I don't know about you, but loaded mashed potatoes are one of my most favorite side dishes. If I have a get together, it is one dish that is a must have. Not only is it easy to make, but you can make it the night before and have one less thing to do the day of an event. You can turn the leftovers into potato pancakes or make a Shepard's pie. My hubby and I made this dish as part of our Valentine's day dinner. We decided to spend Valentine's day at home and make a special dinner after the kids went to bed. We grilled some steak, made these potatoes, and roasted some asparagus. Needless to say, it was delicious!! Hope you enjoy them as much as we do, : )
Friday, March 7, 2014
Thursday, March 6, 2014
A few days ago, I was having one of those "crazy" mornings. You know, the kind where the kids follow behind making a mess of everything, can't find what you are looking for, and can hardly think straight. Well, I had planned on making a loaf of bread with dinner that evening, but by the time I remembered, it was too late since it would not be done in time. I decided to try these rolls out, using the bread machine still, but merely making the dough instead of using the whole cycle. These rolls were AMAZING. I had them in the machine in under 5 minutes. The dough was ready about 1 1/2 hours later, depends on your machine of course, and they only took 15 minutes to bake. My entire family was quite impressed and ate them up happily. My kids dipped them into raw honey for a yummy treat!
8 oz warm milk
2 tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
1/4 cup soft butter
2 3/4 cups bread flour
2 tsp dry yeast
Add the ingredients to your bread machine pan in the order written above. Lock pan into bread machine and press the dough cycle. Once completed, remove pan from the machine and remove dough. Shape into 12 rolls. Allow to rise 1 hour. Bake in a preheated oven, 375, for about 15 minutes, or until golden brown. Serve! Once cooled, store in an airtight container.
Wednesday, March 5, 2014
A few weeks ago, while at Costco, I picked up a huge container of coconut oil. I don't know about you, but I have been seeing TONS of articles and facts on all the benefits of it. I decided to try it out. I have been slowly adapting it into more and more of my cooking and so far, LOVE it. I use it to grease pans and trays, in place of shortening, in place of vegetable oil, and more. I recently came across a version of fudge using coconut oil and knew I had to try it. After making a few changes, this fudge took about 5 minutes to make, and I was taste testing in about 10 minutes!! Not only was this SO yummy, I didn't feel guilty eating one because it isn't nearly as bad for you as a regular recipe of fudge!!
1/2 cup coconut oil (melted but not hot)
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/2 cup peanut butter (I used my homemade recipe)
1/4 cup raw honey
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Line a muffin tray with liners. Place all ingredients into a bowl and using a whisk, mix until combined. Slowly pour mixture into the muffin cups, filling each cup about 1/2 inch full. Place muffin tray into freezer for 10 minutes, or refrigerator for 30 minutes. Enjoy!! *I used silicone muffin cups and they worked great. I like to store the extra fudge cups in the fridge when we aren't ready to eat them so they stay completely firm.
Tuesday, March 4, 2014
This past weekend, my parents had us over for a yummy Sunday lunch. She made her delicious pot roast, mashed potatoes, and veggies!! Then, she made this amazing dump cake for dessert!! I watched her put it together and it was so simple. This was my first time seeing how a dump cake was made and WOW, those are easy to make! The flavor was great and all of us happily ate it up! I have a feeling this is just the beginning of our adventures with dump cakes. Stay tuned for many more, hehe!!
1 (29 oz) can sliced peaches w/ juice
1 box yellow cake mix
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 cup nuts, chopped (optional)
Vanilla Ice Cream (optional but highly recommended)
Pour can of peaches and juice into the bottom of a 9x13 baking pan. You can cut peaches smaller if desired. Sprinkle dry cake mix on top of the peaches. Carefully spoon the melted butter on top of the cake mix. Sprinkle the nuts on top, if using. Bake in a preheated oven, 325, for about 45-50 minutes, or until bubbly and golden brown. Serve with a scoop of vanilla ice-cream!
Monday, March 3, 2014
Have you ever been to Olive Garden and ordered their "Zuppa Toscana" soup? If not, its definitely a must try. It has always been one of my most favorite things to order off their menu. Now, it can be made from home using this simple recipe. I made this a few nights ago for my family, and we all loved it. We had my mom over for dinner that night, and she too, loved it. I was hesitant to give it to the kids since sometimes they can be picky, but they actually thoroughly enjoyed it and said "this is the best soup ever". Since I have made many soups over the years, I would call that compliment pretty darn good, : )
4 slices bacon, crumbled
1 lb Italian Sausage, casings removed (I used mild due to my kids, but spicy would add a bit more flavor)
1 tbsp olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 onion, diced
4 1/2 cups chicken broth
3 Russet potatoes, sliced thin
3 cups baby spinach
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
Salt/Pepper to taste
Cook the bacon however you prefer (we use the oven) and set aside. Cook the Italian sausage in a skillet until cooked through. Drain fat and set aside. Heat the olive oil in a dutch oven or large pan. Add in the onion and garlic, allowing to cook about 3 minutes. Slowly add in the chicken broth. Once boiling, add in the potatoes and cook for about 10 minutes, or until potatoes are tender. Add in the spinach and stir until spinach is wilted, about 2-3 minutes. Add in heavy cream and stir until mixed in. Sprinkle desired amount of salt and pepper in. Allow to simmer on low heat for about 5 minutes. Serve warm!
Sunday, March 2, 2014
With St. Patrick's Day coming up, I decided to make these festive trifles. I had gone to my grocery store and found mini trifle bowls. They were too cute to pass up, especially since one of my favorite desserts to make, is a trifle. I looked around my pantry, found some basic ingredients and threw these together in no time. Not only were they a huge hit, but they were just the right amount!! If you are looking for a delicious St. Patty's day treat, look no further!! This can be made in a normal size trifle bowl, or mini dishes, totally up to you!
1 package brownie mix (enough to make an 8x8 tray) *you can also use a homemade brownie recipe
1 (3.4 oz) box vanilla pudding
8 oz cool whip
Green food coloring
Mint Oreo's, crushes
Cook brownies according to directions. Allow to cool completely. Make pudding according to directions. Once pudding is done, add in a few drops of green food coloring, or until desired shade of green is reached. Take a Ziploc bag and place a few Oreo's inside. Seal the bag and smash the bag to crush the Oreo's.
To assemble trifle; layer cut up brownie, a layer of pudding, a layer of cool whip, another layer of cut up brownie, a layer of pudding, and a few crushed Oreo's on top!! Chill in refrigerator until ready to serve!! *You can also use pistachio pudding if you don't want to use food coloring!
Saturday, March 1, 2014
Saturday mornings, my family likes to enjoy muffins or something new. This morning, I woke up to my daughter saying she didn't feel too good. I asked her if she was in the mood for anything in particular and she said "banana muffins sound yummy", so that's what mama made! These banana oat muffins were simple to make, allowed me to use up some of the bananas that were getting ready to get thrown in the freezer due to being "too brown" (that is what my kids call it, haha), and most of all, these muffins are not too bad for you! These were the perfect Saturday morning breakfast!!
Thursday, February 27, 2014
Oh my word these are OUT OF THIS WORLD AMAZING! If you love chocolate and peanut butter, these are a must try. Not only are they simple, but the flavor is amazing! I made these last weekend and my husband and I loved them. I ended up making a 9x13 tray of them, so I sent the remaining brownies to work with my husband. He called me up mid morning and told me they were all gone. Mid morning, gone! I would say those were a hit huh? I will definitely be making these again!! I love anything with chocolate and peanut butter, so these were Heaven to me, ; )
1 1/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup flour
3/4 cup cocoa powder
3/4 cup butter, melted
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup creamy peanut butter
2 cups powdered sugar
1 stick butter, softened
3 tbsp milk
Reese's peanut butter pieces (m & m's)
1/2 cup chocolate chips, semi sweet, melted
In a mixing bowl, combine the sugar, flour, cocoa powder, eggs, melted butter, and salt. Mix until just combined. Pour into a greased 9x13 baking pan. Bake in a preheated oven, 350, for about 30 minutes. Allow brownies to cool completely. Meanwhile, combine the peanut butter, powdered sugar, butter, and milk in a bowl. Once brownies are cooled, spread the frosting on to the brownies to desired thickness. Sprinkle Reese's pieces on top of frosting. Drizzle the melted chocolate chips on top of the Reese's Pieces. Cut into desired size pieces and enjoy!! Store in an airtight container!
Last weekend, I decided to make this for our Sunday dinner. Not only was it quick to make, but I loved the fresh flavor of it, the yummy spinach that my kids happily ate, and the lemon zest in it. It was very light tasting and had us all going back for more. You can have this as a side dish or main meal, and you can add in chicken, Italian sausage, salmon, etc. There are lots of ways to change this up, so have fun with it and enjoy!!
1 lb spaghetti (I use whole wheat)
6 tbsp olive oil
9 garlic cloves, minced
Zest from one lemon
Juice of one lemon (use fresh if possible)
10 oz bag of spinach
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground pepper
Dash red pepper flakes (optional)
In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add garlic and allow to cook for about 10 minutes. Add in the lemon zest and juice. Season with salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes, adding more if desired. In a large pot, boil water and cook pasta until al dente. Drain pasta and add the sauce in stirring well. Add in the spinach, uncooked at this point, and cover pot with lid for about 2-3 minutes. Open lid and toss pasta. The spinach should be steamed from the heat of the pasta and sauce. Serve warm! Sprinter Parmesan cheese on top if desired.
Wednesday, February 26, 2014
A few weeks ago, I made this dish for dinner, and let me tell ya, this was one of my most favorite dinners EVER!! Not only was it incredibly easy to make, but the flavor was amazing!!! My entire family went back for second helpings! I will definitely be making this again and again, and again, hehe!!!
16 oz Farfalle pasta
1 cup heavy whipping cream
2-3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tbsp ground black pepper
1/3 cup butter
6 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
1 (12 oz) bottle Mesquite marinade w/ lime juice
Place the chicken and the Mesquite marinade in a slow cooker. Place lid on top and cook on low for about 6 hours, high for about 4 hours. Pull the chicken out of the slow cooker once cooked and shred using a fork. Set aside.
In a small pan, melt the butter. Add in the whipping cream, garlic, pepper, bacon, and Parmesan cheese. Whisk together for about 5 minutes on low heat. While cooking the sauce, boil water and cook the pasta until al dente. Once pasta is cooked, drain water. Pour sauce mixture on top of pasta and mix until thoroughly coated. Toss in chicken. Serve warm and sprinkle additional cheese on top if desired.