Sunday, June 26, 2011

Ben and Jerry's Oreo Mint Homemade Ice Cream

Last summer, I found Ben and Jerry's Homemade Ice Cream and Dessert Book, at a thrift store for 50 cents. Of course I bought it! But, for some reason, I hadn't used it until THIS summer. Boy, were we missing out! But, now that we have made two different ice cream recipes from this book, I plan on making every recipe from this book!

First off, I am a huge Ben and Jerry fan! I used to buy pints on a regular basis when I was in college. Love the stuff. I just hated how expensive it was. Oreo Mint happens to be Chris and I's favorite, FAVORITE flavor, so for Father's day that is what I made. It tastes just like the pint I used to buy at the store. It is unreal how tasty it is. Not to mention, how easy it is to make. So, thank you Ben and Jerry for sharing your secrets and now YOU must go make this ice cream for your family!

2/3 cup coarsely chopped Oreo cookies
2 large eggs
3/4 cup sugar
2 cups heavy or whipping cream (I used heavy whipping cream)
1 cup milk (I used 1% and it was great)
2 Tsp. pure peppermint extract

1. Place the cookies in a bowl, cover, and refrigerate.
2. Whisk the eggs in a mixing bowl until light and fluffy, 1 to 2 minutes. Whisk in the sugar, a little at a time, then continue whisking until completely blended, about 1 minute more. Pour in the cream and milk and whisk to blend. Add the peppermint extract and blend again.
3. Transfer the mixture to an ice cream maker and freeze following the manufacturer's instructions.
4. After the ice cream stiffens (about 2 minutes before it is done) add the chopped cookies, then continue freezing until the ice cream is ready.

Makes generous 1 quart (I think it was more like 2 quarts)

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Pesto Pizza with Pine Nuts and Feta

THIS.IS.AMAZING.PIZZA! Oh man, Chris was so skeptical when I told him what was for dinner, and mind you, he LOVES him some PIZZA! But now, after tasting, and consuming 2/3 of the pizza, he LOVES this! I was in heaven. I had to restrain myself not to eat the entire thing. Really good and filling. Oh man, I cannot wait to make this again and again and again!

1 batch pizza dough
1 1/2 cups shredded chicken (I used the Lemon Garlic Chicken*, recipe follows)
4 oz feta cheese
1/2 red onion, cut in slivers
1-2 large tomatoes sliced (I used grape tomatoes cut in half)
Shredded mozzarella (to your liking)
Toasted pine nuts (to your liking)

Preheat pizza stone (I preheat my oven and pizza stone at 475 degrees for at least 45 minutes before baking the pizza so the stone is nice and hot). Roll out prepared pizza dough and place on pizza peel (or on pizza pan if you aren’t baking it on a pizza stone). Top pizza dough with the pesto, spreading liberally to outer edges of dough. Layer on additional toppings to your liking (I like to reserve some of the toppings and put them on top of the final layer of cheese) and bake for 8-10 minutes until nicely browned.

*Lemon and Garlic Grilled Chicken

Juice of 1 lemon, approximately 3 tablespoons
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon minced garlic, about 2 medium cloves
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1 pound chicken breasts (I use chicken breast tenderloins)

Combine all marinade ingredients. Place chicken in a ziploc bag and pour marinade over chicken. Seal bag and place in fridge overnight. Grill (or cook in frying pan). Serve with sides of your choice or cut into bite sized pieces and add to desired recipe

( Note: If you cut your chicken into smaller, bite-sized pieces and then marinate it, you can get away with only letting it marinate for 5 or 6 hours instead of overnight.

Often, I will double the marinade and chicken and grill it all up and freeze the extras to use later.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Zuchinni Bread Two Ways: Whole Wheat and Chocolate

I had some zucchini I had to use up this week, so of course, I wanted to make zucchini bread. I have never been too fond of the recipes I have, so I went searching. Well, on Sister's Cafe, I found two different kinds. One made with whole wheat flour and one that has cocoa powder in it to make it chocolaty. I wanted to try both, so I made both. Since they make at least two loaves, I froze one loaf of each kind for later consumption. Both are equally delicious! But, if I would have to choose, of course, I would go for the chocolate one. The chocolate one almost tastes like those big, chocolate muffins from Costco. And, the whole wheat one is truly my favorite. Chris LOVED both kinds and so did Lexi. So, I guess, it is up to you which one to try or if you are like me, you will just make both to give some variety to your life. But, seriously, this Summer make these, they are delcious!

Chocolate Zucchini Bread

3 large eggs
2 cups sugar
1 cup oil
2 tsp vanilla

2 cups grated zucchini
2 1/3 cup flour
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp baking powder
2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/3 cup cocoa (I use dutch process)

*For extra chocolatey-ness, add a big handful of chocolate chips –however many you like!

Preheat oven to 350. Pour batter into greased (or use nonstick cooking spray) and sugared loaf pans Sugaring is just like flouring a pan–but do it with sugar. It makes for a delightfully sweet and crispy crust.
Bake at 350 for 40-45 minutes
Note: I first made it in one 9 by 5 loaf pan and it took about 1 hour instead of 40-45 minutes. But then, the next time, I put the batter into two 9 by 5 loaf pans and that time it took me about 40 minutes, so I guess just be careful with the time.

Remember, when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, it is done!

Zucchini Bread

1 cup white sugar
1 cup brown sugar
3 eggs, beaten
1 cup canola oil
3 tsp vanilla
2 cups zucchini, shredded

Stir and add:
2 cups flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp soda
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp baking powder

Pour into two bread pans sprayed with pam ( I used Baker's Joy). Bake at 325 for about 1 hour.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Blackberry Cobbler

Chris loves cobbler in the summertime. As for me, I could take it or leave it. So, I don't prefer to make it that much.

Well, last night, I was craving sweets and Chris was too! So I thumbed through the Pioneer Woman cookbook, I got for Christmas, and fell upon this recipe for Blackberry Cobbler. I happened to have everything on hand, so I made it. I halved the recipe though, since it was just Chris and I. This cobbler was super easy and was super delicious! We loved it! I loved it! I think it converted me to liking cobbler. We put a dollop of homemade whipped cream on top and it was a perfect summery, Sunday, treat! I am planning on making this throughout the summer but switiching up the berries. So excited to have a cobbler recipe we both love!

Source: Pioneer Woman
Serves: 8


1/4 pound (1 stick) butter, melted
1 1/4 cups plus 2 Tbsp. sugar
1 cup self-rising flour (do NOT use all purpose)
1 cup milk ( I used 1% and it was great)
2 cups fresh or frozen blackberries, or blueberries, peaches, raspberries, and so on

Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Grease a 3-qt. baking dish with butter
Place the stick of butter in a microwave safe dish. Heat for 30-45 seconds until melted
In a medium bowl, whisk 1 cup of the sugar with the flour and milk
whisk in the melted butter
rinse the blackberries and pat them dry
pour the batter into the baking dish. sprinkle the blackberries evenly over the top of the batter
sprinkle 1/4 cup sugar over the blackberries
bake for 1 hour (mine took less because I halved it) or until golden brown and bubbly
when 10 minutes of cooking time remain, sprinkle the remaining 2 Tbsp. sugar over the top
serve with whipped cream or ice cream!

Monday, May 16, 2011

I'm just A Wannabe Mel! Lunch Sandwich, Dinner Entree, and "Healthy" Dessert Highlighted

Okay,so it is official. I am addicted to one specific blog and that blog is I feel like we are best friends, even though we have never met, she lives in Wisconsin, and I just blog stalk her. Okay, that makes me sound creepy, but I seriously LOVE all of her recipes that she posts. When I started this blog, I was in search of the BEST recipes for food and yea, I found them, they are all located on

I have decided that instead of just copying and pasting her blog, I will just tell you what it is I have been loving from that blog lately, and you can go straight to the source and check it out yourselves! Once you stumble upon her awesome pictures and amazing descriptions and perfect detailed instructions, you too might be addicted as well!

People tell me I am a pretty good cook, and honestly, it is just because I am a wannabe Mel!

Recipes we have Devoured Lately:
I ate this for lunch 4 days last week for lunch and it was awesome! I was so sad when the bread and meat ran out! I will definately be eating this again, soon! Very soon!

1. Smoked Turkey Brie and Apple Panini (

This was our dinner tonight, and oh my goodness, it was just tasty! Love it!

1. Penne with Roasted Asparagus and Balsamic Butter (

This was our family night treat, and I didn't feel as guilty eating some because they have oats and are made with whole wheat flour! So good for you, right? Even Lexi was saying as she was eating them, I love eating healthy, Mom! Oh yea, cookies can be healthy :)

1. Whole Wheat Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies (

Monday, May 9, 2011

Crispy Oven Baked Chicken

This comes from Kitchen Cafe, of course. This chicken is juicy, tender, crunchy and just downright delicious. If you are craving a healthier version of fried chicken, this is the winner, baby! My husband made this for me yesterday for mother's day. We served it with mashed potatoes and peas and it was a perfect meal that was easy enough for my hubs to cook :) I loved the garlic flavor, it really made it shine and anyways, I want to eat this again, soon. It was that good.

*Note: If you don't have a food processor to make fresh bread crumbs, you can try using a blender and pulsing the crumbs or try using panko bread crumbs (usually found in the Asian foods aisle). If you are using a food processor, you can also add the Parmesan cheese, salt and pepper to the bread crumbs and pulse to combine to create an even finer crumb.

8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter
3 garlic cloves, finely minced (see garlic tutorial here)
2 thick slices whole wheat bread (for about 2 cups fresh bread crumbs)
1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
4 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil and coat lightly with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside. Combine butter and garlic in an 8- or 10-inch skillet. Heat over medium heat until the butter has melted. Pour the butter/garlic mixture into a shallow pie plate or similar dish and cool to room temperature.

In the bowl of a food processor, tear the bread into large chunks, and pulse until the bread is ground into crumbs. Pour the bread crumbs into a shallow pie plate or shallow bowl and toss with the Parmesan cheese, salt and pepper.

Dip each chicken breast in the melted, cooled garlic butter. Transfer to the bread crumb mixture and turn until coated on all sides. Arrange the chicken in one flat layer on the prepared baking sheet. Drizzle any of the remaining melted butter over the chicken. Bake the chicken until it is lightly browned and just cooked through, 40-50 minutes. The baking time will depend on the thickness and size of the chicken you are using.

Don't overcook or the chicken will be dry.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Tres Leches Cupcakes

To end our Cinco de Mayo fiesta, I made Tres Leches Cupcakes. I have made a Coconut Tres Leches cake before, which is utterly amazing, but it is labor intensive and for a weeknight dessert, I wasn't in the mood to exert that much effort, but I so badly wanted a little bit of Tres Leches cake. So, when I found a recipe for these cupcakes, I knew I had to try them. I am so glad I did. These were great! They were light and yummy! I could have eaten all 24, but don't worry, I didn't. I might have had more than one though, oops! But, they look beautiful and they taste great! Make them today!

Recipe by Our Best Bites

8 oz. evaporated milk

1 can sweetened condensed milk

24 white cupcakes (I just used a box mix, but you could make homemade if you are cool like that)

1 pint whipping cream, divided

3-4 Tbsp. Hershey’s Caramel Syrup

Sliced fresh fruit (like strawberries, mangoes, and kiwis, optional)

Juice of 1 lime (optional: I didn't do this, but I did put a slice of strawberry on top)

Bake cupcakes according to recipe directions in FOIL LINERS. This is extremely important because it helps contain the milk mixture.

After cupcakes have cooled, use a bamboo skewer(I used a chopstick) to poke several holes in each cupcake. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the evaporated milk, sweetened condensed milk, and 3/4 c. of whipping cream. Use a ladle to pour the milk mixture over each cupcake. There might be some runover. Such is life with tres leches cupcakes. Place the cupcakes in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

When ready to serve, beat the remaining 1 1/4 c. of whipping cream until medium peaks form. Gently fold in the caramel syrup and pipe or dollop the whipped cream on each of the cupcakes. If desired, toss the sliced fruit with the lime juice and top the cupcakes with the sliced fruit. Serve on a small plate with a dessert spoon.

Hint: I made these cupcakes four hours before we ate them and they were perfect. Chris ate them 6 hours after I made them and he said they were divine, so the longer they sit the better! I wouldn't do overnight, though, they might get too soggy.