Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Homemade Protein Bars

Okay I stole this recipe from my cousin Lindsey and I'm so happy I did!! My husband is obsessed with protein so when I saw these, I knew he would love it if I made them. I actually halved this recipe because we're leaving out of town pretty soon so I didn't want to make what we wouldn't be able to eat. So whether you're a health nut or not, these are a must try! It feels like you're eating a no bake cookie but you're getting TONS of protein. YUM! :)


2 1/2 c. peanut butter (I like the natural kind because its runnier- i.e. Adams brand)
2 c. honey (I like the raw kind taste better) or agave
2 c. protein powder or powdered milk (I like the chocolate protein powder-makes it taste like no-bake cookies)
3-4 c. oats
1/4 c. wheat germ
2-4 Tbsp. ground flaxseed

Mix in bowl. Press onto a cookie sheet. Stays together better if placed in the fridge. Great healthy snack!! Enjoy!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Raspberry Filled Vanilla Cupcakes with Butter Cream Frosting

Okay I have not been much of a cupcake fan until TODAY. My cousin, Stephanie found these and we just HAD to try them. Cake part themselves... good. Raspberry filling... GREAT. Buttercream frosting... INCREDIBLE. This is my new go to cupcake recipe and I would recommend it to ANYONE.

French Vanilla Cupcakes

1 box Duncan Hines Moist Deluxe French Vanilla (this is my FAVORITE vanilla cake mix)

3 Large Eggs

1/2 cup butter, melted (use butter not me on this!)

1 cup of water


Melt the butter in the microwave.

Add cake mix, eggs and water to the butter in large bowl.

Mix on low for 1 min. Then mix on high for 1 min.

You will be amazed that your batter is nice and thick and creamy - not thin and runny like it is when you follow the box instructions.

Fill cupcake papers - tip: use an icecream scooper! - One scoop is just the right amount per cupcake!

Pop them in the oven on 350 for 20 minutes.

Let cool.

While the cupcakes are cooling, make the raspberry filling

Raspberry Filling
2 full cups frozen unsweetened raspberries, thaw with 1/4 cup sugar (or thaw sweetened raspberries with out adding sugar, unsweeted was what I had on hand)

1/3 cup sugar

1-1/4 cups water*

6 Tbsp flour (or 3 T. corn starch - I didn't have corn starch)

1 tsp lemon juice

In a medium sauce pan, combine water*, sugar
, flour and lemon juice and mix well. If there is any juice in your raspberries, drain the juice and add to water = 1-1/4 liquid. (I didn't have much juice at all, but if you by sweetened raspberries, they may yield more sauce.)

Heat and stir until mixture boils and thickens.

Cool completely.

Stir in thawed raspberries.

Yields approximately 2 cups of filling.
(I made 1/2 of this recipe because I didn't want to fill all of my cupcakes.)

Filling your cupcakes
  1. Bake cupcakes and cool completely
  2. Cut out a small cone shaped section in the center of the cupcake
  3. add raspberry filling to the hole
  4. replace the tops (just do the best you can- they don't have to be perfect)
  5. Now they are ready to frost.

Butter Cream Frosting
1 cup real butter (not margarine) *room temperature
1 cup vegetable shortening
pinch of salt
1 tsp vanilla
4 cups powdered (confectioners) sugar
1/4 - 1/3 cup heavy whipping cream
paste food coloring
Thoroughly cream butter and shortening . Beat in the vanilla. Add sugar, one cup at a time until blended. When the sugar is completely beaten in and the sides of the bowl are scraped down, add the whipping cream, beating at the highest speed until super fluffy, about one minute.

If you wish to add color to your frosting, like I did, use the gel paste food coloring. It's stronger and more vibrant. Add frosting to a pastry bag with your favorite tip and frost! I only filled 1/2 of my cupcakes, so I frosted the filled cupcakes in white frosting with sprinkles....the cupcakes with the pink and yellow frosting do not have filling.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cheesecake Bars

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cheesecake Bars
Brown-Eyed Baker

Yield: 16 bars

Prep Time: 30 minutes | Bake Time: 35 minutes | Chill Time: 2 hours

For the crust:
1½ cups graham cracker crumbs (from about 8 whole graham crackers)
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

For the cookie dough:
5 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled
1/3 cup light brown sugar
¼ cup all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
¾ cup semisweet chocolate chips

For the cheesecake filling:
10 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
¼ cup granulated sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the chocolate drizzle:
1/3 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 teaspoon vegetable shortening

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Lightly grease an 8×8-inch baking pan, line with parchment paper, and butter the parchment paper; set aside.

2. Stir together the graham cracker crumbs and melted butter until the crumbs are evenly moistened. Press the crumb mixture into the bottom of the pan. Bake for 6 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool on a wire rack.

3. To make the cookie dough, stir together the butter and sugar until smooth. Stir in the flour, then the vanilla and chocolate chips. Refrigerate until firm (about 30 minutes), and then roll teaspoon-sized ball of the dough and place on a plate, and refrigerate plate of cookie dough balls while you prepare the cheesecake filling.

4. Beat together the cream cheese and sugar on medium speed until smooth, scraping the bowl as needed. Add the egg and vanilla extract, beating until thoroughly combined.

5. Remove the cookie dough balls from the refrigerator and toss with 1 teaspoon of flour. Drop into the cheesecake filling and mix together. Pour the filling into the cooled crust, coaxing the filling into corners and sides. Bake for about 30 minutes, or until the cheesecake filling is set and doesn’t jiggle. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours.

6. Using the parchment paper as handles, lift the bars out of the pan and place on a cutting board. Cut into squares. Combine the chocolate chips and shortening in a small bowl and microwave for 1 minute at 50% power and stir until smooth. Drizzle over the bars and allow to set for about 20 minutes. Store leftovers in the refrigerator.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Indian Butter Chicken

Mmmm!! I grew up in Tokyo where you could get any cuisine you could possibly imagine. Indian is for sure one of my top three favorites. DELICIOUS and a definite must try.

Indian Butter Chicken
Mels Kitchen Cafe

Note: I lightened up the recipe using fat free half-and-half in place of the heavy cream. If you don’t want to buy a special ingredient and have heavy cream (or regular half-and-half) on hand, they will both work just fine.

*Serves 6

1 medium yellow onion, peeled and diced
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 jalapeƱo, seeded, and finely chopped
1 tablespoon olive or canola oil
2 teaspoons garam masala
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon cardamom
1/2 teaspoon coriander
1 can (6 oz.) tomato paste
2 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup fat free half-and-half
1 1/2 pounds (about 2-3) boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 3/4-inch chunks
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons butter

Hot cooked rice for serving
Chopped fresh cilantro for extra garnish

In a large 12-inch skillet, heat the oil over medium heat until hot. Add the onion, ginger and jalapeno. Stir often while cooking until the onion is translucent, about 4-5 minutes. Stir in garlic, garam masala, chili powder, cardamom, and coriander. Cook stirring, constantly for another minute.

Scrape the mixture into a blender or food processor and add tomato paste and chicken broth. Blend until the mixture is smooth. Pour the sauce back into the skillet and add the half and half. Bring the mixture to a simmer over medium heat and add the chicken pieces and the salt and pepper. Stir. Keep the sauce at a simmer, stirring occasionally, and cook for 10-15 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through and the sauce has slightly thickened.

Cut remaining 3 tablespoons butter into chunks and stir into the sauce until melted. Serve the chicken and sauce over hot rice. Garnish with fresh, chopped cilantro, if desired.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Best Sloppy Joes

The Best Sloppy Joes
Mel's Kitchen Cafe

2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 onions roughly chopped
2 ½ pounds ground beef
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2/3 cup smoky BBQ sauce (or whatever BBQ sauce is in your fridge)
½ cup ketchup
¼ cup Worcestershire sauce
¼ cup soy sauce
Freshly ground black pepper
8 to 12 potato rolls

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring, until they start to turn translucent, about 4 minutes. Add the beef and cook, stirring and breaking up the meat, until it is finely crumbled, the liquid boils off and the meat begins to brown, about 10 minutes. Drain the grease off the meat and onions. Stir in the tomato paste, and keep stirring until the meat is coated. Add the BBQ sauce, ketchup, Worcestershire, soy sauce, and pepper, and bring to a boil. Cook until the sauce is slightly thickened, 4 to 5 minutes. You can make the sloppy joe meat up to 2 days in advance and reheat it over low heat or in the microwave.

Wrap the rolls in aluminum foil and warm in the oven for about 10 minutes. Serve the sloppy joes hot with the warmed rolls.

*Freezable Meals: The leftover sloppy joes can be frozen. I store it in a freezer-safe container and then thaw in the refrigerator prior to serving. I reheat on medium-low heat in a saucepan on the stove.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bread

Every time I make a bread it ALWAYS ends up sunken in the middle because I pull it out when it looks done and 2 hours later I see that it wasn't. Well, this bread was different. I put it in for the amount of time the recipe says (like I normally do) and it actually came out PERFECT. I did add just a little bit more chocolate chips than it calls for because you can never have too much chocolate right? :) ENJOY!

Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bread
My Baking Addiction


3 cups white sugar
1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin puree
1 cup vegetable oil
2/3 cup water
4 eggs
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons ground nutmeg
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) grease and flour three 9×5 inch loaf pans. (I used 2 9×5 loaf pans and 4 mini pans)
2. In a large bowl, combine sugar, pumpkin, oil, water, vanilla and eggs. Beat until smooth. Blend in flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda, and salt. Fold in chocolate chips.
3. Bake for 1 hour, or until an inserted knife comes out clean. Cool on wire racks before removing from cans or pans.

Hiroshima-Style Okonomiyaki

Okay so let me first start by saying that regardless of how this looks in the picture, I PROMISE you this is amazing. It is my absolute FAVORITE Japanese dish. I so wish there were places here in Utah that served it. The ingredients you can't find at a normal grocery store can be found at an Asian food market. Enjoy! I would love to hear from any of you that try this to see what you think. :)

For step-by-step instructions (with pictures), CLICK HERE
Hiroshima-Style Okonomiyaki
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup dashi soup or water
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 cups finely chopped cabbage
  • 2 cups bean sprouts
  • 12 pieces thinly sliced pork
  • 4 packages pre-steamed chucka noodles for yakisoba
  • Seasonings:
  • yakisoba sauce or salt
  • okonomiyaki sauce or Worcestershire sauce
  • Toppings:
  • chopped green onion
  • aonori (dried seaweed powder)
Mix flour and dashi soup stock to make okonomiyaki batter. Heat and oil a large skillet or iron plate. Spread a scoop of the batter into a thin round over the pan. Place a handful of cabbage and bean sprouts on top of the batter. Place pork slices on top of the vegetables. Pour some okonomiyaki batter over the ingredients. Flip the okonomiyaki over with spatulas. Cook it on low heat until meats and vegetables are cooked. Meanwhile, fry yakisoba noodles on the side and lightly season with okonomiyaki sauce or salt as you like. Replace okonomiyaki with spatulas on top of yakisoba noodles and press on the top firmly. Fry an egg on the side an break the egg york with spatula. Replace the okonomiyaki on top of the fried egg and again press on the top firmly. Serve the okonomiyaki on a plate with the egg side up. Repeat this process to make more okonomiyaki. Spread okonomiyaki sauce or Worcestershire sauce and mayonnaise on the okonomiyaki. Sprinkle chopped green onion and ao-nori (dried seaweed powder) on the top.
*Makes 4 servings
*I don't use the dried seaweed powder because ... I think it's gross.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Oreo Cookie Balls

This is probably the easiest dessert recipe ever with only 3 ingredients! Great for parties or for home :)



  • 1 pound chocolate sandwich cookies, crushed
  • 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  • 1 pound vanilla-flavored candy coating, melted (I use white almond bark)


In a large mixing bowl, combine crushed cookies and cream cheese to form a stiff dough. Roll into balls and dip with a fork in melted candy coating. Let rest on waxed paper until set.


- I use my food processor to crush up the oreos very fine so you don't have any chunks.
- Some almond barks take longer to set, you may want to place them in a pan to put in the fridge for 10-15 minutes. I don't like them cold, but it depends on the person.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Frank's Red Hot Chicken Salad

Frank's Red Hot Chicken Salad
submitted by Erin ~

12 oz bottle Frank's Red Hot Sauce (Original, cayenne pepper sauce)
1 bag of chicken breasts (3 lb)

tortilla chips
shredded cheese
homemade guacamole
ranch or bleu cheese salad dressing (I like to use the creamy tomatillo dressing from the cafe rio recipe below.)

Dump bag of frozen chicken breasts in the crockpot. Pour bottle of hot sauce over chicken. Cook on Low for 7 or 8 hours. At dinner time, take breasts out of the liquid and shred. Serve on a bed of tortilla chips along with other ingredients. YUM!

In case you need a visual, this is what the bottle of Franks Red Hot Sauce looks like:

Friday, April 1, 2011

Thin Mint Pie

Thin Mint Pie

Baking Addiction
yield | 8 servings

45 Thin Mint Cookies, divided use
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, melted
1 pkg. (8 oz.) cream cheese, room temperature
1/3 cup sugar
8 ounces thawed Cool Whip Topping

1. Place 24 Thin Mints into the bowl of a food processor and pulse until the cookies have been crushed into fine crumbs; mix with butter until well blended.
2. Press firmly onto bottom and up sides of 9-inch pie plate. Refrigerate crust while preparing filling.
3. Coursely chop the remaining (21) cookies; set aside. Beat cream cheese and sugar in medium bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add chopped cookies and whipped topping; folding gently until well blended. Spoon into prepared crust.
4. Refrigerate at least 2 hours or until firm. Garnish with whipped topping and additional cookie crumbs.

Pie will store covered in the refrigerator for up to two days.

If you don’t have access to Thin Mints, Mint or Plain Oreos can be substituted.
Recipe adapted from Kraft.

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