Monday, February 8, 2016

2 Ingredient, 3 Minute Chocolate Fudge:

I am not a huge fan of fudge. I mean, I like it, but it's just usually SO, SO sweet.
I enjoy Peanut Butter Fudge like once a year or something, but other than that, I can definitely take it or leave it and not think twice about it.
It can be a tricky thing for me to make, too. Sometimes it turns out good, and other times, I ruin it!
I ran across this recipe, and thought it was most likely too good to be true.
2 ingredients?
3 minutes?
Yeah, right!

So glad I was wrong! I may be a new-found fudge lover!
This recipe makes some of the very best I have ever had!
SO easy, SO fast, SO smooth and's just awesome!!!
I hope you try it out!

1 (12 oz.) package chocolate chips
1 (14 oz.) can Sweetened Condensed Milk

Lightly coat a square baking dish with cooking spray. Line pan with wax paper; set aside.
Place chocolate chips and milk in a microwave safe dish. Heat on high for 1 minute. Let stand for 1 minute. Stir until smooth. Pour into prepared pan, and spread out evenly. Chill for at least 2 hours, or until firm. Remove from pan and discard wax paper. Cut into a squares. Serve, or place in an airtight container. It can be refrigerated, or left at room temperature.

Monday, February 1, 2016

{Easy, Cheesy Muffins}

Served with salads, soups and stews, spaghetti, lasagna, scrambled eggs and omelets, steak or grilled name it...these muffins go with EVERYTHING!
Basically the texture of an extremely light, fluffy, airy biscuit,  and really fast to make!
My entire family loved them!
I hope you give them a try!

1 & 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon xanthan gum
1 & 1/2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder, optional
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning, optional
3 cups shredded cheese
1 cup milk
1 egg
1/2 stick (4 tablespoons) butter, melted

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, xanthan gum, sugar, baking powder, and garlic powder. 
Stir in cheese.
In a separate bowl, whisk together milk, egg and butter.
Add to dry ingredients and mix until well combined. Batter will be thick and sticky.
Spray a muffin pan with cooking spray, and divide batter evenly between 14 muffin cups.
Bake at 375 degrees for 20-25 minutes, or until lightly golden brown.
Let rest in muffin pans for 5 minutes, run a table knife around the edges to loosen, and place in on a serving plate!
Best served hot!

-You can use whatever cheese you have or like. I like the mozzarella because it melts well, and makes a stringy, cheesy texture that I love. And cheddar adds great color! But as long as you have 3 cups of some type of cheese, that's all that matters!
This is what I love to use:
1 & 1/4 cup mozzarella
1 & 1/4 cup cheddar
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan

Monday, January 25, 2016

Chicken Noodle Casserole:

My mom and grandma used to make this casserole all the time when I was little, and it was always one of my favorite dishes! 
I hope you try it and enjoy it as much as we do!

2 large chicken breasts, cooked and cut into small cubes
1 & 1/2 batches homemade cream of chicken soup (click here)
1 can evaporated milk
1 (15 oz.) Jar Cheez Wiz cheese sauce
1 (12 oz.) package spiral pasta
1 & 1/2 cups peas
Crushed cornflakes

Cook noodles according to package directions; rinse and drain. 
Mix together the chicken cubes, pasta and peas in a large bowl; set aside. 
In a saucepan, whisk together evaporated milk, cheese sauce and soup over medium heat until everything is well combined. 
Pour over pasta mixture and stir until evenly coated. Pour into a greased casserole dish. 
Sprinkle generously with cornflakes crumbs (covering the whole top of the casserole). 
Bake at 375 degrees for 30 - 40 minutes, or until the center is hot and the pasta is tender. Serve!

-The amount of cornflake crumbs depends on the size of your casserole dish. The bigger the dish, the more crumbs you will need!!
-You can easily make this ahead of time and refrigerate. You will just need to allow extra baking time, since it will be very cold.

Monday, January 18, 2016

{Smothered Chicken}

And yet another Pioneer Woman recipe!!!!
She just makes good food, what can I say!

My family loves the Cracker Barrel restaurant, and several years ago, they used to serve a dish called Smothered Chicken. It was fabulous, and we all loved it. Unfortunately, for some reason they stopped serving it. So as I was diligently reading through my newest cookbook, I came across this recipe. 
Ree Drummond called it Ranch-Style Chicken. 
I tweaked the recipe a little to what I had, and my family's tastes, but it's pretty much exactly like what Cracker Barrel used to serve!
My family loved it, and it was really easy to make!
I hope you try it!!

9 chicken boneless, skinless chicken breasts (please see note!)
3/4 cup honey
3/4 cup Dijon mustard
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 & 1/2 teaspoons paprika
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 - 1 teaspoon chili powder, depending on your taste
9 large slices, thick-cut bacon
2+ cups shredded cheddar cheese

Place chicken in a zip-lock bag. 
In a small bowl, whisk together honey, mustard, lemon juice, paprika, 
salt and chili powder until smooth.
Pour over chicken and seal bag, removing as much air as possible. 
Gently toss bag back and forth to coat all the chicken.
Refrigerate for 2-4 hours.

Line a baking sheet with foil, and coat lightly with cooking spray. Place the bacon slices on the pan, and broil (at least 6 inches away from the element) for 5-7 minutes. Flip the bacon slices, and broil 5-7 minutes longer, or until chewy; set aside on paper towels until ready to use. Discard the bacon grease, but keep the foil on the pan.
Meanwhile, grill chicken on medium-high heat 3-4 minutes on each side, or until internal temperature reaches 160 degrees; set aside.

To assemble, place the chicken on the foil-lined baking sheet. Take a piece of bacon, and cut or tear in half, and lay both pieces on top of the chicken. Sprinkle with cheese.
Bake at 450 degrees for 5 minutes, or until cheese is melted.

-You want 9 "pieces" of chicken. If the chicken breasts are very thick, you will need to cut them in half, length-wise (before you marinade them)...this will make 2 pieces of chicken. So the number of chicken breasts, will depend on how thick they are, and therefore how many "pieces" you will get. I hope that makes sense!
-You can use more or less chili powder, depending on how spicy you like things. My family is not into that, so I just used 1/4 teaspoon. 

Monday, January 11, 2016

Pioneer Woman's Perfect Potatoes Au Gratin

Be prepared for Pioneer Woman Recipe Overload!!!
Thanks to the worlds greatest boyfriend ever (sorry, he's already taken), 
I have not one, not even two, but FOUR of the Pioneer Woman's cookbooks!!
The BIG ones! 
I have always loved her, and I didn't even know she had that many books out!!

So of course I have read them all...cover to cover...and will be dissecting as many as I can, 
to make them gluten-free!

Enter, Perfect Potatoes Au Gratin!! Only a few minor adjustments and it.was.amazing! 
My whole family loved them, and I will absolutely be making them again!
They were super easy to throw together, and would seriously go with anything!
I hope you try them out!

7-8 cups potatoes, peeled and diced
1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons milk
1 can evaporated milk
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 & 1/2 - 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
Chopped green onions or dried chives for garnish, optional

Butter a 9x13-inch baking dish; set aside.
In a medium bowl, gently whisk together milks, cornstarch, garlic, salt and pepper until smooth.
Place potatoes in prepared dish and pour milk mixture over the top.
Cover and bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes.
Remove the foil and bake 25 minutes longer or until potatoes are tender when poked with a fork, and they aren't swimming in liquid (there probably will still be some liquid, but the potatoes should not be floating at this point!). 
Sprinkle with cheese and bake an additional 5-10 minutes, or until melted and bubbly!
Sprinkle with green onions or chives, if desired, and serve!!!

Monday, January 4, 2016

Chicken Spaghetti:

My boyfriend has given me some of the best cookbooks over the past few months!
This recipe comes from one of them, and it is awesome!
It did take a little while to put together, but it's not hard at all,
and you get two dinners out of your effort!!
The flavor is really good...if you are more of a "spicy" food loving type of person, you may want to add some chopped up jalapeno peppers, or amp up the cayenne pepper a few notches!
Otherwise, it's a perfect comfort food dish! Cheesy and Creamy!!
I hope you give it a try!

6-8 chicken breasts, cut into bite size pieces
1 pound spaghetti, broken into 2 inch pieces
1 (4 oz.) jar diced pimientos drained
1 small onion, finely diced
1/4 cup green bell pepper, finely diced
2 batches cream of mushroom soup mix (click here)
2 & 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
2 cups chicken broth
1 teaspoon seasoning salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

In a large skillet, cook the chicken until no longer pink in the center; set aside.
Cook spaghetti according to package instructions to al dente; drain and place in a large bowl.
Add the chicken, pimientos, finely diced vegetables, and 2 cups of cheese to the pasta; use two forks to combine.

Stir together the cream of mushroom soup, chicken broth, season salt, black pepper and cayenne pepper. Add to the pasta mixture and stir until well combined.
Pour into 2, greased baking dishes.

To Freeze:
-place a piece of wax paper on top the casserole, pressing down to actually touch the pasta mixture.
Cover the dish with a lid or foil. Freeze for later use!
Thaw completely and move on to the baking step!

To Bake:
-Top with remaining 1/2 cup cheese (honestly, I used more like 1 cup of cheese per pan at this point!).
Bake at 350 degrees for 35-45 minutes or until hot through and bubbly.

Monday, December 28, 2015

Quick and Easy Lemon Cookies:

Like I've said before, I love most anything lemon. 
Both of my grandma's used to make these awesome lemon cookies! 
They were by far my favorite! 
And remarkably, there was a recipe for them, but it was a risky one. 
For some reason, they would turn out sometimes, and other times would be a complete fail!
My sister ran across this recipe, and made them for a dinner at her work. She said they were amazing, so I definitely wanted to try them!
And they were SO amazing! Definitely my new, #1 favorite cookie!!!
I hope you try them out!!

1 Gluten-Free Yellow cake mix
1 box instant lemon pudding mix
3 eggs
1/3 cup butter, room temperature
1 teaspoon lemon extract
1/3 cup powdered sugar, for decoration

Place all ingredients, except powdered sugar, in a mixing bowl. 
Mix until well blended.
Using a cookie scoop, drop dough into powder sugar. Roll to coat. Place on greased cookie sheets.
Bake at 375 for 6-7 minutes, or until the edges are just barely golden brown, or firm to the touch. Remove from the oven, and let rest on cookie sheets for 5 minutes. Remove to wire racks to cool completely.
Store in an airtight container.

-These freeze very well.

Monday, December 21, 2015

Homemade Fudge Rounds:

It's finally here.

The week of Christmas!!!!!!!!!

Christmas is my absolute, #1 favorite holiday! Ever! 
I love everything about it, including the weeks leading up to Christmas day, Christmas music, Christmas decorations, Christmas movies, even the atmosphere! 
And, of course, the Christmas cookies!
Everyone has their favorites, but I think I will add a new one to our Christmas Cookie list.
These homemade Fudge Rounds may very well be my family's new favorite cookie!
Surprisingly, they are relatively fast and easy to make. It has been SOOO long since I've had a real, Little Debbie Fudge Round, and I honestly don't remember what they taste like. So I don't know whether these are actually comparable to the "real thing," or not, but they're still good!!
I hope you give them a try, and Merry Christmas!!!! 

2 cups gluten-free flour
2 teaspoons xanthan gum
2 teaspoons cornstarch
3/4 cup cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 & 1/2 sticks (20 tablespoons) butter, room temperature
1 & 1/2 cups sugar
2 eggs
2 tablespoons corn syrup
2 teaspoons vanilla

2 sticks butter, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup cocoa powder
3 cups powder sugar
1/4 cup warm water

1 cup chocolate chips
1 teaspoon butter, vegetable oil or coconut oil

For the Cookies:

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, xanthan gum, cornstarch, cocoa, baking soda, and salt.
Beat together butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add eggs, corn syrup and vanilla, and mix until smooth. Add dry ingredients, and beat until combined. Dough may be very sticky. Drop on cookie sheets (I use a 1-inch cookie scoop) and bake at 350 degrees for 7 minutes. Remove from the oven, and let stand for 5 minutes. Transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.

For the Filling:

Place butter in the bowl of a stand mixer, and beat on medium speed until smooth. Add vanilla. Add cocoa powder and powder sugar. Beat on low speed just until combined. Add the water and beat on medium-high speed for 2 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl occasionally. 
Spread frosting on the bottom of half the cookies (I also use a cookie scoop for this too. One scoop on half of the cookies.) Gently press another cookie on the top of the filling. Place on a cookie sheet, or large tray.

For the Drizzle:

Place chocolate chips and oil of choice in a microwave safe dish. Heat in 15 second intervals, stirring well after each, until smooth.
Place the chocolate chips and oil of choice in a small saucepan. Heat over medium-low heat stirring constantly, until smooth.
Either way, once the chocolate is melted, pour into a zip-lock bag. Snip a tiny piece off of the corner, and pipe stripes over all the cookies. 
Chill until chocolate is set. Store in an airtight container in the fridge. Cookies are best served at room temperature.

Monday, December 14, 2015

Triple Chocolate Poke Cake:

Another chocolate cake recipe.

I know.

But, can there really be too many?
And it's not like chocolate cakes are exclusive to Valentines Day or something, right?

I do like chocolate....a lot! But I also like other desserts and candy too. It's not like I won't eat something that doesn't have chocolate somewhere in it! So, I don't think I would necessarily be called a choco-holic.
However, sometimes I just need chocolate cake.
I don't know what it is, but I just get this craving, and it doesn't go away.

I make chocolate cake!

And this did not disappoint! Chocolate overload right here, and so good!!
Hope you try it out!

1 & 3/4 cups Flour
1 & 3/4 cups sugar
3/4 cup cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon xanthan gum
2 eggs
1 cup brewed coffee, cooled
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 cup milk
1/2 cup canola oil
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Combined milk and lemon juice and let stand for 5 minutes. (mixture will thicken slightly).
Whisk together flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and xanthan gum.
Add eggs, coffee, milk and lemon juice mixture, oil and vanilla.
Beat on medium speed for 2 minutes.
Pour into a greased 9x13-inch baking dish. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Set aside to cool while you prepare the pudding.

Pudding Layer:
2/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup cocoa powder
3 tablespoons cornstarch
pinch of salt
2 & 1/2 cups milk
1 tablespoon butter

Whisk together sugar, cocoa powder, cornstarch and salt, in a medium saucepan. Gradually stir in milk, and whisk until well combined. Cook and stir over medium-high heat until thickened, or mixture comes to a boil. Remove from heat and stir in better. Allow to cool for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
With the handle of a wooden spoon, poke holes all over the cake. Pour the pudding over, and use a spoon, if necessary, to spread evenly. Tap the pan gently on the table a few times, to allow the pudding to seep down into the holes.
Let cool for about 30 minutes, before frosting.

1/3 cup milk
1/3 cup butter, softened
1 & 1/4 cups sugar
1 cup chocolate chips

Combine milk, butter and sugar in a small saucepan. Cook and stir over medium-high heat until mixture comes to a rolling boil. Boil for 45 seconds.
Remove from the heat and add chocolate chips. Stir continuously until smooth.
Immediately pour over the cake.
Chill for at least 4 hours or overnight.

Monday, December 7, 2015

{Perfect Baked Potatoes}

Every now and then, I just get hungry for a really, really good baked potato.
Especially one that is fully loaded!
Some of my favorite toppings are (not all at the same time, of course) ham, chicken, taco meat, steamed broccoli, green chilies, onions, bell peppers, cheese, ranch dressing, black olives, black beans, seems like the list is endless!!
And I'm all about the WHOLE baked potato - skin and all!
I know that technically, there is no "recipe" for them, but I guess you could say there is "technique" that can help you achieve and really, really good baked potato!
And that's what I'm sharing with you today!
Super fast and simple, but really yummy final results!!
I hope you give it a try!!

Desired number of baking potatoes
Olive or Canola Oil

Thoroughly wash and dry potatoes. Line a baking sheet with foil. Pour a small amount of oil into a bowl. Dip your fingers in the oil and generously rub each potato, and place it on the baking sheet. Sprinkle with salt, turning the potatoes, to coat all sides.
Pierce each potato several times with the tip of a sharp knife.
Bake at 425 degrees for 45-60 minutes or until fork tender.

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