Friday, December 16, 2011

English Toffee

i think it is pretty cool that we can go 3 whole weeks without even posting on this here blog. wait. kidding. it's not cool. it's actually pretty lame of us. the truth is, i haven't really thought about it. the holidays are crazy and we've been eating out more than we should, so cooking has taken a back burner. no pun intended. ha! okay. it was totally intended. but if i say it wasn't, maybe you won't think i'm so lame.

anyway, i am re-posting this recipe from last chritmas because it is my favorite holiday treat to make. it is super simple and so so yummy. this is what i always make and take as neighbor gifts, and everyone i take it to loves it.

1 cube butter
1 cube margarine
1 cup sugar
3 tbsp. water
chocolate chips (must me ghiradelli or guittard)

in a sauce pan, combine ingredients and bring to a boil. It will be a bright yellow color. while you're doing that, try not to mock the ridiculousness that is my used-a-million-times-for-everything-from-mac-and-cheese-to-toffee well-loved pan.
let it boil for 6-8 minutes while stirring (almost) constantly. use a wooden spoon. i have ruined more than one plastic spoon. when it is almost done, it will start to turn a light amber color and will start to smoke (you have to look closely for the smoke). i usually watch for it to change colors, and just when i think it's done, i let it cook another 30 seconds to a minute. below is the color it will be when it's done.
pour onto a buttered cookie sheet. i just pour mine on top of the cookie sheet, but candice and our mom coat the pan with chopped pecans before pouring the toffee mixture. if you like nuts, go nuts with it. ha. i'm killing myself here.

let it cool for 1-2 minutes until it is barely firm but still very hot to touch, and then sprinkle chocolate chips on top. just a handful or so of chocolate chips. if you want the chocolate to be thick, add more.
spread the chocolate with a rubber spatula. just keep spreading it until the chocolate is all melted. every single time i make this i think my chocolate isn't going to melt all the way, but it always does. so it will; i promise!
 let it cool (i like to do over night so that the chocolate is completely set up), and then use a butter knife to break it into 2-3 inch pieces.
wrap it up however you'd like, and take it to me your friends and neighbors! or, go my route, and eat it all yoursefl :)

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

mexican chicken tacos

okay. this is serious business. i'm dying over these babies. this recipe has no name, so i just made one up. it is originally this recipe, but i wanted a crock-pot version and i didn't have tomatoes. so here's what i did.

no picture today. it basically looked like this except the chicken was shredded instead of chunked. it really is the same recipe, just crock-potted. convenient, eh?

2 chicken breasts
1 can petite diced tomatoes
2 green peppers, diced
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 tbsp. cumin
1(ish) cup salsa
1/2 pkg. cream cheese

throw it all in the crock and cook on low all day. shred chicken and serve in tortilla with cheese, avocado, and sour cream, or with chips. yum. 

we had it last night, and i had it for lunch today. and i'm wanting it again. so simple. so yummy!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Egg Nog Waffles or Pancakes

So, this morning my husband asked me if I could make him Egg Nog waffles. I told him I never had, but that I'm sure Google could help me out with that! So off I went to search, I picked the first recipe that came up because a) it sounded easy and b) it had pretty good reviews. After making the first waffled and snitching off a corner of it I thought it wasn't very Egg Noggy, and duh, if I'm going to eat a waffle with Egg Nog in in it, I want to taste the Egg Nog! Since I was making regular pancakes for my kids (aka pannycakins) I decided to add a little bit more Nog to thin my batter and throw some on the griddle, the results were Mmmm-mmmm GOOD! We decided that was a better way to go! Add a little butter and powdered sugar and you're in for a treat!

 (I found this recipe here and changed it a tad!)
2 cups flour
2 cups eggnog
2 large eggs - beaten
1 Tablespoons vegetable oil
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt 
(Optional: You can add a little bit of nutmeg and cinnamon to enhance the flavor!)
**In a large bowl, mix the flour with the baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
In a separate bowl, mix together eggnog, eggs and oil until well mixed.
Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients. Mix until smooth. 
Cook waffles in well-greased preheated waffle iron according to manufactures instructions or add a little bit more Egg Nog to thin the batter and turn them into pancakes!

Serve with butter and powdered sugar.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

dorito chicken casserole

alright. so here's the deal. sometimes, the title of a meal just sounds gross. like this one. right? well don't you turn your nose up just yet. listen. try it. and then judge from there.

i found this recipe on this blog, and i immediately wanted to try it. do i love doritos? yes. chicken? yes. all things cheesy? yes. all things mexicanish? yes. so it was a win-win for me. and we loved it! not kidding. i expected the doritos to go soggy, but they didn't at all. instead, they baked onto the pan and stayed crispy. awesome, right?

what you need:
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, shredded (i cooked them in the crock pot all day so they'd shred easily)
1 can cream of chicken soup
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup milk
1 can rotel
1/2 pkg. taco seasoning
1.5 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 bag nacho cheese doritos

mix everything except the doritos together. line a 8X11 (i think that's the size. i could have made that up) baking dish with crushed doritos. layer half of the chicken mixture on top. put another layer of crushed doritos, the rest of the chicken mixture, and shredded cheese. cover with foil and bake on 375* for about 30 minutes.

yum. like i said. try it and THEN you can judge :)

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

baked potato soup-healthified

oh my, people. do i have a bowl of fall for you to try! every spoon full i ate of this deliciousness made me fall more and more in love with it and with the weather for being chilly enough for me to eat it. sooo good. also, it's from this blog which is all about low-cal and healthy foods, so that is an added bonus. honestly, though, if i didn't know it was low-cal, i would have been putting on my fat pants because it tastes like added pounds to the thighs. but it's not** score!

you need:
2 potatoes
1 small head cauliflower
1 can (or 1.5 cups) fat free chicken broth
1.5 cups milk
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup sour cream
cheese, bacon, and green onions for topping

cook the potatoes in the microwave for 5 minutes on high. turn them over, and cook for another 5 minutes or until tender (or you can bake them. or put them in the crock-pot all day. you choose)
while potatoes are cooking, cut cauliflower into florets and steam until soft.
when potatoes are tender, peel them and cut them in half.
in a blender or food processer (she says use an immersion blender. whatever that is), combine potatoes, cauliflower, milk, and chicken broth. mix until smooth.
return potato mixture to a sauce-pan, add sour cream and s&p, and heat until boiling. once it boils, turn it to low and simmer for 5ish minutes.

top with your heart's desired amount of cheese, bacon, onion. 

**obviously if you want it low-cal you need to use fat free or light sour cream, skim or 1% milk, and fat free chicken broth. and probably don't put cheese to your heart's content (i'll take 1 cup per bowl, thank you).

happy fall eating!

Monday, October 24, 2011

meal plan monday

very excited about this week's menu! lots of new recipes :)

monday: chicken fajitas

tuesday: baked potato soup

wednesday: french dip sandwiches

thursday: grilled chicken and crock-pot "baked" potatoes

friday: family halloween party!

saturday: pork barbacoa

sunday: spinach lasagna

Saturday, October 22, 2011

dinner in a pumpkin, or...

...pumpking brains. or goblin guts. or whatever you want to call it.

with halloween only a week away, this goodness has been on my mind. you can be sure that if you stop by on october 31st, you will find us eating this.

the funny thing is, my husband and i both grew up eating this on halloween. when we asked our mom's for the recipe, we got different versions. both are similar and delish, and here is the combination of the two. it may sound random, but it is delish. i know it doesn't look too appetizing, but i promise it is!
don't knock it 'til you try it!

1 medium punkin--cleaned out
1 lb. ground beef
1/2 C. chopped onion (i just use dehydrated onion)
1 can cream of mushroom soup
2 Tbsp. brown sugar
3 Tbsp. soy sauce
1 can mushrooms
1 1/2 C. cooked rice
1 can sliced water chestnuts, drained (i will NOT be adding these)
and this isn't on the recipe, but i think i am going to throw in some peas because i love them

brown the hamburger with the onion and then mix with soup, brown sugar, soy sauce, and mushrooms. simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. add cooked rice and water chestnuts (if you're really gross enough to like them). put the entire mixture into a cleaned-out punkin. put the top/lid back on the punkin, place on baking sheet, and bake at 350* for 1-2 hours or until "meat" of punkin is soft.

my husband likes to scrap the pumpkin off the insides and eat it with the mixture, but i like it just fine without the punkin guts. you choose.
happy booking! (a ghost's version of cooking).

okay. that was lame. pretend i didn't say that.