Sunday, December 27, 2009

Winner, Winner, Mac & Cheese Dinner!

Sorry I’m a day late with the results of the GIVEAWAY!  I was going to post this yesterday when we got home from California, but Diesel and I were tired, so we decided to take a nap, while Jeremy went to work…and yea…that was the end of that.

So, I had a total of 19 entries.  According to, the lucky winner is…


#11 Michele P., who will be using this apron and measuring spoons to make tamales and cookies!  Yum, yum!  Congratulations Michele…I’ll be sending you an email today.  Thanks for all who entered my GIVEAWAY.  Hopefully, I’ll be able to have more in the future.  Now, on to today’s recipe!

This is an easy and delicious recipe for macaroni and cheese from Cooking Light.  It’s a lighter version of mac and cheese, due to the reduced fat cheese and the skim milk in the recipe, but you’d never know that it was “light,” because it’s creamy, cheesy and bacony!  The only change I made was I added 4 slices of bacon, instead of 2 because come on…seriously…only 2 pieces of bacon in 6 servings?!  That’s NOT enough, if you ask me!  Pair this Bacon Mac with a side salad and you’ve got a delicious, healthy and easy meal. 





Hot, out of the oven.


Mmmm, cheesy!

Bacon Mac, by Cooking Light


  • 3 1/4  teaspoons  salt, divided
  • 12  ounces  strozzapreti or penne pasta
  • 4  teaspoons  all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2  cups  skim milk, divided
  • 2  cups  finely shredded sharp cheddar cheese, divided
  • 1/4  cup  sliced green onions
  • 1  teaspoon  hot sauce
  • 1/4  teaspoon  pepper
  • 2  slices center-cut bacon, cooked and crumbled
  • Cooking spray


  1. Preheat broiler.
  2. Bring 6 quarts water and 1 tablespoon salt to a boil. Add pasta; cook 8 minutes or until al dente; drain.
  3. Combine flour and 1/2 cup milk in a saucepan over medium heat. Gradually add 1 cup milk; bring to a boil. Cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat; let stand 4 minutes or until it cools to 155°. Stir in 1 1/2 cups cheese. Add 1/4 teaspoon salt, onions, hot sauce, pepper, and bacon; stir. Add pasta; toss. Spoon into a 2-quart broiler-safe dish coated with cooking spray; top with 1/2 cup cheese. Broil 7 minutes.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Chicken Tortilla Casserole & Giveaway

That’s right…a GIVEAWAY!  I’m so excited, but before I get to that, I have a recipe to share…be sure to keep reading after the recipe though, ok?
So, I’m on the email list for Eat Better America and I love their recipes.  They take some recipes for delicious, comfort food and “healthify” them to make them a little more figure friendly!  About a month ago, my parents, grandma and auntie came up to visit and I thought this casserole would be a great option for dinner.  As I suspected, it did not disappoint!
This casserole comes together very quickly and before you know it, you can pop it into the oven.  The only modifications that I made was I substituted a can of Rotel Diced Tomatoes with Chilies, for the large tomato and I added a few extra tortillas to the top, for some crunch.  This dish is creamy, flavorful and cheesy!  You’d never know it was “healthified.”  I highly recommend this delicious meal.
Hot, out of the oven!
“Healthified” Chicken Tortilla Casserole
  • 1 can (10 3/4 oz) 98% fat free condensed cream of chicken soup
  • 1 can (4.5 oz) chopped green chiles
  • 1 container (8 oz) fat-free sour cream
  • 1/2 cup fat-free (skim) milk
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 1/2 cups shredded cooked chicken breast
  • 8 yellow corn tortillas (6 or 7 inch), torn into bite-size pieces
  • 1 medium green bell pepper, chopped (1 cup)
  • 1 large tomato, chopped (1 cup)
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded sharp Cheddar cheese or Mexican cheese blend (6 oz)
  1. Heat oven to 350°F. Spray 13x9-inch (3-quart) glass baking dish with cooking spray.
  2. In large bowl, mix soup, chiles, sour cream, milk, chili powder and cumin until blended.
  3. Stir in chicken, tortillas and bell pepper. Stir in tomato and 1 cup of the cheese. Spoon and spread mixture in baking dish.
  4. Cover with foil. Bake 40 minutes.
  5. Uncover; sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup cheese. Bake uncovered 5 to 10 minutes longer or until cheese is melted and mixture is bubbly. Let stand 5 minutes.
Alright…now let’s talk about my GIVEAWAY!!  Are you by chance looking for some new cookware?  Maybe some Rachel Ray cookware, for example?  Well, if you are, you should definitely check out because the super-cool people there contacted me about hosting a GIVEAWAY!  I’m stoked since this is my first GIVEAWAY that I’ve been contacted about.  Does this mean that I’ve “made it” in the blog world??  “Oh, you like me!  You really like me!”  Anyways, back on track…what am I giving away? 
This lovely apron and these magnetic measuring spoons:
 Flower Pot Women's Bib Style Apron Progressive International Magnetic Spoons - GT-3470
Cute, huh?!  I’ll be randomly selecting one lucky reader to win these two items.  You can enter up to 2 times by Saturday, December 26th at 11am AZ (PST) time and here’s how you enter:
1. Leave a comment telling me what you’d cook/bake while wearing this apron and using these spoons (if you don’t have a blog profile, be sure to include your email address, so that I have a way to contact you).
2. Tweet the following: “@saraboff from Sara’s Sweets is having a giveaway and I want to win!,” then, leave a comment telling me you’ve done so.
That’s it!  Good luck!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

More Pumpkin

Wow, I can’t believe it’s been so long since my last post!  Time has just flown by.  I remember posting and saying, “Alright, in a few days I’ll post my other 2 recipes,” and yet, here I am about 2 weeks later, finally doing it!  Oh well, it’s Christmas time and I’ve been busy.

Moving on though…the following recipes are more wonderful ways to use pumpkin.  The first recipe is a delicious Pumpkin Dip!  Not only is this dip very easy to make, but it’s also pumpkin-y, maple-y and sugary.  What a great combo!  In making this I used full fat cream cheese and sugar free maple syrup because that’s what I had on hand at the time.  Also, I ate mine with sliced apples and gingersnap cookies.  Mmmmm!


Pumpkin Dip by Cooking Light


  • 3/4  cup  (6 ounces) 1/3-less-fat cream cheese
  • 1/2  cup  packed brown sugar
  • 1/2  cup  canned pumpkin
  • 2  teaspoons  maple syrup
  • 1/2  teaspoon  ground cinnamon
  • 24  apple slices


  1. Place first 3 ingredients in a medium bowl, and beat with a mixer at medium speed until well blended.
  2. Add syrup and cinnamon, and beat until smooth.
  3. Cover and chill 30 minutes. Serve with apple.

Up next are some wonderful Pumpkin Muffins with streusel topping.  When I bought canned pumpkin for the pie that I made (see previous post), I accidentally bought “pumpkin pie mix!”  I buy pumpkin all the time and couldn’t believe that I did that…and to top it all off, I opened it and almost put it into the pie before realizing it.  Wow, maybe I was having a very early “senior moment.”  Anyway, inside the label on the can, I found this easy and yummy pumpkin muffin recipe! 

The muffins are flavorful (because the pie mix already has spices in it) and moist, but it’s the streusel topping that makes them.  I was planning to add nuts to the streusel topping, but forgot…however, I do think the addition would be wonderful.  As for my usual modifications, the recipe calls for “baking mix,” but all I had was pancake mix and it seemed to work fine, and I didn’t add the raisins.  So, if you’re looking for a quick and tasty pumpkin muffin, you should definitely give these a try.





Just out of the oven.



Crumble Top Pumpkin Muffins


  • 4 cups all-purpose baking mix
  • 1 cup raisins, (optional)
  • 2/3 cup quick or old-fashioned oats
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 can (30 oz.) LIBBY'S® Easy Pumpkin Pie Mix
  • 2 large eggs
  • Streusel topping (recipe follows)


  1. PREHEAT oven to 400° F. Paper-line or grease 24 muffin cups.
  2. COMBINE baking mix, raisins, oats, sugar and cinnamon in large bowl. Combine pumpkin pie mix and eggs in medium bowl; mix well. Stir into oat mixture just until moistened. Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups, filling 3/4 full. Sprinkle with Streusel Topping.
  3. BAKE for 14 to 16 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Remove from pans to wire rack; cool slightly. Serve warm.
    3 tablespoons all-purpose flour, 3 tablespoons granulated sugar and 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon in small bowl. Cut in 2 tablespoons butter with pastry blender or two knives until mixture is crumbly.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Pumpkin Galore

In looking at the pictures on my camera, I’ve realized that I’ve made a good amount of pumpkin treats within the last month.  Mmmm, pumpkin!  So, I’m going to combine them into this post and one more to follow in a few days.  Here we go with the first 2 recipes…  Enjoy!

#1 Pumpkin Snickerdoodles by The Recipe Girl

Make these cookies now!  They are absolutely amazing.  The Recipe Girl is amazing.  Check out her blog!  When I saw this recipe, I knew I HAD to try them, plus I wanted to bake some cookies for a friend.  I ate 5 of them while baking them and 5 the next day…thank goodness I gave a bunch away because I probably would have eaten them all.  This cookie is soft and a perfect mix of pumpkin and snickerdoodle.  MMMMM!




One of the many that made it into my mouth.


Yum, yum, yum!

#2 Pumpkin-Ginger Pie with Golden Marshmallow Topping by Pillsbury

We had a Thanksgiving pot luck at my work last week.  I, of course, signed up to bring dessert!  Specifically, pumpkin pie.  I have a Pillsbury calendar near my desk at home and I’ve been staring at this recipe for all of November, just waiting to make it.  Now was my chance. 

This is a delicious pumpkin pie!  There is a layer of crunch streusel in-between the crust and the pumpkin filling, so it’s a nice surprise when you cut the pie, as well as when you taste it.  Also, there is fresh grated ginger in the filling.  I love ginger.  Pumpkin and ginger should get married.  They are wonderful together.  Lastly, it’s topped with yummy marshmallows that get golden and melty.  Yum!  If you’re a fan of pumpkin pie, I highly recommend trying out this recipe.



Struesel layer.


Just out of the oven.


About to get toasted.  I don’t have a picture of the marshmallow toasted because I did it right before I went to work and was already running late!



  • 1 Pillsbury® refrigerated pie crust (from 15-oz box), softened as directed on box


  • 1/2 cup crushed gingersnap cookies (9 cookies)
  • 1/4 cup chopped pecans
  • 2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons butter or margarine, softened


  • 1 can (15 oz) pumpkin (not pumpkin pie mix)
  • 1 cup evaporated milk
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons grated fresh gingerroot
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs, slightly beaten


  • 2 to 2 1/2 cups miniature marshmallows


  1. Heat oven to 425°F. Place cookie sheet on middle oven rack. Unroll pie crust in 9-inch glass pie plate as directed on box for One-Crust Filled Pie. In small bowl, mix streusel ingredients. Sprinkle streusel in crust-lined pie plate.
  2. In large bowl, mix filling ingredients. Pour into pie crust on top of streusel. Place pie plate on cookie sheet in oven. Bake 15 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350°F. Bake 35 to 45 minutes longer or until knife inserted in center comes out clean. Cool completely on cooling rack, about 3 hours.
  3. Just before serving, set oven control to broil. Spread marshmallows evenly over top of pie, completely covering filling. Broil pie with top about 5 inches from heat about 30 seconds, watching carefully, until marshmallows are lightly browned. Marshmallows will brown quickly. Cover and refrigerate any remaining pie.

High Altitude (3500-6500 ft): Do not use cookie sheet. In step 2, for second bake time, cover edge of crust with strips of foil to prevent excess browning, and bake 35 to 40 minutes. Remove foil before step 3.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Oreo and Snickers Cheesecake Bars

Every fall at my work (a University), we have an Open House for prospective students and their families.  As part of the days events, we provide a continental breakfast that includes bagels and cream cheese.  For some reason, we always end up with a massive amount of left over cream cheese!  And when I mean massive, I’m taking like a 100 of the little single servings of cream cheese.  Last year, I volunteered to take some because 1) I knew I could find something to make with it, 2) I don’t really buy cream cheese a lot and 3) I could bake something yummy to take into the office!  So this year I did the same and was sent home with a grocery bag full of little cream cheeses.  And what did I make, you ask?

Oreo and Snickers Cheesecake Bars!  Wow-o-wow, these were awesome!  I got the recipe from the Philadelphia Cream Cheese website.  They have a lot of great recipes on this site and they have a cool feature called the Cheesecake Customizer.  In playing with the customizer, I thought to myself, “Self, what would be delicious in cheesecake?  What are some of your favorite treats?”  And my answers were Oreos and Snickers.  Yum-my!  So, I plugged those treats into the customizer, got the recipe and started opening my 32 little cream cheese servings!  Talk about a pain in the butt!  It was worth it though because the bars turned out deliciously and of course, they were gone in an instant at work.  I did manage to grab a piece before it disappeared and I’m glad I did because it was heavenly!





My piece!

Sara’s Oreo and Snickers Cheesecake Bars



  • 2 cups cookie crumbs, OREO Chocolate Sandwich Cookies
  • 4 Tbsp. butter or margarine
  • 1/4 cup sugar

Cheesecake Batter:

  • 4 pkg. (8 oz. each) PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup BREAKSTONE'S or KNUDSEN Sour Cream

Batter Flavorings:

  • 1 Tbsp vanilla

Mix-In's and Toppings:

  • 1 cup mixed into batter and 1/2 cup sprinkled on top Oreo (cookie), coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 cup mixed into batter and 1/2 cup sprinkled on top Snickers (candy), coarsely chopped


CRUST: Preheat oven to 325°F. Line 13x9-inch baking pan with foil, with ends of foil extending over sides of pan. Mix Crust ingredients; press onto bottom of prepared pan. Bake 10 min.

BATTER: Beat cream cheese, sugar and vanilla in large bowl with electric mixer until well blended. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing on low speed after each addition just until blended. Stir in Mix-Ins. Pour over crust.

TOPPINGS: Add Toppings.

BAKING: Bake 40 min or until center is almost set. Cool completely. Refrigerate at least 4 hours. Use foil handles to lift cheesecake from pan before cutting to serve. Store leftovers in refrigerator.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Pumpkin Bread

Mmmm, I love pumpkin stuff!  I believe that my love for pumpkin started with the pumpkin bread that my mom always used to make around Christmas time.  It was moist, flavorful and oh-so-pumpkiny!  I was in love.

A few weeks ago, I felt the need for some pumpkin bread, and I happened to have some canned pumpkin leftover from making my pumpkin butter, so I got to baking.

Usually recipes for pumpkin bread make at least 2 loaves, but I didn’t want 2 loaves that were the same.  I don’t know why, but I just didn’t.  So, I made one “classic” loaf using Libby’s pumpkin bread recipe and I made another favorite of mine, Pumpkin Gingerbread

Both were delicious, as always!  The classic recipe takes me right back to be a little kid and eating the bread that my mom made; while the gingerbread one is a delicious twist to pumpkin bread and I love the flavorings.  Yum, yum, yum!  I could eat pumpkin bread all day.  Actually, when I made these recipes…I did. :)





Pumpkin Gingerbread Loaf.


Classic Pumpkin Bread.


Deliciousness is served.

Libby’s Pumpkin Bread


  • 3 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp. baking powder
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. each nutmeg, cloves, cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 c. each granulated sugar and packed brown sugar
  • 1 c. oil
  • 2 c. canned pumpkin
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 c. each raisins and nuts (optional)


  1. Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and spices. Add the sugars, mixing well.
  2. Mix dry ingredients with the oil and pumpkin, stirring until well combined.
  3. Add eggs, one at a time, blending thoroughly. Pour into 2 greased and floured 9 1/2 x 5 1/4-inch loaf pans.
  4. Bake at 350 degrees for 50 to 60 minutes or until tester comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes. Remove from pans. Place on wire rack to cool.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Pumpkin Butter

This is a re-post from last year from my “other” blog, but it’s one of my favorite recipes, so I really felt that it need to be on this blog!  I’m still obsessed with this recipe and my new way of eating it is with chunky peanut butter on toast.  Oh yum!  The peanut butter and the pumpkin butter both melt a bit and  paired with the crunchy toast…oh man, it’s Heavenly. :)  Really…go make this right now.

I've discovered a new recipe that I'm totally obsessed with...pumpkin butter!  I had some leftover canned pumpkin from when I made my Pumpkin Gingerbread, and this past weekend, I decided to do something about it. In my recipe search on Recipezaar, I came across this wonderful recipe for Warp-Speed Pumpkin Butter.  I had all the ingredients, so I thought, "Why not?"  Boy am I glad that I did because this stuff is absolutely amazing and I'm eating it any chance I get!

The recipe is so easy and takes less than 10 minutes to cook in the microwave.  Oh my, the spices and the pumpkin are such a delicious combo!  Plus, while it was cooking, the whole house smelled like fall deliciousness!!  So far, I've had this pumpkin butter on toast and sliced apples, but the possibilities are endless.  If you like pumpkin, this recipe is a must-try!  Enjoy! :)


Ingredients, except the pumpkin cause I was already measuring it.


All mixed up and hot out of the microwave.


Yummy!  Spread on apple slices.


Yum!  Spread on toast.

Warp-Speed Pumpkin Butter, by Recipezaar


  • 1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon clove
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 cups canned pumpkin (NOT pumpkin pie filling mix)
  1. Combine everything except the canned pumpkin in a microwaveable one quart bowl.  Mix well.
  2. Microwave on high for 3 minutes, then stir.
  3. Mix in the pumpkin well, and microwave on high 5 minutes longer.  It should be bubbly.
  4. Put into clean, sterilized jars for gift-giving, or into other clean, airtight containers for home use.
  5. Let cool slightly, then refrigerate.
  6. This will keep several weeks in refrigerator or can be frozen for longer storage.  This cannot be kept in your pantry- must be refrigerated or frozen.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Pineapple Blueberry Crunch Cake

Following our Pulled Pork Sandwiches, you know we had dessert!  Someone at Jeremy’s work made this and he liked it so much that he requested that I make it for when Jayla came over.

The recipe is from Ms. Paula Deen and to be honest with you, I love to watch her show, but I don’t really like to make her recipes.  In case you haven’t noticed…her recipes aren’t exactly healthy.  They are usually loaded with butter, cream, cheese and pretty much anything unhealthy.  Oh well, a treat everyone in  awhile doesn’t hurt, right?

This recipe was super simple and very good!  The bottom is a mix of pineapple and blueberries, while the top is cakey and nutty.  Yum!  I’m sure this would be great with other types of fruit like canned peaches, pears and apple pie filling.  If you’re looking for an easy, fruity and delicious dessert recipe, I would highly recommend this one…even though it calls for almost 2 sticks of butter. :)





Per the recipe, it serves 8 people.  This is how much was left after 3 people ate some.  Oh Paula, you and your out of control portion sizes!


My close up.


Paula’s close up.  Now, why couldn’t mine look that pretty?

Pineapple Blueberry Crunch Cake, by Paula Dean


  • 3/4 cup butter, plus more for dish
  • 1 (20-ounce) can crushed pineapple, in juice
  • 1 (20-ounce) can blueberry pie filling
  • 1 (18.25-ounce) box yellow cake mix
  • 1 cup chopped pecans


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a 13 by 9-inch casserole dish.
  2. Melt 3/4 cup butter in saucepan over low heat.
  3. Pour the pineapple with juice into the casserole dish and evenly spread blueberry pie filling on top. Cover with dry yellow cake mix and top with pecans. Drizzle with melted butter and bake for 35 to 45 minutes.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Pulled Pork Sandwiches

And now, back to our regularly scheduled blogging! 

Sorry I’ve been MIA for the past few weeks; however, it is travel season for work so I’ve been gone a lot.  But in the few days that I actually have been home and cooking, I’ve been documenting as much as I could so I’d have stuff to blog about!  So, I should be back to blogging regularly since I have enough photos and recipes for while I’m on the road.

A few weeks ago, we had our dear friends, Jayla, over for dinner and a movie.  I wanted something easy to make and when I think “easy,” I think “Crockpot.”  Well, it just so happens that I’d seen a recipe on one of the enjoyable blogs that I read, Iowa Girl Eats, and I thought it’d be perfect.  BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwiches.

This recipe was great and I was so happy with how it turned out!  Not only was it crazy simple, but it was super delicious.  All I did was cut up a pork roast, throw it in the Crockpot with a bit of seasoning mix, balsamic vinegar and water, set the timer for all day (7:30am – 5:30pm) and voila!  A delicious meal was ready.  Once I got home from work, I shredded the pork (which was insanely easy, since it was so tender), added some BBQ sauce and let it sit for a bit, until our guests arrived.  Delish!  Since this cooked while I was at work, it gave me plenty of time once I got home to make my side dishes.  Awesome.  I highly recommend this meal.  It was easy, fast and very tasty!



Before cooking.


About to shred.


All shredded.


About to be eaten by Jake!

BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwiches


  • 1 pork roast (I bought one that was about 3lbs and had the bone-in)
  • 1 packet of Lipton Onion Seasoning Mix
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • BBQ sauce


  1. Cut pork roast into chunks and place into Crockpot with Lipton seasoning, vinegar and water.
  2. Cook on low for about 10 hours.
  3. Shred pork and add BBQ sauce.
  4. Eat up!

Monday, September 14, 2009


It’s fall and it’s football season!  Chili reminds me of both these things.  You can cozy up with a nice, hot bowl of chili and a piece of cornbread at the table.  Or you can enjoy it while watching the big game, or even better on a hot dog!

I really enjoy chili and I love how there are SO many recipes for it.  You can change everything in it!  The kind of meat you want, if you want meat at all, the kind of veggies, the kind of beans, the kind of spices…you name it, the possibilities are endless with chili.

I had some ground turkey in the freezer that needed to be used, so I decided that chili was the way to go.  I used my Better Homes & Gardens cookbook and though it’s not the best chili I’ve ever had (that would be from Claim Jumper…they have a steak chili that is a-mazing), it’s still pretty good!  Obviously, I used ground turkey instead of ground beef, I added a can of white beans, and I also added additional spices: cumin, garlic powder and pepper. I cooked mine in the Crockpot all day long, but you can easily make it on the stove as well.  So easy and so good.





All finished.



Chili, by Better Homes & Garden

  • 12 ounces ground ground beef
  • 1/2 cup chopped green pepper
  • 1 cup chopped onion (1 large)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1  8-ounce can tomato sauce
  • 1  15-ounce can red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1  14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 2  to 3 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1/2  teaspoon salt
  • 1/2  teaspoon dried basil, crushed
    1. In a large saucepan cook ground beef, onion, pepper and garlic until meat is brown and onion is tender; drain fat.
    2. Stir in beans, tomatoes, tomato sauce, chili powder, basil and 1/4 tsp black pepper.  Bring to a boil; reduce heat.  Simmer, covered, for 20 minutes.
    3. OR
    4. Throw it all in a crockpot before you go to work and then come home to a delicious smelling house and a pot of hot chili.

    Sunday, September 6, 2009

    Mini Pumpkin Muffins

    It’s September!  You know what that means, don’t you?  It means that it’s time to break out the yummy fall recipes that include things such as: pumpkin, apple cinnamon, cranberries and soups.  After all, Starbucks has started serving their Pumpkin Spice Latte already, so if Starbucks says it’s time…then it’s time!

    Well, I LOVE pumpkin stuff!  When I found this recipe for Mini Pumpkin Muffins, I knew I had to make them…plus, they were so cute and pretty healthy.  I found this recipe through my emails from Very Best Baking.  In addition to recipes from Nestles, they have a bunch of recipes from Libby’s.  Perfect!  Chocolate and pumpkin recipes all in one place! 

    These mini muffins are delicious!  They are pumpkiny with a crunchy topping of granola.  Plus, 3 of these little muffins only has about 100 calories.  So, they are a great and nutritious snack or addition to breakfast.  My only complaint is that mini muffins are so small!  Seriously, I could pop like 3 into my mouth at once and could easily eat about 10. :-)  Anyway, when I made this recipe I cut it in half, because 60 mini muffins is A LOT, used whole wheat flour and topped it with my homemade peanut butter and banana granola.  These mini pumpkin muffins are so easy to make and are the perfect start to fall.



    So tiny!



    "3 for 100" Mini Pumpkin Muffins, by Libby’s


    • 1 cup whole-wheat or all-purpose flour
    • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
    • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
    • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt
    • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
    • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
    • 1 can (15 oz.) LIBBY'S® 100% Pure Pumpkin
    • 2 large eggs, slightly beaten
    • 1 1/2 cups lowfat granola cereal, crumbled


    1. PREHEAT oven to 350º F. Paper-line or grease mini-muffin pans.
    2. COMBINE flour, pumpkin pie spice, baking soda, baking powder and salt in small bowl. Beat sugar and oil in medium mixer bowl until blended. Add pumpkin and eggs; beat well. Gradually stir in flour mixture. Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups, filling 2/3 full. Sprinkle each with about a 1/2 teaspoon of crumbled granola. Press granola lightly into batter.
    3. BAKE for 15 to 20 minutes or until wooden pick inserted into centers comes out clean. Cool in pans for 10 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely. Store muffins in covered containers or resealable plastic bags.
    4. Makes 20 servings, 3 muffins each

    Saturday, August 29, 2009

    Mini Chocolate Chip Cookies

    Mmmmm, cookies.  They are my favorite sweet treat and I love them dearly.  This recipe is SO good and SO ridiculously easy. 

    All you have to do is go to the store and buy the Nestle Toll House Mini Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough, pop them in the oven and voila!  Ha ha!  Alright, so this isn’t really a recipe post, but I have a point, I promise.



    40 mini cookies!

    I get emails from, the Nestle website.  These emails include coupons, recipes and special deals.  A few weeks ago, I got an email telling me about a FREE collector cookie plate!  Free + cookie = I’m in!  With this plate you’re supposed to bake some cookies and send them to someone, then on the website you can track your cookies.  Cute idea…but my one concern is: why would I give away my free collector cookie plate?  I understand it’s a nice thing to do…but really do I want to give away my plate?  Hmmm, we’ll have to see about this.  I may just have to give cookies to people who are close by and will give me the plate back! 

    Anyway, part of the FREE offer was that you had to buy 3 bags of Nestle morsels or cookie doughs.  You can never have too many chocolate or butterscotch chips, so I bought some of those and the Mini Cookie Dough.  Then, I cut out my UPCs, included my recipe and mailing information and shipped it off!  I can’t wait to get it.  I love FREE stuff.


    Everything ready to go.


    Send me my plate!

    Speaking of FREE stuff, I send away for FREE stuff all the time.  Jeremy makes fun of me because he says that he never knows what is going to show up in the mailbox.  A granola bar?  Coffee?  A box of cereal?  Who knows?  Well, just the other day I received this delicious FREE sample of Kashi Honey Sunshine cereal.


    I love Kashi products!  “Seven Whole Grains on a Mission.”  Anyways, I signed up to receive emails from Kashi and to be apart of their "Kashi Connect” program.  With this program, you can receive coupons, samples, etc….for FREE.  Along with this yummy box of cereal, they included a coupon for a FREE regular size box, as well as six coupons for $1.50 off a box.  Sweet! 

    I hope you all enjoy this fun offers as much as I do.


    Monday, August 24, 2009

    Alice Springs Chicken

    The Alice Springs Chicken from Outback Steakhouse is one of Jeremy’s favorite meals there.  For those of you who have never had it, it’s a grilled chicken breast that is marinated in a honey mustard sauce, topped with mushrooms, bacon and cheese.  I’ll admit…it’s pretty delicious and probably has a million calories in it! 

    In selecting our meals for the week, Jeremy chose Alice Springs Chicken and I told him that he was in charge of finding me a recipe.  Apparently, I trained him well because he found a great recipe from the fabulous, Recipezaar.   This recipe is very, very close to the real thing!  The honey mustard sauce is one of the best I’ve had (and I’m not even a huge fan of honey mustard) and the cheesy bacon on top is amazing.  When I made this tonight, I cut the recipe in half, used light cheese, and left out the mushrooms, since Jerm isn’t a fan of them.  The chicken breasts that I used were huge, so we both only ate half…which means we have leftovers for tomorrow.  Yum!  So, here’s another highly recommended meal from our kitchen.





    Hot out of the oven.


    Served with veggies and au gratin potatoes.  Yum!

    Now This is Alice Springs Chicken, by Recipezaar
    • 1 cup Dijon mustard
    • 1 cup honey
    • 1 tablespoon canola oil
    • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
    • 4-6 boneless skinless chicken breasts
    • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
    • 2 cups sliced mushrooms
    • 2 tablespoons butter
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
    • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
    • 12 slices bacon, cooked
    • 3 cups shredded Mexican blend cheese
    • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh parsley
    1. With an electric mixer combine the mustard, honey, and 1 Tbsp oil, and lemon juice for 1 minute.
    2. Pour 1/2 mixture over chicken in a gallon ziplock to marinate in fridge 2-24 hours.
    3. Chill remaining marinade to serve with chicken.
    4. After marinating chicken, preheat oven to 375°F Put remaining oil in frying pan. Heat and sear chicken on both sides.
    5. Transfer chicken to oven safe pan and brush with marinade.
    6. Meanwhile in frying pan add butter and sauté mushrooms.
    7. Season chicken breasts with salt and peppers.
    8. Stack bacon across each breast, spoon mushrooms on each breast and then approx 1/3- 1/2 cup cheese on each.
    9. Cover pan with foil and bake 7-10 minutes or until cheese is melted and bubbly. Sprinkle with parsley and serve with honey mustard marinade.