1
WHITE BEAN Lentil Dip
2
Confetti Cake Batter Brownies
3
Cookie Dough Overnight Oatmeal
4
Preserving Strawberries, Kale and Basil
5
Banana, Strawberry, Pineapple Smoothie
6
Slow Cooker Pot Roast
7
Creamy Mashed Potatoes
8
Peanut Butter Pretzel Chocolate Chip Granola Bars
9
For The Love of Pineapple
10
Gingerbread Popcorn
11
Slow Cooker Chicken Chipotle Tacos
12
Mexican Fried Ice Cream
13
Tortilla Soup
14
Cilantro Lime Basmati Rice
15
Delicious Taco Casserole
16
Green Bean and Broccoli Casserole
17
My Favorite Breakfast Sandwich
18
Homemade Corn Tortilla Chips
19
Fresh Spinach Cupcakes
20
WOWZA Baked Beans + Bacon

WHITE BEAN Lentil Dip

HEALTHY, DAIRY FREE, White Bean Lentil DIP! This homemade recipe is made with dried beans making this extremely cheap to make! Serve it hot or cold with vegetables and chips! It’s one of the BEST Party dips!

Do you tend to buy things at the store and then they get pushed back to back of the cabinet and you forget about them? Ooops.

That’s how I am about dried beans. I love beans.  So whenever I’m in the dried beans aisle, I think to myself “Look at how cheap these are to cans, I should get a few bags, this is a great idea”.  Then they sit in my cabinet and the canned beans get used instead.  It’s a horrible crime, I know.   So when I was cleaning out my cabinets this weekend I found multiple bags of beans that were calling my name.  

My first thought “soup” was quickly erased when I realized that was a horrible idea for the sweltering heat.  My second thought “dip”.  Dip is great, especially on hot days.   It’s great to dip crusty bread in, or carrots.   Or how delicious would it be with these homemade everything bagel chips?    It’s great for a party.  It’s great to snack during the day as bean dip is nutritious and filling.

HEALTHY, DAIRY FREE, White Bean Lentil DIP! This homemade recipe is made with dried beans making this extremely cheap to make! Serve it hot or cold with vegetables and chips! It's one of the BEST Party dips!

This bean dip is easy!  If you don’t want to use dried beans, you can used canned ones, but man,  dried beans are worth the value!    The ingredients in here are navy beans, lentils, lemon juice, olive oil, onion powder, salt, parsley to garnish.. and garlic and a bit of cumin for some kick.

 I bet you have almost all these ingredients already – how much of a win win situation is this?  Because of the garlic and slight hint of cumin, the dip has a bit of a bite to it  – not overwhelming – but it’s there with just the right amount.

HEALTHY, DAIRY FREE, White Bean Lentil DIP! This homemade recipe is made with dried beans making this extremely cheap to make! Serve it hot or cold with vegetables and chips! It's one of the BEST Party dips!

 So let’s get started and dive in…

HEALTHY, DAIRY FREE, White Bean Lentil DIP! This homemade recipe is made with dried beans making this extremely cheap to make! Serve it hot or cold with vegetables and chips! It's one of the BEST Party dips!
Here is my 1/2 cup dried navy beans and 1/2 cup lentils.  The way that I soak these is:  Add your dry beans and lentils together to a deep pot and add enough water to cover beans by 3 inches. Bring to a boil and boil for 2 minutes. Remove from heat, cover and let stand for 1 hour. Drain.

bean dip IMG_2708
Then you will start adding your ingredients (except olive oil and parsley)  to your food processor.  I love my food processor so much.

bean dip IMG_2711
Once you are finished adding your ingredients, then add your olive oil and process more until smooth.  Tip:  The olive oil is going to make it smooth, but you might need some more additional smoothness.  If you do, add a tablespoon of water and process again.  Repeat this step until it’s just the amount of creaminess you want.  

HEALTHY, DAIRY FREE, White Bean Lentil DIP! This homemade recipe is made with dried beans making this extremely cheap to make! Serve it hot or cold with vegetables and chips! It's one of the BEST Party dips!
Take it out of the food processor and spoon into serving dish.  Sprinkle dried parsley on top.

HEALTHY, DAIRY FREE, White Bean Lentil DIP! This homemade recipe is made with dried beans making this extremely cheap to make! Serve it hot or cold with vegetables and chips! It's one of the BEST Party dips!
I like to serve this with little pieces of bread, or baby carrots.

HEALTHY, DAIRY FREE, White Bean Lentil DIP! This homemade recipe is made with dried beans making this extremely cheap to make! Serve it hot or cold with vegetables and chips! It's one of the BEST Party dips!
Then snack away!  Who doesn’t love healthy snacking?

bean dip IMG_2738
Bonus points: Take to a party, everyone will love you!

Enjoy this White Bean Lentil Dip!

Pin for later:
HEALTHY, DAIRY FREE, White Bean Lentil DIP! This homemade recipe is made with dried beans making this extremely cheap to make! Serve it hot or cold with vegetables and chips! It's one of the BEST Party dips!

WHITE BEAN Lentil Dip

HEALTHY, DAIRY FREE, White Bean Lentil DIP! This homemade recipe is made with dried beans making this extremely cheap to make! Serve it hot or cold with vegetables and chips! It's one of the BEST Party dips!

Course Appetizer, Side Dish
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Servings 12

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup dry navy beans
  • 1/2 cup dry lentils
  • 4 clove garlic
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/8 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Dried Parsley to Garnish

Instructions

  1. Soak beans. Add your dry beans and lentils to a deep pot and add enough water to cover beans by 3 inches. Bring to a boil and boil for 2 minutes. Remove from heat, cover and let stand for 1 hour. Drain.
  2. Add your beans, lentils, garlic, lemon juice, cumin, onion powder and salt to a food processor. Pulse until all combined.

  3. Add olive oil to food processor and turn on until smooth.
  4. Spoon out and put in serving dish.
  5. Garnish with dried parsley.

Recipe Notes

If you don't want to use dry beans, use one 15oz can navy beans, one 15oz can lentils.
If your dip is chunky, add a tablespoon of water to food processor and pulse. Keep adding until smooth.

Confetti Cake Batter Brownies

Easy to make sprinkle Confetti Cake Batter Brownies recipe. These funfetti brownies are moist and so ooey gooey good!

Do you know how much I love cake batter? No.  Well let me tell you.. I love cake batter!

Confetti Sprinkle Cake Batter Brownies - these are ooey gooey good!

I can eat cake batter brownies, cookies, cupcakes, cake, pudding, popcorn, milkshakes.  If it begins with the word “cake batter” I’m in 100%.  

I even  (guiltily) enjoy a bowl of just cake batter, to be enjoyed with a spoon, or your tongue as you look around to  make sure noone is watching you act like a human dishwasher (totally ok, do it all the time, I’ve even been caught a few times, just ignore it and keep going).

Confetti Sprinkle Cake Batter Brownies - these are ooey gooey good!

Now you can call them blondies if you want, but I’m going to go with brownies because it feels more comfortable.   A vanilla brownie, let’s call it that.  Or  a albino brownie, we can do that.  I’ve googled this brownie vs blondie debate and the wounds go deep with those on both sides, but I think we can come together and just enjoy this.  

Let’s just call this amazing, because that’s what it is.  I am pretty sure these bake batter brownies can stop wars.  In fact, I am going to send a letter to the White House letting them know of this.  Thank me later POTUS!

The other great thing is these can be stored for about a week, but seriously – these won’t even last 3 days.   If I stop by, 2 days at the most! Beep Beep, one cake batter monster coming through…
Confetti Sprinkle Cake Batter Brownies - these are ooey gooey good!

 So let’s begin baking these beauties.  

 
Confetti Sprinkle Cake Batter Brownies - these are ooey gooey good!You want to use cake mix for these, the Funfetti or Confetti variety.  I used Confetti.  It’s the same thing.  It’s  made of rainbows and it makes me very happy!

Confetti Sprinkle Cake Batter Brownies - these are ooey gooey good!
What else makes me happy? Additional rainbow sprinkles and white chocolate chips.   


Confetti Sprinkle Cake Batter Brownies - these are ooey gooey good!Mix cake mix, oil, egg and milk together…


Confetti Sprinkle Cake Batter Brownies - these are ooey gooey good!To this beautiful mixture.  Now take a spoon and eat it.  I’m kidding.  No, I’m not.  Really, I’m not.


Confetti Sprinkle Cake Batter Brownies - these are ooey gooey good!Then add your white chocolate chips and sprinkles.  This amount of color makes my day happier.


Confetti Sprinkle Cake Batter Brownies - these are ooey gooey good!Mix it all around.  Get those sprinkles and chocolate chips mixed in there.


Confetti Sprinkle Cake Batter Brownies - these are ooey gooey good!And then take another spoonful because you’ve been a very good (bad) girl.

Confetti Sprinkle Cake Batter Brownies - these are ooey gooey good!

Baking Dish Size Matters

If you want ooey gooey Confetti Cake Batter Brownies, your baking dish size matters.   I used a 11×9 dish and I feel this made them just the right amount of soft and gooey that I wanted.  Some readers have used larger pans and they end up more cake like, not fudgy like we want. 

After you spread the batter, put it in the oven.

Now wonder around your house while cake batter fills the air.  During this time I like to lay near the kitchen, close my eyes and enter a magical world of rainbow happiness.  
And when it’s time… 

Confetti Sprinkle Cake Batter Brownies - these are ooey gooey good!
These gorgeous cake batter brownies will appear!

Confetti Sprinkle Cake Batter Brownies - these are ooey gooey good!
You want to keep them in the oven just until the edges are very slightly brown.  This takes around  25-30 minutes, mine took 26 minutes to be very exact.  The time and pan size is important in making them fudgy! 

Confetti Sprinkle Cake Batter Brownies - these are ooey gooey good!
Then let them cool.  During this time just sit near them and stare lovingly at them.

Confetti Sprinkle Cake Batter Brownies - these are ooey gooey good!
Cats will show up and marvel at the wonder you just created! Then hug your cats because this is a great day.

Confetti Sprinkle Cake Batter Brownies - these are ooey gooey good!
Don’t you just love how it bubbles up slightly around the edges to give it a nice soft crust?  Oh it’s lovely.

Confetti Sprinkle Cake Batter Brownies - these are ooey gooey good!
When they’re cool, you can cut into brownies.  You can cut the into small squares or go big.   
Then serve yourself one as soon as possible.  It’s like when you’re on a airplane and they tell you to first put the oxygen mask on yourself, then your child.  This is the same exact thing.  You eat the first cake batter brownie.  Children come later.

Confetti Sprinkle Cake Batter Brownies - these are ooey gooey good!
Can we talk about how gooey the middles are?  It’s the perfect combination.  The edges are firm, enough to cut and move around, but the middles still have that cake batter that brings sunshine to my life.
Hello Pretty Princess!

Confetti Sprinkle Cake Batter Brownies - these are ooey gooey good!
When Matthew got home, the first thing he asked was “What is that smell?”.  I answered “Perfection”. Then smiled creepily because I was in a sweet high coma.

Confetti Sprinkle Cake Batter Brownies - these are ooey gooey good!
These are perfect for parties, dessert after dinner, a gift to your friend (you can sneak one two before giving) or just a Thursday because Wednesday wasn’t a good day.

Confetti Sprinkle Cake Batter Brownies - these are ooey gooey good!
And when there’s only one left, please wrestle anyone in your way to get it!

Easy to make sprinkle Confetti Cake Batter Brownies recipe. These brownies are moist and so ooey gooey good!

Confetti Cake Batter Brownies

Easy to make sprinkle Confetti Cake Batter Brownies recipe. These funfetti brownies are moist and so ooey gooey good!

Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword Cake Batter Brownies, Confetti Brownies, Funfetti Brownies
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 12
Calories 124 kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 box Confetti/Funfetti cake mix
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup rainbow sprinkles
  • 1/2 cup white chocolate chips

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Spray a 11x9 baking pan with nonstick spray.

  3. Combine cake mix, vegetable oil, egg, and milk into a bowl. Mix with hand mixer. 

  4. Add sprinkles and white chocolate chips, continue to mix until all combined. 

  5. Spoon batter from bowl into baking pan, sprinkle a few more rainbow sprinkles on top.

  6. Bake 25-30 minutes until your edges are slightly brown.  Mine take 26 minutes to be exact. 

  7. Since the brownies are very fudgy, please allow them to cool completely or they will fall apart! 🙂  After cooling, cut into brownie square and enjoy!

Recipe Video

Recipe Notes

Store in container.

More Brownie Recipes

Looking for more brownie recipes?  Try my..

100 Calorie Single Serving Brownie

Little Debbie Cosmic Brownies Recipe

Fudgy Black Bean Brownies

And if you’re looking for more sprinkle recipes make sure to try my Birthday Cake Muffins and Confetti Cake Batter Brownies and White Chocolate Toffee Recipe!

Cookie Dough Overnight Oatmeal

Did you ever wake up in the morning and the last thing you want to do is make breakfast? Actually, the last thing you want to do is wake up, but after that.. you just don’t want to make anything.  As some of you know my go to breakfast is my usual breakfast sandwich, and although it’s quick to make, sometimes I just want breakfast in 10 seconds.  My solution?  Overnight cookie dough oatmeal.  Get ready… this oatmeal is magical!

Knowing you will want a few extra minutes to sleep, or knowing you are going to have a hectic morning, or just knowing this oatmeal is so darn good you want to plan in advance, this is a overnight recipe.  Before you go to sleep, stir together all these ingredients, it takes 2 minutes.  Throw it in the fridge.  When you wake up the next morning, splash a little bit of milk on top, and eat away.  It’s that easy!

Can I tell you how much this breakfast fills me as well?   This breakfast easily gets me through until lunch wanting no snacks in between.  And because the oatmeal has peanut butter in it and tastes like cookie dough, it’s like a breakfast dessert.  Dessert for breakfast – can life be any grander?

blogIMG_2511

blogIMG_2477
For this recipe you need flax seeds.  I didn’t know much about flax seeds, but here’s what I found out: they rule.   Putting them in the overnight oatmeal is going to make the oats thicken, so they aren’t runny.  You can also add them to muffin and cookie recipes.  And because of how little you use, this bag is going to last me at a long time.  Flax seeds are a good investment.

blogIMG_2485
Just a side note, Matthew’s younger brother was terrified of the Quaker Oats man as a kid.  Matthew (because he’s a loving brother) still sometimes sends him Quaker Oats wrapped up as a gift (to terrify him more).

blogIMG_2490
Night before, easy.  Just put all your ingredients in a bowl.   

blogIMG_2495
Then mix it all around.  If you notice, it looks runny because of the milk.  Your flax seeds are going to take care of that though and thicken it!

blogIMG_2510
The next morning, thick!  Delicious! I add a little splash of milk, stir it around, then it’s breakfast time.

blogIMG_2511
You an eat it plain, it’s delicious that way, or you can add a topping. Topping ideas: sliced bananas, dried or fresh berries, shredded coconut, pumpkin seeds, chocolate chips. 

blogIMG_2516
I love some dried blueberries so that’s what I added.

blogIMG_2514
Enjoy your breakfast! This one is a keeper.

 blogIMG_2503
Here’s some flowers I picked to start the day off bright too!

What’s your favorite oatmeal topping?

Overnight Cookie Dough Oatmeal

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup old fashioned oats
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon peanut butter you can use another nut butter of your choice if you'd like
  • 2 teaspoons brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon flax seeds
  • 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
  • topping to your liking

Instructions

  1. Stir all ingredients together in a bowl.
  2. Cover bowl with lid, put in refrigerator overnight.
  3. Right before eating, add a small splash of milk and mix again.
  4. Add toppings that you'd like!

Recipe Notes

Topping ideas: sliced bananas, dried or fresh berries, shredded coconut, pumpkin seeds, chocolate chips.

Preserving Strawberries, Kale and Basil

Instructions on How to Preserve Strawberries

As the garden season takes off, I will be doing a series of posts on how to preserve everything you grow so you can enjoy them now and many months later.   We won’t let any of our hard work that went into planting and caring for these plants go to waste here!

I often say “I garden because I cook”.    My love for being in the kitchen goes hand in hand with getting my nails dirty pushing down seeds.    

Here are other reasons why I love bringing these worlds of gardening and cooking together:

-You learn where everything comes from.  Did you know Brussels Sprouts grow the way they do? I didn’t either!    By gardening you see the process from seed to harvest, it often surprises you!
-You respect everything you grow.   Those pumpkins that I grew? They came from me pollinating them for a week straight at 5:30AM in the morning.   Those tomatoes that are beautiful red and perfect?   They stayed alive because you ran out into the pouring rain to make sure their windblocker fabric was up and everything was secure.    Those sugar snap peas?  Do you know how long they take to pick? Oh my!
-You try new vegetables.   I hated lettuce before we had our garden, now I’m like a rabbit where Matthew has to shoo me away.    I never tried radishes before, now I eat them whole.  
-This results into trying new dishes in the kitchen.  Pesto? Never made before, except now I have about 10 different recipes for it with every different plant.   I scour websites and cookbooks looking for new ways to use tomatoes, broccoli, carrots.  Dinner, Lunch, Desserts – I try it all!    The most important part is starting with a base you love.  So grow what you like!  
-Preserve! Preserve! Preserve!   This is the big one for me.  There are a few weeks in July and August that I am spending many hours every single day preserving our tomatoes to last us (forever).  So you just grew those kale plants – but did you have any idea how much kale grows on a plant? Or those edamame plants that I grew last year – did I know that I would get 20 pounds of edamame, all at once?  What are you going to do?  Well you just spent so much time and energy and love on these plants to grow great vegetables so now we’re not going to let it go to waste! Oh no we aren’t!  We are going to preserve it!    Did you know I had to buy my first can of diced tomatoes earlier this month because I had enough saved from last summer’s harvest?  Do you know how awesome of a feeling that is to have fresh vegetables you grew in your freezer all winter long?  Oh it’s snowing out and 3 degrees, let me just grab a extra fresh pack of frozen green beans that I grew a few months back.  *High 5’s*

 I spend quite a bit of time preserving everything we grow, and figuring out new ways to try.  One year I went as crazy as literally not wasting any of the broccoli plants, by finding ways to use the leaves and chop up the stems.    I blanch, I freeze whole, I puree,  I turn into sauces, I chop, I husk, I dry.  I do whatever it takes to preserve everything.   This post will be dedicated to strawberries, kale and basil.    Sometimes in future posts, I will give you another idea for the same vegetable.  There are many ways to preserve each plant, so I want to share some options for whatever is best for you in your kitchen. 🙂

Strawberries
Who doesn’t love strawberries?  And is there anything better than a sweet strawberry picked right off the vine and plopped straight into your mouth?  Oh yum!  But what happens when you are are harvesting pounds of strawberries?  Or what happens when you go the grocery store and find out that they are selling pints of strawberries for 89 cents.  Buy a bunch, we can keep your strawberry love stocked up for months!

We are going to freeze strawberries.   Strawberries keep in a freezer for a long time, I’m talking  a year.  Amazing, right?

What can we do with frozen strawberries? Well I’m glad you asked.
Smoothies!  My favorite.  Throw frozen strawberries in your blender and continue as usual in creating your favorite smoothie.
-Throw them into pies.
-Strawberry jelly!
-Strawberry sauce! Blend them up and pour over ice cream, cakes and waffles.
-Strawberry butter.  Yup,  you heard me right!
-Make strawberry bread.
-Strawberry salad.

Here are your beautiful strawberries.  
preserveIMG_2394
Seriously, aren’t they the most loveliest things in the world?   I hope one day I can be at least 1% cool and classy as strawberries.
Now you want to wash them, wash them real good.
preserveIMG_2396
Then once they are washed, you want to hull them.  Basically you want to rip off their green tops and cores.  You can do this a variety of ways with special tools, or just a knife.  Personally I just use my finger nails to get in there.   Then lay them on a cookie sheet and let freeze.    Once they are frozen, put them into freezer bags.  
preserveIMG_2398
Then when you need some strawberries, take them out of your freezer and bask in the glory of them!  Use them however you want.  I will be making myself one happy strawberry smoothie. 🙂
preserveIMG_2464


Kale
Kale, the winner of everything cool in 2013. Do you hear all the buzz about kale?  What a popular guy.    It seems to be the king of greens!  One cup of kale contains 36 calories, 5 grams of fiber, and 15% of the daily requirement of calcium and vitamin B6, 40% of magnesium, 180% of vitamin A, 200% of vitamin C, and 1,020% of vitamin K.  It is also a good source of minerals copper, potassium, iron, manganese, and phosphorus.  Can we say it’s healthy?  


So what to do with kale?  When you’ve eaten your share of fresh raw kale, let’s figure out ways to preserve it, so you can be eating this vegetable powerhouse for months to come!
I like to make kale cubes, which is basically kale all chopped up, frozen into cubes.  It’s all kale, nothing else added in. 

What you can do with those frozen kale cubes?
-Smoothies! Again!  Want a real pick me up?  Throw a kale cube into your next smoothie.  
-Defrost and mix into pasta.  Warm through.  
-Throw a cube or two into any soup or stew.   Just a little bit of frozen kale goes a long way in getting your vitamins in!
-Defrost and mix with meats to make delicious ravioli.
-Defrost and mix with meats to make delicious meatballs!

Kale!  You hearty animal you (not really a animal). 
preserveIMG_2400
I destem it.  I do this with my hands too, I just rip it off.  Maybe I’m the animal here.  Then I rip it into pieces to fit it into my food processor.preserveIMG_2401
A few pulses later and your once entire food process cup hardly has any kale in it.  Kale likes to shrink.  preserveIMG_2403
Then spoon it out and throw in some ice cube trays.
preserveIMG_2406
Fill them up to the top.    A entire bushel of kale filled up one ice cube tray, so pack it down.  Now put into the freezer.
preserveIMG_2407
Once they’re frozen, poke them out with a fork.    I find it works best to let them sit on your counter for a few minutes, then poke them out.  They defrost pretty quickly for you to grab one out of the tray.  From here you can keep them in the tray and use as you want, or throw them in freezer bags.
preserveIMG_2468
Because you packed them in, they stay in cube form nicely.preserveIMG_2475

 

Basil
Who else loves the smell of basil?  I love picking fresh basil and putting it in pasta, and especially on pizza! A slice of margarita pizza with basil is the key to my pizza loving heart.   But what do you do when you have pounds of basil and you can’t eat 8 pizzas a nights (don’t try this, just believe me).  You can dry it!
I love dried herbs.  Almost 80% of the time if a recipe calls for fresh herbs, I will ignore it and use dried herbs.  Why? Because I know the dried herbs are ones I grew, loved and they will taste just as good in the dish!  
What can you do with dried basil?
-Any dish call for fresh basil? You can substitute with dried basil.
-Use in any tomato pasta.
-Sprinkle over each lasagna layer.
-Sprinkle over pizza.
-Use in rices.
-Use in a varieties of stews and soups for extra seasoning.
-Use in pasta salad.
-Sprinkle on garlic bread.

So let’s pick your basil!  What you want to do is wash it, then let dry.  I do this by putting it on paper towel sheets and then help blotting excess water on top.  Let dry completely.
preserveIMG_2410
Then find a space of your home that you want to smell like basil for the next few weeks.  Grab a rubber band and hang on something.  We have screws in the top of our loft that we drilled in just for drying herbs.  This is at the very front entrance of our loft, so as soon as you walk in… it’s fresh city USA.preserveIMG_2412
Then just let dry until they are completely brittle.  If the basil seems “fresh” and flexible they aren’t dry enough.  You basically want them to the point of if you touched a leaf, it would crack.  You can see in the top right of this picture I have some dried oregano ready to go.  
preserveIMG_2414
Then pick the leaves off the plant (do this over a bowl, the leaves are going to fall apart beautifully).  Throw in your food processor and you’re done.  If you don’t have a food processor, just crumble with your fingers.  Now you have dried basil ready for whenever you want!preserveIMG_2467

 

Banana, Strawberry, Pineapple Smoothie

The last few afternoons I have been craving a smoothie.  We’ve been hard at work gardening and all I want is a cold “pick me up” when I’m exhausted.  This does the trick!  The best thing about this recipe is that you can match fruit to your liking and create your own. Other examples:  banana, orange, pear watermelon, kiwi banana, orange, strawberries banana, blueberries watermelon, orange, pineapple banana, apple, orange pineapple, kiwi orange, strawberries banana, peach strawberry, banana blueberries, apple, banana banana, cherries pineapple, blueberries blueberry, pomegranate, banana There are so many more variations.  Isn’t it amazing?   I also love this recipe because it gets rid of any fruit where you aren’t sure what to do with.  Many times I’m left with a few random strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, a banana that is very ripe, half an orange, etc.    Put all the soon to go bad fruits in your blender and you’ll quickly have a delicious drink.

Read More

Slow Cooker Pot Roast

MELT in your MOUTH Slow Cooker Pot Roast!  This Crockpot recipe is the best and is so easy to make!  Add your roast, cream of mushroom soup, beef soup mix and vegetables to the slow cooker and dinner will be ready in 7 hours! This beef roast is my husband’s favorite meal, and our family loves the leftovers! 

A few weeks ago Matthew turned 30 and because it was his birthday I asked him to pick out any meal he wanted.  We could go somewhere, I could travel to South Brooklyn and bring back some of the best pizza in the world, we could take out – the choice was his.  What did he decide?  Homemade slow cooked pot roast.  This is a recipe that I have been making for a while now but we don’t have it that often.  Every time we have it, we both swoon at the dinner table discussing how moist and soft the meat is.  It just falls apart! It’s like magic.  And the gravy that it creates while sitting in the crockpot all day, oh my.    So I made it for his birthday and then we both sat at the dinner table, forks in hand, eyes closed, pot roast in mouth….. What a birthday dinner!

I love meals that you can throw in your crockpot, let sit all day, then you come back and somehow it transforms into one of the best meals.   You can customize this meal with vegetables on the side that you throw in the crockpot as well.  I prefer carrots and celery, but this time I threw in mushrooms as well which might have been the best idea I had all week.  If you aren’t having mashed potatoes on the side, throw in some cut up potatoes in the crockpot too!

 If you are cooking for a couple people (2 or 3) this recipe will easily last you a few meals.  We often have this 3x in a row using the leftovers for roast beef sandwiches which are equally delicious.

Might I recommend you serve creamy mashed potatoes on the side?  Please do! 

MELT in your MOUTH Slow Cooker Pot Roast!  This Crockpot recipe is the best and is so easy to make!  Add your roast, cream of mushroom soup, beef soup mix and vegetables to the slow cooker and dinner will be ready in 7 hours! This beef roast is my husband's favorite meal, and our family loves the leftovers!

MELT in your MOUTH Slow Cooker Pot Roast!  This Crockpot recipe is the best and is so easy to make!  Add your roast, cream of mushroom soup, beef soup mix and vegetables to the slow cooker and dinner will be ready in 7 hours! This beef roast is my husband's favorite meal, and our family loves the leftovers!

Slow Cooker Pot Roast

Ingredients

  • 3.5 pound pot roast
  • 2 cans of condensed cream of mushroom soup
  • 1 package dry onion beef soup mix
  • 3/4 cup water
  • flour and rosemary to cover
  • chopped vegetables of your choice

Instructions

  1. Cover pot roast in light flour and then add a pinch of rosemary on all sides.
  2. Pan fry pot roast until it’s a light brown.
  3. In a slow cooker, mix mushroom soup, dry onion mix and water together.
  4. Add pot roast into slow cooker and cover with soup mixture.
  5. Cook on high for 3 hours.
  6. Change temperature and cook on low for 4.5 hours.
  7. Add your vegetables to the slow cooker 3 hours before it’s done. I recommend potatoes, onions, carrots, celery and mushrooms *See note for mushrooms*
  8. Enjoy!

Recipe Notes

If you are using mushrooms, only add them when there is 30 minutes left.
In a hurry? Cook on high for 4.5 hours.

A melt in your mouth Slow Cooker Pot Roast recipe. Throw vegetables in at the end and you have a complete meal. This is perfect for Sunday dinner or holidays!
Here’s all your pot roast ingredients, nothing too fancy here.

 A melt in your mouth Slow Cooker Pot Roast recipe. Throw vegetables in at the end and you have a complete meal. This is perfect for Sunday dinner or holidays!
Before we put it in the crockpot we are going to pan fry it.   Lightly dust it with some flour.

A melt in your mouth Slow Cooker Pot Roast recipe. Throw vegetables in at the end and you have a complete meal. This is perfect for Sunday dinner or holidays!
Then put some dried rosemary on top.  By pan frying it first we are going to lock in all the flavors and yummy juices that we want.

A melt in your mouth Slow Cooker Pot Roast recipe. Throw vegetables in at the end and you have a complete meal. This is perfect for Sunday dinner or holidays!
So throw it in a pan and cook until all sides are lightly browned.

A melt in your mouth Slow Cooker Pot Roast recipe. Throw vegetables in at the end and you have a complete meal. This is perfect for Sunday dinner or holidays!
Keep flipping every single side.

A melt in your mouth Slow Cooker Pot Roast recipe. Throw vegetables in at the end and you have a complete meal. This is perfect for Sunday dinner or holidays!
Even right side up!

A melt in your mouth Slow Cooker Pot Roast recipe. Throw vegetables in at the end and you have a complete meal. This is perfect for Sunday dinner or holidays!
The smell of rosemary through your house is worth the extra work to pan fry it first.

While it’s browning, prepare your other ingredients in your crockpot (or slow cooker as you might call it).

A melt in your mouth Slow Cooker Pot Roast recipe. Throw vegetables in at the end and you have a complete meal. This is perfect for Sunday dinner or holidays!
Add in your cream of mushroom soup, beef onion mix and water.

A melt in your mouth Slow Cooker Pot Roast recipe. Throw vegetables in at the end and you have a complete meal. This is perfect for Sunday dinner or holidays!
Then stir it all around.

A melt in your mouth Slow Cooker Pot Roast recipe. Throw vegetables in at the end and you have a complete meal. This is perfect for Sunday dinner or holidays!
Once your pot roast is all browned (and beautiful might I add)..

A melt in your mouth Slow Cooker Pot Roast recipe. Throw vegetables in at the end and you have a complete meal. This is perfect for Sunday dinner or holidays!
Then carefully transfer it to your crockpot.  There lower it in.  During this step I’m always 100% sure I am going to drop it on the ground. 

A melt in your mouth Slow Cooker Pot Roast recipe. Throw vegetables in at the end and you have a complete meal. This is perfect for Sunday dinner or holidays!
Then cover it with your wet ingredients.  Make sure to completely cover the roast. 

A melt in your mouth Slow Cooker Pot Roast recipe. Throw vegetables in at the end and you have a complete meal. This is perfect for Sunday dinner or holidays!
Then put on high for 3 hours.

A melt in your mouth Slow Cooker Pot Roast recipe. Throw vegetables in at the end and you have a complete meal. This is perfect for Sunday dinner or holidays!
Once 3 hours is up, then turn it on low for 4.5 more hours.  You can see after 3 hours how nicely it’s looking with the soup mixture you added.  The smell too! 

A melt in your mouth Slow Cooker Pot Roast recipe. Throw vegetables in at the end and you have a complete meal. This is perfect for Sunday dinner or holidays!
Add your vegetables in 3 hours before it’s done.  Add in carrots, celery, potatoes, onions – whatever you want.  Note: If you are adding mushrooms, only add them 30 minutes before it’s done completely.

And when it’s done….

A melt in your mouth Slow Cooker Pot Roast recipe. Throw vegetables in at the end and you have a complete meal. This is perfect for Sunday dinner or holidays!
Just take a minute and admire the masterpiece of your slow cooked pot roast.

A melt in your mouth Slow Cooker Pot Roast recipe. Throw vegetables in at the end and you have a complete meal. This is perfect for Sunday dinner or holidays!
Bask in the beauty of this roast.

A melt in your mouth Slow Cooker Pot Roast recipe. Throw vegetables in at the end and you have a complete meal. This is perfect for Sunday dinner or holidays!
And those vegetables, how pretty are they? Especially those mushrooms.

A melt in your mouth Slow Cooker Pot Roast recipe. Throw vegetables in at the end and you have a complete meal. This is perfect for Sunday dinner or holidays!
This roast is a keeper.

A melt in your mouth Slow Cooker Pot Roast recipe. Throw vegetables in at the end and you have a complete meal. This is perfect for Sunday dinner or holidays!
And when you slice through it, it will be like cutting butter.

A melt in your mouth Slow Cooker Pot Roast recipe. Throw vegetables in at the end and you have a complete meal. This is perfect for Sunday dinner or holidays!
The meat falls apart in a moment of glory.

A melt in your mouth Slow Cooker Pot Roast recipe. Throw vegetables in at the end and you have a complete meal. This is perfect for Sunday dinner or holidays!
The meat is moist and has so much flavor due to the slow cooking.

A melt in your mouth Slow Cooker Pot Roast recipe. Throw vegetables in at the end and you have a complete meal. This is perfect for Sunday dinner or holidays!
Enjoy your dinner!

MELT in your MOUTH Slow Cooker Pot Roast!  This Crockpot recipe is the best and is so easy to make!  Add your roast, cream of mushroom soup, beef soup mix and vegetables to the slow cooker and dinner will be ready in 7 hours! This beef roast is my husband's favorite meal, and our family loves the leftovers!

Creamy Mashed Potatoes

This is my go to, make you weak in the knees, mashed potatoes recipe.  I started making these a few years ago when I wanted to try a new mashed potatoes recipe for Thanksgiving.  I made them and all our dinner guests gave rave reviews, making these the must have for holiday dinners.  

I believe this recipe is unique for a few reasons:
-There is cream cheese involved.  In my younger days, cream cheese wasn’t commonly used in our mashed potatoes.  Now I have to say I don’t like cream cheese by itself, it scares me, but I love these mashed potatoes.  Go figure.
-There is no hand mixer involved in these potatoes.  What?  There is no hand mixer involved in these potatoes.  Seriously.  How do they get so creamy then?  Next point..
-You boil these potatoes for a pretty long time until they’re almost ready to fall apart.  This makes a hand mixer not necessary, as just a spoon and a potato masher makes them blended pretty quickly.
-You can make these ahead of time, no problem.  For holidays I usually make these the night before so the actual holiday cooking is a little more relaxed.  I just throw them in the oven 30 minutes before we’re ready to eat.  

If you are looking for a mashed potatoes recipe to try, please give these a chance.  They make me very happy.

blogIMG_1809

blogIMG_1812

 

Creamy Mashed Potatoes

Ingredients

  • 2.5 pounds Russet Potatoes half a bag
  • 1/2 cup butter + few slices on top
  • 3 oz. cream cheese
  • 1/4 cup Half-and-Half
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • fresh or dried parsley to garnish

Instructions

  1. Peel potatoes and then cut them up into about equal sizes.
  2. Bring a pot of water to a boil and add your potatoes. Keep boiling and cook these for 30 minutes. They’re going to be so soft your fork will just slide into them.
  3. Drain the potatoes.
  4. Put your potatoes that you drained back into the pot and put back on the burner, low heat. You are now going to just mash them with a spoon or potato masher.
  5. Add your butter, cream cheese and half-and-half.
  6. Mix and whip these until creamy.
  7. Add in your salt and pepper, mix more.
  8. Put your potatoes in a oven safe baking dish.
  9. Add a few slices of butter on top of the potatoes.
  10. Put foil on top and bake for 25 minutes at 350.
  11. Add fresh or dried parsley to garnish before serving.

Recipe Notes

If you want to make them the night before, put foil on top and store in refrigerator. Take them out of the fridge 2 hours before baking to bring them to room temperature. Continue then baking for 25 minutes at 350 (or until completely hot in the middle).

blogIMG_1698
You will use half a bag of potatoes for this recipe.  If you are having  a large dinner, duplicate the entire recipe and use a whole 5 pound bag.

blogIMG_1701
One of the worst things in my life: peeling potatoes.  Agh, I never look forward to this.

blogIMG_1702
Compost the peels if you can!

blogIMG_1704
Then we cut them up into similar size pieces.  This will assure everything is cooked about the same with equal softness.

blogIMG_1705
Pretty potatoes.

blogIMG_1710
Now boil for 30 minutes.  Turn your oven a little down if it starts to spit water at you.  I know 30 minutes seems like a while, but we want to get these potatoes soft.

blogIMG_1722
So soft that a fork will just slide through..

blogIMG_1728
Drain, then put back onto your burner on low.  Take a potato masher or spoon and break the potatoes up.  Because they were cooked so long they should fall apart pretty easily.

blogIMG_1730
No mixer, just a potato masher.  Look how soft they are already!

blogIMG_1737
Add your butter, cream cheese and half-and-half.

blogIMG_1739
Now stir, stir, stir.

blogIMG_1741
Look at the creaminess already.. Oh my!

blogIMG_1742
Add salt and pepper.

blogIMG_1744
Stir more.  How beautiful they are!

blogIMG_1747
Put them into a baking dish.

blogIMG_1748
Put a few slices of butter on top.  Why not, you know?  YOLO.  Cover with foil and bake for 25 minutes.

blogIMG_1811
These glorious potatoes will come out of your oven.  Garnish with fresh or dried (what I used) parsley.  

Serve and enjoy!

 

Peanut Butter Pretzel Chocolate Chip Granola Bars

These Homemade Peanut Butter Pretzel Chocolate Chip Granola Bars are about to become your new favorite breakfast, snack and dessert!  This is a healthy copycat recipe for Quaker Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Granola Bars.

Peanut Butter Pretzel Chocolate Chip Granola Bars.  Are there any words more beautiful?

After I made the first batch of chocolate chip granola bars, my mind started to wonder to the wonderful world of peanut butter.  Soon later it floated to the island of pretzels.  There peanut butter pretzel chocolate chip granola bars was born.

 About these delightful bars:

Do you enjoy chocolate + salty at the same? I do!  These are for you.
Do you like a bit of crunch in your granola bars? I do!  These are for you.
These are dangerous to have around your house.  Proceed with caution.
I don’t listen to my own advise and made multiple batches.   We annihilated these batches.
I have given these to friends as a “hey you are pretty cool” gift.  Friends swoon.
After the first time I made them I declared “These might be the best thing I ever made”.  

 So now I present you.. the future love of your life that will always be there for you, Peanut Butter Pretzel Chocolate Chip Granola Bars.

blogIMG_1178

 Is there a better afternoon snack than this?
blogIMG_1184

blogIMG_1685

 

Peanut Butter Pretzel Chocolate Chip Granola Bars

Ingredients

  • 2 cups quick cooking oats
  • 1/2 cup crispy rice cereal
  • 3/4 cup chopped pretzels
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/3 cup mini chocolate chips

Instructions

  1. Spray a 8x8 pan lightly with cooking spray.
  2. Mix your oats and cereal together in a large bowl.
  3. Chop your pretzels up and mix with oats and cereal.
  4. In a small saucepan melt butter, brown sugar, honey and peanut butter on medium high heat until melted. Once it begins to bubble change heat to low and stir for 2 minutes.
  5. Remove saucepan from burner and stir in your vanilla.
  6. Pour your hot mixture over your oats mixture. Stir well. You want to make sure every single piece of oats and cereal is coated.
  7. Pour your mixture into your greased pan and push down with spatula to flatten it.
  8. Sprinkle chocolate chips over top evenly. Use your spatula to press them down so they are embedded in the bars.
  9. Cover with plastic wrap and put in the refrigerator to set for 1 hour.
  10. Cut into granola bar sizes.
  11. Enjoy!

Recipe Notes

If you would like to make a larger batch, use a 9x13 pan and double everything, except use 3/4 cup mini chocolate chips.
Store these in the fridge.

Adapted from Rachael Ray

 

blogIMG_1152
Here’s all the ingredients you need!  Note: When I use peanut butter in recipes like this I usually get the cheap stuff and don’t use my gourmet peanut butter cinnamon swirl magic that I usually eat on bread.  The cheap stuff does the job for these, very well!

blogIMG_1154
Do you love pretzels as much as I do?

blogIMG_1155
We need these chopped though, so I put them in a baggie and get a potato masher and just take out all my frustration on these poor pretzels.

blogIMG_1156
Add your pretzels with your quick oats and cereal.

blogIMG_1157
And give it a good stir to mix everything around.

blogIMG_1158
Now we create the delicious peanut butter cream.  When  making this unicorns will arrive at your home, sparkles will fall, the clouds will open, rainbows appear.  I’m not kidding. This creates magic.

blogIMG_1162
Take this magical peanut butter mixture and add it to your oats/pretzels/cereal.

blogIMG_1163
Now mix, mix, mix, mix.  Nope, still not done, mix it more.  Make sure every single piece of oat, cereal and pretzel is sticky.  This is going to hold everything together.  Think of it as a glue that you can eat.

blogIMG_1165
Then put it in your pan and pat it down with a spatula so it’s flat.

blogIMG_1166
Add your chocolate chips and push them down too.  You want them inserted in the granola mixture.

Now you throw them in the fridge for 1 hour while walking around anxiously whispering “hurry up, hurry up, hurry up”.  You can even lay in the middle of the floor and whisper this.

blogIMG_1172
And when they’re ready, HOLY MOLY.

blogIMG_1170
Cut them into granola bar sizes, or squares if you’d like.

blogIMG_1174
While cutting the bars I smile nonstop.

blogIMG_1176
I also smile inside because my belly is waiting for this..

blogIMG_1183
The granola bars are firm and hardly crumble at all.

blogIMG_1181
When you flip it upside down you will see there’s good pretzel distribution as well.

blogIMG_1192
These granola bars are hard to just eat one.  I’m warning you.

blogIMG_1684
I wrapped some up and gave to friends.  Friends will have a hard time just eating one at a time.  Warn them!

blogIMG_1408
And then 2 days later I made a double 9×13 batch because I like to live life on the wild side and can’t get enough of these!

Give these granola bars a chance, I think you will love them. 

These Homemade Peanut Butter Pretzel Chocolate Chip Granola Bars are about to become your new favorite breakfast, snack and dessert!  This is a healthy copycat recipe for Quaker Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Granola Bars.

For The Love of Pineapple

Do you love pineapple? I do.  Pineapple is beautiful and delicious, the 2 best qualities in food.     I got this gorgeous pineapple from my local grocery store for only $2.50.  It’s enormous! My arms tired carrying it home.

blogIMG_1636

But then after I bring it home, I always fall into the question “What should I do with it?”

blogIMG_1638
So you cut off the top and admire the beauty.  (Note:  We were going to plant the pineapple top but I cut  too high, oops.)

blogIMG_1649
Then you cut it into slices.  Your fingers are sticky, the pineapple aroma is building.  But what are you going to do with it?  

blogIMG_1652
One solution that I usually always fall for is just eating pineapple by the slice.   Nothing else.  Just plain ol great pineapple slices.  

blogIMG_1656
The other solution is cubed pineapple with a little bit of shredded coconut on top.

blogIMG_1662
MMMMM!

blogIMG_1665
For breakfast I like to add some blueberry granola, shredded coconut and dried apples to it.  This breakfast is super filling!

blogIMG_1869
My other favorite pineapple use is blended up. I throw some chunks in the blender with 1/2 half an apple (cut up) and about 1/4 cup of orange juice.  Blend until smooth.  You can even throw some mint on top.  I love this drink for a mid afternoon pick me up!

How do you like to use pineapple?
Anyone have any great pineapple recipes? If so, please share them in the comments, I need ideas!

 

Gingerbread Popcorn

We recently got a air popper which is changing our lives.    With a air popper you don’t have to use any butter or oil.  It’s fresh, low calories and each kernel is so puffy and light.   Not to mention it’s so quick to pop.  The product claims you can pop 18 cups in 2.5 minutes – wow!  For now we have stuck to single servings or a bowl for both of us, but because of how quick it works for us, I trust it can do that amount too.  On the calorie side, one big bowl of popcorn for one clocks in at 110 calories plain.  It always fills me!  On our counter now sits a 12 pound jar of popcorn ready for you to scoop and pop!

blogIMG_1918

A few nights ago during the night I whispered to my husband “give me your phone”.  There I sent myself a email that only had a subject line.  The email looked like this:
gingerbread

I knew when I woke up the next morning I would understand it, I needed to make gingerbread popcorn.  But where to start?

I had a few rules:
-Needs to taste like gingerbread
-No butter
-No oil of any kind

The result: A  simple gentle ginger tasting popcorn which was eaten in a few minutes.  I have a bunch of popcorn thoughts in my head so stay tuned for more popcorn recipes!

blogIMG_1956

Gingerbread Popcorn

Servings 1

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons unpopped popcorn
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 single packet of Splenda

Instructions

  1. Use a air popper to pop your corn. Put in a bowl.
  2. Mix ginger, nutmeg, salt, cinnamon and splenda in a bowl.
  3. Mist your popcorn with water 1-2 times.
  4. Sprinkle seasoning mixture over popcorn and toss popcorn around.
  5. Enjoy!

Recipe Notes

This recipe is for one serving. Duplicate for as many as you need.
If you'd like to use real sugar or Stevia you can use that instead of Splenda. A packet of Splenda measures a little less than 1/2 teaspoon, so measure accordingly.

 blogIMG_1934
Air popping.. 

blogIMG_1939
Your gingerbread spices..

blogIMG_1942
If you aren’t using oil or butter, the seasoning is not going to stick to your popcorn.  The solution to keep this oil and butter free is to mist your popcorn with a water mister (or a cheap one from the dollar store) 1 times, toss it so the bottom is now the top, mist again.  Misting it 1-2 times will not cause your popcorn to get soft.  The water will allow the seasoning to stick to it, plus it will keep your popcorn low calorie. 

blogIMG_1952
Eat as a afternoon snack..

blogIMG_1958
Or while you’re watching your favorite television show…  The only 2 shows I watch right now is Game of Thrones and Mad Men.  What do you watch?

blogIMG_1959
Enjoy every single piece! (PS.  My nails are supposed to look like this – I’m lying). 

Slow Cooker Chicken Chipotle Tacos

FAMILY FAVORITE Slow Cooker Chicken Chipotle Tacos! These shredded chicken tacos are made in the crockpot in a chipotle sauce marinade! This recipe is easy to make and is ready in 10 on low or 5 hours on high. They are our favorite authentic Mexican tacos!

We are big taco lovers in this house, but there are only 2 true taco recipes we love.  One is a pepper steak where we cook on the stove, the other is Chicken Chipotle Tacos that are slow cooked for hours causing delicious smells all day long.   I have messed with this recipe over the past few years and it’s now become a family favorite.

FAMILY FAVORITE Slow Cooker Chicken Chipotle Tacos! These shredded chicken tacos are made in the crockpot in a chipotle sauce marinade! This recipe is easy to make and is ready in 10 on low or 5 hours on high. They are our favorite authentic Mexican tacos!

This recipe makes a good bit of shredded chicken so it’s easily a few meals for us.  Whatever is  left over, we put into freezer bags and freeze.  Isn’t it the best when you are feeling lazy but can still pull out a amazing homemade meal out of your freezer, defrost it and you’re set?  This recipe I tell ya, it gives and it gives.

These tacos are also a crowd pleaser, perfect for the big game, friends over for Sunday brunch or just a movie night!

FAMILY FAVORITE Slow Cooker Chicken Chipotle Tacos! These shredded chicken tacos are made in the crockpot in a chipotle sauce marinade! This recipe is easy to make and is ready in 10 on low or 5 hours on high. They are our favorite authentic Mexican tacos!

Here’s all your ingredients you’ll need for this recipe!
blogIMG_0852


You will need to get some dried ancho chiles.  You can usually find these in the produce section, they come in a plastic bag and cost around $3.
dried ancho peppers from grocery store

blogIMG_0854
You need them soft, so throw them in some boiling water for 15 minutes.  They will soften up right away.

blogIMG_0860

You will also need a small can of chipotle sauce, here’s the brand I use.  You can find this in the mexican food aisle.

blogIMG_0863
Now we want to start to  make the Chipotle marinade.  Add all your ingredients, except the chicken breasts, into the food processor.

blogIMG_0864

blogIMG_0871

blogIMG_0872
Pulse a few times until smooth.

blogIMG_0873
It’s that easy, now your chipotle marinade is done!

Don’t worry about this being too spicy, it’s just perfect!  I promise you!

blogIMG_0876
Grab your breasts.  (Don’t go there)

blogIMG_0878
Use a knife and stab them each a few time, this will help the marinade soak up.


Put your chicken into your slow cooker.

blogIMG_0882
Add your chipotle marinade, smear all over the chicken.

blogIMG_0884
Add 1/2 cup of water.  This will make sure the chicken doesnt dry out.

blogIMG_0885
Cook on low for 10 hours or high for 5 hours.

shredded chicken slow cooker tacos
Now your kitchen is going to be smelling great!  Take a fork and shred up the chicken, you can do this right in the slow cooker, or you can put it on a cutting board. 

Stir it around in the chipotle marinade and dinner is ready! You’re going to love these Slow Cooker Chicken Chipotle Tacos!

blogIMG_0944

Use hard or soft shells, and fill them up with this delicious chicken! Top with your favorite toppings (tomatoes, lettuce, onions, peppers, cilantro, beans, rice, cheese, avocado… the list goes on!)

slow cooker shredded chicken tacos

Hope you enjoy these as much as we do!

Pin for later:
FAMILY FAVORITE Slow Cooker Chicken Chipotle Tacos! These shredded chicken tacos are made in the crockpot in a chipotle sauce marinade! This recipe is easy to make and is ready in 10 on low or 5 hours on high. They are our favorite authentic Mexican tacos!

Slow Cooker Chicken Chipotle Tacos

FAMILY FAVORITE Slow Cooker Chicken Chipotle Tacos! These shredded chicken tacos are made in the crockpot in a chipotle sauce marinade! This recipe is easy to make and is ready in 10 on low or 5 hours on high. They are our favorite authentic Mexican tacos!

Course Main Course
Cuisine American, Mexican
Servings 10

Ingredients

  • 2 ounces dried ancho chiles
  • 7 ounce can chipotle sauce
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 2 teaspoons oregano
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1/2 cup water

Instructions

  1. Soften your ancho chiles by boiling them for 15 minutes in a small saucepan of water. Drain, cut open chiles and remove the seeds.  Throw the seeds away.

  2. Add ancho chiles, chipotle sauce, salt, pepper, cumin, oregano, garlic and vegetable oil n a food processor. Puree until smooth.

  3. Use a knife and stab a few holes in each chicken breast.  This will help them soak up the marinade sauce.

  4. Add chicken to slow cooker, then pour chipotle marinade on top. Spread all over chicken. Add 1/2 cup of water. Stir chicken so everything is marinated in the water/sauce. 

  5. Cook on low for 10 hours or high for 5 hours.

  6. Use a fork and shred the chicken up in the slow cooker.

  7. Serve on hard or soft shells with whatever toppings you'd like!

  8. Enjoy!

Recipe Notes

Whatever is leftover, you can freeze in freezer bags.

Enjoy friends!

Mexican Fried Ice Cream

Two weekends ago Matthew had a craving for a childhood favorite, Chi-Chi’s fried ice cream.  Does everyone remember Chi-Chi’s?  It was a popular Mexican chain restaurant.   In 2004 Chi-Chi’s closed all their restaurants after many incidents, but their salsa can still be found in stores.  As a kid I remember going to Chi-Chi’s quite fondly with my parents,  Matthew’s memories are the same.  One of the best memories of this trip for him was the fried ice cream.  I never had fried ice cream (ever) so I was intrigued by his description of it.  After he linked me to many pictures of the ice cream online with lots of happy faces and love hearts, I got the hint: I had to make him fried ice cream.   Because it was his birthday soon enough, I promised him for his birthday I would have him a fried ice cream sundae.  With a little practice, I think I got it just right.   I asked Matthew to supply a quote of what he thought of it and he told me “magical cinnamon crisp amazingment”.   So let’s make some…

Few things:
Working with ice cream and taking pictures  is not easy.  I felt a little stressed out.
You can serve the ice cream in a bowl, but to get the true authentic feeling try serving in a tortilla bowl – I included directions below for that too.
This post is picture heavy because ice cream is so pretty.
I made this for his birthday dinner, and then the next day made it for a afternoon snack.  Please stop me.

blogIMG_1819

blogIMG_1845

 

Fried Ice Cream

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 4 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 4 ounces vanilla ice cream
  • 1/4 cup corn flakes crushed
  • 2 quarts vegetable oil for deep frying

Instructions

  1. Mix sugar, cinnamon and crushed corn flakes in bowl.
  2. Scoop 1-to-2 inch ice cream balls and roll ice cream in sugar mixture.
  3. Pat down to shape balls and transfer to wax paper.
  4. Put ice cream balls in freezer. Let in the freezer for at least one hour to set.
  5. Heat vegetable oil to 350 degrees.
  6. Take ice cream balls out of the freezer and drop in oil for 2 seconds. Immediately remove.
  7. Serve in tortilla bowl, covered with whip cream, chocolate syrup and a cherry!
  8. Enjoy!

Recipe Notes

To make a tortilla shell bowl:
Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.
Microwave 10 inch flour tortilla shells for 15 seconds to get them soft and flexible.
Spray each tortilla with non stick spray on both sides.
Turn cupcake pan upside down and center each tortilla in between 4 cups.
Bake 9-12 minutes - until slightly brown on edges - watch them carefully before they burn.

 blogIMG_1766
Measure your corn flakes out.  Because of this recipe, I’ve come to love corn flakes again.

blogIMG_1769
You want to crush them up into tinier pieces, so I like to put them in a plastic baggy and just pinch them with  my fingers. 

blogIMG_1770
Prepare your cinnamon, sugar, cornflakes mixture. I totally made a mess.

blogIMG_1771
Grab your vanilla ice cream.  Try to get it out of the freezer right when you’re ready to begin.

blogIMG_1772
Scoop 1 to 2 inch balls of ice cream.

blogIMG_1774
Drop into corn flake mixture and roll around.  I like to pat them with my hands to roll into a more “perfect” ball shape.

blogIMG_1775
Throw on your cookie sheet that you have wax paper down on.  Now you have to work quick, time is not on your side.

blogIMG_1777
I made enough ice cream balls for 2 big sundaes.

blogIMG_1778
Ok, they are starting to melt, but one more picture quick.

blogIMG_1781
Ok into the freezer, now let them set for at least 1 hour.

If you have a deep fryer – 350 degrees.
If you don’t have a deep fryer like me, you can totally do this on the stove.  If I had a deep fryer I would make french fries and bbq wings every single day so it’s best I don’t have one.

blogIMG_1827
Grab a thermometer and put it in the pot, I use a candy thermometer as it goes high.  You need to know when the oil is 350 degrees.  If you don’t have a thermometer, throw a piece of corn kernel in the oil and when it pops into popcorn, then you know it’s 350 and ready to go.

blogIMG_1828
Now this takes some time to get this hot. Mine takes about 15-20 minutes of crazily watching the thermometer.

blogIMG_1829
225.. 125 degrees to go.  Please be careful with this, the oil is spitting a bit and is very very very hot.
Once it’s 350 degrees, drop a ice cream ball into the oil for 1-2 seconds.  Yes, that quick!  Do  not do any longer or it will melt.  You literally drop it in, pull it right back out with a spoon.

blogIMG_1833
I like to put them directly on a paper towel to get the excess oil off.  Then you start to build your sundae.  Again you should do this pretty quickly, but the ice cream won’t melt as fast once it’s been fried so you have a little more time.

blogIMG_1835
Throw your fried ice cream balls into your tortilla bowl. 

blogIMG_1841
Spray whip cream on top.  Matthew then took the whip cream canister and squirted more in his mouth.  Boys.  Girls would never do that (ahem).

blogIMG_1843
Oh and Hershey’s chocolate syrup! We got the “Lite” version because obviously we are worried about our figures when are eating fried ice cream with whip cream on top.

blogIMG_1845
Add a cherry! Please do! Add 2 if you’d like! Add 3!

blogIMG_1854
Oh baby, baby, then just spoon it into your mouth.  Just take a minute and enjoy this.

blogIMG_1857
You beautiful ice cream you.

blogIMG_1864
Keep spooning it in.  Crack off some of the tortilla shell, use that as a spoon too.  Go wild. 

To make the tortilla shell bowl, it’s quite easy.  
blogIMG_1715
Grab a 10 inch flour tortilla and lightly spray both sides with cooking spray.

 blogIMG_1716
Grab a cupcake pan and turn it upside down.

blogIMG_1718
Push your tortillas into the cupcake so it touches 4 of the cupcake holders.  Press it down – this is what shape your tortilla bowl will become.

blogIMG_1720
Put it into the oven.  (Omg, my oven is a mess, I know, embarrassed, but  think about how much love it’s received, we spill too much corn meal for pizza).   You want to keep a eye on these, generally mine usually take 12 minutes, so watch yours anywhere from 9-12  minutes.  Once they have a slightly brown edge, they’re done.

blogIMG_1749
When they come out of the oven, you’ll see how they have hardened.  Let them cool so you can touch them.

blogIMG_1758
blogIMG_1759
Pretty cool and easy, right?

Enjoy your fried ice cream! It’s a winner.

Tortilla Soup

I love tortilla soup – love, love love.  
I used to get tortilla soup all the time from a local Mexican restaurant but one day I got some near closing time and it was a big disappointment   It was like they gave me the entire bottom of the pot that was sitting all day long with every ingredient soggy.  I was very upset.  That night I told myself I would match their tortilla soup with my own.  I would set up a table outside their restaurant serving small cups of my own soup and compare it theirs.  The neighborhood would love mine.  They would put me on their shoulders, parading me down the streets while chanting “tortilla soup, tortilla soup!”.  Well one of those things came true, I came up with a tortilla soup recipe that (dare I say) is better than theirs.  *High Fives*

 This soup is delicious.  It’s easy to make with a few canned goods.  It doesn’t take much time, minus some simmering here and there.   Please give this soup a chance.  

 blogIMG_1504

blogIMG_1491

Tortilla Soup

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 28 oz can of crushed tomatoes
  • 1 1/4 cup water
  • 10 oz chicken broth
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 15 oz can of white hominy
  • 1 15 oz can of black beans rinsed/drained
  • 1 4 oz can of chopped green chile peppers
  • 1 cup yellow corn kernels cooked
  • 2 cubes frozen cilantro or 1/4 cup chopped fresh

Optional for on top

  • Sliced Avocado
  • Shredded Cheddar Cheese
  • Crushed Tortilla Chips

Instructions

  1. Heat vegetable oil over medium heat.
  2. Saute in minced garlic until slightly brown.
  3. Stir in crushed tomatoes, chicken broth, water, chili powder and oregano. Stir well.
  4. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 10 minutes.
  5. Stir in hominy, black beans, corn, chile peppers and cilantro. Stir well.
  6. Simmer for 15 minutes.
  7. Serve into bowls, serve with crushed tortilla chips, avocado slices and shredded cheese on
  8. top.
  9. Enjoy!

Recipe Notes

You can turn this into chicken tortilla soup by adding 1/2 pound of boneless chicken breast. Cook it, cut it into small pieces and add in the pot when you add the beans/corn/hominy/peppers.

blogIMG_1434
These are all the ingredients you’ll need.

blogIMG_1435
You might also want some cheddar cheese or a avocado. I would highly recommend this direction.

blogIMG_1440
Start by browning some garlic in a big pot.  Who doesn’t love the smell of garlic cooking?

blogIMG_1441
Once it’s brown, add in your water.

blogIMG_1437
blogIMG_1438
blogIMG_1443
Then your chicken broth.  I showed the steps above because I usually always  make my chicken broth from bouillon cubes.  I find it much cheaper and just as good. 

blogIMG_1439
Open up your crushed tomatoes.  San Marzano is the best in my opinionblogIMG_1445
Then stir into the pot.

blogIMG_1446
Add your oregano.

blogIMG_1447
Then your chili powder.

blogIMG_1449
blogIMG_1450
Stir all your ingredients together, bring to boil and let simmer for 10 minutes.

blogIMG_1453
Start to prepare your other ingredients.  Open up your black beans and rinse  and drain them.

blogIMG_1454
Add your hominy.  Do you love hominy as  much as I do? I eat it by the spoonfuls.

blogIMG_1451blogIMG_1460
Then add your corn.  I use frozen corn and cook it right before.

blogIMG_1464
Then add in your green chiles.

blogIMG_1468
Put all these ingredients into the pot.

blogIMG_1466
Last but not least, get your cilantro.  I usually use the frozen cilantro cubes as I find they work well in soups.  You can use fresh if you’d like.blogIMG_1469
Add your cilantro.

blogIMG_1470
Then stir again and let simmer for 15 more minutes.

blogIMG_1499
When it’s done, spoon into bowls.

blogIMG_1502
The truth is that I always go back for seconds.

blogIMG_1509
You can eat it plain if you’d like, it’s totally delicious that way.

blogIMG_1510
Or you can add some cheese which will melt quickly causing you to fall madly in love.

blogIMG_1507blogIMG_1511
Or you could grab a avocado and add some cubes in too.

blogIMG_1512
This is totally the way I like it.  I love that the soup is hot and will cause the avocado to melt slightly. 

blogIMG_1513
I have been known to eat a entire avocado this way. 

blogIMG_1516
Hope you will try this amazing soup – let me know how it works out for you!

Cilantro Lime Basmati Rice

I could eat cilantro and lime rice by itself for dinner, and I have.  You can also have it as a side dish, especially with tacos.  Or you could make some chicken to put on a flour tortilla and add this rice.  Oh wow, the 3rd idea is really a favorite.  Later this week I will be sharing a marinated chipotle chicken recipe to make in the crockpot, which this rice will go perfect with.  I  love the taste of the sour lime and the kick of cilantro – this is a favorite.  

blogIMG_0959blogIMG_0969

 

Cilantro + Lime Basmati Rice

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro chopped
  • 1/3 cup lime juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 cup white basmati rice
  • 2 cups water

Instructions

  1. Saute rice in vegetable oil for 2 minutes. Add water, bring to a boil.
  2. When water begins to boil, turn the heat to simmer and cover for 15 minutes.
  3. Turn heat off completely, leave lid on, and remove from burner. Let sit for 30 minutes.
  4. Mix together salt and lime juice, you want the salt to dissolve.
  5. Pour salt/lime over rice, mix around. Add cilantro and toss.
  6. Enjoy!

blogIMG_0922
Here’s your ingredients.  When you buy cilantro in the grocery do you immediately smell it in the produce aisle while people stare? I do.

blogIMG_0925
Basmati rice is the best to use in this recipe in my opinion as the rice does not stick together like regular white rice does. Also, basmati has such a special aroma.

blogIMG_0926
Cook in some oil, stir, then add water.

blogIMG_0949
Once done, take off the stove and let sit for 30 minutes covered.   NOTE: Do not peek!  I know it’s tempting.

blogIMG_0948
blogIMG_0951
Cut up your cilantro. I use scissors as I find it easiest.

blogIMG_0952
After the rice is done sitting, take the lid off.  We’re almost done here…

blogIMG_0955
Mix your salt into your lime juice.  Make sure all the salt is dissolved, so keep stirring it until it is.

blogIMG_0956
Then add your lime juice/salt and cilantro to the rice.  Use a fork to mix it all up.

blogIMG_0959
The smell of the lime makes me so happy.   Don’t you love it?  You can have it just like this, a big ol spoonful for a Mexican dinner side dish would be great.

blogIMG_0969
Or put on a burrito with some chicken and pinto beans.  This is magical, it’s a favorite meal of mine. 

Try some cilantro + lime rice soon, I hope you like it.

Looking for more tips? Learn how to store cilantro to make it last for weeks!

Delicious Taco Casserole

My favorite taco casserole recipe! This is one of my family’s favorite dinners!

This recipe is up there in the favorites.  When I first made it, we had it 2 more times that following week. Since then we’ve had it almost once a week.   Even though there’s only 2 of us, we usually finish a entire casserole ourselves.  We really really really really love it.  Who doesn’t like tacos? Who doesn’t like casseroles? Who doesn’t like cheese on top?  It’s like a dream world scenario!

More reasons why this makes me have happy dreams at night:

Taco Casserole Recipe

It’s easy to make.
You can make it early in the day, store it in the fridge and then cook it at night.
It’s pretty – the red and green colors are lovely!
It has cheese on top! Did I mention that already? Sorry.

Feel free to customize it too.  You can add a onion if you’d like.  Maybe throw some crushed chips on top, or some avocado slices.    Just please try this! 

blogIMG_0738

blogIMG_0762


 blogIMG_0710
Here’s all your ingredients.   You might even have everything you need already in your cabinets.

blogIMG_0711
Measure your elbows (the noodles)..

blogIMG_0719
And boil until al dente.

blogIMG_0725
Drain, and set aside.

blogIMG_0715
Chop up your green pepper. If you’d like to add a onion, this would be the time to chop that up too.

blogIMG_0721
Put it in your pan..

blogIMG_0722
Add your ground beef.

 blogIMG_0723
Then mix it all around so everything gets that delicious green pepper taste (and smell!) to it.

blogIMG_0729
After the meat is brown, add your tomato soup.

blogIMG_0730
Then  your diced tomatoes.  In the summertime I will make these fresh but for now the canned version will do.

blogIMG_0731
Then add your beloved packet of taco seasoning.

blogIMG_0733
Mix it all around.  Oh man, the smell, you can’t beat it.

blogIMG_0734
Then add your elbow noodles.

blogIMG_0735
And mix it good so everything is covered in that sauce mixture.

blogIMG_0738
At this time it’s totally ok to test it. You should.  I did.  Even two spoons.  Noone is looking.  We’re all friends here.

blogIMG_0742
Transfer the casserole to a baking dish.

blogIMG_0743
Measure out your cheese.

blogIMG_0746
And spread it on top.   At this time I usually take a big handful of cheese from the bag and eat it too.  Cheese, I love you.

blogIMG_0751
Because I planned on making it that evening, some plastic wrap went on top and into the refrigerator it went. 

When you’re ready to make it..
Pop it into the oven and then enjoy! It’s really that easy!

blogIMG_0761
blogIMG_0762
One cheesy taco casserole will be yours.  All yours! Ok, you probably have to share.  

blogIMG_0764
Serve, make sure you get some of that cheese on top.  If any cheese falls off into the casserole dish, fight for it.  You deserve it.

 

Taco Casserole

My favorite taco casserole recipe! This is one of my family's favorite dinners!

Course Main Course
Cuisine Mexican
Servings 6

Ingredients

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 cup 8 ounces of elbow macaroni noodles
  • 1 medium sized green pepper chopped
  • 1 10.75 ounce can condensed tomato soup
  • 1 14 ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 1 package of taco seasoning mix
  • 3/4 cup shredded taco blend cheese

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Cook pasta until al dente. Drain, set aside.
  3. In a pan cook ground beef with chopped green peppers until meat is brown.
  4. Mix in tomato soup, diced tomatoes, taco seasoning. Mix real good.
  5. Stir in pasta. Mix real good.
  6. Put mixture into a baking dish.
  7. Sprinkle cheese on top of the entire casserole.
  8. Bake for 30 minutes until cheese is melted.

Recipe Notes

You can also:
Add a onion (same time you add the green pepper)
Sprinkle crushed up tortilla chips on top
Add avocado slices on top

Green Bean and Broccoli Casserole

You’re about to become everyone’s favorite at any gathering!

I love green bean casserole.  It reminds me of holidays, friends, smiles.  I also love it because it’s green and beautiful.  A few days ago around midnight, Matthew came into the bedroom where I was reading and asked if we could have green bean casserole “tomorrow”.  I told him we would gather the ingredients the next day.  Then I came to thinking how I made broccoli casserole last year and I loved it so much, so why don’t we mix these beans and brocs and make a delicious green bean and broccoli casserole?  I can’t be happier about how it came out!  In the recipe below I am using frozen vegetables which adds simplicity in the time saving department.

blogIMG_0707

blogIMG_0702

Green Bean and Broccoli Casserole

Ingredients

  • 11 oz frozen green beans
  • 11 oz frozen broccoli florets
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1 can cream of mushroom soup
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups French's fried onions

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 350.
  2. Mix soup, milk and pepper in a baking dish.
  3. Stir in frozen beans, frozen broccoli and 1 cup fried onions. Stir good.
  4. Bake at 350°F for 40 minutes. (Make sure it's hot inside)
  5. Stir it, then top your remaining 1/2 cup onions on top.
  6. Bake 5 more minutes until your onions are golden brown.
  7. Enjoy!

blogIMG_0678
We are getting down to the nitty gritty with saved frozen vegetables from the garden last year.  I found these guys hiding in the back of the freezer, they are the last bag.  

blogIMG_0682
Here are all your ingredients.

blogIMG_0683
Cream of mushroom soup – I love you.

blogIMG_0685
Does anyone eat cream of mushroom soup by itself? I don’t but I can imagine how good it would be as I always lick the spoon clean after scooping it out.

blogIMG_0686
Then add your milk.

blogIMG_0687
Mix it! Arm workout!

blogIMG_0689
Add pepper and stir again!

blogIMG_0690
Add your frozen beans..

blogIMG_0691
Then your frozen broccoli…

blogIMG_0692
Here are your fried onions.  Truth: I don’t like onions.  I’m really picky about them.  But for some reason I’m 100% fine with these fried onions – how that makes sense, I have no idea.

blogIMG_0693
Sprinkle your onions in..

blogIMG_0694
Then more arm power and keep mixing..

blogIMG_0695
Until you have a creamy beautiful  mixture that looks like that. Into the oven it goes..

blogIMG_0697
Then 40 minutes later, this lovely smelling dish comes out.

blogIMG_0698
We want to add some more onions to crisp the top. This will really make the casserole extra special!

blogIMG_0699
5 more minutes until they’re slightly browned on top.

blogIMG_0700
Oh man, about this time Matthew just happily showed up in the kitchen.  I slapped his hands away.

blogIMG_0703
Many people serve bean/broccoli casserole as a side, but we had it for a man dish with some toasted garlic bread/bread rolls.  There is creaminess residing in the casserole so you want to have some bread to dip in..

blogIMG_0707
Serve away! Just wait for the “ooohs” and “aahhs” and “iloveyous”. 

 

My Favorite Breakfast Sandwich

Hello, I’m Pamela and I love this breakfast sandwich.  

I have 2 things I really want to say about this beautiful egg and cheese sandwich.

1).  I debated posting this on the blog for a long time because of how easy it is.  Finally I decided simple or not, it’s special to me and deserves it’s own glory in a post.

2).  I really really love this sandwich.  Let me tell you how it all started…

A couple years ago we started teaching a early AM digital photography class.  Prior to this I did not eat breakfast as I would usually wake up later in the morning and go straight to lunch, but needing something to eat in the morning and wanting to sleep in, I started a dangerous route in eating breakfast sandwiches from 7-11.    This would be my breakfast right  before class began:
photo 1.JPG

Now don’t get me wrong – I love 7-11 breakfast sandwiches, after all it started my love affair with making my own, but one day I took a look at the nutrition facts on these and looked at my scale rising and realized these were not going to be good in the long run.  So I set out to make my own.   My rules were they had to be quick to make and delicious. I wanted them to be better than 7-11, it was a competition (7-11 just didn’t know about it).

So I gathered the simplest supplies at the grocery store:   Thomas English Muffins, American Cheese Slices, Eggs.  There the love of my life was born, my favorite breakfast sandwich in the world.  To say I am crazy in love with these would be a understatement.  I have approximated I have eaten 325 of these in the past year.    I find I actually eat healthier when I start my day off with sandwich because I consider it a favorite treat so by 1PM, I feel like I have spoiled myself.  Then for the rest of the afternoon I can snack on fruit and nuts and totally be happy with it.   Just thinking of this egg sandwich makes me so happy. I can’t wait for tomorrow morning!

How much do I love them?
When I wen to London, I made them every single morning for breakfast:
photo.JPG

I ate one for Christmas breakfast last year:
CS20121225140545.jpg


I ate one for Easter breakfast this year:
WP_20130331_031.jpg

Do you see the path I’m leading you down? I’m trying to make you love his egg sandwich as much as I do so you can have 30 pictures of the same egg sandwich on your phone like I do.

So here it is, your 260 calorie breakfast sandwich.   

My Favorite Breakfast Sandwich

Ingredients

  • 1 Thomas' Original English Muffin
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 slice of American cheese

Instructions

  1. Preheat your toaster oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Crack your egg into a bowl, whisk it and microwave for 1 minute.
  3. Take your English Muffin and cut it in half.
  4. Take your egg out of the microwave, remove it with a fork and put on bottom part of muffin.
  5. Take your cheese, rip in half, and put on top of the egg.
  6. Put top half of muffin on top of sandwich.
  7. Put in toaster oven until the top is slightly browned, this usually takes about 8-10 minutes.
  8. Enjoy!
 blogIMG_0433
These are your ingredients, simple. I love Thomas’s, I love them more when they are on sale.  A word about cheese, I’m a Kraft singles girl, I can’t help.  I bought some organic American cheese slices from Trader Joe’s last week and was underwhelmed so I use it on Matthew’s egg sandwich when I make him one.  For me, it’s Kraft all the way.

blogIMG_0434
Take an egg.

blogIMG_0435
Crack it in microwave safe bowl.

blogIMG_0436
Whisk it with a fork.  Now put the bowl in the microwave for 1 minute.  
blogIMG_0437
What comes out is one cooked egg that is easy to get out with a fork.
blogIMG_0438
Cut your muffin in two.  Get your cheese slice ready.

blogIMG_0439
Throw your egg on the bottom part..

blogIMG_0440
I like to rip my cheese in half as it assures no cheese will be wasted melting off the sides.  I want all the cheese!

blogIMG_0441
Put the top of the muffin on..

blogIMG_0442
Then into the toaster oven it goes..

blogIMG_0448
There is a smell the muffin makes when it is ready. You will learn to love and appreciate this delicious smell.

blogIMG_0449
Oh beautiful, how are you doing?  Be careful and let it cool for a minute or the cheese will burn you.

blogIMG_0455
This is  my go to breakfast usually served with dried fruit and decaffeinated tea.  

Treat yourself to one tomorrow morning.. Enjoy!

Homemade Corn Tortilla Chips

Tortilla chips are a favorite of ours to snack on, especially Matthew’s.  I’ve found a number of sharp tortilla chip crumbs in bed that stab me to know he likes a good bowl of chips to snack on while reading before bed.  With the chips running low, I set off to create our own.   There are a few great things about making homemade tortilla chips.  You get to mix and match! You can try a bunch of different flavors instead of just picking one flavor in the store.  The other great thing is the price!  Tortilla chips usually cost us $4-$5 for a bag, more if they are gourmet/fancy flavored.  A bag of 30 (!) corn tortillas in my local grocery store cost me $1.25.   I haven’t done the price comparison by weighing them yet but I can bet you I’m saving more than a few dollars here.

I wanted to try a few different flavors with these so I did made 3 kinds:
Regular Salted
Cinnamon Sugar
Parmesan

I thought I was going to have a winner on picking but when trying to pick a favorite I can’t.  The salted were expected to be great and they were.  The cinnamon sugar was like a dessert chip, it hit  my sweet tooth that needs daily love.  The Parmesan was savory.  

Next time I’m going to try to make some seasoned with cumin – can you imagine cumin tortilla chips with salsa?  Oh my.  I think I just created my new favorite snack.

Make these for your snack. 🙂

blogIMG_0352

blogIMG

 

 

Homemade Corn Tortilla Chips

Ingredients

  • Corn Tortillas one equals 4 chips so use as many as you need

Seasonings (This is up to you!)

  • Sea Salt
  • Cinnamon + Sugar
  • Parmesan Cheese

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Stack tortillas and cut them into 4 triangles.
  3. Spread them out on a on a cookie sheet. They need to be 1/4-1/2 inch apart from each other.
  4. Put desired seasonings on top.
  5. Bake 8-10 minutes (check every minute after 8) until edges are brown.
  6. Remove from oven and let cool.
  7. Enjoy!
blogIMG_0328
Grab your handy bag of corn tortillas.  Can I tell you how much I love pepper steak tacos on these? That’s another post though…

blogIMG_0329
Take them out the bag, it’s up to you how many you want to make.  Each tortilla will make 4 hearty chips.

blogIMG_0330
It’s totally ok if your tortillas are weird in shape, it adds character.

blogIMG_0331
Grab a knife..

blogIMG_0332
Cut in half..

blogIMG_0333
And again..

blogIMG_0334
Gather your pile of soon to be delicious chips.

blogIMG_0335
Now, something important.  To get them to bake crisp you need to make sure there is at least 1/4 to 1/2 inch in between each one.  If they are closer, they are going to be soft.  We want crunchy for these.

Now on to the seasonings..
blogIMG_0340
You can do sea salt, just a sprinkle goes a long way.

blogIMG_0346
Or a little bit of Parmesan cheese.  You can add some Cheddar too – yum!

blogIMG_0342
Or possibly my favorite (I haven’t decided yet), cinnamon sugar!

blogIMG_0343
First the sugar..

blogIMG_0344
Then the cinnamon! Oh my!

blogIMG_0348
Throw them  in the oven and keep a eye on them.  They should take 8-10 minutes until the edges turn brown.  Mine took about 9 minutes.  Watch them for every minute after 8. Seriously, keep a eye on them, keep checking, don’t be too careful – they will burn quick.

 blogIMG_0356
These are the sea salt chips.  Just a simple taste of salt…

blogIMG_0361
These are the Parmesan cheese…

 blogIMG_0360
And these are the magical cinnamon sugar! I’m still not picking a favorite..

blogIMG_0368
Pull up a chair, let’s eat a few together!

 

Fresh Spinach Cupcakes

These Vanilla Frosting Cupcakes made with fresh spinach is a sneaky way to include vegetables in your kids diet.  You won’t believe how good these are!

Now before you go reading the title and thinking I’m crazy, I just want to make it clear that I’m a genuine cupcake lover.  I’ve been known to go to Crumbs, get the biggest cupcake in the display with vanilla frosting, rainbow sprinkles and eat it up in a couple bites.  I’ve been known to go  back for seconds.  I love sweets, I love cupcakes.  So when I found a recipe a few months ago saying  I could make cupcakes with fresh spinach and it would taste amazing, I didn’t quite believe it.  Even while making these and mixing the spinach in, I still was worried.  Really, I could make cupcakes full of spinach and it was going to be good? Really? Well folks.. I have the verdict..

YES YOU CAN.

THESE CUPCAKES ARE AMAZING.

WE ARE TALKING  “OMG THESE ARE MADE WITH SPINACH?! WHAT? ARE YOU LYING TO ME? NO IM NOT. “

They will probably change your life.

I have had a post-it note on my desk since June to post the recipe and finally today, I am!

Rejoice! Bake these cupcakes.  They will change your life.  I’m totally serious
These Vanilla Frosting Cupcakes made with fresh spinach is a sneaky way to include vegetables in your kids diet.  You won't believe how good these are!

These Vanilla Frosting Cupcakes made with fresh spinach is a sneaky way to include vegetables in your kids diet.  You won't believe how good these are!

Fresh Spinach Cupcakes

These cupcakes will change your life.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup of applesauce
  • 4-5 cups fresh raw spinach
  • box of store bought yellow cake mix
  • icing and sprinkles

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Line your cupcake tins with baking cups.
  3. Puree the applesauce and spinach in a food processor.
  4. Put cake mix in a bowl, then add your spinach puree to it.
  5. Beat with mixer until it’s combined evenly.
  6. Fill up your cupcake baking cups.
  7. Bake for 20 minutes, put a toothpick to make sure it comes out clean.
  8. Let cool, decorate with icing and sprinkles.
  9. EAT THEM. ALL OF THEM.

Recipe Notes

I used spinach picked from our garden - if you can pick it fresh, please do!

These Vanilla Frosting Cupcakes made with fresh spinach is a sneaky way to include vegetables in your kids diet.  You won't believe how good these are!
These are all your ingredients for the cupcakes.  Can it get simpler?

These Vanilla Frosting Cupcakes made with fresh spinach is a sneaky way to include vegetables in your kids diet.  You won't believe how good these are!
Puree spinach and apple sauce.

These Vanilla Frosting Cupcakes made with fresh spinach is a sneaky way to include vegetables in your kids diet.  You won't believe how good these are!
It will look like this.  Very green.

These Vanilla Frosting Cupcakes made with fresh spinach is a sneaky way to include vegetables in your kids diet.  You won't believe how good these are!
Add your puree with your cake mix.

These Vanilla Frosting Cupcakes made with fresh spinach is a sneaky way to include vegetables in your kids diet.  You won't believe how good these are!
Mix it up.  It will look light green now.

These Vanilla Frosting Cupcakes made with fresh spinach is a sneaky way to include vegetables in your kids diet.  You won't believe how good these are!
Add to your baking cups… into the oven it goes.  Can you believe we’re making spinach cupcakes?

These Vanilla Frosting Cupcakes made with fresh spinach is a sneaky way to include vegetables in your kids diet.  You won't believe how good these are!
Out it comes, exactly how you imagined!

These Vanilla Frosting Cupcakes made with fresh spinach is a sneaky way to include vegetables in your kids diet.  You won't believe how good these are!
Aren’t they beautiful plain?

 

These Vanilla Frosting Cupcakes made with fresh spinach is a sneaky way to include vegetables in your kids diet.  You won't believe how good these are!
I put my icing in a plastic bag so I can pretend I’m a pro cake decorator when I put the icing on them.



Look at these beautiful cupcakes.

These Vanilla Frosting Cupcakes made with fresh spinach is a sneaky way to include vegetables in your kids diet.  You won't believe how good these are!
Now add your sprinkles..

These Vanilla Frosting Cupcakes made with fresh spinach is a sneaky way to include vegetables in your kids diet.  You won't believe how good these are!
There you go, you just made spinach cupcakes.  I know, it’s amazing.

These Vanilla Frosting Cupcakes made with fresh spinach is a sneaky way to include vegetables in your kids diet.  You won't believe how good these are!
Now try one. I KNOW, IT’S AMAZING.  Life changed, right?
These Vanilla Frosting Cupcakes made with fresh spinach is a sneaky way to include vegetables in your kids diet.  You won't believe how good these are!

 

WOWZA Baked Beans + Bacon

Two weekends ago Matthew made these amazing baked beans.  I’m going to give credit where it’s due, these were the hit of the picnic.  I was in love with them, so much so that I made him save some here for me to eat later.  So when I came home from the picnic after eating too many beans, I immediately sat down and continued to eat more beans.  They are so amazing!
The original recipe comes from here.  Matthew said he followed the ingredients and instructions pretty spot on.
photo 4.JPG
photo 5.JPG
photo 3.JPG

photo 1.JPG
Lots of onions and green peppers in this. I was worried because I don’t like onions.  Boy, was I wrong!

photo 2.JPG
BBQ Sauce + Apple Cider Vinegar.  I was worried because I don’t like apple cider vinegar. Boy, was I wrong!

photo 4.JPG
Glorious bacon. Bacon is one of the best foods, ever.

photo 1.JPG
Mix the beans and peppers/onions together…

photo 3.JPG
Then the BBQ Sauce mixture..

photo 4.JPG
You need a big pan, just a warning.

photo 5.JPG
I needed to taste test. It’s very important.  Or something.

photo 2.JPG
Then pour into pans/pots that you can bake.   This makes quite alot of beans..

photo 1.JPG
photo 2.JPG
Then put the glorious bacon on top. You can either bake this right away, or we let it sit in the fridge over night and baked it the following day.

photo 4.JPG
photo 5.JPG
ENJOY!

For more information contact Pamela at pamela@pamelareed.com.    |     Privacy Policy