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Thursday
Aug282014

Funfetti Pudding Mix Cookies

Funfetti cookies

When it comes to cookies, I typically prefer them to be of the chocolate chip variety. However, I had some pudding mix in the cabinet that I wanted to use and when I searched for recipes, I loved with how colorful these funfetti cookies were and couldn’t wait to give them a try. Sprinkles or jimmies? Which do you prefer? I’ve always grown up calling them jimmies, but just last week, somehow that word was brought up and Joel said he had never heard of them being referred to as that before. I found it odd, because that is just what I’ve always called them. So I’m curious, what do you call them? Whatever it is, give these cookies a try. With school starting up next week, they will be sure to brighten up any lunch box!

2 1/4 cups Flour
3/4 teaspoon Baking Soda
1/4 teaspoon Salt
1 cup Butter, softened
1 1/4 cups Sugar
1 Egg
1 Egg Yolk
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
3/4 teaspoon Almond Extract 
1 package (3.4 ounces) Instant Vanilla Pudding Mix
2/3 cup Rainbow Jimmies/Sprinkles

In a bowl, mix together the flour, baking soda, and salt; set aside. In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugar. Mix in the egg and yolk and both extracts, then add the pudding mix. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the dry ingredients and mix until combined. Stir in the jimmies/sprinkles. Using a medium cookie scoop, scoop the dough out and drop them onto parchment paper lined baking sheets 2-inches apart. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes, or until the edges are golden. Cool on the baking sheet, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container. Makes about 2.5 dozen.

SOURCE: Cooking Classy

Monday
Aug252014

Chicken Orzo Artichoke Salad

Chicken orzo salad

Summer is just about done, which makes me sad. But today is Secret Recipe Club reveal day, and that makes me happy. This month, I was assigned to Dorothy’s blog, Shockingly Delicious. Dorothy has a great philosophy when it comes to cooking. She likes to keep her meals on the cost conscious side, which is a plus in my book too! But no matter what, it always has to be “crazy good” or “shockingly delicious”, which is how she came up with her blog name. As per usual, I had a difficult time choosing a recipe, because so many of Dorothy’s recipes look amazing! I had it pared down to a handful, and I was sure that cheesecake would be the winner, but after a week of vacation eating, I thought it would be best to put the cheesecake on the back burner and have something a little more healthy. This pasta salad was absolutely perfect! We ate it warm, but it was even better cold the next day for lunch. Dorothy, it was so nice to get to know you this month. Thanks for the great recipe!!

For the Salad
3 cups Diced Cooked Chicken
1/2 cup Orzo Pasta, cooked according to package directions
1 cup Cherry Tomatoes, halved
3 Scallions, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons Italian Parsley, chopped
1 jar (6 ounces) Marinated Artichoke Hearts, drained and chopped

For the Dressing
6 tablespoons Olive Oil
3 tablespoons White Wine Vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons Lemon Juice
1 1/2 teaspoons Dijon Mustard
Salt and Pepper, to taste

For Serving (Optional)
Fresh Spinach (I used arugula, because that is what I had)
Kalamata Olives, halved
Grated Parmesan Cheese (I used feta)
Fresh Basil, shredded 

Whisk all ingredients in a small bowl until well combined; set aside. In a large bowl, combine the chicken, orzo, tomatoes, scallions, parsley, and artichokes. Toss with the dressing to combine. Serve salad over a bed of spinach, and add the olives, cheese, and basil to garnish, if desired.

SOURCE: Shockingly Delicious

Saturday
Aug022014

Crispy Cauliflower Tacos with Mango Salsa

Cauliflower tacos

Here’s another Mexican meal for you. We’ve had tacos with all kinds of meat, fish, lentils, and beans as the main filling, but one thing I never would have thought to replace those fillings with is cauliflower. I came across this recipe and was intrigued enough to give it a try. When I told Joel what we were having, he was a little apprehensive and asked if it was going to be good, which is usually what he asks when a meal sounds questionable and ends up being relatively inedible, forcing us to get take out (it unfortunately happens more than I’d like to admit). But, despite his skepticism, I went ahead and made these tacos for dinner last night. Imagine my surprise when Joel ate them up and declared them delicious! Sometimes, you just have to give those odd sounding recipes a try. They might end up surprising you in the best, and most delicious, way possible! 

For the Mango Salsa
1 Mango, peeled, cored, and chopped
1/2 Red Onion, finely diced (about 1/4 cup)
1 Jalapeño, seeded and finely diced
2 Garlic Cloves, minced
1/2 Lime, juiced
1/2 cup Cilantro, coarsely chopped (I omitted because my plant died)
 Salt and Pepper, to taste

Combine the mango, onion, jalapeño, and garlic in a bowl. Toss with lime juice and fold in cilantro. Season with salt and pepper, to taste, and set aside.

For the Crispy Cauliflower
1/3 cup Olive Oil, divided
1 head Cauliflower, cut into small florets
6 tablespoons Panko Breadcrumbs, divided
Salt and Pepper, to taste

Working in batches, heat half of the oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the cauliflower and cook until golden brown, stirring occasionally, about 7-10 minutes. Toss with half of the panko and cook until the breadcrumbs have become golden brown, 2-3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Remove the cauliflower from the skillet into a bowl and repeat with the remaining oil, cauliflower, and panko.

For the Tacos
8-10 Small Tortillas (I used Trader Joe’s Corn & Wheat)
1 Avocado
1/2 Lime, juiced
1 cup Shredded Cabbage (I used green but red would be great too)
Sour Cream

To assemble tacos, mash the avocado with the lime juice. Spread some avocado onto a tortilla and top with cabbage, cauliflower, salsa, and sour cream. This recipe makes enough for 4 servings of 2 tacos each.

SOURCE: Love and Olive Oil

Monday
Jul282014

Creamy Corn and Pepper Taquitos

Corn taquitos

 

Today is Secret Recipe Club reveal day! This month, I was assigned to Lindsay’s blog, Life and Kitchen. Lindsay hails from Pittsburgh and is the mom of a sweet little girl. Her blog has a great mix of sweet and savory recipes, all with amazing photos, so you can imagine that it made it very difficult to choose just one! Head over to Lindsay’s blog to see all the amazing recipes she has!

Mexican food is my favorite kind of food. Enchiladas are my typical go-to Mexican meal, with burritos being a close second. Taquitos, however, are something I’ve never had. To be honest, this recipe reminded me of mini enchiladas, minus the sauce and cheese on top. Something about the size of these taquitos made them so fun to eat! They would be a perfect party snack, but also make for a delicious dinner. Dunk them in your favorite salsa and enjoy! 

2 teaspoons Olive Oil
1/2 Yellow Onion, diced
1/4 cup Red Bell Pepper, diced
1/4 cup Green Bell Pepper, diced
1/2 cup Corn (I cut it off of 2 cobs, but you can use frozen)
5 ounces Cream Cheese
1/4 cup Shredded Cheddar Cheese
1/4 teaspoon Chili Powder
1/4 teaspoon Cumin
8 Small Tortillas (I used 11)
Cooking Spray

Heat the olive oil in a sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add the onions and peppers and sauté until soft.  Add the corn, chili powder, and cumin and sauté for an additional minute. Add the cream cheese and cheddar cheese, stirring until melted. Adjust seasonings as necessary. Spread some of the mixture into the center of a tortilla and roll tightly. Place the tortilla seam side down onto a baking sheet and continue with remaining tortillas and mixture. Spray the tortillas with cooking spray. Bake at 425 degrees for about 12-15 minutes, or until lightly brown and crispy. **Taquitos freeze well, too! 

SOURCE: Life and Kitchen

Tuesday
Jul152014

No-Knead Cinnamon Buns

Cinnamon buns

When I was a kid, Pillsbury cinnamon rolls in the tube were a special breakfast treat. Never did I have a real homemade cinnamon roll. Even in my adult life, the extent of my cinnamon roll making has been whacking a tube against a counter and popping pre-rolled dough into the oven. Not anymore. The other night, in between watching a movie (Kill Bill…Joel's pick), I whipped together a sticky dough (seriously, some of the stickiest dough I’ve ever made) and let it rest on the counter. Before going to bed, I rolled the dough, cut it into rounds, and popped it in the fridge to rest until morning. The next day, when I woke up, I pulled the rolls out of the fridge to come to room temperature as the oven pre-heated. A half hour later, I was devouring one of the most delicious cinnamon rolls I’ve ever had. While the tube kind were delicious when I was a kid, now that I’ve had the real deal, I’ll never go back!

For the Buns
1 cup + 2 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon Milk
1 teaspoon Yeast
2 1/4 cups Bread Flour
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1/4 cup Sugar
2 tablespoons + 2 teaspoons Butter
1 Egg, at room temperature and lightly beaten

Melt the butter in a microwave-safe dish and allow to cool. In a large bowl, mix the milk and yeast, then set aside. In another large bowl, stir together the flour, salt, and sugar. Add the cooled butter to the milk mixture and whisk, then add the beaten egg to the milk mixture, making sure that everything has been mixed thoroughly. Add the milk mixture to the flour mixture and stir until fully incorporated as a fairly wet dough. Cover and proof for 2 hours. 

For the Filling
1/2 cup Brown Sugar, packed
2 tablespoons Ground Cinnamon
1 tablespoon Flour
1/4 cup Butter, at room temperature

In a small bowl, mix together the brown sugar, cinnamon, and flour. Line an 8-inch square pan with parchment paper. Generously flour your work surface (or even a sheet of parchment paper) and scrape the dough onto the surface. Dust the dough and rolling pin with flour and roll it out into a rectangle of about 14”x20”. Spread the butter evenly over the dough and sprinkle the cinnamon mixture evenly over the dough. Roll, starting at the short edge. Cut into 9 equal rounds and place them into the prepared pan. Cover and proof for 1 hour. At this point, you can put the buns in the fridge. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, allowing the buns to come to room temperature if they had been refrigerated. Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until golden brown. 

For the Frosting
4 ounces Whipped Cream Cheese
2 tablespoons Butter, at room temperature
1/4 cup Sugar 

In a small bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Fold in the cream cheese until smooth. When the cinnamon buns come out of the oven, frost them right away while they are still hot. Cool slightly, then enjoy. Refrigerate remaining buns, reheating them in the microwave for about 20 seconds to reheat. 

SOURCE: i am a food blog