Friday, March 30, 2012

Nutella Fudge Rice Krispies

I've never been a rice krispies treats person.

I mean, let's face it....they're boring.


Plain Rice Krispy treats are- but Nutella rice Krispies........and Nutella Rice Krispies Treats with a Nutella Fudge Frosting. YIKES. Anything BUT boring. And waist line friendly. Sorry....

Actually I'm not.

Just cut them small...and they're pretty rich, so one or two should satisfy your sweet tooth. For a few minutes at least. 

These babies are so easy to throw together, it's frightening...but perfect if you need a last minute desserts or snack to bring somewhere, especially If you want to hear everyone sing your praises.

Nutella Fudge Rice Krispies

5-6 Cups Rice Krispies Cereal
1 (10.5 oz) Bag mini marshmallows
1/4 Cup Butter
1 Cup Nutella

In a large saucepan over medium low, melt together the marshmallows and butter, stirring until melted together and smooth. Stir in Nutella until well combined.
Pour Rice Krispies into mixture and stir until completely covered and combined.
Press into lightly greased pan. You can use pretty much whatever size you want, depending on how tall you want your Krispies. I halved this recipe and used an 8x8 pan, and they were the perfect height I maybe a 9 x 13" pan for the whole recipe?
Firmly press mixture into pan.
Stick in the fridge

For fudge frosting:

1 1/2 Cups milk, or semi sweet chocolate chips
1 Cup Nutella
1 Tbsp. shortening

Combine all ingredients in a saucepan over medium low heat, stirring until smooth.
Be careful to not over heat and seize the chocolate!
Spread over your Krispie treats.
Stick it back in the fridge to set up, about an hour.
Cut into desired sizes and watch disappear!

Enjoy and Happy Friday!!!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Lemon Poppy Seed Bread

Poppy seed things make me happy.

Whenever I see something 'poppyseed', I want to buy it and eat it. Also, I love the name Poppy.

Is there not a more cheerful name in all the land????

It floats my boat.

The weird thing is, I've never ever in my existence made anything with poppy seeds. I didn't even know what kind of container they came in, what they looked like, or anything. Well, I knew they were small and black, but you know what I mean, punk.

So it was a cheerful (because I had a caramel turtle coffee with extra almond in hand), sunny day last Wednesday, and I was doing my grocery shopping thing (which I despise doing), and while I was on my journey down the baking isle, guess, my friends what I accidentally spied?!

The cutest little jar of poppy seeds!

I was so happy...and I went home and immediately made this lemon poppy seed bread that tastes like pound cake. My husband sang my praises, because this bread was the yummiest. FACT.

Lemon Poppy Seed Bread
Pre-heat oven to 350.
Prepare a 8 x 4 x 2 1/2" pan by greasing and flouring. Line the bottom with a piece of parchment paper.

Mix together:
1 1/2 Cups all purpose flour
1 Tsp. Baking Powder
1/4 Tsp. Salt
1 Tbsp. grated Lemon Zest
2 1/2 Tbsp. Poppy Seeds

In a seperate electric mixer:
3/4 Cup unsalted butter
Cream, 1-2 minutes.
3/4 Cup Sugar
Beat til light and fluffy, 3-4 minutes.
3 Eggs
Add one at a time, scraping down sides of the bowl as needed.
Stir in:
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract.

With the mixer on low, alternately add:
1/4 Cup lemon juice+1/4 Cup Milk (In 2 additions)


Above flour mixture (In 3 additions)

Mix JUST until combined.

Pour Batter into prepared pan, smoothing out the top so it looks all smooth and pretty.

Bake for 50 to 60 minutes.
Please, whatever you do, DO NOT OVERBAKE! I did 50 minutes and it was perfect...
When your loaf is done, spread hot glaze all over the top. Use ALL of it! Trust me on this one.

3 Tbsp. Lemon Juice
1/4 cup white sugar

In a microwave safe bowl, mix lemon juice and sugar, and heat in microwave at 30 second intervals or until sugar is dissolved.

After 20-30 minutes, remove glazed bread from the pan onto a cooling rack.
You can totally eat the bread right away, but I highly recomend waiting until the next day to dig in....the flavors mingle and the glaze soaks in, giving it that moist, pound cake like texture!


Friday, March 23, 2012

Almond Joy Brownie Stacks

Today I had a weird day.
Weird days deserve dessert.
Not just any dessert- EXCELLENT dessert. Also, it's the weekend! 
Hooray for Fridays! We love you!
This stuff will make you happy, I promise :)

Almond Joy Brownie Stacks
Makes anywhere from 9-20 stacks, depending on the size you want.

For the brownies:
Your favorite brownie recipe or mix.
Bake it up, and let cool completely.

For the coconut Filling:
2 Cups sweetened, shredded coconut
1/2 cup cream
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. coconut extract
1 1/2 cups cool whip
3/4 cup powdered sugar

In a small sauce pan, over medium heat combine cream and coconut and mix until heated through and coconut has absorbed the cream mostly.
Turn off heat, and mix in extracts.
When mixture is completely cooked, fold in cool whip and powdered sugar.
This stuff is dangerously yummy!

For the Chocolate Glaze:
Melt 1 bag of milk chocolate chips, with 4 Tbsp (1/4 cup, half a stick) Butter.

For the Almond Topping:
1 Cup of sliced almonds, toasted
Drizzle with some melted chocolate, if your heart wants to do such a thing.

To assemble:
Cut your brownies into desired size squares.
Remove a brownie, and cut in half horizontally, so you have 2 very flat brownie halves.
Spread a generous amount of melted chocolate glaze on one half.
Top with 5-8 toasted almonds.
On top of that, Plop on a generous tablespoon(ish) of coconut filling.
Top with other brownie half and repeat, except top with the almonds this time. 
Drizzle with More chocolate glaze if desired!


Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Avocado Egg White Salad

I'm too tired to write about anything special.

So sorry.

After a long day of cleaning, unpacking, getting the baby back on her schedule, cooking and all the other 'home from vacation stuff', I just want to do nothing except be in my pj's, watching American Idol. And I'm doing exactly that.

Although vacation is nice, and we had the best time in the universe in gorgeous, sunny North Carolina, It's nice to be home cooking in my own kitchen, doing laundry in my own washer,  relaxing on my own couch, and SLEEPING IN MY OWN BED!

I love and missed my bed.

Tonight for dinner, I wanted to keep things simple and healthy after all the crazy, not too healthy eating we did this past week.

I made mashed potatoes, a Greek/Lebanese salad, corn on the cob and this salad I'm about to share with you...Except I threw in some grilled chicken and we had it in a wrap. And it was SO YUMMY I almost died.

Here ya go!:

Avocado Egg White Salad
adapted from:Sweet Treats and More

Makes 4 wraps

5 Eggs
1 Avocado
2 Chicken Breasts
4 Tsp. Light Mayo, or Smart Balance Mayo (which I used)
1/2 Tsp Salt
1/4 Tsp Pepper
1/8 - 1/4 Tsp Dill (adjust to taste)
4 Wraps, if desired
Lettuce (optional)

Cover eggs in water, and bring to a boil. Boil for 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, pound chicken breasts til about 1/2 inch thick.
Cook in frying pan coated with cooking spray on medium high for 5 minutes, or until browned.
Flip over, and cook on medium high heat until cooked through, about 5 minutes.

When eggs are cooked, rinse with cold water so you don't burn your hands and peel.
Cut peeled eggs in half, remove yolks, and cut up egg egg whites into quarters.
Place in a bowl, and cut up avocado into desired sized chunks, placing in bowl with egg whites.
Toss in Mayo, salt, pepper and dill.
Mix well.
Toss in chicken if desired.

Serve with either lettuce, cheddar cheese cubes mixed in, or whatever your heart fancies.


Thursday, March 15, 2012

Apple Pie Cheesecake for Pi day!

Holla from North Carolina!

It's funny how vacation isn't really vacation when you have a baby and husband to take care of!
I'm sitting down to write this post for the first time pretty much since we've been here....It's been craaaazy.

But fun. The good kind of crazy.

Last night we made a feast for my sister in law who lives down was her birthday so me and my mom made her whatever she wanted for dinner, and surprised her with 2 fantastical desserts.
It was great...The kitchen here is amazing, I never want to go home. And we have the best view of the beach. AH! Be jealous.

One of those desserts was this Pie I want  NEED to share with you.

Apple Pie and cheesecake got married! And I support this marriage 100%. Plus it was Pi day yesterday. How magical is that?

This may be one of my favorite desserts I have made in a loooong time. And it will be yours too. Please please please make this????

Apple Pie Cheesecake
Pre-heat oven to 350.

For the crust:
-I used the Pillsbury refrigerator crusts! (Cheating, I know- but when you have 12 people wanting dessert, you cut corners)

-Apple Pie Filling:
-2 1/2 lbs. Apples, peeled, cored and diced.
-Juice from 1 lemon
-1 Heaping Tbsp. cornstarch
-1/4 cup brown sugar
-2 tsp. cinnamon
-2 Tbsp. maple syrup

In a medium saucepan cook apples and lemon juice until apples are soft (not mushy) on medium heat for about 10 minutes, stirring regularly.
Drain liquid from pan, and add in cornstarch. Stir and cook fro another minute.
Remove from heat, and mix in sugar, cinnamon and syrup.

While the filling is cooking, you can prepare your graham cracker crust:

Graham Cracker Crust:
6 graham crackers
4 -5 Tbsp. Melted Butter
1 heaping Tbsp. brown sugar

Crumble crackers either in a plastic bag with a rolling pin, or in a food processor until fine crumbs.
mix in brown sugar and butter.

In a deep Pie plate, lay out one of your crusts.
Press Graham cracker filling onto bottom of the crust.

Now for your cheesecake filling:
-1 (8oz) block cream cheese
-1/3 cup sugar
-2 1/2 tsp. flour
-1 egg
-2 tsp. vanilla

Beat cream cheese, sugar and flour until smooth.
Add in egg and vanilla, beating until very smooth and creamy!
Pour over prepared Graham cracker crust.
Pour Apple Pie filling over, gently, and place the other pie crust over, trimming the edges to fit- about 10" around.
Cut vents in the top, sprinkle a little brown sugar on top, and bake for 30 minutes! 
Let cool completely, and eat it cold from the fridge, PLEASE! Trust me, here!


Thursday, March 8, 2012

Chocolate Malt Sandwich Cookies

I don't really have time to talk about anything special today as I'm supposed to be doing tax stuff right now and adding up never ending receipts, but I can't not share these with you real quick.
They're super.

Like, so super, my husband ate 5 before I was even up this morning.

Yeah. Don't tell him I told you that. He'll be embarrassed.

I made them last night, and they were so yummy, but this morning they were 10x yummier!

Chocolate Malt Sandwich Cookies
adapted from:Smells Like Home
Yield: 18-22 cookies

Pre-heat oven to 350
For the cookies:

  • 2 cups + 2 tbsp. all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
  • 1/4 malt powder ( I used ovaltine plain malt)
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. COARSE salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 1 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 3 tbsp. hot water
Sift together the flour, cocoa, malt powder, baking soda and salt.
With an electric mixer, beat together butter and sugar until pale and fluffy.
Mix in egg, sour cream, and hot water.
Reduce speed to low, and with mixer on low speed, mix in flour mixture.
Place tablespoon sized balls on a lightly greased or parchment sheet lined cookie sheet, 3 inches apart.
Bake 10-12 minutes. 10 was PERFECT for me!
Let sit 2 minutes, then remove from pan onto a wire rack.

For the filling:
  • 10 oz. semisweet chocolate ( I used chocolate chips)
  • 4 Tbsp. (1/2 stick) butter cut into small pieces
  • 1 cup Plain malted powder
  • 3 oz cream cheese
  • 1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp. half and half (milk will work-but half and half is better)
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
(Note: This makes JUST enough filling for all the cookies, so try to not eat too much of this amazingness. I learned the hard way. If you can even call eating too much filling 'learning' or 'hard')
While the cookies are baking, melt chocolate and butter on the stove top in a pan.
Turn heat off right before the chocolate is completely melted and keep stirring until it is smooth. Let cool.
In an electric mixer, beat together malt powder and cream cheese on medium speed until smooth. Gradually mix in half and half, chocolate mixture and vanilla.
Mix very well.
Refrigerate mixture for 30 minutes, or until thick.
Beat on high speed for 3 minutes. Filling will lighten and become light and fluffy.

When cookies are completely cooled, match up cookies by size, and scoop a heaping tablespoon of filling on one half of a cookie and sandwich with another cookie, until the filling pushes to the edge of the cookies. Repeat with all the cookies.

Enjoy with a nice, tall, cold glass of milk!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Scrumptious Strawberry Bars

My poor husband was in his office the other day for 7 hours doing taxes.

He started his own company last year, we had the world's cutest baby, and did maaaajor renovations on our house.

Needless to say, our taxes are a bit more complicated and time consuming this year than usual.

After sorting receipts and paperwork for hours, I knew he would be getting hungry. Paperwork is exhausting. I made him these bars, to take a break from the regular crazy chocolate stuff I bake, and I guess he really liked them cause he ate 1/4 of the 9x13 pan!

Either that, or he was so famished, he would have eaten a bowl of worms.

Just kidding.

After eating the first piece, he yells to me from the kitchen: 'WOW THESE ARE SO GOOD!'
And proceeded to go for round two. And three.

They're very refreshing just so darn yummy. Sweet, but not overly sweet. The buttery crust just melts in your mouth. The only thing I would have done differently though its to add 1 to 1 1/2 cups jelly/jam, cause it was a bit scarce. But I think It was just cause my pan I used is a wee bit bigger than a 9x13. It's more like a 10 x 15.
Regardless, these are still super yummy!

Strawberry Almond Bars
3/4 cup butter, softened (I used Bestlife)
3/4 cup powdered sugar, plus more for garnish
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup seedless strawberry or raspberry jam
3 egg whites
6 tbsp. sugar
1/2 cup flaked coconut
1 cup sliced almonds

Pre heat oven to 350.
Beat butter and powdered sugar in an electric mix til light and fluffy.
Gradually add in flour and mix well.
Press the mixture in the bottom of a greased 9x13 pan.

Bake for 18 to 22 minutes, til golden brown.

Spread the jam over the crust, evenly.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk egg whites until light and fluffy.
Gradually add sugar, one Tbsp and a time, on high.
Gently fold in coconut, and 1/2 cup of almonds.
Evenly and gently spread the meringue over the jam. 
Sprinkle with remaining almonds.
Return to oven and bake for another 18 - 22 minutes or until golden brown.

Cut into squares and sprinkle with confectioners sugar!


Monday, March 5, 2012

Creamy Buffalo Chicken Soup

For me and my husbands first date, he took me to an Indian Restaurant called Shalimar.

He surprised me with where we were going. I told him I liked to be adventurous when it comes to food, and we both wanted to go somewhere we hadn't been before.

So, he picks me up, and we go to Portsmouth, one of our favorite places we still often go to for date nights. He made reservations at this place he had never seen before...He just had googled 'Indian Food', and this place popped up. 

When we got there, we were a little surprised to see the place- it was......well, it was definitely not a place we would have gone to if we had seen it ahead of time.

And when we were seated, there were little fruit flies buzzing around us at our table.

Hmmmm.....2 strikes. But those strikes made for good ice breakers, that's for sure, and we had some good laughs about the place and the flies...oh, and the waitress that didn't speak any English. She asked me what I wanted to drink about 6 times before I got what she was saying.


We got our food, and it was DELICIOUS. I had never ever had Indian food, and didn't know what to order and how to eat it, so he helped me and it was all fun and romantical and stuff...We shared each others dishes, and had a super great time. 

If you've ever had Indian food, you know its usually pretty spicy. Which both of us love.

For me, the spicier, the better....

Also, if you've had Indian food, you know it gives you awful breath.

So, let me give you some free advice: Don't go out for your first date at a sketchy Indian food place. At least do a drive by before you make your reservations!

This soup is not Indian. But it is spicy, creamy, flavorful and so delicious!

I didn't exactly measure while I was making it- as I wasn't planning on sharing it originally, but it came out so darn good, I just had to- So the measurements are approximate, but its a very forgiving recipe, so just play around with it til it's how you like!

Creamy Buffalo Chicken Soup
Serves 4

-2 Tbsp. Butter (I used Bestlife)
-2 Tsp. minced garlic (from the jar)
-1/4 onion, diced
-3 oz. fat free cream cheese
-1/2 Cup light ranch dressing
-2 chicken breasts, boiled and shredded
-1/2 Cup Franks Hot Sauce
-3-4 Cups milk (I used almond milk )
-1 Cup shredded cheddar cheese
-Green Onions for garnish
-salt/pepper to taste if you like

Boil chicken breasts in enough water to cover by an inch or two.
When cooked through, remove from water and shred with a fork in a bowl.
In a large sauce pan, melt butter over med/low, add in onions and cook for one minute.
Add in garlic and cream cheese, stirring until cream cheese is mostly smooth and melted. 
Stir in ranch, and one cup of milk. Bring to a slight boil, then add in hot sauce, chicken, and one more cup of milk.
Cook over medium heat a few minutes so everything is well mixed and nice and creamy.
Add the rest of the milk a bit at a time until you have your desired consistency.
Stir in cheese.
You can also add more ranch or hot sauce to make it taste just how you want.
Continue to cook until broth is smooth and everything is heated through!
Easiest and yummiest soup ever!

Enjoy and Happy Monday!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Butterscotch Peanut Butter Cake

Happy March!

Yesterday was a good day.
It snowed, my husband stayed home, and we got to just relax and hang out as a family.
My daughter was being extra cute, that was a bonus.

I've had this stinking bag of butterscotch chips in my house for a really long time now, and have been wanting to do something with them besides make oatmeal butterscotch cookies or whatever. 

I wanted to do something new and exciting.

Mission accomplished! Well, I don't know about the exciting part, but the new part, yes!

And the yummy factor was way off the charts. My husband had a piece after dinner. And said 'Wow- I just want to eat the whole thing!'

That means you should make this...But don't eat too much frosting like I did.

I couldn't stop myself. I'm salivating as we speak. I love frosting.

No, like really. I love frosting. Sometimes I make it, just to eat it. Without cake.

Yesterday I ate enough frosting to frost about 16 pieces of cake.
And as I was complaining about how my jeans were never ever going to fit me again, my husband dear tried consoling me by reminding me it was okay cause I went running! 


Thanks babe, but I don't think running a lame 2 1/2 miles is going to make a dent in the 5 cups of frosting I consumed.
But then I remembered yesterday was leap day!
A.K.A: Calories don't count day!
That was a close one- My jeans now fit again and i'm back to being not obese.

I don't know why, but I never thought of combining butterscotch and peanut butter before yesterday. It was genius I tell you!

Go make cake on this snowy day. Do it now, and don't regret it. Even if you eat too much frosting and lick too much batter. I won't judge.

Butterscotch Peanut Butter Cake
Pre-heat oven to 350.
Grease and flour to 9" round cake pans.

  • 1 Bag butterscotch chips
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 egg yolk
  • 2 egg whites
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 (1/2 cup) Butter at room temp.
  • 1 Cup Sugar
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/4 water
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
For frosting #1:
  • 1/2 bag butterscotch chips
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup peanut butter
  • 1-2 Tbsp. milk(for thinning)

Combine egg yolk, 1/2 cup milk and brown sugar in a saucepan.
Over Low/Med heat, stir in half the bag of butterscotch chips.
Stir almost constantly until melted and smooth. Mixture will slightly thicken.

In a regular mixing bowl, combine your 2 c. flour, 1 tsp. baking soda and 1/2 tsp. salt.

In an electric mixer, beat 2 egg whites on high with a wire whisk attachment until light and very fluffy.
Transfer to small bowl.

In the same mixer with a regular paddle, cream your butter. Slowly add in 1 cup of sugar and beat together til it is light and fluffy.
Beat in egg yolks, one at a time.

Add together your milk, water and vanilla.

Alternately mix flour mixture and water/milk mixture to the butter/sugar.
Add in by thirds, and mix just until well combined.

Gradually mix in your butterscotch mixture until it's blended.

Fold in egg whites by hand with a spatula.

Divide batter evenly between prepared pans and bake for 30 minutes.

Allow to sit in pan for 10 minutes before you flip out onto a wire rack and allow to cool completely before frosting. 

While your cakes are cooling make your frostings!

For frosting #1:
  • 1/2 bag butterscotch chips
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup peanut butter
  • 1-2 Tbsp. milk(for thinning)

For frosting #2:
  • this recipe
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter beaten to death in at the end.

While frosting #2 is beating beaten, Make frosting #1:

At 20 second intervals in the microwave, melt butterscotch chips.
stir in peanut butter, powdered sugar, and milk as needed for thinning.
Mix very well!

Spread frosting #1 over first layer of cake.
Spread frosting #2 over #1 frosting.
Be generous!

Place second cake layer over, and do the same thing with your frosting #1 and 2, completely frosting the whole cake with all of your #2 frosting.

Store in the refrigerator.

Enjoy :)