May 20, 2015

Ham, Bacon and Cheese Bagel Snacks

I woke up Saturday morning, watched a few cooking shows while I sipped on my hot cup of coffee and lounged around for a few hours.  By the time noon came around, I was hungry and I wanted a quick and easy lunch.
I grew up eating Bagel Bites and I loved them.  This is my grown up version of those delicious mini bagel snacks.  Instead of using mini bagels, I used small bagels.  They are between the size of mini and regular.  I used Mayonnaise as the binder, just like in this Olive Cheese Bread and these Muffin Melts.  I have now made these several times and I love them.    
 They are perfect for breakfast, lunch, an after-school snack or even dinner.  

They take minutes to throw together and then they are baked until the cheese is melty and bubbly and absolute perfection.  

You might also like:
Rise and Shine Breakfast Bagel Sandwich
Homemade Raspberry Cream Cheese Spread
Mini Breakfast Pizzas
Ham, Bacon and Cheese Bagel Snacks
From: Jenn@eatcakefordinner
(Printable Recipe) or (Printable with Picture) 

3/4 c. diced deli ham
1/3 c. bacon crumbles or 3 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
1 c. grated Cheddar or Monterey cheese
1/2 c. mayonnaise (I use light)
1/2 tsp. Johnny's garlic seasoning (or garlic powder)
1/8 tsp. onion powder, opt.
finely chopped green onions, for garnish
4 small bagels, split

In a medium bowl combine the ham, bacon, cheese, mayonnaise, Johnny's garlic seasoning and onion powder.  Spread mixture over bagel halves and place on a lightly greased baking sheet.  If you want a crispier bagel: bake at 350 degrees for 6-8 minutes and then broil for 2-3 minutes.  If you want a less crunchy bagel: broil for 4-5 minutes or until lightly browned and bubbly.  Garnish with green onions, if desired, and serve.   

Jenn's Notes: I buy a big bag of Bacon Crumbles from Costco and that is what I like to use, because it is so much easier than cooking bacon. 

May 17, 2015

Banana Cream Brownie Squares

My Dad buys me cookbooks every once in a while and he always flips through them first to make sure there is some good sounding stuff.  He picked me one up the other day and he had two recipe requests.  These brownies were one of those requests.

I am soooooo glad he picked this recipe out and that I tried them . . . . because . . . .

Holy cow . . . these brownies are reeeeeally good :)

Fudgy chocolate brownies with sweet sliced bananas and light and pillowy vanilla pudding drizzled with chocolate sauce.  mmm mmm mmm.  This recipe is a total winner and so super simple to make.  

You might also like:
Banana Cream Brownie Squares
(Printable Recipe) or (Printable with Picture)

1 box fudge brownie mix, plus ingredients to make brownies (I like Betty Crocker)
3 ripe bananas
1 (5.1 oz.) box vanilla instant pudding
1 1/4 c. milk
1 (8 oz.) carton Cool Whip, thawed (I used light)
chocolate syrup, for garnish, opt.
mini chocolate chips, for garnish, opt.
whipped cream, for garnish, opt.

Prepare brownies according to package directions for a 9x13-inch pan.  Cool completely.  Slice bananas and layer on top of the brownies.  Whisk together pudding mix and milk until combined.  Fold in Cool Whip and spread evenly over the bananas.  Refrigerate until ready to serve.  Garnish with chocolate syrup, mini chocolate chips and whipped cream, if desired. 

adapted from:  Uinta County Cattlewomen Cookbook, submitted by Angela S.

May 14, 2015

Mexican Pasta Salad

Who is ready for the perfect side dish recipe, just in time for your Memorial Day BBQ??? I don't know about you, but side dishes are one of the hardest dishes for me to make.  I would much rather be in charge of the rolls or dessert than a side dish.   

BUT . . . since pasta salads are a classic Summer side dish and frequently requested, it is good to have a few different recipes on hand.  My Mom's Macaroni Salad will always be my favorite, but this Mexican version is pretty darn good too.  Plus, I usually have these ingredients on hand, except for the tomatoes, but with Summer coming up, I will have plenty of fresh tomatoes in my garden.  The dressing is a creamy salsa dressing and makes this so flavorful.  Make sure and use a jarred salsa that you really like, since that is where a lot of the flavor will come from.

I pretty much think Feta cheese is the best thing ever.  I put that stuff on everything.  I love, love, love it on Mexican food.  It adds so much flavor and I loved it in this macaroni salad.  You can either stir some into the salad or just use it as a garnish on top.  Or, you can leave it out completely if you aren't a fan. 

You might also like:
Click HERE to get this great side dish recipe over at THE RECIPE CRITIC'S SITE!!

May 10, 2015

Lemon Bundt Cake

Happy Mother's Day to all you beautiful mothers.   

Do you enjoy lemon desserts?

This impressive bundt cake has a sweet and light lemon flavor.

The cake batter is to-die-for.  It's as light as a cloud and so pillowy soft.  It's a good thing that batter tasted so good, because it took a little while to prepare.  There are a few extra steps than usual, but all are necessary to create this light cake.  
There are so many ways to serve this lemony cake.  You can serve it plain with powdered sugar and fresh fruit or with lemon glaze.  I also tried it with some raspberry jam and vanilla whipped cream and it was delish.  I also think it would be outstanding served with some Strawberry Whipped Cream

You might also like:
Lemon Bundt Cake
adapted from: All Recipes 
(Printable Recipe) or (Printable with Picture)

3 c. cake flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
6 large eggs, at room temperature, separated
2 c. sugar, divided
1 c. unsalted butter, room temperature
1 Tbl. finely grated lemon zest (from about 2 lemons)
3 Tbl. fresh lemon juice (from about 2 lemons)
1 c. lemon yogurt

Lemon Glaze
from: Jenn@eatcakefordinner
2 c. powdered sugar
finely grated zest of 1 lemon
1-2 Tbl. fresh lemon juice or milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease and flour a 10-inch bundt pan; set aside.  Sift together flour, baking soda and salt; set aside.  Beat egg whites in a large bowl until soft peaks form.  Gradually add 1/2 cup of sugar, beating until stiff, glossy peaks form; set aside.  In the bowl of a stand mixer beat butter, remaining 1 1/2 cups of sugar, egg yolks, lemon zest and lemon juice and mix until creamy and pale yellow, around 3-5 minutes.  

Add flour mixture to yolk mixture in two parts, alternating with the yogurt, mixing on low speed until just combined.  Gently fold in the beaten egg whites.  Pour batter into prepared pan and spread out evenly.  Bake for around 50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Cool in pan 10 minutes, then turn out onto a rack and cool completely and top with lemon glaze.

For the Lemon Glaze: Combine powdered sugar, lemon zest and 1 Tablespoon of lemon juice or milk in a small bowl and stir until smooth and creamy.  If mixture is too thick, add a little more juice or milk until it reaches a glaze consistency.  Pour over cooled cake.    

Jenn's Notes: If you don't have a 10-inch bundt pan and you can't fit all of the batter, you can always make some cupcakes with the extra batter.  Bake the cupcakes for 15-16 minutes.  2 (6 oz.) cartons of lemon yogurt should equal around one cup.          

May 3, 2015

Slow Cooker Pineapple Salsa Chicken Tacos

Okay, something really weird just happened and I am soooo mad.  My whole post disappeared and now I am having to re-type the entire thing.  Grrr. . . good thing I have a batch of my favorite caramel popcorn in the oven and in about 30 minutes, I will feel a lot better!!  Yes, you bake the popcorn and it gets crunchy and amazing. 

Aneeways, I made these tacos for dinner.  They turned out extremely good.  Especially when topped with this Pineapple Avocado Salsa.  

Incredibly easy - You add three ingredients to the slow cooker along with the chicken.  Sweet fruit preserves mixed with spicy salsa and taco seasoning creates a sweet and tender meat and when combined with all the toppings, you will have one flavor-loaded taco. 

I can't wait to make these again and again.  
Slow Cooker Pineapple Salsa Chicken Tacos
(Printable Recipe) or (Printable with Picture)
3-4 chicken breasts
1/2 (18 oz.) jar pineapple preserves or apricot-pineapple preserves
1/2 (24 oz.) jar Pace Picante Salsa (I used medium)
1 Tbl. taco seasoning, or to taste

For Serving:
7-10 crunchy taco shells
sour cream
Feta cheese
Pineapple Avocado Salsa

Place chicken breasts into the bottom of the slow cooker.  Combine preserves, salsa and taco seasoning and pour over chicken.  Cover and cook on low for 4-5 hours or until internal temperature of chicken registers 165 degrees on an instant-read thermometer.  Remove chicken and shred.  

Add some of the liquid from the slow cooker to the shredded chicken to keep it juicy and moist.  I added around 3/4 - 1 cup or so.  Taste chicken and add more taco seasoning, if needed.  Discard remaining liquid in the slow cooker.  Return chicken to slow cooker and heat on warm until ready to serve.  Serve in crunchy taco shells with desired toppings.  Makes 7-10 tacos.   

slightly adapted from: The Frugal Girls

April 29, 2015

Pineapple Avocado Salsa Plus Trisha's Table Cookbook Review

I've never really listened to Trisha Yearwood's music, but I have never missed an episode of her cooking show.  I am not a country music fan, but I am a foodie : )

She is so dang cute and has such a fun personality.  She is looking good, have you seen her lately?  Her new cookbook is full of healthier dishes.  She believes in the 80/20 rule, 80% of the time she eats healthy and 20% of the time she allows herself to splurge a little. 

She is a southern girl that grew up on decadent comfort food and I know that she loves GOOD food.  So, I totally trust that her new healthier recipes are full of flavor and definitely worth trying.  She said she has only included healthier substitutions that she loves.  

All of these recipes look simple and the instructions are easy to follow.  Most of the substitutions are small healthier changes, like using wheat tortillas, turkey sausage and egg whites in a breakfast burrito.  Or, adding wheat flour and wheat germ to blueberry banana muffins.   

Two of the most unique substitutions are the Cashew Cream and the Tofu Ricotta.  She uses the Cashew Cream to create rich and creamy soups instead of adding heavy cream and she uses Tofu along with some other ingredients to replace ricotta cheese.  She uses it in dishes like lasagna and Spinach-Stuffed Shells and she says her family doesn't even miss the cheese. 

Some of the recipes I can't wait to try are Zucchini Cakes with Herbed Sour Cream, Roasted 
Vegetables with Balsamic Glaze, Tomato Bisque with Homemade Croutons and Mama's Cornbread.

 The Dessert section is full of sooooo many yummy sounding treats.  Like, Basic Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Frosting, Key Lime Cheesecake with Raspberry Sauce, Glazed Lemon Cookies and No-Bake Peanut Butter Pretzel Squares.  These sweet treats must be what she eats on her 20% splurge a little days. 

Overall, I think this book has some great recipes and ideas for eating healthier.  The recipes all look hearty and filling and won't leave you wishing for something more.  Not every recipe has a photo, but a lot do and they are gorgeous photos.

I did get to try out her Avocado Pineapple Salsa and it was SO GOOD.

This salsa turned out way better than I imagined.  I have had mango salsa before, but never pineapple.  I wasn't sure what to expect, but it was fabulous.  I loved it.  I cut the pineapple into pretty small pieces.  It has a great sweet flavor and if you didn't know there was pineapple in it, you would probably be trying to guess what that amazing flavor is.  I ate it plain with chips and I served it on some shredded chicken tacos.  I will definitely make this again.  
Avocado Pineapple Salsa
adapted from: Trisha's Table 
3 medium avocados, diced
1/4 c. finely chopped onion
1/2 c. finely chopped pineapple
2/3 c. quartered grape tomatoes, about 16 (I used diced Roma tomatoes)
2 Tbl. freshly squeezed lime juice
1/4 tsp. garlic salt
1 tsp. red pepper flakes (I didn't add)
1/4 c. finely chopped fresh cilantro
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
baked pita chips or tortillas chips, for serving

In a medium bowl, combine all ingredients.  Serve with baked pita chips or tortilla chips. 

I received this book from Blogging for Books for the purpose of this review, but all opinions expressed herein are my own.