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Updated: 2015-08-19T22:02:37.649-07:00

 



Crispy Cashew Coconut Tilapia Dinner

2009-08-06T15:22:36.489-07:00

Good Thursday!! Lots going on the last couple days. I am in the process of changing my blog over to Wordpress, so lots of great features coming your way!! Same look, just a bit more organized. I'm excited for you all to see it, so stay tuned!Sunday night we had this delicious tilapia dinner. We don't make a whole lot of fish in our house and I'm not sure why. It is so good. We picked up some great tilapia filets at Sprouts Farmer's Market for pretty inexpensive. Make sure you make the warm tropical salsa I have linked below for the fish. I didn't make it Sunday night and I wished I would have. It would have topped it off really nicely. Hope you'll all enjoy!!I've been nominated for the "Just Spotted" OC Blog Awards. Vote for me HERE, on the left sidebar of their site under Food/Cooking. Thanks!!Crispy Cashew Coconut Tilapia Dinner2 eggs1 Tablespoon water1-2 teaspoons tabasco hot sauce3/4 Cup flour1 teaspoon salt1/2 teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper1/4 teaspoon Lawry's garlic seasoning1 Cup finely crushed cashew pieces (I pulsed in food processor until fine)3/4 Cup sweetened shredded coconut3/4 Cup Panko bread crumbs1/2 teaspoon salt4 tilapia filetsHoney Glazed Baby Carrots and Garlic Seasoned Green BeansWarm Tropical Salsa1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place eggs, water and hot sauce into a bowl; mix to combine. Place flour, salt, pepper and garlic seasoning into a shallow dish. Place cashew, coconut, bread crumbs and salt into another shallow dish. Dip Tilapia into flour, then egg dip and cashew mixture. Make sure fish is coated well with the cashew crust. Place fish onto a baking rack placed over a baking sheet that's been sprayed with cooking spray. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until fish is easily flaked with a fork and cooked through.2. Serve with green beans and baby carrots. Dip tilapia in warm tropical salsa if desired.4 servings________________________Have a great rest of your week and weekend!! See you soon.[...]



Blondies With Chocolate And Peanut Butter Cookie Centers

2009-08-03T00:00:03.520-07:00

A couple of things here... 1st, quickly grab any leftover cookie dough from my last post and save it for these!! 2nd the lighting was horrific when I was photographing these blondies, so I appolagize for the mediocre pics. Yum with a capital Y is all I can say here. As I was rummaging through my fridge yesterday, I noticed that I had a little cookie dough left over. As you can see from the pictures, I pressed little cookie dough pieces into these blondies and they are spectacular! What a perfect combination. A little bit of cookie and a little bit of blondie....I'm in heaven! Hope you'll all enjoy!Blondies With Chocolate And Peanut Butter Cookie Centers¼ Cup butter ¾ Cup white chocolate chips ½ Cup sugar ¼ Cup brown sugar 1 Cup flour ½ teaspoon baking powder ½ teaspoon salt ½ Cup white chocolate chips 2 eggs 2 Tablespoons sour cream 2 Tablespoons Turbinado sugarChocolate Cookie Dough and Peanut Butter Cookie Dough (click link for recipe) 1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Melt butter in microwave safe bowl until hot. Stir in ¾ Cup white chips until melted and smooth. In a large bowl add the sugar, brown sugar, flour, baking powder, salt, and ½ Cup white chips. In a small bowl whisk the eggs and sour cream. Pour into the dry ingredient bowl along with the melted white chip mixture. Mix until just combined. 2. Pour into an 8x8 inch baking dish lined with foil that’s been sprayed with cooking spray. Sprinkle with turbinado sugar. Bake for 15 minutes, remove from oven and press alternating 1/2 inch pieces of cookie dough into the blondies. Finish baking for an additional 15 minutes or until cooked through and just starting to turn golden around the edges. Let cool completely before digging in! 9 blondies______________________________Check out my Meet and Greet on "Or So She Says" blog. These ladies have a fabulous blog where you'll find a daily dose of great ideas. Check em' out!Have a great new week! See you soon.[...]



When The Chocolate Cookie Went Rolling With The Peanut Butter Cookie...

2009-07-30T00:14:34.810-07:00

I LOVE when last minute recipe ideas work out to be so delicious! Shortly before we sat down to watch SYTYCD tonight, I decided we needed cookies to watch with the show. I took two of my favorite cookie dough recipes not to mention one of my favorite flavor combinations and stuck them side by side on a baking sheet. The outcome= pure awesomeness! Talk about simplicity at it's finest. The peanut butter cookie portion consists of only three ingredients, so it really doesn't take that much more time to get these babies in the oven.If you are a chocolate/peanut butter freak like myself, do not delay make yourself a nice batch today!! Definitely one of my favorite cookies right now, can't wait to dig into these tomorrow. Ok, it's after midnight, and my husband is freaking me out with his sleep talking. Goodnight!!Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookie DuoPeanut Butter Cookie1 Cup creamy peanut butter1 Cup granulated sugar1 egg1. Mix all ingredients together in a bowl until well combined. Set aside.Chocolate Chip Cookie2 sticks softened butter (1 Cup)1 Cup granulated sugar3/4 Cup brown sugar2 eggs1 teaspoon vanilla1 3/4 Cups flour1 1/4 Cups cocoa powder (I used Hersheys)2 teaspoons baking soda1/4 teaspoon salt1 Cup chocolate chips1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Cream the butter and sugars until well combined. Slowly beat in eggs and vanilla until well combined. Place flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt into a large bowl; mix with fork or sift. Add to wet ingredients along with chocolate chips until just combined.2. Take a Tablespoon of Peanut Butter Cookie Dough and a Tablespoon of Chocolate Cookie Dough and gently press together forming a "not so perfect" ball. Don't press and roll too much, just stick them together and place onto a silpat or parchment lined baking sheet. Bake for 9-11 minutes or until cookies are cooked through to your liking. Let cool for 5 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack. Enjoy!____________________________Have a wonderful rest of the week!! See you soon.[...]



Garlic Toasted Ciabatta Tuna Melt....Family Fun At Sea

2009-07-27T00:00:01.397-07:00

Good Monday morning! Hope everyone had a nice weekend. We sure had a fun filled weekend. We got to spend some time with my in-laws on a whale watching excursion Saturday at Balboa Island. I posted some pictures below of our day. It was awesome. Even though we didn't see any whales, we got to see lots of dolphins and sea lions. They were so cute, the boys went nuts for it. My husband on the other hand was falling asleep, what a geek. Anyway, I totally recommend it for anyone coming to Newport Beach, it makes for a great afternoon.Here's a great sandwich I made last week for lunch that tastes like it's right out of a restaurant. Crispy, buttery garlic toasted ciabatta bread smothered with swiss cheese, tasty tuna fish and fresh spinach leaves. So simple and oh so good! Give it a try for lunch this week, you'll love it!Garlic Toasted Ciabatta Tuna Melt1 loaf Ciabatta, sliced in half longwise (I picked mine up at Trader Joes, it's wonderful!)4 Tablespoons soft butter1 teaspoon Lawry's Garlic Seasoning2 Slices swiss cheese2 Cans Albacore tuna, drained1 Cup mayonnaise (or however much you prefer)1 Tablespoon mustard2 Tablespoons dill pickle juice1/4 cup chopped up dill picklesPinch of kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper2 Cups baby spinach leaves, fresh1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Place ciabatta slices onto a baking sheet, cut side up. Butter both sides with butter then sprinkle with garlic salt. Top each slice of bread with swiss cheese then bake in the oven for 8-10 minutes or until cheese is melted and bread is crusted. Remove from oven.2. In a large bowl, mix together the tuna, mayonnaise, mustard, pickle juice, pickles, salt and pepper. Top tuna onto bottom slice of bread, top with spinach leaves then top with other piece of ciabatta. Slice and eat!!______________________________Have a wonderful week! See you all soon![...]



Peanut Butter and Mini Chocolate Bar Centered Crescents...

2009-07-23T10:18:21.776-07:00

Sometimes I think I've lost my mind with some of the things I end up making in the kitchen. As I was strolling through the grocery store yesterday, starving of course, I got the bright idea of rolling some crescents with mini Hershey's Chocolate Bars and a dollop of Peanut Butter. This was even after my husband and I worked out together. I've got major sweet tooth issues, that's for sure.As crazy as these sound, the end result is pure sweet flaky fabulousness! I don't encourage you to eat these babies everyday, but do try them sometime. They were even better than I imagined them to be. It only takes about 10 minutes of prep time and they are ready to bake. 15 minutes later, you've got these beautiful chocolate filled crescents that are truly to die for! Enjoy!!Here's what's stuffed inside these bad boys. Hershey's Miniatures on top of a dollop of peanut butter. Can I just tell you how much I love these treats!! Simple and so good! (Picture from here)Peanut Butter and Mini Chocolate Bar Centered Crescents1 can of Pillsbury reduced fat crescent rolls, 8 count (do you love that I got a reduced fat for these treats!)8 Tablespoons creamy peanut butter8 Hershey's Mini Chocolate Bar variety1 egg white whisked with 1 teaspoon water3 Tablespoons turbinado sugar (or any granulated sugar will do)1/2 Cup chocolate chips, melted1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Unroll crescent rolls and place a dollop of peanut butter onto center of widest end of triangle. Top each dollop of peanut butter with a mini chocolate bar then roll up each crescent starting at widest end. Brush each of the rolled crescents lightly with egg wash then sprinkle with sugar. Bake for 15 minutes or until crescents are golden brown and cooked through. Melt chocolate chips in microwave until smooth, place into a ziplock baggie, snip one small corner with scissors then drizzle melted chocolate over each crescent. Enjoy warm with milk!!Here's my little bugaboo enjoying Mommys crescents. He happily posed for some pics with these in hand! Have a great rest of the week and weekend!!! See you all soon.[...]



White and Chocolate Chunk Butterscotch Cookies

2009-07-20T00:00:00.791-07:00

Good Monday morning! Why do those weekends have to go so incredibly fast? Here are those cookies I was talking about last week and this is the dough I stuffed inside the cookie pies. I don't know what it is about this dough, but YUM it is flat out incredible. If you feel like making cookies this week, give this recipe a try. If I were a betting woman, I'd bet you won't be able to stop eating these bad boys, vicious little devils!Oh and grab some milk with em' too! Enjoy.White and Chocolate Chunk Butterscotch Cookies2 sticks softened butter3/4 Cup granulated sugar3/4 Cup light brown sugar, packed2 eggs1 Tablespoon pure vanilla2 1/2 Cups all purpose flour1 teaspoon baking soda1/2 teaspoon salt2 Cups Chocolate Chunk pieces, I believe my bag was Hersheys1 Cup white chocolate chips1 Cup butterscotch chips1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a stand or electric mixer, beat butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs and vanilla until well combined. 2. Place flour, baking soda and salt into a large mixing bowl; sift of stir to combine. Slowly add dry ingredients to wet ingredients along with all the chocolate/chips. Mix until just combined. 3. Using a medium cookie scoop, scoop onto a parchment or silpat lined baking sheet placing about 1 1/2 inches apart. Bake for 9-12 minutes or until edges just barely start to turn golden. Remove and let cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes, then transfer to cooling racks to cool completely. Enjoy!!About 3 dozen cookies______________________Have a wonderful start of your week, see you soon![...]



Broccoli Cheddar and Sausage Egg Muffin Pull-A-Parts

2009-07-16T00:00:03.998-07:00

Good Thursday!! Hope everyone has had a great week so far. I've got a delicious recipe here to share with you all....We had these fun little Egg Muffins for dinner last night as part of our breakfast dinner we do quite often. I wanted something savory along with the mini pancakes we were having and this turned out to be just perfect. So many great flavors going on, it was bound to be a winner. Kick up your taste buds with a little Cholulla hot sauce on the side for dipping. Next time you are doing a breakfast, brunch or even breakfast dinner I promise you won't be disappointed in these bad boys. We all loved them over here and hope you will too! Enjoy.Broccoli Cheddar and Sausage Egg Muffin Pull-A-Parts6 Pillsbury Buttermilk biscuits (from can, 8 count)Pinches of kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper1 Cup cooked broccoli florets, cut up into small pieces1/2 Cup cooked sausage links, cut up4 eggs3 Tablespoons milkPinches of kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper1 Cup shredded cheddar cheeseCholulla hot sauce1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a texas size 6 Cup muffin tin with cooking spray. You'll have 2 extra biscuits left over. Bake them separately if so desired. Cut each of the 6 biscuits into 8 triangles and place into each muffin tin. Lightly sprinkle each biscuit cup with salt and pepper.2. Sprinkle broccoli and sausage evenly over each biscuit filled muffin cup.3. Place eggs, milk, salt and pepper into a mixing bowl. Whisk until well combined. Pour evenly over each cup. With a fork make sure eggs get to the bottom and around each piece of biscuit. Top each with sprinkles of cheddar cheese and bake for 28-32 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean from center of biscuits and cheese is golden brown. Let cool for 5 minutes before removing from muffin cup. Remove and arrange onto serving plate. If you like it spicy serve with a nice hot sauce like Cholulla, it's wonderful!! Pull them apart with your fingers or cut with a fork. Enjoy. 6 servings______________________Have a wonderful rest of the week and weekend!! See you soon with that cookie recipe I promised.[...]



Hot Little Chocolate Chip Cookie Pies...

2009-07-13T07:05:18.181-07:00

Good Monday morning everyone! Hope you all had a nice weekend. Busy busy over here, but nice. Here we are another Monday. Well, take a look at these little cuties to brighten up any Monday morning blues. They are hot and fresh out of the oven, flaky, sweet and delish!So basically, you take your favorite chocolate chip cookie dough and place it into pie crust circles, fold over and bake. The outcome is a fun sinful little cookie pie. I will suggest you eat these babies warm out of the oven, absolutely scrumptious this way. I'd even say top them with vanilla ice cream for an extra sweet treat.Not sure what my deal is with all these cookies lately. Not doing a thing to help my waistline that's for sure! Hope you all enjoy!Step one, place cookie dough into cute little pie crust circles...Next, carefully fold pie crust over dough, press edges with a fork...then time to bake!Out comes a sweet ultra flaky cookie pie that is oh so fabulous!Mmmm! My Chocolate Chunk Butterscotch Cookie recipe coming soon, stay tuned...Hot Little Chocolate Chip Cookie Pies1 roll Pillsbury Pie Crust, thawed and cut into 12 2 1/2 inch circles (I used a cup to press out all the circles)1 batch of your favorite cookie dough1 egg white plus 1 teaspoon water3 Tablespoons Turbinado sugar or normal granulated sugarPowdered sugar for dusting on top1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place all 12 pie crust circles onto a baking sheet. With a small cookie scoop, place a heaping teaspoon of cookie dough into the center of each pie round, pressing cookie dough down slightly without touching edges of pie crust. DO NOT overfill each pie, if too full the dough breaks through the pie.2. Dip your finger in water and brush bottom 1/2 of the pie crust edge with water and fold top crust over to seal. Using fork tines, press to seal around edges. Continue until all crusts are sealed. Poke each little pie on top once or twice for steam holes. Lightly brush each pie with egg white whisked with a teaspoon of water then sprinkle with turbinado sugar (normal sugar is also fine). Bake for 20-22 minutes or until pie crust is just barely golden. Note that some of the cookie will escape through the pie crust, if this happens, just cut them in half and no worries. To prevent it, make sure you don't overfill your crusts.3. Just before serving sprinkle with powdered sugar and even ice cream if desired. Make sure to enjoy these warm, shortly after out of oven!!_________________________Happy Baking! Have a great week![...]



Chocolate Cherry Chip Cookies!

2009-07-09T07:31:20.235-07:00

Good Thursday morning everyone!!I gotta make this snappy, both my boys are still sleeping and it's almost 7:30am. A miracle!Ok, I know I make chocolate cookies often, but trust me when I tell you that you will LOVE this version. I picked up these awesome little cherry chips by Log House in AZ quite a few months ago and wished I would have gotten more bags. They are fabulous in cookies. I got them at Super Walmart, but have found Log House's Online store where you can get 2 bags for a little over $5 bucks. So, if you can't find them at your grocer, check out the link HERE.Chocolate Cherry Chip Cookies1 cup butter1 cup white sugar3/4 cup brown sugar2 eggs1 tsp. vanilla1 3/4 cups flour1 1/4 cups cocoa powder (I used Hershey's Dark Chocolate Cocoa Powder)2 tsps. baking soda1/4 tsp. salt1 bag of Log House Cherry Chips1 1/2 cups white chocolate chips1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and use a cookie sheet with a silpat liner.2. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Slowly add eggs and vanilla until well combined.3. In another bowl, combine the flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt. Slowly add to wet ingredients then stir in white chips and cherry chips. Using a medium cookie scoop, drop by rounded spoonfuls onto the prepared cookie sheet.4. Bake for 9-11 minutes, should still be soft in center. Allow cookies to cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.3 dozen cookies ______________________________Looks like I made it, the little tykes just woke up and I'm done with my post! Have a great rest of your week! See you all soon.[...]



Hearty Ground Turkey Chili with Green Chili Cheddar Muffins

2009-07-07T09:02:18.796-07:00

Hope everyone had a wonderful 4th of July weekend! We had a fun filled week with my family that was visiting from AZ. I think we've just about convinced them all to move on down to Newport Beach with us. It really was a great weekend. We watched the fireworks at the Newport Dunes and they put on quite the impressive show. I bet we'll make it a tradition to go back there.Now for some good ol' thick hearty chili. I am a huge chili fan, I think we make it at least once or twice a month. I was so excited to see that Costco now sells 1 lb packs of ground turkey just like their ground beef that I've been buying for years. I've always loved substituting turkey for beef, so maybe I'll be trying it out more often now that it's readily available at Costco. I love this chili because it tastes as though it's been simmering all day when you could actually have it on the table in about 20 minutes. It's thick and full of great chili flavor. Don't forget to make those killer cornbread muffins that I've made before. They are the best I've found. Enjoy!!Thank you Laurie from Tip Junkie for Interviewing me on your blog. Check it out HERE!Hearty Ground Turkey Chili with Green Chili Cheddar Muffins2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil1 large white onion, finely diced1 lb ground turkey1/2 teaspoon kosher salt1/4 fresh ground black pepper1/4 teaspoon Lawry's Garlic Salt with Parsley4 cloves fresh garlic, minced1 14 oz can chicken broth2 cans diced tomatoes1 small can tomato paste3/4 Cup tomato sauce3 cans of beans of choice, drained (I used black beans, chili beans and red kidney beans)1 teaspoon Tabasco hot sauce3 Tablespoons chili powder2 Tablespoons ground cumin1. Heat oil into a large skillet or dutch oven over medium heat. Saute onion until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in turkey, salt, pepper and garlic salt; cook until browned and no longer pink. Add chicken broth, tomatoes, tomato paste, beans, hot sauce, chili powder and cumin. Reduce heat to low and simmer until ready to serve. Serve with cornbread muffins.Green Chili Cheddar Cornbread Muffins (click name for recipe)_________________Have a great week! See you all soon with a killer chocolate cookie, you won't want to miss it![...]



Crazy Days Of Summer Favorites!

2009-06-30T08:20:26.603-07:00

Happy Tuesday everyone! What a crazy past few weeks it's been around here. Just back home last night from a week in sunny AZ and had a great time with my family and friends despite the wicked heat. It's funny how quickly the boys and I forgot how hot AZ gets in the summer. We've been so spoiled with the mid 70's around here in CA!With summer as unpredictable as it is, I will occasionally be highlighting some of my past favorite recipes to keep up with everything going on. I've organized a couple of my very favorite summer treats to share with you all today since I haven't stepped foot in my kitchen for a while. Hope you all will enjoy a blast from the past! This little parfait and my raspberry blondies are the perfect way to perk up any summer! Enjoy!__________________________________Honeyed Strawberry Shortcake Yogurt Parfaits 4.5 oz package shortcakes, 4 count, cut into cubes16 oz reduced fat vanilla yogurt1 Cup chopped fresh stawberries8 teaspoons honey1 package Nature Valley Oats n’ Honey Crunchy Granola Bars (2 in package), crushed1. Place an even layer of shortcake into 4 little parfait glasses. Top evenly with a couple spoonfuls of yogurt, then about ¼ Cup strawberries. Drizzle each cup with 1 teaspoon honey then top with a Tablespoon of crushed granola bar. Repeat this layering one more time and serve.4 servings____________________Raspberry White Chocolate Blondies ¼ Cup butter class¾ Cup white chocolate chips½ Cup sugar¼ Cup brown sugar1 Cup flour½ teaspoon baking powder½ teaspoon salt½ Cup white chocolate chips2 eggs2 Tablespoons sour cream1 Cup fresh or frozen raspberries½ Cup finely chopped pecans2 Tablespoons sanding sugar 1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Melt butter in microwave safe bowl. Stir in ¾ Cup white chips until melted and smooth. In a large bowl add the sugar, brown sugar, flour, baking powder, salt and ½ Cup white chips. In a small bowl whisk the eggs and sour cream. Pour into the dry ingredient bowl along with the melted white chip mixture. Mix until just combined. 2. Pour into an 8x8 inch baking dish lined with foil that’s been sprayed with cooking spray. Top evenly with 1 Cup raspberries. Mix the chopped pecans and sanding sugar in a small bowl until combined then sprinkle over top of blondies. Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until toothpick comes clean from center. 9 blondies__________________________Some Summer Snapshots of the last couple weeksHave a wonderful week, see ya'll soon!![...]



Double Chipped Cookies Stuffed with 100 Grand!

2009-06-25T06:37:28.216-07:00

Happy Thursday! The boys and I drove down to AZ yesterday so we can celebrate my mom's 50th B-day and my nephews baptism this week.I was so happy with how these cookies turned out. Simple and sinfully fabulous! Basically, cut up pieces of 100 Grand Candy Bars are pressed into the middle of each pre-baked cookie dough before baking. The result is a soft gooey centered buttery crisp heavenly cookie. Give em' a try, you won't be disappointed! Don't get me started on the cookie dough, mmmm!Double Chipped Cookies Stuffed with 100 Grand2 sticks softened butter3/4 Cup light brown sugar3/4 Cup granulated sugar2 eggs1 Tablespoon pure vanilla extract2 1/2 Cups all purpose flour1 teaspoon baking soda3/4 teaspoon salt1 Cup chocolate chips1 Cup white chocolate chips8 mini size 100 Grand bars, each cut into 4 equal piecesPreheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a stand or electric mixer beat the butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Slowly add in eggs then vanilla until well combined. In a large bowl sift flour, baking soda and salt; add to wet ingredients on low speed following white and chocolate chips until just combined. Scoop dough onto a parchment or silpat lined cookie sheet with a medium cookie scoop. Press cut pieces of 100 Grand Bars into center of each dough. Bake for 9-11 minutes or until just golden on outer edges. Let cool for 5 minutes on baking sheet before transferring to cooling rack. Enjoy!!___________________________Have a wonderful week! I'll be enjoying the AZ sun with the family. See you all early next week![...]



Chocolate Peanut Butter Covered Brownie Bites...

2009-06-22T03:00:18.721-07:00

Good Monday everyone. We have officially started summer break this week, school is out! How was Father's Day? We had such a sweet morning yesterday. I shared some pics below of my guys. We have had quite the busy last couple weeks with family visiting. It feels nice to be back in the kitchen! While galavanting around with my family, we stopped in this old fashioned candy shop on Balboa Island where I bought some tiny chocolate covered brownie bites. They were pretty mediocre and I knew I could do much better. Check out my ultra simple, but oh so delicious brownie bites. Another jazzed up brownie mix that will have you smiling from ear to ear. Nothing tricky here, just pure sweetness. Don't be surprised when these bad boys disappear before your eyes. Enjoy!!Chocolate Peanut Butter Covered Brownie Bites1 brownie mix such as Pillsbury2 Cups semi sweet chocolate chips1/4 Cup peanut butter1. Prepare brownie mix according to package directions. Bake until toothpick comes out nearly clean from center but still slightly undercooked. Remove from oven and let cool for 15 minutes. When you are able to touch brownies comfortably, scoop brownies with a medium cookie scoop, roll tightly into a ball and place onto a wax paper lined baking sheet. Continue rolling until brownies are gone. Freeze brownies until very firm, a couple hours or overnight. No worries if your brownie balls aren't perfect, once frozen reshape them. They are easier to handle when chilled.2. Place chocolate chips over a double broiler (or heat in microwave until smooth) to melt, then stir in peanut butter until creamy smooth. Roll each frozen brownie ball into chocolate and place onto wax paper to dry. Enjoy room temperature or chilled.___________________I caught some pics of my cuties around the table Father's Day morning. I am one lucky Mom to have these guys in my life!! Have a great week everyone, see you soon!![...]



Father's Day Grilled Chicken Dinner and Summer Fun!

2009-06-18T15:37:48.306-07:00

Hey everyone, hope you are all enjoying this fabulous summer! I am still running around with my family that's visiting, so my cooking in the kitchen has been next to none. However, I've pulled one of my very favorite dinners to share for Father's Day. It is hearty and full of great "manly" flavor. I just don't get tired of this one. Fire up the grill and pamper all of those Fathers out there!! See you soon with a sweet treat that I'm just dying to share. Adobo Peach BBQ Chicken18 chicken tenders1 1/4 Cups Peach preserves¼ Cup adobo sauce (canned chipotle sauce), add more if you like it spicy hot!½ Cup BBQ sauce¾ teaspoon salt2 cloves fresh garlic, minced1. Place chicken tenders into a large zip lock bag. Pour in peach preserves, adobo sauce, BBQ sauce, salt and garlic. Marinate for at least 1 hour.2. Preheat indoor grill pan or outdoor grill to medium high heat. Spray grill with cooking spray. Grill chicken for 3-4 minutes per side or until cooked through.Smoky Mashed Potatoes5 lbs washed, peeled and cubed potatoes½ stick butter (4 tablespoons)1 1/2 Cup milk (more if you like thinner mashed potatoes)8 oz sour cream1 ¼ teaspoons salt (or to taste)¼ teaspoon pepper1/2 teaspoon garlic salt (Lawry’s)4 Tablespoons adobo sauce (from canned chipotles, add more if you like it spicy)1. Boil potatoes for 12-15 minutes or until fork tender. Transfer drained potatoes to a large stand mixer bowl with the butter. Start to mix on low speed until mashed. Add milk, sour cream, salt, pepper, garlic salt and adobo sauce until well combined. Taste and season accordingly with additional salt/garlic salt if desired.Sweet Sauteed Corn2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil1 red bell pepper, finely diced1 green bell pepper, finely diced½ Cup finely diced white onion4 ears fresh corn, kernels removed½ teaspoon salt¼ teaspoon pepper2 Tablespoons butter3 Tablespoons honey1. Heat oil into a large skillet over medium heat. Saute red and green bell pepper with the onion for 5 minutes, stirring often. Stir in corn, salt and pepper. Cook for an additional 5 minutes. Stir in the butter and honey until well combined and melted through. Serve warm.____________________Here are some snapshots of the fun we've been having this week. I think I could become a really good tourist guide after this summer! Have a wonderful Father's Day Weekend, come back soon!![...]



Oozing Chocolate Chip Cookie S'mor Sandwiches...

2009-06-15T00:39:52.237-07:00

Is there anything more fun than oozing marshmallow and chocolate? Hmmm let me think about it, No way. These cookies are so much fun and the whole family can get involved making them. I found the greatest new treat at Target a few weeks ago from Kraft called chocolate covered mini marshmallows (click link for a pic of the package) and let me tell you, try to find them. I mixed them into this cookie dough and what you get is pure magical! No worries if you can't find them, the dough is fabulous with or without them.Hope you all enjoy these finger licking good cookies as much as we did last night! Take a look!Oozing Chocolate Chip Cookie S'mor Sandwiches2 sticks softened butter3/4 Cups sugar3/4 Cup brown sugar, packed2 eggs1 Tablespoon vanilla2 1/2 Cups all purpose flour1 teaspoon baking soda1/2 teaspoon salt2 oz package Kraft Chocolate Covered Mini Marshmallows, if you can find them1/2 Cup chocolate chips1 1/2 Cups mini baking M&M'sMini Marshmallows (less than 1 bag full)Mini Hersey bars1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Beat butter and sugars in stand or electric mixer until well combined. Beat in eggs and vanilla until well combined as well. In a large bowl, whisk the flour, soda and salt. Add to wet ingredients as well as marshmallows, chips and M&M's until just combined. Spread onto a large rimmed baking sheet that's been lined with parchment paper and sprayed with cooking spray. Bake for 20-22 minutes or until edges are just turning golden brown. Remove and let cool completely.2. Use your favorite cookie cutters to cut out shapes. Top bottom shapes with a layer of mini marshmallows and place under broiler until puffed. Top with hershey bars to melt. Top with another cookie to close sandwich. Serve warm._______________________________Caught my husband having a little late night snack right after my photo shoot. I think he liked them!________________________________I get to have my family for the week!My mom and IIt is such a treat to have my family here visiting us this week from AZ. We went to watch the sunset last night at the beach, here are some pics I snapped of our evening.Here's to a great week! Come back soon for more tasty eats![...]



Birthday Boy Peanut Butter Hidden Chocolate Cupcakes

2009-06-11T00:00:00.713-07:00

I can hardly believe my baby turned 4 this week! He is such a little sweetheart. For his birthday I took him and his brother to Disneyland, they had so much fun despite the crazy crowds. Since we have annual passes, Brady was given a $60.00 gift card courtesy of Disney to buy anything he wanted. He had so much fun picking out all of his birthday gifts! Older brother is already counting down the days that he gets to do the same. Birthday night I made these killer cupcakes with a surprise center that will not disappoint! Peanut buttery delicious to say the least! Take a peek and enjoy, they are oh so bad, but oh so good!Birthday Boy Peanut Butter Hidden Chocolate Cupcakes1 devils food cake mix4 eggs1/2 Cup water1/2 Cup canola oil8 oz sour cream1 small package chocolate pudding mix (4 serving size)2 Cups creamy peanut butter1 1/2 Cups powdered sugar8 oz softened cream cheese1 stick softened butter3 Cups powdered sugarwhite non perils for top1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a stand mixer, mix cake mix, eggs, water, oil, sour cream and pudding mix on medium for 2 minutes. Pour into paper lined cupcake cups 3/4 way full. In a mixing bowl mix peanut butter and powdered sugar until well combined. Form 1/2 inch balls and press into each filled cupcake. Bake for 20-30 minutes or until a toothpick comes clean from center. Let cool completely. 2. Beat cream cheese and butter until creamy and well combined. Slowly beat in powdered sugar until well combined. Spread over cooled cupcakes then sprinkle with non-perils if desired. 24 cupcakes_________________________Birthday PicturesClick on the picture so you can see how cute my little guy is!I love my boys! Have a wonderful rest of the week. See you all soon with more good eatin![...]



Crockpot Green Chili Chicken and Rice with Blue Corn Chip Crumbles

2009-06-08T06:49:41.784-07:00

Good Monday everyone! Hope the weekend treated you all well. Here's the yummy Sunday dinner we had last night that was lickety split simple and delicious. Toss it all in the crock pot and "voila'" done before you know it. It is nice and mild for the whole family, but if you like a little spice like I do, add a little hot sauce over top yours. Yum!Hope you all enjoy!Crockpot Green Chili Chicken and Rice with Blue Corn Chip Crumbles3-4 large boneless skinless chicken breasts, thawed2 cans 98% fat free Cream of Chicken soup4 0z can chopped green chilies1 teaspoon cumin1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt1/4 teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper1/4 teaspoon Lawry's garlic salt with parsley6 Cups steamed rice of choiceBlue Corn Tortilla Chips, crumbled for garnish1. 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_______________________________Kindergarten Open HouseLast Thursday was one of the biggest nights of the school where they invited all the parents to Open House to see all the wonderful work/projects the children have done all year. My little guy was so proud walking us through his classroom. I just had to post his picture! Crazy that they still have 2 more weeks of school before summer.I caught this great shot of my husband and 4 year old chasing each other on the way to the car. I love it!___________________________Enjoy your week! Come back soon for something "Sweet!"[...]



Garlic Toasted Spaghetti Bruschetta, mmmm...

2009-06-04T03:00:03.732-07:00

Here's another easy family pleasin' way to kick up that old spaghetti we all have week after week. You ready for this ultra difficult dinner? Break out a fabulous fresh loaf of bread (I used a nice ciabatta from Trader Joes), lather it up with butter, sprinkle with Lawry's Garlic salt, top with prepared spaghetti and cheese then bake for 20 minutes or so until hot. It is easy, incredible and everyone loves it! It's like having your garlic bread and spaghetti all wrapped up in one cute little package. Enjoy!!Garlic Toasted Spaghetti BruschettaSoftened butterFrehch bread or Ciabatta Bread, cut in half lengthwiseLawry's Garlic Salt with Parsleyl lb of your favorite prepared spaghettiShredded mozzarella cheese1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Spread butter over cut sides of bread. Sprinkle lightly with garlic salt. Top with prepared spaghetti that's been cut into small pieces with kitchen scissors then sprinkle with shredded mozzarella cheese. Bake for 20 minutes or until cheese is melted and hot. Let cool for 5 minutes then cut into strips. Serve warm._______________________Thanks for stopping by! Come back soon for some sweet treats![...]



Chocolate Covered Cherry Cookie Cups...and Lego Land

2009-06-01T08:28:03.724-07:00

Oh man are these cookie cups incredible! I was so excited to receive a wonderful package of goodies from the nice folks at Oh Nuts.com . The second I bit into the Dark Chocolate Covered Dried Cherries I knew just what I'd do with them....and here they are. I chopped up a couple cups and mixed them right into the cookie dough. Chocolate and cherry pieces inside this dough make for a fabulous cookie. I also added in some of the chocolate granola they sent me that added a perfect chocolaty crunch. Love it!I've also seen those chocolate covered cherries at numerous other places. I believe Costco and Harry and David sell them. You can also substitute any nice crunchy granola in place of the chocolate one I was so lucky to sample. Enjoy!!Chocolate Covered Cherry Cookie Cups1 Cup softened butter3/4 Cup brown sugar3/4 Cup granulated sugar2 eggs1 Tablespoon vanilla2 1/2 Cups flour1 teaspoon baking soda1/2 teaspoon salt1 Cup Chocolate Granola2 Cups chopped Chocolate Covered Cherries1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a stand or electric mixer cream the butter and sugars until well combined. Beat in eggs and vanilla until well combined. Place flour, baking soda and salt into a large bowl; mix then add to wet ingredients along with the granola and cherry pieces. With a cookie scoop, scoop into mini muffin tins or mini cheesecake pan as I have used. Bake for 15 minutes or until just golden around edges. Remove and let cool for 5 minutes before transferring to cooling rack.*If just making normal cookies, bake for 9 minutes and let cool for 5 minutes before transferring to cooling rack._____________________LEGO LAND FUNThe boys and I had the chance to go to Lego Land last week with some friends and had such a great time. Here are some pics I snapped during our time there. I don't think they'll ever want to leave CA!Come back soon for another tasty treat! Enjoy your week! [...]



BBQ Ranch Chicken and Cheddar Pizza Roll em' Ups

2009-05-28T00:00:00.647-07:00

BBQ Chicken Pizza is one of those things that just never gets old in my book. I could order it every time we eat at California Pizza Kitchen and be a happy girl. We had some left over BBQ chicken this week and this is what I did with the leftovers. Talk about a fun and tasty lunch yesterday. You can make your own BBQ sauce or just use KC Masterpiece and don't tell anyone! I used Pillsbury's pizza dough in the can, but again feel free to use any ol' pizza dough that floats your boat. It's all delish, enjoy some Roll em' ups!BBQ Ranch Chicken and Cheddar Pizza Roll em' Ups1 Roll Pillsbury Pizza dough in can (or use other pizza dough of choice)1/4 Cup prepared ranch dressing2 Cups prepared shredded BBQ Chicken1/4 Cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves1 1/2 Cups shredded smoked cheddar cheeseRanch Dressing for dipping1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Open can of dough and press into rectangle. Spread or drizzle ranch dressing evenly over dough then top with evenly with chicken, cilantro and cheddar cheese. Starting at long end roll dough into a log shape. Using a sharp knife, cut 1 inch pieces and place onto a greased baking sheet. Bake for 20-22 minutes or until golden brown. Serve with a side of ranch dressing for dipping._________________________Come back soon for a finger lickin' dessert, see you soon![...]



Double Chocolate Covered Pretzel Peanut Butter Cookies

2009-05-24T08:44:34.757-07:00

Happy Memorial Day Weekend everyone! Hope you are all enjoying a well needed long weekend. We are in AZ enjoying some time with family, it's great to be home for a couple days.Can I just say that I am in LOVE with these cookies. You all know my obsession with everything peanut butter, it's no secret and I am not ashamed to admit it my love for chocolate too. I recently discovered these Dark Chocolate Covered Pretzel Slims from Trader Joes. They are an incredible treat and you must try them if you are lucky enough to have TJ's near you. Now, no worries, you can also use any old Chocolate covered pretzel and still get an AMAZING cookie here. The chocolate peanut butter cookie dough is completely deadly! Can't wait for you all to try these, bring them to your weekend BBQ and watch them disappear. Enjoy!Double Chocolate Covered Pretzel Peanut Butter Cookies1 cup butter1 cup white sugar3/4 cup brown sugar2 eggs1 tsp. vanilla1/2 Cup creamy peanut Butter1 3/4 cups flour1 1/4 cups cocoa powder (I used Hershey's Dark Chocolate Cocoa Powder)2 tsps. baking soda1/4 tsp. salt1 1/2 cups white chocolate chips1 Cup Chocolate Covered Pretzels, coarsely crushed1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease cookie sheet. (I used a cookie sheet with a silpat liner)2. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Slowly add eggs and vanilla until well combined then add peanut butter until combined.3. In another bowl, combine the flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt. Slowly add to wet ingredients then stir in white chips and pretzels. Using a medium cookie scoop, drop by rounded spoonfuls onto the prepared cookie sheet.4. Bake for 9-11 minutes, should still be soft in center. Allow cookies to cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.3 dozen cookies____________________________Enjoy the rest of your Memorial Day Weekend! Coming next...something tasty, come back soon![...]



Chorizo and Italian Sausage Stuffed Shells...

2009-05-20T11:04:44.658-07:00

Anyone else feel like their tivo is on major overdrive?! American Idol Finale, The new Bachelorette Season and So You Think You Can Dance coming soon.....phew I hope I can keep up! Those are some of my very favorites, should be fun.Stuffed shells are one of life's greatest pleasures in my humble opinion. I could eat them all the time if my hips could handle them! This is a killer recipe for shells that my whole family loved. For the boys, I cut the shells up a bowl and they thought it was lasagna. Whatever works, right? This recipe feeds a small army, so freeze one batch for later, you'll be glad you did! Enjoy.Chorizo and Italian Sausage Stuffed Shells2 boxes jumbo shells1 lb Sweet Italian Sausage1 lb chorizo1 clove garlicPinch of red pepper flakes2 26 oz cans whole tomatoes (pulsed in food processor until smooth)1/4 teaspoon salt1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil4 Cups fresh baby spinach, choppedPinch of salt2 15 oz containers of Ricotta Cheese1 Cup grated parmesan cheese1 Cup shredded mozzarella cheese1 eggPinch of salt and fresh ground pepper2 Cups shredded mozzarella cheese1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Cook pasta shells according to package directions. Drain and set aside. I brush mine with olive oil to keep them from sticking.2. Place chorizo and sausage into a large skillet over medium heat. Cook until browned and crumbled. Drain and return back to skillet. Stir in garlic over medium heat for 1 minute then add in red pepper flakes, tomatoes, salt and pepper. Reduce heat to low and simmer.3. Place olive oil into a medium skillet over medium heat. Add in spinach and garlic; cook until wilted down. Transfer to a large mixing bowl. Stir in Ricotta, Parmesan, Mozzarella, egg, salt and pepper; mix well.4. Spoon about 1/2 Cup pasta sauce into bottom of 2 9x13 inch baking dishes. Spoon ricotta filling (about 2 Tablespoons) into each cooked shell then place shells seam side down into baking dishes. I think I filled 2 9x13 inch baking dishes plus a 7x11 inch with this recipe. Top shells evenly with sauce then shredded cheese. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until bubbly and hot. *The shells make great freezer meals*______________________________Up next are some cookies that will knock your socks off! Come back soon, have a great week![...]



"Healthier" Banana Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Muffins...

2009-05-17T00:02:57.464-07:00

Hi everyone, yes as you can see, I have another banana peanut butter recipe for you and these muffins are so good! I had a friend give me 3 big cases of yogurt last week and I told her I'd make a batch of somewhat healthy muffins to repay the favor. You'll be so happy eating one of these bad boys for breakfast, they are soft and full of fabulous flavor! I baked one muffin in a small ramekin then wrapped it up for my friend. Give it a try, it makes a cute homemade gift!No worries if you are not a coconut fan, just leave it out. I made half with coconut topping for me and half without to satisfy my picky coconut hating husband! Hope you all enjoy!"Healthier" Banana Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Muffins4 Tablespoons softened butter2 eggs2 ripe bananas, mashed1 Cup plain low-fat vanilla yogurt2/3 Cup sugarheaping 1/4 Cup creamy peanut butter1 1/2 Cups all purpose flour1/2 Cup whole wheat flour3/4 teaspoon salt1/2 teaspoon baking soda1/4 teaspoon baking powder1/2 Cup semi sweet chocolate chips1/4 Cup coarse sugar (I used Turbinado sugar)1/2 Cup shredded sweetened coconut1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place butter, eggs, bananas, yogurt, sugar and peanut butter into a large mixing bowl. Mix to combine. Place all dry ingredients into a separate large bowl and stir to combine. Slowly add to wet ingredients along with the chocolate chips until just combined. Scoop into muffin tins lined with paper cups 2/3 way full. Sprinkle with coarse sugar and shredded coconut. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean from center.12 muffins_______________________Up next are my newest stuffed shells that will have you stuffed in NO time! Come back soon![...]



Chocolate Lovin' Cream Centered Cake....Mmmmm!

2009-05-12T23:04:40.504-07:00

Just watched the Biggest Loser Finale, what a show! It was such a great season. I won't blow it for those of you who tivo'd it, but I will tell you it went WAY over their time limit, at least 1/2 hour. American Idol was awesome too, can't wait to see the results!I have to admit that I am a complete sucker every time I step foot into a William Sonoma and/or Sur La Table. I mean come on, it's every cooks toy store. So, a few weeks ago I see this adorable cake pan on the shelf and next thing I knew I was handing over my debit card and taking my new pan home. Let me just say I love it to pieces. It makes an adorable cake and I can't wait to make an ice cream center next time!It was a cloudy day here in CA when I was desperately trying to get at least one good shot of the cake, so bare with the very mediocre pics below. Trust me, this very simple chocolate cake got reviews such as...."This is the best chocolate cake I've ever had!" I didn't have the heart to admit it was semi-homemade! That's the beauty of it. Enjoy!!Chocolate Lovin' Cream Centered Cake 1 box devils food cake mix4 eggs6 oz vanilla lowfat yogurt1 pkg chocolate instant pudding mix (small box)1/2 Cup oil1/2 Cup water1 bag Reeses Peanut Butter Cup baking pieces (or use cut up candy pieces or even choc chips)Cream Cheese Frosting8 oz softened cream cheese1 stick softened butter2 Cups powdered sugar1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place cake mix, eggs, yogurt, pudding mix, oil and water into stand mixer. Mix on medium-low for 2 minutes or until well combined. Slowly add in baking chips. Pour into greased Oreo cake pans (or 2 9 inch pans). Bake for 25-35 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean from center. Let cool completely, then invert onto wax paper.2. To prepare frosting, beat cream cheese and butter until smooth. Slowly add in powdered sugar until smooth. Spread frosting over bottom cake then place second cake on top. Chill until serving._________________________Mother's Day Festivities We couldn't be in AZ with our family for Mother's Day, but I did get to spend the day with my favorite 3 boys! My sweet hubby made breakfast and even slaved over a beautiful penne pasta dinner after church. The boys made me homemade cards that made me cry, they were so sweet. My evening request was to go watch the sunset at Corona Del Mar beach. Here are some of the pics I snapped of our evening.See you all soon with something mmm good! Have a great rest of your week![...]



Happy Mother's Day.....Now Let Us Eat Dip!

2009-05-10T00:00:00.392-07:00

Happy Mother's Day ladies! What a special day. As crazy as my children make me at times, and as exhausted as I get some days, I look at these cute little faces and realize this is exactly what I love doing, being a Mom. Wish I could say I was the perfect Mom, but that's not happening any time soon! Hope you all get to enjoy some pampering, good food and sweet cards today from your loved ones!I am so grateful for my Mom aka "Mona" as I've nicknamed her. She is my best friend and I miss her like crazy! I just wish we could have spent the day together, that would have been perfect. Happy Mother's Day, xoxox! _________________________Last week I was in pure heaven scarfing down every last bit of my Spinach Artichoke Dip. There is just nothing better than to dip crispy chips into hot and cheesy baked dip full of naughty goodness! You'll find this dip a breeze to whip up and is oh so good. I hope you will treat yourself to a nice little or even better BIG bowl soon, you certainly won't be sorry. Enjoy!Hot Spinach Artichoke Dip, Picky Palate Style!1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil4 Cups fresh baby spinach leaves, chopped (or 10 oz of frozen spinach, thawed and drained well)2 cloves fresh garlic, minced1/2 Cup reduced fat mayonnaise (I felt a little better this way!)8 oz softened cream cheese1 teaspoon Tabasco Hot SaucePinch of salt and pepper1 Cup fresh grated parmesan cheese (go for the real stuff that you grate yourself, it makes a world of difference here, mmm!)13 oz can artichoke hearts, drained and coarsely chopped1 1/2 Cups shredded mozzarella cheese1. Heat oil into a medium skillet over medium heat. Cook spinach for about 3 minutes or until it's wilted down. Stir in garlic for 1 minute then remove from heat. Transfer to a large mixing bowl. Add the mayonnaise, cream cheese, hot sauce, salt, pepper, parmesan and artichokes; mix until well combined. Pour into a small baker or 2 individual smaller bakers. Top with shredded cheese. Bake for 25-3o minutes or until hot and bubbly. Serve with favorite chips or sourdough bread, enjoy!See you soon with some sweet treats! Enjoy your Day![...]