Freezer Friendly Burritos

Mrs. Fields Secrets Burritos

Next up in our series of freezer-friendly meals is an easy weeknight dinner idea that can also double as a quick, anytime freezer meal in individual portions. These beef, bean and cheese burritos are so simple and delicious, your whole family will love them. Eat them for dinner, or reheat them for a quick lunch. It’s a go-to recipe that can keep going and going.

Beef Bean & Cheese Burritos

1 lb. ground beef
1 package taco seasoning
1 can refried beans
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
8-10 flour tortillas

Directions
Brown ground beef and season with taco seasoning. Reduce heat to low and stir in refried beans. Preheat a frying pan or griddle to medium-high heat. Place a generous scoop of the beef and bean mixture in the middle of a tortilla and top with some cheddar cheese. Roll into a burrito, tucking the ends in and place seam-down onto the heated griddle (sprayed first with nonstick spray). Repeat with remaining tortillas and brown on each side until crispy. Serve immediately or wrap in individual pieces of aluminum foil and freeze for up to 3 months.

To reheat from frozen: warm in the microwave for three minutes on 75% power, flipping over once. Or (for a crisp version), heat in the microwave on high for one minute, then finish heating in a medium heat pan or griddle on all sides until crisp.

Valentine’s Party Ideas for Couples

3SLPMrsFields113
In the final installment of our Valentine series with our friends at Little Peanut Magazine and photographer Becky Kimball, we’re sharing some spectacularly fun ideas for a couples party. Invite a handful of your favorite couples and host a party that’s playfully romantic. Of course, our Big Red Heart decoration is the perfect backdrop for such a party, along with thoughtful details like these.

3SLPMrsFields2043SLPMrsFields118

Table Details: Simple red and white details set a perfect scene, with napkins folded into a heart shape with a slip of hand-written paper slipped inside like an arrow. A bouquet of red and pink flowers is all you need for a stunning centerpiece.

3SLPMrsFields57

Pair of Hearts Game: This scatter of hearts on the wall makes a great decoration, but a fun party game too! Create a memory-type matching game by writing the name of each half of a famous duo on the back of each heart, then affix the hearts to the wall with masking tape in whatever pattern you like. Party guests can take turns choosing two hearts at a time to find the right match! The winning couple wins a prize, like our classic Red Heart Tin.

3SLPMrsFields33

Conversation Hearts Game: Supply each couple with a bag of conversation hearts and give them three minutes to arrange them into the best conversation they can form, be it zany or sexy or funny. Next, have each couple read their conversation out loud. The best conversation wins a prize like the Conversations Heart Box.

3SLPMrsFields221

Treats as Decor: Stacks of delicious cookies on various cake and cupcake plates make a fun decoration and an easy way to serve treats. A lollipop stick with a red heart on top adds a fun wink.

111IMG_3237

Drink: Every party needs a signature cocktail and our Cran-Raspberry Spritzer is perfect for Valentine’s Day.

- 16oz cranberry-raspberry juice
– 20 ounces lemon-lime soda
– 1 lemon, quartered
– ice cubes
– fresh raspberries
– raspberry vodka
Directions
Fill four glasses with ice. Divide the cranberry-raspberry juice among the glasses. Add 1 oz. of raspberry vodka to each glass. Divide the lemon-lime soda among the glasses, topping off each cup. Squeeze a hint of fresh lemon juice over each, then garnish with a few fresh raspberries. Stir and serve immediately.

Do you have great ideas for couples’ Valentine parties? Share them with us!

{All images by Becky Kimball}

25 Ways to Say I Love You

Screen Shot 2015-02-06 at 4.21.33 PM

Looking for a creative way to show your valentine some love? Here are 25 ways to get started.

  1. Wash and vacuum his car
  2. Spell out his name in candy
  3. Write a love note on the mirror in red dry-erase marker
  4. Dedicate a song on the radio
  5. Make a playlist of meaningful songs
  6. Read his favorite book out loud to him
  7. Write him a love poem
  8. Write him a love letter
  9. Book a surprise getaway
  10. Make a picture book of favorite moments together
  11. Make his favorite meal and eat by candlelight
  12. Surprise him at work with a picnic lunch
  13. Stock the fridge with his favorite snacks and drinks
  14. Name a star after him
  15. Shine his shoes
  16. Book a couples massage
  17. Sign up for a dance class together
  18. Find forgotten photographs and frame them
  19. Give him a list of 100 things you love about him
  20. Surprise him with tickets to see his favorite team
  21. Leave love notes tucked into his shoes
  22. Recreate your first date
  23. Make reservations at his favorite restaurant
  24. Give him a one-minute kiss
  25. Surprise him with a delivery of fresh treats

Blog readers enjoy a special Valentine’s Day discount by using code SECRET20 to get 20% off purchases through 2/10/15.

Tips for Freezing Cookie Dough

If freezing cold temps don’t really work for you, we’ve got some great ideas to make them really work for you. For the next few weeks, we’ll be sharing some of our favorite freezer-friendly tips and recipes to get the most out of your freezer. Today, we begin with cookies, which are a perfectly suited for your freezer. You can put frozen cookie dough right into your preheated oven and have freshly baked cookies in a matter of minutes. But how you freeze and store the dough matters, so follow our tried-and-true tips.

image1

After making your favorite cookie dough (we recommend our Blue Ribbon Chocolate Chip recipe), allow dough to sit for a few minutes while you prepare a 9×13 casserole dish with a Silpat liner or a piece of parchment paper lining the bottom. Half of the liner should be hanging over the edge. Form dough into puck-like discs, about an inch thick with a flat top and line them along the bottom of the dish, leaving a little room around the edges.

image2

Once the bottom half has been filled, fold the liner back over the first layer of cookie dough and fill in another layer on top. Cover with plastic wrap and freeze for at least one hour to get them hard. (You could leave this in the freezer for longer, but the dough won’t last as long or stay as fresh with so much air surrounding it. Not to mention that a 9×13 dish takes up a lot of space!)

image3

Using two strips of plastic wrap per six dough discs, create a “tube” of cookie dough by using the first strip to weave accordion-style between each disc so that they won’t stick together. Wrap excess around the sides, then wrap the stack inside the second strip of plastic wrap to create a tube. When it’s time to bake, simply preheat your oven, unwrap a tube of dough, arrange them on a lined baking sheet, and bake until golden brown.

Frozen cookie dough will stay fresh in your freezer up to three months, so next time you’re making a batch of cookies, but don’t want to bake them all, pop some in the freezer as a gift to your future self. (Your future self sends thanks!)

 

Valentine’s Day Party Ideas for Kids

1SLPMrsFields73

As promised, today we’re teaming up with our friends at Little Peanut Magazine and photographer Becky Kimball to share some fun (and simple) party ideas for kids for Valentine’s Day! Whether you’re volunteering in a classroom, or hosting at your home, these ideas are worth falling in love with.

1SLPMrsFields127

Big Heart Balloons: Invite guests with a big heart helium balloon either written with the information, or tied to the string. (For guests who live too far away, mail them a deflated balloon that shows the info when inflated.) Most party stores carry heart-shaped balloons, or you can order them online.

Screen Shot 2015-02-02 at 1.16.22 PM

Pair of Hearts Game: This scatter of hearts on the wall makes a great decoration, but a fun party game too! Create a memory-type matching game by writing the name of each half of a famous duo on the back of each heart, then affix the hearts to the wall with masking tape in whatever pattern you like. Party guests can take turns choosing two hearts at a time to find the right match!

1SLPMrsFields91

Lucky in Love Game: A spin on “Hot Potato,” for this game you’ll need two identical containers (we recommend our Dynamite Sticks). One container is filled with candy, while the other is filled with dry beans. (Make sure they are of equal weight to keep the mystery.) Have guests stand in a circle and pass the containers as quickly as they can while music is being played. They can either pass them in a circle or toss them randomly. Once the music stops, the two people holding the containers open them up to find out who is lucky in love and gets a piece of candy, or unlucky in love and gets a bean.

2SLPMrsFields52

Menu: When serving refreshments for children, create a fun multi-level buffet of Nibblers® bite-sized cookies, Brownie Bites, and chocolate candies on tiered cake and cupcake stands. (We recommend the assortment in our All Heart Box.) The smaller portion is perfect for kids and allows them to sample a variety without a lot of waste. Pre-poured glasses of milk are the ideal party drink for this spread. Scatter cut-out hearts for extra decoration.

SLPMrsFields121

Decoration: You don’t need too many decorations to set the stage for a great party. Check out the instructions for our Big Red Heart. It’s stunning to look at, but so simple to create!

Do you have great ideas for kids’ Valentine parties? Share them with us!

{All images by Becky Kimball}

How To: Make a Big Red Heart

Mrs. Fields Catalog

If you receive our catalog, you may have already noticed the big red heart featured in our photo shoot. For such a show-stopping piece, we were surprised to learn how easy it is to make! In a collaboration with Megan Bailey of Little Peanut Magazine and photographer Becky Kimball, we’re bringing you several great ideas and how to’s over the coming weeks to create unforgettable Valentine’s Day details and fun parties.

So let’s start with that big red heart, the perfect statement piece for a Valentine party. Behind a table, it sets the stage with eye-catching charm, and it’s made from only a few simple items. Here’s what you’ll need:

The Big Red Heart
designed by Megan Bailey

2×2 wood poles
chicken wire
red paper napkins

Directions
Start with the wood poles, which you can find at any home improvement store, and cut them to size. (Don’t be afraid to go big!) Nail them together to create a frame. Wrap the chicken wire across the frame and secure it in place with a staple gun.

IMG_5516

Finally, open up each napkin and shape it into a V-shaped flare (think badminton shuttlecock), and tuck the point into the chicken wire to secure it. Add as many napkins as necessary to create a full heart shape.

IMG_5513

Start with an outline, then work to fill it all in.

IMG_5525

SLPMrsFields121

And voila! Easy as that, and now you have the perfect frame base for any holiday- just change the shape and color. Think white for weddings, big block letters for a birthday—the sky is the limit!

{All images by Becky Kimball}

Recipe: Red Velvet Chocolate Chip Cookies

Mrs. Fields Secrets Red Velvet Chocolate Chip Cookies

Listen up, valentines. Today’s recipe is love at first bite. It will make your heart skip a beat, send you over the moon, and every other romantic cliché in the book. These are velvety, cakey cookies with bits of chocolate and just the right amount of chew. That’s right, this is a cookie designed for love. Make a batch for someone you love (or someone you hope to love). They are more reliable than cupid’s arrow.

Red Velvet Chocolate Chip Cookies
adapted from Sally’s Baking Addiction

1 1/2 cups + 1 tablespoon flour
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 egg
1 tablespoon half-and-half
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 tablespoons red food coloring
1 cup semi-sweet mini chocolate chips
1/4 cup regular chocolate chips (for garnish)

Directions
In a medium bowl, stir the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt together, then set aside. In a stand mixer, whip the butter on high speed until creamy and light. Add both sugars to the butter and beat until well combined. Add the egg, milk and vanilla (scraping down the sides as needed), then stir in food coloring until well combined. Slowly add the flour mixture and mix on low until a soft dough with a cakey texture is formed. Stir in the mini chocolate chips, then cover and chill dough for at least one hour.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Roll dough into walnut-sized balls and place on a prepared baking sheet, then press the tops gently with your fingers to create a little bit of a flat top. (This will help them spread more evenly.) Bake for 8-10 minutes, or until the tops have even cracks across the surface. Remove and gently tap a few regular chocolate chips into the warm surface for garnish. Transfer to a cooling rack. Makes 18-24 cookies, depending on size.

Fine Cookies, Fine Art

Move over, fruit bowl, there’s a new muse for fine art. It’s no secret that we draw inspiration from cookies, but check out these artists who literally draw inspiration from cookies…

Artist: Faith Te

Cookie Art

Artist: Debra Alouise

Artist: Hall Groat II

Artist: Darren Maurer

Artist: Patianne Stevenson

Artist: JJ Galloway

Artist: Angela Moulton

Artist: Faith Te

Artist: Tom Brown

Artist: Marina Petro

The Best Frosting Recipes for Cakes and Cookies

Mrs. Fields Frosted Cookies

Everybody knows that the frosting can make or break your favorite cakes and cookies. Get it wrong and hours of work is lost. Get it right and people are lifting you on their shoulders and naming streets in your honor. (Or so we hear.) Make your frosting always hit the mark by using our handy guide for finding the best match for your cakes and cookies.

For Cakes

Old-Fashioned Vanilla Frosting – This light, fluffy frosting can be colored (or left a soft off-white). You can also substitute the vanilla with almond flavoring.
Use it on: chocolate cake, red velvet cake, cupcakes

Chocolate Buttercream Frosting – This silky frosting has great texture and deep flavor, perfect for piping or spreading. Use real cream for best results and keep it refrigerated.
Use it on: chocolate cake, yellow cakes, berry cakes, cupcakes

Quick Chocolate Frosting – This lighter-than-air quick frosting takes only a few ingredients and a few minutes to prepare. It’s a great recipe to keep on hand.
Use it on: chocolate cakes, yellow cakes, cupcakes

Cream Cheese Frosting – The perfect balance of flavor and texture, this frosting is not too sweet, not too tangy, and has a sturdy texture perfect for piping and frosting.
Use it on: carrot cake, red velvet cake, spice cake, cupcakes

Chocolate Ganache – For serious chocolate lovers, it doesn’t get better than ganache. This recipe is decadent and perfect for glazing your favorite cake.
Use it on: chocolate cakes, cupcakes, and even brownies

For Cookies

Royal Icing – This shiny, highly versatile frosting is the favorite of sugar cookie decorators. This recipe is solid, simple (and there’s a video tutorial to help).
Use it on: cut-out sugar cookies

Chocolate Royal Icing – The chocolate alternative that, in our opinion, is severely underused. Yum.
Use it on: cut out sugar cookies

Buttercream Frosting – Fluffy, spreadable, color-able and loves sprinkles. Perfect for spreading or piping.
Use it on: drop sugar cookies

Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting – Sometimes cream cheese frosting can overpower a cookie, but a little cinnamon balances everything out.
Use it on: pumpkin cookies, spice cookies, gingerbread cookies

Do you have a favorite go-to frosting? Tell us about it!

Recipe: Chocolate Hazelnut Brioche Star

Mrs. Fields Hazlenut Brioche Star

Today’s recipe is a show stopper in every possible way, except for the fact that it’s super simple to create! (Don’t worry, we won’t tell.) If you can use a rolling pin, you can make this delectable dish. It’s perfect for a dessert or brunch, the soft sweet bread is broken up by thin layers of Nutella. It’s perfect with coffee, hot cocoa, or even a scoop of ice cream.

Chocolate Hazelnut Brioche Star

3-4 cups bread flour
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
zest of one lemon
2 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast
3 tablespoons butter
2 eggs
3/4 cups warm milk
3/4 cup chocolate hazelnut spread (such as Nutella)

{for glaze}
1 egg white
1 tablespoon water

Directions
In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine flour, salt, sugar, lemon zest and yeast. Add in eggs, butter, and warm milk and knead until dough is soft and springy to the touch (about 5-10 minutes). Transfer to a lightly greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Allow to sit in a warm area for 1-2 hours or until double in size.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Punch down dough and shape into an even ball, then divide into four equal pieces. Roll each piece into a ball and then roll the first ball flat into a 10-inch circle. Transfer the circle to a prepared baking sheet. Spread 1/4 cup of hazelnut spread over the first layer, leaving about 1/2-inch perimeter around the edge. Repeat with the next two layers, adding them to the top of the last. Finally, roll the fourth and final ball of dough and add it to the top. Place a 10-inch plate on top and trim around the edges so that you have a perfect circle. Remove plate, then place a round glass in the center of the circle that has a 3-inch diameter. Rest it there, then cut sixteen equal stripes out from the center circle. Next, take two adjacent strips and turn them in toward each other 2 1/2 times, then pinch the ends together to form a point. Continue with the remaining strips.

Mix the egg white and water to make a thin glaze, then brush a thin layer over the entire brioche. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...