Monday, December 31

Oreo Truffles

Oreo truffles have become a Christmas time tradition in our family, and even though this recipe post is a little late, I figure you can probably enjoy them any time of year!

Oreo Truffles


All you need is 3 simple ingredients:
  • 1 pkg. Oreos
  • 1 (8 oz.) pkg. cream cheese
  • 1 pkg. chocolate almond bark


Finely crush Oreos in a large ziplock bag using a rolling pin. Mix crushed Oreos with softened cream cheese.

Roll into 1-inch balls and place on wax paper on a cookie sheet. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour.


Drop balls in melted chocolate almond bark to coat. Using a fork, place balls back on wax paper and immediately top with sprinkles, crushed nuts, crushed candy canes, ect. Be careful, these can be dangerously tempting! Makes around 40 truffles. 

(I'd love to hear about other variations using different flavors of Oreos, dipping chocolate, or toppings!)

Saturday, December 29

KitchenAid Mixer Debut: Apple Sauce Sweet Bread

Santa (aka my wonderful parents) was so good to me this Christmas and gave me the Empire Red KitchenAid Artisan Stand Mixer that I have been wanting for a long time!


So today, I broke it in with a new recipe. It made it so much easier and my mixing arm was very grateful! This yummy sweet bread will make your kitchen smell WONDERFUL, and it tastes great too!


Apple Sauce Sweet Bread
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups and 1 tbsp. margarine
  • 3 1/2 oz can evaporated milk
  • 5 eggs
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tbsp. baking soda
  • 3 1/2 cups apple sauce
  • 5 1/3 cups flour
Topping
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 tbsp. cinnamon


With mixer, cream sugar and margarine for 3 minutes on medium speed. Add evaporated milk, eggs, vanilla, salt and baking soda and mix for 3 more minutes. Add apple sauce and mix for 2 more minutes. Add flour and mix until fully blended, do not overmix.


Pour batter into a greased 9x13 pan and mix together cinnamon and sugar topping.


Top with cinnamon and sugar topping and bake at 300 degrees for 1 1/2 hours until toothpick comes out clean when inserted in the middle.

Wednesday, December 19

Sensational Sides: Garlic Herb Skillet Potatoes

I feel like I'm always looking for something to do with my leftover potatoes before they try and plant their roots in my kitchen cabinet. This is a great recipe I stumbled on that is great for spicing up old (or even older) potatoes because of all the great flavors, and trust me, after you make these once, you won't have any more potatoes left over!


Garlic Herb Skillet Potatoes
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 6 medium red potatoes (or you can substitute for 4 russet potatoes), thinly sliced
  • 1/2 tsp. dried rosemary
  • 1 tsp. dried thyme 
  • 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1 tsp. dried parsley
  • 1/4 tsp. paprika
  • 1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper 
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • salt and pepper to taste

Place sliced potatoes in large skillet and drizzle with olive oil. Add spices and minced garlic to skillet and toss until potatoes are evenly coated. Cook on medium-high for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally until potatoes are evenly browned.

(Product plug- Love my Pampered Chef Garlic Press! It is so easy to cook with fresh garlic now because I don't even have to peel the clove first! Just put the clove in and press and out comes fresh minced garlic in seconds!)

Monday, December 17

Ranch Snackers

One of the best things about getting married is you inherit a bunch of new family recipes! This one is one of my husband's favorites from my sweet mother-in-law that I love to make around Christmas time. They are super easy and make a tasty snack for a holiday party! Hope you will try them yourself!

Ranch Snackers
  • 1 pkg. (10 oz) oyster crackers
  • 3/4 cup canola oil
  • 1 pkg. (1 oz) dry ranch salad dressing mix
  • 1/2 tsp. dill weed
  • 1/4 tsp. lemon pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. garlic powder
Combine oil, ranch mix and seasonings, pour over crackers and stir until crackers are evenly coated. Place on a baking sheet with edge and bake for 15 minutes at 250 degrees, stirring halfway. 

Friday, December 7

White Chicken Chili

As it finally begins to feel cooler, that means it's time to break out all my soup and stew recipes as well as try some new ones. Here is a new one I tried tonight, and it was a big hit!

White Chicken Chili
  • 3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into cubes
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 2 cans (15.5 oz each) great northern beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can (14.5 oz) chicken broth
  • 2 cans (4 oz each) chopped green chilis
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
In a large saucepan, saute chicken, onion, garlic powder in oil until chicken is no longer pink in the center. Add beans, broth, green chilis and seasonings to saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer uncovered for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and stir in sour cream and heavy whipping cream and serve. Makes 7 servings.

Wednesday, December 5

Cookies as Simple as Four Ingredients

Chocolate and peanut butter is pretty much a magical combination, and it doesn't get much easier than 4 ingredients! I made these cookies today, and they were delicious! I gave a plate of them to a good friend this afternoon. Then we had them for dessert with a couple we hosted for dinner tonight, as well as sent a baggie home with them because they loved them so much, so the batch I made today is pretty much gone!

Chocolate Peanut Butter Delights
  • 1 box devil's food cake mix
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 cup canola oil
  • 1 package (11oz) peanut butter & milk chocolate chips
Mix all four ingredients in a bowl. 

Roll dough into 1-inch balls, place on a greased cookie sheet and flatten slightly. Bake for 10 minutes at 350 degrees (or 8 minutes at 325 degrees if your oven thinks it's the fiery furnace like mine does).

 Let cool for 2 minutes on cookie sheet (if you can resist) before moving to cooling rack. Then enjoy one with a glass of milk...or two...or three! Recipe makes 2 dozen cookies.
(Product plug- Love my Wilton Stackable Cooling Rack!)

Sunday, December 2

My Festive Forest

This year, I have loved decorating our house with DIY Christmas trees! I got the idea a few weeks ago from my mother-in-law, and I haven't stopped making them since! They are super easy, even for someone who is not very crafty, and you can really be creative and make them look however you want to go with your Christmas decor. All you do is start with varying sizes of styrofoam cones from Hobby Lobby and cover them with whatever you can imagine (buttons, ribbon, tinsel, ruffled fabric trim, ect.), and you have a very festive forest! Here are a few that I have made this year...

Ruffled fabric trim attached with hot glue, topped with a jingle bell
Buttons attached with headpins
Wired tinsel attached with hot glue
Hope these inspire you to take on a little Christmas crafting this year!

Saturday, December 1

Crock-Pot Breakfast Casserole

Looking for an easy way to make a hot breakfast on a Saturday morning? This is a great recipe that I put together last night in my Crock-Pot, and then got to roll out of bed this morning and enjoy a yummy-smelling kitchen and a delicious start to the day!



Crock-Pot Breakfast Casserole
  • 1 lb. turkey sausage
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 green pepper, chopped
  • 1 clove minced garlic
  • 2 lb. frozen hash browns
  • 2 cups shredded cheese
  • 12 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 tsp. dill weed
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. pepper
Place sausage, onion, green pepper, and garlic in skillet and cook until sausage is brown and veggies are tender. Spray Crock-Pot with non-stick cooking spray. Place 1/3 of frozen hash browns in the bottom of Crock-Pot, then layer with 1/3 sausage mixture and 1/3 cheese. Repeat for a total of 3 layers, ending with cheese. In a separate bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, dill weed, salt and pepper. Pour over ingredients in Crock-Pot. Cook on LOW for 8-10 hours.

Friday, November 30

Honey Pecan Chicken Salad

I made this new recipe a few days ago, and we ate it all week! Honestly, I think it was better a few days later after all the flavors blended. Great easy recipe for a sweet and crunchy chicken salad to serve on a sandwich or with crackers.



Honey Pecan Chicken Salad
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
  • 1 & 1/2 cups chopped celery
  • 1 cup Craisins
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 & 1/2 cups light mayonnaise
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • Optional-1/2 onion, chopped
Place chicken, celery, Craisins, and pecans in large bowl. In a separate bowl, mix together light mayonnaise, honey, salt and pepper. Combine well with chicken mixture and refrigerate until serving.

Tuesday, November 27

DIY Christmas Ball Wreath

Decorating for Christmas is something I have looked forward to each year ever since I was a child. Now that I have my own home, I have enjoyed making some of my Christmas decorations myself. Here is a Christmas project that I did a few years back, and it still is one of my favorite things to get out and hang up each year. It is very inexpensive and easy to do but does take a few hours, but it is worth making yourself over paying upwards of $50 for one from a store. 

DIY Christmas Ball Wreath


Start with a white round styrofoam wreath of the desired diameter, I used a 14'' wreath from Hobby Lobby.

Next you need assorted balls of at least 4 different sizes of whatever colors you would like on your wreath.  I recommend buying the cheapest ones you can find. For mine, I used silver and red 2.5'', 2'', 1.5'', and 1'' balls from Dollar Tree. The number you need will depend on how many layers of balls you use, so buy plenty, and keep your receipt, or you can put the extra balls on your tree like I did!

Then heat up your glue gun, and you are ready to go! Start by gluing the largest 2 size balls randomly around the front and outer edge of the wreath, and then fill in any holes with the smaller 2 size balls. Then glue a piece of thick ribbon onto the back at the top to hang it. There definitely is no right or wrong way to do it, just have fun and be creative!



Sunday, November 25

Easy Crock-Pot Roast

Tonight, I hosted my first Thanksgiving in our new home for my husband's side of the family. I was excited to break out my china and formal linens, but didn't brave making a turkey especially since my husband and I already had 2 turkey dinners and drove 9 hours over the past 3 days. So instead, I went with a classic favorite... pot roast. I looked around at several different recipes online and settled on this one simply because it had the fewest ingredients and looked easy. (I passed up one recipe that used Dr. Pepper because I was terrified to ruin my $30 worth of meat.) It was delicious, super easy, and not overdone...just as a good pot roast should be!

In the pot:
  • 1/4 cup water 
  • medium red potatoes, cut in quarters 
  • medium yellow onion, cut in quarters 
  • bag (16 ounces) fresh whole baby carrots 
  • envelope (about 1 ounce) dry onion soup and recipe mix 
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper 
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme leaves 
  • boneless beef rump roast (2 1/2 to 3 pounds) 

Place meat in Crock-pot and sprinkle with thyme and pepper. Put in cut potatoes, onions, and carrots. Mix dry onion soup mix and water and pour over all. Cook on LOW for 8 hours. 


Friday, November 23

Move Over Pumpkin Pie for Gooey Chocolate Cobbler

This year for my family's Thanksgiving dinner, I was in charge of bringing dessert. I was really excited to try a new recipe that I have been wanting to make, Gooey Chocolate Cobbler. Trust me, this one I had to see to believe. It worked out perfectly and everyone thought it was delicious! It definitely may become a new Thanksgiving tradition at our house!

Gooey Chocolate Cobbler

Batter
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3 Tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup melted butter
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup milk
Topping
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 4 Tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1 and 1/2 cups hot tap water
Combine the ingredients of the batter and place in an ungreased 9-inch square or round Corningware baking dish. Combine and sprinkle the DRY ingredients of the topping evenly over batter then pour hot tap water over all. Without stirring (I know it seems weird), bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes. Serve hot out of the oven with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream. 

Monday, November 19

Welcome!

Welcome to my new blog! I hope you will try some of my easy & delicious recipes coming soon!