Published on November 15, 2014, in Desserts.

Homemade Thin Mints (no-bake, vegan)

Homemade Thin Mints (no-bake, vegan)

Ingredients:

18 Ritz Crackers ( Ritz are accidentally vegan)
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips, melted
1 tablespoon vegetable shortening, optional but recommended
3/4 teaspoon peppermint extract* (see notes below)
Directions:
Prepare a baking sheet by lining it with parchment paper or wax paper; set aside. Clear out a spot in your refrigerator or freezer to accommodate baking sheet.
In a shallow microwave-safe bowl, combine chocolate chips and shortening (the shortening helps the chocolate stay smooth when using it for dipping; it prevents that thick and gloppy, chocolate getting hard before you want it to phenomenon) and heat for 1 minute on high power to melt. Stir and heat in 10 to 15 second bursts until chocolate can be stirred very smooth.
To the melted chocolate add 1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract* and stir. If you prefer it mintier, add another 1/4 teaspoon. I used 3/4 teaspoon in total, but because all brands and taste preferences differ, taste your chocolate and add peppermint to taste. *Note: Mint extract is much, much more potent than vanilla extract; 1 teaspoon of mint extract has an extreme amount of potency compared with 1 teaspoon vanilla extract. You cannot un-do mint once added so be very, very careful to not over-do it and end up with a bottle of Listerine-tasting food. There are different kinds of mint extracts available and are labeled as “mint, “peppermint”, “spearmint” and more. For this recipe I used store-brand (Kroger/Ralph’s) “peppermint extract” sold in a small 1 ounce bottle. Select the version of “mint” you think sounds best as not all types are available in all areas.
Add 1 cracker to the chocolate, coat it, and remove it by lightly scooping it up from the underside with a fork, allowing excess chocolate to drain off through fork tines. Place cracker on parchment and repeat with all remaining crackers. If necessary, re-heat the chocolate in 10 to 15 second bursts if it starts getting too firm for smooth dipping. After all crackers have been dipped, place baking sheet in refrigerator. Although these will solidify at room temperature, the shortening in the chocolate lengthens the amount of time that will take; the fridge or freezer helps speed it up. Store extra Thin Mints in an airtight container in the refrigerator for many weeks. In the freezer, I estimate that these could be kept for 3 to 6 months successfully.

 
Published on May 28, 2014, in Main Dishes.

cheez-it-chicken-Recipe

Cheez it Chicken Recipe

Ingredients

  • 8 chicken tenders
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 3 cups Cheez-Its, crushed
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted

Instructions

  1. Crush the Cheez-Its by placing them in a large ziploc bag and rolling over them with a rolling pin. Preheat the oven to 375. Roll the chicken tenders in the sour cream and then in the Cheez-It crumbs. Place them in a baking dish. Drizzle with the melted butter. Bake at 375 for 40 minutes.
 
Published on May 28, 2014, in Breakfast.

Waffle-Iron-Hashbrowns-Recipe

Waffle Iron Hashbrowns Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 bag frozen Cascadian Farms Spud Puppies
  • salt to taste
  • ketchup (for serving, if desired)

Instructions

  1. Spray a hot waffle iron generously with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. Place Cascadian Farms Spud Puppies on top of the hot waffle iron. Press the waffle iron closed, using a bit of pressure as needed to slowly lower the lid over the Spud Puppies. After 1 minute, open the waffle iron and add any spud puppies to empty spots, as needed. Close the lid and cook until crispy and golden brown.
  3. Remove from waffle iron. Salt lightly. Serve with ketchup, if desired.
 
Published on May 28, 2014, in Appetizers.

BBQ-Chicken-Pizza-Pinwheels-Recipe

BBQ Chicken Pizza Pinwheels Recipe

Ingredients:

  • Cheddar Cheese
  • Red Onion (I love using freeze-dried onions! No mess and my hands do not have that awesome odor from chopping onions)
  • Fresh Cilantro (I used freeze-dried)
  • Pre-made Pizza Crust
  • Cooked Chicken (I used pre-cooked chicken by Hormel)
  • Sweet Baby Ray’s Barbecue Sauce

Directions:

  1. To start, you need to unravel your pizza dough onto a floured surface and measure it. You want it to be about 12×15 inches. The Kroger brand Pizza Dough was already that size, so I did not have to use a rolling pin to make it any bigger.
  2. Next, you will measure out the amount of barbecue sauce and spread it over the dough just like you would pizza sauce. I used a pastry brush, but you can use a spoon or spatula.
  3. When I was spreading out the barbecue sauce, I thought it was a little sparse. So, if you want more of a barbecue sauce flavor, I would suggest adding another 1/4 cup of sauce to the surface of the dough.
  4. Then add the rest of the ingredients: the chicken (you can chop it into smaller pieces so that it goes further), cilantro, onions, and cheese. In my family, we love cheese! So, I, personally, would suggest adding more cheese to this recipe (maybe 1/4 or 1/2 cup more).
  5. Make sure to distribute each ingredient evenly so that you do not have patches of strong and weak flavor.
  6. Another suggestion I have is to coat the chicken with barbecue sauce before adding it to the dough.
  7. You want to then begin rolling the dough onto itself to create the pinwheel. Start from one of the 12 inch sides and roll towards the other 12 inch side. Make sure the dough is rolled tightly.
  8. As you can see in the picture, the right side of the roll had excess dough that bundle up at the end. I just cut that off because there are no yummy ingredients inside-just dough.
  9. Transfer your pizza roll to a cutting board. The seam should be on the bottom of the roll to prevent it from coming apart while slicing it into pieces. With a bread knife start cutting your roll into sections of about 1 inch thick.
  10. You will find that this task is a bit challenging. Rub a little flour on your hands to prevent the dough from sticking to you.
  11. You will get about 16 pinwheels from this recipe.
  12. Place the pinwheels on a cookie sheet. You will want to line it with parchment paper first. Place in the oven at 400 degrees for about 15 minutes.
  13. Look how beautifully they turned out!
  14. Serve with barbecue sauce!
 
Published on May 28, 2014, in Breakfast.

Bacon-Egg-and-Biscuit-Cups-Recipe

Bacon Egg and Biscuit Cups Recipe

Ingredients

  • 15 eggs, scrambled
  • salt and pepper
  • ½ pack of ham, diced
  • one pack chopped spinach, defrosted
  • biscuit dough
  • 30 slices bacon
  • shredded cheddar cheese

Instructions

  1. Scramble the eggs in a large measuring cup with a spout. Add salt and pepper. Flatten out each piece of biscuit dough with your fingers and cut into four pieces. Place the pieces into greased cupcake pan. Par-cook the bacon in the microwave then wrap the bacon around the top of the biscuit dough.
  2. Bake at 350 degrees for 5 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and pour in the scrambled egg mixture into each cup, only about 2/3 full. Put on the toppings of ham, spinach, cheese or anything else you like.
  3. Put the pan back into the oven for 10-15 minutes or until eggs are cooked. Remove each biscuit cup and enjoy warm.
 
Published on May 28, 2014, in Main Dishes.

Stuffed-Zucchini-Boats-Recipe

Stuffed Zucchini Boats Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 3 zucchinis
  • 1/2 large onion, chopped fine (~ 1/2 cup)
  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • 6 slices crispy bacon (~ 1/2 cup chopped)
  • 1 Tbsp sour cream
  • 1/4 to 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp curry powder
  • 1 Roma tomato, seeded and chopped
  • 1 tsp fresh thyme leaves
  • freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • fresh cracked black pepper
  • kosher salt

Directions:

Give the zucchini a quick wash for good measure.  Slice in half lengthwise. Leave the ends on to keep the filling in. Scoop out the flesh with a melon baller or a spoon.  Leave a ledge of zucchini around the edges.  For the life of me, I couldn’t make straight lines.  That’s okay.  They were still delicious.  Arrange the zucchini boats in a baking dish. Chop the zucchini flesh as small as you like.

Finely chop half a sweet onion. Chop up some good smokey bacon.  You could leave this out for a vegetarian side dish (maybe add some chopped mushrooms?)… but my family goes through quite a lot bacon, so it’s going in!  Saute the onions in the butter until soft and translucent.  Add in the bacon. Season with the curry powder and salt.   Cook until desired doneness of onions and remove from heat. To the zucchini flesh, add sour cream.  (How can this be bad?)Rough chop some fresh thyme leaves. Mix the cooked onion and bacon mixture with other ingredients.  Taste and adjust seasoning.

Stir in the tomatoes.  Seed them or else there may be too much moisture in the filling.  You don’t really want the filling to be all runny when you cut into it. Refill the zucchini shells with the filling mixture.

Grate some good aged Parmigiano Reggiano cheese on top and sprinkle with fresh cracked black pepper. Bake uncovered at 375 degrees F for 30 minutes.

 
Published on May 28, 2014, in Desserts.

Easy-Baked-S'Mores-Bars-Recipe

Easy Baked S’Mores Bars Recipe

Ingredients

  • ½ cup butter, room temperature
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 and ⅓ cups flour
  • ¾ cup graham cracker crumbs
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 king-sized milk chocolate bars
  • 1 and ½ cups marshmallow fluff

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Cream butter, brown sugar, sugar, egg, and vanilla together in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, stir flour, graham cracker crumbs, baking powder, and salt.
  3. Slowly incorporate dry ingredients into butter mixture.
  4. Press half of dough into a greased 9×9 pan. Set chocolate bars on top.
  5. Spread marshmallow fluff over chocolate and top with remaining dough.
  6. Bake for 30-35, or until golden.
 
Published on May 28, 2014, in Main Dishes.

Mozzarella-Stuffed-Meatballs-Recipe

Mozzarella Stuffed Meatballs Recipe

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped white onion
  • 1/2 cup Panko bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup fresh grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon yellow mustard
  • 1 teaspoon hot sauce, like Tabasco
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic salt
  • Ten 1-inch Mozzarella balls

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 35o degrees F. and grease 9×13-inch baking dish with oil.
  2. Place beef, egg, onion, bread crumbs, Parmesan, milk, garlic, Worcestershire, mustard, hot sauce, salt, pepper and garlic salt into a large mixing bowl, stirring until just combined. Take 1/4 cup beef mixture and press into center with your thumb to make room for cheese ball. Place cheese in middle then with hands enclose the cheese with the beef, making sure the cheese is completely covered. Place meatballs into prepared baking dish and bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until cooked through.
  3. Serve over top your favorite pasta or inside a warm roll for delicious meatball sandwich.
 
Published on May 28, 2014, in Sides.

Pizza-Stuffed-Mushrooms-Recipe

Pizza Stuffed Mushrooms Recipe

Ingredients

  • 10 whole Baby Bella Or Crimini Mushrooms
  • 4 ounces, weight Cream Cheese, softened
  • ¼ cups Grated Parmesan Or Mozzarella Cheese
  • ¼ teaspoons Dried Basil
  • ⅛ teaspoons Dried Oregano
  • Garlic Salt And Pepper, To Taste
  • ¼ cups Finely Diced Pepperoni
  • 2 Tablespoons Finely Chopped Green Pepper
  • 2 Tablespoons Finely Chopped Red Onion
  • 2 Tablespoons Finely Chopped Black Olives

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF. Spray two mini iron skillets with non stick cooking spray and set aside. (A sheet tray will work just fine, too!)
  2. Wash mushrooms with a damp cloth and remove stems. (They should just pop out!) Set aside.
  3. In a small bowl, stir cream cheese, parmesan, basil, oregano, garlic salt and pepper together until combined. Stir in remaining ingredients, excluding the mushrooms.
  4. Spoon into prepared mushroom caps by the heaping teaspoonful. Place 5 in each skillet and bake 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, switch your oven from bake to broil and brown the tops of each mushroom. Remove and serve hot.
 
Published on May 28, 2014, in Appetizers, Breakfast.

Deep-Dish-Pizza-Cups-Recipe

Deep Dish Pizza Cups Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 tube Pillsbury Simply French Bread
  • 1 1/4 cup Muir Glen Crushed Tomatoes
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon Italian Seasoning
  • 1 cup precooked sausage crumbles
  • 2 tablespoons bacon bits
  • 1 1/2 cups Italian cheese, grated
  • 8 slices pepperoni

Instructions

  1. Open the Pillsbury Simply French Bread and gently unroll it until flat. Cut into 8 even squares.
  2. Press the squares of bread dough into each of 8 muffin tins, which have been lightly sprayed with nonstick cooking spray.
  3. In a small bowl, stir together the Muir Glen crushed tomatoes, garlic powder, onion salt, chili powder, and Italian Seasoning. Spoon evenly into each of the dough cups.
  4. Sprinkle the sausage crumbles and bacon bits over the sauce in each cup. Top with cheese. Add a single pepperoni slice on top.
  5. Bake in an oven preheated to 400 degrees for 15-18 minutes, or until the edges of the bread cups are golden brown and the cheese is bubbly.