No Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars

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Yummy sweets. A little something sweet is a must after a meal, in my opinion! This bar is a combo of my favorite things, peanut butter and chocolate. Spoonful of peanut butter topped with chocolate chips anyone?

Enjoy this bar!!!! (I hid mine in the back of my fridge…….Sorta like sneaking snacks in the pantry when no one is looking, I know. I am sure you have done it too!)

I am going to also add here that this will be my last post for a while. For a number of reasons I am going to be done for a while. Not saying I will never come back to it…….ya never know.  So, thank you all for reading and commenting and having as much fun with this as I have. Thank you.

food 1116Get the recipe here for these yummy bars!

Chicken Tortilla Bake

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Sometimes creativity at dinner can be hard, sometimes we run into a rut.

I have run into a dinner rut, perhaps because we are very near grilling season, burgers and shish-ka-bobs sound really good about now…….perhaps it is because I feel like I always make the same things or similar versions of the same things. Ever have dinner ruts?? What gets you out of them? Do you try new things or stick with the same ol’ favorites??

Chicken Tortilla Bake or Enchilada Casseroles, etc. ~ they are really nothing new…….not for us and probably not for you either BUT this one was a quick throw together and an easy bake AND  really good!!!

Sometimes we just need to have a few easy dinner meals that we can count out to come together quickly and to be enjoyed by the family! Dinners that require simple staples that most of us have in our house. This dinner helped me get out of a rut, perhaps it will help you someday if you are ever in a rut!!

Recipe Notes:
~ I used Homemade Cream “of” Soup. I added about 1/4 c. chopped onion to the butter melting part of the soup making. It gave nice flavor to the sauce.
~ You can make this Tortilla Bake earlier in the day, when things are perhaps a little quieter and you have more time. Just pop it in the fridge and take it out when you are ready to bake it. (May  need to add some time to the baking, if it is totally cold through.)
~ Last time I made this I used 1/2 can of leftover Rotel tomatoes and added enough salsa to make it equal 1 c.  I would do that again.
~ Rotel tomatoes give this dish a bit more of a kick then salsa, unless you use hot salsa ~ so choose your salsa spice depended on your families preference!

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Chicken Tortilla Bake

1 can cream of chicken soup (or 1 batch of this)
1 can Rotel tomatoes (drained) OR 1 c. salsa
(or a combo of both equalling 1 c.)
1/4 c. sour cream
1/4 c. milk
2 chicken breasts, cooked and cubed (equalling about 2-3 c.)
12 corn tortillas
1 c. shredded cheddar cheese

Mix together the soup, tomato product of choice, sour cream and milk.

Cut tortillas up, into strips. Layer 1/3 of the tortilla strips in a greased casserole dish (I use my oval Corelle casserole dish ~ it is a but smaller than a 9″x13″ pan, but deeper. So a 9″ x 13″ pan could work too, I would think. However it might bake quicker, so keep that in mind.) Then top with 1/2 of the cooked chicken and half of the sauce. Repeat (tortilla strips, chicken, sauce). End with the last layer of tortillas, then cheese.

Cover and bake @ 350° for 40 minutes. Uncover and bake 5 more minutes to brown the cheese just a bit.

Delicious topped with lettuce, tomatoes, sour cream, etc.

Serve with a chopped salad and ENJOY!!

Recipe adapted from thrityhandmadedays.com. (By the way, her pictures look MUCH more appealing than my “leftovers”! Sorry about that!) ((Pardon the green plate shadow in the corner, someone was being silly.))

Butterflake Herb Bread

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I am sorry I have not been stellar at updating this blog with recipes lately. This doesn’t mean that I have not been cooking/baking lately ~ it just means that I have been pretty pathetic lately in the kitchen. Some examples of my patheticness…..

* Forgetting to take pictures of our favorite things before it all gets eaten.
* Getting the camara out to TAKE a picture, only to realize that there are no batteries to be had.
* Failing at cake baking 4 times, since apparently, easy directions can be hard to follow. :/
* Doubling the milk and doubling none of the other ingredients (major MAJOR fail, do not do) for our favorite pancakes. Then, once that milk problem was fixed…..underbaking those same said pancakes. Not good.
* Adding too much salt to one of our favorite salads……it was like a salt lick.  Bummer. BIG bummer.
* I have tried my hand at creating new recipes. Mostly not good. Which is why “the tried and true” recipes are the bestest, I find my original recipes tend to begin and END with me.

Just to name a few kitchen blunders. I sure hope I am not the ONLY one this happens to!!!!

BUT, all that aside my family really REALLY enjoying this bread. A friend shared this recipe and it should be shared with you as well!!! Hope you enjoy!!!!

The ingredients listed are the original, my changes are in parenthesis.
~ Butter is up in price :( and few sticks are in my fridge, that is why I used only 1/4 c. in the filling. It was plenty I thought. If you are a huge butter on bread fan then add the full 1/2 c. ~ however, the 1/4 c. was fine for us, so I will stick with that!
~ Pardon my random flour combination……..when baking bread, I like to use some (if not all) bread flour and it is always nice to get some wheat in there too!!! If you don’t have bread or wheat flour, all-purpose flour will be JUST FINE!!!!
~ I just realized NOW as I am typing this up that there was supposed to be  potato flour or mashed potatoes in this bread. Well, as noted above, easy directions can be hard to follow :/ and I skipped that (on accident) and it was fine, just fine. So if you don’t have mashed potatoes or potato flour, it should not be a problem to skip it!

On to the recipe you should really try!!! (Some pictures too!!)

Folded buttery dough all lined up. ↓

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Risen dough. ↓

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Baked yummy bread. ↓

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See the butter?!?!? Yum….. ↓

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Butterflake Herb Bread 

1 c. warm milk
1/4 c. butter, soft
3 TB. sugar
2 tsp. salt
2 eggs
2 tsp. yeast
4 1/4 c. flour (1/2 c. wheat flour, 1 1/2 c. bread flour, 2 1/4 c. all-purpose flour)
2 TB. potato flour or 1 TB. mashed potatoes (skipped)

Layer in bread machine and set to dough cycle. (If you do not have a bread machine, you may certainly mix/knead the dough by hand!)  Meanwhile, prepare the herby butter filling.

Butter Herb Filling  

1/2 c. butter, soft (1/4 c.)
1/2 tsp. caraway or chopped fennel seed (skipped)
1/2 tsp. basil
1 tsp. onion powder (3/4 tsp.)
1/4 tsp. oregano
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. cayenne
1 garlic clove, minced (3/4 tsp. garlic powder)

Mix well. Set aside.

Grease a 9″ x 5″ bread pan. Set aside

When the dough is complete, roll to about a 1/2″ thick rectangle. Spread the herbed butter all over and cut (with a pizza cutter) into squares (or shaped that resemble squares).  Take your squarish shapes and fold in half, line up in bread pan (folded part down).

Cover with greased plastic wrap and let rise 20-30 minutes, till doubled. Take off plastic wrap and bake @ 350° for 25-35 minutes.

Enjoy!!!

Recipe found on Kats’ Kitchen, original from King Arthur Flour.

 

Chicken Stromboli

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Stromboli  SCREAMS weekend to me! So it is high time I share this favorite dinner of ours! I hope you guys enjoy! Stromboli’s (actually I usually call them Calzone’s) are a hoot, cause you can really add whatever you want to make it your family favorite. What do you put on your Stromboli/Calzone??!?!?!

This kind of dinner is a GREAT way to use leftover meat up from the week (the Stromboli below is actually made with turkey!). We enjoy it with leftover grilled chicken, so grill a few more up next time you grill! HA!! When you can un-bury your grill from under the snow!!! :)

food 1101This is how I roll mine up, it keep the filling from oozing out of the sides. ↑

food 1103Chicken Stromboli

1 loaf frozen bread dough (or favorite bread or pizza dough)
2-3 c. cooked, cut up, chicken
1/2 a red pepper, chopped
1/4 c. chopped onion
2-3 c. mozzarella cheese
1 tsp. garlic salt
1 tsp. pepper
olive oil, garlic, Italian seasoning, Parmesan cheese (for top, opt.)
1 jar of Alfredo sauce

Thaw bread dough (or prepare, if making homemade). Roll into a large rectangle (you can make one or two, I usually do one). Layer the chicken, vegetable, cheese and spices. Roll up (similar to cinnamon rolls) and seal the edges and sides well, so no yummy cheese oozes out.

Place on a greased baking sheet. Brush with olive oil, and top with garlic, Italian seasoning and Parmesan cheese, if you want to.  Bake @ 350° for 35-40 minutes. Let set about 10 minutes before serving. Serve with warmed Alfredo sauce for dipping.

ENJOY!!!

Recipe from Tasteful Traditions, Trinity PRC Cookbook.

Snickers Crunch Bars

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This bar and I go waayyyy  back. It is one of the first recipes I remember making out of my favorite cookbook. They are not a “quick whip together” bar, they take time. Each layer has to be melted completely (can take time) or boiled a bit (that can take time).  Each layer HAS to set, chill completely. SO make these on a day you can happily spend time in your kitchen.

Over time I have changed some things to these bars, I think I can actually STOP changing things. The keeper Snicker Bar has been found.

Some tips. Some lessons to be learned from me to you.
~ Line pan with foil and then grease or butter the foil, not too heavily, just a bit. It makes it MUCH easier to lift out and cut bars up. BUT BE FOR-WARNED. The caramel sticks like mad to the foil (on the edges). SO be SURE that there is no foil lingering in the caramel. Your cavities will thank you. (Anyone else ever bit into foil? The opposite of pleasant.)

~ Do not boil the nougat layer on high. IT WILL BURN. YOU WILL NEED TO START OVER. Take your time, bring it up to a nice boil, slowly. Stir it as often as you are able, while it is boiling.

~ Technically you can add peanuts instead of the pecans. I just don’t enjoy peanuts in chocolate.  Of course I can eat it. But not my fav. So if peanuts and chocolate are YOUR thing, by all means, skip the pecans and use peanuts. Being true to the real Snicker bar.

~ The recipe Rice Krispie idea came from another one of our favorite bars, one I will share…sometime!

Here we go!!

Snickers Crunch Bars
FIRST LAYER~
1 c. chocolate chips (semi-sweet)
1/2 c. peanut butter
1/4 c. butterscotch chips
1 c. Rice Krispies
SECOND LAYER~
1 c. sugar
1/4 c. butter
1/4 c. half & half
1/2 c. peanut butter
7 oz. container of marshmallow fluff
1 tsp. vanilla
1 c. chopped pecans (toasted)
sprinkle of coarse salt
THIRD LAYER~
40 caramels, unwrapped
3 TB. water
FORTH LAYER~
1 c. chocolate chips (semi-sweet)
1/2 c. peanut butter
1/4 c. butterscotch chips

Line a 9″ x 13″ pan with foil and grease, lightly. Set aside.

FIRST LAYER. Melt the ingredients (all but Rice Krispies), in a double boiler or microwave (stirring over 30 – 60 seconds), till smooth. Add the Rice Krispies. Spread in prepared pan. Put in fridge to set.

SECOND LAYER. Bring the sugar, butter and half & half to boil. Boil for 5 minutes, stirring. Add the peanut butter, marshmallow fluff and vanilla. Stir till smooth.  Spread over first layer. Top with chopped roasted pecans. (To roast ~ put on pan and bake @ 350º for about 10 minutes, till the pecans are lightly browned and smell nice and nutty.) Sprinkle with a coarse salt ~ not to much just enough to give it that salty sweetness that is oh so good. Put pan in fridge to set.

THIRD LAYER. Melt the caramels and water in a double boiler, stir till smooth. Pour evenly over the pecan layer.  Chill to set.

FORTH LAYER. Melt together (same as first layer) and spread over caramel layer. Chill.

When the bars as cold, lift out of pan (convenient because of the foil used) and cut into bars. Sometimes it is helpful to partially freeze, makes for easier cutting ~ however, fully frozen makes it a bit harder to cut. Store in fridge.

ENJOY!

Recipe adapted from Prized Recipes to Cook and Savor Cookbook ~ 1st Edition.

Snow Ice Cream II & Brownie Batter Dip

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So when you are on snow day #2!!!! :) and your windows look like this…..

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WHAT ELSE CAN YOU DO but make Snow Ice Cream??!?!!? Well, perhaps you remember LAST years adventures in Snow Ice Cream Making……. This year we took a simpler route. My sister-in-law told me about this and it took EVERYTHING in me NOT to make it at 9:30 last night. I was tough. I waiting till after breakfast this morning. (Kids could help eat and make then!!) We all so very  much enjoyed it.

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The best part it is is that you probably have ALL the ingredients in your house!! Just wait for a fresh snow fall and WAALLLAAAA Snow Ice Cream!!! Enjoy!!!! (We sure did! Kids (& I) voted this batch EVEN better than last years!!!!)

Grab the recipe here!! (And let me know if you try it!!!)

I am a snacker.   My kids are snackers. Sometimes it is a challenge to come up with new and unique snacks ~ something fun, you know? I saw this recipe from Chef in Training and I knew I must try it! I mean, batter (and dough) is like my favorite thing. I tell myself NOT TO EAT it, there are eggs in it. Don’t do it. Don’t. But I ALWAYS do. I cannot help it. So, something that is called “Brownie Batter” seemed like a good choice for me  them to snack on.

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It was really good, tho not really brownie batterish, more like brownie puddingish. Anywho, we dipped graham crackers in and we all enjoyed it! It stays good in the fridge for 3-4 days too!!! Happy Snacking!!!

Brownie Batter Dip  

18. 4 oz. box of brownie mix, dry
2 c. PLAIN yogurt (low-fat or fat-free)
8 oz. low-fat cool whip, thawed
mini chocolate chips, for top, opt.

Mix brownie mix and yogurt, fold in thawed Cool Whip. Top with chocolate chips and use graham crackers as dippers! ENJOY!!!

Recipe adapted from Chef in Training.

Candy Cane Snowballs

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I totally meant to share this cookie with you all last December, time does FLY doesn’t it??!!

* I usually prefer to chill my dough for a day or so, then bake later. This dough gets kinda hard, so if you DO chill it 1st (I still did) just note that it will be a bit harder to scoop.

Candy Cane Snowballs 
1 1/2 c. powdered sugar
1 1/4 c. butter
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. peppermint extract
1 egg
3 c. flour
1 TB. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 c. crushed candy cane
1/2 c. mini chocolate chips

Beat together the powdered sugar and butter till light and fluffy. Add the extracts and egg and beat till well combined.

Combine the flour, baking powder and salt and slowly add this into the butter mix.  Beat about 1 minute.

Add in the crushed candy canes and mini chocolate chips by hand. Scoop into balls, I used my cookie scoop. Bake @ 350° for 11-13 minutes.  Take off pan as soon as possible, the melting candy canes get sticky and hard rather quickly on the pan. Cool on wire rack.

Yields about 40 cookies.

Recipe adapted from a recipe clipped from the Times Newspaper.