Thursday, May 26, 2011

Finger Lickin' Chicken

Do you ever like to cook up some chicken & have it in the fridge to pile on a salad for lunch? Or to throw into a quesadilla for the kids? This chicken is really good. It would be great served up as a whole breast for dinner, with a few great sides. And frankly, that was my intention when I threw it into the marinade. But, as often happens with life, busy schedules ruled the days/evenings & I never got the chance to plate it up for the family. So, instead, i baked it up one morning & just diced it up & stuck it in the fridge. It all worked out in the end - the kids got something better than just the usual PBJ's for lunch!! LOL

Here's what 'cha need:

Chicken, of course! And red wine vinegar, oil, salt, pepper, Worcestershire sauce, Miracle Whip (not mayo!), garlic salt & ground thyme.

All you need to do is throw everything into a bag & give it a good stir. A tip for getting it all in the bag easily - put the bag in a pitcher & fold the sides over the top.

Add in the chicken & then toss it into the fridge. The absolute minimum would maybe be 4 hours. If you can give it a solid day that would be even better! Flip it over every now & then as it soaks in the goods.

How you choose to cook it is totally up to you. throw it on the grill, cook it in a pan on the stove top - I chose to bake it at 350 for 30 minutes. Cut in to make sure it's done. Undercooked chicken is not awesome! LOL

Isn't it so pretty!!?? Beautiful color and it's so moist & flavorful. I think you're really gonna like it. Don't be afraid of the amount of thyme you add in - it seems like a ton but it's perfect!

Finger Lickin' Chicken:

1 cup oil
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons Miracle Whip
3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon pepper
2 tablespoons thyme
1 tablespoon garlic salt
4 chicken breasts

Combine all ingredients in a bag. Add chicken & marinate at least 4 hours, up to 24 for best results.

Remove chicken from bag & discard marinade. Cook as desired.

Source: Aubrey's Recipes

Monday, May 23, 2011

So... Did you WIN!!?

Melissa!!!! It's YOU!

Let me know what colors or patterns or styles you like & I'll come up with an apron to match!


Sunday, May 22, 2011

Kansas City Slow Cooker Chicken

Why Kansas City? I have no idea - that's just the way it was titled when I stumbled upon this recipe so we went with it!! LOL This is another wonderful crockpot meal. Throw it all in before lunch & know that, when you're ready for dinner, dinner will be ready for you! LOVE that! As it was cooking I kept thinking it smelled just like the sauce Arby's puts on their sandwiches & I was a little concerned that the flavor would be too strong - but it totally wasn't! It was perfect!


Chicken breasts, onion, sugar, soy sauce, ketchup, apple cider vinegar, *low-sodium* beef broth & dry/ground mustard.

I love it when a recipe can come together without a trip to the grocery store! Bonus!

First you're gonna brown up your chicken. Don't cook it through - just get some good color on the outside. To do that, heat butter or olive oil in a skillet over med-high heat. Sprinkle the chicken with a little salt & pepper then give it about 2 minutes per side.

If you need to, grab some tongs & get the breasts up on the sides so you can get color all the way around.

Toss that in the crock pot & then mix up the remaining ingredients to make your sauce.

Pour it all over the chicken, add the lid & then set the heat to low. Let it go for about 6 hours.

If you have the chance, you might give it a baste or turn the chicken once or twice as it bakes but it's not totally necessary.

When it's done, use tongs to pull the chicken out of the juices. As you put it into a bowl give it a smoosh with the tongs to help it shred. It should just fall apart for you!

Use a spoon or ladle to put the juices into a cup & serve it on the side so that people can add as much (or little) as they'd like to the chicken.

We served it over brown rice & it was perfect! I'm sure you could go for noodles or white rice, if you prefer.

This was a really great little meal! I'm glad I found it.

Kansas City Slow Cooker Chicken:

4-6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 tablespoons butter or olive oil
1/4 cup ketchup
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup white sugar
1 onion, diced
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
1 cup low-sodium beef broth

In a large skillet, heat the butter/olive oil. Season the chicken breasts with salt and pepper and cook them for 1-2 minutes on each side, until nicely browned but not cooked all the way through. Remove the chicken to the slow cooker. In a large bowl, combine all the other ingredients. Whisk well. Pour the sauce over the chicken. Cover the crockpot and cook on low for 6 hours. Serve with rice or noodles.

Source: Mel's Kitchen Cafe

Friday, May 20, 2011

Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake

** Don't forget to enter my happy-1st-birthday giveaway! **

There's a good chance Grandma or Grandpa baked you this cake when you were little. It's a depression-era cake with some massive staying power! Eggs & butter were hard to come by back then (they were rationed) so rather than wasting them in a cake (in my book that is the best use of eggs!! LOL) the smart little homemakers back then discovered mayonnaise as a substitute. It makes perfect sense - it's made with oil & eggs so it replaces them very well. This is a super dense, moist & wonderful cake! Hands down my husband's favorite. I can tell you're still skeptical - chocolate & mayonnaise... together!!? YES! I promise, You. Will. Love. It!

Here are your ingredients:

Baking soda, baking powder, cocoa powder, mayonnaise, sugar, flour, vanilla & water.

First mix together all of your dry ingredients.

Then plop in all your mayo. I know - it looks like a lot. Just trust me!

Give it a good mixing & get it all incorporated. Slowly add in the water & vanilla.

Hey! Look! It's starting to look like cake batter!!

Pout it into a prepped pan & bake at 350 for 40-45 minutes.

Let it cool completely & then frost it with your favorite chocolate frosting. As I've mentioned before, I LOVE the one on the canister of Hershey's Unsweetened Cocoa Powder.


I totally spaced it on taking a picture of the cake all prettied up with candles on top! LOL Woops! But this way you get to see inside! Yum! Seriously. YUM.

I really hope you'll give it a try! You will love it.

Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake:

3 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
2 1/4 tsp baking powder
2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups mayonnaise
1 1/2 cups water
2 tsp vanilla extract

Mix all dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Add in mayonnaise & combine well. Gradually stir in water & vanilla & blend until smooth. Pour into prepared pan.

Bake at 350 for 40-45 minutes. Cool completely before frosting with your favorite chocolate frosting.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Guess What Just Happened!!?


I turned ONE!

* 1 *

Well, my blog did, that is!

I think that means you all have to give me a gift, right!? Isn't that how birthdays work!!??

Oh wait - this is Blogland, isn't it? I guess that means I should give YOU a gift!

Do you want one!?

First rule is you have to be a follower. If you've got that box checked off the list then go on down & leave a comment telling me what your favorite recipe has been off my blog this past year.

And for a second entry, make a recipe request! I love requests. :o)

And, for a bonus 3rd entry I've gone through my posts over the past month & anyone that has commented here on the blog gets an extra entry! It pays to be chatty, doesn't it! And I love comments so don't be shy!

Bonus entries go to:

Jana and Kayla
Kristi Rowley

Makes me a little sad that I didn't have more to give!


Oh - I haven't mentioned what I'm gonna give out, have I?

I'm gonna make you an apron! I haven't made it yet because I'd like to let you choose the color(s) for it. So whoever takes the prize on this one, just let me know your favorite colors - or the theme of your kitchen - or your favorite pattern style, etc. Give me some details & I'll try my best to match it!


Contest will be open until Sunday, May 22nd, midnight PST.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Chicken Ranch Tacos

I'm just gonna dive right in & say that I loved these tacos! When I made them I was thinking they'd be ~good enough~. And then I ate them... Yum! I was only planning on eating one but I dished up 2 of them for the sake of the photo - and I ate them both! These will be making a return visit soon! And a bonus? They're super easy.

You'll need:

Cooked chicken, taco seasoning (chicken or beef work), ranch dressing, taco shells & your taco fixings. We're pretty basic here - only lettuce & cheese.

Throw your cooked chicken in a pan over med-high heat. Let it get just a little heat on it then sprinkle it with the taco seasoning. Use what you have, this would be great with chicken or beef taco seasoning. Don't add any water!! Just leave it in there dry. Give it a stir to get everything all coated in the spices.

Let that go for maybe 5-7 minutes, get it all heated through. Then add the Ranch dressing.

Stir it around & warm it through again.

Aaaaaaaand you're DONE!

Look how yummy it looks!

Now turn it into a taco! Meat on the bottom, then I do the cheese next. I like putting it against the warm meat because it helps it melt. I don't love raw (?) cheese but I do like it melted! Above the cheese give it some lettuce and then add some more Ranch! Don't forget the Ranch! I tossed a little more cheese on top so the picture would be pretty!! LOL

By the way - take the couple of extra minutes to warm your taco shells - totally worth it!

These were served up with strawberries & the ever so Mexican steamed peas! LOL Whatever - the kids gobbled it up!


Chicken Ranch Tacos:

3 cups cooked chicken, cut up
1 pkt. taco seasoning (chicken or beef)
1/2 cup Ranch dressing
taco shells
Ranch dressing

Heat a skillet over med-high heat. Add chicken & warm it for a few minutes. Sprinkle on the dry taco seasoning. Do not add any water! Heat for 5-7 minuted until all heated through & powder is stuck to the chicken.

Add Ranch dressing, heat an additional 2-3 minutes to warm through.

Serve in taco shells with all the fixings you love - plus an extra squirt of Ranch!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Dad Did Dinner - Again: Sloppy Joes

I gave Zac the reins in the kitchen again - this time he whipped up a batch of Sloppy Joes! Generally speaking I'm a Manwich girl (they just know what they're doing, right!!?) but he wanted to make up a pan from scratch. And you know I'm not gonna stop him if he wants to go for it! this is what he made:

You'll need:

Tomato sauce, tomato paste, ground beef, onion, green bell pepper, red wine vinegar, Tabasco sauce, chili powder, brown sugar & Worcestershire sauce.

First you're gonna get your pan heated over medium. Drizzle in the oil & add the onions & peppers. Sweat the veggies for about 2 minutes then add in the meat.

Once the meat has cooked through add the remaining ingredients.

Simmer for about 10 minutes to let the flavors all come together.

And, because I forgot to take a picture of it all dished up on a bun, today's "ta da" picture is just a close up of the slop in the pan!! LOL

It's great! i think I'm still a Manwich girl at my core but anytime Hubby says he wants to cook these up I will certainly not turn him down!! I hope you try them & like them!

Sloppy Joes

1/2 TBSP olive oil
1 onion, diced
1 green bell pepper
1 lb ground beef/turkey
1 1/2 cups tomato sauce
2 TBSP tomato paste
2 TBSP brown sugar
1 TBSP red wine vinegar
1 TBSP Worcestershire sauce
1/2 TBSP chili powder
12 shakes of Tobasco sauce
salt & pepper, to taste

Heat a pan with oil over medium heat. Add peppers & onions; saute for 2 minutes.

Add ground meat & cook through. Once meat is cooked, add remaining ingredients & simmer for 10 minutes.

Serve on hamburger buns.

Source: Cook This, Not That

Monday, May 9, 2011

A Mother's Day Recipe from my 7 year old.

My son brought home a cute little Mother's Day craft from his 2nd grade class at school. It's a recipe card holder! So totally appropriate for his mama. And to help demonstrate it's purpose it had a recipe card included - with a recipe he created. It's kinda adorable and it made this mama smile. Wanna see!?

It's just a tile with a clothespin hot-glued on the back. It stands up perfectly!

Ready for the part that made me giggle!!?? Here's his original recipe:

Chocolate Chip Cookies:

1/2 cup flour
2 1/2 chocolate chips
2 eggs
3 cups milk
2 cups baking soda
1 cup sugar (brown)
1 cup sugar (white)
2 cups yeast
1/2 cup butter

Mix all together. bake at 59* for 1 hour.


Had it been a little closer to something that would have been edible I may have been tempted to let him try his creation - but something with 2 cups of yeast, baking at 59* just doesn't sound like something ANYONE in their right mind would even taste!! LOL

Hope you ALL had a wonderful "Mothering Day"!!
(click the link to see why I chose to call it that!!)

Thursday, May 5, 2011

It's Fiesta Time! Cindo de mayo meal ideas.

Happy Cinco de Mayo! Do you have any special plans for dinner tonight? We'll be dining fiesta style with some of our favorites! Carne asada street tacos, sweet corn tomalito, rice, chips & salsa - plus a few surprises from our friends. In case you're still on the hunt for some menu items for this evening I thought I'd gather up everything I had filed under Mexican here on my blog. Some of it is more/less authentic than the rest but I promise it's all delicious!

It's not a party without the salsa!

How about tomalito!? It's super yummy - sweet & fluffy!

Good Mexican rice is always a perfect side.

Chicken enchiladas in a white sauce - probably the least authentic on the list but always a delicious meal!

Or maybe you prefer beef enchiladas? These are pretty spot on if you want the real thing!

Or maybe this salsa verde pork!? It's delicious in a burrito!

Whatever you end up eating tonight I hope it's delicious & that you are lucky enough to share it with friends.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Almond Joy Cake Cups

Did you know it's Teacher Appreciation week!!? Yep - it sure is! We have such wonderful teachers at the kids' school and they do a really great job so I always make sure to treat them extra special this week. Can you imagine having to wrangle 20-ish young kids all day long!? AND teach them while you're at it!? LOL They definitely earn their appreciation WEEK - not just a day! To kick off the week I baked up a batch of these Almond Joy Cups. I sure love them - and I hope the teachers do, too! They take a little bit of time but you'll be glad you made them.

The fixings:

A box of chocolate cake mix, flour, margarine, eggs, sugar, evaporated milk, big marshmallows, flaked coconut, semi-sweet chocolate chips, sliced almonds.

Let's go! First mix up your cake mix, 2 eggs, flour & melted margarine. It'll be a stiff dough so you should probably do this by hand or you might burn the motor in your hand mixer!!

Whew! My arm is tired! LOL

Now divide the dough in half. Each half will give you 24 little cups (2 batches on your mini-cupcake pan!)

Spray your pan with some PAM - I use the stuff with flour when I'm baking so if the pan looks a little sloppier than usual that's why!

Gently press the dough down into the cups & bake at 350 for about 7 minutes. Remove to a rack & let it cool for about 5 minutes.

Now you need to make a well to fill up with the sweet, gooey filling! If you have a little tool like mine it's EXTRA helpful!! If not, you can try using your thumb. Just don't burn yourself!!

Do that all again to make the 2nd batch.

Next up is the coconut filling.

Mix the sugar & 1/2 cup of evaporated milk in a bowl. Heat it to a boil then stir in the marshmallows until they're melted in. I tried to cheat & do this in the microwave this time & it was a pain to get the mallows all melted. So if you don't mind an extra dirty dish you might get a quicker, smoother melt from a pan on the stove-top. If you want to keep dishes to a minimum just rinse the batter bowl & do it in the microwave. As long as you get them *mostly* incorporated you'll be good. Once you add the coconut it'll rough up the mallows & get the job done.

Add the coconut...

Now just carefully spoon a little bit of this stuff into the well you smashed into each little cake.

Pop them into the fridge to help speed set the coconut. Maybe 30 minutes...?

For the chocolate topping:

In that same batter bowl, once again rinsed, put the chocolate chips, margarine & evaporated milk. microwave on high for 1 minute. Stir to combine. It'll seem kinda soupy at first - just keep stirring. Then add the almonds & stir again!

Last step - FINALLY! Spoon a little of the chocolate onto the top of each cup.

Stick 'em in the fridge one more time to set the chocolate.... AND YOU'RE DONE! Woo hoo!

Aren't they pretty!? Wanna see the pile up we just created inside!!?

These are really, really good! Sweet & rich, coconut & almond - just like an Almond Joy. And they're the perfect little bite so you don't feel like you overdid it by indulging!

Grab a glass of milk!

Almond Joy Cups:

Cake cups:
1 box chocolate cake mix (I use Triple Chocolate Fudge)
2 eggs
1/2 cup (1 stick) margarine, melted
3/4 cup flour
Coconut filling:
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup evaporated milk
14 marshmallows (not the mini ones!)
1 (7oz) bag of flaked coconut
Chocolate/almond topping:
1 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup evaporated milk
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) margarine
1 cup sliced almonds

Heat oven to 350. grease mini muffin pan(s).

In a bowl, mix all 'Cake Cup' ingredients until well combined. Divide batter evenly into 48 cups (2 pans or 2 bathces in 1 pan). Press gently into the cup wells. Bake about 7 minutes.

Remove from oven & cool for about 5 minutes. Using a little tart shaper (or your thumb) make a well in the top of each cup.

To make the coconut filling: Mix sugar & milk. Microwave about 2 minutes, until boiling. Stir in marshmallows until melted. Add coconut, stir again.

Carefully spoon a small amount of coconut mixture into each cake cup. Move to the fridge to set for about 30 minutes.

To make the chocolate topping: Combine chocolate chips, evaporated milk & margarine in a bowl. Microwave for 1 minute, stir melted chips to combine all ingredients. add almonds.

Carefully spoon a little bit of chocolate on top of each coconut-filled cup. Return to fridge to set for another 30 minutes.

Enjoy! Store in the fridge.