Thursday, January 12, 2012

Idea Mania: Valentine's Day

I've always loved Valentine's Day (mostly because my birthday is the day before).  So, here are some great Valentine's Day treats, crafts, and ideas from some of my other favorite blogs.  You can never start planning too early for any holiday...

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Delish Dinner: Stuffed Peppers

It's a new year and that means everybody's trying to eat healthy and work out and do everything we should have been doing all year long.  So, here's a healthy, but good tasting recipe that you can whip up and still meet all of your New Year's resolutions.

4-5 Bell peppers (depending on how big they are)
1 c. rice (I used brown rice and orzo)
1 large sweet onion
1 lb. lean ground beef
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. onion powder
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup grated mozzarella cheese

1.  Cook up 1 cup of rice.  I cooked mine in my rice cooker.  
That way, I just measure and let it do its magic until I'm ready for it later.

2.  Next, wash and dry your green peppers.  
Then, generously slice off the top of your bell pepper 
(you'll be chopping up the extra for the stuffing mixture) 
and hollow out the inside discarding all the seeds.  
I also slightly slice the bottom of the peppers to make them easier to stand when they are baking.
Spray a 9 x 9 baking dish with non-stick spray and place green peppers in standing up.

3.  Remove the stems, then chop up the pepper tops along with one large onion. 
I used my mini food processor for this because I wanted pretty small pieces.

4.  Heat a little olive oil and saute the onion and pepper for about 3-4 minutes.

5.  Remove the onions and peppers and brown ground beef in the pan.  
Now you could really use any meat for this stuffing- I just chose lean ground beef.
I also add garlic and onion powder to the beef while it is browning.

6.  After ground beef is browned and drained, add onions and peppers back to the pan 
and allow to cook for an additional 2-3 minutes to blend all of the flavors.

7.  Now, mix in the cooked rice and grated parmesan cheese and 
warm in the pan for 1-2 minutes.

8.  Stuff the filling mixture into the peppers, pushing down with a spoon 
so the peppers are tightly stuffed.  Top with some mozzarella cheese.

9.  Cook the stuffed peppers at 375 F for about 30 minutes.
When they have about 5 minutes left, pull them out of the oven and add
a little more shredded mozzarella cheese.  You can never have too much cheese!
Bake for an additional 5-10 minutes.

I originally pinned this recipe from Kalyn's Kitchen.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Sweet Treat: Cream Cheese Lemon Bars

I had to bring a dish to the NYE party we went to last night and if there is one thing I am it's a dessert lover, so I decided to try out a new dessert I found on Pinterest.  My grandma used to make these amazing lemon meringue and key lime pies when I was younger, so I grew up loving lemon and lime flavors.  These cream cheese lemon bars are yummy and easy to make.  They turned out well, but next time I add more lemon zest because I like lemon and limey things to be nice and tart.  You can always add more or less zest depending on how tart you like your citrus desserts.
I adapted this recipe from Jam Hands.


1 lemon cake mix
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 egg

1 Tablespoon Vanilla extract
2 eggs
8 ounces of cream cheese
1/2 cup butter, melted
3  3/4 cup powdered sugar
Zest of 1 lemon
Juice from 1/2 a lemon

1.   Preheat oven to 350-f degrees.

2. For the crust, mix together the dry cake mix, butter, and 1 egg.  
Mix well. The mixture will be somewhat thick. 
Press into a greased 9×13 baking pan and set aside.

3. For the filling, beat cream cheese until smooth. 
Add the vanilla extract, eggs, melted butter, lemon juice, and lemon zest. 

4.   Mix together well and add powdered sugar. 
Mix until the powdered sugar is fully incorporated.

5. Spread filling over crust.

6.  Bake for 38-42 minutes, until lightly brown and 
when gently shaken the center will only slightly jiggle.

7. Cool and cut into small bars. 
(I cooled mine in the fridge for a little bit before I cut them.)  

8.  Dust with powdered sugar if desired.

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