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.

July 13, 2017

Slow Cooker Marinara Sauce

If there is one thing I really love, it's easy meals. Especially in the summer when life is hot and busy. Enter this amazing slow cooker marinara sauce that not only tastes great, but makes enough for dinner and plenty for future meals. This sauce freezes beautifully and thaws for dinner in no time.
I'm seriously in love with this sauce and that's saying a lot since I'm a recently converted tomato sauce lover. I'm still opposed to chunky tomatoes in my marinara so I blended it with my immersion blender and it came out nice and smooth. Just the way I like it.
In my opinion, there's nothing better than a Mason jar full of homemade goodness and this jar of sauce is just that! Be sure to try it out. :)

Slow Cooker Marinara Sauce
Slightly Adapted from Two Peas and Their Pod
Yields: 8-9 cups sauce
1 small yellow onion, diced
3 tsp. garlic, minced
2 (28 oz.) cans diced Tomatoes
1 (6 oz.) can tomato paste
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 Tbsp. dried basil
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. brown sugar
kosher salt and black pepper, to taste
Dash of crushed red pepper

1. Place the onion, garlic, tomatoes, tomato paste, olive oil, basil, oregano, brown sugar, salt, pepper and crushed red pepper in the slow cooker. Stir and put the lid on. Set the slow cooker to low and cook for 8 hours. (Adjust if your slow cooker has hot spots and cooks faster.)
2. Remove the lid on the slow cooker and stir the sauce. If you don’t like a chunky sauce, use an immersion blender to puree the sauce. You can also transfer the sauce to a blender just be careful if the sauce is still hot. Taste and season with additional salt and pepper, if necessary. 
3. Serve over pasta, meatballs, lasagna, as a dipping sauce, etc.

*This sauce freezes perfectly. To freeze, cool completely and pour the sauce into freezer bags, jars or containers. Freeze up to 3 months.

July 11, 2017

Grilled Chicken, Potato and Mushroom Kabobs

If there is one thing I absolutely love about summer I would say is the food. I mean how can you not love it? Fresh fruit, vegetables, icy treats and anything cooked on the grill is perfection in my book. And one of my all-time favorite things to cook on the grill are kabobs. While I've never posted a kabob recipe on the blog, I think this is a great one to start with.
First off, the marinade is incredible. It is so flavorful and pairs so well with the other ingredients. Second, who knew grilling potatoes was such a genius idea? They were honestly my favorite part of the kabob, but I'm also a huge fan of grilled mushrooms, chicken and red onions so you really can't go wrong here.

All I'm saying is you need to try this recipe ASAP.

Grilled Chicken, Potato and Mushroom Kabobs
Adapted from Let’s Dish Recipes
1 lb. boneless chicken breasts
8 oz. whole mushrooms
1 lb. small potatoes
1 red onion, chopped into large pieces
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
3 tsp. garlic, minced
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1/2 tsp. dried rosemary
1/2 tsp. dried oregano

1. Cut the chicken into 1-inch pieces and add to a rimmed baking sheet along with the mushrooms and onions.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the oil, vinegar, garlic, salt, pepper, rosemary and oregano. Pour over the chicken, mushrooms and onions. Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours.
3. Meanwhile, boil the potatoes in a large pot of salted water until just tender, about 8-10 minutes. Drain and cool slightly.
4. Thread the marinated chicken, mushrooms, onions and potatoes onto skewers, leaving about an inch of empty space on the bottom of each skewer so the ingredients stay on.
5. Heat grill to medium-high heat. Grill kabobs for 10-12 minutes, turning once, or until chicken juices run clear.