Chocolate Chip Cream Cheese Muffins

These are adapted from my Strawberry Cream Cheese Muffin, I wanted to post another very different option!

Chocolate Chip Cream Cheese muffins:

12 oz cream cheese softened

1 stick of butter

1 1/2 cup of sugar

4 eggs

2 egg whites

9 tablespoons of buttermilk

2 tsp vanilla

2 1/4 cup of all purpose flour

2 tsp of baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

1 1/2 – 2 cups of mini chocolate chips

Cream cheese topping:

6oz cream cheese

1 1/2 – 2 cups of powdered sugar

A few table spoons of creamer

I added a 1/2 tablespoon of dutch process coco powder which is what is in the picture… but I wouldn’t do it again. I think it would be way better with just the regular cream cheese topping!

Directions:

Cream the cream cheese and butter until smooth, add sugar and cream again until smooth. Add eggs and egg whites beat until just combined, add in  the buttermilk and vanilla. In a separate bowl combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add to creamed mixture just until moistened. Fold in the chocolate chips.

Fill paper lined muffin cups with batter, 3/4 full, these spread out much more then when the batter has fruit in it, so leave room for them to grow! Usually I don’t but in this case you definitely need to follow the 3/4 rule!

Bake at 350 degrees for 25-28 turning around halfway through.

While the muffins are cooling beat the cream cheese and creamer until smooth, and add powdered sugar until smooth and creamy, adjust amount of powder sugar accordingly, add more if it’s too runny, and add a tad more creamer if it’s to thick!

Fill a pastry bag and pipe on a drizzle! Although it’s not exactly a drizzle it’s a cross between a glaze and icing…. it’s super creamy and melts in your mouth! Very yummy!

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Pretzel Crusted Chicken Strips with Honey Dijon Dipping Sauce

So this is not one of my more healthy dishes, but it sure is yummy and a lot healthier then the alternative!

This tastes a little bit like Chick Fil A =) especially if you get the pretzels down to a really fine flour texture

I want to try and bake it next time to see if turns out just as yummy!

I adapted it from Fine Cooking, you can find the original here!

Pretzel Crusted Chicken Strips with Honey Dijon Dipping Sauce
Serves 4-6
Ingredients:
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 large eggs
3 cups of pretzels
Garlic Powder
3 tbs Powdered Sugar
1/4 cup plus 1 Tbs. Dijon mustard – I use Beaver brand here in Oregon, but if you live anywhere that there is a Wegmans they make a fantastic mustard! I would even go for the whole seed mustard, super yummy!
3 large chicken breasts sliced into strips
Freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup mayonnaise – I am a miracle whip person and I like the lesser calories so we use that here in our household
The original recipe called for dill… I hate dill, but if you like it you can add it to the sauce
3 tbs of Agave
1/2 cup vegetable oil

Get out 3 shallow containers for the process, flour with ground pepper in dish one. Eggs, mustard and a tablespoon of agave in another. Process the pretzels in a magic bullet or food processor, I love my magic bullet it really makes flour like consistency which helped make the breading really light!  Transfer the pretzel flour to your third container and add some garlic powder, a little bit of salt and 3 tbs of powdered sugar. Line up the flour, egg, and pretzel bowls in that order.

Dredge both sides of the chicken in the flour, then the egg, and then the pretzel flour, coating well and shaking off the excess. Transfer to a baking sheet and refrigerate for 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, mix the remaining 1/4 cup mustard with the miracle whip, agave, (dill if you’d like) and place in fridge until ready to serve.

Heat the oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot but not smoking, add strips to pan making sure there is room in between each strip. Cook until the first side is dark brown, about 2 minutes. Carefully flip and cook until the chicken is cooked through and the second side is golden-brown, about 2 minutes more; if the chicken seems to be browning too fast, reduce the heat to medium. Transfer to a clean cutting board topped with paper towels and cover with a paper towl and dishtowel  to keep warm. Repeat with the remaining chicken.

I served this with baked french fries. I sliced potatoes into long strips, coated with extra virgin olive oil, salt, pepper, and garlic and baked for about half an hour, and some steamed broccoli! Super yummy kid friendly meal!! My husband thinks we should have this once a week =) It is definitely a new loved dish!

This was a pretty easy recipe and took about 40 minutes for everything! Pretty quick and definitely super yummy =)

Strawberry Kiwi Fruit Pizza – The farmers markets are starting soon!

So we just moved and life has been a little crazy, in an absolutely fantastic way though!

I have an amazing new stove and oven that is called the beast… because, well, it is a beast =) it cooks and bakes so evenly! And Friday night… the glass top shattered… so I am hoping tomorrow we will be able to find a replacement top so I can keep the beast I have fallen in love with! But in the mean time I have been baking dinners and foods and tonight, was the first fruit pizza of the year! I make them often because they are so easy, quick, and delicious especially when the weather starts warm up!

Ingredients:

1 tube of sugar cookie dough, or you can make one from scratch

1 pack of cream cheese

about 1 cup of powdered sugar

1/2 tsp of vanilla

Fruit of your choice, Strawberry and Kiwi are our favorites, but Raspberry and Strawberry work good too, and Raspberry Blueberry

Directions:

If you are using the tube of cookie dough, let it get to room temperature then use your hands to flatten it out onto a pizza pan dusted in powdered sugar, if you rub your hands in the powdered sugar too you won’t stick!

Bake at 350 for about 10 minutes

Let the cookie cool completely, and place in the fridge for best results.

In  your mixer whip the cream cheese, add the vanilla and gradually add the powdered sugar. I do not make mine very sweet so add according to your taste. I find with the sweet sugar cookie I like more of the cream cheese flavor.

Spread over the cool cookie and place sliced fruit and enjoy!

1 Pan Cheesy Chicken Broccoli Quinoa Casserole <3 Yum!!

I have a very picky mother, who I take care of and lives with my husband and I so for me to find a way to sneak in something… heaven forbid… healthy, is pretty astounding! I adapted this recipe from Eating Well…Living Thin(er), She has a ton of really great recipes over there! But I knew for my family I would have to hide the Quinoa a litttttle bit better then the original recipe. So here is my take on it… and I have yet to tell anyone they ate something healthy and full of quinoa! If you have never tried quinoa (pronounced keen-wa) this would be a perfect starter recipe! Quinoa is a really great grain packed with a ton of protein and a lot less carbs then rice. It can be used in place of rice or couscous and takes on any flavor you give it! It’s also really great in cold salads too!

1 Pan Cheesy Chicken Broccoli Quinoa Casserole

3 good sized boneless skinless chicken breast cut into small cubes

Olive oil

2 garlic cloves

Salt and Pepper

Oregano

Basil

2 cups frozen or fresh broccoli

Soup/Cheese sauce:

One 10 oz can condensed Cream of Broccoli soup preferably low sodium

1/3 cup miracle whip

1/3 cup of light sour cream

2 tablespoons milk

1 1/4 cups of cheese… I used a blend of parmesan, Colby jack and low fat mozzarella

1/2 teaspoon Splenda/Sugar

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Dash freshly grated nutmeg

1 1/2 cups COOKED quinoa (see note)

Freshly grated Parmesan cheese
To cook quinoa:

1 cup quinoa

1 3/4 cups water

1/4 teaspoon salt
Rinse quinoa in a fine sieve until water runs clear, this step is very very important because if it is skipped or not rinsed well enough the quinoa will be bitter!  In a medium sized sauce pan combine the rinsed quinoa, water and salt, bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium low, cover and cook for about 20-25 minutes or until you see a white ring around each grain and it’s light and fluffy.

Directions:

While quinoa is cooking, heat a large deep skillet with some olive oil, a tablespoon or two of butter if you choose and garlic, salt and pepper, and herbs (season to your family’s taste), simmer for a minute or two, add chicken and cook for about 5 minutes stirring occasionally, add frozen broccoli, simmer over medium high heat until chicken and broccoli are cooked, about 15 minutes. If you are using fresh broccoli, only throw it in the pan for about 7 minutes at the end or it will get super mushy.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees- I like one pan meals and chose to use my deep large skillet that can go right into the oven, so if you have one of these that would be easiest, but a greased 9X13 will work just as well!

In a large bowl combine the soup, mayonnaise, sour cream, milk, shredded cheeses, sugar, a few grinds of sea salt and pepper, and nutmeg and mix well.

Drain your chicken and broccoli skillet of any excess liquid and add soup and cheese mixture, coat all of the chicken and broccoli and then add in your cooked quinoa, smooth out and top with extra Parmesan and Mozzarella cheese.

Bake for 30-35 minutes uncovered and bubbly on the edges, golden on top!

Serves 6-8