7 Layer Taco Dip

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I feel like taco dip is one of those common recipes most people have multiple times during their childhood. I must not be most people since I'm pretty sure I was an adult the first time I had it.

A friend brought it to a cookout and we gobbled it up right away. Years later I was at a bridal shower and had it again. I'm not even sure what prompted me to finally make it, but I'm so glad that I did. 



7 Layer Taco Dip
Source: various Pinterest images 
Servings: 20

Ingredients:
    • 1 16 oz. can refried beans 
    • 8 oz. cream cheese, softened
    • 8 oz. sour cream 
    • 1 packet taco seasoning
    • 1 1/2 cups guacamole
    • 1 1/2 cups salsa (fresh or jarred)
    • 1 1/2 cups shredded taco cheese
    • 1/2 cup lettuce, shredded
    • 1/2 cup tomato, diced 
    • tortilla chips 
Directions:
1. In a medium bowl, stir together the cream cheese, sour cream and taco seasoning until well combined. 
2. Spread the refried beans into an even layer in a 9x13 baking dish. 
3. Add a layer of the cream cheese-sour cream mixture, followed by one of guacamole, then salsa. Make sure your layers go all the way to the edges of the dish. 
4. Sprinkle the cheese on top, followed by the shredded lettuce and diced tomato. 
5. Serve immediately with tortilla chips. 

As you can tell from the picture, I used an 8x8 baking dish because I was taking this to my mom's and there wasn't going to be a lot of people there. I put the remaining ingredients (about 1/3 of everything) into a small glass Pyrex dish and had the leftovers for dinner that night. 


I could have made the full recipe since I ended up leaving it at my moms for everyone to finish once I left and found out it was all gone shortly thereafter. I know a lot of people put olives on the top of theirs but I am not an olive fan at all and chose to leave those off. 

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Bundt Cake

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Wow, October is nearly over and I'm just sharing my first pumpkin recipe with you. Actually, it is also the first pumpkin recipe I've even made this year. I'm really falling behind aren't I?



There are so many pumpkin cream cheese recipes out there that trying to narrow it down to one to actually make was really difficult. I found quite a few recipes that said they were skinny varieties but in looking at the ingredients and other comments I couldn't figure out where they were saving these magical calories from. So I decided to Frankenstein this recipe together from a few of them I found online, picking and choosing which "healthy" ingredients I wanted to use without compromising the taste of the cake.



Here's the final creation.



Pumpkin Cream Cheese Bundt Cake
Source: Cookaholic Wife creation
Servings: 16
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Ingredients:
    for the cake batter:
    • 1 cup whole wheat flour 
    • 2/3 cup all purpose flour
    • 2/3 cup brown sugar
    • 1 tsp. baking soda
    • 1 1/2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
    • 15 oz. can pumpkin puree
    • 4 oz. unsweetened applesauce
    • 2 egg whites
    • 1 whole egg
    for the cream cheese:
    • 8 oz. fat-free or reduced fat cream cheese, softened
    • 1 tbsp. sugar 
    • 1 egg white
    • 1 tsp. vanilla 
Directions:
1. Spray and flour a bundt pan. Preheat the oven to 350.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flours, sugar, baking soda and pumpkin pie spice. Set aside.
3. In a large bowl, whisk together the pumpkin puree, applesauce, egg whites and egg. Slowly stir the wet ingredients into the dry, using a spatula to mix. Do not overmix, but make sure there are no clumps of flour remaining.
4. In the bowl of your stand mixer, beat the cream cheese and sugar together on medium speed for 3 minutes or until light and fluffy. Reduce the speed and add the egg white and vanilla, mixing until combined.
5. Spread half of the pumpkin mixture into the bundt cake and top with dollops of the cream cheese mixture, using about half. Stir with a fork to get the swirled effect. Add the remaining half of the pumpkin mixture on top and then the cream cheese mixture. Swirl again with a knife.
6. Bake for 55-60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
7. Slice into 16 wedges and serve. Cake can be refrigerated in an airtight container for 3 days.



I took half of this cake into work and no one believed me that it was on the healthier side. Pumpkin puree already does wonders for making a cake moist but adding in applesauce instead of oil only increases that. With it being a wetter cake, I knew I could use more whole wheat flour than white without it getting dense and heavy. 

BLT Pizza

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When I hear the letters "BLT" I'm instantly interested. How can you ever go wrong with crispy salty bacon, fresh lettuce and sweet, acidic tomatoes? In my world, you can't. It's just impossible. Add in some turkey or avocado and now you're really talking.


I think the only real thing I miss about my current work hours is that I can't make a fresh pizza crust after work, even the quick ones, unless we want to plan on eating dinner around 9. Luckily for me, there are quite a few other possibilities, one of which even includes a pre-made crust now offered at Wegman's. 


BLT Pizza
Source: Cookaholic Wife Creation
Servings: 8 slices

Ingredients:
    • 1 12-inch pizza crust
    • 1 tbsp. butter, melted
    • 1/4 tsp. garlic powder
    • 1/4 tsp. Italian seasoning
    • 1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper 
    • pinch of salt and pepper 
    • 1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
    • 2 oz. fresh Mozzarella, sliced
    • 3 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
    • 8-10 cherry tomatoes, halved
    • 1/4 cup baby arugula
    • 1/2 tsp. good quality olive oil 
Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. (Or according to your pizza crust directions.)
2. Combine melted butter, garlic powder, Italian seasoning, crushed red pepper, salt and pepper together in a bowl and brush over the crust. Sprinkle the shredded Parmesan on top. 
3. Bake the crust for 5-7 minutes or until just lightly golden.
4. Arrange the slices of mozzarella on top followed by the crumbled bacon and then  the halved cherry tomatoes. Bake for another 7-10 minutes (or according to package directions) until the cheese has melted and the crust is crispy. 
5. Remove from the oven and sprinkle the arugula on top. Drizzle with olive oil. Slice and serve. 



If it was acceptable to eat pizza for dinner every night, I could totally eat this! 

Hemp Seed Energy Balls

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One of the sponsors of #Choctoberfest was Just Hemp Foods. They sent us all some goodies to try for the event, but unfortunately they got hung up in customs and didn't arrive until the week the event was happening.

Not wanting to leave any of the awesome sponsors out, it was decided we'd have another week to share a recipe using their product. First I think I have a bit of explaining to do since when these arrived Tom looked at the package and said "pot seeds?" (This is also the same guy who asked me if I was going to grow a chia pet when I brought home chia seeds...)

So let's start there. Hemp and marijuana come from the same species of plant, but they are not the same thing. Just like a domestic short hair and a himalayan are both breeds of cats, they are the same. So, no, hemp seeds or hemp oil or anything of the sort that it made for consumption is not going to get you high. Nor does it contain any traceable levels of THC to show up in a drug test. Now that we have that out of the way, let's move onto the cool goodies received.

* I also received a box each of the toasted salted hemp seeds 
and hulled hemp seeds and just forgot to photograph them. 

Hemp Seed Oil - like all hemp seed products the oil is high in omega fatty acids and proteins. It should be kept refrigerated or in a cool, dark place. It's not an oil you want to fry with, it's better to use cold, drizzled over salads, pastas, vegetables, etc. Should you want to put it in your hair, it adds great shine and elasticity. 

Hemp Protein Powder - hemp seeds manage to contain all 21 of the known amino acids. Two tablespoons of hemp protein powder contains up to 15 grams of protein, which is quite the wallop. It's also a safe plant source typically farmed without pesticides and herbicides. Alone, the powder may taste bitter so most choose to add it in with fruit to smoothies. 

Hulled Hemp Seeds - also known as "hemp hearts" this just means that the hemp seed has been hulled from its outer shell. Hulled seeds are easier to eat and digest because the shell is very fibrous. You can hemp seeds to salads, pastas, oatmeal, cereal, into parfaits, etc. 

Toasted Salted Hemp Seeds - These hemp seeds are still in their fibrous shell which some people may find hard to eat. Just like the hulled variety, you can enjoy them in various ways. 

There are some websites that say that eating hemp seeds will increase energy and digestion while reducing cravings and hunger, therefore reducing weight.

Now that you know what they are and what you can do with them, lets move onto the recipe, yeah?



Hemp Seed Energy Balls
Source: The Honour System
Servings: 16
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Ingredients:
    • 1 cup quick oats
    • 1/4 cup chocolate chips
    • 1/2 cup peanut butter (or almond butter)
    • 1/4 cup honey
    • 1/4 cup ground flax seeds
    • 1/4 cup Just Hemp Foods hulled hemp seeds 
    • 1 tsp vanilla
    • pinch of salt
Directions:
1. In a large bowl, add all of the ingredients and stir until combined.
2. Wet hands and form the mixture into 16 golf-ball sized balls.
3. Place them on a plate or baking sheet and freeze for 10-20 minutes to set them.

Hemp Seed Energy balls can be kept in the refrigerator for 3-5 days.



Oh! I can't believe I forgot to mention that while you can typically pick up hemp seeds at all natural grocery stores, the Just Hemp Foods brand is available on Amazon where typically everything is cheaper so I suggest getting them from there.


Apple Cider Caramels

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While summer will forever be my favorite season,  I can admit to liking fall because of the influx of apples. With apples comes apple cider which is rather far up there on my list of things I absolutely love. You have pumpkin spice people and then you have me, an apple cider lover.

When I saw this recipe in the Smitten Kitchen Cookbook I decided I didn't care that I had a temperamental stove or only one weekend to pull this off for the cookbook challenge (the ladies on the cooking board I frequent decided we could start a challenge where we made recipes from a chosen cookbook and share them on the board/on our blogs), I was going to make them.



Apple Cider Caramels
Source: Smitten Kitchen Cookbook
Servings: 50+
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Ingredients:
    • 4 cups apple cider
    • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
    • 2 tsp. flaky sea salt
    • 1 stick unsalted butter, cut into chunks 
    • 1 cup sugar
    • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
    • 1/3 cup heavy cream
Directions:
1. Add the apple cider to a saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. Allow to boil down to a thick syrup, reducing down to 1/2 to 1/3 cups of liquid, over the course of about 40 minutes. Stir occasionally.
2. Line the bottom and sides of an 8x8 metal baking dish with two sheets of parchment paper going in opposite directions.
3. Combine the cinnamon and salt together in a small dish, set aside.
4. Once the apple cider has finished reducing, remove it from the heat and stir in the butter, sugars and cream. Attach a candy thermometer to the side and return the pan to the stove, over medium-high heat. Allow it to boil until it reaches 252 degrees, keeping a close eye on it.
5. When it reaches 252 degrees, immediately remove it from the heat and stir in the cinnamon-salt mixture. Pour the caramel into the prepared pan and allow it to sit for at least 2 hours, until it is cool and firm.
6. Use the parchment paper to lift the cooled caramel from the pan and transfer to a cutting board. Use a well oiled knife to slice into the caramel, making 1x1 inch squares. Each caramel can be placed on a 4-inch square of wax paper and wrapped up.



Caramels stay good in an airtight container for two weeks.


I dare you to eat just one. 

#handcraftededibles: Paleo Caramel Sauce

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I'm back for more #handcrafted edibles! The theme for this week is Special Diets. I chose a Paleo recipe because I'm finding more and more people are interested in trying the lifestyle, but only if they know they can still have the occasional treat.

Also because I find it fascinating how easily coconut milk can be substituted in so many recipes.



Paleo Caramel Sauce
Source: The Iron You
Servings: 1 1/2 cups
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Ingredients:
    • 1 can full-fat coconut milk
    • 1/2 cup raw honey 
    • pinch of salt 
    • 1 tbsp. coconut oil or butter
    • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
Directions:
1. Combine the coconut milk and honey together in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat and bring to a boil.
2. Reduce the heat the medium-low and allow the mixture to simmer for 40 minutes, stirring every so often.
3. Add the coconut oil and the vanilla and cook for 5 minutes more or until the mixture reaches a deep caramel color. Stir every few minutes to stop the mixture on the bottom of the pan from burning, but do not rush the process.
4. Remove from the heat and transfer to a heat-safe glass bowl. Allow to cool for 5 minutes, then stir vigorously with wire whisk until the mixture is smooth and glossy. Use while warm.

The caramel sauce does have a distinct coconut flavor to it, but not in a bad way. I was worried the coconut might be overpowering but it actually works together really well with the coconut flavors. I drizzled this over some apple slices and some coconut ice cream. Delicious!

SRC: Sweet Potato Canapes

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For this reveal of the Secret Recipe Club, I was assigned to Culinary Adventures with Camilla, which puts a little bit of pressure on a blogger. Cam has a ton of absolutely delicious looking recipes that makes it incredibly difficult to chose from. She also has probably the most varied ingredients list of any blogger I've "met". Some of the ingredients she uses for those fabulous recipes, I've never even heard of!

Which then led me down a rabbit hole of searching ingredients and finding out what they're used for. A few hours later I realized I was more knowledgeable but no closer to haven chosen a recipe or made it. Finally I decided to go with something simple because I had all of the ingredients in my fridge and pantry.

Well, not the creme fraiche, but I decided to make my own since I can only get it at Wegman's and didn't want to make a special trip and inevitably come home with things I didn't need. (Like three different types of cheese, which has been known to happen when I go into Wegman's to just pick up a special ingredient.)

You know how people say Target must pump something in the air to get people to spend more money there? I'm convinced Wegman's pumps something in the air to make me buy cheese. Anyway, let's get onto the recipe, shall we?



Sweet Potato Canapes
Source: Culinary Adventures with Camilla
Servings: 12 canapes
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Ingredients:
    • 2 large sweet potatoes 
    • 2-3 slices prosciutto, chopped
    • creme fraiche (or sour cream)
    • fresh chives, chopped
    • salt and pepper 
Directions:
1. Place the sweet potatoes in a pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil and boil for 15-20 minutes or until the centers of the potatoes are fork tender.
2. Drain the water and set the potatoes on a cutting board until they have cooled enough to handle. Once cooled, peel off the skins with a vegetable peeler (or knife) and slice evenly into 1-inch rounds. You may need to discard the ends of the potato in this case.
3. Divide the prosciutto on top of the potato rounds and top with a tiny dollop of creme fraiche and a sprinkling of chives. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

I wish I could tell you that I had some fancy dinner party planned and made these canapes just for that occasion, but in all honesty, I made this on a Sunday afternoon to enjoy for my lunch. I love the combination of sweet potatoes and prosicutto together (something I learned while doing a Whole30 and Paleo) and couldn't pass up eating these all by myself.



You can choose to leave the skins on the sweet potatoes, but I've never found them particularly tasty so I chopped mine off. These were just as tasty as I hoped they would be and I can definitely see myself enjoying this as a regular weekend lunch in the future!



Weekly Menu & Final Day to Enter #Choctoberfest

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I know, I know. I haven't done a weekly menu post in months! I really plan on getting back into the swing of things soon, now that my calendar actually has some gaps on it for the rest of the year. (Not many, but I'll take it.)

I made sure to plan out my menu and write this post in advance because I also have an ulterior motive.

Today is the last day that you can enter the #Choctoberfest with Imperial Sugar giveaway. The winner is being picked tomorrow at 8:00 AM!

Here's your last chance!

Now that we've gotten that out of the way, lets move onto the menu.

Sunday: prosciutto-wrapped chicken with mushroom marsala sauce, mashed potatoes and green beans 

Monday: albondigas soup 

Tuesday: pork noodle paprikash over egg noodles with green beans 

Wednesday: brown sugar glazed turkey meatballs with fries and corn 

Thursday: pierogi and kielbasa with broccoli 

For breakfast I'm having an apple crumble made in the slow cooker and lunches will be a paleo cajun sweet potato noodle bowl.

I'm also baking with canned pumpkin for the first time since last year and making a pumpkin cream cheese bread. 

Soft Batch Double Chocolate Cookies - #Choctoberfest with Imperial Sugar

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This is it, the final day of #Choctoberfest with Imperial Sugar. I think we've had a pretty amazing week of recipes, not just from me but from the nearly 70 other bloggers participating in this event.

If you haven't entered the giveaway yet, you're cutting it close! A winner is being chosen on October 12th at 8:00 AM so head on back to the recipe I shared with you on Monday, Skinny Chocolate Peanut Butter Brownies, and enter to win using Rafflecopter.

Before I get to my final recipe, I just wanted to give a huge THANK YOU shout out to the wonderful ladies behind The PinterTest Kitchen, Allison, Jessica and Sharon,  for dreaming up this amazing idea and inviting the rest of us to join in. I'm sure it's been an exhausting but rewarding adventure and I simply cannot wait to be a part of your next creation.


These cookies come with a fun little back story that is completely unrelated to the event. Tom and I went out to dinner for our anniversary to Fogo de Chao. If you have never been, I highly recommend it. We had a great time. However, Tom didn't mention that his car had been acting funny and he was the one to drive to the restaurant.

If you've never been in a car where the alternator is going up, I can tell you it's rather interesting and terrifying. First, the radio went out. Then the interior lights dimmed. Then the speedometer and gas gauge die. Then the headlights go out, only leaving you with running lights. And then the car lurches and hopefully allows you to coast over to the side of the road before it gives out entirely with a "pfft" noise. Which is what happened on the way back from the restaurant, 10 miles from home.

Thankfully one of Tom's coworkers was able to pick us up and take us home after his car was towed to my work (I cannot tell you how wonderful it is to work for an auto shop) and to thank him for coming to rescue us at ten on a Saturday night, I made him these cookies. 



Soft-Batch Double Chocolate Cookies
Source: Averie Bakes
Servings: 16

Ingredients:
    • 1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
    • 2 oz. cream cheese, softened
    • 3/4 cup Imperial brown sugar
    • 1/4 cup Imperial granulated sugar
    • 1 egg
    • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
    • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
    • 1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
    • 2 tsp. cornstarch
    • 1 tsp. baking soda
    • 1/2 tsp. salt 
    • 12 oz. mini chocolate chips
Directions:
1. In the bowl of your stand mixer, combine the butter, cream cheese, brown sugar, sugar, egg and vanilla and beat on medium-high speed for 4 minutes until smooth.
2. Add the cocoa powder and beat on low speed until combined. 
3. Add the flour, cornstarch, baking soda and salt and mix together on low speed until combined. (You may need to scrape down the sides of the bowl.)
4. Stir in the mini chocolate chips by hand. 
5. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate the dough for at least 2 hours (overnight is fine). 
6. To bake the cookies, preheat the oven to 350 and line baking sheets with parchment paper. 
7. Scoop rounded 2-tablespoon sized scoops of dough onto the baking sheet (8 per sheet) spaced 2 inches apart. Press down slightly. Repeat with remaining dough on the second baking sheet. 
8. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until the cookies look nearly done. (Cookies will continue to cook through the center when cooling.) 
9. Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheets fully before serving or transferring to a container to store.


I only had a tiny one of these in order to give the majority of them to Tom's coworker and oh boy is this a tasty cookie. I definitely plan to make them again and enjoy them myself! 



Dulce de Leche Brownies - #Choctoberfest with Imperial Sugar

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#Choctoberfest with Imperial Sugar is almost over! If you're just finding my blog today, I've shared a chocolate recipe with you every day this week. Head back to Monday's recipe, Skinny Chocolate Peanut Butter Brownies, to read all about Chocoberfest, visit the other blogs participating and enter the giveaway! You're almost out of time!

Special thanks Imperial Sugar for sending me the sugar to make this recipe. They have a ton of recipes on their site. You should totally go check it out and see what sweet you're going to make next!


You have brownies and then you have decadent, rich, fudgey brownies. The latter are my favorite and I think they're wonderful all on their own. But how do you make them even better?

You swirl dulce de leche on top before baking them. I actually made my own dulce de leche (in the crock pot it's the easiest thing to do) and accidentally used it all up before I could photograph it and blog it. Good thing I can easily make some more!



Dulce De Leche Brownies
Source: Brown Eyed Baker
Serving: 20+
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Ingredients:
    • 1 3/4 cup all purpose flour
    • 1 tsp. salt 
    • 2 tbsp. cocoa powder
    • 11 oz. dark chocolate, chopped
    • 2 sticks unsalted butter, cut into cubes
    • 1 1/2 cups Imperial granulated sugar
    • 1/2 cup Imperial brown sugar
    • 5 eggs, at room temperature
    • 2 tsp. vanilla
    • 3/4 cup dulce de leche 
Directions:
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9x13 baking dish with non-stick cooking spray, then place a sheet of parchment paper on top and spray that with the non-stick as well.
2. In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, salt, and cocoa powder.
3. Place the chopped chocolate and butter into the top pan of a double boiler and heat the pan over low heat, allowing the water in the bottom pan to come to a simmer. Stir until the mixture has combined and become smooth.
4. Turn off the heat and whisk in the sugar and brown sugar until smooth. Allow the mixture to cool slightly before whisking in 3 of the eggs. Once combined, add the 2 remaining eggs and the vanilla. Do not overmix!
5. Sprinkle the flour mixture on top of the wet mixture and gently fold together with a spatula until no streaks of flour remain. Pour half of the batter into the prepared baking dish and then drizzle with half of the dulce de leche. Pour the rest of the batter on top and then drizzle with the remaining dulce de leche.
6. Bake the brownies for 40 minutes, rotating the pan at 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and place onto a wire rack to cool.
7. Once cooled to room temperature, transfer the brownies to the refrigerator and allow to chill for at least 4 hours to make it easier to slice the brownies. Slice into squares and serve.


These were so amazing I had two of my coworkers beg me for the recipe and then ask for my blog. I consider that a huge win.



Chocolate Creme Brulee - #Choctoberfest with Imperial Sugar

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What is the best thing about hump day? That this one still comes with more chocolate recipes!

If you've missed my first two posts this week, head back over to Monday's recipe, Skinny Chocolate Peanut Butter Brownies to read all about #Choctoberfest with Imperial Sugar and to enter the giveaway! Hurry, you're running out of time!


Creme brulee is definitely one of my favorite desserts. I remember being a kid and reading about it in a book and wanting to try it. It took years before that ever happened but even the years of anticipation never managed to dull the sweet custard-y goodness that is creme brulee.

When I saw a chocolate version of it in Cooking Light I knew that this would be a great recipe to make for #Choctoberfest because it's different and it even allowed me to use up a tiny bit of the amaretto that I shared with you the other week. Win!



Chocolate Creme Brulee
Source: Cooking Light
Servings: 4
Printer Friendly

Ingredients:
    • 1 cup whole milk
    • 2 tbsp. Imperial granulated sugar, divided 
    • pinch of salt 
    • 1.5 oz. milk chocolate, chopped
    • 1 egg
    • 1 egg yolk
    • 1 tsp. amaretto
    • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
    • 1 tbsp. superfine sugar 
Directions:
1. Combine milk, 1 tablespoon of sugar and salt together in a saucepan and heat over medium-high heat until the mixture comes to a simmer. (Do not allow it to boil!)
2. Remove the mixture from the heat and add the chocolate. Allow to sit for a minute before stirring until the chocolate melts.
3. In a medium bow, combine the remaining tablespoon of sugar with the egg and egg yolk, whisking together until combined.
4. Slowly pour some of the milk mixture into the egg mixture while whisking and once combined slowly drizzle in the rest. (If the hot milk mixture is poured in too fast, it will cook the eggs) Whisk in the amaretto and vanilla.
5. Place 4 ramekins in a 9x13 baking dish. Pour the chocolate mixture into the ramekins, not going all the way to the top of the dish. Pour water into the baking dish (making sure not to get it into the ramekins) to come halfway up the sides of the baking dish. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until the mixture has set.
6. Remove from the oven and allow to cool to room temperature before transferring the ramekins to the refrigerator for at least 4 hours.
7. Sprinkle the superfine sugar on top of the custard mixture and use a kitchen torch to caramelize the sugar. Serve immediately.



Sweet chocolate heaven. That's all I have to say about that one.



S'Mores Donuts - #Choctoberfest with Imperial Sugar

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It's the second day of #Choctoberfest with Imperial Sugar! If you missed my post yesterday, go check out my Skinny Chocolate Peanut Butter Brownies out to find out what you're missing, check out the other bloggers participating and to enter the giveaway!



The recipe I'm sharing with you today for #Choctoberfest is pretty high up on my favorite things ever list. I have a s'mores addiction and I fully admit it.

Imperial Sugar totally helped me out with that by sending me a massive amount of sugar so I could try out new recipes to share with you. (And when I say massive, I mean massive.) Don't forget, there are coupons on their website for their products.



S'mores Donuts
Source: Handle the Heat
Servings: 9
Printer Friendly

Ingredients:

for the donuts:
    • 1 cup all-purpose flour
    • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
    • 1 tsp. baking powder
    • 1/4 tsp. baking soda
    • 1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
    • 1/2 tsp. salt 
    • 2 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
    • 1/2 cup + 1 tbsp. plain yogurt
    • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
    • 1 egg
    • 1/4 cup Imperial granulated sugar
    • 1/4 cup Imperial brown sugar
    for the icing:
    • 1 cup marshmallow fluff
    • 2 tbsp. graham cracker crumbs 
Directions:
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 6-hole donut pan with non-stick cooking spray.
2. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, nutmeg and salt. Stir together and push mixture to the sides of the bowl to form a well in the center.
3. In a medium bowl, combine the melted butter, yogurt, vanilla, egg and sugars and whisk until combined. Pour the wet mixture into the dry and use a spatula to fold the mixture over until no streaks of flour remain.
4. Fill each of the donut holes with the batter (it will be thick) and bake for 8-10 minutes or until donuts are springy when touched. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Repeat with remaining batter. (The original recipe says it makes 6 donuts, the batter made 9 for me)
5. Once donuts are cool, add the marshmallow fluff to a shallow bowl and microwave for 40 seconds or until smooth. Place the graham cracker crumbs in another shallow dish.
6. Dip the tops of the donuts into the marshmallow fluff, swirling to coat and then sprinkle with graham crackers. Place donuts on a wire rack to allow the icing to set.


I really don't even know what to say about this. It's a s'mores donut. If you can't figure out that's delicious, I may have to give you the side eye. :)


#Choctoberfest with Imperial Sugar - Giveaway - Skinny Chocolate Peanut Butter Brownies

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Choctoberfest? 
What is that? 

Oh, just a week of awesome from nearly 70 bloggers filled with chocolate, a giveaway, more chocolate and then another dose of chocolate just for good measure. 

No, seriously. 

Choctoberfest-2015-1 

 #Choctoberfest is a virtual event put together by The PinterTest Kitchen. (You should remember those ladies rather well since I just had this blog for the Secret Recipe Club.)

Bloggers from around the world will be posting their favorite chocolate recipes, and you'll get a chance to win some awesome prizes.  

Want the details? Read on...

 #Choctoberfest would not be possible without our sponsors, starting with our 2015 Gold Sponsor, Imperial Sugar. Imperial Sugar has been a trusted name in family kitchens since 1843. Their sugar products and sweeteners are made from non-GMO cane sugar and ensure consistently delicious results. 

We'll be using Imperial Sugar whenever we use sugar in our recipes this week, and can't wait to share the sweetness with you! You can find Imperial Sugar on Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and more. 

Make sure you visit the recipes section of their website for some sweet inspiration, and you can also find coupons on their website if you want to try out Imperial Sugar yourself. Imperial Sugar and our other sponsors have banded together to contribute some awesome prizes for our #Choctoberfest giveaway! 

Entering is simple - just click below to follow us on Pinterest. 

Here's what you could win:
We also have a nonprofit sponsor this year - Rescue Chocolate! They make vegan chocolate treats and donate 100% of their proceeds to animal shelters. (How awesome is that!?!)

 Enter below with the Rafflecopter!

We're picking a winner on October 12th at 8:00 AM 

~*~


Now that all of my bases are covered, let's get onto the recipes. I figured I would lure you in this week with a skinny version of a brownie. Why? Because I think it nicely balances the rest of the chocolate overload I plan to bombard you with this week.


Skinny Peanut Butter Brownies
Servings: 16

Ingredients:
    • 3/4 cup creamy peanut butter
    • 6 oz. low-fat vanilla Greek yogurt
    • 1/4 cup almond milk
    • 1 egg
    • 1/4 tsp. salt
    • 1 tsp. baking powder
    • 1/2 cup Imperial brown sugar
    • 1/4 cup honey 
    • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
    • 1/2 cup old-fashioned rolled oats

Directions:
1. Preheat the oven to 350. Spray an 8x8 baking dish with non-stick cooking spray and set aside. 
2. Add the Greek yogurt, almond milk, egg, salt, baking powder, brown sugar, honey, cocoa powder and oats into your high power blender (Vitamix, Blendtec or Ninja) or into a food processor and mix until smooth. You may need to scrape down the sides of the processor or blender a few times to get everything really smooth. 
3. Pour the batter into the prepared baking dish. 
4. Add the peanut butter to a microwave safe dish and microwave in 30-second intervals until peanut butter has thinned out. 
5. Drop spoonfuls of the softened peanut butter into the brownie batter and swirl with a butter knife or toothpick to create a marbled effect. 
6. Bake for 25 minutes or until the brownies begin to pull away from the edges of the pan. Transfer to a wire rack to cool to room temperature and then refrigerate for at least 2 hours. Cut cooled brownies into squares. 



If you're a fan of the super fudge-y dense brownie and would prefer to shove these into your mouth without as many calories as a regular brownie, these little tasty bites of chocolate peanut butter gooeyness are going to be right up your alley. I took these into work and figured maybe two or three of the guys who prefer healthier foods would pick at them. 

Nope. They were devoured by all in a matter of hours. It might have been only an hour, honestly.

~*~

A huge thank you to all of the other blogs participating in #Choctoberfest 2015. 
Check out their blogs throughout the week for chocolate recipes you won't be able to resist:
 The PinterTest Kitchen • 2 Cookin' Mamas • A Day in the Life on the Farm • Aloha Flavor • Amy's Cooking Adventures • Angels Homestead • Balancing Motherhood • Bless this Mess • Busy-at-Home • Chocolate Slopes • Coconut & Lime • Colie's Kitchen • Cookaholic Wife • Cooking In Stilettos • Cooking With Libby • Cookistry • CopyKat Recipes • Cravings of a Lunatic • Crumbs in my Mustachio • Culinary Couture • Cupcakes Take The Cake • Deliciously Savvy • Eat It & Say Yum • Fairyburger • Famished Fish, Finicky Shark • Farm Fresh Feasts • Food Hunter's Guide to Cuisine • Full Belly Sisters • Get Off The Couch and Cook • Grumpy's Honeybunch • Hey What's for Dinner Mom? • Honey and Birch • I Can Cook That • Jane's Adventures in Dinner • Jessie Weaver • Life on Food • Life, Love, and Good Food • Majorly Delicious • Moore or Less Cooking Food Blog • Mother Would Know • Or Whatever You Do • Poet in the Pantry • Recipes Food and Cooking • Rhubarb and Honey • Sassy Southern Yankee • Savory Tart • Seduction in The Kitchen • Serena Lissy • Sumptuous Spoonfuls • Take Two Tapas • That Skinny Chick Can Bake • ThatsSoYummy • The Chonchudo Files • The Crumby Cupcake • The Dinner-Mom • The Saucy Southerner • The Spiced Life • The Spiffy Cookie • The Two Bite Club • The Weekday Gourmet • Vintage Kitty • Wendy Polisi • What A Girl Eats • WhitBit's Indian Kitchen • Wit Wisdom & Food • Zesty South Indian Kitchen

Are you a blogger who is interested in joining us during out next community event?
We'll make sure you get an email about our next blogger event.



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Prosciutto Peach Pizza

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Have I ever mentioned my obsession with peaches? ;) Their season is way too short for me. I know you can find them in the grocery stores for the majority of the summer months and then into early fall, but the peak of their season is just this rather tiny window in the month of August and there is not nearly enough time in that month for me to enjoy peaches as much as I want to.

I used to only think of peaches in sweet, baked dishes but have recently found just how nicely they pair with more savory items like prosciutto, which is another ingredient that I love and could easily eat by the pound. ( I may or may not have eaten an entire package of prosciutto in one sitting more than one time)



Prosciutto Peach Pizza
Source: Cookaholic Wife creation 
Servings: 1 pizza, 8 slices 

Ingredients:
    • 1 12-inch prepared pizza crust (or homemade)
    • 1 tbsp. olive oil 
    • 6 slices fresh mozzarella 
    • 1 peach, peeled, pitted and sliced 
    • 2 oz. prosciutto, shredded 
    • 1 tbsp. fresh mint, torn (or basil)
    • 1 tsp. balsamic vinegar 
Directions:
1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. 
2. Brush the olive oil onto the pizza dough. Place mozzarella cheese slices on top, followed by peach slices and finally prosciutto. Bake for 12-15 minutes (depending on your dough) until golden and crisp on the bottom. 
3. Garnish with the mint leaves and drizzle the balsamic vinegar on top. 


Honestly, I could eat this pizza almost every night. After we had this for dinner one night and I ate up the leftovers, I bought flatbreads so I could continue to make this meal in individual-sized portions. 
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