Wednesday, July 1, 2015

4th of July Breakfast

I love breakfast. Specifically I love pancakes. And bacon. Because BACON.
Today I want to share with you how you can make your own 4th of July Pancakes and Smoothies!


I recently guest posted this over at Sugar Bee Crafts and this is the recipe I shared. When I first was thinking about what I wanted to share as my post, I asked a few friends for ideas (I needed a red, white, and blue theme). And everyone gave me the same ideas that have been done over and over... burgers, BBQ, etc. But then I thought to myself, "You know what hasn't been really done? BREAKFAST!" Why not start celebrating our country's freedom with the most important meal of the day?

Let's start with the pancakes!

You'll need the following ingredients:
-prepared pancake batter- use pancake mix or make it from scratch {try this recipe}
-fresh strawberries and blueberries
-white chocolate chips
-pancake syrup

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First, get your pancake mix prepared in a bowl. I'm all for saving time so I used Bisquick but feel free to use your favorite pancake recipe! I made a 1 and a 1/2 batch of mix (enough for 21 pancakes) since I was cooking for several people.

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Next, you'll want to prepare your fruit. Simply wash your blueberries and remove any stems. Try really hard not to eat the blueberries. You'll need about 1 cup.

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Wash your strawberries and dice them up. You'll need 1 cup of diced strawberries.
They smelled HEAVENLY while I was chopping them up! I may or may not have eaten a few strawberries in the process. No shame here. 

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Add the blueberries, straweberries, and 1/2 cup white chocolate chips (or more if you want!) to your pancake batter.

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Carefully laddle your batter onto a heated griddle and cook for a few minutes then flip and cook until both sides are golden brown.

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And here you go! Red, White, and Blue Pancakes!

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Talk about delicious! It's all my favorite things, tucked in to a pancake!

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Now on to the smoothies!

You'll need:
 4 frozen bananas
1 cup frozen strawberries
1 cup frozen blueberries
1 cup apple juice
1 cup water

Toss all of these ingredients into the blender and blend until smooth! You can adjust the ratio of apple juice and water if you want it more or less sweet.

I added a few drops of blue food coloring to make it a little more blue colored. Originally I had planned to layer the smoothies with a strawberry layer, a banana layer, and a blueberry layer but it didn't quite work out the way I wanted so I just blended it all up together.

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This smoothie is so good! Want to add more nutrition? Add some kale to it! It still tastes DELICIOUS and can squeeze in some veggies for those picky eaters!

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So there you have it! A patriotic themed breakfast to start out your 4th of July!
 It was a big hit with all my friends and they enjoyed being my guinea pigs for this project!

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I hope you enjoyed this post!

Have a safe and happy 4th of July!

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Grilled Chicken Sandwiches

My husband loves chicken sandwiches. Grilled, crispy, it doesn't matter. Just put some chicken between 2 buns and he's happy.

Usually the only chicken sandwiches I make are the premade breaded ones. But recently I decided to make homemade grilled chicken sandwiches. And let me tell you... it was a huge success!


What you'll need:

2 boneless skinless chicken breast tenderloins per sandwich
salt and pepper to season
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp dijon mustard
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp dried parsley
1 tbsp dried minced garlic


Pound chicken thin and season both sides with salt and pepper.


Mix remaining ingredients together to make a basting mixture.


Baste the top of the chicken and place it basted side down on George Foreman grill.


Baste the top of the chicken and cook for 4-5 minutes or until chicken is thoroughly cooked.


Serve on a kaiser roll (or bread of your choice).


These sandwiches are very moist and full of flavor!


 The first time I made these, the husband devoured it and told me I could made this every week! That's a big complement from him since he normally is a picky eater.





Grilled Chicken Sandwiches

makes 2-4 servings

Ingredients:
  • 2 boneless skinless chicken breast tenderloins per sandwich
  • salt and pepper to season
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp dijon mustard
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp dried parsley
  • 1 tbsp dried minced garlic


Instructions:
  1. Pound chicken thin and season both sides with salt and pepper.
  2. Mix remaining ingredients together to make a basting mixture.
  3. Baste the top of the chicken and place it basted side down on George Foreman grill.
  4. Baste the top of the chicken and cook for 4-5 minutes or until chicken is thoroughly cooked.
  5. Serve on a kaiser roll (or bread of your choice).

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Creamy Chicken Taco Pasta

Today I'm going to share with you a recipe that will change your life!
Seriously.
This recipe for Creamy Chicken Taco Pasta is mind-blowing delicious.
And very easy to make!


What you'll need:
1 cup of pasta (I used penne)
3 chicken tenderloins
1 tbsp oil
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup frozen corn
4 oz cream cheese
1 packet (or 2 tbsp) of taco seasoning
1/2 cup chicken stock
1/2 cup shredded cheese


Boil the pasta according to package directions.


Cook the chicken in the oil in a large pan (you'll use the pan to cook everything in later).


Remove chicken to the side and shred. Want to shred your chicken in 30 seconds or less? Toss it it a mixing bowl and use your hand mixer to quickly shred the chicken. It's a lifesaver!

Add black beans, corn, and cream cheese to skillet. Stir until cream cheese is melted.


Add in taco seasoning and chicken. Stir well.


Add cooked pasta and shredded cheese. Stir well and serve.


  Doesn't this look delicious?!?
 Both the husband and I went back for seconds. There wasn't a single bite left!


 Mmmmmmm!


It's sure to be a hit with your family! If you try it, let me know what you think!




Creamy Chicken Taco Pasta

makes 4 servings

Ingredients:
  • 1 cup of pasta (I used penne)
  • 3 chicken tenderloins
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup frozen corn
  • 4 oz cream cheese
  • 1 packet (or 2 tbsp) of taco seasoning
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheese


Instructions:
  1. Boil the pasta according to package directions.
  2. Cook the chicken in the oil in a large pan (you'll use the pan to cook everything in later).
  3. Remove chicken to the side and shred. Want to shred your chicken in 30 seconds or less? Toss it it a mixing bowl and use your hand mixer to quickly shred the chicken. It's a lifesaver!
  4. Add black beans, corn, and cream cheese to skillet. Stir until cream cheese is melted.
  5. Add in taco seasoning and chicken. Stir well.
  6. Add cooked pasta and shredded cheese. Stir well and serve.










Wednesday, May 13, 2015

8 Cleaning Hacks for Your Kitchen

This past week I began the dreaded task of cleaning my kitchen.
And I don't just mean cleaning my kitchen but CLEANING my kitchen.
You all know what I mean.
Deep scrubbing.
Reorganizing.
Decluttering.
The WORKS.

And I've come across a few AMAZING cleaning hacks that I wanted to share with you.
You've probably heard of some of them.
But maybe there's a few that can help you jump start your kitchen deep clean.
And all of them contain at least one of my new best friends...
Baking Soda & Vinegar.
We're besties now.
They help me clean EVERYTHING!



The dishwasher.
More precisely, cleaning the dishwasher.
Ew.
This tutorial over at One Good Thing by Jillie was a LIFESAVER.
I will confess that I made my husband clean the gunk trap.
I just can't even.
But it was so easy and definitely freshened up my dishwasher!




I can't tell you how many times I have cleaned my cooktop with this next method.
You can find it over at Tidy Mom.
Can you hear the hallelujah chorus?
Cause this is WONDERFUL and makes my cooktop SHINE!
It really helps get that caked on stuff off from when your chicken boils over.
{Which I do on a weekly basis.}




Here's another method for cleaning your cooktop over at A Step in the Journey.
I haven't tried this one yet but it looks promising!
And it includes my new BFF Vinegar.
There's also a tutorial for an easy way to clean your microwave!
Yes please!




Do your dish towels need a freshening up?
Or even your bath towels too?
Fear not because Vinegar and Baking Soda are here to rescue them!
Check out this how to over at Classy Clutter.
I tried this on my bath towels and it really worked!
I was a little hesitant at first because Vinegar and I were just getting to know each other.
But it didn't fail me! 
My towels smell so much better!




Now you can't neglect your kitchen sink when deep cleaning.
It needs some TLC too.
And that's where this guide over at Spend With Pennies comes in handy.
So simple.
Yet so effective.
Your sink will shine!




Oh kitchen cabinets.
How do you get so grimy?
I'll be using this cleaning hack over at Pinching Your Pennies to tackle those bad boys.
Simple and easy.
And uses stuff I already have!




*sigh*
The oven.
And I've got double the trouble since I have a double oven.
Oh, get the double oven- you can cook twice the stuff.
More like you can make twice the mess.
Seriously, how does it get so gross up in there?
Anyways, I'll be forced to face them soon.
And I'll be using this tutorial from Made From Pinterest to help me!
Just check out this before and after!



And lastly.
The fridge.
Can there be a cleaning fairy that can magically clean this for me?
No?
Are you sure?
Fine.
Cleaning the fridge is the worst.
But I really think these tips over at All She Cooks can make the experience a little less painful.
Vinegar hasn't failed me yet so I have high hopes!




Ok there you have it!
8 kitchen cleaning hacks to make your life a little easier.
And it's cheap.
So that's always nice!

Do you have any kitchen cleaning hacks?
Let me know in the comments!

Be sure to follow me on Pinterest by clicking HERE!

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Homemade Patty Melt with Fries

So for my first real post back, I thought I'd share with you all a recipe I made up last night!

I had thawed some ground beef but didn't know what to cook. So I was browsing Pinterest and saw a few recipes for Patty Melts. I'd never made it before so I got the gist of an idea of what it was a decided to make my own recipe.



I busted out the ole' cast iron and put it to use!


My mouth was watering at this point! It smelled so. good.


Play around with the seasonings you like. I used salt, pepper, season all, Tony's, and dehydrated garlic and onions.


Cooking the onions in the pan beforehand lends some yummy flavor to the patties!



Here's the layers on the griddle. Buttered bread, cheese, meat, onions, cheese, bread.


And here's how to make the fries....
Wash the potatoes and slice to the desired thickness. I've found I like leaving the skin on the potatoes. Yum!

After a few minutes in the fryer, I use some tongs to break up the fries a little. This helps to give them the crispy edge.


And here's the final product!





When I first explained what I was making to the husband he said, "So it's a burger." But I explained it was more like a burger meets the grilled cheese. And it really was so delicious!

The husband's rating? "I'd eat it again. But with less cheese." So maybe next time I'll only do 1 slice of cheese. For his anyways. I like the extra cheese! I didn't put onions on his either since he is so picky and doesn't eat them.

My rating? I'm definitely making it again! So yummy!


Homemade Patty Melt with Fries


Prep time: 15
Cook time: 20
Yield: 2 servings

Ingredients
  • 1/2 lb Ground Beef
  • 2 slices American (or your choice) Cheese
  • 1 small Yellow Onion, halved and sliced
  • 2 Tbsp Vegetable Oil
  • 4 slices Sliced Bread
  • 4 tsp Butter/Margarine
  • 2 medium Potatoes
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1/2 tsp Pepper
  • 1 tsp Season All
  • 1 tsp Dehydrated Minced Garlic
  • 1 tsp Dehydrated Minced Onions
  • 1 tsp Tony Chachere's Cajun Seasoning
  • Oil for Frying
Cooking Directions
  1. Heat up cast iron skillet to medium heat. Add vegetable oil. Add onions and cook until soft and browned.
  2. While onions are cooking, mix ground beef with seasonings. Form into 2 patties.
  3. When onions are cooked, remove to a side dish. Place patties in cast iron skillet. Cook for a few minutes on each side until cooked through. Remove to paper towels to drain.
  4. Heat a large griddle or skillet. Spread 1 tsp of butter on 1 side of each slice of bread. Place 2 slices on skillet, butter side down. Top each with a slice of cheese, then the cooked beef patty, then the cooked onions, then another slice of cheese, then the final piece of bread, butter side up. Cook until the bread is browned and then flip. Cook that side until the bread is browned. Remove and serve immediately.
  5. For fries:
  6. Preheat deep fryer to 375 degrees. Wash potatoes and dry. Slice into thin strips. Place in deep fryer for several minutes until desired crispness is reached. Halfway through cooking, use tongs to break up the potatoes to create crisp edges to fries. Once finished, drain on paper towels and season with salt if desired.
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