Homemade Pizza Puffs

So I’ve been MIA recently for a few different reasons, a couple of them being 1.) I was out of town (and no, I cannot cook in someone else’s kitchen, it’s weeeeeeird ) and 2.) my future ex husband took the laptop from me and it’s been pretty daunting thinking about posting from my iPhone , BUT, today I am brave, and I’m going to give it my best effort! *crosses fingers*

I’ve been pinning like a maniac lately, mainly because I deactivated my Facebook so I could focus on some pretty important things I have going on, so I have a bunnnnnch of spare time to cook. I think the day before yesterday I made four different pins, and the next day I made two or three, one of which I will share with you today. 🙂

Recently I decided diets are L-A-M-E. I’m too stressed and busy to worry about that right now, and cooking healthy is quite time consuming (and kinda not very tasty) so I’ve been fat girling it up big time, which brings me to these pizza puffs I found over at Lick The Bowl Good . I had just got all the kiddos to sleep the other night and then late night hunger hit me, and of course, instead of grabbing some chips or making a sammich, I had to be all over achiever like and make homemade pizza puffs at 10-11pm. Luckily these are pretty dern easy on top of the fact that they are AH-MAZ-ING!!! The hardest part about this was dicing up my pepperonis, which of you buy some pre-diced ones, then you’ll rollin’ down easy street for the remainder of this.

Start by preheating your oven to 375 degrees. After that, chop up your pepperonis if you must. The next step is putting flour, baking powder, Italian seasoning, salt (optional, but I added) and red pepper flakes (still optional, but I also added) into a mixing bowl and sift them all together really well. After that add the rest of your ingredients (sans pizza dipping sauce) into your mixing bowl with the dry ingredients and mix until its all well blended.

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Now grab and spray your mini muffin tin with whatever non-stick oil you have on hand (I used canola oil), and fill them basically to the rim, maybe a couple centimeters below, it honestly really won’t make a big difference (Unlike cupcakes, these won’t rise much!). After you get all done pop them in the oven for 20-25 minutes.

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Once they’re done cooking, remove from muffin tin and dip in pizza sauce or marinara and enjoy! 🙂

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What you’ll need…

• 3/4 cup of flour
• 3/4 t. baking powder
• 1 T. Italian seasoning
• 1 pinch of salt (optional)
• 1 T. red pepper flakes (optional)
• 3/4 cup whole milk
• 1 egg, lightly beaten
• 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
• 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
• 1 cup pepperoni (preferably pre-diced)
• Pizza sauce or marinara (or whatever you prefer to dip them in)

How to do it…

• Preheat oven to 375 degrees
• Sift together flour, baking powder, Italian seasonings, red pepper flakes and salt.
• Add in milk, egg, cheeses, and diced pepperoni until blended well.
• Grease mini muffin tin and fill with pizza puff mixture.
• Once oven is preheated cook puffs for 20-25 minutes.
• Remove from oven and serve with preferred dipping sauce.

Recipe via Lick The Bowl Good

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Banana Nut Bread

I really should be folding laundry instead of typing this…but…this bread was so good I kinda feel like it’s urgent that I get this posted up here ASAP. I mean, it was really THAT good. The other awesome thing about this recipe is that it makes TWO loaves of bread instead of one, so you can have one to enjoy with your family and another one to shamelessly shove in your face after everyone goes to bed another one to share with someone you wanna make feel special. 😉

This was the first time I had ever made bread, but it’s kind of easy compared to normal bread because there’s no kneading the dough and having to let it rise (or whatever order that goes in), which is the part that intimidates me. All you have to do with this is mix everything together, pour it in the loafpan and let it cook…So I guess it’s kinda just like a giant cupcake.

I looked over at my bananas today and noticed that they were getting quite brown, which instantly reminded me I had pinned this recipe a few months back and completely forgot about it. I have always wanted to try making banana nut bread because I love love love it! This one in particular caught my eye because it had an entire block of cream cheese in it, and oh my, do I love cooking with cream cheese! I probably have a few boxes on hand at all time. I have no idea why but every time I go to the store I grab 1 or 2 more boxes just because I always am finding ways to use it.

So this, much like the strawberry coconut rum buttercream I posted, should probably require a stand up mixer, or at least a good electric hand mixer. I’m not saying it would be impossible, but you better have hulk arms if you want to attempt this with a bowl and whisk…

First, assemble your ingredients (sans the coffee maker and coffee) and preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

Start off by beating your softened butter and cream cheese together until they become one fluffy, delicious looking mixture. After that, gradually add in your sugar and lightly beat in your eggs one at a time. At this point it will look more like a runny, yellowish mixture. In a separate  bowl sift together flour, baking soda, salt, and baking powder. Gradually add it to your egg/butter/cream cheese mixture that you got going on (about half a cup at a time) mixing well after each addition. This will make it much less runny and yellow and turn it into a much thicker, light beige colored batter. Now grab you bananas and  mush them up as much as you can. Add the mushed bananas, crushed pecans, and vanilla to the mixing bowl until they are throughly incorporated into mixture…

After that, grease and flour your loaf pans (remember this makes two 8×4 loaves) to ensure it will easily fall right out of the pan when it’s done cooking. Once they’re ready to go, evenly distribute your banana nut bread mixture into the pans and pop them in the oven.

The original recipe says to bake for one hour, the blog I found this on says hers took 1 hour and 15 minutes. MINE took 1 hour and 45 minutes! I’m not sure if it was the fact that my oven sucks or that our electricity went out for a brief second while this was cooking and I forgot to immediately go press the button in the cabinet above my oven (I have no idea what it’s called, I just call it the “reset” button), but I had to eventually cover mine with foil because the tops of the bread were getting a little too golden brown for my liking but the wooden skewer was still coming out of the bread all gooey, so I guess just watch it around the 45 minutes – 1 hour mark and do whatever you feel like needs to be done. I wish I could offer up a better answer, but with three different people coming up with three different times, I’m not sure what to suggest besides that.

After they’re done cooking pull it out of the oven and let it cool on a wire rack for 5 minutes before you pop them out of the pans. Mine fell right out of the pan no problem.

After it’s all done cooling, slice and enjoy!

What you’ll need…

  • 3/4 cup of butter
  • 8oz of cream cheese
  • 2 cups of granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3 cups of flour
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 1/2 t of baking powder
  • 1/2 of baking soda
  • 1.5 cups of mashed bananas (about 4 bananas)
  • 1 cup of chopped pecans
  • 1/2 t. of vanilla extract

How to do it…

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  • Mix together softened butter and cream cheese
  • Gradually add in sugar 1 cup at a time
  • Add in eggs, one at a time, mixing lightly between each egg
  • Sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a separate bowl. Gradually add to mixture ~1/2 cup at a time, mixing well after every addition.
  • Add in smashed bananas, chopped pecans, and vanilla extract. Mix until well combined.
  • Grease and flour your loafpans. Evenly distribute the mixture into two 8×4 in. loaf pans.
  • Bake in oven for 1 hour to 1.5 hours, making sure the tops do not burn (if they are too golden brown on top and the insides are not done cooking yet, cover with foil until a wooden pick comes out clean from the center of bread)
  • Remove from oven. Allow loaves to cool on a wire rack for 5 minutes before removing from loaf pans.
  • Slice and enjoy!

Recipe via sugarandspice-celeste.blogspot.com

Roasted Green Beans with Mushrooms, Balsamic, && Parmesan

So I’ve been dieting since after my birthday. I’ve dropped  lots of weight already by doing Turbofire, eating lots of fresh fruits and veggies and drinking water every other second of the day. As a foodie I’ve been kinda…bored with it. I would just kill to go to Five Guys and get the most greasy, fatty, carb loaded burger they have on the menu and then follow that with a large fry smothered in cheesy goodness…but I won’t. 😦

So anyway, I’ve been searching Pinterest for some good veggies recipes when I stumbled across this one. I knew instantly that I would love this because it included, 1.) mushrooms, 2.) parmesan and 3.) roasting vegetables. Roasting veggies isn’t only a healthier alternative to sauteing them in tons of oil or butter (guilty), but it brings out their actual flavors MUCH more. Sadly, this recipe sat on my pin board for quite some time before I got around to making it because I could not find the green beans that I was supposed to use, but a couple days ago I ran across them at Sam’s Club and scooped them up! And Luckily I had some leftover mushrooms from making Chicken Bella. 🙂

So this is pretty easy. You need to have about zero cooking skills to do this. First you need to trim your green beans. To do that (and I will quote the original poster of this recipe because she explains it SO much clearer than I would have), “An easy way to trim them is to gather a small handful of beans, stand them up on cutting board, holding loosely so they will fall down and have ends ends aligned, then trim. Repeat with other end”. After that slice the pile down the middled so they’re in more bite size like pieces.

After you get them all trimmed and cut, toss them into either a bowl (that has a lid) or ziplock bag with your completely washed and dried mushrooms. After that whisk together 1.5 T of olive oil and 1 T of balsamic vinegar and pour them over your green beans/mushrooms. Try to get your veggies covered with the oil/vinegar mixture as evenly as possible (I put the lid on my bowl and shook it until I felt like they were covered pretty well). After that I let it sit, covered, in my fridge for an hour or so, but that’s just because it was way too early to be putting them in the oven for dinner.

When you’re ready, preheat your oven to 450 degrees and line the biggest baking pan you have (preferably something in the 9×12 range) with foil and spray with non-stick oil (I used olive oil) and dump your veggies right on top. Spread them out as good as you can and (optional) sprinkle italian seasoning on top (I probably used about a tablespoon, give or take some) and put it in the oven for 20-30 minutes. I took mine out at exactly 23 minutes.

Once removed from the oven sprinkle with 2 T of parmesan cheese and enjoy!

What you’ll need…

  • 8oz. of sliced mushrooms (I used crimini mushrooms)
  • 1lb. of fresh french style green beans
  • 1.5 T of olive oil
  • 1 T. of balsamic vinegar
  • 1 T. of italian seasonings (optional)
  • Cooking spray
  • 2 T. of freshly grated parmesan cheese

How to do it…

  • Wash green beans and mushrooms and allow them to dry.
  • Trim ends off green beans and slice them into bite size pieces.
  • Put green beans and mushrooms in a bowl with lid or a large ziplock bag.
  • Whisk together oil and vinegar and pour over vegetables.
  • Close bag or put lid on bowl (make sure it’s on there nice and tight or your ziplock is closed well) and shake vigorously, trying to get everything covered with the oil/vinegar mixture as well as possible.
  • Pour veggies into a foil lined baking pan, sprinkle on italian seasoning and put in oven for 20-30 minutes.
  • Remove from oven and top with parmesan cheese.

Recipe adapted from kalynskitchen.com

Honey Spiced Glazed Chicken

Chicken breasts are something I pretty much ALWAYS have on hand around my house. They’re so versatile, cheap, and (if you can find a good recipe) delicious! I’ve had quite a few hits and misses. If it doesn’t have enough flavor, I cannot bring myself to eat it. Plainness is the a no no in my kitchen, so glazes are always welcome.

For some reason we’ve been on a honey kick in this house lately. My oldest daughter is ALL about it. I think she would eat peanut butter and honey sandwiches every day for every meal if I would let her. Heck, maybe I should, its probably close to being one of the healthier food choices she makes.

Anyway, so because of this recent obsession with honey I just happened to have PLENTY on hand when I found this  recipe and I am so very glad I did because this one is a KEEPER. It kind of reminds me of my Sweet and Spicy Pork Chops recipe that I also adore. Sweet and spicy is def my “thing”. Anyway, I threw these together super fast and also got to use my broiler for the first time ever! It makes me sad I haven’t utilized it until now because I love it! it cooks the chicken so fast and it gives it a crispiness a regular oven wouldn’t. Most of these ingredients you probably have on hand, and the great thing about recipes like this is that they’re very customizable, luckily, the original recipe was perfect to me, but like I said, if spice isn’t your thing, leave out the chili powder and red pepper flakes.

Alright, now lets get down to it. Preheat your broiler (or oven if you don’t have a broiler in the top of your stove, I usually do 400 degrees for 20-30 min when I bake my chicken). Mix all those wonderful spices together and set them aside, then get your honey and apple cider vinegar and whisk them together nicely and set them aside as well. Now grab your chicken and and cover it in the spices mixture you threw together, get ‘em all good and covered nice and evenly. Line a baking pan with foil and put your chicken on there and pop it in your oven for about 7 minutes (unless you’re baking it, then just put it in there for the temp and times I recommended earlier) after its done, take it out, turn the chicken over and put it back under the broiler for another 7 minutes. After it’s all done on that side pull it out and brush the glaze over them veeeeery generously until it’s all gone. After that put it back in the oven for about 3-5 minutes to allow your glaze to warm up and get thicker (be careful not to leave it in there too long or the glaze will burn). After it’s all done pull it out of the oven and enjoy!

What you’ll need…

  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  •  1 t. of salt
  • 1 t. of pepper
  • 1 t. of chili powder
  • 1 t. of red pepper flakes
  • 2 t. of garlic powder
  • 2. t. of paprika
  • 1/2 cup of honey
  • 2 T. of apple cider vinegar

How to make it…

  • Preheat broiler (or oven as directed above)
  • Mix together spices
  • Mix together honey and vinegar
  • Coat chicken in spices mixture
  • Place chicken on a foil lined baking pan and under the broiler for 7 minutes, then flip chicken over and cook for an additional 7 minutes on the opposite side.
  • After the chicken has cooked under the broiler for 7 minutes on each side remove from oven, brush on the honey/vinegar glaze (all of it) and return to oven for an additional 3-5 minutes
  • Remove from oven, enjoy!

Recipe via nutmegnanny.com

Sweet and Spicy Pork Chops

I will admit, until recently, I loathed pork chops.

I had them a couple times at my MIL’s house and they were bearable, but when I tried to cook them at home the one and only time ever (before this recipe) they came out tough, no flavor, AND they messed up my sautéing pan by leaving black burn marks all over it (it totally wasn’t my fault…) so I had pretty much hung up my apron on trying to ever make any kind of pork chops ever again.

One day while browsing Pinterest I stumbled upon this recipe. Now there are a few things about recipes that catch my eye and make me want to try them. A few of those reason have to do with price, easiness, and how many of the actual ingredients I have on hand already, and this recipe met all those prerequisites!

Now before I get into talking about these delicious chops, I would like to say that I adore the blog this came from (link above andat end of post). We are a military family, one income, three kids, myself, and the husband. We are far from ballin’, so like I said above, price is KEY when I cook and pick out my recipes. The person who writes the blog this came from breaks down price in all her posts which I think is awesome. I know food prices aren’t the same everywhere, but they’re bound to be in the same ballpark, so like I said, I highly recommend checking her out!

Ok, now lets get down to it…

This is about as easy as it gets. Turn your oven on to 350 degrees. Grab you sugar and spices, mix them all up (brown sugar, cayenne pepper, garlic powder, paprika, salt and pepper) and cover you (thawed) pork cups with it until it is ALL gone (I’m not gonna lie, sometimes I make more and smother them with it, I adore it). Pull out your skillet and pour about 2 T. (or enough to cover the bottom of your skillet) of olive oil into it. Turn it on med-high heat and throw the chops in there for about 5min on each side.

Now grab a baking pan and line it with foil (because we’re lazy and hate scrubbing pans), place you chops on there and pop it in the oven for about 5-10 minutes (depending on how fast your oven cooks). Once you pull them out drag them in the glaze at the bottom of your skillet and enjoy!

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What you’ll need…

  • 4 thick cut pork chops
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 t. garlic powder
  • 1/2 t. paprika
  • 1/2 t. cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 t. salt
  • 1/2 t. pepper
  • ~2 T. olive oil (depending on the size of your skillet)

How to make it…

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  • Mix together sugar and spices
  • Coat chops in sugar/spice mixture
  • Heat oil in skillet on med/high heat and cook seasoned chops about 5 minutes on each side
  • Transfer to foil lined baking sheet and cook in oven for 5-10 minutes until cooked through (don’t cook too long or they will get tough)
  • Remove from oven and drag in glaze in the bottom of skillet.
  • Enjoy!

I would like to say that once you transfer your chops to the baking pan, TURN YOUR BURNER OFF! The glaze gets hard and is nearly impossible to get off after that. After you drag your chops in the glaze once they’re done cooking, fill your skillet with warm water and let it sit until you do dishes. TRUST ME, you’ll want to do this unless you enjoy scrubbing your pans. 🙂

Recipe via Budgetbytes

Bacon Wrapped Jalapenos

There are few foods I love more in the universe more than the ones used in this recipe…bacon…jalapenos…cream cheese…brown sugar…It’s like these things were MEANT to be together…like it’s God’s will that these foods be wed into some delicious concoction.

This is such a cheap party food to make, only 4 ingredients and you get to brag that it didn’t come from a box in the freezer section. It takes a bit to get all together and prepped, but it’s far worth the effort. I have some words of advice though -for those of you whom have never worked with jalapenos for any extensive period of time- wear some rubbers! Gloves that is…unless you like for your fingertips to burn for like 3 days

First thing you need to do is wash those fresh jalapenos, slice them down the middle lengthwise and clean out the membranes and seeds…although I usually leave a few in there because it gives them a little -more- heat…I usually cut the tippy top and stems off but…it’s more of a personal choice I guess. Next grab your cream cheese and completely fill them as full as you would like and then sprinkle a nice amount of brown sugar on top. I’ve found that the more, the merrier. I’m not saying put a mound of brown sugar on there, but maybe a pinch and a half -is that a real measurement?- per jalapeno half.

Then, grab your toothpicks and the cheapest, thinnest bacon you can buy and wrap them up all up in that delicious bacon blanket and use a toothpick to secure it in place. I stress the importance of using the cheapest bacon you can find (I usually pick up Gwantly brand…not sure if that spelling is correct) because otherwise you will be waiting for.ev.er for the bacon to cook all the way through. I’ve tried both and thin is the best way to go for these babies…

As for cooking these, I -and my father- firmly believe the grill gives them the best flavor, but make sure you put a piece of tin foil below them so they don’t turn black on the bottoms. My personal favorite thing to do is get a large metal bowl and make a little dome over them so the tops and bottoms cook at a more even rate.

You can also cook them in the oven, they still taste amazing but it always seems to take different amounts of time depending on the oven and how thick your bacon is…but if you have a grill…fire that thing up and use it! Grills give food such amazing flavor.

I have yet to find someone that doesn’t love these. People always ask me for the recipe and they seem to disappear in like 2.5 seconds…which is why the photo above is NOT my finished product. I pulled them off the grill and before I knew it they were gone…but the other pics were taken by me. Enjoy! 🙂

You’ll need…

  • Ten fresh jalapenos
  • One 8oz cube of cream cheese
  • One package of the cheapest, thinnest bacon you can find
  • Brown sugar to taste (I would guess I use about 3tbsp)

To make…

  • Slice jalapenos length wise and clean out seeds and membranes
  • Fill with cream cheese and sprinkle desired amount of brown sugar on top
  • Wrap bacon around halved jalapenos and secure with toothpick (I prefer to use half a slice of bacon per half jalapeno
  • Grill or bake until bacon is cooked through
  • Enjoy!