Saturday, June 23, 2012

Cake batter blondies

I saw several variations on this recipe before I found this one - one I preferred because it seemed to be the easiest and for the most part, I had the ingredients readily available.

These blondies are just as good as you would imagine them to be. Mine didn't turn out gooey in the middle like I imagined - next time I make them I'll take them out of the oven a few minutes sooner. But they were extremely delicious and super easy to make. I think the white chocolate chips really make this dessert.

The only variation I made to the recipe was to use a Funfetti cake mix instead of a yellow cake mix, and since it has sprinkles in it I reduced the amount of extra sprinkles.

1 (18.25 ounce) box yellow cake mix
1/4 cup canola or vegetable oil
1 egg
1/4 -1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup sprinkles
1/2 cup white chocolate chips

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Combine first four ingredients in a large bowl.
  3. Add the milk slowly. You want to cake batter to be as dense & thick as possible.

  4. Mix in the sprinkles and white chocolate chips.
  5. Pour into 8 x 8inch baking pan, sprinkle a few more sprinkles on top, and bake for 25-30 minutes until edges are just turning brown. The blondies will still be gooey in the middle just out of the oven but after they've completely cooled they will be perfectly chewy and soft.

  6. Allow to cool for at least 30 minutes so the center sets, before cutting into squares.
Source: The Girl Who Ate Everything

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Crock pot Honey Sesame Chicken

My crock pot and I are good friends. I rely on dump meals for dinners several times a month. Tim throws everything in the crock pot, I come home, we eat. It's pretty awesome, really.

I'm always on the lookout for new recipes, so when I saw this one on my Facebook feed, I knew I wanted to try it. It was delicious and super easy to make. The only "trick" of this recipe was I made it on a weekend since it really only needed to cook for a few hours.

I'll definitely be making it again - adding rice and some steamed veggies made a quick, complete meal.

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1/2 cup honey
2 tbsp soy sauce
1/2 onion, minced
2 1/2 tbsp ketchup
1 tbsp olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
2 tbsp cornstarch
1 tbsp sesame seeds

In a small bowl combine the honey, soy sauce, onion, ketchup, oil, garlic, and red pepper flakes. Stir well.

Place chicken in the crockpot. Pour the sauce over top. Cook on low for 3-4 hours.

Remove chicken, but leave the sauce, either shred or cut into pieces.

Stir the cornstarch into the sauce and cook on high for 10 minutes. 

Add the chicken back into the sauce. Toss well. Top with sesame seeds.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Peanut Butter Chocolate Bars

I realized a few weeks ago that while I have pinned many a things on Pinterest, I have done very little with any of them. I haven't crafted, read, fashioned, traveled, redecorated, cooked or baked anything from my boards.

I vowed to change that, and when the urge to bake struck me last weekend, I turned to my "Yummers" board. I found a few recipes that looked good and narrowed them down to what I had the ingredients for in my kitchen.

Enter these beauties. They were easy to make, wowed Tim and won over my coworkers. To describe them as "melt in your mouth" does no justice, and while I originally thought they'd be best serve chilled (as chocolate tends to melt in 5.7 seconds in the Florida summer), I strongly encourage you to try a melt-y bar. 

1 (18.25) package plain yellow cake mix
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 cup creamy peanut butter (I used reduced-fat)
2 eggs
1 (12 oz) package semi-sweet chocolate chips (I used milk chocolate)
1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
2 Tablespoons butter
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 cup coconut (optional)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Combine cake mix, melted butter, peanut butter, and eggs in a large bowl using a mixer or spoon. Press this into a 9X13 pan reserving 1 1/2 cup of the mixture to crumble on top.

In a small pot, melt chocolate chips, sweetened condensed milk, and butter. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla and coconut.

Spread chocolate mixture over the mixture pressed in the pan and then crumble the 1 1/2 cups of reserved cake mixture on top evenly.

Bake for 20-25 minutes. Cool completely before cutting into bars.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Thick and chewy chocolate chip cookie bars

Helllllllloooooo amazing new dessert. I saw this pop up in my Google reader and made it three days later. The butter taste is strong, and the bars melted in my mouth. I used semi-sweet chocolate chips, but the original post mentioned using any kind of chips. I have visions of white chocolate and butterscotch chips dancing in my head.

I had to get these out of the house quickly, so when I met with a friend for dinner and drinks, I sent them with her to give to my former coworkers. (And the few I kept for Tim and Elle were gone so fast I neglected to take a photo!)

These were simple and took an extremely short amount of time to prepare. I had all of the ingredients on hand, and the preparation and clean up were a cinch. Do yourself (and your family and friends) a favor and make these :)


  • 2 ⅛ cups all-purpose flour (10 1/2 ounces)
  • 1/2 teaspoon table salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 12 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 1/2 sticks), melted and cooled slightly
  • 1 cup light brown sugar (7 ounces)
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar (3 1/2 ounces)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups semi sweet chocolate chips
  1. Heat oven to 325 degrees F. Butter the bottom and sides of a 9×13 inch metal baking pan. Put a long piece of parchment paper in the bottom of the pan, letting the parchment extend up two sides of the pan and overhang slightly on both ends. Place another piece of parchment paper in the same manner, perpendicular to the first sheet. (This will make it easy to remove the bars from the pan after they have baked.) Butter the parchment.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, salt, and baking soda; set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together melted butter and sugars until combined. Add egg, egg yolk, and vanilla and mix well. Using a rubber spatula, fold dry ingredients into egg mixture until just combined. Fold in chocolate chips. Transfer to prepared baking pan and smooth the top with a spatula.
  4. Bake until top is light golden brown, slightly firm to the touch, and edges start pulling away from sides of pan, 27 to 30 minutes. Cool on wire rack to room temperature. Remove bars from pan by lifting parchment overhang and transfer to cutting board. Cut into 2-inch squares and serve.
Source: Sweet Pea's Kitchen

Monday, March 5, 2012

Golden Gate Lasagna

I'm not a big lasagna fan. I've never really gotten the appeal of ricotta cheese, and it just seems like a lot of work to make a big pan of lasagna, especially for two people. Tim, on the other hand, loves lasagna.

We remained a lasagna-less household until a year or two ago, when I found this recipe. I've have made it several times since, and we love it. It's simple, it's a great size for two people (including one who doesn't eat leftovers ::shoots death glare at husband::) and it's easy to make during a toddler's nap time for baking at dinner time. I also love the fact that I can customize it so that Tim can have his ricotta side, and I can have my ricotta-free side. It's easy to clean up and we don't waste a ton of food.

This recipe calls for cottage cheese, but I use ricotta. Sometimes I buy the tomato sauce with oregano and basil in it, other times I buy plain tomato sauce - either way, I can adjust the amount of spices and seasonings I want to include in the meal. Bottom line, this is an awesome recipe.

The inventor of loaf pan lasagna is a genius. If you have picky eaters in your family but love lasagna, or if you're cooking for a small household and hate wasting food, this is perfect for you.

1/2 pound lean ground beef or turkey
1 teaspoon garlic salt
1/2 onion, chopped
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon basil
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
1 (8-ounce) can stewed tomatoes
1 (8-ounce) can tomato sauce
1/2 of a 10-ounce package wide lasagna noodles, uncooked
3/4 cup cottage cheese
3/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

Brown beef. Stir in garlic salt, onion, pepper, oregano, basil, parsley, stewed tomatoes and tomato sauce. Simmer 15 to 20 minutes.

Meanwhile cook noodles as package directs until tender, about 15 minutes. Drain. (I make 10-12 noodles, but I usually only use nine.)

Place 1/3 of noodles in 8-inch loaf pan (you'll have to trim the noodles). Layer with beef sauce, cottage cheese and mozzarella cheese. Repeat, making two more layers.

Bake in 375 degree F oven 20 minutes or until hot and bubbly.

NOTE: If prepared ahead and refrigerated before baking allow 10 more minutes oven time.


Thursday, February 9, 2012

Peaches and cream coffee cake

Somehow, a few weeks ago, the conversation in my office turned to the fact that I hadn't baked in a while. And then there were suggestions of what I should bake. The end result stemmed from a comment about the coffee cake at a local restaurant, Peaches.

I love finding recipes for things made at restaurants (more on those later, like Chipotle's cilantro lime rice). So when I did a quick search and found this pretty coffee cake on the Betty Crocker website, I was sold.

I made it for my coworkers, and it was easy and delicious. And got gobbled up FAST. The only complication I had was when it came to overlapping the strips of dough ... I don't think I really succeeded at that part. I ended up just kind of pulling some pieces over other pieces and crossing my fingers that it would all work out. But I can tell you that it didn't really matter - the peach pie filling covers it up, and it tasted amazing.

The cake part of this recipe was light and buttery, and the cream cheese filling and peach pie filling added just the right amount of sugary sweetness. I usually don't taste subtleties like lemon juice, but in this recipe, I did, and it added a perfect touch of tang and tart to the doughy, sweet rest of the cake. I can't wait to make this with other flavors of pie filling, too - I'm thinking cherry might be next :)

Cream Cheese Filling
1 package (8 oz) cream cheese, softened
1/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon grated lemon peel
2 teaspoons lemon juice

Coffee Cake
1 package (3 oz) cream cheese
1/4 cup firm butter or margarine
2 cups Original Bisquick® mix
1/3 cup milk
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 can (21 oz) peach pie filling
1/4 cup chopped walnuts, if desired

1. Heat oven to 425°F. Grease cookie sheet with shortening. In small bowl, beat all cream cheese filling ingredients with electric mixer on medium speed until smooth; set aside.

2. In medium bowl, cut 3 oz cream cheese and the butter into Bisquick mix, using pastry blender (or pulling 2 table knives through ingredients in opposite directions), until particles are the size of small peas. Stir in milk. Place dough on surface sprinkled with Bisquick mix; roll in Bisquick mix to coat. Shape into ball; knead 8 to 10 times.

3. Roll or pat dough into 12x8-inch rectangle. Place on cookie sheet. Spread cream cheese filling down center of rectangle. Make cuts, 2 1/2 inches long, at 1-inch intervals on 12-inch sides of rectangle. Fold strips over filling, overlapping strips. Mix 2 tablespoons sugar and the cinnamon; sprinkle over top.

4. Bake 12 to 15 minutes or until golden; cool 10 minutes. Carefully place on serving platter. Spoon pie filling down center of coffee cake. Sprinkle with walnuts. Serve warm or cool. Store covered in refrigerator.

Source: Betty Crocker

Monday, December 26, 2011

Peppermint Bark

I bring you this recipe post-Christmas because I a) made my best batch of peppermint bark four days before Christmas and b) feel the need to give you a new use for all of the candy canes you can buy on clearance right now.

I had seen peppermint bark in a magazine recently and decided I needed to conquer my fear of melting chocolate and make it this year. When I was living with my parents, we had a double boiler and would melt chocolate to make buckeyes each year. Out in the real world, I have yet to purchase a double boiler and instead use a make-shift one when I make this cheesecake for my husband and think I just closed my eyes and crossed my fingers when I made the cake batter bark earlier this year.

But the chocolate-melting-without-a-double-boiler for this bark? Sooooo easy. I used Nestle morsels and followed the directions on the back for melting them. (The directions for the semi-sweet and milk chocolate chips vary slightly from the white chocolate instructions.) This didn't take long, and aside from messing up one batch because I was distracted by an extremely chatty husband (I didn't mix the candy canes in with the white chocolate and ended up sprinkling it over the melted chocolate), I was very pleased with the results. I made three batches, and my favorite by far was a milk chocolate/white chocolate combination. All of them were well-received.


12 ounces (about 2 cups) dark chocolate, chopped, or chocolate chips
12 ounces (about 2 cups) white chocolate, chopped, or white chocolate chips
8 peppermint candy canes (I used 7-9)


1. Unwrap the candy canes and place them in a food processor. Pulse on/off several times for 5-10 seconds each, until the canes have been crushed into small pieces. Alternately, place the candy canes in a large Ziploc bag and seal tightly. Use a rolling pin to roll/smash the candy canes until they are the size you desire. (I double-bagged them and experimented for each batch, using a rolling pin, hammer and stapler to smash them. The stapler was by far the most effective.)

2. Prepare a cookie sheet by covering it with smooth aluminum foil.

3. Melt or temper the dark chocolate. Pour the chocolate onto the prepared cookie sheet and use an offset spatula or knife to spread it to an even thickness, a little more than 1/8" thick. The chocolate does not have to reach all sides of the sheet, as it will be broken up later anyhow. Place the tray in the refrigerator to firm up while you prepare the white chocolate (I left it in for at least 20 minutes each time).

4. While the dark chocolate hardens, melt or temper the white chocolate. Stir in most of the candy cane bits, reserving about a quarter of the mixture to put on top. (I stir all of them in unless Chatty McHusband is around.)

5. Remove the tray from the refrigerator and spread the white chocolate in an even layer over the dark chocolate.

6. While the white chocolate is still wet, sprinkle the remaining candy cane pieces over the entire surface evenly. Press down very slightly to ensure they stick. Place the tray back in the refrigerator to firm up for 30 minutes.

7. Once the peppermint bark bark is completely set, break into small, uneven pieces by hand.


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