Saturday, August 31, 2013

Game Day Munchies!

Here are 6 game day recipes that are sure to appeal to anyone!


Thursday, August 29, 2013

Bison Stew

That's right. This Oklahoma girl had Bison for dinner. It was amazing. I haven't eaten red meat in a long time and forgotten how good it tastes.

This stew was pretty simple, just needed some chopped veggies, beans, hominy, ground bison meat, and spices! The only waiting is to cook it, which in all reality for a stew, was very short.

I topped mine with sour cream and cilantro and the boy had his topping free. What's great is that this meal has no added sugar, and could technically be considered paleo (without the sour cream)!

Since I wasn't expecting to blog this until I got a ton of requests, the only photos I have are from my iPhone, but it seems like I'll be making it again, because the boy LOVED it.

2 tsp EVOO
2 lbs. ground bison
3 poblano peppers, seeded and diced
2 medium onions, diced
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp salt
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 14.5 oz. can fire-roasted tomatoes
1 - 15.5 oz. can black beans, drained
1 - 15.5 oz. can kidney beans, drained
1 - 15.5 oz. can white hominy, drained
4 C water

1. Cook the ground bison until brown. Drain the grease and set aside.

2. Using a large pot, saute the poblano peppers and onions in the EVOO until soft and brown.
Add in the spices, salt and garlic. Cook for about 3 minutes or until fragrant.

3. Add in the tomatoes and let cook for about 3 more minutes. Add the ground bison, black beans, kidney beans and hominy and mix together. Add in the 4 cups of water and bring to a boil.

4. Once boiling, turn heat down to medium, cover and let simmer for 25-30 minutes. Feel free to top with sour cream, cheese, cilantro, onions or whatever you'd like!

Cheddar Cheese Crackers

I remember growing up and my favorite snack was always something cheesy. Whether it be Cheetos, Cheez-its, Chips & Queso, or just sliced cheese. I have always loved cheese, and it's the only reason I can't give up dairy. I just love cheese too much! Milk, yogurt and butter are not necessary in my life. I use flax butter if I need it, I don't drink milk, and I don't like the texture of yogurt. So... cheese is left on the dairy train!

I used to always, and I do mean ALWAYS, grab Cheez-its and a Pepsi or Diet Dr. Pepper for a snack when I was in high school/college/any time I wanted a snack. It was my go to! Lately though, I'm just trying to make more snacks at home and eat more fruit and veggies. It's pretty hard when I have such intense cravings for Cheez-its all the time. But alas! I found this recipe!

Cheddar Cheese Crackers sound just like what they are. Cheddar cheese, flour, butter, some spices, and that's it! Such a simple recipe, and easy to put together and bake.

The original recipe did some things different from what I did. First off, instead of using a cookie cutter and taking a million years to cut out the little crackers, I sliced my dough from the ball I made, which is why they have a wedge shape. These are a great size to top with anything you want (if you want, but I like them as is!). You can roll them out or you can shape these into a log or what have you and slice them. Neat!


4 tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature
8 oz. cheddar cheese
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 C all-purpose flour
2 tbsp cold water, plus more if needed

1/8 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp chili powder
1/8 tsp paprika

1. Using a food processor, toss in your cheddar cheese and pulse into a fine grain-like texture. You want these pieces to be quite small so they mix well.

2. Once processed, place into a bowl with butter, salt and pepper. Beat together the 4 ingredients until it becomes a soft consistency. Slowly add in flour.

3. After the flour is added, the mixture should be dry and crumbly. Add the two tablespoons of water and beat until it forms a somewhat formed ball. If it's too dry, add a little bit of water at a time.

4. Split the dough in half and add the garlic powder, chili powder and paprika to one half of the mixture. Knead it together so the spices become well incorporated. Shape each dough section into a nice round shape. Wrap both balls of dough in separate plastic wrap and let chill for a few hours or over night.

5. After the dough is chilled, take out of the fridge and get ready to slice! Preheat the over to 375 degrees F. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.

6. Cut the balls into thin wedges and place on a sheet. They don't expand much so you can place them close together. Bake for 13 minutes until they start to brown at the edges and have a nice crisp to them. Allow to cool completely before storing.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Berry Cobbler

Cobbler. That Southern Comfort food that everyone loves warm with a large scoop of vanilla ice cream. You can't go wrong with cobbler.

This cobbler is quite simple. Two kinds of berries (or any berry that is in season), some sugar and cornstarch make up the insides, and the topping is a basic biscuit-like mixture. Can't get any easier than that!

You will love the simple yet juicy flavor of the berries combines with the flaky crumbly texture of the crumb topping. You can also add any kind of berry that is near you! For the current season, raspberries and blackberries are the only kind I can find. But strawberries would be good, too!

1/2 C granulated sugar
1 1/2 tbsp cornstarch
7 C fresh berries

1 1/2 C all-purpose flour
1/4 C granulated sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
5 tbsp chilled unsalted butter
1/2 C whole milk

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

2. Mix together the granulated sugar, cornstarch and berries and let it sit. This will make it nice and juice and the syrup will become magically thick! (This is because of the cornstarch)

3. In a separate bowl, add the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt and sift well. Incorporate the butter by using a pastry cutter or a fork or even your hands to make it nice and crumbly. Add the milk and mix until combined. This will result in a somewhat sticky dough, which is perfect!

4. Pour the fruit mixture into a lightly greased 8x8 glass baking dish. Using your fingers, tear off little chunks of the dough and cover the top of the dish.

5. Bake for 35 minutes or until the dough is a beautiful golden brown.

Cookies N Cream Cookies

Just as creamy as they sound, these cookies' n cream cookies are a sweet buttery addition to any day. You really can't go wrong with them, and if you like white chocolate, then you've found the right recipe.

These cookies are a simple cookie dough with a heaping amount of premium white chocolate chips and an entire giant bar of Hershey's Cookies N Cream Chocolate. Whew! What a sugar rush!

Save this Recipe on ZipList! Cookies N Cream Cookies

1/2 C butter, room temperature
1 C packed brown sugar
1 C granulated sugar
1/2 C vegetable oil
2 large eggs
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp almond extract
3 C all-purpose flour
1 + 1/2 C white chocolate chips
1 XL Hershey's Cookies N Cream bar, chopped into small pieces

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line cookie sheets with a Silpat or parchment paper.

2. Cream butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar until cream. Add in oil. Add eggs one at a time and beat until fully incorporated.

3. Add in baking soda, vanilla and almond extract. Add in flour in small increments.

4. Fold in chocolate chips and Cookies N Cream bar.

5. Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until edges are golden brown.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Maple Bacon Cookies

Before you scroll past this post, take a second to trust me on this recipe. You are going to be pleasantly surprised when you bake this cookie and realize it tastes like a pancake. Don't believe me? Just try it.

So this cookie is comprised of three parts: The cookie, the glaze and the bacon.

What's unique about this cookie is the maple syrup added into the cookie and the glaze, along with the bacon topping. In my case, I used turkey bacon. I think it cooks better, tastes better and is in general a better flavor for the cookie than regular bacon.

You have to let this dough chill for one hour so they don't spread when baking. It's worth the wait!

For the cookie:
1 C butter, room temperature
1 + 1/2 C white granulated sugar
3 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp Maple syrup
2 C all-purpose flour
1 + 3/4 C cake flour
2 tsp Cream of Tartar
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt

For the glaze:
1/2 C Maple syrup
2 C powdered sugar

6 strips of bacon, cooked (I used Jennie-O Turkey Bacon)

1. Cream butter and sugar until smooth and creamy. Beat in eggs one at a time until fully incorporated. Add vanilla extract and syrup. Set aside.

2. In a separate bowl, mix in both flours, baking soda, cream of tartar and salt. Fold dry into wet.

3. Cover and let it chill in the fridge for 1 hour.

4. Roll out the dough and cut out cookies using a 2" round cookie cutter (or your shape of choice).

5. Bake at 350 degrees F for 10-12 minutes.

6. Cool on pan for 5 minutes then transfer to a wire rack and cool completely.

7. Whisk together the Maple syrup and powdered sugar to form the glaze and drizzle over the cooled cookies. Top with cooked bacon.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Churro Cookies

Howdy y'all! I hope you lovely readers have been enjoying the last few days of summer. I know most of y'all have family going back to school, or maybe you're going back yourself! But this time of year brings exciting things to the table. Such as the state fairs that will be opening soon here in Oklahoma and in Texas!

State fairs are a wonderful thing. I really enjoy people watching, the bright lights, the super sugary/greasy food, and the exhibits. Growing up, I went to the Houston rodeos and fairs, but when I moved up to Oklahoma I quit going. It wasn't until about 3 years ago that I started going back, and I am so glad! Now I don't know about you, but I definitely don't ride the rides or play the games (unless it's really calling to me), but I still have loads of fun.

This year I'm entering the Oklahoma State Fair baking contest! I have 6 entries to fulfill and I am super excited about it! Right now I'm testing cookies. One of the contests it to create 4-7 different cookies and place them in an attractive wide-mouth cookie jar that is decorated with the fair's theme (Dream Big). Luckily, I am a designer and a baker, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed on this one!

So that's where this recipe came from. I wanted to make themed cookies! How fun is that! One of the best things to get at the fair is a churro! You will love this cookie. It's flaky in texture with a sweet soft center, crunchy on the outside and a nice sweet cinnamon sugar coating.

Churros are a Mexican fried-dough pastry covered in cinnamon sugar. I wanted to emulate that in a cookie. So I took some pastry dough, add a cream cheese mixture, baked for a few minutes, then covered in butter and cinnamon sugar. They were a hit, everyone who tried them loved them!

Another reason you will love this recipe is because it only calls for six ingredients!

4 oz. cream cheese
1/4 C. white sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 rolled refrigerated pie crusts

For the coating:
2 tbsp melted butter
2 tbsp ground cinnamon
1/2 C. white sugar

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with a Silpat or parchment paper.

2. Mix together the cream cheese, the 1/4 C. white sugar and the vanilla extract.

3. Unroll one of the pastry crusts, spread the cream cheese mixture over the whole crust, and place the second pastry crust on top.

4. Using a round cookie cutter (mine was about 1 1/2" in diameter), cut out the dough. Using a fork, seal the edges of the cookies.

5. Bake in the oven for about 12 minutes until firm and slightly golden. Let them cool completely.

6. While the cookies cool, mix together the cinnamon and 1/2 C. white sugar in a bowl.

7. Take the melted butter and a brush, coat both sides of the cookie with butter and coat in the cinnamon sugar mixture. Continue until you have coated all the cookies!

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Lemon Cake Balls

This was my very first attempt at making cake balls. If you're curious as to what cake balls are, well, let me explain it to ya.

Cake. Frosting. Chocolate.

It's that easy!

Now, my favorite cake flavor is lemon. So I made lemon cake balls with a white frosting and white chocolate. It's super easy to get creative with these and do your favorite flavor.

One tip I suggest: Make them cake pops. Less mess, easier to dip, easier to eat, and probably cuter!

1 box lemon cake mix, baked as per directions on the box
1 container of white frosting
1 pkg white chocolate for coating (Also known as almond bark or wafers)

1. Bake the cake as directed on the box. Let it cool completely.

2. Once the cake is cool, cut it up into cubes and crumble using your fingers or a food processor. I used the food processor, it was less messy and quicker, the crumbles were also more consistent!

3. Spoon about 3/4 of the frosting into the crumbles and mix until well combined. This should hold together rather easily. If it's too dry or still too crumbly, add more frosting!

4. Using a small spoon or cookie scoop, form the mixture into balls and place them on a cookie sheet. Try to get them as round as possible. This takes practice!

5. Once you've formed all the balls, place them in the freezer for 30 minutes.

6. Melt the chocolate as directed on the package. I melted mine in the microwave so I wouldn't scorch it on the stove top.

7. Get the cake balls out of the freezer and using a fork, dip them into the white chocolate and coat the whole ball. Using the side of the bowl, gently tap the fork with the cake ball on top so you can get an even coating of the chocolate.

8. Slide of the fork back onto the cookie sheet. Repeat until you're finished!

** Store in the fridge for a crunchy shell and to keep them from melting. **

Monday, August 5, 2013

Homemade Corn Tortillas

This recipe is so easy, it's kind of a joke. But a good joke.

Corn tortillas (most of them) are gluten-free. It's good for those who want to enjoy their Mexican dishes but can't consume the flour tortillas. With the exception of flour tortillas and cheese, Mexican food is pretty simple and basic, and not too horrible for you either. Of course, my favorite part of Mexican food is chips, queso and flour tortillas.

My boyfriend and I eat fajitas about once a week. We make fajita chicken, refried beans, sauteed bell peppers and onions and guacamole. We don't eat rice, and Jose doesn't eat grain at all. So this was a perfect and easy addition to our fajitas that he can eat!

2 C Masa (you can find this at Walmart down the Hispanic food aisle)
1 1/3 C water
1/4 tsp salt
Tortilla press for the easy method, or a rolling pin
Saran wrap or a gallon ziplock bag, cut into two equal pieces

1. Mix together the Masa, water, and salt until a nice dough forms. If it's too crumbly, add a little bit more water. Don't add too much water, otherwise you won't be able to press out the tortillas without it getting stuck.

2. Scoop out the dough using a cookie scoop and form into balls. This batch makes about 16, depending on the size you want your tortillas.

3. Using the tortilla press, place saran wrap on the bottom of the press, place the dough onto the bag, and place the other piece of saran wrap on the top of the dough. Press the dough and voila! A tortilla. If you are using a rolling pin, use the saran wrap as directed in step 3, but roll out the dough into a circle with your pin. 

4. Heat a pan on medium-low. One tortilla at a time, cook for 50 seconds on each side, or until the tortilla doesn't stick to the pan.

** Store in a towel in a plastic bag **

Below is a picture of the tortilla press with the gallon bag as a replacement for saran wrap. 

Saturday, August 3, 2013

3 Ingredient Chocolate Bars

This is so simple, and I don't even need to go into great detail about how easy these are to make! A 3 ingredient chocolate bar! This recipe comes from Chocolate Covered Katie. One of my favorite bloggers!

1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
4 tablespoons unrefined coconut oil (melted)
1/4 cup agave nectar

Mix ingredients together until smooth. Place into a container with wax paper. Place into freezer for about 30 minutes. Take out, cut into squares, enjoy!

** Store in the freezer **

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Brownie Whoopie Pie Cake with Salted Caramel Buttercream

Now.... if any of you know me... or have been in my kitchen... or both, then you know that this Robin Egg Blue is my favorite color. I own a coffee maker, a hand held beater, and a toaster this color. Along with our serving set having this shade of blue in it's color scheme. I have been DYING to get a stand mixer for about 5-6 years now, ever since I bought my mom one for Christmas. Being a college student and working full time to while I was in college, I could never afford one.

But here's my chance. I could win this beaut. Look at her. Isn't she gorgeous?

So Kristan at Confessions of a Cookbook Queen & Shelly at Cookes and Cups
are doing a Creative Recipe Contest. The rules were simple (almost too simple!), I just had to find a recipe on one of their blogs, and change it up.

My mind immediately went running into my recipe ideas inside my head. Birthday cake? Chocolate? Brownie? Whoopie Pie? Cake Pops? What do I make?!

But then I came across this pretty little thang. Whoopie Pie Cake Oh yes. I can do that.

Well? What am I waiting for? Here we go!

Brownie Whoopie Pie Cake with Salted Caramel Buttercream

(adapted from Whoopie Pie Cake)

For the Cake - 
1 Box Family Size Brownie Mix
1/4 C water
2/3 C vegetable oil
3 eggs
1/2 C semi-sweet chocolate chips

For the Buttercream - 
1 C unsalted butter
2 C powdered sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 C caramel (see my recipe, here)

For the Ganache - 
1/2 C heavy cream
1 C semi-sweet chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9" round baking pan and set aside.

2. Mix the brownie mix, water, vegetable oil and eggs together until fully incorporated. Stir in the chocolate chips. Pour into the greased pan and bake for 38-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted 2 inches from the side comes out clean. Let cool completely.

3. For the buttercream, beat the butter in a bowl until creamy, add in powdered sugar and salt until well combined. Finally add in the caramel and mix well. If it's too soft, place in the fridge for 20 minutes until thickened.

4. Once the brownie cake is cooled, turn over onto a rack and cut in half. Spread buttercream onto bottom brownie piece and then place the top piece back on. You have a sandwich!

5. For the ganache, bring the heavy cream to just barely boiling, add in chocolate chips, take off the heat and stir stir stir. Pour on top of the brownie cake and spread over to create a nice top coat.  

I am entering this Brownie Whoopie Pie Cake with Salted Caramel Buttercream in the Creative Recipe Contest hosted by Confessions of a Cookbook Queen and Cookies and Cups!