Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Orange Creamsicle Cookies

Doesn't the title alone make you want to eat these? What a great summer cookie!! I found these from Pinterest which led me to the-girl-who-ate-everything.com So good!

2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 firmly packed brown sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons orange zest (for me that was the zest of 2 oranges)
2 cups white chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

In a small bowl, combine flour, baking soda, and salt; set aside.

In a large bowl, cream butter and sugars until light and creamy. Beat in egg and vanilla until smooth. Gradually add flour mixture until combined. Stir in orange zest and white chocolate chips.

Drop rounded teaspoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets. Do not flatten cookies; it will make them dry. Bake 8 - 10 minutes or until golden brown around edges. Do not overcook! Cookies will be plump. Cool for several minutes on cookie sheets before transferring to rack to cool completely. Store in airtight container.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Bacon, Apple, Raspberry Vinaigrette Salad

Oh my goodness, all I can say is if you enjoy salads you must try this! It's really simple and so, so good! This comes from pinterest.

2-3 Romaine Hearts, Shredded
1-2 apples chopped
1 pkg. Bacon, cooked and chopped
1 pkg. Walnuts
1 pkg Feta Cheese 
*Adjust all these ingredients according to salad portions

1 cup Sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp dry mustard
1/2 cup Red wine vinegar
1/2 small Red onion 
1/2 cup olive oil
1 tsp poppy seeds

*Combine 1st 5 ingredients for dressing in a blender and blend till smooth. Slowly add in oil while blender is running. Stir in poppy seeds.

Note: As you can see I just went to the store and bought my own dressing. I'm sure the homemade one is fantastic but we really enjoyed the one I bought too.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Smokey Bean soup with Ham

I fixed this for the first time tonight and loved loved loved it! I'm already looking forward to eating leftovers tomorrow. I got the recipe from pinterest and adjusted it a bit to my own liking and convenience. Here you go!


8 slices bacon
1 C diced onion
3 cloves garlic - *I just sprinkled some garlic powder in the soup
8 oz diced smoked Ham (about 2 C) - *I used the pre-sliced deli ham
2 red potatoes, diced into bite-sized pieces (2-2 1/2C)
2 cans Great Northern Beans, rinsed and drained
1 1/2 t smoked paprika
1/2 t kosher salt - *I didn't put in the extra salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
3 14oz. cans chicken broth- *I don't buy chicken broth in cans, I do the bouillon cubes so I did 5 cups of water with 2 cubes and it had plenty of flavor
Optional: 1/2-1 teaspoon liquid smoke- definitely did this!

Dice bacon into bite-size pieces. Cook until crispy. Transfer to paper towel. In bacon grease saute onion and garlic.
Add diced ham, beans, smoked paprika, salt and pepper to pan and stir to combine. Then add the broth and the potatoes. Bring soup to a boil and then reduce to a simmer. Simmer for about 15 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Remove from heat and stir in bacon and liquid smoke to taste if you choose to use it. Take 3 cups of the soup (I only did 2) and place in the blender (leave the plug in the lid off to let steam escape and cover with a paper towel to avoid splashes while you blend). Blend until completely smooth. You could also use an immersion blender in place of a blender if you have one. Add blended soup back to the pot and stir to combine. Enjoy!!

Minus the bacon and liquid smoke- once I got my 5 cups of water boiling with the 2 cubs of chicken bouillon I just added everything else and let it simmer. It is just soup after all, right? Everything gets mixed in anyway!

Green Beans with Bacon

Well the title pretty much says it all. Just like the simple glazed carrots I grew up loving, this has always been a favorite way to eat green beans! The bacon adds so much!

Green Beans
-No fixed amount. All to your liking!

*Cook your green beans to desired tenderness. Cook up some bacon and shred into pieces. Mix it all together with some butter and pepper and voila! It's delicious.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Unbelieveable Carrot Cake

I'm telling you right now, if you enjoy carrot cake, you have got to make this! It was my first time making it from scratch- shredding the carrots and all, and it's an understatement to say we enjoyed it. I made it after Sunday dinner a couple weeks ago and my husband mentioned several times that evening how good it was! I gave some to our neighbors and they raved about it too. This is another recipe from melskitchencafe.com

2 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (12 1/2 ounces)
1 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon table salt
1 lb. medium carrots (6 to 7 large carrots), peeled
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar (10 1/2 ounces)
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar (3 1/2 ounces)
4 large eggs
1 1/2 cups vegetable or canola oil  (I honestly couldn't get myself to use that much oil so I did 3/4 cup oil       and 3/4 cup applesauce and it turned out great!!!)

Frosting: (If baking in two 9 in round pans then you might want to double the frosting)
8 ounces cream cheese, softened to room temperature
5 tablespoons butter softened to room temperature
1 tablespoon sour cream, light or regular
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups powdered sugar (4 1/2 ounces)

*Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and salt in large bowl; set aside. In a food processor fitted with large or fine shredding disk, shred carrots (you should have about 3 cups); transfer carrots to bowl and set aside. You can also shred by hand on a box grater if you don’t have a food processor.
In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with paddle attachment (or in large bowl and using hand-held mixer), beat granulated and brown sugars and eggs on medium-high until thoroughly combined, about 45 seconds. Reduce speed to medium; with mixer running, add oil in slow, steady stream, being careful to pour oil against inside of bowl (if oil begins to splatter, reduce speed to low until oil is incorporated, then resume adding oil). Increase speed to high and mix until mixture is light in color and well emulsified, about 45 seconds to 1 minute longer. Turn off mixer and stir in carrots and dry ingredients by hand until incorporated and no streaks of flour remain.
Pour into prepared pan(s) and bake until toothpick comes out clean, about 32 minutes for 9-inch round pans and 40 minutes for a 9X13-inch pan. Let cakes cool for about 10 minutes in the pan and then invert them onto a cooling rack to cool completely (the 9X13-inch cake can be cooled completely in the pan if you don’t plan to invert and ice all the sides). At this point, once the cakes are cooled, they can be wrapped in plastic wrap and put in a ziploc bag and placed in the freezer for up to 2 months. Thaw at room temperature prior to frosting
When cake is cool, mix cream cheese, butter, sour cream, and vanilla until well combined, scraping down bowl with rubber spatula as needed. Add confectioners’ sugar and mix until very fluffy. Frost and eat!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Avocado Basil Pasta

This one is another pinterest recipe :) I made it for dinner tonight and it's different than anything I've cooked before but we really enjoyed it. It's healthy, quick, and we will definitely be making it again!

(This picture is also from the original recipe site- recipe.com, my picture just didn't quite turn out as lovely)


8  ounces dried bow tie and/or wagon wheel pasta - I used whole wheat Fusilli
2  medium avocados, halved, seeded, peeled, and coarsely chopped
6  slices bacon, crisp cooked, drained, and crumbled- I used turkey bacon
2/3  cup chopped fresh basil- I didn't use that much and I honestly don't think you need it all
2  tablespoons lemon juice
1  tablespoon olive oil
3  cloves garlic, minced
1/4  teaspoon ground black pepper 
1/8  teaspoon salt
1/2  cup finely shredded Pecorino Romano cheese- I used Mozzarella

* Cook your pasta. Drain. 
Cook bacon to desired crispnness and cut into small pieces. Chop basil and avocado then mix with bacon, lemon juice, olive oil, salt, and pepper in a big bowl. Then add drained pasta and add cheese. Serve!

Note: I really think this pasta would be just as good served cold