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Friday, April 30, 2010

Bran Muffins

As soon as I saw that this month's Tastemaker Program from Foodbuzz.com was courtesy of All-Bran, I knew exactly what I was going to make - my favorite bran muffins!!  I can remember making these muffins all the time when I was growing up.  I loved them.  I haven't made them in many, many years; so I was excited to receive the All-Bran.  I got the original recipe when I went home a few weeks ago and whipped them up this past weekend.  They were as good as I rememeber.  Chicken Legs really enjoyed them as well.  These muffins also reheat well - I had two for breakfast the next day.  I am going to have to make a point of buying bran flakes so I can make these more often. They are really one of my favorite breakfast muffins.

Bran Muffins
adapted from Raisin Bran
(Printable Recipe)

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
3 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup sugar
3 1/2 cups All-Bran Flakes
1 1/4 cups milk
1 egg
1/2 cup vegetable oil

Preheat oven to 400.  Stir together flour, baking powder, salt and sugar.  Set aside.  Measure bran flakes and milk into mixing bowl.  Stir to combine.  Let stand 1 to 2 minutes or until cereal is softened.  Add egg and oil.  Beat well.  Add dry ingredients to cereal mixture, stirring only until combined.  Portion batter evenly into 12 greased muffin pan cups.  Bake at 400 for 15-18 minutes, or until golden brown.

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Thursday, April 29, 2010

Pioneer Woman's BBQ Meatballs

I have yet to try a recipe from The Pioneer Woman that we didn't like or actually love for that matter.  She makes wonderful simple meals.  This was no exception. These are very quick and easy to make.  I cut the original recipe down since there are only two of us.  I was really surprised at how much I liked this dish.  I am not a big meatball or meatloaf fan.  We served the meatballs with some mac and cheese.  I should have made an extra baguette to go with this!  Next time!!  This was really great comfort food meal. 

Pioneer Woman's BBQ Meatballs
(Printable Recipe)

1 pound ground beef
1/2 cup quick oats
2/3 cup milk
minced onion

2/3 cup ketchup
4 tsp sugar
6 tsp white vinegar
minced onion
dash tabasco
4 tsp Worcestershire

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Combine all meatball ingredients. Roll into medium-small balls and place on a cookie sheet. Place sheet in freezer for five minutes.
After 5 minutes, remove meatballs from freezer and immediately dredge in unseasoned flour.

Brown meatballs in canola oil until just brown. Place into a baking dish.
Combine all sauce ingredients. Pour over meatballs and bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes. Serve with egg noodles, mashed potatoes, or crusty French bread.

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Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Homemade Baguette

This recipe came from Amy at The Fosted Bake Shop.  Amy said in her post that this was easy and turned out great.  I decided to give it a try.  She wasn't kidding this was the easiest and best bread ever!  I thought it looked like "real" bread that you get in the bakery section at the grocery store.  I love that I could make this after work and have it ready for dinner.  5 minutes to mix together, rise for 30 and bake for 15 - what's not to love?!?!  I won't be buying baguettes at the store anymore.  This was a huge hit!  I cut Amy's original recipe in half and only made one baguette. 

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Amazing Hard Boiled Egg Chocolate Chip Cookies

These cookies sound disgusting, but they are my new favorite chocolate chip cookie!  This is coming from someone who has never made a hard boiled egg, much less eaten a hard boiled egg (blah)!  I was amazed at how great these cookies turned out. 

I saw this recipe over on Cookie Madness years ago, but it was Katrina's post over on Baking and Boys after Easter that finally convinced me that I needed to make them.  I am sad it took me so long to try them.  The cookies are perfect - crunchy on the outside; soft and chewy on the inside.  Don't tell people that these have hard boiled eggs in them before they try them.  If they are like some of my picky friends, they won't try them.  I guess it would be their loss because these are the best!  I am buying some oatmeal this week so I can try the hard boiled egg oatmeal cookies next!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Foodbuzz 24, 24, 24: National Grilled Cheese Month

April is National Grilled Cheese Month.  I wanted to experiment with turning some of our favorite foods into grilled cheese sandwiches.  I wanted to see if I could make a simple grilled cheese sandwich into something good enough to serve to company.  I made six different types of grilled cheese sandwiches.

Caprese Grilled Cheese

A grilled cheese version of one of our favorite salads.  Made with fresh mozzarella, tomatoes, basil and a splash of balsamic vinegar.

Chicken Quesadilla Grilled Cheese

Grilled chicken with onions, peppers and quesadilla cheese.  I put chili powder in the butter to flavor the outside of the sandwich too.  We dipped it into a side of salsa.  This tasted just like my favorite quesadilla at the Mexican restaurant.  

Southern BBQ Grilled Cheese

Pork BBQ and mild cheddar cheese topped with pickles.  Surprisingly good! This was one of our favorites!  Chicken Legs has already requested this for dinner.

Chicken Parmesan Grilled Cheese

Chicken fingers, pizza sauce and mozzarella.  I sliced chicken fingers on the bias so they laid flat on the sandwich.  I spread a small amount of pizza sauce on each slice of bread and then topped it with the mozzarella and chicken fingers.  I also added some garlic powder to the butter on the outside of the sandwich.  We dipped the sandwiches into some extra pizza sauce.   I really loved this sandwich.  I am having it again tomorrow!

Bacon & Tomato Grilled Cheese

A kicked up version of the classic grilled cheese.  This would be a great grilled cheese for breakfast.  You can beat cheese, bacon and tomatoes.  A great on the go meal!

Nutella Grilled Cheese

Finally, we had to try a dessert grilled cheese.  This was really good.  I mixed together nutella, cream cheese and amaretto and topped it with strawberries.  I sweetened the butter with powdered sugar.  Great finish to our grilled cheese fest!

I used Pepperidge Farm soft Sourdough bread for all of the sandwiches.  I also put cheese on both sides of the bread to make sure the fillings stuck!  This was a great experiment and I found several great new quick lunch and dinner ideas.  I know that these will be making another appearance at our dinner table in the future.

Pin It!

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Friday, April 23, 2010

7UP Pound Cake

I've seen this recipe on the web for years.  I finally decided that I had to make it when the Pioneer Woman posted it on her blog.  She raved about it, and I already know that everything she makes is amazingly yummy.  This cake was no exception - it was fantastic!  We both loved it.  It is even better with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top!  The perfect dessert for a nice spring or summer day.

7UP Pound Cake
The Pioneer Woman
(Printable Recipe)

3 sticks Butter
3 cups Sugar
5 whole Eggs
1 teaspoon Butter Flavoring
2 teaspoons Lemon Flavoring (I used 1/2 tsp lemon oil)
3 cups All-purpose Flour
1 cup 7-UP

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Cream butter. Add sugar, 1 cup at a time, mixing after each addition. Add eggs, 1 at a time, mixing after each addition. Add butter and lemon extracts and mix well. Add flour, 1 cup at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add soft drink, then mix together until combined. Scrape sides of bowl, then mix briefly.

Pour into a greased Bundt pan and bake for 1 hour to 1 hour 10 minutes, until the cake is no longer jiggly. Remove cake from oven and invert pan until cake drops out.

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Thursday, April 22, 2010

7UP Biscuits

What?  Yep, that's right, 7up biscuits.  Some places on the internets call these Popeye's Biscuits - I guess they taste like the biscuits from the chicken place.  All I know is that these were the best biscuits that I've ever made - hands down!  They were light and fluffy.  They only have three ingredients - quick and easy!  We had them with dinner but I will make them again for breakfast.  Chicken Legs wants a biscuit with bacon and cheese - YUM!

7up Biscuits
2 cups Bisquick
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup 7-up
1/4 cup melted butter

Preheat oven to 450.
Cut sour cream into biscuit mix, add 7-Up. Makes a very soft dough.
Sprinkle additional biscuit mix on board or table and pat dough out. Melt 1/4 cup butter in a 9 inch square pan.  Place cut biscuits in pan and bake for 12-15 minutes or until golden brown.

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Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Ultimate Chicken Fingers

Best chicken fingers EVER!  They really are the Ultimate Chicken Fingers!  The flavor is great!  The coating isn't too heavy and it doesn't fall off when you eat it.  I found this recipe on the back of the Bisquick box and I'm glad I saved it.  

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Bruschetta Chicken

This post is actually from Mama Hen!  I went down to my parents house this past weekend and Mama Hen cooked lunch on Sunday before I headed back to The Ham.  This recipe comes from her favorite cookbook, The Diabetes Cookbook.  She says that she loves this cookbook because they flavor the food with herbs instead of fats.

It was a beautiful day, so we decided to have have lunch outside on the deck. The chicken was quick and easy to prepare and tasted great.  The topping was very flavorful.  We all really enjoyed the dish.  I plan on making this at home for Chicken Legs.

Bruschetta Chicken
(Printable Recipe)

4 boneless, skinless chicken breast
cooking spray
1 (12 oz) can whole tomatoes, undrained and chopped
1/2 cup chopped green pepper (we omitted this)
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/4 tsp dried basil
1/4 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp pepper

Arrange chicken breast in 9x13 pan coated in cooking spray.  Combine tomatoes and remaining ingredients, stirring well; spoon over chicken in dish.  Cover and bake at 400 for 30-45 minutes, or until chicken is done.

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Monday, April 19, 2010

Friday, April 16, 2010

Do-Ahead Egg and Sausage Bake

I only cook breakfast on the weekends and it isn't guaranteed that I'll make it.  I am not a morning person and I love to sleep in on the weekends.  This recipe is perfect for me.  I make this the night before and just pop it in the oven when I wake up and then hop back in the bed while it bakes.  This was really good - Chicken Legs could have eaten it all himself.  I would double the cheese next time - a little cheese never hurt anything!  It is a great breakfast recipe if you have overnight guests.  We had this for breakfast, but I think it would be really good for dinner too.

Do-Ahead Egg and Sausage Bake
Betty Crocker Bisquick Cookbook
(Printable Recipe)

1 pound bulk pork sausage
1 cup Bisquick
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
2 cups milk
1 tsp ground mustard
1/2 tsp dried oregano
6 eggs, slightly beaten

Grease 2-quart casserole.  Cook sausage in 10-inch skillet over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until no longer pink; drain.  Mix sausage and remaining ingredients.  Pour into casserole.  Cover and refrigerate at least 4 hours but no longer than 24 hours.  Heat oven to 350.  Bake uncovered about 1 hour or until knife inserted in center comes out clean.

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Thursday, April 15, 2010

Spicy Honey Chicken

This was our second spicy chicken of the week.  It is also another quick chicken dish because it uses a rub instead of a marinade.  We grilled the chicken and then broiled them in the oven with the honey glaze - I did want to have to clean the grill after the sticky honey melted on it.  The chicken was very juicy and flavorful.  The heat wasn't overpowering by any means.  It was the perfect combination of sweet and spicy.  It was also easy and low-cal if you care about that kind of stuff.

Spicy Honey Chicken
adapted from Cooking Light
(Printable Recipe)

2 boneless, skinless chicken breast, pounded to an even thickness
1 tsp vegetable oil

1 t granulated garlic
1 t chili powder
1/4 t onion powder
1/4 t coriander
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp chipotle chili powder

1/2 C Honey
1T Cider Vinegar

Combine the rub spices in bowl and mix well.

Use kitchen shears (or a pair of clean scissors) to trim off any excess fat from the chicken pieces. Pat dry. Drizzle oil over chicken and rub in with your hands to lightly coat all the pieces. Then toss chicken with the spice rub to coat all sides well. Use your hands and get in there! Grill chicken for 3-5 minutes on each side, until cooked through.

While chicken is cooking, warm honey in the microwave so it's not so thick. Add the vinegar and combine well. Reserve 2T honey glaze for later. Brush the chicken with the honey mixture and place under the broiler and heat until bubbly. 

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Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Ranch Mac and Cheese

I have been on a mac and cheese kick lately.  I don't know why, because I don't typically each mac and cheese - but, it is what it is.  I saw this recipe over on Noble Pig and I put it on the list to try ASAP.  The recipe said it was adapted from Taste of Home, so I went to their website to start from the original recipe.  We LOVED this mac and cheese.  I knew we would - who doesn't like Ranch?!  The sauce was perfectly cheesy, and it was nice and creamy from the sour cream.  This was another easy roux-free mac and cheese.  I think this would be a great main dish if you add some bacon and chicken - maybe even buffalo chicken!

Ranch Mac and Cheese
adapted from Taste of Home
(Printable Recipe)

1/2 package (8 ounces) elbow macaroni
1/2 cup 1% milk
3 Tbsp butter, cubed
1/2 envelope (4 1/2 tsp) ranch salad dressing mix
1 teaspoon garlic salt
1/2 teaspoon garlic pepper blend
1 1/2 cups shredded Colby & Jack cheese
1/2 cup sour cream (I used light)

Cook macaroni according to package directions. Drain. In pasta pot, combine the milk, butter, dressing mix and seasonings; heat through. Stir in Monterey Jack and Colby cheeses until melted. Stir in sour cream.
Stir macaroni into cheese sauce. Cook on low for 3-5 minutes.

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Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Honey Chipotle Glazed Chicken

I saw this recipe floating around the internets and I immediately wanted to try it.  It comes from Bobby Flay's Grill It! cookbook.  I love Bobby Flay and I thought this recipe sounded easy enough for a weeknight dinner. 

This was my first time cooking with chipotle peppers and it turns out that we really liked them.  (I have another recipe with chipotles already lined up) We both agreed that the next time we make this that we would double the honey in the sauce.  We prefer our sauce a little sweeter than Bobby.  Overall, this was a delicious chicken dish that was sweet and spicy (not too spicy though). 

Monday, April 12, 2010

Reeeeeeer Monday

I finally caught my prey - McDreamy!  I was lucky enough to meet Patrick Dempsey at the Barbers Motorsports Park on Saturday.  He was so nice and SO HOT!  He is just as beautiful in person as he is on TV.   It was the most exciting day of my life! 

McStarStruck & McDreamy
He's touching me - I can never wash my shirt EVER! LOL!!



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Friday, April 9, 2010

Stove Top Mac-n-Cheese

I originally saw this recipe over at The Wicked Noodle. It looked so good and creamy that I couldn't resist making it myself.   I noticed that the recipe came from Alton Brown, so I went to the food network site to get the original recipe.  This was really good mac-n-cheese and it was incredibly easy to make!  I think it is perfect for an after work side dish.  This dish is also "Kid Approved".  I gave the leftovers to a friend and her son LOVED it.  He kept asking for more.  I know how he felt, this mac-n-cheese was hard to stop eating! 

Stove Top Mac-n-Cheese
Alton Brown
(Printable Recipe)

1/2 pound elbow macaroni
4 tablespoons butter
2 eggs
6 ounces evaporated milk
1/2 teaspoon hot sauce
1 teaspoon kosher salt
Fresh black pepper
3/4 teaspoon dry mustard
10 ounces sharp cheddar, shredded

In a large pot of boiling, salted water cook the pasta to al dente and drain. Return to the pot and melt in the butter. Toss to coat.

Whisk together the eggs, milk, hot sauce, salt, pepper, and mustard. Stir into the pasta and add the cheese. Over low heat continue to stir for 3 minutes or until creamy.

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