Monday, September 30, 2013

Sweet & Sour Chicken

Sweet & Sour Chicken
Source: adapted from;

3-4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite size pieces
Salt and pepper
1 cup cornstarch
2 large eggs, beaten
1/4 cup canola oil
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/8 cup ketchup
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon garlic salt

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Place the cornstarch in a bowl. Put chicken in the bowl of the cornstarch and coat the chicken. Whisk the eggs together in a separate bowl. Dip the cornstarch-coated chicken pieces in the egg and place them carefully in the hot skillet. Cook for 1-2 minutes and then flip each piece over to cook on the other side until nicely golden but not all the way cooked through. Place in a single layer in a 9x13 baking dish.
Mix the sauce ingredients together in a medium bowl and pour over the chicken in the baking dish. Bake for 45 minutes, turning the chicken once or twice while cooking to coat evenly with sauce. Serve over hot, steamed rice.
Serves: 4-6

Nutrition: 436-655 calories
Note: if you like extra sauce, double the sauce ingredients – pour half over the chicken and follow the recipe instructions; pour the other half in a small saucepan and cook the sauce on the stovetop at a simmer for 8-10 minutes until it reduces and thickens. Serve it on the side of the chicken.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Bird Egg Nests

Bird Egg Nests

Almond Bark - I used 9 squares
2 Tbsp peanut butter
12 ounce bag of Chow Mein Noodles
Reece's Peanut Butter Eggs

Melt Almond Bark, in 30 second intervals. Once smooth and creamy, add peanut butter and stir in. Then add Chow Mein Noodles and mix well. Drop by spoonful to form nests. Add 1-3 peanut butter eggs on top.

Store in airtight container.

Serves: 36

Nutrition: 146-166 calories (depending on 1 or 3 eggs)

Friday, February 15, 2013

Spicy Bacon Chicken Bowtie Pasta

Remember the Amazing Spicy Chicken Farfelle? It is amazing...but loaded with butter and cream. My main complaint was that I never have cream on hand. Then I decided to "lighten" it up a bit, so here goes!

Spicy Bacon Chicken Bowtie Pasta

12 oz Farfalle Pasta
1 c. skim milk
3-4 chicken breasts (boneless, skinless) (still frozen is fine)
2-3 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp Pepper
1/4 c. butter
1/2 lb bacon, crumpled*
1 c. shredded Parmesan cheese (not grated)
12 ounce Lawry's Lime Mesquite Marinade

*I found already cooked and crumbled bacon at the grocery store that worked perfect!

Place frozen chicken in crock pot with bottle of marinade on low for 6 hours. Pull marinated chicken out of the juices, allow to cool a little bit, and shred. Set this aside.

Boil the pasta. While pasta is boiling, in a small saucepan over low heat, melt butter, adding garlic, whipping cream, pepper, parmesan cheese, and crumpled bacon. Whisk together on low heat for 3-4 minutes.

In a large bowl, combine cooked, drained pasta with sauce, add chicken and stir through. Sprinkle a little bit more shredded parmesan cheese on top.

Serves: 8

Cook as normal, freeze. When pulling from the freezer, allow to thaw and then heat in microwave until warm.

Calories: 485

Thursday, February 14, 2013

"Hint of Cream Cheese" Frosting

Yum, new favorite. As my 5 year old said today, "this isn't good mom... it's Super Good!"

"Hint of Cream Cheese" Frosting

4 oz cream cheese
1/2 c (one stick) butter, room temperature (softened)
2 c powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla

Cream together cream cheese and butter. Add vanilla. Slowly add powdered sugar.

Store in the refrigerator in airtight container, best within 3-5 days, Freeze up to a month.

I have left frosted cupcakes out on the counter all day and still ate them with no ill side effects!

Ices approximately 12 cupcakes or muffins when piped high, or 24 with a knife.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Cookie Exchange 2012

Loved it, so fun! For years I had attended a cookie exchange, thinking how fun it would be to host! But my friend did a wonderful job, and we weren't about to take that away from her :) Then we moved a year ago, last year was my first year not attending the annual cookie exchange, and I missed it so much! This year I decided to host my own! There were 8 of us, and it was a great time with many yummy treats to take home!

Here are the cookies that we were able to enjoy:

Cream Wafers-
1 C. butter, softened
2 C. flour
1/3 C. whipping cream

Combine butter, cream and flour: mix well. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours or until dough is easy to handle.  Roll about 1/3 of dough at a time to about 1/8 inch thick on floured service.  Cut into about 1 1/2" circles or small cookie cutter stars, hearts, etc.   Place each cookie in a bowl of white sugar and turn the cookie around so that both sides are coated with sugar.  Place on cookie sheets; prick with fork about 4 times.  Bake at 350 degrees for 7-9 minutes or just until set but not brown; cool.  Put cookies together in pairs with Creamy Filling.

Creamy Filling:
1/2 C. butter, softened
2 tsp. vanilla or almond extract
1 1/2 C. of powdered sugar
food coloring

Cream above ingredients until smooth and fluffy.  Spread between the cookies.  

m&m pretzel bark
pretzel sticks
a bag of caramel bits (if you can't find the ones i used, any caramel candies will do - about 20 should work)
1 cup chocolate chips, or a hershey's milk chocolate bar + a bar of dark chocolate
mini m&ms

line an 8" x 8" pan with wax or parchment paper. the latter is better, by the way. spread out a layer of pretzel sticks, enough to cover the surface. in a small saucepan, pour about half of the bag of caramel bits and add about a teaspoon of water and melt over low heat, stirring constantly. spread the caramel on top of the pretzels. 

place the chocolate chips (or break up the bars into small pieces) into the top of a double boiler (or, if you're like me, in a glass bowl that fits perfectly into a saucepan), and set it over an inch or so of simmering water. melt the chocolate, stirring every 10 seconds or so. this goes on top of the caramel layer. sprinkle with as many mini m&ms as you want. as for me, i used about half of that bag. put the whole shebang into the fridge for at least two hours, or overnight if you do this late-ish at night like i did

Spritz Cookies –
1 stick butter (soft)
1 stick margarine (soft)
2 eggs
1 tsp salt
1 ½ tsp almond flavoring
1 cup sugar
3 cups flour

Mix all together and put dough in spritz maker – can make all different shapes.  If you want to put color to the dough, it makes a nice touch!
Bake 375 – for 10 mins –depends on your oven.  Just bake until bottom gets slightly golden brown.

Dipped Gingersnaps 

2 C sugar
2 eggs
4 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1/2 C butter
1/2 C molasses
1 Tbsp ginger
1 C oil
4 C flour
2 tsp cinnamon
1 pkg white almond bark

Mix all ingredients together except almond bark.  Shape into 3/4 inch balls; roll in sugar and bake at 350 degrees on ungreased cookie sheet for 8-10 minutes.  After they have cooled, dip in melted almond bark.

Nut goodies

4 sq. almond bark
1 pkg. choc. Chips
1 pkg. butterscotch chips
1 cup peanutbutter

Melt the above 4 items (I just use the microwave)

1 cup peanuts
3 cups mini marshmallows 
1.5 cups Rice Krispies

Stir all the ingredients together and then drop on wax paper

Store in the refrigerator


2 cups sugar
4 tablespoons cocoa
1 stick butter
1/2 cup milk
1 cup peanut butter
1 tablespoon vanilla
3 cups oatmeal
Waxed paper

In a heavy saucepan bring to a boil, the sugar, cocoa, butter and milk. Let boil for 1 minute then add peanut butter, vanilla and oatmeal. On a sheet of waxed paper, drop mixture by the teaspoonfuls, until cooled and hardened.

From Alyssia***and my favorite recipe that I would have made if I would have had enough peanut butter cups on hand on a snow day...


1/2 cup butter or margarine
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
(cream together then add)
1 egg
1/2 tsp vanilla
(mix dry ingredients in a small bowl then add to cream mixture above slowly)
1 1/4 cup flour
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt

1-14 oz Reeses Peanut Butter cup minis

Shape dough into balls and put in ungreased tart-size muffin tins.
Bake at 375 for 8-10 minutes or until lightly browned
Push peanut butter cups into each cookie until almost covered.  Let cool a few minutes before removing from tin.  Use a knife tip along edge to remove.

Enjoy!  Makes approx. 4 dozen

I made 
Thick Cut-Out SugarCookies for everyone to decorate and take a few home. You can see in the picture above the three-tier tray of plain cookies ready to decorate, homemade Vanilla Buttercream Icing, and sprinkles.

To pass around, I made Candy Cane Blossoms. Last year was my first year making them, but the quickly became a favorite in my house!

Other cookies that were included but I didn't get recipes for include:
Cream Wafers
Oreo Balls
Sweet and Salty Bar

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Breakfast Egg Bake

1 large pkg.hash browns
salt and pepper
1/3 cup butter
1 cup Canadian Bacon
1 cup Sausage or a roll
1/2 cup bacon (fried crisp)
1/4 cup of milk
1 can cream of mushroom soup (or cream of chicken, can do 1/2 of each too)
2 cups of cheese (any kind)
1 dozen eggs

Place hash browns and melted butter in 9X13 casserole and place in oven at 350 for 25 minutes. In the mean time begin browning meat (if using sausage). Combine eggs, salt and pepper, and milk to make scrambled eggs.

Once meat and eggs are made, remove Hash browns from oven and top with desired meat combinations. Next  spread 1 can of soup, then cover with scrambled egg mixture. Over all this, put 2 cups of cheese. Bake at 350 for additional 20 minutes.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Perfect Vanilla Cupcake

I have finally found it. Although I would consider it more of a yellow cake flavor than white vanilla, it was moist, delicious, perfect! I will be using this again, and again, and again...
I will admit, if you are looking for a perfectly smooth top, while the recipe showed a glorious dome, mine was not. but flavor and texture won out!

Perfect Vanilla Cupcake
Source: Glorious Treats


1 1/4 cups cake flour
1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
3/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup oil
1/2 cup buttermilk (or 1/2 cup milk plus 1/2 teaspoon white vinegar or lemon juice- let sit 5 minutes)

Preheat oven to 350F. 
 In a medium bowl, add cake flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.  Stir together with whisk, and set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, add eggs and beat 10-20 seconds.  Add sugar and continue to beat on medium speed about 30 seconds.  Add vanilla and oil, beat. Reduce mixer speed to low and slowly add about half of the flour mixture.  Add half of the milk, then the rest of the flour and the rest of the milk.  Beat until just combined.  The batter will be thin.   Pour batter into a muffin pan about 2/3 full.
Bake 12-14 minutes. Cool in pan 1-2 minutes, then remove cupcakes from pan (carefully) and finish cooling on a wire rack.
*The recipe above will work for a 6″ cake.  To make an 8" or 9" cake, double the recipe for an.

Serves: 14 cupcakes

Freeze in airtight container, unfrosted, 1-2 months.

Nutrition: 165, unfrosted