Friday, February 28, 2014

THE Big, Fat Chew Chocolate Chip Cookie

I have been on a serious cookie kick lately.  I mean, it's to the point that I literally need  a cookie on a daily basis.  But not just any cookie.  A thick, chewy, gooey, chocolate chip cookie.  One that my teeth will just sink into and the cookie almost sticks to my teeth.  And this has been going on for about the past few weeks.
I've tried this cookie or that cookie, and while they have been good that have been it.  They haven't been The One I've been craving.  The type of cookie I wanted was one that had some substance.  Some umph, if you will.  It couldn't be too thin, too crispy, or too cakey.  So you see, I had a predicament.   

All that recipe searching and testing finally came to an end about a week ago.  I found The One I had been searching for.  It was the perfect recipe; the cookie was thick. Check. Gooey. Check. and Chewy? Yes, even that was checked off the list. 

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Chorizo Stout Sloppy Joes

I love getting new cookbooks.  I await eagerly for them to come in the mail, like a kid waiting for Santa to come on Christmas morning.  Once I get it I read it from cover to cover, with sticky notes in hand to mark my favorite recipes I can't wait to make.  I love reading what the author has to say about the recipe and the tips and tricks they use to cook the perfect meal and choose the perfect ingredients.  Such was the case with my latest purchase, "The Craft Beer Cookbook" from The Beeroness.  I turned from page to page, with my mouth watering, as I looked at beautiful pictures and read delicious sounding recipes.  Then I faced a predicament.  What to make first?

She had tempting appetizers, delicious soups and stews, vegetarian entrees, sandwiches and desserts.  Where to start oh where to start?  But I finally decided on a sandwich.  But not just any sandwich, a chorizo stout sloppy joe to be exact.  A grown up version of the sandwich we all enjoyed as kids.  Not only was it oh. so. good. but another fun part about the memories of eating sloppy joes was the mess that was made while eating them.  It was actually okay to have juice dripping all over your hands, elbows and a big red mess on your mouth.

Monday, February 24, 2014

SRC: Banana Bread with Nutella Swirl

Banana bread has always been a favorite of mine.  Whether enjoying a piece warmed up and schmeared with butter at my grandma's house, a warm muffin fresh from the oven or a big ol' slice of cake topped with cream cheese frosting; every time I have a piece I'm transported back to my childhood.

It's definitely hard to beat a delicious piece of basic banana bread, but I enjoy trying different varieties.  Brown butter banana strawberry bread, caramel almond oatmeal banana bread, brown butter banana muffins with streusel topping; I'm a huge fan of pretty much anything involving bananas. 
So when I came across a recipe for banana bread with a Nutella swirl on Sarah's blog, Curious Cuisiniere, I knew I had to make this bread.  My love for banana bread is closely followed for my love of Nutella.  So to see my two loves come together was like the food gods telling me I had to make this and now.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Strawberry Chocolate Chip Buttermilk Baked Doughnuts

Donuts are pretty much a necessity in our house.  They are a weekend staple.  Very rarely a weekend goes by where we don't have donuts for breakfast at least once.  Sometimes we go to our favorite shop and pick out some of our favorite flavors.  Tucker's request, "A donut with pink or chocolate icing and sprinkles".  When we stay in and make them, his only request is that he can help me.
So a few weekends ago when we stayed in a made a batch of donuts for breakfast I knew my little sous chef would be beyond excited about the flavor combination I chose.  See, he loves strawberries and always has.  And another love of his, which comes as no surprise, is chocolate.  So I figured I would combine his two favorites and make strawberry chocolate chip donuts with a chocolate drizzle.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Slow Cooker Lemon Garlic Chicken

During the week easy meals are a definite plus.  Slow cooker meals, even better.  Easy slow cooker meals with 5 or less ingredients.  Well, that's just a God send.  I don't think anyone out there would disagree. 

When I saw this recipe from Number 2 Pencil, I immediately knew it would be going on the menu and soon.  Not only is this a quick, easy and budget friendly meal but it's a chicken that's cooked in some of our favorite flavors; lemon and garlic. 

Monday, February 17, 2014

French Onion Soup

Recently I became a stay at home mom.  I am loving it.  I now have time to enjoy my little guy.  It's been several years in the making, but we were finally able to make it happen.  I've had so much fun the past few weeks, not only is my stress level WAY down but I'm finally becoming my old self. 

I know this new roll is relatively new but in the past few weeks I've enjoyed endless playing with Tucker; from building forts, playing Hot Wheels, coloring, watching movies, playing trains and so on.  I've enjoyed every. single. second of it.  Along with enjoying all of my Tucker time, I've also been able to watch a couple of my daytime shows on a regular basis.
Before I would record them and try to catch up on them when possible, but inevitably the DVR would get full and I would have to delete a lot of them without watching because there simply wasn't enough time.  But one show in particular that I always tried to watch before deleting was The Chew.  I enjoy everything about that show; it's a good mix of conversation, crafts, everyday tips, and delicious recipes.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Red Velvet Chocolate Chip Crownies with Cheesecake Filling

Oh my goodness.  Have I got a treat for you.  I am so stinkin' excited to share this recipe with you.  This is a whopper of a dessert with a name so long that you may have to sit down and rest and have a sip of water just to make it through the title.  But, it's a task that is well worth the reward.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

DIY Sharpie Valentine's Mug

I know Valentine's is tomorrow and probably most everyone has bought their gifts and cards.  But, I'm sure there are a few people out there who are still looking for a gift or need a quick, last minute idea for someone.  Well, no problem.  I've got you covered.
This DIY Valentine's mug is so incredibly cute and only costs $2.00 to make.  That includes the mug and the markers.  Just $2.00 for a cute and customizable gift for that someone special!  

Nutella Marshmallows

Tomorrow is Valentines!  Have you bought your cards, flowers, chocolates and gifts?  Or will you be running by the store tonight or tomorrow at lunch to get your cards and such?  Or, do you even celebrate?
We celebrate Valentine's in our house but we don't go over the top.  Maybe a card and a box of chocolates and then I'll cook a special meal for us, but we don't buy elaborate gifts and don't want to fight the crowds at busy restaurants.  Plus, we enjoy spending time with our little guy and staying home is definitely the best way we can take advantage of that on such a busy restaurant holiday.  

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Valentine's Saltine Bark

We are T-minus 4 days to the official day of love.  Are you ready?  Whether you're celebrating with a special someone, a group of friends or flying solo good food, sweets and a few drinks are a must.  Chocolate goes hand in hand with Valentine's day, wouldn't you agree?  But to me, chocolate goes hand in hand with any day!

I've been on a major saltine bark kick lately.  You know me and my sweet and salty addiction and this bark hits all those notes; salty crackers, topped with lightly crisp caramel and then of course, the semi sweet chocolate.  I love the classic version, but I also enjoy playing with different toppings and add-ins and since Valentine's day is right around the corner I came up with a version perfect for the occasion.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Red Velvet Cream Pancakes with Marshmallow Cream Cheese Frosting

I am so so so excited to share these pancakes with you today.  It's a breakfast I've been dreaming up for quite some time and would be the perfect way to start your special someone's day on Friday.  Have you given any thought to your menu(s) for the day?  Breakfast?  Lunch?  What about supper, are you going out or cooking something special?  I know Valentine's is on Friday, a weekday, so some extravagant breakfast that keeps you in the kitchen for several hours is definitely out of the question.  But what about taking a breakfast classic, the pancake, and dressing it up for the occasion? 
Still uncertain if pancakes are special enough for the occasion?  Well, just hold on.  How about red velvet pancakes.  Getting better, right?  But it gets even better.  Fluffy red velvet pancakes stuffed with bits of cream cheese and instead of being topped with regular ol' syrup, they're topped with marshmallow cream cheese frosting.  A mouthful but oh, so worth it. 

Friday, February 7, 2014

S'mores Saltine Bark

So we're all familiar with the saltine bark that is so popular around Christmas.  The stuff that is infamously called "Crack Bark" for a very good reason.  If I know there is a container anywhere in the house I can't knowingly pass by it without getting a piece or two.  But why do we save this incredibly delicious and tempting stuff just for Christmas?  If for no other reason than to save our waistline!

Well, I'm going against all good practices and braking all the rules and making this stuff after the new year.  So put those resolutions to the side, get out those stretchy pants and help bend the rules with me!  Cause I'm in the bark making and eating mood and I need some company.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Brown Butter Caramel Nutella Chunk Skillet Cookie

I'm so excited!  Why?  Well, today is "World Nutella Day".  A day dedicated to that magical chocolate hazelnut spread.  A concoction so delicious I could simply eat it off a spoon, and sometimes do.  But I know you're not here today to read about me eating Nutella off a spoon.  You're here because it's world Nutella day and you want to know of a delicious way to use it in order to celebrate the occasion!
Well, Nutella can be used in a variety of ways.  Spread it on a piece of toast, on top a waffle, as a filling in delicious nutella rolls, on a spoon, in baked goods, on a sandwich, I mean the list just goes on and on.  One of my favorite ways to enjoy the stuff is in baked goods.  I mean chocolate and baked goods go together like peanut butter and jelly. 

Monday, February 3, 2014

Nutella Chunks

I am always looking for new cookie recipes to try.  The ultimate in cookie recipes.  The best cookie that ever touched your lips.  The chewiest, the gooeyiest.  Hands down, the best darn cookie you ever put in your mouth.  I can't tell you how many recipes I've tried, pinned and still have in my archives to try.  Because, honestly, you can never try or have too many ultimate cookie recipes.

But it seems like when a search is done for the ultimate cookie, chocolate chips are always the ones the pop up.  When a search is done for the ultimate cookie there are thousands upon thousands of chocolate chip cookies recipes that show up in that search.  And don't get me wrong, I bookmark A LOT of them.  But the other day when I was doing one of those infamous searches for the best ever cookies something popped up that I had never seen or thought of before.   It was like magic coming across the screen.  "Nutella chunk cookies".  You read right, Nutella Chunk, just like chocolate chunks but instead of plain ol' chocolate (which I love deeply) it's chunks of that deliciously addicting Nutella. 

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