Tuesday, May 5, 2015

The Best Blondies

I needed a quick dessert on Saturday and this was it!  YUM!  My friend Janet gave me the recipe and I had also saved it from a Gooseberry Patch cookbook. 
The Best Blondies
Gooseberry Patch book/Janet

1 cup butter, melted
2 cups brown sugar, packed
2 eggs, beaten
2 tsp. vanilla
2 cups flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1 cup chopped pecans
1 cup white chocolate chips
3/4 cups toffee or caramel baking bits Beth used chocolate covered toffee bits

Line a 9x13 baking pan with parchment. Spray sides with Pam. Mix butter and brown sugar. Beat in eggs and vanilla until smooth. Stir in flour, baking powder and salt; mix in pecans, white chocolate chips and baking bits. 375 for 30-40

Monday, May 4, 2015

Cinnamon Toast Crunch Granola Bars

I had a box and a half of Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal, so I went searching for a recipe to make.  This tastes great, but it is really crumbly.  I think it would make a great ice cream topping. 

Cinnamon Toast Crunch Granola Bars


1/3 cup butter
1/3 cup honey
1/2 cup brown sugar
3 cups quick cooking oats
1 tsp cinnamon
1 cup toasted rice cereal
1 cup Cinnamon Toasted Crunch Cereal, crushed
1/2 tsp vanilla


1/4 cup mini chocolate chips
1/2 cup Cinnamon Toast Crunch Cereal, crushed

1. Stir oats, Cinnamon Toast Crunch, rice cereal together and cinnamon. Set aside.

2. Over medium heat, melt butter, honey and brown sugar together. Once it starts to bubble, reduce heat, and cook for 2 minutes. Stir in vanilla.

3. Pour syrup over the oat mixture. Stir until well coated. Pat into a greased sheet pan. Thoroughly press them together, or they will crumble when you cut into them.

4. Sprinkle chocolate chips and Cinnamon Toast Crunch Cereal evenly across the bars. Lightly press in the chips and cereal. Allow to cool for at least 2 hours. Cut into bars, store in air tight container at room temperature.

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Cake Batter Bark

I wanted to take treats to the kids at school when I was subbing this past week. I was searching through my recipes to find something without nuts. I found this while watching The Chew and knew it would work! 3 classrooms enjoyed this treat!

Cake Batter Bark
The Chew

1 pound dark chocolate (roughly chopped)(Beth used semi sweet chocolate chips)
3/4 pound white chocolate (roughly chopped)(Beth used white chocolate chips)
1/4 cup yellow cake mix(dry)
1/4 cup sprinkles

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Place the dark chocolate in a bowl over a double boiler and melt.(or melt in microwave for 1 minute , stir and do 15 sec increments until melted) Pour the melted chocolate onto the baking sheet, spreading to create an even layer.

Meanwhile, melt the white chocolate in a bowl over a double boiler. Add in the cake mix and stir until fully combined. Drizzle over the dark chocolate. Using a utensil, swirl the white chocolate throughout the dark. Top with the sprinkles.

Place in the freezer for 30 minutes.(Beth just refrigerated for an hour or so) Remove and break into pieces. Refrigerate in an airtight container until ready to eat.

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Chicken Fajita Pasta

This was quick and easy to make after teaching all day.  We all liked it.
Chicken Fajita Pasta


2 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 envelope (3 tablespoons) taco or fajita seasoning
2 cups diced onion (about 1 whole onion)
2 cups diced bell peppers (2-3 bell peppers)
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
½ cup heavy cream
1 (10-oz) can Ro-Tel Diced Tomatoes and Green Chiles
8 oz (about 3 cups) penne pasta
½ teaspoon salt

1. Cut the chicken into bite-sized pieces. Season with half of taco seasoning. In a 12-inch skillet, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over high heat. When the oil is very hot, carefully add the chicken in a single layer and cook without stirring until one side is seared and browned, about 1-2 minutes. Flip the chicken to the other side and cook until browned. Remove the chicken to a plate and set aside.

2. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil to the skillet with the heat still on high. When the oil is very hot again, add the onions, bell peppers, and remaining taco seasoning. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the veggies are slightly blackened. Turn heat to low, add minced garlic, and stir until fragrant and well combined, about 30 seconds. Remove the veggies to the plate with the chicken.

3. In the same skillet, add the broth, cream, diced tomatoes, uncooked pasta, and salt. Stir to combine and bring to a boil, then cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and cook for 15 minutes until pasta is tender and liquid is mostly absorbed. Add the chicken and veggies back into the skillet and stir to combine until heated through, about 2 minutes. Serve with buttery garlic bread and enjoy!

Makes: 4 servings.

Friday, May 1, 2015

White Chicken Enchilada Casserole

Ooops!  I realized about 7 this morning that I didn't have any recipes scheduled on the blog.  I substitute taught this week and it has thrown me off kilter!  I made this last night after school.  I had chopped cooked chicken in the freezer(yay for making extra last time)  We really liked this and it was easy to put together.
White Chicken Enchilada Casserole


3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups chicken stock
1 (4 ounce) can  chopped green chiles
½ teaspoon ground cumin
1 cup plain Greek yogurt or sour cream
10-12  soft flour tortillas, halved
2 cups shredded cooked chicken
2 (14-ounce) cans White Northern beans, rinsed and drained
3 cups shredded Pepper Jack cheese
1 avocado, peeled, pitted and diced
¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease a 9x13-inch baking pan with cooking spray, and set aside.
Heat butter in a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Add flour, and whisk to combine. Cook for 1 minute until lightly browned, stirring frequently. Add half of the chicken stock, and whisk until combined. Then add the remaining chicken stock, green chiles, and cumin, and whisk until combined.

Let the mixture continue heating until it reaches a simmer and thickens slightly, about 2-3 minutes. Stir in Greek yogurt (or sour cream) and whisk until combined. Remove from heat and set aside.

To assemble the enchiladas, place 8 tortilla halves in the prepared baking pan so that they cover the bottom of the pan. Spread about ? of the cream sauce evenly on top of the tortillas. Sprinkle half of the chicken on evenly on top of the sauce, followed by half of the beans, and 1 cup shredded cheese. Repeat with a second layer of tortillas, cream sauce, chicken, beans and cheese. Then add a final layer of just tortillas, cream sauce and cheese.

Cover the casserole with aluminum foil. Bake for 20 minutes. Then remove the aluminum foil and bake for an additional 15 minutes, uncovered, until the cheese is melted and begins to brown around the edges and the casserole is cooked through.
Remove pan, and sprinkle with avocado and fresh cilantro. Serve warm.

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Homemade Nestle Crunch Bars

I have had these in my 'to try files' for a long time.  They sure are easy to make and tasted great.  I used a mix of semi sweet, dark and white chocolate chips---just used up my open bags! 
Homemade Nestle Crunch Bars

24 ounces of chocolate chips (You can use milk chocolate, dark chocolate, or white chocolate)
1 ½ cups rice krispies

In a large bowl melt chocolate in the microwave at 50% power, stirring every 30 seconds until melted.

Once the chocolate is melted, stir in the rice krispies. Stir until mixed together well.

Line a 9×13 pan with parchment paper. (This helps the bars come out of the pan.)Spread chocolate mixture into the pan.

Refrigerate until firm.

Remove from fridge and let stand at room temperature for a few minutes, this will make them easier to cut. Remove from pan and cut into squares.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Slow Cooker Beef Tips and Gravy

I put this together using the homemade gravy mix I tried.  See my notes on that recipe.  We all liked this and will make it again.
Slow Cooker Beef Tips and Gravy

1 Cup Flour
1 tsp Onion Powder
1 tsp Garlic Powder
Salt and Pepper to Taste
2½ lbs Beef Tips or Stew Meat- Cut into Bite Sized Pieces
2-3 Tblsp Oil
1 Cup Water
1 Pkt Brown Gravy Mix  I used this
¼ Cup Worcestershire Sauce
¼ Cup Soy Sauce
Mashed Potatoes

Combine flour, garlic and onion powders and salt and pepper in a ziplock bag and toss meat to coat.

Heat oil to medium in a skillet or stove top safe slow cooker and brown meat.

Combine remaining ingredients and pour over top of meat in slow cooker.

Cook on low for 8-10 hours

Serve over mashed potatoes.