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!

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:

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.