EASIEST PEANUT BUTTER FUDGE EVER !!!

A friend shared this recipe with me and I can guarantee you that I will be making this fudge over and over, it is REALLY fast and easy, and it is SUPER yummy!!

 
2 cups white sugar
1/2 cup evaporated milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup (smooth) peanut butter

In a medium sized saucepan (with a heavy bottom), mix 2 cups sugar and 1/2 cup evaporated milk. The heavy bottomed saucepan will keep this mixture from scorching.

Cook on medium high heat, stirring, until bubbles start to form around the edge of the pan. Turn the heat down to medium low and cook until the mixture starts to boil (bubbles all across the surface that don't go away when you stir it). Boil for exactly 2 1/2 minutes, stirring constantly.

Remove from heat and stir in vanilla and peanut butter. Mix until very smooth (whisk works well here).

You can pour this cooked mixture into any size pan you like (larger pan gives you thinner fudge), but just make sure you have lined the pan with parchment paper or foil first. I had great luck using a loaf pan.

Sit this pan of hot fudge on a cooling rack. After about an hour or so, the fudge will be FIRM, but still very warm. This is the BEST time to cut the fudge cleanly.  Just grab onto the parchment paper or foil that you lined the pan with, and lift the whole thing out of the pan. Slice the fudge with a THIN, SHARP knife.

You can also wait and cut the fudge after its completely cool, but it cuts easier and more cleanly if you cut it while its still warm.

Store cooled fudge in airtight container.
 
ENJOY !!!
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LEMON BLUEBERRY ZUCCHINI CAKE

This recipe is all over the Internet. So, when a friend asked me to make it for her family, I jumped right in. 

As written, I could see that the recipe might be a little heavy, so I made a couple very minor changes and it produced a wonderfully moist, tender and delicious cake.  I hope you'll try it, it's a breeze to make and our grandson labeled it "decadent"  (that's a good thing, I think? hahaha).


LEMON BLUEBERRY ZUCCHINI CAKE
2 cups finely shredded zucchini (squeezed dry)
1 pint fresh blueberries (I used about 2 cups)
3 eggs (I used room temperature eggs)
1 cup vegetable oil  (I use canola)
3 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon lemon extract  (my addition)
2  1/4  cups white sugar
3 cups CAKE FLOUR  (recipe originally said AP flour)
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda

Preheat oven to 350° and generously grease AND flour two 8" round cake pans (even if they are no stick).

Grate the zucchini (I used 2 small zucchini because they are very tender) and put then in a clean dish towel. Twist the towel closed around the zucchini and squeeze out the extra liquid (you will get quite a bit out), just keep twisting. Set aside.

Beat room temperature eggs, oil, vanilla extract, lemon extract and sugar together till well mixed. Fold in shredded zucchini by hand.

Sift the CAKE FLOUR (regular flour will work but it will give you a much heavier cake) into a large bowl, then gently dip in your measuring cup and level off the cup with a straight edge. Add 3 of these sifted cups of cake flour 1 cup at a time, mixing well in between each addition, but don't over mix.

Fold in the blueberries (save a few out for decoration).  Divide the batter in between the 2 prepared cake pans. Gently drop the pans on the counter to dislodge any possible air pockets.

Bake at 350° for 35-40 minutes. My electric oven took exactly 35 minutes. Test for doneness with the toothpick test.

Cool in cake pans for 20 minutes, then gently turn out of pan, onto a baking rack. Wrap the HOT cakes in plastic wrap and let cool completely.


When completely cool, unwrap the cakes and frost with lemon buttercream frosting and decorate with more blueberries.

Frosting
1 cup room temperature high quality butter (no substitutions)
3  1/2 cups powdered sugar
Juice of 1 lemon (2 tablespoons)
1 teaspoon lemon extract
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon salt

Beat butter with electric mixer until smooth. Add everything else and beat on high till light and fluffy.


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Skinny Broccoli Salad

This is such a great dish to bring to your next potluck or BBQ! I substituted plain Greek yogurt for most of the mayo to lighten it up.


This healthier version is delicious and has added flavor from sliced almonds, bacon bits and cheese! 


So let's get to the recipe which is so easy because it doesn't involve cooking! No need to get your kitchen hot when summer comes around the corner. Just take 3 cups of broccoli florets in place them in a bowl. Make sure the broccoli has been washed. If you want to save time, you can purchase the broccoli florets already cut up.


Next, you will need to make the yogurt sauce which consists of yogurt, mayo, sweetener, apple cider vinegar and salt. I like to use NuNaturals NuStevia white stevia powder packets. I find they do not leave a bitter after taste, but you can use your choice of sweetener. If you are interested, I get my stevia packets on Amazon.


Get that broccoli coated!


Add the sliced almonds for added crunch!


Add  some yummy savory bacon bits that go well with the sweetened yogurt sauce.


And of course we can't forget the cheese! Stir it all up and you have a delicious quick and easy side dish!


 Skinny Broccoli Salad

Ingredients:
3 cups broccoli florets (6 Greens)
1/4 cup 2% Fage plain Greek yogurt (1/6 Lean)
2 tbsp reduced fat mayo (2 Healthy Fats)
2 packets Nu Naturals Stevia or sweetener of choice (2 Condiments)
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar (1/2 Condiment)
1/4 tsp salt, optional (1 Condiment)
2 tbsp low sodium real bacon bits (2 Condiments)
1 oz sliced almonds (2 Optional Snacks)
1/3 cup reduced fat shredded cheddar cheese (1/3 Lean)

Directions:
Place washed broccoli florets in a medium sized bowl, set aside.
In a small bowl, combine yogurt, mayo, sweetener, vinegar and salt. Stir until smooth.
Pour yogurt mixture over broccoli and stir until all combined. Add sliced almonds, bacon and cheese. Toss gently until all pieces are evenly coated. 

Makes 2 Servings
Each Serving provides:
1/4 Lean, 3 Greens, 3 Condiments, 1 Healthy Fat and 1 Optional Snack 
You still need to add 3/4 Leaner or Leanest to complete your Lean for the day.

Some examples:
4.5 oz chicken breast from the Leaner category
5.2 oz of shrimp, tilapia, 99% lean ground turkey, or 1 1/2 cup egg beaters from the Leanest category plus 1 additional Healthy Fat


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Mexican Mac and Cheese (Cauliflower)

Nothing beats comfort food like mac and cheese! I absolutely love mac and cheese, but I don't love all the carbs and calories that come with it! Those I can definitely live without! This recipe is a great alternative to traditional mac and cheese and it tastes pretty darn good if I do say so myself. You still get the same great taste from the gooey cheese sauce, but without the starch from pasta. 

I gave this mac and cheese a little kick by adding some green chilies, green peppers and taco seasoned ground beef. Mexican Mac and Cheese! Sometimes you need to add a little variety to your meals!


And why did I need comfort food on this very day? Not that I needed a reason to make comfort food, but if I had a reason, it just might make me feel better. Okay... probably not, since this dish is totally on plan and I have no guilt whatsoever in devouring it because yes... that is what I did. Not a morsel left on my plate. It just felt like I was cheating, even though I wasn't.


Now this is what I saw outside in my backyard! A cloudy rainy day in Vegas screams comfort food!


Not only was it raining, but there was hail! In the month of May! Now if that doesn't scream comfort food, then I don't know what does.


I cut up the cauliflower into small bite size pieces and cooked them until tender. You can use frozen or fresh cauliflower for this recipe, but I used fresh.


I added canned green chilies, green peppers and jalapenos to the cauliflower, but feel free to use red peppers instead of the green for extra color.


Then add taco seasoned ground beef.


Stir it up and set aside because it is time to make the best part! The cheese sauce!


Add all the ingredients for the sauce and stir until smooth.


Pour the sauce over the cauliflower and ground beef mixture.


Give it a good stir and make sure all the bits and pieces are coated with the cheese sauce. You wouldn't want any piece to feel left out!


Pour it into a casserole dish.


Sprinkle the rest of the cheese on top and pop it in the oven for about 15 minutes or until the cheese is melted. Enjoy!

Mexican Mac and Cheese

Ingredients:
7.5 oz cooked 93% lean ground beef, fat drained (1 1/2 Leans)
2 tsp low sodium taco seasoning mix (4 Condiments)
5 cups cooked cauliflower, cut into small florets (10 Greens)
1/2 cup chopped green chilies (1 Green)
1/2 cup green or red peppers, diced (1 Green)
1 oz pickled jalapenos, chopped (1 Optional Snack)

For the sauce:
1 cup unsweetened cashew milk (1 Condiment)
4 tbsp or 2 oz reduced fat cream cheese (4 Condiments)
1 tsp dijon mustard (1 Condiment)
1 tbsp Kraft reduced fat grated parmesan cheese (1/2 Condiment)
1/4 tsp garlic powder (1/2 Condiment)
1 1/2 cups shredded reduced fat Mexican or sharp cheddar cheese (1 1/2 Leans)

Topping:
1 cup shredded reduced fat Mexican or sharp cheddar cheese (1 Lean)

Directions:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray a 9 inch square casserole dish lightly with cooking spray.

Combine cooked ground beef with taco seasoning mix and 3 tbsp of water in a small skillet. Heat over medium high heat. Cook until sauce thickens, about 4 to 5 minutes stirring occasionally.

In a large bowl, combine seasoned ground beef, cauliflower pieces, green chilies, green or red peppers and jalapenos. Set aside.

Pour cashew milk into a medium sized sauce pan over medium-low heat. Add the cream cheese, dijon mustard, parmesan cheese, and garlic powder. Stir until combined and cream cheese is melted. Add 1 1/2 cups cheese. Continue cooking until cheese is melted and sauce is nice and smooth, about 2 minutes.

Pour the cheese sauce over the cauliflower beef mixture and stir until everything is coated with the cheese sauce. Pour mixture into a prepared dish. Sprinkle 1 cup of cheese over the top. Bake for about 15 minutes or until cheese is melted. Divide into 4 equal portions.

4 Servings with 
1 Lean, 3 Greens, 2.75 Condiments and 1/4 Optional Snack per serving

Click Here to Print

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Shredded French Dip Sandwiches

My neighbor, Heather, introduced me to these sandwiches. She and her husband invited us over for dinner so we could get to know our new neighbors and she served these French Dip Sandwiches for dinner. Oh my goodness…they were so far past amazing that I begged her for this recipe. She was happy to share and 7 years later, we are still good friends! She loves to cook and has shared so many recipes with me that have become family favorites!
I make these a lot for family that come in from out of town because they feed up 6 to 8 people. Here’s a secret about how to make the meat tender. Cook the meat in the slow cooker on low for at least 8 hours. I typically let mine continue to cook for about  9 or 10 hours. You cant really overcook roast. I took these to work this past week for a pot luck and I woke up at 2 AM to start the crock pot! I wanted these to be tender!
Ok, so these are not gluten free. Sorry – they just aren’t and I haven’t found a gluten free substitute for beef consomme or french onion soup. But seriously – this one is so good, I counldn’t NOT post it. That would not have been fair to not share this one because it is definitely worth repeating! Enjoy!
Ingredients
  • 1 3lbs beef chuck roast
  • 1 10.5 ounce can beef consomme
  • 1 teaspoon of bouillon granules or 1 beef bouillon cube
  • 1 10.5 ounce can french onion soup
  • 1 10.5 ounce can beef broth
  • 8-10 french rolls

Directions
  • Halve roast and place in a slow cooker.
  • Combine all ingredients except for the rolls and pour over roast.
  • Cover and cook on low for 8 to 10 hours.
  • Ensure the meat is tender.
  • Remove meat and shred with two forks.
  • Serve on rolls. Slim the fat from the cooking juices and serve as an au jus dipping sauce.

Recipe source: inspired by Heather Huberich

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EASIEST NO-BAKE CAKE IN THE WORLD

The title, Easiest No-Bake Cake in the World, is not an exaggeration, that's for sure. It is also very impressive to serve, and EVERYONE wants the recipe. It's delicious, unique and SUPER EASY to make.


Before I give you the "recipe", let me just say that there really isn't a recipe. It's just homemade whipped cream, chocolate wafer cookies (chocolate graham crackers work too), and some decorations (nuts, candies, sprinkles, etc.). Then it sits in the fridge overnight. By the next day, the cookies (or graham crackers) will have softened, and they will taste just like cake !!

OK, here goes: The recipe calls for Nabisco chocolate wafer cookies, but some people have a hard time finding them (and they are expensive), that's why I'm suggesting CHOCOLATE graham crackers work equally as well (I think the chocolate graham crackers even taste better than these wafer cookies).

 
The recipe also calls for homemade whipping cream.  You can use Cool Whip if you have to, but it won't be as TASTY as homemade whipped cream:

3 cups heavy whipping cream
5 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla Extract

Beat these ingredients with an electric mixer (on high) until stiff peaks form, but don't over whip because it starts to taste like butter.

HINT: If you live in a hot climate, put your bowl and beaters in the freezer for 5 minutes (to cool them down) before making the whipped cream.

Now, it's time to assemble:  make 4 stacks of cookies (or chocolate graham crackers) 9 cookies high, putting some whipped cream in between each cookie, like this:


Next, lay the stacks on a serving plate next to each other (not end to end). They will want to smoosh around a little, but a very flat thin spatula will help you lift and maneuver each stack. It should look like this:

It's important to arrange them like this, so that when you serve this cake, you will be cutting ACROSS the cookies (the reason will be more obvious in the following photos.

Next cover the whole "cake" with a nice thick layer of whipped cream, like this:


Decorate (or don't decorate) the top of it with whatever you like: nuts, crushed candies, sprinkles, etc.

Cover lightly with plastic wrap and
chill overnight before you serve.
 
When it comes time to serve, cut the cake with a sharp, thin bladed, knife. It will slice through the softened cookies easily.
 
 
See why it's important to arrange the cookies cross wise, so when you cut it, you get this impressive design?
 
Store, covered, in the fridge and be prepared for recipe requests.
 
 
ENJOY !!!



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HOT FUDGE SUNDAY CAKE FOR MOTHERS DAY

Click On This Photo For
The Full YUMMMMM-factor

 
The first time I saw this recipe, I knew I had to try it because it had a lot of things going for it. First and foremost, it is an ooey-gooey chocolate dream. Secondly, there are no mixing bowls (you mix it right in the baking pan). Thirdly, it does not require any special ingredients (not even butter or eggs). And finally, this super-tender chocolate cake bakes on top of a rich hot fudge sauce…need I say more?

3/4 cup all-purpose flour
2/3 cup white sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened baking cocoa
(divided)

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup milk
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
2/3 cup brown sugar (packed)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups boiling water
1 1/2 teaspoons instant coffee granules
Vanilla ice cream


Preheat oven to 350°. In an (un-greased) 8”x8” baking pan, mix flour, white sugar, 1/4 cup of the cocoa, baking powder and salt (stir it up to combine); add the milk and oil and stir until the batter is well mixed.

.
Mix the brown sugar and 1/4 cup of cocoa together and sprinkle evenly over the batter (DO NOT MIX IT IN).
.
Combine the boiling water, vanilla and instant coffee and gently pour it over everything (DO NOT MIX IT IN).
.
Bake for 35 minutes (the hot fudge sauce will bubble up from underneath and around the edges of the cake as it bakes). Allow this to cool for 15 minutes before you serve it (just make sure it's very warm when you serve it).
.
To serve, top a slice of cake with scoop of vanilla ice cream and spoon the hot fudge sauce (from the bottom of the pan)over the ice cream.

.
As simple as this dessert is…it is just unique enough (and delicious enough) for company as well.
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Hawaiian Banana Flip Dip

This is by far one of my favorite dessert recipes. My dad has been making this ever since I was a little girl and I still love it today! We always called this one, "Banana Flip Dip" but my dad recently told me it's a Hawaiian dessert so we have started calling it "Hawaiian Banana Flip Dip! I have no idea where he got this recipe. He probably came up with it on his own, since that's what he tends to do!

This one can be made gluten free ONLY if you use gluten free graham crackers.

If you are making this dish, be aware that it must chill for at least 6 hours for all the ingredients to set and become firm. It will be runny and not taste great if it doesn't sit. I always let mine sit and chill in the refrigerator overnight.

This one is a GREAT summer dish! Nice and cool and refreshing! You can decorate this dish however you want. I put fresh mint leaves from the garden on this one, but you could very easily make this one look like an American Flag for a 4th of July Celebration. All you would need to do is add blueberries and strawberries!

Enjoy!

Ingredients

  • 2 cups of graham cracker crumbs (if you are gluten free, use a gluten free graham cracker)
  • 2 sticks of butter, softened to liquid
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 egg whites
  • 2 cans crushed pineapple (drained)
  • 6 bananas
  • 1 medium container of Cool Whip
  • 1 small package pecan chips
Garnish with maraschino cherries

Directions

  • Mix 1 stick of butter and graham cracker crumbs together.
  • Pour into a 9x13 pyrex dish, spread evenly and compact firmly to form the bottom layer.
  • Next, mix the powdered sugar, egg whites, and 1 stick of butter together.
  • Mix on high speed for 10 minutes.
  • Pour mixture evenly on top of crust.
  • Slice bananas by 1/4" slices.
  • Place slices on top of mixture close together so they cover the entire dessert.
  • Spread pineapple evenly on top of bananas.
  • Top with cool whip and sprinkle pecan pieces on top of cool whip.
  • Put 6 Maraschino cherries op top.
  • Chill for at least 6 hours before serving.


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