Monday, May 6, 2019

Cafeteria Corn Bread

Once upon a time, in a teeny, tiny town in central Nebraska, there was a little elementary school with the best cooks ever!

Yes it is true, we had the best lunch ladies.

Now, I knew it couldn't be all that hard to make this to cafeteria lady perfection. One day, well let me start at the beginning.

I had been on the hunt for the perfect cornbread for a long while.  Perfect to me was sweet and NOT DRY!  No hunks of peppers, jalapenos or corn either!

I used to do a "Wednesday Morning Coffee Chat" on Facebook.  We at some point were discussing cornbread because I very much dislike dry tasteless cornbread.  I didn't grow up with it being made at home so maybe I just had no palate for it.  As I stated I loved the stuff we had at school, with chili!  So during the live chat I phoned my old Elementary School, asked for the cafeteria and asked for the person who had been in the kitchen the longest.  I got her on the phone and told her I was wanting to recreate it at home, and for my viewers and readers and she told me the secret.  Sugar, butter and honey.  Her exact words, "a TON of it".  In it, and on it!  Awesome I had my info and I could get to work.

Fast forward 2 years (LOL) when I actually started working on it.  At first it wasn't moist enough, then the corners didn't have that chewy done part we fight over on the edges.  She also told me they use JIF Cornbread Mix.  I forgot to tell you that.  How it ended up was the bit of honey IN the mixture gives you those crispy, chewy edges.  The sour cream gives it an incredible moist texture. which extra milk contributes to as well.  Just don't skip any steps and if you went to OES!    You will take one bite and instantly go back in time!

Here is what you will need:
Jif Cornbread mix
1 egg
1/2 cup Milk
1/4 cup Sour Cream
1/4 cup white Granulated Sugar
1 T Honey

3-4 T Melted Butter
3 T Honey

Preheat oven to recommended temperature on the mix, mine is 400!  In a large bowl combine, dry mix, egg, milk, sour cream, 1T honey  and sugar.  Mix to combine and let sit for 5 minutes to rest.

Prepare an 8x8 square baking dish by spraying with nonstick cooking spray or buttering it.  Pour cornbread mixture into the pan and bake for recommended time.  The center may get a little dark and that is perfeclyt fine.  Test with a toothpick and when inserted it should come out with NO wet batter!

While the goodness is in the oven, melt your butter and honey together.  Be ready, if you miss the window of perfect timing, it won't work. (kidding)  When you take out the cornbread use a toothpick and  poke little holes all over that baby.  Then, drizzle that honey butter all over the top.  Don't forget even the tiniest spot!  Let sit for 5 minutes.

If this doesn't take you right back to Ord Elementary, I don't know what will!


Friday, March 29, 2019

Everything But The Bagel-ish Seasoning

Mu first introduction to an everything bagel was back in about 1994.  I was served a toasted, buttered everything bagel with an order of pasta.  On that day, my foodie life changed forever.  Mostly

Fast forward to a year ago.  I saw the Everything But The Bagel seasoning in Trader Joe's.  I am going to be honest, it is awesome, a little spendy, but I don't love chunks of salt, onion and garlic dried up on my bagel as much as I once did.  I decided recently after being at TJ's again that I needed to just make this at home, my way.

You will find many versions, but you will only find ONE of mine.  I make mine in a more "granulated" form.  I guess my coffee grinder that I use for spices ran away to join a traveling carnival of other "mis-used" coffee grinders, because it is gone.

I use this seasoning on garlic toast, chicken, steak, pork, and veggies.  I mean, I love this stuff!  Shop your local Asian markets or other places for less expensive spices, make double or triple the amount for what you pay for one bottle!

You will need:

2 TBSP Poppy Seeds
1 TBSP Dried Minced Onion
1 TBSP Onion Powder
2 TBSP Granulated Garlic
1-2 TBSP Pink Salt
1 TBSP Sesame Seeds (White)
1/4 tsp Black Pepper
1/2 tsp Dried Parsley

Combine all ingredients into a Ziploc bag.  Roll over mixture several times with a rolling pin.  I like the different textures it gives.  How long you roll over it will depend on the consistency you want!

Place into airtight jar or container and enjoy!  I promise it won't last long in your house!

I LOVE making my own versions of spice blends and any other spice blends!  I hope you enjoy this recipe and don't forget to FOLLOW my page here!

Friday, March 22, 2019

Unicorn Crunch!

Unicorns, unicorns everywhere!  At least for me.  I love unicorns.  While I should probably not announce from the rooftops that I am 45 and obsessed with them, I am anyway!  

Been awhile, eh?  Busy time, just kind of burning both ends of the candle, and still dealing with eye issues.  Had an emergency surgery to replace 2 sutures, 2 weeks ago and fix a vitreous fluid leak.  Joy.  If you follow me on social media or YouTube you probably know the sorted details!

I wanted to make a variation of puppy chow.  No chocolate, no peanut butter.  Just something else, that is new and SPRINGY!  This is what I got.  The first time around I used plain Rice Chex.  The second time I used Vanilla Rice Chex.  If you can get the later, DO IT.  If not, still Do IT, because this is a delicious!  

  I was thinking if you changed up the sprinkles to red, white and blue you could send it home in  fun bags for birthday favors, like a Capt America birthday, black and yellow for a Batman, etc...

You can't beat a quick no bake dessert like this one.  We have all been in a position where we needed something and we needed it like, NOW!

You will need:
1/2 cup dry vanilla box cake mix
5 cups Vanilla Rice Chex Cereal (or plain)
1 1/4 cups white chocolate chips
1 tsp vegetable oil
1/2 cups sprinkles of your choice

Place cereal in a LARGE bowl.  Melt white chocolate chips at 30 second increments at a time until all melted.  I added in vegetable oil to thin my own a TINY bit.  This is optional.  Mix and pour over cereal.  Add in half of your sprinkles and stir until all of the cereal is coated.  Add in your cake mix and the rest of the sprinkles and toss again.  When all of the cake mix has been stirred in, place on a foil covered baking sheet.  Let sit for 30 minutes in a cool place.  Break up and store in a baggie or air tight container!

ENJOY and I hope it makes you feel as magical as a unicorn!

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Supreme Pizza Dip

You guys.  It is SO COLD outside right now!  It is actually -12 but feels -28 with windchill! Whaaat?  Why do I live here?! 

We all know weather that can freeze your face in one position in like 4 seconds means staying in and blogging!  I feel like I am getting my groove back!  Welcome to all of my new subscribers here AND on  YouTube!  i am grateful for each of you and can't wait to share more of everything with you!

Soooo.....the Super Bowl is this weekend.  I knew I would be keeping this post short because my precious Eagles will not be playing in it this year.  I don't want to talk about it, I don't want to accept it, but I DO want Super Bowl food.  I  mean, I might as well take away something positive from the season right?  I am.  The food.

This dip is hands down, the best hot dip of life.  There are so many ways to make it your own and I hope that you do!  If you make it tag me on Facebook or Instagram with #imachefwannabe.

Here we go.  I hope your favorite team wins.  I love you even though your favorite team is not mine.  I am not bitter, but boy am I ticked! HA!

You will need:
8 oz cream cheese
1/4 cup sour cream
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup pizza sauce
1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 lb  browned Italian sausage
1/2 cup mushrooms chopped
1/4 cup green bell pepper finely chopped
Red Pepper Flakes Optional
Garlic and Parmesan Pretzel Crisps, crostini, bread sticks (options for dipping)

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.  Combine cream cheese, sour cream and parm.  Spread into the bottom of a deep dish pie pan or something similar.  After you spread it evenly, add on pizza sauce.  Next comes the mozz cheese!  Let it rain!  Add on the rest of your toppings, and bake for 25-30 minutes.  Your life is about to change!

Now, I did not add a measurement of pepperoni, but just use how much you want!  These toppings can be changed to anything you want or love on your pizza!  There is going to be no bad combination!  (unless you are a pineapple on pizza person)  Sorry I just can't accept it, eat it or feel comfortable with it! HA!

ENJOY this for the big game, or anytime.  You guys, it is SO good!


Saturday, January 26, 2019

Cheesy Blushed Chicken

Happy Saturday!  We got a little more snow.  I don't care how much "little" it is, I don''t want anymore!  I want about 70 degrees and sunny.  Oh my gosh, THAT is what I want!

I hope this finds you all doing well.  Everyone eating well?  I hope so and I hope this recipe will have you eating even better in the very near future!

My husband has decided in the last few years, he doesn't love red sauce anymore.  Once in awhile, but not on the regular.  I, on the other hand, could eat it daily.  He loves a good blush sauce so I decided to go this direction and holy moly was it a hit!  He has asked for it twice in one week.  All that means is next time I make a double batch for lots of leftovers AND a freezer meal too!  This recipe will get you dinner on the table in about 20-30 minutes.  You can buy chicken cutlets (thin cuts) or just cut regular boneless skinless breasts in half width wise so you get 2 thin cutlets from each piece.  My recipe will call for 3-4 boneless chicken breasts, that is a full thickness as I cut my own.

Let's get to the recipe shall we??  I made a video on this recipe as well so I will link it.  Don't forget to hit SUBSCRIBE on my YouTube Channel!

You will need:

3-4 bonless skinless chicken breasts cut into 5-8 cutlets
Olive oil
slat and pepper
23 oz jar of pasta sauce or 3-4 cups of your own homemade
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Fresh Basil or Parsley

In a high sided skillet drizzle soe olive oil and turn on heat.  When the skillet has heated up place your well salt and peppered chicken in and brown each side.  No need to cook all the way through at this point.  Brown up all sides of all pieces and remove from the pan.

Pour in your marinara, heavy cream, and grated parm.  Stir to combine.  Place chicken back into your sauce and cover.  Simmer for 10-15 minutes until chicken is completely cooked through.

Serve over a pasta or your choice or rice and don't forget to sprinkle with basil or parsley!

Enjoy this easy, DELISH meal on a weeknight or to enterain your friends!

Sunday, December 16, 2018

Peggy''s Shortbread Cookies

Happy Sunday friends!

I am going to warn you this blog post will be fairly short.  There will be an update on my YouTube channel about my eyes, so make sure to watch for it.  They aren't cooperating to say the least.  I can't see well enough to do a very long post,  I am frustrated and it is especially hard when I had such huge amounts of family recipes planned for here and the YouTube channel.  If you aren't subscribed come join me!  There is more than cooking, there are tons of life stuff, crafts, etc.  There is pretty much nothing that is off limits there.  (Sounds questionable doesn't it?)ChefWannabe's Life

My sister Peggy is precious.  She and I have a special relationship and she is the baker of all bakers!  This woman is awesome in the kitchen!  She used to always be famous for her sugar cookies, now it is her shortbread cookies!  You can leave them plain, add chopped pecans to make them Pecan Sandies, or dip in chocolate, which is what I did!  I dipped ad drizzled!  I did chocolate on some and cherry on others!

Here is the recipe......

3/4 lb Softened butter (unsalted)
1 cup white sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
3 cups flour
1/ tsp salt

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. 
Mix all ingredients just until it holds together.  If you dough is a bit wet or sticky add another 1/ cup of flour.  
Roll out fairly thick and cut into whatever shapes you fancy and bake for 9-11 minutes! 

Remember shortbread cookies are supposed to be a bit crumbly and these are perfection!
You could also frost these with buttercream at Christmas and cut into shapes!

Oh the places these cookies will take you....!

ENJOY and thanks sissy!


Saturday, December 8, 2018

5 Cups of Something Cookies


It has been awhile you guys!  As most of you know I have undergone 2 eye surgeries in the last 6 weeks which have simply rendered me unable to cook or bake really at all until a couple of days ago.  It was the best feeling to be able to get in the kitchen and jut get away from life for awhile and bake  Christmas is coming and I had planed such a great barrage of cookie recipes from my family.  I am sorry this eye stuff all came up so suddenly but it is how it worked out and it had to be done.  Don't worry though, I will still get you some fun and very versatile recipes.

Speaking of versatile, this recipe is one of the most versatile I have seen.  My sister Peggy was in for a super quick visit recently and she brought me this recipe.  It is one she makes at the holidays and when I saw the recipe I knew immediately I had to make it and share it.  While I made this with ingredients of my choice, this would be a perfect recipe for your end of the baking train recipes.  You could use up whatever you have left on hand which makes complete sense to me and it will to you as well.

This is a base recipe and the you add 1 cup, of 6 more ingredients.  Genius!  The options you guys, endless.  ENDLESS! (Just on a side note, I am typing this entire thing with my eyes closed because it is easier than the blurriness of my vision right now.  I am just imagining the spell check is going to have to work in overdrive.)

I am going to give you some options for your "5 cups"....
I know you can come up with them on your own, but, you might not have thought of some of these!

cornflakes, rice krispies, coconut, chocolate chips, peanut butter chips, ay chips, M^M's, nuuts, peaut butter, oatmeal, cocoa kirspies, crushed up pretzels, mallow bits, golden get my point.

This is why I think it would be a great recipe to use up leftovers on.  All t hose odds and ends of what you have left from your other recipes.

Here we go!

1 cup shortening
1 cup white sugar
1 cup brow sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
5 cups of something else

Get your oven preheated to 350 degrees F.  Cream together shortening, sugars, eggs and vanilla.  Add flour, baking soda and salt, mic to combine.  Add your 5 cups of any combination of ingredients.

Drop by small scopp or teaspoons on greased cookie sheet or a cookie sheet lined with parchment and bake for 9-10 minutes.  Take them out and let them cool 10 minutes.  They will seem MAYBE under cooked but they aren't!  Trust me.  Let them cook and bacm, get a glass of milk and ejoy your Christmas tree!

I used sprinkles on some of mine to fight the "brown cookie syndrome".  I think this would easily be a non issue with red and green candies, etc.  Oh the possibilities!

I hope you are enjoying your holiday preperations!