Friday, December 23, 2016

Eggnog Fudge

It's the most wonderful baking time of the year!  I whipped up some easy eggnog fudge to add something different to my cookie tray this year.

I'm not going to pretend to be a super fan of eggnog, but put the flavors into fudge and it works out nicely.

Eggnog Fudge
From Real Housemoms

2 cups sugar
3/4 cup butter
2/3 cup eggnog
1 tsp nutmeg, plus more for sprinkling
12 oz white chocolate
7 oz marshmallow cream
1 tsp vanilla

1. Grease a 9 inch square pan.**
2. In a medium saucepan combine sugar, butter, eggnog, and nutmeg.  Bring to a boil, stirring frequently. When it comes to a rolling boil, insert a candy thermometer. Heat to 235 degrees F.  This will take about 10 minutes.
3. Remove pan from heat and add white chocolate, vanilla, and marshmallow cream. Stir until mixture is fluffy and has lost its shine.
4. Spread evenly into prepared pan.  Cool completely before cutting into squares.

**I found the fudge difficult to get out of the pan, so I would recommend lining it with parchment paper.

Don't be intimidated by the candy thermometer!  I just used the digital thermometer I use for cooking meats and everything worked out perfectly.

I wish you all a sweet holiday season!

Monday, December 19, 2016

Cranberry Bliss Bars, Starbucks Copycat Recipe

If you have never tried a cranberry bliss bar from Starbucks, I am really quite sorry for you.  However, luck is on your side, because now you can make them in your very own kitchen!

These are going to be a great addition to my Christmas dessert tray. I love a good bar cookie recipe because you don't have to keep rotating cookie sheets all day long.

Cranberry Bliss Bars
From Recipe Girl

1 1/2 sticks of butter
1 1/2 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
3/4 tsp vanilla
2 1/4 cup flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup dried cranberries
6 oz white chocolate chips

8 oz cream cheese
1 cup powdered sugar
6 oz white chocolate, melted
1/2 cup dried cranberries

1. Preheat oven to 350. Grease a 13x9 inch pan, set aside. Melt butter a small bowl in the microwave, stir in brown sugar. In a large mixing bowl mix butter and sugar mixture with 2 eggs and vanilla.  Gradually add flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon.
2. Gently stir in cranberries and white chocolate chips. Spread into prepared pan, batter will be thick and almost dough-like. Bake 18-21 minutes. Cool completely.
3. Using a hand mixer, combine cream cheese and powdered sugar. Beat in half of the melted white chocolate.  Spread over cooled bars. Sprinkle with cranberries and drizzle with remaining white chocolate.

I chose to cut mine in triangles because that is what Starbucks does.  Feel free to just make rectangles or just eat the whole pan with a fork while watching Lifetime Christmas movies.

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Alton Brown's Triple Cheese Popcorn

I went to see Alton Brown's live show in NYC last weekend.  It was really fantastic.  The best part about it was that the entire second half of the show was all about popcorn! So, yea, it was basically the best day ever.

He shared his favorite way to season popcorn during the show so about twelve hours later I made a trip to the supermarket to find the necessary ingredients.  If Alton loves popcorn as much as I do, I knew I needed to have this seasoning ASAP.

Tripe Cheese Popcorn
From Alton Brown

2 ounces cheddar cheese powder
1/2 ounce Parmesan cheese, the cheap stuff they keep next to the pasta sauce
2 tbsp nutritional yeast (it was in the natural food section of my supermarket)
1 tsp buttermilk powder (found in the baking aisle)
1 tsp kosher salt

1. Dump all the ingredients in food processor or use your immersion blender to combine and create a fine powder.
2. Bake a large batch of popcorn and dust with seasoning*

*Note: This is a very large amount of seasoning and while it is delicious, there was just too much of it.  I would suggest making your usual bowl of popcorn and dust the popped kernels to taste.

Here is a little secret: it tastes just like Doritos!! It's incredible.  I am already thinking up other uses for this cheesy blend....

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Pumpkin Brookie Bars

Allow me to explain what a pumpkin brookie bar is... pumpkin cookie base + fudgy brownie top.  You with me so far?


Drooling yet?


Pumpkin Brookie Bars
From Crazy For Crust

For the cookie layer:
1/2 cup melted butter
1/3 cup pumpkin puree
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 egg yolk
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt (if your butter is unsalted)
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp ginger
1 tsp cinnamon
1 3/4 cup flour

For the brownie layer:
1 box mix + ingredients to prepare

1. Preheat oven to 350 and grease a 13x9 inch pan.
2. Mix together butter, pumpkin, and sugars.  Add egg yolk, vanilla, and spices and combine.  Slowly add flour.  Press dough into the prepared pan.
3. Mix brownie ingredients together and pour over cookie layer.  Bake 25-35 minutes until the brownie is set in the middle.  Let cool before slicing into bars.

These are every bit as wonderful as you are imagining right now.

Could you have imagined a more beautiful sight for your Thanksgiving dessert table?  I think not.

Dr. Mercola's Complete Probiotic Powder Packets

I got another freebie! I hate to brag, but getting these packages from Mom's Meet in the mail is pretty darn exciting.

This time I got to test out Dr. Mercola's Complete Probiotic Powder Packets for adults and children (2 different kinds).

The raspberry flavor was really delicious.  I have tried other powdered supplements before and I can tell you not all flavors and powders are created equal.  It's organic too, so you can feel good about drinking it!

The whisk element in the bottle made it easy to get the powder packets to dissolve which I really appreciated; it's really unappealing to drink my supplements when powder sediment is on the bottom.  We eat/drink with our eyes right!? Look how pretty it is :)

You can get your hands on these probiotic packets at Dr. Mercola's website here or check out their facebook, pinterest, and twitter sites.

I received this product for free from Moms Meet (, May Media Group LLC, who received it directly from the manufacturer. As a Moms Meet blogger, I agree to use this product and post my honest opinion on my blog. The opinions posted are my own.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Apple Cider Custard Bars

These apple cider custard bars would be the perfect addition to your Thanksgiving dessert spread.  This recipe has all the wonderful flavors of fall and it's in bar form so you don't have to worry about having another pie server.

Apple Cider Custard Bars
From Crepes of Wrath

For the crust:
2 cups flour
1/4 cup + 2 tbsp granulated sugar
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup butter, cubed

For the custard:
1 cup cider
8 eggs
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup flour
3/4 tsp salt
powdered sugar, for dusting

1. Preheat oven to 350.  Grease a 13x9 in dish liberally with butter.
2. Combine flour, sugar, salt, and butter in a bowl.  Use your fingers, or a pastry cutter, to mix the dough until a crumbly coarse mixture forms.  Press into prepared pan and bake for 15 minutes.
3. Whisk cider, eggs, brown sugar, granulated sugar, flour, and salt in a bowl.  Pour over baked crust.  Bake an additional 20-25 minutes, until the top is set.
3.  Allow bars to cool for 4-6 hours before dusting with sugar and slicing into square.

Note: I halved this recipe and made my batch in an 8x8 inch pan and it worked wonderfully.

I cannot wait to make these again for Thanksgiving!

So much easier to make than a pie AND easier to eat too!

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Kale Pesto + Pasta Party

I made a batch of this kale pesto for a pasta party at my house last weekend.  This DIY dinner was our fourth annual.  

For past parties see:

First, I'll share the pesto with you.  Then, I'll show you our glorious pasta bar.

Kale Pesto
From Pinch of Yum

2 cups kale and parsley combined (I used a lot more kale them parsley. You be the judge here)
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 tsp salt
1 clove garlic
the juice of 1 lemon
1/4 cup almonds

1. Toss it all in the food processor until it becomes a paste. That's it!

I gave myself a nice swirl of kale pesto on top of pumpkin spice gouda mac and cheese the other night.

Now it's party time! For the pasta toppings we had: butternut squash, onions, chicken, mushrooms, sausage, brussels sprouts, basil, ricotta, and Parmesan cheese.

We cooked up a few pounds of pasta (I found fall theme pasta shapes at Home Good's) and had 3 sauces: marinara, kale pesto, and alfredo.

We lived for several days off of the leftovers from this party!

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Slow Cooker Creamy Bacon Ranch Chicken

Here is why you should make this recipe:

1. 4 ingredients.
2. Slow cooker.
3. It's delicious.
4. It's versatile.
5. Bacon.

Sound good? Good.

Creamy Bacon Ranch Chicken

1-2 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 packet ranch dressing mix
8 oz cream cheese
8 oz bacon, cooked and crumbled
1-2 tbsp hot sauce (optional)

1. Plop the chicken, cream cheese, and ranch dressing in a slow cooker.  Cook 6-8 hours on low or 4 hours on high.
2. Shred chicken using 2 forks, add bacon, and mix until all ingredients are combined.

We had this chicken in a sandwich topped with crispy jalapenos.  It would also go great in a taco or served as a dip with chips or crackers.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Kimchi Pork Fried Rice

I was recently gifted some homemade kimchi! Yes, I know, not many of you would be that excited to get a Tupperware of stinky fermenting cabbage. That is why I'm the food blogger, and you are here for the food porn.

Note that the kimchi is not going to make or break this recipe so if your Korean friend's mother didn't whip you up a batch, don't worry.

Kimchi Pork Fried Rice
Adapted from Half Baked Harvest

1/4 cup soy sauce
2 tbsp sriracha
1 tbsp honey
1/4 tsp ground ginger, or 1 tbsp fresh grated
1 clove garlic, minced

3 tbsp oil, sesame if you have it
3 eggs, beaten
4 slices bacon
1/2 lb pork loin sliced into bit sized pieces* 
4 cups cooked rice
1 cup cubed pineapple
2 cups frozen mixed vegetables
1 cup kimchi
salt and pepper to taste
sesame seeds, optional

1. Mix up the first 5 ingredients in a bowl or measuring cup. Set aside
2. Heat 1 tbsp of oil in a large skillet or wok. Cook eggs until soft and set. Remove from skillet and set aside.
3. Cook bacon in same skillet until crisp. Drain on paper towels. Crumble when cooled.
4. Cook your meat in bacon fat with about 2-3 tbsp of the sauce you made.
5. Add pineapple chunks, kimchi, and vegetables and cook until heated through.
6. Add rice, eggs, bacon, and remaining sauce. Stir to combine. Serve topped with sesame seeds.

*You can use any meat you like here. I had the pork in the fridge from a previous meal.

FYI: This is a ton of food which is totally fantastic because you are going to love eating it for lunch all week long.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Buffalo Chicken Mac and Cheese Calzones

YES! You read that title right! Buffalo chicken! Mac and cheese! Calzones!!

Whaaaaaaaaaaaaat! YES! All the things!

I am going to let you guys in on a MAJOR secret here.  You can make pizza dough in about 10 minutes with no resting and waiting for it to rise! And it tastes exactly like it should. This dough recipe is a serious game changer. Make it with whatever toppings you like or mix up some buffalo chicken mac and cheese  calzones like I did.

Quick No-Rise Pizza Dough
From The New York Times

1 package fast rising yeast
1 cup hot water (120-130 degrees)
3 cups flour
1/2 tsp salt

1. Mix yeast and 1 cup flour in a large bowl. Stir in hot water. Stir in second cup of flour and salt until a dough ball forms.
2. Using some of the last cup of flour, dust your kneading surface. Knead dough for 5 minutes, slowly adding in the remaining flour as needed.
3. THAT'S IT! Can you believe it!?

Buffalo Chicken Mac and Cheese

1 box mac and cheese
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup butter
2 cups shredded chicken
2 tbsp hot sauce of your liking (like it hotter? add more as you see fit)
3 scallions, chopped
1 cup blue cheese

1. Boil mac and cheese according to package directions, drain, stir in milk and butter and cheese packet.
2. Mix in chicken, scallions, and blue cheese.

The dough recipe makes enough for 4 calzones.  The mac and cheese recipe gives you plenty of extra for lunch the next day.

Bake the calzones in a 500 degree oven for about 15 minutes.  Serve with extra hot sauce and blue cheese dressing for dipping.

Ok, I need to be done with this post because it is making me want to cook these up again...

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Cinnamon Sugar Pumpkin Cake

Hooray for fall! Let's make pumpkin spice everything!  Even Bailey knows that pumpkin and cinnamon come together to make the kitchen smell amazing.

Cinnamon Sugar Pumpkin Cake
From Picky Palate

1 box yellow cake mix
1 stick butter, softened
1 egg
1 cup pumpkin puree
1 cup pumpkin spice chips (or cinnamon or chocolate)
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp cinnamon

1. Preheat oven to 350.  Grease a 13x9 pan.
2. Mix cake mix, butter, and egg in a bowl.  Stir in pumpkin and chips. Spread into prepared pan.  Top with sugar and additional cinnamon.
3. Bake for 25 minutes. Let cool and cut into squares.

I made these for my co-teacher's birthday and they were a huge hit! Plus, they are such a piece of cake to put together. Make it happen before pumpkin goes out of style, Christmas has already taken over the stores!

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Chicken Tetrazzini

From the looks of it outside, you could use a nice creamy cheesy baked pasta dish today.

It's also great because you can chuckle about the clip from Maury.

Chicken Tetrazzini
Adapted from Simply Recipes

12 ounces of mushrooms
8 tbsp butter
1/4 cup flour
12 oz noodles, I used spaghetti and broke it in half
1 3/4 cups half and half
2 cups chicken broth
3 cups chopped cooked chicken (hey don't forget about my shredded chicken)
1 cup green beans
2/3 cup Parmesan cheese
1/3 cup shredded Swiss cheese
1/4 cup lemon juice
salt and pepper
grated nutmeg
1/3 cup bread crumbs
chopped parsley

1. Preheat oven to 375. Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Cook pasta according on package directions.
2. In a large pan saute mushrooms in 3 tbsp of butter 5-7 minutes. Remove from the pan, set aside.
3. Melt 4 tbsp of butter in the same pan. Stir in flour, cook for about 3 minutes.
4. Add half and half and broth.  Cook, stirring constantly, 5-8 minutes over medium-low heat.
5. Add drained pasta to the sauce along with mushrooms, chicken, and green beans. Stir in 1/3 cup Parmesan and 1/3 cup Swiss cheese and lemon juice.  Season with salt and pepper and a pinch of grated nutmeg.
6. Pour pasta mixture into a buttered 13x9 casserole dish. Top pasta with remaining Parmesan and breadcrumbs.  Dot with cubes of remaining butter. Bake for 30-40 minutes until golden brown and bubbly. Sprinkle with chopped parsley.

This recipe is comfort food at it's best.  I have wanted to have chicken tetrazzini ever since that Maury clip. It did not disappoint.

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Shredded Chicken

A lot of times a recipe will call for already cooked shredded chicken.  It is generally a major disappointment when I'm reading a recipe.  They always the recipe sound so quick and simple.  But if you don't have cooked chicken just laying around your house, it adds extra time and effort.

I'm going to share with you a quick and simple way to make a huge batch of shredded chicken that you can portion and pop in the freezer.  This way you will have chicken on hand for the next time some recipe tricks you into thinking it's a piece of cake.

Shredded Chicken

3 chicken breasts, I have used 5 in the past because that's what comes in the value packs at Stop and Shop
some garlic
maybe an onion
salt and pepper

1. Place the chicken in a large pot or dutch oven.  Pour in enough water to cover the chicken in the pot. Season with salt and pepper.  If you are using an onion or garlic plop those in now too.
2. Boil covered for about 20 minutes, until chicken is cooked through.  If you have a lot of chicken in the pot it might take longer, less chicken, shorter.  You get the idea this is not an exact science.
3. When the chicken is cooked through I'm going to tell you about a trick to shred it that will change your life.  Get out your stand mixer with paddle attachment.  Plop chicken in the bowl and turn on the mixer.  Voila! Chicken shredded right before your eyes!

I packaged my shredded chicken into 2 cup portions and popped them in the freezer.  Now I have 4 recipes worth of cooked chicken ready and waiting for me.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

National Taco Day!

Hey guys word around the street is that it's National Taco Day and taco Tuesday all in one magical 24 hours.

I have collected all of my favorite recipes to ensure you have the tastiest taco day ever. 

You're welcome.

Wishing you all the most delicious taco day ever!

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

San-J Sauces

When this packaged arrived from San-J I couldn't contain my excitement. 3 delicious gluten free sauces and a tote bag! and a basting brush! and a cutting board! and the best, a mini USB in the shape of a tamari sauce bottle!  How cool is this company!?

Needless to say I couldn't wait to dive in.  All three of the sauces I cooked with are gluten free certified and non-gmo verified.  They all come with suggestions on the bottle as to what pairs best with each sauce.

I used the Mongolian sauce to make a quick chicken stir-fry with broccoli and green beans over rice. It was so nice to have a sauce waiting for me in the pantry.  It meant I didn't need to get out all the measuring cups and spoons and assemble ingredients which is a total life saver on a weeknight.

The Thai peanut sauce went great with shrimp; the sauce has a little kick to it.  I made shrimp avocado burritos with mixed greens and cilantro lime rice.  I also used this as a dipping sauce later in the week for chicken spring rolls.

I used the orange sauce for a steak and mixed vegetable ramen noodle bowl.  I stir fried the steak and veggies in the orange sauce then tossed in the cooked noodles and topped it all with a hearty shake of sesame seeds.

I am so excited to have these sauces in my condiment stash right now.  I can't wait to continue to use them to add great flavor to more meals.

I received this product for free from Moms Meet (, May Media Group LLC, who received it directly from the manufacturer. As a Moms Meet blogger, I agree to use this product and post my honest opinion on my blog. The opinions posted are my own.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Zucchini Parmesan Sliders

These zucchini parmesan sliders will revolutionize your game day snacking this football season.  Since it involves a vegetable you can pretend this is a healthy alternative.  Sure it's breaded, fried, covered with cheese, and on a bun, but it's zucchini! So yea....totally healthy.

Zucchini Parmesan Sliders

1 zucchini, cut into 12 1/2 in rounds
1 cup bread crumbs
1 cup flour
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
1 egg
12 dinner rolls
1 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella (I just cut slices off a block)
1 cup marinara sauce
12 basil leaves
salt and pepper

1. Get all set up with flour in one bowl, then a bowl for bread crumbs and Parmesan, then one more for the egg, beaten.  Coat the zucchini in flour, then egg, then bread crumbs.
2. Heat some oil in a skillet over medium-high heat and cook zucchini 2-3 minutes on each side.
3. Preheat broiler.  Take the bottom half of your rolls and the top half of the rolls and place them on 2 separate baking sheets.  Top each half with some cheese and sauce.  Put zucchini rounds on the bottom bun.  Place a basil leaf on the top halves.  Place baking sheets under the broiler until cheese is melted.

 These. Were. So. Damn. Good.