Thursday, October 27, 2011

Caramel Apple Trifle

First off, I just wanted to let you all know that I am posting over with Kiki today, so click HERE and check it out!  

Here is a ridiculously decadent dessert that tastes like an ooey gooey caramel apple.  And what says Halloween more than caramel apples?!  Is this calorie friendly....not at all.  But hey, sometimes splurging is SOOO worth it!  One of the things I love about trifles is that they look really impressive for any occasion, but are really easy to  put together.

Caramel Apple Trifle

1 baked cake (apple, white, pound, or even angel food cake would be great!)
1 can apple pie filling
1 jar caramel sauce
Apple Cider donuts (approx 4-6 depending on size) (or just use more cake...I think I will next time.  It was a little too sweet with the glazed donuts)
1 large box vanilla pudding, prepared
Coarsely chopped oatmeal cookies (Store-bought is fine)
whipped topping (Cool Whip)

In a trifle pan, layer all your ingredients starting with the donuts, pudding, cookies, caramel, cake, apple pie filling, pudding, cookies…etc.

Continue layering until the trifle dish is full finishing with whipped topping and a drizzle of caramel.  I recommend refrigerating for 2-3 hours in advance)

Recipe Source:  Cookies and Cups

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Classic Chicken and Rice Soup

Fall just screams comfort food!  Soups, breads, turkey, mashed taters, all those things that make you feel all warm and cozy inside :)

This soup I tried the other day took me back to way back when.  I used to love popping open a can of Campbells Soup when I was young and having it alongside a grilled cheese sandwich.  Let me assure you, this is no condensed soup!  I must say even the Hubby admitted this was pretty dang good, and he's not a soup guy at all :)
Super easy, super good, super filling, super healthy, and super comforting.

Classic Chicken and Rice Soup
From:  Picky Palate

2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 tablespoon minced garlic
3 stalks celery, chopped
3 medium carrots, peeled and chopped
3 cups cooked, shredded chicken
7 cups chicken broth
2 cups cooked white rice
1 tablespoon whole grain Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh parsley
1. Heat oil in large Dutch oven or pot over medium heat. Add onions, and cook stirring until tender, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring for 1 minute. Add celery and carrots, cooking and stirring until tender, about 5 minutes. Add chicken, chicken broth, rice, Dijon, salt, pepper and parsley. Stir and reduce heat to low. Let simmer until ready to serve.
Makes 8 servings

Monday, October 24, 2011

Crockpot Chicken Enchilada Soup

I wish my husband were a soup fan, unfortunately for me, he is not. I sneak some in every now and again to fulfill my cravings, and he usually doesn't gripe...well, maybe a little :)

I thought this soup was very flavorful and super easy to make.  I can never pass on a Mexican-type soup...they are a weakness of mine!

Crockpot Chicken Enchilada Soup

1 15-ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained
14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes (I used Rotel)
1 10-ounce package frozen whole kernel corn
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped yellow, green, or red bell pepper 
1 10-ounce can enchilada sauce (I used mild)
1 10.75-ounce can condensed cream of chicken soup
1/2 cups milk (I used skim)
1 cup shredded Pepper jack cheese (4 ounces)
2 chicken breasts
In a 3 1/2 to 5 quart slow cooker, combine drained beans, tomatoes, corn, onion, and bell pepper. Place 2 chicken breasts on top of mixture. In a large bowl, whisk together enchilada sauce and soup. Gradually whisk in milk until smooth. Pour sauce mixture over ingredients in cooker.Cover; cook on low heat for 6 to 8 hours or on high for 3 to 4 hours. Remove chicken and cut or shred into bite sized pieces. Add chicken back into soup. Top with pepper jack cheese and serve. Can also be topped with avocado, sour cream, or crushed tortilla chips. Note: if the soup is too thick for you, just add a little more milk after it’s all cooked.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

BBQ Sloppy Joes

When I think of sloppy joes, I think of "kid food."  I always liked them, even when you use the sauce out of a's all good!  I would put these sandwiches in the 'comfort food' category, because it is one of those foods that just takes you back to younger years.  I love foods that are associated with great memories, and these are for me!

BBQ Sloppy Joes
From:  Stefanie's Cooking Spot

1 pound ground beef
2 garlic cloves, minced
1½ cups ketchup
1 package of onion soup mix
1 tablespoon chili powder
2 tablespoon vinegar
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon prepared mustard
½ cup water

 In a large skillet brown ground beef with garlic; drain. Add remaining ingredients and simmer on medium for 15 minutes. Serve on buns with cheddar cheese.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Chicken Enchilada Quiche

I posted a yummy quiche recipe last week, and this week you get another one!  I had to use up my other pie crust, and just happened to come across this recipe.  It was a good find.  I love twists on traditional dishes.  I wish I could think of something like this!  This yummy quiche combines the creaminess of a quiche with the wonderful southwest flavors of a chicken enchilada.  You get the chicken, green chiles, salsa, and yummy cheeses along with the traditional quiche ingredients.  How could you go wrong!?

Some things should not be combined, this is not one of those weird combos.  Quiche+enchilada= yummy goodness! 

Chicken Enchilada Quiche

1 refrigerated pie crust, softened, not frozen
4 eggs
1 C half and half or milk
1  C chicken, diced or can used canned chicken breast in water
1 1/2 C broken tortilla chips
2 C Monterey Jack cheese,grated
1 C  Cheddar cheese, grated
1 C chunky salsa
1 4.5 oz. can of chopped green chilies
1/2 tsp salt
pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350.  In a bowl mix whisk together the eggs until well blended.  Add in half and half.  Stir in chicken, chips, cheeses, salsa, green chilies and salt.  Pour into pie crust.  Sprinkle with pepper.  

Bake 55-65 minutes or until crust is gold brown and knife inserted into the center comes out clean.  Let stand 10 minutes before serving.  Serve with sour cream and additional salsa if desired.

From:  Your Home Based Mom

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Pumpkin Pie Dip

I have been holding onto this recipe for a while now!  I posted it on another site and totally forgot to post it here (oops!) here you go:)  Pumpkin flavors are amazing, I really can't get enough!  The source of this recipe says it is also great on zucchini bread, pumpkin bread, served with apples or any other favorite treat.  Give it a try!  This recipe was featured on The Kitchn this week...check it out.

Pumpkin Pie Dip

  • 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
  • 2 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • Gingersnap cookies
In a large bowl, beat cream cheese and confectioners' sugar until smooth. Beat in the pumpkin, sour cream, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice and ginger until blended. Serve with gingersnaps. Refrigerate leftovers. 

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Pepperoni Pasta Sauce

I have never watched Top Chef in my life, but maybe I should if yummy recipes like this are on there all the time!

This recipe intrigued me when I first saw it...I stared at the picture trying to see the bits of pepperoni in the sauce, but alas, there were none.  They were blended into this perfect pasta sauce!  You get the wonderful spicy flavors of the pepperoni into a dish that would otherwise be just "a normal" pasta sauce recipe.  It really does give the sauce a great bite.  It was wonderful over some tortellini.  Enjoy :)

Pepperoni Pasta Sauce
From:  Cassie Craves

6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 small onion, cut into small dice
5 medium cloves garlic, cut into very thin slices
1 pound pepperoni, cut into thin slices
1 teaspoon fennel seed, toasted
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
14 ounces canned Italian tomatoes, chopped, with their juices
1 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 fresh bay leaf

1. Toast the fennel seed in a small dry skillet over medium heat, shaking the skillet often to keep the seeds from burning. They will become fragrant and slightly darker in color.

2. Heat the oil in a large, heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat, until the oil simmers. Add the onion and garlic; cook for 5 to 10 minutes, stirring often, until they are golden and fragrant.

3. Stir in the pepperoni; cook for about 5 minutes, until fragrant and evenly coated, then add the toasted fennel seed and crushed red pepper flakes. Cook for 1 minute, stirring.

4. Add the tomatoes and their juices, the broth, and the bay leaf; stir to incorporate. Once the mixture starts to bubble at the edges, cover and cook for about 45 minutes, stirring occasionally. The pepperoni slices will be soft, with a deeper color. Remove from the heat.

5. Working in batches as needed, transfer to a food processor or a high-powered blender (including the bay leaf). Puree until smooth. Serve with pasta. 

Balsamic Glazed Pork Loin

I love me a good pork recipe.  I love crock pots.  Combine the two, and you get excellent results!  The pork in this recipe is very tender, and the glaze makes the dish.  It is delicious...and takes less than 5 minutes to make.  Sometimes you just need a little effort, big impact kind of dinner, and this fits the bill!  

And let me tell you, when something has been re-pinned on Pinterest numerous times, it is for good reason!  Enjoy :)
Balsamic Glazed Pork Loin
2 pound boneless pork loin roast, trimmed of large fat pockets
1 teaspoon ground sage
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 clove garlic, finely minced or crushed
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup brown sugar, light or dark
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons soy sauce
In a small bowl, combine the sage, salt, pepper and garlic. Rub the spices all over the roast. Place the pork roast in the slow cooker and pour in the 1/2 cup water. Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours. Near the end of the cooking time for the roast, combine the ingredients for the glaze in a small saucepan and bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce and let the mixture simmer, stirring occasionally, until it thickens.
Remove the pork from the slow cooker, shred and place on a platter or plate. Drizzle the glaze over the pork and serve.
*I threw in some baby carrots the last 4 hours of cooking time as well, they were awesome!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Buffalo Chicken Stromboli

I LOVE the flavor of buffalo chicken, I have used it in various recipes and have about 10 more on my 'to try' list.  A few of the other recipes I have tried that turned out are listed below:

Buffalo Chicken Po Boy Sandwich
Wingless Buffalo Chicken Pizza
Buffalo Chicken Dip
Buffalo Chicken and Potato Casserole

I love hot sauce!  Strombolis and really fun to make, I love that you can stuff almost anything in side dough and it turns out amazingly well :)  Rachael Ray has tons of delicious sounding buffalo chicken recipes that I will hopefully be trying soon!

Buffalo Chicken Stromboli
From:  Rachael Ray

2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon EVOO - Extra Virgin Olive Oil
3 to 4 stalks of celery, chopped
1 large or 2 medium carrots, peeled and chopped
2 cups chopped cooked chicken, such as rotisserie, leftovers from the night before or cooked chicken breasts
1/2 cup hot sauce, such as Frank’s Red Hot, for extra spicy or1/4 cup tomato sauce or juice mixed with 2 tablespoons hot sauce, for mild
1 pizza dough, defrosted
1 cup Monterey jack cheese
1/2 cup blue cheese crumbles
3 scallions, sliced
1 egg
A sprinkle of sesame seeds or poppy seeds

Preheat oven to 400˚F.

In a large skillet over medium-high heat, melt the butter with
 the EVOO and cook the celery and carrots until tender,
 about 3-4 minutes. Add the chicken and hot sauce to the pan
 and toss everything together with some salt and ground black
 pepper. Set aside and let cool.

When the filling is cool, roll out the pizza dough into a
 rectangle on a floured surface. Spread the cooled filling evenly out onto the entire dough, making sure not to get too close the any of the edges. Top with cheeses and scallions.

Roll the stromboli, starting at one of the long sides, tucking in both ends firmly. Press the seam with your fingers to seal. In a small bowl, whisk the egg with a splash of water then lightly brush it over the stromboli, covering the entire surface. Sprinkle with sesame or poppy seeds, transfer to a baking sheet and bake in the oven until golden brown, about 40 minutes (I would start checking it at about 25, though.  Mine was browned and ready to come out then!).

Monday, October 17, 2011

Spinach Mandarin Poppyseed Salad

This salad reminds me of Spring.  It is light enough to be a side dish, but add some grilled chicken strips and you have a phenomenal meal!

I first had this at a friend's house, and loved it...knew I would be making it again.  The dressing is super yummy, would be great on any salad!

Spinach Mandarin Poppyseed Salad
From:  Our Best Bites

8 oz. (1/2 bag) of baby spinach
1/2-1 head Romaine lettuce, chopped
1/2 thinly sliced medium red onion
1 large avocado, cubed
8 oz. mozzarella or Swiss cheese, shredded
1 12-oz. package bacon, cooked and crumbled
1 large can Mandarin oranges, drained
Poppy Seed Dressing, to taste (recipe below)

Combine all ingredients except dressing in a large bowl. When ready to serve, toss with desired amount of salad dressing and serve immediately. If you anticipate leftovers, just let your eaters dress their own salads because the dressing will make the greens wilt.

Poppyseed Dressing

1/3 c. white vinegar
1 tsp. Kosher salt
A few turns of freshly ground black pepper
3/4 c. sugar
1 tsp. mustard
1 green onion, ends removed (both the “hairy” end and where the green part starts to get floppy)
1/2 c. vegetable oil
1 tsp. poppy seeds
In a blender, combine vinegar, salt, pepper, sugar, and mustard. While the blender is running, add the green onion. Continue running the blender and add the oil in a steady stream and is fully incorporated into the dressing.
Pour the dressing into a serving or storage container and whisk in poppy seeds. Serve over leafy greens.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Lion House Quiche Lorraine

So I had some eggs that were about to expire and was trying to think of what to make for dinner one day. I started looking through some grocery adds to try and get some inspiration. Pie crusts were on sale. Done deal, quiche it is! This quiche is very classic, the recipe probably everyone has, but a classic is worth mentioning again :)

Lion House Quiche Lorraine

From: Real Mom Kitchen

1 9-inch unbaked pie crust
1 cup (4 ounces) shredded Swiss cheese
6 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
3/4 cup cooked ham, minced
2 green onions, sliced and chopped
1/2 green pepper, chopped ( I never use this)
3 eggs, slightly beaten
1 cup light cream
1/2 tsp grated lemon peel (I only use this if I have a lemon laying around the house)
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp dry mustard

Bake unpricked pastry shell for 5 min at 425 degrees. Remove from oven and arrange cheese, bacon, and ham in the bottom of the shell. Sprinkle with green onion and green pepper. In medium bowl, combine eggs, cream, lemon peel, salt, and dry mustard. Pour evenly over cheese mixture. Bake at 325 degrees for 45 minutes or until set. (Usually takes 55 min for me) Let stand for 10 minutes before serving. Cut into 6 servings.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Caramel Stuffed Apple Cider Cookies

This was an amazing find on Pinterest.  I have loved finding new amazing blogs with amazing ideas through this site!  These cookies have an amazing apple cider flavor, and it should considering it has an entire box of apple cider packets in it!  They would be good just as is, but you get the surprise of the gooey caramel in the middle to top it all off!  

The source of this recipe suggests to place your cookie over a cup of hot chocolate for a few minutes before eating to warm up the caramel before you take a bite, and it is worth it....oh so worth it!

Caramel Stuffed Apple Cider Cookies
From:  Scrambled Hen Fruit

1 cup softened butter
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 box (7.4 oz) Alpine Spiced Apple Cider Instant Original Drink mix -not sugar free- all 10 packets (I found this in my grocery store near the hot chocolate mixes.)
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 cups all purpose flour
1 bag Kraft Caramels (14 oz)

Preheat oven to 350° F. Line cookie sheets with parchment. (You really need the parchment!)
In a small bowl whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder and cinnamon.

With your mixer (or an energetic spoon) cream together butter, sugar, salt and all 10 packages of apple cider drink mix powder, until light and fluffy.

Beat in eggs, one at a time. Add vanilla and mix well.

Gradually add flour mixture to butter/egg mixture. Mix until just combined.

Refrigerate for about an hour. (If you're really impatient you don't have to do this, but it makes it so much easier to work with.)

When you are ready to bake, unwrap your caramels.

Scoop out cookie dough ball about the size of a walnut. (I used a rounded cookie scoop-full. My scoop holds about a Tablespoon.)

Flatten the ball of dough slightly in the palm of your hand. Press the unwrapped caramel into the center of your dough and seal the dough around it, covering it completely. Place on parchment covered cookie sheets 2 inches apart.

Bake 12-14 minutes (I did 11-12), or until very lightly browned around the edges. Please don't over-bake! Once the cookies are done, slide the parchment off of the baking sheet right out onto the counter. Allow cookies to partially cool on the parchment. When cookies are cool enough to be firm but still slightly warm, carefully twist off of parchment and allow to finish cooling upside down (either on the parchment or on a rack.) If you forget about them and they cool too much and stick to your parchment, put them into the freezer for a few minutes and they'll pop right off.

Yield: about 4 dozen, depending on how large you make your cookies (or how many caramels have been snitched out of your bag before you begin.) Store in an airtight container.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Bacon-Wrapped Teriyaki Chicken Skewers

First off, lets just say I'm not quite happy with this picture...I am sick of the gray skies outside!  Inside pictures just don't do food justice.  

Secondly, these are dang tasty!  It's a good twist to normal old kabobs.  Absolutely divine :)

Bacon-Wrapped Teriyaki Chicken Skewers
From:  Our Best Bites

1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts or thighs
About 8 oz. lean bacon, NOT thick-sliced (thick bacon is too hard to work with in this recipe)
1 large can pineapple chunks (you won't use all of them)
Kikkoman Teriyaki Baste and Glaze
Kebab skewers or toothpicks

The easiest way to handle the bacon situation is to remove it from the package and while it's still all stuck together, stretch it out a little (lengthwise). If you're using center-cut bacon (and the "slab" is not as wide as regular bacon), just cut it in half. Otherwise, use kitchen shears to cut the slab into thirds. Refrigerate until ready to use, partially because it's easier to work with cold bacon and partially because you don't want to kill any dinner guests with dead pig germs.

Using kitchen shears, cut chicken into bite-sized pieces. You can gauge about how many pieces you'll need by how many pieces of bacon you have; you probably won't use all the bacon, but you'll need about 8 oz. or 2/3 of a standard-sized package of bacon. So count the bacon pieces and keep that in mind when cutting up your chicken.

Drain the pineapple and set up a little work station with skewers, bacon, chicken, and a 9x13 baking dish (for big skewers) or a sturdy Ziploc bag (for toothpick skewers). Wrap a piece of bacon around a chicken piece, secure with toothpick/skewer, and top with a chunk of pineapple. Repeat twice if using large skewers.
When all chicken pieces have been sufficiently staked, pour Teriyaki sauce over everything, reserving about 1/4 c., and marinate in refrigerator for at least 4 hours, no longer than about 8.
Preheat grill; when about 350-400 degrees, place skewers on grill and baste with reserved Teriyaki sauce. Cook about 7 minutes and flip skewers. Baste again and cook another 7 minutes.

*If serving at a party, you can keep the appetizer-sized skewers warm in a crockpot set to low or an electric roaster set to 170 degrees.
**If cooking in oven, preheat oven to 400 and bake about 20 minutes, turning once, following the same basting instructions.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Cheesy Orzo

  • Orzo is such a fun pasta, it tricks some people for a moment thinking it is rice.  It is very versatile and a great side dish.  This version was tasty, the peas being my personal favorite.  Next time you need to switch up the boring old rice side dish, try some yummy orzo!  Enjoy :)

  • Cheesy Orzo
  • From:  Food Network, Giada de Laurentis

  • 1 pound orzo (rice-shaped pasta)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large shallot, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes, juices drained
  • 1 1/4 cups whipping cream
  • 1 cup frozen peas, thawed
  • 3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper  

  • Bring a heavy large saucepan of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the orzo and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring often, about 8 minutes. Drain, reserving 1 cup of the cooking liquid.
Meanwhile, heat the oil in a heavy large frying pan over medium heat. Add the shallot and garlic, and saute until tender, about 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes and cook until they are tender, about 8 minutes. Stir in the cream and peas. Add the orzo and toss to coat. Remove the skillet from the heat. Add the Parmesan to the pasta mixture and toss to coat. Stir the pasta mixture until the sauce coats the pasta thickly, adding enough reserved cooking liquid to maintain a creamy consistency. Season the orzo with salt and pepper, and serve.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Chicken with Spicy Pear Salsa

I love grilled chicken breasts with fruit salsa.  Here is my latest version...with pears!  The flavors sounded a little off to me, but they worked.  Lets be honest, I'll probably love anything that has cilantro in it :)
Chicken with Spicy Pear Salsa
1 firm but ripe Red Anjou Pear, peeled, cored and chopped
1/4 cup diced sweet onion
2 T. chopped fresh cilantro
1 clove garlic, minced
2 t. sliced jalapeno peppers, finely minced
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
3 T. extra virgin olive oil
Salt and Pepper
In a small bowl combine pear, onion, cilantro, garlic and jalapeno peppers.  Set aside.
Season chicken breasts with salt and pepper.
Over medium high heat, heat olive oil in large skillet. Place chicken breasts into pan and brown well on each side.  Cover pan and reduce heat to low.  Keep covered until chicken is cooked through.
Remove chicken from pan and place onto serving plates.
Heat pan over high heat, add salsa to the pan and quickly heat salsa while deglazing pan.
Pour salsa over chicken breast and serve.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

German Apple Pancakes

Are you loving apple prices as much as I am?!  It's a great excuse to try out some delicious new recipes, such as this  one.  Regular old German pancakes are great, but I must say the addition of apples, brown sugar, and cinnamon make it twice as good :)
German Apple Pancakes
8 eggs
1 ½ cup flour
1 ½ cup milk
1 tsp salt
¼ cup butter
3 medium apples thinly sliced and pared
½ brown sugar
½ tsp cinnamon
Turn oven on to 400 degrees. Slice up butter in 9×13 pan and place in oven while preparing the Apples. Put apples in warm melted butter, spread them out and sprinkle cinnamon over them…place back in the oven. Beat eggs, flour, milk and salt together for 1 minute. Pour batter over apples. Sprinkle brown sugar and cinnamon (I mixed these together and then sprinkled on)over the entire top, and place in oven for about 20-25 minutes until puffed and golden brown.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Crockpot Onion Turkey Breast

It's been a long while since I have done a turkey breast in the crockpot, not sure why it's been so long.  This turkey recipe is awesome!  This was super easy... threw the turkey in frozen, rubbed it down with the mix and done.  It turned out juicy and flavorful.  I will be searching for more turkey recipes now :)

Crockpot Onion Turkey Breast

  • 1 (6 pound) bone-in turkey breast (I used a 3 lb boneless one)
  • 1 (1 ounce) envelope dry onion soup mix (I Used about 1/2 to 3/4 of the mix)

  1. Rinse the turkey breast and pat dry. Cut off any excess skin, but leave the skin covering the breast. Rub onion soup mix all over outside of the turkey and under the skin. Place in a slow cooker. Cover, and cook on High for 1 hour, then set to Low, and cook for 7 hours.