Sunday, August 30, 2015

Reece’s Pieces Peanut Butter Cookies

My sister sent me a text the other day with a picture of these beauties, saying “have you gotten these yet?” 

I was like "NOOOOO!!!"

So naturally I had to run right out and buy a couple bags! Then I had to make something right away and what better than peanut butter cookies!

These cookies are beyond amazing! Soft and chewy and the little crunchy peanut buttery Reece’s Pieces are perfection.

What you need,

½ cup butter, softened (I used salted so I omitted the salt later)
½ cup brown sugar, packed
½ cup granulated sugar
1 egg
½ cup smooth peanut butter
1½ cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
Pinch of salt
2 cups mini Reece’s pieces

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with a silpat mat and set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the butter and both sugars. Mix over medium speed until light and fluffy. Add in the egg and beat until well incorporated.
Mix in the peanut butter.
On low speed, slowly add in the flour and baking soda (plus the salt if you are using it).
Mix until the flour is just incorporated.

Roll into balls using 1 heaping tablespoon of dough.  With a fork make cross hash marks on each cookie.

Bake the cookies for 9-12 minutes or until cookies are just starting to brown on the edges.
I like my cookies more chewy than crispy so I do mine for 9 minutes, but if you like crispier cookies cook for the full 12 minutes.

Cool on a wire rack and store in an airtight container for up to a week.
They also freeze really well.

I just love cookies, they are my heart‼ 

These cookies are pretty darned amazing. Make them, eat them, share them with friends, you will love them!


Sunday, August 23, 2015

Pineapple Ginger Chicken

I love Chinese take-out! Sometimes I like to make it at home. I have made quite a few fake-out-take out recipes; they have all been really good. Check them out here.

But this recipe, well, it is the best so far. The sauce is amazing! And the chicken was so crispy and perfect.

If you like Chinese food I suggest you make this ASAP. It is a real winner!

What you need,

1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts cut into 1 inch pieces
1 large egg beaten with 1 tbsp. water
2 green onions, sliced

For the sauce,
¼ cup pineapple juice
1/3 c + 1½ Tbsp. pineapple preserves
¼ cup soy sauce
3 tbsp. rice wine vinegar
¼ cup dark brown sugar
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp. freshly grated ginger
2 tsp. sriracha sauce
1 cup pineapple tidbits
2 tsp. corn starch

For the coating,
½ cup flour
1 tbsp. corn starch
½ tsp. garlic powder
½ tsp. paprika
¼ tsp. ground ginger
¼ tsp. onion powder
¼ tsp. each salt and fresh cracked black pepper

Heat the oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking sheet with tin foil and then place a wire rack on top. Spray very liberally with non-stick cooking spray.

In a bowl whisk together the egg and water.

In a large zip top bag combine all the ingredients for the coating and shake well to combine

In a bowl whisk together all the ingredients for the sauce, minus the pineapple tidbits.

Place the sauce in a small sauce pan over medium heat. Bring to a boil and let simmer for 1-2 minutes until the sauce thickens. Add the pineapple tidbits then turn the heat down too low to keep the sauce warm.

Place the chicken pieces into the egg and toss to coat well.  Using tongs place each piece of chicken into the flour mixture, be sure to let the excess egg to drip off before tossing the chicken in the bag. Once all the chicken is in the bag toss well to coat each piece of chicken well with the flour coating.

Place the coated chicken onto the prepared rack. Leave a little room between each piece.
Bake for 10 minutes.  Then turn on the broiler and move the pan up to just a few inches under the broiler. Cook the chicken for 5-6 minutes on each side until crisp and golden brown. Be sure not to walk away on the chicken when it is under the broiler, it doesn’t take long to burn so keep a close eye on it.

Once the chicken is cooked, toss it with the warm sauce and serve over rice. A little chopped green onion on top makes it a perfect dish.

This chicken was as good as any take out I have ever had! The chicken was perfectly crisp and the sauce was sweet, tangy and super sticky!

It was really easy to make and tastes amazing!

I will be making this again and again!



Recipe adapted from Carlsbad Cravings

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Smoothie Pops

Sometimes breakfast is boring… Especially in the summer. It is has been too hot in the morning for toast and stuff so I have been eating mostly peanut butter cheerios, which I love but after a while you just need a switch up.

I love a smoothie in morning but sometimes I just don’t have time before work. So I thought hey, what if I could have a smoothie and a cool treat all in one go…
Hence the Smoothie Pop! All the goodness of a smoothie in Popsicle form.
This way I can eat one on the way to the bus, saving even more time on already crazy mornings!

What you need,

1 banana (I can’t say banana like a normal person anymore, all I can hear is those crazy Minion’s yelling BAAAANNNAAANA‼)
sorry I got side tracked there…
1 cup strawberries
1 cup blueberries
½ - ¾ cup milk
¼ cup plain Greek yogurt
2 tbsp. honey

In a blender combine all the ingredients and blend until smooth.  Add ½ cup of milk to start, you may need to add a bit more if it is too thick.

Pour the blended smoothie mixture into the Popsicle molds and let them freeze for 4 hours or until completely frozen.

Enjoy as a cool breakfast treat or an anytime treat!
They are beyond delicious!



Sunday, August 9, 2015

Pulled Pork Mac & Cheese

The other day I had a mad hankering for Spicy Pulled Pork Tacos!  Man they are the best!

I had a bunch of left over pulled pork so I decided to make some pulled pork mac & cheese. I have never made it before but I love both pulled pork and mac & cheese so I figured it had to be a winner.

IT WAS‼ Holy goodness people, it is rich and creamy and tangy and porky and amazing!

Go make some pulled pork now; you need this in your mouth ASAP!

What you need,

2 cups pulled pork, I used this recipe

2 cups water
1 cup evaporated milk
1½ cup macaroni noodles
¼ tsp. salt
½ tsp. cornstarch
½ tsp. dry mustard
½ tsp. hot sauce
1½ cups cheddar cheese, grated
2 tbsp. butter, cut into small pieces
Salt and Pepper to taste

In a large skillet combine the water, ½ cup of the milk, salt and the macaroni. Bring to a boil and simmer for 9-12 minutes or until the noodles are tender and the sauce is thickened. 
In a small bowl whisk together the rest of the milk, cornstarch, mustard and hot sauce.  Stir into the skillet to combine.
Cook for 1-2 minutes until the sauce has thickened into a creamy sauce.
Remove from the heat and stir in the cheese until melted. Add the butter and stir to combine. 

Season the mac & cheese to taste with salt and pepper.

Serve the creamy mac & cheese with a scoop of warmed up pulled pork piled up on top.

This was just beyond good! I have no words except that I LOVED it, I am obsessed with it.

It is perfection in a bowl! Make it you won’t regret it I promise you!