Miniature Pudding Pies with Fresh Fruit Toppings

I love making these little pudding pies. Less than 30 minutes and you have a delicious dessert. The crust is made with crushed cookies, and you can use any flavor pudding you prefer.  In this recipe I used vanilla wafers to make the crust, and for the pudding I made tapioca, butterscotch, and vanilla.

Note: If you are short on time you can buy pre-made mini crusts, and pudding cups from the grocery store and just top with fresh fruit.

Yield: 12 miniature pudding cups

Ingredients:

1 cups crushed cookies (vanilla wafers, shortbread, gingersnaps, any kind you like)

4 tbsp. melted butter

1 tbsp. sugar

6 oz. instant pudding (vanilla, chocolate, tapioca, banana, any kind you like)

Fresh fruit (strawberries, bananas, blueberries, raspberries, any kind you like)

Preparation:

vanilla wafe crust

Pre-heat the oven to 350*F. Line muffin tins with paper liners. Crush the cookies into a fine crumble. You can use a food processor or a gallon size food storage bag and a large spoon to crush the cookies.

In a small sauce pan melt the butter and sugar together and mix with the crushed cookies and mix well. Fill the bottom third of the paper cups with the cookie mixture and bake for 8 minutes and let cool.

 

Make the pudding, per box instructions and let set in the fridge.

Once the crusts have cooled and the pudding is set, its time to make the pies. Fill the top 2/3 of the paper cups with the pudding, and top with your favorite fruits and enjoy!

Let me know what you think in the comments below, and happy cooking!

xoxo-Julie

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Slow Cooker Shredded Pork Shoulder with Citrus and Adobo Chilies

When the seasons change and the weather turns colder, it’s the perfect time to break out my crock pot. Slow cooking is the way to go for making delicious recipes all season long.  You can make this pork for sliders, sandwiches, soups, and chilies.

Ingredients:

5 lbs. pork shoulder 

1 yellow onion, cut in quarters or large dice

1 small head of garlic; peeled

3 adobo chilies

2 oranges; zested, then juiced

2 bay leaves

1 tbsp. oregano

2 tbsp. celery seed

3 cups water, or stock

pepper, to taste

Preparation:

Lightly season the outside of the pork with salt, pepper, oregano, and celery seed.

Place the pork shoulder in the slow cooker and add the water or stock. Wash, peel, and cut the onion to a large dice and add to the cooker. Peel the garlic and leave whole, and add to the cooker.

Add in the bay leaves.

Zest the orange and add the juice, give everything a stir and you’re done.

Cook on low for 8 hours.

Once the pork is cooked, it will be fork tender and easy to shred.

Let me know what you think in the comments below, and happy cooking!

xoxo-Julie

Triple Chocolate Peppermint Bark

This easy recipe is such a great food gift around the holidays that anyone can make. Layers of melted chocolate with crushed candy, it’s so delicious I always make a double batch.

Note: You can also make different flavor combinations. Instead of the peppermint, try sprinkling on top dried fruit, nuts, or even different kinds of candy.

Ingredients:

1 cup dark chocolate chips

1 cup milk chocolate chips

1 cup white chocolate chips

4 candy canes, or any hard candies, fruit, or nuts.

Note: For this recipe I used peppermint candy canes

Preparation:

Make sure to have space in your fridge to fit a baking sheet for this recipe.  Get ready a sheet pan lined with parchment paper and set aside.

To melt the chocolate you can do it in two ways:

1) The first option is to use a double boiler. Heat a small pot filled with water up to

one-third of the pot, and let it boil. Turn the heat down to a medium heat and set a larger glass or metal bowl on top.

Add the dark chocolate chips and hold the bowl with a towel while you stir. Keep stirring until all the chocolate is melted.

2) The second option is to use a medium size glass bowl and heat the chocolate in the microwave for 30-40 seconds at a time, stirring after each time until the chocolate is melted. The bowl will get hot eventually after a few times of this so keep a towel handy.

Once the chocolate is melted pour the melted chocolate on the parchment lined sheet pan and spread evenly with a spatula.

Let this cool 5 minutes.

Next melt the milk chocolate and pour over the dark chocolate on the pan. Spread over evenly and repeat this process again with the milk chocolate.

Once you have all three layers of chocolate built up, unwrap the candy canes and place into a zip lock bag. Crush the candy caned with a spoon until you have small pieces. Sprinkle the candy on top of the chocolate and let cool in the fridge for 2 hours until firm and chocolate is set. Take out of the fridge and cover with plastic wrap. Use a large spoon to tap on the chocolate to break it apart, and enjoy!

Let me know what you think in the comments below, and happy cooking!

xoxo-Julie

Paradise Chicken Sandwich with Spicy Teriyaki Mayonnaise

I love the combination of pineapple and the sweet and a little spicy teriyaki mayonnaise. It’s also great with ham. I like to make it vegetarian by lightly pan-frying tofu in place of the chicken breast. This dish is fantastic for making sliders for a party, and is also great on picnics in the summertime.

Vegan Note: You can substitute tofu instead of the chicken, and use a non-dairy mayonnaise.

Yield: 2 sandwiches

Ingredients:
2 small boneless chicken breasts

4 pineapple slices

2 rolls, or hamburger buns

spinach, romaine, or leaf lettuce

4 tbsp. mayonnaise

1 scallion

1/2 tbsp. agave

1/2 tsp. light soy sauce

1/2-1 tsp. sriracha

2-3 tbsp. canola oil


Preparation:

Wash the produce and let dry.

Heat a medium size skillet on medium high heat. Once it’s warm, drizzle the oil in and add the chicken breasts. Cook 5-6 minutes on each side, until the internal temperature reaches 165*F.

To make the mayonnaise:

Mix together the mayonnaise, agave, soy sauce, and sriracha until well combined. Cut the scallion into thin slices and add into the mixture.

Spread the mayonnaise over the bread, layer the lettuce, chicken breast and top with pineapple slices, and enjoy!

Would you like to see more recipes like this one? Let me know what you think in the comments below, and happy cooking!

xoxo-Julie

Baked Dates filled with Cream Cheese Topped with Apricots and Honey

This appetizer is a simple, elegant dish that’s perfect for parties. Six ingredients, a little preparation, and you’re ready to impress.

Note: You can also bake these at 250*F for 15-20 minutes, so the dates are warm, the cheese is gooey and soft. Drizzle the honey after you pull them from the oven.

Ingredients:

12 dates; pitted and cut in half

1-2 ounces cream cheese

1-2 tbsp. honey

3 tbsp. pecans, chopped

2 tbsp. dried apricots; small dice

Preparation:

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apricots and honey drizzled dates filled with cream cheese

Pitt and cut the dates in half, and line on a tray or plate.

Fill the dates with cream cheese.

Chop the pecans and apricots and sprinkle on top of each date.

Drizzle honey over the top and enjoy!

Let me know what you think in the comments below, and happy cooking!

xoxo-Julie

Vegan Navy Bean “Queso” Dip with Fresh Cilantro

I absolutely love this dip! This queso was a labor of love to get just the right consistency and flavor I was looking for. When I want to make nachos, or enchiladas, this is my go to recipe. This easy homemade “cheese” dip is wonderful right off the stove.

Yield: 2 cups

Ingredients:
1 15 oz. can of navy beans

1/2 lemon, juiced

3 scallions, chopped

1/2 cup cilantro, minced

1/2 tsp. garlic powder

1/2 tsp. cumin

1/4 cup salsa, any kind you like

1/2 cup nutritional yeast

1/2 tsp. chili powder

1/2 tsp. onion powder

Preparation:

In a medium pot, heat the beans in water 5-10 minutes until soft.

Drain 2/3 of the water and mash beans with a potato masher, or use an immersion blender.

Add in the lemon juice, cilantro, scallions, salsa, garlic powder, cumin, nutritional yeast, chili powder, and onion powder. Stir well and cook 5-10 minutes until sauce is nice and thick and enjoy!

What do you like to use nutritional yeast for in your recipes? Would you like to see more recipes like this one? Let me know what you think in the comments below, and happy cooking!

xoxo-Julie

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Navy Bean Queso Dip with Fresh Cilantro

Wild Caught Crab Dip with Capers, Dill, and Fresh Parsley

This crab dip is so perfect for small parties. It’s creamy, well balanced in flavor, and always a win-win anytime I make this!


Note: You can also make this dip using salmon, yellow fin tuna, or albacore…..they all work with this recipe.


Ingredients:

1 can wild caught crab meat, drained.

2 tbs. mayonnaise

1 cup plain Greek yogurt

1 scallion; thinly sliced

1 English cucumber, peeled and diced small

1/2 tbs. old bay seasoning

dash of pepper

1/4 tbs. capers

1/4 tbs. fresh dill; minced

1/2 tbs. fresh parsley, minced

1/4 tbs. freshly squeezed lemon juice

Dash of sweet paprika

Preparation:

Wash all produce and dry.

Slice scallions, peel and dice the cucumber, and mince the fresh herbs.

Once the crab meat is drained, in a fine colander or cheesecloth rinse under cold water and squeeze the excess water out. Pat dry with clean paper towel.

In a medium bowl:

Combine the crab meat, mayonnaise, yogurt, lemon juice, scallions, cucumber, old bay, pepper, capers, dill, and parsley and mix until well combined. Top with a dash of sweet paprika.

Cool in the fridge one hour.

Serve with pita bread, crackers, or fresh cut vegetables.

Let me know what you think in the comments below, and happy cooking!

xoxo-Julie