Peppermint Candy Cane Brownies

by amy on 9 December 2014

Peppermint Candy Cane Brownies | www.FearlessHomemaker.comPeppermint Candy Cane Brownies | www.FearlessHomemaker.comI’ve spoken many times about my love for the combination of mint + chocolate. As a child, mint chocolate chip ice cream was my favorite, and as an adult, I still loooove that flavor combination. There are no shortage of chocolate-mint recipes on here (like these Andes Mint Chip Cookies, No-Bake Chocolate Mint Bars, Peppermint Patty-Stuffed Brownies, + even a Mint Chocolate Chip Cocktail) but that didn’t stop me from wanting to make another new recipe to share with y’all! With Christmas just around the corner, I thought I’d give a chocolate-candy cane recipe a try, and I’m so thrilled I did – these Peppermint Candy Cane Brownies turned out amazing!

Fudgy brownies, topped with sweet peppermint buttercream, rich chocolate ganache, + crushed candy canes for a festive flair. If you want to make homemade brownies, that’s fantastic (my go-to recipe is used here + listed below), but if you have a boxed brownie mix you love, feel free to substitute that to save some time + ingredients. Also, I maaaay have gone slightly overboard with the peppermint buttercream layer. I LOVE frosting, so I doubled the original buttercream amount, to get a decadent, thick layer. I absolutely love the way they turned out, but if you want a more modest buttercream layer, simply halve the ingredients listed below. =)

These were a huge hit in our household (as you may have guessed from the sneaky Fearless Baby hand pictured below. =) They are definitely going to be a regular on our holiday dessert table! continue reading →

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Arugula, Caramelized Onion and Goat Cheese PizzaI love love love pizza – both homemade and restaurant-made. Pizza is on our menu at least once a week, whether it’s homemade, take-out, dine-out, or even (gasp!) the occasional frozen pizza. No shame in enjoying one of those every now and then, am I right? =) Making homemade pizzas is one of my favorite family dinner ideas, as you can customize them so there’s something appealing for everyone in the household. I tend to make something fairly traditional for my husband + Fearless Baby, as they like cheese, pepperoni, sausage or meatball pizzas the best, and then something more veggie-heavy for myself, like this awesome Arugula, Caramelized Onion and Goat Cheese Pizza.

This pizza is divine – truly, one of the tastiest flavor combinations I’ve had on a vegetarian pizza. Creamy, rich goat cheese, sweet caramelized onion, + peppery arugula on a crisp, flavorful multigrain flatbread crust. While I usually make my own pizza dough (from this recipe – the most popular recipe on my blog!), this particular pizza is one that I actually *prefer* with a store-bought multigrain flatbread crust (this Stonefire one is my favorite!), as the flavor + texture combination between the crust and the toppings is simply perfect. So, next time you’re looking for an amazingly delicious, meat-free, quick-to-make pizza, give this awesome recipe a try!

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Pumpkin Magic (Seven-Layer) Bars

by amy on 23 November 2014

Pumpkin Magic Bars! (Seven-Layer Bars with pumpkin, apple, coconut, chocolate chip, pecans, sweetened condensed milk, + graham crackers) | FearlessHomemaker.comWith Thanksgiving right around the corner, I knew I wanted to share a perfect-for-fall dessert for those of y’all who are still planning your menus. After reading through tons of potential recipes, I settled on these Seven-Layer Pumpkin Magic Bars, since they looked simple-to-make, delicious, creative, and good for a crowd. And now, after making them, I can tell you that they are all of those things and more! They are SO insanely tasty, and, SO easy to make. I timed myself, and it took me a mere 22 minutes (including the peeling/shredding of the apples) to get these prepped + in the oven.

All the ingredients work beautifully, deliciously, surprisingly perfect together: the buttery graham cracker layer, the sweet spiced pumpkin + apple layer, the chocolatey chips, the crunchy chopped pecans, + the crisp toasted coconut. I would’ve never thought to combine all those things together, but now that I have, I can tell you that the result is DIVINE! One thing to remember, if you’re going to make these bars for Thanksgiving, is that these need time to bake, cool, + then chill them in the refrigerator. So you’re not scrambling for enough time to get them chilled, I recommend making them the day before, so they can have a full overnight to cool in the fridge. I hope y’all give these a try – I know that you + your family/friends will absolutely love them on your holiday table!

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Pork and Hominy Stew

by amy on 18 November 2014

Pork and Hominy Stew | FearlessHomemaker.comI’ve mentioned before that my household loves any food that’s even remotely Mexican or Southwestern, and hominy is an ingredient that pops up in those cuisines. Do y’all know what hominy is? It’s basically dried corn that is soaked until the corn puffs up to the size of a large bean, with a texture almost like a chickpea? Or a large piece of barley? Okay, it’s hard to explain. But it’s wonderful + has an awesome texture, trust me! The first time I gave hominy to Fearless Baby, she surprised me by gobbling it down, and asking again and again for “more!” So, I made it my mission to find some new, super delicious hominy-filled recipes to try out on my family.

My husband suggested trying a pork + hominy stew, as he used to eat something along these lines as a child, + thought that we’d all love it. So, I looked up a bunch of recipes, found one that seemed perfect, + gave it a try. And y’all, it turned out SO wonderful – a hearty, delicious, stick-to-your-ribs comfort food that is seriously bursting with flavor. There’s a wonderful variety of textures, between the fall-apart-tender pork, the awesomely textured pieces of hominy, + the softened tomatoes/chiles/onions. The flavor is absolutely amazing, too – slightly spicy, brightly tomatoey, + boldly seasoned. It is great eaten straight-up from a bowl, like a stew, or it’s also fantastic used as a taco filling with soft tortillas. It actually gets even better after a day or two in the fridge, so eating the leftovers will be a treat, not a chore. =) Y’all must give this a try + let me know if you love it as much as we do!

Pork and Hominy Stew | continue reading →

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One-Pot Spicy Chicken + Rigatoni

by amy on 11 November 2014

One-Pot Spicy Chicken + RigatoniOf all the recipes on my blog, some of the most popular are the one-pot pasta meals, like this and this. I’m not surprised that y’all love one-pot meals as much as I do! They’re usually simple to make, they tend to make enough for dinner PLUS provide awesome leftovers, and of course, there’s only one pot to clean at the end. I’ve recently added a new one-pot pasta to our dinner rotation – this AMAZING Spicy Chicken + Rigatoni – and I think it officially holds the spot as my current favorite one-pot meal. I know my husband thinks so, since he requests it for dinner weekly. =)

It is SO wonderfully delicious, bursting with bright, complex flavors, and surprisingly (considering how flavorful it is), it’s actually pretty easy to make! You start by sauteeing onion, garlic, roasted red peppers, + hot cherry peppers, then add in chicken, tomatoes, broth, seasonings, + pasta. Everything simmers together until the pasta is al dente, then you add in parmesan cheese, cream, + basil. The result is a wonderful combination of tender chicken + perfectly-cooked pasta, in a divine spicy, creamy, cheesy, roasted red pepper-and-tomato sauce. While it has some good spicy heat, it’s mellowed significantly by the cream + cheese in the sauce, so I took a chance and let my toddler eat it, too. I wondered if the spice might be too much for her, but she LOVED it! If you do have spicy-averse diners, you can make this milder by reducing the cherry peppers to just 2 or 3. However you tweak it to make it perfect for your household, I hope you love it as much as we do!

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