The Baker Upstairs: February 2016

2.26.2016

Basic Potato Salad

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This delicious basic potato salad is easy to prepare and always a favorite!

This delicious basic potato salad is easy to prepare and always a favorite!

I know late February is an odd time to be posting a potato salad recipe, but there are a few reasons I'm posting it now. One, it's totally delicious! It's the potato salad my mom made all the time when I was growing up, and it's one of my favorite foods from childhood. Two, I'm so tired of winter that I've decided we need to start eating like it's summer again, so we've been chowing down on burgers and fried chicken and whatever fresh fruit I can dig up at the grocery store. I served this potato salad with those delicious baked chicken wings I shared earlier this week, and I almost convinced myself that it was summer again. :) Third, I'm actually terrible about posting seasonal recipes at the right time, so maybe we can just consider this my getting a head start on summer recipes.

Whatever the reason for making it, this potato salad is always a hit! It has a great combination of textures and flavors, and it's one of my favorite things to eat. It's pretty durable, too, and I like that I can make a batch early in the week and we can munch on it for several days. Anything to make dinner time easier, right? If you like potato salad, you definitely need to try this one. It's the best!

Basic Potato Salad

6 large russet potatoes, baked and cooled
4 large boiled eggs, peeled and chopped
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup chopped olives
1/4 cup chopped green onions
1 cup mayonnaise (I like the kind with olive oil)
1-2 tablespoons yellow mustard
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon paprika

Chop the potatoes into 1/2 inch cubes. Add the potatoes, eggs, celery, olives, and green onions to a large bowl. In a small bowl or measuring cup, whisk together the mayonnaise, mustard, salt, and pepper. Pour the mayonnaise mixture over the potatoes and toss to coat. Sprinkle with paprika and toss again. Store covered in the refrigerator for up to a week.

This delicious basic potato salad is easy to prepare and always a favorite!

2.22.2016

Crispy Baked Chicken Wings

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These crispy baked chicken wings are amazingly delicious and quick and easy to make! Perfect for game day, parties, or snacking!

These crispy baked chicken wings are amazingly delicious and quick and easy to make! Perfect for game day, parties, or snacking!

Hello friends! I have THE best recipe to share with you today. These crispy baked chicken wings are life changingly good! I started liking boneless buffalo wings as a teenager, but somehow never tried bone-in wings until just recently. And guess what? I totally love them! I've been looking for a fantastic recipe to make them at home (so as not to spend my entire food budget at Buffalo Wild Wings), and this recipe is it!

I got the recipe from my friend Kristin at Yellow Bliss Road, and it is a keeper! If you don't follow Yellow Bliss Road already, you definitely need to. Kristin shares delicious recipesfun printablesawesome DIY projects, and fun little peeks into her life as a mom of two cute kids. She's one of my favorite bloggers to follow, and I am always inspired after visiting her site.

These crispy baked chicken wings are amazingly delicious and quick and easy to make! Perfect for game day, parties, or snacking!

These wings are crispy on the outside, and cooked perfectly. They have really great flavor, too, and the simple homemade wing sauce is delicious!

These crispy baked chicken wings are amazingly delicious and quick and easy to make! Perfect for game day, parties, or snacking!

I followed the recipe exactly as written, and they turned out perfect! They are now my husband's favorite food, and he's asked me to make them again every day since I made them. They're so easy that I think they'll be making an appearance around here quite often. Yum!

These crispy baked chicken wings are amazingly delicious and quick and easy to make! Perfect for game day, parties, or snacking!
Crispy Baked Chicken Wings

2 pounds chicken wings
1/2 cup flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoon baking powder
4 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons cayenne hot sauce (more or less to taste)

Preheat the oven to 450. Line a baking sheet with foil or parchment and spray with cooking spray. Trim the wings and cut into wingettes and drumettes. In a gallon ziplock bag, toss together the flour, salt, chili powder, garlic powder, pepper, and baking powder. Shake the wing pieces in the flour mixture to coat. Place the wings on the prepared baking sheet and spray with cooking spray. Bake 20 minutes, turn, and bake an additional 10-15 minutes, or until crispy and golden brown. In a small microwave safe bowl, melt the butter. Add the hot sauce and stir to combine. Pour the sauce over the wings and toss to coat. Serve hot with bleu cheese for dipping.

adapted from Yellow Bliss Road
These crispy baked chicken wings are amazingly delicious and quick and easy to make! Perfect for game day, parties, or snacking!

2.19.2016

Chocolate Marshmallow Brownies

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These chocolate marshmallow brownies are ooey-gooey delicious, and perfect with a warm mug of TruMoo chocolate milk!

I don't know what it is about this winter, but it just feels like the winter that will never end! We had a few days of warm weather earlier this week, and then yesterday we got hit by a sudden blizzard, and it felt like winter started all over again. As much as I hate the gray days, the snow and slush, and the endless bundling up, I do love cozy nights at home with a treat and a cup of hot chocolate. It's the perfect thing to warm up a cold winter night!

My family has always loved TruMoo chocolate milk cold, but did you know it's also delicious hot? We tried TruMoo Chocolate Marshmallow milk all warmed up, and it was a big hit with the whole family!

These chocolate marshmallow brownies are ooey-gooey delicious, and perfect with a warm mug of TruMoo chocolate milk!

I love that it's so quick to prepare, and so flavorful. In just a few minutes, we had warm mugs of nutritious, flavorful hot chocolate! I hadn't tried the chocolate marshmallow flavor before, and it is super tasty both hot or cold. It's only available for a limited time, so be sure to snap some up before it's gone!

These chocolate marshmallow brownies are ooey-gooey delicious, and perfect with a warm mug of TruMoo chocolate milk!

We needed a treat to go with our hot chocolate, so I whipped up some quick and delicious chocolate marshmallow brownies, with added flavor from the TruMoo Chocolate Marshmallow milk! They are so easy to make, and so rich and gooey.

These chocolate marshmallow brownies are ooey-gooey delicious, and perfect with a warm mug of TruMoo chocolate milk!

I may not be very excited about these cold winter nights, but they're definitely more bearable with a delicious treat and a nice warm drink!

These chocolate marshmallow brownies are ooey-gooey delicious, and perfect with a warm mug of TruMoo chocolate milk!

If you want to see just how quick and easy these brownies are to make, check out this step-by-step video I made! (Be nice, it's my first one!)



Chocolate Marshmallow Brownies

1 package fudge brownie mix,
1/2 cup TruMoo Chocolate Marshmallow Milk,
1/3 cup melted butter,
2 eggs,
1 3/4 cups chocolate chips, separated
1 1/2 cups mini marshmallows

Preheat the oven to 350. Line a 9 x 13 baking dish with foil or parchment. In a large bowl, mix together the brownie mix, TruMoo milk, melted butter, and eggs. Fold in 1 cup of chocolate chips. Spread the brownie mixture in the prepared pan. Bake 22-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted about 2 inches from the side of the pan comes out clean. Sprinkle the brownies with the remaining chocolate chips and mini marshmallows. Return to the oven and broil 3-5 minutes, or until the marshmallows are toasted. (Watch them closely so the marshmallows don't burn!) Let cool before serving.

These chocolate marshmallow brownies are ooey-gooey delicious, and perfect with a warm mug of TruMoo chocolate milk!

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

2.16.2016

Loaded Twice-Baked Potatoes

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These loaded twice baked potatoes are packed with bacon, cheddar, and sour cream. They're incredibly delicious and so easy to make!

These loaded twice baked potatoes are packed with bacon, cheddar, and sour cream. They're incredibly delicious and so easy to make!

Hey there! How was your long weekend? Here in Utah, the air quality has been so bad lately that we've been stuck inside most of the time and getting stir crazy. But yesterday, the weather was crazy warm (50 degrees!), the air was clear, and it felt like spring. We got out and did our grocery shopping, then took a walk in the neighborhood, and it was glorious! I'm hoping it's a sign that this winter cannot actually last forever, and someday soon it will be spring. :) After our walk, the kiddos were starving, so I decided a hearty dinner was in order. We had these loaded twice-baked potatoes along with some baked chicken nuggets, and they were delicious! My mom used to make twice-baked potatoes occasionally when I was little, but I hadn't had them in a long time. I had forgotten how easy they are to make, and how delicious they are!

I started by baking the potatoes with a little olive oil and sea salt, and gathered the rest of my ingredients. When you pull out the bacon, cheese, and sour cream, you know it's going to be delicious!

These loaded twice baked potatoes are packed with bacon, cheddar, and sour cream. They're incredibly delicious and so easy to make!

I cut the potatoes in half, scooped out the insides, mixed them with the toppings, and spooned the filling back into the shells. I like them to have some chunks of potato, but you can definitely mash the potatoes smoother if you prefer.

These loaded twice baked potatoes are packed with bacon, cheddar, and sour cream. They're incredibly delicious and so easy to make!

Once they're all filled, sprinkle them with extra cheese and bake them 20-25 minutes. I sprinkled mine with a little extra bacon and green onion, too, and I can tell you that it was a good move. :)

These loaded twice baked potatoes are packed with bacon, cheddar, and sour cream. They're incredibly delicious and so easy to make!

They come out of the oven gooey and cheesy and so tasty! My family loved them and everyone cleaned their plate. I ended up only baking half of them, and putting the rest in the freezer for another day. To freeze them, just wrap the individual potatoes in foil. You can thaw them in the fridge overnight and then bake for 15-20 minutes, or bake them from the freezer for about 45-50 minutes. Alternatively, you can just remove the foil and microwave them for 3-5 minutes. So delicious and easy too!

These loaded twice baked potatoes are packed with bacon, cheddar, and sour cream. They're incredibly delicious and so easy to make!


Loaded Twice Baked Potatoes

6 potatoes, scrubbed clean
1 teaspoon olive oil
sea salt
8 slices bacon
1/2 cup sour cream
1/4 cup milk or half and half
3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese, divided
1/4 cup chopped green onions
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

Preheat the oven to 425. Drizzle the potatoes with olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt. Pierce each potato with a fork several times. Place on a foil-lined baking sheet and bake 50-60 minutes, or until tender when pierced with a fork. Remove from oven and let cool.

When the potatoes have cooled, preheat the oven to 350. Cut each potato in half lengthwise. Scoop out the inside of each potato half. In a medium bowl, mix together the potatoes, bacon, sour cream, milk, 1/2 cup cheddar cheese, green onions, salt, and pepper. Scoop the filling into the potato skins and place in a 9 x 13 baking dish. Sprinkle with the remaining cheese. Bake 20-25 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and the inside is heated through.
These loaded twice baked potatoes are packed with bacon, cheddar, and sour cream. They're incredibly delicious and so easy to make!

2.08.2016

Billionaire Brownies

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These billionaire brownies are amazing, life-changing, and over the top decadent. So rich and chocolatey, dense and fudgy, and just all around perfect!

So, these brownies. These amazing, life-changing, over-the-top decadent brownies. They came about because it was the end of a long day, after a string of long days, in the middle of the darkest winter in I can't even remember how long. And I needed some sort of dessert to cheer me up. I had some chocolate chip cookie dough in the freezer, and was planning to pop it out and bake some quick cookies, when the thought came to me... why not make something amazing? Why not pull out that European butter my best friend gave me for Christmas (she just gets me!), and the Chocolove chocolate chips I bought months ago and haven't used because they feel too precious to squander, and the vanilla bean paste my husband gave me for Christmas and I rarely use because it costs an outrageous $14 per bottle? Why not, just once, go all out for a dessert, not because it's a special occasion, but because I'm all worn out and IT NEVER STOPS SNOWING OUTSIDE and the kids are driving me crazy with their cabin fever.

These billionaire brownies are amazing, life-changing, and over the top decadent. So rich and chocolatey, dense and fudgy, and just all around perfect!

So, yes, I made these brownies, and they probably cost me something like $15 for the batch, and guess what? They were hands down, the best brownies I've ever made. It turns out that it actually IS worth it to use better quality ingredients. Maybe not every single time (I'm not, actually, a billionaire, as it turns out), but sometimes, when I need a little boost, it's totally okay to blow through my stash of fancy butter and silky smooth chocolate and pink-tinted sea salt. Because these brownies are life-changingly good. So rich and chocolatey, dense and fudgy, and just all around perfect. I can certainly attest that these brownies are the perfect way to turn around a bad day. We ate our brownies warm with salted caramel ice cream on top, and they were heavenly. Add these to the list of must-try treats!
Billionaire Brownies

1 cup European butter (I used Lurpak)
1 4 ounce ghirardelli baking bar, chopped
4 ounces Chocolove chocolate chips
2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste
5 large eggs
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup all purpose flour
himalayan sea salt, for sprinkling

Preheat the oven to 350. Line a 9 x 13 baking dish with parchment and set aside. In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over medium low heat. Add the chocolate and stir until melted, then remove from heat. Stir in the sugar and vanilla bean paste. Stir in the eggs, one at a time. Add the cocoa powder, salt, and flour, and stir until just combined. Pour the batter into the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle with sea salt. Bake 35-40 minutes, or until the brownies are no longer jiggly, and a toothpick inserted two inches from the side of the pan comes out with just a few moist crumbs. Allow to cool most of the way before serving.

These billionaire brownies are amazing, life-changing, and over the top decadent. So rich and chocolatey, dense and fudgy, and just all around perfect!

2.05.2016

Nutella Banana Crepes + 23 Delicious Nutella Recipes

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These nutella banana crepes are the perfect indulgent breakfast or dessert. Super easy to make and so delicious!

Did you know today is World Nutella Day? That's right, friends, an entire day devoted to enjoying that delightful and delicious blend of hazelnut and chocolate! We eat an obscene amount of Nutella around here... my kids and husband love to eat it with graham crackers, slather it on toast, or even just scoop it out of the container with spoons. I love creating recipes with it, and it makes for a delicious substitute for peanut butter in lots of different recipes. These Nutella banana crepes are a new twist on my favorite crepe recipe, and they are not only super easy to make, they're also indulgent and delicious!
Nutella Banana Crepes

2 eggs
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 tablespoon sugar
1 cup flour
1 1/3 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup Nutella
3-4 bananas, sliced
additional Nutella and powdered sugar, for topping

Add the eggs, canola oil, sugar, flour, milk, and vanilla to a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Heat a 10 inch nonstick skillet over medium heat. Grease lightly with butter or cooking spray. Pour a small amount of crepe batter into the pan, and move the pan in a circular motion to coat the entire bottom of the pan with batter. Let cook about thirty to sixty seconds, or until the edges of the batter bubble slightly, and it's easy to slide a spatula under the edge of the crepe. Flip using a spatula and cook another fifteen to thirty seconds. Remove from pan and stack on a plate.

Spread each crepes with about a tablespoon of Nutella down the middle, then top with sliced bananas. Roll up the crepes. Drizzle with additional Nutella if desired, and sprinkle with powdered sugar.
These nutella banana crepes are the perfect indulgent breakfast or dessert. Super easy to make and so delicious!

For more delicious Nutella recipes from my other #celebratingfood blogging friends, check out the links below!


Nutella Puff Pastry from Summer Scraps
Easy Bacon Nutella Souffle from The Stay at Home Chef
Slow Cooker Nutella Brownie Cake from 365 Days of Crockpot
Nutella Cheesecake Bars from Creations by Kara
Homemade Nutella from Ashlee Marie
Nutella Mousse Cookie Cups from Butter With A Side of Bread
Nutella Cheesecake Brownies from Life Made Simple
Nutella Strawberry Pie from Jamie Cooks it Up!
Nutella Stuffed Red Velvet Cookies from Like Mother Like Daughter
Nutella S'mores Bars from Bless This Mess
Nutella Buttercream Frosting from Real Mom Kitchen

And as a bonus, 10 more delicious Nutella recipes to enjoy!

Mini Nutella Cheesecakes from The Baker Upstairs
Nutella Sugar Cookies from The Stay at Home Chef
Slow Cooker Coconut Nutella Lava Cake from 365 Days of Crockpot
Peanut Butter Nutella Stuffed Cookies from Like Mother Like Daughter
Nutella Banana Bread from Real Mom Kitche
Whipped Nutella Mousse from Jamie Cooks it Up!

2.03.2016

Zuppa Toscana

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This copycat zuppa toscana is so savory and filling - a delicious combination of flavors!

I know, I know,  I'm probably the last blogger on the face of the earth to post a version of zuppa toscana. This soup has been all over Pinterest since Pinterest began! In all fairness, though, I've tried a pretty wide variety of zuppa toscana recipes, and this was the first one that I deemed blog worthy. So you know it's good! This soup has a lot going for it - it's easy to make, it has pretty minimal ingredients, and it's super delicious. Plus it has bacon. Bacon is always a win! I know Olive Garden makes their zuppa toscana with kale, and you can definitely substitute it in this recipe for the spinach if you want it to be more authentic. However, my husband absolutely despises kale, and I actually think I prefer the spinach in this recipe. The spinach blends with the other ingredients a little better, which makes for a more harmonious soup. This soup isn't exactly the same as the Olive Garden soup, but it's definitely tasty and filling, and perfect for a cold night!
Zuppa Toscana

4 slices bacon, chopped
1/2 pound turkey italian sausage
1 medium onion, chopped
1 teaspoon minced garlic
4 cups chicken broth
2 large potatoes, peeled and diced
3 cups baby spinach
1 cup half and half
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

In a large pot or dutch oven, fry the bacon until crisp. Remove and drain on a paper towel. Add the sausage, onion, and garlic to the pot. Break the sausage into smaller pieces and cook through. Add the chicken broth and potatoes to the pot and simmer 15-20 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender. Stir in the spinach, half and half, salt, and pepper, and allow the spinach to wilt. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed. Serve immediately.

adapted slightly from The Skinny Fork

This copycat zuppa toscana is so savory and filling - a delicious combination of flavors!

2.01.2016

Blueberry Pomegranate Smoothie

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Blueberry pomegranate smoothie - so sweet, tangy, and flavorful!

Blueberry pomegranate smoothie - so sweet, tangy, and flavorful!

Does anyone else have a bad case of the winter blahs? I feel like this winter has been dragging on for years now, with no end in sight. I was looking at a friend's sunny vacation photos from Hawaii this week, and suddenly it hit me - I can't even remember what it's like to be warm. That's how bad this winter has been for me. I have to fight the urge every day to wrap myself in a blanket and binge watch Netflix while the snow falls outside. One thing that has been helpful to brighten up the days is making smoothies with the kiddos. We have a great time cooking together, they love slurping them down, and we all get to enjoy a little taste of summer in the middle of the winter. It's a definite win! This blueberry pomegranate smoothie is one we've been making for a while now, and it's always a favorite!

Blueberry pomegranate smoothie - so sweet, tangy, and flavorful!

It's made with just a few simple ingredients, and blends up quickly into a tasty treat. I love adding a little flax seed to our smoothies to add some nutrition (my kids don't even notice it!). I really love the combination of blueberry and pomegranate. It's sweet and tangy and flavorful, and I love the little kick of lime from the yogurt. It's the perfect flavor combination!

Blueberry pomegranate smoothie - so sweet, tangy, and flavorful!

Blueberry Pomegranate Smoothie

6 ounces frozen blueberries
4 ounces (1/2 cup) pomegranate juice
1 tablespoon flax seeds
6 ounces yogurt (I love using key lime flavor)
1 banana

Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth and creamy. Enjoy!

Blueberry pomegranate smoothie - so sweet, tangy, and flavorful!

originally published on Somewhat Simple

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