Friday, November 30, 2012

Sopapilla Cheesecake Pinwheels

Hello everyone :) Happy Friday!! I thought we could start out our weekend with an excellent little dessert. Trust me, these are awesome! :)

There is NO WAY this recipe can be healthy, but by substituting the Neufchatel cheese for Cream cheese you save yourself some calories. Check out why this substitution is AWESOME here

1 can Crescent Rolls
1 package Neufchatel Cheese, softened
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp. Vanilla
Cinnamon & Sugar
Optional: 1 Tbsp. Butter

To start off, spray a piece of foil with nonstick cooking spray and unroll your crescent dough onto it. You DO NOT want to tear it into triangles, leave it in one big sheet. If your crescent dough starts to break apart, just push it back together with your fingers. In a small mixing bowl, stir together your neufchatel cheese, sugar, and vanilla. Once mixed, spread this mixture over your crescent dough. Next, sprinkle cinnamon & sugar on top of your cream cheese mixture. There is no specific amount to use of this, just however much you like! I LOVE cinnamon & sugar so I used quite a bit :) See pictures below:


Now, roll your crescent dough up into a log (long-ways... or hot dog style for my visual learners ;)). It should look like this:

Now, wrap your log up in the foil and stick it in the freezer. I left mine in there while I cooked dinner which turned out to be about an hour, but you don't have to do it this long. You just want your log stiff enough so that it doesn't squish to much when you cut it up.

Preheat your oven to 350. Once your log is stiff, take it out of the freezer and cut it into small pieces ( about 1/2 in thick). I placed mine on parchment paper, but you can just use a regular cookie sheet if you don't have any. Here is what your pieces will look like:

Now for the optional step. If you so desire (I desired!) you can melt a tablespoon of butter and brush it on top of your pinwheels to make them a little more flaky. This step is completely optional though.

Bake your pinwheels for 12-15 minutes or until golden brown. Here are some pictures of your finished product:

These are awesome with some honey drizzled on them as well. :)
Happy Cooking
& Enjoy!!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Loaded Baked Potato Casserole

Alright guys, confession time. I hate casseroles. Seriously, the thought of a casserole grosses me out. The thought of multiple ingredients mixed together in 1 pan is just not my thing, so when I saw this recipe here I was less than thrilled to try it. To my surprise... this thing is GOOD! Even for casserole haters like me, it's a treat.

Since Thanksgiving is a time when there are plenty of casseroles around, I thought I'd give you another casserole to add to your arsenal. Plus, this recipe is really easy!

1/2 bag Shredded Frozen Hash browns
16 oz. Sour Cream
1 packet Dry Ranch Mix
3 oz. bacon bits (or about 10-12 slices cooked & crumbled bacon)
1 cup of your favorite cheese (I used Colby Jack)

I used store bought bacon bits in this to save time, but the bacon bits can easily be made from regular bacon strips. Just cook your bacon strips and then crumble them up.

To make this casserole, preheat your oven to 400. Combine all your ingredients in a large mixing bowl and stir until combined. Next, take an 8 x 8 square pan (or a 13 x 9 if you double the recipe) and spray it with non-stick cooking spray. Pour your ingredient mixture into the pan and spread it out evenly. Here is what your casserole should look like:

Bake your casserole for 45 min-1 hour (until the top is light brown & crispy). That's it! You are finished! Wasn't that easy? Here is a picture of your finished product:

Happy Cooking
& Enjoy!!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Mesquite BBQ Chicken (Crockpot)

As you all may have noticed, I have been quite the busy little bee with grad school lately. When you are busy, who doesn't like a really quick recipe?! Seriously, this recipe take about 1 minute to put together, and then about 10 minutes or less in prep time right before you eat... AND you can put the meat in still frozen. This is my kind of meal! Another great part, there are only 3 ingredients (4 if you are making a sandwich or baked potato)! :) Grab your crockpots and lets make some food!

This makes about 6 servings, but if you are by yourself, just use less chicken, sauce, etc. I usually put this on when I leave for work and school in the morning and it is ready when I get home.

3 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts (or 6 small), still frozen
18 oz. bottle Mesquite BBQ Sauce
1 packet dry ranch dressing

To make this, pour your BBQ sauce and dry ranch into the crockpot and mix together (I usually put a little water in my BBQ sauce bottle after I pour it in to get the remaining sauce out and add some moisture, it comes out to about 1/4 cup). Next throw your chicken in there and coat it in your sauce. Put your lid on and set your chicken to cook on low for 6-8 hours (or on high for 3-4 hours). Here is what your chicken should look like before cooking:

Once your chicken is done, take two forks, shred it, and then throw it back into the sauce. Since it's cooked in the crockpot it will literally just fall apart. Here is what your finished product looks like:

YUM!!! I usually put it on sandwiches the first night we have it and then the next night cook some baked potatoes and have it on top with some sour cream. This time I splurged and I bought some of those nice Hawaiian bread buns, they were good!

Happy Cooking
& Enjoy!!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Posting Schedule

Hey everyone! I'm so so so sorry I haven't been holding up my usual 4 posts per week lately. The semester is getting down to the grind and so I am not going to be able to keep that up as of now. I promise I will give you at least 1 thing a week, but until after December, that is all I can promise. As always, let me know if you have any special requests for posts, I'm ALWAYS looking for new ideas and new recipes/DIY projects to try! You can email me at
Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Peanut Butter Cookies

About two weeks ago was my father-in-law's birthday. I wanted to make him something special from the heart, so I decided to go with some peanut butter cookies. Peanut Butter cookies are one of his favorites AND they are a crowd pleaser. :)

Best part about this recipe: It's SUPER easy and the cookies look like a professional made them when you are done. :)

1/2 cup Sugar
1/2 cup Brown Sugar
1/2 cup Butter (1 stick), room temperature
1/2 cup Peanut Butter
1 Egg
1 1/4 cup Flour
3/4 tsp. Baking Soda
1/2 tsp. Baking Powder
1/4 tsp. Salt
Optional Garnish: Hershey Kisses

To make these little beauties, put your butter in a mixing bowl and mix until creamy. Next, add in your sugar and brown sugar and mix for 2 minutes. Then, add in your egg and peanut butter and mix until incorporated. Finally, add in your flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt (this part might have to be done with a spoon).

Take your mixture and stick it in the freezer for 30-45 minutes. This will make your dough cold and hard so that it is easy to shape. Once your time is up, preheat your oven to 350, shape your dough into 1-1 1/4 inch balls, and lay out on a cookie sheet about 2 inches apart. You shape your cookies by rolling them around in your hands. If the cookie mixture starts to stick to your hands, put the dough back in the fridge for about 10-15 minutes before continuing. Here is what they should look like at this point:

Next, grab a small cup and fill it with water. Take a fork, dip it in the water, and make a criss-cross pattern on your cookie. You should need to dip your fork in the water about every 2-3 cookies.

Here is what your cookies should look like at this point:

Bake your cookies for 10-15 minutes (depending on how chewy you want them). Here is what they should look like:

If you are adding the Hershey Kiss, unwrap your kisses and press them down into the middle of your cookies while they are still hot. Here is what your final product should look like:


Happy Cooking
& Enjoy!!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Almond Poppyseed Bread

How is everyone doing the day after Halloween? We had ZERO trick or treaters so it was an early night for us. The extra sleep was nice but still made me a little sad.

I got some bread pans for my birthday from my sisters and ever since then I have been looking for good bread recipes to try. I had never made bread before so this was going to be an experiment (as most things in our house are). Let me tell you, this experiment was DEFINITELY a success. This bread was SO good, we ate both loaves in about 2 days. :) I found the recipe here. This recipe is REALLY easy to make and is awesome!!

-Extra Flour
3 cups flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
3 eggs
1 1/8 cups vegetable oil
2 1/4 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups milk
1 1/2 T. poppy seeds
1 1/2 tsp almond extract
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 tsp melted butter
1/4 cup orange juice
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp almond extract
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 tsp melted butter
To start out, preheat your oven to 350. While the oven is preheating, you need to grease your bread pans (I used two large pans). This is done by rubbing a paper towel in Crisco and rubbing it all over the pan and then coating the Crisco in flour. Below is a picture of the Crisco on the pan, before the flour coating.
Next, mix all your bread ingredients together in a large bowl and pour into your bread pans. Here is what it should look like (and you can see some of the flour coating)

Cook your bread pans in the oven for 45-60 minutes. If you used dark pans like I did, you want to start checking your bread at 45 minutes to make sure it doesn't over cook. Your bread will be done when it is golden brown, and when a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Here is a picture:

When you start checking your loaves at 45 minutes, it is time to start the glaze cooking. In a small sauce pan, combine all your glaze ingredients and heat over medium heat until the sugar is dissolved (when you can't see anymore sugar granules in the glaze mixture). Once your glaze is done, remove your bread from their pans and pour the glaze over them (while they are still hot). I used a plate for this and it seemed to work well. The glaze will fall off the bread, so use a spoon to scoop up the extra and pour it back on top and on the sides until it is all gone. The goal is to have the whole loaf coated. Here is a picture of mine:

Trust me, you will love this stuff!!! The glaze will harden on the outside of the bread which tastes awesome and protects the moisture inside.
Happy Cooking
& Enjoy!!