Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Chicken Pesto Wrap

We loved this wrap; I can see more of these coming in the future.  As long as you remember to marinate the chicken earlier in the day, the rest of this recipe comes together really quickly.  (Or you can be even faster about it and use frozen chicken strips or rotisserie chicken.)  We mostly followed Plain Chicken's recipe, but you could change this up adding other vegetables.  It would also be really good as a cold wrap with some lettuce or spinach and diced tomatoes.  Very tasty and easy. 

If you're not making all six wraps at one time, still grill all of the chicken and just use it for leftovers later in the week.  We had these two nights in a row, and they were great both times. 

Chicken Pesto Wrap

1 lb chicken tenders
3/4 cup Italian dressing
3 Tbsp pesto, divided
2 Tbsp Ranch dressing
6 tortillas
6 mushrooms, sliced
Shredded cheese of your choice (I used Monterey Jack)

Marinate the chicken in the Italian dressing and 2 Tbsp pesto for at least an hour--the longer, the better.  Grill until done, and set aside.

Mix the Ranch dressing with 1 Tbsp pesto, and set aside.

Lay the tortilla down, and layer ingredients on the tortilla, starting with shredded cheese.  Follow with chicken and sliced mushrooms, and finally drizzle pesto-Ranch mixture on top.  Roll up the sides of the tortilla, and place in a hot grill pan.  Grill 3 minutes per side, or until golden.  Repeat with remaining tortillas.  Serve with Ranch, if desired.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Teak Dog Tuesday!

Teak got a haircut this week!  He looks younger and much cooler sporting his summer hair-do.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Jalapeno Cheese Beer Bread

I'm betting you like all of the ingredients listed above.  If you don't drink beer, don't worry; you don't taste it in the bread.  It just provides the yeast that the bread needs to be successful.  If you don't like spicy food, don't worry; the jalapenos are very mellow.  This isn't hot at all. 

This is a quick recipe to put together, and it's great to serve warm with a pat of butter or with eggs and bacon for a savory breakfast.  Biz requested this bread this weekend since I hadn't made it in a while; he even suggested that we make it as muffins next time, which would be great.  Give it a try!

Jalapeno Cheese Beer Bread

1 Tbsp olive oil
1/4 cup finely chopped green onion
1/4 cup chopped pickled jalapenos
1 garlic clove, minced
3 cups all-purpose flour
3 Tbsp sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 cup (4oz) shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1 (12oz) bottle lager-style beer (I used Michelob Ultra)
Cooking spray
2 Tbsp butter, divided and melted

Preheat oven to 375.  Heat oil in a small skillet over medium heat.  Add jalapeno and green onion to pan; cook 3 minutes or until browned.  Add garlic; cook 1 minute. 

Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl; make a well in the center of the mixture.  Add jalapeno mixture, cheese, and beer to center of flour mixture.  Stir until just moist. 

Spoon mixture into greased 9"x5" loaf pan; drizzle one tablespoon of butter over batter.  Bake at 375 for 35 minutes.  Drizzle remaining tablespoon of butter over batter, and bake an additional 25 minutes.  Cool in pan for 5 minutes on a wire rack; remove from pan, and cool completely on wire rack.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Delicious Sugar Cookies

Love is in the air!  It's definitely wedding season around here, and I'm so happy for my sweet newlywed friends!  I made these cookies in their honor.

These cookies really are delicious.  They're buttery and wonderful.  It's almost a bad thing that it makes 3 dozen cookies; it's next to impossible to eat just one.  You should definitely follow the recipe and refrigerate the dough for at least an hour.  If you're going to roll out the dough and cut it into shapes, have plenty of flour on your hands and your work surface; you should also work quickly because it isn't the friendliest dough to work with once it starts getting warm.  I only had time to cut out a few hearts before it started sticking to everything, and I resigned to round drop cookies and eating the raw dough (which is outstanding, by the way). 

Congratulations to the Joiners and the Pettys!  I'm so happy for you!

Delicious Sugar Cookies

3/4 cup (1.5 sticks) softened butter
1 cup white sugar
2 eggs
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt

In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until smooth.  Beat eggs into mixture one at a time.  Then add milk and vanilla.  In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and salt; stir into butter mixture.  Cover dough, and chill for at least one hour. 

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Lightly grease cookie sheets or line with parchment paper.   On a floured surface, roll out the dough to 1/4" thickness.  Cut into desired shapes, and place shapes on cookie sheet.  Bake for 7-9 minutes on cookie sheet; cool on wire racks completely before frosting. 

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Macaroni and Cheese Cupcakes

I recently discovered Framed, a really fun food blog with gorgeous pictures.  She had this great idea for macaroni and cheese cupcakes, and since we needed a good comfort meal last week, we happily tried it out. 

I'll tell you this: The macaroni and cheese recipe itself is good and very simple, but it's not outstanding.  It's the individual servings that make this dish so fun.  If you have a favorite mac and cheese recipe, go ahead and whip it up, and then bake it in the muffin tin; if you don't have a favorite mac and cheese recipe, try out one of mine--like this fancy Caramelized Onion Macaroni and Cheese or Biz's favorite Creamy Mac and Cheese

We tried it out in a regular sized muffin tin with paper liners, and we also sprayed mini-muffin tins and just spooned the mixture in there.  Wouldn't mini mac and cheese cups be the perfect appetizer for your next dinner party?  When your guests see this to snack on before the main meal, they'll feel relaxed and at home.  You should try them! 

Macaroni and Cheese Cupcakes

8oz elbow macaroni
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
2 eggs
1 cup milk
salt and pepper
Parmesan cheese for sprinkling

Preheat oven to 400.  Line a muffin tin with paper or foil liners (or coat well with cooking spray).  Cook the macaroni in boiling water until done; drain and immediatly return to the pot.  Add cheese and stir briefly until melting.  In another bowl, mix beaten eggs into milk, and then pour mixture into macaroni.  Mix well.  Ladle macaroni mixture into muffin tins, sprinkle Parmesan cheese on top, and bake for 20 minutes.  Cool slightly before serving.  Recipe yields 1 dozen regular-sized cupcakes.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Teak Dog Tuesday!

The quality of these pictures isn't great, but what they capture is pretty funny.  Teak is hugging and loving on his favorite pillow.  You can tell how much he loves it.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Spicy Crispy Chicken Sandwich

This is another Hungry Girl recipe, and let me tell you, Biz and I were shocked at how good it was.  We will definitely be making this again.  I didn't have high hopes going into this, knowing I was going to eat chicken that had been coated with ground up Fiber One cereal (which is not a cereal I'd eat for breakfast).  Honestly, though, it was great.  It tasted like it had been fried, and it reminded us both of the spicy chicken sandwich from Wendy's. 

It doesn't hurt that if you follow the recipe, the sandwich has 313 calories, 4.5 grams of fat, 12 grams of fiber, and 31 grams of protein!  I'm not a calorie counter, but I do like patting myself on the back if I eat something that isn't terrible for me.  I didn't have egg substitute, so I just used one beaten egg.  The recipe below is just for one sandwich, so we doubled it easily.

You should try this sandwich; you will like it!  You can even get a coupon for Fiber One here.

Spicy Crispy Chicken Sandwich

3 oz  raw boneless, skinless chicken breast
1 small hamburger bun
1/2 cup Fiber One cereal (original)
1 egg, lightly beaten
2 Tbsp fat free mayonnaise
2 slices tomato
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper, divided

Preheat oven to 375.  Using a blender or food processor, grind Fiber One to a breadcrumb-like consistency.  Add half of the cayenne pepper (1/8 tsp) to the crumbs and mix well.  Place crumbs in one small dish and egg in another.

Sprinkle salt and black pepper evenly on both sides of the chicken.  Then coat chicken on both sides--first with egg and then with seasoned crumbs.

Place chicken on a baking pan sprayed with nonstick spray.  Top chicken with a light mist of nonstick spray and then place in oven.  Cook for 10 minutes, and then flip the chicken over and add another light mist of cooking spray.  Cook for an additional 10-12 minutes, until chicken is fully cooked and the coating looks crispy. 

While the chicken is cooking, combine mayo and the remaining cayenne pepper in a small bowl.  Spread half of the mayo mixture on each half of the bun.  Layer chicken and tomato slices between the two buns and serve!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Teak Dog Tuesday!

Leaning off the boat this far is how Teak fell into the water last week.

Here he is after a little swim.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Low Calorie Margarita

A good margarita is certainly helping my evening.  After working late, and especially after getting my taxes done, I wanted needed a good drink.  Thankfully, Hungry Girl has a recipe for a great margarita that has only 115 calories!  I was excited to try it, and let me tell you, it is GOOD.  You honestly won't know the difference between this margarita and a restaurant's margarita, and you will not miss the hundreds of calories and grams of sugar you would otherwise be consuming.  Honestly, this recipe is surprisingly sweet for a margarita; you could just use one of the packets of lemonade mix and be fine.

This recipe is just for one serving.  You may want to make two or three at a time.  According to the cookbook, the entire recipe has 115 calories, 0g fat, 55mg sodium, 2g carbs, and less than 0.5g sugars.  You don't have to feel guilty! 

Low Calorie Margarita

3/4 cup (6oz) diet lemon-lime soda
3 Tbsp (1.5oz) tequila
2 packets (two 5-calorie servings) sugar-free powdered lemonade drink mix
2 Tbsp lime juice
5 to 8 ice cubes or 1 cup crushed ice

Stir all ingredients together except for the ice.  For a frozen drink, place mixture in a blender with the ice and blend until smooth.  Alternately, just pour mixture over ice and enjoy.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Teak Dog Tuesday!

Here's Teak checking out the giant turkey Biz killed a couple of Saturdays ago.

And here he is soaking wet.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Oreo Peanut Butter Cookies

This is a shortcut recipe.  It takes two minutes to throw it together, and it will make you three dozen glorious peanut butter and oreo cookies.  If you have a favorite peanut butter cookie recipe, use it.  If you're short on time, like I was, you can buy the premade peanut butter cookie dough, and just mix in some oreos.  Honestly, it's that easy.  You will not be disappointed by these.  Again, thanks to Plain Chicken for sharing her recipes!

Happy Birthday, Dad!

Oreo Peanut Butter Cookies

1 pouch peanut butter cookie mix
1 Tbsp water
3 Tsbp vegetable oil
1 egg
12 oreos, crushed

Preheat oven to 375.  Mix together pouch of cookie mix, water, oil, egg, and crushed oreos.  Place rounded spoonfuls on lightly greased cookie sheet.  Bake 9-11 minutes. 

Friday, April 1, 2011

Queso Cookies

These are so good.  My sister usually makes them when I come in town or at Christmas, and I can easily eat most of them.  I made them last week for a bridal shower, and they were really easy.  You can make them into cookie shapes or cheese straws.  They are so delicious and buttery.  Thanks again to Plain Chicken--my main recipe source!

Queso Cookies

2 sticks butter, softened
2 cups grated cheddar cheese
2 cups flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 can Ro-Tel, drained (or the store brand diced tomatoes and chiles)

Preheat oven to 350.  Mix the cheese and butter together.  Add the flour, salt, cayenne and tojmatoes, and stir until it becomes a ball. 

For cookies, form the dough into marbles and press with a fork.  For straws, roll out the dough into a rectangle that is 1/4" thick, andcut the dough into 2"x1" rectangles using a pizza cutter.  Poke four holes in the top of each cheese straw with a fork.

Bake on a lightly sprayed cookie sheet for 20 minutes.  Cool and then serve.  Makes 3-4 dozen.