Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Baked Sweet & Sour Chicken

I have a soft spot for Chinese. Unfortunately my husband does not share that soft spot. I've been craving Chinese for a while and I haven't been able to con anyone into going and eating with me.

So my plan attack goes something like this. Find a recipe online, attempt new recipe, don't tell husband it's anything to do with Chinese and see how it goes.

It went great!! He was a little skeptical when he looked at it. I forced him to try it because at this point he figured out it was Chinese. He tried and it and even liked it! I was a happy camper as after a while there is so only so many meat and potato dishes you can come up with.

This recipe does take a little bit of time so be aware of that! It's perfect served with Fried Rice!

Baked Sweet & Sour Chicken
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2 lbs boneless chicken breasts
salt + pepper
3/4 cup cornstarch
3 eggs, beaten
1/4 cup canola oil
3/4 cup sugar
4 tbs ketchup
1/2 cup vinegar
1 tbs soy sauce
1 tsp garlic salt

1. Preheat your oven to 325 degrees. 

2. Rinse chicken breasts and pat dry. Cut chicken into chunks. Mix salt and pepper with cornstarch in small bowl. Dip chicken into the cornstarch mixture to coat. Then dip into the eggs. 

3. Heat your 1/4 c. oil in large skillet. Cook chicken until browned, but not cooked through. Place chicken in greased 9x13 in. baking dish.

4.  Whisk sugar, ketchup, vinegar, soy sauce and garlic salt together in bowl. Pour over chicken and toss to coat. Bake for one hour. Stir mixture every fifteen minutes while baking. 

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Monday, February 27, 2012

Monte Cristo Sandwich

The Monte Cristo Sandwich is one of my favorites when I go to a restaurant and they have it on the menu. When I saw this recipe over at Plain Chicken I knew I had to try it out.

I love that it's super simple and comes together for a quick lunch on a weekend. The hubby got all excited when he saw the recipe sitting on the counter to try out!

If you are looking for a quick lunch or supper this won't dissappoint!

Monte Cristo Sandwich
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Honey mustard
8 slices country bread
Swiss cheese slices
Honey-Baked Ham
4 large eggs
1/2 cup milk
1/4 tsp pepper
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
4 Tbsp butter

1. Spread mustard on bread. Layer 4 bread slices with Swiss cheese, ham, and cheese again. Place remaining bread slices on top.

2. In a pie plate, whisk together eggs, milk, salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Dip each sandwich in the egg mixture, turning to coat well.

3. In a large skillet, melt half the butter over medium-low heat. When butter is foamy, add two sandwiches, and cook, turning once, until golden brown on both sides, 6 to 8 minutes total. Repeat with remaining sandwiches. Serve immediately.

*Next time I'm going to try this on the panini grill and see how that goes!

Recipe from: Plain Chicken

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Friday, February 24, 2012

Cheesy Wild Rice Soup

There is nothing like soup on cold winter days. It warms you from the inside out. There's nothing better than a crock-pot soup recipe so it's waiting to greet you after work on a weeknight in my opinion! I hate coming home and wondering what I'm going to make. Sure I try to do the whole menu planning but I'm driven by emotions and sometimes it's hard to tell what I'm going to feel like making four days in advance so it's always changing. I would say it's a rough draft of menu ideas for the week!

My hubby loves wild rice soup. When my mom asked us out for supper one night she said she was going to make this soup. She informed me I had it before and liked it but I couldn't remember. The hubby loved it and I made sure to get the recipe and it's become a staple in our house ever since!

I served these with my Ham, Cheese & Poppyseed Sandwiches. I'd been craving for these a couple weeks so it rounded out these simply and easy supper perfectly!!

*I'm sorry about the terrible picture. It doesn't do it justice, but I can not take a good picture of soup!!!

Cheesy Wild Rice Soup
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1 can cream of celery soup
1 can cream of potato soup
4 c. milk
1 jar cheese whiz (15 oz)
2 cans wild rice, drained
Bacon bits

1. Mix above ingredients in crock pot and put on low ~ The longer it cooks the better the flavor!


Wednesday, February 22, 2012

English Muffin Bread

When I found this recipe on Pinterest I was immediately dying to try it. Bread usually scares me because it calls for a certain temperature of liquids and the yeast just makes me nervous, but this one looked so simple I knew I could handle it and so can you!

I made this recipe on Friday and took a couple loaves out to my mom's for coffee the next morning since I had to steal her loaf pans to make it as I needed four and only have two. I'll be investing in two more trust me!

My brother's girlfriend was at mom's and we were all sitting at the kitchen table sipping our coffee and eating toast...sounds like the perfect little family on the farm doesn't it? Don't worry there was tons of good natured ribbing going on around the table too! Anyways back to the bro's girlfriend. She looks at me and her eyes light up and she exclaims you so found this on Pinterest didn't you? I started giggling and said yup you must have found my pin. So glad someone else can join me in my pinterest addiction!

This bread is so simple and easy plus it makes your home smell like a million bucks. It makes wonderful toast especially smothered with my mom's homemade Strawberry Rhubarb jam. The hubby is waiting to make some eggs and sausage with it. He was super excited about this prospect!

English Muffin Bread
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5 1/2 cups warm water
3 packages yeast
2 Tablespoons salt
3 Tablespoons sugar
11 cups all-purpose flour
Butter, melted

1. Mix all the ingredients together. Don't over mix. There will be some lumps and the dough will be sticky. This is ok! Then spoon into 4 well greased loaf pans.

2. Let the dough rise in the pans until it reaches the top of the pan. This will take about a hour.

3. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes. Ten minutes before the bread is done take it out of the oven and brush melted butter on the top of the loaves. Bake the remaining 10 minutes until it's golden brown on top.

4. Allow to cool completely before cutting. If you don't you'll have a crumbly mess!

Recipe from: One Good Thing

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Monday, February 20, 2012

Lemon Crinkle Cookies

As I was making these I was dreaming of the cabin, the lake, sunbathing, a gentle breezy blowing my hair....

And then I realized I was in Minnesota and it's the middle of February. Depressing. This cookie tastes like summer. It makes me want summer. Why do I live in Minnesota?

It's time for another Secret Recipe Club reveal date! And this little recipe is the lucky one I choose. It's from the lovely blog Authentic Suburban Gourmet. She has a ton of yummy recipes and quite the variety, but when I was scrolling down her home page and found these Lemon Crinkle Cookies I knew I need not look any farther. They were calling my name.

I was doubtful that my hubby would like these and I didn't think he was a lemon fan. He got all excited when he walked in the door to me making this dough. He was disappointed when I told him that he probably wouldn't like them. Then he had to test a little dough...he got a huge grin on his face and said they taste just like orange sherbet but lemon sherbet if they made that...ya know Julie ... ya know? Then after they came out of the oven he couldn't stop shoving them in his mouth. SUCCESS!

Lemon Crinkle Cookies
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½ cups Butter, softened
1 C. Sugar
1 t. Vanilla Extract
1 Egg
1 T. Lemon Zest
1 T. Fresh Lemon Juice
¼ t. Salt
¼ t. Baking Powder
⅛ t. Baking Soda
1 ½ C. Flour
½ C. Powdered Sugar

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease light colored baking sheets with non stick cooking spray and set aside.

2. In a stand mixer, cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Whip in vanilla, egg, lemon zest and juice. Scrape sides and mix again. Stir in all dry ingredients slowly until just combined, excluding the powdered sugar. Scrape sides of bowl and mix again briefly. Pour powdered sugar into a medium bowl. Roll a heaping teaspoon of dough into a ball and roll in powdered sugar. Place on baking sheet and press lightly to flatten slightly and repeat with remaining dough.

3. Bake for 9-11 minutes or until bottoms begin to barely brown and cookies look matte {not melty or shiny}. I found 10 minutes was perfect. Remove from oven and cool cookies about 3 minutes before transferring to cooling rack.

Makes between 2 and 3 dozen cookies depending on the size. Highly recommend doubling this recipe!

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Friday, February 17, 2012

Homemade Crunchwrap

Guess where I found this?????

You bet! PINTEREST!!!

Do you think there is a job where you could just try everything you find on Pinterest and get paid? If there is you guys need to spill now because I'd sign up in a heartbeat. Seriously. As much as I love Pinterest it seems to be going to my hips. So it's kind of a like a love hate relationship.

Does anyone else find this? Oh yummy food, yummy dessert, oh I have got to make mouth is drooling...but there's that pesky "pin" on exercising. Who pins exercises? I hate you. You make me feel guilty. So now I've started a "Healthified" pin board and an "Exercise" pinboard. Nope haven't tried anything I've pinned to either of those!!

This yummy spectacular recipe did not come from my "Healthified" board. Sorry to disappoint you. It is awesome and amazing and super duper simply, which we all love right? The trickiest part is folding the dang thing and grilling it. Trust me it's not that tricky so don't worry!

Homemade Crunchwrap
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1 lb ground hamburgers
1 packet taco seasoning
1/3 c. water
Sour cream
Shredded Cheese
Tortilla chips, crushed
4 Large burrito shells

1. Brown ground beef in skillet, drain grease. Add taco seasoning and water. Simmer until water is absorbed about 3-5 minutes.

2. Microwave tortillas for a few seconds so they are easy to work with. Take a tortilla, spread sour cream in the center. Top with ground beef. Top with shredded cheese and tortilla chips. Fold the tortilla toward the center, continue all the way around until it is all folded over.

3. Carefully set folded side down on griddle or frying pan. Fry for a couple minutes on both sides until the tortilla is golden brown.

4. Serve with lettuce, tomatoes etc on the side.

Recipe adapted from: Full Bellies Make Happy Kids


Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Strawberry & Cream Butter Cookie

The other day I was combing my Pinterest Boards looking for a new dessert to make. I found these little cookies again and knew that I had a Strawberry Cake mix at home calling my name.

This cookie is super moist, fluffy, and yummy and a special treat instead of more chocolate again! I mean seriously does anyone complain about more chocolate? I think not, but in case you do here's a different twist on a cookie!

I thought these cookies were even better a few days old. I mean a cookie that gets better with age? What is not to love about that? I'd like to think they are just like me...getting better with age! Plus this recipe comes from the fabulous Megan over at Country Cleaver. If you haven't checked out her blog I highly recommend it. It's awesome plus she's a sweetie!

 Strawberry & Cream Butter Cookie
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1 package Strawberry Cake Mix
1 package cream cheese (8 oz), softened
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 c. butter, softened
1/2 c. powdered sugar

1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.

2. In a bowl beat the cream cheese and butter until smooth. Beat in the egg then the vanilla extract. Then add the cake mix and mix.

3. Cover bowl and refrigerated 2 hours.

4. Take one inch balls of batter and roll them in the powdered sugar. Place on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 12-14 minutes. The bottoms will be lightly golden brown when done.

Recipe from: Country Cleaver

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Monday, February 13, 2012

Sweet 'n' Sour Meatballs

I've been craving these guys since my Aunt Pam made them for our Christmas. I kept bugging my mom to get the recipe and low and behold I found out it came from one of my favorite church cookbooks and I had it the whole time!

They are absolutely amazing. I think I'm in love. I don't know how to put it any other way.

This recipes makes quite a few so make sure you have a crowd around, but if you don't no worries, they are delicious at leftovers too. We definitely didn't have any trouble polishing these off! I made about 24 meatballs with the recipe but if you wanted you could make them littler and get more meatballs. They can either be used for an appetizer or a main dish!

Sweet 'n' Sour Meatballs
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13 oz evaporated milk
3 lb ground beef
2 c. oatmeal
1 c. chopped onions
2 eggs
2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp pepper
2 Tbsp chili powder

3 c. ketchup
2 1/4 c. brown sugar
1 c. chopped onion
3 Tbsp liquid smoke
1 tsp garlic powder

1. Mix all ingredients for meatballs together. Form meatballs and place in 2-9x13 inch glass baking dish.

2. Mix sauce and pour over the meatballs.

3. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour.

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Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Cinnamon Sugar Bread

I'm all about the cravings lately. I've been craving Banana Bread lately. I didn't have any bananas thawed out or sitting on the counter so instead I whipped this bread up.

It was delicious. It didn't replace my craving but I may have found a new craving! I'm still going to have to make the banana bread sometime soon because the crave just is not leaving me.

This bread is super easy to mix up and stick in the oven. The worst part is waiting the 45 minutes for it to bake! The hubby loved this slathered in butter. It's a bit crumbly if you eat it right away but the next day it's nice and firm and easy to cut. I'm not going to lie. I'll take crumbly so I can eat it straight out of the oven!

Cinnamon Sugar Bread
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1/3 c. white sugar
2 tsp ground cinnamon
2 c. all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 c. white sugar
1 egg
1 c. milk
1/3 c. vegetable oil
Extra cinnamon and sugar for top

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 9x5 loaf pan.

2. In a large bowl combine flour, baking powder, salt and 1 c. sugar. Add egg, milk and oil to flour mixture. Mix until just moistened.

3. Pour half of batter into pan. Sprinkle with cinnamon and 1/3 c. sugar. Cover with remaining batter. Sprinkle with a little more cinnamon and sugar.

4. Bake for 45 minutes or until it tests done. Let cool in pan for 10 minutes and then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.


Monday, February 6, 2012

Hearty Chili Mac

There is nothing better on a cold, blustery MN day then coming home to a warm bowl of soup in my mind. We may have lucked out so far this winter and had very few of these days, but I assure you they will make their appearance.

The hubby and I both loved this Chili. I liked the addition of pasta to it because you can never have to much pasta in my life! It's thick and yummy. If you like a little more bite to your chili feel free to add more chili powder.

Hearty Chili Mac
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2 lbs ground beef
1 medium onion, chopped
1 can (46 oz) tomato juice
1 can (28 oz) diced tomatoes, undrained
3 celery ribs, chopped
3 Tbsp brown sugar
2 Tbsp chili powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp prepared mustard
1/4 tsp pepper
1 can (16 oz) kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 c. uncooked elbow macaroni

1. Cook beef and onion over medium heat until meat is no longer pink; drain. Stir in the tomato juice, tomatoes, celery, brown sugar, chili powder, salt, mustard and pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered for hour, stirring occasionally.

2. Add the beans and macaroni, simmer 15-20 minutes longer or until macaroni is tender.

*I browned the hamburger and onions then combined everything but the macaroni in a crock pot and left it on low all day long. I added the macaroni and turned it to high for one hour.

Recipe adapted from: Taste of Home


Friday, February 3, 2012

White Chocolate Reese's Peanut Butter Blossoms

Wow that was a mouth full for a recipe title wasn't it?

And yes I know I got off my "dessert" kick for a whopping one recipe! Why ruin a good thing that you have going on? Back to desserts I go...

This recipe caught my eye because it has WHITE chocolate and for some reason I can eat white chocolate, but I get sick from dark chocolate. I knew these little babies were calling my name. I even had a bag of these White Chocolate Reese's Cups tucked away in the pantry. Meant to be right??

I was not disappointed. These cookies were yummy and stayed nice and soft, which in my book is a must. I'm just not a fan of hard cookies, well, unless they are Oreos!

White Chocolate Reese's Peanut Butter Blossoms
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1 c. butter, soft
1 c. packed brown sugar
1/2 c. granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2 c. creamy peanut butter
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp vanilla
Sugar, for rolling the cookies
12 oz bag Reese's cups

1. Cream the butter and sugars together on medium speed. Add peanut butter, mix. Add eggs and vanilla, mix until combined.

2. Slowly add dry ingredients and mix until combined.

3. Chill dough for about an hour.

4. Remove dough from fridge and roll into tablespoon-sized balls. Roll each ball in the extra sugar. Place each ball on a baking sheet.

5. Bake for 9-10 minutes at 350 degrees. Bake until the cookie just starts to crack.

6. Let cookies cool a couple minutes and then press the peanut butter cup into the center. Transfer to cooling rack.

Recipe from: Cookies & Cups

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Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Tuna Macaroni Hotdish

Yes that's right. Hotdish. Not casserole. I'm a true Minnesotan and proud of it! So let me be and embrace the "Hotdish".

This recipe actually come from my Grandma Wiese who was a North Dakotan originally but we'll still call it a hotdish. I was craving this something fierce for the last week for some unknown reason. Maybe it was because it screams "comfort food" to me and it brings back all those memories of being at Grandma's house. A place where I only have great memories. I'm sure she was smiling down on me when I was making this and my hubby was gobbling it up! She also made some amazing chicken and dumplings. I wonder if my mom snagged that recipe. I'm not sure if it would ever taste the same without Grandma's love though!

This recipe is about the easiest thing to make on a busy weeknight. I'm all about those recipes and I'm guessing you are too!

Tuna Macaroni Hotdish
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2 boxes Mac & Cheese, prepared according to box
2 cans tuna, drained
2 cans cream of celery soup
Bread Crumbs

1. Prepare Mac & Cheese according to directions on box. I always use the good 'ol "blue box" but feel freeze to use whatever you would like.

2. Mix together the prepared Mac & Cheese, cream of celery soup and tuna in a bowl. Put in a 9x13 inch glass baking dish. Sprinkle with bread crumbs.

3. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.