Thursday, May 31, 2012

Fish Tacos

I have been trying really really hard to keep a lot more fruits and veggies in our house, and less boxed processed's definitely a challenge since my husband likes to have things on hand that he can just grab and eat that aren't fruit.
So far though, it's been going pretty good- I've been experimenting and have come up with some really yummy, filling and even vegan meals! Obviously this isn't vegan, but it is super healthy and one of our favorites.
It's perfect for a light dinner, and bursting with flavor...your mouth will be so happy! I usually keep it simple and just make some oven roasted potato wedges on the side. It's perfect.

Fish Tacos
  • Salsa:
  • 3 Peaches, diced
  • 2 Mangos, diced
  • 2 Tbsp. Fresh Cilantro (or 1-2 Tsp. dried)
  • 1 T. Lime Juice
  • 1/2 Tsp. Salt
  • 1/4 Tsp. Chili Powder
  • 1/2 Tsp. Red Pepper Flakes
  • 1 Jalapeno Pepper, seeded and finely chopped
  • 4 Large Strawberries (optional)

  • 1 Lb. Fish (Salmon is best)
  • For Breadcrumbs:
  • 1/2 Bread Crumbs (homemade is best)
  • 1/2 tsp. Salt
  • 1/4 tsp. Chili Powder
  • 8, 6" Taco shells (soft or hard, I made my own- So easy!)
Combine all salsa ingredients, and let the flavors mingle and marinate in a covered bowl for at least 1 hour, but the longer the better!
To prepare the fish, cut into 2-3 inch strips.
Combine the breadcrumbs, salt and chili powder. 
Add fish, tossing to coat.
Place fish in a single layer on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray, at 375 for 10-12 minutes.

Serve Salsa with fish in prepared taco shells! 


Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Butterscotch Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Coconut Cookies

I know, I'm so creative with naming things.

These cookies are my uncle's favorite. I made them as an experiment one day, you know- one of those throw random things in the bowl and hope they come out okay things. They came out perfect, and always make an appearance at our family gatherings now!

Unless you don't like coconut or butterscotch, I can pretty much guarantee you will love these. Not to toot my own horn or anything... but it's true, they're so chewy and just perfectly perfect. Like a cookie should be.

Butterscotch Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Coconut Cookies
Pre-heat oven to 375.

3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 packed light brown sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
2 cups quick cooking oats
1 (11oz) bag butterscotch chips
1 (11oz) bag chocolate chips
1 cup sweetened coconut, packed

Cream butter and sugars together. Add in eggs and vanilla. Beat until fluffy.

In a separate bowl, mix together flour, baking soda and salt.

Add in flour mixture, and mix on low just until combined.

Add in Oats, chips and coconut, and mix with mixer on low just until combined.

DO NOT over mix.

Roll dough into 1 1/2" balls. Place 2 inches apart on a lightly greased baking pan and bake for 8 minutes.


Monday, May 28, 2012

Cookies and Cream Fudge Ice Cream Cake

Happy Memorial Day!

Here is a ridiculously easy cake to throw together in case you're one of those last minute people that forgot to make dessert for a cookout you're going to or throwing or whatever. Or it's good for keeping all to yourself and eating when everyone leaves.

My mom is the queen of amazing ice cream cakes, so I've never really attempted to make them before. I just didn't want to deal with the disappointment of expecting something great, (like my mom's) and tasting something completely NOT great.

My husbands birthday was last sunday, and he didn't want me to have to cook or bake or anything. He just wanted us to relax.

So, he did an awful thing.

For his birthday cake, he went out and BOUGHT an Ice cream cake. Do you have any idea how gross those things are?!
And they charge like, a zillion dollars for a whimpy 6-inch, flavorless cake. It was awful.

So please, please, never buy an ice cream cake. Make it. It's so easy, you have no excuse not to. It's impossible to mess can use pretty much however much of each ingredient you want- there's no right or wrong way to make this stuff. You will just be blown away by the yummy factor. AND did I mention you'll save a zillion dollars?

Cookies and Cream Fudge Ice Cream Cake

1 Container of Cookies and Cream Ice Cream (thawed so it's pretty spreadable)
1 Package of Oreos
1 Recipe for mom's hot fudge sauce (or a jar of fudge sauce, it just wont't be as good)
1 container of Cool Whip (8 oz or 16 oz...whatever your preference!)

Crumble the package of Oreos and dump into either a 8x8" pan, a 9x9" or whatever size you have!
Pour fudge sauce aaaaall over so oreos are almost completely covered.
Plop blobs of ice cream all over oreo crust and carefully smooth out.
Spread cool whip all over the top, and pop back in the freezer for at least an hour!
Enjoy this beautiful Memorial Day!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Biscoff Oreo Dip

Okay, so you know how they say when you meet your soul mate, you just know?

Today, that happened to me.

I was in the grocery store, just doing my shopping thing, getting some peanut butter and fluff...and I saw Biscoff spread. I have been wanting to try it for awhile. So I bought it.

As soon as I got home I could hardly wait...everyone says such great things about it, so my expectations were pretty high.
I got out a spoon and took a taste.
and another.

Is this stuff for real?

Did I die and go to heaven?!

Seriously. If you haven't tried the stuff yet, do yourself a favor and please do!!!!!!!!!

Right after I tasted this gloriousness, my mind started going crazy with things I could do with it.

I decided on a dip. Why, you ask? (just pretend with me)

Cause dips and cookie dough and batter and pretty much anything you can eat with a spoon is the best.

Why, you ask again?

It's harder to keep track of how many calories you're eating! I figured this out today, actually. You may think that's a bad thing, but actually, it's perfect. Who wants to sit there while eating cookies, and think about each cookie you pop in your mouth is another x-amount of calories. With cookie doughs and dips you can't track it like that!
I'm genius.

Biscoff Oreo Spread
1/2 (4 oz.) package of cream cheese
1/4 cup sour cream
1 Cup powdered sugar
1 cup Biscoff spread
2 cups Cool Whip
10ish Oreo cookies, crushed. (I wanted my dip a bit chunkier, so I didn't finely crush them)

In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat cream cheese and sour cream together.
Add in powdered sugar with mixer on low so it doesn't puff everywhere.
Beat on high until completely smooth.
Add in Biscoff Spread, beating on high for 30 seconds.
Fold in Cool Whip and crushed Oreos.

Serve with Biscoff cookies, Oreo's, a spoon, or anything else you fancy.


Monday, May 21, 2012

Rustic Chocolate Chip Pecan Pumpkin Bread

There is something so therapeutic about just sitting on the couch, looking through a cook book.

A good friend of mine recently gave me this HUGE cookbook that just came out, and everything in it looks so amazing, I want to make it all.

We all know how I adore all things with the word 'pumpkin' in them, and one night I was making cookies for our neighbor who has been helping us with our bathroom renovations, and it just made sense that while I had the oven on anyway I should bake something for breakfast the next morning, since we had nothing in the house.
Well, nothing according to my husband.
He won't bother with anything that takes more than 2 minutes to prepare. Okay, 2 minutes is a bit long. More like 2 seconds. Which is why I always always have loads of cereal in the house, the ultimate 2 second meal.

But it's one of those little quirks about him that I love. It keeps me in a job!

Anyways. Where was I going with all that?

Ah, yes- pumpkin bread.

So I saw this loaded up pumpkin bread recipe and the picture looked awesome, and if things have a good picture, I'm sold. Plus I had everything needed to make this awesomeness...So I did!

It was, indeed, AWESOME! So, this was friday night I made the bread? Today is monday- it's goner than gone!

The crumb topping definitely sets this stuff apart from normal pumpkin bread, and the pecans are optional, but I very strongly suggest you put them in!!

Rustic Chocolate Chip Pecan Pumpkin Bread
Pre-heat oven to 350.

1 1/2 cups Sugar
1 cup pumpkin from a can
1/2 cup canola oil
2 eggs
1/3 cup water
1 3/4 cup flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1 cup chocolate chips

1/4 cup flour
1/4 cup  packed brown sugar
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
2 Tbsp. cold butter
1/4 cup chopped pecans

In a large bowl, beat the sugar, pumpkin, oil, eggs and water until well blended.
Combine the flour, soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg and gradually add to pumpkin mixture.
Mix in pecans and chocolate chips.
Transfer to a greased 9x5 in. loaf pan.

For the topping, in a small bowl combine flour, brown sugar and cinnamon.
Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in pecans.
Sprinkle over batter.
Bake for 60-65 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes, then remove from pan onto a cooling rack.


Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Oreo Cake Batter Bark

I am an all or nothing kind of girl.

Like, if I'm going to do something, I'm gonna DO it. None of this halfway stuff.

Especially when it comes to cleaning. In my world, it's either clean, or it isn't. I will never ever just 'pick up' my house when it needs to be vacuumed. I'll pretty much always leave the mess til I can really attack it. And if I'm cleaning the floors,  I won't just clean a little....It's ALL getting vacuumed/swiffered- which means furniture is being moved, rugs being rolled up and all that....

Sometimes it's a good thing. Sometimes this is a major problem. Because when I clean, I am a perfectionist, and I end up cleaning ALL day and before you know it, I have nothing to show for my day except for a house so clean you could drink out of the toilet and eat pasta off the floor.

Another area i'm an all or nothing person is with dessert.

If you're going to have to dessert, by all means, HAVE DESSERT.

And while we're at it, have you had the Birthday Cake Oreo's yet?!?! Well you need to! They're limited edition, so HURRY UP AND GO BUY THEM! You will be a changed person. And since this recipe I'm about to share only uses 2 rows, I suggest you eat the 3rd row. Waste not, want not.

So, I present to you a very over the top delicious candy type thing:

Oreo Cake Batter Bark
1, 12 oz. bag good quality semi-sweet chocolate chips
1, 12 oz. bag good quality white chocolate chips 
6 Tbs. shortening, divided
2 Tbsp. White cake mix 
2 rows of birthday cake Oreo's, roughly chopped

In the microwave at 20 second intervals melt the chocolate chips with 3 Tbsp. shortening. You should only need to do this 3 times, tops. You don't want the chocolate to seize! If a  few chunks are left but it is mostly melted, don't reheat, just keep stirring and the chunks will melt too.

Pour melted chocolate onto a lightly sprayed piece of wax paper placed on a jellyroll pan and spread to desired thickness.

Freeze for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, melt white chocolate with remaining 3 Tbsp. of shortening in the same manner.
I find white chocolate seizes easier than regular chocolate, so be extra careful.
Once the white chocolate is smooth, mix in the 2 Tbsp. of cake mix very well!

Pour most of the white chocolate over frozen chocolate layer, and spread so it's how you want it. (you need a little reserved to pour over the Oreo's)

Immediately sprinkle with Oreo's and as many sprinkles as your heart desires, and drizzle with remaining white chocolate so the Oreo's stay on better.

Put back in freezer for 5-10 minutes, and to cut, stab with a knife randomly to break into chunks.

This makes quite a bit of bark. But I suggest you don't share...

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Monster Cookies!

These have been all over the internet lately...and usually, if something is all over the place it must be pretty good, right?

Oh, yes.

These are my new favorite cookie. But since I am a cookie dough eater person, I definitely ate more dough than actual cookies. Whatever way you get this stuff in your mouth, I'm glad you did it.

I made these with my brothers yesterday and we could NOT STOP 'testing' the dough. I think we went through 20 spoons. Then the actual cookies came out and we could NOT STOP EATING THEM.

They covered our lunch and dinner, I'm pretty sure.
And they're all gone now. Did I mention we made these yesterday afternoon and it's now only 7:30 in the morning as I write this?

Next time, me and the littlest brother decided to skip the cookie part and just make the dough to eat, which we found a recipe for on Pinterest from the-girl-who-ate-everything. We are dough addicts.

I promise if you make these, 2 things: your jeans won't fit for the next week, And everyone in your life you share these with will love you more than they ever have!

If you want to make them Gluten free (which we did) It's super easy! Just use GF quick oats!

Monster Cookies
Makes 36 regular sized cookies, or 22 massive ones. Mine were in-between, so I got 30.

Pre-heat oven to 350.

1 1/2 cups smooth peanut butter
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup white sugar
1 stick butter, softened
3 eggs
1 Tbsp. vanilla extract
4 1/2 cups quick cooking oats
2 tsp. baking soda
1 cup+ semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup+ mini or regular M&M's

In a large bowl, by hand or with an electric mixer, combine peanut butter with sugar and butter.
Mix very well.
Mix in eggs and vanilla.
Mix in oats and baking soda.
Stir in chocolate chips and m&m's.

Drop cookie dough by heaping spoonful onto  a greased or pan lines with parchment paper.
Bake 10-12 minutes. Do NOT over bake!
Cool for 5 minutes on cookie sheet before removing to a wire rack.

So easy! Good luck with your self control!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Rich Turtle Cake Pie

My husband is tearing apart our bathroom this week.

So, being the control/neat freak that I am, left. For the whole week. Messes are just too stressful.

I'm just not thinking about how disastrous my house is right now. It's a small little house, so one room being renovated turns into my whole house being turned upside down.
Plus, when a door is getting cut in your wall, a ceiling being ripped down, tile being smashed off walls, a new sink being put in, shelves coming out, and a new floor getting put in, it's pretty much impossible to keep things neat and clean, even if you are the neatest cleanest person that ever walked the earth. And I'm pretty sure me and my husband are.

So, I'm doing what I did when I gave birth to my daughter.

Just not thinking about the process.

I'd rather pretend it's just a magical thing.

So I was super stressed out all day, and needed chocolate in the worst way as you can imagine.
I made this insanely moist, rich, divine cake, poked a bunch of holes in it, and dumped a whole lot of freshly made caramel sauce.

But there's more.

I then melted chocolate with butter, a little milk, and mixed in powdered sugar. It was like WOAH.

And THEN, there was more caramel drizzled on top, and pecans topped it all off.

Basically, the most massive turtle you ever had in your life. I love turtles. A good friend of mine makes the best turtle candies in the universe for me every year for my birthday and I love her for it.
It's one of those things though, where I will probably never ever make them, because they won't be as good as hers, then I'll be depressed and want to just give up on baking ever again.

So make this cake if your husband is ripping apart your bathroom, or if you just need turtle cake.

Oh, and It's called 'cake pie' cause I made it in a pie plate...but you don't have to, you can just use a normal round cake pan, or double the recipe and use a 9x13".

Rich Turtle Cake Pie
  • For the cake:
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 1/3 cup cocoa
  • 3/4 tsp. baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup vegetable
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/2 boiling water (or coffee)

Heat oven to 350, grease and flour a pie plate, or cake pan.
Stir together all dry ingredients.
Add egg, milk, oil and vanilla.
Stir in boiling water.

Bake for 25-35 minutes until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. A few crumbs is okay!

While cake is baking, make your caramel sauce.

For the caramel:
  • 2 Tbsp. Butter
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup cream (heavy or half and half)
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp. vanilla

Mix butter, brown sugar, cream and salt in a saucepan over medium heat.
Cook while whisking gently for 4-6 minutes until thickened.
Add vanilla and stir for another minute to thicken a bit more.

When cake is done,immediately poke holes all over the cake with a fork, and pour all but about 1/4 cup of the caramel sauce all over.

While your cake is cooling, make frosting. You can use any chocolate frosting you want...But here's the one I used:
For the frosting:
  • 1 1/2 cups chocolate chips
  • 2 tbsp. butter
  • 2-4 tbsp. milk
  • 1/2-1 cup powdered sugar
In a saucepan over low-medium heat, melt chocolate chips with butter til mostly melted.
Add in milk continuing to stir over low until smooth.
Mix in confectioners sugar til you have the desired consistency.
Pour frosting into a ziploc bag, snip off the corner and in a swirl pattern dispense frosting on the cake.This just makes it easier to spread cause the caramel makes it messy and a little difficult.
Drizzle the rest of the caramel all over.
Use whole pecans to decorate the top so it looks all beautiful!


Monday, May 7, 2012

Best Ever Granola

I love love love love love love granola.

This is by far THE BEST granola recipe I have ever encountered! 

It is the perfect combination of sweet and salty. So much flavor is happening in your mouth, its just to die for!

Best Ever Granola
(Serves 6ish)

-2 Cups Oats
-1/2 Tsp. salt
-1/4- 1/2 Cup of either wheat germ, coconut, or chopped nuts.

-1/4-1/2 Cup honey
-1/4 Cup oil
-1 Tsp. extract (vanilla, almond, orange, maple etc...)

To add in at the end:
-Mix in's: dried cherries, cranberries, raisins, chocolate chunks

Combine everything very well.

Spread onto a greased cookie sheet.

Bake at 325, stirring every 10 minutes until golden. Usually you only need to stir it twice. It might not look done, but granola I find can be deceiving...It crisps up as it cools.
While it is cooling, add 1/2 cup of dried fruit.

Mix in 1 cup of this trail mix when it is cooled:

This is what makes it OUT OF THIS WORLD. Trust me and do it.

Give everything a good stir, and store in a zip lock bag! 


Saturday, May 5, 2012

Coconut Chocolate Macaroon Sandwiches

These cookies are so easy and so cute! Perfectly sized to pop in your that before you know it, you ate 1/2 of them(who does those kind of things?).
But no worries! It's better than popping a pint of Ben and Jerry's in your mouth! I just saved you like, 2 pant sizes!

I love anything coconut and chocolate, and sometimes you need a lighter dessert...and these are just perfect!

Coconut Chocolate Sandwich Cookies
Makes 32-43 cookies, 15-25 sandwiches.

3 Cups sweetened flaked coconut
3/4 Cups sugar
3 egg whites
1/4 Tsp. salt
1 Tsp. vanilla
1/8 Tsp. almond extract

1-Combine all ingredients, mixing well.

2-Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

3-Pre-heat oven to 375.

4-Drop by rounded teaspoons onto parchment paper covered cookie sheets.

5-Bake 10-15 minutes, until lightly golden.

6-Let cool for 1-2 minutes, remove onto cooling rack.

Chocolate filling:
6 Tbsp. chocolate chips
3 Tbsp. Heavy cream
1/4 cup confectioners sugar

1-Heat over low heat on stove top til chocolate is smooth. Stir in sugar.

2-Spread about 1/2 tsp. filling on cookie half, and sandwhich with another cookie.
OR you can just drizzle the chocolate glaze over the tops and make them look all fancy instead of going through the work of making a sandwich!

Friday, May 4, 2012

Super Moist Chocolate Cherry Sheet Cake

Okay, So I'm on a bit of a chocolate and cherry kick.

Last night, I wicked big chocolate craving kicked in, but my flour was almost gone, and I NEEDED chocolate cake.
Then I remembered I randomly had a box of chocolate cake mix in my cupboard...which goes against everything I stand for. I never ever ever will make a cake or cupcakes with cake mix. NEVER.
To me, mixes just can't compare to the real deal. Not to mention they have that artificial-y flavor.

Buuuut, last night was an emergency. 
So I broke out the cake mix, added some cherry extract, vanilla extract, maraschino cherry juice, chopped up  maraschino cherries, and viola! 


Actually, It was one of the best cakes I've ever had. And so easy! 
The frosting I used was one of those frostings your pour over your cake while it is still warm, which is perfect for me cause I despise having to wait til your cake is cooled to frost it! It's torture...

This cake is so moist and flavorful, you might just die.

Super Moist Chocolate Cherry Sheet Cake
Pre-heat oven to 350.

For the Cake:
1 (18.25oz) box chocolate cake mix
Oil, water and eggs called for on back of box
Replace as much of the water as you can with the maraschino cherry juice from the jars
2, 10 Oz. jars maraschino cherries, roughly chopped (reserve 1/2 cup for frosting)
2 Tsp. vanilla extract
2 Tsp. Cherry extract

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix til combined very well.
Grease a 9x13" pan, pour batter into pan and bake for 25-35 minutes, til only a few crumbs come out on a fork.

While cake is baking make your frosting.

For the Frosting:
1 Stick butter, cubed
1/4 cup milk
4 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup reserved cherries
2 tsp. cherry extract

In a medium saucepan, melt butter and milk and bring to a boil.
Add in confectioners sugar and cherry extract and mix til smooth.
Stir in reserved cherries.
Pour frosting over warm cake!


Just look at that moist gorgeous-ness!

Happy Friday :)