Thursday, January 22, 2015

Banana Pudding Chewy Crinkle Cookies

I was scrolling through Instagram one day recently and saw that one of my friends had posted about a birthday of a family member.  She said her family member did not like cake, so they made him a cake out of his favorite cookies, these cookies.  I immediately went on a search for a recipe and came across these.  I am so glad I did!!  These cookies are so moist, and as an added bonus, you get small bits of vanilla wafer cookies right in the cookie!  

I had a friend come spend the night last week when her hubs was out of town.  I had to make a treat of course!  Perfect opportunity to test these babies out.  They were gobbled up by us and the kids in a hurry!  Enjoy :)

Banana Pudding Chewy Crinkle Cookies

2-1/4 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour
½ tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
⅔ of 3.4 oz package of banana cream pudding mix
¼ tsp salt
¾ cup white granulated sugar
3 oz. cream cheese, room temperature, cut into small pieces
½ cup unsalted butter, melted and warm
1 large egg, room temperature
1 Tbsp. whole milk
About 8 vanilla wafer cookies, chopped (not crushed)
1 cup of powder sugar for rolling cookies

Preheat the oven to 350 and line the cookie sheet with parchment paper.

Place sugar and cream cheese in a large bowl.  Pour warm butter over sugar and cream cheese and whisk until all combined.  Add egg and milk, whisk until smooth.  Fold in chopped vanilla wafers.  Add flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder and banana cream mix. Mix with rubber spatula until completely combined. (You may have to just use your hands once dry ingredients are folded into wet ingredients, to finish mixing the cookie dough.)

Form 1-inch balls and roll them in powder sugar.  Place cookie balls on the baking sheet about 2 inches apart.  Bake for 11-12 minutes.

Recipe Source:  Will Cook For Smiles

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Pear and Raspberry Salad

I went to a friend's house last week where we had some crepes.  She had bought the most beautiful raspberries to go on them, and they tasted so so good!  So when I got home, naturally I wanted to buy some myself...and I did.  I just happened across this recipe browsing Pinterest one morning and it sounded perfect!  It was a very light and refreshing lunch, perfect for any weekday or it would even impress dinner guests!  

Pear and Raspberry Salad
Servies 4-6

4 cups romaine, chopped
1 cup raspberries
2 pears, thinly sliced
½ cup shelled pistachios
½ cup crumbled feta cheese
Creamy Poppyseed Dressing:
⅓ cup mayonnaise
¼ cup 2% milk
3 tablespoons sugar
4 teaspoons cider vinegar
2 teaspoons poppy seeds

To make the dressing: Whisk together in a small bowl mayonnaise, milk, sugar, cider vinegar, and poppyseeds. Set aside.

In a large bowl add tossed romaine, raspberries, pears, pistachios, and feta cheese. Toss the salad. Add the poppyseed dressing and carefully toss to coat all of the ingredients. Serve immediately.

Recipe Source:  The Recipe Critic

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Black Beans and Rice with Chicken and Apple Salsa

Well, it appears we are headed to Mexico this summer!  So excited for a little child-free time with the hubs :)  In conjunction with that, I am feeling more pressure than ever to get these baby pounds gone.  Did I mention my baby is 14 months?!  Ya, it's time.  Overall, I have been eating much better, but I just can't get rid of my love of baking.  Being able to send treats with the hubs to work has been my saving grace lately.

My hubs loves hearty meals, and things like this usually are not what he wants for dinner.  When he came in the door he said "that looks way too healthy!"  By the time he was done, he said "I stand corrected once again."  He compared the dish to beans and rice we got in Puerto Rico that he LOVED!

And don't turn your nose up at the apple salsa.  It brings everything together and gives it that "fresh" element. So, so good!

Black Beans and Rice with Chicken and Apple Salsa
Adapted from Bon Appetit, January 2012 

1 cup chopped peeled Granny Smith apple
1/4 cup chopped cilantro, divided
1/3 cup finely chopped red onion, divided
2 limes
1/3 cup finely chopped green bell pepper
1-2 tablespoons olive oil
3 garlic cloves, finely minced
1 teaspoon chili powder
3/4 teaspoons coriander
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1 13.5 ounce can chicken broth
2 15-ounce cans black beans, drained and rinsed
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 cups cooked brown or white rice
1 rotisserie chicken, or 4 grilled chicken breasts
4-6 lime wedges

Combine apple, cilantro, 2 tablespoons onion, and the juice from half a lime.  Sprinkle with a little kosher salt and black pepper.  Set aside.

Combine remaining onion, bell pepper, and oil in a large skillet.  Cook over medium heat, stirring often, until completely softened, 6-7 minutes.  Add garlic and next 3 ingredients; stir constantly for 2 minutes.  Stir in broth and beans; bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to medium; simmer briskly, mashing some of hte beans with the back of a spoon and stirring often, until sauce is thickened, 8-10 minutes (or longer if needed).  Season with salt and pepper to taste and a big squeeze of lime juice.  Divide rice and beans among plates.  Top with some chicken and apple salsa.  Garnish with additional cilantro and lime wedges.  Serves 4-6.

Recipe Source:  Our Best Bites

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Buckeye Brownie Cookies

Can I get a O-H?! Wahoo Buckeyes!!! What a game...I couldn't sleep last night, too excited!  My husband was actually AT the National Championship and I am SO SO bummed I did not go with him!  Instead, I was on my own couch screaming, jumping up and down, and yelling in my own family room by myself.  Oh well...they won is all that matters.  Oh how we miss Columbus and our Ohio family we made while there! #BuckeyeForLife

Anyhow, back to the recipe portion of the blog...for the game, I made these yummy Buckeye Brownie Cookies, and man oh man are they delicious!  Since the hubs was gone, I made up a plate of these cookies for a few of our neighbors and shared the Buckeye love so I wouldn't eat them all :)  We live in an area where we haven't met any other Buckeye fans, and we are in fact right across the border from Oregon, so Oregon fans abound!  No worries, I will convert them all ;)

Buckeye Brownie Cookies

1 box fudge brownie mix (19.5 ounce or family size)
¼ cup butter, melted
4 oz. (1/2 block) cream cheese, softened
1 egg
1 cup powdered sugar
1 cup creamy peanut butter
4 blocks (about 4 ounces) chocolate Candiquik

Heat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium bowl, beat the brownie mix, butter, cream cheese, and egg. The dough will be a little sticky. Scoop the dough onto an ungreased cookie sheet, making about 24 cookies. Smooth the edges of each to form a round cookie.

In a separate bowl, mix the powdered sugar and the peanut butter until it is completely combined. Form the mixture into about 1 inch balls. Make sure you have one ball for each cookie. Set aside.

Bake for the cookie dough 12 minutes, keeping an eye out to make sure the cookies doesn't over cook or undercook.

As soon as the cookies come out of the oven, press a peanut butter ball lightly into the center of each cookie. The peanut butter mixture will soften slightly, but that is OK. Let the cookies cool for 5 minutes, then transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely.

Melt the 4 blocks of chocolate in a microwavable bowl for 45 seconds. Stir the chocolate and melt for additional 15 seconds or until the chocolate is completely melted. (Candiquik comes in 16 ounce packages. When you open it, there are 16 blocks. Cut off 4 of these blocks for this recipe.) Spoon about ½ a tablespoon of melted chocolate on top of each cookie so it covers the peanut butter ball. Let the chocolate set. Store in an airtight container.

Recipe Source:  Tastes of Lizzy T

And just in case this wasn't enough Buckeye love for you, here are a few other Buckeye treats I have made and loved!

Pretzel Buckeye Bites


Thursday, January 1, 2015

King's Hawaiian Ham and Swiss Sliders

After we do all of our Christmas traveling, we usually have low-key New Year's festivities.  This year was no different.  We do puzzles and legos, and ring in the new year with a movie or two.  This year I fell asleep at 10:30 on the couch, and my 6-year old celebrated the ball dropping with my hubby instead of me.  Weird how that happens :)

Anyhow, I made these sliders a few years back for the Superbowl and never took a pic or blogged about them, and my husband has requested them a few times since.  They are super simple, and perfect for our little family if we halved it.  We had enough for lunch the next day as well and tasted even better the next day if you ask me.  Enjoy!

King's Hawaiian Ham and Swiss Sliders

24 slices of deli honey ham
6 Slices of swiss cheese, cut into fourths
1/3 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon poppy seeds
1 1/2 tablespoons dijon mustard
1/2 cup butter melted
1 tablespoon Onion Powder
1/2 teaspoon worcestershire sauce
2 packages (12 count) KING'S HAWAIIAN Original Hawaiian Sweet Dinner Rolls

1. Cut rolls in half and spread mayo onto 1 side of the rolls. Place a slice or two of ham and slice of swiss cheese in roll. Replace the top of the rolls and bunch them closely together into a baking dish.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk together poppy seeds, dijon mustard, melted butter, onion powder and worcestershire sauce.
3. Pour sauce over the rolls, just covering the tops. Cover with foil and let sit for 10 minutes.
4. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes or until cheese is melted. Uncover and cook for additional 2 minutes until tops are slightly browned and crisp. Serve warm.

Recipe Source:  King's Hawaiian