Sunday, September 30, 2012

Texas Trash

Have I got a week of food ready for you.  It's a week's worth of tailgate and football food with some delicious items that will double as football snacks or full on meals perfect for eating while watching the game.  And I'm starting off with a simple party mix with an awesome name that will completely kick the booty of whatever snack mix you've been enjoying up until now.  Smoky flavor with a spicy kick, this Texas Trash snack mix is delicious and hearty with tons of different textures and delicious goodies.  Pretzels, nuts, cereal and corn chips all serve as the delivery mechanism for a lovely mix of seasonings and spices, perfect for munching while drinking a beer and watching the game.  Although it's pretty tasty for movie night, too.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Blogger Challenge: Pay It Forward

I introduced you to Stephie at Eat Your Heart Out a few months ago for Foodie Pen Pals.  I sent her a package and discovered her blog, which I love.  The other day Stephie posted a challenge, Pay It Forward, and I immediately wanted to play so I could share the fun with all of you.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

No Bake Oatmeal Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Bars

I was having one of those days when I needed to bake something.  My stirring hand was getting itchy and I was feeling a little chocolate deprived.  But what to do?  Bars would be quicker than cookies, but with my oven still acting up, I really didn't want to play the "is it done yet but not burnt game" that I've been dealing with. Enter these no-bake treats full of flavor--peanut butter, chocolate chips, and oatmeal goodness.  Yes, these would do just fine.  I ended up leaving just a few at home for Dave and I to enjoy and then took the rest to work.  One of my coworkers immediately said (I barely think he swallowed his first bite), "Wow. Yeah. I could totally eat nothing but those for 40 days and 40 nights."  While I'm not sure that's the best sustenance, these bars really are that good.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Buffalo Chicken Sloppy Joes

You know I love some buffalo chicken.  So I couldn't resist this recipe when I saw it.  I mean, all the buffalo chicken heat and flavor that I like in a sandwich form!  It's perfect.  I've got a couple more buffalo chicken treats coming your way as we move into fall and winter comfort food recipes, but these sloppy joes are great. Perfect for game day, and a quick, healthy dinner for those busy nights.  Served up on toasty buns with celery and carrot sticks and some ranch or blue cheese dressing and you've got a complete meal in less than 20 minutes.  What's not to love?

Friday, September 21, 2012

Double Chocolate Zucchini Bread

Ok, so I've got one last zucchini treat up my sleeve for the season.  Maybe you still have some squash lingering in the garden or saw them at the farm stand.  Or maybe you took my advice and shredded, drained and froze it so that you can enjoy more zucchini treats between now and next summer.  No matter how you get your hands on some zucchini, you'll be glad you did when you bake up this tasty bread.  A double dose of chocolate makes this bread so rich and delicious, you'll forget about the extra fiber from the added veggies.  And the zucchini adds moisture so this bread has a perfect crumb and makes a delicious treat for breakfast or a snack.  Chocolate chips strewn throughout provide sweet bursts of flavor, still a little melty if you want to indulge before it's cooled completely.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Funfetti Pancakes

There is no celebration going on here, except for the fact that sprinkles make everything a celebration, by default.  Yup, we woke up one morning and Dave wanted pancakes for breakfast.  So I asked him, " Do you want them plain or to taste like cake with sprinkles?"  My husband's no fool so he'll always take the cake-flavored version with sprinkles to boot. He even ran out to the store to get milk because I didn't have enough.  Such a gem.  And it was totally worth the effort because these pancakes are awesome.  Sweet but not sugary, fluffy and mimicking yellow cake goodness, plus an abundance of sprinkles--yes this is a breakfast worth celebrating.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Crock Pot Sloppy Joes

Welcome fall.  The season that ushers in comfort food in every form.  Breakfasts get heartier, lunch boxes become fuller to sustain long afternoons of activity and dinners make you feel warm and cozy.  And sometimes those dinners might take you back a few years as you remember sharing those meals with your family.  I don't think we had sloppy joes that often growing up, but I remember thinking how cool it was when we did.  A sandwich...for dinner!  sandwiches were such a quintessential lunch food that the crossover was almost as exciting as breakfast for dinner (brinner, of course, winning every time, but still exciting none the less).  And what could be easier than tossing everything in a crock pot and having everything ready at dinner time?  Some assembly required, but cooking complete.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Salt and Vinegar Potatoes

Just saying--or reading--the words "salt and vinegar", my mouth starts to water.  They aren't my first potato chip flavor choice by a long shot, but when I do go for them, that first bite always has me wondering why I don't eat them more often.  And then I remember that I like to fit into my clothes.  The sour-tart vinegar infused in a heavily salted potato just completely over takes your mouth.  So of course these potatoes are worth trying, even if they still have room for improvement.  They taste awesome and there's flexibility with the preparation whether you want a more chip-like consistency or something more sturdy.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Double Chocolate Muffins

How can a day go wrong if you start it with a fudgy, delicious and reasonably healthy muffin?  I really don't think it's possible.  These muffins are super good with their rich, chocolatey, brownie-like crumb and a sprinkling of chocolate chips.  They're filling for a small muffin, made with oatmeal as a make-at-home version of the popular VitaTop Muffin.  I used real sugar, but if you swapped that for a sugar substitute, you could really bring down the calorie count and have a VitaTop Muffin copy-cat for pennies by comparison.  And seriously, a decadent muffin is totally a way I want to start my day.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Cookie Butter Cream Bars

Remember that Speculoos Cookie Butter I got from Rinnie for last month's Foodie Pen Pals?  Well, how cool is it that I found a recipe to use it in for my Secret Recipe Club assignment!  Two worlds collide! But first, let's discuss these bars.  A sweet, creamy and delicious filling made from cookie butter tops a flaky shortbread crust gently seasoned to mimic the filling.  These are a wonderful treat and made for a lovely dessert.  Madaline and Ernie weren't familiar with cookie butter, but Ernie declared these a win.  There could be a little more flavor intensity from the cookie butter, but it's still a lovely flavor.  And the over all consistency reminded me of pumpkin pie made with a double crust.  These would be an ideal dessert for the holiday season.

So yes, it's Secret Recipe Club time, again.  By now, you probably know what that means.  Each Monday a group of bloggers post a recipe they've made from another blogger's repertoire.  Nobody knows who's featuring their blog until that day and it's a fun chance to visit new blogs and try something different. Visit some of the other bloggers in my group by checking out the blog hop at the bottom of this post.  To learn more about Secret Recipe Club, click here.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Chocolate Chip Bourbon-Spiked Banana Bread

Well, if rum can go into my banana bread, why not just throw open the liquor cabinet and grab whatever?  On the surface this may seem very similar to the Chocolate Chip Coconut Banana Rum Bread I shared earlier this week, but the flavors come together differently and the strength of the bourbon really shines.  Plus the addition of nuts provides a different undertone, almost an earthiness when couples with the bananas and the chocolate chips provide a nice sweet note with the alcohol.  Good stuff, people.  Now you have a banana bread you can share with your rum drinking friends and one for your bourbon drinking friends.  Or just share with everyone.  Or share with no one and devour these mini loaves all by yourself.  Your call.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Peanut Butter Banana Chocolate Chip Cookies

Oh, yes.  I couldn't get through the week without giving you a cookie.  And these are a perfectly yummy cookie indeed.  They are soft, but not cakey (like these guys), and the neither the peanut butter nor the banana overwhelm in flavor.  Dotted with yummy chocolate chips, these are a perfect back to school cookie!  Great for lunch boxes or after school snacks, you'll probably have some happy little students (or husbands) on your hands.  Whip up a batch and freeze the extras to have a constant stream of delicious cookies with a wonderful combo of flavors--chocolate and peanut butter always win, but throw in banana and you've got a trifecta!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Chocolate Chip Coconut Banana Rum Bread

Looking at it now, I probably should've made big loaves instead of mini loaves to go with the long name of this quick bread. Let's just say there's a lot going on in this bread.  And it all adds up to awesome deliciousness.  True story.  This read starts off quick with some banana, then it asks for a touch of coconut.  And you might as well stir in some chocolate chips.  But what's a part without the booze so you add rum and then everyone gets really happy and out comes a delicious bread.  Surprisingly, despite the alcohol, everyone gets along and no one is fighting for top billing.  Each flavor is distinct and supports each other.  So maybe it's less of a party and more of a support group?  Whatever it is, it's tasty.   Dave loves it because he gets to have coconut AND rum first thing in the morning when I make it.  Simple things, people.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Banana Oatmeal Muffins

Today's banana treat is a simple and relatively healthy muffin rich with oats and tasty banana goodness.  No flour, just oats make up the texture of this muffin and it's a perfect nuttiness.  By grinding the oatmeal, you get the consistency needed for the muffin texture, but impart a much more substantial flavor than flour.  Combined with the bananas and things like Greek yogurt and cinnamon, and there's a winner. I've made these muffins a few times and like how filling they are, in addition to being delicious.

I pinned this recipe earlier this summer and found that Jess from Keeping up with the Joneses had a really good idea with these muffins.  And they are so easy.  I did add a little cinnamon because I love that flavor with bananas and without any extract, I thought these muffins could use another level of flavor.  I used my blender to make these muffins and I would suggest that when you layer in the ingredients, separate the oats into two parts.  I've got an awesome blender, but 2 1/2 cups of oats without any liquid is a lot to ask of your blender.  It really needs something mushy to help spin the oats around and get everything going.  Otherwise, you'll be stopping every few second to reach in with a spatula and push everything around.  And keep in mind, that without traditional flour, these muffins will stick to even well-greased muffin liners.  I bakes these in a greased stoneware muffin pan without any sticking issues, so you may not need the liners at all.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Funfetti Banana Bread

So remember bananapalooza?  Yeah that kind of happened in my kitchen again.  One or two at a time, bananas just kept getting tossed in the freezer.  I'm pretty sure at one point there were about 20 in there.  What better way to enjoy those nasty looking but awesome tasting (when baked) overripe bananas?  A week's worth of banana recipes, that's how!  I'm going to treat you to five days of sweet treats using this versatile fruit.  Three quick breads, one healthy muffin and a delicious cookie, all for your enjoyment.

Starting with this Funfetti Banana Bread--yup, banana bread has a party with a touch of cake batter flavor and sprinkles everywhere.  This quick bread tastes like banana cake and the sprinkles remind you to celebrate...something.  Bananapalooza?  Breakfast?  Whatever, you'll smile when you eat this.