Monday, November 24, 2014

Ranch Pesto Bake

I finally successfully grew basil in the garden this year.  Every year I seem to kill it, but I tried this weird purple basil and I was able to harvest enough for several batches of pesto.

I used home made pesto, but I'm sure store bought would work lovely as well.

The only change I made to this recipe was to add meat.

Ranch Pesto Rigatoni Bake adapted from Mostly Homemade Mom
1 box rigatoni (or other similar tube shaped pasta like cavatappi or penne, etc)
1/2 cup ranch dressing
1/4 cup prepared pesto
28 oz can diced tomatoes drained and slightly rinsed (I happened to have fresh)
2 c shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
2 c cooked shredded chicken/turkey or 1 lb cooked gr turkey/chicken or bulk sausage

Cook and drain pasta, return to pot. Stir in ranch , pesto, tomatoes, meat and one c mozzarella. Transfer pasta to 9x13 baking dish. Top with remaining mozzarella . Cover with foil and bake at 350F for 15 min. Remove foil and bake an additional 5 min til cheese completely melted.

Friday, November 21, 2014

OMG Chocolate Zucchini Cookies

These are our new favorite Zucchini Cookies.  They are great warm from the oven, but even better frozen.

Chocolate Oatmeal Zucchini Cookies Recipe by Crazy for Crust
½ c butter
¼ c veg oil
½ c br sugar
½ c sugar
1 egg
1 t vanilla
1 c flour
1 t baking soda
½ t cinnamon
¼ c cocoa powder
3 c quick oats
1 c shredded zucchini (about 1 sm)

Preheat oven to 350F°. Line 2 cookie sheets w parchment paper. In med bowl, whisk flour, baking soda, cinn, and cocoa. Set aside. In bowl of electric mixer with paddle attachment, cream butter, oil, and sugars. Add egg and vanilla. mix on low speed til combined. Slowly mix in dry ingred. Add oats and mix on low. Continue mixing on low and add zucchini. Mix until well combined. Scoop uniform balls onto cookie sheets. Bake 11-14 min til center no longer looks wet. Cool 10 min on sheets before removing. Yield: about 2 dozen large cookies

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Crockpot Creamy Taco Chicken

This is a great way to make chicken for tacos!

3 Ingredient Crockpot Taco Chicken via The Pinning Mama
3 Boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 Can Original Rotel Tomatoes with Green Chilis
4 oz Philadelphia Cream Cheese (can sub light)

Place chicken in slow cooker and cover with Rotel . Cook on low 6-8 hrs. 30 min before end of cook time,  shred chicken. Place cream cheese on top of chicken (do not stir). When final timer goes off, stir cream cheese into meat. Serve as tacos, on a salad, in quesadillas, over rice, in a casserole, as enchilada filling, etc.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Frostbite Cookies

I made these cookies with spring mix chips inside the cookie instead of dipping them in the white chocolate. 
I did this because I had the chips and didn't know what to do with them. That and I was too lazy to dip all those cookies!

Crunchy Frostbite Cookies via Plain Chicken
2 c flour
2 t baking soda
1 t baking powder
1/4 t salt
1 c shortening
3/4 c sugar
3/4 c brown sugar
2 eggs
1 t vanilla
1 1/2 c uncooked old fashioned oats
1 1/2 c cornflakes
8 oz almond bark
1 T shortening

Combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Beat 1 c shortening at med with mixer til creamy; gradually add sugars. Add eggs and vanilla. Add flour mix, just until blended. Stir in oats and cornflakes. Drop dough by heaping tablespoonfuls, 2" apart, onto lightly greased baking sheets; flatten slightly. Bake 325F° 12-14 min. Cool slightly on baking sheets. Cool completely on wire rack.

Microwave almond bark and shortening in a med-size micro-safe bowl at HIGH 1 min or til white choc melts, stirring once.  Dip bottom of each cookie into bark, letting excess drip back into bowl. Place dipped cookies, dipped side up, on wax paper; let stand 1 hr or til almond bark sets.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Fudgy Choco-PB-Nana Smoothie

I've made a few frozen treats with the chocolate/pb/banana combo.  I think this one is by far my favorite.

Thick Fudgy Chocolate PB Soothie via Averie Cooks
2 large or 3 med ripe bananas, peeled and frozen into chunks (no ice necessary this way)
3/4 c vanilla unsweetened almond milk (Don't sub this with soy or cow milk)
heaping 1/3 c creamy peanut butter (don't use chunky)
1/4 c unsweetened natural cocoa powder
1 t vanilla
sweetener, to taste

Add bananas,  milk, cocoa, peanut butter, vanilla, and sweetener to blender. Mix on high until smooth. Add additional milk only as necessary or until desired smoothie consistency is reached.
Serve immediately. Any leftovers taste great as popcicles!

Monday, November 17, 2014

Spinach Dip Pasta Bake

I made this dish with cooked bulk sausage.  I would recommend sticking with the suggested chicken or even ground turkey/chicken.  The sausage made for a meal that was too salty for my tastes.  Mrblocko and Blockette loved it though!

Cheesy Spinach Pasta Bake adapted from Crunchy Creamy Sweet
1 box tube pasta like penne or cavatappi
2 chicken breasts or 1 lb ground chicken/turkey-cooked
salt and pepper
2 T flour
1/2 c sour cream
4 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/4 c half and half or whole milk (I used skim)
1 pkg dry Ranch mix
5 oz. frozen spinach or half of a batch of fresh (I used a bag of fresh spinach)
1.25 c shredded mozzarella

spray 9x13 dish. Cook pasta per box. Drain. Dice chicken, season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle flour over chicken and toss to coat. Heat olive oil in a large skillet. Add chicken and cook until no longer pink. Meanwhile, in lg bowl, mix sour cream, cream cheese, Ranch mix, milk and spinach. Add cooked pasta and chicken to the spinach mixt and stir all together. Transfer to prepared dish. Top w cheese, bake 375F 10 min.  Broil 2-3 min to brown cheese.  Let stand at room temp 10 min before serving.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Toenail Cake

I found this photo someone posted when they were forced to bring a dessert to some sort of social event.  I thought it was hilarious so I posted it on Facebook, joking that I was going to make it for my husband's family reunion.  My husband's uncle dared me to make it, to which I happily obliged.

I'm not sure everyone got the humor, but it made me laugh. 

Here's the recipe I used:
Pioneer Woman's Chocolate Sheet Cake via Pioneer Woman
2 c Flour
2 c Sugar
1/4 t Salt
4 T (heaping) Cocoa
2 sticks Butter
1 c Boiling Water
1/2 c Buttermilk (I used buttermilk powder and milk)
2 Beaten Eggs
1 t Baking Soda
1 t Vanilla
toenail (optional)

1/2 c Finely Chopped Pecans
1-3/4 stick Butter
4 T (heaping) Cocoa
6 T Milk
1 t Vanilla
1 pound (minus 1/2 C) Powdered Sugar

In a mixing bowl, combine flour, sugar, and salt. In a saucepan, melt butter. Add cocoa. Stir.Add boiling water, allow mixture to boil 30 sec, then turn off heat. Pour over flour mix, and stir lightly to cool. In measuring cup, pour buttermilk and beaten eggs, baking soda, and vanilla. Stir buttermilk mix into butter/chocolate mix. Pour into 18x13" sheet cake pan and bake 350F 20 min. While cake's baking, make icing. Chop pecans. Melt butter in pan. Add cocoa, stir to combine, then turn off heat. Add milk, vanilla, and powdered sugar. Stir. Add the pecans and optional toenail, stir, and pour over warm cake.