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Friday, July 30, 2010

Orange Blueberry Cinnamon Rolls

This is a cheater recipe. I just embellished a can of Pillsbury Orange Rolls!  I combined my love of Pillsbury Orange Rolls and blueberries - the result was an amazing breakfast!!

As I said before, I am not a huge breakfast person; mainly because I don't want to get up early to cook/eat it.  I usually only eat a somewhat traditional breakfast on the weekends.  This is my kind of breakfast recipe.  You can assemble the orange rolls while the oven pre-heats and you have a fantastic breakfast in 15 minutes!  Give them a try this weekend - you won't be disappointed.

Orange Blueberry Cinnamon Rolls

1 can Pillsbury Orange Rolls
1/2 cup fresh blueberries

Pre-heat oven to 400. Lightly spray a 9-inch cake pan with cooking spray.

Unwrap the orange rolls and separate into 8 rolls. Unroll each roll and place as many blueberries on the strip of dough as you want (I did about 6 or 7 depending on the size of the berry) and gently re-roll. Place the rolls in the cake pan and bake for 15-18 minutes. Remove the rolls from the oven and frost with the orange glaze that is included with the rolls.

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Thursday, July 29, 2010

Nutella Krispie Ice Cream

A few weeks ago my Mom was telling me about some tablets that she used in the past to make ice cream.  She told me the name and sent me to look for them.  Well, I kept forgetting (I am easily distracted by shiny objects).  She finally sent me a pack with the recipe booklet. 
Junket Rennet Tablets - they were popular in the 70s, along with fondue, disco and groovy green, gold and brown decor/clothing. 

I flipped through the recipe booklet and found an ice cream recipe and went to the store to get my milk and cream.  I couldn't just do plain vanilla ice cream, so I mixed in some Nutella Krispie treats!  Oh my! 

My favorite burger joint has tons of fabulous and unique milk shakes.  Krispy Kreme, Nutella Smores and Rice Krispie Treat just to name a few.  I already made some Krispy Kreme ice cream, so I decided to combine the other two into one ice cream.  I made the Nutella Krispies the night before and chopped them into tiny bits to stir into the ice cream after it churned.  It was great!  I thought it had the perfect amount of chocolate and crunch.

Nutella Krispie Ice Cream
(Printable Recipe)

3 Tbsp butter
1 (10oz) package of marshmallows
6 cups Rice Krispies
2/3 cup Nutella

Ice Cream
1 Junket Rennet Tablet
1 Tbsp cold water
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups whole milk
1 cup heavy cream
2 tsp vanilla extract

In a large pot, melt butter and add marshmallows.  Once melted, stir in Nutella.  Add Rice Krispies and stir until thourghly combined.  Quickly spread into a 9x13 pan lightly sprayed with cooking spray.  (I use waxed paper to push the krispies into the pan)  Allow to cool completely.  Once cool, you will need 2 cups of chopped Krispies to stir into ice cream.

Dissolve Rennet Tablet in water by crushing.  Set aside.  Combine remainign ingredients in saucepan.  Heat while stirring to lukewarm (110 degrees). Stir in dissolved Rennet Tablet and quickly pour into glass bowl.  Let stand undisturbed for 10 minutes.  Pour into freezing conatiner of ice cream maker and follow manufacturers instructions for freezing.  Stir in 2 cups of chopped Nutella Krispies.  Transfer to container and place in freezer until ready to serve. 

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Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Rotel Chicken Spaghetti

I have Mama Hen to thank for this wonderful dish. She made a version of this for dinner and just raved about it. When she told me what it was, I thought it sounded alot like King Ranch Chicken but with spaghetti. I LOVE King Ranch Chicken so I knew that I would love this!  I was right; this is awesome! 

I made this for dinner the night before Chicken Legs went out of town and I ate leftovers for lunch and dinner the next day!  It is that good!  Give it a try.  It is really a quick dish to make, especially if you use rotisserie chicken or pre-cook the chicken. (I always use my Pampered Chef Deep Covered Baker to cook my chicken - can't beat juicy chicken in 8 minutes)

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Chicago Chicken

We just got back from a spur-of-the-moment trip to Chicago.  Chicken Legs had a meeting last Monday and Tuesday, so I turned it into a weekend vacation! (I'm like that - I get it from my parents)  We had a great time.  I just L♥VE Chicago!  We did lots of shopping, eating and drinking - all of our favorite things!! We also walked a lot - over 6 miles on Saturday alone.  (That is how we can eat and drink so much.)

Our last night in Chicago we went and saw the Cubs and then went to dinner at Tavern on Rush - it's a steak and seafood joint that Chicken Legs wanted to check out. They had this chicken on their menu, but it said it took 35 mintues to make.  Well, it was late and we were hungry so I decided we would just try it at home. (hence the name "Chicago Chicken").

Our version turned out great.  If it is like our other Tavern Chicken - it is better than the original.  We used boneless chicken breast because that is what Chicken Legs wanted.  I would like to try this on a whole chicken like the original - I think it would be great too.

View from the Executive Lounge in The Drake

Sears Tower (we took a boat tour)


Our seats - 7th row behind home plate!  Score!!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Friday, July 23, 2010

Grits Fries

This is one of those "why didn't I think of that" recipes. Grits Fries - what a great idea!!  I saw this over at The Duo Dishes and had to give them a try.  Grits are a relatively new food for me.  I never had any interest in the runny, bland looking mush in a bowl that I saw at the Cracker Barrel or Waffle House.  I broke down and tried jalapeno cheese grits at a dinner one night and I was shocked at how good they were!  I never knew that grits could be a wonderful and savory side dish.  I have been making cheese grits at home ever since.  (I still don't eat the runny, bland mush at breakfast joints - blah!)

Back to the fries - I made a half recipe of the grits and it was more than plenty for the two of us (I listed the whole recipe below).  I served them with our favorite chicken fingers.  We loved them!  I wished I had made a whole batch so I could have eaten them for dinner too.  I can't wait to make these again! 

Grits Fries
adapted from The Duo Dishes
(Printable Recipe)

1 cup quick-cook grits (not instant)
3 cups water
1 cup milk
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
1 1/2 tsp garlic powder
cooking spray

Cook the grits according to the package directions. Stir in the cheese, garlic and salt just before removing from heat. Carefully pour the hot grits into a large, shallow plastic container. Allow the grits to cool down to room temperature. Cover, then chill overnight.

When ready, overturn the grits onto a large cutting board and cut into 1/2″ wide pieces. Lay them on a parchment paper or foil covered baking sheet and spay with cooking spray. Bake in a preheated oven at 425 degrees for 20-30 minutes or until browned. Flip them once midway through cooking time to brown both sides.

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Thursday, July 22, 2010

Creamy Chicken & Ham Pasta

One word - amazing! We loved this pasta.  It reminded me of one of my favorite dishes, Smoky Chicken Pasta, but with a slight sweetness from the brown sugar ham.  YUM!  This only took me a few minutes to throw together because I cooked my chicken ahead of time in my Pampered Chef Deep Covered Baker (only takes 8 minutes in the microwave!).  I halved the recipe and it was enough for at least three people.  We both had to make ourselves stop eating this!  The pasta heats up well the next day, so it didnt' go to waste.  This is going into the rotation - it's a keeper!

Creamy Chicken & Ham Pasta
adapted from get off your butt and bake
(Printable Recipe)

1 1/2 cups of cooked diced chicken
1 cup of diced ham
1 cup of crumbled cooked turkey bacon (for the top)
1 cup grated Parmesan Cheese and additional for the top
16oz thin spaghetti

1 cup milk (I use 1%)
1 cup chicken broth
1 cup half & half
1 cup grated cheddar cheese
1 cup grated parmesan cheese
2 Tablespoons butter
2 Tablespoons flour
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp basil
a few sprinkles of red pepper flakes
1 tsp white sugar
1/2 tsp. cracked black pepper

Fry bacon until crispy, place on paper towels and set aside. Fry pieces of ham in a small amount of the bacon grease. Sprinkle a tablespoon of brown sugar on top of the ham, and toss until the ham is golden and the brown sugar has caramelized.  Remove from pan.

Over medium heat, melt 2 tablespoons butter. Add 2 tablespoons flour, seasonings, sugar and whisk together with the butter until bubbly. Continue whisking, and slowly add the milk, half & half and the chicken broth. Whisk constantly, so that you don’t get any lumps. You want your sauce to be nice and smooth. Keep whisking until the sauce has thickened. Turn heat to low, and add the grated cheddar and parmesan cheese. Once melted and mixed thorougly, turn your heat to the lowest temperature, add chicken and ham; cover. Prepare your pasta until al dente. Drain well.

Plate the pasta, and serve the sauce over the top. Crumble your bacon on top of the sauce, and also top with more grated parmesan cheese.

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Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Roasted Greek Potatoes

I made these potatoes to go with our Lemon-Oregano Drumsticks.  I wanted a quick and easy side dish and this fit the bill.  I was inspired by the potatoes at Taziki's Restaurant in town - these were extremely similar.  They take only a few minutes of prep time and then they just roast in the oven.  Very simple!  The result is a tender and flavorful potato.  They went perfectly with our Greek-style drumsticks.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Lemon-Oregano Drumsticks

This recipe is from the Epicurious app on my iPad.  I absolutely LOVE this app!  It has tons of great recipes from all over the place - books, web, magazines.  I picked this recipe because I have been growing oregano in my herb garden and had some chicken legs in the freezer. I also go to use my microplane to zest the lemon.

This was a really quick marindate to throw together.  I let the chicken sit in the refrigerator overnight (as I do with almost all my meat).  We had experimented on cooking time with our Chipotle Chicken Legs, so cooking was a breeze this time.  The chicken was tender and juicy and had fantastic flavor!  I served it with some easy roasted Greek potoatoes. 

Lemon-Oregano Drumsticks
(Printable Recipe)

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh oregano
2 garlic cloves, pressed
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons coarse kosher salt
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon peel
8 chicken drumsticks

Whisk first 6 ingredients in small bowl. Season to taste with freshly ground black pepper. Pour marinade into 1-gallon resealable plastic bag; add chicken and seal. Turn bag to coat chicken. Marinate at room temperature 30 minutes or in refrigerator up to 2 days, turning occasionally.

Prepare grill. Place chicken, with some marinade still clinging, on grill rack; grill chicken until cooked through and golden brown on all sides, turning frequently, about 35-40 minutes. Transfer to plates and serve.

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Monday, July 19, 2010

Friday, July 16, 2010

Nutella Gooey Butter Cookies

One of the most popular post on my blog is my Nutella Gooey Butter Cake - it is divine!  I decided to put a twist on the cake and do some Nutella Gooey Butter Cookies. The result was a wonderful soft and gooey cookie!  They are SO easy to make.  You will have the urge to bake them longer than the recommended time, but don't.  They firm up as they cool and remain soft and gooey on the inside.  The cookies stay soft for several days after you bake them.

Chicken Legs has been raving about these ever since he put the first one in his mouth. He has been telling everyone he meets about them.  Just so you know, Chicken Legs is the original Cookie Monster - so he knows a good cookie when he tastes one. 

Nutella Gooey Butter Cookies
(Printable Recipe)

1 box chocolate cake mix
8 oz cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup Nutella (add more if you like)
powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a large bowl with an electric mixer, cream the cream cheese and butter until smooth. Add the egg. Then beat in the Nutella and vanilla extract. Mix in the cake mix. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours to firm up so that you can roll the batter into balls. Roll the chilled batter into tablespoon sized balls (I used a medium cookie scoop) and then roll them in powdered sugar. Place on an cookie sheet lined with parchment. Bake 12-14 minutes. The cookies will remain soft and gooey.

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Thursday, July 15, 2010

Blueberry Bread

This bread smells amazing while it is baking in the oven! The cinnamon aroma fills the house making you wish the bread would just hurry up and be ready!!  It is like a really big blueberry muffin.  It was simple to make and tasted fantastic.  We had it for breakfast over the weekend.  I made the bread the night before because I'm not a early morning person - especially on the weekend. It is great heated up with butter slathered all over it.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010


If I had known how easy it was to make crepes, I would have been making my manicotti like this all along!

I always have preferred manicotti in an Italian restaurant because they use crepes. I hate the big pasta tubes they sell at the grocery store for manicotti.  They are big, hard to fill and too thick.  I found some manicotti made with crepes at Whole Foods, but it is a bit of a drive to get there and they are usually out of stock.   I no longer have to make a special trip to have manicotti!  The best part is that making crepes takes no time; I think it is quicker to make crepes that to boil noodles.  I am so glad I got over my fear and gave crepes a try! 

Crepes for Manicotti
Food for a Hungry Soul
(Printable Recipe)

1 cup flour
1 cup milk (or more as needed to achieve a thin-pancake batter consistency)
1 egg, beaten
1/2 teaspoon salt
(each mixture makes 8-9 manicotti shells)

Stir milk gradually with flour until smooth Add, stirring constantly, the beaten egg to which the salt has been added. For each shell, spray a preheated 6-inch frying pan with olive oil cooking spray, and pour 1/4 cup of the batter into the pan, tilting back and forth so that it spreads evenly.

When set on one side (30-35 seconds), turn and let the other side set (10 seconds). Slide off pan onto a clean work surface or dish and repeat until batter is used. (I separate the crepes with a piece of waxed paper to prevent them from sticking to each other).

Manicotti Filling

7 1/2 oz ricotta cheese
4 oz shredded mozzarella cheese
2 Tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
1 egg
1 tsp garlic salt
Jar of your favorite pasta sauce

In a large bowl, combine cheeses, egg, garlic salt and pepper.  Fill each crepe with 3-4 Tbsp of filling and roll.  In large baking dish, pour a little sauce on the bottom of the dish.  Place rolled manicotti seam side down in dish.  Top with remaining sauce and extra mozzarella cheese.  Bake covered at 375 for 20-25 minutes. 

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