Friday, November 14, 2014

Cranberry-Jalapeno Cream Cheese Dip


I know it says cranberry salsa. One in the same. :) This dip is so freaking delicious. You will count down the days/months until cranberries come back in season just so you can make this. Its the PERFECT holiday appetizer. It looks extravagant and beautiful and it will knock your socks off. I'm taking it to a party tomorrow! This recipe is from my sister-in-law, Paige Allred.

CRANBERRY-JALAPENO CREAM CHEESE DIP
Ingredients:
 12 oz fresh cranberries
4-5 green onions
1/4 c chopped fresh cilantro
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely diced
1 c sugar
1/2 t cumin
2 T fresh lemon juice (from about one lemon)
1/8 t salt
1 (8oz) packages of cream cheese, light or regular, softened
Crackers (I like wheat thins best)

Pulse crans in food processor or blender until coarsely chopped. Add green onions, cilantro, jalapeno, sugar, cumin, lemon juice and salt. and pulse until ingredients are mixed. Transfer to a covered Tupperware and refrigerate for four hours so the flavors develop and crans lose a little tartness. When ready to serve, place block of cream cheese on plate and pour salsa on top. Refrigerate up to one hour before serving. (You can also choose to spread the cream cheese out into a thin layer and then spread salsa on top).

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Swig Sugar Cookie


Need I say more??? To die for! I've had the real thing and this taste exactly the same if my taste buds are remembering correctly! Found this on blog posted at bottom of pic. 
WARNING: Do not make unless you have someone to share with! You will eat them all! Trust me! and these make a lot!!! 


Ingredients:
1 C Butter (room temperature)
3/4 C Vegetable Oil
1 1/4 C Sugar
3/4 C Powdered Sugar
2 T Water
2 Eggs
1/2 t Baking Soda
1/2 t Cream of Tarter
1 t Salt
5 1/2 C Flour

Cream together Butter, Vegetable Oil, Sugars, Water, and Eggs.

Combine dry ingredients and slowly add to butter mixture.

Mix until everything is combined.  Your dough should be a little crumbly and not sticky at all.

Roll a golf ball sized ball of dough and place it on your cookie sheet

Now its time to give these babies their signature rough edge.  Put 1/4 c of sugar and a pinch of salt in a dish (this is in addition to the sugar and salt listed above.)  Stick the bottom of a glass in it.  This is going to be your cookie press.

Firmly press it into the center of your dough ball.  You want your dough to spill out over the sides of the glass.  If there is a lip its even better.

Bake at 350 for 8 minutes.  They should just barely be browning on the bottom.    Move cookies to a cooling rack.  Once they are cool put them in the fridge.

Sour Cream Frosting
1/2 cup room temperature butter
3/4 C Sour Cream
Approx 1 2lb Package of Powdered Sugar (I never use the whole thing but love having extra on hand just incase I add to much milk!)
1 t salt
1/4 C Milk
Red Food Coloring

Start by creaming together butter and sour cream and salt.  Slowly add powdered sugar.  When it gets so thick its not frosting like add a splash of milk.  Alternate this process until your frosting is the desired consistency.  Add 1 drop of red food coloring and whip on high for 1 minute.

Keep cookies in a sealed container until they are ready to serve.  The magic of a Swig Sugar Cookie is that the cookies are cold and the frosting is room temperature.  Frost right before serving (if you make them in advance and need to refrigerate the frosting make sure you give it time to warm up before serving)

Friday, November 7, 2014

Candy Bar Brownies

I think this might be coming a week too late.... Or do you have more self-control than me? I now have no Hershey's, Snickers or Reese's left in our Halloween bowl. But...I had an ABUNDANCE last week and had to take dinner to someone who had just had a baby. It was the perfect dessert and helped rid the house of a lot of chocolate (which I CANNOT resist). This recipe is my mother-in-law's and definitely a favorite!

CANDY BAR BROWNIES
Ingredients:
3/4 C Melted Butter
2 C sugar
4 Eggs
2 t. vanilla
1 1/2 c flour
1/3 c baking cocoa
1/2 t baking powder
1/4 t salt
4 snickers bars cut into pieces
3 plain Hershey's (or with almonds...your personal preference here) bars cut up (I just grabbed all my kids Hershey's and snickers and Reese's and threw it in....there's a lot of wiggle room here with the amount and what kind of bandy bar you use!)

Directions:
Combine melted butter, sugar, eggs, and vanilla in a large mixing bowl. Combine flour, cocoa, caking powder and salt in a separate bowl. Set aside 1/4 c. of the dry mixture to coat candy with. Pour mixed dry ingredients into the egg mixture. Toss snickers bar pieces into the reserved dry mix. Stir into batter. Pour into greased 9x13 (I made two pie dishes instead...one for us, one for them! :)). Sprinkle chopped Hershey's bar pieces on top. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes. Cool and then serve. Wouldn't hurt to top it with vanilla ice cream. :)

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Latin Veggie Bowl

This is a homemade version of my very favorite meal at La Duni in Dallas. They also serve fried yucca and plantains on top (you can too, although the following recipe doesn't include it).   The flavors are really fresh and delicious.  Easy to make and extremely healthy and filling.  My kids loved it too!

Latin Veggie Bowl

Cilantro Marinade
  • 1 cup cilantro, lightly chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh squeezed lime juice (or juice of half a lime)
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 1 jalapeno lightly chopped (for un-spicy remove the seed)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon fine pepper

  1. Combine all the ingredients in a food processor for less than one minute or until the texture is nice and chunky. Be sure the garlic is fully processed. If you don't have a food processor you can make the marinade by dicing the cilantro, jalapenos and garlic very lightly and then mix the ingredients in a bowl with a fork. 
  2. For a less spicy version, remove the inside of the jalapeno and wash it under cold water and be sure not to get any of it in your eyes. Store the marinade in the fridge for up to one week.

Vegetable Mix
Asparagus, diced and ends snapped
Broccoli, cut into small pieces
1-2 cans of black beans, drained
Cooked brown or jasmine rice
Halved cherry tomatoes, for topping only

Mix marinade into veggies and beans.  In large saute pan, pour about 1 Tbs. olive oil and heat.  Saute veggies in oil until tender, about 5 minutes.  Serve over cooked brown or jasmine rice and sprinkle chopped cherry tomatoes on top.


Monday, October 27, 2014

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins


These muffins are to DIE for! No joke! They can be a little time consuming but totally worth it! Keep in mind the cream cheese filling needs to sit in freezer for at least 2 hours before making muffins. These are delicious fresh out of the oven, HOT or even better the next day cooled down! Make sure you have some one to gift these puppies to or they'll all end up in your tummy!

from the blog The Girl Who Ate Everything
Ingredients
    For the filling:
  • 8 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • For the muffins:
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 cups pumpkin puree (see Note)
  • 1¼ cups vegetable oil
  • For the topping:
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 5 tablespoons flour
  • 1½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 4 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces

To prepare the filling, combine the cream cheese and powdered sugar in a medium bowl and mix well until blended and smooth. Transfer the mixture to a piece of plastic wrap and shape into a log about 1½-inches in diameter. Smooth the plastic wrap tightly around the log, and reinforce with a piece of foil. Transfer to the freezer and chill until at least slightly firm, at least 2 hours. The mixture will still be somewhat soft but firmer.
Instructions
  1. To make the muffins, preheat the oven to 350? F. Line muffin pans with paper liners. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, pumpkin pie spice, salt and baking soda; whisk to blend. In the bowl of an electric mixer combine the eggs, sugar, pumpkin puree and oil. Mix on medium-low speed until blended. With the mixer on low speed, add in the dry ingredients, mixing just until incorporated.
  2. To make the topping, combine the sugar, flour and cinnamon in a small bowl; whisk to blend. Add in the butter pieces and cut into the dry ingredients with a pastry blender or two forks until the mixture is coarse and crumbly. I always get inpatient here and mix it together with my hands so that it looks like the texture of wet sand. I know you aren't supposed to do it this way but I'm impatient. Transfer to the refrigerator to chill until ready to use.
  3. To assemble the muffins, fill each muffin well with a small amount of batter, just enough to cover the bottom of the liner (1-2 tablespoons). Slice the log of cream cheese filling into 24 equal pieces. Place a slice of the cream cheese mixture into each muffin well. You want to put the cream cheese lower than you think because it will rise a lot during the baking process. Divide the remaining batter among the muffin cups, placing on top of the cream cheese to cover completely. Sprinkle a small amount of the topping mixture over each of the muffin wells.
  4. Bake for 20-25 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely before serving. I like them warm, cold, and room temperature.
Notes
Note: A standard sized can of pumpkin is 15 ounces, just shy of 2 cups (16 ounces). You could open another can if you want and freeze the extra or just use one can which is what I did. The amount is so little I don't think it makes a difference in the final product.
So

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Perfect White Bread

This bread is absolutely amazing.  Perfect taste and texture.  I also made some into cinnamon bread and it was so delicious.  AND, its soooo easy to make.  You must try it.

Perfect White Bread

2/3 c. sugar
2 c. very warm water
5 tsp. active dry yeast
5 c. bread flour
1 c. whole wheat flour
2 tsp. salt
1/2 c. oil
In a stand mixer bowl, add sugar and water. Sprinkle the yeast on top and let rest until it gets foamy, about 3-5 minutes. Add both kinds of flour, then salt and oil. Turn on mixer and knead for 6 minutes. Turn dough into a well greased bowl. Spray the top of the dough with cooking spray and proof until double in size, about 30-45 minutes.
Punch down risen dough and divide into 2 pieces. Flatten each piece into a rectangle about 12 x 8 inches. Fold the sides in about 4 inches or so.  Roll up keeping the top nice and rounded and place in a greased loaf pan with the dough seam side down. Let rise until the dough is 1 inch above the rim of the loaf pan.
Bake in a 350 F oven for 30 minutes. Turn loaf out of the pan and let cool on a baking rack. Brush tops with butter while the bread is hot, if desired. Bag after the bread is cool to keep the bread moist. Freezes well.
*Cinnamon Bread Option:
When you roll it out as stated above, spray with water bottle and then generously sprinkle a mixture of 1 cup granulated sugar and 1/2 Tbs. of cinnamon to within 1/2 inch of edges.  Roll bread into a loaf, pinching the end and sides together to seal the cinnamon in.  You must remove this bread from the pans 5 minutes after cooking and cool completely before slicing.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Slow Cooker Teriyaki Chicken

Photo courtesy of gimmesomeoven.com
I love my crock pot.  Especially in the winter time.  I also love teriyaki chicken so when I saw this recipe I was enticed.  It was really, really good!  You do have to do one extra step in the end (thicken the sauce) before you can eat but overall very easy and very yummy!

Slow Cooker Teriyaki Chicken
Recipe from gimmesomeoven.com

INGREDIENTS:

2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup chopped white onion
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup soy sauce (use low-sodium if desired)
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
1 Tbsp. chopped fresh ginger
1/8 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup cold water
3 Tbsp. cornstarch
(optional toppings: sliced scallions and toasted sesame seeds)

DIRECTIONS:


Add the chicken breasts to the bottom of your slow cooker in a single layer.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the garlic, onion, honey, soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, ginger, and black pepper until combined. Pour the mixture on top of the chicken breasts. Cover slow cooker, and cook on high for 4-5 hours, or until the chicken is cooked through and shreds easily with a fork. Remove the chicken with a slotted spoon to a separate bowl and shred it using two forks. Transfer the remaining teriyaki sauce from the slow cooker to a medium saucepan.
Meanwhile in a separate bowl, whisk together the cold water and cornstarch until the cornstarch is dissolved and no longer lumpy. Pour the cornstarch slurry into the teriyaki sauce mixture, and whisk to combine. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat, and let it boil for about 1-2 minutes or until thickened. Remove from heat, and pour the sauce on top of the shredded chicken. Toss to combine.
Serve topped with scallions (green onions) and toasted sesame seeds if desired.