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Sunday, July 31, 2011

Foodbuzz 24x24 - Hot Diggity Dog!

July is National Hot Dog month, so when Foodbuzz asked for proposals for their 24x24 I knew this would be perfect!

To celebrate, we had a few friends over and made 4 different types of hot dogs.  Grilled hot dogs, corn dogs, bacon crescent dogs and chili dogs.  They were all delicious!

These grilled dogs were great.  They were our favorite out of all the hot dogs we made.  We marinated the hot dogs before grilling - that was new to us!  I loved how the hot dogs looked with the little cuts in them.  I can see us grilling these dogs at a tailgate this Fall.

Grilled Hot Dogs
(Printable Recipe)

8 hot dogs (we used Hebrew National)
1/4 cup ketchup
2 Tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tsp vegetable oil

With a small, sharp knife, make cuts at an angle in 2 rows down each hot dog, about 1/2 inch apart, cutting partway into the hot dog. The cuts should look like rounded half circles.

Mix the ketchup with the Worcestershire sauce, oil and garlic. Pour into a large ziplock bag, add hot dogs and let marinate for 15-20 minutes.

Light grill. Grill the hot dogs until nicely charred and the cuts open up, about 3-5 minutes total.

Next up was Corn Dogs.  I love corn dogs.  I saw a snazzy corn dog maker on Pinterest, and I just had to have it.  You can find it here.  I used the recipe that came with the corn dog maker and they tasted great.  The corn dogs were quick and easy to make.  They would be perfect for a quick lunch.

The next hot dog is a kicked up crescent dog.  We added bacon to our usual crescent dogs - because everything is better with bacon!  YUM!

Bacon Crescent Dogs
(Printable Recipe)

8 hot dogs
4 slices American cheese, each cut into 6 strips
1 can crescent dinner rolls (I used reduced fat)
8 slices precooked bacon

Heat oven to 375°F. Slit hot dogs to within 1/2 inch of ends; insert 3 strips of cheese into each slit. Separate dough into triangles. Lay one strip of bacon on each roll. Wrap dough triangle around each hot dog. Place on ungreased cookie sheet, cheese side up. Bake at 375°F. for 12 to 15 minutes or until golden brown.

Finally we have chili dogs.  The chili was excellent.  It would be really good by itself.  We topped the hot dogs with the chili, cheddar cheese and green onions.  They were fantastic!

Chili Dogs
(Printable Recipe)

1b ground chuck
1 lg onion
1 clove garlic crushed
1 (15 oz) can tomato paste
2 tablespoons chili powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
1 cup water
8 buns toasted and dogs cooked
2 cups shredded mild cheddar cheese
chopped green onions

In a large skillet, cook first 3 ingredients. Drain. Add tomato paste and next 4 ingredients
Bring to boil, cover and simmer 25 min--stirring occasionally. When ready to serve, put cooked hot dogs in toasted buns, top with chili, cheese and green onions.

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Friday, July 29, 2011

English Muffin Pizzas

I can't believe we haven't made these before.   It just seems like something we would make all the time since I love pizza and English muffins.  Well, I don't like just any English muffin.  I only like Bays English Muffins.  They are pre-split and aren't dry like some of the other brands.  You can find them the refrigerated section of the grocery store.  They taste great!  (They are really great to make French Toast with too!)

We've had these for dinner twice in the past two weeks.   They are easy to customize, so everyone can have pizza the way they like it.  Chicken Legs said he likes this better than regular pizza!  That is fine by me - they are a cinch to make!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Pollo Loco - Mexican Chicken and Rice

This could quite possibly be the best thing that I have ever made!  We both took one bite and knew this was our new favorite meal.  It was inspired by a dish Chicken Legs had when he was out of town.  He described the dish to me, and I thought it sounded like something I would like. 

I decided to take a shot at it and recreate it at home.  It was unbelievable!  The chicken had a fabulous flavor, and the Mexican rice was spot on!  We will never have to go out for Mexican again.

Chicken Legs said this was so good that he could write my blog post today -"YOU MUST MAKE THIS!"  Well said!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Crockpot Lemon Chicken

Like most of the country, we are having a heat wave in Alabama.  I decided that I needed to pull out my crockpot for dinner to try and beat the heat!

This chicken only uses a few ingredients and was delicious.  I was shocked that something so simple could taste so good!  This doesn't make a lot of extra sauce as it cooks, so you might want to double the chicken broth if you like a lot of sauce.  The only thing I would do different next time is to add some garlic and mushrooms (for Chicken Legs).

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Double Cheese Chicken Fingers

Chicken fingers are a favorite at our house.  We make them at least once a week.  This recipe combined our two favorite chicken tender recipes - Cheez It Chicken Fingers and the Ultimate Chicken Fingers.  They were fantastic!  How could they be bad with Cheez-Its and Parmesan cheese??

The chicken fingers tasted great and took no time to make (a must for me during the week).  We dipped them in some honey mustard dressing, but they would be great just by themselves.  Give these a try soon - I promise everyone will love them!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Friday, July 22, 2011

Lemon Sunshine Cupcakes

It is suppose to rain this weekend here in Birmingham, so I decided to make my own sunshine!  This is another Pinterest find.  (Has anyone started Pinterest Anonymous yet? Hello, my name is Stephanie and I am a Pinterest addict.)

I decided to make lemon cupcakes because lemon feels like sunshine to me.  I didn't want to spend all day making cupcakes, so doctored up a lemon cake mix and just used a can of lemon frosting.  The cupcakes tasted fantastic!  I could have eaten several of these, but Chicken Legs didn't save me any.

I thought the cupcake decorations were super cute.  I used candy corn for the sun rays, mini chocolate chips for the eyes, and some red icing for the smile.  Let the kids help out with the decorating and make some sunshine this weekend!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Faux Fried Ice Cream and Cinnamon Waffle Sundaes

We made some great biscuit waffles around Father’s Day. They were so good and super easy to make. Since the biscuit waffles were so successful, I started thinking about what else we could make in the waffle maker. I immediately thought of cinnamon rolls. I didn’t want to do another breakfast recipe, so I decided to make a dessert. I thought Mexican fried ice cream would be excellent since it had the same cinnamon flavors. I wasn’t too sure about frying ice cream at home, so I went with a faux fried ice cream. It turned out fantastic!

This is really easy to make. The faux fried ice cream can be made the day before you want to serve it and stored in the freezer, but I suggest making the cinnamon roll waffles right before serving the sundae. We used crushed corn flakes for the coating but I think Golden Grahams or Cinnamon Toast Crunch would be good too.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Buffalo Mac & Cheese

We are both big fans of buffalo chicken and mac & cheese, so we had high hopes for this Buffalo Mac & Cheese.  I had several different versions of this recipe bookmarked and decided that I needed to finally get around to making it.  I can't believe I waited so long!  It was so good!  I used some rotisserie chicken and it came together in no time.  I made half of the recipe listed below and it was enough to feed at least 4 people.  We ate the leftovers for lunch the next day.  You must give this a try ASAP!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

TODAY's Home Chef Challenge Winner


THANK YOU to everyone that voted last week in the TODAY's Home Chef Challenge

Check out the article on TODAY's website!

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Bubble Up Enchiladas

Taco/Mexican night is one of our favorite nights of the week.  We went in a totally new direction this time and did Bubble Up Enchiladas.   We had great success with our Bubble Up Pizza and a White Bubble Up Pizza, so Bubble Up Enchiladas seemed to be the next logical step.  It was great!

This was a breeze to make.  I cooked the meat the night before and just mixed everything together when I got home from work.  We served it with some taco rice and black beans.  Next time I will add some sour cream and salsa on top.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Friday, July 15, 2011

Deep Dish Chocolate Chip Cookie Sundaes

This is super simple dessert that will knock your socks off!  A warm ooey gooey chocolate chip cookie topped with vanilla ice cream - what could be better?!

I decided to keep this really simple and used refrigerated cookie dough, but feel free to use your favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe.  I divided the dough between some small ramekins and slightly under baked them.  I immediately topped each cookie with a nice scoop of Blue Bell Homemade Vanilla ice cream.  They were fantastic!!  I plan on trying a different cookie dough next time.  I think Peanut Butter Cookies with chocolate ice cream might be good!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Pizza Burger

Summer is in full swing, and, for us, that means lots of grilling.  Burgers are one of our favorite things to grill.  We probably grill burgers 3 to 4 times a month.   We are always mixing up the flavors, and this time we decided to make these delicious pizza burgers.

The burgers were fantastic!  They were like a big grilled meatball sub.  We added some chopped turkey pepperoni to the burgers, but feel free to add green peppers, onions, mushrooms or any of your favorite pizza toppings to the meat mixture.  We topped the burgers with some mozzarella cheese and warm pizza sauce.  Pizza and burgers all in one? What's not to love??

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Best Fettuccine Alfredo

I found this recipe via Pinterest.  (I am totally addicted to Pinterest, but that is a whole other issue!)  The recipe is from Russell Bellanca, the chef at Alfredo of Rome in New York City.  It is said to be Martha Stewart's favorite Fettuccine Alfredo recipe.  Well, we can certainly see why.  It is AMAZING!  It was the best Fettuccine Alfredo that we have ever eaten.  Seriously!!

The best part about the recipe is that there are only 3 ingredients!  My version actually had four ingredients; I added some garlic powder for extra flavor.  We served the pasta with the Grilled Italian Chicken Tenders from yesterday.  Next time we are going to serve it with our favorite Blackened Chicken - I can not wait!!

This is obviously not something to eat all the time, but it is the perfect special occasion dish.  We both felt it is worth every single calorie!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Grilled Italian Chicken Tenders

This recipe came from my Mom.  She made these chicken tenders and couldn't wait to share the recipe with us.   The marinade is very simple, and you probably have everything on hand to make them tonight.  I let the chicken marinate overnight because that is easier for me.  I am always running late in the mornings and just don't have the time to prep for dinner.

The chicken was wonderful.  It smelled out of this world while it was grilling.   We couldn't wait to eat it.  We are so glad that "Mama Hen" shared this recipe with us!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Today Show's Home Chef Challenge - Vote!

I am a contender in this week's Today Show Home Chef Challenge!

Please take a minute and vote for me!  My recipe is the Grilled Chicken Piccata Pasta.


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Meow Monday



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Friday, July 8, 2011

Lazy S'mores

S'mores seem to be all the rage on food blogs these days.  Traditional s'mores, brownie s'mores, s'mores bars, s'mores blondies, s'mores cupcakes - you get the idea; they are everywhere!   I like s'mores, but I don't like having to buy graham crackers and hershey bars just to make them.

We had some Keebler Fudge Stripe cookies and leftover marshmallows (from my Rocky Road Cookies and Brownies) in the pantry, so I decided to turn them into s'mores.  Just put some mini marshmallows on top of the cookie and stick it under the broiler for 30-60 seconds and you have s'mores!  Easy and delicious!  You could even try this with Grasshopper, Deluxe Grahams or even Peanut Butter Filled cookies!  I am doing Peanut Butter Filled next!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Cheddar Bacon Ranch Pulls

A few weeks ago I shared my recipe for Cinnamon Roll Pulls, a sweet pull apart bread. In the post I mentioned a savory cheesy version. I had several requests for the cheesy bread recipe. Well, you asked for it, you got it!

I went with a cheddar bacon ranch bread. I knew these flavors would work well together since they are in my favorite dip, Crack Dip. The bread was unbelievable! My favorite part was the ranch butter that was poured over the loaf.  Like the Cinnamon Roll Pulls, this bread is highly addictive. We will refer to this bread as "Crack Bread" from now on!  Give it a try at your next gathering. I guarantee everyone will love it!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Taco "Cupcakes"

A while back I made some lasagna cupcakes - individual lasagnas made with won ton wrappers instead of pasta noodles.  They were great!  I had so much fun making the lasagna cupcakes that I decided to make some taco cupcakes.  

I kept this pretty simple.  I used my basic taco meat recipe and just added some black beans.   You could add some green peppers or olives if you really wanted to jazz it up.  We topped the cupcakes with some homemade salsa and sour cream.  I didn't have any lettuce or I would had added lettuce on top too.  We served the cupcakes along side our favorite Mexican Rice.  This was a great twist on regular tacos.  We both loved it!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Spicy Chicken Fingers

Chicken Fingers are one of my favorite weeknight meals because they are quick and easy to make.  I adapted this recipe from the Bisquick website.  We already love their Ultimate Chicken Fingers recipe, so we were anxious to give this recipe a try.  The chicken fingers were fantastic!  One of our favorites.  We both really loved the spice blend on the chicken fingers.   It reminded us of a buffalo chicken wing, but much easier to eat!

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