Monday, February 9, 2009

Mini Muffin Mania

Yep, here I go on a muffin kick again. These little muffins were such a yummy bite-sized treat, something about tiny food makes it so much cuter and tastier. The recipe came out of my Totally Muffins Cookbook, which is like totally awesome! Enjoy!

Almond Poppy seed Muffins

2/3 cup milk
1/2 cup poppy seeds
1 1/2 cups ap flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 stick butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
1/2 tsp almond extract
1/2 cup sliced almonds

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease tins or line with paper cups.
Heat milk to scalding. Pour over poppy seeds and set aside to cool
In a bowl combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
In a large bowl cream butter and sugar until light. Beat in eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add almond extract and cooled milk mixture.
Fold in dry ingredients and almonds and stir just to blend.
Divide mixture among muffin cups, bake 20 minutes or until tester comes out clean.

If you choose to make many muffins I crushed the almonds smaller and I only used 1/4 cup. I would also add a little more almond extract, but I really love the flavor. Also, next time I am going to try these with lemon extract and zest, to make a lemon poppy seed muffin.


These cookies were a hit at the office today, the perfect little afternoon pick me up! I followed the recipe exactly, and my only suggestion is to bake them no longer than 7 minutes. They go from undercooked to overcooked in the blink of an eye!


2 cups sugar, divided
1 cup Crisco® Butter Shortening
OR 1 stick Crisco® Butter Shortening Sticks
2 large eggs
2 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 3/4 cups Pillsbury BEST® All Purpose Flour
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1.HEAT oven to 400°F.

2.COMBINE 1 1⁄2 cups sugar, shortening, eggs, milk and vanilla in bowl of electric mixer. Beat at medium speed until well blended.

3.COMBINE flour, cream of tartar, baking soda and salt in medium bowl. Add gradually to shortening mixture at low speed. Mix just until blended.

4.COMBINE remaining 1⁄2 cup sugar and cinnamon in small bowl. Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Roll in sugar-cinnamon mixture. Place 2 inches apart on ungreased baking sheets.

5.BAKE 7 to 8 minutes. Cool 2 minutes on baking sheets. Place on cooling racks to cool completely.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Another nice Winter Soup

This recipe caught my eye on picky palate the other day, so I added a couple of items to the grocery list and cooked up a batch of this soup. It makes a HUGE pot, you may want to half it so you are not eating leftovers forever. I ended up freezing quite a few tupperwares for lunches later on down the road. It was a great soup though, and we will add it into our rotation. We served it in some sourdough breadbowls, which were the perfect accompaniment. If you are craving some delicious comfort food, give this soup recipe a shot!

Herty Queso Chicken Soup with Black Beans and Potatoes

2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 large onion, diced
3 stalks celery, diced
2 large carrots, peeled and diced
3 cloves fresh garlic, minced
2 cans of chunk chicken from Costco, undrained (or use 2 Cups cooked, shredded chicken breast)
1 Tablespoon ground cumin
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
¼ teaspoon Lawry’s garlic salt with parsley
3 ¾ Cups chicken broth
1 10 oz can cheddar cheese soup
1 10 oz can cream of chicken soup
15 oz can black beans, drained
10 oz can Mild Rotel Tomatoes
2 Cups diced baking potato
¼ Cup fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
1 additional 10 oz can cheddar cheese soup
Fritos or tortilla chips
Cilantro leaves

Heat oil in a 5 qt dutch oven or large pot over medium heat. Saute onion, celery and carrots until softened, about 8-10 minutes, stirring frequently.
Stir in garlic and chicken. Cook and stir for 1 minute.
Add cumin, salt, pepper, garlic salt, chicken broth, 1 can cheese soup and cream of chicken soup, beans, tomatoes and potatoes.
Cook over medium heat until potatoes are fork tender.
Reduce heat to low and stir in cilantro leaves and additional cheese soup to thicken.
Simmer on low until ready to serve. Garnish with chips and cilantro leaves if desired.

Favorite treat to date!

These rice crispy treats were gone fast. And unfortunately, one was not enough. We brought them to a superbowl party and then to work the next day, and didn't have a singl one left. I wanted to make a 9x13, but when I saw how much butter that would include, I couldn't do it. (No one needs to explain to me that the butter ratio is the same in the 9x9, I get it, I still ate the same amount of butter, but it was just a principle thing to me!) That said, do no let the butter dismay you, these little gems are so worth it, you will love them! Also check out Nicole's blog for a ton more deliciious treats.

Peanut Butter Cup Rice Krispie Bars

2 tbsp butter
5-oz marshmallows (1/2 large bag)
3 cups rice krispies/puffed rice cereal

Peanut Butter Filling
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
3/4 cup crunchy peanut butter (natural or regular)
1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
1 tbsp milk

Chocolate Topping
1/4 cup butter, room temperature
1 cup semisweet/dark chocolate chips

Lightly grease a 9×9-inch pan.
In a large, microwave safe bowl, combine butter and marshmallows. Heat until butter is melted and marshmallows are soft. Stir to combine. Fold in rice cereal with a spatula, then pour mixture into prepared pan and press into an even layer. Allow to cool and set at room temperature.
For the peanut butter layer, combine all filling ingredients in a medium bowl and beat with an electric mixer until smooth. The consistency should be like frosting. If it is too crumbly (consistency may vary slightly by type of peanut butter used), add an additional tablespoon or two of milk until filling is spreadable. Spread onto cereal layer.
For the chocolate topping, melt chocolate chips and butter in a small, microwave-safe bowl. Stir until smooth. Pour over peanut butter layer and, using an offset spatula or regular spatula, spread chocolate to cover entire surface. Let chocolate set up at room temperature before slicing.

Makes 20 rectangular candy bars.

Football treats!

These are super chocolately, but soo good. They were the perfect addition to our superbowl party, all the girls just kept saying how cute they were. I have seen this recipe pop up in a few blogs lately, but I originally saw it on Katie's. Check out her website for way better pictures! As soon as football season rolls around again whip up a batch of these, you are sure to impress quite a few people! As a side note, they were a bit too chocolately for me, next time I think I may try to make them more like a traditional rice crispy treat with marshmellows.

Chocolate Football Crispies

6 squares semi-sweet baking chocolate
½ c. light corn syrup
1 Tbsp butter
½ tsp vanilla
4 c. Cocoa Pebbles Cereal
white decorating gel

- Microwave chocolate, corn syrup and butter in large microwaveable bowl on high 2 1/2 min., stirring after 1 ½ min.
-Blend in vanilla.
-Add cereal, mix well.
-Let cool 10 min and then shape into football shapes on parchment with moistened hands.
-Let cool completely and use decorating gel to add lacings.
-Let stand until gel is firm.