Mexican Lasagna

Mexican Lasagna | Sprinkles 'n ThymeDo you ever go to parties and become completely obsessed with some of their dishes? And maybe you don’t really know them that well and you don’t want to totally derail the fun of the party by terrorizing the host to give you the recipes right now, but you really want them and with each bite all you can think about is how you are going to be able to get more in the future. Yeah, ok maybe not, but that’s what happened to me.

The inspiration for this dish came from a co-worker’s party many years ago. I remember she had quite the spread, but my favorite dish was her mexican lasagna. I didn’t get her recipe, but I’ve been dying to recreate it ever since. From what I remember, she said she just made it the same as regular lasagna but with enchilada sauce and cheddar cheese. So easy, for a dish that tastes completely different, but still feels familiar and fills you up on chilly nights.

Mexican Lasagna | Sprinkles 'n Thyme

It’s so simple, and you can easily make this ahead the night before and then just pop it in the oven when you’re ready. If you love ricotta from traditional lasagna, you can still use that step in this one as well, using the taco cheese instead of mozzarella. It was a little rich for me when I did this, so I omit that step, which also saves on time!

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. chorizo
  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 1 Tablespoon chili powder
  • 9 lasagna noodles
  • 2 19oz. cans of enchilada sauce
  • 1 can corn
  • 1 can black beans
  • 2 8oz. bags of Kraft Mexican Taco shredded cheese
  • Optional toppings: chopped green onion, sliced olives, chopped tomato, sour cream

Directions

  1. Boil water in large pot and cook lasagna noodles until al dente.
  2. Brown chorizo and ground beef in large skillet and sprinkle with chili powder. Drain and return to pan.
  3. Pour in enchilada sauce, corn and beans. Simmer on low-med heat for 10 minutes.
  4. Assemble your lasagna: pour 1 cup of the meat sauce on the bottom of a 9×13 pan. then layer 3 of the lasagna noodles across the pan side by side to cover the bottom of the pan. Pour 1 – 1 1/2 cups of the sauce over the noodles (I like to make sure the layers are covered in meat evenly), then sprinkle with cheese. I just eyeball this, but for us it’s enough to cover the sauce layer – prob a third or half of the bag. Repeat, with another layer of noodles, then meat sauce, then cheese. Cover with the final 3 noodles and remaining sauce. Sprinkle lightly with cheese.
  5. Cover with foil and bake at 350° for 45 minutes. Remove cover, sprinkle with a thick layer of cheese – prob 1 cup) and bake for an additional 10 minutes uncovered.
  6. Let cool and top with your favorite toppings – green onions, tomatoes, olives, and sour cream are our favorite – and enjoy!
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S’mores Treats

Smores Treats

Camping out with the family is one of my favorite things. I love being in the outdoors when the weather is crisp, and gathering around the campfire. And when you have fire, well you have to have S’MORES!! Maybe you saw the square-perfect-for-s’mores shaped marshmallows that came out this summer? I swear they taste even better than regular marshmallows because I made and ate like 5 or 6 s’mores in row!

The problem with amazing campfire s’mores, is I can’t whip them up whenever I have a craving for s’mores. Or basically, the hubby will not build campfires for me on a whim. Ridiculous, I know.

Soooo, since I love marshmallows and extra gooey rice krispies treats are another of my favorite indulgences, I figured why not take the original recipe and refine it for some truly delicious and easy indoor s’mores? Usually when I make plain rice krispies I throw a ton of extra marshmallows in at the end with the liquidy marshmallows. Trust me, it makes it EXTRA good!

This recipe is so quick and easy. The squares have some height on them and are filling, so even though this is for an 8×8 pan, you can cut in smaller squares than just 3×3. I started there and they were way too big for a serving. Well, you know a sensible serving, although we all gobbled these up almost instantaneously so maybe you know leave them in the larger portions!

I do own a cooking torch, so next time, I want to try doing a quick torch on the middle marshmallow layer before pouring on the top layer of chocolatey Golden Grahams to give it more of that campfire flavor. If you try it, let me know! Would love to hear how it turns out!

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Ingredients:

  • 6 cups of Golden Grahams cereal
  • 3 Tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips, divided in half
  • 2 10 oz. package of marshmallows

Directions

  1. Melt butter in large pot over low heat. Add in 1/2 cup of the chocolate chips and stir until half-melted, then pour in 1 bag of the marshmallows, stirring constantly until all are melted and combined with the chocolate.
  2. Remove from heat and add the Golden Grahams cereal to the marshmallow mixture and stir gently to coat all of the cereal with the mixture.
  3. Spray an 8×8 pan with cooking spray, then pour half of the cereal mixture into the pan. Using a sheet of wax paper, spray with cooking spray and use to help flatten the mixture. The spray helps prevent sticking while you’re evening it all out.
  4. Sprinkle remaining 1/2 cup of chocolate chips and half bag of marshmallows into the pan. Immediately top with remaining cereal mixture, using the sprayed wax sheet to help you press down on the mixture to flatten and spread it evenly.
  5. Let cool, cut into squares and enjoy!

Sprinkles 'n Thyme: S'mores Treats

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Pub-style Chicken & Mash

Pub-style Chicken & Mash

I LOVE comfort food. It’s warm, filling and oh-so-delicious. I used to order from a local service that sold meals that were bags filled with the exact amount of ingredients you needed for a recipe, and then all you had to do was cook it up. Over time, I realized the recipes were so simple I could do them myself and for a lot cheaper. Every once in awhile they send me emails with their monthly meals to try to get me to order again. I probably won’t ever go back, but they DID have some really delicious meals, so I’ve been trying to recreate some of my favorites even though I don’t have the exact recipes anymore.

The pub-style chicken and mashed potatoes was one of my favorite dishes. I mean it’s basically a loaded baked potato with chicken. Who doesn’t love loaded baked potatoes?!? And hey, let’s throw chicken on it…and now it’s a meal!! Yeah, I love stuff like that. I think the original recipe was just regular mashed potatoes but butter and sour cream are must haves in our mashed potatoes.

This dish is warm and hearty, and kid-approved in our family. It comes together quickly and if you wanted to, you could probably assemble ahead of time and then just warm in the oven for 30 minutes. Now, crack open an ice cold brew, and enjoy!

Ingredients:

  • 6 large brown potatoes
  • 1 stick of butter, cut into 1 inch slices
  • 1/2 cup regular sour cream
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1 Tablespoon pepper, plus additional for seasoning
  • 1 Tablespoon salt, plus additional for seasoning
  • 1 lb Chicken tenders
  • 2 Tablespoons of Olive oil
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 – 2 cups shredded Cheddar Cheese
  • 1 cup Bacon pieces
  • 1/3 cup sliced Green onions

Directions

  1. Fill a large stock pot with water and heat to boiling. While water is heating, peel and cut potatoes into large cubes then place into boiling pot.
  2. Slice green onion and cut chicken tenders into bite-sized pieces, and season with salt and pepper. Then set aside.
  3. Check potatoes and when they can easily be pierced with a fork, they are done. (some of us sample them to be sure!). Drain the water from the stock pot and place potatoes in the bowl of a stand mixer.
  4. Add sliced butter and sour cream and mix. While it is mixing, carefully pour in the salt, pepper and milk. The milk adds creaminess but you can adjust to your taste, more or less will determine how thick they end up. Add additional salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Pour mashed potatoes into a 9×13 pan and spread evenly.
  6. Heat skillet with the olive oil on stove on med-high heat. Once the pan is hot, toss in your chicken tender bites and Worcestershire sauce (just a few sprinkles around the pan to coat the chicken), stirring and turning with a spatula. Heat until they are no longer pink in the center, this only takes a few minutes.
  7. Pour cooked chicken pieces evenly over the mashed potatoes.
  8. Cover with shredded cheese. It should melt from the heat of the chicken, but if you want you can pop in the oven for a minute or two.
  9. Sprinkle with green onion and bacon pieces and serve!
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Homemade Pumpkin Spice Frappe

Pumpkin Frappe

Guest post from one of my oldest and dearest friends, Amber Hancock. Someday I think this country mom will have her own blog because she is full of great recipes and crafts! I have added to her post and of course give myself attribution as the mentioned BFF! haha! Love this girl. Enjoy this recipe!

Okay it’s pumpkin time and I love PS Frappe!! Okay, any frappe. Working 5 years at Starbucks got me hooked. Well my BFF (me!!) got me a cool Frappe maker when I moved to the country 8 years ago and I love it!! I even had to get my mom one so when I visited her, I had one still!

Anyways, I was experimenting the other day, and came up with a recipe you can even use a plain blender for, and it is SO GOOD. All you need is ice, milk, Pumpkin Pie Spice creamer and instant coffee! Easy peasy.

Homemade Pumpkin Spice Frappe

Now to make, I added ice to the blender, then filled up half way with milk.

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Next I top it off with the Pumpkin Pie Spice creamer to the top of the ice.

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Then add 3 tablespoons instant coffee.

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Blend, blend, blend!

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Pour, insert straw, ENJOY!!

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This is such an easy & amazing recipe that makes a creamy, delicious frappe! I have included 2 recipes below for you. Amber’s original version, and my kicked-up version because I’m a coffee fiend and always find myself preferring a strong coffee taste and even more caffeine.

Amber’s Original Pumpkin Spice Frappe:

Ingredients:

  • Milk (I prefer whole)
  • Pumpkin Pie Spice Creamer
  • 3 Tablespoons of Instant Coffee
  • Ice

Directions:

  1. Fill blender halfway full of ice.
  2. Pour milk halfway up the ice, and top off with the creamer to the top of the ice.
  3. Add in the instant coffee, blend and enjoy. The frappe maker is smaller than a blender and I find it hard to make individual portions in a blender, so this is close to 2 servings.

Sprinkles ‘n Thyme Kicked up Pumpkin Frappe

Ingredients:

  • 2 -3 cups strong black coffee, cooled
  • Pumpkin Pie Spice Creamer
  • 3 Tablespoons of Instant Coffee
  • 1 tsp Pumpkin pie spice
  • Ice

Directions:

  • Fill blender halfway full of ice.
  • Pour in cooled coffee until it is halfway up the ice, then pour the pumpkin pie spice creamer to the top of the ice.
  • Add in your instant coffee and pantry pumpkin pie spice.
  • Blend and enjoy your kicked up, fully caffeinated frappe!
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Boom Chicka Pop Fall Holidrizzle Review

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Boom Chicka Pop’s Fall Holidrizzle flavors are here: Candy Corn and Pumpkin!

Earlier this year, I experienced Boom Chicka Pop’s products for the first time from a Valentine’s snack pack my oldest daughter had brought home from a party. I had never tried their kettle corn before, and this one was flavored Strawberry Cupcake. All I can say is O.M.G. So good. Of course, there were some really important sharing lessons taught around this snack pack. I was teaching her… or maybe she was teaching me…who can really remember?

So imagine my excitement today when I see their new Fall Holidrizzle flavors at my local store 2 for $6. Done and done. And after this, I’m probably going to go back and scoop up some more. I love when brands do limited or seasonal flavors, so was very excited to get a couple bags of these! Now let’s see what’s inside.

Candy Corn Kettle Corn:

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From the moment I popped open this bag, I was hit with a sweet, almost caramel scent. I loved how colorful it was with the ribbons of yellow and orange drizzle across it. It had a kiss of sweet candy corn flavor and a richness to the drizzle, but you still got the crunch and saltiness of the kettle corn. I love a good salty/sweet mix, which is why I’m such a fan of kettle corn. This one had just the right amount of creamy drizzle and felt like something I would want out at a fall or Halloween party for sure.

Pumpkin Spice Kettle Corn:

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If you love pumpkin spice, and who doesn’t, then you will love this! When you pop it in your mouth you are first hit with the warmth of pumpkin spice, and then a creamy drizzle that has a wonderful, buttery finish. This one was definitely creamier and the drizzle seemed to coat the kettle corn more. The only thing that was missing for me was a bit more of the saltiness that I love. It’s there but could be more for my taste. I will say the featured flavor you expect to find was stronger in the pumpkin spice than the candy corn.

And the winner is…..

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Candy Corn! Ok, they were both winners, but our family’s favorite hands down was the Candy Corn. We loved the vibrant fall colors, rich candy corn flavor, and the sweet/saltiness that came through with the crunchy kettle corn base. Which one will reign supreme in your house?

 

This post is originated and created by me and is not affiliated with any brand or incentive. Thoughts and opinions are my own.

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Pizza Mac One Pot

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The school year has begun, which for our family means busy weeks filled with homework, sports, activities and more. During the week, I’m always looking for a quick and easy recipe so I can get the kids fed and off to their next activity. One of my favorite go-to recipes is the One Skillet Cheesy Chili Mac from Gonna Want Seconds. I LOVE chili mac and this is so much better than the box kind and just as easy. The family always gobbles it up, but apparently we can’t have chili mac every night (what?!).

I love one pots so I looked at the recipe and thought it could easily be made into a pizza one pot. New flavors for the family; easy, time-saving recipe for me! The version I have made is basically a supreme pizza mac, but if you have picky eaters you can always adjust to your family’s tastes.

Our family loved this and it’s definitely going into our rotation. If you’re in a real hurry and don’t have time to chop veggies, you can always save more time by eliminating that step. This mac was creamy, cheesy and so delicious! Just steam some veggies while the pasta is cooking and you have a great meal that is ready in no time.

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Ingredients:

  • Olive Oil
  • 1 small onion chopped
  • 1 green pepper chopped
  • 20 Pepperoni slices, quartered
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1 Tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 lb spicy Italian turkey sausage
  • 2 cups water
  • 15 oz. can tomato sauce
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 2 cups elbow macaroni
  • Sliced olives
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella
  • Pepper

Directions:

  1. Heat olive oil on medium heat in large non-stick skillet. Add green pepper and onion, stirring frequently, until onion is more clear and soft. Add pepperoni, garlic, Italian seasoning and cook for an additional minute.
  2. Add turkey sausage and brown until cooked through.
  3. Add water, tomato sauce, and salt to the skillet, stirring to mix. Pour in the macaroni, cover and cook about 10 – 12 minutes. Stir frequently while the pasta is cooking to prevent sticking.
  4. Remove pan from heat and stir in one cup of the mozzarella. Salt and pepper to taste. Top with remaining mozzarella. Once melted top with sliced olives and serve.

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Sparkling Blueberry Lemonade

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There are just a few official days of summer left, but you can enjoy this sparkling blueberry lemonade all year long. Lemonade always seems to hit the spot on a hot day and I love to mix up the flavors for something a little bit different from the traditional.

This lemonade is light and refreshing without being overly sweet like lemonades can get. The bubbles from sparkling seltzer water add some fizzy fun, finished with a nice punch of mint and blueberry. It’s so easy to put together and even the little ones LOVED it! Ours did not mind the fruit and mint bits, but if yours will, you can always do a quick strain.

Mix some up and enjoy the final days of summer!

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Ingredients: makes 1 pitcher

  • 1.75 L bottle of Simply Lemonade (depending on your pitcher you won’t use it all, but get this size)
  • 1 cup Blueberries
  • 12 oz bottle Sparkling Seltzer water (we got the 12 oz. bottle 6-pack)
  • 3 sprigs fresh mint

Directions:

  1. Puree blueberries, and chop the mint into strips. If you are making a single serving, just chop or muddle a couple of leaves.
  2. Fill pitcher with 2/3 with Simply Lemonade and stir in the chopped mint and pureed blueberries. Fill the remaining 1/3 with the sparkling seltzer water and gently stir.
  3. Pour into glasses and top with a few extra blueberries and a sprig of mint.

Note: For those that don’t like fruit bits in their drinks, after mixing the blueberry puree and chopped mint into the lemonade, strain the mixture to keep the flavor and no bits!

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Lemon-Thyme Shrimp Pasta

Lemon-Thyme Shrimp Pasta

I am a huge fan of shrimp, and shrimp pasta is one of my favorite things to treat myself to. Maybe it’s because I’m already indulging in a huge bowl of carby yumminess, that I’m telling myself look at the REALLY healthy protein I’m adding. Ha! It is a healthy protein and I love how it eats light and balances out the heaviness that pasta can have.

So, this recipe, yes, was my second nod to the name of the blog. Last one – that’s intentional anyways! I thought it would be fun to share a recipe with fresh thyme. I really like using fresh herbs and the flavorful brightness they bring to a dish. This is an easy dish to throw together on a busy night, even though it may seem like there are multiple components.

One key to this recipe is using a quality jarred sauce to elevate the dish, but saving you time. I used Mario Batali’s Alfredo Pasta Sauce. I love to experiment with new products so when I grabbed this, I had never had it but thought for sure it would be better than the Prego or Ragu product.

Well, I have to admit that I hated it. On it’s own anyways. I sampled a bit when I opened it and I wasn’t in love with the flavor. I think it had an overwhelmingly strong Parmesan flavor. If you love heavy Parmesan, get this. Many people will be more familiar with Alfredo that dulls down this flavor leaving a more creamy, subtle hint of Parmesan type of sauce. I, of course, continued on (because I was hungry!) and once you added in the lemon zest and juice and the thyme, it was ah-mazing and blended together well for the perfect sauce. On a side note, if you like your pasta extra saucy, you’ll want to pick up 2 jars of sauce.

We will definitely be making this again in our house, only next time I might add some sauteed veggies like mushrooms, onion and peas. Also, I have to admit, the pasta was delicious hot and cold!

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Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. peeled and deveined shrimp
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 box of Farfalle (bow-tie) pasta
  • 1 Tablespoon of fresh Thyme or 3/4 teaspoon dried
  • 1 15 oz jar Mario Batali’s Alfredo pasta sauce
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • Lemon half
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Boil water in a large stock pot and pour the pasta into the pot.
  2. Cook pasta to desired firmness and drain. Generally about 10 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, heat skillet on medium-high heat on the stovetop, and pour olive oil. Gently tilt the pan from side to side to ensure the oil coats the entire bottom of the pan while it’s heating.
  4. Place shrimp in the pan, stirring, until they are dark pink on the sides. Should just take a few minutes. When done, remove shrimp from pan, plate and cover to keep warm.
  5. Put the skillet back on the warm stove and pour in the Alfredo sauce, thyme, lemon zest, and squeeze the lemon half over the pan to incorporate the juice. Continue stirring until hot. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Pour the shrimp and finished pasta sauce over the cooked noodles and mix well.
  7. Sprinkle some additional fresh thyme over the dish when serving.
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Ultimate Vanilla Sprinkle Cupcakes

Ultimate Vanilla Sprinkle Cupcakes

Yay! My first post! I am so excited for this blogging journey and can’t wait to share my favorite quick and easy recipes with you. Since sprinkles are in my blog’s name, I thought how could I not make my first post about sprinkle cupcakes? I LOVE sprinkles. And I love cupcakes. And then cupcakes with sprinkles in them AND on top of them?!? Mind. blown.

Ok, ok, I know this is a basic recipe with a traditional flavor, which is why I want to share it with you. My favorite recipes are ones that I consider a good base, the ones you can substitute and add ingredients to make something completely new. I will post other cupcakes but the base structure of the recipe will almost always start from here. I love this recipe because it makes fluffy, melt in your mouth cake and rich, creamy frosting that everyone always raves about.

Yes, this recipe is based on a box mix, but it’s foolproof and if you’re in a pinch, don’t have a lot of chefy skills, or hate baking from scratch (maybe all of the above?), then this is for you. I have seen several posts to make your own cake mix, so you can always substitute your own for the box.

For this recipe, you’ll need two kinds of sprinkles: nonpareils (ball shaped) and jimmies (stick shaped). The jimmies work the best for inside the cake. What you put on top is really your preference. I love the nonpareil because they are the kind of sprinkles we always had around growing up. I love the added crunch! You can design these cupcakes to match your school colors, wedding colors, or party theme. Mix it up and have fun!

Sprinkles      Inside cupcake sprinkles

Cupcake ingredients:

  • 1 box of white cake mix
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup granulated white sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/3 cups water
  • 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 4 large egg whites
  • 1/2 cup of rainbow jimmies

Cupcake Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 325°F. Line cupcake pans with cupcake liners. Recipe makes approximately 36.
  2. Mix all dry ingredients (except the jimmies) together in a stand mixer (you can also use a whisk or hand mixer). Add in water, oil, vanilla extract, sour cream and egg whites and let mix for 2 minutes on medium speed. Note: I recommend using a quality vanilla extract, like Nielsen-Massey, and full fat sour cream for best results.
  3. Add in jimmies and continue to mix until they are dispersed in the batter.
  4. Fill cupcake liners 3/4 full with batter and bake for 18 minutes.
  5. Remove and place on cooling rack. Make sure they are completely cool before frosting.

Buttercream frosting ingredients:

  • 2 sticks of unsalted butter
  • 2 sticks of salted butter
  • 6 cups of powdered sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 – 4 Tablespoons heavy whipping cream
  • Pink concentrated gel icing coloring
  • Rainbow nonpareils

Frosting Directions:

  • Place butter in stand mixer and beat on medium speed until the butter is creamy.
  • Add powdered sugar to the stand mixer, one cup at a time, letting the sugar fully mix into the butter before adding the next cup. It should not be packed down. I usually use a smaller scoop to pull the powdered sugar out of the bag, shake it loose and pour into the 1 cup measuring cup. Again, shaking and leveling so that these are loose cups.
  • Continue mixing and pour in the vanilla extract and heavy whipping cream to get the desired consistency. You want it to be creamy, but if you are piping these, too much liquid will make them lose their form.
  • Using a toothpick, scoop a pea-sized portion of the gel into the frosting and continue to mix. Gel coloring doesn’t effect the structure of the frosting so these are usually better than the liquid. If you need to get a second pass at the gel to achieve the color you want, use a fresh toothpick so you don’t get frosting in the gel container.
  • Use a piping tip of your choice, I used Wilton 2D, with a piping bag or large gallon  zip bag. Fill it an make ascending swirls to get your perfectly topped cupcakes.
  • Now go crazy with the sprinkles! You will need to make sure your frosting is still fresh as it will hold the sprinkles the best. So if you have a lot of cupcakes, I would work in stages, frosting half a dozen, then sprinkle, then frost another half dozen, and so on.
  • Note: If you plan to use have these cupcakes outside in the heat, they will melt! Butter has a low melting point. Keep these kind of cupcakes inside or substitute half or all of the butter for shortening. 

Now enjoy!

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