Monday, October 31, 2016

Bacon-Chicken Melts

I grew up with open faced sandwiches and it's always fun to come up with different variations of them.  This is a melt in your mouth type, with chicken and onions sauteed in bacon grease, topped with cheese and broiled to perfection.  YUM!  Enjoy!
-1 lb bacon, each slice cut in half
-1 red onion, halved and sliced thinly
-2 chicken breasts, skinless, boneless
-honey mustard SAUCE or bbq sauce (we like Sweet Baby Ray's for both of them)
-honey wheat bread, sliced (or any bread you like)
-shredded mozzarella cheese
Cook bacon in large skillet until nice and crispy.  Remove onto plate lined with paper towels.
Keep the drippings in the skillet and return to stove.  Add the onion slices, season with a little salt and pepper, and cook until nice and soft.  Remove onion from skillet, but keep the drippings.
While the onion is cooking, cut the chicken breasts into 3 strips.  Using a kitchen mallet, pound each strip until tender.
Once the onion is done cooking, return the skillet with the bacon drippings to stove.  Season each pounded chicken strip with salt and pepper on both sides and place in hot skillet. Cook until no longer pink.  Remove chicken onto plate lined with paper towels.
Preheat oven to HIGH broil.
Toast 6 slices of the bread. Place each piece of toast on large baking sheet.  Place desired amount of honey mustard sauce or bbq sauce on each slice of bread.  Spread with a butter knife.  On top of that, place a piece of chicken.  Top with onions, bacon and shredded cheese.
Place in preheated oven and broil for 2 minutes.  Enjoy!

Friday, October 28, 2016

Banana-Nutella Muffins

Bananas and Nutella are a match made in heaven.  :)  They seriously go absolutely perfect together.  These muffins are a great way to enjoy the two together.  They are sticky, sweet, fluffy, and delicious!  Enjoy!
-1 cup sugar
-2 large eggs
-1/2 cup apple sauce
-3 very ripe bananas
-1/4 tsp salt
-1 tsp baking soda
-1 1/2 cups flour
-1/3 cup Nutella
Preheat oven to 350 F. Line a 12 muffin pan with paper liners. Set aside.
In your mixer's bowl, cream the sugar and eggs.  Add the apple sauce, then the bananas, one half at a time. Stir in the salt, baking soda and flour, half of cup at a time.  Once well mixed, add the Nutella.  Mix very well.
Pour batter evenly into prepared pan.  Bake in preheated oven for 30-35 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.
Remove pan to cool onto wire rack.  Cool for 15 minutes.  Carefully remove muffins from pan and place on wire rack until completely cooled.  Enjoy!

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Slow Cooker Chicken and Mushrooms

The picture really doesn't do this dish justice.  I wish I could capture the taste!  It is so flavorful, tender, and simply delicious!  I served ours on top of mashies with a side salad.  Easy and delicious.  Enjoy!
-2 chicken breasts, sliced into large strips
-2 tsp salt
-2 tsp pepper
-4 cloves garlic, minced
-8 oz baby bella mushrooms, sliced
-1 cup chicken broth
-1/2 cup water
-1/4 cup cornstarch
Coat the bottom of your slow cooker with cooking spray.  Season the chicken strips with the salt and pepper (this is the seasoning for the entire dish, so, yes, be generous with it).  Place chicken in prepared slow cooker.  Top with garlic, mushrooms and broth. Cover and cook on LOW for 4-5 hours.
At the end of that, mix the water and cornstarch and small bowl.  Pour into slow cooker and give it a stir.  Cover and cook on HIGH for 20-30 minutes or until sauce thickens. Serve on top of mashies or even rice.  Enjoy!

Monday, October 24, 2016

Kielbasa with Creamy Garlicky Pasta

This is one of those well under 30 minute meals that's also finger licking good.  The flavors are wonderful together.  Enjoy!
-1 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
-4-5 garlic cloves, minced
-2 Tbs butter
-1 cup milk (at least 2 %)
-2 cups chicken stock
-1/2 lb fettuccine or any pasta you like
-1/2 tsp salt
-1 tsp pepper
-1/2 lb Polska kielbasa
-1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
Heat oil in large skillet.  Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds.  Stir in the butter until melted.  Add the milk and chicken stock.  Bring to a boil.  Add the pasta, salt and pepper.  Give it a good stir and cook for 10-11 minutes, until pasta is tender.
While the pasta is cooking, coat another skillet with cooking spray and heat up.
Cut the kielbasa in half lengthwise, then cut each half into thick slices.  Add to heated skillet and cook until golden brown. Drain on paper towels.
Once pasta is done cooking, add the cheese and cooked sausage.  Give it a good stir.  Serve and enjoy!

Friday, October 21, 2016

Creamy Pumpkin Delight

This dessert is so creamy, light, fluffy and absolutely delicious!  It's a wonderful combination of cream cheese, white chocolate pudding, whipped cream, pumpkin, and pecans.  Super delicious!  Enjoy!
For crust:
-3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
-1 1/2 cups flour
-3/4 cup pecan chips
For layers:
-16 oz frozen whipped topping, thawed, divided
-1 (8 oz) package cream cheese, at room temperature
-1 cup powdered sugar
-2 1/2 cups milk
-3 (3.5 oz each) packages white chocolate instant pudding mix
-3 cups canned pumpkin
-1 tsp pumpkin spice
-1/4 cup pecan chips
Preheat oven to 350 F.  Coat the bottom of a 9x13 baking dish with butter flavored cooking spray.  Set aside.
Place all crust ingredients in a food processor.  Mix until well combined.  Spread mixture on bottom of prepared pan, pressing down.  Bake in preheated oven for about 20 minutes or until golden brown.
Remove from oven and cool completely.
Once crust is completely cooled, place 1 cup of the whipped topping, cream cheese and powder sugar in a large bowl.  Using a hand mixer, whip until smooth. Spread over cooled crust.
In a large bowl, mix 1 cup of the whipped topping, the milk, pudding, pumpkin and pumpkin spice.  Mix well, then pour over cream cheese layer.
Finally, spread evenly remaining whipped topping.  Sprinkle with the remaining pecan chips.
Place this goodness in the fridge and let it set for 4-5 hours.
Slice and enjoy!

Monday, October 17, 2016

Southwest Cheesy-Beefy Pasta

This dish is super quick to put together and so yummy!  It's very filling and delicious, with the perfect little kick.  Enjoy!
-1 lb extra lean or lean ground beef (if using fattier beef, drain excess grease after browning)
-1 (1.25 oz) packet taco seasoning
-1 (10 oz) can diced tomatoes with green chilies (do NOT drain)
-1 (15 oz) can sweet corn, drained
-2 cups dry pasta (I like using elbow macaroni)
-3 cups water
-4 oz cheddar cheese, shredded
-1 small tomato, chopped, for topping
-sour cream, for topping
In a large skillet/pot or even wok, brown the ground beef, breaking it as it cooks. Sprinkle the taco seasoning and give it a good stir.  Add the tomatoes with chilies, corn, pasta and water.  Mix well and bring to a boil.  Cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 10-12 minutes.
Uncover and remove from heat.  Top immediately with the shredded cheese.
Serve with a dollop of sour cream and fresh chopped tomato.  Enjoy!

Friday, October 14, 2016

Pumpkin-Chocolate Chip Bread

Here's a simple, classic recipe for a pumpkin bread with chocolate chips. It's moist and delicious!  This one is a family favorite, something my kids are always looking forward to.  Enjoy!
-1 cup sugar
-1/2 cup packed brown sugar
-1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
-2 large eggs
-1 Tbs vanilla extract
-1/2 tsp baking soda
-1/4 tsp baking powder
-1/4 tsp salt
-1/2 tsp cinnamon
-1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
-1 1/2 cups flour
-1 1/2 cups canned pumpkin
-1/2 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350 F.  Generously, coat the bottom and sides of a loaf pan with baking spray. Set aside.
In your electric mixer's bowl, cream the sugar, brown sugar and butter.  Once nice and smooth, stir in the eggs and mix well.  Add the vanilla, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg.  Add the flour, 1/2 cup at a time.  Stir in the pumpkin and chocolate chips. 
Pour in prepared pan.  Bake in preheated oven for 65-75 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Cool, in the pan, on a wire rack for about 20 minutes.  Carefully, remove from pan and cool completely.  Slice and enjoy!

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Pasta with Bacon-Ranch Chicken

This is a pretty quick meal to put together and so, so delicious!  The chicken is cooked in the bacon grease, then everything combines beautifully in a delicious ranch sauce.  YUM!  Enjoy!
-1/2 lb garden rotini
-6 slices thick cut, apple-wood smoked bacon
-2 chicken breasts, boneless,skinless, cut into bite size chunks
-1 (1 oz) packet ranch dry salad dressing mix
-2 Tbs flour
-1 1/4 cups milk
-shredded Parmesan cheese
Cook pasta according to package instructions.  Drain.
Meanwhile, heat up a large skillet.  Cut the bacon into small strips.  Place in skillet and cook until nice and crisp.  Remove onto plate lined with paper towels.  
Drain most of the bacon grease, leaving about 2-3 Tbs in the skillet.  Return skillet to stove and add the chicken chunks.  Cook until golden brown.  Sprinkle chicken with the flour and dry ranch.  Give it a good stir and cook for 30 seconds.  Add the milk.  Cook for a couple of minutes or until thickened.  Stir in the bacon and drained pasta. Mix well.
Scoop onto plate and top with shredded Parmesan.  Enjoy!

Friday, October 7, 2016

Lemon Pound Cake

I had 3 lemons that I needed to use and I immediately thought about making a pound cake.  It's easy, light, and super delicious!  YUM!  Enjoy!
For cake:
-1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
-2 cups sugar
-3 large eggs
-1 cup sour cream
-2 lemon, zested and juiced
-1 tsp vanilla extract
-1/4 tsp salt
-1 tsp baking powder
-2 cups flour
For glaze:
-1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
-1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
-1 lemon, zested and juiced
-1 Tbs milk (whole or 2%)
Preheat oven to 350 F.  Coat a bundt cake pan on bottom and sides generously with baking spray.  Set aside.
In your electric mixer's bowl, cream the butter and sugar.  Add the eggs, one at a time.  Stir in the sour cream, zest and juice from lemons, vanilla, salt, baking powder and flour, half of cup at a time. Mix very well, then carefully pour into prepared pan.  
Bake in preheated oven for 1 hour or until golden brown and the toothpick comes out clean.  Place pan on top of wire rack for about 15 minutes.
While the cake is cooling, mix all the glaze ingredients using a hand mixer. Beat until nice and smooth.
Turn cake over on serving plate and cover with half of the glaze. Let it cool for 1 hour.  Pour remaining glaze and let it cool completely.  Slice and enjoy!

Monday, October 3, 2016

Pan Seared Chicken with Bacon, Cheese, and Caramelized Onions

YUM!  This is probably one of the best chicken recipes ever!  I mean, what's not to like?  The chicken is lightly seasoned and seared in bacon grease, then topped with cheese, caramelized onions and bacon.  Super delish!  Enjoy!
-8 strips of smoked bacon, cut into chunks
-4 chicken thighs, skin-on, bone-in
-2 tsp salt
-2 tsp lemon-pepper
-1 large onion, halved and sliced
-1/4 cup packed brown sugar
-1/2 cup shredded cheese (Colby-Monterey Jack, mozzarella, cheddar, etc)
Cook bacon chunks in large skillet until nice and crisp.  Using a slotted spoon, remove bacon chunks onto paper towel lined plate. Turn the heat on medium-low.
Season chicken on both sides with salt and lemon pepper. Place, skin side down, into skillet with bacon drippings.  Sear until chicken is golden brown, with crispy skin, and cooked through.  Remove chicken from skillet and place on plate lined with paper towels.
The skillet should still have plenty of bacon and chicken drippings.  To it, add the onion slices and brown sugar.  Mix and cook until onions are nicely caramelized-about 10 minutes.
To serve, place a  piece of chicken on a plate and top immediately with some of the onion, then shredded cheese and bacon chunks.  Enjoy!


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