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7.27.2011

Chocolate Chip Pudding Cookies


This is the only treat my hubby ever asks me to make. I think he 's these cookies more than me. But I dont blame him. They are soft, chocolatey, vanilla-ee, deliciousness. My SIL Christine gave me this recipe about 5 years ago, and since then it's the only chocolate chip cookie recipe I have made. One of the tricks to these cookies is the baking time. You should ONLY bake them for 9-10 minutes, tops. They will seem like their not fully cooked, but they are. Trust me. Once you take them out of the oven, just leave them alone. No need to transfer them to a cooling rack. Let them just sit on the baking sheet to relax, and they'll be ready to pop in your mouth in about five to ten minutes. Grab a big glass of milk, and take a bite of that warm cookie. It will melt in your mouth! 



Chocolate Chip Pudding Cookies
Yields 36 cookies


1 cup (2 sticks) Butter, softened
3/4 cup Brown Sugar
1/4 cup White Sugar
1 small pkg Instant Vanilla Pudding mix
2 eggs
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
2 1/4 cups All-Purpose Flour
1 teaspoon Baking Soda
1 pkg ( 12 oz) Milk Chocolate Chips


DIRECTIONS:  Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Beat the butter, both sugars, pudding mix, eggs and vanilla in a large bowl. Beat until creamy and fluffy. Then slowly mix in flour and baking soda. Stir in chocolate chips.
Drop by tablespoonfuls, onto an un-greased cookie sheet. Bake for ONLY 9-10 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool about 10 minutes before eating.



7.25.2011

Easy Chicken Cordon Bleu



   I remember the first time I made Chicken Cordon Bleu. It was an epic failure. Kale and I had only been married a few months. One night we planned to have some friends over for dinner, and I thought making Chicken Cordon Bleu would be a great dish to impress with! It involved pounding the chicken, which I had never done, and rolling the chicken and blah blah blah. Yeah, it didn't turn out so well. At all. It was lacking in flavor and looked pretty silly. I was so embarrassed!

   I wish I would have had this recipe back then. It is so delicious, and could not have been any easier to prepare. All you have to do is cut the chicken breasts lengthwise to form thinner cutlets and just layer the ham and swiss cheese on top. Sprinkle on some fresh bread crumbs and pop 'em in the oven. What made this chicken so outstanding was the Parmesan-Dijon Cream Sauce to spoon over the top! It is super duper delish! This chicken will be a permanent dish in our dinner rotation. A big thank you goes out to Mel from  Mel's Kitchen Cafe for such an awesome recipe!



Easy Chicken Cordon Bleu
*NOTE: Please use fresh bread crumbs. Not store-bought. It really helps this chicken tastes so great!

3 large boneless skinless Chicken Breasts, cut in half lengthwise, to form 2 thinner cutlets. (In total you will have 6 thin chicken breast cutlets)
12 slices deli Ham
12 slices thinly sliced Swiss Cheese
1 cup fresh Bread Crumbs
2 Tablespoons Butter, melted


FOR THE PARMESAN-DIJON CREAM SAUCE:
2 Tablespoons Butter
2 Tablespoons All-Purpose Flour
1 cup Milk
1 teaspoon Chicken Bouillon granules (or 1 bouillon cube, crushed)
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1 Tablespoon Dijon Mustard
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan Cheese


DIRECTIONS:  Lightly grease a 9x13 baking dish with cooking spray. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a bowl, combine the bread crumbs and melted butter. Set aside.

Lay the cut chicken breasts in a single layer in the baking dish. Layer each chicken breast with two slices of ham, overlapping so they cover entire breast. Then over the ham layer two slices of swiss cheese overlapping to cover ham. Repeat over all chicken breasts. Sprinkle the bread crumbs over the tops of the chicken.

Bake the chicken for 30-35 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through and cheese is bubbling, and bread crumbs are golden brown.

While the chicken bakes, in a medium saucepan on medium heat, melt the 2 tablespoons of butter. Stir in the flour, whisking constantly. Cook for about a minute. Slowly pour in the milk, still whisking constantly. Stir in the chicken bouillon granules, and salt. Continue to whisk constantly until the mixture begins to simmer and thicken, about 3-5 minutes. Once the sauce has thickened, turn the heat down to low and stir in the mustard, worcestershire sauce and Parmesan cheese. Stir until the cheese has melted. Keep the sauce warm until chicken is finished cooking.

Serve each chicken cordon bleu with warm sauce. ENJOY!


 



 

7.22.2011

Philly Cheesesteak Sandwiches



   These Philly's are HANDS DOWN my favorite sandwich in the entire universe. I was so excited when I found frozen Philly Steak in my grocery stores freezer section. I looked on the back of the package and it said it was 'seasoned sirloin steak'. I thought for a moment, 'Hmmm frozen steak? Should I try it?'  and then threw it in my cart and the rest is history. On Wednesday night, I decided to try it out. I sliced up some bell pepper and onions, threw in some seasonings and cooked the steak on a skillet. Just smelling the wonderful aroma got me all excited! Long story short, it turned out to be the best Philly Cheesesteak Sandwich I've ever had in my life!!!

   Now if your from Philly your probably rolling your eyes thinkin, 'This girl has no clue.' And I actually agree with you. I am truly looking forward to the day when I can go to Philadelphia and have a real Philly Cheesesteak sandwich,  but until that day comes, this is the way I will only make them. This sandwich was amazing, and if no one was looking, I would have eaten every single one I made. 



Philly Cheesesteak Sandwiches

1 lb Sirloin Steak OR 1 lb frozen Philly Steak meat
1 Tablespoon Butter
1 Green or Red Bell pepper, sliced
1 small Yellow Onion, sliced into rings
Season Salt, to taste
Ground Black Pepper, to taste
4 Tablespoons Cream Cheese, softened
4 slices White American or Provolone Cheese
4 Hoagie Rolls


DIRECTIONS:  In a small skillet on medium heat, add 1 Tablespoon of butter and add the onion and bell pepper. Saute until softened. About 5-10 minutes.

Meanwhile, preheat a large skillet to medium-high heat. Place your meat on and cook for 2-3 minutes per side. Once each side is brown, start to chop it up with your spatula. You want small bite size pieces. Sprinkle with season salt and pepper to taste.

Once meat is thoroughly cooked, add in the onions and bell peppers. Stir.

Place each hoagie bun half on a cookie sheet. Top bottom halves of hoagie buns with a quarter of meat mixture. Top each with one slice of cheese. Place under the broiler until cheese has melted, and the buns are slightly toasted. *Stand by your oven the whole time to watch the cheese melt. It melts fast!*

Remove sandwiches from oven and spread 1 Tablespoon of cream cheese on top half of bun. Close sandwiches and serve immediatley!





Linked up at Mandy's Recipe Box

7.19.2011

Mexican Tortilla Stack


   We call this Mexican Tortilla Stack. You can call it whatever you want. But one things for sure... it is DELISH! This is one of our favorite dinners to eat. My kids love it, so that in itself makes it worth making! You can really play around with this casserole. I usually make it pretty simple. For the meat I use ground turkey, but ground beef or chicken would be great. You could also try adding some corn, or black beans. Make it your own! This is a really yummy meal. Whenever we have it, it gets devoured pretty quickly!



Mexican Tortilla Stack

9 ( 8 inch) Flour Tortillas
1 lb Ground Turkey ( or Ground Beef or Chicken)
1 (10 oz) can Cream of Mushroom Soup
1 (10 oz) can Red Enchilada Sauce
1 (4 oz) can diced Green Chilies
1 can (15 oz) Refried Beans
2 cups shredded Colby & Monterey Jack Cheese

TOPPINGS:
Sour Cream
Salsa
Sliced Green Onions
Guacamole


DIRECTIONS:  In a large skillet, crumble and brown the ground turkey on medium high heat. Drain grease and add the cream of mushroom soup, enchilada sauce and diced green chilies. Stir well, and continue to cook until heated. About 5 minutes. Turn off heat and set aside.

In a 9x13 glass baking dish, spray with cooking spray. Lay 3 tortillas, over lapping onto the bottom of the dish. Spread half the can of refried beans over the tortillas. Pour half of the meat mixture evenly over the beans. Layer another 3 tortillas over the top of the meat mixture. Spread the last half of the refried beans over those tortillas. Pour the rest of the meat mixture over the top. Place 3 more tortillas on top and finish by sprinkling the shredded cheddar cheese over those tortillas. Bake at 375 degrees for 25 minutes or hot and bubbly. Remove from oven and let stand about 5 minutes before cutting into.

*NOTE:   During the last 5 minutes or so of cooking, you may need to lay a piece of foil over the top to prevent from burning.

Top each serving with your favorite toppings. Sour cream, salsa, green onions, etc.
Makes 12 servings.





7.15.2011

BBQ Chicken Salad with Homemade BBQ Sauce


   This is my favorite salad. Ever. The flavors going on in this salad were just meant to be. Chicken, Barbeque Sauce, Zesty Ranch dressing, Corn, Black Beans, Green Onions, Cilantro........ are you with me? This was my first attempt at homemade barbeque sauce and we loved it! I found the recipe from the Neely's on the Food Network. It was super simple to make. I bet you have most of the ingredients in your pantry right now. I did! I love it when I find a recipe I want to make and I already have all the ingredients. No need to go to the store!

   One thing I will note on the sauce, when it's simmering on your stovetop you will have kind of a vinegary aroma floating through your house. PLEASE don't let that worry you, like it did me. I stressed I would have this really strong vinegar tasting barbeque sauce but that was not the case at all! The end result was simply amazing and now after having it, I know I will make it often  : )



BBQ Chicken Salad
Serves 4-6

3 cups cooked, cubed Chicken
2 cups Barbeque Sauce (recipe below)
3 Romaine Lettuce Hearts, cleaned and chopped
1 can Black Beans, drained and rinsed
1 small bag Frozen Corn, cooked
1 cup Colby Jack Cheese, shredded
2 Green Onions, chopped
1/2 cup Cilantro, chopped
Ranch Dressing
Tortilla Strips

DIRECTIONS:  In a medium bowl, add the cooked, cubed chicken and barbeque sauce. Stir to coat chicken with sauce. Set aside. 

In a large bowl add the romaine lettuce, black beans, corn, cheese, green onion and cilantro. Toss together. Divide the salad evenly among plates. Top each salad serving with desired amount of barbeque chicken. Serve with tortilla strips and dressing. Enjoy!


Homemade BBQ Sauce
Yields 3 1/2 cups

2 cups Ketchup
1 cup Water
1/2 cup Apple Cider Vinegar
5 Tablespoons Brown Sugar
5 Tablespoons Sugar
1/2 Tablespoon fresh Ground Black Pepper
1 Tablespoon Onion Powder
1/2 Tablespoon Ground Mustard
1 Tablespoon Lemon Juice
1 Tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce


DIRECTIONS:  In a medium saucepan, combine all ingredients. Bring mixture to a boil and then reduce heat to simmer. Cook, uncovered for 1 1/2 hours, stirring often.




7.12.2011

Cheddar Biscuits


 
 
   I love Red Lobster but I don't go there for the seafood. I'm not the biggest seafood fan. I do love me some shrimp, but that's about it. I go for the Cheddar Bay Biscuits baby! These biscuits are fluffy, buttery, garlicy delicious little devils. When they bring out the basket filled with these, it takes a lot of self control not to eat them all. I never realized how easy they would be to make at home. If you love Bisquick, like we do, then you probably have most of the ingredients on hand to whip these up tonight!



Cheddar Biscuits

     2 1/2 cups Bisquick
     4 Tablespoons cold Butter
     3/4 cup cold Whole Milk
     1 Heaping cup Cheddar Cheese, shredded
     1/2 teaspoon Garlic Salt

TO BRUSH ON TOP:

     2 Tablespoons Butter, melted
     1 teaspoon fresh Parsley, finely chopped or 1/2 tsp dried Parsley
     1/2 teaspoon Garlic Salt

Directions:  In a large bowl add the Bisquick and butter. Using a fork or pastry cutter, cut the butter into the mix. There should be small pieces of butter (pea size amounts) throughout the mix. Stir in the cold milk, cheese and garlic salt. With a cookie or ice cream scoop, scoop 1/4 cup portions onto a large, ungreased cookie sheet. There should be enough mix for 12 biscuits.

Bake at 400 degrees for 15-17 minutes or until golden brown. As soon as biscuits come out of oven, mix together the melted butter, parsley and garlic salt in a small bowl. Brush mixture over the tops of hot biscuits. Serve immediately!

Recipe Source: Food.Com




7.10.2011

Cinnamon Roll Cake


   I ♥ Cinnamon Rolls and I ♥ Cake. Put those two together and this is what you'll have my friends. This cake is absolutely delicious. It is buttery, cinnamony goodness. I was very surprised at how light and not too sweet it was, but then again I've never thought any dessert was too sweet, so don't quote me on that. This cake would be perfect to serve for a brunch, and perfect to serve for breakfast on Christmas morning. Don't wait until Christmas to try it though. You'll be glad you didn't.  : )


Cinnamon Roll Cake
12 servings

CAKE:
  • 3 cups Flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon Salt
  • 1 cup Sugar
  • 4 teaspoons Baking Powder
  • 1 1/2 cups Milk
  • 2 Eggs
  • 2 teaspoons Vanilla
  • 1/2 cup ( 1 stick)  Butter, melted
TOPPING:
  • 1 cup ( 2 sticks) Butter, softened
  • 1 cup Brown Sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons Flour
  • 1 Tablespoon Cinnamon
GLAZE:
  • 2 cups Powdered Sugar
  • 5 Tablespoons Milk
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla

Directions:  Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9x13 glass baking pan with cooking spray. Set aside.

In an electric or stand mixer add the flour, salt, sugar, baking powder, milk, eggs, and vanilla. Once combined well , slowly stir in the melted butter. Pour into the prepared 9x13 baking pan.

For topping, In a large bowl mix the 2 sticks of butter, brown sugar, flour and cinnamon together until well combined and creamy. Drop evenly over the batter by the tablespoonfuls and use a knife to marble/swirl through the cake.

Bake at 350 for 28-32 minutes or when a toothpick inserted near the center comes out nearly clean.

FOR GLAZE:  In a medium bowl, mix the powdered sugar, milk and vanilla together with a whisk. Drizzle evenly over the warm cake. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Recipe Source: Picky Palate





7.07.2011

Chicken Chimichangas



  First of all, I need to clarify that you can make these amazing Chicken Chimichangas TWO ways. Baked or Fried. The pictures I'm sharing today are of the baked version. I promise you they still taste amazing baked. It's all about the seasoned chicken inside is what makes these so yummy. Yeah, the fried version is out-of-this-world delicious, BUT when you're being health and calorie conscious, go with the baked version, and you will still be satisfied!

  My husband is a simple man. He's pretty quiet and very easy going. My total opposite. I think that's why we fit so well. Usually when I make a recipe for the first time I'll ask him what he thinks of it. His normal response would be, " Oh, it's ok."  or  "It's good." ... and that's about it. Sometimes I just want him to rave and tell me how great it was and that I'm the best cook in the world! lol  But it just never happens. That all changed when I made these Chicken Chimichangas for us. I asked him my usual question after he had taken a few bites, "So what do you think?"

His response, "These are the BEST chimichangas I've ever had. Better than any restaurants!"  

I fell over.

   Then I got back up, took a bite, and completely agreed with him. These babies are AMAZING. The seasonings you cook with the chicken make these so flavorful, and with the monterey jack cheese and diced green chilies, Gah! You will just fall in love.



Chicken Chimichangas


  • 2 tablespoons Vegetable Oil, plus more for frying
  • 1/2 cup diced White Onion
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons minced Garlic
  • 1/2 tablespoon Chili Powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon Oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground Cumin
  • 3-4 cups cooked, shredded Chicken
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon Pepper
  • 1 (4 oz) can Diced Green Chilies
  • 8 (10 inch) Flour Tortillas, warmed
  • 1 1/2 cups Monterey Jack cheese, shredded


TOPPINGS:  Salsa Verde, Sour Cream, Guacamole, etc


Directions:  In a large, deep skillet, pour in enough vegetable oil to fill it half full. Heat oil at medium low heat. (This will be the oil you fry the chimichangas in.) 

FOR BAKED VERSION: Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

In a separate large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil over medium-high heat. Add in the diced onion and saute until slightly softened. Add in garlic, chili powder, oregano and cumin. Cook stirring until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the shredded, cooked chicken. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in the green chilies and continue to stir and cook mixture for another 5 minutes, or until thoroughly heated. Set aside.

Warm tortillas in the microwave. On each tortilla, add about 1/2 cup of the chicken mixture into the center. Top with 2-3 tablespoons of the shredded monterey jack cheese. Fold sides over the mixture, then fold bottom over the sides and roll up. Place folded chimichangas, seam side down on a large plate/platter, and repeat with remaining tortillas.

Using tongs, lower one chimichanga at a time, into the hot oil, seam side down. (*It is helpful to hold them with the tongs while they are in the oil to keep them from opening)  Fry until golden brown on both sides. This only should take a minute or two, depending on how hot your oil is.

Place deep fried chimichangas onto a paper towel lined plate to soak up grease. Serve immediately with your favorite toppings!

FOR BAKED VERSION: Place the wrapped chimichangas onto a lightly greased baking sheet. Spray the tops with non-stick spray. Bake in preheated oven for 20-30 minutes, or until golden brown.
















7.05.2011

Red Velvet Brownies with White Chocolate Buttercream Frosting





  
   These are Red Velvet Brownies with White Chocolate Buttercream Frosting..... and they are a party in your mouth  : )  I won't be able to justify how heavenly these are by telling you about them, so you'll just have to trust me and make them immediately. They are easy to prepare, and your house will smell wonderful while they are baking! Also, the frosting makes them all the more delicious. Of course!

   *A quick note before you head into your kitchen and whip these up. When your adding in the eggs, be careful not to mix too much. If you mix the batter too much when incorporating the eggs you can get a meringue type crust on the top when they bake. If you like that sort of thing, then mix away my friends : )  If not, then please only mix until the egg is just incorporated, and you should be safe from any crusting! Now go...... go make these!



RED VELVET BROWNIES
Recipe from: Southern Living
  • 4 oz Bittersweet Chocolate baking bar, chopped
  • 3/4 cup Butter
  • 2 cups Sugar
  • 4 large Eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 (1 oz) bottle liquid Red Food Coloring
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Baking Powder
  • 1 teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon Salt

Directions:  Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line bottom and sides of a 9 inch square baking pan with aluminum foil, allowing 2-3 inches to extend over sides. Grease with cooking spray.

Microwave chocolate and butter in a large microwavable-safe bowl. Cook for about 1 1/2 minutes until melted and smooth, stirring at 30 second intervals.

Whisk in sugar. Add eggs, one at a time, whisking just until blended. (Be sure not to whisk too much)  Gently stir in flour and the next 4 ingredients. Pour mixture into prepared pan.

Bake at 350 for 42-45 minutes or until wooden tooth pick inserted in center comes out with a few moist crumbs. Cool in pan for 1 hour. Lift brownies from pan, using foil sides. Let completely cool before frosting.


WHITE CHOCOLATE BUTTERCREAM FROSTING:
Recipe from: How Sweet It Is
  • 1/2 cup (8 tbsp) Unsalted Butter, softened
  • 2 1/2 cups Powdered Sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 4 oz good quality White Chocolate (not chips), melted
  • 2 tablespoons Heavy Whipping Cream

Directions for Frosting:  In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream butter until soft and fluffy. Then beat in vanilla. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add in the powdered sugar a half cup at a time. Allow the sugar to mix in before adding each half cup. Once all the powdered sugar has been added, pour in the melted white chocolate and beat on medium speed until incorporated. Add in the heavy cream and continue to beat until it is at your desired consistency. Spread frosting over brownies.

For easy cutting, use a plastic knife.  





7.01.2011

Rosemary Ranch Chicken


   If you are looking for a perfect chicken to grill up this summer then look no further! This chicken is so good! The picture does not justify how great it is. It is also so easy to create. Just throw all the marinade ingredients together in a large zip-lock bag and then stick your chicken inside. Let it marinate all day in the fridge, while your at work, and then dinner will be ready to grill up by the time you get home! I really do emphasize letting this marinate atleast 8 hours to let the flavors sink in. Obviously, the longer the better. I think next time I make it I'm going to slice it up and put it on top of a garden salad! Mmmmmm  : )  Please try this soon. You're gonna ♥ it!



Rosemary Ranch Chicken
Recipe from: All Recipes.Com
4 servings

  • 1/2 cup Ranch dressing
  • 1/3 cup Olive Oil
  • 1 Tablespoon dried Rosemary
  • 2 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon Lemon Juice
  • 1 teaspoon White Vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon Sugar
  • 2 teaspoons Salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon Ground Black Pepper
  • 4 small boneless skinless Chicken Breasts



Directions:  In a large bowl, mix together all of the ingredients except the chicken. Stir well. Pour into a large ziplock bag. Place chicken breasts inside the bag, into the marinade, making sure it is entirely coated in marinade. Place the bag in the refrigerator and let marinate atleast 8 hours or overnight.

Once chicken is ready to grill, preheat grill on medium-high heat. Grill the chicken on each side for 5-6 minutes until it is thoroughly cooked. Serve immediately.