Teriyaki Chicken

I love slow cooker meals.  They are so quick and easy to throw together.  I love being able to get dinner all ready earlier in the day, instead of trying to figure out what to make at 5:00 when the kids are begging for dinner.  Which is exactly why I love this teriyaki chicken.  This chicken really couldn’t be easier.  Simply put the chicken and sauce in the crock pot, turn on low and cook for 5-6 hours, serve over rice and steamed veggies and you’ve got yourself a quick, easy, stress free meal.

Teriyaki Chicken
3/4 Cup Sugar
3/4 Cup Soy Sauce
3 Tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
1-2 Cloves Garlic, minced
2 Tbsp Water
1/4 tsp Black Pepper
1 lb. Chicken Breast or Tenders
Place the chicken in the crock pot.  In a mixing bowl, whisk the remaining ingredients together and pour over the chicken.  Cook on low for 5-6 hours.  1 hour before serving shred the chicken in the crock pot using two forks to pull it apart.  Replace the lid and finish cooking.  Enjoy!
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Skinny 2-Ingredient Chocolate Muffins

These muffins are so easy.  Simply mix one boxed cake mix and one can of pumpkin puree together and you’re done.  Well, unless you’re like me and then you have to throw in a few chocolate chips just for good measure.  Cutting out the oil and eggs definitely helps cut down on the calories making these great for breakfast, a snack or a guilt free dessert.  You really can’t even taste the pumpkin.  The chocolate totally takes over and all you taste is a moist, fudgey, chocolate muffin.

Skinny 2- Ingredient Chocolate Muffins
1 Box Chocolate Cake Mix (dry)
1 can(15oz) Pumpkin Puree
Optional: 6 oz. Chocolate Chips
Add the cake mix and pumpkin to your mixer.  Mix on medium speed for 2 minutes.  Stir in the chocolate chips.  Fill greased or paper lined muffin tins 3/4 way full with batter.  Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 22-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Remove from pan and cool on a wire rack.  Enjoy!
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Mint Truffle Hot Chocolate Cookies

The other day while grocery shopping I was picking up some more Mint Hot Chocolate, my new favorite, when I spotted something new.  You know the so delicious, cute, teeny tiny little marshmallows that come in some hot chocolate, but of course not in my favorite mint hot chocolate.  There was a whole container filled with just marshmallow bits.  Are these new, or have I just been missing out all this time?  Needless to say they made their way into my cart.  I started thinking that these marshmallow bits would be great in cookies or brownies too, so I decided to see if I could figure out a way to turn my favorite hot chocolate into a cookie. These cookies turned out Awesome.  They seriously taste just like mint hot chocolate, but in cookie form.  Thanks to 3 secret ingredients:  mint hot chocolate mix, Andes mint chips for a little extra mint and chocolate flavor and Marshmallow Bits

Mint Truffle Hot Chocolate Cookies

1 Cup Butter
2/3 Cup Sugar
2/3 Cup Brown Sugar
2 Eggs
1 tsp Vanilla
1 tsp Baking Soda
1 tsp Salt
1/2 Cup Mint Hot Chocolate Mix (dry)
3 Cups Flour
1 Cup Marshmallow Bits
1 Cup Andes Mint Baking Chips

Cream the butter and sugars together.  Add the eggs and vanilla, mix well.  Add dry ingredients and mix just until combined.  Stir in the marshmallow bits and mint chips.  Cover and chill the dough in the fridge for 30 minutes.  Roll into heaping tablespoon size balls.  If you want the marshmallow to stick out poke a few more into the top of each dough ball.  Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 8-10 minutes.  Cool on baking sheet for 2 minutes, transfer to a wire rack to finish cooling.  Enjoy!

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Quick Bread

Almost every Sunday growing up we would whip up a batch of quick bread. If we were having roast and potatoes we shaped it into rolls or if we were having spaghetti it was breadsticks. I love this recipe because it is easy, quick and versatile. You just mix up the ingredients shape it into either rolls or breadsticks let it raise for 15 minutes and bake. If you chose rolls simply brush them with butter and for breadsticks you brush with butter and sprinkle with garlic salt, and a little parsley.

 

Quick Bread
3 cups warm water
3 Tbsp yeast
3 Tbsp sugar
1/2 cup oil
1 Tbsp salt
6-7 cups flour

 

Mix the water, yeast and sugar together. Cover and let it sit for 1-2 minutes. Add the oil, salt and half of the flour. Mix well. Add the remaining flour 1 cup at a time until the dough forms a ball and no longer sticks to the side of the bowl. Shape the dough into either rolls or breadsticks. Place on a greased baking sheet. They should be close together but not touching. Raise for 15 minutes. Bake at 425 for 15-20 minutes or until the tops are a deep golden brown. Brush with butter. For breadsticks sprinkle with garlic salt and parsley. Enjoy!
Recipe inspiration: Mom
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Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Bars

Awhile ago I was supposed to bring a dessert to a party. I was in a hurry so I made a store bought mix for oatmeal chocolate chip cookies, turned them into bars and brought them to the party. Everyone loved them (myself included). After the party I had a few people call and ask me for the recipe, so I had to spill the beans that it was nothing special, just a mix I had bought.
So when I saw the recipe for these oatmeal chocolate chip bars I knew I had to try them and see how they compared to the mix. The result: Better. Yep, that’s right I think these are much better than the ones I mixed up for the party. And the best part is they are cheaper, homemade, delicious and every bit as easy to make as the mix was. I will definitely be making these again.

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Bars:
3/4 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup quick oats
1 3/4 cup flour
1 cup chocolate chips

 

Beat the butter, sugars, eggs and vanilla together until fluffy. Add the dry ingredients and mix until incorporated. Stir in the chocolate chips. Press into a greased 9×13 inch pan. Bake at 375 for 15-18 minutes or until the top is a light golden brown. Do not over bake. Enjoy!
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Crock Pot Baked Potatoes

When I first saw this idea it was one of those, why didn’t I think of that, moments. Anyone else ever have moments like that? Cooking baked potatoes in the crock pot is so nice. It’s great in the summer you don’t have to turn on the oven and heat your house up or if you are cooking a big meal and need your oven for another dish you won’t have to wait for the potatoes to finish cooking. You can put them in the crock pot in the morning, not worry about them all day, and at dinner time they are ready to eat. I have tried to make microwave baked potatoes before, but have not been pleased with the results. I was pleasantly surprised when these came out tasting just like they had been cooked in the oven.
Crock Pot Baked Potatoes

 

-wash and dry your potatoes
-wrap each potato in aluminum foil
-place in the crock pot
-cook on low for 7-8 hours(depending on how soft you like them
– load with your favorite toppings
-Enjoy!!!

 

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Zucchini Bread

Every summer I look forward to zucchini bread. I can’t believe that it is getting close to the end of summer and I just barely made zucchini bread for the first time this year. I have been waiting all summer for my zucchini plant to actually produce some zucchini’s. First it had a pretty rough start since it didn’t get warm here until pretty late in the season, then for some unknown reason the first few zucchini’s on the plant got about 2 inches long and then just quit growing. Finally about a week ago I had a zucchini growing that I just knew was going to make a tasty loaf of bread, well much to my dismay I went out to check on it and our chickens had pecked holes all over in it along with the leaves of the zucchini plant and many other plants in my garden. I couldn’t believe it! So I gave up trying to grow my own zucchini and just bought some at the store the next day. I couldn’t wait any longer. I didn’t even let the first loaf cool all of the way before spreading some butter on a nice thick piece and enjoying my first taste of zucchini bread this year!

 Here’s a tip for anyone with zucchini coming out your ears(I’m jealous!) You can shred the zucchini and measure the amount you need for a recipe(this one calls for 2 cups) into a freezer bag and stick in the freezer. Then when you are ready to use it simply thaw it and its ready to use. I have done this in the past and I love being able to bake up some zucchini bread in the middle of winter instead of having to wait until summer to enjoy some.

 

Zucchini Bread

 

3 eggs

 

1 cup oil

 

2 cups sugar

 

1 Tbsp vanilla

 

2 cups shredded zucchini

 

1/2 tsp baking powder

 

1 tsp baking soda

 

1 tsp salt

 

1 Tbsp cinnamon

 

3 cups flour

 

In a mixer beat the eggs, then add the oil and mix it into the eggs. Add the sugar and vanilla. Mix well. Add the zucchini. Add the dry ingredients and mix until well incorporated. Pour the batter into two greased 9×5 loaf pans. Bake at 350 for 1 hour or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in the pan for about 10 minutes then remove and finish cooling on a wire rack.
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Peanut Butter Frosting

I can’t believe it, my baby recently turned one. To celebrate we decided to have a family BBQ, so I needed lots of birthday cake, I decided to go with cupcakes. I bought a giant cupcake mold, so we had two giant cupcakes and lots of little ones.

(Please forgive the not so great pictures. We had lots of family over and I didn’t have much time for picture taking.)
I made a few different kinds of cupcakes, but I think the favorite was the peanut butter frosting. It was smooth, creamy and went great with chocolate cupcakes topped with chopped up Reese’s. So next time your baking up something chocolate you should definitely consider topping it with this peanut butter frosting. Trust me you won’t regret it.
Peanut Butter Frosting
1 1/2 cups butter,softened (I used half butter half shortening, I like how it makes it a little bit thicker.)

 

1cup peanut butter
2 Tbsp vanilla
2 lbs powdered sugar
4-6 Tbsp milk

 

Cream the butter and peanut butter together until fluffy. Add in the powdered sugar and mix well. Add the vanilla, then the milk until the frosting reaches your desired consistency. Spread the frosting and Enjoy!
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Chocolate Chip Cookies

Everyone needs a good chocolate chip cookie recipe. So I thought I would share the one I like and share a few tips to help make any batch of chocolate chip cookies better.

 

Tips:

 

1. When the recipe says to cream the butter and sugars together it really means it! When making this recipe I will usually cream the butter and sugars for 3-5 minutes. I know it seems like a long time, but you want the mixture to be nice and fluffy. This allows more air to be whipped into the batter and gives the cookie just a little bit of crispiness on the outside while still keeping the soft and chewy inside.
2. Make them BIG! I like to use about 1/4 of a cup of dough per cookie. Doing this gives the cookie different textures, a crisp firm edge and a soft chewy center. And come one who wouldn’t want a bigger cookie:)

 

I know these are just two really simple things, but the first time I made these changes my husband(CCC are his all time favorite dessert) loved the cookies and told me I should use this new recipe all of the time. Well it wasn’t a new recipe, just a few simple changes that make a huge difference.
Chocolate Chip Cookies
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup shortening
2/3 cup sugar
2/3 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
2 3/4 cups flour
2 cups chocolate chips

 

CREAM the butter, shortening and sugars together. Add the eggs one at a time mixing after each one. Add the vanilla. Add the dry ingredients and mix until well incorporated. Fold in the chocolate chips. Bake at 350 for 8-10 minutes. Enjoy!
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Winger’s Sticky Finger Salad

I have never actually had a Sticky Finger Salad from Winger’s, so I can’t tell you how close of a match this is to the original. But what I can tell you is that these sticky fingers are DELICIOUS!!! The sauce has a perfect balance of sweet with a little bit of spicy. These sticky fingers would also be great by themselves or in a wrap.

Wingers Sticky Fingers Salad
4 chicken breasts cut into strips
1 cup sour cream
2 cups bread crumbs
2 heads romaine lettuce, chopped
Ranch Dressing
Toppings: tomatoes, croutons, grated cheddar cheese, craisins, sun flower seeds
Sauce:
2 1/2 cups brown sugar
1/3 cup Frank’s Hot Sauce
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
Directions: Heat oven to 400 degrees. Dip chicken breasts into the sour cream and then into the bread crumbs. Place on a greased sheet pan. Bake for 30 minutes until the chicken is cooked through and crispy on the outside. While the chicken is baking, chop your lettuce and prepare your toppings. To make the sauce combine the brown sugar, Franks Hot Sauce, and apple cider vinegar in a saucepan. Cook over medium/high heat. Stirring constantly. Let it boil for one minute, but no longer. If you do it will turn hard. When the chicken is done dip it into the sticky sauce and place on a plate. To serve, place the sliced strips on top of the salad and top with whichever toppings you choose. Drizzle with ranch and I also like to drizzle a little of the extra sticky sauce over my salad. It gives you a little more of that delicious flavor. Enjoy!
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