Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Top 10 Recipes of 2013

Here's a list of our biggest hits this past year. Some of my favorites made the list too. I'm grateful for the site visits and I hope you found some yummy inspiration from these recipes. Here's to a great 2014!

#10 Grilled Asian Pork Kabobs

#9 Mini Cinnamon Monkey Breads

#8 Parmesan Ranch Chicken

#7 Chicken Enchilada Roll Ups

#6 Slow Cooker Enchilada Filling

#5 Pizza Chicken

#4 Bacon and Onion Fingerling Potatoes

#3 Chicken Parmesan Casserole

#2 Easy Crock Pot Chicken in Gravy

and our top recipe from 2013 is...
#1 Beef Lo Mein

Friday, December 27, 2013

Strawberry Lime Slush

I needed a dessert for Christmas Eve dinner. I wanted something festive and somewhat lite, this seemed to fit the bill. Everyone enjoyed it too, which is a bonus! I saw the idea over at Hey Mom! What's For Dinner?

1 can frozen limeade concentrate, thawed
2 cups sugar
8 cups water
20 oz. unsweetened frozen strawberries, thawed
sprite zero

Mix thawed limeade, sugar and water together in a large bowl. Stir well until sugar is all dissolved. Add the strawberries and 1-2 cups limeade mixture to a food processor and blend until smooth. Depending on the side of your food processor you may need to do this in two batches. Add the pureed strawberries to the limeade mixture and stir so that everything is well combined and smooth. Put in the freezer overnight. An hour or so before serving take out the frozen mixture and let it thaw a bit. To serve scoop out some of the slush and pour some sprite zero over the top. Serve with a spoon and enjoy!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013


This dish is very similar to our Grilled Chicken Burritos which is one of my favorite dinners ever. When I saw this idea over at Fanastical Sharing of Recipes, I knew it would be one we would enjoy. Sure enough, both Nate and I agreed this would be a dinner we will have over and over again. I love the pico de gallo and the freshness it adds to the dish. We paired these meximelts with a simple green salad and it was a great dinner. I hope you enjoy.

1 lb. lean ground beef
taco seasoning packet plus the water it requires (or 3 Tbsp. of your homemade taco seasoning)
pico de gallo
6 taco sized flour tortillas
shredded cheese

Brown and crumble ground beef. Add taco seasoning plus water it requires and finish cooking according to package directions. Warm tortillas in the microwave for 10-15 seconds so they are pliable and easier to work with. Layer ground beef, some pico de gallo, and some shredded cheese on the tortilla. Roll up like a burrito. In a lightly greased pan over medium heat, place the burritos seam side down. Cook until golden brown and crisp and then flip and do the same on the other side. Serve hot!

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Hassleback Chicken

So good! We really like this chicken dish and will be making it again and again. We had it with some yellow rice but it would also be really good with hassleback potatoes.

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 slices of bacon, sliced into 1" pieces
1/2 small yellow onion, cut into chunks and separated
green pepper, cut into chunks
salt and pepper
McCormick GrillMates chicken rub

Season both sides of your chicken breasts with salt, pepper, and some chicken rub. Slice slits into your chicken breasts about 3/4" apart, being careful not to slice all the way through the chicken. Leave the bottom intact. In each slit place a piece of onion, a piece of pepper, and a 2 pieces of bacon. Place on a baking sheet that's been lined with tin foil and sprayed with non-stick spray. Bake at 400 degrees F for 22-25 minutes or until chicken is cooked through. Serve hot and enjoy!

Friday, November 29, 2013

Thanksgiving Turkey

This year for Thanksgiving Nate and I were in charge of cooking the turkey, stuffing, and pies. So I've cooked a turkey twice before and they've both been good, but this turkey was definitely my best. It was so moist and tender and had a golden brown skin too. Nate's dad even told me it was the most moist turkey breast he's ever had. This is the way I'm cooking my turkeys from now on. I loosely followed some ideas from Saveur and I want to write them down so I can refer to them again. Enjoy!

1 (21 lb.) turkey, thawed and neck and giblets removed
3 Tbsp. kosher salt
1 Tbsp. poultry seasoning (I used McCormick's GrillMates chicken rub)
1 1/2 tsp. black pepper (I used Lawry's seasoned pepper)
2 tsp. A1 garlic and herb seasoning
Reynold's turkey roasting bags

Rinse and thoroughly dry turkey. Place turkey inside a roasting bag. Stir all seasonings together in a small bowl. Now rub the turkey with the seasoning mixture, on top of the skin. Be sure to use it all and get all parts of the turkey, including some inside the cavity. Seal up the oven bag and refrigerate the seasoned turkey for 24-36 hours (we did 36 hours). Essentially rub the turkey with seasoning Tuesday night and then cook it Thursday (Thanksgiving) morning. When you're ready to cook your turkey, remove it from the fridge and let it sit on the counter for an hour before baking. Rinse off all the seasoning from the turkey and dry thoroughly. Get another roasting bag, add 1 Tbsp. of flour and shake throughout the new bag. Now remove the turkey from the old bag an place it in the new floured bag. Seal up. Bake in a roasting pan at 350 degrees F for 3-3 1/12 hours. Mine was done right at the 3 hour mark. To check for doneness use a meat thermometer and check the deepest part of the thigh without touching bone for a temp of 180 degrees F, and the deepest part of the breast without touching bone for a temp of 170 degrees F. Cut the bag off the turkey and tent with tinfoil. Let the turkey rest for 30 minutes before carving. Serve hot with your favorite side dishes!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Creamy Crock Pot Hot Chocolate

I made this recipe as part of our Family Home Evening last night. It's become a tradition when we're with Nate's family at the holidays that Nate and I make a hot chocolate buffet. I branched out and tried this new recipe last night and it was a hit with everyone. Now I don't like hot chocolate but this made the kitchen smell divine while it cooked! We'll definitely be making this again. I saw the idea here. Enjoy!

1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
1 (14 oz.) can sweetened condensed milk
6 cups milk
1 tsp. vanilla
2 cups of chocolate chips (we used milk chocolate chips, they're Nate's favorite)

Combine all the ingredients in the crock pot and stir. Place the lid on and cook on low for about 2 hours, stirring occasionally. You want it to cook until the mixture is nice and hot and all the chocolate chips are melted. Stir before serving and top with your favorite hot chocolate toppings!

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Pumpkin Shaped Rolls

This is one idea from Pinterest that actually turned out! I've tried several recipes I've seen on Pinterest that have been a big let-down. This idea comes from Thistlewood Farms. They are so easy to make and would be great for Thanksgiving. Enjoy!

Rhode's rolls
green Sour Patch Kids or whole pecans cut into thirds for the stems

Spray a baking sheet with non-stick spray. Place the rolls on the pan and cover with plastic wrap. Let rise for 2 hours. Uncover rolls and use a sharp knife to cut 7-8 sections into the rolls, leaving the middle intact. Now press a hole into the center of each roll to make room for your stems. Recover the rolls with plastic wrap and let rise for another 1-2 hours. After finished thawing/rising make sure there is still an indent for your stem and if needed, press again. Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Brush egg wash over tops of rolls (I forgot to do this and they still turned out great). Bake rolls for 13-17 minutes or until golden brown. Insert stems into center indents of rolls. Serve.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Copy Cat Wingers Wings

First of all, I need to wish my husband a happy happy birthday today! Each year I have Nate choose out 3-4 meals that he would like around his birthday. This year he requested the following: Copy Cat Chick-fil-a Nuggets with Baked Onion Rings and Salad, Ham Fried Rice with Garlic Soy Broccoli, these wings with breadsticks and salad, and Homemade Crunchwraps with Salsa Rice and Salad. I found the copy cat Wingers sauce recipe over at Six Sisters Stuff, Nate just requested that it have a little more spice to it than the restaurant version. Nate ranked this dish a 20 on a 1-10 scale! We'll definitely be making these again and again. You can also use the sauce to coat chicken fingers like they do at the restaurant.

2 lbs. chicken wings
1 tsp. red pepper flakes
1 Tbsp. Lawry's seasoned salt

1 1/2 cups brown sugar
8 Tbsp. Frank's Hot Sauce
4 Tbsp. water

Rinse chicken wings and pat dry. Fill a large pot halfway with water. Add the red pepper flakes and the seasoned salt to the water and bring to a boil. Once boiling add the chicken wings. Boil for 15 minutes. Line a baking sheet with tin foil and spray with non-stick spray. Once the chicken has boiled 15 minutes remove from water and place on the baking sheet. Next the chicken broils for 15 minutes with the oven rack set one from the top. After 15 minutes remove chicken and flip. Return to oven and broil for another 15 minutes. While the chicken is broiling, make your sauce. Combine brown sugar, hot sauce, and water in a sauce pot over medium heat. Heat until hot and all the sugar is dissolved. Once sugar is dissolved, reduce heat and keep warm. Once chicken is done cooking, place chicken in a large mixing bowl and then pour sauce over the top. Toss to evenly coat the wings. Serve hot and enjoy!

Caramel Chocolate Drizzle Chex Mix

Made this for Nate to take to work and share. I saw the recipe here. Caramel reminds me of fall so I thought it would work well this time of year. Enjoy!

3 cups Corn Chex® cereal
3 cups Rice Chex® cereal
1/2 bag (14-oz size) caramels (about 25)
2 Tbsp. butter or margarine
2 Tbsp. milk
1/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips (I used milk chocolate chips, they're Nate's favorite)

In large microwavable bowl, mix cereals.
In medium microwavable bowl, microwave caramels, butter and milk uncovered on High 2 to 3 minutes, stirring after each minute, until caramels are melted and mixture is smooth. Pour over cereals; gently stir until evenly coated.
Microwave on High 3 to 4 minutes, stirring after each minute, until just beginning to brown. Spread on waxed paper to cool.
In small microwavable bowl, microwave chocolate chips uncovered on High about 1 minute or until chocolate can be stirred smooth. Drizzle over snack. Refrigerate until set. Store in airtight container.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Hawaiian Haystacks

Can you believe that I've lived in Utah this long and have never had hawaiian haystacks? Well it's true. I saw this version over at my favorite food blog Mel's Kitchen Cafe. I didn't change her recipe at all, so this is her recipe verbatim. We didn't do tons of toppings like some, but it was still good. Enjoy!

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-size chunks (or leftover cooked chicken, cubed)
3 tablespoons butter
½ onion (about ½ cup), finely chopped
3 cloves garlic; finely minced
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
¼ cup flour
2 cups milk
1 cup chicken broth

In a large skillet melt the butter over medium heat and add the onion and raw chicken (if using leftover cooked chicken, don’t add it to the skillet now, you’ll add it later). Saute the onion and chicken, if using, until the onions are soft and translucent and the chicken is cooked through, about 5 to 6 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for about one minute, stirring, until fragrant.
Sprinkle the flour over the onions and chicken and stir to combine. Cook over medium heat for one minute – this helps get rid of the starchy, flour taste. Slowly whisk in the milk and chicken broth. Cook, stirring constantly with a whisk, and bring the sauce to a simmer over medium to medium-high heat. Add the salt and pepper. If you are using leftover cooked chicken, add it now. Continue simmering, stirring the sauce frequently, until the sauce has thickened, about 5-8 minutes.
Serve the chicken sauce over rice with your toppings of choice, such as olives, tomatoes, shredded sharp cheddar cheese, green onions, mandarin oranges and chow mein noodles.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Halloween Slush Punch

I saw this punch idea over at Six Sisters' Stuff and thought it would be a perfect Halloween punch. The citrus flavor is nice and refreshing and stirring the sherbet in the cups gives it a great slushy consistency. Enjoy!

1 (12 oz.) can orange juice concentrate, thawed
1 (2 liter) bottle sprite zero, chilled
1 (46 oz.) can pineapple juice, chilled
1 quart orange sherbet

In a large punch bowl, combine orange juice concentrate, soda and pineapple juice. Top with scoops of sherbet and serve with spoons. Stir in sherbet to make it nice and slushy.

Monday, September 30, 2013

Homemade Gorditas

Yum! This was such a fun twist on taco night. The gordita wraps are soft and pliable with a great texture. I saw this idea over at Cinnamon Spice and Everything Nice and knew we would have to try them. Enjoy!

3 + 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 + 1/4 cups boiling water*
1 + 1/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. instant yeast
2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
taco fillings-
ground beef
shredded lettuce
shredded cheese
hot sauce
sliced olives

In a mixing bowl combine 2 cups of the all-purpose flour with the boiling water. Mix until smooth. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let sit for 30 minutes. In a separate bowl mix together the remaining 1 1/4 cups flour, salt, and yeast. Also add the vegetable oil. Mix this together with flour/water mixture. Knead by hand for 2-3 minutes on a lightly oiled surface. You want your dough to be a little bit sticky. Spray a mixing bowl with non-stick spray, add the dough, cover with plastic wrap and let rise for 1 hour in a warm place. Once risen divide dough into 8 equal sized portions. Cover them and let rest for 30 minutes. After resting, roll each dough piece out into a 7"-8" circle. Heat a skillet or griddle over medium Heat. Once hot add the dough to the dry skillet and cook a few minutes per side or until they are speckled with golden brown spots. If they are sticking, lightly grease the pan, but I had no problems with sticking. Keep the gorditas warm on a baking sheet, covered with tin foil in a really low oven (I had mine set at 170 degrees F). Once your gorditas are cooked, fill with ground beef and your favorite taco toppings and enjoy!

*I had to add some extra water to my dough in order to incorporate the second helping of flour. I added an extra 1/3 cup.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Chicken Broccoli Alfredo Braid

This was a definite hit. Nate had three helpings last night. This recipe is definite comfort food that would be perfect on a nice cold night. It smells so good while baking too. I got inspired for this dish by a recipe on the Rhodes roll blog. There are good step by step pics on how to cut the dough on there.

1 loaf frozen Rhodes bread dough, thawed
2 large chicken breasts, seasoned, cooked and cut into 1" chunks
3 small heads of broccoli, cut into bite sized pieces
2 cups alfredo sauce (I used one jar of Classico's light alfredo)
1/4 cup milk
2 Tbsp. butter, divided
1/2 small yellow onion, diced
garlic bread seasoning

In a large skillet, melt 1 Tbsp. butter over medium heat. When hot add diced onions and sautee until soft, about 4-5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Once the onions are done, stir in the alfredo sauce, milk, chicken, 2 tsp. (to taste) of garlic bread seasoning, and some pepper to taste. Cook until hot and bubbly, stirring every so often and adjust seasoning as needed. Add broccoli. I cook the broccoli covered in the microwave for about 2 minutes, not so much that it's mushy, but not quite cooked through completely. Then it can finish cooking in the oven and still have a good texture. Keep alfredo mixture warm on the stove. Spread out a piece of parchment paper on your counter and then roll out your dough into a rectangle that's about 12x16." Spread chicken and broccoli filling down the center of the dough in a 4" wide strip. Now make cuts on both long sides of the dough that are 1 1/2" wide. You want to come within 1/2" of the filling. Fold the top and bottom strips toward the filling then start braiding. Take cut strips and stretch over filling going left over right until the entire thing is braided. Gently lift braid up using the parchment paper and place on a baking sheet. Melt remaining Tbsp. of butter and brush over the braid and then sprinkle some garlic bread seasoning over the top. Bake at 350 degrees F for 22-26 minutes or until golden brown and dough is cooked through. Slice and serve hot with a nice green salad. Enjoy!

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Chicken Bacon Ranch Skewers

These kabobs are so good! We loved them! They will definitely be made again and again. They are so flavorful and have just a subtle hint of heat from the chili paste, yum. I so wish I had a better picture for this recipe but we were starving and in a time crunch. Next time I'll get a proper picture! I saw this idea over at Real Mom Kitchen. This makes 5-6 skewers. Enjoy!

2 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1" cubes
1/3 cup ranch dressing
1 Tbsp. Thai chili paste
5-6 strips of thick sliced bacon
1 medium red onion

Combine the ranch dressing and chili paste, mix well. Pour the ranch/chili paste mixture over the chicken. Cover and let marinate in the refrigerator for 1 hour. Cut the onion into squares. Now it's time to build the skewers. Place a piece of onion on your skewer followed by threading the end of a strip of bacon. Next put a piece of chicken on the skewer. Fold the bacon back over on top of the chicken. Repeat that process until the entire piece of bacon is threaded onto the skewer. It should take 4-5 pieces of onion and chicken. Finish the skewer with a piece of onion. Grill over medium heat, turning every few minutes until chicken is cooked through, about 12 minutes. Serve immediately with a nice green salad and enjoy!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Copy Cat 5 Layer Burritos

It's been forever since I've posted, nearly a month! We've just been so busy with end of summer fun and my in-laws moved back into town. There have been some new recipes that I've tried but nothing that I felt worth posting. Now we're back in the groove of a schedule and hopefully that means regular posting! This is the dinner I made last night. I saw the idea over at Fantastical Sharing of Recipes and I knew it would be something Nate would really enjoy. The recipe is a copy cat of a Taco Bell burrito, I've never had it before so I can't say how close it is, but we liked it. It's such a simple dinner and we just had it with a green salad.

1 lb. ground beef
1 envelope taco seasoning plus the water it requires (or 3 Tbsp. homemade taco seasoning)
1/2 small yellow onion, diced
1 green bell pepper, diced
1 (16 oz.) can refried beans
1 Tbsp. taco seasoning
shredded cheddar cheese
sour cream (we didn't use sour cream)
flour tortillas

Brown and crumble the ground beef. Halfway through cooking add the diced onion and green pepper. Once cooked add the envelope of taco seasoning plus the water it requires and finish cooking per package instructions. Meanwhile in a saucepan heat the refried beans with 1 Tbsp. of taco seasoning. Heat queso cheese. Once the ground beef mixture and refried beans are completed it's time to assemble the burritos. On half the tortilla spread a spoonful of queso cheese. Top that with a scoop of refried beans, follow that with some ground beef, next add some sour cream if you're using it, and then finally top that with some shredded cheese. Fold in the sides and then roll up the burrito. Serve immediately. We thought that they'd be good put in the oven for a few minutes to get a nice crisp texture to the tortilla. Enjoy!

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Smothered Biscuit Chicken

This is definite comfort food and a great way to use up leftover chicken. Before he was even done eating, Nate requested that I make this again. I'd say that's a hit.

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cooked and shredded (or use up some leftover chicken you have on hand)
2 packets chicken gravy mix plus the water they require
1/2 small onion, diced
1 Tbsp. butter
salt and pepper
1 tube refrigerated biscuits (I used Pillsbury Grands buttermilk biscuits)

In a medium skillet melt butter over medium heat. Once hot add onions plus a little salt and pepper and sautee for 4-5 minutes or until onions are tender. While onions are cooking prepare gravy. Once onions are finished add chicken. Turn the temperature down to low and add 1 cup gravy. Stir well to combine. Let simmer for a minute or two or until the chicken is nice and hot. Roll out each biscuit into a flat circle. Spoon some of the chicken mixture onto the flattened biscuit, fold the top over and pinch edges to seal. Poke a fork into the top of each biscuit to allow steam to escape. Place filled biscuits onto a prepared baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 12-15 minutes or until golden brown(or as directed on your biscuit package). Once done baking, dish up and spoon some of the remaining gravy over the tops of the biscuits. Serve immediately. Enjoy!

Friday, August 9, 2013

Slow Cooker Chicken Enchilada Filling

Nate could hardly wait for these to bake! He was eating the chicken right out of the crock pot. He really loved these enchiladas. They are super simple and big on flavor. I combined a few ideas I had to make this filling. Hope you enjoy it!

1 1/2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breasts
juice of 1/2 a lime
1/2 cup of tomato sauce
1 cube Knorr's Caldo de Tomate (mine comes in cubes if yours comes in powder form use 1 Tbsp.)
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
3 Tbsp. chili powder
1/4 tsp. cumin
3 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
2 cups chicken broth

For the enchiladas:
burrito sized flour tortillas
refried beans (heated through with 1 Tbsp. taco seasoning)
shredded cheese

Get crock pot heating on low. Add chicken and squirt lime juice over the top. In a medium size pot heat chicken broth, tomato sauce, flour, cumin, chili powder, garlic powder, and caldo de tomate, and bring to a boil. Boil for 5 minutes whisking constantly. Once finished, pour over chicken. Cover crock pot and cook on low for 4-6 hours or until chicken is cooked through. After it's done cooking remove chicken from crock pot and let cool for 10-15 minutes. Then shred and return shredded chicken to the crock pot. Let it absorb some sauce for 20-30 minutes on warm. Now you're done and can make your enchiladas!
Spread a little bit of sauce into the bottom of your baking dish. Warm your tortillas so they are pliable and easier to work with. Spread some of the bean mixture onto the bottom 1/3 of the tortilla, top that with some chicken, and then add a little shredded cheese. Roll up and add enchilada to the baking dish. Repeat with remaining tortillas. Top the enchiladas with some additional sauce and some shredded cheese. Bake at 375 degrees F for 30-35 minutes or until cheese is nicely melted. Serve hot and enjoy!

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Lettuce Wrap Tacos

Had these for dinner tonight and we really enjoyed them. We'll definitely be having these again and again. It's not really a recipe, per se, more of an idea for you. Just take your favorite taco fillings and toppings and instead of using a shell or tortilla use a piece of lettuce. Then wrap them up and enjoy!

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Korean Beef Bulgogi

How did we celebrate Pioneer Day? We made Korean food. We didn't celebrate at all, no grilling, no fireworks, notta. Oh well, it happens. However, our Korean food was really good. I've been wanting to try bulgogi for a while now, and I'm so glad we did. It's super simple and very tasty. I followed this idea from My Epicurean Adventures. Hope you enjoy.

1 lb. steak, thinly sliced
1 Tbsp. brown sugar
2 green onions, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/2 Tbsp. sesame seeds
1/4 tsp. black pepper

Combine sugar, green onions, garlic, soy sauce, sesame seeds, and pepper in a gallon sized ziploc bag. Shake well to combine. Add steak to bag, squeeze out all the air and seal up. Marinate in the refrigerator for 2-4 hours. Once done marinating, sear and cook the meat in a skillet over medium-high heat. You might need to do it in a couple batches. The meat won't take very long at all, just a couple minutes since it's sliced super thin. Serve over rice with your favorite Asian side dishes.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Pizza Hut Style Breadsticks

It's been a little while since I've posted a bread recipe. I just don't make it that often. Any recipe dealing with yeast intimidates me. But I braved this recipe and it turned out quite nice. I love love love breadsticks, a definite comfort food for me. I saw this idea online at Meg's Everyday Indulgence and Nate and I really enjoyed it. The topping tastes very similar to Pizza Hut's breadsticks. We'll be making these again. I served this with some simple grilled chicken and a green salad. I got about 2 dozen breadsticks out of this recipe, next time I'll cut it in half. Enjoy!

For the dough:
1 1/3 cups warm water (105 degrees) (I had to add an extra 1/3 cup water to my dough)
1/4 cup non-fat dry milk
1/2 tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. sugar
1 package instant dry yeast
4 cups flour
2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
3-6 Tbsp. olive oil

For the seasoning:
2 Tbsp. butter, melted
2 Tbsp. dry Parmesan cheese
1 Tbsp. onion powder
2 tsp. oregano
2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. garlic salt
1 tsp. basil

In your mixer, with the dough hook attached, combine yeast, dry milk, and sugar. Pour in warm water and let stand for 5 minutes. Add in vegetable oil. Add salt and slowly add in flour a little bit at a time. Knead for 4-5 minutes. Remove dough and divide into 2 equal portions. Get out 2 baking sheets and spread 3 Tbsp. onto each one. Roll out a dough ball onto each pan. It won't take up the whole baking sheet, but it should be rolled out to a decent size. Cover and let rise in a warm place until the dough doubles in size. It took about 1 1/2 hours. Once dough is risen uncover and use a pizza cutter to cut into breadsticks. I cut in half width-wise and then into strips. Melt butter and spread over the dough. Combine the remaining seasoning ingredients (Parmesan, onion powder, oregano, garlic powder, garlic salt, and basil) and sprinkle over the top of the buttered dough. Bake at 450 degrees F for 8-10 minutes or until the edges are golden brown. Enjoy warm!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Nate's Sriracha Barbecue Sauce

Nate's work often does fun contests and today is no exception. Since they have to stay late for case reviews they are having a department barbecue. Several workers are smoking pork butts and they are having a pulled pork competition tonight. Nate started the smoking process at 10 pm last night. He got his favorite rub made and applied and injected the pork too. He put the meat in the smoker about midnight and it's been going ever since. Nate decided he wanted a barbecue sauce to go along with his pulled pork. He loves sriracha hot sauce and wanted a nice spicy barbecue sauce that included it. We found this idea over at All Four Burners and just adapted to Nate's preferences. We hope you like it!

3/4 cup sriracha
1 1/2 cups molasses
1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp. ketchup
1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp. soy sauce
1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
3 tsp. dry mustard
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/8 tsp. granulated ginger

Combine all the ingredients in a saucepan. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Let cool and serve with your favorite barbecue items. Enjoy!

Monday, July 15, 2013

Chicago Chicken

I'm back! We've been busy camping and hanging out with visiting family and lovin' on a cute new nephew. But things are falling back into place and cooking is happening more regularly. Last night I made this chicken. Both the mister and I really enjoyed it. It's a good summer recipe, the jalapeno, lemon, and oregano have this bright fresh taste. I saw this idea over at Plain Chicken. The only changes I made were to cut the lemon juice in half and to add a little seasoning salt. We'll definitely be making this again!

1 jalapeno (remove the ribs and seed if you don't want the heat, I removed these)
juice of 1/2 a lemon
1 Tbsp. dried oregano
3 Tbsp. olive oil
3 cloves of garlic, minced
pinch of seasoning salt (maybe a 1/4 tsp.)
2 boneless, skinless chicken breast

Wash and cut the ends off the jalapeno. Remove the ribs and seeds if you like. Add the jalapeno, lemon juice, oregano. olive oil, garlic, and salt to your food processor. Pulse until well combined and the jalapeno is finely minced. Add the marinade to a ziploc bag and then add the chicken. Push the air out of the bag and seal, making sure the chicken is well coated. Put the bag in a dish and refrigerate for 4-5 hours. After marinating grill up your chicken and enjoy!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Garden Monkey Bread

Nate totally loved this bread! It's a super easy and fun alternative to rolls for dinner. We'll definitely be making this again. I saw the idea over at Goodness Gracious. I cut the recipe down for just the two of us so this is baked in a 6 cup bundt pan. I served this garden monkey bread alongside some do it all marinated chicken and a green salad.

2 (7.5 oz.) cans of biscuits
3 Tbsp. green bell pepper, diced
3 Tbsp. red bell pepper, diced
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
3 slices crisp cooked bacon, crumbled (optional, we left it out)

Slice each biscuit into thirds. In a mixing bowl combine biscuit pieces, cheese, and diced peppers. Toss gently and mix well. Grease your bundt pan and add the biscuit mixture. Bake at 350 degrees F for 20-25 minutes or until a light golden brown. Remove from bundt immediately and serve warm. Enjoy!

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Chicken Fajita Kabobs

Such a hit! We loved these kabobs! Kabobs are a personal favorite of ours, they say fun summer grilling to me. I'd seen versions of these floating around the web and knew I had to make some. I used two chicken breasts and we got four huge kabobs. I served this dish with salsa rice a simple green salad. A perfect summer meal!

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 green bell pepper, chopped into bite sized squares
1 red bell pepper, chopped into bite sized squares
1 small onion, chopped into bite sized squares
our favorite Mexican chicken rub
4 large skewers (we used metal*)

Rub Recipe:
2 tsp. chile powder
2 tsp. garlic powder
2 tsp. paprika
2 tsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

Mix all of those really well. Store in an airtight container.

Wash and chop vegetables. Cut chicken breasts in 1" square chunks. Season chicken with some rub on all sides. Now it's time to assemble the kabobs. If you're using wooden skewers, you'll need to soak them for 30 minutes first. Alternate chicken and vegetables along the skewer. Heat your grill to medium heat. Once warm add your kabobs. Our skewers come with a rack that has them sit just above the grill grates which we love because then they don't stick and pull the kabobs apart. They grilled for 12-14 minutes being turned occasionally. If your kabobs are directly on the grill they will cook a bit faster. Just grill until all the chicken is cooked through. Serve immediately and enjoy!

*Here's the link the kabob skewer set we use. I love it because it helps the more delicate kabobs stay together since it sits them just above the grill grates.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Savory Marinated Pork Tenderloin

Yep, another marinade recipe. What can I say, we love 'em, and we love using our grill. I really like pork tenderloin, it's so lean and tender. Definitely a favorite in our house. I saw this basic idea over at Pillsbury. I do think this marinade would also be great on some thick cut pork chops.

2 1/2 lbs. pork tenderloin (mine was in two pieces)
1/3 cup soy sauce
4 cloves garlic, minced
3 Tbsp. olive oil
2 tsp. dried oregano
2 tsp. brown sugar
2 tsp. sriracha hot sauce (found in the Asian aisle)

Whisk together soy, garlic, olive oil, oregano, sugar, and sriracha. Pour marinade into a large ziploc bag. Add pork tenderloin. Squish out all the air and seal bag. Place bag in a dish and marinate in the refrigerator for 8 hours, turning occasionally. After marinating, heat grill to medium-high heat. Once hot add pork to the grill and cook for 18-20 minutes turning a few times until internal temp reaches a minimum of 145 degrees F. Our tenderloin was in two pieces so if yours is one large piece it will take longer to cook. We like ours a little more done so we cooked it to just over 150 degrees F. Let the pork tenderloin rest for 5-10 minutes before slicing and then serve with your favorite side dishes. Enjoy!

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Cheesy Taco Dip

This is one hearty dip. We ate it for dinner last night and it is super filling. We have lots of leftovers. Nate and I decided it needs to be eaten with friends! This recipe is really quick and simple to throw together and then it bakes and gets nice and bubbly. I loosely based this recipe on one from Just Get Off Your Butt and Bake. Enjoy!

1 lb. lean ground beef
1/2 yellow onion, diced
2 cups salsa
2 envelopes taco seasoning (or 6 Tbsp. of homemade, divided)
1/4 cup Italian dressing
1/2 cup frozen corn
1 (16 oz.) can refried beans
2 cups shredded cheddar jack cheese (more or less depending on your tastes)
sliced olives, pico de gallo, shredded lettuce, sour cream, hot sauce etc. for topping if you'd like

Brown and crumble the ground beef. Halfway through cooking add the diced onion. After beef is finished browning add 1 packet (3 Tbsp.) taco seasoning and the water it requires. Reduce heat and finish cooking per packet instructions. After the beef mixture is finished add salsa, Italian dressing, frozen corn, refried beans and remaining taco seasoning. Mix well. Cook over medium-low heat until mixture is nice and hot. Add half the mixture to a glass 8x8" baking dish. Top with half the cheese. Add remaining beef mixture and then top with remaining cheese. Bake at 375 degrees F for about 20 minutes or until nice and bubbly hot and cheese is all melted. I recommend putting a baking sheet below the dish in case things bubble over! Serve with your favorite toppings and tortilla chips.

I know, I know, terrible photo.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Parsley Rice

This is such a simple side dish. Both hubs and I really enjoyed the flavor, it was savory and not overpowering. It was a great accompaniment to our grilled simple marinated chicken. Nate commented on how it was nice and light tasting, a good side dish for summertime. I saw this idea over at Taste of Home. Enjoy!

1 cup uncooked long grain rice (I use basmati)
2 1/2 cups chicken broth
2 Tbsp. butter
1 tsp. dried parsley flakes
1/4-1/2 tsp. salt (really it's to taste, I used low sodium chicken broth so I did need the 1/2 tsp. salt)

Add chicken broth, butter, salt, and parsley flakes in a medium saucepan. Bring mixture to a boil. Once boiling stir in rice, cover, and reduce heat. Simmer for 20 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand still covered for 5 minutes. Fluff and serve.

Monday, June 3, 2013

The Best Garlic Steak

Have you ever been to the restaurant Tucano's? Well it's a favorite of the husband and he loves their garlic sirloin. I saw this copy cat recipe online and knew we had to try it. It was so good! We made some filet mignons with it instead of kabobs, but I think this would be great on any cut of steak. We'll definitely make this time and time again. I was nervous at first when I saw the amount of garlic salt but we followed the recipe and it turned out great. I saw the idea over at Like Mother Like Daughter.

1 - 1 1/2 lbs. steak
1/2 cup butter
2 Tbsp. minced garlic
1 Tbsp. garlic salt
1 tsp. kosher salt

Melt butter. Mix together butter, garlic, garlic salt and salt. Brush butter mixture onto both sides of the steaks. Heat grill to high and add steaks when hot. Cook over direct high heat for 10-12 minutes for medium doneness, flipping once. Our steaks were about an inch thick. I like my steak a little more done so we cooked it just a little longer. During cooking baste meat with garlic butter mixture. We basted 2 times. Grill steaks to desired doneness, let rest for 5 minutes before serving and enjoy!

Bacon and Onion Fingerling Potatoes

This is a re-post of a recipe from late 2010. It's so good and I finally got a semi-decent picture so I think it warranted a re-post.

Oh goodness, these are good. This recipe is a special occasion recipe at our house. We made these potatoes as part of our anniversary dinner. My husband loves these potatoes, I mean they have bacon, what's not to love? I saw this idea over at Picky Palate. Enjoy!

3 lbs. fingerling potatoes (my store didn't have any fingerlings so I used Dutch baby potatoes that I cut into quarters)
½ lb. bacon, sliced into ½” pieces
1 Tbsp. butter
3 Tbsp. reserved bacon drippings
½ cup onion, diced
kosher salt to taste
black pepper to taste
½ - 1 Tbsp. parsley flakes

Wash and cut potatoes. Add potatoes to pot then add water to cover. Bring pot to boil and boil potatoes for about 10 minutes or just until fork tender.
Cook bacon until crispy in a deep pan. When browned and crisped transfer bacon to a paper towel lined plate. Discard all but 3 Tbsp. of bacon drippings. Place the 3 Tbsp. back into the pan at medium heat, add the butter and melt. Add onions; saute until tender, about 5 minutes. Add sliced potatoes, cooked bacon, salt, pepper and parsley. Stir then reduce heat to low to keep warm. Taste check the seasoning and adjust as needed.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Ham and Cheese Calzoncini

Of course when I saw these mini calzones I knew I'd be making them for the husband. He's such a fan of my ham and cheese roll ups that I knew these would be an instant hit. You could fill the calzoncini with virtually anything, pizza ingredients, sloppy joe meat, leftover roast or chicken with onions and green peppers, lots of possibilities. I saw the idea over at Pretty Elements, enjoy! This recipe made 10 calzoncini.

1 ball pizza dough (I cheated and used Pillsbury instead of homemade)
shredded cheddar jack cheese
pepper (we love Lawry's seasoned pepper)
1 egg

On a prepared surface, roll out the dough to an even 1/4" thickness. Use a glass or circle cookie cutter to cut out circles. I got 20 circles out of my dough which makes 10 calzoncini. Sprinkle some pepper over all the circles. Place some ham and cheese in the center of half the circles. Take a plain dough circle and top a filled circle. Carefully pinch the edges together so none of the filling bubbles out during baking. Repeat with remaining calzoncini. Place the prepared calzoncini on a prepared baking sheet. Whisk egg in a small bowl. Brush a small amount of the egg wash over the top of the calzoncini. Bake at 350 degrees F for 16-18 minutes or until golden brown. Serve hot and enjoy.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Football Fries

This is a great way to jazz up boring old french fries. It only takes an extra minute or two, but really makes a difference. I think you'll really enjoy these, and like the name implies, these would be great for watching football. I saw the idea over at Ma What's For Dinner.

1/2 bag Ore Ida steak fries (or whatever kind of french fry you like)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 Tbsp. steak seasoning
2 Tbsp. olive oil
salt (if your steak seasoning doesn't have any salt in it)

Whisk together olive oil, steak seasoning, and garlic in a mixing bowl. Add frozen french fries and toss well to coat evenly. Spread out fries on a tin foil lined baking sheet. Bake at 450 degrees F for 17-20 minutes or until they've got a nice gold brown crust (or however the bag instructions direct). Serve up with your favorite condiments for dipping.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Easy Crock Pot Chicken in Gravy

This is definitely Nate's kind of comfort food. Chicken, gravy, potatoes, all things he loves. In fact, he's the one that got it started in the crock pot for me. It was perfect to throw in before church and then enjoy for dinner. I saw the idea over at Quick and Easy Recipes. Enjoy!

2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
2 packets low-sodium chicken gravy mix
poultry seasoning (we used McCormick's rotisserie chicken seasoning)
salt and pepper

Season chicken with some poultry seasoning and salt and pepper. Add chicken and broth to crock pot. Cook on high 4-6 hours. Remove chicken from crock pot, let stand for 10 minutes and then shred. Prepare gravy using 2 cups of liquid from the crock pot instead of water. Once gravy is ready, add and stir in the shredded chicken. Serve over hot mashed potatoes.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Grilled Chicken Burritos

These are the best! We totally loved them last night and Nate can't wait until lunchtime today to have leftovers! They are ridiculously simple and so so flavorful. I know they'd be a hit with anyone. Enjoy!

1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts
4 burrito sized flour tortillas
homemade pico de gallo
the best Mexican chicken rub
shredded cheddar jack cheese

Prep your pico de gallo and set aside. Generously season both sides of your chicken pieces with the rub, let stand for 10-15 minutes and then grill until cooked through. Let chicken rest for 5 minutes before cutting into bite-sized pieces. Lay out flour tortilla, sprinkle some shredded cheese onto the bottom third of your tortilla. Place a generous helping of chicken on top of cheese and then top that with some pico de gallo. Roll up tortilla like a burrito (fold sides in and then roll). Spray a skillet with non-stick spray and heat over medium heat. Once hot place burritos seam side down and cook until golden brown and cheese is melted. Serve hot and enjoy with a nice green salad.

I shared this over at High Heels and Grills.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Grilled Ranch Chicken

This is a perfect summer grilling recipe. We really enjoyed it. The chicken had great flavor and my husband is so good at grilling. This is definitely a recipe we'll make again and again. I never eat salad dressing on salads, I don't like it. However, I love using salad dressings in marinades. I always have several bottles in my food storage. So try this out, and soon! This is a recipe I adapted slightly from one I saw over at Not So Perfect Mom, enjoy!

2-4 chicken breasts
1/3 cup olive oil
1/3 cup ranch dressing
1 1/2 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
2 tsp. lemon juice
1 Tbsp. Cajun seasoning
1 tsp. sugar
1/8 tsp. pepper

Combine all the ingredients (except chicken) in a gallon size ziploc bag. Make sure they are mixed well. Add the chicken breasts and squish all the air out of ziploc bag and seal. Refrigerate and let marinate for 4-6 hours. I always place the ziploc bag in a mixing bowl in case of leaks. After they're finished marinating grill 'em up until done and juices run clear. Our chicken breasts were on the thicker side so Nate grilled them about 8 minutes per side. Serve with your favorite summer sides.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Taco Pot Pies

Nate is still talking about this dinner! He loved it! This is definitely a different twist on taco night and one we'll definitely make again. I saw the idea over at Plain Chicken. Nate can't wait to have these again.

1 lb. lean ground beef
1 packet taco seasoning plus the water it requires
1/2 small yellow onion, diced
1 small green bell pepper, diced
1/2 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup salsa
shredded cheddar jack cheese
1 can refrigerated pizza dough (we used Pillsbury)
4 large ramekins
shredded lettuce
hot sauce
sliced olives
sour cream

In a large skillet brown the ground beef. Halfway through cooking add the diced onion and bell pepper. Once browned add the taco seasoning and the water it requires, reduce heat and finish cooking according to packet instructions. Once beef is all finished mix in the black beans and salsa. Keep burner on medium low heat and continue to cook until mixture is nice and hot. Spray ramekins with non-stick spray including the outside rim. Roll out pizza dough and cut out 4 circle of dough that are about an inch larger than the ramekin. Sprinkle some shredded cheese into the bottom of each ramekin. Next scoop in taco meat (we had just a little leftover). Top each one off with a little more shredded cheese. Place a dough circle on each ramekin and let it drape over the edge. Bake at 425 degrees F for 12-14 minutes or until dough is golden brown. Flip each pot pie upside down on a place and carefully lift off ramekin. Top your taco pot pies with some shredded lettuce, sliced olives, taco sauce, etc. and enjoy!

Garlic Herb Potato Wedges

This was a great side dish to the pulled pork Nate made on Saturday. He did such a great job and it was his very first time using that smoker! When Nate makes up his mind to try something new, he puts 110% into it. I lucked out, Nate did the main part of the meal and I had to do was side dishes. We had these potato wedges and a green salad with the pork. I saw this idea here, and I just used herbs that Nathan and I like. They had a nice crisp exterior and were soft on the inside, so good!

4 medium russet potatoes, scrubbed and rinsed
3 Tbsp. olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp. dried chives
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 tsp. dried parsley flakes
1/2 tsp. paprika
1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 tsp. salt (I used Lawry's seasoning salt)

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Combine the olive oil and all the seasonings in a large mixing bowl. Mix well. Cut each potato in half lengthwise. Cut each half, lengthwise, into 4 equally sized wedges. Add the potatoes to the mixing bowl and toss really really well so that everything gets well coated. Line a baking sheet with tin foil. Arrange the potato wedges skin side down on the sheet. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until golden brown with crisp exterior and soft interior. Serve hot and enjoy!

Here's a pic of the awesome pulled pork Nate made.