You either are or you aren't a mint chocolate chip person. My kids and I are...my husband is not. Mint Chocolate Chip people...this post is for you. If you love a Girl Scout Thin Mint, a Grasshopper Cake, Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream or a Peppermint Mocha at Starbucks...you will love these bars. You might even want to kiss me for them. They are that good. I made mine green for St. Patrick's Day...because well, everything is more fun when it's green on St. Patrick's Day.
1 box of chocolate cake mix
1 stick melted butter
1 box of powdered sugar (about 4 cups)
8 oz package of cream cheese, softened
2 teaspoons peppermint extract
green food coloring
1 cup chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease (I use Pam) one 9x13 inch pan. Set aside.
In a mixing bowl, combine cake mix, 2 eggs and melted butter. Spread in bottom of pan to form your "crust" layer.
In a second bowl, beat with an electric mixer, powdered sugar, 2 more eggs and cream cheese until smooth. Beat in your extract and 2 or 3 drops of food coloring. Finally, stir in your chocolate chips.
Spread cream cheese mixture on top of crust mixture.
Bake 35-40 minutes until edges are brown and center set (it will still be slightly wobbly in the middle).
Cool on counter 30 minutes, then refrigerate 2 hours up to 2 days.
Slice into bars and serve.
I'm telling you...you will kiss me...which is okay because I'm Irish.
In honor of St. Paddy's Day, I took my little Kool-Aid Cupcake method and mixed and matched it using lime Kool-Aid. My kiddos loved it!! Whether you need a sweet treat for St. Patrick's Day or just a yummy cupcake for spring and summer, these little cupcakes are the perfect ending to any meal.
1 package white cake mix (plus the ingredients to prepare per box directions)
8 tablespoons lime Kool-Aid powder, divided (2 single packets will work)
1 can vanilla frosting
1 cup Cool Whip topping
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a large mixing bowl, prepare white cake mix per box directions. Then using an electric mixer, mix in 4 tablespoons of your lime Kool-Aid. Poor into lined cupcake tins. Bake 18-20 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
Let cupcakes rest 5-10 minutes in the muffin tin before removing them to finish cooling completely. To make the frosting, stir together vanilla frosting, Cool Whip and remaining 4 tablespoons of Kool-Aid. Frost cooled cupcakes. Store in refrigerator.
A little green, a little lime, and all yummy!
And don't forget about my other Kool-Aid Cupcake creations...
The other day, Andrew said, "Can you make a Shepherd's Pie with sweet potatoes?".
And my answer was "Yes!".
Have no fear if sweet potatoes aren't your thing...you can totally substitute a basic mashed potato instead! This really was a simple weeknight meal...meat and potatoes...all in one place.
1 pound of ground beef
1 onion, chopped
1 (10 oz) can of cream of mushroom soup
1 (10 oz) package of frozen peas and carrots (they're mixed together in one bag on the freezer aisle)
2 cups of mashed potatoes (sweet potatoes or basic mashed potatoes both work...see below for quick tips)
Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO)
Salt and Pepper (S&P)
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
In a large skillet over medium-high heat, brown your ground beef in a drizzle of EVOO until crumbly. Stir in your onion and saute a few minutes. Add in a generous pinch of S&P.
Reduce heat to low and stir in your cream of mushroom soup and frozen veggies.
In a greased (I used Pam) 8x8 baking dish, pour your ground beef and veggie mixture inside.
Spread your mashed potatoes all over the top covering the meat completely.
Pop the casserole into the oven and bake about 15 minutes or until everything is bubbly.
Remove from oven and serve.
Meat, potatoes and veggies all in one place. Simple.
This recipe serves 4 adults.
Now...here are some ways to get your mashed potatoes...
1. Use leftover potatoes from the night before.
2. Drain and use canned sweet potatoes. Just lightly mash them up with a fork before putting them on your casserole.
3. Use pre-made mashed potatoes found in the refrigerated cases.
4. Bake a few sweet potatoes or russet potatoes in the oven and then after they're cooked, scoop out the insides and mash that with a fork.
I'm so excited to start a new series today! It's called What's in my...
Occasionally, I will feature things that I keep as staples around my house.
Topics will be things like What's in my...
Sprinkles and decorations drawer
And so on.
Today, it's all about what spices I keep handy! I have a gazillion random spices, but the ones I'm showing you today are the staples...the ones I use on a regular basis and can't live without. If you don't have a spice collection, this is where I would start.
As a rule of thumb, spices stay fresh about one year. They don't really go bad (as in, they won't make you sick if you consume older spices), they're just not as pungent and flavorful. If you can't remember when you last purchased a spice in your cabinet and when you take the lid off, it doesn't smell very strong...it's probably time to buy a new one. Next time, when you bring a spice home from the market, write that day's date on the bottle with a Sharpie.
I keep pepper and Kosher salt right next to my range. I always use Kosher salt when cooking because I think a little goes a long way and it gives everything a great texture and flavor. I just grab some as I need it and throw it in whatever I'm making. I found my little bowls here. They come in a variety of colors :).
I like a little garlic powder for days when I just need a touch of flavor without chopping up a garlic clove. This is great for Sloppy Joes, meatballs and burgers.
A pinch of an Italian style spice mix is great for quick cooking pasta suppers!
Chili powder goes into so many of my recipes! Great flavor without too much heat! Perfect for all of those Tex-Mex dishes! You can also use 3 tablespoons of Chili Powder instead of a one ounce taco packet seasoning if you need to.
Ground Cumin gives a great smokey flavor (think BBQ flavor) without any heat!
My family goes through a bottle of ground cinnamon every month! We put it in our oatmeal, on our English muffins, in coffee...everywhere! This is my favorite spice :).
Perfect for grilling and burgers! This blend has a little bit of everything in there!
I use this a lot for baking. If you ever see a recipe with a lot of "fall spices" lined up (cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, etc), just substitute this instead. It's the perfect blend of all of those cozy spices.
And for a little heat...Crushed Red Pepper flake. Yum!
Again, I have other spices in my cabinet but these are the staples. These are the ones I reach for over and over again. Keep your spices handy, keep them fresh and add a dash here and there for more flavorful food!