White Chicken Enchiladas

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Raise your hand if you love to eat, and love to cook, but some nights you just don’t want to be in the kitchen. Just me? No? I do love to cook, that much is clear, but there are some nights after work that the last thing I want to do is be in the kitchen. Yet I want a yummy, hot meal on the table. Picky much?

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enchilada (1 of 1)

These enchiladas are perfect for nights like those, Use a rotisserie chicken if you are too lazy to cook the chicken, and I just layer the filling and tortillas in the pan rather than rolling them. I actually used leftover turkey this time and they were equally delicious.

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I have been making these for years and have frozen them many times. Its a great casserole to take to new parents or someone ill, and can easily be doubled.

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White Chicken Enchiladas

Ingredients

  • 3 cups cooked and shredded chicken or turkey
  • 4 oz can diced green chiles
  • 1 10.5 oz can cream of chicken soup
  • 1 cup sour cream (low fat or regular)
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 10 flour tortillas
  • 3 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • Sliced olives for garnish

Instructions

Grease a 9x13 casserole dish. Mix sour cream, can of soup, garlic powder, onion powder, salt and pepper in a bowl. Whisk to combine well. Add the shredded chicken. Slice tortillas into 3 strips.

Spread a thin layer of soup mixture onto bottom of greased casserole dish.

Layer half of the tortillas over that, followed by half of the soup mixture. Sprinkle half of the cheddar cheese. Repeat layers, top with shredded cheese and olives.

Cover tightly with foil.

Bake at 350F for 40 min, or just until cheese is melted, Remove foil and cook an additional 5 minutes until cheese is slightly golden and bubbly.

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Chocolate Toffee Trifle

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Every year I try to set myself a goal of something new to try in the kitchen, like working with yeast breads. It was something that I used to be really afraid of, but over the last few years I have really been enjoying experimenting, and even have a few recipes on the blog.

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I have decided that the next thing I want to learn is to make pretty layer cakes. I have never been good at frosting cakes, but I want to conquer a 3 layer beauty!

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So where is my first attempt? Ummmm…. I haven’t tried yet. I swear I will though! It just feels hard to justify making a layer cake on a random weekend, they feel like they are intended for special occasions.

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Until I find the time to practice a pretty cake, I will rely on this killer trifle to bring when I need a dessert to impress. Layers of chocolate cake, hot fudge, chocolate pudding, chocolate whipped cream and toffee pieces make for the most delicious dessert that is meant to be messy. no precise layers and crumb coats needed here!

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Chocolate Toffee Trifle

Ingredients

  • 1 chocolate fudge cake mix, prepared according to package directions
  • 1 3.4 oz box cook & serve chocolate pudding, prepared according to package directions and cooled
  • 11.75 oz jar hot fudge sauce
  • 8 oz bag Heath bits
  • Chocolate Whipped Cream
  • 1/2 pint whipped cream
  • 3 T cocoa powder
  • 4 T powdered sugar
  • 1 t vanilla extract

Instructions

To make the chocolate whipped cream, pour the cream into a stand mixer (can also use a hand mixer and a large bowl) and beat on high for one minute. Stop mixer and add the cocoa powder, sugar and vanilla. Turn mixer on high and beat until stiff peaks form.

To assemble trifle: layer the chocolate cake, hot fudge sauce (heated until a drizzling consistency) whipped cream, pudding and heath bits in a trifle dish or large bowl. Continue to layer until all ingredients have been used.

Can be served immediately or refrigerated.

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Tropical White Chocolate Blondies

 

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As much as I love blogging and I love reading the blog posts of others, I can’t help but get a little frustrated when I think I have a brilliant idea for a new recipe, only to open my inbox and see that someone else has beat me to it. That happened to me not once, but twice this week! I guess I should just feel confident that it is a good idea if someone else posted an extremely similar idea??

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Someone else posting a similar recipe didn’t stop me from sharing this recipe with you because these blondies are so stinking good! And not only are they delicious, they really couldn’t be any easier and they keep for days. A win-win!

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Tropical blondies (1 of 1)

I love the texture of all the add-ins in these blondies. Crunch from macadamia nuts, chew from the candied pineapple and coconut. Delicious!

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Tropical White Chocolate BLondies

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter (1 stick), melted
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract (or rum extract)
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup chopped toasted macadamia nuts
  • 1/2 cup chopped candied (dried) pineapple
  • 1/2 cup toasted coconut
  • 1/2 cup white chocolate chips

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350F. Spray an 8-by-8-inch baking pan with cooking spray; set aside.

In a large, microwave-safe bowl melt the butter. Wait momentarily before adding the egg so you don't scramble it. Add the egg, brown sugar, vanilla, and whisk until smooth.

Add the flour and stir until just combined, don't over-mix. Stir in the nuts, pineapple, coconut and white chocolate chips. Turn batter out into prepared pan, smoothing the top lightly with a spatula.

Bake for about 22 to 26 minutes, or until done. A toothpick inserted in the center should come out clean, or with a few moist crumbs, but no batter. Allow blondies to cool in pan for at least 1 hour before slicing and serving. Blondies will keep airtight at room temperature for up to 1 week, or in the freezer for up to 6 months.

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Recipe adapted from Averie Cooks

Parmesan Oven Fries

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Now that I am nearing the big 3-0, and am also a mom of two (feeling old here folks!) I try to watch what I eat more than I did in my early 20’s. As much as I love fried foods, they are something I try to avoid more often than not.

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I have found that most recipes can be made equally crispy and delicious in the oven without the added calories and fat. My Pretzel Chicken Bites with Honey Mustard, Shredded Beef Taquitos and Homemade Chicken Fingers are perfect examples.

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These oven fries turn out so crispy and flavorful, I didn’t miss the fact that they were fried one bit! The secret is to soak them first to get rid of the excess starch and then dry well, and cook at high heat. The seasoning listed can easily be adapted to taste, this is just the combo that I most often use. I hope you enjoy, paired with one of the recipes above, or even one of my sandwich recipes and you will have one delicious meal!

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Crispy Oven Baked Fries

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons seasoned salt
  • 1 Tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/8 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • Fries:
  • 3 medium russet potatoes (russet are the best choice for perfect crispy fries)
  • 1-2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 Tablespoons grated Parmesan (optional)

Instructions

Combine seasoning ingredients in a small bowl; set aside.

Wash and peel the potatoes. Cut off the ends. With a very sharp knife, cut the potatoes into thin slices about 1/4 inch wide.

Add the fries to a large bowl and cover with cold water. Allow them to soak for at least 30 minutes but they can soak for as long as overnight. (Place in the fridge if soaking more than an hour).

After the fries have soaked, drain, rinse, and lay the fries on a paper towel lined cooling rack to dry while you preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Blot the tops with additional paper towels to absorb any excess moisture.

Line a baking pan with parchment paper or foil and spray with non-stick spray. Make sure the previously used bowl is dry and add the potatoes to it, add 1-2 tablespoons of oil and 1/2 – 1 Tablespoon of the seasoning mixture based on how much salt you prefer. Toss around to mix.

Evenly line the baking pan with the fries in a single layer. Don’t overlap or they fries won’t cook properly. Bake for about 30 minutes, flipping with a spatula once or twice after 15 minutes of cooking. Increase heat to 425 degrees and continue baking until the edges look a little burnt!

Sprinkle the fries with the other half of the seasoning mix and Parmesan cheese (optional). Serve immediately.

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Adapted from Layers Of Happiness

Carrot Cake Muffins with Cheesecake Filling

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I am not even going to try to hide how giddy I am that spring is finally here. I have had ENOUGH of winter and snow and cold weather. I am ready for flip-flops, windows rolled down and BBQ everything.

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Carrot cake seems to be synonymous with spring. I am not a huge cake person, but I am a muffin person. These muffins are soooo good, and perfect for a spring brunch!

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Tender carrot cake muffins, filled with cream cheese and topped with streusel and glaze. Basically all the things that make up a perfect  muffin. I went heavy on the streusel with these, and I made the right decision!

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Carrot Cake Muffins with Cheesecake Filling

Ingredients

    Muffins:
  • 2¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup light brown sugar (firmly packed)
  • 1½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • ¾ cup water
  • ⅓ cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup grated carrots (about 2-3 medium carrots)
  • Cream cheese filling:
  • 8 ounce cream cheese-softened
  • 1 Tablespoon sugar
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla
  • Streusel Topping:
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ⅔ cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter-melted
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • Glaze:
  • 1 Teaspoon milk
  • ¼ cup powdered sugar

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 400°F, line standard cupcake pan with paper liners and set aside, or spray with nonstick cooking spray.

To make streusel topping in a medium bowl stir together 1 cup all-purpose flour, ⅔ cup granulated sugar, 1 teaspoon cinnamon and ¼ teaspoon salt, add 1 /2 cup melted unsalted butter melted and stir it with a fork until crumbly, set aside.

To make the filling beat the cream cheese, vanilla and sugar until smooth, set aside.

To make the muffins, in a large bowl, whisk together dry ingredients listed for the muffins.

In a small bowl, whisk together the eggs, water and oil.

Stir the egg mixture into dry ingredients, then fold in grated carrots and stir well to combine..

Drop about 1 ½-2 Tablespoons of the batter into each cup and spread to cover the bottom, then place 1 heaping tablespoon of filling, cover with carrot batter to fill the cups ¾ full, then top with streusel topping and bake about 20 minutes, until the toothpick inserted in the cake (not cream cheese filling) comes out clean.

Remove the muffins from the oven, let them cool for 10 minutes in the pan then transfer to a rack to cool completely.

To make the glaze, stir well 1 tablespoon milk with ¼ cup powdered sugar and drizzle over the muffins before serving.

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Recipe Source: OMG Chocolate Desserts

Grapefruit Yogurt Cake

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I know that’s still awhile away, but I am starting to freak out about summer vacation. Mostly because this is M’s last summer before she starts school full-time. School full-time to me means a more busy schedule, dropping off and picking up kids from two different places…. and if she starts 4-H next year?? Chaos!

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This cake is the perfect busy day cake. Just one bowl, put in the pan and bake. The glaze is poured over top so it doesn’t require lots of time to frost, and the cake doesn’t even have to be completely cooled. Normally I am all about chocolate, but I do love citrus desserts. This was my first time cooking with grapefruit, and this cake did not disappoint!

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Grapefruit Yogurt Cake

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • Zest from 1 grapefruit
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/3 cup freshly squeezed grapefruit juice
  • Glaze
  • 2 T freshly squeezed grapefruit juice
  • 1 cup powdered sugar

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease an 8 1/2 x 4 1/2 inch loaf pan. Set aside.

In a large bowl whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt.

In a separate bowl mix together yogurt, sugar, eggs, zest, vanilla, oil and grapefruit juice. Slowly add flour mixture, stirring until well combined.

Pour into prepared pan, and bake for 45-50 minutes; until a tester comes out clean.

Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack.

To prepare glaze mix together juice and sugar until desired consistency. Add more sugar if necessary.

Once the cake has cooled, remove from pan, place on the wire rack, and top with glaze

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Recipe slightly adapted from DinnersDishesandDesserts

Jason’s Buttermilk Waffles

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Taking a little poll here: Are breakfast foods better at A) Breakfast or B) Dinner or C) Both! ?

I pick C. I don’t always have the biggest appetite in the morning, but brunch is perfect for me. If I can have a few hours before I wake up I can put those breakfast foods away. Breakfast for dinner? Well, that is on regular rotation in our house. Its something the kids and I love, and its easy to not make the same thing twice.

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waffles (1 of 1)

I will admit that up until I made these waffles, I had only made homemade waffles twice, other than when I had a sourdough starter. I had not been impressed with the last recipe I used, and for some reason never tried again, even though its been years! What kind of food blogger am I?!

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My soon to be step-dad Jason made these waffles for us one morning when we were visiting, and I was hooked. Who knew homemade waffles could be so good? Not I , for sure! This recipe makes a lot, and I love it even more for that. I cook them up and freeze them and they make the perfect school morning breakfast for M.

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waffles (1 of 1)

The recipe I am showing you today is straight up, but you know I love to trash things up. Add chocolate chips, top with peanut butter, bananas, coconut- so many waffles, so little time!

Buttermilk Waffles

Ingredients

  • 3 c flour
  • 3 Tbs sugar
  • 1 Tbs baking powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 3 c buttermilk
  • 3 eggs, separated
  • 1/3 cup butter, melted

Instructions

In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In a second bowl, whisk together buttermilk, milk and egg yolks. With an electric mixer, beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form.

Whisking constantly, add melted butter to the milk mixture. Pour this into the large bowl and stir just until combined. Be sure not to over mix!

When the flour has been combined (the batter will still be a little lumpy), heat waffle iron. While iron is heating, gently fold in the beaten egg whites. Spray waffle iron with non stick spray and scoop in waffle batter. Cook according to waffle maker instructions. Serve hot.

**Cooked waffles can be frozen. Cool completely, place between layers of wax paper and place in freezer bags.

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Pretzel Chicken Bites with Honey Mustard

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This week I cleaned the last of the baby things out of the storage shed, and MAN, that was hard. I think I had forgotten how tiny my babies were. All those little shirts and socks and the soft baby blankets….its almost enough to make me want another one!

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While I miss the baby stage terribly, I am loving how much fun my kids are becoming. They have their own personalities and dispositions. M is becoming such a sweet heart and good helper, and at the end of the day we can almost visit like friends. B is strong-willed and the most friendly little boy I have ever met.

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Along with moving past the baby stage comes busy week nights and picky eaters. I try my hardest to avoid processed foods for my kids, but they do love chicken nuggets, as most kids do. These pretzel nuggets are a nice twist on the usual chicken nugget and come together in just minutes. My kids prefer ketchup, but this homemade honey mustard is such a good accompaniment to the pretzel crusted nuggets. I hope your kids enjoy these nuggets as much as mine do!
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Pretzel Chicken Nuggets with Honey Mustard

Ingredients

  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • about 6 ounces of salted pretzels
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 eggs
  • Sauce
  • 1/2 cup spicy Dijon mustard
  • 2 T honey

Instructions

Put the pretzels in a food processor and process until you have fine crumbs. Put the crumbs in a shallow dish and season with salt and pepper. In another shallow dish, beat the eggs.

Dip each chicken piece into the pretzels, then into the eggs, then back into the pretzels. Place chicken on a silpat lined baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes or until golden and chicken is cooked through.

Mix together mustard and honey and serve with nuggets.

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PB & J Dessert Pizza

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Any one who knows me well enough will tell you that I am not a very decisive person. I can never decide what I want to wear each day, what paint color I want for the kitchen, or  what I want to order off a menu. I am car shopping right now, and as you an imagine a big decision like that is about to make me lose my mind!

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While I may not be good at making decisions in most areas of my life, one area that is always a firm “YES” is pizza, and dessert. And we all know you can never go wrong with PB & J!

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I loved my Vanilla Crumb Dessert Pizza so much that I decided to create another version, this time with sweet jam and a peanut butter crumb topping. That topping is to die for, I could pick those crumbs off all day!

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pbj dessert pizza (1 of 1)

I used my favorite Quick and Easy Dough recipe, but feel free to use store-bought dough to speed the process up even more. I used strawberry jam this time, but think grape or even apricot would be delicious!

PB & J Dessert Pizza

Ingredients

  • 1 recipe Easy Pizza Dough
  • Peanut Butter Steusel
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 T sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup + 2 T peanut butter
  • 2 T softened butter
  • 3/4 cup jam
  • additional peanut butter and glaze, optional
  • Glaze
  • 1/4 cup jam, melted
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 T heavy cream or milk

Instructions

Prepare pizza crust.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. To make crumb topping, in a bowl combine the flour, brown sugar, sugar, peanut butter, butter and cinnamon together with a fork until crumbly, set aside.

On a floured surface, roll dough into 12 inch circle. Place on pizza pan. Spread jam, leaving a 1/2 inch border around the edge. Sprinkle crumb mixture over crust, pressing slightly to make it stick. Cook pizza or 20 minutes or until crust is lightly golden.

Optional: Melt additional peanut butter and drizzle on pizza. To make glaze, melt jam in a small bowl. Mix in powdered sugar until smooth, adding milk or cream until it is the desired consistency. Drizzle on pizza.

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