Friday, February 28, 2014

Honey Barbecue Sauce

From: Taste of Home

1 can (8 oz) tomato sauce
2 Tbsp brown sugar 
2 Tbsp honey
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1 Tbsp molasses
1 1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 1/2 tsp mustard
1 minced garlic clove
1/4 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp chili powder
1/8 tsp pepper

In a small saucepan, combine all ingredients. Bring to a boil. Serve with chicken or pork.

Thumbs up! I didn't have any tomato sauce on hand, so I used Progresso Recipe Starters - fire roasted tomatoes. I left out the molasses because I am out. I used powdered mustard instead of liquid - not sure if it matters or not. I poured half the sauce over 6 chicken tenderloins and cooked them at 350 degrees for 10 minutes. I pulled them out of the oven, flipped them over, poured the rest of the sauce on them, and cooked them another 10 minutes.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Pink Popcorn

I made this for my 4-year old daughter's birthday last year. It was a big hit for the taste and the look!

From: Cravings of a Lunatic

  • 12 cups popped popcorn (I just bought cheap popcorn from the dollar store)
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2/3 cup whole milk
  • 2 tablespoons corn syrup
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 to 3 small drops of red food coloring (do not use gel, use the liquid for this particular recipe. Go light and work from there.)
Pop up your popcorn.You can use microwave popcorn or you can pop it on your stove.

Set popcorn aside.

In a saucepan combine your sugar, milk, corn syrup and salt. Cook over medium heat until your sugar dissolves.

Now you want it at a low boil until the temperature reaches 230 degrees which is known as soft ball stage. If you do not have a thermometer you can grab a glass of super cold water, drop a little of the mixture in it, now grab that mixture with your fingers and if it forms a ball in the water then flattens out after it’s out of the water that is soft ball stage. (Thermometers are super cheap at Walmart and I prefer having one on hand for other recipes. That way I'm not guessing.)

Stir occasionally until it reaches soft ball stage and then remove from heat, and add your vanilla and food coloring. Stir well.

Now put your popcorn in a large bowl or even a big roasting pan. You want to have ample room to stir it really well.

Now pour your pink mixture over top and stir well to coat.

Now line a cookie sheet with parchment and transfer the popcorn to that to let it dry out.

Love it!! And it made my girly-girl very happy to see pink popcorn at her birthday party!

White Chicken Enchiladas

From: Joyful Momma's Kitchen

  • 10 soft taco shells
  • 2 cups cooked, shredded chicken
  • 2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese
  • 3 Tbsp. butter
  • 3 Tbsp. flour
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 (4 oz) can diced green chilies
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9x13 pan.
  2. Mix chicken and 1 cup cheese. Roll up in tortillas and place in pan.
  3. In a sauce pan, melt butter, stir in flour and cook 1 minute. Add broth and whisk until smooth. Heat over medium heat until thick and bubbly.
  4. Stir in sour cream and chilies. Do not bring to boil, you don't want curdled sour cream.
  5. Pour over enchiladas and top with remaining cheese.
  6. Bake 22 min and then under high broil for 3 min to brown the cheese.

Thumbs up! Oh my gracious, these are divine. I made them one time last year and made them almost once a week for a few weeks. So good! They really aren't that spicy so don't let the chilies scare you. If you go to the original blog, she has a lot of other suggestions as well, such as substituting the sour cream or making these into freezer meals. Will keep making these for sure!

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Snack Cake

From: Buns in My Oven

One box yellow cake mix
1/2 cup peanut butter
eggs, as called for on box
melted butter, to replace oil as called for on box
milk, to replace the water as called for on box
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Add all of the ingredients, except for the chocolate chips to a large mixing bowl or stand mixer and mix until well combined. Stir in the chocolate chips. Pour batter into greased 13x9 pan and bake as directed on the box.

Thumbs up! Yummy and incredibly easy. Just the kind of quick dessert I like!

Cinnamon Caramel Swirl Bars

From: Buns in my Oven

1 1/2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons McCormick® Roasted Saigon Cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup butter, melted
2 eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla
1 package (14 ounces) caramels, unwrapped
1/4 cup milk
1 1/2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup butter, melted
2 eggs
1 Tbsp vanilla
1 pkg (14 oz) caramels
1/4 cup milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt in medium bowl. Set aside. Mix brown sugar, butter, eggs and vanilla in a large bowl until well blended. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix well.

Reserve 1 cup of the batter. Spread remaining batter into lightly greased 13x9-inch pan. Bake 15 minutes or until firm.

In a small saucepan over low-medium heat, heat the caramels and the milk, stirring often, for 2 or 3 minutes or until completely melted. Cool 5 minutes or until slightly thickened. Pour over baked layer in pan, spreading to within 1/2 inch of edges. Drop reserved 1 cup batter by spoonfuls over caramel layer. Cut through batter with knife several times for marble effect.

Bake 15-20 minutes longer or until center is set. Cool in pan on wire rack. Lift from pan. Cut into bars.

Thumbs up! I mean, look at the ingredients. How can you go wrong? Love recipes like this and I'll be making this one again.

Baked Cheddar-Broccoli Rice Cups

From: Daydream Kitchen

  • 1 10 – ounce thawed broccoli
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1 cup white rice
  • 1/4 cup Ranch Dressing
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 3/4 cup grated cheese (any of your favorite kind)
  • 1/2 tsp salt and pepper – to taste
  1. Boil rice.
  2. Move cooked rice to a bowl to cool for a minute.
  3. Throw in all the ingredients, but only use 1/2 of the cheese.
  4. Grease a 8 cup muffin tray and make balls accordingly, thereafter sprinkling the rest of cheese on top.
  5. Put in the oven for 25 minutes and bake at 350 degrees – until golden and crisp.
Sorry, no picture. I made these for Christmas and forgot to snap a picture before they got eaten!

Thumbs up. Yummy snack food, and something I think you can't go wrong with! I'd love to make these again as a side dish or appetizer when I'm having people over!  

Friday, February 14, 2014

Meatball Sub Casserole

From: The Country Cook

  • 1 loaf Italian bread, cut into 1-inch thick slices
  • 1 (8 oz.) package cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tsp. Italian Seasoning
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
  • 1-lb. pkg. fully cooked frozen meatballs, thawed
  • 1 (28 oz.) jar pasta sauce
  • 1 cup water
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Arrange bread slices in a single layer in an ungreased 9x13 pan. If there are any gaps, fill them in with small chunks of bread.

In a bowl, combine cream cheese, mayonnaise and seasonings. Spread mixture over bread slices. Sprinkle with 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese.

Gently mix together spaghetti sauce and meatballs. Spoon over cheese. Sprinkle with remaining cheese.

Bake uncovered for 30-35 minutes.

I love meatball subs, so I couldn't wait to eat this casserole! I was a little disappointed with the texture of the bread on the bottom, though. The suggestion from the website was to toast the bread first so it wouldn't get too soggy. I still felt like the cheese spread made it too moist. I would love to make this again, and next time I would only make half the spread, and see if that kept the bread a little crisper. I would definitely give this recipe another shot - it has such great potential!
Preheat oven to 350F degrees.
Arrange bread slices in a single layer in an ungreased 9x13 baking dish


Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Slow Cooker Cheesy Chicken and Rice

From: Southern Plate

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 large onion, chopped
1 8-oz box Zatarain's yellow rice mix, cooked according to directions
1 cup cheddar cheese
1 10.5 oz can cream of chicken soup
1 15-oz can whole kernel corn, drained

Place chicken in bottom of slow cooker. Scatter chopped onion over top. Spoon cream soup over top of that. Cover and cook on low 7-8 hours or on high 3-4 hours. A few minutes before serving, add in cooked rice, corn, and cheese. Stir to combine. Serve hot.

Thumbs up! What a simple, delicious, filling meal! I actually used chicken tenderloins instead of breasts and only cooked mine on high for about 5-6 hours. In the end, my 3-year old (who will eat anything) ate two servings, I ate two servings, and my 4-year old (who is pickier than my 3-year old) ate one bite of the rice/corn mixture and all of her chicken. Go figure. I love chicken and rice combinations and I love chicken and corn combinations, so I thought this was a great mixture of flavors and textures. I loved the slight crunchiness of the onion too. I loved this meal and I definitely recommend it.

Honey Whole Wheat Crockpot Bread

From: Moms By Heart

  • 2 c. warm (not hot) milk (whole or 2%)
  • 2 Tbs canola oil
  • ¼ c. honey
  • ¾ tsp. salt
  • 1 pkg. active dry yeast
  • 3 c. whole wheat flour, divided
  • ¾ to 1 c. all-purpose flour, divided.
  1. Spray with nonstick cooking spray a 1 quart casserole, souffle, or other high-sided baking dish that will fit down in your crock pot. (The blog quotes: "I have found that the new glass Ziploc containers that are loaf pan size and shape are ideal. They don’t have the “handles” on the ends, which makes it fit in the pot.")
  2. In an electric mixer (or stand mixer) combine milk, oil, honey, salt, yeast, 1½ cups wheat flour and ½ cup all-purpose flour. Mix at medium low speed for 2 minutes.
  3. Gradually add remaining wheat flour and ¼ cup to ½ cup all purpose flour. Mix until completely combined. Unlike other bread recipes, this dough should remain sticky.
  4. Transfer to prepared pan and add pan to slow cooker.
  5. Cook on high for 3 hours.
  6. Remove from slow cooker and let stand for 5 minutes before cooling on wire rack.

I liked this bread - my kids really liked it, surprisingly. Of course, not many things taste better than warm bread fresh from the oven smothered in butter. I will say that I'm not the biggest fan of whole wheat bread. This bread, texturally, was great. Moist and soft in the middle, crunchy crust on the top. I think next time I would do a little more white flour and a little less wheat.

I will point out that I couldn't do mine totally in the crockpot. I didn't have a single bread pan that would fit in my crockpot (the handles were the issue). I bought one from Walmart that I thought would fit in there (it cost less than $1) and it still didn't fit perfectly, but I was able to close the lid. I ended up cooking it in the crockpot for about 2 hours and then I cooked it in the oven at 300 degrees for about 45-50 more minutes. Thankfully, this bread seems to be very forgiving! 

Monday, February 3, 2014

Candy Cane Cake Roll

From: Wine and Glue


For the cake:
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp cream of tarter
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/4 tsp
  • red food coloring
 For the filling:
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 sticks of butter, softened
  • 1 tsp peppermint extract
 For the topping:
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 1/2 TB milk
  • 2 candy canes broken
Preheat your oven to 375 and line a 10 by 15 inch jelly roll pan with aluminum foil.  Spray the foil with cooking spray and sprinkle with flour. Sift the flour, baking powder, sugar, and cream of tartar together, mix until just combined.
In a stand mixer with a whisk attachment, beat the eggs and 1/3 cup of water together on high until they are light and airy, about five minutes. Gently fold the egg mixture into the flour mixture, being careful not to over mix.
Divide the batter into two, and dye one half red.
Running parallel to the 10 inch side of the pan, gently pour a spoonful of the red cake batter all along one edge.  Then a row of white, then a row of red, and so on. You may have to work once all the batter is added to the pan to make sure it is completely spread out.
Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until the white begins to turn golden brown.

While the cake is baking, spread a clean kitchen towel on a large cutting board.  Use your 1/4 cup of powdered sugar to cover the kitchen towel completely.
When the cake is done baking, flip the entire pan over onto the kitchen towel and gently peel away the aluminum foil.
Working at one end, roll the cake into the kitchen towel.  This will give the cake its rolled form.  Leave the cake for at least one hour, but not more than four hours.
While you are waiting to unroll your cake, mix together two sticks of softened butter, two cups of powdered sugar, and the peppermint extract.  Don’t refrigerate the frosting while you are waiting for your cake!
Unroll your cake.  Spread the frosting evenly over the cake and roll it back up.  This time without the towel!
Roll the cake in aluminum foil and chill for at least an hour before serving, but do not wait more than a day or two to serve or the cake will dry out.
When you are ready to serve, whisk together the topping of powdered sugar and milk.  Pour over cake (you may need to do some spreading) and top with crushed candy canes.

Thumbs up! I love cake rolls. I know this isn't the best picture ever, but trust me, this thing was yummy! I like to cook, I'm no photographer! Anyway, I was worried about this cake being too sweet but it wasn't. I love peppermint and this had the perfect amount of minty flavor to it. Even just the cake itself without the filling or icing was one of the best flavors I've ever had. I would definitely make this again in the future.

Sweet and Tangy Chicken

From: Syrup and Biscuits

8 chicken thighs 
1 package dry french onion soup mix
1 (8 oz bottle) Russian dressing
1 small jar of apricot preserves or about a cupful

Mix all ingredients, except chicken, in a bowl.
Place chicken pieces in a baking pan. Sprinkle with pepper. No extra salt is needed.
Pour sauce over chicken and make sure it’s coated well.
Roast uncovered at 400 degrees for 1 hour to 1 hour and 15 minutes until chicken is done. Baste several times during cooking.

Thumbs up. This wasn't my favorite recipe for chicken ever, but it was incredibly simple, cheap, and my family liked it. You can't go wrong with a recipe with so few ingredients and such little leg work!! I'll probably make this again in the future, maybe not using an entire package of the french onion mix because I think my husband would prefer it without so much onion flavor.

Caramelized Baked Chicken


2 1/2 lbs chicken legs
1 2/3 tablespoons olive oil (to help it stop sticking to the pan)
1/2 cup soy sauce
1 2/3 tablespoons ketchup
3/4 cup honey
2 -3 garlic cloves, minced
salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place chicken in a 9x13 inch baking dish. Mix together the oil, soy sauce, ketchup, honey, garlic, salt and pepper. Pour over the chicken. Bake in preheated oven for one hour, or until sauce is caramelized. Could also use wings or pork ribs.

Thumbs up! A sweet, yummy sauce for the chicken. Everyone in my family loved this recipe so I'll definitely be making it again in the future. I did use tenderloins and they turned out perfect. My husband said the sauce made the tenders very moist, which he liked a lot. I would have liked them to caramelize more, but I think that's just me nit-picking. I definitely recommend this one.

Basic Marinara Sauce

From: Cooking Light

3 Tbsp olive oil
3 cups chopped yellow onion (about 3 medium)
1 Tbsp sugar
3 Tbsp minced garlic
2 tsp salt
2 tsp dried basil
1 1/2 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/2 tsp fennel seeds, crushed
2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 cups chicken broth
3 28-ounce cans crushed tomatoes

Heat oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion to pan; cook 4 minutes, stirring frequently. Add sugar and next 7 ingredients (through fennel); cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Stir in vinegar; cook 30 seconds. Add broth and tomatoes; bring to a simmer. Cook over low heat for 55 minutes or until sauce thickens, stirring occasionally.

Thumbs up! This was a yummy spaghetti sauce that made enough for our family one night and I was able to freeze two quart-size bags for the future. I also added ground venison to it, because who doesn't love a meaty spaghetti sauce!? By the way, this was not my favorite sauce to date. I have had sauces I like more but this was a great one!