Monday, May 25, 2015

Butterscotch Blondies:

We used to make these ALL the time. I think we had them so much that we didn't want to make them anymore and so we kind of forgot about them.
I needed a dessert to take to a friends house the other week, and it seemed like we were out of everything, of course!! I had no chocolate chips, no cocoa powder...and of course I could only think of desserts that took one or both of those ingredients. One of my sisters suggested blondies, and for some unknown reason, we were overflowing with butterscotch chips, so I decided to give it a try.
It had been SO long since I made them, that I had forgotten how good they were!
And how fast they come together!
I'll try not to make them too often, but we will definitely be adding these back on our dessert list!!
I hope you try them out!

2 eggs
2 cups brown sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, melted
2 tsp. vanilla
2 & 1/2 cup flour
1 & 1/2 tsp. xanthan gum
1/4 tsp. salt
2 cups butterscotch chips
Vanilla Ice Cream
Butterscotch or Caramel Ice Cream Topping

In a large bowl, beat together eggs, brown sugar, butter and vanilla.
Add flour, xanthan gum and salt. Mix until well combined.
Stir in butterscotch chips.
Pour into a greased jelly-roll pan and spread out evenly (I like to use an offset spatula like for cake decorating for this).
Bake at 350 degrees for 23-28 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with moist crumbs. You don't want to over-bake these, or they will be hard.
Let stand for 20-30 minutes before serving, or cool completely until ready to serve.
Top with vanilla ice cream and butterscotch or caramel syrup.

-You could bake them in like a 9x13 pan or something, but I find that makes them pretty thick, and then it takes a long time to get the middle done, while the edges are already burning.

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Monday, May 18, 2015

Cinnamon Roll Baked Oatmeal:

I love our Baked Oatmeal (it's been on the blog for a while now) that we normally make. I had been seeing lots of different kinds of baked oatmeal recipes floating around, and some of them look amazing!
Be forewarned, you will mostly likely be seeing several more recipes for Baked Oatmeal coming soon!
Anyways, this one was my brother's first choice, so I through it all together one night and baked it the next morning.
Oh my! It is SO good!! I think I could have eaten the whole pan!
It's unbelievably creamy, and the perfect amount of sweet!
I will definitely be making this A LOT and I hope you try it out as well!!

3 cups quick oats
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 & 3/4 cup milk
3 tblsp. butter, melted
2 eggs
2 tsp. baking powder
3/4 tsp. salt
2 tsp. vanilla
2 tsp. cinnamon

1 cup powder sugar
1 tblsp. milk
1/4 tsp. cinnamon

In a large bowl, mix all the ingredients, except glaze, until well combined.
Pour into a greased 9x13-inch baking dish, and spread out evenly.
Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a few moist crumbs. Let rest while you mix up the glaze.
Put all of the glaze ingredients in a small cup and mix until smooth.
Drizzle over oatmeal and serve!

-I like to mix this up the night before, cover and refrigerate.
Then bake the next morning. Just let it sit on the counter while the oven pre-heats.

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Note to self:
-Top oven @ 335 degrees for 25 minutes.

Monday, May 11, 2015

The Pioneer Woman's Twice-Baked Potatoes:

I've recently came to a weird conclusion. A lot of people say that coming up with a side dish, is no's the main dish that's so hard to decide on or come up with.
It's the opposite for me. I can decide on a main dish pretty easily...but a side?
I have to rack my brain forever to try to figure something out!

I wanted something simple yet different to take to a potluck dinner a while ago. 
I LOVE twice baked potatoes, and I LOVE the Pioneer Woman!! I thought this recipe would be good for feeding a crowd, so I decided to give it a try! They do take time, but they're really easy and SO good!
I made my own variations of Ree's recipe, but as she says, this is only for a general guide line. Add more or less of whatever you like!
I hope you try it out!!!!

8-10 baking potatoes
1 cup sour cream
1 cup bacon bits
2 sticks butter, diced
1/2 tsp. seasoning salt
2 tsp. parsley
2+ cups shredded cheddar cheese

Thoroughly wash and dry potatoes. Prick potatoes with a sharp knife. Place directly on oven racks.
Bake at 400 degrees for 1 hour and 15 minutes. Remove and allow to set until cool enough to handle.
Gently cut potatoes in half lengthwise. Scoop out the potato from the skin with a spoon - leaving a 1/4 inch shell; set aside.
Place the potato "pulp" in a large bowl. Add sour cream, bacon bits, butter, seasoning salt, parsley and 1 cup cheddar cheese. You can use a potato masher, but I like a hand mixer. Mix until well combined.
Using a spoon or an ice cream scoop, scoop the potato mixture into the shells and place in a baking dish.
Sprinkle with cheese.
Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes.

-I generally use 10 - 12 small potatoes
-I like to make them up to the point of baking them the second time, and then keeping them in the fridge.
Later in the day, or even the next day, I bake them for about 30 minutes. 
-Mine definitely don't look as good as Ree's and I'm sure they weren't, but they still did taste AMAZING!!

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Monday, May 4, 2015

Orange Energizer Smoothie:

I love smoothies, but I'm also a little picky about them. I normally prefer smoothies that have veggies in them, and only one or two fruits. Otherwise, they taste SO sweet to me, that I can hardly drink them.
Enter: The Orange Energizer Smoothie!!!!
When I found this recipe, they were talking about how it's a great energizer and stress buster. I had everything for it, so I through it together real quick.
I was actually REALLY surprised how good it was! Everything was in perfect balance - not too sweet, but sweet enough...perfectly's just good!!
Smoothies are SO perfect for the hot days of summer that are coming up.
Hopefully none of my summer-loving family is reading this, but, I personally dread the heat of summer, and love the negative degrees of winter. Sorry! But I love this smoothie so much, that I am actually looking forward to enjoying it on a nice, hot day!
I love to drink a smoothie before and/or after I workout too, and this is probably by far my favorite to drink before a good run or any kind of workout.
I've had one about every day this week, I think!! Hope you give it a try!

2 bananas, cut into 1-inch pieces and frozen
1 orange, peeled and cut into chunks
1 carrot (or 6-8 baby carrots) cut into chunks
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup orange juice
1/2 cup milk

Place all ingredients in order listed in a Blender or NutriBullet.
Blend until smooth. Makes 2 large servings!

-PLEASE use frozen seriously makes this smoothie!!!

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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 or food processor.
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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