Carrot Cake Bars

Carrot Cake Bars

I can’t believe I’m admitting this, but I have never tasted carrot cake… until a couple of weeks ago.

I was out with a few friends and we all decided to share a dessert.  I didn’t want to be one of those pain in the neck friends who says “I don’t like that” so I said nothing and tried it.

It’s not that I didn’t like carrot cake, it’s just that the idea of carrots and cake just didn’t go together in my head. So I never tried it…  Boy, was I missing out!

I can’t believe all that goodness has not been in my life!  I have to admit I’m slightly obsessed now.

I started scouring my old cook books for some traditional old-fashion carrot cake recipes, but soon discovered I wanted something just a little different.  After a bit of trial and error and a few days of a full belly I created these carrot cake bars.

Carrot Cake Bars

Carrots are such a beautiful spring color!  Yay!  Spring will be here soon.

Carrot Cake Bars

It is so much easier to pull the prepared cake out of the pan when you put parchment paper down first.  Don’t forget to spay the pan with baking spray so the parchment paper sticks and then once again over the top of the parchment paper to be sure the cake does not stick.

Once cooled cut the cake into bars.

Carrot Cake Bars

Frost however you like.  I used a squiggle pattern today, but a frosting covering the entire top also looks pretty.

4.9 from 8 reviews
Carrot Cake Bars
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • 1¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt
  • 1 large egg
  • ½ cup brown sugar, packed
  • ¼ cup honey
  • ⅓ cup vegetable oil
  • 1½ tablespoons vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 cup grated carrots
  • FOR THE CREAM CHEESE GLAZE
  • ¼ cup butter Softened
  • 4 oz. cream cheese
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup of powdered sugar
Directions
  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Spray a 9X9 inch pan and then line with parchment paper and spray paper with baking spray. Set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
  4. In a large bowl combine together the egg, brown sugar, honey, vegetable oil, vanilla, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
  5. Add the flour mixture to the ingredients in the large bowl, fold in just until combined.
  6. Gently fold in grated carrots, just until combined. Do not over mix.
  7. Place batter into the prepared baking pan and loosely top with a piece of foil.
  8. Bake for approximately 25 to 30 minutes, until top is golden brown or a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.
  9. Allow to cool completely prior to cutting into bars and frosting.
  10. CREAM CHEESE FROSTING
  11. Beat the butter and cream cheese until fluffy. Add in the vanilla and the powdered sugar and beat until smooth.
  12. Top carrot cake bars with frosting.
  13. Store bars in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Enjoy!

Carrot Cake Bars

 

 

Until Next Time…

XOXO

 

If You Like It...Share it!

Pan Fried Cinnamon Sugar Bananas

Do you know just how good bananas are for you?

I read that we should all be eating two bananas a day, especially people with anxiety, high blood pressure, heart problems, and stress (and who doesn’t have that?).  Bananas are one of the few fruits that contain the amino acid, tryptophan, plus vitamin B6.  The two nutrients together are a natural chemical that is known to relieve depression.

pan fried cinnamon sugar bananas

That’s why these are the perfect morning and evening snack!  In a about 10 minutes you can be eating a delicious sweet drool-worthy (healthy) snack.  This recipe transforms the boring old bananas to something you can serve to dinner guests over ice cream for an elegant dessert.

pan fried cinnamon sugar bananas

It’s preferable to use bananas that are just on the verge of being ripe.  I tried making this with very ripe ones and they just feel apart.  They still tasted delicious and I mixed them in my oatmeal, but to stand up to yogurt or ice cream the texture is much better if they are a bit on the firmer side.

pan fried cinnamon sugar bananas

Add the cinnamon, sugar, butter, and honey to a skillet over medium heat.

pan fried cinnamon sugar bananas

Pan fry until caramelized, then do the same on the other side.

pan fried cinnamon sugar bananas

Dust with a bit more cinnamon and sugar.

Enjoy!

 

5.0 from 2 reviews
Pan Fried Cinnamon Sugar Bananas
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • 2 Bananas
  • ¾ teaspoon cinnamon +cinnamon for dusting
  • ½ teaspoon sugar + sugar for dusting
  • 2 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon butter
Directions
  1. Cut bananas into ½ inch slices.
  2. To a medium size skillet over medium heat, add cinnamon, sugar, honey, and butter. Combine until butter is melted.
  3. Add slices and cook for 3 minutes until the bananas start to caramelize and turn golden brown.
  4. Flip, and cook on the other side for 3 more minutes, until that side has turned golden brown.
  5. Serve over yogurt, ice cream, pancakes, or just eat as is.
  6. Dust with a little more cinnamon and sugar.

They would also taste great over this recipe of French Toast.

These pan-fried cinnamon sugar bananas taste delicious and are good for you, too!  Win-Win!

Until next Time…

XOXO

Pan Fried Cinnamon Sugar Bananas. So easy to make and delicious to eat!
If You Like It...Share it!

Homemade Buttermilk Ranch Dressing

What do you dip in your Ranch Dressing?

For me, it all started back in high school.  My friends and I would go to the local pizza parlor and get ranch dressing to dip our pizzas in.  Then, when I was in my “I only eat salad” phase I would use those Hidden Valley packages to make “homemade” ranch dressing.

Those packages tasted so good, but if you look at the ingredients, they are not so good.  So for a long time I didn’t eat ranch dressing.

Until now!

Homemade Ranch Dressing

I love to eat this ranch dressing with fresh vegetables, or wings, or pizza, and of course, salads!  Everyone who has ever tasted this homemade buttermilk ranch dressing has always asked me for the recipe as soon as they have their very first bite.

Ranch Dressing

Buttermilk Ranch Dressing Notes:

  1. Make sure you mince the garlic as finely as possible or use a zester if you have one.
  2. This dressing gets better tasting as it sits in the fridge for a day or so.
  3.  Store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days in a jar with a tightly closed lid.
  4. If you don’t have buttermilk on hand, you can make it.  Pour 1 1/4 teaspoon of white vinegar into a 1-cup liquid measuring cup.  Fill up the cup to the 1/2 cup mark with milk (whole milk, preferably).  Let sit for 15 minutes.
  5. To make Ranch Dip (instead of dressing) use 1/4 cup of buttermilk instead of 1/2 cup

Ranch Dressing

Cooking Tip:  I use this whisk and these jars to hold my salad dressings.

5.0 from 3 reviews
Homemade Buttermilk Ranch Dressing
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • ¾ cup sour cream
  • ½ cup buttermilk, plus extra for desired consistency
  • 1 teaspoon rice wine vinegar
  • 1 garlic clove, finely minced
  • 1½ teaspoon fresh mined parsley (or 1 teaspoon dried parsley)
  • 1 teaspoon fresh mined fresh dill or (3/4 teaspoon dried dill)
  • ¼ teaspoon onion powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper (or to taste)
Directions
  1. Chop garlic as fine as possible.
  2. In a medium bowl whisk together all ingredients until they are well combined and the mixture is smooth.
  3. If your dressing is too thick. Use a tablespoon at a time of the buttermilk to thin out the dressing to your desired consistency.
  4. Store Ranch Dressing in a jar with a tightly closed lid.
  5. Keep in the refrigerator.

Until Next Time…

XOXO

If You Like It...Share it!

Classic Peanut Butter Cookies

The Classic ~

Peanut Butter Cookies

Are they your favorite cookie?

The classic peanut butter cookies always ranks very high on the list for most peanut butter lovers.  These cookies are thick and soft and literally melt in your mouth.  They are not hard and crunchy like some other peanut butter cookies you may have tried.

Get ready to fall in love with these peanut butter cookies!

Classic Peanut Butter Cookies

I just love making cookies and besides the actual baking sheet I just couldn’t do it as easily without my Silpat.  The silpat makes cleanup a breeze.  Do you use a Silpat?

Classic Peanut Butter Cookies

5.0 from 7 reviews
Classic Peanut Butter Cookies
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter
  • ½ cup butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar, for sprinkling
Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silpat, set aside.
  3. In a medium size bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt to combine.
  4. In a large bowl, using a hand mixer (or stand mixer), cream together the peanut butter, butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar, egg and vanilla, until smooth.
  5. Add the flour mixture slowly to the peanut butter mixture, just until it is completely blended.
  6. Roll dough into 1 inch balls. Place cookies onto the lined baking sheet 2 inches apart.
  7. Slightly flatten each cookie.
  8. Using a fork press press a criss-cross pattern into cookie.
  9. Sprinkle each cookie with remaining sugar.
  10. Bake cookies for 8 to 10 minutes or until lightly golden. To make sure they are soft and chewy, be careful to not over bake.
  11. Let cookies cool on a wire rack.

What is your favorite type of cookie?

**Affilate Links are in this post.

Until Next Time…

XOXO

If You Like It...Share it!

Skillet Steak Nachos

I love nachos!

Do you like nachos?  

Have you ever made skillet steak nachos?

These nachos are a party in a skillet!

Skillet Steak Nachos

There is nothing like nachos, they are the perfect food for watching the big game, or tailgating, or just because.  Whether your team made the play-offs or not, you can still enjoy the day once you sit down with your favorite beverage and these delicious skillet steak nachos!

Skillet Steak Nachos

These skillet steak nachos are perfect to feed a crowd or just 1 because you can tailor them to your own size and taste.  Each person can add exactly what they like in them!

Skillet Steak Nachos

These nachos would taste delicious with this beverage, or this one.

What beverage would you like to drink with skillet steak nachos?

Cooking Tip: I use this Cast Iron Skillet whan making these nachos.

5.0 from 1 reviews
Cooking Tip: I use this Cast Iron Skillet whan making these nachos.Skillet Steak Nachos
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • ½ bag round tortilla chips
  • 1 cup pepper jack or mexican blend cheese, shredded
  • 1 semi-cooked steak, cut into bite size pieces
  • 1 large tomato, diced
  • 1 jalapeno, seeds removed and diced
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • a small handful cilantro, chopped
  • sour cream
Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. In a cast iron skillet add a layer of chips topped with a layer of cheese, steak, tomatoes, jalapeno, and a little of the lime juice.
  3. Repeat these layers until all the ingredients have been used.
  4. Place in oven for 8 - 10 minutes or until the cheese is melted.
  5. Top nachos with sour cream and cilantro.
Memos
*Cook the steak until it is half way done. If you cook it completely prior to making the nachos the steak pieces will be way over done when the nachos are done.

*Other topping suggestions - guacamole, black olives, sweet peppers, green onions, corn, red onions, grilled onions, green chiles, pinto beans, salsa,this list is endless.

Until Next Time…

XOXO

If You Like It...Share it!

Game Day Eats

Hello football fans!

Today I’ve rounded up all the best game day eats recipes that would be perfect to serve at your Super Bowl party.

All of these recipes are favorites of my family and friends and are sure to become your favorites too.

Just click on the title for the full recipe.

Restaurant Style Salsa

Restaurant Style Salsa

Strawberry, Jalapeño & Brie Crisps

Strawberry, Jalapeño, & Brie Crisps

Football and Wine

Meatball Siders

Spinach and Mozzarella Pinwheels

Spinach and Mozzarella Pinwheels

Fried Zucchini Rounds with dip

 Fried Zucchini Rounds

Hummus 3

Hummus

Meatball and Biscuit Bake

Meatball and Biscuit Bake

Shredded beef Taquitos

Shredded Beef Taquitos

7 Up Pulled Pork

Pulled Pork made with 7UP

Not Your mamas Grilled Cheese

 Oozy Gooey Grilled Cheese

Pound Cake Churro Bites

 Pound Cake Churro Bites

sex in a pan

Sex In A Pan

Amaretto Biscotti with chocolate

Amaretto Biscotti

Cinnamon Brown Sugar Popcorn

Cinnamon Brown Sugar Popcorn

Brown Sugar Toffee Bars with biscoff Spread Brown Sugar Toffee Bars

Until Next Time…

XOXO

If You Like It...Share it!
This entry was posted in Home.

Pico De Gallo – Simple, Fresh, & Delicious

Is it cold where you are?

It’s freezing here… Well, not really, but for Southern California the mid 40 degrees is freezing!

So to get myself and those I love out of this freezing funk I’ve decided to make some “summer inspired” recipes to warm us up a tad (atleast in our minds).

Starting with Pico De Gallo!

Pico De Gallo

Pico De Gallo just screams summer.

Fresh ingredients, simple to make and tastes delicious.  I know you can always buy that store made stuff in the refrigerator section of your grocery store, but it is just so simple to make.  It would be a shame to buy the stuff that you don’t know exactly how long it has been sitting there or exactly what’s in it!

Pico De Gallo

You can serve it on just about anything, grilled chicken or steak, or any type of eggs in the morning.  Of course, there is always the standard, burritos, enchiladas, and taquitos.  It even taste great added to homemade refried beans.  And don’t forget it’s a delicious fresh salsa with chips!

4.0 from 1 reviews
Pico De Gallo - Simple, Fresh, & Delicious
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • 4 large tomatoes, seeded and cut into a ¼ inch dice
  • 1 medium red onion, finely diced
  • 1 to 1½ jalapeno, (as needed) finely diced, with seeds and membranes removed for a milder pico de gallo
  • ½ cup cilantro, finely chopped
  • zest from 1 lime
  • juice from 1 lime
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
Directions
  1. In a medium bowl combine diced tomatoes, red onions, jalapeno, cilantro, lime zest and lime juice.
  2. Toss to combine flavors.
  3. Taste and season with kosher salt as needed.
  4. Add more jalapeno if you like a spicer pico de gallo.
  5. Refrigerate until use.

Pico De Gallo

A little Pico De Gallo, some chips and a margarita, or two and I can feel summer just around the corner!

Until Next Time…

XOXO

If You Like It...Share it!

Homemade Spanish Rice

Spanish rice

Have you ever made homemade spanish rice?

Spanish rice

I had never made it or for that matter tasted it until I met my Handsome.  I don’t know what took me so long.  It’s not any more difficult than making white rice!  The same amount of liquid goes in as white rice and a few seasonings and there you have it…Spanish rice.  He never added the corn, that was my suggestion, I love that pop of the corn.

Spanish Rice

The beauty of cooking from scratch is you can add and/or take out flavors to your liking.  If you don’t like corn, don’t add it in.

4.0 from 1 reviews
Spanish Rice
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • 1 Tablespoon Oilve Oil
  • 1 Tablespoon Butter
  • 1 Cup White Rice
  • 1½ Cups Chicken Stock
  • 1 14.5 oz Can Stewed Tomatoes (I chop the tomatoes up into smaller pieces)
  • ½ a Grated Onion
  • ½ Teaspoon Salt
  • 1 Teaspoon Garlic Powder
  • 1 Teaspoon Cumin
  • 1 Teaspoon Pepper
  • 2 Green Onion, chopped
  • ½ Cup Frozen Corn
  • ¼ Cup Cilantro (chopped)
Directions
  1. In a medium sauce pan, add oilive oil and butter together over medium heat.
  2. Add in rice and continue to stir until rice is coated and is slightly turning golden brown.
  3. Stir in stock, stewed tomatoes with liquid, graded onion, salt, garlic powder, cumin, and pepper.
  4. Bring rice and liquid to a boil and stir.
  5. Place the lid on the pan and turn the heat down to low and cook for 15 minutes.
  6. Add the corn and the chopped green onions to the rice and continue to cook for 5 minutes more until the corn is heated through.
  7. Take the pan off the heat.
  8. Fluff rice with a fork and add chopped cilantro.
Memos
*I grate the onion because it gives the flavor of onion without biting into a large piece of onion.

This spanish rice would be the perfect side to this, this, or this.

Until next Time…

XOXO

If You Like It...Share it!

Easy Homemade Teriyaki Sauce

Have you ever tried making homemade teriyaki sauce?

Once you try this teriyaki sauce you will never purchase a store-bought bottle ever again (I haven’t purchased it for years).

Easy Homemade Teriyaki Sauce

5 very good reasons why you should make this:

  1.  It’s delicious and tastes so much better than a store-bought bottle of teriyaki sauce.
  2.  It’s so darn easy to make.
  3. It takes less than 15 minutes from start to finish.
  4. You’re not feeding your family a bunch of ingredients you can’t pronounce.
  5. This teriyaki sauce has multiple uses.

I like this sauce because it can use it for so many recipes, it’s as versatile as it is delicious.  I use it at least 1 a month for a traditional chicken teriyaki with rice and vegetables. It’s also an amazing as marinade on chicken, beef, and seafood.  My family loves it in stir fry noodle dishes.

I use this teryaki sauce with rice and frozen vegetables as my go-to meal when I’m in a hurry to get dinner on the table fast.  Start the rice first, then make the teryaki sauce, and then defrost the frozen vegetables in the rice ( the heat from the rice defrosts the vegetables fast).  A satisifing healthy meal on your table in less than 30 minutes.

Easy Homemade Teriyaki Sauce

4.0 from 1 reviews
Easy Homemade Teriyaki Sauce
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • 2 cups water
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • ¾ cup soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon agave or honey
  • ½ teaspoon minced garlic
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 3 tablespoons water
Directions
  1. In a saucepan combine, 2 cups of water, brown sugar, agave, and garlic over medium heat.
  2. Combine 3 tablespoons of cornstarch and 3 tablespoons of water in a small bowl and stir until the cornstarch is dissolved. Stir the cornstarch mixture into the saucepan.
  3. Continue cooking the sauce until it reaches your desired thickness.

*This Teryaki Sauce can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

Until The Next Time…

XOXO

If You Like It...Share it!

How To Clean A Cast Iron Skillet

Do you own a cast iron skillet?

If you don’t, you should!

Before I get into how to clean this amazing kitchen tool I would like to share with you some of the health benefits of cooking with cast iron pans.

  • A cast iron skillet that is well-seasoned is naturally non-stick, which makes them a chemical free alternative to non-stick pans.
  • They are extremely easy to clean and they are inexpensive (around $25.00 depending on the size).
  • Because they are so darn heavy they keep their heat and have a more even cooking temperature than most other pans.
  • They need less oil when cooking.
  • Using a cast iron skillet naturally fortifies food with iron (which most women are in need of).
  • They last for decades (I’m currently using my Nonna’s).

You might be thinking at this point, is there a down side to cast iron?  No, as long as it is properly taken care of.  You can’t stick it in the dish washer.  You shouldn’t even use soap on it.  Just hot water and some coconut or vegetable oil.

If you happen to have a cast iron pan that hasn’t been loved in a while, here is how you get it back to tip top shape!  It makes a bit of a mess so I suggest putting down some newspaper and doing it outside.

how-to-clean-a-cast-iron-skillet

What you need: Course salt, vegetable oil and a potato.

With 2 racks in the oven, place a piece of foil large enough to cover the skillet on the bottom rack.  Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees.

Cut the potato in half.  Add a handful of course salt into the skillet.  Using a circular motion, rub the potato cut side down on the pan.  Once the salt gets really dirty throw that salt out and start over again with clean salt and the other half of the potato.  Continue until your skillet is as clean as possible.

how-to-clean-a-cast-iron-skillet

Once it is clean, rinse with water and pat dry.  Place the skillet on a burner on top of the stove over high heat to make sure the skillet is completely dry.  When the skillet has cooled to the touch, place a small amout of oil into the bottom of the skillet.  With a paper towel, spread the oil around so it completely covers the whole skillet.

Now place your skillet upside down on the top rack of your pre-heated oven for 1 1/2 hours.  Onced cooled, remove from oven and wipe out any excess oil.  You have now successfully seasoned a cast iron skillet that you will be cooking with for years to come.

 

I have just the thing to make in your newly seasoned skillet Cast Iron Pan Pizza.

how to clean a cast iron skillet

Now to keep it seasoned, never, never use soap to clean it.  Hot water and a stiff brush.  I always add a little oil to the inside of the skillet before I put it away.

If you don’t have a cast iron skillet you can get one here.

 

*This post contains affiliate links.

Until next Time…

XOXO

If You Like It...Share it!