Mini Pancake and Sausage Breakfast Bites

This is what happens when fluffy pancake blankets get cozy with a few sausage links and they go for a dip in a warm maple syrup bath.  Good things happen, friends, very good things.      IMG_7153First off, let me apologize for not posting a recipe last week!  I am so sorry I’ve been slacking!  Valentine’s Day came and went, (I’m still not engaged FYI) and life is suddenly crazy busy with a bunch of little things!  And I feel like they just keep coming!  The good news is, while I haven’t been blogging, I have been accomplishing things for Karlie and Oats!

One cool thing is that there are officially business cards floating around the Denver Metro area with my name on them!  I’ve been handing those things out like candy.  Another thing I did was filed my taxes!  Why is that significant, you ask?  Well, with my tax refund I plan to revamp the blog!  I’ve got a redesign planned, I’m working on getting a new camera, self-hosting talk is being thrown around…? AH!  I am nervous…but stinkin’ excited, too.  Keep checking back!  BIG THINGS AHEAD!

Meanwhile, back to this sticky, syrupy yumminess. IMG_7115 This little breakfast nugget is atop the high dive, suspended above a warm and sticky bowl of syrup.  It looks like he is ready to take the plunge. IMG_6987These little bites are so easy to make.  Get out the sausage links, pull the pancake mix from the pantry, heat up a little oil, and put some syrup in a bowl.  Cut, poke, dip, fry, and DUNK! Then you’re dunzo!IMG_7013

Mini Pancake and Sausage Breakfast Bites

  • Servings: Makes 16 bites
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Ingredients:

  • box of pancake mix
  • water
  • box of fully cooked sausage links (8 links)
  •  oil (for frying)
  • syrup for dipping
  • skewers or chopsticks

What to do:

  1. Empty about 1 1/2 – 2 cups of dry pancake mix into a medium-sized bowl.
  2. Add small amounts of water to pancake mix and whisk together until mix has no lumps, just enough to thin it out slightly.  Set aside.
  3. Heat oil on stove in deep pan.  (I used a pot and filled it 3 inches or so with oil.)
  4. If sausage links are frozen, place in microwave for 1-2 minutes.
  5. Cut each sausage link in half (you should have 16 halves).
  6. Press chopstick or skewer into one end of sausage link and dip sausage in pancake batter, coating evenly.
  7. Quickly submerge your pancake-batter-covered-sausage-on-a-stick into the hot oil, frying for a minute or two, or until it is browned, and transfer to a paper towel covered plate.  (If the oil is too hot, your outer shell will seem to burn before the inside batter is cooked.)
  8. Repeat process with each little chunk of sausage.
  9. Serve all those mini bites alongside warm maple syrup for dunking.
  10. ENJOY!

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Birthday Rice Krispie Treats

Sprinkles make me SO happy!  This recipe makes me happy too!  Easiest birthday treats ever! Cake mix + Rice Krispie Treats + SPRINKLES!  birthday2HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME, HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME, HAPPY BIRTHDAY DEAR KARLIEEEEEE, HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO MEEEEE!

Today is indeed my birthday!  Hooray!  I am officially 24 years old. Weird. The big 2-4.  This is the first birthday I’ve had where I feel like I am actually getting older.  23 didn’t seem too bad last year, but 24…not sure how I feel about it.

Birthdays.  Gotta love ’em!  Since it is my birthday, I thought it would be nice to share a fun little birthday treat recipe!  It is pretty darn easy.  If you have ever made Rice Krispie Treats successfully, I will guarantee you can handle this one.  It’s literally the same as making those, but you add one other ingredient to bring out the birthday flavor: cake mix! birthday Tell me this picture doesn’t make you happy?!  They’re chewy, gooey, marshmallow-y, and festive!  Any person at any age will appreciate this fun recipe! These treats are great, too, if you are in a hurry because you can whip them up in like 5 minutes.birthday5 

Birthday Rice Krispie Treats

  • Servings: Makes 12-15 squares
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Ingredients:

  • 4 tablespoons of butter
  • 1 (10 oz) bag of large marshmallows (or mini)
  • 2/3 cup of dry yellow or white box cake mix (dry mix straight from the box, not batter)
  • 6 cups Rice Krispie cereal
  • 1/2 – 2/3 cup of sprinkles of your choice

What to do:

  1. Grease a pan of your choice (8″x 8″, 11″x 7″, or 9″x 13″) and set aside.
  2. Over low heat on stove, melt butter in large saucepan.
  3. When butter is melted, add entire bag of marshmallows and stir constantly.
  4. Stir in dry cake mix when marshmallows are completely melted.
  5. Remove from heat and mix in cereal.
  6. When cereal is coated, mix in half of sprinkles. (Don’t mix too much or the sprinkles won’t be as pretty!)
  7. Press into greased pan and top with remaining sprinkles.
  8. For firmer treats, let sit 30 minutes before cutting into squares.
  9. ENJOY!

 

 

 

I got the idea from: http://sallysbakingaddiction.com/2012/03/25/cake-batter-rice-krispie-treats/

Cheesy Ranch Cauliflower Breadsticks

The recipe for these Cheesy Ranch Cauliflower Breadsticks contains ZERO flour.  They are totally gluten-free and extremely low in carbs! You will want to keep this recipe close!IMG_6332 Holy smokes!  Is it really February already?!  Where does the time go?  In case you didn’t know, today is Groundhog Day.  Good old Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow once again.

So, yes.  It really is February already!  One month has really passed since New Years and I really need to start getting back on track with my low-carb eating habits.  This recipe for Cheesy Ranch Cauliflower Breadsticks is a winner, winner, chicken dinner!  The cauliflower binds with an egg and some parmesan cheese to make a hearty, flavorful crust.  Gluten free friends– this concoction is a terrific alternative to buying a prepackaged GF mix because the main ingredient is a vegetable, hello!? Even if you are not avoiding gluten, it is pretty darn easy to eat vegetables when they don’t taste like vegetables!  Now you can be sneaky with those picky eaters in your life! IMG_6287I used to hate cauliflower as a kid.  It was always cut up raw and served cold next to broccoli on veggie trays…and it was disgusting.  Bleh.  It was powdery, chunky, gritty, and tasteless.  I guess I probably still feel that way.  I can’t eat it raw.  I just can’t.  It’s just not good.  But…if I grind it up, mix it with some cheese, add a little ranch flavor, and top all that with even more cheese, I could eat cauliflower for days.IMG_6174

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Cheesy Ranch Cauliflower Breadsticks

  • Servings: Makes about 12 sticks, depending on how you slice it
  • Difficulty: A little advanced, but YOU CAN DO IT!
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Ingredients:

  • 1 12oz bag of frozen cauliflower
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1oz dry ranch dressing packet
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • dash of salt and pepper
  • 1/4 cup ranch dressing
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

What to do:

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees (F). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. Empty bag of frozen cauliflower into food processor.  Pulse until finely ground.  Cauliflower should resemble a powdery, rice substance.
  3. Transfer ground cauliflower to microwave-safe bowl and cook in microwave for two minutes; stirring after each minute.  This helps to fluff/steam cauliflower–you want the moisture to be pulled out of it.
  4. If steamed cauliflower is warm, refrigerate until cool.
  5. Add parmesan cheese, egg, ranch packet, garlic powder, onion powder, salt and pepper to cauliflower. Stir until combined. (Mixture will be wet and sticky.)
  6.  Pour mixture onto parchment paper-lined baking sheet and spread/shape into a pizza crust or breadstick shape. Do not spread too thin; should be about 1/4 inch thick.
  7. Bake crust in oven for 15 minutes or until lightly golden brown.
  8. Remove crust from oven and layer with ranch dressing (like pizza sauce) and top generously with shredded mozzarella.
  9. Place pan back into oven for another 10-15 minutes until cheese is melted, bubbly, and golden.
  10. Slice and serve with marinara sauce or a sauce of your choice!

***Notes:  If you do not have a food processor, I would suggest grating the cauliflower with a cheese grater and chopping it as finely as possible.  If you do not have parchment paper, you can still make this!  Just grease the pan extra, extra well.  You can also use raw cauliflower, of course.  You’ll just have to prepare it and steam it and start at step 4.  This recipe is also perfect for pizza crust!  The base is the same.  You can change the seasonings and substitute Italian seasoning or oregano.

 

 

 

The Best Chocolate Chip Cookies

This is my favorite recipe for all things Chocolate Chip Cookie.  No doubt about it.  I’ve used the same recipe to make cookies, cookie bars, and even little cookie bowls!  I’ve never had a cookie recipe that is so multipurpose! choc3I don’t know what it is about Chocolate Chip Cookies, but they rule the roost in the dessert world.  If someone asked me what my favorite dessert was, I wouldn’t necessarily say it was Chocolate Chip Cookies.  BUT, for some reason, whenever I make them, the dough tastes so good that I can’t stop eating it.  It’s like the Chocolate Chip Cookies get into my brain!  Wait, here’s another good one: I wake up in the morning and I am feeling extra “good”, so when I make my coffee, I have it with almond milk and a little Stevia instead of loading it with creamer.  Good job, right?  Wrong.  My eyes are immediately drawn to the Chocolate Chip Cookies and I decide I’ll eat two of those for breakfast instead of real food.  WHAT?!  …Like I said, Chocolate Chip Cookies seem to dominate the {dessert} world.

They own me.choc5My Uncle Jim is the one who got me into these Chocolate Chip Cookies.  He lives in a small town in Northern Illinois and people know him as “The Cookie Man”.  I’ll never forget the time I went to his house and he showed me his ways.  Here are three things he taught me that affect how good (or bad, I guess) your cookies will turn out.  You have to have the perfect combination of white and brown sugar.  If you don’t, your cookies will flatten out or burn to a crisp.  Another helpful hint is to use instant vanilla pudding in the recipe.  It adds an all-around better taste than adding vanilla extract to your cookies.  Lastly, you need to beat in your eggs separately.  A lot of people overlook that step.  Don’t forget to mix them in separately!   choc8

The Best Chocolate Chip Cookies

  • Servings: About 4 dozen
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 3.5oz package instant vanilla pudding
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 12oz bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips

What to do:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees (F).
  2. In a large bowl, cream softened butter, brown and white sugars, and vanilla pudding with mixer until smooth.
  3. Beat in one egg. Then, beat in second egg.
  4. In small bowl, measure 2 1/2 cups of flour and 1 teaspoon of baking soda. Mix with fork.
  5. Add flour mixture to butter and sugar mixture slowly and mix until combined.
  6. Mix in bag of chocolate chips by hand.
  7. Drop rounded tablespoonfuls of dough onto ungreased cookie sheets, about 1-2 inches apart.
  8. Bake for 11-13 minutes until just barely golden for chewy cookies. (If you want crunchy cookies, cook until golden.)
  9. Cool for 5 minutes and transfer to plate!
  10. ENJOY!

**Notes: This recipe is extremely versatile.  If you want to whip up a batch of cookies and store the rest in the fridge for later, go for it!  Just keep your dough covered.  The cookies are just as yummy if the dough is chilled.   Also, if you want to make cookie bars instead, just use a 9″x13″ pan and bake them until the tops are golden.  Those are divine.

 

 

 

Buffalo Pretzel Sticks

pretzel5Sooo…maybe I jinxed the Broncos.  That playoff game on Sunday was a big flop.

Football season is essentially over for Denver fans.

But, hey, good news…I heard the NFL still has a Superbowl even if your favorite team loses.  So that means there will still be a big game and they will still play the funny commercials on TV.  People still throw parties and they will still watch the halftime show…and if the halftime show is horrible, people ALWAYS flock to the kitchen to eat snacks.  You still need some good snack ideas!

That’s how my brain works.  You’ve been warned.  Sorry, not sorry.

I’ve got a recipe for Buffalo wing flavored pretzel sticks.  It is an appetizing snack recipe that you can whip up the day before the game and then set them out in front of the TV for all those football fanatics to munch on mindlessly.

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I am a big fan of Frank’s Red Hot sauce and all buffalo sauces in general.  I am a big wimp when it comes to eating spicy food and Red Hot is like the perfect amount of spicy and vinegar-y for my timid little taste buds.  Buffalo is my kind of hot…and I tend to get a little crazy with it.  This recipe is a mix of buffalo sauce, Worcestershire sauce, and spices you have in your cabinet that get drizzled over a bag of pretzel sticks.  Sounds good, eh?

Just a heads up, I do feel like these pretzels taste better a day after you make them because the flavor gets a chance to soak in a bit overnight.  Kind of like when you make Chex Mix…you trackin’?

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Buffalo Pretzel Sticks

  • Servings: Serves a whole crowd
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup (one stick) butter
  • 2/3 cup buffalo wing sauce (I like Frank’s Red Hot)
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce (OR 1 tablespoon of soy sauce + 1/2 teaspoon of lemon juice + 1/2 teaspoon of sugar to substitute for 2 tablespoons Worcestershire)
  • 2 teaspoons of onion powder
  • 2 teaspoons of garlic salt
  • 1 teaspoon seasoned salt
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
  • 15 oz bag of pretzel sticks

What to do:

  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees (F).
  2. In a small saucepan, melt butter, buffalo sauce, and Worcestershire sauce over low heat, stirring frequently.
  3. Add onion powder, garlic salt, seasoned salt, and cayenne pepper to saucepan and stir.
  4. Cook mixture for 5 minutes.
  5. Empty bag of pretzels into a large bowl.
  6. Drizzle pretzels with butter sauce mixture and toss until evenly coated.
  7. Place pretzels onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake for 10 minutes.
  8. Flip and stir pretzels after every 10 minutes for 30 minutes.  (3 times)
  9. Serve next to fresh cut celery, carrots, and ranch dipping sauce, if you prefer.
  10. ENJOY!

**Pretzels taste most flavorful when baked a day prior to eating.  Bake and store in a sealed container overnight.

Chili Cream Cheese Dip

dipchoice4The Broncos are playing.  Literally.  Literally right now…like, this very second.

Like, I could jump in my car and hear the screaming fans.

Like, I am wearing my Broncos jersey.

Like, I am sitting in my living room typing on my computer with shades of orange and blue in the background.

Okay, I think you get it.

I am sitting here surrounded by family members who rallied together to watch the game with hopeful hearts and plates full of food.  Good ol’ greasy football food.  My dad threw some wings on the grill.  My mom sliced up some potatoes for homemade fries.  My sister rinsed off some veggies.  I offered to make dip (mainly because I had a secret weapon that would take me less than 5 minutes to make and then I could put my feet up with everyone else).

This Chili Cream Cheese Dip is the easiest dip I have ever made.  It is absolutely addicting and it only has two ingredients!dipchoicetwo

Chili Cream Cheese Dip

  • Servings: Makes about 3 cups
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Ingredients:

  • 8 oz block of cream cheese, softened
  • 15 oz can of your favorite chili (beans or no beans)

What to do:

  1. Put both ingredients into a small microwave-safe bowl and heat for 1 minute.
  2. Stir mixture and put back into microwave for additional 1-2 minutes.
  3. Serve dip with your favorite corn chips (Fritos).
  4. Enjoy!

 

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