December 31, 2016

My Favorite Recipes of 2016

While I love all the recipes I post, here are some I couldn't get enough of or have made multiple times. They're tried and true and completely delicious!

Baked Monte Cristo Sliders - If there is one thing you need to make in your lifetime, it's these sandwiches. I am not exaggerating either. These are my absolute favorite and I've already made them too many times to count. And even though it sounds weird, do not skip the raspberry jam and powdered sugar. Do not!

Banana-Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies - Oh man these cookies. I'm drooling just looking at them. They are surprisingly so good and you're bound to always have the ingredients on hand. Bananas and chocolate together can never be a bad thing, am I right?

Strawberry Sweet Rolls - These sweet rolls were a bit of a creation of mine and we LOVED them. They have an incredibly soft roll, amazing strawberry filling and delicious strawberry cream glaze. You've got to try them!

Ranch Chicken Enchiladas - I'm pretty sure I made these twice in the same week that I first tried them because they're that good. I'm a huge enchilada and ranch dressing fan so it was a match made in heaven. So good and so easy to throw together!

Broccoli Cheese Pie - Broccoli and cheese were meant to be together and this pie does the combination justice! And that cheese crust??? I don't think I've ever eaten anything more satisfying. It's as amazing as it sounds!

Thanks for stopping by and for more of my favorites, check out these posts!
2015
2014
2013
2012

December 30, 2016

Top Five Most Popular Recipes of 2016

Because of being pregnant (hello all-day sickness) and having a baby, I posted about half of the recipes I usually do during a year so I'm only including five of my most popular. Even so, there were some definite winners. Hope you like 'em!

5. Golden Graham S'mores Bars - I am not surprised in the least that these made the list. First of all, who doesn't love anything s'mores? And secondly, who doesn't love an ooey, gooey cereal treat? Perfect for any time of the year when you're needing a s'mores fix.

4. Greek Yogurt Lemon Poppyseed Pancakes - These pancakes are not only good to look at, but they taste amazing, too! So much flavor and so fluffy! You've got to try these for your next big breakfast meal or dinner. ;)

3. Baked Batter "Fried" Shrimp with Garlic Butter Dipping Sauce - I love that this recipe made the list because it's one of my favorites. These shrimp are delicious and that garlic butter takes it over the top! So yummy.

2. Cinnamon Roll Poke Cake - Ohhh man you guys, this cake changed my life! I'm a huge cinnamon lover so while I knew I would like this cake, I was surprised by how much. It was surprisingly light and so delicious. You've got to make it!

And the most viewed recipe of 2016 is...

1. Tomatillo Ranch Dressing (Costa Vida Copycat) - I know there are a million copycat recipes for this dressing, but this one was a keeper! So flavorful and perfect to put on just about everything. And did I mention how easy it was to make, too?

Check out more of my most popular recipes here:
2015
2014
2013
2012

December 28, 2016

Slow Cooker Savory Ranch Chex Mix

I'm used to seeing LOADS of recipes for sugary, dessert-style Chex Mix, but I hardly see any for savory. For some reason, when I saw this it sounded really good to me and I had to try it! I needed a kid-friendly appetizer for a family Christmas party and I knew this would do the trick. It was so addicting, too!
This mix was super easy to throw together and it becomes so crunchy and tasty in the slow cooker.

Unfortunately my slow cooker has a few hot spots so some pieces on the bottom got burnt and I had to cut the cooking time. If you have a new slow cooker you shouldn't have this issue, but be sure to watch for any burning.

Anyway, this would be perfect for a New Year's Eve snack or for an upcoming Super Bowl party!

Slow Cooker Savory Ranch Chex Mix
Adapted from Oh Sweet Basil
1/3 cup butter
1 packet ranch dip mix
1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 Tbsp. sugar
1 Tbsp. light corn syrup
5 cups corn or rice Chex
3 cups mini pretzel twists
3 cups oyster crackers
3 cups Cheezit crackers

1. In a glass measuring cup, melt the butter in 15 second intervals in the microwave. Stir in the ranch, Worcestershire, sugar, and corn syrup.
2. Spray a slow cooker pot with nonstick spray or line with a slow cooker bag. Add the cereal, crackers and pretzels.. Add the sauce and stir well to coat every piece. Cover and cook on low for 3 hours, stirring at hour 1, hour 2 and one final time at 2½ hours. (Mine started to burn after 2 hours so be sure to check and stop cooking if yours does, too!)
3. Pour everything onto wax paper to cool completely. Place into a large bowl for serving.

December 26, 2016

Cranberry Feta Pinwheels

These may seem like a weird combination...cream cheese, dried cranberries, feta and green onions? But you would be surprised how well the flavors work together. They are so flavorful and I love how perfect they are for the holidays.
These are SUPER easy to throw together and would make the perfect appetizer and finger food for any New Year's Party. My one tip is to use high-quality tortillas because apparently if you don't, they tend to break apart. ^^See above^^ Anyway, these are a definite crowd pleaser and are sure to be eaten in no time!

Cranberry Feta Pinwheels
Adapted from Let’s Dish
Serves 20-30 people
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
1/2 cup chopped green onions
3/4 cup dried cranberries
2 burrito-size flour tortillas (10-11 inch) or 4 taco-size flour tortillas

1. In a small bowl, combine the cream cheese, feta cheese and green onions. Stir in dried cranberries. Divide the mixture evenly between either the two or four tortillas. Roll each tortilla up tightly and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
2. Slice the rolled tortillas into 1-inch slices and serve.

December 23, 2016

White Chocolate-Dipped Peppermint Sugar Cookies

I'm clearly on a white-chocolate/peppermint dipped theme over here, but how can you resist these bad boys? I've been wanting to make a cookie similar to these since last year and finally had a reason to.
The peppermint sugar cookies alone are amazing and super fluffy. They have the perfect amount of peppermint flavor and make for a really yummy cookie.
But the white chocolate coating and peppermint candies really take them over the edge. They are perfect for any holiday party and are so easy to make.
If you want a really fun and crowd-pleasing holiday cookie, then these are for you!

White-Chocolate Dipped Peppermint Sugar Cookies
Adapted from Our Best Bites
Yields 3 dozen
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 1/2 cups flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
14 Tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 large eggs
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 1/2 tsp. peppermint extract
8 oz. vanilla candy coating or white chocolate wafers
1/2 cup crushed peppermint candies

1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper. Whisk flour, baking powder, and salt together in a bowl.
2. Using a stand mixer, beat butter and sugar on medium speed until fluffy, 3-5 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, and vanilla and peppermint extracts and beat until combined. Reduce speed to low, slowly add flour mixture, and beat until combined. (If dough is extra soft, refrigerate for 30-60 minutes until firmed up.)
3. Place about 1/3 cup extra sugar in a dish. Use a cookie scoop to make uniform size balls, roll them in the sugar and place 2 inches apart on prepared cookie sheets. Using a flat-bottomed drinking glass, flatten each ball just slightly (about 3/4-inch thickness).
4. Bake until edges are set and beginning to barely brown but centers are still soft and puffy, 10-12 minutes. Let cookies cool on sheet for 10 minutes. Transfer to wire rack and cool completely.
5. Melt candy coating or white chocolate wafers according to directions on package. Dip cookies halfway into coating and sprinkle peppermint candies on top. Repeat with each cookie. Let cool and serve.

December 21, 2016

White Chocolate-Dipped Rolo Pretzel Sandwiches

I have been wanting to try something similar to these Rolo pretzel sandwiches for years, but have never got around to it. I've seen so many different varieties, but these ones were too cute to pass up!
Can we just talk about how easy these are to make, too?? You only need 3 ingredients and 4 if you want to decorate them. And they're so yummy!
I decorated most of them with crushed peppermint on top and with Christmas sprinkles on the rest. They could be used for any holiday or occasion, but Christmas is definitely a time for treats.
All you do is stack a Rolo on each pretzel, warm in the oven, stack another pretzel on top, wait for them to cool and then dip them in the white chocolate coating. Sprinkle some candy or sprinkles on top and you've got yourself a perfect holiday treat!
And they make perfect gifts for neighbors, family and friends! Make your life easier and make these this holiday season.

White-Chocolate Dipped Rolo Pretzel Sandwiches
Adapted from I Heart Naptime
60 mini pretzel twists
30 Rolos, unwrapped
8 oz. vanilla candy coating or white chocolate wafers (I used Kroger candy coating)
1/4 cup crushed peppermint candies or sprinkles

1. Preheat the oven to 250°F. Place 30 of the pretzels on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or foil. Place one Rolo candy on top of each pretzel.
2. Place the baking sheet in the preheated oven and bake 3 minutes, until the Rolos have softened. Remove from the oven and press a pretzel on top of each Rolo to form a sandwich. Let cool completely. (If you need to speed up the cooling process, place them in the freezer.)
3. Add the candy coating or melting wafers to a microwave safe bowl and heat according to package directions until melted.
4. Dip one half of each pretzel sandwich into the melted coating. Allow the excess coating to run off, then return to the baking sheet. Sprinkle with peppermint candies or sprinkles. Allow to cool completely before serving.

December 12, 2016

Eggnog Cinnamon Roll Skillet Bread

So one of my "checklist" items during December every year is to make some kind of baked good using eggnog. And while there may be many eggnog haters, eggnog in baked goods is a whole different story. It's amazing and you'll love it.
I came across this cinnamon roll skillet bread recipe and knew I would be able to incorporate eggnog easily after making these cinnamon rolls last year, which are amazing by the way. Anyway, I nixed the streusel topping, didn't need that much sugar, adjusted some ingredients and used the glaze from my cinnamon roll recipe.
And let me tell you, it worked out perfectly. Isn't it such a pretty dough, too?? I'm not normally much of a bread maker and this one does take some extra time to rise, but it's worth it. And it will wow anyone you share it with.
I made sure to include PLENTY of frosting because we all know that it's the most important part. And make sure you share this with your neighbors because it makes a TON. At least too much for my little family.
I mean how can you resist this gooey, sugary, eggnog mess?? You can't. And you need to make this.

Eggnog Cinnamon Roll Skillet Bread
Adapted from: Inspired by Charm
Rise Time: 2 hours | Bake Time: 35-40 minutes
For the Dough:
3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
4 Tbsp. sugar
2 tsp. salt
3 tsp. instant yeast
1/4 cup water, warmed to 105-110 degrees F
1 cup eggnog, warmed to 105-110 degrees F
3 Tbsp. butter, melted

For the Sugar Coating:
1/3 cup butter, melted
1/2 tsp. vanilla
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon

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

1. For the Dough: In a small bowl, mix together the yeast and warm water and set aside for 5 minutes until bubbly.
2. In the meantime, combine the flour, sugar, and salt in a stand mixer attached with the dough hook. Then add the warmed eggnog, melted butter and yeast/water mixture. Knead with the dough hook until smooth. (Add more flour if the dough is feeling too sticky.)
3. Remove the dough and place it in a lightly oiled bowl. Cover with plastic wrap, then a towel, and let it rise until it's doubled in size (about an hour).
4. Grease a 10 or 12-inch skillet and set aside. (I used a 12-inch, but a 10-inch would work fine.)
5. For the Coating: In a small bowl, combine the melted butter and and vanilla. In another small bowl, mix together the brown sugar and cinnamon.
6. Cut the dough in half and roll each piece into a rope about 3 feet long. Place the dough on a piece of wax or parchment paper. Liberally brush with the melted butter and vanilla mixture, making sure to cover all sides of the dough. Once buttered, coat all sides of the dough with the brown sugar and cinnamon mixture. Then, pinch the ends of the ropes and twist them together. Pinch the other ends once twisted.
6. Starting in the center of your skillet, place the twisted dough inside and wind it around. If you have any extra butter from the brushing, drizzle it over the dough. Cover the skillet with plastic wrap and let the dough rise until doubled in size (about an hour).
7. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Once the dough is doubled, bake for 35-40 minutes. When there is 10 minutes left, lightly cover the dough with a sheet of tin foil to avoid excess browning. Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly.
8. For the Glaze: Prepare by whisking together the butter, powdered sugar and eggnog. Stir until smooth. Pour evenly over slightly cooled bread. 
*This bread is best served warm and the day it’s made.

December 10, 2016

Spinach and Chicken Stromboli

This is such a fun and delicious recipe! I am a huge pizza fan so when "toppings" and cheese are stuffed inside of some pizza dough, I am intrigued.

This recipe turned out better than I thought it would and there are so many possibilities with the fillings! Make this and your family will be so impressed. ;)

Spinach and Chicken Stromboli
Slightly Adapted from Our Best Bites
1 refrigerated pizza dough (or homemade)
2 tsp. olive oil, divided
1 1/2 tsp. Italian seasoning
3 1/2 Tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese, divided
1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
2 cups loosely packed spinach leaves
2 cups shredded, cooked chicken
2 roma tomatoes, diced
pasta sauce for dipping

1. Preheat oven to temperature indicated on the dough package or recipe.
2. Working on a floured surface, roll pizza dough into a 12x15-inch rectangle. Brush 1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil over entire surface of crust. Evenly sprinkle Italian seasoning and 2 tablespoons Parmesan on top.
3. Keeping remaining toppings one inch away from the edges, evenly spread the spinach leaves, shredded chicken and tomatoes over the dough.
4. Working from the long end of the rectangle, roll up from one end to the other (like a cinnamon roll). Pinch seam shut and then pinch each end shut and tuck under toward seam.
5. Place seam-side down on a baking sheet sprayed lightly with nonstick spray. Brush remaining 1/2 teaspoon olive oil on top and sprinkle with remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese. Gently cut 3 slits along the top of the Stromboli.
6. Bake in preheated oven for 15-20 minutes or until the top is golden brown. Cool for 10-15 minutes before slicing. Serve with pasta sauce.

December 8, 2016

Super Oatmeal Muffins

I've been meaning to share this recipe for months now, but things have been a little crazy around here with a new baby!

Anyway, I absolutely love this muffin recipe because you get to choose how healthy they are and can adjust flavors/add-ins as you please! 

My boys loved these and I loved that they were actually eating something healthy. And a few chocolate chips never hurt anybody, right? ;)


Super Oatmeal Muffins
Adapted from And Then We Saved
Yields: 12 muffins
1 cup milk
1 cup quick-cooking or old-fashioned oats
1 egg (or 1/4 cup of mashed banana)
1/4 cup oil (or 1/4 cup oil)
1 cup flour
1/4 cup white sugar
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 cup chocolate chips, optional

1. Preheat oven to 425°F. Grease 12 muffin cups or line with paper muffin liners.
2. In a small bowl, combine milk and oats. Soak for 15 minutes.
3. In a separate bowl, beat together egg and oil; stir in oatmeal mixture.
4. In a third bowl, sift together flour, cinnamon, sugar, baking soda and salt. Stir flour mixture into wet ingredients, just until combined. Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups until cups are 2/3 full.
5. Bake in preheated oven for 15-20 minutes or until a tooth pick inserted in center of muffin comes out clean.

December 6, 2016

Biscuits with Mushroom Gravy

 I'm a big fan of classic biscuits and gravy, but when I saw the idea of adding mushrooms to the sauce, I knew I had to try it!
This gravy is such a fun change for any mushroom lover, like me, and it will be a definite hit for your family!
The gravy is served on top of my absolute favorite biscuits that are so easy to make and the best crowd pleaser.
These biscuits with mushroom gravy would be perfect for Christmas morning breakfast and also for lunch or dinner! ;)

Biscuits with Mushroom Gravy
1 batch buttery drop biscuits
8 oz. mushrooms, finely chopped
1 Tbsp. butter
1 tsp. garlic, minced
1/4 cup flour
2 cups milk
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
salt to taste

1. Melt butter in a large pan over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms and stir to coat. Saute mushrooms for 4-5 minutes, stirring occasionally until cooked and softened.
2. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute. Stir in flour until dissolved. Gradually stir in milk. Cook gravy until thick and bubbly. Season with salt, pepper and nutmeg. Add more salt if desired. Serve over hot biscuits.

November 25, 2016

My Favorite Things: A Holiday Gift Guide 2016

I'm here to kick off another of my "favorite things" gift guide. I put one together last year and had a lot of fun doing it. Here are some things that I own and love and a few I'm putting on my wish list!

FOR THE FOODIE

1. Cuisinart Electric Pressure Cooker: If you haven't noticed by now, pressure cookers are making a major comeback! And they're not the scary, could-possibly-explode stovetop ones anymore. They're electric and so easy to use! I got one for my birthday and I've had so much fun trying it out. You can make ANYTHING in them and quickly, too. Soups, whole chickens, a roast, meat dishes, veggies, yogurt and even dessert! The Instapot seems to be the crowd favorite, but I got this one for $70 at Kohl's and love it.
2. OXO Good Grips Silicone Cookie Spatula: I got a couple of these as a wedding gift years ago and they are my favorite spatulas. Not only are they perfect for scooping cookies up off the baking sheet, but they work great to flip pancakes, french toast, eggs and are great with ceramic pans.
3. Tramontina Ceramic-Reinforced Nonstick Fry Pans: Speaking of ceramic pans, I've been wanting some forever now and at $30 for 3 pans, these are awesome! I've loved them so far because they are the easiest pans to clean and they cook food so evenly. Make sure to read the instructions on how to care for them to be sure they'll last!
4. Stainless Steel Measuring Cups and Spoons: I've recently switched over to using stainless steel cups and spoons for measuring and I love them! You get an even measure every time and they can't melt on the dishwasher drying element or break like the plastic ones. ;) Plus they're pretty. Win-win.

FOR THE ARTSY ONE
1. Citrus on Black Print: This is a print I had wanted forever and my husband finally bought it for me for my birthday. Isn't it the prettiest photograph? It looks perfect in our kitchen! It's a digital download and can be printed up to a 24x32" poster size. The artist also created one with a white backdrop. They're both so awesome!
2. Sharpie Pens: I got these for Christmas last year and love them. I use them primarily for journal writing and the best part is they don't bleed through the page! It's fun to use something other than a black pen to write with once in a while. And the price can't be beat!
3. Umbra Hangit Photo Display: This right here is my new favorite piece of artwork. I wanted something to hang 4x4" prints of my Instagram photos that I could rotate often and I found the perfect solution. It's now my favorite thing to look at in my home. You can connect your Instagram account on Walgreen's photo website and they'll print the 4x4" photos for you. And don't forget to check for a coupon, they always have 'em!
4. Chatbooks with Rifle Paper Co.: We all know by now that Chatbooks are the thing to have when it comes to making your Instagram account a keepsake, but this year, Rifle Paper Co. has collaborated with them and the books are GORGEOUS. Rifle is amazing every time. These would make the best gift, too!

FOR THE BEAUTY GURU
1. NYX Eyebrow Cake Powder: I like to keep things simple when it comes to makeup, but I couldn't believe how much I loved this stuff. I've never filled my eyebrows before, but a little bit of this powder gives them so much more definition. And not in an overdone way at all. It's crazy how spotty eyebrows seem without it. It stays on all day and comes off super easy at night. Love it!
2. NYX Eyeshadow Base: I saw this on a blog one day and was intrigued. It seems weird to put white on your eyelid before you put on eyeshadow, but man does it make your eyeshadow last so much longer. And the colors pop more, too! It only takes a little bit to do the job and you'll love the results.
3. NSPA Exotically Creamy Coconut Rich Body Butter: I got a little sample of this and am in love! It is so moisturizing and has the BEST smell ever. It is also sold on Amazon (for more than double the price), but you'll get it faster.
4. Tiny Letter Initial Ring: I bought a couple of these with my boy's initials on 'em and love the simplicity of them! There are 4 different finishes to choose from and you can't beat $13 for a custom sterling silver ring!

MY WISH LIST
1. Quarter Sheet Pans: I barely found out these existed and I'm so excited to get me some. There are so many times when I want to warm up or cook something small in the oven and all I need is a little pan. Enter these quarter sheet pans. Brilliant!
2. The I Heart Naptime Cookbook: I recently started following this blog and Jamielyn's cookbook looks amazing! So many family-friendly, easy and delicious looking meals! Can't wait to get my copy!
3. The Pioneer Woman Collection: I love the Pioneer Woman and her product line at Walmart is beautiful! So many pretty dishes, cookware, bakeware, etc. This floral one has always been a favorite and she comes out with a new line every few months. Be sure to check out her new holiday collection!
4. Tramontina Enameled Cast Iron Round Dutch Oven: I have wanted an enameled dutch oven for years, but have never wanted to dish out the dough. Then the other day I was walking through Sam's Club and found this beauty. Only $40! And it comes in so many great colors. So excited to get this and start putting it to use!

And there you have it, another fun gift guide! Hope you can find something for your friends, family or even yourself!

*This post is not sponsored and all opinions are my own.

November 18, 2016

Baked "Fried" Chicken

I have had this chicken recipe for a while now and now having made it several times, it is still one of my favorites. I'm not big into frying food at home so when I found this recipe for baked "fried" chicken, I had to try it. There are so many fun techniques to make this chicken seem "fried" and it tastes amazing!
The melted butter in the bottom of the pan is really what puts it over the edge. I've never had chicken quite like this and it goes perfect with any side, especially mashed potatoes. The best part is, you don't even need a sauce to dip it in. It's that good!

Baked “Fried” Chicken
Slightly Adapted from Carlsbad Cravings
10 chicken tenderloins
1 cup buttermilk
1 cup flour
1 cup panko breadcrumbs
1/4 cup cornmeal
3 Tbsp. butter
Spice Mixture
1 Tbsp. salt it won't taste salty
1 tsp. pepper
1 tsp. smoked or regular paprika
2 tsp. chili powder
2 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. onion powder

1. Mix spices together in a small sealable bag. Add 1 tablespoon spices, 1 cup buttermilk and chicken to a large freezer bag and marinate 6-24 hours. Store remaining spices.
2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper (foil will NOT work because the chicken sticks to it). Add butter to baking sheet and melt in oven while it preheats. Remove baking sheet once butter is melted.
3. Mix together flour, panko, cornmeal and remaining spices in a large bowl. Add half of this breading mixture to a large freezer bag.
4. Remove chicken tenders from buttermilk and allow excess marinade to drip off.
5. Add half of the chicken to the breadcrumb bag and shake until well coated, pressing the breadcrumbs into the chicken with your fingers through the bag. Lay breaded chicken in butter on baking sheet. Add remaining breadcrumb mixture to bag along with remaining chicken and repeat.

6. Bake for 10-12 minutes until golden then carefully flip chicken and bake another 5 minutes. Then broil to desired crispiness.

November 16, 2016

Mexican Street Corn Salsa

I know that this is more of a summer side dish, but this post is LONG overdue. We have honestly made this about 4 times in the past few months and it is a new family favorite. I tried a couple of different recipes and this one, with some tweaks, is the best. My husband requests that we make it all of the time and it is so easy to throw together!

While I've never had a Mexican-style corn on the cob, the flavor combination always sounded good to me so I decided to give it a try. Let's just say I was not disappointed! So much flavor and the best part is you could have this year round! It would be the perfect addition to any party and you won't even feel bad if you eat the entire bowl yourself!

Mexican Street Corn Salsa
Adapted from Chef in Training
3 cups fresh, canned or frozen corn
1 Tbsp. oil
15 oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 fresh small jalapeño, finely diced and seeds removed
3 Tbsp. chopped red onion
1/3 cup chopped cilantro
1/2 to 3/4 cup crumbled cotija or feta cheese
1 cup avocado, cut into small cubes, optional

Dressing:
1/4 cup mayonnaise
3/4 tsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
3 Tbsp. fresh lime juice
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper

1. Heat oil over medium heat, Add corn and cook until corn starts to char, stirring occasionally, about 8-10 minutes. Let cool.
2. Combine corn, black beans, jalapeño, red onion, cilantro and cheese in a large bowl and gently toss.
3. Combine all dressing ingredients and mix well. Pour over salad and gently toss. Serve room temperature or refrigerated with tortilla chips.

November 14, 2016

Crumb Banana Bread

Man oh man, it's been a long time since I've blogged and for good reason. I had another sweet baby boy back in October and it's been quite the ride the past month trying to adjust. Things probably won't be "normal" for another year, but we can at least pretend.

Anyway, I thought a good banana bread recipe would be the perfect thing to share now that it's getting colder, darker and everyone is in the baking mood. I'm sure you're all sick of seeing pumpkin recipes and it's a little too early for peppermint so we'll go with banana.
This banana bread is dense, fluffy, moist and has the perfect crumb topping. It would be great with a glaze, but it's also perfect just the way it is.
I about ate the entire thing by myself and I blame the intense hunger from nursing, but I probably would have eaten most of it on my own anyway. It's that good.

Crumb Banana Bread
Slightly Adapted from Oh Sweet Basil
2 bananas, mashed about 1 cup
2 eggs
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup oil
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 cup applesauce
2 cup flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking powder
3/4 tsp. cinnamon

Crumb Topping
1/3 cup brown sugar
2 Tbsp. flour
1/8 tsp. cinnamon
1 Tbsp. butter

1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F and spray a 9x5-inch loaf pan with nonstick spray.
2. Mix together the bananas, eggs, sugar, oil, vanilla and applesauce. In a separate bowl, mix all dry ingredients then add to the wet ingredients and mix again.
3. Pour in greased loaf pan.
4. In a small bowl, using a fork or your fingers, mix the crumb mixture together and sprinkle the crumb mixture on top.
5. Bake for 50-55 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.

September 20, 2016

Ranch Chicken Enchiladas

It's been a really long time since I've posted a recipe for enchiladas, which is silly because they're one of my favorite things to make lately. They are so easy to throw together and make such a satisfying meal!
I have been meaning to try these ranch enchiladas for YEARS now and barely got around to it. I changed the recipe up quite a bit and it was delicious. The flavors are incredible! Ranch dressing was supposed to be part of Mexican food.
You can place some tinfoil on these bad boys for part of the cooking time so the cheese is a little more gooey, but I really like how crispy the cheese gets on top. Seriously good enough that I'm making these two weeks in a row!

Ranch Chicken Enchiladas
Adapted from The Recipe Critic
1-2 large chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
1/2 package dry ranch salad dressing
1/2 package chicken taco seasoning
1 (15 oz.) can black beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup bottled ranch dressing
1/2 cup salsa verde
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
7-8 package white flour tortillas
cilantro, sour cream, optional

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Spray a 9x13-inch pan with cooking spray and set aside.
2. Place chicken in a bowl and stir in the dry ranch dressing and taco seasoning until well combined. Stir in the black beans.
2. Mix the 1/2 cup of ranch and 1/2 cup of salsa in a small bowl. Spread a very thin layer of the mixture onto the bottom of the pan.
3. Start assembling the enchiladas by spreading 1 Tbsp. of the ranch and salsa mixture onto the center of each tortilla. Then place 2-3 Tbsp. of the shredded chicken/bean mixture on top, sprinkle with some cheese, roll and place seam-side down into the pan.
4. Line up the enchiladas and spread the rest of the ranch/salsa mixture evenly on top. Sprinkle with remaining cheddar cheese.
5. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the cheese is bubbling and enchiladas are heated through.
6. Top with cilantro and sour cream if desired.

September 15, 2016

Mini S'mores Cookie Cups

I am a lover of anything s'mores related as I'm sure most of you are. There's just something awesome about the combination of graham crackers, marshmallow and chocolate ya know? So when I saw this recipe I knew I was going to have to try them out one day.
And I'm not going to lie, they were a little more time consuming because you have to form them into cups, but man were they worth it!
If you don't have a mini muffin tin, I suggest you go out and buy one! They are not only awesome for mini muffins, brownies, cookies, cupcakes, etc, but even savory things like our favorite Mini Corn Dog Muffins.
Anyway, we were all a big fan of these graham cookie cups that were complete with a marshmallow filling and a Hershey's chocolate square melted on top.
These would be a definite crowd pleaser at any party and they won't last long!

Mini S’mores Cookie Cups
Makes 2 Dozen Cups
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups flour
1 cup graham cracker crumbs (about 7 whole crackers crushed)
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup chocolate chips
1 cup marshmallow fluff
2 (1.55 oz.) Hershey’s chocolate bars

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a mini muffin tin with cooking spray. Set aside.
2. In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugars until light and fluffy, for about 2 minutes. Add the egg and vanilla and mix until combined.
3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, graham cracker crumbs, baking powder and salt. Add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients a little bit at a time until just incorporated. Gently stir chocolate chips into the dough.
4. Spoon marshmallow fluff into a resealable plastic bag and snip off the corner.
5. Press one rounded teaspoon of dough into each muffin tin, pressing halfway up the sides. Pipe a teaspoon of marshmallow fluff on top of the dough in each muffin tin. Take a teaspoon of dough and flatten it in the palm of your hand and place it on the top of the marshmallow fluff, repeating with the remaining cups.
6. Bake the cups for 7-9 minutes or until golden brown.
7. Let the cups cool for 3-4 minutes in the muffin tins, then gently press one Hershey’s chocolate square on top of each cup. Continue to let them cool in the pan. Remove and serve.