Monday, October 29, 2012

My Simple Halloween Mantle

I'm not sure why, but I'm getting a really slow start getting in the Halloween spirit this year! I decorated my mantel last week, but really just did it simple. It's really different from the usual overdone mantel that I do, but it's kind of growing on me! Maybe simplifying isn't such a bad idea, in my busy hectic life! OR maybe not....Christmas isn't too far away!

Friday, October 26, 2012

Quick Snack Idea

I know it seem as though I'm obsessed with Oreo's lately. Well yes I am! I always keep a package on hand just in case I need a quick dessert, or in case I need to make some quick oreo balls (which happens frequently). This time I decided that my white chocolate popcorn needed a little something more. This is what I did.............

Directions: Make your popcorn, set aside. Take out a row of Oreos and crush them in a  bag using your fingers (you could also use a rolling pin), set aside. Melt the white chocolate chips in the microwave on 50% power for 30 seconds and then in 15 second increments until all chips are melted. (Note: If you use too much heat the chips turn into dough).

Place popcorn in a fairly large bowl, pour the melted white chocolate over the popcorn, add the crushed oreos, mix carefully until the popcorn and oreos are coated. You can then either leave it in the bowl or pour it out onto a cookie sheet for the chocolate to harden. Voila! You are done!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Stewed Chicken and Biscuits

This is one of my favorite comfort foods. It's the perfect dinner for a cool rainy day, but definitely not on my list of healthy dinners. Sometimes we all need an old fashioned unhealthy dinner right????

Here is the recipe:  It's a long one and has a lot of ingredients but it's not a hard as it seems,
 and there some ways to short cut it too. For example you can buy frozen biscuits. I recommend the Pillsbury southern style they are easy and taste homemade.

2 cups self-rising flour
1/2 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 cup whole milk
all-purpose flour, for dusting

For Chicken In Gravy

1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 1/2 carrots, finely chopped  (I used frozen peas instead of carrots)
1 1/2 celery ribs, finely chopped
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon black pepper
3 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 3/4 cups chicken broth  
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
3 cups chopped cooked chicken (from a 3- to 3 1/2-lb rotisserie chicken)
1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice


  Make Biscuits:.
  Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 450°F.
  Blend together flour and butter in a bowl with a pastry blender or your fingertips until mixture resembles coarse meal with some small (roughly pea-size) butter lumps. Stir in milk with a fork just until a sticky dough forms.
  Turn dough out onto a floured surface and gently knead 7 or 8 times, (Do not overwork, or biscuits will be tough).
  Pat dough into a 9- by 6-inch rectangle on a lightly floured surface, then cut into 6 (3-inch) squares.
  Arrange squares 1 inch apart on an ungreased baking sheet and bake until golden brown, 15 to 18 minutes.
  Cool to warm on baking sheet on a rack.
  Make Chicken In Gravy While Biscuits Bake:.
  Cook onion, carrot, celery, salt, and pepper in butter in a 10-inch heavy skillet over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are softened, 8 to 10 minutes. Sprinkle flour over vegetables and cook, stirring, 1 minute.
  Stir in broth and bring to a boil, stirring, then boil over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, 2 minutes.
  Add cream and chicken to gravy and gently simmer until chicken is heated through, about 3 minutes.
  Stir in lemon juice. 
To Serve:.
Halve biscuits and put each bottom half in a shallow bowl.
Spoon chicken in gravy over biscuit bottoms and cover with biscuit tops.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Why I didn't cook so much last week........

High School Homecoming week in Rockwall, Texas!  Need I say more?????

 For those of you who don't live in Texas might not truly understand, why mothers of teenagers really don't have any extra time during this week. We have so many wonderful traditions, and I really love being a part of this great State. This is a picture of my beautiful teenage daughter with the homecoming mum that a very sweet boy gave to her. AND in case you are wandering yes she did wear this to school all day Friday!

I should be back in the kitchen and back to a normal schedule any day now! In the meantime if you aren't from Texas take the time to google Texas homecoming mums...I promise you will be entertained.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Crockpot Teriyaki Chicken

Here is another Chicken Teriyaki recipe that I found recently. My family loved it, and I was able to sneak in some extra veggies. 

3 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts
3/4 cup low sodium soy sauce (regular would work too)
1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
1/3 cup packed light-brown sugar
1/4 cup honey
3 Tbsp orange marmalade
1 tbsp finely grated fresh ginger
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 Tbsp cold water
1 1/2 Tbsp cornstarch

Place chicken in a crockpot, set aside. In a mixing bowl, whisk together soy sauce, apple cider vinegar, light-brown sugar, honey, orange marmalade, ginger, garlic and pepper. Pour mixture over chicken in slow cooker, cover with lid and cook on low heat 5 - 6 hours. Remove chicken from slow cooker and shred. Strain sauce from slow cooker through a fine mesh strainer into a medium saucepan. In a small mixing bowl whisk together 1 1/2 Tbsp cold water and cornstarch. Pour cornstarch mixture into liquid in saucepan and heat mixture over medium high heat, stirring constantly, until mixture begins to gently boil. Allow mixture to gently boil about 20 seconds until thickened. Return chicken to crockpot and pour teriyaki sauce from saucepan over chicken. Toss mixture gently to evenly coat.

*I added some fresh steamed broccoli, and some roasted red peppers but this recipe is good with our without veggies!

Monday, October 1, 2012

Cookies and Cream Brownies

I needed a way to make a regular box of brownies just a little bit better............this is what I came up with!

I just made a regular boxed fudge brownie according to package directions. Waited for them to cool, comes the yummy part....I made homemade butter cream icing with crushed oreos, and spread over the brownies. Easy  Easy, and Yummy Yummy! Here is the recipe for my butter cream frosting, but you could even just add crushed oreo's to store bought icing.

Butter Cream Frosting:

  • 3 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons whipping cream
In a standing mixer fitted with a whisk, mix together sugar and butter. Mix on low speed until well blended and then increase speed to medium and beat for another 3 minutes.
Add vanilla and cream and continue to beat on medium speed for 1 minute more, adding more cream if needed for spreading consistency.