Monday, February 28, 2011

Blue Ribbon Chili

I've posted before about hubby's deep dislike of beans and my love for them. I was craving chili- real chili with beans- so I added it to our menu and kept quiet about the beans. My husband exhibited 5-year old tendencies during this meal and ate around every single bean and dumped them in the trash can, all while giving me a slightly nasty look. He can be so cute sometimes.

Even though hubby wasn't a fan, I loved it. This is a perfect chili recipe and we'll definitely be making it again. Recipe from And a Cookie for Dessert.

2 lbs ground beef
1/2 onion, chopped
1 tsp black pepper
1/2 ts garlic salt
2.5 cups tomato sauce
8 oz salsa
4 tbsp (1 packet) chili seasoning mix
15 oz can light red kidney beans
15 oz can dark red kidney beans

In a large saucepan, over medium heat, combine the ground beef and onion and saute for 10 minutes, until beef is browned and onion is tender. Drain.

Add the beef mixture along with the rest of the ingredients to the crock pot. Cook on low for 8 hours. Enjoy!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Oreo Truffles

I saw these on Bakerella and knew I had to make them! Oreos were my favorite childhood cookie and any combination of chocolate with something is usually amazing. I took a quick break from studying to make a batch of these and they were gone by the next day- hubby took half of them to work but that still means the 2 of us consumed an embarrassing amount...

I had originally planned to make these for the Super bowl in the shape of footballs like Bakerella did here. However, mine looked more like the "footblobs" she posted so I gave up and just rolled them into little balls.

1 package oreo cookies (divided, use cookie and cream center)
8 oz cream cheese, softened
white chocolate bark (I used dark chocolate)

Finely crush 7 cookies in a food processor or place them in a ziploc bag and crush into a fine consistency. Reserve for later. Crush the remaining cookies and stir in softened cream cheese. Use the back of a large spoon to help combine the two together. Roll the mixture into 1" balls and place on a wax paper covered cookie sheet. Refrigerate 20 minutes.

Melt chocolate as directed on the package and then dip balls into chocolate, tap off extra and set aside on wax paper covered cookie sheet to dry. You can sprinkle the tops with the 7 crushed cookies for decoration. Once dry, refrigerate. Enjoy!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Chicken Brunswick Stew

I love brunswick stew but this was my first time making it. The only other times I've had it has been with my aunt. She's from South Georgia and makes an amazing brunswick stew. Actually anything she makes is pretty amazing. She even catered our wedding!

This isn't her recipe it's from Crockpot Tuesdays. It was delicious and easy as almost all crock pot meals are. It makes a ton so Neil took some for lunch and we froze the rest for a later date.

2 large onions, chopped (I used two medium onions and it felt like a lot of onion. But I'm not a huge onion fan)
3 chicken breasts
2 cans cream-style corn
28 oz can crushed tomatoes
12 oz bottle chili sauce
1 can chicken broth
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup butter, cut up
2 tbsp vinegar
2 tsp dry mustard
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 tbsp sugar

Place onions in the bottom of the crock pot. Lay chicken breasts on top. Add the rest of the ingredients, and carefully stir to combine (without disturbing the chicken and onions). Cook on low for 8 hours. Remove chicken and shred with two forks. Place chicken back in the stew and stir to combine. Enjoy!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Honey Balsamic Glazed Chicken

I recently posted another balsamic chicken recipe. Even though these two recipes shared a common ingredient, they had completely different taste. I preferred the thicker glaze and taste of this one while my husband liked the balsamic, garlic and onion sauce of the first. I made a little extra sauce and we served it with white rice. Recipe from

1.5 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 tsp olive oil
4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves (2 breasts)
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp honey

Combine first three ingredients and sprinkle over both sides of chicken. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken. cook 7-8 minutes on each side or until chicken is done. Transfer chicken to a platter and keep warm.

Reduce heat to medium-low. Add vinegar and honey to pan. Simmer 1 minute or until glaze thickens. Stir constantly. Pour glaze over chicken. Enjoy!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Baked Balsamic Chicken

We had two delicious dinners last week inspired by balsamic vinegar. Actually, balsamic vinaigrette, since my husband did the grocery shopping. Silly boy-he thought vinaigrette and vinegar were the same thing! So yes it had more calories than if we had made it with straight vinegar but maybe that's what made it so delicious! I can't vouch for how it would taste with balsamic vinegar but I think the taste would be similar.

Last Wednesday, I stayed up till 1 (whoops) cooking dinner for the next two nights. Thursdays are super busy so we usually have another crock pot meal or leftovers. I decided to cook for Thursday and Friday and decided to switch the recipe up a bit. This is the first recipe. It's inspired by this recipe from but I switched it up a bit.

4 chicken breast halves (2 whole breasts)
2 cloves of garlic
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup balsamic vinaigrette
1 tbsp olive oil (I would omit if you are using a vinaigrette)
1.5 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp fresh ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 400º. Chop onion and garlic and place in the bottom of a 9 by 13 inch glass baking dish. Place chicken breasts in pan. Pour the balsamic vinaigrette over the chicken and sprinkle evenly with the oil (if using), oregano, salt, and pepper.

Bake the chicken for 20 minutes and then baste with the juices. Bake 20 more minutes or until the juices run clear and the chicken is fully cooked. Serve chicken with juices spooned over them. Enjoy!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Slow Cooker Spaghetti Casserole

Happy Valentines Day everyone! Like I mentioned yesterday, my V-Day will be spent in class and then with some delicious Outback Steakhouse take out and 2 hours of quality time (hopefully) with my husband before he passes out.

This is actually a recipe we had a few weeks ago but since today isn't a crock pot meal I pulled this one out of the archives. It was my first time making spaghetti in the crock pot where I didn't cook the noodles first. I was worried it would be crunchy and not fully cooked, and part of it was. I made the mistake of not spreading the sauce to the edges and covering the noodles and while the center portions of the casserole were delicious and perfectly cooked, the outsides that weren't covered with sauce were still a tad bit crunchy. As long as you don't make the mistake of throwing it together quickly and not using your brain, like me :0, you should be just fine! Recipe from Reservations Not Required.

1.5 lbs lean ground beef
1 medium onion chopped
1 26 oz jar of pasta sauce
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup all purpose flour
12 oz can of evaporated milk
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/4 tsp pepper
8 ounces uncooked spaghetti, broken into pieces
3 cups shredded Cheddar Cheese (the recipe recommends sharp but I used a mild cheese and it was fine)
grated parmesan cheese

Cook ground beef and onion in a large skillet, until beef crumbles and is no longer pink. Drain meet and return to skillet. Stir pasta sauce into the beef mixture.

Melt butter in a saucepan over medium-low heat. Whisk in flour until smooth. Cook 1 minute, whisking constantly. Gradually whisk in milk. Cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, for 8 minutes until the mixture has thickened and is bubbly. Remove from heat and stir in 1/2 cup parmesan cheese and pepper.

Spoon one-third of the meat mixture into a lightly greased slow cook. Sprinkle 1 cup of cheddar cheese over white sauce. Repeat layers once. Spread remaining meat mixture over cheese (make sure all sides of the spaghetti are covered). Top with remaining 1 cup cheddar cheese.

Cover and cook on low for 4 hours. Let stand 10 minutes before serving. Serve with parmesan cheese if desired. Enjoy!

With that I'll leave you with this quote and a non-smiling picture of Lucy who really does love her heart bandana.

"Cooking is like love, it should be entered into with abandon or not at all."

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Weekly Meal List

For Valentines, we're picking up some take out from Outback and having a picnic on our living room floor. I don't get home from school til 7:45 and hubby is coaching on the pistol range this week so he has to be on base at 3:45 in the morning. It will pretty much be an eat and sleep kind of night. I'm just lucky he's waiting up for me :) I am cooking a pretty elaborate meal of lasagna, caesar salad, garlic bread, and toasted ravioli tonight as well as some chocolate cookies for dessert tomorrow!

Tuesday: Homemade Beef and Cheese Manicotti
Wednesday: Salsa Chicken
Thursday: Mac and Cheese and Asparagus
Friday: Homemade Pizza with Mozzarella, Feta, and Pepperoni
Saturday: "Benchiladas"
Sunday: Foil Pack Taco Chicken

Hopefully this will last us more than a week. The mac and cheese and manicotti usually provide enough for 2 dinners and 2 lunches for each of us so I'm expecting leftovers in there somewhere. I just wanted to go ahead and plan and grocery shop for 7 days!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Chicken Parmesan

My husband loves this classic dish, absolutely loves it. It's so easy and I think everyone should know how to make it. The ingredients are all things you would normally have in your pantry and it produces a delicious result. No real source for this recipe the measurements can change depending on how many chicken breasts you use.

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 eggs
1 tbsp water
1 cup seasoned bread crumbs
2 tbsp grated parmesan cheese
olive oil
tomato sauce
3/4 cup mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
linguini or pasta of your choice cooked
parsley, to garnish

Preheat oven to 350º. Cut the chicken breast in half from right to left. Slice down the middle to cut into two pieces. Pound with a meat tenderizer to flatten.

Prepare your 3 dipping bowls. Mix 3/4 cup flour, 1 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp of pepper in one bowl. Combine the 2 eggs with 1 tbsp of water in the second bowl. Mix the last bowl with 1 cup of bread crumbs and 2 tbsp of parmesan cheese.

Take one of the pieces of chicken and dip into the flour until covered. Dip both sides of the chicken into the egg mixture. Cover the chicken with the bread crumb mixture to finish. Repeat with remaining pieces of chicken. Heat olive oil (enough to cover the bottom of the pan) in a saute pan. Place the chicken in the pan and saute until golden brown. Remove from the pan and place on a plate covered with a paper towel Continue sauteing the chicken placing a paper towel in between each piece until finished.

Spread a thin layer of tomato sauce in a 9x13 pan. Place the chicken in a single layer along the bottom of the pan. Spread about 1/2 cup to 3/4 cup of tomato sauce on each piece of chicken. Sprinkle each piece with mozzarella cheese and a little parmesan cheese. Cover with foil and bake for 35-40 minutes, until the cheese is melted. Remove foil and broil for an additional 5 minutes. Sprinkle with parsley. Serve over pasta. Enjoy!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Spicy Chicken Enchiladas

This is one of the deleted posts so sorry, no picture.

Whenever I make dishes involving chipotle peppers, I usually try to include 2 recipes that need them on my meal list. I can't handle a lot of spice and even though this is smokey spicy, I still only use a few and we always have at least a half a can left over. When I put the Spicy Chipotle Shredded Beef on the menu this week, I had a hard time finding another recipe using chipotle peppers. I found this one on Pineapple Grass and decided to add it to our menu!

It was delicious and the filling made a ton. A nice twist to your usual enchilada filling and sauce!

3 large tortillas (we had lots of filling leftover so I suggest having more on hand just in case)
1.5 cups cooked rice (we used brown rice, but yellow or white would be fine)
1 cup cooked, shredded chicken
1 chipotle chile
2 tbsp adobo sauce, from can
3/4 cup salsa
1/4 cup sour cream
1 cup shredded Mexican blend cheese (reserve 1/4 cup)

Preheat oven to 350º. In a small bowl, combine chopped chile, adobo sauce, and salsa. In a large bowl, combine rice, chicken, sour cream and 3/4 cup shredded cheese. Add half of the salsa mixture to the chicken mixture. Divide evenly between the three tortillas and roll up. Place seam-side down in an 8x8 baking dish.

Top enchiladas with remaining salsa mixture and 1/4 cup shredded cheese. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until cheese is hot and bubbly.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Fried Pickles

Something happened with my blog and the posts I had scheduled for this past week, including my Super Bowl post, deleted themselves. I'm not sure why or how but they did. So the nest few recipes won't have pictures since the pictures deleted themselves as well. Luckily, I hadn't posted these guys yet.

Fried Pickles. Yum. Back in Georgia, there was a restaurant that brought out free appetizers including sweet potato fries and fried pickles. I love love love pickles. They are my favorite salty food. And fried pickles are no exception. This recipe was delicious. It's no exact Hooters or BDubs replica but it's still delicious. I consumed way too many the night I made these and I'm selfishly glad hubby doesn't like pickles. Recipe from the Food Network.

1 pint sliced dill pickles, undrained (spears, slices, or chips work)
1 large egg, lightly beated
1 tbsp all-purpose flour, plus 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp hot sauce
1 1/2 to 2 tsp ground red pepper
1 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp paprika
Vegetable oil

Drain pickles, reserving 2/3 cup of the juice. Press pickles between paper towels to dry. Combine 2/3 cup pickle juice with the egg, 1 tbsp flour, and hot sauce. Stir well and set aside.

Combine 1 1/2 cups of flour with ground red pepper, garlic powder, salt and paprika. Blend well. Dip pickles in egg mixture, then dredge in flour mixture. Fry the coated pickles in 375º oil until golden brown. Drain on paper towels.

I followed the recipe exactly for half the batch and for the other half I dipped twice in both the flour and egg mixture. The ones that were dipped twice had a thicker coating which I personally liked more. Also, make sure to place the coated pickles in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes. This makes the coating crispier when you fry it. Enjoy!

Monday, February 7, 2011

100th post! and Spicy Chipotle Shredded Beef

I love the taste of chipotle peppers. I prefer the smokiness of the peppers over the overt spiciness of other peppers. Plus it's a crock pot meal which makes it even better. I didn't shred the beef but hubby thinks this would make a delicious alternative to barbeque beef sandwiches or as a delicious way to spice up your taco meat. Recipe from Angela's Kitchen.

1.5 lb pot roast
1 onion peeled and quarterd
1 small can of green chiles
7 oz can of chipotle peppers in adobo sauce (I used less but choose the amount based on your preferences)
1 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
5-6 garlic cloves, minced
3 tsp ground cumin
3 tsp oregano
1 tsp cayenne pepper
2 tsp chili pepper
1 cup water
2 tsp salt
3 tsp ground pepper

Liberally salt and pepper the roast and place in the crock pot. Sprinkle the roast with chili pepper, cayenne pepper, oregano and cumin. Chop all the veggies and crush the chipotle peppers. Place into crock pot. Add the water and cook on low for 6-8 hours. Enjoy!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Peanut Butter Oatmeal Sandwich Cookies

These are the best cookies. Ever. My picture does not do them justice. Grease up your cookie sheets because you need to make these. Now.

I was a Girl Scout up until High School. My favorite time of year was cookie time! I loved selling cookies and trying to see which of the prizes I could get. My parents' attic is probably full of trash bags containing the large stuffed turtles or huskys that I won. I loved doing cookie sales outside of Bed Bath and Beyond but the reason I loved it so much was Do-Si-Dos! Thin Mints came in a close second place but the peanut butter and oatmeal combination of Do-Si-Dos was, and is, the best.

I've made these three times in the past two weeks. I, of course, sent half of them to work with the hubs but I have consumed way too many of these. The cookie itself is delicious but adding the creamy filling is... mmmm, I can't even think of a word for it. Recipe from Annie's Eats, originally from Allrecipes.

Yields about 18 sandwich cookies

For the cookies:
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
8 tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup quick-cooking oats

For the filling:
3 tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1 cup confectioners' sugar, sifted
2 tbsp heavy cream

Preheat the oven to 350º. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a small bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Stir together with a fork to blend. In the bowl of an electric mixture fitted with a paddle attachment, cream together the butter, peanut butter and sugars on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. Blend in the egg and vanilla extract. Add the dry ingredients and mix on a low speed until just incorporated. Stir in the oats with a spoon until evenly blended.

Scoop about 2 teaspoons of the dough onto the cookie sheet. Roll them into a ball. Bake about 10 minutes (mine only took 7-8 minutes), rotating the sheet halfway through. The cookies will be light golden brown and slightly puffed. Cool on the baking sheet about 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Repeat with remaining dough.

Once the cookies have completely cooled, pair them up by size. To make the filling, combine the peanut butter, butter, and confectioners' sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer. Cream together until well combined. Mix in the heavy cream until smooth and fluffy. Spread a small amount of filling on the flat side of one cookie and sandwich together with the remaining cookie and press down so the filling reaches the edges.