Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Texas Avalanche Bars

Going over to Shelly's blog at CookiesAndCups is like going to a candy store. I feel like this is what Hansel and Gretel felt like when they first saw the gingerbread house covered in sweets.  Her blog is full of unique ideas, sugary delights, and delicious delicacies. And to top it off Shelly is orginally from Houston :)

When I found these bars, it was love at first site.  I made them for our BINGO night with our group of friends :) 

You'll need:
2 bags of white chocolate chips (Ghiradelli is the best for white chocolate!)
1/3 cup of creamy peanut butter
6 cups of Rice Krispies
3 cups of miniature marshmallows
1/2 cup of mini chocolate chips + 3 tablespoons for garnishment 

**Recipe cuts in half perfectly fine, just put in an 8x8 pan!

1. Grease a 9x13 pan
2. Melt white chocolate in a microwave safe bowl.  Heat first for one minute, take out and stir.  Then heat again 30 seconds, mix.  If needed, heat another 30 seconds until smooth.
3. Add in peanut butter with white chocolate until completely blended
4. Add in rice krispies into the peanut butter/chocolate mix
5. Wait 10 minutes until a bit cooler and add marshmallows and chocolate chips
6. Mix throughoughly and pour into prepared pan
7. Cut when completely cooled!  
8. Serve and enjoy!

Hello, delicious!

-Domesticated Duchess

Creamy Cajun Chicken Pasta

There are some things in life you just should not skip.  You shouldn't skip your prom.  Even if you don't have a date or prefer not to dance, it's still a one time experience you just can't miss.  Another non-skipper is having a dog (or pet).  I love Ben with all my heart, and he is our "son".  The joys a pet can bring is really unmatched.  

This recipe is something you also shouldn't miss out on. I'm not lying when I tell you that it is restaurant worthy.  
Creamy Chicken Cajun Pasta!

You'll need:
8 or 9 chicken breast tenderloins (basically chicken breasts cut into chicken strip sizes)
8 oz of linguine, cooked
4 teaspoons of cajun seasoning (Tony Chachere's is hands down the best, but Lawry's works too)
2 green onions
A bit of olive oil
1 cup of heavy whipping cream
1 cup of low fat milk (you can use 2 cups of whipping cream if you're not worried about fat/caloric content)
4 tablespoons chopped sun-dried tomatoes (use more if you'd like)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon black pepper (ground)
1/2 cup of parmesan cheese

1. Cook pasta per directions on package.  Drain. Once cooked set aside in large pot. 
2. Put a bit of olive oil in a skillet cover the bottom of the skillet with some cajun seasoning.  Put chicken on the skillet and add more cajun seasoning on top.  Sauté in your skillet until chicken is fully cooked.  
3. Once chicken is cooked, remove and chop into small bite sized pieces.  Add back to skillet.  Now chop your green onions as well.  
3. In the skillet add chopped green onion, cream and milk, tomatoes, basil, salt, garlic powder, pepper and heat until it bubbles.**
4.  Add the creamy mixture in the pasta and heat until thick. Add the parmesan cheese slowly.  This could take 5 minutes to fully thicken.  If it's still not thick you can add 1-2 teaspoons of flour.
5. Serve, eat and forever change your life. 

**NOTE: If your mixture in step three is not getting thick, add 1/2 tablespoon of flour
Feeds four really hungry adults.  Or six normal people.  Or eight small children.  Or one sumo wrestler. You can easily half or double this recipe depending on your level of hunger :)

Also, a shout out to my younger brother who helped chop, pour, serve, and mix this delicious piece of art.  And yes I did refer to food as art :)

-Domesticated Duchess

SOURCE: Plain Chicken

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Carrot Cake!

Carrot cake is a Christmas tradition in our family.  I make a carrot cake for my family's Christmas Eve celebration.  Then on Christmas Day we visit my husband's family and they buy a carrot cake from this small town bakery which is just to melt for. Both are really good!

Here is my recipe of carrot cake!

You'll Need (cake):

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 4 eggs (although once I only had 3 and it was still delicious)
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon 
  • dash of nutmeg (I use 1/8 teaspoon)
  • dash of all spice (again, 1/8 teaspoon)
  • 2 - 3 cups of grated carrots (I just use an entire 16 oz bag chopped)

You'll Need (icing):
  • 1 stick of butter, room temp
  • 8 oz package of cream cheese, room temp
  • 2 pounds of powdered sugar
  • 4 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt 

Step-by-step (cake):

1. Preheat oven to 350
2. Chop carrots using a food processor
3. Mix together sugar, oil and eggs in large bowl.
4. In another bowl sift together flour, salt, baking posder, baking soda, cinnamon, all spice, and nutmeg.
5. Add the dry ingredient slowly to the wet mixture until mixed well
6. Then add carrots and mix well
7. Pour into a greased and floured pan and bake for 35 minutes for 2 round pans 9" pans; or 25 minutes for a 9x11
8. Cool COMPLETELY before frosting. 

Step-by-step (frosting):
1. Put room temperature butter and cream cheese in bowl and beat until smooth
2. Add in vanilla and salt and beat
3. In half bowl increments add the sugar
4. Avoid taste testing
5. Frost cooled cake and enjoy!!

-Domesticated Duchess

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Breakfast Cinnamon Bites

This week I wanted to make my hubs a yummy and portable breakfast he could take to the office.  With a short work week, I was getting in the Christmas (and baking) sprit!
With the yummy cream cheese frosting!
These breakfast cinnamon bites are a bit messy to make, but really tasty.  I made some with cream cheese frosting for the hubs, and kept a few dry ones for me!  The ones with frosting were definitely a favorite, and were a cross between a cinnamon roll and a cinnamon biscuit.

I have a couple other similar and delicious breakfast recipes cinnamon biscuits and monkey bread but this treat is great treat to take to work since it is portable and you don't need a fork! 

You'll Need:
1  1/3 cups flour
1 cup of rice krispy cereal, crushed
2 1/2 tablespoons plus 1/2 cup sugar, divided
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup shortening
1/2 cup milk
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/4 cup butter melted

1. Mix flour, crushed cereal, 2 1/2 tablespoons sugar, baking powder and salt in a large bowl

2. Add shortening and fork until the mixture is coarse crumbs
3. Add milk and stir into dough
4. Roll doll into small balls (about 2 dozen)
5. Mix cinnamon and remaining sugar in a bowl.  
6.  Drop the balls into melted butter and roll in cinnamon mixture
7.  Place balls onto a greased pan (uses a cookie sheet if you want them to stay round, or for a fun monkey break type look put in a round pan)

8. Cook for 15 minutes on 425. 

Notes: These taste better cold!  My taste testers (hubs and both brothers) liked it better with the cream cheese icing

delicious cinnamon breakfast bites without frosting!

Source: OhMySugarHigh (slightly adapted)

-Domesticated Duchess

Monday, December 19, 2011

Triple Chocolate Cookies

I really think I am a modern day cookie monster. I seriously love cookies.  Even as a child, I always sympathized with Cookie Monster. I mean all the man wanted is some cookies, and apparently cookies are hard to come by in Sesame Street. 

My office cafeteria makes some amazing cookies.  They are chewy, chocolatey and delicious.  Fortunately, they don't put the nutritional content on the cookie package or I probably would have to limit my cookie intake :).  

By the way, did anyone else know that Cookie Monster now likes eggplant and salad?  Sesame Street is just trying to push kids into eating healthy.  Kids aren't dumb. They know that Cookie Monster is pretending to like eggplant so he can just get cookies for dessert.  I mean, does anyone actually like eggplant unless it's smothered in cheese like eggplant parmesan?  Anyway... back to the cookies.

I have searched to try and replicate the delicious chocolate cookie from my office canteen.  They are my favorite because it's chocolate based with with both white and chocolate chips. This was my first attempt.. and it was a HUGE success!  

You'll need:

2 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 cup of cocoa
1 cup butter, room temp
1 cup white sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2 eggs, room temp
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 1/4 cup of white chocolate chips
1 1/4 cup of chocolate chips (semi-sweet, dark, or milk.. whatever you fancy!)
*Note: You can add up to an extra 1/2 cup of chocolate.  I would split it 50/50, but you can load up on your fave!

1. Preheat oven to 375 and line baking sheets with baking mat or parchment sheet
2. In a bowl, sift flour, baking soda, and cocoa.  I generally skip sifting in a lot of recipes, but don't skip this step, because sifting the cocoa is very important to remove any lumps that cocoa has a tendency to have
3. Cream together butter and sugar until smooth.  Add in the eggs, one at a time, followed by mixing in the vanilla extract.
4. Slowly add in the dry ingredients, half cup at a time, until it is completely blended in
5.  Hand mix in the chocolate chips (it may be tough, since the dough is thick)
6.  Drop cookie dough on your sheets.  These cookies are "drop" cookies so they do not spread too much.  If you want them to be bigger, use the palm of your hand to flatten them a bit.  
7. Bake for 10 minutes.  Cool for 5, and move to baking sheet.
8. Serve and share with friends!

SOURCE: TwoPeasandTheirPod (slightly adapted by cookie monster, and by that I mean myself)

-Domesticated D

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Macaroni and Cheese Bites!

Each year, we have a big Christmas party for all our friends. It is just a great reason to celebrate the season with our friends!  I try to make all the food from scratch, and as this was the last recipe I made there are also very few pictures.

A few things to note: This makes a lot of bites!  About 60, so make sure you've got a big crowd!  Another thing, make sure these are fresh and hot.  I made the mistake of making these the night before and it lost a lot of flavor in 24 hours.

You'll Need:
16 oz of macaroni
3 tablespoons of butter
4 tablespoons of flour
1 1/2 cups of milk
3 packed cups of shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup of parmesan cheese
2 extra large egg yolks
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1/4 teaspoon of nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon of pepper (optional)
1/2 teaspoon of dry mustard powder (optional)
extra parmesan cheese to sprinkle on top (optional)

1. Cook pasta and drain well. Set aside
2. Preheat oven to 425 degrees
3. Spray a nonstick mini muffin pan, and set aside
4. In a large pan, melt butter on medium heat. Whisk in the flour and cook for 1 minute
5. Add in the milk and bring to a boil, whisking frequently until very thick
6. Add cheddar and parmesan cheese and stir to melt.
7. Remove from heat and stir in the egg yolks, salt, nutmeg, and other optional spices.  Stir in macaroni.
8. Spoon in the macaroni into prepared mini muffin pan. Sprinkle extra parmesan cheese on top if desired
9. Bake for about 10 minutes.  Cool for 5 minutes
10.  Using a spoons, loosen the mac and cheese bite and transfer to platter to serve.

-Domesticated Duchess

Source: Macaroni&Cheesecake 

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Red Velvet Brownies with White Chocolate Butter Cream Frosting

I love brownies.  How can something so simple and square bring so much joy to my heart? Here is a delicious remix on red velvet cake, Red Velvet Brownies with White Chocolate Butter Cream Icing!!  Delicious! 

You'll Need (brownies):
3 tablespoons of cocoa powder
1 to 1.5 oz of red food coloring
2 teaspoons of vanilla extract, divided
1 stick of butter (room temperature)
2 eggs (room temperature
1 1/2 cup white sugar
1 1/4 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon of salt

You'll Need (frosting)

1 stick of butter (room temperature)
2 1/2 cups of powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2/3 cup of white chocolate chips (high quality.. I used ghiradelli)
2 tablespoons heavy cream

Step-by-step (brownies):
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees, butter an 8x8 pan
2. In a small bowl, stir together cocoa, food coloring and 1 teaspoon of vanilla into a thick paste with no lumps of cocoa. 

3. In another large bowl, beat together butter and sugar. Then add eggs one at a time.  Then add 1 teaspoon of vanilla. Then add the reddish paste into the mix.  Blend until uniform in color.
4. Slowly add the flour and salt until smooth.
5. Bake for 30 - 40 minutes (mine was good at 34). Set on baking rake for about one hour
6. When cool, frost brownies using below recipe and instructions

Step-by-step (frosting):
1. Beat butter until fluffy, then add and beat vanilla.
2. Add powdered sugar 1/2 cup at a time, make sure it is fully blended before adding the next 1/2 cup.
3. Once the sugar has been added, pour in the melted white chocolate until incorporated (it will be lumpy here)
4. On low speed at the tablespoons of heavy cream, one at a time.
5. Frost and enjoy!

-Domesticated Duchess

Source: How Sweet Eats

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Hot Fudge Ice-cream Topping!

I love ice-cream.  I like ice-cream in a cup, in a cone, on a stick.  I like ice-cream's skinny cousin yogurt.  The only thing that can make ice-cream more delicious is HOT FUDGE SAUCE!  This is my mother in-law's recipe, and it happens to be my favorite because it so easy it is almost embarrassing to share.  Not really, it just makes me want to eat more ice-cream.

In fact, the only way to make this better is to pair it with chocolate chip brownies or traditional brownies

You'll need:

  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 3 tablespoons cocoa
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 3 tablespoons of butter

1. Melt the butter in a large microwave safe bowl
2. Put all ingredients in the bowl, and mix very well
3. Microwave in 1 to 1 1/2 minute increments, mixing VERY well in between.  If you don't mix well you will get lumps
4. Microwave for about 4-6 minutes in total.  DO NOT over cook, or this will turn into a fudge and will get hard (and not be good for an ice-cream topping, although it will still be delicious)

A. If you don't mix well, your fudge will get lumps!
B. Cook in short increments and do NOT overcook
C. This will melt your ice-cream quickly because it's hot... but it's totally worth it

Peace, Love, Chocolate!
-Domesticated Duchess

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Cream cheese garlic chicken poppers!

These little poppers are addicting!  Especially since I love cheese, and I love to make things that are easy and not messy!  This is perfect for an appetizer for a holiday party, or just a good finger food to make!

You'll Need:
2 cans of crescent rolls
3/4 cup of cooked, shredded chicken (I just bought the kind you microwave up to make this easier and faster)
1 teaspoon of garlic (you can add a bit more if you love garlic!)
4 oz of cream cheese

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees
2. Using a mixer, blend the cream cheese, garlic, and chicken until very well blended.
3. Open and unroll the crescent rolls, and cut each of the triangles into two.  
4. Put about 1 teaspoon of the chicken mixture on each mini triangle, and roll up
5. Cook on a cookie sheet, lined with aluminum foil and greased.  Bake for about 12 minutes
6. Serve warm!

Makes about 32 bites.

-Domesticated Duchess 

Source: Tidy Mom 

Peanut Butter Reindeer Cookies!

Ever since we moved into our house, the hubs and I have hosted a Christmas party.  This year the food was better than ever.  These cookies are delicious and cute! Plus, I found my new recipe for peanut butter cookies!

You'll need:
3/4 cup of creamy peanut butter
1 1/4 cup of firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup of shortening
3 tablesppons of milk
1 tablespoon of vanilla
1 egg
1 3/4 cup of all purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon of salt
chocolate-covered pretzels (the smaller the better)
Brown M&M's (for the eyes)
Red M&M's (for the nose)

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees
2. Combine brown sugar, peanut butter, shortening, milk and vanilla in large bowl, and beat until well blended.  Then add egg
3. Add in flour, baking soda and salt.  Mix in until well blended
4.  Form dough into 1 inch balls.  To make reindeer-shaped cookies, pinch the bottom of the ball to form a point, then flatten the head with your hand.
5. Space cookies 2 inches apart on greased cookie sheet and bake for 8 minutes. 

6. Remove from oven, and gently press two brown M&Ms for the eyes, one red one for the nose, and then the mini pretzels into the tops of the cookies for the antlers. NOTE: The antlers will fall off if you are not careful!! You want to make sure the entire cookies is on the plate, because it part of it is hanging off they will fall off 
7. Allow to cool on baking sheet then transfer to wire rack. 

Makes about 30 reindeer cookies!


Source: Bakergirl

Monday, December 5, 2011

Mexican Lasagna

We love Mexican food.  And in Texas, I think it's the best outside of, well Mexico!  This delicious and easy recipe and definitely a crowd pleaser!

Props to Lindsay at ArtsyFartsyMama for this awesome creation, I found via pinterest. 

You'll Need:

  • Tortillas - 12 small (flour or corn)
  • Enchilada Sauce (I used 1.5 cans, or 15 oz)
  • 1 can of refired beans (reduced fat works!)
  • Ground beef - cook, drained and season with taco seasoning
  • 1 bag of shredded cheese 
  • Any other ingredients you would enjoy on your tacos: olives, jalapenos, lettuce, guacamole, sour cream, etc.

1. Pour enchilada sauce in a pan (9x13 or 8x8) so the tortillas won't stick
2. Then layer 6 small tortillas (4 if you use the 8x8) covering the enchilada sauce
3. Next, layer on refried beans, taco meat, cheese then enchilada sauce (add your extra taco ingredients here)
4. Do one more layer of tortillas, beans, meat, cheese!
5. Bake at 350 for 30-35 minutes, a few more if the cheese isn't all melted
6. Cut, serve, enjoy!

NOTE: I used an 8x8 casserole dish because my 9x13 was dirty.  Next time I'll use the 9x13 because the smaller pan makes it thicker, and more sloppy.  Kind of like an enchilada!  Very delicious either way!

-Stuffed and Signing Off!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

White Macadamia Nut Cookies

The hubs and I are going to a friend's birthday dinner tomorrow.  I decided to make his favorite type of cookies are white macadamia nut. The only problem is not only have I rarely eaten these treats, I've definitely never made them.

So, after doing some intense research I learned a few things:

  • Do not use white chocolate chips, purchase white chocolate and chop it up.  White chocolate chips taste are so sweet, they taste artificial.
  • Let the butter get to room temperature by setting it out an hour or so early.  If you melt the butter (i.e. put it in the microwave) the cookies will get too thin, which white macadamia nut cookies need to be thick
  • You can use your favorite regular chocolate chip recipe to make a great white macadamia nut recipe!

You'll need:
  • 1/2 stick of butter, softened (NOT melted)
  • 6 tablespoons white sugar
  • 6 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons of vanilla
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup + 2 tablespoons of flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda
  • 1 cup of white chocolate (if you really like white chocolate you can use an extra 1/4 cup without messing the consistency)
  • 1 cup of white macadamia nuts


1. Take chocolate and chop it into bite-sized pieces

2. In a bowl beat the butter, sugar, vanilla until combined.  Then beat in the egg

3. Add the salt, baking soda, and flour very slowly.  Beat until smooth.  Do not over beat!

4. Combine the chopped chocolate and the nuts into the bowl, and mix using a spoon.  Make sure to fold through the bottom, so the chocolate and nuts are evenly distributed.

5. Roll 1 to 1 1/2 inch balls. Bake on 375 for 10-12 minutes.  White chocolate burns fast!  Keep a close eye on them!! 

6.  Let set five minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.  This step is important, or the bottoms can burn

YUM!  Makes 22-24 cookies!  Or 16 BIG cookies!

Now where is the milk?

-Domesticated Duchess