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Thursday, December 27, 2012

Yummy Chicken Tacos

This is a recipe I have been making for a couple of years now, it is so easy and delicious!

Four chicken breasts
Package  ranch dressing mix
Package taco seasoning
Can chicken broth
Tortillas and other taco fixings

Place chicken in skillet
Sprinkle with ranch and taco seasoning
Add a tiny bit of broth
As the chicken cooks add more broth
When the chicken is done cut into strips
Place back in skillet and let it cook till all the chicken broth cooks out.
Heat tortillas and enjoy your amazing tacos!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Country Swirl Cinnamon Bread

I just made this for the first time today to take to the Church breakfast tomorrow, since the hubby has to work :( I made him a loaf also and tried a pinch of it.  This stuff is seriously amazing!

2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup unsalted butter at room temp
11/3 cups sugar
1 egg
1 cup buttermilk (I didnt have buttermilk so I used whole milk and it was fine)
1 tb cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350
Grease and 8x4x2 loaf pan
Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt
In a large bowl cream butter and 1 cup of sugar
Add egg and blend well
Add dry ingredients alternating with milk
Mix well after each addition
Mix last 1/3 cup of sugar and cinnamon together in a small bowl
Pour 1/3 of batter in pan
Sprinkle with 1/3 cinnamon sugar mix
Repeat this step two more times
Bake for 45-50 minutes

A few notes
* This batter is very thick
*Make sure to check the dough to be certain it is done before removing from pan.  I had one loaf that was finished in 50 minutes and another that took about an hour.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Chocolate Turtle Cookies

This is a recipe that I pinned on Pinterest and have made a couple of times, it is somewhat time consuming but always gets compliments from those who try them!

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg, separated, plus 1 egg white
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cups pecans, chopped fine
  • 14 soft caramel candies ( I use the bag of little caramel balls)
  • 3 tablespoons heavy cream

  •  
    1. Combine flour, cocoa, and salt in bowl.
    2. With electric mixer on medium-high speed beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy, 2 minutes.
    3. Add egg yolk, milk, and vanilla and mix until incorporated.
    4. Reduce speed to low and add flour mixture until just combined.
    5. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm, 1 hour.
    6. Adjust oven rack to upper-middle and lower-middle positions and heat oven to 350 degrees F.
    7. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
    8. Whisk egg whites in bowl until frothy.
    9. Place pecans in another bowl.
    10. Roll dough into 1-inch balls, dip in egg whites, then roll in pecans.
    11. Place balls 2 inches apart on prepared baking sheets.
    12. Using 1/2-teaspoon measure, make indentation in center of each ball.
    13. Bake until set, about 12 minutes, switching and rotating sheets halfway through baking.
    14. Microwave caramels and cream in bowl, stirring occasionally, until smooth, 1 to 2 minutes.
    15. Once cookies are removed from oven, gently re-press existing indentations.
    16. Fill each with 1/2 teaspoon caramel mixture.
    17. Cool 10 minutes, then transfer to wire rack to cool completely.
    18. Try not to devour them all at once.

     

    Wednesday, December 19, 2012

    Lasagna Soup

    This is one of my most favorite soup recipes, I absolutely love it, something about this meal just makes you feel warm and cozy!

    Ingredients


    • 1 pound ground chuck
    • 1 onion, chopped (I use onion powder)
    • 3 cloves garlic, minced
    • 1 teaspoon thyme
    • 1 tablespoon firmly packed brown sugar
    • 1 (32-ounce) box chicken broth
    • 2 (14.5-ounce) can petite diced tomatoes
    • 1 (15-ounce) can tomato sauce
    • 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 2 cups broken lasagna noodles ( I just use the shells)
    • Croutons
    • Cheddar cheese (or your choice)
    In a large Dutch oven, combine ground chuck, onion, bell pepper and garlic.
    Cook over medium-high heat for 8 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally until beef is browned and crumbles.
    Drain well.
    Stir in thyme, brown sugar, broth, diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, Italian seasoning, and salt.
    Bring to a boil over medium-high heat; reduce heat and simmer 20 minutes.
    Add noodles, and simmer until noodles are tender.
    Preheat broiler.
    Ladle soup into 8 to 10 ovenproof bowls.
    Evenly sprinkle with cheese and croutons.
    Broil soups, 6-inches from heat, 2 to 3 minutes, until cheese is browned and bubbly.
    Serve immediately.

    Picture of Tastes Like Lasagna Soup Recipe

    Tuesday, December 18, 2012

    Side note...

    For all of you who find recipes on line and need one place to keep them other than in your email I have been using pepperplate.com for over a year now and love it.  You can input recipes from several different food sites also you can manually enter them.  Its a nice easy place to organize and keep your favorite recipes!

    Snickerdoodle Cookies

    I made these for the first time a few weeks ago for my mother and she really enjoyed them!
     
    1/2 cup butter, softened
    1/2 cup shortening

    Monday, December 17, 2012

    Twice Baked Potatoes... the best I have ever had!

    These potatoes are insanely good!

    4 large baking potatoes, scrubbed
    8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter
    2 teaspoons salt
    1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
    1/8 teaspoon cayenne
    1/4 cup milk, or as needed
    2 egg yolks, beaten
    1 cup shredded sharp Cheddar
     
    Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
    Bake the potatoes on a rack for 1 hour or until soft (I tend to peel the potatoes and cube them then boil and mash them its faster).
    Allow them to cool slightly.
    Add the butter, salt, black pepper, and cayenne.
    Mash well, adding enough milk to make a fairly stiff mixture.
    Add the beaten egg yolks and stir well.
    Spoon the mixture into a baking pan and top with shredded cheese.
    Bake for 20 minutes, until well browned.

    Raegan Mirick's photo.


    Friday, December 14, 2012

    Sugar Cookies

    I had a friend request this recipe so I thought I would put it here!  I love that these cookies don't have to be refrigerated (I still do though) and that they are really easy to use with cookie cutters.

    Sugar Cookies
    1/2 cup butter
    1/2 cup shortening
    1 cup sugar
    1 egg
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
    1/2 teaspoon baking powder
    1/2 teaspoon baking soda
    Additional flour
     
    In a mixing bowl, cream butter, shortening and sugar.
    Add egg and vanilla; mix well.
    Combine flour, baking powder and baking soda;
    Gradually add to the creamed mixture.
    Sprinkle flour on work surface and knead some into the mix
    Roll out dough in batches ( I keep the extra in the fridge) and cut shapes....
    Place on greased baking sheet
    Bake at 350 degrees F for 10-12 minutes.

    Wednesday, December 12, 2012

    Cheddar Biscuits

    Our internet has been down for a few days but we just got it fixed so I'm coming back with an AMAZING recipe!

    2 1/2 cups Bisquick
    4 tb cold butter
    1 cup sharp cheddar
    3/4 cup whole milk
    1/4 tsp garlic powder

    Topping
    2 tb butter (melted)
    1/2 tsp garlic powder
    1/4 tsp parsley
    pinch of salt

    Preheat oven to 400
    Combine Bisquick and butter (don't blend too well you want small chunks)
    Add cheddar, milk, and garlic powder
    Mix till combined but do not overmix
    Drop onto greased cookie sheet
    Bake for 15-17 minutes or until tops are brown
    Melt butter in small pan
    Add garlic powder and parsley
    Spread on biscuits with a pastry brush

    Saturday, December 8, 2012

    Chicken Swirls

    I make these for a lot of parties I host and they are always the first thing gone no matter how many I make.  Everyone seems to love them... to be honest I have never even tried them because I despise cream cheese!!!

    2 tubes (8 ounces each) refrigerated reduced-fat crescent rolls
    1 cup shredded cooked chicken breast
    4 ounces fat-free cream cheese
    1/4 cup reduced-fat ranch salad dressing
    1/4 cup shredded reduced-fat cheddar cheese
    1/4 cup finely chopped sweet red pepper
    2 green onions, finely chopped
    2 tablespoons Louisiana-style hot sauce ( I leave this out if I know I am going to have kids eating them)
    I also add garlic and onion powder not sure how much just till I can smell it :)

    Separate each tube of crescent dough into four rectangles
    Gently press perforations to seal
    In a small bowl, combine the remaining ingredients
    Spread evenly over rectangles
    Roll up jelly-roll style, starting with a short side
    Pinch seams to seal.
    Cut each into eight slices
    Place cut side down on ungreased baking sheets
    Bake at 375° for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown
    Refrigerate leftovers.


    Raegan Mirick's photo.
    http://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/hot-chicken-swirls

    Wednesday, December 5, 2012

    Brunch Enchiladas

    I like this recipe especially when I know I am going to have a busy morning.  Just pop it in the oven while finishing up the rest of your morning chores!

    Brunch Enchiladas



    2 cups cubed fully cooked ham (or bacon) 
    1/2 cup chopped green onions (I use onion powder)                                  
    10 (8 inch) flour tortillas
    2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese, divided
    1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
    2 cups half-and-half cream (or milk)                                  
    6 eggs, beaten
    1/4 teaspoon salt
    I also sprinkle in some garlic powder (I never measure it... just sprinkle till I can smell it)
     
     
    Combine ham and onions
    Place about 1/3 cup down the center of each tortilla
    Top with 2 tablespoons cheese
    Roll up and place seam side down in a greased 13-in. x 9-in. x 2-in. baking dish
    In a bowl, combine flour, cream, eggs and salt if desired until smooth
    Pour over tortillas
    Cover and refrigerate for 8 hours or overnight
    Remove from the refrigerator 30 minutes before baking
    Cover and bake at 350 degrees F for 25 minutes
    Uncover
    Bake for 10 minutes
    Sprinkle with remaining cheese
    Bake 3 minutes longer or until the cheese is melted
    Let stand for 10 minutes before serving

    Monday, December 3, 2012

    Baked Macaroni and Cheese

    I made this last week and my mom said it was the best macaroni she has ever had!  So here is the recipe...

    2 Tb butter
    2 Tb flour
    1Tsp salt
    2 1/2 Cups milk (I only had 1 cup so I used chicken broth)
    2 Cups cheddar cheese (divided)
    2 Cups macaroni (I like shells)
    I also sprinkle in some garlic powder and onion powder, I never measure though I just sprinkle till it seems like enough.

    Cook macaroni while doing the next steps
    Melt butter in a sauce pan
    Blend in flour and salt
    Add milk slowly
    Stir constantly!!!
    Add 1 1/2 cups of cheese
    After cheese has melted remove mixture from heat
    Combine cheese sauce and macaroni
    Pour into a 2 quart casserole dish
    Top with cheese
    Bake at 375 for 20-25 minutes

    Now it's time to devour it!

    Raegan Mirick's photo.
     
    Raegan Mirick's photo.
     

    Thursday, November 29, 2012

    Baked Brown Sugar Garlic Chicken

    I got this recipe off Pinterest and decided to try and review it.  Hubby loved it, I found it slightly dry because I forgot about it and left it in the oven a few minutes longer than I should have.


    4 boneless skinless chicken breast
    4 garlic cloves (minced)
    4 tb brown sugar
    3 tsp olive oil (I used butter instead, I already had it out for another recipe)

    Preheat oven to a whopping 500 degrees
    Lightly grease a casserole dish
    Saute garlic in the oil till tender
    Remove from heat and stir in brown sugar
    Place chicken in dish
    Salt and pepper to taste
    Top with brown sugar mixture
    Bake uncovered for 20-30 minutes.

    Hubby says its delicious and must make again!

    Wednesday, November 28, 2012

    Homemade Caramel Candies

    This is a recipe I found on Pinterest and decided to give it a try and see if it is any good.  I love it... When hubby gets home we will get his opinion!

    Ingredients

    candy thermometer
    wax or parchment paper
    1 can sweet condensed milk
    2 C sugar
    1 cup butter
    1/2 tsp salt
    1 1/2 cup white Karo Syrup
    1-2 tsp of vanilla ( I added this because vanilla makes everything better!)
     
    Instructions
    Cook and stir constantly until it reaches 240 degrees.
     
    A Few Of My Observations
    * I found that it is best to use a wooden spoon if you have one. 
    * Try not to splash the sides and if you do don't scrape them.  The sugar will crystalize and make your caramels crunchy.
    * If you see brown specks remove the pan quickly it has gotten too hot!
    * This sets up quickly which is great because it smells amazing.

    Tuesday, November 27, 2012

    Meat Muffins?

    I hate the name meat loaf for some reason it is a major turn off for me, so I have avoided making meatloaf for 6 years now, but one day I decided to give it a try.  Instead of doing a loaf though I thought I would make it more kid/Raegan friendly and made them in a cupcake pan.  That first night I was feeling ambitious and used my icing bags and piped mashed potatoes on top and sprinkled them with cheese and bacon so that they looked like cupcakes.  They turned out very cute!  I made my meat (loaf) again last night and after hubby said it was amazing I decided to share the recipe here!

    1 1/2 pounds lean ground beef
    1 large onion, chopped (I use 1 tsp onion powder)                                  
    salt to taste ground black pepper to taste
    garlic powder to taste
    6 slices white bread, cut into cubes (I used Italian bread crumbs till firm)
    1/2 cup milk
    1 egg
    3 tablespoons yellow mustard, divided
    1/2 cup tomato sauce, divided                                   
    3 tablespoons brown sugar                      

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
    In a large bowl, thoroughly mix ground beef, onion, salt, pepper and garlic powder.
    Mix in bread, milk, egg, 2 tablespoons mustard and 1/4 cup tomato sauce.
    Press the meat mixture into a 9x5 inch loaf pan or muffin pan.
    In a small bowl, stir together remaining mustard, tomato sauce and brown sugar.
    Pour on top of the meat loaf.
    Bake in preheated oven for 2 hours or about 30 minutes for muffins.

    Monday, November 26, 2012

    Fudge

    Until I found this recipe I could never find a simple fudge that I liked.  It always seemed that they ended up soupy because they wouldn't set right.  I LOVE that this recipe sets quickly and tastes soooo good plus it is very versatile.  Enjoy!

    3 cups semisweet chocolate chips
    1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
    1/4 cup butter
    1 cup walnuts, pecans, toffee, pretzel pieces, or candy you get to pick!
     
    Melt chocolate with sweetened condensed milk and butter.
    I use my double boiler but you could do this in the microwave make sure you stir frequently however you do it.
    After melted add your chosen mix in.
    Pour into an 8x8 pan. (I line the pan with parchment paper or foil before it makes it simpler.)
    Refrigerate till set.   

    Thursday, November 15, 2012

    Texas Brisket

    I have never been a big fan of brisket... until I found this recipe and I love it.  Any time I make it I have several requests for the recipe. 

    1 (5 to 6-pound) brisket, trimmed but left with a layer of fat about 1/4- inch thick                                   
    6 tablespoons House Seasoning, recipe follows                                   
    3 tablespoons chili powder                                   
    1 1/2 teaspoons brown sugar                                   
    1 1/2 teaspoons onion powder                                   
    1 teaspoon dried oregano                                   
    1 teaspoon cayenne pepper 
     
    House Seasoning
    1 cup salt (I use 3/4 cup)
    1/4 cup black pepper
    1/4 cup garlic powder
    Mix ingredients together and store in an airtight container for up to 6 months.
    Yield: 1 1/2 cups                             
     
    Rinse brisket thoroughly under cold water and pat dry with paper towels.
    In a small bowl, mix together House Seasoning, chili powder, brown sugar, onion powder, oregano and cayenne.
    Rub brisket with the rub on all sides.
    I then cook it on 275 for about seven hours then 300 for the last hour. 
    After you pull it out of the oven let it rest for ten minutes before cutting, if you cut to soon you lose part of the juice which makes it so yummy.
     
    Texas Brisket


    Tuesday, November 13, 2012

    Something Sweet

    I don't typically eat a lot of brownies or cake, I'm just not that into sweets...except the occasional chocolate bar which I don't keep in the house because I would eat them all at one time.  Halloween is pure torture!  This recipe though is wonderful my dad requests them on a fairly regular basis.  He likes them for breakfast with a glass of milk. ;)  I tend to keep two for myself and send the rest to him.  I recently made some for my son's teachers and they all requested the recipe. 

    Caramel Pecan Bars

    1 c Butter
    2 1/4 c packed Brown Sugar
    2 Eggs
    2 tsp. Vanilla Extract
    1 1/2 c Flour
    2 tsp Baking Powder
    2 c Chopped Pecans

    In a large saucepan combine butter and brown sugar over medium heat.
    Stir until sugar has dissolved.
    In a large bowl beat together eggs and vanilla.
    Gradually add the hot sugar mixture.
    Stirring constantly.
    Combine the flour and baking powder.
    Add slowly to the butter mixture.
    Add pecans.
    Spread into a GREASED 13x9 pan.
    Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes.

    Enjoy!

    Saturday, November 10, 2012

    Nathan's Favorite Recipe (Italian Roast)

    Italian roast is such a great easy recipe, Nathan (my oldest son) loves this dish and requested it for his birthday!   This recipe is so easy though that it can be made any day not just for a special occasion.  Everyone in our family loves it, which makes my life much simpler, the flavors are very bold and slightly spicy.  We love to have this with cornbread muffins, drizzle some of the juice over the top and the taste will blow your mind.  I get so many compliments when I make this and it is honestly one of the easiest recipes to prepare.  So next time you need something fast and easy throw this in the crock pot before heading off to work, church, a play date, etc...

    Italian Roast

    4-5 pound roast
    3 tsp salt (I know this seems like a lot)
    2 tsp pepper
    2 tsp garlic powder
    6 ounces tomato sauce (a little less than a small can)

    Cook roast alone in the crock pot 4-6 hours on low.
    Drain off some of the juice and shred the roast.
    Place shredded meat back in crock pot and add tomato sauce.
    Mix well and then add seasonings and mix again!
    Serve with cornbread, the juice on top of the cornbread is AMAZING!

    Raegan Mirick's photo.

    Like I said very simple but soooo tasty!

    Friday, November 9, 2012

    Five Guys Burgers and Fries

    So... didn't cook tonight, the hubby took me on a date to see the new James Bond movie which we both LOVED and then we went to try out the new burger joint in town.  Here are a few of my opinions.

    *If you are going to have burgers/ hot dogs only and no chicken make them special.  To me it tasted like a normal fast food burger.  The hubby even said after tasting his that my burgers are better.  :)

    *I HATE soft french fries.  We tried the cajun fries and they just didn't cut it for me.  I like crispy fries.

    *Not everyone wants ketchup with their burger and fries... I know I know I am a weirdo.  Please have ranch for those of us who like dipping our fries/burgers but don't like ketchup.

    *Why in the world do you have malt vinegar and no ranch?  Can you tell I'm stuck on the ranch and that this really bothered me?

    *The food took entirely to long to prepare.  The restaraunt was not crowded but we waited about 20 minutes for two burgers and one order of so so fries.

    All in all I think I will stick with Smashburger they have amazing hamburgers, the fries are delicious, and the chicken is to die for.

    Thursday, November 8, 2012

    Cracker Barrel Grilled Chicken

    The only problem with Cracker Barrel is that it isn't close enough.  Now this recipe isn't exaclty like the version you get at the restaurant but it is sooooo close and is extremely tasty.  I just ate my last bite and am seriously contimplating taking a bite of the hubby's (he is still at work) but I know if I start I won't want to stop and pretty soon his plate will be cleared of all the chicken.  So instead I am sharing this recipe here.  I hope you enjoy it as much as we do!

    Cracker Barrel Grilled Chicken

    1 lb boneless skinless chicken tenderloins
    1/2 c zesty Italian dressing
    1 tsp fresh lemon juice
    1 tb honey

    Mix dressing, lemon juice, and honey.
    Pour over chicken and marinate 30 minutes or longer (preferably longer).
    Add the entire mix to a pan and cook over med/med high heat.
    Cook until chicken is done and most of the liquid has evaporated. 
    Your chicken will have dark spots on it, where the flavors have seared, don't worry this is the best part!

    We always double this recipe and never have leftovers!

    Raegan Mirick's photo.

    Wednesday, November 7, 2012

    Yummy Honey Chicken Kabobs

    (One of my favorite things to throw on the grill)

    1/4 c. Vegetable Oil
    1/3 c. Honey
    1/3 c. Soy Sauce
    1/4 tsp. Black Pepper
    2 Cloves Garlic
    8 Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts
    Skewers (soak them in water before using)

    In a large bowl whisk together oil, honey, soy sauce and pepper.
    Add chicken and garlic.
    Marinate atleast two hours in the refrigerator.
    Preheat grill to high heat.
    Thread chicken onto skewers.
    Lightly oil the grate.
    Cook for 12-15 minutes turning frequently.
                                     

    Short and Sweet

    This blog is something I have been considering for awhile now.  The plan is that it will help me to expand our normal menus and help us to try new things.  Starting next week I plan on posting our weekly menu... throughout the week I will give recipes that we have tried and loved and tell you what recipes we weren't necessarily crazy about.  

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