Monday, September 24, 2012

Jalapeno Bacon Stuffed Mushrooms

Long, long ago I had a party.  On New Years Eve.  Please forgive the tardiness of this recipe.

Jalapeno Bacon Stuffed Mushrooms
12 whole mushrooms, large
1/4 cup panko bread crumbs
1 tbs butter
3 slices thick cut bacon, chopped
1 whole jalapeno, minced
1/4 cup diced yellow onion
1 clove garlic, minced
1 oz. cream cheese
2 oz shredded cheddar cheese
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp fresh ground pepper

  1. In a small bowl, combine the panko bread crumbs with the melted butter.  Toss until evenly coated.  Set aside.
  2. Heat the oven to 350F.
  3. Carefully clean and stem the mushrooms.  Set the caps on a small baking sheet.
  4. Chop the stems and set aside.
  5. In a small pan over medium heat, cook the chopped bacon until crisp.  Add the chopped vegetables and mushroom stems and cook until softened, about 5 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Set aside to cool slightly.
  6. In a medium bowl, mix the shredded cheese with the cream cheese until well combined.  Add the warm vegetable mixture and mix well.
  7. Divide the filling evenly between the mushrooms.  Top with the buttered panko mixture.
  8. Bake for 20 minutes, or until the mushrooms are tender and the topping is golden brown.

  • I used turkey bacon.  I do not recommend that.
  • Cheese and cream cheese were both reduced fat.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

(cheater) Chocolate Cupcakes with Salted Caramel Frosting

When you're in a pinch, you're in a pinch and you make it work.  In this case, it did!

The Perfect Cupcake Recipe (using a box mix)
1 box mix (any flavor, but get the good kind - Duncan Hines or Betty Crocker)
3 large eggs
1/2 cup butter, melted (use butter, not margarine!)
1 cup of water

  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Melt the butter in the microwave.
  3. Add cake mix, eggs, and water to the butter in large bowl.
  4. Mix on low for 1 minute.  Then mix on high for 1 minute.  You will be amazed that your batter is nice and thick and creamy - not thin and runny like it is when you follow the box instructions.
  5. Fill cupcake papers (tip: use an ice cream scooper, one scoop is just the right amount per cupcake!)
  6. Pop them in the oven for 20 minutes.
  7. Let cool.
Salted Caramel Frosting
2 sticks butter at room temperature
8 ounces of cream cheese
3-4 cups sifted powdered sugar

  1. 1 cup salted caramel (recipe in above frosting link)
  2. Beat butter and cream cheese at medium speed until creamy.
  3. Add 2 cups of the powdered sugar into the butter/cream cheese mixture and beat to combine.
  4. Add 1 cup of the salted caramel and beat to combine. 
  5. Add additional powdered sugar until the frosting is the sweetness and consistency you desire.
  • I didn't have time to make the salted caramel for the frosting, so I used Trader Joe's Fleur del Sel caramel sauce.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Taco Pasta Salad

Where do you go to find your recipes these days?  Seriously, does anyone use anymore?  I don't.  My recipes search engine is Pinterest (<-- follow me!).  I am a totaly Pinterest-a-holic!  And I openly, freely admit it.  So when it came to needing to make a side dish to take to a BBQ that's where I went to search.  And I found this Taco Pasta Salad recipe.  Sounded good to me!

Taco Salad Pasta

1 lb pasta (recommend something smallish)
1 (15 oz) can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 (10 oz) pkg frozen corn
2-3 medium tomatoes, seeded and diced
8 oz shredded Mexican-blend cheese
1 1/2 cup fresh salsa
1/2 cup sliced black olives
1/2 cup olive oil
3-4 tbs lime juice
1 tbs cumin
1-2 tsp chili powder
2 cloves garlic, minced
freshly ground salt and pepper, to taste
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 avocado, diced (optional)

  1. Cook the pasta al dente according to package instructions.  Drain, rinse with cold water, and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl (or 2 medium bowls), combine the black beans, corn, tomatoes, salsa, olives, and cheese.  Once pasta is cooled, stir in and mix to combine.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lime juice, garlic, cumin, and chili powder. Pour over pasta salad and mix well.  Stir in cilantro and season to taste with salt and pepper.  Just before serving, dice the avocado and carefully stir into salad.
  • For the salsa, I used pico de gallo
  • I omitted the avocado, because I didn't have one.
  • I used reduced fat cheese. 
Recipe from The Sweet Life

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Homemade Funfetti Cupcakes

Many, MANY months ago my brother had a birthday.  We all planned to get together for dinner to celebrate.  But instead of sharing a silly little scoop of ice cream between 8 people, I offered to make cupcakes.  And in my family we have a tradition of making "party in your mouth cake", aka funfetti to the rest of y'all.  But this year I decided to make homemade party in your mouth cupcakes!

Homemade Funfetti Cupcakes
makes 12 cupcakes

1/2 cup butter
1 cup sugar
2 whole eggs
1 tbs vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/3 cup milk
1/3 cup assorted brightly colored sprinkles, plus more for top of frosting
  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Cream butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer until fluffy, about 3 minutes.  Add eggs and vanilla and beat until combined.
  3. Combine dry ingredients in a bowl.  Add half of the dry ingredients, mixing until just combined.  Add the milk.  Once mixed, add remaining dry ingredients.  Fold in assorted sprinkles.
  4. Pour into cupcake tins and fill 2/3 of the way full.  Bake for 18-20 minutes.  Let cool, then frost.
Vanilla Buttercream
2 sticks of butter, softened
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 tbs vanilla extract
1 tbs of milk, if needed

  1. Cream butter in the bowl of an electric mixture until completely smooth and creamy.  With the mixer on low speed, add in powdered sugar slowly.  Gradually increase mixer speed and add vanilla, then beat for 2-3 minutes, scraping down sides and bottom of the bowl.  If frosting is too thick, and milk 1 tsp at a time until desired consistency is reached.  If its too thin, add sugar gradually until it thickens.  Frost cupcakes and top with sprinkles.
And boy were they good!
Recipe from the ever fabulous How Sweet It Is

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Cinnamon Sugar Donuts

 Sometime ago, I think it was in ... late February?  I don't know.  But my parents and Kaitlin were gone to Arizona to pick up the new boat.  So I was a little lonely.  But Kevin and his roommates were having a yard sale.  So I thought I'd be nice and make them some donuts to munch on.

By the way, go get yourself a donut pan asap!
I found this recipe on and decided they sounded good. Needless to say, they were a hit at the yard sale.

Baked Donuts
for the donuts:
2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup white sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp salt
3/4 cup buttermilk (or make your own with milk and vinegar)
2 eggs, beaten
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbs butter, melted

for the topping:
1/2 cup butter, melted
1/4 cup white sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tbs cinnamon

  1. Preheat oven to 325F degrees.  Lightly spray a donut pan with cooking spray.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together the flour, sugar, baking powder, nutmeg, cinnamon, and salt.
  3. In a small bowl, beat together the buttermilk, eggs, vanilla, and melted butter until well combined.
  4. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix until well combined.
  5. Fill your donut pan 3/4 full and bake for 8-10 minutes or until the donuts spring back when touched.  Allow to cool slightly before removing from the pan.
  6. To make the topping, mix together the sugars and cinnamon in a small bowl.
  7. Dunk each donut into the melted butter to completely coat and then swirl around in the cinnamon sugar to coat.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Mississippi Sin

We're going way back in time.  Here's one of the dishes I made for my New Year's Eve party...

Mississippi Sin

16 oz sour cream
8 oz cream cheese, softened
2 c cheddar cheese, shredded
1/2 c chopped ham
1 green onion, chopped
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
French bread loaf

  1. In a mixing bowl, combine all ingredients, except French bread; stirring until well blended.
  2. Cut a thin slice from top of bread loaf; set slice aside.  Using a gentle sawing motion, cut a vertically to, but no through, bottom of the loaf, 1/2" from the edge, to cut out center of bread.  Lift out center of loaf.  Fill hollowed bread loaf with the dip.  Wrap loaf with foil.
  3. Bake dip at 350F for 1 hour.  Serve with reserved bread cubes, crackers, or potato chips.
  • Most likely, I used fat free sour cream
  • And 1/3 less fat cream cheese.
  • I had Canadian bacon on hand, so I used that instead of ham.
Source:   Plain Chicken

Balsamic Lemon Chicken

What can I say, my tree was FULL of lemons.  So I picked a bucket full.  Squeezed them.  And froze the juice in cubes.

Since I've got lemon juice coming out of my ears freezer, I've been on the look out for recipes to use it up.  And not just desserty type recipes.  This chicken recipe was really good.  Nice and balsamicy and lemony.

Balsamic Lemon Chicken
Serves 4

8 pieces chicken (legs and thighs, skin on, bone in)
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 whole lemons, zested, 1 juiced and the other cut into wedges
2 tsp kosher salt
2 tsp ground black pepper
2 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp canola oil
4 tbsp unsalted butter

  1. Prick the chicken pieces all over with a fork and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk the balsamic vinegar with have of the lemon zest, salt, and pepper.  Add the chicken and turn to coat.  Refrigerate for at least 20 minutes.
  3. Mix the sugar with the remaining lemon zest in a small bowl and set aside.
  4. Preheat the oven to 400F.
  5. Heat the oil in a large oven-save skillet over medium-high heat until very hot, about 2 minutes.  Melt 2 tbsp of the butter, and place chicken skin side down in the pan along with the remaining marinade.  Cook until the chicken is browned on one side, 3-4 minutes, and then flip each piece over and cook 1 more minute.  Sprinkle the lemon sugar over the chicken and transfer skillet to oven.  Roast until chicken is completely cooked through and a thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh reads 165F, about 25 minutes.
  6. Remove chicken from oven.  Cut remaining 2 tbsp of butter into small pieces and scatter around chicken.  Pour the lemon juice over everything.  Once the butter is melted, serve the pan sauce drizzled over the chicken and lemon wedges on the side.
  • I don't tend to have bone in skin on chicken in my house, so I used chicken breasts.  BI-SO probably would have give it a different flavor.
  • I used more juice, i think 2 lemons worth. 

Champagne Limoncello Cocktail!  If you're not a member and want to be one, leave a comment with your email and I'll send you an invite.  If you are a member, you should follow me!  Anyways, I find a bunch of cool recipes and crafts and inspiration and home stuff on pinterest.  And some of the stuff I've actually tried.  Really it's only like 0.5% of things I've pinned I've tried, but that's a start!  So it's about time I share the recipes I've tried.  Like this one...
Don't mind the fancy "champagne glass"

Champagne Limoncello Cocktails
8 (3x1/2") lemon rind strips
8 tbsp Limoncello (lemon flavored liqueur)
4 tsp fresh lemon juice
1 (750ml) bottle brut Champagne, chilled

Roll up each strip of lemon rind; place 1 in each of 8 champagne flutes.  Add 1 tbsp liqueur and 1/2 tsp juice to each glass.  Divide champagne evenly among glasses.  Serve immediately.

I didn't bother with the lemon rind bit.

Rim each glass with sugar - rub a cut lemon wedge on the rim of the glass, and roll in sugar.

This drink paired well with our post egg hunt egg salad sandwiches on Easter.  Let's just say, I had a gigantic bottle of brut, and it was all gone by the time lunch was over.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

(the accidental) Coconut Caramel Cookies

For my New Year's Eve party I thought it would be fun to make Samoa Bark, but instead of shortbread cookies I thought I'd use graham crackers.  Because I had them.  Well, probably a bad idea.  The coconut caramel mixture didn't want to stick to the graham crackers at all.  So, the CC topping came off and ended up being a "no bake coconut caramel cookie".  And they were a hit!  To get the real Samoa Bark recipe, click the link above.  For the flubbed up recipe keep reading...

14 oz bag of caramels
3 cups sweetened flaked coconut
2 tbsp water
2 oz semi-sweet chocolate for drizzling

  1. Line a baking sheet with foil.  Set aside.
  2. In a non-stick skillet on medium-low heat, toast your coconut, stirring occasionally. This will take about 10 minutes or so, but be watchful because once it starts to brown it happens quickly and you don't want to burn the coconut!  When the coconut is toasted, set aside.
  3. Meanwhile, unwrap all your caramels and place them in a medium saucepan along with 2 tbsp water over medium-low heat.
  4. Stirring continuously until the caramel has JUST melted.  You don't want to over heat the caramel, as it will make it hard.  Immediately fold in your toasted coconut.
  5. Spread of plop caramel mixture onto foil.
  6. Melt your 2 oz chocolate using whatever melting process you prefer and drizzle over the top of the caramel/coconut.
  7. Put in freezer for 5 minutes to set the chocolate.
  8. Cut, or remove from foil, and enjoy!

Coffee Chocolate Cupcake with Irish Cream Frosting

 I made these cupcakes for Christmas this year, and they were a huge success!  And easy too!

1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 cup buttermilk
3 heaping tbsp cocoa
1 stick butter
1/2 cup coffee
1 cup flour
1 cup sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1 egg
1/2 tsp vanilla

In a small bowl, dissolve baking soda in room-temperature buttermilk.  In a saucepan, melt butter and cocoa together at a low temperature.  When smooth, add coffee.  In a separate bowl, sift together sugar, flour, and salt.  Add cocoa mixture and egg and mix at low speed.  Add buttermilk mixture and vanilla and beat until smooth.  Bake at 350F for 20 minutes or until inserted toothpick comes out clean.

1 stick butter
4 cups confectioners sugar
1/4 cup irish cream
1 tsp vanilla
1 tbsp milk
2 tbsp coffee

Beat ingredients together until smooth.  Spread on cupcakes.

And what do you do with the bowl when you're done...?

Lick it of course!