Sunday, December 30, 2012

Peppermint Bark Rice Krispy Treats

Do you have a ton of candy canes left over from your holiday celebrations? I totally do! I think I may still have some from last year's holidays. Then I saw these peppermint marshmallows at the store and had to pick them up!

I made these for my Sunday School class and they loved them! I actually am not a fan of white chocolate so I made them again but just left that off. Give them a try, they are pretty great with the extra whole marshmallows in the middle. Mmmm.

Peppermint Bark Rice Krispy Treats

 4 Tbsp butter plus more for greasing the pan
6 cups mini Peppermint Marshmallows
6 cup Rice Krispy Treats
2 cups white chocolate chips
2 cups milk chocolate chips
1 tsp oil
2 candy canes, crushed

In large saucepan melt butter over low heat. Add 4 cups marshmallows and stir until completely melted. Remove from heat. Add cereal and 2 cups marshamallows. Stir until well coated. Using buttered spatula or wax paper evenly press mixture into 13 x 9 x 2-inch pan coated with cooking spray. Melt milk chocolate chips and spread over treats. Melt white chocolate chips and oil using this tip. Spread over slightly cooled chocolate. Top with candy canes and press in slightly. Cool. Cut into 2-inch squares. Best if served the same day.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Double the Nutella Cookies

You know when your just in the mood for chocolate. Basically every sing day. Well, this is one of those recipes that you could whip up even on the busiest and craziest of days. These are fantastic! Chocolatey, chewy, Nutella-y, and superb warm or cooled.

I had to take a plate to my neighbors just so I wouldn't eat the entire batch straight from the oven! She ate 3 just while I was there for the five minutes. I take that as a compliment. This is what Santa is going to get this year at my house for sure!

Nutella Frosted Nutella Cookies

3/4 cup Nutella plus more for frosting
2 Tbsp butter 
1 large egg
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/4 cup all purpose flour

Preheat oven to 350°. With a hand held mixer beat together Nutella, butter, and egg. Mix in baking soda and salt. Add in flour and mix just until incorporated. Using a tablespoon, scoop out dough and roll into balls. Place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper or baking mat. You can put theses pretty close together, the don't spread out much. Bake 8-10 minutes, just until set. Mine were perfect at 8 minutes but I didn't crowd them too much. Let cool on baking sheet for 3 minute. Move to a wire rack. Heat up about 1/2 cup Nutella in the microwave for 15 seconds. Using a small spoon (a baby spoon works best), spoon Nutella onto cookies and swirl around. Tada! I chocolate fix in 15 minutes! That's pretty awesome!
Makes about 20 cookies, definitely enough to share but I'll leave that up to you.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Decadence Cafe

Decadence Cafe
584 W. 1600 N.
Orem, UT 84057

Decadence Cafe caught my eye a few months ago when I was running errands and I stashed it away to my list of places I wanted to try. It's located in a small building on 1600 N. in Orem, don't blink or you'll miss it. It's a little mock coffee shop, minus the coffee and caffeine (which is fitting for the Utah demographics).  Instead of coffee beans they use Crio, a cocoa bean based product. They have ice cream made from butter fat (heart stopping words, literally), cupcakes, cookies, and other desserts.

Girls night brought us here, and it seemed like the perfect place. We originally planned on getting dinner, but soon realized we would be having dessert first. They had a few sandwiches in the display cooler, but we went straight for the chocolate and dessert.

What We Got...

Peppermint Mocha
I was expecting more of a pepperminty flavor, but instead it was almost hidden behind the dark chocolate.  It was good, but nothing to rave about. I would have liked it to be more pepperminty, maybe with a cute candy candy to stir it with.

Caramel Apple Frappe

A cold drink that was quite good. But for me I would have enjoyed it more on a summer day. I turn to the hot drinks once fall hits the calendar.


If you like dark chocolate, this is the drink for you. I prefer dark chocolate and thought it was again, another ok drink. When I compared the peppermint mocha the minty flavor was more apparent, but still I wanted more mint.

Mini Caramel Apple

This was by far the best cupcake we had.  There was a little bit of a crumble on top that just made this cupcake stand out.  Get this cupcake!

Red Velvet  $2.50
I've had better red velvet. That's all I'm going to say.

White Chocolate Raspberry  $2.50

Another ok cupcake. 

Was amazing. The girl who took our orders was very helpful. She explained the different types of drinks, let us sample the ice cream, and gave us recommendations according to our preferences. A+

Yellow Light. It's a fun concept and I would recommend stopping in for a drink to check the place out.  Skip the desserts, there are better cupcakes out there that I would rather be eating.  

Scale Rating Descriptions
Green Light: I'll be coming through all the time, call me a regular, recommend to everyone and all, I"ll crave this place when I'm pregnant, loved it!

Yellow Light: I'll be slow to go through,  I'd go back if someone suggested it,  nothing special, not something I'm going to crave, it was ok.

Red Light: STOP! Don't go, tried it once and that's enough, warn people not to go, thinking about it brings back bad memories, didn't like it.

  Decadence Cafe on Urbanspoon

Monday, December 10, 2012

Honey Sesame Chicken

Yup, it's that time again. Dinner time. And beside pulling out chicken from the freezer, I haven't even thought about it. Generally I pull out some type of meat from the freezer in the morning and then think all day about what to make with it. Not today. Five o'clock hit and I still hadn't thought about what to cook. So I just started cooking.

I had some rice left over from last night's dinner so I just went Asian-ish. This turned out fantastic and was really quick and easy. It's actually a spin off of one of my regular dishes I make. I have no idea where the recipe came from, I printed it off years ago before Pinterest and blogging. But I changed it up a bit over the years to make it mine.

Honey Sesame Chicken

2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breast, trimmed of any fat and cut into bite-size pieces
2 Tbsp cornstarch
Kosher salt and ground pepper
2 Tbsp oil
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup honey
1 Tbsp sesame seeds
1 bunch green onions, chopped
2 cups white or brown rice, cooked according to package directions

In a large mixing bowl, combine chicken pieces and cornstarch. Season with salt and pepper. Stir well to combine. Heat oil in a large skillet over high heat. Once hot, add chicken. Cook, stirring often, until cooked through, about 5 minutes. Transfer chicken pieces onto a plate and put the pan back on the heat. Pour in the soy sauce and honey. With a wooden spoon, scrape the cooked bits on the bottom of the pan while the soy sauce mixture simmer. Let simmer for 2 minutes. Add the chicken back into the pan. Sprinkle sesame seeds on top and toss well, coating all the chicken pieces in the soy mixture. Serve over rice and garnish with green onions.

This is a double batch, I also threw the onions in with the sesame seeds.

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Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Fiesta Lentil Soup

This is another quick and easy soup recipe that is sure to warm you up on a cold day.

When I cook, I look for ways to incorporate more nutrition. That is what I did with lentils in this recipe. Lentils are packed with fiber. Fiber makes you feel fuller quicker and thus you tend to eat less because you aren't as hungry.  This soup is a twist on taco soup and chili, check it out.

Fiesta Lentil Soup

1 can black beans
2 cans (14.5 oz) Mexican style stewed tomatoes
1 can (14.5 oz) chicken broth
1 can corn
1 small onion, chopped
1 clove garlic
4 ribs of celery, chopped
1/2 cup lentils sorted and rinsed
3 Tbsp chili powder
1 tsp ground cumin
1 bay leaf

Combine everything into a pot*. Let it come to a boil for a few minutes then turn down the heat and let it simmer for 30 minutes. Remove the bay leaf before serving. I topped it off with green onions, sour cream, cheese, and tortillas chips.

*You could easily combine everything in the crockpot and let it cook for a few hours.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Banana Chocolate Chip Pancakes with Peanut Butter Pancake Syrup

So we had this tradition growing up where all of us kids would get to choose the food we ate all day on our birthday. It's something that I loved, cost no extra money, and really made my day special. I have decided to always do this with my kids too. Well, it was my son's 5th birthday last week. He loves breakfast more than any other meal of the day. One of his favorite breakfast foods is banana pancakes which we make on a weekly basis. He also loves chocolate chips, and he LOVES peanut butter! So I thought "why not add all of these things into a pancake!"

I have actually made something similar to this before and called them "chunky monkey" or "Curious George" pancakes. But they are really sweet for breakfast so it's not something I do often. Like only once a year. But they are SOOO good!

Banana Chocolate Chip Pancakes with Peanut Butter Pancake Syrup

1 cup flour
2 tsp baking powder
a pinch of salt
1 Tbsp oil
1 egg
1/2 cup milk, plus more to get to desired consistency
1 ripe banana, mashed with fork
Handful of mini chocolate chips
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup pancake syrup

For syrup: Heat peanut butter for one minute. Add syrup and mix.

For Pancakes: Mix four, baking powder, salt, oil, egg and milk together with whisk. Add milk to get to desired consistency. Add in banana and chocolate chips. Use a 1/4 measuring cup and pour onto a medium heated griddle. Flip after about 3 minutes or when your pancakes look like this:

They should look like this:

Take off griddle after a couple more minutes. Or you can always use a tablespoon and make dippers!

Either way you can't go wrong!
Place any leftovers in a single layer on a pan and freeze for 30 minutes (or longer). Place in a freezer bag and freeze until you need them. I put mine in the toaster to reheat but you can use a microwave or toaster oven.

Happy Birthday little man! Can't believe how far you've come in five years!