Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Whole Wheat Banana Bread

In my house, bananas are one of those things that are always unpredictable. One week, my kids will go through a bunch of them in a matter of a few days, the next week, they sit in the bowl untouched until I need to throw them into the freezer. No matter what though, no banana is wasted! They go in smoothies, on cereal, in muffins, breads, and more! 
Last week, as I was looking through my freezer, I realized I had lots of frozen bananas. I decided to make this version of banana bread since it is a little healthier than our other kind. I wasn't sure what my kids would think since they had never tried this version before and surprisingly, they LOVED it! It had a slight cinnamon flavor to it and my kids happily ate it up! Definitely a great way to use up those extra bananas!!

Ingredients:

2 eggs
3 bananas, mashed
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg

Directions:

In a medium bowl, combine the eggs, bananas, sugar, and applesauce. Add in the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Pour mixture into one large, greased, loaf pan, or into 4 greased mini loaf pans. Bake in a preheated oven, 350, for about 35-40 minutes if using mini pans, or about 45-50 minutes if making one large loaf. Enjoy!



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Monday, April 14, 2014

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cheesecake Bars

If you have been following this blog for a while, you know that I have a major slight obsession with anything chocolate. If you add in peanut butter, I am in Heaven!! This past Friday, I decided to make these for the hubby and I to enjoy over the weekend! Not only were they simple to make, but the flavor was AMAZING!!! Another favorite of mine is cheesecake, so you can understand the excitement of having a dessert that includes all 3 of my favorite things (chocolate, peanut butter, and cheesecake)!! 

Ingredients:

2 cups crushed Oreo's
4 tbsp butter, melted
2 packages cream cheese (16 oz total) softened
1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 cup peanut butter (I used creamy, crunchy works great too)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
2 tbsp whipping cream

Directions:

Mix the Oreo crumbs and melted butter together in a bowl. Once combined, press crumb mixture into the bottom of a foil lined 8x8 pan. Bake in a preheated oven, 350, for about 10 minutes. Remove and set aside. Combine the cream cheese and sugar and mix until fluffy. Add in the eggs, one at a time. Mix in the peanut butter and vanilla. Pour mixture on top of crumb crust and bake in oven for about 35-40 minutes, or until edges are somewhat firm and center is slightly jiggly. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely. In a small bowl, combine the chocolate chips and whipping cream. Melt in the microwave in 30 second increments. Once completely smooth, pour on top of cheesecake. Place entire pan into the refrigerator for a minimum of four hours. Cut into desired size bars. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator!





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Friday, April 11, 2014

Tropical Dream Cocktail

With the sun finally coming out and the weather improving, it makes me feel like summer will be here in no time!! Last weekend, my hubby and I decided to make this Tropical Dream to enjoy one evening, and let me tell ya, this drink tastes just like something you would drink on a tropical vacation!! It was SO tasty and simple to make! It only uses 3 ingredients, so this recipe is a breeze!! 


Ingredients:

2 oz Malibu Rum
1 oz Blue Curaco
5 oz pineapple juice

Directions:

Fill a 10 oz glass with ice. Pour in the Malibu Rum and Blue Curaco. Next, add in the pineapple juice. *You can add more or less juice to desired taste. Stir and enjoy!!






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Thursday, April 10, 2014

Apple Cobbler Dump Cake

Last night, my family had my parents over for dinner. I had made our Game Day chili with cornbread muffins. Since I wanted to include a dessert, but didn't have a lot of time to prepare something, I decided to throw this dump cake together!! Not only are dump cakes SO easy, but they have so much flavor!! I used fresh apples in it since I had several to use up. You can use apple pie filling if you are short on time, just be sure to use about 2 cans worth, or enough to fill up your baking pan!! And of course, don't forget the vanilla ice-cream!!

Ingredients:

Apples (I used 6 apples, cored and sliced thin, skin was still on, but you could peel the apples if desired)
1 box yellow cake mix (you can also use spice cake for more flavor)
Ground Cinnamon
1 stick butter, melted

Directions:

Core and slice your apples. Grease a 9x13 baking pan. Dump apples on the bottom and spread out evenly. Sprinkle desired amount of ground cinnamon on top of the apples. Sprinkle yellow cake mix on top of apples covering thoroughly. *You may not need to use all of the cake mix, just sprinkle the cake mix on top until the apples are covered entirely.
Melt the butter and pour it evenly over cake mix. Bake in a preheated oven, 350, for about 35-45 minutes. If you notice patches of dry cake mix that was not covered with the butter, you can lightly sprinkle some water over the area.
Remove from oven and scoop into bowls with a scoop of vanilla ice-cream!! Enjoy!!!


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Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Clone of the Cinnabon Rolls

Since my kids spring break is this week, my hubby decided to take Monday and Tuesday off, so we could all do some fun activities around the area. Yesterday, while my son was taking an art class, my hubby decided to make these cinnamon rolls for us, from scratch!! What a guy, right?? Since my entire family loves a yummy cinnamon roll, everyone was excited to see how they would turn out. When we bit into the first one, we knew immediately, these were now our new favorite cinnamon rolls! Out with the packaged ones, in with the homemade ones! They tasted EXACTLY like the Cinnabon rolls!!! Hope you enjoy them as much as we do!!!


Ingredients:

1 quart whole milk
1 cup butter
3/4 cup sugar
2 packages active dry yeast, .25 oz packets
8 cups all purpose flour + 1 cup
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tbsp salt
Melted Butter
2 cups brown sugar ( +2 more cups)
Ground Cinnamon

Frosting:

3 oz cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/8 tsp salt

Directions:

Mix the quart of milk, 1 cup butter, and 1 cup sugar in a pan. Bring almost to a boil, just "scald" the milk. Remove from heat and allow to cool until just warm. Add in the 2 packages of yeast.
Transfer liquid mixture to a bowl and add in the 8 cups flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Cover bowl with a towel and allow to rise for an hour. After it has risen, turn out onto a floured surface and add in one more cup of flour, kneading it all in. 
Take about 1/2 the dough and roll it out into a rectangle. Cover with a thin layer of melted butter, sprinkle liberally with the brown sugar and ground cinnamon. Starting with the long side away from you,  roll the dough up towards you. Fold the dough up and pinch it closed. Take a knife and cut about 2 1/2 inch sections. Place them into a greased pan, almost touching each other. Follow same process with other half of dough. Once they are all cut and placed into the pan, allow them to rise for an additional 20 minutes. Bake in a preheated oven, 400, for about 15 minutes!
While cooking, combine the cream cheese, butter, powdered sugar, vanilla, and salt in a bowl. Once cinnamon rolls are baked, remove from oven and frost immediately! Serve!!







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Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Aunt Gwen's Apple Pie

There is nothing better than a slice of homemade apple pie, right? It is always so tasty, especially when paired with a scoop of vanilla ice-cream!! This recipe has been in our family for many years, it originally came from my great grandma, but was passed down, and now my Aunt Gwen makes it!!! It is quite simple to make, and the taste is amazing!!! *This uses store bought crust, you can also make a homemade crust if preferred!!

Ingredients:

6 Granny Smith apples, peeled and sliced
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup flour
Cinnamon, to taste
8 tbsp butter
1 store bought crust, or homemade crust

Directions:

In the bottom pie crust, place the sliced/peeled apples. Sprinkle the sugar, flour, and cinnamon on top of the apples. Next, cut up the 8 tbsp of butter and place over the apple mixture. Place the top pie crust on top and seal edges using a fork. Carefully cut slits into the top of the crust. Bake in a preheated oven, 350, for about 60 minutes, or until the apple are tender! Remove from oven and serve!!
*If edges of crust are getting too brown, you can cover with foil to keep them from burning!





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Monday, April 7, 2014

Sweet Potato and Black Bean Taquitos

Once a week, I love trying meatless meals. Not only are they typically a little easier to prepare (since there is no cooking of meat involved), but it is also fun to experiment with new combinations of foods!! These taquito's had SO much flavor and my kids especially loved them! I ended up freezing the leftovers and my hubby has brought them to work for lunches!! 

Ingredients:

2 cups cooked sweet potatoes, cubed
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup corn
1 cup Mexican blend cheese, shredded
4 oz cream cheese, melted
1 cup salsa, any kind you prefer
1 tsp Chile powder
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp salt
10 flour tortillas
1 tbsp melted butter
1 tbsp olive oil
Sour Cream for serving

Directions:

In a large bowl, mix the sweet potatoes with the black beans, corn, and cheese. In a separate bowl, combine the cream cheese, salsa, Chile powder, ground cumin, and salt. Pour mixture over sweet potato mixture and toss to combine thoroughly. Preheat oven to 375 and line a baking sheet with tin foil. Lay the tortillas flat and scoop mixture evenly into each tortilla. Roll tight to seal and place seam side down on the baking tray. In a small bowl, combine the melted butter and olive oil. Brush over the top of the tortillas. Bake in oven about 15 minutes, or until golden brown. Serve with sour cream!!


















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Sunday, April 6, 2014

Blueberry Muffins

In my family, our most favorite type of muffin, is a blueberry muffin. I do not know why, after the hundred's of muffin varieties we try, we always end up picking the basic blueberry as our favorite. In the summer, during blueberry season, the kids and I head to the local pick farm and pick as many blueberries as we can. We come home and wash them up, and stick them in the freezer. Over the year, we use them in as many things as we can. Since we are already running low, we cannot wait for July to come around so we can pick some more!!! 

Ingredients:

1/2 cup butter, room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
2 cups flour
1/2 cup milk
2 cups blueberries (I used frozen, but fresh work too)

Directions:

In a large bowl, combine the butter and sugar until smooth and creamy. Add in the eggs, vanilla, baking powder, salt, flour, and milk. Stir until just combined. Fold in the blueberries being careful not to over-mix, which can cause the batter to turn purple. Line a muffin tray with liners or grease. Scoop batter evenly into each cup. *The batter is thick, this is okay, use two spoons to scoop into muffin tins if preferred.
Bake in a preheated oven, 375, for about 20 minutes, or until slightly golden. Remove from oven and enjoy!!






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Saturday, April 5, 2014

Peep Bars

With Easter coming up, I love going through all the fun, festive, candy aisles. I know, quite dangerous going through there right? When I come to those Reese's eggs, I am doomed. It is absolutely impossible to pass the eggs without grabbing five one right?? Another spot of the aisle that is hard to avoid is those darn Peeps. Although I am not a huge fan, my kids love them. I blame the fact that they are quite colorful, marshmallows, and in the cutest shapes. My kids BEG me for them! Last week, we grabbed two boxes of them, but by the time we got home, the kids forgot all about them. I decided to put them aside and use them in a dessert. When the kids saw these bars, they were SO excited!!! Not only were they quite easy and festive for the upcoming Holiday, but they are so kid friendly too!!! I wasn't too sure if I would like them or not since I am not a huge Peep fan, however, after one bite, I determined, these were AMAZING!!! The bottom layer is similar to a brownie, and then the top has a marshmallow, sugary top which is great!! Add in a slight crunch from the M & M's and you have a winner!!! 

Ingredients:

1 box chocolate cake mix
2 eggs
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 packages of Peeps (24)
1-2 cups of Easter blend M & M's

Directions:

Line a 9x13 baking pan with tin foil and lightly grease. Set aside. In a bowl, combine the cake mix, eggs, and oil. The mixture will be thick, that is okay. Press mixture evenly into the bottom of the greased/lined pan. Bake in a preheated oven, 350, for 12 minutes. While cake is baking, chop Peeps into small pieces. Remove cake from oven after 12 minutes and quickly sprinkle the Peeps evenly over the cake. Place back into oven for about 5-6 minutes, or until the marshmallows are just starting to toast. Remove from oven and sprinkle M & M's on top. Allow to cool completely. Using a sharp knife, cut into desired size pieces. Store in an airtight container at room temperature! Enjoy!

Press mixture into the bottom of the lined/greased pan

Chop the Peeps into small pieces, I know....sad little Peep bunnies right??

Here are the M & M's I used, yummy!!

Cooling from the oven!

Ready to enjoy!!








Recipe Adapted From: The Domestic Rebel

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Friday, April 4, 2014

Slow Cooker Chicken Fajitas

Yesterday morning, on my way out the door for the day, I quickly threw some ingredients in the slow cooker, and away I went. When I came home, several hours later, my house smelled amazing, like a yummy fajita dinner!! Not only did these fajitas have so much flavor, but clearly, based on me being gone all day, they were so simple to make. Even my kids went crazy over them! The kids refer to them as tacos since they are in a tortilla. Pretty much anything in a tortilla is referred to as a taco in my household, hehe! Hope you enjoy them as much as we did, : )

Ingredients:

1/4 cup butter
1 onion, sliced
2 green bell peppers, sliced
2-3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (I used frozen)
1 packet dry Fajita seasoning
1/2 cup salsa
Tortillas/Mexican shredded cheese/Sour Cream/Salsa/Cilantro

Directions:

Turn the slow cooker on low and add the butter to the bottom. Place sliced onion and green peppers on bottom. Place chicken on top of peppers/onions. Sprinkle seasoning on top of chicken, and pour salsa on last. Cover with lid and cook on low for about 7 hours, or high for about 4. Once cooked, use two forks to shred the chicken. Serve into a tortilla shell and top with desired toppings!! Enjoy!!









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