ricotta Fritters

2 medium (about 7 ounces each) zucchini, coarsely shredded
2 clove(s) garlic, very thinly sliced
3 large scallions, very thinly sliced
1/2 cup(s) fresh sheep-milk ricotta cheese
2 large eggs
2 teaspoon(s) finely grated lemon zest
Kosher salt
Freshly ground pepper
3/4 cup(s) all-purpose flour
Olive oil, for frying
Lemon wedges, for serving

In a large bowl, combine the zucchini, garlic, scallions, ricotta, eggs, lemon zest, and 1 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Stir well, then stir in the flour just until incorporated.

Line a large baking sheet with paper towels. In a large skillet, heat 1/4 inch of olive oil until shimmering. Working in batches, add 2-tablespoon mounds of the zucchini batter to the hot oil, spreading them to form 3-inch fritters. Fry over moderately high heat, turning once, until browned and crisp, about 3 minutes. Drain the fritters on the paper towels and serve right away, with lemon wedges.

Here We Go Again!

I'm posting over on Kiki Creates today with one of my favorite pre-trick-or-treat soups....check it out!

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Monday, September 12, 2011

White Chocolate Frito Popcorn

Are you like me and love anything that has a  salty-sweet combo?  This fits the bill to a T!  We put some of this in little baggies as a thank you after a bridal shower, and it looked so cute.  I'm glad people took it or else I would have probably eaten it all and gained a few unwanted pounds!

White Chocolate and Frito Popcorn
From:  Your Home Based Mom

8 C of popped popcorn
1/2 to 1 lb. white chocolate, almond bark or melts (we used 1/2 lb.)
2 C Fritos, crushed
M &M's

Put popped corn and crushed Fritos into bowl. Melt chocolate in microwave. Pour melted chocolate over popcorn mixture and stir to coat completely. Pour onto a was paper or parchment paper lined cookie sheet,  sprinkle with M&Ms, then allow to cool and dry. Enjoy!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Lemon Lime Delight Bars

Nothing like a good lemon bar.  This one was a little different than some of the other recipes with the addition of some lime juice and lime zest.  They were mighty tasty, and will be made again!

Lemon-Lime Delight Bars
From:  Angel Shannon's Stick of Butter cookbook

2 sticks of butter (or margarine), softened
1/2 c. powdered sugar
2 c. flour
4 eggs, beaten
2 c. sugar
1/4 c. flour
4 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
2 Tbsp. fresh lime juice and zest, to taste

Combine butter, powdered sugar, and flour...mix well.  Press into a 9x13 pan and bake 15 minutes at 350 degrees.

Blend eggs, sugar, flour, juices, and zest together; pour into slightly cooled crust.  Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes or until set. 

Chill and sprinkle with additional powdered sugar, if desired.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Oreo Bon Bons

Chocolate lovers rejoice!  These little Oreo bon bons are seriously chocolate-y and addictive.  They were  easy to make and got gobbled up just about as fast as I made them.  Enjoy :)

Oreo Bon Bons
From:  emailed to me from Trish

1 (1lb) pkg Oreo cookies
8 ounces cream cheese

1 (16 ounce) package baking chocolate (I used chocolate almond bark, white bark would be cute, too)
1 (16 ounce) package melting chocolate (regular chocolate or white)

Place oreos in the food processor & pulse until roughly chopped.  Add cream cheese and process until completely combined.

Line baking pan with aluminum foil.  Roll into ball and place on foil.  Place in freezer until firm.

Melt chocolate according to directions on package.  Dip balls into chocolate to cover, place back on foil.

Melt chips according to package.  Use a fork, dip in chocolate and briskly flip fork around to cover bon bons.

Let chocolate set and serve.  Keep refigerated.

Chicken and Fruit Pasta Salad

I do love me some good summery salads.  It's salads like these that you can find in every ward cookbook out there, with slight variations...because everyone loves recipes like this!  This one is mighty tasty and hits the spot on a hot summer day.  I especially loved the apples in this one...tasty, tasty stuff.  Enjoy:)

Chicken and Fruit Pasta Salad
From:  Burch Creek 5th Ward Cookbook

Mix and put in refrigerator overnight
2 c. mayo
16 oz. coleslaw dressing
1/2 c. (or about a bunch) chopped green onion
salt and pepper to taste

6 c. cooked chicken*

16 oz. cooked small bowtie pasta

One hour before serving add:
1 7-8 oz. pkg. slivered almonds
3-4 apples, peeled and cubed (we used a combo of granny smith and gala)
1 c. chopped celery
1 medium can pineapple tidbits or mandarin oranges (or a combo of both)
1 lb. red seedless grapes, halved

Enjoy :)

*If using for a side salad, feel free to sub extra fruit in for the chicken.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Wonton Tartlets

Aren't these little babies just adorable!  I knew when I saw these on the cooking club email I would be making them.  I don't know why it took me a year and a half to try them, but I'm glad I finally did.  They were perfect for the bridal shower we just hosted, they were loved by all.  Enjoy :)

Wonton Tartlets
From:  my Cooking Club Archives...thanks Jessica N.!

12-18 wonton wrappers (found in refrigerated section of grocery store)
3 Tbsp. melted butter
1/3 c. brown sugar
8 oz. pkg cream cheese
2 Tbsp. honey
2 tsp. orange or lemon juice
fresh berries (I used strawberries)
cool whip

Brush one side of wonton with melted butter and sprinkle with brown sugar.  Press wonton, butter side UP, into nonstick muffin tin. Bake for 7-9 minutes at 325 until edges are lightly browned. Remove from pan to cool.

In a bowl, combine cream cheese, honey, and juice. Add about 1 cup of Cool Whip to sweeten and lighten the mixture.  Spoon mixture into each wonton. Top with berries, fresh mint, and a dollup of Cool Whip. Can be served immediately or refrigerated for later.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Easy Chocolate Peanut Butter Truffles

While I've been "home" for vacation, I helped host a bridal shower for my sister-in-law.  It gave me the chance to make some yummy new treats which I will be posting over the next couple weeks.

These truffles are super simple, yet impressive!  I love a good chocolate-peanut butter combo.  The truffle is super creamy and delicious.  Enjoy :)

Easy Chocolate Peanut Butter Truffles
From:  Favorite Family Recipes

1 package semi sweet chocolate chips

1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1 (8 oz.) container of cool whip (left out to room temp.)

Pour the chocolate chips into a microwave safe bowl, then fill a mug half full of water and place both the bowl and mug in opposite ends of the microwave. Stop and stir the chocolate chips every 30 seconds until completely melted. Add the peanut butter and mix well. Then thoroughly mix in the cool whip. Refrigerate for at least two hours until your chocolate mixture becomes firm enough to handle. Roll the mixture into balls (about the size of a rounded tablespoon), then roll the balls into powdered sugar, coconut, or nuts, or dip in chocolate. Return the balls to the fridge. They taste the best if they stay refrigerated.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Double Chocolate Zucchini Muffins

My child will NOT eat vegetables...never has, and I'm thinking maybe he never will!  It makes me smile when I can at least sneak a little bit off veggies in something I know he this case, chocolate.   

These muffins are moist and filled with yummy chocolate chips, I'd say even more like a cake than a muffin, so if you want these for breakfast and then again for dessert, I wouldn't blame you :)

Double Chocolate Zucchini Muffins
From:  Jamie Cooks It Up

4 C flour
1 1/2 C sugar
1/2 C cocoa
1 t baking soda
1/2 t baking powder
3/4 t salt
1 t cinnamon
1/2 t nutmeg
1 1/2 C oil
1 1/2 C milk
3 eggs
2 t vanilla
2 C shredded zucchini
1 1/2 C semi sweet chocolate chips (the original recipe calls for only 1 C, but I added an extra 1/2 C......why not?) 
1. Mix the wet ingredients together in a bowl with a whisk. Add the zucchini to the wet ingredients.
2. Mix all of the dry ingredients in a separate bowl with a wooden spoon.
3. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and stir, just until combined. Fold in the chocolate chips and you are ready for the muffin pan baby.
 4. Line your muffin tin with cupcake holders and fill a bit more than 2/3 of the way full. 
5. Bake at 350 for 17 minutes.