Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Creme Pies

Oh. My. Goodness.  These turned out so so yummy! The pumpkin craze continues!

I was inspired to find a creme pie cookie recipe after a friend from school made homemade oatmeal creme pies one day last week.  (Check out Ashely’s blog, its so cute!) I got this recipe from the Tasty Kitchen, and these sure were tasty! The original recipe didn’t have chocolate chips, but I figured why not? Who doesn’t love a little chocolate?

This is such a great pumpkin recipe! Not to mention, making these were a great distraction from studying orthodontics.

Here’s the recipe, enjoy!!

Ingredients:

For Creme Pies:

  • 1 cup Brown Sugar
  • 1 cup Sugar
  • 1 cup Vegetable Oil
  • 1 can Pumpkin (15 Oz.)
  • 2 whole Eggs
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • 3 cups All-purpose Flour
  • 1 teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 1 teaspoon Baking Powder
  • 1 Tablespoon Cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon Ground Ginger
  • ½ teaspoons Salt
  • ½ teaspoons Ground Nutmeg
  • 2 cups Chocolate Chips (optional)
For Filling:
  • 1 package Cream Cheese Softened (8 Oz.)
  • 1 stick Unsalted Butter, Room Temperature
  • 1 package Powdered Sugar (16 Oz.)
  • 3 drops Vanilla Extract
  • 3 dashes Cinnamon
Instructions for creme pies:
1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Beat together brown sugar, sugar, oil and pumpkin. Add eggs one at time, mixing well after each addition, followed by the vanilla.
3. In a separate bowl, mix together the dry ingredients.
4. Slowly incorporate the dry ingredients into the wet until just combined. Fold in chocolate chips.
5. Spray baking sheets with PAM.  Spoon tablespoon full of batter on baking sheet.  Trying to keep each spoonful about the same size.
6. Bake for 12 minutes, or until firm.  Cool on rack.
Instructions for filling:
1. Beat together cream cheese and butter. Add powdered sugar, vanilla and cinnamon. Frost flat side of half the pies and top with another piece.

Ps – This filling is delicious!! As in it could’ve been spooned out of the bowl and eaten as it’s own food group kind of delicious
Spread filling on flat side of pie. Place a second pie, flat side down on top.
Now, it’s time to enjoy this delicious goodness.
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Easy Skillet Chicken Parm

Tonight for dinner I made an easy chicken parmesan recipe that I discovered on allrecipes.com.  I didn’t make too many changes to the recipe.  Chicken parm and eggplant parm are two of my favorite things to order at Italian restaurants, so I was pretty excited to find this recipe.  I like it for a couple of reasons, first because it doesn’t take forever to make and second because it didn’t involve any breading or deep frying, so it wasn’t as heavy (or unhealthy) as so many other chicken parm recipes are.  This turned out delicious, it’s a must try!

Enjoy!

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon garlic
  • 2 chicken breast, cut in half
  • Salt, pepper, italian seasoning
  • 2 cups of your favorite pasta sauce
  • 1/2 pound of cooked pasta (pasta’s come in one pound packages, so I used half for the two of us)
  • 1/4 cup grated parmasean cheese
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
Instructions:
1.  On medium-high heat, heat olive oil in skillet. Once hot, add garlic and chicken.  While chicken is cooking add pinch of salt, pepper, and italian seasoning to each side of chicken breast.
2.  Cook chicken breast for about 15 minutes total, until each side is a golden brown.
3.  Add pasta sauce and parmesan cheese. Reduce to medium heat, cover and cook for 10 minutes or until chicken is completely cooked through.
4.  Sprinkle with mozzarella cheese and let stand until cheese is completely melted.  Serve over pasta of your choice.
On the side I made some asparagus, that I cooked the same way that I made the zucchini with parmesan.  It turned out delicious! (Although Mina’s thoughts on the asparagus were – ewww whats that, those look alive).
Tonights meal was a success!

Shredded Buffalo Chicken Sandwiches

Tonight’s dinner was delicious and so easy! I will definitely be making this many more times 🙂 The whole meal was full of spice and flavor!  I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

I got this recipe idea from a super cute blog that I recently discovered, Peanut Butter Fingers.

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb chicken breast
  • Salt, pepper, ground red pepper
  • Your favorite kind of buffalo sauce, I used Franks Red Hot Buffalo Sauce (it”s not super spicy)
  • 1 tablespoon shredded parmasean cheese
  • Ranch dressing
  • Burger buns:
Instructions
1. Sprinkle chicken breast with salt, pepper, and ground red pepper.
2. Boil pot of water and poach chicken until fully cooked.  (About 15 minutes)
3.  Shred cooked chicken and place in saucepan.
4. Add 1/3 cup of buffalo sauce and 1 tablespoon of shredded parmesan cheese.  Heat all together on medium heat.
5.  Serve on bun of your choice, along with any another toppings you typically like on your buffalo chicken sandwich.  We are a big fan of ranch dressing and I recently discovered  a spicy ranch dressing…YUM!!
On the side I made some sweet potato fires and fresh veggies.  These spicy sweet fries, were awesome! I actually didn’t taste any spice, but they were still great. This was my first time trying this brand and I am a huge fan.  🙂 

Stuffed Green Peppers

Brace yourself for an AWESOME recipe. I made green bell peppers stuffed with ground beef and rice for dinner tonight.  Growing up my mama always made these for dinner.  She gave me her recipe and I swear I was following it, but mine never turned out as good as hers.  The stuffing always dried out.  Perhaps I wasn’t putting enough love in to it. But tonight, I had no such problem! I combined my moms recipe with a couple other ones that I found online…mission successful.

Enjoy!

Ingredients:

  • 3 large green peppers
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped onions
  • 1/2 pound lean ground beef
  • 1/2 can diced tomatoes (8 ounces)
  • 1 can tomato sauce (16 ounces)
  • 1/2 cup rice
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp italian seasoning
  • 1 tsp crushed red pepper (*optional, added for spice)
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheese of your choice (I used a blend of cheddar and mozzarella)
Instructions:
  1. Cut tops of green peppers off. Chop off enough of the tops of the green peppers to have 1/4 cup diced green pepper. Remove seeds and membranes from inside of peppers.
  2. Place whole green peppers in pot of boiling water, uncovered for 5 minutes.  Remove from pot and invert on paper towel.
  3. Heat olive oil in skillet.  Brown onions, ground beef and 1/4 cup of chopped green pepper.  Drain off excess fat.
  4. Add 1/2 can of undrained, diced tomatoes, 1/2 can of tomato sauce, rice, water, salt, italian seasoning, crushed red pepper, and black pepper to ground beef mixture in skillet.
  5. Bring to boil.  Reduce heat and cover until rice is tender.  I used brown rice, so it took about 45 minutes for my rice to cook. (white rice should take ~20 minutes)
  6. Stir in cheese.  Sprinkle salt on inside of green peppers. Stuff peppers with meat and mixture.
  7. In a casserole dish deep enough to hold green peppers up right, add remaining 1/2 of tomato sauce and 1/2 cup of water. This will act as a “bath” for the stuffed peppers to finish cooking in.
  8. Place stuffed peppers in casserole dish. Sprinkle peppers with a little extra cheese. Cover and bake on 400 degrees for 20 minutes.
  9. Dig in and enjoy!

Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies

It’s been a great first day of “summer” break.  I slept in, ran some errands, had lunch with the hubby, and when I got home I tried to fight the urge to bake…and I failed.  These cookies turned out amazing! They are so so moist and chocolatey and well, they hit the spot. Unfortunately they were soo good that I’ve already eaten three…and they’ve only been out of oven for 30 minutes. Epic. Fail. Hopefully I can pawn them off on friends before I eat them all!

Side note:  You know who’s not having a good day??  Diesel.  Poor puppy has an ear infection and a hurt paw…he looks so sad and helpless.  He’s on pain killers, ear drops, and antibiotics!! Poor pumpkin. His favorite treats are ice cubes (weird right?), so he’s been getting extra ice cubes and lots of love today…. hopefully he feels better soon!

Anyways, back to the cookies. Here’s the recipe, enjoy!

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup margarine
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup white sugar (or splenda!)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups rolled oats
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease cookie sheets. Stir together the flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon; set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, cream together the margarine, brown sugar and white sugar. Beat in the egg and vanilla. Stir in the dry ingredients using a wooden spoon. Mix in the oats and chocolate chips. Drop by tablespoonfuls onto cookie sheets, leaving 2 inches between cookies.
  3. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven, or until lightly browned. Allow cookies to cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.
  4. Dig in and enjoy!

Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

Yesterday was a friend’s birthday (Happy birthday Jess!) and the day before she had hinted at wanting some red velvet cupcakes… ask and you shall receive!!

I love using recipes from the Cake Mix Doctor because they’re so quick, easy, and always delicious.  I typically like to make all my cakes from scratch, but every once in while when I’m in a hurry I’ll use one of her recipes.  She always starts by using pre-made cake mix (like the kind you buy in a box from the grocery store).  But instead of following the directions on the back of the box, you follow her directions.  I didn’t really make any changes to her red velvet cupcake recipe, but I did use a different cream cheese frosting recipe that I’ve used in the past.  I promise these are easy to make, even if you’re not a baker! It’s a pretty straight forward recipe.

Ingredients:

  • Paper liners for cupcake pans (2 1/2 –inch size)
  • 1 package (18.25 ounces) plain German chocolate cake mix
  • 1 package (3.4 ounces) vanilla instant pudding mix
  • 1 cup reduced fat sour cream
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 bottle (1 ounce) red food coloring
  • 3 large eggs
Directions:
  1. Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350° F. Line cupcake cups with paper liners. Set the pans aside.
  2. Place the cake mix, pudding mix, sour cream, water, oil, food coloring, and eggs in a large mixing bowl. Blend with an electric mixer (or in kitchen aid mixer) on low speed for 30 seconds. Stop the machine and scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Increase the mixer speed to medium and beat 2 minutes more, scraping down the sides again if needed. The batter should look thick and well combined.
  3. Spoon or scoop 1/3 cup batter into each lined cupcake cup, filling it three quarters of the way full. (You should get between 22 and 24 cupcakes…I got 18) Place the pan in the oven.
  4. Bake the cupcakes until they spring back when lightly pressed with your finger, 18 to 20 minutes. Remove the pans from the oven and place them on wire racks to cool for 5 minutes. Take cupcakes out of pan and allow to completely cool before icing.  If you’re in a hurry you can always put them in the fridge to cool down quicker.
Now it’s time to make your frosting!
Ingredients:
  • 2 (8 ounces each) packages of reduced fat cream cheese*
  • 1/2 cup of light margarine*
  • 3 cups of confectioner’s sugar
  • 1 tsp of vanilla extract
* You can choose to use full-fat ingredients if you like! If you’re looking for a stiffer icing, I would use full-fat cream cheese and butter instead. You’re icing will be a little runnier if you stick to reduced fat ingredients…but you will be saving yourself many calories!!
Instructions:
  1. In a medium bowl, cream together the cream cheese and butter until creamy. Mix in the vanilla, then gradually stir in the confectioners’ sugar. Store in the refrigerator to thicken, if too runny.
  2. Ice cupcakes.
  3. Dig in and enjoy!
This frosting doesn’t turn out overwhelmingly sweet. It’s basically in your control…just add more or less confectioner’s sugar depending on how you like your icing!
If you’re looking for an overall healthier red velvet cupcake recipe, then check out my friend Sarah’s recipe! She says they turned out amazing 🙂