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Thursday, April 30, 2009

Enchilada Casserole

This is from the 29 Minutes to Dinner cookbook by the Pampered Chef. I thought it would make a great weeknight meal. It was quick and easy to put together. I used Mexican Rotel tomatoes in stead of the salsa and cilantro. I used the whole can of Rotel tomatoes and reduced the water to 1/4 cup. This only took about 20 minutes total and tasted like authentic Mexican. We really liked it.





Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Mini Cookies & Cream Cheesecakes

This is an adaptation of the mini lemon cheesecake recipe from earlier this week. I used crushed Oreo's for the crust and added Oreos to the batter. I thought these were really good! I have to make sure I save a few for Tadd.

Now - what kind of mini-cheesecake to make next.........



Monday, April 27, 2009

Chicken Tetrazzini


YUM! I have been eating this version of Chicken Tetrazzini for as long as I can remember. My grandmother and mom would have to make it for holidays so I had something to eat since I hated (and still don't really like) turkey. It is easy to make and has really simple ingredients. It takes a while to cook, but it is worth it!



Hot out of the oven!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Mini Lemon Cheesecakes

I bought a mini-cheesecake pan from Williams-Sonoma a few weeks ago to make the Butterfinger Cheesecakes from Picky Palate. I really liked the Butterfinger Cheesecakes and wanted to try the recipe that can with the pan. At Tadd's request, I made mini lemon cheesecakes. They turned out really good. I added more melted butter to the crust since I thought the Butterfinger Cheesecake crust was too dry. We really liked these cheesecakes. They were light and very lemony. I would like to try the Butterfinger Cheesecakes with this recipe and add the peanut butter and butterfinger to this batter. There were several variations listed on the box - I can't wait to try them all!



Friday, April 24, 2009

Flip-Flop Cake!

Last week one of my friends at work asked if I did cakes and could I make her a flip-flop cake for her daughter's birthday. I said sure! I've never made a flip-flop cake so I did a test run. I cut the cake in the shape of flip-flops, frosted it and used fruit roll-ups as the straps (found that idea on the internets). The result - it was ugly!!! Back to the drawing board! Tadd suggested fondant and using the straps from real flip-flops (he watches too much FoodTV with me). I tested it out and it was perfect! The cake turned out SO cute. I put a bag of graham cracker crumbs with the cake to use as sand when they display the cake.

I had a blast doing it. I already have a request for another flip-flop cake in June. Maybe one day I can live the dream and open "2 tsp Bakery"!









I also made some cupcakes. They were cute too. I suggested drink umbrellas as toppers at the party to go with the luau theme.




Thursday, April 23, 2009

Vodka Cream Pasta

This one of the only Rachael Ray recipes that I like. I actually don't like it, I love it! This sauce is SO good. It is easy to make and it is restaurant quality. I halved the recipe since there are only two of us. I added some Italian chicken strips to make it more of a meal. I also left out the fresh basil and used crushed tomatoes with basil in them instead (I know fresh is better! But I didn't want to go to the store).

I love this pasta! You better try it!!



Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Sun-Dried Tomato Parmesan Chicken


This is another variation on my parmesan chicken. I used my new Pampered Chef Sun-Dried Tomato Herb seasoning. This was really good and had a nice tomato flavor. I liked this better than the Garlic Parmesan herb chicken; Tadd preferred the Garlic Parmesan herb chicken. Typical! Either way, they are both great! I like it because it is simple to put together on the weeknights.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Cheesy Chicken Chilaquiles

This was surprisingly great! It tasted like authentic Mexican. I would definitely make this again!! Next time I would add salsa on top. This was really quick to make - it took less than 30 minutes - all in the microwave! I used two chicken breast and sprinkled a capful of Southwestern seasoning on both sides of the breasts. I didn't break up the chips when I layered them - I also didn't measure them; I just covered the bottom of the baker.


Try this - you won't be disappointed! Let me know how you liked it!





Caramel Pecan Bread

YUMMY! This is so easy to make and it tastes SO good. It is just melted butter, caramel sauce, pecans and biscuits. This is great for breakfast, brunch or just a good dessert! It is a real crowd pleaser.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Pioneer Woman Lemon Pepper Chicken

This chicken was really good! It was really easy to make. The recipe calls for this chicken to be a sandwich. I didn't think it needed a bun, so we just had naked chicken. I think this would be second on my list of Pioneer Woman chicken recipes - I love the chicken marinated in honey mustard best.


Monday, April 13, 2009

Ham & Cheese Braid

Ham & Cheese Braid
 

When there is a Honey Baked Ham in the house I feel like " The Old Man" from A Christmas Story. I just can't keep my hands off of it! It was so hard to chop up all the ham tonight and not eat it all! This braid is really easy to make and tastes great. It is like a hot ham and cheese sandwich - only better! We had some leftover that I am going to eat for lunch tomorrow.

Ham & Cheese Braid


Sunday, April 12, 2009

Lazy Sunday

Easter

The Easter Bunny came last night and dropped off this super cute basket! It is filled with our favorite candy and Hoops!


For lunch we had a delicious Honey Baked Ham. I love Honey Baked Ham!!!! We got a mini-ham on Friday. We had cheesy potatoes, fried okra, white acre peas and rolls to go with it. For dessert we had turtle cheesecake.


This is the "mini" ham - It is HUGE.  We will be eating ham for weeks!

Friday, April 10, 2009

Hail No!

We had some bad thunderstorms come through today. It actually hailed! 
I was freaking out about my car. Tadd saved some of the hail so I 
could see how big it was.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Penne a la Vodka and Garlic Bites


The first rose of the year! Isn't it beautiful! I can't wait for everything else to start to bloom!


Tonight was Italian night for dinner. We had Penne a la Vodka and Garlic Bites.

For the pasta we used a jar of San Marzano Creamy Vodka sauce from Fresh Market. I sauteed some Italian sausage until brown and then added the vodka sauce and penne pasta. I saved a little bit of pasta water to thin out the sauce. It was really good.




These garlic bites taste just like the bread at Amore. Tadd couldn't stop eating these - and he hates garlic bread! I was told to never make these again - they are way too good!


Hoppy Easter!

I made some really cute Easter goodies for my office and Michele.  I had to wait and post this at lunch so everyone wouldn't find out what I made and ruin the surprise!

I had some Martha Stewart Tall Goodie Boxes and decorated them to look like bunnies.  I cut out ears, a carrot and added a fluffy tail.  I sealed the box with one of my "Kitchen Of" labels. 



 The boxes turned out really cute!! 
(Jack liked them!)


I used my best chocolate chip cookie recipe and substituted pastel M&Ms for the chocolate chips.   The cookies were soft and chewy.  They have a great vanilla flavor and the chocolate doesn't overpower the cookie.  You can't go wrong with this cookie.


The cookies were perfect! 

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Mini Butterfinger Cheesecakes


I found this recipe on Picky Palate and I knew I had to rush out to get a mini-cheesecake pan and make this recipe ASAP! I love Butterfingers and these little cheesecakes were awesome! I used a mini-tart shaper to press the crumbs into the pan - it worked great. I used a cup of graham cracker crumbs (because that is what I had) and I thought the crust was a little dry. Next time I would use more melted butter (at least 4 Tbs). These were very simple to put together. I really enjoyed making these. I will be making some variations of this recipe soon (cookies & cream, nutterbutter, key lime)!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Parmesan Garlic Chicken

I recently purchased some of the Pampered Chef's new oil dipping seasonings. I tried to think up some other uses for the seasoning besides dipping oil and I immediately thought of CHICKEN! I have a recipe for baked chicken that uses the Good Seasonings Italian dressing mix and I thought I could substitute the PC seasonings for the dressing mix. I used the Parmesan Garlic seasoning and it was wonderful!


Monday, April 6, 2009

Martha Stewart's Snickerdoodles

We took my car in to be serviced on Saturday - it needed its one year service. The dealership called and said they had some updates and needed to keep it until today at lunch. We called to check on the car today at lunch and they told us that they had to replace a part and needed to keep it another day, but we could come by the dealership and get a loaner car. Perfect! Tadd drove me over to the Audi dealership and the Service Manager goes to get the loaner car and comes back with a Porsche Cayenne! Tadd was so jealous! He had to have a loaner car earlier this year and he got a Geo - I need a loaner car and get a Porsche!



Hey - a girl's got to look good!!



I didn't cook dinner tonight because we had to take the Porsche out to dinner (Wine Down Monday @ Firebirds!). I made cookies instead. The cookies were REALLY good. Not too sweet - just right. I loved the addition of the cinnamon chips! I could eat a ton of these puppies!




Saturday, April 4, 2009

Monnette's


Tadd & I ventured out to a new restaurant by the house last night.  We tried Monnette's Pizza & Pasta.  We had the Fried Ravioli as an appetizer.  It was really good!  For entrees we got an order of Chicken Alfredo and a small pizza with sausage and pepperoni - both were good.  THe pizza wasn't as good as Area 41, but it was really good!  The Chicken Alfredo was one of the best I've had in town.  We each had a drink and it was only $38 before tip.  The best part is that the restaurant is only 2 minutes from the house!  We'll be back.

http://www.monnettespizzaandpasta.com/

Friday, April 3, 2009

Caramel & Cinnamon Rolls


WOW! These are quick and easy and they taste fantastic! I bought some of the new Pampered Chef dessert sprinkles and this was the recipe on the back of the jar. It only took about 5 minutes to put together. I made a quick icing while they baked - powdered sugar, vanilla and milk. I put a dollop of icing on the rolls while they were still hot. These little rolls are great!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Peanut Butter Cookies with Chocolate Chunks

I didn't cook dinner last night. Tuesday was the end of the quarter and Tadd blew it out with Blu-U and Levulan sales. He wanted to go celebrate at Wine Down Wednesday. I couldn't deny him his celebration!

I still needed to make my one new thing this week so I picked these cookies. I saw a version of this recipe on Recipe Girl and it caught my eye because the cookies are made with honey. Recipe Girl's cookies were dark and didn't look like "normal" peanut butter cookies. I looked at her recipe and she tried to make them "healthy". I don't eat cookies to be healthy so I used "the google" to find another version of the recipe and found a good FAT version to make. These cookies are amazingly good!



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