Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Farmhouse Chicken Dinner

Okay, I know this is the worst picture in food blogging history, but the meal was actually really good. I seem to have a knack for taking bad food pictures... I never have the right lighting and my arrangement has much to be desired... however, the taste trumps that, right? Right?

This recipe is adapted from a Rachel Ray recipe. I couldn't stop eating it. The sauce is so creamy and delicious. I used wild rice, but I'm sure any type of rice would work just fine.

Farmhouse Chicken Dinner

1/4 cup flour

1/2 tsp. pepper

1/2 tsp. salt

4 small bone-in chicken breast halves

1/2 cup zesty Italian dressing

2 cups baby carrots

1/2 of a yellow onion, chopped

1 can (14-1/2 oz.) chicken broth, divided

2 cups Rice, (brown or wild rice taste best)

4 oz. cream cheese, cubed

2 Tbsp. minced fresh parsley


DIRECTIONS:

  1. Mix flour and pepper and salt in shallow dish. Add chicken; turn to coat both sides of each piece. Gently shake off excess flour. Heat dressing in large nonstick skillet on medium heat. Add chicken, meat-sides down; cook 5 to 6 min. or until golden brown. Turn chicken. Add carrots, onions and 1 cup broth; cover. Simmer on medium-low 20 min. or until chicken is done.

  2. Meanwhile, cook rice as directed on package; spoon onto platter. Use slotted spoon to remove chicken and vegetables from skillet; place over rice. Cover to keep warm.

  3. Add cream cheese and remaining broth to skillet; cook on high heat until cream cheese is melted and sauce is well blended, stirring constantly. Simmer on medium-low heat 3 to 5 min. or until slightly thickened, stirring occasionally. Spoon over chicken and vegetables; top with parsley.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Granola

The other day I was craving something nutty and nutritious. I couldn't think of anything that I wanted except for my mom's homemade granola. I remember whenever she made it, I would eat it nonstop until every last morsel was devoured.
I called her up and got the recipe for my very own. I'm so glad that now I can eat it anytime I want. I have been eating it for breakfast, lunch, and dinner for a week now. The best part is that it makes a ton so not only can you give some away, but still have plenty left to enjoy. No need to ration it out... In moderation, this can be a very healthy snack. I always have trouble with that moderation part. It's just so good! I like to eat it in a bowl with milk for breakfast, and plain by itself throughout the day.
Obviously you can mix up the nuts and other ingredients to suit your own tastes, but I love it just the way it is.

Mom's Granola

8 cups oats
1 cup Grape nuts (I used the Walmart brand)
1 cup All Bran cereal (they look like little sticks)
1 cup wheat germ
1 cup shredded coconut
2 cups honey roasted peanuts
1 cup almonds (Iused roasted and salted)
1 cup cashews
1/2 cup walnuts
1 1/2 cups sunflower seeds
1 cup raisins
2 cups honey
1 cup vegetable oil
1 tbsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 200 degrees F.
Mix dry ingredients together in a large bowl.
Heat honey on stove top until runny. Add oil and vanilla and stir until runny and smooth. Pour over dry mix and stir.
Spread mix on to 2 large, greased cookie sheets. Bake mix for one hour stirring every 15 minutes.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

St. Patrick's Day Grasshopper Brownies

I wanted to make a fun, festive St. Patrick's Day treat for our family night dessert, and came up with these. I put the frosting on before the brownies cooled completely, so it was a little messy and blobby, but we just couldn't wait to eat them. I also could not find St. Patrick's Day sprinkles anywhere! I went to Walmart and 2 other grocery stores with no success... weird. I live in a small town so I didn't have access to a craft store that might have helped me out, but I did find these cute green mini chips in my pantry. I think they turned out very festive for a last minute unplanned treat.
I made my brownies from scratch, but to save time you could easily use a box mix.

St. Patrick's Day Grasshopper Brownies

Brownies
1 c butter
3/4 c baking cocoa
2 c sugar
4 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
2 c flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt

Melt butter in microwave or on the stovetop. After it is completely melted remove from heat and stir in cocoa. Stir until smooth. Add sugar, eggs one at a time, vanilla, and dry ingredients.
Spread in a 9x13 cake pan.
Bake at 350 for 25 - 30 minutes. Let brownies cool completely before frosting.

Frosting
3 cups powdered sugar
4 oz cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup butter, softened
2 TBS milk
1/4 tsp mint extract
4 to 5 drops green food coloring

Beat the cream cheese and butter until fluffy and smooth. Add the powdered sugar 1 cup at a time, beating each time until smooth. Add milk by the teaspoon full until you get your desired consistency. It should be quite stiff. Add mint extract and food coloring.
Spread over the brownies and top with sprinkles.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Surprise Gumball Cupcakes with Laffy Taffy Frosting


When I saw Laffy Taffy Frosting on Real Mom Kitchen, I just knew I had to try it. We are huge Laffy Taffy fans. My girls' favorite candy is Laffy Taffy and Gumballs, so I decided to surprise them today with some fun Pinkalicious cupcakes. They were so thrilled with the hidden gumball. The frosting is very sweet, but oh so delicious. I devoured 2 cupcakes on the spot. I played with the cupcake recipe a little bit, and I must say I thought it was absolutely divine! The cupcakes were very light and airy, and absolutely scrumptious. They were a bit crumbly, but I actually liked them that way.
These would be fun for a Princess birthday party, or any kind of girly get together. The frosting was so good, I am going to be experimenting with other flavors of Laffy Taffy for sure. The possibilities are endless!

White and Crumbly Cupcakes

  • 1 (18.25-oz.) package white cake mix
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 TBS vanilla extract
  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line muffin cups with paper liners.
  2. In a large bowl, beat cake mix, milk, whipping cream, butter, eggs, and vanilla extract, with an electric mixer until moistened, about 30 seconds. Then increase the speed to high and beat until thick for 2 minutes.
  3. Fill paper liners two-thirds full with the batter. Bake at 350° for 18 - 22 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Allow cupcakes to cool.
  4. When the cupcakes are cooled, using an apple corer or knife, cut out a 3/4 inch round plug from the center of each cupcake creating a pocket in each cupcake. Put one large gumball in the hole so only a tiny hump is sticking up, like the picture below.

    Laffy Taffy Frosting

***This frosting is enough to cover all of the cupcakes but if you want it piled on on the cupcakes like I did in the photo then you will want to double this amount.***

  • 12 pieces of strawberry Laffy Taffy candy (the fun sized ones)
  • 2 Tbsp. heavy cream
  • 1 cup butter, room temperature
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  1. In a small sauce pan, melt the taffy and the heavy cream together stirring until the mixture is smooth. Remove from the heat to cool.
  2. In a mixing bowl, whip the butter until smooth.
  3. Mix in the powdered sugar, a half cup at a time, whipping until fluffy. Then add the melted and cooled laffy taffy a spoonful at a time. You don’t want it too thick. If needed, place it back on the stove for a few seconds to soften it just enough. After each spoonful of the laffy taffy, turn the mixer up to high and whip the frosting until it’s fluffy. You can also add a little pink or red food coloring to get the desired shade. I did not add any food coloring.
  4. Frost the cupcakes with the laffy taffy frosting and top with sprinkles. Makes 24 cupcakes.


Monday, March 7, 2011

Cheerio Bars




I remember my mom making these for my sisters and I when I was a kid. They are addicting and so yummy. I've also had them made with Rice Krispies cereal, but I prefer the Cheerios. Make sure you have someone to share them with or you'll end up eating the whole pan! ;)

Cheerio Bars

1 c. light corn syrup
1 c. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 c. peanut butter
6 c. Cheerios
6 oz. butterscotch chips
6 oz. chocolate chips

Heat but do not boil corn syrup and sugar. Add vanilla, peanut butter and cheerios. Press into 13 x 9 inch pan. Melt chips and spread over cereal mixture. Put the pan in the fridge or freezer until chocolate on top is set. Cut into bars and enjoy!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Baked Parmesan Garlic Chicken

I am always searching for easy chicken recipes. I'm a big chicken fan. We have it a lot at our house. Especially with my hubby gone, who is the main beef eater. The other night, I was in the mood for a simple chicken recipe. I found a very simple recipe online and had dinner on the table in a flash. And as usual, I halved the recipe with great success.
I just found a whole stash of great chicken recipes, so be prepared to be bombarded with chicken in the near future.

Baked Parmesan Garlic Chicken

1/2 cup grated Parmesan
1 package Good Seasons Italian Dressing mix
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
6 boneless skinless chicken breast halves

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

2. Mix cheese, dressing mix and garlic powder.

3. Moisten chicken breasts with water; coat with cheese mixture. Place in shallow baking dish.

4. Bake 30 -40 min. or until chicken is no longer pink in the center.