January 30, 2014

Bacon Cheeseburger Bites

I saw these in my news feed on Facebook and knew right away we would all love these at home. They were from this website, Spend With Pennies. Our roommate got the ingredients on her way home from work and we had them for dinner that night! They were absolutely fantastic!

Rather than the cube of cheese we just spread shredded cheese on the biscuit because that's what we happened to have on hand. It worked great as well. There was too much beef when I was done, so I decided to throw the rest in the freezer to save for another night.

1 lb ground beef
1/2 onion, finely chopped
1/4 cup bacon bits
1/3 cup cream cheese
1 Tbsp ketchup
2 Tbsp BBQ sauce
1 tsp mustard
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 egg white
1 can Pillsbury biscuits
5 oz cheddar cheese, chopped into 10 cubes

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  • In a large pan brown your ground beef. Before it is finished, add the onion and bacon. Drain the grease.
  • Add cream cheese, ketchup, BBQ sauce, mustard, and Worcestershire sauce. Stir over low heat until cream cheese is melted.
  • Let cool, once cooled add the egg white.
  • Spread each biscuit out very thin. Fill with beef mixture.
  • Place cheese in center of each mound of beef and seal the biscuit around the beef.
  • Place seam down on a cookie sheet and cook until golden brown, about 15 minutes.

January 27, 2014

Buffalo Grilled Cheese

Our roommate found this recipe online at this site, Grilled Cheese Social, and of course with all of us absolutely loving buffalo sauce we knew we had to try it out.

I didn't follow the recipe exactly, we bought some ingredients but also used what we had around the house. We were also making it for more people so we had to make a lot more than the recipe called for. I would definitely suggest at least doubling the recipe. Also, with the chicken I just cooked up a bunch, cut it up, and covered it in the sauce. After the sandwiches I put the leftovers in the fridge and used it for lunch or snacks. It was great on a salad with ranch or bleu cheese dressing!

Here's how we made the recipe:

8 slices of bread
Butter, as needed
1/4 cup bleu cheese salad dressing
3/4 cup cream cheese
1/2 cup cumbled bleu cheese
1/4 cup shredded cheddar
2 cups cooked chicken, shredded
Frank's hot sauce (your favorite flavor), to taste

  • Mix the dressing, cream cheese, bleu cheese, and cheddar in a medium bowl until creamy.
  • Spread cheese mixture on one side of each piece of bread.
  • Coat the chicken with the hot sauce, to taste.
  • Top four pieces of the bread with the chicken. Top with one of the breads with only the cheese mixture.
  • In a large pan over medium heat, melt enough butter to coat the pan.
  • Place the sandwiches in the pan and toast until golden. Flip and toast the other side until golden as well. The cheese should be melted and gooey.
  • Enjoy!

January 18, 2014

Black and White Cake

For my mom's birthday I made this AMAZING cake from a Food Network Magazine. If you follow my blog you'll remember I made another one from this issue before, Strawberry Ice Cream Cake. I love this issue because it has a basic chocolate and a basic vanilla cake in the back and then 12 different (one for each month) variations on those cakes.

The one I chose for my mom was a black and white mocha cake, but none of us like coffee so I used the cake and filling from the recipe while altering the ganache from it by looking at the other recipes for it in the magazine. It turned out perfect! On top of that, the two cake recipes are so amazing, you'll never need to use another recipe for cake again!

Chocolate Cake
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 & 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar
1 & 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
3 large eggs, at room temperature
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup sour cream
2 tsp vanilla extract
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  • Coat two 9" round cake pans with cooking spray.
  • Whisk cocoa powder and 1 & 1/2 cups boiling water until smooth. Set aside.
  • Whisk flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together in a large bowl.
  • Add eggs, vegetable oil, sour cream, and vanilla. Beat until smooth.
  • Beat in cocoa mixture until just combined.
  • Divide batter between two prepared pans, tap against counter to help settle.
  • Bake for approximately 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  • Cool for about 10 minutes, remove from pans.
  • Using a large serrated knife, cut the tops off to make them level.
Vanilla Cake
2 sticks butter, softened
3 cups flour
1 Tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 & 1/4 cups sugar
4 large eggs, at room temperature
1 Tbsp vanilla extract
1 & 1/4 cups whole milk
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Coat two 9" round cake pans with cooking spray.
  • Whisk flour, baking powder, and salt together in a medium bowl.
  • Beat the butter and sugar in a large bowl until fluffy.
  • Beat in the eggs, one at a time.
  • Beat in the vanilla and milk.
  • Beat in the flour mixture until just smooth.
  • Divide batter between two prepared pans.
  • Bake approximately 30 minutes, until cakes are light golden brown on top and a toothpick inserted int he middle comes out clean.
  • Let cool for 10 minutes, remove from pans.
  • Using a large serrated knife, cut the tops off to make them level.
6 oz semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
3/4 cup heavy cream
1/2 tsp vanilla
Pinch of salt
  • Put the chocolate and salt in a medium bowl.
  • Bring heavy cream to a simmer.
  • Pour cream over chocolate and whisk until smooth.
  • Let sit for approximately one hour, until thick but not set.
8 oz milk chocolate, finely chopped
2 & 1/2 sticks butter, softened
Pinch of salt
1 & 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
1 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp vanilla extract
  • Over medium heat, melt the milk chocolate.
  • Beat the butter and salt until fluffy.
  • Add the chocolate to the butter and beat until combined.
  • Gradually beat in the confectioners' sugar until smooth.
  • Add vanilla and cocoa powder and beat until smooth.

  • Begin assembling the cake.
  • Start with a chocolate layer and top with 3/4 cup of the filling.
  • Top with a vanilla layer and another 3/4 cup filling.
  • Repeat with the other chocolate and vanilla layers, topping the cake with the remaining filling.
  • Pour the ganache over the top of the cake, letting it drip down the sides.
  • Let sit at room temperature for approximately 30 minutes before slicing.

January 15, 2014

Parmesan Crusted Chicken

I've been trying to get back to cooking more at home again lately so I tried out this delicious chicken dish. It was definitely spicier than I expected, but very good!

I doubled the mustard mix and panko mix because there just wasn't quite enough for the chicken. Doubling was the perfect amount to coat the chicken.

2 Tbsp dijon mustard
1/2 tsp thyme leaves, chopped
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/4 cayenne pepper
4 - 8 oz chicken pieces
3/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
3/4 cup panko

  • Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
  • Mix the mustard, thyme, salt, and cayenne in a medium sized shallow bowl.
  • In another medium sized shallow bowl mix the parmesan and panko.
  • Dredge the chicken in the mustard mixture then coat with the panko mixture.
  • Place the chicken on a cooling rack on a cookie sheet.
  • Bake for approximately 20 minutes, chicken should be cooked through and golden on the outside.

December 13, 2013

White Chocolate Chip Macadamia Nut Cookies

I've been wanting to make some different cookies lately so I thought I'd give these a try. I'm not a big fan of white chocolate chips, but I have friends and family that absolutely LOVE this kind of cookie so it's a win-win. I get to bake and they get to eat cookies! I decided to throw some dried cranberries in the mix and it turned out great. They look so Christmasy too!

2 & 1/4 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1 cup butter, softened
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup macadamia nuts, chopped
1 cup white chocolate chips
1 cup dried cranberries (optional)
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • In medium bowl, combine flour, baking soda, and salt.
  • In large bowl mix sugars together. Add in butter and mix until fluffy.
  • Add eggs and vanilla to sugar mixture and mix until fluffy.
  • Stir in nuts, chocolate chips, and cranberries.
  • Bake for approximately 12 minutes, until edges start to brown.

December 11, 2013

Soda Ham

For Thanksgiving and Christmas I always try to cook my long cooking dishes in something other than the oven. I like having my oven space free, plus ham from a crock pot is absolutely tender and delicious!

You can use any brown soda you like with this ham, but I really like to use Coke, Dr. Pepper, or Mr. Pibb. I know it sounds really weird, but it's similar to honey glazing it and tastes wonderful.

Cured Ham
2 cans soda
2 tsp honey mustard
1 cup brown sugar

  • Place the ham in the slow cooker and pour one can of soda around it.
  • Pour the other can of soda in a medium sauce pan over medium heat.
  • Add the mustard and brown sugar and bring to a simmer.
  • Let boil down for a few minutes then pour over the ham in the crock pot.
  • Cover and set to low and let cook all day. Enjoy!

December 08, 2013

Lemon Loaf

My husband and I went out of town for a weekend not too long ago and the hotel we stayed at had this fantastic lemon flavored bread at their breakfast. I decided it was so delicious that I had to try to make some when I got home!

I found a recipe for a basic loaf, then put the poured icing on top of it that I use for my sugar cookies, with some lemon flavoring (best part)! It was not quite the same, but just as delicious!!!

1 & 1/2 cups flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
3 eggs
1 cup sugar
2 Tbsp butter, softened
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp lemon extract
1/3 cup lemon juice
1/2 cup oil
1 cup powdered sugar
2 tsp milk
2 tsp light corn syrup
1/4 tsp lemon extract
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Grease a 9 x 5 loaf pan and set aside.
  • Mix flour, soda, powder, and salt in a large bowl.
  • In a medium bowl, mix the eggs, sugar, butter, vanilla, lemon extract, and lemon juice.
  • Pour wet ingredients into the dry and blend until smooth.
  • Add oil and mix well.
  • Pour into the loaf pan and bake for approximately 45 minutes, until a toothpick comes out of the center clean.
  • Make the icing by combining all ingredients together until smooth.
  • Pour over the loaf when cooled.
  • Let the icing set up, then enjoy!

September 23, 2013

White Cheese Sauce

I bought some chicken ravioli that just looked delicious at Costco, the only problem was I needed something to go on it. For some reason, eating plain pasta is just weird to me. My husband really likes white pasta sauce so I looked up a how to make a basic white sauce and went from there. This is what we came up with!

2 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
1 cup milk
1/4 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
1/4 cup parmesan cheese, shredded
1/4 tsp white pepper

  • In a medium sauce pan melt the butter over medium heat and combine with flour.
  • Add the milk, whisking, until the desired consistency is reached. Add a little more to make it slightly runny.
  • Add the pepper, then remove from heat.
  • Add the cheeses, continuing to whisk until completely melted.
  • Serve over desired pasta and enjoy!

September 19, 2013

Easy Baked Potatoes

Surprisingly I made baked potatoes at home for the first time ever this last week! I wanted a quick dinner so I grabbed some steaks out of the freezer and was looking for something to go with them. I figured potatoes couldn't be too hard so I decided to give it a try. Not only were they super easy, but delicious as well!

4 large russet potatoes
Sour cream
Cheddar cheese, shredded
Fresh chives, sliced
Bacon, crumbled
Olive oil
Kosher salt
  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees
  • Rinse and dry potatoes, then coat with olive oil.
  • Season with kosher salt and wrap in aluminum foil.
  • Place on baking sheet and bake for 45-60 minutes, until soft when poked with a fork.
  • Remove from oven, unwrap, and slice open.
  • Top with desired toppings and enjoy!

Don't want a traditional baked potato, what other toppings do you like with yours?
Chili cheese baked potato? Taco baked potato? Baked beans? Pulled pork? Cheesy broccoli? The options are endless!

September 17, 2013

Smoked Salmon Dip

I bought a huge pack of smoked salmon from Costco the other day (which is delicious just by itself) but decided I was in the mood for some dip too. I looked up a few recipes for it, altered them to my taste and for what ingredients we had, and this is what I came up with!

6 oz smoked salmon
8 oz cream cheese
1/2 cup sour cream
1 Tbsp fresh squeezed lemon juice
1 Tbsp fresh minced rosemary and/or dill
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp fresh ground black pepper
  • Mix all ingredients together to desired consistency.
  • Serve with crackers and enjoy!