Foodie Friday

Fancy Fudge Luscious Brownies

1 (18.25 ounce) package chocolate cake mix
1/2 cup melted butter
1/3 cup milk
2 eggs
35 chocolate covered caramel candies (e.g. Rolo Candies*)
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup toffee baking bits

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9×13 inch pan. Unwrap chocolate covered caramel candies and set aside.

In a large bowl, combine the cake mix, melted butter, milk and eggs. Stir until well blended. Press half of the mixture into the bottom of the prepared pan.
Bake for 6 minutes in the preheated oven. Remove from the oven and sprinkle the chocolate chips and toffee bits over the top. Press the caramel candies into the surface 5 across and 7 down. Do not press all the way to the bottom. Spread the remaining brownie dough over the top. Return to the oven for an additional 20 to 25 minutes, or just until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool before cutting. 
Makes 35 squares.
*We used Rolo Candies for testing purposes only.

Foodie Friday

The Best Turkey Chili

2 pounds ground turkey
1 (28 oz.) can crushed tomatoes
1 (15 oz.) can tomato sauce
1 (15.5 oz.) can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 (15.5 oz.) can pinto beans, rinsed and drained
1 (15.5 oz.) can black beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup red wine
2 T. chili powder
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. dried parsley
1 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
2 bay leaves

Cook and stir the ground turkey in a large pot over medium heat until crumbly and no longer pink, about 5 minutes. Stir in the crushed tomatoes, tomato sauce, kidney beans, pinto beans, black beans, onion, garlic, and red wine. Season with chili powder, cumin, parsley, oregano, black pepper, red pepper flakes, and bay leaves. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat, then reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer 2 hours. Stir the chili occasionally as it simmers. Remove and discard bay leaves before serving.

Serve with cornbread and a tossed salad. Delicious!

Foodie Friday

Apple & Onion Pot Roast
Simply Divine (and super easy to make)!

1 (3 lb.) boneless beef sirloin tip roast, cut in half
1 cup water
1 t. seasoned salt
1/2 t. reduced sodium soy sauce
1/2 t. Worcestershire sauce
1/4 t. garlic powder
1 large tart apple, quartered
1 large onion, sliced
2 T. cornstarch
2 T. cold water
1/8 t. browning sauce

In a large nonstick skillet coated with nonstick cooking spray, brown roast on all sides. Transfer to a 5-qt. slow cooker. Add water to the skillet, stirring to loosen any browned bits; pour over roast. Sprinkle with seasoned salt, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce and garlic powder. Top with apple and onion. Cover and cook on low for 5-6 hours or until the meat is tender.

Remove roast and onion; let stand for 15 minutes before slicing. Strain cooking liquid into a saucepan, discarding apple. Bring liquid to a boil; cook until reduced to 2 cups, about 15 minutes. Combine cornstarch and cold water until smooth; stir in browning sauce. Stir into cooking liquid. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Serve over beef and onion.
Serves 8

Foodie Friday

Chocolate Chip Banana Nut Muffins
Your kitchen will smell AMAZING while these are baking in the oven….they taste even better!

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar
1 t. baking powder
1 t. baking soda
1/2 t. salt
1 egg
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup plain yogurt
1 t. vanilla extract
1 cup mashed ripe bananas
3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips

In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In another bowl, combine the egg, oil, yogurt and vanilla. Stir into dry ingredients just until moistened. Fold in bananas and chocolate chips. Fill greased or paper-lined muffin cups two-thirds full. Bake at 350 degrees for 22-25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks.

Yields 16

Foodie Friday

Orange Pecan French Toast

1 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup butter, melted
2 T. light corn syrup
1/3 cup chopped pecans
12 (3/4 inch thick) slices French bread
1 tsp. grated orange zest
1 cup fresh orange juice
1/2 cup 2% milk
3 T. white sugar
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. vanilla extract
3 egg whites
2 eggs
1 T. confectioners’ sugar for dusting

In a small bowl, stir together the brown sugar, melted butter, and corn syrup. Pour into a greased 9×13 inch baking dish, and spread evenly. Sprinkle pecans over the sugar mixture. Arrange the bread slices in the bottom of the dish so they are in a snug single layer.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the orange zest, orange juice, milk, sugar, cinnamon, vanilla, egg whites, and eggs. Pour this mixture over the bread, pressing on the bread slices to help absorb the liquid. Cover and refrigerate for at least one hour.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Remove the cover from the baking dish, and let stand for 20 minutes at room temperature.
Bake for 35 minutes until golden brown. Dust with confectioners’ sugar before serving.
Makes 12 servings

The Best Hot Chocolate Recipe…Ever!

Curl up on the couch with a snugly blanket, your favorite book and a cup of this delectable hot chocolate. AMAZING!

1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
3/4 cup white sugar
1 pinch of salt
1/3 cup of boiling water
3 1/2 cups milk
3/4 t. vanilla extract
1/2 cup half & half cream

Combine the cocoa, sugar and pinch of salt in a saucepan. Blend in the boiling water. Bring this mixture to an easy boil while you stir. Simmer and stir for about 2 minutes. Watch that it doesn’t scorch. Stir in 3 1/2 cups of milk and heat until very hot, but do not boil! Remove from heat and add vanilla. Divide between 4 mugs. Add the cream to the mugs of cocoa to cool it to drinking temperature. Top with whipped cream and chocolate shavings if you desire. Enjoy!

Foodie Friday

Scrumptious Sugar Cookies
Who can resist this classic holiday treat? Not even Santa can!

2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups white sugar
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

In a small bowl, stir together flour, baking soda, and baking powder. Set aside.
In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until smooth. Beat in egg and vanilla. Gradually blend in the dry ingredients. Roll rounded teaspoonfuls of dough into balls, and place onto ungreased cookie sheets.
Bake 8 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven, or until golden. Let stand on cookie sheet two minutes before removing to cool on wire racks.
Makes 4 dozen cookies.

Foodie Friday

Super Saucy Mexican Chicken
Quick, easy and everyone will love it!
1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
1 jar thick and chunky salsa (brand of your choice)
1 (15 oz.) can black beans, rinsed
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
Cook chicken in nonstick skillet on medium-high heat 4 minutes on each side or until browned on both sides.
Add salsa and beans. Bring to a boil and cover.
Simmer on medium-low heat 5 minutes or until chicken is cooked through (165 degrees).
Top with cheese. Remove from heat. Let stand, covered, 5 minutes or until cheese is melted.
Serves 4

Foodie Friday

 Parmesan Baked Salmon
Pop it in the oven…..dinner will be ready in 15 minutes!
1/4 cup mayonnaise
2 T. grated Parmesan Cheese
1/8 t. ground red pepper (cayenne)
4 salmon fillets, skin removed
2 tsp. lemon juice
10 Ritz crackers, crushed *
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Mix mayo, cheese and pepper until well blended; set aside.
Place salmon foil-lined shallow baking pan. Drizzle evenly with lemon juice. Top with cheese mixture; spread to evenly cover salmon. Sprinkle with cracker crumbs.
Bake 12 to 15 minutes or until salmon flakes easily with a fork.
Makes 4 servings.
* We used Ritz crackers for testing purposes only.