Apple Slaw

This apple slaw is so good.  It's especially perfect if you're not a big mayonnaise fan because the sour cream in the dressing really tones down the mayo factor.  I'm super impressed with this because it doesn't get super soggy overnight like a lot of slaws do, and is almost as good leftover the next day.  Rob requests this often, which is great because it goes together fast, takes few ingredients, and is low on calories and Weight Watchers points.

I adapted this recipe from Cooking Light and we're loving it.  Perfect with some roasted ribs, on top of a pulled pork or bbq chicken sandwich or alongside simple grilled chicken, definitely a great Labor Day BBQ side dish!

Apple Slaw
recipe adapted from Cooking Light

1 16 oz package coleslaw mix, or 7-8 c. shredded cabbage
1 c. thinly sliced red onion
1 apple, cored and thinly sliced
1/2 c. sour cream
3-4 Tb. mayo (reduced fat is great)
2-3 Tb. apple cider vinegar
2 tsp sugar or sweetener of your choice (use less if using Stevia)
1/2 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp salt
dash of cayenne pepper

In a bowl make the dressing by combining sour cream, mayo, vinegar, sugar, salt, pepper and cayenne.  If you like it thinner and more tangy add more vinegar, if you like the dressing richer add more mayo.  Once that is finished add in the cabbage, onion and apples.  Toss everything together and refrigerate an hour before serving.

post signature


Cherry Sauce

This recipe is so simple, yet so yummy!  This is really just the Our Best Bites strawberry sauce made with fresh cherries instead.  I've used that sauce recipe with strawberries, peaches and cherries and it's no-fail, it works with anything!  I used the peach sauce for dipping cream puffs at a party, the strawberry sauce is awesome in lemonade too! 

If you happen upon a bunch of fresh cherries try this out! We re-heated some leftover chocolate fondue (recipe coming!) and drizzled it on vanilla ice cream with the cherry sauce...it's pretty amazing.  Hot fudge would be great with the cherry sauce as well.  If you need some tips on how to pit cherries without an expensive space-hoarding cherry pitter, try this link.  I used the pastry tip method which was really easy but I would highly recommend wearing an apron!

Cherry Sauce
recipe adapted from Our Best Bites

2 c. roughly chopped cherries (or other fruit)
1/3 c. sugar (less if your fruit is very sweet)
1 tsp. vanilla

Put everything together in a skillet and cook over medium, stirring constantly, for about five minutes.  The juices should be running out of the fruit and making the sauce more saucy...very descriptive.  Remove from heat and let cool a while.  Pour the sauce in your blender and blend until smooth.  Store in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.  Enjoy as you see fit!

post signature


Buffalo Chicken Tacos

I saw a recipe for buffalo chicken tacos on Pinterest and naturally I pinned it...9 months ago!  I finally got around to browsing through my "recipes to make" folder and decided to make these tacos right away.

I used her recipe as inspiration but changed a few things up.  Super easy, simple to make, and the family all liked them.  Next time I think I'll make quesadillas on flour tortillas for the kids because they're not super huge fans of un-fried corn tortillas.

I put the chicken in the crockpot in the morning and at dinnertime it took only a few minutes to throw the tacos together.

Buffalo Chicken Tacos
recipe adapted from Mrs Regueiro.com

2 chicken breasts (about 1.5 lbs)
1/2 tsp. paprika
1/2 tsp. granulated garlic
1/2 tsp. granulated onion
1/3 c. Frank's buffalo sauce, plus extra for serving

2-3 celery stalks, finely chopped
3 green onions, chopped
shredded lettuce
shredded cheddar cheese
ranch dressing
corn tortillas

Season the chicken with paprika, garlic, onion and salt.  Put in the bottom of the crockpot and cover with buffalo sauce.  Cook on low 6 hours and shred before preparing tacos.  To make tacos put some chicken on a tortilla, drizzle with buffalo sauce, add celery, onions, lettuce, cheddar and add Ranch dressing to your liking.  Enjoy!

post signature


Crispy Oven Fries

I realize that I have recipes on the blog already for oven fries and sweet potato fries, but I just had to give you this recipe also because of the way they crisp up in the oven!

I read a tip online that if you soak your fries in salt water they're be crispier so I had to try it.  It works.  It probably doesn't  hurt that I cut them much skinnier and did a little broil trick at the end, but whatever it is, my kids were very impressed with the results!

Crispy Oven Fries

2-3 pounds russet potatoes, scrubbed
2-3 Tb olive oil
seasoned salt
granulated garlic

Slice the potatoes lengthwise in 4-5 thin slices.  Stack those slices on top of each other and slice into skinny fries.  Fill a large pot with water and add in a good amount (probably at least 2 Tb) regular table salt.  You want the water to be salty like the ocean.  Stick the cut fries in the water and let soak for a couple hours or all day until you're ready to make them. 

Preheat the oven to 400.  Drizzle a large cookie sheet with a generous coating of oil.  Lay the fries on the pan in a single layer and sprinkle with seasoned salt and granulated garlic.  Bake for 20 minutes.  Stir the fries and bake another 15 minutes.  When the potatoes are cooked through and beginning to crisp turn on the broiler and cook another few minutes until brown and crispy.  These are great with a good burger.

post signature


Coconut Milk Ice Cream

I was blessed to have someone give me a brand new ice cream attachment for my Kitchen Aid mixer and have been delighted to learn how simple it is to use. (I'd highly recommend taking the plunge if you have the mixer.)  I'm sure you could make this ice cream in an old fashioned ice cream maker with the ice and rock salt or my friend told me she made it using the "science experiment method" with 2 ziploc bags and it worked that way too!  (See link for a tutorial on that method!) However you do it, I recommend trying this recipe even if dairy isn't an issue for you.

I made this coconut milk ice cream for my son when we first started him on a dairy & gluten free diet.  It turns out we all liked it!  It is super simple to make, very little prep, and it tastes good.  I have made both the vanilla and chocolate versions and both are great!  One tip--this sets pretty hard in the freeer, so set it out on the counter for 10 minutes before attempting to re-scoop.

Coconut Milk Ice Cream
recipe adapted from Whole New Mom

4 c. full-fat coconut milk (I used a carton, but cans work well)
2/3 c. sugar
1-2 tsp. vanilla
dash salt
3/4 c. cocoa powder (for chocolate ice cream)
Churn in an ice cream maker 20-30 minutes and serve immediately or freeze until you're ready to eat it.

post signature


Cake Pops

Cake pops are all the rage these days and I first saw the recipe on the Pioneer Woman's site.  I made my first batch of cake pops as a favor at my friend's baby shower.  I found some adorable little celophane bags at WalMart that fit a single cake pop perfectly. I found my first go at cake pops to be a timely venture and they turned out well but I knew it could be better.

Once I started looking around I found that Bakerella seemed to be the original recipe-creator and there's a wonderfully helpful video by her on youtube.  I highly recommend checking out that video before doing cakepops. Then my friend got me the oh-so-fantastic Cake Pops book and I had to do it!  Bakerella has come up with so many adorable ways to turn  a cakepop into almost anything, it's really impressive.  If you fish around on her website you can find all sorts off adorable ideas!

Last August I made this adorable apple cake pop bouquet for my son's Meet the Teacher night at school and I am just getting around to blogging about it now as I prepare to make a batch for Meet the Teacher night tomorrow! Instead of buying a little candy for the leaf, I used leftover frosting and tinted it green.

Cake pops can be made in any assortment of cake/frosting combinations.  Our favorites are spice cake with cream cheese frosting, chocolate cake with chocolate frosting, and yellow cake with chocolate frosting.  At first I thought it couldn't be right to use a boxed cake and a jar of frosting, but then I realized that if Bakerella and Pioneer Woman did it, I could too.  However, you should feel free to make cake and frosting from scratch if that floats your boat. 

A few cake pop tips I've learned:
  1. Don't use the entire can of frosting, it's too gooey.
  2. If doing pops, pour the melted candy melt into a glass to dip.  The deeper the chocolate the better!
  3. Add 1-2 Tb. vegetable oil to your melted candy melt or almond bark, if the chocolate is thinner it will dip easier and will be a prettier end product.
  4. Dip the pop stick in the chocolate before attaching the cake ball, it will stay in the ball better.
  5. Have all the ingredients set out and be prepared and dip fast because the dipping chocolate will cool quickly.
  6. Don't freeze the completed cake pops or they will get condensation on them as they thaw.

Basic Cake Pops
recipe slightly adapted from Bakerella

1 box cake mix, your flavor choice, mixed and baked according to directions
1 can frosting
1 package white or chocolate bark or candy melts
lollipop sticks
wax paper or styrofoam blocks

To make the apples you'll also need:
pretzel sticks, green icing, red candy melts

Once the cake is completely cool, use your hands to crumble the cake finely into a bowl.  Stir in 3/4 (or more) of the canned frosting and mix until your desired gooey-ness is reached. Roll the cake mixture into small balls, or use a small cookie scoop to scoop the dough, the recipe should yield 40-50 cake balls.   Chill the cake balls for several hours.  Heat bark or candy melts in the microwave according to directions.  Dip the tip of a lollipop stick into the melted chocolate and push the stick into the cake ball being careful not to push too far.  Then dip the cake ball into the melted chocolate.  Stick dipped cake pops into styrofoam blocks or a styrofoam egg carton or let it rest on a piece of wax paper until the chocolate is dry. Repeat until all the balls are dipped.  (To alter this recipe and make it less complicated, simply dip the cake balls without sticks and let dry on wax paper.)

post signature