Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Mint and Chocolate Rice Krispie Treats

I LOVE mint and I LOVE chocolate...and I LOVE rice krispie I thought, why not combine them.  mmm... 

...also...what a GREAT treat for St. Patrick's Day...

Mint and Chocolate Rice Krispie Treats

6 cups Rice Krispie Cereal
3 T butter
1 package (10.5 oz) mini marshmallows
dash of salt
1/2 t. mint extract
10-12 drops green food coloring
1 cup Andes Crème De Menthe Baking Chips (I couldn't find any at my local grocery store, so I used the Andes mints and chopped them in thirds)
1 cup chocolate chips (I used semi-sweet)

Directions:  Melt butter in a large sauce pan on med-low heat.  Add marshmallows and stir until melted.  Add a dash of salt, mint extract and food coloring and stir well.  Stir in cereal until well mixed.  Press half of the mixture into the bottom of a 9x9 inch pan lined with wax paper.  Layer the mint baking chips and chocolate chips onto the cereal mixture and press into the bottom layer.  Add the rest of the cereal mixture and press down into the pan firmly.  Let set for 15-20 minutes.  Remove from pan, cut and serve.
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Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Skillet Lasagna

Last year I posted a similar recipe for skillet lasagna.  We really LOVE lasagna around here and I especially like the skillet lasagna...SO good and SO much faster!!

Skillet Lasagna

1 lb. ground beef
28 oz. crushed tomatoes
8 oz. tomato sauce
8 oz. water, I just use the tomato sauce can to measure water and get all the sauce out
1 t. dried basil
1-2 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium onion, minced
10 curly edged lasagna noodles, broken into 2 inch pieces
2 ounces mozzarella cheese, shredded (1/2 cup)
1/2 ounce Parmesan cheese, grated (1/4 cup)
 3/4 cup ricotta cheese, or small curd cottage cheese
salt and pepper to taste

Directions:   Heat the oil in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat until shimmering.  Add the onion and 1/2 t salt and cook, stirring often, until softened, 5 to 7 minutes.  Stir in the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the ground beef and cook, breaking apart the meat, until lightly browned and no longer pink, 3 to 5 minutes. 

Scatter the pasta over the meat, then pour the crushed tomatoes, tomato sauce and water over the pasta. Cover, increase the heat to medium-high, and cook, stirring often and adjusting the heat to maintain a vigorous simmer, until the pasta is tender, about 20 minutes.

Remove from heat, stir in half of the mozzarella and half of the Parmesan. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Dot heaping tablespoons of the ricotta or cottage cheese over the noodles, then sprinkle with the remaining mozzarella and Parmesan. Cover and let stand off the heat until the cheese melts, 2 to 4 minutes.

Do not substitute no-boil lasagna noodles for the traditional, curly-edged lasagna noodles here.
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Thursday, March 8, 2012

Crock Pot Chicken Burritos

I love dinners that I can throw the ingredients in the crock pot and forget about it!!  When I saw this recipe at A Cookbook Blog, I knew my family would love it!  My crock pot must cook hotter than most...because cooking on low, my chicken would have been cooked through in 3...maybe 4 hours.  I put my chicken in the crock pot a couple of hours before I went to church Sunday and when I got home it was cooked and also a little dry(had been in the crock pot on low for ~6 hours)....SO I ended up adding about a cup of chicken stock so that the rice would have some liquid to cook in.  In the end it turned out great!! 

Crock Pot Chicken Burritos

1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breast (can be frozen)
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 cup salsa
1 cup minute rice (or regular rice, but will have to adjust cooking time)
1 can beans (I used black beans, I also rinse my beans first)

Directions:Combine chicken, soup and salsa. Let cook on low for 4-6 hours or high for 3-4 (may need to cook longer if you start with frozen chicken). Chicken is done when it falls apart when squeezed with a pair of tongs. Shred chicken up and add rice and beans. If using minute rice, cook for 15 more minutes. If using real rice, you will need to cook for about an hour.

Serve on flour tortillas with lettuce, more salsa, sour cream, tomatoes, and any other toppings you would like.

**I adjusted the cooking time from the original recipe.
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Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Peanut Butter Balls

I found this recipe over at Joy of  I have had these before and we all loved them, so I went searching for a recipe.  MMMmmm...chocolate and peanut butter.

Peanut Butter Balls

2 cups  creamy peanut butter
1/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1/4 teaspoon salt (optional)
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 - 2 1/2 cups confectioners (powdered or icing) sugar

Chocolate Coating:
9 ounces semi sweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
1 tablespoon shortening

Line two baking sheets with parchment or wax paper. 

Place the peanut butter, unsalted butter, and salt in a microwaveable bowl, and heat in the microwave for about one minute or until just soft (check and stir the ingredients every 20-30 seconds). Stir in the vanilla extract and confectioners sugar and mix until it has the consistency of a stiff dough (add more sugar if necessary).

Roll the dough into 1 inch (2.5 cm) round balls. Place on the cookie sheets and refrigerate until firm (several hours or even overnight). You can also place the peanut butter balls in the freezer and freeze until firm (I find this makes it easier to dip them in the melted chocolate).

Melt the chocolate and shortening in a heatproof bowl placed over a saucepan of simmering water. Dip the balls, one at a time, in the melted chocolate, making sure the entire ball is coated with chocolate. Then, with two spoons or a dipping fork, remove the peanut butter ball from the melted chocolate, allowing any excess chocolate to drip back into the bowl. Place the chocolate covered balls back on the baking sheet. If desired, sprinkle the balls with finely chopped peanuts. When all the balls have been dipped in the chocolate, place in the refrigerator until the chocolate has set. Store in an airtight container for up to two weeks. They can also be frozen. To serve: place in small fluted candy cups.

Makes about 60 pieces, depending on size. Preparation time 30 minutes.
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