03 June 2014

Raspberry White Chocolate Pudding Mix Ice Cream

Summer has started. The weather is warm and that means it's ice cream season.  I decided I needed to pull out my little ice cream maker. I just have a little one. It only makes about 2 cups of ice cream at a time. It's the kind that you put the bowl in the freezer all day. Then you pour in your ice cream mix and let it run for about 10 minutes and get soft serve ice cream.  So I put the bowl in the freezer and started to search for ice cream recipes and then I got to thinking. I wonder if I can use pudding mix for ice cream and found a really easy recipe that didn't even require a machine. So, my ice cream machine bowl is still sitting in the freezer waiting to be used.  The nice thing about using the pudding mix is that it held the mixture together, so when the kiddlets were eating there ice cream cones and the ice cream started to melt, it didn't drip all over the place.

Raspberry White Chocolate Ice Cream

  • 1 small box white chocolate flavor pudding mix
  • 1 can (14oz) sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 1/2 cups milk
  • 1 cup fresh raspberries

Mix all ingredients together and still until smooth. Pour into a shallow dish and place in the freezer, stirring every ten to fifteen minutes until frozen.

Notes: This ice cream was delicious and great just the way it was. It was a little hard once it completely frozen. Maybe it was because it was taking a long time to freeze (I didn't put it in a shallow dish) and I eventually gave up on the stirring and went to bed.  Maybe it needed a liquid with a higher fat content than the 2% milk I used. I really am not an ice cream expert but get the impression that this recipe could be played with, but I would still highly recommend this recipe as is.

This icecream would probably also be fantastic with cheesecake flavor pudding mix and some graham cracker bits mixed in. Yumm.

20 May 2014

Easy Bacon Cheddar Mac and Cheese

The other day I asked my hubby what he wanted for lunch. He mentioned some variation of Mac and Cheese. I wasn't feeling very inspired to make the stuff in the box with hot dogs added in and remembered some one mentioning using bacon fat to make the white sauce for mac and cheese. So I decided to make some bacon mac and cheese.  One note I should make is that I cooked the bacon and made the sauce in my cast iron skillet, because I knew I could stick the skillet in the oven and wouldn't have to transfer everything to a casserole dish and make one more dirty dish, but if you don't have a skillet you can obviously use a frying pan and a casserole dish.

Bacon Cheddar Mac and Cheese
  • 8 ounces uncooked pasta, (elbow macaroni, small shells, wheels, etc. what ever you like best)
  • 1/2 pound bacon, chopped into small pieces
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 3 cups milk
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)
  • 2 cups cheddar cheese, divided (i used medium)
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs
  • 1 tablespoon, dried parsley flakes
Prepare pasta according to package directions. While pasta is cooking.  Fry bacon in skillet over medium heat until crispy. Drain 1 tablespoon of bacon grease and set aside in a small bowl.  Add 1/4 cup of flour to bacon and stir until bacon is coated with flour and dry. Add milk, salt, pepper, and cayenne pepper. Bring to a boil, stirring so that flour and bacon grease becomes incorporated into milk and milk thickens. Once milk thickens, turn temperature to low. Stir in 1 1/2 cups cheese. Remove from heat. Drain pasta and add pasta to skillet. Toss until pasta is evenly coated with cheese sauce. In your small bowl, mix together bread crumbs parsley and 1 tablespoon bacon grease. Sprinkle top of pasta with remaining half cup of cheese and then bread crumb mixture. Place skillet in the oven and bake at 400F for 5-10 minutes, until cheese is melted and bread crumbs are golden brown.

24 April 2014

Cake Mix Devil's Food Pound Cake with Peanut Butter Glaze

This post was brought to you by my husband, since this is was my birthday cake. You don't think I would actually make my own cake now, do you? Last year my hubby did a fabulous job on my cake, making this chocolate cherry cake roll completely from scratch. This year I went easy on him and told him I wanted a chocolate pound cake with peanut butter frosting and since it's really easy to make a pound cake from cake mix and pudding mix he didn't have to slave in the kitchen like he did last year.  I found the recipe for the cake online at the Duncan Hine's website. When I pulled the cake mix out the cupboard we had by some perfect accident actually bought the Duncan Hine's cake mix and the recipe actually turned out to be right on the box.  I got the idea for the peanut butter glaze Pixelated Crumb.

Devil's Food Pound Cake
  • package Devil's Food Cake Mix
  • 1 (3.4 oz.) package chocolate instant pudding and pie filling
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 1/4 cups water
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
Do not follow directions on cake mix box. 
Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour 10" bundt pan or tube pan.
Combine cake mix, pudding mix, eggs, water and oil in a large bowl. Beat at medium speed with electric mixer for 2 minutes. Pour into pan.
Bake at 350°F for 50 to 60 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan 25 minutes. Invert onto heat resistant serving plate. Cool completely.

Peanut Butter Glaze
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 3 tablespoons peanut butter
  • 2-3 tablespoons of milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon Vanilla
Mix powdered sugar, peanut butter and vanilla together, mixing in a 1 tablespoon of milk at a time, until glaze reaches desired consistency. 

31 March 2014

Cranberry Pecan Salad with Lemon Mustard Dressing

So, I realize that my posts have really been non existent lately. I hope to fix that, but I can't make any promises.  Between moving, little boy starting preschool at the beginning of the year and me training for my 1st 10K I haven't gotten my routine all worked out yet and blog posts have been pushed lower on my priority list.  But, I'm putting up this post and hope you can forgive me for now.

So a couple of weeks ago we had an activity for the women at church. The did little mini work shops on organizing, couponing, cooking, stuff like that. I stopped by the cooking workshop and the lady who taught gave us a couple of recipes for some delicious salads. One of there recipes had candied spiced almonds. I'm not a big fan of almonds, but I have to admit the candied almonds were delicious. I can home and though, I really like pecans. If the the almonds were delicious candied, pecans would probably be amazing! I decided to make the pecans and make up my own little salad to go with them, since I didn't have most of the ingredients the lady called for in her salad.  I even made my own dressing!

Cranberry Pecan Salad with Lemon Mustard Dressing
  • 6 oz Green leaf lettuce broken into small pieces
  • 6 oz Spinach
  • 1 green onion, chopped
  • 3-4 tablespoons fresh grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup Candied Spiced Pecans (see recipe below)
  • Lemon Mustard Dressing (see recipe below)
  • Grilled Chicken, sliced (optional)
Mix lettuce, spinach, and green onions together in a large bowl. Pour dressing over greens and toss until evenly coated. Top with cheese, cranberries and pecans. If desired add grilled chicken.
Tip- Adding the grilled chicken is a great option to add if you are using the salad your main course, but the salad is still fantastic with out chicken if you are using the salad as a side dish.

Candied Spiced Pecans
  • 5 cups pecans, slightly crushed (so some pieces are broken up but some remain whole)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1-1 ½ teaspoons paprika
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • sea salt, to taste
Place a large sheet of foil on a work surface. Spray with cooking spray or rub a teaspoon of oil over foil with a paper towel.
 Place sugar in a large non-stick sauté pan and heat over medium heat , occasionally tipping and swirling the sugar until it is all melted into a pale golden syrup.
Lower heat immediately and add butter, cinnamon, smoked paprika, cumin, and vanilla. Stir until well combined and all butter is incorporated into the sugar syrup.
Add the pecans and stir gently to coat. Don’t worry if you have some clumps of caramelized sugar – they will melt as you continute to sauté the pecans. Continue to cook on low, stirring every minute or so until pecans begin to darken. Watch very carefully as they can go from beautiful to burned very quickly! Turn out onto prepared foil and sprinkle liberally with sea salt. Spread out and let cool. Store pecans in an airtight container.
Tip: Walnuts and almonds would also work great in this recipe

Lemon Mustard Dressing
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 tablespoon spicy brown mustard
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 clove garlic,minced or pressed
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons oil
Juice your lemon and pour lemon juice into a small jar or container that can be sealed.. Add the zest from about 1/2 of the lemon peel. Add remaining ingredient and place lid on container. Make sure container is well sealed and shake until ingredients and well mixed.  Makes about 1/2 cup of dressing.
Tip: I use the small individual portion container on my Ninja Kitchen System Pulse to mix the dressing. If I do this I don't have to mince the garlic before I add it. 

10 March 2014

Cookies and Cream Popcorn ~ Chocolate Chip Cookie Popcorn

I have an entire board on Pinterest dedicated to popcorn; well, popcorn and chex mix.  I, like most things on pinterest, haven't tried most of them.  You can't go wrong with buttered popcorn, but I have an air popper, so I don't use microwave popcorn very often. Air popped popcorn drizzled with real butter, just isn't the same as the buttery microwave packs.  Normally I make caramel corn, but I am always looking up ways to flavor my popcorn and expand my horizons. Well, we had an activity at out church the other day and one of the ladies put together a popcorn bar. She made 7 or 8 different kinds of popcorn. Holy moly, they were all delicious. My favorite was the cookies and cream popcorn. I remembered I had a recipe for the cookies and cream popcorn pinned to pinterest and decided I needed to try and make it myself. It was just that good. While I was looking that up I also discovered I had a chocolate chip cookie popcorn pinned too.   They were both really simple and used almond bark so I figured I'd pop up a big bowl of popcorn and mix Oreos into half of it and chocolate chip cookies in the other half. I'm very glad I made a ton of it (like 8 cups of popcorn or so), because both flavors are delicious and it might last me a couple days.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Popcorn
  • 4 cups popped popcorn
  • 12 Crispy chocolate chip cookies (like Chips Ahoy)
  • 1/4 cup mini chocolate chips
  • 6 oz vanilla almond bark

Place cookies in a large ziplock bag and crush with a rolling pin or heavy cup.  Melt almond bark according to package directions. Add melted almond bark to popcorn. Mix until evenly coated. Gently stir in cookies crumbs and chocolate chips.

Cookies and Cream Popcorn
  • 4 cups popped popcorn
  • 12 Oreo Cookies
  • 6 oz vanilla almond bark

Place cookies in a large ziplock bag and crush with a rolling pin or heavy cup.  Melt almond bark according to package directions. Add melted almond bark to popcorn. Mix until evenly coated. Gently stir in cookies crumbs.
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