Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Peanut Butter and Jam Bars

I am sharing this recipe over at Kiki and Company this week...go check out her adorable lunch box notes to go along with the back-to-school theme!  

My eldest son is just days away from starting ALL DAY kindergarten.  This is so not fair...they need to break me in slowly with the half-day stuff I grew up with!  In any case, life is gonna be different and now school schedules are going to rule my life, vacations, etc. for the next who knows how many years by the time I finish having kids!  

So, with that said...I've always wanted to be a cool mom that has awesome after-school snacks for the kiddos, sometimes healthy and sometimes a sweet treat awaiting my little men when they arrive home.  When I came across this recipe a few years ago, I knew I needed to tuck it away for just this occasion.  It is a treat that just SCREAMS after-school snack :)

Peanut Butter and Jam Bars

1 pouch (1 lb 1.5 oz) Betty Crocker® peanut butter cookie mix
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 tablespoon water
1 egg
1/2 cup peanut butter chips


1 container (1 lb) Betty Crocker® Rich & Creamy vanilla frosting (I used whipped)
1 tablespoon milk
1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
1/4 cup seedless raspberry or strawberry jam

Heat oven to 350°F. Spray bottom of 13x9-inch pan with cooking spray.

In large bowl, stir all Cookie Base ingredients until soft dough forms. Press dough in bottom of pan using floured fingers. Bake 15 to 18 minutes or until edges are light golden brown. Cool completely, about 30 minutes.

In small bowl, stir frosting, milk and peanut butter until well blended. Spread over base. Stir jam; drop by teaspoonfuls over frosting. Swirl jam for a marbled design with tip of knife. Refrigerate 20 minutes or until set. For bars, cut into 9 rows by 4 rows.  I like these better cold, straight out of the refrigerator!

Recipe Source:  Betty Crocker

Happy School Days!  What do you give your kids for after-school snacks...I'm open to suggestion :)


Thursday, August 22, 2013

Pumpkin Zucchini Bread

This afternoon, I went to my husband's office where they were having a Pinterest potluck.  So basically the rules were you had to find your recipes somewhere from Pinterest.  It was totally fun (and yummy), and I hope they do it again soon :)  This bread was one of my two contributions.

This bread was a perfect transition for me from summer to fall, and since I still had a can of pumpkin left from last season, and zucchinis plentiful in the garden...I went for it!  

This bread is super moist and as always, I love the addition of nuts into any baked goods. 

Pumpkin Zucchini Bread

3 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup canned pumpkin
1 cup butter, melted (or 1 cup oil or 1/2 cup oil and 1/2 cup applesauce)
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1-2 cups shredded zucchini
1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

In a bowl, combine eggs and sugar. Add pumpkin, butter (or oil/applesauce) and vanilla. Combine dry ingredients; gradually add to pumpkin mixture and mix well. Stir in zucchini and nuts. Pour into two greased and floured 9-in. x 5-in. loaf pans. Bake at 350° for 45-55 minutes or until breads test done. Cool in pans 10 minutes. Remove to a wire rack. Yield: 2 loaves.

Recipe Source:  Six Sisters Stuff

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

{Overnight} Ham and Cheese Enchiladas

In the last few months I have discovered the wonderful ham steaks from Costco.  They are perfect for all those ham recipes I want to try without having to cook a whole ham...and if you do want to cook a whole ham, this is a great way to use up leftovers.  

These would be great for breakfast, but we actually had them for dinner.  They are definitely hearty enough for either meal!  
{Overnight} Ham and Cheese Enchiladas
2 cups cubed and cooked ham
1/2 cup chopped green onions
2 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese, divided
10 flour tortillas (6-8 inches)
1 1/4 cup half-and-half
4 whole eggs
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon flour
salsa, sour cream, and additional green onions for serving

In a medium bowl stir together ham, green onions and 2 cups of cheese (save the remaining 1/2 cup for later). Spray a 9x13 inch baking dish with cooking spray. Use a 1/3-cup measuring cup to scoop out cheese mixture onto a tortilla. Roll up tortilla and place seam side down in the baking dish. Roll up all tortillas and place them into the baking dish with the sides touching.

Whisk together half-and-half, eggs, salt, and flour. Pour over tortillas. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
In the morning, preheat oven to 350º. Bake covered for 30-40 minutes. Remove foil and sprinkle remaining 1/2 cup of cheese over enchiladas. Bake for 10 more minutes or until tops are golden brown and the egg mixture is set.

Serve with salsa, sour cream, and additional green onions.

Recipe Source: The Girl Who Ate Everything

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Blueberry Lime Cream Cheese Pound Cake

Well, I'm at it again...busting out the bread pan!  Although this time it is technically a cake, I still feel like I am on a bread kick lately!  I have been loving all of our produce we've been stocking up on, and blueberries are one that has taken our freezer over.  This is a yummy way to use up some of those berries. 

This is a refreshing summertime dessert that everyone will love.

Blueberry Lime Cream Cheese Pound Cake

Yield: 1 Loaf Cake

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, room temperature
4 oz PHILADELPHIA cream cheese, room temperature
2/3 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons lime zest
1 cup fresh blueberries

Cream cheese frosting:
4 oz cream cheese, room temperature
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
(you can also add some extra lime zest to this if you prefer ;)

Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter a 9 x 5 loaf pan. Line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper and butter the parchment paper as well. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

In stand mixer, beat together cream cheese, butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add eggs one at a time, throughly mixing each time. Add vanilla extract and lime zest, mixing until combined.

Pour flour mixture over the batter mixture. Using a large rubber spatula, gently fold in the flour until it’s completely mixed in and there are no pockets of dry flour. Lastly, gently fold in the blueberries.

Transfer batter to prepared baking loaf pan. Bake for 55-65 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let sit until cool, at least 30 minutes and then remove from pan.

In a stand mixer or large bowl, cream butter and cream cheese until smooth. Add confectioners' sugar and beat on low speed until combined, then on high until frosting is smooth. Beat in vanilla extract.

Carefully frost on top of the cooled poundcake and store in fridge until ready to serve.

Recipe Source:  the Novice Chef

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Banana Zucchini Bread

I am continuing my quest to use up zucchini and not to let it go to waste!  So here is my next attempt at using it up.  This bread turned out super moist and was a great way to use up not only the zucchini, but those 3 bananas that were just about ready to be thrown away.

This is really yummy for breakfast and is good with a little Nutella spread on top.  Yum!

Banana Zucchini Bread

3 over-ripe medium (1 cup) bananas, mashed
1 cup fresh zucchini, grated
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup vegetable oil
3/4 cup caster sugar
1 egg, beaten
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
1/2 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 350ºF/180ºC.

In a mixing bowl, combine mashed bananas, oil, egg, vanilla, and mix. Add in sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and mix. Add flour, and mix until just combined. Stir in zucchini. Pour mixture into a greased and floured baking pan. Bake for 1 hour (check for doneness at 50 minutes) or until a wooden pick comes out clean (I split mine into 2 smaller pans and they cooked about 45 minutes). Allow to cool before removing from pan.

Recipe Source: Easy Banana Recipes

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Creamy Grape Salad

I have this problem.  Whenever I go to a cookout, I head straight for the salads and by the time I finish those I totally don't have room left for a main course!  This salad would be the culprit of this at my last BBQ.  It is seriously so good, I can't stop eating it.  You'd never know there was sour cream in it, but it gives it a yummy tang that it needs to make it work. 

Once the brown sugar gets mixed in, it tastes very caramel-y and delicious.  A perfect treat for any get together.  (and just for reference, it is good for breakfast the next day as well :)

Creamy Grape Salad

1 lb firm green grapes
1 lb firm red grapes
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
8 oz. sour cream (greek yogurt works here as well)
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 c. sugar
1/2 c. brown sugar
1/2 c. pecans, chopped

Wash and dry grapes.

Beat cream cheese, sour cream, white sugar & vanilla with electric mixer. Coat grapes with cream cheese mixture and spread in 9 X 13 pan or large bowl. Refrigerate.

Just before serving, toss brown sugar & pecans and sprinkle over the top of grapes (I don't recommend adding nuts/brown sugar ahead of time...the nuts loose their crunch and the brown sugar dissolves into the cream cheese mixture)

Recipe Source: Momma


Saturday, August 3, 2013

Lemon-Glazed Zucchini Bread

There is nothing more gratifying than picking your own vegetables out of your own garden!!  This is the first year we planted a garden, and it's been a learning experience.  We have had some great successes and failures.  Our zucchini and jalapenos are definitely thriving, hence all the recipes you will soon be seeing :)  

This bread is extremely tasty...very moist, and not too sweet.  It has a lot less sugar than many other zucchini recipes you will come across.  The glaze is the perfect compliment to the bread.  This would be a great brunch item alongside some fresh fruit!

Makes one 9×5″ loaf

Lemon-Glazed Zucchini Bread
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
2 eggs
1/2 cup canola oil
2/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup buttermilk
Juice of 1 lemon (or 2 Tablespoons lemon juice)
Zest of 1 lemon
1 cup grated zucchini (you don’t need to peel the zucchini before grating it)

Preheat oven to 35o degrees. Grease and flour a 9×5″ loaf pan; set aside.

In large bowl, blend flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside.

In medium bowl, beat 2 eggs well, then add canola oil and sugar, and blend well. Then add the buttermilk, lemon juice, and lemon zest and blend everything well. Fold in zucchini and stir until evenly distributed in mixture.

Add this mixture to the dry ingredients in the large bowl and blend everything together, but don’t overmix.

Pour batter into prepared 9×5″ loaf pan and bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean (if your oven tends to run hot, check the loaf after 40 minutes; also, if you make this in an 8×4″ loaf pan, your baking time may be a little longer…about 5 to 10 minutes more). Cool in pan 10 minutes, then remove to a wire rack and cool completely. While loaf is cooling, you can make the glaze…


1 cup powdered sugar
Juice of 1 lemon (or 2 Tablespoons lemon juice)

In small bowl, mix powdered sugar and lemon juice until well blended. Spoon glaze over cooled loaf. Let glaze set, then serve.

Recipe Source:  Nancy Creative