Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Quick and Easy Peppermint Fudge

This is a recipe from the Pioneer Woman.  I was looking for just a little something sweet to add to my christmas baking this year.  This did the job.  Done in minutes!  I'll make this again I am sure!

Quick and Easy Peppermint Fudge
Source:  Food Network, Ree Drummond

Cooking spray for spraying foil
3 cups semisweet chocolate chips
1 can sweetened condensed milk
Red peppermint candies, crushed, for topping (I used candy canes)

Line an 8X8 in square baking pan with aluminum foil.  Spray the foil with cooking spray.

In a medium saucepan over low heat, combine the chocolate chips and sweetened condensed milk and stir until it's all melted and smooth.  Pour into prepared pan and spread to even out the surface.  Sprinkle on the crushed candies.  Refrigerate for 2 hours.

Lift the foil out of the pan and peel off the fudge.  Cut into small squares.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Baked Garlic Brown Sugar Chicken

Another pinterest inspired recipe!  Maybe the easiest recipe I've gotten from there to date.  It was very tasty.  This will be a week night staple!

Baked Garlic Brown Sugar Chicken

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
4 garlic cloves, minced
4 TBSP brown sugar
3 tsp olive oil

1.  Preheat oven to 500 and lightly grease a casserole dish.
2.  In a small saute pan, saute garlic with oil until tender.
3.  Remove from heat and stir in the brown sugar.
4.  Place chicken breasts in a prepared baking dish and cover with the garlic and brown sugar mixture.
5.  Add salt and pepper to taste.
6.  Bake uncovered for 15 - 30 minutes.

Autumn Chopped Salad

So it is winter (not autumn) & girls night was going to happen.  I went on the search for a good salad recipe.  I happened upon this on pinterest.  Well this was great!    Everyone loved it and wanted the recipe.  It would be great anytime of the year - maybe even add chicken and have as a meal.  I can't wait to make it again!  I forgot to take a picture - but believe me it was beautiful!

Autumn Chopped Salad
Source:  Espresso & Cream

*6 to 8 cups chopped romaine lettuce
*2 medium pears, chopped
*1 cup dried cranberries
*1 cup chopped pecans
*8 slices thick-cut bacon, crisp-cooked and crumbled
*4 to 6 oz. feta cheese, crumbled
*Poppy seed Salad Dressing (I like T. Marzetti)
*Balsamic Vinaigrette (I like Newman’s Own Light Balsamic Vinaigrette)

*On a large platter, combine the lettuce, pears, cranberries, pecans, bacon and feta cheese. Drizzle generously with poppy seed dressing, followed by some of the balsamic vinaigrette. (I would estimate that I used about a cup of dressing: 70 percent poppy seed dressing and 30 percent balsamic vinaigrette) If you prefer your salad to have more dressing, feel free to experiment with the combination.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Oven Baked Tacos

One of my 1st Pinterest inspired dinners.  This could become a staple in our home.  I could see this as a great thing to make for game day/Super Bowl as well.  I halved the recipe below and it turned out great.

2 lbs. ground beef
1 can refried beans
8 oz. tomato sauce
1 pkg taco seasoning
1 1/2 cups shredded cheese
18-20 hard taco shells
lettuce, salsa, sour cream, etc

Brown ground beef.  Drain off any fat and add refried beans, tomato sauce, and seasoning.

Spoon the mixture into taco shells

Place filled shells into 9X13 pan, standing up.  Sprinkle with cheese.

Bake at 400 for 10-12 minutes or until heated through.


Quinoa Salad

I wanted to blog this so I remember it.  I made this salad on a Sunday and had it for lunch the first couple days of the week.  It was perfect!  I'll certainly make again.  Especially in the summer with fresh veggies!

Quinoa Salad

Combine 1 cup quinoa and 2 cups water.
Boil then turn on low and simmer for 15 minutes with a lid.

Add the following:
1/2 cup shredded spinach
1/2 cup red onion
1/2 - 1 cup feta
1 avocado or 1 cucumber

Whisk together 2 TBSP lemon juice & 2 TBSP olive oil.
Mix in.

Salt to taste.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

The Signature Salad

I've been meaning to post this for awhile.  I made this for Thanksgiving.  I liked it so well I made it the following weekend as well.  Lots of flavor, great salad.  Thanks Brown Eyed Baker!

The Signature Salad
Serves: 4 main course, 8 side dishes
Source:  Brown Eyed Baker

8 oz mixed greens
2 cups red grapes, sliced in half
2 pears, peeled, cored, and diced
2/3 cup dried cranberries (Craisins)
1/2 cup shelled pistachios
2 oz. Gorgonzola cheese

Sherry Shallot Vinaigrette

1 medium shallot, minced (about 4 teaspoons)
1 clove garlic, minced
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
¼ cup sherry vinegar (if you can't find sherry vinegar, substitute red wine vinegar)
½ cup olive oil
To prepare the salad, combine all salad ingredients in a large bowl.

Combine all dressing ingredients through the vinegar in a small bowl and whisk to combine.  Whisking constantly, slowly pour olive oil into the vinegar mixture in a steady stream.  Pour over salad and toss to combine.

Serve immediately.

Turkey Lettuce Wraps

PJ Chang's Lettuce wraps have always been something I've enjoyed.  I've been trying to find a suitable replacment for home.  This is the best I've found yet.  Easy.  Healthy. Quick.  My non-mushroom eating husband even loved them (I chopped the mushrooms up into oblivion!)

Turkey Lettuce Wraps



  • 12 ounces ground turkey
  • 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
  • 8 ounces white mushrooms, chopped
  • 3 scallions, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • One 6-ounce can water chestnuts, chopped
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar

Drizzling Sauce:

  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard or spicy mustard
  • 1 tablespoon Sriracha sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 8 to 12 large iceberg lettuce leaves, cleaned and dry
  • Shredded carrots, for serving
  • Bean sprouts, for serving
  • Chopped fresh cilantro, for serving


For the filling: Brown the turkey in the oil in a large saute pan over medium-high heat until no longer pink. Add the mushrooms, scallions, garlic and water chestnuts, and cook until the mushrooms soften. In a small bowl, mix the soy sauce, brown sugar and vinegar, pour over the turkey mixture and cook 1 minute. Remove from the heat.
For the drizzling sauce: In a small bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, vinegar, honey, mustard, Sriracha, sesame oil and 1/4 cup water.
Serve the turkey mixture with the lettuce leaves, drizzling sauce and vegetables for lettuce wrap assembly.

Buttered Popcorn Cookie

I got the Smitten Kitchen Cookbook for Christmas.  I am committed to trying a new recipe from it frequently.  It is a beautiful cookbook with many great/different recipes.  The buttered popcorn cookie was my first one from this book.  So, they turned out perfectly.  They weren't our favorite cookie....  (anything devoid of chocolate typically falls a peg..) but I can see me making them again.  For a kids party, a movie night, etc.   They are fun and different.

Buttered Popcorn Cookie
Source:  Smitten Kitchen Cookbook

2 tablespoons vegetable oil or canola oil
1/3 cup popcorn kernels
1/4 teaspoon table salt
1 tablespoon melted butter
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg, room temperature
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda

To make the popcorn: Heat oil over medium-high heat in a large saucepan until hot. Add the kernels, and cover, shaking the pan to make sure all the kernels are in contact with the bottom of the pan.  As soon as you hear the first few kernels pop, shimmy the pan until all of the kernels pop (5 minutes or so).  Remove from heat, add melted butter and salt, and transfer to bowl.

Dough: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  In a large bowl, beat together butter, sugars, egg and vanilla until smooth. Whisk flour and baking soda together.  Stir flour mixture into butter-sugar mixture, until combined.  Fold in popcorn, making sure to get dough well distributed.  It’s okay if the popcorn breaks as you’re mixing, and don’t worry if it seems like there's too much popcorn for the amount of dough.  It all works out in the end. 

Bake: Roll dough into mounds the size of a golf ball or slightly bigger.  Place on a parchment lined baking sheet, making sure to leave a 2 inch gap between cookies.  Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until edges are golden brown.  Let cool for a minute or so on the baking sheet before transferring to a rack to finish cooling.

Makes about 24 cookies