Pina Colada Cupcakes

Hey Everyone!! First of all, I have to apologize about my photography. I just wasn’t feeling it yesterday, and to me, it shows. Not to mention I was kind of in a hurry trying to get everything ready. I think I told you all a while back, but in 6 days I will be headed on a cruise to the Caribbean!! Yay! Honestly, it still doesn’t feel real, but, there is still all of the house work and such that I have to get on top of in order to actually leave. But I thought to celebrate my trip we could do something with kind of a beach themed. And since a Virgin Pina Colada is my favorite drink to sip on while at the beach, this only feels befitting ๐Ÿ™‚ And I love these cupcakes. I mean, it had me at Coconut Cream Cheese Frosting. Really!? Anything with coconut and cream cheese together has got to be amazingness. Then you stick it all on top of a pineapple cake. Sign me up!!

Ugh, but now I gotta get back to the thousands of things that await me on my to do list. It will all be worth it when I’m swimming with dolphins and lying on the beach. Just gotta keep telling myself that. Enjoy!!

Printable Recipe

Pineapple Cupcakes
     2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
     1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
     1/2 teaspoon baking soda
     1/2 teaspoon salt
     3 eggs
     1 3/4 cups sugar
     1 cup vegetable oil
     1 teaspoon vanilla extract
     3/4 cup sour cream
     1 1/2 cups canned crushed pineapple (drained slightly)

Mix flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl and set aside.

In a large bowl, using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat the eggs and sugar until slightly thickened and a light cream color (about 2 minutes).

On low speed, mix in the oil and vanilla until blended.

Add in the pineapple and sour cream and mix until fully incorporated.

Like so.

Add the flour mixture.

Blend until just combined and smooth.

Line a cupcake pan with 12 paper liners.

Fill liners about 2/3 full. Bake cupcakes in a pre-heated 350 degree F oven for about 22 minutes. Remove from pan and cool on wire rack. Frosting with Coconut Cream Cheese Frosting (recipe below).

Recipe yields 24-28 cupcakes

Coconut Cream Cheese Frosting
     1/2 cup (1 stick/8 tablespoons) butter, at room temperature
     8 oz. crea, cheese, at room temperature
     1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
     1 1/2 teaspoons coconut extract
     4 cups powdered confectioners sugar
     1 tablespoon heavy cream
       -or-
     1 tablespoon Dark Rum

Place butter in a large mixing bowl and blend until smooth. Add cream cheese and blend until well combined, about 30 seconds. Add vanilla extract, coconut extract and powdered sugar (1 cup at a time) and blend on low speed until combined. Increase to medium speed and beat until it begins to get fluffy. Slowly add the heavy cream or run. Beat until fluffy, about 1 minute. Use at once or keep refrigerated. (This frosting will keep well in the refrigerator for several days, but you may need to re-beat it for the best texture.)

(Optional) To finish off cupcakes top with toasted coconut, fresh pineapple, maraschino cherries, or a paper umbrella.

Printable Recipe

Recipe from www.glorioustreats.blogspot.com.


Pina colada cupcakes
Pineapple Cupcakes
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 eggs
1 3/4 cups sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup sour cream
1 1/2 cups canned crushed pineapple (drained slightly)
Mix flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl and set aside.
In a large bowl, using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat the eggs and sugar until slightly thickened and a light cream color (about 2 minutes). On low speed, mix in the oil and vanilla until blended. Add in the pineapple and sour cream and mix until fully incorporated. Add the flour mixture and blend until just combined and smooth.
Line a cupcake pan with 12 paper liners and fill about 2/3 full. Bake cupcakes in a pre-heated 350 degree F oven for about 22 minutes. Remove from pan and cool on wire rack. Frosting with Coconut Cream Cheese Frosting (recipe below).


Recipe yields 24-28 cupcakes


Coconut Cream Cheese Frosting

1/2 cup (1 stick/8 tablespoons) butter, at room temperature
8 oz. crea, cheese, at room temperature
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 teaspoons coconut extract
4 cups powdered confectioners sugar
1 tablespoon heavy cream
-or-
1 tablespoon Dark Rum
Place butter in a large mixing bowl and blend until smooth. Add cream cheese and blend until well combined, about 30 seconds. Add vanilla extract, coconut extract and powdered sugar (1 cup at a time) and blend on low speed until combined. Increase to medium speed and beat until it begins to get fluffy. Slowly add the heavy cream or run. Beat until fluffy, about 1 minute. Use at once or keep refrigerated. (This frosting will keep well in the refrigerator for several days, but you may need to re-beat it for the best texture.)
(Optional) To finish off cupcakes top with toasted coconut, fresh pineapple, maraschino cherries, or a paper umbrella.

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Cinnamon and Sugar Pull-Apart Bread

I feel like through life we are always finding new things out about ourselves. Like for instance, as a kid I loved clam chowder. Now, I’ve come to realize that I really don’t care for it all that much, and that the only reason I was so crazy about it as a kid is that I thought it was fun to bite into the pieces of clam and have it feel and sound like you were biting into a balloon. I know… I was kind of a weird child, but weren’t we all ๐Ÿ˜‰

Anyways, through this blogging experience I have found that I love taking picture, but not just any picture. I really hate lugging around a camera just to have everyone pose awkwardly for some random photo somewhere. My sister Ashli is the photo opportunity enthusiast, so she takes care of that for me. But, I love to take pictures of movement. Why am I telling you this, you may ask, cause I went just a tad bit overboard. You have been warned!! But I loved all my pouring photos so much that I couldn’t throw them out. This is after all a food blog, and adding ingredients is a big part of the baking/cooking process. Right!?

So I have an excuse for my addictive impulse to always shoot ingredients while I am pouring them, and I completely release full responsibility for my actions to my little split personality french photographer… who exists in my brain. I have lovingly called him Jacque. How a split personality of myself can be male I have no clue, and I also have no idea if Jacque is even a french name, but there you go.

Where was I going with all this?? Oh, yeah. Ok so that is my extremely long disclosure about the many pouring pictures in this post. Moving on from my random thoughts to something actually related to this recipe which is so scrumptious. This bread is awesome! The outside is crisp and grainy from the melted sugar, and the inside is sticky and moist like the inside of a cinnamon roll. This totally satisfied my cinnamon sugar craving and was so easy to make. Enjoy!!

Printable Recipe

Cinnamon and Sugar Pull-Apart Bread
Dough
2 3/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
2 1/4 tsp. active dry yeast (1 packet)
1/2 tsp. salt
4 Tbsp. butter
1/3 cup whole milk
1/4 cup water
2 eggs (at room temperature)
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract

Filling
1 cup sugar
2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
4 Tbsp. butter, melted

In a large mixing bowl, mix 2 cups of flour.

Sugar.

Yeast and salt.

Set this flour mixture aside.

In a small sauce pan, melt the butter and milk.

Once the butter is completely melted take off the burner and add the water…

and vanilla. Let the mixture cool for 5 minutes.

Pour the milk mixture into the large bowl with the dry ingredients and mix well. Whisk together the eggs and add to the batter.

Keep mixing. Add 3/4 cup of flour and mix well. The mixture will be very sticky which means it’s perfect. Place the dough in a medium greased bowl.

Cover with wrap and let it sit in a warm place to rise for about 30-45 minutes. Once the dough has doubled its size, knead in 2 tablespoons of flour. Cover the dough again for 5-10 minutes.

Meanwhile, start on the filling. In a medium bowl, mix together the sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg in a small bowl. Set aside.

Once the dough is ready, roll it out on a floured surface. Brush the melted butter on the dough and add the sugar mixture. Make sure everything is covered.

Using a shape knife or pizza cutter, cut the dough into equal sized strips (about 2 to 2 1/2 inches wide). Then cut the strips into equal sized squares.

Stack the squares on top of each other to make 3 to 4 piles. Don’t make stacks to high or your will be cussing when you try to place them into the pan. Also, your bread will come out prettier if you don’t stack the squares perfectly aligned.

Place squares in the greased bread pan.

Take any sugar that fell off squares and sprinkle over the top and around the sides of dough. Cover the dough for another 10-15 minutes to rise.

While dough is rising, preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Place a cookie sheet under bread pan and bake for 30-35 minutes until outside of bread is golden brown.

Printable Recipe

Recipe from www.iheartfoodandsocanyou.blogspot.com.

Cinnamon and sugar pull-apart bread
Dough
2 3/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
2 1/4 tsp. active dry yeast (1 packet)
1/2 tsp. salt
4 Tbsp. butter
1/3 cup whole milk
1/4 cup water
2 eggs (at room temperature)
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
Filling
1 cup sugar
2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
4 Tbsp. butter, melted
In a large mixing bowl, mix 2 cups of flour, sugar, yeast and salt. Set aside.
In a small sauce pan, melt the butter and milk. Once the butter is completely melted take off the burner and add the water and vanilla. Let the mixture cool for 5 minutes.
Pour the milk mixture into the large bowl with the dry ingredients and mix well. Whisk together the eggs and add to the batter. Keep mixing. Add 3/4 cup of flour and mix well. The mixture will be very sticky which means it’s perfect. Place the dough in a medium greased bowl. Cover with wrap and let it sit in a warm place to rise for about 30-45 minutes. Once the dough has doubled its size, knead in 2 tablespoons of flour. Cover the dough again for 5-10 minutes.
Meanwhile, start on the filling. In a medium bowl, mix together the sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg in a small bowl. Set aside.
Once the dough is ready, roll it out on a floured surface. Brush the melted butter on the dough and add the sugar mixture. Make sure everything is covered. Using a shape knife or pizza cutter, cut the dough into equal sized strips (about 2 to 2 1/2 inches wide). Then cut the strips into equal sized squares. Stack the squares on top of each other to make 3 to 4 piles and place them in a bread pan. Take any sugar that fell off squares and sprinkle over the top and around the sides of dough. Cover the dough for another 10-15 minutes to rise.
While dough is rising, preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Place a cookie sheet under bread pan and bake for 30-35 minutes until outside of bread is golden brown.

Chocolate Rolo Cookies

Hey Everyone! Happy Monday!! Feeling back to normal. Which is great for me. Woke up this morning wondering what I would get to make today… I’m thinking either Blue Berry Muffins, or Cinnamon Sugar Pull Apart Bread. The cinnamon sugar mix has got my attention as of right now, but we’ll see.

Also, I wanted to formally thank everyone for all the encouragement!! You guys all rock! But just so everyone knows, I’m gonna keep my commenting status as is. If you wanna comment anonymously, that’s fine, but just know that I monitor all of the comment made on my site, and if I don’t like what’s being said, I reserve the right to delete it. But hopefully that won’t be a problem.

K, moving on. So, normally I don’t really care for cake mix cookies. I feel like they are too airy, and I like my cookies on the denser side. But these cookies are pretty bomb! The cookie portion is super moist and it melts in your mouth. Then you get the liquid chocolate in the center with the chewy warm caramel. Oh, so good!! And seriously, so easy and quick. No measuring out dry ingredients, and all together all you need is the 4 ingredients. Well, plus the powdered sugar to make them pretty. But really, the easiest cookies to make ever. Enjoy!!

Printable Recipe

Chocolate Rolo Cookies
     2 pkg. Rolo candies
     1 box Devils Food Cake mix
     2 eggs
     1/3 cup vegetable oil
     Powdered sugar, for dusting

In a mixing bowl add cake mix.

Oil.

And eggs.

Mix until well incorporated.

Unwrap Rolos.

Take a small amount of cake mixture and make into a flat circular shape. Place Rolo into the center and form dough around the candy. Only use enough dough to cover the Rolo so it can spread through the cookies, about 1 1/2 tablespoons.

Place cookies on either a lined or greased cookie sheet.

Bake at 350 degrees F for 7-8 minutes. Place on a cooling rack and let cool for a couple minutes. Sprinkle with powdered sugar before serving. Yield: 16 cookies.

Printable Recipe

Recipe altered from www.sixsistersstuff.com.

Chocolate Rolo Cookies
Chocolate Rolo Cookies
2 pkg. Rolo candies
1 box Devils Food Cake mix
2 eggs
1/3 cup vegetale oil
In a mixing bowl add cake mix, oil, and eggs. Mix until well incorporated. Take a small amount of cake mixture and make into a flat circular shape. Place Rolo into the center and form dough around the candy. Only use enough dough to cover the Rolo so it can spread through the cookies, about 1 1/2 tablespoons. Place cookies on either a lined or greased cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees F for 7-8 minutes. Place on a cooling rack and let cool for a couple minutes. Sprinkle with powdered sugar before serving. 
Yields: 16 cookies

Orange Rolls



Hey Everyone!! K, so if you read my last post, I’ve been in a weird funk of not wanting to post or cook lately. Which is totally not like me, so I’ve been trying to figure out what the problem is. Well, after getting a couple more comments on posts, I’ve figured it out. (Warning: I’m gonna be venting. So if this bugs and you just want to read about the recipe, jump down to the last paragraph before the ingredient list.) So, here is my problem… I started this blog for fun, cause I love to cook, and I wanted to keep basically like an ongoing journal of my progress and recipes I’ve made. Well, then I started getting follower, which was cool and fun, cause I never thought people would want to read what it was I had to say.


In the beginning, I always got positive feedback, BUT lately with the more followers I get, I’ve been starting to get some really rude comments. Part of this problem is, I just need to be thicker skinned, cause I really do take things very personal… but guys come on. You know who you are. Comments like this are not appreciated, “(link to dictionary) It’s VOILA. Not wallah. Using words like that makes you sound like a 12 year old.”


K, I’m just going to add this disclaimer. I’m not an English major. Nor did I like English as a subject much, so I do the best with what I got. If this bothers you, sorry. This is just me, and no one is making you read my posts. Don’t get me wrong, I love having the followers. And I appreciate all of the support so much cause I really love meeting you all and hearing from you, but as of right now, I have my blog where anyone can comment. Both anonymous or with your e-mail address. Cause, I really don’t want to discourage people from commenting. I love hearing from most of you with your questions and feedback on the recipes. But if people don’t stop using the anonymity as a mask to be completely uncalled for, I’ll be changing that.


And all I’m gonna say is, Everyone please be courteous. I am a person. I have feelings, and it’s my blog. I don’t need a thousand people telling me how they think I should run things. Really, it’s sucking all the fun out of it for me. I have tried to lay out everything so that it is as convenient to everyone as possible, but it’s still just a blog I have thrown together, and I am a complete computer idiot. So cut me some slack, please.


Now that I feel like I have unintentionally scolded somebody :/ lets move on to funner, happier things. Like these rolls!! Yumminess! Love these. I’ve been in a bread baking mood, and I love oranges. So when I saw this recipe in my Cooking Light cookbook, it was calling my name. Oh my heck!! So addicting (you have been warned). I had 3 all by myself. Ok, fine! It was more like 5 or 6, but who’s counting (ahem). Anyways, they are amazing. Enjoy ๐Ÿ™‚


P.S. I have no clue why this post is so spaced out? So sorry if this bugs. I can’t figure out how to fix it.


Printable Recipe


Orange Rolls
Dough
1 package dry yeast (about 2 1/4 teaspoons)
1/2 cup warm water (100 to 110 degrees F)
1 cup sugar, divided
1/2 cup reduced fat sour cream
2 tablespoons butter, softened
1 teaspoon salt
1 large egg, lightly beaten
15.75 ounces all-purpose flour (about 3 1/2 cups), divided
Cooking spray
2 tablespoons butter, melted
2 tablespoons grated orange rind


Glaze
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup butter
2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
1/2 cup reduced-fat sour cream



To Prepare dough, dissolve yeast in warm water in a small bowl; let stand 5 minutes.



In a large mixing bowl add 1/4 cup sugar, 1/2 cup sour cream, 2 tablespoons softened butter, salt, egg, and yeast mixture.



Beat with a mixer at medium speed until smooth.



Weigh or lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Add 9 ounces flour (about 2 cups to yeast mixture.



Beat until smooth.



Add 4.5 ounces flour (about 1 cup) to yeast mixture. Stirring until a soft dough forms. Turn dough out onto a floured surface.



Knead until smooth and elastic (about 10 minutes); add enough of remaining flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, to prevent dough from sticking to hands (dough will feel sticky).



Place dough in a large bowl coated with cooking spray, turning to coat top. Cover and let rise in a warm place (85 degrees F), free from drafts, 1 hour and 15 minutes or until doubled in size. (Gently press two fingers into dough. If indentation remains, dough has risen enough.)



Punch dough down; cover and let rest 5 minutes. Divide dough in half. Working with 1 portion at a time (cover remaining dough to prevent drying), roll each portion or dough into a 12-inch circle on a floured surface. Brush surface of each circle with 1 tablespoon melted butter. Combine 3/4 cup sugar and rind. Sprinkle half of sugar mixture over each circle.



Cut each circle into 12 wedges. Roll up each wedge tightly, beginning at wide end.



Place rolls, point sides down, in a 13 x 9-inch baking pan coated with cooking spray. Cover and let rise 25 minutes or until doubled in size.


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.


Uncover dough. Bake at 350 degrees F for 25 minutes or until golden brown.



While rolls bake, prepare glaze. Combine 3/4 cup sugar, 1/4 cup butter, and orange juice in a small saucepan; bring to a boil over medium heat. Cook 3 minutes or until sugar dissolves, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat; cool slightly.



Stir in 1/2 cup sour cream. Drizzle glaze over warm rolls; let stand 20 minutes before serving. Yield: 2 dozen.


Recipe from Cooking Light Comfort Food.


Printable Recipe

Orange Rolls

Dough
1 package dry yeast (about 2 1/4 teaspoons)
1/2 cup warm water (100 to 110 degrees F)
1 cup sugar, divided
1/2 cup reduced fat sour cream
2 tablespoons butter, softened
1 teaspoon salt

1 large egg, lightly beaten

15.75 ounces all-purpose flour (about 3 1/2 cups), divided
Cooking spray
2 tablespoons butter, melted
2 tablespoons grated orange rind
Glaze
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup butter
2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
1/2 cup reduced-fat sour cream
To Prepare dough, dissolve yeast in warm water in a small bowl; let stand 5 minutes. In a large mixing bowl add 1/4 cup sugar, 1/2 cup sour cream, 2 tablespoons softened butter, salt, egg, and yeast mixture. Beat with a mixer at medium speed until smooth. Weigh or lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Add 9 ounces flour (about 2 cups to yeast mixture; beat until smooth. Add 4.5 ounces flour (about 1 cup) to yeast mixture, stirring until a soft dough forms. Turn dough out onto a floured surface. Knead until smooth and elastic (about 10 minutes); add enough of remaining flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, to prevent dough from sticking to hands (dough will feel sticky).
Place dough in a large bowl coated with cooking spray, turning to coat top. Cover and let rise in a warm place (85 degrees F), free from drafts, 1 hour and 15 minutes or until doubled in size. (Gently press two fingers into dough. If indentation remains, dough has risen enough.)
Punch dough down; cover and let rest 5 minutes. Divide dough in half. Working with 1 portion at a time (cover remaining dough to prevent drying), roll each portion or dough into a 12-inch circle on a floured surface. Brush surface of each circle with 1 tablespoon melted butter. Combine 3/4 cup sugar and rind. Sprinkle half of sugar mixture over each circle. Cut each circle into 12 wedges. Roll up each wedge tightly, beginning at wide end. Place rolls, point sides down, in a 13 x 9-inch baking pan coated with cooking spray. Cover and let rise 25 minutes or until doubled in size.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Uncover dough. Bake at 350 degrees F for 25 minutes or until golden brown.
While rolls bake, prepare glaze. Combine 3/4 cup sugar, 1/4 cup butter, and orange juice in a small saucepan; bring to a boil over medium heat. Cook 3 minutes or until sugar dissolves, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat; cool slightly. Stir in 1/2 cup sour cream. Drizzle glaze over warm rolls; let stand 20 minutes before serving. Yield: 2 dozen.

Lemon Bar Trifle

I don’t know why, but I have been in such a funk these last couple of days. I’m just in like a “whatever” mood. I don’t feel like posting or cooking. It’s so weird. So I’m trying to kick myself out of it.

I have been totally in love with my trifle dish lately, so I had to make another one, especially when I saw this gorgeous dessert. (Crap, I’m still not feeling it.) K, so sorry about my funk. Totally try this recipe. It’s really amazing. It’s just like a lemon bar, but scaled up a few notches. It’s creamy, and crunchy, and oh so lemony! Enjoy!!

Lemon Bar Trifle
Crust
     2 cups all-purpose flour
     1 cup chopped pecans
     1 cup butter, melted

Lemon Layer
     1-1/2 cups sugar
     1/4 cup cornstarch
     1/4 cup all-purpose flour
     1-3/4 cups cold water
     3 egg yolks, beaten
     2/3 cup lemon juice
     2 tablespoons butter
     4 teaspoons grated lemon peel

Cream Cheese Layer
     1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
     3 cups confectioners’ sugar
     1 carton (8 ounces) frozen whipped topping, thawed

In a small bowl, combine flour and pecans; stir in butter. Press into an ungreased 13-in. x 9-in. baking dish. Bake at 350 degrees F for 18-20 minutes or until lightly golden brown. Cool on a wire rack.

In a small heavy saucepan, combine sugar, cornstarch and flour. Stir in water until smooth. Cook and stir over medium-high heat until thickened and bubbly. Reduce heat; cook and stir 2 minutes longer.

Remove from the heat. Stir a small amount of hot mixture into egg yolks; return all to the pan, stirring constantly. Bring to a gentle boil; cook and stir 2 minutes longer. Remove from the heat. Gently stir in the lemon juice, butter and lemon peel.

Transfer to a large bowl. Cool to room temperature without stirring. Cover surface with waxed paper; refrigerate until chilled.

In a large bowl, beat cream cheese and confectioners’ sugar until smooth. Fold in whipped topping. Crumble the baked pecan mixture; set aside 1/2 cup for topping.

Just before serving, in a 3-qt. trifle bowl, layer 1 cup each pecan mixture, lemon mixture and cream cheese mixture. Repeat layers twice. Sprinkle with reserved pecan mixture. Refrigerated leftovers.

Printable Recipe

Recipe from Taste of Home Most Requested Recipes Magazine.

Creme de Menthe Brownies

Happy Saint Patrick’s Day Everyone!! I’m part Irish, so of course I have to post something green today to celebrate.

I saw this recipe on Semi Homemade, except Miss Sandra Lee baked her brownies in a crock pot. Well, if you know me, I’m not very patient. I like things done here and now. So, it’s probably no surprise that I didn’t want to wait 4 to 6 hours for these to be done. So I thought I’d try my luck at baking the brownies in a pan instead.

I had to make up for the differences though. One of the things that Sandra said about her crock pot brownies was that cooking her brownies in the crock pot made them super moist. Well, I wanted my brownies to come out be super moist too!! So as an alternative, I substituted normal brownie mix, for fudge brownie mix. I prefer this anyways, because I can totally tell the difference between normal brownies to fudge brownies. To me they’re more moist, more flavorful, and just overall more amazing. AND lets not leave out the mint and cream cheese and all that goodness! These brownies are bomb!! And of course, festive and green ๐Ÿ™‚ Enjoy!!

P.S. I found it much easier to cut and serve these after letting the brownies completely cool in the fridge overnight. Also, if you wanna double the recipe and bake in a 9 x 13 inch pan, like I did, just be sure to bake for longer. You’re gonna want to bake for 60 to 70 minutes. Just be sure to check on it periodically to see if it’s done.

Creme de Menthe Brownies
     1 (18-ounce) box fudge brownie mix
     3 eggs
     1/2 cup vegetable oil
     1/4 cup plus 2 teaspoons creme de menthe liqueur, divided
     1/2 cup chopped creme de menthe thins, about 18 (recommended: Andes)
     1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
     1/2 cup sugar
     Green food coloring (optional)

Lightly spray a 8 x 8 inch pan with butter-flavored cooking spray.

In a medium bowl, combine brownie mix.

And if you use the fudge brownie mix, be sure to add the chocolate syrup that comes with it also.

Also add 2 eggs.

Vegetable oil.

And 1/2 cup creme de menthe liqueur. I love the green. So gorgeous!!

On medium speed, mix until mixture is combined.

Fold in chopped mint thins.

Then transfer to prepared pan and set aside.

In a medium bowl beat cream cheese until smooth. Add remaining egg, sugar, and 2 teaspoons creme de menthe. Beat on low speed until combined. Add additional food coloring, if desired, to brighten green color.

Spread over brownie mixture. Use a butter knife to cut cream cheese mixture into brownie mixture for a marble effect.

Place pan on rack placed in the middle of oven and bake at 350 degrees F for 50 to 55 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the center of brownies comes out wet but not gooey.

Allow brownies to cool completely before cutting.

Printable Recipe

Recipe altered from foodnetwork.com

Smoky Chicken Cacciatore

I don’t know if I told you all this yet, but me and my hubby just celebrated our 9 year anniversary Feb. 19th. When we got married everyone told us not to go a honeymoon and to just save our money, so we did and since have always regretted not taking that chance to go somewhere really neat together. Over the years we have taken a few small trips here and there, but nothing big. So this year we are going to take a big trip.

I have never been on a cruise, and my husband has. One of the only things he’s done that I haven’t. So he demanded that he take me one. We’re leaving April 6th and I will be gone for a whole week with no kids or responsibilities. Yeah, I could get used to that ๐Ÿ˜‰ Not to mention, I guess the food is amazing, so… to be honest, that’s really what I’m looking forward to.

So the moral of this story of mine is, I have to get my beach body ready. We’re going to the Caribbean, so I’m going to be in a bikini most of the week and want to be able to eat whatever I want. Meaning, most of my dinners for the next couple of weeks need to be on the leaner side. Don’t stress, I can’t go more then a few days without making some kind of a desserts, but, this is why I’m putting this, not so pretty, but super flavorful low calorie meal on here.

There is really only so many times that I can have baked chicken, and this gives an amazing twist to chicken. It’s even more low calorie if you either don’t serve it over the rice, or if you serve it over brown rice instead, since white rice turns right into sugar in your system. Or so I’m told. But, this meal is packed with flavor and is super fast and easy!! Enjoy!

Smoky Chicken Cacciatore
     1 large white onion, diced
     1 large red pepper, diced
     2 garlic cloves, minced
     3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
     4 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cubed
     1 teaspoon black pepper
     1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
     1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
     1/4 cup Fontinella cheese, grated
     1/4 cup Gruyere cheese, grated
     1/2 – 3/4 teaspoon liquid smoke, per taste
     cooked rice

First, start cooking your rice.

Add diced onion, red pepper, and minced garlic to a large saucepan and saute over medium heat until onions start to turn translucent. About 2 – 3 minutes.

Add balsamic vinegar and saute for another minute.

Turn up the burner to medium-high heat and add the chicken, pepper, and garlic salt. Cook until chicken is done throughout, about 5 minutes.

Push the chicken/onion mix to the side, and add flour onto liquid at the bottom of the pan. Stir for a minute or two to allow the liquid to thicken. Add grated cheeses and stir in till you can no longer see it. Turn off the heat and add the liquid smoke. Make sure to stir it in so that the taste is even throughout. Let chicken sit for a minute to cool and let flavors combined. Serve over cooked rice.

Printable Recipe

A FoodSnots Original