Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Our Favorite Lasagna

I tend to cook dinner more in the winter. When its cold outside and we aren't at the park all the time, we tend to stay inside and I want to make a cozy meal for my family. Lasagna definitely falls into the 'cozy' category for me.

This lasagna has a homemade sauce with ground beef and Italian sausage. Its full of flavor with the basil and garlic. A delicious meal for any night, but especially a cold winter evening!

Our Favorite Lasagna

1 1/2lbs Ground Beef
1 lb Italian Sausage
2 cloves Garlic, minced
1/2 Onion, diced
1 - 28oz can Crushed Tomatoes
2 - 6oz cans Tomato Paste
2 Tablespoons Dried Parsley
2 Tablespoons Dried Basil
1 Tablespoon Dried Oregano
1 teaspoon Salt
3 cups Cottage Cheese
2 Eggs, beaten
1/2 cup Parmesan Cheese, grated not shredded
2 Tablespoons Dried Parsley
1 teaspoon Salt
1 lb Mozzarella, freshly sliced
10 oz Lasagna Noodles, add 1/2 teaspoon Salt & 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil to your pasta water

1. In a dutch oven or large saucepan, over med-high heat, put the ground beef, Italian sausage, onion, and garlic and cook until brown and the onions are soft. Drain the fat. Add in your crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, parsley, basil, oregano, and salt. Let simmer for at least an hour.

2. In a large bowl, combine your cottage cheese, eggs, Parmesan cheese, parsley, and salt. Boil your noodles to al dente. 

3. Spray a 9x13 baking dish with non-stick cooking spray. Place 3 of the cooked noodles on the bottom of the dish. Spread half of the cottage cheese mixture evenly on the noodles. Place a layer of mozzarella cheese. Spread a little less than half of the tomato meat sauce over the cheese. Repeat, topping with the extra tomato meat sauce. Sprinkle Parmesan cheese on top.

4. You can store this in the fridge for 2 days or bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Enjoy!

Recipe slightly adapted from The Pioneer Woman     

Friday, December 9, 2016

Hot Chocolate Cookies

This year, the treats I made for my neighbors included the Peppermint Bark Fudge I shared with you on Wednesday and these cookies. I don't think I've ever had so many people tell me they enjoyed something I've made as much as I have about these cookies, even my husband who professes to hate the flavor of cocoa liked these cookies!

They are a super soft, dark chocolate cookie, topped with 3 cute little marshmallows and a milk chocolate glaze that cuts through the richness of the cookie. It would be perfect with a glass of milk!

Hot Chocolate Cookies
Makes 45 cookies

1/2 cup Butter
1 - 12oz bag Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
1 1/2 cups All-Purpose Flour
1/2 cup Cocoa Powder
1 1/2 teaspoons Baking Powder
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1 1/2 cups Brown Sugar
3 Eggs
1 teaspoon Chocolate Extract
1 teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract
135 Mini Marshmallows

4 Tablespoons Butter, melted
1/4 cup Cocoa
1/4 cup Hot Water
1/2 teaspoon Chocolate Extract
1/2 teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract
2 cups Powdered Sugar


In a small saucepan combine the butter and chocolate chips. Melt over medium-low heat until smooth. Set aside.

In a medium bowl whisk the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt until combined.

In the bowl of a stand mixer beat together the brown sugar, eggs, and vanilla until well combined. Add in the chocolate/butter mixture, mix.

Slowly add the flour mixture into the chocolate. Beat until just combined. Cover and refrigerate for an hour or 2.

Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or a silpat mat. Using a small cookie scoop, about a tablespoon, roll into a ball and flatten a little bit, and place on the prepared cookie sheet.

Bake for about 8 minutes then remove from the oven and press 3 marshmallows on top of each cookie. Put back in the oven and bake for 2 more minutes. Let the cookies cool for 5 minutes and then move to a cooling rack.

In a small bowl mix together the melted butter, cocoa, hot water, and both extracts. Slowly add in the powdered sugar and whisk until smooth. Pour over your cooled cookies and top with sprinkles.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Peppermint Bark Fudge

Today I'm sharing a fudge recipe over at Reality Daydream! The base is semisweet chocolate packed with Oreos and the top layer is white chocolate with peppermint pieces. Its sweet, creamy, and has just a little crunch. Its an amazing combination that is a great holiday treat! Go over and get the recipe!

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls

It's almost over. Pumpkin season. It's really sad. I always look forward to this time of year. So I have 2 pumpkin recipes for you this week.

Today its these pumpkin cinnamon rolls. They are soft, have the perfect amount of spices, and are topped with a maple frosting that sends them over the edge.

Melt in your mouth good, they're so amazing.  Make these for Thanksgiving breakfast. I will be! I'm going to get another right now. 

Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls

3/4 cup Buttermilk, warm to 110 degrees
6 Tablespoons Butter, melted
1 large Egg, room temp
2/3 cup Pumpkin Puree
1/4 cup Granulated Sugar
1 Tablespoon Instant Yeast
1 teaspoon Salt
1/2 teaspoon Cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon Nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon Ginger
1/8 teaspoon Cloves
4 1/2 to 5 1/2 cups All-Purpose Flour

6 Tablespoons Butter, room temp
3/4 cup Brown Sugar
2 teaspoons Cinnamon

2 oz Cream Cheese, room temp
3 Tablespoons Heavy Cream
1/2 teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract
1/2 teaspoon Maple Extract
1 1/2 cups Powdered Sugar

1. In the bowl of a stand mixer  with your paddle attachment, combine the buttermilk and butter. beat to combine. Turn to low and add in the eggs, pumpkin, sugar, yeast, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cloves, and 1 cup of flour.

2.Change to paddle to your dough hook. Add the flour until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl. It will still be sticky but not leave a lot of dough on your hands. Let the dough hook knead your dough for a minute or two, until its in a soft ball. Your dough will be softer than a regular bread dough because of the pumpkin.

3. Lightly grease a large bowl and place your dough in it. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 2 hours. You can speed this up by heating your oven to 170 and then turning your oven off. Place the covered bowl inside and keep an eye on it. It will probably take about an hour.

4. While the dough is rising grease a 9x13 cake pan. In a small bowl combine the brown sugar and cinnamon. 

5. Grease your counter top. When your dough has doubled place your dough on it. Roll it out into a 12 x 16 inch rectangle. Spread your softened butter over the dough leaving an inch on one of the long sides without butter. Sprinkle your sugar/cinnamon mixture over the butter and roll over it with your rolling pin to compact it. 

6. Starting with the long sugar covered end, roll tightly all the way and pinch the unsugared end to seal the dough. Using a serrated knife cut into 12 even slices. Place the rolls in your greased cake pan. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise again for another hour or two, until doubled. 

7. Bake at 350 degrees for about 24 minutes until the tops are light golden brown. You don't want them too brown.

8. While the rolls are in the oven, combine the cream cheese and milk. Beat until smooth and creamy. Add in the vanilla and maple extracts and mix. Beat in the powdered sugar until smooth again. Spread over the rolls right out of the oven. Let cool slightly before eating.

Recipe Source: Mels Kitchen Cafe

Friday, November 18, 2016

Soft Whole Wheat Rolls

It snowed for the first time this year today! I'm not a huge fan of snow but I love an excuse to stay in and bake.

I found this recipe that claimed they were the softest rolls. And they are. I've made 4 different whole wheat roll recipes in the last month and this recipe wins. Hands down. They are soft, fluffy, have a hint of honey and almost melt in your mouth.

This is a recipe that needs to be at your Thanksgiving table!

Soft Whole Wheat Rolls

3 1/2 cups Whole Wheat Flour
1/3 cup Vital Wheat Gluten
4 teaspoons Instant Yeast

2 1/2 cups Warm Water, 110-120 degrees F

1 Tablespoon Salt
1/3 cup Butter, melted and cooled
1/3 cup Honey
4 teaspoons Vinegar

2 1/2 - 3 cups Whole Wheat Flour

2 Tablespoons  Butter, melted and cooled

1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the 3 1/2 cups flour, vital wheat gluten, and yeast. Add in the warm water and beat for 1 minute. Cover the bowl with a towel and let it sit for 10 minutes.

2. Add in the salt, 1/3 cup butter, honey, and vinegar. Beat again for 1 minute. Add in the rest of the flour 1 cup at a time beat with the dough hook. Knead until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl, until its smooth and round.

3. Preheat oven 170 degrees and turn the oven off. Grease a large baking sheet, 12 x 18 inches. Shape dough into 24 - 2.3oz balls. Place on the prepared baking sheet and cover with a towel and place in the oven until doubled, about 30 minutes. Remove from the oven, heat to 350 degrees, and bake for 15-20 minutes. Brush with melted butter and let cool.

Recipe Slightly adapted from: Five Heart Home

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Caramel Apple Shake

I'm guest posting over at Reality Daydream today and we are going to have ice cream for dessert! A caramel apple shake! My favorite part is that you can totally taste the sourness of the apple. Its delicious go get the recipe!

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Traditional Scottish Trifle

Have you ever had a Scottish trifle? Well, it's more well known as an English trifle but the trifle was invented by the Scottish and I'm half Scottish so, ours is a Scottish trifle. It's a dessert that we have at every family get together. My Auntie Cheryl makes a delicious trifle. I'm not sure what her recipe is but mine is just as amazing! 

It's pound cake, strawberries, and mandarin oranges in strawberry jell-o. Then it has a thick layer of homemade custard topped with bananas and whipped cream. Its amazing!  All the flavors and textures eaten together make the perfect mouthful. Its perfect!

Traditional Scottish Trifle

2 cups cubed Pound Cake
1 large box Strawberry Jell-O
1 small can Mandarin Oranges
1 1/2 cups Strawberries, hulled and diced

4 cups Heavy Cream
8 Egg Yolks
2 whole Eggs
1/4 cup Granulated Sugar
1 Teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract

2 Bananas, sliced

Whipped Cream
1 1/2 cups Heavy Cream
1/3 cup Powdered Sugar
1 teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract

Make the jell-o using the quick set method adding in the oranges and strawberries. Pour into the trifle bowl before it sets too much. Refrigerate 2 hours.

In a large heavy bottomed pan pour in the heavy cream and heat over medium low stirring constantly.

In a separate bowl whisk together the egg yolks, eggs, and sugar. Just before the cream starts to boil take the pan off of the heat. Pour half of it into the egg mixture whisking constantly. Pour back into the pan and return and heat over medium low. Cook for 10 to 15 minutes, until thickened and coats the back of a wooden spoon. Put plastic wrap on the surface and refrigerate while you make your whipped cream.

Whip the heavy cream until it starts to thicken and add the powdered sugar and vanilla. Continue to whip until stiff peaks form.

When the custard is cool pour it on top of the jell-o in the trifle bowl. Top with the sliced bananas then the heavy cream. Refrigerate until you're ready to serve.

Custard Recipe: Nigella Lawson

Friday, October 21, 2016

Healthy Whole Wheat Pumpkin Pancakes

I hear the word healthy and and immediately think its going to be a pain to make. There are going to be ingredients that I don't have. I really wanted some pumpkin pancakes and so when I found this recipe I was so excited. Its super easy and I had all of the ingredients. They are light, fluffy, and so soft. I may have eaten too many but they're amazing!

Healthy Whole Wheat Pumpkin Pancakes
Makes about 12 pancakes

2 cups Whole Wheat Flour
4 teaspoons Baking Powder
1/2 teaspoon Salt
2 teaspoons Cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon Nutmeg
1 cup Pumpkin Puree
2 Tablespoons Pure Maple Syrup
2 Eggs
2 teaspoons Pure Vanilla Extract
1 1/2 cups Almond Milk
2/3 cup Mini Chocolate Chips

1. Heat the griddle over medium heat. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Set aside. 

2. In a separate bowl, combine the pumpkin, maple syrup, eggs, vanilla, and almond milk. Add the dry mixture to the wet ingredients and mix until smooth. Fold in the chocolate chips. 

3. Butter the griddle and pour your batter onto the preheated griddle. Cook until the edges are dry and there are bubbles in the middle and then flip. Continue to cook for a few more minutes until golden brown. Re-butter every time you put more batter on the griddle.

Recipe Source: Ambitious Kitchen

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Chewy Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

For the last month I've been obsessed with finding some chewy cookie recipes. I've been making and eating cookies like its going out of style and its been delicious so far. Today's recipe is an amazing chewy oatmeal chocolate chip cookie. They are soft, have the perfect amount of chocolate, and they are chewy, so chewy. And they're big enough that one is enough. You can have 2, I wont judge you, but they're big. Big, chewy, and amazing!

Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 1/4 cups All-Purpose Flour
3/4 tsp Baking Soda
1/2 tsp Cinnamon
1/4 tsp Salt
3/4 cup Butter, melted & cooled
3/4 cup Brown Sugar
1/2 cup Granulated Sugar
1 Tablespoon Honey
1 Tablespoon Pure Vanilla Extract
1 Egg
2 1/2 cups Old Fashioned Oats
2 cups Chocolate Chips

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Whisk together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt and set aside. 

2. In the bowl of a stand mixer combine the butter and sugars. Beat for 1 minute on medium. Add in the honey, vanilla, and the egg. Scrape the bowl and add in the flour mixture. Mix to just combine. 

3. Add in the oats and the chocolate chips and mix until just combined again. Refrigerate the dough for at least 2 hours. Using a 1/4 cup scoop place them on a cookie sheet and bake for 12- 14 minutes, until the center looks just set and not wet.

Recipe Source:  Just So Tasty

Monday, October 17, 2016

Baked Chicken Parmesan

Italian is one of my favorite types of food. You can't eat lots of pasta and breaded, deep fried food when your trying to be more healthy but this, this recipe is lightened up and still delicious! We use whole wheat bread crumbs and we bake the chicken. I also put it over whole wheat pasta to keep it more healthy! Its moist and delicious and you'll have one less thing to feel guilty about!

Baked Chicken Parmesan

2 Chicken Breasts, trimmed and pounded thin
3/4 cup Whole Wheat Breadcrumbs
1 teaspoon Italian Seasoning
1/4 cup Parmesan Cheese, grated
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
3/4 cup Mozzarella Cheese, grated
1 cup Marinara Sauce
Olive Oil Cooking Spray

1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Cover baking sheet with tinfoil and spray with cooking spray.

2. In a shallow dish, combine the breadcrumbs, italian seasoning, and parmesan cheese. Brush the chicken with olive oil and place in the breadcrumb mixture, and place on the prepared baking sheet. 

3. Lightly spray the tops of chicken with more cooking spray. Bake for 20 minutes, turn the chicken over and bake for 5 more minutes.

4. Remove from the oven and pour sauce on the chicken and top with 1 1/2 tablespoons of mozzarella cheese.  Bake for 5 more minutes to melt the cheese.

Recipe Source: Skinny Taste

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Our Favorite Turkey Meatloaf

When the weather starts to change the meals I make seem to change too. I want more soups, homemade rolls and bread, casseroles, more hearty meals. This is one of my family's favorite meals. Its strange to me because meatloaf was never my favorite meal as a kid. I think its the sauce that covers the meatloaf. Its sweet and tangy. A perfect meal for a cold night. Your family will love it as much as ours!

Our Favorite Turkey Meatloaf

2lbs Ground Turkey
1 cup Whole Wheat Bread Crumbs or Ground Old Fashioned Oats
1 Egg, beaten
1 cup Milk
1/2 cup Ketchup

1 teaspoon Salt
1/2 teaspoon Pepper
1 teaspoon Onion powder
1/2 teaspoon Garlic Powder

3/4 cup Ketchup
1/4 cup Brown Sugar
1/4 cup Apricot Preserves
1 Tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 5x9 bread pan. In a large bowl place the meatloaf ingredients. Mix well with your hands until well combined. Pour into the prepared pan and spread out. Bake for 1 1/2 hours.

2. In a small bowl mix together the sauce ingredients. Halfway through baking spread half of the sauce on top of the meatloaf. Let sit for 15 minutes after baking before slicing. Use the rest of the sauce for serving with the meatloaf.

Recipe slightly adapted from Pip and Ebby

Monday, October 10, 2016

Pumpkin Nutella Cookie Bars

Do you remember how pumpkin is amazing and cookies, oh cookies, I love cookies and Nutella. Nutella in anything makes it better. All together baked into a delicious bar. Crispy on the outside, a sweet chewy cookie, and smooth creamy Nutella in the middle. Oh. My. Gosh. I Love it. Its a great fall treat!

Pumpkin Nutella Cookie Bars

1/2 cup Butter, melted
1/3 cup Pumpkin Puree
3/4 cup Brown Sugar, packed
1/4 cup Granulated Sugar
1 Egg Yolk
1/2 teaspoon Baking Soda
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1 teaspoon Pumpkin Pie Spice
1 teaspoon Cinnamon
1 teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract
1 3/4 cups All-Purpose Flour
3/4 cup Nutella

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 9x9 baking dish.

2. In the bowl of a stand mixer combine the melted butter, pumpkin puree, and both sugars. Beat until smooth. Add in egg yolk, baking soda, salt, pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon, and vanilla and mix to combine. Add in the flour and mix until its smooth.

3. Divide the batter in half and press half into your prepared pan. Bake for 8 minutes.

4. Melt the Nutella in the microwave until its runny. Pour over the crust when you take it out of the oven. Spread so it evenly covers the crust.

5. With the rest of the dough, make little patties in your hand and place them on top of the Nutella, using all of the dough. It may not cover all of it but thats ok. Bake for 17-19 more minutes. Let cool completely before cutting.

Recipe Slightly adapted from: Crazy for Crust

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Pumpkin Brownies

This month the recipe I'm sharing on Reality Daydream is a pumpkin brownie recipe. Its soft and the flavors pop. You can taste the rich chocolate and it doesn't overpower the pumpkin. Its a delicious dessert perfect for the fall. Go get the recipe and lets make us some Pumpkin Brownies!

Monday, October 3, 2016

Pot Roast{Crockpot}

Sunday dinner growing up was always different, but my favorite, the Sunday's I loved most, were ones where we had pot roast and my mum makes a great pot roast! I use a different recipe than she does because I like a little more flavor. So I think mine is even more delicious than hers. Ha. 

It makes the house smell great all day. The meat is tender and juicy, the carrots, onions, and potatoes are cooked just right and full of flavor. Try this for your next family meal. You wont regret it!

Pot Roast{Crockpot}

3lb Pot Roast
2 cups Hot Water
1 packet dry Italian Dressing
1 packet Onion Soup Mix
1lb Carrots, sliced into 3 inch pieces
2 lbs Potatoes, cut into quarters
1 large Onion, quartered and separated

In a medium bowl combine the hot water with the onion soup mix. Place the carrots in your crock pot. Put the pot roast on top of the carrots and sprinkle the Italian dressing over the top. Place the potatoes and onions on top. Pour the onion soup over everything. Set the crockpot to low and cook for 8 hours.

Friday, September 30, 2016

Sugar Cookie Caramel Apple Crisp

Its officially fall and one of my favorite fall desserts is apple crisp. Its different because it has a sugar cookie crust. Its loaded with soft, sweet, caramel cinnamony apples, and it has a crunchy oatmeal topping with salted caramel on top. I'm going to go make it again cause I cant get enough!

Sugar Cookie Caramel Apple Crisp

17oz Sugar Cookie Dough (I used this recipe)
1/2 cup All-Purpose Flour

3 1/2lbs Granny Smith Apples
1/2 cup Granulated Sugar
2 Tablespoons All-Purpose Flour
1 teaspoon Cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon Nutmeg
3/4 cup Caramel Topping (I used this one)

1 cup All-Purpose Flour
1/2 cup Brown Sugar
1/2 cup Granulated Sugar
1 teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract
1 teaspoon Cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon Nutmeg
1/2 cup Butter

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 10-inch cheesecake pan.

2. Combine the cookie dough and the flour. Press it into your prepared pan and up the sides.

3. In a large bowl mix the apples with the sugar, flour, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Spread them evenly over the crust. Drizzle the caramel over the apples. Cover with tin foil and cook for 45 minutes.

4. In a separate small bowl combine the topping ingredients except the butter. Cut the butter into the mixture until all the flour is moist.

5. Take the crisp out of the oven and remove the tin foil. Sprinkle the crumb mixture on top Put it back in the oven, uncovered, and bake for an additional 35 to 40 minutes until the top is brown.

6. Let the pie cool before serving. Slice and drizzle with more caramel.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Salted Caramel Sauce

On Friday I'm sharing a recipe for a salted caramel apple crisp with a sugar cookie crust. Its amazing! But before I do that we need to make the salted caramel sauce for it. You wont believe how delicious and simple it is to make your own caramel. It totally makes a difference when you make your own. It is smooth, creamy, and sweet with a hint of salt. Perfect people. Perfect.

Salted Caramel Sauce
Makes about 2 cups

1 cup Heavy Cream
1 1/2 cups Granulated Sugar
1/2 cup Water
2 Tablespoons Butter
Coarse Kosher Salt to taste

1. In a medium sauce pan heat up cream in until hot but DO NOT boil. 

2. In a large pot combine the sugar and water and stir over a high heat until it starts to turn a deep amber color.

3. Carefully pour the hot cream into the caramel and whisk. The mixture will bubble like crazy, but continue to stir. Add in the butter and stir until its completely combined. Add salt, a little at a time, tasting until its salty enough. Serve.

Recipe Source: The Kitchen McCabe

Monday, September 26, 2016

Soft Rolled Sugar Cookies

Every birthday party I throw has sugar cookies. I love sugar cookies and its so fun to use them as a canvas for shapes or colors that coordinate with the party theme! And they're delicious, so soft and sweet. And they keep for about 7 days at room temp in and airtight container or you can freeze them unfrosted for a month. Lets make some cookies!!

Soft Rolled Sugar Cookies

3 cups All-Purpose Flour
1 tsp Baking Powder
1 cup Butter, room temp
1 cup Granulated Sugar
1 large Egg, room temp
1 teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In the bowl of a stand mixer combine the butter and sugar and beat until light yellow and fluffy. Add in the egg and vanilla and mix again until combined. 

2. In a medium bowl whisk the flour and baking powder together. Add the flour mixture to the butter/sugar mixture. Beat until a soft dough has formed then roll into a ball and wrap in saran wrap. Refrigerate for 30 minutes to an hour.

3. Flour your surface and and roll out your dough about a 1/4 - 3/8 inch thick. Cut with cookie cutter of choice. Place on a silpat mat and freeze for 3 minutes then bake for 6-9 minutes. Let rest on the cookie sheet for a couple of minutes and then move to a cooling rack. Frost and enjoy!   

Recipe Source: Make Bake Celebrate
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