Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Easy Snickerdoodle Blondies

I found this recipe a while back on Facebook.  I visited the website and I LOVE it - Six Sister's Stuff. You have to check out this fun site - you will love it.  It seems like many of my bar recipes contain peanut butter and I was looking for a new recipe without peanut butter.  I have made Blondies before  - I love this Easy Snickerdoodle Blondie recipe from Six Sister's Stuff.  I had all of the ingredients and whipped them up quickly for a friend.  I love an easy recipe that calls for ingredients that I always have on hand!

Easy Snickerdoodle Blondies (adapted from Six Sister's Stuff)

2 sticks salted butter, softened
2 eggs
1 Tbsp vanilla
2 2/3 cup flour
2 tsp baking powder
2 cups packed brown sugar

2 Tbsp white sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon

Combine butter, eggs, brown sugar and vanilla using an electric mixer.  Add the dry ingredients - mixing well.  Spread into a greased 9 x 13 baking dish.  The batter will be thick like a cookie dough. Combine topping ingredients in a small bowl and sprinkle evenly over the top of the batter.  Bake at 350 for 25 minutes or until top springs back when pressed.  Bars will firm up as they cool.  

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Sunday, April 13, 2014

Fiesta Salad

We had our monthly birthday lunch at preschool a couple of weeks ago.  Everyone likes Mexican food so we often choose this as our theme.  I wanted to take something on the healthier side so I decided to make up a recipe - similar to a Black Bean and Corn Salad/Salsa recipe I found years back in Southern Living.  I had purchased a bag of frozen roasted corn from Trader Joe's.  I decided to start with that. I know everyone doesn't have access to Trader Joe's so any frozen or fresh corn would do.  However, I love this roasted corn if you can find it.  Pretty much, I decided to be creative.  You can do the same by adding black beans, avocado, jalepeno, etc.    We loved it!

One more thing, Cotija Cheese is like a mild Mexican Feta Cheese.  Great addition to any dish!

Fiesta Salad

1  16 oz bag Trader Joe's frozen roasted corn
1  container grape tomatoes - sliced
1 purple onion, finely chopped
1 cup Cojita Cheese, crumbled
chopped cilantro to taste
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. ground pepper
4 Tbsp fresh lime juice
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 - 2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar

Thaw corn.  Mix all ingredients together and refrigerate for several hours or overnight.  Enjoy!

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Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Reese's Peanut Butter Chocolate Pudding Cookies

I LOVE peanut butter and chocolate.  I usually like plain chocolate chip cookies but I thought these cookies were WAY yummy.

One of the Four Year Old Classes at preschool is collecting recipes for a project.  A sweet fun mom from my afternoon class shared this recipe.  I was headed down to see my girls in Texas last weekend and I couldn't wait to try these.  I love them.  This is a great new recipe to add to my cookie repertoire.  Give them a try!!

Reese's Peanut Butter Chocolate Pudding Cookies

Makes 70-80 cookies!

2 ¼ cup all- purpose flour                             2 large eggs
1 teaspoon baking soda                                 1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt                                          1 Tbsp honey
1 (3.4 ounce) box instant vanilla pudding        1 cup milk chocolate chips
3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened                   1 cup Reese’s pieces candy
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter                        1 cup peanut butter chips
1/2 cup sugar                                                                   
1/2 cup light brown sugar

Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper or a Silpat.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, salt and pudding; set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter, peanut butter, sugar and brown sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 to 4 minutes.  Add eggs, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.

Add vanilla extract and honey and beat until combined. 
Reduce speed to low and add flour mixture, beat to combine. 
Add chocolate chips, Reese’s pieces and peanut butter chips and mix until incorporated. 
Roll a tablespoon or so of dough into a 1 inch ball between your palms and then place it on the prepared baking sheet.   Repeat with the remaining dough, spacing the balls about 2 inches apart (you should be able to fit 12-16 cookies on each sheet). 
Using your palm, gently flatten the dough balls until they are about ¾ inch thick.

Bake 10 minutes. Remove from oven, let cool for a couple minutes and enjoy!     

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Monday, March 31, 2014

Chipotle Black Bean Chili - Slow Cooker

Anytime I am over at my friend Donna's house, I love to see what recipe is out on her counter and what is cooking.  She is great about digging in cookbooks and finding that yummy recipe.  She always has something for me to taste when I drop by.  I love it!!  She is also from the South  - we share a love for good food.

I make pretty traditional chili.  Donna's family loves this recipe so I wanted to give it a try.  This is another slow cooker recipe so I tried it recently when our girls were home.  I hate to spend all of time cooking when they are back for a visit so the slow cooker is the perfect solution.

I had leftover chipotle peppers in adobo sauce - plus cilantro and avocado.  Also, I browned my meat and mixed everything together the night before so I could just throw it in the slow cooker the next morning.  I don't usually have a lot of extra time in the morning.

You will love this new spin on chili!

  We decided the chili had so much flavor - it didn't need the cilantro.  Chris did top his with purple             onion, sour cream and cheese.  I used hot sausage so the chili had a pretty good kick to it.

Chipotle Black Bean Chili

1 1/2 lbs ground beef, ground pork, bulk pork sausage, ground turkey, etc.  (I did 1 pound ground beef                  and half pound hot Italian sausage)
2 (14 oz) cans reduced sodium beef broth
1 (16 oz) jar mild or medium chunky salsa
1 (15 oz) can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 (15 oz) can golden hominy, rinsed and drained
2 cups loose-pack frozen diced hash browns with onions and peppers
1-2 chipotle chile peppers in adobo sauce, finely chopped (handle carefully)
2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp cumin
Toppings - avocado, shredded cheese, etc.

In a large skillet, cook meat until brown, drain.  Transfer to 4-5 quart slow cooker,  Stir in broth, salsa, beans, hominy, potatoes, peppers, chili powder, oregano and cumin.  Cover,  Cook on low 7- 8 hours. Top with avocado and/or cheese.  Makes six servings.

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