Feb 27, 2018

Crock Pot Buffalo Chicken Sliders




Cooks Note: My oldest son is picky! He is borderline annoying when it comes to feeding him dinner. He is also on this weird teenage schedule that includes sleeping and eating at odd times. Today I was looking for something quick and easy that I could prep fast after an afternoon at the movies. I knew my son would be awake at dinner time since we were seeing a movie, so I thought he might like a slider with one of his favorite flavors, BUFFALO SAUCE! 

Let me say, this was soooooo easy. It was like 3 steps and done within 10 min of walking in the door. The whole family enjoyed it and we will be making it again soon. 

Ingredients:
  •  2 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 Cup (divided) of your favorite buffalo sauce
  • 1/2 large onion, diced
  • Ranch or Blue Cheese dressing 
  • Slider buns

Directions:
  1. Place chicken breasts in crockpot and top with 1/2 cup buffalo sauce and diced onions
  2. Cook on high for 4-5 hours or until chicken is done and will shred. 
  3. Shred chicken and place back in the crockpot. 
  4. Add additional 1/2 cup (or more if you would like) and mix into chicken and heat back up in crockpot for a few minutes. 
  5. Serve chicken on slider buns with dressing of your choice. 








Feb 19, 2018

SMASHED Oven Baked Brussels Sprouts


Oven Baked Brussels Sprouts

Cook's Note: This is one of the healthiest side dishes you could make for your family! Everyone in my family loves this side dish and during the winter, I make it quite frequently. Brussels sprouts are high in fiber, minerals and vitamins! 
They are high in VITAMIN C - which can boost your immunity. Eating this food is a delicious way to stay healthy and help fight colds and germs! 


What You Will Need: 

1 Bag of Fresh Brussels Sprouts
Olive Oil drizzle
Garlic Salt to taste
Sea Salt and Cracked Black Pepper to taste
Parmesan Cheese for Topping

Directions

Fill a pot about half full of water  and boil Brussels Sprouts for about 10 minutes. Drain.

On a cookie sheet (with sides) - spread your brussels sprouts, drizzle with Olive Oil and seasonings . Toss around to coat well.

Spread out evenly on a pan and then smash each of the sprouts with a jar, cup or small bowl.

Top with cheese.

Bake at 425 degrees for about 25 minutes. ENJOY!

This "PINSPIRATION" comes from DELISH - you can even watch a video of how to make it on their site, definitely awesome and worth a look!






Feb 18, 2018

Flourless Peanut Butter Banana Blender Muffins (GLUTEN FREE)


Flourless Peanut Butter Banana Blender Muffins

Only 5 Ingredients!
Gluten Free 

Cook's Note: Today was the THIRD time I have made these muffins and they are absolutely 3 things: 1) EASY 2) HEALTHY and last but not least, 3) DELICIOUS

You just throw the ingredients in the blender, pour into your muffin pan (I used a mini muffin pan), bake for 8-9 minutes and then DEVOUR every last one! 

I have made these for both breakfast and just for snacks. My little one can not get enough of these! I feel good about her eating them too because they aren't bogged down with SUGAR, but they taste like a treat. 

WHAT YOU WILL NEED: 

1 cup natural peanut butter
2 medium sized bananas 
2 large eggs
½ teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
2 Tablespoons raw honey
dash of vanilla
milk chocolate chips

DIRECTIONS: 


Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Spray Muffin Pan with Cooking Spray. My favorite healthy cooking spray to use is Coconut Oil cooking spray.
Place all ingredients into your blender (except the chocolate chips) and blend until combined.
Carefully pour batter into muffin pan. Drop a couple of chocolate chips onto the top of each muffin.
Bake 8-9 minutes. Let cool slightly and then enjoy!

This "Pinspiration" come from Baked Inaz



Feb 14, 2018

Oreo Peanut Butter Cheesecake



Oreo Peanut Butter Cheesecake - oh my! 

Cook's Note: My little one saw this recipe video on Facebook and said "Mama, you have to make this for Daddy's birthday!" Well, I watched the video and this looked too yummy to pass up, so I decided to give it a go. PLUS I KNEW my husband would LOVE IT!

I have NEVER made cheesecake before .... let me tell you, its a labor of love. But - the cake was delicious and it was a huge hit in our house. Plus its beautiful! My only change here was that I used LIGHT (neufchatel) cream cheese and it still turned out delicious! 

It seems like a LOT of steps - TRUST ME! But, if you have the time, its SO WORTH IT!

WHAT YOU WILL NEED: 



FOR THE CHEESECAKE
2 cups crushed Oreos
1/4 cup butter, melted
32 ounces LIGHT cream cheese, softened
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 cup creamy peanut butter, softened
3 large eggs
1 cup mini dark chocolate chips

FOR THE TOPPING
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 cup  milk chocolate chips
Chopped roasted peanuts, for decorating
6 Oreo cookies, halved


 DIRECTIONS: 
Place the cheesecake in a deep roasting pan. Pour very hot water around the outside bottom of the cheesecake in the roasting pan, trying not to get any water on the actual cheesecake. Fill it about a quarter of the way up. This creates a bain-marie and helps ensure the cheesecake doesn't overcook.
Once it has come to room temp - cover with aluminum foil and place in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours (or overnight) - to allow it to set up well.
Top with chopped roasted peanuts and decorate the outside edge with halved Oreos. 
Allow to set in the fridge for at least 30-60 minutes before serving. 
Combine the crumbled Oreos and melted butter together (stirring well). Firmly press this mixture into the bottom of lightly sprayed (with non-stick cooking spray), 9-inch springform pan. Place this pan on a large plate and then wrap the top of the pan with aluminum foil. Stick this in the fridge to set up. 

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees

In your stand mixer, beat together cream cheese, sugar, 1/2 cup heavy cream, and peanut butter. Beat in one egg at a time. Beat on low until well combined and the mixture looks "fluffy". Gently stir in dark chocolate chips. 

Remove the Oreo crust from fridge. Pour cheesecake batter over the crust, making sure to spread evenly and smooth out the mixture.

Place aluminum foil around the bottom of your cheesecake and wrap loosely. 


Bake at 350 for 60 minutes. CAREFULLY (with your best oven mitts on!) , remove from oven, remove cheesecake from the roasting pan and place on a large plate and allow it to sit on the counter and come to room temperature. 


After the 4 hours (or sitting overnight) - take out the cheesecake, remove the aluminum foil and run a butter knife around the rim of the pan to loosen and remove it from the springform rim. Set the cheesecake on a beautiful serving plate and get it ready to be TOPPED WITH GANACHE! 

TOPPING: 
To make the chocolate ganache topping...... Over medium heat, bring 1/2 cup heavy cream to a slight boil. Add in the milk chocolate chips and whisk until smooth. 

Carefully pour chocolate ganache over the cheesecake, letting it drip down the edges and smooth it out with a rubber spatula if need be!



ENJOY!




This "Pinspiration" comes from "Cooking Panda"


Dec 23, 2017

Slow Cooker Chex Mix Munch



Cook's Note: Every year, since birth - my family's tradition is to make Chex Mix of some sort during Christmas. My Nana used to make it and then my Mom, then my Dad and now me!! :)

We munch on this the entire week leading up to Christmas and even a few days after (if there is any left). There are several methods to making this dish. A few include: 1) In the Microwave, 2) In the Oven and a new method is 3) In the Slow Cooker or Crock Pot. I saw this crock pot recipe on Pinterest and thought I would give it a try! I will say that its super EASY (which is wonderful if you are busy) and I could let this cook in the kitchen while I made other treats for Christmas. Give it a try - I think you will like it!

What You Will Need:
3 Cups of Rice Chex
3 Cups of Wheat Chex
3 Cups Corn Chex
3 Cups of Cheerios
1 Cup of Pretzel Sticks
1 Cup of Peanuts or Mixed Nuts
6 Tbsp Melted Unsalted Butter
1 Tbsp Seasoning Salt
1/4 Cup of Worcestershire Sauce
1 tsp Garlic Powder
1 tsp Onion Powder
6-7 Dashes of Texas Pete (or hot sauce of your choice!)

Directions:
Turn Slow Cooker on High.

Place all of the dry ingredients in the crock pot.

Mix together Butter, Worcestershire and all remaining seasonings in a measuring cup and pour evenly on chex mix in the crock pot. Gently toss to coat and place lid on Slow Cooker. Cook for 3 hours on high, stirring thoroughly once an hour or as often as you feel needed.

Since my slow cooker lid doesn't have a little hole where steam can escape, I used several paper towels (or you could use a damp kitchen towel) under the lid to catch the condensation (otherwise you will have soggy chex mix).
*DISCLAIMER: It is not recommended to use paper towels under the lid due to potential fire hazard, so do this with caution or don't do it at all.

When done, place Wax Paper strips on your counter top and dump the Chex Mix to allow to cool. Once cooled, store in a large container for up to 3 weeks. MINE DOES NOT LAST THAT LONG BECAUSE WE EAT IT ALL!

See the chex mix here on my counter!!! It's a BEAUTIFUL Sight to see!



Makes a great gift for friends and neighbors if you place in a cute container and wrap with a cute bow!

This "Pinspiration" and very awesome slow cooker method Gimme Some Oven"
comes from "

ENJOY and MERRY CHRISTMAS 2017!




Chocolate Peanut Butter Ritz Cookies





Cook's Note: My mom made these cookies every Christmas, for most of my childhood and adult life. Now I am making them with my own daughter. This is a recipe that kids can help with, is fairly easy, and well worth the effort!


What You Will Need: 
4 Sleeves of Regular Ritz Crackers (don't use wheat!)
1 Block of Chocolate Almond Bark
Cream Peanut Butter (I like Jiff Natural)


Directions: 
The simple first step is to make Peanut Butter crackers and set them all out on a flat surface. I had my child make these (its simple for them to do!) while I was doing the next step. 

Next melt the chocolate almond bark in a glass bowl that is microwave safe (melt chocolate according to package directions). 

Set out a long stretch of wax paper on your counter. This will be where you put the chocolate covered peanut butter cookies to dry! 

Now you are ready to begin dipping the peanut butter crackers in the melted chocolate - one by one, using tongs to shake off the excess chocolate. 



This "Pinspiration" comes from My Mom 



Dec 22, 2017

Christmas Crack


Cook's Note: I kept seeing this recipe on Pinterest over and over again for several years -So I finally decided to break down this year and try it & im glad I did! It's really addictive and is perfect if you like the salty / sweet combination!

What you Will Need:
1 1/2 Sleeves of Saltine Crackers
1 1/4 Cup Unsalted Butter
1 1/4 Cup Light Brown sugar
8 oz package of Heath Toffee Bits

Directions:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a rimmed (one with sides to it) cookie sheet with parchment paper.

Put down a single layer of crackers to cover the pan.

In a small saucepan, add brown sugar and butter and heat until it has all melted and begins to boil.

TIP: Be EXTREMELY careful because this mixture is SUPER HOT. Once it starts to boil, let boil for 3 minutes.
After 3 minutes, carefully pour the mixture, CAREFULLY over the crackers, spreading evenly and place in the oven for 5 minutes. I screwed up and accident put half of the Heath toffee bits on before placing in the oven (but no worries here - it still tasted great!).


Remove from the oven and sprinkle the Heath toffee bits all over The crackers while still hot.  Allow to cool completely for about 30-45 minutes and then break into random pieces (similar to peppermint bark).

For a fun treat - give this as a gift to neighbors in a cute tin 😉

This "Pinspiration" comes from "Love Foodies"


Dec 21, 2017

Chocolate Peppermint Dipped Marshmallows






What You Will Need:
Large Bag of Jumbo Marshmallows
Mini Candy Canes (as many as Marshmallows you have)
2 cups Milk Chocolate Chips
Crushed candy canes for coating

Directions:
Set up your station first - this will go like an assembly line and will make it very easy to do!!

Large platter lined with wax paper.

1 bowl for candy canes
1 large bowl for marshmallows
1 bowl for chocolate chips
1 small bowl for crushed candy cane pieces

Bowl 1: Take small candy canes out of wrappers and place in Bowl 1

Bowl 2: Dump out large marshmallows into bowl 2

Bowl 3: Melt your chocolate chips in the microwave, in a glass bowl, at 30 second intravels on 50% power - stirring each time in between until smooth and silky when you stir.

Bowl 4: Take about 20 mini candy canes and place in a ziplock bag and hit the bag to crush candy canes with a wooden mallet or ice cream scooper (this will crush them up into tiny pieces.) pour these into a small cereal sized bowl #4.

Stick candy cane into Jumbo Marshmallow.

Dip each Marshmallow halfway into bowl of chocolate and then immediately dip into crushed candy pieces and set chocolate side down onto waxed paper.

Let "set and dry" for about 30 minutes. After the chocolate is hardened, enjoy alone or with a nice mug of Hot Chocolate.

Can be stored up to a week in large freezer bags.

This "Pinspiration" comes from "A Few a short Cuts"