Wednesday, May 28, 2014

French Toast Roll-Ups

Kevin started to tense up when I told him about finding a recipe involving french toast and different toppings.  If you recall from an earlier post about pizza toppings, it's usually a battle.  Tensions were eased when I told him more about the recipe, found here, and that we could each pick our own toppings.  Happiness in the McClarnon household had been restored!  These roll-ups were hands down one of my favorite breakfast foods I have had in a long time!  They were easy to make and so easy to customize.  My combinations were strawberry/nutella, strawberry/cream cheese, blueberry/cream cheese, and strawberry/peanut butter.  Kevin on the other hand did strawberry/chocolate, strawberry/peanut butter, raspberry jam/peanut butter and strawberry/cream cheese.  It's fun trying different combos and seeing what everyone else tries too!  This is grey for little ones that are at the age where they want to help, or those that just like different toppings!  You have to try this recipe right away and let me know the mixtures you try!



French Toast Roll-Ups

Ingredients
8 slices white bread (made 4 each for us, adjust accordingly)
2 eggs
3 Tablespoons milk
1/3 cup sugar
1 heaping teaspoon cinnamon
butter, for pan      
Maple syrup
Spreads (we used):  Nutella, peanut butter, cream cheese, raspberry jelly
Fruit (optional, we used):  Strawberries, blueberries

Cut the crusts off the bread and roll flat with a rolling pin (a glass can be used if you don't have a rolling pin).  Put your spread(s) of choice, starting 1/2 inch from the edge on one side and going all the way to the other edge.  Optional:  top with fruit, making sure you cut it pretty small so you can roll it up.  Start from the side that doesn't have spread and roll (the spread on the end will help it "seal").  

Whisk together the milk and eggs.  In another bowl, mix together your cinnamon and sugar.

Melt butter in a pan over medium-high heat.  Dip the roll-ups in the egg mixture and place in the pan, seam-side down.  Turning them until brown on all sides.  Place the cooked roll-ups in the cinnamon and sugar mixture to coat.  Serve with maple syrup.                                            



You can see the different mixtures of ingredients rolled up.


Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Almond Milk Recipes

Before seeing a couple of these recipes pinned, I didn't use my almond milk for anything but protein shakes.  The concoctions below are the most popular ones I've seen, so I gave them a shot.  If you haven't tried almond milk, or don't like it, I'm sure you could substitute your liquid of choice instead.  Keep in mind though, you are adding sweeteners in each other the recipes, that's why the almond milk I like to use is the Silk Unsweetened Vanilla.  I haven't tried the sweeter versions, but I think it would be too sweet for me.  



I have seen this drink pinned so many times that I finally had to give it and try it.  I already had all the ingredients so why not.  I made it really quick before bed one night and it was amazing!  This wonderful night time beverage tastes just like Cinnamon Toast Crunch.  While it is a little hot to have it now, it will undoubtedly be my night time drink of choice in the winter.  There was no original source found for this recipe, so if it's yours, please let me know so I can give you credit.  

Dreamy Nighttime Drink

Ingredients
1 cup almond milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon honey
cinnamon

Heat milk in saucepan on high until hot and foamy.  Stir in vanilla and honey.  Sprinkle with cinnamon.  






This ice cream recipe is one I saw over and over, though it doesn't look anything like the picture it's associated with on Pinterest.  This recipe was pretty good, though not what I expected.  Mine turned out to be more of a strawberry and banana flavor, which I didn't mind.  I also wasn't expecting the texture, it was more of a granita then an ice cream.  Nonetheless, it was still really tasty and a great sweet treat.

Strawberry Ice Cream

Ingredients
1 cup strawberries
1 small banana
1/3 cup almond milk

Blend all ingredients and freeze.  







This was my favorite recipe out of the three.  I have already made this shake recipe a few times this week.  The original recipe and nutritional information can be found here.  Like the ice cream recipe, it wasn't the flavor I was expecting, but it was still so delicious.  My shake was more of a chocolate banana shake then a "Wendy's" shake.  I love chocolate banana, so I was in heaven!    

"Wendy's" Chocolate Shake

Ingredients
3/4 cup almond milk
1/3-1/2 banana
1 Tablespoon cocoa powder
1 scoop vanilla protein powder
3/4-1 cup of ice

Blend all ingredients and enjoy!





Monday, May 26, 2014

Velveeta Spicy Cheeseburger Pizza

Guess what?  It's a new pizza recipe created by Kraft!  I bet you were wondering when the next pizza recipe was coming!  Well here it is, and it does not disappoint.  This pizza tastes exactly like a cheeseburger.  I was so confused.....is it a pizza or a cheeseburger?  Regardless of which one you end up calling it, you have to try it.  This will unmistakably be a hit for your whole family!            



Velveeta Spicy Cheeseburger Pizza

Ingredients
1/2 pound ground beef
8 ounces Velveeta, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1 ready to use pizza crust (i used a thin and crispy kind)
10 ounce can of Ro-Tel with chilies, well drained
1/4 cup ketchup
1 cup shredded lettuce


Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Place pizza crust on baking sheet.  Mix together the ketchup and Ro-Tel.  Spread onto the crust.

Brown the beef and drain.  Stir in velveeta until melted.  Layer the meat mixture on top of the tomatoes on the crust.  Bake 10 minutes.  Top with shredded lettuce.    




We served our pizza with the Medusa IPA from Defiant Brewing Co.  See my husband's tasting notes below:

Medusa IPA, Defiant Brewing Co.  Pearl River NY.

American IPA, 6.5% ABV.  Sampled from 12 oz. bottle poured into chilled glass.

Pours golden-amber into glass from bottle.  Minimal head.  Smells floral/slight pine.  Not as strong aroma as most IPAs.  Initially tastes malty, but fades out to hoppy bitterness.  Hop aftertaste lingers for a bit.  It is a decent but not great IPA.  There isn't anything bad about the beer, there just isn't anything special about it.  It just tastes like a generic IPA that you would find at an Applebees.  There are much better alternatives but this is perfectly drinkable.

3/5



Sunday, May 25, 2014

Greek Yogurt Recipes

Like most of you, I love greek yogurt.  I love trying out new flavors,  but sometimes that can be a bit boring.  Listed here are some of the recipes I have tried thus far.  These recipes will help if you are in a yogurt rut or if you want to try it, but aren't quite sure.  There is a little something that everyone will like.  Let me know which one is your favorite!


This Cookie Dough Greek Yogurt, found here, is amazingly delicious.  It was so good, it left me wanting more.  This yogurt is great at satisfying your sweet tooth!


Cookie Dough Greek Yogurt

Ingredients
small container nonfat greek yogurt
1 tbls peanut buttler
1 tbls honey
1 tsp vanilla
small pinch sea salt
1 tbls chocolate chips

Mix all ingredients and enjoy!






There wasn't a recipe found for this, but it's exactly what it says, blueberries dipped in greek yogurt.  They are a great snack to keep on hand.  But beware, even though frozen, they melt pretty fast.

Yogurt Dipped Blueberries

Ingredients
Greek Yogurt
Blueberries

Dip blueberries in yogurt (I used my cake tester to poke them and swirl them around).  Put them on a lined cookie sheet and pop in the freezer until set.  Afterwards, place them in a storage container and enjoy whenever!






This is, by far, my favorite yogurt recipe at the moment.  I am actually buying more apples just so I can make it again!  While making it, the dip seemed like it doubled, so I had enough for a second apple the next day.  This original recipe will make you want to ditch the peanut butter/apple combo for good!

Peanut Butter Greek Yogurt Dip

Ingredients
1 small tub greek yogurt
2 Tablespoons peanut butter
1/2 Tablespoon honey
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon 

Mix all together and enjoy with an apple, or other fruit of choosing.







This was no original recipe found for this bark, so I made one up.  Taking note from other recipes I have tried, I decided to flavor my yogurt with a little vanilla and cinnamon.  It turned out pretty amazing.  Be forewarned though, like the yogurt dipped blueberries, this does melt pretty fast too even though frozen.

Greek Yogurt Blueberry Bark

Ingredients
1 cup greek yogurt
1/3 cup blueberries
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Mix everything except the blueberries.  Spread in a freezable dish.  Add the blueberries, pushing down slightly.  Freeze until set.  

If too frozen, you may have to let sit out for a few minutes before breaking up.



Saturday, May 24, 2014

Skinny Tuna Cakes

 While the husband is away, the wife will.............eat healthier?!?!  Well that's exactly what this lady did.  I took full advantage of Kevin being gone to explore some recipes that he wouldn't care for.  Aren't I such a sweetheart?   This particular recipe, made by Skinny Mom, was very scrumptious.  It was so simple, yet packed with flavor.  If you aren't a huge fan of tuna, this recipe is great because the seasoning makes it not so fishy.  And if you love tuna, this is a way to spice it up and try it a different way.  


Skinny Tuna Cakes with chipotle mayo
4 servings

Ingredients

Tuna Cakes:
3 (3 ounce) cans/pouches tuna in water
1/s Tablespoon Old Bay seasoning
1/2 of an onion, chopped
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
2 egg whites
1/3 cup panko bread crumbs

Chipotle Mayo: 
1/4 cup Miracle-Whip 
1 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon lime juice

Open and thoroughly drain tuna.  Once drained, mix together the tuna with the remaining tuna cake ingredients.  Refrigerate for 1 hour to help better form the patties.  Form into 4 patties.  

Spray your pan with non-stick spray and heat over medium.  Add the tuna cakes and turn occasionally, making sure to brown each side, about 3 minutes per side.  Meanwhile, mix all the chipotle mayo ingredients.  

Serve the tuna cakes with the chipotle mayo.


Friday, May 23, 2014

Skinny Spaghetti

I have seen posts for a Skinny Spaghetti all over Pinterest, but couldn't find the original source, so I decided to try and create it.  Usually I'm a sauce girl, but I had to give this a try.  I was pleasantly surprised with the outcome.  The garlic gave it a nice flavor, making it seem like you were having a sauce, but remained subtle, not overpowering the dish.  Next time you make pasta try this way out first.  If you hate it, you can quickly heat up some sauce and dump over it, but it's worth a shot.      



Skinny Spaghetti

Ingredients
Fettuccine (you can use any type)
1 1/2 Tablespoons olive oil
1/8 cup panko bread crumbs
2 Tablespoons parsley
2 Tablespoon grated Parmesan
1 Tablespoon minced garlic

Cook your pasta according to package directions.  While your pasta is cooking, combine bread crumbs, parsley and parmesan in a bowl (I used the bowl I was eating out of).  

Drain your pasta.  Add to the dry ingredients, then top with garlic and olive oil.  Toss the pasta well to coat.  




Thursday, May 22, 2014

My Granny's Chocolate Cobbler

The recipe name is a little misleading because it's not actually my granny's cobbler, thank goodness.  I don't even call my grandmother granny, but anyway.  This recipe, found here, was a complete miss for me.  First of all, when making it, I felt like I was just pouring a pound of sugar in it which made me cringe.  That's pretty bad, considering other things I have eaten.  Secondly, it just wasn't that great.  It didn't really taste chocolatey, just like muted sugar.  Needless to say, I won't be making this version again.  My arteries and waist are thanking me I'm sure!


My Granny's Chocolate Cobbler

Ingredients
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
7 Tablespoons cocoa powder, divided
1 1/4 cups sugar, divided
1/2 cup milk
1/3 cup melted butter
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 1/2 cups hot water (I used the biggest Keurig setting and adding a little more to it)

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and get out a 8 inch baking dish, ungreased.  

Stir together the flour, baking powder, salt, 3 Tablespoons cocoa powder, and 3/4 cup of sugar.

Mix in the milk, melted butter, and vanilla to the flour mixture until smooth.  Pour the mixture into your baking dish.

In a separate bowl mix together the remaining sugar (1/2 cup), brown sugar, and remaining cocoa powder (4 Tablespoons).  Evenly sprinkle this mixture over the batter in your dish, do not stir.

Pour the hot water over the top and again, do not stir.  Bake 40 minutes or until center has set.  I used a cake tester and it came out clean, but it was bubbling a lot.  Let stand for a few minutes.  I repeat, let stand for a few minutes.  It thickened up quite a bit by letting it sit about 10 minutes.






Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Healthy Snacks

As promised, here are some healthier recipes I have tried.  While the hubby is at work, I figured I would try out some of the recipes he won't eat, plus it's nice to switch things up a bit.  I hope that you find something you like!  Enjoy!



This recipe comes from Skinny Minnie Moves.  I already had the ingredients needed, so I figured I would go ahead and make these.  I am so glad I did!  They were so good!  The poppers make a great snack and were so easy to make!  I used the PB2 with cocoa this time, but will try just the regular peanut butter next time.  Also, they were a little difficult to roll into balls, so I used a small cookie scoop and that worked just fine.  

PB2 Poppers

Ingredients
1/2 cup PB2 (regular or cocoa)
1/3 cup water
1/2 cup low fat graham cracker crumbs (about 3 "sheets")
2 Tablespoons oats

First mix the PB2 and water.  Next add your graham cracker crumbs and mix well.  Last, but not least, add your oats and mix.  Roll (I used a cookie scooper) into balls.  Makes 15-16 and are only 42.5 calories with 2 grams of protein (I didn't do the calculations, just highlighting it)!










I love my Venti Iced Skinny Vanilla Latte from Starbucks, so when I saw this drink I had to try it.  Sadly this recipe from Peanut Butter & Peppers wasn't my low-calorie Starbucks replacement.  With only having 1 teaspoon of cocoa powder, that's all I could taste.  Honestly, most things I make and don't care for I can usually suck it up and eat/drink it, vowing to never make it again, but this I could not.  Hopefully if you have any interest in trying it you still will.  I'm sure others might love it!  

Skinny Vanilla Mocha Frappe

Ingredients
1 heaping teaspoon instant coffee
1 1/2 cups water
1/2 cup skim milk
3 teaspoons vanilla
1 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder
1 packet Stevia 


Mix the coffee and water until combined.  Pour into a shallow container and freeze 4 hours or overnight.  

Once frozen, blend with other ingredients.  Makes over 2 cups and is 43.3 calories and 4.2 grams of protein (not my calculations).








These "fried" bananas were quite the sweet treat.  I love bananas and this was a deliciously different way to enjoy them.  I ate them as is, but it would be great with some yogurt or ice cream, if you want to indulge a bit.  They don't take long to make and you more then likely have everything on hand, so why not go ahead and whip up a batch!  You won't regret it.  The recipe can be found here.  

"Fried" Honey Bananas

Ingredients
coconut oil
1 banana, sliced
1 Tablespoon honey
1 Tablespoon water
cinnamon

Heat coconut oil over medium-high heat.  Add the bananas, "frying" 1-2 minutes per side.  

Whisk together the honey and water.  Remove the bananas from heat and pour the honey water over the top.  Let cool and sprinkle cinnamon on top.






Tuesday, May 20, 2014

First NJ/NYC visitor!

On Mother's Day we had our first visitor, Kevin's brother Eric!  He had a delivery to make in Brooklyn so we jumped at the chance to hangout with him, even though it was for a short amount of time.  Kev and I were in lazy mode so we didn't feel like picking up for company, and it was all very last minute, so we started brainstorming on what we could do.  We both decided Hoboken, NJ would be the best bet because you could at least see the NY skyline and have a beer or two.  We get to Wicked Wolf Tavern and we're having a great time, but decided we wanted to show Eric more of this fabulous new place we live.
Seeing as it was 5 on a Sunday, and the boys wanted to watch the Pacers game, we decided that Times Square would be the place to show Eric.  I know that I have already covered this crazy area, but it was Eric's first time and he loved it.  There was so much going on that I don't think he even saw it all!        

Sticking to our original plan, we decided to stop and have beers somewhere in Times Square.  That's when Kevin saw Heartland Brewery and Chophouse.  It was love at first sight.  We all, the guys more then me I'm sure, love a good brew and it was right there!  How perfect!  


I was looking over the menu and all set to order the Indiana Pale Ale (pictured above), paying homage to home of course, when Kevin suggested the Seasonal Voyage (pictured below with our visitor).  We had a great time, shared some laughs and enjoyed some great beer!  I of course saved the best for last, the Indiana Pale Ale!    


Look at all that beer above!  Don't worry, it's not all mine.  Pictured below is the Bacon-Wrapped BBQ shrimp which was amazing!  This is unquestionably a place we will return to, with or without visitors. :)  



I know you've seen some of our pictures in Times Square already, but have you seen a couple of McClarnon guys in Times Square?  Well, you have now!  We had a great time on our short little adventure!  I can't wait to see what the future holds for other visitors!  



Friday, May 16, 2014

Slow Cooker BBQ Pork

To switch things up a little bit, we tried this recipe from Kraft.  Obviously it was easy, don't worry that's not always going to be the case, but it was just alright.  I halved the meat since it was for 8 servings, but kept the sauce the same and it still lacked flavor.  The meat itself was very juicy and tender, so if you don't mind doctoring it up a bit then go ahead and try it.  We did use our leftovers for quesadillas with shells and cheese and it was delicious!  Stay tuned for some quick and HEALTHY, yes you read that right, snacks coming soon!  

Slow Cooker BBQ Pork

Ingredients  (modified for 4 servings)
1 pound boneless pork shoulder (mine was a little over)
2 small onion, sliced into rings
1/2 cup BBQ sauce
4 Kaiser rolls
4 slices of cheese (I used Velveeta)

Place meat in slow cooker.  Top with the onions and BBQ sauce.  Cook on low 8-10 hours, or high 4-5 hours.  

After finished, remove meat from slow cooker, discard any excess fat and shred.  Return to slow cooker and stir.  Serve on roll with cheese and onions.  *We put extra BBQ sauce on ours because it was pretty bland.  





Our pulled pork sandwich above and the leftovers in a quesadilla below.





Thursday, May 15, 2014

French Bread Pizza

Sharing a love for pizza is the key to a great relationship.  Topping selection, however, is not!  We usually go back and forth about what to get for a good 20 minutes and then just get standard pepperoni.  Don't get me wrong, I do love the classic pepperoni pizza, but it can get a little boring.  Most of the time we do separate pizzas so everyone is happy!  This are quick and easy and the options are unlimited!  Feel free to try out the ones we've done or to try your own versions!    



French Bread Pizza

Ingredients
French bread
Topping of your choosing

The combinations we did were:

Standard pepperoni
Pizza sauce
Pepperoni
Mozzarella cheese, shredded
Jalapeños (on mine)

BBQ chicken
BBQ sauce
Shredded chicken
Mozzarella cheese, shredded
Velveeta cheese (on his)
Cheddar cheese, shredded (on mine)
Red onions (on mine)

Chicken Alfredo 
Melted butter with garlic
Alfredo sauce
Shredded chicken
Mozzarella cheese, shredded
Red pepper flakes

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line a cookie sheet with aluminum foil.  Layer your sauce and topping(s).  Bake for 5 minutes.  Turn on the broiler and leave in about 3-5 minutes.

Standard pepperoni and pepperoni with jalapeños.


BBQ chicken pizza.
 

Chicken Alfredo pizza.......you can tell I used natural light here.  If anything my pictures are getting a little better. :)

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

The Crow's Nest

My hubby and I had an impromptu lunch date after I helped him at work one day.  Good to know that I haven't lost my robot skills!  Kevin had been to The Crow's Nest during his training and was eager to bring me to this pub.  It was so refreshing to be at a pub-type restaurant that didn't have just fried foods as an option.  Both of us opted for some delectable seafood choices.  The sandwiches were so flavorful and filling!  This is unquestionably a spot that we will take future guests!



The delicious seafood chowder.


My rare ahi tuna sandwich was so amazing!


Kevin had a blackened swordfish sandwich that I stole a bite of and loved it!











Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Peanut Butter and Nutella Swirl Cookies

Let me paint a picture for you.  It's Friday evening and I am slowly finishing up my umpteenth hundred recipe pin and I'm pretty annoyed with it.  Since I had to open all the recipes anyway, I started reading some to see if I had the necessary ingredients.  I'm pretty OCD and the recipes on pinterest is like a never ending to-do list for me.  Well I saw this recipe and I had everything I needed, so I sat in front of the computer for about 10 minutes staring at the recipe until I told myself that the never ending list wasn't going to cook/bake itself, so I proceeded.  I start reading off the ingredients and getting everything out, when I see softened butter.  Oh Crap!  "Ain't Nobody Got Time For That" flashed through my head.  Suddenly I remembered something I saw from good ol' Martha Stewart herself, if you are short on time, grate your butter!  I knew my obsession with her would pay off one day!  Anyway, you can find the original recipe here and it is fabulous!  




Peanut Butter and Nutella Swirl Cookies

Ingredients

1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened (I grated mine)
3/4 cup smooth peanut butter
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract (I used my homemade vanilla)
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
Approx. 1/4 cup Nutella

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line cookie sheet with parchment paper or silicone baking mat.

Combine butter, peanut butter, sugars, egg, and vanilla. Mix until well blended.

Add flour, baking soda and salt. Drizzle Nutella on top of the dough then swirl it through the dough with a butter knife.

Chill dough 15 minutes in the refrigerator. Roll into balls by hand. Place on cookie sheet. Using a fork, press down the balls to flatten slightly. Bake until edges are very lightly browned (about 7 to 10 minutes).

Allow to rest 2 minutes on cookie sheet before transferring cookies to a cooling rack.



The grated butter, courtesy of Kevin.



Playing around with homemade vanilla and milk below.



Monday, May 12, 2014

Cinnamon Roll Bites

This year for Mother's Day we sadly weren't able to go back home to spend time with our mothers.  While we missed them terribly, I was pleasently surprised with flowers and breakfast from my hubby and fur babies.  Not only was it so thoughtful, but amazingly delicious as well!  This easy and incredible recipe came from Table of Seven's blog.  Let's just hope I don't have to wait until Mother's Day next year to get this made for me again!    


Cinnamon Roll Bites

Ingredients

12 ounce can of biscuits
3 Tablespoons butter, melted
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 cup brown sugar

Glaze

1 cup powdered sugar
2 Tablespoons butter, melted and cooled
1 Tablespoon vanilla
1-2 Tablespoons milk


Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray a 8in baking dish.


Cut each biscuit into 4 pieces. Set aside.


In a bowl, mix together brown sugar and cinnamon. Add biscuit pieces and toss to coat well.
Then spread out pieces evenly into baking dish.


Pour melted butter evenly over biscuits and bake 20-25 minutes or until baked through.


Glaze
Mix glaze ingredients until smooth and drizzle glaze over slightly cooled biscuits.


The hubby's finished product.

Ranch Bean Dip

What do you do when you aren't very hungry from your lunch earlier in the day?  You whip up a dip!  It is perfect for any impromptu company that comes over or for a Mexican fiesta.  It is deceivingly filling (I couldn't even finish the cup pictured below).  It is so easy that you should without a doubt include it with your next taco night.  You can find this wonderful dip here.
Ranch Bean Dip
Ingredients

16 ounce can refried beans
1 ounce package ranch dressing mix
1 cup sour cream
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

Optional
Sour cream
Tomatoes
Chilies
Jalapeños

Directions

Heat all the ingredients in a medium saucepan until heated and well blended.  


Saturday, May 10, 2014

Beer Candied Bacon

My hubby had warned me on Monday night that Tuesday would be a stressful day for him.  I woke up and started my normal routine, but as the day wore on, I couldn't help but get a little anxious at the potential monster that could be coming home.......lol!  I decided to do something nice for Kevin, but what?  As many of you know, I cleaned up my computer, pinning a million recipes when I found this recipe for Beer Candied Bacon.  We had all the ingredients which was perfect.  Plus, it involved meat and beer, a perfect man pleaser.  The flavor was so good, but I made them a little too crisp.  Next time I'll reduce my time by 5-10 minutes.  Next time you have leftover bacon I would give this recipe a shot!  
 

Beer Candied Bacon

Ingredients
1 pound thick-cut bacon
1/2 cup brown sugar 
1/4 and 2 Tablespoons Beer (Brooklyn East IPA is what I had on hand)

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.  Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and place a cooling rack on top.  Place your bacon on top of the cooling rack and bake for 10 minutes.  

While baking, combine the brown sugar and beer, making a thin syrup.  

Remove the bacon and coat one side of the bacon and then flip it over a coat the other side.  Bake 10 minutes.  Repeat this process 1 or 2 more times using all the mixture and until crisp.  *I did mine an additional 2 times and thought it was a little too crisp, will try 5-10 minutes less next time.


Friday, May 9, 2014

Casey's Taco Dip

Yes you read the title right.......this is my own creation!  I managed to concoct this dip back in my IU days, surprising I know!  It is such a hearty dip that I don't recommend making this for just two people, WHOOPS!  Oh well, it was Cinco de Mayo and I felt like being festive, plus I hadn't even made it for my hubby yet.  It is the perfect dip to bring to your next family get together or tailgating.  It got Kev's picky stamp of approval so I know you'll love it!  The only thing I was slightly bummed about was not finding the Velveeta that I normally used, but it was still so scrumptious!  

Casey's Taco Dip

Ingredients

1 16 oz. can refried beans
1 16 oz. jar salsa
1 lb beef
1 packet taco seasoning or the Homemade Taco Seasoning
8-12 ounces Mexican velveeta cheese
2 cups Mexican shredded cheese
1 can chilies

Optional:

Sour cream
Tomatoes

Cook beef with seasoning. In square pan layer beans, velveeta, and beef. Bake at 350℉ until hot, about 10-15 minutes. Top with salsa, chilies and shredded cheese.
 
 


Skinny Funfetti Cupcakes

If you are watching your weight or are trying to lose a few, then this recipe by Six Sister's Stuff is for you!  I was looking for something a little lighter to try since most of our recipes have been really, really (I could probably put a few more reallys in there, but you get the point) bad for you.  When I started making these I was a little skeptical at how they would turn out.  The batter was pretty fizzy from the Sprite and almost a grayish color.  How on earth could this turn out good?  I proceeded anyway, thinking these are going to be awful.  After putting them in the oven and checking on them, they looked like normal cupcakes.  Thank goodness!  Now I can't remember the last time I had an actual "real" funfetti cupcake to compare these to, but this skinny version tasted really good!  This recipe is absolutely worth trying.



Skinny Funfetti Cupcakes

Ingredients

Cupcakes
1 box of funfetti powder mix
1 12 ounce can Sprite Zero

Frosting
8 ounces Cool Whip
1.5 ounce package instant fat-free vanilla pudding

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line your cupcake tins.  Mix together the sprite and funfetti mix.  Mine was very fizzy at first, but after mixing it throughly it started to look like a regular cupcake batter.  Pour about 1/4 cup of the batter into lined cups and bake approximately 20 minutes.  Mine took a little longer, but I did 12 instead of 24 cupcakes.  
While your cupcakes are baking, mix the cool whip with the instant pudding mix.  I did mine by hand and it was a little lumpy, but that was fine with me.  
Take out your cupcake and let cool completely, then frost!
*I stored the leftovers in the refrigerator because of the cool whip and actually liked them better the next day.



Ingredients all set.


The original cupcakes at Six Sister's Stuff look much prettier, but I love my cupcake wrappers!


Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Kentucky Waffle and Kentucky Lemonade Cocktails

In honor of the Kentucky Derby this past weekend, I decided to make a couple of Kentucky cocktails.  Both came from Cosmopolitan and are very similar, making it easy to whip them both up. 

I wish Kevin had placed a bet because not only did he pick the winning horse, California Chrome, but he knew when the horse was going to make his move to win!  I was impressed!  However my horse,  Wicked Strong, didn't finish first and neither did these cocktails.  They really weren't bad, but I would rather have my bourbon straight with 2 ice cubes.  Oh well, at least we tried them!  

 
Kentucky Waffle

2 ounces bourbon
1 ounce lemon juice
3/4 ounce maple syrup
1/2 ounce apple cider
Garnish:  cinnamon stick

Combine all ingredients in a shaker with ice and shake.  Strain into a chilled glass and garnish with a cinnamon stick.



Kentucky Lemonade

2 ounces bourbon
1/2 ounce maple syrup
1 Tablespoon lemon juice

Shake and serve over ice in a cocktail glass.