Friday, May 30, 2014

M&M Cookie Bark

Sometimes a crisp, crunchy cookie is exactly what you need. And sometimes you need it with a little chocolate. And sometimes, you don't want to go through the motions to portion dough into individual cookies. That's where this delicious treat comes in. Buttery, sweet and dotted with mini M&Ms, you get a lot of crunch and cookie flavor in a treat with a texture very reminiscent of brittle or bark. It's like two desserts in one. Plus candy. Seriously, how can you go wrong? Dave practically inhaled this stuff, but I got a few good chunks too and it's really good. So good I sent it to my Foodie Pen Pal this month!

The Lean Green Bean

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Strawberry Pancakes

We're definitely in strawberry season and I'm loving every bit of it. In fact, Dave and I picked up some strawberry plants from our farm in the hopes that we can create our own harvest instead of running to the farm every other day (we'll do that for blueberries instead). But until then, we'll have to settle for the grocery store gems, and since I was in strawberry overload and bought way to many on my past trip (sorry not sorry), I needed to make something with the extra bounty. So when I asked Dave what kind of pancakes he wanted this past weekend and he responded strawberry, I knew there was a reason for my berry-hoarding. I'm usually hesitant about fresh fruit in my pancakes, particularly berries, because I don't think they impart the necessary flavor to the whole pancake. And I otherwise mess them up, either resulting in mushy fruit or undercooked pancakes. But these strawberry pancakes turned out perfect. Fluffy with bites of berry throughout and a perfect tenderness without burning the berries, I'm glad I gave them a go. Now I'm getting interested in the idea of a strawberry banana pancake, so there's a whole new world of pancakes that has been opened up in my kitchen. Yum!

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Ice Cream Sundae Cookies

Why yes, as a matter of fact these cookies are as amazing as they sound. Seriously. Everything you love about a big ice cream sundae all baked up and delicious. And portable. Which was important since these were the lovely treats I sent to my friend Lisa for her birthday last week. Ice cream and shipping don't mix quite so well, which make these cookie an excellent option when you want need want ice cream without the mess. The perfect cookie base flavored with vanilla and loaded up with crushed sugar cones, white chocolate chips and M&Ms, then topped off with a chocolate drizzle. Super simple and delicious, these cookies deserve a chance in your oven. And your cookie jar. And your belly.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Strawberry Mini Donuts

After a long, hard New England winter (let's face it--it was long and hard everywhere), it's finally strawberry season! By far one of my favorite things about May is the influx of these sweet, juicy berries. They haven't hit our farm stand yet, but I know they'll be there soon. In the meantime, I'll pick them up wherever I can get them. But of course, breakfast calls and while I could eat my weight in fruit for breakfast, sometimes a donut is in order. Simple enough, just combine the two, make them mini donuts so you can eat more without feeling like a pig (hey, they're made with fruit so they have to be healthy, right?) and you've got a perfect breakfast treat. Plus, I got enough of these little guys, we dropped a bunch off with Felise and Nick so they could enjoy them as well. Yup, another donut recipe in the books and another reason to pick up some extra strawberries.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Mushroom Parmesan Rice

Confession: I struggle with side dishes. I don't know why. Sometimes it's just hard to know what will be good with the main dish. Or I don't want potatoes again. Or something that will take longer than the entree to make. Yeah, we have chips and salsa a lot as a side dish. So when I do find something that is delicious, easy and quick to make, I jump on it and add it to the side dish repertoire. Like this mushroom Parmesan rice. It fit two criteria--a quick side dish and it used up the overabundance of sliced mushrooms residing in the fridge. Total win. Oh, and it tastes good. Yes, because that's always a requirement. Simple rice, lightly flavored with a nice veggie bonus. This will be the perfect accompaniment for grill season.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Twisted Cheesy Breadsticks

We're a pasta kind of household. I make a mean marinara sauce in the crock pot and it makes a ton, so we have spaghetti or some other fun pasta shape, sometimes with meatballs even, at least once a month or more. Sometimes I'll pick up a crusty bread, sometimes I'll make my own, but recently I wanted something different. Enter these fun, cheesy breadsticks. Simple to make and delicious to boot, I'm excited to have another option for extra dinner carbs. Occasionally, a bread basket is warranted and these breadsticks will be in mine. A sprinkling of mozzarella cheese and a garlic butter kick make these breadsticks more than your ordinary slice of white bread.

Secret Recipe Club

Friday, May 9, 2014

Snickerdoodle Mini Scones

It's been a while since I whipped up some scones, so I thought one Saturday morning I'd make up a batch. And since I know snickerdoodle is one of Dave's favorite flavors, it seemed appropriate to make that my flavor base for these scones. On and I made them mini. Because, well, mini. The result? Tender, flaky scones teaming with cinnamon and sweetness. Topping and glaze? Yes and please.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Cornbread Muffins

Mmm, cornbread. It's the super versatile muffin that's not for breakfast. Corn bread muffins are perfect for sopping up all the extra sauce from BBQ pulled pork or baked beans, and equally excellent for dipping in chili and a fiery stews. Moral of the story? I make these often and was shocked to see I never shared this recipe with you. Oops. Super easy and these muffins come out delicious every time. They'd be perfect with a little slather of butter or with any number of tasty dishes. When I made this batch, we had them with this BBQ pulled chicken.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Green Rice

Happy Cinco de Mayo! Time to get your fajitas and margaritas on. And for the side, how about a serving of green rice for some color and fun flavor? Spinach, cilantro, and a jalapeno add flavor and color to this dish and I really like the inclusion of corn for a change in texture. This rice is simple, delicious and adds a nice change to the traditional beans and rice you're probably used to with your Cinco de Mayo celebrations.

Friday, May 2, 2014

Rolo Stuffed Chocolate Muffins

Well, color me mortified. Seriously, I don't have a recipe for the crow I'm currently eating. After writing up the post below and completely enjoying my April Foodie Pen Pal, Ashley, my diminished computer skills (i.e.: my ability to remember to hit the publish button) followed by an illness that kept me either in bed or lying on the bathroom floor, thus away from blog maintenance meant I missed Wednesday's Foodie Pen Pal reveal day.  And for this, I'm sorry. Please take a look below at the wonderful box I received from Ashley at Happy, Pretty, Sweet and these fun muffins I sent her. I'm so sorry if you felt neglected, Ashley! Meanwhile, I'm going to see if I have any ketchup to choke down this crow.

I could quite literally eat chocolate all day. Breakfast, lunch and dinner. Except I do need actual nutrition. So I make real food and enjoy that. But if I can make chocolate flavored real food, then that's a major score. Of course that means I love these muffins. Delicious, tender, chocolatey muffins with a surprise inside of slightly gooey caramel thanks to Rolo minis. Perfect for breakfast or a lovely afternoon snack. And definitely perfect for a chocoholic, like me. And my Foodie Pen Pal.

The Lean Green Bean