Monday, June 27, 2011

Aye Aye Cap'n (Crunch) French Toast

When the hubs and I were dating and first got married, we would meet up for lunch about once a week.  There is something so sweet about taking a break from your hectic work day and enjoying each others company.  Since having kiddos, and no real lunch breaks for me, being able to go and have lunch with just the hubby is a rare treat.  We were able to get away this week and have one of those special dates.  We went to an Irish Pub we had been eyeing a while.  According to their sign, they were still serving brunch.  Among the sausages and potato dishes sat a menu item that made me giggle.  Captain Crunch French Toast.  While I have NO idea what Captain Crunch has to do with Irish Cuisine, I could not stop thinking about it!  So, to the store I went to buy some Captain Crunch.  Now, we have not had sugar loaded, aka crap cereals, in our house for a LONG time, so when my sweet blue-eyed boy saw the box, he wasn't sure what it was.  I told him it was "Captain Crunch", and to that he yelled "Aye Aye Captain!"  Gotta love Jake and the Neverland Pirates, eh?!  So, to that, I present

Aye Aye Cap'n (Crunch) French Toast
  • 1 loaf Challah Bread, sliced into 1 inch slices
  • 3-4 cups Captain Crunch Cereal, crunched up a bit to create 1-2 cups of crumbs and some larger chucks
  • 8 eggs
  • 3/4 cup milk or half and half
  • 1/4 cup Italian Sweet Cream or Vanilla Creamer
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 4 TBSP butter
  • Liquid Gold (click on link or see recipe below) or Maple Syrup for serving

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a shallow dish, beat together eggs, milk or half and half, creamer, vanilla, and salt.  In a second shallow dish, place crunched up cereal.  Heat a skillet or griddle over medium heat and coat with some butter. Place a cookie sheet sprayed with non-stick spray close to your work area. Coat 4 to 6 slices of bread in egg mixture, depending on the size of your griddle, then coat bread in cereal. Cook slices 2 minutes on each side and transfer french toast to prepared cookie sheet.  Repeat with remaining slices and transfer french toast to oven. Bake 12 minutes, serve with Liquid Gold or Maple Syrup.  ENJOY!

Liquid Gold
  • 1 stick butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp maple flavoring (found with all the extract flavors in the baking aisle)

In a medium pot over medium-high heat (you need enough room for this to boil), bring all ingredients to a rolling boil for 2-3 minutes. Watch very carefully so the mixture does not over boil all over your stove.
This recipe serves about 5.   Leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator, simply reheat in the microwave.

This recipe has been linked up at:
Make Ahead Meals for Busy Moms
This Chick Cooks
Simply Sweet Home
Tidy Mom

Monday, June 20, 2011

Shirley Temple Cupcakes

Kiddo C celebrated her 7th birthday this weekend.  Where does the time go?!  I have to remember to stop blinking.  (((sigh)))  It is no secret to those who know her, how much she loves cherries.  I mean, she loves, loves, LOVES them.  So, it should be no surprise that her favorite drink is a Shirley Temple.  So, for my little Peanut, my sweet Freckle-Face, my wee-cherry-loving Pixie's birthday, I give you Shirley Temple Cupcakes!

Shirley Temple Cupcakes
  • 1 box white cake mix
  • 1 1/4 cup Sprite, Sierra Mist, or 7-Up (again, please DO NOT use diet!)
  • 3 TBSP Grenadine Syrup
  • 3 egg whites
  • 2 TBSP vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp Cherry Extract (optional, just for a little extra oompf of cherry-lovin')
  • 1 jar (10 oz) of Maraschino Cherries, drained and chopped
  • 24 extra Maraschino Cherries, patted dry for garnish
  • Favorite vanilla-y frosting.  Truth be told, I just used jarred Vanilla Whipped icing  (((GASP)))

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and place 24 cupcake liners into standard muffin tin.
Combine cake mix, soda of choice, Grenadine Syrup, egg whites, vegetable oil, and cherry extract with a hand mixer on medium speed for 2 minutes.
Fold in chopped bits of Maraschino Cherry.  Pour cake mix into cupcake papers, evenly distributing among them.  Bake for 21-24 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.  Remove from oven and allow to cool completely before frosting.  Top with additional cherry for garnish.  ENJOY!

This recipe has been linked up at:
This Chick Cooks
Tidy Mom
Simply Sweet Home
Make Ahead Meals for Busy Moms
Eat at Home

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Spiral Stuffed Rolls

OK, so I guess I am kinda blog-crushing on Holly lately.  It is hard NOT to with all the wonderful, family pleasing yummies she shares.  We made these rolls the other day with a side salad and fresh fruit...everybody LOVED them.  They use the same assembly process as cinnamon rolls, but the use of pre-made pizza dough make them a slap-your-ass-and-call-me-sally EASY process.  My mind is already racing with all the different combinations I could do, but for now, I thought I would share the one that got me all twitter-patted in the first place ♥

Spiral Stuffed Rolls
Recipe Source:  Life as a Lofthouse
  • Pizza Dough (enough for one pizza)  I used Trader Joe's pizza dough balls, Holly uses the Pillsbury scare-the-crap-out-of-me POP tube. 
  • 6 oz Cream Cheese, softened
  • 2 TBSP butter, softened
  • 1 cup chopped ham (deli ham works great) 
  • 3/4 cup finely chopped Broccoli
  • 1 cup shredded cheese, I used a combo of Cheddar, Mozzarella, and Monterey Jack.
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan Cheese
  • 1/2 cup chopped Green Onion
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray cookie sheet with non-stick spray.
In a small bowl, cream together the butter and cream cheese.
Roll the pizza dough to a large rectangle.
Spread the cream cheese mixture evenly over the dough.
Top with chopped ham, broccoli, cheese, Parmesan cheese and green onion.
Roll the dough up, pinching the seam to seal. Slice the roll into one inch pieces. You should get about 12 rolls.
Place the rolls onto the baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes, until lightly browned and bubbly.

This recipe has been linked at:
This Chick Cooks
Tidy Mom
Simply Sweet Home
Make Ahead Meals for Busy Moms

Monday, June 6, 2011

Sticky Chicken Finger Wraps

THESE are one of my latest obsessions.  Obsession as in, we have had them several, SEVERAL times since my blogging-buddy and friend Holly from Life as a Lofthouse first posted about them.  Don't you just love Holly and all of her amazing eats?!  She definitely speaks my food language.  You already know how I feel about her Strawberry Chicken Salad!
These one of those things that I want each and every one of you to try, because it is that good.  If you hesitate, I want to show up at your door with a plate of them and force feed you...kidding....or am I?!
Slap yourself silly-simple to put together and versatile as well.  We have enjoyed them as a wrap/taco meal, we have enjoyed them without any toppings or wraps with a side of mac and cheese, and we have enjoyed them on top of a salad.  However you like it, they completely have rocked my little-ol-world!

Sticky Chicken Finger Wraps
Recipe Course:  Life as a Lofthouse
  • 6 tablespoons Franks Original Hot Sauce.  It has to be Franks.  On another note, please don't worry about this being too spicy.  It isn't.  My kiddos were able to eat it, yet it had enough kick for the adults.  I highly suggest you try it as written before you make any adjustments.
  • 3/4 cup Brown Sugar
  • 4  TBSP water
  • 8  fully cooked Breaded Chicken Fingers.  You can get these from your grocery store deli, or buy them frozen.  If using frozen, just make sure to bake them up before you start.  I like the frozen Chicken Strips you buy at Trader Joe's and the one's at Costco.
  • 4 Flour Tortillas, burrito size.  I used Whole Wheat. 
  • Shredded Cheese.  I use a Cheddar/Monterey Jack blend 
  • Chopped Tomatoes
  • Shredded lettuce
  • Ranch Salad Dressing 

In a medium saucepan heat the hot sauce, brown sugar and water over medium heat until sugar is dissolved and sauce is heated thoroughly. About 5 minutes.
Place cooked chicken fingers in a large Tupperware. Pour in the sauce. Seal shut with the lid and shake to coat all chicken fingers with the sauce.
Place one to two sauce-coated chicken fingers onto the tortilla. Add desired amount of cheese, lettuce and tomato.  Drizzle a little bit of ranch on top, and Viola!  Perfection!

This recipe has been linked at:
Tidy Mom
Simply Sweet Home
This Chick Cooks
Eat at Home

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Boozy (or not) Brazilian Lemonade

It has been hot, hot, HOT here this week. 
Like,  insanely hot.  And it is only June 1st.  June 1st and a whole lotta summer to go.  I remember last year being actually shocked at how hot it gets here in ol' NC.  Shocked, but the newness of it made it a tad novel.  There was no novelty this week when the temperature got into the high 90's...just a sad sigh of concession.
Thankfully, I made a new friend to help me through these "so-hot-your-head-throbs-as-the-back-sweat-meets-your-ass-sweat" type of days.  This friend is light and super refreshing, not to mention a whole lotta fun!  Now you can make this a virgin drink and it is still super yum-i-lucious, but throw in some RRRRRum (roll those R's!)and you have got yourself a par-tay!  So go put some lime in your coconut (rum) and call me in the morning.

Boozy (or not) Brazilian Lemonade
  • 1 lime
  • 2 TBSP superfine sugar
  • 2 TBSP sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 1/4 cups water
  • 1/4 cup Malibu Coconut Rum, it was spectacular!  If you chose to go virgin, add an additional 1/4 cup water.  If you would like a virgin with the wee-hint-o-coconut, add the 1/4 cup additional water with 1/2 tsp coconut extract.
  • 1 cup ice, plus extra for serving
  • OPTIONAL, you could throw in some mango or stawberries for an additional layer of flavor
Wash lime thoroughly. Cut off the ends and slice in half, then quarter each piece so that you end up with a total of eight wedges. Place lime in a blender with the sugar, sweetened condensed milk, water, and 1 cup of ice.
Pulse blender 5-6 times times. Trust me, it will be enough.  Strain through a fine mesh strainer to remove rinds. Serve over ice.  Yeild 2 servings.
**Word of warning - so not make a big batch of this and expect it to keep.  The limes will keep working and turn bitter.  Make 'em as you drink 'em!

This recipe has been linked up at:
Simply Sweet Home
Tidy Mom
Mommy's Kitchen
This Chick Cooks