Chocolate-Coconut Bars

Every now and then, I like to go to the farmer’s market by the dike and pick up some fresh produce there.  They usually have a booth where you can buy fresh breads and these wonderful bars. Well, I don’t know how close this recipe is to being like those bars at the Farmer’s market, but they’re pretty darn close.

These bars have a graham cracker crust and they’re covered with chocolate chips, sweetened condensed milk, coconut, and pecans. I added some butterscotch chips to them. You have to let them cool completely too, or else they will just crumble apart when you cut them when they first come out of the oven. I made them just to snack on and left them out in my kitchen during my bridal shower and people were snacking on them. They loved them.

Also at my bridal shower I made these cute ice cubes. They looked really pretty in the punch. You just add some fresh mint in them and fruit and freeze.I also got a lot of recipes from my shower to try and I can’t wait to post some of those on here.

My friend made these pink lemonade cupcakes. If you like tart and very sweet cupcakes then these are for you!

Ingredients from Martha Stewart

3 cups finely ground cookies (12 ounces), such as graham crackers or chocolate wafers, or a combination
1/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted
1 cup pecan pieces
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips or chunks
1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk
1 1/2 cups sweetened shredded coconut

Directions

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly splash a 15-by-10-inch rimmed baking sheet evenly with water, then line with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, stir together cookie crumbs, sugar, and butter until combined. Evenly press onto bottom and up sides of prepared baking sheet. Bake, rotating halfway through, until firm, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack; cool, about 20 minutes.

Sprinkle cooled crust evenly with pecans and chocolate. Pour condensed milk over the top, spreading to cover completely (do not let it drip over the edges). Sprinkle with coconut.

Bake until coconut is toasted, 10 to 15 minutes. Transfer to rack; cool completely. Trim edges, if desired, and cut into equal-size bars.

Taco Seasoning

Ever wanted to make a recipe that calls for a packet of taco seasoning but never had that? The packets that you get at the grocery store always have so much sodium in them and if you’re watching your sodium intake making your own taco seasoning is a good way to avoid that. I always have chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder, and cumin on hand in my pantry…..AND we’re always making our own tacos or Mexican food at home. Make a bunch of this and store it in a jar or Tupperware container and you’ll have taco seasoning all the time.

Ingredients from Smells Like Home

1/4 cup ancho chili powder/chili powder
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1/2 to 1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes (to taste)
2 tsp dried oregano
2 tsp paprika
2 tbsp ground cumin
3 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp black pepper

Combine all ingredients in a small bowl. Store in an airtight container.

To use: Use 2 to 2 1/2 tablespoons of taco seasoning in place of a packet of store-bought taco seasoning. Combine 2 tbsp cornstarch with 1 cup cold water and stir to dissolve cornstarch. In a large saute pan set over medium-high heat, brown 1lb ground beef, turkey or chicken, add seasoning and cornstarch-water mixture, and simmer over low heat until liquid has thickened.

Breakfast Pizza

There’s the most amazing breakfast at Pizza Patrol. It has sausage, cheese, and cooked eggs on top of it. It’s kind of like a white pizza, but I think they have some kind of garlic sauce on top of the crust. It’s so good, and whenever we get it for treat day, I’m a really happy camper. This pizza I made, is good, but not as good as the breakfast pizza at Pizza patrol.  ;)

I totally over cooked the eggs. When I took it out of the oven, some of them were still runny. By the time I got to eat it (It takes awhile to photograph these pictures) the yolks were  over cooked. Darnit! Cooking eggs in the oven is difficult. It’s hard to tell when the egg whites are set. Next time, if I make this I’ll either poach the eggs or fry them in a pan.

I’ve been thinking about adding different sections to this blog. There’s quite a few recipes I have book marked for making your own lip balm, body scrub, and lotion etc.. I also have a fun DIY grim reeper that I want to make for Halloween this year. So excited to make that. :) Now, if only I could figure out how to add multiple blogs to a blog?

Ingredients from: Framed Cooks

½ teaspoon dry active yeast

2 cups plus 2 tablespoons

bread flour, plus more for dusting

Kosher salt

6 strips bacon

½ cup grated Parmesan

2 cups grated mozzarella

6 large eggs

Freshly ground black pepper

2 tablespoons minced parsley

2 tablespoons minced chives

2 scallions, thinly sliced

1 shallot, minced.

1. The night before, prepare the dough: place ¾ cup lukewarm water in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook. Sprinkle in the yeast, stir and let sit for 5 minutes. Add the flour and 1 teaspoon of salt and mix on low for 1 minute. Increase the speed to medium and mix for 2 minutes, then increase the speed to high and mix until a smooth dough forms, about 2 minutes more. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface, divide into two equal pieces and form each half into a tight ball. Place on a large floured sheet pan, place the pan in a plastic garbage bag, tie the bag loosely and refrigerate overnight.

2. One hour before baking, place the dough in a warm spot. Adjust the oven rack to the lowest position and set a pizza stone on it (if you have one – if not a heavy duty cookie sheet works fine). Preheat the oven to 500 degrees.

3. Fry the bacon in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat until crisp. Cool on a paper-towel-lined plate; roughly chop.

4. Dip your hands and a ball of dough into the flour. On a lightly floured countertop, pat the dough into a disc with your fingertips, then drape the dough over your fists and carefully stretch it from beneath to form a 12-inch circle.

5. Generously dust the surface of a pizza peel or large inverted sheet pan with flour and place the stretched dough on it. Sprinkle the dough with half of the Parmesan, mozzarella and bacon. Crack 3 eggs over the top and season with salt and pepper.

6. Shake the pizza peel or pan slightly to make sure the dough is not sticking. Carefully lift any sections that are sticking and sprinkle a bit more flour underneath, then slide the pizza directly onto the baking stone or cookie sheet in one quick forward-and-back motion. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, rotating after 5 minutes. When the crust is golden, the cheese is melted and the egg yolks are cooked, transfer the pizza to a cutting board. Sprinkle half of the parsley, chives, scallions and shallot on top. Let cool for 2 minutes, slice and serve immediately. Prepare the second pizza in the same way. Makes 2 (12-inch) pizzas.

Oreo Cupcakes

Oreos are America’s favorite cookie. Cupcakes are America’s favorite way to eat cake. Combine the two, and you’ve got one really good cupcake. I love dunking Oreos in a glass a milk until they’re really soggy and fall apart before the cookie gets into your mouth. I always get the double stuffed oreos too. It was pretty hard not eating all these cookies, before making these cupcakes. They go fast in our house. My only concern about these cupcakes is, that I couldn’t even taste the cream in the middle of the cookies. All I got were the chocolate wafers, and the cream is the best part of the cookie to me.

Look for another cupcake recipe coming later on this week. Pink Lemonade Cupcakes!

Note: This is a really good cupcake recipe. Not too much butter. I also halved the recipe.

Ingredients from Annie’s Eats

Yield: 24 cupcakes
Ingredients:
For the cupcakes:
24 Oreo halves, with cream filling attached
2¼ cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. salt
8 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 2/3 cup sugar
3 large egg whites, at room temperature
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup milk
20 Oreo cookies, coarsely chopped (I quarter them)

For the frosting:
8 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
6 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 tbsp. vanilla extract
4 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
2 tbsp. heavy cream

For garnish:
Oreo cookie crumbs
24 Oreo cookie halves

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 350˚ F.  Line the wells of two cupcake pans with 24 paper liners.  Place an Oreo halve in the bottom of each liner, cream side up.  In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt; stir together with a fork to blend and set aside.  In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the butter and sugar and beat together on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.  Blend in the egg whites one at a time, beating well after each addition.  Blend in the vanilla extract.  With the mixer on low speed, beat in half of the dry ingredients just until incorporated.  Add the milk and beat just until combined, then mix in the remaining dry ingredients.  Gently fold in the chopped Oreos with a rubber spatula until evenly incorporated, being careful not to over-mix.

Evenly divide the batter between the prepared cupcake liners.  Bake for 18-20 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through baking, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Allow to cool in the pans 5-10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

To make the frosting, combine the cream cheese and butter in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat on medium-high speed until smooth, about 1 minute.  Blend in the vanilla extract.  Beat in the confectioners’ sugar until incorporated and smooth, 1-2 minutes.  Add the heavy cream to the bowl and beat on medium-low speed just until incorporated, then increase the speed to medium-high and whip for 4 minutes until light and fluffy, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.

Watermelon Granita

According to Wikipedia, Granita is a semi-frozen dessert made from sugar, water, and various flavorings. It basically reminds me of shaved ice. It’s also very healthy if you don’t add in any sugar.

It’s a fairly simple process. Puree your favorite fruit. I used half a seedless watermelon to make this. Poor pureed fruit into  a baking dish and freeze. I used a pyrex one that was 8 X 11 in. After about 3 hours,  you can take a spoon and start shaving off the top. Put in the freezer again and repeat the process every hour or so until you have shaved ice.

Try this process using different fruit juices. A great way to cool off during the summer.

Ingredients from Pioneer Woman

  • 1/2 whole Seedless Watermelon, Cut Into Chunks (rind Discarded) (about 8 Cups Of Chunks)
  • 2 whole Limes, Juiced
  • 1/3 cup Sugar

Preparation Instructions

Place half the watermelon, half the lime juice, and half the sugar in a blender. Process until smooth, then pour into a separate bowl.

Repeat with other half of ingredients. Pour into same bowl as other batch.

Transfer mixture to a 9 x 13 baking dish. Freeze for two or three hours, then begin the process of lightly scraping the top, frozen layer. Return pan to freezer with the shaved ice on top; remove a couple of hours later and continue scraping. Repeat the occasional scraping process until the entire mixture is shaved. Store, covered in plastic wrap, until serving.

Serve in pretty glasses with a twist of lime.

Baked Chicken Taquitos

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I’ve never had the store bought chicken taquitos. I always avoided them, because they were deep fried and these you can bake. I  love it how you can turn just about any unhealthy/fried food into something healthy and bake it. Egg rolls are next on my list.:)

These were stuffed with chicken, salsa, spices, and cream cheese. I thought they lacked in flavor a bit, but I had left some things out like scallions and cilantro. Don’t leave those out, like I did!  At my favorite fast food restaurant they have these stuffed rolls kind of like taquitos, but with beans and cheese called Mexi rolls. That would be a great way to make this dish vegetarian.

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Ingredients from Pennies on a Platter

Yield: 12 taquitos

3 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup green salsa
1 Tbsp fresh lime juice (juice from half a lime)
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 Tbsp chopped cilantro
2 Tbsp sliced green onions
2 cups shredded cooked chicken
1 cup shredded Mexican flavored cheese
small flour or corn tortillas
kosher salt
cooking spray

Preheat your oven to 425˚F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, mix the cream cheese, salsa, lime juice, ground cumin, chili powder, onion powder and garlic. Once combined, stir in the cilantro and green onions. Add the chicken and cheese; mix thoroughly.

(If you decided to prep this in advance, refrigerate the mixture at this point until ready to continue.)

Working with a few tortillas at a time, heat them in the microwave between two paper towels until they are soft enough to roll (about 20 – 30 seconds).

Spoon 2-3 Tablespoons of the chicken mixture onto the lower third of a tortilla. Roll the tortilla as tightly as you can.

Place the rolled tortilla seam side down on the baking sheet. Repeat with remaining tortillas until the mixture is gone.  Make sure the taquitos are not touching each other. Spray the tops lightly with cooking spray and sprinkle with kosher salt.

Bake for 15 – 20 minutes or until crisp and golden.

Serve with salsa, sour cream or guacamole.

**To freeze:  Before baking, chill the taquitos on the baking sheet in the fridge.  Once completely cooled, wrap each taquito individually with plastic wrap.  Place in a labeled freezer bag and freeze.  To bake a frozen taquito (no need to thaw first): Preheat oven to 425˚F and bake for 20 minutes.

Ginger-Lime Chicken

Need a new marinade for your grilled chicken routine? Well stop looking, cause you found it. This chicken is marinaded in soy sauce, ginger,garlic, and citrus.I’m going to use the left over chicken to make chicken taquitos probably featured in a later post down the week. :)

I got tired of posting nutrition info for every post, but don’t worry. If you like low fat recipes you can still come here. I’ll post one that’s low in calories every once or twice a week. Just cause. No, really. One of my favorite magazines is Cooking Light and I will stop by the Weight Watchers website every now in then and look for a new recipe to try. Usually, I find quite a few there.

Ingredients from Weight Watchers

Points Plus: 5
1 chicken breast per serving (4 oz breasts)

1/4 cup(s) low-sodium soy sauce
3 Tbsp fresh lime juice
2 tsp lime zest, finely minced
2 Tbsp ginger root, finely minced or grated   2 clove(s) (medium) garlic clove(s), minced
1 Tbsp honey
1 Tbsp chili oil, or other hot oil
1/4 cup(s) cilantro, fresh, chopped, divided
1 pound(s) Chicken, breast, raw, without skin & bone, four 4 oz pieces
1/8 tsp sugar
2 Tbsp scallion(s), finely minced

Directions

In a large non-reactive bowl, combine soy sauce, lime juice, lime zest, ginger, garlic, honey, oil and 2 tablespoons cilantro; mix well. Add chicken to bowl, tossing to make sure each piece is coated; refrigerate for 2 to 4 hours.

Preheat broiler to high. Remove chicken from marinade and place in a baking dish; strain marinade and set aside. Broil chicken, 4 to 6 minutes; flip and brush chicken with reserved marinade (discard any remaining marinade). Return chicken to oven and broil until chicken is cooked through, about 4 to 6 minutes more.

To serve, sprinkle chicken with scallions, remaining 2 tablespoons cilantro and any sauce accumulated in baking dish. Yields 1 chicken breast and about 1/3 cup sauce per serving.

Cheesecake on a stick

cheesecake on a stick 004

My friends and I went to the street fair this weekend. There’s a bunch of artists and crafters that come from different areas of Minnesota, ND, and SD, etc…  My favorite ones to look at are the photography booths. Normally, I don’t end up buying any of the art. I go straight to all the food vendors.

Don’t you just love fair food? Cheese curds, fried bread tacos, kettle corn, gyros, etc… I had a fried bread taco and pina colada smoothie. That pina colada smoothie was so good and hit the spot, because it was hot and humid. I think all we did was complain about how hot it was when we were there.

At the street fair they had cheesecake on a stick. That intrigued me to make my own version. It’s kind of a long but easy process. You make a batch of cheesecake and freeze it. Or… if you’re really lazy like I am sometimes or don’t want to heat up your house baking cheesecake, go to the store and get a frozen one. Melt some chocolate in the microwave and dip the cheese cake in whatever you like. Sound simple enough, you don’t really need a recipe for that. ;)

Next, I might attempt to make my own gyros.

Ingredients

2 1/3 less fat cream cheese
2 eggs
3/4 cup of sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups of graham cracker crumbs
4 tablespoons of melted butter
2 cups of semi sweet chocolate chips
popsicle sticks
coocnut, sprinkles, or any candy topping you want.

Directions:
In a stand mixer beat cream cheese and sugar and grdually add the eggs and vanilla. Crush graham crackers in zip lock bag and crush them with a rolling pin or your food professor. Add the melted butter.

In an 8 in baking dish add the graham crust first and then the cream cheese mixture. I baked mine at 350 for about an hour.

Once the cheese cake has cooled. Divide evenly and place a popsicle
stick in there. You can make small or larger pieces.

Melt the chocolate chips in a microwave and dip the cheese cake
in the chocolate. Coat with coconut, sprinkles, or whatever you chose.

cheesecake on a stick 001