Tuesday, September 27, 2011

3 Cowboy Caviar

If you missed my guest post on Robin's Nest a couple of weeks ago, here it is! :-)

I am so jealous that Robin is living in Scotland right now because it is one of my most favorite places! In college, I studied in London for a summer and spent a couple days in Scotland. 
We went to the Edinburgh and saw the Military Tatoo which was incredible! 
And on a whim, we decided to take a train to the Loch Ness and camp out on the banks of the historic lake. 
First we ran to Blacks and stocked up on thick socks, warm sleeping bags, and "midge" spray. In my opinion, the Scots are one of the friendliest people in the world and we headed to the train fully loaded with advice and supplies!
The train ride from Edinburough to the Loch Ness was absolutely breaktaking and I could not get some much needed sleep because my face was glued to the window taking in all of the sights! :-) 
And then, we got to the Loch Ness
and it was breath taking. . . 
We quickly saw Castle Urquhart
and then set everything up for the night! The sunset was amazing and I remember just reveling at God's incredible creation! 
We even saw Nessie. . . don't you see the ripple in the water? ;-)
Since Scotland was so hospitable to me, I wanted to share some "Texas cuisine" with y'all! Texans LOVE queso, dips, appetizers and basically anything you can eat with chips! 
So today I am sharing Cowboy Caviar!
The best thing about a dip like this is that you can add or take out any ingredients that you please! Enjoy!
Cowboy Caviar
1 can corn  - drained
1 can black beans - drained
1 can black eyed peas - drained (I used fresh black eyed peas. Directions below)
1/2 green pepper - diced
1/2 red pepper - diced
1 bunch green onions - chopped
1 container grape or cherry tomatoes - cut in halves
(My personal preference is to add avocado before serving!
Mix packet of Good Seasons Italian Dressing according to package directions. (I omitted this)
Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and pour dressing over top.  Can be served immediately, but marinating overnight is recommended.
Recipe from: Shabby Nest
If using fresh black eyed peas, soak overnight in a bowl full of water. Then pour black eyed peas into a pot and simmer on low-medium for 2 1/2 to 3 hours or whenever the beans are tender.
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Monday, September 26, 2011

7 Bacon Wrapped Chicken

 These bites of yumminess could be a dinner or a lovely appetizer when friends come over! (they would also make the perfect item to bring to a football party!) I made them a couple of weeks ago and Nate and I both loved them! :-)
Bacon Wrapped Chicken
6 boneless skinless chicken breast halves
1 (8 oz) carton whipped cream cheese with onion and chives
6 bacon strips
Flatten chicken to 1/2 inch thickness (or slice into strips) and spread 3 tablespoons cream cheese over each piece. Dot with butter and a little salt. Roll up and wrap each with 1 bacon strip. Place seam side down in greased 9x13 inch baking dish and bake uncovered at 375 for 40 to 45 min or until juices run clear. To brown broil 6 inches from heat for about 3 min or until bacon is crisp.
The Best 1001 Short Easy Recipes
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Sunday, September 25, 2011

3 Buttermilk Banana Pecan Pancakes

 This weekend was a whirlwind. . . I catered a brunch for 30, so I dropped off the food Saturday morning and then drove to Galveston with a friend to run in Beach Palooza! Beach Palooza is very similar to the Warrior Dash, Nate and I ran in earlier this year. . . but in sand! 
 Needless to say, tonight, I wanted to make an easy dinner. . . So, I made Buttermilk Banana Pecan Pancakes annndddd. . . Nate LOVED them!
Buttermilk Banana Pecan Pancakes
Makes 12 small pancakes (serves 2-3) 
1 cup whole wheat flour
1½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
¼ tsp salt
1 cup buttermilk
¾ cup egg whites (about 5 or 6)
½ tsp pure vanilla extract
2 very ripe bananas (about 1 cup)
30g pecans, toasted lightly and chopped (I used 1 cup)
In a bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In another bowl, mash bananas and whisk in the buttermilk, egg whites and vanilla. Whisk the dry ingredients into the liquid until well combined. Fold in the toasted pecans.
Heat a non-stick pan over moderate heat. Working in batches, drop ¼ cup measures of batter onto pan to form pancakes and cook until bubbles appear on surface and undersides are golden brown, about 1 minute. Flip pancakes with a non-metal spatula and cook until undersides are golden brown and pancakes are cooked through, about 1 minute.
Garnish with 0% fat Greek yogurt or low fat cottage cheese, chopped pecans and a drizzle of honey or maple syrup
Introduced to by Young Married Chic; Recipe by  The Healthy Foodie 
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Thursday, September 22, 2011

3 Heath Bar Cupcakes with Buttercream Frosting and Chocolate Ganache

These cupcakes might be Nate's most favorite of all time. . .they combine heath bars (which is his favorite candy bar), with cupcakes and icing. . . In his eyes, it doesn't get much better than that! :-)
I hope y'all are having a wonderful week!

Heath Bar Cupcakes with Buttercream Frosting and Chocolate Ganache 
For the Cupcakes
1 (18.25 ounce) package devil’s food cake mix 
1 (5.9 ounce) package instant chocolate pudding mix
1 cup sour cream
1 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs, lightly beaten
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract 
1 cup Heath English Toffee Bits
For the Buttercream
4 sticks unsalted butter, softened
pinch of fine grain sea salt
1 tablespoon clear vanilla extract
2 pounds confectioners’ sugar, sifted
4-6 tablespoons heavy cream or milk
For the Ganache
4 oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped into very small pieces
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
2 teaspoons vanilla
5 1.4-ounce Heath Bars, chopped into large pieces
For the Cupcakes
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line muffin tin with paper liners or spray with non-stick cooking spray.
2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat together the cake and pudding mixes, sour cream, oil, eggs, and vanilla. Beat for about two minutes on medium speed until well combined. Fold in Heath English Toffee Bits.
3. Using a large cookie scoop, distribute the batter between 24 muffin wells; about 3 tablespoons of batter per well.
4. Bake in preheated oven for 18-22 minutes or until the tops of the cakes spring back when lightly touched. Allow cupcakes to cool inside muffin tins for about 10 minutes.
5. Remove cupcakes from muffin tins and allow to fully cool on a wire rack. Once cupcakes are cool, prepare your frosting.
For the Buttercream
1. In a large mixing bowl, cream butter until fluffy. Slowly add in confectioner’s sugar, and continue creaming until well blended.
2. Add salt, vanilla, and 3 tablespoons of heavy cream or milk. Blend on low speed until moistened. Add an additional 1 to 3 tablespoons of heavy cream or milk until you reach the desired consistency. Beat at high speed until frosting is smooth and fluffy.
For the Ganache
1. In a small saucepan over medium heat, warm the heavy cream until very hot, but not boiling.
2. Place chocolate pieces in a heat safe bowl. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate and allow it to sit for about 5 minutes. Whisk the cream and chocolate until smooth and thoroughly combined. Whisk in the honey, corn syrup, and vanilla. Allow to cool for about 15 minutes. Do not let the glaze sit for too long or it will harden up before you spoon it over the frosting.
3. Spoon the glaze on the tops of the frosted cupcakes, allowing it to drip down the sides a little bit. Don’t add too much glaze or it will drip all over your liners.
4. Top each cupcake with a piece of Heath Bar.
5. Store cupcakes in the refrigerator. Remove them to room temperature one hour before serving.
My Baking Addiction 
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Sunday, September 18, 2011

11 Minion Cupcakes

I have had my eye on these cupcakes I found on Pinterest ever since two cute boys would not stop quoting Dispicable Me during dinner! 
And they were SO excited when I brought these treats to their house today! 
Minion Cupcakes
Vanilla Cake Mix (and ingredients on back)
White Icing
Black gel icing
Make cupcakes according to box. Let cupcakes cool and then ice. Cut twinkies in half and put a dot of icing where eyes should go. Place white smarties on top of dot and then using black gel icing outline smarties and draw glasses, pupils, and a smile! (Looking back, I would have used black cupcake liners!) 
Recipe based on  Pluky Momo 
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Wednesday, September 14, 2011

3 Mexican Breakfast Eggs

Nate loves breakfast . . . so when I need a quick and easy dinner on busy school nights, I just cook him breakfast! These Mexican Breakfast Eggs give your regular eggs a little pizazz but aren't as complex as Migas!
Mexican Breakfast Eggs
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter
9 eggs
3 tablespoons milk
5 tablespoons salsa
1 cup crushed tortilla chips
Melt butter in skillet
In bowl, beat eggs and add milk and salsa
Pour egg mixture into skillet and stir until eggs are lightly cooked
Stir in tortilla chips and serve hot.
The Best 1001 Short, Easy Recipes
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Thursday, September 8, 2011

0 Guest Post on Robin's Nest

Today, I am guest blogging at Robin's Nest! Jump over there for a great Texas appetizer and stay a while to find out about Robin's life in Scotland! 

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Tuesday, September 6, 2011

6 Fire and Peanut Butter Cookies

Nate used to live in the outskirts of Houston. . . and one of our friends took this picture last night. . .
Last night, Nate's old street had to evacuate. Luckily, nothing has happened to the houses on that street, but I am in such prayer for our friends and his old neighbors. 
After Ike, half of my family went to stay with Nate because he had a generator and was prepared (typical! ;-). . . his whole street banded together to help. . . I would bake and make ICE cold sweet tea, Nate's house provided a place to cool down in, we gave a smaller generator to a neighbor who is a police officer so when he did come home (which wasn't often those two weeks) he would have a cool place to sleep, and we chopped down fallen trees, picked up limbs and leaves, and "rebuilt" the landscape of his neighborhood. . . and because of Ike, we met two families that we became so close to, they were not only invited to our wedding, but our rehearsal dinner, as well.
So it is very hard to sit in the heart of Houston and not race up there to help. Late last night, Nate asked me to bake cookies to take to the first responder . . . 
so I chose Peanut Butter Cookies.
{Please pray for rain.}

Irresistible Peanut Butter Cookies
3/4 c Jif Creamy Peanut Butter
1 1/4 c firmly packed brown sugar
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1 3/4 c All Purpose Flour
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 stick Crisco All Vegetable Sticks
3 tbsp milk
1 egg
3/4 tsp baking soda 
Heat oven to 375 degrees. Combine peanut butter, shortening, brown sugar, milk and vanilla in large bowl. Beat at medium speed of electric mixer until well blended. Add egg. Beat just until blended. Combine flour, baking soda and salt. Add to creamed mixture at low speed. Mix just until blended. Drop by rounded tablespoons of dough 2 inches apart onto baking sheet. Flatten slightly in a crisscross pattern with tines of fork. Bakes one baking sheet at a time for 7 to 8 minutes or until set and just beginning to brown. Cool 2 minutes on baking sheet. Remove cookies to cooling racks to cool completely. Makes 3 dozen cookies. 
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Saturday, September 3, 2011

0 Pigs in a Blanket

Football season has started with a huge win by my Baylor Bears and we are excited about A&M's game on Sunday! Fall is officially here and I am so looking forward to cooler weather, pumpkin recipes, hunting, and spending this season celebrating my brother and soon to be sister in law! 
If you don't live in Texas, you really might not understand how football is king in our state. Believe me, baseball is America's past time and my personal favorite sport but football is THE Texas sport. It is indoctrinated into boys heads when they are young to love football, families spend time around the TV or traveling to root for their favorite college team and little girls anticipate being cheerleaders one day. I have to admit, cheering along the sidelines of my high school Alma Mater was something I will never forget! A literal experience of a lifetime!
Somehow the whole 7th grade football team has ended up in my 8th period (that is a bit of an exaggeration, but it feels like it!) . Imagine loud, burly, HUGE boys barreling into my room talking about practicing in the Texas heat in full pads. When they don't settle down. . . the ultimate threat is, "Do you want me to call your coach?" But, truth be told, I absolutely ADORE them. . . and they know it! :-)
I have posted multiple "football" food ideas on Elizabeth Ann's Recipe Box and guest blogged on Holy Turf numerous times, but I had to add another one today! The fall is busy. . . school has started up and towards the end of football season Thanksgiving and Christmas are on your mind. So many times you don't have as much time as you would like to give to thinking about food for football parties at your house. . . So here you go. . . Pigs in a Blanket. . . addicting, easy, and takes all of 1 minute to prepare! 
I hope you have a wonderful Labor Day, whether you are soaking up the sun, hunting, or watching football! 

Pigs in a Blanket 
1 package cocktail smokie weenies  
1 can crescent rolls  
Place little smokies on paper towel lined plate. Open can of crescent rolls and separate them into triangles. Cut each triangle into five pieces. Wrap each piece around a smoke and place on an ungreased baking sheet. Bake at 375 for 10-12 minutes. Makes about 40
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Thursday, September 1, 2011

8 Praising Him through our tears. .

One of my dear friends lost her baby yesterday. . 
she will never meet her little one until she gets to Heaven. . . 
but oh, what a reunion that will be. . . 
with the angels rejoicing . . .
Mother and Child together again. 
But until you can hold your baby, sweet friend. . . 
Addison will be in the most loving arms of all  . . . HIS

"I find beauty in not only the beautiful things in life, but the bittersweet and sad as well. To me, there is something poignantly lovely about the human experience from its splendor to its grief. God created all our emotions, not just the happy ones, and for His good purposes. That's why a good cry can feel so good. And hitting our limits forces us to look outside ourselves for a Savior. It is in the plea, when we're at our end, that we can find that which is truly life-giving. Personally, my moments of deepest grief, deepest pain, have resulted in the most beautiful seasons in my heart. I've met God more intimately in those moments than in all the other pleasant ones combined. What isn't completely lovely about that?" ~ The Wiegands

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4 Camo Cupcakes

Happy Opening Day of Hunting Season! :-) 
(at least to us here in the North and Central zones of Texas!)
Labor Day weekend for hunters is not celebrated at the beach or the lake but on peanut and sunflower fields in the hot Texas sun! 
So in honor of Opening Day. . .
I made some Camo Cupcakes!
Camo Cupcakes 
1 box of Devils Food Cake Mix 
3 eggs
1/2 cup of vegetable oil
1 large container of chocolate icing 
1 large container of white icing 
green food coloring
Make the cupcakes according to the directions on the box. After they have cooled, mix your white icing with green food coloring and then put both the green icing and the chocolate icing in your "icing pump" alternating them (one spoonful of green, one spoonful of chocolate, etc) Ice the cupcakes and stick them in the fridge! That way when your hunter comes home, he has a cold, camo treat waiting on him! :-)
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