Monday, January 31, 2011

Antipasto Skewers

Need a quick, easy and tasty appetizer for Superbowl or any party?
These skewers are simple but delicious... and so adorable!

Mozzarella Cheese
Large Green Olives
Artichoke hearts (marinated), optional

You could also add cherry tomatoes, use black olives instead of green
or change it up however you like!

Friday, January 28, 2011

Nutella Silk Pie

There are people who love Nutella and there are people who've never tried Nutella- thats it there is no in between right?!?!
This pie is light and fluffy, smooth and silky and just downright delicious!
Perfect combination of Nutella and peanut butter-deliciously creamy and it came to be
all because of a little thing called Dessert Wars!
Dessert Wars is the brainchild of Reeni from Cinnamon Spice & Everything Nice and Christine from The Cupcake Bandit. This is a competition with a new ingredient each month, this months is Nutella, designed to push us out of our comfort zone and try something new-and there are prizes!!
The prizes will be posted at the end of this post.
After checking around I realized there are like a million and one Nutella recipes!!
I really wanted to come up with something different so once this pie "came to me;)"
I checked around the net and was pleased to find there wasn't already a recipe out there.
So I looked around for a basic silk pie recipe and went from there.
As always the full recipe is available through the printable link.
This is what I came up with:
Make a pie crust and bake it-no pictures for this step.
In a medium sauce pan cook sugar, chocolate, milk and corn syrup together stirring occasionally, to the soft ball stage-234 degrees.
Remove from heat and add Nutella.
Beat lightly for a few minutes.

Pour into cooled pie crust.

Chill thoroughly before filling layer.

Mix together the filling ingredients-cream cheese, Nutella, peanut butter, powdered sugar, pudding mix and milk. Beat until smooth.

This part is super important-
Just one of those things you just do;)

Then gently fold into filling mixture until well blended.

Pour over fudge layer.

Chill before's totally worth the wait!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Chili Dog Casserole

One thing that comes with being a parent is
always trying to please my kids.... can i get an Amen? LOL!

With five kids to keep entertained, it can be a challenge!
The Peppered Pantry has been invited to take part in a CSN review again; love CSN and all the different varieties of items they have.
With Summer just around the corner (we can hope right?!), CSN has all kinds of things from Swing set, to bikes, trampolines and even pools...
basically everything you need to keep your kids happy!

Food is always a big challenge when it comes to my kids too
but they loved this Chili Dog Casserole!

This is unbelievably good-really unbelievably!
It has all the kiddo-s favorites-cheese, hot dogs, tortillas...
I think it would be even better with chopped onions, maybe some black olives, even some bacon would be delish and throw on a little extra cheese-YUM!
But this was for the I had to stick to the original-which is really good too:)

Pictured above is all you need!!
Awesome hey?!?
Comes together really quickly-sprinkle tortillas with a little cheese, then roll up with good quality beef hot dogs, place in 9x13 baking dish. Continue until you've used all the dogs.
Top with chili and then cheese.
Pop into a preheated oven and bake for about 25 to 30 minutes-until heated through.
Some of the kids like to drizzle with a little ketchup.
just sayin...;)


Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Chicken Cordon Bleu Soup

This soup was creamy with a little kick of spice in the background.
In hind sight we thought it would be even better with a light, flaky biscuit baked on top:)
I highly recommend this one if you love Chicken Cordon Bleu and even if you don't love it or have never had it!

First melt butter and add chopped onion-cook until tender
add in flour

add half and half

Meanwhile cook chicken
once browned add to the above mixture along with some chicken broth

the round-up of spices^
*not pictured* yellow mustard
and throw in some fresh broccoli
then throw in cubed ham

Pour into ramekins

Grate some good cheese:)
lots of it!!

top soup with as much cheese as you think you should;)

then top the whole thing with a pie crust-cut just a little bigger than ramekin

brush with egg wash

cut slits

then, just go ahead, break into this crispy crust to get to that creamy goodness!!
Hope you enjoy our take on the classic Chicken Cordon Bleu:)

Monday, January 24, 2011

O'Henry Bars

Soft, chewy, Chocolate-y, peanut butter Goodness!!
These bars my Mom used to make when we were kids and i haven't had
them in many, many years!!!
So nummy... and easy!!

Great for the kids to make! Only 6 ingredients too! :)

Mix oatmeal, brown sugar, corn syrup and butter.....

Pour mixture into 9x13-inch pan.
Bake at 350° for 10 minutes.

Melt chocolate and peanut butter in microwave and pour over bars.

Cool. Cut. Enjoy!! So simple but lots of taste!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Chocolate Cupcake with Caramel Icing

Aren't these sooo pretty!!
I love the way the Caramel Icing is dripping down the cupcake!
I think Caramel and Chocolate totally belong together-sooo yummy!:)
I found this recipe here over a year ago and made them shortly after-finally getting around to posting them;)

They really look nothing like they were supposed to-the frosting wouldn't stiffen up so hence the Icing-which I thought looked really cool! Except that I decided to use paper liners on these and when you pulled the paper off some of the delicious Icing pulled off with 'em:(
Overall they were good but kinda dry-this always happens to me when I make from scratch cake...Any suggestions???
I've heard that you MUST sift and all ingredients should be at room temperature.
Is there any other tricks to making scratch cakes??
I really love my box mixes, but would like to figure this out cuz supposedly{;)} scratch tastes sooo much better!

Anyway these are your basic chocolate cake ingredients:
flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, salt, butter, sugar, vanilla and eggs and milk.
They have 3 oz. of melted semi-sweet chocolate added-you could add what you like.
I added milk chocolate instead, I think a German sweet chocolate would be really yummy:)
Frosting Ingredients:
butter, brown sugar, milk and powdered sugar.
Cook the butter and brown sugar together for a couple minutes, stir in milk and start adding powdered sugar.


Monday, January 17, 2011

French Onion Soup and Grilled Cheese

Not alot of thing better than grilled cheese sandwiches and soup!
My grandma made grilled cheese and tomato-Yum my favorite:)
This soup was very rich so you don't need much.
The French bread with all the melty yummy cheese on top was DE-vine!

I was surprised at how filling it was considering it's just onions and beef stock and seasonings!
Since we were just trying it out we followed the recipe to a T and as far as we could tell it turned out perfectly and we thought it looked really nice too;)

The grilled cheese was made from aged white cheddar and swiss, both of which we picked up from a cheese shop in pikes market in Seattle-so yummy!!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Snow Cream

How many of you have heard of snow cream before??? I think it is totally a “south thing”:) My husband and I both grew up in South Dakota around ALOT of snow for many years and we had never heard of it before we moved down south. A couple of years ago it snowed down here and all of a sudden I see “Making some snow cream” all over everyone’s  Facebook status's . So I had to see what all the hype was all about. Here is our take on making snow cream in case there are some of you out there that have never heard or made it before:) If you have made it before we would love to hear how you make it!!! 
All you need is a few basic ingredients: Milk, sugar, vanilla, and snow
Blend: 1c milk, 1/2c sugar, 1/2tsp vanilla
Stir in enough snow to make snow cream to an ice cream consistency.
Some variations: Substitute canned cream for milk for a heavier flavor. Or add Nestles Quick for a chocolate snow cream or use instant cocoa mix. Another variation is to add a raisins and cinnamon or add a beaten egg for a nog taste. Or puree any fruit like a banana and add to the mixture. We have tried the chocolate snow cream and that was really good too!!! Get creative:)
Note:  Always make sure the snow is clean. It takes at least one to two hours for snow to clean the pollutants from the air, then use only snow that has fallen after that. Obviously also make sure that you do not collect the snow where animals or birds have been. Cleanliness first!!!!  
This is a treat even the younger ones can make for the whole family!!!!
Printable Recipe

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Fish Tacos

Now that I am living back in WA, Holly and I have started up our tradition of making a new meal together for our families on Saturday nights. We have a lot of fun!! Anyway, this last week i receive a text from Holly asking what we should do for dinner? Jimmy and I watch a lot of Food Network and I have come to love Aarti Party! If you haven't got a chance to check out her show, you should... it is great! She cooks with a lot of different spices and always has a unique twist on how to make things. I was so excited to try these Fish Tacos and couldn't wait to tell Holly my idea....this is the text i received back.... "What?!? Ugh, Sick!!!" LOL, I guess I forgot she is not a big fan of fish!! She was willing to try it though and it was awesome!! Def something that you should try! The Mayo that you make to go with it puts the taco over the top!

For sides we found two great recipes on The Sisters Cafe.... Cilantro Lime Rice and Garlic Black Beans. Nummy!

Marinade for the fish... olive oil, ground coriander, ancho chile powder, cinnamon, salt and pepper.

Cut the fish into chunks....

Add fish to marinade....

Coat completely. Set aside.

To make the Mayo: Put mayo, garlic, mint cumin and lime juice in food processor. Whizz until smooth.

Warm a large saute pan over medium heat. Add fish and cook about 3 minutes per side. Do not overcook!

Prepare all your toppings... cabbage, cilantro, lime, scallions and Quesco Fresco!

Enjoy!!! Delicious!
Served with Cilantro Lime Rice and Garlic Black Beans.

Want to make it a little healthier? Use outside of cabbage and
layer ingredients!
**Recipe adapted from Aarti Sequeira