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

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Bacon wrapped Asparagus

It's hard finding new ways to prepare veggies that the Hubby and I will eat. Usually it's just easier to eat them raw. We're trying to be grown ups and like them more, so when I saw this recipe for bacon wrapped asparagus I knew this was something we would both love. Disguising your veggies as bacon is always a good idea. It also fit nicely into our healthy weight watcher dinner.

Bacon wrapped Asparagus

1/2 lb asparagus (aprox. 20 3" pieces) 
10 pieces bacon
2 tsp. olive oil
salt and pepper

Cut the bottoms off the asparagus-- make them approximately 3 inches long. Cut bacon pieces in half. Wrap a bacon piece around the asparagus leaving the tips exposed. Secure the bacon with a toothpick or just make sure it is wrapped tightly. Brush the tips with a little bit of olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Cook on grill until bacon is crispy and asparagus is tender. 


4 pieces of asparagus = 3 points plus

Monday, January 30, 2012

Cheese Potato Casserole

I'm a huge fan of "cheesy potatoes", they are one of my favorite winter comfort foods. I usually don't cook them very often because I don't want to tire of them...but I love them none the less. This recipe is quick and easy and can be made the night before and thrown in the oven when your ready for baking. You can also add cooked bacon or ham or even burger to the recipe to make a complete meal if you choose too...its very versatile...and VERY delicious!

Cheese Potato Casserole
1 (32 oz) bag frozen hash browns
2 cans cream of chicken soup
2 c. sour cream
1 c. grated cheddar cheese
1/2 c. butter
1/2-1 t. onion powder

2 c. grated cheddar cheese (for topping)

In a medium sauce pan combine soup, sour cream, 1 c. cheese, butter and onion powder. Cook until butter is melted and ingredient is mixed. Remove from heat, stir in frozen hash browns. Pour into a 9x13 baking pan. Top with remaining cheese. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.
*you can also add cooked meat when adding the frozen hash browns to soup mixture...(I like to add cooked bacon) just stir in. Makes for a wonderful, delicious meal!


Friday, January 27, 2012

Cinnamon Raisin Waffles

These Cinnamon Raisin Waffles are great to serve any ol' time for any ol' meal. In my house, we enjoy breakfast in the morning or in the evening...doesn't matter to us. The family loved these delish waffles and requested that I make them again...soon.

Cinnamon Raisin Waffles
3/4 c. flour
1/4 c. cornstarch
1 T. sugar
1/2 t. salt
1/2 t. baking powder
1/4 t. baking soda
1 1/2 t cinnamon
1 t. nutmeg
1 c. raisins
1 c. buttermilk
6 T canola oil
1 large egg- separated
1/2 t. vanilla

In a large bowl, mix together the dry ingredient. In a separate bowl, stir together the milk, oil, egg YOLK and vanilla until well combined. IN a third bowl, beat the egg whites until peaks form. Add the wet ingredient (NOT egg whites, yet) and raisins to the dry ingredient and stir until combined and moistened. Gently fold in the egg whites. The batter will be slightly lumpy because of the raisins. Cook according to directions on your waffle iron. Serve with butter and maple syrup.


Thursday, January 26, 2012

Taco Spiced Chicken

Over my Christmas Vacation I sat down and worked out the Weight Watcher points for some delicious looking new recipes. It always surprises me when I realize how many healthy changes you can make without compromising the flavors. This recipe is a perfect example. The original wanted you to coat the entire chicken breast in oil (lets be honest--- that sounds delicious) before grilling. Removing the oil altogether made this flavor packed recipe stand out even more. This chicken is absolutely diet friendly and your non-dieting families won't ever know the difference. 

Taco Spiced Chicken 

2 Tbsp. Taco seasoning
1 tsp. dried oregano
4 boneless chicken breasts
¼ cup BBQ sauce
1 Tbsp. chili sauce
½ tsp. cumin

In a bowl mix taco seasoning and oregano. Sprinkle over chicken breasts. Cook on grill for 10-15 minutes, turning occasionally. Cook until juices run clear. While chicken cooks, combine BBQ sauce, chili sauce and cumin in a microwave safe bowl. Cook on high for 30-60 seconds or until hot. Spread over cooked chicken and serve immediately. Makes 4 servings.


1 piece of chicken = 4 points plus

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Easy Mexican Casserole

Dinner time doesn't have to be time consuming to taste good. Give yourself a little break and make this scrumptious casserole for dinner...everyone will think you spent hours making in when in reality, it takes only minutes to whip up. Enjoy!

Easy Mexican Casserole
1 lb ground beef, cooked and drained
1 (10 oz) can enchilada sauce
1 (16 oz) can chili
3 c. Dorito chips, crushed (Nacho cheese)
2 c. sour cream
sliced olives (optional)
1/2 c. chopped fresh tomato
2 c. grated cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium frying pan, combine cooked ground beef and enchilada sauce, stir until combined. Simmer for 20 minutes. Stir in chili and heat through. Spray a 9x13 baking pan. Spread crushed chips on bottom of dish. Spoon meat mixture over the chips, spread sour cream over meat, sprinkle with sliced olives and tomato. Top with cheddar cheese. Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes. Serve with guacamole if desired.


Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Carrot Cake Cupcakes

Hubby and I canceled our cable a few years ago. The only thing we ever missed were Basketball games. Anyone who knows my Hubby knows he literally cannot live without the NBA. The lockout at the beginning of this season was torture for him. So a few months ago on a whim we got cable again. He got his basketball games and I got my Food Network. Cupcake wars is my current favorite. I'm not afraid to admit while making these cupcakes I pretended to be on the show. I thought about every aspect. I used a my favorite base carrot cake and stuffed it with a cream cheese center and topped with a delicious cream cheese frosting. This would absolutely be a winner on that show and it will absolutely be a winner in your kitchen. 

Carrot Cake Cupcakes

1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup oil
3 eggs
2 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp.baking soda
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
3 cups grated carrots

8 oz cream cheese
1/4 cup sugar

8 oz cream cheese
5 Tbsp. butter (room temp) 
1 tsp. vanilla
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar

For the cake mix sugar, oil and eggs. Add flour, cinnamon, soda, vanilla, salt and nutmeg. Mix well. Stir in the carrots. Make filling: soften cream cheese in the microwave. Add sugar and mix together. Fill cupcake about 1/3 full with cakebatter. Place aprox. 1 tsp. filling in the center of the cupcake and top with batter until 2/3 the way full. Bake at 350 for 18-20 minutes. Makes 24 cupcakes. For frosting mix cream cheese, butter vanilla and powdered sugar. Pipe onto cupcakes with cake decorating bag or cut edge of ziploc baggie and use as a decorating bag. I topped mine with a little orange zest just to add a little decor. 


Monday, January 23, 2012

Mom's Roast Beef Stew

When my mom used to make a Sunday roast, she always made extra of EVERYTHING so that we would have leftovers for the following day. She would then combine all the ingredients and make a delicious beef stew or a big meat pie. We always looked forward to dinner the following day almost as much as we looked forward to the original "Sunday Roast Feast".

Mom's Roast Beef Stew

1 beef roast (this works for any size of roast...if its extra large, add another packet of soup mix)
1 package dry onion soup mix

Place beef roast in the bottom of a roasting pan with 1-2 quart water (keeps roast from drying out...as well as a base for the gravy) Sprinkle onion soup mix on top of roast. Set aside.

10 potatoes
2lbs (or more) baby carrots

Cut potatoes into half. Place potatoes and carrots in pan around roast. Cover with lid or a tinfoil tent. Bake at 250 degrees for 5 hours.

When done, remove meat, potatoes and carrots from pan. Strain drippings through a strainer and put LIQUID back into a pan. Season with season salt, pepper, onion powder and garlic powder. Bring liquid to a boil. Make a thickening with cornstarch and water (2 parts cornstarch to 1 part water) and slowly pour into boiling liquid until gravy is thickened to desired thickness. You may need to add all the thickening...but let gravy sit for a minute and see how much it thickens before you add more.

NOW...the roast and potatoes/carrots and gravy are ready to eat OR you can make stew (or burrito's..recipe coming soon).

leftover meat pieces
leftover cooked potatoes. cut into chunky pieces
leftover cooked carrots, cut into chunks

Add all ingredient (any amount you would like) into crock pot. Cook on low for 4-6 hours.
Serve with grilled cheese sandwiches or your favorite bread.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Beef Burrito's

Leftover roast is so versatile and can be used in so MANY different recipes. I LOVE IT! My family gobbled up these burrito's like there was NO tomorrow!...and rightfully so, they were scrumptious! You can use leftover roast or bottled meat, either one would work great!

Beef Burrito's

10 tortillas
leftover roast beef (or bottled beef)
2-3 c. shredded cheese
1 large can green enchilada sauce
sour cream
diced tomatoes

Layer roast beef and cheese into tortillas (warm in the microwave for 10-15 seconds to warm shells, this makes it easier to roll them), roll up or fold "burrito style". Heat oil (enough to cover the bottom of pan) in a frying pan (I use my electric skillet) until hot. Place rolled burrito's (all of them at the same time) into hot oil. Cook on medium heat until both sides are golden brown. Pour enchilada sauce over the top of enchilada's, cover for 2-3 minutes. Serve topped with shredded cheese, sour cream and diced tomatoes. Mmmmmmmmmmmmm!


Thursday, January 19, 2012

Mexican Wraps

These wraps are SO delicious. They mix up so fast and they are a perfect for a quick easy dinner. For only 7 WWer points a piece these are the perfect diet friendly food.--and for those of you lucky enough to be skinny already you will never know the difference.

Mexican Wraps

1 cup brown rice
1 cup cooked chicken
1 ½ cups black beans
1 Tbsp. lime juice
1 tsp. cumin
½ Tbsp. chili powder
½ tsp. garlic
1 ½ cups cheese
6 flour tortillas
½ cup FF sour cream (1 Tbsp. each burrito)

Combine rice, lime juice, cumin, chili powder and garlic. Mix well. Add chicken and black beans. Stir until combined. Sprinkle ¼ cup cheese onto tortilla. Spread ½ cup of rice mixture on top of cheese. Fold sides- burrito style and cook on an electric grill for 2-3 minutes on each side, or until brown. Makes 6 wraps. Top with 1 Tbsp. sour cream.

1 wrap = 7 points plus


Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Filet-Mignon Burger

My son-in-law thought of the perfect name for these burgers...it stuck and they will be forever called "THE Filet-Mignon Burger". Burgers of all kinds are a favorite at our house. It doesn't matter whether is winter or summer, we eat them. I have to say though, I've eaten a few burgers in my day that just didn't measure up to the "BURGER" test. My burgers have to not only taste good...(no one wants a boring burger) but they need to be juicy and always topped with some kind of cheese as well. This burger most definitely passed the "burger test". I'm guessing it will pass yours too.

Filet-Mignon Burger

Ground beef (1 lb makes approximately 3-4 burgers, just depends on how big and thick you want them)
liquid smoke
season salt
onion powder
garlic powder
1-2 lbs thick sliced bacon
cheddar cheese, sliced

Cover cookie sheet with tinfoil. Place 2 slices of bacon onto pan, forming and X. Repeat for the amount of burgers you will be cooking. Form hamburger patties. Place 3-4 drops of liquid smoke on each patty, apply seasoning. Place each burger on the X formed with the bacon. Wrap bacon up around the burger. Bake at 375 degrees for 30-40 minutes. Cooking time will depend on the thickness of the meat...so watch it carefully. When burger is almost done, place cheese slice on top of burger and continue until cheese is melted. Remove from oven. Place burger on bun and top with desired condiments. ENJOY!

Hubby said it was the BEST BACON CHEESEBURGER that he's ever eaten!
I will have to say it scores right up there at the top on my list too!


Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Cookie Dough Cheesecake Cupcakes

I'm kind of addicted to cupcakes. The thought of a cupcake on the weekend can seriously get me through an awful week. Which is what happened-- Hubby started school last week and our time together went from a few hours to literally 10 minutes a day as we both get ready for bed. I live for the weekends. I knew I would need the promise of cupcakes to get me through my first week without him.  Hubby asked for cheesecake, (via text) I wanted cookie dough. So the idea of Cookie Dough Cheesecake Cupcakes was born. I feel bad that my world has gone without them for so long. I could not get enough of these! I had to take a few to my neighbor just to get them out of my house! The subtle cookie dough chunks mixed in cream cheese frosting really takes it over the top. If that's not enough the pop of cookie dough in the center of your cupcake will have you begging for more! And now you can make them in the comfort of your own home! 

Cookie Dough Cheesecake Cupcakes

1 box cake mix
ingredients to prepare according to package directions

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

8 oz cream cheese
5 Tbsp. butter (room temperature)
1 tsp. vanilla
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar

Prepare cake mix according to package directions. While they are baking prepare filling. Cream butter and brown sugar. Add flour and mix well. Pour in sweetened condensed milk and vanilla. Beat until smooth. Add chocolate chips and mix. Set aside 1 cup cookie dough and form the rest into small balls and set in fridge while you prepare frosting. (I threw mine in the freezer instead because I wanted them to harden faster)  Mix cream cheese, butter and vanilla until smooth. Add powdered sugar and mix well. Take out the 1 cup cookie dough you set aside and crumble it into the frosting. Fold in cookie dough with a wooden spoon just until combined. You want it to stay in chunks as much as possible. 

After cupcakes are cooled cut a cone shape out of the center of each cake and fill with a cookie dough ball. Place the top of the cone shape you cut out back on top of the cookie dough. (hiding the hole). Frost cupcakes (I use a cake decorating bag but you can also use a ziploc baggie with the corner cut out) and top with a small cookie dough ball on top. 


Monday, January 16, 2012

Crispy Lemon Chicken

Chicken is one of those "staple foods" around my house. We eat it frequently and I am always looking for new ways to serve it. This recipe is a favorite at our house, hope it becomes a favorite around yours.

Crispy Lemon Chicken

1/4 c. oil
3 T honey
juice of 2 large lemons
2 T. lemon zest
1/4 t. salt
1/4 t. pepper

Whisk together all ingredient. Place 4-6 boneless, skinless chicken breast to a ziplock bag, add marinate. Let sit for 2 hours.

When ready to make, prepare the following:

1 1/2 c. flour
2 t. onion powder
2 t. garlic powder
2 t. season salt
1 t. salt
1 t. pepper

Mix dry ingredient together in a medium bowl and set aside.

3 c. buttermilk, put in a shallow bowl and set aside

3 c. CRUSHED cornflakes, put in a medium bowl and set aside

Marinated chicken breast (can use large pieces or you can cut into strips)

Place chicken in flour mixture and coat completely. Dip into buttermilk and then into the crushed cornflakes, coating both sides. Place chicken on a lightly sprayed (cooking spray) baking sheet. Continue until all chicken is coated and placed on the pan. Bake at 375 for 25-30 minutes...turn chicken over after 15 minutes and then continue to cook. Chicken will be done when it's no longer pink. (I cut my chicken into strips and it took approximately 40 minutes to cook). Enjoy!


Friday, January 13, 2012

Christmas Caramel Apple Salad

Yes, I realize that Christmas has come and gone...but this salad is worth blogging about BEFORE next year. I made this for our Christmas Eve dinner and it was such a huge hit I had to share it with you. One of my sons dubbed it "Christmas" Caramel Apple Salad" and requested that it make its way to our Christmas Eve dinner table every year from here on out. It was extremely delish and had all the flavors that remind me of the holidays (Thanksgiving AND Christmas)...so from now on, we will be eating this every December 24th...and maybe even on other special occasions as well. Give it a try and see if it will make its way to your holiday tables.

Christmas Caramel Apple Salad
1 bag of snack sized snicker bars, chopped into small pieces (I used my food processor...worked like a charm)
4-6 Granny Smith apples (any apple will work, but I liked the sour of the apple, blended with the sweet of the candy bar and whipped topping)
1 (12 oz) whipped topping
3 T. instant butterscotch pudding mix
3 T. instant vanilla pudding mix
Caramel ice cream topping for garnish

Mix the DRY pudding mixtures into whipped topping. Set aside. Core and cut apples into bite sized pieces, add chopped snicker bars. Add whipped topping mixture and gently fold until all pieces are covered. Warm caramel sauce in microwave to make it easier to pour. Drizzle over the top of salad. Refrigerated until ready to serve.


Thursday, January 12, 2012

Twix Cheesecake

I love Twix and I love cheesecake, so the marriage of these ingredients was absolutely a match made in Heaven. I whipped these up for a quick Christmas dinner dessert. We always over indulge in all the turkey and fixins so we needed something small for dessert. (you can't go without dessert!) These were the perfect size and jam packed with flavor. These just might be my new favorite dessert. They will definitely be made again and again! 
Twix Cheesecake

20 Oreos
1 Tablespoon sugar
1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted

Cheesecake Batter:

2 packages cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup sour cream
12 mini Twix bars, chopped into small pieces 

Preheat the oven to 275 degrees F.
Crush Oreos into fine crumbs. Add crumbs and sugar into a large bowl and mix. Pour in the melted butter and mix to coat all of the crumbs with butter.
Line a cupcake pan with cupcake liners. Scoop a Tablespoon of the cookie crumbs into each cupcake liner. Using your hand, press the crumbs down firmly. 
In a large bowl mix the cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Add vanilla and lightly beaten eggs, mix well. Mix in the sour cream. 
Chop the mini Twix bars into small pieces. Add them into the cheesecake batter and gently fold them in.
Using an ice cream scooper, scoop the cheesecake batter into each cupcake liner. Bake the cheesecakes at 275 for 30 minutes. Let cool and chill in refrigerator overnight. 

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Cheese Sticks

I don't know how many times I have tried to make yummy cheese sticks. They usually taste pretty good, but the cheese tends to melt and come out of the batter, leaving a huge mess in my fryer. These cheese sticks were amazing! They not only stayed together, but they tasted great too! They were simple and a fun addition to any meal. My hubby said they were the best cheese sticks he had ever eaten, which was a huge compliment because he likes to order these when we go out to dinner...so I was very flattered. Give them a try at your house...see how they measure up to your favorite cheese sticks.

Homemade Cheese Sticks

2 c. canola oil (to fry them in)
4 eggs
1 c. milk
2-3 c. panko bread crumbs
1 t. onion powder
1 t. garlic powder
1/2 t. pepper
20 mozzarella string cheese
20 egg roll wrappers

Heat oil in a saucepan OR if you have a fryer, use it for cooking the cheese sticks.

In a bowl, whisk eggs and milk. In another bowl mix seasonings and panko. Dredge 1 entire side of egg roll wrapper into the egg wash. Place 1 cheese stick on the wrapper. roll wrapper, tucking ends as you go. Continue rolling until it looks like an egg roll. Dip rolled wrapper in egg wash again and then roll in panko crumb mixture. Continue until all cheese sticks are rolled. Cook 1-2 sticks at a time if your using a saucepan OR 3-4 at a time if you have a large fryer. Cook each one for about 2-3 minutes or until golden brown. Place cooked cheese sticks on a plate lined with paper towels to absorb the oil. Eat while hot! IF you want, you can dip these scrumptious little sticks in ranch OR fry sauce...or eat them as is, any ol' way you choose is "lip smackin" good!


Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Twice Baked Yams

I hated yams when I was younger. It wasn't until well into my marriage that I finally got brave enough to try them again. Needless to say, when done right, they are a staple at all of my big dinners. Unfortunately I'm the only one that will eat them at my house. I usually make a huge pan of my favorite yams and I could eat every last drop by myself. This year I decided to try a different take and make twice baked yams. A little more compact and perfect for portion control (unless your like me and make way too many just so you can have leftovers). These will absolutely make your mouth water and everyone will be begging for more. 

Twice Baked Yams

3 medium fresh yams
3 Tbsp. real butter
3 Tbsp. brown sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon

Wash outsides of yams well. Poke holes with a fork and bake (unwrapped) at 400 for 60 minutes, or until they are soft to touch. Let cool until you are able to handle them. Cut yams in half and spoon out the flesh into a medium sized bowl. Set aside skins. Add butter, brown sugar and cinnamon. Mix well. Spoon mixture back into skins. Sprinkle with topping. 

2 Tbsp. Flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/4 cup melted real butter

Mix flour, brown sugar, cinnamon and walnuts. Add melted butter and stir together. Sprinkle over yams and bake for 15 minutes or until topping is bubbly. 


Monday, January 9, 2012

Loaded Baked Potato Dip

Dips aren't just for the holidays...they can just be for "fun". This Loaded Baked Potato Dip makes for a great Sunday Night snack while your watching the game or enjoying your favorite television show.

Loaded Baked Potato Dip

1 (16 oz) package bacon, cooked and crumbled
1 (16 oz) sour cream
2 c. freshly grated cheese. I used 1 c. cheddar/1 c. swiss
1/3 c. fresh sliced chives (optional)
2 T Franks hot sauce
potato chips or crackers for dipping

In a medium bowl, stir together sour cream, cheese, chives, hot sauce and bacon. Chill for 1 hour or up to 24 hours. Serve with potato chips or crackers. Place leftovers in the refrigerator.


Friday, January 6, 2012

Lasagna Pie

My son affectionately named this casserole. He loved it and said that it tasted just like Lasagna...which happens to be a favorite dinner dish around my place. This Lasagna Pie whips up for a quick and tasty dinner.

Lasagna Pie
1 lb macaroni noodles, cooked according to package directions
1 lb ground beef, cooked and drained
1 lb ground sausage, cooked and drained
1 jar spaghetti sauce (your favorite brand, but you will something semi thick)
2-3 c. shredded cheddar cheese
Sour cream
Sliced olives

In a medium sized bowl, combine cooked noodles, ground beef, ground sausage and desired amount of sauce (my family likes a little less sauce, but you don't want to be too stingy with it or you will end up with a dry casserole). Stir until everything is mixed. Pour into a greased 2 qt. casserole dish. Top with grated cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes or until cheese is bubbly. Garnish with sour cream and sliced olives if desired.


Thursday, January 5, 2012

Bacon wrapped Chicken

A few weeks ago I made Bacon wrapped Smokies. So delicious! However, Hubby doesn't particularly like little smokies and refused to even try them. Bummer--- he totally would have loved them. Well, fast forward a few days and we discussed what we wanted to eat for our Christmas Eve appetizers-- I suggested the smokies and he counter offered with bacon wrapped chicken. I was sure they would be equally delicious so I agreed. And delicious they were. I could have eaten the entire plate. My only regret was that I didn't eat more. Amazing! 

Bacon wrapped Chicken
1 package bacon 
2 large chicken breasts
1/3 cup brown sugar

Cut bacon strips in half. Dice chicken into small bite sized pieces. Wrap 1 piece of bacon around each chunk of chicken. Set on cookie sheet. Sprinkle brown sugar over everything and bake at 325 for 40-45 minutes. 


Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Breakfast Piggy's In A Blanket

This recipe isn't really a "recipe" per-say...its more or less instructions on how to put this tasty little number together. Its a fun new way to eat pancakes, the kids will adore this...but even the adults in my house loved it...who knew?!

Breakfast Piggy's in a Blanket

Pancakes (your favorite recipe)
link sausage, cooked completely
maple syrup

Place cooked sausage in the middle of each pancake, roll up and secure with a toothpick (warn those that will be eating these that there is a toothpick in them). Top with butter and maple syrup OR for the kids...place syrup in a small dish and let them dip their Piggy in a Blanket. What a fun breakfast for everyone!


Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Cream Cheese Banana Bread

I'm so picky with my Bananas. There is about a 24 hour window where a banana is "perfect"-- the right shade of greenish/yellow. Anything after that is deemed inedible and instantly set aside for banana bread. I saw a new recipe for Cream Cheese Banana Bread and knew that the next stash of bananas were going towards this delicious looking bread. I made this one Sunday evening and it was the perfect end to a weekend. The cream cheese kicked this up a notch and it was by far the most moist delicious banana bread I've made. Stop your search for the perfect recipe-- you've found it.

Cream Cheese Banana Bread

3/4 c. butter, softened
1 (8 oz.) pkg. cream cheese, softened
2 c. sugar
2 large eggs
3 c. all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 cups mashed bananas (about 4 medium bananas)
1 cup roughly chopped pecans, toasted
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

Beat butter and cream cheese at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Gradually add sugar, beating until light and fluffy. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating just until blended after each addition.

Combine flour and next 3 ingredients; gradually add to butter mixture, beat at low speed just until blended. Stir in bananas, pecans, and vanillla. Spoon batter into 2 greased and floured 8x4 inch loafpans.

Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Let cool for 30 minutes before slicing.

*to toast pecans place on a cookie sheet and bake at 350 for 3-5 minutes until lightly toasted.


Monday, January 2, 2012

Mock Winger Chicken Wraps

I love our "Mock Wingers Chicken" recipe that is here on our blog. Hopefully you've tried it and you love it too! It's a favorite in our house and we make and eat it several times a month. I like to make A LOT when I make if for dinner... so there are leftovers for another day. Last time I made it, we had too many leftover for just ONE more meal so I had to get a little creative to use up all the leftovers...so I decided to make a wrap with the chicken/...add a little cheese and some spinach and dinner was served!. OH LA LA...was it ever good!! I realize that many of you might have already tried this, but it was a first for me and so I thought I would share! PS.... I love leftovers!!!

Mock Winger Chicken
1 bag of chicken chunks
(Dayna use's Great Value Chicken Chunks. I actually like to use the Stone's Brand Chicken that comes in a large bag (if your a local, our grocery store here in town sells it). Its NOT pre-cooked, but it is breaded. Then I bake or deep-fry it...the cooking instructions for it are on the bag...this recipe will work and taste DIVINE with either kinds of chicken)

1 package tortilla shells
2-3 c. shredded cheese
spinach leave or shredded lettuce

1 1/2 c. brown sugar
4 T. water
6 T. "Franks" Hot Sauce (it has to be this brand)
* This makes a rather small amount of sauce, perfect if you are just wanting it for one meal, if you want EXTRA, double or triple the recipe.....just depends on if you like/want leftovers.

Bake chicken strips according to the package. Heat hot sauce, water and brown sugar in a sauce pan until all the sugar is dissolved. Cut chicken into bite sized pieces. (or leave as strips) Pour sauce over chicken and toss until sauce is coated evenly. Place chicken down the center of a warmed tortilla shell, add cheese and spinach or lettuce. Top with homemade ranch dressing (optional).
*Mixing winger sauce and ranch dressing will create a "buffalo sauce" similar to the one served at Wingers....its to die for!!!!!!!

*If you haven't made this recipe before...be warned that its a little on the spicy/hot side. It's extremely delicious, but it does have a KICK to it.