Sunday, December 9, 2012

Over the Top Lemon Drop Candy Cookies

By far the BEST cookie out there.  There is a store by my work called Over the Top Cookies and their lemon is simply amazing.  I had to do a search for a copycat and this did not disappoint!  It's definitely a new favorite around our home.  The original recipe says bake 10-12 minutes, but that was way too long.  I baked for about 8-9 for a nice chewy cookie.  ENJOY!

Over the Top Lemon Drop Candy Cookies

3 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup unsalted butter
1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest
1 1/3 cups sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon lemon extract
1 (4 ounce) package lemon drop candies, crushed

1 1/2 cup powdered sugar
3 tablespoons lemon juice

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Mix flour, baking soda and salt; set aside.

Put sugar and lemon zest in the bowl of an electric mixer.  Mix on medium speed 30 seconds.  Add butter; mix until pale and fluffy, about 1 minute.  Mix in eggs one at a time; add vanilla and lemon extract.  Gradually add flour mixture, and mix until just combined.  Stir in crushed lemon drop candies.

Roll into 1-inch balls, flatten slightly and bake on parchment-lined baking sheet for 8-9 minutes until edges start to brown and center is almost set.  Let cool slightly on pan 1-2 minutes transfer cookies to cooling racks; let cool completely. (I put glaze on after I transferred.  It flowed over the whole cookie easier).

Make glaze by mixing powdered sugar with lemon juice; then spread over cookie tops.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Garlicky Roasted Asparagus

Garlicky Roasted Asparagus

Martha Stewart

  • 2 pounds asparagus, trimmed
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced  (I minced mine)
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. On a large rimmed baking sheet, toss asparagus with oil and garlic; season with salt and pepper. Roast until tender and browned in spots, 15 to 18 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Amazing Pineapple Cutter

Sorry, this isn't a recipe of any sort, but I had to share!!  Let me just throw it out there that I never used to buy pineapples because of how annoying they are to cut.  I came across this amazing tool and now I buy one almost every week.  By far the most genius invention ever.  Click HERE for the link or go to your closest Williams Sonoma.

Chicken Tikka Masala -- THIS IS IT!!

Chicken Tikka Masala – This is IT!

Chew Out Loud

RECIPE (4-6)
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts – dried well, pounded evenly flat
1 cup plain (unsweetened) whole milk yogurt
2 TB vegetable oil
2 tsp ground ginger
1 TB ground garlic
3 TB vegetable oil
1 onion, finely chopped
6 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp grated fresh ginger (peeled)
1/4 tsp chili powder
2 TB garam masala
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground tumeric
1 TB tomato paste
1 (28 oz) can crushed tomatoes, undrained
2 tsp sugar
2/3 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
dashes of kosher salt to taste
For the Chicken:
Combine salt, cumin, coriander, and cayenne in small bowl.  Sprinkle both sides of dry, evenly-pounded chicken with spice mixture, pressing in so mixture sticks.  Place chicken in single layer and set aside.  Whisk yogurt, oil, ginger, and garlic together in large bowl and set aside.
For the Sauce (can be made a day or two before, without chicken):
Heat oil in large heavy pot over medium heat.  Add onion and cook until golden, about 8 minutes.  Add garlic, ginger, tomato paste, and cook about 3 minutes.  Add the rest of sauce ingredients and bring to boil.  Reduce to medium low, cover, and simmer 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Lastly, stir in cream and return to simmer a few minutes.  Remove from heat and cover to keep warm.
While sauce is keeping warm, place oven rack 6 inches from heat broiler.  Dip chicken well into yogurt mixture, coating with thick layer of yogurt.  Arrange each piece on wire rack lined with aluminum foil.  Broil chicken about 5-9 minutes, flip over halfway, and broil another 5-9 minutes.  The exterior will be lightly browned in spots.
Let chicken rest 5 minutes.  Cut into bite size chunks and stir into warm sauce when ready to eat.  Do not simmer chicken in the sauce.  If sauce needs warming, warm it up first and then toss the chicken in when ready to serve.  Lastly, season with kosher salt to taste, toss in fresh cilantro, and serve immediately over Basmati rice.

Coconut Lime Chicken with Chiles

Since I grew up in Tokyo I love the asian dishes.  This was delicious!  It was a little more on the sweeter side so next time I make it I think I'm going to try to find a way to add some spice.  But definitely a great meal for those of you that love the asian style but without the spice!

Coconut Lime Chicken with Chiles

Meal Planning 101

1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch cubes
3 cloves garlic, minced
1-2 tsp curry powder
1 14 oz can light or regular coconut milk
1 4 oz. can diced green chiles
Zest and juice of 1 lime
1/4 cup green onion, chopped
2 tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped (optional)

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add the chicken and garlic and cook until golden brown on all sides, about 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the curry powder and cook, stirring for 1 minute, until it is fragrant. Add the coconut milk, chiles, lime juice and zest, bring to a simmer, and simmer until the chicken is just cooked through, about 5 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Remove from the heat, stir in the green onions and cilantro.  Serve over rice.

Cheesy Broccoli Orzo

This is a delicious side dish.  Goes great with chicken!  When I made this I didn't have plain cheddar cheese.  I had the huge Costco mix of cheddar and monterey jack.  It still turned out great, but I think it would have been better with sharp cheddar cheese.  I will definitely be using it next time.  Also, I followed the directions on the box of orzo.  The three minutes was not long enough for the kind of pasta I bought. Anyway, ENJOY!  PS- sorry it's been a while :)

Cheesy Broccoli Orzo

Serves 3-4
1 cup orzo
1-1/2 cups chopped broccoli florets
1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
2 Tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
1 Tablespoon butter
1/4-1/2 cup 2% milk
Add orzo to a large pot of salted boiling water. Cook for 3 minutes then add chopped broccoli and cook for 2 more minutes, or until orzo is tender. Drain well (broccoli florets are notorious for holding onto water) then return to the pot. Add cheeses, butter, and 1/4 cup milk then stir well and add more milk if needed. Season with salt to taste.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Pumpkin Spice Pancakes

Pumpkin Spice Pancakes
Recipe and photo from HERE

1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 tbsp. brown sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
Dash of ground ginger
Dash of ground cloves
1 cup milk
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
1 large egg
2 tbsp vegetable oil or melted butter

In a medium mixing bowl, combine the flour, brown sugar, baking powder, salt and spices and stir with fork to combine.  Mix together the milk, pumpkin puree, egg and oil/butter in a smaller bowl.  Add wet ingredients to the dry and whisk together until just combined.  The batter may still have a few lumps -- that's okay!

Greese with pam or butter and finish making on your griddle!   Serve with cinnamon sugar, maple syrup, and/or whipped cream.

YUM!  Reminds me of Thanksgiving. :)

Monday, July 23, 2012

Chicken Enchiladas with Avocado Cream Sauce

Chicken Enchiladas with Avocado Cream Sauce
Photo and Recipe from HERE

Enchilada Ingredients:
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium white or yellow onion, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 2 poblano peppers stemmed and thinly sliced. (The ones I found were HUGE so I only used 1)
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, finely diced
  • 8-10 flour tortillas
  • 4 cups shredded cooked chicken
  • 2-3 cups Monterrey Jack cheese
  • optional garnish: fresh cilantro, sour cream, and/or shredded cheese
Avocado Cream Sauce Ingredients:
  • 2 Tbsp. butter
  • 2 Tbsp. flour
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 3/4 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 2 California avocados, peeled and pitted
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • Juice of one lime
First make the avocado cream sauce: Melt the butter in a skillet over medium high heat.  Add the flour, whisking until golden and bubbly, about 2-3 minutes.  Slowly whisk the broth into the flower mixture.  Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 5 minutes.  Stir in sour cream, cumin, salt, garlic powder and pepper, whisking if necessary to remove any lumps.  Remove from heat and transfer misture to a blender or food processor.  Add avocados, cilantro and lime juice, and pulse until smooth and well-blended.  (Be very careful blending hot liquids -- the heat will expand!  So be sure to remove the lid occasionally so that the heat can escape.  Season with additional salt or pepper if needed.

In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium-high heat.  Add onion, poblano and jalapeño, and saute for 5-6 minutes until the onions are cooked and translucent.  Remove from heat.

To assemble the enchiladas, place a tortilla on a flat surface.  Spread a tablespoon or two of the avocado sauce down the middle of the tortilla.  Then layer on some of the vegetable mixture, shredded chicken and cheese.  Carefully roll the tortilla and place it seam side down in the baking dish.  Repeat with the remaining tortillas.  Drizzle the top with about half of the remaining avocado cream sauce, then cover the dish with foil and bake for about 20 minutes, or until tortillas are heated through and begin to harden.

Remove from oven, then serve individual enchiladas drizzled with remainder of the avocado cream sauce.  You can also garnish with additional cilantro, cheese, and/or sour cream.

Lemon Poppy Seed Pancakes

Lemon Poppy Seed Pancakes
Photo & Recipe from

2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/3 cup sugar
pinch of salt
1/3 cup poppy seeds
zest of 4 lemons (I only used 2 because I don't really like the chunks of peel. then I squeezed a little extra juice from the lemon)
2 cups buttermilk
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 Tablespoons butter, melted.

Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt in a large bowl.  In another bowl the buttermilk, eggs, butter, lemon zest and poppy seeds.  Add the wet to the dry.  Stir all ingredients until they are just combined.  Don't worry if the batter is a bit lumpy, you don't want to over mix.  Heat skillet, pan or griddle to medium-hot and brush with butter or pam.  Pour about 1/3 cup batter and wait until pancake bottom is deep golden in color then flip with spatula and cook other side until golden and cooked through.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Red Lobster's Cheddar Biscuits
ABC News

Yummy!  You guys HAVE to try this.  We go to Red Lobster just for these biscuits and now we don't have to.  These seriously taste JUST like them.  Enjoy! :)  PS- They're really only good when they first come out of the oven so plan accordingly.


 2 ½ cups Bisquick baking mix
 ¾ cup cold whole milk
 4 tablespoons cold butter (1/2 stick)
 ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
 1 heaping cup grated cheddar cheese

Bush on Top:

 2 tablespoons butter, melted
 ¼ teaspoon dried parsley flakes
 ½ teaspoon garlic powder
 pinch salt


1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
2. Combine Bisquick with cold butter in a medium bowl using a pastry cutter or a large fork. You don't want to mix too thoroughly. There should be small chunks of butter in there that are about the size of peas. Add cheddar cheese, milk, and ¼ teaspoon garlic. Mix by hand until combined, but don't over mix.
3. Drop approximately ¼-cup portions of the dough onto an ungreased cookie sheet using an ice cream scoop.
4. Bake for 15 to 17 minutes or until the tops of the biscuits begin to turn light brown.
5. When you take the biscuits out of the oven, melt 2 tablespoons butter is a small bowl in your microwave. Stir in ½ teaspoon garlic powder and the dried parsley flakes. Use a brush to spread this garlic butter over the tops of all the biscuits. Use up all of the butter. Makes one dozen biscuits.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Healthy Breakfast Peanut Butter Banana Oatmeal Squares

This is so yummy and pretty healthy too.  There is 1/4 c. of the brown sugar, but it's for the whole pan.  I read that you could substitute it for apple sauce, but I didn't do that because A. it's a liquid so there's no way it's a good substitute and B. do you know how much sugar is in apple sauce?
Peanut Butter Banana Oatmeal Squares
1 1/2 cups quick cooking oats
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup milk
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 large mashed banana
1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
Mix together the quick cooking oats, light brown sugar, baking powder, kosher salt and ground cinnamon.
Add in the vanilla extract, milk and egg. Mix the ingredients together.
Then add in the mashed banana and peanut butter. Combine all of the ingredients.
Pour the mixture into a lightly greased 8 by 8 inch metal baking pan. Bake at 350 F degrees for 20 minutes.
Cut into squares and enjoy!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Creamy Garlic Pasta

Creamy Garlic Pasta

Mmm!  This was a yummy meal.  It was very filling and maybe I added a little too much garlic.  It calls for the 4 cloves, but my cloves were extra big.  I ended up having to add a little more chicken stock while the pasta was cooking cause there wasn't enough liquid for the pasta to be fully cooked.  This meal will probably be made around once a month!  Thanks pinterest!

Creamy Garlic Pasta
2 tsp olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp butter
¼  tsp salt
½ tsp pepper
3 cups chicken stock
½ lb spaghetti or angel hair pasta
1 cup grated parmesan cheese
¾ cup heavy cream
2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
In a pot, bring the olive oil to medium-low heat. Add the garlic and stir, allowing it to cook for 1-2 minutes. Mix in the butter until melted. Add the salt, pepper and chicken stock. Raise the heat to high and let it come to a boil. 
Once it is at a rolling boil, add the pasta and cook for as long as the box’s directions indicate. Reduce the stove to medium heat and mix in the parmesan until completely melted. Turn off the heat and stir in the cream and parsley. Serve immediately.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting Recipe
(Photo and recipe from Gimme Some Oven)


Cupcake Ingredients:

  • 2 1/2 cups sifted cake flour (not all-purpose flour)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 oz. red food coloring (two bottles)
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup buttermilk, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon white vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda

Cream Cheese Frosting Ingredients:

  • 1 lb (2 blocks) cream cheese (not softened)
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) butter, at room temperature
  • 1 Tbsp. vanilla extract
  • 4 cups powdered sugar, sifted


To Make Cupcakes:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 24 muffin tins with cupcake papers.

Sift together the cake flour, baking powder, and salt into a medium bowl; set aside. In a small bowl, mix food coloring and cocoa powder to form a thin paste without lumps; set aside.

In a large bowl, using a hand mixer or stand mixer, beat butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, about three minutes. Beat in eggs, one at a time, then beat in vanilla and the red cocoa paste, scraping down the bowl with a spatula as you go. Add one third of the flour mixture to the butter mixture, beat well, then beat in half of the buttermilk. Beat in another third of flour mixture, then second half of buttermilk. End with the last third of the flour mixture, beat until well combined, making sure to scrape down the bowl with a spatula.

In a small bowl, mix vinegar and baking soda. (Yes, it will fizz!) Add vinegar mixture to the cake batter and stir well to combine. Fill cupcake cups with cake batter until they are about 3/4 full. (I like to use an ice-cream scoop for this!) Bake for approximately 20-22 minutes, rotating pans halfway through. Cupcakes are done when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Check early and don’t overbake!

Cool the cupcakes in their tins on a wire rack for 10 minutes then remove and allow to cool completely before frosting.

To Make Frosting:

To make the frosting, in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment beat the cream cheese and butter on medium-high speed until well combined and smooth, about 2-3 minutes. Mix in the vanilla extract. Gradually beat in the powdered sugar until totally incorporated, increase the speed and then beat until smooth. Frost cooled cupcakes as desired.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

McDonalds Shamrock Shake

So I haven't ever tried the shamrock shake that is at McDonalds in March. My hubby started talking about it the other day and saying how excited he was for March and to go to McDonalds to get this special shake. Then as I was going through pinterest the next day guess what I came across? This recipe!! So I had to give it a shot. It turned out pretty good. The original recipe said 1/4-1/2 tsp of mint extract, but I even thought that 1/4 was too much mint flavoring. I would even say 1/8-1/4 tsp. 1/2 would be way too much. Anyway, you all should give this recipe a try... it's delicious! :)


  • 2 cups vanilla ice cream
  • 1 1/4 cups milk
  • 1/4 tsp mint extract
  • 9 drops green food coloring
Optional decorating ingredients:
  • Chocolate syrup
  • Whipped Cream
  • Green sprinkles
  1. Blend all ingredients together until smooth.
  2. Pour shamrock shake into glass.
  3. Top with whipped cream and green sprinkles.
  4. ENJOY!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Red Velvet Crinkle Cookies

Red Velvet Crinkle Cookies

Yield: 2 dozen heart shaped cookies

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

two peas & their pod

Red Velvet Crinkle Cookies cut into heart shapes for Valentine's Day.


1 box red velvet cake mix (I used Duncan Hines)
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 large eggs
1/2 cup canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Powdered sugar, for rolling the cookies
Heart shaped cookie cutter, optional


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or a Silpat and set aside.

2. In a large bowl, combine cake mix and flour. Whisk until clumps disappear. In the bowl of a stand mixer, mix together cake mix, flour, eggs, oil and vanilla extract. Mix until smooth. Take about 1 tablespoon of cookie dough and form into a ball. Roll the ball in powdered sugar until fully coated. Place cookie dough balls on prepared baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes, or until edges are set and cookies begin to crack.

3. Let cookies sit on baking sheet for 2 minutes. If desired, cut cookies into heart shapes, using a heart shaped cookie cutter. Transfer cookies to a wire cooling rack and cool completely. Eat the cookie scraps:)

Note-you don't have to cut the cookies into heart shapes. They are great round too!

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Supreme Buffalo Nachos

If you guys really know my husband you'll know that if he hears the word chicken and hot buffalo sauce then he will be there in the blink of an eye. He LOVES his spicy buffalo wings. I figured this would be a good superbowl food as well. Don't you agree?? :) I also made my Oreo Pie and Nutella fruit dip. Both of which are already posted here on my website :)

Supreme Buffalo Nachos
Time: 15 minutes
Yield: 6 servings
Recipe from Jaime Cooks it up

4-5 C tortilla chips (several big handfuls)
2 C shredded Rotisserie chicken
2-3 T Franks Red Hot Wing Buffalo Sauce
2 C cheddar cheese, shredded
1 C celery, chopped
Blue Cheese Salad Dressing (Lighthouse brand works best)

1. Spread several large handfuls of tortilla chips out over a large cookie sheet, and preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
2. Unwrap your rotisserie chicken extraordinaire. Shred about 2 cups of the chicken up with a couple of forks.
3. Give thanks for this spicy wing sauce found at grocery stores everywhere. Drizzle 2-3 tablespoons of sauce over the top of your chicken. Be careful if you are super sensitive to spicy food. Just use a little if you don't like a lot of heat.
4. Toss it all together, making sure all of the chicken is covered.
5. Sprinkle about 2 cups of shredded cheddar cheese over the top of the tortilla chips. Toss that pretty little pan into the oven and let the cheese get all melted and just a bit bubbly. Watch it close. You don't want it to get overly cooked. Then you'll have dry chips, and crusty cheese. Not a good combination, true?
6. While the chips are busy in the oven, cover the plate of chicken with plastic wrap and microwave it for 2-3 minutes, or until the chicken and sauce are steaming hot.
6. Remove the pan of cheesy chips from the oven and carefully spoon the chicken out evenly over the chips.
7. Add the chopped celery.
8. Drizzle a bit of Blue Cheese dressing here and there over the chips and serve while the chicken and cheese are still warm.

Chicken Enchilada Soup

Well, it superbowl Sunday! And somehow for the third year in a row I've been told we're throwing a superbowl party and we all know that means I'll be slaving away in the kitchen while everyone else enjoys the game. This is one of many things I've made for today. Super simple and I love that it cooks itself in the crockpot. :)

Chicken Enchilada Soup (Crock Pot)

Time: 10 min. hands on + 4 or 8 hours crock pot cooking
Yield: 8 servings
Recipe from Jaime Cooks it up

1 (14.5 ounce) can Mexican Style Stewed Tomatoes
2 (15 ounce) cans black beans
2 (15 ounce) cans corn
1/2 C onion, chopped
1/2 C red or green pepper, chopped
2 chicken breasts (I used frozen)
1 (10 ounce) can enchilada sauce
1 (10 ounce) can cream of chicken soup
2 1/2 C milk
4 chicken bullion cubes (or 4 t bullion granules)
1/2 t lime juice (can be bottled)
1/3 C sour cream
2 T butter

Tortilla Chips
cheddar cheese

1. Pour the whole can of stewed tomatoes into your crock pot, juice included. Diced tomatoes work best...
2. Drain and rinse the black beans and add them to the pot.
3. Drain the corn and add them as well.
4. Roughly chop up 1/2 C onion and 1/2 C of red or green pepper and toss them in.
5. Pour the enchilada sauce into a medium sized mixing bowl. Add the cream of chicken soup, 2 1/2 C milk and then crumble the bullion cubes over the top.
6. Whisk it all together until nice and smooth.
7. Place 2-3 chicken breasts over the vegetables in your crock pot.
8. Pour the sauce over the top of the chicken.
9. Cover your crock and cook on high for 4 hours or on low for 7-8, depending on how fast your crock pot cooks things.
10. Remove the chicken and place it on a plate. Shred it with a fork.
11. Add the 1/2 t lime juice, 1/3 C sour cream and 2 T butter to the soup. Whisk it in until the butter has melted and the sour cream is well combined.
12. Toss your chicken back into the pot, give it a stir and you are ready to eat.
Serve with tortilla chips and cheddar cheese. Cilantro and avocado are also fabulous.

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