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Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Three Cheese Chicken Alfredo Bake

Everyday Southern Living tweets a dinner idea. A few days ago they tweeted about a Three Cheese Pasta Bake for dinner. I checked out the recipe and thought it sounded fantastic!  I decided to give it a try - with a few changes. 

The original recipe used ziti.  I didn't have any ziti; I only had elbow macaroni.  I went with the elbow macaroni and it was fine.  I also added chicken to make this more of a meal than a side dish.  This was SO good!  It was even good reheated the next day for lunch.  If you don't like ricotta, try substituting cottage cheese.  I halved the recipe below and it was enough for at least 4 or 5 people. 

Three Cheese Chicken Alfredo Bake
adapted from myrecipes.com
(Printable Recipe)

1 (16-ounce) package penne or elbow macaroni
2 (10-ounce) containers refrigerated Alfredo sauce
1 (8-ounce) container sour cream
1 (15-ounce) container ricotta cheese
2 garlic clove, minced
3 cups cooked chicken, chopped
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
2 cups mozzarella cheese

Prepare pasta according to package directions; drain and return to pot.  Stir together all ingredients except mozzarella cheese.  Spread mixture into a lightly greased 13- x 9-inch baking dish.  Sprinkle evenly with mozzarella cheese.  Bake at 350° for 30 minutes or until bubbly.

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Monday, November 29, 2010

Friday, November 26, 2010

Sausage & Cheese Muffins - Football Friday

This isn't any Football Friday; this is Iron Bowl Football Friday! This is the biggest game of the year!  It is the best and most hard-fought rivalry game in the country!  This year is about more than bragging rights as there are national championship implications again.  No matter what, it is always an exciting game.

I saw this recipe on two different food blogs in the same week (here and here), so I knew they should be good.  These little muffins are very similar to the Sausage Cheese Puffs I posted a few weeks ago.  The only difference is these muffins have a secret ingredient - Fiesta Nacho Cheese soup.  These were a hit at the tailgate.  I took the whole batch and only had a few leftover; they reheated well for breakfast the next morning.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Cake Mix Dinner Rolls

When I saw this recipe I was very curious how you could make good yeast rolls with cake mix.  I've heard of cake mix cookies, but not cake mix yeast rolls.  I had everything at home, so I decided to give them a try.

These were really easy to make.  I used my KitchenAid mixer and it came together in no time.  These didn't require a lot of attention and no kneading (my kind of recipe).  You just mix it up, let it rise, roll it out, let it rise and bake.  The rolls aren't overly sweet, but there is a nice sweetness to them.  This recipe makes 20 rolls; just a few too many for two people.  I decided to use half of the dough and make cinnamon rolls for breakfast.  We really liked both the dinner rolls and cinnamon rolls.

If you are still looking for an easy homemade dinner roll for Thanksgiving give these a try.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Pumpkin Muffins with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting

Pumpkin is a fairly new food for me.  I actually discovered that I didn't hate pumpkin a few years ago at Thanksgiving.  My family went to Amelia Island for the holiday and we ate at Barbara Jean's.  Barbara Jean's is known for two things - crab cakes and the most amazing pumpkin bread (don't worry - they also have chicken).  I ate a ton of the pumpkin bread and realized that I liked pumpkin bread. 

For these muffins, I used a box of Trader Joe's pumpkin bread mix (it is really good).  I made the maple cream cheese frosting and the cute little acorns on top.  The maple cream cheese frosting recipe is from Williams Sonoma.  It came with the Fall Icon Cakelet Pan I bought. 

The acorns are really easy to make.  You need 4 things - Hershey kisses, mini chocolate chips, mini Nilla wafers and some chocolate frosting.  All you do is put a dab of frosting on the kiss, attach it to the bottom of the Nilla wafer, dab some frosting on the chocolate chip and put it on top of the Nilla wafer.  Voila!  Super cute candy acorn!

Maple Cream Cheese Frosting
(Printable Recipe)

2 Tbsp butter, softened
2 oz cream cheese, softened
3 Tbsp maple syrup
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar

Mix all ingredients with a hand mixer or a stand mixer until fluffy.

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Monday, November 22, 2010

Friday, November 19, 2010

Mississippi Sin - Football Friday

It's Football Friday! The college football regular season is winding down; only one more week to go.  We move on to Championship Week and bowl games. I am looking forward to both!

We had this dip at our tailgate last weekend.  I have no idea why this is called Mississippi Sin (there are so many jokes that could be inserted here), but we'll just go with it.  Mama Hen got the recipe from one of he co-workers.  The recipe is very similar to one of my favorite dips, "crack".  (We call it crack b/c you can't stop eating it)

This is a great tailgate dip because it is great hot and still really good cold (after the game).  I ate way too much of this.  I feel like the bread bowl is optional.  It looks good, but it isn't necessary to the success of the dip.  I think this would be just as good baked in a baking dish. 

This is a keeper.  I might even like it better than my beloved "crack dip".  I think I'll refer to this as "new crack" from now on.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Cinnamon Roll French Toast Bake

I've been on a bit of a cinnamon roll kick lately.  I've stuffed them with blueberries, bacon and sausage.  I really enjoyed all of those combinations! 

This time I found a recipe that transforms cinnamon rolls into a wonderful french toast bake.  This was really quick and easy.  I don't know if it is quick enough for a weekday morning, but it is perfect for the weekend.  We both preferred the cinnamon roll bake with icing instead of syrup.  Next time I will slather the icing all over the cinnamon rolls as soon as they come out of the oven.  YUM!

I cut the original recipe in half since there are only two of us.  I listed the full recipe below.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Quick White Chicken Chili

This is the White Chicken Chili that we had with the amazing Pumpkin Cornbread I posted yesterday.  I have a confession, this is really a cheater recipe.  It uses the McCormick White Chicken Chili seasoning mix.  I don't know how you feel about seasoning mixes, but I happed to really like them.  I think they save a ton of time and money.  I like not having to measure out tons of spices and not having to buy spices I may  only use for a few recipes.

Now, cheater recipe or not, this was the best White Chicken Chili that I have ever had.  It was super quick and easy to make after work.  It requires no prep time.  You just brown the chicken, dump the rest of the ingredients and simmer.  Done!!  We  gobbled this up!  There was only one problem with the recipe - there wasn't enough leftover to eat the next day.  I will double the recipe next time and eat it with some pumpkin cornbread for lunch the next day!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Pumpkin Cornbread

I've seen this recipe floating around the food blogger world for a few months, and I finally mustered up the courage to give it a try.  I was very skeptical that this would work, but it did.   It was actually really good.  I mean really good! 

The cornbread wasn't very sweet, so it went well with dinner.  We served it with some White Chicken Chili, and it was great.  I will definitely make this again.  The only change I would make is to make pumpkin cornbread muffins - maybe even mini muffins.

Pumpkin Cornbread
(Printable Recipe)

1 cup flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 cup cornmeal
2 eggs
1 cup pumpkin puree
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon molasses

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Grease an 8×8″ cake pan.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, spices, brown sugar, and cornmeal; set aside.  In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, lightly beat the eggs, and then stir in the pumpkin, oil, and molasses.  Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients just until combined, and then pour the batter into the pan, smoothing the top.  Bake 25-30 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

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Monday, November 15, 2010

Friday, November 12, 2010

Buffalo Chicken Bites - Football Friday

It's Football Friday again - my favorite day of the week!   We are heading down to the game bright and early tomorrow morning.  It is another big game, but aren't they all?! 

I really think this recipe screams "Tailgate Food"!  This is basically bite size buffalo chicken dip.  I really love buffalo chicken dip, so I knew I would like these puppies.  I was right.  They were really good.  It is all the flavor of  a chicken wing, without all the mess!

I used a rotisserie chicken and shredded it in my food processor (it's just easier that way).  I planned ahead and made these a few days before the tailgate and froze them.  On game day, I just popped them in the oven right before we headed to the parking lot.  Easy!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Sausage Cinnamon Rolls

Last week I posted some wonderful bacon cinnamon rolls. A few people commented that they were going to experiment with adding sausage instead of bacon. I thought that was a great idea! Why didn't I think of this sooner?!  I actually like sausage more than bacon! 

I used Pillsbury Grands Cinnamon Rolls and spread about a half pound of uncooked sausage over the dough.  The sausage baked along with the cinnamon rolls, and they turned out great!  We loved the sweet and savory all mixed together.  These are worth a try.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Homemade Butterfingers

I don't eat a lot of candy, but I l♥ve Butterfingers.  When I saw this recipe on the Taste of Home forums, I knew I had to give it a try.  Everyone on the board said it tasted just like a real Butterfinger.  The best part - this recipe only has three ingredients! 

How can you make a Butterfinger with only three ingredients?? Well, the secret ingredient is candy corn!  Actually, it is melted candy corn.  I would have never thought to melt candy corn, but it turns out that melted candy corn mixed with peanut butter transforms into something amazing!  We were shocked at how great these tasted and how close they are to real Butterfingers.  I had to give most of these away so we didn't eat them all by ourselves.

This is one of the best homemade candies that I have ever made.  I think these would be cute made into suckers for the holidays.  I am going to look for some Christmas tree candy molds and give it a try.

This is a great way to use up any candy corn you have leftover from Halloween.  So get to it! 

Candy Corn Butterfingers
Taste of Home forums
(Printable Recipe)

1 lb. candy corn
16oz jar peanut butter (I used Peter Pan Honey Roasted peanut butter)
16oz pkg. chocolate candy coating

Melt candy corn in microwave on high 1 minute. Stir and continue cooking in 15-second intervals til melted, stirring after each interval. Stir in peanut butter. Spread mixture in an 8x8 pan lined with parchment. Cool completely. Cut into squares. Dip in melted chocolate candy coating. Lay on waxed paper to set.

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Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Pumpkin Caramel Bars with Bacon

This recipe is from the magazine Cuisine at Home.  It is in the same issue as my new favorite Gnocchi Mac & Cheese (I dream about that stuff!).  It is also one of the reasons that I decided to subscribe to Cuisine at Home.  I mean, who doesn't want to have recipes like this delivered to their door?!

When I saw this recipe I thought "What can be better that pumpkin bars topped with bacon?"  Well, let me tell you,  Not much! These were very tasty. The perfect balance of sweet & salty. This was my first attempt at making homemade caramel frosting and it turns out it was pretty easy!  Everyone I shared the bars with liked them.  I would definitely recommend this for your Thanksgiving table this year. 

Monday, November 8, 2010

Friday, November 5, 2010

Bacon Crescents - Football Friday

It's that time of the week again - it's Football Friday!  It also means that it is tailgating time!  I love tailgating.  I love seeing all my friends and family, making new friends and the food!  Oh, the food. 
I prefer to take finger foods to tailgates.  I find they are easier to eat (almost too easy sometimes) and not as messy as other foods.   These bacon crescents are perfect for a tailgate or even breakfast.  I just love these things.  I can eat way too many of them.  I think it is the parmesan cheese with the bacon that I love most. 

Give this recipe a try soon!  These bacon crescents would be great for any gathering - football party, Thanksgiving or Christmas.  You might want to double the recipe - they will go fast!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Brazilian Cheese Bread II

Earlier this year we made a quick weekend getaway to Atlanta and ate at Fogo de Chao. We both liked all the food, but especially loved the cheese bread (Pao de Queijo).  I made another version of these cheese popovers this summer.  They were good, but not exactly what I was looking for.  I found this recipe and it was spot on!  I added a sprinkle of rosemary on top and they were perfect.  Soft and chewy - just like at Fogo de Chao.  They go great with steak, chicken or pork. 

Brazilian Cheese Bread - Pao De Queijo
(Printable Recipe)

1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 egg
1 cup tapioca flour
1/4 cup parmesan cheese, grated
1/2 tsp salt

for topping (optional)
fresh rosemary leaves, chopped
kosher salt

Add all ingredients, except those for the topping, into a blender. Blend very well at full speed, stopping a couple of times to scrape the surface of the blender’s cup, making sure no bits of tapioca starch are left unmixed.

The mixture will be a little thinner than pancake batter. Pour the batter in mini-muffin tins, to no more than 3/4 of their capacity. Add a little bit of salt and rosemary on top, place in a 400F oven, and cook for 20 minutes. Most will come out right away without sticking. If some stick slightly, allow them to cool for a few minutes and probe them out gently with the tip of a knife. The recipe makes 20-24 little cheese breads.

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Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Orange Chipotle Chicken

We grill out a lot at our house.  SO, I am always on the look out for a new recipe.  I find that variety is the key to dinner.  If you make lots of different things, you don't get bored with eating the same ol' thing all the time.

Over the past year, I have discovered that I really like chipotle peppers.  I love the smoky heat they add to a dish.  We've made several grilled chicken chipotle dishes, but I wanted to try a new one.  I decided to combine the chipotle peppers with some of my other favorite ingredients - honey and orange juice.  The chicken turned out great.  It was tender and juicy, with tons of flavor.   I really loved the hint of sweetness that the citrus and honey added to the chicken; it helped balance out the spiciness of the chipotles.  This actually turned out to be one of my favorite chicken marinades.  I plan on making fajitas with it next time. 

Orange Chipotle Chicken Marinade
(Printable Recipe)

2 tablespoons Olive Oil
2 cloves of garlic, roughly chopped
1 tablespoon Honey
1/4 teaspoon cumin
2-4 Chipotle Chiles in Adobo, roughly chopped
1/4 cup orange juice
Kosher Salt and Black Pepper

Combine all ingredients in a food processor and pulse until the marinade is smooth. Pour over chicken and marinade for at least two hours. Grill until done - internal temperature reaches 165 degrees.

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Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Bacon Cinnamon Rolls

Yes, I stuffed cinnamon rolls with bacon and I liked it!  This recipe combined two of my favorite breakfast foods - bacon and cinnamon rolls.  I suggest using the pre-cooked bacon in this.  If you use regular bacon, cook it in the microwave for a few minutes so it isn't too chewy.  

This is a quick and extremely simple breakfast recipe.  It is easy enough to make before work or school during the week.  Give this a try.  As Tony the Tiger would say, "They're Grrrrreat!

Bacon Cinnamon Rolls
(Printable Recipe)

1 can refrigerated cinnamon rolls
8 slices pre-cooked bacon

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

Unwrap the cinnamon rolls and separate into 8 rolls. Unroll each roll and place a piece of bacon on top of the dough. Gently re-roll. Repeat for remaining rolls. Place the rolls in the cake pan and bake for 15-18 minutes. Remove the rolls from the oven and frost with the glaze that is included with the rolls.

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