Friday, April 19, 2013

carrot cake muffins [with cream cheese frosting].

some carrots to make us feel a little better about eating dessert and some cream cheese frosting's just really good.

Here's what you need:
  • 2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup grated carrots, lightly packed; about 2 medium-large carrots
  • 8 oz cream cheese (I used 1/3 less fat)
  • 1 cup powdered sugar

Here's what you do:

1) Preheat the oven to 400°F. Lightly grease a standard 12-well muffin pan. Or line the pan with paper muffin cups, and grease the cups.
2) In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients.
3) In a small bowl, whisk together the eggs, water, and oil.
4) Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients.
5) Fold in the grated carrots, stirring to combine.
6) Drop batter (a tablespoon cookie scoop works well here) into each muffin cup (I probably filled it 3/4 full).
7) Bake the muffins until a toothpick inserted into the cake part of one (not into the cream cheese filling) comes out clean, about 20 minutes. The tops of the muffins will feel firm to the touch.
8) Remove the muffins from the oven, and as soon as you're able to handle them, transfer them to a rack. 

9) Mix together softened cream cheese and powdered sugar to make frosting. Frost them when muffins are cooled.

[adapted from]

meat lovers pizza casserole.

Who says you can't have pizza AND pasta?!
This is definitely the best of both worlds :)

Here's what you need:

8-oz small pasta (I used shells)
20 slices pepperoni
1/2 pound smoked sausage
1 lb ground beef
1/2 pepper (I used some green and some red), chopped1 (14.5-oz) can diced tomatoes
1 (8-oz) can pizza sauce 
1 Tbsp + 1 tsp Italian seasoning (divided)
½ tsp fresh ground black pepper
½ tsp onion powder
½ tsp garlic powder
8-oz mozzarella shredded cheese
5-oz fresh grated parmesan cheese

Here's what you do:
1. Preheat oven to 425°F. 

2. Bring a covered 8 quart pot of water to a boil over high heat. Add pasta. Cook according to package directions (approximately 7-10 minutes). Remove from heat when pasta is al dente. Drain.

3. Meanwhile, heat a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Brown ground beef with a teaspoon of Italian seasoning.

4. Heat precooked sausage and pepper in skillet. Slice and set aside.

5. In a blender combine diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning, 1 teaspoon kosher salt, pepper, garlic and onion powders. Blend until smooth. (Blending is optional; I didn't blend them because I don't mind my tomatoes chunky but mostly because I was feeling lazy. I just mixed them with a spoon.)

6. Once pasta is drained, immediately add sauce, ¾ of both cheeses, ½ of the pepperoni, the sausage, and the ground beef to hot saucepan and stir with pasta until combined. 

7. Pour pasta mixture into a 9x13 dish and cover top of pasta with remaining pepperoni. Sprinkle remaining cheese over top and bake for 10 minutes, until cheese is melted and bubbly. Serve and enjoy! 

Thursday, April 18, 2013

fudgy oatmeal cookie cups.

 If you love oatmeal and chocolate chip desserts, this is a recipe you won't want to miss! Plus aren't they just adorable?!

Betcha' can't just eat one ;)

1 cup butter, softened
2 cups packed brown sugar
2 eggs
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
3 cups quick cooking oats
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 Tbsp vanilla extract, divided
1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk (I used fat free)
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
3 Tbsp butter

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees (temp should be set at 325 degrees if using darker pans). Lightly grease a 2-24 count mini muffin pans (makes 48).

2. In a large bowl, beat together 1 cup butter and brown sugar until fluffy. Mix in eggs and 1 tablespoon vanilla. In another bowl, combine oats, flour, baking soda, and 1 teaspoon salt; stir into butter mixture. 

3. Stir in 1 cup of mini chocolate chips. Set aside.

4. In a medium saucepan, heat sweetened condensed milk, chocolate chips, 3 tablespoons butter, and 1/2 teaspoon salt over low heat, stirring until smooth. Remove from heat. Stir in 1 tablespoon vanilla.

5. Using a small cookie scoop place dough into muffin tins filling the cup 1/2 way to the top. Spread 1 tsp of the chocolate mixture evenly over the top of each cup, and dot each cup with the remaining oat mixture.

6. Bake for 10 minutes in preheated oven.

7. Let cool completely, then remove from pans.

**Removing them can be tricky, just wait for them to cool and use a knife to ease up the edges. 

Thursday, April 4, 2013

white chocolate chip red velvet cookies.

[adapted from]

that's right. yum.

If you like red velvet, these cookies are for you. They are soft and chewy and delicious. The white chocolate chips really go well with these cookies too. If only someone would make cream cheese flavored chips...these would be perfect!

  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/2 Tbsp cocoa powder*
  • 1 1/2 tsp cornstarch
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 8 Tbsp butter (1 stick), at room temperature
  • 6 Tbsp all vegetable shortening (Crisco), at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 1/2 tsp white vinegar
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 Tbsp red food coloring
  • 1 1/3 cups white chocolate chips, divided

just a bowl full of cookies. 
what could be better?!


1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. 

2. In a mixing bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, cornstarch, baking soda and salt, set aside. 

3. Add butter, shortening and sugar to the bowl of an electric stand mixer and mix on medium speed until very pale and fluffy about 4 minutes. 

4. Add egg and egg yolk and mix until combine. 

5. Add vinegar, vanilla and food coloring and mix until well blended. 

6. Slowly add in dry ingredients and mix just until combine. 

7. Mix in 1/2 cup white chocolate chips. 

8. Scoop dough out by the tablespoon and roll into balls and place on cookie sheets. 

9. Gently press about 6 white chocolate chips into the top of each cookie, being careful not to flatten the cookies (if you do flatten them a bit just reshape them to the height they had before adding the chips) and bake in preheated oven 8 - 9 minutes. 

10. Allow to cool several minutes on baking sheet before transferring to a wire rack to cool. 

11. Store cookies in an airtight container.

*If you want a more chocolaty cookie you could replace 1 - 2 Tbsp flour with an additional 1 -2 Tbsp cocoa, the red just won't be quite as vibrant. Or, you could replace the white chocolate chips with chocolate chips.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

stuffed cheese buns.

[adapted from]

I've made these before but with Pillsbury Grand biscuits. I really wanted to try these homemade and it was definitely worth it! Your mouth and 
belly will be extremely happy :)

Stuffed Cheese Buns (Doesn't the name just make you want to eat them?!?)

Here's what you need:
1 cup warm water (probably somewhere between 105º and 115º. I just get it hot from the tap. Don't get it too hot or it will kill the yeast.)
2 tablespoons yeast (3 packets of Fleischmann's yeast) 
2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1/4 cup melted butter
1/4 cup olive oil
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons salt

8 oz mozzarella cheese
Parmesan cheese
A couple tablespoons of melted butter mixed with a sprinkle of garlic powder and oregano.

look at all that cheese oozing!

Here's what you do:
1. Mix together the yeast and water and let it sit for a couple minutes. 
2. Add the sugar, garlic powder, melted butter, and oil. 
3. Add the flour a little and a time, mixing in your stand mixer with a dough hook. Add the salt. Knead for 10 minutes, in the stand mixer or by hand. 
4. Let the dough rise in a greased bowl (I used the same bowl) covered with a wet cloth for about 30 minutes. 
5. Preheat the oven to 375º. Divide the dough into about 20 pieces or so (you can make them as big or small as you want). 
6. Put about a 3/4 inch chunk of cheese in each one and make sure you pinch all the edges back up tightly. Put the pinched side down on a greased baking sheet. 
7. Sprinkle the buns with some parmesan cheese. 
8. Bake at 375ºF for about 11-15 minutes until the bread is golden brown and the cheese is bubbly. 
9. Brush with the melted butter mixture and serve warm.

a bowl full of buns!

honey beer bread.

[adapted from]

moist on the inside, crunchy on the outside.
a good balance between sweet and savory. 
& a great side to a bowl of soup!


3 cups all purpose flour
2 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
2 tablespoons honey
1 can (12 oz) beer (I used corona light)
1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted

1. Preheat oven to 350F. Grease a 9″x5″x3″ loaf pan (I used non stick). Line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper (I didn't do this). Set aside.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.
3. Using a wooden spoon, stir the beer and honey into the dry ingredients until just mixed. (Microwave the honey for 5 to 10 seconds beforehand to make it easier to stir in).
4. Pour half of the melted butter into the loaf pan. Then spoon the batter into the pan, and pour the rest of the butter on top of the batter. Use a pastry brush to spread it around.
5. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes, until top is golden brown and a toothpick/knife inserted in the middle comes out clean.

cheesy mashed cauliflower.

[adapted from]

I love cauliflower so I was dying to try them this way! 
I'm not sure if I would trade mashed potatoes 
for these but they are still tasty. 
A great way to get some veggies in your meal!

1 large head of cauliflower (about 8 cups), bottom cut off and chopped (I used frozen cauliflower) 
2 Tbl cream cheese, room temperature
2 Tbl sour cream
2 Tbl milk
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1/2 to 1 tsp salt (to taste)
Pepper to taste
1/2 c. shredded cheese - optional (I used cheddar & monterey jack)

1. Steam chopped cauliflower for 6 to 8 minutes, or until tender.  
2. Mash cauliflower to your preferred texture. 
3. Combine the steamed cauliflower, cream cheese, sour cream, milk, garlic powder, onion powder, salt and pepper.  If you are not using the cheese, your cauliflower is ready to eat! 
4. If you are adding cheese, then add your cheese to the cauliflower. The original recipe suggests broiling the cauliflower. I just microwaved it until it was warm and cheese was melty. 

Monday, April 1, 2013

homemade chicken patties.

This recipe is supposed to be for chicken nuggets (which I have made several times and highly recommend!) but we had some hamburger buns that I wanted to use so I made these. They are super yummy! We like our chicken patties on whole wheat buns with lettuce, honey mustard, and some mayo. He likes his with pepperjack cheese too.  These are too good to pass up so give them a shot! :)

3 cups corn flakes
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese 
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp garlic powder
pinch of pepper
1 lb. boneless chicken breasts
1/4 cup flour
2 large eggs, beaten

-Cut chicken breasts into patty/bun-sized pieces. Set aside.
-Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Grease cookie sheet.
-Put flakes in large plastic bag and crush to fine texture. Pour into medium-sized bowl. Add Parmesan cheese, salt, onion powder, garlic powder, and pepper to corn flakes.
-Place eggs in separate small bowl.
-Place flour in separate small bowl.
-To bread chicken, coat chicken piece in flour, shaking off excess. Dip in the egg, coat in corn flake mixture.
-Arrange chicken on prepared baking sheet til golden brown (about 12-15 minutes).