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Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Grilled Pork Tacos

I hope everyone had an enjoyable Memorial Day!  We spend most of the afternoon relaxing with the cats and doing a little grilling.  We decided to go in a different direction for our holiday meal and make these grilled pork tacos.

I've had this recipe bookmarked for a long time.  I thought the holiday would be a good time to finally give it a try.  We loved them!  The pork was very easy to put together.  They were light and flavorful.  We loved the smoky flavor and the slight kick from the chipotle peppers.  We topped the tacos with some salsa and sour cream.  I also think guacamole would be good too.  We had some leftovers - I plan on eating them for lunch today.  This is definitely a keeper!

Monday, May 30, 2011

Meow Monday




Happy Memorial Day!!

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Friday, May 27, 2011

Berry Patriotic Strawberries

I love Memorial Day!  It is the first holiday at work (that's always a good thing), and it is the unofficial start to Summer.  We usually grill out for Memorial Day.  We've done everything from chicken to burgers and ribs.  I'm not sure what we are going grill this year, but I know what dessert will be - these super cute patriotic strawberries!

These are so easy to make.  Just dip the strawberries in some vanilla almond bark and then into blue sugar.  They look very festive and taste like summer!  These strawberries would be equally appropriate for the 4th of July.  I love how quick and easy these are to make, and I especially love that this dessert doesn't require an oven.  So, if you are invited to a Memorial Day party this weekend, make sure you volunteer to bring dessert.  These strawberries will be the talk of the party.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Beef & Cheddar Chipotle Panini

Olexa's in Mountain Brook is one of our favorite places to eat lunch.  We make it a point to try and eat there at least once a month.  It is the only place we eat that every table gets dessert!  

Olexa's is known for their cakes, but the food in the cafe is fantastic.  Chicken Leg's loves the Chicken Tomato Bacon Caesar Salad and the Portobello and Smoked Gouda Panini.  My favorite is the Beef & Cheddar Chipotle Panini.  I finally decided to make an at home version of the Beef & Cheddar Chipotle Panini.  (It pays to be the cook) It was fabulous!!  It tasted almost exactly like the original.  Now if I could only figure out how to recreate the cake!!

Today is Chicken Leg's birthday!  We celebrated a few days early with a cake from Olexa's, of course.  He requested his favorite - chocolate cake with vanilla icing.  I only got two small slices - the boy loves his cake!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Chicken Parmesan Crescents

This is one of the best things we ate last week.  We both absolutely loved this - for several reasons.  I loved how simple it was to make.  Chicken Legs loved that this didn't dirty up the kitchen! (I cook, he cleans)  We both loved this because it was really tasty!

This only took a few minutes to assemble, and, in less than 30 minutes, we had chicken parmesan.  I used frozen chicken tenders because they were BOGO at Publix recently.  (That is Buy One Get One for those of you who don't know - like my mother and husband)  I did not thaw the chicken strips before I made this.  I just let them bake in the oven fully assembled.  To make clean up easier, I put the spaghetti sauce in a saucepan to dunk the chicken strips and then just heated up the leftover sauce in the same pan.  You are welcome Chicken Legs.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Crispy Oven Baked BBQ Chicken

I found this recipe in my email Inbox.  I get the various Betty Crocker newsletters, and this recipe was front and center in one of the latest editions.  It was super!  It was quick and easy to make after work - a must at our house. 

The chicken was crispy on the outside and moist and tender on the inside.  I really liked the BBQ and cheese on top!  I think next time I'll add a slice of bacon, because everything is better with bacon! 

Monday, May 23, 2011

Meow Monday - Mission Accomplished

She got a clean bill of health from the vet and we brought her in!  
She is still adjusting to being inside and around the other cats, but she is doing great.



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Friday, May 20, 2011

Taco Pancakes

I am always looking for new ways to keep dinner interesting. A few weeks ago I made Pizza Pancakes – savory pancakes with our favorite pizza topping mixed in and topped with pizza sauce. They were really good, and a lot of fun to eat. I had so much fun making pancakes on the griddle, that I started thinking of more “pancake” recipes. We love tacos at our house, so I thought why not try Taco “Pancakes”.

Since tacos are usually served in a corn tortilla shell, I used my cornbread recipe as the pancake base. I mixed in some seasoned taco meat and cheese to the cornbread batter and grilled them up. We topped the pancakes with some salsa, sour cream and lettuce. They were fantastic! We will definitely be making this again very soon. So, next time you are making tacos, think outside the shell and give these Taco “Pancakes” a try!  You won't be disappointed.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Chicken Cordon Bleu Wrap

I've had this wrap on my list to make for a while.  I finally got around to it last week and it was fantastic! 

I marinated the chicken in a honey mustard marinade and cooked it right before I assembled the wraps.  You could always use pre-cooked chicken strips, but I wanted the chicken to have a lot of great flavor.  We ate this for dinner and had enough chicken leftover for lunch the next day.  I loved all the flavors in this wrap, especially the honey mustard.  This was another successful sandwich night!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Peanut Butter Brookies

We took a mini vacation last weekend to St. Augustine for The Players golf tournament.  Well, I didn't actually go to the tournament.  I went shopping at the outlets with my Mom while the guys went to watch the golfers.  My Dad's company has a store at one of the outlet centers, and I usually take the ladies that work there a batch of goodies.  We loved the Peanutter Butter Cookies so much that I thought about making another batch for the ladies at the store, but I didn't want to do the same thing again.  I had some brownie mix in the pantry and decided to do a peanut butter and chocolate cookie with the brownies.

Oh My Goodness!  These cookies were amazing!  We loved them so much that we were worried there wouldn't be any left for the ladies at the store in St. Augustine.  Fortunately for them, this made a lot of cookies.  The cookies were soft on the inside, and the brownies complemented the peanut butter cookie perfectly.  Chicken Legs raved about these cookies all weekend.  I think they are one of his new favorites.  I will definitely be making these again very soon.

As part of the Tastemakers Program at Foodbuzz.com, I received a coupon for a dozen Eggland's Best Eggs.  The coupon arrived just in time for me to make these brookies.  I used the eggs in both the brownies and the cookies.  Eggland's Best eggs have 25% less saturated fat, 10xs more Vitamin E, 3xs more B12, 2xs moreVitamin D and double the Omega3 of regular eggs.  The way we figured it, these Peanut Butter Brookies are health food!  Right????  Well, at least that is what Chicken Legs is hoping after he ate about 2 dozen of these (at least).

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Cheetos Chicken Fingers

A little while back we made some awesome Cheez-It Chicken Fingers.  They were so good!  I started thinking about what other snack foods that would be good on chicken fingers.  I had a bag of Cheetos in the pantry, and I thought I'd give them a try.

These chicken fingers were really good.  They are everything you love about Cheetos, but without the orange fingers!   I used Baked Cheetos, because that is what I had in the pantry.  I think these would be even better with regular Cheetos.  This was a fun dish.  I think kids would really love this - who doesn't want to eat Cheetos for dinner?!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Friday, May 13, 2011

Peanutter Butter Cookies

A few weeks ago, I shared a fabulous Cookies & Cream Peanut Butter cookie.  Several people commented that they thought Nutter Butter cookies would be good packed inside the peanut butter cookie.  I thought that was a fantastic idea!  As a peanut butter fanatic, I was up to the challenge! 

The cookies were crispy on the outside, chewy on the inside and packed with tons of peanut butter flavor!  They look a little different that your usual peanut butter cookie, since you don't flatten in a crisscross pattern.  The cookies end up having a nice crackled appearance.  We really loved these cookies; especially the little chunks of Nutter Butters inside.  We both had a hard time controlling ourselves around them.  Fortunately, I gave most of the cookies to a friend for her birthday.  Her family had the same reaction we did - they loved them!  This is a keeper.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Fiesta Rice

I served this Fiesta Rice with the Taco Chicken from yesterday.  I had a can of Campbell's Fiesta Nacho Cheese soup in the pantry, so I decided to use it to make this rice.

We love this rice recipe.  The rice comes out tender and creamy - similar to a risotto.   The Fiesta Nacho Cheese soup gave the rice just the right amount of Tex-Mex flare to complement the chicken.  This is a fix it and forget it recipe.  Just mix up the soup, liquid and rice and pop it in the oven.  The rice cooked while Chicken Legs grilled the chicken and dinner was on the table in no time.  I love these kind of meals.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Taco Chicken

This chicken tasted as good as it looks.  It was delicious!!  This was a really quick and simple weeknight meal.   We grilled this chicken, because that is what we do.   Chicken Legs is a master griller and it makes dinner a breeze for me.   If grilling isn't your thing, you can pan sear the and finish it off in the oven.

This is such a versatile recipe.  You could use this chicken for fajitas, serve it on a bun with some pepper jack cheese or use chicken wings instead of boneless chicken breasts.  All of those options sound amazing to me!  Can't wait to try them all!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Orange Cake

This cake is one of my all-time favorite desserts.  I haven't made it in years because I can't control myself around it.  It is very easy to make and has a wonderful orange flavor.

This recipe is from Paula Deen.  If there is one thing Paula Deen does well, it is desserts.  She calls this recipe orange brownies, but I think that title is confusing since there is no chocolate anywhere in the recipe.  This is a great cake for a spring/summer cookout.  I'd like to experiment with other citrus flavors - lemon and/or lime sound good.  I think that sounds like the perfect excuse to make this again!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Meow Monday

Jack in the box


Today we have a special appearance by Fluffy, our outside cat.
Fluffy was a stray cat that adopted us a couple of years ago.  She is a super sweet cat.  She is hoping to get called up to the big leagues (inside), but she doesn't get along with Jack (the boss).  They like to hiss and "hit" each other through the windows.  

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Saturday, May 7, 2011

Derby Day Mint Juleps

It's Derby Day!  We aren't big Kentucky Derby fans, but we always make a point to watch "the fastest two minutes in sports".  The official drink of the Kentucky Derby is the mint julep.  We've never had mint juleps, so we decided to give them a try.

I must confess, our favorite thing about Kentucky is the bourbon.  Chicken Legs is a Maker's Mark man; more specifically a Maker's 46 man, so this drink was right up his alley.  The mint juleps were simple to make and tasted pretty good.  They are very sweet (just like me), and you must like bourbon.  I thought it was a bourbon mojito.  We now know why everyone in the infield at the Kentucky Derby is drunk - way too many mint juleps!

Friday, May 6, 2011

Mother's Day Menu Ideas

9/11/10 - Exit 6 Chicken

Mother's Day is Sunday.  I hope you have your presents ready, we do.  I thought I would share a few of our favorite recipes in case you still need a few ideas for your menu this weekend.

I included some of our favorite breakfast, lunch/dinner and dessert recipes.

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Thursday, May 5, 2011

Taco Burger

Happy Cinco de Mayo!!  Cinco de Mayo is one of my favorite holidays;  I think it's a great excuse to go out for margaritas!  I love to brave the crowds at one of the local Mexican restaurants for a few drinks and chips and salsa.

No matter how you plan on celebrating tonight, you must make this Taco Burger.  We started with our favorite burger recipe and added some salsa and taco seasoning.  We topped the burgers with a big slice of Wisconsin cheddar cheese, guacamole and some crushed tortilla chips.  The burger was amazing!  I mean, tacos and burgers all in one - what's not to love?!  This was a fun twist to both taco and burger night!

As part of the Tastemaker program at Foodbuzz, I was given some samples of Lay's new dip creations.  I used the guacamole dip seasoning to make the guacamole.  This was the first time I've made guacamole and it was a breeze.  Chicken Leg's said it was one of the best guacamole dips he's ever had.  I only made a half batch of guacamole, and I tossed the remaining dip mix with the fries.   It added great flavor!  We dipped the fries in a little salsa ketchup.

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