Thursday, January 26, 2012

Crispy Chicken Bacon Ranch Burritos

Bless my dear husband's heart, he loves fried food. Therefore I was given this for Christmas;

Because everyone needs to add fried food to their diet, right? Right.
I have avoided using it for a whopping four weeks but could deny the beckoning no longer. (And I had decided it was high time I discovered the subtle art of fried chicken.)
I know the theories; flour, egg wash, flour, fry.
Easy enough.

According to numerous fry-experts, that is the key to good fried chicken;
flour, egg wash, flour, fry. So here's your recipe;

Seasoned Flour
1-2 cups all purpose flour (dependant on how much chicken you are doing)
1/2 tsp garlic salt (or to taste)
1/2 tsp dried cilantro
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp seasoning salt or McCormick Montreal Steak Seasoning
Stir until well mixed

Egg Wash
1/2 cup milk per one egg
(I did about four lbs of chicken and used about 1 cup of milk and two eggs)
Stir this well with a whisk

Coating your chicken:
Be sure your chicken is in good-sized pieces; meaning not too thick and not too large but not so small (nugget-sized) that they will disappear in the breading. Give the pieces a good coating of the flour mixture then dredge in the egg wash. Tap the excess wash off and plop it back in the flour.

To fry:
Be sure your fryer is ready and the oil is to its desired temperature; my fryer said 375 degrees was the best for chicken. Fryers are vastly different and you should familiarize yourself with instructions, capacities, and warnings before using. (Boy, ain't I conscientious?)
It took about seven or eight minutes before I heard the tell-tale sound of done chicken. (This is pretty cool...the fryer seems to calm down and say 'madam, your chicken?') ((Not literally, you crazy people. But the sound of the oil changes and you can definitely hear it.))

Ahhh...yum. So this is what I did with my chicken; I gave it one of those fancy side-ways cuts like you see at restaurants, made a neat little pile of chicken off-center in a big tortilla, sprinkled a little shredded cheese, shredded lettuce and these delicious tri-color tortilla strips that you can find at Walmart for $1.22 a bag and topped it with my homemade bacon ranch dressing.
(Which is ridiculously difficult to make, I tell you. Using the directions on a packet of Hidden Valley dry ranch, make the ranch then dump in a bag of Great Value Real Bacon Pieces. Stir well. I added about 1/3 cup extra milk to keep it thin and to help tone down the intense bacon flavor.) is really good. And no, that is not a disgusting pile of something nasty sitting next to the burrito. Those are Pintos n' Cheese...well, my rip off version of Taco Bell's recipe.
So easy.

Pintos n' Cheese
1 can Great Value fat free refried beans
1/4 to 1/2 bottle mild taco bell sauce (found at Walmart. You can't tell where I do all my shopping, can you?)
1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Mix the beans and sauce, using as much or as little sauce as you want. (Me? I like lots.) You can either heat these over the stove or in the microwave. Then top the beans with cheese or stir it in. Yum!

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Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Rocky Road Brownies

Yummy!!! These are the BEST brownies ever. I was only introduced to these a couple years ago and my family has enjoyed them ever since.  Made from scratch, no box mix and so gooey and moist.
 Try will love them too.

First, mix all the ingredients together. is really good batter.

Pour your mixture into a cake pan 
(love my Pampered Chef Baking Stone, it works perfect for these brownies)


After they have baked in the oven and your toothpick comes out clean, pour the marshmallows over and put them back in the oven for just a couple minutes. DON'T LET THEM GET BROWN!


All puffed up! :)

Cover with frosting and they are so perfect!


1/2 Cup Butter
1/2 Cup Margarine
2 Cups Sugar
1/2 Cup Cocoa
4 Eggs
2 tsp Vanilla
1 2/3 Cups Flour
1/2 tsp Salt
1/4 tsp Baking Powder
1 bag Mini Marshmallows

Melt the butter and margarine.  Add sugar and cocoa.  Mix in the eggs one at a time and then add the vanilla.  Mix the flour, salt and baking powder together in a seperate bowl and add to the egg mixture.  Bake at 350 degrees for about 25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.  Immediately cover the brownies with marshmallows and put back in the oven until they are all puffed up.  DO NOT LET THEM GET BROWN!

2 Tbsp Butter
2 Tbsp Water
2 Tbsp Corn Syrup
1 oz Unsweetened Chocolate
1 oz Chocolate Chips
1/2 tsp Vanilla
1 Cup Powdered Sugar

Bring butter, water and corn syrup to a boil.  When bubbling remove from the heat and stir in the chocolate until melted.  Add the vanilla and powdered sugar.  You can add additional powdered sugar if the frosting is too runny.  Spread over the cooled marshmallow brownies.
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Tuesday, January 17, 2012

NO chocolate chips...

anywhere in my house!  What am I supposed to make as a treat for the next couple of days.
Hmmm...thinking...going through the cookbook...thinking!
Aha!  I found Tom Thumb Cookies.  I don't know where the name came from but these are AMAZING cookies (my husband ate half the pan in one sitting) and VERY yummy!

 First make your crust and press it out into pan.  Bake at 325 degrees for 7 minutes.

Next...mix together the rest of the ingredients and spread over your crust.  Bake at 325 degrees for 20 minutes.

Cut into ooey gooey bars and ENJOY!

Tom Thumb Cookies
1 Cup Shortening
1 tsp Salt
1 Cup Brown Sugar
2 Cups Flour

2 tsp Vanilla
4 Eggs, beaten
2 Cups Brown Sugar
1 tsp Baking Powder
3 Cups Coconut

Cream the first three ingredients together and blend in the flour.  Press into a cookie sheet.  Bake at 325 degrees for 7 minutes.  Mix together the ingredients for the topping while the crust is baking and then spread over top of the crust.  Bake at 325 degrees for another 20 minutes.

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Saturday, January 14, 2012

Made By Me

We had some awesome feedback when we had a post a while back about making your own laundry soap.
This has started the wheels turning in our heads and we are totally excited to include in this blog a DIY section.
It is labeled Made By Me and it is just a click away (see above).

We have been brainstorming on some things that we can DIY - and I am super excited to post them.
Some of our ideas that are in process:

Made By Me - Dishwasher Soap
Made By Me - Swiffer Pads

We have to test them out and make them ourselves first (of course) but if you have any ideas or things that you want us to try, please comment and we will see what we can do.

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Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Homemade Lasagna

My son recently told me about his love for Lasagna.  I had no idea that it was his favorite food, and so we were at the grocery store I was looking in the freezer section at the pre-made lasagnas and about had a stroke when I saw the prices.  I decided to look around and see how much it would cost to MAKE my own lasagna.

So I bought the stuff needed to make lasagna and sighed with relief at the price.  Less than half the cost of a frozen lasagna.  So I went home and experimented and made a lasagna for dinner.  I went off the recipe on the back of the lasagna noodles, but also detoured and came up with this recipe (I did use jar marinara sauce this time but I recommend trying the homemade recipe below - yummy).  
I must say that it was really good and my husband and son want me to make it again...and again!  I have a feeling that it will be a weekly meal at our house now.


1 pkg Oven Ready Lasagna Noodles
(*Oven Ready Lasagna noodles do not need to be boiled before placing in the oven)
1 jar Marinara Sauce (or homemade – see recipe below)
1 lb Ground Beef, cooked and drained
1 Cup Water
3 Cups Cottage Cheese
½ Cup Parmesan Cheese
Lots of Mozzarella Cheese, shredded
2 Eggs, slightly beaten
1 tsp Dried Basil

-Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
-In a bowl, combine the cottage cheese, parmasan cheese, eggs and the basil.  Mix well.
-In another bowl, combine the marinara sauce, water andthe ground beef.  Mix well.
-In a 9x13 pan layer your lasagna noodles in the bottomof the pan, overlapping them as you go.
-Spread half of the cheese mixture evenly over thenoodles. 
-Next, spread the mozzarella cheese on top of the cheesemixture.

-Then spread the meat mixture over the mozzarellacheese. 
-Repeat this process (Lasagna noodles, cheese mixture,mozzarella cheese and then the meat mixture)
-Now sprinkle with mozzarella cheese and more parmasan cheese over the top. 
-Wrap tightly with a double layer of foil.  Bake for 60 minutes.

Homemade Marinara Sauce
1 can Stewed Tomatoes
2 cans Tomato Sauce
Spaghetti Seasoning packet
Chili Powder to taste
Onion Powder to taste
Garlic Powder to taste
Oregeno to taste
Basil to taste
Parsley to taste
Sugar to taste

In a saucepan add the stewed tomatoes and crush them witha potato masher.  Add the tomato sauceand all the seasonings.  Let simmer for20-30 minutes.
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