Sunday, September 22, 2013

Apple Enchiladas

 There's nothing quite like warm apple pie... is there?  This pinned recipe is pretty darn close.

I'm too intimidated to attempt apple pie from scratch, so when I found this pin, I was excited because it meant that I make a quick, easier version a bit similar to the popular pie.








Ingredients and directions:

Cherries or peaches can be substituted for apples.

1 (21 ounce) can apple pie filling
6 (8 inch) flour tortillas
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup water

  • Spoon about one heaping quarter cup of pie filling evenly down the center of each tortilla.
  • Sprinkle with cinnamon; roll up, tucking in edges; and place seam side down in prepared dish.
  • In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine butter, white sugar, brown sugar and water. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly; reduce heat and simmer 3 minutes.
  • Pour sauce over enchiladas and let stand 45 minutes.
  • Bake in preheated oven 20 minutes, or until golden.
  • Serve with vanilla ice cream.


Combining the sugars, butter, and water smelled so nice while it warmed on the stove!


When you start to spoon the apple pie filling into each tortilla, you begin to realize that one can probably isn't enough to really fill the inside.


 I folded them up and placed them in a 9x13.  I know, I know, my enchiladas are inconsistent in size.  The first one is filled more when apple pis filling than the ones at the top.  The last ones I did aren't as full and I folded them loosely in attempts to make them similar to the other ones.



I plated the apple enchiladas with some vanilla bean ice cream and also some whipped cream.  I also drizzled some of the sauce over everything. :)

Verdict:A very tasty dessert!  The tortilla was still a bit soft, I think maybe it would've been a bit better if it was crispier.  Definitely will buy two cans of apple pie filling next time so that there's more to fill up. 



Friday, August 30, 2013

Broccoli & Garlic Penne Pasta


I don't know about you, but I am a fan of garlic!  I know it doesn't leave you with kissable breath, but I'm willing to sacrifice that to have a great garlic-y tasting meal.  I saw this pin and thought that it had to be great!  Broccoli too?  I was sold.

The recipe originates from the Schnucks website, which is a grocery chain in the Midwest.  I had to search around for their "about Schnucks" link; I've never heard of them until I tested this recipe.

Here are the ingredients and directions:
What you need:
(click + to add ingredients to your shopping list)
+ 1 c. Swanson® Chicken Broth or Swanson® Chicken Stock
+ 1/2 tsp. dried basil leaves, crushed
+ 1/8 tsp. ground black pepper
+ 2 cloves garlic, minced
+ 3 c. broccoli florets
+ 1/2 of a 1-lb. pkg. penne pasta (about 3 c.), cooked and drained
+ 1 Tbsp. lemon juice
+ 2 Tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese
What to do:
1. Heat the broth, basil, black pepper, garlic and broccoli in a 10-in. skillet over medium heat to a boil. Reduce the heat to low. Cover and cook until the broccoli is tender-crisp.
2. Add the penne and lemon juice and toss to coat. Sprinkle the penne mixture with the cheese.
Nutritional information:
Calories: 124;   Total Fat: 2g;   Saturated Fat: 1g;   Cholesterol: 4mg;   Total Carbs: 22g;   Fiber: 3g;   Protein: 6g;   Sodium: 281mg;  


It's a really simple and easy recipe!  I used more garlic because 2 cloves didn't seem like it would really be enough to taste, especially in the broccoli.



The verdict?  If you're trying to watch your waistline, this recipe is for you.  The husband told me I should've been tipped off by the "lightness" of the flavors just from the calories alone. ;)  It's definitely light and the flavor barely comes through.  I ended up adding more garlic and lemon juice to get more of a taste to come through.  I won't add this to my recipe box, but if I'm trying to cut back, I may come back to this one.


Cheers!


Sunday, August 18, 2013

Oven Baked Corn on the Cob


Who doesn't like corn?  Such an easy food to prepare as a side dish for any meal.  I especially love eating corn straight from the cob.  It beats canned corn any day, in my opinion.

This pin was a screenshot of a Facebook post from someone's phone.  I thought it was interesting that it was pinned like this!  Someone must've seen this recipe on their Facebook feed, didn't want to forget it and decided to pin it right on their board so they wouldn't have to scroll through to look for it later!  Genius, if you ask me.  I know I've seen a few shared recipes on my feed that I wish I had saved but didn't. 

If you cannot read the instructions from the picture, this is what it says:

Never boil corn again!  Want to know the easiest way to cook corn on the cob? Throw it in the oven at 350 for 25-30 minutes.  That's it.  Leave the husk on, it will trap in the moisture, leaving you with juicy, tender corn.  The husk and silk will peel away easily once it's cooked.  Cut off the large end and it slides right out with no silk.  Bonus - keeps more of the nutrients in the corn (no boiling is best).  Who Knew!

The husband had picked up a few ears of corn from a local produce stand and I figured this was a perfect time to test this out!  After setting the oven to 350 degrees, we decided to spread some butter on the corn.  We had to pull back the husks for this, so we tried our best to keep them intact so that we could close them back up afterwards.  We just used a cookie sheet for the corn.
 



What is that? You're probably asking yourself, right?  It's a chili, salt, and lemon spice that is usually found in the Mexican section.  It has a bit of kick to it, so watch out!  The husband is a Texan and says he loves this on fruits and veggies (try sprinkling it on avocado).



Popped the corn in the oven for 25 minutes and that was it!  Done!  Seemed way too easy to really be good.




Verdict: JUICY, flavorful corn on the cob!  The husks came right off easily! We cut off the one end were the husks were still together and no silks remained.  Of course it helped that we peeled them back prior to baking it so they came off without any problems.  The kids exclaimed that it was the juiciest corn they ever had.  Good enough for me to keep this recipe!


Cheers!

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Restaurant Style Beef Broccoli (©Rainy Day Gal 2009-2013)

Beef broccoli is probably my favorite dish at a Chinese restaurant.  I make sure to order it whether we're eating at the restaurant or if we're doing take out.  The first beef broccoli pin I ever tried was a disaster.  I didn't have high hopes for this one, although I figured it had to turn out better than the last since it wasn't in a slow cooker.

Reading through the ingredients as I prepared to go on a grocery run, I was a bit shocked when I read that it uses cooking sherry.  Sherry in a Chinese dish?  This made it even more interesting.  I think my husband and I have cooked with sherry maybe once before.  I quickly did some research on cooking sherry before we looked for some and a lot of the feedback I read was to skip the "cooking" sherry and head to the wine aisle and go with something you'd drink.  We aren't fans of dessert wines and sherry is no exception. 


This homemade beef broccoli version comes from the lovely Jenny's blog, The Rainy Day Gal.  Jenny is a supermom; SAHM, writer, blogger, and cook who used to teach!  She lives in Seattle with her adorable family and she posts about food, her family, and her novel!  Yes, she's a published author!  Go check her out!

Her pictures are so detailed that there is no way that you could possibly mess this recipe up! Ingredients and directions as posted on her blog:

This easy version of the Chinese takeout classic requires only a short marinade to
make the beef fork tender. Serve over white or brown rice. Serves 4.
©Rainy Day Gal 2009-2013
Prep Time: 10 minutes + 1 hour for marinade
Cook Time: 8 minutes
First, marinate the meat:
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp sugar
1 tbsp cornstarch
1 tbsp low sodium soy sauce
1 tbsp water
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 1/2 lbs flank steak, sliced into thin strips
1. Whisk together the baking soda, sugar, cornstarch, soy sauce, water, and vegetable oil in 
a large bowl. Toss the steak with the marinade to coat. Cover and refrigerate at least 1 hour, 
then proceed below.
1/2 c low sodium soy sauce (Do NOT use regular.  The final product will be way too salty)
2 tbsp brown sugar
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp flour
1 tbsp sherry
3 tbsp vegetable oil
2 heads broccoli, crowns only
1. In a small bowl, stir together the soy sauce, brown sugar, garlic, flour and sherry until smooth. Set aside.
2. In a large wok or saute pan, heat 2 tablespoons of the vegetable oil over high heat 
until shimmering. Add broccoli and saute 3 minutes, stirring often. Transfer broccoli to a plate.
3. Reduce heat to medium high. Carefully add the remaining tablespoon of oil to
the hot pan. Add the marinated meat and half of the sauce mixture and saute for 3-4 minutes, 
stirring often, until the meat is cooked through and no longer pink. Stir in the broccoli and remaining 
sauce. Saute 1 minute more. Serve.


This is the sherry that we used and yes, I tried it.  Definitely not a fan.  The husband
describes it as "sweet whiskey".  Blech.
The one thing we did different from her instructions is marinading it for an hour.  We already had dinner planned the night we bought the steak, so we let it marinade over night.
As you can see, we did have quite a bit of beef (but we're not complaining) and it soaked up all of the marinade. 

We followed the instructions and before we could even plate it, we tasted a piece of beef because it was too tempted after smelling all of the aromas from the pan!





You  may notice that our sauce isn't quite as dark as on the blog.  We couldn't quite figure it out but didn't make a big deal of it.  This plate was actually put together by our oldest; she wanted "more beef than broccoli" but after eating it, she went back for more broccoli!


 

The verdict:  Beef? Tender.  Sauce?  Perfect (the low-sodium soy sauce was a great call by Jenny).  Dare I say it?  It was the best homemade beef broccoli.  Our daughter thought it was good enough to be from a restaurant!  Husband loved it and it is going into our recipe book!  Definitely try this one out!

Cheers!

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Easy Spread Cookies: Biscoff

My husband is a Biscoff spread nut.  Ever since my youngest sister gave us a jar to try a couple years ago, we always have jar in our pantry.  If we run out of Nutella, he'll wait until our next grocery run to get some.  Biscoff spread gone?  He's off the same day.  Every now and then, we'll pick up some of these delightfully tasty cookies from the commissary or if we see them somewhere else. 

During one of my pinterest hunts, I pinned a cookie recipe that uses this delicious spread.  I finally remembered it and decided to test it out since it only uses 3 ingredients.

This recipe is from Kirbie's Cravings, a food blog that belongs to the gorgeous foodie Kirbie, who reviews restaurants in SoCal (or where ever they might travel to), posts recipes, and other musings from her daily life.  Reading her blog reminded me that I should start using my dslr more often to take pictures for my blog and not use my P&S.  :/  Anyway, definitely check out her blog!

Ingredients and directions as listed on her site:

3 Ingredient Biscoff Spread Cookies


Ingredients:


1 cup Biscoff spread
1/4 cup plus 1 tbsp flour (make sure you don't under measure the flour or you won't have enough dry ingredients)
1 large egg

Directions:


1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line two baking sheets with silpat mats or parchment paper. Combine all ingredients into a bowl and mix with a wooden spoon until smooth cookie dough forms. It will be a little sticky and oily, but you should be able to work with the dough.
2. Take 2 tbsp of dough and roll into a smooth ball. Place onto baking sheet. Repeat with remaining dough, spacing two inches apart. Bake for about 10 minutes. Cookies will spread and should no longer be wet and gooey. Let cookies completely cool on cookie sheets to firm up and set before removing and eating.



When I made these cookies for my husband, I used his favorite version of the spread; CRUNCHY.  I had a feeling that it would change the consistency of the mixture and probably the way that the cookies would bake, but decided to try them anyway. 

So good!

 I was so skeptical of a cookie that only used 3 ingredients.  If it came out any good, I'd be in so much trouble!  C'mon, an easy cookie you can whip up in about 15 minutes?  Not a good sign for my waistline.  I combined the ingredients and the mixture was in fact sticky and oily.



Just how oily the mix is because of the Biscoff spread

I probably made at least 10 cookies from the mixture.  I didn't measure out 2 tbsp exactly before I started to roll them up into balls, but it came out to be about 1.5 tbsp per ball.



Notice how my cookies didn't come out as big nor as thin as the ones in Kirbie's picture?  Now, I am assuming that my cookies came out a bit on the thicker side because I used the crunchy version.


Verdict: You could definitely tell that they were oily.  Husband wasn't a big fan, and I'm not too fond of them only because I like my desserts to be... well, sweeter.  Would we make them again?  Most likely not, but I will be trying it with the regular creamy Biscoff spread to see if it's any better. 


Cheers!

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Pan-fried Honey Bananas

Need to satisfy a sweet tooth but don't want the calories or don't have much on hand?  This pin is the pin you need... well, as long as you have bananas on hand. 

I personally am not a banana fan outside of banana bread, but I'm always looking for different ways to serve up bananas for the family.  We always have a bunch on hand in the house and there are times when I make a lot of banana bread because everyone is "banana'd out." 


This recipe is from a blog found on The Crohn's Journey Foundation website.  If you suffer from crohn's disease and haven't checked out this site, what are you waiting for?  No one in my family has Crohn's, but I spent a few hours just exploring this site! 

Recipe and directions as found on the site:

INGREDIENTS
Coconut Oil Cook­ing Spray
1/4 tea­spoon Cin­na­mon
1 organic banana
1 table­spoon organic honey

INSTRUCTIONS
Cut the banana into 1/8in width.
Mix together honey and 1/2 table­spoon water in a bowl and set aside.
Place a fry­ing pan on the stove top under medium heat and spray gen­er­ously with the coconut oil spray.
Add the banana’s and once browned (about 1–2 min­utes) flip over.
Once you flip the pieces of banana over, turn off the stove and add the honey/water mix­ture all over the top and watch it bubble Sprin­kle the cin­na­mon on top and enjoy. (if you like less or more cin­na­mon, it is up to you and your taste buds)


Seems simple enough, right?  4 ingredients and takes about 5 minutes to make (you can see in the instructions you need to add water to the honey).   The pictures on the blog are very clear to make it even easier to follow as well.

Note to self: MORE cooking spray next time!

I didn't use enough cooking spray (I used regular vegetable oil spray that we have on hand), but the bananas still fried up nicely.  I didn't flip over until maybe about 4-5 minutes to really get the brown you see in the picture on the Cron's website.  I checked around 3 minutes but it was more on the golden brown side.  Might need to put the heat up more for next time.   The family likes cinnamon so you can see that I didn't exactly measure it out.  :)  I just sprinkled straight from the container.   Sigh, yes, I realize now I should've used a different color bowl for a recipe like this to really show the food.


The verdict: a great, guilt-free dessert!  Our oldest requests that next time there's more honey, but other than that, it was a hit!  I'll definitely remember this recipe when my kids have a sweet tooth and I want to use up some bananas!

Cheers!

Friday, August 2, 2013

Spicy Romano Chicken Pasta with Artichoke Hearts and Sun Dried Tomatoes


A description on pins like these is what inspired me to create this blog!  While searching for pins to test after my last final of summer semester on Wednesday (I hope I end up with an A!), I stumbled upon this one!  I pinned it not just for the picture, but for the description of how it's "the best recipes on pinterest!!"  I swear, people need to check grammar more often when using the internet.  :)

Boss Sanders is the blog where you'll find this pasta recipe.  This is a family blog (with the wife as the main contributor) and you can find more recipes, tips like how to save money, and right now you can follow them on their journey through adoption! Definitely check out their blog!

Ingredients

The Sauce:

  • 1 pint heavy cream
  • 4 T butter
  • 2 tsp  salt
  • 1 – 2 tsp pepper
  • 1/4 cup romano cheese
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese
  • 2 tsp cayenne pepper  *EDITED*  My husband and I like a lot of KICK to ours.  IF you or your family doesn’t, please read comments first.  If you aren’t sure how much cayenne you will like, add a tiny amt and taste as you add until it’s to your liking!
The Rest:

  • 10 ounce package of bowtie pasta cooked and drained according to package directions – al dente.
  • 1 1/2 T melted butter
  • 1/2 cup sliced mushrooms
  • 1 small jar artichoke hearts, drained
  • 1 7-8 ounce precooked sliced grilled chicken (we also add equal amounts of sausage to ours…although shrimp, beef, and crab would be great too!)
  • 1/8 cup sundried tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 oz heavy cream

How To Make It:

Sauce:

  • Melt butter in saute pan or skillet. Add cream, salt and pepper, heat to a boil. Remove from heat and fold in cheeses and cayenne pepper. Set aside.
The Rest:

  • In a large skillet over medium heat, melt butter, then add mushrooms, and sundried tomatoes. Stir for one minute. Next add artichokes and chicken (and cooked sausage or other meat). Stir. Stir in 1 ounce heavy cream and 1/2 of the sauce. Add bowtie pasta followed by rest of the sauce. Stir gently. Serve.
I HIGHLY SUGGEST YOU DOUBLE OR TRIPLE THE RECIPE.  IT’S AMAZING!


I love that you can alter this recipe to your preference.  We went with chicken only since we had a lot of it.  Next time we will definitely add some sausage or something else in addition to the chicken.  I went with the suggested amount of cayenne pepper for this trial.  Before I added the artichoke hearts, I made sure to drain it from the marinade it came in.

12" skillet with all ingredients except the pasta!


Instead of a 10oz box of bowtie, I had on hand a 16oz box (I can never pass up 5 for 5 deals at the grocery store!).  I cooked the entire box and there was probably only about 1/2-3/4 cup worth of cooked pasta that I didn't add to the mixture.  If you have a huge family, sure, double or triple the recipe, but man it already yields a lot on its own!  We like sun-dried tomatoes, so next time around we'll add more than 1/8 cup.

Note to self: add more tomatoes next time



The verdict: This is our new favorite pasta dish that we've tried from pinterest!  It used to be the penne pasta with sun-dried tomato cream sauce, but this hands down has taken the title in our family!  The posted amount of cayenne pepper adds the right amount of kick and isn't too spicy for those who can't handle the heat.  If it is, simply cut it down to 1tsp.  :)  Hope this recipe is a success in your household as well!

Cheers!

 


Monday, July 29, 2013

Sour Cream Bacon Crock Pot Chicken

Chicken and bacon?  I've never had the two together before so when I came across this pin as I was going through my food board for a pin to test, I decided why the heck not?  5 ingredients and a crock pot, what's not to like about this recipe?


The recipe comes from Moms with Crockpots, a busy mom of 3 who created the blog because she was using her crock pot a lot more to help eliminate having to figure out what the heck to make for dinner each night!  I definitely know her pain, and glad that I found her blog from Pinterest!  Here is the recipe and instructions from her site:
 
Sour Cream and Bacon Crockpot Chicken
Recipe type: Dinner
Prep time: 15 min

Cook time: 8 hours
Total time: 8hr 15 min

Serves: 8

Ingredients:
8 bacon slices
8 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 (10 oz) cans roasted garlic cream of mushroom soup
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup flour (all purpose or gluten free blend)
salt and pepper to taste 





Instructions


Place the bacon in a large skillet and cook over medium-low heat until some of the fat is rendered. Be sure that the bacon is still pliable and not crisp. Drain on paper towels. If you use this method, reduce the flour to ¼ cup. Or don’t cook the bacon and proceed with the recipe.
Then wrap one slice of bacon around each boneless chicken breast and place in a 4-5 quart crockpot.
In medium bowl, combine condensed soups, sour cream, and flour and mix with wire whisk to blend. Pour over chicken.
Cover crockpot and cook on low for 6-8 hours until chicken and bacon are thoroughly cooked. You may want to remove the chicken and beat the sauce with a wire whisk so it is very well blended.
Pour sauce over chicken.
If you have a newer crockpot, check the chicken at 5 hours. The internal temp should be 160 -170 degrees F.


I bought a family pack of boneless, skinless chicken breasts that were decent sized and ended up cutting all of them in half.  With this new size, they were more suited for a single serving since one chicken breast can really feed 2 people (in my opinion).  Of course, this meant more bacon, so instead of 8 pieces of bacon and 8 chicken breasts, I had 14.  :)  

I have never had bacon that wasn't pan fried or baked, so when I read her option of not cooking the bacon before putting it in the crock pot, I decided to try that route.  After cutting each breast in half, I wrapped each one with one slice of bacon and placed them in the crock pot.  

Bacon wrapped chicken breasts

A note to remember about the roasted garlic cream of mushroom soup: it's darker than regular cream of mushroom soup.  When you mix in the sour cream and flour, this of course makes the mixture lighter.  I recommend using a spatula to help spread over the top of the chicken.


If you have a "newer" crock pot (not quite sure what she meant, made after 2010 maybe?), the cook time is definitely not going to be over 5.5 hours!  If you recall the Beer Chicken test, the chicken was a bit dried out after cooking for 6.5 hours.  I know that the original recipe for this one says 6-8 on low, but after the  Beer Chicken results, I decided to set it for only 4.5 hours!  That was when I would cut a piece of chicken to make sure it cooked all the way through, and if it did, I would taste test then (praying that I don't get sick). 

Chicken in a crock pot in under 5 hours?




After 4.5 hours, I opened up the crock pot.  You could see why she suggests getting a whisk to mix the sauce together more after it's done cooking.


I took out a piece of bacon wrapped chicken and....




It was fully cooked!!  On top of that, it was tender and not dried out!  Yay!  So now I know for my crock pot, chicken is done in 4.5 hours and anything more just dries it out.  :)  I'll admit, what threw me off was the pink bacon, but that was cooked as well.  Just need to get over the fact that it isn't crispy.  If you can't, then just slip the bacon off the chicken and enjoy.  With the soup and the bacon, you don't need to add anymore salt to taste.  We didn't add any pepper either because we found it to be balanced enough without it.

Verdict:  Another chicken dish hit.  Paired with a salad or noodles and you're set.  We'll had to retest the Beer Chicken with the new cook time to see if it comes out better. :)


Cheers!




Sour Cream and Bacon Crockpot Chicken
Recipe type: dinner
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8
Ingredients
  • 8 bacon slices
  • 8 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 (10 oz) cans roasted garlic cream of mushroom soup
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • ½ cup flour (all purpose or gluten free blend)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Place the bacon in a large skillet and cook over medium-low heat until some of the fat is rendered. Be sure that the bacon is still pliable and not crisp. Drain on paper towels. If you use this method, reduce the flour to ¼ cup. Or don’t cook the bacon and proceed with the recipe.
  2. Then wrap one slice of bacon around each boneless chicken breast and place in a 4-5 quart crockpot.
  3. In medium bowl, combine condensed soups, sour cream, and flour and mix with wire whisk to blend. Pour over chicken.
  4. Cover crockpot and cook on low for 6-8 hours until chicken and bacon are thoroughly cooked. You may want to remove the chicken and beat the sauce with a wire whisk so it is very well blended.
  5. Pour sauce over chicken.
  6. If you have a newer crockpot, check the chicken at 5 hours. The internal temp should be 160 -170 degrees F.
- See more at: http://momswithcrockpots.com/2012/01/sour-cream-and-bacon-crockpot-chicken/#sthash.QyGqZXds.dpuf
Sour Cream and Bacon Crockpot Chicken
Recipe type: dinner
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8
Ingredients
  • 8 bacon slices
  • 8 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 (10 oz) cans roasted garlic cream of mushroom soup
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • ½ cup flour (all purpose or gluten free blend)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Place the bacon in a large skillet and cook over medium-low heat until some of the fat is rendered. Be sure that the bacon is still pliable and not crisp. Drain on paper towels. If you use this method, reduce the flour to ¼ cup. Or don’t cook the bacon and proceed with the recipe.
  2. Then wrap one slice of bacon around each boneless chicken breast and place in a 4-5 quart crockpot.
  3. In medium bowl, combine condensed soups, sour cream, and flour and mix with wire whisk to blend. Pour over chicken.
  4. Cover crockpot and cook on low for 6-8 hours until chicken and bacon are thoroughly cooked. You may want to remove the chicken and beat the sauce with a wire whisk so it is very well blended.
  5. Pour sauce over chicken.
  6. If you have a newer crockpot, check the chicken at 5 hours. The internal temp should be 160 -170 degrees F.
- See more at: http://momswithcrockpots.com/2012/01/sour-cream-and-bacon-crockpot-chicken/#sthash.QyGqZXds.dpuf
Sour Cream and Bacon Crockpot Chicken
Recipe type: dinner
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8
Ingredients
  • 8 bacon slices
  • 8 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 (10 oz) cans roasted garlic cream of mushroom soup
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • ½ cup flour (all purpose or gluten free blend)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Place the bacon in a large skillet and cook over medium-low heat until some of the fat is rendered. Be sure that the bacon is still pliable and not crisp. Drain on paper towels. If you use this method, reduce the flour to ¼ cup. Or don’t cook the bacon and proceed with the recipe.
  2. Then wrap one slice of bacon around each boneless chicken breast and place in a 4-5 quart crockpot.
  3. In medium bowl, combine condensed soups, sour cream, and flour and mix with wire whisk to blend. Pour over chicken.
  4. Cover crockpot and cook on low for 6-8 hours until chicken and bacon are thoroughly cooked. You may want to remove the chicken and beat the sauce with a wire whisk so it is very well blended.
  5. Pour sauce over chicken.
  6. If you have a newer crockpot, check the chicken at 5 hours. The internal temp should be 160 -170 degrees F.
- See more at: http://momswithcrockpots.com/2012/01/sour-cream-and-bacon-crockpot-chicken/#sthash.QyGqZXds.dpuf

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Squeegee Your Rug?

Living in a place with hardwood floor throughout the entire house sounded link a good idea to me at first, until I saw the proof of how much our lab sheds! Clumps of hair would roll around the house like tumbleweeds.  Enough hair would accumulate under the couch weekly that it looked like it was some kind of teacup puppy.  I like to try and keep the home clean, but the dog hair every where made me want to give up.  No matter how many times I'd swiffer or vacuum, there was still hair somewhere.

Our new home has carpet!  At least with carpet in the house, it isn't as obvious that our dog sheds.  You can still see tufts of hair floating around on the tile, but since there is more carpet in the house, it isn't difficult to keep up with swiffering it up.  :)

Our chocolate lab, Bella Donna
 Since we have carpet, I figured I'd try out the squeegee trick.  I purchased a cheap, no frills, squeegee






I noticed that it takes a few "brushes" of the carpet before you start seeing any hair...

Can you see it?




For me, once I start, I have to get every area Bella likes to lay on.  I do this before I vacuum the carpet. Thankfully the only carpeted area she's allowed on is the family room because if she was allowed upstairs, I'd probably go crazy trying to squeegee all of the bedrooms!

Mini fur ball




Voila!  Squeegees definitely work on getting pet hair up from carpet.  I'll be posting an update later on about this method because we plan on purchasing one of those vacuums "specially designed" to pick up pet hair.   So, it won't be to really follow up on the squeegee, more so to tell y'all if those vacuums really work and don't leave any hair behind.  ;)


Cheers! 



Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Hiatus is over! I bring you BEEF!


Phew!  It's been 2 1/2 months since my last post and I apologize for the hiatus!  Since my last post, our baby girl was born May 9th and we've moved into a new house!  My time has gone to taking care of a newborn, trying to get us all unpacked and settled into our new place, and of course taking care of the family and a bit of schooling as well.  It's definitely been an adjustment period with a third kid and getting used to our new home, but it's been great!  Tiring, but great.  :)

Today's recipe is something that I've been craving lately since I've been nursing.  Not sure if it's because I'm lacking something in my diet, but man oh man, have I been craving beef.  Burgers, steaks, stews, you name it.  I see a commercial or drive by a place that has beef on the menu and the crave begins.  If you don't eat beef, I am truly sorry because it is just so good!

Picture from Miss Information's blog! Looks delicious, right?


Love Julia Child but don't have the time for her recipes?  This was the inspiration behind Miss Information's slow cooker version of her Boeuf Bourguignon.  I've never attempted the recipe from scratch before, so I didn't quite know what to expect from the slow cooker version.  If you've seen the pin, you probably clicked on it and saw that it links you to My Recipe Magic, which then asks you to click on another link to go to Miss Information's blog.  I fixed the link on my pin board to go directly to the recipe on her site.  Why the extra step, right?

Here are the ingredients and directions for slow cooker boeuf bourguignon:

Ingredients:
4 lbs boneless beef chuck roast trimmed and cut into 1 1/2” cubes (have the butcher do it for you)
6 slices of bacon minced then cooked
3/4 bag of frozen onion
10 baby carrots cut into small pieces or 1 medium carrot
1/4 cup of tomato paste or a 8oz can of reduced can of tomato sauce
3 tablespoons minced garlic
1 teaspoon dry thyme
1/3 cup all purpose flour
2 cups Pinot Noir
2 cups low-sodium chicken stock
1/2 cup low sodium soy sauce
2 bay leaves
2 tablespoons butter
1 package of frozen pearl onions
1/2 cup water
2 teaspoons sugar
2 cartons of baby bella mushrooms cut into quarters

Season the beef with Salt and Pepper and put it in your slow cooker. Cook bacon in a skillet until crisp and drain. Put your diced onions in the skillet with the carrot’s, tomato paste, garlic and thyme till onions are unfrozen and soft. Put in your flour and stir for 1 minute to get the flour taste out of it. Stir in 1 cup of wine and get all the bacon bits off the bottom of the pan. Pour into the crock-pot. (You are now wondering how am I going to fit the rest in this slow cooker, don’t worry it will cook down enough to add the other stuff later) Pour in broth, soy sauce and bay leaves. Cover and cook for 9-10 hours on low.

About 30 minutes before it’s done put your pearl onions, water, butter and sugar in a pan and sauté until the onions are soft, throw in 1 cup of wine and reduce. Throw in the mushrooms and sauté about 10 minutes. Throw it all in the slow cooker and let it cook for about 15 more minutes.
Serve over mashed potatoes with a nice glass of wine and you will be happy happy!


Right of the bat, I didn't know that they sold onions frozen!  Since we keep lots of onions on hand at home, we decided to use fresh onions in the slow cooker but still use a bag of frozen pearl onions.  Well, the commissary and Wally World did not have frozen pearl onions so I picked up a bag of fresh pearl onions.  If you were like me and never cooked with them before, don't fret because they're simple to cook with!

I bought my 4lbs of boneless chuck roast whole and had to cube it myself.  When we cook with meat, we don't trim all of the fat off because it helps with flavor.  This is how much it filled up my 6 qt crock pot:

 
Ingredients: 4 lbs boneless beef chuck roast trimmed and cut into 1 1/2” cubes (have the butcher do it for you) 6 slices of bacon minced then cooked 3/4 bag of frozen onion 10 baby carrots cut into small pieces or 1 medium carrot 1/4 cup of tomato paste or a 8oz can of reduced can of tomato sauce 3 tablespoons minced garlic 1 teaspoon dry thyme 1/3 cup all purpose flour 2 cups Pinot Noir 2 cups low-sodium chicken stock 1/2 cup low sodium soy sauce 2 bay leaves 2 tablespoons butter 1 package of frozen pearl onions 1/2 cup water 2 teaspoons sugar 2 cartons of baby bella mushrooms cut into quarters Season the beef with Salt and Pepper and put it in your slow cooker. Cook bacon in a skillet until crisp and drain. Put your diced onions in the skillet with the carrot’s, tomato paste, garlic and thyme till onions are unfrozen and soft. Put in your flour and stir for 1 minute to get the flour taste out of it. Stir in 1 cup of wine and get all the bacon bits off the bottom of the pan. Pour into the crock-pot. (You are now wondering how am I going to fit the rest in this slow cooker, don’t worry it will cook down enough to add the other stuff later) Pour in broth, soy sauce and bay leaves. Cover and cook for 9-10 hours on low. - See more at: http://www.missinformationblog.com/2013/04/slow-cooker-beef-bourguignon.html#sthash.j3jQiv8c.dpuf
I had trouble cutting the bacon uncooked so I sectioned the slices up into thirds, cooked them and then shredded it up before putting in the onions, carrots, paste, etc.


Ingredients: 4 lbs boneless beef chuck roast trimmed and cut into 1 1/2” cubes (have the butcher do it for you) 6 slices of bacon minced then cooked 3/4 bag of frozen onion 10 baby carrots cut into small pieces or 1 medium carrot 1/4 cup of tomato paste or a 8oz can of reduced can of tomato sauce 3 tablespoons minced garlic 1 teaspoon dry thyme 1/3 cup all purpose flour 2 cups Pinot Noir 2 cups low-sodium chicken stock 1/2 cup low sodium soy sauce 2 bay leaves 2 tablespoons butter 1 package of frozen pearl onions 1/2 cup water 2 teaspoons sugar 2 cartons of baby bella mushrooms cut into quarters Season the beef with Salt and Pepper and put it in your slow cooker. Cook bacon in a skillet until crisp and drain. Put your diced onions in the skillet with the carrot’s, tomato paste, garlic and thyme till onions are unfrozen and soft. Put in your flour and stir for 1 minute to get the flour taste out of it. Stir in 1 cup of wine and get all the bacon bits off the bottom of the pan. Pour into the crock-pot. (You are now wondering how am I going to fit the rest in this slow cooker, don’t worry it will cook down enough to add the other stuff later) Pour in broth, soy sauce and bay leaves. Cover and cook for 9-10 hours on low. - See more at: http://www.missinformationblog.com/2013/04/slow-cooker-beef-bourguignon.html#sthash.j3jQiv8c.dpuf
Ingredients: 4 lbs boneless beef chuck roast trimmed and cut into 1 1/2” cubes (have the butcher do it for you) 6 slices of bacon minced then cooked 3/4 bag of frozen onion 10 baby carrots cut into small pieces or 1 medium carrot 1/4 cup of tomato paste or a 8oz can of reduced can of tomato sauce 3 tablespoons minced garlic 1 teaspoon dry thyme 1/3 cup all purpose flour 2 cups Pinot Noir 2 cups low-sodium chicken stock 1/2 cup low sodium soy sauce 2 bay leaves 2 tablespoons butter 1 package of frozen pearl onions 1/2 cup water 2 teaspoons sugar 2 cartons of baby bella mushrooms cut into quarters Season the beef with Salt and Pepper and put it in your slow cooker. Cook bacon in a skillet until crisp and drain. Put your diced onions in the skillet with the carrot’s, tomato paste, garlic and thyme till onions are unfrozen and soft. Put in your flour and stir for 1 minute to get the flour taste out of it. Stir in 1 cup of wine and get all the bacon bits off the bottom of the pan. Pour into the crock-pot. (You are now wondering how am I going to fit the rest in this slow cooker, don’t worry it will cook down enough to add the other stuff later) Pour in broth, soy sauce and bay leaves. Cover and cook for 9-10 hours on low. - See more at: http://www.missinformationblog.com/2013/04/slow-cooker-beef-bourguignon.html#sthash.j3jQiv8c.dpuf
I started mine pretty late, later than I wanted.  It was about 1:45pm when I finally finished the second step (had to take breaks to feed the baby, thankfully my toddler was napping) and I didn't want to wait until 11pm to eat it so I cooked on high for 5 hours.  I set it and forget it, only hoping that it wouldn't over cook the beef and make it extra chewy.  :(

This was what it looked like with about 2 hrs left!



With about an hour left, I started on the step with the peal onions.  I read that it's easy to peel them if you boil them for about 5 minutes, cut the root portion off and then squeeze them out, but we wanted them fresh so no squeezing.


I omitted the mushrooms because only one person in our family is fond of them.  Poured in the wine, reduced for a few minutes and added it to the crock pot with 45 minutes left on the timer.  I threw it in before the time expired for the pearl onions to really cook in there.  With 15 minutes left on the timer, I started the mashed potatoes.  Yes, boxed, because with little ones, I wanted that to be done fast.  :)

The end product all plated:

Yes, I probably should've put the salad on a separate plate, but we didn't mind it. 





Verdict: OHMIGOSH it was so amazing! A home run for our household!  My fear of the beef being overcooked?  The beef was "no knife needed" tender and the broth alone was tasty.  No extra salt or pepper needed and it does pair perfectly with mashed potatoes!


I hope you beef lovers will try this recipe out!


Cheers!

Boeuf Bourguignon
Boeuf Bourguignon
Boeuf Bourguignon