Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Grilled Balsamic Chicken

Well, I actually made this delicious chicken a year ago and I cannot believe that I forgot to post this one. This is amazing- as in one of the best recipes for chicken that I have ever had. My husband whole heartedly agreed with me as well. If you are sick of always having hamburgers, hot dogs and regular grilled chicken with bbq sauce then step out on a limb and give this yummy healthy chicken a try you will not be disappointed. We served this with broiled(not boiled) zucchini and a baked potato.

Grilled Balsamic Chicken(for 6-8 chicken breasts)
2/3 cup balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup dijon or spicy brown mustard(i have used both whichever you prefer use)
1/4 cup olive oil
1 T. parsley
2 T. minced shallots or onion(don't go out and buy shallots if you don't have them just use onion I did)
1 tsp dried Thyme
1/2 tsp pepper
1 tsp garlic powder or you could use fresh minced garlic as well
2 tsp Kosher salt or seasoning salt(I use Kosher salt)

Mix marinade ingredients together in a ziploc bag. Add the chicken breast and coat well with marinade. Let marinade in fridge for 4-6 hours. I make mine the morning we are going to grill so it marinades all day. Grill on your grill until cooked through.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Peanut Butter Banana Nutella Stuffed French Toast

About a month ago my kids wanted french toast for breakfast and so I decided to make stuffed french toast. This french toast was amazing and my kids gobbled this up. Now this is more of a method than it is a recipe. Get creative if you don't like pb and nutella and use whatever fruit and spread suits your fancy. We have also made this with strawberries and cream cheese instead.

PB, Banana, and Nutella Stuffed French Toast
8 slice of homemade whole wheat bread(or store bought)
2 bananas sliced
Peanut butter
3 eggs
3/4 -1 cup milk
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla or rum extract( I have used both)

In a bowl, beat the eggs then whisk in the milk, cinnamon, and extract. Set Aside.

Take two slices of bread and spread peanut butter and nutella on one piece. Take some slices of banana and put them on top of the pb and nutella and place the other piece of bread on top like a sandwich. Place sandwich in the bowl with the eggs and milk and coat each side and then place on hot grill or in hot skillet and cook until browned on each side. Place on a plate and serve with syrup and garnish with extra bananas. Repeat with each remaining sandwich.

If doing cream cheese and strawberries spread bread with cream cheese and top with strawberry slices and put a top on and dip in egg mixture and cook on grill till done.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Ooey-Gooey Peanut Butter Chocolate Brownies

Chocolate and Peanut butter nothing goes better together than these two things other than maybe caramel. I found this yummy easy recipe over at Our Best Bites. These were a cinch to make and came together fast. If you are a chocolate and peanut butter kind of person print this recipe off now or if you need to take a dessert to a BBQ take these babies!!!

Peanut Butter Chocolate Brownies adapted from Our Best Bites
1(14 oz)can sweetened condensed milk, divided
1/2 cup butter, melted and cooled(1 stick)
1/4 cup milk
1 box devil's food cake mix
1 large egg
1 (7 oz) jar marshmallow creme
1 cup peanut butter chips
1/3 cup creamy peanut butter

Combine about 1/3 of the can of sweetened condensed milk, butter,milk, cake mix, and egg. Mixture will be very thick. Spray9x13 inch pan with cooking spray. Press 2/3 of mixture into prepared pan. Use floured hands or spray your hand with cooking spray to do so. The layer will be thin don't worry. Bake for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, combine the rest of the sweetened condensed milk, marshmallow creme,and peanut butter and combine until smooth. Stir in the pb chips. SPread this layer over the cooked brownie layer. Carefully drop remaining batter by spoonfuls over the marshmallow mixture. Bake at 350 for about 30 minutes. Remove from oven and cool before cutting into squares.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Skillet BBQ Chicken Pasta

I am always looking for new was to use pasta or should I say eat pasta and when I saw this over at Mel's Kitchen Cafe. I knew I had to give it a whirl. This pasta did not disappoint!! It was very yummy and so nice to be able to cook it all in one pan. So much easier to clean up that way. This recipe is also very kid friendly so give it a whirl if you are looking for a new way to have pasta!!!

Skillet BBQ Pasta adapted from My Kitchen Cafe
1 T olive oil
2 chicken breasts cut into bite-size chunks
1 red onion, diced (I didn't have one on hand so I used a regular yellow onion)
3 cups water
2 1/2 cups chicken broth(I used one 14 oz can and used more water for the rest)
1/2 tsp salt
12-13 oz penne pasta
2/3 cup bbq sauce(recipe for homemade found here.)
1/3 cup sour cream(use nonfat or lowfat if desired)
1/2 cup mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup sharp cheddar Cheese

In a large skillet or pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. When hot add the chicken and cook until no longer pink. Add the onions and cook till tender. Remove the chicken and onions to a plate. In the same skillet add the water, brother, pasta, and salt. Bring to a boil and simmer for 12-15 minutes, until the liquid is almost absorbed, the pasta is tender and the mixture is thick and syrupy. Stir in the bbq sauce,and sour cream. Once mixed, add in the chicken onions, and shredded cheeses. Stir to combine and cook until everything is heated through.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Peanut Butter(or any kind of nut butter)

So I am so excited about this post!!! We go through more peanut butter in our house than you could even imagine. I have been trying to get my family to eat the healthy REAL peanut butter for the past year that you can buy at pretty much any grocery store. You know the kind that is just peanuts and a little salt. Well they wouldn't until now. I never thought about making my own until I saw this on a friend's blog. So I decided I just had to try it. So easy and so yummy!!! And so much better for you than the peanut butter with added sugar and hydrogenated oils in it. Give this a try you won't be able to turn back to store bought believe me. My kids even ask for it they don't like the store bought anymore.

Peanut Butter(to make 1 pint jar full)
3 cups roasted unsalted peanuts (or almonds or any nut you would like)
salt to taste
1-2 T. honey(optional)

Dump the nuts into a food processor and turn on and let them blend and blend for about 15 minutes. Now if you think they are not going to all come together and make PB don't give up!! It takes the nuts time to release the oils in them to make them smooth. Just keep processing until you reach the desired consistency. The more you process the more soft and liquidy(is that even a word?) it becomes. Then add in salt to taste and the honey if you would like a little sweetness to it. I do this for my kids sake. Pour into a jar and refrigerate and use as desired or eat it off the spoon.

Note: be sure to store in the fridge
Note: if the nuts you are using haven't been roasted. place them on a cookie sheet and roast in a 350 degree oven for 10-15 minutes

Monday, June 6, 2011

M&M Dream Bars

Oh my these babies are so yummy and super fast to make. They taste like a monster cookie without the hassle of baking sheet after sheet of cookies with a yummy peanut butter mixture throughout the center of the bar. If you need a quick recipe for a bbq, summer party or church function make these babies they are sure to be a crowd pleaser. Don't mind my valentine colored M&M's I stock up on M&M's and other chocolate candy after the holidays for a dollar a bag and save tons of money then buying them at 3-4 dollars a bag. Just a quick little tip. I was able to buy so many things I use for baking after easter this year for 1 dollar a bag. I love getting a good deal on grocery things (did I say grocery I mean chocolate) as well as cooking. Kidding I love deals on all grocery stuff but I can't really classify chocolate candy as grocery can I?Also sorry to whomever this recipe belongs to I lost where I got it from so I can't give the proper credit to them. I am usually pretty good about making sure I write where I get recipes from but occasionally I let one slip. Well, back to these fabulous bars here is the recipe:

M&M Dream Bars
2 cups oats(we prefer old fashioned rolled oats)
1 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 flour
1/2 cup coconut
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup melted butter(no substitutes)
1(14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk
3/4 cup peanut butter
1 cup peanut butter M&M's
1 cup milk chocolate M&M's

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a bowl mix the oats, brown sugar, flour, coconut, soda, and salt together. Stir in the melted butter, mixing until crumbly mixture forms. Set aside 1 1/2 cups of the crumbs. Press the remaining crumb mixture into a 9x13 inch greased pan and bake for 12 minutes. Mix the sweetened condensed milk and peanut butter together until smooth. Put dollops of the peanut butter mixture all over the cooked crust and spread out evenly as carefully as you can.(I found it easiest to do this by putting the dollops of pb mixture on crust then popped it back into the oven for a minute to let it warm up and softened the pb mixture then took it out and spread it)After you spread that over the crust Sprinkle both kinds of M&M's over the pb mixture. Sprinkle the remaining crumbs over the M&M's and press down lightly all over. Then pop back in the oven for 20 more minutes or until golden. Let cool and then cut and enjoy!!!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Updated Sweet and Sour Chicken

I posted this recipe almost 2 years ago but I recently made it again and took a better photo and I changed the recipe a little bit so I thought I would repost this and because I have way more readers now then I did back then so maybe some of you never saw this. Anyway, we liked it better this way than the old way. If you love Chinese give this a try you won't be disappointed believe me!!!

Sweet and Sour Chicken

3-4 chicken breast, cubed
salt and pepper
1 cup cornstarch or flour(I have used both both work well)
3 eggs, beaten
1/4 cup oil

Salt and pepper the chicken. Beat the eggs in a bowl and dump in the chicken pieces mix till all coated. In another shallow dish place the constarch(or flour) and coat the egg washed chicken pieces till well coated.Fry in the oil until browned all over but not cooked clear through. Place in a single layer in a 9x13 inch pan.
Then mix the sauce ingredients all together well.
3/4 cup sugar
4 T. ketchup
1/2 cup vinegar~i used red wine but white vinegar would work also
1 T. soy sauce
1 tsp minced garlic

Pour this mixture over the browned chicken and Bake at 325 for 1 hour. Turn the chicken every 15 minutes. If you like extra sauce, make another batch of sauce and bring it to a boil on the stovetop. Stir and let cook over medium heat until thickened and reduced~about ten minutes. Pour extra sauce over rice and cooked chicken.

Note:do not put more sauce on the chicken while it cooks or it will not come out crispy it will be soggy. I made extra sauce and put it over the chicken and rice on our plates and it was great.