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Wednesday, February 29, 2012

BBQ Ranch Chicken & Cheddar Pizza Roll 'Em Ups

Can I tell you a secret? I have never been on pinterest. Isn't that crazy? I know people like live on that site but I haven't gotten into it yet. Maybe I will someday, but for now, I am a total deviant in the realm of moms and really just anyone. I have to admit that when someone I am friends with on facebook pinned "how to clean a bathroom" I did go from facebook to that article. So I guess I really have been on it. Oops. Anyway, it was some great tips by a woman who had cleaned houses for like 30 years. Not that I have put any into practice or anything, don't go crazy, but it was fun to know that if I ever do decide to really get into cleaning, I will know how. Probably not, but it is always best to be prepared.

Anyway, that kind of a site (or even bookmarking things)would have come in handy for me when I first started perusing food sites. I found this recipe and you know what I did? I just took out a pen and paper and wrote it down. Unfathomable, I know!
But this method prevented me from knowing where I got it from. But this really puts together some of my favorite things. And I do tend to get very lazy in the kitchen, so for the chicken, I just threw some breasts in the crockpot, added a little water and my all time favorite bbq sauce, Montgomery Inn, and let it cook. But you can use any bbq chicken prepared any way that you would like, grilled, baked, or just picked up at the grocery store.

BBQ Ranch Chicken and Cheddar Pizza Roll 'Em ups.

1 Roll Pillsbury Pizza Dough in a can
1/4 c prepared Ranch Dressing
2 cups prepared shredded BBQ chicken
1/4 c chopped cilantro
1 1/2 c shredded smoked cheddar cheese (My grocery store has a specialty cheese section where I found some great smoked cheddar)
Extra Ranch for dipping

Preheat oven to 350. Open dough and press into a rectangle. Spread or drizzle ranch dressing evenly over dough, then top with chicken, cilantro, and cheddar cheese.
Starting at the long end, roll dough into a log shape.
Using a sharp knife (ok, I really don't have a sharp knife so mine turned out a little "rustic" but it tasted the same), cut 1 inch pieces and place onto a greased baking sheet.
Bake for 20-22 minutes or until golden brown.
Serve with a side of ranch dressing for dipping.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Coconut Whoopie Pies

My husband and I are coming up on our 10 year anniversary, which is kind of mind blowing on several different levels. In some ways, of course it feels like we have always been together and yet I feel way too young to have been an old married lady for almost a decade.

Needless to say we have been through many Valentine's Day together, some a bigger deal than others. This year, he was working late and we don't have a ton of extra money to be doing special things anyway. However, I wanted to do something to make the day not just like any other day.

We all know how my husband will eat just about anything, but he does have his favorite things. Coconut is definitely one of those things. So when I saw these on Paula Deen a few weeks ago, I thought that Valentine's Day would be the perfect time to try these. Happy Valentine's Day to everyone, well a day late anyway.

Coconut Whoopie Pies
by Paula Deen

2 1/4 c all purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4c (4 tbsp) unsalted butter, softened
3 tbsp vegetable shortening
3/4 c sugar
1 large egg, plus 1 large egg white
3/4 c light coconut milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 c sweetened flaked coconut

Coconut Fluff Filling:
3/4 c (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1/2 c marshmallow creme
1 c sifted confectioners sugar
1/2 c sweetened flaked coconut
2 tbsp light coconut milk
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp coconut extract

Cooking Directions:

Preheat oven to 375, with rack positioned in the center of oven.
Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.

Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt onto a sheet of waxed paper (I just used another sheet of parchment since I am out of wax).
In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter, shortening, and sugar with a mixer on medium speed until fluffy. Add the egg and egg white and beat until incorporated. Add half the flour mixture and half the coconut milk and beat until just blended. Then add the remaining flour, coconut milk, and the vanilla extract and beat until blended.
Using a 1/4 c ice cream scoop (or whatever you have), drop the batter into 12 mounds on the lined baking sheets, spacing them 2 inches apart. If you want to make smaller pies, just use well rounded tablespoons and you can make 24. Sprinkle half of the mounds with coconut, or all of them if you choose. I, of course, chose to put as much coconut as possible on these bad boys!
Bake the cookies one sheet at a time until they begin to crack and are firm to the touch, about 12 min for large cookies and 10 min for smaller ones. Slide the parchment paper with the cookies onto a wire rack to cool completely.

For the coconut fluff filling, beat the butter and marshmallow creme in a large bowl with a mixer at medium-high speed until fluffy, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary. Beat in the powdered sugar, coconut, coconut milk, vanilla, and coconut extract until smooth.

Gently lift the cookies off of the parchment paper and spread the flat side of the plain cookies (or either one depending if you put coconut on all of them) generously with coconut fluff filling. Top with the coconut topped cookies, pressing lightly to seal them together. Store in a air tight container in refrigerator.

Sunday, February 12, 2012


Just call me Garfield - I love lasagna! The prospect of making lasagna, however, has always seemed a little daunting. My good friend Lenae makes the most delicious lasagna and when she assured me that it was easy to make I decided to give it a try. Now I can have yummy lasagna whenever I want!
The recipe below includes hamburger meat but if you like your lasagna meatless, like I do, just leave it out.

Lasagna Recipe by Lenae Crowe


  • 1 lb lasagna noodles

  • 1 lb hamburger meat

  • 4 8oz cans of tomato sauce

  • 14.5 oz. can diced tomatoes

  • 1 packet McCormick spagetti sauce seasoning (Thick and Zesty)

  • 3 cups cottage cheese

  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese

  • 1 beaten egg

  • 1/2 tsp salt

  • dash of pepper

  • 4 cups Mozarella cheese

To make:

Cook 1 lb lasagna noodles according to package directions. Drain and spread onto foil so they don't stick together. Meanwhile, for the sauce, brown 1 lb of hamburger and drain fat. Add the tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, and packet of spagetti seasoning. Simmer for 5-10 minutes. In separate bowl mix the cottage cheese, parmesan cheese, egg, salt and pepper. Shred the mozarella cheese.

To layer:

Spray 9x13 pan with non-stick spray. Spoon enough sauce to cover bottom into pan, then top with three cooked and drained noodles. Cover with 1/3 of cheese mixture. Top with 1/4 sauce and sprinkle with approx 1 cup cheese. Repeat twice (three layers), then top with noodles, remaining sauce, and cheese. Cover pan with foil (from noodles) and bake in 350 degree oven for 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake 15 more mins or until cheese is melted and starting to brown. Remove from oven and let stand 10 mins before cutting.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Creamy Chicken Taquitos

When starting this post, I decided that I have actually made some progress in the kitchen! Who would have ever thought? And by progress, I mean that when first starting this blog, I posted these taquitos. They consist of opening a box, pouring some sauce and putting shredded cheese on it, and sticking it in the oven.

Now, I am totally not saying that I still don't make dinners just like that. I am just saying that I have gently expanded my ability to make a teensy bit more challenging stuff. I am still a huge novice and when I look at others' blogs, I feel a little silly that I even post things at all. However, I am trying hard not to compare and just be happy with where I am and be ready to try hard to improve.

These taquitos are something that my family loves and gobbles up quickly. They are extremely easy and really delicious. We have made them a ton over the last couple of years and I am finally getting around to putting them on the blog. They can be made with either corn or flour tortillas. I, for some weird reason, really prefer the corn to the flour. But both are really good. We usually have them as the main course but they are great as appetizers/finger food as well!

Creamy Chicken Taquitos


1/3 c (3 oz) cream cheese
1/4 c salsa verde
1 tbsp fresh lime juice
1/2 tsp cumin
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp granulated garlic or garlic powder
3 tbsp chopped cilantro
2 tbsp sliced green onion
2 c shredded cooked chicken
1 c grated pepperjack cheese

small corn tortillas or flour tortillas
kosher salt
cooking spray

Heat oven to 425. Line a baking sheet with foil and lightly coat with cooking spray.

Heat cream cheese in microwave for about 20 seconds until it is soft and easy to stir. Place in mixing bowl with green salsa, cumin, onion powder, chili powder, lime juice, and garlic powder and stir to combine. Add green onions and cilantro. Then finish by adding chicken and cheese and combine all together (you can actually make this ahead and keep in fridge until you are ready to make the taquitos).

Working with just a few of tortillas at a time, heat in the microwave between two slightly damp paper towels until they are soft are roll without cracking. 20-30 seconds should do the trick. If they are unrolling right away or cracking, just heat them a little longer.

Place 2-3 tbsp of chicken mixture of bottom 1/3 of tortilla, keeping it about an 1/2 inch from the sides. Roll up as tight as you can (again, if your tortillas are cracking, heat them a little longer). Place seam side down on prepared baking sheet. As you lay all the rolled tortillas down, make sure they are not touching. Lightly spray the tops with cooking spray and sprinkle each with kosher salt.

Place baking sheet in oven for 15-20 minutes or until crisp and the ends start to get golden brown.

When done, you can dip 'em or use them as main meal.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Blue Cheese Burgers

My husband is not a picky eater, to say the least. There have been many times throughout our marriage that I will ask him if he likes what he is currently eating and he says with a shrug, "Not really" and then continues to eat the whole thing. I am always amazed.

However, there is an experience from his teenage years that still haunts him. He was over at his friend's house for dinner and there in front of him was a heaping bowl of mashed potatoes, and really, what teenage boy doesn't love mashed potatoes? He, of course, helped himself to a huge portion and dug right in. And then, after his first big bite, he was horrified. What was that taste? His beloved mashed potatoes had turned into the devil right before his eyes.

And guess what that secret ingredient was? You got it, blue cheese. He had never had it before and will not eat it ever since. So, several years ago, when I told him I was going to make these burgers I found on Pioneer Woman, he was very skeptical to say the least. But I decided to chance it anyway. And we both ended up loving the burger! The onions and blue cheese along with the spicy mayo really has such great flavor. And when we were looking for a fun burger to do this weekend, this immediately popped into my mind. We hadn't made it since that day long ago in Florida. But our memories had not failed us and they were delicious!

Blue Cheese Burgers

2 lbs. 80/20 ground beef
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
tabasco sauce, to taste
1 whole red onion
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp brown sugar
1/4 c real mayo
Kaiser rolls, or any bakery type rolls
1 C crumbled blue cheese
Some sort of greens, whatever is your favorite


Place meat in mixing bowl. Add salt and black pepper. Add a few dashes of tabasco sauce. With your hands, mix meat and seasonings well. Put aside.

Next, slice onion, not too thick, not too thin. Heat medium skillet over low heat. Add butter and place in onions. Add brown sugar (you can do generous tbsps). Toss ingredients together and then allow onions to caramelize for twenty minutes, tossing occasionally.

When onions are caramelizing, make spicy mayo. Just put mayo in small bowl and add tabasco and mix together. I used several dashes, it is surprisingly how much tabasco you can use before it really starts to take over the mayo.

Cut rolls in half and spread them lightly with butter, then place them on grill or skillet face down. This will allow the spicy mayo, when put on later, to really adhere to the roll. Set aside to cool.

Form the meat into patties, however many you want, depending on how big you want them. Place on grill or skillet over medium to medium low heat. Cook for several minutes, then flip over to cook other side.

While patty is still on grill, add caramelized onion and blue cheese on top. This will allow the blue cheese to get soft. As the burgers finish cooking, spread your mayo on your cooled buns. Then put it all together with some greens and let your mouth thank you!!