Sunday, December 30, 2012

Mint Chocolate Chip Cookies (Grinch Cookies)

When I asked my son what kind of cookies he wanted to make for Santa this year, he immediately said Grinch cookies.  (I had pinned this recipe from The Hungry Dudes a while ago and told him about them.)  I thought these were appropriate because his favorite Christmas movie is How the Grinch Stole Christmas...and because I LOVE chocolate and mint together.  I mean, I REALLY love chocolate and mint...Junior Mints, York Peppermint Patties, Andes Mints, Mint Chocolate chip ice cream...Mmm, Mmm! If you love any of those, then you are going to LOVE these cookies too!!  They are super easy and taste delicious!!  You could make them for Christmas, or just make them because they are fantastic!! We will definitely be making these BEFORE next Christmas!
Mint Chocolate Chip Cookies (Grinch Cookies)
1 pouch sugar cookie mix
1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon mint extract
6 to 8 drops green food color
1 egg
1 package Andes Mints
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
Heat oven to 350.  In a large bowl, stir cookie mix, butter, extract, food color, and egg until soft dough forms.
 Sorry, had to include a picture of my son making his best Grinch face!
 He was my little helper that day!
 Stir in chopped Andes Mints (they recommended using a huge knife and I would recommend this too...took no time at all to chop!) and chocolate chips.

 Using a small cookie scoop or teaspoon, drop dough 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheet.  Bake 8 to 10 minutes.  Cool for about 3 minutes before moving cookies to a wire rack.  Store tightly covered at room temperature...before they disappear! :)
 Our elf, Haddy couldn't even stay away from these yummy cookies!!  Enjoy!  :)

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Oklahoma Breakfast Pizza

If you have family in town for Christmas and need to make a great breakfast that is different from your standard breakfast casserole, give this a try!!  This came from my Dad and it did not disappoint.  He actually cut it out of the Oklahoma newspaper of all places. It is so good and the best part is you can eat it with your hands!  :)
Oklahoma Breakfast Pizza
1 package Shawnee Mills pizza crust mix (I used a Pillsbury roll out crust)
8 Pork Sausage Patties (I used Jimmy Dean HOT sausage instead)
1 cup diced bell pepper
1 cup frozen hash brown potatoes, thawed
4 eggs
1/4 cup milk
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese (I just used all mozzarella)
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
4 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
Preheat oven to 400.  Press pizza dough into pizza pan and set aside.  Brown sausage and bell pepper, drain, and set aside.  In a medium bowl, whisk eggs with milk.
Spread sausage and bell peppers over pizza crust. 
 Top with thawed potatoes.
 Sprinkle with cheese and then carefully pour egg mixture over the sausage and cheese.
 Bake at 400 for 20-35  minutes.  Sprinkle with cooked and crumbled bacon.
(I will say that the edges of my crust got pretty brown, so half way through baking, I put foil around the edges of my pan to stop the edges from getting too dark.)

Yummy...this is SO GOOD!!!!  Enjoy!  :)

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Peppermint Bark

If you need an EASY, DELICIOUS treat to take to a holiday party this year (or just a yummy treat to have at home!), then this recipe is for you!  With only 2 ingredients, you can't go wrong!!  
Peppermint Bark
2 bags (12 oz each) white chocolate chips
1 cup peppermint candies (I used 11 candy canes)

Place candy canes in a resealable plastic bag and crush with a meat mallet or heavy saucepan.  The meat mallet worked GREAT!
 Line a 15X10X1 inch baking pan with foil.  Coat with nonstick cooking spray.  Place chips in a large glass bowl.  Microwave for 1 minute.  Stir.  Repeat, stirring until smooth.  It only took 2 total minutes to melt mine.  Fold half the crushed candies into the melted chocolate.
 Pour onto prepared pan, spreading almost to edge of pan.
 Sprinkle top with remaining crushed candy canes.  Refrigerate until firm, about an hour.
 Break into pieces to serve...that is IT!!
This is seriously yummy stuff...and I will warn you, a little bit addicting!  Enjoy!  :)

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Double Crunch Honey Garlic Chicken Breasts

This is another recipe that I had pinned from Rock Recipes.  Oh was GOOD!!  This was my first time to ever fry anything.  We don't normally eat like that, but I will definitely bend the rules for this!  I know it looks like a lot of ingredients, but it really isn't bad.  You have most of this stuff in your pantry!
Double Crunch Honey Garlic Chicken Breasts
4 large boneless chicken breasts (place the chicken between two pieces of plastic wrap and using a meat mallet, pound to 1/2 inch thickness
Sift together:
2 cups flour
4 teaspoons salt
4 teaspoons pepper
2 tablespoons ground nutmeg
2 teaspoons ground thyme
2 teaspoons ground sage
2 tablespoons paprika
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
(The recipe says this mix makes enough for two batches and you can freeze half of it. I halved it and still had a ton!)
Egg wash:
whisk together 4 eggs and 8 tablespoons water
Honey Garlic Sauce:
In a medium saucepan add:
2 tablespoons olive oil
3-4 cloves minced garlic
Cook over medium heat to soften garlic, but don't let it brown, then add:
1 cup honey
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 teaspoon pepper
Simmer for 5-10 minutes, remove from heat and allow to cool.
Season the chicken with salt and pepper and then dip in the flour/spice mixture to coat.  Then, dip in the egg wash and then dip in the flour/spice mixture again.  Press to coat.  Heat a skillet just below medium with a half inch canola oil covering the bottom.  Fry gently about 4-5 minutes per side until golden brown.
 Dry chicken on a wire rack for a couple of minutes before coating in the garlic honey sauce.  Serve over rice or noodles.

Seriously yummy stuff here!!  Enjoy!  :)

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Chicken Pesto Linguine

My friend Melissa recently emailed me with this recipe and she had me at the word pesto!  I don't know about you, but I LOVE anything with pesto in it...yum, yum!!  This recipe did not disappoint.  The pictures don't do it justice at all.  It was easy and delish!
Chicken Pesto Linguine
2 chicken breasts
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
salt and pepper, to taste
1/2 cup water
12 oz. linguine
1 cup chicken stock
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese 
1 teaspoon basil
1 teaspoon parsley
1 teaspoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons butter
1/4 to 1/2 cup pesto, to taste  (I went for the full 1/2 cup!)
1/4 to 1/2 cup toasted pine nuts or walnuts
Preheat oven to 350.  Toss chicken, oil, and Italian seasoning.  (This is the only part of the recipe that I would change.  I thought there was way too much Italian seasoning.  I would do much less the second time around. there are so many other flavors in the end that you don't need this.)  Add 1/2 cup water to pan and bake for 30 minutes, or until cooked through.  Cook linguine according to package directions and set aside.  Remove chicken from oven and cool.  Pull into small strips.
 Bring chicken stock, Parmesan cheese, basil and parsley to a simmer.
 In a large serving bowl, toss lemon juice, butter, pesto, pine nuts, cooked chicken, and chicken stock mixture until coated.
 Allow flavors to combine for 5-10 minutes and serve warm.
Mmm...this was so good!  Enjoy!  :)

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Dijon Chicken Linguine with Mushrooms and Toasted Almonds

I have one word to say about this recipe...AMAZING!!!  It really is simply amazing.  You MUST make this is fantastic!  There are a few steps, but it isn't hard at all.  It moves pretty quick, so just set all of your ingredients out with all of your measuring spoons and you will be ready to go.  This recipe definitely tastes restaurant quality!  I got it from Rock Recipes and will definitely be back to try more of their recipes.  YUMMY!!
Dijon Chicken Linguine with Mushrooms and Toasted Almonds
350 gram package fresh linguine, cooked
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts (I just used 3)
1 cup mushrooms (I used more than a cup because I heart mushrooms!)
3 tablespoons olive oil
4 cloves minced garlic
Salt and pepper to season
1/2 cup toasted slivered almonds

Heat olive oil in a large heavy bottomed frying pan over medium low heat. Add chicken breasts, garlic, season with salt and pepper and continue to fry the chicken until completely cooked.  (I had to scoop out the garlic after a few  minutes because it was becoming too brown.  Next time I will add the garlic at the very end when the chicken is almost done.)

Remove chicken from pan and hold in a warm oven.

 Add 4 oz white wine to the pan and simmer until volume is reduced by  half.
Then add 2 cups whipping cream, 3 tbsp Dijon mustard and salt and pepper to season.  Simmer until sauce thickens enough to coat a metal spoon.  (This didn't take long.)
 Return Chicken to the sauce, add the mushrooms and simmer for an additional 2 minutes. 
 Serve over cooked linguine. Sprinkle with toasted slivered almonds.
I'll say it again, this is seriously AMAZING! Enjoy!  :)

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Chicken Pasta Salad

I don't know about you, but I STRUGGLE with what to eat for lunch every day.  BIG.TIME!  I'm not a sandwich person, unless it is from someplace yummy, so I normally end up eating something random for lunch.  Last week I remembered a recipe that my friend Jessica used to bring to school when someone on our team had a birthday.  It is so yummy and crazy easy.  I decided to make it for dinner one night and then munch on it for lunch for several days.  Best idea ever!  I will definitely be doing this more often!
Chicken Pasta Salad
1 package rotini noodles cooked and drained (I use the garden kind with the different colors...makes it pretty...because you know, that is important!)
2-3 cups rotisserie chicken, shredded
1 can chopped tomatoes, drained
1 can chopped tomatoes with basil, oregano, and garlic, drained
1 (3 oz) can chopped ripe olives (I'm not an olive fan, so I leave these guys out!)
1 bunch green onions, chopped (I did about 6)
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese (I did a full cup)
Italian dressing to taste
Ready for EASY...mix all ingredients together!  Seriously, it doesn't get any easier than that!!  I usually let it sit overnight before seems to just get better. 
I do have to mention that this makes a TON, so it is great for a lunch with the girls or even a shower.  It lasted us DAYS!  Enjoy!  :)

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Halloween Treats!

My son's class Halloween party was today and I was in charge of the treats.  I had fun looking through Pinterest (where else??) to find some cute, different ideas that were a little healthier to fit with the school policies.  I came up with these fun treats that took no time at all to prepare and the kids LOVED them!! 
First up, banana ghosts.  Too cute!!  All I did was slice the bananas in half, put a Popsicle stick in the flat end, roll in melted vanilla almond bark, and put chocolate chip eyes on them.  Then, I put them on wax paper on a cookie sheet and froze them overnight.  Love them!!
 Jack-o-lantern faces on little cuties!  :)

 A jack-o-lantern and a ghost.  Fun, fun!
 Last, but not least were the witch hands.  HILARIOUS!!  I just peeled carrots and put sliced almonds on the tips with a little bit of cream cheese to make them stick.  Then, I just poured some ranch in the bowl and ta-da!  
It doesn't get easier than that!  Happy Halloween!!  Enjoy!  :)

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Baked Parmesan Garlic Chicken

I needed a quick chicken recipe this week and found this from Moms Who Think that I had printed off quite a while ago.  There are only 4 ingredients and you might even have them on hand.  It took no time at all to prepare and tasted great.  If you need a quick meal, this is the one for you!
Baked Parmesan Garlic Chicken
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 package Good Seasons Italian Dressing
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
6 boneless skinless chicken breasts
(I cut this recipe in 1/3 and only made two chicken breasts. My 5 year old even loved it!)

Preheat oven to 400.  Mix cheese, dressing mix and garlic powder.  Moisten chicken breast with water; coat with cheese mixture.  Place in shallow baking dish.  Bake 20-25 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink.
So easy and kind of recipe!  Enjoy!  :)

Monday, September 17, 2012

Giant Banana Bread Muffins...with a Swirl!

My friend Jessica recently shared a Banana Bread recipe with me that I just had to try because it was different!  I love good banana bread, and I'm always up for something with a bit of a twist.  When I got ready to make these I decided to make them into giant muffins instead of making it in a loaf pan, so I actually poured the batter in four round CorningWare dishes.  (Hopefully you know what I'm talking about!)  I ended up wrapping one in a cellophane bag and tying it with cute ribbon with a note about how my son was just "bananas" to have his teacher...forgot to take a picture of that...oops!  Anyway, here's the crazy easy and delicious recipe!
Giant Banana Bread Muffins...with a Swirl!
3 over-ripe bananas, smashed up
1/3 cup melted butter
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg, beaten
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp baking soda
dash of salt
1 1/2 cups flour
For the swirl:
1/3 cup sugar
1 tbsp cinnamon
Preheat oven to 350.  Butter and flour a loaf pan...or four CorningWare round dishes.  Mix bananas, butter, sugar, egg, and vanilla together.  Sprinkle baking soda and salt around on top of the banana mixture.  Then, gently stir in flour.  Be careful not to over-mix.  In a small bowl, mix together the 1/3 cup sugar and tbsp cinnamon.  Add 1/2 the batter to the loaf pan or round dishes and then sprinkle half, or a little more than half of the cinnamon-sugar mixture all over the batter in the pan.  Add the rest of the batter, and then sprinkle the leftover cinnamon-sugar on top.  If you are baking in a loaf pan, the recipe says to bake for 50-60 minutes.  When I baked these in the round dishes, I baked them for around 40 minutes I believe.  Just keep an eye on them!

Yummy!!  These are seriously good and so easy!  Enjoy!  :)

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Cilantro Lime Pesto Chicken Tacos

I had pinned these from What's Cooking Chicago a while ago, and finally got around to making them.  Oh my goodness...I should have made them earlier.  They are FANTASTIC!!!  These will definitely be made again..SOON!!
Cilantro Lime Pesto Chicken Tacos
Cooking spray
2-3 large boneless, skinless, chicken breasts, but in bite sized pieces
salt and pepper to taste
1 teaspoon garlic powder
garnishes of your choice
Season chicken with salt, pepper, and garlic powder.  In a skillet sprayed with cooking spray, saute chicken until cooked through.
 For pesto:

1 cup fresh cilantro leaves, no stems
2 1/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons sliced, toasted almonds
3 tablespoons chopped fresh garlic
1 1/2 teaspoons lime juice
1/2 cup shredded asiago, parmesan, or romano cheese (I used romano)
1 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 cup chicken broth
Mix all of the above ingredients in a blender on low speed for 2 minutes.

 Toss cooked, seasoned chicken with the pesto.
 Fill tortillas with chicken and top with desired garnishes.  I sauteed some yellow peppers and white onion and then added some avocado slices and sour cream.
These are SO GOOD!!!!  Get ready, they will go quick!!  Enjoy!  :)

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Crunchy Herbed Chicken Breasts

I saw this recipe in a recent Taste of Home and am so glad I tagged it to make. This chicken comes out SO CRUNCHY on the outside, but moist on the inside.  It is fantastic!!  As always, super easy too!!  :)
Crunchy Herbed Chicken Breasts
2/3 cup panko (Japanese) bread crumbs
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup grated Romano cheese
1 Tbsp. minced fresh oregano or 1 tsp. dried oregano
1 Tbsp. minced fresh basil or 1 tsp. dried basil
2 tsp. minced fresh parsley
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 eggs, lightly beaten
6 boneless skinless chicken breast halves (5 oz. each)
Olive oil-flavored cooking spray
In a shallow bowl, mix the first nine ingredients.  Place flour and eggs in separate shallow bowls.  Dip both sides of chicken in the four, eggs, then crumb mixture, patting to help coating adhere.
 Place on a greased baking sheet.  Spritz tops with cooking spray.  Bake at 375 for 25-30 minutes.

SO GOOD!!!!  My son loved it too, which is always a bonus!  Enjoy.  :)

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

No-name dip!

Yep,  you read the title right...I have no name for this amazing dip.  My friend Leslie introduced it to me a few years ago and I've never known what it is called.  What I do know, is that it is TASTY and is always eaten super fast!!  If you have a party to attend where you need to bring something, or if you are going to have some friends over, whip this does not dissapoint!  Don't be alarmed by the ingredients...I PROMISE, it is DELISH!
No-name dip!
2 cups of shredded cheese (I used colby/monterey jack)
3 green onions sliced
1 cup mayo 
paprika to taste
raspberry jelly
Combine first four ingredients in a bowl and mix well.
 Spread dip out onto platter.
 Spread raspberry jelly over the top and serve with crackers.  (I love it with Wheat Thins.)
Yes, that is IT!!  It takes all of 5 minutes to prepare.  Enjoy!  :)

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Salmon Piccata with Capers

Yummy, yummy, yummy!!  My friend Aurora recently shared this recipe and I just had to make it immediately.  I LOVE salmon and am always looking for great ways to cook it.  This my friends, is GREAT!!  It is crazy easy and fast...put this on next week's menu!!
Salmon Piccata with Capers
2 salmon fillets (5 oz. each)
3 tbsp. unbleached flour
2 tbsp. chilled, unsalted European butter (I just used Parkay)
1/3 cup vegetable stock or low-sodium vegetable broth
2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1 tbsp. drained capers
sea salt
ground black pepper
Season the salmon with sea salt and ground black pepper, then coat with the flour, shaking off the excess.  Melt 1 tbsp. butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.  Add salmon and cook four minutes per side, or until brown.
 Place salmon on a platter...or go ahead and dish it up like I did!  :)
 Add broth and lemon juice to the skillet.  Bring to a boil for one minute.  Turn off heat.  Stir in the remaining butter, then the capers.
 Serve the sauce over the salmon.  Season to taste with sea salt.
Seriously, this is wonderful!!!  Enjoy!  :)