Monthly Archives: March 2012

Funfetti Cookies

The first time I tried making funfetti cookies, I wanted to make them from scratch.  My intentions were good, however, the recipe I found for these homemade cookies was awful.  The cookies came out the entirely wrong consistency and just did not taste good.  I was angry that I wasted an entire cup of delicious rainbow sprinkles and had to throw the entire batch of cookies in the garbage.  After looking for some other recipes online, I decided to just grab a box of funfetti cake mix and try again.  This time, the Funfetti Cookies came out amazing!  Not only were they super easy to make, thanks to the cake mix, but they saved me time and sprinkles.  I love baking goodies from scratch, but once in a while I have an awful baking experience that leads me to cut corners.  This time, it was well worth it!

Do you ever cut a few baking corners?


  • 1 box funfetti cake mix
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup rainbow sprinkles (optional)
  1. Preheat oven to 350.   In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the cake mix and baking powder.
  2. Add the eggs and oil and mix on low until combined.  With a wooden spoon, stir in sprinkles (they come with the cake mix, but I wanted to add more!).
  3. Using a cookie scoop, drop on a parchment-lined cookie sheet.  Bake for 10 minutes or until golden brown on the bottom.  Makes about 2 dozen cookies.

*Adapted from Cookin’ Cowgirl



Filed under Baked Goods, Desserts

Lentils in Herb-Arugula Yogurt

I hope you had a fabulous weekend!  They are always too short, right?  Here’s a side dish that I made this past week that is healthy and delicious: Lentils in Herb-Arugula Yogurt.  This dish is easy to prepare and makes a great lunch to bring to work.  I love lentils because they contain a lot of protein, so I’m always looking for new lentil recipes.  Since I had some arugula that was in desperate need of eating and some Greek yogurt, I decided this was the perfect dish to make.  I added some fresh parsley and lemon juice and then let it chill in the refrigerator.  While you can eat this dish warm, I found that letting all the flavors mesh together in the refrigerator really made this dish taste awesome.  Here’s another great protein-fix dish that you need to try!
What’s your favorite protein dish?
  • 1/2 cup brown lentils
  • 5 ounces arugula
  • 1/2 cup parsley leaves
  • 2 tablespoons mint leaves
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/2 cup plain low-fat yogurt (I used Greek yogurt)
  • 1/2 pound cucumber—peeled, seeded and coarsely shredded (optional)
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper


  1. In a medium saucepan, cover the lentils with water and bring to a boil.  Simmer over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 30 minutes.  Drain and set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, bring a medium saucepan of salted water to a boil.   Add the arugula and blanch for 30 seconds.  Drain and rinse under cold water.  Squeeze out excess water and transfer the arugula to a food processor.  Add the parsley and mint and process until finely chopped.  Transfer the puree to a colander and squeeze out any excess liquid.  Transfer the puree to a large bowl.
  3. Stir the yogurt, shredded cucumber, lemon juice,  and lentils into the arugula puree and season with salt and pepper.  Transfer to small bowls and serve.  The dish can be refrigerated overnight.
*Adapted from Food & Wine


Filed under Main Course, Side Dishes

Oatmeal Cream Pies

 I’m fairly certain that when you clicked on “Oatmeal Cream Pies” you had visions of the Little Debbie treat dancing in your head.  That is exactly what I made, except the homemade version!

I’ve walked by the Little Debbie stand at the grocery store numerous times, but I haven’t bought one of her treats in years.  Then, I was purusing Pinterest (so addicting!) and came across these guys and knew I had to make them.  After my hubby took his first bite, he proclaimed that they were amazing and tasted like the real deal, except they were better because they were homemade.  He even went on to tell me that neither he nor I would be bringing these treats in to work.  Ok, sounds good to me!

Cookie Ingredients:

  • 1 cup butter
  • ¾ cup dark brown sugar
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 tbsp molasses
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 ½ cups flour
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 ½ cups quick oats

Cream Filling:

  • 2 tsp very hot water
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 (7 oz.) jar marshmallow cream
  • ½ cup shortening
  • ⅓ cup powdered sugar
  • ½ tsp vanilla


  1. Preheat the oven to 350° and line 3 cookie sheets with parchment paper.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, salt, baking soda, and cinnamon and set aside.
  3. In the bowl of your stand mixer, cream the butter, sugars, molasses, vanilla, and eggs until blended.  Add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture and beat to combine; mix in the oats with a wooden spoon.
  4. Drop tablespoon-sized scoops onto the cookie sheet about 2″ apart and bake for 10-12 minutes, until cookie just starts to brown around the edges.  Cookies will look moist and be fragile; be careful not to over-bake.  Carefully move cookies to a wire rack to cool.
  5. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, dissolve the salt in the hot water and allow to cool to room temperature.
  6. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the marshmallow cream, shortening, powdered sugar, and vanilla and mix on high until fluffy.  Add the salt water and mix well.
  7. Spread the filling onto the flat side of one cookie and top with another.   Makes about 18 cream pies.

*Slightly adapted from Kids in the Sink


Filed under Baked Goods, Desserts

Corned Beef Hash w/Poached Eggs

Wondering what to do with those St. Patty’s Day leftovers?  Here’s the perfect solution:  Corned Beef Hash w/Poached Eggs.  This dish is so simple because all the work has already been done (i.e. cooking the corned beef, cabbage, veggies, etc.).  You can eat the hash by itself because it’s that amazing, but topping it with a poached egg or two is even better.  I’m not a huge egg fan, but I do love poached eggs.  We had this dish for dinner tonight and it was scrumptious… the perfect way to use up those leftovers.  Enjoy!

Corned Beef Hash Ingredients:

  • 2-3 tbsp olive oil
  • 2/3 cup finely chopped yellow onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped cabbage (reserved from corned beef)
  • 1/2 cup chopped carrots (reserved from corned beef)
  • 2 cups finely chopped corned beef
  • 2 cups chopped potatoes (reserved from corned beef)
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 2 tablespoons butter

Poached Eggs:

  • 1 tsp white vinegar
  • 2-4 large eggs
Directions For corned beef hash:
  1. Heat large nonstick skillet over medium heat and add olive oil.  Once olive oil is is hot, add onion and sauté until soft, about 5 minutes.
  2. Add cabbage and carrots and sauté 5 minutes.  Transfer vegetable mixture to bowl and stir in corned beef and potatoes.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Add beaten eggs and toss to coat.
  3. Melt butter in same skillet over medium-high heat.  Add corned beef hash mixture and cook until golden brown on bottom, occasionally pressing down with spatula, about 4 minutes.  Turn hash mixture over in small portions and cook until second side is golden brown, occasionally pressing down with spatula, about 3 more minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, bring about 2″ of water in a pan to simmer (right before water boils).  Using small ramekins or individual bowls, crack an egg into each dish.  Once water is starting to form bubbles on bottom, gently slide 1 egg at a time into simmering water.  Cook until egg whites are set, about 4 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, transfer hash to plates.  Using a slotted spoon, carefully top each hash plate with 1-2 eggs and serve.
*Adapted from Bon Appétit


Filed under Breakfast, Main Course

St. Patty’s Day Rice Krispy Treats

Here’s another simple, but festive treat for St. Patty’s Day: Rice Krispy Treats.  In my opinion, Rice Krispy Treats are underrated; they are one of the most simple treats to make and they taste amazing, so why don’t I make them more?  I’m not sure, but I know that every time I make them, they immediately make me think back to when I was a little kid.  I don’t know how long Rice Krispy treats have been around for, but they are one of those timeless treats that everyone likes to enjoy now and then.  Happy St. Patty’s Day!

  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 1 package (10 oz.) marshmallows
  • 6 cups Rice Krispies cereal
  • A few drops of green food coloring
  1. In a large saucepan, melt butter over low heat and add marshmallows.  Stir until completely melted and remove from heat.   Add a few drops of food coloring and stir to combine.
  2. Add cereal and stir until well coated.
  3. Using buttered spatula, evenly press mixture into a 13 x 9 x 2-inch pan coated with cooking spray.   Allow to cool.  Use a shamrock cookie cutter to press out shapes.

*Adapted from Rice Krispies


Filed under Desserts

Mint Chocolate Brownies

 It’s almost St. Patty’s Day, and what better way to celebrate the day than with these scrumptious Chocolate Mint Brownies!  When I was little, a dairy near our house (Byrne Dairy!) sold mint milk every year.  The milk tasted awesome, and they sold it in glass containers so you could see how green it was.  I don’t know if they still make mint milk (Mom?), but that’s something that my sister and I used to enjoy this time of year when we were little.  What I wouldn’t give for a glass of mint milk to go along with these awesome brownies… green beer will have to do!

Do you have any St. Patty’s Day traditions that involve green drinks/foods?

Brownie Base:
  • 1 box brownie mix
  • Water, vegetable oil and egg called for on brownie mix box


  • 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 3 tablespoons butter or margarine, softened
  • 3 tablespoons whipping cream
  • 2 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 teaspoon mint extract
  • 2 drops green food coloring


  • 1/3 cup whipping cream
  • 1 1/3 cups semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1/3 cup butter


  1. Heat oven to 350°F (325°F for dark or nonstick pan). Grease bottom only of 9-inch square pan with shortening or cooking spray.
  2. Make and bake brownie mix as directed on box. Cool completely, about 1 1/2 hours.
  3. In large bowl, beat filling ingredients with electric mixer on medium speed until smooth. Spread over cooled brownies. Refrigerate about 1 hour or until set.
  4. Meanwhile, in 2-quart nonstick saucepan, heat topping ingredients over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until melted and smooth. Cool about 10 minutes or until lukewarm.
  5. Pour topping over filling; spread to cover. Refrigerate uncovered about 2 hours or until set. Before cutting into bars, let stand 10 minutes at room temperature. For bars, cut into 5 rows by 4 rows. Store covered in refrigerator.

*Adapted from Betty Crocker


Filed under Baked Goods, Desserts

Lemon Sprinkle Cookies

It’s almost spring around here, so I decided to make some of these chewy Lemon Sprinkle Cookies.  You really can’t go wrong with a chewy cookie especially when it tastes like lemon and looks so colorful and fun with rainbow sprinkles.  I’m obssessed with rainbow sprinkles and have been known (or caught) eating spoonfuls of sprinkles by my hubby.  But I have a sweet tooth and sometimes a spoonful of sprinkles helps the medicine go down.  Enjoy these cookies and the upcoming spring season!


  • 2 cups + 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg + 1 egg yolk, at room temperature
  • 2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp freshly grated lemon zest/rind
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp lemon extract
  • 1 cup confectioner’s sugar
  • 1/2 tsp lemon extract
  • 1-2 tbsp milk
  • Sprinkles for decorating


  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Mix the flour, baking soda and salt in a small bowl and set aside.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixture, add the cooled, melted butter and whisk the sugars into it until smooth. Add the egg and egg yolk and whisk to combine.  Whisk in extracts, lemon juice and lemon zest until combined.  Stir in dry ingredients, mixing until a dough forms.
  3. Using a cookie scoop, place dough on a parchment-lined baking sheet, 2 inches apart.  Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until middle is just set an edges are slightly golden.  Allow to cool completely before frosting.
  4. Pour sprinkles in a small bowl and set aside.  Meanwhile, in another small bowl whisk confectioner’s sugar and lemon extract.  Add 1 tbsp milk at a time until desired frosting consistency is reached.  With a small spatula, spread frosting on top of cookie and press cookie into sprinkles.  Allow to dry completely.  Repeat with the rest of the cookies.

Yield: 22 cookies

*Adapted from How Sweet It Is


Filed under Baked Goods, Desserts

Shells with Peas, Cream, Parsley, & Mint

I’ve told you guys before that I’m not a huge cream sauce fan.  However, I may have to literally eat my words because I made a cream sauce that I actually like:  Shells w/Peas, Cream, Parsley & Mint.  The combination might sound strange but trust me when I say that peas and fresh mint are an amazing combo.  I don’t know what it is, but the mint in this dish shines and makes this cream sauce taste extraordinary.  I used Fontina and Parmesan cheeses and seasoned the dish simply with some black pepper and sea salt.  This recipe is super simple to make and can be lightened up by using milk, less cream or lite cream.  While I’m not a huge advocate of cream sauces, this dish really made me think twice about them.  Definitely give this dish a try.
What is a meal that you thought you didn’t like, but then surprised
yourself by liking?
  • 1 16-ounce package large shell pasta
  • 1 1/4 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1 16-ounce package frozen petite peas (do not thaw)
  • 1 1/4 cups freshly grated Fontina cheese
  • 1 cups freshly grated Parmesan cheese plus additional for serving
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh mint
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley, divided


  1. Cook pasta in large pot of boiling salted water until just tender but still firm to bite, stirring occasionally. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup pasta cooking liquid. Return pasta to pot,
  2. Meanwhile, bring cream to simmer in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add peas and simmer just until heated through, 1 to 2 minutes. Add 2 1/4 cups cheese and stir until melted and sauce thickens slightly, about 1 minute. Stir in mint and 1/4 cup parsley. Pour sauce over pasta and toss to coat, adding pasta cooking liquid by tablespoonfuls if dry. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer to bowls and sprinkle with remaining parsley. Sprinkle with more Parmesan cheese.

*Adapted from Bon Appetit


Filed under Uncategorized

PB&J Smoothie

I’ve mentioned before that my favorite go-to sandwich is peanut butter and jelly.  I’ve loved pb&j since I was a kid and will probably love it for the rest of my life.  It’s one of those things that is so easy to make and so satisfying.  Cold cuts don’t do it for me unless we’re talking about a fresh panini off the streets of Italy or something along those lines.  Since this is my favorite sandwich, I decided to make a PB&J Smoothie.  I used peanut butter, fresh strawberries, Greek yogurt, low-fat milk, ice, and a little protein powder.  Such a tasty treat for a breakfast on the go or an afternoon snack.  Enjoy!
  • 3/4 cup plain, Greek yogurt
  • 3/4 cup skim milk
  • 2 tbsp peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup fresh or frozen strawberries
  • 1-2 tsp protein powder
  • 1/2 cup ice cubes
  • Mint to garnish


  1. Mix everything in a blender (I used my Bullet), pour in a glass, and garnish with fresh mint (If consistency is too runny for your liking, add more Greek yogurt, strawberries and/or ice cubes to make it chunkier).
Servings:  2


Filed under Breakfast