Friday, May 31, 2013

Chocolate Marshmallow Rice Krispie Treats

Kind of redundant, right?  I know, Rice Krispie Treats already have marshmallows...but these have EXTRA marshmallows and chocolate chips!  And are still one of the easiest desserts you will ever make. 

Um, ridiculously good looking, right?  I think I've pretty much eaten the whole pan myself.

 Makes about 24 squares

Chocolate Marshmallow Rice Krispie Treats

1/4 cup butter
1 (10.5oz) bag of mini marshmallows, plus 1 extra cup (you'll have to buy 2 bags - I know, what a drag)
1 teaspoon vanilla
6 1/2 cups Rice Krispie cereal
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

In a large saucepan, melt butter and marshmallows on low heat, stirring occasionally.  Remove from heat and add vanilla.  In a large bowl, pour the marshmallow mixture over the cereal and stir until combined.  Add the extra cup of marshmallows and chocolate chips and stir again (should be cooled enough that the extra marshmallows don't melt, but the chocolate chips do just a little bit).  

Spread into a greased 9 x 13-inch pan and cool completely.  Cut into bars. 

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Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Grilled White Pizza with Tomatoes

Where I live in Georgia, we typically don't have a "Spring" season.  We may have one or two really nice days between March and May but pretty much you can expect it to go straight from winter to the hot stickiness that is the deep south.  This year has been quite the exception.  The weather has been amazing and well, Spring-like!  Low 70's, breezy, no humidity.  Just lovely!  And we have been spending more time than ever outside - playing, eating and cooking. 

We also did this last summer - turned our backyard into a brick courtyard because we cannot grow grass to save our lives (too shady!).  It was the best thing we could have done, so relaxing.  But, onto our dinner!

If you've never tried grilled pizzas, you have to - absolutely amazing.  The dough gets crispy and the cheese melts so perfectly.  It's so easy to do any ingredients you like!  You'll throw the dough on first, so have all of your ingredients prepped and right next to you on the grill.  

This makes 2 pizzas (about 9x13" each) and this recipe is for one of them.  We actually did my Ranch Barbecue Chicken Pizza on the other dough.  Just remember to double your ingredients if you want to do this white pizza on both.

Grilled White Pizza with Tomatoes

1 pound pizza dough, divided into 2 equal pieces
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 Roma tomato, sliced
1 cup shredded pizza cheese (mix of mozzarella, Parmesan and Romano cheese)
2 tablespoons Italian seasoning

Preheat your grill to medium.  Roll the pizza dough very thin (in whatever shape you like) to about 9x13" and place on a baking sheet.  Combine the olive oil and minced garlic in a small bowl.  Carry the dough, tomatoes, cheese, olive oil mixture and a pastry brush out to the preheated grill.  

Carefully lay the dough onto the lower part of the grill and immediately brush the olive oil and garlic onto the dough.  Place the sliced tomatoes, followed by the shredded cheese and Italian seasoning.  Close the lid to help the cheese melt a little but it doesn't take long for the dough to cook - about 4-5 minutes.  Keep checking and pull off when dough is crispy and cheese is bubbling and melted.  Cut into bite size squares.         
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Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Fresh Limeade

On a whim at the grocery store I bought an entire 3 pound bag of limes.  Just because they looked so pretty!  And I knew they would look especially nice in my black and white striped bowl from Crate and Barrel.  And they do, right?  

So, I have this overabundance of limes.  What to do with them?  On Mother's Day, after a wonderful afternoon at the beach, we stopped at this BBQ restaurant where we had fresher than fresh limeade.  Literally squeezed to refreshing!  So I thought I'd give that a try.  Talk about fresher than fresh!!  This is so good!  And perfect for a hot summer day.  Would be even so good as a replacement for lemonade in my Light and Easy Margaritas.   

Makes about 1 1/2 quarts

Fresh Limeade

1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon lime zest
3/4 cup fresh squeezed lime juice (about 5 limes)

In a small saucepan, combine the sugar and lime zest with 1 cup of water.  Bring to a boil and once the sugar dissolves (usually it happens simultaneously), remove from heat and let cool slightly.  Using a fine mesh sieve, strain the simple syrup into a pitcher to remove the lime zest.  Add the lime juice and 4 cups of water.  Serve over ice with a sprig of mint.
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Monday, May 20, 2013

Classic Deviled Eggs

My 3-year old is on a hard-boiled egg kick lately - I've been making about a dozen at a time just to keep up with her!  But she doesn't eat the yolks.  Makes me cut out "the yellow" every time.  Anyway, all that yolk removing (and trying to not be wasteful) reminded me of deviled eggs.  One of my husband's favorite picnic foods.  This is a very classic version and so tasty.   

You may want to start with 1/2 a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar and go from there.  I would drink that stuff if it was acceptable.  I love it!!  And knowing me, I probably used more than the tablespoon I wrote down.  So use it to your taste. 

Classic Deviled Eggs

6 eggs, hard boiled, peeled and cut in half
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1/2 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon yellow mustard
salt and pepper
paprika for garnish

Remove the yolks from eggs and place in a small bowl.  Add the mayo, vinegar, sugar and mustard; stir all together.  Salt and pepper to taste.  Use a spoon or piping bag to fill eggs with yolk mixture and garnish with paprika. Store covered in the fridge. 

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Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Fruit Pizza

I kind of went crazy buying fruit at the store the other day.  We were in Sam's Club and you know how they have the different stations with samples sometimes?  Well, they had one set up with some of their fresh fruit - and my kids gobbled in up!  Raspberries, blueberries, strawberries, you name it.  We walked out of there with quite a haul of fruit.  Once I find something this good for them that will eat without a fuss, I'm all over it.

So, I froze some and we've been munching on it like crazy, but I wanted to do something fun for my 3-year old's last day of preschool picnic (where has the time gone by the way??).  I decided that a fruit pizza would be cute and festive and really colorful for the kids.  Pretty right?

I also wanted a more substantial cookie - something you could really sink your teeth into.  So, instead of choosing the semi-homemade route (which you know I'm ALL about) and using prepared sugar cookie dough, I made my own.  See how thick and moist the cookie is?  Really just heavenly. 

    Makes about 20 bars

Fruit Pizza

1 stick butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3 cups of your favorite fruit, sliced, chopped or whole - I used raspberries, blueberries and peaches
2 tablespoons apricot jam or jelly

Cream Cheese Icing
1 (8 oz) bar reduced fat cream cheese
1/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 375 degrees and spray a 9 x 13-inch baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray.  In a large bowl with an electric mixer, cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.  Add eggs, one at a time, mixing after each egg.  Add vanilla.

In a separate bowl, combine flour, salt and baking soda.  Add to wet mixture and mix until just combined.  Spread batter on greased baking sheet and use your hands to spread over the entire pan (spray your hands with non-stick cooking spray or dip in water to avoid sticking).  Bake for 10-12 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out almost clean.  Let cool completely and make icing in the meantime.

Make the icing:  using an electric mixer, combine the 3 ingredients and mix well.  Spread over cooled sugar cookie bars.  Arrange your choice of fruit all over the cream cheese in any pattern you like.  Use the apricot jam as a glaze - heat in the microwave for about 20 seconds until it's kind of runny, then use a pastry brush to spread over the fruit.

(Source:  Cookies adapted from Six Sister's Stuff)

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Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Cilantro and Lime Vinaigrette

I found this recipe on Pinterest and just had to give it a try - cilantro and lime together just sounds so refreshing and summery doesn't it?  And I don't know about you, but I'm addicted to chopped salads.  A friend of mine once said that she loves salads but hates making them at home because they are never as good as when you get them out.  So true, right?  But honestly, this vinaigrette will NOT disappoint!  And using good, fresh ingredients like crisp Romaine, tomatoes, good cheese and of course something crunchy like nuts or tortilla strips will make you feel like you are sitting in your favorite little cafe enjoying a fantastic, light and refreshing dinner.    

I just love the colors of this dressing.  I doubled the recipe so I had enough that I could eat it for a couple of days (made about 2 cups versus the original 1 cup). 

Here's where you can make the salad completely your own.  I used Romaine lettuce, grilled chicken, shredded cheddar cheese and spicy tortilla strips.  If I had a tomato, that would have gone in too.  

Cilantro and Lime Vinaigrette

2/3 cup seasoned rice vinegar
1/2 cup lime juice (about 2 limes)
1 teaspoon garlic
2 tablespoons chipotle chilies in adobo (or a bit more if you like it really spicy)
2 tablespoons honey
1/2 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste if  necessary
1 1/2 cups canola oil
1 cup fresh cilantro, chopped

In a food processor, combine all the ingredients except for the canola oil and cilantro.  Pulse to combine.  Slowly add the canola oil to emulsify to the vinaigrette.  Add the cilantro and pulse to combine.  Serve over salad with all your favorite toppings!   

(Source:  Adapted from Your Home Based Mom)

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I'm a super busy mom of 3 and a Beachbody coach. Follow along as I try to find a balance between eating good food and keeping my family healthy and happy! We eat mostly clean with a few fun treats thrown in every once in awhile. Thanks for stopping by!

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