Summer Sweets!

Invisible Cookie Dough Ice Pops

I love cookie dough and love popsicles but I would never think to combind the two of them. I will also admit I was a bit hesitant to try this recipe, but it really doesn’t require a lot of work or ingredients. I thought it just tasted more a vanilla flavor with chocolate chips added in, but wasn’t too bad.

 If you’re looking for a fun summer activity I would suggest this recipe or any thing similar, especially with kids! I know I will be looking to try different kinds of popsicles recipes this summer.

Ingredients (10 (2.5 oz.) Popsicles)09f730a6f2d264edb03b2dc55481352d
  • 2½ c. milk
  • ⅔ c. light brown sugar, packed
  • couple pinches salt
  • 2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • ¼ c. + 1 tsp. mini chocolate chips
Instructions
Place milk in a microwave-safe bowl and heat for ~1 minute, or until warm to the touch. Stir in brown sugar and salt until dissolved. Stir in vanilla.
 
Place ½ tablespoon of chocolate chips in the bottom of your popsicle molds. Fill to the top with milk mixture. Insert sticks and freeze until solid.
 

http://www.girlichef.com/2012/06/cookie-dough-lovers-cookbook-by-lindsay.html

Two in One!

Special treat for my readers today in this post…two recipes for one great treat!

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The first recipe is “Fried” Pickles, expect the pickles are actually oven baked instead of fried, but still have the same great crispy batter. The seasoning used to make the batter is incredible. The second recipe is a Cilantro Garlic Ranch dipping sauce. (You can’t eat fried pickles with nothing to dip them in). After trying this homemade ranch recipe you will never want to buy store-bought again!

“FRIED” PICKLES
  
Ingredients
1 jar pickle slices
2 eggs
1/3 cup flour
1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp hot sauce
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp Cajun seasoning
1 tsp pepper
1 1/2 cups panko bread crumbs
 
Directions
Turn oven broiler on high.
In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs and flour. Add Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce, garlic powder, Cajun seasoning, and pepper. Mix well.
Place panko bread crumbs in a shallow dish. Dunk each pickle slice into the egg mixture, than dredge it in the panko bread crumbs.
Place coated pickles on a rack set above a baking sheet and sprayed with non-stick cooking spray. Place pan in the middle rack of the oven. Broil for about 3 minutes on each side.
 
 
Cilantro Garlic Ranch
1 1/2 Cups buttermilk
1 Cup Mayo
Handful of cilantro (more or less if you like… personal preference)
2 Tablespoons garlic powder
1 Tablespoon Italian Seasoning
Salt
Pepper
4 cloves garlic
1/8 of an onion (more or less..personal preference)
 
Now.. this is just rough estimates of my measurements. 
I just keep adding and tasting as I go.
In a bowl mix your italian seasoning, buttermilk and mayo together.
In a food processor mix your cilantro, garlic and onions together until there are no more chunks.
I then add about half of my buttermilk/mayo mixture to my food processor.
Blend again.  Then pour it back into the rest of your buttermilk/mayo mixture.
Give it a good stir.
Add salt and pepper to taste.
Refrigerate!
The longer it’s in the fridge the better the flavors get!
Remember… just keep adding and tasting as you go!
 

This dish never disappoints!

Stuffed Shells

stuffed_shells_recipe_3Looking for a great dinner recipe to make for some friends! I found this stuffed shells recipe on pinterest and instantly fell in loved. I have made this dish several times and each time it never disappoints. I love all aspects of this dish from start to finish. The homemade sauce on top is fabulous. In the past if I dont have time to make the sauce from scratch I have used sauce from a jar but it just never gives it quite the same taste.

Another great tip for this recipe is that you can do all the prep work ahead of time. If you make the filling and sauce before hand, it really makes for a super easy dinner after a long day of classes or work. Just being able to make the shells and have the rest already done is a huge help. I guarantee that if you make this dish for anyone other than yourself you will  have them coming back again and again for more.

Some recommendations for the original poster of this recipe:  I do these shells with lemon zest in the filling and in the sauce. Not typical, but really tasty. I also love the pop of heat you get from the red pepper flakes in the sauce. I baked this batch of shells family style, in one big pan. But, you can bake individual portions in ramekins, gratin dishes, or Staubs, if you like. Play around with the ricotta filling too – sometimes I add chopped olives, or chopped spinach, herbs, roasted seasonal vegetables, etc.

 

Sauce: 1/3 cup / 80 ml extra virgin olive oil, plus more for the pan 1 1/2 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes scant 3/4 teaspoon fine grain sea salt 4 medium cloves of garlic, finely chopped 1 28-ounce can crushed red tomatoes 1 14-ounce can crushed red tomatoes

Filling: 1 15-ounce container ricotta cheese 1 egg, beaten 1/4 teaspoon fine grain sea salt 1 cup / ~5 oz grated mozzarella 1 bunch of chives, minced

25-30 jumbo dried pasta shells

Oil a 13 x 9-inch / 33 x 23-cm baking pan, or equivalent, and sprinkle the zest of 1/2 the lemon across it. Set aside. Get a big pot of water boiling, and preheat your oven to 350F / 180C with a rack in the middle.

To make the sauce, combine the olive oil, red pepper flakes, sea salt, and garlic in a cold saucepan. Stir while you heat the saucepan over medium-high heat. Saute just 45 seconds or so until everything is fragrant – you don’t want the garlic to brown. Now stir in the tomatoes and heat to a gentle simmer, just a minute or two. Remove from heat and carefully take a taste (you don’t want to burn your tongue)…If the sauce needs more salt add it now. Let cool.

To make the filling, combine the ricotta, egg, and salt in a medium bowl. Mix until combined, then stir in the mozzarella, remaining lemon zest, and 3/4 of the chives. Set aside.

Cook the shells according to package instructions in well-salted water – until al dente. If you overcook, the shells will tear as you attempt to fill them. Drain and let cool long enough to handle with your hands – see photo.

Spread 1/3 of sauce across the bottom of the prepared pan. Fill each shell with ricotta, and arrange in a single layer in the pan. Ladle the remaining sauce over the shells, cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes, uncover for the final 15 minutes or until the shells are cooked through. Sprinkle with the remaining chives and serve hot.

Serves 4 – 6.

Prep time: 30 min –    Cook time: 45 min

http://www.101cookbooks.com/archives/stuffed-shells-recipe.html

 

The 3 C’s….Chicken, Cheese and Crock Pot

                                         Creamy Cheesy Chicken and Broccoli
 
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Another crock pot meal to save the day! I found this recipe awhile ago and finally got around to trying it last night for dinner. It was easy prep work and only took a few hours to cook. It look and smelled great and overall was not a bad meal. I can’t say though it was my one of my favorite pinterest recipes.
 
I thought it would have more taste to the dish and I especially thought I would taste more of the cheese. I did vary from the originally recipe and decided to make noodles with the chicken because I did not have rice. I think this dish could work with both. I would also recommend to anyone trying this dish or any dish in the future that calls for broccoli to always use fresh never frozen. I tried frozen once because I did not have fresh and I will never do that again.
 
Again not a bad dish, maybe somebody who is willing to try it will find a way to flavor it up a little more.  Below are the ingredients and directions! Enjoy!
 
Ingredients:
3-4 boneless chicken breasts
1 10oz can cream of chicken soup
1 10 oz can cheddar soup
1 14 oz can chicken broth
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon garlic salt seasoning
1 cup sour cream
6 cups broccoli florets, just fork tender (I cooked it in boiling water for 3-4 minutes)
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
 
Directions:
1. Place soups, chicken broth, salt, and garlic seasoning into a crock-pot over low heat. Whisk until smooth. Place chicken in, pressing to the bottom. Cover lid and cook on low for 6 hours or on high for 3 hours.
2. When chicken is cooked, use 2 forks to shred into bite size pieces. Stir in sour cream and broccoli.
3. Serve over steamed rice and sprinkle with cheese.  4-6 servings

http://clippingmoney.blogspot.com/2012/07/crock-pot-cheesy-chicken-brocolli-over.html

Starbucks at Home

Love Starbucks coffee and specialty products but hate paying their prices for them? You are not alone, especially on a college budget. I found this great recipe on pinterest for Starbuck’s French Vanilla Frappuccinos. To be honest it never occurred to me that I could make it, but now that I see just how simple it is to make, it is dumb of me not to make it.

 

40c0cbc29dfbacc0e4717540c9810979This recipe is simple, but does make a lot and if you’re not a huge coffee drinker I suggest only starting off by making half a recipe worth. That way if you don’t like it you won’t waste anything. In my opinion after making this drink, it stays good in your fridge for almost a week, then begins to lose its taste. I like this drink because in the mornings if I don’t have time to make hot coffee this is perfect to pour in a travel mug and take along with me. It also is a great afternoon treat!

 

Ingredients and directions below! Enjoy!

 

10 cups fresh coffee (4 heaping tsps ground, then brew)

 1/2 cup of brown sugar

 1/2 cup of white sugar

 1/2 cup of French Vanilla Coffee Creamer

While coffee is brewing, combine brown sugar and white sugar in a pitcher; pour hot coffee directly into pitcher so the sugar dissolves, then stir; add creamer and stir again; refrigerate overnight.

 

http://christinaflis.com/blog/starbucks-frappuccino-recipe/

 

Love at First Bite

Banana Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Muffins

Who among us doesn’t like to snack? Me, I snack all the time. Sometimes I snack so much I don’t even eat meals. I should have listened more to my mother about not spoiling my appetite with junk food when I was younger. It wouldn’t be so bad expect for a majority of my snacks are unhealthy. I am always looking for quick easy snacks that are both healthy and filling so once I eat them I won’t spoil any more of my meals.

 

I can across these banana chocolate chip oatmeal muffins and decided to try them. Instant love at first bite. Not only are these muffins amazing in taste but they are good for you! I like to eat one before I exercise because it gives me just enough energy to work out and keeps me full the whole time. They are also just a get snack to have around for whenever! Hope you enjoy them as much as I did.

 

Serves 18

  • 3 cups old-fashioned oats8b960bb894485983573e79e8f89a1ece
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/4 cup skim milk
  • 3/4 cup mashed bananas
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

 

  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Lightly mist 18 cups in a muffin tin with cooking spray.
  2. Combine the oats, brown sugar, baking powder and salt in a large bowl and stir until thoroughly mixed.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg whites, egg, mashed banana, milk
  4. and vanilla. Add to the dry ingredients and stir until blended together. Mix in chocolate chips.
  5. Spoon the oatmeal mixture evenly between the prepared muffin cups. Bake uncovered for 18 to 22 minutes or until oatmeal is lightly browned and a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.

 

http://www.fitnessmagazine.com/blogs/fitstop/2012/06/21/fitness/fit-blogger-we-love-emily-bites/

Epic Failure

This weekend, my mother and I felt a little adventurous and decided to try a new dessert recipe. My mom was at a party and tried a white chocolate covered cookie ball (or at least that’s what I call it). She immediately loved them and asked the lady who brought them for the recipe. The lady said she found the recipe on Pinterest and all the recipe called for was cream cheese and chocolate cookie crumbs formed into a ball and then dipped into white chocolate. My mother, who is one of the best bakers I know, said that the recipe sounded simple and easy for her to replicate and make on her own.  Here is where our adventure begins.

 

 I couldn’t find the recipe on Pinterest, but that was alright because my mom said she could do it without. We bought a package of Oreos and removed the cream middle from each cookie and threw the outsides into a blender. We mixed up all the cookies until all we had was crumbs. Then we mixed the cookie’s crumbs together with the cream cheese. When the filling was done we tried it, but something didn’t taste right. The filling had no taste. My mother decided that maybe she misheard the recipe and we needed to add more ingredients. She starts throwing in random amounts of butter, vanilla extract, and sugar. I had no idea where she was going with this, but she seemed confident it in. After blending all that together, the cream still didn’t taste sweet enough, so we added about 2 cups of powdered sugar and mixed that all together. Surprisingly at this point we thought we nailed it, the cream tasted delicious and was the right consistence to form into little balls.

 

We formed the balls and set them all on a tray in the refrigerator to get hard. While that was going on we started melting the white chocolate. When the white chocolate was ready we dipped and covered all the balls, they looked amazing! We then put the white chocolate covered balls back into the fridge to get hard. After about an hour they were ready to try!

 

I wish I could tell you what went wrong after that. I took one bite into one and spit it back out! The only way I can describe the taste is to say they had an aluminum taste to them. Strangest thing I have ever tasted, especially coming from my mother’s kitchen.  The white chocolate was good, the filling was good, but together it was a nasty combination. You couldn’t give these cookie balls away.

 

This video sums up pretty much what happened in our kitchen that day.

 

If any of my fellow Pinterest recipe bloggers know the recipe I am talking about and attempted to make, maybe you could help me find it so my mother and I can try to do it again with the right ingredients.  My lesson has been learned and I will not try another recipe from Pinterest without the direct ingredients and instructions.

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