Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Twix Bars

Once again I took these to a party and didn't get a picture... But, they were delish and gone before I could bring them home to get a picture at the end of the night!! I didn't even say what they were, we were in a darkened bar area where you couldn't see very well and people were still walking up to me saying "I love your bars... they taste like a twix!" That's just what I like to hear. They didn't have that crispy crunch of a Twix bar, but they still had that same delish caramel, chocolate taste! hmmmm... salivating a bit over here - I might need to make these again soon! :)

Twix Bars
(recipe found on pinterest via mykitchenescapades.com)

1 cup butter, room temperature
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 cup powdered sugar
2 cups flour
2 1/2 cups caramel squares (you will need to buy 2 bags)
3 tablespoons heavy cream
2 cups milk chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 300 and spray a 9×13 pan lightly with nonstick spray. In a large bowl, beat the butter until soft, then add the salt, vanilla and sugar. Beat until smooth. Add the flour and carefully combine. Press mixture evenly across the bottom of the pan and bake for about 35 minutes until the edges begin to brown. Set aside to cool completely. Melt caramel squares and cream in a medium microwave safe bowl in the microwave. Heat for 3 minutes on high, stopping to stir after each minute. Spread the melted caramel over the cooled crust and place in the refrigerator for about 20 minutes to allow the caramel to cool. In a small microwave safe bowl, melt the chocolate chips for 2 minutes, stopping to stir after the first minute. Spread evenly over the cooled caramel and return the pan to the refrigerator until the chocolate is set.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Tortellini Bake

Once again I was looking for a quick and easy meal that I could throw together without a lot of trouble. I had a bag of tortellini in my freezer that I have had for a bit and I wanted to use it up. So, I planned my meal around that and this recipe! :) It was tasty - a little too much on the pasta sauce, but as I have said before, I'm not a bit red sauce person. I know that my kids love it though, so I suck it up and try different recipes even if it includes pasta sauce!

Tortellini Bake
(Recipe found on pinterest)

1 bag (19 or 20 ounces) cheese filled tortellini
1 jar (15 ounces) alfredo sauce
1/2 jar pasta sauce
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella
1/2 cup grated parmesan

Combine tortellini, alfredo sauce and pasta sauce in large bowl. Stir to cover tortellini in sauces. Place in sprayed 9x9 baking dish and top with cheese. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Make Ahead Pizza Casserole

As usual, anything with pizza in the title catches my eye immediately. I know that it is usually a sure fire hit with the kiddos and it is going to be a meal that I don't have to fight with them over. I also liked the idea of "make ahead" so that got me excited as well! I doubled this recipe so that I could throw the extra pan in the freezer and have another go round of it in the future... We've actually already eaten the second pan - that's how good it was and/or how busy our schedules are! :) I mixed up the meat a bit, since I had some italian sausage in the fridge and used a pound of beef and a pound of italian sausage. I love the taste of italian sausage but not the fat that goes with it, so this was a nice way to use it! It was a great meal at our house, hope you enjoy as well!

Make Ahead Pizza Casserole
(recipe found at bettycrocker.com)

1 pound mild italian pork sausage
2 cups water
1 can (15 ounces) pizza sauce
1 can (14.5 ounces) diced tomatoes with sweet onion, undrained
4 cups uncooked rotini pasta (use gluten free noodles if desired)
1 can (2 1/4 oz) sliced ripe olives, drained
1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella or pizza cheese blend

In a skillet, cook sausage over medium-high heat 8 to 10 minutes, stirring frequently, until no longer pink; drain. In ungreased 13x9-inch baking dish, mix water, pizza sauce and tomatoes. Stir in cooked sausage, uncooked pasta and olives (pasta should be completely covered with sauce). Cover tightly with foil; refrigerate at least 8 hours or overnight. When ready to bake, heat oven to 350°F. Stir casserole; cover with foil and bake 1 hour to 1 hour 15 minutes or until bubbly. Uncover baking dish; stir mixture. Sprinkle with cheese; bake uncovered 5 minutes longer or until cheese is melted.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Peanut Butter Cookies

I had a really rough day today... Between things going wrong with the house, the kids having issues and a million other fires that I felt like I had to put out I had enough - it was time to do some baking!! As my husband teases about himself "I had to eat my emotions!" That doesn't bode too well for the eating healthy trying to lose the summer weight idea that is going on right now, but I guess - you have to have those days!! So, peanut butter it was... I found this recipe and it was dubbed "the best peanut butter cookies ever", so you know that I had to try it!! Seriously, they were so delish!! Soft and melty in my mouth and just what I needed. I know these won't stay in the cookie jar for long!

Peanut Butter Cookies
(Recipe found on pinterest via loulougirls.blogspot.com)

1 cup brown sugar, packed firmly
1 cup white sugar
1/2 cup shortening
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup peanut butter
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
2 teaspoon vanilla
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 1/4 cups flour

Preheat oven to 350. Cream together the sugars, shortening, butter and peanut butter. Add the eggs and vanilla, mix until well combined. Mix the dry ingredients together and add to the cream mixture. Roll the cookie dough into tablespoon size balls. Roll the cookie balls into sugar. Place on the cookie sheets- DO NOT mash with a fork in normal “peanut butter cookie” fashion. Bake for 11 to 13 minutes.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Bacon Cheeseburger Nacho Bake

The boys in my house are SUPER into nachos right now... Anytime we go anywhere to eat that they are on the menu, they know immediately what they are ordering! So, when I saw this recipe, I knew that it was a no brainer that we had to try it! I should have made 2!!! These were literally inhaled before I could get the rest of the food on the table and they were quickly asking for more. So, definitely a redo in our house...

Bacon Cheeseburger Nacho Bake
(recipe found bettycrocker.com)

1 pound ground beef
1 small onion, chopped
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
1 (8 oz) velveeta, cut into small cubes
1/2 cup cooked real bacon pieces (from a jar or package)
3 cups lightly crushed tortilla chips
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
Diced pickles, if desired
Ketchup, if desired
Mustard, if desired
Lettuce, if desired

Heat oven to 350. Spray 13x9 inch glass baking dish with cooking spray. In 10-inch skillet, cook beef, onion and garlic salt over medium-high heat 5 to 7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until beef is thoroughly cooked. Add cubed velveeta and bacon; cook and stir until cheese is melted. Remove from heat Place half of the chips in bottom of baking dish. Top with half of the beef mixture. Repeat layers. Top with shredded cheese. Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until cheese is melted and bubbly. Serve immediately with pickles, ketchup, mustard and/or lettuce, if desired.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Oven Baked Chicken

For my second son's pick of the week he requested chicken legs... he didn't care how I fixed them, he just wanted chicken legs! :) I have had this recipe saved for a while and decided that it was a quick and easy way to make them up. They were super yummy and I loved the crunchiness that came with them, even with out deep frying. It was a hit with the whole family and it tasted great as leftovers the next day as well!

Oven Baked Chicken
(recipe found on bettycrocker.com)

1 tablespoon butter
2/3 cup Bisquick
1 1/2 teaspoons paprika
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 cut-up whole chicken (3 to 3 1/2 pounds or I used 12 chicken legs)

Heat oven to 425. Melt butter in 13x9 baking dish in oven. Stir together bisquick, paprika, salt and pepper; coat chicken. Place skin sides down in dish (dish and butter should be hot). Bake 35 minutes; turn chicken. Bake about 15 minutes longer or until juice is no longer pink when centers of thickest pieces are cut.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Asian Beef and Broccoli

I was on a bit of an Asian kick this past week and while I was making the Asian Grilled Pork Chops, I decided that I would try this Asian Beef and Broccoli! It had a lot of the same ingredients, so it worked well for the shopping list! :) I usually just throw my roasts in the crock pot and call it good, but I decided to pull one out and try it with this recipe. It was worth the extra chopping that I had to do. I loved the taste of this recipe and the kids thought that it was pretty delish as well. I served it over the hot brown rice and it made for a perfect week night meal!

Asian Beef and Broccoli
(recipe found in Parents Magazine)

1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup orange juice, divided
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 1/2 pounds boneless beef chuck, trimmed and cut into 2 inch pieces
2 1/2 cups frozen broccoli florets
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon orange marmalade
1/2 cup dry roasted cashews
brown rice

In a bowl, mix soy sauce, 3 tablespoons orange juice, sugar, ginger and garlic. Coat the inside of a slow cooker with cooking spray and add beef and soy sauce mixture. Stir, cover and cook on low for 6 hours. Just before beef is done, microwave broccoli, covered on high 4 minutes. Drain any liquid. Transfer beef to a bowl, shred it (if desired) and add broccoli. Cover and set aside. Place a small fine-mesh sieve over a small saucepan. Pour juices from the slow cooker into the pan. In a bowl, mix cornstarch and 2 tablespoons water. Add to saucepan. Cook on medium and stir until slightly thickened and bubbly. Cook and stir 2 minutes more. Remove from heat. Stir in marmalade, remaining 3 tablespoons orange juice and pepper. Add about half of the swauce and cashews to the beef and broccoli mixture. Toss to coat. Serve over brown rice and additional sauce.