Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Apple Kielbasa (Crock pot appetizer!)

Do you have plans to watch the big game this Sunday? I think the best part about the Superbowl is the excuse to make lots of appetizers. I would eat meals of appetizers all week long, if I could! This is a super easy app to throw together and let cook in the crock pot all afternoon. And it is DELICIOUS. I took this to a Christmas party and they disappeared quickly. I'm sure you'll need some protein to offset the chips and salsa and football shaped brownies - get out there and make some apple kielbasa!

Apple Kielbasa

2 lbs. fully cooked kielbasa sausage
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 cup chunky applesauce
2 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
2 cloves garlic, minced

Combine all ingredients in a small crockpot and cook on low for 4 hours, or until heated through. Makes 12 appetizer servings.

Recipe Source: Busy Cooks

Monday, January 26, 2015

Caramel-filled Rice Krispie Bars

Oh these bars. As if the goodness of marshmallowy rice krispie bars wasn't good enough, now we can fill them with caramel and more marshmallows. These are SWEET! Literally. You'll need to cut them into small pieces. But they will be a big hit wherever you take them. Or they will cause you to buy pants in a size larger... ahem.

Caramel-filled Rice Krispie Bars

14 oz caramel pieces, unwrapped
1 can (14 oz) sweetened condensed milk
12 Tbsp. butter, divided
10 cups Rice Krispie cereal
10 cups mini marshmallows

In a large microwave safe bowl combine caramel pieces, sweetened condensed milk and 4 Tbsp. butter. Microwave on high in 1 minutes increments (stirring after each) until caramels are melted, approx 3-4 minutes. Stir until smooth, set aside.

In a Dutch oven, melt another 4 Tbsp. butter. Add 4 cups marshmallows and cook and stir over medium-low heat until marshmallows are melted. Pour 5 cups cereal into marshmallow mixture, stir until coated. Press into the bottom of greased 9x13 inch pan.

Pour caramel over the cereal layer and then sprinkle 2 cups mini marshmallows on top of that. Refrigerate for 20 minutes until caramel has set. When caramel has set, repeat the krispie layer with remaining 4 Tbsp. butter, 4 cups marshmallows and 5 cups cereal. Press final krispie layer on top of caramel. (I like to spray my hands with cooking spray and then use them to evenly pat the final cereal layer in the pan.

Refrigerate for about 2 hours. Bring to room temperature then cut into small squares.

Recipe Source: Adapted from Cookies and Cups

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Mediterranean Shrimp Flatbreads

This dish came about when I needed something interesting for dinner and wanted to use what was in my freezer and my pantry. I was glad to have all these ingredients, because together they made for a wonderful pizza-like experience! You can certainly change up the ingredients too, and add olives or other things that you like. (Sun dried tomatoes or real tomatoes might also be a nice addition, especially for color!)

These are super quick, and paired with a salad, they make for a wonderful meal.

Find more great ideas at Inspiration Monday, Totally Talented, Create Link Inspire, Clever Chicks, Try a New Recipe, Inspire Me, Tasty Tuesday, Tickle my Tastebuds, Hearth and Soul, What's Cooking.

Mediterranean Shrimp Flatbreads

2 pieces flatbread or naan
1 tsp. olive oil
1/2 tsp. garlic herb spice blend
1 cup baby spinach
1 small jar artichoke hearts, drained
1/4 cup roasted red pepper strips
6 oz. medium cooked shrimp, tails removed
1/4 cup feta cheese crumbles
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

Place flatbreads on a large baking sheet or pizza stone. Spread each flatbread with half of the olive oil and half the seasoning. Divide the rest of the toppings evenly among the flatbreads, starting with spinach and ending with feta. Bake at 400 for 8-10 minutes or until cheese is bubbly. Makes 2 main dish servings or 6-8 appetizer servings.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

White Chocolate Almond Bars

These delicious little bars are exactly what you need to get you through the winter doldrums. White chocolate and almonds are such a wonderful combination and when you put them together with the best things in life (butter, flour, sugar!) you will have a new favorite dessert/snack/breakfast.

I cut these into small pieces, which just gives you a reason to have more than one.

Find more great stuff at Hearth and Soul, What's Cooking, Totally Talented, Create Link Inspire, Clever Chicks, Try a New Recipe, Inspire Me, Tasty Tuesday, Full plate, Showcase Your Talent.

White Chocolate Almond Bars

2/3 cup flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
3/4 cup white chocolate chips
1/2 cup butter
3/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. almond extract
3/4 cup chopped slivered almonds

Mix flour, baking powder and salt until blended; set aside. Microwave chocolate and butter in large microwaveable bowl on high at 1 minute intervals, stirring between heatings, or until butter is melted; stir until chocolate is completely melted and mixture is well blended. Add sugar; mix well. Blend in eggs and extract. Add flour mixture; mix well. Stir in nuts. Line a 9-inch square pan with foil and spray it with cooking spray. Spread batter onto bottom of pan.

Bake 30 to 35 min. or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool completely. Use foil handles to lift dessert from pan before cutting into bars.

Recipe Source: Adapted from Kraft

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Cheesy Potatoes

This is comfort food at its finest. Potatoes nestled in a creamy, cheesy sauce, complemented by two kinds of onions. I served this with steak, but it would be great with any kind of pork, especially ham. Or chicken. Or as the main dish.

Another bonus: this can be made ahead - just remove from the fridge while you preheat the oven to help it come partially to room temperature.

Baby, it's cold outside, (only 1 degree here today!) so cuddle up with some cheesy potatoes!

Find more great ideas at Full Plate, Showcase Your Talent, Foodie Friday, Friday Flash, Friday Frenzy.

Cheesy Potatoes

3 pounds russet potatoes, peeled
3 Tbsp. butter
1/2 cup onion, diced small
1 clove garlic, minced
2-1/2 Tbsp. flour
1/2 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup milk
1 cup sour cream
4 green onions, sliced
3/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese

Roughly peel the potatoes, then dice into cubes. Add the cubed potatoes into a pot of cold water, bring to a boil and cook for 8 minutes. Remove and drain the potatoes into a colander set into a sink. Let the potatoes cool.

In a large skillet melt the butter and then add in the diced onions. Cook until just softened and add in the minced garlic. Cook for one minute.

Sprinkle in the flour and stir, cooking for 2-3 minutes. While stirring, pour in the broth and milk. Continue to stir until thick, about 5-8 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the sour cream.

In a large bowl, combine the cooled potatoes, onion and sour cream mixture, green onions, salt, pepper and cheese. Stir to combine and pour into a greased 9x13 baking dish.

Bake at 350 degree for 1 hour or until bubbly and lightly golden. Let cool for 10 minutes before serving.

Recipe Source: Adapted from Simply Scratch

Monday, January 5, 2015

Cranberry Eggnog Muffins

Do you have some leftover eggnog languishing in your fridge? If you do, you should make these muffins. And if you don't, you should go buy more. I love baking with cranberries, too, and I seem to always have a bag in the freezer. So, combine cranberries with eggnog, top it all off with a delicious streusel, and you have a great muffin for breakfast, coffee break, brunch, or any time of the day.

Cranberry Eggnog Muffins

Streusel Topping:
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
2 Tbsp. unsalted butter, softened

1 1/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter, melted
2 eggs
2/3 cup eggnog
1 tsp. vanilla
2 1/4 cups flour
1 Tbsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
1 1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh cranberries

In a large mixing bowl, combine sugar, melted butter, egg, eggnog and vanilla. Stir until well combined.

Add flour, baking powder, salt and nutmeg to the wet ingredients and stir just until incorporated. Fold the chopped cranberries into the batter, but do not overmix. Divide the batter evenly between the paper-lined muffin cups, filling them about two thirds of the way full.

To make the crumb topping, in a small mixing bowl, combine the flour, sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg; stir to combine. Using your fingers, cut the butter into the dry ingredients until a coarse, sandy mixture forms. Sprinkle the crumb mixture evenly on top of the muffin batter.

Bake at 400 for about 18-20 minutes, or a until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool in the pan for 5 minutes, before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. Makes 20-22 muffins

Recipe Source: Adapted from Lick the Bowl Good

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Countdown to 2015: Recipes I can't wait to try in 2015!

Today's category for the Countdown was "anything goes" so I decided to do a post on the recipes I can't wait to try. I pin A LOT of recipes, and I also make a lot of food, so here's hoping I get to these sooner rather than later in the New Year.

Happy New Year, Happy Cooking and Baking!

Creamy Shrimp Enchiladas

Thai Sweet-Chili Glazed Salmon

Spicy Chicken and Pepper Jack Pizza

Cherry Bread with Almond Glaze

Caramel Banana Cream Tiramisu

Cherry Almond Cake

Kahlua Brownies

Creamy Chive Potatoes

Lasagna Soup

Peanut Butter and Honey Ice Cream

Head on over to Fantastical Sharing of Recipes for more of "anything goes!"
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