Valentine Cookies

cookies
I saw this recipe: (http://sallysbakingaddiction.com/2013/01/23/strawberry-chocolate-chip-cookies/) and just had to make it with my kiddos.  Strawberry chocolate chunk cookies!  Yum!  They are so easy to make and super moist!

First get together all your ingredients: 1 box of strawberry cake mix, 1  1/4 cups of semi-sweet chocolate chunks, 2 eggs, 1/3 cup of veg. oil, 1 tsp of baking powder and 1/2 tsp of vanilla.
ing

In one bowl, whisk the eggs, oil and vanilla together.
eggs

In a seperate bowl, mix the cake mix and baking powder.
flour

Stir the two together using a spoon or fork until there are no dry lumps of cake mix.  Then add the chocolate chunks.
dough

Place round balls of dough on a greased cookie sheet and bake about 10 minutes on 350 degrees.
ball

After taking them out of the oven, they will be very soft so let them cool for a few minutes.  You may need to press the tops down if they do not settle on their own.
cookie

They remind me of a whispy cotton candy texture.
choc

Lava Flows

lava2

When we were vacationing in Hawaii, my husband and I came across this drink called a Lava Flow.  Being the biggest coconut fan ever, I knew I just had to try it.  Coconut, banana, pineapple, strawberries and alcohol…how could you possibly go wrong?  Let me warn you now, that these are super addictive!  There are several different variants of the recipe, but here’s how we make it:

Ingredients (Makes about two full glasses):

2oz of cream of coconut
3oz of light rum (coconut is best in my opinion)
4oz of pineapple juice
1 banana
1 cup of crushed ice
1/2 cup of strawberry puree (I just blended strawberries myself)

Directions:

Blend all the ingredients, except the strawberry puree, until thick like a milkshake.  (You may need to add more ice to get a good consistency.) Pour the strawberry puree into a glass first.  Then fill the rest of the glass with the blended drink mixture.  Garnish with a strawberry or pineapple slice.  (You can also drizzle any remaining strawberry puree over the top of the drink.)  I honestly like to blend my strawberry puree in with the rest of the drink so it has that strawberry taste throughout, although you lose the “lava flow” effect.  Enjoy!

lava
(This is what it looks like if you blend the strawberry puree in with the other ingredients – like a pink milkshake.)

Healthified Black-Eyed Pea Nachos

Hello! I have been busy as usual, but a new book is out! Yay. Welcome to the world, Easy Bake Coven.

However, more on point, I have been cooking up a storm. Tonight I reworked a recipe I found on Whole Foods for black-eyed pea nachos.

How this came about was I bought a can of black-eyed peas to eat on New Year’s day because Kim tells me it brings good luck. Well, I forgot. So I scoured the internet for recipes and I found one I thought I could work with. (Slight weakness for nachos)

black-eyed peas nachos

Ingredients:
4oz multi-grain tortilla chips
1 can black-eyed peas, drained and rinsed (I think it would be delightful with any bean)
1 cup 2% Mexican Cheese
1 cup diced broccoli
1/2 cup diced bell peppers
1 cup grape tomatoes
1/4 cup pepperoncinis
Cilantro (I use a lot because I love it, but if you don’t then leave it off)
Srirache Sauce (to taste. I like a lot because I love it spicy)

Directions:
Spray an 8×12 pan with cooking spray and cover with a layer of tortilla chips. Evenly distribute vegetables (except tomatoes) and black-eyed peas. Sprinkle cheese over the top and Bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes. Top with tomatoes, cilantro and hot sauce and enjoy!

Serving 4
Calories- 343.10
Fat- 12.5
Protein- 16.95
Carbs- 41.15

Liz

Yummy Chicken Meatballs

Hello! I’m Kim, the third contributor to this blog.  I’m a mom of an active one year old boy. You may find a lot of my recipes will be toddler friendly. I’m always looking to try quick and healthy recipes for my little guy.

I found this great recipe for chicken meatballs and decided to make several modifications to it.  I love finding recipes and using them as inspirations to make it my own.

Here’s my spin on it:

Ingredients:

1 pound of ground chicken

1 large egg, beaten

1/2 cup breadcrumbs (I used panko)

1/2-3/4 cup cheddar cheese (I eyeball it. The more cheese the better!)

1/2 cup of diced onions (of course this is optional)

A healthy sprinkle of basil, garlic and onion powder

IMG_5133

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.  I mashed everything together and formed little balls.  To make cleanup easy, I placed them on an aluminum foil covered baking sheet.

IMG_5134

Bake for about 30 minutes.

IMG_5137

I thought they turned out really great. They were moist and very flavorful. My little guy loved them too and ate them up after I chopped them up to smaller pieces. I served them with roasted carrots and some cheese.

IMG_5138

The meatballs seem to be very freezer friendly. I froze six meatballs to a freezer bag to make it easy to grab when I need them.

Enjoy!

White Cheesy Chicken Enchiladas

I found this delicious recipe on Pinterest and my family added it to our weekly dinner list too.  Even my boys devour this meal!  I figured up that it is about 11.5 Weight Watchers points (old points) per enchilada.  This recipe is adapted from: http://joyful-mommas-kitchen.blogspot.com/2011/09/white-chicken-enchiladas.html

Ingredients

6-7 soft taco shells
1lb shredded chicken (cooked)
2 cups Colby-Monterey Jack cheese
3 tbs. butter
3 tbs. flour
2 cups chicken broth
1 cup sour cream
1  4 oz can diced green chillies
salt, pepper, onion powder
 chick1
Directions
Cook and shred the chicken.  (I added salt, pepper, and onion powder to my chicken.)
Mix the chicken with a cup of the cheese and roll it into the tortillas.
Place each enchilada into a greased casserole dish.
chick2
Melt the butter and stir in the flour for about 1 minute.
Pour in the chicken broth and whisk on medium heat until it is thick and smooth.  (Will bubble.)

chick3

Mix in the sour cream and green chillies, but do not boil.
Pour the sauce mixture on top of the enchiladas and sprinkle on the remaining cup of cheese.

chick4

chick5

Bake on 350 degrees for about 20 min.
Broil for 2-3 minutes to  make the cheese a crispy golden brown.

chick6

Enjoy!

chick7

Nutella Fudge

I’m sure you will eventually notice a pattern with most of the desserts I make.  I am addicted to Nutella and coconut so I tend to try recipes with either of those ingredients.  This Christmas I decided to try a Nutella fudge that I found a recipe for, rather than making my normal chocolate fudge.  I love the salty and sweet mixture this has with the sea salt sprinkled on top.  I adapted this recipe from: http://thecrunchymamacita.blogspot.com/2011/12/nutella-fudge-with-sea-salt.html#!/2011/12/nutella-fudge-with-sea-salt.html

Ingredients
1  14oz can sweetened condensed milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
8 oz bag of semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup Nutella
3 tbs butter
course sea salt

fudge5

Directions:

Add all the ingredients except the sea salt into a double boiler (or a glass bowl on top of a pan like I used).  Fill the pan with water so that it is just below the bowl.

Simmer and stir until the chocolate chips melt and become smooth. (Aprox. 5 min.)

fudge4

fudge3

Pour the fudge into a wax paper lined 9×9 dish.

Press the sprinkled sea salt down with a piece of wax paper.

fudge2

Refridgerate for 2 hours.

fudge1

Crock Pot Beef Stroganoff

As I said in my previous post, I’m always looking for dinner recipes that are super quick and easy and that my picky boys will eat.  I found this beef stroganoff that my kiddos absolutely love and all I did was throw the ingredients into the crock pot and let it do all the work for me!  I adapted this recipe from http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/slow-cooker-beef-stroganoff-i/detail.aspx  and followed several of the suggestions from the reviews.  This is one dinner that my husband and boys ask me to make at least once a week and never leave a drop on their plates.  Also, it’s only 8 Weight Watchers points (old points) for 1 cup of noodles and 1/2 cup of stroganoff.

Ingredients: 1lb of beef stew meat, 1 can of condensed golden mushroom soup, 1pkg of onion soup mix, 1 tbsWorcestershire, 1 beef bullion cube, 4oz of cream cheese, 2tbs of sour cream, 1/4 cup of water, and 1pkg of extra wide egg noodles

Directions: Dump all ingredients except for the cream cheese, sour cream, and noodles into the crock pot.

Cook on high for about 5 hours or on low for about 8 hours.

Stir in cream cheese and sour cream before serving.

Serve over cooked noodles (or rice).

beef2

beef4

beef5

Chocolate Chip Cookies

I am Heather, one of the other blog contributors.  I am a working mom of three rambunctious boys, so I am always in search of new, yummy recipes that are fast, easy, low-calorie(for me) and something they will eat.  Being the week before Christmas, I left out the low-cal part of my search.  I came across a recipe labeled as New York Times Best Cookie and decided to give it a whirl.  Of course, I changed some of the ingredients and directions since my four-year old was making them with me and I need it to be quick and easy.  The final result: IMG_3277This recipe was adapted from: http://tendercrumb.blogspot.com/2008/09/my-favorite-chocolate-chip-cookie.html for Jacques Torres’ Secret Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe.

Ingredients

 1/2 pound unsalted butter, 1 cup granulated sugar, 1 1/8 cups light-brown sugar, 2 eggs, 1.5 cups plus 1 tablespoons pastry flour, 1.5 cups bread flour, 1/2 tablespoon salt, 1 teaspoon baking powder, 1 teaspoon baking soda, 1/2 tablespoon pure vanilla extract, 1 pound bittersweet chocolate (I used chips though I agree that big chunks would be even better!)

IMG_3263

While preheating the oven to 350 degrees, mix together the butter and sugars until creamy. IMG_3264

Next, add the eggs, while mixing after each one.IMG_3265

Finally, mix in the rest of the ingredients on low speed.

IMG_3266IMG_3267

Bake 15-20 minutes at 350 degrees.

IMG_3271

Enjoy with a big glass of ice-cold milk!  Yummy!

IMG_3274

Love the melted gooey chocolate!

IMG_3277

Holiday Treats: Santa Strawberries, Taco Cups, and Bacon Ranch Pinwheels

Well, out of all of my new year goals for 2012, keeping up with blogging went down in flames. I will do better in 2013, mostly because I have recruited two new blogging partners: my bff Kim and my sister-in-law Heather. Take that procrastination! *karate chop*

Anywho, I have been cooking up a storm the last few weeks. Very few healthy things, but that time of year will be here before I know it. In honor of Christmas being over and New Year’s quickly approaching I will share with you a few recipes that worked really well for my big family Christmas.

First, my Christmas cooking drink: A Hemingway.

Hemingway

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1 Grapefruit

2oz Rum

2oz Grenadine

Splash of Lime Juice

Serve over ice

Recently, I read a book about juicing and bought a juicer (there will be plenty more to come on that). So when I came across this recipe that called for grapefruit juice I thought I would juice my own. It was good, but very tart. So unless you like drinks with bite, I would suggest buying the juice. If you are brave enough to juice your own then one grapefruit was enough for two 12oz cocktails.

 

Santa Strawberries

Strawberries

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Strawberries (as many as you want/need to do)

Whipped Cream (any kind. I tend to use the low calorie one, but the full fat heavy whipping cream is delicious)

1 package of instant pudding mix (any flavor you like. I used white chocolate)

–          Mix the pudding and whipped cream together in a bowl. Refrigerate until stiff.

–          While waiting for the cream, slice the leafy end of the strawberry off, so it will stand on its own. The cute the pointed end off and set to the side to use later. (These are our hats)

–          Use a knife to widen the center hole from the smaller end, but do not cut so deep that it goes through the strawberry (the cream should be ready by now).

–          Pipe whipped cream into the center of the strawberry and come up about a half of an inch over the strawberry

–          When all strawberries are filled, place the pointed ends on top and voila! Santa Strawberries.

 

Taco Cups

Taco Cups

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

24 Wonton Wrappers

1 pound of hamburger

1 package of taco seasoning

1 package of Uncle Ben’s Spanish Rice (I use the microwavable one)

1 package of Colby Jack Shredded Cheese

 

Directions

–          Spray muffin pans with oil and place one wonton wrapped in each spot.

–          Microwave rice (or cook it). Place one spoon full in each cup.

–          Fry hamburger and add taco seasoning as directed. Again place one spoonful in each cup

–          Top with a pinch of cheese

–          Bake at 350 until wonton wrappers are starting to brown and crisp

That is all I put in them for Christmas because I have a picky family. However, other items that would be good are: refried beans, hot sauce or salsa, and anything else you like on tacos.

 

Bacon Ranch Pinwheels

Pinwheels

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3 large flour tortillas

1 minced tomato

1 package of cream cheese (soften)

½  package of ranch dressing mix

5 slices of turkey bacon (or regular)

 

Directions

–          Mix package of cream cheese with ranch dressing mix.

–          Add minced tomato and crumbled bacon to mixture and stir

–          Divide evenly between the shells and spread to nearly the edge

–          Tightly roll the tortilla and wrap with aluminum foil

–          Refrigerate until cream cheese stiffens (I made mine the day before but it shouldn’t take more than an hour)

–          Slice into half inch sections and serve

 

Enjoy the recipes and happy New Year to you all!

Be a Honey Badger-Uses for Honey

I have a slight obsession with honey right now, so I am going to share it with you.

History and honey– It has been consumed by people since 7000 BCE and has been part of myth and legend. The ancient Egyptians, Romans, Greeks, and Africans all have legends centering around honey. A diet of honey and milk was even said to have saved Zeus when he was a baby.

Honey and medicine– Honey has been used medicinally for thousand of years and for good reason. It has at one time or another been used to cure nearly every illness. From arthritis to burns to constipation to baldness and stomach ulcers. The human fascination with honey seems to know no end. In fact, honey is even making a re-emergence in treating burns.

How honey works– Honey is osmotic, hygroscopic, acidic and anti septic. What does that mean? Well, it can draw liquid out of anything it comes in contact with. It can absorb and hold moisture. Because it is acidic bacteria does not live well in it. And finally honey is a source of hydrogen peroxide and does not harm the tissue.

Varieties– Classically, honey is the warm golden color of sunshine when held up to the light, but there are different colors.The variations in color (from pale almost white to dark nearly mahogany) is due to the plant source and storage. Darker honey has more antioxidants and a more pronounced flavor.

I went to an apple orchard and took a tour this fall. The orchard also raised bees. The bees, you see, a necessary part of pollination which is necessary to grow apples. They spoke a lot about bees and honey and it was honestly quit amazing. Ever since I have become quit obsessed with honey and am going to share with you some of my favorite discoveries.

  • Allergies- 1 teaspoon of local honey a day
  • Sore throat- 1 tablespoon of honey, 1 tablespoon of lemon and 1 tablespoon of whiskey then heat.
  • Coughs- 1 teaspoon honey, 1 teaspoon lemon juice and 1 teaspoon vinegar. Take 1 teaspoon every 2-3 hours.
  • Insomnia- 1 teaspoon of honey, mint leaves, and a cup of chamomile.
  • Stomach ache- 1 tablespoon of honey, 1 tablespoon of lemon, 2 teaspoons of cider vinegar and add hot water.
  • Burns- 1 teaspoon of honey, sterilized gauze and tape.

Beauty

  • Shiny Hair- 1 tsp honey, 4 cups of hot water, and 1 teaspoon of cider vinegar
  • Facial Scrub- 1/4 cup of oatmeal, 1/4 cup of brown sugar, 1 ripe banana, 2 tablespoons of honey.

I could go on, but I have probably overwhelmed you enough for one blog post.:-) So as a reward I give you the honey badger.

The Crazy Nastyass Honey Badger (original narration by Randall)