Miss Mickey’s Peanut Butter Balls

These peanut butter balls were featured on Trisha Yearwood’s show on Food Network, Saturday this last weekend. I’m starting to like her recipes. I’ve made these peanut butter balls and her chicken tortilla soup so far. There was a lasagna she made and she used tofu instead of ricotta cheese and I’m really curious to try that now. My husband is lactose intolerant and we’ve tried replacing tofu with other things as well. The one thing that kind of turned me off about that recipe is the black beans. I’m more of a meat fan when it comes to lasagna and that doesn’t float with my boat very well.

If you love peanut butter then you’ll love these. I’d love to try these with Biscoff spread or Nutella next time. I never used the dark corn syrup the recipe called for and just added another 1/2 cup of regular corn syrup. There’s a song on South Park that these remind me of, but we won’t go there. :)

Peanut Butter Balls

Ingredients

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup corn syrup
  • 1/2 cup dark corn syrup
  • 2 cups crunchy peanut butter
  • 4 cups rice cereal

Directions

Step 1
In a large saucepan, stir the sugar and the syrups together over medium heat. Remove from the heat and quickly add the peanut butter, continuing to stir until the mixture is fully combined. Add the rice cereal and mix well. Shape the mixture into palm-size balls with your hands. Transfer to waxed paper. Store in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.

Spicy Pop Pulled Pork

You can never go wrong with one of Ree’s recipes. Every recipe I’ve tried of her’s, I just love. This one was so super simple and I threw everything into a slow cooker instead of a dutch oven. The pork roast cooked on high for 4-5 hours and it was ready. The meat was just falling apart when I shredded it and it was so tender. I served mine on some fresh sandwich buns that I got at Hornbacher’s grocery store here in town. Tomorrow I want to try this meat inside some quesadilllas.

If you’re on a diet, you can go ahead and use a can of diet soda. Make sure to remove all the fat. There was a really big piece of it that just fell off when it was done cooking and I just threw that away. 1 serving of this pork is about 8 points.  I used coke because that is the drink of choice in our house. It’s not too spicy either with the can of chipotle peppers in there. I’d definitely make this recipe again.

P.S. I’ve got to stop watching Food Network…. Instead of having my website be recipe-diaries.com I should just change my name to The Food Network Cooking Blog or something dumb like that. Yesterday I made Alton Brown’s fudge, today was Ree’s pulled pork, and tomorrow I’m going to make the peanut butter balls featured on Trisha Yearwood’s show. Am I addicted?

This isn’t the prettiest picture sorry. Just trying to show how tender it was. :)

Recipe from The Pioneer Woman

Spicy Dr. Pepper Shredded Pork

Ingredients

  • 1 large onion
  • 1 whole pork shoulder roast (5-7 pounds)
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 can Chipotle peppers in adobe sauce
  • 1 can Dr. Pepper ((I used Coke))

Directions

Step 1
Preheat oven to 300 degrees.

Peel the onion and cut it into wedges. Lay them in the bottom of a large dutch oven.

Generously salt and pepper the pork roast, then set it on top of the onions in the pan.

Pour the can of chipotle peppers over the pork (include the sauce.) Pour in both cans of Dr Pepper. Add brown sugar to the juice and stir in.
Step 2
Place lid tightly on pot, then set pot in the oven. Cook for at least six hours, turning roast two or three times during the cooking process. Check meat after six hours; it should be absolutely falling apart (use two forks to test.) If it's not falling apart, return to the oven for another hour.
Step 3
Remove meat from pot and place on a cutting board or other work surface. Use two forks to shred meat, discarding large pieces of fat. Strain as much of the fat off the top of the cooking liquid as you can and discard it. Return the shredded meat to the cooking liquid, and keep warm until ready to serve. (You can also refrigerate the meat and liquid separately, then remove hardened fat once it's cold. Then heat up the liquid on the stovetop and return the meat to the liquid to warm up.

Serve on warm flour tortillas. Top with shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes, grated cheese, avocado slices, salsa, and whatever else you'd like.

Alton Brown’s Chocolate Fudge

I’ve been becoming quite the candy maker lately. I made some more caramels and fudge yesterday. I’ve tried making pumpkin fudge before, and I think there was something wrong with the recipe. It could be that the pumpkin caused the sugar mixture to start burning too early when it hasn’t even reached 234 degrees yet. I tried about 10 different times  to get that recipe to work and just couldn’t get it. That made me angry.  I decided to try a different fudge recipe this time from Alton Brown. This was super easy to follow and the chocolate mixture did not start burning before the temp reached to 234 degrees. I was pretty happy. You can add whatever you like to this fudge recipe. I added chopped pecans and marshmallows. Any type of dried fruit would be good, candy, cookies, you name it.

This is real fudge people. Not the fudge you make where all you do is melt some chocolate in a microwave or mix some kind of cake mix. I came across a “fudge” recipe the other day ago that just required some cake mix, butter and oil. I was kind of confused because they had called it fudge when the recipe didn’t require any sugar or chocolate to be boiled together until it reached a certain temp. Whatever I guess… it looked pretty easy though and I’m a fan of easy recipes. I also like the difficult recipes every now and then.

Chocolate Fudge

Ingredients

  • 2 3/4 cups sugar
  • 4 ounces unsweetenuped chocolate
  • 3` tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup half-and-half
  • 1 tablespoon corn syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup chopped nuts

Directions

Step 1
Grease an 8 by 8-inch pan with butter. In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, combine the sugar, chocolate, 1 1/2 tablespoons of the butter, half-and-half, and corn syrup.
Step 2
Over medium heat, stir with a wooden spoon until sugar is dissolved and chocolate is melted. Increase heat and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and boil for 3 minutes. Remove the cover and attach a candy thermometer to the pot. Cook until the thermometer reads 234 degrees F. Remove from the heat and add the remaining butter
Step 3
Do not stir. Let the mixture cool for 10 minutes or until it drops to 130 degrees F. Add vanilla and nuts, if desired, and mix until well-blended and the shiny texture becomes matte. Pour into the prepared pan. Let sit in cool dry area until firm. Cut into 1-inch pieces and store in an airtight container for up to a week.

Creamy Tomato Tortellini Soup

The first time I made this soup it was eaten up so fast, I didn’t get to take a picture of it. I also added about a tablespoon of pesto sauce that I got at Trader Joe’s. That made this soup extra delicious.

It starts off with 2 cans of tomato soup. People won’t even know you started off with that after you add in all the other ingredients. The chicken broth and half and half make this ten times better. I just dumped in the package of frozen tortellini into the boiling soup and waited until they floated to the top. Ok, I just don’t suggest dumping in the package of tortellini like I did, or else you’ll have boiling hot water splatter all over your shirt. Don’t wear white while making this soup either. ;) Sprinkle on parmesan cheese on top or serve with garlic bread.

Creamy Tomato Soup recipe from Plain Chicken

Creamy Tomato Tortellini Soup

Ingredients

  • 1 package frozen tortellini (9 oz )
  • 2 cans condensed tomato soup
  • 2 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 2 cups half-and-half
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese

Directions

Step 1

Cook tortellini according to package directions. Drain and set aside.
Step 2
In a Dutch oven, combine the soup, broth, half and half and seasonings. Heat over medium heat for approximately 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Add tortellini to soup. Stir in cheese.
Step 3
Sprinkle each serving with additional cheese if desired.

 

A Bacon Inspired Thanksgiving

I normally don’t post any Thanksgiving recipes on my blog because I don’t cook Thanksgiving at all. I normally go over to the in-laws or to my Mom’s house. Usually, I’m asked to bring something with and that is Strawberry Pretzel salad recipe from Paula Deen. Everybody loves it. I decided this year, to do a little bacon inspired Thanksgiving post in honor of 50 Shades of Bacon coming out this year. So far this month we’ve sold over 200 copies of the book!! Thank you to everyone that has been buying it.

 

This picture has been going around a lot lately. I have no idea where the original source is from. Here’s bacon wrapped turkey. Doesn’t it look delicious?

Bacon, Cheddar and Chive mashed potatoes from Kitchen Comments

I’m not a big fan of green bean casserole so I won’t post a recipe for that at all. But, these bacon wrapped green beans from Our Best bites look scrumptious.

Bacon and Brown Sugar Topped Sweet Potato Casserole from Tracey’s Culinary Adventure’s.

As far as desserts go, how bout a bacon lattace apple pie from Babble?


Also, here’s a Maple Bacon Pumpkin Pie from The Butcher’s Blog. I think I might try making this one myself.I love maple and bacon together!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! I hope everyone has a fantastic turkey day.

Buffalo Chicken Casserole

What should you make on Thanksgiving this year? Why not a turkey wrapped in bacon that has been marinaded with Buffalo chicken sauce? Or, you could make this buffalo chicken casserole with leftover turkey. Just kidding. I think this is one of the best ideas I’ve had in awhile. The only thing that could have made it even better would be bacon. I had a lot of leftover Slow Cooker buffalo chicken and was trying to think of what else I could make with it. I had made Buffalo Chicken dip yesterday and thought this would all be good just mixed with some pasta baked in the oven. I’ve got Buffalo Chicken casserole to have during the week for lunch and now all my Buffalo Chicken has been used up. :(

I also made Buffalo Chicken grilled cheese for dinner one time this week, and also a buffalo chicken. This recipe is so versatile you can do pretty much anything with it, and I just love recipes like that.

Servings: 8

Recipe inspired from Buffalo Chicken Dip

Buffalo Chicken Casserole

Ingredients

  • 2 cups leftover Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken
  • 1 8oz package light cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup light ranch
  • 1 1/2 cups dry pasta
  • 1/2 cup pepper jack cheese
  • 1/2 cup cheddar cheese

Directions

Step 1
Boil noodles until al dente.
Step 2
While the Pasta is cooking, heat up leftover buffalo chicken in a non stick skillet. Add the cream cheese and stir until melted.
Step 3
Add in 1/2 cup of ranch and stir. Dump the noodles into the casserole and stir.
Step 4
In a 9X13 in casserole dish, pour the noodles and chicken into dish. Top with remaining cheeses and bake in the oven at 350 for 25 minutes.

Chocolate Mousse Cheesecake

Cheesecake has become pretty easy for me to make. The hardest part about making this cheese cake was the mousse. I’ve never made mousse before and that was a first for for me. All you do is melt some chocolate and quickly stir in the egg yolks. While the chocolate is melting beat the egg whites until they form stiff peaks. Gently fold in everything together. The mousse thickens in the fridge as it sets.

Do you have to use a water bath when making cheese cake? No. I don’t bother messing with that. The cheese cake seems to cook just fine without one. I still get cracks but every cheese cake isn’t perfect. Do you have to wait for the eggs and cream cheese to come to room temperature? I actually use my food processor to make cheese cake. I think the food processor helps everything to combine easier. There have been times when I make cheese cake the cream cheese ended up looking like cottage cheese for some reason. So, I just use a food processor pretty much. I love my food processor.

This cheesecake has raw eggs in it. If you don’t like eating raw eggs, then there’s another chocolate mousse recipe I found which you can find here. It is an Alton Brown recipe and instead of raw eggs he uses gelatin to thicken the mousse mixture up. Is it safe to eat raw eggs? Yes, people put them in protein shakes and how many times have you eaten raw cookie dough and lived to see the next day? ;)

I loved this cheese cake. I think the mousse layer makes it and I love all the different colored layers you see when you cut into the cheese cake.

Recipe from Mangio de Sola (slightly adapted)

Chocolate Mousse Cheesecake

Ingredients

  • 32 sandwich cookies (oreos)
  • 4 tablespoons melted butter
  • 1 pound cream cheese (2 8oz cream cheese)
  • 2/3 cups sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2/3 cups sour cream (or heavy cream)
  • 6 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 large eggs (seperated)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cream of tarter
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 4.5 ounces bitter sweet chocolate
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions

Step 1
Crush cookies in a food processor or in a ziploc bag with a rolling pin or mallet. In a bowl or food processor, pour melted butter on top of the crushed cookies and add the espresso powder (optional), and mix or pulse well. Place the oreo mixture at the bottom of a springform pan. Smooth out the mixture with the bottom of a measuring cup or glass. Wrap the bottom of the pan in a double layer of aluminum foil. Place the crust in the freezer while you make the cheesecake
Step 2
Put a kettle or pot of water on to boil. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
Step 3
Working in a stand mixer (or large bowl with hand mixer), preferably fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese at medium speed until it is soft for about 4 minutes. With the mixer running, add the sugar and salt, and continue to beat another 4 minutes or so, until the cream cheese is light. Beat in the vanilla extract. Add the eggs one by one, beating for a full minute after each addition to yield a well-aerated batter. Reduce the mixer speed to low, and stir in the heavy cream or sour cream.
Step 4
Give the batter a few stirs with a rubber spatula, just to make sure that nothing has been left unmixed at the bottom of the bowl, and scrape the batter into the springform pan. The batter should fill only half of the pan. Put the roasting pan in the oven and pour the the boiling water into the roaster to come halfway up the sides of the springform pan. (I pour half of the boiling water before putting in the pan to reduce my chances of dripping water in the cheesecake.)
Step 5
Bake the cheesecake for 1 hour and 15-30 minutes, at which point the top will be lightly browned and may have risen just a little above the rim of the pan. Turn off the oven's heat, and prop the oven door open with a wooden spoon. Allow the cheesecake to luxuriate in its water bath for another hour.
Step 6
After 1 hour, carefully pull the roast pan/springform pan setup out of the oven, lift the springform pan out of the roaster—be careful, there WILL be some hot water in the aluminum foil—remove the foil. Let the cheesecake come to room temperature on a cooling rack.
Step 7
When the cake is cool, cover the top lightly and chill the cake for at least 4 hours or overnight. Make the mousse once the cheesecake has cooled.
Step 8
Place the chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl, and place over a saucepan containing barely simmering water (or use a double boiler). Melt the chocolate and butter together and stir with a whisk until smooth. Add in the espresso powder. Remove from heat and cool slightly. Add the egg yolks to the chocolate, 1 by 1, beating with a whisk until incorporated. Set aside.
Step 9
In another bowl, beat the egg whites until foamy. Add the cream of tartar, and continue to beat. Gradually whisk in 1/4 cup sugar, and continue beating until stiff peaks form
Step 10
Beat heavy cream in a chilled bowl with chilled beaters until it begins to foam and thicken up. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons sugar and vanilla. Continue to whip the cream until it holds soft peaks.
Gradually and gently fold the egg whites into the chocolate mixture to lighten it. Then, delicately fold in the whipped cream. Take care not over work the mousse but make sure you blend in the cream well. Place the mousse on top of the cooled cheesecake while still in the springform pan.
Step 11
Heat the cream in a small sauce pan over medium heat. Heat it up just BEFORE it boils. Place the chocolate in the cream, and remove from heat. Stir the mixture until smooth. Stir in the espresso powder and rum or vanilla extract. Allow the ganache to cool for about 15 minutes before pouring the mixture on top of the mousse cheesecake.

Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken Sandwiches

I made these for treat day and the sandwiches were a big hit. The buffalo wing sauce makes the chicken really runny, and everyone thought that it could have been a little bit thicker. Next time, I’m going to try adding some flour or cornstarch to thicken the sauce up a bit. They were calling them buffalo sloppy joes.  Ha ha.

The recipe makes a lot. I ended up doubling the recipe and used 6 pounds of boneless chicken, and now I have a lot of buffalo chicken to use up. That’s ok though, because I am a buffalo chicken lover freak and I look forward to using up the leftovers. Too bad the husband doesn’t like buffalo chicken, he’s missing out.

Servings: 8

Points Plus: 4 (just chicken, sauce, and seasoning)

Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken Sandwiches

Ingredients

  • 3 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts (defrosted)
  • 1 package ranch seasoning mix
  • 1 bottle Frank's Hot Sauce or Wing Sauce
  • hamburger buns
  • swiss cheese slices
  • Ranch dressing

Directions

Step 1
Place 1st 3 ingredients into a slow cooker and cook on low for 6 hours. Use to make sandwiches, quesadillas, nachos, whatever you like.