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.

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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: Pecan-Crusted Catfish

So I’ve had some leftover catfish filets in the freezer for a while now and decided to use it up on this recipe.  I’m fairly certain I found this in a Cooking Light magazine a while back but I couldn’t find it online.

Pecan-Crusted-Catfish

(note: this picture is not mine – the source can be located here)

Pecan-Crusted Catfish

Serves:  4

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 large egg white
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic salt
  • ¼ teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper
  • ½ cup dry breadcrumbs
  • 1/3 cup pecan meal*
  • 4 (6-ounce) catfish filets
  • Cooking spray
  • 4 lemon wedges

* note:  I couldn’t find pecan meal so I did some research and it turns out that it’s really just finely chopped up pecans.  I pulsed some pecan pieces in my food processor until they looked small and similar to whole wheat flour.  Make sure you don’t over process or you’ll end up with pecan butter (i.e. peanut butter made out of pecans)

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Combine first 6 ingredients in a shallow dish; stir well.
  3. Combine breadcrumbs and pecan meal in another shallow dish.
  4. Pat fish dry.
  5. Dip fish in egg mixture and dredge in breadcrumb mixture, pressing firmly to coat.
  6. Spray fish with cooking spray.
  7. Place fish on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray.  Bake at 425 degrees for 20 minutes or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork.  Serve with lemon wedges.

THOUGHTS

  • I had everything I needed on hand except the lemon which made this dish quick and easy.  Oh… and it’s also really, really yummy.
  • I served this with some steamed broccoli and both my husband and I really enjoyed it.  This will definitely be served again at my house.

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

Recipe Review: Marinated Heirloom Tomatoes with Tarragon

Beautiful.  Easy.  Delicious.  Need I say more?  You can view this recipe here

Marinated Heirloom Tomatos with Tarragon

Marinated Heirloom Tomatoes with Tarragon

Serves: 8 servings (serving size: about 3 tomato slices)

INGREDIENTS

  • 1/4 cup finely chopped shallots
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 4 teaspoons extravirgin olive
  • 2 pounds (about 6 medium) heirloom tomatoes, cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

DIRECTIONS

  1. Combine first 4 ingredients in a bowl, stirring well. Arrange tomatoes on a platter. Sprinkle tomatoes evenly with salt and pepper; drizzle with shallot mixture.

THOUGHTS

  • Y’all this recipe is so easy and when I served it at girls night every girl raved.  This dish is super simple to make and would be a great dish for a potluck. 
  • This dish doesn’t do well as “leftovers” so I’d make sure that you feed it to a large group or cut the ingredients in half if you just want to feed 4 people. 

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

Recipe Review: Coconut Banana Bread

I’ve had some leftover flaked coconut in my pantry for a while now and when I stumbled across this recipe here I just knew I had to make it. 

Coconut Banana Bread

Coconut Banana Bread

Serves: not listed

INGREDIENTS

DIRECTIONS

  1. Click here

THOUGHTS

  • I made one big loaf instead of 4 mini loafs (like the originator of this recipe did).  One piece of this bread with a large glass of milk makes for a delicious breakfast.  So yummy. 
  • I couldn’t find light coconut milk like the recipe calls for so I used regular milk and it tasted just fine.  If you can’t find the light, don’t stress about it. 
  • I would suggest that you pulse your sweetened flaked coconut a few times in a food processor before incorporating into the recipe.  Leaving it ‘as-is’ made for a slightly stringy texture in some areas. 
  • This would also make a great gift for Christmas or some other occasion where you want to give several people homemade baked goods.  Since you can make 4 mini loaves with one batch you could make quite a few in a relatively short amount of time. 

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

Recipe Review: Chicken with Twenty Cloves of Garlic

So I love this dish, like a lot.  It’s a Kraft recipe that you can find here.  If you happen to click on that link you’ll notice that it says that in France, they make this dish with 40 cloves of garlic instead of 20.  I might just have to make it with 40 next time.  I made this dish for girls night the other night and we were all calling “DIBS!” on the garlic cloves.  Soooo yummy. 

Chicken with Twenty Cloves of Garlic

Chicken with Twenty Cloves of Garlic

Serves: 4

INGREDIENTS

  • 4 small boneless skinless chicken breast halves (1 lb.)
  • 20 cloves garlic, peeled (I used the pre-peeled kind you can find in the refrigerated section of your stores produce department)
  • ¾ cup fat-free reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • ¼ cup creamy Caesar dressing
  • ¼ cup grated parmesan cheese

DIRECTIONS

  1. Heat large nonstick skillet on medium-high heat. Add chicken and garlic; cook 4 min., turning chicken after 2 min.
  2. Stir in broth and dressing; cover skillet with lid. Cook chicken 3 to 5 min. on each side or until done (165ºF).
  3. Sprinkle with Parmesan; cover. Remove from heat. Let stand 1 min.

THOUGHTS

  • Using the pre-peeled garlic makes all the difference in the world with this dish.  You can cut your prep down to about two minutes by using this which means that you can pop this on the stove quick, fast and in a hurry on a weeknight. 
  • The picture shows this dish being served with roasted carrots and potatoes but I felt like this made for a really monochromatic dish so I served it with marinated tomatoes and the Buttery Almond Green Beans.  I’ll be sharing the tomato recipe soon. 

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

Recipe Review: Creamy Chicken & Pasta Bake

I found this recipe long, long ago in a Kraft magazine.  Now, you can find it by clicking here.  We love broccoli at our house so this is a definite go-to when we want something cheesy but relatively healthy. 

Creamy Chicken & Pasta Bake

Creamy Chicken & Pasta Bake

Serves: 4

INGREDIENTS

  • 1-1/2cups multigrain rotini pasta, uncooked
  • 3 cups small broccoli florets
  • 1lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 1/2cup fat-free reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 2oz. (1/4 of 8-oz. pkg.) cream cheese, cubed
  • 1cup 2% milk shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
  • 2Tbsp. grated parmesan cheese

DIRECTIONS

  1. Heat oven to 375ºF.
  2. Cook pasta in large saucepan as directed on package, omitting salt and adding broccoli to the boiling water for the last 3 min.
  3. Meanwhile, heat large nonstick skillet on medium-high heat. Add chicken; cook 3 min. or until no longer pink, stirring frequently. Stir in broth; simmer 3 min. or until chicken is done. Add cream cheese; cook and stir on low heat 1 min. or until melted. Stir in 1/2 cup mozzarella.
  4. Drain pasta and broccoli. Add to chicken mixture; mix lightly. Spoon into 8-inch square baking dish; cover.
  5. Bake 15 min. or until heated through. Sprinkle with remaining cheeses. Bake, uncovered, 3 min. or until melted. Let stand 5 min.

THOUGHTS

  • Y’all this dish is soooo delicious.  It’s cheesy and creamy and guess what?  Relatively healthy thanks to the multigrain rotini pasta and the broccoli.  Pair this baby with a side salad and you’ve got a quick, easy and DELISH weeknight meal.  YUM!

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

Recipe Review: Chili-Cheese Black Bean Enchiladas

Hey guys – sorry for the hiatus.  Things are nuts at work and something just had to give.  But I’m baaaaaaaaack so let’s get started shall we?

I originally found this recipe here.  I’m not sure what drew me to it though since we’re not a big soy-eating family but nonetheless, it somehow found its way into my stack of recipes to try.  I tried it once, long ago, using the soy crumbles that it calls for… and can I just say yuck?  It’s not the taste that bothers me, it’s the texture.  I’m sorry but the texture of soy is just gross.  I can’t get behind it.  I thought the recipe had potential though so now we just make it with super-lean ground beef instead of the soy.  I also switched out the low fat/fat free items for the good stuff.  I’m sorry but fat free cheese just tastes like cardboard to me.  It’s not worth it. 

Even my Hispanic husband loves these enchiladas… just don’t tell his mom!  J

Chili-Cheese Black Bean Enchiladas

Chili-Cheese Black Bean Enchiladas

Serves: 4

INGREDIENTS

  • Cooking spray
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 (15-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 pound super-lean ground beef (we like Laura’s)
  • 3/4 cup bottled salsa (we use Pace medium)
  • 1/3 cup (3 ounces) block-style cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup (4 ounces) shredded sharp cheddar cheese, divided
  • 12 to 16 (6-inch) corn tortillas
  • 1 (10-ounce) can red enchilada sauce

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 350°.
  2. Heat a large nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat. Add onion, and sauté 4 minutes or until tender. Stir in cumin, oregano, chili powder, garlic, beans, and soy crumbles, and cook 2 minutes, stirring mixture frequently.
  3. Stir in salsa, and cook 1 minute. Remove from heat, and add cream cheese and 1/2 cup cheddar cheese, stirring until cheese melts.
  4. Warm tortillas according to package directions. Spread 1/3 cup enchilada sauce in bottom of a 13 x 9-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Spoon about 1/3 cup black bean mixture down center of each tortilla, and roll up. Arrange enchiladas, seam sides down, crosswise in dish. Pour remaining enchilada sauce evenly over enchiladas, and sprinkle with 1/2 cup cheddar. Bake at 350° for 20 minutes or until thoroughly heated.

THOUGHTS

  • As I mentioned above, you can check out the original source of this recipe if you want the meat-free low-fat version of this recipe, but trust me… my version is waaaaay tastier.  I say eat only 1 enchilada and have a large salad if you’re worried about the fat/calories. 
  • This dish definitely needs a side… a salad (if you want to be healthy about it) or you can go the traditional beans and rice route like you’d get in a Mexican restaurant.  My husband particularly likes this paired with rice and avocado. 
  • I am of the opinion that it takes 2 people to make this enchilada recipe a cinch… I heat the corn tortillas to soften them up (one at a time) and then I hand them to my hubby who fills them and rolls them.  It just makes really seamless.  So, get a helper if you can but if you cant, these are still totally worth the effort of doing them yourself. 

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

Recipe Review: Fresh Caprese Quinoa Salad

I love Pinterest.  That’s how I stumbled across this amazing recipe.  It’s from a fellow blogger named Fit Foodie Finds.  This is one of the dishes I served the night I had company over but was still following my Foods You Should Eat Every Day Challenge.  Both my husband and my guest LOVED IT.  It was just delicious and will definitely be a new staple in our house. 

fresh caprese quinoa salad

Fresh Caprese Quinoa Salad

Serves: 3 to 4

INGREDIENTS 

DIRECTIONS

  1. Click here

THOUGHTS

  • Sometimes finding basil at my local grocery store is hit or miss.  To make this dish I went to two grocery stores and still couldn’t find basil.  I ended up buying freeze dried (in the refrigerated section of your local grocer) and honestly, I thought it was delicious.  I stirred it into the quinoa before I let the quinoa cool and it rehydrated and turned out delicious.
  • Please note that the recipe calls for fresh mozzarella.  That will be the soft, squishy kind normally formed into a ball. 
  • This dish would be great for potlucks.  You can guarantee that no one will bring something similar or nearly as beautiful!

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

Recipe Review: Easy Bake Strata

So it’s Valentine’s Day and I think it’s only fair that I provide a recipe that you’re going to fall head over heels in love with!

I think I’ve mentioned this before but if not, I’ll mention it now… I don’t really like eggs.  I remember eating scrambled eggs nearly every weekend when I was a kid but for some reason as I got older I started to dislike them.  Now the flavor and texture of scrambled eggs will make me gag.  I do, however, like quiche and strata if it’s made correctly.  I’m weird, I know. 

I found this recipe ages ago… I think in a Kraft magazine.  Anyway, I never made it until now.  I needed some way to incorporate eggs into the Foods You Should Eat Every Day Challenge and since this also had lots of spinach in it which I happen to know is super good for you I decided to give it a go. 

Easy_Bake_Strata

Easy Bake Strata

Serves: 6

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • ½ cup chopped red bell pepper
  • 4 cups packed torn fresh spinach
  • 1 package (6 oz) Stove Top Stuffing Mix for Chicken (I used the low sodium version)
  • 2 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley
  • 6 eggs
  • ¾ cup shredded mozzarella cheese

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Spray large skillet with cooking spray.  Add onion and red pepper; cook and stir on medium-high heat for 5 minutes or until softened.  Stir in spinach; set aside.
  2. Prepare stuffing mix as directed on package; stir in onion mixture and parsley.  Beat eggs; mix with stuffing mixture.  Pour into greased 8-inch square baking pan.  Sprinkle with cheese.
  3. Bake 35 minutes or until firm.  Cool 15 minutes.  Cut into strips or squares.  Serve warm or at room temperature. 

THOUGHTS

  • I thought this was absolutely delicious!!!  I thoroughly enjoyed eating it for breakfast for several days in a row and that says a lot.  I rarely like to eat the same things in a row. 
  • I think you could use yellow or orange bell pepper instead of red if that’s what you have on hand.  You could also use Swiss cheese instead of mozzarella. 
  • Sprinkling the cheese on top caused a distinct cheesy layer… I think the next time I bake this I’m going to try to stir the cheese in just a little bit.  I would prefer it more incorporated I think. 
  • This dish is super easy and I truly think it would be a crowd pleaser.  Serve with some applewood smoked bacon and fruit and you’ve got yourself a winner!

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