Friday, March 25, 2016

No Bake Pineapple Dream

Happy Easter everyone! I am posting this a couple days early so that you will have time to go out and get the stuff you need to make this crazy awesome dessert for your Sunday Easter dinner.

It is a classic; I remember eating it as a kid. It is so perfect, light and fluffy, not too filling after a big heavy meal of Ham & Scalloped Potato Casserole!

I hope the Easter Bunny brings you all lots of chocolate!

What you need,

For the crust,
½ cup butter, melted
2½ cup graham cracker crumbs

For the middle layer,
4 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
½ cup butter, at room temperature
2 cup icing sugar
1 tbsp. crushed pineapple

For the topping,
8oz. of Cool Whip topping
14oz. can crushed pineapple, drained (you will use 1 tbsp. in the middle layer)

Start by making the crust. In a small bowl melt the butter in the microwave. Stir in the graham crumbs until they are all coated in butter. Set the crumbs aside for a minute.

Now make the middle layer. In a large bowl beat the cream cheese and butter until light and fluffy.  Slowly add in the icing sugar until fully incorporated. Stir in 1 tablespoon of the crushed pineapple. Set the bowl aside.

Finally make the topping.  In a third large bowl stir together the Cool Whip and the rest of the crushed pineapple.

Now you can make one big dessert or 4-6 individual desserts. Choose your serving dish or dishes and build the dessert.

On the bottom of the serving dish layer on about ½ an inch of graham crumbs. Press them down with the back of a spoon.
Layer on about 1 inch of the cream cheese mixture; use an offset spatula to spread it out.
Then top with the Cool Whip topping. Spread the mixture evenly to coat.
Use any remaining graham cracker crumbs to sprinkle over the top of the dessert.

Chill in the fridge for at least 3 hours, overnight is even better to let the flavors meld.

Serve with a big old spoon!

This cute little dessert is a dream! It is light and fluffy and creamy. It is going to be the perfect thing to end a big Easter supper!
I hope you like this classic dessert as much as I do. 

I sure hope you all have a wonderful Easter filled with Family, food and chocolate bunnies!



Recipe from a little old recipe card I stole from home when I left! Sorry Mom!

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Cheesy Meatball Tater-Tot Casserole

I was cleaning out my freezer the other day and found a bag of Tater-Tots. I love a good Tater-Tot! I decided to whip up a classic Tater-Tot casserole, but then I thought why not give it a twist. Meatballs instead of ground beef and a creamy dreamy cheese sauce instead of gravy.

It turned out amazing! The crispy tots, with the creamy cheese sauce and the flavorful meatballs was perfection. Just look at all that cheesy drippy awesomeness!

What you need,

25-30 small cooked meatballs (about 1 inch in diameter) I used this recipe, but you can use whatever recipe you like.
2 tbsp. butter
½ white onion, finely diced
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tbsp. all-purpose flour
1 tsp. Italian seasoning
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp. dry mustard
Salt & Pepper to taste
2 cups milk (I used 2%)
1½ cup grated sharp cheddar cheese, divided
½ bag of frozen Tater-Tots

Spray a 8x8 baking dish lightly with non-stick spray. Lay the cooked meatballs in the bottom of the baking dish in a single layer.

Heat the oven to 375 degrees.

In a medium pot over medium heat melt the butter. Add the onion and sauté for 4-5 minutes until they start to soften and turn translucent. Add the garlic and sauté for one minute more. 

Add the flour and cook it, stirring the whole time for about 2 minutes. The flour will start to turn a light golden brown.  Add the Italian seasoning, Worcestershire sauce, dry mustard, salt and pepper.

Whisk in the milk and cook, stirring often until the mixture thickens.  It should coat the back of a spoon when it is done.

Remove the sauce from the heat and stir in 1 cup of the cheddar cheese until it is smooth and melty. Give it a taste and adjust the seasonings as needed.

Pour the cheese sauce all over the meatballs.
Layer the Tater-Tots in a single layer on the top. Sprinkle the remaining half cup of cheddar cheese over the top.

Bake the casserole for 25 minutes or until it is hot and bubbly and the Tots are crisp on the top.

I served my casserole with a salad but my in house taste tester suggested that next time we have steamed broccoli and cauliflower instead, that way he could dip them into the extra creamy delicious cheese sauce!

He is so smart. I wish I would have thought of that. Oh well next time!

We both really loved this dish. It was great left over too.



Recipe adapted from Roti & Rice

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Cookie Bars with Reece’s Pieces and Chocolate Chips

I went to visit my sister a couple weeks ago. I always like to take a little treat when I go.

This time I was a bit short on time so I had to make something quick and easy.  These amazing Cookie Bars were the perfect thing. They took no time to whip up and they taste beyond amazing.

They are full of chocolate chips and crispy Reece’s Pieces; they are soft and chewy, totally awesome.

What you need,

½ cup butter, melted (I used salted but if you use unsalted add ½ tsp. of salt to the mixture)
1 large egg
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 tbsp. vanilla
1 cup all-purpose flour
½ cup + 2 tbsp. semi-sweet chocolate chips
½ cup + 2 tbsp. mini Reece’s Pieces

Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Line an 8x8 pan with parchment paper and spray with non-stick spray, set aside.

In a large bowl melt the butter and let it cool for 5 minutes. Add the egg and beat with a hand beater until fully combined. Add the sugar and vanilla and beat until light and fluffy.

Add the flour and mix until just combined. Fold in ½ of the chocolate chips and ½ cup of the mini Reece’s Pieces.  Spread the dough into an even layer into the prepared pan. Sprinkle the remaining chocolate chips and Reece’s Pieces on the top and press lightly with spatula to help them stick.

Bake for 25-28 minutes or until the edges begin to brown and the middle is set. Do not overcook; a little chewy is better than hard, well in my opinion anyway!

Let the bars cool completely then slice into squares. Store the bars in an airtight container for 3-4 days or in the freezer for 3 months. 

Honestly these bars won’t last the day… they are just that good!



Sunday, March 6, 2016

Creamy Tomato Pasta – Updated!

This was the second recipe I ever posted on this blog. It is also one of my all-time favourite pasta recipes. It is simple and delicious, just the way I like my pasta.

Over the years I have made a few little tweaks to the recipe and scaled it down because the original recipe makes a ton. 

The creamy tomato sauce is so luscious, It would be great on any pasta but I have decided linguine is my favourite, the slightly broader noodle really holds the sauce well.

I love a ton of fresh basil in this recipe it really adds so much flavor.
If you haven’t tried this recipe I suggest you do it soon, you really won’t be disappointed.

What you need,

1 tbsp. olive oil
1 tbsp. butter
½ white onion, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1½ cups tomato sauce (I always use Hunts onion, herbs & spices)
Salt & Pepper to taste
½ tsp. sugar
1 tsp. Italian seasoning
Pinch red pepper flakes
½ c. heavy cream
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese + more for serving
½ cup fresh basil, chopped
½ lb. linguine noodles or any pasta you like

Cook the pasta in a large pot of salted boiling water as directed. When it is cooked drain, reserving about a cup of the cooking water.

Meanwhile over medium heat, combine the oil and butter in a large non-stick skillet. 
Add the onion and cook for 3-4 minutes until soft and translucent.  Add the garlic and cook for 1-2 minutes until fragrant.
Stir in the tomato sauce, sugar, salt, pepper, Italian seasoning and red pepper flakes.  Cook for about 5 minutes. Stir in the heavy cream. Taste the sauce and adjust the seasonings as needed. 
Add the pasta to the sauce and stir to coat. If it seems too thick add some of the pasta water a little at a time until the sauce coats the pasta perfectly.

Stir in the Parmesan cheese and the basil.

Serve right away with extra cheese and a few extra springs of basil.

Seriously, this pasta, it is a really good one!

It would be great with some grilled chicken tossed in or even some sausage.  But honestly I like it as is, it is perfection.

I hope you enjoy it as much as I do every single time I eat it!


Recipe from Pioneer Woman