Budget Gourmet Mom has a sweet twist on an Easter dinner essential with her Orange Bunny Rolls. She even offers a lime option, too!

With Easter right around the corner, we hopped right to it!

 

Please click here to visit Budget Gourmet Mom and see the instructions that we followed!

 

 

Alicia - TCCReviewer #1 - Alicia

Mission: Easter is just around the corner and these little pastries are so darn cute.  Why not?!

 

Details:

Make sure you read and re-read the directions. It can be a bit overwhelming to look at but not bad once you get started.

  • I decided to go with the Cinnamon and orange route, as I did not have Cardamom on hand.

Tips & Tricks Learned:

When warming the milk concoction, be sure to use softened butter. I made the mistake of using cold butter and I left it on low heat to melt. In reading the directions, this mix should have reached 120 degrees to 130 degrees. Using a candy thermometer is very helpful as my mix reached nearly 145 degrees. Whoops! I waited for this to cool before adding to dry mixture with eggs. Scrambled eggs or curdling is not what I am shooting for. Ha!

As far as measuring the dough to a specific 14×10 inch rectangle and all the jazz. I totally eyeballed it. I am all about making my life easy.

Keep your flour out because the dough can get sticky

We Tried It - Orange Bunny Rolls!

Pros:

Fun idea and the kids liked the end result!

Cons:

No cons really – just that the whole process of waiting for the dough to rise can be time consuming.

We Tried It - Orange Bunny Rolls!

Conclusion:

So my bunnies turned out good, but not great!

They are delicious when first out of the oven with the glaze on top and the orange gave it a really nice flavor.  The next day though, not as great – so be sure that you eat them up right away!

I am not 100% sure I would make them again as there were quite a few steps and my kids tend to get bored after about 15 minutes!

 

 

Reviewer #2 - Amanda

Mission: I thought these rolls were too cute to pass up. I am also a sucker for baked goods of all varieties, especially the themed kind.

 

Details:

  • I chose Allspice over Cardamom simply for the fact that is what I had in my pantry.
  • To make quick work of zesting my fruit I used my handy Microplane Grater similar to this one!
  • Although the recipe suggested using a hand mixer and kneading by hand I busted out my KitchenAid Mixer. It is like having a room full of minions do your work while you sit back and sip mimosas (I imagine that is what you would drink while minions do your work).

Tips & Tricks Learned:

Not sure where things went wrong but my bunnies were not as pretty and perfect as shown in the post.

I found it hard to roll my snakes out without making them look all rough. You definitely want to cut your pieces long enough. I made only the small bunnies and even those seemed mammoth.

We Tried It - Orange Bunny Rolls!

Pros:

These are REALLY delicious and fresh tasting thanks to the fruit juice/zest and the fluffy dough.

My kids loved them!

Cons:

I found the recipe to be a little fussy, plus I failed miserably to achieve the adorable bunnies when all was said and done.

That is no fault of Krista from Budget Gourmet Mom! This epic fail was all me.

We Tried It - Orange Bunny Rolls!

Conclusion:

The end result was really great but I think next time I will stress less about the shape and simply turn these into rolls.

The flavor will be the same minus the fluff. Get it? Like bunny fluff! That’s all folks!

 

 

Reviewer #3 - Kristy

Mission: I have been on a big citrus kick lately so combining oranges for these cute bunnies was a no brainer! And a great project to practice for my future kiddos!

 

Details:

  • I made a couple of modifications with Allspice, tangerine peel and orange juice.
  • I got to break out my favorite kitchen appliance, my KitchenAid Mixer, and my new Zester which worked like a charm for the tangerine rind.
  • I goofed on following instructions as usual, I ended up making 2 extra-large bunnies and only 3 small bunnies!

Tips & Tricks Learned:

I don’t have a Rolling Pin so a straight-sided glass cylinder vase worked perfectly for the dough!

I also used wax paper for rolling out dough onto flour for super easy clean up.

Cutting the dough was a cinch by using my Pizza Cutter!

I used aluminum foil under my cooling racks to catch the leftover icing from icing the bunnies and for more easy clean-up.  A spoon worked best for drizzling the icing on the hot out of the oven bunnies!

We Tried It - Orange Bunny Rolls!

Pros:

Pretty easy to follow and taste great!  Love the variations you could make!

Cons:

It may take a while to get those cute bunny ears!

We Tried It - Orange Bunny Rolls!

Conclusion:

Perfect for a holiday tradition by allowing kids to cook, too!

My taste testers were my office co-workers and my husband, who all gave a big thumbs up for this recipe.  Simple, yet delicious!

 

 

Reviewer #4 – Sarah

Mission: To make these darling bunny rolls for our little cuties and their cousins for cousin weekend! I have not made any form of bread in quite awhile, so I knew I’d be rusty going into this one.

Details:

I didn’t have Cardamom, but I found a tip online that noted to substitute equal parts Cinnamon and Nutmeg together. I had both of those on-hand, so that was the route I went and it worked well!

Tips & Tricks Learned:

I didn’t realize I was short powdered sugar until I had the bunnies baking and I needed to prep the glaze!

I only had ¼ cup on hand, so I used: ¼ cup powdered sugar, 1 tsp. fresh squeezed lime juice, 1 tsp. lime peel, 1 T. milk. It made just enough glaze to cover the little bunny rolls, which was just what I needed!  Phew!

We Tried It - Orange Bunny Rolls!

Pros:

Was fairly easy to prepare the dough and the rise time was perfect for clean up time.

Overall, I really enjoyed making these and I really loved the lime and cardamom flavor. I just may have to try the orange flavor next!

Cons:

I was surprised to see that some of the bunny rolls did not maintain their shape while baking. But, it sure didn’t change the taste!

We Tried It - Orange Bunny Rolls!

Conclusion:

These bunny rolls are adorable and will be perfect to serve at Easter brunch!

We served them at lunchtime with the rest of the meal for our little kiddos and their cousins. Out of the seven of them, three really loved these and the others thought they were so-so. I had no problem downing a few of the left over ones myself!

 

 

Reviewer #5 - Sheri

Mission: Well these little bunnies were just too cute not to try! Look at those little tails, seriously! I really thought my children would get a kick out of them.

 

Details:

  • The original recipe called for either Cardamom or Allspice.  I went with Allspice.
  • Based on my learning experience with the Pull Apart Cinnamon Sugar Pumpkin Bread, I made sure that the room was nice and warm for the dough to rise.
  • I’m always nervous about screwing up the recipe; adding too much or too little.  While I was concentrating on adding the remaining flour to the dough to get that soft consistency, I was so worked up that I completely forgot to add the orange juice! Fail.
  • I let the kids help with making the bunnies. They thoroughly enjoyed putting the little bunny tails on. Unfortunately I didn’t get any pictures because my hands were covered in flour.
  • Into the oven they went and I hoped they would turn out okay. They were a little “plump” so I baked them a little bit longer.
  • For some reason my Confectioners Sugar was a little lumpy, so the glaze didn’t come out so well.

Tips & Tricks Learned:

I highly recommend a Microplane Grater to get a nice fine grate.

Also, I would have used my Mixer and dough hook had I thought ahead. Although mixing with a wooden spoon provided a good arm workout.

We Tried It - Orange Bunny Rolls!

Pros:

They were really super cute.

Cons:

My kids weren’t too crazy about the flavor.

The allspice was a little overpowering, which might not have been the case if I had remembered the darn orange juice.

We Tried It - Orange Bunny Rolls!

Conclusion:

Overall these are really cute. Of course mine didn’t come out picture perfect like the ones displayed, but then again I’m a novice baker when it comes to dough.

The kids had fun making them, but weren’t too crazy about eating them. I think that would have been different if I had remembered the orange juice! Duh!

I may try making these adorable bunnies with my aunt’s egg biscuit recipe which I know they will enjoy!

 
 

We Tried It - Orange Bunny Rolls!


The darling and very tasty
Orange Bunny Rolls and photo by Budget Gourmet Mom

 


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Dinners, Dishes & Desserts has a great new take on a family favorite!  The Roasted Garlic, Chicken & White Herb Pizza has a bold flavor with the homemade tastiness we all love.

 

You had us at pizza!

 

Please click here to visit Dinners, Dishes & Desserts and see the instructions that we followed!

 

 

Reviewer #1 - Maren

Mission: Pizza from scratch.  Those are scary words.  I am still learning about making bread dough, so the thought of encountering it makes me nervous.  But I do love pizza, so this just may be the push that I needed!

Details:

  • I made Fail-Proof Pizza Dough from Lauren’s Latest, except I accidentally added 2 Tbsp of salt instead of 2 Tsp… more on that later.
  • To save time, I used rotisserie chicken.
  • I went a little heavy on the mozzarella.  I love cheese!
  • We have a baking stone, but it was way too small.  I just used a large baking sheet instead.

Tips & Tricks Learned:

Watch that flour!  The second it even looks like it’s going to firm up, get it off that heat and add your cheese.

To melt my mountain of cheese, I broiled the pizza on the top rack for a couple minutes.

I don’t eat a whole lot of meat.  I think that this pizza would be terrific as veggie-only; maybe add some mushrooms and tomatoes!

Thank goodness my husband and I both love onions and garlic.  We can’t get enough over here!

We Tried It - Roasted Garlic, Chicken and Herb Pizza - Yum!

Pros:

A great combination!  Rich flavors and oh so garlic-y!

Cons:

Oh my god the salt… My measurement blunder nearly killed the pizza.

My salt-loving husband didn’t mind, but I ended up eventually picking the toppings off and eating them without the crust!

We Tried It - Roasted Garlic, Chicken and Herb Pizza - Yum!

Conclusion:

Yum!  I’m glad that I gave this recipe a try.  Homemade pizza is not as scary as I had built it up to be!
The sauce was delish, too!  I’m looking forward to playing a little more with this recipe in the future.

 

 

Reviewer #2 - Kristy

Mission: Mike and I love making homemade pizzas, we typically make sausage and pepperoni, so this is a twist!

 

Details:

  • I used Udis Gluten Free Pizza Crusts instead of making my own. 
  • Almond flour was substituted for all-purpose flour.
  • Substituted dried parsley for fresh, didn’t have fresh on hand.
  • Used minced bottle of garlic instead of fresh.

Tips & Tricks Learned:

Watch the flour so it doesn’t burn when cooking!

Check the caps are secure on your spices…you can see I had a little oops with my parsley in the picture!

I broiled on high to get the fresh mozzarella bubbly and golden for a few minutes.

We Tried It - Roasted Garlic, Chicken and Herb Pizza - Yum!

Pros:

Easy to make and a twist on our traditional pizzas!

Cons:

Lots of garlic, I wonder if fresh garlic would taste a bit better!

We Tried It - Roasted Garlic, Chicken and Herb Pizza - Yum!

Conclusion:

Mike’s first word after his first bite, “Wow”! He said there was a lot of garlic but he loved it more than our traditional pepperoni and sausage pizza.  I prefer the traditional, I am not a fan of chicken on my pizza! Ha!

Overall, success…this is perfect for get-togethers!  Simply cut in squares and serve up as appetizers!

 

 

Reviewer #3 - Amanda

Mission: This adult version of pizza really appealed to my taste buds as our house is often catered to the kiddos.

 

Details:

  • I used some rotisserie chicken I had in my freezer from a visit at Sam’s Club where I stocked up and prepped for the busy upcoming holiday season. It works great for recipes like this!
  • I started by whipping up a batch of No Fail Pizza Dough  from Lauren’s Latest which has quickly become my go-to dough recipe as it is always good and couldn’t be easier.
  • Once I had the dough mixed up and raising I popped the garlic in the oven to roast. It is such a simple method and really gets your mouth watering because as it cooks it fills the house with the delicious, warm aroma of garlic. YUM!

Here is a simple how-to if you haven’t roasted garlic before.

  • We Tried It - Roasted Garlic, Chicken and Herb Pizza - Yum!I had all the ingredients on hand minus the fresh herbs. Since the recipe does call for some of the herbs to be fresh vs. dried.

I wanted to be sure I was using the right amount so I went to Martha for a little advice on how to convert. If the recipe calls for a tablespoon of fresh herbs then you would use a teaspoon since there are 3 teaspoons in a tablespoon.

Tips & Tricks Learned:

Don’t over cook the sauce. Nothing worse than burnt dairy!

Rotisserie chicken is a real time saver – use it.

Dried herbs were totally fine but fresh is always best so if you have the means splurge.

We Tried It - Roasted Garlic, Chicken and Herb Pizza - Yum!

Pros:

This pizza was even better the next day!

I am planning to make it again for a belated holiday party for friends. I am certain it will be a hit.

Cons:

I really don’t think there are any.

This is a simple pizza with a more complex flavor than your average pepperoni and sausage pie!

We Tried It - Roasted Garlic, Chicken and Herb Pizza - Yum!

Conclusion:

Be daring and give this a try. I promise your adult taste buds will thank you!

 

 

Alicia - TCCReviewer #4 - Alicia

Mission: You had me at pizza- seriously! My two favorite things in this world is pizza and cheese.

 

Details:

I am so glad this recipe did not call for homemade crust. Anything with yeast and dough rising is not my bag of tea. It always fails and falls flat- no joke.

  • I found this delicious, ready to bake pizza dough from Trader Joes for like $2 bucks.

The rest of the ingredients and recipe were fairly simple to follow.

  • To save time, I used Tyson grilled and ready chicken breasts from the freezer section (not too shabby and the flavor was good).
  • Added black olives

Tips & Tricks Learned:

Getting the pre-made dough out of the darn bag was the death of me. It was stuck like glue. You needed arms of a blacksmith to get it out. Flour is your best friend here.

Also, be sure that when sauté the garlic, keep an eye on it. I tend to get distracted when I cook and almost had a burned mess on my hands.

I would strongly recommend using a baking stone. We got one as a wedding present 10 years ago and I never used it and eventually sold it in a garage sale. I am now kicking my own ass for selling it. What was I thinking??!!

We Tried It - Roasted Garlic, Chicken and Herb Pizza - Yum!

Pros:

This garlic cream sauce tastes like heaven.

Cons:

The cream sauce can be tedious to put together.

We Tried It - Roasted Garlic, Chicken and Herb Pizza - Yum!

Conclusion:

My hubby does not like pizza. WHAT THE?! Who is this person and how did we ended up together because it is my favorite.  It was DELICIOUS.  Worth noting: my desert island choices would be pizza, cheese and something carbonated with caffeine.

It takes a little time to make and come together but totally worth it.

 

We Tried It - Roasted Garlic, Chicken and Herb Pizza - Yum!


The oh-so-yummy
Roasted Garlic, Chicken & White Herb Pizza and it’s photo by Dinners, Dishes & Desserts

 


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Round up those antsy kids for a Sharpie Tie Dye from The Art Girl Jackie.

Get ready for the sun shine with this colorful DIY.

 

Please click here to visit The Art Girl Jackie and see the instructions that we followed!

 

Alicia - TCCReviewer #1 - Alicia

Mission: To create a tie-dyed effect shirt with Sharpies and rubbing alcohol. Very strange, but we will try it!

 

Details:

This project is pretty straight forward. I really did not want to go out and buy materials for this so I used what I had at home.

  • The Rubbing Alcohol I used was 70% and worked fine.
  • We had 4 Sharpie colors to work with: Orange, Red, Blue and Silver
  • I found a cotton dress shirt at Target for $2 and thought, if this turns out to be a bust, it only cost $2 bucks.

Tips & Tricks Learned:

Make sure to use a newspaper or wax paper and place inside the shirt to prevent running or staining. The original post suggest making your pictures very small because it will spread like gangbusters. I let the kids go crazy with it.

Make sure that the rubber band and shirt is secure and tight- you will get a crisper image.

We Tried It - Sharpie Tie-Dye!

Pros:

My kids loved it and was so quick to make.

Cons:

The design is not as cool as it is in the original post.

We Tried It - Sharpie Tie-Dye!

Conclusion:

I did not have a high expectations with this project and it actually turned out really cute. Such a creative way besides using the traditional tie-dye kits.  The final result is very cool!

 

 

Reviewer #2 - Maren

Mission: Get some tie-dye action without the hassle of… tie dye.

 

Details:

  • I had 70% Rubbing Alcohol at home, so I went with it.
  • I always have Sharpies on hand!
  • I tested this project out on a 79¢ dishtowel that I picked up at IKEA.

Tips & Tricks Learned:

Instead of an eye dropper, I channeled my inner 8 year old and did the straw trick that would always get me yelled at at restaurants.

Some of my Sharpies worked much better than others.  Maybe because some of them were newer?  Regardless, you may want to test them out beforehand so that you get the best results.

When I was done, I blotted the dishtowel with paper towels to pick up any excess rubbing alcohol and then hung it on the clothesline to dry out.

We Tried It - Sharpie Tie-Dye!

Pros:

Incredibly easy.  Not too stinky!

Cons:

Not quite the real thing.

We Tried It - Sharpie Tie-Dye!

Conclusion:

This project was super easy and quick.  I think that if they can handle the smell, that it would be right up most kid’s alley.

As a gal with a little granola in her blood though, there’s nothing like the real thing!

 

 

Reviewer #3 - Sheri

Mission: My son is always asking me to make tie-dye shirts… I just don’t have the patience for it. When I saw this simple “tie-die” solution, I knew we just had to try it.

 

Details:

There is something about a fresh set of colored markers that makes me happy.

  • I grabbed a full 12-pack of Sharpies, even knowing my son would probably stick with just the greens and blues.

This was a learn as you go/trial and error project. The directions state to make a design the size of a quarter or half dollar using colors that are near each other on the color wheel, which make a nice transition into one another.

The first design my son made didn’t spread well. As we moved along the shirt we found that if you placed your colors a little closer together and made bolder lines and dot, they blended much more nicely together. We even added some color to the outside rim of the cup as suggested in the original post.

Tips & Tricks Learned:

If you don’t have a dropper, use a straw!  Simply immerse the straw into the rubbing alcohol and then block off the top.  This worked well.

Larger blots of color placed closely together, makes for the best “blend.”  I also recommend using different sized cups or Tupperware containers.

Don’t forget to heat set the color by tossing the shirt in the dryer for a while.

We Tried It - Sharpie Tie-Dye!

Pros:

Cute and easy!

Cons:

My son was very turned off by the smell of the rubbing alcohol and I ended up finishing the project.

We Tried It - Sharpie Tie-Dye!

Conclusion:

My son’s only complaint was that the shirt was “not filled up.” I got put back to work making more circles of fun color. He loved the fun colors and the variation of design.

I loved the easy clean up! I just tossed the solo cups into the trash and put my markers away. I know for sure that my niece is going to love doing this project on her next visit.

 

We Tried It - Sharpie Tie-Dye!


The darling
Sharpie Tie Dye and photo by The Art Girl Jackie

 


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Movita Beaucoup has a great addition for your Irish feast that won’t interfere with your parade plans!
Her Slow Cooker Beef Stew is a stick-to-your-bones recipe sure to please the meat and potato lovers in your life.

 

This simple twist of an old favorite had us at “slow cooker,” so you can bet we were ready to dive right in!

 

Please click here to visit Movita Beaucoup and see the instructions that we followed!

 

 

Reviewer #1 – Sarah

Mission: To whip up this crock pot stew for a warm and yummy dinner!

 

Details:

As I’ve mentioned before, I love crock pot cooking – it’s low mess, low maintenance and recipes cooked in the crock pot usually turn out tasty. I liked this recipe right away for it’s minimal ingredients; most of the items are things I typically have in my pantry and fridge.

  • I did all the chopping prep of my vegetables the night before and then started again early in the morning (I was up extra early due to my youngest cutting her teeth). I first heated up my pan and cut up the beef roast for browning. Once that step was done, I began to place all of the ingredients into the crock pot as directed and then set the temperature to high. I mean, how easy can getting a dinner going be – the hardest part was shredding carrots!
  • I ended up only having one jar of my mom’s canned Iowa garden tomatoes and peppers (they are amazing!) so was a bit short of the called for amount. I made a quick run to Target that day and added the rest in after the stew had been cooking for 4 hours.
  • At the end of the cooking time, I added the frozen peas and the cream mixture. Seriously easy peasy!

I served this stew with some buttered toast and a side of fruit. My husband and kids enjoyed it! I even tried to take some of the potatoes out first and mash them up before scooping the stew over the top. Yum!

Tips & Tricks Learned:

If you are using a beef roast you already have in your freezer, be sure to take it out the day before to thaw out.

Prep the vegetables the night before so your morning prep goes quickly.

We Tried It!  Slow Cooker Beef Stew!

Pros:

EASY!!! Not much for prep work and an easy way to have a filling dinner. And being March, it has a wonderful Irish feel to it.

Cons:

A little on the heavy side, so may be more filling than you’d like.

We Tried It!  Slow Cooker Beef Stew!

Conclusion:

This was a very easy recipe to follow and overall a tasty dinner.

It made a lot of stew, so I ended up freezing what was left over and plan to use it for another dinner soon. Might be a great dinner to prepare when you are having company over!

 

 

Reviewer #2 - Kristy

Mission: Always enjoy a good recipe and we are meat eaters in my household!  In a crock pot, even better!

 

Details:

  • I used a mix of potatoes, chopped sweet potatoes for added nutrients and small red potatoes cut in half.
  • Picked up 2 packs of stew meat, already trimmed and cut at the grocery.  Easiest way!

Tips & Tricks Learned:

Best product to use for easy crock pot clean up, Reynolds Slow Cooker Liners. Best Tip!

Cooking for two?  Halve the recipe.

We Tried It!  Slow Cooker Beef Stew!

Pros:

Very easy to make in the crock pot.  Just a lot of chopping!

Cons:

Became mushy, not sure this could freeze well and it makes a ton of food for 2 people.  Hate being a food waster!

We Tried It!  Slow Cooker Beef Stew!

Conclusion:

Mike and I both liked it, although not one of our favorite recipes.  Mike isn’t a slow cooker meat and potato guy.

It was pretty heavy of a dish, so definitely hearty for the cold winter months!

 

 

Reviewer #3 - Amanda

Mission: When I saw this recipe I knew I would have to wait until my husband was home to make it. He is the beef stew lover in the house (me not so much on the beef part).

 

Details:

The recipe was very easy to follow. Not much in the way of prep other than cutting up some veggies and browning the meat.

  • I used regular red potatoes vs the small potatoes suggested in the original recipe. They worked just fine when cut into 4 pieces.
  • I have this great peeling tool I found at an Asian market that makes anything look “fancy” so I used that to peel the carrots. Gave the stew a little flair!
  • I cooked the stew for about 9 hours before adding the peas and slurry, then I cooked it another 20 minutes per the recipe. It had a nice thickness to it after adding the slurry.

Tips & Tricks Learned:

Not a lot you can do to mess up this dish! Basically put it together, stir and wait.

One thing I think I would change for next time is to add a full cup of broth to the half cup of flour for a looser consistency. It was hard to mix the “paste” into the stew without lumps.

We Tried It!  Slow Cooker Beef Stew!

Pros:

Simple, hearty and a real “man pleaser”.

My husband saw what I had made and said “REALLY??” as if I was serving ice cream for dinner. He LOVED it. My kids not so much but they tend to be funny about dishes where everything is in one pot.

Even though I am not much of a beef eater but I have to admit this stew was really good and because I chose lean meat it didn’t seem really chewy or fatty.

Cons:

I see none!

We Tried It!  Slow Cooker Beef Stew!

Conclusion:

This stew was the perfect Sunday night meal that literally warms you from the inside out. Key for us Minnesotans who have endured a BRUTAL winter. There should be SOME perks after all right?

 

 

Alicia - TCCReviewer #4 - Alicia

Mission:  To make a delicious beef stew from a crock-pot because I have tried and failed many times. Very optimistic about this recipe.

 

Details:

This recipe is very straight-forward and super easy to follow.

  • I had most of the ingredients on hand except for the stew meat (sounds gross but so good).
  • I omitted peas because I think they taste disgusting. Texture, people!!!
  • I also had to create an Italian seasoning because I did not have. I tossed in a pinch of each: oregano, parsley, thyme, garlic and a tiny amount of basil.

Tips & Tricks Learned:

Browning/searing the meat is a must. I usually skip this step and the final result never turns out quite right

We Tried It!  Slow Cooker Beef Stew!

Pros:

Add everything to the crock-pot and wait

Cons:

None – although I have no patience to wait 10 hours for the stuff to cook

We Tried It!  Slow Cooker Beef Stew!

Conclusion:

Okay seriously, this weather and coldness is such a downer. I mean, full on depression over here. The only thing that makes this winter bearable is the hearty soups and stews we have been eating. This beef stew is no slouch and the flavor is perfect. My hubby loved it!!

 

 

We Tried It!  Slow Cooker Beef Stew!
The savory Slow Cooker Beef Stew and it’s photo by Movita Beaucoup

 

 


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Eclectic Recipes has tempted us with the very cookie that’s mere image has been making us break into a sweat since Pinterests great debut.

With chips so chocolatey and a bakery-store appearance that looks like nothing that has ever come out of our ovens; could this be true?  Can we make cookies like this?

 

We think that we’d better give this NY Times Chocolate Chip Cookie an official test… you know, as a service for the people.

 

Please click here to visit Eclectic Recipes and see the instructions that we followed!

 

 

Alicia - TCCReviewer #1 - Alicia

Mission: Chocolate Chip Cookies are the best!! In all their gooey, chocolaty goodness, there is nothing better. It is hard to deviate from the original Tollhouse recipe but this recipe certainly intrigued me. I am a huge fan of soft, chewy cookies. Anything that is crunchy – I am out!

Details:

Please read this recipe a few times before beginning to tackle it.

  • I would certainly consider myself a decent baker but cake and bread flour, really??!! I am not certain my grocery store carried these items. After our crafty friend Sheri did a little research on cake flour, this can be made by sifting regular flour and cornstarch. Cornstarch will give it that chewiness and help them rise a little. If you do not have cornstarch in your pantry, I strongly recommend having some on hand. This stuff is a must when cooking and baking.
  • I did not use semi-sweet chocolate disks or feves (what the?) because I am lazy and did not feel like going on to buy some when I already had chocolate chips on hand.

Tips & Tricks Learned:

To create a cake flour, I used a small strainer to sift my flour, cornstarch and other dry ingredients. This will remove any lumps and mix everything evenly.

I did not refrigerate the dough for 24 hours but did freeze it for about 1 hour.

Keep an eye on the baking times. 18-20 minutes seemed long and mine cooked in about 15.

We Tried It - NY Times Chocolate Chip Cookie!  YUM!

Pros:

Holy smack down, melt in your mouth good.

Cons:

The ingredients and steps can be a bit tedious.

We Tried It - NY Times Chocolate Chip Cookie!  YUM!

Conclusion:

This  recipe was so worth it! I am seriously refraining from swearing as these cookies are so good.   I ate about 10 in a row.

When I usually make chocolate chip cookies, they usually flatten and look a bit sad. Not these bad boys. My cookies came out of the oven and looked glorious.  I mean, bakery quality glorious! Heavenly music played when I opened the oven door – for real.

 

 

Reviewer #2 - Amanda

Mission: Bake a batch of chocolate chip cookies like I never had before – with cake and bread flour. WHAT?!

 

Details:

I followed Angie’s version of the recipe to a “T”.

  • I opted for the semi-sweet chocolate chips that I had on hand vs. making a trip out into the polar vortex.
  • I felt a little nervous about the ingredients and the specific mixing steps. I have never had to refrigerate dough overnight and was not prepared for that time frame so I did the quick chill in our deep freeze for 2 hours.
  • I happened to have all ingredients on hand which is rare. Cake flour and Bread Flour are not in most typical pantries but I admit to being a tad bit addicted to baking bread. Really paid off to have such a tasty addiction!
  • Busted out my mixer to make quick work of putting these together.

Tips & Tricks Learned:

Read through the recipe a few times so you have all the steps down pat.

Also, make sure you have enough of each ingredient before getting started. I initially intended to make these for my kids sooner but didn’t have unsalted butter.

Three and a half ounces seemed like a really large cookie so I opted to use a small melon baller to scoop mine which worked perfectly.

I ended up baking about half and freezing the other half so we could have fresh baked cookies whenever we wanted. YUM.

We Tried It - NY Times Chocolate Chip Cookie!  YUM!

Pros:

This cookie has the smoothest texture and a nice crisp to it while remaining chewy on the inside (that is if you don’t over bake them).

The sea salt really comes out and balances the richness.

It was a definite win with my family too. My kiddos gave me many hugs and declared me “best cookie baker ever”. That alone will prompt me to bake these again!

Cons:

I simply had no self control and ate more than I should have.

My advice: sharing is caring. Bring a plate to your neighbors and freeze the rest of the dough so you are not tempted.

We Tried It - NY Times Chocolate Chip Cookie!  YUM!

Conclusion:

Hands down the best chocolate chip cookie I have ever tasted!

Winner-winner chicken dinner folks.

 

 

Reviewer #3 - Kristy

Mission: I am a chocoholic that is always up for trying a sweet treat!

 

Details:

Well, I made a huge mess, as my original attempt was a fail!  Forgetting an extremely important ingredient… 2 cups of cake flour.  (I blame my printer!) As a result, I had a melted toffee type cake in the oven.

Luckily I only baked 6 cookies from the huge batch so I took another try with the remaining cookie dough!

  • On the 2nd attempt, I simply added slightly less than 2 cups of cake floor little by little to ensure an even mix.  It was pretty tough to mix in but worth it if I could salvage the cookies.

Great results with the 2nd attempt, definitely turned out a little different from the Eclectic Recipes blog’s version based on the photo.  As long as it tastes good, that is really what matters!

  • Other than forgetting the cake flour first time around, I followed every detail of the instructions.  I get nervous when baking not to!
  • Bake at 350 for about 17 minutes.

Tips & Tricks Learned:

We Tried It - NY Times Chocolate Chip Cookie!  YUM!

Wow, this recipe makes a ton of cookies!  Perfect for freezing, I simply froze the majority of my cookies in golf ball shapes and easily bake anytime I am needing a treat.Most important, follow the instructions and double check all ingredients prior to proceeding with recipe.  Baking is much more precise and this tip will save you tons of frustration!

Pros:

Easy as long as you remember the ingredients! Easy to whip up frozen cookies anytime! And quick to bake!

Cons:

Not super sweet.  A bit more cake like than cookie…this was my fault!

We Tried It - NY Times Chocolate Chip Cookie!  YUM!

Conclusion:

Overall, my testers liked them but didn’t rave about them!  My sister-n-law, Lisa, stated that it was a slightly different texture that expected but grew to like it with every bite! Ha!

My sister-n-law, Jess said they were good but when she wasn’t grabbing for another…I just knew my oops at the beginning, overall affected the outcome of my cookie!

Once I bake all of the remaining frozen cookies, I will try this recipe again!

 

 

Reviewer #4 – Sarah

Mission: To find out if these really are the BEST chocolate chip cookies ever! I am a cookie dough fan, so who’s kidding, that’s really what I care about most with this one!

 

Details:

I rarely make chocolate chip cookies as they aren’t my favorite, and in all honesty, the only chocolate chip cookie recipe I’ve ever followed is the one on the back of the Nestle Tollhouse Chocolate Chip bag. Ha!

  • It took me awhile to find the cake flour – I didn’t find it at my typical Super Target stop but eventually found it at my local grocery store.
  • The bread flour and the other ingredients were easy to find and I opted to use the Nestle Tollhouse Dark Chocolate Morsels for these.

I went the simplified route and sifted my flours and dry ingredients with my mesh colander; it seemed to work just fine! I have a paddle attachment for my KitchenAid Mixer, so I set to work mixing the butter and sugars and prepared the dough. It went together easily and was ready in no time – off to the freezer it went.

After a few hours of cooling in the freezer, I took it out and let it thaw for a few minutes before prepping the round balls. I placed the prepared dough balls on a parchment lined cookie sheet and then sprinkled with coarse sea salt. The kids and I couldn’t wait to dive in right after they were done. YUM!!

These cookies have the perfect mix of a crunchy outer cookie and a soft gooey center. The addition of salt on the top was a must for me – I love the mix of sea salt and chocolate! My husband, the non-desert guy, LOVED these as well.

Tips & Tricks Learned:

I softened the sticks of butter for 10 seconds in the microwave and then cut it into squares before mixing with the butter and sugars together. It seemed to help it mix quickly.

Freeze the dough for a few hours to prep it and to get baking fast! I love an instant outcome, especially when it comes to desert!

Don’t forget to add the salt into the recipe. I made this dough twice and forgot it the second time. It doesn’t change the taste completely, but I definitely noticed it was missing.

We Tried It - NY Times Chocolate Chip Cookie!  YUM!

Pros:

SUPER tasty! I vote these as the best chocolate chip cookies I’ve ever tasted, and they were so easy to make! They have the perfect mix of a crunchy outside and a soft gooey inside with the salty addition to the sweet. Yum!

Cons:

I had a hard time finding the cake flour, but I think it was just not at my normal shopping location.

We Tried It - NY Times Chocolate Chip Cookie!  YUM!

Conclusion:

These are amazing chocolate chip cookies – seriously, I’d actually pay someone for these! Love them and will for sure make them again, and AGAIN!

 

 

Reviewer #5 - Sheri

Mission: When I saw this pin for NY Times Best Chocolate Cookie I immediately said “game on.” You see, I already make the best chocolate chip cookie…well, according to my in-law family. My twist on the classic Nestle recipe is coveted throughout the family. I just had to throw on my apron and give this recipe a try.

Details:

First thought, “What is cake flour and bread flour?” You see I was raised with all-purpose flour. I wasn’t about to go purchase two different kinds of flour just to try out this recipe so I headed over to ehow.com.

  • For every cup of “cake flour” needed you use one cup of all-purpose flour. You then remove 2 tablespoons of the flour and replace those 2 tablespoons with 2 tablespoons of corn starch. Simply sift it all together and you have yourself some cake flour. Do this. Don’t skimp out and just use all-purpose flour. The “cake flour” is what gives these cookies their fluffiness.

I first combined all of the dry ingredients as instructed: the flours, salt, baking powder, & baking soda. I then set it aside and started with the wet ingredients.

I creamed the butter and sugars for a good 5 minutes to make sure they were well blended and fluffy. I added the eggs and vanilla and then slowly added the flour mixture. The dough came together and I thought it to be a bit dry, but it all turned out well.

Allot time for chilling your dough. The recipe recommends 24 hours in the refrigerator or 2 hours in the freezer. I was really excited to try these cookies so I went the freezer route.

Tips & Tricks Learned:

Make sure your butter is room temperature so it creams well with the sugar, otherwise your dough is lumpy. Use your hands to round your perfect cookie.

We Tried It - NY Times Chocolate Chip Cookie!  YUM!

Pros:

Delectable crowd pleaser.

Cons:

A little fussy for some basic chocolate chip cookies.

We Tried It - NY Times Chocolate Chip Cookie!  YUM!

Conclusion:

Okay, they were fabulous. I admit it. They had this beautiful golden crunch on the outside and soft fluffy/chewy texture on the inside. I was going to give some to the in-laws to try but I was afraid they might like them better, and I’ve mastered my recipe (quicker & easier).

 

 We Tried It - NY Times Chocolate Chip Cookie!  YUM!


The drool-worthy
NY Times Chocolate Chip Cookie and it’s photo by Eclectic Recipes

 


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U Create has a sweet Valentine for crafters of all abilities with the Stitchable Conversation Heart.  They made it even easier by providing a free template for your project!

 

A cute and easy project that will add a little touch of Cupid’s magic to our homes?  Count us in!

 

Please click here to visit U Create and see the instructions that we followed!

 

 

Reviewer #1 – Sarah

Mission: To make darling “grown-up” Valentine’s Day cards for my favorite people using my favorite fabric, felt!

 

Details:

  • I was in need of felt for this project and also to update my felt rosette wreath, so I picked up several sheets at my local JoAnn.
  • I also picked up some blank greeting cards so that I could adorn them with the felt hearts to make grown-up valentines.
  • I had needles and dental floss at home, so was all set to start once I got back with the materials.

I can’t wait to get these mailed out to my friends and family – snail mail is one of my favorite ways to let people know you love them.

Share the love – xoxo!

Tips & Tricks Learned:

I first cut out the felt heart shapes using the method of folding the felt in half-length wise and then cutting a heart shape. Each of my hearts is unique in shape and I love that aspect!

I tried marking the stencil pattern onto my felt, but it wasn’t working well with my pencil, so I decided to go the free hand route using just my needle and floss thread. Though my stitched lines don’t look perfect and aren’t nearly as cute as the free stitch-able print, but I feel it adds to the handmade cuteness of these Valentine’s Day cards!

If you did want to use a stencil, a chalk pencil would come in handy!

We Made Them!  Stitchable Conversation Hearts!

Pros:

Easy to do and pretty quick when it came down to prep and finish time.

Plus there are so many options on how to create these and you can personalize them for your valentines.

Cons:

I don’t see any – such a great way to spread love. 

We Made Them!  Stitchable Conversation Hearts!

Conclusion:

They are so darling and I am excited to have created homemade Valentine’s for my loved ones.

 

 

Reviewer #2 - Maren

Mission: Whip up a little Valentine’s decor for my home and my honey.

 

Details:

  • I used some left over felt from our Felt Rosette Wreath project.
  • My plain white cloth came right out of my scrap bin.
  • I grabbed my frame from the clearance aisle at Target a few months back!
  • I chose white embroidery thread, which I also had on hand!

Tips & Tricks Learned:

We Made Them!  Stitchable Conversation Hearts!The hardest part about this project for me, was cutting out a normal looking heart.  I don’t recall failing this part of kindergarten, but I must have.

I chose “XOXO” as my convo and used a basic back-stitch as Kari from U Create did.  I thought I would be safe free-handing my writing, however sort of wish I would have stenciled it due to my anal retentive tendencies.

Embroidery thread is made up of 6 tiny strands.  I used 3 strands for the outline of my heart, and the full thread for my “XOXO”.

To finish my piece, I simply taped my fabric over the glass part of my picture frame and put it back together!  Wah-lah!

If I did it again, I would have ironed the fabric before putting it into the frame.

We Made Them!  Stitchable Conversation Hearts!

Pros:

A super easy and speedy project that adds a little V-day flare to your home!

Cons:

When making this project I accidentally thought about Cupid and got the damn “Cupid Shuffle” stuck in my head for the next 4 days.

We Made Them!  Stitchable Conversation Hearts!

Conclusion:

I liked this project!  There are so many ways to make it your own, and it’s easy enough for all skill levels.

I love that I didn’t need to spend a dime, and I also like the idea of having an easy project on hand to create cute holiday decor for any season!

 

 

Alicia - TCCReviewer #3 - Alicia

Mission: The magic word for me is “felt“. I just love everything about it and have tons of it. I would be wearing felt underwear if I could, but alas – that is another conversation. I am all about creating a Valentine-themed project out of felt!

Details:

In the original post Kari used the cutest picture frames for her hearts. I have a lot of random frames but nothing that really sparked my interest for this project.

  • I decided to use 2 embroidery hoops that were collecting dust.
  • I also had a large amount of linen from some previous projects that I thought would tie in nicely.
  • I used white and red embroidery floss and used a basic stitch.

Tips & Tricks Learned:

I would strongly suggest finding  several sizes of  hearts and sayings on the internet to use as a guide. The original post included a link to both, but I could not [for the life of me] get the darn images to enlarge.

I decided to free-hand everything and it turned out okay but using a guide would have been a lot easier.

We Made Them!  Stitchable Conversation Hearts!

Pros:

So easy and looks so lovely – Felt is so inexpensive!

Cons:

None – unless you suck at using a needle and thread or cutting.

We Made Them!  Stitchable Conversation Hearts!

Conclusion:

This project is one of my all-time favorites. I just love the end result; it was so easy to make and there are so many ways to make them.

I seriously have felt coming out of my ears, so I am super excited to make a few more of these to display around the house. This would also be a great gift for a grandparent or a child’s teacher.

Happy Valentine’s Day! Spread some love!

 
 

We Made Them!  Stitchable Conversation Hearts!
The darling Stitchable Conversation Heart and it’s photo by U Create

 


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This sweet little project looks like the perfect treat for your feathered friends this chilly winter.

By Stephanie Lynn has shared an easy recipe for her Homemade Birdseed Wreath that only requires a few items that you may already have in your home!

 

Crafty yes, and bird-watchers, too; we were excited to put together a special snack for our songful neighbors!

 

Please click here to visit By Stephanie Lynn and see the instructions that we followed!

 

 

Alicia - TCCReviewer #1 - Alicia

Mission: This was one of the coolest ideas I have ever seen. Use an old cake pan to make a birdseed wreath – Awesome!

 

Details:

  • My Mom gave me this fish cake pan years ago and never knew what to do with it until now.
  • I also wanted to make a round wreath and found a pan at the Goodwill for $1.50.
  • I grabbed some Kaytee Wild Bird Food from the grocery store.

Tips & Tricks Learned:

Make sure that you generously spray your pans with non-stick spray. I did not spray my round pan enough and it ended up sticking and cracking.

I also used 4 packages of gelatin for each mold and added a few extra cups of seed more that was noted. The mixture looked goopy after you poured in into the pans. It looked strange and I thought I did something wrong – this is normal and will work out.

Chill for at least 2 hours before removing from the mold, as Stephanie Lynn suggested. I left mine in the fridge overnight.

We Tried It!  Homemade Birdseed Wreath

Pros:

Open, pour, stir and set – EASY!

Cons:

None – unless it gets stuck in the pan/tin

We Tried It!  Homemade Birdseed Wreath

Conclusion:

I love feeding the birds and was very impressed with how this turned out. Can I tell you again how cool I think this project is?!

Although one of my wreaths cracked, you cannot tell. I have been waiting patiently by the window every day and finally saw a few feathered  enjoying a snack.

 

 

Reviewer #2 - Maren

Mission: Since moving into our new home, I’ve learned that birds are fun to watch!  I’d love to keep them happy during the winter months with a special treat, so that they stick around to chirp and eat bugs in the summer!

Details:

This project seemed almost too good to be true!  I only needed a few things:

Tips & Tricks Learned:

We Tried It!  Homemade Birdseed WreathI had a little trouble getting the wreath out of the smaller of my two pans.  It was then that I realized that I forgot to spray it with cooking spray.  Dang it!  I did manage to get the wreath out with the ol’ Run-the-Upside-Down-Tray-Under-Water trick and some light tapping against the counter.

The face of each of my wreaths are very gelatin-y.  I think that I could have added a little more seed.  If you find that after scooping the seed into each pan, that there is liquid left over in the pot, this could be an indication that you can add more birdseed.  Mix a little extra in before pouring the remaining liquid in each pan.

The wreaths were a little slimy for my liking at the 2 hour mark, so I left my wreaths outside to get super cold frozen for my own sake.  Hopefully the birds will figure it out!

We Tried It!  Homemade Birdseed Wreath

Pros:

Couldn’t be an easier project!

Very cute – would make a sweet gift for a neighbor or bird-loving friend.

Cons:

Gelatin weirds me out.  If I make this again, I think that I’ll try it with fruit pectin instead.

We Tried It!  Homemade Birdseed Wreath

Conclusion:

I loved how easy this project was.  I’m not even sure that it took more than 10 minutes from start to pouring into the bundt pans!
The true test though, will be to see how my birdies like it.  If not, I know that the deer will!

 

 

Reviewer #3 – Sarah

Mission: To give our feathered friends a fly-by eatery this winter.

 

Details:

I live at Target – seriously, this is no joke. I go there with my kids probably two times a week, as it is one of the easiest places to go with three young children. Plus I always forget a thing or two each time I head there, so I have to go back!

  • I purchased one box of Knox Gelatin, which contained four envelopes of the dry gelatin mix.
  • I used my grandmother’s beautiful gold bundt pan.
  • I picked a basic Kaytee wild birdseed mix.
  • I adorned it with some  scrap fabric I had on-hand in a winter blue!

We Tried It!  Homemade Birdseed WreathBased on the directions and the size of my mold, I mixed all four envelopes of the gelatin with two cups of water. It sounded like it would be enough and this was an easy step in the process. Once that had all dissolved, I added in four cups of the wild birdseed mix and stirred that until it was combined well. I then sprayed my bundt pan with olive oil cooking spray before scooping in the wild birdseed mix and pressing it in gently.

After the mix had set in the fridge for four hours, I worked hard to get it to release from the pan. I used both my brut strength and a butter knife to convince it to finally release itself from the pan! Once I saw it in its finished form, I decided I should have used more gelatin for my mix as it was only sitting towards the lower half of the mold, but it was all still intact, so all-in-all, it worked just fine.

I hung my darling wreath out on the front porch for our feathered friends. I was even able to snap a picture of some of the birds that came to eat!

Tips & Tricks Learned:

I don’t think I used enough olive oil spray on mine.  Be sure to give your pan a good spray!

We Tried It!  Homemade Birdseed Wreath

Pros:

A reasonably priced way to feed our feathered friends!

I spent $1.34 on one box of the gelatin (contained four packets) and $9.99 on the birdseed.

After seeing how adorable this turned out, I purchased four more boxes of the gelatin to make them as gifts. So, each wreath cost about $4.00 – that’s a great price!

Plus, you can personalize these for your recipient based on the ribbon used or even the kind of birdseed if you know what type of birds like to visit their home.

Cons:

The process is a little messy.

Also, if you do not happen to live in an area that attracts many feathered friends, this may not be the project for you.

We Tried It!  Homemade Birdseed Wreath

Conclusion:

I loved how this turned out that I plan to make more of these! Super easy and just plain adorable!

 

 We Tried It!  Homemade Birdseed Wreath


The lovely
Homemade Birdseed Wreath and it’s photo by By Stephanie Lynn

 


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skinnytaste has a healthy version of a lazy-day favorite with her Crock Pot Chicken Taco Chili!

This easy meal looks just as tasty as it appears easy to make.

We love an easy dinner, so we couldn’t wait to give this recipe a try!

 

Please click here to visit skinnytaste and see the instructions that we followed!

 

Reviewer #1 – Sarah

Mission: To try out a crock pot recipe in hopes it will become a family favorite!

 

Details:

I love crock pot cooking – it’s low mess, low maintenance and recipes cooked in the crock pot usually turn out tasty. This recipe was easy from the get-go and the ingredients were all easy to find with nothing being out of the ordinary.

  • I got all of the ingredients in the crock in the morning and placed four chicken breasts on the top as noted and went about my day.
  • I let it sit on low heat for 8 hours before taking out the chicken and shredding it up. By 8 hours, everything seemed to be cooked through and the chicken was very soft and ready to go at that point.
  • Once I shredded the chicken, I added it back in and gave a few good stirs to the chili before getting the cilantro chopped and prepping the other fun toppings.

Each of my family members chose their own toppings. I prepped plain Greek yogurt, shredded cheese, cilantro and chopped black olives. I used cilantro and the Greek yogurt on mine. It was very tasty!

Tips & Tricks Learned:

To turn up the heat a bit, I used a poblano pepper in addition to a red bell pepper.

Instead of using the taco seasoning the recipe called for, I added 1 tsp. of garlic powder, an additional tsp. of chili powder and 1 tsp. of paprika.

We Tried It!  Crock Pot Chicken Taco Chili from skinnytaste!

Pros:

EASY!!! Not much for prep work and an easy way to have a filling dinner.

My daughter LOVED this chili – she went on an on about it as we were eating!

Cons:

It was much more of a stew vs. a typical soup or chili. There wasn’t much of a broth at all, which I really wanted more of.

I think adding more tomato sauce or some chicken broth would help in that area. Or maybe using just three chicken breasts might help as well.

We Tried It!  Crock Pot Chicken Taco Chili from skinnytaste!

Conclusion:

This was a very easy recipe to follow and overall a good outcome. I’m not sure we will make it again, but it was a great one to try!

 

 

Reviewer #2 - Maren

Mission: Two of my favorite things in one crock pot: tacos and chili!  I was actually a little scared to try this one though, since I couldn’t quite imagine how these two favorites would taste together.

Details:

I followed Gina’s recipe to a T (mostly)!

Tips & Tricks Learned:

Always spray your crock pot’s interior with cooking spray before adding your ingredients!

As I have shared before, my Crock Pot cooks at warp speed.

I went for the “Cook on High for 4 Hours” option and my chili was bubbling in 2.  The chicken was totally done in 3 hours and was falling apart (what I call “self-shredding“) at 3 1/2 hours.  Awesome.

We Tried It!  Crock Pot Chicken Taco Chili from skinnytaste!

Pros:

I’m not sure that I have ever made anything so awesome with such little effort exuded.

I think that the corn, cilantro and added chilies are what give this chili more of a taco taste.  It still tastes like just a really good chili though, so no need to be scared about the combo.

This chili also freezes really well!

Cons:

I would pass on the frozen diced onions next time.  That was not the best idea.  I had a few bites that had hard little onion pieces in it.  I have used fresh, diced onions since my initial run and was much happier with the results.

We Tried It!  Crock Pot Chicken Taco Chili from skinnytaste!

Conclusion:

We loved it!  In fact, I used this recipe as my official 2013 entry into the Annual Chili Cook-Off that we host each year at our home with our college pals.  We didn’t win, but tied for second!  Now that’s a good chili!

 

 

Reviewer #3 - Kristy

Mission: Love a new chili dish especially in this fall weather! And find a chili recipe that my husband likes.

 

Details:

  • We Tried It!  Crock Pot Chicken Taco Chili from skinnytaste!

    I added one can of red kidney beans instead of two as my husband doesn’t care for too many beans.

  • I had a can of whole tomatoes instead of diced, so I roughed chopped them then added one can of diced green chilies.
  • I used Ortega Taco Seasoning.

Tips & Tricks Learned:

Use handy dandy crock pot plastic liners for easy clean up. They are life savers!

Pros:

Simple to put together, just dump and cook!

Yummy, meal to come home to!

Cons:

The cilantro, in my opinion, wasn’t needed.

It tasted more like a traditional chili without it and more like a Mexican Tortilla Soup with it!

We Tried It!  Crock Pot Chicken Taco Chili from skinnytaste!

Conclusion:

Delicious, and would be just as tasty with ground beef!  I was skeptical about adding the taco seasoning packet, but it had great flavor!

Quick and easy, couldn’t ask for more!

 

 

Reviewer #4 - Amanda

Mission: Put my crock pot to use making this quick chili to warm us up in this chilly weather.

 

 

Details:

I woke up excited to get this going in the crock. I love nothing more than my house filled with the aroma of good food!

  • I mostly followed the recipe minus corn. I am not a huge fan of corn in chili so I just left it out.
  • I also ended up adding 1 cup of chicken broth after it cooked on low for 3.5 hours. I just felt that it was a little thicker than I wanted it to be after adding the shredded chicken back into the pot (I used 4 pretty small chicken breasts).

Tips & Tricks Learned:

Watch your chicken! Mine was done at 3.5 hours on low and was likely done at 3 but I didn’t expect that so I was only checking and stirring once an hour.

Once my chicken was done I shredded it while it was warm then mixed it back into my pot. I then changed the temp to just warm because really everything was really cooked at this point – even the onions!

I served it up with Fritos for crunch, pepper jack cheese and a sprinkling of cilantro.

We Tried It!  Crock Pot Chicken Taco Chili from skinnytaste!

Pros:

Truly simple with VERY little prep. The only cutting was the onions. Other than that I had some cans to open and a little mixing to get it put together.

This could be completely cooked in less than 4 hours on low which is awesome.

It would be great for family event or a lazy Sunday.

Cons:

My only complaint is how thick it was before I added the broth but that was easily fixed so really this dish is a complete winner!

We Tried It!  Crock Pot Chicken Taco Chili from skinnytaste!

Conclusion:

This chili is bomb and was crazy simple to throw together. Even my bean-hating hubby gave it a thumbs up! I will definitely be making this again.

I ended up freezing a couple of jars and look forward to seeing how it holds up in the freezer too.

 

 

Alicia - TCCReviewer #5 - Alicia

Mission: To create a healthier version of chili with chicken – yes, please!

 

Details:

My family does not like beans. Kidney, black, brown, grey – whatever, we do not like and will not eat! The texture is really gross and it turns into gag city around here. I know, I know – beans are so good for you. Blah!

  • I totally skipped over the beans and did not add them at all.
  • I also used 2 frozen chicken breasts instead of 3-4.

Tips & Tricks Learned:

The recipe said to cook on low for 10 hours and on high for 6 hours. What the?! That seemed really long to me and especially with chicken.

Mine cooked on low for 6 and it turned out perfectly.

We Tried It!  Crock Pot Chicken Taco Chili from skinnytaste!

Pros:

Combine and wait – how easy is that?

Cons:

None

We Tried It!  Crock Pot Chicken Taco Chili from skinnytaste!

Conclusion:

Like the wise man Ron Popeil once said, ” Set it and forget it”.   I am all about crock pot cooking! So easy and delicious and this recipe is no slouch. I thought it really had a great flavor and would definitely make this again, minus the beans.

 We Tried It!  Crock Pot Chicken Taco Chili from skinnytaste!


The yummy
Crock Pot Chicken Taco Chili and photo by skinnytaste

 


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Happy Hour Projects has a recipe for Cinnamon Dough Ornaments that will bring back nostalgia of Christmas as a kid, as well as fill your home with the spicy smell of the season.

 

Cute on the tree and cheaper than candles, we couldn’t wait to give this project a try!

 

Please click here to visit Happy Hour Projects and see the instructions that we followed!

 

 

Reviewer #1 - Kristy

Mission: A great piece for the holidays, to bring the smell and décor of Christmas!

 

Details:

  • I used about ¾ cup Mott’s Unsweetened Applesauce.
  • I don’t have a rolling pin. I used a drinking glass to roll out the dough.
  • I used champagne flutes to cut my ornament pieces!  Easy peasy!
  • Instead of waiting for them to dry, I baked them as Adrianne had suggested.

Tips & Tricks Learned:

I ended up using less than the 1 cup of apple sauce since I was worried that it maybe a little more liquid, which was a good idea.

I used champagne flutes for cutters, but you can definitely use your favorite cookie cutters!

I placed mine on a string after seeing Sarah’s finished project to make a festive garland piece!  I love it!

We Tried It!  Cinnamon Dough!  #thecraftycollab

Pros:

Only 2 ingredients, can’t beat that! Easy, and I bet fun for the kids!

Cons:

Wish it smelled up my home a bit more of cinnamon, but not to worry that is why we have candles!

We Tried It!  Cinnamon Dough!  #thecraftycollab

Conclusion:

Super cute!! Easy to make! A fun festive craft to make with the kids and cheap!

We Tried It!  Cinnamon Dough!  #thecraftycollab

 

 

 

Reviewer #2 - Maren

Mission: I don’t remember making cinnamon dough as a child, so I thought I better make up for lost time!

 

Details:

I wasn’t too careful about how I mixed my ingredients.  I halved the recipe so I just dumped each of my products in the bowl and mixed; no measuring!

  • One 2 oz bottle of Cinnamon
  • One 4 oz single serving container of Apple Sauce
  • I decorated my little gingerbread people with white, puffy fabric paint and scraps of ribbon, yarn and sequins that I had in my stash!

Tips & Tricks Learned:

We Tried It!  Cinnamon Dough!  #thecraftycollabI had planned to lightly flour my work surface until I remembered Adrianne’s trick to using wax paper.  I have never rolled out dough in between wax paper, but holy moly did it work great!  I learned a new trick that’s a keeper!

I used a very thin spatula to lift the cut-outs from the wax paper and then picked off the outlying dough.

I baked them at 150 degrees for an hour on each side as instructed; however instead of drying on a rack, I just turned the oven off and left them in there overnight to fully dry out.

The edges of my little gingies were a little rough.  I just rubbed off the little crispy rough edges with my finger and they smoothed right out!

We Tried It!  Cinnamon Dough!  #thecraftycollab

Pros:

Ridiculously easy.  Mixing bowl to oven in 5 minutes.

Cons:

The cinnamon smell was almost overpowering at times, however left my entire home smelling cozy and festive, so no biggie!

We Tried It!  Cinnamon Dough!  #thecraftycollab

Conclusion:

Even though I’m not a kid, I did enjoy whipping up a small batch of these cuties.  They smell great and are a cute and cozy addition to my tree!

 

 

Reviewer #3 – Sarah

Mission: To try my hand at a tried and true childhood holiday craft.

 

Details:

  • Again, I live at Target more than I care to admit, but this was where I picked up the two ingredients needed in the dough recipe. I picked out a Market Pantry brand homestyle applesauce and ground cinnamon. I bought two of the 2.37 oz. cinnamon jars.  Once I set up shop, I mixed the ¾ cup of applesauce with both jars of the cinnamon and began mixing with a spoon. It didn’t take long before it started to firm up to the stiffness as mentioned in the directions.
  • I love bakers twine, so that was what we used for the string on the Christmas tree ornaments as well as on the stars. I used all of the stars for a garland that now adorns our fireplace mantle this holiday season. Super cute and I can always catch a scent of cinnamon as I walk by.

Tips & Tricks Learned:

We Tried It!  Cinnamon Dough!  #thecraftycollabYou may want to pick up an extra bottle of cinnamon so if your dough doesn’t seem stiff enough, just add a bit more cinnamon to the mix. Plus, you can always use this spice in your baking!

I then rolled it out between two sheets of wax paper until it was about a ¼” thick as Adrianne did. I opted to use both a Christmas tree and star shape cookie cutter for the ornaments. The trickiest part of this whole process was transferring the cutouts from the wax paper to the parchment lined cookie sheets! I didn’t loose any in the process, but it sure was close.

I like a quick end result, so I opted to bake these at 170 degrees for two hours total – flipping them at the one-hour mark. 170 degrees is the lowest temperature my oven will bake at, but it worked great. After removing them from the oven, I dried them on a rack for a full day to be sure they were well cured.

We Tried It!  Cinnamon Dough!  #thecraftycollab

Pros:

Affordable and relatively easy to make gifts for teachers and friends!

Cons:

The dough got a bit sticky and hard to roll after a little bit.

We Tried It!  Cinnamon Dough!  #thecraftycollab

Conclusion:

These were pretty easy to whip up, they smell great and bought back memories of my childhood.  I didn’t love making these, but when my kids are older, I’m sure we will do them again!

 

 We Tried It!  Cinnamon Dough!  #thecraftycollab


The lovely
Cinnamon Dough Ornaments and photo by Happy Hour Projects

 


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