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Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Oatmeal, Chocolate Chip and Pecan Cookies

I was bored watching Idol tonight so I decided to make some cookies. I didn't have any special ingredients on hand so I googled for something with oatmeal and chocolate chips. I found this recipe on smittenkitchen (love the name of this blog! reminds me of smitten kitten). These cookies were crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside. I really liked them.

Oatmeal, Chocolate Chip and Pecan Cookies
Makes about 3 dozen cookies

8 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
1 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground clove
1 cup quick-cooking oats
2 cups chopped pecans
12 ounces semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a large cookie sheet with parchment or a Silpat. Using an electric mixer, beat the butter in a bowl until light and fluffy. Add both sugars, salt, and vanilla, and beat until well mixed, about 3 minutes. Stir in eggs, one at a time. Sift together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and clove in a separate bowl. Add half of the flour mixture to the butter with the mixer on low speed. Once the flour has been incorporated, add the second half. Stir in the oats, pecans, and chocolate chips. Drop the dough, by the tablespoon, onto the cookie sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes or until golden. Remove from the oven and cool the cookies on a rack. Store at room temperature in a cookie jar or other airtight container.


Sunday, February 22, 2009

Fire Chicken

The original name of this recipe is "Lemon BBQ Chicken". I call it "Fire Chicken" because when Chicken Legs puts it on the grill it flames up like this (from the oil in the marinade).

I love this chicken. It might be my favorite chicken marinade, and that is saying a lot since I am a self-proclaimed "chickitarian"! It is so tender and flavorful. It has a nice tangy flavor from the lemon. It is really simple to put together. I like to let it marinate overnight (it is easier to put together the night before and it tastes better the longer it marinates).  I usually cook extra chicken to eat the next day.

Lemon BBQ Chicken
Recipe from Candlelight and Wisteria, page 193
(Printable Recipe)

6 chicken breasts
1 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
1 Tbs salt
1 tsp paprika
2 tsp crushed basil
2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp thyme leaves, crushed
1 tsp garlic powder

Mix all ingredients, except chicken. Pierce chicken with fork and put in large zip-lock bag. Pour mixture over chicken and marinate overnight in refrigerator. Remove from refrigerator 1 hour before placing chicken on the grill.

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Friday, February 20, 2009


Is that Papa Smurf???

Look!  His hands are free to surf the internet!  WOW!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Chili’s Fajitas

These were really good. I didn't think they were exactly like Chili's but the chicken tasted really good! I marinaded it overnight and then grilled in in my grill pan. I skipped the onions and peppers - I don't like them and Tadd said he didn't need them. I topped the fajitas with sour cream, cheese and salsa. The chicken was juicy and very flavorful. I will make this again!

TSR’s Chili’s Fajitas For Two
(Printable Recipe)


1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1/3 cup water
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 large clove garlic, pressed
3 teaspoons vinegar
2 teaspoons soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon liquid smoke
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
Dash onion powder

2 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves or 1 pound top sirloin or a combination of 1 chicken breast half and 1/2 pound sirloin
1 Spanish onion, sliced
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 teaspoon soy sauce
2 tablespoons water
1/2 teaspoon lime juice
Dash ground black pepper
Dash salt

On the Side
1/2 cup pico de gallo
1/2 cup grated Cheddar cheese
1/2 cup guacamole
1/2 cup sour cream
1 cup shredded lettuce
6 to 8 6-inch flour tortillas Salsa

1. Combine all of the ingredients for the marinade in a small bowl. Soak your choice of meat in the marinade for at least 2 hours. If you are just using the sirloin, let it marinate overnight, if possible.
2. When the meat has marinated, preheat your barbecue or stove top grill to high.
3. Preheat a skillet over medium high heat. Saute the onion slices in the oil for 5 minutes. Combine the soy sauce, water, and lime juice in a small bowl and pour it over the onions. Add the black pepper and continue to saute until the onions are translucent and dark on the edges (4 to 5 more minutes). Salt to taste.
4. While the onions are sauteing, grill the meat for 4 to 5 minutes per side or until done.
5. While the meat and onions are cooking, heat up another skillet (cast iron if you have one) over high heat. This will be your sizzling serving pan.
6. When the meat is done remove it from the grill and slice it into thin strips.
7. Remove the extra pan from the heat and dump the onions and any liquid into it If you've made it hot enough the onions should sizzle. Add the meat to the pan and serve immediately with pico de gallo, Cheddar cheese, guacamole, and sour cream arranged on a separate plate on a bed of shredded lettuce. Steam the tortillas in a moist towel in the microwave for 30 seconds and serve on the side. Serve salsa also, if desired.
8. Assemble fajitas by putting the meat into a tortilla along with your choice of condiments. Roll up the tortilla and scarf out.


At Chili's, bell peppers are optional with this dish. If you like peppers, combine a small slice of green or red bell pepper with the onion, and saute the vegetables together. Follow the rest of the steps as described.


Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Chili-Cheeseburger Mac-and-Cheese

This is a quick and easy weeknight meal. I used lean ground beef and 2% Velveeta Shells & Cheese to make it a little healthier. It only took about 20 minutes to put together. I might add more chili powder next time - I like it spicy!

Chili-Cheeseburger Mac-and-Cheese
(Printable Recipe)

1 (12-oz.) box shells and cheese
1 pound ground beef
1 (16-oz.) can BUSH'S Chili Beans - Mild
1 (14.5-oz.) can diced tomatoes with zesty mild green chiles
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin

Prepare shells and cheese according to package directions. Meanwhile, cook beef in a 12-inch (2 1/2-inch-deep) nonstick skillet or Dutch oven over medium-high heat, stirring often, 8 minutes or until meat crumbles and is no longer pink; drain and rinse under hot running water. Return beef to skillet. Stir in beans and next 4 ingredients. Cook over medium-high heat 7 to 9 minutes or until two-thirds of liquid has evaporated. Stir prepared pasta into beef mixture. Serve immediately.

Everyone "chilled" after dinner.....

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Payday Bars

I found a new blog - Kat's Kitchen - and these caught my eye. I thought they looked fantastic and I was right. These bars were good - they are kind of like Rice Krispie treats. They were really easy to make. I would add more peanuts next time.

Payday Bars
(Printable Recipe)

1 cup Sugar
1 cup white Karo Syrup
1 cup Peanut Butter
1 tsp Vanilla
6 cups Rice Chex
1 cup Spanish Nuts

Heat sugar & Karo syrup together. Bring to a boil and cook for 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in Peanut Butter and Vanilla. Pour over Rice Chex and Nuts. Mix together in 9×13 pan lined with foil and cut while still warm.


Jack said the bars were "Yummy!"

Friday, February 13, 2009

Pesto Stuffed Shells

Happy Valentine's Day!!! We are going to Hot'Lanta for V-Day, so we did our at home V-Day tonight. I made stuffed shells, garlic rolls and cupcakes. The stuffed shells were restaurant quality. Tadd does not like cheese stuffed shells, but he cleaned his plate (twice) with these!!

Pesto Stuffed Shells
(Printable Recipe)

1 1/2 cups cottage cheese (2%)
1 1/2 cups Italian cheese blend (low fat)
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
1 egg
1/4 cup pesto
1 jar spaghetti sauce (La Famiglia Del Grosso Tomato Basil Masterpiece)
14-20 Jumbo shells - cooked and drained

Spread 1/2 cup sauce on bottom of 9 x 13 pan. Mix first 5 ingredients and stuff inside cooked
jumbo shells. Top shells with remaining sauce and top with 1/2 cup Italian cheese blend. Bake at 375 for 35 minutes.

I made garlic rolls to go with the shells. I used frozen Sister Schubert rolls and topped them with garlic butter - 1 clove of grated garlic with 1 Tbs melted butter. The grated garlic was unbelievable! It was as good as Provino's rolls in Auburn!!! I love those rolls!! You need a garlic grater plate like this:

Finally, I made Tadd chocolate cupcakes with white icing. I added a tsp of almond extract to the Duncan Hines Devils Food cake mix and these were awesome!!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Chicken Cordon Bleu Pasta

I had some leftover ham that I needed to use and I thought this dish sounded pretty good! We really, really liked this dish. It must have been really good because the cats were going crazy over the smell and were driving me nuts while I was making it!! It was easy to put together for a weeknight meal.

Chicken Cordon Bleu Pasta
(Printable Recipe)

2 cups cooked, diced chicken
6 oz deli ham, diced
2 cans cream of chicken soup
8 oz sour cream2 cups shredded Monterrey Jack cheese
cooked pasta (I used a 16 oz box of penne)
1/4 cup milk (I need to add some to make the sauce the right consistency)

Combine all ingredients in a medium sauce pan until cheese is melted, smooth, and creamy. Serve over whatever pasta you like. I used penne and tossed the pasta and the sauce together. You can just spoon it over the past if you like.

As you can see, Jack really liked it.

Marmalade gave up on getting a taste....

Monday, February 9, 2009

Pecan-Crusted Chicken Tenders

This is from my 2008 Southern Living Annual Recipes cookbook. I thought these would be good for an easy weeknight meal. I really liked the saltines instead of breadcrumbs. I used one egg instead of one egg white. I served the chicken tenders with honey mustard & bbq sauce for dipping.

Pecan-Crusted Chicken Tenders
(Printable Recipe)

16 saltine crackers, finely crushed
1/4 cup pecans, ground
2 teaspoons paprika
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 egg white
Vegetable cooking spray
1 1/2 pounds chicken tenders
1/4 cup all-purpose flour

Preheat oven to 425°. Stir together crushed crackers and next 4 ingredients. Whisk egg white just until foamy. Place a wire rack coated with cooking spray in a parchment paper-lined 15- x 10-inch jelly-roll pan. Dredge chicken tenders in flour; dip in egg white, and dredge in saltine mixture. Lightly coat chicken on each side with cooking spray; arrange chicken on wire rack. Bake at 425° for 18 to 20 minutes or until golden brown, turning once after 12 minutes.


Sunday, February 8, 2009

Chicken with Balsamic BBQ Sauce

This recipe is from Giada De Laurentiis' new cookbook. I got the book for Christmas and this is the first recipe that we have tried from it. This BBQ sauce was really good. It had a nice sweetness from the balsamic vinegar and was not as tangy as regular BBQ sauces. It thickened up nicely on the grill. I cut the recipe in half and grilled boneless chicken breast. I want to try it on a pork tenderloin next.

Barbecue Sauce

1 cup balsamic vinegar
3/4 cup ketchup
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 garlic clove, minced
1 Tbs worcestershire sauce
1 Tbs dijon mustard
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper

Combine all the barbecue sauce ingredients in a small nonreactive saucepan and whisk until the mixture is smooth. Simmer over medium heat until reduced by one third, 15 to 20 minutes.

Recipe from Giada's Kitchen New Italian Favorites, page 149

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Chicken Piccata

Chicken Piccata is a dish that sounds fancy and complicated but it isn't.  It is actually a very simple dish to make, with ingredients you probably already have in your pantry.

This dish was restaurant quality!  It would be a great dish for a dinner party.  It was super easy to put together and turned out delicious. I served mine over angel hair pasta. I doubled the lemon and wine for the sauce - we like lots to go on the pasta! This will be a regular meal at our house.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Chocolate Bar Brownies

I love brownies. They are one of my favorite desserts (really only desserts). These brownies are wonderful. They are moist and chocolately. I got the pan at Williams-Sonoma last weekend and I love it! It is SO cute.

Chocolate Bar Brownies
5 oz (155g) bittersweet chocolate, broken into pieces
10 Tbs unsalted butter, cut into cubes
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup cocoa powder
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/4 cups sugar
3 eggs
1 1/4 vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350. Grease the Chocolate Bar Brownie Pan.

Put the chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl and microwave until melted, about 1 1/2 minutes, stirring once.

In a bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt until combined. Set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together sugar, eggs, and vanilla until well combined. Add the chocolate mixture and whisk until incorporated. Whisk in the flour mixture until combined.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and spread evenly. Gently tap the pan on the counter to release any air bubbles. Bake until the top is shiny and a toothpick inserted into the center of the brownies comes out with a few crumbs attached, 35-40 minutes.

Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let cool for 15 minutes. Invert the brownies onto a cutting board and cut or break into 12 rectangular pieces.

(Can be made in a 9x13 pan)

Recipe courtesy of Williams-Sonoma

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Pecan Chicken

Last night I made Pecan Chicken coated with my favorite pecan coating. I thought it was really good and perfect for a quick and easy weeknight meal.

Pecan-Roasted Chicken
(Printable Recipe)

1/2 cup pecan pieces
1/2 cup French-fried onions
1 tablespoon light brown sugar
2 Chicken breast
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
olive oil cooking spray

Preheat oven to 400°F. Coat baking sheet with cooking spray. Place pecans, onions, and sugar in food processor; process until coarsely chopped. Place mixture on plate. Season chicken with salt and pepper; roll in pecan mixture until well coated and place 1 inch apart on baking sheet. Coat top of chicken with cooking spray. Bake 25–30 minutes.
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