Monday, February 28, 2011

Friday, February 25, 2011

Sausage & Cheese Grits Casserole

We had breakfast for dinner again last week.  This was a change to our usual quiche that we usually have for lunch or dinner.  I'm not a huge grits fan, but I really enjoyed it.  I only made half of the recipe below and it was more than plenty for the two of us.  It reheats well and is possibly even better the next day day.  You can mix this dish together ahead of time and just let it sit out for 30 minutes before baking.  I love easy casseroles that can be made ahead.  This is a great dish for overnight guests - no fuss in the mornings.  This would make a great addition to a holiday meal or pot luck.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Chicken Fajitas

Homemade Grilled Fajitas - THE BEST homemade fajitas! Chicken and/or beef marinated in Italian dressing, chili powder, cumin, brown sugar, pepper, garlic, salt and chipotle. Can marinate overnight and grill when ready. These fajitas are better than the restaurant! The meat is also great on a salad or in a quesadilla. YUM!

We love to grill chicken fajitas.  I am still searching for THE marinade.  This might be it.  It had great flavors and the chicken stayed really juicy.  The original recipe calls for chicken and beef.  We didn't have any flank steak, so we just did the chicken.  We will most definitely be trying this with either flank steak or skirt steak very soon.  I couldn't stop eating this chicken.  We had enough leftovers for lunch the next day, and the chicken was just as flavorful as it was the night before.  This is a really good Tex-Mex chicken.   I think it would be great in any Mexican/Southwestern casserole, like King Ranch Chicken or Rotel Chicken Spaghetti.

Homemade Grilled Fajitas - THE BEST homemade fajitas! Chicken and/or beef marinated in Italian dressing, chili powder, cumin, brown sugar, pepper, garlic, salt and chipotle. Can marinate overnight and grill when ready. These fajitas are better than the restaurant! The meat is also great on a salad or in a quesadilla. YUM!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Ocean Club Chicken

One of my favorite restaurants is Ocean Club in Destin, FL.  I love the food and atmosphere.  It is a lot of fun.  They usually have live music when we are there.  One of our most memorable evenings was when they had a guy playing the piano, and he busted out with music from Phantom of the Opera and wore the mask - that is hard core!

Ocean Club is mainly a seafood place, but, as every good seafood place does, it has at least one chicken dish.  The chicken at Ocean Club is one of my favorites.  It is a pan seared parmesan chicken breast served with a tomato caper sauce.  I love it!  This is the dish that introduced me to capers.

With no trip to the beach planned in the near future, I decided to recreate this dish at home. I made a tomato sauce from scratch, but I think a doctored up jar of sauce would work just as well.   It turned out great!  It might have been better than the original.  It was certainly cheaper than a trip to the beach and I didn't have to worry about getting sunburned!!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Cheesy Bacon Mac & Cheese

This recipe was in the October issue of Everyday Food.  It looked so good and easy.  We are always on the lookout for another good macNcheese recipe, so we gave it a try.  Emeril didn't disappoint.  This was really good.  I mean, how can you go wrong with pasta, cheese and bacon?! 

Emeril's recipe used elbow macaroni.  I didn't have any elbow macaroni, so I used bowtie pasta.  I'm pretty sure it didn't hurt the final product.  This macNcheese comes together in no time.  Boiling the pasta is the most time consuming part of the whole thing.  

Monday, February 21, 2011

Friday, February 18, 2011

Brown Sugar and Bourbon Pork Tenderloin

We are totally loving this weather!!  It has been in the high 60s, low 70s all week!  This is grilling weather!!  

The original recipe calls for flank steak.  I had a pork tenderloin in the freezer, so I went with it.  This pork can marinate all day in the fridge.  I like to prepare the marinade the night before we grill.  It just works better for me, since I work.  I don't have time to fool with anything extra in the mornings.  The pork turned out great!  This is one of our favorite pork marinades.  I can only imagine how good it is on flank steak.  We will be giving it a try in the very near future.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Cheddar Cornbread Waffles

I enjoyed using my waffle iron so much last weekend that I decided to make some savory waffles.  I found this recipe in my new Southern Living 2010 Annual Recipes book, and I immediately thought to pair the cornbread waffles with our favorite chili.  

This was fun and made for a quick week night meal.  The chili cooked in the crockpot all day, and all I had to do was make the waffles when I got home.  Dinner was on the table in less than 30 minutes.  These waffles were equally also good with just some butter (or even syrup) slathered on them.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Tomato Basil Chicken

I stumbled upon this recipe on Taste of Home's website and immediately put it on the menu.  We absolutely loved it!!  The chicken was very juicy and tender and had tons of great flavor.  I can't wait to try this with some fresh basil from our little garden this summer. 

This chicken will be in our regular grilling rotation.  This would be great over the Lite Alfredo Sauce I posted last week or a good red sauce.  I only made two chicken breasts last weekend.  I am going to double the chicken next time so we can eat the leftovers for lunch the next day. 

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Waffle of Insane Greatness

Looking for the best homemade waffle ever?  Well, look no further.  I finally got around to making The Waffle of Insane Greatness this weekend, and let me tell you, it is insanely great! 

This has been on my list to make for a long time.  The recipe is from Aretha Frankensteins in Chattanooga, TN.  It is a small eclectic place with fabulous home cooked food.  I have actually been to Aretha Frankesteins for breakfast and it was really good.  It is a must eat if you are in town. 

I don't usually make breakfast, but we decided to take a day trip on Sunday to Tigers for Tomorrow, a wild animal sanctuary about an hour and a half away from Birmingham.  I knew we needed to eat a larger breakfast since we wouldn't get eat lunch until later in the day.  I busted out the waffle iron and finally made these waffles.  They were insanely great!  Really!  I have a small waffle iron and we got 3 1/2 waffles out of the batter.  You will definitely want to double or triple the recipe if you have more than 2 people or a Belgium waffle maker. 

Monday, February 14, 2011

Friday, February 11, 2011

Lite Alfredo Sauce

This recipe from Cuisine at Home is a great guilt-free alfredo sauce.  We absolutely loved this version.  I would have never guessed this was low cal/low fat.  It is really creamy and full of flavor.  It is also extremely easy to make.  The base of the sauce can be prepared up to a week in advance.  You could blend it up on Sunday and serve it any night of the week.  This is the only alfredo sauce I will make from now on.  We served this sauce with some simple grilled garlic chicken.  It was a fantastic meal!

Give this a try for Valentines Day - it will help balance out all the sweet treats that you might happen to indulge in.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Red Velvet Cupcakes

I saw some pretty Valentine cupcakes on Williams-Sonoma's website; the only problem with them was they were crazy expensive.  I knew that I could make something very similar at home for a lot less than $49.95 plus shipping (and make more than 9 cupcakes).

I have come to realize that I really love red velvet anything.  These cupcakes are right up there with the Red Velvet Brownies that I made at Christmas.  They are some of the moistest cupcakes I've ever eaten. The best part about this recipe is that it is just a doctored up cake mix - yea!!  Don't tell anyone - they will never know.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

M&M Cakies

My friend, Cathy, has a really cute blog that I visit all the time.  She shares tales of her daily life, posts pictures of her super cute kids, and shares craft ideas and recipes she finds on the internets.  Last month she blogged about "cakies" - cookies made from a cake mix.  Her family really liked them, so I put them on my list of things to try.  I was cleaning out my pantry and found a box of cake mix and some Valentine M&Ms, so I decided to whip up a batch M&M cakies for Valentine's. 

I used a recipe from and it was really good.  I can't tell you how easy these cookies are to make!  I loved not having to cream butter and sugar and measure a ton of ingredients.  I just mixed up the cake mix, baking powder, oil and eggs, and violia!  Cookies!  If you need a quick Valentine treat, this is it!   You may also want to check out these cute decorated Valentine bags over at Twig & Thistle to package the cookies. Just download the template and print directly on to white treat bags or labels.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Butterscotch Peanut Butter Kisses

A few weeks ago Amanda, of, blogged about some wonderful fancy gourmet peanut butter that she got for Christmas.  She got all kinds of interesting flavors, but the one that caught my eye was the butterscotch peanut butter.  It sounded right up my alley.

When I read about butterscotch peanut butter, I knew I had to incorporate it into Chicken Leg's favorite Peanut Butter Kiss cookies.  The cookies were great!  We both loved the addition of the butterscotch.  It really put the cookies over the top!  It was a nice twist to our original recipe.  I rolled the cookies in red sugar so they would be festive for Valentine's Day.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Candy Coated Peanut Butter Nutella Ritz Cookies

Today is World Nutella Day!  To celebrate, I made these yummy Peanut Butter Nutella Ritz Cookies. 

The regular Peanut Butter and Ritz Cookies are one of my favorite treats.  My Mom usually gets some at Christmas from one of her students.  That is really the only time I eat them.  I am not sure why, but I never think to make them myself.  I was brain storming about what to make for World Nutella Day, and I thought what about adding Nutella to the Peanut Butter Ritz Cookies.  YUM!  Sweet, Salty and Chocolatey all in one bite! 

Friday, February 4, 2011

Super Bowl Snacks

For me, the Super Bowl is really all about the commercials and the food.  We are not huge NFL fans.  Chicken Legs watches it when it is on, but we don't have a "team".  I think it is because our state is so big into college football.  We live and breath Auburn and Alabama football down here.  That being said, we still love to watch the Super Bowl and tailgate at home.  Last year we had some chips and dip and picked up wings.   We haven't finalized our menu for Sunday yet.  We have lots of good choices though. 

If you are still undecided too, here are some of the recipes we are considering to help you out with your decision:

If you still need more inspiration, check out my tailgating posts.  So many great recipes to choose from!

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Thursday, February 3, 2011

Los Barrios Salsa

Los Barrios Salsa Recipe - only 5 ingredients to make this authentic Mexican salsa! SO good. Tastes just like the Mexican Restaurant.

This salsa recipe is from the same place as the Make Me Crazy Marinade that I shared a few weeks ago, Los Barrios Family Cookbook.  We loved the Make Me Crazy Marinade so much that we decided to give the salsa a try.  This is a simple recipe that requires very few ingredients.  You probably have everything in your pantry.  

The salsa was great!   It tasted like salsa we've had at local Tex-Mex restaurants. We had the salsa with some grilled chicken fajitas for dinner,  and Chicken Legs added some to his egg whites the next morning at breakfast.   

I looked up Los Barrios Restaurant and found out it is located in San Antonio.  I need to have my Dad check it out next time he is out there for work.  I bet the food is fantastic - we certainly loved both recipes that we have tried at home so far!  We are planning on whipping up a batch of this for the Super Bowl.

Los Barrios Salsa Recipe - only 5 ingredients to make this authentic Mexican salsa! SO good. Tastes just like the Mexican Restaurant.

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