Sunday, April 29, 2012

Peanut Butter Puppy Treats

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Do you have a cute little (or huge) four legged friend at home?  I do and his name is Harley.  Harley is like a two year old little kid following Mommy around and whining at me for cookie dough and cookies whenever I'm baking.  Now I KNOW I probably shouldn't but I can't help myself and he gets a pinch here and there.  I know, I know, you don't have to say it because my husband and kids tell me all the time; I'm the one making him all whiny and whatnot by giving in to him, but seriously he's just too cute not too.

So today I decided to make Peanut Butter Puppy Treats because then I don't have to feel so guilty when he "just wants a cookie too Mommy" (insert sad puppy face here).....  I searched the web and decided to come up with my own.  Here's the cutie all this is for.
Harley (he's a Keeshond)
Here's what you need:
1-1/2 cups white whole wheat flour, or whole wheat or all purpose
1/2 cups oatmeal, I use the 5 minute variety
1 Tbs. baking powder
1 cup peanut butter, I use Jiff or Skippy
1 cup milk, I used 1 % 

Preheat oven to 375 degrees and line a couple of large baking sheets (I use 1/2 sheet pans) with parchment.

In a bowl mix the flour, oatmeal and baking powder and set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer mix the milk and peanut butter until well blended.
 
Add the premixed dry ingredients and mix until completely combined.
 
Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface (I always use parchment, less of a mess to clean up)
I rolled mine in to about a 17 x 13" oval, but a rectangle would be best, and about 1/4" thick.
 
Now, here's where you can get creative, but I don't have a cute little dog bone cutter so I used my pizza cutter and made long strips 1" wide one way then the other so I had 1 - 1-1/2 " cubes.  Place on lined baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes.  They should be completely dried out and just starting to brown on the edges.
 
Mine made two full 1/2 sheet trays full and I lost count after about 12 dozen so lets just say it makes A LOT.
So much better and cheaper for the little guys than store bought.
Woof, woof (more please)

Here's the handy printable - Peanut Butter Puppy Treats

You can find me linking up to these wonderful blogs each week

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Michelle's Rocky Road

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Lately I've been wanting to make chocolate candy "something".  Now, for those of you who know me, this is an extremely weird thing.  I am NOT a chocolate eater.  I love caramel, vanilla, maple, and many other flavors but I usually don't eat chocolate ESPECIALLY if any of the other flavors are around.   But lately I've really been in the mood to make Rocky Road.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Creative Thursday Link Party No. 3

Hello Blogging friends and welcome to Creative Thursday Link Party No. 3

I can't believe another week has flown by already and that in three short weeks I will be getting ready for 
 my Daughters High School Graduation.  Where has the time gone?

  I want to thank everyone who linked up last week cause you guys are amazing!  I appreciate all the time everyone takes each week to come here and party.

I can't wait to see what you all have been doing this week, but before we get this party started let me show you my favorite features from last week (in no particular order).

 1.  Cheesecake Brownies from My Happy Place  two of my favorite desserts all in one.
2.  Kitchen Command Center from Artistic 31 Mama oh how I wish I had the room for this amazing meal planning station in my kitchen.
3.  Havarti Dill Potatoes Au Gratin from Seaweed & Sassafras, ooey gooey deliciousness that I'm making this weekend for sure!
4.  Handmade Journal from The Crafty Blogstalker this would be a perfect Mother's Day Gift.
5.  Cinnamon Cinnabon Cake from Shugary Sweets Cinnabon, Cinnabon,
I need some Cinnabon right now!
6.  Chalkboard Planter from Accidentally Wonderful this is the cutest idea I've ever seen for a planter!

Congrats to all who were featured  - Don't forget to grab a button from the sidebar
Now on to the party

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Coffeehouse Coffee Cake Muffins

While blog hopping looking for new muffin recipes a few weeks ago I ran across Chocolate, Chocolate, and More blog and I suggest you check it out.  She has amazing recipes to share.  I found this recipe for Coffeehouse Coffee Cake Muffins and I was immediately hooked.  I made them and they were DELICIOUS!  They were super moist and had a cinnamon coffeecake flavor, sigh. Sorry, am I drooling again?   You need to give these a try right now.  Go!

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Here's what you need:

1/2 cup pecans, finely chopped
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
2 cups flour, all purpose
1 cup sugar
1 tsp. salt
10 Tbs. butter, divided, (8Tbs. cubed, 2 Tbs. melted)
1-1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
3/4 cup sour cream
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Line a 6-tin Jumbo or 12-tin regular muffin tin with paper liners and set aside.
I use Jumbo muffin tins.

In a small bowl mix the pecans, brown sugar, and cinnamon, and set aside.
 
In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, and salt and stir to combine.  
 

 
Add the 8 Tbs. of cubed butter to the flour mixture and using a pastry blender cut the butter into the flour mixture until it resembles peas.  Remove 1 cup of the flour mixture and add to the pecan/brown sugar mixture, stir to combine.
 
Add the 2 Tbs. of melted butter to the pecan mixture and mix until combined.
 
Remove 3/4 cup of pecan mixture and set aside.

Add the baking soda, and baking powder to remaining flour mixture.

In a small bowl combine the egg, sour cream, and vanilla extract until well blended. 
Pour egg mixture into the flour mixture and stir until combined.  Batter will be very thick.  Do not over stir.
 
Add the 3/4 cup reserved pecan mixture to the batter and fold in with a spatula until just combined.
Using an ice cream scoop, scoop the batter into the muffin tins and top with the Streusel topping, pressing the topping into the batter a little to keep it all on top.
Bake for 18 - 25 minutes, checking after 18 by inserting a toothpick into the center and it should come out clean with maybe a little topping on it (or you can usually tell by looking at them if they need a minute or two more)  Do not over bake.

Remove from oven and cool in pans about 5 minutes then remove to a wire rack to cool.  

They are great when warm or at room temperature.
Hello Gorgeous!

Serves - 6 jumbo muffins or 12 regular muffins

Enjoy!

Recipe adapted from:

Here's the handy printable - Coffeehouse Coffee Cake Muffins

You can find me linking up to these fabulous link parties each week.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Chinese Chicken Salad

Years ago when we were up at my parents cabin, my Aunt Debbie made the most wonderful Chinese Chicken Salad.  I was skeptical at first because I'm not a cabbage eater, but this recipe is made with Napa cabbage and it doesn't have a yucky (yes, I'm 5) taste.  I have been making this recipe ever since and it is a wonderful dish to bring to pot lucks or for backyard barbecues.  I hope you'll give it a try and let me know what you think.

Here's what you need:

2 Napa Cabbage medium size (about the size of a heart of romaine), chopped, with the white core removed.
3 chicken breasts, cooked and cubed
3 green onions, sliced thinly
1/2 cup sliced almonds
1- 2 package top ramen, noodles only, crushed (sometimes I use one package and sometimes I use two)
2 Tbs. sesame seeds
2 Tbs. canola oil

Dressing
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup canola oil
1/2 cup rice wine vinegar, I use Nakano seasoned rice wine vinegar
2 Tbs. low sodium soy sauce

Precook chicken breasts with salt, pepper, and granulated garlic seasoning.  Cool, cube and set aside.

In a blender or magic bullet blender pour the dressing ingredients and mix until creamy.  If it separates before serving just re-blend for a second or two.
 
Rinse, dry and cut up the Napa cabbage, making a V cut to take out the hard white part of each leaf (it doesn't take very long)
This is what Napa Cabbage looks like.

Slice the onions and put in a small bowl and set aside.  In a large bowl place the cabbage and set in fridge with the onions until ready to use. (I guess I didn't take a picture of this step, sorry) This can be prepared earlier in the day and left in the fridge until ready to eat.

In a skillet heat the 2 Tbs. canola oil and saute the almonds, crushed top ramen noodles, and sesame seeds until golden brown.
 
Remove bowl of cabbage and onions from fridge and add chicken to the top of the salad and pour the hot almond/top ramen mixture over the top and listen to it sizzle. Add green onions on top.
 
Pour half the dressing on top of the salad and serve the other half on the side.

This is a perfect Entree salad or side dish.

Serves 6

Enjoy!
~Hugs~
Michelle

Here's the handy printable - Chinese Chicken Salad
Recipe adapted from:  Auntie Debbie

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Date Nut Spice Bread

One of my all time favorite TV personalities is Ina Garten.  I love to watch her cook and bake.  She makes everything seem so simple and achievable in the kitchen.  I have several of her cookbooks and the one I got this recipe from is sold here.  I have lightly adapted the recipe and it is divine.  You can't believe the sweet, spicy fragrance that comes from the kitchen while this is in the oven.  I highly recommend someone invent smellavision soon, so we can video while cooking.

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Here's what you need:

2 cups dates, coarsely chopped (10 oz pitted)
1/3 cup Grand Marnier, Cointreau, or Triple Sec, I used Grand Marnier
4 Tbs. butter, unsalted, at room temperature
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 egg, I use extra large
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 Tbs. grated orange peel
2 cups flour, all-purpose
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
1 tsp. salt, kosher
3/4 cup orange juice, either fresh squeezed or from concentrate.  I use from concentrate to get a consistent flavor
3/4 cup pecans, chopped

Spray a 9 x 5 x 3 inch loaf pan (I always use glass) with cooking spray and set aside.

Combine the chopped dates and the Grand Marnier and set aside to soak for 30 minutes.  Stir occasionally.
 
Pre heat oven to 350 degrees.
In a small bowl mix the flour, bk. pdr, bk. soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and salt.  Stir well and set aside.
 
Pour the orange juice into a measuring cup and set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer or a large bowl, beat the butter and brown sugar together on medium for 1 minute.
 
Next add the egg and vanilla and mix until smooth, scraping down the sides as you go.
 
Add orange zest and mix well.
Add the flour mixture alternately with the orange juice starting and ending with the flour mixture.
 
Remember to scrape down the sides and go under the bottom of the batter as you go to make sure everything is completely incorporated.
Stir in the dates and liquid by hand with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula.
 
Next, stir in the pecans until just incorporated.  
 
Pour into prepared loaf pan and bake for 50 - 60 minutes.  Mine was done in 50.
Cool in pan 10 minutes then move to wire rack to cool completely.
 
This is a delicious mix of sweet and spicy (not the hot kind though) bread with just the right crunch.

Enjoy!

Serves  - 1 loaf pan

Here's the handy printable - Date Nut Spice Bread
Recipe adapted from Ina Garten

Linking up here each week