"For I was hungry & you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty & you gave me something to drink..."

Matthew 25:35

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Honey Glazed Baby Carrots

I think I've made it pretty clear that we don't eat a lot of cooked veggies in our house. Sad but true. We do eat some- but most of the time we turn up our noses.
And one of the cooked veggies we abhore is carrots. Raw- awesome. Cooked- death. Yeah- it's that bad.
But then our kid's nanny was all like, "Hey, I fed your girls some honey glazed carrots today & they loved them!"
And I was all like, "Really? But...we hate cooked carrots."
Then I looked at my girls & though, "who ARE you?"

But then I got to thinking about how terrible my eyes are & how terrible the husband's eyes are...& decided that carrots are a good thing. And cooking them takes away 95% of the choking risk (seriously, if there is 1 think I ALWAYS choke on it's raw carrots) so maybe I should give it a shot.
So glazed carrots happened last night.
And guess what?
....I liked them. ::gasp::
I know- it sounds crazy but it's true. I was like- wow. Carrots with sugar = delish. And healthy- sort of. Right?
Regardless- I offered some to the girls & my eldest ate them without complaint. My 1 year old spit them out- but babies are finnicky creatures who are not to be trusted.

Honey Glazed Baby Carrots (via southern food)
You Need:
2 lbs of baby carrots
1 1/2 tsp salt
4 tblsp of butter
4 tlsp of honey
3 tblsp packed brown sugar
juice of 1/2 lemon
ground pepper & parsley (garnish)

Directions: Toss the carrots in a sauce pan, top with cold water & salt. Bring to a boil & cook for 15 minutes (or until tender). Drain & set aside.
Using the same saucepan (sans the carrots) melt the butter over medium heat & then stir inthe sugar & honey. Cook & stir untilt he sugar dissolves, then add the lemon juice & gently stir in the carrots. Continue to heat & gently stir the carrots until they're hot & glazed.
Serve with black pepper & parsley (if you want. i just used pepper)

You guys- so.good. And simple.
I made the husband try a piece (which he fought me so hard on) in the hopes that he'd agree & declare his love for glazed carrots...no dice.
He actually gagged. But he's dramatic like a lady so yeah. Whatever. His loss. More carrots for me & mine.
Pin It!

Chai Tea Concentrate

I'm all about homemade Christmas gifts this year. Yes, it's rewarding to see someone enjoying something you made with your own 2 hands...but mainly it's because i'm a cheap Scrooge.

ba-humbug to you, Chase credit card people. stop wanting me to spend money.

ok- chai tea. it's awesome. 9 out of 10 people love it. & i'm pretty sure Starbucks charges a small fortune to buy a cup- so it's best (ie: cheaper) to make it yourself.

Chai Tea Concentrate (via from scratch club)
You Need
14 oz can of sweetened condensed milk
1 tsp sugar
3/4 tsp ground cardamom
3/4 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp cloves
1/2 tsp nutmeg

Directions: Mix everything together in a glass jar. Cap it & you're done.
Crazy easy & people will marvel at your abilities.

Directions for use:
Add 2 heaping tsp (or more to taste) to a stong cup of coffe, hot cocoa, warm milk or a black tea, like Assam. Stir well & enjoy. Store in the fridge for up to 6 months.

I plan on gifting this with some Assam tea & a cute mug. End.

Pin It!

Poppy Chow Popcorn

Poppy Chow Popcorn (yes, a clever play on the words "puppy chow" which is another delectable chex mix treat)
Popcorn, peanut butter & chocolate. As simple as that.
Well, technically there are some ther ingredients- but you know what i mean.

Poppy Chow Popcorn (via brown eyed baker)
You Need:
9 cups of popped popcorn
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1/4 cup unsalted butter
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar

- Place your popcorn in a huge bowl (as always)
- In a microave safe bowl melt the chocolate chips, peanut butter & butter until melted & smooth. Stir in the vanilla.
- Pour the mixture over the popcorn & stir until everything is well coated.
- Sift the powdered sugar over the popcorn & stir until all of the pieces are well coated.
- Spread the mixture onto a cookie sheet (lined with wax paper) & place in the fridge for about 30 min (until chocolate is set)
- Break it up (if you need to) & eat it. You can store the rest in an airtight container.

This popcorn was good, but I think it's best to eat it the day you make it or within 1-2 days. After the 1st day the popcorn gets a bit soft. It's still delish- but not as crunchy as I'd like.

I did send some out as gifts along with the Cinnamon Bun Popcorn- but It doesn't hold up quite as well.

Pin It!

Cinnamon Bun Popcorn

first off, no. i'm not trying a cool new way of taking pictures. i just happen to live in the northeast where it gets dark around 4pm. it's also cold. freezing in fact.

so i turn on the porch light, stand outside in sub zero temps & take pictures of food while my kids bang on the slider glass. sounds awesome, right?

hooray for winter.

ok- back to the popcorn.
this stuff is even better than the last batch i posted about.
addicting. i sent it out as chrsitmas gifts & i've already gotten back reports on people's innability to stop eating it. that's a win.

Cinnamon Bun Popcorn (adapted from our best bites)
You Need:
12 cups popped popcorn
1 cup roughly chopped pecans
1 cup brown sugar
3/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 cup Karo syrup (or honey)
1 stick of butter (1/2 cup)
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp vanilla
3 squares of almond bark
sea salt

Directions: Preheat oven to 250. Line a baking sheet with foil.

Mix up the popcorn & pecans in a massive bowl massive i tell you) & set aside.
Combine the cinnamon & brown sugar in a large microwave safe bowl. Cut up the butter into squares & place on top of the sugar miture. Pour the Kar syrup over it all & pop it in the microwave for 30 seconds (just enough to soften up the butter)
Stir everything together & place it back in the microwave for 2 minutes.
Remove & stir. Then ut it back in for 2 more minutes.
When you take it out it should all bubbly looking. That's perfect.

Now you can stir in the vanilla & baking soda. Then pretend you're a scientist as you watch it get all foamy & awesome.
Now stir it into the popcorn at once & keep stirring until everything is coated nice & evenly.
Spread the popcorn on the baking sheet, sprinkle with sea salt (i sprinkled with a liberal amount. i like salt) & place it in the oven. Bake it for 30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes.
After 30 minutes you can test it. Take a piece & let it cool a bit. Eat it. Is it crunchy & awesome? If so- done. If not, keep baking for another 5 minutes or so.

I think 30-35 minutes is perfect.

Once it's done- stir it one last time & spread it out onto wax paper. While it's cooling a bit, melt your Almond Bark according to the package directions. Then use a fork & drizzle it all over your popcorn mixture.

Now leave it alone- it'll harden up in a short while & then you can break it up into chunks & start inhaling it.

Incredible. & so perfect for gift giving. I wrapped it up in plastic candy bags & sent it throught he mail. I stored the rest in an airtight container...& then ate it the next day.
stupid popcorn.
Pin It!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Peppermint Cookies & Cream Popcorn

let me start by letting you know that if you can't control yourself around salty sweet popcorn then you probably shouldn't make this.
because if you can't control yourself to begin with, then you're probably going to OD on this stuff. it's fan-freaking-tastic.

alright- i warned you.

Peppermint Cookies & Cream Popcorn (via plain chicken)
You Need:
8 cups of popped popcorn (you can use the microwave stuff, but i prefer to pop it on the stove)
1 (6oz) box of candy canes, crushed
1 package of Oreos, crushed (i used double stuffed)
1 1/2 packs of Almond Bark, vanilla
1 1/2 tsp peppermint extract

Directions: Pop your popcorn according to the directions & set aside in a massive bowl. Like a bowl WAY bigger than you think you'll need- because you will.
Crush the candy canes & the Oreos & mix with the popcorn.
Melt the almond bark according to the package directions & stir in the peppermint extract.
Pour the melted almond bark over your popcorn mixture & stir until everything is evenly coated. I used a nice stir/fold technique. I also used a spatula- worked better for me.
Then spread the popcorn out onto wax paper & allow it to harden.
Break it up & then get busy shoveling it into your mouth.

I'm telling you guys- seriously awesome. I made this & put it into cellaphane bags & passed them out as party favors at brynn's 1st birthday party. A hit- total win.

I'm also planning on making it & giving it as Christmas gifts (along with 2 other popcorn recipes that i'll share later this week)- cheap, easy & genius.
Pin It!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Whole Chicken in a Crock Pot with Potatoes

rarely do i cook an entire chicken. mainly because i abhore taking it apart once the breast is gone. buuut- a whole cooked chicken is awesome. it smells so good & looks all fancy.

plus- they're pretty cheap. so every now & again i can't pass up buying one.
then i remember it's in my freezer & i'm all like, "crap. i should cook that. but it takes too long. & i'm lazy. waaa waaa waaa."

but then Pinterest was all like, "looky here. cook that whole chicken in your crock pot. TADA!"
and i was all like, "omg. duh."

i still have to take it apart- but at least the cooking part is a snap.

Whole Chicken in the Crock Pot (with Potatoes)
You Need:
1 whole chicken (3-5 lbs)
2 large potatoes
salt, pepper, smoked paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, rosemary (to taste)
1 bay leaf
1 lemon (or a heafty splash of lemon juice)
olive oil

Directions: Peel & cut your potatoes into large chunks. You're going to be putting them in a foil package in the bottom of the crockpot- so spread out a large piece of foil. Sprinkle with seasonings (use whatever you want- but i used salt, pepper & rosemary) & pile on the potatoes. Then toss in some chunks of butter (probably about 3 tblsp worth).
Wrap them up in the foil & place at the bottom of the crock pot. Push the foil pack down so it spreads out a bit & covers the bottom. More so flat than not.

Onto the chicken. Remove the inards, rinse your chicken & pat dry. Rub it down liberally with olive oil.
Note: this next step is optional. I like to do it because i think more flavor gets into the meat. if you don't want to- skip it & move on to the seasonings.
Then make pockets under the skin & smear 2-3 tblspn worth of butter under the skin & all over the chicken.

Mix up your seasonings (to taste) in a small bowl. Again, use whatever you want but i used salt, pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, smoked paprika & rosemary. I mixed up enough to get around 2-3 tbspns worth- give or take.
Now get to work smearing those seasonings under the skin & all over your chicken.
Again, i put them under the skin & also on the skin. I rub them under the chicken, between the thighs & under the wings. I even toss a little inside for good measure.
Then halve the lemon & toss it inside the chicken along with the bay leaf (i didn't have a lemon- so i used a generous splash of lemon juice. You could also throw in onions or other veggies. Or even apples- your choice!)
Place the chicken on top of the foil packet, cover with your crock pot lid.

then cook on low for 7 hours (give or take).

When you take the lid off you'll have a perfect cooked, perfectly seasoned & perfectly moist chicken dinner.
Also the potatoes will be nice & soft & totally seasoned with the chicken juices.
Seriously- you'll be hard pressed not to start stuffing your mouth full of chicken right fromt he crock pot.

Now- if you're anything like me you only like chicken skin if it's crispy. So- if you want to crisp up that skin you can do what i did:

Pre-heat your oven to 425.
Line a baking dish with foil. Transfer the chicken to the baking dish (i used 2 spatulas) & empty the potatoes around the chicken.
Then pour the chicken juices over the chicken & potatoes. Bake it for 15-20 minutes & when you pull it out the skin will be crispy & kick ass.

Eat it all- don't share. Only suckers share crispy chicken skin.

For those that are wondering:
- do i have to cook potatoes?
no. but potatoes ar epretty awesome so you should.
- if i don't cook potatoes, what should i put in the bottom of the crockpot?
ah ha! well your chicken should lie on a bed of something. vegetables work too. if you don't want to use veggies then ball up a couple pieces of foil & set your chicken on top of those.
- why?
mainly becaues when the chicken cooks it juices. a lot. so your chicken will be sitting in juice- now this is NOT a bad thing. hello moist & yummy. but i prefer to have some separation because i think the chicken is less likely to fall apart when you're trying to take it out.
- all that chicken juice- what to do with it?
whatever you do don't throw it away! keep it in the crock pot, add some veggies & the chicken bones & cook on low for a few hours- ta da! chicken stock. or pop it ina container inthe freezer & save it for later.

and there you go- i hope i've just made you life a little easier.
Pin It!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Apple Cake with Brown Sugar Glaze

i wanted a quick & hearty cake i could whip up for my mother in law's birthday. i didn't want to whip up frosting or wait for anything to cool- i only had a few hours & i'm impatient to boot.

so i looked in my fridge & realized that i had an obscene amount of apples- ding ding sing- apple cake for the win.

Apple Cake with Brown Sugar Glaze (adapted from lickthebowlgood)
You Need:
1 1/2 cups AP flour (i used 1 cup + 2 tbslp of cake flour + 1/2 cup AP flour)
1 cup sugar
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1.2 tsp cinnamon
2 eggs
1/2 cup oil (canola, veg)
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cups finely chopped apples

Brown Sugar Glaze
You Need:
1/2 cup light brown sugar
3 tblspn butter
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 tblsp heavy cream (i used whipping cream)

Directions: Pre heat oven to 350. Grease an 8 in baking dish (square, round- whatever)

In a medium bowl sift together the flour, sugar, baking soda, salt & cinnamon. Set aside.

Beat (i used my KitchenAid mixer) the eggs until light in color & foamy. Add the oil & vanilla & beat well.

Stir in the flour mixture until just combined. Stir in the apples.
Scrape the batter into the prepared pan & bake for 40-45 min (i was good with 40)- until done.

Set the hot cake aside & while it's still hot, prepare your glaze.

Glaze: Combine all the ingredients in a small saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring often, until the mixture comes to a gentle boil. Allow to boil for 3-5 minutes, stirrig occasionally.

Spoon the hot glaze over the still hot cake. Spread it out if needed. Let the glazed cake cool 95% of the way...

...and then serve it straight from the pan. with ice cream if you feel so led- which you should- because ice cream is a gift from God.

i liked it warmed back up the best. it was kick ass cold- but after i nuked it for 20 seconds- bam. heaven.

it's akin to eating fall. if that's possible.
Pin It!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Pumpkin Pie Dip

this dip is like eating pumpkin pie. but better- if that's possible.
it's got a kick ass texture & just the right amount of spices to not be overpowering. seriously awesome.
awesome enough that it won me yet another food contest at my work:

you can also see my buffalo chicken dip in that picture. i bring 2 dips to contests. i'm awesome like that. anyway, moving on.

Pumpkin Pie Dip (via girlwhoateeverything)
You Need:
8 oz cream cheese, softened
2 cups powdered sugar
1 cup canned pumpkin
1/2 cup sour cream
1 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1 cup Cool Whip, thawed

In a large bowl beat the cream cheese & powdered sugar until smooth. Add in the pumpkin, sour cream, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice & ground ginger- mix.
Fold in the thawed Cool Whip.
Chill for until you server (around 1-2 hours)

Serve with green apples, ginger snaps or graham crackers.

I served this with green apple slices & my Chewy Ginger Snaps:

my favorite? the green apples. tart + sweet = awesome.
This stuff holds up great too- you can make it a day or two in advance with no issues- just keep it cold.
If you want to be cool- serve it in a hollowed out sugar pumpkin.
I'm not cool- i served it in a glass dish. holla.
Pin It!

Buffalo Chicken Dip

i got on a buffalo chicken dip kick after my brother in law kept bringing it to every family function.
like- every single one.
like- he knew i would eat it all & get fat.

he sucks.

anyway- while i think his recipe is just dandy (in fact, more than dandy because i always eat an obscene amount) i wanted to find one & make it my own. so i did. and now we eat this stuff way more than anyone should.

Buffalo Chicken Dip
8 oz cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup ranch dressing
1/2 cup Frank's RedHot Buffalo Wing Sauce
2 cans chicken breast, drained (or cook your own chicken)
3/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
smoked paprika
onion powder

Directions: Pre heat oven to 350
Place the cream cheese in a deep baking dish & stir until smooth. Mix in the ranch, wing sauce & cheese. Add the seasoning to taste (usually around 1 tsp onion powder, 1/2 tsp smoked paprika & a few cranks of pepper) & stir in the chicken.

Bake 20 minutes or until heated through. Stir it up & server with crackers, tortilla chips & veggies.

Pin It!

Crescent Roll Chicken Bundles

good for dinner. good for snack. good for a football app. good for anything really.

Crescent Roll Chicken Bundles
You Need:
2 cans of crescent rolls
6 oz cream cheese (softened)
1/2 shredded cheese (cheddar, mozzarella, your choice)
13 oz can of chicken (or cook your own)
seasoning to taste (i used garlic, pepper, smoked paprika & basil)

Directions: Pre heat oven to 375
Separate the crescent rolls into 4 squares for each package (so basically instead of getting 8 triangles you're going to put 2 together to = 4 larger squares + 2 packages = 8 large squares) Pinch the seams together & pat out so they're slightly larger.
Mix all of the above ingredients together & put a heavy spoonful into the center of each square.
Bring the corners together & fold up.
I'm not sure how to explain it- but you get the idea from the below picture:

So yeah- fold them all up & pinch together. Sprinkle the tops with some smoked paprika (optional), placed them on a lightly greased baking sheet& bake @ 375 for 15 min.

They're done when they're puffed & golden. Dig in.

These are so simple & they taste crazy good. You can also add or omit whatever & make them a ton of different ways. Nom.
Pin It!

Crock Pot BBQ Chicken

this is probably the easiest thing ever. it's all over Pinterest so i'm sure you've seen it. and now i'm vouching for it.

Crock Pot BBQ Chicken
You Need:
1lb of skinless chicken breast
1 bottle of BBQ sauce
1 can of pineapple chunks (drained)

Place your chicken in the crock pot. Pour the BBQ sauce on top. Add the pineapple. Cook on LOW for 4-6 hours*. Shred the chicken & serve over rice

Like i said- easy easy easy.

*i cooked on low for 5 hours- shredded the chicken- & then let everything cook on low for another hour. Perfect!

p.s. it's dark in the world now (aka: Daylight Savings or what not) so you'll have to forgive crappy ass pictures thanks to the lack of light. meh.
Pin It!

Nutella Swirled Banana Bread

Nutella Swirled Banana Bread

You Need

  • 1 stick butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup mashed bananas
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup Nutella, microwaved for 15 seconds to soften


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease a 9x5 loaf pan.
  2. Cream together the butter, sugar, eggs, and vanilla. Stir together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Add to the butter mixture and mix well. Fold in the bananas & sour cream until just combined.
  3. Pour half of the batter into the prepared loaf pan. Drop spoonfuls of the Nutella over the top of the batter. Cover with the remaining batter. Use a knife to swirl the batter around in the loaf pan.
  4. Bake for 60 minutes or until baked through.

my suggestion? add even more Nutella. because Nutella is boss.

i like this warm with butter. because butter makes things better. like Nutella. so yeah.
Pin It!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Chocolate Covered Peanut Butter Balls

chocolate + peanut butter = ::insert contented sigh::


make these & try not to ingest them all.

Chocolate Covered Peanut Butter Balls (or Buckeyes)
You Need:
2 cups creamy peanut butter
1/4 cup (4 tblsp) unsalted butter- softened
1/4 tsp salt
2-2 1/2 cup powdered sugar
2 cups semi sweet chocolate chips
2 tsp vegetable oil

- Place the peanut butter, unsalted butter, and salt in the bowl for your stand mixer (or use a hand mixer). Beat until combined & then tir in the vanilla extract and confectioners sugar and mix until it has the consistency of a dough (add more sugar if needed).
- Roll the dough into 1 inch round balls. Place on the cookie sheet and freeze for about one hour, or until firm.
- Melt the chocolate in a microwave safe bowl (heat, check, stir- repeat) & then stir in the Veg Oil till it's thinned slightly. Using a fork & spoon (or whatever works best for you) dip the balls, one at a time, in the melted chocolate, making sure the entire ball is coated with chocolate (Or for Buckeyes- leave part of the peanut butter ball top exposed) Place the chocolate covered balls back on the baking sheet & pop them into the fridge until hard.
- Store in an airtight container for up to two weeks.
- After the pb balls were frozen i used a toothpick to stick & dip. that made things so much easier. i then went back over each ball with a spot of chocolate.
Not the prettiest- but very efficient.
- freeze the balls before dipping. DO IT!
Pin It!

Homemade Peppermint Patties

did you read the title up there? that should be more than enough to have you running to your pantry to make sure you have the needed ingredients.

Homemade Peppermint Patties (via Savory Sweet Life)
You Need:
1 can sweetened condensed milk
5 1/2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
1 tblsp peppermint extract
3 cups semi sweet chocolate chips*
3 tblsp shortening*

- Add condensed milk, 2 cups of powdered sugar, and peppermint extract to a large mixing bowl. Mix everything on medium speed using the paddle attachment until all the ingredients are well incorporated. Add more powdered sugar, 1/2 cup at a time, until the dough is stiff but still pliable.
- Roll 3/4″ balls of dough between the palms of the hands.
- Press each ball down slowly and set the flattened disk on a flat cutting board or plate. Transfer peppermint disks to the freezer for no longer than 30 minutes. While the dough is chilling, temper the chocolate coating.
- Place chocolate chips in a microwavable bowl. Melt the chocolate in 30 second increments, making sure to stir after each time until chocolate is smooth. Stir in shortening to thin the chocolate. Remove patties from the freezer.
- Place a patty on the tines of the fork and dip in the chocolate until completely covered. Allow excess chocolate to drip off the patty before setting each one on top of wax or parchment paper.
- Allow the chocolate coated peppermint patties to completely set up. This can be done quicker by placing the patties in the refrigerator. The peppermint patties are ready when they are dry to the touch. Enjoy!

*A few things:
- i'm going to use Dark Chocolate Next time.
- i'm going to thin my chocolate out with Veg Oil instead of shortening
- def. freeze your patties for at least 30 min- then work quickly. i dip with a fork & scrape off the excess with a spoon.

These were amazing. Seriously like biting into a York...mostly. nothing beats a York.
but i'm def going to go with Dark Chocolate next time & to cut down on the greasy feel, i'll go with Veg Oil as a thinner.

Keep these bad boys int he fridge- they're best that way!
Pin It!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Breakfast Quinoa

as i've stated- quinoa is a recent discovery in our house & we're currently still in the newelywed stage of our love affair with it.
we often discuss how awesome it is & how we want to eat it all day every day.

so why not for breakfast- yes? YES!

Breakfast Quinoa (adapted from Martha Stewart)
You Need:
2 cups of milk
1 cup of quinoa, rinsed
3 tblsp light brown sugar
1/8 tsp cinnamon
pinch of salt
1 cup fresh blueberries (or other fruit)

Directions: In a medium saucepan, bring the milk to a boil. Add the quinoa & return to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, covered, until 3/4 of the milk has been absorbed (about 15 min)
Stir in the cinnamon & sugar & pinch of salt. Cook, still covered, until almost all of the remaining milk has been absorbed. (another 5-8 min or so).
Remove from the heat & spoon into bowls. Sprinkle with a little more cinnamon & brown sugar. Toss in a handful of blueberries & add mroe milk (if you like it that way- which i do)


Pin It!

Pretzel Bites

easy as pie.

...wait. pie isn't always very easy. where the hell did that expression come from anyways?

let me correct this: easy as cereal! cereal is super easy. if you're over the age of 3.

Pretzel Bites
You Need:
small pretzel twists
Hershey's Kisses

Directions: Pre-heat oven to 275. Line baking sheet with foil or parchment paper (if you're lazy like me & dislike having to wash anything).

Lay the pretzels on the baking sheet & place a Kiss on top of each one. Pop in the oven for 3 minutes.
Take them out & quickly press an M&M down onto each Kiss.

Place the cookie sheet in the fridge & let them get nice & hard.

these remind me of the Pretzel M&M's- but better. these would be perfect for a camping trip ormovie night snack. or a kid's party. or in a big bowl sitting on my desk.

Pin It!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Lemon and Brown Sugar Chicken

sometimes i get sick of trying to come up with dinner. those sometimes = the husband eats cereal or pizza. blah. whatever.

but then i'm all like, "omg- need to make real food or husband will leave me for the Olive Garden!!!"
so when i spotted this recipe i figured it was quick & easy & i could make it work.

Lemon and Brown Sugar Chicken adapted from Tasty Kitchen
1 lb chicken breasts
1 cup flour
2 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp salt
2 tblsp canola oil
1 lemon (juiced) or just use lemon juice (approx)
1/2 cup dark brown sugar (approx)

Directions: Pre heat oven to 350
Trim the fat from your chicken. Combine the four, paprika & salt in a shallow dish. Coat each chicken breast with the flour mixture.

Heat the oil over medium/high heat in a cast iron skillet (if you have one)
Place each chicken breast into the hot oil & brown on both sides (4-5 minutes should do it)
Remove the chicken breasts & set aside.

turn the heat down loa & pour the lemon juice into the pan & stir to deglaze (if all the juice cooks off- ad a bit more. you should have about 1/4 cup worth of liquid in the skillet)
Put the chicken breasts back in the pan & turn to coat.
Sprinkle the brown sugar on top (make sure each piece has a good of sugar on it)

Put the skillet in the oven & bake for around 20 minutes (until the chicken is done)

we had this with some quick tri colored pasta (i tossed the cooked pasta with some cream, lemon juice, salt & pepper, capers & some grated parmesean cheese)

and some beans (from our garden!!! yay!!!) that i sauted in butter, a little water, garlic & onion powder.
it was delish. and fast. and easy.
Pin It!

Quick Pull Apart Breakfast Bites

when i say "quick" i mean quick. like, 5 minutes quick.
saturday morning greeted me at 5:45 in the am thanks to my youngest slapping me in the face.

so as i staggered into the kitchen, with her on my hip, i wanted food. now. right this second!
homemade cinnamon rolls were out- as was any kind of bread that included mixing & measuring.

then i spotted a can of crescent rolls and got an idea.

Quick Pull Apart Breakfast Bites
1 can of crescent rolls
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 stick butter (melted)

Directions: Pre heat oven to 375. Grease a small 6in cake pan (or 8in if you're going to double up)
Open the rolls & rip off pieces & roll into little balls (1 in or so)
Mix together the cinnamon & sugar & roll each ball into the mixture
Place the balls into the cake pan so they're touching (like Monkey Bread)
Por the melted butter over the top & sprinkled with a bit more cinnamon & sugar.

Pop it in the oven for 15 minutes & remove.
Let it cool for a couple minutes & then turn onto a plate.

Pat yourself on the back for coming up with the quickest semi-homemade breakfast ever & go to town.

FYI: you can doctor these up by spreading a cream cheese frosting over the top- or whatever. easy peasy.
also- you can make these geared towards dinner as well- instead of cinnamon & sugar- use garlic powder & some chopped basil. or whatever else you have on hand.

crescent rolls are my go to kitchen "pantry" staple. you can make anything out of them because they're magical.
Pin It!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Strawberry Cake with Champagne Buttercream & ruffled Swiss Meringue Buttercream Frosting

look at that. ruffles are so pretty.

and rather delicate

and very forgiving

i'm making a ruffled cake for my friend's bridal shower so i decided to do a test run.
the cake was so so- but the frosting looked lovely (well sort of- it was my first time afterall)

Strawberry Cake with Champagne Buttercream
Go here for the recipe.

The cake was good- but a bit dense. This may have had something to do woth the fact that i used 4 whole eggs instead of 6 egg whites.
But i'm going to nix it anyway- i want something else...

as for the Swiss Meringue Buttercream- go here for an awesome recipe

i tweak it depending on the humidity & consistancy i seem to be getting. but i strongly suggest at least 2 tsp of flavoring (vanilla or what not) and a good quality butter. i also add a pinch of salt.
also- make sure your butter is soft, but still somewhat firm (room temp) not completely softened like when baking cookies. and you NEED a stand mixer- it's a must. my batches take over 15 minutes of beating. imagine standing there & doing that with a hand mixer.

omg no. never ever.
Pin It!
Related Posts with Thumbnails