Monday, October 29, 2012

Chocolate Shortbread Bars with M&M's

A year ago I spied these yummy looking bars on Picky Palate and finally a year later got around to making these. They were so easy and so yummy. I used White chocolate candy corn M&M's(can be hard to find) but you can use any kind of M&M you like. I really think peanut butter or almond ones would be awesome in these but if you do spy a bag of White Chocolate candy corn ones grab them and give them a try they really are quite tasty. I was able to find some last Halloween after halloween and only paid $1.25 per bag. I just now used them and they still taste great. Anyway, these shortbread bars and oh so good. Please go make some now!!!

Chocolate Shortbread bars with M&M's
adapted from Picky Palate
4 sticks softened butter

1 cup brown sugar
4 tablespoons sugar
1 cup chocolate chips
3 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. and line a 9x13 inch baking pan with foil that’s been sprayed with non stick cooking spray.
2. In a stand or electric mixer, beat the butter and sugars until light and fluffy.
3. Place chocolate chips in microwave safe bowl and microwave in 30 second intervals until melted and smooth, stirring.
4. Pour melted chocolate into mixer beating until well combined. Slowly add flour and salt until well combined. Dough will be thick.
5. Press dough into prepared pan and line with M&M’s, pressing in slightly. Bake for 30-35 minutes, until cooked through.
6. Let cool completely and cut into squares.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Pesto Alfredo Pasta

My kids love alfredo sauce and they love pesto. My friend gave me a bunch of fresh basil and so I decided to make pesto with it all and freeze it to use whenever because I can never use the basil fast enough before it goes bad here. So the other day I wanted something quick for dinner and so I had the thought to do alfredo and add a couple of spoonfuls of pesto to it. Man was it tasty. SOme of the best pasta ever!!! The pesto just puts the alfredo over the top. These sauce comes together in about 15 minutes so you can have dinner on the table in a snap with this recipe. Serve this with garlic bread and a lettuce salad!!!

Pesto Alfredo Sauce
For the Pesto:
2 cups fresh basil
1-2 cups fresh spinach leaves
1/2 cup fresh parsley
3 T. fresh garlic
3/4 cup pine nuts or almonds
3/4 cup parmesean cheese
1 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
enough olive oil to make a smooth sauce (about 1/2 cup)

In a food processor blend all ingredients except olive oil until well blended. Then stream in olive oil and add enough to make a smooth sauce. Sometimes it take a little more than a half a cup sometimes less just depends on the consistency you like.
Note: I add spinach leaves to it because it stretches your buck because basil can be expensive if you don't grow it yourself and for the health factor as well and your kids and you will  never even taste the spinach at all!!!I usually do equal parts spinach to basil 
Note: I  use almonds because that is what I always have on hand and pine nuts are expensive and hard to find where I live. Traditional pesto is made with pine nuts but taste great with almonds or walnuts.
Note: this makes quite a bit of sauce and with pesto a little bit goes a long way. Just put leftovers in a container or ziploc bag and freesze it. It keeps forever and you can take it out and use it whenever you need some!!!

Alfredo Sauce:
1 (8 oz) package cream cheese, at room temp.
1 stick of butter
1 -1 1/2 cups milk,any kind
3/4 -1 cup parmesean cheese
1 tsp granulated garlic or garlic powder

In a saucepan combine all ingredients and cook on medium low until all melted and smooth. You may need to add additional milk if it is too thick. We like it thick though but do it to your liking.

For the Pesto alfredo:
Add a few large spoonfuls of pesto to your alfredo sauce and then serve with you favorite pasta. I used 1 lb of pasta and mixed it with the sauce but you can do individual servings if you like. Really this is a versatile recipe!!! Hope you Enjoy!!!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

10 Layer Cookie Bars

I am sure many of you have seen or even made similar versions of these cookie bars but let me tell you these cookie bars are amazing and oh so easy to make. If you need something easy and so tasty to make may I reccommend these. They are a must try for sure. Layers of yummy ingredients topped of with Sweetened condensed milk and dulce de leche. You can use the store bought Dulce but if you would like to make it homemade just go here for my recipe. It is super easy and so yummy even if you just eat it with a spoon. 10 Layer Bars 1/2 cup butter,melted 1 1/2 cups crushed graham crackers 1 1/2 cup semi sweet chocolate chips(sometimes I just use a whole bag) 1 1/2 cup milk chocolate chips(sometimes I just use a whole bag) 1 cup butterscotch chips 1 package english tofee baking pieces(the milk chocolate kind or plain whichever) 1 cup flaked coconut 2 cups pecans or almonds 14 oz sweetened condensed milk 14 oz dulche de leche Mix the melted butter and graham crackers, Press mixture into a lightly greased 9x13 inch pan. Layer in the reast of the ingredients in the order they are given. Bake in a preheated oven 350 degree oven for 25-30 minutes. Cool in the pan and cut into squares. Serve at room temperature.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Avocado Feta Dip

As I was looking at all the food blogs I follow. I stumbled across this dip on MmmCafe and knew that I had to try this out. We love avocado and feta cheese in our house so I knew it had to be tasty. Chelsea over at MmmCafe said that her hubby loves to make this and they fight over who gets the last of it and I knew that is what would happen in our house. My hubby was gone for work, this past weekend but me, my 10 year old daughter and my almost 2 year old ate all of this dip up in one sitting!!(my almost 7 year old doesn't like avocado) It was amazing. The Dip is completely healthy for you as well. Avocados are a power food-so good and so good for you!!! Do yourself a favor and go make this dip now!!! Avocado Feta Dip 2 large avocados,diced and smashed a little not completely 1/3 cup feta cheese 1/2 tsp black pepper 3/4 tsp garlic salt 1/2 tsp onion powder juice of 1 lime Cilantro if desired(i didn't have any this time but will use for sure next time) Mix all together well and serve with chips or veggies or crackers. Note: don't completely smash the avocados it is better a little chunky!!!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Teriyaki Meatballs

Do you need a new way to cook meatballs? Well I have a recipe for you if you do. We get tired of always having meatballs in spaghetti sauce and my hubby isn"t terribly crazy about sweet n sour sauce and he Loves Teriyaki sauce so I went on the hunt for a good recipe. This meatballs are tender and juicy and covered in salty/sweet sauce that is excellent over rice. Super easy dinner to put together great for any weeknight meal!!
Teriyaki Meatballs


2 pounds ground beef

2 eggs

2/3 cup bread crumbs

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

1 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 a medium onion,grated with box grater

3 tablespoons milk


1/2 cup soy sauce

1 3/4 cups water

1 teaspoon ground ginger

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder or a Tablespoon Minced garlic(that is what I used)

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

2 tablespoons honey

3 tablespoons cornstarch

1/2 cup cold water

For the sauce, in a medium bowl mix the soy sauce, 1 3/4 cups water, ginger, garlic powder, brown sugar, and honey together. In a separate small bowl, dissolve the cornstarch into the 1/2 cup cold water. Set both bowls aside.
For the meatballs, in a large bowl, combine all the meatball ingredients except for the ground beef and mix well. Add the ground beef and mix until combined. Form ground beef mixture into 1 inch balls and place on a cookies sheet lined with aluminum foil and bake at 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes or until cooked through. I love my crispy on the outside so I cook them a little bit longer. They stay super moist and tender even though they get crispy on outside.
While the meatballs are baking. Bring the sauce ingredients to a boil over medium heat on the stove. Once it boils pour in the cornstarch water mixture and continue to simmer the sauce until thickened. Next add the cooked meatballs to the sauce. Bring meatball mixture back to a boil and simmer the meatballs in the sauce for 15 to 20 minutes. Serve over steamed rice!!

NOTE: I doubled the sauce ingredients because we like alot of extra sauce for our rice. If you don't want it very saucy at all stick to the original recipe.

Recipe Source:adapted from Mels Kitchen Cafe