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Wednesday
Apr022014

Strawberry muffins

These muffins did not want to be made. My first batch was good, but not great. I altered the recipe in order to make them great (and they are!). When I started the second batch, I realized I didn't have flour. What?! When do I not have flour in my kitchen? The next day, flour in hand, my strawberries were lacking freshness. The next day after purchasing a fresh package of strawberries, I was out of butter (seriously). Later that same day, after grabbing some butter at Target, I was out of vanilla. What the heck! They eventually got made, and they were well worth the wait. My boys LOVED them. They were pleading and begging and MOM-CAN-I-PLEASE-HAVE-ANOTHER-ing. I used these babies as leverage for at least two days.

It was fate for this post to stand out because it is also my 400th recipe! Wow! We have to celebrate this somehow, right? What better way to celebrate than to do a giveaway! So here's the scoop. Leave a comment on this post saying anything at all (PLEASE leave an email address so I can contact you). My favorite comment will receive all of the following:
- $25 Visa gift card
- Pip & Ebby t-shirt
- A few other goodies that may or may not be related to Easter
 
 

One winner will be selected at 9:00 am CST on 4/7/14. 

 

Onto the muffins!

First, prepare the topping.

It should look something like this. Yummy and crumbly. Set it aside for now.

Combine the dry ingredients.

In a separate bowl, combine everything else.

Gradually add the flour mixture to it. Throw in some pretty strawberries.

Pour the batter into a muffin tin and top with the crumbles.

When they are done baking, your home will smell soooo good. All nearby bellies will be happy ones.

Now go check your supplies and whip these babies up! 

Strawberry Muffins

A great way to use up fresh berries!

Serves: 12

Total time: 45 min

Strawberry Muffins



Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 6 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 cups hulled, chopped strawberries (pat dry with a paper towel)
Instructions:
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Coat a muffin tin with cooking spray and set aside.
  2. In a small bowl, combine 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1/2 cup flour and 2 tablespoons melted butter. Stir until crumbly and set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, combine 1 1/2 cups flour, the baking powder, baking soda and salt. Mix well and set aside. In a large bowl, combine the eggs, sugar, 1/4 cup brown sugar, 6 tablespoons butter, sour cream and vanilla. Stir until creamy. Gradually add the flour mixture and stir until combined. Fold in the strawberries.
  4. Divide the batter between the 12 muffin cups. Top with the crumbles. Bake in the preheated oven for 25 to 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the centers comes out clean.

 

 

Wednesday
Mar262014

Chicken parmesan

We have a super fun weekend ahead of us involving circus animals, family and friends. Not all at the same time. I also caught a quick glimpse of the weekend weather forecast and I think it'll make a lot of Minnesotans happy. My stepmom will be spending tonight with us, which we are all excited about. One of my favorite meals ever is on the menu, along with a brand new potato recipe that I'm looking forward to sinking my teeth into. What are you up to this weekend? I hope you have something fun planned!

I made this chicken parmesan for my family last week and the only thing wrong with it was that I had never made it before! What a crying shame!

Pound a few chicken breasts with a meat mallet or rolling pin (or whatever you have in your kitchen that might get the job done) so that they are 1/2 inch thick. 

I found that placing them between two sheets of wax paper was helpful and kept chicken bits from flying around my kitchen. 

Throw the following ingredients into a giant skillet and let your home begin to smell like heaven.

Add some crushed tomatoes.

While that is simmering, you can tend to your chicken. Set up a little assembly line of shallow dishes. Fill one with flour.

One with breadcrumbs and Parm.

And one with eggs.

Coat each breast with flour.

Soak it in the eggs.

And finish with the breadcrumb mixture.

Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Turn the heat down slightly and cook the breasts for about 3 minutes on each side, or until cooked through.

Pour half of the sauce into a baking dish and top with the cooked breasts. I had a few crispy ones that I tried to crop out of the photo. Oopsies.

Top with remaining sauce, fresh mozzarella and basil!

Bake and serve over spaghetti noodles. Can you say YUM?!

Chicken Parmesan

Add this recipe to your rotation. It's a family pleaser!

Serves: 4

Total time: 1 hr, 10 min

Chicken Parmesan



Ingredients:

  • 4 chicken breast halves
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 28-oz. can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 cup flour
  • Sprinkling of salt and pepper
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • Splash of water
  • 1 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 4 oz. fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced
  • 4 oz. spaghetti noodles, cooked to al dente
Instructions:
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Coat a 9x13 baking dish with cooking spray and set aside.
  2. Using a meat mallet, pound chicken breasts to 1/2-inch thickness. Set aside. Heat 3 Tbsp. olive oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add onion, garlic, oregano, basil, sugar, salt and pepper. Cook until onion is soft and fragrant, about 3 minutes. Add the crushed tomatoes and reduce heat to Low. Simmer for 10 minutes.
  3. Line up an assembly line of three shallow dishes. In the first, combine the flour, salt and pepper. In the second, combine the eggs and water. In the third, combine the breadcrumbs and Parmesan cheese. Thoroughly coat each breast with flour mixutre, followed by egg mixture, followed by breadcrumb mixture.
  4. Heat 1/4 cup olive oil in a skillet over medium-heat for 3 to 4 minutes. Reduce heat to medium and cook the coated breasts in the hot oil for about 3 minutes on each side, or until cooked through. Pour half of the sauce into the prepared baking dish. Top with cooked chicken breasts and remaining sauce. Top with mozzarella slices and bake in preheated oven for 20 minutes. Serve over cooked spaghetti noodles.

 

 

Monday
Mar242014

Loaded baked potato rounds

One of the first things I do every morning is peek at the 5-day forecast on my phone. I got very excited when I saw 48 degrees as the projected high for Saturday. Beach weather! People will be strolling all around the Twin Cities wearing t-shirts and shorts. In the meantime, we are all still cooped up inside, watching the snow fall and wishing the ice on our driveways would magically melt as we continue with our "winter eating." Although typically more of an appetizer, I made these loaded baked potato rounds for dinner the other night. I presented them to the boys as potato chips. "Why are you letting us eat potato chips for dinner, Mom?" Because I'm a super-cool mom. And because they are super yummy!

 

Start out with a handful of baby red potatoes. They are the perfect size for these rounds and I just happen to be madly in love with baby reds.

I tried slicing the potatoes with my mandolin and it was a disaster. My sharp and trusty chef's knife was a much better option. Slice the potatoes so they are no more than 1/2 inch thick. Place them on a rimmed, parchment-lined baking sheet and brush them with olive oil. Sprinkle some kosher salt over the tops.

Bake them until they are perfectly browned. Yum!

Add delicious toppings and throw back in the oven.

Until your mouth is watering. Let those babies cool for a minute. Overly eager mouths will get burned. Trust me.

Dinner tonight? CUPCAKES! 

Loaded Baked Potato Rounds

Imagine a loaded baked potato in a compact bite in your fingertips!

Serves: 8-12

Total time: 50 min

Loaded Baked Potato Rounds



Ingredients:

  • 5-6 baby red potatoes, sliced into 1/2-inch thick rounds
  • Olive oil, for brushing
  • Kosher salt, for sprinkling
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 8 strips bacon, cooked and chopped
  • 3 tablespoons chopped chives
Instructions:
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line two rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. Brush both sides of each potato round with olive oil and place in a single layer on the prepared baking sheets. Sprinkle with kosher salt. Bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes, flipping the rounds halfway.
  3. Remove from oven and top with cheese, bacon and chives. Bake for another 10 minutes, or until cheese is melted. Serve warm, finger-food style.

 

 

Tuesday
Mar182014

Pizza pasta bake

I'm coming down off my morning coffee high. Yowza! I am not a frequent coffee drinker, so when I do have a cup I get a little nutty! Instead of walking to the bathroom like a normal person, I found myself RUNNING to the bathroom a few times this morning. I caught myself in the act and wondered what the heck my husband had put in my coffee! I'm feeling much more normal now. Time for another cup! Kidding.

I'm not kidding when I say I'm in love with this pizza pasta bake. You get a little taste of each, and it's ridiculously easy to make. You can make it more complicated, if you'd like, and add some peppers or corn or another type of cheese. 

 

Cook the ground beef and onion in a large skillet.

Throw in some spaghetti sauce and cooked pasta.

I love steamy photos. Oops, don't take that the wrong way. 

Mix it all together and throw it into a baking dish.

Top with mozzarella cheese and pepperoni and pop that baby in the oven!

Thirty minutes later, you'll have a happy belly and a happy family!

Enjoy!

Pizza Pasta Bake

Is it pizza? Pasta? A casserole? Yes yes yes!

Serves: 8

Total time: 45 min

Pizza Pasta Bake



Ingredients: 

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 24-oz. jar spaghetti sauce
  • 16-oz. package any variety of pasta, cooked to al dente
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 20 pepperoni slices
Instructions:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Coat a 9x13 baking dish with cooking spray and set aside.
  2. Cook ground beef in a large skillet over medium-high heat until meat is no longer pink. Drain excess grease and add onion to skillet. Cook over medium heat for an additional 3 to 5 minutes, or until onion is soft and fragrant. Add salt and pepper, along with the spaghetti sauce and cooked pasta. Cook until sauce is warm, about 5 additional minutes.
  3. Add contents of skillet to prepared baking dish. Top with mozzarella cheese and pepperoni slices. Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes.

 

 

Friday
Mar142014

Slow cooker pesto ranch chicken

Why oh why have I not been posting recipes, you ask? Because I have been busy redesigning this website and trying to make it friendlier and prettier. And then I have been scrambling to fix mistakes because every redesign comes with inevitable accidents. Like absent-mindedly changing the url of every single post so that nobody can access a single recipe for three hours. We're all good now. I hope you like the changes!

I have seen variations of this recipe floating around for a while now and I've been excited to try it. I was not disappointed. Any time a slow cooker is involved, you know the recipe will be easy. In addition to that, this chicken was packed with flavor and also super tender. It's a keeper!

 

Throw a few boneless chicken breasts into your slow cooker. Pour pesto over the top and spread it over the chicken.

Sprinkle Ranch dressing mix over the top of that.

Add some chicken broth.

And that is the extent of your cooking efforts for the day. Unless you want a salad and rice, but you can do that while your slow cooker is working hard.

Spoon the juices over the chicken before serving!

Slow Cooker Pesto Ranch Chicken

It doesn't get much easier (and tastier) than this, people.

Serves: 6

Total time: 5-6 hrs

Slow Cooker Pesto Ranch Chicken



Ingredients:

  • 6 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, fat trimmed
  • 7-oz. jar pesto
  • 1-oz. package dry Ranch dressing mix
  • 16 oz. chicken broth
Instructions:
  1. Place chicken breasts in a slow cooker. Top with an even layer of pesto followed by the ranch dressing mix. Pour the chicken broth over top.
  2. Cook on Low setting for 5 to 6 hours, or until chicken is fully cooked and tender. Serve with rice or noodles. Spoon the juices from the slow cooker over top before serving.