Friday, February 28, 2014

Guinness Fudgy Brownies

This recipe will very quickly become your new favorite brownie recipe. 
It's amazing. So fudgy and chocolaty and rich with a ridiculous Guinness glaze that is over the top delicious. 
Perfect for your St. Patrick's Day celebrations. 
Or, you know, for those days when you want to rip someone's face off but if you could just have an amazing treat then you would calm down and everything would be right with the world. 
This works for those days too.

Guinness Fudgy Brownies

1 cup Guinness draught
12 oz chocolate, chopped (or chocolate chips)
1 cup butter
 11/2 cups brown sugar
3 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
3/4 cup flour

4 oz dark chocolate, chopped (or chocolate chips)
2 Tbsp butter
1/4 reserved, reduced beer (from above recipe)

1/2 cup Hippie Snacks Coconut Chips (optional)

Preheat oven to 350. Line a 9 X 9 pan with parchment paper, set aside.
In a medium saucepan over medium heat, bring the 1 cup of Guinness to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until beer is reduced by half - this takes between 10 - 20 minutes. (Just keep an eye on it. You need to have 1/2 cup of reduced beer - reserving 1/4 of a cup for the glaze.)
 In a pan over another pan of simmering water, melt together the 12 oz of chocolate and 1 cup of butter, stirring until smooth. Remove from heat. 
In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together brown sugar, eggs, and vanilla.
Whisk in the melted chocolate mixture and 1/4 cup of the reduced Guinness.
Lastly, fold in the flour.
Pour into the prepared 9 X 9 pan. 

Bake at 350 until toothpick inserted near center comes out clean, about 30 - 40 minutes. Do not over bake or your brownies will be dry and not fudgy!!

Let sit 15 minutes before making glaze. 
Prepare glaze - In a pan over another pan of simmering water, melt together the 4 oz of chocolate and 2 Tbsp of butter. Whisk in the reserved 1/4 of reduced Guinness until smooth. 
Pour glaze over brownies.
Sprinkle with the coconut chips (if using).

Let cool completely.
Run a knife around the edge of the pan to loosen the brownie. Use the parchment paper to remove the brownie so you can cut it and serve.

*cue angels singing*
This is one of those brownies that is so ooey gooey and chocolaty that it sticks in your teeth and leaves you licking your fingers when you are done. 
Oh, and I thought I would include a picture of the Hippie Snacks Coconut Chips that I used.

They are totally optional but are an excellent addition. They are a sweet salty mix that completely puts these brownies over the top.
You know....because they weren't awesome enough already.....

Be sure to check out - Carole's Chatter - for tons of fun links!

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Easy Cherry Pie Cream Cheese Egg Rolls (Guest Post at

Sue and I are swapping recipes with a lovely blogger named Renee today.
She shared her delicious "Renee's Chunky Marinara Sauce" with our lucky readers and we are sharing our Easy Cherry Pie Cream Cheese Egg Rolls over on her blog
These tasty treats only have 3 ingredients and are super simple. Be sure to go visit Renee's site - HERE - so you don't miss out!
We provided step-by-step instructions and photos that will have you drooling.
Be sure to tell Renee that you are stopping by from!

Be sure to stop by Kitchen Fun With My 3 Sons for some fun and tasty links!

Renee's Chunky Marinara (Guest Post)

Sue and I are very excited today!
We have a guest who is going to share one of her recipes with you. (Our first guest EVER! Yay!)
Renee is a very talented blogger so we hope you go and check out her blog - Renee Today
And, be sure to check back soon as we will be sharing one of our recipes over at Renee's very shortly!

Hello! My name is Renee and I run a personal lifestyle blog called I post about things such as fashion, DIY, and food. Jo and Sue have always been my favorite food bloggers - they actually inspired me to make my own food/recipe page on Renee Today. I am so happy to have this opportunity to collaborate with them!
Here's a recipe I have been using for years - my homemade chunky marinara!

Renee's Chunky Marinara

1 large tomato
1 large onion
1 Tbsp olive oil
3 - 15 oz cans of Hunt's Tomato Sauce
1/2 Tbsp Vegata soup mix
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1 Tbsp freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 Tbsp Italian seasoning
1 basil leaf
1/4 tsp chicken fajita seasoning
juice of half a lemon

Dice tomatoes and onions and cook until caramelized in a medium saucepan with olive oil. 
After the onions are caramelized, pour in the tomato sauce. Mix the vegetables and sauce until well combined.
After the sauce starts to boil, incorporate all dry ingredients (soup mix, pepper, Parmesan cheese, Italian seasoning, basil, and chicken fajita seasoning).
Add lemon juice and let cook for a few more minutes.
Serve with pasta or breadsticks. 

Want to see more from Renee? Click HERE!! 

And be sure to stop by Easy Life and My Turn (for us) and Hun... What's For Dinner? for tons of great links!

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Cheesy Cauliflower Turkey Bowl

I don't know if you have ever had one of the "Cheesy Bacon Bowls" from KFC, but if you have you will know that they are delicious and not really all that healthy. 
And, by "not really all that healthy" I mean it I feel my arteries hardening just looking at photos of it on the internet. (See HERE)
Anyways.... I decided I wanted one. 
But, because I live in the middle of nowhere and am a billion miles from KFC and, maybe more importantly, because I am eating healthy and watching my calories, I decided to make my own healthified version. 
Best decision I've made all week. 
This is amazing. 
 I'm pretty sure this would please even the pickiest of eaters. 
And - check out these nutritional counts:
My version - 440 calories, 10 fat, 28 carbs, and 47 protein.
KFC's version - 745 calories, 32 fat, 74 carbs, and 26 protein (approx).
Crazy, right?
P.S. - I just wanted to point out my niece created that bowl for me. *proud aunty moment*

Cheesy Cauliflower Turkey Bowl

1 medium head cauliflower, broken into pieces
2 clove garlic, halved
salt & pepper
4 oz (~3/4 cup) turkey (white meat) diced, cooked
1/4 cup corn
1/4 cup gravy
1 Tbsp Parmesan cheese, shredded
1 Tbsp aged cheddar, shredded
1 piece bacon, cooked and crumbled

Place cauliflower and garlic into a large pot and cover with water. Place over high heat and bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer until cauliflower is tender, about 10 minutes or so. 
When tender, drain off the water and place cauliflower and garlic into a blender or food processor and process until smooth. Season with salt & pepper. Keep warm.
Meanwhile, heat up turkey, corn, and gravy (either on the stove top or in the microwave). When everything is hot prepare your bowl.

Place 1 1/3 cups of mashed cauliflower into a serving bowl.

Top with heated turkey, corn, and gravy.

Now sprinkle with the Parmesan, cheddar, and bacon.

Serve hot.

This is a huge serving. I could hardly eat all of it. 
Don't get me wrong.... I did eat it was just really, really filling. tasty. 
If you are having a KFC bowl craving....make this. It's ridiculous.

Sharing at these fabulous linky parties - Adorned From Above, Dizzy Busy & Hungry, Table For Seven, Carole's Chatter

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Single Serving Gluten Free Pancakes

I've been craving pancakes for a while now. I usually make our Single Serving Pancakes when the craving hits but this time I decided to go even healthier and try some gluten free, Greek yogurt pancakes. 
Want to know why I decided to try a new recipe?
I dreamed it.
Weird, right?
You know you have an obsession with food when you dream about new recipes. 
Anyway, in my dream I used Greek yogurt and coconut flour to make these amazing light and fluffy, protein packed pancakes. I woke up and, by chance, had all the ingredients in the kitchen so decided to see what I could come up with. 
Turns out my dreams are pretty accurate. Okay, only sometimes.... I'm still waiting for Shemar Moore to show up in his hot air balloon and whisk me off to Europe....
Food dreams though.... pretty accurate.

Single Serving Gluten Free Pancakes

3/4 cup 0 fat Greek Yogurt, plain
1 egg
2 tsp vanilla
4 Tbsp coconut flour
1 tsp baking soda

In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the Greek yogurt, egg, and vanilla.
In a separate bowl, whisk together coconut flour and baking soda. 
Stir the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until well mixed.

Let sit while you heat up your frying pan over medium-low heat - remember to lightly spray pan with cooking spray. Batter will thicken up and not look very pancake batter-y. (See pic below)

Drop by large spoonful (about scant 1/4 cup) into heated pan. Use the back of a spoon dipped in water (so it won't stick) to gently spread the batter a little bit. Cook over medium-low heat until pancake is firm enough to flip over. *Don't rush this. It takes a bit longer than a "normal" pancake. * 

Flip pancake over and cook another minute or two to brown the other side.

When other side is cooked, remove to plate and keep warm while you repeat with remaining batter. 
I get 4 - 5 pancakes out of this recipe.
Serve with light pancake syrup or your favorite pancake topping.

According to Myfitnesspal, the entire recipe is:
290 calories, 27 carbs, 9 fat, and 37 protein.
With 2 Tbsp light syrup - 345 calories, 40 carbs, 9 fat, and 37 protein.
Holy heck, right?
I compared it to our Single Serving Pancakes  and the counts are more different than I would have expected.  THIS recipe has 10 less calories, 9 less carbs, 2 less fat, and 24 MORE PROTEIN. 
That's a lot of protein!
Probably why I felt so full that I couldn't even finish the entire batch. 
Looking for a healthy, filling, tasty, easy new breakfast recipe that is under 300 calories? Give these "dreamy" pancakes a try! 

Looking for some crafty and tasty links? Pop over to Carole's Chatter

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Guinness Triple Chocolate Cookies

We love holidays around our house. Any holidays. 
Christmas, Valentine's, Groundhog's, Easter, Canada name it - we like to celebrate it. 
Because it gives us a chance to bake/cook something out of the ordinary. 
Take these cookies, for example.
I don't normally bake with Guinness. Well....any beer really. Beer isn't my favorite. But with St. Patrick's Day coming up it gave me a reason to go out and get some Guinness and go a little crazy. 
Guinness + triple chocolate crazy!
These turned out very yummy, very moist, very dense, and because of the oats, nice and chewy. 

Guinness Triple Chocolate Cookies

1 1/2 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
2 cups Guinness draught
1 1/2 cup flour
1 1/2 cup baking cocoa
pinch salt
2 tsp baking soda
3 cups quick oats
1 cup white chocolate chips
1 cup dark chocolate chunks

Preheat oven to 350. Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, mix together the butter and sugars until creamy. Beat in eggs, one at a time, until well blended. Slowly beat in the Guinness.  (**Note - don't worry if the mixture looks like it is "curdled" or if it has separated. It will come together when you mix in the dry ingredients!)
In a mixing bowl, stir together the  flour, cocoa, salt, baking soda, and oats. 
Beat the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients on low speed until blended.  Stir the white chocolate and dark chocolate into the batter.

Drop by spoonfuls (I used a medium cookie scoop) onto prepared cookie sheets, about an inch or so apart.

Bake for approx 10 - 12 minutes, until top no longer looks wet and bottoms of cookies are browned.

Let cool on cookie sheet for at least 5 minutes before moving to a wire rack to cool completely. 

Using a medium cookie scoop, I got about 4 dozen cookies out of this recipe.
Chocolaty, rich, dense, tasty cookies that I am going to be serving as part of our St. Patrick's Day celebration. Not that you have to wait for St. Patrick's Day to make these.....

They are good to go anytime!

Be sure to visit these great blogs for more links - The Chicken Chick, Ms. enPlace

Friday, February 21, 2014

Bacon Cheddar Parmesan Popcorn

It's snack time!
For only 230 calories, 40 carbs, 10 fat, and 12 protein you can enjoy this ever-so-tasty snack. (That count is for HALF of the recipe!)
And, really, who doesn't like bacony cheesy salty deliciousness?
And it uber easy and quick too - start to finish in about 15 - 20 minutes. 
I was even thinking if you like things spicy you could throw on a sprinkle of hot sauce. I didn't because I'm a wimp. But, if you give it a try, I'd love to know how it goes. 

Bacon Cheddar Parmesan Popcorn

1 bag light microwave popcorn (~82 gr)
30 gr finely shredded aged, light cheddar (~1/4 cup)
1 Tbsp finely shredded parmesan
1 slice bacon, cooked and crumbled

Preheat oven to 225. 
Pop popcorn as per your favorite method. (I used light microwave popcorn) 
Shake popcorn onto a cookie sheet and pick out the unpopped kernels. Sprinkle evenly with the cheddar cheese and Parmesan cheese. 
Then sprinkle with the Oxo powder and crumbled bacon.

Bake at 225 until cheese is melty, about 10 - 15 minutes. 
Serve warm. (It's good room temp too!)

You can, of course, add more cheese and bacon if you wish. I just went with these measurements to keep my calorie count down. It may not look like it is very cheesy but, trust me, it's enough. Next time I may add another piece of bacon though. It only adds another ~20 or so calories per serving. 

Movie night just got fancy schmancy. 

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Zucchini Pasta With Cauliflower Alfredo Sauce

I wanted to post this recipe as I was thinking it would be cute to serve for St. Patrick's Day. 
You know, the whole "green food" thing. 
This is healthy, easy, tasty, and naturally green. Can't go wrong with that. 
This is actually a redo of 2 of our previous blogs - our Carrot Pasta With Cauliflower Alfredo Sauce and our Zucchini "Pasta".  I discovered that Sue had a spiralizer hiding in her cupboards so I stole borrowed it to make this. If you have never heard of/seen a spiralizer you should Google it. They are really cool and my latest kitchen toy tool. 
Expect more spiralized vegetable posts. Just sayin'

Zucchini Pasta With Cauliflower Alfredo Sauce

1/2 cup cauliflower, well cooked & drained
1/4 cup 1 % milk
1 Tbsp 0 fat plain Greek yogurt
1/2 tsp cornstarch
1 tsp butter
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbsp dried chives
1 tsp dried parsley
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, shredded

1 large zucchini

2 Tbsp Parmesan cheese

Prepare sauce - In a blender or food processor, process cooked cauliflower until smooth. Add in milk, Greek yogurt, and cornstarch. Process until very smooth.
In a small saucepan over medium heat, cook butter and garlic for about 2 minutes. Add in processed cauliflower mixture, chives, and parsley. Continue to cook mixture until it thickens, about 2 - 3 minutes. 
Remove from direct heat and stir in the 1/4 cup of Parmesan cheese. Stir until cheese is melted and sauce is fairly smooth. Cover and keep warm.

Prepare zucchini "pasta" - Cut off ends of zucchini and run through the smallest blade of the spiralizer. (If you do not have a spiralizer then follow the instructions HERE.) 
Place zucchini into a medium sized frying pan sprayed with cooking spray over medium heat. Cook and stir gently until zucchini is cooked - this will only take a few minutes. If you cook it too long it will go soggy. You basically just want to heat it through. 

Drain off any water that is in the pan. If necessary you can scoop the zucchini into a colander and then place it back in the pan when it is drained.
Scoop the cauliflower alfredo sauce into the pan with the zucchini.

Stir until sauce is evenly distributed and dish is warmed through.
Remove from pan and serve hot. Sprinkle with remaining 2 Tbsp of Parmesan cheese. 

So. Darn. Good.
I am loving the spiralizer as it makes the vegetables really feel like noodles. I was able to spin this on my fork, just like real spaghetti. 
Very exciting. 
So, anyway, there you have it. A healthy, tasty, fun meal you could totally serve for St. Patrick's Day. 
Oh, yeah, and the nutritional info is pretty sweet. 
For the entire recipe (it's a single serving and it's HUGE) it is: 
329 calories, 29 carbs, 16 fat, and 24 protein. 
P.S. - If Sue says anything about a missing spiralizer.... you know nothing....

Looking for more links to food and craft ideas? Check out My Turn (for us) and Kitchen Fun With My 3 Sons. Carole's Chatter