Fruity Pebbles Milkshake

Fruity Pebbles MilkshakeSo this happened. I know it is not the healthiest thing I can share with you. But curiosity and my daughter’s insistence got the better of me. The big cereal milkshake craze. Was it really worth all the hype? Well if bringing back cereal from your childhood combined with an ice cold vanilla milkshake doesn’t just make you want to smile, I don’t know what will. This isn’t technically much of a recipe your 4 year old couldn’t think up on their own. But hey, as the saying goes, “You are only as old as you feel.”

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 cup Fruity Pebbles (or your choice of cereal)
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 4 big scoops of vanilla bean ice cream
  • your choice of whipped topping
  • extra cereal to sprinkle on top

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Add the cereal and milk together in a bowl or measuring cup. Let sit in refrigerator for 2-3 minutes. Just enough time for the milk to absorb the cereal flavor.
  2. Meanwhile scoop ice cream into your blender.
  3. Add milk and cereal to ice cream in blender. Blend to desired consistency.
  4. Pour in glass and garnish with whipped topping and additional cereal.

This makes one large serving. Or split into two smaller portions. Sharing is caring. ūüôā

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Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Bars

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Bars PlatedEvery Valentine’s Day I make cupcakes to give out to family and friends. This year, I’m trying something different. And easier and a lot less time consuming. Not that they aren’t worth the time or effort. But sometimes it’s nice to have a quick and easy recipe when you are giving out sweets to many. ¬†Besides, who can resist soft and gooey, peanut butter and chocolate?

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1/2 cup butter, (1 stick), melted
  • 1/3 cup peanut butter (I used JIF smooth peanut butter; natural peanut butter can separate or be too oily)
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Meanwhile line an 8 x 8 baking pan with aluminum foil and lightly cover foil with baking spray. Set aside.
  2. In a large microwave-safe bowl melt the butter; about 1 minute on high power. Let cool for about 1 minute.
  3. In the bowl with melted butter, add peanut butter, brown sugar, vanilla, and egg.  Whisk until smooth.
  4. Add the flour and stir until combined.
  5. Stir in chocolate chips.
  6. Pour batter into prepared baking pan, smoothing the top lightly with a spatula.
  7. Bake for 23-25 minutes, or until done. A toothpick inserted into center should come out clean, no batter.
  8. Allow bars to cool for 30 minutes before slicing and serving.  Bars will keep at room temperature for up to 1 week.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Bars

 

Empress Chicken Wings

Empress ChickenI love chicken wings of all types. Savory, sweet or spicy. Baked, fried, grilled or sauteed. So when Super Bowl Sunday came around, I decided to treat everyone to chicken wings. By everyone, I mainly meant me.  I made three different types. But these were my favorite of the evening.  They were savory and sticky and just a little bit spicy from the ginger and red pepper flakes.  And although these took a few steps, it is still a really easy recipe to make.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 1/2 pounds chicken wings, disjointed, tips discarded
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1/3 cup Chinese cooking wine
  • 1 tablespoon ginger, minced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 cup water
  • 3 teaspoons brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ginger, minced for cooking sauce
  • 2 green onions, diced separated in two piles

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Combine the soy sauce, Chinese cooking wine, 1 tablespoon of ginger, garlic and red pepper flakes in a large bowl. Add the chicken wings and toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.
  2. Place cornstarch in a gallon size Ziploc type bag. Remove the chicken wings from the marinade. Be sure to reserve the marinade. Add chicken wings to the cornstarch in plastic bag.  Seal bag and toss or shake until all wings are completely coated in cornstarch.
  3. Using a large skillet with cover, heat oil to medium heat. Add the chicken wings, working in batches if needed.  Brown chicken wings on all sides. 8-10 minutes per side. Empress Chicken 1
  4. Remove chicken wings to a plate. Drain skillet of oil.  Place the skillet back on the burner and add the water, reserved marinade, brown sugar and 1 teaspoon of minced ginger. Stir to combine.
  5. Add the chicken wings back into the skillet and sprinkle with half of the diced green onions.Empress Chicken 2
  6. Cover and simmer on low heat for 15-20 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through and tender.
  7. Serve topped with pan sauce and remaining green onions as garnish.

To all those that celebrate the Lunar New Year, Gung Hay Fat Choy! Happy Year of the Monkey! Wishing you a year of happiness and health and delicious food!

Empress Chicken 3

Southwestern Style Rice

SW Rice platedOne day, I’m going to make my own tamales. But for tonight, I needed to make a side dish to go with the tamales I bought. Originally I was going to make a basic Mexican rice. But I decided to amp it up a little and add some beans and corn. I guess this would then make this more of a Southwestern style rice. This recipe makes a full skillet of rice. So a good 8-10 servings. If you need less, you may want to half the ingredients. ¬†Or save the extra and add shredded chicken to it for a chicken and rice dish to eat the next day!

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1/2 large onion, diced
  • 2 cups long grain rice
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 can (14.5 ounce) diced tomatoes with green chilies
  • 2 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 1 can (14.5 ounce) black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup frozen corn kernels, defrosted
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 ¬†teaspoon tumeric
  • fresh cilantro for garnish

DIRECTIONS:

Heat canola oil in a large skillet over medium high heat.

SW Rice 1

Add onions and cook for 3-4 minutes.

SW Rice 2

Reduce heat to low and add garlic and rice. Stir constantly to make sure the rice does not burn. Cook for 3 minutes.

 

Add diced tomatoes with green chilies.  Stir to combine.

SW Rice 5

Add black beans and corn.

SW Rice 6

Add chicken broth.

SW Rice 7

Then add cumin, chili powder, salt and tumeric.

SW Rice 9

Stir to combine. Increase heat back to medium high and bring to a boil.

SW Rice 10

Reduce heat back to low.  Cover and simmer for 20-25 minutes or until rice is done.

SW Rice 11

Garnish with fresh cilantro.

SW Rice pan