Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Easy Rice Pilaf

Umm, have you ever made rice pilaf? I have. But it came from a box. And while that box of rice actually tasted pretty good in my book, nothing compares to the homemade stuff. Particularly, this homemade stuff. I made it for the first time and was instantly hooked. I've now made it about 4 times since, and that was only 2 weeks ago! It tastes awesome and can be made in no time at all.

Easy Rice Pilaf
Print Recipe
Recipe from AllRecipes
Makes 4 servings
  • 2 Tbsp. salted butter
  • 1/2 cup Orzo pasta
  • 1/2 cup diced onion {I prefer a white onion}
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup uncooked white rice
  • 2 cups chicken broth

  1. Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Add Orzo pasta and stir until golden brown.
  2. Stir in the onion and cook until it becomes translucent. {About 5 minutes.} Add the garlic and cook for one minute.
  3. Mix in the rice and the chicken broth and bring to a boil.
  4. Reduce heat and let simmer, covered, for 20-25 minutes or until rice is tender and liquid has been absorbed. Remove from heat and let stand for 5 minutes before fluffing with a fork.
Just say no, to Rice-A-Roni, my friends. Make this instead.


Friday, April 18, 2014

Blendtec and Twister Jar Giveaway!

Are y'all ready for another giveaway? {If you said no, you're weird. Who doesn't like free stuff?} We are giving away something today that we haven't given away before. And I'm actually already jealous of the winner because I've been wanting a Blendtec blender for a long time now! One of you is going to be very lucky.

Entering is easy. Just use the widget below and follow the prompts. Be sure to check out these talented bloggers that are all participating in this giveaway while you're at it!

Gloria at Simply Gloria 
Mandy at Mandy's Recipe Box 
Karen at The Food Charlatan 
Melanie at Melanie Makes 
Kathi at Deliciously Yum 
Krista at Joyful Healthy Eats 
Kate at Diethood 
Andi at The Weary Chef 
Good luck!!


Thursday, April 17, 2014

Chocolate Caramel Pretzel Nibs

I have been trying for weeks now to recreate the recipe for Honey Mustard and Onion Pretzels. You know - the ones you buy in the store that you can't seem to stop eating once you start, no matter how hard you try, because they're so dang delicious?? Yeah. Those ones. And, while I'm getting super close I think, I haven't broken ground quite yet. After failing more times than I care to count, I thought that rather than get bummed out by another failed attempt, I'd try something a little different with the pretzel nibs I had just bought. Which is when these Chocolate Caramel Pretzel Nibs were born. They're kind of a mix between traditional chocolate caramel pretzels and caramel popcorn. To sum them up - they're delicious. And you will love them.

Chocolate Caramel Pretzel Nibs
Print Recipe
Makes about 8 cups
  • 2 {16 oz.} bags Snyder's Sourdough Nibblers pretzels
  • 2 cups light brown sugar
  • 1 cup light corn syrup
  • 1/2 cup {1 stick} salted butter
  • 1 {14 oz.} can sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 cups milk chocolate chips

  1. Pour the pretzels into a large bowl and set aside.
  2. In a medium saucepan, combine the brown sugar and corn syrup and bring to a boil over medium-low heat. Let boil for one minute.
  3. Add the butter and let melt completely. Bring to a boil again and let boil for another minute.
  4. Add the sweetened condensed milk and stir well. Let boil for another minute, stirring constantly.
  5. Reserve 1 cup of caramel and pour the rest over the pretzels and mix well, fully coating the pretzel pieces. Spread the pretzels onto some wax paper.
  6. Drizzle the remaining caramel evenly over the pretzel pieces.
  7. Melt the chocolate chips in the microwave for 45 seconds. Stir and then microwave in 15 second increments, until chocolate is completely melted. Drizzle over the caramel pretzels. Let sit until chocolate has hardened.
Stay tuned for that Honey Mustard and Onion Pretzels post, but in the meantime, enjoy these babies!


Wednesday, April 16, 2014

S'mores Truffles

I think this recipe is my favorite recipe that I've shared with you guys, to date. And considering I've been doing this whole recipe-sharing thing for almost two whole years now, that's saying something! I think part of it is because I came up with this recipe all in my own little noggin and part of it is the fact that I came up with this recipe and it actually tastes good! That doesn't seem to happen very often.  Have you had an awesome idea that you can't wait to jump on, then it seems to crash and burn like none other? Just me? Okay, I'll stop talking then.

Just kidding. I'm not really going to. Because then I wouldn't be able to tell you about the awesomeness of these S'mores Truffles! Not only are they incredibly delicious and taste just like a s'more {Zachary and I couldn't stop eating them. Usually we give our sweet treats away, but we selfishly hoarded these babies to ourselves.}, but the texture is amazing! It's like biting into a marshmallow that isn't really a marshmallow, but is a bunch of graham cracker crumbs, engulfed in a marshmallowy taste. I know. Sounds crazy. I guess you'll just have to try them and see for yourself, because words don't even do these justice.

S'mores Truffles
Print Recipe
Makes about 3 dozen truffles
  • 25 graham cracker sheets {about 3 packages}
  • 1 {7 oz.} container marshmallow fluff
  • 2 oz. cream cheese
  • 16 oz. melting chocolate {I use Candiquik}

  1. Blend the graham crackers in a food processor until crumbs are formed. Leaving about 1/4 cup aside, combine the crumbs, marshmallow fluff, and cream cheese in a medium sized bowl and mix until well combined. {It takes a few minutes for it all to come together. Be patient.}
  2. Form the crumb mixture into 1 inch balls and place on wax paper. 
  3. Melt the chocolate according to package directions.
  4. Dip the graham cracker balls into the chocolate and place back on wax paper. Sprinkle with the remaining graham cracker crumbs and let sit until chocolate has hardened.
I might go as far as saying that I like these more than actual s'mores... Yep. I just went there. Hope you love them as much as we do!


Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Carrot Cake Cookie Bars

What is it about Easter that makes everyone go crazy for carrot cake? Is it simply because Easter is usually associated with bunnies and bunnies eat carrots? We, humans, are so weird. Whatever the reasoning behind it, I definitely can't complain. I don't know if it's the fact that you're eating something with vegetables in it that tastes so naughty or if it's the cream cheese that is always paired with it, but I love carrot cake and will take any excuse I can get to enjoy it. I know some of you will probably take one look at this recipe and stick up your nose and judge me for using a box cake mix and to you I say BOO! Take your snobbiness elsewhere. And if you're like me and can appreciate the ease and convenience of a box cake mix, then you're going to love these babies.

Carrot Cake Cookie Bars
Print Recipe
Makes 1 - 9x13 inch pan

  • 1 {15.25 oz.} box Carrot Cake mix
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/8 cup all-purpose flour

  • 1 {8 oz.} block cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup salted butter, softened
  • 3 cups powdered sugar

  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF and grease a 9x13 inch baking pan.
  2. Combine the carrot cake mix, the vegetable oil, the eggs and the flour together in a medium bowl and mix just until ingredients come together. Spread the mixture evenly into the baking pan. {It's super sticky, so if you need to, dip a spatula in a little bit of vegetable oil and use it to smooth your batter out.}
  3. Bake for 11-13 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Let cool completely.
  4. Meanwhile, beat the cream cheese until it's nice and smooth. Add the butter and mix until fully combined. Next add the powdered sugar, one cup at a time, until the frosting is nice and smooth.
  5. Spread the frosting evenly over the cooled cookie bars and enjoy.
Happy Easters, my friends!


Monday, April 14, 2014

KitchenAid Giveaway!

You guuuuuys. I have another special giveaway happening and it's just for you! I've given away a lot of KitchenAids on this blog and that's all because of two things. 1 - Because I love you guys and want to see you win free stuff. And 2 - Because I love my KitchenAid so stinking much and I think that everyone needs to have one in their kitchen!

I've teamed up with some other incredible bloggers to bring you this giveaway, so be sure to go give them some love as well.

Image Map

Entering is super simple. Just follow the instructions on the rafflecopter below. The giveaway will run from now until Friday at midnight. Good luck!


Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Pistachio Dreamboat Dessert

Today, we are celebrating something awesome. Lisa, from Wine and Glue is having a baby! I just adore this girl so much. Not only is she a super talented blogger that's always been ridiculously sweet to me, but do you have any idea how hilarious this girl is? Her statuses on Facebook are my favorite. She cracks me up every time. Anyway, a few of us bloggers are getting together to throw her a surprise baby shower today and I'm so excited to share my recipe with you! So many people have loved our Vanilla Dreamboat Dessert that I wanted to take it up a notch and make a pistachio version. And if I'm being completely honest? I think I like the pistachio version more than the vanilla version!

Pistachio Dreamboat Dessert
Print Recipe
Makes 1 - 9x13 inch pan
Recipe adapted from Center Cut Cook
  • 1 pkg regular golden Oreos {36 cookies}
  • 6 Tbsp. salted butter, melted
  • 1 pkg. {8 oz.} cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. cold milk {I use 1%}
  • 1 {16 oz.} tub whipped topping, divided
  • 2 pkgs {3.4 oz.} instant pistachio pudding
  • 3 & 1/4 cups whole milk
  • 1/2 cup pistachios, shelled and chopped

  1. Pulse Oreos in a food processor until fine crumbs are formed. Add the butter and mix until the crumbs are fully coated. Press the crumbs into an ungreased 9x13 in baking dish or pan. Place the pan in the refrigerator while you work on the additional layers.
  2. In a medium bowl, whip the cream cheese until light and fluffy. Add 2 Tbsp. milk and the sugar and mix well. Fold in 2 & 1/2 cups whipped topping. Spread this mixture over the Oreo crust.
  3. In another bowl, combine the pistachio pudding with the 3 & 1/4 cups milk and whisk until pudding starts to thicken. Spread the pudding mixture over the cream cheese layer. Let the dessert rest for about 5 minutes, so the pudding can firm up completely.
  4. Spread the remaining whipped topping over the pudding layer and sprinkle the chopped pistachios on top.
  5. Place in the freezer for 1 hour or let refrigerate for 4 hours before serving.
Come check out the other great baby shower foods at the blogs below!

Chocolate Oreo Cheesecake from Back For Seconds 
Strawberry Rice Krispie Treats from Chocolate, Chocolate and more 
Lemon White Chocolate M&M Cookies from Something Swanky 
Lemon Strawberry Cookie Cups from Beyond Frosting
Strawberry Shortcake Eclair Cake from Inside BruCrew Life
Perfect Sugar Cookies from Crazy for Crust
No Bake Key Lime Cheesecake In A Jar from Life, Love and Sugar
Roasted Blueberry Tart from Lemons for Lulu 
White Chocolate Peeps Cookiewiches from Frugal Foodie Mama 
Pistachio Dreamboat Dessert from High Heels and Grills
Creamy Strawberry Pie from Julie's Eats & Treats
Oatmeal Creme Pie Caramelitas from The Domestic Rebel
Cookie Butter S'Mores Dip from Cupcakes & Kale Chips
Baby Quiche Lorraine from Real Housemoms
Raspberry Pretzel Salad from Mom On Timeout
Berry Chocolate French Toast Casserole from Roxana's Home Baking
Sunrise Cupcakes from Lemon Tree Dwelling
Strawberry Coconut-Lime Icebox Cake from Kitchen Meets Girl
Avocado and Mango Chicken Salad from The Tasty Fork 
parkling Raspberry Lemonade from {i love} my disorganized life

What yummy foods did you have at your baby shower? Or what have you seen at a baby shower that you've been to?


Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Pizza Panini

I love paninis. My all-time favorite restaurant to go to when we visit our family in Utah, is Cafe Zupas. They have so many delicious paninis! My favorite one that I've made at home is our Turkey, Bacon, Avocado Panini, but this Pizza one is a close second. Have a mentioned that I love pizza as well? So, when I had the idea to combine my love for both paninis and pizza, I quickly learned that that idea was nothing short of pure inspiration.

Pizza Panini
Print Recipe
Makes 1 panini sandwich
  • 1 Ciabatta Sandwich Roll {I like the ones from Walmart}
  • 2 slices mozzarella cheese
  • 6-8 pepperonis {I use turkey pepperoni. Tastes just as good with half the calories!}
  • 2 Tbsp. marinara sauce
  • 1 tsp. salted butter

  1. Begin by heating up your panini press, Foreman grill {which is what I use}, or a frying pan over medium-low heat.
  2. Assemble your panini by first cutting your ciabatta roll in half. With the cut side facing up, place the mozzarella evenly over it and then top it with the pepperonis.
  3. On the other side of the roll, spread the marinara sauce out evenly and then put the two halves together. Butter each side.
  4. Cook your panini until each side is lightly browned and the cheese is completely melted.
Enjoy the goodness, my friends!


Monday, April 7, 2014

Cream Cheese and Asparagus Bacontizers

Welcome to Man Monday!

So, I get on Sarah all the time about using titles for blog posts that have far too many words. Seriously.  Take these Breakfast Corn Dogs for example.  Are they actually corn dogs? No. That's what the "breakfast" intro-word implies, they are a breakfast version of corn dogs.  I purposefully didn't call them "Super Awesome Breakfast Sausages Covered in a Cornmeal Batter Dipped in Syrup of the Ages!"  You know why? Cause that's stupid!

Anyway. Sarah and I got into a disagreement about these little appetizers. She wanted something along the lines of "Mini Asparagus Cream Cheese Bacon Appetizers of Delight," or something like that (only slightly exaggerated).  She claimed, "but that's the only way people will REALLY know what they are!"  Oh on the contrary, my dear.  That's what the picture is for...

Regardless, this title is what I came up with to compromise the sitch (short for situation, duh). In fact, I make a motion to the masses!  I'm officially inventing the word Bacontizer: any appetizer utilizing bacon as it's premier ingredient. Done.

Cream Cheese and Asparagus Bacontizers
Print Recipe
Makes about 1 dozen Bacontizers
  • 6 asparagus spears, chopped in half (I usually cut off about an inch of the bottom part of the stem - gets rid of the more bitter stuff)
  • 6 bacon slices, chopped in half (or if you are crazy and like less bacon, cut into thirds) and fat-trimmed as much as possible
  • 4 oz of cream cheese (or neufchâtel cheese), room temperature (if desired)
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion salt

  1. Bring oven to 400ºF.
  2. Boil your asparagus spears in lightly salted water for about 4 minutes, then flash cool in cold water. Set aside.
  3. Fry your bacon lightly on each side, just enough for the meat to be cooked, set aside.
  4. Mix together your cream cheese, garlic powder, and onion salt. It may help to let the cream cheese sit at room temperature for a while before mixing.
  5. Spoon about a 1-2 teaspoons of the cream cheese mixture onto each bacon slice. Don't get too OCD on making sure it's even or anything, your just going to hide the cream cheese anyway.
  6. Place an asparagus piece on the bacon and roll it up. Simple as that.
  7. Lastly, bake the bacontizers in the oven for about 3 minutes, just to crisp them up a bit. That's it.
Enjoy your manly bacontizers the next time you have peeps to impress. I can guarantee you two things: they will be gone in less than 2 minutes and people will love the name "bacontizers." #copyrightintheworks #yousawitherefirst


Thursday, April 3, 2014

Nutter Butter Truffles

We've been battling a serious case of pink eye conjunctivitis in our house this week. {The doctor actually told me not to call it pink eye because he said there is a stigma around it that gets everybody hyped up when they don't really need to be. Weird that he would care to tell me that, but I totally agree.} Anyway, it's taken a serious toll on all of us. I don't know if it's because Adelaide is teething at the same time as well, but for the past 5 nights, she has woken up, literally, every two hours. It's killing me! That was until last night, when she slept for 11 whole hours straight! I was in heaven. But then, of course I went to bed at 12:30 am, so it kind of nullified that luxury. Oh, mom life.

So, amidst the tired eyes and slow, dragging feet today, I've been popping these bad boys to keep me awake and moving. And yes, I've counting every one of their calories {which are around 87 each, by the way} and they've definitely hit the spot for my sweet tooth! Best part about making them, is they only require 4 ingredients. Holla!

Nutter Butter Truffles
Print Recipe
Makes about 3 dozen truffles
  • 1 {16 oz} package Nutter Butters
  • 1 {8 oz.} pkg cream cheese 
  • 16 oz. white dipping chocolate {I use Candiquik}
  • {Optional} 1/2 cup smooth peanut butter

  1. In a food processor or blender, blend Nutter Butters until fine crumbs are formed.
  2. With a stand mixer or an electric hand mixer, combine the crumbs with the cream cheese and mix well. {I used the cream cheese straight out of the refrigerator and it worked great, so I suggest doing that.}
  3. Roll the Nutter Butter dough into 1 inch balls and set aside.
  4. Melt chocolate according to package directions. Dip Nutter Butter balls into the chocolate using a fork. Do not pierce the ball, but place it on top of the fork prongs. Coat it with the chocolate and then let the excess chocolate run off through the prongs. Carefully place the coated ball on wax paper to let set.
  5. Let sit for about ten minutes until chocolate is hardened.
  6. Melt the peanut butter in the microwave for 45-60 seconds until it's smooth and runny. Place it in a small Ziploc bag and cut a very small corner off of the bag. Drizzle the peanut butter over the truffles and enjoy.
Hope you enjoy this Nutter Buttery goodness!