Bayou Brownies


This recipe (or something very similar) is floating around the Internet masquerading under like five different names.  I picked the Bayou Brownie name mostly because I'm a fan of alliteration.

These brownies don't actually contain any chocolate.  But, don't worry, they won't disappoint!  I think they're called "brownies" merely because of the texture.  In fact, you could probably call these Bayou Blondies, but then there would be six names for a single dessert, and six names would be totally over the top.

Anyway, these brownies are ridiculously easy to make.  They do bake at a low temperature for a relatively long period of time, but very little is required to get them in the oven.  And, you probably have all of the ingredients hanging around in your kitchen, so you might as well make them anyway.  These were so good that I made them and took them to work twice in the same week.  Make these.  You'll be happy you did.

Source: kevin {&} Amanda

1 Box Moist Yellow Cake Mix
3 Eggs
8 Oz Cream Cheese, softened
1/2 Cup Butter, melted
4 Cups Powdered Sugar

1. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees and spray a 9 x 13 baking dish with non-stick spray. 

2.  Combine the cake mix (only the powdered cake mix -- do not prepare), melted butter, and one egg. 

3. Press the cake mix into the bottom of the pan. 

4. Mix the cream cheese, 2 eggs, and powdered sugar until it is smooth. 

5. Pour the cream cheese mixture on top of the cake mix crust. 

6.  Bake for 45-50 minutes, or until the top is a very light golden brown. 

7.  Allow to cool completely before cutting. 



Snickerdoodle Blondies


I have a thing for blondies.  It's recently acquired.  I don't think I had ever eaten a blondie before I tried this recipe.  Now, I'm hooked.  I've pinned so many blondie recipes, it's ridiculous.  I've made 3 batches of blondies in the last week alone.  So, get ready for lots of blondie posts! 

These blondies are my favorite of all the blondie recipes I've made so far.  I've made them several times for events and always get rave reviews.  I think every time I've made them, at least one person has asked for the recipe.  They are the perfect amount of cinamony deliciousness.  They are dense and very sweet, but the cinnamon cuts the sweetness so that it's not overpowering.  I love cinnamon flavored desserts in the fall and winter months, so I doubt I'll make these ones again until next fall, but they'll definitely be part of the fall/winter rotation.  They can be served as a dessert, but I also think they would make a great addition to a nice brunch.

These bars are very moist and keep well for about a week if stored in an airtight container.

Adapted from: Recipe Girl

What you need:
2 2/3 cups All Purpose Flour
2 tsp Baking Powder
1 heaping teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
1/4 tsp Ground Nutmeg
1/2 tsp Cream of Tartar
1 tsp Salt
2 cups Dark Brown Sugar, packed
1 cup Unsalted Butter, at room temperature 
2 Eggs
1 tbsp Vanilla Extract 
10 oz Cinnamon Chips

For the topping:
2 tbsp White Sugar
2 tsp Cinnamon
Pinch of Nutmeg

What you  do:

1.  Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.  Spray a 9 x 13 pan with nonstick spray. 

2.  In a medium sized bowl, stir together Flour, Baking Powder, Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Cream of Tartar, and Salt.  Set to the side. 

3.  In a large bowl, cream together the butter and brown sugar.  Don't skimp on time here.  I let my Kitchenaid mixer cream the butter and brown sugar for about 5 minutes. 

4.  To the large bowl add the eggs, one at a time. 

5.  To the large bowl ad the vanilla.  Mix until smooth. 

6.  Mix the dry ingredients in to the wet ingredients. 

7.  Stir in the cinnamon chips.  (The batter will be very thick.  Stirring in the chips requires some work, but make sure you mix them in well.)

8. Transfer the dough to the 9 x 13 pan and use your hands to pat the dough down flat and evenly.

9.  Combine the Sugar, Cinnamon, and Nutmeg for the topping.  Sprinkle evenly on top of the dough.

10.  Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the surface of the blondies spring back when touched.  (I undercook mine by about a minute, just because I prefer the texture that way). 

11.  Let the blondies cool completely before cutting. 



Healthy Italian Wonderpot


This recipe is a quick, super easy meal that is healthy and affordable.  I was leery of the recipe before making it because it seemed too healthy to actually taste good.  There was no reason to be leery -- this was delicious!  This is the first time I cooked with turkey sausage.  I have always thought healthy = lack of flavor.  While the turkey sausage did not have as much flavor as pork sausage, it was still very tasty and was a nice addition to the dish.  Also, you can see two different types of pasta noodles in the picture -- I had less fettuccine at home than I thought, so I added some angel hair pasta to make up the difference.  Next time I make this dish, I will make it with whole wheat pasta to make it even healthier. 

Adapted from: Budget Bytes

What you need:
1 lb Ground Turkey Sausage
4 cups Chicken Broth
2 tbsp Olive Oil
12 oz Fettuccine Noodles, broken in half 
8 oz Frozen Chopped Spinach
28 oz Diced Tomatoes (undrained)
1 Medium Onion, sliced
4 Cloves Garlic, sliced
1/2 tbsp Dried Basil
1/2 tbsp Dried Oregano
1/4 tsp Red Pepper Flakes
1/4 tsp Crushed Red Peper
Feta Cheese for topping

What you do:

1.  Brown the Turkey Sausage.  Set aside. 

2.  Place the Chicken Broth, Fettuccine, Canned Tomatoes, Olive Oil, Frozen Spinach, Sliced Onion, Sliced Garlic, Basil, Oregano, Red Pepper Flakes, and Crushed Red Pepper in a large pot.  Make sure everything is submerged under the liquid and place a lid on top of the pot.

3.  Bring the contents of the pot to boil on high heat.  Remove lid and reduce heat to medium.  Allow the pot to boil for 8 minutes.  Add turkey sausage.  Continue boiling for 2-7 more minutes, or until the pasta is cooked.  Stir the pot about once every 3 minutes while it is cooking.

4.  Serve with crumbled feta cheese on top.