CHOCOLATE CRANBERRY CHRISTMAS MINI CAKES

CHOCOLATE CRANBERRY CHRISTMAS MINI CAKES

I am very much getting into the Christmas mood in here with these Chocolate Cranberry Christmas Mini Cakes. I wanted to create simple cakes that aren’t complicated to make and that would look great on a festive table. I’ve picked very Christmassy colours and flavours and filled these little sponge cakes with cranberry chia jam, topped them with luscious Amore di Mona chocolate and fresh cranberries.

I would also love to wish Happy Thanksgiving to all of my lovely readers who are celebrating Thanksgiving tomorrow. Hope you have the most amazing day filled with Love and Joy. Although I don’t celebrate Thanksgiving I would love to take this opportunity to thank all of you for being here, reading my posts and making my recipes. Thank you for being different, recognizing that Life is precious and for being the change that we so want to see in the World.

To bake the mini cakes I’ve used quinoa and brown rice flour gluten-free mix and this time I’ve used aquafaba instead of the flax eggs, which worked really well. I’ve used the cake mix to bake 9″ square cake from which I’ve then cut cut out 2″ round shapes. If you plan well you should be able to cut out 12. If you like to make them smaller petit fours size you could use 1 1/2″ round shape and cut each into a half. I wanted them a bit taller and so I’ve opted out for 2″ size. I’ve sandwiched two together with cranberry chia jam which is quick to make and you can prepare it the night before. And finally I’ve topped them with melted dark chocolate, fresh cranberries and a holly leaf for a festive feel. Would be lovely served with vegan cream or ice cream. Enjoy:) x

CHOCOLATE CRANBERRY CHRISTMAS MINI CAKES
CHOCOLATE CRANBERRY CHRISTMAS MINI CAKES

INGREDIENTS

  • 110g brown rice flour (3/4 cup)
  • 60g quinoa flour (1/2 cup)
  • 30g arrowroot (1/4 cup)
  • 30g cacao powder (1/4 cup)
  • 1tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • ½tsp baking powder
  • pinch of sea salt
  • 80ml maple syrup (1/3 cup)
  • 80ml olive oil (1/3 cup)
  • 60ml aquafaba (1/4 cup)
  • 2tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1tsp vanilla
  • 120ml rice milk (1/2 cup)

Cranberry chia jam:

  • 100g cranberries (1 cup)
  • 60ml orange juice (1/4 cup)
  • little orange zest
  • 1tbsp maple syrup
  • small cinnamon stick (optional)
  • 1tbsp chia seeds

Coating:

  • 100g Amore di Mona bulk chocolate (2 cubes) or dark vegan chocolate (3.5oz)
  • fresh or dried cranberries

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Preheat the oven to 175°C (350F)
  2. Line 9″ x 9″ baking tin with baking paper.
  3. In a large bowl whisk together brown rice flour, quinoa flour, arrowroot, cacao, bicarbonate of soda, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
  4. In a small bowl whisk together maple syrup, olive oil, aquafaba, apple cider vinegar, vanilla and rice milk.
  5. Add the wet mix to the dry mix and mix until well combined. The mix should be pourable, but not too thin consistency.
  6. Pour the mix into the prepared dish and smooth out the top.

You can find complete recipes of this CHOCOLATE CRANBERRY CHRISTMAS MINI CAKES in nirvanacakery.com

Outrageous Meatball Parm

Outrageous Meatball Parm

If you love meatballs, then you need to make this. Like now! Such an easy dish yet so outrageously packed with flavor. Even my oldest son ate this and that speaks volumes! I melted freshly grated parmigiano-reggiano on top but you can use any shredded cheese you like. I used my rockcrok pot from Pampered Chef to make these because it is safe for the stove top and the broiler. If you don’t have anything that is safe for both, just be sure to switch your meatballs into a broiler safe dish to melt the cheese. Serve with a side of pasta for a perfect dinner.

Outrageous Meatball Parm
Outrageous Meatball Parm

Hugs & Cookies Meatball Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 pounds ground beef (85% lean)
  • 1 cup bread crumbs (I used Aleia’s GF brand)
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 eggs
  • salt to taste
  • 1 Tablespoon milk

Directions:

  1. Sauce of your choice (approx two 24-oz jars)
    Parmigiano-Reggiano or Mozzarella cheese to top it off with!
  2. Mix all of the above ingredients and form your meatballs-not too large. I made 27 meatballs. Pan fry to brown them. Don’t worry about cooking them through-they will finish cooking in the oven. Preheat oven to 375.
  3. Pour some sauce in the bottom of your dish. Lay meatballs on top of the sauce. Cover with more sauce. Bake covered for 30 minutes. (Make sure they are cooked through. Uncover and dress the top up with lots of cheese! It should be covered with cheese!!! Broil for a few minutes until melted and bubbling. Serve with pasta and use the extra sauce.

You can find complete recipes of this Outrageous Meatball Parm in hugsandcookiesxoxo.com

Christmas Red Velvet Poke Cake

Christmas Red Velvet Poke Cake

Christmas Red Velvet Poke Cake – very tasty, rich and moist! So easy to make, you need only few ingredients. Christmas Red Velvet Poke Cake – a taste of Christmas in every bite of this delicious cake!

For these holidays you want something nice, sweet and interesting for your children and you. You want to make these days special. We are so happy because holidays are coming. Christmas must be marked by nice colors so I decided to make this Christmas Red Velvet Poke Cake.

My children love this cake and especially with this red velvet combination and interesting red and green snowflake sprinkles. I know that there is no mistake when I make this Christmas cake. I will use my imagination and combine green food color and cool whip so I will get beautiful colors for this Christmas Red Velvet Poke Cake. This Christmas Red Velvet Poke Cake is basic red velvet poke cake which you can make very quick and easy with only few ingredients 1 box red velvet cake mix, 2 small boxes instant vanilla pudding mix, milk, cool whip and sprinkles. Trust me, it is very easy.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a 9-x-13” pan and sprinkle with flour. Prepare cake mix according to box instructions. Pour into prepared baking dish and bake until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean, about 25 minutes. Once cake comes out of the oven, allow it to cool for just a couple of minutes. Use spoon handle to poke holes evenly across cake. Combine milk and pudding mix and whisk until well blended.

Pour pudding over cake. Taking care to pour it right into the holes as much as possible. Spread it all out and using the back of the spoon, gently push pudding down into the holes and that’s it. I wanted to give idea to you how you can make this cake to look nice. If you have some other favorite dessert you can very easy make Christmas magic with it. My choice for today is this Red Velvet Poke Cake because red color is Christmas color and I am sure that you will be very satisfied when you make this cake.

Christmas Red Velvet Poke Cake is so special and nice so I am very happy because this dessert is my choice for Christmas. I don’t know who is happier, me or my children but I know that we will enjoy in this Christmas Red Velvet Poke Cake. Merry Christmas!

Christmas Red Velvet Poke Cake
Christmas Red Velvet Poke Cake

INGREDIENTS

For the cake:

  • 1 box red velvet cake mix (ingredients needed to make cake – eggs, oil & water)

For the filling:

  • 2 boxes 3.4 oz Instant Vanilla Pudding Mix
  • 4 cup Milk
  • 2 cup heavy whipping cream
  • Green food coloring

For garnish:

  • Red sprinkles, optional
  • Green sprinkles, optional
  • Snowflakes and white chocolate curls, optional

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a 9-x-13” pan and sprinkle with flour.
  2. Prepare cake mix according to box instructions.
  3. Pour into prepared baking dish and bake until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean, about 25 minutes.
  4. Remove the cake from the oven
  5. Using the back of a wooden spoon, poke holes all over the cake.
  6. Combine milk and pudding mix and whisk until well blended.
  7. Pour pudding over cake making sure it gets down into holes.
  8. Refrigerate cake for several hours to allow pudding to settle and set up

You can find complete recipes of this Christmas Red Velvet Poke Cake in yummiestfood.com

 

BLT BALSAMIC CHICKEN AVOCADO & FETA SALAD

BLT BALSAMIC CHICKEN AVOCADO & FETA SALAD

BLT Balsamic Chicken Avocado & Feta Salad is a delicious twist to a BLT in salad form, with a balsamic dressing that doubles as a marinade! You won’t even miss the bread in this mega loaded salad.

Aside from the avocado and feta and crispy bacon in this bowl of epic-ness, the balsamic dressing / marinade / gift from the salad gods is everything. If you love all the salads on my blog so far, this one is right up there with the best of them.

The dressing has so many flavours packed into it, that when you fry your chicken with it AND dress your salad with the rest of it, you won’t know what to do with yourself. No only does it contain the obvious balsamic and olive oil, get ready for your mind to be blown with a sprinkle of Italian herbs, a kick of garlic and a hint of honey. You will be table top dancing, along with your taste buds.

By the way, there is balsamic in there 👇 I swear, sunk right at the bottom. I wanted to capture those herbs sitting at the top. When you whisk it together, it’s a whirlpool of balsamic lava lamp.

With all of you guys writing in telling me how much you’re loving these dressing / marinade salads, and how much they’re making your lives easier, and some of you even demanding MORE SALADS…..this one will NOT disappoint you, or your anti-salad husbands or boyfriends or children or family or parents or friends or neighbours…..or whoever you’re sharing this with. That’s if you’re sharing, of course.

The chicken gets marinaded in some of the dressing to keep the easy merriment going. Then pan-fried to crispy, golden, tender, juicy deliciousness.

BLT BALSAMIC CHICKEN AVOCADO & FETA SALAD
BLT BALSAMIC CHICKEN AVOCADO & FETA SALAD

INGREDIENTS

Balsamic Dressing / Marinade:

  • ⅓ cup balsamic vinegar
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons water (or more oil if you wish)
  • 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • ¼-1/2 teaspoon salt (adjust to your tastes)
  • 4 skinless and boneless chicken thigh fillets (or breast fillets)

Salad:

  • 5 ounces |150g bacon, diced and trimmed of all fat
  • 8 cups mixed salad lettuce leaves (or Romaine | Cos lettuce leaves)
  • 2 tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 avocado, sliced
  • ¼ cup crumbled feta cheese
  • extra Italian seasoning
  • salt and pepper, to taste

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Whisk balsamic dressing / marinade ingredients together until well combined. Pour 2-3 tablespoons into a shallow bowl. Add the chicken thighs and coat evenly. Season with salt and pepper; set aside for 10 minutes while the frying bacon.
  2. Fry bacon until crisp in a skillet over medium-high heat. Wipe pan over with paper towel.

You can find complete recipes of this BLT BALSAMIC CHICKEN AVOCADO & FETA SALAD in cafedelites.com

CINNAMON APPLE ENERGY BITES

CINNAMON APPLE ENERGY BITES

Tis the season for a non stop supply of cookies, candy, and desserts staring you in the face. I have a serious weakness for dessert, especially Christmas treats, I can’t keep my hands off of them. If you have the same problem as me, then it is essential that you make these Cinnamon Apple Energy Bites and keep them on hand at all times to ward off that craving for cookies!

Lately I feel like all I’ve been doing is shoving one cookie after another in my mouth. Don’t get me wrong, they have all been delicious, but I’m starting to get a little disgusted with myself. I know it’s the time of the year when overindulging is expected, but I really don’t want January to come and find out I have to run off 10 extra pounds of gingerbread, eggnog, fudge, and peppermint ice cream! To help combat my sugar cravings I decided to make a healthier snack that would still let me feel like I was eating a sweet treat.

These Cinnamon Apple Energy Bites are the perfect cure to quiet down anyone’s sweet tooth. The best part is they are guilt free, unlike those 3 cookies I shoved in my mouth yesterday! The energy bites are a combination of dried apples, oats, almonds, dates, cinnamon, allspice, and a little bit of maple syrup. To make them, start by soaking the dates in hot water for about 10 minutes. Then add all of the ingredients to a food processor or high-speed blender and blend them until they form a paste/dough consistency. You may need to add a couple of tablespoons of the water that the dates soaked in if you find the mixture isn’t combining.

CINNAMON APPLE ENERGY BITES
CINNAMON APPLE ENERGY BITES

Ingredients

  • 1 cup dried apples (not freeze dried)
  • 1/2 cup medjool dates, pits removed
  • 1/2 cup unsalted dry roasted almonds
  • 1/2 cup old fashioned oats
  • 1 T. maple syrup
  • 1 t. cinnamon
  • 1/8 t. allspice
  • 2 T. water, more if needed

Instructions

  1. Soak the dates in hot water for 10 minutes.
  2. Add all of the ingredients to a food processor or high speed blender and blend until the mixture turns into a paste or dough like consistency.

You can find complete recipes of this CINNAMON APPLE ENERGY BITES in reciperunner.com

RANCH CHICKEN

RANCH CHICKEN

We LOVE this chicken! It is a big favorite at our house. My kids love it, my hubby loves it, and I love it too 🙂  ( Did I say love it enough? Ha!) I add this chicken to the dinner menu often! It is crispy, full of flavor and baked, not fried! It is made up of only 3 ingredients: crushed Corn flakes, grated Parmesan cheese and of course, Ranch dressing! YUM 🙂

RANCH CHICKEN
RANCH CHICKEN

INGREDIENTS

  • 3-4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 1 (1 ounce) packet Ranch dressing seasoning mix
  • 1 cup crushed Corn flakes
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 375° degrees F. Spray a 9×13 glass baking dish with cooking spray.
  2. Combine the Ranch seasoning mix, the crushed Corn flakes and Parmesan cheese into a large freezer baggie.
  3. Shake well to mix all together.
  4. Dip each chicken breast into the melted butter, and then drop into the baggie. Seal the bag shut and then shake well to coat with the seasoning mix. After well coated lay chicken into the baking dish. Repeat with all of the chicken.
  5. Once all chicken has been coated, sprinkle the remaining seasoning mixture onto the tops of chicken.
  6. Bake chicken for 40- 45 minutes. (Towards the last 15 minutes of cooking you may need to lay a piece of foil over the top to prevent from burning.)

You can find complete recipes of this RANCH CHICKEN in life-in-the-lofthouse.com

Strawberry Cupcakes with Strawberry Buttercream Frosting

Strawberry Cupcakes with Strawberry Buttercream Frosting

I know, I post a ridiculous amount of cupcakes. But really, can you blame me? If I were to do a cookbook someday it might just be a cupcake cookbook because I’m just that obsessed with them. And I can’t even begin to tell you how obsessed I am with these strawberry cupcakes. A-MAZ-ING! They are hands down the best strawberry cupcakes I’ve ever had, and they’ll likely be your new favorite too. Yes, that could sound totally braggish (since it’s my own recipe), but I’m kinda thinking these deserve bragging rights :).

Last week I made a layered strawberry cake. Very similar to these but I topped that with a cream cheese frosting. Well, when you combined cream cheese frosting with sliced strawberries between cake layers things can get a little slippery. Loved the cake, just not the way it held up, so I made these to share instead. And I actually preferred going all strawberry instead of a cream cheese frosting though because it didn’t diminish that sweet strawberry flavor at all. It just added to it of course.

In the past, I’ve tried many strawberry cupcake recipes and they’ve all left me wondering, where is the strawberry flavor? I’d see a hint here and there but these, oh these! They are overflowing with strawberry flavor. The liquids of this batter are made up of a strawberry puree and milk blend, then chopped fresh strawberries are folded into the batter. Then after they are baked they are topped with more fresh strawberries (which is a lovely hidden surprise underneath the frosting), and then more strawberry puree is creamed into the fluffy, melt-in-your-mouth frosting. And they key here to the frosting is that it is made with a strawberry reduction (meaning we are going to simmer off 2/3 of the waters in the berries so we can concentrate that irresistible strawberry flavor). Yes it would be nice if we could just add 2/3 cup of fresh strawberry puree into a frosting but we all know that’s not going to happen without a royal disaster, soup of a frosting. This is definitely my new favorite strawberry buttercream frosting and I know I will make it time and time…and time again. If you are lucky enough to have any frosting left, spread it on graham crackers for a delicious treat.

I hope you love these cupcakes as much as I do! Enjoy!

Strawberry Cupcakes with Strawberry Buttercream Frosting
Strawberry Cupcakes with Strawberry Buttercream Frosting

Ingredients

  • 1 2/3 cup cake flour
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup + 2 Tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 1/3 cup fresh strawberry puree*
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk**
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 5 drops red food coloring (optional)
  • 3/4 cup diced strawberries (dice into about 1/4-inch pieces)
  • Diced and whole strawberries for topping (about 1 lb small strawberries)

Frosting (double recipe if making for a double layer cake)

  • 1/2 cup + 2 Tbsp strawberry puree
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, nearly at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup salted butter, nearly at room temperature
  • 2 1/2 – 2 3/4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 4 drops red food coloring (optional)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Sift cake flour into a mixing bowl then add baking powder, baking soda and salt, whisk 20 seconds, set aside.
  2. In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, whip butter and granluated sugar until pale and fluffy (occasionally stop and scrape down bowl throughout entire mixing process if not using a paddle attachment that constantly scrapes bowl). Mix in egg then mix in egg whites one at a time. In liquid measuring cup used to measure buttermilk, whisk together the buttermilk, 1/3 cup strawberry puree and the vanilla extract. Working in three separate batches, beginning and ending with flour mixture, add 1/3 of the flour mixture (to the butter mixture) alternating with half of the buttermilk mixture and mixing just until combined after each addition. Fold in the 3/4 cup diced strawberries. Divide batter among 12 paper lined muffin cups, filling each 3/4 full (nearly 1/3 cup in each). Bake in preheated oven 20 – 23 minutes until toothpick inserted into center of cupcake comes out clean. Allow to cool in muffin tin several minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before frosting.

You can find complete recipes of this Strawberry Cupcakes with Strawberry Buttercream Frosting in cookingclassy.com

Avocado, Onion and Tomato Salad

Avocado, Onion and Tomato Salad

This simple tomato salad is an easy side dish for any dinner or makes a great lunch.

Avocado, Onion and Tomato Salad
Avocado, Onion and Tomato Salad

Ingredients

  • 1 large tomato, sliced in thick slices
  • ½ avocado, sliced
  • 2 slices red onion, I prefer mine nearly shaved
  • 6 cherry tomatoes, halved
  • sprig of fresh tarragon
  • 1 T fruity olive oil, the best you can afford
  • ½ tsp champagne vinegar

Instructions

  1. Put tomatoes, avocado and sliced onion on a small plate, sprinkle with tarragon leaves and dress with the olive oil and vinegar. Add kosher or sea salt and some pepper to taste. The olive oil is really the key and main flavor so add more to taste and make sure its good and fruity to complement the freshness of the other ingredients.

You can find complete recipes of this Avocado, Onion and Tomato Salad in foodiecrush.com

Italian Christmas Cookie Cake

Italian Christmas Cookie Cake

Inspired by a sugar cookie and featuring ricotta and olive oil, this Italian sweet cake is about to become the best you’ve ever tasted. Ever. Ever.

Italian Christmas Cookie Cake
Italian Christmas Cookie Cake

Ingredients

  • 1 (15.25 oz.) box Betty Crocker™ Super Moist™ French vanilla cake mix
  • 1 (15 oz.) container ricotta cheese
  • 1 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • Nonpareil sprinkles
  • Baking spray

Directions

  1. Heat oven to 325º F. Spray a 9” springform pan with baking spray.
  2. In a stand mixer, beat together cake mix, ricotta, 3/4 cup heavy cream, olive oil, eggs and 1 teaspoon almond extract. Beat until smooth. Pour into prepared pan.
  3. Bake for 1 hour, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Cool completely before removing from springform pan.
  4. In a small bowl, whisk together 1/2 cup heavy cream, powdered sugar and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract. Drizzle over cake, sprinkle with nonpareils. Allow frosting to set before slicing and serving.

You can find complete recipes of this Italian Christmas Cookie Cake in tablespoon.com

BAKED HONEY MUSTARD CHICKEN

BAKED HONEY MUSTARD CHICKEN

Savory, juicy chicken baked in a zesty honey mustard sauce! Perfect for serving with your favorite veggies over noodles or rice.

Tell me you are fans of honey mustard sauce. Because I am a big fan. There are few things I would pour a boat-load of honey mustard sauce on. But then I’m a sauce person. The kind that needs fries with my ketchup and about a gallon of ranch for my chicken tenders.

So yeah, I love me some honey mustard sauce.

This is one of the easiest weeknight dinners I’ve ever made. All you have to do is whisk together a few ingredients for your sauce, pour it over the chicken, and let it bake for about 40 minutes. Ta-da! Juicy, savory chicken covered in a honey mustard glaze – a perfect, healthy chicken dish for serving along with your favorite veggies!

BAKED HONEY MUSTARD CHICKEN
BAKED HONEY MUSTARD CHICKEN

INGREDIENTS

  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts, pounded to even thickness
  • ½ cup honey
  • ½ cup yellow mustard
  • ½ teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and lightly grease a baking dish.
  2. In a medium bowl whisk together honey, mustard, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper, garlic powder, and paprika.
  3. Toss chicken in the sauce to coat and place in your prepared dish. Pour remaining sauce over the chicken.

You can find complete recipes of this BAKED HONEY MUSTARD CHICKEN in lecremedelacrumb.com