Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Chicken Enchilada Soup

This Chicken Enchilada Soup is fantastic! It really, really is! And to make it even better, the base is full of veggies instead of cream and butter. The soup is thick, creamy and SO good.

I made some fresh salsa to go on top and, well, I'm speechless!

8 cups chicken broth
2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts (about 3-4 chicken breasts)
1 (3.5 ounce) can chopped green chiles
1 large yellow onion, peeled and quartered
4 medium russet potatoes, peeled and quartered
1 red bell pepper, cored, seeded and cut into large chunks
3-4 cups butternut squash cubes (from about 1/2 of a medium butternut squash, peeled and cut - I cheated and bought already cut up squash)
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons cumin
1 cup sour cream
1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
2 (15 ounce) cans white beans, rinsed and drained
2 tablespoons taco seasoning

In a large pot, add the chicken broth, chicken breasts, green chiles, onion, potatoes, pepper, butternut squash, garlic, salt and cumin. Bring the mixture to a boil and simmer, covered, until the chicken is cooked through and the vegetables are tender, about 20 minutes. Remove the chicken from the pot to a cutting board. Let it cool slightly before shredding or dicing. Ladle the remaining vegetables and broth into a blender in small batches (trust me, you will be thanking me when you manage to avoid 3rd degree burns from the hot splashes of the expanding yumminess) and puree the broth and vegetables until smooth. Pour the pureed soup mixture back into the large pot. Whisk in the sour cream and tomato sauce. Stir in the taco seasoning, beans and cooked chicken. Cook until heated through.

Recipe from Mel's Kitchen Cafe.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Fresh Salsa

There's no better salsa than fresh homemade salsa. This salsa is great as a dip or a topping. It usually doesn't last long enough to top anything (other than the chips that are dipped in it), but it is still fantastic on nachos, soup, enchiladas, etc.

4 large roma tomatoes
1/2 medium onion
1/4 medium green bell pepper
1 jalapeno
1 clove garlic
1/2 cup cilantro
Juice of 1 lime
Salt to taste

Remove stem and seeds of jalapeno (use plastic gloves when handling the jalapeno. You will thank me!) Roughly chop tomatoes, onion, bell pepper, jalapeno and garlic (I usually quarter them). Place all ingredients in a food processor and pules until chunky.

Recipe from The Royal Cook - an original!

Monday, February 27, 2012

School Lunch Room Rolls

I had a "lunch lady" that lived in my neighborhood that brought some rolls to a get-together. They were fabulous and I learned that they were the elementary schools secret recipe. I somehow sweet talked the recipe out of her (I think I said please) so now we can enjoy the rolls anytime.

5 to 8 ¼ cups flour
2/3 cup sugar
1 ¼ cup powdered milk
1/3 cup shortening
1 tablespoon salt
2 tablespoons yeast
2 eggs
2 ½ cups warm water

Pour warm water in a large bowl and sprinkle with yeast, then sugar.  Let sit until the yeast is dissolved and foamy - about 5 minutes. Add 2 cups of the flour and remaining ingredients to the yeast mixture and mix well. Add remaining flour 1 cup at a time until dough is soft (use as little flour as possible). Knead until smooth and elastic - about 5 minutes. Cover the dough and let it rise until doubled - about 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Roll dough out ½ to 1 inch thick. Spread with softened butter and cut into circles with a round cookie cutter.  Wrap each circle of dough around your finger and lay seam side down on greased baking sheet (I put the center of the circle across the top of my pointer finger and wrap both sides under). Cover and let rise again until at least doubled - about 45 minutes. Bake at 350 for 15 to 20 minutes. Brush hot rolls with melted butter.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Roasted Chicken and Vegetables

This is one of my new favorite dinners. It is SO easy to throw together and the entire family loves it. Can't beat that.

3 pounds bone-in chicken pieces
1 1/2 cups baby carrots (or sliced carrots)
2 pounds new potatoes, halved
1 onion, cut into wedges
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
1 teaspoon thyme
1 teaspoon rosemary
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Heat oven to 425° F. On a large rimmed baking sheet, toss the chicken and veggies with the oil and spices. Arrange the chicken and vegetables in a single layer and roast, tossing the vegetables once and basting the chicken occasionally with pan juices, until the chicken is cooked through and the vegetables are tender, 35 to 45 minutes.

Recipe from Mrs Bettie Rocker.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Caramel Apple Cheesecake Bars

If you came across a cheese cake and an apple crumb pie that fell in love and decided to get married ('cause food does that ya know) and then decided to have babies, I can only imagine that this is what one of their babies would be.

Some like it hot (my 10 year old) and some like it cold (the rest of us), but it is always delicious.

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 cup butter, softened

Cheesecake Filling:
3 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup sugar, plus 2 tablespoons, divided
3 large eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

3 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Streusel Topping:
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup quick cooking oats
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened

1/2 cup caramel topping

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
In a medium bowl, combine flour and brown sugar. Cut in butter with a pastry blender (or 2 forks) until mixture is crumbly. Press evenly into a 9x13 baking pan lined with heavy-duty aluminum foil. Bake 15 minutes or until lightly browned.

In a large bowl, beat cream cheese and 3/4 cup sugar with an electric mixer at medium speed until smooth. Add vanilla and eggs, 1 at a time. Pour over warm crust.

In a small bowl, combine all streusel ingredients and mix well with a fork (or your hands).

In a small bowl, stir together chopped apples, remaining 2 tablespoons sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Spoon evenly over cream cheese mixture. Sprinkle evenly with streusel topping. Bake 40-45 minutes, or until filling is set. Drizzle with caramel topping and let cool.

Recipe from The Girl Who Ate Everything.

Shared with Sweet as Sugar Cookies.

Thursday, February 23, 2012


Ever had a Crumpet before? I hadn't had one or even heard of them until I found this recipe. They are kind of a cross between a pancake and an English muffin. My 10 year old says they taste like french toast. You know, they kinda do! I loved them and about half of the kids loved them. The other half were a bit unsure. I ate them with butter and jam. Yum!

3 Packages Active Dry Yeast
3/4 Cup Warm Water
3 Teaspoons Sugar
1 Cup Warm Milk
3 Eggs
3 Cups All Purpose Flour
1 Teaspoon Salt

In a large bowl, combine the yeast and water, and sprinkle with sugar. Let it sit for 5 to 10 minutes, or until foamy. Add in remaining ingredients and whisk until smooth. Cover and let sit for 35 to 45 minutes (check after 20 minutes to make sure it doesn't overflow). Heat a griddle to medium-high heat. Melt about 1/2 tablespoon of butter on the griddle and pour about 1/4 cup batter on the griddle for each crumpet. Cook until the tops looks almost dry, then flip.

Recipe from Fake-it Frugal.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Crock Pot Breakfast Casserole

I love almost anything I can prepare in the crock pot. This Crock Pot Breakfast Casserole was good, but we all agreed it would be great with sausage instead of bacon. The kids and my sweet hubby ate theirs with ketchup (should I be offended?) but I enjoyed mine without. I loved that it went into the crock pot the night before and was ready when we woke up.

6 to 8 strips of bacon (I will use a pound of sausage next time)
1 onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 red or green bell pepper, diced
3 cups shredded cheese
1 (2 pound) bag frozen hash browns (I used a 28 ounce bag because that is what I could find)
12 eggs
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon dill
1 to 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper

Brown bacon (or sausage) and crumble and set aside. Cook onion, bell pepper and garlic in a small amount of oil over medium heat until tender - about 5 minutes. Combine eggs, milk, dill, salt and pepper and whisk until well combined. Spray a crock pot with non-stick cooking spray. Put about 1/3 of the hash browns in the crock pot and top with 1/3 of the bacon (or sausage), 1/3 of the onion mixture and 1/3 of the cheese. Repeat layers 2 more times. Pour egg mixture over the top and cook on low for 8 to 10 hours.

Recipe adapted from a Latte' with Ott, A.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

IHOP Pancakes

I love pancakes. I mean, I really love pancakes. I have my go-to recipe (Perfect Pancakes), but I think this may be my new favorite recipe. They come out tender, fluffy, and just plain delicious. The kids really liked them, too (especially the ones I made shaped like Mickey Mouse or their initials :)).

If I were you, I would make these pancakes NOW! Yeah, they really are that good!

1 1/4 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon Baking soda
pinch of salt
1 egg, beaten
1 1/4 cups buttermilk
2 tablespoons melted butter
1/4 cup sugar

Stir together the flour, baking soda, baking powder,sugar, and salt. Mix the egg with the buttermilk and add to the flour mixture, stirring only until smooth. Add the melted butter and stir until well combined. Fry on a hot, greased griddle.

Recipe from Cookin' up north.

Happy birthday to my little Asia! I can't believe she's already 6!

Man, I love this girl! She is sweet, sassy, and full of life. Just the way a little girl should be. :)

Monday, February 20, 2012

Hawaiian Shoyu Chicken

This Hawaiian Shoyu Chicken is fabulous! It is super easy to throw together (only 4 ingredients!), is super tender, tastes wonderful, and is cooked in the crock pot. It doesn't get much better than that.

Hawaiian Shoyu Chicken got a "thumbs up" from the entire crowd. I served it over rice with the sauce. Even the sauce haters said the sauce made the rice "way good".

1 cup brown sugar
1 cup soy sauce
1 cup pineapple juice
3 pounds bone-in chicken thighs

Combine brown sugar, soy sauce and pineapple juice in a crock-pot and and stir until combined. Add chicken and cook on high for about 4 hours, or until the meat starts to fall off the bone. Serve with the sauce over rice.

I put about 2 tablespoons cornstarch in just enough water to make it runny and added it to the sauce about 10 minutes before serving to thicken it up.

Recipe from my old neighbor, Barb.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Hot Pink Breakfast Smoothie

This Hot Pink Breakfast Smoothie is a great way to start off your day.  One of the great things I noticed about this smoothie is that I didn't feel hungry all morning.

I am not a fan of beets, but the first day I made the smoothie I thought it was pretty decent.  When I bought my beets, they only came in a bunch of 3, and each smoothie only uses 1/2 of a beet.  After deciding the Hot Pink Breakfast Smoothie wasn't too bad, I bought enough stuff to make enough smoothies to finish off the beets.  By the time I finished up with my smoothies, I decided I still really didn't like the beets.  If you aren't a beet fan, this may not be the smoothie for you.  If you are a beet fan, enjoy!

Juice of 1 Thai coconut

This is a lovely Thai coconut.  I found them at my health food store.

To get the juice out, cut off about 1 inch off the bottom.  Put 2 holes (with a hammer and screwdriver) in the bottom.  One in the soft spot (the dark little spot in the white spot in the middle of the coconut) and one in the hard part.

1/2 beet
1 carrot
1/4 cup raw cashews (I got mine at the health food store)
1/4 cup dates (at the health food store, as well)
1 tablespoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups frozen strawberries
Stevia to taste, optional (I used about 1 dropper of the liquid)

Combine all ingredients, except strawberries, in a blender and blend until smooth.  Add strawberries and blend again until smooth.

Recipe adapted from Green Smoothie Girl.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Crispy Cheddar Chicken

This is a fun and super yummy twist on breaded chicken.  Not only is it super yummy, but it is the best kind of chicken out there!  Why, you ask?  Because all of the kids ate it and without a single complaint!  Doesn't get much better than that.  Unless, of course, someone else were to make it for me and even do the dishes.  Now that would be heaven. 

The chicken comes out nice and tender and the coating is so good.  The kids weren't the biggest fans of the sauce (For some reason, they don't like sauce on stuff or even their rice topped with anything.  How else are you supposed to eat stir fry?  Yeah, they're kinda weird like that.)  My sweet hubby really like the sauce, though.

For the chicken:
4 large chicken breasts
2 sleeves Ritz crackers
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1/2 cup milk
3 cups cheddar cheese, grated
1 teaspoon dried parsley
For the sauce:
1 (10 ounce) can cream of chicken soup
2 tablespoons sour cream
2 tablespoons butter
Cut each chicken breast into 3 pieces.  Crush the Ritz crackers and combine them with the salt and pepper.  Put milk, cheese, and cracker crumbs in 3 separate pans for dipping.  Dip each piece of chicken in the milk, then cheese (I pressed the cheese on.  It didn't want to just stick by it's self), and then cracker crumbs.  Place finished pieces into a greased 9x13 inch pan.  Sprinkle with dried parsley and cover and bake at 400 for 35 minutes.  Uncover and bake for an additional 10 minutes or until lightly browned and the chicken is cooked through.  To make the sauce, combine sauce ingredients in a small sauce pan.  Cook until heated through.  Serve over chicken.

Recipe from Jamie Cooks It Up!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Speedy Ham and Cheese Hot Pockets

We love our sandwiches here, but it's always nice to switch it up a bit sometimes. These Speedy Ham and Cheese Hot Pockets have a wonderful, tender biscuit crust and are packed full of ham and gooey melted cheese. With the biscuit crust, there is no need to wait for the dough to rise, so they are quick to make up. I have to say, I LOVED these!

2 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 cup cold butter
2/3 cup buttermilk
1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1 1/2 cups sliced ham, diced

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees and oil a baking sheet. Combine dry ingredients. Slice the cold butter into the flour mixture. Use a pastry blender to cut the butter into the flour mixture until you have a coarse, grainy mixture. Make a well in the middle of the flour and pour the buttermilk into the flour mixture. Stir until just moistened and knead a few times to make a smooth dough. Roll the dough out on a floured surface to about 1/2 inch thick (just a little less). Cut out 4 inch circles (I used a large glass). Place about 3 tablespoon of meat and 3 tablespoons of cheese on the center of a circle. Lay another circle over the top and pinch the sides together. Just before sealing the entire circle, finish putting filling inside if it wouldn't all fit before. Place the pocket on the prepared sheet and flatten slightly. Bake for 12 to 14 minutes or until the pockets begin to brown.

Recipe adapted from Get Off Your Butt and Bake.

Linked on Get Your Brag On.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Strawberry Breakfast Sauce

This Strawberry Breakfast Sauce is so easy and super tasty on french toast, pancakes, waffles, you name it. We ate it on our Luscious Lemon Pancakes and loved how well the flavors went together.

1 cup strawberry jam (I used homemade freezer jam - YUM!!)
2 teaspoons orange juice

Mix jam and juice together and heat in the microwave for 2 minutes, stirring 1/2 way through.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Luscious Lemon Pancakes

It's no secret that I'm a pancake lover. I can't think of a pancake I've met (with the exception of the Bisquick kind - yuck!) that I didn't like. These Luscious Lemon Pancakes are no different. They are absolutely delicious! Nice and lemony (but not overwhelming) and moist and tender. Yummy!

1 cup flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/3 cup milk
1 egg
2 tablespoons oil
1 (8 ounce) carton lemon yogurt
1 lemon, juiced and rind grated

Mix dry ingredients and lemon rind. Add liquid ingredients and mix well. Cook on hot griddle.

Recipe adapted from Bungalow Heaven B&B.

Linked on Get Your Brag On.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Super Healthy Green Smoothie

My kids LOVE smoothies (like my Tropical Smoothies)! They love these Super Healthy Green Smoothies as well - although my sweet hubby isn't quite on board. Maybe I'll try telling him they are made with Dr. Pepper and see if that will help. ;)

This Super Healthy Green Smoothie is packed with good for you greens and fruit. I like to drink my smoothie for breakfast or as an afternoon snack.

If you are new to green smoothies, you may want to just throw a handful of spinach into my Tropical Smoothie to get you started.  Not that these Super Healthy Green Smoothies are bad, but are full of lovely greens.

My little guy sporting a way cool Super Healthy Green Smoothie stache.

1 cup water
4 ounces fresh spinach
4 ounces fresh chard
1 cup frozen peach slices
3/4 cup frozen mixed berries
1/2 ripe banana (the riper the better)
Stevia to taste (I like the liquid and use 1 dropper)

Pour water into a blender and add spinach. Blend until liquified, then add chard and do the same (you will end up with about 22 - 24 ounces of liquid after adding the greens). Add fruit and Stevia and blend until smooth.

Recipe slightly adapted from Green Smoothie Girl.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Brazilian Feijoada - Slow Cooked Pork and Black Bean Stew

I love beans. I love pork. I love my slow cooker. Throw them all together and you have got Brazilian Feijoda. Not only was it super yummy, it made my house smell so good! About the only bad thing I can think of about my slow cooker is that I have to (or get to) smell the yummy food all day, but I can't eat it. I guess that could be a good thing too.

2 cups dried black beans
4 slices thick-cut bacon
2 pounds boneless pork shoulder, trimmed of fat and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1/2 teaspoon salt, more for sprinkling the meat before browning
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
3 boneless beef short ribs, trimmed (about 1-2 pounds)
3 cups finely chopped yellow or white onion (about 2 medium)
1 (14 oz) can chicken broth
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 (9-ounce) smoked ham hock
1 tablespoon white vinegar
8 orange wedges
Hot, cooked rice, for serving

Place beans in a large saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil and cook for 2 minutes. Remove from heat; cover and let stand 1 hour. Drain.

Cook bacon in a large skillet over medium heat until crisp. Remove bacon from pan; crumble. Let the bacon cool and then place in a covered container or bag in the refrigerator to use before serving. Sprinkle pork evenly with salt and pepper. Increase heat to medium-high. Add pork to bacon drippings in skillet; cook the pork 1-2 minutes per side until golden brown all over. Transfer the pork to a 6-quart slow cooker. Sprinkle ribs evenly with salt and pepper. Add ribs to skillet; cook 2-3 minutes on each side or until browned. Place ribs in slow cooker. Add drained beans, 1/2 teaspoon salt, onion, chicken broth, garlic and ham hock to slow cooker, stirring to combine. Cover and cook on low 8 hours or until beans and meat are tender.

Remove and shred ribs. Remove and discard ham hock. Add the meat back into the slow cooker and stir in vinegar and crumbled bacon. Serve with hot, cooked rice and orange wedges.

Recipe from Mels Kitchen Cafe.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Hotdog Squids

I've made squids out of hotdogs before, but never like these Hot Dog Squids. They were so fun for the kids!  My 12 year old and his friend even thought they were pretty cool.  It isn't too often that my kids fight over food that doesn't have sugar as the main ingredient.  Now if I could just get them to fight over broccoli......

1 package hotdogs, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 package spaghetti

Insert spaghetti noodles into one end of each hotdog piece and push through (I did 4 pieces so each would have a total of 8 "legs", just like an octopus)

Bring a large pot of water to a boil and place "squids" in boiling water and cook until noodles are tender.

Recipe idea seen on Pinterest.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Slow Cooker Tikka Masala

I have never had the pleasure of eating Indian food. Or cooking it, for that matter. And to be honest, I was a little skeptical. Skeptical until I saw it was topped with a generous amount of cilantro. Have I ever mentioned I love cilantro?

This Slow Cooker Tikka Masala was absolutely fantastic! I wasn't home when the family ate it, but as soon as I walked through the door my 12 year old told me dinner was "Soooo good!" My sweet hubby said he really enjoyed it as well and that all the kids ate it without a complaint. I think that makes my first Indian food cooking experience a success!

It was lick-the-bowl good!

For the chicken:
9 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
1 tablespoon ground coriander
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup plain yogurt
1/4 cup butter
1 whole jalapeno pepper, stem removed and pierced several times with a sharp knife
For the sauce:
1/4 cup butter
1 large onion, diced
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon salt
3 tablespoons garam masala
1 (2 to 3 inch) piece fresh ginger, peeled and grated
2 (15 oz) cans crushed tomatoes
1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 ½ cup heavy cream

Cut the boneless, skinless chicken thighs into 1- 1 1/2 inch pieces. Sprinkle the coriander, cumin and salt over the chicken, then stir in the yogurt until all the pieces are evenly coated. Cover lightly and let sit for 10 minutes before proceeding.

Melt 1 tablespoon the butter in a large saute pan over medium heat. Raise the heat to medium high and quickly brown about 1/4 of the chicken. Transfer browned chicken to the slow cooker as it is finished, using 1 tablespoon of butter per batch, and repeat until the chicken is all in the slow-cooker. Throw the pierced jalapeno in on top of the chicken.

Prepare the sauce. Return the pan to the heat and melt the butter over medium high heat. Add the onions, garlic, and kosher salt, then stir. Cook, stirring frequently, until the onions begin to lightly brown around the edges.

Stir in the garam masala and ginger and cook until fragrant (about 1 minute) before raising the heat to high and adding the crushed tomatoes and raw sugar. Stir well, scraping the caramelized bits from the bottom of the pan, and bring to a boil. Pour over the chicken in the slow-cooker.

Cover and cook on LOW for 5 hours, or until the chicken is very tender.

Use a fork or whisk to stir the cornstarch into the heavy cream until smooth. Pour into the slow-cooker and stir gently until the color is even. Replace the lid and let cook for 10 minutes or until bubbly around the edges.

Serve over hot rice and peas, topped with a generous amount of chopped cilantro.

Recipe from Tasty Kitchen.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Thumbprint Cookies with Cherry Buttercream Frosting

Oh. My. Word! These cookies are positively amazing! I am not much of a fan of cherries, but I don't think I would have the frosting on these cookies any other way. They really are amazing!

For the cookie:
11 Tbsp butter
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 to 1 3/4 cups flour
For the frosting:
1/4 cup butter
1 3/4 cup powdered sugar
4 Tbsp maraschino cherry juice
For the cookies, beat butter with vanilla sugar for 3-4 minutes. Add egg and salt. Beat in vanilla and flour. Cover dough with plastic wrap and chill in refrigerator for one hour.

Roll dough into one inch balls. Place on parchment lined cookie sheet. Bake in 375 degree oven for 8-10 minutes. Remove from oven and immediately press small teaspoon to make an indent in the center of the cookie. Cool completely. For the frosting, beat butter, cherry juice and powdered sugar until creamy and desired consistency. Pipe (or spoon) frosting into the indentation in the center of the cookies.

Recipe slightly adapted from Shugary Sweets.

Linked on Sweets for a Saturday.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Mini Corn Dogs

Have you ever made a corn dog? Not the kind that you pull out of the freezer and pop into the microwave for a minute. I mean the kind where you actually make the batter and dip the hot dogs yourself, and then cook them. If you haven't, or haven't eaten one someone else was kind enough to make for you, you are missing out. I think that most things are better homemade, and Mini Corn dogs are no exception. They sure are tasty little things. Just ask any one of my kids, they'll tell you!

1 cup buttermilk
1 1/2 cup flour
1 cup yellow corn meal
1/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 eggs
10-12 hot dogs

Preheat 2 inches of oil in a large skillet to 365 degrees. Whisk together the flour, corn meal, sugar, baking powder, salt, and baking soda in a large bowl. Add buttermilk and eggs then whisk until well combined. Cut hot dogs into thirds and dip in batter. Coat hot dog well and fry in hot oil until golden brown. Drain on paper towels.

Recipe adapted from Real Mom Kitchen.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Caramel Apple Salad

Snickers in a salad? Yes please! When I made this Caramel Apple Salad, I told my sweet hubby it was going to be his favorite salad. It would be his favorite because Snickers is his favorite candy bar. The kids were sure excited watching me make it. They couldn't believe I was actually putting candy in the salad and going to let the eat it at dinner time. At dinner, not after dinner (although, it would make a nice dessert as well). That's another thing that makes me such a cool mom. :)

6 Granny Smith apples
1 bag snack size snickers
1 small package vanilla pudding
1 cup milk
1 (8 oz) tub whipped topping

Cut the apples and snickers into bite sized pieces. Combine pudding mix with milk and whisk until smooth. Add whipped topping and whisk until well combined. Add chopped snickers and apples and stir. Refrigerate leftovers.

Adapted from Ericas Bloggity Blog.

Linked on Sweets for a Saturday.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Chic Fil-A Chicken Nuggets

These. Are. Amazing! They come out SO tender and tasty. Crispy and just slightly sweet. I think it's needless to say, but the kids loved them. And Dad loved them. Even Mom loved them. I guess that means we all loved them. And when you make them, you will love them, too!

2 skinless and boneless chicken breasts
1 cup milk
1 egg
1 1/4 cups flour
2 TBSP powdered sugar
2 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
peanut oil (is best) or canola oil

In a medium bowl whisk the egg and stir in the milk. Trim any fat away from chicken. Cube chicken into bite size pieces. Place chicken in milk mixture,and cover. Let it stand for 2-4 hours in the fridge. This makes the chicken very nice and tender. In a large resealable baggie combine flour, powdered sugar, salt and pepper. Seal and shake to combine. Place about 2 inches of oil in a medium deep pot. Over medium high heat heat oil until hot. If using a thermometer let the temperature reach 375°. Remove cut chicken from milk mixture and place in the flour mixture. Seal and shake until nuggets are completely coated. Place nuggets in batches (so they can be in a single layer and you still have room to flip them) into hot oil and let them cook until golden brown, turning half way through once the edge of your chicken starts to turn white. About 1 minute each side or until cooked through. Remove and drain on a paper towel. Repeat until all nuggets are cooked.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Cheesecake Dip

Oh my! Looking for something sweet and really tasty to serve at your Super Bowl party? Or just to snack on any old time? This Cheesecake Dip may just be what you're looking for. It is sweet, creamy, and oh-so-yummy. It's tasty on graham crackers, fruit, a spoon.... You get the idea. Oh! And have I mentioned it is also great as a frosting for cake? Well, it is!

1 (8 oz) package cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup sour cream
1/3 cup sugar
1 (8 oz) container whipped topping, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla

Cream all together and chill until ready to serve.

Recipe from my friend Peggy.

Linked on Sweets for a Saturday.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Rocky Road Brownies

I am in love with brownies. I really, really, really love brownies. My husband loves brownies. My kids love brownies. We all love brownies. These brownies are one of my favorites. I love the combination of the chocolatey, chewy brownies, marshmallowy goodness and the sweet chocolate icing. Oh my! Not to mention, they start with a boxed brownie mix to make it even easier!

1 box brownie mix + ingredients to mix
1 cup marshmallow cream
1/4 cup margarine
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
3 tablespoons milk
2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup chopped pecans, optional

Mix brownies according to package directions. Bake as directed in an 8 x 8 inch greased pan. Place marshmallow cream in a microwave safe container and heat until melted. Pour on top of hot brownies and carefully spread. Bring margarine, milk and cocoa powder to a boil. Add to powdered sugar and vanilla and mix until smooth. Add nuts and pour over the marshmallow cream on the brownies while both are still hot. Let cool completely before cutting.

Recipe from The Royal Cook - an original!

Linked on Sweets for a Saturday.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Lemon Blueberry Yogurt Loaf

There is something about lemon and blueberry that just seem to go together. And when you throw some lemony glaze on the top, you've just about reached perfection. This Lemon Blueberry Yogurt Loaf turned out really tasty. The batter is pretty amazing, too. I'm not admitting that I ate a bit more of the batter than I probably should have, just saying that it tastes really good.

1 1/2 cups + 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour, divided
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup plain whole-milk yogurt
1 cup sugar
3 large eggs
2 teaspoons grated lemon zest (approximately 2 lemons)
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 1/2 cups blueberries, fresh or frozen, thawed and rinsed

For the Lemon Glaze:

1 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
2 to 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease bottom and sides of one 9 x 5-inch loaf pans; dust with flour, tapping out excess. In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking powder and salt; set aside. In a large bowl, whisk together the yogurt, sugar, eggs, lemon zest, vanilla and oil. Slowly whisk the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. In a separate bowl, mix the blueberries with the remaining tablespoon of flour, and fold them very gently into the batter. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake 50 to 55 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the loaf comes out clean. Let cool in the pans for 10 minutes before removing loaf to a wire rack on top of a baking sheet and let cool completely. To make the lemon glaze, in a small bowl, whisk together the confectioners’ sugar and 2-3 tablespoons of the lemon juice. The mixture should be thick but pourable. Add up to another tablespoon of lemon juice if the mixture is too stiff. Pour the lemon glaze over the top of each loaf and let it drip down the sides. Let the lemon glaze harden, about 15 minutes, before serving.

Recipe adapted from Sweet Peas Kitchen.

Linked on Sweets for a Saturday.
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