Monday, July 25, 2016

{Honey Baked Chicken}

I will work at getting a much, much better picture of this chicken recipe for you,
because this one is not doing it ANY amount of justice whatsoever.
Super moist and tender on the inside, and ever-so-slightly crispy on the outside,
this chicken is super yummy!!! And so easy to make!
The combination of ingredients had me a tad skeptical at first,
but after making it the first time, I was hooked!
I don't know how to explain the flavor, other than that it would go with virtually everything...as a main dish with any kind of side dish, or in a salad, etc.
It's good straight from the oven or leftover cold.
I have only made it with bone-in chicken.
I'm sure it would still be good with chicken breasts, but keep in mind that a piece of chicken that has a bone in it, will be much more moist.
I hope you give it a try!!



1/3 cup butter, melted
1/3 cup honey
2 tablespoons mustard
1/2 teaspoon salt
6-8 chicken legs or thighs*

Arrange chicken pieces in a foil lined baking dish.
Combine the butter, honey, mustard and salt in a small bowl, and whisk until well combined.
Pour over chicken.
Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour and 15 minutes until chicken is lightly browned, basting every 15 minutes.
Serve!


Monday, July 11, 2016

{Cheesy Potato Casserole}

Wow!
Okay so, when I posted HERE about being a little sporadic with posting in the next couple of months, I was SO not meaning that that would take affect immediately,
 and that I would drop off the planet, and not post for a month+ at a time!
But things got busy, plus my computer was virtually, completely un-usable. :(
For the safety of any important things that I wanted saved from it, I couldn't even turn it on!
So between that, wedding planning, working, a couple of trips, and just every day life...here we are, like 7 weeks after my last post! Wish I could say I'm organized and ready to go again, but yeah, that's not happening! At least for a couple more months, anyways!!
In the meantime, I hope you will keep checking back in with me!

Anyways, I have actually been cooking some during all of this time.
This recipe is not a new one, but it's one that my entire family absolutely devours.
A friend at our church makes it a lot for potlucks and she shared the recipe with us,
so thanks so much, Mrs. Cathy!!!
It couldn't be easier to make, and it's just good!
I don't have a picture of the finished product, because it never lasts long enough for that, but trust me, it's amazing!! Coming from a dinner table few of fairly picky eaters, when everyone loves something, you know it's a winner!!!
I hope you try it out!!



1 (2 lb.) package frozen, shredded Hashbrown potatoes
1 (16 oz) container Sour Cream
2 cups shredded, cheddar cheese
4 tablespoons butter, melted
dash of salt and pepper

Combine all ingredients except potatoes in a large bowl, and mix well.
Add potatoes and mix until well combined.
Pour into a greased, 9x13-inch baking dish, and spread evenly.
Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour.
Serve!

Note:
-It works best to use the hashbrowns while they are still frozen...it just makes it easier to mix up for some reason!
-I like to mix this up the day before, cover and refrigerate until I'm ready to bake it.
Gets all the mess out of the way!

Monday, May 23, 2016

{Lemon Blossoms}

In case you don't know, I love all things lemon! It's on an equal level with Peanut Butter, for me. Which means it's at the very top of my list!
So I'm wondering how on earth I went 20+ years without ever once having these little lemon gems. I had never even heard of them.
Luckily, my boyfriend made them over Thanksgiving, so I could try them (yes, I know he's a keeper).
Oh my goodness, they were so good! You really must try them!
Super fast and easy to make, perfect lemon flavor......mmmmm!
I know this, because I just made them yesterday, and I'm eating one right now!
You should do the same!



1 pkg. Yellow Cake Mix
1 (3.5 oz) package instant Lemon pudding mix
4 large eggs
3/4 cup vegetable oil

Glaze:
4 cups powder sugar
1/3 cup lemon juice
2 tablespoons water

Combine cake mix, pudding mix, eggs and oil in a mixing bowl.
Beat with an electric mixer for 2 minutes. Batter will be thick and sticky!
Spray mini-muffin tins with cooking spray. Fill each cup half full.
Bake at 350 degrees for 12 minutes.
Gently run a table knife around the edges to loosen, and turn out onto a clean dish towel.
Combine glaze ingredients and mix with a spoon or whisk until smooth, If it's too thick, add more water, one teaspoon at a time, until you reach desired consistency.
Place a cooling rack on a cookie sheet or over a piece of wax paper. 
While the cupcakes are still warm, dip them in the glaze, covering the whole thing. Allow excess to drip off. Place on the cooling rack, Let stand for 1 hour, or until glaze is set.
Store in an airtight container.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Live G-Free Products:






We are pretty big fans of the Aldi grocery store!
They have great prices on great food, including amazing produce.
The stores are located all over the country, and more and more are opening up!

They have recently released a line of gluten-free products, and I just want to tell everyone how amazing they are!
I have not had a chance to try everything they offer, but I also have yet to try something that I didn't like. It's very high quality, and very reasonably priced!

Probably their top product for us, is their sandwich bread.
It's amazing! Super soft and just really, really good!
The tortilla wraps are also great, and I have a few recipes that include those wraps, coming out very soon!
Their pasta, crackers, granola cereal, granola bars, and cake mixes are all things that we have tried and loved!
They have some frozen chicken nuggets that we are anxious to try, and we also just got some other flavors of crackers that we are excited to test taste!!

I am not being reimbursed for this post in any way. I just love their products, and wanted to share them with you!
If you try anything out, please let me know what you think!

Click HERE to find the store nearest you!

Monday, April 18, 2016

Chicken Chili:

My Fiance's (ah! I still can't believe I'm saying that!)
sister made this for dinner the day we got engaged.
I was not necessarily thinking completely clearly that day, because I was (and still am) in shock, 
but I definitely remember how good this was!
It smelled so amazing while it was cooking, and tasted even better!
My mom and dad couldn't get enough of it either! And my mom is not crazy about this type of thing, but she loved it! It was pretty much addicting!!
I don't know how to describe it...it's like chili, but could also be a dip, really, and it's just plain good!! So eat it with a chip or with a fork, it doesn't matter!
Rina was super kind and shared the recipe with me! 
Mine did not taste as good as hers, but it was still good, and I really hope you try it out!!
There is no way to take a picture of this and make it look good, much less as fabulous as it actually is! But please take my word for it...it's good!!



2 chicken breasts
1 can Rotel (tomatoes and green chilies), not drained
1 cup frozen corn
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 pkg. ranch dressing mix
1 & 1/2 tablespoons taco seasoning
1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese
Tortilla chips

Place the chicken in the bottom of a slowcooker.
Top with Rotel, corn, beans, ranch mix, and taco seasoning.
Stir gently to combine.
Top with cream cheese.
Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours, stirring once or twice to blend the cheese.
Shred the chicken before serving.
Serve with tortilla chips!

Note:
-If this recipe is tripled, it will fill a 5-quart crock pot.
-If desired, you can use 1 tablespoon cumin, 1 teaspoon chili powder, and 1 teaspoon onion powder in place of the taco seasoning. Feel free to play around with the seasonings to your taste!


Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Oh my goodness!!!!

So, I have some very exciting news to share............



Yep!! That's right!!
I'm engaged!!

I have had the best year of my life getting to know this awesome, wonderful man, seeing how God has brought us together, and now we're planning our future together!
We are very, super excited and in the process of planning our wedding for later this year!

I said all that for two reasons:
#1 because I just want to tell everyone, basically!!!!
#2 because I will do my best to keep right on blogging as usual. 
But in the event that things get a little quiet around here for any amount of time, 
I'm just a little pre-occupied at the moment!
So please bare with me as I adjust to this new phase of my life!





Monday, April 11, 2016

Quick and Easy Garlic Toast:

I love Garlic Bread....the smell, taste, everything about it just screams comfort food to me!
This recipe is awesome, because you can make it ahead of time, and pull it out of the freezer whenever you need it! You can make this entire batch, you can cut it in half to make a smaller amount...whatever you want!
But I hope you give it a try!!


2 sticks butter, room temperature
2 teaspoons dried parsley
1 tablespoon garlic powder
dash of salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 cup parmesan cheese, optional
Slices of bread

In a small bowl, mix together butter, parsley, garlic powder, salt and pepper, and Parmesan cheese, if desired.
I use roughly one teaspoon of the mixture per slice of bread.
Spread evenly, and place slices, butter side up, on a baking sheet.

To freeze:
Place baking sheet in the freezer for 30-60 minutes, or until butter is firm. 
Place bread in an airtight container or zip-lock bad and keep frozen until ready to use.

To Bake:
Lay frozen slices, butter side up on a baking sheet.
Bake at 375 degrees for 5-6 minutes, or until light golden brown and edges of the bread are lightly toasted (if baking unfrozen slices, you may need bake 1-2 minutes less)

Serve!!

Monday, April 4, 2016

{Chocolate Rice Crispy Treats}

I have a huge weakness for these Double Chocolatey Chunk Rice Crispy Treats.
I only ever buy them when I am traveling somewhere, so honestly I only have one of these a few times a year. BUT, I always get the one that's like, oh I don't know, 6 inches long or something? Not the short ones, definitely!
I don't know what it is about these crazy things, but I just love them!
Oh, and just in case you were wondering, they are also phenomenal with, ummm......chocolate milk.
Anyways, that's beside the point!!
The point is, that thankfully I don't have to wait until I'm traveling somewhere to have one of these now, because I can make them at home!!!
And so can you!!
I hope you try them out!!



9 cups cocoa pebbles (or any gluten-free chocolate rice cereal)
3 cups chocolate chips, divided
1 stick (8 tablespoons) butter
2 (10 oz) packages mini marshmallows
1 & 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1/4 teaspoon salt

Place cereal and 1 cup chocolate chips in a large bowl; set aside.
Line a 9x13-inch baking dish with foil. Lightly coat with cooking spray and set aside.
Melt the butter in a large saucepan over low heat. Once melted, add marshmallows, vanilla and salt. Stir continually until marshmallows are melted and mixture is smooth.
Pour marshmallow mixture over the cereal. Stir quickly, but make sure that all the cereal is well coated.
Pour into prepared pan and press down with a spatula. Then use the bottom of a glass or something sturdy and flat, and press down all over the mixture to make it as even as possible.
Melt the remaining 2 cups of chocolate chips...I do this in a saucepan over low heat, stirring constantly, but you can also use the microwave, if that works for you!
Once completely melted, pour over the rice crispy treats and spread evenly.
Let rest at room temperature until cool and set. Remove from the pan and discard the foil. Cut into squares and serve or store in an airtight container.

Note:
-The heat at which the better and marshmallows are melted is very important. If it's too hot, the better will almost scorch the marshmallows and they will melt too fast. The results are not a smooth and creamy consistency like you want.


Monday, March 21, 2016

{Easy Pina-Colada Fluff}



I've tried to reconcile with the fact that, coming from a large family, not everyone is always going to like everything...and that is O.K.

This is one of those recipes! My mom, one sister and I love coconut, but we are among precious few in our house! So therefore, we got to eat the majority of this salad, and we were totally fine with that!

It's so fast and easy to throw together, and it was just such a yummy, refreshing salad! Not too sweet, but just right! It will definitely be awesome during the summer, but it's great any other time of year as well!!

I hope you try it out!


1 (3.4 oz.) package Instant pudding mix, see note
1 (20 oz.) can crushed pineapple, do not drain
2 cups mini-marshmallows
1 cup sweetened coconut, shredded or flaked
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1 (8 oz.) container Cool Whip

In a large bowl, mix together pudding mix and pineapple.
Stir in marshmallows, coconut and pecans.
Add Cool Whip, and gently mix until well combined.
Cover and refrigerate for at least an hour before serving.
Enjoy!

Note:
-You can use so many different kinds of pudding here - Coconut Cream, Vanilla, French Vanilla, Banana Cream, White Chocolate or Cheesecake. Some of them may add a tiny bit of a yellow tint to the finished dish, but any of them would taste fantastic in this recipe!



Monday, March 14, 2016

{A Few of My Favorite Things...Part 4}

And welcome back to Part 4 and the final post in my series on a few of my favorite kitchen items!

Click HERE for Part 1,
HERE for Part 2,
and
HERE for Part 3!

This week is all about Miscellaneous, random stuff, that I love!

Silicone Baking Mitts:

Getting things out of the oven scares me to death. I don't know why. I have never been burned (well, I mean, severely anyways!), but for some reason, it just scares me!
However, I feel a little safer with these! They can handle super high heat, they grip things really, really well, they wipe off easy, they are even dishwasher safe!
Plus, if you accidentally drop them into your oven, they will not catch on fire or even melt for a while, unlike their competitors - the old fashioned cloth type. 
Don't ask. Just trust.
Anyways, I think these came from Sam's Club. 

Hand Mixer:

For reasons that I do not even know, we never had a hand mixer when I was growing up and learning to cook. I don't know why, we just didn't.
But in the last few years, we have broken down and finally splurged!
I love this thing for making little things - icing/frosting's, dips, some types of cake batters....just small amounts and thin things. Never cookie dough or anything heavy and stiff like that.
Tip:
If you are mixing something with powder sugar, or flour that tends to "POOF" everywhere as soon as you turn the mixer on, place a towel over top your mixer and bowl. Turn the mixer on low, and beat gently for a few minutes until the powder substance is at least lightly incorporated. This helps prevent you and your kitchen from completely looking like the white thing on that movie Big Hero Six.
This particular hand-mixer was purchased at Walmart, but like everything else, they can be found just about anywhere. 

Microwave Plate Cover:

A clean kitchen is a big deal to me. And the inside of the microwave is just as important as any other area. Honestly, it's one of my weird-kitchen-quirks: don't walk on my floor while I'm mopping, clean the inside of the microwave. Thank you.
This thing is a life saver!! You just set it over your food while you're heating it up. Any splatter big or small (because they simply are going to happen), will happen all over this thing, instead of all over your microwave. And this thing is WAY easier to wash off, or stick in the dishwasher, than either trying to stand on your head or climb mount Everest to get all the way inside your microwave, and use every muscle in your arm to scrub all the nooks and cranny's clean.
This one came from Walmart.

Mini Food Processor:

Aww, isn't this thing just the cutest? I love mini-anything's!!
We have a regular size food processor and I do use it a lot. But this one is really nice for chopping small quantities of things like nuts, celery and onions, etc.
This one came from Walmart, but we also had one once that came from the Aldi grocery store...they sometimes have some awesome kitchen stuff in there for amazing prices!

Kitchen Scale:

I always sort of wanted one of these, but wasn't really sure if I would use it or not. My mom found this one at Aldi's grocery store for like $5, so if I hated it and never used it, it wasn't a huge deal.
Turns out I love it!!!! I use it all the time.
Again, a little OCD sometimes, so when a recipe calls for 3 pounds of potatoes? Yep! I totally weigh that out!
It's super easy to use and it's just awesome!!

Kitchen Cleaners:

Bar Keeper's Friend Squeeze Bottle:
This is the cleaner I use for the stainless steel pans I talked about in Part 2.
You just squirt some of this on those pans and they wipe right out. It's awesome! And randomly, it smells pretty good too!
We get it from Walmart.

Bar Keeper's Friend Shaker:
This is by far my favorite cleaner for our flat-top stove. It works way better than all the other "specialty" things I have tried. It's just a powder that you shake on, gently scrub off with a non-abrasive sponge or cloth, and then wipe clean.

Awesome Orange Spray:
This is an all-purpose, multi-surface, de-greaser spray. I use it on the table and counter tops. It smells great and makes cleaning up a breeze.
You can get variations of this cleaner most anywhere, but we actually get ours from Dollar Tree.

.................................

And that's all folks!!! 
I hope you enjoyed this serious on a some of my favorite kitchen gadgets!!!