Where Cooking is Fun
We want cooking to be as fun for you as it is for us.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Easy BBQ Beef Taco's

Taco's are one of my "fall back" dinners when I am in a hurry and want something that everyone will eat and not complain about. I decided to "shake things up a bit" and make them a little different one night. These Taco's were a huge hit with the family and they clean up the entire pan of meat...leaving NO leftovers. That's usually a good thing, but this particular night I was hoping for leftovers to serve for lunch the following day...oh well. I was glad that they enjoyed it. It always nice to make dinner and have everyone love it.

Easy BBQ Beef Taco's
1 lb. ground beef
1 bottle "Famous Dave's" barbecue sauce
6 tortilla shells
oil for cooking
Taco toppings: grated cheese, shredded lettuce, diced tomato, chopped avocado, sliced olives, diced onions, sour cream, ranch

Brown ground beef until done, drain grease. Add "just enough" barbecue sauce to cooked meat so that its thick, but not soupy. Set aside.

Fold tortilla shells in half and fry in hot oil, turning so that each side gets brown. Keep tortilla folded in half. Fill the inside of each cooked tortilla with BBQ meat and taco toppings. Eat up!

Julie~

Friday, April 29, 2011

Bacon and Cheese Deviled Eggs

This year Hubby and I decided to host Easter dinner at our house. Jacks brother and his wife live a few blocks from us and his sister is living here as well so we had the local family over to celebrate our first holiday in our new house. Yay! I didn't get around to dying eggs this year but I knew no Easter dinner would be complete without deviled eggs. I did a quick google search to find something different and fun and came across these babies. Absolutely delicious. This has now become the staple recipe for all my deviled eggs.


Bacon and Cheese Deviled Eggs

6 hard boiled eggs
1/3 cup mayonnaise
1 1/2 tsp. mustard
1/4 cup crushed bacon
1/4 cup shredded cheese
salt
pepper
seasoned salt

Hard boil the eggs and let cool. Remove shell and cut eggs in half lengthwise. Remove egg yolk and set in seperate bowl. Mix together egg yolk, mayonnaise, mustard, cheese, bacon and a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Sprinkle a little seasoned salt on top and serve.

~Dayna~

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Sommer's Clam Dip

My sister-in-laws are ALL amazing cooks (as you can tell, I have featured many of their recipes on our blog). Every time we have a "family party", I can guarantee that there will be food involved. I always look forward to, and get super excited, to try all of the new, yummy foods that they make. Without fail, I always go home with the recipe and craving more of their divine dishes!!! This dip is fantastic, I am not even kidding. I am not a huge fan of the "store bought" clam dip, I can take it or leave it...but this one- I would fight for. Its so good that I caught myself eating it with a spoon (shhh...don't tell anyone). One of my older son's came over to spend the day with me so I thought it would be the perfect time to whip up some of this amazing dip. I knew that I wouldn't be quite as tempted to eat the entire bowl since there would be another mouth there to eat it too. My son loved it and gobbled it right up...then my younger son came home from school and gobbled some more of it down...I had to literally grab a bowl and snap a picture quick before it was all gone (hence the reason for such a lousy picture). This clam dip is "TO DIE FOR"....you MUST try it. BUT...a quick word of advice--make it when you have a few extra mouths to help devour it...otherwise you might find yourself nestled down in front of the television with a big bag of chips and a heaping bowl of clam dip...pretty soon it will be an EMPTY BAG OF CHIPS along with an EMPTY BOWL...but a very full tummy.

Sommer's Clam Dip

2 packages cream cheese, at room temperature (you can use the low-fat cream cheese if you want to)
2 cans minced clams with juice
*drain juice into a small bowl and set aside
liquid smoke (to taste)
1/4 t. lemon juice
Worcestershire sauce (to taste)

Place cream cheese, lemon juice and clams in a medium sized mixing bowl. Add clam juice a little at a time until you reach desired thickness. Add liquid smoke and Worcestershire sauce to taste. Serve with your favorite chip or cracker. I love to dip Wavy Lay's in my Clam Dip!
MMMMmmmmmmmmmmm!

Julie~

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Cookie Dough Cupcakes

My hubby works for a fabulous company. They spoil their employees all the time. A few weeks ago he came home and told me they had ordered gourmet cupcakes for everyone. He chose a cookie dough cupcake and it blew his socks off. He's always so sweet to remind me that I am talented and amazing so I knew I had to at least TRY to recreate the deliciousness he experienced. I found this recipe for Cookie Dough Cupcakes and decided to whip up a couple dozen to spoil my sister in law for her birthday. I decided to stick with a boxed cake and I don't regret it one bit. Boxed cake is my favorite-- but paired with this delicious cookie dough frosting and filled with actual cookie dough... oh. my. gosh. This is the best cupcake I have ever eaten-- Jack and my brother in law both agreed that it was better than the cupcakes they brought into work. Now you can be this awesome too!

Cookie Dough Cupcakes

Cupcakes:

1 box chocolate cake mix

Filling:

8 Tbsp. butter (room temp)
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 1/4 cup flour
14 oz can sweetened condensed milk
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips

Frosting:

3 sticks butter
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
3 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 cup flour
3/4 tsp. salt
3 Tbsp. milk
2 1/2 tsp. vanilla

Prepare cake mix according to package directions. While baking prepare Filling: combine butter and sugar and cream until fluffy. Add flour, condensed milk and vanilla. Mix. Add chocolate chips. Roll into balls and set in fridge until cupcakes are ready. Once cupcakes are cooled cut a cone shape out of the top of each one (don't worry-- this will look ugly but will be covered up with frosting) and set a cookie dough ball in the hole. Cover with cone "lid". Prepare frosting: Mix butter and brown sugar. Add powdered sugar and then the flour. Add the salt, then milk, then vanilla. Mix well. To frost the cupcakes I used a cake decorating bag (you could also use a ziploc bag with the tip of the corner cut out to make a makeshift decorating bag) without a tip on it (I didn't have any tips big enough for the effect I wanted). Practice a few times on a plate until you get the hang of it. It's actually really easy. Frost each cupcake (with TONS of frosting) and then garnish as you see fit. I top with sprinkle of chocolate chips and a mini chocolate chip cookie. Leave the cupcakes at room temperature before you serve them so the dough will be soft- I put my first batch in the fridge and the cookie dough got hard- not yummy.

~Dayna~

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins

There is something about "Lemon Poppy Seed" that always brings a smile to my face. It makes me think of spring and sunshine...maybe its the "lemon" flavor or maybe it's just a comfort food for me...and spring and sunshine are my comforts...I don't know, all I know is that I LOVE these muffins. They hit the spot as I gobbled up my breakfast. They made me smile and brightened up my entire morning. These muffins have a light lemony flavor and the texture is moist and yummy...they will make your mouth water for more. MMMmmmmmmm!!!!

Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins
2 c. flour
3/4 c. sugar
1/4 c. poppy seeds
2 t. baking powder
1 t. baking soda
1/2 t. salt
2 eggs
1 c. vanilla yogurt
1/4 c. oil
1 T grated lemon zest

Lemon Glaze:
2/3 c. lemon juice
8-10 T powdered sugar

Mix lemon juice and powdered sugar together until all the lumps have dissolved. Set aside.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray muffin tins with pan coating. In a large bowl combine the flour, 3/4 c. sugar, poppy seeds, baking powder, baking soda and salt, set aside. In a separate bowl mix the eggs, yogurt, oil and lemon zest. Stir well, pour over flour mixture. Mix until combined but don't over mix. Spoon batter into muffin cups. Bake for 15-17 minutes or until middle of muffin springs back when touched. Do not over cook or the muffins will lose their moisture. While muffins are still hot, poke several holes in the top of the muffins with a toothpick. Spoon glaze on top of muffins (if you run out of glaze...make more...I like a lot of glaze on my muffins). Let muffins rest for 10 minutes before serving, this will give time for the glaze to soak in the holes of the muffins. Don't they just sound amazing??!.....let me tell you a secret, they ARE!

Julie~




Monday, April 25, 2011

Oriental Salad


Sometimes my brain and taste buds can't handle any more salad. I feel like screaming anytime I think of combining spinach, criasins and feta (delicious.... but after eating it every day for 2 months it gets old). I decided to mix up my lunches this week and whipped up my mom's recipe for Oriental Salad. It's one of my favorites and one I will definitely not get tired of for a while. This is perfect for weekday lunches and summer picnics. Bring something different to your next get together and knock the socks off your guests!

Oriental Salad

2 bags of coleslaw mix
2 cans of chicken
2 pkg chicken Top Ramen noodles (use seasoning packet below in dressing)

Dressing:
1/4 cup canola oil
1/2 tsp. pepper
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. accent
1 1/2 cup vinegar
2 pkgs chicken Top Ramen seasoning packets

Mix chicken and coleslaw. Mix all dressing ingredients together and pour over coleslaw. Refrigerate over night (I've also served it immediately. It's still super yummy) Top with Ramen Noodles before serving. Makes aprox. 16 cups

1 cup = 3 points (points plus)

~Dayna~

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Cake Batter Pancakes

Your kids will think that the Easter Bunny came early when you mix these up for breakfast. These are a fun, scrumptious breakfast treat for kids...but my hubby adored them as well. He said that these were one of his "very favorite pancakes" that I've made...(I guess I scored a few brownie points...woo hoo, can't ever have enough of those can we?!). Give these tasty pancakes a try...I think you'll like them too.

Cake Batter Pancakes
1 1/2 c. flour
2/3 c. rainbow chip cake mix
2 T sugar
1 t. baking powder
2 eggs
3 t. vanilla
1 1/2-2 c. milk
sprinkles (optional...but super fun for everyone)

1 can vanilla store bought frosting

Combine flour, cake mix, sugar, baking powder, eggs, vanilla, and 1 1/2 c. milk Mix well, adding more milk if the batter is too thick.
Spray pancake griddle with pan coating and heat. When griddle is hot, pour 1/4 c. batter onto griddle. Sprinkle the top of pancakes with sprinkles. Let cook until bubbles from on top and flip...cook for 1 more minute or until other side is lightly browned. Serve with butter and "frosting syrup"

For Frosting Syrup:
Open frosting can. Remove ALL the foil...be careful to get ALL OF IT OFF. Microwave for 30 seconds or until frosting is melted. Pour over HOT buttered pancakes, top with sprinkles and serve.

Julie~

Friday, April 22, 2011

BBQ Chicken and Pineapple Wrap



BBQ Chicken and Pineapple Wrap

4 Flatout Bread wraps
1 cup chicken (cooked and diced)
1/2 cup BBQ sauce
Lettuce
Tomatoes
Pineapple- diced

Combine chicken and BBQ sauce in a saucepan and heat until warm. Place 1/4 cup of chicken in the center of the wrap. Top with lettuce, tomatoes and pineapple. Roll and serve.

1 wrap = 4 points (points plus)

~Dayna~

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Maple Chicken

I can't wait to share this recipe with you. It's so stinkin simple and tastes like you spend hours working your fingers to the bone...(and lets let everyone think thats what you did). I served my chicken with a baked potato and a salad but I think it would taste awesome if you shredded it and served it over rice too...this Maple Chicken is so versatile and delicious no matter how you serve it...you'll be adding it to your menu rotation, I am sure of it!

Maple Chicken
6-8 boneless, skinless chicken breast (you could use any piece of chicken, thats just what I used)
4 t. lemon juice
1/2 c. maple syrup (you can use reduced fat/sugar-free if you choose to)
1 T butter

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Mix maple syrup, lemon juice and butter in a small sauce pan. Simmer for 5 minutes. Spray a baking dish with pan coating and place chicken pieces in it. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and pour maple mixture on top. Place chicken back in the oven and cook for another 20-25 minutes (time will depend on how thick your chicken is) or until juices run clear. Serve while hot.

Julie~

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Chipotle Chicken Wrap


I am addicted to crap food. I can't allow myself to eat at restaurants during the week because I can't trust myself to make good choices. On the rare occasion that we do eat somewhere we find ourselves at Subway or Pita Pit. I know my choices are going to be better than they would be at McDonalds. Pita Pit is one of our favorites. My favorite thing is Chicken and Bacon with chipotle dressing. I decided to recreate it at home using Flatbread wraps. I'm kind of addicted to them! They are amazing! And these wraps were equally delicious. I may never have to drive the 15 minutes to Pita Pit again.

Chipotle Chicken Wrap

4 Flatbread Wraps
1 cup diced chicken (cooked)
8 slices bacon (cooked)
1 cup lowfat cheese
Lettuce
Tomatoes

In each wrap layer 1/4 cup chicken, 2 slices bacon, 1/4 cup cheese, lettuce, tomatoes and 1 Tbsp. Chipotle Dressing. Roll and serve.

1 wrap = 9 points (points plus)

~Dayna~

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Chocolate Bread


I like to keep a few cake mixes on hand so I always buy them when they are on sale...stocking up when they are the cheapest....the only BAD thing about that is, eventually they pile up and I have to use them before they go bad. Several weeks ago on "Facebook" I asked everyone to send me some of their favorite recipes for using boxed cake mixes. I got quite a few replies and have been trying them all out...there are some extremely tasty things that you can do with a simple cake mix and this happens to be one of them. This recipe is one that I found laying in a pile of "clipped" recipes from who know's where, but it's so simple and worth making any ol' time. My family loved this delicious chocolate (treat) bread and ate it so fast that I didn't even get to sample it...I'm going to take that as a good sign because it was a HIT with my crew.

Chocolate Bread
4 eggs
1/2 c. oil
1 box chocolate cake mix
1 (3 oz) package INSTANT chocolate pudding mix
1 c. HOT water

Mix oil and eggs until whipped. Add cake mix, pudding mix and HOT water. Mix until smooth. Spray 2 loaf pans with pan coating. Pour batter into pans. Bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean (toothpick test).

*Next time I am going to drizzle a powder sugar glaze over the top when bread is hot...only because I am sure it will add to its "deliciousness"...and this time I will MAKE SURE I GET a piece or two!

Julie~


Monday, April 18, 2011

Cream Cheese Strudel

I absolutely love cream cheese danishes. I can't walk past a bakery and see the danishes or strudels without loading them into my cart. More often then not I end up throwing it away after one bite. Strudels are definitely NOT created equal. When I saw this recipe I knew I had to try it. I added it to my list on baking day and hoped it would turn out, I had company coming the next day and this would make the perfect breakfast. The next morning Hubby and I got up early and stole a bite before we served it to our guests. There was a moment of silence and then both of us looked at each other wide eyed. This was AMAZING. I will never be able to eat another cheap bakery strudel again. This is officially my favorite breakfast food. Ever.

Cream Cheese Strudel

4 cups flour
1/4 cup sugar
3/4 tsp. salt
2 1/4 tsp dry yeast (dissolved in 1/2 cup warm water)
3/4 cup whole milk
1/4 cup water (doesn't matter the temperature)
1/2 cup butter
2 large eggs

Filling:
2 (8 oz) cream cheese, softened
6 Tbsp. butter, softened
1/2 cup powdered sugar
2 tsp. vanilla

Glaze:
2 cups powdered sugar
2 Tbsp. butter
4 Tbsp. milk
2 tsp. almond extract
1 cup crushed walnuts

In a large mixing bowl combine 1 1/2 cups of the flours, the sugar, salt and yeast. In a sauce pan combine the milk, water and butter and heat over medium heat until warm and the butter is just melted. Gradually add the warm liquid to the flour/yeast mixture, beat on low until well blended. Increase mixer speed to medium and beat for 2 minutes. Add the eggs and 1 cup flour and beat for 2 more minutes. Stir in enough of the remaining flour to make a dough that holds together. Turn onto a floured surface and knead in additional flour until your dough is soft, smooth and elastic. Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl, turning to coat all sides. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and a kitchen towel and let rise until double.

Combine cream cheese, butter powdered sugar and vanilla until creamy. Set aside.

Punch down the dough and divide in half. On a floured surface roll out 1 piece of dough into a rectangle. Using a pizza cutter or knife lightly score the rectangle into thirds. Now make diagonal slices to make strips on the two outer sections (about every half inch) carefully cut away the very top strips and the very bottom strips (to allow room to close the top and bottom). Spread half of the filling into the center of the dough. Start folding the edges-- bring the top and bottom folds over and criss cross the edges starting left to right. *Repeat with the second set of dough

Let rise for 30 additional minutes. Bake at 350 for 25 minutes.

In a saucepan combine butter and water, let butter melt and add powdered sugar, almond extract and nuts. When powdered sugar is dissolved drizzle over studels. Serve immediately or store in fridge until serving.

~Dayna~

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Cinnamon Syrup

In my opinion, its the syrup that makes those "bready breakfast foods" taste so good. Maple syrup is great, I love it...but sometimes its fun to shake things up a bit and make a syrup thats just a little different than the "average maple syrup". One Saturday morning I decided that breakfast needed a "little change" so I whipped up this cinnamon syrup. I cooked up some pancakes and we topped them with banana's, fried apples and cinnamon syrup and "Wallaaa" we had a new and improved pancake breakfast. It was a huge hit and everyone wanted "more and more" as I cooked pancakes feverishly over the griddle. What a great way to start the weekend!

Cinnamon Syrup

1 c. butter
1/2 c. maple syrup
2 t. cinnamon

In a sauce pan melt butter. Mix in syrup and cinnamon, cook for 2-3 minutes. Stir until smooth. Serve over pancakes, french toast, waffles or german pancakes.

Julie~

Friday, April 15, 2011

Teriyaki Chicken


A few years ago I decided to make Teriyaki Chicken for a group of friends. I bought a quick marinade and threw the chicken in with it, baked it and served it with rice. I was crushed when no one was blown away by my efforts. Since then I've always been a little scared to try anything Teriyaki. That changed when I saw this recipe for Teriyaki Chicken in the crockpot. It looked amazing-- I just had to cross my fingers and hope I could pull it off the same way. This stuff is so easy! Absolutely delicious and everyone at the dinner table raved about it. That was good enough for me.

Teriyaki Chicken

2 Tbsp. cornstarch
1 cup cold water
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup vinegar
2 cloves garlic- minced
2 tsp. ginger
1 lb. boneless chicken breast


Combine all ingredients (except chicken) in a saucepan and stir over medium heat until thick. Pour over chicken in crock pot. Cook on low for 6-8 hours.

~Dayna~

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Italian Chicken Burrito's

I love crock pot dinners. They are such a nice break from having to spend hours in the kitchen, working over a hot stove. This recipe is extremely tasty and as simple as could be. I almost felt like I had cheated when it came to "dinner time" because it was a "no hassle" kind of meal. You can make enough so you'll be able to throw leftovers in the freezer OR you can just eat it all....I froze some for another day...you know, those days when I won't want to spend the time cooking anything. Its a delicious, crazy good recipe. You're going to love it! ENJOY!

Italian Chicken Burrito's

1 (12 oz) bottle Italian Salad Dressing
1 T. cumin
2 garlic cloves, minced
6-8 boneless, skinless chicken breast

Combine all ingredient together in crock pot. Cook on low for 6 hours. Remove meat from liquid, shred and place back in crock pot with liquid. Cook for another hour.

tortilla shells (I like the ones that you have to cook...but any will work)
shredded Monterey Jack Cheese
Green Chili Enchilada Sauce
cooked rice
black beans, drained and rinsed
Place a small amount of meat down the center of cooked tortilla shell. Continue with small amount of rice, beans and cheese. Wrap and roll like a burrito. Top with enchilada sauce more cheese and black beans. Place under the broiler for 2-3 minutes....EAT UP.

*If you don't have a broiler....fill and roll burrito as instructed above. Don't top with anything yet. Cook burrito in a skillet with a small amount of oil, turning to brown both sides. After cooking completely, top with warmed enchilada sauce, cheese and beans.

Freeze any chicken leftovers in a freezer bag, for an easy meal to eat at a later time...just make sure you write the date and content on the bag...this will ensure that you'll remember whats inside.

Julie~

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Cool Whip Fruit Dip


I absolutely love working for the School District. One of my favorite parts is the week long Spring Break that I get to enjoy. Each year we try to go somewhere fun, this year was no exception. We packed up the car and headed out to Disneyland in Sunny California. I love roadtrips with Jack. We load up on junk food and drive well into the night listening to stand up comedy and talking. At the last minute I decided we needed some healthy food to offset the junk I had packed. I cut up a few apples and whipped up this delicious dip. This dip is lite, fluffy and so delicious.

Cool Whip Fruit Dip

1 carton Fat Free Cool Whip
1 small box sugar free jello powder

Mix cool whip and jello together. Serve with fruit.

~Dayna~

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Poor Man's Breakfast

Breakfast casserole is such an awesome thing to make and throw in the oven on a Saturday Morning while everyone else sleeps in (I don't ever sleep in!) and I catch up on a few things. This breakfast casserole recipe is easy and very tasty , just right for an "easy peasy", yummy breakfast that will please everyone.

Poor Man's Breakfast

4 slices old bread (not moldy...just old and stiffer)
1 lb pork sausage
1 c. shredded cheddar cheese
6 eggs
2 c. milk
1/2 t. salt
1/2 t. pepper

Cut crust from bread and cut into 1" cubes. Place in a greased 9x13 baking dish. Brown sausage until completely cooked. Drain grease. Sprinkle cheese and sausage over bread cubes. In a small mixing bowl, whip eggs, milk and seasonings. Pour over the sausage and cheese mixture. Bake at 350 degrees for 40-45 minutes or until the middle is set. Serve as is or with chopped tomatoes and avocado.

Julie~

Monday, April 11, 2011

Italian Salad


Summer food is my favorite. I love throwing together a delicious salad while Hubby's got something cooking on the grill. This salad was the perfect amount of deliciousness. The dressing went perfectly with the swiss cheese and pecans. Loved it.

Italian Salad

1 head leafy lettuce
1/2 cup swiss cheese- sliced small, diced or shredded
1/4 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup vinegar
1 packet dry Italian Dressing

Combine vinegar and Italian dressing packet. Set aside. Chop lettuce and pour dressing over till covered. Top with cheese and pecans. Serve immediately.

~Dayna~

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Cordon Bleu Stromboli

I seem to have days where "easy" dinner recipes are a must! If its not the kids needing to be somewhere quick, then its me or the hubby that needs to be gone in a hurry, so dinner has to be on the table in a jiffy! If you like Chicken Cordon Bleu, then this recipe is right up your alley. This Stromboli was extremely easy to make and it tasted pretty darn good, even if I do say so myself. I think it will please the taste buds of even the "pickiest eaters".

Cordon Bleu Stromboli

1 loaf french bread
2 c. cooked chicken, diced (I used leftover grilled chicken but any cooked chicken would work...try the rotisserie chicken that you buy from the store, bet that would taste amazing on this)
2 c. cooked ham, cubed (leftovers are my friend...but you can buy cubed ham from the store that is already cooked too)
4 c. shredded swiss cheese


Sauce:
1 can cream chicken soup
1/2 c. sour cream
1/4 c. lemon juice (if you like LESS of a tang, put in 1/8 c. instead)

For Sauce, put all ingredient in a small saucepan and cook until warm. Stir continually so that it doesn't stick to the bottom of the pan. Set aside.
Spray a large baking sheet with pan coating. Cut french bread in half lengthwise, place on prepared baking sheet, open bread so that the inside of both sides is facing up. Spread sauce on french bread. Sprinkle diced chicken and ham onto prepared bread. Top with shredded swiss cheese. Place under the broiler for 3-4 minutes OR until cheese is melted. Watch carefully so as to not burn the bread. Eat and enjoy....right to the last bite.
Julie~

Friday, April 8, 2011

Honey Lime Chicken Kabobs


We're getting so close to BBQ season! Yay! Hubby LOVES to BBQ so when spring rolls around I am more than happy to turn the cooking over to him. One of our latest indulgences was Honey Lime Chicken Kabobs. Absolutely out of this world amazing.

Honey Lime Chicken Kabobs

Marinade
4 Tbsp. Honey
4 Tbsp. Lime Juice

Kabobs
1 lb chicken
fresh pineapple
green pepper
orange pepper

Combine marinade ingredients in a large zip lock bag. Cut chicken into chunks and let sit in marinade for a couple hours (in fridge). Assemble kabob ingredients onto kabob sticks (use 4 oz of chicken on each kabob). Alternate according to personal preference. Grill until chicken is cooked through. Serve immediately. Makes 4 kabobs.

1 kabob = 6 points (points plus)

~Dayna~

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Creamy Chicken Casserole

I am always up for a quick dinner idea. I got home from a busy day and needed something simple, yet delicious for dinner. I didn't feel like begging for suggestions so I whipped up this little casserole. I don't know if the family was just STARVING or if they just adored this dandy little dish, but they lapped up all but 1 serving...I even had 2 children fighting over who got another helping...guess thats a sign of a successful dinner right?! It was nice to not hear anyone complain or refuse to eat...I think I scored big in the "GOOD MEAL" category that night!

Creamy Chicken Casserole

2 1/2 c. elbow macaroni, cooked and drained according to package instructions

1 can cream chicken soup
3/4 c. sour cream
1 can (12.5 oz) of chicken
3 c. cheese, divided
1/2 c. butter

Combine sour cream, soup, butter, 2 c. cheese and chicken in a medium sauce pan. Heat until butter and cheese is melted. Pour COOKED pasta into sauce and stir until mixed. Spoon mixture into greased casserole dish, top with remaining cheese. Cook at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes. Serve hot. Enjoy!

Julie~

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Rocky Road Brownies


For the past few months I've been craving Rocky Road Brownies-- but I wasn't willing to settle for anything average. I had a picture in my mind and I wouldn't be satisfied with anything less. I was browsing through a new recipe blog I found and I stopped dead in my tracks. There was the most delicious picture of the EXACT brownies I had been imagining. I knew I had to make them. They were absolutely everything I had been dreaming of. Chocolate, Marshmallows and Brownies all rolled into one delicious dessert. I made a huge pan, ate one square and sent them with my Hubby to work. There was no way I trusted myself around these. They are amazing. I think I may have a new favorite.

Rocky Road Brownies

Layer 1:
Brownie Mix

Layer 2:
6 oz. cream cheese- softened
1/4 cup butter- softened
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg
1/2 tsp. vanilla
2 Tbsp. flour
1 cup chocolate chips

Prepare brownie mix according to package directions. Spread in a greased 9x13 pan. Mix second layer ingredients together (except chocolate chips) until smooth. Spread 2nd layer over base and sprinkle 1 cup chocolate chips on top. Bake at 350 for 30-35 minutes.

When done sprinkle 2 cups mini marshmallows over hot brownies. Put back in hot oven for 2 minutes or until fluffy.

Frosting:
1/2 cup margarine
4 tsp. cocoa powder
2 oz. softened cream cheese
3 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1/4 cup milk
Walnuts *optional

Melt margarine and cocoa in a saucepan. Remove from heat- pour into a mixing bowl. Add cream cheese and powdered sugar. Mix well. Add vanilla and milk. Mix until smooth. Pour over hot marshmallows and spread (this will look messy-- the marshmallows kind of swirl in with the icing). Chill (in fridge) for at least 2 hours before serving.

~Dayna~

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Oatmeal Buttermilk Muffins

Oatmeal muffins are delish...and these won't disappoint and to make them even better...they are super easy to whip up too, oh yeah, they might even be healthy as well...unless you pile on the butter, which tends to make them REALLY, REALLY GOOD!...just sayin'.........

Oatmeal Buttermilk Muffins

1 c. oatmeal
1 c. buttermilk
1 egg
1/2 c. brown sugar
1/2 c. oil
1 c. flour
1 t. baking powder
1/2 t. salt
1/2 t. baking soda
1/2 t. cinnamon
1 c. raisins (optional....I opted out of adding these)

Mix all ingredient together, batter will be lumpy. Spoon batter into greased muffin tin, 2/3 full. Bake at 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes. Don't over cook or they will be dry. Makes 12 muffins.

Julie~

Monday, April 4, 2011

Turtle Cookie Bars


Sunday is my baking day. It always has been. I love spending a lazy afternoon whipping up delicious goodies in my kitchen. When I came across this recipe for Turtle Cookie Bars I knew it would be the perfect addition to my Sunday baking menu. These bars are easy to make and ever so delicious. They are deliciously rich which makes them perfect for a smaller serving and less guilt later. Love them!

Turtle Cookie Bars

Bottom Layer:
2 cups flour
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup butter- at room temperature
1/2 cup pecan halves

Center Layer:
2/3 cup butter
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar

Topping:
1 1/2 cups chocolate chips
1/4 cup pecans- finely chopped

In a bowl combine flour, sugar and butter. Mix until well combined. Firmly press the mixture into the bottom of an ungreased 9x13 pan. Layer the pecan halves over the crust.

In a medium pan cook the butter and brown sugar until boiling. Cook for 3 additional minutes- stir constantly. Remove from heat and pour evenly over pecans.

Place the pan in a 350 degree oven and cook for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and sprinkle the chocolate chips evenly over entire pan. Allow the chips to soften about 1-2 minutes and gently swirl the chocolate over bars. Sprinkle with chopped pecans and let cool for at least 2 hours. Cut into 24 bars. Serve.

1 bar = 6 points (point plus)

~Dayna~

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Pumpkin Nut Bread

I've been trying my hand at many different quick breads lately...just to shake up the breakfast routine a bit. This Pumpkin Nut Bread is very tasty, especially warm. I love eating it on a cold spring morning...actually, I love eating it anytime, because this bread is "FANTABULOUS" ! It's very moist like a quick bread should be, tastes divine and it disappears quickly if eaten by pumpkin lovers...like ME! YUMMY!

Pumpkin Nut Bread
3 1/3 c. flour
3 c. sugar
2 t. baking soda
1 t. salt
3 t. cinnamon
1 t. ground ginger
1/2 t. ground nutmeg
1/2 t. ground cloves
1 (15 oz.) can pumpkin
4 eggs
1/2 c. oil
1/2 c. applesauce
2/3 c. water
1 t. vanilla
1 c. chopped walnuts

Combine all dry ingredients in a mixing bowl and gently stir with a wooden spoon. Add pumpkin, eggs, oil, applesauce, water, nuts and vanilla. Stir until well blended (I used my mixer for this part, but you can use a spoon if you choose). Pour batter into 3 greased and floured bread loaf pans. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 10-15 minutes before removing bread from pans. Place on a paper towel or wire rack to cool completely.

Julie~

Friday, April 1, 2011

Root Beer Cookies


3 years ago my hubby swore of soda. He did it on a bet with a friend and now he says he continues because it makes him awesome. Before this life change his favorite soda was Root Beer. He got it everywhere we went and he was very particular with his brands. When I saw this recipe for Root Beer cookies I knew I HAD to make them for him. I admit he was super skeptical when I told him about them. I almost had to physically force him to take a bite-- but after 1 taste he was hooked. I had to send the rest of the cookies to his coworkers so they would be out of our reach. They were so yummy! Something different and fun that anyone can enjoy. *I used light brown sugar which made my cookies turn out super light- almost looked like a sugar cookie. SO yummy, but if you want them darker use dark brown sugar.

Root Beer Cookies

2 cups brown sugar
2 tsp. root beer extract
2 sticks butter- softened
3 1/2 cups flour
2 eggs
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 cup water
1 tsp. salt

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cream brown sugar and butter. Add eggs, water and root beer extract. Mix. In a separate bowl combine all dry ingredients. Stir dry ingredients into wet mixture until well mixed. Dough is a little sticky. Drop by teaspoon onto a cookie sheet. Bake 7-10 minutes. Makes 75 cookies.

1 cookie = 3 points (points plus)

~Dayna~