Monday, January 31, 2011

Barbeque Chicken Nachos

Thought I would make a few things this week to give everyone some ideas for the Big Game this weekend!

2 pounds (approx) chicken. I used chicken breasts for this version which are probably the easiest.
- 8 ounces mozzarella cheese, shredded
- 8 ounces smoked gouda, shredded
- red onion, sliced
- Cilantro, diced (optional kind of)
Other optional stuff: sour cream, serrano peppers, avocado, hot sauce, salsa

BBQ Sauce:
- 1 onion, grated
- 1 serrano pepper, diced (or jalapeno)
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 Tablespoon vegetables oil
- 2/3 Cup ketchup
- 2 Tablespoons molasses
- 1/2 Cup apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 Cup bourbon (optional) I didn't use it, and it was still yummy
- 1/4 Cup brown sugar
- 1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- Salt and pepper

Making the Sauce. The nice thing about making your own barbecue sauce is that you can, well, make it your own! I honestly make it a bit different every time.

Prepping the veggies. One trick to help your sauce stay relatively smooth without having to blend or process it is to grate your onion instead of chop it. The grating makes it almost dissolve in the sauce and flavor it really nicely and evenly. Plus, grating it is actually easier than chopping it anyway.

I still chopped up my pepper and garlic as normal though.

Start by adding the oil to a medium saucepan and once it’s hot, add the onions, pepper, and garlic. Cook for a few minutes until the onion is soft, then add all the other sauce ingredients.

Stir this all together and let it start to simmer and cook down over medium-low heat. It doesn’t need to be really thick. It won’t be as sugary or thick as some bottle sauces that you see, but there’s a lot of flavor going on in there. If you want it thicker you can cook it down until it reaches a consistency that you like or add a bit more ketchup or brown sugar which will thicken it up as well.

I simmered mine for probably 10-15 minutes.

Boil your chicken breast til done,(about 30 min)and shred

Add the chicken to the sauce

then you just spread out a bunch of tortilla chips on a sheet pan and fork on a good amount of the BBQ chicken.
making nachos

You probably know this part.

Next, add the shredded cheese. I used a combination of mozzarella and smoked gouda. The gouda works awesomely with the BBQ Chicken. I also sprinkled on some diced red onions to give it some bite.
cheese and onions

Simple really.

Since the chicken is already cooked, just bake these guys at 350 degrees until the cheese melts. Should take about 15 minutes. Then sprinkle on some chopped cilantro and any other toppings.


At the end of the day, this is a really flexible dish that is almost guaranteed to make some really good nachos. Do me a favor though and at least try to whip up some of your own BBQ sauce. You won’t be disappointed and might never go back to the bottled stuff.

Oh and If you have any of the chicken mixture leftover you can always make bbq chicken sandwiches or bbq chicken pizza!

Homemade Pop-Tarts

I cut mine with a heart shaped cookie cutter to make them festive, and I don't add the glaze if I am serving them to my kids for breakfast (just to make them a little healthier) Oh and I add some fresh berries to the jam!

* 1 (15 ounce) package refrigerated pie crusts
* 1/4 cup strawberry jam, divided
* 2 cups confectioners' sugar
* 2 tablespoons milk
* 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
* 1 tablespoon colored decorating sugar, or as needed


1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
2. Unroll the pie crusts, place on a lightly floured work surface, and roll the crusts slightly with a rolling pin to square the edges. Cut each crust into 8 equal-sized rectangles. Place about 2 teaspoons of strawberry jam in the center of 8 squares, and spread the jam out to within 1/4 inch of the edge of the pastry square. Top each with another pastry square, and use a fork to crimp the squares together, sealing in the jam. Use a knife to trim the pastries, if desired. Move the filled pastries to the prepared baking sheets.
3. Bake in the preheated oven until the edges are lightly golden brown, about 7 minutes. Allow to cool on the baking sheets. Meanwhile, stir together the confectioners' sugar, milk, and vanilla extract in a bowl to make a spreadable frosting. Spread the cooled tarts with frosting and sprinkle with colored sugar.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Asian Cabbage Salad

I know everyone probably already has this recipe, but I thought I would post it just as a reminder. I don't know about you guys, but I completely forgot about this yummy salad, until this week when I happen to find the recipe card stuck in an old drawer.

Asian Slaw

* 1 (16 oz) package of slaw mix*
* 2 (3 oz) packages of beef flavored Ramen noodle soup mix
* 1 cup sliced almonds, toasted
* 1 cup Sunflower seeds (I left these out)
* 1 bunch green onions, chopped
* 1/2 cup sugar
* 3/4 cup vegetable oil
* 1/3 cup vinegar (I used apple cider vinegar)

Remove flavor packets from soup mix and set aside; crush noodles, place noodles in bottom of large bowl. Top with slaw mix, sprinkle with almonds, sunflower seeds, green onions.

Whisk together contents of flavor packets, sugar, oil & vinegar. Pour over slaw mix. Cover and chill for 24 hours. Mix well before serving.

Why am obsessed with making wreaths?

I made this fun wreath with a wreath form, some red yarn, felt roses(strips of felt rolled to look like a rose), and some cute hearts I found at Michaels!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Chicken Pot Pie

1 1/2 cups potatoes, diced
1/2 cup margarine or 1/2 cup butter
1 cup onion, chopped
1 cup celery, chopped
1 can of Le Suer Baby Carrots
1 can of Whole Green Beans
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 (15 ounce) packages refrigerated pie crusts (or use your favorite pie crust recipe!)
2 cups chicken broth
1 cup half-and-half or heavy whipping cream
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
4 cups cooked chicken, chopped
salt and pepper

# 1 Saute potatoes in margarine for 5 minutes in a Dutch oven.
# 2 Add onion, celery and drained vegetables.
# 3 Saute for another 10 minutes.
# 4 Add flour gradually to the sauteed mixture, stirring constantly for one minute.
# 5 Allow refrigerated pie crust to come to room temperature.
# 6 Meanwhile, combine chicken broth and half and half.
# 7 Gradually stir into the vegetable mixture.
# 8 Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until thickened and bubbly. Stir in salt and pepper.
# 9 Add chopped chicken, stirring well.
# 10 Add additional salt and pepper to taste.
# 11 Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
# 12 Spray a 9 X 13 casserole with nonstick spray.
# 13 Place pie crust on the bottom of the pan to cover, cutting to fit.
# 14 Pour chicken/vegetable mixture over the pie crust.
# 15 Top with the remaining pie crust.
# 16 Cut vents in the top crust.
# 17 Bake for 40 minutes or until crust is golden brown.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Chicken and Sausage Jumbalya

1 lb. smoked pork sausage (sliced)
1 lb. boneless chicken thighs (or breasts if you don’t like dark meat) dark=more flavor
3 c. white long grain rice
6 c. water
1 tsp. vegetable oil
1 chopped white onion
1 chopped green bell pepper
3 tsp. of chopped/minced garlic
3 chicken bouillon cubes
2 tbsp. salt (or to taste)
1 tbsp. Pepper (or to taste)
3-4 drops of kitchen bouquet sauce (optional – this is for darker color)
A few sprinkles of cayenne pepper
Robert’s Louisiana seasoning (or "Season All") – teaspoon
1 tsp. worchestershire sauce
1 tsp. Louisiana Hot Sauce

In a large pot over medium/high heat "brown" your sliced sausage in the vegetable oil for approximately 5-7 minutes, stirring and turning – you want it to look cooked, and the bottom of the pot to be dark – the sausage will have a tendency to "stick" to the bottom, this is OK, that’s when you know it’s time to remove the sausage.

Repeat sausage step, except this time with the chicken – remove from heat. *

Add the onions, bell peppers, and garlic. Sautee in the same pot until transparent and covered with the dark remains of Put your chicken and sausage back in the pot, along with the water. Also, add your seasonings, worchestershire, and Kitchen bouquet – While stirring occasionally, bring to a full boil

Add rice, bullion cubes, hot sauce,— Stir occasionally and bring to boil.

Reduce heat to simmer, and cover for 1 hour. – DO NOT REMOVE LID DURING THIS TIME

It's funny how I get my kids to eat more fruit....

It doesn't matter what it is my kids always think it's a treat if I put it on a stick.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Greek Salad with lots and lots of black olives

This recipe has lots of black olives, which is one of the reasons we love it in our house. If your family doesn't love them as much, you could certainly add less, and this salad will be just as good!

* 1 English seedless cucumber, diced into bite sized pieces
* 1 bell pepper, diced into bite sized pieces
* 4 celery ribs with leafy greens intact, chopped
* 1/2 large red onion, chopped
* 2 vine ripe tomatoes, seeded and diced
* 1/2 lb feta, crumbled
* 1 1/2 c. pitted kalamata olives, coarsely chopped
* 6 peperoncini, chopped
* juice of 2 lemons
* 3 Tbsp. olive oil
* salt to taste

1. Whisk lemon juice and oil together.
2. Toss all of the ingredients together with the dressing until coated. Add salt to taste.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Camping at home on a Wednesday night

Ground Beef
Baby Carrots
Aluminum Foil
Garlic powder
salt and pepper

Make patties out of the ground beef. Peel and slice onion. Slice potatoes into chunks. Place each patty in the center of a large sheet of foil. Top with onion, potatoes, and carrots. Close packet and seal well. Bake in oven at 350 for 45 minutes to an hour, or until done.

Bread Pudding, Dessert or Breakfast????

2 eggs
2 tablespoons melted butter
2 tablespoons maple extract
2 1/2 cups milk
2 cups sugar
3 1/2 to 5 cups french bread, cut into 1-inch cubes
1/3 cup walnuts, chopped

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Beat together eggs, butter, maple, and milk. Add sugar and mix until sugar is dissoved. Arrange bread cubes tightly in a nine-inch baking dish, keeping the crust facing up around the edges in scattered within the dish. Pour liquid over the bread. Sprinkle walnuts all over and bake for 55 to 70 minutes, or until crust is golden brown all over the top.

While the bread pudding is baking, make the Whiskey Cream Sauce:

1/2 cup sugar
1 stick butter
1/2 cup cream
1/3 cup Jack Daniels

Combine all ingredients in a saucepan. Stir constantly over low heat until mixture reaches a low boil. Pour a small amount over the individual servings of bread pudding.

This is how I get my kids to eat black beans....

1 tb Coocking oil
1 md Onion; chopped
1 cn Stewed tomatoes;or diced
1 cn Black beans; undrained (15
1 ts Dried oregano
1/2 ts Garlic powder
Salt to taste
1 lb sausage link; cooked (turkey sausage is a healthy alternative, and they can't taste the difference)

In a skillet, heat oil. Cook onion until tender. Add the tomatoes, beans and seasonings. Bring to a boil. Stir in rice; reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes. Add sausage and let stand, covered, 5 minutes.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Orange Chicken

This is so good, I feel like I don't need to order chinese take out ever again! I used fresh red peppers instead of red pepper flakes, and it wasn't too spicy


* Sauce:
* 1 1/2 cups water
* 2 tablespoons orange juice
* 1/4 cup lemon juice
* 1/3 cup rice vinegar
* 2 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce
* 1 tablespoon grated orange zest
* 1 cup packed brown sugar
* 1/2 teaspoon minced fresh ginger root
* 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
* 2 tablespoons chopped green onion
* 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
* 3 tablespoons cornstarch
* 2 tablespoons water
* Chicken:
* 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
* 1 cup all-purpose flour
* 1/4 teaspoon salt
* 1/4 teaspoon pepper
* 3 tablespoons olive oil


1. Pour 1 1/2 cups water, orange juice, lemon juice, rice vinegar, and soy sauce into a saucepan and set over medium-high heat. Stir in the orange zest, brown sugar, ginger, garlic, chopped onion, and red pepper flakes. Bring to a boil. Remove from heat, and cool 10 to 15 minutes.
2. Place the chicken pieces into a resealable plastic bag. When contents of saucepan have cooled, pour 1 cup of sauce into bag. Reserve the remaining sauce. Seal the bag, and refrigerate at least 2 hours.
3. In another resealable plastic bag, mix the flour, salt, and pepper. Add the marinated chicken pieces, seal the bag, and shake to coat.
4. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Place chicken into the skillet, and brown on both sides. Drain on a plate lined with paper towels, and cover with aluminum foil.
5. Wipe out the skillet, and add the sauce. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Mix together the cornstarch and 2 tablespoons water; stir into the sauce. Reduce heat to medium low, add the chicken pieces, and simmer, about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Roasted Red Pepper Sauce

One of my New Years goals is to try to make more veggies, and to introduce my family to veggies that I don't normally cook. This week I bought a bag of red peppers. Here is one of the recipes I came up with! P.S. I recently read an article on how good red peppers are for your heart!


* 2 large red bell peppers
* 2 tablespoons minced garlic
* 1/4 cup fresh basil
* 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
* 2 cups half-and-half
* 1/4 cup grated Romano cheese
* 4 tablespoons butter
* salt and pepper to taste
* 1 can crushed tomatoes


1. Preheat broiler. Lightly coat the red peppers with olive oil. Grill peppers under the broiler until the skin is blackened, and the flesh has softened slightly. Place peppers in a paper bag or resealable plastic bag to cool for approximately 45 minutes.
2. Remove the seeds and skin from the peppers (the skin should come off the peppers easily now). Cut peppers into small pieces.
3. In a skillet, cook and stir the garlic, basil,crushed tomotoes, and red peppers in 3 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat. Cook for 10 minutes, so that the flavors mix.
4. Place mixture in blender (careful it is hot), and puree to desired consistency. Return puree to skillet, and reheat to a boil. Stir in the half-and-half and the Romano cheese; cook and stir until the cheese melts. Add the butter, and stir until melted. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Simmer for 5 minutes.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Ground Beef Deep Dish Pizza

* 2 lb ground beef
* 1 med onion, chopped
* 1 C flour
* 15 ounce jar pizza sauce
* 1/2 C Parmesan
* 8 ounce mozzarella
* 1/2 tsp salt
* dash black pepper
* 1 cup milk
* 2 eggs
* 1 T oil
* 1/2 tsp garlic salt
* 1/4 cup fresh oregano or dried works well when fresh isn't in season
* 1 T garlic powder

Preheat oven to 350. Brown hamburger, sausage, onion. Drain well. Add garlic salt and oregano, garlic pwder. Add pizza sauce. Stir well. Grease a 9×13 inch pan with cooking spray. Sprinkle mozzarella over bottom of it. Spread meat mixture over the cheese. In mixing bowl, add eggs, milk, flour, oil, and salt. Pour over meat in pan. Sprinkle parmesan cheese over batter. Bake 30 minutes.

Paula Deen's Krispy Kreme Casserole

I used a box of leftover Donuts from the local donut shop instead of Krispy Kremes, and it was still so good!

1 pinch salt
1 9 0z box raisins
2 egg, beaten
2 4.5 oz cans fruit cocktail, undrained
1 14 oz can Sweeten Condensed milk
2 dozen Krispy Kreme donuts
1-2 tsp cinnamon

Butter Rum Sauce
1 stick butter
1 lb confectioners sugar
rum to taste or substitute vanilla flavoring and a little milk

Cube donuts into a large bowl. Pour remaining ingredients on top of donuts and let soak up the liquid for a few minutes. Stir mixture and let sit to soak as much liquid as possible. Bake at 350 degrees for an hour.

Melt butter and slowly stir in confectioner's sugar. Add rum and heat until bubbly. Pour over each serving of Krispy Kreme Bread Pudding.

Happy New Year

I took a few weeks off to spend all my free time with my family, but........

Keep watching while I play catch-up, I have lots of yummy recipes to post!

Crockpot Apricot Chicken

Apricot Chicken

Chicken pieces- I used 6 frozen boneless breasts
1/2 jar apricot preserves
pkg Lipton Onion Soup Mix
1 small bottle Russian dressing

Dump it all in a crockpot and cook on low for 6 hours. Good served over rice.To serve cut into bite size pieces and serve over rice, adding some of the apricot sauce remaining in the crock pot as a glaze.