Garlic Parmesan Pull Apart Bread

 

I’m always on the look out for new ways to use my Wildtree Products!  This is my new favorite appetizer, perfect for sharing!  I just made a batch of these for the Super Bowl — go Seahawks!

 

Garlic Parmesan Pull Apart Bread

Ingredients:

16 dinner rolls (such as Rhode’s)
1/2 cup (I stick) butter, melted
1 tsp Wildtree Hearty Spaghetti Blend
1 tsp Wildtree Absolutely Onion Blend
2 tsp Wildtree Garlic Galore Seasoning
1 cup Parmesan cheese, shredded (divided)

Method:

1.  Defrost dinner rolls by allowing them to sit out at room temperature for about 1 hour (or put them in a warm oven for about 30 min.)

2.  Cut each dough ball into fourths with clean kitchen scissors. Stir together melted butter, herb/seasoning blends, and 1/2 cup of parmesan cheese.

 

3.  Pour over dough balls and gently stir to ensure that each dough ball is thoroughly covered with butter/herb/cheese mixture.

 

4.  Place dough balls around the bottom of a 9 inch springform pan.  Sprinkle the tops with the remaining 1/2 cup parmesan cheese.  Allow to rise for 1-2 hours in a warm place.

 

5.  It is necessary to line the bottom of your springform pan with aluminum foil as the butter can leak out during cooking – even pans that claim to be leak proof, like mine!  (If the butter leaks out, it can make a huge mess in your oven and cause lots of smoke! It might also be a good idea to line the bottom of your oven with aluminum foil.).  When ready to bake, cook in a preheated oven at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until the middle is cooked through.

 

6.  Pull apart and enjoy!  (Pardon the missing piece…I couldn’t resist!)

 

Tips and Thoughts:

1. This would be fantastic with a mix of shredded mozzarella cheese and parmesan.

2.  These are also great dipped in marinara sauce.  To make your own, heat 1 large (28 oz) can of tomato sauce or crushed tomatoes with 1-2 Tbsp of Wildtree’s Hearty Spaghetti Sauce Blend until warm.

Wildtree Chicken Enchilada Soup


 

Looking for a new soup to add to your repertoire?  This Chicken Enchilada Soup has become my husband’s all time favorite home-made soup, thanks to Wildtree!  It comes together quickly and it’s a cinch to make.  And besides the Wildtree products, you probably have most of the ingredients already in your pantry.

 

 

Chicken Enchilada Soup

Serves 6

Ingredients:

1 Tbsp Wildtree Natural Grapeseed Oil
1 medium onion, diced
1/2 green or red bell pepper, diced
1 pound chicken breasts (boneless, skinless), cut into bite sized pieces
3/4 cup (6 oz) Wildtree Tia Rosa’s Red Enchilada Sauce
8 oz block cream cheese (I prefer Neufchatel)
2 tsp Wildtree Chicken Bouillon Soup Base
1 cup water
1 (15 oz) can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes
1 (15.25 oz) can sweet corn (or 1 cup frozen corn)

Method:

1.  In a large sauce pan, heat the grapeseed oil over medium heat.  Add the onion and peppers.  Cook until the onion is translucent and the peppers have softened.  Add the chicken and cook, stirring occasionally for about 8-10 minutes or until cooked through.

2.  Turn the heat to medium-low and add the enchilada sauce.  Stir in the cream cheese until thoroughly incorporated.  Add the chicken bouillon base and water.  Stir in the beans, diced tomatoes and corn, and cook until all ingredients are heated throughout, about 15 minutes.  *Do not allow the soup to boil, or the cream cheese will cause it to break.

Tips and Thoughts:

To make things even easier, I use a 15.5 oz can of cooked chicken breast instead of cutting up chicken breasts.  Plus, I like the shredded texture better.

Serve with a dollop of sour cream and a sprinkling of cilantro.

Be sure to contact me if you are interested in purchasing anything, or you can always go to my website and order there at any time (www.mywildtree.com/EmilyBower).


Lemon-Lime Yogurt Bread

 

I have been inspired to “Wildtree” recipes lately — make them using Wildtree products which in turn makes them healthier by eliminating preservatives and chemicals — subbing out grapeseed oil for vegetable oil and adding our delicious spice blends and shortcuts.

Here are a few things I have learned about the health benefits of using Grapeseed Oil these past few months.  Grapeseed Oil aids in cholesterol reduction, is easily digestible, and is high in Vitamin E and Linoleic acid.  Wildtree’s Grapeseed Oil is expeller pressed (no chemicals were used when extracting it the seed).  Grapeseed oil has no preservatives, sodium, trans fats, and is not hydrogenated.  It’s great to cook with because of its high smoke point and delicate flavor.  For more information, here is the link to our Grapeseed Oil Fact Sheet.

The great thing about this recipe is that you can use any combination of some of Wildtree’s Grapeseed Oils (Zesty Lemon, Butter or Natural Grapeseed Oil) to make the half of a cup needed.  I used Zesty Lemon and Butter flavors, but you could substitute the Natural Grapeseed in for any amount.

Lemon-Lime Yogurt Bread is great for a snack, breakfast or even dessert, and is also good served with Lemon Lime Cheesecake Dip (see Wildtree’s website for directions).  I encourage you to try some out for yourself!

 

Lemon-Lime Yogurt Bread 

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup sugar
1-2 Tbsp Wildtree Lemon Lime Cheesecake Blend (depending on how much lemon-lime flavor you like)
3/4 cup Greek Yogurt (I used fat free Fage)
1/4 cup Wildtree Zesty Lemon Grapeseed Oil
1/4 cup Wildtree Butter Grapeseed Oil
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract

Method:

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Butter and flour a standard loaf pan (8 1/4 x 4 1/4 inches).  Tap out any excess flour.

2.  In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt.  In a large bowl, combine sugar, Wildtree Lemon Lime Cheesecake Blend, Greek yogurt, Grapeseed Oil(s), eggs, and vanilla.  Fold the dry ingredients in to the wet ingredients (in the large bowl) until just blended.  Pour batter into prepared pan; smooth top.

 

3.  Bake until the top of the cake is golden brown and a tester inserted into the center comes out clean, about 50-55 minutes.  Let cake cool in pan on a wire rack for about 10 minutes.  Remove from pan and allow to cool completely.  Store in an airtight container.

**For even more lemon flavor, add the zest of 1 lemon (about 1 Tbsp) to the 1 cup of sugar.  Rub together until the sugar feels moist.  Continue with the rest of the recipe.

Fried Chickpea, Arugula, and Wildtree Tzatziki Pita Sandwiches


 

I supposed you could say I’m on a chickpea “kick” with these last two posts, but really the last time I had chickpeas was this light summer salad!  They are good for you and my daughter likes them, which is important since she rarely eats meat.  She definitely liked them in this recipe.

Since joining Wildtree, I’m constantly trying to figure out how I can use my Wildtree products to spruce up recipes.  Fried Chickpea and Arugula Pita Sandwiches with Wildtree Tzatziki turned out to be delicious and is perfect for a vegetarian meal or “Meatless Monday.”  You could also serve it as a salad with the pitas on the side or with pita chips.

 

Fried Chickpea and Arugula Pita Sandwiches with Wildtree Tzatziki

Makes 4 pitas (or 8 pita halves)

Ingredients:

1 (7 oz) container plain low-fat Greek yogurt (my favorite is Fage)
1/4 – 1/2 cucumber peeled, seeded, and shredded
1 1/2 tsp Wildtree Tzatziki Seasoning Blend
2 Tbsp Wildtree Roasted Garlic Grapeseed Oil, divided
1 (15 oz) can chickpeas, rinsed, drained, and patted dry
1 Tbsp Wildtree Chipotle Lime Rub
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper
4 cups loosely packed arugula
4 pitas sliced in half
tomato slices (1/4 inch thick)
Method:

1.  Prepare the Tzatziki:  Combine the yogurt, cucumber and Wildtree Tzatziki Seasoning Blend in a small bowl and set aside.

2.  In a large sauté pan, heat 1 Tablespoon of the Wildtree Roasted Garlic Grapeseed Oil over medium-high heat.  Swirl the pan to coat the bottom with the oil.  Add the chickpeas and the Wildtree Chipotle Lime Rub to the pan and sauté until lightly brown and crispy (about 10 minutes), stirring constantly.

3.  In a large bowl, whisk together the fresh lemon juice, pepper, remaining tablespoon of Wildtree Roasted Garlic Grapeseed Oil.  Add the arugula and toss to gently coat.

4.  Fill each pita half with 1/8 of each: arugula, chickpeas, tomato slices and Tzatziki sauce.  Serve immediately.

**If you are interested in ordering any of the Wildtree products listed here, feel free to contact me!  You can leave a message here or visit my Wildtree website at:  www.mywildtree.com/EmilyBower


Summer Chickpea Salad

It’s summertime and the grocery stores and farmer’s markets are full of delicious fresh vegetables!  This is my favorite summer salad, loaded full of fresh tomatoes, cucumbers, and herbs.

This summer chickpea salad is a great salad for a picnic or potluck since it doesn’t have any mayo and you don’t have to worry about spoilage.  It’s fresh and easy to make.  It only requires a bit of chopping!

Ingredients:

1 bunch scallions (about 6), white and green parts, thinly sliced
1 pint grape or cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
1 cucumber, peeled and diced
1 can (16 oz) chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley (curly or flat)
1/3 cup chopped fresh basil
1 Tbsp minced garlic
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice (2-4 lemons)
1/2 cup olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
8 oz feta cheese, 1/2 inch diced

Method:

- Here’s the easy way:

Combine the scallions, tomatoes, cucumber, chickpeas, parsley and basil in a large bowl and stir to combine.  In a small bowl, combine the garlic and lemon juice.  Slowly whisk in the olive oil to emulsify.  Pour over salad and toss to coat vegetables.  Gently stir in feta cheese and add salt and pepper to taste.

- Here’s the very easy way:  Toss all ingredients in a bowl and stir.  Add salt and pepper to taste.

Tips and Thoughts:

I like the uniform size of diced feta, but you can use crumbled if you can’t find block feta.

This salad is great on its own, but can be a great appetizer if served with toasted pita bread, or a vegetarian main if served in a pita.

 

Recipe adapted from the Barefoot Contessa

 

4th of July Cake Pops

 

Happy Fourth of July!  This year, we will be celebrating Independence Day with my sister and her family, and our neighbors.  Every year, our street has a mini parade where the kids can decorate their bikes and then afterwards, we have a potluck and watch the fireworks.

Today is also my sister’s birthday.  Happy Birthday, Beth!

I haven’t been doing much baking lately because I’m trying to eat healthier, but today is a special occasion! For the potluck, I decided to make my favorite summertime salad and festive cake pops.  Cake pops are great for the kids (adults, too) because they are the perfect portion size and it’s always fun to eat things on a stick!

I hope everyone has a very safe and happy 4th!

To see how to make cake pops, visit this blog post here.


 

Wildtree

I’ve gone and done it!  I’ve decided to become an Independent Sales Representative with Wildtree.  Many people have yet to hear of Wildtree, as I only recently learned about the company myself!

I first tried Wildtree at a Tasting Party hosted by my neighbor.  She had just signed on to be a Sales Rep and was launching her business.  Everything I tried was very tasty I and ended up purchasing quite a few products!  I thought it would be fun to host my own party, but after learning more about Wildtree, I decided to take it one step further and become a Sales Rep.

Wildtree was founded on the premise that food should be natural, nutritious, delicious, and easy to prepare —  all at the same time.  As a mom of two young children this is also very important to me.

Wildtree, now certified organic, is a nut-free company with products that are free of preservatives, chemical additives, dyes, MSG, and GMO’s AND high fructose corn syrup. And they enable you to create spectacular, great-tasting dishes that are quick and easy.

Our product line consists of tasty grape seed oils, culinary spice blends, soups & stews, dips, salsas, sauces, salad dressings, appetizers, breads, and deserts. Grocery shop for those healthier version of items that you already buy and try out some new ones as well.

Wildtree products also make great gifts:  Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, birthdays, Housewarming, the opportunities are endless!  Make a quick and easy skillet meal and take it to a friend who just had a baby.  Put a few items together in a lovely basket and voila, a gift anyone would love to receive.  And you can feel confident that your family and friends are getting healthy, organic, and delicious food.

simple. healthy. natural.

If you are interested in viewing the online catalog you can visit my webpage at www.mywildtree.com/EmilyBower.  You can also place orders by clicking on the “Shop” link at the top of the page.  All orders are shipped directly to you.
Please feel free to contact me!
Don’t worry, I still aim to blog about my favorite recipes, new and old, but you might see a few here and there with Wildtree products.

Chocolate Chip Espresso Shortbread

Wow, it’s been a long time since I’ve been able to post to my blog!  Now that my 3 and a half month old is being thoroughly entertained by his little play yard, hopefully I can get back in the game.  Little Grayson loves being held by his mamma and eats all day, so that has made it very difficult to get on the computer.

My goal is to work on losing some of this post-baby weight, so my inspiration the next several months will be on healthier foods.  Saying this “out-loud” on my blog will hopefully help hold me more accountable.  I’m also working on portion control, so if I do indulge on some sweets, it will just be in small doses.

When Grayson was first born, I had a few minutes to spare to do a little baking while he napped, and I wanted to make something new to share with my neighborhood book club.  I LOVE shortbread (as you can see by these posts for Shortbread and Chocolate Shortbread) and thought these looked tasty.  There is only a small amount of espresso in these cookies, so the espresso flavor is very light.  You can add more if you like, or leave it out altogether if you are not an espresso fan.  These cookies go perfectly with a cup of coffee or my favorite, an iced mocha!

 

Espresso Chocolate Chip Cookies

Yield: about 24 rectangles

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
3 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
2 Tbsp cornstarch
1 tsp salt
1 tsp instant espresso
1 Tbsp vanilla extract
1 1/3 cups powdered (confectioners’) sugar
1 cup semi-sweet (or dark) chocolate chips

Method:

1.  Lightly spray the bottom of a 9 x 13 inch baking dish with cooking spray (or use butter if desired).  In a small bowl, dissolve the espresso into the vanilla extract.

2.  In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cornstarch, and salt.  In a stand mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar on medium speed and mix until light and fluffy.  Add the espresso-vanilla mixture and mix until combined. With the mixer on low, gradually add the flour mixture until the dough just comes together.  Mix in the chocolate chips.

3.  Spread the dough out evenly into the prepared pan.  With the tines of a fork, prick the dough all the way through.  Cut the dough into 24 rectangles (I do mine 6 x 4.) Refrigerate the dough for at least 30 minutes.

4.  When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.  Bake the dough for 30-40 minutes, until the top looks dry and golden-brown.  Immediately recut the cookies into 24 rectangles (following the lines where you previously cut.)  Cool completely before removing then from the pan.  Store in an air-tight container.

 

Thoughts and Tips:

These are also great dipped half-way in melted chocolate!

For thicker cookies, use a smaller pan such as 7 x 11 inch or 8 x 12 inch.

I prefer using un-bleached all-purpose flour when baking.

To make the cookies easier to remove from the pan, you can line it with parchment paper that hangs over slightly on the edges.  Just pull up on them to remove the entire batch from the pan.

 

Adapted from Fine Cooking Magazine

 

New Year’s Update

I hope everyone had a great holiday season and Happy New Year!  I was very busy baking up a storm in December, and didn’t end up having much time to post here on my blog.  I tried out many new recipes, but didn’t find anything I was excited about enough to share.

 

 

I did receive several new books for Christmas that I can’t wait to start cooking and baking from.  Here are the ones I got, with recipes I look forward to trying:

 

Deb Perelman writes the Smitten Kitchen blog, which I first discovered about a year ago and now I have her book!  I have already made the delicious Whole-Wheat Raspberry Ricotta Scones (which are also excellent with blueberries).  I can’t wait to try the Chocolate Chip Brioche Pretzels, Cheddar Swirl Breakfast Buns, Wild Mushroom Tart, just about every recipe in the “Sweets” section, and of course most of the Party Snacks.

Her book has a lot of recipes that I haven’t seen anywhere else, like the Vinegar Slaw with Cucumbers and Dill, which I think would go nicely with my Crockpot Pulled Pork, and the Fingerlings Vinaigrette with Sieved Eggs and Pickled Celery which sounds like a fantastic variation of potato salad.  I love that she is a fellow leek lover and I look forward to making the Leek Fritters with Garlic and Lemon.  Mushroom Bourguignon sounds like a great meat alternative dinner and I’m very anxious to try Maya’s Sweet and Sour Holiday Brisket.

As I am a huge pizza fan, and could eat it just about everyday, I plan to go on a mission to find the perfect pizza dough recipe.  I’m curious to try her Rushed Pizza Dough and compare it to the Leisurely Pizza Dough.  Needless to say, I’m very excited about this book!

 

As you might know, I enjoy making cake pops, and this book has a ton of great cake ball (and cake pop) flavor ideas.  I love the simple, yet elegant decorations and presentation.  There’s not one recipe that I wouldn’t try; they all look delicious.  Now I just need to figure out where to start!

 

I’ve been reading all about this book in various magazines that I subscribe to.  Needless to say, I had to add it to my Christmas wish list.  I think my husband may be even more excited that I am to learn how to make more “artisan” style breads at home, which this book goes into great detail describing.

I learned a lot about bread making when I went to baking and pastry school and most home bakers are missing the steam ovens that are used by professional bakers.  This steam is essential to producing the perfect crust.  This book contains recipes for Basic bread, Levain Bread, and Pizzas (did I mention that I love pizza!).  The only downside about this book is that you may find that you need to buy some of the equipment needed to make the recipes, which, unless you are very dedicated, may not be something you want to invest in.

 

Kara Allen writes the blog, Kara’s Party Ideas, which I learned about via blogs that I follow as well as Pinterest.  She just recently came out with this book that includes a variety of party themes and decorating ideas, and it even comes with a CD that includes free templates from the parties in the book.  Hopefully I can use some of these ideas for future birthday parties for my kids.

 

Last but not least….I got the Dahlia Bakery Cookbook!  I can’t believe I never visited the Dahlia Bakery when I lived in the Seattle area!  I did get to eat at the Dahlia Lounge Restaurant for my 30th Birthday and try their legendary Coconut Cream Pie, which was delicious and just happens to be included in the book.  I’ve really been missing Seattle food lately, and this book helps take me back to that yummy place (along with watching Top Chef: Seattle).  I enjoyed reading the intro section (Bakers are Crazy).

I can’t wait to try making the English Muffins, Dahlia Doughnuts, “the Nora Ephron” Peanut Butter Sandwich Cookies, and Chocolate Truffle Cookies with Crackly Crust.  I love that there is a doggy treat (Ruby’s Bones) recipe, as I’ve always wanted to try making treats for my dog.  Just about every recipe in the pies, tarts, and cakes sections made my mouth water, especially the ones with chocolate in them.  During the warmer months, I will have to try out some of the ice cream and sorbet recipes.

The only negative thing about this book, is that I wish there were pictures included with every recipe.  I always eat with my eyes first, and I love to know what the item I’m about to make is supposed to look like.  Some recipes have several pictures to demonstrate techniques, which is handy, but others have none.

 

I’d love to know what some of your favorite cookbooks are, so feel free to leave me a comment on here or Facebook!

Now that I’m finally getting caught up on my blog, I’ll be having my baby within the next few days since I’m due any minute now.  If there’s another big lapse in posts, that’s why!  I also got a new photography light for Christmas from my husband, so hopefully you will start to see some improvement in my pictures (I just have to figure out how to use it!).  Until next time….

Holiday Pudding Cookies

 

Yes, I’ve been on Pinterest, again.  I was looking for some new cookie recipes to make for a cookie exchange, and I found two different ones that looked yummy and festive.  I wanted to make one type of cookie with chocolate and something a little more different, but with seasonal ingredients.  Unknowingly, the two recipes that I found were basically the same recipe by the same person from a blog that I follow, just swapping out a few ingredients.  No wonder they looked good!  I switched out some of the ingredients to adapt them to my tastes, and voila!

Both recipes included pudding in the ingredients list, and since I have never used pudding in cookies before, I was curious to see how they would turn out.  I love that they are soft and chewy!

 

Going down the baking aisle this time of year is always fun, as you will find all sorts of different chocolate chip flavors and baking bits.  Back in October, I found some Andes Peppermint Crunch Baking Chips, among other things, and once I discovered these recipes, I knew I found the perfect opportunity to try them out!

 

 

This one is my favorite of the two since I’m such a chocoholic!

Chocolate Peppermint Crunch Pudding Cookies

Yield: 3 dozen

Ingredients:

3/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 (3.9 oz) package instant chocolate fudge (or chocolate) pudding mix
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp baking soda
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup cocoa powder (I used Hershey’s Special Dark cocoa powder)
1 cup Andes Peppermint Crunch Baking Chips
1 cup dark chocolate (or semi-sweet) chips (I used Nestle Dark Chocolate Chips)

Method:

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In the bowl of a mixer, cream butter and sugars together until light and fluffy.  Add pudding mix and mix until combined.  Add eggs and vanilla, scraping down sides of bowl as needed.

 

2.  In another bowl, whisk together the baking soda, flour, and cocoa powder.  Gradually add to mixer until just combined.  Mix in peppermint and chocolate chips.

 

3.  Form into 1 inch balls, or use a scoop, and place onto a parchment or Silpat lined baking sheet.  Flatten balls slightly with your fingertips.  Bake 9-11 minutes or until done.  Allow to cool on pan for several minutes before moving to a wire rack.  Store in an airtight container.

 

The Cranberry White Chocolate Pudding Cookies are basically the same, just switch out the Chocolate Fudge pudding for French Vanilla flavor and use white chocolate chips and cranberries instead of the chocolate and mint chips.  If you prefer more cranberries, you can always add up to a half of a cup more.  Also, omit the cocoa powder and add a little bit more flour.

 

Cranberry White Chocolate Pudding Cookies

Yield:  3 dozen

Ingredients:

3/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 (3.4 oz) package French Vanilla (or regular vanilla) instant pudding mix
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp baking soda
2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1 cup white chocolate chips
1/2 cup dried cranberries

Method:

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In the bowl of a mixer, cream butter and sugars together until light and fluffy.  Add pudding mix and mix until combined.  Add eggs and vanilla, scraping down sides of bowl as needed.

 

2.  In another bowl, whisk together the baking soda and flour.  Gradually add to mixer until just combined.  Mix in white chocolate chips and cranberries.

 

3.  Form into 1 inch balls, or use a scoop, and place onto a parchment or Silpat lined baking sheet.  Flatten balls slightly with your fingertips.  Bake 9-11 minutes or until done.  Allow to cool on pan for several minutes before moving to a wire rack.  Store in an airtight container.

 

Adapted from Chef In Training/I {heart} Nap Time.

I have not tried these, but you may also like these similar cookie recipes using pudding:

Mint Chocolate Pudding Cookies by Table for Two
Butterscotch Pudding Triple Chip Cookies by two peas & their pod