Party Chip Cookies

Party Chip Cookies, because they are basically ready to party any time that you need them!  A sweet cookie base packed full of chocolate chip, white chocolate chips and sprinkles to make these cookies party-worthy. When has there ever not been a good time for a cookie? Exactly. Whether its a birthday party, holiday party, party for two, or just because, these cookies are your answer.

Party Chip Cookies - KJ & Company

What’s so great about these Party Chip Cookies is how customizable they can be. Christmas party? PERFECT – bring on the red and green sprinkles! Switch it up to match any season or occasion that you are needing some party cookies for. Or just for any day, because I think that any day of the year deserves some cookies.

Party Chip Cookies - KJ & Company

Whether you’re baking these up for yourself or sharing them with friends, it’s a party when these cookies show up!

PS: they are perfect for a midnight snack.

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Party Chip Cookies

Party Chip Cookies - KJ & Company

Party Chip Cookies, because they are basically ready to party any time that you need them!  A sweet cookie base packed full of chocolate chip, white chocolate chips and sprinkles to make these cookies party-worthy. When has there ever not been a good time for a cookie? Exactly. Whether its a birthday party, holiday party, party for two, or just because, these cookies are your answer.

  • Author: KJ & Company - Kate Poskochil
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 18 cookies

Ingredients

  • 2 sticks (16 tablespoons) butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup white chocolate chips
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/3 cup sprinkles

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. In a bowl of an electric mixer, mix together the butter, sugar and brown sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about a couple minutes. Reduce the speed to low and add in one egg at a time, making sure to wipe down the sides of the bowl in between each addition. Mix in the vanilla extract.
  2. In a small bowl, combine the flour, baking soda and salt. With the mixer speed on low, slowly add the flour mixture into the butter and sugar mixture until it is all combined and a dough has formed.
  3. Using a rubber spatula, fold the white chocolate chips, semi-sweet chocolate chips and sprinkles into the cookie dough until it is all combined. Using a rounded tablespoon scoop, scoop the dough onto a non-greased baking sheet about 2 inches apart from each other. Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until the centers have set and the cookies are slightly golden brown.
  4. Remove the cookies from the baking sheet and let them continue to cool on a cooling rack. Enjoy!

Party Chip Cookies - KJ & Company Party Chip Cookies - KJ & Company Party Chip Cookies - KJ & Company

Caramel Fudge Brownies

What can make a batch of fudgy brownies even better? Caramel. That’s right, a batch of gooey, chocolatey brownies topped off with a salty, rich caramel to make the most perfect brownie bite that you can imagine. The layers of flavor and decadence in these Caramel Fudge Brownies will make you want to eat the whole pan by yourself. You’ve been warned.

Caramel Fudge Brownies - KJ & Company

When I made these Caramel Fudge Brownies, it was my first time making a homemade caramel sauce. And I hear ya, it can be a little scary at first! But don’t worry, this caramel sauce is hassle-free and will make you feel like a natural caramel making queen. Just keep an eye on it and you will have a decadent, golden caramel ready to pour.

Caramel Fudge Brownies - KJ & Company

These brownies are decadent in all the right ways. Just take one bite of them and you’ll see what I’m talking about!

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Caramel Fudge Brownies

Caramel Fudge Brownies - KJ & Company

What can make a batch of fudgy brownies even better? Caramel. That’s right, a batch of gooey, chocolatey brownies topped off with a salty, rich caramel to make the most perfect brownie bite that you can imagine. The layers of flavor and decadence in these Caramel Fudge Brownies will make you want to eat the whole pan by yourself. You’ve been warned.

  • Author: KJ & Company - Kate Poskochil
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 1 pan of brownies

Ingredients

For the brownies:

  • 2 sticks (16 tablespoons) butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

For the caramel sauce:

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons butter, cubed
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Instructions

For the brownies:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. In a bowl of an electric mixer, beat together the butter, sugar and brown sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about a minute or so. Reduce the speed to low and mix in one egg at a time until combined, making sure to wipe down the edges of the bowl in between each addition. Mix in the vanilla extract.
  2. In a small bowl, mix together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt until combined. Turn the mixer speed on low and slowly add in the dry ingredients into the butter and sugar mixture until a batter has formed. The batter may be thick at this point and that is ok.
  3. Use a rubber spatula to fold the chocolate chips into the batter. Spray and line a 9×9 baking pan with cooking spray and parchment paper. Spread the batter evenly into the pan and bake for 35-38 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.
  4. Set the brownies aside to cool.

For the caramel sauce:

  1. While the brownies are cooking, pour the sugar into a small sauce pan over low heat. Occasionally whisk the sugar as it starts to melt down. Once it is mostly melted, whisk continually until all the sugar is melted and turning a caramel color. This can take around 3-5 minutes.
  2. Carefully whisk the butter into the caramel. The caramel will bubble up and this is ok, just keep whisking slowly to keep the mixture moving. Once the butter is incorporated, whisk in the heavy cream until the caramel sauce is smooth, about a minute or so. Whisk in the salt.
  3. Pour the caramel sauce all over the top of the cooled brownies. Allow the caramel to set about 20-30 minutes prior to cutting.

Caramel Fudge Brownies - KJ & Company Caramel Fudge Brownies - KJ & Company Caramel Fudge Brownies - KJ & Company

Lasagna Soup

Lasagna Soup is basically what dreams are made of. It’s currently snowing horizontally here and I could not think of a better dish to snuggle up on the couch with! Think of all the wonderful, memory-filled flavors of a classic lasagna in a soup that is perfect for dunking a hunk of chunky bread in. The lasagna noodles are smothered in a rich, decadent sauce that has been slow cooked to perfection. Top if off with some fresh basil, parmesan cheese and a scoop of ricotta and you have the makings of a perfect Lasagna Soup.

Lasagna Soup - KJ & Company

This soup really is a one-pot meal, as everything is simmered in one pot to make a delicious, easy clean-up soup that everyone will want to dig into. I sure didn’t mind having leftovers of this one! You can easily heat up the leftover Lasagna Soup, or pour the leftovers into a baking dish, top it with cheese and bake it for a re-constructed Lasagna Soup Lasagna. Ya feel me? I’m just thinking about all that gooey, melty cheese that would crust over on the top. Leftovers are never a bad idea!

Lasagna Soup - KJ & Company

This meal will bring back all of the nostalgic memories of lasagna in a simple, soup form. You’ll definitely want a piece of crispy bread to dunk into this one!

 

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Lasagna Soup

Lasagna Soup - KJ & Company

Think of all the wonderful, memory-filled flavors of a classic lasagna in a soup that is perfect for dunking a hunk of chunky bread in. The lasagna noodles are smothered in a rich, decadent sauce that has been slow cooked to perfection. Top if off with some fresh basil, parmesan cheese and a scoop of ricotta and you have the makings of a perfect Lasagna Soup.

  • Author: KJ & Company - Kate Poskochil
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 6 servings

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons chopped garlic
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoons dried basil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 – 29 oz cans tomato sauce
  • 32 oz chicken stock
  • 1/2 lb lasagna noodles (about 10 lasagna noodles) broken into 1-inch pieces
  • Parmesan cheese for topping
  • Ricotta cheese for topping

Instructions

  1. In a large pot or dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add in the onion and sauté until slightly translucent, about a few minutes. Add in the ground hamburger and sauté until browned, about 5 minutes more. Stir in the Worcestershire sauce and garlic and sauté until fragrant, about a minute.
  2. Stir in the dried oregano, dried basil, salt and crushed red pepper flakes until combined. Pour in the tomato sauce and chicken stock and stir to combine all of the ingredients. Bring the soup to a boil and then add in the lasagna noodles and stir to combine. Reduce the heat slightly and let the noodles simmer in the sauce until they are al dente, about 15-20 minutes.
  3. Serve the soup with the grated parmesan cheese and ricotta cheese on top. Chopped fresh basil and a baguette are also great toppings and sides!

Lasagna Soup - KJ & Company Lasagna Soup - KJ & Company Lasagna Soup - KJ & Company

Cheesy Turkey & Dill Paninis

We used to have a local restaurant in town that served up the best grilled sandwiches through the drive thru. You had the most amazing creamy dill sauce smothering loads of smoked turkey, gooey, melted cheese, and soft, homemade bread holding it all together. The sandwich then got pressed in their panini press that you know probably hadn’t been cleaned in awhile, but man, that puppy had flavor! Wrapped in a foil wrapper, you had a perfect, hot-mess of a sandwich to eat in your car. They sadly went out of business, so a girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do. Time to make them at home! Cheesy Turkey & Dill Paninis are loaded with all the good stuff. Mounds of smoked turkey, bright greens, a simple, delicious dill sauce and buttery, crispy bread to sandwich it all together. Talk about the perfect bite!

Cheesy Turkey & Dill Panini - KJ & Company

This panini just delivers all the goods. I’m sorta obsessed and think that it would be a perfect pairing for any soup (we dipped it into tomato soup and it was SO good) and makes a pretty hard lunch to beat. Plus, it takes like 10 minutes to throw one together. How much better can it get?

Cheesy Turkey & Dill Panini - KJ & Company

Even if you don’t have a panini press, you can easily make this sandwich in a skillet as you would a grilled cheese. Just butter up that bread! A nice, buttery, crispy bread is what it’s all about.

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Cheesy Turkey & Dill Paninis

Cheesy Turkey & Dill Panini - KJ & Company

Cheesy Turkey & Dill Paninis are loaded with all the good stuff. Mounds of smoked turkey, bright greens, a simple, delicious dill sauce and buttery, crispy bread to sandwich it all together. Talk about the perfect bite!

  • Author: KJ & Company - Kate Poskochil
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 5 minutes
  • Total Time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: 4-6 paninis

Ingredients

  • 1 round loaf Italian bread or country bread, sliced
  • 1 1lb smoked turkey deli meat
  • 8 oz provolone cheese
  • 3/4 cup sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon dried dill
  • 2 cups loosely packed mixed greens
  • 4 tablespoons butter, melted

Instructions

  1. In a small bowl, mix together the sour cream and dill until combined, set aside. Preheat your panini press (or skillet) to a medium-high heat.
  2. Working with 2 pieces of bread at a time, evenly split the sauce, provolone cheese, smoked turkey and mixed greens in between the 4-6 sandwiches that you are making. Build your panini by starting with smearing the dill sauce on one side of the bread, placing a layer pf cheese on top of that, then a small pile of greens, followed by the smoked turkey, then another layer of cheese and then topped off with the other piece of bread.
  3. Brush both of the outer sides of bread with melted butter before placing the sandwich into the panini press or skillet. Press the sandwich for 3-5 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown and the cheese is melted. If you are using a skillet, you will need to flip your sandwich halfway through to insure both sides of the sandwich get cooked.
  4. Remove the sandwich from the panini press, slice and enjoy!

Notes

  • If you are making less than 4 sandwiches, evenly portion the ingredients out for how many sandwiches you may be making. You may not use all of the ingredients if you are making less sandwiches

Cheesy Turkey & Dill Panini - KJ & Company Cheesy Turkey & Dill Panini - KJ & Company Cheesy Turkey & Dill Panini - KJ & Company Cheesy Turkey & Dill Panini - KJ & Company

Boozy Tiramisu Milkshakes

I mean, let’s just take another look at the title here: Boozy Tiramisu Milkshakes. Yes please! Imagine the rich, decadent goodness of a tiramisu in a creamy, frothy form. These Tiramisu Milkshakes are the perfect ending to any night!

Boozy Tiramisu Milkshakes - KJ & Company

Whether you’re sipping on these Boozy Tiramisu Milkshakes for a dessert or a cocktail, you really can’t go wrong. It’s not very often that I thoroughly enjoy an alcoholic beverage enough that I would want two of them in a row, but these sure are tempting! I mean, I’m not the type of person who drinks vey often so just finding the brandy in the store for this recipe was a struggle enough. There was an older gentleman that assisted me in the grocery store and when I told him what I was making, he literally was speechless and turned around and fist bumped me. It was seriously the highlight of my day! That guy deserves a Boozy Tiramisu Milkshake in my book.

Boozy Tiramisu Milkshake - KJ & Company

What’s also so great about these milkshakes is how easy it is to make them alcohol-free. Simply omit the brandy and you are set to go with a milkshake that will be as equally as delicious.

I just can’t get enough of these milkshakes. I may or may not have poured it straight from the blender into my mouth, but there were no witnesses.

 

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Boozy Tiramisu Milkshakes

Boozy Tiramisu Milkshakes - KJ & Company

I mean, let’s just take another look at the title here: Boozy Tiramisu Milkshakes. Yes please! Imagine the rich, decadent goodness of a tiramisu in a creamy, frothy form. These Tiramisu Milkshakes are the perfect ending to any night!

 

  • Author: KJ & Company - Kate Poskochil
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 5 minutes
  • Total Time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 4 standard scoops of vanilla ice cream
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons instant espresso powder
  • 8 oz mascarpone cheese
  • 4 tablespoons brandy, or a shot per serving

Toppings:

  • Ladyfinger cookies
  • Cocoa powder
  • Whipped cream

Instructions

  1. In a small bowl, whisk together the milk and the instant espresso powder to combine.
  2. Put all of the ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth, about 30 seconds – 1 minute.
  3. Pour into glasses and top with desired toppings such as: cocoa powder, ladyfinger cookies and whipped cream.

Notes

  • You can easily make this a non-alcoholic beverage by omitting the brandy from the recipe
  • I highly recommend the toppings! They make the milkshake that much better.

Boozy Tiramisu Milkshakes - KJ & Company Boozy Tiramisu Milkshakes - KJ & Company Boozy Tiramisu Milkshakes - KJ & Company

Double Chocolate Walnut Chip Cookies

I say that any day is good to have a cookie. Especially these Double Chocolate Walnut Chip Cookies. Think of the most decadent, double chocolate chip cookie that you can, toss in some slightly salty, nutty walnuts and let it all just dissolve on your tongue as you take another bite. Sold yet? I sure am! I’m pretty much sold on anything chocolate.

Double Chocolate Walnut Chip Cookies - KJ & Company

First you have a chocolate cookie base, then you mix in melty chocolate chips and finish it off with crunchy walnuts. Talk about a perfect match! Watch out peanut butter and jelly, these cookies are comin’ for ya.

Double Chocolate Walnut Chip Cookies - KJ & Company

Pour yourself a tall glass of milk because you are not going to want to stop eating these! They almost take on a brownie-like consistency and are just heavenly. I think they make the perfect sweet treat, snack, dessert to share or not to share, or curb any chocolate craving. Walk into a party (or holiday) with a bag of these bad boys and you might as well do a mic drop. You’re welcome.

Double Chocolate Walnut Chip Cookies - KJ & Company

Bake up these Double Chocolate Walnut Cookies and watch them disappear!

 

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Double Chocolate Walnut Chip Cookies

I say that any day is good to have a cookie. Especially these Double Chocolate Walnut Chip Cookies. Think of the most decadent, double chocolate chip cookie that you can, toss in some slightly salty, nutty walnuts and let it all just dissolve on your tongue as you take another bite. Sold yet? I sure am!

  • Author: KJ & Company - Kate Poskochil
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 25 cookies

Ingredients

  • 2 sticks (16 tablespoons) butter, softened
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 3/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 12 oz semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 8 oz chopped walnuts

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. In a bowl of an electric mixer, beat together the butter, sugar and brown sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about a couple minutes. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add in one egg at a time, making sure to mix thoroughly in between each addition and wipe down the sides of the bowl. Mix in the vanilla extract.
  2. In a small bowl, mix together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt. With the mixer speed on low, slowly add the flour mixture into the butter mixture until a dough forms, about a couple minutes.
  3. Using a rubber spatula, fold the chocolate chips and walnuts into the dough until combined. Scoop the dough onto an un-greased baking sheet using a tablespoon scoop and placing the dough about 2 inches apart from each other on the baking sheet.
  4. Bake the cookies for 10-12 minutes or until the centers have set, being careful to not over-cook the edges or bottoms of the cookies. Repeat until all the dough has been used.

Double Chocolate Walnut Chip Cookies - KJ & Company Double Chocolate Walnut Chip Cookies - KJ & Company Double Chocolate Walnut Chip Cookies - KJ & Company Double Chocolate Walnut Chip Cookies - KJ & Company

Coconut Curry Chicken & Rice Soup

I am so excited to share this Coconut Curry Chicken & Rice Soup with you guys! Experimenting with new ingredients that you aren’t used to doesn’t need to be scary, trust me! The slightly sweet, creamy coconut milk smooths out the bold flavor of the curry paste to make a soup so delectable that you will want to go back for more. With the addition of the chicken and rice, you have a complete meal that you can’t beat!

Coconut Curry Chicken & Rice Soup - KJ & Company

I’ve always loved eating curry, but have never ventured out to make it at home. If you’re anything like me, don’t fear! It’s easier than you could have ever imagined and a delicious outcome. I love how this soup is slightly sweet (but not too much) and creamy from the coconut milk and then backed by depths of flavor from the curry paste and chicken.

Coconut Curry Chicken & Rice Soup - KJ & Company

Not only is this soup packed full of delicious flavors that make your tastebuds sing, but it’s also good for you! Nothing but natural, wholesome ingredients are put into this Coconut Curry Chicken & Rice Soup.  Naturally low in fat and high in flavor. Plus, you also get the added health benefits from the chicken, brown rice and veggies.

Coconut Curry Chicken & Rice Soup - KJ & Company

What’s also so great is that the flavor profile of this soup can be combined with any veggies or toppings you desire. In my opinion, you can’t go wrong with a toss of some salty peanuts, a swirl of tangy sour cream, fresh cilantro and chopped red bell peppers. Dig on in and enjoy.

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Coconut Curry Chicken & Rice Soup

Coconut Curry Chicken & Rice Soup - KJ & Company

The slightly sweet, creamy coconut milk smooths out the bold flavor of the curry paste to make a soup so delectable that you will want to go back for more. With the addition of the chicken and rice, you have a complete meal that you can’t beat!

  • Author: KJ & Company - Kate Poskochil
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 50 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 5 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced and divided in half evenly
  • 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
  • 2 tablespoons red curry paste (you can do 3 tablespoons if you like a more dominant curry flavor)
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 2 – 13.5 oz cans full-fat coconut milk
  • 2 – 32 oz containers chicken stock
  • 1 1/2 lbs chicken tenders, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 3/4 cup brown rice

Toppings:

  • Salted peanuts
  • Fresh cilantro
  • Sour cream

Instructions

  1. In a large pot or dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add in the onion and half of the red bell peppers and sauté until fragrant and translucent, about a couple minutes. Add in the garlic, curry paste and turmeric and stir to combine.
  2. Pour in the coconut milk and chicken stock and stir to combine. Bring the soup to a boil and add in the chicken and brown rice. Reduce the heat to a low-medium boil and cook the chicken and rice for about 20 minutes. After about 20 minutes, reduce the soup to a simmer and let simmer for an additional 15-20 minutes, or until the brown rice is tender and cooked all the way through.
  3. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve the soup with desired toppings and remaining diced red bell pepper. Enjoy!

Notes

  • If you would like to make this soup vegetarian, sub the chicken stock for veggie stock and omit the chicken. You can add in additional veggies or tofu.

Coconut Curry Chicken & Rice Soup - KJ & Company Coconut Curry Chicken & Rice Soup - KJ & Company Coconut Curry Chicken & Rice Soup - KJ & Company

Carrot & Cream Cheese Bundt Cake

You guys, I have this Carrot & Cream Cheese Bundt Cake sitting in my refrigerator right now and I can’t stop sneaking bites of it throughout the day! Imagine this: digging your fork into a fluffy, cinnamon-speckled carrot cake that has a waterfall of the most decadent, light and fluffy cream cheese frosting imaginable. And then going back for more and more. At least that’s what we’ve been doing! This Carrot & Cream Cheese Bundt Cake is a classic combination that you can never go wrong with.

Carrot & Cream Cheese Bundt Cake - KJ & Company

I could just eat that cream cheese frosting with a spoon, and I did. No shame in that! The grated carrot gives the bundt cake a wonderful, deep orange color and natural sweetness that will make your tastebuds sing. Put those two together and you have a match made in heaven.

Carrot & Cream Cheese Bundt Cake

I think that carrot cake is good for anytime of the year, but with Spring and Easter right around the corner, it definitely makes for the perfect dessert to have on your menu! Bundt cakes are great to feed a crowd (or just you and your husband nibbling away on it in the fridge 😉 and deliver a “wow” factor without all the work.

Carrot & Cream Cheese Bundt Cake - KJ & Company

Get this bundt cake baking away in your oven, whip up a batch of the creamiest cream cheese frosting and be on your way to carrot cake bliss!

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Carrot & Cream Cheese Bundt Cake

Carrot & Cream Cheese Bundt Cake - KJ & Company

Imagine this: digging your fork into a fluffy, cinnamon-speckled carrot cake that has a waterfall of the most decadent, light and fluffy cream cheese frosting imaginable. And then going back for more and more.  This Carrot & Cream Cheese Bundt Cake is a classic combination that you can never go wrong with.

  • Author: KJ & Company - Kate Poskochil
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 50-55 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 25 minutes
  • Yield: 1 bundt cake

Ingredients

For the carrot bundt cake:

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups flour
  • 3 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 cups grated carrots

For the frosting:

  • 1 stick (8 tablespoons) butter, softened
  • 8 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 cup heavy cream

Instructions

For the carrot bundt cake:

  1. Preheat your oven to 325 degrees. Spray a bundt pan with cooking spray and set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk together the sugar, vegetable oil, eggs and vanilla until smooth, about a couple minutes. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, cinnamon, baking soda and salt until there are no clumps.
  2. Slowly fold the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients with a rubber spatula until you have a smooth batter, about a few minutes. Mix in the grated carrots until combined. Pour the batter into the prepared bundt cake pan and bake for 50-55 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean.
  3. Let the carrot bundt cake rest in the pan for about 3-5 minutes and then turn it out onto a cooling rack to continue cooling. Be careful to not let it sit in the pan for too long, as the top could get stuck when you try to turn it out.

For the frosting:

  1. In the bowl of an electric mixer with the whisk attachment, whisk together the butter and cream cheese on medium speed until light and fluffy, about a couple minutes. Reduce the speed to low and slowly add in the powdered sugar until it is all combined and fluffy.
  2. With the mixer speed on low, whisk in about half of the heavy cream until the frosting is looking smooth and creamy, about a minute or so. Use a rubber spatula to fold in the rest of the heavy cream to the frosting to make a smooth, pourable frosting. If you need to add more heavy cream to achieve the pourable consistency, add more in 1/4 cup increments.
  3. Pour the frosting over the top of the cooled bundt cake. Let set for a couple minutes and then serve.

Notes

  • The cake can be made a day in advance, refrigerated and then set out 30 minutes – an hour prior to serving to bring to room temperature.
  • The frosting may seem somewhat runny at first, but it will set very nicely and be fluffy.

Carrot & Cream Cheese Bundt Cake - KJ & Company Carrot & Cream Cheese Bundt Cake - KJ & Company Carrot & Cream Cheese Bundt Cake - KJ & Company Carrot & Cream Cheese Bundt Cake - KJ & Company

BBQ Braised Short Rib Sloppy Joes

Boy, oh boy, could I go for one of these BBQ Braised Short Rib Sloppy Joes right about now! Take your average sloppy joe to a whole other level with these BBQ Braised Short Ribs! Rich, decadent short ribs braised low in slow in a wonderful bbq tomato sauce that will leave you reaching for a napkin between every bite. That’s what a sloppy joe is all about, right? The messier, the better! Your tastebuds won’t believe what’s happening to them when you bite into one of these bad boys.

BBQ Braised Short Rib Sloppy Joes - KJ & Company

Whether you’re going all-in to the sloppy joe with a sesame seed bun and only your hands for utensils, or shoveling it down with a fork, these won’t disappoint! You take a bite through the fluffy bun, get a slight crunch from the coleslaw topping and then sink your teeth into heaven with the tender short ribs and velvety sauce.  A sloppy joe so good you won’t believe it.

BBQ Braised Short Rib Sloppy Joes - KJ & Company

Make these BBQ Braised Short Rib Sloppy Joes for a weeknight meal, Sunday dinner, birthday party, holiday party, backyard bash or any other reason that you can come up with because they are that good. The beauty of these sloppy joes is that the longer the short ribs soak in the velvety sauce, the better they get. Make these ahead of time and be ready for any occasion!

BBQ Braised Short Rib Sloppy Joes - KJ & Company

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BBQ Braised Short Rib Sloppy Joes

BBQ Braised Short Rib Sloppy Joes - KJ & Company

Take your average sloppy joe to a whole other level with these BBQ Braised Short Ribs! Rich, decadent short ribs braised low in slow in a wonderful bbq tomato sauce that will leave you reaching for a napkin between every bite. That’s what a sloppy joe is all about, right? The messier, the better! Your tastebuds won’t believe what’s happening to them when you bite into one of these bad boys.

 

  • Author: KJ & Company - Kate Poskochil
  • Prep Time: 20
  • Cook Time: 2 hours, 40 minutes
  • Total Time: 3 hours
  • Yield: 6 servings

Ingredients

  • 8 short ribs
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
  • 29 oz can tomato sauce
  • 2 cups BBQ sauce
  • 2 cups beef stock
  • Hamburger buns of choice
  • Coleslaw of choice

Instructions

  1. In a large dutch oven or braising pot ( I used a 7 quart dutch oven), heat the olive oil over medium heat. Evenly season both sides of the short ribs with salt and pepper. Working in batches of four, sear the short ribs on all sides for about 5 minutes each, or until they are nice and browned, but not burned. Continue until all the short ribs are browned. Set the short ribs aside for later use.
  2. Remove any excess fat/oil from the pan to leave about a tablespoon left. Add in the onion and sauté until translucent, about 3-5 minutes. Add in the garlic and sauté until fragrant, about a minute. Pour in the tomato sauce, BBQ sauce and beef stock and stir until combined. Bring the sauce to a low boil.
  3. Once the sauce has reached a low boil, reduce the heat to low and add all of the short ribs back in until they are completely submersed in the sauce. Add additional beef stock if there are any short ribs that are not covered.
  4. Cover the pan/dutch oven with a lid and braise low and slow for 2 hours. Remove the short ribs from the sauce and turn off the heat. Take the meat off the bones and chop into bite-size pieces. Return the meat to the sauce and stir to combine. Serve with your choice of coleslaw for a topping, or just as is with your choice of bun.

Notes

  • Use your favorite kind of BBQ sauce for this recipe! I love me some Sweet Baby Ray’s (not a promotion, just pure love)
  • Coleslaw is a perfect topping for these rich and decadent sloppy joes. Use store-bought or homemade, either way it will be delicious! I think some pickles or red onions would be divine as well.
  • Mac and Cheese makes a wonderful side dish to these sloppy joes if I do say so myself. You also can’t go wrong with some chips to help you scoop up any extra filling that falls out.

BBQ Braised Short Rib Sloppy Joes - KJ & Company BBQ Braised Short Rib Sloppy Joes - KJ & Company BBQ Braised Short Rib Sloppy Joes - KJ & Company

 

Strawberry Cheesecake Parfaits

Let’s take a hot second to talk about these Strawberry Cheesecake Parfaits. All of the creamy, dreamy, fruity flavors of a strawberry cheesecake in a cute little bundle. Count me in! Grab a spoon and dig into the layers of sweet strawberries, creamy cheesecake filling and buttery graham cracker crumble. Before you know it, it will all be gone.

Strawberry Cheesecake Parfaits - KJ & Company

How perfect would these little cuties be for a spring brunch, bridal shower, baby shower, Easter or just because?! I think they make a great party or holiday dessert. They are so cute that you almost don’t want to eat them. But then you take a bite, and they disappear before your eyes.

Strawberry Cheesecake Parfaits - KJ & Company

I don’t know how these little desserts could get any more perfect, but they can. You can make these beauts ahead of time, stick them in the refrigerator and pull them out to wow your crowd. I even found myself sneaking one of them for breakfast and was not ashamed about it.

Strawberry Cheesecake Parfaits - KJ & Company

Any type of glass ramekin or glass will work perfectly for these parfaits. How cute would little Mason Jars be?!

 

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Strawberry Cheesecake Parfaits

Strawberry Cheesecake Parfaits - KJ & Company

Let’s take a hot second to talk about these Strawberry Cheesecake Parfaits. All of the creamy, dreamy, fruity flavors of a strawberry cheesecake in a cute little bundle. Count me in! Grab a spoon and dig into the layers of sweet strawberries, creamy cheesecake filling and buttery graham cracker crumble. Before you know it, it will all be gone.

  • Author: KJ & Company - Kate Poskochil
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 5 - 7oz parfaits

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 5 tablespoons sugar, plus 1 teaspoon
  • 8 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup crushed graham crackers
  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 2 cups strawberries, cut into 1-inch pieces

Instructions

  1. In a bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whisk the heavy cream and 3 tablespoons of sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy and stiff peaks form, about 3-5 minutes. Carefully spoon the whipped cream into a medium bowl and set aside.
  2. Add the cream cheese and 2 tablespoons of sugar into the bowl of the electric mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. Whisk and beat it on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3-5 minutes. Carefully spoon the whipped cream back into the cream cheese mixture and whisk the mixture on low speed until smooth and combined, about 3-5 minutes.
  3. In a medium bowl, toss the cut strawberries with the remaining 1 teaspoon of sugar and set aside. In a separate small bowl, mix together the graham crackers and melted butter until combined.
  4. Put the cheesecake filling into a piping bag or plastic storage bag with a corner cut off to easily fill your parfaits. Drain off any excess liquid that the strawberries have from sitting in the sugar.
  5. Assemble your parfaits by splitting the ingredients evenly between the ramekins. Pipe the cheesecake filling into the bottom, layer with the graham cracker crumble then the cut strawberries and repeat until your ramekins are filled. Serve immediately or prepare up to a day in advance and keep them in the refrigerator. Decorate the tops with additional strawberries or graham cracker crumble.

Notes

You can layer the parfaits in any order that you please! They will still taste the same.

Strawberry Cheesecake Parfaits - KJ & Company Strawberry Cheesecake Parfaits - KJ & Company

 

White Wine & Herb Braised Chicken and Potatoes

White Wine & Herb Braised Chicken and Potatoes might sound like a mouthful, but it is only a mouthful of deliciousness! It’s the perfect chicken dinner, the one-pot-wonder, or Sunday chicken. A chicken dinner that is packed full of fresh herbs, a decadent white wine and butter sauce, chicken thighs and creamy Yukon gold potatoes.

White Wine & Herb Braised Chicken & Potatoes - KJ & Company

This White Wine & Herb Braised Chicken and Potatoes is a dish that will make your family or friends smile when you set it down on the table. Even though it has a long name, it is a hassle-free dinner that will make everyone go back for seconds. I highly recommend just taking this pan from the stove top to the table and letting everyone dig in. You won’t even have to wash the pan you cooked it in after everyone eats everything!

White Wine & Herb Braised Chicken and Potatoes - KJ & Company

The white wine, butter and herb sauce that coats the chicken and potatoes is to die for! After all my chicken and potatoes were gone off my plate, I was trying to scrape as much of the sauce off the plate as I could. Grab some crunchy bread and dip it on in! You won’t regret it. Life is too short to not eat as much of the wine, butter and herb sauce that you can.

White Wine & Herb Braised Chicken and Potatoes - KJ & Company

Whether you need a chicken dinner for a weeknight meal, date night, family gathering or just because, this dish will not disappoint!

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White Wine & Herb Braised Chicken and Potatoes

White Wine & Herb Braised Chicken and Potatoes - KJ & Company

White Wine & Herb Braised Chicken and Potatoes might sound like a mouthful, but it is only a mouthful of deliciousness! It’s the perfect chicken dinner, the one-pot-wonder, or Sunday chicken. A chicken dinner that is packed full of fresh herbs, a decadent white wine and butter sauce, chicken thighs and creamy Yukon gold potatoes.

 

  • Author: KJ & Company - Kate Poskochil
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour
  • Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 6 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 1 lb baby yukon potatoes, halved
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons chopped garlic
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken stock
  • Salt and pepper

Instructions

  1. In a large braising skillet that has a fitted lid, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Evenly season both sides of the chicken thighs with salt and pepper. Sear the chicken thighs in the braising skillet for about 5 minutes on each side, or until they are evenly browned. Don’t worry about cooking them all the way through yet. Remove them from the pan and set aside.
  2. Add the butter into the pan and then sauté the onion until slightly translucent, about a few minutes. Add in the potatoes, rosemary, parsley and garlic and continue to sauté until the potatoes are slightly browned on the outside but avoiding any burning, about 5 minutes. Deglaze the pan with the white wine and chicken stock, making sure to scrape off the bottom of the pan while doing so.
  3. Rearrange the potatoes to make room for the chicken thighs. Nestle the chicken thighs back into the pan with the potatoes and sauce. Reduce the heat to low, cover the pan with a lid and let simmer for 30 minutes. Remove the lid and let simmer for an additional 15 minutes to allow the sauce to reduce and thicken slightly.
  4. Serve the chicken and potatoes with the sauce ladled over the top.

Notes

You can use chicken thighs, breasts, or drumsticks for this recipe! You can also choose to have the skin and bone included, but will just need to discard prior to serving or serve bone-in.

White Wine & Herb Braised Chicken and Potatoes - KJ & Company White Wine & Herb Braised Chicken and Potatoes - KJ & Company

Ham and Cheddar Quiche Cups

Ham and Cheddar Quiche Cups are the perfect, little breakfast to start your morning off right! They are packed full of cheddar cheese and salty ham to make each bite delicious. If you ask me, anything that is cheesy and salty is good to go in my book!

Ham and Cheddar Quiche Cups - KJ & Company

The beauty of these Ham and Cheddar Quiche Cups, besides how delicious they are, is how quickly they come together. Breakfast or brunch should be hassle-free, and that’s just what these little quiche cups are. Whip up your eggs, add in the cheese, ham and other goodies, pour them into a muffin pan, and then bake them in the oven. Serve them up hot and fresh.

Ham and Cheddar Quiche Cups - KJ & Company

These quiche cups are perfect for a weekday breakfast on the go, or to serve up at a family brunch. Sometimes simple is best, and these little buddies are just that.

 

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Ham and Cheddar Quiche Cups

Ham and Cheddar Quiche Cups are the perfect, little breakfast to start your morning off right! They are packed full of cheddar cheese and salty ham to make each bite delicious.

  • Author: KJ & Company - Kate Poskochil
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 12 quiche cups

Ingredients

  • 6 eggs
  • 1/2 cup cottage cheese
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese, plus 1/3 cup extra for garnish
  • 1 1/2 cups cubed ham

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. In a medium bowl, whisk together all of the eggs until combined. Add in the cottage cheese, heavy cream, 1 cup of cheddar cheese and ham and whisk to combine.
  2. Spray a standard muffin tin with non-stick cooking spray. Fill each muffin tin 3/4 of the way full with the egg mixture. Evenly top each one with the extra 1/3 cup of shredded cheddar cheese. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the tops are golden brown.

Ham and Cheddar Quiche Cups - KJ & Company Ham and Cheddar Quiche Cups - KJ & Company Ham and Cheddar Quiche Cups - KJ & Company

Triple Berry Galette

This Triple Berry Galette is a dream come true. A delicious dessert bursting with fresh strawberries, blueberries and blackberries that is ready to eat in about 30 minutes. With the ease of a store-bought crust, this dessert is so simple which makes it even more delicious.

Triple Berry Galette - KJ & Company

This Triple Berry Galette stems from my Mixed Berry Galette, and I’m perfectly ok with that! The more galettes, the better. I don’t know about you, but my local grocery store is just overflowing with fresh berries right now! All the strawberries, blueberries and blackberries have been on sale and we have been chowing down. Even if we just toss all the fresh berries in a bowl with a little sugar, we will eat them all in one sitting.

Triple Berry Galette - KJ & Company

This dessert is perfect for any occasion. All the flavors combine to taste like you slaved away on it for hours! Don’t tell anyone that you didn’t. It can be our little secret. I think that store-bought pie crusts are something that everyone needs to have in their arsenal. They are just so great! They taste fantastic and are completely hassle-free. I’ll take a two-pack.

Triple Berry Galette - KJ & Company

Top this galette off with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, serve it up, or dig on in for yourself. No judgement here!

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Triple Berry Galette

Triple Berry Galette - KJ & Company

This Triple Berry Galette is a dream come true. A delicious dessert bursting with fresh strawberries, blueberries and blackberries that is ready to eat in about 30 minutes. With the ease of a store-bought crust, this dessert is so simple which makes it even more delicious.

  • Author: KJ & Company - Kate Poskochil
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 35 minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 1 galette

Ingredients

  • 1 store-bought pie crust round
  • 1 cup blueberries
  • 1 1/2 cups blackberries
  • 2 cups strawberries, quartered
  • 3 tablespoons melted butter
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon milk

 

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Toss all of the fruits together in a medium bowl to combine. Roll the pie crust out on a non-stick baking sheet. Mound all of the fruit in the middle of the pie crust, leaving at least an inch of exposed crust around all sides.
  2. In a small bowl, mix together the melted butter, sugar, flour and cinnamon until it forms a crumble consistency. Evenly top the fruit with the crumble mixture. Fold the exposed crust edge over onto the fruit to create a crust. Keep folding the crust all the way around until it has all been folded over the fruit mixture. Brush the edges of the crust with the milk.
  3. Bake the galette for 30-35 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown and the fruit and crumble have baked down together.

Triple Berry Galette - KJ & Company Triple Berry Galette - KJ & Company Triple Berry Galette - KJ & Company

Hoisin Sesame Brussel Sprouts

Brussel sprouts are all the craze, as they should be! These Hoisin Sesame Brussel Sprouts will be your new favorite side dish to whip up. Packed full of flavor and made with ease, Hoisin Sesame Brussel Sprouts deliver all the flavor without all of the work.

Hoisin Sesame Brussel Sprouts - KJ & Company

Ditch the idea of soggy brussel sprouts. Hoisin Sesame Brussel Sprouts get nice and crunchy and are covered in a sauce that make your tastebuds sing. Side dishes don’t have to be boring or second though. Let the side dish shine with this recipe!

Sesame Hoisin Brussel Sprouts - KJ & Company

I love how addicting these are. A vegetable that is fun and delicious to eat? Count me in! The sauce is simple, yet satisfying. Hoisin has a wonderful flavor that will make you want to keep going back for more. You could even make these brussel sprouts the star of the show and top them off like a salad or bowl! They are just that good.

Hoisin Sesame Brussel Sprouts - KJ & Company

What are you waiting for? Whip these up and be as happy as a frog catching flies.

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Hoisin Sesame Brussel Sprouts

Sesame Hoisin Brussel Sprouts - KJ & Company

Brussel sprouts are all the craze, as they should be! These Hoisin Sesame Brussel Sprouts will be your new favorite side dish to whip up. Packed full of flavor and made with ease, Hoisin Sesame Brussel Sprouts deliver all the flavor without all of the work.

  • Author: KJ & Company - Kate Poskochil
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 lbs brussel sprouts, halved
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
  • 1/4 cup hoisin
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon sesame seeds

Instructions

  1. Heat the olive oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add in the brussel sprouts and toss to coat. Sauté the brussel sprouts for a couple minutes, or until they start to brown slightly.
  2. Add in the garlic, hoisin and soy sauce. Reduce the heat to medium-low to keep the sauce from burning and let the brussel sprouts caramelize, about 8-10 minutes. Serve with the sesame seeds dusted over the top of the brussel sprouts.

Hoisin Sesame Brussel Sprouts - KJ & Company Hoisin Sesame Brussel Sprouts - KJ & Company Hoisin Sesame Brussel Sprouts - KJ & Company

Spicy Turkey Meatballs

Everyone needs a good meatball recipe in their lives. These Spicy Turkey Meatballs are packed full of flavor with a subtle heat to make you keep going back for more. They are simmered in a rich tomato sauce and then can be spooned over your choice of pasta, topped off with some parmesan cheese and devoured.

Spicy Turkey Meatballs - KJ & Company

When you have these meatballs simmering away on your stovetop, they will fill your house with warmth! A rich, buttery tomato sauce with a slight hint of heat soaks into the turkey meatballs to make a perfect combination. The ease of these meatballs is just as equally as satisfying as eating them. Well, maybe not as satisfying as eating them, but it’s pretty close! All you need to do is assemble the meatballs, get the sauce simmering and then let them bathe in the tomato goodness until they are ready to eat. Dinner ready in a snap.

Spicy Turkey Meatballs - KJ & Company

Whether they are for a weeknight dinner, date night, or Sunday super, these meatballs will make anyone happy. Leftovers of these puppies aren’t so bad either! Serve them up family-style and have everyone dig in, or plate them for a beautiful masterpiece to impress everyone around you. Either way, they will be enjoyed!

Spicy Turkey Meatballs - KJ & Company

If you won’t have the time to make these meatballs when you get home for dinner, they can definitely be made in a crock pot for an easy dinner that’s ready when you get home! Simply add all of the ingredients for the sauce into the slow cooker, roll up the meatballs, place them in the sauce, set the cooker on low and have a wonderful dinner ready for you when you get home. Hassle-free and delicious.

 

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Spicy Turkey Meatballs

These Spicy Turkey Meatballs are packed full of flavor with a subtle heat to make you keep going back for more. They are simmered in a rich tomato sauce and then can be spooned over your choice of pasta, topped off with some parmesan cheese and devoured.

  • Author: KJ & Company - Kate Poskochil
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 35 minutes
  • Total Time: 55 minutes
  • Yield: 12-15 meatballs depending on size made

Ingredients

For the sauce:

  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 2 – 29oz cans tomato sauce

For the turkey meatballs:

  • 2.5 lbs ground turkey
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/3 cup bread crumbs
  • 1/3 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

Instructions

For the sauce:

  1. In the bottom of a large pot or dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add in the onion and garlic and sauté until fragrant and translucent, about a few minutes. Add in the crushed red pepper flakes, basil, oregano, thyme and salt. Stir to combine.
  2. Pour in the tomato sauce and add in the butter. Stir until all of the ingredients are combined. Bring the sauce to a simmer and reduce the heat to a medium-low heat.

For the turkey meatballs:

  1. In a medium bowl, combine the ground turkey, egg, salt, crushed red pepper, oregano, cayenne pepper, bread crumbs and mozzarella cheese. Use either a rubber spatula or hands to combine (hands usually work the best).
  2. Roll the meatballs into rounded 2 tablespoon portions. Place all of the meatballs into the prepared sauce, about an inch in between each meatball to keep them from sticking to each other.
  3. Cover them with a lid and let them simmer for 25 minutes. Take the lid off, reduce the heat to low and let simmer for another 10 minutes until the sauce has slightly reduced and thickened. Serve with your choice of pasta, parmesan cheese and fresh basil.

Notes

If you don’t have time or the ingredients to make the sauce from scratch, you can use your favorited canned spaghetti sauce to simmer the meatballs in. If you still want to keep the heat element in the sauce, I would still add in the the crushed red pepper flakes that the sauce calls for.

Spicy Turkey Meatballs - KJ & Company Spicy Turkey Meatballs - KJ & Company Spicy Turkey Meatballs - KJ & Company Spicy Turkey Meatballs - KJ & Company

 

Frosted Oatmeal Raisin Cookie Bars

Frosted Oatmeal Raisin Cookie Bars will win over anyone and everyone who eats one. Warm, cinnamon speckled oatmeal cookie bars studded with sweet raisins and topped with a creamy, cinnamon cream cheese frosting. It’s a warm, comforting and delicious bite! If you ask me, everything is better with cream cheese frosting.

Frosted Oatmeal Raisin Cookie Bars - KJ & Company

These are perfect for dessert or breakfast, if you ask me. I mean, sometimes you just need to start your day off with a Frosted Oatmeal Raisin Cookie Bar and that’s ok. You won’t be able to resist going back for more! These cookie bars along with my Mudslide Fudge Brownies were so hard to resist that my yellow lab decided to eat a whole 13×9 pan full of both of them! A trip to the vet and a couple days on fluids, she is back home and ready to start counter-surfing again. Just kidding, we are going to have to be more careful about what we leave on the counters now!

Frosted Oatmeal Raisin Cookie Bars - KJ & Company

Whether these are for family, friends, pets (jk not really), or yourself, these Frosted Oatmeal Raisin Cookie Bars will be gone in a blink of an eye. Plus, you get a whole 13×9 pan full of them. That’s one of the best things about these cookie bars. They are simple to mix together, bake together in one pan and then all you have to do is frost them before you eat all of the frosting yourself. Does anyone else love cream cheese frosting as much as I do? Because I really love it, if you can’t tell.

Frosted Oatmeal Raisin Cookie Bars - KJ & Company

Bake up a batch of these simple and delicious cookie bars and get ready to have a full tummy and happy heart. Sometimes the simple things are the best things.

 

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Frosted Oatmeal Raisin Cookie Bars

Frosted Oatmeal Raisin Cookie Bars - KJ & Company

Frosted Oatmeal Raisin Cookie Bars will win over anyone and everyone who eats one. Warm, cinnamon speckled oatmeal cookie bars studded with sweet raisins and topped with a creamy, cinnamon cream cheese frosting. It’s a warm, comforting and delicious bite! If you ask me, everything is better with cream cheese frosting.

  • Author: KJ & Company - Kate Poskochil
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 13x9 pan of cookie bars

Ingredients

For the oatmeal raisin cookie bars:

  • 2 sticks (16 tablespoons) butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 cup raisins

For the cinnamon cream cheese frosting:

  • 8 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 1 stick (8 tablespoons) butter, softened
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon

Instructions

For the oatmeal raisin cookie bars:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Spray and line a 13×9 baking pan with cooking spray and parchment paper, set aside.
  2. In a bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter with the sugar and brown sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about a couple minutes. Reduce the speed to low and add in one egg at a time, making sure to wipe down the sides of the bowl in between each addition. Add in the vanilla extract.
  3. In a small bowl, mix together the flour, oats, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. With the mixer speed on low, slowly add the flour mixture into the butter sugar mixture until a dough forms and the ingredients are incorporated evenly, about a minute or two.
  4. Using a rubber spatula, fold the raisins into the dough until evenly combined. Press the dough into an even layer in the prepared 13×9 baking pan. The dough may be a bit sticky and that is ok. Bake for 23-25 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. Set aside to cool completely prior to frosting.

For the cinnamon cream cheese frosting:

  1. In a bowl of an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and butter together on medium speed until light and fluffy, about a couple minutes. Reduce the speed to low and slowly add in the powdered sugar until it is completely combined.
  2. Mix in the vanilla extract and cinnamon until the frosting is smooth and creamy. Frost and enjoy!

Notes

Your hands are your best tools! You may need to use them to press the dough into the 13×9 pan.

Frosted Oatmeal Raisin Cookie Bars - KJ & Company Frosted Oatmeal Raisin Cookie Bars - KJ & Company Frosted Oatmeal Raisin Cookie Bars - KJ & Company Frosted Oatmeal Raisin Cookie Bars - KJ & Company

 

 

Mudslide Fudge Brownies

Mudslide Fudge Brownies are all that you could ask for in a sweet treat. A decadent brownie base swirled with chocolate chips and espresso, then topped with a creamy peanut butter frosting and sprinkled with crushed chocolate sandwich cookies. How much better can it get? Not much! Once you take a bite of these delicious brownies, there is no turning back.

Mudslide Fudge Brownies - KJ & Company

You really have it all: chocolate, coffee, peanut butter and cookies all in one bite. These puppies are so good that my yellow lab, Darbi, agrees as well. She hopped right on up on the counter while we were gone and ate a whole 13×9 pan full of these Mudslide Fudge Brownies and an oatmeal raisin goodie (which is coming soon!) that resulted in her spending a couple days at the vet. She’s on the mend, but she sure did indulge! Note to self: do not leave these on the counter! Whether it’s playful pups, kids, family or friends, these brownies will disappear!

Mudslide Fudge Brownies - KJ & Company

Let’s take a minute to talk about the creamy, dreamy peanut butter frosting you get to frost across the top of these brownies. I could just eat it with a spoon! You’ll want to top everything you can with this frosting. It’s perfect for frosting brownies, cakes, cupcakes or anything else in your life that you need frosting for. You’re welcome.

Mudslide Fudge Brownies - KJ & Company

These Mudslide Fudge Brownies are perfect for any occasion and packed with flavor in every bite. Dig on in!

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Mudslide Fudge Brownies

Mudslide Fudge Brownies - KJ & Company

Mudslide Fudge Brownies are all that you could ask for in a sweet treat. A decadent brownie base swirled with chocolate chips and espresso, then topped with a creamy peanut butter frosting and sprinkled with crushed chocolate sandwich cookies. How much better can it get? Not much! Once you take a bite of these delicious brownies, there is no turning back.

  • Author: KJ & Company - Kate Poskochil
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 13x9 pan of brownies

Ingredients

For the brownies:

  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons instant espresso powder
  • 1 3/4 cups flour
  • 3/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup chocolate chips

For the frosting:

  • 8 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 1 stick (8 tablespoons) butter, softened
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 3/4 cup peanut butter
  • Chocolate sandwich cookies, such as Oreos, for topping

Instructions

For the brownies:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 13×9 baking pan with cooking spray and line with parchment paper for easy removal. Set aside. In a bowl of an electric mixer, beat together the eggs, milk, sour cream, vegetable oil, vanilla extract and espresso powder on medium-low speed until combined and smooth, about a minute.
  2. In a small bowl, mix together the flour, cocoa powder, sugar, baking powder and salt. With the mixer speed on low, slowly add the flour mixture into the liquids until a batter forms, about a couple minutes.
  3. Using a rubber spatula, fold the chocolate chips into the batter. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 30-32 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. Allow to cool completely prior to frosting.

For the frosting:

  1. In a bowl of an electric mixer, beat together the cream cheese and butter on medium speed until light and fluffy, about a couple minutes. Reduce the speed to low and slowly add in the powdered sugar until the frosting is smooth. Add in the peanut butter and mix until creamy and combined. Frost desired brownies, cakes, cupcakes or eat with a spoon.

Notes

If you don’t have time to make your own brownie batter, simply add a couple tablespoons of espresso powder to your store-bought brownie mix and bake as package instructions say. You can then top with the frosting recipe listed above.

Mudslide Fudge Brownies - KJ & Company Mudslide Fudge Brownies - KJ & Company Mudslide Fudge Brownies - KJ & Company Mudslide Fudge Brownies - KJ & Company

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

Sometimes in life all you need is a good cookie. Or two or three! Peanut butter and chocolate go together like Tom & Jerry, so when you put them into a cookie together you have a perfect match! These Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies are packed full of rich chocolate chips, and smoothed out by the velvety taste of peanut butter. They are little chocolate peanut butter pillows of delight and you may just want to eat them all.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies - KJ & Company

What I love so much about cookies is how they can be planned out, or just made on a whim. These Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies were the later of the two options. It was snowy, cold and, quite frankly, the perfect, cloudy weather for food photography. So, I set out my butter, preheated my oven, turned on the Food Network and got to work!

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies - KJ & Company

Don’t worry, you get to lick the peanut butter spoon while you are waiting for these little babies to bake away in the oven. One of the perks about being the cook, no one will ever know that you did.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies - KJ & Company

This is basically a chocolate chip cookie taken to the next level. The peanut butter helps make them extra velvety, rich, slightly nutty and all sorts of delicious. It’s a cookie made out of simple ingredients that you most likely have sitting in your refrigerator and cupboards. Nothing fancy, just a good, old-fashioned cookie.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies - KJ & Company

Dunk these straight into a glass of cold milk and you will be ready to be tucked into bed in no time. Bake these up for any family gathering, weeknight dessert, holiday, party, date night, or any other reason that you need a Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookie in your life. Which, if you ask me, could be just because you need a cookie. Life is better with cookies, don’t you think?

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Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

These Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies are packed full of rich chocolate chips, and smoothed out by the velvety taste of peanut butter. They are little chocolate peanut butter pillows of delight and you may just want to eat them all.  It’s a cookie made out of simple ingredients that you most likely have sitting in your refrigerator and cupboards. Nothing fancy, just a good old-fashioned cookie.

  • Author: KJ & Company - Kate Poskochil
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 18-20 cookies

Ingredients

  • 2 sticks (16 tablespoons) butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 2 1/4 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 11 oz semi-sweet chocolate chips or dark chocolate chips

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter, sugar and brown sugar together on medium speed until light and fluffy, about a couple minutes. Reduce the speed to low and add in one egg at a time, making sure to wipe down the sides and bottom of the bowl in between each addition. Mix in the vanilla extract and peanut butter on low speed until just combined.
  2. In a small bowl, combine the flour, baking soda and salt. With the mixer speed on low, slowly add the flour mixture into the butter and peanut butter mixture. Mix until a dough has formed, about a minute.
  3. Using a rubber spatula, fold the chocolate chips into the dough until completely incorporated. Scoop the dough in rounded tablespoons onto a non-greased baking sheet, spacing them at least a couple inches apart. Bake the cookies for 10-12 minutes, or until the tops are slightly golden brown and being careful to not over-cook the bottoms of the cookies.
  4. Remove the cookies from the oven and allow to cool for a couple minutes on the baking sheet before transferring them to a wire rack to continue cooling. Enjoy!

 

Notes

  • You can use either smooth or chunky peanut butter depending on your preference. I always go with smooth!
  • Semi-sweet or dark chocolate chips can be used in this recipe.

 

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies - KJ & Company Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies - KJ & Company Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies - KJ & Company Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies - KJ & Company

Wine and Balsamic Braised Short Ribs

Short ribs always used to be a scary thing to me – almost like a daunting task to take on. But do not fear! Short ribs will win you over the minute you take a bite of their rich goodness. Wine and Balsamic Braised Short Ribs are surprisingly hassle-free and loaded with enough flavor to make you feel like an Iron Chef. These short ribs are rich, decadent, slightly sassy and won’t disappoint. The full, rich beef flavor is paired perfectly with the wine and balsamic to give it the lift and flavor profiles to make your tastebuds soar.

All the work that you have to do with these decadent short ribs is sear them off in the beginning, put them all back into the pot, cover them with all the goodies and then let them bake away in the oven for a few hours. How great is that? You can make a decadent meal ahead of time! That’s right, not slaving around in the kitchen with 500 different dishes that you have to clean for a good meal.

These Wine and Balsamic Braised Short Ribs are perfect for any date night, Valentine’s Day, holiday party, family get-together, feeding a crowd, or even Superbowl Sunday. It’s a magical dish that can cover all occasions for you. All you have to do when guests arrive is pull this baby out of the oven and watch them disappear. These short ribs paired perfectly with my Asiago Herb Mashed Potatoes and chunk of a crispy baguette. They are literally fall-off-the-bone perfect and will melt in your mouth.

Short ribs are the perfect way to get the most bang out of your buck. As they are generally not a more expensive cut of meat, you can create amazing things out of them for less than you would think. I have found that it is best to ask your butcher to cut the spare ribs for you into the size that you desire, as you tend to get more meat than the pre-packaged options. If you only have access to the pre-packaged options, they will work just fine!

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Wine and Balsamic Braised Short Ribs

Wine and Balsamic Braised Short Ribs are surprisingly hassle-free and loaded with enough flavor to make you feel like an Iron Chef. These short ribs are rich, decadent, slightly sassy and won’t disappoint. The full, rich beef flavor is paired perfectly with the wine and balsamic to give it the lift and flavor profiles to make your tastebuds soar.

  • Author: KJ & Company - Kate Poskochil
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 3 hours 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 4 hours
  • Yield: 8-12 servings, or 2-4 with leftovers

Ingredients

  • 8-12 short ribs (depending on how many people you need to feed)
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 3 teaspoons chopped garlic
  • 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme, chopped
  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 3/4 cup red wine
  • 32 oz beef stock

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 325 degrees. In a 7 quart dutch oven or oven and stovetop safe pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Season the short ribs on all sides with salt and pepper (let your salt ratio be more than your pepper ratio).
  2. Working with a few short ribs at a time, sear them on all sides until golden brown. This process may take a little time, but will be worth it in the end. Once the first batch is seared on all sides, remove them from the pan and add in the next batch until all the spare ribs are seared and set aside.
  3. If there is a large amount of excess fat in the bottom of your dutch oven, remove it until a couple tablespoons is left on the bottom. Add in the onion and saute for several minutes, or until they become slightly translucent and soft. Add in the garlic and fresh herbs and saute until fragrent.
  4. Deglaze the bottom of the pan by adding in the red wine and balsamic vinegar into the onions and herbs, making sure to scrape up the bottom of the dutch oven. Arrange all of the short ribs back into the dutch oven with the ribs facing up. Pour enough beef stock into the pot to just cover the tops of the spare ribs.
  5. Cover with a lid and bake for 3 – 3 1/2 hours, or until the spare ribs are fork tender. Remove them from the oven and serve with the natural au jus, or ladle out some of the braising liquid into a small saucepan and reduce it over medium heat until it has thickened and serve over the top of the spare ribs.

Chocolate Cherry Cheesecake Bars

Chocolate Cherry Cheesecake Bars! Try saying that 5 times fast. Even though it’s a mouthful to say, they are a mouthful of flavor when you take a bite! These cheesecake bars are loaded with sweet cherries that are swirled into a creamy filling and sitting on top of a chocolate crust. Drizzle them with a dark chocolate ganache before serving and then you have a match made in heaven.

The sweet, fruity flavor of the cherries pairs perfectly with the rich chocolate. In every bite, you get a rich, dark chocolate explosion brightened and highlighted by a creamy, cherry filling. No food coloring is needed here, as the bars will take on a natural pink color from the cherries. Perfect for a Valentine’s Day treat if you ask me! Or any day, actually, because these Chocolate Cherry Cheesecake Bars don’t need to be confined to just V-Day because of their sweet pink color! They are equally as delicious for any occasion.

One thing that I love about these cheesecake bars is how they are surprisingly simple to make. You don’t have to worry about a water bath or the top of the cheesecake cracking, because you are going to be pouring chocolate all over these lovely bars anyways! You whip them up a day or so in advance, let them cool on the countertop before popping them in the refrigerator to set for at least a few hours. How much easier can it get? When you’re ready for dessert, bring them out, cut them up and drizzle them with dark chocolate ganache. You will get a round of applause, even if it’s just from yourself! 🙂

Whether you need a date night dessert for two (with leftovers!), a dessert to feed a crowd, or something sweet for a special occasion, these Chocolate Cherry Cheesecake Bars will not disappoint!

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Chocolate Cherry Cheesecake Bars

These cheesecake bars are loaded with sweet cherries that are swirled into a creamy filling and sitting on top of a chocolate crust. Drizzle them with a dark chocolate ganache before serving and then you have a match made in heaven.

  • Author: KJ & Company - Kate Poskochil
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 50 minutes baking, 4 hours cooling
  • Total Time: 5 hours, 20 minutes
  • Yield: 9-12 servings

Ingredients

For the crust:

  • 3 cups finely crushed chocolate sandwich cookie crumbs (about a 15 oz package of Oreos, for example)
  • 3 tablespoons melted butter

For the filling:

  • 4 – 8oz packages cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup sugar, plus 3 tablespoons
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 12 oz frozen dark sweet cherries, thawed and roughly chopped

For the ganache topping:

  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup dark chocolate chips

Instructions

For the crust:

  1. In a small bowl, combine the cookie crumbs and the melted butter until the cookie crumbs are evenly coated in the butter. Press the mixture into an even layer on the bottom of 13×9 baking pan that has been sprayed on the bottom and sides with cooking spray. Set aside.

For the filling:

  1. Preheat your oven to 325 degrees. In a small bowl, mix together the thawed cherries and 3 tablespoons of sugar. Set aside to let the cherries soak in the sugar.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer on medium speed,  beat together the cream cheese with the remaining 1 cup of sugar until light and fluffy, about a minute or so. Reduce the speed to low and add in one egg at a time, making sure to wipe down the edges of the bowl between each addition. Mix in the heavy cream and the vanilla extract until just combined.
  3. Drain the liquid that the cherries gave off from soaking in the sugar. Using a rubber spatula, gently fold the cherries into the cream cheese mixture until fully combined. Pour the cheesecake batter into the prepared 13×9 baking pan in an even layer.
  4. Bake for 50-55 minutes, or until the center of the cheesecake bars has set and the top is very slightly golden. Remove from the oven and allow to cool at room temperature for about an hour. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours prior to serving, or up to a day or so in advance.

For the ganache topping:

  1. About 30 minutes prior to serving, bring the heavy cream to a very low simmer over low heat in a small sauce pan. Add in the dark chocolate chips and whisk until smooth and glossy, making sure that the mixture does not boil.
  2. You can drizzle the bars with the ganache topping before or after cutting them to serve. Allow the ganache to set for about 10 minutes and cool down after you drizzle the cheesecake bars with it. Enjoy!

 

Baked Lemon Blueberry Donuts

I say that if you make anything into a donut form its going to be fun and delicious. That’s even coming from me, someone who hasn’t always been a donut fan due to the unhealthy factor of them. Well, by golly, make baked donuts and you eliminate the frying factor! You can have the best of both worlds. These Baked Lemon Blueberry Donuts are bursting with fresh blueberries and brightened by sweet lemon zest. Drizzle them with a lemon scented, white chocolate ganache and they will disappear before your eyes!

It is always such a great feeling when you can make people happy with food, especially your family and friends around you! My husband and sister couldn’t keep their hands off of these Baked Lemon Blueberry Donuts and that is how you know they are family-approved. Sometimes your mess-ups in the kitchen can turn out to be a great thing! These Baked Lemon Blueberry Donuts started out as a muffin recipe, but quickly turned into a bundt cake recipe when I realized I had no muffin liners. I then overcooked the bundt cake and it was so dry it fell apart. Take two with the recipe on the next day, and the muffin liners I had bought didn’t fit my muffin tins (seriously?!), so I pulled the donut pan out of the cupboards and it was a perfect match. Why didn’t I just think to make donuts in the first place? Moral of the story: donuts are always a good option.

The lemon scented, white chocolate ganache that you drizzle over the top of these Baked Lemon Blueberry Donuts give them the perfect glaze that you would find on an original glazed donut. After the ganache sets, it keeps it’s form and creates a slight shell, but is sticky and gooey once you bite in. You know how your fingers are always covered in sticky glaze after eating a classic glazed donut? Get ready for the same effect.

Not only are these baked donuts bursting with flavor, but they are also fairly quick and easy to whip up! The batter will be slightly thick, so when you are piping it into the donut pan patience is key. Trust me, the end result is to die for! Bake these up for a delicious breakfast, brunch or even dessert! How fun would these be if you put a big, ol’ scoop of vanilla ice cream in the middle of the donut and then drizzled them with the white chocolate ganache? Ok, I’m going to have to try that now.

 

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Baked Lemon Blueberry Donuts

These Baked Lemon Blueberry Donuts are bursting with fresh blueberries and brightened by sweet lemon zest. Drizzle them with a lemon scented, white chocolate ganache and they will disappear before your eyes!

 

  • Author: KJ & Company - Kate Poskochil
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 6-8 donuts

Ingredients

For the donuts:

  • 1 stick (8 tablespoons) butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh blueberries

For the drizzle:

  • 1 1/2 – 2 cups heavy cream (depending on consistency you desire)
  • 8 oz white chocolate baking bar
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest

Instructions

For the donuts:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter and the sugar together on medium speed until light and fluffy, about a couple minutes. Reduce the speed to low and mix in one egg at a time, making sure to wipe down the edges of the bowl between each addition. Mix in the vanilla extract.
  2. In a small bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder and salt. With the mixer speed on low, alternate adding in the flour mixture and the heavy cream, beginning and ending with the flour mixture and insuring each addition is mixed in before adding another.
  3. Using a rubber spatula, gently fold the blueberries and lemon zest into the batter. The batter will be thick, so be careful to not crush the blueberries. Using a piping bag or a large, plastic food storage bag with a corner cut off, pipe the batter into a sprayed donut pan. Pipe each donut 3/4 of the way full.
  4. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean and the donuts are slightly golden. Turn the donuts over and out onto a cooling rack and allow to cool for about 10 minutes.

For the drizzle:

  1. In a small sauce pan, bring the heavy cream to a very low simmer. Whisk in the white chocolate baking bars and continue to whisk until smooth, about 3-5 minutes. You can adjust the consistency of the ganache by adding more or less heavy cream until you get the thick or thin consistency you desire. If it is too thick, add in more heavy cream.
  2. Whisk in the lemon zest until smooth. Pour the ganache over the donuts and allow to set for about 10 minutes. Enjoy!

 

 

Notes

If you are using white chocolate chips instead of a white chocolate baking bar, you may get a completely different consistency and will need to adjust your ganache accordingly.

 

 

Shrimp Scampi Linguine

Shrimp Scampi Linguine holds a special place in my heart. You ask why? You may want to sit down for this one. I did it – I actually did it! I got my shrimp-hating husband to eat a shrimp dish, and LOVE it! And I quote, “Every bite of shrimp was like a flavor explosion in my mouth!”. That’s it ladies and gentlemen. That is all I need. I love creating delicious food for those around me, and it’s especially great when I can make something new for my picky-eater husband to try and to love. I do have to give him some credit, though, because his tastebuds have come a long ways since we’ve been together. This shrimp scampi dish was so fun for me to make, and has already been requested to be made again for this weekend! I’ll take it. Also, it took me about 30 minutes from start to finish. How great is that?

This dish also brought me back to remembering how much I love to cook with wine. In every bite, you can taste the perfect medley of white wine, garlic, lemon, butter and parsley. It makes you just want to close your eyes and savor it. I used a Sauvignon Blanc, but really any white wine you have on hand will work as long as it isn’t too sweet or bubbly. Call me crazy, but sometimes there’s nothing better than the aroma of white wine reducing over fresh, garlicky shrimp with just a spritz of lemon juice smoothed over by the richness of melted butter. Can’t you smell it already?

For the shrimp, I went ahead and used a regular size, but jumbo shrimp would sure make a great pairing as well with this dish. I just grabbed a bag of raw, frozen shrimp from the freezer section, so don’t fret over getting the fanciest shrimp that you can from seafood department (but if you want to then go for it). I would say to stick to the ratio of 1/2 pound of pasta to 12 oz of shrimp, so that each serving of pasta is perfectly coated with the rich, velvetly sauce, and tangled up with the perfect amount of shrimp. Depending on your serving size, this could feed 2-4 people, but I would bank on only serving 2 off of it because you don’t want to go skimpy with the scampi.

This recipe was originally posted a couple years ago, but it has been such a favorite of ours that I couldn’t resist sharing it again! Make this simple and delicious dish a weeknight staple in your house and you won’t be disappointed.

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Shrimp Scampi Linguine

In every bite of this Shrimp Scampi Linguine, you can taste the perfect medley of white wine, garlic, lemon, butter and parsley. It makes you just want to close your eyes and savor it. Sometimes there’s nothing better than the aroma of white wine reducing over fresh, garlicky shrimp with just a spritz of lemon juice smoothed over by the richness of melted butter. Can’t you smell it already?

  • Author: KJ & Company - Kate Poskochil
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 2-4 servings

Ingredients

  • 12 oz raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1/2 pound linguine pasta
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon garlic, minced
  • 3/4 cup dry white wine
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. In a large pot, bring enough water to a boil to appropriately cook your linguine pasta. Heavily salt the water and add the pasta in once the water reaches a rolling boil. Cook for 5-8 minutes or until al dente according to package instructions. Drain, lightly coat with some additional olive oil, and set aside.
  2. In a medium sized skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add in the shrimp and cook for a couple minutes on each side, or until they turn pink. Add in the garlic and sauté until fragrant, about another minute.
  3. Pour in the white wine over the shrimp and deglaze the bottom of the pan. Cook for a couple minutes or until the wine has slightly reduced. Add in the butter and reduce the heat to low. Add in the fresh lemon juice and parsley, and let simmer for a couple minutes to get all the flavored combined. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Toss the linguine with the shrimp until all the linguine is coated with the sauce. Plate and serve immediately with additional chopped parsley and grated parmesan cheese.

 

Notes

Whole wheat pasta or pasta of choice can be subbed for the linguine.

Coconut Oatmeal Baked Apples

I’ve never been much of a breakfast eater, just give me my coffee and a granola bar and I’m good to go! But these Coconut Oatmeal Baked Apples may have just changed my mind! Stuffing the apples full of coconut oatmeal, baking them until they are perfectly done, topping them off with Greek yogurt and a dusting of cinnamon makes these baked apples the perfect breakfast vessel. All you could want in a breakfast is wrapped up in a perfect, little baked apple package. Not only are these Coconut Oatmeal Baked Apples a delicious breakfast, but they are also sugar-free, dairy-free, and gluten-free! Who would’ve thought that you could have it all?

These Coconut Oatmeal Baked Apples are such a heart-warming breakfast to start your day. They are filled full of oatmeal that has been simmered in coconut milk, delicious cinnamon, and, of course, the naturally sweet apple to hold it all together. How fun are these? Set one of these on the table for breakfast and start your morning off with a smile! These baked apples are also great for meal-prepping. Make these Coconut Oatmeal Baked Apples the night before, pop one in the microwave in the morning, top it off however you desire (Greek yogurt, honey, cinnamon and nuts are my choice!) and dig in.

Even though these are sugar-free (only natural sugars from the fruit and coconut milk), dairy-free, and gluten-free, you would never know! My husband devoured his and was in disbelief that they could be so healthy and good at the same time. Eating healthy doesn’t mean that you need to sacrifice flavor! These Coconut Oatmeal Baked Apples simply highlight the natural flavors of all the ingredients in them.

I may just be converted into a breakfast eater with these baked apples! They are just so darn cute, too 🙂 .

 

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Coconut Oatmeal Baked Apples

Stuffing the apples full of coconut oatmeal, baking them until they are perfectly done, topping them off with Greek yogurt and a dusting of cinnamon makes these baked apples the perfect breakfast vessel. All you could want in a breakfast is wrapped up in a perfect, little baked apple package. Not only are these Coconut Oatmeal Baked Apples a delicious breakfast, but they are also sugar-free, dairy-free, and gluten-free! Who would’ve thought that you could have it all?

  • Author: KJ & Company - Kate Poskochil
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 50-55 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Yield: 6 baked apples

Ingredients

  • 6 Gala apples
  • 1 1/2 cups coconut milk (your choice of sweetened or unsweetened)
  • 1 cup old fashioned rolled oats
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

Topping Ideas:

  • Greek yogurt
  • Whipped cream
  • Cinnamon
  • Honey
  • Chopped nuts
  • Fresh fruit
  • Coconut flakes

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a small sauce pan, whisk together the coconut milk and oats and bring to simmer over low heat. Cover with a lid and let slowly simmer for about 8 minutes, or until the oatmeal is cooked through, thickened and most of the coconut milk has been absorbed. Remove from the heat and set aside.
  3. Meanwhile, using either an apple corer or a small pairing knife, remove the core from the apples and slightly hollow out the insides of the apples to make a place to stuff them with the oatmeal. Try to keep the opening at the top of the apples round and from going too far down the sides the apples as the oatmeal will spill out when baking.
  4. Evenly dust the apples with the cinnamon. Fill the apples evenly with the oatmeal and carefully place them into a 13×9 baking dish oatmeal side up. Lightly cover the dish with foil and bake for 50-55 minutes, or until the apples are soft and baked through.
  5. Remove from the oven and top with desired toppings such as Greek yogurt, honey, cinnamon and chopped nuts. Enjoy!

Notes

You can use any apple of your choice depending on how sweet or tart you like your apples to be.

Almond milk, soy milk or regular milk can be used in place of the coconut milk.

Honey Sesame Roasted Chicken

A roasted chicken for dinner is timeless and home-warming. Whether you’re talking about a weeknight meal or a Sunday dinner, a chicken dinner is always the winner! So why not go outside the chicken dinner box a little bit? Honey Sesame Roasted Chicken is the perfect way to amp up your usual weeknight or weekend dinner! It is packed full of rich flavors to transport your tastebuds. From sweet honey, to nutty sesame, to salty soy sauce and umami packed hoisin,  this Honey Sesame Roasted Chicken is a perfectly balanced punch in every bite.

When you place this Honey Sesame Roasted Chicken on the table, you will wow everyone you are feeding! You know that greasy, rich, super satisfying but yet really un-healthy sesame chicken you get when you order Chinese take out? Well, you roast up this chicken and you just met it’s match! Toss out all of the guilt of eating it, though, because this chicken is all sorts of good for you. The secret is in the sauce. After the chicken is done roasting, serve it up with brown rice, a green veggie of choice and then spoon the sauce from the bottom of the pan all over your plate. Trust me, it’s that good!

The chicken will naturally get all sorts of crispy and golden while you are roasting it, so you won’t even miss the fried version! The bed of onions and carrots that you roast the chicken on top of soak up all of the wonderful juices from the sauce and are a perfect side to serve along side this chicken.

Your house will smell crazy good once you get this Honey Sesame Roasted Chicken roasting away in your oven. Going back for seconds is encouraged and leftovers are going to be fought over. You don’t want to miss out on this one! Whether you have a blizzard blowing outside your window or the sun shining on the ocean, this Honey Sesame Roasted Chicken is perfect for all climates and occasions.

 

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Honey Sesame Roasted Chicken

Honey Sesame Roasted Chicken is the perfect way to amp up your usual weeknight or weekend dinner! It is packed full of rich flavors to transport your tastebuds. From sweet honey, to nutty sesame, to salty soy sauce and umami packed hoisin,  this Honey Sesame Roasted Chicken is a perfectly balanced punch in every bite.

  • Author: KJ & Company - Kate Poskochil
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour 45 minutes
  • Total Time: 2 hours
  • Yield: Serves 4-6

Ingredients

  • 4.5 pound whole chicken
  • 1 large onion, roughly chopped
  • 4 large carrots, peeled and cut into 2 inch pieces
  • 1/4 cup teriyaki sauce
  • 1/4 cup hoisin sauce
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds, plus a little extra for garnish
  • 1/2 teaspoon red chili flakes
  • 4 green onion stalks, plus a couple extra for garnish

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. In the bottom of a 7 quart dutch oven, or a baking dish large enough to hold the chicken, place the onions and carrots in an even layer. Place the chicken on top of the onion and carrot layer and pat dry with a paper towel.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the teriyaki sauce, hoisin, soy sauce, honey, garlic, sesame seeds and red chili flakes until combined. Evenly pour the sauce over the chicken until it is completely covered. Place 2 green onion stalks on both sides of the chicken.
  3. Cover with a lid or tightly wrap with foil and roast the chicken for 45 minutes. Remove the chicken from the oven after 45 minutes and baste it with the sauce and juices from the bottom of the pan. Reduce the oven heat back down to 400 and bake the chicken uncovered for another 45 minutes to an hour, or until a thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the chicken reads 165 degrees. While the chicken is roasting uncovered, baste it with the juices and sauce from the bottom of the pan every 10 minutes or so and rotate the pan to insure that the chicken is getting evenly browned on all sides.
  4. Prior to serving, baste the chicken once more in the sauce from the bottom of the pan and garnish with fresh sesame seeds and additional chopped green onions.

Notes

This recipe will work with any size of chicken! Choose your chicken size based on how many people you would like to serve. You may need to adjust your roasting time if you choose a smaller or larger chicken.

Mocha Fudge Mug Cakes

There was a time after Christmas and the New Years that I didn’t have any dessert in the house. I don’t know what happened, but it was a tragedy! How do I have nothing on hand? Not even a parcel of a cookie was left. To say it was a disaster is an understatement. Not even a box of brownie mix was in the cupboards. Sitting there in a total disastrous state, a light bulb went off in my head! MUG CAKES. Mug cakes are the answer to any quick and urgent dessert request! All the wonderful fudgy, moist flavor of a chocolate cake in the palm of your hand, literally. You can have a spoonful of chocolate cake in your mouth in under 5 minutes, how great is that?!

I love how fun and easy these Mocha Fudge Mug Cakes are. They are packed full of all the chocolate flavor you could dream of with a hint of espresso to keep you going back for more. Top these off with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, a dusting of espresso powder and a few extra chocolate chips for good measure. Dig in with a spoon and be as happy as a bug in a rug.

Who would’ve thought that you could make a cake in a mug in your microwave? It’s pure genius if you ask me. I’m a chocoholic, so the more chocolate chips the better! The espresso powder doesn’t overpower the chocolate, but accents it and gives it a deeper, more rich flavor. They are match made in heaven and given to you in a mug. I don’t think it can get much better than that. Toss all of the ingredients into your favorite mug, whisk it all together, microwave it for a little over a minute, top it off however you desire and then dig in to the mug cake of your dreams.

Have your cake and eat it too, and in under 5 minutes! 🙂

 

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Mocha Fudge Mug Cakes

I love how fun and easy these Mocha Fudge Mug Cakes are. They are packed full of all the chocolate flavor you could dream of with a hint of espresso to keep you going back for more. Top these off with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, a dusting of espresso powder and a few extra chocolate chips for good measure. Dig in with a spoon and be as happy as a bug in a rug. Cake in under 5 minutes and in the palm of your hand.

  • Author: KJ & Company - Kate Poskochil
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 minute 30 seconds
  • Total Time: 6 minutes 30 seconds
  • Yield: 1 mug cake

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 3 tablespoons milk, such as 2%
  • 3 tablespoons oil, such as vegetable oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon espresso powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 tablespoons dark chocolate chips

Instructions

  1. In a microwave safe mug, combine the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder and espresso powder until all of the ingredients are incorporated. Whisk in the oil, milk and vanilla extract until the batter is smooth.
  2. Stir in the dark chocolate chips into the batter until combined. Microwave on high for 1 minute and 30 seconds. Remove the mug cake from the microwave and allow to cool for a couple minutes.
  3. Top the mug cake with desired toppings such vanilla ice cream, chocolate chips or a dusting of extra espresso powder.

 

 

Black Bean and Sweet Potato Chicken Enchiladas

When it comes to healthy comfort food, these Black Bean and Sweet Potato Enchiladas are the way to go! I say you should never have to give up comfort and flavor just to eat a little bit more on the healthy side. Loaded with natural protein from the chicken and black beans, these enchiladas also get a boost in nutrients from the sweet potatoes. And of course, there always needs to be cheese!

I think that the sweet potatoes blend in beautifully with all of the wonderful flavors of these enchiladas. They act as a perfect, slightly sweet filler to accompany the chicken and black beans. You know what’s so great about enchiladas? You can sneak about anything into them and they will turn out delicious! Toss in some fresh spinach leaves to get in some extra greens and you won’t even know. They are very customizable as you can sub out the chicken if you want them to be vegetarian, or add in a different bean, or even a butternut squash if you don’t have the sweet potatoes and black beans on hand. This combo of the Black Bean and Sweet Potato Chicken Enchiladas is a fiesta in every bite. A healthy fiesta, too.

Enchiladas also make a great meal prep option, as you can make them in advance and reheat them as needed. I love to serve mine with some sour cream, extra cheese (of course) and fresh avocado. The creaminess of the sour cream and avocado are just a match made in heaven when paired with these Black Bean and Sweet Potato Chicken Enchiladas.

Warm up from the inside out with these enchiladas and don’t you dare feel guilty about it! You are eating healthy proteins and veggies after all :).

 

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Black Bean and Sweet Potato Chicken Enchiladas

When it comes to healthy comfort food, these Black Bean and Sweet Potato Enchiladas are the way to go! I say you should never have to give up comfort and flavor just to eat a little bit more on the healthy side. Loaded with natural protein from the chicken and black beans, these enchiladas also get a boost in nutrients from the sweet potatoes. And of course, there always needs to be cheese!

  • Author: KJ & Company - Kate Poskochil
  • Prep Time: 25 minutes
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Total Time: 65 minutes
  • Yield: 8 enchiladas

Ingredients

  • 1 pound chicken tenders
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons seasoned salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 small/medium sized sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch cubes
  • 8 whole wheat tortillas
  • 2 – 10 oz cans enchilada sauce
  • 15 oz can black beans, drained
  • 8 oz shredded cheese, such as cheddar, mozzarella or a Mexican mix
  • 1 cup sour cream

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. On a standard size baking sheet, arrange the chicken tenders on one half of the baking sheet and the sweet potato on the other half, keeping the two ingredients from touching.
  2. Drizzle both the chicken and the sweet potatoes with 1 tablespoon of olive oil each. Followed by 1 teaspoon of seasoned salt each. Working with just the chicken, evenly sprinkle it with the chili powder, onion powder and garlic powder. Cover the entire baking sheet with foil and bake for about 20 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through. Remove the pan from the oven and shred the chicken with a fork. Leave the sweet potatoes as is to cool.
  3. Pour one can of the enchilada sauce onto a large plate or dish that will keep it from running off the sides. Starting an assembly line and using one tortilla at a time, dip both sides of the tortilla into the prepared enchilada sauce and then transfer to a plate or cutting board. Fill it with sour cream, cheese, black beans, shredded chicken and sweet potatoes, making sure that you evenly distribute the ingredients throughout the 8 tortillas and save a little extra cheese to be sprinkled on top at the end. Roll it up tight and place into a 13×9 baking pan. Repeat this process until all the tortillas and ingredients are used, prepared, rolled and placed into the baking pan.
  4. Cover the prepared enchiladas with the remaining can of enchilada sauce and sprinkle the top with any remaining/extra cheese. Bake the enchiladas for 20-25 minutes, or until the cheese on top is melted and the sides are bubbling slightly.
  5. Serve with additional sour cream, cheese, avocados, jalepenos or any toppings you desire.

Notes

The whole wheat tortillas can be subbed for any tortilla of choice.

Mango Matcha Green Smoothie

Whether you’re looking for a healthy option for breakfast, lunch, or post-workout boost, this Mango Matcha Green Smoothie has it all. It is hands-down my go-to smoothie whenever I pull out my blender. A delicious and easy smoothie packed full of natural vitamins and nutrients? Count me in!

I originally shared this simple and hassle-free recipe last spring here on KJ & Company, but it is just too good to not share again! It’s an easy way to sneak in extra veggies and fruits into your daily routine. It can help boost your immune system, give you a natural caffeine kick from the matcha, and a dose of some good, dark, leafy greens. All of that and it tastes like a dream. Otherwise I wouldn’t be drinking it… 🙂

If you follow along with me on Instagram (@kjandcompany), you have seen lately that I have been trying out Daily Harvest Smoothies. No this is not an add or sponsored by them in any way, but I have absolutely loved them! They are packed full of so many amazing, organic ingredients, delivered to your door frozen and easily kept in your freezer until you are ready to blend one up. I can even get John to drink them (this is a huge deal!!). But, I switched from their weekly delivery plan to their monthly delivery plan and I don’t get any until the middle of January, so I have turned to this Mango Matcha Green Smoothie on the daily to get my fix!

Blend this Mango Matcha Smoothie up, add it to your routine and it is sure to become on of your new favorites. It definitely is one of mine! 🙂

 

Mango Matcha Green Smoothie

makes 1 smoothie

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup frozen mango chunks
  • 1 cup fresh spinach (1 large handful)
  • 1 banana, peeled
  • 1 teaspoon matcha powder
  • 1 1/3 cup soy milk
  • 1 teaspoon honey

Directions:

  1. Starting with the frozen mango chunks, add all of the ingredients into the bottom of a blender.
  2. Blend on high for several minutes or until the smoothie is to the desired texture and consistency. More soy milk may need to be added depending on desired consistency. Enjoy!

Why I Didn’t Try to Lose Weight for Hawaii

About this time last year, we decided to go ahead and take the plunge and book our trip to Hawaii. We were full of excitement and ready to adventure somewhere new together! And guess what? I didn’t start any crazy diets, I didn’t start weighing myself, and I didn’t change my workout regime. Why not? Let me tell you..

Photo Courtesy of Sunny Golden Photography

It’s taken me awhile to get here and I certainly haven’t always had this mindset, but I want to learn to love my body and appreciate it every day for what it is, that God has blessed me with health and I am able to explore the world He created. This doesn’t mean that I don’t want to be healthy, because I certainly strive for that every day. I want my body to be as healthy as it can be every day, and not just for a single trip. I don’t want to feel my best just when I’m vacationing on the beach, but also when I’m sitting at home in my sweat pants with messy hair and un-matching socks.

Photo Courtesy of Sunny Golden Photography

I’ve struggled with learning what being healthy means for me and my body. Going through eating disorders, tracking my weight and working out only because I felt like I had to (which you can read more about here), were all necessary things for me to go through for me to realize what my body truly needs. That doesn’t mean they were good, healthy, or experiences that I would recommend anyone to go through, but it lead me to where I am now! I’m not perfect and I still struggle with feeling like a rollie-pollie some days or find myself critiquing my body in the mirror, but I’m working on focusing my mind to other things. My body is strong, my body is capable of amazing things and I get to nourish and take care of it.

Photo Courtesy of Sunny Golden Photography

So, when we booked our trip to Hawaii, I knew it would be hard for me to think that I shouldn’t eat certain things or that I needed to exercise more for my “Hawaii bod”. Because of my past experiences, I knew it would be unhealthy for me to set a weight goal, as it would do nothing but discourage me and overtake my thinking. Instead, I just kept on the track that I was already on. Eating healthy and nutritional packed foods to nourish my body, but still indulging in sweet treats and Chick-Fil-A every once in awhile, working out to strengthen my body and to feel good, but also taking rest days to let my body recuperate, and finding clothes that fit my body type instead of making my body fit into the clothes. That included swim suits. A huge part of me feeling so comfortable in my skin in a swimsuit was finding the ones that worked for me and made me feel confident.My 2017 Swimsuit Recap goes over all the details of what I’ve found that works for me! 🙂

Photo Courtesy of Sunny Golden Photography

Another important thing to remember is that everyone’s story is different. Healthy looks different for every person and that is ok! It may be healthy for you to set weight goals, track calories or give yourself a goal/trip/vacation to work towards. Whatever is healthy for you and your body is what you need to pursue!

Photo Courtesy of Sunny Golden Photography

This time of year can be so discouraging as you see everyone pursuing/pushing their New Years resolutions, weight loss, diet changes and fitness dreams. I almost felt bombarded on Pinterest with all of the healthy food and pictures of women with their 6-pack abs, super toned arms and perfectly golden skin giving workout tutorials. I’m not saying these things are wrong, but I quickly found myself feeling smaller and smaller as if I wasn’t doing enough and was comparing myself to things on the Internet. Isn’t it so crazy how quickly we can get sucked in? I had to take a big reality check and remember who I am, what I’ve done and what all I’m going to do. Then I took another bite of my Nutella and moved on ;). Let’s use this time of year to encourage one another, lift each other up and highlight each other’s strengths! Social media and our culture can easily make you feel like you aren’t enough or you will never compare, and I think it’s time that we change that! 🙂 Everyone and every body is fearfully and wonderfully made. Psalm 139

 

Photos Courtesy of Sunny Golden Photography 

 

Banana Bread with Nutella Glaze

Ok, do I really need to say anything more if this banana bread loaf is drizzled and topped of with a Nutella glaze?! I mean, you can never go wrong with Nutella! If you know me, my all-time favorite dessert, hands-down, no matter what is Nutella and bananas, or ‘tella and ‘nanas as I like to call it. Bananas and Nutella are just a whimsical match made in heaven.

PS: this post is in no way sponsored by Nutella (but how awesome would that be?!) I JUST LOVE IT SO MUCH.

Banana Bread with a Nutella Glaze

I’m the only one in our household who eats bananas, because John hates them and I think its super weird. So, whenever I have some extra bananas lying around that are getting too ripe, banana bread it is! One of my favorite banana bread recipes is my Whole Wheat Banana Nut Muffins with Dark Chocolate. But sometimes you need a good old-fashioned banana bread loaf, and that is where this Banana Bread with Nutella Glaze comes in.

You want to know whats so great about this banana bread recipe besides how wonderful each bite is? Well, let me tell you. It can be breakfast, dessert or a daytime snack. It’s just that good. By golly, if you want to fancy this up and make it into a dessert, top a warm piece of the Banana Bread with Nutella Glaze with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and dive on in! Or, you can keep it on the traditional breakfast route and slice it up for breakfast. Toss in some fresh fruit such as bananas, strawberries, raspberries or blueberries and you have yourself a complete meal to fuel your day.

Either way you slice it, this banana bread is sure to not disappoint. When you are making the batter, you can choose how much you would like to mush up your bananas. Since John doesn’t like bananas and I have to try to hide them as much as possible if I cook with them, I blended them pretty well as there are no banana chunks in the bread. If you are a banana fan, mix it up however you please.

 

Banana Bread with Nutella Glaze

 

Ingredients:

  • 2 sticks (16 tablespoons) butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 ripe bananas
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup Nutella or chocolate hazelnut spread
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream

Directions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Spray and line a loaf pan with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter, sugar and brown sugar together until light and fluffy, about a couple minutes. Reduce the speed to low and add in one egg at time, making sure to wipe down the edges between each addition. Add in the ripe bananas and vanilla extract and mix until just combined.
  3. In a small bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt. With the mixer speed on low, slowly add in the flour mixture to the banana mixture until the batter is just combined. Wipe down the edges to insure that it is all combined.
  4. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 55 minutes – 1 hour, or until a toothpick inserted into the top/center comes out clean. Allow the banana bread to cool in the pan for about 10-15 minutes prior to removing.
  5. While the banana bread is cooling, pour the heavy cream into a small sauce pan over low heat. Slowly bring to a very low simmer, avoiding any boiling, and then whisk in the Nutella or chocolate hazelnut spread until smooth, about a couple minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside.
  6. Using the parchment paper liner, carefully remove the banana bread from the loaf pan. Drizzle the whole loaf with the Nutella glaze, or slice and drizzle each slice with the glaze. Enjoy!

 

 

Sweet Potato Taco Soup

Soup is good for the soul, Sweet Potato Taco Soup that is. It’s officially 2018 and winter is in full effect! With all the cold and negative temperatures going around, a big bowl of hearty, healthy soup with just the right amount of heat is needed.

I love how this soup is loaded with flavor and goodies. And guess what? It’s good for you too! Make this for an easy weeknight dinner, when you’re feeling the sniffles come on, or just when you need a hearty meal. Top it off with a dollop of sour cream, grab a bag of chips and dig in! And cheese… you always need cheese.

Simmer this soup away on the stove top, or brown the hamburger and then dump all of the ingredients into a slow cooker and let it do it’s own thing. Isn’t soup season just the best? You can clean out your refrigerator or cupboard and usually come up with a delicious concoction. This Sweet Potato Taco Soup is also perfect for meal planning! A batch can last a couple days for two people, or double it if you need to feed multiple people over a few days!

All the wonderful flavor of a taco in a bowl. What could be better?

 

Sweet Potato Taco Soup

 

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 10 oz can diced tomatoes with green chilies
  • 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 7 oz can diced green chilies
  • 2 – 32oz containers chicken stock
  • 15 oz can black beans, drained
  • 1 medium sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch cubes
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon chopped garlic
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. In the bottom of a stock pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add in the diced onion and saute until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add in the ground beef and saute until browned, about another 5 minutes.
  2. Pour in the diced tomatoes with green chilies, diced tomatoes, green chilies and chicken stock and black beans. Stir to combine. Add in the cubed sweet potato, chili powder and chopped garlic and bring to a boil.
  3. Reduce the heat and let simmer on a low boil for 25-30 minutes, or until the sweet potatoes are tender and cooked through. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Ladle the soup into bowls and top with sour cream, shredded cheese, chopped green onions and tortilla chips.

Smoked Turkey Sausage Soup

Isn’t the time in between Christmas and New Years Eve just the weirdest? I mean, there’s all the hype from the holidays that are wearing off, leftovers taking up all your refrigerator space, Christmas decorations still up, and what kind of music are you supposed to listen to anyways? I’m a die-hard Christmas music junkie, so it’s hard to just quit cold turkey. So, let’s just ladle up ourselves a bowl of soup, snuggle up and unwind before another holiday kicks in. Let’s go with Smoked Turkey Sausage Soup.

This soup is everything that you want in a bowl to fill you from the inside out. The smoked turkey gives it a wonderful, velvety-smooth broth that is so deep in flavor that people are going to think you slaved away on it for hours. But in reality, this soup is quick and easy to throw together. Just what you need after the holiday season.

Not only is this Smoked Turkey Sausage Soup packed full of flavor, but it is also loaded with nutrients! That’s right, you have sweet potato and spinach hidden in there. No one will ever know. Ok, they might be able to see it, but it tastes like a smoked turkey sausage dream.

I highly recommend a hunk of crunchy baguette (or some crackers) and a sprinkling of Parmesan cheese to go along with this warm bowl of goodness. Make that 2 or 3 pieces of bread… you just can’t go wrong with a good baguette!

 

Smoked Turkey Sausage Soup

 

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 medium sweet potato, peeled and cubed into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 13 oz smoked turkey sausage, cut into 3/4 inch rounds
  • 2 -32oz containers chicken stock
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 1/2 teaspoon chopped garlic
  • 3 1/2 cups fresh spinach
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. In the bottom of a deep stock pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Lightly saute the onion until translucent but not browned, about a couple minutes. Add in the turkey sausage rounds and saute for a few minutes more.
  2. Pour in the chicken stock and stir to combine the onions and sausage with the stock. Add in the sweet potato, oregano, rosemary, garlic and stir to combine. Bring the soup to a low boil and let it slowly boil for about 15 minutes. Reduce the heat to low and allow the soup to simmer for an additional 15-20 minutes. Just like any soup, the longer that it gets to simmer, the more condensed and flavorful it will be.
  3. Stir in the fresh spinach about 5 minutes prior to serving. Allowing it to wilt down. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Note: This recipe can also be made in the slow cooker. Simply combine all of the ingredients into the slow cooker and cook for desired amount of time.

White Chocolate Chip Snickerdoodle Bars

Just thinking about these White Chocolate Chip Snickerdoodle Bars makes me feel all warm and cozy inside. These cookie bars are the perfect dessert to bake away in your oven while the snow falls outside! The warm cinnamon swirled with the sweet white chocolate chips make for a perfect dessert combination.

These cookie bars are just perfect. Their gooey, cinnamon speckled, white chocolate chip loaded insides are matched with a slightly crunchy exterior provided by a cinnamon sugar dusting that caramelizes in the oven. Can you picture taking a bite of that? I certainly can!

Whip up a batch of these White Chocolate Snickerdoodle Bars for any holiday occasion, cookie swap or to just have the perfect sweet treat on hand. Not only are these cookie bars great for the holiday season, but they really could be made all year round!

Pour yourself a tall glass of milk, snuggle up on the couch with a blanket and go into cookie bar bliss with these perfectly sweet treats. Bonus: they are pretty darn hassle-free to make! I would recommend a double batch for a large crowd because they are going to go fast! 🙂

 

White Chocolate Chip Snickerdoodle Bars

 

Ingredients:

  • 2 sticks (16 tablespoons) butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup sugar, plus 1/4 cup for dusting prior to baking
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 1/4 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon, plus 1/4 teaspoon for dusting prior to baking
  • 11 oz bag white chocolate chips

Directions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat together the butter, 1/2 cup sugar and 1/2 cup brown sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about a couple minutes. Reduce the speed to low and mix in one egg at a time, making sure to wipe down the sides after each addition. Mix in the vanilla extract.
  2. In a small bowl, mix together the flour, baking soda, salt and 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon. With the mixer speed on low, slowly add in the flour mixture into the butter and sugar mixture until completely combined and a dough has formed, being careful to not over mix. Using a rubber spatula fold in the white chocolate chips until combined.
  3. Spray a 9×13 baking pan with non-stick spray and then line the bottom and sides with parchment paper (this will make for easy removal). Evenly spread the cookie dough in the prepared pan. The dough will be thick and may take a little bit to work it to the sides of the pan, but that is ok.
  4. In a small bowl, mix together the remaining 1/4 cup sugar and 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon until combined. Evenly sprinkle the top of the cookie dough until the whole top is covered.
  5. Bake for 23-25 minutes, or until the tops are golden and a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. Allow to cool slightly in the pan before trying to remove the cookie bars. Enjoy!

Classic Slow Cooker Pot Roast

Happy first day of Winter! This is one of my husband’s and I favorite seasons of the year, are we crazy? Oh, well! When Winter officially rolls around, all that I want is good, old-fashioned comfort food. The classics. Food you grew up eating and have so many memories with. Food that is hassle-free and brings warm and comfort to your table. Just like this Classic Slow Cooker Pot Roast. Get ready for your house to smell amazing!

As I have said before, you can never go wrong with a classic dish! Unless you just don’t like pot roast, then you could probably go wrong. But this Classic Slow Cooker Pot Roast is hard to beat! Flavorful ingredients that are prepared in a simple way make for the best, wholesome flavor.

Now, there’s two types of pot roast eaters. Those who like the mushy carrots and potatoes that are soaked in all juices from cooking with the roast all day, and those who don’t. I, unfortunately, am one who does not. I know, it’s such a controversial issue. I prefer a more fresh, roasted veggie to go along with my pot roast, so I tend to just roast some carrots and potatoes on a sheet pan about an hour before I plan on serving dinner. If you are a carrot and potato in with the roast type of person, you will notice that this recipe does not include it. Just simply add in your choice of carrots and potatoes on top of the roast and your potato, carrot and roast dreams will come true.

With the holidays just around the corner, this simple recipe can ease your mind about getting dinner on the table. Whether you’re feeding family and guests, or just trying to not eat out every night before Christmas (because who wants to do more dishes than they have to?!), this Classic Slow Cooker Pot Roast is here for you.

 

Classic Slow Cooker Pot Roast

 

Ingredients:

  • 1 – 4 lb chuck roast
  • 1 cup beef stock
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 3 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 1 medium onion, cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 1 teaspoon chopped garlic

Directions:

  1. Place the chuck roast in the bottom of an average-size slow cooker. Pour the beef stock all around the sides of the roast. Sprinkle the salt and pepper evenly over the top of the roast. Add in the Worcestershire sauce and chopped garlic evenly over the top as well. Arrange the chopped onion and rosemary sprigs around the sides of the roast. Seal the lid of the slow cooker according to package instructions.
  2. Cook the pot roast on high for 6 hours.
  3. Before serving, ladle the sauce out of the bottom of the slow cooker into a small saucepan. Bring the sauce to a boil and reduce slightly. Serve the pot roast with desired veggies and sauce poured over the top.

Mrs. Claus Cocktail

What if Mrs. Claus came to town this year instead of Santa Claus? And she brought eggnog and peppermint Schnapps with her? I think it would be a done deal! Watch out Santa, there’s a new holiday cheer in town.

I am an absolute eggnog fanatic when the holiday season rolls around. You can only get it once a year! I may or may not have just bought two more cartons of it… I can’t help it! It’s just so smooth, creamy and tastes like Christmas. That’s basically what this Mrs. Claus Cocktail is, Christmas in a cup. This is the perfect and easy cocktail to serve up this holiday season. You can go completely Christmas Vacation style and have your guests sip on this cocktail with a glass moose mug, or serve it up in any cocktail glass or old fashioned mug that you like!

Even though eggnog is so fantastic on it’s own, the addition of white chocolate liqueur and peppermint Schnapps take it to a whole other level! The white chocolate liqueur makes it even more velvety smooth and the peppermint Schnapps adds just the right amount of holiday cheer. Seriously, Christmas in a cup. You can serve this family-style and have your guests make their own, or have it all prepared for them. Heck, make it ahead of time and stash in the refrigerator until your guests get there! Add a dollop of whipped cream and a dusting of crushed candy canes and you are all set to go.


Mrs. Claus doesn’t ask for cookies and milk, she wants her very own Mrs. Claus Cocktail. If you have some extra eggnog, let me know.

Note: this recipe is for one serving, or how you would prepare it in each glass individually. If you are making it for a crowd or want to serve it “family-style” simply just use this recipe as a base and adjust for how many you are serving.

 

Mrs. Claus Cocktail

serves 1

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup eggnog
  • 1 shot (3 tablespoons or 1.5 ounces) white chocolate liqueur
  • 1 tablespoon peppermint Schnapps
  • Whipped cream for garnish
  • Crushed candy canes for garnish

Directions:

  1. Pour the eggnog, white chocolate liqueur, and peppermint Schnapps into desired glass and stir to combine completely.
  2. Garnish with a dollop of whipped cream and a sprinkle of crushed candy cane.
  3. Enjoy!

Ultimate Fudge Brownies

Is dessert really a dessert if it doesn’t have chocolate in it? I mean, if it doesn’t have chocolate in it, then you can justify calling it “coffee cake” or even just “breakfast.” I’m all for pie and cobbler for breakfast! I may be biased on this whole chocolate topic, because I am sipping on some chocolate milk as we speak. Let’s just talk brownies. Ultimate Fudge Brownies, that is.

Brownies are one of the most picture perfect chocolate desserts, if you ask me! When they’re still slightly warm from baking away in the oven and the chocolate melts all over your hands when you eat it, that is when you can fully enjoy a brownie. I’m still all about the crunchy edge pieces, though! These Ultimate Fudge Brownies bring home all the bacon. The fudge reaches all new levels in this decadent bite. Chocolate chips swirled and baked into a cocoa rich brownie and then topped with a fudge frosting so good you’ll be licking the spoon.

Brownies are such an awesome nostalgic treat to eat. It’s hard to find someone who has never had a brownie! Whether it’s just because or for a special occasion or holiday, these Ultimate Fudge Brownies will be gone before you know it. You can top them off with a scoop of ice cream to make your own little sundae, or nibble on these in the middle of the night when no one is looking.

Bake up a batch of these brownies to see what the ultimate fudge is all about. Has anyone ever regretted eating a brownie? Maybe two or three? 🙂

 

Ultimate Fudge Brownies

 

Ingredients:

For the brownie batter:

  • 2 sticks (16 tablespoons) butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

For the fudge frosting:

  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup mini marshmallows

Directions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter, sugar and brown sugar together on medium speed until light and fluffy, about a couple minutes. Reduce the speed to low and add in one egg at a time, making sure to mix thoroughly between each addition and wiping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Mix in the vanilla.
  2. In a small bowl, combine the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add in the flour mixture into the butter and sugars until a dough forms and the ingredients are combined. Stir in the 2 cups of semi-sweet chocolate chips. The batter will be thick.
  3. Spray and line a 9×9 baking pan with parchment paper. Spread the batter evenly into the bottom of the prepared pan. Bake for 35-38 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow it to cool in the pan for 5-10 minutes.
  4. To make the fudge frosting, bring the heavy cream to a very low simmer in a small saucepan. Whisk in the dark chocolate chips and mini marshmallows and continue to whisk until the mixture is melted together and smooth, about 3-5 minutes. Be careful to not let the mixture boil.
  5. Pour the fudge frosting over the top of the slightly cooled brownies and spread to all the edges to cover evenly. Let the frosting set for 10-15 minutes prior to cutting. Enjoy!

How to have a Cozy Christmas Morning

If you know me, I am just absolutely in love with the holidays. Yes, that may sound oh-so basic, but I love the family, friends, food, warmth, laughter, and all the good feels it brings! Gathering around with loved ones is one of my favorite things to do, especially when there is yummy food involved! Christmas morning is no exception to that. So let’s grab a blanket, put on our fuzzy socks and make it a Cozy Christmas Morning.

Ever since John and I got married, we started to realize the importance of making Christmas morning special. We were no longer with our families right away and had each other to spend the morning with. Here’s a few ways how we make our Christmas morning special and cozy:

Take it slow, Snuggle often, Savor the time

We are always so used to getting up and hitting the ground running right away in the morning, so it is nice to have a morning to just savor the time together and snuggle our sweet pups. Even if you are single or don’t have furry pups to snuggle, just take a few extra minutes to relax and savor a few more minutes snuggled up under the covers! It won’t be wasted time. Especially if it’s cold outside – getting out from under the covers is just so hard!

Eat Breakfast in Bed

You are never too old to eat breakfast in bed. There’s just something so fun about being able to make a quick dash to the kitchen, load up with goodies and sneak back under the covers before all the heat escapes. Here’s a couple of our favorite drinks and breakfast treats to enjoy in the morning:

Espresso Hot Chocolate

Baked Churro Donuts with Dark Chocolate Ganache

Make Your Own Traditions

As I was mentioning earlier, we realized that once we were married we had the chance to make our own Christmas traditions! Don’t worry, we are still hanging onto all the ones that we have with our families, but it has been so special and fun to start our own. Even if it is something so small, make it yours. Married or not, you can do it. One way that we have started our own tradition is to make and give each other stockings on Christmas morning. They don’t have to be full of anything spectacular or expensive, and that is what makes them so fun and casual.

Wear Comfy Clothes!

This may seem like a no-brainer, but it really does make a difference! If you’re anything like me, you are so much more yourself when you are comfortable in what you are wearing. If you are into the matching pajama thing, do it! Otherwise, I think its fun to pick out something cozy to wear, even if it is just a new pair of socks or some comfy sweats! Here is what we love this year:

Kate’s sweater / Kate’s pj pants / Kate’s socks / John’s long sleeve / John’s sweat pants / John’s socks

PS: you can never go wrong with a good ol’ Christmas scented candle either!

Details:

Headboard / Night stand / Bedding / Bedroom lamp / Knit Blanket / Mugs / Serving tray / Tree / Basket / Gold Christmas trees / Couch / Coffee table / RugWooden ladder / Candle

Peppermint Fudge Cookies

We are full-throttle into holiday baking season and these Peppermint Fudge Cookies are at the top of the nice list this year! Are you looking for the perfect cookie to put on your cookie platter this year? Take these to any cookie swap, Christmas party, or just bake them up for yourself and you will be the star on top of the tree.

These cookies are the perfect combination of fudgy chocolate and sweet peppermint. Take one bite of these and you will be sledding through fields of gumdrops and candy cane trees! Maybe not quite that extreme, but you get what I’m saying. They are packed full of holiday flavor.

Not only will these cookies be the perfect recipe to add to your holiday baking this year, but they are also painless to make! Drizzle some melted white chocolate on them after they come out of the oven, dust the tops with crushed candy canes and then try to not eat them all before someone else gets one. Set these cookies out for Santa this year and he may just stay the night.

Preheat your oven, turn on some Christmas music and get these Peppermint Fudge Cookies baking away in your oven!

 

Peppermint Fudge Cookies

makes 23 cookies

Ingredients:

  • 1 3/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 sticks (16 tablespoons) butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract
  • 10 oz dark chocolate chips
  • 1 cup white chocolate chips, melted for garnish
  • Crushed candy canes for garnish

Directions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter, sugar and brown sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about a couple minutes. With the speed on low, add in one egg at a time, mixing thoroughly after each egg addition and wiping down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Mix in the vanilla and peppermint extracts.
  2. In a small bowl, combine the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt. Slowly add the flour mixture into the butter mixture until combined. Fold in the dark chocolate chips with a rubber spatula. The batter may be thick and slightly sticky and that is ok.
  3. Scoop rounded tablespoons of cookie dough onto a non-greased cookie sheet. Bake the cookies for 12-15 minutes, being careful to not overcook. Remove from the oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool. Repeat until all of the cookies are baked.
  4. Drizzle the cookies with the melted white chocolate and top with crushed candy canes.

Espresso Hot Chocolate

Happy National Hot Cocoa Day! Could this quite possibly be one of the greatest days of the year? Yes, indeed. Especially if you have a mug of this Espresso Hot Chocolate in hand!


A day centered around warm, liquid chocolate in a cute little mug is a good day in my books. This Espresso Hot Chocolate is a fun twist on the classic favorite. Go ahead and put those packets of cocoa mix back in the cupboard, because you won’t be needing them anymore!

Do you want to know what is so great about this hot chocolate recipe? Not only is it hot chocolate, but it has a full serving of espresso in it to get your coffee fix! That’s right, you could drink this for your coffee in the morning and have it be completely justifiable. That is basically winning at life.

Mug / Scarf / String Lights

Cozy up with your jammies and your slippers, fill your mug full with this Espresso Hot Chocolate, dollop some whipped cream on top and sip your way into chocolate bliss. Talk about a drink that would be perfect for Christmas morning!

 

Espresso Hot Chocolate

makes 2 servings

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups milk
  • 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 4 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 2 tablespoons instant espresso powder
  • Whipped cream for topping

Directions:

  1. In a small sauce pan over low heat, bring the milk to a very low simmer. Whisk in the chocolate chips, cocoa powder and espresso powder. Avoid boiling. Whisk until smooth and frothy, about a couple minutes.
  2. Pour into desired mugs and top with a dollop of whipped cream and a pinch of additional espresso powder.

Classic Chicken Pot Pie

It finally snowed today and I squealed like a little girl and ran outside, bare feet and all, as fast as I could. I absolutely love Winter! I know, I know, I’m the crazy lady over here, but it is one of my favorite times of the year! You better believe my cozy level meter went all the way to ten! Time to dig into this Classic Chicken Pot Pie, because you can’t go wrong with classic comfort food.

You can’t ever go wrong with classic comfort food, if you ask me. And to me, classic comfort food should be served family-style and be hassle-free. That’s right! Just dig on into this pie plate of wonder. Am I the only weird person who not only loves Winter, but also serves their chicken pot pie in a bowl? Let’s just be logical and talk about convenience here. Give me a spoon and I’ll chow down.

 

Set aside all the comfort and joy that this dish brings and let’s talk about how simple it is to make! This dish is so versatile in regards to how you can take convenient shortcuts to make getting dinner on the table a little bit easier, or how you can go all-in chef mode and make everything from scratch. That’s right. You choose how simple or how diverse you want it to be. You can make dough from scratch, or use store-bought pie crust (this is what I did!!). You can use a rotisserie chicken, or roast your own. See how you can adapt this recipe? You’ve got this.

Turn on the Christmas movie marathons, light your spruce candle, and get this heart-warming Classic Chicken Pot Pie in the oven!

 

Classic Chicken Pot Pie

 

Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs cooked chicken, shredded or roughly chopped
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1 teaspoon garlic
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 1/2 cups carrots, cut into 1/4 inch rounds
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 standard size pie crusts
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon water

Directions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. In a large saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add in the onion and saute until translucent and avoiding browning, about 3 minutes. Stir in the flour until a paste forms, then whisk in the heavy cream. Whisk until the mixture is smooth and combined. Reduce the heat to low.
  2. Whisk in the chicken stock, milk, garlic, carrots, thyme, oregano, rosemary and salt and pepper to taste. Bring the mixture to a simmer and whisk occasionally until it thickens slightly, about 5-8 minutes.
  3. Stir in the chicken and peas and let the mixture return to a low simmer and thicken slightly again. Using a standard pie plate, form one of the pie crust rounds to the bottom of the pie plate and up the sides. Pour the chicken pot pie filling on top of the bottom pie crust. Top the filling with the remaining pie crust and crimp the edges of the two pie crusts together to insure that the filling does not cook out the sides. Using a knife, cut 1-inch slits on the top of the crust in the middle of the pie to allow air to escape, but not cutting too far in to spill the filling on top of the crust.
  4. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg and the water to make an egg wash. lightly brush the top of the pot pie crust with the egg wash to insure a brown crust. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until the crust is golden brown. Let the pot pie sit for 10-15 minutes prior to serving to allow it to cool slightly and for the pot pie to set and not run.

 

Rocky Road Cookies

Happy National Cookie Day! As cliche as this sounds, I totally did not even plan this out! I guess just making cookies on a whim and it happens to be National Cookie Day is just a gift. I’ll take it. It is cookie season, after all! My husband is a big time rocky road fanatic (like rocky road everything), so I knew I needed to create a cookie just for him. Rocky Road Cookies are ready to rock and roll!

These cookies all the perfect amounts of fudgy, to nutty, to creamy from the marshmallow topping. Dip one of these delicious Rocky Road Cookies into a tall glass of milk and you won’t be disappointed!

I was so excited when these little beauties came out of the oven, it was hard to let them cool enough to eat! Topping the cookies off with some mini mallows is a fun, little touch to set these cookies apart from any average joe. These cookies would be the perfect, chocolate touch to any Christmas cookie exchange. You can never go wrong with chocolate!

These Rocky Road Cookies are the perfect thing to bake away in your oven while you dance around listening to Christmas music, or while watching Home Alone for the first time (no judgement – I’d seen the second one but not the first!).

 

Rocky Road Cookies

makes 20 cookies

Ingredients:

  • 1 3/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 sticks (16 tablespoons) butter, softened
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups chocolate chips
  • 1 cup chopped nuts, such as walnuts or almonds
  • Mini marshmallows for topping, about 5 per cookie

Directions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter with the sugar and brown sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes on medium speed. Reduce the speed to low and add in one egg at a time, making sure to scrape down the edges of the bowl in between each addition. Add in the vanilla extract.
  2. In a small bowl, combine the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt. Slowly add the flour mixture to the butter mixture until completely combined. Fold in the chocolate chips and nuts.
  3. Scoop rounded tablespoons of the cookie dough onto a non-greased cookie sheet. Spacing each one a couple inches apart. Bake the cookies for 5 minutes and then remove from the oven. Quickly top each cookie with about 5 mini marshmallows, and gently press them in to prevent from rolling off the cookie. Return the cookies back to the oven and bake for another 8-10 minutes or until the cookies are cooked through and the marshmallows are melted and slightly golden.
  4. Remove the cookies from the oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool. Enjoy!

 

Santa’s Sleigh Cocktail

Wohoo! Happy December, everyone! Is anyone else as excited about the Christmas season as I am? I mean, it’s like full on Buddy the Elf type of situation. I just love it!

It’s just crazy that it is already December to me. Nebraska needs to get with the program, because it is going to be almost 60 degrees today! Call me crazy, but I am so ready for a nice, big snow storm. Yep, I’m crazy, but I love it! You better believe everyone will know my excitement when it finally snows and sticks to the ground.

With Christmas and holiday parties right around the corner, you need a good, easy, and fun cocktail to make everyone feel nice and warm inside! When I took my first sip of this Santa’s Sleigh Cocktail, I texted my husband and was like no way! I actually made a cocktail that I liked and it wasn’t a sangria! I was just pleasantly surprised. This Santa baby is so smooth it’s criminal. Trust me, you won’t even taste the alcohol in it! This could be a good or a bad thing…

What I love so much about drinks like this Santa’s Sleigh, besides how amazing it goes down, is that it is completely hassle free. All you have to do is pour all the ingredients into a pot or slow cooker and bring it up slowly to a nice and warm temperature. Your guests can ladle their own mug of Santa’s Sleigh, top it however they please and be ho, ho, ho happy. You don’t even have to bat an eye or break a sweat. PS: you can also make this in advance and reheat it for the next several days. Bonus points if you have Santa’s Sleigh stocked in your refrigerator.

This smooth, warm, mug of a cocktail will make you feel all the warm and fuzzies inside and get everyone around you in the Christmas spirit.

 

Santa’s Sleigh Cocktail

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 gallon chocolate milk
  • 1 cup Kahlua
  • 3/4 cup peppermint Schnapps

Topping Ideas:

  • Marshmallows
  • Melted Chocolate
  • Sprinkles
  • Candy Canes
  • Chocolate Chips

Directions:

  1. Pour all of the ingredients into a large pot over low heat. Slowly bring the cocktail to a warm temperature, avoiding any boiling or simmering. Serve warm with delicious topping ideas.

2017 Swimsuit Recap

I am not a swimsuit-picture-posting person. Heck, taking a selfie is hard enough! So why am I doing a whole post about swimsuits? I used to cringe at the thought of having to wear one. Bikini season was not my thing – give me all the yoga pants and chunky sweaters please! I am not an itsy-bitsy-teeny-weeny-yellow-polka-dot-bikini wearing girl, but here I am, going 150% out of my comfort zone to share with you how I became confident and comfortable wearing a swimsuit.


It’s nothing fancy, high-tech or Pinterest-worthy. I just simply ditched the bikini and never looked back. Before we go any farther, I am in now way shaming bikinis or bikini-wearing gals. This is just purely my personal choice and I have no problem with them, but I will share with you how awesome it made me feel to leave them behind! It was like a huge weight was lifted when the thought of not having to put on a bikini came to mind. Summer, swimsuit season and bikinis have become SO high maintenance with our culture. I kept feeling dogged down about not having a “bikini body”, but what in the world is that anyways? Our culture tells us its skinny, tan, smooth, the right things rounded and firm and other places flat and doesn’t jiggle when you laugh. Yeah, that’s pretty high maintenance to me! I’d rather be real, healthy, active and eat cake.