Mini S’mores Cups

What isn’t there to love about s’mores? Oh, yeah. The mess they make! I know the messiness factor is part of the experience of s’mores, but for some folk (like me) it can be too much. Alas! A recipe has been crafted to fit all the neat freaks needs for the ooey gooey match of marshmallow, chocolate, and graham crackers.

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Mini S’mores Cups

You’ll need:

  • 1 box brownie mix of your choice (plus ingredients as directed on the box)
  • Mini Graham Cracker Pie Crusts (I used 3 packages of 6)
  • Mini marshmallows
  • Chocolate chips
  • Crushed graham crackers

You will:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Fill the cups with about two spoonfuls of mix. You don’t want them too full or they’ll spill over when they cook.
  • Top with a handful of marshmallows, chocolate chips, and crumbled up graham crackers
  • Bake for about 25 minutes, remove, and add a few more marshmallows
  • Cook a few more minutes until the new marshmallows are toasted.
  • Serve warm!

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My only problem with this recipe is that I bought an entire box of graham crackers and only used two pieces of the crackers. The same for the chocolate chips; I didn’t use very many. But having leftover marshmallows, chocolate chips and graham crackers is defiantly not a bad thing. I’m sure they’ll be gone by Sunday night! I can’t stop myself from snacking on all of those things. So yummy! The goods far outweigh my irritation with my leftover ingredients. They’re quick, easy, and basically mess free. If you have kids, I’m sure this would be a great recipe to try for a good dessert or treat! And due to the mess-free nature of the process, I’m sure they could help prepare!

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Veggie Pizza Cups

The first time my mom made veggie pizza, I was apprehensive. Vegetables? Ew! A few years have passed since then and I love veggies of all shapes and sizes. Veggie pizza is one of my favorite finger food type dish that she makes, however, it can be so messy! This weekend Brandon, me, and my mom all had a day off and my mother and I decided to cook nothing but finger foods! We had a feast for kings! I knew I wanted veggie pizza, but I wanted something more convenient and easier to eat.

I did a quick google search and found the recipe we used as inspiration for our veggie pizza cups. My mom does not follow recipes and hates listening to cooking rules (maybe it’s because she is used to being the boss and not listening to anything anyone says… or maybe it’s just because she’s a mom). We used this recipe as a base, but the recipe below is modified to make the cups a quick and easy bake that keeps all your toppings from falling off!

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Veggie Pizza Cups

You’ll need:
– 1 package of crescent rolls
– 1 package of cream cheese, softened
– 1 cup sour cream
– 1 package of powdered ranch dressing mix
– ½ teaspoon garlic powder
– chopped veggies of choice (we use carrots, cucumbers, cauliflower, broccoli and tomatoes)
– shredded cheese (we just use cheddar!)

You will:
– preheat your oven to 350 degrees farenheit
– cut the crescent roll into sections
– press the sections into the bottom of a greased muffin tin to make little cups. be careful not to over make the cups or you won’t be able to put any of the mix and toppings in.
– bake for 10-12 minutes or until they turn a golden brown color
– in a small or medium sized bowl, beat your softened cream cheese and then add sour cream, ranch mix, and garlic powder until it is mixed together well
– chop up your veggies to the size you prefer
– let the cups cool for a few minutes once they’re out, then spoon the ranch mix in the cups
– fill the cups with the veggies and cheese
It took us a minute to figure out how to make the cups. Just experiment! Figure out what works best for your cup-making abilities. Also, when you’re spooning the ranch mix in make sure you don’t overfill. We left a little bit of an indentation in the middle so we could put the veggies in and they wouldn’t fall out.

We still had a lot of the mix left out, so you could double the recipe by just getting another pack of crescent roll. Since we didn’t have any more crescent rolls left, we used tortillas and spread the mix out and sprinkled the leftover cheese and veggies and rolled them up. We got 3 veggie tortilla roll ups out of it (and we really slathered the ranch mix on), so that should give you an indication of how much is left over! I would recommend actually using two packs of the crescent rolls. I know the next time we make these (and believe me, we will) I’m going to get two packs of crescent rolls.

Just a FYI- while writing this I got an insane craving for the veggie cups and texted my mom to see if she had any leftovers for me to come steal… nope… all the veggie pizza is gone. GUESS WE GOTTA MAKE ANOTHER BATCH, FOLKS!

And another FYI- go to my husband (and occasionally my) YouTube account! We do a bunch of videos, but are starting a movie review thing-y. Our first review is out and needs eager eyes to watch it.

Honey Lime Chicken Skewers

I was beyond excited to try this recipe. I’m pretty sure everyone around me, especially at work, hated me for a span of 3 days because this is all I talked about. I’d drop it casually in conversation or just blatantly flail my arms around while screaming about honey and lime chicken skewers. Everyone can rest easy now because I made them for dinner tonight. Actually, no, they can’t rest easy… because I’m going to be talking about these things for a solid week.

A delicious mix of sweet and spicy, seared to perfection, these skewers make for the perfect meal.

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Honey Lime Chicken Skewers

You’ll need:

  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • juice of one lime
  • 1 ½ tablespoon garlic powder
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes, to taste
  • 2 tablespoon cilantro
  • 1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breasts, diced

You will:

  • In a bowl – combine soy sauce, salt, pepper, honey vegetable oil, garlic, lime, red pepper flakes, and 1 tablespoon of cilantro
  • Place chicken in the marinade – cover and place in the fridge for at least one hour
  • Place chicken on skewers and heat on a grill or fry pan – cook each side for a couple minutes

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We served the skewers over a bed of white rice with some fried and seasoned potatoes.

I left the lime in the marinade bowl, cut up, instead of tossing it. I don’t know if it actually made a difference or if it was just a mental game. It also was marinating for 6 hours. I had Brandon put it in before he left for work, and I took it out as soon as I got home.

Alton Brown (Good Eats is now on Netflix!!! So I’ve been binge watching it, along with all the other goodies they added) said marinating anything for more than 2 hours is almost pointless because the meat can only  retain so much flavor. Honestly, I only leave things in so long because of scheduling conflicts. Brandon and I work staggered second shifts, he goes in a few hours after I do, making it hard to cook most of the time.

We are becoming more adventurous with our cooking. Some stuff doesn’t end up on the blog- like the yummy fresh salsa I made yesterday- just because I don’t think it’s particularly exciting enough to warrant a post. We also replaced our blender with a new and better version that doesn’t have a seal I can lose (whoopsy), and have experimented with lotsa smoothies already. I’m not sure if anyone is interested in those recipes, but I will also start to post them a little. Who doesn’t love a good smoothie recipe?!?!

Okay- so to sum this post up…

Honey lime chicken = good.

Meatloaf

Did you know there are like, a million different ways to make meatloaf? Who knew a loaf of beef could be so complex. Defiantly not me. That is, until I got my big red book of recipes, and I saw that Brandon’s family has a completely different meatloaf method than my family. My mom is loves making “concoctions” when she’s cooking. She doesn’t really measure things and just tastes as she goes, finding what works and doesn’t. Her meatloaf has always used bread crumbs and a mixture of A1, mustard, and ketchup. Brandon’s mom is more methodical with everything she does (living with her for half a year has made me a crazy list maker!), and her recipe uses stuffing and BBQ sauce.

I was dreading the day Brandon asked me to make meatloaf for dinner. I hate stuffing, and I love my mom’s meatloaf recipe. I’ve also never made a meatloaf before, and I was a bit intimidated by a massive loaf of meat and other products. The other day when that day finally came, I winced. Brandon is the pickiest non-picky eater- the taste buds of my husband are quite complex while being the same as a 7 year old’s at the same time. It was decided- I was making a meatloaf. And not just any meatloaf, the recipe from my big red book.

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MEATLOAF

You’ll need:
– 2 eggs (beaten)
– 2 lb. ground beef
– 1 package chicken flavor stuffing
– 1 cup water
– ½ cup BBQ sauce

You will:
– Preheat oven to 375 degrees
– Place beef, stuffing mix, water, egg and ¼ cup BBQ sauce in a large bowl
– Mix well
– Shape into oval loaf in 9×13 pan
– Top with remaining BBQ sauce
– Bake about an hour, or until a meat thermometer reads 160 degrees

I don’t have a meat thermometer, so it was a little difficult to tell when my loaf was done. I took it out prematurely at first, realizing my mistake when it was pink in the center. It was also kind of difficult for me to cut it and plate it (as it is with most things), as you can tell by my crumbly meatloaf on my plate. All in all, I did enjoy this recipe! I loathe stuffing, but I could barely taste it. And paired with my redskin mashed potatoes and corn, it was heavenly!

Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting

Pumpkin baked goods can only be a sign of one thing- fall. Fall is my absolute favorite season. Cold mornings, the smell of the crisp air, leaves changing, Halloween, getting to cuddle up in a nice warm blanket, apple cider, and of course PUMPKIN EVERYTHING. I am very picky about my pumpkin products. I do not like pumpkin pie. I’m not a big fan of pumpkin spice lattes. But I love the smell of a good pumpkin candle burning… and select baked goods.

My sister and I tried out a variation of this recipe last year. I think this year they taste a thousand percent better. Sorry, Alli! These creamy and fluffy cupcakes with their ooey gooey cream cheese frosting are to die for, and I think I might eat them all myself tonight. I like to overstuff my cupcake liners so my goodies puff up nice and big when they’re cooked. Unfortunately, that means I get less yummy cupcakes. This recipe only made 18 cupcakes for me, but I think it was supposed to yield 24. This is defiantly a recipe to double up!

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Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting
Adapted from Kraft Recipes

You’ll need:
– 1 box spice cake mix
– 1 cup sour cream
– 1 15 oz. can pumpkin
– ¼ cup vegetable oil
– 3 eggs
– 1 package cream cheese, softened
– ¼ cup butter, softened
– 1 teaspoon vanilla
– 1 16 oz. bag of powdered sugar
– 1 ½ tablespoon cinnamon

You will (for cupcakes):
– Heat oven to 350 degrees
– Beat together cake mix, sour cream, pumpkin, vegetable oil, and eggs
– Spoon into paper lined cups
– Bake for 20-22 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean
– Cool completely before frosting

You will (for frosting):
– Beat cream cheese, butter, and vanilla in a bowl with mixer until blended
– Gradually beat in the sugar
– Blend in the cinnamon
– Spread over the cooled cupcakes

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I love piping my frosting on my cupcakes, but this frosting is totally not the kind you pipe. My disappointment with my inability to fancily frost my cupcakes aside- these bad boys are a success! They satisfy my need for pumpkin flavored things without being TOO pumpkin-y. If you or a family member is weary about pumpkin flavoring and is picky about tastes and textures, try these out! There is a great balance of flavor that makes them perfect for anyone and everyone!

Taco Bake (Hassle-free walking tacos!)

Brandon and I just got back from our belated honeymoon in Philly. It was fantastic! I will be posting a blog about it and all the fun we had. We are still in the woes of post-vacation. Work is dragging and we’re overall grump-butts to everyone. I’m also going through husband withdraw. It was a treat getting to spend 6 whole days with him! We’ve been back at work for 3 days now, and they’ve been miserable. And somehow, the laundry fairy didn’t stop by the house when we were away, and I have an unnatural amount of clothes to clean.

I first heard of this recipe when my mother-in-law texted me some pictures of it. Cruel! It looked so tasty I almost drove two hours to steal it from her. I jotted it down in a book so I’d remember to try it… but like most things go, I completely forgot about it. When I was on Pintrest the other day, I spotted it again! I was quick to put it on my actual grocery list so I wouldn’t forget.

This is a quick, tasty, and easy meal! If you’re cooking for more than 3 people, or you like having leftovers, I would suggest doubling the recipe. This bake is PERFECT for work events and family outings because it is a hassle free, non-messy walking taco. Try it out!

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Taco Bake

You’ll need:
1 lb. ground beef
1 pkg taco seasoning
2/3 cup water (for seasoning)
1 bag chili cheese corn chips
1 can cheddar cheese soup
½ cup milk (for soup)
1 bag shredded mozzarella
Toppings as desired

You will:
Brown beef, drain, and add the seasoning and water
Pour enough corn chips to cover the bottom of a pan (I used a 9×9 pan)
Top with taco meat
Combine soup and milk in saucepan and heat until smooth
Top taco meat with cheese sauce
Add a thick layer of mozzarella cheese to the top of the mixture
Bake at 350 for 10-15 minutes, or until top layer of cheese is melted
Serve over lettuce with desired toppings

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I didn’t serve this with any toppings, but I wish I would have. It completely slipped my mind at the store. Still, this was delicious even sans sour cream and lettuce and all the extras!

Trust me when I say it is a delicious and hassle free walking taco. The bottom chips get a little soggy, so I added a few chips to my bowl after it was done cooking to give me an extra crunch. If soggy chips completely freak you out, I’d suggest doing a very light layer of chips in the bottom of the pan and then loading up your bowl after it’s done with fresh crispy chips!

Family Dumplings

It’s been a while since I’ve posted anything. We can thank the business of a married life/lack of me cooking anything for that! Brandon and I only took one day off of work after the wedding, so things have been hectic. But we have our honeymoon in a few weeks to look forward too! I will be doing a post about the wedding day soon, whenever I get our wedding pictures back. I will also be doing a honeymoon post whenever we get back from that. Speaking of posts, since it’s been so long, I’m going to do two today.

One of the most upsetting things to me is that I never got a chance to meet Brandon’s grandparents. You can just tell by the way people talk about them and even from the pictures of them that they were such loving and funny people. And his grandma was one heck of a cook, I hear! It must be where his mom gets it from. If only Brandon got some of those culinary skills 😛 He gives it a good effort, at least.

In my recipe book are some of his grandma’s recipes. The other day I tried my hand at one of the southern meals- dumplings. Brandon really wanted them, and I didn’t want to disappoint! I had never had dumplings without chicken, let alone made my own. 

dumplings

 

You’ll need:

4 cans refrigerator biscuits
2 boxes of chicken broth
Pepper to taste

You’ll do:
Bring broth to a boil
Tear all biscuits into pieces and drop in broth
Add pepper
Reduce heat to medium low
Cook until thickened and dough is done (about 30-40 minutes)

*Stir occasionally to prevent sticking, but try not to stir too often or you will have nothing but gravy

 

I didn’t tear the biscuits up because I thought the recipe meant just tear them apart from one another. I also have a limited selection of pans, so I couldn’t use a big stock pot. I’m pretty sure I annoyed Brandon half to death because every few minutes I asked him if they looked okay, and he assured me they did (because he’s a good husband!). I still claim he was lying, but I honestly have no reference for what they should look like or taste like. I over peppered them a little, but they were still pretty good in my opinion! 

The next day he went to have them for lunch and they were terrible, so I’m not sure what happened there. I was going to half the recipe when making it but ended up just following it. If you’re looking for a southern fix for a group of people, this recipe is it!