August 16, 2017

Homemade Red Enchilada Sauce

We are loyal enchilada fans over here and while I've tried a variety of canned enchilada sauces, nothing quite compares to homemade. There are so many unique flavors in this homemade red enchilada sauce and my personal favorite is the cinnamon. It adds so much to the dish.
The best part is the sauce comes together in no time at all and if you keep a stocked pantry, you'll already have the ingredients on hand. Trust me, it'll change the way you feel about enchiladas!

Homemade Red Enchilada Sauce
Yields: 2 cups sauce
3 Tbsp. olive oil
3 Tbsp. flour
2 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. dried oregano
1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. ground cinnamon
2 Tbsp. tomato paste
2 cups vegetable or chicken broth
1 tsp. apple cider vinegar 
black pepper, to taste

1. Before you make the sauce, measure the flour and spices in a small bowl and place your tomato paste near the stove.
2. In a medium-sized pot over medium heat, warm the oil until shimmering (it should be warm enough that the spices sizzle on contact). Pour in the flour and spice mixture. While stirring constantly with a whisk, cook until fragrant and slightly deepened in color, about 1 minute. Whisk the tomato paste into the mixture, then slowly pour in the broth while whisking constantly to remove any lumps.
3. Bring the mixture to a simmer, then reduce heat as necessary to maintain a gentle simmer, whisking often, for about five minutes, until the sauce has thickened a bit and a spoon encounters some resistance as you stir it. (The sauce will further thicken as it cools.)
4. Remove from heat, then whisk in the vinegar and season to taste with a generous amount of black pepper.

August 8, 2017

Quick and Easy Pizza Dough

Yes I have yet another pizza dough recipe for you! While I l have loved using this recipe since it's no-rise, and this overnight one because it's simply amazing, I absolutely love this new recipe that only requires a 10-minute rise time and it's good to go!
This dough is so soft and fluffy and tastes amazing, too! I love the addition of honey instead of sugar, which I swear makes it even better.
Even if you're in a pinch, this pizza dough comes together in no time and makes for the perfect meal!
And I've yet to mess it up, which is pretty incredible. No tweaking on this one! It turns out every time.

Quick and Easy Pizza Dough
Slightly Adapted from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe
Makes 2 (12”) pizzas or 1 baking sheet size pizza
1 cup warm water
1 Tbsp. honey
1 Tbsp. oil
1 Tbsp. instant yeast
1 tsp. salt
2-3 cups flour

1. In a large bowl or bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, mix the water, honey, oil, yeast and salt. Add the flour gradually until a soft dough forms and pulls away from the sides of the bowl. (The exact flour amount will vary so go by the touch and feel of the dough versus the exact cup measurements in the recipe. The dough should be soft and smooth and not leave a residue on your fingers.)
2. Knead the dough 2-3 minutes (more like 5-6 minutes if kneading by hand).
3. Preheat oven to 475 degrees F. Lightly grease pizza pan(s) and set aside.
4. Let the dough rest, covered, 10 minutes. Shape the dough into pizza(s) and spread with sauce and toppings.
5. Bake 8-10 minutes until crust is golden brown.

July 24, 2017

Lemon Poppy Seed Cookies

From the moment I saw these cookies on the Internet, I was dying to make them. What a brilliant idea! Now who doesn't love lemon poppy seed muffins? No one. ;) And who wouldn't want that flavor combo in cookie form??
These cookies are so soft and fluffy and have the perfect lemon flavor. The glaze on top really adds to it, too.
If you want a perfect summery cookie to please a crowd, this is the cookie. They're definitely one of my new favorites!

Lemon Poppy Seed Cookies
Slightly Adapted from Two Peas and Their Pod
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 Tbsp. lemon zest
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 large eggs
2 tsp. fresh lemon juice
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 Tbsp. poppy seeds

1 cup powdered sugar
5-6 tsp. fresh lemon juice

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Set aside.
2. Combine flour, baking powder and salt in a small bowl. Whisk and set aside.
3. In a small bowl, add granulated sugar and lemon zest. Rub the sugar and lemon zest together with your fingers, until fragrant.
4. Using an electric mixer, beat butter and sugar mixture together until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, lemon juice and vanilla extract. Mix until smooth.
5. Slowly mix in dry ingredients on low speed or by hand until just combined. Stir in the poppy seeds. Drop dough by using a cookie scoop onto prepared baking sheets, spacing 2 inches apart.
6. Bake for 12-14 minutes or until cookies are just set and slightly golden brown. Cool cookies on baking sheet for 2 minutes and transfer to cooking racks. Cool completely.
7. While cookies are cooling, make the lemon glaze. In a medium bowl, whisk together powdered sugar and lemon juice. Dip each cookie top into the lemon glaze or drop a small spoonful of glaze on top. Let cookies sit until glaze has set.

July 20, 2017

Cheesy Enchilada Rice Skillet

If you want the easiest and most delicious summer meal ever then this is it! This dish takes no time at all and you'll be surprised by how much flavor it has. I don't know if it's the combination of enchilada sauces or what, but this dish is definitely a party!
There's nothing better than a yummy Mexican dish where you don't have to roll even one tortilla. And that melted cheese on top?? It doesn't get any better than that.
As you can tell, I'm slightly obsessed with this recipe and if you want a real winner, bake up your own tortilla chips to scoop up the rice with. It makes it that much better!

Cheesy Enchilada Rice Skillet
Adapted from Damn Delicious
1 cup uncooked rice, rinsed
1 Tbsp. olive oil
2 tsp. garlic, minced
1 small onion, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 (15 oz.) can black beans, drained and rinsed
3/4 cup mild red enchilada sauce
1/2 cup mild green enchilada sauce
1/2 tsp. chili powder
1/4 tsp. cumin
1/4 tsp. oregano
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 cup shredded Mexican blend cheese
2 Tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro leaves

1. In a large saucepan (or rice cooker), cook rice and 1 1/2 cups water according to package directions; set aside.
2. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic, onion and bell pepper and cook, stirring frequently, until onions have become translucent, about 2-3 minutes.
3. Stir in rice, black beans, enchilada sauces, chili powder, cumin and oregano until well combined and heated through, about 2-3 minutes; season with salt and pepper, to taste.
4. Remove from heat and top with cheese. Cover until cheese has melted, about 2 minutes.

Garnish with cilantro and serve immediately with tortilla chips.

July 18, 2017

Cookie Butter No-Bake Cookies (Nut-Free)

One thing I really miss about not having peanut butter in our house (because of my son's nut allergies) are the chocolate/peanut butter desserts. There is just something about that combination that calls my name. And one thing I always want to make are no-bake cookies that always call for peanut butter.

For some reason, it never occurred to me to substitute cookie butter for the peanut butter until my husband mentioned it. And while they may not taste exactly the same as the original, these cookies are still crazy addicting!
If you've never made no-bake cookies before, they are essentially one of the easiest cookies to make that result into a rich and decadent treat.

These are also perfect for summer because who wants to bake in this insane heat??
And if you want a real treat, stick the leftover cookies in the freezer. They freeze so well and have the best texture. They're the perfect treat to cool down with!

Cookie Butter No-Bake Cookies (Nut-Free)
Adapted from AllRecipes
Yields: 3 dozen cookies
1 3/4 cups white sugar
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup butter
4 Tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup Biscoff spread (or TJ’s cookie butter)
3 cups quick-cooking oats
1 tsp. vanilla extract

1. In a medium saucepan, combine sugar, milk, butter, and cocoa. Bring to a rolling boil and then cook for 1 1/2 minutes.
2. Remove from heat and stir in cookie butter, oats and vanilla. Drop by spoonfuls onto wax paper using a cookie scoop. Let cool until hardened and ready to eat.