Thursday, June 30, 2011

Macaroni Grill Focaccia Bread

I've actually only been to Macaroni Grill once... Was NOT a fan of what I got or my husband had, but we did fall in love with that bread. I found this recipe today and just HAD to have it for dinner tonight. Such an easy easy bread to make and it's simply delicious. At the restaurant they give you olive oil with freshly ground pepper and you can dip your bread in it. However, this bread is amazing as is. Goes great with any Italian meal. YUM!

Macaroni Grill Focaccia Bread

What You’ll Need:

  • 1 Tbsp yeast
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 c. warm water
  • 2 1/2 c. flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 Tbsp rosemary
  • 1 Tbsp butter


  1. Dissolve yeast, sugar, and water in the bowl of your stand mixer. Add butter, salt, and 2 c. flour. Mix together.
  2. Add rosemary and rest of the flour. Mix for 5 minutes. Then cover up the bowl and let the dough rise for 1 hour.
  3. Split the dough in half and put on a cookie sheet. Let it rise for another 30 minutes. Bake at 375 degrees for 15-20 minutes. Brush with some melted butter and enjoy!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Mulligatawny Soup

Mmmmm! Best soup I've had in a while! My mom actually made this for my husband and I last night. My husband doesn't like soup because he claims it doesn't ever fill him up. So my mom made the soup a little thicker (by not putting so much broth in) so that he could put it on top of even more rice. I love this!

Mulligatawny Soup

Mel's Kitchen Cafe

*Note: this recipe makes use of already cooked rice and chicken so plan accordingly!

*Serves 6-8

1 tablespoon olive oil
½ onion, chopped
1 cup chopped carrots, about 3 large carrots, peeled
1 cup thinly chopped celery, about 3 stalks
¼ cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons curry powder or 1 tablespoon hot curry powder
6 cups low-sodium chicken broth ½ Granny Smith or other tart apple, cored, peeled and chopped
2 cups cooked rice, white or brown
2 cups cooked, diced chicken, about 2 chicken breasts
1 teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon dried thyme
½ teaspoon black pepper
¾ cup whipping cream

In a large pot, heat the oil over medium heat until rippling and hot. Add the onion, carrots and celery, and cook, stirring often, until they are slightly softened, about 3-4 minutes. Stir in the flour and curry and cook for one minute, stirring constantly. Slowly whisk in the broth until well combined and bring the soup to a simmer. Cook at a low simmer, stirring occasionally, for 8-10 minutes. Add the chopped apple, rice, chicken, salt, thyme, and pepper. Simmer 8-10 minutes longer, stirring every now and then to prevent sticking, until the vegetables are tender. Add the cream, warm the soup through, and serve.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Crockpot Green Chili Chicken and Rice

Crockpot Green Chili Chicken and Rice with Blue Corn Chip Crumbles

3-4 large boneless skinless chicken breasts, thawed
2 cans 98% fat free Cream of Chicken soup
4 0z can chopped green chilies
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper
1/4 teaspoon Lawry’s garlic salt with parsley

6 Cups steamed rice of choice
Blue Corn Tortilla Chips, crumbled for garnish

1. Place chicken, soup, cumin, salt, pepper and garlic salt into crockpot on low. Let cook for 6-8 hours or until chicken is fork tender and falls apart easily. With 2 forks, shred chicken in the sauce and season with additional seasonings if desired. Spoon over bowls of rice then garnish with crumbled tortilla chips.

4 servings

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Gooey White Chocolate Fluffernutter Cake Bars

Gooey White Chocolate Fluffernutter Cake Bars
Recipe from: Picky-Palate
Photo's by: Yours truly :)

What a simple easy summer dessert (not to mention it's ridiculously delicious). The middle layer has an almost caramel like consistency and they travel great so they're perfect for summer picnic's (or for a day out on the boat ... where I'll be today :) ). Now lets get started!!

Here's our line up of ingredients: Yellow cake mix, egg, butter, marshmallow creme, peanut butter, sweetened condensed milk and white chocolate chips.

Add the cake mix, softened butter and egg to a large bowl and mix together to make the crust layer of your bars. They will be a thicker cookie dough like consistency. Press into a 9x13 inch pan. I like to line mine with parchment paper so that when it cools, I can just pull the whole sheet out and cut it.

It's time for the gooey fluffernutter center! Mix together your peanut butter, marshmallow creme and sweetened condensed milk into a large bowl, mixing to combine. This is what will turn into a caramel-like consistency once it's baked. Pour it over your pressed crust.

Pour a bag of white chocolate chips over the top and bake at 350 for 23-25 minutes. Let cook completely.

Gooey White Chocolate Fluffernutter Cake Bars

1 box yellow cake mix
1 large egg
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1/2 cup marshmallow creme
1 small can sweetened condensed milk
12 ounce bag white chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. and line a 9 x 13 inch baking dish with foil (I use parchment paper) and spray with cooking spray.

2. Place cake mix, egg and butter into a large bowl. Mix until well combined, will be the consistency of thick cookie dough. I used my hands towards the ends. Press dough into prepared baking pan.

3. Place peanut butter, marshmallow cremem and condensed milk into a large bowl and mix until well combined. Pour over crush then top with white chips. Bake for 23-25 minutes until cooked through. Center will see somewhat jiggly, but will set up while it cools.

4. Let cool completely, cut into squares and serve.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Pumpkin Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Okay I actually haven't made this recently. I came across this recipe last fall and then forgot where I found it and after a few months searching every blog I follow I finally found it. This seriously was the best pumpkin cake I have ever had. The cream cheese frosting is amazing too. It may not be fall yet, so all the pumpkin recipes aren't in season, but make it anyway. DELICIOUS!

Pumpkin Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
Recipe & Photo from Mrs. Harding Cooks

4 eggs
1 and 2/3 cup sugar
1 cup oil
1 (16 oz) can pumpkin
2 cup flour
2 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. nutmeg
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda

1 (8oz) package cream cheese
1/2 cup butter
1 tsp. vanilla
2-3 cups powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Mix the eggs, sugar, oil, vanilla, and pumpkin until smooth. Stir together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, and baking soda. Add the dry ingredients to the pumpkin mixture and mix at low speed until thoroughly combined and the batter is smooth.

Spread the batter in a greased 9 by 13 inch baking pan. Bake for 25-30 minutes. Let cool completely before frosting. {Or not! Who doesn't love warm cake and melty frosting?}

To make the icing: Combine the cream cheese and butter in a medium bowl with an electric mixer until smooth. Add the sugar and mix at low speed until smooth. Add the sugar and mix at low speed until combined. Stir in the vanilla and mix again. Spread on cooled pumpkin cake. {Or warm pumpkin cake!!}

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Chicken and Black Bean Green Enchilada Rice Bake

Chicken and Black Bean Green Enchilada Rice Bake

Yummy! This recipe is so FULL of flavor and super simple to make. (Thank goodness for the amazing Japanese rice cooker I have. What would I do without it?) Definitely was added to our weekly rotation. Need an easy meal? Here it is!

Ingredients: Sorry we're missing the chicken and rice here!

Chicken and Black Bean Green Enchilada Rice Bake

2 cups cooked white rice
2 1/2 cups cooked, shredded chicken breasts
One 15-ounce can mild (I used medium) green enchilada sauce
One 4- ounce can sliced black olives
One 15-ounce can diced tomatoes
1/2 cup sour cream
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp Cumin
One 15-ounce black beans, drained and rinsed
2 cups cheddar cheese

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and spray a 9x13-inch baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.

2. Cook rice according to package directions (or if you have a rice cooker, you're lucky like me :) ).

3. Place chicken, enchilada sauce, olives, tomatoes, sour cream, salt, pepper and cumin into a large bowl, mixing to combine. Pour cooked rice into prepared baking dish and layer beans on top of rice. Pour chicken mixture over rice and top evenly with cheddar cheese. Bake for 30-35 minutes, until cheese is melted and rice is hot.

Makes 6-8 servings.

Chocolate Fudge Peanut Butter Cookie Stuffed Cookies

Chocolate Fudge Peanut Butter Cookie Stuffed Cookies

Mmm. Try saying that three times fast. This is my first stuffed cookie that I've ever tried and boy was it a surprise! I found a blog that is LOADED with all sorts of stuffed cookies. I have yet to try a cookie because I have to earn it... After my workout tomorrow! BUT my husband says they're delicious! So give it a try!!

Recipe pulled from: Picky Palate

Chocolate Fudge Peanut Butter Cookie Stuffed Cookies

Peanut Butter Centers
1 cup creamy peanut butter
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 egg

2 sticks softened butter
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 Tbsp pure vanilla extract
1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking sode
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 1/2 cups chocolate chips
1 cup cocoa powder

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or a silpat liner.

2. Place peanut butter and sugar into a medium bowl, mix to combine then add egg, mixing until well combined. Set aside.

3. In a stand or electric mixer, beat butter and sugars until well combined. Add eggs and vanilla, beating until well combined.

4. Place flour, baking soda, and salt into a large bowl. Add to wet ingredients along with cocoa powder and chocolate chips, slowly mixing until just combined. With a medium cookie scoop, scoop two scoops of the chocolate dough and one small scoop of the peanut butter dough. Smash together and place about 1 inch apart from each other. Bake for 13-15 minutes, until cooked though. Let cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Cinnamon Roasted Almonds

Cinnamon Roasted Almonds
You know the almonds they sell at Christmas time at the mall? Mmmm! These taste just like them! Super easy to make too... so give it a try!! :)
1 lb of unsalted almonds
1 egg white
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup white sugar
1/2 tsp salt

Preheat the oven to 275 degrees. Line a baking sheet with a silpat mat or parchment paper.

Place the egg white and vanilla into a bowl and beat with a whisk until nice and foamy. (About 3-5 minutes with a hand mixer). Add almonds to the foam and toss to coat evenly.

Add the cinnamon, brown sugar, white sugar and salt together in another bowl and mix until well combined. Pour the sugar mixture onto the almonds and gently toss to coat evenly. Pour onto the baking sheet and place into the oven. Roast for 20 minutes then flip the almonds over with a spatula then continue roasting for another 20 minutes. Let them cool before eating. Enjoy!

Royal Icing

Okay so clearly this was my first time ever working with royal icing. Hopefully next time my cookies will look much better. I'm throwing a bridal shower for one of my best friends in July so I figured I'd better practice a couple times before the huge bash. Enjoy! :) (HERE is a great step-by-step)

Royal Icing

4 cups powdered sugar, sifted
2 tbsp. meringue powder (I found this at Michael's craft store in the baking section)
5 tbsp. water

Combine all ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on low speed until the sheen has disappeared and the icing has a matte appearance (about 7-10 minutes). Transfer the contents of the mixing bowl to an airtight container. This will be the stiffest consistency of the icing, and at this point it is still too stiff to use for decorating. Add water a very small amount at a time and stir by hand until fully incorporated. Continue until the icing has reached a consistency appropriate for piping. (Remember, if you are having any difficulty piping, it is still too thick. Add a little more water and try again.) Using a pastry bag, pipe around the edges of each cookie. Let stand so the icing will set. make sure to keep the leftover icing covered at all times when not in use so that it doesn't begin to harden.

Once all the cookies have been edged, transfer some of the remaining icing to a separate air-tight container. Thin out by incorporating a small amount of water at a time, until the icing drips off the spoon easily when lifted and then smooths in with that still in the bowl. If you go too far and the icing is too thin, add more sifted powdered sugar to thicken it again. Once the icing has reached the desired consistency , transfer it to a squeeze bottle (or plastic bag with a hole in one corner), and flood the area surrounded by the piping on each cookie. If it does not completely spread to the edges, use a toothpick to help it along. Allow to set.

Use remaining thick icing for piping decoration as desired. Gel icing color is best as it does not add a significant amount of liquid. Liquid food coloring can be used as well - add powdered sugar as needed to compensate for any thinning that occurs.
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