Recipes

Turkey and Egg Salad – Healthy Eating Recipe

Are you looking for new healthy meal ideas for the new year?  Try this delicious recipe for Turkey and Egg Salad featuring a Jennie-O Lean Turkey Ham.

 

INGREDIENTS

6 oz. turkey, chopped

2 hard-boiled eggs, chopped

2 Tbsp onion, chopped

1 tsp mustard

1 Tbsp sweet relish

1 Tbsp mayo (you may sub fat-free or low-fat mayo)

salt/pepper

430 kcal

DIRECTIONS

Mix all of the ingredients in a bowl.

That’s it!

If you’re low carbing it or on a keto diet, you can eat this as is, straight out of the bowl.  It’s how I like to eat it cause’ it’s packed full of flavor and definitely filling on it’s own.

Or, you can spread it on bread and make a sandwich.  Either way, it’s yummy!

Enjoy!

Triple Layer Truffle Bars – Recipe from Pillsbury

Image from Pillsbury.com

INGREDIENTS

For the Bar:
1 roll (16.5 oz) Pillsbury™ refrigerated chocolate chip cookies
1/4 cup unsweetened baking cocoa

For the Filling:
4 Tbsp chocolate instant pudding and pie filling mix (from 4-serving box)
1/4 cup butter, melted
2 cups powdered sugar
2 Tbsp milk
1 tsp vanilla

For the Topping:
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips (from 12-oz bag)
1/4 cup butter

Optional Topping: 1 bag Wilton candy cane candy melts

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 350°F. Let cookie dough stand at room temperature 10 minutes to soften. Line 8-inch square pan with foil, extending foil over edges.

In medium bowl, mix cookie dough and cocoa until well blended (dough will be stiff). Press dough evenly in bottom of pan.

Bake 12 to 15 minutes or until edges are set (do not overbake). Cool completely, about 1 hour.

In large bowl, stir pudding mix and 1/4 cup melted butter until well blended. Add powdered sugar, milk and vanilla; beat with electric mixer on medium speed until smooth and creamy. Spread filling evenly over cooled bar base. Set aside.

In small microwavable bowl, microwave chocolate chips and 1/4 cup butter uncovered on High 1 minute to 1 minute 30 seconds, stirring every 30 seconds, until melted and smooth. Spread evenly over filling. Optional: melt candy melts and drizzle on top. Refrigerate about 1 hour or until set.

Use foil to lift from pan; pull foil edges away. For bars, cut into 4 rows by 4 rows.

ENJOY!

Buffalo Check Print Cake Tutorial

If you follow me on Instagram, you know that I have been obsessed this holiday season with all things buffalo check print….pajamas, table settings, DIY art, ornaments, even cake.  Yes, I said cake.  I found a couple of jaw-dropping cakes online that were buffalo check print/lumberjack-themed and I knew immediately that I would be making one this holiday season.

I scoured the internet looking for the most “effortless” way of making this cake.  I found a couple of specialty baking pans on Amazon’s website that were designed to create this checkered pattern, but many of the pan reviews were subpar.  Then I found a baking blogger/YouTuber with a website called Cookies, Cupcakes, and Cardio where she made her own templates to create the buffalo check pattern and I knew that this was the method I was going to try.

Please note that the inspiration cake is made from scratch, used 4 layers and 4 colors of cake, and is larger than my test cake, so some of the instructions differ, but the outcome is amazing either way and will definitely impress your guests!  Also note that the inspiration cake was made to be a Lumberjack-themed cake, so it was finished off to look like a tree ring along the outer edges and top; I was solely focused on creating the buffalo check pattern, so I simply frosted the outside and top of my cake and called it a day.  Here’s how I made my cake:

INGREDIENTS

6 inch cake pan

1 Sheet of White Cardstock

Scissors

Pencil

Non-stick Cooking Spray

1 box Betty Crocker Vanilla Cake Mix, with required add-ins – batter divided

1 Cup Measuring Scoop

3 Bowls

Knife

Wilton Icing Colors in Black, Brown, and Red-Red

Vanilla or Chocolate Frosting of your choice (can be homemade buttercream or store-bought works too—I dyed my vanilla frosting black, but this is optional)

DIRECTIONS

Using your cake pan as a template, trace the outer edge of the pan on your cardstock with your pencil.

Find a circular object about 2 inches smaller in diameter than your cake pan (i.e. a coffee cup), then trace it within your first circle.

Repeat one last circle about 2 inches smaller than the last one, so that you have 3 circles drawn on your template.

Cut the circles out and note that you will only need to use the two biggest circles.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and spray your cake pan with non-stick cooking spray.

Mix your cake mix according to the box directions, then using your 1-cup measuring scoop, measure out 1 cup of batter in each of your 3 bowls.

Use your Wilton Icing Colors to dye each of your batters.  You want one black, one burgundy (use a bit of the brown and the red-red), and one red.

Bake each of the batters separately.  In my oven, each 6 inch layer took 13 minutes to bake.

Make sure the cake cools a bit before you remove it from the pan. Place each layer of cake on a separate plate.

Set the cakes in the freezer for about 15 minutes to make sure they’re nice and firm.

Take your first layer of cake and place the largest circle template that you previously cut on top of the cake.

Use your knife to trace around the template and cut your first circle in the cake. (You guys are going to kill me, but I didn’t get any photos of this process!!!!  My bad but I was laser focused on making sure I got this part right.)

Next use the smaller circle template and cut another circle in the cake.  Once you’ve done this, you should have 3 circles that make up your 1 layer of cake.

Repeat this process on the remaining 2 layers of cake.

Now you’re going to reassemble your cake layers mixing and matching the 3 colors of cake.

Here’s how I layered my cake rings (note that the photo above and the photo below this section shown are from the bottom to the top of the cake):

Bottom Layer: large red circle, medium black circle, small burgundy circle

Middle Layer: large black circle, medium burgundy circle, small red circle

Top Layer: large burgundy circle, medium red circle, small black circle

Once you’ve reconfigured your layers, apply a thin layer of frosting between them as you stack them up.

Frost the outer edges and top of the cake.

Then wow your guests with this beautiful and intricate cake!!!

 

 

Creamed Brussels Sprouts – a Delicious Thanksgiving Side Dish

Image courtesy of Feisty Chef

As many are beginning to plan and shop for Thanksgiving, I wanted to share this delicious recipe that makes a wonderful accompaniment to a holiday meal….Creamed Brussels Sprouts.

This recipe was given to me last year by a friend of mine that clipped the recipe out of the local newspaper from a Publix ad.  She made the dish for her family and they all raved about.  The Monday morning after Thanksgiving, she managed to get her hands on another copy of the newspaper and she found the recipe to give to me.  Boy, am I glad she did.

I think most people are usually split on whether or not they like Brussels sprouts.  I eat them as a side dish occasionally, but I never really cared for them, you know what I mean?   I typically would buy a frozen bag of them, throw them in the microwave, and season them with salt and pepper.  I ate them because they are low in calories and nutrient-rich, but I would NEVER call them tasty.

This recipe is not only tasty, it’s downright delicious.  I made it a few times last year; for Christmas and Easter and a few other random dinners as well.  Needless to say, this recipe has been added to my recipe box cause’ it’s a keeper!  I have even made a few substitutions to the ingredient list from time to time and it still turns out great every….single…time.

So without further ado, here’s the recipe:

INGREDIENTS

1 lb fresh Brussels Sprouts (NOTE: you can buy these in a bag pre-shredded to save on time)
3 oz Shallots, finely chopped (I have also used a regular onion)
4 slices Bacon, coarsely chopped
1 tsp Fresh Thyme, leaves only ( I have used ground thyme)
2 oz Deli Gruyere Cheese, shredded (I have substituted Parmesan Cheese)
1/2 cup Alfredo sauce

DIRECTIONS

Remove the ends from the sprouts, cut in half, and slice.

Chop shallots and bacon.

Preheat a large sauté pan on medium heat for 2–3 minutes. Place bacon in the pan; cook and stir 4–5 minutes or until bacon is browned and crispy. Remove bacon from the pan (reserve 2 tablespoons bacon fat in pan).

Add sprouts and shallots to bacon fat; cook and stir 4–5 minutes or until sprouts are tender.

Remove leaves from thyme stems.

Stir in Alfredo sauce, bacon, thyme, and cheese until cheese melts and mixture is hot.  ENJOY!

 

Restaurant-Quality Fried Rice made using Leftover Cubed Deli Meat

If you follow me on Instagram, you saw my post yesterday regarding Mr. Effortless retiring from the United States Air Force after 20 years of dedicated service.  My family and I couldn’t be more proud of him.

At the conclusion of his retirement ceremony, we had the typical fare of deli meat and cheese platters, pastry and fruit platters, and of course, cake.  My hubby’s supervisor insisted that we take home what was left of the meat and cheese trays and we did.  I knew that there was no way we would finish it all as is, so I racked my brain trying to figure out a dish I could make to put the meat in because I really hate food going to waste.

After a quick inventory of what I already had in the fridge, I decided I would use the cubed turkey to make a pot of turkey fried rice.  I’ve made fried rice in the past with varied proteins; from chicken to pork, to shrimp, and even spam.  I grew up on the island of Guam and my stepmom always made THE best fried rice.  Over the years, I’ve perfected my take on fried rice influenced by my stepmom’s version and those from my favorite Chinese food restaurants and I’ve gotta say, I make a pretty mean bowl of fried rice!  But I’ve never made it with turkey before, let alone deli meat turkey, so this was going to be a first.

Another reason that fried rice was the perfect dish to make is because we currently have family in town staying with us and one pot of fried rice usually feeds a crowd, so it’s perfect to serve when you have a full house. And bonus: it’s a great meal for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.

NOTE: I usually make fried rice when I have day-old, leftover rice but I didn’t have any today, so I just made a quick pot in my rice cooker this afternoon to make this dish.  Also note, peas are great in this, however I’m leaving them out because Mr. Effortless is not a fan.

*Ingredients not pictured, but used: vegetable oil and sugar.*

INGREDIENTS

6 Eggs, scrambled and seasoned with salt and pepper

3 Tbsp Vegetable Oil

2 Tbsp Sesame Oil

2 Tbsp Minced Garlic

1 Cup Green Onions, chopped

2 Cups Shredded Carrots

2-3 Cups of your Protein of Choice (pork, chicken, shrimp, spam, OR turkey) (if using pork, chicken, spam, or turkey, chop it up)

3 1/2 Cups Cooked Rice

1 Tbsp Sugar

Soy Sauce, to taste

DIRECTIONS:

In a skillet, scramble your eggs and season them with salt and pepper.  Set aside.

In a pot on medium heat, combine both oils and heat.  Add minced garlic, green onions, and carrots to the pot.  Sauté until tender, about 5-6 minutes.

Stir in your meat and continue sautéing until heated through.

Add your cooked rice to the pot and using a sturdy spoon, mix thoroughly.

Stir in the scrambled eggs and sugar and continue to mix.

When all of the ingredients are combined thoroughly, drizzle soy sauce throughout the pot.  I do not measure the amount of soy sauce I use, but I am very conservative with my first drizzle.  Stir the pot and make sure the soy sauce is mixed in well, then take a bite to taste it and determine if you need to add more.

Once everything is combined and seasoned well, turn the heat off and ENJOY!!

This tastes so good you guys!  And with the holidays fast approaching, you’ll want to have this recipe in your stash when you’re trying to figure out what to do with your leftover turkey or ham.  And if you’re not a meat fan, no worries, you can omit the meat and this dish still packs a ton of flavor.  The rice can also be substituted with riced cauliflower if you’re following a low carb diet and it still tastes delicious. I’ve made it this way many times.

Buon Appetit!

 

 

 

 

 

Chilled to the bone? Warm up with a bowl of Cheeseburger Soup!

*Recipe adapted from Taste of Home*

INGREDIENTS

1 lb Ground Beef

1 small Onion, chopped

1 cup Shredded Carrots

1 1/2 tsp Dried Basil

1 1/2 tsp Dried Parsley Flakes

4 Tbsp Butter, divided

32 oz Box Chicken Broth

2 large Potatoes, peeled and diced

1/4 cup All Purpose Flour

16 oz Shredded Cheddar Cheese

1 1/2 cups Milk

Salt/Pepper to taste

1/4 cup Sour Cream

DIRECTIONS

Brown the ground beef in a saucepan.  Drain and set aside.

In the same pan, add 1 Tbsp butter, onions, carrots, parsley flakes, and basil.  Sauté until tender.

Add the broth, potatoes, and ground beef and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 10-12 minutes.

In a small skillet, melt remaining 3 Tbsp of butter and add the flour to it.  Cook and stir 2-3 minutes or until bubbly.  Add this mixture to the soup and bring to a boil.  Cook and stir for 2 minutes then reduce heat to low.

Stir in the cheese and milk, then season with salt and pepper.  Stir until the cheese melts.  Turn the heat off then stir in sour cream.

OPTIONAL: Top with a pinch of cheese and a dollop of sour cream when ready to serve.

Enjoy!

This soup is soooo good you guys!  It’s hearty and filling and will definitely warm you up on a cold night.  Make this.  Seriously.

No Bake Double-Layer Pumpkin Pie

*Recipe adapted from Kraft*

Pumpkin pie or sweet potato pie?  Which do you prefer?

I have found that most people either like one or the other.  You know, kind of like mayonnaise versus Miracle Whip.  (FYI I despise Miracle Whip).  I’m a sweet potato pie girl myself, but I wanted to give this pumpkin recipe a try for a few different reasons:

  1. It’s no bake;
  2. It has a delicious cream cheese and Cool-Whip layer; and
  3. Because it’s the season for #pumpkineverything

This pie was really easy to put together and while the original recipe claimed it would make one 6 inch pie, I was actually able to make two pies from it.  This was due in part to Mr. Effortless bringing home two pie crusts instead of just the one that I had asked for, but in the end, I’m glad that he did because after reading the comments from others that have made this, it was recommended that you use a deep dish pie crust if available, because otherwise, the filling would spill over the top.  So I decided I would make two pies; one for us to try here at home and another to gift to someone else.

I was talking to a friend the other day and she was telling me how the daughter of one of her neighbors loves to bake, but apparently no one in their house eats sweets, so whenever the little girl bakes, her mother sends her over to my friends’ house to drop the treats off and she’s left to eat them all!  This made me LOL, as I have definitely been guilty of this….making treats and sending them right on out the door!  But in regards to this pie, we’ll be taking the extra one to my father-in-law who greatly appreciates my sweet treats, so it’s a win-win for all!

Now back to this pie.

INGREDIENTS

8 oz Cream Cheese

2 Tbsp Sugar

1 cup plus 1 Tbsp Milk, divided

12 oz tub of Cool Whip, thawed and divided

2 Ready to Use Graham Cracker Pie Crusts

15 oz can Pumpkin

2 boxes (3.56 oz each) Instant Vanilla Pudding

1 tsp Ground Cinnamon

1 tsp Pumpkin Pie Spice

DIRECTIONS

Beat cream cheese, sugar, and 1 Tbsp of milk together in a large bowl with a whisk until blended.  Stir in half of the Cool Whip.  Spread mixture onto bottom of both pie crusts.

In another bowl, whisk together pumpkin, dry pudding mixes, spices, and remaining milk for about 2 minutes.  (The mixture will be thick).  Spread the pumpkin layer over the cream cheese layer.

Divide the remaining Cool Whip and spread it over the top of both pies.  Cover and refrigerate them for 4 hours or until firm.

ENJOY!  (Or drop it off for someone else to enjoy….HA!)

 

 

Cookie Cake Recipe

As a child, I remember passing the storefront of the Great American Cookie Co. in my local mall and drooling over their humungous iced cookie cakes, brownies, and of course the cookies.  Double Doozie anyone?

Nowadays they go by Great American Cookies, but the treats have not changed.

Do you have a “pinning” problem like I do? You know, you pin or print out hundreds of recipes that you mean to try one day, you just never get around to making them.  I’ve had Melanie of Garnish and Glaze’s recipe for a Chocolate Chip Cookie cake tucked away for some time now and I’ve finally tested the recipe and boy, is it a good one!  It’s nostalgic of the classic cookie cake from Great American Cookies, the ingredients are easy to throw together, and the result is amazing!

I was looking for a dessert to bring in to work to celebrate a friend’s birthday, but I wanted to make something other than the typical cake or cupcake fare.  Then I remembered I had this jewel of a recipe in my stash.  Make it.  You’ll thank me later.  It’s scrumptiously good and a great alternative to traditional cake.

Cookie Cake Recipe

Cookie Ingredients:

-10 tablespoons butter
-2/3 cups brown sugar
-1/3 cup white sugar
-1 egg + 1 egg yolk
-1 teaspoon vanilla
-1 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
-3/4 teaspoon baking soda
-3/4 teaspoon salt
-1 cup chocolate chips

Frosting Ingredients:

-4 tablespoons butter
-2 tablespoons cocoa powder
-1 1/4 cup powdered sugar
-1/2 teaspoon vanilla
-1-2 tablespoons milk
-Sprinkles

Cookie Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and grease a (8 or 9 inch) pie plate or cake pan.
Cream the butter and sugars together for 2 minutes and then mix in the egg, egg yolk, and vanilla.
Add the dry ingredients and mix until combined. Use a wooden spoon to mix in all but 2 tablespoons of chocolate chips and then press the cookie dough into the pie plate. Sprinkle the remaining 2 tablespoons chocolate chips on top and press them down slightly.
Bake for 22-25 minutes. Let the cookie cool completely and then run a sharp knife along the edge to loosen and then use a large spatula (or two!) to transfer to a platter. Pipe on frosting along the edges and add the sprinkles.

Frosting Directions:

Beat all the frosting ingredients together until smooth, adding milk as needed. Place into a piping bag fitted with a 1M tip.


 
Note: I realized that I was out of cocoa powder after I had already starting making the cookie, so I substituted two tablespoons of hot cocoa mix in the frosting and it still turned out great.

Let’s Talk Cake!

Cake is a must on birthdays.  Seriously, it is.  Look it up.  I’m sure it’s a rule somewhere.  I’m not sure where, but just trust me, it is.

I have a bit of a sweet tooth by nature, but I’m also passionate about health and fitness, so I don’t always partake in the sweet stuff as often as I’d like to.  But if we’re celebrating a birthday, you better believe there will be cake.

Just as much as I love a great themed party, I swoon over beautifully constructed themed cakes.  While planning my twins’ upcoming Farm-themed party, I scoured the internet for farm party cakes and the net’ did not disappoint.

Check out this masterpiece from The Cocoa Cakery:

And this one featured on MomOoze.com:

These cakes are perfection and I would be ecstatic to have them at our party, but just like with my party décor, I always try to do what I can at home to keep expenses down.

Last year, to coordinate with my babies’ camping-themed party, I made a four-layer S’mores Cake inspired by Cathy of What Should I Make For… .  Cathy’s cake looked scrumptious and drool-worthy.  It was a naked cake, so you could see each of the decadent layers: chocolate cake, whipped chocolate ganache, graham cracker crumbles, chocolate cake, marshmallow frosting, then more cake, ganache, graham crackers, and frosting.  It was a sweet lover’s dream come true!

I took my inspiration from Cathy’s cake and made my own version, the Effortless way.  Cathy’s chocolate cake was made from scratch.  I used two boxed chocolate cake mixes.

TIP:  Boxed cake mixes make great cakes; to give them a more “from scratch” taste, I substitute coconut oil for the vegetable oil and add about 1 Tbsp of Vanilla Extract.  You can also substitute the oil for real butter.

I followed Cathy’s ganache recipe to the letter.  When most people hear ganache, they think it’s fancy and complicated.  It definitely elevates desserts, but it’s so easy to make.  Here is the recipe:

Whipped Chocolate Ganache

INGREDIENTS:

3/4 Cup Heavy Cream

1 Tbsp Light Corn Syrup

8 oz Semi-sweet Chocolate, chopped

DIRECTIONS:

Heat heavy cream and corn syrup over medium heat until hot, but not boiling.

Place chopped chocolate in a bowl and pour cream mixture over. Let stand for 5 minutes and then stir until blended.

Place bowl in refrigerator for about an hour, stirring occasionally until ganache thickens to a spreadable consistency.

Remove from refrigerator and beat on high until light and fluffy, 3-4 minutes. Cover and reserve.

Easy peasy, right?  I told you so.

I also followed Cathy’s instructions for the graham cracker crumbles.  You just crumble graham crackers in a food processor, add a little salt, sugar, and melted butter, then bake them in the oven for 12-15 minutes.  You sprinkle this mixture over each of the ganache layers.

Cathy also made her marshmallow frosting from scratch; I took a pre-made cream cheese frosting and mixed it with marshmallow fluff until it was the right consistency, and that was that.  I frosted the entire cake and adorned it with two cute bear cubs and a row of trees, all purchased from Amazon.

I wish I would have taken pictures of the cake after we cut the first slice out so that you could see each of the beautiful layers.  It was truly magnificent!

Here is the finished cake:

 

It was one of the easiest cakes I’ve ever made and it tasted absolutely delicious!  My mouth is watering just thinking about it.

 

For this year’s farm party cake, I’m thinking about doing a chocolate and vanilla marble cake to mimic a cow print pattern and there will definitely be some ganache in the mix.  I’m still deciding how I’d like to decorate it, but stay tuned, it will be great!

 

 

Wordless Wednesday (but not really!): Orange Creamsicle Cocktail with Whipped Vodka

 

Recipe adopted from Mike Fuller of Delishably:

Orange Creamsicle Cocktail with Whipped Vodka (2 servings)

Ingredients:

Shaker cup filled half-full with ice

2 oz Pinnacle Whipped Vodka

4 oz Sunkist Soda

Whip Cream, for topping

Optional: Festive straw to make you feel like you’re on vacation (or drinking something fancy!)

DIRECTIONS:

Pour the vodka and soda into your ice-filled shaker cup…..shake

Pour the cocktail into a glass or mug

Top with whipped cream

Enjoy!