Monday, December 31, 2012

My Favorite Recipes of 2012

I had the highlight of my blogging year on Saturday.  Someone I didn't know came up to me and said she reads & likes my blog!  It was the first time that had happened to me... thanks for making my night Heidi!

Since some of my favorite recipes of 2012 didn't show up on the most visited list, I decided to make a list of my top new recipes of 2012.  All of these are so good we make them over and over!

Homemade Marshmallows

Creamy Baked Chicken and Broccoli
Gin and Rhubarb Delight

Israeli Couscous Salad with Roasted Asparagus, Artichokes, and Spinach

Homemade Cherry Pie Lara Bars
Crock Pot Santa Fe Chicken Tacos

Chocolate Covered Cookie Dough Balls
Spicy Chicken Rigatoni with Peas

Taco Cupcakes

Broccoli Quinoa Casserole

Mexican Sweet Corn Cake (Chevy's Copy Cat)

Southwest Pasta Salad

Sunday, December 30, 2012

2012 Most Visited Recipes

As 2012 ends, I found it interesting to a look back to see what recipes readers were most interested in.  Though not all of my personal favorites are in the mix, I thought I would share with you my most visited recipe from each month of this year. 

January:  Baked Pickle Fries

February: Sweet & Sour Cocktail Meatballs
March: Crock Pot Macaroni and Cheese

April: Layered Taco Dip

May:  Crock Pot "Rotisserie" Chicken

June: Noodles and Company Penne Rosa

July: Strawberry Jello Pretzel Salad

August:  Farmer's Market Skillet with Quinoa, Feta, Zucchini, Tomatoes, and Corn
September: Easy Spinach Artichoke Dip
October: Crock Pot Basil Chicken with Feta, Tomatoes, Garbanzos, and Olives

November: Pasta with Toasted Garlic, Dried Cranberries, Kale, Kalamata Olives, & Feta
December: Chicken with Cremini Cream Sauce

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Mexican Sweet Corn Cake (Chevy's Copy Cat Tamalitos)

Back when Bill and I were dating we went to Chevy's one night for dinner.  I found out that night that they serve a thing call Sweet Corn Tamalito with all of their meals.  It combines Tamales with the sweetness of dessert that has corn served on the side of Mexican food and it was love at first bite.

Ever since I have been on the lookout for the recipe.  I tried a lot of Corn casseroles that I thought would do the trick.  Some were good, some were ok, some were horrible, but none were the same as the Tamalitos.  Until NOW.  This recipe is as close as you can get without going straight to the source.  I was intimidated by the recipe at first, but it turns out it really isn't that hard to make.  I've made it several times and it turned out great every time!  It is a great side to have with spicy Mexican food!

Mexican Sweet Corn Cake (Chevy's Copy Cat Tamalitos)
From: Our Best Bites
Prep time: 10 min
Cook time: 1 hr

1/2 cup butter, softened (use real butter, not margarine)
1/3 cup masa harina (I bought mine at our local grocery store in the Mexican food section)
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup corn meal
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
2 Tbsp milk or cream
1 1/2 cups frozen corn

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Combine butter, masa harina, 1/4 cup water, and milk in a medium sized bowl and beat until creamy.

2. Ad corn meal, sugar, salt, and baking powder on top of the creamed butter mixture and use a fork or whisk to lightly whisk just the dry ingredients together.  Beat the entire mixture until smooth.

3. Place corn in food processor (I left mine frozen) and pulse until roughly broken up.  Add 1/4 cup water and corn to bowl and mix until combined.

4.  Boil a tea pot full of water.  Spread mixture in an ungreased 8x8 square pan and top with foil.  Place 8x8 pan inside a 9x13 pan and place both pans in oven.  Pour hot water in 9x13 inch pan just until it goes about an inch up the sides. 

5. Bake for about 55 minutes.  Remove from oven, uncover, and let sit 10-15 minutes before serving.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Christmas Oreo Pops


Last year at Christmas I made Rudolph Cake Pops to go with my gifts.  While they were cute and fun, cake pops can be time consuming during a busy holiday season.  So this year I tried something a little simpler.  These oreo pops were very easy and quick to whip up.

Chocolate tip: I used fondue chocolate (found at a craft store) instead of the melting wafers.  I've found that these melt easier, do not over heat easily(like the wafers can and be ruined), and leave a thinner coat of chocolate.  I have used the fondue chocolate for the cookie dough balls in the past, but I think I may now also switch to these for cakepops as well.  I highly recommend them!

Christmas Oreo Pops
From: CampClem
Prep time: 20-30 min
Cook time: none

1 pkg Double Stuffed Oreos
chocolate melting wafers or fondue chocolate of your choosing
sucker sticks

1. Spread wax paper across 2 cookie sheets.  Take an oreo and push the sucker stick through almost to the other side (be sure to hold it tightly together with your other had).  Repeat until all oreos have sticks.

2. Melt chocolate in microwave until melted - stirring every 30 seconds.  Dip Oreo in chocolate and place on wax paper.  Sprinkle with colored sprinkles of your choosing.  Let cool/harden on counter or in fridge.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Chicken with Cremini Cream Sauce

This is a South Beach Diet recipe and I really like it because it tastes like it would be a lot more fattening than it is.  It is creamy and rich, without really being rich.  Even bigger bonus, it is super easy.

Chicken with Cremini Cream Sauce 
From: South Beach Diet
Prep time: 5-10 min
Cook time: 10-15 min

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
3/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
3 tsp olive oil
8 oz small cremini mushrooms, quartered or sliced (I actually didn't use cremini)
3 scallions (I used a regular yellow onion)
1/2 cup chicken broth
2 Tbsp reduced fat cream cheese
1/4 tsp dried rosemary

1. Season the chicken with 1/2 tsp of salt and pepper.

2.  In a large nonstick skillet, heat 2 tsp olive oil over medium heat.  Add the chicken and cook until golden brown, about 3 minutes per side.  Transfer to plate and keep warm.

3.  Add the mushrooms, onion, and remaining tsp oil to the skillet.  Cook over medium heat, tossing frequently until the mushrooms have wilted, about 3 minutes.

4. Add broth, cream cheese, rosemary, and remaining 1/4 tsp salt.  Stir until the cream cheese melts, about 1 minute

5.  Return the chicken to the pan and bring to a simmer.  Cover and cook until the chicken is cooked through and still juicy, about 5 minutes.  Serve.


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