Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Broccoli Chicken and Rice...The Easy Way

It has been a long time since I made chicken and rice.  I don't know why because we love it!  Well, hubby and I do anyway.  The boys can be picky at times and not exactly happy about what is cooked.  They eat..anyway.  ;D

My boys have been sick with the flu since Saturday.  Temperatures have been as high as 104.5 degrees with my younges and a steady 103 for 24 hours, for my oldest.  It was bad.  Thank the good Lord, the fevers are gone.  With their passing they left coughs, aches, sore throats and snuffy/runny noses.  Even so, I am glad.  I'll take those any day in the place of frightful fevers.

Back to the rice.  Hubby bought a rotisserie chicken yesterday, since I have been feeling bad myself and oh so tired,  but nobody felt like eating it.  I decided to make chicken and rice with it.  It couldn't be easier!  Take the meat off the bones and throw them, and the skin, in a pot, cover with water and Ta Da...easy chicken broth.  The next time you buy a whole cooked chicken...save the skin and bones to make a big pot of chicken and rice.  Enjoy!  <3 and hUgs!


Broccoli Chicken and Rice

1 whole rotisserie chicken, skin and bones removed, meat chopped
1 1/2 cups brown rice
1 12oz bag broccoli, chopped, fresh or frozen
1 to 2 teaspoons seasoning salt or kosher salt
pepper to taste

Take meat off the bones.  Save the bones and skin.  
Put in a stock pot and cover with water.  Bring to a boil and simmer at least 30 minutes.  

Remove skin and bones from pot and strain broth.  De-grease if needed.  


Return broth to pot and bring to boil.  Add rice and broccoli.  Cook 20 minutes or until rice is tender.


Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Chocolate Souffle Cookies

I've never made a chocolate souffle, or any kind for that matter.  I wanted to try today..and went on a cyber hunt.  Finally, I found something that would work for us.  Chocolate souffle cookies!  They were easy to make and very good!  A light, crisp, yummy cookie with a big chocolate taste!  Enjoy!  <3 and hUgs!


Monday, February 27, 2012

Strawberry Skillet Biscuit-Cake

When you have only two people wanting strawberry shortcake, what do you do?  You grab a cast iron skillet and a tube of big biscuits!  Only Lucas and hubby wanted a strawberry shortcake.  As always, I try my best to oblige.  ~smile~  Here is a simple way to make just one or a few, shortcakes. Or, biscuit-cakes as the case may be.  Enjoy!  <3 and Hugs!

Strawberry Skillet Biscuit-Cake

1 tube big honey butter flaky biscuits
strawberries, sliced
whipped topping, store bought or your own

Spray skillet, I use a cast iron skillet for just about everything!  Heat to medium on stove.  Once hot put biscuit(s) in the pan.  Turn heat down to a lower setting.  You don't want this to brown too much before they are ready.  
Flip over when the biscuit starts to rise and the bottom is brown, 3 minutes more or less.  Cook until done..the biscuit will have risen, the layers flaky and browned.  I think it took around 5 minutes from start to finish.  


Get the kids in and let them split the biscuit-cakes into, top with strawberries and whipped topping.  They love it!  <3 and hUgs! 



SunnyD Cake....Only 3 Ingredients

The boys don't get SunnyD very often.   Ted bought them a jug of Orange-Peach the other day.  I looked at it sitting the fridge, taking up space.  Thinking about how sweet it is and not really wanting the boys to drink a lot of it...I decided to make a cake using it.

The other day, I repinned a cake made with a mix and diet soda from our sweet Marsha Baker, A Better Baker  That's how I was going to make!  I did, and it turned out great!  The SunnyD was not very strong..just a hint of it was enough for us.  I made whipped cream flavored with peach jello and it was soooo good!  I sent Ted to the store, since Reid has the flu, to get sugar free jello in peach and orange flavors.  Here's a simple, yet yummy, cake!  <3 and hUgs!

SunnyD Cake

1 cake mix, any flavor, I used white
12 oz SunnyD, any flavor
2 teaspoons meringue powder, this is what I used or 1-2 beaten egg whites

Preheat oven to 350.  Spray 8x11 pan with cooking spray.

Stir meringue powder in the cake mix. Add SunnyD, starting with 10 oz and add more if needed.  I whisked it by hand for 2 minutes.  Put in pan.  Cook for 15 minutes.  Turn pan around.  Cook another 10-15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle, comes out clean.  Cool in pan on rack.

For a fast topping for 2-4 pieces.  Increase amounts for more servings.

Whip 1/2 cup heavy cream with 1 Tablespoon and 1 teaspoon peach or orange, jello until peaked.  What could be easier?  Use fat free cool whip in place of heavy cream.  Enjoy!  <3 and hugs!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Giant Birthday Tissue Flowers


I used half pint canning jars as a vases.  I put them on the table to take a picture.  They were actually placed around the dining area.
These were made a few days ago, a little bit touched by the boys.  ;D  
Instead of balloons for the twins birthday, I wanted to do something that will won't be gone in a few days.  Something that can be used again and last for a long time.  Well, as long as two 5 year old boys will let them, that is.

I looked around the net and saw tissue flowers.  Perfect!  They will be lasting and still have the round concentric appearance of balloons.  Hung on the wall or from ceiling fans.  Placed in vases or attached to a stake and stuck in the ground outside, they will be ideal.

I'm afraid the pictures are complete and will update as I make more.  This is my first one, not to shabby for a beginner,  me thinks.  ~smile~  I'm going to see if the boys would like to make some also.  I hope they do!

What you need....

tissue paper, I used a package for one
scissors
pipe cleaners
that's it!!

Fold the tissue paper accordion style length wise.
Fold in half to find your center, this is where you will put the pipe cleaner.

Cut ends round or in points. 

Starting towards the center, gently pull tissue paper trying to keep the pleats as you go.
Once done with one side..do the same with the other.

I taped the two the open ends together to make the flower full.





Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Instant Oatmeal Pancakes for One!

An easy way to make pancakes that are healthy and yummy!  By using one package of instant oatmeal, you can have pancakes in minutes!  Use any variety and your flavored pancakes possibilities are endless!  May also be viewed here: http://www.examiner.com/food-in-orlando/healthy-instant-oatmeal-pancakes-for-one   Enjoy! <3 and hugs!

Please check the Coupon tab to see if Instant Oatmeal, and other favorites, are there.  ~smile~

By clicking on the advertisements on my blog, you are helping support it.  Please take a moment to check them out when you visit. Thank you!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Three Cheese Garlic Grits

Grits!  There isn’t a Southerner around that hasn’t had a bowl of grits.  With nothing added to them, they are plain, blah and just not good at all.  When you add salt, garlic, cheese, bacon and/or butter..you are in for a southern delight!  Something to keep in mind…when grits boil, they hurt you if they land on you.  They will pop out of the pot like crazy if they are cooking too high.  When they get on you….they stick to you and burn.   Just keep them simmering and you’ll be fine.  ~smile~

3 Cheese Garlic Grits with Shrimp
Three Cheese Garlic Grits

4 cups water, chicken broth is Great
1 cup grits, old fashion
1 1/2 – 2 tablespoons minced garlic, I used bottled in water
1 medium to large bay leaf
1- 2 teaspoon kosher salt, to taste
fresh ground pepper to taste
3/4 cup pepper jack cheese, shredded
3/4 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
1/2  - 3/4 cup parmesan cheese

Bring water, or chicken broth, garlic, 1 teaspoon salt and bay leaf to a boil.  Stir in grits, cover and reduce heat to a simmer.  Cook according to directions.  Add cheese, change the amounts to suit your taste, when done.  Taste and add more seasoning if desired. 
Serve with sautéed or fried shrimp, eggs, ham…you get the idea! 

Cajun Seasoning

I was in need of cajun seasoning for shrimp and grits I planned on cooking tonight.  Since I didn’t have any, I looking online and adjusted this blend from several I found.  I’ll be using this one a lot. 

Cajun Seasoning

1 1/2 Tablespoons paprika
1 Tablespoons garlic powder
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 to 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 teaspoon dried parsley
1/2 teaspoon celery seed

Sautéed Shrimp

MMMMM, MMMMMM, MMMMMM, MMMMM, MM!!!  I love me some shrimp!  You can fry them, boil, sauté, bake, broil, grill…you name it and I’ll eat them!  I am so loving this…it isn’t even funny!  Add them to grits and OH MY STARS, I am going to eat a Generous helping!   Serve them on rice also…Yes!  Here are links to …Three Cheese Garlic Grits, Tomatoes and Rice, and Cajun Seasoning

Sautéed Shrimp 

1 lb raw shrimp, headed, peeled and deveined
1/2 to 3/4 cup each, onion, bell pepper, celery (I use less of the celery and didn't use any this time) and tomatoes,  cut depending on size of shrimp
1/2 to 2 teaspoon cajun seasoning

Rinse headed, peeled and deveined shrimp.  Drain.  Spray skillet with olive oil cooking spray.  Heat to medium/medium high.

Add veggies and cook for 2-3 minutes,
until they are starting to get a little tender.  

Add shrimp and sprinkle with cajun seasoning to your taste.  Stir several times to cook evenly.
The shrimp will turn pink when done. 

Enjoy!  <3 and Hugs!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Shamrock Shakes

It's that time of year again!  I have to admit, I haven't had a Shamrock shake before but when I mentioned it to my boys...they were so wanting one!  I used what I had on hand.  You can adjust according to what you have available and your tastes!  <3 and HUGs!


Chalkboard Canning Jars


Shamrock Shakes
6 scoops, from an ice cream scooper, frozen vanilla yogurt
1/2 cup fat free milk, more if needed
2-3 drops LorAnn peppermint oil, or use 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract....to taste starting with least amount

Wilton green icing coloring, or green coloring to your desired shade

Put frozen yogurt, fat free milk, least amount of flavoring, and 
food coloring in blender.  Pulse to get desired constancy adding more frozen yogurt, milk, flavoring and colored if desired.  Enjoy!  <3 and Hugs! 

Ready to go with his shake!  <3


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Friday, February 17, 2012

Pan Roasted Lime Garlic Pepper Pea Nuts

I opened a can of chick peas last night and then didn't want to use them.  I put the in a container and in the fridge they went.  This morning, once the boys left for school, I put them in a seasoned cast iron skillet and let them cook on low.  Full of flavor and lower in calories than regular peanuts.  A nice little snack was waiting for the boys when they came home. Well, what was left of them anyway.  ~smile~

Pan Roasted Lime Garlic Pepper Pea Nuts

1 can of chick peas, rinsed and drained
2 teaspoons lime juice, or to taste
1/2 to 1 teaspoon garlic pepper, I use the grinder
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt, or to taste

In a bowl, mix the lime juice with the garlic pepper and kosher salt.  Add chick peas.  Let set for 15 minutes, or so.  
Heat cast iron skillet or another heavy non-stick skillet to medium. 
Add chick peas with juice.
Reduce heat and cook over a medium low to low heat.  
Shake the pan often to keep them turned over.  
If they start to stick, spray a little non-stick olive oil cooking spray in pan.
After 10 minutes, or so, taste and add more lime juice and seasonings, if desired.
Cook until dried and to your desired texture.  Mine were done in 35 minutes.





Sunday, February 12, 2012

Candy Cake Bites

Candy Cake Bites

I wanted to make something special for the twins classes for Valentine's Day and decided to make these cute little candy cake bites!  They are easy to make and fun to eat!  Just the perfect size for little hands.  <3

You'll need a cake cooked, cooled and crumbled.  I used the rainbow cup cakes and mini cakes I made the boys.  You can also use prepackaged snack cakes, the ones with filling inside.  I did red velvet balls the other day that way.  
If you have leftover cake and don't want to finish eating it, make cake balls out of it, put in a freezer bag and pop in the freezer!  <3
frosting, can, homemade or in a spray can
mini muffin pan
liners, the white ones to throw away and decorative ones to put the finished candy cake bite in. 
almond bark
candy melts or chocolate chips
wax paper

I'm showing blue cake below but I thought this was pretty.  It naturally went into a heart shape.  <3

This was a cupcake, I just added a little icing.  I had the kind in a squirt can and just squirted a little in.  If you are using a whole cake, start with 1/2 can frosting and add more, if needed, to get the cake crumbles to stick together.

 You want the crumbles to come together to form a ball.  Place on waxed paper as you make them. 

 Melt almond bark.  Put mini wrappers, you'll throw these away, in a mini muffin pan.
Immediately top with the bake balls you just made.
Place in freezer until set.
 While they are in the freezer, melt your top coating of candy and have your toppings ready.  Might as well call the kids, you know how they love to decorate!!  I used Wilton's candy melts.  You can use another color of almond bark, if you wish.

Remove from freezer and unwrap.  Let it sit for just a couple of minutes.  

 Grab the bottom and dip the cake ball in the melted candy to just cover the top of the bottom piece of candy.  

 Immediately decorate. <3 

Aren't they cute?  <3 and Hugs! 

Heart Crayons


I have been making these for Valentine's Day for Lucas to give to the children in his class for years.  Now I get to make them for the twins.  Luckily, their teachers had extra broken crayons..they even had the paper off and gave me a mini heart pan to use!  ~smile~


I came home yesterday and chopped and chopped and chopped until my fingers had a blister.  Well, close to it!  ~smile~  It's a good idea to save your own broken crayons throughout the year.  Even, ask your child's teacher at the beginning of the year to save them for you.  It takes a lot of broken crayons to make a perfect heart!  Have Fun!

You will need....

broken crayons, peeled
something to cut on, something you don't mind crayon marks on
a sharp knife...don't let the kids use this!
heart shaped pan
cookie sheet

To make the Heart Crayons:

chop the crayons in to very small pieces.  I even go further and mince them, if I have the time.  
preheat your oven to 225 degrees when you are almost finished
put crayon pieces in heart shapes in pan.  put the pan on the cookie sheet
cook for 8 minutes, turn and cook an additional 3-10 depending on how they are melting.
once completely melted,  remove from oven.
when they are starting to set, take off the cookie sheet and place on a cooling rack.

You'll need to rub the tops on a piece of paper to smooth them out.  This was taken before I did that.  I had to find them...Reid grabbed them.  <3  I made twice this many and still need to do more.  

Bacon Rose Bouquet

My boys are still sick.  I was getting ready to make them breakfast with a request for bacon and eggs.  I remembered I saw a bacon rose briefly, not long ago and thought I would give it a try.  Something to make my little ones smile.  It worked!  <3

Making the bacon roses is very simple.  Why haven't I thought of this before??????  For Valentine's Day...don't buy me roses.  Make me a bouquet of bacon roses!  <3  Your bacon lover will LOVE it!
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Bacon Roses Bouquet

bacon
mini muffin pan
celery stalks with leaves
toothpicks or wooden skewers

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grab a piece of bacon and start wrapping it around itself or your little finger.  Going round and round, over lapping it.....eyeing it to get the shape of a rose.  Don't worry if it isn't perfect...roses aren't either.  ~smile~  

Place in a mini muffin pan and cook in a preheated oven.  

Cook 10 minutes, check and turn pan around in oven.  CAUTION......There will be bacon grease in the cups!!!  BE CAREFUL! 

Cook another 5-10 minutes or until browned and done.  Checking around earliest time.  As always...my oven cooks different than yours.  Adjust cooking time accordingly.  
CAUTION......There will be bacon grease in the cups!!!  BE CAREFUL! 

Place on a paper towel to drain and cool.  While cooling, get celery out of refrigerator.  Use the stalks with leaves.  I used the heart with all the leaves on them, keeping it intact.  A great way to use that middle part of your celery.  ~smile~   Stick toothpicks, leaving 1/2" or so sticking out in front, in the stalks in different places.  Then, place the bacon roses on the toothpick that is left sticking out.  Place in a vase, or canning jar as I did, with a little water, to display your bouquet.  Serve immediately.  Do not keep at room temperature longer than you would regular cooked bacon.  



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