Maebells http://www.maebells.com Where we can guarantee things are sweeter in the South Mon, 20 Oct 2014 11:30:10 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Salted Caramel Mocha Cheesecake Squares http://www.maebells.com/salted-caramel-mocha-cheesecake-squares/ http://www.maebells.com/salted-caramel-mocha-cheesecake-squares/#comments Mon, 20 Oct 2014 11:30:10 +0000 http://www.maebells.com/?p=2448

Before we dive into these amazing Salted Caramel Mocha Cheesecake Squares I want you to know I have been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. Salted Caramel Mocha Cheesecake Bars SUPER easy and SO good! Perfect for gift giving! www.maebells.com I am about to blow your mind. Are you ready? There are only five more Fridays between now and Thanksgiving, only 8 between now and Hanukkah, and 9 between now and Christmas! Holy cow! I know. I had to count twice. Where has the time gone?! Wasn’t it just yesterday we were talking about Blueberry Lemonade and suntans?! Salted Caramel Mocha Cheesecake Bars, SUPER easy and SO good! Perfect for gift giving! www.maebells.com Before you get all wild eyed on me and break out your Holiday to do list I have something that will soothe your soul. I have partnered with Kraft and #CollectiveBias to bring you a fantastic idea for gifting things that you can make in your very own kitchen! Things people will go nuts for! It is more affordable  and adds a nice thoughtful, personal touch. And let’s face it, who doesn’t love some homemade goodies?! These Salted Caramel Mocha Cheesecake Squares are not your typical dessert. They are a creamy, sweet, and salty caffeine filled dream come true! And they are a breeze to prepare even if you aren’t an experienced cook! Here is how we make them! Salted Caramel Mocha Cheesecake Bars, SUPER easy and so good! Perfect for gift giving! www.maebells.com

This is one of those recipes that is so simple to make, yet really depends on the quality of ingredients you use. My line up included Kraft Philadelphia Cream Cheese, eggs, Semi Sweet Bakers Chocolate, Kraft Caramels, instant coffee, vanilla extract, butter, gluten free graham cracker crumbs, and sea salt. Pretty simple, huh?! Just in case you don’t use those ingredients often you can find them right in the baking aisle at your local Wal-Mart. Salted Caramel Mocha Cheesecake Squares

To make the Cheesecake Squares you start with the crust. I used gluten free graham cracker crumbs, but you can use regular if you prefer. Just mix them with a little sugar and melted butter, mix really well and press into a pan lined with parchment paper. You want to pack them in there pretty well so you have a nice solid crust. Salted Caramel Mocha Cheesecake Bars, SUPER easy and SO good! Perfect for gift giving! www.maebells.com

Next, I added the softened cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla extract to the bowl of my stand mixer. I mixed the cream cheese on a low setting until just combined and then added three eggs, mix until everything looks creamy and blended. Then just pour your cream cheese filling into your crust! Salted Caramel Mocha Cheesecake Bars, SUPER easy and SO good! Perfect for gift giving!

You’re almost done! Now onto the good part! The chocolate and the caramel! We are creating two different kinds of swirls, mocha swirls and salted caramel swirls. For the mocha, I melted Semi Sweet Bakers Chocolate and combined it with the instant coffee that had been dissolved in a teeny bit of water. Basically, you are mixing melted chocolate with coffee concentrate. Mix it well, and try not to eat it before you put it on your cheesecake. ;) Add the mocha chocolate in little spoonfuls over the cheesecake. Then take a skewer or butter knife and carefully run it though the chocolate to make swirls. Salted Caramel Mocha Cheesecake Bars

For the salted caramel simply melt the caramel bites and a pinch of sea salt and drop it over the filling in spoonfuls just like you did with the chocolate. Gently create your caramel swirls. Now you just slide this into the oven and wait! When you remove the bars from the oven let them cook completely and sprinkle with sea salt. This creates that perfect blend of salty and sweet!

Salted Caramel Mocha Cheesecake Bars

All that is left is to cut these bad boys up, wrap them up in something really cute, and show everyone just how much you care! I promise, there are few things in the world that show someone how much you love them like the gift of cheesecake! :) Salted Caramel Mocha Cheesecake Bars, SUPER easy and so good! Perfect for gift giving!! www.maebells.com To find more fantastic goodies be sure to search #TasteTheSeason and see what else you can bake up your loved ones this Holiday season! Happy Monday my friends!!

5.0 from 1 reviews
Salted Caramel Mocha Cheesecake Squares
Recipe type: Dessert
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
 
Ingredients
  • For the Crust:
  • 2 cups gluten free graham cracker crumbs
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 4 tablespoons butter, melted
  • For the Cheesecake:
  • 3 packages Philadelphia cream cheese, I used 2 regular and one reduced fat
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 eggs
  • For the Mocha Swirl
  • 6 blocks semi sweet Bakers Chocolate
  • 1 tablespoon instant coffee powder
  • 2 teaspoons hot water
  • For the Salted Caramel Swirls
  • ¼ cup Kraft caramel bites
  • 1 pinch of sea salt + more for garnish if desired.
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 325.
  2. Line a 9x13 baking sheet with parchment paper, spray lightly with cooking spray and set aside.
  3. In a mixing bowl combine the graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and butter. Mix well and press into pan evenly.
  4. Using a stand mixer combine the softened cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla and mix until blended.
  5. Add in three eggs and beat until creamy.
  6. Pour cheesecake mixture into pan and spread evenly.
  7. For the Swirls:
  8. Slowly melt the Bakers Chocolate in the microwave, stirring often. When chocolate has melted combine the 2 teaspoons hot water with the espresso powder and pour in with chocolate. Stir well. Add chocolate in spoonfuls over cheesecake. Use a butter knife or other kitchen utensil to make swirls in your cheesecake.
  9. In a small bowl combine the caramel and the sea salt, slowly melt in the microwave. When melted drop in spoonfuls over the cheesecake. Using a knife, make swirls.
  10. Bake cheesecake for 40 minutes or until set.
  11. Let cool completely.
  12. Garnish with additional sea salt

If you need more inspiration, check out the Cooking Up Good website! They have recipes, sweepstakes, loyalty programs, coupons and more! What’s not to love? Be sure to check it out!

Original article: Salted Caramel Mocha Cheesecake Squares

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Asparagus, Avocado, and Tomato Salad http://www.maebells.com/asparagus-avocado-and-tomato-salad/ http://www.maebells.com/asparagus-avocado-and-tomato-salad/#comments Sat, 18 Oct 2014 14:47:46 +0000 http://www.maebells.com/?p=2374

Asparagus, Tomato and Avocado Salad in a creamy lemon vinaigrette! Healthy, quick and delicious! www.maebells.com

I don’t post many salad recipes, mainly because my salads are very boring.

I generally just toss in some spinach, cucumber, tomatoes, feta, and top it with oil and vinegar. So, to prevent from boring you to death, I just don’t share them.

However, this salad is a game changer. My Mom came across this recipe back in the summer and we fell in love. Steamed asparagus is combined with avocado and tomatoes, and then tossed in a lemon vinaigrette. It is the weirdest, most fantastic combination of ingredients!

Asparagus, Tomato and Avocado Salad in a creamy lemon vinaigrette! Healthy, quick and delicious! www.maebells.com

Since trying this a couple months ago I just can’t seem to get enough. This salad is, of course, best when it is fresh, but it does store fairly well. I like to make a batch on Sunday nights and take it to work for the first part of the week. It is healthy and filling and I love the mix of flavors and textures.

The salad is a cinch to prepare. It all starts with simply steaming freshly trimmed asparagus until tender. Just be careful not to overcook it, otherwise it will be mushy and you really want it to have a nice little crunch to it. Then add in some chopped tomatoes and avocados, along with a load of fresh basil, the lemon vinaigrette and a good dose of mozzarella for good measure. And there you have it! The strangest yet most fantastic salad you will ever eat!

Asparagus, Tomato and Avocado Salad in a creamy lemon vinaigrette! Healthy, quick and delicious! www.maebells.com

Happy Saturday Friends!

5.0 from 2 reviews
Asparagus, Avocado, and Tomato Salad
Recipe type: Salad, Side Dish
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6+
 
Ingredients
  • 1 pound asparagus, trimmed and cut in half
  • 4 cups halved cherry tomatoes
  • 1 ripe avocado, cut into cubes
  • 1 cup Bocconcini Mozzarella, drained
  • ½ cup packed basil leaves, sliced
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
Instructions
  1. Boil asparagus in a large pot of salted water for 1½ minutes, or until fork tender. Be careful not to overcook!
  2. Drain and rinse with cold water.
  3. Add the asparagus, tomatoes, avocados and mozzarella into a large bowl.
  4. In a small bowl or mixing cup combine the basil, oil, lemon juice, mustard and salt and pepper. Mix well until everything is combined and pour over salad ingredients.
  5. Toss to coat.

 

Asparagus, Tomato and Avocado Salad in a creamy lemon vinaigrette! Healthy, quick and delicious! www.maebells.com

Recipe was inspired and adapted from Sunset magazine.

Original article: Asparagus, Avocado, and Tomato Salad

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Carrot Cake Bars with Vanilla Cream Cheese Icing http://www.maebells.com/carrot-cake-bars-with-vanilla-cream-cheese-icing/ http://www.maebells.com/carrot-cake-bars-with-vanilla-cream-cheese-icing/#comments Thu, 16 Oct 2014 10:08:16 +0000 http://www.maebells.com/?p=2431

One year ago today, you could have found me on the sandy shores of Jamaica. It was warm, it was sunny, and it was my wedding day.

Carrot Cake Bars with Vanilla Cream Cheese Icing

We made the decision to have a destination wedding pretty quickly after we got engaged. We are both really practical people. So, it was hard for us to imagine spending a ton of money on a wedding when we knew there were real, more practical, bigger expenses we were saving for. And it was even harder to imagine asking our parents to pay for a big wedding neither one of us really wanted. So, we opted for Jamaica instead.

Carrot Cake Bars with Vanilla Cream Cheese Icing! So delicious and gluten free! www.maebells.com

After the trip was booked I had a little twinge of regret. We wouldn’t have all of our friends there to watch us get married. I wouldn’t have bridesmaids. People we loved wouldn’t be there. I really wondered if I had made a mistake.

In the end, we had ten wonderful, fantastic guests at our wedding. My brother and my Dad walked me down the aisle, Mr. Maebell and I said our own vows, and Gimme Three Steps could be heard from a mile away as we walked out. There was an awful lot of love on that little beach.

Carrot Cake Bars with Vanilla Cream Cheese Icing

As I sit here today, and think back, I absolutely couldn’t have asked for it to happen any other way. I know we live in this world that makes you believe that a wedding is a once in a life time event, so you should spend big. While I do think it deserves celebrating, the good stuff, the really really good stuff comes after the wedding. The actual marriage is what you should put your effort and energy into planning, not just the party.

Carrot Cake Bars with Vanilla Cream Cheese Icing

Since we got married in another country bringing the top of the cake back was totally unrealistic. So, today we are celebrating our anniversary with these wonderful Carrot Cake Bars with Cream Cheese Icing. Hey, I know it may not be the most traditional way to celebrate your anniversary but neither was our wedding!

Carrot Cake Bars with Vanilla Cream Cheese Icing, gluten free and SO GOOD! www.maebells.comCarrot Cake Bars with Vanilla Cream Cheese Icing, totally gluten free! www.maebells.comCarrot Cake Bars with Vanilla Cream Cheese Icing, gluten free and SO GOOD! www.maebells.com

Happy Thursday!

Carrot Cake Bars with Vanilla Cream Cheese Icing
Recipe type: Dessert, Sweets, Baking
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8+
 
Ingredients
  • For the Carrot Cake Bars
  • 1½ cup Gluten Free Bisquick
  • 1 cup Old Fashioned Oats, I used gluten free
  • 1 package dry vanilla pudding mix (5 ounces)
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups shredded carrot, packed
  • 1 can crushed pineapple, 8 ounces and undrained
  • ⅓ cup chopped pecans
  • ¾ cup canola oil
  • 1¼ cup buttermilk
  • 2 eggs
  • For the Cream Cheese Icing
  • 8 ounces reduced fat cream cheese, room temperature
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon of milk (if needed to thin, this is up to your personal preference)
  • For the Topping
  • ⅛ cup shredded coconut, toasted*
  • 3 tablespoons chopped pecans
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350
  2. Using a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment combine the ingredients in the following order:
  3. Mix flour, oats, baking powder, salt, vanilla pudding mix, sugar, and cinnamon, combine well.
  4. Add the vanilla extract, carrots, undrained can of pineapple, oil, buttermilk, and eggs.
  5. Fold in the pecans.
  6. Pour into greased 12x8 pan, bake 35-40 minutes.
  7. Remove bars from oven when a tooth pick comes out clean.
  8. Turn bars out onto a cooling rack.
  9. For the Cream Cheese Frosting:
  10. Beat the cream cheese, powdered sugar, vanilla extract, and milk (if you are using) until smooth and creamy.
  11. Frost bars with cream cheese icing when completely cool.
  12. Top the bars with the toasted coconut and the pecans
  13. *To toast the coconut place coconut in a single layer on a baking sheet. Turn the broiler on medium and place coconut directly under the broiler. Watch carefully and remove when golden.

 

 

 

Original article: Carrot Cake Bars with Vanilla Cream Cheese Icing

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Roasted Tomatillo and Jalapeno Salsa http://www.maebells.com/roasted-tomatillo-and-jalapeno-salsa/ http://www.maebells.com/roasted-tomatillo-and-jalapeno-salsa/#comments Tue, 14 Oct 2014 10:07:59 +0000 http://www.maebells.com/?p=2423

I like experimenting with new ingredients. I think it is really fun to mix unfamiliar flavors together and see what happens. Sometimes the results are really great and become our new favorites, and other times it doesn’t turn out so well.

Roasted Tomatillo and Jalapeno Salsa, the easiest Salsa Verde ever! Just roast and toss in the blender!

I have been playing around with tomatillos recently. They are funny looking little things that are commonly used in Mexican dishes. I have tried some sauces, enchiladas, and of course salsa. I have been really impressed with how versatile these little guys are. I love the complex flavor they add to any dish.

Roasted Tomatillo and Jalapeno Salsa, the easiest Salsa Verde ever! Just roast and toss in the blender!

It’s no wonder I am a fan of tomatillos because I love the flavor of salsa verde. I use it pretty often in recipes, like this Cilantro Lime Shrimp and Rice and the Slow Cooker White Bean Chicken Chili Verde, but I hadn’t tried my hand at a homemade version. I am not sure why. I guess I thought it would be difficult. Actually, it couldn’t be easier.

Roasted Tomatillo and Jalapeno Salsa, the easiest Salsa Verde ever! Just roast and toss in the blender!

You just pull the husks off of the tomatillos. Aren’t they pretty? I love the bright green color. After the husks are removed they are a little bit sticky, so just wash them really well. Toss the tomatillos in a teeny bit of olive oil and sprinkle with salt.

Roasted Tomatillo and Jalapeno Salsa, the easiest Salsa Verde ever! Just roast and toss in the blender!

Now it’s time to roast the tomatillos. Just spread them on a large baking sheet and throw a couple fresh jalapenos into the mix for good measure. Slide them into a hot oven until they start to become a bit “charred” on the outside.

After roasting them, let it cool and dump everything into the blender with an onion, lime, cilantro, and spices.

And you have fresh, homemade Salsa Verde on your hands! How easy is that?!

Roasted Tomatillo and Jalapeno Salsa, the easiest Salsa Verde ever! Just roast and toss in the blender!

5.0 from 1 reviews
Roasted Tomatillo and Jalapeno Salsa
Recipe type: Appetizer
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6+
 
Ingredients
  • 1 pound fresh tomatillos, husk removed and washed well
  • 2 fresh jalapenos, seeded
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • ¼ teaspoon course salt
  • 1 small white onion
  • ¼ cup chopped cilantro
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic salt
  • ¼ teaspoon cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1 lime
Instructions
  1. Remove the husks from one pound of tomatillos, rinse well.
  2. Toss the tomatillos, onion, and seeded jalapenos in the olive oil and the salt.
  3. Place on a large baking sheet.
  4. Turn your broiler on high and broil until the vegetables become charred. (For me this was about one minute, then I flipped them over and broiled for one more minute)
  5. Watch very carefully and make sure not to burn.
  6. Remove from oven and let cool.
  7. Cut the ends off the onion and cut into into quarters, discard the outer layers.
  8. Add the tomatillos, jalapenos, and the onion to blender along with cilantro, spices, and the juice of one lime and blend on high until smooth (30 seconds-1 minute)

 

 

 

Original article: Roasted Tomatillo and Jalapeno Salsa

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Pumpkin Spice Latte Granola http://www.maebells.com/pumpkin-spice-latte-granola/ http://www.maebells.com/pumpkin-spice-latte-granola/#comments Mon, 13 Oct 2014 11:16:12 +0000 http://www.maebells.com/?p=2434

In my never ending quest to cram as much caffeine as possible into my granola I have created a gem of a recipe.

Pumpkin Spice Latte Granola, all the flavor of your Starbucks favorite in a crunchy, healthy snack!

World, meet Pumpkin Spice Latte Granola. You will wonder how you ever lived without it!

To be fair, this was sort of an accident. I have been feeling rather uninspired lately and was having a hard time thinking of things to share with you. I needed to create some recipes for the blog, but since my creative juices were not yet flowing I opted for our trusty, Mocha Granola recipe. I turned the oven on, got out a mixing bowl, the coconut oil, the honey, the oats, and as a I reached into the cabinet to grab the espresso powder I saw a can of untouched pumpkin.

Pumpkin Spice Latte Granola, all the flavors of your Starbucks favorite in an easy, HEALTHY granola!!

And just like that, plans were changed. Dare I add pumpkin to my trusty recipe?!

When in doubt always, always add pumpkin, I say ;)

Pumpkin Spice Latte Granola, all the flavors of your Starbucks favorite in an easy, HEALTHY snack!!

The rest is history my friends. We devoured this in less than two days. TWO days! It does not have an overwhelming pumpkin or coffee flavor, rather a perfect blend of the two. It really does taste very close to an actual Pumpkin Spice Latte, but of course in a more convenient, less expensive form!

Pumpkin Spice Latte Granola, your Starbucks favorite in a crunchy, healthy snack!

This is seriously the most perfect, healthy, fall snack! You will absolutely love it if you try it!

5.0 from 2 reviews
Pumpkin Spice Latte Granola
Recipe type: Snack, Granola
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6+
 
Ingredients
  • ½ cup honey
  • ½ cup coconut oil
  • ⅓ cup pumpkin
  • 1 tablespoon instant espresso powder (one to go packet)
  • 1 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 3 cups old fashioned oats (I used gluten free)
  • ⅓ cup pecans
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350
  2. Combine coconut oil and honey in a medium size mixing bowl.
  3. Microwave 45 seconds or until coconut oil is melted.
  4. Add pumpkin, spices and espresso powder, stir mixture until well dissolved.
  5. Add oats and pecans, stir mixture until all oats are completely covered
  6. Grab a large baking sheet, line with foil and spray with cooking spray.
  7. Spread oats mixture thinly and evenly across the baking sheet.
  8. Bake 10 minutes, stir mixture, bake 10 more minutes.
  9. Remove oats from oven, let them cool.
  10. Store in an air tight container

Check out these other awesome granola recipes!

Mocha Granola

Mocha Granola

Salted Caramel Mocha Granola. All the flavor of your Starbucks favorite in an easy granola! #glutenfree www.maebells.com

Salted Caramel Mocha Granola

Honey Vanilla Almond Granola, healthy and delicious!!

Honey Vanilla Almond Granola

 

 

 

Original article: Pumpkin Spice Latte Granola

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