Friday, April 27, 2012

Butter Brickle Ice Cream

When I came across these pretzel cones I only wished I had thought of it myself!! It is a match made in heaven with this butter brickle ice cream! Sweet & salty always win in my book! Of course this ice cream can be thoroughly enjoyed in any cone or bowl. It is magnificent!! (I found these most fantasical pretzel cones online at They also have some other amazing cone options!

2 cups half & half
1 cup brown sugar
2 tbsp butter
1 1/2 tsp butter flavored extract (this really gives it that buttery taste!)
1 tsp good vanilla extract
2 cups whipping cream
pinch of salt (it just makes it better!)
3/4 cup toffee pieces (they sell these in the baking aisle, or you could break up a heath or skor candy bar into little pieces)

In a medium saucepan combine half & half, butter & brown sugar, stir over med-low heat until sugar is dissolved and butter is melted. Add your pinch of salt now...Chill in fridge. Once chilled, add whipping cream and extracts; mix well. Freeze in ice cream maker according to manufacturers instructions. Fold in toffee bits while ice cream is still soft. Place in a freezer tight container and freeze to firm up. Holy heavenly goodness!! ENJOY!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Indulgent Sugar Free Fudge

What makes this fudge so creamy & silky? With a texture that's more like a truffle it's so chocolatey won't miss the sugar a bit!! *This recipe needs 8 hours in refrigerator so plan ahead!*

2- 1 ounce squares unsweetened baking chocolate
2- 8 ounce packages cream cheese at room temperature
1/2 cup splenda (use whatever sugar substitute that suits your needs)
1 tsp vanilla extract (you could add whatever flavor extract you like, peppermint, orange, or almond would be a great pair with chocolate)
1/3 cup chopped nuts (I used almonds in mine but you can use whatever nuts you like. Don't like nuts in your fudge? Well leave them out silly!)

Melt the squares of chocolate in the microwave or over a double broiler. Line an 8x8 baking dish with aluminum foil & set aside. Beat the softened cream cheese in a large mixing bowl till smooth, start blending in the melted chocolate, vanilla, & splenda. Beat till well combined. Stir in the mixed nuts. Evenly spread mixture into prepared pan and cover. Refrigerate at least 8 hours before cutting. Store in fridge.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Korean Barbeque topped with Sesame Asian Slaw

This dish satisfies all your cravings of sweet, spicy, salty, even a little crunch. It will leave your taste buds singing!! I used ground beef here for a cheaper version, but ground turkey would be great or you could even use a sirloin steak & marinate the beef overnight & slice extra thin against the grain. Yumm!

1 pound ground beef or ground turkey
1/4 cup - 1/3 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce
1 tbsp sesame oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp fresh ginger, minced
1 tbsp rice vinegar
1 tsp Sriracha hot sauce you can use more or less depending on how spicy you like it (red pepper flakes would work too)
Salt & pepper to taste (you will not need much salt with the soy sauce, so taste before adding)
3 green onions

In a large skillet over medium high heat brown met over sesame oil with garlic & ginger. Drain any excess fat. Add brown sugar, soy sauce, hot sauce, & rice vinegar. Simmer on low about 15 minutes or until sauce thickens into the meat. Taste for seasonings & add green onion just before serving. Top each serving with a sprinkle of cilantro. Or if you're like me..ALOT of cilantro!
For the Slaw-
 I have been making this version of cole slaw for years & I prefer it over any other... and I can't think of a better way to serve it than right over top of these yummy bbq sammys!
1/2 head of green cabbage sliced super thin ( you could also mix with some red cabbage too)
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 tsp sesame oil
2 tbsp rice vinegar (you may need a bit more to get consistency of a salad dressing)
1 packet of stevia or whatever sweetener you like to use (about 1 tsp) or to taste
salt & pepper
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1 tbsp sesame seeds
 Combine all the dressing ingredients in a large bowl with a fitted lid, & whisk till smooth. Taste for any seasoning adjustments. Throw in sliced cabbage, put on lid & shake shake shake! This is best if made about 2 hours before you need it so the flavors can become acquainted with each other.
You can serve the Barbeque over hamburger buns & top with cilantro & slaw or serve over rice with the slaw on the side. However you serve it, the flavors are crazy good!!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Apple Cinnamon Protein Bars

When I am watching my sugar and carb intake that's when I really get a hankering for starchy foods... these are full of protein and & with their cake like texture, they suffice my starchy cravings! Best of all, they are much cheaper than the protein bars you buy at the store! Can I get a heck yeah?!!

2 scoops of vanilla whey protein powder
8 tbsp of peanut butter (I use a brand called Naturally More, it's higher in protein & fiber & is full of flax seeds. Any protein would work here though)
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp salt
2 tbsp melted butter (coconut oil would be a great substitute here!)
1/4 cup almond milk (again, use whatever milk suits your needs)
1 tsp butter extract (vanilla would be fine too. Use whatever flavor extract you prefer. Maple would be good too!)
1 egg + 1 egg white
1 packet of stevia sweetener (use whatever sweetener suits your needs) 
1/2 cup grated apple 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line an 8x8 glass dish with parchment paper-or spray with non-stick spray & set aside. In a med-large mixing bowl combine all ingredients except apples and beat until well combined. Fold in grated apples. Bake for 12-15 minutes. The top will seem quite dry and weird spongy-like, but the bars are fantastically moist from the apple! Cut into bars & store in fridge. Here's to happy & healthy eating!!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Estonian Kringle

I have always been intrigued with foods & sweet treats from around the world. I love learning about other cultures and their cuisine. This recipe is one that looks beautiful, tastes amazing, & is easier to make than you might think! 

1 & 3/4 cups flour plus more for dusting
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup milk, lukewarm
2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast
1/8 cup butter, melted
1 egg yolk
1 tbsp sugar
1/4 cup butter, softened
4 tbsp sugar
2 tsp cinnamon

Mix the yeast, 1 tbsp sugar, & the lukewarm milk in a bowl and set aside while the yeast activates. In a med-large size bowl add the yolk, melted butter, & the yeast mixture. Add flour & salt. Knead dough about 5 minutes. Place dough in a greased bowl, cover & let rise in a warm place for about 1 hour. Roll out dough on a flour dusted work surface to about 1cm in the shape of a rectangle. (does not have to be perfect) Spread softened butter over dough and sprinkle all but 1 tbsp of cinnamon sugar mixture over butter. Lengthwise, roll up dough tightly (like you're making cinnamon rolls) Once rolled, using a sharp knife cut in half lengthwise down the center so you have two long pieces. Twist the pieces together, exposing the layers of cinnamon & sugar. Form twist into a circle. Place on greased baking sheet & cover. Let rise about 30 minutes. This is a good time to preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Once risen bake for 10 minutes, reduce oven temp to 350 & bake another 7-10 minutes. It will be a deep beautiful golden brown. I served mine with a rich  vanilla icing- 1 cup powdered sugar, 1 tsp vanilla, & enough heavy cream/milk to thin. Whisk together & drizzle over Kringle. Yumm-O!!

Monday, April 2, 2012

Baked Quinoa Mac & Cheese

This Mac n' Cheese will leave you feeling so ultra satisfied, you'll never miss the heavy pasta. Finding all these different ways to use quinoa is quite fun! Can be used in place of rice, pasta, even used in desserts! Please share your recipe ideas where you have used quinoa...I'd love to know!!
1 tbsp olive oil
3-4 green onions
1/2 cup diced tomato (use whatever veggies you like, green bell pepper would be good!)
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 cups quinoa, rinsed & drained
Salt & Pepper to taste, I added close to 1 tsp but also added a little seasoning salt too
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper- add more if you want extra heat
1/2 tsp Italian seasonings
2 eggs
 1 cup milk- use whatever milk you like
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese plus more for sprinkling on top
Buttered & toasted panko bread crumbs (totally optional)

Rinse & drain quinoa & set aside. In a large skillet over medium heat saute tomatoes, onions, & garlic in olive oil. (or whatever veggies you are using)Cook about 4 minutes. Add drained quinoa and cook uncovered, about3-4 minutes more or until quinoa is opaque. Add 3 cups of water ans season with salt & pepper and other seasonings. Once it starts bubbling, cover and reduce heat to low. Simmer about 10 minutes or until most of the liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat & let rest 5 minutes. In a bowl whisk together the eggs & milk. Grease a 13x9 inch baking dish. Combine the egg/milk mixture & the cheese with the quinoa/veggie mixture. Fold together to melt the cheese a bit. Transfer to prepared baking dish & sprinkle with panko bread crumbs if  using. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes or until golden around the edges. Top with extra cheese and green onions! Salsa or hot sauce would also be yummy over top!!

Simple Chewy Granola Bars (No bake)

Sometimes you just need a quick, on the go snack that will suffice your hunger and sustain you till your next meal. These chewy granola bars are the perfect fix! Exploding with sweet notes of honey you won't be able to eat just one! Just like any other granola recipe you can add to or omit the ingredients to your personal needs. Enjoy!! 

1/3 cup butter
1/3 cup honey
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups quick cook oats
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup crushed rice chex, gluten free (crispy rice cereal works too)
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
1/4 cup ground flax seeds
1/3 cup shredded coconut
1/4 cup craisins or raisins
2 tbsp mini chocolate chips
In a large bowl combine all the dry ingredients except chocolate chips & set aside. In a medium saucepan combine, butter, honey, & brown sugar over medium heat until it comes to a bubble. Reduce heat & cook 2 minutes. Pour in vanilla & stir. Pour hot mixture over dry ingredients and stir to coat evenly. Grease a 11x8 inch pan (can use 13x9 inch for thinner bars) Pour mixture into prepared pan and press down firmly...I mean really pack it down!
Sprinkle chocolate chips over top & gently press into bars. Cool in fridge or on countertop before cutting into bars.
Additional add ins- Peanut Butter-Cinnamon-Almonds-Dried Apples/Apricots
Put the things in it that YOU like!!