4th of July * Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake

Have you ever tried a cookie cake before? It’s a big giant cookie with frosting on top. Mmm Mmm Mmm it’s soft and chewy and taste so yummy.

For the 4th of July I made a flag themed one for dessert. (It would also be great on Flag Day or Memorial Day.)
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I used blueberries around the entire outside and for the stars. Then I cut up strawberries for the red stripes.

Here’s what you will need to make your own:
1 – 2lb. Toll House cookie dough (I used chocolate-chip but you could use sugar as well)1- 8oz. of cream cheese (softened)
1- 8oz.  frozen cool-whip (thawed)
4- squares white chocolate (melted)
1-  cup confectionery sugar

Preheat oven to 350.
First roll out the cookie dough on a cookie sheet. I slice the cookie dough roll into circles and arranged on a cookie sheet. Then using wax paper, I roll over the cookie dough until smooth. (Don’t roll to the edges as the cookie will get bigger while it bakes.) Bake for 15-20 minutes or until the edges are lightly browned.
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Take out of oven and allow the cookie to cool completely (about an hour). The cookie will continue to bake while its cooling down, so it’s important not to over bake it in the oven. Hey now, we want a soft and chewy cookie after all.

While the cookie is baking lets mix up the frosting. Using a mixer beat the soften cream cheese and melted white chocolate together until fluffy. Then mix in half of the cool-whip with the beaters and slowly add in the confectionery sugar. Once all of that is mixed together with beaters hand mix in the rest of the cool whip. Allow to refrigerate while the cookie is cooling. This will help harden the frosting.

After the cookie is completely cooked you can frost it.
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Then add the blueberry boarder
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Slice the strawberries
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And add them to the flag for stripes
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With the remaining frosting you can pipe some white stripes between the strawberries.

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And there you have it. 🙂

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Grilled Poppers!

I have been searching for cool new foods to cook outside on the grill, because lets face it, this time of year I don’t want to turn on the oven.. if I don’t have to.

With the 4th of July coming up, I’m sure there will be tons of BBQ’s and parties with your friends and families. Is it just me, or does everything cooked on the grill taste so much better?

Jalapeno Peppers are one of our favorite appetizers, and when we stumbled across a grilled “popper” holder (at one of my favorite stores- T.J.Maxx)  I knew something amazing was about to happen!

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Ingredients for Poppers:

  • 10 Jalapeno peppers
  • 1/2 cup cream cheese
  • 2 tbsp cheddar cheese
  • Thin sliced Prosciutto ham (taste similar to bacon

 

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The first thing you will need to do is cut the top off the Jalapeno peppers. You may want to wear gloves because this type of pepper can have very spicy seeds inside. You will then need to clean out the peppers so all of the seeds are gone. Then rinse them under water to remove some of the extra spice. Because, BOY these babies can be HOT!

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Okay, you got the spice mostly out. Now its time to make the delicious filling. Start off by softening the cream cheese for 20 seconds in the microwave (just enough to mix it easy). Then add the cheddar cheese and combine together.

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Now you can spread the filling lightly on top of the ham. Make sure to make a nice thin layer so its easy to roll up.

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Like this … remember to keep it nice and tight so it fits inside the pepper.
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You may have to cut your ham roll up in half to fit inside the pepper. Tuck in the ham the best you can. Then top them off with some of the left over filling. You can add the tops back on them if you’d like, just remember to make sure you take the seeds out of the tops as well. {trust me} the seeds are very HOT!

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If you don’t have a popper stand, you can just lay them on some heavy duty tin foil. Pop these {bad boys} on the hot grill for about 30 minutes. Once they’re nice and browned they are done. The key here is the longer you grill them, the less spicy they will be.

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Mmm… now sit back and enjoy!!! They will have a nice smoked flavor full of mouth watering juice.

Carmel Apple-Dip

Oh no, this is not your average Apple Carmel Dip. We’re talking three layers of delicious goodness!

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It starts off with a whipped layer of cream cheese, brown sugar, vanilla extract, and a touch of cinnamon.

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Mmm mmm mmm… “Whip it good!” lol

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Next, is a layer of ouuy-gooey Carmel. My favorite is Hershey’s Sunday topping. It’s thick and rich.

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Lastly, top this {already amazing bowl of goodness} with some heath bar pieces to give it some crunch.

Serve with your favorite apples. Our favorite with this dip is Granny Smith.

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Bring this baby to your next party, everyone won’t be able to get enough 😉 I promise!

Could it get any easier!?

What you will need to make yours:
1 brick of cream cheese
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. cinnamon 1 jar of your favorite Caramel sunday topping
1 bag of heath toffee for some crunch
4 apples of your choice

*NOTE: my pictures are the recipe cut in half, this serves much more than what is pictured.

Corned Beef & Cabbage {Traditional Irish Dinner}

It’s almost St. Patty’s Day, which also means corned beef & cabbage dinners!

Here is an easy way to prepare the Traditional Irish meal – CrockPot Style –
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You will need:
3lb corned beef
1 head of cabbage
3lb potatoes (white or red)
1 bag carrots
1 medium onion
1 beer
3 to 4 cups water
2 tablespoons garlic
2 tablespoon brown sugar
2 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

  1. Cut potatoes in quarters and lay on bottom of crockpot.
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  2. Next peal carrots and cut into 2 inch pieces, layer on top of potatoes.
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  3. Cut up onion, you can dice them into smaller pieces, or do larger chunks, which ever you prefer.
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  4. Lay on top of the potatoes and carrots.
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  5. I like to boil the water and beer (if you wish to use one, you don’t have to just helps to tenderize the meat) in a pot first before adding it to the crock pot. Boil water/beer together with brown sugar and vinegar and garlic, steering occasionally.
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  6. Then put into crockpot just until the veggies are covered. You may need additional water if it does not cover them completely.
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  7. Place your corned beef on top of the veggies, make sure its laying on top, and water isn’t too high covering the meat. If it is too high the meat will break apart.
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  8. Cook on high for 3 hours then cook on low for 3-4 more hours.
    A total of 7 hrs cooking in the crockpot.
  9. 30 Minutes before serving cook the head of cabbage, cut into wedges and cut out center core. If you  have excess stew from the crockpot you can boil your cabbage with that.112_3855
  10. Cut meat into slices
    112_3856I wish I got a better pic before I served the meal {but they were a bit impatient} I did grab a cell phone pic (not the greatest quality, I will try to post a new picture next time).

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Creamy Tomato Sausage Pasta {Quick & Easy}

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Here is a quick and easy dinner you can prepare in about 20 minutes .. although it will taste like you spent all day making it!

Here’s what you will need:

1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon garlic
1 onion
1 pound sweet italian sausage (we used links and cut them into pieces)
1  (14oz) can of diced tomatoes in juice
1 cup whipping cream
1 cup parmesan cheese (grated)
1/3 cup parsley
2/3 cup dry white wine
1 pound pasta (of your choice)

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Here’s how to make it:

  1. Cook sausage in large skillet with olive oil on medium/low until just about cooked. Also, start boiling water in separate pot for pasta to cook.
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  2. Then cut sausage into bite size pieces and move to side of skillet. In the center of skillet saute the onions, butter, and garlic.
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  3. Next add dry white wine and simmer about 2-3 minutes. Then add the diced tomatoes in juice, mix together and cook until bubbly.
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  4. Then add whipping cream and 1/3 cheese and cook low for about 4 minutes.
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  5. Once the pasta is just about done cooking (in it’s separate pan) add the remaining cheese and parsley to the skillet with the tomato cream sauce. Keep skillet on low so the cheese does not burn to bottom.
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  6. When pasta is done cooking drain it, then add some to a bowl and top it with your lovely {Creamy tomato & sausage sauce} sprinkle some parmesan cheese as a garnish to the top and enjoy with a glass of wine 🙂And there you have it! Quick & Easy Creamy Tomato Sausage Pasta – Enjoy with your family today!

Bacon Avocado Panini Melt

I love paninis because you can make so many different kinds and they’re so easy to make. Excuse my bad cell phone photos … this was kind of spur of the moment & they turned out so good I had to share. (maybe I’ll do them again and update the photos) 
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To start of making this panini you will need to make some homemade guacamole first. Don’t worry it’s super easy.

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You will need:  2 avocados, 1 plum tomato, 1/2 onion, and some lemon juice or lime juice. To add some extra flavor (you don’t have to) I use 1 tablespoon of mayo, and 1 tablespoon garlic or a sprinkle of garlic salt as well.

Have you ever cut up avocados? Here’s how I cut mine:

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First, cut it in half, pull it apart. Slice with a knife into cubes then scoop out with a spoon. Mash it up in a bowl with a fork or an avocado tool until smooth and creamy.

Then add the diced tomatoes, the slice/diced onions, garlic. And salt to taste. Don’t forget to add some lemon/lime juice so the avocado does not turn brown.
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Okay, the “hard” (not so hard) part is over. Now just make some bacon like you normally would in a pan, then chop some up into pieces and add that to the guacamole. Mmm it’s so yummy! You can also add slices of bacon to your panini too.

Butter the bread (we use hearty white bread) you want something a little bit firmer so it doesn’t get squashed by the panini press. Next, top the bread with a slice of cheddar cheese, then tomato slices, bacon if you wish, then add your guacamole, and then another piece of cheddar cheese, and lastly bread. 

Cook in panini press for about 4 mins or until cheese is nice and melted.
Enjoy with some chips & dip!

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Quick & Easy Alfredo Sauce

I’m always looking for quick and easy dinners to try. Alfredo sauce happens to be one of my favorites to make because you can add so many different things to make the dish totally different each time you make it.

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Here is my homemade recipe:

1/2 cup butter
1 pkg. (8oz) cream cheese
1 1/2 cup half/half (or whipped cream if you like it to be thicker)
3/4 cup parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon garlic powder or 1 tablespoon garlic

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1. In skillet pan melt butter and garlic on medium.

2.Once melted, add cream cheese. (I cut into pieces so it can melt easier. You may want to turn heat to a lower setting until completely melted.)

3. Then add parmesan cheese and half & half until melted and mixed together.

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4. It’s all done 🙂 that easy!

5. Optional- I like to add spinach and tomatoes to mine. Mmm it’s soo good!
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Goes well with white wine too 😉