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20150317_185215

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 c coconut oil (melted)
  • 3 tbs cocoa or cacao powder
  • 2 tbs honey- raw if possible
  • 1 tsp stevia or truvia.
  • sweeten to taste
  • natural peanut butter- or other nut butter- just nuts- no sugars to be the healthiest

Directions:

  1. Mix first 4 ingredients together
  2. Pour a thin- very very thin layer in bottom of mini muffin tin, just enough to cover bottom
  3. Place in freezer for 3-5 minutes until firm
  4. Remove20150317_185055
  5. Place a dollop of peanut butter in center of each cup
  6. Cover with remaining chocolate
  7. Place back in freezer to chill
  8. Makes 12-16 cups depending on how thick you do your chocolate

Peanut butter cups

20150321_212912

Ingredients:

  • 1 c natural peanut butter, example Adam’s Peanut butter, or other peanut butter that is just nuts
    • Or 1 c other nut butter
  • ½ c stevia powder (not liquid)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla
  • 1-2 tbs water (as needed to get a non-crumbly texture)
  • Optional: Crio Bru grounds (2-4 tbs)
  • And/or Cacao Nibs

Directions:

  1. Dump first 4 ingredients in a stand mixer or bowl

    20150321_193734

    How the dough should look

  2. Mix them together
  3. Add water by the tbs until the dough is not so crumbly
  1. Optional- add crio bru grounds and/or cacao nibs to dough

    without cacao nibs

    without cacao nibs

  1. Roll into balls- like you do for regular PB cookies- mine made 24 small cookies
  2. Smash each one down either with a fork or like I do, with a spool
  3. Bake at *350 for 12-14 minutes
  4. Remove from oven and leave on tray to cool
  5. Enjoy!!!

*there will be a bubbly oil around them on the tray as they cook, it is fine

Sugar Free Peanut Butter Cookies

transforamtion with wordsWell it has been a long long time since I have posted here, life took over.  After 7 years of marriage and 4 losses, I was finally able to hold a pregnancy and in November of 2014 gave birth to a beautiful daughter who lights up our life.  I am now a Beachbody Coach and have lost all my baby weigh and then some.  Most of the things I now cook are healthier, but not always the best, I still love my food.

I will now try to post some of the newer things I bake and cook, some of which are 21 day fix approved, though I will not put down the containers and such, sorry.

I hope you all will enjoy some of my new recipes!!

Blackened Chicken Scampi

chicken scampiI have been on a quest for the perfect Chicken Scampi, which is my favorite thing to get at Olive Garden, for literally years.  After tons of experimentation, and a couple years living in NOLA, I finally came up with this fairly simple recipe.  I always make it blackened, but you could easily omit that part and just make the sauce and even bread the chicken- or use chicken strips.  We always use either penne or ziti as the pasta instead of the traditional spaghetti.  We like these pastas better because they soak up more of the super good sauce in the hollow center.  I hope you enjoy this as much as my husband and I do.

 

Blackened Chicken Scampi

(blackened- optional)

Ingredients:

  • 2 chicken breasts or 4 tenderloins- approx. 1 lb
  • 2 c (dried pasta) cooked- I use penne or ziti
  • 1 can cream of chicken soup (I use the fat free)
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbs minced garlic
  • ¼ c white wine
  • ¼ c milk
  • ¼ c chicken broth
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning
  • ¼ tsp crushed red pepper (optional) or
  • ¼ tsp Cajun/Creole seasoning- more for seasoning chicken before browning
  • Green peppers or mixed peppers cut up- lengthwise is best (optional)

Directions:

  1. Cook pasta- set aside2.23.13 017
  2. Clean chicken and sprinkle w/ Cajun Seasoning
  3. Brown chicken- set aside
  4. Cook peppers until soft (optional)- set aside
  5. In a mixing bowl- mix together the 9 ingredients starting with cream of chicken soup- add either crushed red pepper OR Cajun seasoning- Cajun if blackening chicken
  6. Dump contents of mixing bowl into skillet and let it simmer for 10- 20 minutes
  7. Layer pasta, peppers, and chicken on a plate or in a bowl- top with scampi sauce
  8. Serves 2 to 4 people- Enjoy!!

 

Blackened Chicken Scampi

2.23.13 018 2.23.13 015

I call these the Inserra Family Chocolate Chip Cookies– but this isn’t John’s mom’s recipe, she doesn’t bake (I learned to cook and use spices from her).  I actually learned to bake from my mom.  She is an awesome baker.  I grew up baking cookies and cakes.  Every Christmas, until I moved away, we would make somewhere between 20 and 30 different kinds of cookies- some of them double batches.  But, unlike my mom, I don’t just bake cookies at Christmas, I bake them year round.  This is the one I make the most often and since I have a TON of baking sheets, I can make the whole batch in like a half an hour or less.  It also helps that all I have to do is dump out the jar and add in the wet ingredients.

 

I hope you enjoy these as much as we do.  You can actually add any chip you want to this recipe, be creative, maybe a mix of white, semi-sweet, and milk to mix things up?  I’ve made this recipe like that before and called them triple chocolate chip cookies.  

 

It is important to use the Crisco, if you use butter or margarine these spread quite a bit and get flat.  I use Butter flavored Crisco in almost every cookie recipe, except my sugar cookies.  Maybe I’ll share that one someday… who knows.  I may actually try making those with Crisco in the future, just to give it a try, but I hate a wasted recipe, so I don’t know if I want to mess up my perfectly balanced, tried and true, sugar cookie recipe.

 Anyways, right now you have opened my vault and gotten a glimpse at my favorite chocolate chip cookies.  Enjoy!

 

Ingredients (Dry):

  • 1 c brown sugar
  • ½ c sugar
  • 1 ½ c chocolate chips- or whatever chip- semi-sweet are the best!
  • 2 c flour (all purpose)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda

 

Layer ingredients in Mason Jar- if you can’t fit chips- leave out- or on side- if for your cupboard- leave out chips- if a gift- try to add them

 

 

To bake cookies:

  • 1 c butter flavored Crisco (Crisco makes a less flat cookie)
  • 1 egg (large)
  • 1 tsp good real vanilla- I use Mexican

 

Directions:

  1. Sift dry ingredients to remove chips (if in jar)- set aside
  2. Beat softened butter, 1 egg, and 1 tsp vanilla together until smooth
  3. Add dry ingredients
  4. Mix until smooth
  5. Add chips
  6. Stir into batter
  7. Drop cookies about 1” apart on a cookies sheet lined with tin foil- I use a cookie scoop
  8. Bake at 350* for 8-13 minutes

 

Inserra Family Chocolate Chip Cookies

Basic Muffin Recipe

This is a staple in the Inserra household.   John especially likes chocolate chip muffins, but I actually like cinnamon the best, the next time I make them I will take pics and post how to make this recipe as cinnamon muffins since the process is a bit different.

 

This is a very versatile recipe, I have included a few samples of ways I have switched up this recipe to make different flavored muffins.  I hope you enjoy them as much as we do!  If you do decide to make them every week or so like I do, then putting all the dry ingredients into a mason jar and storing it in the cupboard is the quickest way to go, just buy yourself a canning funnel and make up 4 or so jars at a time.  These taste so much better than the box- but are just as easy.

 

Ingredients:

  • ¾ c milk (I use whole)
  • ¼ c canola oil
  • 1 egg
  • 2 c flour
  • ½ c white sugar
  • ½ c brown sugar, packed
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • Sugar in the Raw (for topping muffins)
  • 1 tsp vanilla (I use Mexican)

 

  • 1 cup whatever ingredient you want- be creative.  Try chocolate chips, semi sweet or milk, butter scotch, blueberries, raspberries, mixed berries, strawberries- whatever

 

  • Mix it up- add 1 c apples diced and ½ tsp or so cinnamon, or ½ c craisins and ½ c white chocolate chips

 

 

Directions:

  1. Heat oven to 400*
  2. Line tin w/ papers or grease liberally
  3. Beat milk, oil, and eggs together in a mixing bowl with a wire whisk
  4. Stir in flour, sugars, baking powder, and salt; mix until just moistened (batter will be a bit lumpy)- I use my trusty kitchen aide
  5. Add in extra ingredient, for example, chocolate chips, stir into batter
  6. Divide batter amongst 12 muffin cups- they will be very full
  7. Top with sugar in the raw
  8. Bake for about 25-28 minutes, or until golden brown

Basic Muffin Recipe

Those of you who follow my blog know all about my love of cooking, what those of you who do not know me in person do not know is that I am an excellent baker.  I am actually a much better baker than cook and because of this, I kind of horde my recipes.  I like to be the only one that can make certain things when I participate in a bake sale or do coffee hour after church.  I still haven’t decided what recipes I will share and what I will keep to myself, locked away in my secret vault, but today I am going to post a couple of my recipes that are baked on a very regular basis in the Inserra household, muffins, chocolate chip in our house, and chocolate chip cookies- yes we LOVE chocolate here.  We almost always have muffins on hand and we always have some sort of dessert and chocolate chip cookies are my husband’s favorite.  

Now, I love to bake and have created quite a few recipes all on my own, some more complicated than others, but when it comes to these two items, I am a bit of a lazy baker.  I don’t always want to pull out all of the ingredients, especially when it is like 7:00 pm and I just want to watch TV then do some yoga and go to bed.  I would much rather just dump one of those Betty Crocker packages into my stand mixer and be done with it, but I really hate the taste of pre-packaged baked goods, I am a bit of a baked goods snob.  Ok, more than a bit, I don’t think I have eaten a non-homemade cookie in at least 10 years- except for Oreo’s- homemade Oreo’s are not the same.  So, I decided to pre-package my two most used recipes in mason jars.

This was the best idea I have ever had- and it makes baking cookies or muffins seem so much less like a chore- oh- and I can also just whip out a house warming gift at the drop of a hat- just cover the lid w/ some scrap fabric, tie a ribbon around it, include the directions and voila- a beautiful homemade gift.

 

I hope you enjoy my two most made recipes.  Maybe I’ll post more, eventually.

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