Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Individual Seven-Layer Tostadas

1 can (16 oz.) refried pinto beans (or usehomemade refried 
1 1/2 cups guacamole (purchased orhomemade guacamole)
1 cup light sour cream
1/2 tsp. Kalyn's Taco Seasoning Mix (or use your favorite Taco Seasoning)
1 cup finely grated low-fat cheese such as Four Cheese Mexican Blend (or more if you like a lot of cheese)
1 cup chopped tomatoes
1/2 cup thinly sliced green onions
1/2 cup sliced black olives (or use a 4 oz. can sliced olives)
6-8 flour tortillas, 6 or 8 inch inch size
olive oil for greasing baking sheet, about 1 tsp. 

Place a baking sheet inside the oven or toaster oven and let it get hot while you preheat oven to 450F/230C, about 10 minutes.  Carefully remove baking sheet, drizzle a tiny bit of olive oil on it and spread around with a paper towel, and put flour tortillas on the baking sheet.  Toast tortillas in the oven until they're crisp and barely starting to brown, turning several times.  This will take less than 5 minutes so watch them carefully.

While tortillas are crisping, put the refried beans in a bowl, stir to break them apart, and microwave 2-3 minutes, or until they're hot.  Stir the Taco Seasoning Mix into the sour cream.  Chop the onions, slice green onions, and slice the olives.  (If you're using homemade guacamole and cheese that needs to be grated you'll need to prepare those as well.)

Put crisped tortilla shell on a plate and top with:
--a thin layer of refried beans (1-2 tablespoons)
--a thin layer of guacamole (1-2 tablespoons)
--a thin layer of seasoned sour cream (1-2 tablespoons)
--several generous pinches of finely grated low-fat cheese
--chopped tomatoes
--thinly sliced green onions
--sliced olives

Serve right away, with salsa or hot sauce if desired.  You can keep the topping ingredients in the fridge and crisp more tortillas later to use any leftovers.

Recipe found HERE

Monday, January 30, 2012

Chocolate Chip Cheesecake Dip

Chocolate Chip Cheesecake Dip
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup miniature chocolate chips
Graham cracker sticks or teddy grahams
In a small bowl, beat together cream cheese and butter until smooth. Add sugars and vanilla. Stir in chocolate chips. Refrigerate until ready to eat. Serve with graham cracker sticks or teddy grahams.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Red Velvet Cookies with White Chocolate Chunks

Red Velvet Cookies with White Chocolate Chunks
  • 1 box of Red Velvet Cake Mix
  • 1 cup of All-Purpose Flour
  • 2 sticks of softened butter
  • 1 egg
  • 2 cups of White Chocolate Chunks
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a mixing bowl, add butter and mix until soft and fluffy.  Slowly add cake mix and flour. Once combined, add egg and mix completely.  Add white chocolate chunks, and mix for a minute or so until well combined.  Form dough into one inch balls, and place into the oven for 8-10 minutes. {Yields about 24 small cookies.}
Recipe found HERE

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Homemade Samoas Bars

Samoas Bars
Homemade Samoas Bars
Cookie Base:
1/2 cup sugar
3/4 cup butter, softened
1 large egg
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups all purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt
First, make the crust.
Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly grease a 9×13-inch baking pan, or line with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, cream together sugar and butter, until fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla extract. Working at a low speed, gradually beat in flour and salt until mixture is crumbly, like wet sand. The dough does not need to come together. Pour crumbly dough into prepapred pan and press into an even layer.
Bake for 20-25 minutes, until base is set and edges are lightly browned. Cool completely on a wire rack before topping.
3 cups shredded coconut (sweetened or unsweetened)
12-oz good-quality chewy caramels
1/4 tsp salt
3 tbsp milk
10 oz. dark or semisweet chocolate (chocolate chips are ok)
Preheat oven to 300. Spread coconut evenly on a parchment-lined baking sheet (preferably one with sides) and toast 20 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes, until coconut is golden. Cool on baking sheet, stirring occasionally. Set aside.
Unwrap the caramels and place in a large microwave-safe bowl with milk and salt. Cook on high for 3-4 minutes, stopping to stir a few times to help the caramel melt. When smooth, fold in toasted coconut with a spatula.
Put dollops of the topping all over the shortbread base. Using the spatula, spread topping into an even layer. Let topping set until cooled.
When cooled, cut into 30 bars with a large knife or a pizza cutter (it’s easy to get it through the topping).
Once bars are cut, melt chocolate in a small bowl. Heat on high in the microwave in 45 second intervals, stirring thoroughly to prevent scorching. Dip the base of each bar into the chocolate and place on a clean piece of parchment or wax paper. Transfer all remaining chocolate (or melt a bit of additional chocolate, if necessary) into a piping bag or a ziploc bag with the corner snipped off and drizzle bars with chocolate to finish.
Let chocolate set completely before storing in an airtight container.
Makes 30 bar cookies.
Recipe found HERE

Friday, January 27, 2012

Cheddar Bay Bisquits

Cheddar Bay Biscuits

2 1/2 cups Bisquick
4 Tbsp cold butter
1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
3/4 cup milk
1/4 tsp garlic powder

Butter Glaze:
3 Tbsp butter
1/2 tsp garlic powder
3/4 tsp dried parsley flakes

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Lightly grease or line one cookie sheet with parchment; set aside.

Combine Bisquick with cold butter in a medium bowl using a pastry cutter (I just used 2 forks). Don't worry about mixing too thoroughly; there will be small chunks of butter in the mix about the size of peas. Add cheddar cheese, milk, and garlic powder. Mix by hand until combined, but don't over mix.

Drop 1/4 cup portions of the dough onto the lightly greased or parchment lined cookie sheet. Bake for 13-15 minutes in preheated oven until the tops of the biscuits begin to turn light brown.

While the biscuits are baking, melt butter is a small bowl in the microwave. Stir in garlic powder and dried parsley flakes. Use a brush to spread the garlic butter over the tops of all the biscuits. Sprinkle a little kosher salt on the freshly coated biscuits. Makes one dozen.

Need to use up some zucchini? Grate a small zucchini, about 3/4 cup. Strain the grated zucchini in a cheesecloth or some paper towels to get rid of the excess moisture. Add the grated zucchini to the biscuit batter when you add the cheese and milk.

Recipe found HERE

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Rice Krispie Hearts

Great idea for Valentines Day!

These are a fun idea for anyone who loves Rice Krispies. They are also nice and easy to make like the marshmallow pops and cookie pops. Check out the recipe here!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Homemade Pretzel Bites

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Homemade Soft Pretzel Bites


Soft Pretzels:
1 1/2 cups warm water
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
1 package active dry yeast
3 ounces unsalted butter, melted
2 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
4 1/2 to 5 cups all-purpose flour
Vegetable oil
3 quarts water
3/4 cup baking soda
1 whole egg, beaten with 1 tablespoon cold water
Coarse sea salt
For the cheese sauce:
½ Tablespoon unsalted butter
½ Tablespoon all-purpose flour
½ cup milk
8 ounces Cheddar cheese, grated


For the Pretzels: Combine the water, sugar, yeast, and butter in the bowl of a stand mixer and mix with the dough hook until combined. Let sit for 5 minutes.
Add the salt and flour and mix on low speed until combined. Increase the speed to medium and continue kneading until the dough is smooth and begins to pull away from the side of the bowl, about 3 to 4 minutes. If the dough appears too wet, add additional flour, 1 tablespoon at a time. Remove the dough from the bowl, place on a flat surface and knead into a ball with your hands.
Oil a bowl with vegetable oil, add the dough and turn to coat with the oil. Cover with a clean towel or plastic wrap and place in a warm spot until the dough doubles in size, about 1 hour.
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
Bring the water to a boil in a small roasting pan over high heat and add the baking soda.
Remove the dough from the bowl and place on a flat surface. Divide the dough into 8 equal pieces, about 4 1/4 to 4 1/2 ounces each. Roll each piece into a long rope measuring 22 inches and shape. Cut the dough into one inch pieces to make the pretzel bites. Boil the pretzel bites in the water solution in batches. We did about 15 bites at a time. Boil for about 30 seconds. Remove with a large slotted spoon. Place pretzel bites on a baking sheet that has been sprayed with cooking spray. Make sure they are not touching. Brush the tops with the egg wash and season liberally with the salt. Place into the oven and bake for 15 to 18 minutes until golden brown.
Remove to a baking rack and let rest 5 minutes before eating. Serve with cheese sauce.
To make the cheese sauce:
Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the flour and cook 1 minute. Whisk in the milk and cook until slightly thickened. Remove from heat and stir in the Cheddar cheese until smooth and all of the cheese is melted. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
*If you want to make cinnamon and sugar pretzel bites-instead of adding salt, sprinkle the bites with cinnamon and sugar. For the frosting mix-soft cream cheese-about 3 T, powdered sugar, a teaspoon of vanilla extract, and a little bit of milk. Whisk together. Add more milk if it is too thick, if it is too thin, add more powdered sugar. I don't measure. I just guess until the consistency is right.*
Recipe makes a lot of bites-perfect for sharing!

Recipe found HERE 

Monday, January 23, 2012

Overnight French Toast

Overnight French Toast Casserole


Recipe found HERE

  • 1/4 cup (4 Tablespoons) butter, melted
  • 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 loaf brioche or challah (French toast can also be sliced 1 1/2 inches thick)
  • 8 eggs, slightly beaten
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 cup pecans, measured then chopped
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • (optional) maple syrup and powdered sugar for topping


  1. 11In a small bowl combine brown sugar and melted butter and pour on the bottom of a 9x13 baking dish.
  2. 22Arrange slices of bread in the baking dish overlapping if necessary.
  3. 33Combine milk, eggs, vanilla, salt, cinnamon, and ginger in a bowl and pour evenly over bread slices.
  4. 44Sprinkle chopped pecans over bread slices.
  5. 55Wrap tightly with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for 4-12 hours.
  6. 66In the morning, take the casserole out of the fridge for at least 10 minutes while you are preheating your oven to 350 degrees.
  7. 77Bake casserole for 30-35 minutes. If top starts browning too quickly place a foil loosely over the top of the casserole for the last 10 minutes or so. You want it to cook long enough to make sure the bottom part is cooked but don't dry it out completely.
  8. 88Remove casserole from oven and let it cool slightly before serving. Serve with a dusting of powdered sugar and a drizzle of maple syrup.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cereal Bars

  • cups Chocolate Cheerios® cereal
  • 3/4 cup raisins
  • 3/4 cup salted peanuts
  • cup corn syrup
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup milk chocolate chips
  1. Spray 13x9-inch pan with cooking spray. In large bowl, combine cereal, raisins and peanuts; set aside.
  2. In 2-quart saucepan, combine corn syrup and sugars. Heat to boiling over medium heat, stirring constantly; remove from heat. Stir in peanut butter.
  3. Pour peanut butter mixture over cereal mixture; mix until thoroughly coated. Spread evenly in pan.
  4. In small microwavable bowl, microwave chocolate chips on High 1 minute, stirring every 15 seconds, until melted and smooth. Drizzle over bars. Refrigerate 15 minutes or until chocolate is set.

Recipe found HERE

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Peanut Butter Chocolate Bars

Peanut Butter Chocolate Bars
Found HERE
1 (18.25) package plain yellow cake mix
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 cup creamy peanut butter
2 eggs
1 (12 oz) package semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
2 Tablespoons butter
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 cup coconut (optional)

1) Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
2) Combine cake mix, melted butter, peanut butter, and eggs in a large bowl using a mixer or spoon. Press this into a 9X13 pan reserving 1 1/2 cup of the mixture to crumble on top.
3) In a small pot, melt chocolate chips, sweetened condensed milk, and butter. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla and coconut.
4) Spread chocolate mixture over the mixture pressed in the pan and then crumble the 1 1/2 cups of reserved cake mixture on top evenly.
5) Bake for 20-25 minutes. Cool completely before cutting into bars.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Peanut Butter "Cheese Ball"

Peanut Butter "Cheese Ball"
Recipe found HERE

1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, at room temperature
1 cup powdered sugar 
3/4 cup creamy peanut butter (not all-natural) 
3 tablespoons packed brown sugar 
3/4 cup milk chocolate chips
3/4 cup peanut butter chips
Graham cracker sticks, teddy grahams, and/or apple slices for dipping

Beat cream cheese, powdered sugar, peanut butter and brown sugar in large mixer bowl until blended. 

Spoon onto a large piece of plastic wrap; bring up all four corners and twist tightly forming into a ball shape.

Freeze for 1 hour 30 minutes or until firm enough to keep its shape. Place peanut butter and chocolate chips in flat dish. Remove plastic wrap from ball and roll ball into morsels to completely cover, pressing morsels into the ball if necessary.

Place ball on serving dish; cover and freeze for 2 hours or until almost firm. (Can be made ahead. If frozen overnight, thaw at room temperature for 20 to 30 minutes before serving.) Serve with graham cracker sticks, teddy grahams, or apple slices for dipping or spreading.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Cheddar Bacon Ranch Pull

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1 unsliced loaf of (round is preferable) sourdough bread
8-12 oz cheddar cheese, thinly sliced
3 oz bag Oscar Mayer Real Bacon bits
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 Tbsp Ranch dressing mix

Using a sharp bread knife cut the bread going both directions. Do not cut through the bottom crust. Place slices of cheese in between cuts. Sprinkle bacon bits on bread, making sure to get in between cuts. Mix together butter and Ranch dressing mix. Pour over bread. Wrap in foil the entire loaf in foil and place on a baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes. Unwrap. Bake for an additional 10 minutes, or until cheese is melted.

Recipe found HERE

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

White Chicken Enchiladas

White Chicken Enchiladas

Chicken enchiladas with green chili sour cream sauce
*These are seriously so so good*
10 soft taco shells
2 cups cooked, shredded chicken
2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese
3 Tbsp. butter
3 Tbsp. flour
2 cups chicken broth
1 cup sour cream
1 (4 oz) can diced green chillies

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease a 9x13 pan
2. Mix chicken and 1 cup cheese.  Roll up in tortillas and place in pan.
3. In a sauce pan, melt butter, stir in flour and cook 1 minute.  Add broth and whisk until smooth.  Heat over medium heat until thick and bubbly.  
4. Stir in sour cream and chilies.  Do not bring to boil, you don't want curdled sour cream.
5. Pour over enchiladas and top with remaining cheese.
6. Bake 22 min and then under high broil for 3 min to brown the cheese.