Friday, August 31, 2012

Friday Foreshadowing

Fall is starting to make its rounds and I love it! We're getting close to soup weather, aromatic baking and cooler weather.
  • Pasta and Pea Soup from Rachael Ray: This looks like such a neat dish, I think largely due to the different shaped pasta. Fun pasta aside I still think it will be good.
  • Apple Cinnamon Raisin Bars from Gimme Some Oven: Oh I can just imagine the smell of these while baking. They look beautiful.
  • Baked Pumpkin Spice Donut Holes from Pennies on a Platter: We tried "fake" donut holes one time last year and although it took a little time it was a fun and tasty so I'm definitely up for trying these.
  • Impossible Pumpkin Pie Cupcakes from Baking Bites: And another glimpse of fall, this time in cupcake form.
  • Homemade Yogurt from Simple Bites: I like my current yogurt recipe but my husband wouldn't mind if the end product were a little thicker. I read that this method, using a heating pad, gave a slightly thicker result so I'm willing to try it.
This is linked to Friday Favorites.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Crockpot Smokey Sesame Chicken

My husband loves this recipe for Sesame Chicken. However, though it is quite tasty it does take a little bit of time to make. Right now I'm usually more interested in easier, less labor intensive meals. So, the hunt was on to find an easier Sesame Chicken recipe. After browsing a variety of recipes I ended up modifying my original recipe for the crockpot with fantastic results.

Crockpot Smokey Sesame Chicken
 Print Recipe
Yields: 4-6 servings

1 pound chicken breast
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 cup chicken broth
~1 cup sugar
2 T vinegar
2 T soy sauce
2 T sesame oil
~1 T chili powder
~1 T garlic powder
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/4 cup water
sesame seeds
3 cups cooked rice

   1.  Place whole chicken breasts and chopped onion in crockpot; top with chicken broth, sugar, vinegar, soy sauce, sesame oil, chili powder and garlic powder.
   2.  Cook on low for 2 hours. Remove chicken and cut into pieces; return to crockpot and cook two hours longer.
   3.  Forty five minutes before serving combine cornstarch and water in a small dish; stir into sauce. Add celery. Cook on high until slightly thickened. Serve over rice, sprinkle with sesame seeds.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Menu August 27

Crockpot Smokey Sesame Chicken {Husband's Birthday Request}: This was lovely, as many crockpot meals are. {Recipe coming soon}
Stromboli {experimenting with freezing it}: Freezing this worked out quite well. I will definitely be making two the next time and stashing one in the freezer.

Pear Chicken Salad Sandwiches: We have two pear trees in our backyard so the race is on to use lots of pears. These sandwiches turned out great. {Recipe coming soon}
Southwestern Pizza: I checked the recipe right before we made the pizzas. When we sat down to eat we thought something was off so I checked the recipe again. Turns out there's supposed to be BBQ Sauce on it. Whoops! It was still good even with the sauce smeared on top instead.

Butterfinger Chocolate Caramel Cake: My husband's birthday was last week and he loves butterfingers so when I saw this a few weeks ago I knew this had to be his birthday cake. It was amazing! {Recipe coming soon}
On the Menu...
Black Beans & Rice Burritos
Chicken Tortilla Soup with Non-Grainy Cornbread 
Out for Husband's Belated Birthday Meal
Ham & Potatoes
Chicken Bacon Ranch Pizza
French Toast

Visit I'm an Organizing Junkie for more menu ideas.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Menu August 20

Crepes with ham and cheese filling: These were amazing! My crepe technique could probably use a little work but they were still good. I'd like to try freezing them because it would be a handy thing to have in the freezer.
Honey-Mustard Sesame Chicken Planks with Puffed Rice Casserole: This sounded like too much work on Thursday so instead we had what we called Breakfast Nachos {eggs, cheese, beans, corn on top of tortilla chips, topped with salsa}. It was perfect because they were quick and easy to throw together.

On the Menu...
Crockpot Sesame Chicken {Husband's Birthday request}
Cheesy Salsa Meatloaf
Stromboli {experimenting with freezing it}
Chicken Tortilla Soup
Southwestern Pizza
French Toast

Visit I'm an Organizing Junkie for more menu ideas.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

S'mores Ice Cream Cake

I rip out a lot of recipe and sadly, many of them never get made. However, when I saw this in Woman's Day I knew I would definitely make it. It's a perfect summer treat, combining s'mores (quintessential summer food) and ice cream (again, goes hand in hand with summer). Within the first few bites my husband asked how hard this was to make. When I said it wasn't too bad he said "Good, because I think this should go on a card" (meaning it's a keeper!)
The steps might look a little intimidating but they're all easy. It's a standard graham cracker crust, followed by whipping some ingredients for the chocolate ice cream. Once you've made the chocolate layer you just do the exact same thing for vanilla and then you're practically done. Easy!

S'mores Ice Cream Cake
 Print Recipe
Source: Woman's Day
Yields: 12-16 slices

1 sleeve graham crackers
2 T butter, softened
4 oz baking chocolate (I used semi-sweet, the original recipe calls for bittersweet.)
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
2 cups heavy whipping cream
1 cup mini marshmallows (or dehydrated, if you can find them)
3/4 cup mini chocolate chips

   1.  Line a 9 inch cake pan with tinfoil, leaving excess draped over the edges.
   2.  In a food processor, pulse 8 graham crackers until finely ground. Add butter and pulse until combined; press into bottom of cake pan. Bake at 350 for 8-10 minutes; let cool.
   3.  Melt chocolate in microwave in intervals, stirring after every 30 seconds. Using the whisk attachment mix half the condensed milk (1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons), 3/4 teaspoon vanilla and melted chocolate until combined. Add 1 cup heavy whipping cream and beat until thick, stiff peaks form. Fold in marshmallows; spoon mixture on top of graham cracker crust and spread evenly.
   4.  Clean the bowl and whisk. Using the whisk attachment, beat remaining sweetened condensed milk, 3/4 teaspoon vanilla and 2 cups heavy whipping cream until thick, stiff peaks form. Fold in 1/2 cup chocolate chips; spoon mixture on top of chocolate layer and spread evenly.
   5.  Break last graham cracker into small pieces and gently press into vanilla layer. Sprinkle remaining chocolate chips and any graham cracker crumbs over top. Cover and freeze until firm, at least eight hours.
   6.  To serve, remove from pan and slice, dipping knife in water between cuts, as necessary.

This is linked to Finding Joy in My Kitchen.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Menu August 13

Banana Bread Pancakes: My husband declared these to be just as advertised; they tasted just like banana bread, which is definitely one of our favorites.
Cake Doughnut Muffins: After a few trials of this recipe I've gotten it to the point where we really enjoy these muffins.
S'mores Ice Cream Cake: I had hoped to make this cake and I was actually able to! My husband said he hoped it wasn't too hard to make because he wouldn't mind if we always had this on hand. {Recipe coming soon}

On the Menu...
Crepes with ham and cheese filling {New}
Stroganoff Soup
Homemade Mac n Cheese
Honey-Mustard Sesame Chicken Planks with Puffed Rice Casserole {Both new}
Salty Dog Pizza

Visit I'm an Organizing Junkie for more menu ideas.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Friday Foreshadowing

It's evidently a week where my sweet tooth is winning because all five of these recipes are sweet. That's okay though, I promise I'll make some real food as well!
  • Crunchy Monkey Mix from Eat at Home: This post actually has four ideas for different snack mixes but this one really stood out to me with the chocolate, peanuts and reese's.
  • S'mores Ice Cream Cake from Woman's Day: I just bought the stuff to try this so hopefully we'll have a delicious treat this weekend.
  • Vanilla Biscotti from Simple Family Finance via Money Saving Mom: I don't know if I've ever had biscotti but I really want to try this recipe.
  • Cinnamon Roll Breadsticks from A Little Bit Crunchy: The look of these remind me of french toast sticks, one of my favorites from the college cafeteria (don't judge!) but that aside they still sound delicious.
  • Buckeye Bark from Live Sigma Kappa: My husband loves Peanut Butter Balls around Christmas; I might have to try to convince him that they'd still taste good in this form.
This is linked to Friday Favorites.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Menu August 6: Pt 2

It is definitely a week for easy, standby recipes as we get back into a routine after 2 weeks away.

On the Menu...
Hamburgers with Sweet Potato Fries
Tomato Soup with Grilled Cheese Sandwiches
Spaghetti with Breadsticks {which are waiting in the freezer}
BBQ Chicken Pizza
Banana Bread Pancakes {New}

Visit I'm an Organizing Junkie for more menu ideas.

Menu August 6: Part 1

We're actually driving home from a two week vacation today so I don't have a menu for this week yet. I'm hoping to be able to post one tomorrow though.
Before we left and while on vacation we were able to try some recipes...

Slow Cooker Sweet & Sour Chicken: I cannot wait to try this again. I've tried many recipes, attempting to match the flavor you get from the sauce packets and this is definitely the closest I've ever tasted.
I don't have a picture but I tried SnoWhite's trick for silk-free sweet corn. It wasn't perfect but it was definitely much easier than normal.

And, again, no picture but our first meal on vacation, right after unloading the car, was a Picnic Sandwich. It was okay and has definite potential, with some tweaks.

Visit I'm an Organizing Junkie for more menu ideas.