Pistachio and Raspberry Financiers

Pistachio and Raspberry Financiers are the perfect little sweet to serve when you want a fun pick me up.  Made with a base of pistachio and topped with one tart Driscoll’s raspberry, these elegant but easy treats are the perfect accompaniment to coffee or tea.

Pistachio and Raspberry Financiers are the perfect little sweet to serve when you want a fun pick me up.  Made with a base of pistachio and topped with one tart raspberry, these elegant but easy treats are the perfect accompaniment to coffee or tea.

If you haven’t heard of or made financiers before, today is your opportunity to change that.  Oh, and you simply must.  These petite little sweets are perfect alongside tea or coffee, or just a perfect little treat to grab and go.  In fact, that’s how the name “financier” originated: a French pastry chef created these cakes near the end of the nineteenth century for stockbrokers’ afternoon pick-me-up.

That’s just one of the fun little tidbits of French history you’ll find tucked between the pages of Dorie Greenspan’s new book, Baking Chez Moi: Recipes from My Paris Home to Your Home Anywhere.  Now, I’ll be honest with you here: baking is not my forte, and the idea of attempting French creations sort of scares me to bits.  But that’s the great thing about Dorie’s new book; her collection of uncomplicated French desserts accompanied by delightfully easy written instructions ensures that even the newbie baker has success with every recipe.

From Apple Weekend Cake to Bubble Eclairs to Cranberry Crackle Tart, you’ll soon find that elegant desserts don’t have to be difficult.  Trust me, if I can make these dangerously addictive Pistachio and Raspberry Financiers, anyone can!

Pistachio and Raspberry Financiers are the perfect little sweet to serve when you want a fun pick me up.  Made with a base of pistachio and topped with one tart raspberry, these elegant but easy treats are the perfect accompaniment to coffee or tea.

The process is really very simple, and the ingredient list is short (usually one of my main requirements when deciding whether or not I want to make a baked good).  These do take a little bit of pre-planning: you’ll want your batter to chill overnight.  Otherwise, you need just 7 ingredients, and most of them you probably already have in your kitchen.

The base of financiers is traditionally almonds or hazelnuts.  However, this version uses pistachios, and lots of butter! But it’s the butter that makes these little cakes super moist and luscious, and since we’re going to bake them in a mini-muffin tin, you don’t have to feel super guilty about eating them. ;-)

You’ll plunk just one raspberry on top, but it’s just the right amount in this bite-sized treat.

Pistachio and Raspberry Financiers are the perfect little sweet to serve when you want a fun pick me up.  Made with a base of pistachio and topped with one tart raspberry, these elegant but easy treats are the perfect accompaniment to coffee or tea.

Pistachio and Raspberry Financiers

makes 36 mini cakes

Pistachio and Raspberry Financiers

Ingredients

  • 12 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 6 large egg whites, at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup shelled pistachios, raw and unsalted
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • pinch of fine sea salt
  • 1/2 pint (1 cup) fresh raspberries

Instructions

  1. Put the butter in a small saucepan and cook over medium heat until it melts and only just begins to take on a pale golden color. Pour the butter into a measuring cup with a spout and set aside.
  2. Use a fork to stir the egg whites in a small bowl just enough to break them up; set aside.
  3. Put the pistachios and the sugar in a food processor and pulse until the nuts are ground (it's okay if you have some chunks here and there). Add the flour and salt; pulse again to blend, and then transfer the mixture to a medium bowl.
  4. Pour the egg whites into the bowl and using a whisk or spatula, stir gently until they are blended into the nut mixture. Gradually add the butter to the mixture. It will seem like a LOT of butter, but keep stirring lightly and soon you'll have a thick, shiny batter. Perfection!
  5. Press a piece of plastic wrap against the surface of the batter and chill for at least 8 hours (up to 2 days).
  6. Center a rack in the over and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray the molds of a mini-muffin tin with nonstick spray and place the pan on a baking sheet.
  7. Fill each mold half full with the chilled batter. Place 1 raspberry in the center of each cup.
  8. Bake the financiers for 24 to 28 minutes, rotating halfway through. The tops will be springy to the touch and a toothpick inserted in the center will come out clean when the cookies are done. Run a table knife around the edges of the muffins to detach them from the pan then cookies onto a rack. Allow to cool to room temperature.
http://kitchenmeetsgirl.com/pistachio-and-raspberry-financiers/

Want your own copy of Dorie’s book (you do! you do!)?  Just enter using the Rafflecopter form below.  Pssst…be patient.  Sometimes the Rafflecopter entry form takes a few moments to load.

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XO, Ashley

 

 

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Brown Sugar Pound Cake and $350 MightyNest Giveaway

This Brown Sugar Pound cake is dense and moist, and the combination of brown sugar and maple flavoring makes it an instant hit.  The brown sugar icing alone is out of this world!

This Brown Sugar Pound cake is dense and moist, and the combination of brown sugar and maple flavoring makes it an instant hit.  The brown sugar icing alone is out of this world!

There’s not a whole lot that I love more than a really awesome pound cake.  Mostly because they’re super easy to make, and when you drench them with a to-die-for brown sugar fabulous glaze…well, let’s just say that I ate more of this cake on my own than I should admit.

I have to tell you, I am sometimes weary of bundt-cake baking because I’ve had occasions when my cake didn’t come out of the pan perfectly.  Even when I spray/flour/cross my fingers and hold my nose just right…sometimes my cakes just don’t want to cooperate.  Needless to say, I’m always looking for that no-fail, make my life easy bundt pan.  So when MightyNest contacted me about participating in their Bake Your Bundts Off Giveaway, well…I couldn’t resist.  The Simax bundt pan they sent me was baking perfection – my cake slid RIGHT out of the pan, no problem.

The super-awesome, way cool thing about MightyNest is that everything from this e-company is natural, organic, and non-toxic.  Plus, anytime you order from them, they give 15% back to the school of your choice.  As a parent, I can’t tell you how much that means to our kids and our local schools.  AND everything is seriously cute and fun.  Check out what was in the box they sent me:

 

MightyNest Giveaway

  1. Simax Glass Bundt Pan.  Ohmygosh.  This pan is seriously fantastic.  I’ve always used teflon pans in the past, and they’re always super heavy and bulky.  This pan was sooooo lightweight – and I love, love, love that I could see the entire cake as it was baking.  Plus, it can handle temps in excess of 500 degrees F.
  2. Wooden Cake Box and Leather Strap.  You guys.  This Cake Box was my very favorite thing EVER.  I often have to take cupcakes for functions at my kiddo’s school, and it always causes me all sorts of anxiety because I’ve never found a great way to transport that stuff without fear of destroying the frosting/toppers/decorations.  No more!  It has two slide out trays so you can use it to transport cupcakes; or you can remove the trays and use it for a 9-inch layer cake instead.  Pure brilliance.
  3. Organic Tea Towel.  I’m a sucker for cute towels.  This one is made from 100% organic cotton and is handmade by a couple in Oregon.
  4. Glass Measuring Cups.  This set of three Anchor-Hocking glass cups comes in 1-cup, 2-cup and 4-cup sizes.  With an open handle and pour spout, these measuring cups are a must for the kitchen.  I’m sort of addicted to using the 1-cup size.  It’s perfect for all sorts of things, and I’m wondering why I never had one of these before.
  5. Chemex coffeemaker and filters.  I haven’t had a chance to try this coffeemaker yet, but it really looks like a super fun find for coffee connoisseurs. Designed by a chemist decades ago, this coffeemaker is LOVED by coffee purists for brewing coffee without any bitterness. Delicious!   If you’re not a coffee fanatic like I am, you can brew tea in it as well.
  6. Stainless measuring spoons.  These stainless steel measuring spoons are made from heavy gauge 18/8 stainless steel and are dishwasher safe.
  7. Set of 4 glass mugs.  With the holiday season fast-approaching, these 12-ounce mugs are perfect for entertaining.
  8. Set of 3 Stainless mixing bowls.  So I have to admit – I’ve never had stainless steel mixing bowls before.  And now I can’t imagine using anything else.  I’ve been using the heck out of these things; they’re sturdy and just the right size – especially if you have little helpers in the kitchen.

And here’s the super great news: MightyNest is going to give one of you a box of goodies just like I received – PLUS, they’ll donate $100 to the school of your choice!  Just click below to enter – believe me, you don’t want to miss out on this giveaway valued at $350!

So, back to this brown sugar pound cake…I needed a break from everything pumpkin for a few days, and this cake had just the right amount of  fall flavors with the combination of brown sugar and maple.  Yum!

This Brown Sugar Pound cake is dense and moist, and the combination of brown sugar and maple flavoring makes it an instant hit.  The brown sugar icing alone is out of this world!

Brown Sugar Pound Cake

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups light brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons maple extract
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts, optional
  • for the frosting:
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon maple extract

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 9-inch bundt pan with nonstick spray and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, beat sugar and butter until light and fluffy. Add the remaining ingredients, and beat at low speed until mixed, scraping the sides of the bowl as needed. Increase the mixing speed to medium and beat for 4 minutes. Fold in walnuts, if using.
  3. Spoon batter into prepared pan and bake at 350 for 50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  4. Allow the cake to cool in the pan for 10 minutes, the remove from the pan and allow to cool completely on a wire rack.
  5. for the frosting:
  6. Heat brown sugar, butter and milk in a 1-quart saucepan until the mixture boils and the sugar dissolves, stirring constantly. Remove from the heat and cool slightly.
  7. In a small bowl at high speed, beat powdered sugar, maple extract and brown sugar mixture until smooth. Spoon over the top of your cooled cake.
http://kitchenmeetsgirl.com/brown-sugar-pound-cake/

 

XO, Ashley

 

 

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5-Minute Pizza Crust

With just a few minutes and two ingredients, you can have this 5-Minute Pizza Crust on the pizza pan and ready for baking! This is the perfect way to make weeknights extra special – and stress free!

With just a few minutes and two ingredients, you can have this 5-Minute Pizza Crust on the pizza pan and ready for baking!

Let’s face it: weeknights are busy, amIright?  Even if you don’t have kids, chances are you have a million things going at any one time.  And if you do have kids…well, if you’re like me, you haven’t had a free moment since the minute they were born.

But there’s no reason you can’t have {semi-} homemade pizza on a weeknight.  I’ll be honest: this whole wheat pizza crust is still my all-time favorite, but there is absolutely no way I can make it during the workweek.  And sometimes a weeknight just calls for a pizza-pie, you know what I’m saying?  And not one that comes from a take-out joint.

With Original Bisquick Baking Mix, all you need to put together a quick and easy 5-minute pizza are just two ingredients, twenty stirs of a spoon, a few seconds to press the dough out on your baking pan – and you’re ready for toppings.  Easy-peasy!  Here I’ve just used a bit of my favorite simple tomato sauce, some Italian sausage, roasted red peppers, freshly shaved Parmesan cheese, and a bit of freshly chopped oregano.

With just a few minutes and two ingredients, you can have this 5-Minute Pizza Crust on the pizza pan and ready for baking!

Pop it in the oven for about 10 minutes – and voilà!  Dinner is served!

With just a few minutes and two ingredients, you can have this 5-Minute Pizza Crust on the pizza pan and ready for baking!

Any toppings will work fine on this crust – load it up with whatever your family loves.  And the great thing about this dough is that because it is so easy to make, it is no problem making individual pizzas for everyone.  That way everyone can have what they like – and moms like me don’t have to hear about how a pepper accidentally got on a slice of pepperoni.

With just a few minutes and two ingredients, you can have this 5-Minute Pizza Crust on the pizza pan and ready for baking!

Make your next pizza night a snap with this 5-minute pizza crust!

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5-Minute Pizza Crust

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups Original Bisquick Baking Mix
  • 1/3 cup hot water
  • 2/3 cup simple tomato sauce (or store-bought pizza sauce)
  • salt and pepper, optional
  • 1/2 pound ground Italian sausage (turkey or pork)
  • 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 cup roasted red peppers, diced
  • 3/4 cup freshly shaved Parmesan cheese
  • fresh oregano, optional

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 450 and spray a pizza pan with non-stick spray.
  2. Precook your sausage - in a medium skillet, combine sausage, Italian seasoning, oregano and garlic, and cook until meat is no longer pink. Drain; set aside until you are ready to top your pizza.
  3. In a large bowl, combine Original Bisquick Baking Mix and 1/3 cup very hot water. Stir 20 times with a large spoon - do not overstir or your dough will come out tough. Turn dough out onto a pizza pan sprayed with non-stick spray, and press dough to form a 9" circle. Season your dough lightly with salt and pepper, if desired.
  4. Spread sauce over dough. Spoon sausage evenly over the dough, leaving a 1/2-inch border uncovered. Scatter with roasted red bell peppers and top with shredded Parmesan.
  5. Bake at 450 F until golden brown, about 9-10 minutes.
http://kitchenmeetsgirl.com/5-minute-pizza-crust/

 

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Betty Crocker via Burst Media. The opinions and text are all mine.

XO, Ashley

 

 

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Cake Batter Blondie Bars

These Cake Batter Blondie Bars are filled with cake batter flavor, without the use of a cake mix.  And you can’t go wrong with any dessert that is packed with sprinkles!

These Cake Batter Blondie Bars are filled with cake batter flavor, without the use of a cake mix.  And you can't go wrong with any dessert that is packed with sprinkles!

You guys.  These bars are the best things ever.  Ever.

They are straight out of my bloggy BFF Dorothy’s cookbook, Dessert Mash-Ups.  You read Dorothy’s blog, Crazy For Crust, right?  Hers was one of the first blogs I started reading on a regular basis when I started my own blog, and Dorothy was one of the first blogger friends I made.  Seems weird, right?  That you can make these invisible internet friends who sometimes know you better than the friends you have in real life.

Except I’ve met Dorothy in real life a few times and she’s just as sweet and awesome as she is on her blog.  And now she’s a famous cookbook author and it makes me feel super cool to say I know a cookbook author in real life. ;-)

These Cake Batter Blondie Bars are filled with cake batter flavor, without the use of a cake mix.  And you can't go wrong with any dessert that is packed with sprinkles!

Dessert Mash-Ups is super cool because it’s packed with two-fers.  Desserts like Cinnamon Roll Cookies and Snickers Cake Rolls and Death By Chocolate Brownie Cake (OMG!!), and breakfasts (but better!) like Overnight Pumpkin Cheesecake French Toast and Carrot Cake Coffee Cake and Chocolate Chip Monkey Bread Muffins.

Believe me, you’re going to want to make everything in this drool-worthy cookbook.  Starting with these Cake Batter Blondie Bars.

These Cake Batter Blondie Bars are filled with cake batter flavor, without the use of a cake mix.  And you can't go wrong with any dessert that is packed with sprinkles!

These bad boys are super soft, taste just like cake batter (without the use of a cake mix!), and are packed full of sprinkles – pretty much a dessert requirement, if you ask me.

Doodle ate one of these bars just after my photo shoot (actually, he started mid-shoot, see photo above), and immediately asked for a second.  For a kid who usually eats just frosting, polishing off an entire blondie is super high praise.  Make sure you go buy Dorothy’s book – you won’t be sorry!

Cake Batter Blondie Bars

Cake Batter Blondie Bars

Ingredients

    For the blondies:
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon butter extract
  • 1/2 cup sprinkles
  • For the frosting:
  • 1/2 cup (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon whole milk
  • sprinkles, for topping

Instructions

    To make the blondies:
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 9x13 pan with cooking spray. You may also line the pan with aluminum foil or parchment paper and spray with cooking spray.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together baking powder, salt and flour. Set aside.
  3. Using an electric mixer, cream together the granulated sugar, brown sugar and butter. Add the eggs, vanilla and butter extract and beat to combine. Add the dry ingredients and mix until combined. Stir in the sprinkles.
  4. Press the dough into your prepared pan. It's going to be very sticky, and that's just what you want! Spray your hands with cooking spray so the dough won't stick to your hands.
  5. Bake the blondies for 22 to 24 minutes. They'll be slightly golden but just a little jiggly in the middle. They will set as they cool. Allow the blondies to cool completely before frosting.
  6. To make the frosting:
  7. Using an electric mixer, cream the butter until smooth. Slowly add in the powdered sugar and mix until crumbly. Add in the vanilla and milk and mix until smooth. Frost the blondies. Top with additional sprinkles.
  8. Store covered at room temperature or in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
http://kitchenmeetsgirl.com/cake-batter-blondie-bars/

XO, Ashley

 

 

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Classic Pumpkin Pie

When the holidays roll around, there is just nothing like a Classic Pumpkin Pie.  Even better – it’s super simple to prepare and is always a hit at the table.  With just 15 minutes of prep time, your holiday planning just got off to a quick start! 

When the holidays roll around, there is just nothing like a Classic Pumpkin Pie.  Even better - it's super simple to prepare and is always a hit at the table.  With just 15 minutes of prep time, your holiday planning just got off to a quick start!

I think sometimes food bloggers sometimes get so focused on creating the next newest and biggest twist on the original that we often forget about the basics.  The classics.  The good old staples that many home cooks want to make.

I’m just as guilty as the next blogger.  But as I started to think about what I want to make for the holidays, pumpkin pie always, always tops the list.  And my family doesn’t typically go for twists on the originals – not when it comes to the traditional holiday meal.  It’s not that they wouldn’t try it…but what always gets devoured at the Thanksgiving meal is pumpkin pie.  We make lots of ‘em, and there is never any left.

We go to town on good old easy, classic pumpkin pies and the double-decker pie is infamous at the Simpson family gathering.

When the holidays roll around, there is just nothing like a Classic Pumpkin Pie.  Even better - it's super simple to prepare and is always a hit at the table.  With just 15 minutes of prep time, your holiday planning just got off to a quick start!

Pumpkin pie isn’t hard to make – and I’ll be honest here: I’m not pureeing my own pumpkin.  Quite honestly, I simply don’t have time to do it – and most of us don’t, especially when you’re planning a full traditional sit-down meal for 20+ people.  With that many people, one pumpkin pie isn’t going to cut it. ;-)  And if your family is like mine, they like the canned stuff just as well – or wouldn’t even notice the difference.

And believe me, when you jazz up that canned pumpkin with fall spices like cinnamon and nutmeg and add in a bunch of heavy cream, people will gobble this up like nobody’s business.  The great thing about this easy classic pumpkin pie is that it really only requires a few ingredients, and just a handful of minutes to prepare.  So you can check dessert off your list and spend your time focusing on those more labor-intensive dishes.

When the holidays roll around, there is just nothing like a Classic Pumpkin Pie.  Even better - it's super simple to prepare and is always a hit at the table.  With just 15 minutes of prep time, your holiday planning just got off to a quick start!

Tell me: does your family go more for pumpkin pie, apple pie, or pecan pie?  Or something else altogether?  I’m sure it comes as no surprise that I love them all. I’m an equal opportunity dessert-ist. :-)

Easy Classic Pumpkin Pie

Easy Classic Pumpkin Pie

Ingredients

  • 1 refrigerated pie crust (or make your own)
  • 1 (15-ounce) can pure pumpkin (NOT pumpkin puree)
  • 1 1/4 cups heavy cream
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 eggs, divided
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • course sugar for sprinkling, optional (like sugar in the raw)

Instructions

  1. Place a large cookie sheet on the middle oven rack and preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Unroll pie crust and place in the bottom of of a 9-inch pie plate. Crimp the edges of the crust and pierce holes in the bottom of the crust with the tines of a fork.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together the pumpkin, cream, granulated sugar, 2 eggs, cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla and salt.
  4. In a small bowl, beat the remaining egg and lightly brush it on the crust edge; sprinkle with coarse sugar.
  5. Pour the pumpkin pie filling into the crust. Place pie pan on preheated cookie sheet and bake until just set around the edges, approximately 50 to 60 minutes (the middle will still jiggle slightly, and that's okay).
  6. Transfer pie to a rack and let cool completely. Serve with whipped cream, if desired.
http://kitchenmeetsgirl.com/classic-pumpkin-pie/

If you need other traditional recipes for your holiday table, be sure to check these out (click picture to go to the recipe):

how-to-brine-a-turkey-title

This Ultimate Green Bean Casserole is a fresh spin on the classic, using fresh mushrooms and cream to replace the traditionally used canned condensed soup. #recipes #thanksgiving #side dishes

cranberry-sauce-titlePM

Did you know you can make dinner rolls - yeast ones, at that - in just 30 minutes? It's true! These 30-Minute Dinner Rolls are so easy to make you'll never go store-bought again.

XO, Ashley

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Slow Cooker Double Hot Chocolate

This Slow Cooker Double Hot Chocolate is thick and creamy and is perfect for a cool fall evening or winter’s night.  With a combination of Silk Chocolate Soymilk, half-and-half, sweetened condensed milk, and marshmallow cream, this warm beverage is a guilty indulgence you won’t want to stop drinking!

This Slow Cooker Double Hot Chocolate is thick and creamy and is perfect for a cool fall evening or winter's night.  With a combination of Silk Chocolate Soymilk, half-and-half, sweetened condensed milk, and marshmallow cream, this warm beverage is a guilty indulgence you won't want to stop drinking!

I know, I know.  I just shared a warm beverage last week – my Salted Caramel Apple Cider is definitely a fall favorite around my house.  But as we edge closer to the holiday season {seriously, Thanksgiving is just over a month away, and that means breaking out the Christmas decorations – which means imbibing in lots and lots of hot chocolate}, I’m already thinking about getting my hot chocolate on.

It’s our holiday tradition to make a slow-cooker full of hot chocolate, pile our glasses high with marshmallows, and turn on Nat King Cole’s Christmas album while putting up the tree.  I tend to make a different version of hot chocolate each year – always looking for that perfect mug.

I think I found it.

This Slow Cooker Double Hot Chocolate is thick and creamy and is perfect for a cool fall evening or winter's night.  With a combination of Silk Chocolate Soymilk, half-and-half, sweetened condensed milk, and marshmallow cream, this warm beverage is a guilty indulgence you won't want to stop drinking!

So, I know I’m missing the dairy-free route by starting this recipe with Silk Chocolate Soy Milk and then adding in all kinds of other dairy products.  But if you’re just starting to add soy-products to your diet, this is a good way to ease in. ;-)

I’m a huge {HUGE} chocolate milk fanatic – when I was pregnant with Doodle, I drank a giant glass of chocolate milk every single morning.  It was my one main craving and I used the fact that I needed calcium as my rationale for indulging.  But considering the amount of calories and fat in regular chocolate milk, it’s not an indulgence I’ve continued since.

If you love chocolate milk as much as I do, you should absolutely give Silk Chocolate Soy Milk a try.  And while this is a sponsored post – I truly mean it.  You’ve heard me talk before about how much of a non-milk lover I am, but this milk just might get me to change my mind.  Plus, it’s cholesterol-free, low in saturated fat and pours on 50% more calcium than dairy milk.

This Slow Cooker Double Hot Chocolate is thick and creamy and is perfect for a cool fall evening or winter's night.  With a combination of Silk Chocolate Soymilk, half-and-half, sweetened condensed milk, and marshmallow cream, this warm beverage is a guilty indulgence you won't want to stop drinking!

Quite honestly, you could warm this chocolate milk on its own for a creamy mug of hot chocolate.  But, if you want to be bad, try it in this slow cooker double hot chocolate version!  It’s thick and creamy and just about perfect!

Slow Cooker Double Hot Chocolate

Slow Cooker Double Hot Chocolate

Ingredients

  • 5 cups Silk Chocolate Soymilk
  • 1 cup half and half (I used fat-free)
  • 1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk (fat-free or low-fat also works)
  • 1 (7-ounce) jar marshmallow cream
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Instructions

  1. Combine all ingredients in your slow cooker and set to low. Stir occasionally, until chocolate chips are melted and the marshmallow cream is combined, about 2 to 3 hours.
http://kitchenmeetsgirl.com/slow-cooker-double-hot-chocolate-2/

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This conversation is sponsored by Silk. The opinions and text are all mine.

XO, Ashley

 

 

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Reese’s Pieces No Fail Fudge

In just a few short minutes {no candy thermometer needed!} you can have this Reese’s Pieces No Fail Fudge chilling and ready to go!

In just a few short minutes {no candy thermometer needed!} you can have this Reese's Pieces No-Fail Fudge chilling and ready to go!

You know what I’m doing today? Completely destroying my diet – and maybe yours, too, if you decide to make this super duper easy Reese’s Pieces No Fail Fudge.

When I say no fail – that’s just what I mean. There’s no candy thermometer involved here, no bringing the candy mixture to a certain temperature. None of those pesky candy-making tools.  We’re just stirring a few ingredients together and letting them simmer for about 5 minutes.  The hardest part about this fudge recipe is waiting for the candy to cool so that you can eat it.

In just a few short minutes {no candy thermometer needed!} you can have this Reese's Pieces No-Fail Fudge chilling and ready to go!

My very favorite chocolate/peanut butter candy is Reese’s Pieces.  And they are the perfect accompaniment to this easy chocolate fool-proof fudge.  I mean – what’s better than the combination of peanut butter and chocolate? ;-)  Plus, the colors of the Reese’s Pieces are just perfect for fall parties.

This recipe makes a ton of fudge – and it is definitely super sweet, so it is a great recipe to make during the holidays when you have lots of events and people to share it with.  Or you can keep it all for yourself; I won’t judge you.

In just a few short minutes {no candy thermometer needed!} you can have this Reese's Pieces No-Fail Fudge chilling and ready to go!

 

Reese’s Pieces No Fail Fudge

Reese’s Pieces No Fail Fudge

Ingredients

  • 3 cups granulated sugar
  • 2/3 cup evaporated milk
  • 3/4 cup (12 tablespoons) butter
  • 1 (7 ounce) jar marshmallow creme
  • 1 (12 ounce) package semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cup Reese's Pieces candy pieces, divided

Instructions

  1. Line a 9x13 pan with parchment paper and spray with non-stick spray.
  2. In a large saucepan, combine sugar, milk and butter over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil, stirring often. Reduce heat and allow to simmer for 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat; add marshmallow creme and chocolate chips, stirring until the mixture is smooth. Stir in vanilla.
  3. Pour half of the mixture into your 9x13 pan. Scatter half of the Reese's Pieces over the fudge. Spread the remaining fudge over the top. Sprinkle the remaining candies over the top, pressing gently with the palm of your hand to make sure they adhere. Chill until firm, then cut into squares.
  4. Store in an airtight container up to 1 week.
http://kitchenmeetsgirl.com/reeses-pieces-no-fail-fudge/

XO, Ashley

 

 

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Slow Cooker Chicken Enchilada Soup

This Slow Cooker Chicken Enchilada Soup combines all of your favorite chicken enchilada flavors: Tex-Mex spiced chicken, sauteed peppers and onions, and lots of gooey cheese – without all the fuss!  Just throw the ingredients in your slow cooker, and in just a few hours you’ll have a comforting, hearty dinner on the table.

This Slow Cooker Enchilada Soup combines all of your favorite chicken enchilada flavors: Tex-Mex spiced chicken, sauteed peppers and onions, and lots of gooey cheese - without all the fuss!

There is nothing I like better than hearty soups in the fall – unless it’s a hearty soup that requires basically no effort on my part and is ready and waiting for me when I get home from work. A soup like this Slow Cooker Chicken Enchilada Soup.

It’s no secret around here that Mexican-inspired cuisines are my favorite thing ever, and that preparing dinner in my slow cooker runs a close second. Combine the two, and it is a happy meal time around my place.

This Slow Cooker Enchilada Soup combines all of your favorite chicken enchilada flavors: Tex-Mex spiced chicken, sauteed peppers and onions, and lots of gooey cheese - without all the fuss!

One of the best wedding gifts we received {10 years ago – how time flies!} was a large slow cooker.  I’ve used the heck out of that thing, and it was finally time to replace it with an updated model.  The 6-Quart Programmable Slow Cooker from Hamilton Beach puts my old one to shame!  This bad boy has three choices for automatic cooking: program, manual, and probe.  If you’re used to the traditional slow-cookers, choose the manual mode to select your cooking temperature (high, low, or warm) without selecting a cooking time.

I used the program mode for this Slow Cooker Chicken Enchilada Soup – I programmed it to low for 6 hours, and it automatically shifted to “warm” when my cooking time was up.  Fabulous!

Next on my list to try is the probe method – if you’re cooking a large cut of meat like pot roast, chicken, or pork tenderloin you only have to insert the probe, set the desired meat temperature and it will automatically shift to keep warm when the temperature is reached.

This Slow Cooker Enchilada Soup combines all of your favorite chicken enchilada flavors: Tex-Mex spiced chicken, sauteed peppers and onions, and lots of gooey cheese - without all the fuss!

This hearty fall soup is full of Mexican-inspired flavors, including cumin, coriander, chili powder, and oregano (Mexican, if you can swing it).  Just add your spices right to the pot, along with chicken, broth, Rotel, black beans, and corn.  After letting that fragrant goodness simmer all day, toss in some shredded cheddar cheese and sour cream for good measure (you don’t want to add these ingredients during your initial cooking time, or they’ll curdle).

And finally, sautéing your peppers and onions and adding them to the pot just before serving gives this enchilada soup just the right amount of pizzazz, and just takes a couple of extra minutes.  Believe me, it’s worth it!

This Slow Cooker Enchilada Soup combines all of your favorite chicken enchilada flavors: Tex-Mex spiced chicken, sauteed peppers and onions, and lots of gooey cheese - without all the fuss!

What’s your favorite fall dinner to make in your slow cooker?

Slow Cooker Chicken Enchilada Soup

serves 6

Slow Cooker Chicken Enchilada Soup

Ingredients

  • 1 can (11-ounce) Rotel
  • 32 ounces chicken broth
  • 1 1/2 pounds chicken breast
  • 12 ounce bag frozen corn
  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried cilantro
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 red onion, diced
  • 1 bell pepper, diced (red or green)
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • for garnish: shredded cheese, sour cream, salsa, avocado

Instructions

  1. Place Rotel, chicken broth, chicken, corn, black beans, and spices (chili powder, cumin, coriander, cilantro, and oregano) to the container of your slow cooker. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
  2. Cook on high for 3 to 4 hours, or on low for 5 to 6 hours. Remove chicken from slow cooker and shred the meat with a fork. Add cheese and sour cream to slow cooker and stir to combine. Add the chicken back to the slow cooker and warm back through until the cheese is melted, about 1/2 hour.
  3. While the cheese is melting, cook your onions and bell pepper: heat oil in a medium skillet over medium heat and add onions, pepper, and garlic. Cook until they are just softened, about 10 minutes. Add to slow cooker just before serving.
  4. Garnish with extra cheese, sour cream, salsa, fresh cilantro, or avocado.
http://kitchenmeetsgirl.com/slow-cooker-chicken-enchilada-soup/

 

XO, Ashley

 Hamilton Beach provided me with a slow cooker to facilitate my review. All opinions are my own.

 

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Pumpkin Gooey Butter Cake

Surprisingly easy to make and truly delicious, this Pumpkin Gooey Butter Cake is the ultimate in fall dessert decadence!  Believe me, you’ll want this cake on your holiday table!

Surprisingly easy to make and truly delicious, this Pumpkin Gooey Butter Cake is the ultimate in fall dessert decadence!  Believe me, you'll want this cake on your holiday table!

So, I’m probably the last blogger in the big, bad internet world to taste a gooey butter cake.  I’d heard of them, sure, but it was sort of like the poke cake – I didn’t quite get what all of the fuss was until I tried it.

Now I’m worried that there’s no going back; that I’m going to be trying a different flavor of gooey butter cake every week and eating my way to a gazillion pounds.  Maybe not a bad way to go, but I have some cute fall sweaters I’d like to be able to wear when the weather finally cools off here. ;-)

This pumpkin-pie like cake isn’t diet-friendly, and quite frankly, I don’t know why anyone would make or even waste calories on a cake that boasted to be healthy.  Go whole-hog or go home is my motto.  And anything that boasts two sticks of butter, a block of cream cheese, and three and a half cups of powdered sugar is pretty much whole-hog.  This recipe is straight from Paula Deen’s Southern Cooking Bible, and whatever your opinion of Paula, she makes a darn good cake.

Surprisingly easy to make and truly delicious, this Pumpkin Gooey Butter Cake is the ultimate in fall dessert decadence!  Believe me, you'll want this cake on your holiday table!

The extra great thing about this pumpkin gooey butter cake is that it is so easy to make.  Mix up your batter {just three main ingredients} and spread it in the bottom of your pan – it will be pretty thick, so you’ll need to press it down gently with the back of a spatula or a wooden spoon to make sure it reaches the corners of the pan.

Next, make your filling: just blend together a can of pumpkin and cream cheese, add in a few eggs, vanilla, {more!} butter, powdered sugar, and my favorite blend of fall spices: cinnamon, nutmeg, and pumpkin pie spice.

Bake for 40 to 50 minutes; be careful not to over-bake.  It’s called “gooey cake: for a reason! :-)  Allow to cool and serve with whipped cream.

Surprisingly easy to make and truly delicious, this Pumpkin Gooey Butter Cake is the ultimate in fall dessert decadence!  Believe me, you'll want this cake on your holiday table!

This is a great cake to take for a work luncheon, pot luck, or family event – anywhere that you can make sure that other people can eat some of this cake and you’re not tempted to eat the entire thing yourself.

Pumpkin Gooey Butter Cake

Pumpkin Gooey Butter Cake

Ingredients

    Cake:
  • 1 box (18 1/4 ounces) yellow cake mix
  • 1 large egg
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter, melted
  • Filling:
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin puree (NOT pumpkin pie filling)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter, melted
  • 1 box (16 ounces, or approximately 3 1/2 cups) powdered sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • whipped cream, for serving

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350. Spray a 9x13 pan with nonstick spray and set aside.
  2. To make your cake, stir together cake mix, egg and butter with a large wooden spoon until well combined. Press the mixture into the bottom of your prepared cake pan, making sure it is smoothed into the corners.
  3. To make the filling, beat the pumpkin and cream cheese at medium speed with an electric mixture until smooth. Add eggs and vanilla and beat well. Add the melted butter and beat until combined. Add the pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Next, add the powdered sugar, 1/4 cup at a time, beating well in between each addition.
  4. Use a spatula to spread the filling on top of the cake base. Bake for 40 to 50 minutes. Do not overbake - when you stick a toothpick into the center of the cake, it should have a few wet crumbs stuck to it when you remove it.
http://kitchenmeetsgirl.com/pumpkin-gooey-butter-cake/

XO, Ashley

 

 

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Sugar Cream Pie

Sugar Cream Pie is sweet and creamy and is accented with the rich flavors of vanilla and nutmeg.  It’s the perfect fall pie, and it is so easy to make!

Sugar Cream Pie is sweet and creamy and is accented with the rich flavors of vanilla and nutmeg.  It's the perfect fall pie, and it is so easy to make!

Sugar Cream Pie: also known as Hoosier Pie.

Also known as Saturday Night Pie.

And also known as Crazy Good Pie.

Actually, this pie is most commonly known as Hoosier Pie, because it’s the state pie of Indiana.

Less well-known is my grandfather’s name for it: Saturday Night Pie.  My mom tells me that’s what her father’s family called it when he was growing up.  My great-grandmother made a lot of fruit pies, and with the leftover crusts she’d make this Sugar Cream Pie – typically on Saturday evenings.  But because they did not have a refrigerator to store any leftovers, the entire pie had to be eaten that night.

The Crazy Good Pie moniker came from me – mainly because I intended to take only one bite {for styling purposes} and instead ended up eating nearly the whole darn thing myself.  We’ve already established I have a sugar-addiction, right? #sendhelp

Sugar Cream Pie is sweet and creamy and is accented with the rich flavors of vanilla and nutmeg.  It's the perfect fall pie, and it is so easy to make!

If you haven’t tried Sugar Cream Pie before, you need to correct that immediately.  This pie is not only creamy heaven, but it only takes a handful of ingredients.  Outside of your crust, you need only six.  That’s right, just six: sugar, flour, cream, vanilla, butter, and a bit of nutmeg.

I’ve mentioned before that the Tall Boy doesn’t care for crust (???), so I always use Pillsbury refrigerated pie crusts for my pies.  They make my life soooo much simpler in the kitchen, and since no one but me ends up eating the crusts, I don’t spend my time making them from scratch.  If you prefer to make your own crust, go for it.  Me?  I’m an un-package and go kinda pie crust maker. ;-)

Sugar Cream Pie is sweet and creamy and is accented with the rich flavors of vanilla and nutmeg.  It's the perfect fall pie, and it is so easy to make!

If you need a quick and easy pie for the holidays, or just for a random Wednesday {and why not?  That’s my motto}, give this one a whirl!

Sugar Cream Pie

Sugar Cream Pie

Ingredients

  • 1 refrigerated pie crust (or make your own)
  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 tablespoons butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Instructions

  1. Place a large cookie sheet on the middle oven rack and preheat oven to 425.
  2. Unroll pie crust and place in the bottom of of a 9-inch pie plate. Crimp the edges of the crust and pierce holes in the bottom of the crust with the tines of a fork.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together the heavy cream, sugar, flour and vanilla until smooth. Pour the mixture into the crust, dot with butter and sprinkle the top with nutmeg. Carefully(!) transfer the pie plate to the preheated baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes.
  4. After 10 minutes, reduce heat to 350 and bake for an additional 55 minutes - or until the crust is lightly golden brown. The center will still jiggle slightly - that's okay. If the edges of your crust are browning too much, cover the edges with foil.
  5. Transfer to a wire rack and allow pie to cool. May be served chilled or at room temperature. Refrigerate leftovers.
http://kitchenmeetsgirl.com/sugar-cream-pie/

 

XO, Ashley

 

 

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