Monday, April 27, 2015

Glossy Chocolate Icing:

I love a good frosting recipe just as much as the next person, but I'm also one who enjoys a good glaze every now and then too.
This is the perfect recipe if you can't decide between frosting or glaze!!
It's thicker than a glaze, but not at all fluffy like a frosting. It's super easy and really fast!
I love it on brownies, but it's also good on a cake as well!
I hope you try it out!

1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup baking cocoa
1-1/2 tblsp. cornstarch
1/2 cup cold water
2 tsp. butter
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

In a medium saucepan, combine the sugar, cocoa and cornstarch. Add water and stir until smooth. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 1 minute or until thickened. Remove from the heat; stir in butter and vanilla until smooth. Spread over cooled cake or brownies while the frosting is still warm. Refrigerate until cool and set. 

-I added some sprinkles to the brownies after I spread the icing on...this is of course optional, but I just love sprinkles!!!!

Monday, April 20, 2015

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Pancakes:

I've said this before, and nothing has changed, so I'll say it again! We are pretty big peanut butter fans here.
My older brother used to put it on EVERYTHING! I won't even tell you what all he put it on, because some some of it just sounds so gross! My younger brother doesn't put it on weird things, but he does like a little chocolate chip cookie with his peanut butter. He also puts it on brownies, sandwiches, ice-cream...anything he can think of. And once every so often, you will find my dad in the kitchen...with a spoonful of peanut butter!
Anyway, when I saw a similar recipe to this, I knew that even though I might not eat as much peanut butter as the males in my family, I would still love these!
And I was right! My whole family loved these, and we'll definitely be making them often!

(sorry, the pancakes were hot, so that's why the peanut butter was sliding off!!)

2 cups rice milk
3 cups water
4 eggs
4 tsp. vanilla
1 cup peanut butter
4 & 1/2 cups flour
1/2 tsp. xanthan gum
1/2 cup sugar
2 tsp. baking powder (3/4 tsp. if you are using double-acting)
2 tsp. baking soda
1 cup chocolate chips, mini or regular, optional I guess

In a mixing bowl, beat together milk, water, eggs, vanilla and peanut butter until well combined.
Add flour, xanthan gum, sugar, baking powder, and baking soda. Mix just until combined.
Stir in chocolate chips, if desired.
Pour onto hot, greased griddle in 1/4 cupfuls. Cook until batter begins to form bubbles. Flip and cook 1-2 minutes more or until the bottom is golden brown.

-These are perfect served with maple syrup, but if you are wanting more of a peanut butter bomb, spread peanut butter on the pancake before topping it with syrup. Or try out this super fast and easy
Peanut Butter Syrup.
-You can also just sprinkle the chocolate chips over the pancakes after you make them, if you want.
-I like to make these with Rice milk, because when you use regular milk, the batter is SO thick, you can't even pour it!

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Monday, April 13, 2015

Sugared Pecans:

My sister got this recipe from one of her co-workers and it is seriously amazing!! I love warm and/or glazed nuts and these are fabulous!! Plus, they're so easy! I've tried other recipes similar to this before, but they just never really made the cut. These, however, went above and beyond! We ate them plain mostly, but they were also SUPER yummy on hot fudge sundaes!! I think they would also be great on a salad as well!!  If you have ever had a sundae at Denny's, these nuts taste remarkably close to the ones that come on those sundaes!
Anyway you eat them, they're just simply going to be good, so I hope you try them out!!!!

1 stick butter
1 cup sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
3 egg whites
4 cups pecans

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 
Place the butter in a large baking sheet (with sides, of course!). Place the pan in the oven until the butter melts.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the sugar, cinnamon and egg whites. Add pecans and stir until evenly coated. Pour into buttered pan. Bake for 24 minutes, stirring every 8 minutes.
Pour onto wax paper and allow to cool completely. Store in an airtight container.

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Monday, April 6, 2015

Flourless Peanut Butter Muffins:

I posted another version of this recipe a couple weeks ago, and I wanted to share this one with you.
They're so yummy and extremely fast and easy!
I hope you try them out!

1 medium banana
1 egg
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter (a generous 1/2 cup)
3 tblsp. honey
1 tblsp. vanilla
1/4 tsp. baking soda
pinch of salt, optional
1/2 cup chocolate chips, mini or regular

Prepare a mini muffin tin with paper baking cups or generously coat with cooking spray; set aside.
Place all ingredients, except the chocolate chips, in a blender. 
Blend until smooth. Stir in chocolate chips. Using a small cookie scoop, fill mini muffin cups 3/4 full. Sprinkle additional chocolate chips over the tops of the muffins, if desired. Gently press into the batter.
Bake at 400 degrees for 8-12 minutes, or until golden brown and toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, or with a few moist crumbs.
Cool in muffin pan for 10 minutes. Remove to a clean dish towel or cooling rack to cool completely.
Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days or up to 4 months in the freezer.

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Monday, March 30, 2015

Quick & Easy Meatball Parmesan:

I knew when I first saw this recipe, that I would love it! And I was right!!
But I wasn't prepared for how easy it was, and for the fact that the rest of my family liked it too!
I love spaghetti, but this is like a another level of spaghetti!
It's so good...I hope you try it out!!

30 Frozen Meatballs (click HERE for my quick and easy recipe)
2 (24 oz.) jars of Spaghetti Sauce
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese, optional
1 & 1/2 to 2 cups of shredded mozzarella cheese

Pour one jar of sauce in a greased baking dish. Place the frozen meatballs over the sauce.
Add the other jar of sauce.
Bake at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes, or until meatballs are hot through.
Sprinkle with cheeses.
Place under the broiler for 2-3 minutes or until cheese is melted and bubbly, and starting to brown.
Serve over hot cooked noodles!

-You're meatballs don't have to be frozen. You will just want to bake it for less time.
-Some people in my family don't love Parmesan Cheese, so I leave it off, and anyone who likes it, can sprinkle it on their individual servings. 
-2 full jars of sauce is a little too much for my family, so I usually only use 1 & 1/2 jars. It's totally up to you, though, and it depends on how many meatballs you want to use.
-Store bough meatballs are generally NOT gluten-free.

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Monday, March 23, 2015

Peanut Butter Balls:

We are pretty serious about our peanut butter around here!! There's only one or two who don't really care for it, and by that, I mean they don't eat it on everything they can think of! They still eat it, though!!
It had been a few years since I had last made peanut butter balls. My grandma used to always make them for Christmas, so Kaitlyn decided she was going to make some this year.
They turned out really good and everyone enjoyed them!
Hope you give them a try!!

1/2 cup butter, softened
2 & 1/3 cups powder sugar
1 cup rice crispy cereal
1/2 cup cream peanut butter
1/2 ts. vanilla
1 & 1/2 cups chocolate chips
2 tablespoons shortening

Cream the butter in a large mixing bowl. Add the sugar, rice cereal, peanut butter and vanilla; mix until well combined. Using a cookie scoop, shape the dough into balls; place on wax paper lined baking sheets. Chill for 30 minutes. Place the chocolate chips and shortening in a microwave safe dish. Microwave on high for 30 seconds; stir. Continue to heat in 15 second intervels, until chocolate is melted and smooth, stirring well after each intervel. Place a ball onto a dinner fork, and dip into the chocolate. Allow excess chocolate to drip off, and then, using a toothpick, push the ball off of the fork onto a wax paper lined baking sheet. Repeat with remaining balls. Chill until set. Store in an airtight container in the freezer for fridge.

-Click HERE to watch the Pioneer Woman make truffles. We use the same dipping technique for these peanut butter balls as she does for her truffles. This way you can see what I'm talking about, since I'm not very good at explaining things!!

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Monday, March 16, 2015

Fruit and Nut Chicken Salad:

I love Chicken Salad! Pretty much any way it's fixed, but this is possibly my very favorite way!
Eat it with a fork, on a sandwich, with some crackers, tortilla chips...however you would like it!
A lot of people turn their nose up when they find out that there are grapes in the salad, but don't knock it 'till you've tried it, because I promise it's good!!!

3-4 cooked chicken breasts, diced or lightly ground in a food processor (about 4 cups cooked chicken)
1 cup finely chopped celery
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
1 cup red or green grapes, halved
1/2 cup finely chopped almonds, walnuts or pecans
3/4 cup mayonnaise
2 tblsp. honey
2 tblsp. mustard
dash or two of pepper

In a large bowl, combine the chicken, celery, onion, grapes and nuts and mix until combined. In a small bowl, mix together the mayo, honey, mustard and pepper. Add to chicken mixture and mix until everything is well combined. Serve immediately or chill until ready to serve!

-I have made this with or without grapes and both ways are delicious.
-This is great way to use Rotisserie chicken, if you find it on sale (click HERE for a post on Rotisserie Chicken)

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Monday, March 9, 2015

Roast Beef Sandwiches & Copycat Arby's Sauce:

Arby's and Chic-fil-A are definitely my favorite fast-food restaurants.
I just LOVE the waffles fries, grilled chicken, salads, and milk-shakes at Chic-fil-A.
At Arby's, my favorites are the Cheddar Road Beef sandwiches and the Jamocha milkshakes.
Thankfully, I don't live very close to a Chic-fil-A at all, and the nearest Arby's is still like 15 miles away. 
So when I saw this recipe for Arby's sauce, I just couldn't wait to try it!!
It's really, really good, and although I don't know if it tastes "just" like Arby's sauce, it's super close and makes a GREAT sandwich (as well as a nice dipping sauce for fries!!!)!
The sauce will stay in the fridge for a couple weeks, and the roast beef is made in the slow-cooker, so it's a really fun, impressive looking, super fast and easy main dish!!
Hope you try it out!!

2 lb. Beef Roast
1 cup water
2 tblsp. beef seasoning
Sliced American cheese
Arby's Sauce (recipe below)
Hamburger Buns, toasted, if desired

Place fresh or frozen roast in a slow-cooker. Add water, and sprinkle the beef seasoning over all.
Cover and cook on high for 6-8 hours, until it shreds easily with a fork.
(You can cook it longer as well. The more tender it is, the better.)
Serve on toasted buns with cheese and Arby's sauce!

Arby's Sauce:
1/2 cup ketchup
1 tblsp. apple cider vinegar
4 tblsp. water
4-5 drops hot sauce
2 tblsp. brown sugar
1/4 tsp. onion powder
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. salt

Place all ingredients in a small saucepan. Cook over medium heat for 20 minutes, stirring often, especially in the last 10 minutes. Allow to cool to room temperature.
Transfer to an airtight container. Lasts in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

-If you don't like spicy food, don't be intimidated by the hot sauce. It really doesn't add any heat, just a really nice flavor. For someone who likes hot sauce, you wouldn't even be able to tell it's in here.

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Monday, March 2, 2015

Peanut Butter Blossoms:

I have made homemade bread, pumpkin roll, angel food cake and a few other things that some people would consider "hard" recipes to make.
I've made lots of "easy" things too...rice crispy treats, no-bake cookies, etc.
But would you believe I had never made these Peanut Butter cookies?
I don't know why, but I just never have. I've always loved them, though!
For some unknown reason, we had an abundance of Hershey Kisses the other day, and I was SO excited to finally try these cookies out! I know, it's dumb, but I was excited!
So, I got out my grandma's recipe, had my mom interpret all the words I couldn't read, because of her small, cursive writing, and because the recipe card was a little faded, and got to work!
Less than 30 minutes later, I was done!
They are definitely easy, but they're also just one of those things that are down right fun to make! I had a ball! (cookie ball, that is!)
Thank you for listening to me get so thrilled about a simple, peanut butter cookie!
Now, I hope you'll go make some for yourself or others!!

1 & 3/4 cups flour
1 tsp. xanthan gum
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup shortening
1/2 cup peanut butter
1 egg
2 tblsp. milk
1 tsp. vanilla
Sugar for rolling
Hershey chocolate candy kisses

In a small bowl, whisk together flour, xanthan gum, soda and salt; set aside.
Cream together sugars, shortening and peanut butter in a mixing bowl.
Add egg, milk and vanilla and mix until combined.
Add dry ingredients and mix until well blended, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.
Roll doughs into balls, using a cookie scoop to keep them all the same size. Roll each ball in sugar and place on a greased cookie sheet.
Bake at 375 degrees for 10-12 minutes or until just barley golden brown.
Remove from the oven. Place a chocolate kiss in the center of each cookie, pressing down firmly so that the cookie cracks slightly around the edge. 
Let cool for 1-2 minutes and then remove to wire racks to cool completely.
Store in an airtight container.

-These freeze really well.
-This makes approximately 35-40 cookies.

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Tuesday, February 24, 2015