Valentine’s Marshmallow Pops

MP Closeup

I’m so excited to share this sweet treat with you! I first made these marshmallow pops as favors for my daughter’s birthday party last year and they were a huge hit. Since then, I’ve been known to make them on a whim as a simple sweet treat – like today! Not only are they yummy (if you like marshmallows) but also super cute! You can make these for any occasion or holiday, however, with Valentine’s Day just around the corner I thought they would be a perfect pre-Valentine’s Day treat!

Here’s what you’ll need:

Jumbo marshmallows (Safeway is the only store near me that carries them throughout the year)

Candy chocolate (I usually get mine at Michaels)

Cake pop sticks

Sprinkles/candy (whatever you want to dip them in)

Directions:

1. Take the marshmallows and slice a small hole at one end. This will make it easier when inserting the stick.

MP Knife

2. Insert sticks. Set on plate or cookie sheet and refrigerate for 30 minutes or until firm. This will help the marshmallows adhere to the sticks.

MP Sticks

3. Set up your marshmallow “station.” I put chocolate first, then sprinkles and end with a plate or cookie sheet covered with wax paper.

MP Setup

4. Heat chocolate in microwaveable safe bowl by following directions on candy package.

MP Chocolate

5. Now is the fun part! Dip marshmallows in chocolate, gently roll in sprinkles and place on wax paper. Let sit for at least an hour before packaging or serving. On a side note, I had some extra chocolate leftover and there was no way I was going to let it go to waste! I just happened to have strawberries and pretzels on hand, so a few extra treats were added to the mix! I think my husband will be happy!

MP Finish

Enjoy!

Tip Junkie

The Shabby Nest

Banana Cake with Vanilla Frosting

BC Closeup

Okay, I’m warning you, this cake is addictive! If you like banana bread, you will LOVE this. My inspiration for this cake came from Pinterest, however, I added my own little twist on it and I think it turned out great. Not only is it yummy, but it’s semi-healthy. Well, as healthy as cake can be for you, but whatever! It past the taste test with both my husband and daughter, so I’ll take that as a good sign! Oh, and it’s SUPER easy, which makes it even better!

The original recipe didn’t call for walnuts or ground flax, but in an effort to make it a bit healthier, I decided to add them and was thrilled with the results. I also substituted light sour cream for regular sour cream. Luckily, I had all the ingredients on hand so that made it easy to modify. The original recipe called for homemade vanilla frosting, however, I happened to have a jar of Betty Crocker vanilla frosting on hand so I decided to use that instead. I know, store bought frosting? Gasp! Hey, I say whatever works for you, do it! To top it off, I sprinkled a dash of cinnamon on each piece of cake before I served it. It looks pretty and adds a fun flavor!

Okay, here’s what you’ll need:

2/3 cup sugar

1/2 cup light sour cream

1 egg

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

2 mashed super ripe bananas

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup flour

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 cup chopped walnuts

2 tablespoons ground flax

Directions (easily mixed by hand):

Preheat oven to 350F if using glass or 375F if using a non-stick or coated pan. Cream together sugar, sour cream, egg and 2 tablespoons softened butter. Add mashed bananas and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract.  Add flour, salt, baking soda and ground flax; mix well. Add walnuts; mix. Pour into greased 8×8 pan. Bake for 20-25 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Cool completely before frosting.

If you’re like me you can grab that jar of frosting sitting on the shelf, or you can make an easy buttercream or cream cheese frosting. Either would be great!

Enjoy!

Crockin’ BBQ Pulled Pork

Pulled Pork

When it’s drizzly and cold outside, nothing sounds better than something yummy cooking in the crock-pot! Don’t you think?! One of my favorite dishes to make in the crock-pot is bbq pulled pork – and it smells SO good when it’s cooking! It’s also great for leftovers and freezing for additional meals. All in all, it’s pretty much the perfect dish!

Here’s what you’ll need:

2 lb boneless pork loin roast
5 whole peeled garlic cloves
1 sweet onion, chopped
1 red bell pepper, sliced
1 cup water
1 large bottle honey bbq sauce (I will often use half honey and half of something spicier, like Stubb’s, for an extra kick)
1 package hoagie rolls or hamburger buns

Directions:
Add 1 cup of water to bottom of crock-pot. Add pork roast, bbq sauce and garlic cloves. Cover and cook on high for 4 hours. Add onion and bell pepper. Continue to keep covered and cook on low for 6 hours. An hour before it’s finished uncover and take a large fork and shred pork. Cover and finish cooking. Serve on rolls or buns.

Enjoy!

“Easy Peasy” Chicken Enchiladas (As My Son Would Say!)

Chicken Enchilada Closeup

I truly do enjoy cooking, however, I have a few rules. 1) The recipe must be less than 10 steps, 2) It must include ingredients I can pronounce (most of the time!) and 3) It must taste good. Okay, so I’m sure everyone would agree with the third “rule,” but, still, it’s important!

With that being said, one of my favorite go-to “easy peasy” recipes is chicken enchiladas. The great thing about this recipe is you can modify it to your taste. Mild, spicy, onions, no onions – whatever! I’m going to show you how I make it, but remember, it’s not written in stone.

Here’s what you’ll need:

3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, chopped

1 onion, diced

1 red bell pepper, diced

1 8 oz package shredded Mexican cheese

1 large can diced black olives

1 large can diced mild green chiles

1 large can mild green enchilada sauce (you could use red, but I like green)

1 package shredded lettuce or mixed greens

2 avocados, diced

2 cups cherry tomatoes, sliced

Light sour cream

6 soft taco size flour tortillas (you could use whole wheat too)

Spray cooking oil

Salt and pepper

13 x 9 baking pan

1) Pre-heat oven to 350.

2) Heat a pan over medium/high heat and spray with oil. Add chicken, bell pepper and onion. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook until chicken is browned and no longer pink, stirring every few minutes. Set aside.

Enchilada Cooking

3) Set aside 1/2 cup of shredded cheese to top enchiladas.

4) Spray baking pan. Fill each tortilla with chicken mixture, olives, green chiles and shredded cheese. Make sure you have enough to divide among all six tortillas. After you fill each tortilla, roll it and place it seam side down in the baking dish.

5) Poor enchilada sauce over the tortillas. Top with remaining shredded cheese. Cover with tin foil and bake for 30 min.

Enchilada Pan

6) Serve each enchilada topped with lettuce, tomatoes, avocado and sour cream. I like to add a little hot sauce too!

Serves 4-6 people

Prep time: 30 minutes

Enjoy!