Monday, April 30, 2012

Funfetti Oreo Stuffed Cookies

   
   Cookie Ingredients:
   1 box Funfetti cake mix
   12 oreo cookies
   1/2 cup vegetable oil
   2 eggs

   Buttercream Glaze Ingredients:
   Buttercream frosting
   Dash of milk

 
Directions: Mix funfetti cake mix with 1/2 cup vegetable oil and 2 eggs. Wrap each oreo in your cookie dough, making a thin layer around the entire oreo. Careful so that you don't use too much dough, just enough to cover the oreo. Lay cookies on a lightly greased cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes. Allow to cool and drizzle with Buttercream Glaze!


 

Buttercream Glaze Directions: I used some leftover buttercream frosting, heated in the microwave for 10 seconds, mixed with a tiny bit of milk and drizzled it over the cookies. 
***(If you don't have buttercream frosting laying around, you can mix some powdered sugar with a tiny dash of milk and vanilla. A little liquid goes a long way with powdered sugar)***






Saturday, April 21, 2012

Homemade Peanut Butter Recipe


Who knew making your own peanut butter was so easy? I'm not sure I'll ever buy it again, considering how easy this recipe was to make, and how good it tasted!

 

Ingredients:
1 cup peanuts (I used roasted, lightly salted)
1-2 teaspoons peanut oil

Place your peanuts in a food processor and blend for about a minute. Once the nuts start to break down into a fine grain you will notice they start to release some natural oils. Add about a teaspoon of your peanut oil and blend again. At this point the consistency should resemble a grainy peanut butter. If you need to, add another teaspoon of peanut oil. Blend until completely smooth.


The motor in my food processor was working hard on this and the peanut butter was actually quite warm when it came out of the food processor. Use immediately or place in a covered dish and refrigerate until needed!

Friday, April 20, 2012

Best Steak Marinade in Existence


About a year ago when I saw a recipe on AllRecipes.com for the Best Steak Marinade in Existence, I was a bit skeptical. The ingredients list alone was daunting. But I have to say it did live up to it's name, Best Steak Marinade in Existence.


Ingredients:
1/3 cup soy sauce 
1/2 cup olive oil
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
1 1/2 tablespoons garlic powder
3 tablespoons dried basil
1 1/2 tablespoons dried parsley flakes
1 teaspoon ground white pepper
1 tsp minced garlic (optional)
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)

Puree everything in your food processor. Pour in a shallow dish and throw your meat in. Marinate for up to 8 hours. We have done this right before dinner and only let the steaks marinate for about 30 minutes and they were still delicious. But the longer you can let them marinate, the better. This marinade turns so-so cuts of meat into the most delicious steak of your life.




Fruit Salad in a Watermelon Bowl



What is more refreshing than a fruit salad? This Fruit Salad in a Watermelon Bowl not only looks great, but it is healthy and it is so easy to prepare and bring to a lunch or barbecue at a friends house! I used the fruits that I found that were ripe and fresh, and I decided to use a watermelon as the bowl. This is such a great recipe because it is quick and easy, not to mention the fact that you won't have to worry about finding a bowl to use for presentation!

I used:
  • Watermelon
  • Strawberries
  • Apples
  • Blueberries
  • Grapes
Other Delcious Fruits you can use:
  • Bananas
  • Pears
  • Peaches
  • Raspberries
  • Blackberries
  • Any other fresh fruits you can think of!

Chop your fruit into bite-sized pieces and  then toss your cut fruits in a light drizzle of lemon juice to keep them fresh and also to prevent them from browning. To store this fruit salad, cover in plastic wrap in the fridge.


Mini Pigs in Blankets


Ingredients:
Hillshire Farms Lil' Smokies Sausages (with cheddar cheese)
Puff Pastry (premade - frozen)
1 egg

Directions:

First, make an egg-wash out of your egg and a bit of water. Beat the egg thoroughly and mix in a couple tablespoons of water. This will be your binding agent to make sure the blankets don't fall off of the pigs.

Get your puff pastry out of the freezer and let it sit out at room temperature for about 30 minutes. Lightly flour a cutting board and lay your puff pastry out flat on the cutting board. Next, with a lightly floured rolling pin, gently roll out the puff pastry in to a thin sheet.

Next, using a pizza cutter, slice your puff pastry into squares that are about 2-2.5 inches on either side. Place a sausage diagonally on the square of puff pastry. Fold over one corner onto the sausage. Lightly brush that corner with your egg-wash. Bring the opposite corner over the hot dog and lightly press it into the puff pastry. It should stick pretty easily thanks to the egg-wash.

Lay out on a lightly greased baking sheet and bake for about 10 minutes at 350 or until lightly golden brown. You can also partially bake these and freeze them for a quick easy snack!







Thursday, April 19, 2012

Paula Deen's Oatmeal Lace Cookies

You can usually count on two things when using a Paula Deen recipe. 
One: It's going to be extremely delicious. 
Two: It is going to call for an insane amount of butter.



This recipe makes the chewiest most delicious oatmeal raisin cookies ever. Because they are made with baking soda and not baking powder, these are a flatter cookie, and are more chewy than other thicker cake-like oatmeal raisin cookies. This will definitely be my new go-to Oatmeal raisin cookie recipe!



Ingredients:
2 sticks of butter* (room temperature)
2 eggs
1.5 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
2 cups oats
1 cup raisins (or to taste)

* I used salted butter, but if you use unsalted butter, make sure to add 1 tsp of salt when you add the flour to the batter.

Directions:
Cream together butter, sugar, and brown sugar. Once mixed, beat in your eggs. Mix your flour, baking soda, and cinnamon in another bowl. Slowly add your dry ingredients to your batter and mix thoroughly. Once it is completely mixed, add your oats and mix until blended well. Then, gently fold in your raisins to the batter. Bake at 350 for 8-10 minutes. Cool on cookie racks and enjoy!



Saturday, April 14, 2012

Cinnamon Roll Pancakes


 Pancakes:
 2 cups Krusteaz Buttermilk pancake mix
 1 + 1/3 cups water

Combine dry pancake mix and water thoroughly. Set aside.

*note: I used Krusteaz Buttermilk pancake mix but feel free to substitute a different brand and just follow the instructions on the back of the box. Or if you're feeling really adventurous, make them from scratch!

Cinnamon Glaze:
3/4 stick butter 
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon

Melt butter in microwave. Check it every 15-20 seconds and stir so that it doesn't explode all over your microwave. Once butter is completely melted, add brown sugar and cinnamon and mix. Once mixed, poor in a zip-lock bag. When you are ready, snip off one of the corners so you can pipe it into the pancake.


Assembly:



Heat up a non stick pan on medium-low heat. Poor pancake batter into a nonstick pan. I used a 1/3 cup measure and it made 8 medium sized pancakes. Next, pipe your cinnamon glaze onto the pancake using a ziplock bag with the corner cut off. Start at the outside of the pancake and working in a circular motion, work your way to the middle of the pancake. Don't get too close to the edge of the pancake with the cinnamon glaze or the edges of your pancake will burn. Once the pancake starts bubbling, it is ready to flip! Flip it over and let it cook another 2-3 minutes until the cinnamon side is golden brown and the pancake is cooked throughout.

Stack them up and poor your cream cheese frosting on top. 



Cream Cheese Frosting:
1 stick butter
4 oz cream cheese
1.5 cup powdered sugar
2 tsp vanilla

Set cream cheese out at least 15 minutes before you start so that it can come to room temperature. Melt butter in microwave. Once butter is melted, mix in cream cheese, powdered sugar, and vanilla. Mixture might be a little thick. Microwave it for about 15 seconds before pouring on pancakes to thin it out. If it is still too thick, add a tiny bit of milk to make it the constancy of maple syrup.








Friday, April 13, 2012

Chocolate Covered Strawberries

If there is one thing I get asked more than ever, it is how to make chocolate covered strawberries, and it is so, so easy.  Everyone should try making these at least once!


Ingredients:
- Fresh Strawberries
- Chocolate Chips (I prefer semi sweet)
- any other toppings you can think of for decorating! (sprinkles, coconut, any colored chocolate chip, nuts, etc)


1. Wash Strawberries, let dry on paper towels. (any wet strawberries will cause your chocolate to harden and get lumpy).


2. Melt Chocolate. Easiest way is to microwave chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl. I like to microwave them 30 seconds at a time, stirring in between to make sure that the chocolate doesn't burn. (If your chocolate seems a bit stiff, add a tiny bit of vegetable oil to make it more dip-able)

3. Dip Strawberries in chocolate and lay them on a cookie sheet lined with wax paper.

4. Decorate! (My Favorite Part)

 For these swirled ones, I put white chocolate in a ziplock bag, cut a small corner and piped a few fine lines of white chocolate on to a chocolate covered strawberry. Using a toothpick, drag it across the strawberry either up or down to create these pretty patterns! Fancy.



For a more drizzled look, drizzle the chocolate on to the strawberry with a plastic bag


or use a fork to make more sporadic drizzle patterns.

Fork used to drizzle white chocolate
White chocolate piped on to Strawberries with plastic bag

I found these cute red white and blue Fourth of July sprinkles and star sprinkles that look like Fire Works :)





Sometimes I like to add more chocolate chips as decorations to the strawberries.. adds such a fun touch.


5. Refrigerate for 30-45 minutes...














6. ENJOY!

Make sure to store your strawberries in the fridge. If making these for an event, it is best to make them the day of, or the day before. They usually only last a few days so make sure that you get the freshest strawberries possible.

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