Gluten Free Chicken Enchiladas

Okay, so I really wanted to put up a recipe for gluten-free chicken enchiladas. I grew up loving the chicken enchiladas that my mom made, but they are definitely not gluten-free or really all that healthy because of the cream of chicken soup. Canned chicken soup is not gluten free and full of tons of other ingredients. I used to love the stuff, until I stopped eating it and started making sauces from scratch, that I realized how disgusting canned soup is. I mean, I’m not even sure I would eat it if it would keep me from dying, which I highly not that situation would even come up since it barely has nutritional value.



I often make a simple white sauce for things like these, but I wanted to make it even easier and creamier for you, so you don’t even have to make a complicated sauce. I also love how there are white beans in these, so there is something inside the tortillas besides just chicken and sauce.

They are great for a simple dinner and provide a great leftover meal. Combine this wonderful dish with your favorite kind of rice. I think this is a perfect recipe for everyone – who doesn’t like a simple, affordable, delicious dinner? It works well for a big crowd or a night on your own. It works for the young and old. It works well as a college student meal or a family dinner.

These gluten free chicken enchiladas are hearty, super flavorful, and are topped with an easy, homemade sauce. Do you like chicken enchiladas with flour tortillas or corn tortillas? If you like white tortillas, you should try making your own with my homemade tortillas recipe. They are way better than store-bought tortillas and really easy. I make them all the time and our whole family loves them.



INGREDIENTS

  • 8 oz. Cream Cheese, softened
  • 8 oz. Green Chilies, chopped
  • 15 oz. White Bean(canned), drained
  • 1 Small Yellow Onion, chopped
  • ½ T. Olive Oil
  • 2 Large Chicken Breasts, cooked and shredded
  • ¼ t. Garlic Powder
  • 14 oz. Green Enchilada Sauce (gluten-free)
  • ⅔ C. Sour Cream
  • ¼ t. Real Salt
  • 8-10 Gluten-free tortillas (corn or gluten-free flour tortillas)
  • 12 oz. Monterey Jack or Colby Jack cheese, shredded


INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Place the cream cheese in the base of a stand mixer and beat with a paddle until smooth. Add the green chilies and beans and mix in until beans are slightly smashed.
  2. Place the olive oil and chopped onion in a saucepan. Saute on medium/high heat until onion is soft and translucent, about 4-5 minutes.
  3. Add ⅔ of the onion to the cream cheese mixture. Set saucepan with remaining onion aside.
  4. Mix the onion and the shredded chicken into the cream cheese mixture.
  5. Place the saucepan with reserved onion back on medium/high heat. Add the enchilada sauce, sour cream, and salt to the saucepan and bring to a boil, whisking together until smooth. Remove from heat.
  6. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  7. Pour ⅓ of the creamy enchilada sauce into a 9x13 baking dish and spread to cover.
  8. Divide the cream cheese/chicken filling between 8-10 tortillas. Sprinkle a bit of shredded cheese on top of the filling in each tortilla.
  9. Roll up the tortillas into enchiladas and place side by side in prepared dish.
  10. Top the enchiladas with the remaining sauce, spreading the sauce across the tops of the enchiladas. Sprinkle remaining shredded cheese over the top.
  11. Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until cheese is melted and sauce is bubbling.

Slow Cooker Cilantro Lime Chicken Tacos

These Cilantro Lime Chicken Tacos are so delicious and simple to make! A five ingredient dump-and-go meal that takes minutes to prepare and cooks all day in the slow cooker!



We did a LOT of sightseeing this summer during our move from Hawaii. We started out in Los Angeles where we spent a few days at Disneyland. That part of the trip was a complete surprise for our kids and their reactions were priceless! They ran around in circles yelling, “Yay! We’re at Disneyland!” for a good chunk of time, which is good, because every exhausted moment after that I tried to think back on how happy they were. Disney in the blazing heat of summer is definitely not for the faint of heart!

After that, we headed to visit a dear friend of mine in Ft. Iriwin, California, then travelled to Sedona, Arizona, the Grand Canyon, White Sands, New Mexico, and finally to east-central Texas to visit my hubby’s sister and her husband. We stayed with them while we house hunted for a week, then set our sights homeward to Georgia! I can’t even explain how much joy I felt just crossing over the state line into our home state. It was wonderful to be back home with family and friends that we hadn’t seen in over three years, many of which hadn’t met our daughter!

I served up these Cilantro Lime Chicken Tacos over some freshly made flour tortillas from H.E.B (the most amazing grocery store I’ve ever set foot in, by the way; God Bless Texas!) then topped them with shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes, a drizzle of ranch, and even more cilantro! Yes, hopefully if you’re reading this post you are a fellow cilantro lover, because there is plenty of it in this recipe!

Enjoy y’all!

INGRIDIENTS


  • 2 pounds skinless, boneless, chicken breasts (fresh or frozen)
  • 1 packet taco seasoning mix (I use low sodium)
  • 1 (16 oz) jar salsa (use your favorite; I used a local Texas brand)
  • ⅓ cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • juice from 2 small limes


INTRUCTIONS


  1. Place chicken breasts in the bottom of your slow cooker. Sprinkle taco seasoning over the top, then cover with salsa, lime juice, and cilantro.
  2. Place lid on top and cook for four hours on high, or 6-7 hours on low. Remove chicken from crockpot to a separate bowl and shred with two forks. Moisten chicken with small amounts of juice left over from the crockpot until you get the amount of moisture that you like. I used about ½ - ¾ cup juice.
  3. Serve with taco shells or tortillas, adding on your favorite toppings. I like to use shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes, diced avocado, cheese, sour cream, and even a drizzle of ranch dressing. Enjoy!

Chocolate Chip Mini Muffins (vegan)

Ready in 20 minutes, these vegan Chocolate Chip Mini Muffins will be a new go-to, pop-able treat!  Bursting with chocolate chip cookie flavor, these soft mini muffins are sure to be a hit! They’re great for lunch boxes or as a fun after school snack.



I’ve had my eye on a mini muffin pan that was shoved to the back of the cupboard.  I just hadn’t figured out what cute little muffins to make, until my daughter brought up chocolate chip cookies. Then it hit me…

Cute mini muffin pans = Cute Chocolate Chip Mini Muffins!

Of course my daughter was all for the muffins because there were chocolate chips inside and she couldn’t resist cute little muffins.  Not to mention the popable factor even had me enticed.
Years ago, when I was in my 20’s, I remember snacking on mini muffins.  I would buy a box of those individually packaged mini chocolate chip muffins, you know, the chintzy pack of 4.  Even though there were only 4 to a pack, I thought they were the best 4 mini muffins ever.  Now, I cringe at the ingredients in those little packages.



So, in the kitchen we went to make some healthier (than those mini chemical muffins), vegan and chemical-free Chocolate Chip Mini Muffins!


These mini muffins are ready in about 20 minutes. And they’re fairly easy to toss together:

  • Sift your dry ingredients.
  • Cream together the coconut sugar and oil.
  • Mix in the remaining wet ingredients.
  • Then, fold in the dry ingredients and chocolate chips.
  • Now, all that stands between you and those soft little chocolatey muffins is 10 minutes of baking.


HOW TO ACHIEVE MINI MUFFIN PERFECTION:

Sifting the flour and folding in the dry ingredients–rather than mixing–is important to achieve perfect, fluffy pillow top muffins.  I’ve seen plenty of over mixed, flat-top muffins around the web (and in my own kitchen).
Not anymore!
Since I began sifting and folding in the dry ingredients, I’ve been able to achieve soft, fluffy muffins rather than dense, thick muffin pucks.  And I know you’ll have the same success, so let’s get baking!

Ingredients

Dry

  • 2 cups organic unbleached all-purpose flour, sifted
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/3 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup organic coconut sugar, packed*


Wet

  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup organic refined coconut oil, melted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


Instructions

  1. Start by greasing a mini muffin pan with coconut oil and preheating your oven to 375º.
  2. Then measure the almond milk and stir in the vinegar. Set aside to create buttermilk.
  3. In a medium bowl sift together your flour, baking soda and salt. set aside.
  4. In a large bowl cream together the coconut sugar and oil.
  5. Stir the remaining wet ingredients (almond milk/vinegar mix and vanilla extract) into the creamed coconut sugar and oil.
  6. With a sturdy spatula, fold in half the dry ingredients. Once incorporated, fold in the other half.
  7. Now, fold in the chocolate chips until everything is evenly combined.
  8. Fill each muffin cup to the top, using up the batter to fill all 24 cups.
  9. Bake at 375º for 8-10 min or until toothpick comes out clean of batter.
  10. Allow to cool for at least 5 min before transferring to a cooling rack.
  11. To store–allow muffins to cool completely, then store in an airtight container for up to 5 days (if they last that long).

Nutter Butter Boos

These old school Nutter Butter Boos are cute ghost cookies that make an easy Halloween dessert that is the perfect Halloween party food.



We’re having a #ThrowbackThursday on the blog today with these old school Nutter Butter Boos.These cute little guys are super easy to make and perfect for all of those upcoming Halloween parties. All you need are three simple ingredients: Nutter Butter Cookies, white chocolate or almond bark (my preference), and regular chocolate.

Once you get going these little ghosts go quickly so be ready. I suggest using a cooling rack to help prop your cookies up but if you don’t have one you can just hold them up while you pour on the chocolate and then lay them down on a piece of parchment paper or wax paper when you are done.
You start by melting the almond bark, pour it into a sandwich baggies, snip off the top of one corner and then squeeze it over the Nutter Butter. Instead of making stripes like you did with the Mummy Mallows this time you can just squeeze it over the top arc of the cookie in a big glob, then start tapping the bottom of the cookie on the table to make the almond bark begin to drip down. You can tilt it from side to side to make uneven edges at the bottom of the bark so it looks like the bottom of a ghost. They remind me of little kids dressed up in a sheet with some holes cut out for eyes and nose. Totally cute!



Let the almond bark dry for 5 or 10 minutes and then you can go back and add the eyes and mouth. Melts some chocolate chips in the microwave, pour the melted chocolate into a sandwich baggie and again snip off the tip. gently pipe three circles of chocolate on to each Nutter Butter ghost.

Once it dries you’re ready to serve! You can easily make these ahead of time and store them in a sealed bag or container until you are ready to use them. Just make sure the chocolate is completely dry before storing.

Ingredients

  • 12 Nutter Butter Cookies
  • 2 c Almond Bark or White chocolate, finely chopped
  • ½ c Chocolate, finely chopped


Instructions

  1. Place almond bark or white chocolate in a microwavable bowl or mug.
  2. Lay your cookies out on a piece of wax or parchment paper, or prop them up using a cooling rack by putting each cookie in between the bars of the cooling rack.
  3. Microwave for 30 seconds at a time, stirring in between, until it has melted smoothly.
  4. Put the melted bark in a sandwich baggie and snip a little bit off of one corner to make a hole.
  5. Squeeze melted bark over the top arc of the cookie then gently tape the bottom of the cookie against a flat surface to make the melted candy begin to ooze down the cookie. Shift it from side-to-side to create uneven edges on the bottom of the ghost.
  6. Let the almond bark dry then pipe on eyes by melting chopped chocolate, adding it to a sandwich baggie, and cutting a hole in one corner.
  7. Pipe three circles on each ghost cookie, 2 eyes and a mouth.
  8. Let dry completely then store in an airtight container until ready to serve.

Million Dollar Pie


This is a great recipe for a quick pie that does taste like a million bucks. My sister has been making this every Thanksgiving since she was 11. Very easy preparation. The recipe calls for 2 graham cracker crusts, but we have also made it with the chocolate crumb crusts as well. They are delicious as well

Million Dollar Pie

Serves: 16
Yield: 2

Ingredients:

  • 9 ounces Cool Whip
  • 2 graham cracker pie crusts
  • 1 (10 ounce) can crushed pineapple
  • 1 (14 ounce) can Eagle Brand Condensed Milk
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 3/4 cup pecans


Directions:

  1. Mix all ingredients.
  2. Pour into crusts. Garnish with extra pecans if you wish.
  3. Refrigerate 2 hours before serving.

Halloweeño Jalapeño Popper Mummies

These little mummies will win over your heart and your stomach! They are just so darned cute you don’t want to eat them but trust me, once you have one you will be heading back for more! These little Halloweeño Jalapeño Popper Mummies are so easy to make, too



I always say you could wrap Crescent Roll dough on a shoe and it would taste good but the jalapeño popper is such a good compliment to the buttery, crispy Crescent Roll wrapping.They are a perfect addition to your Halloween appetizer spread or to bring to a Halloween party. These will disappear quickly so you might want to make two batches!

The most time consuming part is the wrapping of the mummies– but it really only takes abut 30 seconds for each one once you get going and get into a groove.

Ingredients

  • 10 jalapeño peppers, sliced in half lengthwise and pith/ seeds removed (use rubber gloves so your hands don't burn from the jalapeño). Leave the stem if you can on some or all of the halves.
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 8 ounces jack cheese, shredded
  • 1 scallion (green onion), finely chopped
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 package refrigerated crescent rolls (I use Pillsbury)
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • candy eyeballs (can be purchased at Michael's or on Amazon or you can always use a little cream cheese and piece of a black olive for the eyes)


Instructions

  1. Preheat oven 400° F. In a small bowl, mix the cream cheese, jack cheese, scallion and salt until well blended.
  2. Roll out the crescent rolls and separate into 4 rectangles (not triangles) with a perforation in the middle of each. Press your fingers into the perforations to seal them. Using a pizza cutter, cut each rectangle into 10 long pieces lengthwise.
  3. Fill each jalepeño half with the cheese mixture. Wrap each jalapeño half with the dough, leaving a space for the eyes. Use two pieces of dough if necessary. Brush with egg mixture and place on baking sheet.
  4. Bake in oven for 8-10 minutes. Remove from the oven and press the eyes into the cheese where the opening is. Remove eyes before eating. You may also use a little cream cheese and a piece of black olive for the eyes. Serve immediately.

Crispy Parmesan Garlic Chicken with Zucchini

Crispy Parmesan Garlic Chicken with Zucchini is a fantastic one pan meal that the family will love!  The chicken is so tender and breaded with an amazing parmesan garlic crust and the zucchini is sautéed in a delicious buttery parmesan garlic!



Zucchini is my favorite veggie.  So I get pretty excited when it is actually in season even though I buy it all year long.  My favorite way to eat zucchini is to sauté it until tender.  I could eat it with every meal.
The awesome thing about this recipe is that I had all of the ingredients on hand.  It was dinner time and I was staring in my pantry wondering what I should make.  One of our favorite things is this Crispy Parmesan Garlic Chicken.  My entire family devours it.  We love the crispy flavorful crust on the chicken.

So I decided to put the two together and the result was delicious!  A crispy delicious chicken with tender zucchini that is full of flavor and only require one pan.

Lets just take a second to discuss the amazing flavors in this meal.  First of all anything with parmesan and garlic is already a winner in my book.  But it coats the chicken perfectly and gives it such a crispy texture to the tender and juicy chicken.   What I especially love is removing the chicken and sautéing the zucchini in a buttery garlic parmesan sauce.  And the crispy sediments of the chicken also are incorporated in the sauce.  IT IS AMAZING!

Ingredients

  • 2 Chicken Breasts, sliced in half, or 4 thin chicken breasts
  • 8 Tablespoons butter, divided
  • ½ cup Italian Bread Crumbs
  • ½ cup plus 1 Tablespoon grated parmesan, divided
  • ¼ cup flour
  • 2 medium zucchini, sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced


Instructions

  1. In a large skillet over medium heat melt 2 Tablespoons butter. To make the chicken: Melt remaining 4 tablespoons of butter in a shallow dish. In another shallow dish combine bread crumbs, parmesan cheese, and flour. Dip the chicken in the butter and then coat in the bread crumb mixture and place in skillet.
  2. Cook on each side for about 3-4 minutes until the outside is crispy and the chicken is cooked throughout. Set aside on plate.
  3. Add 2 Tablespoons of butter back to the skillet and saute the minced garlic for a minute. Add the zucchini to the skillet and saute until tender. Salt and pepper to taste and add some 1 Tablespoon parmesan. Add the chicken back to the skillet and heat for a minute or so. Serve immediately.

Chocolate Cassata


The traditional version of this Sicilian dessert, often served at Easter, is made from a light-textured sponge cake stuffed with rum-ricotta filling laced with candied orange peel. Here I provide a version more suited to most Americans' taste: dense chocolate cake, filled with sweetened ricotta cheese and chocolate chips, and iced with creamy fudge frosting.


Chocolate Cassata

Yield: 8 to 12 servings

Ingredients:

Cake:

  • 1 1/4 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 cup (8 tablespoons) butter, preferably at room temperature for easiest mixing
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon espresso powder, optional, to enhance chocolate flavor
  • 2/3 cup Double-Dutch Dark Cocoa or Dutch-process cocoa powder
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract


Filling:

  • 2 cups ricotta cheese, part-skim preferred
  • 3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips, mini chocolate chips preferred
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract1/3 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 2 tablespoons simple syrup or vanilla syrup, to brush on cake, optional


Frosting:

  • 1 cup unsweetened baking cocoa
  • 1/2 teaspoon espresso powder, optional
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 3/4 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup (8 tablespoons) butter, preferably at room temperature for easiest mixing
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 cup confectioners' sugar, sifted


Directions:

To make the cake: Preheat the oven to 325°F. Lightly grease an 8 1/2" x 4 1/2" loaf pan.
In a medium-sized mixing bowl, beat together the butter, sugar, salt, vanilla, baking powder, espresso powder, and cocoa to make a sandy, somewhat clumpy mixture. Don't worry; the eggs will smooth things out.

Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl midway through this process.

Add half the flour to the bowl, beating at low speed to combine.

Add all of the milk, beating at low speed to combine.

Add the remaining flour, beating gently just until the batter is smooth.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan.

Bake the cake for about 70 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. The top may look a tiny bit damp; that's OK. If you have an instant-read thermometer, the center will register 210°F to 215°F, while just under the top will register about 198°F to 200°F.

Remove the cake from the oven, loosen the edges, wait 10 minutes, and turn it out of the pan onto a rack to cool.

Store completely cooled cake well wrapped, at room temperature, until ready to fill and frost.

To make the filling: Stir together the ricotta, sugar, vanilla, and chocolate chips. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

To make the frosting: sift the cocoa, confectioners' sugar, and espresso powder into a bowl.

Bring the cream to a simmer on the stove or in the microwave, and whisk into the cocoa mixture. At first the mixture will look grainy; continue whisking for a minute. You'll see the lumps disappear as the sugar dissolves and the cocoa hydrates. Set aside to cool to room temperature.

Place the butter, salt, and sifted confectioners' sugar in a large mixing bowl.

Beat until the mixture is smooth and fluffy. Beat in the vanilla.

With the mixer running on low speed, add the cocoa mixture a spoonful at a time until it's all incorporated. Scrape the bowl, then beat at medium speed for 1 minute.

To assemble the cake: Split the cake in thirds lengthwise, to make 3 layers. Brush the cut side of each layer with simple
syrup or vanilla syrup; this will help keep the cake moist.

Place the bottom layer on a serving plate. Spread with half the ricotta filling. Top with the second layer, and spread with the remaining filling. Place the third layer on top.

Ice the cake — top and sides — with the frosting.

Serve immediately; or refrigerate, well-wrapped, until ready to serve, preferably not longer than 24 hours. Cut in crosswise slices to serve.


Tips:

As with any cake, refrigeration will dry it out. If not served immediately, this should be refrigerated, and is best served within a day of preparation. When wrapping, stick a couple of skewers or toothpicks into the top, to keep the plastic wrap from sticking to the icing.

JAMBALAYA

Learn how to make this easy and delicious homemade jambalaya!



INGREDIENTS:

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 ribs celery, chopped
  • 1 white onion, diced
  • 1 small red bell pepper, cored and diced
  • 1 small yellow bell pepper, cored and diced
  • 1 small green bell pepper, cored and diced
  • 1-2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and finely chopped (*more/less to taste, see note below)
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 pound andouille sausage, thinly sliced into rounds
  • 3 cups chicken stock
  • 1 (14 ounces) can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 1/2 cups uncooked white or brown rice
  • 2 tablespoons Cajun or Creole seasoning (**more/less to taste, see note below)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoons thyme, crushed
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 pound raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • (optional) 1 cup thinly-sliced okra
  • salt and pepper
  • (optional garnishes: chopped fresh parsley, thinly-sliced green onions, hot sauce)



DIRECTIONS:

Heat 2 tablespoons. olive oil in a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Add celery, onion, bell peppers, jalapeno and garlic. Saute for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are soft and mostly cooked. Add the remaining tablespoon of olive oil, chicken and sausage, and stir to combine. Continue sauteing for an additional 5 minutes, or until the chicken is no longer pink and mostly cooked.
Add the chicken stock, tomatoes, rice, Cajun spice, bay leaf, thyme, and cayenne, and stir to combine. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer for about 25-30 minutes, or until the rice is cooked, stirring occasionally. (Don't forget to stir, or the rice may burn on the bottom of the pan.)
Once the rice is tender, add in the shrimp and okra and stir to combine. Let the mixture continue to simmer, stirring occasionally, until the shrimp are cooked and pink. Remove bay leaf and season the jambalaya with salt and pepper and hot sauce and additional Cajun/Creole seasoning if needed. Remove from heat and serve with optional garnishes if desired.

NOTE :

*If you like spicy jambalaya, I recommend adding 2 jalapenos with their seeds in. If you like it mild, I'd go with just 1 seeded jalapeno. Or you can go somewhere in between, and always add extra hot sauce at the end if it's too mild.
**I also like heavily seasoned jambalaya, so I go with a full 2 Tbsp. If you think that might be too much, I recommend adding just 1 Tbsp and then taste-testing the rice before adding the shrimp. If you want to add more at that point, just stir some extra seasoning in when you add the shrimp.

Pecan Balls (Christmas Cookies)



Melts in your mouth. These are a refreshing change from those too sweet Christmas Cookies.
Pecan Balls (Christmas Cookies)

YIELD: 24 servings

Ingredients:

  • 2 C ground pecans
  • ½ lb. butter
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 4 Tbsp. sugar
  • 2 C flour



Directions:

Cream sugar and butter, then add other ingredients. Make into small balls and bake at 375º F. until lightly browned. Shake in powdered sugar just before serving.

Pecan & Salted Caramel Candies


This quick, easy candy combines toasted pecans, caramel, chocolate, and coarse sea salt, for a gourmet touch..

Pecan & Salted Caramel Candies

Yield: 16 candies

Ingredients:

  • 16 bittersweet chocolate disks (1" to 1 1/2" disks)
  • 4-ounce block of caramel, cut into 16 pieces; or 16 caramel candies
  • a pinch of Fleur de Sel or other sea salt, to garnish each candy
  • 2/3 cup chopped pecans, toasted


Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 325°F.
  2. Divide the pecans into 16 small piles on a parchment-lined or lightly greased baking sheet (a scant 2 teaspoons pecans each).
  3. Flatten each caramel cube into the size of a half dollar, and place on the pecans.
  4. Heat in the oven for 2 to 3 minutes, until the caramel softens and begins to melt.
  5. Remove from the oven; wait 1 minute, then top each cluster with one disk of chocolate, pressing it into the softened caramel gently.
  6. Top each candy with a few flakes of Fleur de Sel, or other coarse sea salt.
  7. Allow the caramel and chocolate to cool and set before removing candies from the pan.

Pineapple Delight Dessert


If you're a pineapple lover like me then you'll love this dessert. The combination of the graham cracker crust, the creamy buttery filling, and the fluffy, pineapple-studded whipped cream is seriously amazing. I remember my grandma and my mom making this all the time growing up and it was always the perfect chilled summer dessert!

Pineapple Delight Dessert

Ingredients:

  • 1 14oz. can crushed pineapple
  • 1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
  • 2 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/2 cup butter or margarine, melted
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 cups whipped cream (prepared from a small carton of whipping cream, Cool Whip, or Dream Whip)
  • 1 and 1/2 cups icing sugar



Directions:

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F and place rack in the centre of the oven.

In a medium bowl, combine the graham cracker crumbs and 1/2 cup melted butter/margarine. Press the mixture into an 8x8" or 9x9" baking pan. Bake for 10 minutes, then cool completely on a wire rack.

In a separate bowl, mix together the 1/2 cup softened butter/margarine, icing sugar, egg, and vanilla with an electric mixer until smooth. Spread this mixture over the crust once it has completely cooled. Bake for 15 minutes, then remove and cool completely on a wire rack.

Prepare your whipped cream of choice. If using a carton of whipping cream, beat the cream in a medium bowl until it is thick and stiff. You may want to add 2 Tbsp. of white sugar and 1 tsp. vanilla extract for sweetness and flavour. Drain the juice from the canned crushed pineapple. Mix the whipped cream and pineapple together and spread evenly over top of the cooled butter filling.

Garnish the dessert with a sprinkle of graham cracker crumbs. Keep chilled and serve cold.

Flourless Chocolate Cake


Flourless Chocolate Cake

Ingredients:

For the cake:

  • 1  cup granulated sugar
  • 12  ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped (2 1/4 cups)
  • 3/4  ounce(1/4 cup) unsweetened natural cocoa powder, sifted if lumpy; more for the pan
  • 6  ounces(3/4 cup) unsalted butter, cut into six pieces; more for the pan
  • 5  large eggs
  • 1 1/2  teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4  teaspoon table salt




For the glaze:

  • 4  ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped (3/4 cup)
  • 1 1/2  ounces(3 tablespoons) unsalted butter


Directions:

make the cake:

Position a rack in the middle of the oven and heat the oven to 300 degrees F. Lightly butter the bottom of a 9x2-inch round cake pan and line it with a round of parchment. Lightly butter the parchment and the sides of the pan and dust with cocoa powder. Tap out any excess.

Melt the chocolate and butter in the microwave or in a medium metal bowl set in a skillet of barely simmering water, stirring with a rubber spatula until smooth. Remove the bowl from the water bath and set aside to cool slightly. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, combine the eggs, sugar, vanilla, salt, and 2 tablespoons water. Beat on medium high speed until the mixture is very foamy, pale in color, and doubled in volume, 2 minutes. Reduce the mixer speed to low and gradually pour in the chocolate mixture. Increase the speed to medium high and continue beating until well blended, about 30 seconds. Add the cocoa powder and mix on medium low just until blended, about 30 seconds.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake until a pick inserted in the center comes out looking wet with small gooey clumps, 40 to 45 minutes. Don't overcook. Let cool in the pan on a rack for 30 minutes. If necessary, gently push the edges down with your fingertips until the layer is even. Run a small knife around the edge of the pan to loosen the cake. Cover the cake pan with a wire rack and invert. Remove the pan and parchment and let the cake cool completely. The cake may look cinched in around its sides, which is fine. Transfer to a cake plate. Cover and refrigerate the cake until it's very cold, at least 6 hours or overnight.

glaze the cake:

Melt the chocolate and butter in the microwave or in a medium metal bowl set in a skillet of barely simmering water, stirring with a rubber spatula until smooth. Pour the warm glaze over the chilled cake and, using an offset spatula, spread the glaze evenly to within 1/4 inch of the edge. Refrigerate the cake until the glaze is set, 20 to 40 minutes. Before serving, remove the cake from the refrigerator and let it come to room temperature, 20 to 30 minutes. To serve, cut the cake into small, if not tiny, slices using a hot knife.

Gluten Free Chinese Honey Chicken

This healthier & better-than-takeout recipe for Chinese Honey Chicken is easy to make at home in only 30 minutes, and it’s gluten free!



A lot of inspiration for new recipe creation comes from suggestions by friends or family members. “Oh hey, I really love this dish, but can you make it healthier?” or “I’ve been looking for a good recipe for this or that.”

Today I introduce Gluten Free Chinese Honey Chicken! It’s very lightly pan fried in olive oil, instead of deep fried and lightly battered in cornstarch, making it a healthier, lighter, and of course, gluten-free version of the Chinese Honey Chicken you’ll get from your local takeout!


Ingredients


  • ½ cup honey
  • 2 tbsp Gluten-Free Soy Sauce
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • ½ tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • ½ cup cornstarch
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 egg (whisked)
  • 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts (sliced into cubes)
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 red chili pepper (de-seeded & sliced)
  • 3 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 2 tbsp green onions (diced)


Instructions


  1. In a small bowl, whisk the honey, soy sauce, apple cider vinegar, sesame oil and red pepper flakes together, set the bowl aside.
  2. Combine the cornstarch and brown sugar in a shallow bowl or on a rimmed plate.
  3. Place the whisked egg in a separate shallow bowl.
  4. Add the chicken to the egg, then coat it in the cornstarch mixture.
  5. Add the olive oil to a large skillet over medium-high heat.
  6. Add the chili pepper and garlic.
  7. Saute 1-2 minutes, then add the coated chicken.
  8. Cook the chicken until slightly brown on all sides.
  9. Pour the honey sauce over the chicken, sauté 2-3 minutes.
  10. Reduce the heat to low, cover the skillet and simmer for 6-8 minutes.
  11. Top with the diced green onions and serve.


NESTLÉ® TOLL HOUSE® Famous Fudge


I love this fudge! It's something that can be made quickly and the end results are perfect.. I made this fudge for the first time last week and it is amazing! Everyone that I shared it with just loved it. I love how easy it is to make. This is going to be made very often at our house! Especially for pot lucks when I have to bring the dessert..

NESTLÉ® TOLL HOUSE® Famous Fudge


Yield: 24 servings

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups (9 oz.) NESTLÉ® TOLL HOUSE® Semi-Sweet Chocolate Morsels
  • 2/3 cup (5 fl.-oz. can) NESTLÉ® CARNATION® Evaporated Milk
  • 2 tablespoons butter or margarine
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups miniature marshmallows
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans or walnuts (optional)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt


Directions:

LINE 8-inch-square baking pan with foil.

COMBINE sugar, evaporated milk, butter and salt in medium, heavy-duty saucepan. Bring to a full rolling boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Boil, stirring constantly, for 4 to 5 minutes. Remove from heat.

STIR in marshmallows, morsels, nuts and vanilla extract. Stir vigorously for 1 minute or until marshmallows are melted. Pour into prepared baking pan; refrigerate for 2 hours or until firm. Lift from pan; remove foil. Cut into 48 pieces.

FOR MILK CHOCOLATE FUDGE:
SUBSTITUTE 1 3/4 cups (11.5-oz. pkg.) NESTLÉ® TOLL HOUSE® Milk Chocolate Morsels for Semi-Sweet Morsels.

FOR BUTTERSCOTCH FUDGE:
SUBSTITUTE 1 2/3 cups (11-oz. pkg.) NESTLÉ® TOLL HOUSE® Butterscotch Flavored Morsels for Semi-Sweet Morsels.

FOR PEANUTTY CHOCOLATE FUDGE:
SUBSTITUTE 1 2/3 cups (11-oz. pkg.) NESTLÉ® TOLL HOUSE® Peanut Butter & Milk Chocolate Morsels for Semi-Sweet Morsels and 1/2 cup chopped peanuts for pecans or walnuts

Cheesecake Stuffed Strawberries

Try these easy red, white, and blue Cheesecake Stuffed Strawberries for a healthier patriotic dessert!



These cheesecake stuffed strawberries couldn’t be easier!  I’ve seen so many versions out there.  Some of which make you cut off the top and bottom of the strawberry and scoop out the centers.  Why would you give yourself more work to do and waste yummy fruit like that?!

Simply cut off the stem so you have a flat end, cut an “X” in the tip, and pipe the filling inside.  It opens up as you fill it.  Don’t go wasting that fruit!

To make these patriotic, instead of sprinkling the tops with crushed graham crackers, we’re topping these with a fresh, plump blueberry.  Voila!  Red, white, and blue cheesecake stuffed strawberries!

Depending on how ripe your berries are, you can prep these ahead of time too.  My strawberries were still quite firm, so they lasted a couple days in the refrigerator without leaking juices all over the place and dissolving the cheesecake centers.
You should really make these though… they are pretty darn tasty!



Ingredients

  • 24+ large, fresh strawberries (1½ to 2 lbs, depends on how much you fill them)
  • 1 (8oz) package cream cheese, room temperature or softened slightly
  • ½ cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ cup fresh blueberries


Instructions

  1. Cut the stems from the strawberries, so the strawberries can sit cut-side down.
  2. Cut a deep "X" from the tip down, being careful not to cut all the way through.
  3. Beat the cream cheese, powdered sugar, and vanilla in a bowl with a hand mixer until nice and fluffy.
  4. Gently open up each strawberry and pipe the filling inside using a pastry bag or zip-top bag with a star piping tip. Don't have a pastry bag or piping tip? Just cut off the corner of a zip-top bag and squeeze the cheesecake filling inside the strawberries that way.
  5. Top each filled strawberry with a blueberry. These are best served after the strawberries have been chilled for at least an hour. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator up to 3 days depending on how firm/soft the strawberries are.


Turkey Taco Lettuce Wraps

Healthy eating is very doable with recipes like this one! My husband and I couldn’t get over how good these were and even my kids loved them! This is one of those recipes that I will definitely add to my dinner rotation because these tacos not only taste amazing but they are a breeze to prepare and they are something I feel great about feeding my family.



This is actually the first time I’ve used ground turkey for tacos. I’ve been stubborn for years and finally decided to try them with ground turkey. I was raised on the ground beef tacos, my mom made them on a weekly basis so I never really wanted to try swapping out the beef for turkey because I’ve always loved the other version so much. Surprisingly enough I liked this turkey variation just as much! Yes it has a different, non-beefy flavor profile but with all the seasoning in these you don’t even miss that flavor. These are just light and refreshing, a dinner you don’t feel weighed down with after eating.

You don’t need to add all the toppings listed to these (I’m just known to always load my tacos up), but I’d say the cheese and tomatoes are a must – and the avocados just make them that much better. Then if you want to add more healthy fillers you could toss in some black beans or corn. These tacos are so incredibly delicious, I already can’t wait to make them again! This is healthy eating done right.



Ingredients

  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 3/4 cup chopped yellow onion
  • 1 lb 95% lean ground turkey
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 Tbsp chili powder (preferably 2 tsp regular chili powder and 1 tsp ancho chili powder)
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 cup tomato sauce
  • 1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • Iceberg or Romain lettuce leaves, doubled up, for serving
  • Shredded Mexican cheese, diced Roma tomatoes, diced red onion, diced avocado, chopped cilantro, light sour cream, for serving


Directions

Heat olive oil in a non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and saute 2 minutes. Add turkey and garlic, season with salt and pepper, and cook, tossing and breaking up turkey occasionally, until cooked through, about 5 minutes. Add chili powder, cumin, paprika, tomato sauce and chicken broth. Reduce to a simmer and cook about 5 minutes until sauce has reduced. Serve mixture over lettuce leaves with desired toppings.


Strawberry Pancakes

These strawberry pancakes are light, fluffy, and thick. Packed with strawberries, you'll have a burst of berry flavor in every bite (which is a welcome sight when you're desperate for spring). The pancakes are not overly sweet, so you have the power to control how sweet you'd like your breakfast. I enjoyed these drizzled with a little honey and maple syrup. These pancakes make for a lovely spring brunch



Ingridients

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 2 cups sliced strawberries


Instructions

  1. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Make a well in the flour with a spatula and pour in the egg, milk, honey, and butter. Mix until just combined. Fold in the strawberries.
  2. Pour 1/4 cup of batter onto a heated griddle and cook each side until lightly browned. The batter may look slightly "doughy" when fully cooked; this is just a result of the moisture in the strawberries. Serve hot! Sprinkle with powdered sugar or drizzle with honey and maple syrup.

SPICY SHRIMP PHO

This Spicy Shrimp Pho is a twist on the traditional Vietnamese soup made with hot steaming chicken broth, shrimp, cilantro and fresh squeezed lime juice.



Pho (pronounced “fuh”) is a traditional Vietnamese soup made of noodles, thinly sliced beef, and beef stock. I made a twist on the original and used chicken broth and shrimp instead of beef.

Typically rice noodles are used in pho. I substituted whole wheat thin spaghetti. Instead of the typical aromatic spices I used cilantro and lime to bring out the lighter flavors of the shrimp.
This Shrimp Po soup is warm and comforting. The star of this dish is the broth. So simple yet so flavorful.

To make this Spicy Shrimp Pho start by sauteing garlic, green onions and jalapeno in a large pot or dutch oven. Add in chicken broth, fish sauce and sesame oil. Bring to a simmer and toss in shrimp and mushrooms. Ladle on top of cooked pasta. Garnish with extra jalapeno slices, chopped cilantro and lime wedges.

INGREDIENTS

  • 4 ounces whole wheat thin spaghetti
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon jalapeno, minced
  • 2 tablespoons green onion, sliced thin
  • 6 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon fish sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 cup button mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 12 ounces large shrimp, uncooked
  • ⅛ teaspoon pepper
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon cilantro, chopped


INSTRUCTIONS


  1. Cook spaghetti until aldente.
  2. Meanwhile add oil to a large pot or dutch oven.
  3. Add garlic, jalapeno and green onions. Saute for 1-2 minutes.
  4. Pour in chicken stock, fish sauce and sesame oil. Bring to a simmer.
  5. Stir in mushrooms and shrimp. Simmer until the mushrooms are tender and the shrimp is fully cooked.
  6. Take off of the heat and stir in pepper, lime juice, and cilantro. Serve immediately.
  7. Garnish with extra lime wedges and cilantro if desired.

Peppermint Bark Cheesecake

I made this cheesecake, and every cheesecake I ever make with the one and only Philadelphia cream cheese! I’m not normally so brand biased but when it comes to cream cheese Philadelphia is far superior to anything else I’ve ever tried.



It’s texture and flavor is simply the best! So of course it’s what I recommend using for this unbelievably divine Peppermint Bark Cheesecake. Kraft and Walmart have teamed up to bring you many other delicious recipes using Kraft products including Philadelphia cream cheese, all in one place, the Kraft Hub.

If you like cheesecake or peppermint bark you simply have to try this heavenly cheesecake! It’s the perfect blend of the two and of course it’s perfectly festive for the holidays. Even though I just barely made this I’m thinking I have no choice but to make it again for Christmas. I mean what better dessert could there be to serve on Christmas day? It so good it may just become a holiday tradition for you and your family! It’s a slice of pepperminty bliss that’s destined to be thoroughly enjoyed! And don’t forget to check out the Kraft Hub for more great recipes!

Ingredients

Crust

  • 20 (228g) cream filled chocolate wafers, such as original Oreos, finely crushed
  • 3 Tbsp (43g) unsalted butter, melted


Cheesecake filling

  • 6 oz. white chocolate, chopped
  • 1/2 cup (120ml) heavy cream
  • 3 1/2 (8 oz) pkgs. Philadelphia Cream Cheese, well softened (28 oz total)
  • 1 cup (215g) granulated sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 tsp peppermint extract (use an extra 1/2 tsp if you'd like a stronger flavor)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup (120g) sour cream
  • 5 oz. semi-sweet chocolate, chopped, plus about 3 oz. more for topping
  • 1/3 cup (58g) peppermint bits or crushed candy canes or starlight mints, plus more for topping


Mousse

  • 2 oz. white chocolate, chopped
  • 1 cup (235ml) heavy cream
  • 2 Tbsp (30g) granulated sugar
  • 4 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 tsp peppermint extract



Directions

For the crust:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line outside of an 9-inch springform pan with an 18 by 18-inch sheet of heavy duty aluminum foil (this will prevent water from leaking into cheesecake so make sure it doesn't get any tears). In a mixing bowl using a fork, stir together crushed cream filled chocolate wafers with melted butter until mixture is evenly moistened. Firmly press mixture into an even layer in bottom of springform pan. Bake in preheated oven 10 minutes then remove from oven and allow to cool on a wire rack. Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees.

For the cheesecake filling:
Bring 4 quarts of water to a boil in a large pot. Meanwhile add 6 oz. white chocolate and 1/2 cup heavy cream to a medium microwave safe bowl. Heat in microwave on 50% power in 20 second increments, stirring well between intervals, until melted and smooth. Set aside to cool. Meanwhile in a mixing bowl using an electric hand mixer whip together cream cheese and granulated sugar just until smooth. Mix in eggs one at a time then blend in peppermint extract, vanilla extract, and sour cream. Mix in melted white chocolate mixture. Tap bowl forcefully against countertop about 30 times to release large air pockets. Add in 5 oz chopped chocolate (I didn't mix in the small chocolate shavings for a cleaner looking cheesecake) and the peppermint bits and quickly fold several times (the peppermint bits will begin to die the batter so fold in quickly so it doesn't tint all of it pink). Spray the sides of springform pan lightly with non-stick cooking spray then pour mixture over crust layer in pan. Set cheesecake in a large roasting pan then set pan on rack in center of oven. Carefully pour in enough boiling water around springform pan until it comes halfway up the sides of the springform pan. Bake cheesecake edges are beginning to set but center still jiggles slightly, about 1 hour 20 - 1 hour 30 minutes. Carefully remove from oven (and roasting pan) an allow to cool on a wire rack 45 minutes then cover with plastic wrap leaving a small opening on one side for heat to escape and chill 8 hours or overnight.

For the mousse:
Melt white chocolate in a small microwave safe bowl on 50% power in 20 second intervals, stirring well between intervals until melted and smooth. Set aside and let cool until lukewarm. Meanwhile in a mixing bowl using an electric hand mixer, whip heavy cream until soft peaks form then add sugar and whip until very stiff peaks form (it should start to loose that wet sheen - unless you live in a very humid environment in may never appear slightly dry). In a separate mixing bowl whip cream cheese until smooth then mix in melted white chocolate and peppermint extract. Fold in whipped cream. Spread into an even layer over cooled cheesecake and return to refrigerator and chill 1 1/2 hours longer. Garnish top edges with chopped chocolate and peppermint bits, then run a knife around edges to ensure cheesecake is loosened then remove ring from springform pan and cut into slices.

STRAWBERRY NUTELLA FRENCH TOAST ROLL UPS

These french toast roll ups taste like an awesome doughnut!



INGREDIENTS

  • 6 slices fresh white sandwich bread, crusts removed
  • ½ punnet strawberries, diced small
  • 4½ tbsp Nutella
  • ¼ cup caster sugar (superfine sugar) (Note 1)
  • 1 tbsp butter


Egg Mixture

  • 1 egg (large)
  • 2 tbsp milk (full cream or low fat)
  • Pinch of salt


INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Combine Egg Mixture in a bowl with a flat base large enough to lie the roll up in. Whisk to combine.
  2. Spread sugar out in a small dish.
  3. Use a rolling pin to roll the bread flat. This makes them easier to roll up (and stay rolled up).
  4. Spread each piece of bread with around ¾ tbsp of Nutella.
  5. Sprinkle strawberries along the bottom of each piece of bread.
  6. Roll up bread. The Nutella will keep it sealed.
  7. Melt butter in pan over medium high heat.
  8. Roll each roll up in the Egg Mixture, shake off excess then place in the pan. Repeat with remaining roll ups.
  9. Cook for around 4 minutes until each side is golden, rotating every 1 minute or so.
  10. Remove from pan and immediately place in the sugar. Roll to coat in sugar, then remove. Repeat with remaining roll ups.
  11. Serve immediately, while warm.


NOTES

1. You won't use all the sugar. But I find that you need around ¼ cup to ensure each roll up is evenly coated. You might be able to get away with less. If you sprinkle it on instead of rolling it, it won't stick as well.

Icing sugar (confectionary sugar) doesn't work, it just disappears instantly when it touches the roll up.

2. These are best eaten fresh. They tend to go soggy and because of the sugar, the bread "sweats" if left out.


Best Brownies


These brownies are magnificent!!! I mean "melt in your mouth" .. :)

Best Brownies

makes 16 brownies

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs



Frosting:

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder


Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour an 8-inch square pan.
  2. In a large saucepan, melt 1/2 cup butter. Remove from heat, and stir in sugar, eggs, and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Beat in 1/3 cup cocoa, 1/2 cup flour, salt, and baking powder. Spread batter into prepared pan.
  3. Bake in preheated oven for 25 to 30 minutes. Do not overcook.
  4. To Make Frosting: Combine 3 tablespoons softened butter, 3 tablespoons cocoa, honey, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, and 1 cup confectioners' sugar. Stir until smooth. Frost brownies while they are still warm.

Tagliatelle Short-rib Bolognese


I continue to build up the flavour with dried porcini mushrooms, tomato paste, balsamic vinegar and Italian seasoning before finishing things off by adding parmesan, cream and a touch of fish sauce. Because this dish is a long slow braise dish it's perfect for the slow cooker so you can throw everything into the slow cooker in the morning and have a super tasty meal waiting for you when you get home at night! Once the meat has finished cooking it will be falling apart tender and you can serve it tossed with your favourite pasta and you will be in pure flavour heaven!

I continue to build up the flavour with dried porcini mushrooms, tomato paste, balsamic vinegar and Italian seasoning before finishing things off by adding parmesan, cream and a touch of fish sauce. Because this dish is a long slow braise dish it's perfect for the slow cooker so you can throw everything into the slow cooker in the morning and have a super tasty meal waiting for you when you get home at night! Once the meat has finished cooking it will be falling apart tender and you can serve it tossed with your favourite pasta and you will be in pure flavour heaven!


Ingredients

  • 1 ounce dried porcini mushrooms
  • 1/4 pound pancetta (or bacon), diced
  • 1 pound boneless short ribs or other stewing/braising cut of beef, cut into 1-2 inch cubes
  • 1 cup onion, diced
  • 1 cup carrot, diced
  • 1 cup celery, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • red pepper flakes to taste
  • 4 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 cup dry white (or red) wine (or beef broth)
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • 1 (28 ounce) can tomatoes, crushed
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 cup parmesan, grated
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream or milk
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 8 ounces pasta (gluten free for gluten free)
  • grated parmesan to taste
  • fresh parsley and/or basil to taste



Instructions



  1. Cover the porcini mushrooms in 1 cup boiled water and let soak until tender, about 20 minutes, before chopping the mushrooms and reserving the mushroom water.
  2. Meanwhile, cook the pancetta in a large sauce pan and set aside reserving the grease.
  3. Cook the beef in the same pan over medium-high heat until browned on all sides before setting aside.
  4. Add the onions, carrots and celery to the pan and cook until tender, about 10 minutes.
  5. Add the garlic, red pepper flakes, mushrooms and tomato paste and saute until fragrant, about a minute.
  6. Add the red wine, deglaze the pan, add the reserved mushroom water, pancetta, beef, broth, tomatoes, balsamic vinegar and Italian seasoning, bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low and simmer, covered, until the beef is falling apart tender, about 2-3 hours. (You can also transfer the pot to the oven preheated to 275F/140C and cook until falling apart tender, about 3-4 hours.)
  7. Mix in the parmesan and cream and season with fish sauce, salt and pepper to taste.
  8. Meanwhile, cook the pasta as directed, toss with the sauce and enjoy topped with parmesan and parsley.


Slow Cooker: Optionally implement steps 1-5, place everything but the parmesan, cream, fish sauce and pasta into the slow cooker and cook for 8-10 hours on low or 3-4 hours on high before continuing with step 7.
Note: If there is not enough grease left in the pan after cooking the pancetta, add some oil to the pan before adding the beef or the veggies.
Option: If you have some parmesan rinds, throw them in for the braise and remove them before serving.
Note: Replace the Italian seasoning with 1 teaspoon of each dried oregano, basil and thyme.


Cinnamon Coffee Cake Bread


Whenever I see a cinnamon recipe I always bookmark it to make because no matter what it is I know I will like it. So when I saw this recipe I knew I had to make it and wasted no time in making it. I have been craving sweets ever since I got back from vacation,, it really hit the spot, the cinnamon filling mixture was fantastic. For being a quick bread it is a little more involved but it once it is done it looks more complicated than it really is.

Cinnamon Coffee Cake Bread

Ingredients:

  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup butter at room temperature
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 2 heaping tablespoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup white sugar


Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray a 9x5 inch loaf pan with non stick spray. Mix the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt together in a bowl and set aside. Mix the buttermilk and vanilla in a measuring cup and set aside. Mix the brown sugar and cinnamon together in a bowl and set aside. In a bowl cream the butter and white sugar together and then add in the eggs one at a time. Add 1/3 of the flour mixture and mix to combine, then add 1/2 of the buttermilk mixture. Repeat this and end with the flour. Pour 1/3 of the batter into the prepared pan and top with 1/3 of the cinnamon mixture, repeat so that the final layer of cinnamon mixture is the topping on the bread. Bake for 50-60 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean.

Buttermilk Brownies With Peanut Butter Cream Cheese Icing


I added a little extra peanut butter to the frosting....everyone loved it! :)

Buttermilk Brownies With Peanut Butter Cream Cheese Icing

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 c. buttermilk
  • 1 c. flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 c. butter
  • 1 c. water
  • 2 c. sugar
  • 1/3 c. cocoa
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla


Directions:
Combine flour, sugar, baking soda and set aside

In a medium saucepan combine butter, cocoa and water and bring to boiling while stirring constantly. Remove from heat.

Add chocolate mixture to the flour mixture, beat on medium speed until combined.

Add eggs, vanilla and buttermilk & beat for one minute (batter will be thin)

Pour into greased 9 X 13 pan

Bake at 350 for 30-35 minutes


for the icing:

  • 1/4 c. reduced fat peanut butter
  • 1/4 c. butter, softened
  • 1/4 c. reduced fat cream cheese, softened
  • 2 c. confectioner’s sugar
  • 3 tbsp milk


cream together first three ingredients and then gradually add sugar to desired consistency, The milk can be left out for a stiffer icing, or if the milk makes the icing too thin, additional sugar can be added. Spread on cooled brownies.

Barefoot Contessa's Lemon Bars


I was looking for an easy lemon bar recipe and came across this one by the Barefoot Contessa.  It was super easy and came out delicious!

Barefoot Contessa's Lemon Bars

Ingredients:


  • For the crust:
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 pound unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • For the filling:
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 6 extra-large eggs at room temperature
  • 3 cups granulated sugar
  • Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting
  • 2 tablespoons grated lemon zest (4 to 6 lemons)
  • 1 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice




Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

For the crust, cream the butter and sugar until light in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Combine the flour and salt and, with the mixer on low, add to the butter until just mixed. Dump the dough onto a well-floured board and gather into a ball. Flatten the dough with floured hands and press it into a 9 x 13 x 2-inch baking sheet, building up a 1/2-inch edge on all sides. Chill.

Bake the crust for 15 to 20 minutes, until very lightly browned. Let cool on a wire rack. Leave the oven on.

For the filling, whisk together the eggs, sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice, and flour. Pour over the crust and bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until the filling is set. Let cool to room temperature.

Cut into triangles and dust with confectioners’ sugar.

Chicken Jalfrezi


Chicken jalfrezi is up there as a curry house favourite and this version by Simon Rimmer shows it’s as easy as anything to make at home.

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 onion, peeled, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled, sliced
  • 1 tsp chilli powder
  • 3 tsp ground turmeric
  • pinch salt
  • 750g/1lb 10oz skinless chicken breast, cut into large chunks
  • 1 x 400g tin chopped tomatoes
  • 2 tsp ground ginger
  • 3 tsp ground cumin
  • 3 tsp ground coriander
  • 2 tbsp melted butter
  • 1 lemon, juice only


Method


  1. Heat the oil in a pan and fry the onion and garlic over a low to medium heat for 4-5 minutes, or until softened.
  2. Mix the chilli powder, turmeric and salt together in a bowl until well combined, then add the chicken pieces and mix well to coat. Add the coated chicken to the pan and fry for 10-15 minutes, or until golden-brown and cooked through.
  3. Stir the tomatoes, ginger, cumin and coriander into the pan, then reduce the heat until the mixture is just simmering. Cover the pan with a lid and cook for 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally and adding a tablespoon of water every so often if the mixture appears too dry.
  4. Stir in the butter and add the lemon juice, to taste.
  5. To serve, spoon the chicken jalfrezi onto serving plates. Serve with rice, naan and lime wedges on the side, then garnish with the chopped coriander and sliced red chillies.

"Ho-Ho" Cake


This super easy Hostess "Ho Ho" Cake is a great way to bring back fond childhood memories! I made this cake to take over to my aunt who just had shoulder surgery. She is a huge chocolate fan and I thought that this cake would be perfect for her! A moist chocolate cake with a super sweet and creamy vanilla buttercream filling and a chocolate glaze! What is there not to love about this cake? It was a huge hit!

"Ho-Ho" Cake

For the cake:
-1 box of your chocolate cake mix, plus the ingredients called for on the box or use your favorite chocolate cake recipe (this is mine)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a jelly roll pan with non-stick cooking spray, set aside. Prepare chocolate cake according to package directions. Pour batter into prepared pan and spread around until it's even. Bake for 15-20 minutes.
Remove cake and let cool for 30 minutes. While cake is cooling, prepare the middle layer.

For the middle layer:
-1/2 cup butter, softened
-1/2 cup vegetable shortening
-4 cups powdered sugar
-2-3 tablespoons milk

Cream butter and shortening in a large mixing bowl. Gradually add remaining ingredients and beat until mixture is thick, combined, and spreadable. Spread in an even layer on the chocolate cake. Set in the freezer for 15 minutes while you make the chocolate glaze.

For the chocolate glaze:
-1/2 cup butter
-1/2 cup cocoa powder
-2 cups powdered sugar
-2-4 tablespoons milk

In a medium size pot, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the cocoa powder and whisk until smooth. Remove from heat and mix in the powdered sugar and milk. Remove cake from freezer and evenly frost with the glaze. Store in the refrigerator.

Lemon Cake-Pie


This super-easy pie bakes into a light (almost angel-food-like) cake on top of a creamy custardy crust-full-of-yummy-ness!

Lemon Cake-Pie

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated lemon peel, (I usually add more)
  • 1 9-inch deep dish pie crusts, I use Marie Callender's frozen. No need to defrost. No need to prebake
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 1/4 cups milk, I use 2%
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 6 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, (please use fresh)
  • 3 eggs, separated


Directions:

  1. Put rack on lowest position in oven.
  2. Preheat oven to 375.
  3. In a medium bowl, stir together melted butter and sugar.
  4. Stir in flour, salt, lemon peel and lemon juice.
  5. In a small bowl, beat egg yolks with milk until well blended, stir into lemon mixture.
  6. In another medium sized bowl, beat egg whites with an electric mixer until they hold distinct but moist peaks. Gently fold egg whites into lemon mixture. (Don't mix it too much.).
  7. Pour filling into pie crust.
  8. I always end up with more filling than will fit in the pie crust so I put it in a couple ceramic ramekins and cook it along with the pie.
  9. Bake on the lowest rack of the oven until the top is browned and the center jiggles only slightly when pan is gently shaken (45-55 minutes). If the crust begins to brown excessively, drape it with foil.
  10. Let cool before serving. But it's good warm too!

Banana Cream Cheesecake


This lovely company dessert can be made a day or two in advance..

Banana Cream Cheesecake

Yield: 10 servings

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1-3/4 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted


FILLING:

  • 1 package (8 ounces) Philadelphia® Cream Cheese, softened
  • 1-3/4 cups cold milk
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 package (3.4 ounces) instant banana cream pudding mix
  • 1 carton (8 ounces) frozen whipped topping, thawed, divided
  • 3 to 4 medium firm bananas, sliced



Directions:

  1. In a small bowl, combine cracker crumbs and sugar; stir in butter. Set aside 1/2 cup for topping. Press remaining crumb mixture onto the bottom and up the sides of a greased 9-in. springform pan or 9-in. square baking pan. Bake at 350° for 5-7 minutes. Cool on wire rack.
  2. In a large bowl, beat cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Fold in 2 cups whipped topping. Arrange half of the banana slices in crust; top with half of the cream cheese mixture. Repeat layers.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk milk and pudding mix for 2 minutes. Let stand for 2 minutes or until soft-set; fold in remaining whipped topping. Pour over the cream cheese layer. Sprinkle with reserved crumb mixture. Refrigerate for 1-2 hours or until set.

White Chocolate Raspberry Swirl Cheesecake

I have a really good one for you today! It’s a White Chocolate Raspberry Swirl Cheesecake, a soft and smooth cheesecake made with fresh raspberry swirl, layers of white chocolate on the bottom and on top.



This cheesecake turned out unbelievably good! White chocolate and raspberry is a classic flavor combination and you just can’t beat a classic. I haven’t made one this flavor before, so I knew I need to add it to my collection! I made raspberry topping with fresh raspberries and I would highly recommend it instead of using any kind of preserve. It might take a little extra time, but the fresh raspberry taste is so worth it! The cheesecake itself is so smooth, soft and light…ah, it’s pure heaven on a plate.

This is really an amazing treat for all of you!

INGREDIENTS

Crust:

  • 1½ cups graham cracker crumbs
  • ¼ cup dark brown sugar
  • 5 Tbsp butter, melted
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 4.4 oz. white chocolate bar (goes on top of pressed crust)


Cheesecake:

  • 3 8-oz cream cheese packs
  • ¾ cup of heavy cream
  • 2 tbs plain yogurt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1½ Tbsp corn starch
  • ½ cup of white granulated sugar


Raspberry topping:

  • 6 oz raspberries
  • ½ cup white granulated sugar
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ Tbsp cornstarch


Topping:

  • 2 oz white chocolate, melted




INSTRUCTIONS

  1. ~ Grease a 9-inch spring form and set it aside. Preheat the oven to 325.
  2. For crust: Mix the graham cracker crumbs, sugar, melted butter and vanilla. Stir very well, until all incorporated. Press graham cracker mixture into the pan, evenly, all over the bottom and about half way up the side. Break up the chocolate into small rectangles and layer them on top of crust, evenly all over the bottom.
  3. Cheesecake:
  4. Start beating cream cheese and sugar on medium high speed until smooth, about 2 minutes.
  5. Add vanilla extract, and yogurt. Mix until combined.
  6. Add eggs, one at the time, beating after each addition. Scrape sides and bottom of the bowl and beat until all incorporated.
  7. Add corn starch and while on medium low, pour in heavy cream. Mix until all combined, scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl and mix again.
  8. Pour the cheesecake batter into the spring form with crust.
  9. Raspberry topping:
  10. In a small sauce pot, over medium heat, combine raspberries, vanilla, lemon juice and sugar. Mix well and cook, over medium heat and covered for about 10 minutes. Smash all the berries with a wooden spoon and cook for another 10 minutes on medium-low heat.
  11. Whisk in cornstarch and strain the mixture through a fine strainer to get rid of the seeds and leftover skin. The mixture should be thickened.
  12. Pour it slowly over the top of the cheesecake and carefully swirl it in to the cheesecake but don't mix.
  13. Place the spring form in the oven, inside a large roasting pan. Carefully add some hot water to the roasting pan, filling it about ½ of the way up the side of the spring form.
  14. Bake for 70-75 minutes. Sides of the cheesecake should be set but still a little jiggle in the center.
  15. Let cook completely and refrigerate until ready to serve.