Saturday, February 14, 2015

Cookie Truffles

Every year I struggle with what to give my husband for Valentine's Day. Something small and thoughtful but something that he likes. I usually go with chocolate. My husband loves chocolate. Who doesn't, right? 

A few years ago my cousin Tricia made these Cookie Truffles. My husband loved them and begged me to get the recipe. When my cousin Tricia told me how to make them, I couldn't believe how easy they were. 

What is also so great about these cookie truffles, is that they are adaptable. Cover them in chocolate and any kind of sprinkles that match the occasion. You could use different kinds of chocolate. Here I used dark chocolate and pink and red sprinkles for Valentine's Day. I have seen them dipped in white chocolate to look like a melted snowman. 

Oh, I like that. Maybe I will try that next Christmas!

 They are great to take to a party or give as a hostess gift.  

 I made these for my husband this weekend. Hope he likes his Valentine's Day gift! 

Cookie Truffles

36 chocolate sandwich cookies ( I used Oreo cookies)
1 8oz package of cream cheese, softened
1 10-12 oz package of chocolate ( I used dark chocolate)melted

Place cookies and cream cheese in the food processor and mix until completely blended. 
Shape into about 48 1 inch balls. Freeze for 10 minutes. Dip in melted chocolate. Place on baking sheet lined with aluminum foil or parchment paper. Place sprinkles on truffles. Refrigerate for 1 hour.
Store in refrigerator. 
That's it!!! How easy!! Enjoy!!
Happy Valentine's Day

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Peanut Butter Muffins

These muffins are killing me.

I mean, why can't they make a muffin pan with a single serving? Making twelve muffins at a time just makes me want to eat all of them. I cannot stop at just one.

Especially ones that taste like peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. 

Which happen to be my most favorite sandwich that I never make or eat. I know...weird. I love having a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, but I just cannot ever find the perfect time to eat one. I mean, I cannot have a sweet sandwich for lunch. Too much bread for me for breakfast, and forty something year olds just don't eat peanut butter sandwiches for dinner. 

At least they probably don't admit it if they do.

So, this muffin is the perfect compromise. The delicious nutty taste of peanut butter, and then, depending on how you make it, the sweetness of jam or chocolate chips. Perfect anytime! Unfortunately though, that 12 cup muffin pan might be your demise. Tread carefully!

Check out this recipe over at Little Lake County! My kids in the kitchen post is up and you can make a batch of these this weekend! 

Enjoy these! 
Someone did over here too! 

Monday, February 9, 2015

Quinoa Granola Bars

I have always loved a good granola bar. I love the ones that have it all. You know the ones? They have a delicious nutty crunch, maybe some tart dried fruit and, of course, we cannot forget the chocolate.

Can I throw in there that I really do not want artificial ingredients, tons of sugar, and unhealthy fats? 

Am I being too picky?

Probably, if we are talking store bought granola bars (I do have some favorites though! I love KIND bars and Larabars!).

That's why I decided to just make my own. I could get everything I want, and then some, and I would be assured that they are good for my family. 

Better yet? These are gluten free and can be vegan if you use dairy free chocolate chips! 

Healthy snack. Easy snack. Tasty snack. 

Perfect snack.

Quinoa Granola Bars

1 1/4 uncooked quinoa
1 1/4 cup uncooked oats 
3/4 cup shredded, unsweetened coconut
1/2 cup slivered almonds, or chopped nuts of your choice (I have used cashews and pistachios before)
1/2 cup dried fruit (I have used raisins, dried cranberries and dried cherries-all delicious!)
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup peanut butter (or nut butter of your choice)
3/4 cup honey
2 tbsp coconut oil, melted
3 tbsp brown sugar
1 cup chocolate chips (you can add to the bar or melt and drizzle on top)

On a large sheet pan, sprinkle oats and quinoa. Toast in the oven for 10 minutes on 325 degrees. Take out of the oven and pour into a large mixing bowl. Add salt, coconut, nuts and fruit. Toss to combine. In a microwave safe bowl, warm peanut butter for 30 seconds until it is slightly "melty". In a small bowl, combine peanut butter, honey, coconut oil and brown sugar. Mix until smooth and pour into dry ingredients. Fold in  chocolate chips and stir gently until all ingredients are incorporated together. Line a 13x9 inch pan with parchment paper that hangs over the sides and grease lightly with coconut oil or non stick spray. Press mixture into pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. Take out of oven and let cool for 2 hours +. If you would like to add some chocolate drizzle, melt chips in the microwave in a microwave safe bowl for 30 second intervals until smooth, but not over cooked. Drizzle on top of granola bars. Let chocolate set until hardened. Remove bars by pulling up on the parchment paper and put on a hard, flat surface to cut. Cut into bars. Store in a sealed container on the counter for three days, the refrigerator for 3 weeks or the freezer for three months. 

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Tortilla Soup

In the winter, there is nothing better than a pot of warm soup. I love the warmth and comfort of it. One of the other things I love is that one pot of soup usually means about three meals for my family!

Easy dinner week!


I especially love soups that have some depth to them...i.e. soups you can put toppings on!

Let's be honest. I love anything you can put toppings on. The more the better!

This soup is perfect for that. It is hearty filled with a ton of delicious ingredients, but the fun is topping it with avocado, cheese, sour cream and crumbled chips. Can you think of anything else? Throw it on!

This is probably not your traditional tortilla soup. What can I say, I am a soup rebel. I like things the way I like them and that's that.

What I am saying is if you are looking for a real tortilla soup-this is probably not the place. If you are looking for a delicious soup that I call tortilla soup-welcome!

*Note-to kick up the spice-add 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper when adding the spices. I withheld that since my kids don't do spicy but they all went back for seconds so rest assured this is a kid friendly soup!

Tortilla Soup

3 tbsp olive oil, divided
3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cubed
1 cup onion, finely diced
3 garlic cloves
5 large carrots, peeled and thinly sliced
5 cups chicken broth
1 can, 32 oz, diced tomatoes, undrained
2 tsp chili powder
2 tsp cumin
1 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground pepper
2 cups frozen corn, thawed
1 can, 16 oz black beans, drained

Toppings (optional): Avocado, salsa, shredded cheddar, sour cream, a lot of tortilla chips!

Heat 1 1/2 tsp olive oil in a large pot. Add diced chicken and cook about 2-3 minutes on each side until browned and cooked through. Remove from pot and onto a plate. Keep warm. Add remaining olive oil. Add onion, garlic and carrots. Cook for 3-4 minutes until lightly browned. Add chicken broth, tomatoes and spices. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Add corn and black beans. Cook until heated through, about 6-8 minutes. Serve with as many toppings as you can fit into your bowl!

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Goat or Feta Cheese + Pesto + Sun Dried Tomato Dip

In need of a super quick appetizer to bring to your super bowl party? Look no further! This one takes pretty much no time at all to prepare but looks beautiful and tastes delicious! Whip it up quickly and serve with crackers, veggies, pita triangles or tortilla chips. This one is a great choice when you need an appetizer in a pinch. I don't even have amounts in the recipe, because this recipe is so forgiving, you can just buy what you need based on the size dish you want to serve this in. I make my pesto homemade sometimes, but this recipe is completely perfect with store bought pesto as well! You will impress everyone and it will be our little secret that it was the easiest recipe you have ever put together! 

Feta + Pesto + Sun Dried Tomato Dip

Feta or Goat Cheese 
Sun Dried Tomatoes
Italian Seasoning

Spread goat or feta cheese in a pretty serving dish. Sprinkle with about a teaspoon of salt and about two teaspoons of italian seasoning. Top with pesto and sprinkle sun dried tomatoes on top. Refrigerate until ready to serve and let it come to room temperature before serving,  or serve immediately.Serve with crackers, veggies or your choice of dipper.