Monday, October 29, 2012

Andes Mint Chocolate Chunk Cookies

What do you do when school has been cancelled for two days and you're pacing around the house, hoping the power doesn't go out, terribly bored, waiting for hurricane Sandy to show up? Well, if you are me, you bake cookies, of course! And I have been wanting to try this recipe for a couple of weeks now!

I am a serious lover of all things mint and Andes Chocolate Mints are at the top of my yum list. So when I discovered that Andes now come in a bag and are all broken up into little pieces just like a bag of chocolate chips, I got very excited!!! This recipe is found on the back of the bag. Enjoy!!

1/2 cup salted butter, softened 
3/4 cup dark brown sugar 
1/2 cup white granulated sugar 
1 teaspoon baking soda 
1 teaspoon baking powder 
2 teaspoons vanilla extract 
2 eggs 
1 package (10 oz) Andes® Creme de Menthe Baking Chips or Andes® After Dinner Mints, coarsely chopped 
2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour 

Preheat oven to 350F

Blend butter, sugars, baking soda, baking powder, vanilla and eggs until mixed.
Stir in baking chips or chopped candy and then flour. Chill at least one hour in refrigerator. 

Drop 1 Tbl of dough onto a parchment lined baking sheet. Roll the dough into a ball and flatten it slightly with your hand. 

Raise oven rack one level above middle and baking on non-stick cookie sheets. Bake at 350-degrees for approximately 8-10 minutes. Cool on pans for two minutes before removing.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Monterey Chicken

"Really flavorful" and "definitely blog-worthy," is how my husband described this chicken! And I agree! When you read the list of ingredients, how can you go wrong!? This recipe was inspired by the All Things Simple blog. I changed her recipe a bit by adding jalapenos and real bacon. This chicken was very simple to make, but looked like a million bucks coming out of the oven! I served it with a side of brown rice and roasted broccoli. Enjoy!

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
Salt & pepper
1/4 c. bar-b-que sauce
6 slices of bacon, cooked and crumbled
1 c. colby and jack cheese, shredded
1 14 oz. can Rotel tomatoes & green chilies, drained
jarred sliced jalapenos (optional)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Pound out chicken breasts to flatten. Season with salt and pepper. Spray a skillet with cooking spray. Turn burner on to medium heat and let skillet get hot. Add the breasts to the hot skillet and cook for four minutes on each side. Remove chicken from skillet and place in a glass casserole dish.

Top each chicken breast with one tablespoon bar-b-que sauce, 1/4 c. cheese, bacon (divided evenly among breasts), 1/4 c. tomatoes, and jalapenos (if using).  Lightly tent a piece of foil over chicken. Cook in oven for 12 minutes. Remove foil and continue baking for another 6 minutes until the chicken has cooked through and cheese has melted.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Boo S'mores Treat Bags

Okay, I know this isn't a recipe, but these S'mores Treat Bags are WAY too cute not to blog! Make these adorable treat bags for your children's friends, your kid's Halloween party at school or the children in your neighborhood! An instant s'mores treat that will make any child smile!!

All you need to assemble:
Graham crackers (break one cracker into two squares)
Ghost (or pumpkin) Peeps
Mini Hershey's Candy Bars
Goodie Bags

Monday, October 22, 2012

Bacon, Olive & Cheddar Bread

I saw this recipe on Pinterest and it just looked so amazingly yummy, I had to make it! I changed a couple things here and there and fiddled with some measurements, but, the end result was a hearty, savory bread with so much flavor it could almost stand alone as a meal! The bread "dough" was really more like was quite wet and "sticky"....please don't let that scare you! The end result was perfection! Enjoy!

1 tsp butter
5 green onions, finely chopped
2/3 c white wine
1/3 c. olive oil
4 eggs
1/2 tsp salt
2 1/2 c. flour
1 tsp baking powder
4 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
1 c. ham, diced
2/3 c. sliced olives (black, green or a combo of the two)
2 Tbl fresh parsley OR 1 Tbl dried parsley
1 c. shredded cheddar cheese
Preheat oven to 350F

Melt 1 tsp butter in a skillet over medium heat. Stir in chopped green onions and saute for 3 minutes. Set aside.

In a large bowl whisk together the wine, oil, eggs and salt. In a separate bowl mix the flour and baking powder together. Stir the wine mixture into the flour mixture.
Add the sauteed green onions, cooked & crumbled bacon, ham, olives and parsley to the bread mixture. Stir well to combine. Add the cheese. Stir. 

Pour into a greased loaf pan and cook for 60 to 63 minutes.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Oreo Pudding Cookies

Believe it or not, it's not uncommon for my husband and kids to pass on homemade cookies and baked goods that I make. I think I just bake so often, they just don't get excited by much anymore. There have been many a time I tried out a new cookie or bar and everyone says "no thank you" and asks if they can have ice cream instead. SIGH. So, I was ecstatic and surprised to see how all of them ate two, three, four of these Oreo Pudding Cookies each! They were a huge hit! I passed them out to my neighbors, as well, and got rave reviews! But seriously, folks, how could they NOT be fantastic?! Oreo pudding AND Hershey's Cookies & Cream bars in one solitary cookie?! YES PLEASE! Thanks again to the Girl Who Ate Everything blog for this yummy recipe! Enjoy!

1 cup butter, room temperature
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup white sugar
1 (4.2 ounce) package instant Oreo Pudding mix (see Note)
2 1/4 cups flour 
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 Hershey's Cookies N Cream Candy Bars cut into small pieces (I used 2.6 ounce King Sized bars)
2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Combine flour, baking soda, and salt in a small bowl and set aside. Cream together butter and sugars. Beat in pudding mix until blended. Add the eggs and vanilla and mix well. Add the flour mixture and mix to combine. Stir in cookies n' cream pieces and chocolate chips. Batter will be thick.

Using a cookie dough scooper, place golf ball sized dough balls on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake at 350 degrees for 8 - 9 minutes. You do not want to overbake these! Let cookies cool for 5 minutes on baking sheet before moving to a cooking rack. Store in air-tight container. Makes two dozen.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Baked Portabello with Parmesan

This healthy, meatless recipe was a big hit with my husband. This dinner was very satisfying and tasted delcious - it tasted like pizza! The recipe comes from One Perfect Bite. Serve with a side salad and a good crusty bread. Enjoy!

1/2 cup Italian-style bread crumbs
1 cup (3-oz.) freshly grated Parmesan cheese, divided use
1 teaspoon sweet paprika
1/4 cup fresh minced parsley, divided use (I used fresh basil instead of parsley)
2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided use
3/4 cup egg substitute (I used two eggs)
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1 teaspoon marjoram leaves (I used 1/2 tsp dried)
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon oregano leaves (I used 1/2 tsp dried)
4 large (5 to 6-inches wide) stemmed portobello mushrooms, brushed clean
1-1/2 cups (6-oz.) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
1 cup commercially prepared "light" tomato sauce
Cooking spray

1) Position a baking rack in upper third of oven. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a 17-1/2 x 11-3/4 baking sheet with aluminum foil. Place a 16-1/2 x 11-1/2-inch wire cooling rack inside the baking sheet. Mist rack with cooking spray. Set aside.

2) Combine bread crumbs, 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, 3 tablespoons parsley, paprika and 1 teaspoon salt in a shallow pan. Mix well. Set aside.

3) In a separate bowl, combine eggs, remaining 1 teaspoon salt. pepper, marjoram, garlic powder and oregano. Mix well.

4) Dip both sides of mushrooms into egg mixture. Dredge in crumb mixture until both sides are completely coated. Transfer, stem side down, to prepared wire rack. Spray tops with cooking spray and bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until mushrooms are tender. Remove pan from oven.

5) Reset oven thermostat to 450 degrees F. Meanwhile, carefully turn mushrooms stem side up. Cover each mushroom with 2 tablespoons of remaining Parmesan cheese, 1/4 of mozzarella cheese and 1/4 cup tomato sauce. Spray tops lightly. Return to oven and bake until cheese melts and mushrooms are warmed through, about 10 minutes. Use a wide spatula to transfer mushrooms to a serving platter. Sprinkle with reserved 1 tablespoon parsley.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Scarecrow Treats

These yummy treats are the perfect bar cookie for fall! They were fun to make, too! Just remember when working with the corn syrup/peanut butter mixture you have to work quickly!! If you don't, the mixture will harden and will be all but impossible to get out of the saucepan! These treats are an "active" baking project....just be aware of that before you set out to make them. The recipe comes from the Land O' Lakes website. Enjoy!

1/2 cup butter, melted
1 (18.25-ounce) package pudding in the mix yellow cake mix
1 egg
3 cups miniature marshmallows
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 cups crisp rice cereal
2 cups salted peanuts
1 cup candy corn
Preheat oven to 350F 
Combine butter and cake mix in a large bowl. Beat on low speed until well mixed. Add egg; continue beating until well mixed. (You really must use a hand mixer for this step)

Press onto bottom of a greased 15x10x1-inch jelly-roll pan. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until set and edges are lightly browned. Remove from oven.

Immediately sprinkle marshmallows over hot, partially baked crust. Return to oven; continue baking for 1 to 2 minutes or until marshmallows puff.

Meanwhile, combine corn syrup, sugar and brown sugar in LARGE saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring until mixture comes to a boil (2 to 4 minutes). Remove from heat; stir in peanut butter and vanilla until smooth. Stir in cereal, peanuts and candy corn. Immediately spoon over marshmallows; spread to cover (I used a piece of parchment paper to spread mixture evenly over the marshmallows- this is a great trick when making any type of Rice Krispie treat- the hot mixture will not stick to the parchment paper and you can smooth it out perfectly). Cool completely. Cut into bars. 

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Cheesey Mushroom Pull Apart Bread

Oh boy was this good! And it looked beautiful, too! It has several of my favorite foods combined- bread, cheese, butter, mushrooms, I mean, seriously, how could this ever go wrong!!!? The following recipe is verbatim from the Beantown Baker blog. I suggest you make this for your next get together, bring it to a holiday party, serve it on Superbowl Sunday.....or do what I did, just serve it for dinner one night. I'm not kidding, my husband and I sat in front of the tv and picked this thing apart on a Monday was delicious! Enjoy!

12 oz sliced mushrooms (buttons or baby bellas)
1 Tbsp butter
1 Tbsp chopped fresh thyme

1 unsliced loaf sourdough bread (please get good sourdough from the bakery)
12 ounces Provolone cheese, thinly sliced
1/2 cup butter, melted
1/2 cup finely diced green onion
2 teaspoons poppy seeds

Preheat the oven to 350F
Heat a medium skillet on medium. Add the butter. Once the butter is melted, add the mushrooms. Cook 4-5 minutes until they start to sweat. Add the thyme and continue to cook another 2-3 minutes. Set mushrooms aside and allow to cool.

Cut the bread lengthwise and widthwise without cutting through the bottom crust. This can be a little tricky going the second way but the bread is very forgiving.

Place loaf on a foil-lined baking sheet.

Insert cheese slices between cuts. Pour the mushrooms between the cuts. Use your fingers to push the mushrooms down into the loaf.
Combine butter, onion, and poppy seeds. Drizzle over bread. 

Wrap in foil; place on a baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes. Unwrap the bread and bake 10 more minutes, or until cheese is melted. Yum!

Monday, October 8, 2012

Halloween Rice Krispie Treat Cake

This fun little cake was a snap to make and looked adorable! The kids loved it (and so did I)! Perfect treat to make for Halloween! And please don't worry if your measurements aren't exact, Rice Krispie treats aren't rocket science......they always taste good no matter what! Enjoy!

1/4 c. butter
1 1/2 bags of mini marshmallows
9 c. Rice Krispies
1 c. candy corn
1 c. Reece's Pieces

Melt butter in a large soup pot. Once butter has melted add mini marshmallows to the pot. Stand over that pot like a mama bird guarding her nest and stir, stir, stir....don't let those marshmallows burn! Once the marshmallows have melted completely, remove the pot from heat and add 1/2 the Rice Krispies. Stir to incorporate. Add the rest of the Rice Krispies, as well as the candy corn and Reece's Pieces. Stir till everything is covered with the melted marshmallows.

Scoop mixture into a well greased bundt pan (don't have a bundt pan? You really should, but, that's besides the point. You can use a 9X13" glass dish, although it won't look as pretty). Use a piece of wax or parchment paper to evenly push the Rice Krispie treats down so they are level. Let the "cake" cool for awhile then invert onto a cake stand. Voila!

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Cinnamon Swirl Banana Bread

As you probably know if you follow my blog, I am a sucker for quick breads, especially ones that are sweet! So when I saw this recipe on Lovin' From the Oven (which btw, is a great blog- especially for baking fanatics like myself) I knew I had to make it! Yummy!!!! Blog worthy indeed! And just the type of comfort food needed at this time of year when the temperatures are dropping! Please give it a try!

3 over-ripe bananas, mashed
1/3 cup butter, melted
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg, beaten
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp baking soda
dash of salt
1 1/2 cups flour

For the swirl:
1/3 cup sugar
1 Tbl cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350F

Butter and flour a loaf pan.

Mix bananas, melted butter, sugar, egg, and vanilla together. Sprinkle baking soda and salt around on top of the banana mixture. Then gently stir in flour. Be careful not to over-mix!

In a small bowl, mix together 1/3 cup sugar and 1 Tbl cinnamon.

Add 1/2 of the batter to the prepared loaf pan and then sprinkle 3 to 4 Tbl of the cinnamon-sugar mixture all over the batter in the pan. Add the rest of the batter, and then sprinkle the rest of the cinnamon-sugar on top. You can use the tip of a knife to gently swirl the cinnamon sugar mixture into the batter a bit.

Bake for 50-55 minutes. Let cool completely before removing from pan. Enjoy!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Poppy Seed Chicken

Another simple, no-brainer recipe for my busy mom friends!!! Thank you to The Girl Who Ate Everything blog for letting me swipe this recipe! Serve over brown rice with a side of roasted broccoli! Enjoy!

5 cups chicken breasts, cooked and cubed (you can cook your own or use the white meat from TWO rotisserie chickens)
1 cup sour cream
2 cans condensed cream of chicken soup
2 cups crushed Ritz crackers (about 1 1/2 rolls of crackers)
1/2 cup melted butter (I only used 1/4 cup of butter)
1 T poppy seeds
1 tsp Worchestershire sauce
1 tsp celery salt
1 tsp minced garlic
1 T lemon juice
1/4 tsp pepper
Preheat oven to 350F
Place cooked cubed chicken in a 9X13 casserole dish.
Stir together the condensed soup and sour cream. Stir in the Worchestershire sauce, celery salt, garlic, lemon juice, and pepper to the soup and sour cream mixture. Carefully pour over chicken being careful not to upset the chicken at the bottom.
In a separate bowl, stir together the crushed crackers, poppy seeds and melted butter. Evenly sprinkle over the chicken and sauce. 
Bake for 30 minutes, until the top of the casserole is browned and the sauce is bubbly. Serve over brown rice with a side of broccoli.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Mummy Pizza

A simple, yummy pizza the kids loved eating! And it's just in time for Halloween! You can use whatever you have on hand for the base of the pizza- English muffins, I used crumpets, or you could even use a pack of Pillsbury biscuits! Just keep it simple and fun!

4 English muffin halves
Pizza sauce
4 pieces of string cheese for the "wrap"
4 black olives, cut into 8 slices for the "eyes"

Preheat oven to 400F

Lay English muffins on a foil lined baking sheet lightly sprayed with cooking spray. Evenly add pizza sauce. Strip the string cheese into lots of "strings" and arrange them any which way on top of the pizza sauce. I like to have the olive "eyes" peeking out under the "wrap" really can't go wrong here....just be creative! Cook for 15 minutes or until cheese has melted a bit.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Bacon Wrapped Green Bean Bundles

I don't even find it necessary to write an intro to this insanely yummy way to eat your green beans! I already know you are going to make them...I had you at bacon....I had you at bacon....

1 pound fresh green beans (I really prefer haricot verts- this is the French word for green beans- they are really thin. Use what you can find, though).
Package of bacon
2 Tbl butter
1 Tbl brown sugar
1 - 2 cloves of minced garlic
5 dashes of Worchestershire sauce
Dash of salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. 

Fit a foil lined roasting pan with a wire rack.  Spray the rack with cooking spray. This step is really important. Cooking the bundles on a wire rack allows for the bacon grease to drip into the foiled lined pan (easy clean up, crispier bacon and less grease, ie. calories/fat consumption- a three part win).

Wash and thoroughly dry green beans. Season with salt and pepper. Bundle together about 6-8 green beans. Using a slice of bacon, wrap it around the center of the beans to hold it together. Lay the bundle bacon seam side down in the baking dish to hold it together. Repeat with remaining beans.

Heat a small saucepan over low heat. Add butter, brown sugar, garlic and Worchestershire sauce with a whisk until melted and combined. Use a pastry brush to brush mixture over the top of each green bean bundle. Cover the bundles with foil and bake for 35 minutes. Remove foil and bake for 15-20 minutes more,  until the bacon gets crispy.

Try not to burn yourself while sneaking a bundle before it has cooled off! Enjoy!