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Cookies, Recipes

Melt in Your Mouth Chocolate Chip Bars

Got a sweet tooth and love chocolate? Then these chocolate chip bars are for you!

They start with my brown butter chocolate chip cookie recipe and are filled with milk chocolate and sweetened condensed milk. The brown butter and brown sugar gives a toffee-like richness to the cookie bars. And they are so easy to make in a 9×13-inch pan; no scooping or rolling needed. Just press and bake!

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 bag of milk chocolate chips
  • 1 14 ounce can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 4.4 ounce large milk chocolate bar, chopped 

INSTRUCTIONS

Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring often, about 6 minutes, until it becomes brown in color. It will foam, reduce, then foam again. Once it’s done cooking the foam is a light brown and it will dissipate after you remove it from the heat. Once it starts to brown, keep stirring so it doesn’t burn. Let sit for about 5 minutes to cool.

Pour into an electric mixer fitted with paddle attachment. While still hot, add both sugars and mix on low until combined. Let sit to cool for a few minutes.

While the butter mixture is cooling, combine flour, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl. Whisk and set aside.

Turn the mixer on low. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing completely.  

Mix in vanilla extract. 

Add flour mixture one cup at a time to the wet ingredients and mix until combined. Stir in chocolate chips.

Line a 9×13” baking pan with parchment paper for easy removal.

Press half the cookie dough in the prepared pan. Pour sweetened condensed milk over the top of the bottom layer (be careful to leave about 1/4” edge around the pan, then sprinkle the chopped chocolate bar over the top. 

Press the remaining cookie dough on top of milk and chopped chocolate bar. Press with your hands to flatten. It will mostly cover but not completely cover the bottom layer.

Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Bake for about 35-45 minutes until the tops of the bars start to get golden brown. 

Cool completely before slicing into bars.

Healthy, Recipes

Lemon Pepper Salmon

This baked lemon pepper salmon only takes 12 minutes in the oven before dinner is served! 

This baked lemon pepper salmon recipe is such a delicious and easy way to prepare salmon in the oven. It only takes 12 minutes at 400ºF to whip up this healthy dinner idea!

Salmon cooks up so fast, has a beautiful mild flavor without the fishy-ness, and is very easy to find at your local grocery store. You don’t need a whole lot of effort and time to make this salmon taste amazing.

Feel free to turn this into a one pan meal by adding some of your favorite veggies like broccoli, asparagus or even potatoes. 

INGREDIENTS

2 5-oz. salmon filets

1.5 teaspoons lemon pepper

salt, to taste

2 lemon, sliced into wheels

Lemon zest, for garnish

INSTRUCTIONS

First, preheat the oven to 400ºF.

Next, prepare salmon, by placing a double piece of paper towel on a large plate. Place salmon filets on top of the paper towel, skin-side down and then place another piece of paper towel on top. Use your hands to press the paper towel into the salmon in order to remove as much moisture as possible.

Next, prepare a baking sheet with foil and cooking spray.

Then place the salmon filets on top skin-side down.

Sprinkle on a generous amount of lemon pepper seasoning on top of each filet. And, season with salt to taste and place lemon wheels on top.

Bake at 400ºF for 12-14 minutes or until the salmon is cooked all the way through a

Cocktails

The Classic & The Spicy Margarita

Stop using margarita mix. For a classic margarita recipe all you need is tequila, fresh lime juice, triple sec, and simple syrup.

The classic Margarita is one of the most popular cocktails in the world.I’m a sucker for a classic and a spicy one! The key to the Spicy Margarita’s heat is fresh jalapenos. 

Here’s my two go-to favorite margarita recipes. 

INGREDIENTS

Classic

  • 1 lime wedge
  • 1 tablespoon coarse salt, for glass rims
  • 4 ounces high-quality blanco tequila
  • 2 ounces Cointreau
  • 1 1/2 ounces fresh juice 
  • Lime wheels for garnish

Spicy

  • 1 lime wedge
  • 2 jalapeno coins
  • 2 ounces blanco tequila
  • 1/2 ounce orange liqueur
  • 1 ounce lime juice, freshly squeezed
  • 1/2 ounce agave syrup
  • 1 tablespoon coarse salt, for glass rims
  • Jalapeno coin, garnish
  • Lime wheels, garnish

INSTRUCTIONS 

If you’d like a salt rimmed glass, slice a lime into quarters and rub one of the quarters along the rim of a glass. Spread margarita salt onto a small plate and turn the glass upside down into the salt. The salt should stick to the rim.

In a cocktail shaker, combine all ingredients. Fill with ice and shake until thoroughly chilled, about 15 seconds (the bottom of a metal shaker should frost over).

Fill glasses with fresh ice and strain margarita into both glasses. 

Garnish and serve.

Recipes, Small Bites

Baked Buffalo Chicken Wings

Crispy Oven-Baked Buffalo Chicken Wings are so easy to prepare with no need for oil or deep frying.

Buffalo Chicken Wings are the perfect game-day or any day appetizer, marinated in a buffalo sauce, and baked to perfection with just the right amount of heat.

Did you know?
Chicken wings were first cooked in a hot sauce for a late-night snack back in 1964, at a bar in Buffalo, New York. Since then, buffalo wings can be found on most bar menus across the world especially when it’s game-day, you can be sure that tables are full of wings and beer.

This recipe is so easy to make. These buffalo wings are baked instead of fried, but are just as crispy and delicious. And, what makes it even better is that you can eat the wings hot and fresh right out of the oven. Serve them with my homemade Blue Cheese dressing or Ranch for dipping, and you’ve got an awesome snack or meal with less fat and calories.

INGREDIENTS

CHICKEN WINGS

  • 4 pounds chicken wings
  • 1 tablespoon free baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • Pinch of cracked pepper

BUFFALO SAUCE:

  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup Frank’s Original Red Hot Sauce
  • 1-2 tablespoons honey, white sugar or brown sugar (adjust to suit your tastes)

BLUE CHEESE Dressing:

  • 1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese softened
  • 1/3 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • Pinch of salt
  • Pinch of cracked black pepper

INSTRUCTIONS

Adjust oven rack to upper-middle position and preheat oven to 450°F.
Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminium foil.
Pat dry chicken wings liberally with paper towels, squeezing out as much moisture as you can. Transfer them to a large bowl.

In a small bowl, combine the baking powder, garlic powder, salt and pepper together, whisking well to combine, and sprinkle the mixture over the wings. Toss wings through the baking powder mixture until evenly coated.

Arrange on the prepared pan, leaving about 1-inch of space between each wing.
Bake for 20 minutes; flip and continue to cook for an additional 20 minutes. Repeat these steps until crisp and golden brown, (about 60-80 minutes total), until golden browned and crispy.

While the wings are cooking, whisk together hot sauce, butter and sugar in a saucepan. Once butter has melted and sauce is bubbling remove from heat.
Toss wings through the sauce to evenly coat.

Serve wings immediately with blue cheese dressing or ranch dressing, and celery sticks.

Recipes

Sunshine State of Mind Pizza

Sunshine State of Mind Pizza

Tranquil beaches with warm ocean breezes and soft sand, it’s always grilling season in Florida… This grilled pizza has all your favorite Florida flavors fresh-squeezed Orange juice and Tupelo honey plus a smoky aroma that will have your family and friends begging for more. 

Paired with a glass of Sauvignon Blanc, it’s perfect for a beach picnic or backyard pool party.

INGREDIENTS 

Pizza Dough

  • 2 cups “00” flour 
  • 3/4 cup lukewarm water
  • 1 packet of Active Dry Yeast
  • 1 tsp Fine Sea Salt
  • 1/2 tsp Granulated Sugar
  • 1 tablespoon EVOO

Sauce

  • 1 tablespoon EVOO
  • 1 medium shallot, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ¼  teaspoon red pepper flakes 
  • ¼  cup freshly squeezed Orange juice
  • ¼ cup Tupelo Honey
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest
  • 2 tablespoon Sauvignon Blanc
  • ¼ teaspoon salt 
  • Dash of pepper

Toppings

  • 4 oz goat cheese
  • 1 cup arugula
  • 4 slices thinly sliced prosciutto
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest

INSTRUCTIONS 

In a large mixing bowl, combine flour and salt. In a small mixing bowl, stir together the water, the yeast and sugar, let it sit for 5 minutes. Then pour it into the flour mixture. Knead with your hands until well combined, adding flour as needed to make smooth dough, approximately 5 minutes. Pour a small amount of EVOO into a large bowl and coat the bottom and sides. Add the dough, turning to coat. Cover the bowl with a kitchen towel and let it rest for 30 minutes. Remove ball, knead and form a new ball of dough, cover with towel and let rest for additional 30 minutes. 

In a medium saucepan, heat 1 tablespoon of EVOO medium heat. Sauté the shallot garlic and red pepper flakes until softened. Add honey, orange zest and juice, 1/4 teaspoon salt, a dash of pepper. Simmer, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes. Add the wine, stir and simmer for 5 more minutes. 

Prepare a small bowl with olive oil for greasing the grill grates and for brushing the pizza.

Once the grill is hot, dip a tightly folded up paper towel in olive oil and use tongs to wipe the grill grates. Then place a pizza dough round on a lightly 00 floured pizza peel. Let the dough slide onto the hot grill grates. Close the lid of the grill and let cook for 2 minutes.

Once the pizza dough has browned lightly on one side, use your cookie sheet or pizza peel to remove it from the grill. Use a spatula to flip the dough over so that the grilled side is now up. Brush the honey orange sauce onto the grilled surface of the pizza, then top with dollops of goat cheese and slices of prosciutto. If you are using a gas grill, reduce the heat. If working with a charcoal grill, close the vents on the cover almost all the way. Close the lid and cook for 2-3 minutes more, or until the bottom begins to char.

Pull off the grate with a spatula onto a cutting board or other flat surface and let rest for a couple minutes before cutting into slices. Top with a handful of arugula and drizzle of the remaining sauce. Slice and serve!

Oven Method

If using the oven, Preheat the oven an hour before making pizza. 

450°F to 500 °F degrees.

Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, or until the crust is browned. Remove from the oven and top with arugula and orange zest. Drizzle with remaining honey orange sauce.

Cocktails

The Perfect Bloody Mary with a Bacon Skewer

Sundays are for Brunching & Bloody Mary Bars!

The Bloody Mary is one of the world’s best known cocktails, prized for its ability to jumpstart even the laziest of mornings. Its origins aren’t exactly clear, but the likely backstory points to the mid-1930s and Fernand “Pete” Petiot, a bartender at King Cole Bar at the St. Regis hotel in New York City.

So next time, you have yourself a Bllody Mary make sure you say Cheers to Pete!

INGREDIENTS

1 cup ice cubes 

1.5 fluid ounce @Tito’s Handmade Vodka

¾ cup @Zingzang 

1 stalk celery 

2 Green Olives

2 pieces Get Yourself a Husband Bacon

2 lemon & lime wedges

Dash of Oldbay seasoning 

INSTRUCTIONS

 Fill the glass with ice cubes.

In a cocktail mixer full of ice, combine the vodka, zing zang, and old bay seasoning. Shake vigorously and strain into the glass.

Garnish with a stalk of celery, bacon, olives, lemon and limes.

Recipes, Small Bites

Fresh Eggplant Bruschetta

Bruschetta is easily one of my all-time favorite appetizer!

It’s eggplant season! I love this pretty, versatile vegetable and coming up with new ways to use it. Once you make this bruschetta, it will become an easy go-to for using up summer tomatoes and eggplant for years to come.

If you’re looking for a more substantial meal add this as a topping to your favorite pasta!

INGREDIENTS

  • Extra Virgin olive oil
  • Two 1-pound eggplants, chopped
  • ½ yellow onion, diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon capers
  • 1/4 cup packed basil leaves, coarsely shredded
  • One pint cherry tomatoes 
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • pinch of sugar
  • 1 loaf French bread, 1/2 inch slices
  • Freshly grated Parmesan

INSTRUCTIONS

Heat the olive oil in a large saute pan over medium heat. 

Add in the diced onion and eggplant and cook over medium heat for 10-15 minutes or until the eggplant is tender, stirring frequently. Add in the garlic, red pepper flakes and basil leaves half way through cooking.

Add the cherry tomatoes to the eggplant. Season with salt, pepper and a pinch of sugar. 

Cover the pan, wait for the tomatoes to burst for about ten minutes. Squish any whole tomatoes with a wooden spoon and let the tomatoes thicken, about 1 minute. 

Stir in the capers and stir to combine. 

Taste and add the salt & pepper if needed. 

Heat the broiler. 

Brush the bread slices with olive oil and sprinkle with parmesan cheese on both sides. 

Char the bread on both sides.

Spoon the bruschetta onto the bread and top with grated Parmesan and remaining basil leaves. Dig in!

Early Riser, Recipes

Microwave Fluffy Eggs

Have you heard of cake in a mug? Well, this is just as easy, if not easier! 

These eggs are perfect for hectic mornings on the run! Ready in under two minutes, these eggs come out with that same classic flavor of stovetop scrambled eggs. You can eat them straight out of the mug or plop them on a breakfast sandwich! 

The other great thing about these is there’s less clean up. You mix and cook the eggs in the same mug. No pan to clean just a single coffee mug.

Feel free to add different seasonings or cheeses, this recipe is totally versatile! 

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 teaspoon butter
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon whole milk (or cream)
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • Pinch black pepper
  • ¼ cup shredded cheddar cheese

INSTRUCTIONS

In a small microwave-safe bowl, microwave the butter until melted, about 30 seconds. 

Brush it all over the bowl.

Break the eggs into the bowl. Add the milk, salt, and pepper. Whisk to combine.

Microwave the eggs, uncovered, for 45 seconds.

Gently stir the eggs with a fork, then stir in the cheese. Microwave until fluffy and set but not completely dry, about 45-60 more seconds.
Serve immediately.

Cakes & Pies, Recipes

Lemon IceBox Cake

This no-bake lemon icebox cake is light, refreshing layers of lemon pudding, cool whip, and graham crackers then is topped with lemon zest for the perfect summer dessert!

Icebox cakes are so simple to make and are always a crowd pleaser when brought to summer get-togethers or BBQs.

Ingredients

  • 2 (3.5 ounce) packages instant lemon pudding mix
  • 1 (8 ounce) package Cool Whip
  • 3 cups milk
  • Zest of ½ of a lemon
  • ½ of a lemon juice
  • 1 (16 ounce) package graham crackers

Lemon Frosting:

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons milk
  • Zest of ½ of a lemon
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 Tablespoons lemon juice

Instructions

In a large bowl, mix together the pudding mixes, zest of lemon, lemon juice, Cool Whip, and milk.

In a 9 x 13 inch pan, place a single layer of graham crackers on the bottom of the pan (you may need to break a few graham crackers so that the entire bottom of the pan is covered).

Spread half of the pudding mixture evenly over the graham crackers. 

Place another single layer of graham crackers on top of the pudding and then layer the second half of the pudding on top of those crackers.

Place one more single layer of graham crackers on top of the pudding.

Mix together ingredients for the lemon frosting and spread over all.

Cover and place in the fridge for about 4 hours.

This cake is even better the next day.

On the Side, Recipes

Slow Cooked Mexican Corn

This Mexican Street Corn recipe (also known as Esquites) is packed with fresh flavors and cotija cheese! It’s slow cooked for 3 hours in cheesy cream sauce, and zesty seasonings that make it insanely delicious. The perfect side for any barbecue or summer get-together!

Sides in the slow cooker are also a great way to save space in the oven and keep your house cool during the summer.

Fresh or Frozen Corn? Well, there are benefits to each. You can get frozen any time of the year. Fresh is, well, fresh. Either will work for this dish.

Ingredients 

  • 6-7 ears of corn shucked and broken in half
  • 13.66 oz. can light coconut milk or low fat milk
  • 2 Tbsp. honey
  • 1/2 cup salted butter
  • 4 tablespoons fresh lime juice approximately 2 limes
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 cup cotija cheese, crumbles
  • 1 bunch fresh cilantro 

Instructions:

Add the corn to the slow cooker. You can arrange them nicely to get them to fit better.

Pour coconut milk, lime juice, and seasonings in a medium bowl and whisk until combined.

Pour  the coconut milk mixture over the corn.

Drizzle over the honey and ½ cup of the cheese. Cut up the butter into pieces and add to the slow cooker.

Cover and cook on HIGH for 3 hours without opening the lid during the cooking time. (4 hours for frozen corn)

To serve, sprinkle with remaining paprika, cheese and cilantro

.

Enjoy!