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Saturday, October 30, 2010

Chex Mix - MyGetTogether

I was recently selected by Pssst to host a Chex Mix MyGetTogether. Pssst is run by General Mills.  Members to Pssst get to give feedback on various General Mills products, coupons and the opportunity for free samples.   Membership is free, so go ahead and sign up!

I took the Chex Mix to the Auburn/LSU tailgate and it was a hit!  Pssst sent me three different flavors of Chex Mix.  Original, Honey Nut and Turtle.  Turtle was the crowd favorite.  Most people, including me, had never heard of it.  It was really good!  I also received these cute football plates and the awesome Chex Mix bowl!

Daddy Rooster & Mama Hen

Plain Chicken & Chicken Legs

If you are ever in town for the game - stop by and say "Hey!" 

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Friday, October 29, 2010

Pizza Puffs - Football Friday

It's that time again - it's Football Friday!!!  This has been a great football season so far.  My team is doing good and our tailgates have been incredible - lots of family and friends (old & new)!

A few weeks ago I shared one of my new favorite recipes, Sausage Cheese Puffs.  I absolutely love them- they are so easy to make and a real crowd pleaser.  As I was stuffing my face eating the Sausage Puffs, I thought that they would be good with some pepperoni added and dipped in pizza sauce.  I doctored up the original recipe and came up with these Pizza Puffs.  They were great!  We had them for lunch, and I had enough leftover to eat for dinner another night.  Like the Sausage Cheese Puffs, the pizza puffs freeze well.  Make a double batch - these don't last long!  Enjoy!

Ro*Tel Queso Winner

We have a winner!! 
#33 - Kimberly Dixon!!

Kimberly - send me an email (plainchicken@gmail.com) with your address and I will have Rotel get your prize pack out! (Hope you live nearby so I can eat some of that queso)


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Thursday, October 28, 2010

Breadstick Bones

This is my final Halloween recipe for the week - Breadstick Bones! We had these with the spaghetti I posted yesterday. They were SO simple to make and are very festive for this time of year.  I used garlic bread stick dough and brushed them with some Parmesan and melted butter.  They were down right frightful!

Breadstick Bones
(Printable Recipe)

1 can (8-count) refrigerated breadstick dough (I used garlic)
2 Tbsp parmesan
1/4 cup melted butter

Separate the breadsticks and cut in half to make 16 pieces of dough.  Cut the ends of each breadstick  about an inch down the middle roll them down to make the bone shape.  Bake according to package directions.  Combine parmesan and melted butter and brush over bones.

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Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Simply Suppers - Mama's Spaghetti

This recipe is from Simply Suppers, the new cookbook by Jennifer Chandler. I follow Jennifer on twitter (@cookwjennifer) and a few weeks ago she asked if I would be interested in receiving a copy of her book and doing a review on the blog.  I told her that I would absolutely love a copy of her new book! 

I received a copy from her publisher and immediately started thumbing through it.  Normally I find one or two recipes that I want to try from a cookbook, but I found over 20 (at least) recipes that I want to try.  I could make dinner from this cookbook every weeknight for a month!  All the recipes are very straight forward and easy to make with ingredients you probably already have on hand.  My favorite thing about the book is that there is a photograph of every recipe.  I love to see what my meal is going to look like. 

After much deliberation, I finally decided on Mama's Spaghetti as the first meal to try.  I love spaghetti but I haven't found "the recipe" yet.  Well, I think this is it!  Chicken Legs is not a spaghetti fan and loved this recipe.  The sauce isn't runny like some spaghetti sauces tend to be.  It was the perfect meat sauce.  It smelled wonderful and didn't take any time to make.  I believe this will be our "go to" recipe from this point forward. 

I have SO many recipes that I want to try in the near future.  I already have the Chili con Carne, Cheeseburge Pie, Croque Monsieur and Buttermilk Pie on my menu!  There are really too many recipes to name.  This might turn out to be one of my favorite cookbooks!  Add this cookbook to your Christmas Wish List!

Mama's Spaghetti
Simply Suppers, page 111(Printable Recipe)

1 Tbsp olive oil
1 lb ground beef
1/2 cup finely diced yellow onion (1 small onion)
1/2 cup finely diced green bell pepper (I left this out)
1 clove garlic, minced (I used two!)
1 can (28-oz) crushed tomatoes with juice (I used San Marzano tomatoes)
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp dried oregano
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 box (16-oz) spaghetti, cooked per package directions and kept warm

In a large stockpot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat, warm the oil until a few droplets of water sizzle when carefully sprinkled in to the pot. Add the meat and cook, breaking up the beef with a wooden spoon, until the meat is browned and cooked through, about 5 minutes. Transfer the cooked meat to a colander and drain off the excess fat.

Drain all but about 1 Tbsp of fat from the pot. Add the onion, bell pepper and garlic. Reduce the heat to medium and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, about 4 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes, basil, thyme and oregano. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Return the meat to the pot and stir to combine. Over high heat, bring the sauce to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, covered, until thickened, about 45 minutes. Adjust the seasonings as needed. Serve hot over warm pasta.

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Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Monster Munch

Monster Munch, Halloween Popcorn Bark, CRACK! Call it whatever you want - this stuff is crazy good!!!  This is sweet & salty to the max!  Needless to say, everyone loved this stuff.  I had to share this with co-workers and family so I didn't eat it all by myself.  Make sure you add this to your Halloween party or treats this weekend!  It makes a ton - so give some away (if you can tear yourself away from it) and make some new friends!

Monster Munch
adapted from Our Best Bites
(Printable Recipe)

1 package Almond Bark (1 lb)
2 bags of microwave popcorn, popped (approximately 16-20 C popped popcorn)
1 C candy corn
1 1/2 C dry roasted, salted peanuts
1 C Reeces Pieces

Pop popcorn and place in a large bowl. The largest you have.  Pour peanuts, candy corn, and reeces pieces on top.

Break up almond bark. Melt according to package directions. Pour over popcorn mixture. Stir until everything is well coated and then spread out onto waxed paper, parchment, or foil. Let sit until completely dry and then break up into clumps.

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Monday, October 25, 2010

Meow Monday


Jack (trying to escape from the porch)


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Friday, October 22, 2010

Bacon Cheeseburger Pinwheels - Football Friday

It's Football Friday! This is a HUGE weekend in college football.  I am packed and ready to head down to the game bright and early tomorrow morning! 

Burgers are great tailgating food, but sometimes it isn't convienent to grill burgers.    Maybe you don't have a grill to tote to the parking lot, or you just don't want to deal with the hassle of it all.  We've grilled burgers twice this year, and it is a lot of work.  This recipe will satisfy your burger craving without the grill.  Simply mix up the hamburger meat, roll it up in some refrigerated pizza dough and bake.  Couldn't be simpler or tastier!!

I created this recipe for the Seneca Crispy Onions Gridiron Challenge.  Seneca Snacks invited food bloggers to create football friendly recipes with their new Crispy Onions.  In case you haven't heard of the new Seneca Crispy Onions, they are sweet, cripsy, salty, toasted onion strips.  I like to snack on them right out of the bag!  They are also great on burgers, soups or topping a juicy steak.  They would also be a great addition to the Thanksgiving green bean casserole. 

***Don't forget to enter my Ro*Tel Queso Giveaway!! Go here to enter!!***

Thursday, October 21, 2010

BBQ Pork Loin

Crock-pot meals are some of my favorite weeknight meals.  They are quick, easy and ready when I get home from work.  This recipe is no exception.  It requires minimal prep work (browning the pork) and makes a great dinner.  I served the BBQ pork with our favorite Cheesy Potato Casserole.  I think some cheesy grits would be good too.  This makes a lot of pork, but luckily it is good reheated the next day.  Try it on a sandwich bun for lunch!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Mexican Casserole

I am always on the lookout for a great Mexican dish to make at home.  I usually make enchillidas, so I was interested in making this casserole to change up our usual Mexican night. 

This casserole reminded me a lot of King Ranch Chicken but with ground beef.  This was quick and easy to put together.  I cooked my ground beef the night before and just mixed everything up when I got home from work.  This is a very hearty and filling dish.  It is also great reheated the next day.  I think this would be a great dish to serve at a potluck dinner or even a tailgate party. 

Easy Mexican Casserole
(Printable Recipe)

1 pound lean ground beef
1 can Ranch Style beans
1 10-12 ounce bag tortilla chips, crushed (I didn't use the whole bag)
1 can Ro-tel tomatoes
1 small onion, chopped
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese, divided
1 package taco seasoning
1 can cream of chicken soup
1/2 cup water
sour cream and salsa for serving

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. In a large skillet, brown meat and drain off fat. Stir in beans, tomatoes, onion, taco seasoning, soup and water. Simmer over medium-low heat until everything is well combined and heated through.

Grease a 9×13 casserole dish. Put down a layer of crushed tortilla chips, followed by a layer of the meat/bean mixture, then half of the cheddar cheese. Repeat layers. Cover with foil and bake for 20-30 minutes, or until bubbly.

Let sit for 5-10 minutes before serving. Top with sour cream and salsa.

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Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Spiderweb Brownies

This idea was inspired from the King Arthur Flour catalog.  Isn't it adorable?!  King Arthur's recipe said to make the brownies and cream filled cookies from scratch.  While I would love to do that, I wanted a quick and easy Halloween dessert.  I immediately thought of Oreo Cakester for the spiders! They were perfect!!  I loved how the spiders turned out.  I think they totally made the brownie treat.  These were really fun to make.  I gave them to a co-worker to take home to her boys.  They loved them!

Spider Web Brownies
adapted from King Arthur
(Printable Recipe)

1 box brownie mix (Family Size for 9x13 pan)

Spiderweb mixture4 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1 large egg yolk
1/2 teaspoon almond extract

2 Oreo Cakesters
black licorice
mini chocolate chips
white icing

Prepare brownies according to Fudge Brownie recipe, and spread the batter in 2 8" cake pans. Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Combine the cream cheese, sugar and flour in a small bowl, and mix until smooth. Add the egg yolk and almond extract, mixing until smooth once again. Transfer the mixture to a disposable pastry bag, and cut just the very tip off the end.

Place a small pool of the mixture in the center of the brownie batter. Draw circles around this pool, about 1 inch apart, moving out from the center each time. Once the circles are drawn, take a table knife, wet the tip, and draw it back and forth through the circles.

The knife will draw the cream cheese filling into arcs. Once you've gone all the way around the circles, take up your pastry bag again. Use the remaining filling to trace the path where the knife travelled, to create the spokes of the web.

Bake the brownies for 20-25 minutes, until the brownies just barely pull away from the edge of the pan. The center will rise while baking, but will sink back level once the brownies are cool. Remove them from the oven and cool before cutting.

To assemble the spider.  Cut 8 pieces of licorice for each spider.  Stick the licorice around the cakester to make legs (4 on each side).   Pipe 2 circles for eyes and place a mini chocolate chip in the middle of each.

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