Sunday, April 8, 2012

Cinnamon Roll Syrup

What? Posting on the recipe blog? Amazing! 

This recipe was enough to get my rear-end in gear again, though. I couldn't NOT share this one. I'm happy to say, too, that I tweaked it enough to claim it as my own recipe - with credit still given to the original source, of course. I found it on Pinterest and thought it sounded amazing, but the original recipe called for something called Cinnamon Vanilla Sugar. Apparently you can buy it in a spice bottle. But why would I pay money for something that sounded so easy to create on my own? 

That's where this recipe comes in. I dare say it's probably just as good as the original. And it made everything we poured it on taste like a cinnamon roll. I may have even been caught pouring a bit straight onto my plate and scooping it up with my finger. (I know. We have such good manners at our house.) We tried it on French toast first, and then when I made doughnuts a week or so later using a little doughnut maker I got for Christmas, we decided to try it out on those instead of glaze. Awesome. So...I must apologize to the plain old maple syrup that sits in a bottle in my pantry. I honestly don't think I'll be able to look at you the same way again!

Cinnamon Roll Syrup

1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch 
1 tablespoon cinnamon1/3 cup granulated sugar1 cup cream 1 tablespoon corn syrup 
4 tablespoons butter
2 teaspoons vanilla

Mix the cornstarch with the sugar and cinnamon in a saucepan with a whisk until the cornstarch is well dispersed. Add the cream and corn syrup and heat until bubbly and thick, stirring often. Mix in vanilla. Remove from the heat and stir in the butter until completely melted. 

Serve on French toast, pancakes, doughnuts...anything you want to taste like a cinnamon roll. :) Heck, even drizzle it over your cinnamon rolls if you want an extra cinnamon-y experience! 

Original recipe found here.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Black Bean and Corn Potatoes

This one is quick, easy, and delicious. I love discovering recipes like this! This is a great (vegetarian, I might add - you won't find many of those on this blog) meal to whip up in a pinch. And I like the different idea of putting Mexican-type toppings on a baked potato. It adds a little variety to the boring, everyday meals we're so used to.

Black Bean and Corn Potatoes

4 (6-ounce) baking potatoes
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1 (15-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 1/2 cups frozen whole-kernel corn
1 1/2 cups fresh salsa
1/4 cup shredded cheddar-Jack cheese
Additional garnishes (sour cream, cilantro, guacamole, tortilla chips - whatever floats your boat at the moment!)

Pierce potatoes with a fork and microwave on high for 10 minutes (or bake them in the oven - whatever your favorite baked-potato method is). While potatoes cook, heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add onion garlic, cumin, and chili powder; sauté 3 minutes. Reduce heat to low. Add beans, corn, and salsa; cook 4 minutes or until thoroughly heated.

Split potatoes lengthwise. Fluff with a fork. (Or just hack them to pieces like I do. ;) ) Spoon about 1 cup bean mixture over each potato. Top each serving evenly with cheese, sour cream, and cilantro.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Andes Mint Cookies

How is it possible that something so simple can be so amazingly good? I made these cookies for a Christmas cookie exchange party and they were a hit. I needed something fast since we had a busy day with no time to slave over cookies, and I never expected them to taste like I spent 2 hours on them.

But they did. Wow, did they!

Even though they've got more of a holiday taste to them, I may just be caught making these all year round.

Andes Mint Cookies

1 Devil's Food Cake mix
1/2 cup oil
2 eggs
1 package of Andes Mints, unwrapped

Mix cake mix, oil, and eggs together. Drop spoonfuls of dough onto baking sheet (I smashed mine down slightly with the palm of my hand for a little bit flatter cookie). Bake at 350 degrees for 6-9 minutes. Don't cook any longer than that or they will be overdone.

Take sheet out of oven and while the cookies are still very hot, place an Andes Mint on top of each cookie. In about 5 minutes, the mint will be melted. Take a spoon and smooth out each mint like frosting, swirling slightly as you go.

I personally thought these tasted best when they were cooled off a bit. But delicious either way.

Original recipe from here.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Merry Mint Fudge

We've been really into mint desserts this holiday season. I've got another easy one coming up in a week or so as well. We made this one for a party at my husband's work and it was gone fast. It's just a basic fudge recipe, but the addition of the Keebler mint patties added just that subtle mint hint and made it that much better.

I'm not sure if you can get the Keebler mint patties called for in the recipe after the holidays, but any kind of mint cookie (I'm thinking Grasshoppers or Thin Mints) would probably work too.

Merry Mint Fudge

1 7 oz. jar marshmallow creme
1 1/2 cups sugar
2/3 cup evaporated milk
1/4 cup butter or margarine
1 12-oz. package (2 cups) semi-sweet or milk chocolate chips (I prefer milk chocolate when it comes to fudge)
1 tsp. vanilla
1 cup Keebler Merry Mint Patties, chopped into small pieces

Line and 8 x 8-inch pan with aluminum foil, extending foil over ends of pan.

Lightly coat with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside. In a heavy 3-quart saucepan, combine the marshmallow creme, sugar, evaporated milk, and butter. Cook, stirring constantly, over medium heat until mixture comes to a full boil. Reduce heat to medium-low. Gently boil for 4 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Stir in chocolate chips and vanilla until melted. Fold in mint patties. Spread in prepared pan. Cool. Refrigerate until firm. Cut into squares and serve.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Lasagna Soup

Another Pinterest find! This one I consider fully dumped in the "score!" category. It. was. awesome. What makes this recipe stand out, by far, is the "cheesy yum" (the original recipe creator's term, not mine - but isn't it fun to say? cheesy yum, cheesy yum.) at the bottom of the bowl. It really does make the soup taste like lasagna.

I'll be making one big change next time I make it, though. The red pepper flakes have got to go. Even just a teeny little half teaspoon made this sucker spicy. My kids wouldn't even touch it after the first bite because, as my 3-year old kept saying, "it makes my throat hot!" And my husband and I agreed that heartburn is definitely in the forecast tonight. I guess we're all just wimps at our house. :) If you like a little heat in your food, by all means, add away!

I also made a few adjustments from the original recipe. I didn't have some of the ingredients, so I had to make do a bit. Still tasted awesome. So whether you decide to stick with the original recipe or go with my (let's admit it, cheaper) adjustments, you're definitely in for a treat.

Lasagna Soup

2 tsp. olive oil
1 lb. Italian sausage
1 C chopped onion
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
2 T. tomato paste
1 28-oz. can fire roasted diced tomatoes (I used regular)
2 bay leaves (didn't use, 'cause I couldn't find them :))
5 C chicken stock
8 oz. mafalda or fusili pasta (I used farfalle, a.k.a. bow tie!)
1/2 C finely chopped fresh basil leaves
Salt and pepper, to taste

For the "cheesy yum:"
8 oz. ricotta
1/2 C grated Parmesan cheese (I used the powdered stuff and it was still awesome)
1/4 tsp. salt
Pinch of pepper
2 C shredded mozzarella cheese

Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add sausage, breaking up into bite-sized pieces, and brown for about 5 minutes. Add onions and cook until softened, about 6 minutes. Add garlic, oregano, and red pepper flakes (optional). Cook for 1 minute. Add tomato paste and stir well to incorporate. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes, or until the tomato paste turns a rusty brown color.

Add diced tomatoes, bay leaves, and chicken stock. Stir to combine. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes. Add uncooked pasta and cook until al dente (about 10-15 minutes). Don't over cook or pasta will get mushy! Stir in basil and season to taste with salt and pepper.

While the pasta is cooking, prepare the "cheesy yum." In a small bowl, combine the ricotta, Parmesan, salt, and pepper.

To serve, place a dollop of the cheesy yum in each soup bowl, sprinkle some of the mozzarella on top, and ladle the hot soup over the cheese. Sprinkle a bit more mozzarella over the top and serve.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Over the Top Cookies

No, they really are over the top! But that's not why they're called that. Apparently there's a cookie shop in Salt Lake called Over the Top Cookies and this is a copycat of one of their cookies. I've never had the original version, but I do know these are good. Better than good! Light, crispy outside, soft, gooey inside...not to mention they're quite a bit bigger than normal cookies. I know. Perfect cookie, right?

We tried them with both Reeses Peanut Butter Cups and M&Ms and I liked the M&Ms a lot better. Both are yummy, though.

Over the Top Cookies

3/4 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup peanut butter
2 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
2 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 cup milk chocolate chip
M&Ms (medium-sized bag should work) OR other candy bar, chopped into bite-sized pieces

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Combine butter, sugar, brown sugar, peanut butter, eggs, and vanilla. Sift baking soda, salt, and flour together, then add to peanut butter mixture. Mix in chocolate chips.

Using an ice-cream scoop or large tablespoon, scoop dough. Press dough with palm of hand until slightly flattened. Cook for 12 minutes.

Remove cookies from oven and lightly press candy into tops of cookies. Return to oven for 2 more minutes. Cool on baking sheet for 2 more minutes before moving to cooling rack.

Original recipe from here.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Chicken Noodle Soup

I have really been slacking off on this recipe-posting thing! I'm hoping to do better in the coming months. It is officially the holiday season, after all. And that means one thing...GOOD FOOD!

This recipe is my go-to recipe for fast homemade chicken noodle soup. It's really, really simple (and that's how we do things around here!) but really good. I'm sure there's fancier versions out there, but I'm all for throwing a few ingredients in the Crock Pot to get the job done.

This recipe comes from my 101 Things To Do With a Slow Cooker book, but I've adjusted it - mostly because the full recipe doesn't actually fit in my slow cooker. This feeds the four of us perfectly, though, with leftovers.

Slow Cooker Chicken Noodle Soup

3 cups hot water
1 Tbsp. instant chicken bouillon granules
1 large can (46 oz.) or 3 (14 oz.) cans chicken broth
1 1/2 cups cooked chicken
1 tsp. salt
15 baby carrots, cut in thirds
2 stalks celery, diced
3 cups egg noodles, uncooked

Combine all ingredients except egg noodles in greased slow cooker. Cover and cook on low heat 4-6 hours. 15-20 minutes before serving, stir in egg noodles. Cover and cook on low heat until soft. Do not overcook or noodles will be mushy!