Thursday, April 26, 2012

Chili's anyone? #CoronaRita

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Chili’s Grill & Bar. All opinions are 100% mine.

Cinco de Mayo is just around the corner.  Do you do anything special?  My 2nd kid's class is having a potluck Mexican lunch this year - all the families are invited.  Last year we enjoyed a great fiesta at our friend's home with several other families.  Hubby & I have gone out to dinner at our favorite little Mexican cafe.  So we've celebrated with the kids, celebrated with the family, celebrated with the spouce - I think we're due to have a Cinco de Mayo girl's night - just the ladies!!

I love a good Girl's Night Out (GNO).  In fact, tomorrow is my birthday, so last night my girlfriends & I decided that we needed to go out to the movies ... .but the best time we could manage after getting kids home from football/baseball/play rehearsal/dance class & into bed was a 9:45 show!! Yikes! LOL  So what do we do to kill the time before the show? CHILI'S, of course!!!  I love going to Chili's. Last night we had the pleasure of Chris as our server.  Very friendly & seemed happy to be at work - and the staff there always is!  We've got a great Chili's here in Carson City. He kept the bottomless chips & salsa filled & the Diet Cokes were flowing free! LOL  And a birthday at Chili's just wouldn't be complete without a MOLTEN CHOCOLATE CAKE! It was devoured!

So - let's get back on topic, shall we!? LOL  Cinco de Mayo + Chili's = ... what? What comes to mind? Perhaps their margaritas?  I'm not personally a drinker, but everytime I'm there (which is more often that I should admit! - I think it's been 3 times this month already!) someone at every other table seems to be enjoying a margarita. They must be doing something right!  How about you - have you enjoyed a CoronaRita at Chili's yet?  Did you even know this thing existed!?  If you love your margarita so much that you would buy it a beer, this is the drink for you!  It's the CoronaRita - it's made with Jose Cuervi Especial Tequila & a Corona. Two things a lot of people seem to enjoy, paired together - ready to give you a happily ever after!  What delicious dinner woul YOU pair it with?

CoronaRita sm.jpg

**You must be 21 years or older to drink alcoholic beverages and, as alwys, please remember to drink responsibly.**

As I mentioned above, my birthday is tomorrow. I KNOW I will be getting a Chili's giftcard from a very special aunt of mine.  The decision is, do I go for a 4th visit this month - or hold off til May? I fear I may need a Chili's intervention! Ha! With menu items like the Southwest Eggrolls, the Country Fried Steak, the smoking deals on the 2 for $20, the well balanced & well priced kids' meals..... how could you NOT love Chili's!!? It's my happy place. :o)

CoronaRita at Chili's


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Monday, December 12, 2011

Ranch Chicken



Do you all know about Pintrist? I'm sure you do, but just in case - go check it out! If you want an invite, let me know. It's a virtual pinboard of E.V.E.R.Y.T.H.I.N.G!!! Quote, recipes, craft ideas, decorating tips, photography, etc... you can find anything & everything on Pintrist! And that's where I saw this recipe. It looked yummy & seemed pretty easy & kid-friendly (my top 3 musts!) so we tried it - and it was pretty good! My oldest, Luke, kept coming into the kitchen while it was baking with his nose in the air like a hound dog, sniffing & taking deep breaths & asking with anticipation when it would be ready. And he was no disappointed when it hit his plate - the kids all loved it! Woo hoo!

The ingredients list is pretty simple:


Chicken tenders - or just breasts cut into wide strips, corn flakes , shredded Parmesan cheese, a packet of Ranch powder mix & butter!

Put your corn flakes into a dish & smash them up just a little bit. Add in the ranch mix & Parmesan cheese & stir it up.


Melt the butter in the microwave, dip the chicken in it....


... and dredge it through the breading mixture.


Spray a 9x13 pan with Pam & then load it up with your chicken. Drizzle a little of the leftover butter over the top of your chicken strips.


Bake them at 350 for about 40 minutes.

**A tip - as this bakes the bottoms will likely get a little soggy. If you use a little of the extra breading mixture to make a bed for the tenders to sit on, the soggy will soak down into the bed rather than the bottom of the strip. Also, after the baking time was up, I pulled them from the oven, drained off the excess butter from the bottom of the pan & stuck them under the broiler for a few minutes to help them crisp up.


These were really good! I thought they were 'good enough' but the kids loved them which makes them woooooooonderful in my book! Less stress at the dinner table is always welcome in my home!


Ranch Chicken:

3 chicken breasts, cut into wide strips (3-4 per breast)
3/4 cup corn flakes
3/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
1 packet Ranch dressing/dip mix
1 stick butter, melted

Melt butter; set aside. Spray a 9x13 pan with cooking spray.

Combine cornflakes (slightly crushed), Parmesan & ranch mix in a shallow dish. Dip chicken in the butter then dredge through breading mixture & line them up in the prepared pan. Lightly drizzle with a little of the leftover butter.

Bake at 350 for about 40 minutes.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Elf on the Shelf

I realize I haven't posted a recipe in far too long, but I wanted to start a post to add photos to! We've had out Elf on the Shelf (Horton) for a couple of years now & the kids have a lot of fun with it. Sometimes he just shows up sitting on a Christmas tree branch, sometimes sitting on a shlef, but sometimes he also likes to make mischief as he comes & goes each morning/night.

Here is is on the morning of the 9th - the Lego men were starting to get a little unsure of the giant visitor that kept invading their space so they decided to tie him up for an interrogation!


Stay tuned..... there will be more to come!

Updated - 12/12:
Here he is helping himself to a snack of a jumbo marshmallow & chocolate chips!

Makes sense - Buddy (from the movie Elf) has educated us all to the 4 food groups of an elf; candy, candy canes, candy corn & syrup!


12/13/11 - After all that sugar, the responsible thing was to brush your teeth!


Friday, December 2, 2011

Butterscotch Banana Pie

Wanna see just about the easiest pie ever?

Check it out:

Get a ready-made graham cracker crust, some bananas & a box of instant butterscotch pudding (& the milk to mix up the pudding).


Slice up the bananas into the bottom of the pie crust.


Mix up the pudding, according to the 'pie filling' directions (just uses a little less milk) & pour it down over the sliced bananas.


Then pop it into the fridge for a bit. It's soft-set within about 5-10 minutes, but give it longer for a good, firm set.

Plop on a dollop of whipped topping & you've got yourself a simple, easy & delicious slice of pie!

Happy pie eating!!

Butterscotch Banana Pie:

1 3.4-oz box instant butterscotch pudding
1 8 or 9-inch graham cracker pie crust
2-3 bananas (depending on size)
2 cups milk
whipped topping

Slice bananas & arrange in the bottom of the pie crust. Mix pudding, according to pie-filling directions. Immediately pour pudding over bananas into pie crust. Refrigerate about 1 hour. Serve topped with whipped topping.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

3-Minute Chocolate Mug Cake from the Microwave


This is a dangerous recipe. Because it's SO easy. And because you make it with things that are probably always in stock on your pantry shelves. And it only takes 3 minutes. And it's single serve so you don't feel as guilty about it. Oh - and it's rich & Yummy! Last night I had just got the kids into bed & sat in the couch to watch some of my shows before bed. The craving hit me - I wanted some baked sweets. Not ice cream, not store-bought cookies, not a pudding cup.... baked goods. But seriously - who has the energy to do all that at 9:00 at night!!? Not this girl (usually!). Then I remembered this recipe! Woo hoo - craving satisfied. It's not as light & fluffy & moist as what you'd get from Ms. Crocker's boxes but, in a pinch, it'll surely get the job done!

Step 1:

Mix your dry ingredients in a coffee mug (not a small one, please!)


Stir in the egg...


Stir in the milk, oil & vanilla. Then stir in the chips.


Put it in the microwave for 3 minutes. It'll grow up over the brim of your mug - don't worry!! It's OK! It'll go back down.

Can you see that in there!? It's kinda tough to take a picture through the microwave door.

See? It settled down.


Now just dump it out onto a plate/bowl & drizzle with a little chocolate syrup - or maybe some powdered sugar - or a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Whatever sounds good!

This definitely makes enough to share with a 2nd person so don't feel like you have to make 2 if you & the spouse both want some.


3-Minute Chocolate Mug Cake (in the microwave):

4 TBsp flour
4 TBsp sugar
2 TBsp cocoa powder
1 egg
3 TBsp milk
3 TBsp oil
a small splash of vanilla
3 TBsp chocolate chips

Mix the dry ingredients in a large mug. Add the egg & stir thoroughly. Stir in the milk, oil & vanilla. Mix in the chocolate chips.

Microwave for 3 minutes (1000 watt microwave). Dump out onto plate & top with whatever sounds good!

Monday, October 31, 2011

Sunkist S’alternative Sodium Quiz

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Sunkist S’alternative for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

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Most food includes “hidden salts” that can be dangerous to your health. How much sodium are you consuming on a daily basis? Take the Sodium Style Quiz from Sunkist on Facebook to find out where you fall on the sodium scale. Whether it turns out you’re a Serial Salt Offender or a Sodium Smarty, you’ll learn new tips on how to use Sunkist® lemons as a healthy sodium-free alternative to salt.  Here's the quiz:  Sunkist Sodium Quiz

You should go take the quiz!  It's only 7 questions that make you think. I thought I knew sodium pretty well - then I saw some of the questions & was surprised at how much pausing-and-thinking I had to do!! LOL  Turns out I did OK - or, at least, I got lucky!  Hop on over to their Facebook page to take the quiz & then come back here & tell me what YOU got!!  I'd love to see some of the other fun outcomes!

So what is this "S'alternative" thing anyway?  Sunkist S’alternative  S’alternative is using fresh-squeezed Sunkist® lemons as a healthy sodium-free alternative to salt. Using Sunkist lemons as an alternative to salt can help reduce sodium, increase potassium and enhance the flavor of recipes.

Here's a great recipe to try using Sunkist produce in place of all that salt:

Sunkist® Lemon Seafood Paella

Ingredients: (Makes 8 servings)
*1- 32 oz can low sodium vegetable broth
*1 cup dry white wine
*1 teaspoon saffron threads
*1lb. of firm, fresh pieces of whitefish such as tilapia, bass, halibut and swordfish, cut into 16-21 pieces
*1lb. or 16-21 mussels, cleaned and de-bearded
*1lb. or 16-21 medium sized clams, rinsed
*cup chopped fresh parsley
*3 Sunkist® lemons, zest and juice
*3 Tbsp. olive oil
*1 _ cups minced onion
*3 cloves garlic, minced
*teaspoon crushed red pepper
*3 cups uncooked short-grain rice such as Valencian, Arborio, or Calrose
*1 cup frozen green peas
*1- 8oz jar of sliced, roasted red peppers

Instructions:
• To prepare broth, combine all the ingredients in a saucepan. Bring to a simmer (do not boil). Keep warm over low heat.

• To prepare paella, heat 3 tablespoons olive oil in a large paella pan or large skillet over medium-high heat. Add fish pieces to pan and sauté 1 minute. Remove fish from pan, reserve and keep warm. Add onion to pan and sauté 5 minutes. Add the lemon zest, garlic and crushed red pepper and cook 5 minutes. Add rice and cook 1 minute longer, stirring constantly. Stir in broth, bring to a low boil and cook 10 minutes, stirring frequently.

• Stir in the peas and red pepper slices. Add mussels and clams to pan, nestling them into rice mixture. Cook 5 minutes or until shells open; discard any unopened shells. Stir in the reserved fish and chopped parsley and cook 5 minutes. Remove from the heat, stir in lemon juice and check for seasoning. Cover with a towel and let stand 10 minutes before stirring

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Thursday, October 27, 2011

Sunkist S’alternative Sodium Quiz

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Sunkist S’alternative for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

sunkist

 

Most food includes “hidden salts” that can be dangerous to your health. How much sodium are you consuming on a daily basis? Take the Sodium Style Quiz from Sunkist on Facebook to find out where you fall on the sodium scale. Whether it turns out you’re a Serial Salt Offender or a Sodium Smarty, you’ll learn new tips on how to use Sunkist® lemons as a healthy sodium-free alternative to salt.  Here's the quiz:  Sunkist Sodium Quiz

You should go take the quiz!  It's only 7 questions that make you think. I thought I knew sodium pretty well - then I saw some of the questions & was surprised at how much pausing-and-thinking I had to do!! LOL  Turns out I did OK - or, at least, I got lucky!  Hop on over to their Facebook page to take the quiz & then come back here & tell me what YOU got!!  I'd love to see some of the other fun outcomes!

So what is this "S'alternative" thing anyway?  Sunkist S’alternative  S’alternative is using fresh-squeezed Sunkist® lemons as a healthy sodium-free alternative to salt. Using Sunkist lemons as an alternative to salt can help reduce sodium, increase potassium and enhance the flavor of recipes.

Here's a great recipe to try using Sunkist produce in place of all that salt:

Sunkist® Lemon Seafood Paella

Ingredients: (Makes 8 servings)
*1- 32 oz can low sodium vegetable broth
*1 cup dry white wine
*1 teaspoon saffron threads
*1lb. of firm, fresh pieces of whitefish such as tilapia, bass, halibut and swordfish, cut into 16-21 pieces
*1lb. or 16-21 mussels, cleaned and de-bearded
*1lb. or 16-21 medium sized clams, rinsed
*cup chopped fresh parsley
*3 Sunkist® lemons, zest and juice
*3 Tbsp. olive oil
*1 _ cups minced onion
*3 cloves garlic, minced
*teaspoon crushed red pepper
*3 cups uncooked short-grain rice such as Valencian, Arborio, or Calrose
*1 cup frozen green peas
*1- 8oz jar of sliced, roasted red peppers

Instructions:
• To prepare broth, combine all the ingredients in a saucepan. Bring to a simmer (do not boil). Keep warm over low heat.

• To prepare paella, heat 3 tablespoons olive oil in a large paella pan or large skillet over medium-high heat. Add fish pieces to pan and sauté 1 minute. Remove fish from pan, reserve and keep warm. Add onion to pan and sauté 5 minutes. Add the lemon zest, garlic and crushed red pepper and cook 5 minutes. Add rice and cook 1 minute longer, stirring constantly. Stir in broth, bring to a low boil and cook 10 minutes, stirring frequently.

• Stir in the peas and red pepper slices. Add mussels and clams to pan, nestling them into rice mixture. Cook 5 minutes or until shells open; discard any unopened shells. Stir in the reserved fish and chopped parsley and cook 5 minutes. Remove from the heat, stir in lemon juice and check for seasoning. Cover with a towel and let stand 10 minutes before stirring

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