Monday, February 14, 2011

Chunky Monkey Banana Muffins

There's nothing worse than putting so much effort into making something only to have it totally flop in the end. Which is exactly how the last few batches of muffins I've made have turned out. Sometimes I like to blame the recipe, or the new weird muffin molds my mom gave me, but reality is I probably just goofed them. Anyway what I'm trying to get at is that after a long string of muffins not turning out, these ones finally did and were great!

1 cup White Sugar
2 whole Eggs
1 Tablespoon Vanilla
4 whole Bananas, Mashed
¾ cups Buttermilk
1 cup Margarine, Melted
3 cups Flour
2 teaspoons Baking Powder
1 teaspoon Baking Soda
1 teaspoon Salt
2 Tablespoons Cinnamon
1 cup Coconut Sweetened, Shredded
1 cup Chocolate Chips

Mix first 6 ingredients in a large bowl. In a separate bowl sift the dry ingredients together then add to wet ingredients. Mix just until moist. Stir in coconut and chocolate chips. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes. Makes 24 muffins.

This recipe was found on the Pioneer Woman's Tasty Kitchen

Pioneer Woman Enchiladas

Happy Valentines! Or Single's Awareness Day depending on what side of the fence your on:) Once again I've got another delicious Pioneer Woman Recipe. I have to admit, if it was anyone else I probably would not have ever tried this recipe. First because I've never had a ground beef enchilada I liked, second is I usually always choose flour tortillas over corn, and third I don't love cooked olives. Have I scared you away from this recipe yet? I hope not because all those things a side, I loved these! Even my husband specifically told me he loved them which he doesn't say too often! I have to admit these take a little extra effort to put together, but still they're really not hard. Don't be intimated by the long list of ingredients and instructions I promise it's only a couple extra steps than your usual enchiladas. You gotta try these at least once!!!

1 Tablespoon Canola Oil
1 Tablespoon All-purpose Flour
1 can (28 Ounce) Enchilada Or Red Sauce
2 cups Chicken Broth
½ teaspoons Salt
½ teaspoons Ground Black Pepper
2 Tablespoons Chopped Cilantro (I left this out, my husband hates cilantro and it's def. a required taste)

1 pound Ground Beef
1 whole Medium Onion, Finely Diced
2 cans (4 Ounce) Diced Green Chilies
½ teaspoons Season Salt

10 whole (to 14) Corn Tortillas
½ cups Canola Oil

3 cups Grated Sharp Cheddar Cheese
½ cups Chopped Black Olives
1 cup Chopped Green Onions (my husband didn't love the green onions, but I was on the fence. I think it would be fine without, but I didn't mind them in either so whatever sounds good to you:)
½ cups Chopped Cilantro

Preparation Instructions

Step #1 – The Sauce
In a large saucepan over medium heat, add oil and flour and whisk together to make a paste, cooking for one minute. Pour in the red sauce, chicken broth, cilantro, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 30-45 minutes.

Step #2 – The Meat
Brown the meat with onions in a skillet. Drain off fat. Stir in 2 cans diced green chilies and seasoned salt. Set aside.

Step #3 – Tortillas
Heat canola oil in a small skillet over medium heat. One by one, using tongs, fry tortillas in oil until soft, not crisp – about 30 seconds per side. Remove to a paper—towel lined plate. Repeat until all tortillas have been fried.

Step #4 – Assembly
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Pour ½ cup red sauce in bottom of baking pan. Spread to even out. Dip each tortilla into red sauce, then remove to work surface. Spoon meat, a little grated cheese, a little black olives, and green onions in the center of tortilla. Roll up and place, seam down, in baking pan. Repeat until pan is filled. Pour extra red sauce over enchiladas (the sauce is delicious so don't be afraid to smother them.) Top with remaining cheddar cheese. Bake enchiladas uncovered for 20 minutes.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Grilled or Broiled Chicken Salad

This is an old favorite of mine that I haven't made in a long long long time!!! My husband is not a fan of salads so I have never made it for us, hence there are no green salad recipes on my blog, until today!! This is a favorite of mine. We (my parents and I) use to make it all the time, so much so that I had the marinade memorized. There are so few ingredients in this and nothing out of the norm, but for some reason when they all come together..yum! Anyway I hope you enjoy!

5 T. lemon juice, you can sub any citrus juice but lemon is my favorite
3 T. soy sauce
2 cloves garlic, minced (just use the preminced)
1/8 t. pepper
1 t. basil
2 chicken breasts
1 red onion, sliced into rings
1 lb. mixed greens

Combine first 5 ingredients and set aside. Tenderize chicken with a mallet (I stick it in a ziploc bag and use the flat side to pound the chicken) Add chicken to marinade and marinade at least 30 minutes if not longer. Grill of broil chicken with red onions on top for 5 minutes on each side. Remove chicken and let set for a few minutes. Thinly slice and serve over mixed greens with ranch dressing.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Pineapple Cheesecake Bars

I found this recipe from thesisterscafe. I loved this dessert, because it seemed so light especially for a cheesecake. It wasn't overwhelmingly sweet and the addition of almond extract made it have a great unique flavor. I typically don't love almond extract but in this it added a delicious flavor. Anyway I hope you enjoy this as much as I did.

Hopefully your coconut browns up better than mine did, I couldn't figure out why my oven seemed to be taking so long to cook things lately until it dawned on me that I moved the rack down to make the baked beans and never put it back, whoops!

3 cups flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups butter, room temperature

In a medium bowl combine flour, sugar and butter. Mix until crumbs. Press into large cookie sheet (12x17x1) and poke holes in the crust with a fork. Bake at 350 degrees 15-20 minutes or until lightly browned. While the crust is baking, prepare the coconut topping and cream cheese filling.

Coconut Topping:
2 Tablespoons butter, melted
3 cups sweetened coconut, grated

In a small bowl, mix together melted butter and coconut. Set aside.

Cream Cheese Filling:
16 ounces cream cheese
2 eggs
4 Tablespoons sugar
4 Tablespoons milk
2 teaspoons almond extract
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 20 oz can crushed pineapple

Combine cream cheese, eggs, sugar, milk, almond extract and vanilla in a large bowl. Beat with electric mixer until smooth. Add crushed pineapple and mix. Pour cream cheese filling over baked crust. Sprinkle coconut topping over cream cheese filling. Bake at 350 degrees 18-20 minutes or until coconut has browned and middle is set. Chill for at least one hour before serving.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Meatball Sub Sandiwch

This is a another super quick and easy meal. You can choose to use frozen meatballs or your own. Meatballs really are easy to make, but if you don't love handling raw meat or just taking the extra step go ahead and use your favorite frozen meatballs. Enjoy!

1 lb ground beef
1 egg
salt and pepper
garlic powder
very full 1/2 c. Italian seasoned bread crumbs ( if you don't have these just use regular or make your own breadcrumbs and add a little Italian seasoning, parsley, garlic salt, parmesan cheese, or any other seasoning you want)
jar of your favorite spaghetti sauce
Mozarella cheese
hoagie buns

In a medium bowl lightly beat your egg , then add your seasonings and bread crumbs. Crumble your ground beef over mixture and mix it all in. With a large cookie scoop, scoop out balls of meat mixture and then slightly mold to form a ball. At this point you can either bake your meatballs or cook on the stove top. I choose to bake them at 400 for about 12 minutes. I find it much easier and I don't have to sit and baby sit them on the stove. Put meatballs in a medium size skillet and pour spaghetti sauce over and heat until simmering. While meatballs are heating through get out the hoagie buns. A trick I use is to cut some of the middle of the bottom bun making a well to stick your meatballs. Butter your buns (lol) and toast in a toaster oven or your hot oven. Fill your well with meatballs and top with mozarella..and yummm!!!

makes about 6 sandwiches if serving little kids just cut the meatballs in half:)

Friday, February 4, 2011

Easy Chicken and Broccoli Pasta

Wow I'm on a roll posting 2 recipes in a row. Yes, I've still been cooking, just nothing really worth posting. This recipe is kind of a stand by, use whatever I got kind of recipe. You can change it for whatever you have, peas instead of broccoli, add bacon, leave out the chicken soup and keep it healthy, whatever you like! Also just as an FYI I've told you before I only use chicken bouillon, but I took a picture of the specific kind I use. I find it at Walmart in the Mexican food section. I think it has the best flavor and it's also the cheapest. You can also use the chicken bouillon granules which are also good, but personally I don't love the chicken broth you buy in a can it just kind of lacks flavor to me and is really expensive and most recipes don't use a full can so your left with a half a can that usually ends up in the trash. Anyway that's just my opinion but use what works for you.

10-15 oz. dry pasta, any kind works
2 T. olive oil-just eye it
2 T. butter-again just eye it you can't ruin this
couple shakes red pepper flakes (this won't make it spicy, Parker ate it and was just fine)
2-3 t. minced garlic (I use preminced from the produce section)
Sea Salt or Kosher salt to your tasting ( I avoided buying this for a long time and subbed it for table salt, but I finally gave in and it was totally worth it, you don't have to use as much and table salt seems to cook out and you can't taste it)
2 c. chopped broccoli
2 cans cream of chicken soup
1 1/2-2 c. chicken broth
2 chicken breasts, cooked and chopped

Cook pasta as directed. Meanwhile in a large skillet add your olive oil, butter, garlic, and red pepper. Heat until fragrant, stirring just so it doesn't burn, this only takes a minute or so. Add broccoli and sprinkle with salt. Cook until broccoli is soft, you may have to add 1/4 c. water just to get it soft enough. At this point if you were keeping it healthy you would just add the pasta, but if your not afraid of a little cream of chicken soup, and I am not, add in your soup and chicken broth and stir until completely mixed in. Add in your chicken and heat until simmering, then stir in pasta and enjoy!!!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Best Baked Beans Ever

So this is another Pioneer Woman recipe. I don't know what took me so long to discover her website, probably because the first time I looked at it it seemed like more of a gourmet cooking blog which is so not my style so I never looked again.. until recently! I would see it all the time on other people's blogs and read a few of her posts, which are really fun to read she's an amazing writer, until finally I decided to look through her recipes again and thank goodness I did. She has some of the best recipes, and this is one of them! Also FYI I tried those individual scalloped potatoes again but in a 9x13 casserole dish and bacon instead of ham and YUMMM! If you like potato skins or anything like that you'll love them, seriously don't wait they are delicious!! Anyways back to the baked beans..these take some time to cook, but they throw together pretty easily. I'm getting ready for barbecue weather..I know we've got awhile, but I'm dreaming of warm weather and vacations:) Anyway I cut the recipe in half which was more than enough for us for dinner and lunch the next day. Enjoy!

8 slices thick bacon, halved

1 medium onion, cut into small dice

1/2 medium green pepper, cut into small dice

3 large cans (28 ounces each) pork and beans

3/4 cup barbecue sauce

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup distilled or cider vinegar

2 teaspoons dry mustard or 2 tablespoons Dijon

Preheat oven to 325 and lower rack to the lower middle. In a large skillet fry up bacon just long enough to render up the grease, do not brown at all your pretty much heating it just long enough for it to start getting the grease off. Remove bacon and saute your onion and green pepper in bacon grease until tender. Add beans and remaining ingredients and heat until simmering. Pour into greased 9x13 pan and place bacon on top. Place in oven uncovered for about 2 hours until all the juices are soaked up (yes I realize this is a long time and may not be something everyone is willing to try, but like I said maybe for a barbecue where you only have to bring one thing:)