Thursday, April 28, 2011

Cheesy Potato & Ham Soup

Do you have leftover ham lurking in your fridge and are you wondering what in the world you are going to do with it (besides Ham sandwiches!)?  This is such the perfect answer!  This soup is so cheesy & creamy & wonderful!!  My kiddo's all gave it a 10! 

Cheesy Potato & Ham Soup
This is Tony's (hubby) bowl...I thought it looked really pretty with all that pepper on it!  But don't think you have to add that much to your bowl...I wouldn't be able to handle it myself!:)

2 cups diced peeled potatoes (5-6 small to medium sized potatoes)
2 cups water
1/2 cup sliced carrot (or matchstick carrots...much easier!)
1/4 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup flour
2 cups milk (any variety...I used skim)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1 to 1 1/2 cups cubed cooked ham
1 cup frozen peas, thawed

Boil the potatoes, carrots & onion in the 2 cups of water. When it reaches a full boil, reduce the heat and cover. Cook for 10-15 minutes or until tender. (This is Kyla's picture...she actually peeled all the potatoes and cut them and then added the carrots and onions and boiled them and got that part all ready for me!  She's becoming a pretty good photographer too!)
While the vegetables are cooking, in another saucepan, melt the butter. Stir in the flour until smooth and then slowly add the milk while stirring. This will ensure you have not yucky lumps in your soup!! Add the salt & pepper. Bring to a boil and cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Remove from the heat and stir in the cheese until melted.

Pour cheese mixture in with the undrained potato mixture and stir until combined. Add the ham and peas. Heat through & serve!
This soup made just enough for family (of 6) to all have one large bowl full.  If you're feeding more than that or would like to have leftovers I would suggest doubling the recipe!

In case you didn't notice...I finally figured out how to add a PRINT RECIPE link so you can print our recipes right from our site without all of the pictures and other "junk":) to run out all your ink!!  We will be adding the PRINT RECIPE link to all of our recipes, but that will probabaly take me days...weeks...I'll just say a while!:)  Hope this new little perk helps you out!:)

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Chocolate Drizzled Strawberries & Cream Pie

Here's the dessert recipe I promised to share!  It is so darn good!!  Perfect actually!  I'm a strawberry lover and this just made my life bliss!  And the chocolate too...double bliss!:)

A definite MUST TRY!

Chocolate Drizzled Strawberries & Cream Pie
(I know you're probably drooling right now!!  Just looking at it makes my mouth start watering!)

1 quart fresh strawberries (no frozen here!)
1 package (8 oz.) cream cheese, at room temperature (you can use light)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1 9" graham cracker crust (I used a chocolate graham cracker crust...YUM!)
1/4 cup milk chocolate chips

Beat the cream cheese, brown sugar, and vanilla until light and fluffy.  In a separate bowl beat the whipping cream and powdered sugar until medium peaks form.  Add about 1 cup of the whipping cream to the cream cheese mixture and beat until smooth and well combined.  Add the remaining whipping cream and mix until just combined.  Spread into the graham cracker crust and place in the refrigerator while you prepare the strawberries.

Wash the strawberries and cut off the stems.  Blot them dry with a paper towel.  Gently press them cut side down into the whipped cream mixture until the pie is covered.  Set aside.

Place the chocolate chips in a ziploc baggie.  Microwave for 20 second intervals, mixing with your hand in between, until chocolate is melted...not hot, but melted.  Snip off a little of the corner and drizzle the chocolate over the strawberries.  Refrigerate for at least 3 hours before serving!
Kyla sure had fun getting the strawberries ready & placing them on the pie...she did quite an amazing job too if I do say so myself!:)

Monday, April 25, 2011

Baked Penne (with cooking creme)

Hope everyone had a fabulous Easter celebrating with Family & Friends!  And of course good food!:)  I've got a to-die for dessert that I can't wait to share with everyone, but in the mean time try out this fabulous recipe! (I've got you all curious...huh!??)  Will post it by Wednesday...PROMISE!!

I have loved the new cooking creme's from Philadelphia!  They make some of those really hectic nights of trying to get dinner on the table easier, and they have some fabulous recipes!  Not to mention I stocked up on a whole bunch of coupons I found for $1.50 off each one!  That makes them about a buck each!!  SCORE!!:)  Anyway, this recipe is a definite crowd pleaser.  My kiddo's loved it, as did Tony (hubby) and I.  And it's simple enough that I can almost feel good about leaving Kyla to make it on her own!  And the cooking creme gives the dish a wonderful flavor that I have not ever had in a baked penne!  Enjoy!

Baked Penne (with cooking creme)
(for some reason this is the only picture I have...I usually take a GAZILLION to make sure I get a half descent one...sorry...the picture really doesn't do it justice!)
1/2 pound lean ground beef
1/2 cup chopped onions
1/2 cup chopped green peppers
1 jar (24 oz.) spaghetti sauce
1 tub (10 oz.) Philadelphia Italian Cheese & Herb Cooking Creme, divided
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
3 cups cooked penne pasta

Heat oven to 350 degrees. 

Brown meat with vegetables in large nonstick skillet.  Stir in the spaghetti sauce, 3/4 cup cooking creme and 1/2 cup mozzarella.  Cook and stir for 2-3 minutes or until mozzarella is melted.  Add the pasta and mix lightly.

Spoon into a 2 quart casserole dish and top with remaining cooking creme and mozzarella.  Cover. 

Bake for 20 minutes.  Uncover after 15 minutes of baking.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Chad's Chocolate Chip Cookies

Chad is my brother.  I didn't know he had a famous Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe...I didn't even know he could cook!:)  Just kidding Chad (he surprised his wifey for her 30th birthday with the Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cheesecake ...and I believe it was his first try with a real cheesecake!!)  But I've been racking my brain, trying to remember him ever cooking when we were growing up and I'm coming up blank! 

So needless to say I was very interested in these cookies!  We made them last night and I'll tell you what...I think this is the best chocolate chip cookie recipe I've tried!!  As I've stated plenty of times before...the perfect cookie to me is nice and gooey on the inside and crispy on the outside.  Well, this one delivered TO THE MAX!!  It was uber gooey and crispy.  I may have eaten 3 and overshot my WW points by 15 for the day, but it was SOOOO worth it!!:)  I just can't resist a perfect cookie warm right out of the oven!!

By the way (just so I'm not tempted) the leftovers are going with me and my son Caleb on his field trip today!  They will be a great dessert for after lunch!:)

Chad's Chocolate Chip Cookies
1/2 cup shortening
1/2 cup butter or margarine (I used margarine)
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 1/2 cups flour (I ended up using 3 cups)
2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

Mix the shortening and butter for 30 seconds.  Add the sugar, brown sugar, and baking soda and cream with the butter/shortening mixture.  Add the eggs and vanilla and mix until combined.  Add flour and mix. 

SIDE NOTE:  Flour is always tricky with cookies.  You put too much and your cookies are crumbly...not enough you have flat cookies!  I kind of know the right consistency which is why I added about a half cup more flour than called for.  It's always best to start with a little less flour and gradually add more until you come up with the right consistency.  This dough is on the sticky side, but you don't want it too sticky!  I know that probably doesn't make sense to anyone but me...but there it is for what it's worth!:)

Add the chocolate chips and mix to incorporate.  Drop by rounded teaspoons (I used my medium sized-1 Tablespoon cookie scoop) 2 inches apart on a greased cookie sheet (I forgot to grease my sheet and I didn't have any problems).  Bake at 375 degrees for 8-10 minutes.  Let cool on wire rack.  But make sure to try a couple warm right out of the oven!!
Thanks for the new go-to chocolate chip cookie recipe Chad!!
Recipe found over at my sister-in-law's (wife to Chad) blog.  They've got some great recipes over there!!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Hawaiian Haystacks (Kyla's favorite Dinner!)

These are requested from Kyla ALL. THE. TIME!!!  (and she's getting pretty good and making them!)  But she's not the only one who loves them.  It's a family favorite!  They are really delicious!  I think the gravy makes all the difference and I have messed around with a few different styles until I got the one that I like the best!  So here it is!!

Hawaiian Haystacks
Prepared rice (3-4 cups depending on the size of your family!:))
3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (you can use the canned chicken instead if you're in a pinch or need to save some's pretty good as well!)
1/2 cup (1 cube) butter or margarine
1 Tablespoon Chicken bouillon granules
1/2 cup flour
3 cups milk
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup water
1/3 cup flour

Options for toppings:
Chow Mein Noodles
pineapple chunks (I like the tidbits)
green peppers
green onions
grated cheddar cheese
or anything else that sounds good to you!!

Place chicken breasts in a large pot of water and boil for 20 minutes or until done (if you're unsure us a thermometer.  It should read at least 165 degrees in the largest part of the breast).  Remove from water and shred with 2 forks.

Melt butter in a large microwave safe bowl in the microwave.  Add the flour and stir together until it's pasty (you're making a roux).  Mix in the bullion granules.  Slowly whisk in the milk.  Add just a little at a time and stir well, if you just add it all you're going to have a lumpy gravy!  Add the salt & pepper.  Place in the microwave and heat for 3 minutes.  Take out and stir with a whisk.  It will still be thin.  Microwave again for 2 1/2 minutes and then stir.  Keep microwaving for 2 minutes, stirring in between until it thickens.  Set aside.

Now if you're talented:) you could be doing these 2 step at the same time, but sometimes that just doesn't work for me...I get too distracted and neglect one of the two!

Boil the chicken stock in a 6 quart pan on the stove top.  Place the water and flour together in a jar with a lid and shake very well until there are no lumps (no one likes a lumpy gravy...right??).  When the stock is boiling add the water/flour mixture and stir until it thickens.  Remove from the heat. 

Now pour the chicken stock gravy into the white sauce gravy and stir to combine.  Stir in the shredded chicken.  Now your gravy is all prepared and ready to eat!!

To assemble:  Lay a bed of rice on your plate and cover with the chicken gravy.  Now top with whatever fixin's you like.  My favorite is cheese, pineapple, and green peppers!  So yummy!  My kiddo's and hubby love chow mein noodles on theirs as well.  But there are lots of options!! 

I always eat them the same because I know I like them that way (cheese, pineapple, and green peppers), but would like to know how everyone else likes them so maybe I can venture out and try something new!!  So...what are your favorite combinations??

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Mint & Chocolate Chip Cupcakes

Our good friend Brittony so graciously offered to help us out with the piano recital and so this is the cupcake recipe we gave her to make!  She did an awesome job and we got so many compliments on this one!!  We've also had a lot of requests to post the recipe, but since we weren't the ones who made them we didn't think we should post the recipe until we'd tried them out!  So (twist our arms!) that's just what we did!! 

They were Tony's (hubby and Dad) favorite of all the bunch!  They are super chocolatey and the mint frosting on top is just perfect!! 

Mint & Chocolate Chip Cupcakes
1 Devil's food cake mix (I like Duncan Hines brand, but any will do)
1/3 cup flour
1 small package instant chocolate pudding
1/3 cup sour cream
1 1/2 cups water
1 teaspoon vanilla
4 eggs
1/3 cup oil
1 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips

Combine cake mix, flour and pudding mix in a mixer.  Add the sour cream, water, vanilla, eggs, and oil and mix for about 3 minutes, scraping the sides once.  Add the chocolate chips and mix to incorporate.

Line muffin tins with liners and fill 2/3 full with batter.  (As always, the cookie/ice cream scoop works wonders!)  Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.  Cool in pans for 5 minutes then place on a cooling rack to cool completely.

1 package (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened
4 Tablespoons butter, softened
5 cups powdered sugar
2-3 Tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon mint extract
green food coloring

Beat the cream cheese and butter until smooth.  Add 3 cups of the powdered sugar, the milk and extract and mix until combined.  Keep adding the powdered sugar until it reaches the desired consistency (I added exactly 5 cups). 

When cupcakes have cooled completely they are ready to be frosted!  Either pipe on using whatever tip you like (I used a large round tip) or spread with a knife and sprinkle mini chocolate chips on the top. 
Recipe from Jamie Cooks It Up!

We have a winner!

We just love having giveaways's so much fun for us!  Kyla's favorite part is that she gets to click to generate that random number!:)

So...our lucky winner is...
#55 Heather from The English Fam who said, "I would love to win this!"

Well, you did!!  And you'll make some beautfiul cupcakes with it!!  Congratulations!!

Please contact us at with your address so we can get your winnings shipped out to you!!

Also, stay tuned for the recipe for the Mint and Chocolate Chip Cupcake recipe...many have told me that they have been waiting for that one...well, the wait is almost over!!:)

Monday, April 18, 2011

Frosted Banana Cake

I'm taking a short break from cupcakes real quick...although I do think these would make some fabulous cupcakes...that's now on my to-do list!!  This was the cake we had for Rhett's 4th birthday party.  When I asked him what kind of cake he wanted his first response was a bear badge cake (big brother just earned his bear badge in cub scouts), so I asked him if there was another kind of cake that he would like and he told me a banana cake.  So here it is!

It was delicious!!  The only one of the kids that didn't like it was Caleb and that's because he's not so fond of cream cheese, so he ate the cake and not the frosting!  I loved the frosting.  It's kindof a no-bake cheesecake type of frosting that went superbly with the moist banana cake!!

Frosted Banana Cake
(see how I piled the frosting on...YUMMY!)
½ cup butter, softened
1 ½ cups white sugar
2 eggs
1 cup sour cream
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
¼ tsp salt
1 cup mashed ripe bananas (I used about three ripe bananas)
Frosting (recipe below!)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9X13 pan. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until smooth. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, then stir in the sour cream and vanilla. Combine the flour, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl; stir into the batter. Finally, mix in the mashed banana. Spread evenly into the prepared pan. Bake for 30-35 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Allow cake to cool completely before frosting.

Whipped Cream Cheese Frosting

1 (8 oz) package cream cheese, softened to room temperature
1 cup powdered sugar
1/8 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
1 ½ cups heavy whipping cream

In a large bowl combine cream cheese, sugar, salt and vanilla. Beat until light and fluffy. Set aside. In another medium bowl, beat whipped cream until stiff peaks form.  Fold whipped cream into cream cheese mixture. Frost cake!
Just had to throw in this cute picture of the birthday boy!!  Still can't believe he's 4!!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Perfectly Lemon Cupcakes

Of all the cupcakes we made these were my favorite!!  The lemon was just so PERFECT!!  The cupcake was super moist and the frosting was delicious...and that strawberry on top was just the perfect touch!

Perfectly Lemon Cupcakes
1 package lemon cake mix
1 C sour cream
3/4 C water
3/4 C oil
4 eggs
1 small package lemon instant pudding

Mix dry ingredients. Add wet ingredients. Mix well for a few minutes.  This batter is pretty thick so don't think you did something wrong when it turns out that way!  Scoop evenly into lined cupcake tins.  Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.  Check with a toothpick to see if they’re done.

Lemon Buttercream Frosting:
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, very soft
6-8 C powdered sugar
1/2 C fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest (i used the zest from 2 lemons and used the juice from these lemons plus bottle lemon juice to make 1/2 cup as needed above)

Place the butter in a large mixing bowl. Add 4 cups of sugar, then the juice and the zest. Beat until smooth and creamy. Gradually add the remaining sugar, 1 cup at a time, until icing is thick enough to be of good spreading consistency (I used about 7 cups althogether).  Use and store at room temperature.  Spread or pipe frosting on cupcakes and top with half a stawberry. 

Enjoy these...they are DELICIOUS!!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Death by Oreo Cupcakes

These cupcakes are for you if you love oreo's!  Not only is there oreo's in the frosting but there is a whole oreo at the bottom of each cupcake as well as crushed oreo's in the batter...not to mention the oreo on top of the frosting!  Now do you understand why it's called Death by Oreo cupcakes??:)  The cake was super good, nice and light and fluffy.  But my favorite part was the frosting!!  It tasted like cookies and cream ice cream.  I wanted to pipe it right into my mouth, but don't worry I refrained...for the most part!:)

Make these...not only do they taste great but they look really impressive too! 

Death by Oreo Cupcakes
Recipe slightly adapted from recipe at Dee Dee's Delights
2 packages regular size Oreo Cookies
1 box chocolate fudge cake mix + ingredients on box
8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
8 tablespoons butter, room temperature
3 3/4 cups confectioners' sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Mix cake mix according to package directions.  Line cupcake tins with cupcake liners and place an oreo in the bottom of each liner.  Coarsly chop about 12 or so oreo and add to the cake mix batter.  Evenly fill liners with batter.  And as I said before, I love to use an ice cream or cookie scoop for this step since they all turn out even and it creates less of a mess!

Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.  

Remove cupcakes from oven and place on a wire rack to cool.

While cupcakes are cooling, making the frosting. 

Cream together the butter and cream cheese.  Add vanilla extract and then the powdered sugar slowly until well blended.  Then finely crush about 4 more oreos and add to the frosting.  

When the cupcakes are cool.  Use a piping bag with a big tip to make a swirl of frosting on each cupcake. 
Then carefully cut 12 oreo cookies in half.  It took me a little bit to figure out how to do this without cracking the oreo's.  I found the best way was to use a serated knife and cut them in half like you were slicing bread or sawing some wood in half.  And don't worry...if you break some you can just pop them in your mouth and no one will be the wiser!!  Place half of an oreo on top of each cupcake.   
Don't they just look amazing!!!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Orange Dream Cupcakes

We have so many things to celebrate right now at Double the Deliciousness!! 

That's why we're having an awesome giveaway today! 

We'll get to that later, but right now we want to show you what we've been up to...
Doesn't that just look divine??!!!  (Sorry it's a bad picture...forgot the camera so had to use the cell phone!  You can see them better if you click on the picture!) 

We love to have an excuse to bake to our hearts content, so whenever it's piano recital time we may just go a little overboard!  All these cupcakes were super delicious.  Here's just a little teaser of recipes to come...we made Death by Oreo Cupcakes, Island Coconut Cupcakes, Perfectly Lemon Cupcakes, Chocolate Chip and Mint Cupcakes (actually made by a great friend who is always so willing to help us out...thanks again Brittony!!), and last but not least Orange Dream Cupcakes, which is the recipe we're going to be sharing with you today!!

Orange Dream Cupcakes

1 cup (2 cubes) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/3 cups sugar
6 large eggs
3 teaspoons vanilla
1 teaspoon of pure orange extract
Zest of 2 oranges
3 cups flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup  milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line 24 muffin cups with paper liners.

Place the sugar and orange zest into the bowl of your mixer and blend until moist and fragrant. (This is our absolute favorite part about these cupcakes...the smell is so darn good!!)  Add in butter and beat until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the vanilla and orange extracts.

In a separate bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt.

With the mixer on low speed, alternately add the flour mixture and milk, in three additions, beginning and ending with the flour, scraping down the sides of the bowl occasionally.
Evenly fill the muffin cups with the batter.  The best way I've found to do this is to use a cookie or ice cream scoop that holds about 2 tablespoons of dough or ice cream.  Just scoop out the batter and plop it into each liner.  It is the perfect size for cupcakes and they will all turn out uniform! 

Bake for about 18-20 minutes or until nicely browned and a toothpick inserted into a cupcake comes out clean. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool. Once the cupcakes have completely cooled, frost with this TO DIE FOR cream cheese frosting! Really, it's that good!!

Cream Cheese Frosting

2 packages (8 oz.) of cream cheese, softened
4 tablespoon of butter, softened
2 tablespoon of shortening
2 teaspoon clear vanilla extract
1 teaspoon pure orange extract
3 cups confectioners sugar
Combine cream cheese, shortening and butter in the bowl of a stand mixer and mix until smooth, creamy and well blended.  Blend in the vanilla and orange extracts.  Slowly add the confectioners’ sugar until you reach the desired consistency. You may need a little more than 3 cups of sugar...I believe I ended up using close to 4 cups.  Now you can either pipe on the frosting or spread it on, and then enjoy!!

Now on to the giveaway!!  As we said at the beginning we have some things to celebrate! 

FIRST off (if you didn't notice or are new to our blog) is we got a NEW LOOK!!  This has been months in the making and we've learned lots in the process!! 

ALSO, we finally figured out how to make a Blog Button!!  Hallelujah!:) 

AND, we've joined the facebook scene.  There is now a facebook page for Double the Deliciousness. 

What big steps right??

So we really want to celebrate and since we have quite a few cupcake recipes to post and since we want you all to try them out, we thought some cupcake baking essentials would be perfect for our giveaway!  So, here's the loot:

We've been eyeing this cookbook for a few months now!  We think it's got some fabulous cupcake recipes in it that you can try out (along with all of our fabulous ones!:)). 
So now that you've got some recipes you're going to need some help with frosting those bad boys so they not only taste good but look good.  So next we have a Wilton 12 piece cupcake decorating set! (we have this same one and it sure comes in handy when frosting cupcakes!)
And last but not least you need a way to display your finished product.  I borrowed one of these for our recital and could not get over how stinkin' cute it was.  So here you go...a cupcake stand!  (Isn't it fun!?)
Now, you may do I win this sweet giveaway??  Let us tell you!:)  There are a few ways you can enter to win.  Each thing you do will give you a separate entry to win, so the more you do the better your chances!!  (Please leave a separate comment for each item...thanks!)

1. Post a comment!  Easy as that, whatever is on your mind!
2. Become a PUBLIC follower of Double the Deliciousness (if you already are just post a comment saying so...if not just click on the "follow" button on the right-hand side of our blog!)
3. Grab our button and display it on your blog! (also on the right side of the blog...just copy and paste the code to your blog!)
4. "Like" us on facebook.  (The link is on the right side of our blog as well.)
5. "Share" about the giveaway on your facebook status.
6. Do a post on your blog about the giveaway.

Giveaway will be going until Monday (April 18th) when we will post the winner!  Good luck to all of you, and thanks for being a part of our blog...we LOVE our readers!!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Cowboy Cookies

There's almost nothing better than a perfectly crisp and chewy chocolate chip cookie.  But I love this loaded cookie!  Sometimes you feel plain, sometimes you want it all....right??!!:)  I've been making them since I was probably 12 or so, and now Kyla is getting to be the expert at these cookies as well.  They are one of my kids' favorite cookies!  If we're just making them for the family we usually half the recipe because this one makes a TON of cookies!

Cowboy Cookies (Made by Kyla)
2 cups sugar
2 cups brown sugar
1 cup margarine or butter
1 cup shortening
2 teaspoons vanilla
4 eggs
4 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
3 cups oats
2 cups coconut
1 cup chocolate chips
1 cup butterscotch chips

Cream butter, shortening and sugars.  Add eggs and vanilla and mix.  Add the flour, baking soda, salt and baking powder and mix until combined.  Then add the oats, coconut, chocolate and butterscotch chips and mix in.  Drop onto cookie sheet using a 1 tablespoon scoop or use two spoons.  Bake at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Chicken, Bacon & Ranch Croissants

I have to confess...I didn't make much of what I had planned for conference weekend.  Wasn't feeling so well this weekend, had an upset stomach that would not let me cook hardly anything!  Just thinking about some of those foods I had planned had my stomach turning upside down!  I was so disappointed!  I was able to make these croissants, but was only able to take a couple of bites before I handed it over to my hubby (Tony) to finish off!  My diet mainly consisted of apples and grapes last weekend!  Guess it's good for my diet!!:)  Anyway, I can't be the best judge on these because they made my stomach turn...not because they weren't good, but because of the way I was feeling.  But Tony praised them up and down.  He kept telling me how good it was and even ate leftovers the next day for lunch!  I love it when I find a recipe that he REALLY likes.  He likes most everything, but only occasionally it'll be something that he just really likes and raves about!  I'll have to do a post with all his favorites sometime!  Anyway, sorry for the long intro!  Here's the recipe!

Chicken, Bacon & Ranch Croissants
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup mayo
2 green onions, chopped
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon mustard powder
5 teaspoons Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing mix
1/2 cup diced celery
2 cans (12.5 oz.) chicken, drained
1/2-1 cup Real Bacon pieces (depending on how much you like bacon!)

Blend together the mayo, milk and ranch dressing mix in a medium sized bowl.  Add the garlic powder, onion powder, and mustard powder.  Add the celery and onion.  Flake the chicken with a fork (or with your fingers as I do) and add to the bowl.  Mix well.  Chill for several hours for all the flavors to combine.  Serve on croissants with lettuce. 

Tony says it would be really good with a sliced tomato on there too, but we didn't have any tomatoes at the time!  We'll try it out next time, and hopefully I'll be feeling good enough to enjoy it with him!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Sea Salt Brownies

This is another recipe I found over in my 63 page (no kidding!!) "recipes I've got to try" folder that I'd been wanting to try for a while and finally got around to making.  I've never really cooked with sea salt before and have seen quite a few sweet recipes with sea salt and so my interest was piqued.  I just had to try something out and see what all the fuss is about.  I cannot even tell you how much difference that sea salt of the top of the brownies made!!  It was absolutely delicious, and they brownies were nice a soft and chewy like we like as well!  Such a great recipe!!

Sea salt Brownies
(sorry I can't remember where I got this recipe from...if I figure it out I'll post it!)
1 1/2  stick Butter
2 ounces Unsweetened Chocolate (finely Chopped)
1/4 cups Plus 2 Tablespoons Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
2 cups Sugar
3 eggs
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup Flour
1/2 teaspoons Sea Salt (I used McCormicks Sea Salt Grinder)

Preheat the oven to 350°. Place two large pieces of foil in a 9-inch square metal cake pan with foil, draping the foil over the edges. Spray foil with cooking spray.

Melt the butter with the unsweetened chocolate over very low heat, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat. Whisk to combine. Add the cocoa, sugar, eggs, vanilla and flour. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the surface with a rubber spatula. Grind sea salt evenly over the batter. Using a butter knife, swirl the salt into the batter. Grind a little extra on top, making sure to sprinkle it evenly and leave it setting on top of the batter.

Bake for about 35 minutes, until the edge is set but the center is still a bit soft and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out coated with a little of the batter. Cool at room temperature in the pan for about an hour, then refrigerate just until they are firm. Lift the brownies from the pan and remove foil. Cut the brownies into 12 or 16 squares.

So delicious!  A definite MUST try!!

Friday, April 1, 2011

Conference weekend means getting filled (both spiritually & physically!!):)

We LOVE General Conference here at our home!  Not only for the wonderful speakers who edify us but for the time we're able to spend together as a family and for the wonderful food we get to partake of!! 

Our favorite thing to do that helps the kiddo's (ages 11, 10, 8, & almost 4) is we have them make a list of 10 words that they think will be talked about during each session of conference and then every time they hear that word they make a tally mark next to the word.  This really makes them listen because they don't want to miss any of their words!!  At the end of each session we'll then add up the tally marks and whoever has the most wins a prize (usually little things found at the dollar store!).  I made these clipboards about a year ago for the kiddo's to use for this activity!  Here's where I got the idea from and just tweaked it a littleAnd here's the full post with pictures of all the kids with their clipboards.

We've also used Bingo Sheets which the kids really liked when they were younger (we'll still have Rhett...the almost 4 year the bingo since he can't read or write yet!)

And last but not is the menu for this weekend!! 
(We eat breakfast during the morning sessions and lunch/dinner during the second session.  Then the kids will just snack on leftovers that evening if they are still hungry.)

Saturday Morning Session:  Breakfast burritos (scrambled eggs, sausage, cheese, sour cream, hot sauce or salsa), banana's and grapes.

Saturday Afternoon Session:  Navajo Taco's made with scones, & Dream-sickle Jello.

Sunday Morning Session:  Biscuits & gravy, scarmbled eggs, & hash browns.

Sunday Afternoon Session:  Southwest Eggrolls (recipe to be posted after I make them!!:)), breadsticks and cheese dip, and cream cheese, sausage and rotel dip with chips (recipe to come as well!), and some fruit.

Hope you all have a fabulous Conference weekend!! 
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