May 28, 2011

Brown Sugar Pancakes

Yesterday I was hankering for some brown sugar. Weird, right? But the H makes these AMAZING chocolate chip cookies that require him to actually burn butter and that, combined with the brown sugar in these insanely good cookies, leaves a flavor that is simply fanfreakintastic. YUM. Well that's what I had a taste for so I came home and while the wee one was watching TV, I snuck online and searched for brown sugar pancakes because pancake are easier and less time consuming to make than cookies.

Behold ... Brown Sugar Pancakes

You'll need:
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar (pref dark.)
  • 3 tbsp butter, softened
  • 2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 cups milk, any kind
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

You'll do:

  1. In a small microwave-safe bowl, melt together brown sugar and butter. Stir well, then set aside to cool slightly.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking power and salt. 
  3. Pour in eggs, milk and vanilla extract, along with brown sugar mixture and stir until well combined. No streaks of dry ingredients should remain.
  4. Heat a skillet or griddle over medium-high heat, until a drop of water skitters around when dropped on the surface. 
  5. Lightly grease with butter or oil, and drop pancake batter by 1/4-cup measures on the pan. 
  6. Cook until pancake is slightly dry around the edges and small bubbles form in the batter (bottom will be browned). 
  7. Flip and cook for another minute or so on other side, until bottom is browned.

I followed the recipe to a T and cooked them in butter which ended up browning a bit of course and the final taste? Fabulous! Just what I was wanting! Even the H liked them (as did the wee one).

And no syrup is really needed but the recipe does include another recipe for a brown sugar syrup.

This makes a LOT of pancakes. So much so that we're having them for breakfast tomorrow and Monday, too! 

May 9, 2011

Pistachio Cake

Yesterday was Mother's Day and while the plan was to take my mom, grandmother, and mother in law all out to eat, my grandmother wasn't really wanting to go out. Instead she invited us over for cake and coffee so I insisted that we bring the cake.

And because it was Mother's Day, I wanted something a little different and hopefully something new for my grandmother. I asked around and a friend suggested Pistachio Cake so I went for it.

Pistachio Cake
1 box of white cake mix
3 boxes of pistachio pudding
5 eggs
½ cup water
1 & ½ cup milk
½ cup oil
1 container cool whip
  • Preheat oven to 350.
  • Mix white cake mix, 2 pkgs of pudding, eggs, water, 1/2 cup milk and oil together.
  • Pour into a greased & lightly floured bundt pan.
  • Bake for 1 hour at 350.
  • Let cool.
  • Mix together 1 pkg pistachio pudding, 1 cup milk, 1 container of cool whip and frost cake when cool.

This really was all kinds of yummy. I was hesitant at first because I'm not the hugest Pistachio fan but this was really good. And sooooooo easy. Personally, I think the frosting was a bit much and this could've been served with some powdered sugar, but everyone really enjoyed it all as is.

Dec 22, 2010

Simple Stuffing

This past Thanksgiving was the first one where the husband and I were playing host. He always takes care of the bird and potatoes, my job was to do the rest. So I made a green bean casserole like you'd find on the back of those french onion cans and homemade stuffing... both were a hit- especially by my little Lovie.

Now when it comes to stuffing... I'm generally a huge fan. YUM. How can you go wrong with baked carbs?Well some people add too much to theirs, IMO, and that's where you can go wrong. Again, JMO. I like a simple, plain stuffing. After all it's a side dish and you don't want it to overshadow the star turkey, right?

I found this recipe and went with it and it was PERFECT. I was a little fearful there would be too much celery but that's why you cook it first. Man, I can't wait to make this stuffing again... and I'll be doing so in just three days. Yahoo!  The only thing I've changed is the name (it's called Bread and Celery Stuffing)!

Simple Stuffing


1 (1 pound) loaf sliced white bread
3/4 cup butter or margarine
1 onion, chopped
4 stalks celery, chopped
2 teaspoons poultry seasoning salt and pepper to taste
1 cup chicken broth


Let bread slices air dry for 1 to 2 hours, then cut into cubes.

In a Dutch oven, melt butter or margarine over medium heat. Cook onion and celery until soft. Season with poultry seasoning, salt, and pepper. Stir in bread cubes until evenly coated. Moisten with chicken broth; mix well.

Chill, and use as a stuffing for turkey, or bake in a buttered casserole dish at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 30 to 40 minutes.

Oct 2, 2010

ABCDEasy Chicken Pot Pie

How hard could it be to make a pot pie when things such as premade pie crust and frozen veggies, as well as chicken in a can exist? NOT HARD.

How tasty could such a concoction be? THAT'S ANOTHER STORY.

Haha, I kid. Sort of.

ABCDEasy Chicken Pot Pie

  • 1 pkg of 2 each pie crusts, room temp
  • 1 frozen bag of veggies of your choice, thawed
  • 1 (or more) can of chicken breast, drained
  • 2 cans of cream of ____ soup (I used chicken, next time I'll use potato I think!)

  1. Preheat oven to 350
  2. Unroll 1 pie crust in bottom of ungreased glass pie dish
  3. Pour soup on top (I used condensed soup so I spooned out 1/2 a jar and layered it atop the pie crust and added water to the rest and mixed real good before adding)
  4. Add chicken
  5. Add veggies
  6. Unroll 2nd pie crust over
  7. Cut slits on top
  8. Bake on top of cookie sheet (in case there is spillage) for about 45 minutes or until golden brown

Edible. My problem was mainly with the veggies. They were awful and soggy. I'm thinking they should've been tossed in frozen. Not sure though as I'm not really a cook. Also the chicken was... I dunno exactly but I could tell it wasn't fresh chicken. If I had the time and energy, I definitely would've used real chicken breast and fresh veggies. I'm certain it would be tastier. It wasn't horrible, but it could be better. But, it's definitely super quick.  The pie crust is my favorite part of this- but that's the case with any pot pie.

I did save some for the baby though and am hoping she might enjoy it for dinner (didn't get done in time for lunch cuz I'm a bad momma like that :(  )- hence the name of this dish.

Jun 28, 2010

The Pefect Fried Potato!

Maybe I've just been living under a rock since birth but I've recently mastered
the perfect fried potato
... and the trick is in the MICROWAVE.

For 2 servings--
Prep time: 5 mins

Cook time: 5-8 mins in microwave (unless you're using leftover baked potatoes!!), 10-15 mins in pan

After you pick your taters you wanna fry up, scrub em down (or peel if that's the way you roll), and stab them with a fork. Place on microwave safe plate and nuke for about 5 minutes - give or take depending on the size of tater. Carefully remove tater from microwave and if fork easily goes through the thickest part, you're done with the microwave... otherwise stick it back and nuke for another couple minutes or so.

Let stand for a couple minutes and then slice taters. *Please be careful as taters nuked for a couple minutes retain their heat very well... I highly recommend the use of an Ove Glove or something like it!* Let cool a little and dice or cut up to sizes you want.

Prep your pan- heat pan on med-high, add oil and/or butter.
Add taters and let sit for several minutes.
Add seasonings to your liking.
Toss taters occasionally and when they get the color you like, remove.

I like mine nice and crispy so I leave mine sit for about 5-10 minutes on each side, turning occasionally.

SOOOO YUMMY.  And SOOOOOO much faster than either boiling taters first (something I learned to do from my husband) or just cooking them down from raw.

May 26, 2010

Crash Hot Potatoes - for hot weather

I love love love Crash Hot Potatoes. I love potatoes, period, but hot damn are those CHP's all kinds of awesome. So because I'm trying (really really hard) to cook more, I wanted to make these again... except it's been near 90 the past couple days and there's no way in hell I'm turning on the oven when it's that hot out. Sorry. Not gonna happen.

Then I remembered seeing an episode of Racheal Ray's 30 minute meals during my maternity leave (oh yeah, I had a baby end of December!!! HOLLA out to the cutest babe in the world!!) where she made a potato dish that ended up looking very much like CHP's except she did it all on the stove TOP in a pan! No oven turning on needed!

But. I can only really go online at work (did I mention I had a baby? yeah my time is hers when I'm not at work) and this computer is ridiculously slow and old so trying to find something on is just too much to put up with.

So I just went with this (below) and it turned out... FANTASTIC!! Wahoo!! : )

Hot Weather CHP's
(serves 2 hungry adults)
You'll need:
  • 8 each small red potatoes
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • seasonings of your choice
  • microwavable plate
  • microwave
  • skillet
  • stovetop

You'll do:
  • scrub/clean 8 small red potatoes
  • poke each tater with fork a couple times
  • place on microwavable plate and microwave on high for 5 minutes*
  • when tender (if fork easily goes through) but not too tender, press taters down (mashed potato thingie works great!)
  • heat skillet
  • while skillet is heating, drizzle olive oil on top of taters
  • season well with salt, pepper, thyme, basil, whatever you want/like!
  • add couple turns of olive oil to hot pan
  • gently add taters and cook for 5-10 minutes per side
  • remove when brown and crispy looking and ENJOY!
Quick, easy, and perfect to make when it's too hot out (and in) to turn on the oven. Even the husband liked them (again)! : )

May 16, 2009

Sweet tooth fix

While driving home yesterday, I had a taste for those incredibly divine and 'Smoregasmic' Smores Bars from the other week, but I wasn't in the mood to make it and didn't want the entire pan sitting there, taunting me to eat 'just one more' since the old man doesn't care for them (WEIRD-O!). So I stopped at a Walgreens and was hoping they'd have a cookie bar mix or something but no such luck - just brownies. Boo! So I found a package of chocolate chips, checked out the back side and saw that I had everything to make its cookie bars.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars (Nestle's)

  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened*
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 (12 ounce) package semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup chopped nuts (I like pecans) (optional)
  1. Preheat oven to 375* Grease a 15x10-inch jelly roll pan. **
  2. Combine flour, baking soda and salt in small bowl.
  3. Beat butter, both sugars and vanilla in large mixer bowl.
  4. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each.
  5. Gradually beat flour mixture into butter mixture.
  6. Stir in chocolate chips and nuts.
  7. Spread into prepared pan.
  8. Bake 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. ***
*Neat trick to soften cold butter ... cut up in pieces and trhow in bowl and mix, mix, mix, mix till softened. Then add sugar and mix again. Much faster than waiting an hour or so to make butter room temperature.
** I used 9x13 and lined with parchment paper - a gift from the gods.
*** If using a smaller pan like I did, just make sure the entire thing is the same color when taking out; no need to add time. I baked for 20 minutes and waited an additional two or three minutes for the entire thing to be brown and they came out PERFECT.

D E L I C I O U S!

May 14, 2009

Salsa Chicken

It just doesn't get any easier than this.

Salsa Chicken

  • 1 pound boneless chicken breast (can be frozen!)
  • 1 package taco seasoning
  • 1 package fresh salsa (or make your own since it calls for 'fresh')
  • 1 can condensed cream of something soup (I used Chicken)
  • 1 small container or 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 crockpot

  1. Place chicken on bottom of crock.
  2. Cover chicken with contents of taco seasoning package.
  3. Add salsa on top of that.
  4. Then the soup.
  5. Make sure chicken is covered.
  6. Cover crock.
  7. Cook on low for 6-8 hours.
  8. Add sour cream, stir, and heat.
  9. Serve over rice.
(It's probably best to quickly shred the chicken before adding the sour cream but my husband has a thing about shredded chicken.) I thought this was rather tasty but the old man wasn't too much of a fan... didn't hate it, but didn't love it. But he's a bit of a food snob and isn't a fan of many crockpot meals. The weirdo.

May 12, 2009

Sloppy Joe Bake

My husband, who claims to dislike Sloppy Joes, likes this dish. So much so that he has seconds and that's the tell tale sign for me when I can make a dish again.

This dish is a combo of these two recipes here and here.

Sloppy Joe Bake

  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 onion - diced
  • 1 green pepper - diced
  • 3/4 cup ketchup
  • 1 tsp yellow mustard
  • 3 tsp brown sugar
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 1 cup Bisquick
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese

  1. Preheat oven to 400.
  2. In hot lightly oil pan, cook onion and pepper for a couple minutes till the onion gets a bit translucent.
  3. Move onion and pepper to a bowl.
  4. In same pan, cook ground beef till brown and drain.
  5. While beef is cooking, mix Bisquick, egg, water and 1 cup of cheese and set aside.
  6. Add onion and pepper back to beef mixture.
  7. Next add ketchup, mustard, brown sugar, salt, and pepper and mix good and cook till hot.
  8. Transfer meat mixture to a greased 9x9 pan.
  9. Cover meat mixture with bisquick mixture and spread to coat top.
  10. Sprinkle remaining cheese on top.
  11. Pop in oven and bake for about 20-25 minutes till golden brown.

I served next to some tomatoes with salt, pepper, basil, EVOO, and vingar... Delicious!

May 7, 2009

Laughing Cow Chicken

It's been a rough week as far as cooking. Once again, we never made it out to the grocery store so we ordered delivery Monday and Tuesday. Wednesday I was out with a friend so I brought home something.

Tonight, I finally cooked again... and it was pretty decent again. Yay!

Laughing Cow Chicken
(found here)
  • 2 chicken breasts, cut in half horizontally 3/4 of the way through (so you can stuff the inside)
  • 2 wedges Laughing Cow light cheese, one per breast (I used garlic & herb instead)
  • Italian seasoning to taste
  • 1/4 cup dried bread crumbs (I used Italian seasoned)
  • Handful grated parmesan cheese
  • Cooking spray
  • Salt and pepper
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Butterfly cut each chicken breast and spread one wedge of Laughing Cow inside the middle. Sprinkle Italian seasoning inside to taste. (I actually mixed my cheese and Italian seasoning in a bowl before spreading it on the chicken to give a nice even flavor) Fold chicken back over to original shape.
  3. Mix together bread crumbs and parmesan cheese in a shallow dish. Spray each chicken breast with cooking spray and then dip in bread crumb mixture to coat. Place on baking sheet.
  4. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until chicken is cooked through.
I served alongside those infamous Crash Hot Potatoes, which seem to make their way in our home once a week lately, and salad. The only thing I would do differently next time is I would season the breast with salt and pepper on the outside.

The hubs liked the meal just fine but says the Honey Mustard Pretzel Chicken is still the best so far.

May 2, 2009

S'mores Cookie Bars

Um, these things are - as a friend likes to say - S'MOREGASMIC!

I had seen the recipe for these a while back and while they looked incredible and the reviews were incredible I did a, well, incredible job staying away. Willpower at its finest. Until now, that is.

Not sure what it was, but it was like they've been calling out to me so I finally had to succumb and WOW am I glad I did.

S'mores Cookie Bars
(I believe taken from here)

  • 1/2 cup butter, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/3 cups all purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup graham cracker crumbs
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 king-sized milk chocolate bars (e.g. Hershey’s)
  • 1 1/2 cups marshmallow creme/fluff (not melted marshmallows)
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Grease an 8-inch square baking pan.
  3. In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until light.
  4. Beat in egg and vanilla.
  5. In a small bowl, whisk together flour, graham cracker crumbs, baking powder and salt.
  6. Add to butter mixture and mix at a low speed until combined.
  7. Divide dough in half and press half of dough into an even layer on the bottom of the prepared pan.
  8. Place chocolate bars over dough. 2 king-sized Hershey’s bars should fit perfectly side by side, but break the chocolate (if necessary) to get it to fit in a single layer no more than 1/4 inch thick.
  9. Spread chocolate with marshmallow creme or fluff.
  10. Place remaining dough in a single layer on top of the fluff (most easily achieved by flattening the dough into small shingles and laying them together).
  11. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until lightly browned.
  12. Cool completely before cutting into bars.

Makes 16 cookie bars.

Apr 28, 2009

Roasted Cauliflower Pasta with Chicken

I sort of diverted a bit from my Weekly Meal Plan I created over the weekend. Instead of the pasta for Monday, I made homemade burgers (nothing special, just ground beef formed into a patty and fried with salt and pepper and topped with cheese and tomatoes with a butter fried bun) and Crash Hot Potatoes.

And today I made the pasta:

Roasted Cauliflower Pasta with Chicken

  • 1 chicken breast, skinless & boneless
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 1 bag of cauliflower florets, defrosted (I'm sure you could use fresh)
  • olive oil
  • spices
  • spaghetti (we like wheat), 1/2 pound/box
  • bread crumbs, about 1/2 a cup
  • Parmesan cheese

  1. Dump cauliflower in bowl and cover with seasonings of your choice (and lots of 'em) and drizzle with olive oil, stir.
  2. Dump from bowl onto oiled cookie sheet and place in preheated (450) oven on top rack.
  3. Bake for about 10 minutes and take out and flip pieces.
  4. Bake for another 10 minutes - bake till brown, then take out of oven.
  5. In the meantime, chop up 2 garlic cloves and toss in hot pan with olive oil for a minute.
  6. Cut chicken breast in bite size pieces and add to pan and cook till white.
  7. Put pan aside.
  8. Follow instruction on pasta and bring to boil.
  9. In large saute pan, add the remaining chopped garlic and generous amount of olive oil.
  10. Add chicken to large pan and toss for a minute before adding cauliflower and toss.
  11. Sprinkle bread crumbs over mixture and toss and let cook for a minute.
  12. When pasta is al dente add directly to large pan and add some pasta water if too thick.
  13. Toss and serve hot.
Pretty easy and very tasty.

Apr 26, 2009

Weekly Menu Plan

So Stephen went out yesterday to cash a check. Three hours later he finally came back home with bags of groceries from Whole Foods. My husband is a kitchen snob - no offense to any of you Whole Foods shoppers. Don't get me wrong, I adore Whole Foods. It's a beautiful store! But the prices on some of the stuff is just way out of my personal range (though I will definitely admit that nobody beats the freshness from the produce and meats from WF!) so I shop at Aldi (unless S is paying - ha!).

He mainly went crazy buying some kind of steak... I guess it's normally like $30 a pound or something and the butcher's were cutting to order whatever you wanted for like $7.50 a pound. Or something. And we like steak. A lot. (No, I won't post pics to prove this.)

I'm not sure what my point is to telling you this, nor what it has to do with my Weekly Menu Plan, but yeah, I had to share.

Oh no, now I remember!

We didn't get out to the grocery store TOGETHER so I'm not really sure what's going to happen next week but I'll do my best to come up with something and stick to it this time!

Monday - cauliflower and pasta (and so help me it had better turn out better than last week's broccoli and pasta which I never posted about because I'm embarrassed)
Tuesday - Sloppy Joe bake that I never made last week - using ground turkey instead of ground beef which Stephen prefers ... shhhhh don't tell him!
Wednesday - Chicken Salsa that I never made last week, assuming I get the ingredients from the store
Thursday - something with Crash Hot Potatoes! Haha, I love these damn things!
Friday - order in
Saturday & Sunday - up to the old man