Friday, March 30, 2012

Death By Oreo Cupcakes


I tried out this recipe I found on Pinterest for some birthday cupcakes tonight. They were a big hit and SO easy to make!

Here is the recipe from "foodsnots.com" via "instructables.com"

Death by Oreo Cupcakes:

Estimated Cooking Time: About 25 to 30 minutes

Ingredients
1 package Oreo Cookies, regular size
1 package Mini Oreo Cookies, for decoration (optional)
1 package chocolate cake mix (mix according to directions on box)
- I like to add one package of chocolate pudding mix, just the powder to my cake mixes... I find that it helps keep the cake together after its cooked instead of falling apart easily.
8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup butter (1 stick), room temperature
3 3/4 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
cupcake liners

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix packaged cake mix according to directions (do not bake). Line cupcake tins with liner, place a regular size Oreo cookie in the bottom of each liner. Take 1/2 of remaining cookies and chop coarsely and add to cake mix. Fill the cupcake tins. Bake for 15 minutes (or according to box directions). While cupcakes are baking make the frosting.

Cream together butter and cream cheese. Add vanilla, then add powdered sugar slowly until blended well. Chop remaining regular-sized Oreos very fine (I put the cookies in the food processor instead of trying to chop them up super fine and it worked out really well). Make sure there are no big chunks of cookie at all or they will get stuck in the tip of your icing bag and make them harder to frost! Add to frosting. After cupcakes have cooled frost and decorate with Mini Oreos.



Thursday, March 29, 2012

Barbecued Chicken Thighs




This is my favorite recipe for barbecued chicken thighs.
From Companies Coming "Year-Round Grilling" cookbook
Around 12 boneless, skinless chicken thighs (about 1 1/2 pounds)
1/4 cup ketchup
1/4 cup white vinegar
2 Tbsp soy sauce
1 Tbsp worcestershire sauce
1 tsp dried crushed chilies
1 Tbsp sugar

Pound chicken flat to even thickness.
Combine remaining 6 ingredients in a medium bowl or resealable freezer bag. Add chicken. Stir to coat. Cover or seal. Marinate in refrigerator for at least 2 hours or overnight. Drain and discard marinade. Preheat barbecue. Cook chicken on grill till done.. About 20-25 minutes.. Thighs don't take very long to cook so watch them!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Tuna Casserole

I have to say first off that my husband was a bit wary of having this dish when I told him what I was making for supper tonight.... He's not a huge tuna fan... But I found this recipe on Pinterest and really wanted to try it out to see if the "Skinnytaste" version of this casserole was as good as the regular version I've had before... I must say... It was just as good... Even better. And the husband gave it 2 thumbs up! So will be making this again for sure! If you want to see all the calories, WW points ect just check out the site here: skinnytaste Tuna Noodle Casserole

Here is the my version of the recipe, just a few tweaks:

Skinny Tuna Noodle Casserole

6 oz no yolk noodles - I used egg noodles
1 tbsp butter
1 medium onion, minced fine
3 tbsp flour
1 3/4 cups chicken broth
1 cup 1% milk
1 cup frozen peas (thawed)
2 (5 oz) cans tuna in water, drained (I used albacore)
4 oz cheddar cheese
cooking spray
2 tbsp parmesan cheese
2 tbsp whole wheat seasoned breadcrumbs

Cook noodles in salted water until al dente, or slightly undercooked by 2 minutes. Set aside.

Melt the butter in a large deep skillet. Add onions and cook on medium heat until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the flour and a pinch of salt and stir well, cooking an additional 2-3 minutes on medium-low heat

Preheat oven to 375°. Lightly spray 9 x 12 casserole with butter flavored cooking spray.


Slowly whisk in the chicken broth until well combined, increasing heat to medium and whisking well for 30 seconds, then add the milk and bring to a boil. When boiling, add peas, adjust salt and pepper to taste and simmer on medium, mixing occasionally until it thickens (about 6-7 minutes). Add drained tuna, stirring another minute.


Remove from heat and add 1 cup reduced fat sharp cheddar and mix well until it melts. Add the noodles to the sauce and mix well until evenly coated. Pour into casserole and top with parmesan cheese and breadcrumbs. Bake for about 20 - 25 minutes. Place under the broiler a few minutes to get the crumbs crisp (careful not to burn).

Friday, March 23, 2012

Shepard's Pie


This is a super easy and tasty casserole I make from time to time. It's nice because it has everything in one dish.... And you can make a couple up at a time and put one in the freezer for another date. I have no idea where I got this recipe from.., I just know I've had it forever in my recipe folder!





Ingredients:

1 lb ground beef
2 Tbsp cooking

1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped celery
( I only add these if I have them on hand... There have been times I will just use one or even none..)

2 Tbsp white flour
Salt & pepper to taste

1 cup boiling water
Beef bouillon cube

Frozen mixed vegetables (optional)

About 3 cups mashed potatoes... You can use leftovers if you have them on hand.

Hear oil in large frying pan. Add onion & celery and sauté till soft. Add ground beef and fry till pink is gone. If there is a lot of extra grease/fat, drain off. Sprinkle flour over meat. Add salt & pepper. Pour boiling water over beef bouillon and, when dissolved, pour into meat mixture. Mix and let simmer till starts to thicken. At this point I like to add about a cereal bowl size of frozen mixed vegetables. I like to add the veggies to make it more of a "complete" meal. Once the liquid starts to thicken, pour everything into a 1 1/2 quart casserole dish. Put mashed potatoes on top. Place in a pre-heated 350 degree F oven for about 30 minutes. Remove from oven and enjoy! If you were going to freeze this, skip the heating for 30 minutes stage... Just throw into freezer after you put the potatoes on top. Then thaw and heat till hot all the way through on the night your going to eat it!


Sunday, March 18, 2012

Thick and Chewy Chocolate Chip Bars

If you like chocolate chip cookies... You'll love this bar! Makes a 9x13 size pan so another good one for potlucks :) I used 1 cup white chocolate chips, 1 cup semi-sweet chips. Found on "Mel's Kitchen Cafe"

INGREDIENTS:
2 1/8 cups (10 1/2 ounces) all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
12 tablespoons butter (1 1/2 sticks), melted and cooled slightly
1 cup (7 ounces) light brown sugar
1/2 (3 1/2 ounces) cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups chocolate chips (use your preference of semisweet, bittersweet, milk, white, peanut butter…the options are endless!)

DIRECTIONS:
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Adjust the oven rack to lower-middle position. Line a 9X13-inch baking pan with foil, letting the excess hang over the edges of the pan by about 1 inch so you can grab those edges and pull the brownies from the pan after they have baked. Spray the foil-lined pan with nonstick cooking spray.

Mix the flour, salt, and baking soda together in medium bowl; set aside. Whisk the melted butter and sugars in a large bowl until combined. Add the egg, egg yolk, and vanilla and mix well. Using a rubber spatula, fold the dry ingredients into the egg mixture until just combined; do not overmix. Fold in the chocolate chips and turn the batter into the prepared pan, smoothing the top with the spatula.

Bake until the top of the bars is light golden brown, slightly firm to the touch, and edges start pulling away from sides of pan, 24-28 minutes. Cool on a wire rack to room temperature. Remove the bars from the pan by lifting the foil overhang and transfer them to a cutting board. Cut into 2-inch squares and serve.

Cookie Dough Topped Brownies

I made this brownie for a potluck I went to today... I will definitely be making it again!!! It's brownie on the bottom and "cookie dough" on the top. The cookie dough doesn't have raw eggs in it and isn't too sweet so it's a great brownie :) And it makes a 9x13 size pan... Perfect for potlucks!! I found this on "Mel's Kitchen Cafe" blog.

INGREDIENTS:
Brownie Layer:
1 12-ounce bag semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup (2 cubes) butter
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 large eggs at room temperature
1 1/2 cups flour

Cookie Dough Layer:
1/2 cup (1 cube) butter, softened
1/2 cup dark brown Sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
3 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
pinch of salt
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

For the brownies, preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium saucepan over low heat, melt butter and chocolate chips. Stir constantly and remove from heat when chips are fully melted. In the same pot, blend in the sugar. Then add eggs, blending fully one at a time. Add flour and salt and beat until air bubbles form in the batter. Pour into a greased 9 X 13-inch pan. Bake for 20 minutes. Turn heat down to 325 degrees and bake for 10 more minutes.

Cool completely and then top with the cookie dough layer.

For the cookie dough layer, in a small bowl, cream butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Beat in milk and vanilla. Gradually add flour and salt. Stir in chocolate chips. Drop by tablespoonfuls over cooled brownies; carefully spread over top (this can be tricky but I found the best way is to slightly wet my hands and pat the dough down gently so it doesn’t pull up the brownies). Cut into squares. Store in the refrigerator.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Fish "Taco's"


I had never eaten fish taco's in my life until last summer when we were on Vancouver Island and went to Fishermans Warf in Victoria for lunch. I ordered one and was like "why have I not had one of these before???" they were delicious!!! This is my own version of the fish taco which I make at home... You can adapt it easily to what flavors you and your family enjoy. It's a quick to prepare and tasty meal you'll want to make often :) so there is really no "recipe" just a bunch of ingredients that you assemble into a wrap and eat! This is what I put into ours...
~ Broccoli slaw or Rainbow Salad which is like broccoli slaw but with cauliflower ( the kind you get in a bag from the store)
~ Italian dressing - I use Epicure Italian Dressing Seasoning and add a little more vinegar
• I usually combine the slaw and dressing like an hour before and put it in the fridge so the flavors really get in to the veggies.
~ Flour tortilla wraps
~ Shredded cheese
~ I like sour cream on mine too!
~ White fish ( I just get the frozen stuff from the store and it tastes fine... Tonight I used Tilapia.)
• so you need to cook the fish. Tonight I did it on the BBQ cause I think it makes it extra flavorful... I put the fish on a piece of tin foil and then on my grill mesh "pan" from Epicure ( I find it easier to transport to and from the BBQ on this) Put some margarine in with it... I added Epicure Red Garlic Sansel and some lemon pepper seasoning tonight... But you can cook the fish inside if you want to... And be as simple or extravagant with your seasoning as you like.. I have just done salt & pepper with a squeeze of fresh lime on the fish before and that was very tasty!

So now you have all your ingredients... You just need to assemble!!!
Fish takes just minutes to cook so I think this is a quick and easy meal to prepare. I have also had these with salmon before... I hope you try it with your family!!!


Sunday, March 11, 2012

BBQ Ribs

My husband is amazing. He is also the BBQ master in our house :) The temperature has been rising these past couple of days on the Prairies... So that means the BBQ's are being fired up :) Randy made me these ribs on the BBQ tonight... There isn't so much of a recipe as there is a "technique" that he uses... He used baby back pork ribs.... First he boils them in a big pot of water for about 45 minutes or so till they are fully cooked. Then he pre-heats the BBQ and then, as he is putting the ribs on the BBQ, puts a bunch of BBQ sauce on them. Since they are already cooked, your just BBQing them for extra flavor. No special BBQ sauce... Just use your fave out of the bottle BBQ sauce. While BBQing the ribs, baste with more BBQ sauce.. Depending on how much sauce you like on them :) Finger lickin' good!

Friday, March 9, 2012

Chocolate Malted Cupcakes

So my wonderful husband turned 33 yesterday and of course you can't have a birthday with out cake!!! We had some family and friends over for a little celebration tonight... I had intentions of making a coconut cream cake and these chocolate malted cupcakes but my coconut cake just didn't happen... Almost, but the cake fell apart when I attempted to remove them from the pan and the icing flopped... So now the coconut cake is in my freezer in a bag waiting to be made into a trifle sometime soon!!! The cupcakes on the other hand were delish!!! I will for sure be making these again... And again...

Here is the recipe which I found on "Handle the Heat"

Chocolate Malt Cupcakes

Makes about 28
-I made 24 regular size cupcakes and about 10 mini cupcakes

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup cocoa powder
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup packed light-brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
1 1/4 cups malted milk powder ( can be found in the drink aisle Nestlé makes it)
1 cup vegetable oil
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1 cup sour cream, at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Chocolate Malt Buttercream (recipe follows)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners. Whisk together flour, cocoa, sugars, baking soda, and salt. In another bowl, whisk together the milk and malted milk powder until the powder is dissolved.

With an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat flour mixture, milk mixture, and oil until combined. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until each is incorporated, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Add sour cream and vanilla, and beat until just combined.

Divide batter evenly among lined cups, filling each halfway. Bake, rotating tins halfway through, until a cake tested inserted comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Cupcakes can be stores up to 3 days at room temperature, or frozen up to 2 months, in airtight containers.

Chocolate Malt Buttercream

From Southern Living

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
5 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup malted milk powder
1/2 cup milk, plus more if necessary
chocolate covered malt balls to garnish
( I used malteasers)
Beat butter, vanilla, and salt with an electric mixer until smooth. In a separate bowl, sift together sugar, cocoa powder, and malted milk powder. Gradually add sugar mixture alternatively with the milk in 3 additions. Beat until smooth, adding more milk until desired consistency is achieved. Remove frosting to a piping bag fitted with a tip of your choosing and pipe onto cupcakes. Place a malt ball on the top of each cupcake.


Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Sizzling Beef with Scallions And Black Bean Recipe

This recipe is from Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution... It uses leftover rice but you can make rice up earlier if you don't have any left over.

Here's the recipe: (This recipe is taken from Jamie's Food Revolution) Jamie Oliver

Ingredients:
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup long-grain or basmati rice
1 1/2 pound top loin or sirloin
A thumb-sized piece of fresh ginger
2 clove of garlic
a fresh red chile
2 scallions
A small bunch of fresh cilantro
2 tablespoons sesame oil
Peanut or vegetable oil
2 tablespoons of good-quality black bean sauce
2-3 tablespoons soy sauce
2 limes
1 egg, preferably free-range or organic

To prepare your stir-fry:

Bring a pan of salted water to a boil, add the rice and cook according to the package instructions. Drain the rice in a strainer, run it under a cold tap to cool, then allow to dry out in the fridge. Trim any excess fat from your steak and slice the meat into finger-sized strips. Peel and finely slice the ginger and garlic ( I mince the garlic and grate the fresh ginger)
Finely slice the chile. Cut the ends off your scallions and finely slice. Pick the cilantro leaves and put to one side, and finely chop the cilantro stalks. Get yourself a big bowl and put in the ginger, garlic, chile, scallions, cilantro stalks, and steak strips. Add the sesame oil ( or olive oil) and mix everything together. I have done this step ( meat and herbs and oil ) in advance and let it all marinate together.
This works best with rice that has completely chilled down or, better yet, has been made earlier and kept in the refrigerator. But if you can’t prepare rice for this dish in advance, you can still cook it and pop into the refrigerator while you’re cooking the rest.

To prepare your stir-fry:
Bring a pan of salted water to a boil, add the rice and cook according to the package instructions. Drain the rice in a strainer, run it under a cold tap to cool, then allow to dry out in the fridge. Trim any excess fat from your steak and slice the meat into finger-sized strips. Peel and finely slice the ginger and garlic. Finely slice the chile. Cut the ends off your scallions and finely slice. Pick the cilantro leaves and put to one side, and finely chop the cilantro stalks. Get yourself a big bowl and put in the ginger, garlic, chile, scallions, cilantro stalks, and steak strips. Add the sesame oil and mix everything together.

To cook your stir-fry:
Preheat a wok or large frying pan on a high heat and once it’s very, very hot add a good lug of peanut oil and swirl it around. Add all your chopped ingredients from the bowl. Give the pan a really good shake to mix everything around quickly. Stir-fry for 2 minutes, taking care to keep everything moving so it doesn’t burn. Add the black bean sauce, and stir in 1 tablespoon of soy sauce and the juice of half a lime. Keep tossing. Taste and season with black pepper and a little more soy sauce. Remove the pan from the heat, transfer everything to a bowl, and cover with aluminum foil. Give the pan a quick wipe with ball of paper towels and put back on the heat. Add a lug of oil and swirl it around. Crack in your egg and add a tablespoon of soy sauce - the egg will cook very quickly, so keep stirring. Once it’s scrambled, stir in your chilled rice, scraping the sides and the bottom of the pan as you go. Keep mixing for a few minutes until the rice is steaming hot, then taste and season with a little soy sauce.

To serve your stir-fry:
Divide the rice between two bowls or plates. Spoon over the meat and black bean sauce and sprinkle over the cilantro leaves. Serve with wedges of lime — great!






Monday, March 5, 2012

Man-Pleasing chicken

I was looking for an easy recipe to make for lunch today and decided to give this recipe I found on Pinterest a try. Only 4 ingredients (including the chicken thighs) how easy is that!!! I used Aunt Jamima's syrup but would recommend using a better maple syrup as the sauce (still tasty!) has a weird texture, not really "saucy" like it should be. I also doubled the recipe as I needed to make 12 thighs.

Here is the recipe from Witty in the City blog

Preheat your oven to 450ºF.

Then, mix together:
1/2 cup of dijon mustard
1/4 cup of maple syrup
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar

Put a 1.5 pounds (about 6) chicken thighs into an oven-proof baking dish. salt and pepper the thighs. Pour your maple mustard mixture over them, turning the thighs in the mixture so they are fully coated.
Put the chicken thighs into the oven, and let them bake for 40 minutes or until a meat thermometer reads 155ºF. Baste the tops of the chicken with more sauce half way through.
Let the chicken rest for 5 minutes before serving.
Plate the chicken, making sure to spoon some extra sauce over the top. Sprinkle over some fresh rosemary.