Triple Chocolate & Peanut Butter Brownies

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Brownies are such a delicious and simple dessert to make.  They never go to waste in my house and are usually gone within a couple days of making them. These brownies are super rich and absolutely delicious.  There are layers of chocolate and peanut butter which make them over the top delicious and super rich. The brownies are a box mix made by Duncan Hines (not sponsored) Yes, I love everything made by Duncan Hines and never feel guilty about making a cake or brownies from a box as long it is this brand.

The frosting is one of my favorite peanut butter frosting recipes out there. It was given to me by my dear friend Mary.  I just have to share with you what beautiful and delicious bake goods she makes; I admire her baking and decorating talent.  A few years back my mom and my aunt used Mary’s peanut butter frosting on cupcakes they made for my son’s graduation party and everyone raved about how delicious they were….so I had to simply find out for myself.  I was obsessed after one bite and since have not used another peanut butter frosting recipe.

The chocolate frosting on top of the brownies is the recipe my aunt uses on her Ho Ho cake; I just made 1/2 the recipe.  I like thick cake like brownies and use a 9 ×9 Slice Solutions Brownie Pan made by Metallic Solution (not sponsored), it makes 12 brownies. This pan is perfect because it makes the brownies all the same size and they turn out impeccable. If you don’t have a brownie pan you need to head over to their website and order one, I promise you won’t regret it.  Here is their link… http://www.chicagometallicbakeware.com/slice-solutions-brownie-pan-407.html.

This recipe makes 12 brownies if you use a 9 ×9 pan; I suggest using the cake like recipe on the back of the brownie box.  You can use a larger pan but your brownies won’t be as thick.  Please feel free to leave your feedback or comments below. Enjoy!

Items below are not sponsored

Ingredients for Triple Choc Brownies

Ingredients- Brownies

1 Brownie mix
Ingredients for cake like brownies on back of box
10-12 chopped miniature peanut butter cups

Instructions- Brownies

•Preheat oven according to instructions; spray 9×9 brownie pan with non-stick spray.

•Follow cake like brownie recipe on the back of the box; pour batter into prepared pan and bake according to instructions.  Allow to cool completely. 

Ingredients – Peanut Butter Frosting

1 cup powdered sugar
3/4 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup softened butter
1/4 cup milk 
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions -Peanut Butter Frosting

•Cream butter and peanut butter in mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy; add vanilla and mix well. Add powdered sugar in 1/4 cup increments; alternating with milk and beat 3-4 minutes.   

•Spread a thick layer of frosting on cooled brownies.

Ingredients- Chocolate Frosting (Glaze)

3/4 cup powdered sugar
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 tablespoons melted butter
3 tablespoons milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions- Chocolate Frosting (Glaze)

•In a medium bowl using a spoon mix unsweetened cocoa and vegetable oil until mixed well; add butter and continue to mix until smooth. 

•Add vanilla and powdered sugar in 1/4 cup increments alternating with milk.  Mix well until smooth ending with milk.  

•Note- you may need less milk or more milk depending on consistency.  You don’t want the frosting (glaze) to be thick you want it to be a bit runnier than a frosting. 

•Use a pastry bag or a knife and top the brownies with frosting (glaze).

•Sprinkle brownies with chopped peanut butter cups

 


 

 

 

Mini Carrot Cake

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With Easter coming soon I wanted to make a delicious dessert to enjoy with my friends and family without spending hours in the kitchen.  To make these mini cakes I used a Duncan Hines Decadent Classic Carrot Cake Mix and let me just say it’s extremely moist and delicious, you’d think it was from scratch.  Did you know the Duncan Hines Decadent cake mixes have no artificial flavors, no hydrogenated oils and has 0 trans-fat?  How about that??!! The carrot cake mix includes real raisins and carrots which fool you into thinking your biting into a cake made from scratch.

All you do to make the cakes is prepare the cake mix according to the instructions on the back of the box.  Line a jelly roll pan with parchment paper and spray with non-stick cooking spray.  Pour cake batter into pan; use a rubber spatula to make sure the batter gets into the corners of the pan evenly.  After smoothing the batter out, lightly tap the pan on the counter getting all the air bubbles out and allowing the batter to evenly disburse onto the pan.  Bake the cake according to the time and temperature on the back of the box. Oven times vary so be cautious not to over bake it, I baked my cake for 15 minutes and it was prefect.

Mini Carrot Cake Mix

Allow the cake to completely cool before removing the parchment paper. While, the cake is cooling you can prepare the cream cheese frosting.  This frosting recipe made more frosting than what I needed, so I used the leftover frosting and put it on the cake pieces I had left after cutting out my mini cakes. Or you could make cake balls with the left over cake and frosting.

Once cooled, lay the cake on a flat surface and use a round cookie cutter to cut out small cake layers.  I used two different cutters and got two different size cakes.  I did have a bit of a struggle with a few of the cakes sticking to the cutter so I’d suggest lightly spraying them with non-stick spray.  Once all the mini cakes are cut out, use a piping bag and place frosting between layers. I made some of make cakes two layers and some of them three. Use whatever kind of tip you’d like depending on the design you’re looking for.  I purchased these little candy bunnies at a local cake shop they are made by Wilton (not sponsored).  Aren’t they just adorable?

You may notice small pieces of carrots and or raisins sticking out the side of the cakes,  just gently pull them out so you have a nice round cake. Top  mini cakes with sprinkles to give them a cuteness that’s completely undeniable.  I had so much fun making these little mini cakes and spent far less time making them as I would have if I had made the cake from scratch.  I promise you won’t even be able to tell the cake is from a box. You absolutely can’t go wrong with Duncan Hines, I promise.  Another quick tip is to make sure not to over mix your cake batter; you can prepare the batter by hand there is no need for a mixer.

You will find the frosting recipe below, please feel free to leave your comments and feedback!

Instructions -Cake

•Preheat oven to 350 degrees

•Prepare cake batter according to the back of the box. 

•Prepare a jelly roll pan by lining it with parchment paper and spraying with non-stick spray. Pour cake batter into pan; using a rubber spatula evenly spread batter into corners.  Tap pan on a flat surface to remove all the air bubbles and evenly disburse batter onto the pan.

•Bake for 12-15 minutes or until tooth pick test shows cake is done. 

•While cake is baking prepare frosting recipe that is listed below. 

•Allow cake to completely cool before removing from pan; once cooled remove parchment paper and place cake on a flat surface.

•Use a round cookie cutter to cut out mini cakes; use a piping bag and tip of your choice to fill each layer with desired amount of frosting.

•Decorate the tops of the cakes with sprinkles. 

Ingredients Frosting

1- package (8 oz) cold cream cheese 
1- stick butter (room temperature)
2 tablespoons sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 1/2 cups powdered sugar

•In a medium bowl, beat cream cheese, butter, sour cream and vanilla on low-speed until smooth. Add powdered sugar one cup at a time and continue to beat on low-speed until creamy and smooth.

Mini Cake Cakes on Stands

Cilantro-Lime Rice

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I know you all agree that cilantro and lime are the perfect addition to any Mexican dish. This past weekend I made cilantro- lime chicken and rice recipe was a perfect side dish to serve with it.  I added cumin which put it over the top delicious.  Honestly, I think this is the best rice I have eaten and I could eat it all by itself, straight from the bowl. It was super fluffy and rich in flavor!

 I know I’ve mentioned in a previous post how important it is to rinse rice before cooking but it’s worth mentioning again. When rinsing, I use a mesh strainer and run the rice under cold water until the water runs clear. Once rinsed, I transfer the rice into a saucepan or skillet. I have never been one to skip a simple task but, for some reason, I would always forget to rinse my rice. No wonder it always turned out sticky and all clumped together!  Rinsing removes the surface starch and aides in making the rice clean, fresh and fluffy. This one simple step is important and makes a big difference – the extra effort will be greatly rewarded. 

 Hope you enjoy this recipe and my tips on cooking rice. Feel free to share your comments and feedback below.

Ingredients

1 cup basmati rice
2 cups chicken broth
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon lime zest
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
1/2 teaspoon roasted cumin

•Rinse rice in cold water throughly in a strainer until water runs clear. 

•Combine rice, chicken broth, butter, garlic salt and cumin in a large skillet or saucepan.
Cover and bring to a boil on medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer
20 minutes. Note: Stir in between to make sure it’s not sticking to pan.

•Remove from heat allow to stand with lid on for 10-15 minutes. Remove lid and add
fresh lime juice, lime zest, and chopped cilantro; Stir with wooden spoon until well
combined.

•Optional Garnish- lime wedges, chopped cilantro and jalapeno’s


			

Creamy Cilantro Lime Chicken

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Lately, I have this insane addiction to Mexican food. When I make my homemade salsa I am always trying to come up with a new Mexican dish to serve with it.  My salsa recipe is a big hit so I am always thinking of ways to incorporate it into my meals.  You can find my salsa recipe on my blog. In the summer months my family loves when I grill boneless skinless chicken breast topped with shredded cheese and salsa.  Since the weather here in Ohio has been cold and snowy I wasn’t up for grilling so I came up with this creamy cilantro and lime chicken dish which I pan seared then baked in the oven.

I suggest you make a double recipe because it’s so delicious everyone will be coming back for a second helping.  The sauce is a combination of herbs, spices and fresh lime juice.  I am obsessed with using fresh herbs and lime juice in my recipes, especially my Mexican dishes. I topped the chicken with some homemade guacamole, homemade salsa and sour cream. The chicken was extremely moist and juicy which is why it’s so important to marinade the chicken prior to cooking it.  The combination of the herbs, spices, olive oil and lime juice gives the chicken an authentic Mexican flavor which is literally delicious!

I served the chicken with cilantro- lime rice along with homemade tortillas.  The tortilla recipe I got from Dinners, Dishes and Desserts blog. Let me just say I won’t be buying tortillas anymore.  These tortillas are fluffy, soft and delicious.  Make sure to head over to her blog and search tortillas to get the recipe.  The cilantro rice recipe will be up on my blog soon so please stay tuned.  It’s extremely simple to make as well and has such amazing flavor and texture.  I hope you enjoy this recipe and please feel free to share your feedback and comments below.

Ingredients Chicken Marinade

4 boneless skinless chicken breast
1 lime (juice)
2 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
2 chopped green onions
4 minced garlic cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground roasted cumin
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon garlic salt
Ground pepper to taste

Instructions Chicken Marinade

•Combine all ingredients in a glass baking dish and add chicken; cover and refrigerate for anywhere from 2 hours to overnight.

Marinaded Cilantro Lime Chicken Final Edited

Ingredients Sauce

1 cup chicken broth
1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup of a meltable cheese (I use Gruyere)
1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
Salt to taste

Instructions Sauce

•Preheat oven to 375 F

•Heat a large pan; add chicken breasts, remaining marinade, chopped onion and cilantro. Brown chicken on each side 5-6 minutes. You want the chicken to be brown but not cooked through yet. Once browned remove chicken and place in a prepared baking dish; cover.

•Add chicken broth and heavy whipping cream to pan; cook and stir scraping the brown bits from the skillet. Add cheese and continue to stir on low until cheese is melted and well combined. Add salt to taste. Pour sauce over chicken and bake for 15-20 minutes until chicken is done. Oven times may vary.

•Optional garnish: cilantro, sour cream, salsa, guacamole or lime wedges.

Sweet and Spicy Buffalo Wings

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Wings have always been one of my favorites.  I like them with a bit of a kick but not too spicy.  That’s what I love about this recipe; you can add more red chili paste and spicy mustard for additional zing or less for a sweeter flavor.  The trick to this recipe is allowing the wings to soak in brine for 4-6 hours.  This adds flavor and keeps the wings tender and juicy.  When I say tender and juicy, I mean tender and juicy…. if you brine your wings for at least 4-6 hours you will never again make wings without using this technique again.

There are endless recipes for brine; you can create almost any combination of spices and herbs and make fabulous brine.  My cousin Susan is the one who introduced me to brining chicken and turkey.  She shared her favorite brine with me but unfortunately I didn’t have any so I came up with my own recipe.  A few ideas of ingredients which can be combined to make brine are: sugar, vinegar, kosher salt, soy sauce, worcestershire sauce, garlic cloves, brown sugar, pepper corns, red pepper flakes, molasses, rosemary, thyme, white wine, and parsley stems.  These are just a few examples and any of these ingredients combined make an excellent brine.

I have included the recipe for the brine I made but you can use any brine combination you’d like or already prepared brine youve purchase from your local store. My favorite wings are frozen wings made by Perdue (not sponsored) their 100% all natural, contain no antibiotics, no animal by- products, are cage free, and contain no hormones or steroids.  I place the wings in a large stock pot of brine; cover and let soak for 4 -6 hours.  If you use wings which are thawed you will need to refrigerate them after placing them in brine.  If the wings are frozen and I plan on soaking them longer than 4 hours I place them in the refrigerator.

The brining process in combination with the sauce recipe creates without a doubt the most delicious wings.  The wings are so juicy and tender, I promise this will be your new favorite recipe!…

Ingredients Brine

3 pounds chicken wings
8 cups of water
1/4 cup vinegar
1/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon red pepper flakes
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon pepper corns
2 sprigs of fresh rosemary

Instructions Brine

•Combine all ingredients in a large stock pot and allow chicken to brine for 4-6 hours.

Ingredients Sauce

1 cup ketchup
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon roasted red chili paste
1/2 teaspoon sweet hot mustard
1/2 teaspoon rice vinegar
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon worcestershire sauce

Instructions Sauce

•Add all ingredients to a small saucepan and simmer 15-20 minutes on medium heat; continually stirring so sauce doesn’t stick to pan.

Instructions Baking Wings

•Place 1/2 of the wings on a prepared broiler pan and bake at 425 F•  25-30 minutes. Repeat once first batch is done. Note: If you like your wings extra crispy place oven on broil for the last 2-4 minutes.

•Transfer wings to a bowl and pour prepared sauce over wings; lightly toss until completely covered in sauce. Repeat with second batch of wings.

•Serve with celery and carrot sticks; and preferred dressing.

 









 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Roasted Veggies

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If you’re looking for a quick meal full of lots of healthy vegetables which taste delicious you absolutely have to make this roasted veggie recipe.  To top that it is super quick to prepare and bakes for less than 30 minutes. I purchased the vegetables in bags so they were readily available; already rinsed and cut up. It’s all about convenience right??… I layered them on a prepared baking sheet ; drizzled extra virgin olive oil and wildflower honey over them; sprinkled chopped fresh rosemary and parsley, minced garlic and baked them for 25-30 minutes.

Let me just say my brother, sister-in-law, and I devoured them for dinner this weekend. I will definitely be making them again soon.  Keep in mind you can use any of your favorite vegetables or follow the recipe exact. Either way you won’t be let… down I promise!

Enjoy! Broasted Veggies

Ingredients

10 ounce bag of cauliflower
2 cups cubed yellow squash
2 cups fresh green beans
1 pound asparagus
1 bag small carrots
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon honey
2 teaspoons fresh rosemary
2 teaspoons parsley
3 garlic gloves
salt to taste
black pepper

Instructions

•Preheat over to 425 degrees.

•Place vegetable on prepare baking sheet.

•Drizzle with olive oil and honey; sprinkle with garlic, rosemary, parsley;
add salt and pepper to taste.

•Bake for 20-25 minutes.

•Note- I basted mine with olive oil a few times to prevent the
vegetables from drying out and lightly tossed them a few times.

 

 

Oreo Cinnamon Rolls

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These Oreo cinnamon rolls are absolutely to die for and will have you wanting another one after just one bite!  This weekend was an exciting weekend for my family. My cousin Angela is in town visiting from LA, or should I say Atlanta, since she and her husband are living there temporarily due to his job. We don’t get to see her often, so when we do, it’s a happy time. Angela and my Aunt Laura popped in on Saturday and we had the best time.  We have a knack for picking up right where we left off not matter how much time has passed since we last saw each other.

In the mist of baking these cinnamon rolls and taking photo’s for my blog, Angela arrived and saved the day! She is the owner and founder of her very own blog “Hello Gorgeous”…and…Let me say, she is amazing at what she does! Be sure to check out her blog! In return, Angela and my Aunt Laura got the first bite of my ooey gooey Oreo cinnamon rolls and they loved them!  I know what you’re thinking – cinnamon rolls with Oreo cookies?? Really?  YES!!  I used cinnamon roll Oreo cookies as the crumb topping and they put these cinnamon rolls over the top!  What a great compliment to this recipe.

They turn out so delightful and look similar to a cake.  I used a spring form pan and immediately released the pan after removing them from the oven.   Add the frosting and crumbled Oreos and you can either pull them apart and sink your teeth right in or cut them like a pie.  Please note, if using a spring form pan, it takes longer to bake than a traditional rectangle pan.  I baked them for about 25-30 minutes and kept checking them until they looked slightly brown on the outside – Angela and my Aunt Laura insisted they were perfect!  Also, I allowed additional time for the dough to rise and it made a huge difference. They came out twice the size in comparison to the normal rise time.  The additional times have already been included to the recipe below.

1st Oreo Cinnamon RollOreo Cinnamon RollsOreo Cinnamon Rolls 2Oreo Cinnamon Rolls 4Oreo Cinnamon Rolls 8

 

I purchased the cinnamon roll Oreo cookies at Wal-Mart, (not sponsored), however, you can use any flavor Oreo’s.  I plan on trying vanilla Oreo’s next time.  Again, the Oreo’s are such a delicious addition!

Angela was my photographer as I just purchased my first camera and have yet to use it.  She did an awesome job and as you can see, the cinnamon rolls are super moist and smothered in a thick and creamy frosting.  The cream cheese frosting is to die for, and combined with the filling in the Oreo’s, the taste is so rich, I can’t even describe it!  You’ve got to make them yourself to taste how ridiculously amazing they really are!  I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we did.  I would love your feedback so please let me know how much you and your family love these cinnamon rolls!

Ingredients-Dough

1 package active dry yeast 2 1/4 or 1/4 ounce
1 cup warm water
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup butter
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
4 cups all-purpose flour

Filling

1 cup packed brown sugar
3 tablespoons cinnamon
1/3 cup softened butter

Cream Cheese Icing

6 tablespoons butter
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
2 ounces cream cheese
1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon salt
8-10 cinnamon roll flavored Oreo cookies

Instructions

•Dissolve yeast in warm milk in a glass bowl.

•Add sugar, butter, salt, eggs, and flour in a bowl of a mixer and beat well.

•Pour the milk/yeast mixture into flour mixture and use a dough hook or a wooden spoon and mix well.

•Place dough on a greased cookie sheet; cover with a towel and allow rising for 90 minutes in a warm place. The dough should double in size.

•Roll dough out on a floured surface it should be 1/4 inch thick.

•Prepare filling by combining the butter, brown sugar and cinnamon in a bowl.

•Spread filling evenly over the surface of the dough. Spread butter first and then brown sugar and cinnamon mixture.

•Carefully roll the dough down to the bottom edge roll should be about 18 inches long. Using dental floss or a knife and cut into 1 1/2 inches I actually cut mine larger in 2 inch slices. Place rolls in prepared pan and cover a damp cloth and allow to rise another 60 minutes.

•Preheat oven to 350 degrees

•Bake for 25-30 minutes until a light golden brown (when using a spring form pan). If baking otherwise bake 20 minutes. If using any other pan baking time is approximately 20 minutes. Baking times vary….

•While the cinnamon rolls are baking make icing by mixing all ingredients and beat well with mixer until fluffy.

•When rolls are done, spread generously with icing and sprinkle with crumbled Oreo’s.