Thursday, July 19, 2012

Just My o"PIN"ion on Muffins and Dogs

Weird opinion header, huh? I really didn't want it to be too long. Just My o"PIN"ion on Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins and Chili Dog Casserole just didn't seem condensed enough. So, muffins and dogs about covers it. You could say that I like to eat. It's a pretty good indication when I did a recipe last week and have now done two for this week's post!

So, I do have good reason to make the muffins. A young man that is originally from our hometown, has qualified for the 2012 US Paralympics Team in London. He was involved in a car crash at a very young age in my hometown that tragically took the life of his father and left him paralyzed.  We are having a bake sale this week to raise money for traveling expenses to get his mother to watch her son in London.    So I made the muffins for that.  While I was finding a pin for the muffins, I stumbled upon a casserole that I couldn't pass up.  Since I had most of the ingredients on hand, I decided I couldn't let my readers down on this one.  I totally made it in the name of research!

The Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins are from Stick A Fork In It.
The Chili Dog Casserole is from Peace, Love and Understanding.

The Ingredients:
Since there are two recipes this week, you will just have to click the recipe links and print off the ingredients yourselves.  They are your basic ingredients for the muffins.  A surprise for the casserole might be that you roll the hotdogs in tortillas.  Other than that the ingredients are not surprising.

The Directions:
Simple yet again.  The muffins were very simple.  Just a few simple steps.  The Chili Dog Casserole was even easier.  Very quick meal to put together.

The Verdict:
Both were AMAZING! 
These are probably the best muffins I have made.  The consistency was just right.  They had a great rise to them and the time directed to cook was spot on.  This is going to be my go to Banana Chocolate Chip Muffin recipe for sure! 
The Chili Dog Casserole was pretty darn good too!  It definitely hit that craving I was having for apparently, a chili dog!  I know that I will weight a few pounds heavier tomorrow because I plan on eating a little bit more tonight along with my Boone's Farm I have cracked open right now.  I am planning on trying a light version soon.  Think Turkey Chili and FF Hotdogs and Reduced Fat Cheese!  I think it will still be yummy!  However all the fatty goodness was just plain yumminess!  The baby devoured it.  My oldest didn't care for the tortilla and the 3 year old just ate the hotdog out of it.  Pickiness is nothing new around this house!  I don't think my husband cared for the tortilla either.  He went back for seconds but put it on a bun.  LOL!  I think the tortilla part is what makes it yummy, so definitely try it the original way first!  Also, my cheese did get really done and I had to sprinkle a little more on (darn it).  Next time, I will watch that a little closer. 
These are two recipes I would definitely recommend to try off of Pinterest!  However, they will remain on my Diet?  What Diet? board! 

Pictures of the Process:

Ingredients Ready To Go!

Something you NEVER adding salt to my recipes.

Chocolate Chip Madness!

Found this idea on Pinterest too, Cupcake Liner Holder.

I knew right here it was going to be good!

Only 1/2 left.  Yum!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Just My o"PIN"ion on S'mores Cookies

S'mores Cookies Fresh Out of the Oven

Nothing says summer like S'mores! Even though I turn my nose at them (am I the only one) they seem to be a favorite among children and adults alike.

I asked my Facebook readers to suggest a delicious, fattening recipe that would totally kill my diet. It's all in the name of research, so my diet must be sacrificed! Wonderful recipes were suggested but this is the only one that had chocolate. I am a chocolate addict! I will get to those other suggestions soon, but this lady had to have chocolate! So I chose to make this pin for S'mores Cookies from The Girl Who Ate Everything!

The Ingredients:
11 Tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 cup brown sugar, packed
½ cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 ½ cups flour
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup mini marshmallows
3 regular sized Hershey’s bars, broken into pieces
1-2 packages graham crackers, broken into squares
**Do you know that I was totally out of chocolate chips!  I don't want to mention that I had just bought two bags just a few weeks before.  Anyway, my small town grocery store was already closed so I called a few people.  I had to call 4 people to find any.  What is up with these people in this town???**

The Directions:
Follow Instructions as the recipe states.  I didn't have parchment paper and I wasn't about to call more people, so I just sprayed the pan with cooking spray and hoped it would work!  It did!

The Verdict:
Before we get to the taste, let me mention a couple things.  I should have added more dough on the top of each graham cracker.  I did about 1 1/2- 2 tablespoons, but I should have done more.  It didn't spread over the entire crust of crackers.  I also read previous reviews and said 375 was too high, so I did 360 and it took me about 15-20 minutes instead of the 10 at 375.  I just kept checking them every few minutes.  It may take longer if you add more dough too.  I also had dough leftover so I could have made another sheet, next time I think I'll just add it all and have a thicker cookie layer.

As far as the taste goes.  These were just ok.  I think part of it was the cinnamon flavor.  I didn't like it.  I would leave this out entirely.  Cinnamon really has nothing to do with S'mores so I don't understand it anyway!  I ate one for research, okay two, but I had to be sure the other side didn't taste better!  I cut the rest and sent them to work with my husband.  I asked him what he thought when he called me at break and he said they were pretty good.  Now, I don't like S'mores, so maybe that's the deciding factor.  If you love S'mores you might love these "s'more" than I do (did you get it?).  Not sure if there will be a next time for this recipe.  However, my boys love S'mores and I didn't keep any for them to try, so another batch might be just for them.  However, I will eat just one.  All in the name of research!

A Picture:
Right before they go in the oven.  I should have smashed them more!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Michaels- 15% Teacher Discount Everyday!

Michaels is now promoting that they are giving teachers 15% off everyday! I'm sure you will have to show some sort of identification at the register and I'm sure they won't let you use coupons with this promotion, but please let me know if that's NOT the case! I am so glad Michaels has stepped up to help teachers keep a little money in their own pockets!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Just My o"PIN"ion on "The Greatest Queso On The Block"

Leftover Queso

There is something just wonderful about a bag of chips and a bowl of queso. Hopefully, it's the margarita in my hand close by.  Alright, so it's the fish bowl margarita and I can't hold it in my hand...whatever! Now, if I finish that fish bowl margarita, I'm sure any queso will be dubbed, "The Greatest Queso On The Block", but I decided to give this exact pin, from, a chance at the crown.

1 block cream cheese
1 block Velvetta Cheese
1 can Rotel
1 can Cream of Mushroom soup
1 pound hamburger or sausage or combo of both

Mix all the ingredients in a crockpot or in a bowl and warm until melted and combined.  Make sure you cook this on low in your crockpot or warm would be even better if you have this feature.

The Verdict:
I really don't know if I've ever run into a "bad" queso and this one was good.  However, I don't know if it deserves the title of "The Greatest Queso On The Block."  I happen to make a much better queso.  I think I will put it on here and then pin it, "The Best Freakin Queso You Ever Ate. Fish Bowl Margarita or Not!"


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