Foodie Friday ~ Chocolate Pretzel Treats

pretzeltreats

20 small mini pretzels

20 chocolate covered caramel candies

20 pecan halves

Directions

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.

Arrange the pretzels in a single layer on a parchment lined cookie sheet. Place one chocolate covered caramel candy on top of each pretzel.

Bake for four minutes. While the candy is warm, press a pecan halfway onto each candy covered pretzel. Cool completely before storing in an airtight container.

Foodie Friday ~ Fab French Toast

yummyfrenchtoast

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

1 cup milk

1 pinch salt

3 eggs

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 tablespoon white sugar

12 thick slices bread (day old bread is best)

Directions

Measure flour into a large mixing bowl. Slowly whisk in milk. Whisk in the salt, eggs, cinnamon, vanilla extract and sugar until smooth.

Heat a lightly oiled griddle or frying pan over medium heat.

Soak bread slices in mixture until saturated. Cook bread on each side until golden brown. Serve hot. Pair with syrup or fresh fruit.

Foodie Friday ~ No Fuss Peanut Butter Cookies

pbcookiephoto

1 cup unsalted butter

1 cup crunchy peanut butter

1 cup white sugar

1 cup packed brown sugar

2 eggs

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

Directions

Cream together butter, peanut butter and sugars. Beat in eggs.

In a separate bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Stir into batter. Put batter in refrigerator for at least 1 hour.

Roll into 1 inch balls and put on baking sheets. Flatten each ball with a fork, making a criss-cross pattern. Bake in a preheated 375 degree oven for about 10 minutes or until cookies begin to brown. Do not over-bake. Allow to cool for 15 minutes before removing from cookie sheet.

Foodie Friday – Best Fresh Tomato Salsa

GreatTomatoSalsaRec

3 cups chopped tomatoes

1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper

1 1/4 cup onion, diced

1/4 cup minced fresh cilantro

2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

4 teaspoons chopped fresh jalapeño pepper

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

Directions

Stir the tomatoes, green bell pepper, onion, cilantro, lime juice, jalapeño pepper, cumin, salt, and pepper in a bowl. Chill and serve with tortilla chips.

Foodie Friday ~ Sliced Strawberry and Spinach Salad

strawberrysalad

2 tablespoons sesame seeds

1 tablespoon poppy seeds

1/2 cup white sugar

1/2 cup olive oil

1/4 cup distilled white vinegar

1/4 teaspoon paprika

1/4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

1 tablespoon minced onion

10 ounces fresh spinach – rinsed, dried and torn into bite-size pieces

1 quart strawberries – cleaned, hulled and sliced

1/4 cup almonds, blanched and slivered

Directions

In a medium bowl, whisk together the sesame seeds, poppy seeds, sugar, olive oil, vinegar, paprika, Worcestershire sauce and onion. Cover, and chill for one hour.

In a large bowl, combine the spinach, strawberries and almonds. Pour dressing over salad, and toss. Refrigerate 10 to 15 minutes before serving.

Foodie Friday ~ Yummy Blueberry French Toast

FrenchToastBlueberry

12 slices day-old bread, cut into 1-inch cubes

2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, cut into 1 inch cubes

1 cup fresh blueberries

12 eggs, beaten

2 cups milk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/3 cup maple syrup

1 cup white sugar

2 tablespoons cornstarch

1 cup water

1 cup fresh blueberries

1 tablespoon butter

Directions

Lightly grease a 9×13 inch baking dish. Arrange half the bread cubes in the dish, and top with cream cheese cubes. Sprinkle 1 cup blueberries over the cream cheese, and top with remaining bread cubes.

In a large bowl, mix the eggs, milk, vanilla extract, and syrup. Pour over the bread cubes. Cover, and refrigerate overnight.

Remove the bread cube mixture from the refrigerator about 30 minutes before baking. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Cover, and bake 30 minutes. Uncover, and continue baking 25 to 30 minutes, until center is firm and surface is lightly browned.

In a medium saucepan, mix the sugar, cornstarch, and water. Bring to a boil. Stirring constantly, cook 3 to 4 minutes. Mix in the remaining 1 cup blueberries. Reduce heat, and simmer 10 minutes, until the blueberries burst. Stir in the butter, and pour over the baked French toast.

Foodie Friday ~ Quinoa and Black Beans

Black Beans

1 teaspoon vegetable oil

1 onion, chopped

3 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped

3/4 cup uncooked quinoa

1 1/2 cups vegetable broth

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

salt and pepper to taste

1 cup frozen corn kernels

2 (15 ounce) cans black beans, rinsed and drained

1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Directions

Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the onion and garlic, and saute until lightly browned.

Mix quinoa into the saucepan and cover with vegetable broth. Season with cumin, cayenne pepper, salt, and pepper. Bring the mixture to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes.

Stir frozen corn into the saucepan, and continue to simmer about 5 minutes until heated through. Mix in the black beans and cilantro.

Foodie Friday ~ Pesto Chicken Florentine

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves – cut into strips

pestopastachicken

2 cups fresh spinach leaves

1 (4.5 ounce) package dry Alfredo sauce mix

2 tablespoons pesto

1 (8 ounce) package dry penne pasta

1 tablespoon grated Romano cheese

Directions

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add garlic, saute for 1 minute; then add chicken and cook for 7 to 8 minutes on each side. When chicken is close to being cooked through (no longer pink inside), add spinach and saute all together for 3 to 4 minutes.

Meanwhile, prepare Alfredo sauce according to package directions. When finished, stir in 2 tablespoons pesto; set aside.

In a large pot of salted boiling water, cook pasta for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente. Rinse under cold water and drain.

Add chicken/spinach mixture to pasta, then stir in pesto/Alfredo sauce. Mix well, top with cheese and serve.

Foodie Friday ~ Easy Alfredo Sauce Pasta

alfredopastasauce

1/4 cup butter

1 cup heavy cream

1 clove garlic, crushed

1 1/2 cups freshly grated Parmesan cheese

1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

Directions

Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium low heat. Add cream and simmer for 5 minutes, then add garlic and cheese and whisk quickly, heating through. Stir in parsley and serve.

Foodie Friday ~ Cold Weather Lentil Soup

Lentil Soup

1 onion, chopped

1/4 cup olive oil

2 carrots, diced

2 stalks celery, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1 bay leaf

1 teaspoon dried basil

1 (14.5 ounce) can crushed tomatoes

2 cups dry lentils

8 cups water

1/2 cup spinach, rinsed and thinly sliced

2 tablespoons vinegar

salt to taste

ground black pepper to taste

Directions

In a large soup pot, heat oil over medium heat. Add onions, carrots, and celery; cook and stir until onion is tender. Stir in garlic, bay leaf, oregano, and basil; cook for 2 minutes.

Stir in lentils, and add water and tomatoes. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer for at least 1 hour. When ready to serve stir in spinach, and cook until it wilts. Stir in vinegar, and season to taste with salt and pepper, and more vinegar if desired.