Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Texas Caviar

Before we moved to Texas, our friends threw us a Texas themed going away party. 
There was amazing BBQ food, cowboy hats, boots, badges and sweet tea. 
All of the food went with the country & cowboy theme.  
My favorite dish of the night was Texas Caviar.  
I couldn't stop eating it, none of us could.  

The next day, I asked for the recipe.  
I kid you not, I've made it once a week since. 
I usually have it for lunch with pita chips or all by itself. 
I do have to say, it's the best with Fritos though.  
This would be a great football party appetizer, although you may want to keep it home for yourself.

Texas Caviar 
Adapted from All Recipes 

1 can of corn (drained)
1 can of black beans (drained and rinsed)
1 can of black eyed peas (drained and rinsed)
1 cups of petite tomatoes, quartered 
1 bell pepper chopped 
1 8oz bottle of italian dressing 
salt and pepper to taste 

Mix the corn, beans, peppers and tomatoes together.  
Add dressing little by little to coat.  Taste as you go, you may not need the entire bottle.  
I think about 6 oz of dressing is perfect.  You can always add more if you need it.  
Add Salt and pepper to taste.  

*You can add fresh cilantro to the dish.  Since I eat it leftover for a few days at a time, I don't add it* 

*You can also try different variations with onions, red and yellow peppers*

Friday, September 20, 2013

Reese's Peanut Butter Chocolate Pudding Cookies

These cookies are hands down one of the best cookies I've ever baked.  Seriously.  I made them as part of a care package for the husband for his drive to TX.  The little one and I didn't move here until 3 weeks after he did, so I made sure to send him with lots of things that let him know how much we loved him and would miss him.  Of course, fresh baked sweets had to be a part of that package.  I also sent some of these in a package for him to bring to work on his first day.  I hoped it would help things start off on the right foot.  

The cookies were not only a big hit with hubs but they were gone at work within an hour. Mission Accomplished! The peanut butter paired with the crunch of the candy and added sweetness of the chocolate and peanut butter chips made for an amazing cookie recipe.  My mom and I had our fair share after they came out of the oven, expressing our love after every bite.  I guarantee you will be the talk of the town if you take these cookies to your next get together.  Or... if you're already thinking about holiday cookie exchanges (like me) these would be a hit! Enjoy!

Reese's Peanut Butter Chocolate Pudding Cookies 

Adapted from For the Love of Food 


Makes 70-80 cookies!

2 1/4 cup all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 (3.4 ounce) box instant vanilla pudding
3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup milk chocolate chips
1 cup Reese's Pieces candy
1 cup peanut butter chips

*the original recipe calls for honey, I didn't have any at home so I didn't add it.  I didn't feel like anything was missing*


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2.  Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper or a Silpat.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, salt and pudding; set aside.
  4. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter, peanut butter, sugar and brown sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 to 4 minutes.
  5.  Add eggs, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.
  6.  Add vanilla extract and honey and beat until combined. 
  7. Reduce speed to low and add flour mixture, beat to combine. 
  8. Add chocolate chips, Reeses pieces and peanut butter chips and mix until incorporated. 
  9. Roll a tablespoon or so of dough into a 1inch ball between your palms and then place it on the prepared baking sheet.
  10.  Repeat with the remaining dough, spacing the balls about 2 inches apart (you should be able to fit 12-16 cookies on each sheet). 
  11. Using your palm, gently flatten the dough balls until they are about ¾ inch thick.
  12. Bake 10 minutes. 
  13. Remove from oven, let cool for a couple minutes and enjoy!

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Apple Meatloaf with Apple Cider Ketchup

This is a fun twist on meatloaf that makes a fabulous fall dinner.  Enjoy! 

Apple Meatloaf with Apple Cider Ketchup
Courtesy of Kraft Foods 

what you need

pkg.   (6 oz.) FRESH TAKE Classic Four Cheese Recipe Cheese Breadcrumb Mix, mixed together
cup  milk
lb.  lean ground beef 
lb.  ground pork
large  unpeeled apple, shredded (about 1 cup)
Tbsp.   chopped fresh parsley
Tbsp.   chopped fresh thyme
cup  apple cider
cup  ketchup

make it

HEAT oven to 350°F.
RESERVE 2 Tbsp. cheese mixture.
MIX remaining cheese mixture with milk in large bowl. Add next 5 ingredients; mix until blended. Shape into loaf in 13x9-inch baking dish sprayed with cooking spray.
BAKE 1 hour. Top with reserved cheese mixture; bake 2 min. Combine cider and ketchup; serve with meatloaf.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Banana Mango Fruit Pops

On the first and third Saturday of every month our local outdoor mall has a fresh market.  It's something that we all look forward to.  I stock up on produce, hubs enjoys gourmet grilled cheese and little miss gets a fruit pop.  These fruit pops are amazing.  They have the most unique flavors, last time I was there I had lavender lemonade.  Little miss usually had citrus watermelon and always cries when it's gone.  

Since she loves the pops so much, I decided to make them for her at home.  We were given these Ikea popsicle molds as a favor at a recent birthday party.  They were the perfect size for her pops.  

The first kind I made was banana mango, mainly because it's what I had at home.  
They took minutes to make and I froze them overnight. 
I couldn't wait for AG to wake up from her afternoon nap so we could head outside for her afternoon snack.  After she realized what was happening (water table fun and popsicles) she was just as excited as I was!  The fruit pop was a hit.  AG wouldn't let go of it until it was gone and wasn't a happy camper when that happened.  

Popsicles and water table fun have become my favorite part of our day.  

2 frozen bananas (thawed a bit)
1 ripe mango
a splash of OJ 

Blend all ingredients together. 
I used a food processor, it took just over a minute.  
Once everything is blended, pour it into the popsicle trays. 
Freeze and Enjoy!

*I run them under a little water to make taking them out a tad easier*

Friday, September 6, 2013

Fruity Pebbles Cookies

How can you see this picture and not want to make these cookies? 
That is what I thought when I came across this recipe on Pinterest.  

These cookies were not only fun but pretty darn tasty!
The crunch was a little different at first but as soon as I got the burst of flavor, I was sold.  
I'm not going to admit how many I ate, but I had way more than I should have! 
I can't wait for my little one to be big enough to bake with me, I know she would enjoy making these cookies.  

And if you need something to make with the remaining fruity pebbles, check these out! 

Fruity Pebbles Cookies
Courtesy of Crazy for Crust 

*I omitted white chocolate chips from the original recipe*


1 (3.4 oz) package instant vanilla pudding mix
1  ½ sticks of butter (1+1/2)
1 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tsp baking soda
2 cups Fruity Pebbles cereal
2-1/4 cups flour

  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. Whisk together baking soda and flour and set aside.
  3. Cream together butter and sugars. Add the pudding package and beat until well blended. Add eggs and vanilla extract. Slowly add the flour and mix until just combined. Stir in Fruity Pebbles and white chocolate chips.
  4. Scoop 1” balls and place on your cookie sheets. Bake for 10-12 minutes. Let cool

See what other cookie recipes I'm pinning here! 
*Affiliate link used in this post.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Fruity Pebbles Treats

If you are a fan of rice krispie treats, you have to try these.  
I had left over fruity pebbles after making cookies with them (recipe coming soon)  and decided to try out fruity pebble treats.  
I made them the same way I would have made rice krispie treats. 

Results: Hubs and I said we were never eating regular rice krispies again!
That was our initial reaction after the first bite. They were that good.  
They were bursting with fruity flavor.  Crunchy, chewy and absolutely delicious.  
Neither of us could stop eating them.  

3 tablespoons margarine (or butter)

1 package regular marshmallows (10oz)
6 cups Fruity Pebbles cereal

{1} Melt margarine in large saucepan over low heat. Add marshmallows and stir until completely melted. Remove from heat.
{2} Add Fruity Pebbles. Stir until well coated.
(3) Using buttered spatula or waxed paper, press mixture evenly into 13 x 9 x 2-inch pan coated with cooking spray. 
{4} Wait for them to cool before you cut them. 
{5} Enjoy! 

*Store in an air tight container, should last 2-3 days.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Healthy Chicken Skillet

I made this dinner two weeks ago. 
 I was looking for healthy recipes that I thought my one year old would also eat. 
I'm also a big fan of skillet dinners because I don't have tons of pans to clean when I'm done. 
This dinner didn't disappoint one bit.  
My daughter loved the chicken, quinoa, zucchini, black beans and peppers.  
Since all three of us enjoyed it, this recipe was a big win. 
I even made it again this past week.  
Definitely a must make if you're looking for a healthy recipe the whole family will love! 

Healthy Chicken Skillet 
Adapted from Ready, Set, Eat 

1 TBS canola oil
1 cup zucchini (cut into cubes)
1/2 cup diced green bell pepper
1 can black beans, drained (low sodium)
1 can diced tomatoes (14.5 oz)
1 (4.5oz) box quinoa brown rice blend (I buy Near East
3-4 chicken tenderloins 
salt and pepper to taste 

1. In a small saucepan, cooke quinoa according to the instructions on the box. 
2. While quinoa is cooking, heat oil in a large skillet and cook chicken.
 I cut mine in cubes before I cooked it.  
2. Once chicken is cooked, add zucchini and peppers.  Cook for 5 minutes. 
3. Add beans and tomatoes, cook for another 5 minutes. 
4. Once everything in the skillet is cooked and warmed through, add the quinoa brown rice blend to the skillet.  Stir well and remove from heat.  
5. Let cool for a few minutes and enjoy! 

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