{Instant Pot Mac and Cheese}

This has become a favorite around here. Super quick to whip up and I love the garlic flavor it has.

Ingredients:

1 pound large or small macaroni
4 Tbs butter
2 tsp ground mustard
1/2 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
4 cups water
4 ounces cream cheese, softened and cubed
1 cup whole milk
16 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, shredded

Bread Crumb Topping:

2 Tbs butter
1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
2 tsp Italian parsley, chopped (you can use fresh or dried)

Directions:
Add the macaroni, butter, water, ground mustard, salt and pepper into the bowl of the Instant Pot. Place the lid on and set the vent to “sealing”

Cook on high pressure for 4 minutes, then manually release the pressure.

Open the lid and add the cubed cream cheese, stirring until smooth

Add the milk and shredded cheese and continue to stir until all the cheese is melted and smooth. Top with grated Parmesan cheese and bread crumb topping.

Bread Crumb Topping Directions:

Melt the butter in a small sauce pan. Toss the bread crumbs in the butter and season with salt and pepper. Turn off the heat and stir in the parsley.

 

Recipe adapted from: Kelsey Nixon

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{Homemade Pizza Rolls}

 

These pizza rolls are so very yummy and easy to make. They’re a great dinner idea for both kids and adults. You can make them with any preferred pizza toppings that you like or have on hand.

 

For the Dough:

1 1/4 cups warm water

2 packages active dry yeast

1 Tbs honey

3 Tbs good quality olive oil

4 cups all purpose flour + extra for kneading

2 tsp kosher salt

Mix the dough: Combine the water, yeast, honey and 3 tablespoons of olive oil in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook. When the yeast is dissolved, add 3 cups of flour, then 2 teaspoons salt, and mix on medium-low speed. While mixing, add up to 1 more cup of flour, or just enough to make a soft dough. Knead the dough for about 10 minutes until smooth, sprinkling it with the flour as necessary to keep it from sticking to the bowl.

Knead by hand: When the dough is ready, turn it out onto a floured board and knead it by hand a dozen times. It should be smooth and elastic.

Let it rise: Place the dough in a well-oiled bowl and turn it to cover it lightly with oil. Cover the bowl with a kitchen towel and allow the dough to rise at room temperature for 30 minutes.

Making the Rolls:

Tear off small sections of the dough and stretch each one out to about the size of your palm. Put in a small amount of mozzarella cheese, 1-2 slices pepperoni or whatever pizza toppings you like. Fold the dough and pinch the bottom to make a pocket. Brush the tops with olive oil and sprinkle with a little garlic powder and place on a lightly greased sheet pan bake at 500 degrees for 6-7 minutes.

Dip in your favorite pizza sauce/marinara sauce. I have used both homemade or jarred and both are great.

 

Recipe Source: Ashley Ray

{Favorite Sugar Cookies}

This is my all time favorite cookie! I love making these for one of my favorite holidays…Valentines!! I like to make the cut outs on the thicker side, and make sure not to overbake!

 

Ingredients:

2 cups (4 sticks) butter, softened to room temperature

8 ounce package cream cheese, softened to room temperature

2 cups granulated sugar

2 large egg yolks

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 tsp almond extract

4 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon salt

 

Directions:

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In a large mixing bowl with a handheld electric mixer or in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and cream cheese until light and fluffy, 2-3 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed

Add the sugar, egg yolks and vanilla. Mix well, another 1-2 minutes.

Add the flour and salt. Mix until combined (don’t overmix).

Spread the dough into a thick rectangle on a sheet of plastic wrap; cover. Refrigerate and chill the dough for two hours (or up to 12 hours).

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.

Roll the dough out on a lightly floured counter to about 1/4-inch thick. If the dough is too firm straight out of the refrigerator, let it rest at room temperature for 10-15 minutes before rolling

Use cookie cutters to cut into shapes and place 2-inches apart on the prepared baking sheets.

Bake for 10-11 minutes until set but not browned on the edges or bottom

Remove the cookies to a cooling rack to cool completely. Frost as desired.

*Frosting*
1 cube butter, softened
1/2 bag of powdered sugar
2 tsp vanilla
1 Tbs milk
1/2 tsp almond extract
Beat the butter in with a hand held mixer or in a bowl of a stand mixer until soft and fluffy. Add in the powdered sugar, vanilla and almond extract and the milk. Beat together until desired consistency. keep adding more milk if needed.

{Perfect Rice Krispy Treats}

I know most of you have made these and probably go off the recipe on your cereal box. But if you’re like me and like them ooey and gooey soft, then you will love these!

Ingredients:

6 Tbls butter
16oz marshmallows, 1 1/2 10oz bags
6 cups crisp rice cereal
2-3 cups miniature marshmallows

Directions:

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, or butter really well and set aside.

Melt the butter in a large pot, over medium heat. Add the 16oz marshmallows and stir until they are all the way melted. Remove from the heatand stir in the cereal until well coated. Once they are all coated, add in the miniature marshmallows.

Scoop out the mixture into the prepared pan, lightly wet our hands, or butter them and gently press the cereal out acroos the pan. Let them cool for a few minutes before slicing. Store in an air tight container for a few days and enjoy!

 

Recipe Source: Barefeet in the Kitchen

{Springy Cupcakes}

I know Easter is now over, but I think these cupcakes are not only cute for Easter but for spring time. My kids and I loved making these, they were really simple and fun to make. I hope you all had a wonderful Easter weekend 🙂

1 box cake mix (I used funfetti)
batch of your favorite frosting
2-3 drops green food coloring
3 cups shredded sweetened coconut
pastel colored candy coated chocolate eggs

Prepare and bake cupcakes according to the package direction. Once the cupcakes are completely cooled. frost with your favorite frosting (I used this frosting) In a separate bowl mix coconut with 2-3 drops green food coloring until you get the desired color you want. Sprinkle the coconut over frosting and stick candy eggs on top. I thought it worked best to dip the eggs in frosting and then sticking them on, that way they stayed put.

{Rainbow Cupcakes}

These cupcakes were a lot of fun to make with my 2 little girls, they loved all the colors and then could not hardly wait to try them once they baked. We made them for St. Patrick’s Day this year. But really you could make them any time, especially in the spring 🙂
1 white cake mix
2 eggs
1 cup plain yogurt
1/2 cup milk
1/3 cup vegetable oil
Combine all the ingredients until well incorporated. Scrape sides of the bowl then beat on med-high for about 2 minutes.
Divide the batter into 5 different bowls, and pour in a little over a cup of batter into each one. (I did blue, green, yellow, orange and red and skipped purple)
Use food coloring cart on the back of the box to color each bowl. I think I did about 24 drops of each color.
To layer the cupcakes, put about 2 tsp of each color in the cupcake tin one at a time. The batter is pretty thick so it won’t spread out on it’s own. Dip your finger in water and then gently spread each layer of color out so the batter doesn’t stick to your finger.
Bake them according to package directions, until a toothpick comes out dry. (mine took about 18 minutes)
FROSTING:

3 Tbs flour
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup real butter, I used salted
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
Whisk together the flour and milk. Heat in a small sauce pan on medium heat. Whisk continuously until it starts to thicken. Let it cook, while stirring, until you can start to see the bottom of the pan. Smash any flour lumps with a spoon to keep it smooth. Keep cooking until it resembles pudding ( it will be very thick)
Put the mixture in the fridge until it is completely cooled off. 
Beat the butter and sugar for a minute until it becomes fluffy. Use the whisk attachment if using a stand mixer. While beating add in the thickened milk mixture and the vanilla. Beat to combine and then scrape down the sides. It will look pretty goopy at first, but it will come together soon. Beat on med-high from around anywhere to 5-10 minutes. It will start looking very fluffy and light. If not just keep beating it will for sure come together. Make sure the sugar granules have completely dissolved. 
This is so yummy on top of all cupcakes but would also be a perfect filling for cupcakes or cakes. This recipe will frost 12 cupcakes. 
*Recipe Source: Our Best Bites

{4th of July Pops}

I hope everyone is enjoying their 4th of July weekend! I love this time of year, there is so much to do, and so many yummy things to eat 🙂 I got this recipe out of the Family Fun Magazine and they are so fun and refreshing. This makes 12 popsicles.

2 cups blue Kool-aid (or blue drink)
1 cup whipped cream
1 cup vanilla yogurt
2 cups red Kool-aid (or red drink)
12 (5 oz) disposable cups
12 wooden craft sticks

*I have the plastic popsicle makers that I bought from Target, so I used those.

Pour about 1/4 cup of the blue drink into each of the 12 disposable cups. Freeze until partially frozen, about 30-45 minutes.

In a small bowl, mix together the whipped cream and yogurt. Equally divide the yogurt mixture among the cups. Add a craft stick to the center of each cup and return to the freezer for another 45 minutes.

Remove from the freezer and pour 1/4 cup of the red drink into each cup, on top of the yogurt mix. Freeze until solid.

Run briefly under warm water to remove the popsicles from the cups.

{Sugar Cookies} Happy Easter!

My Sister in Law made these awesome sugar cookies while we were in Utah during Christmas. They remind me of a homemade version of Lofthouse cookies. They fluff up pretty big, but I love that they keep their shape after they are baked, because they are much easier to frost that way. My 3 year old and I made these a couple days ago, but I cut the recipe in half. Here is the full recipe. Happy Easter everyone!!

1 1/2 cups butter, softened
2 cup white sugar
4 whole eggs
1/2 cup milk
2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp cream of tartar
2 tsp vanilla extract
6 cups of all purpose flour

In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter and the sugar together and until creamy. Add in the eggs, milk and vanilla. Mix until well combined.
In a separate bowl sift together the baking soda, cream of tartar and flour, slowly add the flour mixture to the cream mixture. Chill the dough for 1 hour. Roll out on a lightly floured surface to 1/4 inch in thickness and cut out into desired shapes. Bake at 375 degrees for 7-8 minutes. DO NOT OVER BAKE. Let them cool on a rack completely before frosting.

For the frosting:

1 stick of butter, softened
1 Tbs karo syrup
2 -2 1/2cups powdered sugar
6-7 Tbs milk
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp almond extract

*Adjust the milk or powdered sugar a little to reach desired consistency. I like mine on the thick side.

Mix the butter until fluffy, add the powdered sugar and all the other ingredients until all combined.

{Grasshopper Milkshake}

We made burgers and milkshakes tonight for dinner! It was sooo good. Seriously, who needs fast food when you can make it right at home 🙂 Here is the VERY simple milkshake recipe.

4 cups Vanilla Bean Ice-cream
1 1/2 cups milk (We used whole)
6-8 crushed mint oreos

Spoon the ice-cream into a blender, pour in the milk and add the crushed cookies. Blend it all up.
You can adjust the milk and ice-cream depending on how thick you want it. Enjoy!