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3.31.2012

Cajun Chicken Macaroni and Cheese



Macaroni and Cheese is probably the most made dish in our family.

I think most families with young kids tend to eat it allot.

Every once in awhile I like to switch it up. Like this Bacon Ranch Stove Top Macaroni and Cheese or this Bacon Buffalo Chicken Macaroni and cheese...

Sometimes I'll add in broccoli, bacon, chicken, onions, peppers... Other times I experiment with toppings, Bread crumbs, Ritz, Bacon, Shredded Cheese, Tomatoes,  Scallions, Potato Chips, Frenches Fried Onions.... There are endless possibilities!

I have been craving some Cajun flavor all week. So why not add it into my baked baked n cheese?



Ingredients:

1/2 lb of pasta
3 cups of milk
4 tbs of butter
4 tbs of flour
16 oz of shredded sharp cheddar
1 tbs of a Cajun seasoning blend
1/2 cup diced bell pepper
1/4 cup diced onion
1 tbs minced garlic
1 tbs of cooking oil
1 can of diced tomatoes (strained)
1-2 cup of sliced andouille sausage
1 1/2 cups of cubed cooked chicken breast (bite sized pieces)
Scallions to garnish (optional)
1/2 extra shredded cheddar to top with

Directions:

Cook pasta according to box directions.

In a medium fry pan saute bell pepper, onion, and garlic in about 1 tbs of oil on medium heat. Once the onions start to become translucent remove from heat and set aside. 

In a large sauce pan over medium/low heat. Melt butter and whisk in flour continue whisking for about 2 minutes until you have a paste. Slowly pour in milk continuously whisking. Once it smooths out and  comes to a low boil/thickens. Add in your cheese. Mix until the cheese is melted and your sauce has become nice and thick. Mix in Cajun seasoning and remove from heat.

In a large pan or bowl add in your  pasta, cooked veggies, diced tomatoes, cheese sauce, 1 cup of your sliced sausage, cubed chicken.  Mix until everything is combined.

Transfer to your baking dish. Top with your remaining cheese.

OPTIONAL I topped my casserole with more sausage slices.


Bake at 350 for about 30 minutes (or until sides are bubbly and the sausage is browning. Serve with diced scallions on top.






My husband and I approved this as one of the best baked pasta dishes I've made in a long long time!

3.29.2012

Bacon Wrapped BBQ Chicken Bundles



It's soooooo cold out in NH this week. It is actually seasonably reasonable. 40ish?

But last week if your remember we spent the week at the beech!!!! It was 80-85 in NH! You would have thought with that warm weather we would have gotten our grill on.

But yeah.

We didn't.

I waited until it was flurrying out to crave some BBQ by then it was to darn cold to be standing out on my deck grilling.

So what to do when you crave BBQ but don't want to grill?

Hello broiler!

Bacon Wrapped BBQ Chicken Bundles

Ingredients:

1 lb of boneless skinless chicken breast cut in half or in thirds (depending on how large your breasts are)
1 cup of your favorite BBQ sauce (I like Sweet Baby Rays)
1 tbs of cider vinegar
1 tbs of Worcestershire sauce
1 tbs of minced garlic
1 tbs of honey
4-6 slices of bacon

Directions:

Mix sauce, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, honey and garlic together.

Slather chicken pieces with it and refrigerate for 1-2 hours.

Cut your bacon slices in half.

Wrap each chicken piece in bacon. Place bundles in a baking dish giving each piece some room. Don't crowd them in there. Brush any leftover marinade over the bacon chicken bundles

Broil for about 15 minutes or until chicken juices run clear.


   

A Healthy Brownie



I made a healthy Chocolate Brownie...

Do you believe me?

Well I did!

Not only is it gluten free it's filled with protein and fiber AND it is also right around 100 calories!

Yep it's true.

Now I won't like this brownie is not my favorite brownie on the planet. BUT it is a good brownie. The typical brownie is filled with butter and sugar. That is what makes it taste so good. I've found some healthy substitutes for the starch, fat, and reduced the sugar as well as used a natural sweetener in it's place.

If you ever find yourself in a chocolate mood but don't want the guilt of a traditional brownie. Give these a whirl. You won't be sorry!!



Black Bean and Avocado Brownies

1 15 oz can black bean drained and rinsed
1/2 an avocado
2 eggs
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/4 tsp  of salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup of sugar
1 tbs instant coffee

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350.

In your food processor add in avocado and beans. Puree.


Scrape into the bowl of your mixing bowl, beat in eggs, honey, and peanut butter.


Once that is combined mix in the remaining ingredients. Spread into a greased 8x8 pan. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until a tooth pick is inserted and comes out clean.


A New Lunch for my Boys. Ham and Broccoli Grilled Cheese Sandwiches.



Oh man am I always glad to discover something the kids will eat without putting a fight up because it contains something green.

The orange cheese mixed with reddish ham and green broccoli made this sandwich fun for the boys look at. The colors popped right out and they cobbled it up so fast I need to make more!

Ingredients for one sandwich:

1/2 cup of shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1/4 cup steamed broccoli chopped small
1/4 cup shredded deli ham or about 2 slices
2 slices of sandwich bread
1-2 tbs of batter or margarine

Directions:

Heat a large skillet on medium heat.

In a small bowl mix cheese, broccoli and ham.

Butter one side of each piece of bread. Spread cheesy mixture on to one slice of bead top with a 2nd slice. And fry both sides until golden.

Drunken Fluffernutter Cupcakes w/ Fluffed Meringue



Ok.

So I know some of you deprived individuals have never had a fluffernutter.

I'm crying a little bit on the inside for you.

It's a childhood must!

Fluff is one of those things we ALWAYS have in the cupboard.

It's one of my comforts. I like a dollop on top of my hot chocolate in the winter. It reminds me of my Great Aunt Bett aka Bambie.

When I was little  and we went to visit she would offer my Mom tea w/ honey and us kids were given a steaming cup of Swiss Miss (mini marshmallows included) and she topped it off with a dollop of fluff. Even though I have kids of my own and am creeping up towards 30 I think she would still serve me Hot Chocolate if I went over to visit.

I have now carried over my hot chocolate and fluff love to my kids. Heck they could skip the hot chocolate and just take the spoon full of fluff! They are so obsessed with it, and since it is nothing but sugar I have to hide it. Way way way way in the back of the cupboards so they never find it! There has been a time or two I've found my youngest son sitting under the table hiding while sticking his grubby little fingers in the jar.

Besides hot chocolate.... Fluffernutters. What is better that Peanut Butter and Fluff??!?!?!?!!?

It's such a great late night snack! My husband can often be found at 1am making a quick sandwich or spreading PB and Fluff on graham crackers.

So my order to you right now is, if the area you live in does not sell Fluff... click this link and order a jar.

Just do it.

My husband  bought a bottle of Smirnoff Fluffed Vodka (marshmallow flavored) and have run out of ways to use it.... I mean I can only drink so many chocolate/fluffed beverages.

So in order to use it up I figured I could start using it in my baking!

These cupcakes are a peanut butter cake with a hint of fluffed vodka topped with Fluffed Meringue.

They are awesome. And how cute right?

Drunken Fluffernutter Cupcakes w/ Fluffed Meringue 

The Cake:

1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 cup softened butter
1 1/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup of peanut butter
2 eggs
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup fluffed vodka (optional can be replaced with water)

The Meringue topping:

3 egg whites
1/2 cup sugar
1 tbs of fluffed vodka (optional can use vanilla extract)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350.

In a medium mixing bowl sift together your flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt.

In the bowl of your electric mixer cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add in you peanut butter. Mix on medium/low. Add in your eggs one at a time. Mix in milk and vodka.

Slowly mix in your flour mixture. Once it is combined.  Pour into 12 cupcake liners or greased muffin tins.

Bake for about 15-20 minutes.

For the Meringue:

Oh high speed whip your egg whites until soft peeks form. Add in your sugar and vodka. Whip until you have stiff peeks.

Pipe meringue on top of cooled cupcakes. To get the toasted tips either torch them quickly with a kitchen torch or place under the broiler for about 30 seconds.

If you want to skip making the cupcakes and just eat some PB with mallows... then chug some fluffed vodka. I won't judge.







 Now tell me.... do they sell Fluff where you live?

 

3.28.2012

Beer Braised Chorizo Tostada's (Guest Post)

OH boy you guys are in for a treat today! I'm so happy to have my friend Laura from A Healthy Jalapeno share a recipe with you guys today.

For my "Around the World" Guest Poster Challenge she has whipped up a scrumptious Mexican inspired dinner.

My husband and I LOVE Mexican food. We make it at least once a week for dinner, and I can't count how many times during the week I eat it for lunch. I'm also whipping up quick quesadillas, or black bean salads for the kids and I. When Laura sent me her post for Beer Braised Chorizo Tostada's I was in heaven!

This is a dish we will be making perhaps tomorrow night for dinner! I Love Chorizo... and braised in beer? Seriously now, how great does that sound!

Laura's blog A Healthy Jalapeno has so many great flavorful satisfying healthy meals/snacks on it.  When I am looking to be   a good girl I go to her blog for inspiration for something healthier.


Everyone say hi to Laura!




I am so excited to be here today Guest Posting for Carrie. It was back in January that Carrie guest posted for me over at A Healthy Jalapeño for her very FIRST guest post so I am happy that I finally get to return the favor.

I have been following Carrie for sometime now and besides her amazing food, I have always been captured with her fabulous food photography. She really knows how to capture every bite and flavor in each dish creating the ultimate and inevitable lip-smacking drool-fest {on my part of course}.


Carrie and I talked about how she was looking for me to share with you all a light and ethnic recipe that was sure to please. I was more than up for the challenge and seeing as how my favorite ethnic go-to cuisine is normally Mexican, I knew I had something super tasty and delicious in mind that would be sure to make YOU drool.

As Carrie says "This may not be the lowest calorie dish on the block but it has so much going on". It has all of the key elements for filling your bellies with delicious fresh ingredients that when combined, create a party in your mouth. The true highlight of this dish is the beer braised chorizo because has such amazing flavor and will  actually fill your house with the sweet and spicy smell of the meat. I favor Mexican dishes because veggies and spices are super healthy by nature and you can add as much or as little as you'd like. Add a simple braised meat and wrap and you have created a delicious meal with tons of flavor that will fill you up without making you feel cheated.

Beer braised chorizo, organic refried beans, lettuce, pico de gallo, avocados and shredded cheese all thrown together in a tostada and drizzled with the most outrageous sauce... yup, this is one plate you will be sure to finish, but make sure you savor and relish each and every bite.

I hope you all enjoy it!


Beer Braised Chorizo Tostada's

Photos by A Healthy Jalapeño

Recipe adopted by My Kitchen Moovement

Ingredients:

Tortillas (I used low carb, high fiber whole wheat)
1 (16 oz) can organic spicy refried beans (no lard)


Beer braised chorzio
4 links of fresh chorizo
1/2 white onion, finely diced
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1/2 cup of Mexican beer
1 sauce recipe, below
Pico de gallo OR Classic Guacamole, to taste
lettuce, shredded
avocado, cubed

Remove casing from fresh chorizo and place in skillet with 1 teaspoon of oil.
Break apart using wooden spoon/spatula. Sauté for 10 minutes on medium heat and then add garlic. Add beer and deglaze skillet. Heat over low to medium heat until most of the beer has evaporated and the chorizo is crispy brown.

Assemble your tostadas using the refritos (refried beans), chorizo and sauce. Add grated queso chihuahua or Monterrey Jack cheese, lettuce, diced avocados, pico de gallo and your favorite hot sauce to make it your own.


Sauce:
3/4 cup of crema, crème fraiche or sour cream
1/4 cup of loosely packed cilantro leaves
Juice of 1 lime
1 tbsp rice wine vinegar
1 tsp honey
Splashes of hot sauce (to your taste level)
Salt and pepper
1/4 cup water



Add crema, cilantro, rice wine vinegar, salt and pepper, lime juice, hot sauce and honey into blender and pulse until smooth.
Add water to thin consistency.



                                                                                                                                                                    
Laura, 
Thank you so much for sharing this wicked yummy recipe with us today! 

If you want to check out Laura's blog please Click HERE
To follow Laura on facebook please click HERE
To follow on Twitter please click HERE.
To follow on Google+ click HERE
To follow on Pinterest click HERE.

3.27.2012

Red Velvet Oreo Cake



This cake was a special request from a friend for another friend's Birthday this weekend.

At first I was like Oreo frosting on a Red Velvet Cake? Seriously??

But this frosting I made was  sooooo good. It was like eating Cookies and Cream Ice Cream in frosting form. So good in fact the hubs and I ate it with a spoon later that night after the kids conked out.



Red Velvet Cake w/ Oreo Cream Cheese Frosting topped w/ a Dark Chocolate Coating.


The Cake
(recipe adapted from Bakerella)

5 cups all purpose flour
4cups sugar
2 Tablespoon cocoa
2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoon baking soda
4 eggs
3 cups oil
2 cup buttermilk
2 Tablespoon vinegar
2 teaspoon vanilla
4 oz. red food coloring

Directions:

Pre heat oven to 350

Greece and flour 4  8 inch cake pans set aside.


Whisk eggs together, add in oil, buttermilk, vinegar, vanilla and food coloring. Set aside.


Sift all of your dry ingredients together.


In the bowl of your electric mixer on medium/low speed add in your dry ingredients to your wet 1 cup at a time until they are all combined. 


Split batter up evenly between all 4 cake pans.


Bake for about 30 minutes or until a toothpick is inserted and comes out clean.


Let the cakes cool for about 20 minutes then flip out of your cake pans onto cooking racks.


Ingredients for Frosting:


2 packages of cream cheese at room temperature
1 cup of heavy whipping cream
4 cups of powdered sugar
1 package of double stuffed oreos


Directions:


In your food processor blend the oreos into crumbs.


In the bowl of your electric mixer whip your heavy cream until soft peeks form. Add in your cream cheese and whip until they are combined.  Mix in powdered sugar on medium/low speed. Wiping down the sides of the bowl as needed to ensure everything is evenly mixed. Fold in oreo crumbs.


Assembly:

After cakes have cooled completely lay a thick layer of frosting on your first layer, top with a 2nd cake and then repeat frosting and alternate cake and frosting layers. 


After centers are frosted continue to frost the entire cake.


If you have mini oreos place them along the bottom of the cake.


Freeze for 1-2 hours.






For the Chocolate coating
Inspired  by Bakers Royale

3/4 a cup of dark chocolate chips
3 tbs of heavy cream
1 tbs of powdered sugar
(a couple of tsp of water if needed)



Bring a pot of water to a boil. Place a heat proof bowl over the top of the simmering water.

Add in chocolate and heavy cream stir continuously until melted.


Stir in sugar.


It should be at a pourable constancy... if not you can add some water 1 tsp at a time until it is.

Remove from heat and allow to cool for about 15 minutes.

Remove cake from freezer and pour chocolate over the top. You can work the chocolate down the sides with a rubber spatula to create drips


Place in the refrigerator and remove it 1 hour before serving. 


I whipped up a small bit of cream cheese icing so I could do the letter J (my friends name is Jena)  If you want some icing to write with... take 4 tbs of room temp cream cheese whip with 1 tbs of powdered sugar and a few drops of heavy cream.



A picture of the cake at the party.




This recipe was linked at:

Eat at Home 

3.26.2012

Vanilla Bean Apple Honey- The Secret Recipe Club



Another month of the Secret Recipe club. Last month I was excited to join my first reveal. I made this Maple Mouse in Maple Cookie Cups. It was so good!

When I received my assignment this month I was over the moon. It was a blogger I <3, and someone I look to for foodie inspiration. When I first starting my facebook page Heather, from Farm Girl Gourmet was one of the first pages I started following. When I was trying to gain followers she was one of the first who gave my page a shout out telling her readers to come check out my page. Thanks to her and other fellow blog facebookers my facebook went from 50 fans up to close to 2,300 fans in only a couple of months!

Heather's recipes and photos make me seriously hungry. I've been wanting to make these Chocolate Cheesecakes since Valentines Day.... I need a reason to make them! Then these Oxtail Tacos... I've never had oxtail but have been wanting to try it for a long time! I also have some Rhubarb left in the fridge I'm thinking I'll be making this Crumb Cake later this afternoon!

I spied her Pear Vanilla Bean Honey on the blog earlier this month and I pinned it knowing I NEEDED to make it. THEN I received my assignment for the Secret Recipe Club... What better timing!

I did adapt her recipe for my own personal taste and what I had for ingredients on hand. I used apples instead and substituted the sugar for honey. 

Vanilla Bean Apple Honey 

Ingredients:
3 ripe apples quartered
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup honey
1 vanilla bean split and seeds scraped
1 tbsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp lemon zest

Directions:
In a medium sized pan add in your apples and water.

Bring to a boil and then turn down to low and simmer for 15 minutes, or until the apples are very soft.


Remove apples and liquid and place in a food mill. In a separate pan add in your pureed apples with your honey, lemon juice/zest, and your vanilla bean.

Bring back up to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for another 20 minutes, or until it is a golden color and has thickened. Pour into canning jars or other heat proof containers.

Serve on toast, bagels with cream cheese... we spread it on our bananas! It is so good!



Secret Recipe Club

3.23.2012

Blogging for Fishes Recipe Book GIVEAWAY. ~CLOSED~




I want to talk Fish.

Not Fish as in the fish in the sea. But the Fish Family.

Grab a tissue, and watch this video. Then we will finish talking.





Now go hug your kids.

Natalie and Alice Fish are 2 beautiful little girls who have been diagnosed with SCID ( Severe Combined Immunodeficiency). OR the "Bubble Boy Disease"


Because I am not health expert nor an expert on SCID and at the risk of explaining it wrong, I recommend you read more about it here.


A few months ago I had never heard of the Natalie and Alice Fish let alone SCID. Now every time I see this video or read updates on their hospital stay and recovery on the Fish Family Blog I cry for them.

If only I could  hug those girls and help their parents a bit more. There isn't a moment that goes by that I don't thank god for my children's health. In a million years I do not think I could even imagine the pain and stress their little bodies are under let alone the pain and stress their parents live with every day just watching as their beautiful babies suffer.

When I was contacted by Ali the creator of the blog Lemon Poppy Inc. to  contribute a recipe and photo to a cookbook that when completed would be sold with the proceeds being donated to the Fish Family,  I jumped at the chance. It's not allot but it's something I could do to help these girls and their family. I was just one of many bloggers who did the same.

That is my Maple Brown Sugar Cream Pie... one of many mouth watering recipes!


Ali put so much work into creating this book and setting up this fundraiser to help the Fishes. I want to thank her so much for everything, as well as including me in on this opportunity to help out.

If you would like to purchase the Blogging for Fishes ebook or recipe book click here for more info on Ali's blog Lemon Poppy Inc. 100% of the proceeds will be donated to help the Fish family.

I have not one but TWO copies I will be giving away.

To win all you have to do is...

-Watch the Fish Family video I posted above and share it on your facebook pages, twitter, email... any way you can think of SHARE IT. 
-Leave a comment here on my blog saying that you have watched and shared the video. Make sure to leave your email address as well.

On Friday, March 30th at 5pm I will use www.random.org to pick 2 winners. I will then contact each winner to arrange shipment of their cookbooks.

Giveaway is open to US residents only.

                                                                                                                                                                  

Bloggers want to do more than just share this video or buy a cook book to help?

Add the Fish Family button to your blog linking directly to their website. .... Look to your right on this website and you can see my Fishes for Marrow Wishes button.




Honey Lime Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp



Part THREE of today's posts.

Holy cow... this is the most blogging I've done in one day since I've started!

I made this yesterday afternoon for my husband.

He says " I don't like Rhubarb."

Seriously now.... if you THINK you don't like it... well then you are just plain crazy.

The combo of rhubarb with something sweet and strawberries is out of this world. I love it that much!

Even if you THINK you don't like it... give it a try. You'll change your mind!


Honey Lime Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp

Ingredients:

2 cups chopped rhubarb
3 cups sliced strawberries
1 lime zested and juiced
1 cup flour
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup quick cooking oats
1/4 cup honey  
1/4 cup butter

Directions:

In a large bowl toss berries and rhubarb with 1/4 a cup of your flour, lime zest and juice, and half of your brown sugar.

In a separate bowl with a pastry blender work your remaining ingredients together until it resembles a course meal.

Place your fruit mixture in a small baking dish or pie plate. Top with your oat topping.

Bake at 350 for 40 minutes or until the top is browned and the sides are bubbly.

Let it cool for 15 minutes before serving. 

Serve with my Honey Lime Whipped Cream to make the perfect dessert. 


Honey Lime Whipped Cream



Wow have I discovered a whole new world in whipped cream.

This is simply fantastic! No need to even make a dessert.

Just eat a huge bowl of this whipped cream sweetened with honey.

Never again will I use sugar to sweeten my cream. Honey is healthier and it tastes so much better!!

Give it a try!

Ingredients:

1 cup heavy whipping cream
2-3 tbs of honey
1 tsp of grated lime zest

Directions:

In the bowl (chill your bowl in the freezer for 15 minutes before hand) of your electric mixer whip your cream on medium/high speed until it starts to thicken. Add in your honey and zest. Turn mixer back on to medium/high speed and whip until soft peeks form.

Serve on your favorite dessert. OR eat it straight from the mixing bowl like I did!

3.22.2012

Asparagus Chickpea Salad with a Lemon Honey Vinaigrette (with some heat!)



 I made this salad to go with some BBQ we were having last night as a light side dish for a hot night.

Yes I said hot night! Crazy right? It is March and it has been in the 80's all week. If this is Global Warming and we are coming to an end... hell I'm going to enjoy Earth while I can!


So we beached it up yesterday afternoon. What a strange site to be standing in snow in your 2 piece when it is 83 degrees out. Though we most definitely were not swimming it was nice to lay out in the sun and play in the sand for the afternoon.

Today will be round two of beach fun in March. 

Try this salad out for a light lunch or a side dish for dinner. Goes great with almost anything!


Asparagus Chickpea Salad with a Lemon Honey Vinaigrette (with some heat!)


Ingredients:

2lbs of fresh asparagus chopped into bite sized pieces
1 can of chickpeas rinsed well 
2 lemons (zest and juice)
2 tbs of minced garlic
1 tbs of red pepper flakes (or more if you like things hot!)
1 tsp ground cumin
1/4 cup of olive oil
1 1/2 tbs of honey

Directions:

In a bowl whisk together, the juice zest,garlic, pepper flakes, cumin, olive oil, honey. Set aside.

In boiling water toss you your chopped asparagus in and boil for 2 minutes. Remove from water and place into an ice bath to stop the cooking process. 

Toss asparagus and you rinsed chickpeas with your dressing. Allow to sit in the refrigerator covered for about an hour before serving.  Toss the salad before dishing up.

3.21.2012

Quick & Easy Thai Chicken Salad (Guest Post)

I'm excited to introduce you all to one of my favorite blogs. Crumbs and Chaos. Becca is one of four sisters behind the blog Crumbs and Chaos, when she contacted me regarding guest posting for my Around the World Guest Poster Challenge I jumped at the change to have her here with us today.

 I have been a fan of Crumbs and Chaos for a while now and a frequent their Seasonal Inspiration link ups hosted every week. Not only do I enjoy sharing my recipes there but there are tons of other great bloggers doing the same. Be sure to hop over to Crumbs and Chaos and check out what Becca and her 3 sisters have been cooking up!

                                                                                                                                                                    

 
Hi, I'm Becca from Crumbs and Chaos, a blog I write with my 3 sisters.  We have 11 children between us, hence the name Crumbs and Chaos, we deal with our fair share on a daily basis.  We love sharing our favorite recipes, tips on controlling the chaos and seeing awesome things from our readers every Saturday at our Seasonal Inspiration link party.  I am honored to be here today at Bakeaholic Mama sharing this fabulous dish with you.






I was excited when Carrie said she'd like to go with the theme  'Around the World'.  I definitely love great Asian flavors - like Thai Peanut Noodles, Chinese Roast Pork or Baked Crab Rangoon and Latin flavors - like Garden Fresh Salsa, Mexican Artichoke Dip, Fish Tacos or Wonton Tacos.  So I did go back and forth for a while before deciding on this Thai Chicken Salad.


The perfect thing for this time of year - it comes together quickly and is light and refreshing.  I mean, really, you're cutting a couple of veggies and tossing everything together.  The flavors are a really lovely reminder of all of the things I love about Asian food.  

This salad makes a quick lunch or could easily be multiplied for a larger function. I can see myself toting this to picnics or BBQs this year, just setting the dressing aside to add right before serving.  It would be a welcome change from the usual BBQ side dishes.

However you decide to enjoy it, don't wait...do it soon.  This one's a keeper for sure!


1 (16 oz.) package COLESLAW MIX
1/3 cup SESAME GINGER SALAD DRESSING
2 cups COOKED CHICKEN, cubed or shredded
1/2 cup THAI PEANUT SAUCE
1 RED BELL PEPPER, cut into thin strips
2 GREEN ONIONS, chopped
1/4 cup FRESH CILANTRO, chopped
1 lime, quartered

In a large bowl, toss together coleslaw mix and salad dressing.  

In a separate bowl, combine chicken and peanut sauce.  Place on top of coleslaw, layer on red pepper, green onions and cilantro.

Serve immediately.  Enjoy each serving with a fresh squeeze of lime juice.

* Alternatively, this could all be tossed together instead of layering and would travel well, just add the dressing right before serving.

Recipe Source:  Adapted from the Taste of Home Magazine June/July 2010 issue

Thanks so much for having me, Carrie!

Stop on over and say hi!
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Mocha Toffee Almond Fudge Cookies (Crumbs and Chaos Guest Post(

Lets talk cookies!!

These Mocha, Almond, Toffee, Fudge Cookies will be the best cookie you’ll ever sink your teeth into! Not to mention they are the size of your face. Seriously, they rock. I hope you all like them as much as my family and I did!!


They are a fuggy yet chewy, chocolaty with a hint of coffee, packed with chocolate chips, almond pieces, toffee chips... holy cow!!


To read my recipe for Mocha Almond Toffee Fudge Cookies please visit Crumbs and Chaos's blog!!!! It's a keeper you must try them!

~~~~~~ A big thanks to the sisters of Crumbs and Chaos for letting me share my cookie recipe with all of their fantastic readers!

3.20.2012

My Mom's Deviled Eggs



Growing up I was the only one in my family besides my mom who liked anything with mayo in it. She and I were big fans of macaroni salads, potato salads and anything of the sorts.

Our favorite probably being Deviled Eggs.

This recipe for Deviled Eggs is something I started making with her when I was super  young. In fact there wasn't a time when I don't remember helping assemble them. Either I was in charge of peeling the boiled eggs or mixing up the yolks.

I think everyone has their own way of making their Deviled Eggs. This was is always a big hit at every BBQ, family get together, pot luck style dinner.

Ingredients:

12 hard boiled eggs
1/2 cup mayo (the real stuff)
1 tbs of mustard
1 can of deviled ham (about a 1/4 of a cup)
Pinch of paprika
Sliced scallions (optional)



Directions:

Peel your eggs. Slice them in half length wise removing the yolks.

Place all of your yolks in a medium mixing bowl and mix together with the remainder of your ingredients.

Pipe or spoon into your egg whites.

Dust with some paprika and garnish with some sliced scallions

3.19.2012

Whole Wheat Banana Blueberry Muffins and Owen Turned FIVE!



What  a fantastic weekend it was!

I was busy with, date night with the girls, shopping, yoga class and best of all celebrating Owen's 5th Birthday.

It is such an exciting thing when your kids celebrate their birthdays. But it is also so sad. Saying it out loud "Owen is now 5!" makes me cry a little on the inside every time.

Owen age 4 1/2 (first day of preschool)


It's amazing how it seems like just yesterday he entered the world. Though at the same time I can't remember what it was like to not have him in our lives.

Owen age 18 months


I am so very proud of him every moment of every day. He wows me with his eagerness to learn. Especially his knowledge of animals and dinosaurs. He can sit there for hours and lecture me on the different types, their habitat and other little random facts. Somehow he teaches me something new every time. How is that possible?

The other day I had to call our local elementary school to set up his Kindergarten registration! YIKES. There is no way I am the mother of an elementary student!

I blinked my eyes while he was still in diapers and now he's going into elementary school.

Owen age 7-8 months


One of his requests for his Birthday was a T-rex cake. Well this mom doesn't decorate cakes very well so I called for help from my husbands cousin Sam. She made Owen an awesome T-rex sheet cake for his party.

After picking the cake up from Sam, I put it in the back next to his seat so he could look at in on our car ride home.

What was I thinking! Leaving a cake sitting next to a 5 yr old boy....

He says to me "Mama know what my favorite part of the cake is??? Sam put rabbit holes in it because she knows how much I like rabbits!"

I did not think to much of this... I kept on driving yepping him along the way.

I get home take the cake out and look to find he had poked holes in the fondant!

Little turd tried to blame it on Sam!!!!

The cake... with his "rabbit holes"


Owen's next request is that I make blueberry cupcakes to share with his friends at school. Since snack time is in the morning and I know the fellow parents at the preschool would rather their kids not get hopped up on sugar at 10am. I made these Whole Wheat Banana Blueberry Muffins instead. They were a compromise... basically a whole wheat cupcake minus the frosting!

They are meant to be a treat after all.....

Whole Wheat Banana Blueberry Muffins

Ingredients:

3 cups white whole wheat flour
2 cups sugar
1 cup of mashed banana (about 2 bananas)
1/2 cup of vegetable oil
4 eggs
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbs of lemon zest
1 tsp cinnamon
2 cups of frozen blueberries  

Directions:
Pre heat oven to 350.

In a large mixing bowl sift together flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. Set aside.

In a separate bowl, cream sugar and mashed banana together. Mix in oil, then your eggs one at a time.

On medium speed mix in your flour mixture one cup at a time just until it is incorporated.

With a rubber spatula fold in your berries and lemon zest.

Drop batter into muffin  cups and bake for about 25-30 minutes. Or until a tooth pick is inserted in the center and it comes out clean.

Recipes yields 24 muffins.


3.15.2012

Bite Sized Open Faced Reuben Sandwiches w/ Homemade Russian Dressing


St. Patrick's Day.

You know you will have some left over corned beef come Sunday am. What better way to nurse your green beer hangover than with a Reuben Sandwich.

I loved corned beef in so many different dishes. But with my left overs this is the #1 thing on my list to make the next day. While your at it... how about some Corned Beef Hash?

Have I told you how much I love hash?

I've had a minor love affair with Hormel Corned Beef Hash since I was a child. My father was a big Corned Beef Hash fan as well. Saturday or Sunday breakfast consisted of a can of hash and some scrambled eggs with bacon for the first 18 years of my life. 

I continued my obsession with the meat in a can (that looks and smells like cat food) until I was in my young 20's. That is when I noticed the back of the can.

If you eat it... read the back. You'll give it up. Scary fat.  Scary sodium. Scary ass calories!

So do me a favor... don't eat canned corned beef hash. It's bad news.

Make your own instead. It's so easy... leftover meat. And cubed potatoes. Seriously, that is all!


Enough about Corned Beef Hash already. Lets talk Reubens!

I discovered how yummy they were about 3 years ago, I always thought I hated kraut. Boy was I wrong!! Reubens are the best combo of bold flavors in a sandwich.



Bite Sized Open Faced (or not so open) Reuben Sandwiches w/ Homemade Russian Dressing

Pumpernickel Bread Sliced
1/2 lb cooked corned beef
1/4 lb sliced Swiss cheese
1 cup sauerkraut
1/2 cup Russian dressing (recipes to follow)
1/4 cup thinly sliced red onion
1/2 tbs of dill weed
 1 tbs of olive oil
 Directions:

With a 2 inch round cookie cutter (or a small glass) cut circles out of your bread slices. With a pastry brush, brush each bread circle with the olive oil. Bake at 400 for about 5 minutes. Flip and then bake for another 2-3 minutes OR until your bread is nice and toasted like a cracker. 

Top each bread circle with shredded corned beef, and then a small slice of Swiss cheese. Pop back in the oven for about 30-60 seconds or until your cheese is melted. 

Top with sauerkraut, Russian dressing, onions, and dill.

Eat in one flavor packed bite!!

Russian Dressing taken up a notch:

1 cup of mayo
1 tbs of horseradish
1 tsp of minced onion
1 tsp of minced garlic
1/2 tsp of catchup
1/4 tsp of cider vinegar
1/2 tsp of sugar
pinch of salt 
pinch of smoked paprika


 Whisk together and refrigerate for 1 hour before serving.



Lucky Charm Treat Pops



We all love a rice crispy treats but why not a lucky version of America's favorite cereal turned treat?

Tomorrow Owen has a small St. Patrick's Day Party at school. So for a fun project we made some Lucky Charm Treat Pops to share with his friends.

We had allot of fun making them as well as getting sticky icky!



Lucky Charm Treat Pops

Ingredients:

6 cups of Lucky Charms Cereal
1 bag of marshmallows
3 tbs of butter

Directions:

On medium low heat in a large pot melt marshmallows and butter together.

In a large bowl mix youf mallow mixture with 6 cups of cereal. Working quickly (it gets super sticky!) pour out on to a large sheet of parchment paper. Flatten so it is about 1 -2 inches thick. Let it cool for about 10-15 minutes.

Cut your treats into about 20-24 pieces. Roll each piece into balls. Stick a Popsicle stick about 2/3's of the way in. Let them set for 1 hour to harden completely. Store in an air tight container.    
(treats can also be cut into 2 inch bars)



Are you making anything fun for a St. Patty's Day Party this weekend?