Friday, July 27, 2012

Nate's Spicy Asian Glaze

My husband is the best. He's really cute and is very supportive of all my cooking endeavors. Nate is also awesome with the grill. Last night we were having some grilled teriyaki chicken and he decided to up the ante and make his chicken spicy. So he came up with this glaze and even took some pictures for me. He's the best. Enjoy!

1/4 cup soy
1 Tbsp. Sriracha hot sauce
1 Tbsp. corn starch
1-2 tsp. red pepper flakes
1 tsp. Lawry's seasoned pepper (regular pepper is fine)
1/8 cup water
squeeze of lime juice

Combine sriracha, red pepper flakes, pepper, and lime juice. In a separate bowl whisk together corn starch and water. Once whisked, slowly add to rest of glaze, stirring well to combine. Brush glaze on chicken during the last few minutes of cooking time.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Chicken Lollipops

If you know me, then you know I love finding new recipes. I am a terrible sleeper and I often watch cooking shows late at night. One night there happened to be a barbecue competition on. I thought Nate might have some interest in some of the grilling recipes so I set it to record. One of the contestants was this crazy lady from Canada who calls herself Diva Q. She made these chicken lollipops and Nate was really intrigued by the idea and so we had to make some for ourselves. I hate barbecue sauce, so we did some with barbecue sauce for Nate and a few without for me. They do take a little bit of prep work, but they made for a really fun dinner.

for the meat-
2 lbs. chicken drummettes (we used drumsticks instead of wings)
1/8 cup barbecue rub
1/8 cup chipotle rub

for the glaze-
1/2 cup sriracha hot sauce
1/2 cup sweet barbecue sauce

With a paring knife, cut around the thin tip of each chicken drummette. Separate the skin and tendons attached to the narrow end of the drummette and push the meat down toward the thick end. You now have a “lollipop.” Repeat procedure for the rest of the drummettes.
Generously sprinkle the drummettes with the barbecue rub and chipotle rub .
Wrap a small amount of tin foil around the exposed bone so it doesn't burn.
Grill the chicken over medium-high heat for approximately 30 minutes, rotating often. Baste with glaze during the last 5 minutes of cooking. Internal temperature of chicken should reach a minimum of 165 degrees. Enjoy!

These are the ones we did without barbecue sauce.

Grilled Corn on the Cob

Yum, I love corn on the cob. It is one of those quintessential summer foods. I remember growing corn in our garden growing up, and I also remember swearing that when I grew up I would never make my kids work in the garden. Oh goodness. So if you're growing corn in your garden and making your kids do the weeding, here is a yummy recipe for you and for them. :)

2 ears of fresh corn
butter, softened
herbs of your choice (I used a little parsley and Italian seasoning)

Carefully peel down each layer of corn husk to expose your ear of corn. Remove and discard silk. Mix your softened butter and herbs and generously rub all over corn kernels, sprinkle with salt and pepper. Fold corn husks back up to encase corn. Wrap entire ear in a sheet of tin foil. Grill over medium heat for 20-30 minutes or until corn is cooked through. Unwrap, and slice of husks and tip of corn cob and serve warm!

Cajun Roasted Potatoes

Here's an easy variation for you on roasted potatoes. We've been grilling tons this summer with our new grill. I'm always on the hunt for new side dishes. So if you like a little heat, here is a fun dish for you.

4 medium yukon gold potatoes (or 2 large russet potatoes)
1/2 - 1 tsp. Cajun seasoning (depends on how hot you like it)
salt to taste
olive oil

Wash and chop potatoes into bite sized pieces. Drizzle olive oil over potatoes and season, mixing well. Spread out evenly into a baking dish. Bake at 400 degrees for about 45 minutes, turning halfway through, or until fork tender.

Sorry about the dark picture. Nate and I didn't end up eating dinner until about 9:30pm.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Baked Sweet and Sour Chicken

Here's another recipe from Becca, and she said it turned out awesome! I like that it's baked not fried, be sure and try this. It's another good one from Six Sisters' Stuff.

3-4 boneless chicken breasts
salt & pepper, to taste
1 cup cornstarch
2 eggs, beaten
1/4 cup canola oil

Sweet and Sour Sauce:
3/4 cup sugar
4 tbs ketchup
1/2 cup vinegar
1 tbs soy sauce
1 tsp garlic salt

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Rinse your chicken breasts in water and then cut into cubes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Dip chicken into the cornstarch to coat then dip into the eggs. Heat your 1/4 cup oil in a large skillet and cook your chicken until browned but not cooked through. Place the chicken in a 9x13 greased baking dish. Mix all of your sweet and sour sauce ingredients in a bowl with a whisk and then pour evenly over the chicken. Bake for one hour and during the baking process you will need to turn the chicken every 15 minutes.

Chinese Fried Rice

Okay, Becca has been busy cooking up a storm! She sent me this recipe for fried rice that she saw over at Six Sisters' Stuff. How can you go wrong with fried rice?! Both Becca and her whole family loved it!

3 cups cooked white rice
3 Tbl. sesame oil
1 cup frozen peas and carrots (thawed)
1 small onion, chopped
2 tsp. minced garlic
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1/4 cup soy sauce

On medium high heat, heat the oil in a large skillet or wok. Add the peas/carrots mix, onion and garlic. Stir fry until tender. Lower the heat to medium low and push the mixture off to one side, then pour your eggs on the other side of skillet and stir fry until scrambled. Now add the rice and soy sauce and blend all together well. Stir fry until thoroughly heated.

Optional: You could add diced ham and green onions to this depending on your preference.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Beefy Queso Bake

This is total comfort food for Nathan. He loves Mexican food and I'm always on the lookout for new ways to fix Mexican food. I knew he'd love this dish. It's definitely not health food, but every now and then you need a little comfort food. I saw this idea over at The Country Cook. Nate loved it, he rated it a 10 out of 10. Enjoy!

1 pound ground beef
1 packet taco seasoning and the water it calls for
4 large flour tortillas (8-inch size)
1/2 cup queso (we like the Tostito's brand salsa con queso)
1 green pepper, diced
1/2 medium onion, diced
1 1/2-2 cups shredded cheese

Brown and crumble ground beef. Add diced vegetables, taco seasoning, and water. Simmer until the liquid is absorbed. Once ready, add 1/2 cup queso. Stir well and then heat through. Spray your baking dish with non-stick spray. Place a tortilla in the bottom of the baking dish. Spread 1/3 of the meat mixture over the tortilla. Top with a little shredded cheese. Lay another tortilla down, followed by meat mixture, and then cheese. Repeat once more then top with last tortilla. Top with remaining cheese. Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes or until cheese is melted and edges of the tortillas are a light golden brown. Let stand for 5 minutes and then slice and serve hot! Serve with salsa, pico de gallo, sour cream, salad, etc.

Chocolate Caramel Potato Chips

Nate has been craving caramel. Everyday he tells me, "something with caramel sounds so good!" Don't worry, I got the hint! While he was at work on Monday I sent him ton of links to caramel treats/desserts that I could make for him. I sent him these potato chips as a joke, but he was really excited about them. So I went to the store and made him these crazy chips. I made a big batch so he could take some with him to work, but he told me they were too good to share! So I'd say they were definitely a success! I found them over at Confessions of a Cookbook Queen. Her desserts are amazing, be sure and check out her site.

12 oz. milk chocolate
12 oz. bag rippled potato chips
14 oz. bag of caramels, unwrapped
3 Tbsp. half and half
Bag of Heath Bar Bits ‘O Brickle (we left this out)

Line baking sheets with wax or parchment paper and set aside. Put caramels and half and half in a microwave safe bowl and microwave for about 3 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds. Stir until melted and creamy.
Using a pastry brush, lightly brush the melted caramel halfway down both sides of the potato chips. Be sure to brush only a light coat, or the chips will get too soggy. Place on lined baking sheets to set for about 30 minutes.
Melt the chocolate in a microwave safe bowl and dip the caramel coated chips about a third of the way, allowing the excess to drip off. Sprinkle the Heath Bar bits on the melted chocolate and place back on the wax paper to set for about 2 hours.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Very Veggie Chicken Salad

I'm sure there are hundreds of variations on chicken salad. I'm not a fan of any of them, there is usually way too much mayo and weird ingredients like nuts that I don't like. I had some leftover chicken from last night's dinner and I knew Nate wouldn't want it for lunch two days in a row, so I came up with this. It made for a good lunch and I'll definitely make it again.

So no real recipe here, just the basic idea.
cooked chicken, either shredded or chopped
diced celery
diced green pepper
diced carrot
diced scallion (optional)
miracle whip or mayo (I like miracle whip better)

Combine all the ingredients to fit your tastes and serve in a tortilla, on a sandwich, etc. I think it's best with a little bit of cheese in a wrap. Enjoy.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Oven Fried Chicken Tenders

Our cute friend Suzie made her famous fried chicken for us one night last week, it was so good! Nate has been craving chicken ever since. I came across this recipe and figured it was a good middle ground. It's baked, not fried, but still has that essence of fried chicken. I saw this recipe over at Annie's Noms, and it was a huge hit with Nate.

2 lbs. chicken tenders, or you could slice chicken breasts
1 Tbsp. Season-All
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
3/4 tsp. pepper (I used Lawry's seasoned pepper)
2 tsp. paprika
1 cup all-purpose flour

Soak chicken in milk for 20-30 minutes. Combine all the seasonings and flour and mix well. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Once oven is hot, put 1/2 stick of butter into a glass baking dish. Heat butter in oven until melted and bubbling. Then take pan out of the oven. Dip each piece of chicken in the seasoned flour, coating both sides, then place into hot butter. Bake for 10-15 minutes then flip all the chicken. Continue baking for another 10-15 or until chicken is cooked through. Enjoy hot.

Jalapeno Ranch Pasta Salad

This is definitely a man pleasing side dish. My husband and several of my brothers-in-law gobbled this right up! I have to admit, I really like it too. Don't let the jalapeno scare you away, this pasta salad has a really mild spice to it. I was inspired by the club sandwich, turkey and bacon, you can't go wrong there! The 4th of July is coming up and barbecue season is in full swing, make this pasta salad for your next cookout.

8 oz. rotini pasta
just under 1/4 cup Litehouse brand jalapeno ranch dressing (more if you like it super saucy)
1/2 green pepper, diced
1-2 oz. colby jack cheese, diced
1 green onion, diced
5 strips bacon, cooked and crumbled
1-2 oz. Oscar Meyer brand deli fresh mesquite turkey, chopped

Cook pasta until al dente. Rinse, drain, and refrigerate. Cook and crumble bacon. Chop green pepper, green onion, and cheese. In a medium sized mixing bowl, mix together the chilled pasta and ranch dressing. Add cheese, meats, and veggies, gently mix in. Keep refrigerated until serving. Enjoy!

If you like tomatoes, add some to your pasta salad. Also, if you're a fan of spice like my husband, add a dash or two of a hot sauce (like sriracha) to the ranch dressing.

This is the recipe that I shared when I was a guest blogger over at Fantastical Sharing of Recipes.

I shared this recipe over at Chef In Training, Mandy's Recipe Box, and Life as a Lofthouse.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

4th of July Recipe Round Up

We LOVE July 4th at our house! From the patriotism, to the fireworks, to the food, we love it all. In case you're still planning your big bash, here are some great ideas for your cookout! Happy 4th!

Main Dish:
Steak House Pork Chops
Korean Barbecue Chicken
Korean Barbecue Beef Kabobs
Smoky Chicken Marinade
Dijon Ranch Chicken
Sloppy Joes

Potato Rounds
Katie's Baked Beans
Onion Strings

Orange Creamsicle Pie
Oreo Pie

Homemade Slurpees
Watermelon Smoothies

Slow Cooker Orange Chicken

Becca made this for her family and it turned out to be a hit. The only thing she said she would change would be to add a little less than the 6 oz. orange juice concentrate, I made that adjustment in the ingredients list. I know lots of people love orange chicken and you can't get easier than a crock pot recipe during the summer! This idea and picture comes from Six Sisters' Stuff.

• boneless chicken breasts, chopped into small chunks (I used about 4)
• 1/3 cup flour
• olive oil
• 1/2 Tbl. salt
• 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
• 3 Tbl. ketchup
• 3 - 6 oz. frozen orange juice concentrate (thaw or throw it in the microwave for 45 seconds),
• 4 Tbl. brown sugar

In a bowl, mix the orange juice, brown sugar, vinegar, salt, and ketchup. Pour the flour in a small bowl. Cover the chicken breast chunks in flour and shake off the excess.
Pour a small amount of olive oil in a skillet and brown the flour-covered chicken.
The chicken doesn't need to be fully cooked since it's going in the crock pot.
After the chicken is done cooking, pour the pieces into the crock pot. Then cover the chicken with your sauce mixture and give the pot a stir.
Cook on low for 5-6 hours or on high for 2-3.
Serve over rice and even add veggies if you want a healthier meal.

No-Bake Chocolate Chip Granola Bars

We haven't had a snack recipe posted in a while! Becca made these granola bars and told me that they were really easy and tasted great. The idea and photo are from Lauren's Latest. Her site is full of gorgeous photos and yummy ideas.

1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup honey
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
2 cups quick cooking oats {not rolled oats!}
1 cup crispy rice cereal
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons mini chocolate chips

In a large bowl, stir oats and rice cereal together. Set aside. In a small pot, melt butter, honey and brown sugar together over medium high heat until it comes to a bubble. Reduce the heat and cook 2 minutes. Pour in vanilla and stir. Pour over dry ingredients and mix well to moisten all ingredients. Pour into lightly greased small jelly roll pan {about 12x8x1} and press out to be about 3/4 inch in thickness. {If your pan isn’t small enough, pack the mixture into one side. You really want to press them down so they stick together.} Sprinkle with mini chocolate chips and press down lightly. Cool on a countertop to room temperature for two hours or until the chocolate chips are set before cutting into bars. Wrap in parchment or plastic wrap and store at room temperature.

Recipe Notes: If your granola bars don’t seem to be staying together when you cut them, you may have made them too thin or you didn’t pack them in tight enough. Stick them in the fridge for 20 minutes and that should help keep them together. {Be sure not to keep them in there too long or else they’ll become super hard!} The next time you make them, try reducing the butter to 3 tablespoons and really packing them down.

Potato Rounds

This fun recipe was made by cute Becca. She made these as easy appetizers and said they turned out really good! This idea and the photo is from Allrecipes. I was so happy she sent me this recipe, because it's one I had bookmarked to try too! Thanks Becca!

4 baking potatoes, cut into 1/2 inch slices
1/4 cup melted butter
8 slices bacon - cooked and crumbled
8 ounces shredded Cheddar cheese
1/2 cup chopped green onions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Brush both side of potato slices with butter; place them on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake in the preheated 400 degrees F oven for 30 to 40 minutes or until lightly browned on both sides, turning once.
When potatoes are ready, top with bacon, cheese, and green onion; continue baking until the cheese has melted.