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1.31.2012

Pepperoni Roll Ups

   I've been seeing these delicious little Pepperoni Roll Ups all over the internet these days! They are totally yummy, easy to make and very kid-friendly. I actually made these back in December for New Years Eve, but decided to wait and post them for some Super Bowl appetizer ideas. These would be perfect to serve during the game. I suggest dipping them in marinara or pizza sauce. Mmmmm!



Pepperoni Roll Ups
Recipe from: Taste of Home

1 tube (8 ounces) refrigerated Pillsbury crescent rolls
32 slices pepperoni (I used Hormel's turkey pepperoni slices)
4 pieces string cheese, cut in half
1/4 teaspoon italian seasoning
1 Tablespoon butter, melted
Marinara or Pizza sauce, for dipping


DIRECTIONS:  Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Unroll crescent dough; seperate into 8 triangles. Place 4 pepperoni slices on the large end of each triangle. Place one half string cheese on the top of the pepperonis. Roll up towards point. Place roll ups atleast 2 inches apart on a lightly greased cookie sheet.

Mix together italian seasoning and melted butter. Brush over the tops of the roll ups. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown. Serve warm!



















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1.30.2012

Menu Plan Monday #9

   I'm excited for the yummy meals I'll be making this week. Some of them are personal requests from my Hubby. I love it when he suggests meals for me to make, because when I usually ask him he'll just say, "Whatever"...  : /   Ugh.

  Also, this week I'll be sharing some awesome appetizer ideas to serve for the Super Bowl this Sunday! I made them and took the pics back in December for my sisters New Years Eve party, but decided to save them to post for Super Bowl appetizer ideas. So be sure and stay tuned!



Monday
Crockpot BBQ chicken*
baked potatoes
veggie



Tuesday
*I'm making these the 'baked'
version. Instead of frying
the wontons I'm going to fill them with
the chicken mixture and then bake them*



Wednesday
garden salad
easy bread twists*



Thursday
Leftovers!



Friday
~Kitchen's Closed~
(take out or something easy)



Saturday
Baked Coconut Chicken Fingers*
baked parmesan fries*
garden salad



Sunday
Making lots of different
appetizers and dips for the Super Bowl!

dessert:
Marshmallow Frosted Brownies*


1.27.2012

Taco "Cupcakes"


   Thanks to Pinterest I've added a hundred new recipes to my already giant 'must make' list. Needless to say, these babies were one of them. I had good intentions of posting another yummy dinner idea today, but it's just gonna have to wait. The big Super Bowl is next Sunday so I thought I'd start posting some appetizer ideas. These Taco Cupcakes would be perfect to serve during the big game!



    I made these for dinner the other night and let's just say they were gone fast. They were so delicious. You can eat them with your hands, or with a fork. We liked eating them with our hands, like you do a 'real' cupcake. Of course, don't forget the salsa and sour cream. These will be a huge hit at your football party!



Taco Cupcakes

1 pound lean ground beef (I used 96% lean)
1 (1 ounce) packet taco seasoning
2/3 cup water
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
36 wonton wrappers
Favorite Taco toppings: salsa, sour cream, etc


DIRECTIONS:  Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Brown the ground beef in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Drain grease. Stir in taco seasoning, water and black beans. Bring mixture to a boil, and then reduce heat to low. Let simmer for 10 minutes, or until water is absorbed.

Spray 18 regular muffin cups with cooking spray. Place one wonton wrapper in each muffin cup. Divide half of the meat mixture between muffin cups. Sprinkle half of the cheese over the meat. Repeat layers with another wonton wrapper, taco meat and cheese.

Bake at 375 for 15-18 minutes, or until cheese is bubbly and wrappers are golden brown. Serve with your favorite taco toppings!


Recipe from: Plain Chicken


Spray muffin cups with cooking spray. Place one wonton wrapper in each cup.
Add 2-3 Tablespoons taco meat mixture, then sprinkle a little cheese over meat.





Repeat layers! One more wonton wrapper,
a little meat and a little more cheese...





Pop those bad boys in the oven and bake for about 15 minutes.





Mmmmmmm!





Serve with salsa and sour cream! 

 Enjoy ♥



1.24.2012

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cupcakes with Classic Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

   Cupcakes are a big weakness of mine. I can eat way too many of the little suckers. That's why when I made these Cookie Dough Cupcakes, I had to take them to my co-workers. Kale wasnt too happy about it, but I just had to get them out of my house. After I had one (okay, two) I didnt trust myself alone with them anymore.

   Just look at that inside. It's chocolate chip cookie dough! Mmmmm! The trick to keeping the dough from baking inside the cupcake is to add them to the batter frozen. You use an eggless cookie batter, shape them into balls and freeze them overnight so their nice and solid. The cupcake is a simple homemade vanilla batter, and the frosting is a classic vanilla buttercream. These things are sinfully good!


Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cupcakes
Cupcake recipe from: kevinandamanda.com


Cookie Dough recipe:
2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
4 Tablespoons milk
1 Tablespoon vanilla
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup mini chocolate chips

Cupcake recipe:
3 sticks unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups brown sugar, packed
4 large eggs
2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
2 teaspoons vanilla

Classic Vanilla Buttercream Frosting:
2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
4 cups powdered sugar, sifted
3-4 Tablespoons half & half (or milk)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla



To make Cookie Dough:  Combine butter and both sugars in a mixing bowl and cream on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Beat in milk and vanilla until incorporated and smooth. Beat in the flour and salt until just combined. Stir in chocolate chips. Scoop about 1.5 tablespoons of dough at a time, and shape into balls. Place cookie dough balls on a parchment or foil lined baking sheet. Cover with plastic wrap and freeze overnight. (I froze mine for 24 hours)


To make Cupcakes:  Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two cupcake pans with paper liners (24 total) In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the butter and brown sugar. Beat together on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Mix in the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition, and scraping down the sides of bowl as needed.

Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl. Stir together to blend. Add the dry ingredients to the mixer bowl on low speed, alternating with the milk, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients. Mix each addition just until incorporated. Blend in the vanilla.

Fill the cupcake liners about 2/3 full with the cupcake batter. Place frozen cookie dough ball on the top center of each cupcake. Bake at 350 for 16-18 minutes.

To make frosting:  Place butter in a large mixing bowl. Beat on medium speed until creamy. Slowly add in a powdered sugar one cup at a time, beating on medium speed until smooth. Pour in half & half, salt and vanilla, and continue to beat until smooth and combined.

Frost cooled cupcakes and sprinkle with mini chocolate chips. Makes 24 cupcakes.

*Note: Be sure to only fill cupcake liners 2/3 of the way full with the batter. You dont want the cupcakes over-flowing while they bake. You may have a little bit of batter left over after filling all 24 cupcake liners *




Frozen cookie dough balls





Fill cupcake liners 2/3 full with batter





Place frozen cookie dough onto the center of batter
and then pop em' in the oven




After they bake, they'll look something like this.
Dont worry about the cookie dough still showing,
the frosting will hide those little balls of heaven!








Heaven!



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1.23.2012

Menu Plan Monday #8

   I have some awesome recipes to share with you guys this week. I can't wait! First I have an amazing cupcake recipe I'll share tomorrow, and then I have a great dinner idea I'll post later this week. Okay, well I have to go now. I must get back to Pinterest because it's so spectacular and I cant stay away from it for more than 10 minutes. : /  Here's what I'm cookin' up this week...




Monday
PW's Chili*
cornbread



Tuesday
Taco Cupcakes*
beans & rice



Wednesday



Thursday
Easy night
(sandwiches)



Friday
~Kitchen's Closed~
(take out or something easy)



Saturday
Grilled BBQ Chicken
veggie



Sunday
Tomato Soup*
grilled cheese




1.20.2012

Baked Potato Wedges


   If you've been reading my blog for awhile then I'm sure your not surprised to see another potato recipe : /  Not only am I a self proclaimed choco-holic, I'm a potato-holic too. I really am. Just look at the 'Side Dish' section of my Recipe Index. It's mostly potatoes. I promise to get on the ball with some other kinds of side dishes soon. I'll post a veggie or a something else one of these days, but until then dont judge me ;)  Now go make these potato wedges. I promise you'll love them!


Baked Potato Wedges
Recipe adapted from: Six Sisters Stuff

4 Russet Potatoes
2 Tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
3 Tablespoons vegetable oil


DIRECTIONS:  Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Drizzle the vegetable oil evenly onto a cookie sheet with sides.

Clean potatoes with water then pat dry with paper towels. Cut each potato into 8 wedges (Cut in half lengthwise, then quarters).

Combine all of the dry ingredients in a large zip-lock baggie. Add 4 potato wedges at a time into the mixture and shake to coat well. Place coated potato wedges onto the cookie sheet, spreading out evenly. Repeat with all of the wedges.

Bake for 20 minutes, then flip potatoes and bake for another 20 minutes. (Total bake time is 40 minutes) Remove from oven and serve them while their still hot!




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1.17.2012

Chocolate Swirl Cake


   Hello my name is Holly and I'm addicted to chocolate. Phew. Okay, now I feel better. I swear, as healthy as I'm trying to be lately, I just can't live without my chocolate. I started feeling better Sunday (after being sick) and came up with this little cake concoction that afternoon. It came out tasting amazing! I just whipped up a batter from a devils cake mix and then swirled in a cheesecake kind of mixture. I also threw in some white chocolate chips for a little extra something. Ohhh, man was it good. Try it. You wont regret it!



Chocolate Swirl Cake
Recipe by: Holly Lofthouse

1 box Devils Food Cake mix ( I use Duncan Hines)
(eggs, oil and water cake mix calls for)
1 (8 oz) package 1/3 less fat Cream Cheese, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 cup White Chocolate chips
1 container Vanilla Frosting (or use homemade)


DIRECTIONS:  Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix together cake mix, eggs, oil and water together to make the cake batter according to it's package directions. Pour batter into a greased 9x13 baking pan.

In a large bowl, beat together the cream cheese, sugar, egg and vanilla until creamy. Fold in the white chocolate chips. Pour tablespoonfuls of the cream cheese mixture all over the top of the batter in the baking pan. Once all the cream cheese mixture is on top, use a knife and make swirls throughout the cake. You should see swirls of brown and white all over in the batter.

Bake cake according to package directions on box. ( I baked mine for 32 minutes, but remember every oven is different) Let cake cool completely and then frost with frosting. Serve!
(Store cake in refrigerator)





1.16.2012

Menu Plan Monday #7

   I have to be honest. I am so glad last week is over. My kids and I got that nasty flu bug, and it was pretty awful. So because of that, I didnt do a whole lot of cooking like I had planned. The thought of cooking or food made me feel even sicker...  :(  

  I'm glad were all feeling better now so I'm looking forward to getting back on track with my exercising and cooking this week. I'm also excited because I will now be helping Kelsey with her Girl Scout troop. My neighbor and I are going to trade off being their co-leader every other week. We will start selling cookies soon, so it should be a lot of fun!




Monday
veggie



Tuesday
Grilled Chicken Salads*



Wednesday
light caesar salad



Thursday
Leftovers!



Friday
~Kitchen's Closed~
(take out!)



Saturday



Sunday
Pepperoni Roll-Ups*
green salad

dessert:
Layered Ice Cream cake*




1.12.2012

Chicken in Basil Cream Sauce


   If you happen to be looking for a dish to impress with, than look no further. This chicken was utterly divine. I ate it in 5.3 seconds. It was so good. It was also very simple to make. Double bonus. Instead of using whipping cream in the sauce like the recipe called for, I used half and half to make it a little less fattening. The results were superb. This chicken has tons of flavor, and it looks pretty too. Make this for your next dinner party. Everyone will love it and think your pretty cool.



Chicken in Basil Cream Sauce
Recipe adapted from: Favorite Family Recipes


4 chicken breasts, cut in half lengthwise to form 8 thin cutlets
1 cup milk
1 cup italian bread crumbs
1/4 cup margarine
1 cup chicken broth
2 cups half and half
1 teaspoon dried basil
1/8 teaspoon pepper
pinch of salt
1 cup grated parmesan cheese


DIRECTIONS:  Pour milk in a small bowl. Pour bread crumbs in a seperate small bowl. Dip each piece of chicken in the milk and then coat in bread crumbs.

In a large skillet over medium heat, add the butter. Let the butter melt until it starts to sizzle, and then add the chicken (only cook 3 pieces at a time to ensure proper cooking)

Cook chicken atleast 5 minutes on each side or until thoroughly cooked. Place cooked chicken in a 9x13 baking pan and keep warm in a 200 degree oven while you cook the other pieces.

Once all chicken is cooked and in the oven to keep warm, add chicken broth to the skillet. Stir to loosen up the brown bits from the pan. Stir in half and half, basil, pepper and salt. Bring to a boil, and then reduce heat to low. Whisk in parmesan cheese.

Set chicken on individual plates and pour sauce on top. Serve immediately.


1.10.2012

Raspberry Orange Rolls


   One of my favorite things about the weekend is Sunday morning breakfast. It's the only day of the week I cook breakfast. It's such a cozy time. The whole family's in their PJ's, being lazy and hangin' out. I love it. I usually make the typical bacon and eggs, or sometimes waffles. Last Sunday I decided to kick it up a notch.

    I saw these Raspberry Orange rolls over at the Rhodes website. They seemed easy to make and totally delicious. Well, they were. We loved the combo of raspberry and orange. It was perfect. These would be great to serve for a holiday breakfast. You will get rave reviews!



Raspberry Orange Rolls
Recipe from: RhodesBread.com


8 frozen Rhodes Orange Rolls or use homemade ( if using the Rhodes brand, use the regular frozen Orange Rolls,  NOT the 'Anytime' version)
1 cup Raspberry Pie filling ( I used Duncan Hines canned pie filling)
1 Tablespoon Orange Zest
1 Cream Cheese packet ( included with rolls)


DIRECTIONS:  Spray a 9x13 baking dish with cooking spray. Place 8 frozen orange rolls inside.

In a small bowl mix together the raspberry pie filling and orange zest. Spread evenly over the frozen rolls.

Cover with a piece of plastic wrap that's been sprayed with cooking spray (so rolls wont stick when they rise)  Let frozen rolls rise according to package directions.

Remove plastic wrap and bake rolls at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes. Let cool 5 minutes, then drizzle with cream cheese frosting. Serve immediately.




















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1.09.2012

Menu Plan Monday #6

   How is everyones new year so far? Hopefully awesome. Have you been sticking to the 'goals' you made? I am very proud to say that I have. I've been working out and watching my diet. I've lost 2.5 pounds so far! Cool huh :) 

   Having a food blog and loving to cook makes the 'dieting' aspect kind of hard, but I honestly can say that I like the challenge. What has worked for me in the past, and what Im doing now, is major portion control. When I make something that isnt necessarily 'healthy', I will only take a few bites, and then eat a big salad or veggie with it. It makes me feel like I'm not depriving myself.

   Okay, so on with the show. I'm really looking forward to this weeks menu. I'll be cooking a ton. There will be some healthy meals, and not so healthy ones. Here's what they are..



Monday
Turkey Burgers*
baked fries*



Tuesday



Wednesday



Thursday
green salad



Friday
~Kitchen's Closed~
(momma needs a break)



Saturday



Sunday
Leftovers!

*dessert*



1.05.2012

Chicken Fajitas


   These fajitas are the best! They are a copycat version of Chili's fajitas. I LOVE theirs and order them all the time when we go there. The marinade you soak the chicken in is what makes these amazing. The flavors are mild, yet wonderful. There's a slight smokiness from the liquid smoke you add, and I believe its the secret winning ingredient. Whoever came up with this recipe had to of worked at Chili's because they really did nail it on the head.



Chicken Fajitas
Recipe from: Mels Kitchen Cafe


Marinade:
1/4 cup fresh lime juice (3 limes)
1/3 cup water
2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon salt
3 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
2 teaspoons soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon liquid smoke ( dont skip this!)
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/8 teaspoon onion powder

Fajitas:
1 1/2 pounds chicken breasts ( about 3 large chicken breasts)
1 yellow onion, cut into thin strips
1 green bell pepper, cut into thin strips
1 red bell pepper, cut into thin strips
1 teaspoon soy sauce
2 Tablespoons water
1/2 teaspoon fresh lime juice ( a quick squeeze of a cut lime)
dash salt and pepper


DIRECTIONS:  Combine all marinade ingredients in a large bowl. Place chicken in the bowl and turn a  few times to coat with marinade. Cover bowl with saran wrap and refrigerate for 3 hours.

After marinading, take chicken out of the bowl and discard marinade. Grill chicken for atleast 5 minutes per side or until thoroughly cooked.  ( if you have fat pieces of chicken you may want to cut them in half lengthwise to ensure they cook evenly and thoroughly) Remove from pan or grill and place chicken on a plate. Tent with foil to keep warm.

In a large non-stick skillet, heat 1 Tablespoon oil over medium heat. Add sliced onion and peppers. Stir fry until softened but still slightly crisp. Add soy sauce, water, lime juice and salt and pepper. Stir and continue to cook another 3-5 minutes. Slice chicken thinly and toss with the peppers and onion mixture. Serve immediately with flour tortillas, salsa, lettuce, tomato or whatever your heart desires!


1.03.2012

Bruschetta Chicken



   I'm sure there are many of you out there, like myself, trying to lose a few pounds gained over the holidays. Am I right? I definitely indulged a little too much, but it was worth it. I'd actually like to lose a little more than I gained, so I'm on a mission to get  fit. I started the Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred challenge yesterday, and I'm so sore I can barely lift my arms or walk normal  : /

   Of course with working out, healthy eating has to coincide. I've been searching for some healthy dinner ideas for my family so when I found this chicken it sounded right up our alley. I love bruschetta but never had it over grilled chicken. The results were stellar. This was a great way to change up some boring pieces of chicken.



Bruschetta Chicken
Recipe adapted from: Picky Palate
Makes 4 servings

4 boneless, skinless Chicken Breasts
Kosher Salt
1/4 cup Balsamic Vinegar
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
4 thin slices fresh Mozzarella

2 Vine-Ripened Tomatoes. seeded and diced
4 fresh Basil Leaves, stacked, rolled and thinly sliced into chiffonade
2 cloves Garlic, minced
Pinch of Kosher Salt
1 Tablespoon Balsamic Vinegar


DIRECTIONS:  Preheat grill pan or skillet to medium heat on stovetop. Spray with cooking spray.

To make Bruschetta topping:  In a mediium bowl combine tomatoes, basil, garlic, salt and balsamic. Toss gently together. Store in refrigerator until ready to use.

For grilled chicken:  Combine balsamic and olive oil in a bowl. Season both sides of chicken with pinches of salt and place on grill. Brush top sides with balsamic mixture. Cook for 4-5 minutes and then flip chicken. Brush other side with balsamic and cook another 4-5 minutes or until cooked through. Place one piece of fresh mozzarella on each chicken breast and continue to cook until slightly melted.

Remove chicken from pan, and place on individual plates. Top each with desired amount of bruschetta topping. Serve immediately.






1.02.2012

Menu Plan Monday #5

   The new year is here and I can hardly believe it. I have a few goals I want to accomplish this year. I'm calling them 'goals' and not 'resolutions'. I think the name change will help my own weird head to keep on track and stick with them. Along with eating better, getting organized, and spending more quality time as a family, the main one (and most exciting) is to buy a new home! We're planning to buy in March, but we're going to start house hunting now. We have definitely out grown the house we're in, and also want to move closer to town. I can't even tell you how excited we are! Yay!! Okay enough about that, let's bring on with the grub. Here is week #5!


Monday
Bruschetta Chicken*
green salad


Tuesday


Wednesday
corn
garlic bread


Thursday
Leftovers!


Friday
~Kitchen's Closed~
(date night!)


Saturday
~Kitchen's Closed~
(out to eat with the fam)


Sunday
Mozzarella, Tomato and Pesto
Grilled Cheese Sandwiches*
green salad