White Chocolate Cranberry Muffins

Sweet white chocolate chips pair perfectly with the tartness of the berries in these White Chocolate Cranberry Muffins.

Sweet white chocolate chips pair perfectly with the tartness of the berries in these White Chocolate Cranberry Muffins.

Cranberries and white chocolate, white chocolate and cranberries… it’s all happening right now right here. In the form of fluffy, moist, gorgeous muffins.

I know: there are a lot of white chocolate cranberry muffin recipes out there.  But everyone needs a go-to white chocolate cranberry muffin recipe, and this is mine.  You see – there’s not much I love more than using cranberries in bread/muffins/any baked good, and since they are sort of seasonal “now” item, the minute I see those bags appear in my produce section, I grab a bag (or five – they freeze well!) and get to baking.

Sweet white chocolate chips pair perfectly with the tartness of the berries in these White Chocolate Cranberry Muffins.

If you didn’t already know, I’m pretty much a muffin-a-holic.  I’m also a cranberry a-holic and a white chocolate a-holic.  Okay, so pretty much I’ll eat about any food out there, but right now these muffins are at the top of the list.  There’s just not much better than tart cranberries paired with the sweetness of white chocolate.

The Tall Boy loves for me to make extra muffins on the weekends {especially lemon poppyseed} so he can grab a few of the leftovers to go on weekday mornings.  I love one paired with a hot cup of coffee on a quiet Sunday morning, so everyone is happy.

Sweet white chocolate chips pair perfectly with the tartness of the berries in these White Chocolate Cranberry Muffins.

I usually make loaves of cranberry bread during the holiday season, but last weekend I decided to go the muffin route so I wouldn’t eat so much.  Single serving portions baked and ready to go, right?  Yeah…except when your husband leaves them lying on the counter instead of taking them to work.  Then it’s one for breakfast, one for mid-morning break, one for an after lunch snack, and a couple more after dinner.  The holidays and “self-control” are nowhere on the same page for me.

Sweet white chocolate chips pair perfectly with the tartness of the berries in these White Chocolate Cranberry Muffins.

Believe me, you’ll want to make these muffins during this holiday season!

White Chocolate Cranberry Muffins

White Chocolate Cranberry Muffins

Ingredients

  • 4 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup cranberries
  • 3/4 cup white chocolate chips

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 and line a 12-cup muffin tin with cupcake liners or spray with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. With an electric mixer, beat together the butter and sugar until creamy - about 2 minutes.
  3. With the mixer running on low, add in the egg, milk, and vanilla to incorporate.
  4. Next, add in the flour, baking powder and salt, mixing until just combined. Do not overmix your muffin batter - it should still be just a little lumpy. Fold in the cranberries and white chocolate chips.
  5. Fill the muffin tins three-quarters full, and bake at 400 for 18 to 20 minutes.
http://kitchenmeetsgirl.com/white-chocolate-cranberry-muffins/

XO, Ashley

 

 

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Slow Cooker Eggnog French Toast

Make your holiday breakfast stress-free with this Slow Cooker Eggnog French Toast.  Serve this perfectly spiced and decadent breakfast casserole with traditional maple syrup, or indulge with a drizzle of eggnog icing!

Make your holiday breakfast stress-free with this Slow Cooker Eggnog French Toast.  Serve this perfectly spiced and decadent breakfast casserole with traditional maple syrup, or indulge with a drizzle of eggnog icing!

If you don’t know by now, there’s not much more that I love than preparing meals with the use of a slow cooker.  And there is not much better than waking up in the morning knowing that all you have to do to have a super fabulous breakfast ready is turning on your slow cooker.  I almost always have a slow cooker breakfast prepared for Christmas morning, and this year, I have a new favorite…this Slow Cooker Eggnog French Toast.

It boasts thick french bread cubes, 2 cups of Silk Holiday Nog, cinnamon, vanilla, nutmeg, and brown sugar…need I say more? ;-)

Make your holiday breakfast stress-free with this Slow Cooker Eggnog French Toast.  Serve this perfectly spiced and decadent breakfast casserole with traditional maple syrup, or indulge with a drizzle of eggnog icing!

If you haven’t heard me mention it before, my very favorite thing to consume during the holiday season is eggnog.  I can’t seem to get enough of it this time of year, so I was super excited when Silk introduced their Holiday Nog – a seasonal classic that offers all the creamy, rich flavor of eggnog without the eggs, dairy, saturated fat or cholesterol.  It’s only 80 calories per cup, so I didn’t feel super guilty adding two cups of it in this slow cooker recipe.

And to make up for the calories saved, I added a bit more of it with some powdered sugar to make a decadent glaze to drizzle over my French toast.  It is the holiday season, after all – I’m livin’ it up!

Make your holiday breakfast stress-free with this Slow Cooker Eggnog French Toast.  Serve this perfectly spiced and decadent breakfast casserole with traditional maple syrup, or indulge with a drizzle of eggnog icing!

You can cook this French toast on low for five hours or on high for three hours.  With a 7-year old in the house, we have no hope of getting around the breakfast table any earlier than three hours after waking up: we like to take our time with our gift opening and putting together new toys.  But the Tall Boy will also tell you that I myself am still like a kid on Christmas morning.  I wake up earlier than anyone else in the house, so this recipe has plenty of time to bake while I’m waiting for the rest of the family to stir.

Even better, since I prepare the casserole the night before and line my slow cooker with aluminum foil, there’s not even any clean-up in the morning!  Well…unless you count all of the demolished wrapping paper, bows, boxes, and packaging. ;-)

Make your holiday breakfast stress-free with this Slow Cooker Eggnog French Toast.  Serve this perfectly spiced and decadent breakfast casserole with traditional maple syrup, or indulge with a drizzle of eggnog icing!

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Slow Cooker Eggnog French Toast

Slow Cooker Eggnog French Toast

Ingredients

  • 1 loaf french bread, cut into 1-inch cubes (my loaf was approximately 9" long)
  • 8 eggs
  • 2 cups Silk Holiday Nog
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • pinch of salt
  • 3 tablespoons butter (or margarine), cut into cubes
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • For the glaze:
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon Silk Holiday Nog
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. Line your slow cooker with aluminum foil and spray with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, Silk Holiday Nog, sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Add the bread cubes and toss in the egg mixture.
  3. Pour the egg/bread cube mixture into the bowl of your slow cooker. Dot with cubed butter and sprinkle the brown sugar on top.
  4. Cook on high for 3 hours or on low for 5 hours.
  5. When ready to serve, whisk together the powdered sugar, Silk Holiday Nog and vanilla. Drizzle over the top of the French Toast, or serve with syrup if desired.
http://kitchenmeetsgirl.com/slow-cooker-eggnog-french-toast/

More of my favorite eggnog recipes:

eggnog-bread---title

Rum Frosted Eggnog Bread

eggnog-pie

Skinny Eggnog Pie

pumpkin-smoothie-title-682x1024

Pumpkin Nog Smoothie

pumpkin-nog-title

 Lightened Up White Chocolate Pumpkin Nog

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

XO, Ashley

 

 

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Mexican Skillet Breakfast Casserole

This Mexican Skillet Breakfast Casserole is sure to satisfy hungry family and friends.  Filled with sausage, cheese and veggies, this hearty breakfast can be prepared the night before, making busy mornings stress-free!

This Mexican Skillet Breakfast Casserole is sure to satisfy hungry family and friends.  Filled with sausage, cheese and veggies, this hearty breakfast can be prepared the night before, making busy mornings stress-free!

There’s not much more that I like more on a lazy weekend morning than a warm, hearty breakfast – especially when I don’t have to do much more than turn on the oven.

With just a few minutes of prep time the night before, all I need to do in the morning to have this Mexican Skillet Breakfast Casserole on the table is wait 30 minutes for it to bake – which is just the right amount of time to get in a quiet cup of coffee before the madness of the day starts.

I don’t know about you, but this time of year is a hectic rush around our house: shopping, decorating, traveling, and entertaining- which doesn’t leave a lot of time to spend in the kitchen.  That said, this is also the time of year when we tend to host quite a few breakfasts, so I’m always looking for ways to prepare my menu items ahead of time.

This Mexican Skillet Breakfast Casserole is sure to satisfy hungry family and friends.  Filled with sausage, cheese and veggies, this hearty breakfast can be prepared the night before, making busy mornings stress-free!

Not only that, but I need easy - because until I’ve had at least two cups of coffee, I’m pretty much worthless in the mornings.

So with the help of Bisquick, all I need to do do to have this simple but filling casserole ready to eat is brown some sausage, cut up a few veggies, and mix a few items together.  I can do all of that the evening before, pop it in the fridge to chill overnight and then just bake in the morning.  Easy-peasy.  And so, so good.

The great thing about this casserole is that it is easily customizable to your family’s tastes: add in whatever veggies you’d like.  A combination of red onion and green peppers would be extra fabulous in this {though you don’t see it pictured here since Doodle won’t eat a single thing green or onion-like in appearance}.  Want it spicier?  Add in spicy sausage, chorizo, or even some chilies in adobo.

This Mexican Skillet Breakfast Casserole is sure to satisfy hungry family and friends.  Filled with sausage, cheese and veggies, this hearty breakfast can be prepared the night before, making busy mornings stress-free!

Served with a side of fruit and/or hashbrowns, this Mexican Skillet Breakfast Casserole is the perfect make-ahead breakfast for holiday entertaining – so you can spend your time with friends and family, and not slaving away in the kitchen!

Mexican Skillet Breakfast Casserole

Mexican Skillet Breakfast Casserole

Ingredients

  • 1 pound ground sausage or chorizo
  • 1 cup diced veggies: red onion, green/red/yellow pepper, or a combination
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 can (15 ounces) black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 cups shredded Mexican blend cheese
  • 3/4 cup Original Bisquick™ mix
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 3 eggs
  • for serving: chopped cilantro, diced tomato, sour cream and salsa

Instructions

  1. Heat oven to 400°F. In 10-inch oven safe or cast-iron skillet, cook sausage, vegetables and garlic over medium-high heat until the sausage is no longer pink and the vegetables are tender.
  2. Stir half of the black beans into the sausage mixture along with 1 cup of the cheese.
  3. In medium bowl, stir Bisquick mix, milk and eggs until blended. Pour over mixture in skillet. Top with reserved black beans and remaining 1 cup cheese.
  4. Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until knife inserted in center comes out clean. Allow to cool 5 minutes before slicing.
  5. To make-ahead: Prepare as directed through step 3. Cover and refrigerate up to 12 hours. Uncover, and bake as directed in step 4.

recipe from Betty Crocker

http://kitchenmeetsgirl.com/mexican-skillet-breakfast-casserole/

 

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Look here for more Bisquick make ahead meals to make your holiday planning easier: www.Bisquick.com/MakeAhead

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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Cheesy Garlic Biscuits

With just a few ingredients, five minutes to stir things together and get them on the baking sheet, and 10 minutes of baking time, you can have these Cheesy Garlic Biscuits on the table and ready to serve. Reminiscent of those cheddar biscuits from your favorite seafood restaurant, these are a million times better and super easy to make.

With just a few ingredients, five minutes to stir things together and get them on the baking sheet, and 10 minutes of baking time, you can have these Cheesy Garlic Biscuits on the table and ready to serve.

Can you believe the holiday season is just around the corner?  I have to admit, I’m already starting to get a little bit stressed about putting together holiday meals and juggling all of the tasks on my list while still keeping my sanity.  It’s my goal this year to do things 100% the easy way, and not worry so much about making sure everything is “perfect.”

When it comes down to it, Doodle doesn’t want me in the kitchen all day making elaborate holiday meals. He’d rather I spend that time with him in front of the fireplace, playing games of Battleship or searching for Edward the Elf and swiping frosting out of a jar onto sugar cookies for Santa.  And quite frankly, I want those same things.  These moments pass by so quickly that I’m trying to soak up every minute I can.

So during this busy holiday season, I’m trying to focus more on easy meals my family will actually eat {and when one of those family members is a 7-year old kid who could exist solely on macaroni and cheese, this is not an easy task}.  No matter what main course I make, these Cheesy Garlic Biscuits fit the bill. I’ve yet to meet a person who doesn’t like them, or who can eat just one.

With just a few ingredients, five minutes to stir things together and get them on the baking sheet, and 10 minutes of baking time, you can have these Cheesy Garlic Biscuits on the table and ready to serve.

As a accompaniment to an easy roast in the slow cooker or a pasta dish, these Cheesy Garlic Biscuits are always a hit.  The recipe makes nine biscuits, and my family of three usually polishes off the entire batch in one meal.  What can I say, we love our bread. ;-)

The great thing about these easy little biscuits is that they take just three main ingredients: Bisquick mix, milk, and cheese (sharp cheddar is our favorite, but any cheddar will do).  Stir everything together and drop by spoonfuls onto your baking sheet – just bake ‘em up for 8 to 10 minutes.

While your oven is working its magic, melt together 2 tablespoons of butter, some garlic powder, and a bit of fresh parsley.  When those cheesy biscuits finish baking, swipe the tops with the garlic butter and take a whiff of that buttery, garlicky goodness.  It’s pretty much bread heaven.

With just a few ingredients, five minutes to stir things together and get them on the baking sheet, and 10 minutes of baking time, you can have these Cheesy Garlic Biscuits on the table and ready to serve.

What I love most about these little Cheesy Garlic Biscuits is that they’re impossible to mess up – even if you’re not an accomplished bread-maker {believe me, I’m not!}, your family will gobble these up in no time.  Using Bisquick makes things super easy and you can spend your time where it really matters: with your family and friends, and not slaving away in the kitchen!

Cheesy Garlic Biscuits

makes 9 bicuits

Cheesy Garlic Biscuits

Ingredients

  • 2 cups Original Bisquick Baking mix
  • 2/3 cups milk (I used 2%)
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh parsley

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
  2. Stir Bisquick mix, milk and cheese until a soft dough forms. Drop dough by 9 spoonfuls onto an ungreased baking sheet.
  3. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until golden brown. While the biscuits are baking, melt 2 tablespoons butter and stir in garlic powder and chopped parsley. When biscuits come out of the oven, brush lightly with garlic butter.

recipe from Betty Crocker

http://kitchenmeetsgirl.com/cheesy-garlic-biscuits/

Connect with Bisquick and #GetYourBettyOn:

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Look here for more Bisquick make ahead meals to make your holiday planning easier: www.Bisquick.com/MakeAhead

 

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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Easy Orange Coffee Cake

This Easy Orange Coffee Cake takes just 10 minutes of prep time and 20 minutes to bake – it’s perfect for a quick and easy breakfast treat, and special enough to serve when entertaining.

This Easy Orange Coffee Cake takes just 10 minutes of prep time and 20 minutes to bake - it's perfect for a quick and easy breakfast treat, and special enough to serve when entertaining.

I’m not sure if this is technically a coffee cake, but it is a fabulously easy sweet bread to serve in the mornings alongside a cup of coffee…so to me, that’s a coffee cake. ;-)

It’s such an easy “recipe” that I debated about even sharing it, but I made it as a quick and easy last minute breakfast last weekend and it was so super good that I decided I’d be doing you a disservice by not sharing.  And since the holidays (and maybe last weekend weekend guests) are just around the corner, I figured that it couldn’t hurt to give you another breakfast idea to have in your repertoire.

This Easy Orange Coffee Cake takes just 10 minutes of prep time and 20 minutes to bake - it's perfect for a quick and easy breakfast treat, and special enough to serve when entertaining.

You just need a few ingredients: a can of biscuits (I used Pillsbury Grands), some sugar, an orange, powdered sugar, and a bit of cream cheese.  If you live with people who will actually eat nuts in their baked goods (I don’t), some pecans or walnuts would be great here, too.

This Easy Orange Coffee Cake takes just 10 minutes of prep time and 20 minutes to bake - it's perfect for a quick and easy breakfast treat, and special enough to serve when entertaining.

The method here couldn’t be easier.  You’ll place one of the 8 biscuits in the middle of a 9-inch round cake pan or pie plate, and cut the remaining biscuits in half.  Then arrange the remaining biscuit halves around the center biscuit, making sure that the cut sides face the same direction.  Brush ‘em with butter, top with sugar, orange zest and nuts, and bake!  Then drizzle with cream cheese icing when the cake comes out of the oven.

This Easy Orange Coffee Cake takes just 10 minutes of prep time and 20 minutes to bake - it's perfect for a quick and easy breakfast treat, and special enough to serve when entertaining.

And as you can see, I’m a pretty heavy-handed “drizzler.”  My philosophy is the more cream cheese icing that you can fit on anything at anytime, the better.

This Easy Orange Coffee Cake takes just 10 minutes of prep time and 20 minutes to bake - it's perfect for a quick and easy breakfast treat, and special enough to serve when entertaining.

This recipe came straight from Paula Deen, and no matter your opinion of her, she does make some pretty darn good stuff. And when you can make a company-worthy quick breakfast in just a few minutes, I’m all for it.  I’m already thinking of some really great variations on this for the holidays…maybe a cranberry cake with an egg nog frosting?

What are your favorite quick breakfasts for entertaining?

Easy Orange Coffee Cake

serves 8

Easy Orange Coffee Cake

Ingredients

  • 1 can (16.3 ounces) biscuits (I used Pillsbury Grands)
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons orange zest
  • 1/4 cup chopped nuts (walnuts or pecans)
  • for the frosting:
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 2 tablespoons orange juice

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 9-inch round cake pan or pie plate with nonstick spray.
  2. Open the can of biscuits and place one biscuit in the center of the pan. Cut the remaining 7 biscuits in half, and arrange the 14 pieces around the center biscuit, making sure the cut pieces are facing the same direction. Brush the tops of the biscuits with the melted butter.
  3. Combine sugar, orange zest and nuts (if using) in a small bowl and sprinkle over the buttered biscuits. Place the pan in the preheated oven and bake for 20 minutes, or until the tops of the biscuits are golden brown.
  4. for the frosting:
  5. In a small bowl, beat the cream cheese, powdered sugar and orange juice together until smooth. If the frosting is too thick, add a bit more orange juice. Drizzle frosting over the cake and serve.
http://kitchenmeetsgirl.com/easy-orange-coffee-cake/

XO, Ashley

 

 

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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/

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XO, Ashley

 

 

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Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bread

With a blend of chocolate, pumpkin, and fall spices, this Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bread is a must for your fall baking list!

With a blend of chocolate, pumpkin, and fall spices, this Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bread is a must for your fall baking list!

You guys.  You guys.  If you’re a pumpkin bread fan, you’ve got to make this bread.  I mean, you really, seriously, have to make it {and then bring me a loaf, please}.

No lie, I’ve made this bread twice in the last week.  The first time I made it, I scarfed down nearly half the loaf completely on my own in just a couple of days.  Then, because I was disgusted with myself for eating so much of it, I packed up the second half and sent it home with my parents.

Two days later, I was regretting the fact that I gave away my remaining pumpkin loaf, so I made it again.  And…repeat.  I sent most of the second loaf with the Tall Boy to work, because oh my gosh.  Eating two loaves of chocolate chip pumpkin bread in a week does probably not bode well for fitting into my skinny jeans this fall.

But it might be worth it.

With a blend of chocolate, pumpkin, and fall spices, this Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bread is a must for your fall baking list!

The first time I made this chocolate chip pumpkin bread, I used 1 cup of canned pumpkin puree, and the bread turned out completely, totally yummy.  On my second attempt, I subbed half of the pumpkin puree with some of my homemade spiced pumpkin butter, and the result was pure heaven.

You don’t have to use the pumpkin butter for this recipe, but if you have some on hand {and it’s not hard to whip up – it only requires mixing a few ingredients together and allowing them to simmer low and slow for about 30 minutes} I absolutely recommend it.

With a blend of chocolate, pumpkin, and fall spices, this Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bread is a must for your fall baking list!

I dare you to make this bread and NOT eat more than one slice. ;-)

Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bread

Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bread

Ingredients

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 6 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin puree (NOT pumpkin pie filling) OR 1/2 cup canned pumpkin puree PLUS 1/2 cup spiced pumpkin butter
  • 2/3 cup PLUS 2 tablespoons mini-chocolate chips
  • 1 teaspoon sugar

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 and spray the bottom of a 8x4 loaf pan with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, salt, and pumpkin pie spice. Set aside.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together both sugars and butter until light and creamy. Add in eggs, 1 at a time, mixing well after each addition. Beat in water and pumpkin/pumpkin butter on low speed.
  4. Add in flour mixture and beat on low until mixture is just combined. Stir in 2/3 cup mini chocolate chips. Spoon batter into loaf pan. Sprinkle the top with remaining mini chocolate chips and 1 teaspoon sugar.
  5. Bake 65 to 75 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clear. Allow to cool in pan for 10 minutes. Remove from pan and allow to cool completely on a baking rack.

recipe adapted from Betty Crocker

http://kitchenmeetsgirl.com/chocolate-chip-pumpkin-bread/

 

 

XO, Ashley

 

 

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Ham and Cheese Egg Bake

This Ham and Cheese Egg bake is super simple to make, is light and fluffy, and is great for entertaining or just a lazy Sunday brunch.  Try different combinations of breakfast meats, cheeses and veggies depending our your family’s tastes.

This Ham and Cheese Egg bake is super simple to make, is light and fluffy, and is great for entertaining or just a lazy Sunday brunch.

Last weekend we had a long {long} weekend, and by the time Sunday morning rolled around, I was exhausted.  We left Thursday at lunchtime to head to my college alma mater for ESPN game day {tailgating + long football game = one tired me!}.  The next morning, we shuffled over to Kansas City to spend some time with my friend Chandra {of the lovely Plaid and Paisley Kitchen}…did some shopping on the Plaza, and went to the Royals game Friday night.

By the time we hit a few more stores Saturday, drove home, grocery shopped and washed laundry, the very last thing I wanted to do was cook early Sunday morning.  But since everyone was starving and we’d eaten out enough over the weekend, I decided I’d better get something semi-healthy in our bellies.  This ham and cheese egg bake literally took me 5 minutes to mix up and pop in the oven – it’s so, so easy to make.

As a bonus: after popping it in to bake, I kicked back with my coffee and snuggled in with a book while the casserole did its thing in the oven.

This Ham and Cheese Egg bake is super simple to make, is light and fluffy, and is great for entertaining or just a lazy Sunday brunch.

Even better, you can really mix in any breakfast meats and/or veggies you’d like.  I went with cubed ham and shredded cheddar cheese, since Doodle won’t think of eating anything that might have touched a veggie.  But if you don’t live with a picky 7-year old, I highly suggest adding in some sliced mushrooms, red pepper, green onion, and/or picked jalapeno slices.

We’ve been on a Silk kick lately.  I’ve been adding it to pretty much everything I normally use milk in {my recent favorites are these Blueberry Cream Cheese Muffins, Frozen Coconut Berry Pie, and Blueberry Coconut Popsicles}.

For this ham and cheese egg bake, I used the DHA Omega-3 Soymilk, because it is an excellent source of calcium, it’s low in saturated fat, and it contains DHA Omega-3—a valuable nutrient that helps support the brain, heart and eyes.  Stuff like that is important to a mom. ;-)

Ham and Cheese Egg Bake

Ham and Cheese Egg Bake

Ingredients

  • 16 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 cups cooked ham, diced
  • 1/2 cup Silk DHA Omega-3 Soymilk
  • 1 tablespoon fresh dill, chopped
  • 3/4 cup sour cream
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground mustard
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Instructions

  1. Mix together all ingredients and pour into a greased 9x13 pan. Bake at 350 for 45-50 minutes, or until the eggs have set and the top is a light golden brown.
http://kitchenmeetsgirl.com/ham-and-cheese-egg-bake/

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XO, Ashley

 

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

 

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Spiced Pumpkin Butter

Making your own Spiced Pumpkin Butter is a snap, and you can do it for just a fraction of the cost of store-bought. It’s wonderful spread on toast or muffins, or added to your coffee, hot chocolate, or oatmeal!

Making your own Spiced Pumpkin Butter is a snap, and you can do it for just a fraction of the cost of store-bought.

I might have mentioned before how much I love Williams-Sonoma and all of their cooking gadgets and (un)necessities.  And this time of year, they sell a magnificent jarred pecan pumpkin butter.  But at the rate that I can consume it, I’d need a small loan to fund myself through the season.  Not only that, but I have this thing about making things from scratch.

You know, that thing where you tell yourself that the calories don’t count if it’s home baked versus purchased at a store or restaurant?

Mmm-hmm.  These calories soooooo don’t count.

Making your own Spiced Pumpkin Butter is a snap, and you can do it for just a fraction of the cost of store-bought.

You’re probably wondering why there are chocolate chips and a loaf of pumpkin bread riding sidekick in these photos.  That’s because I used this spiced pumpkin butter to make the pumpkin bread, and it’s pretty much the best thing ever {recipe coming soon!}.

This chocolate chip pumpkin bread is wonderfully moist and flavorful, thanks to the addition of homemade pumpkin butter!

All you need are just a few ingredients and half an hour to make gourmet-tasting pumpkin butter at home, for just a fraction of what you would pay at the store.  Then spread it on bread, over yogurt and granola, in oatmeal, or on pancakes.

Or eat with a spoon.

Spiced Pumpkin Butter

Spiced Pumpkin Butter

Ingredients

  • 1 15-ounce can pumpkin puree (NOT pumpkin pie filling)
  • 1/2 cup spiced apple cider (or apple juice)
  • 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup pecan pieces (optional)

Instructions

  1. Bring all ingredients to a boil and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Let cool completely, then spread on bread, over yogurt and granola, in oatmeal, or on pancakes.
  2. Or eat with a spoon.
http://kitchenmeetsgirl.com/spiced-pumpkin-butter/

XO, Ashley

 

 

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Chocolate Peanut Butter Mousse

This quick and easy Chocolate Peanut Butter Mousse is the perfect start to your day – it’s packed with protein and is an awesome way to stay satisfied throughout your morning!

This quick and easy Chocolate Peanut Butter Mousse is the perfect start to your day - it's packed with protein and is an awesome way to stay satisfied throughout your morning!

I’m not really sure that Chocolate Peanut Butter Mousse is the right title for this protein-filled snack.

But “fluffy chocolate whipped Greek yogurt layered with creamy peanut butter Greek yogurt topped with chocolate and peanut butter granola” seemed like too much of a mouthful.

Historically, I’m an oatmeal eater for breakfast, but every now and then I get bored and need to switch things up a bit.  But if I don’t have some protein in the mornings, I can be a real bear {just ask the Tall Boy}.  Greek yogurt usually fits the bill when I’m looking for something different to jazz up my morning routine.  And topped with granola?  Well, even better – especially when that granola boasts 10 grams of protein per ½ cup serving size!

This quick and easy Chocolate Peanut Butter Mousse is the perfect start to your day - it's packed with protein and is an awesome way to stay satisfied throughout your morning!

Nature ValleyTM Protein Granola is a versatile product that can be added on top of many other foods or used as an ingredient.  For my protein-packed breakfast, I layered Greek yogurt (half spiked with cocoa powder and a bit of vanilla and the other half with powdered peanut butter) with Nature ValleyTM Protein Granola Peanut Butter ‘N Dark Chocolate.

So.Crazy.Good.

I ate this for breakfast last Monday and it actually kept me satisfied until lunchtime – typically, I’m rustling around for a snack at my desk by mid-morning.

With clusters of whole grain oats, dark chocolate pieces (!!), and a touch of peanut butter, this is a great way to add protein throughout your day.  Believe me, if you’re a chocolate and peanut butter lover, you need to give this quick and easy breakfast a try!

Chocolate Peanut Butter Mousse

Chocolate Peanut Butter Mousse

Ingredients

  • 1 cup vanilla Greek yogurt, divided
  • 1 teaspoon cocoa powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 teaspoons powdered peanut butter OR regular creamy peanut butter
  • Nature ValleyTM Peanut Butter 'N Dark Chocolate Protein Granola

Instructions

  1. Whisk 1 teaspoon cocoa powder and 1/4 teaspoon vanilla into 1/2 cup of vanilla Greek yogurt until smooth. Add sweetener to taste, if desired (I did not).
  2. Mix 2 teaspoons of powdered peanut butter (or regular peanut butter) into remaining 1/2 cup of Greek yogurt.
  3. Layer chocolate yogurt and peanut butter yogurt into a bowl or glass. Top with Nature ValleyTM Peanut Butter 'N Dark Chocolate Protein Granola - as much as you'd like! I think it would be great mixed in between the layers, also.
http://kitchenmeetsgirl.com/chocolate-peanut-butter-mousse/

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XO, Ashley

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This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Nature Valley Protein Granola via Burst Media. The opinions and text are all mine.

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