Fruit Pizza Sugar Cookies with Orange Cream Cycle Coolwhip "Sauce"

{it's a working title}

My funny husband does not enjoy cake. Or pie. Or any kind of deliciousness that most people enjoy. I know what you're thinking, and don't worry... I argue with him about it all the time. Who doesn't like cake or pie? Or BROWNIES?? But, I digress. He had a birthday. And I had an itch to bake since I don't often get many opportunities to do so. I found a bunch of recipes that I kind of mixed all together. Mostly just from browsing good ol' Pinterest.
I think the part I liked most, other than for maybe the third time in my entire life having a batch of cookies come out perfectly the first time, is the "pizza sauce". It's orange cream cycle. Thanks to Menchies Frozen Yogurt, I have rediscovered my love for orange and vanilla aka cream cycle. My thoughts were, "hmm, I somehow want orange and vanilla in here...". The trick to the "sauce" is vanilla pudding mix! Whodda thunk?

Also, I must apologize now... Some of us are still trying to figure out our fancy camera. And by some of us, I mean me. Also doesn't help when you have two lights out in your kitchen.

Ingredients for the cookies:
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup shortening
2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/8 teaspoon salt
3 egg yolks
1/2 teaspoon vanilla (I added a full teaspoon... rebel!)
1 3/4 cups flour

Directions for cookies:
Preheat oven to 300F. In a large mixing bowl beat butter and shortening with electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Add sugar, baking soda, cream of tartar, and salt. Beat mixture until combined, scraping sides of bowl occasionally. Beat in egg yolks and vanilla. Beat in as much flour as possible, stirring in any remaining flour. Shape dough into 1 inch balls (mine were much bigger). Places balls 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheet.
Bake 12-14 minutes or until edges are set, do not let edges brown! Cool on wire rack after about 5 minutes of resting on the cookie sheet.

Pick your fruit you want, and have it all cut up and ready to go. I used strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, mandarin oranges and kiwis. But you can use whatever you'd like.

Ingredients for the Cream cycle "Sauce"
1/2 brick of cream cheese, softened
1 1/2 cup Cool Whip, softened
2 tablespoons instant vanilla pudding mix
Splash of orange juice (or orange extract if you really want an orangey flavor)

Directions for "Sauce"
Beat the cream cheese until smooth. With a wooden spoon, mix in Cool Whip until combined, then add the vanilla pudding mix. At this point it will thicken up thanks to the pudding mix. Add in OJ and mix. If it's still super thick, you can add a little more OJ or Cool Whip, but it should still be pretty thick so the fruit sticks.

To assemble them...
Spread a little of the cream cycle sauce on each cookie. If you want to... you can even add a little...


After you have the sauce on each cookie, add some of each fruit to each one, pressing lightly so the fruit stays on. 

Then take a bunch of pictures of them

And then eat them. Maybe share them with your friends.

*Word to the wise- these should be covered and refrigerated to keep the fruit from going bad and the sauce from separating. It also keeps the cookies from going soggy.


Broccoli Alfredo "Surprise Dough" Bake

{Is anyone else deathly afraid of "surprise dough"?}
In case you are asking yourself, what in the world is 'surprise dough'? I will tell you. It's the popular doughy delights that come in a can that you find in the chilled section of your grocery store. Such items include cinnamon rolls, pigs in a blanket dough, croissants and biscuits. Most common brand is Pillsbury. The tubular cans that these delicious breads come in, tend to pop open at any given moment, much like a jack-in-the-box toy. It's like playing with fire once you start opening those bad boys... *Shudder*

I hate opening them. In fact, I usually make someone else do it, while I hide around the corner with my hands over my ears. And I always jump. EVERY. TIME. I know it's pathetic, but we all have our quirks.

Anyways, this recipe will require you to not only purchase surprise dough biscuits  but also open them. You've been warned. Trust me, the outcome is worth all the turmoil.

1 Tbsp salted butter
1/2 medium onion, diced
1 (16 oz) jar of your favorite Alfredo Sauce (or you can make your own)
1/4 cup milk
2 cups chopped chicken (optional)
2 cups broccoli, cut into small pieces
1/4 tsp dried basil
1 can refrigerated biscuits aka Surprise Dough Biscuits
1 Tbsp melted butter
Parmesan cheese for garnish

Preheat oven to 350F.
Spray an 8x8 inch baking dish with cooking spray and set aside. In a large nonstick skillet, melt 1 tablespoon butter over medium heat. Add onions and cook until tender. Stir in Alfredo sauce, milk, chicken, broccoli and basil. Cook until thoroughly heated heated and bubbly, stirring occasionally. Pour mixture into prepared baking dish.
Separate biscuits and cut each one in half, crosswise. Arrange around the edge of the baking dish, overlapping slightly. Drizzle with melted butter and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.
Bake for 15-20 minutes until biscuits are golden brown. Make sure they are cooked all the way through!


Source: High Heels and Grills via Pinterest


Snicker Doodle Apple Cobbler

{Today's post is delicious. That is all}
I'm going to be brutally honest and tell you that I found this on Pinterest. I sort of thought this might be one of those recipes you see on there that is just completely over the top and should not be consumed by anyone. But I looked at the ingredients and thought maybe I had judged it a little too harshly, too quickly. And after making it, I can tell you that it's soooo good. It wasn't overly sweet like a lot of desserts tend to be, and it wasn't as simple and bland as a classic apple pie. I mean, apple pie is good, but sometimes you just need a little variation. Might I suggest this next time you are looking for something simple and unique...

Cookie Ingredients:
1/2 tsp cream of tartar
1/8 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
2/3 cup flour
1/4 cup butter, softened
1/3 cup sugar plus 1/2 cup
1 egg
3/4 tsp cinnamon

Apple Ingredients:
8 cups (roughly 6-8 apples) (I suggest granny smith)
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350F.

In a small bowl combine first four dry ingredients for the cookie dough. In a separate bowl or stand mixer, cream butter and 1/3 cup of sugar. Add egg followed by premixed dry ingredients. Mix until dry ingredients are blended into the dough well. Set aside.

In another small bowl combine 3/4 teaspoon and 1/2 cup sugar, set aside. In a larger bowl add 1/4 cup brown sugar and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon. Peel (I didn't), core and slice apples. Add to brown sugar and cinnamon mixture, tossing to coat. Transfer apples to an 8x8 inch baking dish.

Form 1 inch balls of dough and roll in cinnamon-sugar mixture. Place coated dough balls on top of apples, press down lightly to slightly flatten. Bake for 45-55 minutes or until apples are tender and cookie topping is lightly golden.

Let cool prior to serving!

Source: Baked by Rachel via Pinterest


Left Over Brisket Buns

{There's a story for how this meal came to be}
A couple weeks ago, we were visiting Banff National Park in Alberta, we had some extra daylight left over after seeing and doing everything we wanted and didn't feel like driving back home. So instead, we drove up the road some more and all of a sudden we crossed the border into British Columbia. We finally stopped in this little town called Golden. We were hungry, so we found this random BBQ restaurant on the side of the highway. Of course, before entering the place, we googled it to see if it was a good place to stop or if a simple Tim Horton's would suffice us until we got home. Turns out, it was a pretty highly rated little shack. So we went it and ordered. I, being the light weight had mac and cheese (cuz I wasn't that hungry) and husband ordered the Brisket Bun. It was the most delicious thing I had tasted... yes, I tasted it. Husband couldn't stop raving about it. So, a couple nights ago I made a brisket. Truth be told, it was just a pot roast because they were fresh out of briskets. I found this recipe on Pinterest called Dr. Pepper Brisket... You had me at Dr. Pep... So I made it, just instead of a brisket we had pot roast. It was DELISH! We had a ton of left overs, so my genius little brain of mine came up with the idea to re-create that brisket bun from Golden, BC. And there you have it. The birth story of one our new favorite dinners!
Ingredients for the brisket/pot roast:
1 medium sized brisket or pot roast
2 cans Dr. Pepper

Place brisket in crock pot, pour Dr. Pepper over the meat and cook on low for 9 hours. Shred. Empty 80% of the Dr. Pepper broth from crock pot, and return meat to broth to moisten.
This can be made in advance.

Ingredients for the sandwich:
Kaiser Buns
Left over brisket/pot roast
Sauteed bell pepper
caramelized onions
Salt and pepper to taste

Start with the onions. Thinly slice them to however you want. There isn't a wrong way to do this, just make sure you are consistent. In a large frying pan add 2 tablespoons EVOO (thank you Rachel Ray) and a tablespoon of butter. Once pan is hot, add your onions. Caramelizing onions is not all that difficult as I found out. In fact, it's pretty simple. You just let them simmer on medium-low heat until a caramely (yes, that's a word now) brown and they are tender and delicious. Stir every so often to make sure they aren't sticking to the pan. If they are, just add a little more butter. They will shrink down in size significantly. For the two of us, we used an onion and a half.

While the onions are caramelizing, slice your pepper into small strips, and saute in a small amount of oil. Medium heat, but you can reduce it towards the end of their cooking process as they will probably beat the onions.

Finished product:

Once the onions and the peppers are finished. Slice your mozza. Slice your bun, and place how ever much meat you can handle on one half of the bun. Place on oven rack and broil until the meat is hot, but not burned. Next, place cheese on the other half of the bun, and broil just until the cheese is melted. But watch it, because it can burn fast! Top meat with onions and peppers, then top with the top of the bun.

I tell ya... it's so good! Best way to make left overs not so bland!

Source: Pinterest (pot roast)


Cafe Rio Chicken & An Update, Sorta...

Well, well, well... look who finally decided to resurrect herself. Me! I'm happy to report that this behavior is no longer accepted. I was also very happy to see that I had 5 new comments when I logged in! I love all the support!
The good news is that I have A LOT of recipes to catch up on. I've taken thousands of pictures just waiting for a little blog love.
I also got a new camera and have been playing around with it. So my pictures should [hopefully] improve. Look at me, all grow'd up!

On to one of my all time favorite recipes from one of my favorite restaurants! Alberta got it's first official restaurant from the oh, so popular Mexican delicacy they call Costa Vida; it's in Airdrie. And I've been there twice already, over an hours worth of a drive! I'm pathetic! But I've also made my own renditions of their recipes to enjoy in the comfort of my own home without the road trip. You've seen some of my earlier posts on them. So here is a delicious recipe my cousin gave me for Cafe Rio Chicken crock pot style! YUM.

5 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, thawed
1 bottle of Zesty Italian Dressing
1 pack of ranch dressing mix
1 cup of water
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
salt and pepper to taste (optional)

In crock pot, add Italian Dressing, pack of ranch dressing mix, water, cumin, and chili power. Whisk until combined. Add chicken breasts. Cook on high for 4-5 hours or low 7-8 hours. Remove chicken breasts and shred with two forks. Should be so tender you barely have to do much shredding. Serve on tacos, burritos salads or come up with your own recipes! Saves well and easily feeds a family of 4! Enjoy!

Source: Cousin Adrian


Panera Bread Broccoli Cheese Soup

{it's okay to copy a copy cat recipe}
Disregard any and all thoughts you might have about how unorthodox it might be to eat soup during warm months, because this soup will change your mind about all of those theories. Yeah, it's that good! This is one you will want to add to your menu asap. So, now... go get some broccoli and some cheddar!
6 tablespoons butter
1 small onion, chopped 
1/4 cup all-purpose flour 
2 cups half-and-half 

2 cups milk (the original recipe called for 2 cups half-and-half, but I didn't have enough so I improvised and it was just as good)
4 cups chicken broth  
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg 
Salt and pepper 
3 heads of broccoli, finely chopped
1 large carrot, diced 
2 1/2 cups (about 8 ounces) grated sharp cheddar cheese (or as much as you want!)


Melt the butter in a large spaghetti pot over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Whisk in the flour and cook until golden, 3 to 4 minutes, then gradually whisk in the half-and-half until smooth. Be sure to really gradually add the half-and-half and make sure it's smooth before adding more, this really get the creamy consistency going.
Add the chicken broth and nutmeg, then season with salt and pepper and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook, uncovered, for about 20 minutes.
Add the broccoli and carrot to the broth mixture and simmer until tender, about another 20 minutes. You can puree the soup if you so choose, however I hear this can be quite difficult to do, so I skipped this step. 
Add the cheese to the soup and whisk over medium heat until melted. 

Top with a little extra cheese (mozzarella is also a good choice, too) and serve it up! Maybe a little bread on the side? I think yes!

Source: Yammie's Noshery

Loaded Potato Slices

{bar food extraordinaire}
Not going to lie, I saw these on Pinterest. And can I just say how delicious they are? I was surprised at how easy they were. Perfect for a week night when all you want is fast, quick comfort food. Just like the food you get at bars, but half the price and half the calories, and all in the comfort of your own kitchen.
3 Russet Potatoes, washed and sliced
1 1/2 cups cheddar cheese, grated
4-5 slices of bacon, cubed and cooked through (can substitute bacon bits)
3-4 green onions, sliced
Olive Oil
Sour cream
Barbecue sauce, optional
Salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 350F, spray cookie sheet with Pam or spray butter which ever you prefer. Lay potato slices on cookie sheet as close together as possible so you can fit more on the sheet. Drizzle with a little olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake for 30 minutes, flipping half way through baking.

Once potatoes are soft and sizzling, sprinkle with cheese, then bacon and green onions. Potatoes should be hot enough to melt the cheese, but just to speed things up you can place them back in the oven for a minute or two.

Mix a little BBQ sauce with sour cream for dipping if you so choose, and there ya go! Enjoy!


Grandma's Mac & Cheese

{this is what i ate all throughout my childhood}

I crave this dinner! I almost can't stand the boxed mac and cheese when comparing it to this divine pasta. It makes me drool just thinking about it. The cool thing is that you can alter this to make different variations. For example, you can add taco meat and salsa and turn it into a Tex-Mex mac and cheese, or you can use any variety of cheeses you wish. It really is quiet versatile. Enjoy!
2 cups dried pasta (I used Penne, but elbow macaroni or any other pasta is fine)
2 tablespoons all purpose flour
dash of pepper
2 1/2 cups milk
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese 
1 1/2 cups shredded American cheese (you can substitute any melting cheese ie. provolone, mozzarella, or fontina) 

Cook pasta according to package directions.

In a large sauce pan, combine milk and flour, whisk together. Turn heat to medium. We are going to make what is called a roux. Don't let it frighten you. (I'm a poet and I didn't even know it.) Stir the sauce frequently, you don't want it to gob up on the bottom of the pan. It will thicken as it heats, be sure to keep as many lumps out as possible (stir, stir, stir). Once it reaches the consistently of a simmering thinned pudding, you can start adding your cheeses, and reduce the heat slightly. Stir as your cheeses melt, again stirring so much that it doesn't burn on the bottom. Add your seasonings, and stir until combined and fragrant. You can add more cheese if you like it really cheesy, like me!

Once your pasta is cooked and drained, pour cheese sauce over pasta. Top with additional cheese if desired.

And you're done!

Pin it!