I am excited to write about all things I am passionate about...and some, well, that I may not be passionate about. But all things are happening in this LIFE. And, I want to document and have accountablity to living life with intention. And so it goes...

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Grilled Chicken and Pineapple Quesadillas

Steve and I have a huge thing for sweet and savory dishes and because of that, I always am intrigued by recipes which include fruit with your meat. The kids aren't always as intrigued by combining two opposite flavors---but with this recipe, it worked for them too!

If you have never grilled pineapple on the grill before, it is worth it to just do that. It is amazing! Just cut your fresh pineapple into chunks and put them on skewers and grill for a few minutes on each side. Yummo! But for these quesadillas, we went a step further and combined grilled chicken with our fave bbq sauce, monterey jack and sharp cheddar cheeses, and cilantro. The recipe calls for fresh jalapeno which we opted to do without for the kids' sake, but I think that would have added a nice bite to them. I think the key here for the overall flavor of the dish is the CILANTRO!!! Do not go without it! And I almost had to because of the way my cilantro is looking after my trip away...but, that's another story. I used whole wheat tortillas and everyone schnarfed them down in a matter of minutes.

Could it have been that it was 8:00 pm when we were all gathered to eat and they were starving?? Sure! But they still liked the quesadillas...

Friday, May 28, 2010

Grilled Chicken Sandwich with Apricot Sauce

Grilled or NOT grilled is really what this recipe turned out to be. I had big hopes of having the chicken grilled and ready to go by the time Steve got home from work last night. We really needed to eat early with all of the activities we had going on, so I wanted to be prepared. Don't get me wrong...I have used our grill before. But last night when I went out there, there were 2 propane tanks and a wrench and I got scared. So in I went and cooked our chicken breasts on the stove in some olive oil and butter.

Half of us loved the sandwiches and the other half did not. Steve and I were part of the loving half. Sometimes my littles do not get in to the special sauces that really "make" the recipe in our adult taste bud thinking. Such as the apricot sauce---oh wow!! I loved the simplicity and the variation of flavors by using different herbs. I definitely plan to use this sauce again for sandwiches. Maybe not on Kourtney and Landon's...

Grilled Chicken Sandwiches with Apricot Sauce are just a great summer sandwich. They turned out just fine with the stovetop cooking, but would have been even better grilled. I wish I had a panini grill for bread, but I don't. So I used those really thin whole grain sandwich thins, added red onion, sliced avocado (the sandwich screamed avocado to me), a handful of spinach, the chicken, and of course the yummy sauce. I think the sandwich packed a pretty great nutritional punch!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Panko and a Green Monster

Oh my goodness...summer is in full swing around here! The really scary thing is that this week is a slow week for us. No softball gam.es, bible school, and I'm not really even working besides being on call--and it still feels crazy.
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My addiction of PW is still going strong and because it's not enough for me, I have added some other recipes I've been experimenting with...

What I love about these smoothies is the incredible nutrition you get. Although I have been dragging my feet to try them. Something about the almond milk was worrying me. But to my surprise my kiddos and I loved them!!! I have yet to try one out on Steve, but I know he'll like them too. An awesome breakfast and supplement to a meal, it gives you all the benefits of raw spinach, bananas, and fresh fruit--plus the protein and calcium of your mik of choice, and fiber from the flax seed. Yes, the Green Monster movement has hit our household and I am very excited.

Although the smoothie could easily be a meal for some, that would not fly at our house. PW had a yummy looking recipe for fried mozzarella sticks. How did she know that my kids could live off of those???

Very simple to prepare for frying, but the frying is kind of a trick. Some of them turned out really good, and others melted too quickly and spread out all over the pan. That was irritating. But they tasted good and it was fun to make them from scratch! I think I did not flash freeze them long enough and if I had, they wouldn't have melted so quickly. But we were hungry and I needed to get them done!!

The recipe uses Panko bread crumbs which worked great---added a bit of a crunch to them. Due to the significant egg wash dredging required, I did not personally try these. But the kids loved them. Fried cheese? I mean, really...how could you go wrong? Thank goodness for the Green Monster to even out the healthiness of this meal today...

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Take care of my critics...

So long, farewell...

I'm leavin', on a jet plane...don't know when I'll be back again.

Well, yes I do!! I am off to go hold a newborn baby for about 72 hours and spoil his older brother.

Not to say that I won't be cooking. Maybe I will be? But I know I won't be posting anything in the meantime.

So don't be surprised if you see my critics out galavanting around the restaurants in the area.

Have a great weekend!

A Lasagna Cheat.

Thank you to my mother, we got to eat a yummy PW meal last night. I thought I would just review it, pretending that I made it, but I was feeling like a huge CHEAT!!! So, the lasagna although eaten at my house, was made by my mom. Ok, I feel better.
This recipe made a huge portion! It has an added interest with the spicy sausage in addition to the hamburger. I don't know how detailed and difficult it was to make. She did have it in the freezer and it had been a few weeks and it still turned out delicious.
Again---I must say, that perhaps anything goes good with the Garlic Cheese Bread we had. Do you remember this recipe? If not, check here.
Funny how so many of the recipes turn into a post about that bread.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

First School's Out Lunch

After a few minor attitude adjustments, re-orientation to life without school, unpacking backpacks, and meltdowns from all kiddos (Mom included), I finally made it to the kitchen to make one of my kids' favorite meals...STIRFRY!!

I was excited to see PW's stirfry recipe because stirfry is always a hit at our house. The only change I made to her recipe was in the veggies. There is an awesome Oriental stirfry frozen veggie mix that I get at the grocery store which has a great mix of vegetables. So I used that instead. Obviously, since they are frozen, the cooking time is different than with the fresh veggies.

The flavor was great and there was not one baby corn left in the pan. I think they liked it. Now only 3 1/2 more months of lunches and dinners to prepare. HELP ME PW!!!!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Cinnamon Baked French Toast

I thought it was so funny that one of my friends asked me if I had been feeding my family lately... and I am here to tell you---no, not since a week ago. Ha!
This week was CRAZY and I am sorry to say, I didn't have the chance to make anything new of PW's. That is, until today...
I chose an easy recipe but unfortunately, I have more than 3/4 of a pan of Cinnamon Baked French Toast sitting on top of my oven as I write. It's not that the critics didn't like it, they just didn't love it. I did not try this dish due to the extreme egg-like texture and I even thought I saw a cooked egg throughout the bread. EWWWW!!! But regardless, it provided a nice warm breakfast on this cool May morning before the last full day of school--I can't believe it!
I have made many overnight french toast casseroles and all of them are equally simple. I have never eaten any of them (due to my egg aversion) but I am sure this one was good. Especially the topping made of butter and brown sugar. It baked very nicely and was crispy on top and a bit gooey, soft in the middle. Steve left before it came out of the oven, but I'll try him out on the leftovers and see what he thinks.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Happy Mother's Day!

Hoping you all had a wonderful Mother's Day, and if you're not a Mother yet, you celebrated the Mothers in your life! I know for one of my friends, it was very extra special as she gave birth to a baby boy yesterday afternoon. How wonderful is that?

That being said, I hope each of you got to stay out of your kitchen as I did...(smile!) Because I worked the night before, I spent my afternoon taking a bit of a siesta as my kiddos did what they do best with their Dad... F.I.S.H.

And no, we did not fry any of these fish up for dinner either. Happy Monday!! I am busy meal planning and can not wait to get to the grocery store! How's that for an exciting life? :)

Friday, May 7, 2010

Oven Roasted Asparagus

Have you ever tried out asparagus on your kiddos? I realize my kids are different, and love things some kids may not. But I think Oven Roasted Asparagus is worth a try!
We have always eaten asparagus prepared this way, so it is not new to our family. It really is a great way to get your kids to eat some very healthy veggies. Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper give it a flavor that is just better than regular salt and pepper. You have to try it to believe it.
While we are on the subject of asparagus, I just have to go here. The distinct smell of skunk. Need I say more? If you don't know what I am talking about, it is just an added bonus of eating asparagus. HA!!! We have done research on this because it was so, um, disturbing to me and found that it is a gene/trait that not everyone carries. Meaning, some people can smell it and some people can not.
So gather yourself up some asparagus and see if you can smell it or not. And if you don't have any idea what I am talking about, just start asking people who eat asparagus and see what they say. But this is supposed to be a clean, wholesome food blog and I don't want to ruin my reputation by talking about urine of all things.

Butterscotch Caramel Rolls

I would love to share this recipe with you all. It really is so yummy. My mom made these rolls many Sunday mornings before church when we were growing up. And I always requested them for my birthday breakfast too. They are relatively easy and just taste amazing!!
You need 18 Rhodes White Dinner Rolls. These come frozen in a pack of 36. Usually I am making these rolls for more than just my family and will just make a double recipe. Put the frozen bag of rolls (or just 18 for one recipe) in the fridge to thaw out overnight. I usually do this late at night. In the morning cut the rolls in fourths and lay in a greased 9x 13 pan.
Now mix with a wire whip:
1 Box Cook and Serve Butterscotch Pudding ( DO NOT USE INSTANT!!!)
1 Cup Brown Sugar
1/2 Cup Melted Butter
1 tsp. Cinnamon
1 tsp. Vanilla
1/2 Cup Milk
Now pour this mixture over your buns and let rise until double in size. Usually about an hour.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and bake for 30 minutes. When done, line cookie sheet with foil and flip rolls on to cookie sheet. Enjoy!!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Monkey Bread

"Ridiculously easy and sinfully delicious..." How's that for a description? Who wouldn't want to make a recipe that is described exactly as that?! Gotta tell you, she had me at easy and sinful. That's what this recipe is all about.

First of all, you must know that all of the critics chowed these down this morning. All of them had seconds. And to say this recipe is easy, is definitely a true statement which earned Monkey Bread a 5 star rating.

BUT, (you knew it was coming) I do have a Butterscotch Caramel Roll recipe from none other than my Mom (the other wonderful cook in my life besides PW) that, for our family, gets the pick over this Monkey Bread any day.

Not to take away from the glorious ease and yumminess of this recipe. Believe me, if you've got the biscuits on hand, a yummy breakfast doesn't get any easier than this.

Monday, May 3, 2010

A Revelation

We had a HUGE garage sale this past weekend. Oh my goodness! It was wonderful to declutter and clean things out, but a lot of work. Definitely it was worth it, but now my house is a disaster and needs a major cleaning overhaul.

In honor of PW, we sold cinnamon rolls for breakfast. You can grab the recipe here if you've never seen it before. But chances are if you read this blog, you have heard of the cinnamon rolls---I make them all the time!

Well, the point of this post is that I/we (the critics also) have determined that we just absolutely love a different cinnamon roll frosting better than PW's maple/coffee concoction. Don't get me wrong, hers has a distinct flavor that is really good. But we all think this one is better. So here you go, here's the recipe. It is from my dear friend Shannon who is as amazing as PW in the kitchen.

On low heat, melt 1/2 cup butter and 1 cup brown sugar. When melted, add 1/2 cup milk and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and add vanilla, pinch of salt, and enough powdered sugar to your desired consistency.

I have strayed from this frosting recipe just because #1 PW's is good, and secondly PW's is so easy. But if you really want rolls that are over the top, try the above recipe. You will not be disappointed. In my opinion, of course.