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Recipe Review: Peanut Butter Truffle Centered Banana Bread Muffins

1 Aug

The day that I saw Jenny from Picky Palate post this recipe, I knew that I had to try it!  I had already planned to make banana bread, but this looked like a fun twist.  My over ripe bananas were practically begging me to make this…
And I did and they were amazing!  I didn’t have enough regular peanut butter (I have some PB&J fanatics in my house) so I used about a cup of dark chocolate peanut butter.  It was like having a buckeye in the middle of a very moist banana muffin.  I will be making these again to try them with regular peanut butter, but I will also be making them again with my chocolate peanut butter.  My girls loved these and have already asked me to make them.  I think these would be great frozen and put in their lunch boxes.  
Peanut Butter Truffle Centered Banana Bread Muffins
(original recipe by Jenny/Picky Palate)
1 1/4 cups creamy peanut butter (I used a combo of 1/2 cup regular PB and 3/4 cup dark chocolate peanut butter)
1 cup powdered sugar
2 large ripe bananas or 3 small
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup light packed brown sugar
1 large egg
1 cup buttermilk
1 1/4 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line a muffin tin with cupcake liners.  To make the peanut butter truffle, place peanut butter and powdered sugar into a medium bowl, mixing until combined. Scoop out a walnut sized amount of peanut butter mixture and roll between your hands to make a ball.  Place a ball into each cupcake liner.  To make the banana bread muffin, mash bananas with a fork until well mashed in a large bowl. Stir in sugars, egg and buttermilk until well combined. Gradually add flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon until just combined. Don’t over mix.  Scoop batter over peanut butter truffle filled cups, about 3/4 full. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes, until cooked through. Let cool completely and serve.

Linked To:
*Talking Dollar and Cents: Muffin Monday
*A Southern Fairytale: Mouthwatering Monday
*Frugal Antics of a Harried Homemaker: Your Recipe, My Kitchen
*Blessed with Grace: Tempt My Tummy Tuesday
*My Sweet and Savory: Let’s Do Brunch


Recipe Review: Cherry Limeade Cupcakes

25 Jul
Yum…cherry limeade drinks from Sonic are my favorite drink treat.  So, when I came across this recipe from It’s the Life blog, I knew that I had to try it.  I signed up to feed the volunteers at Vacation Bible School and wanted to make something pretty and tasty.  These were perfect.  Not only are they pretty to look at but they taste so good!  The cupcakes were gone in no time and I received lots of compliments.  I will be making these again for an upcoming family reunion but will probably double the recipe because they were so awesome.  I will also use stemmed cherries as well….I think they will look prettier.
Cherry Limeade Cupcakes
(original recipe by It’s the Life)

1 box white cake mix (and all ingredients needed to make the cake)
1 jar maraschino cherries (with or without stems)
1 cup powdered sugar
2 limes
Buttercream Frosting
1 bag powdered sugar
2 sticks butter, room temperature
1 lime

To make the cupcakes, preheat oven and make the batter according to the package directions.  Add 3 to 4 tablespoons of the cherry liquid into the batter.  You could chop some of the cherries and add to the batter, but I wanted a smooth cupcake.  While the cupcakes are baking, make a lime glaze by mixing the juice of two limes with one cup of powdered sugar.  Once the cupcakes are removed from the oven, poke several (I did at least 10 to 12) holes with a toothpick in each cupcake.  With a spoon, slowly spoon the glaze on each cupcake, using the back of the spoon to spread it out covering each hole.  Allow the cupcakes to sit a few minutes and repeat the glazing.  Loosely cover cupcakes and refrigerate for a few hours.  While the cupcakes are cooling, drain the cherries and rinse them thoroughly.  Drain them on paper towels for a few hours.  (This step will ensure that the cherries don’t bleed in your beautiful white frosting.)

To make the frosting, beat the softened butter until fluffy.  Slowly add the powdered sugar, beating to ensure there are no lumps.  I used all but about a cup of powdered sugar because I like a stiffer frosting.  I had some leftover glaze, so I also added this along with the juice of one lime.  Add a little milk, if needed, to thin it out a bit.  Frost as you normally would.  Add the dried cherry to top of each cupcake.

Linked To:
*Lamb Around: Not Baad Sundays
*The Girl Creative: Just Something I Whipped Up
*Boogieboard Cottage: Masterpiece Monday
*11th Heaven’s Homemaking Heaven: Homemaker Monday 
*Two Maids a Milking: Two Maids a Baking
*Sumo’s Sweet Stuff: Market Yourself Monday
*Frugal Antics of a Harried Homemaker: Your Recipe, My Kitchen
*A Southern Fairytale: Mouthwatering Monday 
*Blessed with Grace: Tempt My Tummy Tuesday 
*Dr. Laura’s Adventures: Tasty Tuesday
*Mandy’s Recipe Box: Totally Tasty Tuesday 
*From Mess Hall to Bistro: Made From Scratch Tuesday 
*Lady Behind the Curtain: Cast Party Wednesday
*It’s a Keeper: It’s a Keeper Thursday
*Sweet as Sugar Cookies: Sweets for Saturday
*Everyday Sisters: Sharing Sundays 

Recipe Review: Buffalo Chicken Braid

21 Jul
We love Buffalo chicken wings around here.  I don’t care for chicken on a bone, so we go boneless.  When I came across this recipe on Do You Know the Muffin Pan blog, I knew that I had to give this recipe a try.  Seriously, what could be bad about spiced up chicken wrapped in pizza dough?  Sounds like a winner to me.  This recipe is super easy.  Braiding the dough is a few extra steps but totally worth it.  Amy has step by step instructions with pictures to help you get the idea of how to braid the dough.  I used a canned pizza dough and canned chicken for a super fast dinner.  Also, I didn’t have any blue cheese dressing, so I made mine without.  The next time I make it, I will use my own dough and cook and shred some chicken breast to replace the canned chicken.  My family loved this meal and have asked for me to make it again.


Buffalo Chicken Braid
(adapted from the original recipe by Amy @ Do You Know the Muffin Pan)
1 can chicken breast, drained (or 2 chicken breast, cooked and shredded)
1 can pizza dough
2 cups cheese, divided (I used a combination of blue cheese and Italian blend shredded cheese)
1/2 cup red onion, finely diced
1/2 cup Frank’s Red Hot Sauce

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  In a small bowl, add chicken and hot sauce.  Mix with a fork breaking up any large lumps while incorporating the sauce.  Set aside.  Unroll pizza dough.  Measure 3″ from the long side of the dough and lightly score (not cutting through the dough) on each side.  In the middle section, sprinkle one cup of the cheese making sure to spread it so it covers from the top to the bottom of the dough.   Next, spread the diced onions.  Add the chicken.  Sprinkle the rest of the cheese making sure to cover as much of the chicken as you can. Cut 1 inch thick strips on either side. To braid, pick up one strip and fold it over, pressing it against the opposite strip, continuing until you reach the bottom.  You can tuck the bottom ends under, but it is not necessary.  Bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until golden.  Allow to cool for few minutes before cutting.

Linked To:
*It’s a Keeper: It’s a Keeper Thursday
*Paisley Passion: Thrilling Thursday
*Miz Helen’s Country Cottage: Full Plate Thursday
*Simply Sweet Home: Friday Favorites
*Bizzy B. Bakes: Bake with Bizzy
*Paisley Passions: Fun w/Food Friday
*Six Sister’s Stuff: Strut Your Stuff Saturday 
*I Heart Naptime: Sundae Scoop 


Recipe Review: *Cracker Barrel* Hashbrown Casserole

14 Jul
I have an obsession with the hashbrown casserole at Cracker Barrel that can’t be normal.  Whenever we take the girls out to eat and we are near a Cracker Barrel, they always want to eat there.  You won’t get a big argument from me because I can have my hashbrown casserole fix.  
I have searched for years for the right recipe that duplicates this dish.  Every recipe that I found called for canned soup and/or sour cream.  Don’t get me wrong, those recipes are very tasty but they are not the same dish served at Cracker Barrel. 
Last week, as I was reading through my favorite blogs, I somehow came across The Pioneer Cookbook blog.  I scrolled through some of her posts and came across her recipe for hashbrown casserole.  After reading the ingredients, I was skeptical, but couldn’t wait to give it a try.  People….I am here to tell you this is it!  This is the one…my search is over!  Yes, it is true…no soup and no sour cream…just milk and broth.  
I made this for dinner a couple of days ago, along with some BBQ smoked sausage, and my family ate it up and loved it.  I substituted the vegetable broth that is called for in the original recipe with beef broth and I also increased the amount of garlic powder slightly.  Stirring the casserole midway through the cooking is key to making the dish have the consistency of Cracker Barrel’s.
If you have an unhealthy obsession with hashbrown casserole like me, you need to make this…and thank me later.  If you don’t have an unhealthy obsession with hashbrown casserole (what is wrong with you?), you need make this dish and get a new obsession…and thank me later.
PS…Cracker Barrel did not sponsor my post today…they should..for all the therapy that I need…

Hashbrown Casserole
(adapted from original recipe by Miriam Barton/The Pioneer Cookbook)
2 large potatoes, peeled and grated             
2 cups sharp cheddar cheese, grated
1/2 cup onion, finely chopped
1 cup milk
1/2 cup beef broth
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
Preheat oven to 425ºF. Lightly coat an 8 x 8-inch square baking dish with butter. In a large bowl combine the potatoes, cheese, and onion. In a separate bowl, stir together the remaining ingredients. Spread the potato mixture into the prepared baking dish, then pour the liquid mixture over the potatoes. Bake for 1 hour, stirring after 30 minutes.  Cool for a couple of minutes to allow potatoes to firm up.

Linked To:
 *It’s A Keeper:  It’s A Keeper Thursday
 *Prairie Story:  Recipe Swap #45
 *Simply Sweet Home:  Friday Favorites
 *Paisley Passions:  Fun with Food Friday
 *Girlichef:  Friday Potluck
 *Six Sister’s Stuff:  Strut Your Stuff Saturday
 *This Chick Cooks: Cooked Link Party
 *LambAround:  Not Baad Sunday 
 *Nifty Thrifty Things: Nifty Thrifty Sunday
 *Make-Ahead Meals for Busy Moms: Melt in Your Mouth Monday
 *Fresh from the Farm:  Homemade by You Monday
 *From Mess Hall to Bistro: Made From Scratch Tuesday 
 *All the Small Stuff: Tuesdays at the Table 
 *Blessed with Grace: Tempt My Tummy Tuesday 
 *Mandy’s Recipe Box: Recipe Roundup 
 *Dining with Debbie: What’s on the Menu Wednesday 

Recipe Review: Smothered Pork Chops

7 Jul
I found this recipe at Mel’s Kitchen Cafe and immediately knew that I was going to be giving it a try very soon.  I even added it to my Must Try Tuesday post.  There is nothing better in the world than walking into your house after church knowing that you have a crock pot full of yummy goodness.  As soon as you open your door the smell is so wonderful that you immediately know that this is going to be one tasty dinner.  We had a house full of company and not only was this dish so delightful, it was also easy to prepare.  We served it with mashed potatoes and spooned some of the gravy over the them.  Everyone enjoyed this recipe and it is definitely a keeper in our house and will be made for many Sunday dinners to come.
Smothered Pork Chops
(original recipe by Mel’s Kitchen Cafe)
5 slices bacon, chopped
6 bone-in pork loin chops, about 3/4-inch thick
Salt and Pepper
2 yellow onions, peeled, halved and sliced into 1/2-inch thick half moons
1 teaspoon plus 1 tablespoon light brown sugar
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons cold water
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon dried thyme
3 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 tablespoon soy sauce
2 bay leaves
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
In a large skillet over medium heat, fry bacon until lightly browned, about 5-6 minutes. Transfer bacon to a plate lined with paper towels, leaving the drippings in the pan. If you have more than 2 tablespoons drippings, drain the excess. If you don’t have quite that much, supplement with canola oil. When the bacon is cool, transfer to a small bag or tupperware and refrigerate until later.
Heat the skillet with the drippings over medium or medium-high heat until rippling and hot. Meanwhile, pat pork chops dry with paper towels and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook pork chops until they are golden brown on each side, about 2 minutes per side, cooking them in batches in the skillet if your skillet isn’t big enough to hold all six at a time in a single layer. When golden on each side, transfer the chops to the slow cooker and repeat with remaining pork.
Pour off all but 1 teaspoon of fat from the skillet; add onions, 1 teaspoon brown sugar, 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 cup water to empty skillet. Using a wooden spoon, scrape browned bits from bottom of the pan and cook over medium-high heat until onions are soft, about 4-6 minutes. Stir in garlic and thyme and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Pour onion mixture over chops in the slow cooker. Add broth, soy sauce and remaining 1 tablespoon brown sugar to skillet, bring to a boil and add bay leaves. Pour mixture over onions in slow cooker.
Cover slow cooker and cook on low until pork is tender, about 8 hours (or cook on high for 4 hours).
When ready to serve, carefully transfer chops to serving platter with a large spoon and tent with foil. Discard bay leaves and pour liquid through a mesh strainer into a saucepan, reserving the solids. Transfer solids to a food processor or blender with 1 cup liquid and blend until smooth. Stir the blended mixture back into remaining liquid in the saucepan. In a small bowl, mix cornstarch and remaining 2 tablespoons water together in a small bowl and stir into sauce. Cook over medium heat until thickened and bubbly, about 5 minutes. Stir in vinegar, season with salt and pepper, pour over chops and sprinkle with reserved bacon and parsley. Serve.

Recipe Review: Tagalong Cupcakes

15 May
I have been wanting to make these cupcakes for months.  This recipe comes from one of my favorite blogs, InsideBruCrew Life.  She has the most awesome recipes!  I saved back a box of Tagalongs with this recipe in mind.  Boy, I am so glad I did!  These were so so very good and my family has eaten them up.  I love the fact that they are made with a box cake mix…saved me some time.  If you have a box of Tagalongs stashed away somewhere, you must give these a try!
Tagalong Cupcakes

1 vanilla cake mix 

Tagalong Cookies (from your favorite Girl Scout)

Preheat oven to 350* Place liners in cupcake pan. Make up the cake mix according to the directions. Put 2 tablespoons of batter in each liner. Set a cookie on top of the batter in each liner and then finish filling the liner with batter. Fill it at least 3/4 of the way full. Bake 22-24 minutes. Let cool. Frost with Honey Peanut Butter Cream. Add sprinkles and eat!

Honey Peanut Butter Cream
1 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup peanut butter
2 tbsp water
2-4 tbsp honey
1 tsp vanilla
1/8 tsp salt
4 cup powdered sugar

Cream butter and peanut butter. Add the water, salt and vanilla and cream again. Slowly add the powdered sugar. After all the sugar is added, beat in another 1-2 tbsp water. Then beat in the honey until creamy. 


Recipe Review: Crock Pot Chicken Parmesan

9 Mar

When I came across Monster Mama’s post for Crock Pot Chicken Parmesan, I knew that I would be making it in the very near future.  In fact, I featured it on a Must Try Tuesday post.  I love when I can use my crock pot…it just makes getting dinner on the table on those hectic days, so much easier.  It also sounded like the perfect Sunday dinner.  After all, who doesn’t love the smell of a cooked meal after getting home from church? 

What makes this recipe unique, in my opinion, is that you don’t have to pan fry the chicken in the breading before adding it to the crock pot.  You simply dredge your uncooked breast in egg and bread crumbs and add it to the crock pot.  So super simple!

I made just a few changes to the recipe.  Instead of using a jar sauce, I used my roasted Roma tomatoes which made this dish out of the world good!  I also did not have mozzarella slices on hand so I used shredded.  I wish there was smell-a-vision!  My kids came in and out of the kitchen several times asking if dinner was ready because it smelled so good and they wanted the yummy goodness…lol!

I highly recommend this recipe to any and all…especially if you are looking for a hearty delicious meal that doesn’t require a lot of time!

Crock Pot Chicken Parmesan
(adapted from recipe at Monster Mama)

3-5 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

1/2 c Italian seasoned bread crumbs
1/2 c grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 egg beaten
1 cup shredded mozzarella
1 batch roasted Roma tomatoes (makes 6 cups, use more or less to your liking)

Drizzle olive oil all over bottom of the crock pot. In a medium bowl or shallow plate, beat egg. In another bowl or shallow plate, mix bread crumbs, spices and grated cheese together and set aside. Dip each chicken breast into egg and then dredge in your breadcrumb mixture, making sure to evenly coat all sides. Place coated chicken on the bottom of crock pot. Sprinkle mozzarella on top of the chicken and pour the roasted Roma tomatoes and sauce over the chicken breasts. Cover and cook on LOW for 6-7 hours.

Serve with over a bed of pasta.

Linked To:
 * Mandy’s Recipe Box:  Totally Tasty Tuesday
 * At the Well:  Tempt My Tummy Tuesday
 * It’s A Blog Party:  Delicious Dishes
 * All the Small Stuff:  Tuesdays at the Table
 * From Mess Hall to Bistro:  Made from Scratch Tuesday
 * Fudge Ripple:  Tuesday Night Supper Club
 * From My Tiny Kitchen:  Gold Star Wednesday
 * Life as Mom:  Ultimate Recipe Swap
 * Dining with Debbie:  What’s On the Menu Wednesday
 * It’s A Keeper:  It’s A Keeper Thursday
 * Prairie Story:  Recipe Swap Thursday
 * Miz Helen’s Country Cottage:  Full Plate Thursday
 * Mommy’s Kitchen:  Potluck Sunday
 * Six Sister’s Stuff: Strut Your Stuff Saturday