December 30, 2015

Peppermint Bark Cake Mix Cookies

I know, I know, Christmas is over and everyone is probably tired of cookies and peppermint by now, but I HAD to share this recipe before December is over. Plus, I'm sure a good majority of you have extra candy canes lying around that you don't know what to do with. This is why I'm here you tell you that you NEED these cookies in your life. Easy as ever and you know how I love a good cake mix cookie.
I tried a new cake mix cookie recipe that had the addition of baking powder and vanilla and they turned out great. I added some chocolate chips, drizzled them with white chocolate and sprinkled on some candy cane dust to make them fit for the holidays.

And they were AMAZING! The funny thing is I've never actually made peppermint bark, but apparently I love the flavor after making this Chex mix.
So do yourself a favor and try out these cookies because if you're like me and have a load of spare cake mixes in your "food" storage, you're all set. If not, they're fairly easy to come by. ;)

Peppermint Bark Cake Mix Cookies
Recipe for Cookie Dough Adapted from Sally’s Baking Addiction
1 box chocolate cake mix (Pillsbury Devil’s Food)
1 tsp. baking powder
2 large eggs
1/3 cup vegetable or canola oil
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 cup chocolate chips

3-4 oz. white baking chips or almond bark, melted
1/3 cup crushed peppermint candy (about 2.5 oz.)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Add all ingredients to a bowl and mix well with a rubber spatula. It will take a bit of elbow grease to get it all combined. Stir in chocolate chips.
3. Form dough into tablespoon-sized balls using a cookie scoop and place on a parchment paper or silicone baking mat-lined baking sheet.
4. Bake for 10 minutes. Let cool on the sheet for another 10 minutes after removing from the oven before transferring to a cooling rack to cool completely.

5. Use a fork to drizzle melted white chips over cookies. Sprinkle peppermint candy over cookies and let sit for 5 minutes or until chocolate is hardened.

December 23, 2015

Eggnog Cinnamon Rolls

As you all know by now, I am a HUGE eggnog fan. And I am now becoming a huge fan of eggnog baked goods. Cinnamon rolls are also a favorite of mine so I knew I had to try this combination. Thankfully, the rolls worked out perfectly and I was not disappointed.
I made these Monday night and of course it was pitch black by the time they came out of the oven so I wasn't able to get pictures of the freshly glazed cinnamon rolls. Here's a shot from the night they were made. Pretty yummy, huh?
These rolls have the perfect amount of eggnog and the filling is unlike any other. It's a thick paste that you spread on the dough before rolling. Lots of butter, brown sugar and other goodness. It definitely made a difference, especially on the bottom. I swear it all melted down and created a beautifully sugar-crusted bottom on each roll. Ohhh man, that's a good bite. ^^^
The glaze is top-notch and makes these rolls even more indulgent. I love how the recipe makes a perfect 12 rolls that would be a great addition to your Christmas morning breakfast.

You're welcome. :)

Eggnog Cinnamon Rolls
Makes 12 Rolls
Slightly Adapted from Chef in Training
1 Tbsp. yeast
3/4 cup eggnog
1/3 cup sugar
4 Tbsp. butter, softened
3/4 tsp. salt
1 egg
3 cups flour

5 Tbsp. unsalted butter, softened
2/3 cup brown sugar
1/2 Tbsp. cinnamon
2 Tbsp. flour
1/8 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. nutmeg

Eggnog Glaze
3 Tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
2 cups powdered sugar
1/3 cup eggnog

1. Warm eggnog in microwave for one minute. Add yeast and stir slightly, set aside to proof. (You want to see bubbles form on top.)
2. In a large stand mixer, place sugar, butter, salt, and egg and mix with the paddle attachment until well combined. Add eggnog/yeast mixture and blend on low speed til combined. Change to the dough hook and add the flour in a cup at a time until dough takes its shape. Mix well. Dough should be only slightly sticky.
3. Spray a medium-sized mixing bowl with cooking spray and place dough inside. Cover with plastic wrap. Allow to double in bulk in a warm room, about 2-3 hours, and then dump onto a flat working surface, slightly covered in flour.
4. While dough is rising, combine all filling ingredients together in a small bowl and mix well. Set aside.
5. Preheat oven to 370 degrees F. Knead dough for about one minute until smooth. Roll dough into a 10" x 14" rectangle. Spread filling over dough to cover the entire surface. Roll dough lengthwise to make a long log. Cut into 12 slices using dental floss and place in a 9x13-inch greased baking dish.
6. Bake for 18-22 minutes.
7. Whisk glaze ingredients in a small bowl and pour over warm rolls.

December 22, 2015

Easy Saltine Toffee

Well here's one of those recipes that may or may not be good to know because the result is too addicting. But I'm sharing it anyway because it's Christmas time and that's what we do, right?
I thought that Saltine Toffee has been around for years and years, but from what I've heard it's a new concept. I'll never really know why it has sounded so appealing to me, it must be the sweet and salty mix, but I'm glad I finally tried it.
This is another simple, yet incredibly delicious treat that is a great crowd pleaser. I don't think anyone will be able to resist a saltine cracker with gooey caramel and melty chocolate spread on top.
Not only is this delicious, it is so easy to make, too! Another great neighbor gift right here! 
The caramel oozes through the holes of the saltine and turns into a chewy, caramel cookie. Not bad, eh?
All I'm saying is you've got to try these as soon as possible! They can definitely be made any time of the year, too. It doesn't even have to be a holiday. ;)

Easy Saltine Toffee
Adapted from All Recipes
48 saltine crackers
1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks)
1 cup dark brown sugar
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
2. Spray a large baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray and arrange saltines salt-side down in a single layer.
3. In a medium saucepan, melt the butter and brown sugar together. Bring to a boil and let boil for 3 minutes. Immediately pour over the crackers, covering them evenly.
4. Bake for 5 minutes. Remove from oven and sprinkle chocolate chips over the top. Let sit for 5 minutes. Spread melted chocolate and top with sprinkles, nuts, etc.
5. Transfer the pan to the freezer for 15 to 20 minutes, or until completely cold. Break into pieces. Store in an airtight container.

December 21, 2015

Peppermint Bark Chex Mix

I've had a similar recipe to this one saved for YEARS and finally got around to trying it out. This Chex mix is perfect for the holidays and is the easiest thing to make.
Whenever I come across these sugary, cereal treats I always think they're going to take an hour to make, but it's more like 10 minutes. The result is perfect and it will definitely remind you of eating some peppermint bark, except with a crunch!
This would be a great last-minute treat for neighbors, family and friends. Be sure to try it out this holiday season!

Peppermint Bark Chex Mix
Adapted from
6-7 cups Rice Chex cereal
1 (12 oz.) bag white vanilla baking chips
1 (4 oz.) large peppermint candy stick or 16 unwrapped miniature candy canes, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips

1. Pour cereal in large mixing bowl. Line cookie sheet with foil or waxed paper.
2. In microwavable bowl, microwave white vanilla baking chips uncovered on HIGH about 1 minute 30 seconds, stirring every 30 seconds, until chips can be stirred smooth. Stir in half the crushed peppermint candy, about 1/4 cup.
3. Pour over cereal; toss to evenly coat. Spread mixture in single layer on cookie sheet. Immediately sprinkle with remaining candy.
4. Melt semisweet chocolate chips in microwave on HIGH 50 to 60 seconds or until chips can be stirred smooth; drizzle over top with a fork. Let stand in refrigerator until set, about 5 minutes. Gently break into clusters. Store in airtight container.

*For easy drizzling, spoon the melted chips into a small food-storage bag. Snip off one tiny bottom corner and squeeze the melted chips over the cereal mixture.

December 18, 2015

Creamy Tuscan Ravioli Soup

I've been wanting to try out this soup for months now and finally did a few weeks ago. We were not disappointed! This soup has SO much flavor. It's hearty, a little spicy and perfect on a cold day. I am not a huge sausage fan so next time I'm planning on using only a 1/2 lb. of sausage, but of course my husband loved the whole pound and proclaimed it to be the best soup he's ever had.

All I'm saying is, your family will love this and you will, too.

Creamy Tuscan Ravioli Soup
Adapted from Let’s Dish Recipes
1/2 - 1 lb. ground Italian sausage (I prefer less)
1/2 medium onion, diced
1 tsp. garlic, minced
1/2 tsp. dried basil
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1 (14 oz.) can crushed tomatoes
1 1/2 cups chicken stock
1 (9-10 oz.) package fresh cheese ravioli
2-3 cups fresh baby spinach, chopped
1 cup half-and-half
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for garnish
salt and pepper, to taste

1. In a large stock pot, brown sausage until no longer pink. Drain grease, if needed. Add onion and garlic and cook until soft, 3-5 minutes longer. Stir in basil and oregano.
2. Add crushed tomatoes and chicken stock and bring to a boil. Add ravioli and cook for about 5-7 minutes, or until ravioli is just tender. Stir in chopped spinach and cook for a few minutes more, until spinach is wilted.
3. Slowly stir in half and half. Return soup to a simmer and add Parmesan cheese.

4. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. If desired, garnish with additional Parmesan cheese before serving.

December 15, 2015

Holiday Stovetop Potpourri and Giveaway {CLOSED}

Not only am I sharing a holiday "recipe" today, but I also have a fun giveaway for each of you!

I have teamed up with my sister, Lisa from Lisa Rupp Designs to giveaway one of her beautiful screen-printed kitchen towels. They would be perfect in any kitchen whether hanging on an oven handle or hung on the wall. She has four different colors to choose from along with several other amazing products on her Etsy site.
To enter the giveaway, head on over to my Instagram account, find the picture on the top of this post, "like" it and tag a friend. For extra entries, tag more than one friend! (Please keep it to one tag per comment.)

The winner gets to choose any color of kitchen towel they would like. The giveaway will close Friday, Dec. 18 at 5 p.m. MST and the winner will be announced this weekend.
We also thought it would be fun to share a way to spice up your home during the holidays and make it smell just like Christmas.

Holiday Stovetop Potpourri is one of the easiest and most inexpensive ways to make your home smell amazing for the holidays. The best part is you really can throw in whatever fruits/spices you have lying around your house that remind you of Christmas.

Another fun idea is to throw the ingredients in a cute bag, tie a ribbon around the top and give it away as a gift to family and friends. It's something different and much easier to make than a batch of cookies. ;)

Holiday Stovetop Potpourri
1/2 cup fresh cranberries
1 orange (sliced or use only the peels)
4 cinnamon sticks (broken in half)
1 Tbsp. cloves
1/8 tsp. nutmeg
1 small pine branch
1-2 star anise, optional for a black licorice scent

1. Combine all the ingredients in a medium-sized pot. Fill with water until it is 3/4 way full. Place the pot on the stove and bring to a gentle boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer as long as desired. Add more water as needed.

December 9, 2015

Sun-Dried Tomato and Artichoke Bruschetta

I made these little goodies almost two years ago for my friend's baby shower and fell in love with them then. I made them this past weekend for a family party and everyone there loved them as well.
They are easy, flavorful and make the perfect holiday appetizer. Red and green, how can you go wrong with that color combo this time of year?? Trust me, these are a definite crowd pleaser, but please serve them WARM. They were about room temperature this past weekend, which is ok, but warm is much better.
Sun-Dried Tomato and Artichoke Bruschetta
Slightly Adapted From: A Bountiful Kitchen
Makes about 12-15 slices
1 french baguette, cut into 3/4-inch slices
1/3 cup sun-dried tomatoes, drained and chopped
3-4 oz. marinated artichokes, drained, chopped in half (approx. 1/2 cup before chopping)
1/4 cup parmesan cheese, grated
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley, plus extra for garnish
1/3 cup mayonnaise
1/4 tsp. garlic salt
Fresh ground pepper

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place oven rack on top third of oven.
2. Gently mix together sun-dried tomatoes, artichokes, parmesan cheese, chopped parsley and mayo. Season with garlic salt and pepper.
3. Spoon mixture onto baguette slices and place on baking sheet.
4. Bake for about 10-12 minutes. Remove from oven. Place on plate and serve immediately, sprinkle with additional chopped parsley if desired.

*You can easily use more or less of the sun-dried tomatoes and artichokes depending on preference so the spread amounts will vary. Buy two baguettes and double the spread if you would like to use the whole jar of each vegetable.

*To serve as a dip, simply mix up the artichoke and tomato mixture and spoon into a small oven proof dish. Bake for 15 minutes as directed. Serve with veggie slices, chips, crackers, pita slices or bread.

December 7, 2015

Eggnog Banana Bread with Eggnog Glaze

So it seems I've started a bit of a tradition to bake some kind of dessert with eggnog every December. I've made a couple varieties of eggnog muffins back here and here, which are amazing, but this year I went for a whole loaf of bread with probably the best eggnog glaze you'll ever have.
I tried one eggnog quick bread recipe before this one and it failed as you can see here. I may have had too big of a pan, didn't let it cool or cook long enough and it was a tad bit dry/burnt on the bottom. Still delicious enough to devour, but not quite perfect. I did however love the recipe for the eggnog glaze so I decided to try a new bread recipe.
Since the previous bread was a little dry, I figured bananas would moisten it right up so I searched for an eggnog banana bread recipe. Lo and behold someone had already come up with one minus the glaze. So I added the glaze from before and made a pretty spectacular bread.
It is delicious and perfectly spiced for the holidays. I am a huge fan of eggnog, my husband is not, but he still loved this bread. It would be so fun to give to someone, too.
It is perfectly moist, flavorful and has just the right amount of sweet. It's a winner all around!

Eggnog Banana Bread with Eggnog Glaze
1/2 cup butter, softened
1-1/2 cups sugar
2 large eggs
1 cup mashed ripe bananas (about 2 medium)
1/4 cup eggnog
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg, divided
1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. baking soda

For the Glaze
1 cup powdered sugar
2 Tbsp. eggnog
Pinch of nutmeg, if desired

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in bananas, eggnog and vanilla.
2. In another bowl, whisk flour, baking powder, 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg, salt and baking soda; gradually beat into banana mixture.
3. Transfer to a greased 9x5-in. loaf pan; sprinkle with remaining nutmeg. Bake 50-60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan 10 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.
4. Stir together the powdered sugar and 2 tablespoons eggnog until a thick frosting comes together. Spread it over the top of the cooled bread. Sprinkle with nutmeg if desired. Let set. Store in a loosely sealed container on the counter.

December 1, 2015

My Favorite Things: A Holiday Gift Guide 2015

I absolutely love it when other bloggers share holiday gift guides and their tried and true products that they love. I've been wanting to share some of my favorite things for a while now to switch it up around here and I figured there's no better time than during the holiday season.

Christmas will be here before you know it and this is a great list of products that I love with a few added "wants" at the end. I hope you enjoy this list and can get some good gift ideas for your loved one or even some for yourself!

I figured I'd start with some of my favorite kitchen tools since it's a food blog. ;) These are some of my most used tools!

1. OXO Good Grips Mini Angled Measuring Cup - I use this ALL the time to measure small amounts of liquid. It measures tablespoons and also has up to a 1/4-cup measure mark on the side. I LOVE this thing.
2. Prepworks 3-Piece Collapsible Colander Set - I had to replace my beloved collapsible colander after over 5 years of use a few months ago and found these babies. These are perfect for storing and I love that I now have 3 different sizes. You'd be surprised how much fits in the smallest one, too.
3. Microplane Premium Zester/Grater - I've tried a couple of Microplane graters and this is my favorite. I love the size of the blade because you feel safer using it since it's so skinny. It's perfect to zest citrus fruits, shave chocolate, cheese, etc.
4. Nordic Ware Popcorn Popper - I'm pretty sure I'm the reason my local Target keeps these in stock because I buy these as gifts for everyone I know. This is a microwave popper and and requires NO OIL. Yep. None. And you'll never eat nasty microwaved "butter" popcorn ever again. All you need is 1/3 cup of kernels, about 3 min. 30 seconds to 4 minutes of popping time and it's done. Add some butter and salt if desired and you've got yourself an awesome snack!

Beauty products are not usually my forte because I am pretty low maintenance in this area, but here are a few of my favorite drugstore products.

1. The Wet Brush - I'm sure a lot of you have heard how great these are for detangling little girl's hair, but I have one and LOVE it. I have the snarliest hair after it gets wet and this thing saves my head. It honestly doesn't hurt at all while you brush. It's amazing. They have a new naturals line and this one in Dark Wood is so fun.
2. Revlon Colorstay Gel Envy Nail Polish - I love a good nail polish, but I'm not about spending a ton of money on one little bottle. Try this one though and you've got yourself a winner! It stays on so much longer than other nail polish and is only $5. Target's website has the best selection of colors I've found.
3. Seche Vite Dry Fast Top Coat - So before you go ahead and paint your nails with the polish listed above, you have got to buy this top coat!! I've never raved about something so much in my life. THIS is what makes the gel envy nail polish last so long. It makes your polish dry so fast and even smooths out tiny smudges. The stuff stinks, but it's worth the smell!
4. Almay Intense i-Color Volumizing Mascara - I have sensitive eyes so I love that Almay has hypoallergenic products. This mascara is one I tried earlier this year and I love it. It really does make my eyelashes stand out without any itch.

I just need to make a disclaimer that I am not much of a reader so only one of these books has actually been read by me. I'm more of a journal keeper and writer, hence the blog, so that's that.

1. Dad is Fat by Jim Gaffigan - I'm sure you've heard of this one by now since Jim's second book, "Food a Love Story" has already come out (which is also hilarious), but if you haven't you need to read it. I seriously cried tears I was laughing so hard at times. It probably is funnier since I have kids, but Jim Gaffigan is Jim Gaffigan and I'm sure he'd get anyone to laugh eventually.
2. Q&A 5-Year Journal - I have almost filled out mine with about a year to go, but it really is fun to fill out. It's perfect for anyone that needs a little prompt to write about your day. Or if you're like me, you just want another kind of journal. It's very pretty and a would make a great gift.
3. Every Day: A 5-Year Memory Book - This is basically the same as the Q&A journal except without the prompts. I like the idea of keeping my journal-keeping simple, but focusing on every day events. Plus it has the cutest design and the page edges are the prettiest teal!!
4. Puffin Classic Hardcover Books  - These are a little harder to find individually now, but similar products keep coming out. These books and designs are timeless and will always be a favorite of mine. Now to read them one day! ;)

I love finding new artwork/statement pieces for my home and small shops are the best places to look!

1. Rosie Roost Custom House Portraits - This cute shop is run by a good friend of mine and her 2 sisters. They just started up this year and I was one of their first customers. My friend painted my home and it is one of my favorite things I own. She does a fantastic job, is affordable (the best price you'll find) and you'll love it forever. Check out their shop to see their other fun products as well!
2. People Who Love to Eat Dish Towel by Tasty Yummies - This is one of my favorite quotes that I knew I needed hanging in my kitchen. And while I had a hard time finding a print, this dish towel is much better. I posted a couple of years ago about how I hung it on my kitchen wall here. I'm so glad they're still selling it because the design is perfect.
3. 2016 Floral Calendar by Lisa Rupp - I may be a little biased with this one since it's my sister's shop, but her work is undeniable. This is one of my favorite prints of hers to date and I'll definitely be using it way past 2016. She also sells prints, dish towels and other calendars on her Etsy. Be sure to check her out!
4. Louis Armstrong Told Us So Print by Bianca Green - I got this print last year and it's still one of my favorites. I love the patterns and all of her work is great. It's something fun to add some color and design to your wall.

Lastly here are a few things that I still have my eye on. Hopefully one day I'll finally get around to buying at least a few of them.

1. Irin Skye Jewelry - I ordered a necklace from this shop last Christmas that has my boys' initials and their birthstone. It's definitely my favorite necklace. I've had my eye on the one pictured above forever that would be just for me so hopefully one day I'll finally buy it.
2. Kitchen Keepsake Diary by Lily and Val - This cookbook is brand new and is the prettiest one you'll ever see. You write in the recipes yourself and it has the prettiest chalk-lettering designs throughout the book. It is beautiful and would be the perfect gift!
3. Our Best Bites Olive Oil Co. - I'm sure you've heard of Our Best Bites food blog, it's one of the best, but did you know they sell artisan olive oils that are infused with flavors such as lime, blood orange and even bacon?? I have yet to try them, but they are on my want list for sure.
4. Rifle Paper Co. In Bloom Book Collection - Of course I'm obsessed with anything Anna Bond does, but these books are my favorite. She just came out with a special edition book of "Alice in Wonderland" and it has amazing illustrations throughout. One day!

Well that's everything for now and good luck with the gift giving!

This is not a sponsored post. All opinions are my own.

November 25, 2015

Creamy Mustard Chicken French Bread Pizza

I love how easy french bread pizzas are to pull together and I love the texture of the crunchy yet soft bread with the toppings. I've made a few before, but this one was definitely the most flavorful.
French bread, a creamy/mustard spread, marinated chicken, mushrooms, cilantro and a honey dijon sauce take this "pizza" to a whole new level.
You'll think you're eating at a fancy restaurant and your family/friends won't believe what you've created.
This is definitely a richer pizza with the cream cheese base, but that's what makes it unique and tasty.

Creamy Mustard Chicken French Bread Pizza
Adapted from Carlsbad Cravings
1 loaf French bread, sliced in half lengthwise
1 chicken breast, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 1/2 cups THINLY sliced mushrooms
6 oz. cream cheese
3/4 cup mozzarella cheese
3/4 cup cheddar cheese
Cilantro garnish 

Honey Dijon Marinade/Sauce
1 Tbsp. brown sugar
2 Tbsp. honey
1 1/2 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
1 1/2 Tbsp.yellow mustard
1/2 Tbsp. soy sauce
2 Tbsp. mayonnaise
2 Tbsp. sour cream
1/2 tsp. Cajun spice
1/4 tsp. salt

1. Whisk Honey Dijon Marinade/Sauce ingredients together in a medium bowl. Add two tablespoons marinade to a freezer bag along with chicken. Marinate 30 minutes – 8 hours. Refrigerate unused Honey Dijon Sauce separately.
2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
3. Heat 1 Tbsp. olive oil over medium-high heat. Add chicken and cook until cooked through. Stir in one tablespoon reserved Honey Dijon Sauce. Set aside.
4. Microwave cream cheese in a microwave safe bowl at 30 second intervals, stirring in between until completely smooth. Whisk in 2 tablespoons Honey Dijon Sauce. Spread this Honey Dijon Cream Cheese evenly over each half of french bread. Evenly top with mushrooms, followed by chicken, then cheeses.
5. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until cheese is melted and slightly golden.

6. Drizzle each french bread with any remaining Honey Dijon Sauce. Garnish with cilantro.

November 23, 2015

Asiago Bisque

I am an asiago cheese fan through and through. Asiago bagels are my absolute favorite and I will try one at every bagel shop I walk in. They are still on my food to make bucket list as we speak so hopefully one day I'll get around to actually making them.
Anyway, I am also a huge fan of cheesy soups so I knew this one would be an absolute hit. I don't think there is anything much better than a creamy, cheesy, veggie soup with some good dipping bread.
This bisque was so easy to throw together and has a classier flavor that is sure to wow your family.
And don't for get some good bread to slop up all that cheesy goodness. Oh and the bacon doesn't hurt either. ;)

Asiago Bisque
Adapted from Chef-In-Training
Makes 4-6 Servings
1 1/2 cups chopped onion
2 cups chopped carrots
3 Tbsp. butter
2 cups chopped and peeled potatoes, cut into small bite-sized pieces
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
1 cup half-and-half
1 cup shredded Asiago cheese
salt and pepper
6 slices of cooked bacon, chopped

1. In a large sauce melt butter and sauté onions and carrots until tender. Add potatoes and chicken broth. Cover and cook for 20 minutes.
2. Add half-and-half and cook another 5 minutes.
3. Remove from heat and stir in the Asiago cheese.
4. With an immersion blender, blend soup until creamy. Season with salt and pepper.
5. Garnish with bacon and more Asiago cheese.

November 11, 2015

Roasted Asparagus and Lemon Pasta

I am all about lemon pasta sauce you guys. And adding a roasted vegetable?? That is one of my all-time favorite pairings. (See this similar tasty recipe.) This dish is incredible and when I saw that asparagus was on sale a couple of weeks ago I knew I had to buy some before the price shot up. (Which it did as always.)
This recipe is extremely easy to follow and the dish comes together in no time. This is my favorite way to eat asparagus and the lemon pasta is divine.
And even if your kids won't touch the green stuff, they won't be able to deny their love for this light, lemony pasta.

Roasted Asparagus and Lemon Pasta
Adapted from Creme de la Crumb
1 bunch fresh asparagus
1-2 Tbsp. olive oil
kosher salt
black pepper
8 oz. bowtie pasta, cooked according to package instructions
1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice + 1 tsp. lemon zest
2 tsp. garlic, minced
2 Tbsp. butter
2 Tbsp. flour
2 cups milk
salt + pepper to taste
parmesan for serving

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
2. Cut off the tough ends of the asparagus and, if they're thick, peel them. Place the asparagus on a baking sheet, drizzle with the olive oil, then toss to coat the asparagus completely. Spread the asparagus in a single layer and sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper. Roast the asparagus for 25 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, spray a large pan with cooking spray. Add butter and garlic to pan and stir for 1 minute until garlic is fragrant. Add flour and stir until mixture forms a ball or clump. Slowly whisk in milk until mixture is smooth. Whisk in the lemon juice and zest and bring sauce to a light boil, whisking occasionally. 
4. Once boiling and slightly thickened, remove from heat and stir in the cooked pasta to coat. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
5. Top with roasted asparagus pieces and grated parmesan before serving.

November 9, 2015

Meatless Mushroom Bolognese Sauce

This is another one of those recipes that once I saw it pop up in my Bloglovin' feed, I knew I wanted to make it right away. While I try really, really hard to like hamburger, I just don't. I'll make meals with it and then almost start gagging once I take a few bites. Ha. The only time I truly liked and even craved it was when I was pregnant with my first. And then the craving died completely.

But here we are with the most delicious meatless sauce that is healthy and basically only consists of pureed tomatoes, carrots and mushrooms. And honestly you can't even tell that there isn't any meat by looking at this dish. The mushrooms are magic. I LOVE mushrooms and loved them in this sauce.
What I'm trying to say is, this might be my new favorite food ever!! So much flavor! And you must have some kind of bread to slop up all of the extra sauce because that completes the experience. ;)

And my husband, who is the king of wanting meat for every meal, even said that I could make this again without meat. And that's a big deal my friends.

Meatless Mushroom Bolognese Sauce
Adapted from Annie’s Eats
8 oz. sliced mushrooms
1/2 cup chopped carrots
14 oz. whole peeled tomatoes (I pureed a 28 oz. can and saved the other 14 oz.)
1 1/2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
1/2 tsp. garlic, minced
1/2 tsp. sugar
1 Tbsp. tomato paste 
3/4 cup vegetable broth
1/2 Tbsp. soy sauce
1/4 tsp. kosher salt
1/8 tsp. pepper
2 Tbsp. heavy cream
3/4 lb. fettuccine or linguine, cooked according to package directions
grated parmesan, for serving

1. In a food processor, pulse the mushrooms until the pieces are no larger than ½-inch. (Do this in batches if necessary so that they are evenly chopped.) Transfer to a large bowl. 
2. Place the carrots in the now empty food processor and pulse until finely chopped, 5-7 pulses. Transfer to the bowl with the mushrooms.
3. Add the tomatoes and their juices to the food processor and pulse until pureed. Set aside separate from the rest of the vegetables.
4. Melt the butter in a large pan over medium heat. Add the chopped vegetables. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until they release their liquid, about 5 minutes. Uncover, increase the heat to medium-high and cook until the liquid has evaporated and vegetables begin to brown, 12-15 minutes.
5. Add the garlic and sugar to the pot and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in the tomato paste and cook for 1 minute. Stir in the processed tomatoes, vegetable broth, soy sauce, salt, and pepper and bring the mixture to simmer. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook until the sauce has thickened but is still moist, about 8-10 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the cream.

6. Season to taste with additional salt and pepper. Serve warm with freshly grated Parmesan.

November 5, 2015

Outrageous Banana Bread

Oh man, oh man, oh man. This banana bread is out of control! I could eat this every day for the rest of my life and be a very happy person! The cream cheese filling? The streusel on top?? It's all incredible.
I've made a resolution to start using the few cookbooks I own and "The Girl Who Ate Everything" was my first pick. Let's just say that so far her recipes have not disappointed.

I made some modifications to this recipe and personally miss-measured the streusel topping, which wasn't actually a bad thing. I didn't half the sugar and flour so it kind of became more of a sugar topping, but what's wrong with that??
Anyway, the correct measurements are listed below and while this takes a little extra time than normal banana bread, it is completely worth it! Enjoy!

Outrageous Banana Bread
Adapted from The Girl Who Ate Everything
6 Tbsp. butter, softened
1 egg
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 cups mashed ripe bananas
3/4 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1 1/4 cups flour

4 oz. cream cheese, softened
5 Tbsp. sugar
1/2 egg (see how to measure here) - About 1 1/2 Tbsp.

Streusel Topping
2 1/2 Tbsp. sugar
2 1/2 Tbsp. flour
3/4 tsp. cinnamon
1 Tbsp. butter, softened

1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F and spray a 9.25x5.25-inch loaf pan with cooking spray.
2. Cream the butter, eggs, brown sugar and bananas with a mixer. Add the baking soda, salt, vanilla, cinnamon and flour. Mix well.
3. Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan.
For the Filling:
4. In a small bowl, combine the cream cheese, sugar and egg until well mixed. Spread mixture over bread batter.
For the Streusel:
5. Combine all of the ingredients and mix well until crumbly. Sprinkle over the top of the cream cheese mixture.
6. Bake for 55-60 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean (Cream cheese filling may stick, but the bread batter should be firm.) Cover with foil if the top is beginning to brown too much.