Pineapple Teriyaki Chicken

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Why buy takeout when you can make your own?
Why buy teriyaki sauce to make your own takeout if you probably have all the ingredients in your pantry for a fresh, homemade sauce?

This recipe works as a marinade, baste and sauce! And I bet you it would tastes just as great on grilled meats as well!

*See note below for alternative ingredients.

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Pineapple Teriyaki Chicken
Yield: 4

Ingredients:
4 chicken breasts seasoned with 1 tsp salt
1 cup pineapple juice, without added sugar
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tbs sesame seeds
1 tbs molasses
1 tbs soy sauce
1/3 cup water
Green onion, for garnish (optional)

Combine all ingredients except chicken breast in a bowl. Whisk together, then add  chicken and cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Let it marinate in the refrigerator. (Mine marinated for five hours).
When ready, place chicken breast in oven safe glass dish with about 1/3 cup of water at the bottom of the dish to prevent burning, and bake uncovered at 400 degrees F for about 30 minutes or until chicken is cooked through. 

Place remaining marinate in a small pot and bring to a boil.  Then simmer for about 10 minutes.
When chicken is ready to be removed from the oven, use this sauce to brush extra on. This sauce needs to be cooked on the stovetop so that you don’t get any contamination from the raw chicken that was previously marinating in it.

* To make this healthier you may use coconut sugar and add an extra tablespoon of molasses.
If you try not to use soy products in your cooking, you may opt for coconut aminos instead of soy sauce.

Confetti Popcorn

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This perfect sweet and salty treat is so easy and requires minimal effort. Get the kids involved! This is a fun project that doesn’t get too messy and is ready in a flash!

Confetti Popcorn
yield: 6 cups, adjust accordingly

Ingredients:
6 cups popped popcorn
12 oz candy melts in color of choice
1/4 cup mini M&M’s
Sprinkles, as needed
(Add any other toppings your heart desires, like nuts or dried fruit)

Pop your popcorn and pick out any kernals. Mix all ingredients together and ta-da! Ready to eat. I usually refrigerate for about 5 minutes so that it hardens a bit.

I will admit, I don’t like dirty fingers.
Whew! Glad I got that off my chest! :)

Strawberry Pineapple Fruit Punch

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The sweet, tangy, refreshing flavors of this drink will have you coming back for seconds!
This was very refreshing to have on a Sunday afternoon upon arriving home from a family trip to the park.
The weather has finally warmed up! Spring has finally sprung and signs of “new life” is upon us. This is indeed my favorite time of the year. Not only because we get to experience beautiful sunsets, listen to birds chirping, watch the plants as they blossom; but we get to enjoy ice cold beverages, outdoor grilling and lounging around on the deck in the presence our families and friends. Can we ask for more?

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Strawberry Pineapple Fruit Punch
Yield: ~10 cups

Ingredients:
2 cups strawberries
2 cups pinepple, cored and cleaned
Juice of 1 lemon
1 liter 7up (gingerale or any fizzy clear drink works well too)

Puree strawberries and pineapple in blender until smooth. Pour into pitcher with 1 liter of 7up. I used a little over 3/4 of the bottle as the entire bottle didn’t fit into my pitcher.
Fill glasses with ice and pour drink into glasses.
*You may puree strawberries with up to 1/2 cup of sugar for more sweetness. Or if too sweet, dilute with up to a cup of water.
Note that when you pour this over ice, ice will dilute the drink a little.

Candied Pecans

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Have you ever been to Bass Pro Shop to buy some camping gear, look at equipment, boats, or just to go on a nice long romantic walk on the , — oh wait, wrong setting.
What I meant was, Bass Pro Shop has some amazing treats, especially the candied pecans. We love going there with the kids around the holidays to just walk around with some treats in hand, scope out the fish tanks, hubby checks out the “toys,” and we all admire the beautiful Christmas decor.
That’s where my inspiration for this post came from. Let’s face it, it is a little pricy to buy these babies there.
So why not make your own! They’re super simple and require minimal effort. These are great for snacking, topping on ice cream, Super Bowl Sunday, or just on their lonesome!

Candied Pecans

INGREDIENTS
1 lb pecans, walnuts (for cheaper alternative), or mixture of both nuts
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 cup white granulated sugar
Pinch of salt
2 egg whites (liquid egg whites work)
1 tsp or more of ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to 250 degrees F.
Coat the nuts in the egg whites. I like to drain remaining whites if there are any. In a separate bowl, combine remaining ingredients and then pour over the nut mixture. Coat well and spread onto a baking sheet, then bake for 35-40 minutes, making sure to mix the nuts every 15 minutes or so. I like to use a silicone baking mat for easier cleanup.
That’s it. Easy peasy!

Warm Spinach Dip

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Ladies, this is how I get my husband to eat his leafy greens. I make him spinach dip. He loves it and this is pretty much the only way he will eat spinach. It’s THAT delicious. This will work as an appetizer or even a meal if you dare! I won’t judge. Also perfect for game day! (Go Cowboys!)
I searched high and low for a good spinach dip recipe that I can make for us at home. We don’t like too much tanginess. We like creamy, and not too cheesy when it comes to spinach dip. The recipes I found had an overwhelming amount of all those things. So I played around with all the different recipes I tried, and came up with this recipe. This one hits the spot. I has all those things in moderation.
I make it pretty much for every party or gathering that we have at our house. And to help you along with the chopping, you can even use a food processor.
Now… GO EAT YOUR LEAFY GREENS!

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Warm Spinach Dip
Yield: 2-3 cups

3 tbs butter
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1 small onion, minced (or chopped for more texture)
2-3 garlic cloves, chopped
1 10 oz bag of fresh spinach, chopped
2 oz cream cheese
6-8 oz heavy cream, more if needed to thin out
1-2 tbs shredded mozzerella or Monterey jack cheese (optional)

Melt butter in a nonstick skillet. Add red pepper flakes and onion. Sautee on low until onions are soft. Do not brown. You may need to mix often.

Add garlic cloves and Sautee another minute before adding your spinach. Cook until wilted.

Add cream cheese and let that melt before adding your heavy cream. If it’s too thick, add more heavy cream. If too thin you can add more cream cheese.
Finally, this is optional, add a tablespoon or two of shredded white cheese to help give it some body and another depth of flavor. Not too much or it will change the consistency of the dip.

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Tiramisu

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I am pretty sure that once you try my recipe for tiramisu, you will never go back to any other recipe. At least that’s what my friends and family say. Each time I make this, I get asked for the recipe. It’s quite simple, actually. And not very time consuming.
The taste of coffee with Kahlua gives it that authentic taste. Along with the mascarpone, which is the Italian version of cream cheese, but less tangy and more buttery tasting.

Tiramisu
Serves 12-16 in one 9×13 dish or similar

Ingredients:
6 egg yolks
1/2 cup sugar, separated
2 tbs Kahlua (optional)
16 oz whipped cream (may use pre-made as long as it’s thawed)
8 oz mascarpone cheese, (not cream cheese), room temperature
48 lady fingers
2 cups strongly brewed coffee or espresso

Directions:
Mix coffee with 2 tbs Kahlua and 2 tbs sugar, set aside to cool

Meanwhile, make the cream in a double boiler by whisking with egg yolks with sugar  continuously until thickened and pale yellow in color. Remove bowl from double boiler and set aside to cool slightly.
Add 1/2 of your whipped cream and all of your mascarpone cheese to your yolks. Mix until it’s well incorporated.

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To assemble: in your 9×13 glass dish or similar, take each lady finger (breaking if necessary to make them fit), and one by one and dip into coffee,  then place each one in the dish. Add 1/2 of cream mixture and then repeat with another layer of lady fingers and remaining cream mixture, then finally last layer of lady fingers.
Top with remaining whipped cream and sprinkle some sifted cocoa on top and shaved chocolate. (Optional)
Refrigerate for at least 12 hours, preferably over night.

Chocolate Chip Yogurt Cheesecake

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Craving a lighter cheesecake with fewer calories? Or maybe something that has fewer ingredients and less work? You’ve come to the right place. –And so did the other 10 people that were at my house the evening I made this!

I’ve been waiting a long time to post this recipe. I wanted to wait until summer though, because this is a lighter cheesecake, and paired with some delicious summer fruit, you have yourself a fabulous dessert to serve your guests. Or just yourself. I won’t judge.

The caramel on this cheesecake is amazing. And it doesn’t harden. Please don’t skip the caramel! DON’T DO IT! Recipe can be found here. 

And if you do decided to skip the caramel (which you wont, right?), make sure to make a water bath for your cheesecake to bake in to prevent cracks.

 

Chocolate Chip Yogurt Cheesecake
Yeild: 8 slices

 

Ingredients: 

Crust:
2 cups lady finger crumbs (I just put some lady fingers in a ziplock bag and smashed them with a rolling pin. Food processor works well too)
1 tbs sugar
1/2 light butter, melted

Batter:
2 blocks of cream cheese, softened (light cream cheese may be used)
1/4 cup plain yogurt (I used Fage Greek)
2 eggs
1 vanilla bean pod, opened and scraped
1/2 cup sugar OR 1/3 cup Truvia (or sugar substitute)

1 batch of caramel sauce
Directions:

For crust: Mix all ingredients together and spread evenly into the bottom of a spring-form pan.

For Batter: In a mixer with paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese until fluffy. Add sugar or sugar substitute and mix well. Incorporate yogurt and vanilla bean. Lastly, add the eggs, one at a time, making sure each one gets mixed in well. Pour batter into pan, over the crust. Bake at 325 for about 40 minutes or until no longer jiggles. Don’t worry about cracks, because it will be topped with caramel sauce. If you are skipping the caramel sauce, I recommend you make a water bath. Directions can be found here.