Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Fruit and Cheese Kabobs

Got a picky eater? Just put their food on a stick! My son loves it when I make him Kabobs. Here are a few pictures of the Fruit and Cheese Kabob that I made him for lunch.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Breakfast on the Grill

Before going on the grill

We actually had this for dinner a few nights ago. We are going camping at the end of the month and I wanted to give this meal a trial run before I make it while camping. It was really yummy! And it should be a cinch to make while camping.

1 can (8 oz) pineapple chunks
3 cups cubed French bread
1/4 cup butter, melted
1/3 cup sugar
1-1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
8 slices Canadian bacon, quartered

Drain the pineapple and reserve 2 tablespoons of juice.
Place bread in a large bowl, drizzle with butter and toss to coat. Combine sugar and cinnamon; sprinkle over bread mixture and toss to coat.
Transfer bread mixture to a double thickness of greased heavy-duty foil. Add Canadian bacon and pineapple; drizzle with reserved pineapple juice.
Fold foil around bread mixture and seal tightly. Grill, covered, over medium heat for 4-5 minutes on each side or until heated through.
After being grilled. See how the pineapple and bacon started caramelizing? Mmm yummy!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Meatballs and Gravy

This recipe is a tweaked version of a recipe from Holly at 2 Kids and Tired Cooks. I just changed a few minor things in her original recipe to match my family's tastes.

1 can cream of chicken soup
1 can consommé beef soup
1 envelope onion soup mix
1 can water

Mix all the ingredients in a slow cooker.

2 lbs. ground beef
1 envelope dry onion soup mix
3 eggs
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1/4 cup milk, maybe a little less.


Mix everything, except flour and oil, together with your hands, really well. Form into balls, roll in flour.
Heat oil over medium heat. Brown the meatballs and drain.
Add to the soup mixture in the slow cooker. Cook on low, 6-8 hours. Serve over cooked, wide, egg noodles.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Popcorn Snack Mix

I put this together to add to our snack bucket. It appears to be a hit with my son. It makes a lot so you can either cut the recipe by half or share it with some neighbors or friends. (Unless you have a larger family than mine, in that case, I suppose it might not make too much.)

2 bags microwave popcorn
2 tablespoons cinnamon-sugar
1 tablespoon baking cocoa
1 cup Honey Bees graham crackers (or bear shaped or whatever shape you have/find....)
1 cup pretzel sticks, broken
1/2 cup M&M's

Place popcorn in large bowl. Combine cinnamon-sugar and cocoa; sprinkle over popcorn and toss to coat. Stir in graham cracker snacks, pretzels and M&M's. Store in airtight container.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Walking Tacos

A few years ago when we were at the Strawberry Festival I ate a Walking Taco, a bag of Fritos into which taco meat and toppings were added. You just grab a fork and eat straight out of the bag. I loved it and looked forward all year to going back to the Strawberry Festival the next year so I could buy another one. Only, no body was selling them the next year. I was so disappointed!

We eat taco salad very frequently in our home and recently I decided to have some fun and make the Walking Tacos likes I'd had at the Strawberry Festival. All I did was cut open the bags and add our usual taco meat and toppings. It was a little different and therefore a little fun. You can either cut the bag like the picture above or just open it at the top, like they did at the festival.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Nutmeg Streusel Muffins

2 cups all purpose flour, divided
1 cup brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup butter, softened
1-1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1-1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup buttermilk
1 egg

In a large bowl, combine 1-1/3 cups flour and brown sugar. Cut in butter until crumbly and reserve 1/2 cup for streusel topping. In the same bowl, add remaining ingredients; stir until just moistened. Spoon into greased muffin pans and sprinkle with reserved streusel mixture.
Bake at 400 degrees for 18 to 22 minutes or until lightly browned.

Notes: I love a good streusel topping so I added a bit more brown sugar and some oats to my reserved portion before sprinkling it on the muffins.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Grilled Ham and Jack Cheese Sandwich

Doesn't that just look so good? Just look at that cheese and ranch dressing dripping out! I'm gonna go make me another one right now...

You must try these sandwiches! They are unbelievably delicious! I'd already eaten half of mine before I remembered to take a picture so I could share this amazing sandwich with all of you.

8 slices Texas toast
4 slices sharp cheddar cheese
16 thin slices deli ham
4 slices red onion
4 tablespoons ranch salad dressing
4 slices pepper Jack cheese

Butter one side of each slice of Texas toast. On the unbuttered sides of four slices, layer cheddar cheese, half the ham, onion, and remaining ham; spread with ranch dressing. Top with pepper Jack cheese and remaining toast, butter side up.
Cook sandwiches on a hot griddle for 3-4 minutes on each side or until toast is browned and cheese is melted.
Make 4 sandwiches.

We always serve these with Root Beer Floats and Steak Fries. A favorite meal at our home.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Corn Dog Muffins

Shortly before lunch time Red asked me to make him some more muffins. My first thought was, I have to make lunch not muffins. Then I decided to whip up a batch of these muffins. I served them along side some watermelon slices and Red was very pleased with his lunch.
This is the sort of thing that grosses me out but my son will just eat up.

1 batch of corn bread muffin batter
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 can (11 oz) whole kernel corn, drained
5 hot dogs, chopped

Mix the brown sugar, corn and hot dogs into the corn bread batter. Fill greased muffin cups 3/4 full. Bake at 400 degrees for 14-18 minutes or until golden brown.
Note: I sometimes forget to add the brown sugar and Red still gobbles them up so I suppose if you want to omit the brown sugar you can.

Alternate recipe using boxed mix
2 packages (8-1/2 oz each) corn bread muffin mix
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 eggs
1 cup milk
1 can (11 oz) whole kernel corn, drained
5 hot dogs, chopped

Combine corn bread mix and brown sugar. Combine eggs and milk; stir into dry ingredients until moistened. Stir in corn and hot dogs.
Fill greased muffin cups 3/4 full. Bake at 400 degrees for 14-18 minutes or until golden brown.

Serve immediately or refrigerate.

I was trying to get some pictures when a certain baby just could not resist any longer and stuck her fingers right in.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Birthday Cake Disaster

I am not afraid to share my disasters as well as my successes.
I decided to make the cakes for my daughter's 1st birthday and they turned out, not surprisingly, disastrous.
It was not surprising because
  1. I decided to make two cakes
  2. I'd never made either of the cakes before and
  3. I did not start making the cakes until about 2:00 in the afternoon on the day of the party.
I was doomed.

The idea had been that that I would make the cakes the night before so that if things did not turn out I would still have time to come up with alternatives. Drat me and my procrastinating tendencies!

Cake #1-Strawberry

Go on. Say it. You know you want to. It looks like someone vomited.
My plan was to make a small round cake for the birthday girl to eat/destroy and then use the rest of the batter to make a small sheet cake for everyone else.
I found a recipe that looked easy enough and sounded like it would taste good and for the most part it was easy and did taste good. It was the frosting that went horribly wrong. It was like liquid frosting and no matter what I did to it, it would not stop running down the sides of the cake. I decided to just let it harden up a bit and then I transfered it to another plate so it did not look as bad when it was time to serve it.

Cake #2-Chocolate Cream

Except for the fact that it was completely lopsided, this cake turned out pretty decent.
I decided to make the second cake because I was worried that the small sheet cake would not be enough for everyone that would be there and what if some people did not like strawberry cake?
I think a little tweaking on the recipe and some technique practice and this one could turn into a pretty good cake.

So, maybe next time I make birthday cakes I will start them a little earlier and things will go better. I was not too worried about how the small strawberry one looked because I knew it would end up like this:Strawberry Cake
1 package white cake mix
1 package (3 ounces) strawberry flavored gelatin powder
1 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs, lightly beaten
1/4 cup water
3/4 cup mashed strawberries

Strawberry Icing
1/2 cup butter
1 pound confectioners' sugar
1/4 cup mashed strawberries

Combine cake mix and gelatin powder in a large bowl. Beat in oil, eggs, water, and strawberries. Pour into 2 9-inch round greased and floured cake pans. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 30 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool and frost with strawberry icing.

For icing, beat the butter and confectioners' sugar together until smooth. Add strawberries. Spread between cake layers, then frost top and sides.

Chocolate Cream Cake

1 package chocolate cake mix
Whipping Cream
Chocolate Frosting

Following package directions, prepare and bake cake mix in two 9-inch round layers. Cool and split the layers horizontally. (You will only need three of the layers for this cake. Freeze the extra layer for later use.)
To assemble cake: Place one layer of cake on serving plate. Spread evenly with half the whipping cream, to within half an inch of edge of cake. Place another cake layer on top of cream then another layer of cream. Alternate cake and cream for a total of 5 layers, ending with cake layer. Gently press down on top layer to set layers together. Frost entire cake with chocolate frosting.

Whipping Cream
1 envelope unflavored gelatin
1/4 cup cold water
3 cups heavy whipping cream
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla

In a small saucepan, combine gelatin with water; let stand until thick. Stir constantly over low heat until just dissolved. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly but do not allow to thicken. In large mixing bowl, whip cream, sugar, and vanilla until slightly thick. On low speed, gradually add gelatin, then beat on high until cream is thick.

Chocolate Frosting
4 tablespoons cocoa
3 cups powdered sugar
4 tablespoons butter, softened
2 to 3 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla

In mixing bowl, mix cocoa and powdered sugar. Add softened butter, milk, and vanilla. Beat until smooth.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Garlic-Cheese Biscuits

As often as I make these, I thought for sure I would have already posted this recipe but apparently not. So here you go:

2 cups Bisquick mix
2/3 cup milk
1/2 cup shredded Cheddar cheese (I put in more than 1/2 cup. We like them cheesy!)
1/4 cup butter or margarine, melted
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder (again, I put in more than this. I usually eye it but I am pretty sure it is more than 1/4 teaspoon. We like garlic.)

Heat oven to 450 F.
In a medium bowl, stir Bisquick mix, milk and cheese with wire whisk or fork until soft dough forms; beat vigorously 30 seconds. On ungreased cookie sheet, drop dough by 10 to 12 spoonfuls about 2 inches apart.
Bake 8-10 minutes or until golden brown.
In small bowl, stir butter and garlic powder until well mixed; brush on warm biscuits before removing from cookie sheet. Serve warm.

Monday, June 30, 2008

Cinnamon and Caramel Cookies

1 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg yolk, lightly beaten
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp allspice
25-30 caramel candies

Preheat oven to 375 F
Beat sugar and butter in mixer on low speed until combined. Add egg yolk and vanilla extract and beat well.
Sift together the flour, cinnamon, allspice, and a pinch of salt into the mixture and mix until thoroughly combined.
Scoop up tablespoons of the mixture, shape into balls, and put on cookie sheets spaced well apart.
Bake for 8 minutes. Place a caramel candy on top of each cookies, return to oven and bake for 6-7 more minutes.
Remove from oven and let cool on cookie sheets for 5-10 minutes. Transfer to wire racks to cool completely.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Chocolate Cookies

This recipe is for a basic chocolate cookie that you can add whatever kind of add-in that you want. I used M&Ms this time but I've also used Reese's Pieces, white chocolate chips, and peanut butter chips before. The possibilities are pretty endless. One of these days I am going to try mint chips. MMM!

8 oz semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 12 oz package of your add-in of choice

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Melt chopped chocolate and butter in microwave-safe bowl in 20 second increments, stirring between each one, until almost melted; do not overheat. Remove; stir until melted and smooth.
In another bowl, combine flour, baking soda and salt.
With electric mixer, beat eggs, brown sugar and vanilla on high until light in color and smooth. Reduce speed to low; beat in chocolate mixture. Mix in dry ingredients until just combined. Fold in your add-in.
Drop heaping tablespoons of dough onto baking sheet, 2 to 3 inches apart. Bake, rotating sheet halfway through, until cookies are shiny and crackly, yet still soft in center, 12 to 15 minutes. Cool on sheet 10 minutes. With a thin metal spatula, transfer to wire racks to cool completely.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Spaghetti Sauce

I am on a quest to find the best and easiest homemade spaghetti sauce. This recipe is currently holding the #1 spot.

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 garlic gloves, minced
1 (28 oz) can crushed tomatoes
1 (14.5) can diced tomatoes
3 tablespoons minced fresh basil
1/4 teaspoon sugar

Cook the oil and garlic in a medium saucepan over medium heat, stirring often, until fragrant but not browned, about 2 minutes. Stir in the crushed and diced tomatoes with their juice. Bring to a simmer and cook until slightly thickened, 15 to 20 minutes.
Stir in the basil and sugar. Season with salt to taste.
This makes about 4 cups which is more than my small family needs for one meal so I freeze whatever we don't use into smaller portions to be used later.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Cheese Straws

1 (9x91/2 inch) sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed
2 ounces Parmesan and Asiago cheese, grated
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper

Adjust the oven racks to middle positions and heat oven to 425 degrees.
Lay the puff pastry on a sheet of parchment paper and sprinkle with the cheese, salt and pepper. Top with another sheet of parchment, and using a rolling pin, press the cheese in to the dough, rolling to shape the dough into a 10-inch square.
Remove the top layer of parchment and use a sharp knife or pizza cutter to cut the dough into 10-13 strips.
Holding 1 strip of dough at each end, gently twist the dough in opposite directions. Place the twisted strip of dough on a parchment lined baking sheet.
Place the sheet on one of the oven racks and bake for 5 minutes and then switch to the other rack and bake for another 5 minutes or until fully puffed and golden brown.
We scarfed these down before I remembered to take a picture so I only have pre-baked pictures of them. Next time I make them I will try to remember to take pictures before we eat them all.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

It's Grilling Season

Expert and I are pretty much novices when it comes to grilling. We bought our first grill last year shortly after we bought our house. We did not have a lot of money so we got the second most cheap one we could find. (The cheaper one did not have a warming rack so we decided to splurge and get the $35 grill that had the warming rack). We were very excited to start grilling but really had no idea what we were doing. We bought some grilling cookbooks and started figuring out some of the tricks to making good food on the grill. My apologies to anyone who came over last summer and was fed food from our grill. I promise it will be better if you come back. We have learned at lot. In fact, the other day we made the best tasting, juiciest chicken ever!
Here is what we have learned about grilling bone-in, skin-on chicken. (We use a charcoal grill so if you have a gas one, you are on your own.)
First, heat up a big pile of charcoal until they are red hot and all white. Then spread them out to the sides of the grill, what they call a double banked fire.
Place the chicken, skin side down in the middle of the grill. This will allow the chicken to cook with indirect heat. This is good for two reasons. One being that it prevents flare ups from the fat hitting the coals and second, it traps the juices in the chicken better.
Let the chicken cook there in the middle for 20 minutes and then flip them and move them over to the coals. Here is a picture after they have been flipped and moved over to direct heat.
The packet in the middle is corn. I'll get to that in a minute.
Once the chicken is cooking over direct heat you leave them there until they are done, about 10-20 minutes. The chicken is done when a thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the breast reaches 160.
One important thing to remember is not to keep flipping the chicken! (Expert has a hard time with this one.) I only flipped my chicken once. That is all it needs! Keep flipping it and it will stick to the grill, take longer to cook and not be as juicy.
Once the chicken was done, I moved it up to the warming rack and spread some BBQ sauce on. I closed the lid and let it cook for a few more minutes then flipped the chicken over and coated the other side with sauce and then let it cook for a few more minutes.It pretty much just cooks itself.
But doesn't it end up looking so yummy?You are just going to have to trust me when I say this was the juiciest chicken ever!

Barbecue Sauce
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 onion, minced
1 garlic clove, minced
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 cup ketchup
5 tablespoons molasses
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
2 tablespoons Worcestershire
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon Tabasco

Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic, chili powder and cayenne and cook until fragrant, about 15 seconds.
Stir in the remaining ingredients and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the sauce is thickened, about 20-25 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
This makes about 1 1/2 cups but can easily be doubled or tripled. You can also make it ahead of time and store in the fridge for about a week or the freezer for 2 months. So you can make a big batch all at once and freeze it into small portions and pull them out as needed.

Grilling Corn on the Cob
There are a few different ways we grill corn. This time we did the foil packet way, which is simple.
Lay the corn out on a large piece of foil. Season however you like. Mexican seasoning, salt and pepper, garlic, lemon, whatever strikes your fancy. Then put some cut up butter pieces on top of the corn and cover with another piece of foil. Seal the foil up real good and place on the grill. Over direct heat, the corn should take about 10 minutes to cook.

Saturday, May 31, 2008

New Picture

I finally remembered to post the picture of the Peanut Butter-Chocolate Chip Pound Cake. Go check it out, but be prepared to drool. :-)
My mom made this one after seeing it on my blog so I posted a picture of her cake. Thanks mom!

Black Bean and Mango Salsa

Black Bean and Mango Salsa

1 (15.5 oz) can black beans, rinsed throughly
1 mango, peeled, pitted and chopped
1/2 red bell pepper, chopped fine
1/4 minced red onion
1/4 cup pineapple juice
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro
1/2 jalapeno chili, seeded and minced
1/2 teaspoon cumin

Mix all the ingredients together and season with some sugar and salt and pepper to taste. Cover tightly and let rest to blend the flavors, about 10 minutes.
If you want a little bit more kick to your salsa, keep the seeds and ribs from the jalepeno pepper and add those in.

You can scoop it up with some chips or do like I did and top my burger with it. Yummy!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Convenience Dinner

I am falling behind on my recipes again. I have lots to post and even pictures to go with many of them.
Check out the Foodie Blog roll on my side bar. There are all sorts of great food blogs there to check out.
Now on with the food!

I really like making my own sauces but sometimes it is nice to have some bottled stuff on hand for nights when I just need to throw something together fast.
We are also a big fan of potstickers and as much fun as it is to make them from scratch, it is hard to accomplish on a regular basis.
This is one of our favorite, not from scratch meals.
I used to just brown some chicken and then pour some teriyaki sauce in and let it cook up with some broccoli and call it good. This particular brand of sauce tastes extremely salty and is just gross on its own. In order to lesson the pure sodium taste I started adding some pineapple juice. I just eye it based on the amount of chicken and sauce I am cooking. (Just add a little corn starch to the sauce if it gets too thin after adding the juice.) Since I had the pineapple I just went ahead and started tossing that in too. And then I add in some broccoli and let it all heat up. Quick and simple but oh so yummy!

While the chicken and sauce are cooking up I cook up some potstickers according to the package directions. They take about 10 minutes to cook. Don't they look so good?

I am still trying to concoct a good potsticker dipping sauce. I don't like dipping them in straight soy sauce but you can do that if you don't have anything else.

Now doesn't that look yummy? All up, it probably takes 15 -20 minutes, a little longer when I forget that I need to cook up some rice too. :-)

I probably have enough sauce left in my bottle for one more batch of teriyaki chicken but once it is gone I will not buy this brand again. I will, however, probably keep adding pineapple and juice to whatever brand sauce I do buy.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Book Give Away

Hey there my fellow foodies! Do you know that in addition to baking and cooking I love to read? And that I have another blog where I write my thoughts on the books I read? I am hosting a book give away on my book blog. If you think you might be interested in winning a book head over there and check it out.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Cooking for the Family

My parents are in town for the weekend and the family gathered at my house last night. 6 adults and 5 kids. I decided to make chicken enchiladas and my sister made a layered dip with beans, guacamole, sour cream, cheese, and I can't remember what else. I also made a cucumber curry dip to go with some vegetables as a little appetizer/side dish.
I thought the dip was really good but I don't think my family was as enthusiastic about it as I was. Cucumber and curry. What's not to love?
Here is the recipe:

Cucumber-Curry Dip
3/4 cup mayonnaise
3/4 cup sour cream
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 cucumber, seeded and chopped fine
1 tablespoon curry powder
1 tablespoon minced fresh cilantro

Stir all the ingredients together and season with salt and pepper to taste. Refrigerate the dip for at least 1 hour to allow the flavors to blend. If you feel it necessary, you can season with additional lemon juice and some salt and pepper before serving.

I usually make beef enchiladas, in fact I have never made chicken endiladas before, but after making these last night my husband told me he prefers them to the beef. They were pretty darn good if I say so myself. They were drier, not as saucy as the beef ones I usually make. Again, I don't know how much the extended family liked them, but they were a hit with me and Expert.

Chicken Enchiladas
3 cups shredded cooked chicken (1 1/2 pounds)
3 cups extra sharp (or just sharp, we prefer extra sharp) cheddar cheese, shredded
2 1/2 cup enchilada sauce (see below)
1 (4 0z) can chopped green chilies
1/2 cup minced fresh cilantro
salt and pepper
12 (6 inch) soft corn tortillas

Combine the chicken, 2 cups of the cheddar, 1/2 cup of the enchilada sauce, the chilies, and cilantro. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Wrap the tortillas in plastic wrap and warm in oven for 60 seconds to make them warm and pliable so they won't tear when you roll them up.
Put about 1/3 cup of the chicken mixture down the center of each tortilla. Tightly roll the tortilla around the filling and lay seam side down in a 9x13 inch baking dish that has been lightly coated with vegetable cooking spray.
Lightly spray the enchiladas with vegetable oil spray. Pour more sauce over the the enchiladas to coat thoroughly. Sprinkle the remaining 1 cup cheddar down the center of the enchiladas. Cover the baking dish with foil and bake in a 400 degree oven for 20 to 25 minutes. Remove the foil and continue to bake until the cheese browns, about 5 minutes.
Serve with chopped lettuce, lime wedges and sour cream.

Enchilada Sauce
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 onion, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons chili powder
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons cumin
2 teaspoons sugar
2 (8 oz) cans tomato sauce
1/2 cup water

Heat oil in a 12 inch skillet over medium heat. Add the onion, salt and garlic and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the chili powder, cumin and sugar. Cook until fragrant, about 15 seconds. Stir in the tomato sauce and water. Bring to a simmer and cook until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Sorry, no pictures. I was too busy visiting with the family to think about taking pictures of the food.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Creamy Chicken Soft Tacos

I've seen a few other food bloggers take pictures of all the ingredients for a recipe and post it. I thought I'd do that this time so you can see just how easy this recipe is. In fact, that sour cream? Don't even bother taking it out of the fridge yet. All you need to start is the chicken and salsa.

Put the chicken in your slow cooker and pour the salsa over it.

Let it cook for 6-8 hours and then shred the chicken. Add that sour cream now and let it cook some more.

Add whatever toppings you like. I like putting some cooked rice, cheese and lettuce in. Fold it up and eat it! Can cooking good food get any easier?

Creamy Chicken Soft Tacos
4 frozen boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 (16 ounce) jar of salsa
1 cup sour cream
6-8 flour tortillas

Place chicken in greased slow cooker. Pour salsa over the top. Cover and cook on high 6-8 hours. Shred chicken by pulling apart with two forks. During the last hour of cooking, stir in sour cream.
Fold chicken mix inside warm flour tortillas with lettuce and grated cheese (or anything else that strikes your fancy.) Makes 6-8 servings

(Slow Cooking Thursday)

Monday, May 5, 2008

Hawaiian Chicken

4 to 6 chicken breasts
Cooking Oil
1 can (15 1/4 ounces) pineapple chunks
1/2 cup honey
2 tablespoons cornstarch
3/4 cup cider vinegar
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1/4 teaspoon ginger
1 chicken bouillon cube
1 green pepper, cut in 1/4- inch strips

Roll chicken pieces in flour and sprinkle with salt. Brown in oil. Drain pineapple; reserve pineapple chunks and pour juice into measuring cup. Add water to make 1 1/2 cups. Add honey, cornstarch, vinegar, soy sauce, ginger, and bouillon cube, bring to a boil. Cook 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Pour over chicken pieces in 2 quart baking dish. Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. Add pineapple chunks and green pepper; bake 5 minutes longer. Serve with cooked rice.

Menu Plan Monday

Blogger is acting up and won't let me add the banner for Menu Plan Monday from Organizing Junkie, which is a shame because she has some nice new ones this week. If you want to look at (lots) more menus just head over to I'm an Organizing Junkie.

I've been kinda lazy about planning my menus lately but today I sat down and remembered how much fun it is to plan menus. So much fun that I have pretty much planned out all of May and started on June as well. :-)

Here is what I've got planned for this week:

Monday: Grilling Night! Just Hot Dogs and Hamburgers tonight with some chips and potato salad (store bought because I did not plan ahead...)

Tuesday: Casserole Night because my hubby has class on Tuesday and does not come home after work. I take dinner out to him and casseroles travel and reheat well.
Martha's Casserole with Garlic Bread and Green Salad

Wednesday: Easy Chicken Enchiladas with Texas Toast and Green Salad

Thursday: Hawaiian Chicken and Rice

Friday: ?? We have family coming to town and I am not sure what the plans are yet. I might be cooking for everyone or my sister might or we might all be going out. It is up in the air right now.
Saturday: Mother's Day Dinner at Red Robin. Woo Woo! I have been looking forward to this one for a looong time! :-) I can already tell you what I am going to order. Onion Rings, Chocolate Milkshake and a Crispy Chicken Burger. MMM! MMM! I will be ready to burst when we leave but it will be sooo worth it! (Can you tell I am excited? Cause I am!!)

Sunday: Sweet and Sour Chicken, Egg Drop Soup, Fortune Cookies.

May's Cook Book

This month I will be trying 1-3 recipes a week from The America's Test Kitchen Family Cookbook. At the end of the month I will write up what I thought of the book overall.
I have been eying this book for a few months and really wanted to buy it but have been trying to cut back on my cook book purchases. Last time I was at Costco they had a huge stack of them and I could not resist it any longer. The fact that it was more than $10 off the cover price also helped my decision to go ahead and buy it.
There are 23 sections in this cookbook. I would like to try at least one recipe from each section but I don't know if I'll be able to accomplish that in one month. (I know I won't be trying anything from fish and shellfish section because I don't eat fish.) I will try as varied a selection of recipes as I can. This should be fun!

Monday, April 28, 2008

Butterscotch Muffins

These muffins are just absolutely delicious. They are so moist on the inside and the tops get nice and crunchy. A perfect muffin! They are great for feeding to your family with a little mini fruit salad before you head out the door for church. Especially if you have church at 11:30 like we do. It is too early for lunch but it has been a few hours since breakfast and we can't wait until we get home to eat again or we will all be cranky and fussy. The solution? Muffins and fruit! A nice, filling snack to get us through church.

Butterscotch Muffins

2 Cups all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1 (3.4 oz) package instant butterscotch pudding mix
1 (3.4 oz) package instant vanilla pudding mix
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup water
4 eggs
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup oats
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, pudding mixes, baking powder and salt. Combine the water, eggs, oil and vanilla; stir into the dry ingredients just until moistened.
Fill greased muffin cups two-thirds full. Combine the topping ingredients; sprinkle over batter. Bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.
Makes 1 1/2 dozen.

Red likes 'em!

Menu Plan Monday

I am not feeling well and eating just hurts. I am coming to the realization that I am going to have to got to a dentist soon whether I like it or not. I am not in the mood for eating, cooking or anything else food related right now. My family still has to eat though so I put together a menu. It's a rather boring menu. Nothing new and most of it will use things I already have in the pantry so I don't have to drag my aching self to the store.
If I start feeling better and I can actually eat without it hurting than I might change some of this but then again, probably not. :-)

Monday: Spaghetti, veggie and Garlic Bubble loaf (yes. We eat this alot. What can I say? It is very kid friendly!)
Tuesday: Easy Chicken Bake, fruit salad, pudding
Wednesday:Waikiki Meatballs, Broccoli, Jell-O
Thursday: Hot Dogs and Hamburgers and corn on the cob cooked on the grill
Friday:Taco Salad
Saturday: Chicken Sandwiches, French Fries, veggie
Sunday: Something made in the slow cooker . I have not decided what yet...

Friday, April 25, 2008

Peanut Butter-Chocolate Chip Pound Cake

If there is one ingredient I love, it is peanut butter. I can't get enough of the stuff! :-)
Here is one of my favorite peanut butter recipes. Make and enjoy it!

1 box yellow cake mix
1 cup milk
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 eggs
2 cups miniature semisweet chocolate chips (12 oz bag)

1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips (6 oz bag)

2 tablespoons chopped peanuts

1. Heat oven to 350 F. Generously grease with shortening and lightly flour 12 cup fluted tube pan. (Bunt pan) In medium bowl, beat cake mix, milk, peanut butter, vanilla and eggs with electric mixer at low speed 1 minute, scraping bowl constantly. Beat 2 minutes at medium speed, scarping bowl occasionally. Stir in miniature chocolate chips. Pour into greased and floured pan.
2. Bake 45 to 55 minutes or until toothpick inserted near center comes out clean and top springs back when touched lightly near center. Cool in pan 10 minutes. Invert onto wire rack; remove pan. Cool completely, about 1 1/2 hours.
3. In a small saucepan, melt all icing ingredients over low heat, stirring constantly until smooth. Drizzle warm icing over top of cooled cake, allowing some to drip down sides. Sprinkle peanuts over icing.

(Favorite Ingredient Friday is hosted by Overwhelmed With Joy!)

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Grand Re-Opening

I have not posted in over a month! How much of a slacker have I become? Well, no worries! I have lots of ideas and plans to get me going over here again. I'll be posting a lot more often starting in the next few days.
Here is what you have to look forward to:
-I'll start posting my menus and links to recipes again.
-A regular series I am going to call Sweet Tooth. I have a huge sweet tooth so I am going to start posting recipes of all my favorite sweets.
-Every week I'll post a kid friendly recipe. These will range from baby food recipes to big kid favorites.
-Kitchen Crafts. I really enjoy doing things in the kitchen with my son and will start posting about it here.
-Monthly cook book reviews. Every month I will pick a cook book and try to make 1-3 recipes a week from that book. At the end of the month I will do a write up of what I thought about the book and the recipes. (This will go along with the Soups On challenge that I signed up for as well.)
-I am not a big slow cooker user but I am going to start using mine more so I think I will also start participating in Slow Cooker Thursday.
Those are some of my current plans. I hope I still have some people who will come back even though it has been so long since I posted.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Fudgy Brownie from Scratch

I have been trying to make most of my breads and goodies from scratch lately. I have found good recipes for most of the things I used to get from a box except brownies. I've made several batches of homemade brownies and they all tasted yummy but none of them had that fudgy, gooey taste you get from a box of brownie mix. They all have more of a cake-like texture and flavor than what I am hoping to achieve.

So, I know I don't have a very big readership, but if anyone reads this and has some recipes or tips for making fudgy homemade brownies, than please leave me a comment and let me know.

Thanks! :-)

On another brownie note, I love the corners best and that is why I must get me one of these!!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Strawberry Tacos?

I put some strawberries on the table one night when we were having tacos. Expert decided to make himself a strawberry taco.
He said it was good. Just a little more juicy than normal. :-)