Saturday, February 25, 2012

Caramel Banana Bread Muffins with a Spiced Crumb Topping

I lovingly call these little gems "muffins," but they are probably just cupcakes sans icing.  If I call them muffins, then it validates them as a sound breakfast choice.  I ate two for breakfast ... hey, they're made with bananas.  I used my favorite banana bread muffin recipe, added chopped caramels to the batter, and topped the topping with caramel sauce.  See?  Totally legit breakfast. ha
Best dishes and yummy dreams!


Caramel Banana Bread Muffins with a Spiced Crumb Topping
Adapted from: Lisa Kreft via

1 1/2 c. flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
3 mashed, ripe bananas
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 c. prepared banana pudding
1/2 c. organic white sugar
1 egg, beaten
1/3 c. melted butter
5 caramels, chopped

1/3 c. packed brown sugar
2 tbsp. flour
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1 tbsp. butter

Optional: caramel sauce

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
1.  In a small bowl, combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
2.  In another bowl, mix mashed bananas, vanilla, pudding, sugar, egg, melted butter, and caramels.
3.  Mix the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. 
4.  Pour the mixture into lined muffin tins.
5.  Mix together the brown sugar, flour, cinnamon, and nutmeg.  Cut in the tbsp. of butter until everything is thoroughly mixed (smash with a fork). 
6.  Pour the topping mixture on top of the muffin batter.
7.  Bake on 375 for 15 minutes.
8.  Drizzle with caramel sauce and enjoy!

If you enjoyed this recipe, I'd love for you to "like" my Facebook page, pin my pictures, subscribe to my feed, or follow me on GFC!  Thanks a million!  xoxo

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Meatless Meals: Spicy Bean Burritos

I'd love to start doing one meatless day each week.  Not only does it save money, but I feel like our society regularly eats too much meat ... especially red meat.   Bean burritos are so easy to make, they're packed with protein, and even seem pretty meaty.
Best dishes and yummy dreams!


Spicy Bean and Rice Burritos

1 15-oz. can pinto beans
1 15-oz. can black beans
1/2 can medium-spiced Rotel
1 tsp. minced chipotle in adobo sauce
2 cloves garlic, grated
3/4 c. vegetable broth
1/2 c. salsa
1 c. rice - prepared with 1 tbsp. lime juice and 1 tbsp. cilantro
shredded cheddar

1-2 tbsp. olive oil

sour cream

1.  In a sauce pan, combine beans, Rotel, chipotle, garlic, taco seasoning, broth, and salsa.
2.  Simmer until mixture thickens.
3.  Place the mixture in a tortilla, add rice and cheese into the burrito and wrap.

4.  Heat the olive oil in a pan.
5.  Toast the burritos until the tortilla is crunchy, repeat after flipping. 
6.  Top with optional topping ingredients.

Thanks for reading, loves xo

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Honey Soy Chicken with Mango Rice

Chicken, chicken, and more chicken.  That's our thing around here - we really only eat red meat about once a week.  As crazy as it sounds, I never get tired of chicken.  Especially with amazing recipes like this one.  My mom made this recipe from a Woman's Day cookbook and I had to "steal" it to share with you all.  It's my favorite chicken dish - you will love, love love.
Best dishes and yummy dreams!


Honey Soy Chicken with Mango Rice
Adapted from:  Woman's Day:  Monday Night is Chicken - Eat Well Cookbook of Meals in a Hurry
Copyright 2008

Chicken Ingredients:
1 package of chicken tenderloins, or breasts cut into strips (1.5-2 pounds)
1/4 c. flour
1/2 tsp. each of salt and pepper
1 tbsp. olive oil

Sauce Ingredients:
1 c. chopped onion
1 tbsp. chopped garlic
1 tbsp. freshly grated ginger
2 cinnamon sticks
1/2 c. honey
1/4 c. reduced-sodium soy sauce
1/2 c. water

Rice Ingredients:
2 c. jasmine rice
3 c. chicken broth
1/2 c. diced mango
(I use frozen organic mango that I defrost)
3 diced scallions

Preparing the Chicken:
1.  Heat the oil in a pan.
2.  Combine the flour, salt, and pepper in a plastic Ziploc bag.
3.  Toss the chicken into the bag and coat.  
4.  Place the chicken in the pan and lightly brown each side, but do not cook through.
5.  Remove the chicken a set aside as you prepare the sauce. 

Preparing the Sauce:
1.  In the same pan, saute the onion until tender.
2.  Add the garlic, ginger, and cinnamon sticks.
3.  Add the honey, soy sauce, and water and stir until the honey dissolves.
4.  Add the chicken into the pan and simmer for abut 10 minutes until the chicken cooks through. 

Preparing the Rice:
1.  Bring the broth to a boil and add the rice, diced mango, and scallions.

Place the rice on a plate, top with chicken, and then extra sauce!

If you enjoyed this recipe, I'd love for you to like my Facebook page, pin my pictures, subscribe to my feed, or follow me on GFC!  Thanks a million!  xoxo

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Fab Friday Finds #4

Happy Friday!  I unknowingly created a little theme for this week's finds.  My sweet tooth has taken over, but my healthy side is trying to inch its way in.  I pinned some really yummy fruity sweets this week - enjoy!
Best dishes and yummy dreams!


By:  Formal Fringe

These are unbelievable soaked in rum and covered in dark chocolate too, yumm!  Great Valentine's Day treat!

By:  Oh Party!

I love kiwi - what could be better than a chocolate-covered kiwi pop?  I think my little lady would love these too.  Can't wait to make them!

Found by:

Strawberries and frozen yogurt.... hello delicious morning snack!

Photos were found via Pinterest by Little Mommy, Big Appetite

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Baked Scallops with Spinach Mushroom Alfredo

So, my goal was to find a yummy, and healthy scallop recipe for a friend.  Yummy?  Yes.  Healthy?  Not so much ... but hey, it could be worse.  I lightened up the alfredo, but what's a scallop dish without butter?  This is the perfect recipe for a little date night!  Best dishes and yummy dreams!


Baked Scallops with Spinach Mushroom Alfredo
Baked Scallops adapted from:  John Bragg 
Alfredo sauce:  Little Mommy 

3 tbsp. melted butter
1 lb. bay scallops
1/2 c. panko bread crumbs
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. paprika
1 tsp. dried parsley
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 c. grated parmesan

Spinach Mushroom Alfredo Sauce
1 tbsp. unsalted butter
1 tbsp. flour
2 c. chicken stock, or seafood stock
1/2 - 1 c. 1% milk
1 clove minced garlic
1 tsp. pepper
1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
1 tsp. parsley
sautéed mushrooms and spinach

Preparing the dish:
1.  Set the oven to 400 degrees.
2.  Mix the bread crumbs, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, parsley, minced garlic, and parmesan in a small bowl.  
3.  Place the melted butter in a 2 quart baking dish.
4.  Place the scallops in the baking dish and top them with the bread crumb mixture.
5.  Bake for 20 minutes.

1.  In a sauce pan, melt the tbsp. of butter and stir in the flour.  
2.  Once thoroughly combined, pour in 1 c. chicken stock and allow the sauce to simmer and thicken.
3.  Pour the milk, the rest of the chicken stock, and spices into the sauce.  Add the sautéed mushrooms and spinach.  
4.  Allow the mixture to heat through, then pour over noodles and top with scallops. 

If you enjoyed this recipe, I'd love for you to like my Facebook page, subscribe to my feed, pin my pictures, or follow me on GFC.  Thanks a million!  xoxo

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Oven "Fried" Potato Crisps

I love these.  They're so simple.  There's nothing better than a fried potato... except when you make something that tastes just as good, but is a little healthier.  My little girl is a huge fan ... me too!
Best dishes and yummy dreams!


Oven "Fried" Potato Crisps

3 washed Russet potatoes
1/4 c. olive oil
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. garlic powder
2 tsp. parsley
1/2 tsp. pepper
1/2 tsp. paprika

1.  Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
2.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and mix the spices together in a small bowl.
3.  Thinly slice the potatoes and line them up on the baking sheet.

4.  Brush one side of the slices with olive oil, then evenly sprinkle the spice mixture on top.

5.  Turn the potatoes over, brush them with olive oil, and top with the spice mixture.
(You may have extra spices left over in the bowl.)

6.  Bake for 10 minutes, then turn the potatoes over and continue cooking for 5-10 minutes.  Watch them to make sure that they do not burn!

If you enjoyed this recipe, I'd love for you to "like" my Facebook page, pin my pictures, subscribe to my feed, or follow me on GFC!   Thanks a million!  xoxo

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Crazy Cooking Challenge: Buckeye Cake

I'm not a baker by any stretch of the imagination... notice my lack of a cake stand and the absence of any ability to ice a cake in a "cute-sy" manner.  All I can say is thank goodness the recipe called for a chocolate peanut butter glaze to be poured over the top.  But, it really didn't even matter that I'm not a skilled baker... I followed this delicious recipe by Buns in My Oven and I'd pretty much eat this cake off of the floor (no matter what it looked like).
Love this.  Loooooovvvve this.


Best dishes and yummy dreams!


Buckeye Cake 
By:  Buns In My Oven 

           Peanut Butter Cheesecake:
            2 - 8 ounce packages cream cheese, softened
            1 cup white sugar
            1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
            3 tablespoons flour
            4 eggs
            1/2 cup 1 % milk
Chocolate cake:
            1 box chocolate cake mix, prepared in 2 - 9 inch round cake pans

            Peanut Butter Frosting:
            1/2 cup butter, softened
            1 cup creamy peanut butter
            4 cups powdered sugar
            1/3 cup heavy whipping cream

            Chocolate Peanut Butter Glaze:
            8 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips
            3 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
            2 tablespoons light corn syrup
            1/2 cup heavy whipping cream

Preparing the Cheesecake:
Complete this the night before and store it in the refrigerator to chill overnight.
You can use a greased 9 inch spring form pan, or (for those of you without one like me) you can use a regular 9 inch cake pan lined with parchment on the bottom and greased really well on the sides. 

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.

1.  Blend the first four ingredients together with a mixer until the mixture is smooth. 
2.  Add the eggs one at a time and blend.
3.  Add the milk and stir the ingredients together. 
4.  Pour the batter into the pan.
5.  Bake  for 10 minutes at 350 degrees, then lower the temperature to 260 degrees and continue baking for 50 minutes.
6.  Cool on the counter for 2 hours, then refrigerate. 

Preparing the Cake:
Use two 9-inch cake pans.

1.  Bake the cake according to package instructions.  
2.  Set aside to cool completely.

Preparing the Peanut Butter Frosting:
1.  Mix together the peanut butter, butter, and half of the powdered sugar together with a blender. 
2.  Add in the other half of the sugar, as well as the whipped cream and blend until smooth. 

Assembling the Cake:
1.  Place one of the chocolate cakes on a cake stand, or tray.  You may want to use a sharp, serrated knife to trim the top so that it is flat.  Top with with 1/4 of the frosting.
2.  Place the cheesecake on top of the chocolate cake.  Smooth a small amount of frosting to help the top layer stick to the cheesecake.
3.  Place the other chocolate cake on the top.  
4.  Smooth the frosting over the top of the cake, then onto the sides of the cake.

Preparing the Chocolate Glaze:
1.  Create a double boiler and melt the chocolate chips, corn syrup, and peanut butter. 
2.  Remove the mixture from the heat once it is melted and then stir in the whipping cream. 
3.  Pour over the top of the cake.

Serve right away, or refrigerate!

If you enjoyed this recipe, I'd love for you to like my Facebook page, pin my pictures, subscribe to my feed, or follow me on GFC!  Thanks a million!  xoxo

Friday, February 3, 2012

Fab Friday Finds #3

Happy Friday y'all!  Enjoy the fabulously yummy goodies that I found this week!
Best dishes and yummy dreams!


By:  Stephanie on Rhodes Bake-N-Serve

Pasta, cheese, bread, sauce... yup - all the food groups have been covered, right?  How awesome.

I love recipes that can be prepared ahead of time and simply put into the oven when I get home - makes life so much simpler!  ...annnd, you know we love Mexican!

Great addition to this weekend's festivities!

Umm.. hello!  Yum.

I love anything chocolate and peanut butter - how cute are these?!

All photos courtesy of Pinterest by LittleMommyBigAppetite

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

An Amazing Stir Fry Sauce

Simple "kitchen essentials"... and no, I'm not talking about appliances.  Recipes.  I live by these basic, essential recipes.  Finding an incredible "base" recipe leads to endless, delicious variations!  Some of my favorites are:  taco seasonings, chicken pot pie sauce, alfredo sauce, enchilada sauce, pasta sauce, and now - this stir fry sauce.  Love it.
Previously, when I made a stir fry, I added the sauce into the pan with all of the veggies.  Then, I discovered this recipe - I was surprised to see that it was intended to be poured over the stir fry once it was plated.  What a great idea!  I changed the recipe quite a bit, but still set it aside to pour over the plate of rice and veggies.   This sauce is so rich, and full of flavor that a little bit goes a long way (which really helps to keep the calories down!)  Seriously - I poured 1-2 tablespoons of sauce on my plate of stir fry... absolutely perfect!   I'm just imagining the endless possibilities for this great, basic recipe... beef and broccoli, noodles with chicken and shrimp, an all veggie stir fry.... 
Best dishes and yummy dreams!


Stir Fry Sauce
Adapted from:  Asian Stir Fry Sauce by Argo
Yields approximately 2 cups of sauce - Serves 4 to 6

Printable recipe

1 1/2 tsp. cornstarch
1 1/2 Tbsp. organic sugar 
1/4 tsp. sriracha
2 Tbsp. low sodium soy sauce
2 Tbsp. white wine
1 Tbsp. sesame oil
1 Tbsp. rice vinegar
1 tsp. oyster sauce
1 tsp. grated ginger
2 tsp. grated garlic
1/4 c. low sodium chicken broth
1/2 c. water

1.  Stir the cornstarch and sugar together in a sauce pan.
2.  Add the sriracha, soy sauce, white wine, sesame oil, rice vinegar, oyster sauce, ginger and garlic.
3.  Turn the burner on medium heat and stir the mixture.  Allow the mixture to come to a boil for 1-2 minutes until it thickens.  
4.  Add the chicken broth and water, continue to stir until the mixture is uniform and heated through.
5.  Remove from heat and pour over your favorite stir fry.  Pour sparingly as the flavors are strong and the sauce is thin!

*I prepared Jasmine rice and a stir fry of broccoli, carrots, spinach, cabbage, and shredded rotisserie chicken.  I like to add the veggies to a wok with a few tbsp. of hot canola oil, cook for a few minutes, then add a little chicken stock and cover the veggies so that they become perfectly tender.