Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Easter Cupcakes

Some fun Easter cupcakes:

I piped some peanut butter chocolate frosting on the cupcakes and let the kids top them with the peanut butter M&Ms. 

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Pesto Stuffed Shells

Next time I need to cut this recipe in half for our family.  It was perfect for 2 8x8 pans and I was able to make dinner for someone else.  I served this pasta with some meatballs and garlic bread.  I would have added a side salad if I'd had one :)  Next time.  My kids were not big fans, but it was my kind of meal, I liked the flavor the pesto added.
John's Rating:  7

Recipe from: Budget Bytes

30 jumbo shell pasta
15 oz part skim ricotta
4 oz. (1 cup) shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup pesto (I used 4 frozen cubes)
1 egg
2 cups fresh spinach
3 cups pasta sauce

Cook the pasta according to the directions on the box (boil for 12 min.). DO NOT OVERCOOK!  Drain the pasta and rinse with cool water to stop the cooking process. Let the pasta drain.

While  those cook, in kitchen aid, mix together the ricotta, mozzarella, pesto and the egg (the egg keeps the filling from getting too runny when cooked). Roughly chop the spinach and stir it into the cheese mixture.
**You could make this ahead of time and refrigerate the filling until you are ready to use it.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spoon about 2Tbsp of pesto cheese mix into the center of each pasta shell, I used my cookie scoop (with the purple handle). There should be enough pesto cheese mix to fill the shell so that it stays open just slightly. Fill as many shells as you can with the cheese mix.

Spread one cup of pasta sauce in the bottom of a glass baking dish. (I used 2 8x8 inch dishes). You want to pack them in tightly in a single layer. If you space them too far apart, they will dry out during the cooking process. Place all of the shells in the baking dish as close together as possible and pour the remaining 2 cups of sauce over top. Bake for about 30 minutes at 350 degrees or until the sauce is bubbling up around the edges.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Homemade Twinkies

I got this recipe from my mom.  The kids thought these were awesome!  Thanks for the recipe, mom!

4 eggs
1/3 cup oil
1 cup pineapple juice
1/4 cup water

In a separate bowl combine:
1 pkg. instant lemon pudding
1 pkg white or yellow cake mix
Pour liquid ingredients into dry ingredients and stir until moistened. Pour batter into twinkie shape pan or cupcake liners in muffin pans.
Bake at 350 degrees for 12-15 minutes. 

Mix and cook until thick:
5 Tablespoons flour
5 Tablespoons sugar
1 cup milk
When cool add:
1/2 cup shortening
1/2 cup butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
pinch salt
*I added a little powdered sugar, just enough to make the frosting a little on the sweet side.

Beat with mixer at high speed. Should be white and fluffy.
Poke a hole in the center of each cupcake with the handle of a wooden spoon.
Fill cupcake holes with a decorator tube.

You can also do them in cupcake form:

Monday, March 11, 2013

Peanut Butter Rice Krispie Kisses

The other day my kids were begging to make something sweet.  I got on my "Sweets" board on Pinterest and let them pick a recipe to try.  They picked this was so easy and a great one for them to help with!  They also enjoyed helping to eat them!

Recipe from: Cooking with K

1 cup Karo syrup
1 cup sugar
2 cups peanut butter
5 cups Rice Krispies
48 Hershey's Chocolate Kisses

In a heavy large sauce pan, bring to a boil Karo and sugar; take off the burner. Add peanut butter and quickly stir until smooth and creamy. Add Rice Krispies and stir until completed incorporated with the peanut butter mixture. Quickly spoon mixture onto waxed paper and immediately press a Hershey's chocolate kiss in the center. Let cool completely not to disturb the Hershey's chocolate kiss before storing in an air tight container.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Peanut Butter Oatmeal Dream Bars

I generally can't go wrong with peanut butter and chocolate desserts around here.  So I tried this bar cookie recipe.  My family enjoyed it.  They were a little crumbly and messy, but  no one seemed to mind, you just wouldn't want to eat them on the go.

Recipe from: Baking Blonde 
1 cup melted butter 
1 cup brown sugar (I used Dark brown sugar)
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 1/4 cups Quick Cooking oatmeal (NOT instant)
1 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/2  cup peanut butter (I used creamy)
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 King size Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup candy bars, roughly chopped
1 cup Milk Chocolate Chips
Preheat oven to 350.
Line a 9×13 pan with tin foil and spray lighlty with PAM.  In a medium mixing bowl, stir together melted butter, sugar, soda, oatmeal, flour & salt until it’s crumbly.
Set aside about 1 cup or a little more.
Press the rest of the crust into prepared pan. Bake crust for 10 minutes.
While crust is cooking, in a small bowl, stir together the peanut butter and sweetened condensed milk.
Once crust has baked, evenly pour and spread peanut butter filling over the baked crust.Be gentle so you don’t pull up the warm crust while you spread the filling.  
Evenly sprinkle the reserved crumbs on top of the peanut butter and sweetened condensed milk mixture. Bake at 350 for about 15 minutes.
After 15 minutes, remove from oven and sprinkle the chopped candy bars and chocolate chips evenly over the top. Return to oven to bake for another 5-10 minutes or until topping is light golden brown and candy bars/chips are melting.
Allow to cool to make cutting and serving easier.