Every Tuesday I make it a habit, as I am putting together the meal planner for Deals to Meals, to do a little food blog browsing. I never know what I am looking for, I am just waiting for a recipe to call out to me and tempt me with those amazing food blog photos--"Pick me, Pick me..I will be your family's next favorite recipe!"
Nearly every week I feel like I find a new recipe that does just that. My standards are high and not all recipes make it. But those that make my 'tried and true, family approved' cut, you know they are going to be good. Many times I have to do a little tweaking to make them just right. But once I have the recipe to where I can't get it any better, I add it to our weekly meal planner.
So..leave the blog hopping to me and then sit back, relax, and pick and choose which delicious meals you want to make this week!
Here are two recipes that may grace your table this week if you use Deals to Meals for your menu planning. Both of these recipes were DELICIOUS and well worth the effort of making them tonight to see if they were good enough to add to the meal planner. They both passed with flying colors!!!
First off, here is an adapted (and improved) version of these Ham & Broccoli Pinwheels, Ranch Roll Ups, Cheesy Ranch Rolls, etc. They could really have a million names, but whatever you want to call them, they are deliciouoso!! Not only did they taste great, but they are healthy (okay...overall) and super fun to make! My kids could not peel themselves away from watching me make our 'cinnamon roll dinner', as my 3 year old liked to call them. He ate them right up, vegetables and all, because he thought they were cinnamon rolls--hey, whatever works!!
Ranch Ham & Broccoli Pinwheels
1 recipe for rolls or homemade bread (I used our favorite whole wheat bread recipe because we needed bread around the house anyway. It made two cookie sheets full of these pinwheels and then three loaves of bread. I used 7 c. of wheat flour and 5 c. of white flour--made these a little more healthy. You can use all white flour too and that would still taste great! If you are petrified of making your own dough, you could use the store bought Pillsbury Crescent or Biscuit dough)
12 oz. cream cheese
1/4 c. mayonnaise
1/4 c. butter (okay, this part is not extremely healthy :)
1 ranch dressing packet
1 t. parsley (dried or fresh)
1/2 t. garlic powder
1/2 t. black pepper
Dash of cayenne
2-3 c. Ham, chopped (I used deli boneless ham from my freezer) If you are like my husband and like a lot of meat, add a little more.
2 c. Broccoli (fresh or frozen--just chop up pretty fine)
1/2 Red Bell Pepper, finely chopped 1/4 c. green onions, sliced
2-3 c. shredded colby or cheddar cheese (you could also use parmesan cheese--the more cheese the better in my book!!)
Make the dough as you would normally. Once the dough has risen for the first time, punch it back down and divide into your two large mounds (each mound will make about 12-15 pinwheels). Roll the dough into a large, thin rectangle (get it as thin as you can--about 1/8 inch thick).
Mix the filling ingredients together and spread half of the mixture over the rectangle dough evenly. Sprinkle the ham, vegetables and cheese over the filling on the dough. Roll the dough like you would a cinnamon roll, tucking each roll in as tightly as you can. Once you have a long log of the pinwheel, begin cutting pieces into 1 inch thick slices. Place the slices face up on a greased cookie sheet. Place cookie sheets of pinwheels into the oven at 170 degrees. When slices have doubled in size, turn the oven to 350 degrees (without opening the oven door) and bake for 20-30 minutes, or until lightly golden on top.
Roll up dough like you would a cinnamon roll.
Aren't they pretty??
Peanut Butter Caramel Crunch Bars
(I took this picture before the layers had set up all of the way. Once the bar was cooled, it cut into perfect squares and you could see each individual layer)
Now for dessert! I changed up a recipe I saw for these bars and think I have come up with the perfect concoction. They are very rich, so a little piece goes along way. But, if you love peanut butter and chocolate like I do, and... you like the sweet and salty flavor, this treat is for you! Four layers of chocolate peanut butter heaven!
Chocolate Peanut Butter Caramel Crunch Bars
2 1/2 sleeves saltine crackers
1 bag chocolate chips (I like milk, but any type will do)
1 c. peanut butter chocolate chips
1/2-3/4 c. crunchy peanut butter
2 cubes butter
1 1/3 c. brown sugar
1 T. corn syrup
1 t. vanilla
In the bottom of a greased 9x13 pan, lay out 24 saltine crackers flat. Sprinkle the cup (or so) of peanut butter chocolate chips on top of the crackers. In a medium sized sauce pan, bring 2 cubes of butter, 1 T. of corn syrup and 1 1/2 c. brown sugar to a boil. Once it begins to boil, let it boil for 3 minutes or until caramel is smooth and the sugar is dissolved. Pour 1/4 of the caramel over the first cracker and peanut butter chip layer (it doesn't have to be perfect, just drizzle all over).
On 24 more saltine crackers spread a thick layer of the crunchy peanut butter on one side of each cracker. Place the peanut butter saltine crackers on top of the other layer of crackers, trying to keep the crackers lined up on top of each other. Drizzle another 1/4 of the caramel over the peanut butter layer. Add another layer of 24 crackers on top of the peanut butter layer. Sprinkle with 1 c. of chocolate chips and another 1/4 of the caramel. Place another layer of the saltine crackers on top of this layer. Drizzle with the remaining caramel and try to cover the tops of each cracker. Sprinkle a thin layer of chocolate chips on top of the caramel layer. Bake in the oven at 350 degrees for 5-7 minutes, or until the chocolate chips are soft enough to spread over the top of the bar.
Put bars in the fridge for a couple of hours, or until easy to cut into squares. Serve chilled or at room temperature.
(Bars once they had been cooled completely, the layers are more evident and more stiff--lighting was just not as good in this photo)