Thursday, February 25, 2016

Chocolate Peanut Butter Earthquake Cake

  • 1 box Chocolate Fudge cake mix, plus ingredients needed to prepare (eggs, oil, water)
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 8 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 1/2 to 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips
  • 1 cup miniature chocolate peanut butter cups, halved
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Prepare chocolate cake mix according to package instructions and pour into a lightly greased 9x13 cake pan, DO NOT BAKE - set aside.
  3. Melt butter on stove top until bubbly. Pour into mixing bowl and beat the butter and cream cheese until smooth. Add the peanut butter and vanilla extract, beat till smooth. Add one cup of powdered sugar at a time to bowl, and beat until fully incorporated and mixture becomes light and fluffy.
  4. Scoop spoonfuls of the peanut butter mixture onto the chocolate cake batter, all over. Sprinkle with the chocolate chips and peanut butter cups.
  5. Bake for 45-55 minutes or until the center is only slightly jiggly. Let cool for 15 to 20 minutes before slicing and serving warm. Top with ice cream if desired! Enjoy!

Lemon Poppy Seed Broccoli Salad


  • 2 heads fresh broccoli (~4 and 1/2 - 5 cups)
  • 3/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds
  • 1/2 cup toasted and salted sunflower seeds
  • 1 small package (8 ounces) sharp cheddar cheese

  • 1 cup full-fat mayo
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 2-4 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 large lemon
  • 1/2 tablespoon poppy seeds

  1. Remove the stems from the broccoli and cut into very small pieces. Fill up a bowl with very cold water and a few cupfuls of ice.
  2. Bring a pot of water to boiling point. Add in a heaping tablespoon of salt.
  3. Pour the broccoli into the boiling water and count to 30. As soon as you get to 30 drain the broccoli and pour the broccoli into your prepared ice/water bath.
  4. Allow the broccoli to sit in the cold water until completely cooled. Then remove with a slotted spoon to a salad spinner or bowl.
  5. Make sure the broccoli is 100% dried before tossing it with anything else (especially the dressing).
  6. Add the cranberries, almonds (toast if desired), sunflower seeds, and sharp cheddar cheese (that has been cut into very small cubes) to the bowl with the broccoli.
  7. In a bowl, whisk together the mayo, red wine vinegar, sugar, zest of one lemon, and about 1 tablespoon lemon juice.
  8. Add some salt and pepper, taste, and add more sugar (1-2 more tablespoons) or lemon to personal preference (not too much lemon or the dressing becomes too watery)
  9. Whisk in the poppyseeds.
  10. Toss the dressing with the salad and place in the fridge to marinate for 15-30 minutes.
  11. Toss again and enjoy!


Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Chocolate Salted Caramel Scotcharoos


For the Bars
  • 1 cup Karo® Syrup
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 cup salted caramel chocolate hazelnut spread
  • 6 cups crispy rice cereal (plain or cocoa flavored)
For the Caramel
  • 1/2 cup salted butter
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons Karo® Syrup
  • 1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk
For the Topping
  • 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips


For the Bars:
Line a 9 x 9 inch pan (see note below) with foil and spray with nonstick cooking spray.

  1. Cook corn syrup and sugars together in a large saucepan over medium heat, stirring to dissolve sugar.
  2. Bring mixture to a low boil and immediately remove from the heat. Stir in chocolate hazelnut spread and mix until combined.
  3. Add cereal; stir until evenly coated.
  4. Pour into prepared pan and press into place.
For the Caramel:
  1. In a medium saucepan over low heat, combine butter, brown sugar, corn syrup, and sweetened condensed milk.
  2. Bring to a boil while stirring constantly. Allow mixture to remain at a low boil while stirring constantly for about 5 minutes.
  3. Pour over bars and allow the bars to cool until the caramel begins to set up.
For the Topping:
  1. Melt chocolate chips in a saucepan over low heat, stirring constantly.  Spread over caramel layer.
  2. Cool at least 45 minutes, or until firm. Cut into bars.


If you prefer your bars to be thinner, you can use a 9 x 13-inch pan.

Monday, February 22, 2016

Easy Oven Baked Spicy Chicken Tacos

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 pound cooked chicken, shredded
  • 1 (1 ounce) packet  Hot & Spicy Taco Seasoning
  • 1/2 cup onion, diced
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomato, drained
  • 1 (4.5 ounce) can  Chopped Green Chiles
  • 10  Stand and Stuff Taco Shells
  • 1/2 (16 ounce) can  Refried Beans
  • 2 cups Mexican Blend Cheese, shredded
  • Toppings such as  sliced Jalapenos, sour cream, salsa, chopped cilantro, shredded lettuce, or any of your favorite taco toppings!
  1. Preheat oven to 400 F. Spray a 9 x 13 baking dish with nonstick spray and set aside.
  2. Heat olive oil over medium heat in a medium skillet.
  3. Add onion to skillet and cook for 2-3 minutes, or until the onion is translucent and fragrant.
  4. Stir in the chicken, taco seasoning, tomatoes, and green chiles. Stir to combine fully. Reduce to simmer and allow to cook for 5-8 minutes.
  5. Place the taco shells in the baking dish, standing up. I was able to fit 10 taco shells in the dish by adding 2 on each side.
  6. Spoon 1 tablespoon of beans into the bottom of each taco shell. Top with the chicken mixture, almost to the top of each shell.
  7. Sprinkle each shell generously with shredded cheese, the more the better!
  8. Bake for 12-14 minutes or until cheese is fully melted and the edges of the shells are browned.
  9. Remove from the oven and top with your favorite items such as jalapenos, sour cream, cilantro, and salsa.
  10. Enjoy!
  11. ***TIPS: Be sure to drain the tomatoes completely, this will help the taco shells to not get soggy while baking!
  12. If you prefer your tacos not spicy, just omit the green chilis and use regular Old El Paso Taco Seasoning. Just as delicious!

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Cream Cheese Chocolate Brownies

cream cheese batter
  • ⅔ cup semi sweet chocolate chips, melted
  • 1 egg
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • ⅓ cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla
brownie batter
  • ½ cup butter, melted
  • ¼ cup cocoa powder
  • 2 eggs
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup milk chocolate chips
  • ¼ cup semi sweet chocolate chips, melted
  • 2 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  1. First, prepare the cream cheese batter. In a medium bowl blend together melted chocolate chips, egg, cream cheese, sugar, flour, and vanilla until smooth. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl prepare the brownie batter by mixing the melted butter and cocoa powder until smooth. Add eggs, sugar, vanilla, and salt. Mix well. Add cream cheese batter to brownie batter and mix until incorporated. Gently stir in chocolate chips.
  3. Pour batter in a greased, foil-lined 8x8 or 9x9 inch pan. (9x9 inch pan will yield thinner brownies) Bake at 350 for 30-35 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out mostly clean. Allow to cool completely.
  4. When the brownies are cooled, prepare the frosting. Blend together melted chocolate and cream cheese until smooth. Add vanilla and mix again until smooth. Gradually mix in powdered sugar. Add milk to thin frosting to a spreadable consistency. Spread on cooled brownies. Allow frosting to set up (at least 30 minutes) before cutting into squares. Store in airtight container.

from Creme de la Crumb

Monday, February 15, 2016

Salted Caramel Brownies

  • 2 cups sugar
  • ¾ cup baking cocoa
  • 1 cup canola oil
  • 4 eggs
  • ¼ cup 2% milk
  • 1½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 cup (6 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips
  • 14 ounces caramels (like Kraft caramels)
  • 1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 teaspoon coarse sea salt
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9 x 13 inch pan with parchment paper or aluminum foil and spray with cooking spray. This makes cleaning up easier with the caramel.
  2. In a large bowl combine the flour, salt, and baking powder. In another large bowl, beat together the sugar, cocoa, oil, eggs and milk. Add the dry ingredients until blended. Fold in chocolate chips.
  3. Spoon two thirds of the batter into the greased 9 x 13 inch pan. Bake for 12 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile prepare the caramel filling. In a microwave safe bowl, heat the caramels and sweetened condensed milk stirring 30 seconds at a time until melted and smooth. Can also melt over medium low heat in a saucepan.
  5. Pour the melted caramel over the warm brownie layer. Sprinkle coarse sea salt on top. Drop remaining brownie batter over the top of the caramel and carefully swirl the top with a knife. Bake for an additional 35-40 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Do not over bake. Allow the brownies to completely cool before serving. Can also garnish the brownies lightly with additional sea salt.

from The Recipe Critic

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Salted Caramel Pecan Bars


  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 stick butter (1/2 cup)
  • 1 cup graham crackers
  • ¾ cup brown sugar
  • ½ granulated sugar
  • ⅓ cup evaporated milk
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • ⅔ cup butterscotch chips
  • ½ tsp sea salt or other coarse salt
  1. Cover the bottom of an 11x7 inch foil-line pan with the chopped pecans. Set aside.
  2. Bring butter, graham crackers, brown sugar, granulated sugar, evaporated milk to a boil in a large saucepan, over medium-low heat. Boil for 5-7 minutes stirring constantly.
  3. Pour the caramel over the chopped pecans and spread out with a greased spatula.
  4. Once the caramel has set, melt chocolate chips and butterscotch chips in the microwave. Spread over the caramel.
  5. Sprinkle with sea salt or other coarse salt.
  6. Allow the bars to harden, lift the foil from the pan and cut into 24 pieces.
  7. Store in the refrigerator.