Saturday, December 17, 2011

Carrot Cake Pancakes

Happy Saturday, December 17!!!!

4 more days of work...

8 more days until Christmas!

9 more days until Mexico!!!!

I hope you're enjoying the season too!

I made Christmas candies yesterday with Mom & Grandma. I haven't taken pictures yet, but the holiday parties are coming! And I can't wait to share some of my creations with you!

Today, however, I have a twist on the regular Pancake recipe.

Carrot Cake Pancakes
From Iowa Girl Eats
Serves 2


1 cup just-add-water dry pancake mix
1/2 cup finely shredded carrot
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
pinch of nutmeg
small pinch of ground cloves
1 cup water (maybe less, maybe more)*


1. Pre-heat skillet or griddle to medium low. Combine ingredients from pancake mix to ground cloves in a bowl. Add water and stir until all ingredients are thoroughly combined. *Depending on your dry mix, you may need to add more or less water to get the batter to pancake consistency.

2. Spray the pre-heated skillet with non-stick spray and pour the batter into four, equal-sized pancakes. Flip when bubbles appear on top and continue cooking until both sides are golden brown.

3. Serve with butter and syrup.

 Uh oh... last bite!!

These were really delicious! Aaron & I were surprised how just a few additions to regular pancakes = this deliciousness!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Cornbread Muffins

I've cracked the code!!!!

Can't believe it, and we're all probably in B-I-G trouble! 

I've found a recipe that essentially re-creates Famous Dave's cornbread muffins!!

Umm, ya. See? We're in trouble. They are so so so good! 

Thanks goes to Tada Creations for the recipe. I tweaked it just a little bit.

Famous Dave's Cornbread Muffins
2 C yellow cornmeal
9 oz pkg yellow cake mix (half a regular box mix)
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 C milk
1/2 C buttermilk
1/4 C vegetable oil
2 eggs
3 Tbsp brown sugar
3 Tbsp honey
1 Tbsp real mayonnaise
Honey Glaze (see below)

Mix all dry ingredients together. Mix all wet ingredients & brown sugar together (except for mayo) and add them to the dry and mix gently until there are no lumps, being careful not to over-mix. Fold in mayonnaise and let it rest, covered in the fridge for 60 minutes or overnight. (This is very important, please don't skip the resting step. The resting time allows the batter to get more "cake-y" and yummy. I didn't rest very long the 1st time I made them, and they were very dry.)

Bake at 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes. Drizzle with honey butter (this just soaks in the muffins and makes them tasty!) Makes about 18 muffins.

Honey Butter
1/2 C butter
1/4 C honey

Melt butter in pan and add honey. Simmer, stirring occasionally. 

Make sure you eat them with extra butter & honey... so delicious! Look at that golden color!!

Well, I better be going... only 5 more minutes until The Next Iron Chef is on! 

I hope Elizabeth Faulkner wins! She is my favorite! I think they could use another female iron chef... right now they only have Cat Cora. She would be cool!

Ok... one more tempting picture, to make you want to bake a batch...

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Greek Burger

Hello Everyone! You wanna know 2 secrets??!!

It is 6 days until I get to make Christmas candy!!! YAY!


It is 16 days until I go to Mexico!!!!! YAY!

I'm excited for both! 

I have a super-awesome burger to share with you. Like *totally* super-awesome! You're going to love it! 

From none other than.... Iowa Girl Eats of course! I love her recipes!


2 teaspoons olive oil
1/2 small red onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
salt and pepper
1 box frozen spinach, thawed & squeezed dry
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 Tablespoon grill seasoning
4oz crumbled feta cheese
1 1/3 pounds ground turkey breast

1 clove garlic
1/3 seedless cucumber, grated
6oz plain Greek yogurt
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 lemon, juiced
salt and pepper

Additional ingredients needed:
4 buns
Red onion, sliced
2 tomatoes, sliced
1/4 cup pitted kalamata olives, sliced in half

1. Heat oil in a medium-sized skillet over medium heat. Saute onion with salt & pepper until soft, about 5-6 minutes. Add in garlic and saute for another minute, stirring constantly. Remove to a plate to cool.

2. Combine all ingredients for sauce in a small bowl. Set aside.

3. Combine cooked onions with spinach, oregano, grill seasoning, feta cheese, and turkey breast. Form into 4 patties and grill on high for 5 minutes a side, or until cooked through.

4. Top burgers with sauce, sliced onion, tomato and kalamata olives.

This burger was so juicy, tasty, and fun... they were gone within a day!! :)

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Tomato Sauce

Hello! Are you enjoying the snow? It's just a little chilly! :)

It's lovely to think that in a few short weeks I will be laying on the sandy beaches of Mexico!! :) YAY! 

I have a fantastic-ly easy tomato sauce for you today. It is simple, clean, and easy... and VERY TASTY!!! 

All you do is put the following in a sauce pan--
           2 large cans whole tomatoes
           1 stick butter
           1 onion, sliced in half
           Salt and pepper to season

Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer, for about 30 minutes. Stir occasionally and "smush" tomatoes. At the end of cooking I put some of the big tomatoes in the blender to get them "saucy". 

Serve over pasta and top with cheese!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Warm up with a bowl of Vegetable Turkey & Barley Soup

IT'S HERE    !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                        SNOW   !!!

Yes, I know I'm crazy... but I do just adore it! Coming down so softly today without wind or ice... just beautiful big flakes!

I probably rushed out too soon to take my pictures... I should've waited til all 2-3 inches were on the ground... oh well! :) I couldn't wait!

So, to help you warm up today I have a great soup recipe with kind of a "tongue twister name". 

Vegetable Turkey & Barley Soup  (this soup originally was Veg Beef Barley soup... so you can easily make it with ground beef. Ground turkey was cheaper in the store and I love it. It tasted great!)

By: Iowa Girl Eats  (My favorite blogger, if you haven't learned)

1lb ground turkey
1 small onion, processed or chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 bag baby carrots, processed or chopped
3 ribs celery, processed or chopped
2-14.5oz can petite diced tomatoes
2-14.5oz can cut green beans, drained
58oz beef broth, divided (4-14.5oz cans)*
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1 bay leaf
3/4 cup barley
salt & pepper
Worcestershire sauce

1. Heat a large soup pot over medium high heat. Add ground turkey, onion and garlic, and season with salt & pepper. Cook until turkey is no longer pink. Add carrots and celery and continue to cook under carrots are tender, about 3-4 more minutes.

2. Add in tomatoes, green beans, beef broth, basil, bay leaf and barley. Season with more salt and pepper. Bring soup to a boil then place a lid on top, lower the heat, and simmer for 60 minutes, or until the barley is tender.

3. Add a couple dashes of Worcestershire sauce and season with more salt & pepper to taste before serving.

*If you reheat soup for left overs, you may need to add more beef broth... the barley soaks it all up! :)

Tasty! Go grab a bowl!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Chicken Enchilada Pasta

Hi Everyone! Happy post-Thanksgiving! I hope you had a great time celebrating with your family & friends! Are you hungry? No? Oh, you ate too much turkey too! :) 

My recipe tonight is something different, but has some traditional comfort food flavors for you to love! 

Chicken Enchilada Pasta
By Iowa Girl Eats 
2 medium-sized chicken breasts, cooked & shredded
1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
1/2 medium onion, diced
1/2 zucchini, diced
salt & pepper
1 garlic clove, minced
1 3/4 cups red enchilada sauce
1/2 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
1/2-4oz can diced green chilies
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1/2 cup sour cream
8oz rotini pasta

1. Cook chicken and shred. Set aside.

2. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat and sauté onions until tender, ~5 minutes. Add zucchini and cook until tender, ~5 minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant.

3. Add enchilada sauce, Tabasco sauce, green chilies, salt, chili powder and cumin into the skillet. Stir to combine then simmer for 10 minutes, stirring every so often.

4. Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and return to hot pot.

5. Turn the heat on the skillet down to low and add in the 
cheddar cheese. Stir until it completely melts, then add in the chicken and sour cream. Stir until combined.

6. Pour cooked pasta into the sauce and mix. Serve garnished with avocado, tomatoes, green onions and/or sour cream.

Yum! I loved this! Tasted just like enchiladas, but the pasta was so fun! :)

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Just want to spread my holiday cheer!

I got these red lanterns with a light up candle inside at the craft fair today for $7/each! Not bad, and they are so cute!

 Oh my goodness, and this Rudolph! I grew up with a flashing nose Rudolph, and this was so darn close, I had to have it! The nose doesn't blink, but it's red and there's a flashing candle on the bottom! Thanks craft fair!

My camera stinks, so I'm sorry there's no picture of the whole Christmas tree...

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Pan Fried Fish Sandwich

Guess what today is!!!! The premiere of Breaking Dawn, from the Twilight saga!!! I cannot wait for midnight and to finally see the long anticipated movie! I never thought I would be interested in the Twilight series, but after reading the books I really do love the story! 

And, this weekend is *THE* weekend!! I am sooo putting up the Christmas tree!! YAY! I can't wait to share pictures with you!

Pan Fried Fish Sandwich
1/4 cup yellow cornmeal
2 Tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
1 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 lb tilapia fillets, or other white fish
1 Tbsp dijon mustard
1 egg white
Olive oil
Tartar sauce

Combine cornmeal, Parmesan, thyme, salt and pepper in a shallow bowl. In another bowl whisk together the egg white and dijon mustard. 

Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium-medium high heat. Dip the fish fillets first in the egg white and then into the cornmeal mixture. Place in hot skillet and cook until fish is white and flakes easily. 

Spread tartar sauce on your roll and top with lettuce, tomato and fish! 

Oh this was delicious! Look at that perfectly golden brown crispy crust on the fish! And I made the tartar sauce with some mayo and chopped dill pickle spears. The nice bigger chunks of dill pickle in there were great!! 

Monday, November 14, 2011

Quick & Easy BLT Wraps

Hello Monday! Huh? Oh... you don't like Mondays. Well, I've got a recipe to make your week easier. I like to pack all the stuff up and take it to work as it's really a cinch to make! 

BLT Wraps
Cheddar cheese
Ranch dressing, if desired

First, take your tortilla and melt some cheese on it in the microwave. 

Then cook up some bacon (and I love the microwave stuff. It's just simple and fast... hallelujah)

Ok, now your toppings...

Now, some days this is delicious as ever. Some days I need a little drizzle of ranch dressing to make it wonderful. You decide. 

Aaron & I had a great weekend. We went to Omaha on Friday for a Trans Siberian Orchestra concert. We left early enough so we had time to stop by Ruby Tuesday for supper and drinks. Tasty Sangria, by the way... just FYI. The concert was absolutely awesome! Have you ever seen them? You should definitely check them out. They are like an orchestra on 'roids! Rock orchestra. Very cool! Can't wait to go again next year!!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Blue Cheese Bacon Sliders

It is the week of appetizers! :) I have more to share today from our "football weekend". 

Sliders!!!!!! :) Have you ever had them? They are basically miniature burgers! They are fun!

Blue Cheese Bacon Sliders
1.5 lbs ground beef
2 tsp seasoning salt
1 tsp black pepper
2 oz blue cheese crumbles
2 oz cream cheese
1/4 cup bacon pieces (don't use bacon bits!!)
Cheddar cheese slices
Dinner rolls or mini hamburger buns
Tomatoes, lettuce, onion, ketchup, mustard, buffalo sauce, blue cheese for serving.

Combine ground beef, salt, and pepper. In a separate bowl combine blue cheese, cream cheese, and bacon.

Once those are all combined you want to form patties with the hamburger. Now, you know how when you grill a burger it shrinks? You want to take that into account when you form these patties. I would guess the patties I made were about the size of a done & grilled burger. So, 2.5-3 in diameter? But make them thinner, because we're going to stack them.

On half of your patties that you made you want to put a spoonful of the cheese mixture. Like below-

Then you want to take the plain patties and top the cheese ones to create "stuffed burgers"!! :)

Ta da--

(By the way, you should get more than 4 burgers... this was just when I was taking pictures.)

Then you want to grill them until no longer pink. Melt cheddar cheese on top. Assemble!!

Ooo they are mouth watering!! :) Makes me wish we had more!

Have a great day!!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Jalapeno Popper Crescents

Hello new week! This week looks as though it may fly by! We had some family over this weekend for a football game and I made a few appetizers to enjoy. They were all great, and today I want to share one of them with you. 

Jalapeno Popper Crescents
2 pkg Crescent rolls
8 oz pkg cream cheese
Bacon, cooked and cut into bite size pieces
Diced jalapeno

Unroll the packages of crescent rolls. 

On each roll place a dallop of cream cheese, a little bacon, and a little jalapeno. 

Roll it up, seal the edges, place on a baking sheet. 

Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes, or until crescents are browned. 

Ok, these were deliciously tasty. Anything with crescents is usually great... but these were amazing, and easy to make too. Enjoy!!