Friday, January 31, 2014

Funfetti Whoopie Pies

Funfetti time! Because tomorrow is my birthday and nothing says happy birthday like sprinkles. Lots and lots of sprinkles. I love whoopie pies but I haven't made them in ages. So since I got a new whoopie pie pan for Christmas (with my donut pan), I figured it was time. There are a handful of whoopie pie creations I'm looking forward to trying, but funfetti called my name. Soft, fluffy cakes oozing with marshmallow filling and rolled in more sprinkles seems like the right thing to do. The flavor is delicious and I think the marshmallow filling is just the right sweetness without making you want to pull your teeth out. My friend Rachel thought they could be sweeter. So just know going in that it'll either be spot on or little undersweet.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Baked Mini Chocolate Cake Donuts

It's a good thing these bad boys are mini. And baked. Because they are delicious and you might be tempted to eat a few. And then a couple extra to convince yourself they really are that tasty. Light and fluffy with delicious chocolate flavor and a perfect glaze, these mini donuts are one of my new favorite things. I got a mini donut pan for Christmas which means I need to make a bunch of donuts to make sure it works. So I started with a classic glazed chocolate cake donut, my absolute favorite. Forget the frosted and the cream filled, I will also grab at these chocolatey, glazed, cakey circles of yum first. They are also my go-to donut hole. I can't deny my chocolate habit in any form.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Pizza Chicken

This huge dish of deconstructed pizza is hearty, delicious and pretty healthy coming in at less than 300 calories when you used reduced fat cheese and turkey pepperoni. Not too bad for a meal ready in about 40 minutes or so. Dave and I both really enjoyed it and I'm glad I loaded it up on veggies to make it flavorful and super filling. I didn't even bother to make sides for this dinner, just serving it with some crusty bread which was used to shovel all the bits of goodness onto our forks. The chicken breast serve as a crust for this loaded pizza complete with sauce, two kinds of cheese, peppers, onions, mushrooms and pepperoni. This dish will definitely be a regular in our rotation and would also be perfect for company.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Cookies and Cream Fudge

Fudge is not that hard, people. I've made some pretty awesome fudge (so I'm told and yes, I think so too) and for realsies, it doesn't take hours of slaving in the kitchen or busting out candy thermometers to watch like a hawk and make sure the candy doesn't rise one tick above your intended temperature and be ruined. Four ingredients. Four. I don't do complicated when it comes to fudge. I want 3-5 ingredients please. Seriously, the funfetti fudge, perfect fudge and peanut butter fudge have just a handful of ingredients and are simple delicious. This cookies and cream fudge features great big chunks of Oreo cookies suspended in a creamy white chocolate base, exactly like a fudge version of my favorite ice cream flavor. this would be a lot of fun for a birthday party or just because. As a quick no-bake treat, you can keep these ingredients on hand for emergency dessert calls and save the day with a creamy, chocolatey treat.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cupcakes

Dave gets cupcakes for his birthday. Because I love him and he loves cake. So for his birthday this year, I made him these amazing cupcakes with a peanut butter cake speckled with chocolate chips and topped with a fluffy peanut butter buttercream frosting. I don't know how or why, but when these cupcakes baked up, the tops became firm and cookie-like in texture and the bottom half of the cupcakes were soft, fluffy and perfectly cakey. Maybe it was my stone muffin pan or maybe this recipe is magic, but either way, it's fine. The frosting is delicious on it's one, but I had a bit of chocolate buttercream frosting left over from a previous dessert, so for a few of these, I put both the chocolate and the peanut butter frosting in the piping bag for a yummy buttercream swirl of peanut butter and chocolate. Topped with some fun chocolate sprinkles and ta-da! Awesome peanut butter chocolate chip cupcakes for my honey's birthday.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Stuffed Pepper Soup

So we started January with a deep freeze, then last week we had a January thaw, and this week we're expected to dip down to frigid temperatures again. Guess it must be time for soup! We really enjoy stuffed peppers, but they do require some planning ahead, so when I found this soup recipe comprised of all the yummy parts of stuffed peppers, but deconstructed and quick to come together, I had to give it a try. This soup is delicious, hearty and flavorful. In about 45 minutes I had a tasty soup with beef, rice and lots of veggies that I served with crusty bread for a perfect meal on a cold night. Leftovers are perfect, to the point that Dave and I may have clamored to beat each other to claim them.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Chocolate Kiss Cookies

Pardon the holiday sprinkles. But these were a huge hit this past Christmas and I'd feel bad not sharing them with you. A soft chocolate cookie coated in festive sprinkles and topped with a candy kiss--really, what more could you want if you were my 7 year old niece? Or all the other kids who got holiday cookies. Or me. Trust me, I'm a huge fan of the traditional peanut butter blossom (mine are pretty good if I do say so myself). But for a chocolate fan like me, there's nothing better than chocolate topped with chocolate. And adding sprinkles just makes these even more fun. Sub out holiday sprinkles for rainbow, your favorite color, or better yet--more chocolate. Yum!

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Very Vanilla Biscotti

Biscotti is one of those cookies that I like the idea of but then am disappointed when I have one. Maybe it's because I don't drink coffee or tea and these cookies beg to be dipped in to a steaming mug of something yummy. I've made biscotti once before and it turned out okay, but I wanted to try my hand again. This vanilla biscotti is really yummy. Crunchy and full of flavor from 3 vanilla beans infusing the sugar with an intense yum. Everyone who tried these crisp cookies enjoyed them, so I think I might keep trying this whole biscotti thing. Particularly if they keep turning out this good.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Mini Meatloaf Cups

Homestyle comfort food, anyone? Meatloaf certainly qualifies as one of those delicious, comforting meals that tastes particularly good on a cold winter evening. I loaded this meatloaf with sauteed peppers, onions and mushrooms, then portioned it out into individual servings by cooking it in muffin cups. The result is perfect meatloaf with lots of flavor that's easy to stock the freezer with for busy nights. Just package in portions and defrost what you need, when you need it, and you're good to go.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Moose Tracks Cookies

Wow. This is a delicious, fudgy, almost brownie-like cookie loaded with white chocolate and chopped peanut butter cups.  A perfect cookie replica of an ice cream classic.  Barely enough batter to hold the mix-ins together, but that chewy chocolate cookie is still perfect. Yes, these cookies are awesome, and how could they be otherwise? Baking chocolate, chocolate chips, white chocolate and peanut butter cups jam pack into these cookies for an excellent treat. Small, sweet and full of flavor--that's my kind of cookie.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Banana Chocolate Chip Pancakes

Twice during breakfast, Dave said, "Mmm, these are good."  Since it was a double affirmative, I'll take that to mean I need to make these again. You know I love a fluffy pancake and I'll look for different flavors as an excuse just to make these breakfast treats. Perfect pancakes with lots of banana to speckled with chocolate chips for a delicious combination worth waking up to. Sour cream plays a big role in the fluffy texture of thee pancakes, keeping them light and airy.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Cranberry Coleslaw

This is a fantastic and colorful twist on coleslaw. I actually made it for Thanksgiving and then made it again shortly thereafter because it tasted so good. This is definitely in my side dish rotation, with lots of freshness from the cabbage, carrot and onion, a crunch from the sunflower seeds, sweetness from dried cranberries, and a light dressing combining cider vinegar and a bit of mayo to bring it all together. This pretty dish was perfect for the holidays, but is also a great way to bring some color and flavor into the dreary winter days.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Apple Cinnamon Pork Roast

Happy New Year! If pork on New Year's Day is a tradition in your house, I'm sure you'll love this tender and flavorful pork loin cooked up with apples and cinnamon. It tastes so good and makes the whole house smell so good as it cooks away in the slow cooker. This dinner is high on flavor and seems a little fancy, but is super simple and only uses a few ingredients that you likely have on hand. Serve with egg noddles or roasted potatoes and some vegetables and you have a hearty and delicious meal that's perfect for family supper or celebrating the New Year.