Saturday, October 29, 2011

Apple Pie Bars

Back again! I just couldn't wait very long to share this recipe with you either. These were also taken to my nursing home co-workers on "treat day". They were yummy too!

 Ok, they look a little better than "yummy". They look fricken awesome!

My personal favorite ingredient? Cinnamon Toast Crunch!! Duh! What a great idea! Thanks to Cookies & Cups for this recipe! 

Apple Pie Bars

2 1/2 cups flour
pinch of salt
2 stick cold butter
1 egg, separated keeping both the yolk and the white.
2/3 cup whole milk
In medium bowl combine the flour and salt.
Add the butter.
Using a pastry cutter, combine the butter, flour and salt until crumbly. 
Lightly whisk the reserved egg yolk and add it to the 2/3 cup milk.
Pour egg mix into the flour mix and with your hands combine to make a sticky dough.
Divide the dough into 2 equal portions and flatten into disks.
Cover with cling wrap and refrigerate for a minimum of 30 minutes.

For filling:
1 3/4 cup Cinnamon Toast Crunch
8 cups peeled and sliced apples (I used Granny Smith)
1 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon

Heat oven to 350
Crush Cinnamon Toast Crunch into a fine crumb. 
 Peel and slice 8 cups of apples into thin strips 
Remove one chilled dough disc from refrigerator and on sheet of waxed paper roll into 15 1/2″ x 10 1/2″ rectangle.
Transfer over to jelly roll pan or 10″x15″ glass pan with about 1/2″ of dough coming up the sides of the pan.
Pour your crushed Cinnamon Toast Crunch on top of dough.
Now spread your apples.
Mix powdered sugar and cinnamon in small bowl and sprinkle on top of your apples. 

Now remove your remaining dough from refrigerator and roll into 10″x15″ rectangle.
Place on top of apples and using a fork or your fingers seal the edges of dough.
reserved egg white
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
2 Tablespoons sugar
Whisk egg white until foamy and brush on top of top dough.
Mix cinnamon and sugar in a small bowl and sprinkle on top.
Bake in preheated oven approx 45 minutes until pastry is lightly browned.
Let cool for 45 min. to an hour.
1 cup powdered sugar
2 T. milk
Mix powdered sugar and milk together until smooth.
Drizzle over top of crust.
Let cool for 2 hrs until completely set and cut into bars!
Makes approx 18 bars 


Friday, October 28, 2011

Better than Crack Brownies

Happy Friday everyone!!! YAY! Weekend life is upon us! I can't believe I get this feeling every week now!! :) So glad to be done at the nursing home! So glad. 

And of course I brought treats for my co-workers on my last day!

Yes, these are called "Better than Crack Brownies". Thanks to Jessica @ How Sweet Eats for the recipe. I'm a better person knowing this recipe. Yes, that's right.

Better Than Crack Brownies
1 batch brownies, boxed mix is great
1/2 cup salted peanuts
1 cup chopped Reese’s peanut butter cups
1 1/2 cup milk chocolate chips
1 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1/2 tablespoon butter
1 1/2 cups Rice Krispies Cereal

Mix brownies according to directions, and bake for 20-25 minutes in a 9 x 13 baking dish. 
Remove and top with peanuts and peanut butter cups, and bake for 4-6 minutes more.

While they are finishing baking, melt chocolate chips, peanut butter and butter. 

Stir in cereal. 

Remove brownies from oven and evenly pour chocolate mixture over top.

Refrigerate for 2 hours before serving.

Freakin' delicious. Make sure you have someone to share the pan of bars with. If you don't, you'll be sorry. 
Check back tomorrow for Apple Pie Bars!! :)

Friday, October 21, 2011


Happy Weekend!!! Last weekend working for me!!!! YAY!!!

I've been enjoying these individual tostadas for lunch the past few days. They are delicious. And simple.

First, spray a tortilla with cooking spray and broil in the oven until just crispy and brown. This does not take a long time... be very careful to watch it!

Ok, so we have that ready to go. Now spread it with smashed black beans. I like to use these b/c they are better for you than refried beans. Just smash them up with a little water, cumin and chili pepper.

Then a little guacamole.

Sour cream....

Top top toppings! I used lettuce, tomatoes, black olives and hot sauce.


Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Spaghetti & Meatballs

Aaaaand it's Tuesday! YAY! I can't wait for this week and weekend to be over!!! This is my last weekend at the nursing home! I feel like there should be a song "No more weekends!!!!!!!!" :) 

Well, you know what goes perfect in the middle of the week? Good ol' Spaghetti & Meatballs!

These are homemade meatballs and sauce... but for real, they were fast! They didn't take much time at all. Don't fret. 

Spaghetti & Meatballs
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 lb ground turkey breast
1/2 lb lean ground pork
1/2 cup Italian seasoned bread crumbs
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 large egg
2 egg whites
1/4 cup milk
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
3/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 (28 oz) can crushed tomatoes
3 tsp dried oregano
1 lb spaghetti

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray a jelly-roll pan with nonstick spray; set aside.

In a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, heat the oil; add the onions and garlic. Cook, stirring occasionally, until golden, 7-10 minutes. 

In a large bowl combine turkey, pork, bread crumbs, Parmesan, eggs, milk, Worcestershire, salt, pepper, and half of the cooked onions/garlic. Shape into 20 balls and place in a single layer without touching each other. Bake until lightly browned, about 20 minutes.

In a large saucepan, bring the tomatoes and remaining half of the onions/garlic to a boil; add meatballs. Reduce the heat and simmer, covered, until the meatballs are cooked through, 18-20 minutes. Stir in the oregano.

Meanwhile cook the spaghetti according to package directions; drain. Toss the spaghetti with meatballs in a large serving bowl, and serve with extra Parmesan. 

Delicious! You know what I love about this recipe? It tastes just like spaghetti and meatballs... but you saw the ingredients? The meatballs are lighter with turkey, and the sauce is tomatoes! None of the "extra stuff" in pre packaged sauces!


Saturday, October 15, 2011

Fall Cupcakes!

Hello! I have like 4 recipes backed up on the "burner". Time to get going! I just made these cupcakes yesterday, but I couldn't wait to share them!! They are too cute, and too yummy! 

Any fall get together is the perfect time to make these! They are individual size... cupcakes... so everyone loves that... and they are pumpkin & apple pie inspired! 

Umm... ya!! Totally cute too!!

Which one shall we start with?!?! 

I vote for Apple Pie Cupcakes, k? Ok.

Apple Pie Cupcakes
For cupcakes:
3 cups sifted cake flour
1 tbsp. baking powder
½ tsp. salt
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 cups sugar
4 eggs
1 ½ tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup milk

For the apple filling:
2 tbsp. butter
2 tsp. cinnamon
2-3 tbsp. sugar
3 large Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and diced

For Cinnamon Buttercream Frosting
1 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
6 to 8 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
1/2 cup milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
up to 1 tablespoon cinnamon

In a medium bowl, sift cake flour, baking powder and salt. With an electric mixer, cream butter and sugar on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Beat in eggs one at a time, mixing well and scraping down the sides of bowl after each addition. Add vanilla extract; mix well to combine. Add dry ingredients alternately with milk, beginning and ending with dry ingredients. Stir until just combined.

Divide batter evenly among 24 cupcake liners, filling about 2/3-3/4 full. Bake at 350 until golden; about 18 to 22 minutes. Remove from oven; cool for 5 minutes in pans. Transfer to wire racks; cool completely.

Apple filling: heat butter in medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add cinnamon and sugar; cook for a minute, until mixture begins to bubble. Lower heat to medium; stir in the apples. Mix well. Cook until apples are somewhat tender, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool.

While apple mixture cools, use cone method (see below) to remove a chunk from center of each cupcake, leave a rim around the top of cupcake. Fill holes with cooled apple mixture. 
See? Use a knife to cut out a cone, then fill with the delicious apple filling.

Beat butter in a stand mixer until smooth.  Add 4-5 cups confectioners' sugar, milk and vanilla.  Beat until sugar disappears.  Add more sugar, by 1/2 cups, until desired consistency is reached. Beat in cinnamon.
These were delicious. My frosting was a little sloppy. But I realized later I didn't add the whole 7-8 cups of sugar. I didn't read the directions... which started by adding 4-5 cups, and more later. I only added 4-5 cups. Oops. They were still great! Just a little sloppy.
Ok, yum!

Now, let's get to the Pumpkin Pie Cupcakes!!

These earned Aaron's highest regard... "I think these are the best cupcakes you've ever made!" Woo hoo! 

Pumpkin Pie Cupcakes
For the cupcakes:
1 3/4 cups cake flour
1 cups sugar
1/2 tbsn. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup or 1 stick unsalted butter, diced, at room temperature
1/2 cup milk, divided
2 large eggs
1 large egg white
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. cinnamon

For the graham cracker crust:
3/4 cup graham cracker crumbs
2 tbsn. light brown sugar
3 tbsn. unsalted butter, melted

For the pumpkin pie frosting:
2 large eggs, beaten
1 can (16 oz.) pureed pumpkin
2 tbsn. molasses
3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
1 tbsn. flour
1 can (12 oz.) evaporated milk

The "frosting" should be made first as it takes the longest to bake and needs to cool before using. Preheat the oven to 425 F. In a medium bowl, mix together all the filling ingredients until well combined. Pour the filling into a 9-inch round pan. Bake for 15 minutes, then reduce to 350 F and continue cooking for 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the filling comes out clean. Let cool completely before using.

To make the cupcakes, preheat the oven to 350 F. Line a cupcake pan with liners, set aside. Sift together the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and cinnamon into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Add the butter and 1/4 cup of milk. Mix on medium speed until smooth, about 4 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed. In another bowl, blend the eggs, egg white, remaining 1/4 cup milk and vanilla. Add to the batter in 3 additions, mixing for 2 minutes on medium speed after each addition. Scrape down the sides of the bowl in between additions. Set aside.

To make the crust, combine the graham cracker crumbs, sugar and butter in a medium bowl and mix well. Add 1 tbsn. of the mixture into the bottom of each cupcake liner and bake for 5 minutes until the graham crackers are golden. Remove from the oven then fill about 1/2 full with the cake batter. Bake for 15 - 20 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Cool completely. To frost, scoop the pumpkin pie "frosting" into a piping bag and pipe onto the cupcakes.

Yum!!! Do you see all the layers? Graham cracker crust on the bottom, cake and pie filling for frosting! ! ! ! ! Omg. 

You wanna know an easy tip for frosting cupcakes without a piping bag or tip? It's what I always do. Put your frosting in a large Ziploc bag and cut off a corner. Hold the open end in the center of cupcake and squeeze out frosting until it reaches the ends of cupcake... ta da! Nice and evenly distributed... every time! 

Ok, so how about some before and after photos?


Yep. We devoured them! Enjoy!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Veggie Tuna Noodle Casserole

Hi there! Are you just loving the fall?! I love how when you walk outside you can smell the leaves! Ahhhh.....

Fall also = flu shot season! I've been pokin' and pokin'!! Have you got yours yet?! Be sure you do! And we don't like the excuse "I never get sick". Even if you yourself never get sick you could spread the germs to someone else. Be responsible! Get one! Oh... and you say "I get sick after the shot, I don't want that." YOU CANNOT GET THE FLU from the shot. It is completely dead. You can however feel "run down" b/c that is your body's reaction to something "foreign" entering the body. Nothing like the flu though. 

Ok, shall we have some Tuna Noodle Casserole?! Aaron absolutely despises tuna noodle. He was very depressed when I said I was making this. But when he saw it completed and took a bite, he loved it! The "tuna taste" gets hidden with the veggies in this recipe, and it's a great comfort food! 

Veggie Tuna Noodle Casserole
1/2 box rotini pasta
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
8 oz mushrooms, sliced
1 red pepper, chopped
1/2 cup corn
1 can roasted garlic cream of mushroom soup (if you can't find this, regular will do)
1/4 cup sour cream
1/2 cup milk
1 tsp pepper
3-4 dashes hot sauce
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese

1. Start by cooking pasta. Meanwhile, saute onion & celery in the olive oil. When tender crisp add the rest of the vegetables and cook until tender.

2. Add the soup, sour cream, milk, and seasonings to the veggies. Combine veggies with pasta. If it doesn't seem saucy enough, add a little extra milk. 

3. Put mixture in a 2-3 qt dish. Top with bread crumbs and Parmesan.

4. Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes, or until topping is brown and crispy. 


I did top mine with some chopped tomatoes. You can do that too if you like 'em.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Cajun Fish

Hello! Long time, no blog! :) I hope you still found something to eat. Haha. Do you like the change on the blog? Have you noticed yet? Well, there are "pages" on the top with titles such as "Appetizers", "Chicken", "Sweets"... so you click on those and there's a list of all the recipes in that category. So it should be easier to find something you're looking for. 

So, busy busy schedule I have. But guess what?!?!! Well, I currently work 2 jobs. I work Monday-Thursday at Wells Blue Bunny. St. Luke's is actually the hospital that sends me there. And then (since that's only 32hr/week) I also have a part time job at the nursing home in Sioux Center. I just work every other weekend there. And holidays. BUTTTTT!!!! I got more hours at St. Luke's, putting me at 40 hr/week full time, so I am quitting the nursing home!! NO MORE WEEKENDS OR HOLIDAYS!! :P YAY! I am totally thrilled. I just have to finish 2 more weekends there, and I shall be done! 

I apologize and I'm totally bummed that I didn't take pictures of this meal. I mean, this was the most beautiful meal I have ever prepared. I really think it is. And I didn't take a picture!!!! Dummy.

The picture that I found online doesn't do it justice, mine was prettier. 

                                      Photo Source
Cajun Fish
4 tiliapia fillets
1/4 cup flour
2 Tbsp Cajun seasoning
2 Tbsp olive oil
8 large Romaine lettuce leaves
1/2-3/4 cup Kraft Parmesan Asiago Balsamic Vinaigrette 
1lb (+/-)  red potatoes
Cooking spray
Salt & pepper

Boil potatoes for 5-10 minutes, or until they are soft, but not quite cooked through. Quarter them, or chop them into bite size pieces. Spray with cooking spray and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast in a 475 degree oven for 10 minutes, or until brown and crispy on the outside. 

Meanwhile, combine flour and Cajun seasoning. Coat tilapia fillets with flour mixture. Heat large skillet to medium high heat and add olive oil. When oil is hot add tilapia and cook about 1 minute per side, or until fish is white and flakes easily. 

To prepare plates lay down 2 lettuce leaves on each plate. Drizzle with some vinaigrette. Top with fish and potatoes. Drizzle more vinaigrette on the potatoes. 

This was totally tasty. Way yummy. I love it!