Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Raspberry Chocolate Cake Bars

1/2 c. unsalted butter, melted
1 box yellow cake mix
2 c. semisweet chocolate chips, divided
2 c. sliced almonds, divided
3 1/2 c. shredded coconut
12 oz. raspberry jam

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Grease a 9x13 inch baking dish. Set aside.

In a bowl, stir together the melted butter and cake mix. Press into the prepared baking dish.

On top of this crust, sprinkle 1 1/2 c. chocolate chips and 1 1/2 c. almonds.

Sprinkle with coconut.

Carefully spoon jam over the top as evenly as possible.

 Sprinkle with remaining chocolate chips and almonds.

Bake 25-30 minutes, or until edges lightly brown.

Let cool before cutting into bars.

Store in the refrigerator.

Here's a link to the recipe I used: backforseconds.com/chocolate-raspberry-magic-bars/

Tiny Taco Salads

Cooking spray
12 round wonton wrappers
4-6 oz. ground beef
cumin, lots
onion powder, to taste
coriander, to taste
garlic powder, to taste
chili powder, to taste
salt and pepper, to taste
3/4 c. lettuce, shredded
3 Tbsp. black olives, sliced
1/4 of an avocado, sliced into small pieces
1 c. cheddar cheese, finely grated
1/4 c. sour cream

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Spray a 12 cup muffin pan with cooking spray. Place each wonton wrapper into a cup of the muffin pan, and press it into the bottom and sides. Lightly spray with cooking spray. Bake until lightly browned, about 8-9 minutes.

Let cool about 10 minutes before popping them out of the pan.

Cook the beef over medium high heat. Add in the seasonings until it tastes how you want. Break it up into small pieces.

Evenly fill the wonton wrappers in this order: lettuce, beef, olives, avocado, cheese, and sour cream.

Really you could change up the ingredients every time you make this. You could try black beans, refried beans, tomatoes, salsa, pepperjack cheese, etc.

Here's a link to the recipe I adapted: www.hungry-girl.com/recipes/tiny-taco-salads-2-0.

If you're looking for something to do with leftover wonton wrappers that you have, here's a link to my Lasagne Cupcakes: http://trinitywolf3.blogspot.com/2013/01/lasagne-cupcakes.html

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Crock Pot Taco Chili

1/2 an onion, chopped
15 oz. can black beans, drained
15 oz. can pinto beans, drained
8 oz. tomato sauce
14 oz. can diced tomatoes
5-7 sprigs of cilantro, chopped
1/2 c. frozen corn kernels
1 lb. ground beef
4 baby bell peppers, chopped
1 small can of olives, chopped and drained
1 Tbsp. cumin (or more, seriously)
salt and pepper, to taste
chili powder, to taste
garlic powder, a lot
onion powder, to taste
oregano, to taste
paprika, to taste
coriander, a lot
pinch of cayenne

Add all the ingredients to the crock pot, breaking up the beef into small chunks if needed. Stir it up, making sure to mix everything in. Cook on high 3-4 hours, then reduce heat to low, and cook 3-4 more hours, stirring occasionally. Taste it a few times to see if the seasonings need adjusting. Serve with avocado slices, sour cream, and tortilla chips.

Here's a link to the recipe I was inspired by: http://www.skinnytaste.com/2008/11/crock-pot-chicken-taco-chili-4-pts.html.

Friday, August 26, 2016

Cornish Pasties

*Plan ahead... needs to chill...

2 1/2 c. flour
1 stick of butter, chilled
pinch of salt
4-6 Tbsp. water
10 oz. ground beef
1 small potato, finely chopped
1 small onion, finely chopped
6-7 baby carrots, finely chopped
1-2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
2 Tbsp. beef stock
2 cloves garlic, minced
thyme, to taste
coriander, to taste
salt & pepper, to taste
1 egg, beaten

Place the flour and salt in a food processor. Grate in the chilled butter. Process for about 20 seconds, or until crumbly. Add in the water, and process in short bursts until the mixture comes together into a ball. Add more water if needed.

Gather the dough ball together and cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

While the dough is chilling, place the ground beef, potato, onion, carrot, sauce, stock, garlic, and seasonings into a large bowl. Combine well.

Grease a baking tray and set aside.

Preheat oven to 415 F.

When the dough is ready, divide into eight portions. Roll out each portion into a circle about 1/8 inch thick. Divide the filling evenly and put in the center of each pastry circle.

Brush the edges of the pastry with beaten egg and bring the sides together into a semicircle. Pinch the edges to form a frill. Place each pasty on the baking tray.  Brush with the remaining egg, and bake for 15 minutes.

Lower the heat to 350 F. Cook for another 25-30 minutes, or until golden.

Recipe adapted from 1000 Best Recipes

Monday, July 4, 2016

Chicken Curry

2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 large onion, diced
2 chicken breasts, cut into bite sized pieces
1/2 c. carrots, sliced
1 Tbsp. cilantro, chopped
1 can water chestnuts, drained
salt & pepper, to taste
garlic powder, ginger, cumin, white pepper, curry powder, turmeric, garam masala, all to taste
1/2 tsp. coriander
Before the coconut milk
1 c. chicken stock
1/2 c. frozen peas 
1 1/2 Tbsp. flour
1 can coconut milk
2 Tbsp. sugar
3 Tbsp. peanut butter
hot cooked rice
Sriracha, optional

In a large pot, cook the olive oil and onion over medium high heat for about 5 minutes. Add the chicken, and cook for several more minutes until the chicken is no longer pink.

Add the carrots, cilantro, and water chestnuts. Cook for another 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add all the seasonings. Stir. Then add in the chicken stock. Stir again. Turn heat up to high.

Add the frozen peas and flour. Stir.

Ready to eat
Let it boil for several minutes before turning the heat down to simmer. While the curry is simmering, add in the coconut milk, sugar, and peanut butter. Mix well. Let cook another 5 minutes before serving over the hot rice.

If you want a little more spice, add in some Sriracha.

I will definitely be making this curry again.

Here's a link to the recipe I adapted: http://www.laurenslatest.com/30-minute-bang-bang-chicken-copycat-recipe/

Southwest Salad Dressing

1/4 c. mayonnaise
1/4 c. sour cream
2 tsp. lime juice
1 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. fresh cilantro, minced
1/2 tsp. white vinegar
1/2 tsp. paprika
1/2 tsp. water
1/4 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/8 tsp. chili powder
1/4 tsp. coriander
1/4 tsp. Tabasco chipotle sauce
pinch dried thyme
pinch cumin

Combine all the ingredients in a bowl. Mix well. Cover and chill in the fridge for an hour before serving over whatever salad fixings you want. I used lettuce, corn, black beans, avocado, black olives, and crushed up tortilla chips. Enjoy!

Here's a link to the recipe I adapted: http://www.topsecretrecipes.com/Subway-Chipotle-Southwest-Sauce-Copycat-Recipe.html

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Fish Tacos

Plan ahead... needs to chill...
Pickled Red Onions
1 jalapeno pepper, cut into 1/4 inch rings
2 large red onions, finely sliced
1 c. distilled white vinegar
2 tsp. kosher salt
1 c. water
1 c. sugar

Fish Tacos
8 corn tortillas, warmed
8 breaded white fish fillets or high-quality fish sticks, cooked
1/2 c. mayo
3-4 Tbsp. sriracha sauce
1/4 of a head of green cabbage, shredded
pickled red onions (recipe above)
1/2 c. cilantro, chopped

To make the picked red onions: Place jalepeƱo and onions in a medium mixing bowl.

Heat vinegar, water, sugar, and salt in a small skillet over high heat, whisking until sugar is dissolved. Bring to a boil, then pour over onions.

Press onions down with a spoon until submerged. Place a double layer of paper towels on top of onions and press down until completely saturated in liquid to keep onions submerged. Allow to sit until onions are softened and liquid has cooled, about 25 minutes.

Onions will keep indefinitely in a sealed container in the refrigerator.

The best way to eat these onions is to let them sit at least 24 hours in the fridge before using them on the tacos.

To make the tacos: Take a warmed tortilla and layer 1 fish stick or fillet in the center. Flake it up with a fork.

In a small bowl, combine the mayonnaise and sriracha. Stir. Spread a good amount over the fish stick.

Layer with a bit of cabbage, pickled red onions, and cilantro. Wrap and eat.

Do this 7 more times. You won't be disappointed.

Here is a link to the pickled red onion recipe I used: http://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/2012/05/pickled-red-onions.html

Copycat Panera Broccoli Cheese Soup

2 Tbsp. butter
2 Tbsp. flour
1/2 c. yellow onion, chopped
1 c. half and half
1 small head broccoli, chopped into tiny pieces
12 oz. Velveeta
29 oz. chicken broth
1 c. carrots, julienne, chopped, or shredded
12 oz. cheddar cheese, shredded
salt and pepper to taste

In a large saucepan, melt the butter. Stir in the flour and onions. Cook for about a minute, then slowly add the half-and-half, whisking until thickened and smooth. 

Add the broccoli and Velveeta. When the cheese is completely melted, add the chicken broth 1 cup at a time, stirring occasionally, until soup is well mixed. 

Add the carrots and simmer for about 10 minutes. 

Stir in the cheddar cheese and cook for 10 minutes more. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve when all the cheese is fully melted and blended through.

This soup goes fabulously with these biscuits: Quick and Easy Homemade Biscuits

Here is a link to the recipe I adapted: Broccoli Cheddar Soup


Quick and Easy Homemade Biscuits

2 1/4 c. flour
1 Tbsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. sugar
1/3 c. butter
1 c. milk
extra flour for rolling the dough out
1-2 Tbsp. butter, melted, for brushing

Preheat oven to 425 F.

Grease a baking sheet. Set aside.

Add flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar to a large bowl. Mix together.

Using a cheese grater, grate in the butter. Stir until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.

Add half the milk and mix. Add the remaining milk and stir again.

Put on a floured surface and knead gently 15-20 times.

Only roll the dough briefly and then cut out biscuits. I used a floured rim of a glass.

Place on prepared baking sheet and bake for 13-15 minutes.

Brush tops with melted butter as they come out.


Yield: 8-10 biscuits

Super easy recipe. These biscuits go well with soup!

We ate them so fast I didn't get pictures. Guess I'll just have to make some more!

Here is a link to the recipe I used: http://scratchthiswithsandy.com/2014/02/11/20-minute-homemade-biscuits/

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Iced Raspberry Danish Braids

Plan ahead... needs to chill...twice...
Dough ready to chill

1/4 c. warm water
2 1/4 tsp. active dry yeast
1/2 c. milk, room temperature
1 egg, room temperature
1/4 c. granulated sugar
1 tsp. salt
2 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
14 Tbsp. unsalted butter, cold

Raspberry Filling:
2 1/2 c. raspberries, fresh or frozen (I used half raspberry, half blueberry)
3 Tbsp. sugar
1 Tbsp. warm water
Rolling it out
2 tsp. cornstarch

Egg Wash:
1 egg
2 Tbsp. milk

1 c. confectioners sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
2 Tbsp. heavy cream or whole milk

Dough recipe makes 2 braids.

To make the dough: Whisk the yeast and warm water together in a large bowl. Allow it to sit for 3 minutes until foamy. Add milk, egg, granulated sugar, and salt. Once these wet ingredients are mixed together, set the bowl aside and make your butter/flour mixture.

Cut butter into slices and add to a food processor or blender. Top with flour. Pulse the mixture 10-12 times, until butter is fairly crumbled.

Pour the flour mixture into the wet ingredients. Very gently fold the two mixtures together. Be very, very, very gentle when you are folding the two together. Fold just until the dry ingredients are moistened. The butter must remain in pieces, which creates a flaky pastry. Turn the dough out onto a large piece of plastic wrap. Wrap the dough up tightly and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight.

After 4-12 hours, take the dough out of the refrigerator to begin the "rolling and folding" process.

Flour a work surface. The dough will be sticky, so make sure you have flour nearby as you roll and fold. Using the palm of your hands, gently flatten the dough into a small square.  From there, roll out into a 15 inch long rectangle using your rolling pin. You may have to continue to lightly flour the counter as you are rolling. Fold the dough together as if it were a business letter. And roll it out into a 15 inch long rectangle again. Then, fold again into a business letter. You'll repeat rolling and folding 1 more time for a total of 3 times.

Fold the dough up tightly, wrap in plastic wrap, and chill for at least 30 minutes or up to 1 day. While the dough is chilling, make the filling.

To make the raspberry (or blueberry) filling: Whisk together the warm water and cornstarch in a small bowl. Set aside.

Starting the braid
Combine the raspberries and sugar in a small saucepan over low-medium heat.  Stir and allow the raspberries to break down, about 4 minutes. Mix in the cornstarch/water. Gently simmer for 3 minutes until the sauce begins to thicken. Set aside to come to room temperature before using. 

Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

After at least 30 minutes, take the dough from the refrigerator and cut it in half. Wrap 1 half up and keep chilled as you work with the first half. Roll out your dough on one of the prepared baking sheets to make a 12x6 inch rectangle.

Cut off two corners of the dough and then two small triangles at the other end.

Spread 1/2 of the filling down the length of the center of the strip. Cut slanting strips (3/4 inch - 1 inch each) along both sides. I used a pizza cutter, but a very sharp knife would work. Fold the bottom end up to "seal" the filling in and allow the braid to rest for 15-20 minutes as you preheat your oven. Repeat with the second half of the dough and the rest of the filling.

Preheat oven to 400 F.

To make the egg wash: Beat the egg wash ingredients together. Brush the top of the pastry with egg wash. There will be enough egg wash for both braids.

Bake each braid for 15-16 minutes or until golden brown. Make sure to rotate the pan at least two times to ensure the braid is browning evenly. Allow 10 minutes of cooling before drizzling with the icing.

To make the icing: As the braids are baking, prepare the icing by whisking all of the ingredients together. After 10 minutes of cooling, drizzle the braids with glaze and serve immediately.

I used two recipes from Sally for this. It was worth it. http://sallysbakingaddiction.com/homemade-danish-pastry-dough/ and http://sallysbakingaddiction.com/2013/10/30/raspberry-danish-braid/.
Ready to eat!