Roasted Red Pepper and Tomato Soup

Roasted Red Pepper and Tomato Soup
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Roasted Red Pepper and Tomato Soup

I love the autumn! The air is crisp, my lawn is covered with crunchy leaves, and sweaters are on.  This season is the best, and it has me totally craving soups!  I love how they warm you up, and as a busy mom… I love that they are a one pot dinner.   This Roasted Red Pepper and Tomato Soup is a fun twist on good old fashioned tomato soup.  It takes a little planning since you have to roast the veggies for an hour, but otherwise the soup comes together ultra fast.  I served it up with homemade sourdough bread my neighbor dropped by, and we ate the leftovers the next day with grilled cheese sandwiches.  Hope you enjoy!

Roasted Red Pepper and Tomato Soup
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1 medium onion, roughly chopped
  • 2 pounds tomatoes, quartered (can substitute 2 14.5 oz cans diced tomatoes)
  • 2 red peppers, deseeded and roughly chopped
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ cup chicken broth
  • ½ cup coconut milk (can substitute regular milk or cream)
  • ¾ teaspoon sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ⅛ teaspoon paprika
  • Optional: garnish with foccacia croutons (I get mine at Costco)
Instructions
  1. Place garlic, onion, tomatoes, and red peppers on a cookie sheet and cover with olive oil.
  2. Roast at 375 degrees for 1 hour.
  3. Remove from oven, and allow to cool.
  4. Transfer roasted vegetables to blender and blend until smooth.
  5. Add blended vegetables, broth, milk, salt, pepper, and paprika to medium saucepan and simmer for 20 minutes to enhance flavors.
  6. Garnish with foccacia croutons and serve.

Jack O’ Lantern Mandarin Orange Cups

Jack-O-Lantern Mandarin Cups2
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Jack-O-Lantern Mandarin Cups3

Today was my 4 year old’s preschool Halloween party, and I was supposed to bring a treat to the party.  I worked 12 hours yesterday, I had a doctor’s appointment this morning, I’m pregnant {enough said}, then I visited our dad in the hospital and let’s face it… sometimes there just isn’t time for a fabulous homemade treat, right?  These Jack O’ Lantern mandarin orange cups were so perfect for my busy morning!  They took  about 15 minutes to make, looked adorable, and were the healthiest thing on the treat table at the party.  I felt great about them.  And more importantly, the kids gobbled them up.  So if you have a busy day and a Halloween treat you need to provide tomorrow (or if you just want to make these spooktacular little fruit cups for fun) stop by the grocery store tonight and get out your sharpie to have some fun! And have such a HAPPY HALLOWEEN tomorrow!

Jack-O-Lantern Mandarin Cups2

Jack O’Lantern Mandarin Orange Cups
Submitted by  Mindy ~ The Sisters Cafe

Mandarin orange fruit cups
Permanent marker

Draw jack o’lantern faces on the top of each fruit cup, place in a big bowl, and serve!

Spooky Spider’s Nest 7-Layer {Plus} Dip

Spooky Spider Nest Dip
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Spooky Spider Nest Dip

Are you getting excited for Halloween?  I know we are!  We have our decorations out, most of our costumes bought, parties planned, and now we are just enjoying the anticipation of one of our favorite holidays.  That includes making lots of good Halloween food to my kids mixed fright and delight.  And this Spooky Spider ‘s Nest Dip may top the charts this year.  It is soooo good and so fast!  You could throw it together in 10-15 minutes if you have premade guacamole, which I usually keep on hand from Costco for just these occasions.  The dip tastes a lot like 7 layer dip, only better because of the extra ingredients.  And it is certainly in the spooky Halloween spirit!  A definite Go-To Halloween party recipe you’ll be using for years to come.

Spooky Spider's Nest 7-Layer {Plus} Dip
 
Ingredients
  • 1 (16 oz) can refried black beans
  • 1 (1¼ ounce) envelope taco seasoning
  • 1 (4 oz.) can diced green chilies, drained (or jalapeños if you like it hot)
  • 1 cup salsa
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 cup guacamole (If you don't have time to make it fresh, I like Wholly guacamole.)
  • 1½ cups shredded cheese
  • 2 green onions, sliced
  • 2 cups shredded lettuce
  • 1 cup chopped fresh tomato
  • 1 can jumbo olives
  • A couple large bags of tortilla chips
Instructions
  1. In a small mixing bowl, stir together the refried beans and taco seasoning.
  2. On a large tray or bowl, spread the beans in an even circular shape.
  3. Sprinkle green chilies over. Smooth salsa over. Smooth guacamole over.
  4. Place your sour cream in the end of a ziploc bag. Cut the corner off. Squeeze sour cream on top of guacamole in several concentric circles (or octagon shapes for a more authentic look). Using a knife or the handle of a fork, run lines lightly through the sour cream to make the web shape.
  5. Sprinkle lettuce in a circle around bean dip. Sprinkle tomatoes, green onions, and sliced olives over. Sprinkle cheese over.
  6. To make olive spider, cut one olive length wise (body) and place in center of the web.  Cut ⅓ off the end of another olive (head) and place at top of body.  Cut one more olive in half length wise, then cut each half into 4 strips length wise and arrange on each side of the body for legs.   (You can substitute a plastic spider ring if desired)  Serve with lots of tortilla chips!

Recipe adapted from: Divine Dinner Party

Chocolate Chip Zucchini Brownies

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CC Zucchini Brownies2

We are all nearing the end of the gardening season, and how many of you have oodles of zucchini laying around?  Or a gargantuan zucchini taking up way too much space in the fridge?  Have no fear.  I have the answer for you!  These Chocolate Chip Zucchini Brownies are moist, chocolatey, and delicious.  They are more of a cake-like brownie, and we liked them best a la mode.  If you need a few other ideas for using up that plethora of zucchini, here are a few of my other favorites: Grandma’s Zucchini Bread, Zucchini Tomato Bake, Zucchini Soup (also amazing with summer squash), Double Chocolate Zucchini Cake, or Chocolate Zucchini Bread. {In fact, I think I’ll make at least of these today, too!)

CC Zucchini Brownies

Chocolate Chip Zucchini Brownies
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • 1½ cups granulated sugar
  • ½ cup canola oil
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • ¼ cup cocoa
  • 2 cups shredded zucchini
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1½ teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Grease a 9 x 13 baking pan with cooking spray, set aside.
  3. In a stand mixer, combine sugar, canola oil, and flour, combine until mixture resembles wet sand.
  4. While mixing, on low, add cocoa, zucchini, vanilla extract, salt and baking soda.
  5. Mix until well combined.
  6. Stir in the chocolate chips.
  7. Pour brownie batter into prepared pan and bake for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean and the brownies are set.
  8. Cool on a wire rack.
  9. Cut brownies into squares and serve.

Recipe Source: two peas & their pod

Homemade J Dawgs Sauce

Homemade JDAWG Sauce
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Homemade JDAWG Sauce

This post is for my fellow Utah Valley J Dawgs addicts… no actually, it is definitely for the rest of you who haven’t been to Utah of late and therefore have no idea what you are missing in your hot dog eating life.  J Dawgs are all the rage around here.  Started by a BYU student in 2004 (sadly after my BYU days), these dawgs hit the ground running.  The secret is in the sauce, of course.  It is sweet and tangy.  And quite frankly, I can’t get enough of it.  I’ve never thought of myself as a hot dog person, but these are just amazing.  I also think their signature criss cross cutting of the hot dogs to maximize surface area for the sauce is brilliant.  I have not actually taste tested the homemade variety at the same time as the real stuff at the restaurant, but I think the homemade J Dawg sauce is a pretty darn good imitation of the real deal.  We had these as a family on the 4th of July, and I made them for girls’ camp this year, too.  A huge hit both times and super easy.  They are awesome with beef or polish dogs, too.  I like mine topped with pickles, onions, banana peppers, and sauerkraut.  Hope you like them, too!

Homemade J Dawgs Sauce
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • ¾ cup ketchup
  • ¾ cup brown sugar
  • ¼ cup honey
  • 1 teaspoon cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
Instructions
  1. Combine all ingredients in a sauce pan and heat until almost boiling.  Remove from heat, cool, and serve on grilled hot dogs.  Make sure to buy good quality buns - none of this wonder bread stuff.  And absolutely don't forget to make criss cross X's all down the dog before grilling to make sure you have plenty of surface area for the sauce!
  2. Serve with toppings:
  3. Pickles, onions, jalapeños, banana peppers, sauerkraut, yellow mustard.  (The restaurant also offers ketchup, celery salt, mayo, relish, and spicy brown mustard at special request)

Easy {and Amazing} Cinnamon Pull Apart Bread

Pull Apart Bread
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Pull Apart Bread (Oven)

Pull Apart Bread

One of my best friends made these  Cinnamon Pull Aparts years ago when we did a friend breakfast together.  They were so good.  She gave me the recipe, and I made it a few times… then I forgot about it.  You know how that happens sometimes? A few weeks ago, I randomly got a serious craving for this yummy Cinnamon Pull Apart Bread.  So I asked for the recipe again and rediscovered the goodness!  I made them as part of our Father’s Day breakfast, and they were a hit all around.  And so easy.  I just love easy!  Thanks Shelby!

PS My sisters and I will all be together in two weeks.  Can’t wait!  And there should be some good cooking going on around here.  So stay posted…

Easy {and Amazing} Cinnamon Pull Apart Bread
Author: 
 
*You can prepare the night before and keep in the fridge all night.  Pull the rolls out one hour before you want to cook to allow to raise. Recipe Source: Shelby Hales
Ingredients
  • 22-25 frozen rolls (Such as Rhodes)
  • 1 4.6oz box cook and serve vanilla pudding (not instant)
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon cinnamon
  • ¼ cup butter, melted
Instructions
  1. Place rolls in a greased bundt pan.
  2. In a separate bowl, combine pudding, brown sugar, and cinnamon.
  3. Sprinkle mixture over the rolls (If you have time, I like to partially thaw the rolls first -to make them sticky- and roll each one in the mixture to more evenly distribute the yumminess).
  4. Then drizzle melted butter over the top.
  5. Allow to raise for 1.5-2 hours* and bake at 350 for 30 minutes.
  6. Allow to cool, then turn upside down on a plate.

Patriotic White Chocolate Dipped Cones for the 4th of July

4th of July Dipped Cones
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4th of July Dipped Cones

These cute patriotic dipped cones were such an easy way to make the 4th of July more festive last year!  I’m getting excited to do it again.  They are super easy, can be made way ahead of time, and taste so yummy!  I sprinkled pop rocks on the kid’s cones, and they thought that was awesome. The perfect dessert for a hot summer night!

Patriotic White Chocolate Dipped Cones for the 4th of July
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • White Chocolate Chips (I like Guittard best)
  • Patriotic Sprinkles
  • Sugar or Waffle Cones
Instructions
  1. Pour white chocolate chips in a microwave safe bowl.
  2. Microwave at 50% power for 2 minutes.  Stir until the bowl is no longer warm.
  3. Then microwave at 30 second intervals at 50% power, stirring in between, until fully melted.
  4. Dip the cones in the white chocolate to desired depth.
  5. Then either spoon the sprinkles onto the cones or dip the cones in the sprinkles.
  6. Turn upside down and place on wax paper.
  7. Allow to set until firm ~ a few hours.
  8. When completely cooled and set, store in cool, dry place.
  9. To serve, top with ice cream and sprinkle with pop rocks if desired.  Enjoy!

Fresh Watermelon Cake {Literally}

Watermelon Cake2
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Watermelon Cake

 

Watermelon Cake 3

This cake is made out of watermelon… quite literally!  Topped with freshly whipped cream and garnished with colorful fruit, this cake is unique, beautiful, and delicious.  And I was surprised to find it pretty much satisfied my sweet tooth, too.  We celebrated my mom’s birthday a couple of weeks ago, and she requested no birthday cake.  No birthday dessert, not even a cookie.  Now that goes against the grain for me.  I mean, I am my mother’s daughter.  Although she apparently went on strike this year, I can’t remember a single birthday in our family up till this one that did not include cake, candles, and hearty birthday singing.  I couldn’t come to terms with no birthday cake… and that’s when it hit me.  I remembered seeing a watermelon shaped into a cake on pinterest months ago.  I didn’t even pin it, so I can’t tell you who’s idea it was.  But I made my own version of watermelon cake for my cherished mother’s birthday, and she loved it!  It was beautiful, yummy, and totally guilt free.  Not to mention the easiest birthday cake I have ever made. I’m thinking this is going to be a fun way to dress up barbecues this summer, girls’ brunches or luncheons, and definitely baby and bridal showers.

Fresh Watermelon Cake {Literally}
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • 1 watermelon, rind removed and cut into the shape of a cake
  • 1 cup whipping cream, whipped with ¼ cup powdered sugar and 1 tsp vanilla (double if you want to "frost" the whole watermelon cake)
  • fresh fruit to garnish
  • sliced almonds also look pretty

Kids in the Kitchen: Celery Fishing Poles and Gold Fish

Celery Fishing Pole and Goldfish
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Celery Fishing Pole and Goldfish

Cutest thing to watch my little guys giggling and “fishing” at snack time the other day.  And even better was when my 4 year old slowly munched his way through his celery stick!  Isn’t it funny how a lot of kids have such a hard time with textures and new foods?  I find myself encouraging, bargaining, and then threatening my own little eaters to get them to try new things.  So this snack was a major hit with me along with the little guys.  Anything that fills my kitchen with laughter AND accomplishes eating a new veggie is alright in my book.

Kids in the Kitchen: Celery Fishing Poles and Gold Fish
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • Celery, cut into sticks
  • Peanut Butter
  • Gold Fish Crackers
Instructions
  1. Sprinkle fish crackers on a plate.
  2. Spoon some peanut butter in a mound on the plate.
  3. Then use celery sticks to dip into the peanut butter, and go fishing!

Adapted from Creatively Blooming

Nutella Banana “Ice Cream”

Banana Nutella Ice Cream
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Banana Nutella Ice Cream

So I’ve been seeing these Nutella Banana Ice Cream recipes from time to time on pinterest and floating around on the internet.  I tried a version last year, and it was pretty darn good.  I got glowing reviews from the kiddos, and the adults who tried it liked it too.  So I tried it again last week with half the Nutella, and the popsicles I made were still absolutely yummy and had a strong Nutella flavor.  I doubt I’ll ever make this again with the full cup of Nutella.  The consistency is surprisingly close to ice cream, too.  You can totally scoop it.  And it worked beautifully in my popsicle forms as you can see.  Way healthier than eating Nutella out of the jar.  Oh wait, am I not supposed to admit that?  And I suppose it is way healthier than eating Nutella Ice Cream actually made with cream.  Oh who cares.  Nutella is divine.  And Nutella Banana Ice Cream is super good!  Period.

Nutella Banana "Ice Cream"
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • ½-1 cup Nutella (I like ½ cup)
  • 6 medium bananas
Instructions
  1. Combine Nutella and bananas into a blender or food processor until very smooth.
  2. Pour into freezer safe container or popsicle forms and freeze.
  3. Approximately four hours later, enjoy!

Chocolate Chip Lava Cookies

Chocolate Chip Lava Cookie
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Half Eaten CC Lava Cookie

These Chocolate Chip Lava Cookies are to die for!  Talk about taking cookies to the next level.  What is not to love about a warm chocolate chip cookie with a gooey chocolatey center topped with vanilla ice cream and hot fudge!  Heaven,  I tell you.  They were absolutely perfect 5 minutes out of the oven.  I used a DeMarle muffin pan, which was ideal since nothing sticks to it.  But I did another batch in a regular metal muffin tin just to try it, and the cookies all came out perfect except one after 10 minutes of cooling.  I served them for Family Home Evening later that night.  I wanted them to be warm and gooey again, so I popped each cookie into the microwave for about 15-20 seconds before topping it with ice cream.  The inside chocolate didn’t remelt, but it softened and the warm cookie with the ice-cream was still heavenly.  In fact, just typing up this post is making me want to make them again RIGHT NOW.

Chocolate in CC Lava Cookies

Chocolate Chip Lava Cookie

Chocolate Chip Lava Cookies
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • ½ cup (1 stick) butter, softened
  • ½ cup brown sugar, packed
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • ½ tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1¾ cups all purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 (11.5 oz) bag milk chocolate chips
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a standard size muffin tin with cooking spray. Place ½ cup chocolate chips in a Ziploc bag, and seal shut. Lay the Ziploc bag flat in the microwave, spreading out the chocolate chips in a single layer. Microwave for 2 minutes at 50% power. Remove bag and flip, microwaving for an additional 30 seconds until all the chips are melted. Set aside.
  2. With an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugars until light and fluffy, about 3-5 minutes. Add egg and vanilla and beat until well combined. Meanwhile, in a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, and baking soda. Add to the wet ingredients and beat on low speed until just combined. Add the remaining chocolate chips (just less than 1 cup) and stir to combine.
  3. Using half the cookie dough, scoop 1.5-2 tbsp of dough, flatten it out a bit, and place in the bottom of the muffin tin. Repeat for a total of 10-11 cookies. Cut a small tip in the corner of the Ziploc bag, and gently squeeze a layer of chocolate over the cookie. Scoop and flatten the remaining dough and place on top of the chocolate layer. Bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes, until the edges are just browned. Do not overcook, or the middle won't be gooey.  As soon as they come out of the oven, run a knife around the edges to make for easy removing later. Cool 5-10 minutes before removing from the muffin tin, running a knife around the edge to help loosen.  Serve with ice cream and hot fudge immediately.

Recipe Source: slightly adapted from Kevin & Amanda’s Recipes

Peanut Butter Cup Cookies

Peanut Butter Cup Cookies
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Peanut Butter Cup Cookies

Peanut Butter Cup Cookies 2

These are some of my favorite cookies.  Full of peanut-buttery goodness.  Easy to make. A crowd pleaser.  If I take them somewhere, I will never bring any of home.  I get blessed and cursed in turn for making them.  Blessed because they are amazing.  Cursed because no one can eat just one… or two… or three.

Peanut Butter Cup Cookies
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • 1 cup butter (2 sticks) room temperature
  • ⅔ cup peanut butter (crunchy or creamy - I like crunchy)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2  2/3 cup flour
  • 2 teaspoons soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 48 miniature Reese's peanut butter cups, unwrapped
Instructions
  1. Cream butter, peanut butter, sugar, brown sugar, eggs and vanilla together until smooth. Combine flour, soda and salt and add to butter mixture.
  2. Form dough into 1-inch balls and place in mini muffin pan (leave in balls; do not press down.)
  3. Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes.  Just cook until they start to brown, and then take them out.   Immediately press a miniature peanut butter cup into the cookie until top is even with the top of the cookie.  Let cookies cool in pan for at least 10 minutes before transferring.

Dijon, Maple and Brown Sugar Pork Tenderloin

Maple and Brown Sugar Pork Tenderloin
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Maple and Brown Sugar Pork Tenderloin

This is such a unique pork tenderloin recipe.  I love the combination of flavors.  The maple, brown sugar, dijon mustard, and honey really compliment each other with underlying hints of balsamic, garlic and thyme.  What an unlikely group of ingredients, right?  But guess what?  They work.  They more than work.  This recipe is fabulous!  I changed the cooking time to 6-7 hours, because in my experience the 7-9 hours that is recommended for crockpot recipes makes pork tenderloin dry and little overcooked.  I also prefer sauces and gravies thickened with flour, so I used flour instead of cornstarch.  We invited my parents over for dinner the night we had this roast, and we got rave reviews from all.  Definitely a recipe I will be making again and again.

Dijon, Maple and Brown Sugar Pork Tenderloin
Author: 
 
*Never add flour directly to your drippings/juices as this can cause lumpy sauces/gravy.
Ingredients
  • 2 lbs pork tenderloin (I used 2 that were about 1 pound each)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • ¼ cup Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar (or cider vinegar works too)
  • ½ teaspoon dried leaf thyme, crumbled
  • flour and cold water for thickening juices into sauce (or 1 tablespoon cornstarch and 1 tablespoon water)
Instructions
  1. Sprinkle tenderloins lightly with salt and pepper.
  2. Place pork in a slow cooker sprayed with non-stick cooking spray.
  3. Combine garlic, maple syrup, mustard, honey, brown sugar, vinegar, and thyme; pour over the pork. Turn pork to coat thoroughly.
  4. Cover and cook on LOW for 6-7 hours, or on HIGH for 3 to 4 hours.
  5. Remove pork to a plate, cover with foil, and keep warm.
  6. Pour the juices into a saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat.
  7. Combine flour and cold water; whisk a little at a time into the juices and stir until thickened.  I usually start with 2-3 tablespoons of flour in ½-1 cup of cold water.  I just add until the sauce is the right thickness depending on the amount of juices/dripping being used.  Don't worry if you don't use all of the flour/water*.
  8. Serve the pork sliced with the thickened juices.  (If desired, use conrstarch instead of flour.
  9. Combine the cornstarch and cold water; whisk into the reduced juices and cook for 1 minute longer. Serve over pork as directed).

Recipe adapted from: Six Sisters’ Stuff

Cinnamon Syrup

Cinnamon Syrup
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Cinnamon Syrup

I adore breakfast.  I adore it in the morning.  And I adore it in evening.  I adore it for lunch even.  And why do I adore breakfast?  Mainly because of the syrup.  Syrup is like frosting – an amazing cake can be totally ruined by a horrible frosting.  On the other hand, if you have a stellar frosting… an amazing cake becomes out-of-this-world great, right? The same goes for syrup.  Our all time favorite at The Sisters Cafe is Coconut Syrup -suffice it to say I am tempted to lick my plate when I serve it. But we have some other favorites, too, like: Strawberry Syrup, Wonderful Berry Syrup, and Blueberry Syrup.  The newest in our retinue is Cinnamon Syrup, which I am now a HUGE fan of.  At first I only ate it on pumpkin waffles/pancakes and applesauce pancakes, which it compliments perfectly by the way.  But I’ve found myself branching out to other recipes like these lately.  And you know what?  This little syrup can stand on its own two feet.

Cinnamon Syrup
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • ½ cup (1 stick) butter
  • ¾ cup buttermilk
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
Instructions
  1. Place butter, buttermilk and sugar in a pot over medium heat.
  2. Stir until butter melts and sugar dissolves.
  3. Bring to a boil, and boil one minute.
  4. Remove from heat and add baking soda and cinnamon.
  5. It will bubble up; just continue to stir and give it a few minutes for the ‘fizz’ to reduce before serving.

Peep Smores

Peeps on smores
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Peeps on smores

Smooshed Peeps Smores

Last Saturday was sunny, warm and brimming with cute little boys running around my backyard.  It was one of the first warm days this year, and all that sun was making us giddy.  I stopped and watched those happy little buddies playing hard together, and I thought, “Those cutie pies deserve a treat.”  So in keeping with Easter coming up (which they remind me is coming almost daily), I surprised them with Peep Smores!  I gave the boys the treats topless so they could delight in smooshing the warm, gooey marshmallow with the top graham.  And this is what I got…

Boys eating Peeps Smores Happier boys if that was even possible!  It was totally worth the very sticky little faces and hands that had to get wiped down later.  And the best part?  This treat took about 1 minute to make – almost literally.  Oh, and I felt like a pretty super mommy/aunt, too.

Peep Smores
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • Peep Marshmallows
  • Graham Crackers
  • Hershey's Chocolate Bars
Instructions
  1. Place three bars of chocolate onto each half graham cracker.
  2. Separate the Peeps and place on a plate.
  3. Microwave about 10 seconds (you may have to experiment with one as all microwaves are a little different - Peeps should be slightly enlarged and soft, but still firm enough to transfer).
  4. Transfer the Peeps on top of the chocolate and graham.
  5. Then top with a half graham cracker and smoosh!

Greek Quinoa with Avocados

Greek Quinoa with Quinoa
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Greek Quinoa with Quinoa

This is such a great quinoa salad.  It is packed with nutrient rich ingredients and full of flavor.  Perfect for the sunny spring days we’ve been having this week!  You could even add some diced or shredded chicken and make a meal out of it.  Either way you’ll love it!

Greek Quinoa with Avocados
Submitted by Mindy ~ The Sisters Cafe

1/2 cup uncooked quinoa
1 cup water
2 Roma tomatoes, finely chopped
1/2 cup shredded fresh spinach
1/3 cup finely chopped red onion
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 small avocados (or 1 large avocado), pitted, peeled, and sliced (or diced)
1/3 cup crumbled feta cheese

Bring quinoa and water to a boil in a small saucepan. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 15 minutes, or until liquid is absorbed. In a medium bowl, stir together quinoa, tomatoes, spinach, and onion. In a small bowl, whisk together lemon juice, oil, and salt. Mix with quinoa. Place on plates with avocado slices and quinoa (or just dice the avocado and sprinkle it over the top). Sprinkle with feta. Makes 4 servings.

Recipe Source: Fitness Magazine May 2009

Thai Coconut Lime Soup

Thai Coconut Lime Soup
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Thai Coconut Lime Soup

This Thai Coconut Lime Soup is one of my new favorite soups.  It’s so good!  I would say it is in my top five favorite soups ever.  My cousin’s wife made it for a party several months ago, and it was love at first taste.  I can’t stop making it now (nor do I want to stop).  There is some chopping involved -which is the bane of soups, but after the chopping is over, the soup comes together incredibly quick.  Especially if you buy the rotisserie chicken, which I highly recommend.  I made it with shredded chicken breasts once, and it was still good… but much better with the rotisserie.  And just wait till you try the limey Thai coconut flavors accented with cilantro.  Your taste buds will love you.  It’s just amazing.  Do yourself a favor a try it!

Thai Coconut Lime Soup
Submitted by Mindy ~ The Sisters Cafe

1 can coconut milk
5 cans (~ 7 1/2 cups) chicken stock or broth (I’ve used bouillon with good results, too)
3 large carrots, sliced
1 green bell pepper, sliced into long strips
1 red bell pepper, sliced into strips
1 yellow bell pepper, sliced into long strips
1 whole rotisserie chicken, shredded
1/4-1/2 cup lime juice (2-3 medium limes juiced) – to taste
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon thai green curry paste (more to taste)
1/2 teaspoon yellow curry powder (again more if you like Curry, but no more than 1 tsp)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1-6 ounce package chow mein noodles
Large bunch cilantro, chopped
4-5 green onions, chopped
*If you want it to be spicier, you could add some cayenne pepper to taste

In large pot, add chicken stock and coconut milk. Bring to light boil, then add carrots and bell peppers. Cook on light boil for 5 minutes on medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium. Add shredded chicken, lime juice, soy sauce, green curry paste, curry, salt, pepper, and garlic powder.  Cook for 5 minutes. Carrots should not be too soft, they should have a little bit of crunch left.  Reduce heat to low and add noodles. Cover with lid and let the noodles absorb liquid. Once the noodles are al dente (about 5 minutes or so), the soup is done! Add your green onions and fresh cilantro 5 minutes before serving. Enjoy!

 

Recipe adapted from Cole’s Cafe

Avocado Feta Salsa

Avocado Salsa
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Avocado Salsa

I am pining for summer!  Who’s with me?  I saw this avocado salsa dip on pinterest, and I thought with all those fresh herbs it must taste like summer.  I was right!  I sat close to the window with winter sunlight streaming in and imagined I was sitting at the patio table eating fresh herbs and tomatoes from my garden.  It wasn’t quite the same (especially since I was wearing fleece pants at the time), but it was a nice day dream all the same.  Who says salsa can’t be comfort food,right?

So I want to know.  What do you eat when you are pining for summer?  Or maybe I am the only one who recreates summer in a bowl to get my sunshine fix!

PS This only makes a few cups of salsa, so if you are making it for a crowd you better make more!

Avocado Feta Salsa
Submitted by Mindy ~ The Sisters Cafe

2 roma tomatoes
2 tablespoons red onion chopped (sweet onion is great too)
1 tablespoon fresh oregano, chopped (Can substitute 1 teaspoon dry oregano)
1 tablespoon fresh cilantro, chopped
1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
2 small avocados, chopped (or one large avocado)
1 clove of garlic, minced
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
Dash of lime juice
1/2 cup feta cheese, crumbled

Combine all ingredients, adding the feta last.  Toss and refrigerate at least 2 hours.

 

Adapted from: Tastebook