Sunday, April 28, 2013

Adorable Ruffled Apron

One of my favorite gifts for my wedding was a ruffled apron from my grandmother.  I love using it as a I prep for a party because you have something to wipe your hands on or catch anything that spills instead of going on your cute outfit.  Not to mention, it's pretty darn cute if you're caught wearing it.  I decided to adventure out and make my own apron for a bride-to-be before her big day.  I found this adorable fabric at Joann's that says "chop, grill, saute, cook" etc. in different colors, so I matched those colors in the other ruffles.  I followed the tutorial by Krista Maurer, and I think it turned out pretty awesome.  I did one extra fabric (2 extra ruffles) than her tutorial.  Ruffles are so forgiving if you're a beginner sewer, so it's the perfect project that is sure to impress. 

Saturday, April 13, 2013

3rd Annual Mug n' Muffin: Apple, Chocolate, and Cinnamon Roll Muffins

This weekend I hosted my 3rd Annual "Mug n' Muffin" at my house.  It's simply a fun way to get together all my girl friends over coffee and muffins.  I made my favorite blueberry muffins and my family banana bread muffins and then added three new recipes to the mix.  I loved the apple muffins the best, but you can't go wrong with cinnamon rolls muffins or chocolate chocolate chip.  Yummy!  With coffee.. I'm good to go.  I  hope you enjoy!

Apple Muffins:
  • 2 cups sugar ( or 1 1/2 for less sweet muffins)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup oil
  • 1 tbsp vanilla
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 3 cups peeled, cored, diced apples (around 3 apples) I used Pink Lady apples
  • Brown sugar for topping (around 1/2 cup)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line muffin pan with paper liners.  Cream together sugar, eggs, oil, and vanilla.  Sift flour, baking soda, salt, and ground cinnamon.  Add dry ingredients to creamed mixture and mix until combined.  The batter will be very thick.  Add the diced apples.
Fill paper liners almost to the top, about 3/4 of the way full.  Sprinkle with brown sugar.  
Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes.  Makes 18 muffins.

Chocolate Chocolate Chip Muffins:
  • 2 2/3 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup baking cocoa
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup (8 oz) sour cream
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
In a large bowl combine the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda and salt.  In another bowl whisk the eggs, sour cream, water, milk, oil and vanilla.  Stir into dry ingredients just until moistened.  Fold in chocolate chips.
Fill greased or paper-lined muffin cups two-thirds full.  Bake at 325 for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.  Cool for 5 minutes before removing from pans to wire rack.  Makes 24 muffins.

Cinnamon Roll Muffins:
For the Muffins:
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg
  • 3 to 3 1/2 cups all purpose flour
For the Filling:
  • 4 tbsp unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 3/4 cup pecans, finely chopped
For the Icing:
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2-3 tbsp milk
  • splash vanilla extract
Heat oven to 375 degrees.  Grease a muffin pan or line with muffin liners.  In a medium bowl, mix together the brown sugar, baking soda, salt, vanilla, and egg.  Add the buttermilk, then the flour.  Stir until thoroughly combined.  In a small bowl make the filling by combining the brown sugar, cinnamon, and pecans.  Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead for a minute or two.  Roll the dough into a 12-inch by 24-inch rectangle.  Spread with butter, leaving a 1/4" margin at the long side of the dough, then sprinkle with the cinnamon sugar mixture.  Use a rolling pin to roll over the sugar/cinnamon mixture a few times.  Roll up the dough tightly, beginning with the long side, under-tucking after each completed rollover.  Cut into 12 rolls.  Place in prepared muffin pan and bake until golden brown, about 15-18 minutes.  Allow the muffins to cool in muffin pan for 5 minutes before removing to wire rack.  Make the glaze while the muffins are cooling. In a small bowl combine powdered sugar, milk, and vanilla until smooth.  Drizzle over the top of the muffins and serve.

Slow Cooker Pork Carnitas

I love the slow cooker! I think it is especially wonderful for any type of shredded meat.. beef, pork, chicken etc.  I've made a few different types of shredded pork before, but I think this one is my favorite.  My husband had 5 regular-sized tacos and then finished it off for lunch the next day!  Delicious.  I hope you enjoy!

  • 2 pounds boneless pork shoulder
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 onion, coarsely chopped
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded and chopped
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • Juice of 1 orange
  • 1/4 cup salsa
  • Tortillas, cilantro, avocado, limes, etc. for serving
Place the pork shoulder in the slow cooker. Rub with olive oil and sprinkle with salt, pepper, oregano, cumin, chili powder, and cayenne pepper. Add the garlic, onion, and jalapeno to the slow cooker. Pour the lime juice, orange juice, and salsa into the slow cooker. Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours, or until tender.
Shred the meat with two forks and return to slow cooker to combine with the leftover sauce inside.
Preheat the broiler. Line a baking sheet with foil and spread the meat evenly over the sheet. Pour some of the sauce over the meat. Broil for 5 to 10 minutes, or until the edges of the pork are browned.

Spinach and Artichoke Dip Chicken

We love spinach and artichoke dip! When I saw this recipe, I knew it'd be a winner.  I especially like that it used Greek yogurt instead of another fattening ingredient such as mayonnaise.  I'd love to play with making this a one-dish meal using rice or pasta.  You should seriously give this a try!  It's delicious.  I hope you enjoy!
  • 1 lb chicken breasts
  • 1 Tablespoon butter
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • salt & pepper
  • 6oz 1/3 less-fat cream cheese, softened
  • 6oz plain Greek yogurt
  • 10oz package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and excess water squeezed out
  • 14oz can quartered artichoke hearts, drained
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided
  • 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut chicken breasts in half then season both sides with salt and pepper. Spray a 2qt baking dish with nonstick spray then place seasoned chicken breasts in the bottom.
  • Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat then add shallots. Season with salt and pepper then saute until softened, 2-3 minutes. Add garlic then saute for 30 more seconds. Add cream cheese and Greek yogurt then stir until smooth. Remove skillet from heat then fold in spinach, artichoke hearts, and half the Parmesan and mozzarella cheeses.
  • Spoon mixture over chicken then smooth and cover with a piece of foil sprayed with nonstick spray. Bake for 20 minutes then remove foil and top with remaining cheeses. Bake for 10 more minutes or until cheese is golden brown and bubbly then let rest for 10 minutes before serving.
Original recipe here found through Food Gawker

Monday, April 1, 2013

Happy Easter

Happy Easter!  I had the pleasure of hosting Easter at my new house this year.  I really enjoyed celebrating with my family and friends, and of course, the amazing smorgasbord of food.  On the menu was my favorite pot roast, green bean casserole, deviled eggs, a green salad, and delicious multigrain and traditional rolls.  For dessert, chocolate cream and apple pie.  Click on the links below for the recipes of everything that I made.  I hope you had a fabulous Easter with your family and friends.

Pot roast with potatoes and carrots
Chocolate cream pie
Apple pie