Wednesday, January 27, 2016

7 Layer Bars

I used to make these all of the time and then I think I got burned out on them. I made them for a New Years Eve party this year. I've had several variations of these bars over the years but these are how I have always made them.

1 cup graham cracker crumbs
1/2 cup unsalted butter (melted)
1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
1 cup butterscotch chips
1 cup white chocolate chips
1 cup pecans (chopped)
1 cup shredded coconut
1 (14oz) sweetened condensed milk

Heat oven to 350. Spray a 9x13 baking dish.  Mix together the graham cracker crumbs and butter then press evenly into the bottom of the baking dish.  Evenly distribute the chocolate chips, then white chocolate chips, then butterscotch chips.  Top with the chopped pecans and shredded coconut then pour the sweetened condensed milk over the bars. Bake for 25-30 minutes then let cool completely before slicing.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Crock Pot Italian Orzo Soup with Spinach and Parmesan

I love an easy crock pot meal! This was great for a busy weeknight meal, just add some yummy crusty bread and you are all set! this recipe is adapted from 365 Days of Slow Cooking.

1 medium yellow onion, diced
2 tsp minced garlic
2 tsp italian seasoning
1 Tbsp tomato paste
1 cup diced carrots
1 cup diced celery
2 tsp olive oil
1 bay leaf
1 (14.5 oz) can fire roasted tomatoes
5 cups veggie or chicken broth
1 cup orzo
1 tsp salt
3 cups spinach
Salt and pepper
Parmesan cheese

In a pan saute the onion, garlic, italian seasoning, carrots and celery in the olive oil.  When the vegetables soften stir in the tomato paste and cook for another 3 minutes. Place in the crock pot and add the bay leaf, fire roasted tomatoes, broth, salt and orzo and cook on low for 2-3 hours. Stir in the spinach and season with pepper then cook for 20 more minutes.  Serve topped with parmesan cheese.

Monday, January 18, 2016

Sauteed Bacon Brussels Sprouts

I love Brussels Sprouts. Love them. But the rest of my family isn't so down.  I made this as a copy cat to some of my favorites at a local restaurant and while I thought these were fantastic my guys still weren't so sure.  They ate most of their helpings despite eyeing each other. Anyways, I think they are great and maybe they will come around eventually.

1 lb brussels sprouts
4 strips bacon
1 1/2 tbsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic (minced)

Dice up the bacon.  Remove the stems from the brussels sprouts.  In a pan fry the bacon, remove the bacon and set to the side.  Toss the brussels sprouts in olive oil.  Add to the hot pan with the bacon grease and saute until they begin to become tender..  Stir back in the bacon and add the garlic. Toss for 2 minutes then remove from heat and serve.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Broccoli Cheddar Dumpling Bake

When my friend Casey told me about this recipe I knew that we had to try it.  I changed up the directions some to make it less like  soup and more like a thick dumpling style dish.  It was fantastic! We ate the entire recipe in one sitting and I think if there had been a bit more my husband might have had a third helping.  We used this as a main dish since we eat meatless several nights a week but it could be used as a side dish as well.  This recipe is adapted from A Beautiful Mess.

2 tbsp butter
1/4 cup flour
1 small onion (diced)
3 broccoli florets (chopped)
3 cloves garlic (minced)
2 1/2 cups chicken or vegetable stock
1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese (divided)
biscuit mix
ingredients to make the biscuits according to the box 

Heat oven to 450. In a large pan melt the butter over medium heat. Add the onion and a little salt and pepper then cook the onions until the become tender. Stir in the garlic and let cook for 30 seconds. Whisk in the flour and let cook for 2 minutes. Pour in the first cup of stock and whisk constantly while the mixture begins the thicken.  When it becomes a gravy consistency add the next cup of stock and continue to whisk until the mixture begins to thicken again.  Add the remaining 1/2 cup of stock and whisk until it is combined. Stir in 1 cup of cheddar cheese then mix in the broccoli.  Let cook for 3 minutes and then pour into a deep 8x8 or round baking dish. Mix the biscuits according to directions adding in 1/2 a cup of cheese. Drop the biscuits on top of the broccoli mixture. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until bubbly and the biscuits are starting to brown on top. Let cool for 5 minutes before serving.

Monday, January 11, 2016

Oven Baked Meatball Sandwiches

I threw these together on a whim one night when we were craving meatball sandwiches. 

1 recipe Italian Meatballs (cooked)
1 jar Marinara Sauce
Sliced Mozzarella Cheese
Italian Bread or Sandwich Rolls

Heat oven to 400. Make sure the meatballs and sauce are both warmed. Slice the bread or rolls. Place several meatballs inside of the bread and top with sauce and then two slices of cheese.  Wrap the sandwich in tin foil and place in the oven for 5-8 minutes. Remove from oven and serve.

Friday, January 8, 2016

Crock Pot Fiesta Ranch Chicken

I love anything I can throw in the crock pot and not have to really think about again until dinner time.  With my oldest in school and a very busy toddler, my crock pot has quickly become my best friend again.  This chicken was tasty and easy! The recipe is from Chef In Training.

4 large chicken breasts
1 package ranch mix
1 package taco mix
2 cups chicken broth

Place the chicken in the crock pot. Pour the ranch and taco seasoning over the chicken then add the chicken broth. Cook on low for 4 to 6 hours. Shred and place in taco shells with fixings. 

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

One Hour Cinnamon Rolls with Cream Cheese Icing

I love cinnamon rolls.  I love when we go to some fancy brunch place and they have cinnamon rolls on the menu even better if they are the huge ones! Anyways, I was craving cinnamon rolls one morning and decided to make these. They were amazing, did not disappoint one single bit.  This recipe is from Averie Cooks.

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour plus extra flour if needed
1 cup buttermilk
2 1/4 tsp instant dry yeast
2 tbsp canola
2 tbsp granulated sugar
1/4 tsp salt

1/2 cup unsalted butter (softened)
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup light brown sugar (packed)
3 tbsp cinnamon

4 ounces cream cheese (softened)
1 1/2 to 3 cups confectioners' sugar
 2-3 tbsp of cream, half and half or milk

Heat oven to 350. Grease a 9x13 dish.  Fit a stand mixer with the dough hook attachment.  Warm the buttermilk using the directions on the package. Mix together all of the ingredients for the dough and let them mix for 7-8 minutes until the dough is a soft, smooth ball. If the dough is still sticky add a small amounts of flour and mix until it is smooth. Flour your (clean!!!) counter top and lay the dough on the counter. Roll the dough out until it is about the size of the pan.  In a small bowl combine the sugar, brown sugar and cinnamon for the filling.  Spread the butter out over the dough leaving a small amount unbuttered on the edges. Sprinkle with the cinnamon mixture and slightly press it into the dough. Tightly roll up the dough and seal the edges gently.  Carefully slice into 1 inch cinnamon rolls either using unflavored dental floss or a serrated knife letting the knife do the work and not pressing to hard. Place the cinnamon rolls in the pan. Bake for 20-22 minutes. Place all of the frosting ingredients into a medium mixing bowl and beat together with an electric mixer until it is smooth and fluffy.  Remove the cinnamon rolls from the oven and let cool for 5-10 minutes before topping with the frosting.

Monday, January 4, 2016

Skillet Cheesy Beef Pasta

This pasta was an excellent warm meal that was fairly easy to put together.  My oldest loved it and took what was left to school the next day for lunch.  That's always a good sign, he's a pretty picky eater who is slowly branching out! This recipe is from Whole and Heavenly Oven.

1 lb pasta
1 lb ground beef
1 onion (chopped)
3 garlic cloves
1 (28 oz) can crushed tomatoes
1 cup water
1 tsp Italian seasoning
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 tsp parsley

Boil the pasta according to the directions.  In a skillet cook the ground beef, onion and garlic until the meat is cooked through, drain off the excess grease. Stir in the crushed tomatoes, water, italian seasoning, salt and pepper. When it begins to bubble add the drained pasta. Turn the heat down to low and top with cheese and cover.  Let sit for 5-10  minutes then turn remove from heat, sprinkle with parsley and serve.