Sunday, October 26, 2014

Stuffed Pepper Soup

I've been on a little bit of a soup kick lately and here's my newest creation - Stuffed Pepper Soup. I picked a bunch of peppers and wanted to make stuffed peppers. Unfortunately, they were little peppers and wouldn't have been good for stuffing, so I decided to make a stuffed pepper soup instead. 

I threw this soup together and it was so good! It took way less time to make than stuffed peppers and I did it all in one pot, except for the rice. It's great for a quick dinner during the week. It made about 10-12 servings which was perfect for leftovers and lunches. I'm looking forward to making it again!


1 lb ground turkey
2-3 medium green peppers, seeded and cut into chunks
1 garlic clove, minced
28 oz can of fire roasted tomatoes
1 qt chicken stock 
1/2 tsp oregano
salt 
fresh ground peppers
brown rice 

In a large pot, brown the meat and drain off any grease. I used ground turkey that was pretty lean, so I didn't have too much grease to drain. Add in the garlic clove, green peppers, tomatoes and chicken stock. Stir and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and allow to simmer until the peppers are tender. Season with salt and fresh ground pepper to your taste and add in the oregano. 

While the soup is simmering, cook the brown rice according to the package. I made 4 servings for rice and it was the perfect amount I needed for the soup. To serve, place a spoonful of rice in the center of a bowl. Spoon the soup over top of it and serve to distribute the rice. Serve with a slice of crusty bread. 


Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Chocolate Cupcakes

Madeline is cheering again this year and each week different parents are asked to bring in a snack and drink. A couple weeks ago it was my turn and it also happened to be on the of coach's birthday, so I thought cupcakes were the perfect treat after the game. Now I usually would have just made a regular cupcake recipe, but one of the girls has an egg allergy. I didn't want to exclude her from the group, so I searched for a new recipe. The recipe I found that reminded me of the cake in my black bottom cupcake recipe. I made a few tweaks to the recipe based on some of the reviews and I think they turned out really good.

They were super moist and all the girls thought they were delicious! I made sure to use my expensive unsweetened cocoa powder and coffee to make sure the chocolate flavor was intense. I topped them with a simple butter cream frosting and sprinkled a little bit of red sugar sprinkles on top.



3 cups flour
2 cups sugar
1 tsp salt
2 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
3/4 cup canola oil (I am going to cut this back to 2/3 cup next time I make it)
2 Tbsp distilled white vinegar
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup cold water
1 cup cold coffee
1/2 bag of chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two muffin tins with paper liners and set aside.

In a large bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, salt, baking soda and cocoa powder. Make three wells in the dry mixture and add the oil into one, vinegar into the second and vanilla into the third. Pour the cold water and coffee over the entire mixture and stir well until just combined. Stir in the chocolate chips.

Divide the batter for 24 cupcakes, filled 3/4 way. Bake for 22 to 25 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the middle of one cupcake comes out clean. Remove from muffin tins and allow to completely cool on a wire rack. Frost with your favorite icing.

Adapted from allrecipes.com 

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Bacon Wrapped Stuffed Jalapenos

I'm sad the summer growing season is coming to an end with a bumper crop of peppers. My peppers didn't do great all summer, but now that it's cooler and I've pulled out the tomato plants out of the garden, my peppers are doing phenomenal! I picked about two dozen jalapenos, a dozen green peppers and 6 poblano peppers the other day. I've been in the mood for stuffed jalapenos and had all the ingredients in the fridge along with half a package of bacon. Another perfect opportunity to spend some time in the kitchen!

These stuffed jalapenos are amazing! The gooey cheese in the center with the smokey bacon and the spicy pepper...there's really no way for me to describe how good they are, you just need to make them! I baked half the batch as an appetizer for my husband and I to snack on while I was making the rest of our dinner. The other half were frozen and will be made in the very near future. These are going to be my go-to recipe to bring to parties!


12 jalapenos, sliced in half, ribs and seeds removed
8 ozs cream cheese, softened at room temperature
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
12 slices of bacon, cut in half
24 toothpicks

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and place a wire rack on top. Set aside. 

In a medium bowl, combine the softened cream cheese, cheddar cheese, garlic and smoked paprika using a hand mixer. Spoon the filling into the halved jalapenos and wrap with half a slice of bacon. Secure with a toothpick and place on the wire rack. Continue this process until all the jalapenos are filled and wrapped. 

Bake for 25 to 30 minutes until the cheese is bubbly and the bacon is crispy. Remove from oven and serve immediately. Try not to burn the inside of your mouth with hot cheese!




Monday, October 13, 2014

Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls - The Secret Recipe Club


I'm excited to share my reveal for this month's Secret Recipe Club! It usually takes me a couple weeks to decide on a recipe, because I always pick out way too many and then I need to narrow it down to that special one. This month was an exception! Upon receiving my assignment, Culinary Adventures with Camilla, Camilla is our group hostess and has so many unique recipes, things I've never heard of before. It's so fun to see what she's making the kitchen with her kids. She recently did 10 days of tailgating recipes - lots of great recipes over there!

I searched for something using canned pumpkin. I had almost a full can after making pumpkin pie creamer and wanted to use it up before it went bad. I found a recipe for pumpkin cinnamon rolls - SCORE! I've been wanting to make cinnamon rolls for awhile but hadn't gotten around to it yet...so this was the perfect opportunity!

The recipe was simple to make and was sooo good! The pumpkin flavor was perfect, with the ooey-gooey center. I tried them without any frosting, they were good..not too sweet, perfect for a breakfast treat. My husband decided to indulge and spread cream cheese over the top and dusted with powdered sugar. He loved it and said it was the perfect "bedtime" snack. Whether you enjoy them plain or with a little something extra, you definitely need to make this recipe!


1 Tbsp active yeast
1/2 cup warm water
2 tsp sugar
1 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
2 cup white whole wheat flour
pinch of salt
1 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 stick butter
2 Tbsp pumpkin puree
3/4 cup brown sugar, softened to room temperature
1 Tbsp pumpkin pie spice

In a bowl of a stand mixer, combine the yeast, warm water and sugar. Stir and allow the yeast to bloom. After 3-5 minutes, stir in the pumpkin, flour and salt. Mix until a sticky dough forms. Knead the dough for another 4-5 minutes until it becomes very elastic.

Place the dough in a clean bowl and cover with olive oil until it's completely coated. Cover with a clean dish towel and allow to rise for 30 minutes. I used the proof function on my oven since it was cool in my kitchen when I made these. Butter and flour a round baking pan, set aside. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

After the dough has risen, cream together the butter, remaining two tablespoons of pumpkin puree, brown sugar, and pumpkin pie spice. Punch the dough down and transfer to a floured surface. Roll the dough into a large rectangle. Spread the pumpkin butter mixture over the dough with a off set spatula.

Starting from the long side, roll the dough up and pinch the ends to seal everything in. Using a sharp knife, cut the log into 8 to 10 inch pieces, about 2 inches thick. Place the slices into the prepared pan.

Bake for 15 to 20 minutes until the top and edges begin to turn golden brown. Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly before serving.


Thursday, October 9, 2014

Sun Dried Tomato Meatball Sandwich

Whew, what a week! We've been running around like crazy and these are the times I have meals prepped and ready to make. I found this recipe while looking through some old pins on Pinterest and thought it would be a meal that everyone would enjoy...wrong. My little guy wanted no part of it, oh well...I'll keep trying!

I'm not a huge fan of sun-dried tomato, but this pesto is amazing! It's not too strong of flavor and adds depth to the meatballs. Turkey can sometimes be dry, but these meatballs were moist and were great for leftovers too! I know I'll be making the mayo just to have on hand...it was so good! Of course you need to have an amazing roll with this sandwich. We always buy our rolls from a local Italian bakery - along with their amazing tomato pie!


1 lb ground turkey breast
1 egg, lightly beaten
2 Tbsp sun dried tomato pesto (I used Merzetta)
1 garlic clove, crushed
2 Tbsp fresh chopped parsley
1/2 cup Italian bread crumbs
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
4 hoagie rolls
8 slices Provolone cheese

Sun Dried Tomato Mayo
2 Tbsp sun dried tomato pesto
1/4 cup mayonnaise

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly spray a baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray and set aside.

In a large bowl, combine the ground turkey, egg, pesto, crushed garlic, parsley, bread crumbs and Parmesan cheese. Mix until just combined. Using a tablespoon cookie scoop, make meatballs. My mixture made approximately 2 dozen meatballs. Place the meatballs on the prepared baking sheet and lightly brush the tops with olive oil.

Bake for 15 minutes and then place under the broiler for an additional 5 minutes, until the tops are lightly browned.

While the meatballs are cooking, mix together the remaining two tablespoons of sun dried tomato pesto and mayo in a small bowl. Place in the refrigerator until ready to use.

To assemble the meatball sandwiches, place two slices of provolone cheese on each hoagie roll. Broil for a few minutes until the cheese has melted and the roll is toasted. Place 4 to 5 meatballs on each roll and then top with the sun dried tomato mayo. Cut in half and enjoy!

Source: Mom on Timeout


Sunday, October 5, 2014

Chicken Bacon & Wild Rice Soup

It's feeling like fall today - with temperatures barely in the 60s and the leaves are really starting to change colors. While I really love this season, there's been no transition from summer to fall. I made this soup last week when it was still warm, but I'm wishing I had made it again this weekend because it's definitely soup weather today!

The bacon adds just the right amount of flavor and saltiness and it's a lighter cream soup..not super heavy and goes perfect with a hunk of crusty bread. This is the kind of soup you make in the morning and let simmer all day and then it's ready for dinner. I would be great to start a dinner party or for lunch as leftovers!


1 quart chicken stock
2 cups water
1/2 cup uncooked wild rice, rinsed
1/2 cup finely chopped scallions
1/2 cup unsalted butter
3/4 cup flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp poultry seasoning
dash of fresh ground pepper
2 cups half and half
2 cups chicken breast, cubed
8 slices of bacon, cooked until crispy and then crumbled

In a large saucepan, combine the chicken stock and water. Add the wild rice and scallions, bring to a boil and reduce heat. Cover and simmer for 30 to 45 minutes or until the rice is tender. There will be liquid remaining, do not drain. 

In a small saucepan, melt the butter. Add in the flour, salt, pepper and poultry seasoning. Cook for one minute until the mixture is smooth and bubbly. Slowly add in the half and half, stirring continuously until the mixture has thickened. Add the thickened cream mixture to the rice and mix in the cubed chicken and bacon. Cook on low for at least a half an hour. The longer it cooks, the more the flavors combine and the soup thickens. 

Adapted Slightly from: My Sweet Savannah

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Candy Corn Swirl Cookies - #Fillthecookiejar

It's the first Thursday of the month and that means - cookie time! This month's theme for the Fill the Cookie Jar Group is Halloween/Pumpkin. I decided to go with a Halloween themed cookie this month and saved pumpkin for an option for next month. I'm behind on decorating, getting the kids costumes and looking at my calendar for the month of October, it's going to be a struggle to get everything in that I want to.

So now onto the cookies. They're a simple sugar cookie recipe, colored with dye and then rolled up. They could be made for any season or in a variety of colors. I thought it would be fun to do candy corn colors, since it's my favorite candy at Halloween. My daughter was excited for them since I haven't made cookies in a couple of weeks.



2 sticks unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups flour
food coloring - orange & yellow (or whatever colors you want to make your cookies)

In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the two sticks of butter until it's soft and creamy. Add the sugar and mix. Add in the egg, baking soda, and vanilla. Mix until the ingredients are creamy and everything is combined. Add the flour one cup at time to finish the dough. If the dough is sticky, add more flour (1/4 cup at a time) until the dough is no longer sticky.

Divide the dough into three even amounts. Color one orange, color the other yellow, and leave the last one uncolored. Wrap all the dough in plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator to firm up and chill for 20 to 30 minutes.

Once the dough is firm, roll out the dough until its 1/2 inch thick. Stack the rolled dough on each other, I started with uncolored,  yellow and then orange. Starting on the long side, roll the dough to form a roll. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and place back in the refrigerator to chill for at least an hour.

When ready to bake the cookies, preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside. With a knife or piece of thread, cut the dough into 1/2 inch thick cookies. Place the cookies two inches apart on the prepared baking sheets. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes until the cookies are no longer shiny. Allow to cool completely before removing from baking sheets.

Source: The Simple Sweet Life