Monday, May 23, 2016

Baklava Cookies

My first bite of these cookies, warm out of the heaven, was a heavenly experience!  You just gotta eat 'em warm.  They're still good once they've cooled, but warm? Holy Macaroni!--as my 7-year old would say. :)

To learn more about how you can get Thrive ingredients in YOUR kitchen, visit my website.

(This pic was submitted by me to the Thrive Life recipe site and is labelled with my Thrive Life website url.)

Ingredients:
6 tbsp. butter
 3/4 c. THRIVE Powdered Sugar
 5 tbsp. THRIVE Honey Crystals
1 tbsp. water
1 c. almonds or walnuts, finely chopped
 1/2 tsp. Ground Cinnamon
 1 c. butter, softened
 2 tbsp. water
 1 egg
 3 1/3 c. THRIVE Vanilla Sugar Cookie Mix

Directions:
1. In a small saucepan, melt the 6 T. of butter over low heat. Stir in the powdered sugar, honey crystals, and 1 T. of water.
2. Bring to a boil, then remove from heat and add nuts and cinnamon. Set aside to cool for 30 minutes.
3. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Spray a cookie sheet with nonstick cooking spray.
4. In a mixer, cream the 1 cup of butter for a few minutes until smooth and fluffy. Add in 2 T. water and egg and mix well, scraping down sides part way through.
5. Add in the sugar cookie mix. Mix well, until dough begins to clean the sides of the bowl.
6. Using a 1.25"-diameter cookie scoop, place cookie dough on cookie sheet leaving 2" spacing around each cookie.
7. Bake for 10 minutes.
8. Remove cookie sheet from oven and top each cookie with 1/2 to 1 Tablespoon of the nut mixture.
9. Return cookies to oven and bake for 3 minutes.
10. Allow to cool on the pan for a few minutes, then remove cookies to a wire rack to cool.

To use this recipe without Thrive cookie mix, substitute your own cookie recipe, mix, or dough for the last four ingredients.  To use without Thrive honey crystals, use 4-5 tablespoons of honey.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Lemon-Guava Pound Cake

My mother-in-law made some yummy cakes, but this one is my favorite because it is so different from other pound cakes.  Her original recipe (a special shout-out to my sister-in-law Gayle for providing the recipe since Verna Mae kept recipes in her head!) is Lemon-Apricot Pound Cake, but one time I had some guava nectar at the house that I needed to use and I thought I would try it with this recipe.  Oh goodness.  So moist and delicious.  I. Can't. Even.

Ingredients:

1/2 cup sugar
1 Duncan Hines Lemon Supreme Cake Mix
3/4 cup coconut oil (or Crisco oil)
1 cup guava nectar (or apricot)
4 eggs

Glaze:

2 cups powdered sugar
juice from 2 lemons*


1.  Mix cake, sugar, oil and nectar together.  Add eggs one at a time.  
2.  Bake in a greased tube or bundt pan at 325 degrees F. for approximately 1 hour.
3.  Mix glaze ingredients and pour over warm cake.

NOTE:  I had no lemons when I made this today, so I substituted a few drops of lemon essential oil, about a tablespoon of leftover guava nectar and enough milk to get the glaze consistency that I needed.  Goodness, that was some tasty stuff!


Source: Verna Smith Jenkins.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Decadent Skillet Cookie

Don't those cookie skillet desserts at your favorite restaurants look amazing?  Sometimes they actually taste amazing too, but sometimes that little skillet is a fake!  Make the real deal with this easy, decadent recipe.

You may even get a "this is one of the best desserts I've ever had" compliment like I did tonight!
(To learn more about using Thrive foods in your cooking, visit my Thrive online store.
To view all my Thrive recipes, visit my "chef page" on the Thrive recipe site.)

Ingredients:
1 c. butter, softened
 3 1/3 c. THRIVE Classic Cookie Dough Mix
 2 1/2 tbsp. water
 1 1/2 c. semisweet chocolate chips
 9 Reese's Peanut Butter Cups
 1 c. semisweet chocolate chips

Bittersweet Chocolate Sauce 
 1/4 c. butter
 1 1/2 oz. unsweetened chocolate
 3/4 c. THRIVE Cane Sugar
 1/4 c. unsweetened cocoa
 1/4 c. heavy cream
 1/8 tsp. THRIVE Iodized Salt
 1 tsp. Vanilla Extract

Peanut Butter Sauce 
 1 c. Creamy Peanut Butter

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Cream butter in mixer until light and fluffy. Add in cookie dough mix and water and mix well. Add in 1 1/2 cups chocolate chips and mix until chips are well distributed.
3. Divide dough in half. Place half into greased cast iron skillet, patting to spread dough evenly across bottom and up the sides a little.
4. Place unwrapped Reese's cups atop the cookie dough. Fill in the spaces between the peanut butter cups with the 1 cup of chocolate chips. Place the remaining cookie dough over the top, spreading evenly to cover.
5. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until edges are brown.

Sauces
1. To make the chocolate sauce, melt the butter and unsweetened chocolate together in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat, stirring constantly.
2. Add sugar, cocoa, heavy cream, and salt. Stir until combined.
3. Bring slowly to a low boil, stirring only once or twice to make sure sugar has dissolved.
4. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla.

To "make" peanut butter sauce, place peanut butter in a microwave safe bowl and microwave for 30-45 seconds until peanut butter is runny.

To Serve
1.  Scoop out some cookie, top with ice cream and sauces. Serve immediately.
2. Prepare yourself to receive praise.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Sweet & Sour Meatballs



Sometimes I like to share recipes that help me use my Thrive foods from my Home Store.  It is always a good idea to "store what you eat and eat what you store."  I threw together this meal in record time thanks to the cooked ground beef and some other Thrive ingredients that I had on hand.  This recipe was a huge hit.  I had one serving left, only because I had taken some out to get a picture for the blog.  I didn't use that one and used my filled plate instead.

Ingredients:

2 cups THRIVE Cooked Beef, Ground
1/2 cup seasoned dry bread crumbs
1/4 cup THRIVE Instant Milk, re-hydrated (3/4 T. powder + 1/4 cup water)
2 T. THRIVE Chopped Onions (FD--freeze-dried)
1 t. THRIVE Iodized Salt
1/2 t. Worcestershire sauce
1 THRIVE Whole Egg, re-hydrated (1 T. powder + 2 T. water)
1/2 cup THRIVE Brown Sugar, packed (I just used brown sugar from the store)
1 T. cornstarch
1 20-oz. can pineapple tidbits with juice
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
1 T. soy sauce
1/8 cup THRIVE Mixed Bell Peppers
5 cups THRIVE White Rice, prepared (I used rice from the store)

1.  Re-hydrate freeze-dried meat by bringing 4 cups water to a boil.  Add beef and boil for 5 minutes. Drain excess water.

2.  Mix meat, dry bread crumbs, milk, onions, salt, Worcestershire sauce, and egg together; shape into twenty 1 1/2 inch sized balls.*

3.  Place in skillet and cook over medium heat, turning occasionally until brown (about 20 minutes) OR (and this is what I did, so I could be working on something else like setting the table) Bake in an ungreased 9 X 13 pan at 400 degrees F for 20-25 minutes, until light brown.

4.  Mix brown sugar and cornstarch in a skillet.  stir in pineapple with juice, vinegar, and soy sauce.
Heat to boiling, stirring occasionally.  Reduce heat to medium, then add meatballs and peppers.

5.  Cover and let simmer, stirring occasionally, for 10-15 minutes.  Serve over cooked rice.


* I made my meatballs ahead of time, put them in the fridge, and then baked them when I got home from work.  They are quick to come together anyway, because the ground beef comes precooked, but any little thing I can do ahead of time is good when you work until 5:00 and your guests are coming at 6:00, you know?




Thursday, May 5, 2016

Oriental Chicken Salad with Crunchy Noodles


Ramen!  I don't think they had this when I was a poor college student, but it sure has become popular over the years.  My first experience with it was in a delicious salad a friend shared at a church dinner.  I was mesmerized and asked for the recipe.  Which I could not find this week, so I googled and found this recipe.  It's a little different than my friend's but it's a variation on the same theme.  I made some changes to this recipe and it proved to be delish!


Ingredients for Salad:

2-3 cups chopped cooked chicken breasts (I used Thrive chicken, rehydrated)
1 head of cabbage, shredded or chopped (I opted for Broccoli slaw, 2 12-oz. pkgs.)
1 bunch green onion, finely chopped (Thrive chopped green onion, rehydrated)
2 2.5-oz. pkgs. slivered almonds
3 T. sunflower seeds, shelled of course
1 can Mandarin oranges, drained well
2 pkgs. Ramen noodles
3 T. vegetable oil

Dressing:

3/4 cup vegetable or canola oil
4 1/2 T. seasoned rice vinegar
4 1/2 T. sugar
2 t. salt
1 t. pepper

1.  Prepare dressing and set aside.
2.  Smash Ramen noodles, removing seasoning packets (save to flavor something else sometime) and brown over medium heat in 3 T. oil--I used olive oil here because I used all of my canola oil in the dressing.
3.  Once noodles are slightly browned, add the almonds. Brown until noodles are a medium golden brown.  Remove from heat and set aside.
4.  Combine cabbage, green onions, chicken and sunflower seeds in a large bowl.
5.  Add Ramen/almond mixture and stir well.
6.  Add dressing and stir to coat.


Thursday, April 28, 2016

Pesto Chicken Pizza

Originally posted on 4/24/14.

Hey, this is my contribution to throw-back Thursday!  As I was reading through the recipe again I got really hungry.  Might have to get the grandsons over to help me make this again really soon.

Not an original recipe (see source below) but we all get to tweak away at someone else's in this recipe blog world, don't we?  This is a great quickie dinner that you can throw together in about 30 minutes or so if you have the ingredients on hand.  Or you can just send your daughter and her fiance out to the grocery store to get the stuff for you while you clean off the kitchen island so that there is room to actually EAT there.
Ingredients:
Pizza Dough (home- or ready-made)
Basil Pesto
Cooked Chicken (I used a rotisserie chicken from my local grocery store)
Shredded mozzarella cheese
1.  Preheat oven to temperature for your pizza dough.
2.  Spread dough onto pan or pizza stone; sprinkle corn meal on pan first so your pizza doesn't stick.
3.  An extra step if you are using the refrigerated dough, is to pre-bake it for 6-8 minutes before adding your toppings.
4.  Spread pesto, chicken and cheese over the crust.
5.  Bake for suggested time for dough, about 8-10 minutes.
Adding a salad would be a great idea.
Source:  Shawni Pothier, 71 Toes Blog.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Fish Tacos with Lime Sauce



Who doesn't love a good fish taco?  They can be hard to find--can't stand when they are too fishy.  The tilapia in this recipe is so mild you will swear you are eating chicken.  I kept snatching nuggets and snacking on them while I was frying up the other batches.  A nice healthy alternative to fast food tacos.  Now, authentic Mexican tacos...that's another thing all together.

Ingredients:

1 lb. fresh tilapia fillets
3 limes (I used Thrive Limeade powder instead--a tsp. or so should be enough.)
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 t. chili powder
2 T. olive oil
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 t. salt
8 6-inch flour tortillas
1 cup shredded angel hair cabbage (I prefer it thin)
1/4 cup shredded carrots
1 jalapeno or serrano pepper, thinly sliced

1.  Rinse fish and pat dry.  Cut into 1-inch pieces.
2.  For lime sauce, juice two of the limes into a bowl (cut your 3rd lime into wedges for serving).  Stir mayonnaise and chili powder into juice.  Transfer 1/3 cup of the sauce to another bowl; toss fish in this.  Set remaining sauce aside.
3.  In a medium to large skillet, heat oil over medium heat.  Combine flour and salt in a shallow dish.  Work with about 1/3 of the fish chunks at a time, toss them in the flour and add to hot oil.  Cook for 2-4 minutes or until fish flakes easily, turning to brown evenly.  Add more oil as needed.  Drain fish on paper towels.
4.  Wrap tortillas in paper towels (loved this.  worked great!); heat in microwave oven for 30 seconds.  Top tortillas with fish, cabbage, carrots and jalapeno.  Drizzle with Lime Sauce.  Serve with lime wedges.

NOTES:  Add lime juice to mayo gradually and to taste.  Thrive Limeade powder is available seasonally, so may not be listed on my consultant site.