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

Hello!!


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.)
ANYWAY.....

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 grahams....you 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!

BE JOYFUL!





Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Homemade Cannoli

Good Evening my friends!
This blog has been a little hard to get out to you.  As you know I also have a YouTube channel and this recipe is also going there.  What you also know is I am 2 weeks out of a cornea transplant.  I am only able to sit at the computer about 20 minutes at a time before I have to rest my eye.  However, since nobody has time for that kind of nonsense, I have my eye patch on and I am getting this out to you this evening come hell or high water!


 My daughter in law has literally been asking me to make these with her for 4 years.  Yes, seriously.  I don't know what caused me to dive into this 6 days out of surgery but I did.  It was a fun day spent together and the outcome was nothing short of heaven.  Jersey girls looking for real cannoli in the midwest doesn't usually work out so well for us.  No pudding, no custard.  The fakery must be stopped!  This filling is true sweetened ricotta, with a custard like base.  It is perfection.  Just the way we love them!


Use chocolate chips or don't.  Use dried pieces of fruit or don't.  Use pistachios, or don't.  These are your cannolis!  I like mine plain, but we did most with chocolate chips!  It isn't a hard process but it is a bit of a lengthy one.  You WILL NEED CANNOLI FORMS!  You can find them almost anywhere these days!

Shells:
2 cups Flour
2 TBSP Butter
2 TBSP Sugar (White Granulated)
2 TBSP Unsweetened Cocoa
1 TSP Cinnamon
1/2 cup Seltzer Water or Marsala Wine

(You can do this in a bowl with a fork or pastry cutter, but I am using my food processor)
In your food processor add, flour, butter, sugar, cocoa and cinnamon.  Pule until ingredients are in crumbs.  Add in seltzer water slowly, pulsiing until mixture is combined.  Your dough should be wet enough to hold together but not sticky.  If it is a little dry add a bit more water, if it is sticky add just a wee bit more flour, it is pretty forgiving that way.  Wrap dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes to rest.

Filling:
2 cups Milk
3/4 cup Cornstarch
2 cups Sugar
2 LBS Ricotta Cheese
2 Tsp Vanilla Extract
1-2 cups Mini Chocolate Chips

NOTE: This will make extra filling.  I will put a link at the end for a recipe to use it for, or freeze it for later cannoli making!
In a large pot add milk, cornstarch and sugar.  Slowly bring to a boil and stir constantly until thickened.  Transfer to a bowl and let sit, covered, in the refrigerator until COMPLETELY cooled!  When it is cooled, place mixture into the bowl of your stand mixer or use a hand mixer and add ricotta cheese and vanilla.  Mix until smooth and well combined.  I used the whisk attachment on mine for about 30 seconds at the end.  Place back in the refrigerator.

To make the shells, roll out your dough as thin as possible without it ripping.  Using a cookie cutter or glass, cut circles out of the dough.  Wrap around your cannoli forms and using an egg wash, brush the sides that lay on each other to seal your shell!  Continue with all of your dough or as with as many forms as you have.

Heat oil to 350 degrees and fry a few at a time until golden brown.  About 4-6 minutes.  Place on a paper towel lined cookie sheet, let sit for a couple of minutes and remove form.  You may need to use tongs, if they are still hot.  Make sure to let the shells cool completely to make sure they are as done and hardened as they should be (the first batch) so you can adjust if needed!

When all of your shells are fried and cooled, using a piping bag or food storage bag with the corner cut off to fill your cannolis!  Make sure to add a few chocolate chips to the ends so they can be seen!

ENJOY!
Buon Appetito!



SAVE THAT EXTRA FILLING!  Freeze it and use it for the holidays or later with this recipe!
Mini Cannoli Bites




Sunday, October 14, 2018

White Chocolate Pumpkin Nut Muffins

Hello my friends!

I am coming to you from my office, sitting at my desk with fluffy socks, leggings and a sweatshirt.  FALL HAS FALLEN!  At least I hope it has.  I mean, the heater isn't coming on anytime soon, but, it is supposed to freeze tonight I believe.  I would like to see more of the sun but I am grateful for what I get.




As most of you know, I go in Tuesday for a right eye cornea transplant.  I had intended to get more recipes out but the last couple of weeks have been filled with nerves, to do lists and did I mention, nerves?  It has been hard to concentrate but hopefully I will get a few ready for you to be able to post while I am down.



This recipe is one I started making last fall.  It is super easy, super, "Fall-ish", and super good, which is definitely the most important part!  We love muffins at our house and you will find a ton of muffin recipes on my website.  I will link to some others at the end!

Here is what you will need:
White Cake Mix
15 oz can of pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie mix)
1 tsp cinnamon (you can also use pumpkin pie spice)
1/2 cup white chocolate chips
1/2 cup nuts of your choice (I used slivered almonds, YUM)

Preheat oven to 350 F.  This recipe should yield about 16 muffins.  Line  your muffin tin with liners and set aside.
In a mixing bowl combine all ingredients and mix until combined.  You could use your stand mixer, but it is so easy to mix up quickly by hand, don't create the extra dishes for yourself!  Well, unless you want to!  You will get a thick batter.
Divide mixture into the muffin pan and bake for 25-30 minutes.  When a toothpick inserted comes out with no wet batter they are done.

Make sure to cut one in half while still warm and add a pat of butter and drizzle of honey!  I might be an expert on this particular muffin!

Enjoy my friends and thank you for stopping by!  Make sure to check out the video as well!


Other Muffin Recipes You Might Love!

Banana Crumble Muffins
BLueberries and Cream Crunch Muffins
Cranberry Almond Muffins
Chocolate Covered Cherry Muffins


Monday, September 17, 2018

Ricotta Cheese Stuffed Tomatoes

Happy End of Summer!  It is basically fall in my opinion.  I mean I finally broke out all my pumpkin decor the other day and with a complete "bite me summer" attitude I raised the pumpkin decor with pride and joy!


As we all know, the end of the summer means end of gardens.  Boo!  But those last few tomatoes, the last few of this and that all needs used up.  Waste not, want not, right?!  This recipe is perfect for those little tomatoes you don't want to bother canning.  Use these for a party, for a side dish, or little snacks for anything!

It is an easy recipe, and I did include a video.  Please don't forget to hit subscribe on my YouTube Channel here


Enjoy this easy recipe ad if you feel so inclined, make your own ricotta cheese using my recipe here!

This recipe will actually make 12-16 individual tomatoes.

Tomatoes
1/3 cup Ricotta Cheese
2 T. grated Parmesan Cheese
1/2 tsp Italian Seasoning
1/4 tsp Garlic Powder
1/8 tsp salt
up to 1tsp milk

Combine all ingredients except milk.  Add just enough milk to make filling the tomatoes easy.  Set aside.

Prepare your tomatoes by cutting a whole out of the middle.  Do not let it go clear to the bottom or your filling will run out.  If you want to use a clean finger or thumb an widen the area to be filled with cheese feel free.

Feel free to sprinkle some basil, red paper flakes, or salt on top before serving!


ENJOY


Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Updates, Social Media, And Unicorns Oh My!

Hello!  Hello!  Hello!

I decided since Facebook doesn't want to show my posts to everyone with me paying for it, I would try and get information to you this way!  We shall see!  If you want to follow me, keep up with me or enjoy my content here, and on YouTube please keep reading!


HERE: www.foodthoughtsofachefwannabe.com
I would love to have you follow my website directly.  On the right hand column you will see a section called "Followers".  Just click FOLLOW!  Nothing else involved.  You can also choose to get email updates of new posts. At the bottom of that column you will see "Follow By Email".  You will not get spam, you will only get notifications when I post a new blog/recipe post!

 
YOU TUBE: ChefWannabe's Life
I am LOVING making videos for you guys!  Recipes, hauls, my journey with eye disease, mental illness, and "Keepin' It Real" videos about life in general.  I craft, do DIY's, and home decor.  I would be more than honored to have you hit SUBSCRIBE  I post new video alerts on FB as well but, well you know how that goes.  Please always remember to give me a LIKE (thumbs up) and leave your comments, that really helps me so much!



INSTAGRAM: ftchefwannabe
This is where it is at these days!  You can find me at, ftchefwannabe.  Again, I would love to have you.  I am going to be doing ore live streams on Instagram, and would like to build my presence there as well.  Instagram is hot right now, so make sure to come find me!



PINTErEST:ftoacw
I don't think I need to explain the awesomeness of Pinterest, do I?  Follow my different boards, including a board of just my YouTube videos as well!




FACEBOOKFoodThoughtsOfaChefWannabe
This is my original social media website!  So long ago!  Make sure to hover your mouse over the FOLLOWING box under the banner, and hit SEE FIRST to make sure to always see my posts.  Do it for any page you enjoy that you don't see often enough!  Thank you for your interaction there as well!

OK friends, it is time for me to go get prepped to film a new video and write a new blog post for you.  I want you to know I still do this blog and recipes because I love it, but the truth of the matter is, it isn't enough.  Social media is a must and I have fallen in love with YouTube and the interaction I get with you all there too!

I would be so grateful if you would share this post, or any of my links, share my YT channel to friends who might enjoy them!  I am so grateful for the friendships, the support, and the fulfillment I get from having each one of you in my life and part of my Chefwannabe Family!
DO NOT FORGET:  EVERY. SINGLE. WEDNESDAY. 
 I do a live stream video on my YouTube Channel.  We talk about EVERYTHING!  Join us!  
8pm CST  
Pacific Time: 6pm
Mountain: 7pm
Eastern: 9pm

With this all being said, I wish you a great day, and abundant blessings always!

 

Saturday, September 1, 2018

Homemade Tapioca Pudding

Happy last day of August!

I imagine many of you have sent children, grandchildren, neighborhood children all back to school or are about to.  While it was an uneventful summer for us, that is OK, I would take uneventful over risking bad events any day!  I hope you all enjoyed the season of sun and fun!!


 If you are like me, you are ready for fall, and you are ready to hit it hard!  Along with that, for me anyway, comes being back in the kitchen making more homemade foods.  I find in the summer I do a lot of "cheating" because it is just to hot to be in the kitchen!

My husband was asking for homemade tapioca pudding so I threw this video in as well for you visual people!  (Don't forget to SUBSCRIBE to my YouTube Channel!)

Without further adieu, let's get to this delicious homemade pudding! 

1/2 cup small tapioca pearls
1 cup water

4 cups milk
3/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 T vanilla extract

PRESOAK your tapioca pearl in a bowl of water.  Let sit 6-8 hours.

In a cold saucepan, add in DRAINED tapioca pearls, milk, and sugar.  Mix to combine.  Over medium heat, bring to a simmer and simmer until the pearls are soft.  It can take anywhere from 15-30 minutes.  It depends on the size of pearls you are using, and how long it takes them to soften the rest of the way!  Stick with it and stir often!  NO BOILING just a nice simmer.

Whisk eggs in a separate bowl.  Add in a ladle of hot tapioca mixture to temper the eggs.  mix together and add one more ladle to bring the temperature of the eggs up so when you add them to the pudding mixture they won't scramble.  When that is accomplished add back into the pudding mixture and simmer another 3-5 minutes, until the pudding mixture separates on the back of a spoon or close to it.  Add in vanilla, mix it in completely, pour into a bowl and either serve warm or chilled!

ENJOY this delicious treat!  In fact, send it to school in your children's lunches!  YUM!


Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Triple Decker Toffee Bars!

Happy August!

Can someone tell me where the summer went?  I mean, I am not complaining, BUT, it just went so fast.  It is that "going by so fast" thing again my mother warned me about.  I say it all the time but it is so true


This recipe started out with an overabundance of Club Crackers.  When I see stuff on a ridiculous sale, I buy multiples.  My husband loves club crackers, grandlittles do to, we have company, we do cheese and crackers, etc....but I still had like 4 boxes.  My husband asked for Graham Cracker Toffee Crunch, but I needed to use CLUB crackers not GRAHAM.  


I called my trustee recipe queen sister and she had this recipe.  So wherever it came from......the Simmermans thank you!  This is super easy and keeps for well over a week.  I might cut down on the chocolate next time or just drizzle it on.  This would be great any time of year.  What if you made this, and then use it as a cheesecake crust and........(faints)  be looking for that recipe soon. HA!

This is pretty easy, just watch little ones with the hot caramel if they are helping please!

You will need:
Club Cracker (entire box)
1 can condensed milk
1/4 regular milk
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup Butter
1 tsp Vanilla

Line a 9x13 pan with foil.  I sprayed mine as well with nonstick cooking spray. Line the bottom with a single layer of club crackers, it might take 28-32 crackers.  Set aside and head over to the stove!
In a medium saucepan, combine, condense milk, regular milk, brown sugar and butter.  Heat until brown sugar is dissolved and mixture begins to boil  Boil for 5 minutes and then remove from heat. Stir that baby constantly!  You know the second you don't.....BAM....burned! After you remove it from heat, add the vanilla and stir!

Now pour 1/3 of the mixture over the crackers.  Use a spatula to make sure it is spread evenly.  Add another layer of crackers and half the mixture on top.  Are you with me?  Last layer of crackers and the rest of the caramel!

Melt the chocolate chips in the micro, 30 seconds at a time until melted and pour over the top or drizzle heavily.  Refrigerate until set and cut and serve!

Hope you enjoy this easy treat!


Monday, July 9, 2018

Slow Cooker Mac and Cheese

Now this is a recipe worth waiting for.  We have gained 5 lbs each because I have tested this far to many times!  But I am proud to say, my loathe of the slow cooker phenomenon has slowly turned into a "like" relationship!


For so long a fought the slow cooker trend.  Everything I had, that was cooked in it was like mush, over cooked, or "falling apart" which isn't my favorite way to eat meat.  I used mine to keep chili and meatballs warm on football Sundays!  That was the extent of our relationship.  I slowly in the last year of worked through some of my issues with the slow cooker and maybe have actually enjoyed a few things made in it.  I still don't get the recipes that made you brown or sear meat or do other things first and then put them in the Crock Pot so I steer away from that kind of nonsense.  I mean if you are making things easy, why dirty 3 pots and pans and go through 5 steps before even getting it into the pot?  Yea, not for me. Some people make this with already cooked macaroni.....WHAT?  I don't want mush!


So here is my recipe, I hope you enjoy it.  As long as you mix the liquids first, you can do it all INSIDE "Crocky" and then anticipate the goodness that is to come!

3 cups milk
15 oz can of cheddar cheese soup/sauce
1/4 tsp yellow mustard
1/4 tsp salt
pepper to taste
3 cups UNCOOKED macaroni
8 oz. shredded mild cheddar cheese
1/2 cup butter, chunked up for the top

Whisk the first 5 ingredients together inside your slow cooker.  Add in macaroni and cheese and stir  to combine.  Chuck up your butter and lay it all over the top.  Stir again.  Now set your slow cooker on low for 2.5 hours.  It will be perfect!  I promise!

ENJOY!  We sure have a couple or 4 times!  HEY, don't judge.  It had to be perfect!

Come SUBSCRIBE to my YouTube Channel here!


Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Fire Crackers!

Happy almost 4th of July my fellow Americans!  I hope you are celebrating safely, responsibly and abundantly!


I wanted to make sure and get this recipe out to you before the holiday.  The day before.....WINNING!  These are one of our favorites, right alongside a cold beer, or any cold drink but, let's face it, a cold beer, spicy crackers.....yes please.  There are lots of times I need a quick snack for company, or a get together and these are always a quick and easy crowd pleaser

You can adjust the heat to your taste.  They are called "fire crackers" for a reason though!  You are going to think a sparkler went off in your mouth, which will require the cold beer to or drink to put out the flames.  I have you covered, the fire, the water.  I am basically the whole package.


Here we go, make sure to adjust the heat to what you like but the recipe is written as I made it for us!  I use a Cajun spice.  Any one of your choice will work!

PS.  Don't make just one batch, double it up while you have everything out!

9-12 oz bag of oyster crackers
1/4 cup vegetable or canola oil
5 T melted butter
1 packet dry ranch seasoning mix
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp Cajun seasoning
1/2 tsp parsley flakes

Preheat your oven to 275 degrees F.  You will need a large cookie sheet.  In a large bowl, melt your butter completely.  Add in oil, followed by all of your seasonings.  Mix to combine.  Add in oyster crackers and carefully stir them until they are all completely covered in the seasoning mixture!
Pour on to a cookie sheet and spread out into a single layer.  Bake for 15-25 minutes.  Stir at about 10 minutes and then let it go until they have absorbed the butter/oil/seasoning mixture.  When they are done, remove, stir again, and let sit for 10 minutes.  Pour into a bowl and snack away!  Keep in a Ziploc for freshness!

ENJOY and HAPPY BIRTHDAY AMERICA!


Sunday, May 20, 2018

Mini Chicken Pot Pies

Hello friends!  Happy almost summer!  Who has vacations planned?  Who loves working in their yard?  Who is a sun worshiper?


I admittedly don't LOVE summer.  I  love Spring, but heat, sweat, and sunburns, nah, not so fun for me!  No worries my house will feel like winter because that is how we like it and everyone who comes over will need a blanket or sweatshirt!  Makes me giggle.

If you watch my YouTube videos, you know that I am wearing my glasses for right now so I am not doing as much recipe writing and testing as usual.  I am waiting for a rescheduled appt, to get my new contacts, they are special orders and take almost 3 weeks to arrive.  UGH.  SO, my husband came bee-bopping in from work last weekend and wanted to make mini chicken pot pies.  I suggested we film it and it ended being an all day venture that was so worth it, but my husband....is a ham when I turn that camera on!

As far as the videos, they will be split into three parts.
1.  The Filling
2.  The Pie Crust
3.  The Pot Pies

So many of you have commented through the years that you have such a hard time with pie crust. I will show you how easy mine is and how perfect and flaky it is!  No secrets, you don't have to make it will standing on your hands.  The planets don't have to be in perfect alignment either.  You will see!

So let's get started on this filling of my hubby's.  If you love the Marie Callender Pot Pies, these are going to be your jam,only BETTER!

Please feel free, in fact I encourage you to add more veggies.  Perhaps 1 cup of green beans, a couple small potatoes cubed up if you want.  My husband is apparently since birth, allergic to all vegetables.  (insert sarcastic eye roll here).  Broccoli would be good as well as celery.  How did a veggie lover marry a veggie hater?  This may be our final straw. LOL

This will make about 12 mini pies.  You can double the pie crust or do what we did.  Divide the remaining filling into 2 freezer bags.  One of them we turned into a cheesy sauce, added egg noodles, and butter bread crumbs on top and that was a dinner for 2 nights with a salad.  The last bag, we thinned down, added extra veggies and made a fantastic creamy chicken and veggie soup!

You will need 1 recipe of my pie dough which is in this blog post:
 Basic Pie Crust

Here we go!
2 T butter
1.5 lbs of chicken cut into small pieces
salt and pepper to taste  (you will be adding bouillon cubes later so let up on the salt now!)

In a large skillet, melt butter and add in chicken.  Season to taste and cook until fully done.  Drain chicken, and set aside for later.

In a large pot....

1 stick or 1/2 cup butter
1 cup flour
6-8 cups of milk
4 bouillon cubes (I use only Knorr)
1-2 cups frozen mixed veggies of you choice
Optional: 1 large potato cut into a small dice. Onion finely minced, Celery, Green Beans.
My husband has a grudge against veggies so we just used frozen peas and carrots!

Melt the butter in your pot, add in flour and cook for one minute while stirring.  Add in your milk, start with 6 cups, it may be all you need, you want a thick consistency.  After about 5 minutes, add in your chicken bouillon cubes.  Stir until they are dissolved.  Add in chicken, and veggies and stir.
Refrigerate for at least 1 hour before making the pot pies.  You want this to chill and become fairly firm, it helps the small pies not overflow, and give it a fabulous hearty texture.

Using cookie cutters or the top of a glass, find 2 that are just a bit different in shape.  The smaller for the bottom of your muffin tin, and the larger for the top!  Spray your muffin tin with nonstick spray or brush with butter and get all of them lined with pie dough.  Using a cookie scoop, fill each one and then place a top on.  Try to get the top to stick to the top of the bottom crust to seal it!  Use an egg wash (1 egg+splash of water) to brush the tops.

Bake at 350, for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown!

ENJOY!





Monday, April 23, 2018

Banana Cream Poke Cake

Happy Spring!  I mean, happy "Calendar Spring" but still winter!  We had 2 inches of snow, but don't worry, it was 72 the next day.  If, in fact you were missing the snow it is OK, it snowed again 2 days later and we followed that up with some thunderstorms.  I mean, SERIOUSLY?  Mother Nature is like a mom, laying on the bed, grunting and groaning, twisting and shaking trying to get a pair of skinny jeans on from last year.  Ain't happening girl.  I just want Spring.  I just want thunderstorms, and sun, and flowers popping out of the ground and to put my patio together.  Is that SO much to ask when in fact, it is supposed to be Spring?

I digress..


I hope you all had a blessed Easter!  I cooked a feast, as usual, I needed about 10 more people to eat according the amount of food I made.  I just have this issue, I would rather way over cook and have days of leftovers, than to have someone walk away from my table still hungry.  No, it isn't going to happen.  However this year, I decided to stick with one dessert.  "Banana something" was requested.  I wanted easy, because as it happened, I was up hurling my guts out the entire night before Easter.  To much information?  Sorry.  I had no energy so, thankfully we were eating late and I could cook and rest and cook and rest.  Mom power is amazing.

This was an easy recipe I came up with, to satisfy the "banana something" request and still make it a little special for Easter!  I hope you love it!

1 yellow cake mix, prepared according to package direction.....
1 tsp baking sofa
3 mashed bananas (if bananas aren't ripe, microwave them until soft, then mash!)
1 tsp banana extract (can use vanilla instead)

Prepare your yellow cake mix as directed.  In another bowl, mash bananas and baking soda together.  Add into the cake mix and add your extract.  Mix to completely combine.

Spray a 9x13 cake pan with nonstick cooking spray.  DO NOT PREHEAT YOUR OVEN!

Place cake in the oven and then turn oven on to 350 degrees F.   Bake at 350 F, for approximately 1 hour.  Let cake cool completely before moving on to the next step.

Poke holes in your cake.  I used the hand of a wooden spoon to make large holes for the thicker pudding!

2, 3.4 oz boxes banana pudding
milk

Prepare according to package directions and pour over entire cake, covering the entire top!  It will likely settle on top a bit, but that is a good thing!  Refrigerate for 1 hour!

Frosting:

7 oz container of Marshmallow Fluff
8 oz container whipped topping
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Chocolate Jimmies or Nuts of your choice for the top!

Whip together all ingredients except sprinkles.  Whip until fluffy and completely combined.  Frost cake and add sprinkles or nuts of your choice!  Refrigerate until ready to serve and keep refrigerated after!

ENJOY!




Friday, March 23, 2018

Sweet Heat Chili

WARNING!  WARNING!  WARNING!
NO BEANS WERE CONSUMED IN THE MAKING OF THIS CHILI!

How long have I been blogging now and I have never shared my recipe for chili?  Everyone it seems has their "famous" chili recipe or "makes the best chili".  Well, yeah.....that has never been an issue for me.  It has taken me years to perfect how we like our chili.  Even then, it was sometimes not the same as the last time.   No consistency, always a crap shoot.  I finally nailed it down, wrote it down, and got it right, for GOOD!


This is a sweat chili with a good amount of heat.  Heat, as always, can be adjusted to your preference.  The sweet isn't overwhelming but definitely there.  I worked my sweetness so many ways sugar, honey, agave, and you know, nothing does it like the corn syrup.  So there you go.  If you happen to go a little over the amount on the recipe, no worries, just makes it better!  My husband will add in a couple of Thai chilies to his, but, that is how he rolls.

Let me get you started, to me, in this recipe, the order of the ingredients seems important.  I don't know why, please don't ask, because I have no sane explanation, it just seems that way!

2 lbs ground beef
1 lb ground Italian sausage (hot or mild)
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes (adjust to your taste)
1 can tomato soup
i can petite diced tomatoes1
1 tsp onion powder
3 tsp cumin
1 T chili powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
2 T light corn syrup

Brown your ground meats.  If it renders a lot of fat, drain it, if not, no worries.  And in your red pepper flakes.  Let cook for a minute while stirring.  Wake those babies up!  Add in soup, diced tomatoes, onion powder, cumin, chili powder, salt, and black pepper.   Stir to combine and let simmer for abut 15 minutes.  Add in light corn syrup, and make those tablespoons heaping!  Adjust to your taste adding more if you want.  Stir and simmer on low for another 30 minutes.

If you are using a slow cooker, just put your browned meet and peppers in the slow cooker, add all other ingredients except corn syrup.  Cook on low for 4 hours, and add corn syrup in about 30 minutes before serving.

Obviously you can adjust the sweet or heat to your taste, this is how we do it, and sometimes end up adding more heat to individual bowls.  Don't forget the cheddar cheese on top!

PS.  If you prefer a thinner chili, please feel free to add water or beef stock!If you groove on beans, (erp) add those too!

ENJOY!



Saturday, February 24, 2018

Long John Silvers Copycat Batter Dipped Chicken

Hey all!  Long time no see  Admittedly I have been working on filming recipes from old blogs for my YouTube channel and it has been awhile since I have posted a new recipe.  I am back with a GOOOOOD one!  I would love to have you SUBSCRIBE to my channel linked here.


I have been making a copycat of Long John Silvers Chicken for years.  I make it a couple of times a year, so not tons of opportunity to perfect it as much as I wanted.  Well, I decided to the other night, and boy, did I hit it.  At least in OUR opinion I did!  Part of the key to getting that crunch is letting it cool on a cooling rack, and not sitting on paper towels, although it won't make a ton of difference, one side just won't be as crispy.

When I sliced my chicken (I did it the short way because I used my fryer) I cut it in about 
1/2 thick slices.  After my first batch, I went thinner.  You don't want to have to worry about if the chicken is done all the way through before your batter is to dark.  So I recommend below to go for 1/4 inch thick pieces.  These are absolutely addictive and PLEASE do this with some cod, or shrimp too!

If you normally bread when you fry something, I challenge you to batter!  One thing I went easy on was salt, you can always salt it when it comes out of the fryer, but I like everyone to choose their own level of salt and there will be some in your seasoned salt.   Make sure your garlic and onion are POWDERS not salts!


Here we go!

3/4 cup all purpose flour
2 tsp corn starch
1 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp all purpose season salt (pick your favorite)
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp salt (optional, you can also salt them after you take them out of the fryer)
1 cup water

3 large chicken breasts thawed and cut into1/4 inch strips.  My fryer is small so I did it the short way instead of the long way.  If you are using a large pot, do it the long way.  Tomato.  Tomahto.

Combine all ingredients in a bowl big enough to hold it and the chicken.  After slicing the chicken add it to the batter and using a fork just get all the chicken covered.



Heat your oil to 350 degrees F.  Drop about 4 pieces in at a time, don't let it stick to the bottom, and let fry until golden brown.  You MAY want to check for doneness by pulling one piece out when you think they are done and cutting it in half to gauge the rest of your batches.  Mine took 5-7 minutes per batch.  As long as you don't cut your chicken to thick, they should be done as soon as the batter coating is a nice deep golden brown!


Place on to a paper towel lined cookie sheet with a cooling rack on top.  That will allow all sides to crisp even more as it cools.

Dare I say you even get the the crispy bits of batter that are so generously placed in your container of chicken or fish?  Which reminds me, do this with fish too!  Get some cod fillets and go for it! Or shrimp, YES shrimp too!

Enjoy my friends!




Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Pineapple Cream Cheese

Once upon a time, when I was young, carefree, and fun.... (HAHA)  I worked for Dana, my dear friend who owned a coffee house in my small town.  After mastering the art of coffee, I mastered the goodness of pineapple cream cheese on blueberry bagels.  If you have never tried it, please do.  This recipe is supper easy, and with the little bite and texture of pineapple I think it is absolutely amazing.  It is one of my favorite treats, on its best day ever!


Make sure to save your drained pineapple juice, mix it with orange juice or drink it alone or use it in something!  In the video, I used 2 TBSP of powdered sugar but you can use up to 4.  I tend to go with 4, but I used 2, and it was really plenty to be honest.

I have been making this for a little while, but had to nail it down to a recipe of proper measurements.  That completely stresses me out!  I do it because I LOVE YA!


I think this would be a perfect make ahead spread for bagels for a brunch or breakfast, or anytime really.  I imagine some graham cracker sticks or Vanilla Wafers might like to jump into this bowl of goodness and then into your mouth too!

Here we go!

1- 8oz pkg cream cheese
1/2 cup drained, crushed pineapple
2-4 T powdered sugar (icing sugar, confectioners sugar)
1 tsp vanilla extract

Throw it all in a bowl and using a hand mixer, let her rip.  I like to whip this on high for at least 1 minutes to incorporate some air to keep it spreadable for a long time!  Refrigerate whatever you don't use....as if.....and finish it at night when everyone else is sleeping.

ENJOY!