Monday, May 28, 2012

Easy Hamburgers

I was cooking for some friends and wanted to throw together some quick burgers and came up with these as an alternative to my Cheesy Spinach Burgers which take a bit more time (and more grocery ingredients).
1 lb Hamburger meat (I used 80/20)
1 1/2 tsp Onion Powder
1 1/2 tsp Garlic Powder
3 Tbsp Parsley
1/2 tsp  Black Pepper
1/2 tsp Kosher Salt
Kraft All American Cheese slices (for cheeseburgers)

Mix together all ingredients and form into flat patties.   Grill approximately 3 minutes on each side (depending on preference).

Makes 5-6 patties. 

Blueberry & Pear Cobbler

This All-American dessert is so easy to make and is always a crowd pleaser.  From the Confident Choices Cookbook (adjust slightly... extra sugar!)
1lb canned blueberries, drain and reserve half syrup
1lb canned pears, drained
1 1/2 Cups self-rising flour
1/2 Cup Sugar
1/2 Cup butter
1 egg, beaten
1/3 Cup milk

Place pears in a deep pie dish; add the blueberries, syrup, and 1/4 Cup sugar.  Mix well.  Mix flour, 1/4 C sugar and egg.  Rub in margarine and add enough milk to make a soft dough.  Spoon dough over fruit and sprinkle with extra sugar.  Bake at 350 for 40-45 minutes, until golden brown.  Serve hot with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Salted Nut Squares

I've always been confused about whether or not Peanut Butter is a safe food.  The original Food list I went off said it was a no-no, but then I read something that it was recently changed to be on the safe list.   For a long time I was too scared to even try.  Then things got under control for me and I felt comfortable enough to try and viola.... no pain!!!   And thank goodness because these little treats are straight from Heaven!!  Sweet and salty deliciousness!  They are a bit messy to cut up, but well worth it in the end! I find it's best to keep them lightly frozen to keep the mess under control.  Found on Pinterest!
3 Cups Salted Peanuts
2 & 1/2 Tbsp Butter
2 Cup Peanut Butter Chips
1, 14 oz can Sweetened Condensed Milk
2 Cups Miniature Marshmallows
Kosher or Sea Salt

Place 1 1/2 Cups Peanuts in the bottom of an ungreased 11x7 pan (I line mine with foil for easier cleanup).  Melt Butter and Peanut Butter Chips in a large Saucepan over low heat.  Stir until smooth.  Remove from heat.   Stir in condensed milk and marshmallows.  Continue stirring until well blended (I did not melt my Marshmallows).  Pour peanut butter mixture over peanuts in pan.  Sprinkle remaining 1 1/2 Cups Peanuts over top of peanut butter mixture (press lightly into mixture).  If saltier bars are desired, sprinkle lightly with salt.  Cover and refrigerate until chilled.  Then, cut into bars.  Bars can be served chilled or at room temperature.  

Makes about 30 bars.

Flourless Peanut Butter Bars

I did it again... I found a couple peanut butter recipes to try and couldn't decide between the two so I had a peanut butter dessert bake-off!!!   These were the first ones I tried and were so good!  I brought them to my nephew's Birthday Party and were loved by all!  Another Pinterest find.
2 Cups Natural Peanut Butter
3/4 Cup Honey
2 Eggs
2 tsp Vanilla
1 tsp Baking Soda

In a mixing bowl, use a fork to combine all ingredients.  Spread batter into a 9x13 baking pan (I used foil for easy clean up and sprayed with Pam).  Bake at 300 for 25-30 minutes or until the edges are nicely browned.  Cool and cut into squares.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Chicken Quesadillas

I wish every recipe I tried turned out fabulous.   It seems alot of recipes I've been trying lately have turned out to be flops.   Including one for Spinach and Feta Quesadillas I found on Pinterest.  Yuck-a-rama!  However, it was not a complete failure because I learned that making Quesadillas is actually really easy and not scary at all... I just needed to adjust the entire filling of the Quesadilla.   Here is what I came up with.  The hubs and I loved them soooo much it's going to be a new favorite and staple in our house.   Love that!
4 small Flour Tortillas
1 10 oz can of Valley Fresh Organic Chicken Breast in water (or other IC friendly canned chicken)
3 oz of Cream Cheese (brick not tub)
1/2 small Yellow Onion, diced
1/3 Red Bell Pepper, diced
1/3 Green Bell Pepper, diced
1/3 Cup Green Onion, diced
1/3 Cup Black Beans (or whatever bean you can tolerate)
1/2 to 1 tsp Cumin (depending on your tolerance of Cumin... I can handle a full tsp)
1/2 Cup Mozzarella Cheese
1Tbsp Olive Oil
1tsp Butter

1)Prepare filling: Drain can of chicken and put in a small pot along with the cream cheese.   Heat on medium/low to melt the cream cheese.  Meanwhile, saute the Yellow Onion, Red Bell Pepper and Green Bell Pepper in Olive Oil for about 5 minutes until onions are clear.   When cheese is well melted and mixed into chicken add the Onion/Pepper mixture to it.   Also add the Green Onion, Black Beans and cumin.  Stir until mixed well and heated through.  Just a couple minutes.  The filling is ready.

2)Melt a touch of butter in a pan.  Place a tortilla into the pan, swirl it around in the butter and repeat with all tortillas (only buttering one side of the tortilla).  Add half the filling to one tortillas and sprinkle with half the Mozzarella cheese.   Cook the Quesadilla butter side down until golden brown, about 2-3 minutes and then flip (Tip: To easily flip the Quesadilla place a plate onto the Quesadilla in the pan and flip it from the pan to the plate and then slide it back into the pan.)  Repeat for second Quesadilla

Makes 2 Quesadillas.

White Chocolate Oatmeal Crunch Brownies

These were the second brownie I tried during my white chocolate brownie bake-off.   These were good too, but I thought they tasted less "brownie" and more "cake-like".   Much more pleasing to the eye that I would feel comfortable serving these go guests.  I found this on

1/3 cup all purpose flour
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup oatmeal
1/3 cup shredded coconut (sweetened or unsweetened)
1/3 cup butter, melted and cooled

2/3 cup all purpose flour
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2-oz white chocolate, chopped
1/4 cup butter
2/3 cup sugar
1 large egg
2 tbsp milk
1 tsp vanilla extract

Make cookie base: Preheat oven to 350F. Line an 8-inch square baking pan with aluminum foil, for easy removal later. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, salt, brown sugar, oatmeal and coconut. Pour in melted butter and stir to combine. Pour into prepared 8-inch square baking pan (pan can be ungreased if not using foil). Bake for 12 minutes.

Make brownie batter: Whisk together flour, baking soda and salt in a small bowl.
In another small bowl, melt white chocolate and butter together in the microwave. Set aside to cool.
Whisk together sugar and egg until light colored. When butter mixture is no longer hot, stir it into the egg mixture. Stir in the flour mixture, milk and vanilla extract, whisking until no streaks of flour remain.

When cookie base comes out of the oven, gently pour brownie batter on top and spread it out carefully with a spatula or the back of the spoon. The crust will not be set yet, so try to be gentle as you move the batter towards the corners of the pan. Return to oven and bake for 30 minutes.
Cool completely on a wire rack before slicing.

Makes 20 brownies.

White Chocolate Brownies

Yes, I said brownies!! Who knew you could make white chocolate brownies??!!   Well I didn't until I was browsing Pinterest the other day.  Then I became obsessed and started googling all different kinds of white chocolate brownie recipies.   I couldn't decide which to make so I had a brownie bake-off.  These were first.   I must say, I liked these the best... but they look nothing like the picture that came with the recipe (isn't that always the case!) and quite frankly... look down right ugly.   But my belly sure isn't complaining.  YUMMEEEE!
1/2 Cup butter, chopped
1.5 Cups white chocolate chips
1/2 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
2 eggs, lightly beaten,
1 1/4 cups plain flour, sifted
2 cups white chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 350
2. In a medium size microwave safe bowl heat the chopped butter on high for 30 seconds. Stir then repeat for another 30 seconds, the butter should be melted. Add the white chocolate and heat for another 30 seconds. Remove and stir until blended. You may need a further 20 seconds. Stir until smooth. Cool slightly so that you do not cook the eggs when you add them.
3. Add the brown sugar and the beaten eggs. Stir through.
4. Add the sifted flour and stir through until smooth.
5. Pour the batter into a greased (or foiled & greased) 8x8 brownie pan.
6. Evenly spread the last 2 Cups of White Chocolate Chips on top of the brownies. Don’t be suprised by how many there are I have been very generous but then again I really love rich chocolate brownies. The reason I do not mix the chocolate chips into the batter is that this way you can instantly see what type of brownie you are eating increasing their WOW! factor.
7. Bake for approximately 30 minutes.
8. Remove from the oven and leave to cool in the tin for 10 minutes before removing to a cake rack to cool completely.
 9. Store in an airtight container for one week. The white chocolate brownies can be frozen for up to two months.

Makes 24 brownies.