Thursday, May 31, 2012

Chicken Tamale Bake

1 cup Cheddar cheese, grated
1 cup  Pepper Jack cheese, grated
1/3 cup milk
1 egg
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper  ( I used chili powder)
1 (14 3/4-ounce) can cream-style corn
1 (8.5-ounce) box corn muffin mix (Jiffy works great)
1 (4-ounce) can chopped green chile's
1 (10-ounce) can red enchilada sauce
1 pound shredded or chopped chicken
salt and pepper, to taste
sour cream,lettuce.tomato's,cilantro optional

1.Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
2.Spray a 13x9 baking dish with cooking spray.
3.Combine the cheeses in a small bowl.
4.In a large bowl, stir together 1/4 cup of the combined cheese, the milk, egg, cumin, red pepper, corn, muffin mix, and the green chile's. Stir until just combined.
5.Pour into the prepared pan and bake for 15 minutes or until just set.

6.While the cornbread is baking, cook your chicken in a skillet over medium heat until cooked completely through. Drain, if necessary, and salt and pepper the chicken.
7.Remove the cornbread from the oven and pierce all over with a fork.
8.Pour the enchilada sauce over the corn bread.
9.Top with the chicken and remaining cheese.

10.Return to the oven for another 15 minutes.

* I thought that this was pretty good. Nothing compares to a real tamale but it had similar flavors and the family liked it. It was super easy to make and that's always good in my book. This is a great basic recipe that you could add and mix up the ingredients to make it work to your taste. Use some pork or beef instead of chicken? Its a great basic recipe I give it a 4 1/2

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Potato Mac Salad

3/4 pound elbow macaroni
1 cup mayonnaise
1/2-3/4 cup sour cream (depending on how saucy you like it)
1 large sweet onion ( I used half a vadalia onion and half of a red onion)
1/2 cup shredded carrots
3-4 russet potatoes boiled and diced. You can leave the skin on if you like
4 large hard-boiled eggs
2 stalks celery, sliced
1/4 cup chopped dill pickles
1 teaspoon mustard
Salt, pepper,celery salt and dill weed to taste. (I used between 1/4-1/2 tsp of each)

1.Cook the pasta to al dente. Rinse in cold water.
2.Cook the potatoes and dice them into 1/2 inch cubes.
3.Rough chop the eggs.
4. Mix together the sauce in a bowl

5.Add everything in one big bowl.

6.Chill at least one hour in the refrigerator.

* I was making a large batch of this for my sons party and so I am not sure exactly on the spices I would just say do it to taste. That's the great thing about pasta salads. They are really hard to mess up lol. I love how this turned out with the combo of noodles and potatos. I think it tasted great and everyone ate it up. I would make it again I give it a 4 1/2

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

My sons 2nd Birthday Safari

My son turned two over the weekend and we had a safari/jungle theme party for him. I think it all turned out great. Here is a bunch of pics and some short examples of how it was made :)

The cake I made was a single 10" layer cake as the base two 8" layers as the middle and a single 6" layer as the top. I frosted the whole cake in white frosting then used piping gel tinted with sky blue coloring for the waterfall. Then I used green and brown frosting to add the effects to the cake like the trees,grass and all the shrubs. I finished it off with a few chocolate candy rocks and some safari animals.
I also made the cake zebra striped. You do this by alternating between white and chocolate cake mix. I also added some black food coloring to my chocolate cake to make it darker.
Here is how it looked cut.

On to the cupcakes. We made 24 cupcakes so that gave us 6 of each animal.

The tiger I frosted orange. (used white and added orange gel paste to it) then used a lighter orange for the mouth circle. Used a small tip on my black frosting to add the lines and a small brown for the mouth. Used orange jelly belly beans for the ears and mini m&m's for the eyes.
 For the monkey I frosted him brown with a lighter brown mouth and hair. I used a mini marshmallow cut in half for the eyes topped with a mini m&m. And used junior mints for the ears.
 The zebra I cut a slit in the bottom of the cupcake and inserted a vanilla waffer cookie to add definition to the zebras head. Then I frosted the cupcake white and the nose black. Also added black for the lines and hair. Used black jelly belly's for the ears and again mini m&m's for the eyes.
 The lion I used the same frosting that I used for the tiger for the face and also the mouth. I then added caramel corn for the hair some cheerios for the ears pretzel sticks for the whiskers and the mini m&m eyes.
For the smash cake I made a safari jeep. I made this out of pound cake so that it was easier to work with. I baked it in two mini loaf pans. One for the car base and then I cut the other one in half for the top of the car. Frosted it add green with a white windshield. Added 5 small chocolate doughnuts for the wheels. (one on the back for the spare tire) and used rope licorice for the detailing around the windows,doors and the grill on front. I used black licorice for a roll bar and come spree candy. 2 yellow for the front lights and 1 red for a steering wheel. I used two white good and plenty's for the door handles. also added stick cookies to the bottom of the jeep and added a small plastic alligator into the back of the jeep.

Lime Ricky Jello Cups

1 package (3 ounces) grape gelatin
2 cups boiling water,divided
2-1/2 cups cold water, divided
1 envelope unflavored gelatin
1 cup heavy whipping cream
6 tablespoons sugar
2 cups (16 ounces) sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 package (3 ounces) lime gelatin

1.In a bowl, dissolve the lime gelatin in 1 cup boiling water; stir in 1 cup cold water. Pour into a 3-qt. serving bowl or divide between clear plastic cups (I used cups)  Refrigerate about 1 hour or until firm.
2.Meanwhile, in a saucepan, sprinkle unflavored gelatin over 1/2 cup cold water; let stand for 1 minute.Then mix in the cream and sugar; cook and stir over low heat until gelatin and sugar are completely dissolved. Allow to cool to room temperature. Whisk in sour cream and vanilla. Spoon over the set grape layer. Refrigerate until firm, again for about 1 -1 1/2 hours.
3.Once the white layer is firm, dissolve grape gelatin in a bowl with remaining 1 cup boiling  water; stir in remaining 1 cup cold water. Pour over a spoon over cream layer. Pouring the gelatin over a spoon prevents making a hole into the white layer as you pour.
4.Chill until set for about 1 more hour. Garnish with whipped cream and lime if desired.

* I made this for my sons birthday and thought that it turned out great the flavors mixed well together and he loved it. I would make this again in just a normal bowl unless I needed individual servings again :)
I give it a 4 1/2

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Easy Raspberry Lemonade

2 (12 fluid ounce) cans frozen raspberry lemonade concentrate
6 cups water
1-1/2 teaspoons lime juice
2 (12 fluid ounce) cans sprite or fresca
2 cups crushed ice (I had the ice in the punch bowl not in my cup)
2 cups fresh raspberries, garnish

1.In a large punch bowl, combine raspberry lemonade concentrate, water and lime juice. Stir in soda and crushed ice. Garnish each glass with a fresh berry. Serve chilled

Makes 1 gallon

* I made this for my sons birthday party and it was gone fast. It was really to make and was so refreshing. I forgot to take pics of the juice from the party so I made it again but added some blackberries to float in the cup. (its what I had) and it was just as yummy. I give it a 5 

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Brownies

1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1/3 cup butter, room temperature
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar (packed)
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup milk chocolate chips

1.Cream the peanut butter and butter together; beat in the sugars, eggs and vanilla until well combined. Mix in the flour, baking powder and salt until well mixed, then fold in the miniature chocolate chips. Spread into a 8" x 8" greased baking dish.

2.Bake in preheated 350 oven for about 25-30 minutes. They will be done when the top springs back a little, don't over bake.

* Peanut butter and chocolate whats not to love right?? These were yummy and even better with a big glass of milk to go with it. I would for sure make these again sometime. They were super quick and easy to throw together. I give them a 4 1/2

Friday, May 18, 2012

S'mores Cheesecake Bars

For the crust:
1 c. graham cracker crumbs
1 Tbl. sugar
4 Tbl. unsalted butter, melted

For the cheesecake:
4 oz. semisweet chocolate, finely chopped ( I used milk) 1/2 cup
8 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
3 Tbl. sour cream
1/2 c. marshmallow cream
2 tsp. cocoa powder
3/4 tsp. vanilla extract
2 large eggs

For the topping:
1 1/2 - 2 c. mini marshmallows
melted milk chocolate chips, for drizzling on top

1.To make the crust, preheat the oven to 350˚ F.  Line an 8x8" baking pan with foil; spray lightly with cooking spray.  Combine the graham cracker crumbs, sugar and melted butter in a small bowl.  Stir together with a fork until well combined.  Press the mixture in an even layer into the bottom of the prepared baking pan.  Bake 10 minutes; transfer to a wire rack while you prepare the filling.  Reduce the oven temperature to 325˚ F.

2.To make the filling, place the chopped chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water.  Heat until melted and smooth, stirring occasionally.  Remove from the heat and let cool slightly.  In a medium bowl, combine the cream cheese, sour cream and marshmallow cream.  Beat on medium-high speed until smooth and well combined, 1-2 minutes.  Blend in the cocoa powder, vanilla extract and eggs until incorporated.  Stir in the melted chocolate until well blended.  Pour the filling over the graham cracker crust and smooth the top with a spatula.  Bake about 30 minutes, or until the center is just set (does not jiggle when shaken gently.)  Remove from the oven.

3.Evenly top the cheesecake layer with the mini marshmallows.  Return to the oven for 2-3 minutes, just long enough so the marshmallows begin to melt into each other.  Transfer to a wire cooling rack.  Using a kitchen torch, lightly brown the tops of the marshmallows.Once the cheesecake has cooled to room temperature, drizzle with melted milk chocolate if desired.  Transfer to the refrigerator and chill 2-3 hours before slicing and serving. 
* I got this recipe from another recipe from her blog that we loved. I swear I could make everything that she posts :) This turned out great. I just melted my chocolate chips in the microwave instead of a double broiler and it worked great. I was bringing this to family for dinner and so I didnt get a pic of a single serving but it was yummy I give it a 4

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Summer Pasta Salad

1/2 box or 8 oz of dry pasta
1/2 cup of creamy Caesar dressing
1/2 cup Italian dressing
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
Diced red , green and orange peppers, black olives,red onion,cucumber
1.Boil the noodles according to the package directions in a medium sized pot.   Rinse with cold water and drain, set aside.  
2.In a large bowl combine pasta, both dressings, Parmesan cheese and any vegetables together.  

3.Mix well and refrigerate for a few hours until chilled.  Serves 6-8 people.

* I made this for a family party so that's why my pics look like so much more then the recipe says. It was really good and a nice change from the normal just Italian dressing salad. I would make this again. I give it a 4 1/2

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Dennys Fabulous French Toast Copycat

4 eggs
2/3 cup whole milk
1/3 cup flour
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
6 slices Texas toast thick bread
3 tablespoons butter
powdered sugar


1.Mix together the eggs, milk, flour, sugar, vanilla, salt& cinnamon.
2.Heat a large skillet, or griddle.
3.When the skillet is hot, add 1 tablespoon butter.
4.If the butter smokes, your pan is too hot; turn down the heat.
5.Dip each slice of bread into the batter for 30 seconds on each side.
6.Let some of the batter drip off, then put in skillet.
7.Cook each slice 1 1/2-3 minutes per side until each side is golden brown.

8.Add more butter, if necessary, to cook all of the slices.
9.To serve, put on plate, dust with powdered sugar. Serve with butter & hot syrup.

* This was pretty good french toast it was definitely heaver and more filling then your normal french toast. Kids loved it I give it a 4


Thursday, May 10, 2012

Cheeseburger Lasagna


1 1/2 lb lean (at least 80%) ground beef (I only used 1lb)
3 tablespoons instant minced onion
1 can (15 oz) tomato sauce
1 1/2 cups water
1/2 cup ketchup
1 tablespoon prepared mustard
1 egg
1 container (15 oz) ricotta cheese
2 cups shredded Cheddar and American cheese blend (8 oz)
12 uncooked oven ready lasagna noodles
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese (4 oz)
1 cup shredded lettuce
1 medium tomato, sliced
Dill pickle slices
1. Spray 13x9-inch glass baking dish and large nonstick skillet with nonstick cooking spray. In sprayed skillet, cook ground beef and onion over medium-high heat 5 to 7 minutes or until beef is thoroughly cooked, stirring frequently. Add tomato sauce, water, ketchup and mustard; mix well. Simmer 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
2. Meanwhile, beat egg in medium bowl. Add ricotta cheese and 2 cups of the cheese blend; mix well.
3. Spread 1 cup beef mixture in bottom of sprayed baking dish. Arrange 3 uncooked noodles over sauce. Spoon and spread part of the ricotta cheese mixture over noodles; top with 1 1/2 cups beef mixture. Repeat layers. Top with remaining 3 noodles, beef mixture and the 1 cup Cheddar cheese. Cover with foil;
4 Heat oven to 350°F. Bake lasagna, covered, for 45 minutes.
5 Uncover baking dish; bake 25 to 35 minutes longer or until bubbly. Remove from oven. Cover with foil; let stand 5 to 10 minutes before serving.
6 Just before serving, top with lettuce, tomato and pickle slices.
* My family liked this I think it was the first time in a while that we had a quiet dinner cuz everyone was busy eating lol. It was easy to put together and a fun twist on lasagna. It really did taste like a cheeseburger. I think that if I made it again I would add maybe 2T mayo to the sauce mix also. But other then that it was great I give it a 4

Monday, May 7, 2012

Crazy Cooking Challenge.. Egg In A Hole Grilled Cheese

Its time again for the Crazy Cooking Challenge. This month we were set out to find the best Grilled Cheese Sandwich and share it with the world :) I had so many to choose from and they all looked so good.I had a few that I really wanted to try but I knew that they were already going to be on this list so I trying to think of one that maybe was not seen by so many but you never know it might have been someone else's pick lol :) My family loved these and it was such a fun breakfast for the kids. In the original recipe they left the eggs a little runny. My family wont eat them that way so I cooked the egg all the way added some extra cheese and used bacon instead of ham. (Its what I had) These were a hit and im sure will be made again.I got this recipe from She has an great blog I was on it way to long making a list of must try recipes lol check her out I am sure you will love her to.Just like you will love this amazing grilled cheese. So here it is my Crazy Cooking Challenge recipe for May Give them a try. 

2 slices bread of choice
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, divided
2 large eggs
1/3 cup shredded Cheddar cheese ( I also added a slice of Munster cheese to each sandwich)
3 slices prosciutto (I used Bacon)

1.Using a biscuit or cookie cutter, cut a 2-inch hole from the center of both slices of bread. Melt 1/2 tablespoon of butter in a medium nonstick skillet over medium-low heat. When it’s melted, add the two slices of bread. Let the bread lightly toast for a minute, or until lightly golden brown, and then flip the two slices over.

2.Crack the eggs into the holes and season with salt and pepper. If you’re using prosciutto. Just add a little salt.

3.Cover the pan for a minute, just until the egg whites are set. Next, add the grated cheese to one half and cover for another minute, or until the cheese is practically melted.

4.Using a spatula, gently top the cheese slice with the egg bread. Cook for one more minute, or until the cheese is melted.