Tuesday, December 3, 2013

red velvet cookies & cream bars.


I don't care if it isn't Valentine's Day, I love red velvet any time of year. :) Red velvet cake and Oreos are the perfect combination in these bars. The red velvet cake is moist, and the Oreos are crunchy and creamy just like always.  The sweetened condensed milk makes the bars bubbly and beautiful. The cookies and cream kisses are an added bonus! I made these for our housewarming party and they were a hit!



Ingredients
  • 1 box red velvet cake mix
  • ½ cup oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 splash vanilla extract

  • About 15 Oreos, coarsely crushed
  • About 20-25 cookies n cream Hershey’s Kisses, unwrapped
  • 1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk*

Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 13×9 inch baking pan with parchment paper or foil and grease pan. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the cake mix, oil, eggs and vanilla with a rubber spatula until blended. Press the dough evenly into the prepared pan. Bake for approx. 10 minutes.
  3. Remove the pan from the oven and immediately top with the crushed Oreos, unwrapped Kisses, and sprinkles in an even layer. Drizzle evenly with the sweetened condensed milk. Return the pan to the oven and continue to bake, until golden and bubbly, approx. 10-15 minutes.
  4. Allow the bars to come to room temperature before cutting into squares. Store leftovers airtight, at room temperature, for several days.
*Don't have any sweetened condensed milk? Make your own


Tuesday, November 19, 2013

anything goes oatmeal.


I call this recipe "anything goes oatmeal" because I believe you can add almost anything to this simple oatmeal recipe and it will probably turn out delicious. This recipe makes an incredible breakfast, lunch (don't judge), snack, or dessert. 

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • ½ cup milk of choice (you'll probably want more to add in at the end)
  • 1/4 tsp salt (I left out)
  • 1/4 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • Sweetener to taste (I left out because the baking chips were sweet enough) 
  • Add-ins of your choice**
    • Baking chips- 
      • chocolate chips, dark chocolate chips, white chocolate chips, butterscotch chips, etc. etc.
    • Walnuts, peanuts, almonds, etc.
    • Peanut Butter
    • Cinnamon
    • Brown sugar
    • Mashed or chopped banana
Directions:

  1. Combine 1/2 cup oats with some milk. Cook for 1 minute.
  2. Add salt (if desired) and your add-ins. (Tip: if adding the banana, add this ingredient right before consuming.)
  3. Cook for intervals until the consistency is how you like it. I usually do 30 second intervals or so and add milk as needed. When you are getting close to your last interval of cooking, add in the vanilla. 
  4. You can now stir in your mashed or chopped banana & sweetener.
  5. Enjoy!!
My favorite combos** 
  • chocolate chips, peanut butter, & chopped banana. 
  • white chocolate chips, butterscotch chips, & peanut butter.

Source: http://chocolatecoveredkatie.com/2009/03/11/chocolate-chip-cookie-dough-oatmeal/

Sunday, November 17, 2013

peanut butter cup rocky road brownies.


Ready to make your mouth water?





And aren't those chopped up peanut butter cups just beautiful?










I go crazy for Reese's cups! I just love the peanut butter chocolate combination. So obviously I was so excited to find this recipe. These brownies disappeared too quickly but  I was thrilled they turned out so well.

This recipe starts by baking a basic brownie recipe and topping the brownies off with Reese's and marshmallows. I didn't have enough Reese's (sad, I know) so I added chocolate chips and broken up Hershey's milk chocolate. Although you can't beat Reese's, I would imagine using any chocolate candy (e.g. chopped up Snickers, Kit Kats, etc.) would work as excellent substitutes.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1-1/4 cups miniature marshmallows
  • 1-1/3 cups (8-oz. pkg.) REESE'S Peanut Butter Cups
  • 1/2 cup peanuts, chopped [I left these out]
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 egg(s)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup Cocoa
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt 

DIRECTIONS

  1. Heat oven to 350°F. Grease 8- or 9-inch square baking pan. 
  2. Stir together marshmallows, mini peanut butter cups and peanuts; set aside. Place butter in large microwave-safe bowl. Microwave at MEDIUM (50%) 1 to 1-1/2 minutes or until melted. Add sugar, eggs and vanilla; beat with spoon until well blended. Add flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt; stir until well blended. Spread batter in prepared pan.
  3. Bake 22 minutes. Sprinkle peanut butter cup mixture over top. Continue baking 5 minutes or until marshmallows have softened and puffed slightly. Cool completely in pan on wire rack. Using wet knife cut into squares. About 20 brownies.
Recipe Source: http://www.hersheys.com/reeses/recipes/detail.aspx?id=8929&name=Peanut-Butter-Cup-Rocky-Road-Brownies&category=brownies

chicken & noodles.



Mmm...ultimate comfort food right here, people. 

This is an incredibly easy recipe I found for chicken and noodles. Grant and I ate it over mashed potatoes and it was seriously awesome.  Our grandma makes homemade noodles so we were spoiled and didn't have to use store bought noodles. Also, see my note about the cream of chicken soup. It yielded a lot so we enjoyed it over many lunches and dinners :)


INGREDIENTS:
1 (26 ounce) can condensed cream of
chicken soup*
1 (10.75 ounce) can condensed cream
of mushroom soup*
3 (14.5 ounce) cans chicken broth
2 cups diced, cooked chicken

2 teaspoons onion powder
1 teaspoon seasoning salt
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
2 (9 ounce) packages egg
noodles
DIRECTIONS:

  1. In a large pot, mix the cream of chicken soup, cream of mushroom soup, chicken broth, and chicken meat. 
  2. Season with onion powder, seasoning salt, and garlic powder. 
  3. Bring to a boil, and stir in the noodles. 
  4. Reduce heat to low, and simmer for 20 to 30 minutes.


    *I made my own cream of chicken soup with Stacy Makes Cent's Recipe. It is delicious, easy, and much healthier than the canned stuff- triple bonus! :)

Recipe Adapted from http://allrecipes.com/recipe/incredibly-easy-chicken-and-noodles/

Monday, November 4, 2013

biscuits & sausage gravy.


Biscuits and gravy is often my go-to meal when I go to Cracker Barrel or other breakfast places. This is mostly because it was the only time I got to eat this deliciously, comforting food.  I always figured sausage gravy was a difficult meal to make but I was amazed at how easy and simple this recipe was to make. If you've ever felt this way too, give this recipe a shot!


Biscuits:

Ingredients
  • 2 C. flour*
  • 1 T. baking powder
  • 1/2 t. salt
  • 8 T. COLD butter 
  • 1 C. buttermilk
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 450 degrees.
  2. Combine the flour, baking powder, and salt in a blender (or food processor). Cut the butter into chunks and add it with the dry ingredients. Pulse a few times until the butter resembles crumbs.
  3. Pour in the buttermilk and pulse until combined. Turn out onto a well floured surface. Use well floured hands to pat the dough into a 1 inch thick round. Fold on top of itself several times and press down to 1/2 inch thickness.
  4. Using a round cookie cutter, or a glass cup, cut out your circles. Place onto a greased pan and bake 10 minutes. Make sure you watch them closely so they don’t over bake.
*I used 1 cup AP and 1 cup white whole wheat

_______________________________________________________

Sausage Gravy:
Ingredients
  • 1 lb breakfast sausage 
  • 2 C. milk**
  • 1/4 C. flour
Instructions
  1. Brown your sausage in a medium sized skillet.
  2. Stir in the flour. Slowly mix in the milk. Cook on a low simmer until thickened.
  3. Add pepper to taste.


**The recipe recommends whole milk but I either used skim or 1%; sorry I can't remember!

Enjoy, my friends!


Recipes Adapted from: 

http://onesweetappetite.com/ingredient-sausage-gravy/ 
http://onesweetappetite.com/easy-homemade-biscuits/

Monday, October 28, 2013

crock pot potato soup.


I guarantee this recipe will 
1. make any cold evening a little warmer.
2. make your house smell incredible.
3. make all the bellies in your family very happy.  

Ingredients
  • 2.5 lbs russet potatoes, diced, NOT peeled
  • 2.5 tbsp Tastefully Simple garlic garlic*
  • 1/2 yellow onion, chopped
  • 32 ounces chicken broth or stock 
  • 8 ounces cream cheese (I used 1/3 less fat)
  • bacon, sour cream, chives or shredded cheese for garnish

*I didn't have this seasoning so I recommend using these ingredients to taste:
  • 2 spoonfuls minced garlic
  • 1/4-1/2 t garlic powder
  • 1/4-1/2 t. dried dill
  • 1/4-1/2 t. dried basil
  • Some salt & pepper
Instructions
  1. Combine potatoes, seasonings, onions and chicken broth in your crock pot.
  2. Cook on low for 8 hours, or on high for 5 hours.
  3. Put cream cheese in crock pot with the potato mixture. With potato masher, mash up all ingredients together.**
  4. Serve warm topped with bacon, sour cream, shredded cheese & chives. Just make sure the cream cheese is completely melted and combined ;)

**The recipe suggested using a food processor to puree the soup. You can do this if you'd rather it not be so chunky. I personally enjoyed it chunky, and it made fewer dishes to wash too :)

***Check out my updated about me page- 1/27/14***

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Monday, October 21, 2013

apple pie.

Sorry about the not so good pictures,
I took them all in the evening...oops!

Is fall really fall without apple pie? I'd definitely argue it isn't. 

There's nothing quite like making a yummy apple pie in your kitchen while looking outside at the leaves falling off trees and the beautiful fall weather! There's also nothing quite like eating a warm, delicious piece of homemade apple pie either.  As you can see, I believe apple pie is a staple fall dessert and you have to try this recipe! 

Some background on the recipe: when Grant and I got married in December, one my best friends (Hannah) and her mom made me a cookbook! It has so a lot of delicious recipes and this recipe is from that book. I am so thankful to her and her mom for sharing these with me! I hope you love it as much as I do.


Hannah and I in college :)


Also, Hannah made this apple pie recipe and she is sharing it on her blog too! On her blog, she shares about her love for the Lord, her delicious recipes, book reviews, and much more.





Here's what you need:


2 Crust Pie

1/2 cup oil
5 Tbsp cold water
1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp salt (I used about 1/4-1/2 tsp)


Apple Pie Filling

1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup flour
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
dash of salt (I left out)
6 cups thinly sliced apples 
(about 6 medium apples)


Here's what you do:

To make the 2 crust pie:

1. In a bowl, whisk together the oil and water until thickened.

2. In another bowl, mix together the flour and salt.

3. Pour the oil and water mixture into the flour mixture all at once. Mix with a fork until moist. Form into a ball. Divide the ball into halves.

4. Using 2 sheets of waxed paper, each about 18 inches long, roll one ball of dough between the sheets of waxed paper to form a circle. Line the pie pan with this crust. Roll out the other ball of dough to form the top crust once the pie has been filled.



To make the apple pie:

1. Heat oven to 425 degrees. 

2. Mix sugar, flour, nutmeg, cinnamon, and salt. Stir in apples.

3. Put apple mixture into pastry-lined pie pan.

4. Cover apple mixture with top crust. Seal edges, then flute edges (optional).

5. Bake until crust is brown and juice begins to bubble through slits in crust, about 40-50 minutes.



Recipe Credit: Rachelle Gegg

Monday, October 14, 2013

banana bread cookies.


Do you ever have ridiculously overripe bananas you don't know what to do with? Yeah, it happens all the time. Bananas seem to go brown before you even realize it. I only like them when they are yellow and still a little firm.  This presents a problem when I don't want to be wasteful either. You too? Well, never fear...banana bread cookies are here!

These seriously taste like a cookie version of banana bread.  Bottom line: these cookies are the bomb so you should try them.

ingredients:
1 c all-purpose flour
1/2 c white whole-wheat flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
10 tbsp butter, softened
1 c sugar
1/2 c packed brown sugar
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 c mashed banana (I used 3 bananas)
1 c old-fashioned rolled oats
1 c chocolate chips (I used milk chocolate and semi sweet)

directions:
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees
2. Put butter and sugars into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment; mix on medium speed until pale and fluffy. Reduce speed to low. 
3. Add vanilla; mix until combined. Mix in banana. 
4. Mix in flours and baking soda until just combined
5. Stir in oats and chocolate chips.
6. Drop dough onto baking sheets, spacing about 2 inches apart. Bake cookies, rotating sheets halfway through, until golden brown and just set, 12 to 13 minutes. Let cool on sheets on wire racks 5 minutes.

Recipe from http://eatingappalachia.com/2009/09/08/banana-bread-cookies/

Sunday, October 13, 2013

french dip sandwiches.



If you are looking for a tasty yet easy sandwich, this one is for you. It's warm and hearty which makes for a perfect fall meal.  

A few notes on the recipe- the au jus is totally worth making and hardly takes any time at all. The provolone is an excellent addition but it's not necessarily mandatory for the sandwich. Also I wouldn't recommend using regular hot dog buns; torpedo sandwich rolls or hoagie rolls/buns work great.  Give this recipe a shot and let me know what you think!



Ingredients:
2 tablespoons butter
2-3 tablespoons chopped onion
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1-2 cups beef broth
1- 1 1/2 pounds deli sliced roast beef
6-8 deli style sub rolls 
6-8 slices provolone cheese

Directions:
In a large, shallow skillet over moderate heat, melt butter. Add chopped onion to butter and saute 2 minutes. Add flour to butter and onions and cook a minute longer. Whisk in beef broth in a slow stream. Bring sauce to a bubble and allow to simmer over low heat until ready to serve sandwiches.

To assemble sandwich, using a pair of kitchen tongs, dip meat into loose au jus sauce and pile into rolls. Put 1 1/2 slices of provolone on sandwich. Bake in oven safe dish for 4-5 minutes (or until cheese is melted and/or buns feel slightly toasty) at 350 degrees. Set small cups with extra dipping sauce along side the sandwiches. 






pumpkin butterscotch muffins.


I made these for a pitch in at work and they were great! Moist and bursting with pumpkin-y butterscotch-y flavor :) I made both mini muffins and regular muffins- they both turned out great. 

A few notes on the recipe- I left out the salt and used salted butter instead.  For the flour, I used 1 cup all purpose and 3/4 cup white whole wheat flour. Don't be too concerned with the amount of butterscotch chips, just put in whatever amount looks good :)

Pumpkin Butterscotch Muffins

  • ½ cup butter, softened
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon 
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1¾ cups flour 
  • 1 c. butterscotch chips 
1. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugars.  
2. Add eggs; mix until light and fluffy.  Stir in pumpkin.  
3. Add cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.  Mix well.  
4. Stir in flour until just combined.  Fold in butterscotch chips.  
5. Scoop into prepared muffin tins.  
6. Bake at 375° for 18-20 minutes. OR bake at 375° for 9-11 minutes for mini muffins.




Saturday, October 12, 2013

pumpkin banana pancakes.

Before I get started, I wanted to share some exciting news with you! Grant and I adopted a puppy- a cute, playful, sweet, perfect little puppy. Her name is Rose and we just love her!! We adopted her from The Indianapolis Humane Society. It was a great experience.


Here are some pictures of her enjoying some time in this beautiful fall weather :)


~

Fall is here and you know what that means- pumpkin recipes galore! Pumpkin recipes have been flooding my Pinterest page and I love it. 



I woke up this morning and thought these pumpkin pancakes would be perfect for this beautiful fall day.  They also have chunks of bananas inside which make for a tasty surprise. 

Before I share the recipe, I did make some additions and substitutions to the recipe. The link to the original recipe is below so you can decide for yourself what you add or take out.  

Banana Pumpkin Pancakes

Ingredients:

- 1/2 cup of all purpose flour
- 1/2 cup of white whole wheat flour
- 1/4 cup of packed brown sugar
- 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
-  a sprinkle of nutmeg
- 1/2 cup of pumpkin puree
- 1 Tbsp canola oil
- 1 egg
- 1 cup of milk
- 1 medium banana, cut into slices or small pieces

Directions:

1. Mix all ingredients, except the banana slices, with a whisk.  

2. Add the bananas, and mix with a spoon until the bananas are evenly distributed throughout the batter.

3. Heat a lightly greased skillet on medium heat. With a small ladle or large spoon, scoop the batter onto the pan (about 4 inches diameter), and heat until the top begins to bubble or until you can flip the pancake without making a mess. Heat the other side until golden brown. Repeat Step 3 until the batter is used up.


Sunday, September 29, 2013

chewy red velvet chocolate chip cookies.



I know I know I've made red velvet cookies and posted them on here before but I just had to try this new recipe and share them with you because they were beyond delicious!



Just a few notes about this recipe...I doubled the recipe because the website I got this from (listed below) said it only makes 12-15 cookies. And that just isn't enough cookies in my opinion (plus I wanted both Grant and I to be able to share some at work)! Doubling the recipe worked great- I made the cookies smaller and got 5 1/2 dozen.

I used Nestle Toll House's Dark Chocolate & Red Morsels and they were AWESOME.  I got them on sale after Valentines Day and finally got around to using them. Although I highly recommend using dark chocolate chips, I believe any kind of chocolate chips would work great- white chocolate chips, milk chocolate chips, or semi sweet chocolate chips. 

Speaking of chocolate chips, you could use a whole bag for this recipe if you wanted to because there's no such thing as too many chocolate chips!


Ingredients:
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1 teaspoon red food coloring
1/2-1 cup chocolate chips* 

Instructions:
1. Preheat oven to 375.
2. Cream butter and sugars together until fluffy in the bowl of an electric mixer. Add egg and vanilla and combine until smooth. Beat in red food coloring. 
3. Stir in cocoa, flour, baking soda and salt until just combined, scraping down the sides when needed. 
4. Fold in chocolate chips.
5. Scoop out 1/2-1 tablespoon of dough and set on baking sheet. Bake for 8-12 minutes.


Recipe Credit: http://www.howsweeteats.com/2010/10/red-velvet-chocolate-chip-cookies-from-scratch/

Saturday, September 28, 2013

homemade funfetti cake.




I had the honor of making my sister in law's birthday cake last weekend. I heard she liked funfetti cake so I just had to make this version. It was homemade, incredibly moist, and most importantly delicious.

The frosting was also to die for, seriously. It was rich and creamy. It calls for heavy cream which sounds deadly but it's all worth it for the flavor. 


The birthday girl!


Ingredients:

CAKE

  • 1 and 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 cup yogurt  (plain or vanilla; or greek yogurt; or sour cream)
  • 3/4 cup milk (cow's milk; or soy milk; or almond milk)
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2/3 cup sprinkles (not nonpareils)

VANILLA BUTTERCREAM frosting

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 3-4 cups powdered (confectioners') sugar
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 2 and 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract



Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350F degrees. 
2. Spray a 9-inch springform or baking pan (round or square) with nonstick spray. Set aside.
3. In a medium bowl, mix together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside. 
4. In a large microwave-safe bowl, melt butter in the microwave. Whisk in the sugars vigorously getting out any brown sugar lumps - mixture will be gritty. Whisk in egg, yogurt, milk, and vanilla extract until combined. 
5. Slowly mix in dry ingredients until no lumps remain. Batter will be thick. Slowly stir in sprinkles, but do not overmix because the sprinkles will bleed their color.
6. Pour batter into prepared cake pan. Bake for 20 minutes. Cover loosely with aluminum foil (loosely to avoid the top from sticking to the foil). Bake for 13-17 more minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool.
7. To make the frosting, beat softened butter on medium speed with an electric or stand mixer. Beat for 3 minutes until smooth and creamy. Add powdered sugar, cream, and vanilla extract with the mixer running. Increase to high speed and beat for 3 minutes. Add more powdered sugar if frosting is too thin or more cream if mixture is too thick. Add 1/4 teaspoon (or more) if frosting is too sweet. Frost cooled cake as desired and top with sprinkles. There may be leftover frosting depending how much you wish to use.