July 28, 2010

Cowboy Salsa

3 T red wine vinegar
1 1/2 to 2 t hot sauce
1 1/2 t salad oil or EVOO
1 clove garlic minced {more if you prefer}
Freshly ground pepper {to your tasting}
2 firm, ripe avocados
1 can {15 oz} black-eyed peas
1 can {11 oz} corn
1 can black beans
2/3 C thinly sliced cilantro {to taste}
1/2 lb roma tomatoes, coursely chopped
1-2 bags tortilla chips

In a large bowl mix vinegar, hot sauce, oil, garlic, and pepper. Peel, pit, and cut avocadoes into 1/2 inch cubes. Add to vinegar mixture and mix gently to coat. Drain and rinse the peas and corn. Add peas, corn, cilantro, and tomatoes to the avocado and mix to coat. Add salt to taste. Serve with chips.
Note: diced jalepeno and diced bell peppers are also good in this.

July 22, 2010

Happy Trails Mix

With all this summer camping going on - I needed a go-to trail mix I could keep handy and pack easily. Obviously you can omit any ingredients based on your family tastes (or allergies) - but this is a great base. Enjoy!

Dry roasted peanuts
Dried fruit (assorted)
Yogurt covered craisins

I like to put all the ingredients in a gallon size zip lock. Mix all together and enjoy!!

July 18, 2010

Cinnabun Cake

I found this recipe at The Sisters Cafe, and they mentioned that they found it at Picky Palate. I made it for a neighborhood brunch, and wow. I am going to go ahead and say I prefer this to an actual cinnamon roll! The picture just doesn't do it justice. It was moist and flavorful and so, so, good.

3 cups flour
¼ teaspoon salt
1 cup sugar
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 ½ cups milk
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
4 T. butter, melted

2 sticks butter, softened
1 cup brown sugar
2 T. flour
1 T. cinnamon
2/3 cups nuts, optional

2 cups powdered sugar
5 T. milk
1 teaspoon vanilla

In an electric or stand mixer mix the flour, salt, sugar, baking powder, milk, eggs and vanilla. Once combined well, slowly stir in melted butter. Pour batter into a greased 9 x 13 inch baking pan. In a large bowl, mix the 2 sticks of softened butter, brown sugar, flour, cinnamon and nuts until well combined. Drop evenly over cake batter by the tablespoonfuls and use a knife to marble/swirl through the cake. Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes or until toothpick comes out nearly clean from center. Place powdered sugar, milk and vanilla in a large bowl. Whisk until smooth. Drizzle over warm cake. Serve warm or at room temperature.

July 13, 2010

Crockpot Chicken Cacciatore

I found this recipe at The Crafting Chicks, and I had to try it. It looked so simple and easy. Perfect, since I hate dealing with dinner. This was a hit! Everyone in my family loved it.

2 chicken breasts
1 can (8oz) tomato sauce
1 packet spaghetti seasoning
2 tbsp. olive oil

In crockpot, combine tomato sauce, 1 1/2 cans of water, spaghetti seasoning, and olive oil and mix. Put chicken in and cook on high for 3-4 hours or on low for 6-7 hours. Use a couple forks to pull chicken into pieces. Serve over noodles.

Coffeecake Muffins

From Barefoot and Baking, my friend Kadie's awesome food blog!

1/2 cup pecans
1/4 cup dark brown sugar (I only had light and used that)
1 t ground cinnamon
2 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1/2 t salt
1 stick butter, softened and cut into pieces
1 1/2 t baking powder
1/2 t baking soda
3/4 cup sour cream or plain yogurt
1 egg
1 t vanilla

For the Glaze:
1 cup powdered sugar
2 T water

Preheat oven to 350. Grease muffin pan. Chop nuts until they are the size of sesame seeds, add brown sugar and cinnamon and mix. Set aside. Mix together the flour, sugar, and salt. Add the butter and cut into flour mixture until the butter is the size of oats. Remove 1/2 cup of this mixture and stir it into brown sugar mixture to make the streusel. Set aside 3/4 cup of the streusel mixture for the batter. (The rest of the streusel mixture will be your topping.)
Add the baking powder and baking soda to the remaining FLOUR mixture and stir. Next add the sour cream, egg and vanilla. Stir until just moistened. Add the 3/4 cup of reserved streusel mixture and stir until evenly distributed. Divide the batter evenly between the muffin cups. Sprinkle each muffin with about 1 tablespoon of topping; lightly press the topping into the muffin. Bake at 350 for about 18 minutes or until a toothpick, inserted, comes out clean. Let them cool for about 5 minutes and then remove from pan. Mix powdered sugar with water until smooth for the glaze and drizzle over the top of warm muffins. Serve immediately! This will make about 12-15 muffins.
*I omitted the pecans because of Carson's allergies. I didn't have as much streusel as a result, so I added a little less than 3/4 c to the batter so that I'd have enough left for the top.

Chocolate Chip Cream Cheese Ball

1 (8 oz) package cream cheese, softened
1/2 C butter, softened
3/4 C powdered sugar
2 T brown sugar
1/2 t vanilla
3/4 C mini chocolate chips
Finely chopped pecans (you can buy them, they're called "gems")

Beat together cream cheese and butter. Beat in sugars and vanilla, and stir in chocolate chips. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill in refrigerator until workable (overnight works well). Shape into ball and roll in pecans (which I always omit because of Carson's allergies). It still will be sticky, so sometimes I just plop it on the platter or in a bowl and sprinkle the pecans on top. Serve with graham cracker sticks (plain, chocolate), teddy grahams, nilla wafers, etc.. This is a different kind of appetizer/dessert but is fun and yummy. It's more of a mingling dish, not a sit-down dessert.

July 6, 2010

Watermelon Strawberry Slush (and Popsicles)

I found this recipe at Our Best Bites and finally had a ton of watermelon to try it with! They mention that the Slush is good and the Popsicles are better, and they are right. Sip a little slush and then pour the rest into popsicle molds. This is yummy!

2 cups cubed seedless watermelon
1 pint fresh strawberries, halved
1/3 C sugar
1/3 C fresh lemon juice (about 1 lemon squeezed)
2-4 C ice cubes

In a blender, combine the watermelon, strawberries, sugar and lemon juice; cover and process on high until smooth. With blender running, gradually add ice cubes until desired consistency is reached. Pour into chilled glasses and serve immediately.
(Note: I think if you had a fine strainer it would be awesome to get all the seeds out.)

July 4, 2010

M&M Sugar Cookies

These cookies are so amazing! I found the recipe at Jamie Cooks It Up. While the name says "sugar cookie," it's really more of a normal cookie in looks and taste. But there is something so sugary and soft and moist about these, and the M&Ms are to die for in them. Right after I took them out of the oven, I added even more M&Ms to the top.

1 C butter, softened
1 1/2 C sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2 t vanilla
3 C flour
2 t baking powder
1 t baking soda
1 t cream of tartar
dash of salt
1 medium bag (12 oz) M&M's (I suggest buying two bags just to put even more in and have extra for the top)

Cream the butter and sugar for about 3 minutes, or until fluffy. Add the eggs and vanilla and mix for 2 more minutes. In a separate small mixing bowl combine all dry ingredients. Add to the butter mixture and mix until well combined. Pour in your M&M's and mix just until combined. Form into round balls (about 2 inches in size) and lay onto a cookie sheet. Press the tops down slightly. Bake at 350 for 8 minutes or until you see the cookies start to crack.
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