Smoked Salmon Crostini

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This post first appeared over at Real Housemoms where I’m a contributor.

If you’re looking for an elegant and tasty yet easy to make appetizer for your next dinner or holiday party, Smoked Salmon Crostini is always a favorite!

If you're looking for an elegant and tasty yet easy to make appetizer for your next dinner or holiday party, Smoked Salmon Crostini is always a favorite!

I adore salmon. In fact, I hadn’t realized how many salmon recipes I actually had on my own blog until I did a quick search. I suppose living in Portland, Oregon, has spoiled me. I also love little appetizers that can be enjoyed in two attractive bites or shoved entirely in my mouth when no one is looking. I love these little crostinis because they really couldn’t be easier to make, but they’re just so darn pretty! Doesn’t garnish make everything better?

If you're looking for an elegant and tasty yet easy to make appetizer for your next dinner or holiday party, Smoked Salmon Crostini is always a favorite!

I modeled this recipe after my smoked salmon dip which is the food equivalent to crack, in my opinion. Seriously, don’t put that stuff in front of me because I will shock and awe everyone around me when they see how much salmon dip I can consume.

If you're looking for an elegant and tasty yet easy to make appetizer for your next dinner or holiday party, Smoked Salmon Crostini is always a favorite!

Similar to my dip, this recipe has cream cheese, fresh dill, a little kick from fresh jalapeno, and lemon juice. If you’re eating salmon, you must have lemon and dill. That’s just a fact. Don’t even try arguing with me. I also do love me some capers with fish. All the flavors blend together oh-so-perfectly.

If you're looking for an elegant and tasty yet easy to make appetizer for your next dinner or holiday party, Smoked Salmon Crostini is always a favorite!

Aren’t they pretty? Now imagine yourself walking around your holiday party passing these out. I guarantee your guests will be fighting over them.

If you're looking for an elegant and tasty yet easy to make appetizer for your next dinner or holiday party, Smoked Salmon Crostini is always a favorite!

Wanna know a secret?  As soon as I finished photographing these, I ate every single last one of them. Not ashamed. Not one bit. In fact, its been a few hours since I devoured them and I’m starting to crave more. That’s how wonderful they are.

If you're looking for an elegant and tasty yet easy to make appetizer for your next dinner or holiday party, Smoked Salmon Crostini is always a favorite!

If you love smoked salmon and need a recipe for a party, a game day feast, or just to satisfy your cravings, you’ll love my Smoked Salmon Dip:

smoked-salmon-dip-ig

And my childhood favorite which quickly became my kids’ favorite dinner time recipe, my famous Salmon Patties:salmon-patties-ig

Smoked Salmon Crostini
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
If you're looking for an elegant and tasty yet easy to make appetizer for your next dinner or holiday party, Smoked Salmon Crostini is always a favorite!
Author:
Recipe type: appetizer
Yields: 2 dozen
Ingredients
  • 1 baguette, sliced 1/4 inch thick
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 5 ounces wild smoked salmon
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 jalapeno, minced
  • 4 sprigs fresh dill, stems removed and minced
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1 teaspoon garlic, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Garnish with capers and more fresh dill
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Coat both sides of bread slices with olive oil. Arrange in single layer on baking sheet and bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes, turning after about 10 minutes. Allow to cool.
  2. Arrange toasts on a platter with a piece of salmon on top of each one.
  3. In a small bowl, mix together cream cheese, jalapeno, dill, lemon juice, garlic, and salt. Either spoon a small amount on top of each crostini or squeeze out of a plastic bag with the corner snipped off.
  4. Top with capers and additional dill.
If you're looking for an elegant and tasty yet easy to make appetizer for your next dinner or holiday party, Smoked Salmon Crostini is always a favorite!
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Bacon Wrapped Jalapeno Popper Chicken

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This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Tyson Foods, Inc. All opinions are entirely my own. #sponsored #ad

Because bacon makes everything better, enjoy grilling or baking this 4 ingredient Bacon Wrapped Jalapeno Popper Chicken for dinner or a game day feast.

Because bacon makes everything better, enjoy grilling or baking this 4 ingredient Bacon Wrapped Jalapeno Popper Chicken for dinner or a game day feast.

You know I love to cook. I live to eat. I buy food based on taste. To me, food equals comfort and connection. It is my belief that when you take the time to make things from scratch and look for high-quality brands and ingredients, it is always worth the effort you put in. I also believe that bacon deserves its own food group.

Because bacon makes everything better, enjoy grilling or baking this 4 ingredient Bacon Wrapped Jalapeno Popper Chicken for dinner or a game day feast.

Let’s face it – bacon makes just about every meal better. I think a bacon jalapeno pairing is one of the best flavor combinations in the world, so it only made sense to make a bacon wrapped jalapeno popper chicken breast for dinner. I picked up this package of Wright® Brand Bacon at the Kroger store near my house. I knew it would be perfect for this dinner because they do Bacon The Wright Way™Wright Brand Bacon is a great choice for any meal – breakfast, lunch, or dinner! I went with the Applewood Smoked flavor, but did you know they also make Hickory Smoked, Smoked Brown Sugar Bacon, Bourbon Barrel Smoked, and Oak Barrel Smoked?  If you’ve never tried Wright Brand, know that it is masterfully crafted for a richer bacon experience, thick-sliced, hand-selected & hand-trimmed, naturally smoked with wood chips, and is made from the best cuts of high-quality premium meat.

Because bacon makes everything better, enjoy grilling or baking this 4 ingredient Bacon Wrapped Jalapeno Popper Chicken for dinner or a game day feast.

I thought about simply wrapping the bacon around the chicken, but quickly came to the realization that I could make dinner a lot more interesting while using even more bacon if I did a bacon weave instead! More bacon is always the better choice.  I never limit myself or feel guilty when I indulge – in fact, I encourage you to do the same. Life is too short for only one piece of bacon.

Because bacon makes everything better, enjoy grilling or baking this 4 ingredient Bacon Wrapped Jalapeno Popper Chicken for dinner or a game day feast.

There’s a trick to stuffing the chicken breasts so that the cheese doesn’t ooze out when you cook it. Lay the breast on a cutting board so that you open up the small piece with the chicken tender like a book. Be sure to keep this piece attached. Then, using a small, sharp knife, cut a pocket in the thick part of the breast, taking care to not cut all the way through. Use your fingers to reach in and make the pocket as big as possible without tearing it. Then, stuff your cream cheese and jalapenos in the center and use the chicken tender part to wrap around and seal the opening. Pretty cool trick, eh? In the photo below, the breast on the right has already been stuffed and wrapped.

Because bacon makes everything better, enjoy grilling or baking this 4 ingredient Bacon Wrapped Jalapeno Popper Chicken for dinner or a game day feast.

Lay that stuffed sealed chicken breast on top of that lovely bacon weave that you made and then roll it on over. Tuck the ends of the bacon underneath as best as you can and secure  with toothpicks where needed.

Because bacon makes everything better, enjoy grilling or baking this 4 ingredient Bacon Wrapped Jalapeno Popper Chicken for dinner or a game day feast.

Funny story (sort of) – I was planning on baking these in the oven but my lower heating element broke when I was preheating the oven. Awesome, right? Not really. Fortunately our barbecue was a few steps away and it was a gorgeous day to be cooking outside. Basically, you can cook these in the oven or the barbecue and they will turn out perfectly. I highly recommend using an internal thermometer so you know exactly when they are cooked. Although the bacon will be fully cooked and rendered by the time the chicken is cooked, it may not appear done as it won’t be dark and crispy.

Because bacon makes everything better, enjoy grilling or baking this 4 ingredient Bacon Wrapped Jalapeno Popper Chicken for dinner or a game day feast.

If you prefer your bacon to finish off with a little sizzle and a beautiful golden brown finish, you’re going to want to pop it in the oven under the broiler for 5-10 minutes to finish it off. Just be sure to start this process at least 5 degrees before it reaches final cooking temperature and crack that oven door to get the nice brown without over cooking it, if needed. Fortunately – it was my lower heating element that broke so I was able to use my broiler without any issue.

Because bacon makes everything better, enjoy grilling or baking this 4 ingredient Bacon Wrapped Jalapeno Popper Chicken for dinner or a game day feast.

I was worried my jalapenos were going to be too spicy because my fingers and nostrils were burning when I was cutting them, but by the time they cooked, it was perfect. I honestly can’t even begin to tell you how delicious this dinner was. It really was incredibly easy to make. I served it up with some smashed potatoes and sautéed fresh corn. These would be perfect for tailgating too! Just prepare them ahead of time, wrap tightly in plastic wrap to store in your cooler during transport, and then cook them up on the grill. The smell is amazing and you will certainly have everyone wishing you were their best friend at the game!

Because bacon makes everything better, enjoy grilling or baking this 4 ingredient Bacon Wrapped Jalapeno Popper Chicken for dinner or a game day feast.

I’d love for you to share your favorite recipes with bacon as the main ingredient and hashtag it #VoteWrightBrandBacon @WrightBacon!  Head over to this poll to vote for your favorite flavor!  www.votewrightbrandbacon.com

Bacon Wrapped Jalapeno Popper Chicken
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Because bacon makes everything better, enjoy grilling or baking this 4 ingredient Bacon Wrapped Jalapeno Popper Chicken for dinner or a game day feast.
Author:
Recipe type: main
Yields: 4 servings
Ingredients
  • 1 pound bacon (12 slices)
  • 2 (about 1.5 pounds) large boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 2-4 jalapenos, stems and seeds removed, chopped
  • 4 ounces cream cheese
Instructions
  1. To arrange the bacon in the basket weave pattern, lay four slices lengthwise. Then cut two slices in half to create four short slices. Weave the four short slices through the long slices.
  2. To stuff the chicken, pull the tender away from the main breast but leave it attached. Then, using a small sharp knife, create a pocket starting near the chicken tender. You want this pocket to be as big as possible without cutting all the way through the chicken.
  3. Divide the cream cheese and jalapenos evenly between the two breasts and stuff them in the pocket you cut. Then, take the attached tender and roll it over the opening to seal it.
  4. Place the stuffed breast on top of the bacon weave and roll it over so that the bacon is on top. Secure any loose pieces of bacon with a toothpick. Insert a meat thermometer into the thickest piece.
  5. Bake in a preheated 375 degree oven or grill for 50-55 minutes or until the internal temperature reads 160 degrees F. For the final few minutes of cooking, place the bacon wrapped breasts under the broiler to give them a nice brown. You want your final cooking temperature to reach 165 degrees F, so once you hit that, broil with the oven door open if you prefer more browning.
  6. Allow chicken to rest for at least five minutes. Slice with a serrated edge knife.

Because bacon makes everything better, enjoy grilling or baking this 4 ingredient Bacon Wrapped Jalapeno Popper Chicken for dinner or a game day feast.

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Pumpkin Cheesecake Muffins

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Muffin or cupcake? Its hard to tell with these incredibly moist, super tasty, and slightly naughty Pumpkin Cheesecake Muffins. You will love them!

Muffin or cupcake? Its hard to tell with these incredibly moist, super tasty, and slightly naughty Pumpkin Cheesecake Muffins. You will love them!Naughty. Naughty. Naughty. Oh man, these “muffins” are naughty, but they are oh soooooo good.

Muffin or cupcake? Its hard to tell with these incredibly moist, super tasty, and slightly naughty Pumpkin Cheesecake Muffins. You will love them!

Around this time of year, I go a little crazy with the pumpkin spice. To me, pumpkin is a perfect ingredient regardless of whether you’re making something sweet or savory. I’ve used it sweet recipes like cheesecake, cookies, pancakes, brownies, cinnamon rolls, french toast, coffee cake… the list goes on and on. I also like to use pumpkin in savory dishes too – like chili, soup, and even appetizers.  In other words, I like pumpkin.

Muffin or cupcake? Its hard to tell with these incredibly moist, super tasty, and slightly naughty Pumpkin Cheesecake Muffins. You will love them!

Not sure if you can tell, but I only had three muffin cups. We can pretend this was on purpose because I was experimenting to see if they turned out better with or without the muffin cups, but we all know that I just ran out. I’m happy to say that the muffins were fantastic both ways.

Muffin or cupcake? Its hard to tell with these incredibly moist, super tasty, and slightly naughty Pumpkin Cheesecake Muffins. You will love them!

I was also particularly fond of the consistency of the batter. When I make muffins or cupcakes, I really like my batter to be thick enough to scoop with a large cookie scoop. If I’m expected to pour it, the top of my muffin pan will be covered with extra batter and all that does is make me mad.

Muffin or cupcake? Its hard to tell with these incredibly moist, super tasty, and slightly naughty Pumpkin Cheesecake Muffins. You will love them!

These muffins didn’t rise up super tall, but they did expand enough to make them interesting looking and create a light and soft texture inside. I might experiment with my cooking temperature next time because I know that if you start them off really hot, it helps them rise, and then reducing the cooking temperature enables them to finish cooking. I’ll try that out with the next recipe and will let you know how that goes.

Muffin or cupcake? Its hard to tell with these incredibly moist, super tasty, and slightly naughty Pumpkin Cheesecake Muffins. You will love them!

I was so incredibly impressed with these muffins. They were perfectly sweet and moist. That cheesecake topping added just the right texture and creamy sweetness the muffin deserved. Something like a cream cheese frosting would have been too much.

Muffin or cupcake? Its hard to tell with these incredibly moist, super tasty, and slightly naughty Pumpkin Cheesecake Muffins. You will love them!

I had to let them sit in the pan for a good 10-15 minutes after I took them out of the oven to ensure they wouldn’t fall apart on me when I took them out of the pan. I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve ruined muffins because I ended up under cooking them out of fear that I’d over cook them. Fortunately, these have enough oil in them to keep them soft, even if you accidentally cook them for a couple minutes too long.

Muffin or cupcake? Its hard to tell with these incredibly moist, super tasty, and slightly naughty Pumpkin Cheesecake Muffins. You will love them!

Oh – about the oil. I would have used regular old vegetable oil but I didn’t have enough so I used coconut oil. I’m really not one of those die hard coconut oil users because I tend to not like the coconut taste when it doesn’t belong and the whole solid-at-room-temperature thing totally throws me off. To use coconut oil for this recipe, I had to warm it up to liquefy it, however once I mixed it in with the other ingredients, some of it solidified again. Perhaps because we blast our air conditioner at all times. I was worried that those little chunks of hard oil would mess up the muffins but it all turned out, so rest assured. After having used coconut oil, I would totally recommend it in this recipe!  Enjoy!!!

Muffin or cupcake? Its hard to tell with these incredibly moist, super tasty, and slightly naughty Pumpkin Cheesecake Muffins. You will love them!

This recipe uses pure vanilla extract. Did you know you can make your own homemade vanilla extract? It makes the perfect gift too. Watch how in the video below.
Pumpkin Cheesecake Muffins
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Muffin or cupcake? Its hard to tell with these incredibly moist, super tasty, and slightly naughty Pumpkin Cheesecake Muffins. You will love them!
Author:
Recipe type: breakfast
Yields: 12 muffins
Ingredients
muffin:
  • 1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon pumpkin spice
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 3/4 cups (15 ounce can) canned pumpkin (pure pumpkin puree)
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup vegetable or coconut oil (I used coconut)
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
cheesecake topping:
  • 8 oz cream cheese
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Place paper baking cups into muffin pan or spray muffin wells with cooking spray. Set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, pumpkin spice, baking powder, baking soda and salt until well combined. Set aside.
  3. In large bowl, whisk together pumpkin, sugar and brown sugar. Mix in eggs, oil and vanilla extract. Slowly whisk in the flour mixture, until there are no lumps. Fill muffin tins evenly. Using a large cookie scoop makes it easy.
  4. In a medium bowl, beat cream cheese until smooth. Add in sugar, egg yolk and vanilla extract and beat until well combined. This is easier done in a stand mixer, but you can mix it by hand with a whisk if your cream cheese is soft enough.
  5. Top each muffin with about small spoonful (I use the small cookie scoop) of cream cheese mixture and use a toothpick to swirl it into the batter.
  6. Bake muffins in preheated oven for 20-22 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Do not open the oven to check on them until they are nearing the end of their cooking time.
  7. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
Muffin or cupcake? Its hard to tell with these incredibly moist, super tasty, and slightly naughty Pumpkin Cheesecake Muffins. You will love them!
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Strawberry Cream Cheese Coffee Cake

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This layered Strawberry Cream Cheese Coffee Cake made with fresh strawberries, a cream cheese filling, and streusel topping is a delicious summer treat!

This layered Strawberry Cream Cheese Coffee Cake made with fresh strawberries, a cream cheese filling, and streusel topping is a delicious summer treat!I got my inspiration for this post from Jen of Carsbad Cravings. She made the most delicious looking banana bread cream cheese coffee cake. I intended for mine to look just like hers. Sadly, it did not. Turns out strawberries, especially gorgeous ripe dark red Oregon Hood strawberries are a wee bit more juicy than, let’s say, banana. 

This layered Strawberry Cream Cheese Coffee Cake made with fresh strawberries, a cream cheese filling, and streusel topping is a delicious summer treat!Here’s what happened. When I cooked this amazing treat, it puffed up to a beautiful golden mountain. When I removed it from the oven, it started to sink. I was terrified that after all that work, and be aware that this is a multi-step recipe that isn’t exactly super easy, it was ruined. Well, it may not have puffed up and held its shape like a typical coffee cake, but it did turn into something extraordinary.

This layered Strawberry Cream Cheese Coffee Cake made with fresh strawberries, a cream cheese filling, and streusel topping is a delicious summer treat!I would really consider this recipe a cross between a coffee cake and a strawberry cheesecake. Because it fell, it got more dense which made it feel like a cheesecake. But because of that unmistakable coffee cake crumb topping, it tasted like coffee cake. 

This layered Strawberry Cream Cheese Coffee Cake made with fresh strawberries, a cream cheese filling, and streusel topping is a delicious summer treat!

No matter what you want to call it – coffee cake or cheesecake, this strawberry dessert covered in strawberry glaze was unbelievably delicious.

This layered Strawberry Cream Cheese Coffee Cake made with fresh strawberries, a cream cheese filling, and streusel topping is a delicious summer treat!

This recipe uses pure vanilla extract. Did you know you can make your own homemade vanilla extract? It makes the perfect gift too. Watch how in the video below.
Strawberry Cream Cheese Coffee Cake
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
This layered Strawberry Cream Cheese Coffee Cake made with fresh strawberries, a cream cheese filling, and streusel topping is a delicious summer treat!
Author:
Recipe type: breakfast, dessert
Yields: 12 servings
Ingredients
Streusel Topping:
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 4 tablespoons cold butter, cubed
Cake:
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 cube) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup sour cream
Cream Cheese Filling:
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup (1 large scoop) reserved cake batter (see instructions)
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 pint fresh strawberries, sliced
Strawberry glaze:
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons strawberry juice
Instructions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and grease and flour the inside of a 16 cup/10-inch nonstick tube your pan.
To make the streusel: Mix the flour with the brown sugar and cinamon. Cut in the cold butter until the mixture resembles course crumbs. Set bowl in freezer until ready to use.
To make the cake:
  1. In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
  2. Using a stand mixer, beat butter and sugars until creamed for several minutes. In a separate container, mix together eggs, vanilla, and sour cream. Mix into butter mixture until combined - do not over mix.
  3. Gradually add flour mixture to the wet mixture, mixing just until combined after each addition. Take one large scoop of cake batter and set aside to be mixed with cream cheese mixture.
  4. Spread half of remaining batter in prepared pan leaving other half for the top layer.
To make the cream cheese portion:
  1. Combine the 1/4 cup reserved batter with the cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla. Beat on medium high speed until smooth and creamy, about 1 minute. Spoon this cream cheese filling over the batter and take care to keep it away from the sides of the pan. You're going to want only cake touching the pan otherwise the finished coffee cake will slide apart. Top the cream cheese layer with the sliced strawberries, and then top with remaining batter.
  2. Tap pan on counter a few times to get rid of any air bubbles then cover evenly with streusel mixture.
  3. Bake for approximately 1 hour at 350 degrees F or until toothpick inserted comes out clean of any cake batter. Let baked cake cool on wire rack for 1 hour. Gently invert cake onto a baking sheet, remove pan, and invert back onto cooling rack streusel side up. Or, if you're able to remove it from the pan without inverting, all the better. Let cool to room temperature.
  4. When ready to serve, mic strawberry glaze ingredients together in a medium bowl and drizzle over cake.
  5. Store in the refrigerator for up to 7 days.
This layered Strawberry Cream Cheese Coffee Cake made with fresh strawberries, a cream cheese filling, and streusel topping is a delicious summer treat!
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Berry Cheesecake Fruit Salad

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This post first appeared over at Real Housemoms where I’m a contributor.

This BERRY CHEESECAKE FRUIT SALAD sweetened with a secret ingredient is a rich, decadent, and crowd-pleasing side dish or dessert!

This BERRY CHEESECAKE FRUIT SALAD sweetened with a secret ingredient is a rich, decadent, and crowd-pleasing side dish or dessert!

I can’t wait for summer to get here. Not just because these berries would cost a fraction of what I just spent on them (totally worth it, mind you), but Pacific Northwest berries are the best in the world. If you don’t live around these parts, I’m not saying the fruit grown where you live is bad. I’m just saying that there is nothing better than an Oregon berry. Trust me on this one.

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No Bake Lemon Ladyfinger Cheesecake

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This post first appeared over at Real Housemoms where I’m a contributor.

Perfect for any celebration, this perfectly sweet NO BAKE LEMON LADYFINGER CHEESECAKE is a wonderful citrus dessert that everyone will love!

Perfect for any celebration, this perfectly sweet NO BAKE LEMON LADYFINGER CHEESECAKE is a wonderful citrus dessert that everyone will love!

When I sat down to write this post, I struggled to find a good title for the recipe. Did I want to call it something that would explain what it was?  (i.e. No Bake Lemon Ladyfinger Cheesecake)  Or did I want to call it what my brain was thinking?  (i.e. Oh My God There Must Be 1000 Calories in Each Slice But It Is Soooo Worth It Cake)  I opted for the shorter title, but am wondering if I should have gone with the longer one now.

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Carrot Quick Bread with Orange Cream Cheese Glaze

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This Carrot Quick Bread with Orange Cream Cheese Glaze is a mouth watering tasty treat perfect for any Easter celebration that your entire family will love.

This Carrot Quick Bread with Orange Cream Cheese Glaze is a mouth watering tasty treat perfect for any Easter celebration that your entire family will love.

I wanted to make an Easter treat. What’s the first thing I think of?  Carrots. It took me a minute to understand why I was so compelled to use carrots for an Easter treat and then I realized: carrots = bunny = Easter.

This Carrot Quick Bread with Orange Cream Cheese Glaze is a mouth watering tasty treat perfect for any Easter celebration that your entire family will love.

Good food always starts with good ingredients. I am a lover of all Bob’s Red Mill products. I have yet to find one that I didn’t love. I am a huge supporter of local brands and Bob’s Red Mill just so happens to be right here in my beautiful city of Portland (well, its in the city of Milwaukie, but the greater Portland area). Not only do I frequently visit the store to load up on everything from fresh baked goods, whole grains, mixes… you name it, but they have a restaurant with delicious and healthy food. You know, the kind where you can order your children a kids meal and not feel guilty about it? Not only is the quality of Bob’s Red Mill superb, but the versatility of things like their flour is fantastic. Just look at all the things listed on the package that you can make.  I have a ton of Bob’s Red Mill flours in my pantry including the Organic Almond Meal/Flour and the Gluten Free 1-to-1 Baking Flour, but I decided to use the Organic Unbleached All Purpose White Flour for this recipe. Did you know the Organic Unbleached White Flour is freshly milled from Organic hard red wheat. Both the bran and the germ have been removed leaving the endosperm that is made into white flour. It is not enriched with any additives. Did you also know that this is the same high protein flour used by professional bakers and produces high, well-textured loaves of bread equally as well as it produces light, airy baked goods. This kitchen staple is incredibly versatile and perfect for all of your baking needs.

This Carrot Quick Bread with Orange Cream Cheese Glaze is a mouth watering tasty treat perfect for any Easter celebration that your entire family will love.

Have you every used these multi colored carrots? They don’t taste all that different from your standard orange carrot, but they sure are pretty.

This Carrot Quick Bread with Orange Cream Cheese Glaze is a mouth watering tasty treat perfect for any Easter celebration that your entire family will love.

I really struggled to determine whether I should classify this Easter treat as a dessert or a breakfast item. You see, I tend to think of quick breads as a breakfast treat because they taste so good with coffee. Since this quick bread came out so incredibly moist and delicious and resembled the consistency of the best carrot cake you’ve ever enjoyed, I decided it was worthy of a dessert tag.

This Carrot Quick Bread with Orange Cream Cheese Glaze is a mouth watering tasty treat perfect for any Easter celebration that your entire family will love.

Plus, when you cover it with this velvety smooth, perfectly sweet, cream cheese glaze that has just the right amount of orange to make your mouth want to pucker, it definitely fits into the dessert category.

This Carrot Quick Bread with Orange Cream Cheese Glaze is a mouth watering tasty treat perfect for any Easter celebration that your entire family will love.

Now, my glaze isn’t your typical glaze. For a thin glaze, you want to thin it with milk. My “go big or go home” philosophy motivated me to break out the heavy cream in lieu of the milk. The result? Taste bud heaven. It didn’t spread like a typical thin glaze, but it was lusciously delicious.

This Carrot Quick Bread with Orange Cream Cheese Glaze is a mouth watering tasty treat perfect for any Easter celebration that your entire family will love.

This carrot loaf turned out incredibly moist – no doubt due to the amazing Bob’s Red Mill flour. Have I mentioned yet how much I love Bob’s Red Mill.  Why, yes. I think I have.

This Carrot Quick Bread with Orange Cream Cheese Glaze is a mouth watering tasty treat perfect for any Easter celebration that your entire family will love.

Well, I have a treat for you. Did you know that you can print off a coupon you can use toward’s Bob’s Red Mill products?  I keep that link saved to my favorites! This Easter, do yourself a favor and make this tasty carrot bread. I promise you will love it!

This Carrot Quick Bread with Orange Cream Cheese Glaze is a mouth watering tasty treat perfect for any Easter celebration that your entire family will love.

Carrot Quick Bread with Orange Cream Cheese Glaze
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
This Carrot Quick Bread with Orange Cream Cheese Glaze is a mouth watering tasty treat perfect for any Easter celebration that your entire family will love.
Author:
Recipe type: breakfast, dessert
Yields: 1 loaf
Ingredients
Carrot Quick Bread:
  • 2 cups shredded carrots (4 medium)
  • 2/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup applesauce
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
Orange Cream Cheese Glaze:
  • 4 ounces cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
  • juice and zest from one small orange (I used a very tart mandarin)
  • heavy cream (3 tablespoons - 1/2 cup)*
Instructions
Carrot Quick Bread:
  1. Heat oven to 350ºF. Line loaf pan with parchment paper.
  2. Mix carrots, oil, applesauce, and eggs in large bowl with spoon.
  3. In separate bowl, mix together flour, sugar, walnuts, baking power, salt, cinnamon, and cloves. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients, stir well, and pour into pan.
  4. Bake 50 to 60 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes. Loosen ends of loaf from pan and remove it from the pan to a wire rack as soon as you take it out of the oven. Cool completely before adding glaze.
  5. To make the glaze, beat the cream cheese for several minutes until light and fluffy. Scrape the sides and add the orange juice and zest as well as the powdered sugar. Mix well. Add three tablespoons heavy cream (or milk if you prefer a thinner glaze), mix well, and continue to add cream until you achieve the desired thickness. Pour over top of carrot loaf.
  6. Store in airtight container and refrigerate up to 10 days.
Notes
* If you prefer a thinner glaze, use milk instead of heavy cream

This Carrot Quick Bread with Orange Cream Cheese Glaze is a mouth watering tasty treat perfect for any Easter celebration that your entire family will love.

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

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Cheesy Bacon Ranch Jalapeno Poppers

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These spicy and zesty Cheesy Bacon Ranch Jalapeno Poppers make the perfect two bite appetizer for any game day celebration.

These spicy and zesty Cheesy Bacon Ranch Jalapeno Poppers make the perfect two bite appetizer for any game day celebration.

Jalapeno poppers come in all shapes and sizes. I haven’t consulted wikipedia on the subject yet, but I think the traditional jalapeno popper is breaded and deep fried. The thought of that sounds absolutely tantalizing, but also a lot of work. Plus, boiling grease scares me – a fear that I hope to someday get over. Thus far, I have only made wrapped jalapeno poppers, jalapeno popper potato bites, and jalapeno popper chicken flautas – all baked and of course made with bacon.

These spicy and zesty Cheesy Bacon Ranch Jalapeno Poppers make the perfect two bite appetizer for any game day celebration.

A good popper starts with fresh jalapenos. I have no idea how to know whether they are spicy or mild until I cut into them and find out when my fingers start to burn. If you can tell whether one is spicy before you cut into it, please let me know.

These spicy and zesty Cheesy Bacon Ranch Jalapeno Poppers make the perfect two bite appetizer for any game day celebration.

The second component to a popper is the cheese. This particular version uses both cream cheese and cheddar.

These spicy and zesty Cheesy Bacon Ranch Jalapeno Poppers make the perfect two bite appetizer for any game day celebration.

Then, to make your popper unique, you must add a little pizzazz.  Like I said before, I never leave out the bacon. But this time, I added some ranch dressing mix. That addition really kicked up the flavor and added that zing that my taste buds were craving. If you love the flavor of ranch, be sure to check out these ranch inspired game day recipes here!

These spicy and zesty Cheesy Bacon Ranch Jalapeno Poppers make the perfect two bite appetizer for any game day celebration.

Cheesy Bacon Ranch Jalapeno Poppers
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
These spicy and zesty Cheesy Bacon Ranch Jalapeno Poppers make the perfect two bite appetizer for any game day celebration.
Author:
Recipe type: Appetizer
Yields: 20 poppers
Ingredients
  • 8-10 medium jalapeno peppers, halved with stems and veins removed
  • 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  • 2 tablespoons Ranch Seasoning Mix
  • 8 ounces bacon (okay to use ends and pieces), cooked & crumbled
  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 1/2 cups sharp cheese, shredded and divided
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a medium sized bowl, mix together cream cheese, seasoning mix, bacon, green onions, and half of the shredded cheddar. Mix well to combine.
  3. Fill each well of the halved jalapenos with the mixture and then top with additional shredded cheese.
  4. Place on baking sheet and bake in preheated oven for about 30 minutes, or just until the tops start to turn golden brown and the cheese mixture starts to bubble.
  5. Serve warm.

These spicy and zesty Cheesy Bacon Ranch Jalapeno Poppers make the perfect two bite appetizer for any game day celebration.
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Baked Banana Macadamia French Toast

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My rich and filling Baked Banana Macadamia French Toast with its cream cheese filling is prepared the day before, soaked over night, and served hot and delicious in the morning.

My rich and filling Baked Banana Macadamia French Toast with its cream cheese filling is prepared the day before, soaked over night, and served hot and delicious in the morning.

My family loves french toast. So do I. But the french toast I love the most is the kind that I can make the day before and then simply set in the oven when I wake up for a delicious breakfast treat.

My rich and filling Baked Banana Macadamia French Toast with its cream cheese filling is prepared the day before, soaked over night, and served hot and delicious in the morning.

I’ve made lots of french toast casseroles before like my cranberry french toast casserole and my pumpkin spice french toast casserole, but there’s something extra fun to cramming all that tasty goodness into a cute little individual ramekin. My favorite kind of bread to use is one of those crusty finish-baking-at-home kind of loaves. You know, the kind with the squishy middle but the crunchy chewy crust? YUM. By soaking in the egg mixture overnight, each bite is full of that glorious french toast flavor. I shoved bananas, macadamia nuts, and dots of cream cheese in the center. You could really make this any flavor you want… I was just craving the flavor of the islands on this particular day!

My rich and filling Baked Banana Macadamia French Toast with its cream cheese filling is prepared the day before, soaked over night, and served hot and delicious in the morning.

This recipe uses pure vanilla extract. Did you know you can make your own homemade vanilla extract? It makes the perfect gift too. Watch how in the video below.
Baked Banana Macadamia French Toast
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
My rich and filling Baked Banana Macadamia French Toast with its cream cheese filling is prepared the day before, soaked over night, and served hot and delicious in the morning.
Author:
Recipe type: breakfast
Yields: 6 servings
Ingredients
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 12 ounces (about 5 cups) bread cut into 1/2 to 1 inch cubes
  • 1 large ripe banana, sliced
  • 1/2 cup macadamia halves
  • 3 ounces cream cheese, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 1/3 cups half and half
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
Instructions
The night before:
  1. Grease six (6 ounce) ramekins with butter. Place in baking dish (I used two round cake pans).
  2. Place half the bread in the ramekins.
  3. Top the bread with banana, macadamia nuts, and cream cheese, dividing evenly between each dish.
  4. Cover with remaining bread.
  5. In separate bowl, whisk eggs, half and half, vanilla and maple syrup until well combined. Slowly pour over each ramekin, dividing the liquid mixture evenly between each dish. You might have a small amount of liquid left over, but try to get as much as possible into the ramekins.
  6. Cover tightly with plastic wrap, weigh down with a heavy plate to smash the bread into the liquid, and refrigerate over night. Note: some of the liquid will spill out into the baking dish the ramekins are placed in.
The morning of:
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
  2. If any of the liquid mixture spilled over, remove the ramekins from the baking dish and carefully pour anything that spilled into the ramekins. Return ramekins to baking dish.
  3. Bake in preheated oven for 45 minutes or until golden brown.
  4. Top with additional maple syrup or dust with powdered sugar.
My rich and filling Baked Banana Macadamia French Toast with its cream cheese filling is prepared the day before, soaked over night, and served hot and delicious in the morning.
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Bacon Blue Cheese Stuffed Mushrooms

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These Bacon Blue Cheese Stuffed Mushrooms are an incredibly rich and decadent appetizer that are the perfect party finger food everyone will love.

These Bacon Blue Cheese Stuffed Mushrooms are an incredibly rich and decadent appetizer that are the perfect party finger food everyone will love.

If you’ve visited my blog before, you’ll know that my inspiration comes from all sorts of different sources. Whether it be something I saw at the farmer’s market or a weird craving I had in the middle of the night, the origin of each and every one of my recipes comes from somewhere. Wanna know why I made these? Bradley Cooper. Oh yes. Mr. Handsome bright-blue-eyed Bradley Cooper. Allow me to explain the connection.

These Bacon Blue Cheese Stuffed Mushrooms are an incredibly rich and decadent appetizer that are the perfect party finger food everyone will love.

Bradley is in a new movie called Burnt. Put a handsome man in a movie that’s about food and I’ll be there. Wanna know who else is in the movie? Jamie Dornan. If you don’t know who he is, you must find out. Now. These oh-so-naughty rich and delicious stuffed mushrooms are the absolute best.

These Bacon Blue Cheese Stuffed Mushrooms are an incredibly rich and decadent appetizer that are the perfect party finger food everyone will love.

I love love love sauteed mushrooms.

These Bacon Blue Cheese Stuffed Mushrooms are an incredibly rich and decadent appetizer that are the perfect party finger food everyone will love.

A lot of stuffed mushrooms tell you to discard the stems. Why on earth would you get rid of half the mushroom when you can saute them up with garlic in a bit of bacon grease? Why? Why? It makes no sense to me. Once cooked to a golden brown, they are the perfect addition to the cheese mixture.

These Bacon Blue Cheese Stuffed Mushrooms are an incredibly rich and decadent appetizer that are the perfect party finger food everyone will love.

I tell you, once you blend up the cheeses with the mushrooms, garlic, fresh chives, and crisp cooked bacon, you’re gonna want to dive right in with a spoon. But do the right thing – stuff the mushrooms and cook them to melted perfection.

These Bacon Blue Cheese Stuffed Mushrooms are an incredibly rich and decadent appetizer that are the perfect party finger food everyone will love.

You’ll know they’re done when the cheese starts to melt and the tops just start to turn golden brown. Set these out at any party and you’ll be the hit of the crowd! I mean, who doesn’t like blue cheese and bacon?

These Bacon Blue Cheese Stuffed Mushrooms are an incredibly rich and decadent appetizer that are the perfect party finger food everyone will love.

Have I convinced you to make these?

These Bacon Blue Cheese Stuffed Mushrooms are an incredibly rich and decadent appetizer that are the perfect party finger food everyone will love.

Who loves to watch bacon cook? I do! I do! I made the VIDEO below just for you. Click play and try to imagine the glorious smell!

Bacon Blue Cheese Stuffed Mushrooms
 
These Bacon Blue Cheese Stuffed Mushrooms are an incredibly rich and decadent appetizer that are the perfect party finger food everyone will love.
Author:
Recipe type: Appetizer
Yields: 24 mushrooms
Ingredients
  • 8 ounces bacon
  • 24 large button mushrooms
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 5 ounces blue cheese, room temperature
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons fresh chives, minced
Instructions
  1. Cut bacon into small pieces and cook in heavy bottom dutch oven or pan over medium high heat until crisp. Transfer cooked bacon to a paper towel lined plate to drain. Discard all oil from pan except for the last remaining tablespoon.
  2. Clean any dirt off mushrooms with a dry brush. Slice the very bottom of the stem off and discard. Gently press the remaining part of the stalk until it snaps away from the cap. Set aside, and then chop up all of the stems while leaving the caps whole.
  3. Cook chopped stems over medium heat in the remaining bacon fat for 3-5 minutes, then add garlic and cook for another 2 minutes.
  4. Combine cooked stems and garlic with blue cheese, cream cheese, chives, and cooked bacon in a bowl.
  5. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Fill each mushroom cap with a small spoonful of cheese mixture. Do not overfill. Cook in preheated oven for 20 minutes, or until you see the cheese start to melt. Serve warm and garnish with additional chives.
These Bacon Blue Cheese Stuffed Mushrooms are an incredibly rich and decadent appetizer that are the perfect party finger food everyone will love.
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