Friday, December 30, 2011

Eggs Benedict/ Hollandaise Sauce

Eggs Benedict always looks and sounds so delicious while at the same time it scares me a little bit.  The thought of the Hollandaise weirds me out a little bit, mainly because of all that butter and that if done wrong it can scramble the egg yolks. But I decided I had some time over the Christmas weekend so I gave it a shot. It came out delicious! and the timing wasn't nearly as difficult as I expected.

I did add a slice of tomato on each one and used deli ham instead of Canadian Bacon because I didn't have any and it was divine.  I think I might try to do one with asparagus soon.  mmmm so many combinations - why have I waited so long!

Eggs Benedict/Hollandaise Sauce
From: Pioneer Woman

2 English Muffins
4 slices Canadian Bacon
4 Whole Eggs & 3 Egg Yolks
2 Sticks Butter
1 Whole Lemon, Juiced
Cayenne Pepper to Taste
(Makes 4 English muffin halves)

1. Boil water.  While the water is coming to a boil toast English muffins in Toaster or broiler.  Can broil the ham with the muffins.

2. When water boils use either an egg poaching pan (which I don't have) or swirl water with a spoon in regular pan and drop in eggs (I slide them out of a ramekin to help the process).  Cook eggs for about 2 1/2 - 3 minutes.

3. Melt 2 sticks(!) of butter until melted and sizzling but not boiling/burning.  Separate 3 egg yolks and place them in the blender.  Blend yolks together and then with the blender on low, SLOWLY pour in hot butter into the blender in a thin stream. When butter is gone, immediately begin adding lemon juice into blender.  Then add Cayenne pepper (I didn't add very much, but will try adding more next time).

4.  Place English muffins on the plate face up, layer on Canadian bacon (or ham) on each half.  Then I added a slice of tomato on top of the ham. Place egg on top and then top with a generous helping of Hollandaise sauce.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Honeymoon Bacon

I tried several new recipes over Christmas, some turned out fantastic, like this Honeymoon Bacon, and some turned out horrible (like a crockpot oatmeal I tried). 

I have to be honest, I don't LOVE bacon like so many people do (like my brother David).  I know there is a huge bacon craze going on right now, but I just can't get fully on board... mainly because sometimes the smell of bacon grease makes my stomach turn, but David has made us this honeymoon bacon several times and I loved it despite my weird aversion to bacon. 

I decided to give this a try over the Holiday weekend since I decided to try a bunch of new recipes.  It was so easy - just as delicious as I remembered!  It is sweet and salty with a little bit of spice from the red pepper flakes.  And since the bacon is baked it didn't make the whole house smell like bacon grease!  I'm going to have to start making this more often - is everyday too often?  Thanks Dave!

Honeymoon Bacon
From: David

Brown Sugar
Red Pepper Flakes

1. preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line cookie sheet with foil.  Place bacon on foil and put brown sugar over each strip of bacon, then sprinkle with red pepper flakes.

2. Cook bacon for 20-30 min.  Place in broiler for 1-2 min if you like bacon crispy. Serve.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Rudolph Cake Pops

After making the Pumpkin Cake Pops for Halloween, I knew I wanted to try some for Christmas.  I found this version on Pinterest.  They seemed simple enough so I did my rendition of them.  I think they turned out quite cute (although I had a hard time taking a picture of them in the plastic bags).  I'm sure if I had more patience they would have turned out a little more uniformed. 

Rudolph Cake Pops
From: adapted from Bakerella

Cake Mix (and eggs and oil according to directions)
One can frosting
1 lb milk chocolate candy melting wafers
Red m&ms
black food safe markers
sucker sticks
light brown pipe cleaners (I cut mine in half)

1. Bake cake according to directions in 9x13 pan.  Let cool completely.

2. Crumble cake very small into large bowl.  Add about 2/3 can of frosting and mix together with hands until evenly moist.  May need to add a little more frosting if needed, but should not be overly moist.

3. Shape mixture into balls and place on wax paper on a cookie sheet.  Refrigerate for 2 hours or freeze for 15-30 min.

4. Melt the milk chocolate wafers.  Dip end of sucker stick in melted candy coating and then into the cake ball. place back on cookie sheet and repeat with rest of balls (this part helps keeps the stick in the cake ball).

5. Then dip each ball in the melted wafers and tap lightly to remove excess candy coating. Place bake on the cookie sheet and gently pus a red m&m to the front of the ball.

6. After candy coating has hardened, draw on eyes food safe markers.  Place each cake ball in a small clear bag and tie with pipe cleaners and mold into antlers.


Thursday, December 15, 2011

Breakfast To Go

I usually just bring a hard boiled egg to work for breakfast (yes as my friends pointed out, I'm 'that girl' that brings and egg and stinks up the office), but occasionally I mix it up and make smoothies before work.  Until I get sick of the mess I have to clean up with the smoothies.  And every once in a while I want to branch out from my 2 old standby weekday breakfasts. This one caught my eye a while back on Tasty Kitchen.  I really enjoy the heartiness of these and the mixture of a bunch of different items.  These are a great fall back when I'm in a rut for breakfast ideas!

Breakfast To Go
From: matthewsfam via Tasty Kitchen

1 cup Fat Free Milk
1 Pinch salt
1/2 cup dry Whole-wheat Couscous
Frozen Mixed Berries
12 oz, weigh vanilla yogurt
1/2 cup granola

1. In a small saucepan, bring milk and salt just to boiling  stir in couscous.  Reduce heat and let stand, covered, or 5 minutes.

2. Divide couscous among six plastic cups or to-go containers with lids.  Top each with frozen berries and yogurt.

3. Cover and chill overnight. Top with granola before serving.

Monday, December 12, 2011



I made Scotcheroos a couple weeks ago and couldn't believe I hadn't posted them yet.   These are a family favorite and are perfect for the upcoming holidays!

From: My Mom

1 cup white Karo Syrup
1 cup sugar
1 cup peanut butter
6 cups rice crispies
6 oz Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
6 oz Butterscotch chips

1. In a large pot add Karo Syrup, Sugar, and peanut butter.  Turn heat to medium high and stir until bubbly.

2. Once bubbling, remove from heat and stir in rice crispies until  all Rice Crispies are covered.  Spread into 9x13 inch pan

3. Heat Chocolate chips and butterscotch chips in the microwave at 30 second intervals until melted.  Spread over rice crispy mixture.  Let stand until bars have cooled.  Cut and serve.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Bacon Wrapped Dates

I've had bacon wrapped dates at several friends' houses and always wanted to try them.  I made them a couple weeks ago and they were so easy and delicious.   They would be a great app for a holiday party!

Bacon Wrapped Dates
From: Elizabeth

Pitted dates
Parmesan cheese
Bacon (cut each slice in thirds)

1. Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees.  Place foil on a cookie sheet and spray with cooking spray.

2. Cut a slit in each date.  Stuff with Parmesan and wrap a piece of bacon around each one.  Secure with a toothpick and place on pan.

3. Place in the oven for 5 minutes and flip.  Then cook for 243 minutes more until bacon is at desired crispiness.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Strawberry Banana Smoothie

This is a smoothie that Bill and I will make for breakfast sometimes.  We do different variations of this, but this is the base of both of them.

Strawberry Banana Smoothie
From: Elizabeth

Orange juice
Vanilla Yogurt
Frozen (or fresh) strawberries
1 banana
ground flax seed
3-4 ice cubes


1. Add 3 large spoonfuls of vanilla yogurt and 1-2 cups of orange juice to the blender.  Add 1 banana, 1/2 cup of frozen strawberries (or fresh if you have them), 1 Tbsp ground flax seed, and 3-4 ice cubes to blender and blend all together until smooth.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Slow Cooker Creamy Tacos


I'm a fool for anything Mexican, and slow cooker tacos are right in my wheelhouse. I loved that I could take 5 minutes in the morning, and when I got home I just got out the tortillas and toppings and was ready for dinner.  I had been wanting to try the Philadelphia cooking creme, and was glad to try it out.  The Santa Fe flavor was delish, but I may try using a different kind of tomatoes next time... maybe Rotel?

Slow Cooker Creamy Tacos
From: A Year of Slow Cooking

2 Lb chicken breast (mine were frozen)
1 (14.5 oz) can fire roasted tomatoes
1 (10 oz) container Philadelphia cooking creme - Santa Fe flavor
tortillas and taco fixins
Optional add ins: 1 cup frozen corn, 1 can black beans (drained and rinsed)

1. Place chicken in a 4 quart slow cooker.  Add the entire can of tomatoes.  Scrape out all the cooking creme and add to slow cooker.

2.  Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours (mine was more like 9-10).  Shred chicken with a fork, stir well and serve in tortillas with toppings.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Buffalo Crock Pot Chicken

My friends Nate and Darren gave me this recipe last spring. It is really easy and quite delicious. I'm really glad they gave me this recipe, I just wish I tried it sooner!

Buffalo Crock Pot Chicken
From: Nate Van Heest

4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
1 bottle of buffalo wings sauce
1 packet of dry Ranch seasoning mix
Hoagie Rolls
Sliced Provolone if desired

1. Place chicken in crock pot and sprinkle ranch packet and pour wing sauce over chicken.  Reserve some of the wing sauce for later (I usually use 3/4 of the bottle). Cook on low for 6-8 hours (longer if using frozen chicken).

2. When finished cooking, pull apart with 2 forks. Then serve on rolls (or I had mine over a salad).  Top with reserved sing sauce if desired.  We also topped with some banana peppers.

Friday, November 25, 2011

The Whole Enchilada Chicken Soup

This is another recipe from Hungry girl that my sister-in-law introduced me to.  I was skeptical at first because it includes a can of pumpkin, but it turns out that it is a perfect hint to the soup.  This soup is super easy and is quite tasty (man do I need to get some more adjectives besides tasty, yummy, and delicious!). It is great for the cool winter months slowly starting to descend on us her in Chicago - plus, in my book you can't go wrong with anything with a hint of Mexican!

The Whole Enchilada Chicken Soup
From: Hungry Girl

3 cups fat-free chicken broth
1 1/4 cup finely chopped celery
1/2 cup diced sweet yellow onion
3 cups green enchilada sauce
1 can 15oz can pure pumpkin
10oz cooked boneless skinless lean chicken breast, chopped and shredded
1 cup frozen corn
optional toppings: shredded fat-free cheddar cheese, crushed baked tortilla chips

1. In a large pot, bring broth to a low boil on the stove. Add celery and onion, and simmer for about 5 minutes, until slightly tender.

2. Stir in enchilada sauce and pumpkin.  Once soup returns to a low boil, add chicken and corn, and mix well.  Cook for an additional 3-5 minutes, until soup is heated throughout.

3. Add a dash or more hot sauce if desired.  Serve and, if you like, top with shredded cheese and/or crushed chips


Thursday, November 17, 2011

Black Bean Soup

I love black beans but had never made black bean soup.  I finally made this one I saw on Ashley's blog and it was so good, I could eat it every day (or at least once a week).  It was so simple, that I just might.  I didn't even need anything with it - although Bill had a sandwich with it.

Black Bean Soup
From: Ashley
Prep time: 5 min
Cook time: 20 min

1 Tbsp olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
1 jalapeno, seeded and finely chopped (I used a small can of green chiles because I didn't have a jalapeno)
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp cumin
dash of cayenne
2 (15oz) cans black beans, rinsed and drained
2 cups beef broth
2 Tbsp lime juice
1/4 cup fresh cilantro
sour cream
salt and pepper to taste

1. Heat olive oil in a dutch oven over medium heat.  Add the onion, jalapeno and garlic and cook until soft, about five minutes.  Stir in chili powder, cumin, and cayenne.

2. Add beans and broth and simmer for fifteen minutes.

3. Use hand blender to puree soup about halfway (or remove 1 1/2 cups of the soup and puree in a blender then return to pot.

4. Remove from the heat and stir in lime juice.  Ladle into individual bowls and add a dollop of sour cream and a sprinkle of cilantro.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Serve with Tortilla chips.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Crock Pot Korean Beef Tacos

Bill had some Korean Tacos when we were at Brownstone Tavern last week and really liked them.  So when this recipe showed up on Stephanie's blog, I knew I had to try them.  These were so easy and really good.  I pre-cut all my veggies to make it super easy in the morning. We also cut it in half since there was only two of is, and it gave us dinner and leftovers for 2 days worth of lunches.

Crock Pot Korean Beef Tacos
From: A Year of Slow Cooking

3-4 lb beef roast (I used Chuck Roast) - cut off all fat on edges)
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup soy sauce
1 head garlic (peeled but cloves in tact
1/2 onion, diced
1 inch fresh ginger root, peeled and grated
2 Tbsp rice wine vinegar
1 Tbsp sesame Oil
1 Whole jalapeno, diced

1. Put all ingredients in a 6-quart slow cooker.  Cover and cook on low for 8-10.

2.  Shred beef and serve on tortillas with cabbage.

*** She suggested mixing 1 bag shredded cabbage (coleslaw mix with 1 Tbsp soy sauce, and 2 Tbsp rice vinegar).  I made it once with the dressing and once with plain cabbage, and liked both, but will probably just do the plain cabbage since it is easier and tastes just as good!. :)

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Caprese Quinoa

In September (yes I realize I'm posting this way late), I bought a ton of heirloom tomatoes when I was at the farmers market in my hometown in Michigan because they were $2.99 a pound.  A POUND!  'Round these parts the are more than twice that when they are in season. After I had made several rounds of my favorite salad I thought I would try something new.  I already had all of the ingredients for this in the house, so I knew it was meant to be.  I didn't end up doing the infused basil oil Jessica called for, but I still think it was great. I served it with butternut squash soup and it was a great Meatless Monday (although I think it was actually a Thursday).

Caprese Quinoa
From: How Sweet It Is

1 cup uncooked quinoa
16 oz container of grape tomatoes, quartered
3/4 cup fresh mozzarella pearls cut in half
10 large basil leaves, cut into ribbons
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp pepper
Olive oil
Balsamic vinegar

1. Prepare quinoa according to directions on box (which is most likely: 2 cups water + 1 cup quinoa, bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, cover and cook for 15 min).

2. Depending on whether you want your quinoa hot or cold either let it cool completely or immediately add in the tomatoes, cheese, basil, salt and pepper. Drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Layered Tex-Mex Taco Salad

I have never been a traditional layered salad fan. Straight up mayo over top of peas and lettuce, not really my thing.  However, when I saw this layered tex-mex taco salad, I was intrigued.  I had to bring a salad for an event at church and thought I would give it a shot, and figured, hey, if it is no good, at least I'm not stuck with the whole thing myself.  Turns out it is really tasty!  the whole thing got eaten up and I even had two servings.  I feel like it tastes like a layered taco dip, just with more lettuce so it is healthy.  I recommend it.

I do apologize for 2 things though.  One, I layered all wrong. The cheese should be under the dressing layer.  Two, I had to add the avocado right before serving, so I cut it and added it while at church, so the only pictures I have of it are what Bill took on his phone with horrible lighting - so the pictures aren't even as good as my normally mediocre pictures.

Layered Tex-Mex Taco Salad
From: Kraft Recipes

1/2 cup mayo or miracle whip
1/2 cup reduced fat sour cream
1 Tbsp Taco Seasoning Mix
1 can (15oz) black beans, rinsed
6 cups coarsely chopped iceberg lettuce
1/2 cup sliced red onions
1 1/2 cups Mexican style finely shredded four cheese
1 cup tomatoes chopped
1 avocado
1/4 cup loosely packed fresh cilantro

1. Mix first 3 ingredients until well blended.

2. Layer beans, lettuce, onions, cheese and tomatoes in large bowl.

3. Spread dressing mixture over salad.  Refridgerate 2 hours.

4. Chop avocado; spoon over salad just before serving and sprinkle with cilantro

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Easy Acorn Squash

This is one of the dishes I remember my mom making every fall.  I reminds me of home when I make it and having something sweet (especially a vegetable) is always a huge plus. I'm so glad that so many foods and smells remind me of home and growing up with my family.

Easy Acorn Squash
From: My Mom

1 Acorn Squash
1-2 Tbsp butter
1 Tbsp Brown sugar
Maple syrup (optional)

1. Cut squash in half, remove seeds and gunk. Place in glass dish with cut side up with 1/4 - 1/2 inch of water in the bottom.

2. Microwave on high for 4 1/2 minutes, check, rotate, and microwave for 4 1/2 minutes more or until fork goes through easily.

3. Add 1 Tbsp butter and 1 Tbsp Brown sugar to the squash cavity and drizzle with maple syrup. microwave for 1 minutes more until butter is melted and serve.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Crock-Pot Baked Apples


 This just sounded so good and easy that I knew I had to try it this fall. They taste like an apple pie without the crust! It was very easy, delicious, and made the house smell great! I highly recommend trying them - it will warm you up on a cold Halloween night!  Happy Halloween!

Crock-Pot Baked Apples
From: Skinny Chef

1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup walnuts, chopped (optional)
2 Tbs butter
1 tsp cinnamon
6 Gala or Macintosh apples, cored
1/2 cup apple juice or apple cider
2 Tbs orange liquor (optional)

1. Preheat a large crock-pot on high heat.  In a bowl, mix brown sugar, walnuts, butter, and cinnamon.

2. Fill apples with the filling and place them in the crock-pot.  Pour in the apple juice/cider and liquor if using it.

3. Cover and cook 2 1/2 - 3 hours on high heat until the apples are soft and begin to collapse.


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