Butter, with a side of Bread // Easy family recipes and reviews.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

CHOCOLATE CHERRY GREEN SMOOTHIES + NUTRI NINJA BLENDER DUO PRODUCT REVIEW

Butter With a Side of Bread: Chocolate Cherry Green Smoothie

As I've said before, I don't really like vegetables but I do realize how important they are for health so over the last couple of years I have found that putting them in smoothies is the easiest way to get my daily servings in.  Most mornings, I throw together a combination of fruit and spinach in a blender and have found lots of ways to make my smoothies taste really good too.

I was recently given the opportunity to try out a Ninja Blender DUO with Auto-IQ and in the few weeks that I've had it, it has been amazing!


Some of my favorite things about this blender are:

  • Everything is dishwasher-safe!  This is very rare for high-end blenders but I love that I can put the blades, cups, lids and pitcher in the dishwasher.  
  • The smaller cups included with the blender.  The pitcher is HUGE which is awesome for making smoothies for the whole family, but I love having the smaller cups because I can blend up just enough for one serving, swap the blade out for a lid and drink my smoothie straight out of the cup without having to pour it into a separate cup.  It's awesome!
  • It's powerful!  No matter what I've put in it, it has been able to blend everything very easily with the touch of just one button.
I never even thought of adding cocoa to my smoothies until recently, but it is an amazing addition - it makes the smoothies taste like chocolate milkshakes!  I found a few recipes for Chocolate Cherry Smoothies and ended up combining several different ones to come up with this one.  My kids love smoothies, but usually stay away from the ones that are green but since this one ends up looking (and tasting) like chocolate, they had no idea there was spinach in it!  

CHOCOLATE CHERRY GREEN SMOOTHIES

1 cup frozen cherries
1/2 banana
1 heaping tsp of cocoa powder
1/4 C vanilla yogurt
1/2 cup almond milk 
1 C spinach (I buy large bags at Costco and then divide it up into individual bags and keep it in my freezer)
squirt of agave, to taste (this just adds a little more sweetness)

Place all of the ingredients in the blender and blend until smooth.  (This recipe makes about 2 servings.)  Enjoy!  

Butter With a Side of Bread: Chocolate Cherry Green Smoothie

Butter With a Side of Bread: Chocolate Cherry Green Smoothie
Butter With a Side of Bread: Chocolate Cherry Green Smoothie


*This post is sponsored by Ninja.  Ninja provided me with the Nutri Ninja Blender Duo with Auto-IQ, but all opinions are 100% mine.  

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

PEANUT BUTTER COOKIE DOUGH TRUFFLES

PEANUT BUTTER COOKIE DOUGH TRUFFLES: Butter With A Side of Bread

My husband loves cookie dough so I'm always on the look out for great recipes that use it. I saw a cookie dough truffle and thought using peanut butter cookie dough would be a nice twist. These were a huge hit in my family and I love how simple they are to make. Enjoy!

Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Truffles
Makes 24 truffles

  • 1/2 cup butter (1 stick) softened
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup peanut butter (any type you'd like- I love Peanut Butter & Co!)
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 TBSP milk
  • 1/3 cup mini chocolate chips
  • 1 TBSP peanut butter + 2 tsp butter (melted then whisked together, for drizzle)
  • 1 1/2 cups melting chocolate (or 1 1/2 cups chocolate chips + 1 TBSP shortening)

Combine the butter, brown sugar, peanut butter, vanilla, salt and milk in a large mixing bowl. Mix until well combined. Add in flour until dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl. Add in mini chocolate chips and mix to combine. 

Using a cookie dough scoop, measure out 2 TBSP of dough and form into a ball. Place on a parchment covered baking sheet. Once you've got all the truffles formed, place sheet in the freezer for 30 minutes. 

After truffles are well chilled, melt the dipping chocolate. I love using Chocoley Dipping & Coating Chocolate because it's super easy to use and it tastes fantastic. (not like wax!) The trick to melting chocolate in the microwave is to go slowly and stir gently- start with 30 seconds, then check it, then put on for another 30 seconds, then if it's nearly all melted, just take it out and let it finish melting in the warm bowl. 

If you'd like to do a peanut butter glaze on top like I did, melt 1 TBSP peanut butter and 2 tsp butter in a small bowl. Microwave for 30 seconds, then whisk to combine. Transfer to a small plastic baggie and let cool until you're ready to use. (When you're ready, snip the corner and drizzle away!)

I like to dip the truffles using 2 tooth picks- one in each hand. Stick one about 1/4 of the way into a frozen truffle, then just dip in the chocolate, coating all sides. You can use a rubber scraper to help coat the truffles. Once it's coated, shake lightly to remove excess chocolate and use the toothpick your other hand to help remove the truffle from the first toothpick and set it down on the chilled baking sheet. If you also set the chocolate-coated truffle down on the pan, then twist the toothpick slightly, it will dislodge easily. Make sense? 

Coat all of the truffles in chocolate. Drizzle them in peanut butter glaze, then top with sprinkles, if desired. I think they look so cute and festive this way! 

Refrigerate until ready to serve. Store any leftovers in a closed container in the fridge. 

PEANUT BUTTER COOKIE DOUGH TRUFFLES: Butter With A Side of Bread

PEANUT BUTTER COOKIE DOUGH TRUFFLES: Butter With A Side of Bread

PEANUT BUTTER COOKIE DOUGH TRUFFLES: Butter With A Side of Bread

PEANUT BUTTER COOKIE DOUGH TRUFFLES: Butter With A Side of Bread

PEANUT BUTTER COOKIE DOUGH TRUFFLES: Butter With A Side of Bread

PEANUT BUTTER COOKIE DOUGH TRUFFLES: Butter With A Side of Bread

PEANUT BUTTER COOKIE DOUGH TRUFFLES: Butter With A Side of Bread

PEANUT BUTTER COOKIE DOUGH TRUFFLES: Butter With A Side of Bread

PEANUT BUTTER COOKIE DOUGH TRUFFLES: Butter With A Side of Bread

PEANUT BUTTER COOKIE DOUGH TRUFFLES: Butter With A Side of Bread
 

Monday, October 27, 2014

GIVEAWAY: PICK YOUR PRIZE ~ A KITCHENAID MIXER, iPAD MINI, OR $275 PAYPAL CASH!



The holidays are nearly upon us and we thought it'd be fun to give everyone the chance to win a fantastic prize or some holiday cash! 

We've teamed up with several other bloggers to offer a "pick your prize" contest and up for grabs is a 5 qt Kitchenaid Mixer, an Apple iPad Mini or $275 Paypal cash! 

See entry methods below. We appreciate your participation- good luck to everyone!



Here's how to enter:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, October 25, 2014

KITCHEN STEALS: Canning Supplies, Digital Meat Thermometer, Baster, Disney Waffle Iron & More

Post may contain affiliate links. We make a small amount off items purchased through these links.


We have another Saturday feature here on Butter- one that I hope you will all enjoy! For years I authored a frugal living blog so getting a great deal is just a part of who I am. I have a good understanding of what specific items cost so when they're heavily discounted, I can recognize it for the steal that it is. So on a regular basis I'll pass along some current great deals- most, if not all of these are 30-75% off! Enjoy! 


Friday, October 24, 2014

CREAMY TOMATO SOUP with TORTELLINI

CREAMY TOMATO SOUP with TORTELLINI: Butter With A Side of Bread
I'm sure I'm not alone when I say: I love soup. Like, adore it. It's what I eat for lunch most of the fall and winter seasons. It's so warm and satisfying! I'm always on the hunt for a great soup recipe and this, my friends, is a great one. The tortellini just makes this soup, so be sure to not leave it out. This recipe is really a merging of 3 delicious tomato soup recipes...one I took more inspiration from that others so I've listed it below. Enjoy! 

Creamy Tomato Soup with Tortellini
Adapted from Two Peas & Their Pod's Recipe here (although I made quite a few changes)


  • 2 TBSP olive oil
  • 1 small red onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 1 cup sliced carrots
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • dash of crushed red pepper flakes
  • a splash of balsamic vinegar {probably about 2 tsp}
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 3 (14.5 oz) cans diced tomatoes {or substitute 1 can each with 4 fresh tomatoes}
  • 2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • 4 oz cream cheese
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 package cheese tortellini {we used a box of 7 oz dried}
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • Salt and pepper, to taste


In a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, vinegar, salt and basil and cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in the carrots, celery, bay leaf,  and crushed red pepper flakes. Continue cooking until everything is hot. Add the chicken broth, bring to a boil, then simmer, with a lid on for about 10 minutes.

Add the diced tomatoes- undrained; you want all the liquid. Season with salt and black pepper, to taste. Increase the temperature until the soup is boiling again, then decrease temp and simmer on low for 15 minutes.

Remove the bay leaf from the pot. Use a hand immersion blender to blend the soup (or carefully transfer soup to a blender to blend and return to the pot). I like this soup well blended, so I used my immersion blender for a good 3-4 minutes, stirring and making sure it was as smooth as possible.

In a small bowl, heat the half-block (4 oz) of cream cheese in the microwave for about 30 seconds. Add in the cream and microwave another 30 seconds. Whisk until it's smooth and creamy. Add in to the blended tomato soup. Also add in the 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese.

The tortellini we used was dried, so we boiled it separately for about half the time it called for on the box (we boiled ours for 7 minutes.)  If you bought the refrigerated kind, simply add it to the soup, no boiling required.

Stir in the cheese tortellini and continue to simmer with the lid on for about 10-15 minutes. Top with additional Parmesan cheese and enjoy!

CREAMY TOMATO SOUP with TORTELLINI: Butter With A Side of Bread

CREAMY TOMATO SOUP with TORTELLINI: Butter With A Side of Bread
Even though this recipe calls for just a small amount of balsamic vinegar and sugar, they contribute to a nice, deep flavor of the soup, so I wouldn't leave them out! 

CREAMY TOMATO SOUP with TORTELLINI: Butter With A Side of Bread

CREAMY TOMATO SOUP with TORTELLINI: Butter With A Side of Bread
I used 4 small/medium sized tomatoes in place of 1 can of diced tomatoes. I washed and cored them, then sliced them into 4th and squeezed out the seeds. No need to remove the skin- once you blend the soup you won't even be able to tell they're on still. 

CREAMY TOMATO SOUP with TORTELLINI: Butter With A Side of Bread
Pre-blended soup

CREAMY TOMATO SOUP with TORTELLINI: Butter With A Side of Bread

CREAMY TOMATO SOUP with TORTELLINI: Butter With A Side of Bread
Blended with cream added.

CREAMY TOMATO SOUP with TORTELLINI: Butter With A Side of Bread
 

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

ICED MAPLE PECAN BARS

ICED MAPLE PECAN BARS: Butter With A Side of Bread


My husband and I accidentally left a window open last night in our house. {Aaaaand it dropped to 43 degrees!} We woke up and the temp in our family room was a whopping 61 degrees. It's actually supposed to be a pleasant week, weather wise, so instead of cranking up the heater, I decided to bake! I marked this recipe in an old cookbook and love how it turned out. I had to make quite a few adjustments {the book was really old!} but the results were delicious- an easy, sweet, nutty dessert.

Iced Maple Pecan Bars

  • 1 box yellow cake mix (15.25 oz)
  • 1/3 cup butter, melted
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp maple flavoring (or vanilla)
  • 1 cup chopped pecans (or walnuts)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 9x13 or half bakers pan with cooking spray.

The recipe is divided into 2 parts, the crust and the topping. First, measure out 2/3 cup of the cake mix and put it in a small mixing bowl. This will eventually be the topping, but just set aside for now.

Pour the remaining cake mix into another small mixing bowl and add 1 of the eggs and the melted butter. Mix well with a rubber spatula and press into the prepared pan. Bake for 10-12 minutes, until golden brown.

While the crust is baking, add in the remaining 3 eggs to the cake mix previously set aside. Whisk in the brown sugar, maple syrup and flavoring.

Once the crust has baked, pour the topping over it, sprinkle on the chopped nuts and return back to the oven for an additional 15-18 minutes.

Remove from oven and cool. If you'd like to add an icing, whisk together 1 cup powdered sugar with 1 TBSP melted butter and about 1 TBSP milk. Add in milk until you reach the desired consistency- I like mine a little firm, so I don't add much milk in at all. Transfer to a small bag, snip the corner and ice the bars however you'd like.

Enjoy!
ICED MAPLE PECAN BARS: Butter With A Side of Bread

ICED MAPLE PECAN BARS: Butter With A Side of Bread

ICED MAPLE PECAN BARS: Butter With A Side of Bread

ICED MAPLE PECAN BARS: Butter With A Side of Bread

ICED MAPLE PECAN BARS: Butter With A Side of Bread

ICED MAPLE PECAN BARS: Butter With A Side of Bread
 
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