Mini Donut Snowmen – Make Them With The Kids!

mini-donut-snowmenMy boys LOVE mini powdered sugar donuts, and when I saw this idea I just had to share!  These are SO CUTE, and SO EASY the kids can get involved and make them too (and they will LOVE it)!

ScreenHunter_1246 Nov. 04 19.04INGREDIENTS (yields 6 pops)

  • 18 Mini Powdered Sugar Donuts
  • 2 Fruit By the Foot
  • 1/4 cup White Melting Chips
  • 12 Skittles
  • 2 Orange Starburst
  • 6 Lollipop Sticks (Or these SUPER CUTE Paper Straws!)
  • Black Gel Icing

snowman-donutsDIRECTIONS

  • Heat White Candy Chips in large bowl by microwaving for 30 seconds stirring and repeating until melted.
  • Dip lollipop stick in white chocolate. It will help to act as glue to keep donuts from slipping.
  • Push 3 donuts onto stick to form head and body.
  • Place a small glob of white chocolate below bottom donut to keep it from sliding.
  • Lay donuts flat to set.
  • Cut starbursts in half, and then cut each half on the diagonal and mold to form carrot shape.
  • Sut Fruit by the Foot in about 6″ lengths and wrap around snowman to make scarf.
  • Using gel icing pipe black dots to make “coal” eyes and mouth.
  • Use white chocolate to set Skittles as buttons in 2 body donuts.
  • Use white chocolate to set Starburst “carrot as nose in donut head.
  • Allow to set.

Get creative… and ENJOY!

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Chocolate Croissants – I Found Heaven On The Frozen Foods Aisle!

breakfastIf you’ve been around here long, I’m sure you have learned that I have a deep love for FOOD… especially SWEETS!  I love, love, love to bake but TIME is a luxury that I just don’t have much of these days.  Anytime I can find a GOOD short-cut in the kitchen I’m on it!  These Chocolate Croissants are one of my favorite breakfast treats.  They are bakery quality, and…  wait for it… they come in a BOX!  You can pick them up on the frozen food aisle at Trader Joe’s!

trader-joes-chocolate-croissantsThese come frozen, 4 to a box.  The box itself is only about six inches wide… much smaller than what I would expect.  You pull them out the night before and place them on your baking sheet to rise overnight (recommended 9 hours, but I’ve done less and they were still perfect).  You will wake up to fluffy goodness, ready to pop into the oven.  After 20-25 minutes in a 350 degree oven, your house will smell AMAZING.  These are no doubt BAKERY QUALITY, and the fact that they bake up warm in your own home is priceless.  Just don’t plan for any leftovers… there won’t be any!

*I apologize in advance, but I honestly can’t remember how much these are.  These are one of the (2) Go-To items that I purchase at Trader Joe’s on a regular basis… full price, no coupons.  (The other is their refrigerated cheese tortellini which is ONLY $1.99 per pack and my kids love it.)

Are you harboring any secrets for homemade-quality food, that isn’t really homemade?  Please share by leaving a comment!

* This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy HERE.

From My Kitchen – White Bean Chicken Chili!

It’s been COLD here in sunny, So Cal this week (relatively speaking, of course)!  I thought this might be a good time to pull out one of my favorite fall recipes!  I saw this one on the Rachael Ray Show a couple of years ago and I’ve been making it ever since.  ANYONE can make this one… yes, it’s THAT easy… and REALLY GOOD!

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 32-ounce box chicken stock
  • 3 cans white beans, left undrained
  • 5 cups cooked chicken (rotisserie or boiled)
  • 1 16-ounce jar salsa
  • 1 8-ounce block pepper jack cheese, grated
  • 2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • Black or white pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup finely crushed corn chips (optional, if you like your chili thicker)
  • Sour cream, for garnish

PREPARATION

Place all ingredients except the corn chips in a crockpot. Cook on high until the cheese is melted.  Chili may also be cooked on the stovetop over medium-high heat until cheese is melted  (This is the way I make it).

When the chili is ready, add the crushed corn chips, if using, and simmer for 10 minutes to thicken. Garnish with more chips, cheese and/or sour cream and serve.

Note: I always use chicken breasts, and I prefer to boil them vs. using the rotisserie.  Rotisserie is quicker, but also more costly… not to mention I find it adds a layer of ‘grease’ to the broth.  Grab the frozen chicken breasts when you see them on sale… they are perfect for this recipe!

ENJOY!

* This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy HERE.

From My Kitchen – My Go-To Banana Bread/Muffin Recipe!

Got brown bananas?  Don’t throw them out!

We consume a LOT of bananas at my house.  However, sometimes… for whatever reason, I end up with some of them turning brown earlier than I would like for them to.  I stumbled upon a Banana Bread recipe a LONG time ago, and I can honestly say that I haven’t purchased a boxed bread or muffin mix since!  If you have bananas that are starting to turn brown, stick them in the fridge until you’re able to try this QUICK and EASY recipe!  The browner (blacker) the bananas, the better your bread or muffins will be!

Ingredients:
1 cup butter, softened
2 cups sugar
7 large ripe bananas, mashed
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 eggs, slightly beaten
3 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking soda

Directions:

Makes two loaves of banana bread.  (*OR – I typically make 24+ muffins instead!)

1. Cream the butter and sugar. Blend in the bananas, vanilla and eggs.

2. Whisk together the dry ingredients.

3. Add to the bread mixture and mix until just combined. Pour into two greased 9×5 inch loaf pans.  (*OR muffin pans.)

4. Bake at 350F. Check on the bread after 35 minutes (it may take up to 60 minutes). Banana bread is done when a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Cool the banana bread in the pan for 10 minutes then cool completely on a wire rack.*

***When I use this recipe to make muffins, I check them after 10 minutes, then just watch them for a few more minutes until they are browned and ‘done’.  Your cooking time will vary depending on how much batter you put into each cup, your oven, etc. 

I also don’t bother to let them cool… hot muffins & coffee in the mornings are hard to beat, in my book!

Thanks, Moms Who Think.com!

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From My Kitchen: Chicken Enchiladas!

I’m making these for dinner tonight, so I figured it was time for another recipe!

CHICKEN ENCHILADAS
Source: Southern Living – Our Reader’s Top Rated Recipes

This recipe is super easy, presents beautifully, and best of all… it tastes great!!!  These are great for entertaining. You can put them together ahead of time and refrigerate until you are ready to bake (don’t spray them with cooking spray until right before they hit the oven).

Ingredients:
3 cups chopped or shredded, cooked chicken (I boil the chicken & shred it with 2 forks)
2 cups (8 oz) shredded Monterey Jack cheese (with or without peppers)
1/2 cup sour cream
1 (4.5oz) can chopped green chiles, drained
1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro (optional… I don’t usually use)
8 (8 inch) flour tortillas
1 (8 oz) container sour cream
1 (8 oz) tomatillo salsa (I like to use La Victoria thick & chunky salsa verde)

Toppings: diced tomatoes, chopped avocado, chopped green onions, sliced black olives, chopped cilantro

Directions:
Stir together first 5 ingredients. Spoon chicken mixture evenly down center of each tortilla, and roll up. Arrange, seam side down in a lightly greased 13×9 baking dish. Coat tortillas with cooking spray.

Bake at 350 for 35-40 minutes or until golden brown.

Stir together 8 ounce container sour cream and salsa (I always sample mine and sometimes add a bit more/less sour cream. Not all green sauces are created equal… some are ‘hotter’ than others, so pick one that suits your taste!).

Spoon sauce over hot enchiladas; sprinkle with desired toppings.

Enjoy!

* This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy HERE.