Monday, May 30, 2011

Happy Memorial Day

Happy Memorial Day!

photo Pinterest

To all of our Service men & woman past & present, thank you for all of your work keeping Americans free & safe.  You are truly heros. God Bless!

{Stars & Stripes Pie}

Active Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
recipe courtsey of Womans Day
1 box (15 oz) refrigerated ready-to-use pie crusts
3 cans (21 oz each) cherry pie filling
1 can (21 oz) blueberry pie filling
1 large egg, slightly beaten in a cup
3 Tbsp sanding or coarse (crystal) sugar
You also need: 11/2- to 2-in. star-shaped cookie cutter

On lightly floured surface with lightly floured rolling pin, roll 1 pastry round into a 12-in. circle. Fit into a 9-in. pie plate, letting edges overhang. Drain 1 can cherry pie filling, combine in a bowl with remaining 2 cans cherry pie filling.

Bend a clean 6-in. square of cardboard in middle forming a wedge. Place in upper left corner of pie (like hands of a clock pointing to 9 and 12). Fill with blueberry pie filling. Spoon cherry pie filling into rest of pie. Lift out cardboard.

 Roll other pastry round into a 10-in. circle. With a pastry wheel or sharp knife, cut round in five 1/2-in.-wide strips. With cookie cutter, cut 5 or 6 stars from rest of pastry. Brush strips and stars with beaten egg;sprinkle with sanding sugar.

Heat oven to 425°F. Starting in middle of pie, carefully place 3 longstrips, evenly spaced, across filling toward bottom edge. Cut remaining 2 strips into 4-in.-long pieces. Lay over cherry filling on upper right corner.Press ends of strips into edge of crust. Roll overhang of bottom crust up overends of strips to form an even rim. Flute or crimp rim. Brush rim with beaten egg; sprinkle with sugar. Place stars on upper left corner of pie.

Bake 30 minutes. Reduce heat to 350°F; bake 25 to 30 minutes longeruntil pastry is golden brown and filling bubbles. Place on wire rack and cool completely

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Baked Creamy Chicken Taquitos with Creamy Lime-Cilantro Dressing

We've been really busy lately...
turning this:



And working very hard...

turning this:


...still a work in progress, but coming along.  We my hubby has seriously done such a great job.  Oh, and I'm going to take a time out to say that I'm the worst gardener.  I love the end product, I loath the process.  Thankfully my hubby has a great work ethic. 

Regardless, I have not been cooking a lot lately.  We've been making alot of trips to get beer & pick up Qdoba.  And then falling into bed. Exhausted.  But I did manage to turn my stove on to make this AMAZING meal.  Seriously.  It's a must try.  We fought over the leftovers (one argument among many other plant related arguments- friendly arguments...maybe more like quarrels.)

{Baked Creamy Chicken Taquitos}
recipe compliments of OurBestBites

1/3 cup fat free cream cheese
1/4 cup green salsa
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon granulated garlic
3 tablespoons chopped cilantro
2 tablespoons sliced green onion
2 cups shredded cooked chicken
1 cup grated pepperjack cheese
small flour tortillas
kosher salt
cooking spray

Heat oven to 425 degrees.  Line a baking sheet with foil & lightly coat with cooking spray.  Heat cream cheese in the microwave for about 20-30 seconds so it's soft & easy to stif.  Add green salsa, lime juice, cumin, chili powder, onion powder & granulated garlic.  Stir to combine & then add cilantro & green onions.  Add chicken & cheese, combine well. 

Work with a few tortillas at a time & heat in the microwave until they are soft enough to roll without cracking.  It helps to place them between damp paper towels.  Usually 20-30 seconds will do it.  Place 2-3 tablespoons of chicken mixture on the lower third of tortilla, keeping it about 1/2 inch from the edges.  Then roll as tight as you can. 

Place seam side down on the baking sheet (to make sure they stayed tightly rolled, I stuck a toothpick through the middle.)  Lay all of the taquitos on the baking sheet and make sure they are not touching each other.  Spray the tops lightly with cooking spray & sprinkly some kosher salt on top. 

Place pan in oven & bake for 15-20 minutes or until crisp & the ends start to get golden brown.  Dip 'em in salsa, sour cream, guacamole, or creamy lime cilantro dressing.

{Creamy Lime-Cilantro Dressing}
recipe adapted from Ourbestbites

1 pack Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing Mix (ignore directions on package)
1 cup fat free sour cream
1/2 cup milk
1 lime
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 cup cilantro, roughly chopped
1/3 cup green salsa
hot sauce

Place milk, sour cream & ranch in blender.  Juice the lime in there too, you should get about 2 tablespoons juice.  Toss in the garlic, cilantro & green salsa.  Blend.  Sample it & add hot sauce to taste.  Make it several hours ahead of time to allow to thicken.  Yum!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Brownie Candy Cups

Easy & amazing.  That's it.  It's all I can say about these candy cups...a.k.a cupcakes.  Basically a brownie, in a cupcake package, with a little extra "something" in the middle.  I actually made these for our friends as a thank you for taking us out to dinner.  I packaged them up & told my hubby to bring them to work {his friend works with him.}  I may never know if they got hubby cannot be trusted with any chocolate/peanut butter combination. 

I also brought some of these to work & they were all gone before I knew it.   I had a few requests for the recipe, so without further adieu...

photo courtsey of Bakerella

{Brownie Candy Cups}
reciepe courtsey of Bakerella

1 package Duncan Hines Chocolate Lovers Double Fudge Brownie Mix
2 eggs
1/3 cup water
1/4 cup vegetable oil
30 mini Reeses cups unwrapped
1 Box Reynolds 2-inch aluminum foil mini cups for muffins

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Place 30 foil cupcake liners in cupcake tins.  Spray with cooking spray.  Combine brownie mix, contents from fudge packet in mix, eggs, water & oil.  Stir until well blended.  Fill each liner with 2 tablespoons of batter.  Bake at 350 degrees for approximately 10 minutes & remove from the oven.  Push 1 Reeses in the center of each "brownie cupcake" until even with the surface of the batter.  Bake 5-7 minutes longer.  Cook for 5-10 minutes in the pans & then remove to cool completely. 

*Tip: just before eating...REMOVE from the foil cupcake liner & microwave for 20 seconds. YUM!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Caprese Salad Skewers with Balsalmic Reduction

I also made this appetizer for our little get-together, celebrating my neighbors trip to China to adopt their little boy Sawyer!  I love this recipe.  I could eat cheese, tomato & basil with a little balsalmic drizzle any day.  So good & summery!

{Caprese Salad Skewers with Balsalmic Reduction}

2 cups grape tomatoes; washed
Basil leaves
Bocconcini balls packed in water; drained {mini mozzarella balls}
1/4 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
Fresh ground black pepper {12 grinds}
1/2 cup balsalmic vinegar
2 Tablespoons butter

Place tomato & mozzarella in tupperware container. 
Whisk together oilve oil, red pepper flakes & salt/pepper.
Pour mixture over tomatoes & mozzarella.  Stir.
Place in refridgerator for at least 4 hours.

Make reduction: pour balsalmic vinegar & butter in small pot.  Simmer over medium heat until reduced by half & thick.  Stir frequently while mixture cools. 

Skewer: I go with mozzarella ball, basil & then grape tomato.
Drizzle skewers with balsalmic glaze. Sprinkle with cracked black pepper.

Layered Chocolate Trifle Bowl

I had the neighbor girls over for a little get-together last night.  I made this trifle for the dessert.  It was a good dessert to sit, eat, drink wine & chat over.

{Layered Chocolate Trifle Bowl}

White or yellow cake (2 9 inch rounds); cubed
1 pkg (3.4oz) instant chocolate pudding
2- 8oz cartons of cool whip
instant coffee crystals
mini chocolate chips

Make cake according to directions on the box.  Cool.  Cut into cubes.
Mix 1 carton of cool whip with approx 2 tsp instant coffee crystals.
Make pudding according to directions on package.

Layer in glass bowl:

cake cubes
chocolate pudding
cool whip with coffee
chocolate chips
cake cubes
chocolate pudding
cool whip with coffee
plain cool whip
chocolate chips
*I then washed
& dried a marschino cherry and placed it on the top
Refridgerate for at least 4 hours prior to serving.