Happy New Year


stiry fryI hope everyone brought in the New Year in a safe fashion!  I know today’s post has absolutely nothing to do with the typical New Year festivities, but I made this dish the other day and would like to share it with all of you!  Of course, I had to give my slow cooker another round, so I made this delicious meal!  This meal originally started off as sweet and sour chicken, but I wasn’t happy with the taste, so I added more to it.

Slow Cooker Chicken Stir-Fry

Ingredients

2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts, diced
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup water
1/2 cup vinegar
2 tbsp ketchup
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 tbsp hoison sauce
1/2 bag frozen stir fry vegetables
rice

1. Mix brown sugar, water, vinegar, ketchup, and soy sauce together in the slow cooker.
2. Place chicken in slow cooker.
3. Cook on low for about 6 hours.
4. Cook rice according to directions before eating>
5. While rice is cooking, add in the hoison sauce and stir fry vegetables.  Allow to cook for about 10-15 minutes.6. Serve over rice.

 

 

Round 1 with a slow cooker!


Crockpot Chicken CacciatoreI have been completely unaware of what I have been missing.  I’ve never once cooked with a slow cooker, and I’ve successfully completed my first attempt.  I was gifted my first slow cooker for Christmas, and I almost made a big no-no when I opened the package.  Like with most appliances, I assume that they are easy and don’t require a look at the directions; so, I plugged the bad boy in, turned it on high and began to get my ingredients ready to throw in.  I noticed immediately, that the cooker had a very strange smell to it after it was turned on.  I was afraid that the food would taste like the metal smell, and so I decided maybe I should dig the instructions out of the trash and figure out what was going on.  I read the instructions and realized that you have to leave it on for twenty minutes with water inside, before use.  Thank goodness that I read the instructions, or else my meal would’ve been ruined.  For my first go around, I would say this was a really good meal.  The chicken was added whole, and it ended up coming out so tender that it would fall a part when touched with a fork.  I loosely followed this recipe loosely.

Slow Cooker Chicken Cacciatore

Ingredients

6 chicken tenderloins (3 chicken breasts)
Salt & Pepper
1/4 cup red wine
2 tablespoons capers
1 onion, chopped
1 pound fresh mushrooms, thickly sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup chicken broth
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 can diced tomatoes, undrained
Parsley flakes
Oregano
Basil
2 tablespoons cornstarch

1. Add your chicken, wine, capers, onions, mushrooms, garlic, chicken broth, tomato paste, diced tomatoes, and seasoning to the crock pot.  Set on low and cook for 7 to 9 hours, or high for 4 or 5 hours.
2. 20 minutes before serving time, use a large spoon and scoop out about 1/2 cup worth of just the juice.  Add the cornstarch in and stir until no clumps.  Add the cornstarch/juice mixture to the crock pot, stir, and then allow to thicken.
3. Serve over rice or noodles.  I used egg noodles.

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Pinterest Creation – Mini Garlic Monkey Bread


When we have a family get together, no one says “well I’ll make the garlicbread.”  Someone always forgets to bring the rolls, and they are always just the plain butter rolls that you throw into the oven for 7 minutes and eat…and not to mention, these 7 minute rolls always end up forgotten, and burnt.  So, this year I was determined to have good bread!  I found this wonderfully easy recipe on Pinterest (by Crumbs and Chaos), and added it to my “What-I-Want-To-Make” Wednesday post.  I’m happy to say, I made it!  It was so delicious.  My aunt was convinced that it was a copy cat Red Lobster recipe, but I will let you be the judge of that.

Mini Garlic Monkey Bread

Ingredients

2 (7.5 oz) cans buttermilk biscuits
6 tablespoons butter, melted
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons dried parsley
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese, plus more for sprinkling on top
non-stick cooking spray

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2. Lightly grease a 2 – 12 cup muffin tin with cooking spray.
3. Cut each biscuit into quarters and place into a bowl.
4. Combine butter, garlic, parsley and 1/4 cup of permesan cheese.  Pour over biscuits.
5. Place 3-4 pieces in each muffin tin (remember, these will expand so don’t put too many in there).
6. Sprinkle with additional permesan cheese.
7. Bake 12-14 minutes or until golden.

To keep mine warm on the way to my family’s house, I wrapped them in tin foil, placed them in a towel in a bowl.  I then covered them up again with another towel.  They actually stayed considerably warm for about an hour.

garlic– I hope you enjoyed my post!  Let me know if you try these delicious little suckers.  Maybe they will taste like Red Lobster rolls to you too!  Feel free to pin this recipe. –

Christmas Pinterest Creation – Peppermint Fudge


Peppermint fudgeOh, how I adore Pinterest.  I don’t know how anyone cooked, worked out, planned their wedding or had a child before Pinterest.  I was having a hard time deciding what type of dessert I wanted to take to my family Christmas party this year, and I went onto Pinterest and picked the first most delicious dessert that I saw.  That just so happened to be Peppermint Oreo Fudge brought to you by Something Swanky.  It was so delicious and very easy to make.  The only problem I had, is that I was hard headed and refused to use parchment paper and it was really hard to cut out.  Everyone loved this fudge, the taste wasn’t overruled by peppermint.  Just enough.  This could be made anytime of year, it doesn’t have to be Christmas!

Peppermint Oreo Fudge

Ingredients

1 bag Milk Chocolate Hershey Kisses, unwrapped
1 cup chocolate chips
1 bag candy Cane Hershey Kisses, unwrapped (or any peppermint chocolate)
1 cup white chocolate chips
2 cups crushed Oreos (I put mine in a food processor)
2 – 14 oz cans sweetened milk

1. Prepare 9×13 baking dish by lining it with parchment paper and spray the paper with non-stick cooking spray.
2. In a medium sauce pan, over LOW heat combine the milk chocolate Hershey kisses, chocolate chips, and 1 can sweetened condensed milk.
3. Stir until melted and smooth.  Once melted, add in 1 cup of crushed Oreos.
4. Pour the chocolate mixture into the prepared dish.
5. In another medium sauce pan (or clean out the one you used), stir over low heat the candy cane kisses (or any peppermint chocolate you choose), white chocolate chips, and 1 can sweetened condensed milk.
6. Once smooth, pour the peppermint mixture over the chocolate mixture.
7. Sprinkle the remaining Oreo crumbs over the top and lightly press into the fudge.
8. Let cool overnight in the fridge, and allow to set out about 1 hour before you decide to cut it.

Cajun something or other


I was going to complain that my sandwich at Jimmy John’s today, looked like this…

Jimmy John's

Instead of this…

6a0120a707012b970b012876ab3abc970c-800wiBut then I realized, that that is just the way the cookie crumbles…

So, the other night, I had full intentions of making gumbo without shrimp.  I began the chicken, and then the vegetables, and realized I didn’t have okra.  Gumbo without okra7B0AC9F0-5D35-4877-BA87-ECEE5E50AD97-7149-00000256817AE092 just didn’t sound right.  So I added beans, and then realized that gumbo doesn’t normally have beans.  Then I added diced tomatoes, and realized that some gumbo doesn’t have tomatoes either…so, I’m not really sure what this dish is, or what I should call it…but it was really good!  It has cajun seasoning in it, so the only thing I could come up with is “Cajun something or other.”  So, if anyone else has a good name out there, feel free to help me out!

Cajun something or other

Ingredients

4 chicken tenderloins (or 2 chicken breasts), cubed
1/2 polska kielbasa, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 onion, diced
1 bell pepper, diced
1 can diced tomatoes
1 can black beans
2 bouillon cubes with 2 cups water (or 2 cups beef broth)
1 cup riceCajun seasoning
Garlic salt
Onion powder
Pepper
EVOO

1. In a medium saucepan, over medium high heat, heat the EVOO.  Once hot, add the chicken in.  Season with pepper and garlic salt.  Cook until no longer pink.
2. Add the onions, garlic, and bell pepper in the pan with the chicken and saute until the onion is translucent.
3. Combine the diced tomatoes, black beans, bouillon cubes, water, rice, and seasoning.  If using instant rice, allow to cook until the rice is cooked through.  If using real rice, turn the heat up to high and let boil.  Once it begins to boil, turn the heat down to low and cover with a lid.  By the time the rice is completely cooked, all of the juices will be gone.  It really makes a tasty dish, because the rice has absorbed all of the liquids.  Right before removing from the stove, add in the polska kielbasa, and cook until cooked thoroughly (I use pre-cooked polska, so you might have to change this if you don’t).

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– If you enjoyed my blog, feel free to pin this recipe or leave me a comment!  I love to hear from my readers. –

Skip the takeout!


I’m a sucker for Chinese takeout.  There aren’t many non-buffet Chinese restaurants around here, and I find that very disappointing!  All of the Chinese food has turned into expensive all-you-can-eat buffets,  but what about those times that you are craving a good eggroll?  Or eggdrop soup?  Or just some yummy chicken fried rice?  You don’t want to have to go to an all-you-can-eat buffet just to curb those cravings.  Chicken fried rice is so simple to make, and I can guarantee you that this homemade chicken fried rice is 99.99% more healthy then the stuff they will feed you at a restaurant.  Actually, as long as you don’t go overboard with your oil, this is perfectly healthy!  The fiancee looked at me last night and said “would this be too expensive to make everyday for lunch?”  It is that good!

Although, while he was chowing down on his huge bowl of homemade fried rice he looked at me and said:Fried Rice
“This is missing something…”
*very puzzled look on his face*
*jumps off the couch and exclaims*
Fiancee: “BREAD!  It is missing bread!”
Me: “Well, I think you are thinking that it is missing an eggroll!”
Fiancee: “Your right, that is what is missing!  Do we have any of those?”

An eggroll WOULD go perfect with this dish, but we don’t buy prepackaged eggrolls and I have yet to venture into making my own homemade eggrolls.

Chicken Fried Rice

Adapted from Robert Irvine’s Chicken Fried Rice Recipe

Ingredients

3 large eggs
No-stick cooking sprayChicken Fried Rice
6 chicken tenderloins (or whatever chicken you have, in whatever amount), cubed
1 teaspoon sesame seed oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
8 baby carrots, diced (or one large carrot)
1/4 cup frozen peas
4 cups white rice (I did NOT use instant)
2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
salt
pepper
EVOO

1. Cook your rice according to the package directions in a separate pan.
2. Heat a pan over medium heat and spray with no-stick cooking spray.  While the stove is heating, mix together your 3 eggs and add to the pan once hot.  Make an omelet out of the beaten eggs, but do not fold the omelet.  (In other words, add the eggs to the pan, allow to cook on one side, flip and allow to cook on the other side)  Place the egg on a plate to cool.  Once cool, fold and coarsely chop.
3. Combine the cubed chicken, sesame seed oil, salt and pepper to a bowl, and mix until the chicken is covered.  In the same pan that you used to cook the egg, add about tablespoon of EVOO and the chicken.  Cook until no longer pink.
4. In the pan with the chicken, add your garlic, onion, and carrots.  Saute for about 2-3 minutes more (until onion is translucent).  Add in the frozen peas, and saute until they are no longer frozen.
5. Once your rice is done, add the chicken mixture, rice mixture, and chopped egg together.  Add in soy sauce (I ended up using quite a bit more than 2 tablespoons, but I love soy sauce) and mix to combine completely.

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There will be leftovers…I think?


My dad always used to make this dish, as soon as he thought it was cold enough for soup.  I, on the other hand, can’t get enough of this dish and I seem to be making it at least once every two weeks lately.  It is so yummy, and so easy to make.  I always intend on making enough for leftovers, but we always end up eating all of it.  My dad and I always get a kick out of sending each other pictures when we make it for dinner.

Italian Sausage Soup

Ingredients

Sausage links, cut into 1/2 inch piecesiPhone 794
1 can diced tomatoes
1/2 onion, diced
3 cloves of garlic, minced
3 cups beef broth (or 3 cups water, 2 bouillon cubes)
1 cup penne noodles
1 head broccoli, cut from stalk
Italian seasoning (or parsley, oregano, basil)
EVOO

1. Heat EVOO over medium heat in medium sauce pan.  Once oil is hot, add in the sausage links and cook until no longer pink.
2. Add in the onions and garlic and cook for about one minute.
3. Now add in the broth, tomatoes, broccoli, noodles, and seasoning.
4. Cook until the noodles are cooked – for about 15 minutes.

iPhone 793

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