Goodies!!

On Saturday I had a Pure Romance party at my new apartment as kind of an apartment warming type party. It was a blast!! I had a lot of Brandon’s family over and a few coworkers/friends. I have a tendency to go a little overboard with snacks and drinks when I throw these little parties. And this one was no different. I made 3 different kinds of goodies, and they all went over really well!!! I made some blueberry cheesecake cookies, Cookies and Cream fudge, and a Cookie/Cake type bar. The Cookies and Cream fudge was eaten completely before I had a chance to remember to take a picture, so I apologize for that.

Blueberry Cheesecake Cookies

Ingredients:

  • 2 boxes of Blueberry Muffin Mix
  • 4 oz. Cream Cheese
  • 1 Stick of butter
  • 1/2 C. brown sugar
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 1/2 C. White Chocolate Chips

Directions:

  1. Cream together butter, brown sugar, and cream cheese. 
  2. Add the eggs, one at a time until well blended.
  3. Combine the muffin mixes with the butter mixture and mix well.
  4. Fold in the White Chocolate Chips.
  5. Chill the batter for at least one hour. **This is VERY important***
  6. Drop by Tabls fulls on a greased cookie sheet, about 2 inches apart.
  7. Bake at 325  for  14-15 minutes, or until just golden around the edges.
  8. Let cool on the cookie sheet for 1-2 minutes, and then on a wire rack to finish cooling.

I beg that you don’t forget to chill the batter! Also, in between baking, chill the batter. You do not want this batter to warm up to room temperature!

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Recipe from: http://the-inspiration-cafe.blogspot.com

 

Cookies and Cream Fudge

Ingredients:

  • 1 16oz pkg of Oreos 
  • 5 Cups (1 bag) large marshmallows
  • 4 Tbls butter

Directions:

  1. Line an 8×8 baking dish with tin foil, and leave quite a bit hanging over the edge. Heavily spray the foil.
  2. Place the Oreo’s in a food processor to crush, or in a large zip lock bag and crush with rolling pin. Pulse until crumbly, not completely ground.
  3. Melt the marshmallows and butter in a large microwave save bowl. Should take about 1-1 1/2 minutes.
  4. Once melted, pour the ground cookies into the marshmallow mixture. Quickly stir to combine and transfer to the lined baking dish.
  5. Allow to set for 10-15 minutes. Remove from pan by foil edges, cut and serve.

So know the website calls these bars, but it’s more like fudge consistency. Also, they are VERY sticky and hard to remove from the foil. Have patience and go slow!!

Recipe from: http://buddingbaketress.blogspot.com/2011/07/chewy-no-bake-cookies-cream-treats.html

Lazy Cake Cookies

Ingredients:

  • 1 box yellow cake mix
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 5 Tbsp butter, melted
  • 2 cups M&M’s or mini chocolate chips

Directions:

  1. Mix all ingredients together
  2. Spread mixture into a greased 9×13 cake pan.
  3. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes.

After you mix all of the ingredients  together, this batter will be VERY thick. If thats the case, add a few tablespoons of water to it. It should be thick, like cookie dough, but not so thick that you can’t spread it in the cake pan. I ended up using between 2-3 Tbls of water.

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Recipe from: http://www.imalazymom.com

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A Little Southern Cookin’

I love the fact that Brandon is open to trying different foods. I grew up with a dad that worked as head of kitchen, or manager, or restaurants, so I was always given the opportunity to try new things. I may not have always liked the new things I was trying, but I tried them. Since I’ve started cooking, I have realized I don’t like eating the same thing every night. When I tell people I’m on Weight Watchers I get a lot of “oh, so you eat a lot of chicken and rice…” Negative! I do eat a lot of chicken, that is true, but I make chicken a lot of different ways! Also, I add rice into different things. I don’t just sit down with a bowl of dry white rice. Gross!

Last week, while I was going through my pinterest recipes trying to find my next new recipe to make, and bouncing some of them off of Brandon, the only one that he got actually excited about was Jambalaya. Now, I may be open to trying new things, but I don’t like super spicy things, so I was a little worried knowing that Louisiana cooking is usually a bit on the spicy side, but this was AMAZING! Not to mention it was a crock pot recipe, which is always a plus. I followed the entire recipe, plus I added in some shrimp, mainly because we had some in the freezer…and come on, it’s Jambalaya! How can you have Jambalaya without shrimp?!

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into pieces
  • 1 lb andouille sausage, sliced
  • 1 28 oz can diced tomatoes, with juice
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 large green pepper, chopped
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 2 tsp. dried oregano
  • 2 tsp. dried parsley
  • 2 tsp. cajun seasoning
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • White Rice

Directions:

  1. Place all ingredients in the Crock Pot, except the rice.
  2. Cook on low for 7-8 hours, or on high for 3-4 hours.
  3. Cook up rice and add the rice into each bowl of jambalaya. DO NOT store the rice and the jambalaya together! The rice will soak up all of the liquid  from the jambalaya, and that is bad!

I lied, I didn’t just add shrimp. Instead of just 1 large green pepper, I used 1/2 a green pepper, 1/2 an orange pepper, and 1/2 a yellow pepper. I did this mainly because I like color in my food, and it looked really pretty 🙂 This recipe also reheats really well, but I also heated the rice up separately from the jambalaya to make sure there was still liquid there.

 

Recipe from: http://catsandcasseroles.blogspot.com/2011/10/slow-cooker-jambalaya.html

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Later this week I’m also making some Philly Cheese Steak stuffed peppers. I’m excited for this one!!!

New twist on an old classic

Growing up, meatloaf was something my parents made quite often. I’ve never disliked meatloaf, but new ways to make it are always welcome. After my parents divorced and my dad remarried, my step mom made her version of meatloaf. She made hers in the microwave, in a special pan, and it was round. This completely baffled my dad and I, and watching him try to get that first piece out of the round meatloaf pan was definitely entertaining! We just always referred to her meatloaf as “Polish Meatloaf” since she married into a completely German family. She also adds, what I refer to as, a layer of ketchup frosting. It’s really thick, and just a little too much for me. My roommate used to make meatloaf on occasion, and it would be kind of greasy. So really, all of this was making me not want to make meatloaf ever…which to Brandon was okay because he’s not a huge fan of it. I found a recipe awhile ago that I tried, it mixed ground turkey and ground chicken, it wasn’t bad, and he didn’t mind it. But, I want to wow him! I want Brandon to absolutely love everything I make! I know that’s unrealistic, that I will make things that one, or both of us, won’t like, but I don’t like to focus on that haha.

So as I was searching through pinterest (seriously, I’m addicted) I found a new recipe for meatloaf and it included a box of Stove Top Stuffing. Now for me, anything that involves Stove Top is A-OK in my book. I love that stuff! Maybe it’s the memories that it brings up of when I was little and we’d have it for dinner as a treat, or maybe it’s just that good. I’m not really sure what it is, and frankly I don’t care! Haha! So, tonight I made this new meatloaf, and honestly I could have eaten the entire loaf pan! I’ve never felt this way about meatloaf before! I almost don’t want to share it with Brandon when he gets home, but shhh, don’t tell him that. I read some of the reviews for the recipe and they mentioned different things to put on top of the meatloaf, like ketchup/mustard concoctions, adding some brown sugar, really whatever you’d put on normal meatloaf. But one person mentioned BBQ Sauce and I don’t know why I’ve never thought of that before. Brandon made some ribs last week and whipped up some homemade BBQ sauce, which there was a lot of extra of, so I put some of that one top and it was delicious!!!

Without any more rambling, here is the recipe:

Stove Top Stuffing Meatloaf

Ingredients:

  •  1 lb ground meat (beef or turkey)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 Box Stove Top Stuffing
  • 1 Cup Water

Directions:

  1. Mix all ingredients together
  2. Put in loaf pan, bake at 350 for about 45 minutes.

That’s it! So simple!! And seriously so good!!!! Like I said, I could have eaten the whole thing! I used ground turkey, and I didn’t take off the extra .25 pound that you get with the package of ground turkey, I just used the whole 1.25 pounds of it. I made the glazed carrots with this and a baked potato and it was the best dinner I’ve had in awhile!! Please make this and enjoy!!

Also, if any of you make any of the recipes I post, please let me know what you think of them! Any way you’ve changed them, tweaked them, or suggestions! I’d love to hear them!

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Recipe from: http://dancingthroughtheminefield.blogspot.com/2012/03/secret-ingredient-meatloaf.html

I hate moving

So I absolutely hate moving! I moved a lot while I was younger, so now I just despise it! Even though I moved from the main floor to the second floor, so no packing things into boxes and then trying to remember what boxes go where, just a lot of trips up and down the stairs to put things away as we go. I now live with my fiance, which I couldn’t be happier about! I love having a home with him, and everything is ours. The first time we went grocery shopping I was skipping and all giddy, he thought I was weird, I was just happy to be buying groceries for our apartment.

So anyways, that is why I was MIA for awhile, I was busy moving, and organizing, and cleaning, and making this home. I did still try new recipes though!!! In fact, a couple. I don’t know if I took pictures of them, I might have of some, not of others, but this will be another multiple recipe post. But starting next week everything will be back to normal again 🙂

Lasagna Soup

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 3 Cups of beef broth
  • 1 Cup of water
  • 4-5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbls dried parsley
  • 1 Tbls dried basil
  • 1/2 C. chopped onion
  • 1 (28 oz) can diced tomatoes
  • 1 (6 oz) can tomato paste
  • 1 C. V8
  • 2 C. uncooked shell pasta
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Directions:

  1. Mix can of tomatoes and the tomato paste together in the crock pot.
  2. Add beef broth, beef, garlic, parsley, basil, onion, V8, and salt/pepper.
  3. Cover and cook on low 7-8 hours or on high  for 4-5 hours.
  4. With 30 minutes left to cook, add the water and the uncooked pasta to the crock pot. Cover and continue to cook for the last 30 minutes.

This meal was a life saver!!! I made this when I first started to move, and it made a TON of food!!! I used this for my dinner and my lunch pretty much all week. I also topped it off with some shredded cheese. It was amazing, tasted exactly like lasagna!

Recipe from: http://www.familyfreshmeals.com/2012/11/slow-cooker-crockpot-lasagna-soup.html

Cranberry Crock pot Chicken

Ingredients:

  • 4 Boneless, Skinless Chicken breasts
  • 1 can whole berry cranberry
  • 1 pkg dry onion soup mix
  • 8 oz. Catalina dressing

Directions:

  1. Place the chicken breasts in the crock pot, cover, and cook on high for 3 hours.
  2. After the 3 hours are up, drain the juices from the crock pot.
  3. In a bowl, mix together the cranberries, onion soup mix, and the dressing. Pour over the chicken.
  4. Cook on high, covered, for a half hour. And you’re done!

This was SUPER easy and so delicious!!! I wish I would have made more! I had never heard of Catalina dressing before this recipe, but the combination of the dressing, the soup mix, and the cranberries was amazing, and honestly, I don’t like cranberries….at all!

**In the picture is also the glazed carrots from my first post 🙂

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Recipe from:http://thefrugalgirls.com/2009/08/crockpot-cranberry-chicken.html

Butterfinger Dessert

Ingredients:

  • 1 Angel Food Cake (prepared)
  • 1 oz. box Fat Free, Sugar Free Instant Vanilla Pudding
  • 16 oz Fat Free Cool Whip
  • 4 regular sized butterfingers
  • 1 1/2 Cups Skim Milk

Directions:

  1. Tear the angel food cake into bite size pieces and place into a bowl.
  2. In another bowl, mix the pudding and the milk together. Once the pudding starts to thicken, mix in the cool whip.
  3. Crush the butterfingers.
  4. In a 9×13 cake pan, place half of the angel food cake pieces on the bottom of the pan, cover with half of the pudding mix and 2 of the crushed butterfingers over the pudding mix. Repeat the layers again. Chill until ready to serve.

I made this for Valentine’s Day for dessert. Brandon always makes a HUGE extravagant meal, and I usually make the dessert. This year he made crab legs, shrimp, a spinach, strawberry and apple salad, and 3 cheese mashed potatoes. I was so full after dinner I was very thankful that this dessert is so light, but oh so delicious. Brandon said I can make this again, and not just on a holiday. The best thing about this dessert for me was that it’s actually a Weight Watchers recipe, so I knew how many points it was going to be, which was nice considering dinner was not point friendly haha.

Recipe from: http://www.food.com/recipe/butterfinger-dessert-weight-watchers-4-ww-pts-295092

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My Valentine and I…yes we got all dressed up just to eat dinner at home, and I loved it!!!

Pretzel Crusted Chicken with Spicy Mustard Cheese Sauce

Every sporting event I go to, I need a soft pretzel with cheese. Every time I walk past the Pretzel Maker in the mall, I have the urge to buy a soft pretzel with cheese, I don’t always give in, but I do have to fight really hard to just walk away. See the trend? I love pretzels with cheese! So with my logic, chicken covered in crushed pretzels with a spicy mustard cheese sauce sounded amazing!!! And I was right…I tweaked the recipe slightly, so I’ll type it up how it is written, and then I’ll add what I changed at the bottom.

Ingredients: 

  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 6 oz crushed pretzels
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 eggs
  • vegetable oil
  • 1 Tbls butter
  • 1 Tbls flour
  • 1 Cup milk
  • 1 Tbls spicy mustard
  • 2 Cups shredded cheddar cheese

Directions:

  1. Completely butterfly the chicken breasts so you end up with 4 thinner breasts. One at a time, put the chicken between some wax paper and flatten it slightly with a mallet.
  2. Put the pretzels into a food processor until you have fine crumbs. Put the crumbs into a shallow dish and season with salt and pepper. In another shallow dish, beat the eggs.
  3. In a large saute pan,over medium high heat, heat up the oil. Make sure there is about an 1/8″ of oil on the bottom of the pan.
  4. Dip each chicken breast into the pretzels, then into the eggs, and back into the pretzels. Make sure they are covered well. Place the chicken into the hot oil in the pan and cook until the pretzels are browned and the chicken is cooked. It should only take about 3-4 minutes on each side.
  5. Meanwhile, in a saucepan, melt the butter. Whisk in the flour and cook for about 1 minute. Add the milk and the mustard and cook until just slightly thickened. Stir in the cheese, season with salt and pepper if needed.
  6. Serve the chicken with the sauce over it. Serves 4.

Seriously, this could have been easier had I listened to all of the instructions. I didn’t butterfly my chicken breasts, big mistake. DO NOT SKIP THIS! I thought I’d take a short cut…I didn’t. I browned the pretzels, and then realized, that because frozen chicken breasts are always massive (seriously, where are these huge chickens they are coming from?!) the chicken wasn’t cooking. So I just browned the chicken and then baked them at 400 for about 25 minutes. It still worked just fine, chicken was juicy and it was good, but I seriously need to learn how to follow directions. Also, I didn’t flatten the breasts at all, again, don’t skip this step!! I don’t have a meat tenderizer, not a good excuse, but it’s all I have.

Also, I didn’t use 6 ounces of pretzels, it was about 4 and I still had some left over. I didn’t add more salt to the salted pretzels, because that just seemed redundant, but I do wish I would have seasoned the chicken more than I did. I served this dish with mashed potatoes, and used the cheese sauce over those too, also
delicious! When reheating though, just like everything that’s breaded, the breading gets a little soggy, but its still really good!!! Happy cooking!!!

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Next week I believe I’m going to be trying a Crock Pot recipe, Cranberry Chicken, or possibly Crock Pot Lasagna Soup….not sure which one yet. Anyone think one sounds better than the other?

 

Recipe Adapted From: http://jujugoodnews.com