Thursday, September 18, 2014

And We're BACK! With Chicken Noodle Soup

Never mind how I went on a 7 month hiatus. We got settled into our hometown where my husband opened up his Chiropractic practice aaaand I found out I'm pregnant in the middle of all of that, plus we moved a couple of times. It's been a pretty crazy 7 months, but we're all doing great and just happy happy happy! So here I am, and I wanted to make sure my comeback was with something good, and I tell ya what...it really is.

I am not the biggest fan of homemade chicken noodle soups. I'm just not. Most of the time they get really ..... I don't know the word. You know when you cook chicken and there's the fatty pieces mixed with a little juice on the pan? I feel like I'm eating that with puffy odd textured noodles with homemade chicken noodle soup.  (I'm a texture freak, so sorry about that).

I saw this recipe, though, from We Share Our Loves. Our Lives. and I couldn't stop thinking about it. Like is this how ALL of these soups are made? Or is this some kind of genius secret no one knows about? I'm sure it's pretty basic and I'm just behind, but when I told my husband (also a food fanatic) about how this kind was made, he couldn't stop thinking about it either and we set off to make it together. We got a bit carried away with the noodles, so we learned our lesson. But OH MY GOSH I can't even imagine having any other chicken noodle soup now.

The FLAVOR of the broth is beyond anything I've ever had before and of course it's the perfect texture or I wouldn't be telling you about it ;). The only thing is that the recipe calls for two cans of evaporated milk. At that point we looked at the thickness of the soup and we were like meeehhh, it's good the way it is and we were a little terrified the milk would dilute some of that bomb flavor so we didn't use any of it. Mistake? Not sure....not sure if I'll ever find out cause I'll probably just keep making it without it since it was so good this way haha.

I added so many little notes to this recipe so if you're annoyed with that, just click here for the original recipe :).

What you will need:
  •  6 chicken tenderloins (or maybe 3-4 chicken breasts)
  • 1 C water
  • 1 stick butter
  • parsley flakes
  • garlic salt (I added a little onion powder, too but I have no idea how much. I did like she said in the original and was extremely generous with my seasonings, though)
  • Salt & pepper
  • Carrots (whatever kind you like in your soup. The recipe says a bag of them and you can wait for them to get soft but I don't have time for that so I got a can of carrots that were already soft HA)
  • One yellow onion, chopped/minced/diced (however whatever)
  • Celery (umm...I don't know how much the recipe called for. I hate celery so I chopped one up and felt like that was more than enough)
  • (2) 49 oz. cans of chicken broth (I had boxes, so I ended up using 2 1/2 boxes)
  • Noodles (the kind you like? I had a massive bag of these fancy pants noodles I'd been trying to figure out what to do with so I used those)
  • 2 cans evaporated milk
Directions:
  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees
  • Place chicken breasts in a baking dish (I used my cast iron skillet) 
  • Add 1 C water 
  • Add the parsley flakes, garlic salt, onion powder and salt and pepper
  • Place the stick of butter somewhere in the pan (like in the middle of all the chicken tenders)
  • Cook chicken for about 30 minutes or until they reach 165 degrees
  • Let the chicken cool
  • While the chicken cools, you can chop up your vegetables (I sauted my onions in butter so I could really control how tender they were)
  • Pour one can (or about 6 cups) of chicken broth into a large pot
  • Add vegetables and cook until carrots are almost done 
  • Add last can (or 6 more cups) of chicken broth and noodles and boil for about 8-10 minutes 
  • Turn temperature to low
  • Cut up chicken into chunks or shred
  • Add the chicken AND the buttery chickenee broth it made from the baking dish into the pot
  • Add the 2 cans evaporated milk and simmer for 10 minutes (um, or not)
  • Before I put the rest away in the fridge, I poured a bunch more broth into it cause I knew it would thicken up quite a bit so a little extra never hurt anybody)

Friday, January 24, 2014

Chicken Cordon Bleu Nuggets

About 2 months before we moved, I started putting together my months worth of dinner menus for after we moved. I knew we'd have to do the majority of our grocery shopping in Idaho Falls (2 1/2 hours away from where we live) so I wanted to be prepared with a budget and an organized list so it would be the last thing I'd have to think about after moving and dealing with Christmas and living out of suitcases!

 I had a lot of fun trying to see if I could find some new dinner ideas, and of course Six Sister's Stuff is always a gold mine for new ideas! (Which by the way they invited me to post on their new site a while back, so if you haven't checked it out already, go to myrecipemagic.com- and post your own recipes, too if you have some!)

Anyways, chicken cordon bleu nuggets. How adorable, right? Of course theirs look more adorable than mine do. But that's only because about half way through making these I was like, "why the heck did I decide to make these again?" I tad bit time consuming haha. But, if you're desperate to get your kids to eat something, this'll do it. My 3 year old went crazy about them! She's not a picky eater, she just doesn't feel like it ever? It's one of the most annoying things in the world. Seriously. So this was wonderful!

Blurry again! How much of a need is it for a new camera when it's to photograph food? Think my husband will agree to that one? Ha! ;)

What you will need:
  • 4-5 chicken breasts, cut into 1 1/2" squares
  • 7.5 oz. ham, cut into 1" squares
  • 8 oz. Swiss cheese, cut into 1" squares
  • 1/2 C flour
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tsp. water
  • 6 oz. box chicken stuffing mix or you can use Italian style bread crumbs (I only had plain bread crumbs on hand and just seasoned it the way I felt like)
Directions:
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  • Spray a baking sheet with non-stick spray
  • Place the flour, eggs/water and bread crumbs into the separate, shallow bowls
  • Take one square of chicken and place one slice ham and one slice cheese on top of it. Place another square of chicken on top and insert a toothpick to hold it together
  • Roll nugget into the flour, then the eggs, then the bread crumbs
  • Place nugget onto baking sheet and remove toothpick
  • Once all your nuggets have been coated and place onto the baking sheet, spray butter flavored cooking spray and bake for 20 minutes (I just drizzled them with olive oil and it worked fine! I also flipped them about half way through)

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Hawaiian Ham & Swiss Sliders

My brother and sister in law made these once and they were so good I couldn't get them off my mind. Then they made them again during Christmas time and I was reminded that I must make them. I'm not sure the exact recipe they used, but I found this similar one!

I browned mine a little extra because I like things that way. Sometimes I actually think the words, "it tastes almost burned...it's so delicious." And that's what I did her. I kept looking at them thinking they could go just a little bit longer when in reality you can totally take them out when the recipe says to :).

One thing I would recommend, is you can go ahead and make these ahead of time and keep them in the fridge until you're ready to bake them! I had these planned for dinner on a pretty busy day, so I put them together before I left and only had to wait 10 minutes for them to bake when we all got home.

Also, be careful when you're opening your poppy seeds. Let's just say I'll be finding poppy seeds all over my kitchen for weeks.



What you will need:

  • 24 slices deli honey ham
  • 6 slices swiss cheese
  • 1 T poppy seeds
  • 1 1/2 T dijon mustard
  • 1/2 C butter melted
  • 1 T onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • Mayo
  • 2 pkgs. KINGS HAWAIIAN Original Hawaiian sweet dinner rolls (yeah I just used rolls from the bakery and they were delicious)
Directions:
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  • Mix poppy seeds, dijon mustard, butter, onion powder and Worcestershire sauce in small bowl, set aside
  • Slice rolls open and spread mayo on one side
  • Add ham and swiss cheese
  • Place the sandwiches into a baking dish so they are all close together
  • Pour sauce over the tops of the rolls and cover with foil
  • Let sit for 10 minutes
  • Bake in the oven for another 10 minutes
  • Remove the foil and bake another 2 minutes so the tops browned and crisp

Veggie Dip & Superbowl Food

For a girl that grew up with the Superbowl landing on my birthday or on the day I was wanting to celebrate my birthday, I'm surprisingly not very bitter towards the whole thing ;).

My first memory of a superbowl was when I was about 7. My Mom took my brother and I to Albertsons and let us get whatever treats we wanted. The vision I have stuck in my memory is of my brother and I dumping out all our treats onto his bed with the superbowl on the TV in his room. So of course I associate the superbowl with delicious things now.

I haven't shared this recipe before, and it's usually because it's all eaten before I can take a picture of it. But it is the PERFECT recipe to have ready to go for any get together, especially the super bowl! It is the best veggie dip I have ever had. Ever...ever ever ever. It's not thin and runny, or lumpy and goopy. It's the perfect texture (and believe me, I am a complete psychopath about texture).

I will mention that this is hard for me to actually make. The smell of cream cheese literally makes me gag. Once it's all made though it's absolutely delicious and I couldn't care less about cream cheese being in it.

Keep scrolling, cause I'm sharing a list of foods I'll be making for game day at the bottom!



What you will need:

  • 1 1/4 C sour cream
  • 1 C cream cheese, softened
  • 5 T Ranch dressing mix (or more to taste)

Directions:

  • Using a kitchen-aid or hand mixer, combine the sour cream and cream cheese until blended well and is formed into a nice creamy but firm texture
  • Add in the ranch little by little and taste as you go. I prefer a more extreme ranch flavor whereas my husband could do without quite as much :).
This year I've invited some family&friends to my house for the superbowl. So I get to make whatever the heck I want! So, aside from all the chips, desserts, veggies/dip and soda, here's what's on the menu-

1. Football Cheese Dip
I mean...it's called football cheese dip. And the best cheese dip I've ever had. WIN!

2. Meatballs
Been making these for years. It's straight from my grandma's cookbook. You'll love it!

3. Crack Bread
Go ahead and get creative with this one. Throw on whatever the heck you like!



And of course you can't forget DINNER....

4. My BBQ Root Beer Pulled Pork sandwiches
I still claim that this is the best bbq root beer recipe.

5. Fresh Basil and Pepperoni Tortellini Salad
Honestly this will be eaten throughout the game because I can't keep it away once I've made it. It is soooo goooood. 

6. Corn on the Cob
Who can even have bbq sandwiches without corn on the cob?

Monday, January 20, 2014

Pecan Pie Bars

Today was Martin Luther King Jr. Day and I wanted to make a treat that was relavent for after our FHE lesson on MLKJ and diversity. I discovered one of his favorite desserts was Pecan Pie. I have never had Pecan Pie, and obviously have never made one. I resolved to try it out anyway and skimmed through some recipes. I found this recipe for Pecan Pie Bars. They just looked sooo good I HAD to try them!

And, since I always try to tie in our treats with our FHE lesson...

"Don't *pecan* anyone! We're all equal!"
("pick-on"...get it..?)

SOOO...it turns out I really really like the pecan pie flavor thing. These were so good! I'll definitely be making them again!

Apologies for the grainy picture :(.

What you will need:

Crust

  • 2 C flour
  • 1/3 C sugar
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 2/3 C cold butter, cut into chunks (10 2/3 T)
Filling
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 C karo syrup
  • 1/2 C sugar
  • 1/2 C brown sugar
  • 2 T butter, melted
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 2/3 C pecans, chopped
Directions:
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  • Prepare a 9x13 baking dish lined with tin foil
  • Blend flour, sugar and salt in large bowl
  • Cut in cold butter chunks until it forms into coarse crumbs
  • Dump the crust mixture into the baking dish and pack it evenly throughout the dish
  • Bake for 20 minutes
  • While the crust is baking, whisk together eggs, karo syrup, sugar, brown sugar, melted butter and vanilla 
  • When that is thoroughly mixed and smooth, add in the chopped nuts and blend
  • When the crust is done baking, pour the filling on top of the crust (freshly out of the oven) and spread evenly over the crust
  • Bake for another 25-30 minutes
  • Allow to cool completely and cut into bars

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Sugar Cookies

Happy Holidays!! I won't be around for the next few weeks. We're MOVING! And visiting family and celebrating and all things nice and Christmas-ee. Yesterday I had the urge to bake cookies in the middle of all the packed up boxes taking over the place. I had to rummage through a few of those boxes to find what I needed but it was totally worth it. My daughter walked in from school to see the first batch of cookies cooled and ready to decorate and she was just so excited! About the same time my other daughter woke up from her nap so they were both in heaven with these.

This recipe makes around 50 cookies or so. I burned an entire batch of some cute bells, though :(Quick tip here: If you check the cookies after the timer goes off and you decide to let them brown a tad more, don't forget that you decided to do that :). The flavor of them are really good, too. A lot of sugar cookies end up just tasting like bland dough. But this has a nice buttery sugary cookie-ee flavor. I really wanted to make some cookies and use sour cream, but I didn't have any, so you'll have to deal with this instead, even though I didn't really miss it in there!

Sorry about the frosting. I don't know the recipe. I threw it together until it tasted and felt right. I used a blend of almond and vanilla, though. It was gooooOOOOoood. And it had a GREAT texture. Creamy and smooth, but still glossy and firmed up just enough so that it wouldn't get all over the place when you stack the cookies. Perfect if you ask me.


What you will need:

  • 3 sticks of unsalted butter
  • 2 C sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 4 C flour + 1 C flour for rolling out (any time I make sugar cookies, I cut the original flour call by 1 C because I don't want them to end up dry or tough after adding in more flour to roll them out. I want to be able to use as much as I need without worrying. So this is how much I ended up using for both mixing and flouring later)
Directions:
  • Cream butter and sugar together
  • Add in vanilla and eggs
  • Add in baking soda and salt
  • Add in flour one cup at a time
  • Mold dough into a ball and flatten it down into a thick disc shape
  • Lay it on some greased plastic wrap and wrap it up
  • Chill in the fridge for an hour or more
  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees
  • Flour your dough surface
  • Roll out your dough to about 1/2" thick (I found that the 1/4" thick cookies ended up a little more crispy than I liked and the 1/2" ones stayed softer, so if you like them a little crunchier, make them thinner)
  • Cut them into shapes and lay them on a baking sheet (I put down some parchment paper, but you don't have to)
  • Bake for 6 minutes and check them. If they are just baarely starting to brown on the edges, take them out. 

Monday, December 2, 2013

Easy Fudgy Nutella Cookies

Nutella has always been a "sure, it's fine" thing for me. Not this insane "i'm in love with you please marry me" feeling everyone else seems to have about it. FHE rolled around tonight and I was unprepared. I gravitate towards peanut butter-like cookies first when I'm in a hurry, because you can always find delicious recipe's that are easy and fast. My daughter pulled out the peanut butter and said, "there's not enough to make anything." NOOOOOOOO!!! But we spotted the Nutella. "Can this stuff be a cookie?" I've been on Pinterest long enough to know that yes, Nutella can be made into anything. :)
So we made these from The Ambitious Kitchen. 
They were originally made with sea salt sprinkled on the tops of them, but I haven't totally gotten into the sea salt craze yet. I like it sometimes, but I figured with this being my first time baking these, I'd try them without first. 

I read through the comments while the cookies were in the oven (a habit that I have....I really need to start reading them before I make the recipes?). A lot of people claimed theirs didn't turn out, or weren't like they were in the pictures. I'm not really sure why. I mean, mine weren't perfect and photo-ee but I'm pretty sure they turned out how they were intended! Don't let the initial gooeyness fool you. After they'd sat out for about 30 minutes or so they firmed up into that nice cookie texture you always want. But they're still really fudgy, not chewy like a regular cookie. It's really interesting! And I really like them! My kids pretty much loved the entire process....

But they definitely loved the cookies for sure!

What you will need:
  • 1 C Nutella
  • 1/2 C + 1 T flour
  • 2 T brown sugar
  • 1 egg
Directions:
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  • Mix ingredients all together
  • Freeze dough for 10 minutes
  • Roll out into balls (I pressed mine down a little bit with the rounded side of my cookie scoop because a lot of the comments saying theirs stayed all puffed up, but I don't think it was necessary)
  • Bake for 10 minutes
  • Let cool