Wednesday

Chocolate Reese's Peanut Butter Bundt Cake

This one is quick and easy and a "go-to" looks and tastes like I spent a long time {but I did not} recipe.

And...pretty much every man's favorite 
{let's be honest, Ive totally had it for breakfast}
...there are donuts, and then there is this. 

Make sure you have a tall glass of ice cold milk to go with it.


Cake Recipe
One box of Devil's Food Cake Mix
2 cups Sour Cream
3 eggs
12 or so Reese's Peanut Butter Cups

Pre-heat oven to 350

Use your stand mixer to combine the cake mix powder, sour cream and eggs and beat until creamy. 

Generously spray bundt pan and pour half of your batter into the pan.

Place the Peanut Butter Cups on top of the batter in a nice little circle around the pan then pour remaining batter on top and smooth batter.

Bake 35-45 minutes
 
To Frost
Melt 1/2 cup peanut butter in microwave safe glass bowl for 20 seconds.
Pour on top of cake
In the same bowl, add half a bag of milk chocolate chips and 1 Tablespoon Canoloa oil and microwave in 15 second increments until melted.
Pour on top of Peanut Butter layer
Top with chopped Reese's or chopped peanuts if you'd like. 

This recipe was shared with me by one of my most favorite people (and treat makers) and her lovely sister. 
Every recipe they have ever shared with me is a winner. 
When they say "you have to try this" indeed you do. 
They have never steered me wrong.

Monday

"Swig" Style Sugar Cookies

 These are "Swig" style cookies. Swig is a Utah phenomenon where dirty diet cokes meet homemade cookie goodness...and let me tell you, it's not a bad gig at all.
I've had myself a Swig cookie or two each time I've gone, made a few of the knock-off recipes and decided with a little tweak here and there, that these are my very favorite sugar cookie...as of late.


 Cookie Ingredients
11 cups flour
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cream of tarter
2 cups (4 sticks) butter, room temperature
1 -1/2 cups canola or vegetable oil
2- 1/2  cup sugar
1 -1/2 cup powdered sugar
4 tablespoons water
 4 eggs, room temperature
1 lemon, zested
 2 teaspoons vanilla

Frosting Ingredients
10 tablespoons butter, softened
2/3 cup heaping sour cream
4-5 tablespoons milk
7 cups powdered sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla
Food coloring

Pre-heat oven to 350

Begin by whisking together the  flour, salt, soda & tarter in a separate bowl. 
In your stand mixer, mix butter and sugars for 2-3 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
Slowly adding oil while mixer is going, then the eggs, then the water and vanilla. Scrape the sides of the bowl. Zest one lemon into the bowl then add flour mixture and only mix until incorporated.

Scoop dough onto cookie sheets using cookie scoop. I have enjoyed making these with both my medium and large scoops. After the dough is scooped, using the bottom of a drinking glass or mason jar, dip it into granulated sugar and then use it to smash the dough flat until it's about 1/3 to 1/2 inch in thickness.


Bake cookies 8-10 minutes. These definitely are meant to be under versus over-cooked. Do not over-bake. After baked, immediately transfer them to a wire rack to cool. 
To Frost
Begin by creaming butter, sour cream, and salt. Add powdered sugar and mix well. Add milk one tablespoon at a time until you reach desired consistency. Add food coloring and vanilla and mix. Spread over cooled cookies.


To store cookies, put them in an air tight container in the refrigerator. Don't forget to put parchment paper between layers. 





Thursday

Let's talk Caramel...and apples


 Oh sweet caramel
You sure make this time of year the very best!
One of my favorite caramels to buy is called Peter's Caramel and is sold in 5lb loafs.
You may be thinking, who needs 5lbs of caramel?
I do.
I used this baby in one day. 

Just think of the possibilities...
Caramel Apples, Carmelitas, Homemade Twix Bars, and Salted Caramel Shortbread Bars...

Yesterday, it was Caramel Apples. Remember those Utah farm apples I bought?
I couldn't bring myself to can them this year. 
So Caramel Apples it is.

Peter's was particularly easy to use, you put the caramel in a dutch oven or sauce pan, heat your oven to 200 and let it melt in there for about 60-90 minutes.
(I went to Nordstrom and back while mine melted- thank you Bobbi Brown counter- family pictures are this weekend and this mid-thirties gal needed some concealer if you know what I mean).

 Once the caramel was melted, I pulled the stems and put sticks into my apples. My apples were washed and free from the shiny wax that the grocery stores put on them (this helps the caramel to stick to the apple). Then I went to town dipping away.

The caramel started to cool rather quickly so I had to work fast and then put the pot of caramel back in the oven for 20 minutes or so to finish the batch. When you are dipping, patience is a virtue. Once your apple is coated, continue to hold it over the pan and spin it a bit to allow excess caramel to fall back into the pan. If you skimp on this step, your caramel will fall and pool on the bottom. I was pretty patient for a few apples and then I totally had some pooling towards the end. Still delish.

After dipping, I set the apples on parchment paper to cool. Don't make the mistake of using wax paper as it will stick to your caramel (and that's just no fun).  Dip the apple again in melted chocolate or drizzle it on- I had some Ghirardelli melts in milk and white chocolate and they were seriously tasty with this caramel. We also used toasted almonds, Oreo crumbs, and some Halloween sprinkles (all things we had hanging around from previous projects). I let my kiddos and their friends decorate their apples and they had a [messy creative] blast. 


 Here are a few of the apples I made



Wrapped up, and tied with a bow, they are pretty darn cute and a fun gift to give.


Mexican Chicken Corn Chowder

This soup recipe is an all time favorite of mine. I love to make it to take to someone in need of a yummy dinner after having a baby, an illness, or just a hard day. Comfort food at it's finest and always a hit. This will soon become a favorite of yours too!




1 rotisserie chicken picked apart OR
3 Chicken Breasts slow roasted with olive oil, garlic salt, and black pepper, chop the chicken

1/2 cup chopped onion

2 cloves of minced garlic

3 Tablespoons of butter

2 chicken bouillon cubes dissolved in 1 cup of hot water

1 teaspoon of cumin

2 cups half and half

2 cups shredded monterey jack cheese

1 can cream style corn

1 can green chilies (sometimes I add 2)

2 cups of frozen sweet corn from Costco (I never measure this, eye ball it). Yes, you could use any frozen corn, or even canned corn, and it would still taste good…but I’m telling you…cross my heart, Costco sweet corn takes you from good to phenomenal.

6 shakes of Tapatio, or Chalula, or Tabasco. Don’t skip this. It adds dimension, not necessarily spice.

1-2 tablespoons fresh chopped cilantro.

Chopped avocado (optional) but really, when doesn’t avocado make your life better?


D I R E C T I O N S


Saute onions in butter until translucent. 
Add minced garlic and cook for a minute or so.

Add water/bouillon and cumin. Boil for 5 minutes.

Add chicken, cream-style corn, frozen corn, 
half and half, shredded cheese, and green chilies.

Stir until cheese is melted and soup is heated through.

Add hot sauce and cilantro.

Serve.

Top with avocados if you’d like.

Wednesday

Carmelitas

You will never forget your first Carmelita. This is an oatmeal chocolate chip cookie meets caramel gooey goodness in bar form. Always a crowd favorite and a holiday must.

4 cups all-purpose flour
  2teaspoon baking soda
  1/2 teaspoon salt
  4 sticks of butter, at room temperature
  3 cups light brown sugar
4 cups quick-cooking oats
28 ounces caramel candies, unwrapped
1 cup evaporated milk
2 cups milk chocolate chips



Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. 
Spray jelly roll pan with non-stick cooking spray.
Whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt; set aside.
Using your stand mixer, cream together butter and brown sugar about 3 minutes. 
Reduce the speed to low and slowly add the flour mixture.
 Add the oats and mix on low briefly to just combine.  Do not over-mix.
Spread and press half the dough into the jelly roll pan until you have an even layer.
 Bake for 10 minutes, then remove from oven.

While the dough is baking, combine the evaporated milk and caramels in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. 
Stir the mixture constantly until all the caramels are melted and you have a thick sauce.

Once out of the oven, sprinkle the cookie base evenly with chocolate chips, then carefully pour the caramel sauce over the cookie base and chocolate. 
Spread the caramel into an even layer.

Sprinkle the remaining cookie dough over the top of the caramel for an even coating over the whole dish.

Return to the oven, baking for another 15 minutes.
Once out of the oven, cool to room temperature and then refrigerate 2 hours or overnight. 
Cut into squares and serve. 
Store leftovers in an airtight container at room temperature or in the refrigerator.









Monday

||Crock-Pot|| Balsamic Roast Beef


The Balsamic Vinegar in this recipe is such a great twist on a classic Sunday dinner. This roast fell apart with the touch of a fork and was full of flavor. It also pairs deliciously with garlic mashed potatoes, roasted asparagus and a green garden salad.


Recipe:

1- 3 to 4lb boneless round or chuck roast (defrosted if frozen)
1 cup beef broth
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
1 1/2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 1/2 tablespoons honey
1/2-1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
4 cloves garlic, minced

In a small bowl, combine the following: broth, vinegar, Worcestershire, honey, garlic.
Place roast (fat side up) in your crock pot. Pour mixture over the top and sprinkle with red pepper flakes. Set timer 6-8 hours on low.

Roast is ready when it easily falls apart with a fork. Remove from crock-pot with tongs and place into serving dish. Break apart with two forks and ladle some juice over the meat (skimming fat off the top first). Use remaining juice to ladle over garlic mashed potatoes, or thicken like gravy if you wish.




Thursday

Giving thanks ||Teachers||


I think Bing Crosby sang it best,  

“An apple for the teacher will always do the trick when you don’t know your lesson in arithmetic”
Apples have long been a standing tradition in teacher gifts. Today, I put a little Bakehouse touch to the concept and sent my kiddos along to school (late, none the less...good thing they had a yummy treat). Apple pie bars with a little jar of salted caramel to drizzle on top, all wrapped up with a lace bow. 
Simple. Cute. Delish.


We have been blessed to have (and have had) incredible teachers for our kiddos. Each year, I am amazed at the tireless work they do; the behind the scenes preparation and the devotion they have to their jobs. They are selfless, giving, kind, and I am often left sad at how little they are compensated for their efforts. 

Teachers are with my kiddos as much during the day as I am, five days a week. This makes them very important people in my book. They are often there not only to teach educationally, but to teach character, social skills, a love for learning. They are there to wipe a tear, band aid a wound, and quiet fears when I am not. I am grateful for the work they do and wish I could do more to show my appreciation.

  Whether it's an apple or an apple pie bar, or just a note of sincere thanks; remember the important people in your children's lives. Being deliberate in my children's school lives and creating relationships with the people who are next to me in the amount of work and love they give to my children has never failed me. In fact, it has enhanced my relationship with my kiddos in ways that nothing else could.




Wednesday

Apple Pie Bars topped with Salted Caramel Drizzle

You should bake these just for the aroma in your home! My goodness, my house smells amazing right now...there's no fall candle that can replace apples,cinnamon and buttery goodness baking in your oven! These bars are quite delightful, feed a crowd, and are as tasty as apple pie,
(but much easier).



There are a few parts to this recipe. To begin, pre-heat your oven to 300. This is what you will bake your crust at, after which, you will turn the heat up to 350. Next, spray your jelly roll pan generously. 

Shortbread Crust

2 cups unsalted butter, melted
1 cup granulated sugar
4 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon salt
4 cups all-purpose flour
 Melt the butter in a glass bowl in the microwave. Add, sugar, vanilla, and salt and whisk. Add the flour and stir only until everything is combined- don't over mix. Press the mixture evenly into the prepared baking pan. Bake for 15-20 minutes while you prepare the filling and streusel. Remove from oven and increase baking temperature to 350.

Apple Filling

8 large apples, peeled and thinly sliced
(I used a mix of Golden Delicious and Granny Smith...and an apple peeler)
8 Tablespoons all-purpose flour 
8 Tablespoons granulated sugar
4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
 Combine the sliced apples, flour, sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg together in a large bowl until all of the apples are evenly coated. Set aside until crust is ready. When ready, evenly spread and tightly layer the apples on top of the warm crust.

Streusel

2 cups old-fashioned oats 
 1-1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup cold, cubed butter

 Whisk the oats, brown sugar, cinnamon, and flour together. Cut in the chilled butter with a pastry blender or two forks (I like to use my hands) until the mixture crumbs. Sprinkle the apple layer with streusel and bake for 35-40 minutes or until the streusel is golden brown.

 Let the bars cool on the counter for 30 minutes or so, then refrigerate for 2 (up to 24) hours. Cut bars and serve with (store bought or homemade) salted caramel sauce drizzled over the top of each bar. 

Salted Caramel Sauce
My go-to caramel sauce comes from the Brown Eyed Baker  
{Really, I've yet to try a recipe of hers that isn't delsish...and her blog name? Darling.}
  



Tuesday

Potato Soup






2 1/2 cups red potatoes- diced small for soup
1 package of bacon, fried crisp and crumbled
1 medium onion- diced
4 celery stalks-diced
8 cups milk- I use 1%
4 bullion cubes dissolved in 3 1/2 cups hot water
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
3/4 cup butter
3/4 cup flour
3 tablespoons dried parsley
1 cup heavy whipping cream

Boil chopped potatoes in large stock pot until you can easily pierce them with a fork.
Drain the water, set potatoes aside. 
In the same stock pot, you will add milk, bullion water, salt and pepper.
Warm this without boiling, for 10 minutes.
In a separate pan, crisp bacon.
Place bacon on paper towel and drain liquid from pan
In bacon pan, saute onion and celery until celery is translucent.
In a small saucepan, melt butter completely, then whisk in flour. Stirring constantly for 3 minutes, making a roux.
Pour roux slowly into stock pot with milk, whisking for about 5 minutes until mixture thickens.
Add potatoes, celery, onion, parsley and whipping cream.
Serve warm, garnish with bacon, cheese, and green onion.

Monday

Green Chili Egg Bake



Recipe

12 eggs

1/2 cup flour

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

1 pint cottage cheese

1lb monterey jack cheese, grated

1/2 cup melted butter

1-4oz can diced green chilies, drained

Pre-heat oven to 350
Whisk eggs, using stand mixer, until light. Add flour, baking powder, salt and mix.
Detach bowl from mixer and add cheese, butter & green chilies by hand.
Pour in greased 9x13 pan and bake 40 minutes or until top is golden and the center doesn't jiggle.

Serve topped with avocado and your favorite salsa, pico de gallo, or chopped tomato.

Sunday

Breakfast Recipes: Buttermilk Syrup




1 cup butter

2 cups sugar

1 cup buttermilk

1 tsp baking soda

2 tsp vanilla

Using a larger pot, melt the butter until it is melted completely and bubbling.
Whisk in sugar, buttermilk, and baking soda and bring to a rolling boil.
Boil for one minute, stirring constantly. 
The syrup will foam and rise.
Remove from heat and add vanilla.

Serve with all things breakfast. 
...and try not to drink it.
Really, it's delicious!


Friday

{Cookies} Oatmeal Pumpkin Chocolate Chip




  Nothing makes your house smell like fall like these do

5 cups all-purpose flour
3 cups quick oats
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
2 cups butter, softened
2 2/3 cups packed light-brown sugar
1 1/3 cup granulated sugar
2 large egg
3 tsp vanilla extract
3 cups canned pumpkin puree
3 cups chocolate chips
2 cups chopped pecans (optional)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 


Mix together flour, oats, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a mixing bowl and set aside. 

Whip together butter, brown sugar and granulated sugar with stand mixer until creamy 
(don't forget to scrape down the sides)

Add eggs one at a time

Then add vanilla and pumpkin puree

Sowly add in dry ingredients and mix until combined- do not over mix

Mix in chocolate chips (and optional pecans)

Before scooping onto cookie sheets,  refrigerate dough for 15 minutes

Use large cookie scoop dough to cookie sheet

Bake 12-14 minutes

From the Grill: Lime Chicken Taco Marinade

Marinade

1 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup Worcestershire Sauce
2-3 cloves minced garlic
4 limes, juiced
black pepper


Combine everything in a large bowl

Add 3 lbs chicken tenderloins
(I like to double the recipe and use a whole frozen bag from Costco for a gathering)

Cover with plastic wrap 

Marinade 2 hours
(or overnight if you are really on your food prep game)



 Grill em' up
or 
find yourself a handsome grill-master and put him to work

Slice the chicken for tacos

and

Serve with your favorite salsas, pico de gallo, guacamole, sour cream....
the options are endless and delicious

enjoy.

Thursday

Lunch to go: Asian Chicken Pasta Salad

I have the privilege of working with three amazing ladies at church 
to help run the children's Sunday School organization.
These gals give, give, and give of their time and talents and 
I am often left in awe of their service.

Each week we meet to discuss the needs within the organization.  
This week our meeting was moved to noon and I decided lunch was in order.

I wanted to keep the menu simple and easy to travel with, so
I decided on a hearty salad, a piece of pumpkin cake
and an ice cold diet coke to top it off.


Asian Chicken Pasta Salad

1 box washed baby spinach
16oz bowtie pasta al dente
6 oz craisins
3 small cans mandarin oranges (drained)
2-8oz cans of water chestnuts (drained) and chopped
1/4 cup chopped flat leaf parsley
1/4 cup toasted sesame seeds
2 cups cooked diced chicken
6 oz chopped honey roasted peanuts (optional)
dressing
  

Salad Dressing 

1 cup vegetable oil
2/3 cup teriyaki sauce
2/3 cup white wine vinegar
6 Tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper

Instructions

Cook pasta according to box.
While the pasta is cooking,  put the Salad Dressing ingredients in quart sized mason jar, screw lid tightly and shake, shake, shake.
Pour half of the dressing over cooked pasta and refrigerate the pasta for a few hours or overnight if you have time. Also refrigerate salad dressing.
When you are ready to serve, combine all ingredients and add remaining dressing.
 




Gatherings



Ohhhh, this is a favorite thing of mine!
Who doesn't love a reason to get together?
 A family dinner, a birthday party, a lunch with friends-
Gathering with friends and loved ones is where friendships are strengthened, 
relationships with family members are fostered,
and memories are made- and you bet, good food is a big part of that!
I like to create gatherings where everyone knows that they are loved and appreciated,
and above details and recipes, everyone feels at home to be themselves.

Homemade Oreo Cookies


Cookie Recipe

2 boxes Devils Food Cake Mix
1 1/4 cup shortening 
4 large eggs

Frosting Recipe 

8oz cream cheese softened
1 cube butter softened
1 tsp vanilla
3 cups powdered sugar 

Combine cake mix powder, shortening and eggs using your mixer
{Dough will be sticky}
Using a cookie scoop, scoop dough onto cookie sheet
or 
use a tablespoon to measure dough and 
roll into balls to make cookies even in size

Bake at 350 5-8 minutes.

Make frosting by blending butter, cream cheese and vanilla
then add powdered sugar one cup at a time
Add more powdered sugar if the frosting seems thin

Frost cookies & sandwich them together

Easy and delicious