Meatloaf delight

Meatloaf is the kind of food that comfort us, but when I told my husband for the first time that I was going to cook meatloaf, he cringed.  He stated that you either make it great or you make it wrong.  There's no in between.  I wasn't sure what he meant, but after a couple of, what I call rookie mistakes, I perfected the meatloaf recipe that makes him smile.  Here's my very easy, secret recipe: 

  • One pound of LEAN (90/10) ground beef
  • One pound of ground turkey or sausage meat
  • one egg
  • one onion finely chopped
  • one carrot finely chopped
  • one red or green pepper finely chopped
  • one teaspoon of garlic
  • one cup of garlic-flavored bread crumbs
  • one tablespoon of chili powder
  • one tablespoon of dry oregano
  • salt and pepper to taste

FOR THE SAUCE

  • half a cup of tomato ketchup
  • one tablespoon of honey
  • one teaspoon of Worcestershire sauce
  • one teaspoon of cumin 

PREPARATION

Preheat the oven at 350*.  Mix the meat, onions, pepper, carrots, egg, bread crumbs, and salt/pepper in a large mixing bowl.  bake in a meatloaf pan for 45 minutes.

Prepare the sauce by mixing the ketchup, honey, Worcestershire sauce, and cumin.  After baking the meat for 10 minutes, brush the sauce mix on the top and sides of the meat, creating a thick coat.  Continue baking for the remaining time. 

Serve with mash potatoes and a side of vegetable of choice.  I guarantee everyone will have seconds.  

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What's your favorite side??? leave a comment below!

Back to School Breakfast Bites

The kids start back to school next week (can I get an amen!) and I find myself scrambling to make my weekly menu plans. Between school, gymnastics, dance, and club soccer, it's imperative that I have some semblance of a plan when I begin each week. This weekend I plan on prepping some easy breakfast bites to make ahead and refrigerate for easy, filling meals before school in the AM. 

Ingredients:

  • dozen eggs
  • pack of bacon
  • cooked sausage, crumbled
  • choice of cheese (I used cheddar)
  • hash browns
  • garlic salt/pepper to taste

How to cook:

  • Preheat oven to 375
  • Line inside of cupcake tins with bacon (see picture for example) 
  • Add roughly 1-2 tbsp hasbrowns to each tin
  • Beat eggs in medium mixing bowl with garlic salt/pepper and divide between the 12 cupcake cups
  • add about 1 tbsp cooked sausage to each tin
  • sprinkle each tin with cheese
  • Cook for 15 minutes

I placed them all in a large tupperware container in the fridge for easy access. Just pop a couple out each morning, heat in the microwave and voila! A hearty breakfast to start off the day!

What time saving tricks do you use in the mornings to get the kids out the door? Any good breakfast recipes to try?

 

Chicken Bacon Ranch Casserole

My mom recommended this recipe after running across it on Pinterest and of course I had to give it a whirl (did you read the title? BACON!) With a few minor variations I think this will definitely be a keeper in our household. (I swear my 9 year old didn't even chew- he inhaled this thing).

lngredients: 

Pack of thawed boneless, skinless chicken breasts

Package of thawed bacon

One ranch seasoning packet

One (8oz) container of cream cheese

1/2 C chicken broth

2 cups cooked rice

1 package shredded cheddar cheese (or 2 cups if your a sadist and like to shred your own)

1 can condensed cream chicken soup

 

Now that you have assembled all the necessary ingredients lets get crackin!

  • Preheat the oven to 350
  • Bring large pot of water to a boil, place thawed chicken into pot, boil until cooked
  • While chicken cooks, cook 2 cups of rice according to package instructions
  • Cook bacon until slightly crispy then diced. 
  • Remove chicken from water, cut into bit sized pieces
  • In a large mixing bowl, combine chicken, rice, cream of chicken soup, sour cream, diced bacon, ranch packet, and cheese. Mix well
  • Grease the bottom and sides of 13 x 9 baking dish and scoop contents of mixing bowl, patting down carefully to fill container
  • Put baking dish into oven and cook for 25 minutes

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Bon appetit!

 

Lemon Blondie Bars

In case you guys didn't already know, I have a big sweet tooth. I have been scouring the good ol interwebs in search of the perfect, summer-y delight to satisfy said sweet tooth. Of course I hoped over to the Pillsbury website, they never disappoint, and this time was no different. These lemon blondie bars are heavenly. Super moist, and the best part...only 5 ingrediants! That's my kind of recipe. 

Ok, so let me break it down for you:

RELATED: GREAT GRANDMA COFFEE CAKE

Ingredients:

  • 1 roll (16.5 oz) Pillsbury refrigerated sugar cookies
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/3 all purpose flour
  • 2-3 large lemons
  • 1 whole egg plus 1 egg yolk 

Directions:

  • Heat oven to 350 and spray the bottom of an 8x8 pan generously with cooking spray
  • In large bowl, break up sugar cookie roll. Add powered sugar, flour, lemon juice, 1 tsp grated lemon peel, and egg/egg yolk.
  • Stir until mixed well and pour into pan
  • Bake 22-26 minutes. (you'll know its done if you insert a toothpick into the center and it's almost completely clean)
  • Let cool ~45 minutes before cutting into square

RELATED: KEYLIME CUPCAKE WITH BLACKBERRY FROSTING

If you are interested in making a glaze (and why wouldn't you? Need I repeat myself, easy and delish) just combine 1 cup powered sugar, the juice from one lemon, and just about 1 TBS water. Mix well and pour over the cooled bars. 

Voila! Enjoy!

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Chicken and Broccoli Casserole

Often times I'm in a hurry to cook something easy and fast.  The problem is to find a good recipe that is both delicious and fast.  I've cooked this chicken casserole for many years and it always wins the prize.  You can have it ready about 45 minutes and it's guaranteed to make everyone repeat.  Here's the recipe:

What you'll need:

  • One pound of boneless chicken, cut in bite size pieces
  • one pound of broccoli florets 
  • one can of cream of mushroom
  • one can of cream of chicken
  • two tablespoons of mayo or sour cream (depending on your taste)
  • one cup of dry stuffing OR mashed garlic croutons
  • one cup (or more...I always put more) mild cheddar cheese
  • salt and pepper to taste

PREPARATION:

Preheat the oven at 350*

In a medium pot, cook the chicken until done.  At the same time, in a separate pot, cook the broccoli until slightly tender but still crunchy (about 15 minutes).  

Mix the cream of mushroom, cream of chicken, and mayo in a mixing bowl until you get a smooth creamy texture.  

Once the chicken and the broccoli are done, place them in a 9x13 baking dish and pour the creamy mix on top.  Mix all together.  Sprinkle the crouton crumbs and the cheese on top.

Bake for 20-30 minutes.

Serve with a side of green beans and/or garlic bread.

Enjoy!

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What is your favorite, easy recipe?

Miracle Chicken Soup

You know what they say... Chicken soup cures everything. Well, let me tell you, my chicken soup recipe is the perfect remedy for all your ailments my friends. It is guaranteed to make you feel like a new person.  Here's my very special recipe for all of you to enjoy:

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 Lb of boneless chicken cut in bite size pieces.  You can also use chicken drums (with bone) to give it more substance, just clean the skin and the extra fatty off.
  • one sweet or white onion. Chopped.
  • two teaspoons of minced garlic
  • 1/2 red pepper, and 1/2 green pepper, chopped.
  • four medium potatoes, chopped in bite size pieces
  • a handful of cilantro finely chopped
  • one tablespoon of crushed red chili pepper
  • one teaspoon of paprika (or more if you wish)
  • two teaspoons of dry basil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • one tablespoon of olive oil
  • one avocado
  • One (or two) limes
  • cooked rice to serve as side.

PREPARATION:

in a large pot heat the olive oil on medium heat and saute the onions, peppers, garlic, chili pepper, paprika, and basil for about two minutes.  Add potatoes and mix.  Saute for another two minutes.  Add chicken and mix. Saute all together and add salt and pepper to taste.  Add water (about 8 cups) enough to cover the ingredients and bring to a boil on high heat.  

Once it boils, add cilantro and reduce heat to medium and cook for about 30-40 minutes, or until the chicken is completely cooked.  (the smaller the chicken pieces, the faster it will cook). 

Squeeze some lime on top and mix.  Add more cilantro on top to garnish and serve on a bed of white rice and fresh avocado.

You are welcome. 

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Great Grandmas Coffee Cake

The smell of this coffee cake is enough to transport me back in time to the carefree days of childhood, when perms were a thing and I couldn't live without my scrunchie and my New Kids on the Block cassette tape. Show me a kid who doesn't like coffee cake and I'll show you a werido because this stuff is heavenly. I mean cake? For breakfast? Yes please! 

This recipe is my great grandmas, made by my mother frequently while growing up. I still request it to this day and have decided to *attempt* to do her justice by trying out my hand at this family classic. 

Ingredients:

  • 1 c sugar
  • dash salt
  • 1 tbs butter
  • 1 tbs shortening
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 c flour
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • 1 c milk
  • sugar
  • cinnamon

 

1) In a mixing bowl, combine sugar, salt, butter, and shortening. Cream well.

2) Mix in eggs one at a time.

3) Slowly mix in flour, baking powder and milk alternately

4) Grease 2 cake pans

5) Pour mixture into pans

6) Sprinkle top with sugar and cinnamon

7) Bake 350 for 20 minutes

 

Voila- couldn't you just bottle that sweet smell up and bathe in it?!

What are some of your favorite family recipes? Anything near and dear to your heart? 

 

 

Chicken Sandwich on Steroids

I was in the mood for a good, hot, sandwich today. I had stocked up on the buy one get three chicken breast deals from Harris Teeter so I decided to concoct a chicken sandwich with ingredients I had lying around and man was it goooo-oood. 

Ingredients:

1 package boneless skinless chicken breasts, sliced thin

1 avocado

Weber mango lime seasoning (to taste)

salt (to taste)

Fontina cheese (or whatever cheese you prefer) 

buns

 

  • Defrost a package of boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • Slice thin
  • Rub mango lime seasoning and salt to taste
  • Place in pre-heated frying pan- cooking on both sides until done
  • Add a slice of cheese (optional) and cook until melted
  • Place cooked chicken with melted cheese onto bun
  • Top with sliced avocados and your choice of toppings (I chose banana peppers and mayo)
  • Enjoy!

 

 

***Check out our other delicious recipes here!

Do you guys have any yummy sandwich concoctions to share?! 

The Ultimate Party Dip

This cheesy, meaty, dippy concoction is known as "The Dip" in our circle of friends and is a must have for any get together, game night, or holiday gathering. In addition to being mouthwateringly delicious (seriously I'm salivating just thinking about this thing) it's also super easy (which we all know is a requirement for any of our Fattten Me Up Friday posts).

Ingredients:

1 lb ground beef or ground spicy sausage 

1 can rotel

1-2 poblano peppers diced (depending on how spicy you like things- we like 2)

1 packet taco seasoning

1- 16 oz package Velveeta cheese cut into one inch cubes 

  • Cook ground beef/sausage with taco seasoning according to package
  • Put cooked ground beef/sausage into crockpot
  • Add Velveeta cheese, poblano peppers, and rotel to crockpot
  • Cook on high for an hour- stir occasionally
  • Once all ingredients have cooked and make a dip-y texture- turn crockpot to low
  • Serve with tortilla chips and enjoy!

 

What are some of your go-to party dips and apps?   

 

 

 

One pot stop- Low Country Boil

Being the southern girl that I am, I have grown up with good cooking all my life. A good low country boil was always a treat in our house. Marrying a man from much further south than I, (Colombia, South America to be exact), not all my favorite childhood meals are a hit with him (really? who doesn't like meatloaf?!). But I am pleased to announce that the low country boil was able to break down cultural food barriers and landed the coveted honor of "birthday meal request" for many years running now. In the whirlwind that has been our life lately, we realized we had neglected to make this special dish for hubbys birthday in April so decided this weekend was as good as any to break out the massive pot and get to work! 

Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs shrimp (I used frozen shrimp- use whichever is more convenient for you!)
  • 2 lb sausage (we like the spicy kind- but again feel free to use whatever your family enjoys most!)
  • 8 ears of corn shucked and halved
  • 8-10 red potatoes quartered
  • 1/2 c. Old Bay Seasoning 

 

 

Fill a large pot up a little more than halfway and add Old Bay Seasoning. Bring to a boil.

Add potatoes and boil, covered for 10 minutes.

Add sausage to the boil, covered for 10 minutes

Add corn to the boil, covered for 10 minutes

Add shrimp to the boil, covered for 10 minutes

FEAST!

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Super easy right? Scoop out into a bowl or onto a plate and dig in! The recipe cooked enough to feed our family of 4 plus a couple of friends who came for dinner and we still had leftovers! 

You guys have any neat twists to add to a traditional low country boil? 

 

Mini Taco Bowls

I am so stoked to share this weeks Fatten Me Up Friday with you guys! I saw a video on Facebook posted by Tasty the other day and decided to give it a try with my own additions and tweaks and guys... it turned out SO SCRUMPTIOUS. 

Ingredients:

1 lb ground beef                                                            

1 package of large burrito tortillas

1 package taco seasoning

1 can diced tomatoes                                                                                     

1 can diced green chilies

4 oz cream cheese (or half a block)

1 bag shredded Mexican blend cheese 

cilantro (optional)

Steps:

Lay out all the tortillas on a cutting board and cut off sides to make a square shape.

Once your tortilla is squared, cut into fourths (then set aside)

Brown your ground beef and drain excess fat

Add packet of taco seasoning, can diced tomatoes (drained), can of dices green chili's, and 4 oz cream cheese, stir until completely blended

In a cupcake tin, spray all slots with cooking spray and carefully press one square of tortilla into each slot

Scoop one spoonful of meat mixture into each tortilla cup and top with a sprinkle of cheese

Add one more layer of tortilla, meat mixture, and sprinkle of cheese 

Bake in oven for 350 degrees for 18 minutes 

**Let sit for a couple minutes before removing from cupcake tin**

Garnish with a dallop of sourcream, cilantro, or your choice of hotsauce and dig in!

Until next week my foodie friends! 

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Honey Mustard glazed chicken

One of my friends was talking about this chicken recipe the other day and I thought I would try it.  Well, I tried it because all I had was chicken and a few other things and this recipe seemed easy, and simple and it perfectly accommodated into my busy schedule.

Here's what you need:

  1. Six chicken drum sticks  or basically any kind (boneless or not) 
  2. 1/4 cup of low sodium soy sauce
  3. 1/2 teaspoon of chili flakes
  4. two-three tablespoons of Honey (make sure it's the real stuff)
  5. One tablespoon of grainy or regular mustard
  6. One tablespoon of olive oil
  7. Salt and pepper to taste

PREPARATION:

Pre-heat the oven at 375*.  Whisk all the ingredients together in a medium bowl until they are completely mixed.  Place the chicken in a small baking dish and pour the sauce mixture over the chicken making sure you coat it well.  Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour (depending if you have boneless chicken or not).  

I also prepared a side of green beans and potatoes sauteed together with plenty of pepper and dry oregano.  I cut the potatoes in small bite-size pieces and boiled them until semi-soft.  then (drain potatoes) placed them in a skillet with some french-cut green beans, add minced garlic, salt, pepper and oregano to taste.  Saute for about ten minutes and enjoy!

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Mac and Cheese the grown up version

Mac and cheese is a staple in pretty much every house with kids (and who am I kidding- most houses without them too). While it's tempting to just buy a box of the instant stuff and call it a night, the real stuff is infinitely more tasty and not as daunting a task as you may think. I found this recipe trolling on Pinterest (where else?) and decided to give it a whirl (guys it has bacon-how can you say no to that?).  It sounded like a grown- version of the traditional stuff, and it sure didn't disappoint!

Ingredients:

2 3/4 cups whole milk

4 tbsp salted butter

1/4 cup all purpose flour

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp black pepper

1/2 tsp dried yellow mustard powder

1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

1 1/4 cups Gruyere cheese (freshly grated)

2/3 cup Parmesan cheese (freshly grated) *I cheated and bought pre-shredded 

2 1/2 cups uncooked elbow macaroni

4 slices thick cut bacon, browned & crumbled

Directions:

1. Heat up milk until warm in microwave then set aside

2. Bring large pot of salted water to boil

3. While water boils, in a medium saucepan, melt butter and add flour. Whisk briskly and consistently for about 4 minutes or until the roux is golden yellow and completely smooth. Add warm milk and wisk until thick and bubbly. Add salt, mustard, cayenne, black pepper, and cheeses. Stir until cheeses are melted and sauce is smooth and creamy. Cover and set aside to keep warm.

4. Add uncooked macaroni noodles to the large pot of boiling water. Cook until al dente according to package instructions. Drain cooked macaroni in a colander and transfer drained noodles back into empty large pot.

5. Transfer cheese sauce into the pot with the cooked/drained macaroni and stir until well coated. 

6. Serve immediately with cooked/crumbled bacon. 

Now I know I prefaced this by calling it grown up mac and cheese but the kids sure did chow down on it too. It was definitely a hit and will be added into  the rotation! 

Do you guys have any funky spins on the traditional mac and cheese you wanna share? 

Come back next Friday for more fun, easy recipes! 

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Burrito Wraps

Happy Fatten Me Up Friday!

On the menu today we have burrito wraps! Super easy, super delish, and you can really jazz them up to suit your preferences. This recipe is on a weekly rotation at my house, the kids and hubby DEVOUR them.

 

 

Ingredients:

 

1 lb ground beef                                                

1 can of black beans (drained)     

1 packet taco seasoning

1 cup white rice (cooked)

1 medium sized yellow onion

Package of large burrito tortillas (I use flour but feel free to get creative!)

1 bag mexican blend shredded cheese

Sour cream (to taste)

Optional ingredients:

Jalapenos

Banana peppers

Sriracha sauce/hot sauce

Ranch dressing

Cilantro

Green onions

Bell peppers

 

 

  1. First cook ground beef thoroughly with diced onion (don’t like onions? Leave em out!) Drain excess grease.

  2. In separate pot, cook rice

  3. Drain and rinse black beans

  4. In large bowl, mix cooked ground beef, black beans, and taco seasoning packet-set aside

  5. Get a tortilla, place a heaping tablespoon of sour cream in middle of tortilla, use the back of the spoon to smooth it out into a small circle. 

  6. Sprinkle some cheese on the sour cream

  7. Add any topping you may like (I like banana peppers, jalapenos, and a little ranch- feel free to go nuts here)

  8. With a spoon- heap a couple spoonfuls of the ground beef mixture into the middle of the tortilla

  9. Wrap into burrito-ish shape

  10. Place in a preheated skillet on stove, seam side down and cook until light brown

  11. Flip and cook other side until light brown

  12. ENJOY

 

One of the (many) reasons I love this meal is that you really have lots of freedom to suit multiple taste buds without any extra work. Make the meat mixture then have everyone throw on whatever they feel like eating. The meat mixture saves well for leftovers the next day (or freeze some for an even later day) and it's super easy to make quesadillas with it instead (my kids prefer it in a quesadilla- much less messy for them to eat, which means I also prefer my kids to eat it as a quesadilla).


What goodies would you guys throw in to mix things up?

 

GUMBO a la Mia

When we travel to New Orleans, we always try the Gumbo everywhere we go.  It is just one of those dishes that you must have when you are in Cajun nation.  


One of my favorite spots for this was the New Orleans School of Cooking.  Their classes are very entertaining and the food is incredible.  (see our article for NOSOC here).  * visit them at www.nosoc.com*  We took the group demonstration class, which showed us how to prepare Gumbo, Jambalaya, and Pralines.  


I'm not going to post their recipe, because I think all of you should just go visit them when you are in NoLa and experience it, but I will share my own take on the Gumbo.


If you are like me, sometimes you feel the taste for good lunch and dinner and even if you don't have all the ingredients, you still make it and substitute items when needed. 
We wanted Gumbo, and lack of ingredients didn't stop me from making a very delicious creation.  Here's what I did:

Ingredients:

  1. Meat.  Chicken and Sausage as much or as little as you like.  or you can do it with shrimp.
  2. 1 cup of vegetable oil, or drippings from previously cooked meat. (I used drippings from bacon)
  3. 1 cup of flour
  4. two chopped onions
  5. one chopped green pepper and one red pepper
  6. one tablespoon of garlic
  7. 8 cups of chicken stock
  8. cajun seasoning or multi-purpose seasoning.  I like Emeril's Essence seasoning that (recipe here)

DIRECTIONS:

First, you choose the meat.  I had chicken and sausage.  Most recipes call for Andueille sausage (which is probably best), but I used regular Italian Sausage.  You can also use any other spicy seasoned sausage too.  I made sure that the sausage was semi-frozen.  It is so much easier to chop it in bite size pieces when it's still a little frozen.  

Season your chicken and cook it for a little bit before you throw in the sausage.  Keep cooking until they are both pretty done and edible.  Set aside.

Now you prepare the roux. Equal parts of oil or drippings and flour.  Place the oil in a large pot and heat on medium-high.  Slowly add the flour and mix well.  You'll see the flour/oil mix starts to bubble.  reduce heat to medium and stir continuously.  Be careful not to let this burn! it only takes a few seconds for it to burn, so stir, stir, stir your roux.  Let it cook until it reaches a brown color.  

Add the onions, peppers and garlic to the roux.  Mix well and let it cook until these are tender.  (This part is a little sticky, but that's ok!).  

Add the already cooked chicken and sausage to the pot and cook for about 10 minutes.  Don't forget to stir!

 

Slowly pour the chicken stock, mixing everything together to avoid any lumps.  I add it gradually and stir good before adding more stock.  Bring to a boil.  Add your seasoning and reduce heat to low to simmer for about one hour.  

Serve with white rice or with french bread.

**** Get Emeril's Essence Recipe here****

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Lentil Soup

My mom makes the best lentils in the world.  Well, after years of trial and error, I think I can proudly say that I make the best lentils in the world.  Yeah, I know, not very humble of me to say this, but I want to share this recipe with you, let you try it, and then you can say you make the best lentil soup in the world. See? I'm sharing.  
Growing up in South America, this recipe is very close to my heart and to my Colombian heritage. Over time, I've added and taken away some ingredients and came up with my own recipe.  

INGREDIENTS:

This is what you'll need:
1. one bag of uncooked lentils (1 lbs)- this serves 8-10 people.  You can do half a pound and adjust the other ingredients 
2. one whole onion (white or sweet) finely chopped
3. Six medium red or golden potatoes chopped in small bite size pieces
4. basil
5. Paprika or Goya for color- I use one pack of Goya or one tablespoon of paprika. 
6. a teaspoon of celery seeds (or finely chopped celery if you prefer)
7. one pound of beef cut in small chunks
8. salt and pepper to taste

9.  1 tablespoon of Olive Oil

10. Garlic to taste
 

Before you begin, leave your lentils soaking overnight in a large container with enough water to cover them.  You don't have to do this, but if you don't, it is going to take one more hour of cooking time. 


In a large pot, saute the onions, garlic, potatoes, basil, celery seeds, paprika, and drained uncooked lentils for a few minutes.  Add the meat until barely browned.  add 10-12 cups of water and a pack of Goya color/seasoning.  Bring to a quick boil in high heat and reduce heat to medium/low.


stir occasionally and let it cook for 45 minutes to one hour, or until the lentils are soft.  Add the salt and pepper once the lentils are soft. 


Serve on a bed of white rice and enjoy!
 

Key Lime Cupcakes with Blackberry Frosting

I'm going to let you guys in on a little secret..... I'm a cupcake-aholic. I dream of these delicious confectioners treats, I tape episodes of Cupcake Wars, I frequent local bakeries and coffee shops in search of new and exciting flavors. They are my kryptonite.

So naturally,  every year for my birthday, I request cupcakes over the traditional birthday cake. Sometimes my mom picks up some goodies from a local cupcake shop and other times she bakes them (I don't know if I've mentioned by my mom is a killer cook/baker), but whichever way I come by them, they are a birthday tradition.

This year I found an amazing recipe on Pinterest for Key Lime Cupcakes with Blackberry frosting From Baked Perfection, and of course, emailed it to mom as my birthday treat request and man did she come through- take a look at this beauty:

 

Trust me people- these tasted even better in person (hard to believe, I know). What are you waiting for?! Get up and make some cupcakes people!

Cupcake ingredients:

1 cup butter softened

2 cups sugar

3 eggs

2 tsp vanilla extract

4 tablespoons key lime juice

zest of 2 limes

3 1/2 cups all purpose flour

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

2 cups sour cream

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line your cupcake pans with liners (should make roughly 30 cupcakes).

In a medium bowl combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. In a separate mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar. Beat in the eggs one at a time. Add the vanilla, key lime juice, and lime zest; mix well. Add the flour mixture to creamed mixture alternately with sour cream (batter will be thick). Fill muffin cups with 1/4 cup of batter. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes. Cool completely and frost.

Blackberry Buttercream Ingredients:

2 sticks butter, softened

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/3 cup seedless blackberry jam or preserves

pinch of salt

6 cups powered sugar

2-3 tablespoons of milk

Beat butter and vanilla until creamy. Mix in blackberry jam and salt. Add powered sugar 1 cup at a time, beating until combined. Add milk 1 tbsp. at a time until you reach desired consistency. Garnish with a blackberry.

*****(find the original recipe here)

Voila!

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What are you favorite cupcake recipes? Any go-to's that you guys LOVE?

Mini Mexican Meatloaves

Guys…..so I found this recipe online (http://www.kraftrecipes.com/recipes/cheesy-salsa-mini-meatloves-113737.aspx) searching for a cool new meatloaf recipe and it is DELISH. It’s an interesting twist on a classic meatloaf AND it’s made in cute individual sizes, perfect for easy serving and dividing up leftovers. And did I mention it’s only 6 ingredients?!

 

Ingredients:

1 lb ground beef

½ cup finely chopped onions

1 egg

12 saltine crackers, finely crushed

1-½ cups mexican style finely shredded four cheese, divided

1 cup thick and chunky salsa

 

Steps:

1- Heat oven to 400 degrees

2- Mix first 4 ingredients with 1 cup cheese and ½ cup salsa

3- Press into 12 muffin cups sprayed with cooking spray. Use back of spoon to make indentation in center if each.

4- Bake 20-25 minutes or until meatloaves are done. Top with remaining salsa and cheese. Bake 3 minutes or until cheese is melted.

 

 

 

We will definitely be adding this into rotation. It was a hit with the kids and hubby, super easy, and did I mention DELISH? Give it a try and let us know how y’all like it!  

*** See other great recipes here

 

 

Source: http://www.kraftrecipes.com/recipes/cheesy...

Taco Soup with a kick

My husband often cooks at home, and yeah, I have to admit that he is pretty darn good at it (don’t tell him I said that).  Last month he cooked an amazing taco soup, and I had to steal his recipe for the world to try!

First let me tell you the ingredients:

Ground beef or chicken (pulled)

One chopped onion

One can of corn (drained)

One can of black beans (drained)

One can of pinto beans (drained)

One can of kidney beans (drained)

One can of petite diced tomatoes

One can of Rotel - preferred spice level

One tablespoon of minced garlic

One lime (squeezed)

One bunch of cilantro (finely chopped)

One packet of hot taco seasoning

One packet of ranch powder

Salt and pepper to taste

 

Preparation:

 

Brown the beef (or chicken) until thoroughly cooked.  Place all the other ingredients (except the cilantro) in a pot with enough water to cover them.  Bring to a quick boil and reduce heat to low.  Add the meat.  Cook for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Add cilantro last, and let your soup simmer for a few more minutes.  The longer the soup simmers, the better.  

 

Enjoy with some avocado wedges, shredded cheese, and tortilla chips.  You can adjust the spiciness level by choosing the mild or regular taco seasoning and mild Rotel

***See other great recipes here

Mexican Stuffed Shells

Fatten Me Up Friday is here! I'm excited to share with you guys one of my favorite recipes that I found while trolling Pinterest, Mexican Stuffed Shells. It's on the regular rotation at my house and receives high praise from my 5 & 8 year old- as well as my large grown up man child (otherwise referred to as husband). This recipe comes from (http://pin.it/E5QsXNh), check them out if you are looking for other tasty recipes. Three things important to me in any meal that I make 1) is it easy (i.e doesn't require half a million steps and insane ingredients only found on a full moon at the summer equinox in the rainforest) 2) Kid Friendly: (disclaimer- I don't base all my meals around whether or not my kids will like it- they eat what I cook, and I am very conscious of having them try new things. We don't operate a restaurant around here!) I do want to make sure nothing is too spicy, because while husband and I LOVE spicy food- it's not really the best for young children. 3) is it tasty- duh- I want to make something that tastes great! This is a great recipe to double up on and save half as a freezer meal for another day or to serve as leftovers the next day. Enjoy! 

 

Ingredients: 

 - 1lb ground beef 

- 1/2 cup diced yellow onion

- 2 TBS taco seasoning (I just use a whole packet or premade seasoning)

- 4 oz. cream cheese

- about 8oz jumbo pasta shells (around 25 shells)

- 10 oz. enchilada sauce

- 1 cup salsa ( I find that I like the chunky kind the best)

- 1 1/4 cup cheddar cheese *

- 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese **

 

** I usually use the mexican blend pre-shredded cheese but I'm sure you can use whatever kind of cheese you want. I also ALWAYS use more cheese than the ingredients call for because, cheese. 

 

Instructions:

1. Bring large pot of water to a boil

2. Boil pasta shells for about 10 minutes, or cooked al dente according to package directions. Rinse shells when they're done cooking. 

3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees

4. Meanwhile cook up your ground beef and onions over medium high heat until cooked thoroughly.

5. Drain excess grease from the pan. Add in taco seasoning and stir to mix.

6. Mix in cream cheese and cook until cheese is melted through. Set aside.

7. Combine enchilada sauce and salsa into small bowl.

8.  Pour about half of your enchilada/salsa mixture into the bottom of a 9x13 pan and spread around to cover.

9. Fill each jumbo shells with about 1 TBS of meat mixture and place into pan with sauce.

10. Repeat until all shells or meat mixture are gone

11. Pour remaining enchilada/salsa mixture over shells.

12. Wrap pan in aluminium, foil and bake 30 minutes

13. Remove foil and top with cheese

14. Return pan to oven and bake for an additional 15 minutes or until cheese is melted and bubbly. 

The Delicious result!

The Delicious result!

***See other great recipes here