Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Butterscotch Marshmallow Squares

‘Tis the season for Christmas baking, I am so excited! It is December 1st so I thought it would be ok to start posting massive amounts of sweet treats starting today!!

These are one of my all-time favorites!  I remember my grandma C. making them and bringing them over to our house on Styrofoam meat trays, that she would wash and save. Re-using meat trays is kind of gross now that I think about it, but at the time I was just happy she had made us a batch of these butterscotch marshmallow squares.

They couldn’t be easier you only need 5 ingredients,

½ cup butter
1 cup peanut butter
1 bag butterscotch chips
1 cup rice krispie cereal
1 bag mini colored marshmallows

In a pot over medium heat melt the butter, peanut butter and butterscotch chips together until smooth.
In a separate large bowl mix the marshmallows and rice krispies together.
Spray an 8X8 pan lightly with non – stick spray.
Once the butterscotch mixture is smooth, pour over the marshmallow mixture and stir to combine.
Pour the whole thing into the greased pan and press it into an even layer. Stash it in the fridge for an hour or 2 until it is firm enough to cut into squares.

Whenever I go over to my friend Mike’s place, he always says don’t bother coming unless you bring me a batch of the butterscotch squares! LOL!
I don’t blame him, they are super awesome. They are always the first thing to get eaten off my trays of Christmas baking!


Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Kale Chips

Ok so I jumped on the band wagon… the kale chip band wagon. I couldn’t help it. Everyone has been making them; I just really needed to see what all the hype was about!

I used Joy the Baker’s recipe. She is awesome by the way! Love her blog and her podcasts; check them out if you haven’t!

Anyway they are pretty simple, you need,

1 bunch of kale, washed and chopped, stems removed
1 good tbsp. olive oil
Salt/pepper to taste
You can go crazy with other seasonings if you want, old bay, garlic, cumin you get the idea!
I went simple and did just the salt and pepper for my first time!

Heat your oven to 275 degrees. Spray a baking sheet with non-stick spray.
Toss the kale bits with the oil and salt and pepper. I may have over salted a bit… shocker! So go easy.
Lay the leaves on the baking sheet in a single layer. Bake for 15 minutes then using tongs turn them over and cook another 10-15 minutes. At this point turn off the oven and just leave the pan in the oven for another 30-45 minutes until the leaves are perfectly crispy.
I am not going to lie here, they are kind of weird. I mean they taste a little bitter but a bit sweet and a little salty. They are pretty fragile, kind of paper like.  

You will end up eating a bunch of them because the first few are strange, so you keep eating and them until you realize, hey these are pretty good. They aren’t going replace the potato chip or anything but they are good for a change or for those days your jeans are feeling tight but you really need a crunchy salty snack!


Recipe from Joy the Baker

Monday, November 28, 2011

Crab Stuffed Mushrooms

Well here we are, in the season for parties and get togethers with friends and family! This also means it is the season for eating… lots and lots of eating.
I thought I would share a few of my favorite appetizer recipes with you. They are great to make if you are having people over or you can take them to a party!
These Crab Stuffed Mushrooms are always a huge hit! They are so super tasty. 

I love them because you can make them in advance then just bake them right before you want to serve them!
Nothing better than hot creamy crab stuffed into a tender juicy mushroom! YUM!

Here is what you need,

1 cup crab meat, I used canned but if you can get fresh do it!
½ cup cream cheese, softened
½ cup fresh parsley, chopped
½ cup green onions, chopped
4 tbsp. fresh grated Parmesan cheese
1 tsp. garlic powder
Salt/Pepper to taste
10-15 white button mushrooms
½ cup panko bread crumbs
Non-stick cooking spray

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Combine the cream cheese, parsley, green onion and Parmesan cheese. Stir to combine. Season with garlic powder and salt and pepper. Gently fold in the crab meat, try not to break it up too much, it’s always nice to get a nice chunk of it!
Wash your mushrooms and pull off the stems. Stuff a good tablespoon of the crab mixture into each cap, make sure it is heaping over the top.
At this point you can stash them in the fridge until it is time to bake them if you like.
When you are ready to bake them line them on the parchment lined baking sheet and sprinkle each cap with some panko crumbs. Give them each a quick spritz of nonstick cooking spray. This helps the tops crisp up.
Bake them for 20-25 minutes until the mushrooms are soft and the filling is hot and bubbly and lightly browned.

SO SO GOOD! I have to be careful around these, I could eat them all!
Take them to your next party, people will love you forever!


Sunday, November 27, 2011

Peanut Butter Granola

This is another breakfast idea for my sister! She was asking for easy, quick, portable ideas for breakfasts. I have never made my own granola before, this is delicious! It is easy to put a few spoonful's in a baggie and grab a yogurt and you are good to go!

I have been loving this Greek yogurt with honey, it is the perfect sweetness! So creamy!

Here is what you need,

¼ cup canola oil
1/3 cup maple syrup
¼ cup peanut butter
½ tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
4 cups old fashioned oats
¼ cup flax seeds
½ cup dry roasted peanuts
½ cup sliced almonds
½ cup sunflower seeds
2/3 cup mini dark chocolate chips

Preheat your oven to 275 degrees.
In a pot over medium heat bring the oil, maple syrup, peanut butter, salt and cinnamon to a simmer. Cook for 3 or 4 minutes.

Meanwhile in a large bowl combine everything else EXCEPT the chocolate chips! I accidently added them and they melted. So don’t do that, wait!
Pour the peanut butter mixture over the oats/nuts and stir well to coat.
Spread out mixture on a lined baking sheet. You may need to use 2 sheets. Just make sure it is in a single layer. Cook stirring often for about 30-35 minutes. Watch it closely so it doesn’t burn. I would suggest that you do it on the upper 2 racks, not right on the bottom!

Let the granola cool completely before adding in the chocolate!!
Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a month. 

This is very tasty and just a few spoonful's’ on some yogurt is surprisingly filling.

Go ahead and add whatever nuts/seeds you like. I am sure almond butter would work in place of the peanut butter if you prefer.


recipe adapted from Eat Live Run

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Favourite Things Friday Vol 13

My favourite thing this week is... 

Christmas Oranges!!!
I LOVE them, always have, always will.

I will probably eat a box a week until New Year's. I have been known to eat so many in 1 day it makes my tummy hurt. NICE! That hasn't ever stopped me from eating them.

My goal is to always get the peel off in 1 piece. Yep, I am a dork!!

What happened to the little green papers they used to be wrapped in? It is weird without them. Plus what am I supposed to wrap the peel in when I am done eating the orange? I want the papers back!

Happy Friday!


Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Breakfast Burritos

My sister asked me the other day for some quick portable breakfast ideas. I always have the same thing for breakfast during the week, a bowl of cheerios and some yogurt. Yep, same old breakfast every day for years… So it is definitely time for a change.
I whipped up these cute little breakfast burritos.

What you need,

Small flour tortillas
4-6 eggs
Salt and pepper to taste
1 tsp. butter or olive oil
Whatever you want in your burrito I used,
Turkey bacon (4 slices cooked and chopped)
1 green onion, sliced
3 mushrooms, diced
½ cup grated cheddar cheese

You could use green or red peppers, regular bacon or crumbled breakfast sausage, a spoon of salsa, any cheese you like. Go crazy!

Heat butter or oil in a medium fry pan. Cook the veggies until tender.
In a small bowl whisk eggs with salt and pepper.
Pour eggs over veggies and stir until eggs are cooked through.
Pile some egg mixture on a tortilla, sprinkle with some cheese and roll up.

Place seam side down on a baking sheet and freeze until firm. Wrap individually in saran wrap for later!
To reheat them just wrap one in a paper towel and microwave it for 2-3 minutes until hot.

As you can see I need some serious practice rolling burritos… mine suck. Oh well they tasted great!

I have a couple more easy breakfast ideas coming up so stayed tuned!
Hope you like them Kate!


PS. Happy Thanksgiving to all of my lovely American readers! I hope you all eat too much Turkey and watch too much football. Save some pie for me!!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Chicken Lo Mein

I love Chinese food. I saw this recipe and thought it could save me a few bucks on take out!
It is easy and super tasty! 

I tweaked the original recipe quite a bit. I used fresh veggies instead of frozen and I used soba noodles instead of the whole wheat spaghetti it called for. Oh and I used chicken instead of pork!

What you need,

1 pkg. soba noodles or whole wheat spaghetti if you prefer
¼ cup Kraft Signature Asian Sesame Dressing
1 lb. chicken breast cut into strips, or pork tenderloin
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 cups chopped veggies; I used celery, carrot, red pepper, broccoli, snow peas and green onion (You can use any veggies you like)
½ cup low sodium chicken broth
1 heaping tbsp. smooth peanut butter
¼ cup soy sauce
¼ tsp. red pepper flakes
2 tbsp. chopped peanuts

Cook the noodles according to package directions. Drain and set aside.
Heat 1tbsp. of olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Cook the chicken until browned. Remove from pan and set aside.
Cook the onions and garlic until softened and fragrant. Add in the other veggies and cook until just getting tender.
Mix together the Asian sesame dressing, chicken broth, peanut butter, soy sauce and red pepper flakes.  Add the chicken back to the pan and pour over the sauce. Let it come to a simmer then add the noodles and heat through.

Top with chopped peanuts. Serve right away.

Now if I can learn to make my own Spring Rolls and Szechwan Green Beans I won’t ever need to order Chinese take-out again!


Reciped adapted from Kraft Kitchens