Capresé Salad

Ingredients:
4 small Roma tomatoes
1 pound fresh mozzarella cheese
Basil leaves
Olive oil
Balsamic Vinagrette (white or black)
Salt and pepper

Directions:
Slice all tomatoes into 1/4 in. thick slices.
Slice mozzarella in the same thickness.
Layer mozzarella, tomato, and basil on a dish.
Just before serving, sprinkle with salt oil and vinegar, and pepper

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Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup Banana Bread

This is an absolutely delicious banana bread, especially with the addition of peanut butter & peanut butter cups!! If you are a peanut butter cup addict like me, then you must make this banana bread. I found this recipe on pinterest and it came from: http://www.cookiesandcups.com

Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
3 ripe bananas
1 egg
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup oil
1/2 cup peanut butter
1- 8 oz. bag mini Reese’s peanut butter
cups (the ones without wrappers)

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350.
Grease a loaf pan with margarine.
Mix together flour, baking soda, and baking powder in a medium bowl.
In a large bowl mix mushed bananas, peanut butter, oil, egg, and both sugars.
Gradually add flour mixture to peanut butter mixture and mix until just combined.
Fold in mini Reese’s cups.
Bake for 1 hour.
Cool for 15 minutes and then loosen sides with butter knife and cool on cooling rack.

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Avocado Chicken

I wanted to spruce up my grilled chicken for dinner tonight and saw a yummy picture on Pinterest! It comes from: http://www.onegoodthingbyjillee.com

Ingredients:
2 chicken breasts
Salt & pepper
Italian dressing
1 avocado
2 slices of cheese

Directions:
Marinate your chicken breasts in Italian dressing.
Add salt and pepper to both sides and cook on the stove, about 3-5 minutes on each side.
Top with peeled and sliced avocado and then add the cheese to the top.
Place in microwave, toaster oven, or regular oven until cheese is melted.

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What To Do With Leftovers

My beautiful Mother made an amazing dinner tonight using the leftovers of my Pesto Pasta salad and some leftover pork tenderloin! She is so resourceful!!!! 🙂
Here is Ang’s recipe:

Ingredients:
Leftover Pesto Pasta Salad
Cooked pork tenderloin medallions, sliced
Mushrooms
Shallots
Asparagus
Chicken Broth
Butter
Sherry Wine Vinegar
Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper
Grated Parmesan

Directions:
Sauté your chopped shallots and mushrooms in olive oil and butter.
Deglaze with sherry wine vinegar.
Add asparagus pieces, chicken broth, and salt and pepper and sauté until tender.
Add the cooked pork until it warms up.
Toss in the pasta with 2 tablespoons of butter to thicken it up.
Top with fresh basil and grated Parmesan.

Thanks Mom for a great recipe addition and ideas to use with leftovers!!!!!

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Chocolate Pudding Cookies

These are the absolute best chocolate cookies! They have pudding mix in them, so they stay soft and moist for even days after you make them!
Recipe adapted from: http://www.mommysavers.com

Ingredients:
2 1/4 cups flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 cup butter or margarine (I used butter but next time I will use margarine!)
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup white sugar
1- 3.9 oz. package instant chocolate pudding
1 tsp. vanilla
2 eggs
2 cups chocolate chips

Directions:
Preheat oven to 375.
In a large bowl cream together butter ad both sugars.
Add vanilla and pudding mix, beat well.
Add eggs.
Add dry ingredients.
Drop by the tablespoon full on greased baking sheet.
Bake for 8 minutes.

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Smoked Mozzarella Meatballs

So, I had some leftover mozzarella balls from my pasta salad yesterday and decided to make some mozzarella stuffed meatballs.

Ingredients:
1 3/4 lb. of mixed veal, beef, and pork
Salt and pepper
Garlic salt
Fresh, minced basil and parsley
Parmesan cheese
1 egg
1/4 loaf of Italian bread, cut into cubes, softened in water
Mozzarella balls

Directions:
Preheat oven to 400.
Mix together meat with all ingredients above, except mozzarella.
Form about 20 meatballs slightly larger than the size of a golf ball.
Make an indent in the center with your thumb.
Place a piece of mozzarella inside and form meat back over to cover the mozzarella.
Place a piece of parchment paper on a cookie sheet and line meatballs on sheet.
Bake for 15-20 minutes, serve with your favorite pasta!

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Individual Cheese & Strawberry Danish

So, I tried out a recipe for mini Danishes using crescent rolls, they don’t taste 100% like the real thing of course but they actually turned out delicious!! These would be good at breakfast because I added strawberry jam to them as well as the cream cheese filling.

Ingredients:
2, 8 oz. cans of crescent rolls (I used reduced fat and they were great!)
1, 8 oz. package of cream cheese
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp. sour cream
3/4 tsp. vanilla
Strawberry jam (or any flavor you like)

Directions:
Preheat your oven to 350.
Take your crescent rolls out of the can, leaving them in their cylinder shape, place them on a plate and freeze for 5-10 minutes.
Meanwhile, beat cream cheese, sugar, sour cream, and vanilla until smooth.
Cut 1/4 inch slices of the crescent rolls like you would cut refrigerated cookie dough.
Place on baking sheet and create an indent in the middle with your thumb.
Place 1 teaspoon of cream cheese mixture, followed by a 1/2 teaspoon of jam, and then another 1/2 teaspoon of cream cheese mixture on top so jam does not fall off.
Bake for 15-20 minutes.
Add a little extra jam to the top right out of the oven.

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Mozzarella and Tomato, Pesto, Pasta Salad

For my cousins birthday dinner we are just gonna grill up some hot dogs and hamburgers, so what better day to bring a pasta salad! This pasta salad combines some of my favorite things so if you love a classic caprese salad and pesto sauce then you will love this!!
Recipe from: http://www.theitalianfork.com

Ingredients for Pesto:
1-2 cups of basil leaves
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 cloves of garlic
Salt
Pepper
Parmesan Cheese

Directions for Pesto:
In a food processor, add washed basil leaves, olive oil, cheese, garlic, and salt and pepper.
Pulse for about 20 seconds until you get a pastey mixture.
Scoop into a bowl an refrigerate.

Ingredients for Pasta:
1 box Penne pasta
1 container Roma tomatoes, halved
Small container or mini mozzarella balls, halved

Directions for Pasta:
Boil water in a large pot.
Add penne and cook for about 12 minutes.
Once cooked, drain and rinse with cold water until the pasta is cool.
Put pasta in a large bowl.
Add pesto and mix well.
Add the halved tomatoes and mozzarella and mix.
Refrigerate until ready to serve!

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Vanilla, Chocolate Chip, Cream Cheese Swirled Brownies

A lot of people have a box of brownie mix in their houses but don’t want to make a boring pan of brownies. Here is a recipe using some simple thing that most people have in their kitchens to spruce up your brownie mix.

Ingredients:
1 box of brownie mix
Ingredients needed on box
1 tsp. vanilla
4 oz. cream cheese, softened
Handful of chocolate chips

Directions:
Preheat oven as directed on brownie box.
Place a piece of foil in your brownie pan and spray with Pam.
Mix together your brownie mix, ingredients on the box, and vanilla.
Pour into the foil covered pan.
Place cream cheese in bowl and microwave for 40 seconds, stir.
Drop spoonfuls onto brownie mix and take a knife and swirl it into your batter.
Cook brownies as directed on box and 10 minutes before they are done, sprinkle the chocolate chips on top.
Remove from oven, let cool, cut into squares.

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Easy Baked Potato For One

So I’m alone for dinner tonight and after a long bio class I am very hungry. For some reason I had the biggest craving for a baked potato so I decided to create my own recipe for a quick an simple one for one person! Of course the recipe can be doubled, tripled, etc.

Ingredients:
1 medium potato
Tablespoon of: sour cream, cream cheese, butter, ranch dressing, or any dressing you like, pick your favorite! (I used cream cheese)
2 tablespoons of shredded cheese
2 slices of deli chicken (I used chipotle chicken)
Salsa
Guacamole
Or anything toppings you like!

Directions:
Prick your potato with a fork and microwave on a plate for about 6 minutes.
Slice of a little part of the top of the potato and scoop out the insides.
Don’t let it get too thin leave a little inside.
Place insides in a medium bowl.
Add cream cheese or other, deli chicken, and shredded cheese to the potato mixture and mix well.
Place back into potato skin with a spoon and top with more shredded cheese.
Place potato on top of a piece of foil and bring it up a little around the edges.
Place in toaster oven and bake at 350 for 5-10 minutes or until hot and bubbly.
Remove an top with my Lime Guacamole and some salsa!

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