Recipe Review: Cookies and Cream Fudge

I’m not much of a sweets person myself unless it’s ice cream but I love to make them. Every so often I’ll try out a new recipe and bring it into the office and let them have at it. Such was the case with this Cookies and Cream Fudge recipe from Lil Luna.

Please pin from original source by clicking on photo.

Please pin from original source by clicking on photo.

Cookies and Cream Fudge

Serves:  not listed but this easily could make 36 bars

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream (I used light)
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 2 1/2 cups white chocolate chips
  • 1 can marshmallow fluff (7 ounces)
  • 20 Oreos crushed

DIRECTIONS

  1. Click here.

THOUGHTS

  • Super easy to make and smells amazing – this smells EXACTLY like Blue Bell Cookies & Cream ice cream. I wish I could turn it into a candle!
  • This was a huge hit at the office.
  • Even though this only fills a 9×9 pan it’s so rich and decadent that you need to cut it into small squares which ultimately means that it feeds quite a lot of people.
  • This is a great dessert recipe for all the non-bakers out there!

You can view all of the recipes I’ve posted by clicking here.

 

Recipe Review: Roasted Jalapeno Soup

I made this soup over the weekend to go with this Broccoli-Cheese Cornbread (which is undeniably one of my husbands favorites).

Roasted Jalapeno Soup


Roasted Jalapeno Soup

Serves: Makes 2 cups – in my family this only serves 2 people if you’re serving something else with it. If this were the entire meal, then there’s only enough for one person.

INGREDIENTS

  • 4 green jalapeno peppers
  • ½ cup carrots, peeled and chopped (roughly 2 carrots)
  • ½ cup onion, peeled and chopped (roughly 1 small onion)
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 Tbsp butter, softened
  • ¼ cup flour
  • 2-½ cups broth (chicken or vegetable)
  • ½ cup heavy whipping cream or milk
  • Salt and pepper
  • ½ cup tomatoes, chopped and peeled
  • ¼ cup mushrooms, sliced

DIRECTIONS

  1. Click here

THOUGHTS

  • My husband and I were a tad disappointed with this soup because we really didn’t get much flavor out of it. We could taste the cream and we could taste the butter but there was little to no flavor of vegetables coming through. I did not include the chopped tomatoes or mushrooms because my tomatoes had gone bad and my husband avoids mushrooms like the plague. I think this soup has a lot of potential so I plan to try again and tweak the recipe a bit. Here’s how:
    • Double the jalapenos
    • I used matchstick carrots and I don’t think they cooked enough… I didn’t get this wonderful golden color that Chocolate Moosey got. Next time, I think I’ll use pre-steamed carrots. Also, ½ cup carrots is no where near equivalent to 2 carrots where I come from – I used a ½ cup, next time I’ll try 2 whole (same goes for the onion btw).
    • Switch the whipping cream (I used light, not heavy) out for milk

You can view all of the recipes I’ve posted by clicking here.

Recipe Review: Mac Chicken Cacciatore

So now that I’m in the gym every day at lunch it’s changed my work schedule and I’m not getting home until after 7:00pm most nights. This means that by the time I cook dinner we’re eating at about 8:30pm which is NOT good. So, I’ve been trying to cook a few simpler dinners during the week to save time (like this one). Unfortunately, they’re not the healthiest options. It’s a catch 22 it seems.

Mac Chicken Cacciatore


Mac Chicken Cacciatore

Serves: 4

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 pkg. (7-1/4 oz.) KRAFT Macaroni & Cheese Dinner (I used the Deluxe dinner which I think is larger than 7-1/4oz)
  • 1 pkg. (6 oz.) OSCAR MAYER Deli Fresh Oven Roasted Chicken Breast (or 1 chicken breast, precooked and cubed)
  • 1 can (14-1/2 oz.) Italian-style diced tomatoes, undrained
  • ½ cup chopped green peppers (I used frozen – just toss in with the boiling noodles during the last few minutes of cooking)

DIRECTIONS

  1. Prepare macaroni in large saucepan as directed on package.
  2. Stirin remaining ingredients; cook on low heat 5 min. or until heated through, stirring occasionally.

THOUGHTS

  • I haaaaaate those refrigerated precooked packaged chicken strips that this recipe calls for so my plan was to precook and cube a chicken breast. However, our grocery store was literally out of chicken breasts that weekend!  So, I ended up cooking it with the dreaded refrigerated precooked packaged chicken strips. I will say that I ate it. I will say that it was decent. I will also say that I still hate those chicken strips and that the next time I cook this it will be with a precooked and cubed chicken breast.
  • I drained my tomatoes because I felt it would make the recipe too watery otherwise – I added in an extra ¼ teaspoon garlic powder and ½ teaspoon freeze-dried (you could also use fresh) basil.
  • After Step 2, I placed everything in a 9×9 Pyrex dish. I then combined 1/3 cup panko with 2 Tablespoons shredded sharp cheddar, 2 Tablespoons shredded mozzarella and 2 Tablespoons shredded parmesan and sprinkled it on top of the casserole.  I baked it in the oven on 350 until hot and bubbly (about 15-20 minutes).
  • All in all, this wasn’t bad for a quick (if you already have a chicken breast cooked and cubed) weeknight dinner but like I said before, it’s not the healthiest option. This is a good option to get some good protein and veggies into a picky child though – it IS mac and cheese after all!

You can view all of the recipes I’ve posted by clicking here.

Recipe Review: Apple Pie Paleo Granola

As I’ve mentioned previously, I’m trying (but somewhat failing) to maintain my soy-free, grain-free vegan diet I followed in January when I was detoxing. As a result, I pinned a zillion recipes and this bad boy was one of them. I made it this weekend but have honestly only eaten it once since then. I should mention right off the bat that I’m not really a sweets person so I might be a bit biased from the start.

Apple Pie Paleo Granola


Apple Pie Paleo Granola

Serves: not listed on the recipe source but I found it made 5 servings

INGREDIENTS

  • ½ cup almonds
  • ½ cup pecans
  • ½ cup walnuts
  • ¼ cup pumpkin seeds (peptias)
  • 7 medjool dates, chopped
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1 Tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon ground allspice
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 2 Tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 350 and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Add nuts, dates, and unsweetened shredded coconut to a bowl of a food processor and pulse to slightly chop nuts. Add spices and salt and pulse again to evenly distribute.
  3. In a bowl whisk together apple sauce, oil, maple syrup, and vanilla extract. Place wet ingredient into the bowl of food processor with nut mixture and pulse to combine.
  4. Evenly distribute granola (using fingers) on prepared baking sheet.
  5. Place in oven for 30 to 40 minutes until golden.
  6. The granola will harden up once cooled completely.

THOUGHTS

  • So I’m not going to lie, I didn’t love this recipe. For starters, there’s the texture… mine ended up much more ground up than it shows in the photo. I think if I made this again, I’d buy whole nuts and skip #2 OR I’d buy pre-chopped nuts and not put anything into the food processor at all. As it was, I purchased slivered almonds, pecan pieces, and walnut pieces and ended up with a finely ground up consistency that I didn’t particularly care for.
  • As for the cooking times, this might have to do with the weird consistency of mine but I baked it once for 40 minutes, let it cool, then broke it up and cooked it again for about 20 minutes.       It still never really fully hardened. I ended up putting my leftovers in the freezer for longer storage because I wasn’t sure how long it would last at room temp while still semi-moist.
  • This has a great spice mix but tastes heavily of the spices and not the apple.
  • Would I make this again? Yes – but only to try out my different consistency theory. If I still wasn’t thrilled with it, I’d stick with this Paleo Granola recipe I’ve tried previously.

You can view all of the recipes I’ve posted by clicking here.

Recipe Review: Zucchini Fritters

So I found this recipe via Martha Stewart and tried it out last weekend for our Easter Sunday family meal. My mom loved it, I liked the flavor but not the texture, and my husband hated it. Have I told you how much my family likes playing guinea pig for me??

The dish has a light flavor but you can definitely taste the lemon. If you’re not a fan of lemon, I’d cut the quantity of lemon zest in half or perhaps substitute it entirely for something else (such as scallions). I think this dish paired well with the Parmesan Crusted Flounder and Roasted Broccoli with Smashed Garlic I served (I’ll share those recipes soon) and due to its light flavor would likely pair well with just about anything.

Zucchini Fritters


Zucchini Fritters

Serves: not listed on the recipe itself but when I made it, it produced 9-12 fritters

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 pound zucchini
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated lemon zest (1 lemon) plus
  • 1 lemon, cut into 8 wedges (optional)
  • 10 sprigs fresh flat-leaf parsley, stems removed and leaves finely chopped, plus more sprigs for garnish (optional) (I used a half Tablespoon of freeze dried, refrigerated parsley)
  • 1 medium clove garlic, peeled and minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 to 4 tablespoons olive oil

DIRECTIONS

  1. Click here.

THOUGHTS

  • Part of the texture that I didn’t like is that these got nice and crunchy outside but were kind of mushy on the inside. To combat this, next time I will grate the zucchini into a colander, sprinkle with salt and let drain for at least 1 hour.
  • While the recipe calls for 2-4 Tablespoons of olive oil I found that I had to use quite a lot more than that.
  • Sidenote: A cup of chopped zucchini contains 22 milligrams of vitamin C, which is 24 percent of the recommended daily intake for men and 29 percent for women, set by the Institute of Medicine (according to this article).

You can view all of the recipes I’ve posted by clicking here.

Recipe Review: Paleo Granola

I’m not normally a nut person or really a granola person for that matter.  However, in an attempt to start eating healthier I’ve been trying to add nuts to my diet and remove many kinds of grains.  I came across this recipe via Pinterest and decided to give it a whirl.

Paleo Granola
     Source

Paleo Granola

Serves: 6

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup raw almonds
  • 1 cup raw cashews
  • 1/4 cup raw pepitas/pumpkin seeds
  • 1/4 cup raw sunflower seeds (no shell)
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup raw honey
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp. sea salt
  • 1 cup raisins (or your favorite dried fruit) (I used the raisins)

DIRECTIONS

  1. Click here 

THOUGHTS

  • This dish is delicious!  The sea salt is essential so make sure you don’t leave that part out (I probably used closer to a ½ teaspoon though).  My husband liked this dish so much that he’s actually hiding it from me somewhere in our house.
  • While the directions call for placing several kinds of your nuts in the food processor at once, I found that since almonds are harder than cashews, for example, they ended up not chopping up while the cashews were in itty bitty pieces.  The next time I make this (and there WILL be a next time) I’ll chop each type of nut individually.
  • This dish is so filling.  I didn’t realize such a small amount (less than a cup I’d say) could make me so full.  I was full for hours afterwards.
  • I served this with vanilla almond milk and I thought the vanilla almond milk made it too sweet.  Next time, I’m going to try it with plain almond milk instead.
  • This is crazy easy to make and really requires no skill as long as you own a food processor.
  • My huge thanks to Paleo Cupboard for sharing this recipe!

You can view all of the recipes I’ve posted by clicking here.

Remember, today is the 14th so it’s your day to practice a Random Act of Kindness in honor of Sandy Hook Elementary.  I’d love to hear what you do!  Please feel free to leave comments!  I will be posting my RAOK on the 16th.  See you then!

raok sandy hook

Recipe Review: Martha Stewart’s One-Pot Pasta

So I was telling my husband last night that I didn’t feel like it was appropriate for people to give me kudos and praise when I make something tasty because 99.9% of the time I am following a recipe that someone else created.  I mean, doesn’t that mean that the creator of the recipe should get the credit and not me?  How hard is it to follow a recipe?  Well, when I made this dish from Martha Stewart it sort of drilled my point home… there’s no actual recipe.  It’s a list of ingredients (without quantities) and directions.  I wanted to love this dish, but we didn’t.  It was edible but that’s about the best I can say.  Does that make it a fail for me, for Martha, or both???

Martha Stewart's One-Pot Pasta

Martha Stewart’s One-Pot Pasta

Serves: 4 (the way I made it at least)

INGREDIENTS

  • Pasta of choice (we used one box of linguine, but the recipe calls for penne)
  • Broccoli (we used a package of frozen broccoli florets)
  • Olive oil (we just drizzled until desired consistency)
  • Garlic cloves (we used 6)
  • Salt & pepper (to taste)
  • Lemon juice & zest (we used one small lemon)
  • Parmesan cheese (LOTS!)

DIRECTIONS

  1. Boil penne 6 minutes less than al dente; add broccoli florets, and cook until penne is al dente. Drain; return to the pot, and toss with a couple of crushed garlic cloves, some olive oil, the zest and juice of a lemon, salt and pepper, and plenty of Parmesan.

THOUGHTS

  • I think I’d try to make this again and see if I can get it to work out better.  I think I’d use half butter and half olive oil.
  • I also think we didn’t use enough salt or cheese so we’ll probably use more of both next time.
  • The nice thing is that we usually have all the ingredients for this dish on hand which means if I’m ever in need of a quick-fix meal, I can whip this up.

You can view all of the recipes I’ve posted by clicking here.

Recipe Review: Glazed Apple Streusel Muffins

So I whipped up a batch of these the other day for no particular reason and they were a huge hit.  My husband, who really isn’t much of a sweets person, ate three of these in one sitting.  This recipe is from Taste of Home.

Glazed Apple Streusel Muffins

Glazed Apple Streusel Muffins

Serves: Makes 6 muffins

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 package (6-1/2 ounces) apple cinnamon muffin mix
  • 1 large tart apple, peeled and chopped
  • 1/3 cup chopped walnuts
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 4-1/2 teaspoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon butter, melted

GLAZE:

  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons 2% milk

DIRECTIONS

  1. Prepare muffin mix according to package directions; fold in apple. Fill greased muffin cups three-fourths full. In a small bowl, combine the walnuts, brown sugar, flour and butter; sprinkle over batter.
  2. Bake at 400° for 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes before removing from pan to a wire rack.
  3. In a small bowl, combine the confectioners’ sugar, vanilla and enough milk to achieve desired consistency; drizzle over warm muffins. Serve warm.

THOUGHTS

  • Everyone who ate these muffins said the same thing – the center is so moist!  People raved.
  • I used a nonstick muffin pan and did not grease the cups or use paper liners.

You can view all of the recipes I’ve posted by clicking here.

Recipe Review: Chocolate Covered S’more Sandwiches

So I made these babies on Sunday to bring to work with me on Monday.  I put them in the kitchen around lunch time and they were loooong gone in less than an hour.  That means that several people at more than one, and these babies aren’t small.  If you’re looking to please a crowd, then these are a good choice!  Do note, however, that there are lots of crumbs that fall when people eat them.  Unless you want some cleanup on your hands, I’d suggest that these be served outside (they’d be great for a picnic).

I found the original idea for this here and I’m using her pictures because 1) they’re better than anything I’d take and 2) I suck at remembering to take pictures of the things I cook.  🙂

Chocolate Covered S'More Sandwiches 2
     Source

Chocolate Covered S’more Sandwiches

Serves:  20+

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 box graham crackers
  • 1 bag jumbo marshmallows (I saw that there are some flat-ish rectangular shaped ones in the store now… if I were to make these again, I think I’d try those instead of the round marshmallows)
  • Dipping chocolate (I like to use chocolate made especially for fondue.  I find it has a creamier consistency and is easier to work with)
  • Hershey bars, chocolate chips, or any kind of plain chocolate for placing inside the s’more
  • Sprinkles, optional

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Break your graham crackers in half so that you have two still attached two each other side by side and place them on a large baking sheet.
  3. Cover half of your graham crackers with a marshmallow and the other half with your “inside” chocolate.

Chocolate Covered S'More Sandwiches

     Source

  1. Place in oven and watch carefully!  The marshmallows will expand quickly.
  2. Once marshmallows have expanded and chocolate is melted pull baking sheet from oven and quickly sandwich one marshmallow piece with one chocolate piece (we found it was easier to take the marshmallow piece to the chocolate piece and place the marshmallow piece on top).
  3. Melt your dipping chocolate according to the manufacturers instructions.  Then, take your sandwiches and dip the bottom half in the chocolate – place on a wax paper lined baking sheet or cutting board.  Sprinkle with sprinkles if desired.  Once your sheet/board is full you can place in the refrigerator for quicker set up if you’d like.  Otherwise, leave at room temperature and they should set up in 1 to 2 hours.
  4. Serve immediately or store in an airtight container overnight.

THOUGHTS

  • As previously mentioned, these were a hit in my office.  They are a bit messy to eat so I’d serve in an outside environment if possible (like a picnic).  Our office floor was covered in graham cracker crumbs.  J
  • We did not use the sprinkles and we let everything set up at room temperature instead of in the refrigerator.
  • When our container of dipping chocolate was getting shallow we used a basting brush to brush the chocolate onto the bottom half of the s’more.  Painting with chocolate… gotta love it.

You can view all of the recipes I’ve posted by clicking here.

Recipe Review: French Bread Chicken Melts

So I’m 99% certain that I found this in a Cooking Light magazine at some point but naturally, I can’t find the source online.  Nonetheless, it’s a yummy recipe so I’m going to share it with you.  I’ve tweaked it a bit so I’m going to tell you how I make it.

french bread chicken melts

French Bread Chicken Melts

Serves: 4

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 white or yellow onion, sliced into thin strips
  • 2 green bell peppers, seeded and sliced into thin strips
  • 2 cups cooked, chopped chicken breasts (I just cooked two chicken breasts in the oven at 350 for 30 minutes and used that)
  • 1 loaf of French bread
  • 1 package of sliced mozzarella cheese
  • ½ cup honey Dijon salad dressing (optional – we don’t use or like this and instead we substitute a bit of chopped garlic, salt and pepper)

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat broiler.
  2. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.  Coat pan with cooking spray.  Add onion and bell pepper; coat vegetables with cooking spray.  Cover and cook 8 minutes or until very tender, stirring occasionally.  Add chicken and salad dressing; cook 2 minutes or until thoroughly heated, stirring frequently.
  3. Split bread in half horizontally; place bread halves on a baking sheet, cut sides up.  Spoon chicken mixture onto bottom half of loaf; top each slice of bread with a slice of cheese.
  4. Broil 2 minutes or until cheese melts and bread is lightly toasted.  Place top half of loaf over bottom half.  Cut loaf into 4 equal portions.

THOUGHTS

  • This makes a quick and easy weeknight dinner.  We like to serve this with homemade Cream of Tomato Soup.

You can view all of the recipes I’ve posted by clicking here.