Food, Faith, and Other Fabulous Finds

Recipes, devotional thoughts, and other cool things I come across.

Quick Bites for a Sweet Tooth September 29, 2015

Filed under: Uncategorized — foodfaithandfinds @ 4:33 PM
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Sometimes you need something sweet, and you need it fast.  Today I’m going to share a couple of recipes that can help you take care of that sweet tooth in a very short time frame.

This first recipe is actually even healthy for you, but it’ll still squelch that sweet craving.  This is another of the snack bite recipes that I’ve been trying out for the last year or so.  The addition of dried cherries gives this one a bit of a different taste than just the usual chocolate, oats, and peanut butter.

No-Bake Peanut Butter Oat Bites (from Better Homes & Gardens)

1/2 c. peanut butter

1/3 c. honey

1 tsp. vanilla

1 1/4 c. shredded unsweetened coconut

1 c. rolled oats

1/4 c. semisweet chips (Using mini chips would make it easier to eat them straight out of the freezer.  If you were so inclined.)

1/4 c. dried cherries (You could also use craisins for a similar tangy flavor.)

  1. In a medium bowl, stir together the peanut butter, honey, and vanilla.  Stir in 1/2 c. of the coconut, the chocolate chips, and the cherries.
  2. Chop the remaining 3/4 c. of coconut up in the food processor and place it in a shallow bowl.  Shape the oat mix into 1 inch bowls and roll them in the chopped coconut.  (This is mostly for looks, so you don’t need to worry if you don’t have the time.)  Chill at least 30 minutes; store in the fridge (or freezer).

No-Bake Peanut Butter Oat BitesNo-Bake Peanut Butter Oat Bites 2

And this recipe is the really exciting one (at least to my husband).  It’s a way to make a personal sized portion of rice krispies treats (for those of use who can’t control ourselves around a full pan of them).  The bonus is that it takes less than 5 minutes to make, and is a great way to use up that last cup of cereal lingering in your cupboard.  By the way, if you have a half-opened bag of marshmallows, be sure to stick them in the freezer.  They won’t get sticky this way, and they defrost in seconds when you need to use them.

Rice Krispies for One (from the Number 2 Pencil Blog)

1/2 tbsp. butter

4 marshmallows

1 c. rice krispies (Or another cereal of your choice.)

  1. Melt the butter in a microwave safe bowl.  Add the marshmallows and nuke for 20 more seconds.  (Keep an eye on them to make sure the marshmallows don’t spill over.)
  2. Stir the marshmallows to blend together.  Add the rice krispies and stir til well blended.  (You can eat the treats right away or press them in a large ramekin and let it set up.)

Rice Krispies Treats for OneRice Krispies Treats for One 2

What are some new tricks or tips that you’ve learned recently?


Summer Sammies September 22, 2015

Filed under: Uncategorized — foodfaithandfinds @ 1:38 PM
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Before we start talking sandwiches, I just had to mention that tomorrow (9/23) Sonic is offering 1/2 price cones all day.

Okay, on to some sandwiches that pack summer flavors.  We had both of these sandwiches earlier this summer and loved how packed they were with flavor.  They’re easy to make and would go great at an end of summer bash.  (Is summer ending?  It sure doesn’t feel like it here.)

This first sandwich is a super flavorful burger that’s healthy and quick to make.

Chili Lime Chicken Burgers (from Iowa Girl Eats)

1 lb. ground chicken

2 chopped green onions

1/4 c. chopped red bell pepper

2 tbsp. chopped cilantro

2 tbsp. minced garlic

1/2 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper

Juice of 1/2 lime

4 slices pepper jack

4 toasted buns (We used sandwich thins, which were perfect and kept it feeling healthy.)

  1. In a large bowl, mix together the chicken, onions, bell pepper, cilantro, garlic, salt, red pepper, and lime juice.  Form the mix into 4 patties and spray both sides with Pam.
  2. Heat a large grill pan or skillet over medium-high heat.  Grill the burgers 3-4 minutes per side or til they’re cooked through.  Top each burger with a slice of cheese and let it melt.  Once the cheese is melted, place the burgers on the buns and top with your favorite condiments.  (She suggested guacamole.)

Chili Lime Chicken BurgersChili Lime Chicken Burgers 2

As you can see, I offset the healthiness with some mac and cheese.  ;)

This next sandwich is a Hawaiian variation on the sloppy joe.  Ever since I tried the Bombay sloppy joe a year or so ago, I’ve been more open to trying other variations.  This one definitely panned out!  It may not sound like a good combination (tomatoes, pork, pineapple, cheese?), but everything really works together.  The hubby really enjoyed these, and we had enough for 6 servings (the original recipe said it would just make 4).

Hula Joes (from Taste and Tell)

1/4 lb. diced bacon

1 1/2 lb. ground pork

1 diced sweet onion

2 cloves minced garlic

1 8 oz. can tomato sauce

3 tbsp. brown sugar

3 tbsp. red wine vinegar

1 tbsp. worcestershire sauce

1 c. chopped pineapple

4-6 hamburger buns (Depending on how full you want you sandwich.)

1 c. shredded cheddar

  1. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the bacon and cook it til crisp.  Use a slotted spoon to remove the bacon to a paper towel lined plated, but keep the grease in the pan.
  2. Add the pork to the pan and cook, breaking up, til browned and cooked through, about 10 minutes.  Add in the onion and garlic and cook til soft, about 5 minutes.
  3. In a small bowl, combine the tomato sauce, brown sugar, vinegar, and worcestershire sauce.  Pour the sauce into the pan once the onions are cooked.  Season the sauce and cook til it reaches your desired consistency.  Stir in the pineapple and bacon.
  4. Toast the hamburger buns and top with hula mix and cheese.

Hula JoesHula Joes 3

What’s your favorite twist on a sandwich?


A Little Breakfast Help September 15, 2015

Well, the school year’s in swing for most people.  I don’t know about you, but September to me always marks the beginning of fall.  Even if the weather doesn’t cooperate (and in Texas, it isn’t), I can’t help but associate the start of school with crisp air, golden leaves, pumpkins, and other fall thoughts.  I start feeling like it’s time to straighten up, get in a routine, and get productive.  To that end, I feel like the lazy days of summer are over, and one way to get back into the routine is to have breakfast ready to go.

As you might know by now, I am a huge fan of doughnuts, and this week you’ve got an opportunity to get some for free.  Saturday (September 19) is National Talk Like a Pirate Day, and Krispy Kreme is celebrating it once again.  If you go in talking like a pirate, you’ll get a free glazed doughnut.  If you go in dressed like a pirate (3 pieces of pirate clothing at least), you’ll get a free dozen glazed doughnuts.

This first dessert is a tasty breakfast bar that’s packed with some trail mix flavors and held together with peanut butter and honey.  It was super fast to whip up and tasted so good.  My hubby at first didn’t seem to like them that much; he said they were too dry.  I found them delicious and full of tasty treats, and eventually the hubby grew to love them too.  It’s also lovely that you can swap in and out different ingredients depending on what you feel like that day or happen to have on hand.  Mine were quite thick, so you can cut them thin and get 9-12 bars out of them.

Peanut Butter Trail Mix Bars (from Sally’s Baking Addiction)

2/3 c. almonds

2/3 c. cashews

1 1/2 c. old-fashioned rolled oats

1/3 c. ground flax

1/2 c. mini chocolate chips

1/3 c. craisins

1/3 c. raisins

1/2 c. honey

1 c. melted peanut butter (I haven’t tried it, but you might want to add 1 tbsp. or so of oil if you’re using natural peanut butter.  Mine were a touch dryer than I thought they should have been, so the extra oil would probably fix that.)

  1. Line an 8×8 pan with parchment.  In a food processor, pulse together the almonds and cashews into smaller pieces (a few large chunks are fine), about 10 seconds.  Transfer the nuts to a large bowl and mix in the oats, flax, chocolate chips, craisins, and raisins.
  2. In a small bowl, stir together the peanut butter and honey.  Add this to the dry ingredients and mix thoroughly.  Scoop the mix in the prepared pan and press firmly; chill at least 1 hr.

Peanut Butter Trail Mix BarsPeanut Butter Trail Mix Bars 2

If you’ve been reading the blog these last few months, you’ve probably figured out that I’ve been trying lots of make ahead breakfasts lately.  I like being able to get my husband a healthy, tasty breakfast that’s fast (and doesn’t require me to cook when I’m still half asleep), so I’ve been testing out lots of breakfast bar recipes.  But sometimes you don’t want a bar, so every couple of weeks or so, I’ve also been testing muffin recipes. :D  Some have been good and some haven’t, but these ones are awesome.  I’m not actually a banana person, but I do love banana bread.  Now I don’t always like chocolate in my banana bread, but in these it works.  They might be my new favorite muffins, because I feel like I can eat them without feeling guilty.  They have a tiny bit of added sugar (1/4 c. for 12 muffins) and a bit of chocolate (1/2 c.), but they mostly have Greek yogurt (protein), bananas (potassium), and rolled oats (fiber).  So they’re super healthy and very tasty.  A lot of times, flourless muffins have a gummy, unappealing texture, but these don’t.  The texture isn’t quite the same as regular, calorie-laden muffins, but it’s still a good texture, just a little chewier.  These are also awesome because they come together so quickly in the food processor, you can have them cooked and cooling in about 30 minutes.

Banana Oat Greek Yogurt Muffins (from Running with Spoons)

1 c. plain Greek yogurt

2 bananas

2 eggs

2 c. rolled oats

1/4 c. brown sugar

1 1/2 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1/2 c. chocolate chips

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and grease 12 muffin cups.  Put all the ingredients except the chocolate chips in the food processor and process on high til the oats are broken down and the batter is smooth.  Stir in the chocolate chips.
  2. Divide the batter between the muffin cups, filling each 3/4 full.  Bake 15-20 minutes are til the tops are set and a toothpick inserted in the center removes cleanly.  Cool in the pan 10 minutes, then let cool completely on a wire rack.

Banana Oat Greek Yogurt MuffinsBanana Oat Greek Yogurt Muffins 2

So that’s what we’ve been eating lately.  What’s been on your breakfast plate?


Long Overdue BBQ September 8, 2015

Late last year, my best friend and I cooked up an amazing meal which I promised to blog about.  But somehow I never got around to it, and it seems like in the blink of an eye almost a year has passed.  Well, for my nephew and I’s combined birthday party this year, his mom (my best friend) and I decided to have another BBQ which gives me the perfect opportunity now to finally tell you about these super tasty dishes.

The idea for this BBQ originally came from a fabulous cookbook I’d been reading at the time: What Katie Ate by Katie Quinn Davies.  Her recipes sound so delicious and are so beautifully photographed that my friend and I thought we should do a whole dinner of them.  That was the original idea, but then we couldn’t find the right time to have the BBQ.  We’d decided on and bought the ribs already, and we’d planned several other dishes as well.  But then it was nearly November without the BBQ happening, so we ended up making the ribs for just ourselves when our hubbies went to Man Camp.

As it turned out, the ribs were the only recipe we made from that book (though I’d still love to make many more of the other recipes).  The rest of the menu we tweaked to fit our tastes (as opposed to serving husbands as well) and the season.  (We didn’t want ice cream in November.)  Still, the ribs were our initial inspiration, and they were certainly a success.  Though they’re time-consuming, they don’t actually take a lot of work.  And you’re certainly rewarded with some tender, wonderfully flavored meat.

Barbecued Ginger Ale Pork Ribs (from What Katie Ate by Katie Quinn Davies)

2 lb. pork baby back ribs (Both times, we’ve bought St. Louis ribs because they were on sale.  They worked out just as well.)

2 tbsp. balsamic vinegar

2 tbsp. brown sugar

2 tbsp. soy sauce

2 tbsp. worcestershire sauce

2 tbsp. bbq sauce

1 seeded, thinly sliced red chile

3 c. ginger ale

  1. Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil.  Add the ribs and simmer for 30 minutes, skimming off the fat occasionally.
  2. Preheat the oven to 315 degrees.  With a sturdy pair of tong, remove the ribs from the water and place them on a large roasting pan.  Season them with salt and pepper.
  3. In a bowl, mix together all the remaining ingredients.  Pour the mix over the ribs, then bake them for 2 hours, turning them over halfway, basting with the glaze every 15 minutes.  (They really won’t look right until the last couple of times, but just trust the process.)
  4. Serve the ribs sprinkled with extra chile slices, sea salt, and sesame seeds.

Barbecued Ginger Ale Pork Ribs 3Barbecued Ginger Ale Pork Ribs 2

Because the ribs use ginger ale, we decided to make a nice drink that would use up the rest of it.  I found this simple and easy mocktail recipe which turned out to be very refreshing.

Mango-Ginger Mocktails (from the June 2007 issue of Everyday with Rachael Ray)

4 c. chilled ginger ale

4 c. chilled mango nectar

1/3 c. lemon juice

  1. Just before serving, mix together all the ingredients in a large pitcher.  Serve over ice.

Mango-Ginger Mocktails 2

For the original get-together, my best friend and I made this delicious quinoa salad inspired by Mexican street corn.  It was very easy to make and quite tasty.

Summer Grilled Mexican Street Corn Quinoa Salad (from Half Baked Harvest)

1 c. rinsed quinoa

4 ears husked corn

1 tbsp. olive oil

2 tbsp. softened butter

Juice of 1/2 lime

1/4 c. + 2 tbsp. chopped cilantro

2 tsp. smoked paprika

1 tsp. chili powder

1/4 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. pepper

2 red bell peppers

2 jalapenos

2-4 chopped green onions

1 c. halved grape or cherry tomatoes

1/4 c. sliced basil leaves

4 slices cooked, chopped bacon

1/2 c. crumbled cotija

  1. Prepare the quinoa according to the package directions.  Preheat the grill to its highest setting.  Brush the corn with the oil and season it with salt and pepper.  Wrap the corn in foil and grill it 5 minutes per side.  Also grill the bell peppers and jalapenos.
  2. In a small bowl, combine the 2 tbsp. cilantro, paprika, chili powder, salt, and pepper.  In another small bowl, mix together the butter and half the seasoning mix.
  3. Once the corn is grilled, bush it all over with the butter, let cool, and slice off the cob.  Slice the peppers and place the in a large bowl with the corn.  Add in the quinoa, remaining spice mix, 1/4 c. cilantro, basil, green onions, tomatoes, and 2 tbsp. olive oil.  Toss well and add in the bacon and cotija.

Summer Grilled Mexican Street Corn Quinoa SaladSummer Grilled Mexican Street Corn Quinoa Salad 3 (We didn’t realize til after dinner that we forgot to add in the tomatoes.)

Now my husband’s not too fond of quinoa, so when we had our BBQ this past weekend, we decided to try a different salad.  This one focuses just on the corn and the Mexican flavors.  While the quinoa salad is tasty, this one is incredible. It just had so much flavor.  Like the previous salad, this is a cinch to whip up.  We actually doubled the recipe, but there were hardly any leftovers.  If you do decide to double it, I would suggest not doubling the jalapeno, cilantro, onion, or garlic.  We didn’t double those, and the flavor level was perfect.

Mexican Street Corn Salad (from Six Sisters Stuff)

1 16 oz. bag frozen corn

2 tbsp. olive oil

3 tbsp. mayo

3-4 oz. crumbled cotija (All the cotija I’ve tried here is lacking in flavor.  For this salad, we used grated Parmesan, which was perfect!)

2 tbsp. lime juice

1 tbsp. finely chopped jalapeno

1/3 c. finely chopped cilantro

2 tbsp. finely chopped red onion (You know I left this out.)

2 cloves minced garlic

1/2 tsp. chili powder

  1. Heat the oil in a large pan over medium heat.  Add the corn and let it cook, stirring occasionally, til it chars.
  2. In a large bowl, stir together all the remaining ingredients.  Once it’s done, fold in the corn.

Mexican Corn SaladMexican Corn Salad 2

And of course, you can’t have a party without dessert.  After we scrapped the ice cream idea, we decided to make an apple fritter cake I’d been eyeing for a while.  This was really an easy recipe that used basic ingredients to turn out a super tasty cake that really did taste almost exactly like an apple fritter (without any hassle or frying!).  The only change I made was to make 1 1/2 times the glaze recipe, so that there would be plenty of it (I left the original quantity in the recipe.).  :)

Apple Fritter Cake (from Macaroni & Cheesecake)

For the cake:

1 1/2 c. all-purpose flour

2 tsp. baking powder

1/8 tsp. cinnamon

1 pinch nutmeg

1 pinch allspice

1/2 c. sugar

3/4 c. milk

1 egg

1 tsp. vanilla

1/4 c. melted butter

3 peeled, cored, diced apples

For the topping:

1/2 c. softened butter

1/2 c. brown sugar

1 tbsp. all-purpose flour

1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon

For the glaze:

1 c. confectioner’s sugar

2 1/2 tbsp. milk

1/2 tsp. vanilla

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees; grease and set aside a 9×9 pan.  In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour (1 1/2 c.), baking powder, cinnamon (1/8 tsp.), nutmeg, allspice, and 1/8 tsp. salt.  Add in the sugar, milk (3/4 c.), egg, and vanilla (1 tsp.) til incorporated.  Stir in the melted butter til incorporated; spread evenly in the pan and top with the apples.
  2. In a small bowl, stir together the softened butter, brown sugar, flour (1 tbsp.), and cinnamon (1 1/2 tsp.).  Drop by spoonfuls over the apples, then spread out with a spatula.
  3. Bake 40 minutes or til golden brown with the topping set and the center no longer jiggly.  Let cool on a wire rack.
  4. In another small bowl, stir together the confectioner’s sugar, milk (2 1/2 tbsp.), and vanilla (1/2 tsp.) into a glaze consistency.  Pour on the cake after it’s cooled for 20 minutes.

Apple Fritter CakeApple Fritter Cake 3

There it is!  I’ve finally caught up on the oldest recipes I needed to share with you.  What have you been procrastinating on?  ;)


To Die For!!! September 1, 2015

Filed under: Uncategorized — foodfaithandfinds @ 3:28 PM

This has to be a short post today, because we’re getting ready to go to dinner with some family, but I couldn’t waste any time sharing this awesome recipe that I made this past weekend.  I am a BIG fan of cinnamon rolls, but I’ve never made them for myself.  Though I’m comfortable using my bread maker, I get a little confused with the many types of yeast that other recipes call for.  This recipe lets the bread machine make the dough (which was super easy to work with), then you just roll them out and form them.  I was a little nervous about how this would turn out (since I was planning to share some with some friends), but the recipe worked beautifully (even with all my mistakes – like getting distracted while rolling them out and letting them sit for quite a while).  The biggest difference I made is that you’re instructed to cut the dough into 12 rolls (which must be gargantuan), but I cut mine into 18 – which nicely filled two 8×8 pans.  Because I made more rolls than it called for, I thought I should also make more frosting to cover them (and you can never have too much frosting to my mind), but I only had 4 ounces of cream cheese.  I decided to use 4 ounces of cream cheese and almost 4 ounces of Greek yogurt, then I would just double the remaining frosting ingredients.  I was a trifle nervous, but it worked out perfectly, and I don’t think you could tell the difference.  These are supposed to be clones of Cinnabon’s rolls, but I haven’t had Cinnabon often enough to tell you whether or not these taste similar.  I can tell you that these are some of the tastiest cinnamon rolls I’ve ever had, and that you should definitely make them soon!

Cinnabon Clones (from

For the dough:

1 c. warm milk (110 degrees)

2 eggs

1/3 c. melted butter

4 1/2 c. bread flour

1 tsp. salt

1/2 c. sugar

2 1/2 tsp. bread machine yeast

For the filling:

1 c. brown sugar

2 1/2 tbsp. cinnamon

1/3 c. softened butter

For the frosting:

3 oz. softened cream cheese

1/4 c. softened butter

1 1/2 c. confectioner’s sugar

1/2 tsp. vanilla

1/8 tsp. salt

  1. Place the dough ingredients in your bread maker according to the manufacturer’s recommended order.  Select the dough cycle and press start.
  2. Once the dough is done, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface, cover, and let rest 10 minutes.  In a small bowl, combine the brown sugar and cinnamon.
  3. Roll the dough into a 16×21 inch rectangle and spread the dough with the 1/3 c. softened butter.  Then sprinkle the butter with the brown sugar and cinnamon mix.  Roll the dough up and cut into 12 rolls.  Place the rolls in a lightly greased 9×13 pan.  Cover and let rise til nearly doubled, about 30 minutes.  Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  4. Bake the rolls til golden brown, about 15 minutes.  In a medium bowl, beat together the frosting ingredients, then spread the frosting on the rolls.

Cinnabon Clones Cinnabon Clones 4


Cookies for the Kiddos August 25, 2015

Filed under: Uncategorized — foodfaithandfinds @ 7:17 PM
Tags: , ,

For the last couple of days, it seems like most people have been thinking, talking, and posting about the first day of school.  I don’t have any kids, so it doesn’t affect me too much, but I thought it might be nice to post some cookie recipes for after-school snacks.  I’ve got a healthy one, a middling one, and a decadent one.

Let’s start with the healthy recipe first.  These tasty cookies make use of the summer’s bounteous crop of peaches.  I got 18 cookies and really enjoyed having a healthy treat around.

Peach Pie Oatmeal Cookies (from Amy’s Healthy Baking)

1 c. quick cook oats

3/4 c. whole wheat flour

1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon

1 1/2 tsp. baking powder

1/4 tsp. salt

2 tbsp. coconut oil

1 egg

1 tsp. vanilla extract (The original recipe called for almond extract, but I’m just not a fan.)

1/2 c. honey

1/2 c. diced peaches

  1. In a small bowl, whisk together the oats, flour, cinnamon, baking powder, and salt.  In a medium bowl, whisk together the oil, egg, and vanilla.  Stir in the honey, then stir in the flour mix just til it’s incorporated.  Fold in the peaches, then chill the dough for 45 minutes.
  2. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment.
  3. Use a cookie scoop to portion the dough onto the baking sheet.  (Mine spread hardly at all, so I was able to put them fairly near each other.) Bake 11-14 minutes, cool 10 minutes on the pan, then let cool completely on a wire rack.

Peach Pie Oatmeal CookiesPeach Pie Oatmeal Cookies 2

Of course, if you only want to be a little bit healthy with your snack, then you could make these cookies.  They have some sugar and butter, but they also have lots of oats, nuts, dried fruit, coconut, and CHOCOLATE.  I got 3 1/2 dozen from one recipe (they’re not too big), so that gives you plenty to share as well.

Chockablock Cookies (from Dorie Greenspan’s Baking: From My Home to Yours)

1 1/2 c. all-purpose flour

3/4 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1/4 tsp. salt

1/4 c. softened butter

1/4 c. shortening

1/2 c. sugar

1/2 c. molasses

2 eggs

1 1/2 c. old-fashioned oats

1 c. coarsely chopped nuts

1 c. coarsely chopped dried fruit

2 c. bittersweet chocolate chunks

1/2 c. coconut

  1. Position the oven racks to divide the oven in thirds and preheat the oven to 325 degrees.  Line 2 baking sheets with parchment.  In a bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  2. In a large bowl, beat together the butter and shortening on medium til smooth, about 2 minutes.  Add the sugar and beat 2 more minutes.  Add the molasses and beat another minute.  Add the eggs, one at a time, beating 1 minute after each addition.  Reduce the speed to low and mix in the oats then the dry ingredients, mixing only til they disappear in the dough.  Mix in the remaining ingredients.
  3. Use a 2 tbsp. ice cream scoop to portion out the dough 1 1/2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheets.  Bake 15-18 minutes, rotating the pans from top to bottom and front to back halfway through, til the cookies are golden and just about set.  Let cool 5 minutes on the sheet, then cool the rest of the way on wire racks.

Chockablock CookiesChockablock Cookies 2

Of course, you may be wanting to celebrate something: a promotion, good grades, time for yourself.  Whatever you’re celebrating, these next cookies are definitely a good way to do it.  They are so tasty and addicting.  Honestly, I’m surprised we still have any left.  Part of what inspired me to make these cookies is that a few months ago, my hubby and I found a jar of marshmallow bits.  (They’re the tiny, dried marshmallows like you get in hot chocolate mix.)  We bought them on a whim, and they were just perfect in these cookies.  It made a little over 2 dozen delicious cookies, and it’s really worth seeing if you can find the marshmallow bits.

Gooey S’mores Cookies (from Kevin & Amanda)

1/2 c. softened butter

1/2 c. sugar

1/4 c. brown sugar

1 egg

1 tsp. vanilla

1 1/3 c. flour

3/4 c. graham cracker crumbs

1 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. salt

1 c. chocolate chips

1 c. marshmallow bits (This is about 1/2 the jar.)

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line 2 cookie sheets with parchment.  In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugars til light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.  Add the egg and vanilla and beat 2 more minutes.
  2. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, graham cracker crumbs, baking powder, and salt.  Add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix on low til the dough just comes together.  Stir in the chocolate chips and marshmallow bits.
  3. Scoop the dough into mounds 1 inch apart on the prepared sheets and bake 10-12 minutes.

Gooey S'mores CookiesGooey S'mores Cookies 3

What’s your favorite after-school (or work) snack?


One Pot Dinners for the Win August 18, 2015

Lately, the hubby and I have been really enjoying one pot rice dinners.  We’ve tried the one pot pastas before, and they can be a little iffy (sometimes the texture of the sauce is just not right), but we’ve had several variations on one pot rice dinners that all turned out amazingly delicious.  Growing up, I really enjoyed my grandmother’s chicken and rice, but I never learned how to make it.  Though these recipes are different from hers (hers was very basic and plain), they still remind me of hers, plus they taste amazing!  I love how easy all of these recipes are, and how quickly you can get them on your table with minimal prep.

This first chicken and rice recipe uses just a few ingredients to deliver an incredibly tasty, slightly tropical dish to your table in 30-45 minutes.  We were actually a little skeptical at first (see above about the one pot pasta), but it came out perfect.  I didn’t have any green onions, but we enjoyed topping ours with a little bit of soy sauce.

One Pan Pineapple Chicken and Rice (from the Yellow Bliss Road)

2 diced chicken breasts (I used boneless and skinless breasts.)

20 oz. can pineapple tidbits in juice

1 c. long-grain white rice

1 c. chicken broth

1/2 tsp. salt

3 green onions

  1. Heat 1-2 tbsp. oil in a 12 inch lidded skillet over medium heat.  Season the chicken with salt and pepper and add it to the skillet.
  2. Drain the pineapple, reserving all the juice.  Set aside 1 c. of pineapple for the recipe.  (You can enjoy the rest as a snack!)
  3. Cook the chicken til browned on the outside, but not cooked through, 4-5 minutes.  Push the chicken to one side and add the rice.  Cook the rice, stirring often, til semi-translucent, about 3 minutes.
  4. Add in the broth, 1 c. pineapple juice (I didn’t have that much from my can, so I just used more chicken broth.), and 1/2 tsp. salt.  Stir together and let come to a boil.  Reduce the heat to low and cook for 20 minutes, covered.
  5. Check the rice for doneness, cooking longer if necessary.  Stir in the green onions.

One Pan Pineapple Chicken and RiceOne Pan Pineapple Chicken and Rice 3

This next recipe is very similar, which is good because I somehow forgot to snap a picture of it.  Make sure that you really like the taste and are okay with the heat level of your salsa verde here, because it’s the main flavor component.  Other than that, this is an easy, inexpensive, quick and tasty recipe.

Salsa Verde Chicken and Rice (from the Kevin and Amanda blog)

1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts

1-2 tbsp. olive oil

1 c. long grain white rice

2 c. chicken broth

1 c. salsa verde

  1. Cut the chicken into 1 inch cubes, pat them dry, and season them with salt and pepper.  In a large lidded skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat.
  2. When the oil’s hot, add the chicken in a single layer and cook til browned on the outside.
  3. Add in the rice, broth, and salsa.  Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer 20 minutes or til the rice is tender.

This last one is my hubby’s favorite of the three because instead of chicken it uses … sausage!  (I specifically used HEB’s mesquite sausage.  It’s cheap, but SOOO delicious.  The smell of it cooking nearly drove me insane.)  I also really like this one because it’s even more filling thanks to the addition of beans.  (Thanks to the beans and loads of sausage flavor, we were able to make this meal go even farther.  Bumping up the rice and broth just a bit to feed 6-8 instead of 4-6.)

Brazilian Beans and Rice with Sausage (from Favorite Family Recipes)

2 tbsp. oil

1 lb. sliced smoked sausage

1/2 c. chopped green onions (I didn’t have green, but regular onion worked well too.)

3 cloves minced garlic

1 1/2 c. rice

3 c. chicken broth

1 14 oz. can drained, rinsed pinto beans

1-2 bay leaves

  1. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add the sausage, garlic and onions and saute til the onions are soft.
  2. Stir in the remaining ingredients, season with salt and pepper, and bring to a boil.
  3. Reduce the heat to a simmer, cover, and cook 20-25 minutes or til the rice is done.

Brazilian Beans and RiceBrazilian Beans and Rice 2

There they are.  The first 3 one pot rice dinners that I’ve made, though I have a feeling that more variations are to come.  Stay tuned!



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