Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Meltaway Cookies

These Meltaway Cookies practically melt in your mouth.  They are simple (only 5 ingredients!) and very tasty.  Not to mention, just a bit addicting.

1 cup butter
¾ cup cornstarch
¾ cup powdered sugar
1 cup flour
1 cup Cream Cheese Buttercream Frosting or Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

In a medium bowl, cream butter until fluffy. Add cornstarch and sugar and blend well. Add in flour and mix until thoroughly incorporated. Drop by rounded teaspoons onto baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes. Let cool completely before frosting.

Recipe adapted from Landee See, Landee Do.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Buttermilk Blueberry Pancakes

I love summer and all of the fresh fruit that is inexpensive and all around.  My kids like love blueberries.  I sometimes think they even like blueberries more than me.  Hard to believe, but it's true.  The 3 little ones will polish off an entire pound in just a couple minutes and still beg for more.  I was determined to do something with them other than just eat them plain, so I hid some and made these fantastic Buttermilk Blueberry Pancakes.  I served them with more fresh blueberries and real maple syrup.  They were a hit!

1 cup buttermilk
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons white sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 egg
2 1/2 tablespoons butter, melted
1 cup fresh blueberries (I'm sure frozen would be fantastic as well)

Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large mixing bowl. Whisk egg and butter into buttermilk. Pour the flour mixture into the wet ingredients and whisk until lumps are gone.  Heat a large skillet over medium heat, and coat with cooking spray (or heat a griddle to 350). Pour 1/4 cupfuls of batter onto the skillet, and cook until bubbles appear on the surface and the edges look dry. Flip with a spatula, and cook until browned on the other side and cooked through (the blueberries will start to bubble on the top of the pancake when they are cooked).
Recipe adapted from Fluffy Pancakes.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Easy Summer Pasta Salad

I love easy!  It's right up there with delicious.  Throw them both together and you have a sure winner.  This Easy Summer Pasta Salad is both easy and delicious.  It only takes about 15 minutes to put together and is quickly devoured.

1 (12 ounce) box pasta, cooked according to package directions (Any pasta works.  This time I used a box of mixed shapes.
1 (6 ounce) can olives, sliced
1 tomato, diced
1 cucumber, sliced and then quartered
1 cup Italian salad dressing

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and mix well.  Refrigerate for at least an hour before serving and stir well just before serving.

This salad is super versatile.  I sometimes add half of a chopped bell pepper, 1/4 cup green onions, and/or 1 cup diced pepperoni.

Recipe from The Royal Cook - an original!

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Cinnamon Roll Pancakes

Oh. My. Goodness! These Cinnamon Roll Pancakes are amazing! The kids love pancakes and ask for them all the time. I decided to make these awesome pancakes as a special treat a few days ago. When the little ones saw me putting the cinnamon swirl on them, they started to complain. "No Mom! We just want your normal pancakes." and "Ew. That's gross!" All reservations were gone at first bite. The kids really liked loved them. My 11 year old said these Cinnamon Roll Pancakes were the best pancakes she has EVER eaten.

1 batch pancake batter (Fluffy Pancakes or Granny's Farm Pancakes are both fantastic, or you could use a boxed mix)

1/4 cup butter, melted
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Combine melted butter, brown sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl. Mix well and set aside to thicken (it should be about as thick as toothpaste before using). Combine softened butter, cream cheese, powdered sugar and vanilla extract and mix well; set aside. Prepare pancake batter. Heat a large pan over medium heat, or a griddle to 350. Pour brown sugar filling mixture into a zip lock bag and snip off a small piece in one bottom corner. Pour 1/3 cup pancake batter onto the heated griddle or pan to form pancakes. Cook until the edges just start to look dry and there are bubbles in the center. Starting in the center of the pancake, squeeze the filling into a spiral on the top of the pancakes (stop within about 1 inch of the edge so the filling doesn't spill over the edge). Flip the pancakes and cook until the bottom is golden (the filling will spill out and be a little messy, but super yummy!)

To serve, drizzle with cream cheese glaze. Enjoy!

Recipe from Recipe Girl.

Linked on Sweets for a Saturday.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Mrs Fields Snickerdoodles

It's been raining and gloomy around here a bit lately.  When it gets gloomy, there's only one thing to do.  Bake cookies!

Are you a fan of snickerdoodles?  I haven't ever really cared much for them.  Well, that's until I came across this recipe for Mrs Fields Snickerdoodles.  They are amazing!  They're buttery and chewy and SO good!  The kids couldn't get enough of them.  Literally.  My 2 year old tried eating them 3 at a time!

1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar

2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon

In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugars. Add the egg and vanilla and beat until smooth.  Add dry ingredients and mix until well combined.  Cover and refrigerate for 30 to 60 minutes.  Preheat oven to 300.  In a small bowl, combine the cinnamon and 2 tablespoons sugar.  Roll dough into small balls about the size of a walnut, then roll the balls in the cinnamon sugar.  Place balls on a greased cookie sheet about 2 inches apart.  Bake for 12 to 14 minutes.

Recipe from Lovin' From the Oven.

Linked on Sweets for a Saturday.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Garden Salad with Cilantro Lime Dressing

Growing up we always had a large garden.  One of the most dreaded chores was weeding.  Kneeling on the hard ground in the hot sun getting my hands dirty was not my idea of a fun time.  I swore I would never have a garden.  No more weeding for me.  And then I grew up and moved out.  One of the first things I did when I bought my first house was plant a garden.  I couldn't wait for all the yummy, fresh produce I would grow.

This Garden Salad with Cilantro Lime Dressing is a great way to use some of the yummy garden tomatoes (okay, I'll admit, my tomatoes are still green and I am still buying tomatoes.  But not for long!) and cilantro from my garden.  With 2 of my favorite ingredients, cilantro and avocado, I couldn't pass this one up.  Its light and refreshing, a great addition to any summer meal.  Or as a nice light lunch all by its self.

1 head lettuce (I used romaine) cut or torn into large bite-sized pieces
1/4 red onion, thinly sliced
2 tomatoes, cut into wedges
1 avocado, sliced
1 tablespoon cilantro, chopped small
2 limes, juiced
2 tablespoon olive oil
salt and pepper

To make the dressing, combine cilantro, lime juice, olive oil, salt and pepper in a small bowl and whisk to combine.  In a large bowl, place lettuce and top with onion, tomatoes and avocado.  Drizzle with dressing and serve immediately.

Recipe adapted from Laylita's Recipes.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Cookies and Cream Ice Cream Cake

This Cookies and Cream Ice Cream Cake is so easy and so good!  With summer in full swing, I wanted a dessert, but I didn't want to turn on the oven.  This Cookies and Cream Ice Cream Cake was the perfect solution.  The family loved it.  According to my 11 year old, it was the yummiest cake she has ever eaten!

1 package double stuffed chocolate sandwich cookies (like Oreos)
1 (56 ounce) carton vanilla ice cream, softened but not melted
1 1/2 tablespoons butter, melted
1 cup whipping cream
2 tablespoons sugar

Place 16 of the cookies in a food processor and process until they are crumbs.  Add butter to the crumbs and mix until incorporated.  Pour crumbs into a 9-inch spring form pan and press onto the bottom.  Cut 10 cookies into 1/4.  Pour softened ice cream into a large bowl and add cut up cookies.  Stir until combined.  Pour into the spring form pan on top of the cookie crust.  Place in the freezer for at least 2 hours.  Place remaining cookies in the food processor and process until broken.  Pour whipping cream into a medium sized bowl and beat with beaters until the cream starts to stiffen.  Add sugar and continue beating until stiff.  Just before serving, run a knife around the edge of the spring form pan to loosen the cake from the sides; remove the ring.  Top cake with sweetened whipped cream and sprinkle with cookie pieces.

To soften the ice cream, I leave it on the counter for about 10 minutes, then pour it into a bowl and stir it, breaking up the big chucks, until smooth.

When whipping the cream, remove the cream from the fridge just before beating.  Also, use a glass bowl and place the bowl and beaters in the freezer for 10 minutes before adding the whipping cream. 

Recipe from The Royal Cook - an original!

Linked on Tatertots and Jello.

Linked on Sweets for a Saturday

Friday, July 6, 2012

Hawaiian Kabobs

I have a new favorite kind of kabob.  Hawaiian Kabobs.  I just can't seem to get enough of the grilled pineapple.  And the ham is pretty tasty, too.  Growing up I never liked Hawaiian pizza.  I thought the combination of ham and pineapple was disgusting.  Even as a grown up I'm not a fan of the stuff, so I think it's kinda strange that I like these Hawaiian Kabobs so much.  If you are a ham and pineapple fan, you'll love these, if you aren't you still might love these.  Oh, and they are super easy!

2 pounds ham, cut into about 1 inch pieces 
1 pineapple, cut into 1 inch chunks (or use 2 cans of pineapple chunks)*

Soak skewers in water for 1 hour (helps prevent them burning up on the barbecue).  Thread pineapple and ham pieces onto a skewer, alternating between pineapple and ham.  Leave about 2 inches of empty space on both ends.  Cook over medium heat on the barbecue, turning every 2 to 3 minutes, until heated through.

* Fresh pineapple has something in it that is a natural meat tenderizer.  If you are using fresh pineapple, cook immediately.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Chicken Fajitas

I love Chicken Fajitas, but have never made my own from scratch.  I've used a packet of seasoning before, but I wanted something a little different this time.  These Chicken Fajitas turned out fantastic!  They taste so fresh and are just plain delicious!  They were a hit with the entire family.  Luckily for me, I made enough to have leftovers tomorrow for lunch. :)

3 bell peppers, thinly sliced (I used 1 each of red, yellow and green)
1 onion, thinly sliced
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, sliced thin
2 tablespoons oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/3 cup fresh lemon or lime juice
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon dried chipotle chile pepper

Pour 1 tablespoon oil in to a large skillet and heat over medium high heat.  Add peppers and onion and saute until tender-crisp; about 5 minutes.  Remove peppers from the skillet and set aside in a bowl.  Add remaining tablespoon of oil to the skillet and add chicken.  Cook until cooked through; about 5 minutes.  Drain any juices and add peppers and onions back into the skillet.  Add remaining ingredients and cook for 2 minutes longer.  Serve in tortillas topped with cheese, guacamole, salsa (or this salsa) and sour cream, if desired.

Recipe from The Royal Cool - an original!

Monday, July 2, 2012

Good Morning! Eggs

These Good Morning! Eggs are fantastic!!  I have been having omelets for breakfast a lot lately and the kids always ask for "Just one bite.  Pleeeeeease."  That one bite almost always turns into half of my omelet.  This morning they told me they wanted some of my breakfast before I started on my omelet, so I decided to scramble up the eggs instead, and throw the filling in with the scrambled eggs.  I figured that would be a much easier way to quickly cook for everyone.  I asked my hubby if he wanted some, but he told me I don't make good eggs anymore.  All I put in them is veggies.  Where's the ham and steak?  Just for him, I added some diced up ham.  Yum-O!

6 eggs
3/4 cup cooked mushrooms, onion and red pepper*
1/2 cup diced ham
1 tablespoon fresh basil, chopped
salt and pepper, to taste
1 tablespoon butter or oil

In a medium bowl, mix together eggs, basil, salt and pepper.  Whisk until smooth.  Heat a skillet over medium heat; add the butter and let melt completely.  Pour eggs into the warmed skillet and cook, stirring often, until eggs are cooked through.  In a separate skillet, combine veggies and ham and cook until heated through.  Add to eggs and stir to combine.

*At the beginning of the week I chop up an onion, red pepper and 2 pounds of mushrooms and cook in a skillet with 1 tablespoon of butter for about 10 minutes on medium heat (until the onions are transparent and the mushrooms and red pepper are tender).  I use this veggie mixture as a filling for my omelets throughout the week.  If you only want to cook enough for this recipe, combine 1/4 cup diced red pepper, 1/4 cup diced onion and 1/2 cup sliced mushrooms with 1 tablespoon of butter or oil and cook as directed above.  Add the ham in at the end to heat through.  Use a slotted spoon to scoop mixture into the eggs to leave out as much of the juice as possible.

Recipe from The Royal Cook - an original!
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