March 26, 2017

Mom's Coconut Almond Chex Mix {Best Ever}


My Mom has been making this chex mix for as long as I can remember.  She usually only made it a few times a year, but one of those times was always on New Year's Eve.  It makes a ton, so it's great to take to a party.  

Friday night, I got home from work, put on my comfortable clothes and was ready to relax for the night, when my hubby really really wanted some of this chex mix.  So, we headed to the store to buy the cereal.  I usually have most of the other ingredients on hand.

By the way, what is up with cereal?  The boxes are getting smaller and the prices are getting higher, same thing that I complain about with chips.  What they call "Party-Size" is pretty much what regular-size used to be.  Anyway, my Mom's recipe calls for a 1/2 a box of golden grahams, but since cereal box sizes are completely different than they used to be, we had to decide how much was the perfect amount.
Within a few minutes of getting home from the store, we had a big bowl of this super addicting, BEST EVER, chex mix finished and ready to eat.  When I say it's addicting, it totally is.  Once you start eating it, it's so hard to stop.  The flavor and texture are so satisfying.  Everything you want in texture, is in this chex mix . . . crunchy, creamy and chewy all at the same time.  This is guaranteed to become a family favorite.  

You might also like:

Mom's Coconut Almond Chex Mix
From: Mom
(Printable Recipe)

4 c. Corn Chex Cereal
4 c. Rice Chex Cereal
4 c. Golden Grahams Cereal
1 c. slivered almonds
2 c. sweetened coconut
3/4 c. unsalted butter
1 c. light Karo syrup
1 c. sugar

In a very large bowl (at least 32-cup size), toss together the Corn Chex, Rice Chex, Golden Grahams, slivered almonds and coconut; set aside.  In a medium saucepan, melt the butter.  Add the Karo syrup and sugar and stir until combined.  Heat over medium heat and bring to a boil, then boil for two minutes, stirring constantly.  Remove from heat and immediately pour over the ingredients in the bowl.  Carefully stir together until everything is evenly coated.  Allow to cool and serve.  
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March 19, 2017

White Chocolate Corn Pops


Tomorrow is the first day of Spring.  The last few days have been so warm and it's so nice to be outside all day, rather than stuck inside.  It was so nice outside, that I was able to take my kitchen table out and re-finish it.  I don't know what the deal was, but it was having some issues.  I could not get it to come clean.  It was sticky.  If you set a paper plate on it with warm food, the steam would pretty much "glue" the plate to the table.  SO gross and it has been driving me nuts, so we sanded it and stained it and I can't wait to try it out.  We have to wait 24 hours before we can set anything on it.

With all this warm Spring weather, a fun colorful snack is much needed.  These White Chocolate Corn Pops are so simple to make and so addicting.  You will find yourself going back for bite after bite.  Basically there are only two ingredients or three if you add sprinkles.

First, you will need a bag of Corn Pops, not the cereal, but the kind that is pictured above.  You should be able to find it in the chip aisle at your grocery store.  Then, you need two bags of white chocolate chips.  Melt the white chocolate chips and pour over the corn pops until well coated and top with sprinkles.  Allow to harden and that is it.  It doesn't get much easier than this.  I was thinking some chopped up candy bars would also be fantastic and I might have to try that next.  It makes a lot, so it's great for sharing.  My friend, Mary, brought this into work one day and everyone had to have the recipe.  
You might also like:

White Chocolate Corn Pops
(Printable Recipe)

1 (15 oz.) bag Corn Pops (Puffed Corn Snack)
2 (12 oz.) bags white chocolate chips
Optional: sprinkles, chopped candy bars

Place the corn pops in an extra-large bowl or divide them between two large bowls.  In a separate medium-large microwave safe bowl, microwave the white chocolate chips until melted, stirring every 30 seconds.  Pour melted white chocolate over the corn pops and stir until evenly coated.  Top with sprinkles or chopped candy bars, if adding.  

Spread out onto wax paper and allow white chocolate to set.  Or, you can leave it in the bowl and it will stick together in chunks, so whichever you prefer.  When white chocolate has hardened, serve.  Store in an airtight container.  





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March 15, 2017

Peanut Butter Brownie Cookies PLUS Eggland's Best Foodtography Contest and Giveaway

Today, I'm sharing a yummy rich and fudgy brownie cookie with you to help kick off Eggland's Best Foodtography Contest.  This is the PERFECT contest for everyone and anyone that loves to snap beautiful pictures of their food creations.  Eggland's Best is searching for the most passionate egg fan and wants to see how you celebrate the only egg that provides better taste, better nutrition and better quality for the past 25 years.  

Submit your Eggland's Best mouthwatering foodie photos at www.egglandsbest.com/foodtography by April 12, 2017 for a chance to win $5000!  All dishes that are submitted must include at least two whole Eggland's Best eggs.  You may submit up to two photos in each of the four categories: Brunch, Appetizer, Main Course and Dessert.  

Compared to ordinary eggs, Eggland's Best eggs contain five times more Vitamin D, 25% less saturated fat, more than double the Omega-3s, ten times more Vitamin E, and three times more Vitamin B12.  Eggland's Best superior nutrition is due to its proprietary all-vegetarian hen feed that contains healthy grains, canola oil and a wholesome supplement of rice bran, alfalfa, sea kelp and Vitamin E.  In addition, independent testing has revealed that Eggland's Best eggs have stronger shells than ordinary eggs, which leads to less breakage and helps them stay fresher longer than ordinary eggs.  
While you are sitting there thinking of what pictures you can't wait to submit, let me tell you a little bit about these brownie cookies.  They really taste like a brownie.  They are super rich and fudgy and you will want to have a glass of milk handy :)  They are full of chocolate flavor and what goes better with chocolate than peanut butter, so I added some creamy peanut butter chips.  It's possible I might have eaten around four or five of these cookies in one day.  Oops.  

Let me show you how easy they are to make.  First, get all of your ingredients ready.  
Add butter to a microwave safe bowl and microwave until melted, about 60 seconds.  Remove from the microwave and stir in the sugar and brown sugar.  No need to break out the mixer for this recipe, a whisk is all you need.  
Then, add your Eggland's Best eggs and vanilla and stir until smooth and well combined.  
In a separate bowl, combine all of the dry ingredients and stir into the wet.  
Last, stir in the peanut butter chips.  The batter is very thick.  Cover bowl with plastic wrap and chill for at least 30 minutes.  When chilled, scoop into balls and bake in a preheated oven.  Serve.  These are delicious warm and at room temperature.  

Remember to head on over to www.egglandsbest.com/foodtography by April 12, 2017 and submit your foodie photos that contain at least two whole Eggland's Best eggs (and to see the official contest rules)

One lucky winner will receive $5000 and a year supply of Eggland's Best eggs, four finalists will receive $1000 and a year supply of Eggland's Best eggs, and 20 semi-finalist winners will receive a year supply of Eggland's Best eggs. 

Now, in the meantime, make sure to enter my giveaway for one $25 Visa gift card and one coupon, valid for a carton of Eggland's Best eggs.   Giveaway is open to U.S. Residents only.  Winner will be contacted via email on Sunday, March 19th and must respond within 24 hours to claim their prize or a new winner will be selected. 



Peanut Butter Brownie Cookies
From: Jenn@eatcakefordinner

1 c. unsalted butter
2 c. sugar
1/4 c. light brown sugar, packed
4 large Eggland's Best Eggs
1 Tbl. vanilla extract
1 3/4 c. all-purpose flour
1 c. unsweetened cocoa powder
3/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking powder
1 (10 oz.) bag peanut butter chips, divided

Add butter to a large microwave-safe bowl and heat in the microwave until melted, about 60 seconds.  Remove from microwave and stir in the sugar and brown sugar.  Then, add the eggs and vanilla and whisk until smooth and well combined.  In a separate medium bowl, combine the flour, cocoa powder, salt and baking powder.  Add dry ingredients to wet and stir together until combined.  Batter will be very thick.  Last, stir in one cup of the peanut butter chips.  Cover bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

When dough has chilled, preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Using a 1 1/2 Tablespoon cookie scoop, scoop  dough balls onto a lightly greased baking sheet.  Press four or five peanut butter chips into the top of each dough ball.  Bake for 9-10 minutes.  Remove from oven and allow to cool on cookie sheet for a few minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.  Repeat.  Makes around 42 cookies.    

Jenn's Notes:  I like mine slightly underdone, so I prefer to bake my cookies for 9 minutes.  If you want yours a little more done, bake for 10 minutes.  


This post is sponsored by Eggland's Best.  The Eggland's Best information, coupons, gift card, and additional gift pack have been provided by Eggland's Best.  As always, all opinions expressed herein are my own.


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March 12, 2017

Pistachio Blossoms

Prepare for photo overload, but I couldn't help it.  These little bites of heaven are SO DANG GOOD and I garnished them a few different ways and had to show them all off.

St. Patrick's Day is this Friday and yummy green treats are a must.  These little bite-size treats are incredible.  I have made a lemon version of these many times, but this was the first time I tried pistachio.  My family raved about these.  Every last one was eaten.
My favorite were the ones topped with a raspberry.  A little tart and a little sweet was the perfect combination.  The ones topped with chopped pistachios and the ones I left plain were the favorites of my family.

These mini pistachio cake bites are dunked in an almond glaze, completely covering them.  It doesn't get much better than this.  They stay fresh and soft for several days.  
I think they are so pretty, you could make these for a party or even serve them at a wedding.  One batch makes a lot.  Let me tell you . . . make it easy on yourself and use a mini muffin tin with at least 24 cups.  If you try to bake these with only a 12 cup mini muffin tin, it will take you a really long time to finish.  Just saying . . .   
What fun green treats do you like to make on St. Patrick's Day?  
You might also like:

Pistachio Blossoms
From: Jenn@eatcakefordinner

1 (16.25 oz.) box white cake mix
1 (3.4 oz.) box instant pistachio pudding mix
4 large eggs
3/4 c. canola or vegetable oil
3/4 tsp. almond extract
2 drops green food coloring
raspberries or chopped pistachios, for garnish, opt. 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray a mini muffin tin very well with cooking spray; set aside.  In a large bowl, combine the dry cake mix, dry pudding mix, eggs, oil, almond extract and green food coloring and mix until well combined.  Fill each muffin cup around halfway with batter (a 3/4 Tablespoon scoop works really well).  Bake for 12 minutes.  Remove from oven and cool for a few minutes.  

Use a toothpick to help loosen mini cakes from cups and remove to a wire rack.  While still slightly warm, dip into glaze until completely coated. I find it's easiest to dip them using two forks.  Tap on the edge of the bowl, to get rid of excess glaze.  Place coated cakes onto a wire rack with waxed paper underneath to catch any drips.  If adding a garnish, add while the glaze is still wet.  Allow glaze to set before serving.  Makes about 50-52 mini cake bites.  

Almond Glaze
4 c. powdered sugar, sifted
1/2 c. water
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. almond extract
1 Tbl. canola oil

In a medium bowl, combine all glaze ingredients and whisk together until completely smooth.  

Jenn's Notes: If any of the cakes crack while removing them from the mini muffin tin, that's okay, you can still dip them into the glaze and they will taste great, just dip them last.

Slightly adapted from: Paula Deen






March 8, 2017

Sweet and Sour Meatballs PLUS Our Sweet Basil Kitchen Cookbook


I am super excited to tell you guys about a fantastic new cookbook!  Cade and Carrian from Oh Sweet Basil have a new cookbook, Our Sweet Basil Kitchen,  that was just released yesterday.  This husband-and-wife cooking duo are one of my favorites.  Carrian is such a beautiful person, inside and out and I am so happy for her and her husband.  They did an amazing job with this book and you can tell they are really passionate about cooking and sharing recipes with all of us.

This cookbook is loaded with more than 100 recipes.  From the first recipe all the way to the last, your mouth will be watering.  There are so many unique flavor combinations and recipe mash-ups.  They take recipes that are already delicious up to another level and make them extra-delicious.  Like instead of Banana Cream Pie, they created Dulce De Leche Banana Cream Pie and instead of Baked French Toast, you get Peach Cobbler Baked French Toast.  Holy yum.  Seriously, these recipes all sound amazing and the gorgeous photos will convince you to cook your way through this cookbook in no time and I bet you will be inspired to come up with some of your own unique recipe mash-ups.  

Some of the other recipes I can't wait to try are: Pumpkin Spice Pancakes with Cinnamon Syrup, Pea Pasta Salad, Steak Burritos with Grilled Zucchini, Raspberry Lemon Tart Bars and Fudge Brownie Cookies.
I made the Sweet and Sour Meatballs and I am obsessed.  These things are so dang good.  The last time I attempted to make meatballs, they fell apart and stuck to the pan.  This recipe is perfect, because you bake them in the oven and don't have to worry about frying them.  Or, they also include instructions for cooking these in the slow cooker.  

The meatballs on their own have so much flavor and I am seriously planning on using this meatball recipe for all kinds of other dishes.  BUT, when you add this fantastic sweet and sour sauce, they are incredible.  A new favorite recipe for sure.  I will be making these a lot and I can't wait to find more favorite recipes from this book.

Sweet and Sour Meatballs
From: Our Sweet Basil Kitchen
(Printable Recipe)

2 Lbs. ground beef (85/15 mix works best)
2/3 c. panko bread crumbs
2 Tbl. dry minced onion
1 large egg
1/4 c. coconut milk
1 1/2 tsp. ground ginger
2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
1 Tbl. canola oil
1/3 c. chopped red bell pepper
1/3 c. chopped yellow bell pepper
1/3 c. chopped green bell pepper
1 clove garlic, minced fine
1 1/2 tsp. onion powder
1/2 c. rice vinegar
1/2 c. ketchup
1/4 c. low-sodium soy sauce
2 c. granulated sugar
1/8 tsp. sesame oil
1/2 (11 oz.) can mandarin oranges, smashed with their juices
2 - 3 Tbl. cornstarch
1/4 c. cold water
sesame seeds, for garnish
green onions, for garnish
rice, for serving

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Grease a 9x13-inch baking pan.  Or, if using a slow cooker, lightly oil the cooking insert.  To a large bowl, add ground beef, bread crumbs, onion, egg, coconut milk, ginger, salt and pepper.  Mix with your clean hands until just combined.  Rub a little oil on your hands and then roll the meat mixture into 1-inch balls (or use a cookie scoop).  Place meatballs in prepared baking pan or slow cooker.

Bake 20 minutes in the preheated oven OR set slow cooker to low and bake, covered with sauce, 3-4 hours.  

To make the sauce:  In a medium saucepan over medium heat, add the oil, chopped peppers and garlic.  Sauté until tender, about 3 minutes, stirring frequently.  Add the onion powder, vinegar, ketchup, soy sauce, sugar and sesame oil.  Stir to combine and then add the oranges and juice.  Bring to a boil.

Meanwhile, stir the cornstarch and water together and then whisk into the sauce.  Bring back to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer 10 minutes.  Serve over meatballs with sesame seeds and green onions to garnish.  Makes around 35 meatballs.  Serves: 6   




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