Chicken Bacon Doggie Cupcakes

28 Jun

Dog Birtday

Our precious Yorkie, Maggie, celebrated her 6th birthday recently so I took the opportunity to make some homemade dog treats. Ive seen peanut butter cookie treats done all too often so I searched for a more cake like approach. And what better than mini cupcakes for a birthday celebration?

Maggie tends to be quite the picky eater so I was thrilled when she lapped up these little treats and begged for more. Our other little monster, Sophie, quite enjoyed them as well. But don’t worry, the smell of the batter won’t have you wanting to lick the spoon.

Dogs

For the treats:

  • 3 strips bacon, crumbled
  • 3 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
  • 6 eggs, beaten
  • 1/2 cup corn oil
  • 2 jars chicken baby food
  • 2 cups finely shredded carrot
  • plain Greek yogurt

Preheat oven to 325 degrees and grease mini cupcake pans. Set aside.

Cook the bacon until crisp then crumble and set aside.

Whisk together the flour and baking powder. In a large bowl, beat the butter until smooth. Beat in the eggs and oil. Stir in the chicken baby food and carrots. Add the flour mixture and mix well.

Dip the batter into the tins and bake 15-20 minutes or until toothpick in center comes out clean. Allow to cool and pipe yogurt on top for “icing.” Sprinkle tops with crumbled bacon.


Dog Cupcakes

Keep the leftover cupcakes covered and refrigerated. This batter can also be used as a cake by pouring into 2 8″ cake pans and baking for 60 minutes. Now it’s your turn to head for the kitchen and make your pups a treat! I found my recipe and many other dog treat recipes at Dog Treat Kitchen.

Kicked up Pimento & Cheese

25 Jun

If you’re from the South like me, then pimento & cheese was probably a staple around your house growing up. But when mom and I offered to bring pimento & cheese to a get together at a friends house, they had no clue what we were talking about. They’re from the North. So if you’re also from the North, do yourself a favor and make some pimento & cheese.

pimento and cheese

Not only does P&C offer wonderful flavor, but it’s simple and makes for a quick meal. Spread on some toasted bread and you have a wonderful sandwhich. To use it as an appetizer, spread it on crackers or celery and watch peoples’ faces light up with happiness!

pimento and cheese 3.1

For the pimento & cheese:

  • 1 8-oz block sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 8-oz block pepper jack cheese
  • 1 8-oz block sharp white cheddar
  • 1/2 cup mayo (or greek yogurt)
  • 1/4-1/2 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons chopped jalapenos
  • 1 4-oz jar pimentos
  • 1/2 teaspoons pepper or McCormick Hot Shot

Shred the three blocks of cheese. Don’t cheat and buy pre-shredded because you’ll regret it. Add the remaining ingredients and mix until moist.


If you don’t like spicy, leave out the jalapeno and substitute more cheddar or monetery jack cheese for the pepper jack. If you’d like to turn it into a warm dip, add an 8-oz block of cream cheese and bake at 350 for 20 minutes or until cheese gets melty and bubbly. Enjoy!

Cookies N’ Cream Macarons

22 Jun

Cookies N Cream Macarons 2

Now that I’ve learned to love making (as much as eating) macarons, I thought I’d share them with Adam since he’s never tried them. I told him to choose any flavor he liked, and cookies and cream was decided on. Oh, I was excited! And thankfully, he enjoyed them.. or the few that were left by the time they arrived.

I made these macarons by mixing in oreos with the almonds, and using the oreo filling as a component in the cream center. It tasted very similar to an oreo cookie, with a much different and in my opinion more pleasing texture.

Cookies N Cream Macarons

For the macarons:

  • 1/2 cup slivered almonds, finely ground
  • 1/4 cup oreos (cookie part only), finely ground; about 3-4 oreos
  • 2 large egg whites, at room temperature
  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the filling:

  • about 12 oreo centers
  • 2 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 3-5 tablespoons heavy cream
  • confectioners’ sugar

In a food processor, pulse together the almonds, oreos, and confectioners’ sugar. Sift into a mixing bowl and set aside. Cookies N Cream Macarons 4

In a medium mixing bowl, or stand mixer, whip the egg whites on medium-high speed until foamy and soft peaks form. Gradually add in the granulated sugar and continue to beat until the meringue becomes shiny and stiff peaks form when the beater is lifted.

Add the almond mixture to the meringue, about 1/3 at a time. With a rubber spatula, fold the mixture until just combined before adding in the next third. When all the dry ingredients are incorporated, continue folding until the batter flows from the spatula in ribbons. Try not to under or over fold the mixture.

Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and transfer the batter to a piping bag fitted with a wide, round tip. Pipe the batter into small circles (about 3 cm in diameter) spaced about 1 inch apart. Beat the baking sheet down against the counter to release air bubbles and to help the macarons form their “foot”. Sprinkle tops with crushed oreos, if desired. Let sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes to form a crust. You should be able to touch the macarons lightly without getting batter on your fingers.

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Bake the macarons in the bottom middle of the oven for 10-15 minutes. Cool for 10 minutes. Carefully peel macarons off the parchment paper and let cool completely on a wire rack.

While the cookies cool, make your cream filling. Beat all ingredients together adding in sugar and extra cream to achieve the flavor and texture you desire. Match cookies up by size and sandwhich together with cream. Enjoy!


I sincerely hope you try your hand at making these and that you enjoy them as much as I did. If you’re having trouble with your batter, try using weighted measurements. Don’t worry if you don’t get the perfect size on every macaron when piping them. Simply match up the sizes when sandwhiching them together.

Also, a BIG thank you to SnazzyBiscuits for awarding me the Versatile Blogger award. It’s much appreciated, and I’m very thankful for all my readers and supporters!

Veggie Fajita Wraps

20 Jun

I love ordering fajitas when we go out for mexican, but I believe I love them homemade even more. Not to mention it’s much simpler and much cheaper. Make these with any type of vegetables you like, adding any spices or meat you may prefer. I simply sauteed the veggies without any added spice and thought the taste was just wonderful. Make these however you prefer, my recipe is as simplistic as it gets.

Veggie Fajita Wrap

For the fajitas:

  • 1 green pepper, julliened
  • 1 red pepper, julliened
  • 1 orange pepper, julliened
  • 1 yellow pepper, julliened
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 small squash, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • pepper jack cheese
  • tortillas

Simply saute the vegetables in olive oil until peppers soften and onion becomes translucent. Add any spices (garlic, paprika, red pepper flakes) or meats as desired, making sure to cook meat through until no longer pink. Sprinkle cheese on bottom of tortilla and cover with cooked vegetables. Top with toppings of your choice including sour cream, lettuce, tomatoes, or beans. Fold the tortilla taco style or like a wrap and enjoy! 

Salted Caramel No Machine Ice Cream

17 Jun

Salted Caramel Ice Cream

There’s a frozen yogurt shop down the road from my house that I often visit. And when I say down the road, I mean I can walk there (which won’t be good for my thighs in the long run). They recently started serving a salted caramel flavor and my, oh my, did I fall in love! Over a big, heaping bowl one day I exclaimed to Adam that I was going to figure out a way to make it.. and I did!

When I say I did recreate it, I mean I made it in ice cream form. The tanginess of the yogurt in homemade froyo isn’t appealing to me, but sweet ice cream can brush my tastebuds any day. And being that I’m broke and don’t own an ice cream maker, I made this wonderful stuff without one.

Salted Caramel Ice Cream 2

For the ice cream:

  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 cup caramel bits
  • 3-5 tablespoons milk
  • 1/2 – 3/4 teaspoons salt

In a microwavable bowl, melt caramel bits with salt. Stir in 3 tablespoons of milk, adding more as needed to achieve a fairly thin substance. Let it cool completely. Meanwhile, whip the two cups of heavy cream until stiff peaks form. Stir the salted caramel into the sweetened condensed milk until completely combined. Fold in the whipped cream, put in a freezable container (tupperware works fine), and freeze! 


As the temperature’s get hotter, this ice cream becomes more and more delicious. And it’s so simple. I adapted my no machine ice cream recipe from here.

Spicy Spaghetti Bake & One Lovely Blog Award

15 Jun

I have two very important rules to making spaghetti.

  1. Turn on Frank Sinatra Pandora
  2. Keep a never empty glass of wine by your side

How could you go wrong? So instead of the classic spaghetti this time around I went for a spicy, Mexican flare. With salsa, green chiles, and loads of cheese.. it was fantastic (and I dare say I prefer it over regular spaghetti bake).

Spicy Spaghetti 3

For the spaghetti:

  • 1 package (16 oz) whole wheat spaghetti
  • 1 pound ground turkey (or beef)
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 green pepper, chopped
  • 1 jar (24 oz) salsa
  • 1 jar green chiles
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
  • 2 eggs
  • 4 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 block pepper jack cheese, shredded
  • 2 cups (16 oz) mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 2 cups (16 oz) white American cheese, shredded
  • crushed tortilla chips

Cook spaghetti according to package directions. In the mean time, cook turkey, onion, and pepper in a large skillet until no longer pink. Stir in salsa, chilies, red pepper flakes and cayenne.

In a large bowl whisk egg and butter. Drain spaghetti and add to egg mixture, tossing to coat.

In a greased baking dish place half of the spaghetti mixture. Top with half the meat mixture and half the pepper jack and mozzarella. Repeat layers topping with crushed tortillas and white American cheese. Cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees for 35-45 minutes. Remove foil and bake additional 5-10 minutes or until cheese begins to brown.


Seriously, I love this dish. Next time I believe I’ll add jalapenos to the mix. If you have a difficult time finding white American cheese, check the deli section. I adapted my recipe from Taste of Home.

On another note, a big thank you to Sharing Me, Myself and I for the One Lovely Blog Award! It requires that I tell 7 things about myself and pass on the award as well.

http://sharingmemyselfandi.files.wordpress.com/2012/06/one-lovely-blog-award.jpg?w=189&h=225

  1. I love nothing more than a good book. Right now the Dark Tower series by Stephen King.
  2. I also enjoy playing video games (currently waiting for Skyrim DLC)
  3. I was born a blonde, but have always wanted black hair.
  4. I’d love to win the lottery and spend my life traveling.
  5. Speaking of traveling, I spent a week in Ireland a few summers back and LOVED it.
  6. I love anything from the 20’s era.
  7. My taste in music is very diverse, but I love a good jazz or classical piece.

I chose to pass this award on to these 5 blogs (in alphabetical order).

What I Ate Wednesday! Mexican style

13 Jun

Last Wednesday I couldn’t pull myself away from the wonderful tastes of Mexican food.

Breakfast began with a Greens First shake and boost, which is highly nutritious. I find that I rather enjoy it (much better than slimfast or other diet shakes) despite its rather green color.

WIAW2

On the lunch menu, I convinced Adam that our Mexican hiatus should end and we went to one of our favorite (and cheapest) Mexican restaurants. And as many times as we said we would be ‘healthier’ and not order cheese dip.. the urge was uncontrollable. My apologies for the half-eaten taco. I was so excited for it I nearly forgot to snap a photo.

WIAW2.2

WIAW2.3

I ended Wednesday with a homemade spicy spaghetti bake (I plan to post the recipe soon). Using salsa, multiple cheeses, and tortilla crumbles.. I was in heaven! Plus, there was enough to freeze a second, smaller casserole for the days where money gets tight. This I served with my triple cheese crostini. If you’ve failed to notice, I’m quite the cheese lover.

WIAW2.1

Happy Wednesday! And may yours be healthier than mine!

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