Monday, December 23, 2013

Apple Cinnamon Coffee Cake with Caramel Glaze

I made these a while back and they were incredible!  They would make a wonderful Christmas morning breakfast or if you are looking for something to gift, this recipe is great for that as well because it makes two coffee cakes!  This recipe is from Shugary Sweets.

For the cake:
3 cup all purpose flour
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
3/4 cup milk
3 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract

For the Filling:
3/4 cup unsalted butter  (softened)
1 cup light brown sugar
1 tbsp cinnamon
1 tsp allspice
1 1/2 cup apples (peeled and diced)

For the Glaze:
1/4 cup unsalted butter
1/2 cup light brown sugar
2 tbsp milk
1 cup powdered sugar

Heat oven to 350.  Grease two 9 inch round cake pans and set to the side.  In a mixer combine all the ingredients for the cake until fully combined. Pour evenly into the two cake pans.  In the same bowl beat together the butter with the brown sugar, cinnamon and allspice. Once they are combined, fold in the apples.  Drop scoops of the filling into the cake pans then swirl with a knife.  Bake for 30 minutes or until the cake is done.  Let cool for 10 minutes before removing from the pan.  Let the cake cool for another 20 minutes then begin the glaze.  Melt the butter in a small saucepan then whisk in the brown sugar and bring to a boil.  Add in the milk and whisk then remove from heat and whisk in the powdered sugar.  Pour evenly over each cake.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Hot Corn Dip

I love a good hot corn dip. My friend Leslie used to make it all the time when we still lived close by and it was always a hit. I made this one night for our small group and it was an easy fix and totally delicious.  This recipe is Trisha Yearwood's recipe from the Food Network.

2 11oz cans Mexi corn (drained)
2 4.5oz cans chopped green chiles (drained)
2 cups grated Monterey Jack cheese
2/3 cup grated Parmesan
1 cup mayonnaise
Corn chips or Tortilla chips

Heat oven to 350.  In a large mixing bowl combine the corn, green chiles, monterey jack cheese, parmesan and mayonnaise.  Pour into a greased 9x13 dish and bake for 30 minutes or until bubbly.  Serve while heated. 

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Pumpkin Cheesecake Muffins

The pumpkin and cream cheese combination is one of my favorite!  The thing I love about pumpkin is that it keeps everything so moist.  This recipe is from Bake at Midnight.

Muffin Batter:
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tbsp pumpkin pie spice
2 large eggs
1 cup sugar
1 cup pumpkin puree
1/2 cup plus 2 tbs vegetable oil

Streusel Topping:
1/2 cup sugar
5 tbs flour
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 cup cold butter (cut into pieces)

8 oz cream cheese (softened)
1/4 cup sugar
2 tbs flour

First, beat together the filling ingredients and place in the refrigerator to chill.  Heat oven to 350. In a large bowl combine the flour, baking soda, salt, nutmeg, cinnamon and pumpkin pie spice.  In a separate bowl beat together the eggs, sugar, pumpkin puree and vegetable oil.  Add the wet ingredients into the dry and stir until combined and set to the side. In a small bowl combine the sugar, flour and cinnamon. Cut in the butter until it has created a coarse crumbly mixture.  Line a muffin tin with muffin liners and grease.  Place a tablespoon full of batter into the cups.   Drop a small spoonful of cheesecake filling into each muffin then top with the remaining batter.  Sprinkle with the streusel topping. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes.  Remove from oven and let cool for 5 minutes before removing from the muffin tin. 

Monday, December 16, 2013

Roasted Garlic Spaghetti Sauce

I have never made homemade spaghetti sauce before, honestly we don't eat a ton of it because we ate it so much when we first got married and I was still in school while working and Gray was working.  It was easy to throw together some meat and a jar of sauce.  I just got burnt out on it but I made this sauce the other night and it's delicious.  It also made a huge pot full and I was able to freeze some too. Even better!!! This recipe was adapted from Simply Gloria.

2 lbs of sausage or ground beef
1 red pepper (chopped)
1 large white onion (chopped)
8 oz fresh mushrooms (sliced)
12 oz tomato paste
28 oz tomato sauce
8 cups whole tomatoes, canned (if using fresh tomatoes, blanch and peel)
2 tbsp basil
2 tbsp marjoram
2 tbsp oregano
1 tbsp parsley
1 tbsp onion powder
1 tbsp garlic powder
salt & pepper to taste
3 garlic bulbs (roasted, peeled and chopped)
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon olive oil

Brown the meat in a skillet.  When the meat it cooked add to a large pot then add the tomato sauce, whole tomatoes, tomato paste and all of the seasonings.  Bring to a simmer and cook for 1 hour.  After the hour is up add in the mushrooms, onion, red pepper and garlic.  Continue to cook for at least 1 more hour or up to 4 more hours stirring occasionally.  Once ready to eat, pour of pasta of choice and serve. 

Monday, December 9, 2013

Boursin Chicken Crescents

Oh boy oh boy! The combination for boursin and crescent rolls. Yes please!!!!! These were a quick and easy meal on a busy night.  This recipe was adapted from Jam Hands.

5.2 oz Boursin Herb and Garlic Cheese
2 cans Crescent Rolls
2 1/2 cups Chicken (cooked and shredded)
1/3 cup onion (diced)
2 tbsp milk
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper

Heat oven to 350.  In a mixing bowl combine the boursin, chicken, onion milk salt and pepper. Separate the crescent rolls into rectangles and seal the seems together.  Fill with the chicken mixture and wrap the edges together. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until done.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Garlic Spinach Pizza

This recipe has been waiting to post  Not sure why it took me so long to get it up.  Gray and I both really enjoyed this!  This recipe is slightly adapted from Recipes, Food and Cooking.

4 - 5 garlic cloves (roasted and minced)
4 oz. cream cheese
3 tbsp butter
2 tbsp flour
1 1/2 cups milk
salt and pepper
1/2 cup parmesan cheese

9 oz bag fresh spinach
Easy Thin Crust Pizza Dough or dough of your choice
Monterey Jack Cheese

Roll out the pizza crust and begin to prebake at the appropriate temperature for that dough, if necessary.

Melt the butter in a pan. Whisk in the flour then add the roasted garlic.   Add the milk and stir until the mixture begins to thicken.  Stir in the cream cheese, salt and pepper.  When the cream cheese is melted, remove from heat and stir in the parmesan cheese.   Steam the spinach until it is just wilted then add to the sauce.

Once the crust is ready, spread the spinach sauce over the crust.  Top with Monterey Jack and bake in the oven for 12 to 15 minutes or until the pizza is done.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Chicken, Broccoli and Cheddar Pasta

The combination of broccoli, cheddar and chicken is always a winner in our house.  I'm pretty sure that's already obvious on this blog.  When I saw this recipe on CenterCutCook I knew it would be one that we would enjoy, I slightly adapted it and I was right!!! This is a winner.

2 large boneless skinless chicken breasts (cut into 1 inch chunks)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small onion (finely chopped)
2 garlic cloves  (chopped)
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flake
8 oz pasta of choice
1 and 2/3 cup chicken stock
2 and 3/4 cups water (divided)
8 oz broccoli florets (chopped into small pieces)
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 cup cheddar cheese
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Heat 1 tbsp of olive oil in a non-stick skillet. Add the chicken and saute until the chicken is browned and cooked through. Remove and rain on a plate.  Use the remaining olive oil and saute the onion for a several minutes. Add the garlic and saute for 30 seconds then stir in the red pepper flakes.  Put the chicken stock and two cups of water into the pan. Add in the pasta and cook for 12 to 15 minute or until most of the liquid has been absorbed by the pasta.  Put the broccoli in the pan with 3/4 cup of water and turn the heat down to a simmer.  Let it cook for 5 minutes.  Place the cooked chicken back in the pan along with the heavy cream and cheddar cheese.  Turn the heat to medium high. Continually stir until all of the cheese has melted and the sauce is beginning to thicken. Season with salt and pepper and serve. 

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Quick and Easy Black Bean Soup

I went to make black bean soup one night and realized the recipe I was going to use was a crock pot recipe. Whoops.  So I totally improvised this and it was delicious!

2 cans black beans
1 tbsp olive oil
1 red pepper (diced)
1 onion (diced)
1 tsp garlic (minced)
1 1/2 cups chicken or veggie broth
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp salt

In a pot saute the pepper, onion and garlic until tender.  Add the black beans and broth.  Bring to a boil then turn down and let simmer for 10 minutes.  Put the mixture into a blender in two batches.  Blended for about 30 seconds then place back into the pot.  Bring back to a boil then lower to a simmer and add in the cumin, chili powder and salt.  Let the mixture simmer for 10 more minute then serve with sour cream and cheese.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Fresh Apple Cake with a Caramel Glaze

I made this one night for dessert for our small group dinner.  I also made it with fresh apples from when we went apple picking.  Mmmm, fresh apples make everything better! This recipe is from My Blessed Life.

2 eggs
1/2 butter (softened)
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp real salt
1 tsp baking soda
4 cups diced Granny Smith apples

Caramel Glaze:
4 tbsp butter
3 tbsp brown sugar
3 tbsp white sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp milk
1-2 tbsp confectioner’s sugar (sifted)

Heat oven to 350 and grease a 9x13 pan.  In a large bowl beat together the eggs and butter.  Add in the sugar and vanilla.  In a separate bowl combine the flour, cinnamon, salt and baking soda.  Add the flour mixture to the egg mixture slowly.  After they are combined, add the diced apples.  Pour into the greased pan and spread evenly. Bake for 45 minutes.

While the cake is cooling off a bit, make your glaze.  Heat the butter, brown sugar, white sugar, vanilla extract and milk in a sauce pan over medium heat. Stir continually until it reaches a boil then let it continue to boil while you are stirring for 1 minute.  Remove from heat and whisk in 1 tablespoon for confectioner's sugar.  If you would like the glaze to thicken up even more then add another tablespoon.

Pour the glaze over the cake evenly and let cool before slicing. 

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Chicken Soup with Chive Dumplings

This is the perfect creamy mean for a cold night! I made this on one of the first chilly nights of the season and it was absolutely perfect!  This recipe is adapted from Very Culinary.

3 chicken breasts (cooked and diced)
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 medium carrots (peeled and chopped)
1 small onion (diced)
6 cups low sodium chicken stock
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon snipped fresh chives
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
5 tablespoons cold unsalted butter
3/4 cup whole milk
1/2 tsp dried parsley
Salt and black pepper

In a large pot heat the olive oil then begin to saute the carrots and onion.  Cook for 5 to 7 minutes or util the vegetables are tender.  Add the stock and diced chicken, bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes.   While the soup is simmer, begin to make the dumplings.  In a mixing bowl combine the flour, chives, baking powder and salt.  Using a pastry blender, fork or your hands, add in the unsalted butter until the mixture is crumbly.  Stir in the milk until just combined.  Stir the parsley into the soup and using a small spoon drop the dumpling batter one by one into the soup mixture.  Cook uncovered for 10 minutes then reduce heat, cover and cook for 10 additional minutes.  Use a toothpick to test the doneness of the dumplings. One the dumplings are cooked through, remove from heat and serve. 

Monday, November 11, 2013

Stovetop Macaroni and Cheese

Sometimes you just need some creamy cheesy mac and cheese.  I have fallen in love with this recipe. It's so easy!!!! It takes minutes to prepare and is much better than grabbing one of the boxes from the store.  This recipe is from Baked Bree.

1 pound pasta
1 1/2 cups whole milk
2 tbsp flour
3 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp dry mustard
Pinch cayenne
Pinch freshly grated nutmeg

Boil the pasta according to the directions. Drain and set to the side.  Put 1 cup of milk in sauce pot.  In a small bowl whisk together the flour and 1/2 cup of milk until it is smooth and without clumps.  When the milk in the pot begins to steam, add the milk and flour mixture to it and stir.  Once the mixture begins to thicken up to the consistency of cream, stir in the cheese until smooth.  Stir in the salt, pepper, dry mustard, cayenne and nutmeg.   Pour over the pasta, stir to coat and serve. 

Wednesday, November 6, 2013


I am not a huge fan of meatloaf.  We had it often as a child so maybe I got burnt out eating it?  I don't know.   Gray loves meatloaf though so I decided to whip one up for him!  The thing is, this meatloaf was really good! I was surprised at how much I enjoyed it!  This recipe is adapted from Sneaky Spoons.

1 lb lean ground beef
1 egg
1/2 small onion, diced
1/3 cup milk
1 cup dried breadcrumbs or panko
salt and pepper to taste
1 1/2 tbsp brown sugar (divided)
1/2 tbsp mustard
1/2 cup of ketchup (divided)

Heat oven to 350.  Grease a loaf pan and set to the side.  In a mixing bowl combine the ground beef, egg, onion, milk, breadcrumbs, 1/2 tbsp brown sugar, mustard and 1/2 cup of ketchup.  Put the mixture into the loaf pan. Sprinkle the remaining brown sugar on top then pour the remaining ketchup on top and brush to cover the meatloaf. Bake for 1 hour until the meatloaf is cooked through. Let rest for 5 minutes then remove from pan and slice.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Individual Chicken Broccoli Cheddar Pot Pies

My mouth is watering just looking at this picture.  These were absolutely fantastic!!!!! The second I saw them on Cassie Craves I knew I needed to make them as soon as possible. They did not disappoint at all.

2 tbsp butter
2 cloves minced garlic
2 tbsp flour
3/4 cup milk
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly-ground black pepper
1/4 cup grated cheddar cheese
3/4 cup cooked chopped chicken breast
1 cup broccoli florets (steamed)
All-purpose flour for dusting
2 10-inch round prepared pie crusts
1 egg (beaten)
1 tsp water

Heat oven to 400. Grease your mini muffin tin. In a pan melt the butter over medium heat.  Saute the garlic for about 30 seconds then add the flour and whisk for 2 or 3 minutes.  Whisk in the milk and bring to a simmer, if it thickens up too quickly add a little more milk.  Turn the heat off and stir in the cheese, chicken and broccoli then season with salt and pepper.  To put the pot pies together roll out the pie crusts, using a 3 inch cookie cutter or a small cup, cut out the pieces for the bottom of the crusts.  Place them down in the mini muffin tins. Fill with the chicken mixture.  Now beat the egg with the water and set to the side. Using a 2 inch cookie cutter or a smaller cup cut the tops out.  Brush the egg mixture around the edges of the pot pie then press the tops onto the bottoms and seal.  Brush the tops with the eggs mixture then make a 1/2 inch cut at the top of each pot pie.  Bake in the oven for 15 to 18 minutes. 

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Creamy Basil Tomato Soup

I love tomato soup.  I actually didn't like it until I was an adult.  I don't know why, I just didn't.  Then one day I had it again and fell in love.  Especially if I can have a grilled cheese with it.  This is a great, quick and simple tomato soup recipe.  I think it's my new favorite! This recipe is from Unsophisticook

4 tbsp butter
2 onions (chopped)
4 garlic cloves (minced)
2 (28 oz) cans whole tomatoes
3 cups chicken stock
salt and pepper
1/2 cup fresh basil (chopped)
1/2 cup heavy cream

Melt the butter in a pot over medium heat.  Add the onion and saute until for 2 minutes.  Add the garlic and continue to saute until the onions are translucent.  Add in the cans of tomatoes, chicken stock, salt and pepper.  Bring to a boil and then let simmer for 10 minutes.  Put half of it in the blender and blend then blend the remaining half with the basil.  Add all of the soup back to the pot and whisk in the cream.  

Monday, October 28, 2013

Copycat Cracker Barrel Fried Apples

We love cracker barrel's apples. There is a place back home that also makes apples like this, they call them skillet apples.  Either way, they are so yummy and this recipe is an easy way to make them at home.  Maybe not the most healthy way but not nearly as unhealthy as I thought they would be.  This recipe is from Macaroni and Cheesecake.

2 tbsp unsalted butter
4 large apples
2 1/2 cups apple juice (divided)
1 tsp apple pie spice
6 tbsp flour
4 tbsp sugar small
pinch of salt

Cut the apples into 1/2 inch slices.  Melt the butter in a skillet of medium heat. Add in the apples, apple juice and apple pie spice and stir, making sure most of the apples are covered with the juice.  Bring to a simmer and let cook for 10 or 15 minutes or until they are fork tender.  In a small bowl whisk together 1/2 cup of apple juice, flour, sugar and a pinch of salt.   With a slotted spoon remove the apples from the skillet and place in a bowl.  Add the flour mixture to the remaining liquid and whisk together.  Let the mixture heat up and thicken then pour over the apples.  Serve right away. 

Friday, October 25, 2013

Football Friday: Boneless Buffalo Wings and Blue Cheese Dipping Sauce

I really don't even know what to say about this recipe.  They were good. Really good.  Gray and I devoured this whole plate in just minutes.  I have a feeling we are going to be using this recipe a lot in our house!  This recipe is from The Taste Tester.  For real y'all, I think I might text my husband and ask him to pick up some chicken on the way home so we can have these for dinner! They were THAT good.

3 large boneless skinless chicken breasts
2 cups flour
2 tsps salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
2 eggs
1/2 cup milk
2-3 cups vegetable oil
1 (12 oz) bottle Frank's Red Hot Buffalo Wing Sauce (they have several levels of heat!)
Some sort of container with a tight lid for tossing in the sauce

Heat oven to 200.  Line a cookie sheet with tin foil.  In a medium size bowl combine the flour, salt, pepper, cayenne, garlic powder and onion powder.   In a separate bowl whisk together the eggs and milk.  Cut the chicken breasts into cubes.  First dunk them into the flour mixture, then the egg mixture and then the flour mixture again.  Continue with each chicken piece, placing them on a plate as you go. Heat the oil in a nonstick skillet over medium high heat.  You want the oil to be at least 1 inch thick.  When the oil is ready, drop several pieces of the chicken into it.  Fry for 3 to 4 minutes on each side.  Remove and drain on a plate lined with paper towels. After they have drained for 3 or 4 minutes place them onto the cookie sheet and put them in the oven.  Continue until all the chicken is fried.  Place the chicken into the container with 1/2 cup of wing sauce.  Place the lid on top and shake until the chicken is coated, add more sauce if necessary.  Serve right away.

Blue Cheese Dipping Sauce

1/4 cup blue cheese crumbles
1/4 cup sour cream
1/4 mayonnaise

Mix all of the ingredients together, use a fork to break up the blue cheese crumbles until you get it at your desired consistency.  Refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving. 

Monday, October 21, 2013

Creamy Baked Spaghetti

My mom used to make something similar when we were growing up and when I saw this recipe I knew I wanted to try it.  Gray was pretty unsure about the whole sour cream, cottage cheese, cream cheese part but it was delicious.  It was even better the next day as leftovers!  This recipe is from Buns In My Oven.

1 pound spaghetti noodles (cooked al dente and drained)
1 pound ground beef (browned and drained)
1 jar spaghetti sauce
8 oz cream cheese (room temperature)
1 cup sour cream
1 cup cottage cheese
1 cup grated cheddar cheese
salt and pepper to taste

Heat the oven to 350. Grease a 9x13 baking dish with butter. After the ground beef is cooked and drained, add the spaghetti sauce to the pan and stir them together.  In a medium bowl beat together the cream cheese, sour cream and cottage cheese until smooth.  Add salt and pepper to taste. Place half of the cooked pasta in the bottom of the baking dish.  Top with half of the cream cheese mixture, smoothing it out as well as you can.  Layer with half of the spaghetti sauce mixture.  Add the remaining pasta, then top with the rest of the cream cheese mixture and the spaghetti sauce.  Sprinkle the cheddar cheese on top.  Bake for 20 or 30 minutes or until the pasta dish is hot and bubbly. 

Friday, October 18, 2013

Football Friday: Spinach Artichoke Dip

This is one of the best spinach dips I have ever had!   It's different from your typical spinach dip recipe but so delicious!  I took this to our small group one night and it was a huge hit. It would be the perfect pre-game snack. This recipe is adapted from Get Off Your Butt and Bake.

3 tbsp Butter
1 Small Onion (finely chopped)
1 Clove Garlic (chopped)
2 tbsp Flour
1 cup Heavy Cream
1 (10oz) box frozen chopped spinach (thawed and squeezed dry)
Sea Salt & Pepper to taste
1 (8oz) jar artichokes hearts (chopped)
1 (10-ounce) can Rotel
1 cup Shredded Mexican Cheese Blend
1/4 shredded Parmesan cheese

Heat oven to 350. In a medium size saucepan melt the better, when the butter is melted add the onion and garlic.  Saute for 3 minutes or until it is soft. While stirring, add in the flour and cook for several minutes. Slowly stir in the cream then add in the spinach.  Let it simmer for several minutes or until it starts to thicken up, add in artichokes, rotel, 1/2 cup of mexican cheese blend and parmesan cheese. Stir until the cheese is melted. Pour into a baking dish and top with the remaining cheese.  Place in the oven and cook until the top layer of cheese is melted. Remove from oven and serve with pita chips or tortilla chips. 

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Apple Cream Cheese Bread

We went to the apple orchard this weekend, it was rainy and gross but we still managed to have a great time and bring home more apples than we could ever possibly eat.  Lots of cooking with apples has commenced in this house so be prepared to see lots of apple recipes! I have been eyeing this recipe for a while and was happy to finally make it, it's adapted from My Retro Kitchen.

For the Bread
2 cup apples (small diced)
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/3 cup flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1 pinch nutmeg

For the Cream Cheese:
6 oz. cream cheese (softened)
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg

Heat oven to 350 and spray a loaf pan.  In a large bowl mix together the apples, vegetable oil, sugar, eggs and vanilla extract.   Without mixing top with the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. Fold in the flour mixture to the wet ingredients.  Pour into the greased loaf pan.  In a medium bowl combine the cream cheese, sugar and egg with a hand mixer.  Pour the mixture on top of the bread mixture. With a knife swirl the cream cheese into the bread batter.  Cover loosely with foil and bake for 20 minutes. Remove the foil and continue baking for 20 to 30 minutes or until the bread is cooked through. Use a tooth pick to test the bread. Remove from oven and let the bread cool for 5 to 10 minutes before removing from pan. 

Monday, October 14, 2013

Pinto Bean Burger Melts

These were a great creation from when I forgot to buy hamburger buns one night.  Sometimes the best recipes come from when you just have to figure it out.

Tex Mex Pinto Bean Patties  (cooked)
8 slices of Texas Toast
4 slices of Pepper Jack Cheese
4 tbsp of butter (softened)

Once you have cooked the pinto bean burgers prepare to make the melts. Spread 1/2 tbsp of butter on each piece of bread. Place on slice down on a skillet over medium heat. Add the pinto bean patty and pepper jack cheese then top with another slice of bread.  Flip and grill on the opposite side once it is starting to brown. Continue with each sandwich. Serve warm. 

Friday, October 11, 2013

Football Friday: Philly Cheesesteak Sliders

We had these on Saturday night while watching some football and they were just perfect! My husband devoured them.  These would be perfect to take to a party or tailgating. Easy to make and easy to pick up and eat. Recipe is from the Hungry Harps.

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 green bell pepper (chopped)
1 small onion (chopped)
11/2 tbsp garlic (chopped and divided)
1/2lb deli sliced roast beef (chopped)
12 Pack Original Hawaiian Rolls (we used the Savory Butter Flavor)
1/2 cup mayonnaise
6 slices provolone cheese (quartered)
1/2 cup butter (melted)

Heat over to 350.  Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat.  Add the bell pepper and saute for several minutes. Add the onion and continue to saute.  Stir in the 1 tablespoon of garlic and add the roast beef.  Cook for several minute or until the liquid has evaporated, you might need to drain the meat if the liquid is heavy. Set to the side. Slice the Rolls in half and place the bottom layer in a baking dish. Spread the mayonnaise on bottom layer.  Place a piece of the quartered provolone on top of the mayonnaise layer.  Add the roast beef mixture then top with another quarter of cheese and top with the bun.  Stir the melted butter with the remaining 1/2 tablespoon of garlic. Brush the top of the rolls with the butter mixture.  Wrap with foil and bake for 20 to 25 minutes. Remove the foil and continue baking for 10 additional minutes.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Tomato and Spinach Pasta

This pasta was an easy and yummy dish to fix.  I saw the recipe over at Budget Bytes, it was also easy to double so that we would have extra for lunches.  Always a win in my book.

1 tbsp olive oil
1 small onion
2 cloves garlic
1 (15 oz.) can diced tomatoes
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp dried basil
pinch red pepper flakes (optional)
freshly cracked pepper to taste
1/2 tsp salt
2 tbsp tomato paste
1/2 cup water
2 oz. cream cheese
1/4 cup grated Parmesan
1/2 lb. penne pasta
1/2 (9 oz.) bag fresh spinach

Bring a pot of water to a boil and cook the pasta.  Drain the pasta when it's finished cooking.  While the pasta is cooking, heat the olive oil in a large skillet.  Add the onion and saute for 4 or 5 minutes then add the garlic and cook for about 30 seconds. Add the tomatoes, oregano, basil, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper. Stir then add in the tomato paste and water. Stir until the tomato paste is dissolved into the sauce.  Turn the heat down and add the cream cheese in chunks. Whisk the sauce until the cream cheese has melted. Add in the parmesan cheese and stir.  While stirring, add in the spinach.  Let the sauce cook for 3 to 5 minutes or until the spinach has wilted.  Stir in the pasta and serve. 

Monday, October 7, 2013

Pumpkin Oatmeal Scotchies

Oatmeal Scotchies are probably one of my favorite cookies of all times.  My mom made them a ton when I was growing up and they hold so many happy childhood memories.  When I saw the recipe for Pumpkin Oatmeal Scotchies I knew I had to have them.  Pumpkin plus my favorite!!!!  This recipe is from The Girl Who Ate Everything.

2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 cup butter (slightly softened)
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 cup pumpkin puree
1 tbsp vanilla extract
3 cups old fashioned oats
1 (11 ounce) package butterscotch chips

Heat oven to 375.  In a small bowl combine the flour, baking soda, salt, pumpkin pie spice and cinnamon.  In a large bowl beat together the butter and sugars, add in the eggs, pumpkin puree and vanilla.  Slowly add in the flour mixture.  Stir in the oatmeal and butterscotch chips.  Chill the dough in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to 1 hour.  After the cookies have chilled take a spoonful of cookie dough and roll into a ball then press down to shape the cookie, repeat and bake for 8 to 12 minutes or until cookies are done.  Remove from oven and let the cookies cool for 2 minutes on the cookie sheet then remove from the cookie sheet and let the cookies finish cooling on a wire rack.  

Friday, October 4, 2013

Football Friday: Slow Cooker Three Bean and Beef Chili

This was our first pot of chili for the year!  It wasn't even that cool out but it's fall and we were watching football so chili must happen. This recipe was adapted from Joyful Healthy Eats.

1 lb lean ground beef
1 tbsp olive oil
medium onion (diced)
red pepper (diced)
28 oz. Crushed Tomatoes
15 oz. Fire Roasted Tomatoes
2 tsp cumin
2 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp chipotle chili powder (optional)
1/2 tsp garlic salt
1 cup water
juice of 1 lime
1 can pinto beans
1 can black beans
1 can kidney beans
shredded cheese
sour cream

In a skillet at the olive oil and saute the onion.  Once the onion is transparent add the ground beef and brown.  Drain off the grease and place in the crock pot.  Stir in the red pepper, crushed tomatoes, fire roasted tomatoes, cumin, chili powder, chipotle chili powder, garlic salt and water.  Stir and let cook on low heat for 5 hours.  Drain off the cans of beans and add to the chili along with the lime juice. Stir and let cook for another hour.  Serve with shredded cheese, fritos and sour cream.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Easy Thin Crust Pizza

I have been looking for a good thin crust pizza recipe for a while, after a few that weren't so hot I think we have finally found our one!!! Best part is, it's crazy easy! This is from One Sweet Appetite.

1 tbsp 1/2 tsp active dry yeast
1/2 tsp sugar
1 1/2 cups warm water
3 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp salt
olive oil

Heat oven to 450.  Combine the water with the yeast and sugar.  Let it sit for a few minutes, until it is foamy.  In a medium bowl combine 2 1/2 cups of flour and the salt.  Once the yeast mixture is foamy pour the center of the flour and stir.  The dough will be very sticky at this point, keep kneading and at flour 1/4 cup at a time.  You want the dough to be smooth a slightly sticky but able to hold it's form.  Once you get the right texture divide it in half and roll into 2 14 inch circles.  Turn oven down to 425 and bake for 5 to 7 minutes.  Remove from oven brush the outside rim of the crust with olive oil then add toppings.  Place back in the oven for 8 minutes.  If you would like the cheese to be more melted, flip on the broiler for a few minutes. Remove from oven and let cool for several minutes before slicing. 

Monday, September 30, 2013

Buffalo Chicken Cheesesteaks

We love all things buffalo in our house. We also love cheesesteaks.  Combine the two and it has to be the best thing ever...right?  Well let me answer that for you, right!  Gray and I both loved these!!!! The recipe is from Iowa Girl Eats.

2 tbsp butter
1 sweet onion (sliced)
1lb chicken breasts (sliced in thin strips)
salt and pepper
1/2 cup Frank’s Buffalo Wing Sauce
8 slices provolone cheese
4 hoagie rolls

Heat oven to 250.  In a skillet over medium heat melt the butter and saute the onion until tender, add the chicken and saute until it's cooked through.  Season with salt and pepper then add wing sauce and stir.  Separate the chicken into four different sections and top with provolone cheese. Cover until cheese is melted.  Place into hoagies, wrap in foil and place in the oven for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and serve.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Football Friday: Black Bean and Corn Nachos

There is this little wine bar that Gray and I love to escape to when we get a date night.  It's pretty rare but this has quickly become one of our favorite places.  Great wine, awesome food and amazing atmosphere, pretty much a winner all around.  One of our favorite things to get is their black bean and corn nachos so I tried to recreate them at home.  Gray and I both enjoyed eating these while watching football the other night!

1 can Black Beans (drained)
1 can Corn (drained)
1/2 tsp Cumin
1/2 tsp Chili Powder
2 cups Colby Jack
Tortilla Chips
Diced Fresh Tomatoes
Sour Cream

 In a skillet combine the corn, black beans, cumin and chili powder, cook until the mixture is heated through.  Layer tortilla chips in the bottom of a baking dish or pie plate. Top with the black bean mixture and cheese.  Place the nachos under the broiler until the cheese is melted.  Remove and top with tomatoes. Serve with salsa, sour cream and guacamole.

Monday, September 23, 2013

BLT Pasta

This might be my new favorite pasta recipe!  I loved this combination and thought it had great flavor.  Gray really enjoyed it as well.  This recipe is from Let's Dish.

16 oz. dry pasta
12 slices bacon
1 medium onion (chopped)
3 cloves garlic (minced)
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 cups chicken broth
2 (14.5 oz) cans diced tomatoes
4 ounces cream cheese (softened and cubed)
1 1/2 cups grape tomatoes (halved)
1/2 cup fresh parsley (chopped)
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper to taste

Cut the bacon into 1/2 inch pieces. Cook in a large skillet until the bacon is crispy.  Remove and place on paper towels to drain off the extra grease.  Leave about 1 tbsp of grease in the skillet.  Begin to cook the pasta in a large pot. Add the onion and garlic to the skillet and saute for 2 to 3 minutes. Add in the red pepper flakes and stir.  Pour in the chicken broth and diced tomatoes and bring to a simmer.  Stir in the cream cheese until it has melted into the broth mixture. Season with Salt and Pepper. Drain the pasta.  Add the bacon back to the skillet and add the pasta, halved tomatoes and parsley.   Stir and let cook for another 2 to 4 minutes.  Serve and top with Parmesan. 

Monday, September 16, 2013

New York Salt Potatoes

Have you ever had these out at restaurants? The perfect little red potatoes all smothered in butter and nice and salty!  Oh man, I love them!!! So does Gray so I decided to try and make them at home! This recipe is from Baked In.

3 lbs baby red potatoes (do NOT peel them)
2 quarts water
1 1/2 cups kosher or fine sea salt
6 Tbsp butter (Cut into small cubes)
Fresh herbs (I used a bit of chopped parsley)
Pepper to taste

In a large pot boil the water with the salt. Stir the water to dissolve some of the salt letting the rest settle on the bottom.  Add the potatoes and bring to a boil over medium hight heat. Lower the temperature and let the potatoes simmer for 20 to 25 minutes or until the potatoes are fork tender. Drain and let the potatoes rest for 3 to 4 minutes. Add back to the pot with butter, pepper and herbs. Serve warm. 

Friday, September 13, 2013

Football Friday - S'mores Bars

These are the perfect game day sweet treat! I adapted this recipe from 4 Little Fergusons.

16 oz Golden Grahams
8 cups mini marshmallows
6 tbsp butter
1 cup milk chocolate chips
1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips

Melt the butter in a large pot over low heat.  Add in 6 cups of marshmallows and stir was they melt.  Once they are fully melted remove from heat add in the Golden Grahams.  Stir until coated with the melted marshmallow.  Add in the remaining 2 cups of marshmallows and all the chocolate chips while stirring.  Pour into a greased 9x13 dish.  Place in the refrigerator for 1 hour.  Remove and serve at room temperature.