Monday, March 28, 2011

Scalloped Bacon and Eggs

Every once in a while Hubby gets to reminiscing about meals he had growing up. After trying to rack his brain for a while on this particular brunch/breakfast-for-dinner item I went straight to the source, my mother-in-law, for the actual recipe. This was a great weeknight meal since the eggs and bacon could be prepped ahead of time. First time out of the gate I didn't make any real changes to the recipe trying to make it as close to his childhood memory as possible. It seems like we had ourselves a fine recreation on our hands when all was said and done! This would be an excellent brunch item with some fruit and muffins...or we had ours for dinner with fruit and roasted broccoli (the veggie of choice in our home). Delicious!

Scalloped Bacon and Eggs
Serves 4-6

1 small onion, chopped
2 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsp flour
1 c milk
5 oz shredded sharp cheddar cheese
6 hard cooked eggs, sliced
4 oz potato chips, crushed
12 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Sauté onion in butter until softened.
  3. Add the flour to the mixture and cook out a bit then add milk, stirring constantly to make sure your bechamel sauce doesn't have any big lumps.
  4. Add cheese and stir over low heat until melted.
  5. In a greased casserole dish layer eggs, sauce, potato chips and bacon.
  6. Bake 15-20 min at 350.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Mini Sweet Potato Muffins

Homemade baby food is something I've dabbled in, but find it quite tricky as of late. When it was a matter of pureed fruits and veggies, no problem, but now we have an almost 13 month old, she really needs to be eating more "normal" food. My husband and I eat dinner after our daughter has gone to bed and dinner is usually not even started by the time she eats her dinner. So far even serving her leftovers from the night before has been a major fail as she generally hates everything I've attempted to serve her, so I've been heavily relying on pre-packaged organic baby foods and finger foods which she loves. A friend turned me onto a new baby food recipe website: and I decided to take one of their recipes for a test run given the fact that I thought it sounded pretty tasty myself, just in case my kiddo decided to resist.

Mini Sweet Potato Muffins
Adapted from Weelicious
Makes 30 mini-muffins

1 large sweet potato (yielding about 1 cup of puree)
1 c. flour
1 c. oats
1/3 c. light brown sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
2 eggs
1/2 c. whole milk
1/4 c. oil
1 tsp vanilla

  1. Preheat oven to 400.
  2. Rinse off sweet potato then wrap in foil and place on a foil lined pan (I've had several sweet potato mishaps so the pan may be overkill for some of you...but I've had to clean up one too many sweet potato disasters in my day!)
  3. Poke several holes in the potato and bake for about one hour or until tender. (I'd go ahead and let the oven cool down in case you don't get around to the actual muffins for a little while...)
  4. Allow the potato to cool and then puree either with a food processor or with a fork and your amazing arm muscles.
  5. When you're ready to make the muffins, preheat the oven to 350.
  6. In a small bowl combine the dry ingredients and set aside.
  7. In a large bowl (or stand mixer) mix together the wet ingredients, including 1 cup of the sweet potato puree.
  8. Add in the wet ingredients and stir until just combined.
  9. Pour batter into greased mini-muffin tins and bake for about 15 minutes.
These actually turned out pretty tasty in my opinion and not too sweet. My daughter liked crumbling them up and throwing them on the floor more than eating them though.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Sour Cream Noodle Bake

The Pioneer Woman posted a recipe for Sour Cream Noodle Bake last week that I thought I would like to try out. After thinking about it a while and getting some feedback from my friend over at Hooked to Books who attempted the recipe the day it was posted, I decided to try and mash-up that recipe with one I had tried a few months ago for Crock Pot Pizza which made a ton of food, but the leftovers ended up being more of a casserole than a layered dish...which for me really just meant that the pepperoni got unevenly distributed and that was sad not to have pepperoni in every bite 0=)

Also, this recipe makes me want a shallow baking dish that is not a pan pie...but I used my deep dish pie pan as a decent substitute since I'm sort of in love with it.

Sour Cream Noodle Bake
Adapted from The Pioneer Woman
Serves 6

1 lb. ground beef
15 oz can tomato sauce
6 oz egg noodles
1/2 c. sour cream
1 c. cottage cheese
1/4 c. green onion, chopped
2 Tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
1 oz pepperoni
4 oz. shredded cheddar cheese
Italian Seasoning, salt and pepper, to taste

  1. Brown the beef in a large skillet with some Italian Seasoning and then add in the tomato sauce.
  2. Cook egg noodles according to the package instructions, drain.
  3. In a large bowl combine the noodles, sour cream, cottage cheese, parsley, and green onion. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  4. In a lightly greased baking dish layer:
    - 1/2 of the noodle mixture
    - pepperoni (I only made a single layer over the noodles, you could add more if you liked)
    -1/2 of the sauce
    -1/2 of the cheese
    -1/2 noodles
    -1/2 sauce
    -1/2 cheese
  5. Bake for 20 minutes at 350.
The pie pan turned out to be a great idea although the whole dish got a little runny which would probably be remedied if the tomato sauce had been allowed to reduce a bit. All in all this turned out great and even Hubby liked it and he's been pretty down on casserole-type dishes of late. Granted the Snickerdoodle Blondies I had waiting for him when he came home from a long day of work (during which he forgot to eat lunch) probably helped ;-)

Snickerdoodle Blondies

Since my quest for the perfect Snickerdoodle has been put on the back burner (hehe) I thought this might satisfy the Snickerdoodle craving that is frequently in my house.

Confession: I'm terrible at baking bar cookies. They are always weird when all is said and done, but I have been wanting to try Snickerdoodle Blondies for a few weeks now and today seemed about a good of a day as any!

I've seen this recipe on several different websites and every couple of months it seems to get a re-boot. The one I used came from Baked Perfection back in June 2010 since I trust Risa with all things baking-related!

Snickerdoodle Blondies
Recipe from Baked Perfection
Makes 20-24 bars

2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon grated or ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups packed brown sugar
1 cup butter, room temperature
2 eggs, at room temperature
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
a pinch nutmeg

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease and/or line a 9×13 inch pan. Combine the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt and set aside.
  2. In large bowl, beat together butter and brown sugar for 3-5 minutes. Add in the eggs one at a time, then the vanilla, and beat until smooth.
  3. Stir in the flour mixture until well blended. Spread evenly in prepared pan (mixture will be somewhat cookiebatter-ish, so it’s best to spread it out with a greased spatula or your hands). Combine the granulated sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a little bowl. Evenly sprinkle cinnamon sugar mixture over the top of the batter.
  4. Bake 25-30 minutes or until surface springs back when gently pressed. Cool before cutting.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Pulled Chicken BBQ

So, I haven't written much about this particular aspect of our kitchen adventures, but this family LOVES barbeque/BBQ/barbecue/Bar-B-Que! My husband is a certified Kansas City Barbeque Society judge and we have our own (tiny) smoker. We've gone on what we like to call "BBQ Tours" in Texas, Tennessee, and North Carolina (our Tennessee tour is well documented with it's own blog because we are super nerds). Smoked meats of multiple varieties are our thing and we will literally travel anywhere for a taste. In the winter months we don't get much 'que, even home-made because if there is one thing Hubby hates more than anything (even Florida State) it's the cold.

This year I decided to test out a crock-pot pulled chicken recipe using our our dry rub as the flavor base. While this won't have the smokey flavor we love, it may just hold us over as we eagerly anticipate springtime!

Crock-Pot Pulled Chicken BBQ
Serves 6-8

3 lbs chicken breasts
3 Tbsp BBQ dry rub/BBQ Seasoning Blend
1/2 cup ketchup
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4cup brown sugar, packed
2 tsp Worcestershire
1 tsp ground mustard
A few dashes of Liquid Smoke
  1. Put the chicken in the bottom of the crock-pot.
  2. In a small bowl mix together the remaining ingredients and then pour over the chicken.
  3. Cook on Low for 6-8 hours.
  4. Resist the urge to remove the lid.
  5. Remove the chicken from the crock-pot and use forks to shred the chicken and put it back into the crock-pot and mix with the sauce.
  6. You can let it cook in the sauce for a little longer if you like, or serve after mixing.
Hubby and I differed on our love for this recipe. I liked flavor a lot and will probably keep experimenting with the sauce. It's definitely a "sandwich" BBQ...would be mighty tasty with a good slaw and pickle if you're into that kind of thing ;-)

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Coconut Chicken Tenders

This recipe has been in my drafts for over a month. I had originally seen it on Rachael Ray and thought it reminded me very much of the Coconut Shrimp appetizer at Outback. Even though I'm generally not a coconut fan, we both love that appetizer so I thought it was worth a try. The saga that was obtaining unsweetened flaked coconut was a borderline deal-breaker (probably could have cracked and shredded my own coconut...for serious people!) and Hubby's work schedule of late has been a bit wonky so I punted on the original version of the recipe. I have come up with something that I think does the original justice while being a little easier to fit into our weird dining habits.

Coconut Chicken Tenders with Pineapple Drizzle
Adapted from Rachael Ray
Serves 3

1 lb package of chicken tenders
1 egg
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1/4 cup pineapple preserves
1/2 jalapeño, finely chopped
2 tsp soy sauce
2 Tbsp chicken stock
1 Tbsp dried chopped onion
Salt and pepper, to taste
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 and prepare a cookie sheet with a cooling rank inside - spray with cooking spray.
  2. Season the chicken tenders with salt and pepper.
  3. Set up 3 shallow bowls for breading the chicken:
    1 - flour
    2 - egg, lightly beaten with a splash of water
    3 - mixture of panko and coconut

  4. Dredge chicken in flour, coat with egg, and even coat with breadcrumb mixture and place on prepared pan.
  5. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes or until golden brown and cooked through.
  6. While chicken is cooking, in a small skillet heat the preserves, jalapeño, soy sauce, stock, and dried onion together until the sauce comes together and is heated through. This can be drizzled over the chicken tenders or used as a dipping sauce, whatever strikes your fancy =)
I ended up liking this a lot more than Hubby which was strange. It's on his "I'd never request it, but I'd eat it list" (a 3) while I thought it was perfect and wanted to serve it to all my sad.