Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Hump Day Confessional

(((tap, tap, tap))) this thing on?

It has been a long time friends...a very long time. I took an unexpected, extended sabbatical this summer. After packing and moving cross country, staying in a hotel with 3 kids for a month, subsequent unpacking, birthday celebration month combined with back-to-school craziness....I just couldn't do anything more.

But, here I am...back with a confessional!

~ For my birthday last week, I went kayaking. I have never been before. I never thought that would be something I could/should do until I lost weight. I mean, would I look like...a big gal on a tiny kayak. Could I even get on and balance? What would people think when they saw me? What if I got out there and didn't have the strength to get back? Guess what? I DID IT! I threw all of my concerns to the wind and DID IT! I am tired of waiting for the "as soon as I...." excuse to start living my life. I LOVED IT! It is something I fully intend on doing again and again.

~ I have some serious carpool lane rage. Seeing that I am in carpool lane for about 2 hours a day, I get to observe MUCH jackass behavior. It is a carpool lane, not a parking lot people! It is NOT ok for you to race and cut in front of the whole lane just because someone isn't moving up as fast as you see fit. I see red...seriously...why do you think YOU are so much more important than the hundreds of other people trying to pick-up or drop off their kidlets?!?! AGHH!

~ For the first time in 11 years, I am alone during the day. This has been a MUCH harder transition than I ever thought. I know there are some Mom's who relish the day that they actually get some time to themselves. However, at this moment I find that I am the Mom wandering around Super Target, going oh so slowly, murmuring to myself with employees asking every 5 minutes if I need help finding something. My oldest baby started middle school and my youngest baby started full day kindergarten. (((sigh))) It has hit me HARD how quickly time goes.

~ I have taken up watching re-runs of Beverly Hills 90210 during the day.

~ I miss Trader Joes.  I mean, I MISSSS Trader Joes.  I even had a dream about it.  The one in San Antonio opens next month, so I guess I will be making the trek there until the one in Austin opens next year..  Until then, I will dream about Sea Salted Caramel, Mac and Cheese, Mandarin Chicken, Sara Bee Wine, Two Buck Chuck, Roasted Red Pepper Tomato Soup, and all the other scrumptiousness my boyfriend Joe gives me.

So, do you have anything to confess this week?

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Chicken Bacon Broccoli Ranch Foil Packets

Howdy from Austin!
I have been gone FOR-EVER I know...packing, house hunting, moving, road tripping, hotel-ing.  Technically, I am still not even back...I am battling the mind numbingly slllooowww hotel Internet to write this post.  Our house will not be ready until the 18th, so we have been hotel dwellers.  Oh.  My.  Hell.  I am so sick of hotel breakfasts and restaurant food, BLERG!
I was looking through some recipes I had saved up and saw this, and like Pavlov's pooches, I drooled.  It was so stinkin' good and I could possibly sell my pooch to have some now.

My sweet Bella
Awww, never mind, she's too cute...I miss her....she has been staying with Auntie Jan since we are doing the Urban Camping thing.  Urban is when you cram 2 adults and 3 kiddos into a hotel room.  It sounds much more glamorous than it is.  Trust me. 

Anyway, it was scrumptious...seriously, what is not to love about chicken, broccoli, bacon, cheese, ranch, and a handy dandy foil packet?!?!  I highly recommend that you make it immediately, if not sooner!

Chicken Bacon Broccoli Ranch Foil Packets
Recipe Source:  the brilliant Cassie from Cassie Craves
  • 1 package chicken-flavored stuffing mix prepared to package directions
  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 4 cups fresh broccoli florets
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 4 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
  • 4 TBSP ranch dressing, yup the stuff out of the bottle
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Spray 4 sheets of heavy-duty aluminum foil with cooking spray.
Divide the stuffing mixture onto the center of each foil sheet.
Top stuffing in each packet with a chicken breast half, season with salt and pepper, then add 1 cup of broccoli. Sprinkle with 1/4 cup of the cheese and one slice of bacon, then drizzle with 1 TBSP of ranch dressing. Repeat with all packets.
Bring up foil sides and fold to seal, leaving room for heat circulation inside.
Place packets on a cookie sheet and bake 25 to 30 minutes. Remove packets and let stand 5 minutes. Cut slits in foil for steam before opening.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Spinach Salad with Warm Bacon Dressing

I was looking through my food pictures lovingly this morning remembering when I used to make meals like this. Eating has been so completely uninspired and honestly, not the healthiest lately. One of the hardest parts of moving cross-country is not moving any food. So, we are eating up all the random bits from the pantry and freezer. I cannot WAIT to get moved and fill my fridge and pantry with the good stuff again!

I made this salad a while back and it was AMAZING! Like, forget the other things in the meal and just make-out with this salad...repeatably.

Spinach Salad
Recipe Source: Alton Brown, he is the bomb-diggity
  • 8 ounces baby spinach
  • 2 large hard boiled eggs
  • 8 pieces thick-sliced bacon, chopped
  • 3 TBSP red wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp sugar (or your favorite sugar substitute)
  • 1/2 tsp Dijon Mustard
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 large white mushrooms, sliced
  • 3 ounces red onion (1 small), very thinly sliced
Wash and dry (by spinning or patting) the spinach and place into a large mixing bowl.
Slice or chop the hard boiled eggs, set aside.
Fry the bacon and remove to a paper towel to drain, reserving 3 TBSP of the rendered fat. Crumble bacon and set aside.
Transfer the bacon fat into a small saucepan set over low heat and whisk in the red wine vinegar, sugar, and Dijon Mustard. Season with a small pinch of salt and black pepper.
Add the mushrooms and the sliced onion to the spinach and toss. Add the warm dressing and bacon and toss to combine. Divide the spinach between 4 plates or bowls and evenly divide the egg among them.
Season with pepper, as desired. Serve immediately.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Hoppy Easter and some menu ideas

Hoppy Easter my sweet lil chick-a-dees!
Hope you all have a super-fabulous weekend - xoxo

In case you needed some last minute eats and treats, here you go!

Friday, March 30, 2012

Deconstructed Eggroll Stir-Fry

...or Poor Man's Stir-Fry...or Exploded Eggrolls....I couldn't make up my mind as to what to name this dish. Whatever the name, it is DELICIOUS! Not only is it delicious, it is super flexible. Not only is it super flexible, it is pretty dang healthy. That makes it a winner, winner, chicken, ...err I mean stir-fry(?) dinner in my book!

Poor Man's Stir Fry
Recipe Source: Kitchen of Siggy Spice
  • 1 pound of Ground Beef (you could also use Ground Turkey, Chicken, or Pork)
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • 4 TBSP Toasted Sesame Oil
  • 4 Garlic Cloves, minced
  • 5 Green Onions, white and green parts sliced
  • 14 ounces Coleslaw Mix (or finely shredded cabbage)
  • 4 TBSP Low Sodium Soy Sauce or Braggs Liquid Amino (more to taste)
  • 1 tsp Sriracha Sauce (more to taste)
  • 1 tsp Fresh Ginger, paste or grated. (more to taste)
  • 2 packets Truvia (or sweetener of your choice)
  • 2 tsp White Vinegar
  • 1 bag (14-16 ounces) Frozen Stir-Fry Veggies. I use the Trader Joe's Hodgepodge Harvest, but feel free to use what you like
  • 2 cups cooked Brown Rice. Trader Joe's makes a handy dandy pre-cooked frozen brown rice that is wonderful here, you could also make cauliflower rice to go carb free.
Brown Ground Beef with Salt and Pepper to taste.
Remove from pan and set aside.
Heat up Sesame Oil in pan and saute Garlic, Green Onions, Coleslaw, and Stir Fry Veggies until desired tenderness.
Stir in the Soy Sauce, Sriracha, Ginger, Truvia, and White Vinegar
Add the Ground Beef and Brown Rice into the veggies and mix well. Taste it and make sure it is seasoned well for your tastes, adding more Soy Sauce, Sriracha, Ginger to taste.

This recipe is linked up at:
Simply Sweet Home

Friday, March 9, 2012

Boursin Roasted Chicken

FRIDAY!! Hip-hip-hooray!! For some reason, I have been a day ahead all week in my mind. I hate when I am so excited that it is Friday only to look at a calendar and realize it is in fact Thursday. Not to mention this week was the first week back in school for the girlie's since the 3-week-we-were-sick-the-whole-time-trackout. So, needless to say, our sleep schedule hasn't adjusted yet...just in time to change the clocks this weekend.

I made this recipe before the plague descended on our home. It was un-freaking-believable! This recipe is easy enough to make weeknights or fancy-pants enough for guests. If you have never had Boursin cheese, you are missing out! It is a super creamy, herb-y, garlic-y cheese that makes an appearance at our house A LOT. You can buy it most anywhere, but I have found the best prices for it to be at Trader Joe's, Costco, or Sunflower Market. The cheese makes such a luscious coating to the chicken, leaving it super moist and flavorful. Then the sauce that is left on the bottom of the baking dish is to die for. OH, btw, that is not lumpy mashed potatoes you see there, it is lumpy Mashed Cauliflower (doin' the whole low-carb/Paleo-ish thang)...I do not have an immersion blender (gasp) or a food processor (double gasp).
Definitely give this recipe a is amazing!

Boursin Roasted Chicken
Recipe Source: Emeril Lagasse
  • 1 TBSP Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 (3 1/2 to 4-pound) whole chicken
  • Salt and freshly ground Black Pepper
  • 2 (5.2-ounce) packages Boursin Cheese
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Coat the bottom of a roasting pan or shallow casserole dish with the oil.
Rinse the chicken well under cold running water and pat dry with paper towels. Season the chicken well, inside and out, with salt and pepper. Place the chicken in the prepared roasting pan and place 1 whole block of cheese inside the cavity of the chicken. Cut the remaining block of cheese into fourths and pat 1/4 of the cheese spread over the breast portion of the chicken. Allow the remaining 3/4 of the block of cheese to sit out at room temperature while the chicken is roasting.
Place the roasting pan in the center of the oven. After about 10 minutes, once the cheese has softened and begun to melt on the top of the chicken, remove the pan from the oven, and using the back of a spoon, spread the Boursin all over the chicken. Return the pan to the oven and roast for 25 minutes, until the chicken is golden brown on top.
Remove the pan from the oven and turn the chicken over so the back is now facing up. A small amount of cheese will probably begin to ooze out of the chicken cavity at this point, so take a bit of it and spread it all over the back side of the chicken. Return the pan to the oven and roast until the back side of the chicken is golden brown, about 25 minutes.
Remove the pan from the oven one more time. Reduce the oven temperature to 375 degrees F and turn the chicken over again, so the breast is once again facing up. Continue to cook until the chicken is done, 20 to 30 more minutes. Test for doneness by inserting a knife at one thigh joint and making sure that the juices run clear.
Remove the chicken from the oven and transfer to a platter or cutting board. Set aside, loosely covered with aluminum foil. Carefully remove and discard as much rendered fat from the roasting pan as possible. Add 1/2 cup hot water and the remaining cheese to the roasting pan. Remove any remaining melted cheese from the cavity of the chicken and add to the roasting pan.
Carve the chicken into serving pieces, allowing the juices from the chicken to run onto the platter. Add the juices to the roasting pan and mix well with the Boursin, drippings, and water. Serve the sauce spooned over the carved chicken.

This recipe has been linked at:
Tidy Mom
Simply Sweet Home
The Country Cook
Jennifer Cooks

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Hump-Day Confessional

photo courtesy of stock.xchng
I have to admit, I am LOVING the Hump-Day Confessionals! I love sharing bits-o-me and LOVED hearing your confessional as well! So, come on, join the fun and confess some fun/serious/quirky/scary/fabulous things about yourself!

I confess...We are moving in less than 60 days. Our adventure in Raleigh has come to a close and I honestly could not be happier about it. I really did not like it here. I never really plugged in here. We opened ourselves up to where we should move next. We have been beaten about the head with signs that we should move to Austin.

I confess...I believe in signs with all my soul.

I confess...I have about 4 loads of laundry folded on my dining room table waiting to be put away. It has been there for 2 days.

I confess...My. Ears. Are. Still. Freaking. Plugged. I am so over it.

I confess...I was so very sad to tell my daughter's teacher yesterday that we were moving. She was the ONE person I dreaded telling. I will never be able to find the words to tell her how very much she has meant to us. I think she should just move to Austin too!

Your turn!

This post is linked up at:
New on U Monday Confessionals

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Rosemary Ranch Chicken Kabobs

It is about this time of  year that I CAN'T WAIT for summer and grilling weather.  I am sick of the heavier-type comfort food and am ready for the lighter fare you get when the temperatures are soaring.  I found this recipe on Pinterest and immediately put it on my menu for the week.  I am so glad I was AMAZING!  I paired it with some veggie kabobs that I brushed with some Extra Virgin Olive Oil and seasoned with some herbs, salt, and lemon pepper.  Seriously fabulous!

Rosemary Ranch Chicken Kabobs
Recipe very slightly adapted from:  Allrecipes
  • 1/2 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1/2 cup Ranch Dressing
  • 3 TBSP Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1 TBSP minced Fresh Rosemary
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Lemon Juice
  • 1 tsp White Vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp fresh ground Black Pepper, or to taste
  • 5 skinless, boneless Chicken Breasts - cut into 1 inch cubes
In a medium bowl, stir together the olive oil, ranch dressing, Worcestershire sauce, rosemary, salt, lemon juice, white vinegar, and pepper.  Let stand for 5 minutes. Place chicken in the bowl, and stir to coat with the marinade. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Preheat the grill for medium-high heat. Thread chicken onto skewers and discard marinade.
Lightly oil the grill grate. Grill skewers for 8 to 12 minutes, or until the chicken is no longer pink in the center, and the juices run clear.

This recipe has been linked at:
Jennifer Cooks
The Country Cook
Simply Sweet Home
Tidy Mom

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Hump-Day Confessional

photo courtesy of photo.xchng
 Hello...remember me?  It has been forever!  I have been sick, sick, sick.  And my kiddos have been sick, sick, sick.  Basically, the past month has been one of the longest of my life!  We ALL got eye/ear/sinus funk about 5 days apart.  My ear has been plugged for 3 weeks now.  I have been on antibiotics, steroids, Sudafed, Zyrtec.  I have tried Ear Candles, Peroxide, frog urine....just kidding...unless it would be rumored to work, then I would totally try it.  Anyway, so that is where I have been.
So, my friend Ashley started doing a "Monday Confessional" on her blog and I absolutely LOVE it, so I am totally stealing the idea! I think it is a great way to get to know me a bit more. Some will be serious, some fun, some probably a little TMI....but it is all the glory of me, lol!

Hold on tight cause here we go!!!

  1. I confess....I love to make up songs. Songs about nothing...songs about whatever I am doing at the moment...songs about what I am trying to make my kiddos do. Sometimes I will be in the middle of a of a conversation, and I will just finish it in song. All I need to do is add-in some swanky dance moves and jazz hands and I would be a freaking walking musical. My poor children.
  2. I confess...At this moment, I have approximately 7 pairs of underware dangling off my bedroom ceiling fan. I am not even sure how it happened. Maybe some sort of leap-year gag? Perhaps an underware gnome thought it would be HI-larious to see the look-o-shock on my face last night when I went to bed. But I was a smooth operator. I just looked, shook my head, and walked out. HA! I will show them.
  3. I confess...I am honestly starting to get freaked out that my ear is going to stay plugged forever. Have you ever gotten sick for so long you start to forget what it was like to feel well? That is how I feel.
  4. I confess...I really, REALLY want a French Bulldog. Like, really bad. I want to get a girl and name it something obviously French-like. Maybe Coco or Odette or Eloise or Esme. Thoughts?  Any other really really French names I am missing? 
  5. I confess....I returned $85 dollars worth of groceries to Trader Joe's this week. I cleaned out my pantry to rid it of all the stuff we are not eating anymore. At first, I was going to throw it out or perhaps donate it. Then I remembered that Trader Joe's has an AWESOME return policy. So I called them and explained we aren't eating sugar or higher carb items and could I return 3 bags of groceries from my pantry. They said yes, so I did. I still felt chumpy about it though, so I drove to the one on the other end of town so I wouldn't be known as the "crazy lady who returned a pantry load of food" when I go in to the one by the house.
So, come on...join in the fun...what do you have to confess today?

Sunday, February 12, 2012

My VERY Favorite Chocolate Cake with My VERY Favorite Frosting

It is spectacular.
It is rich.
It is moist.
It is perfect.
Chocolate Cake is my ULTIMATE dessert.  Like last-meal-on-earth favorite.  This chocolate cake is true perfection.  Topped with that crazy icing made with flour that tastes like a cross between whipped icing and the filling of a Ho-Ho.  Maybe I should have called this a deconstructed Ho-Ho Cake.
This is one of those things I really wish I could just make one for each of you just so you could try it.  So, please, please, pretty please try this cake. 

My VERY Favorite Chocolate Cake
Recipe Source:  slightly adapted from Hershey's
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup HERSHEY'S Cocoa
  • 1-1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1-1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup boiling water
Heat oven to 350°F. Spray a 9x13 pan with non-stick baking spray.

Stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt in large bowl. Add eggs, milk, oil and vanilla; beat on medium speed of mixer 2 minutes. Stir in boiling water (batter will be thin). Pour batter into prepared pan.
Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool completely before frosting. 

My VERY Favorite Frosting
Recipe Source:  Pioneer Woman - Tasty Kitchen
  • 5 TBSP Flour
  • 1 cup Milk
  • 1 tsp Vanilla
  • 1 cup Butter
  • 1 cup Granulated Sugar (not Powdered Sugar!)
In a small saucepan, whisk flour into milk and heat, stirring constantly, until it thickens. You want it to be very thick, thicker than cake mix, more like a brownie mix is. Remove from heat and let it cool to room temperature. (If I’m in a hurry, I place the saucepan over ice in the sink for about 10 minutes or so until the mixture cools.) It must be completely cool before you use it in the next step. Stir in vanilla.

While the mixture is cooling, cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. You don’t want any sugar graininess left. Then add the completely cooled milk/flour/vanilla mixture and beat the living daylights out of it. If it looks separated, you haven’t beaten it enough! Beat it until it all combines and resembles whipped cream.
Grab a spoon and taste this wonderful goodness. If there is any left after your taste test, spread it on a cooled chocolate cake.

This recipe has been linked up at:
Jennifer Cooks
The Country Cook
Simply Sweet Home
Tidy Mom

Monday, February 6, 2012

Japanese Steakhouse Chicken and Veggies with White Sauce

While I was looking through some of my favorite blogs for some recipes that were low carb/low sugar, I came across this gem from Amber of This Mommy Cooks.  I put it on my menu plan immediately for the week and could not wait to try it.  Well, it certainly did not disappoint.  This is an A-MAZING recipe.  While it may seem like a simple stir-fry, this White Sauce is OUT OF THIS WORLD!  Now, this recipe will take a little advanced planning since you need to make the sauce the night before.  It isn't optional, it needs that long for the flavors to completely transform the taste of the sauce.  Just trust me on this.  You can use any veggies you would like in this dish.  I used a combo of mushrooms, zucchini, a few red pepper slivers,  broccoli, and cauliflower.  I seriously could not get enough dipping the chicken and veggies in the sauce.    Don't hesitate to try this one right away!

Japanese Steakhouse Chicken and Veggies with White Sauce
Recipe very slightly adapted from:  This Mommy Cooks
  • Chicken, cut into bite size pieces (or any meat you choose)
  • Salt
  • Lemon Pepper
  • Choice of veggies, cut into bite sized pieces
  • Soy Sauce (I used 1-2 TBSP total) 
  • Oil of choice
White Sauce
  • 1-1/4 cup real mayonnaise (Hellman's or Duke's)
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 tsp tomato paste
  • 1 TBSP melted butter
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1/4 tsp paprika
  • 1/4-1/2 tsp Sriracha Sauce (you could also use cayenne pepper sauce) 
For the White Sauce:
The night before you want to serve this, make the White Sauce by using a fork or a whisk to combine all ingredients together until mixed and the sauce is smooth. Refrigerate overnight for the flavors to blend.
For the chicken and veggies:
In separate pans, heat a small amount of oil. Season chicken with salt and Lemon Pepper.
Cook chicken, careful not to over cook, add some real soy sauce to taste. For the vegetables, you pretty much do the same thing. Slice up your chosen vegetables, and place in heated oil, season with a little Lemon Pepper and Soy Sauce. Cook until still slightly crisp.

This recipe has been linked up at:
This Chick Cooks
Jennifer Cooks
The Country Cook
SImply Sweet Home
Tidy Mom

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Menu Plan 1/29/12 - 2/3/12

LOTS of new recipes this week...I went a little crazy on Pinterest this weekend, lol!
Hope you all are having a great weekend - xoxo

     Bacon Cheeseburger Salad.  Kiddos will have theirs on a bun with Potato Wedges.

Pepperoni Mozzarella Stuffed Chicken Breasts, Caesar Salad, Parmesan Pasta

Japanese Steakhouse Chicken and Veggies with White Sauce, Brown Rice

Seasoned Tilapia with Dill Sauce, Garlic Almond Green Beans, Rice Pilaf

Roasted Boursin Chicken, Steamed Broccoli and Cauliflower, Mashed Potatoes

Left-overs or out for dinner

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Roasted Broccoli with Balsamic Sesame Glaze

Straight up, this is an amazing way to have broccoli.  We LOVED it!  I made it to accompany the Bourbon Street Chicken.  Yum, yum, YUM!  Roasting veggies just gives them an entirely new layer of flavor.  I hear it does the same with Brussel Sprout...yet, I still can't go there...bleck!  
ANYWHO, I hope you enjoy this...I can't imagine a dish it wouldn't make an amazing Robin too (you know...Batman....Robin) except maybe ice cream.  Or Brownies.
Did I mention I have a wicked head cold right now.  It is either from kiddo cooties or sugar detoxing...not sure which.  It has made me a bit wonky though.  I need to go back to bed.
But, before I go...I thought I would share my most very favorite Broccoli song EVA! 
Choppin' Broccoli
Make this though.  Over and out.

Roasted Broccoli with Balsamic Sesame Glaze
Recipe Source:  the ever-fabulous Jaime from Jaime Cooks it Up.  Go visit her site, she has some amazingly scrumptious eats!
  • 1 pound broccoli
  • 1 1/2 TBSP soy sauce
  • 1 TBSP olive oil
  • 1 TBSP balsamic vinegar
  • 2 TBSP honey
  • 1 tsp peanut butter
  • 1 TBSP toasted sesame seeds
Wash your broccoli and cut off the big stems. Spray a large cookie sheet with cookie spray and place the broccoli on it. Spray the top of the broccoli with cooking spray.
Put the cookie sheet in your oven at 425 for about 10 minutes, or until a fork can be inserted easily into the pretty little vegetable.
While your broccoli roasts away place 1 1/2 TBSP soy sauce, 1 TBSP olive oil, 1 TBSP balsamic vinegar, 2 TBSP honey
and 1 tsp peanut butter into a small sauce pan. Heat the sauce over medium high heat. When it boils, remove it from the heat.
When the broccoli is done, put it in a medium sized mixing bowl and pour the sauce over the top. Stir it all around, making sure each broccoli piece has sauce on it.
Sprinkle 1 TBSP toasted sesame seeds over the broccoli and serve.

This recipe has been linked up to:
This Chick Cooks
Tidy Mom
The Country Cook
Simply Sweet Home
Eat at Home

Monday, January 23, 2012

Bourbon Street Chicken

HA!  Anyone who watches "Storage Wars" just said that in Dave Hester's nails on a chalkboard voice
Anyway, back to the YUP.  I meant to go on and say "YUP, just like the Bourbon St. Chicken you get in the mall."  It is scrumptious.  It is simple.  The only change I will make next time I make it is to use chicken thighs instead of breasts.  The mall uses dark meat and I just feel like dark meat stays oh-so moist.

Bourbon Street Chicken
Recipe slightly adapted from:  Big Oven
  • 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts OR boneless skinless chicken thighs, cut into bite sized pieces 
  • 1 -2 TBSP Olive Oil 
  • 1 Garlic Clove, crushed
  • 1/4 tsp Ginger (I used dried ginger powder) 
  • 1 tsp Sriracha Sauce 
  • 1/4 cup Apple Juice
  • 1/3 cup Light Brown Sugar
  • 2 TBSP Ketchup
  • 1 TBSP Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1/2 cup Water
  • 1/3 cup Soy Sauce
  • 1 TBSP Cornstarch (to thicken sauce if desired)
Heat oil in a large skillet.

Add chicken pieces and cook until lightly browned.
Remove chicken.
Add remaining ingredients, aside from cornstarch, heating over medium heat until well blended and dissolved.
Add chicken and bring to a hard boil.
Reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes uncovered.
If you want a thicker sauce, combine 1 TBSP of cornstarch to 1 TBSP water.  Add to sauce and stir to thicken.
Serve over hot rice.

This recipe has been linked up to:
This Chick Cooks
Country Cook
Tidy Mom
Simply Sweet Home

Friday, January 20, 2012

Magical Poofy Pancake

If you have never tried one of these wonders known as Puffy Pancakes, German Pancakes, Dutch Babies, or my favorite, Poofy Pancakes, you MUST try them!  I had a bunch of excuses that kept putting them off for me...they didn't look tasty, they looked to hard, etc. etc. etc.  I can tell you with 100% certainty, they are FREAKING FABULOUS and seriously one of the easiest things in the world to cook.  The kiddos think there is a bit of magic that goes into them...of course that may be because I say some magic words with a flick of my wrist before putting them in the oven. 
You can top these with maple syrup, fruit, or my absolute favorite LIQUID GOLD.  Can I just say, if you haven't tried Liquid Gold, please, please, PLEASE try that one soon too.  In fact, just to pressure you some more, I will include that on at the end of this post.

Magical Poofy Pancake
  • 5 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 TBSP sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 3 TBSP butter, cut into 1 TBSP increments

Place butter in a 9x13 dish and place in the oven while preheating the oven to 400 degrees.  Once the butter is melted, remove from oven until all the way preheated. 
Place the eggs, milk, flour, salt, sugar, and vanilla in a blender; cover and process until smooth. Pour the batter into the baking dish over the melted butter.  Place in oven and bake for 20 minutes.
See, told you...easy peasy!

Liquid Gold
  • 1/2 cup (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 was linked up to:
This Chick Cooks
Tidy Mom
Country Cook
Simply Sweet Home

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Pizza Panini

Super FAST and EASY recipe coming at you today....and of course, TOTALLY TASTY!
In case you didn't know...panini is just fancy-talk for a grilled-cheese like sandwich.  I do not have a panini press, so I put these on my grill pan and topped it with a cookie sheet, weighted with a big-ol butcher block cutting board on top of that.  Cause I'ma fancy that way, lol!
Everyone loved I was the "coolest Mom EVER" loved them. I threw a salad on the plate and I was done-daddy-done.

Pizza Panini
Recipe Source:  Life as a Lofthouse via Cassie Craves
  • 1 box frozen Texas Toast Garlic bread
  • Pizza Sauce (jarred or homemade)
  • Mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • Pepperoni and/or other favorite pizza toppings

Place the frozen garlic bread on a baking sheet lined with tinfoil, and bake according to package directions, making sure they don't get too crispy.
Meanwhile, heat your panini press, grill pan, or skillet to medium-high heat.
Take one piece of cooked garlic bread and top with favorite pizza toppings. (Sauce, Cheese, etc)
Top with another piece of garlic bread and place on panini press. Close lid and cook until cheese melts and sandwich is hot. About 2-3 minutes.
Repeat with remaining pieces of garlic bread and pizza toppings. You can serve extra dipping sauce on the side if you would like.  Serve immediately!

This recipe has been linked up at:
This Chick Cooks

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Menu Plan 1/8 - 1/15

Time to get the schedule back on here is my first menu plan of the year!

Salmon with Cucumber Dill Sauce, Rice Pilaf, Garlic Almond Green Beans


Bourbon Chicken, Steamed Rice, Roasted Broccoli with Balsamic Sesame Glaze

Spaghetti, Breadsticks

Grilled Steak, Loaded Smashed Baked Potatoes, Ranch Wedge Salad

Jambalaya, Cornbread


Friday, January 6, 2012

Chicken Suiza Melts

I don't know about you, but I am still recovering from Christmas and New fact, my tree and decor is still up (((gasp!)))  It doesn't help that I tweaked my lower back this week and ended up on a heating pad for the first part of the week.  Whatever the reason, my house is still thrashed and I still feel like I ran a 2 week race.   It is times like this (as well as many other times our crazy schedule has us running, running, running), I love a super quick and easy meal that is super tasty for the entire family and makes minimal mess.  This recipe definitely fits that bill.  I made the kiddos little sliders using Hawaiian Sweet Rolls and made ours using store bought Kaiser Rolls.  This delicious 15-minute ditty is a definite repeat for sure!

Chicken Suiza Melts
Recipe Source:  Cassie Craves via Everyday with Rachael Ray
  • 1 TBSP extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 small red onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1 TBSP honey
  • 1 1/2 cups store-bought tomatillo salsa or salsa verde
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 rotisserie chicken, skin discarded and meat shredded
  • 4 crusty sandwich rolls, split
  • 4 slices Monterey jack cheese
Preheat the broiler. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook until softened, about 2 minutes. Stir in the lime juice and honey, then stir in the salsa and heat through. Mix in the sour cream. Stir in the chicken to coat.
Pile the chicken mixture on the roll bottoms. Top with the cheese and broil to melt.

This recipe has been linked up at:
The Country Cook
Tidy Mom
Simply Sweet Home
This Chick Cooks

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Roasted Red Potato and Green Bean Beef Soup

Happy 2012!  I trust you all had a wonderful New Year celebration.  As for us, we had a total chill-out, X-Box for the hubs, DS for the kiddos, Nook for me, type of night.  In fact, I was lost in the world of the Hunger Games....reading the entire series that weekend.  It is a great series in case you are of the few (like me) who hadn't read it yet.
I have a super yummy recipe today that I CANNOT wait to make again.  In fact, it got gobbled up so quickly that we didn't even have leftovers!  Now, while we do not eat Hamburger is the base of this soup, which scared me at first, but it totally works.  I have not tried the recipe NOT using it, so I can't help you out if you are dead set against using it...sorry :(  But, if you are looking for a really tasty, kid and man pleasing, super easy, comfort food-type dish, give this one a try!

Roasted Red Potato and Green Bean Beef Soup
Recipe Source:  Moogie and Pap
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1/2 cup onion, chopped
  • 1 package Hamburger Helper Beef Pasta
  • 5 cups water
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 (16 ounce) can stewed tomatoes  (I pureed a bit since I am not big on chunky tomatoes)
  • 1 package frozen Birds Eye Roasted Red Potatoes and Green Beans

Cook and stir ground beef and onion in a Dutch oven until beef is brown; drain. Stir in sauce mix from Hamburger Helper package. Add water, bay leaf, salt, pepper and tomatoes. Heat to boiling, stirring constantly. Reduce heat; cover and simmer, stirring occasionally for 10 minutes. Stir in vegetables and noodles; cover and cook about 10 minutes longer. Serves 5 to 6.

In case you need a visual on the packaged ingredients, here you go!
Photo courtesy of Birds Eye
photo courtesy of Betty Crocker

This recipe has been linked up at:
Simply Sweet Home
Tidy Mom
The Country Cook
This Chick Cooks