April 30, 2012

Must Try Monday {Orange Vinegar}

I love cleaning with vinegar, so when my food blogger friend
 Fountain Avenue Kitchen
posted a recipe for orange vinegar I had to try it!

orange peels in vinegar

16 oz canning jar
3 small orange peels or 2 large orange peels
white vinegar (enough to cover the orange peels)

Place orange peels in jar. Fit as many orange peels as your jar will allow you to fit.  Then pour vinegar over the orange peels and close tightly. Store under cabinet for 2 weeks. Enjoy all the essence of orange and the cleaning power of vinegar.

Click here for my "green" all purpose/ glass cleaner recipe, I used the orange vinegar in place of vinegar and lemon juice to make orange all purpose/ glass cleaner!

click here to find out how to remove those nasty water deposits off your fridge water dispenser tray!

Seriously, is there anything vinegar cannot do?!?!
Hope you are inspired to try this recipe yourself and create
"green cleaning" in your home!

April 25, 2012

BBQ Chicken Pizza

Today Kevin from 1000 Beers is co-hosting with me to bring you the perfect manly meal, brought to you by Appliance Online.
Don't get me wrong women will enjoy this pizza and beer too, but if you are looking to please your man's appetite then look no further.
Today we have BBQ Chicken Pizza

BBQ Chicken Pizza

and Kevin reviewed a single-hopped red ale beer
to compliment this pizza.
Hop over to 1000 Beers to read the full review.
If you ever want to now anything about beer
his blog is the place to go.

 1000 Beers

What you need:
2 small boneless, skinless chicken breast
1/4 cup of your favorite BBQ Sauce
2 TBS apple cider vinegar (optional)
Salt and Pepper
1 12-14 inch pizza dough
{If you are looking for wonderful
bread machine pizza dough click here}
1-2 TBS olive oil
1 tsp garlic and herb seasoning
1/3 cup of your favorite BBQ sauce
1 TBS Tiger Sauce
1/2 red onion, finely chopped
Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
Shredded Colby Jack Cheese
First, marinate your chicken breast in 1/4 cup BBQ sauce, apple cider vinegar, and salt & pepper. Marinate the chicken for about 20 minutes. Then grill the chicken @ 400 degrees until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees. Once your chicken is done allow to rest 5 minutes before cutting.
BBQ Chicken
Next, finely chop red onion and chicken into small pieces.
Purple Onion and BBQ Chicken

Then, mix olive oil and garlic and herb seasoning.
Brush mixture over dough. Afterward, mix the additional 1/3 cup BBQ sauce with tiger sauce and spread over the dough.
Brush Olive Oil

BBQ Sauce on Pizza
Now you are ready to place your toppings. Add your desired amount of shredded mozzarella, diced grilled chicken, red onions, and top with your desired amount of shredded Colby Jack cheese.

Place dough on foil and cook in a preheated oven at 450 F. This pizza is also excellent grilled! Click here for my tutorial on how to grill pizza!
If you are using a homemade dough, precook the dough for about 5 minutes on foil. Then remove from oven to add sauce and toppings. 

Cooking times will vary from gas to electric ovens. When the crust is stable enough remove the foil and let the pizza cook for an additional 5 minutes or until your desired crispiness. Removing the foil for the last 5 minutes will create a crispier crust.

And there you have it, a wonderful meal to make your man happy and satisfied!

BBQ Chicken Pizza

This blog post was brought to you by
Appliances Online.
Have a wonderful day and thank you for stopping by!

April 22, 2012

Happy Earth Day

To celebrate Earth Day the kids and I made Earth Rice Krispies Treats! This is a fun visual for little ones and gives you an open opportunity to inform them about how important their planet is to their future! This fun family project can allow you to talk about ways everyone can save energy around the house!

Earth Rice Krispies Treat

These are a few ways we try to reduce energy around our house!

-turn off the water while brushing our teeth

-turn off lights in a room when it is not in use

-place recycling where everyone can use it

Ok, now onto the recipe and tutorial...

3 tablespoons butter or margarine
1 package (10 oz., about 40) regular marshmallows
4 cups miniature marshmallows
6 cups Kellogg's® Rice Krispies® cereal
blue food coloring
green food coloring

-For best results, use fresh marshmallows.
-1 jar (7 oz.) marshmallow crème can be substituted for marshmallows.
-Diet, reduced calorie or tub margarine is not recommended.
-Store no more than two days at room temperature in airtight container.

Divide all ingredients in half. You will need two pans, one pan for blue and the second pan for green.
In two large saucepans melt butter over low heat.

melt butter

Divide marshmallows in half, add 14 drops of blue food coloring to one pan and 14 drops of green food coloring to the other pan. Stir until completely melted.
Remove from heat.

Coloring Marshmallows for Rice Krispies Treats

Add  3 cups of KELLOGG'S RICE KRISPIES cereal to each pan.
Stir quickly until well coated.
Then, with cooking spray coat 2 large mixing bowls and add the green mixture to one bowl and add the blue mixture to the other bowl.

Green Rice Krispies

Blue Rice Krispies

Once the mixture is cool (5-10 min), spray hands with cooking spray, then use your hands to combine the colors and form into a ball. Make into any size you like! Yes, your hands will be sticky, but not too bad :)
Best if served the same day.

Earth Day Rice Krispies Treats

This is my little one enjoying this beautiful day outside and eating "My Planet", so he says!

Earth Day Treat

April 19, 2012

Pita Pizza Pockets

These were actually invented by my husband one day when he was looking for a new, quick and easy lunch. I am sure we are not the first ones to make these cute little pizza pockets, but the day my husband pulled these out of the oven the kids and I were in awe of his brilliance! Pita Pizza Pockets are a super easy after school snack, a fun Saturday lunch, or a quick dinner option for a busy night!

Pita Pizza Pockets

1 package of mini multi grain pita pockets
8 oz shredded mozzarella cheese
veggies of your choice-
I used bell peppers, spinach, and black olives in this batch
turkey pepperoni
pizza sauce (recipe below)

Homemade Pizza Sauce
6oz can tomato paste
6 fl oz of warm water
1 1/2 TBS grated Parmesan cheese
1 TBS honey
1/4 tsp garlic powder (or to taste)
1/2 tsp onion powder (or to taste)
1/2 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp marjoram
1/2 tsp basil
1/8 tsp of black pepper
a small pinch cayenne pepper
kosher Salt to taste

Mix all ingredients in a bowl

Preheat oven @ 400 degrees. Then add sauce to pita pockets. Next add cheese, pepperoni, and veggies. Place on a cookie sheet lined with foil and cook until cheese is melted and bubbly. My family warms the extra pizza sauce and uses it for dipping.
Enjoy this meal with a nice garden salad topped with
Creamy Italian Dressing!
Thank you for stopping by and have a wonderful day :)

April 17, 2012

Tuesday's Kitchen Tip {Is it done yet?}

I cannot express how obsessed I am about my meat being at a safe temperature! I have a hidden fear of serving my family undercooked meat and because of this secret anxiety I have overcooked my fair share of meat. Now I fear no more! I have a Digital Instant Read Probe Thermometer on hand at all times when cooking meat to ensure I do not under or overcook meat. I highly recommend an instant read over a dial thermometer. Not only does a instant read give you an accurate, fast, and visible read; it is all in a press of a button.

There are many thermometers to choose from, all ranging in price. I purchased a Taylor TruTemp Instant Read Digital Thermometer for about $10. It is everything you would expect out of a thermometer!
Never ask yourself, "Is it done yet?" again!



USDA Recommended Safe Minimum Internal Temperatures

Did you know?
According to USDA research, 1 out of every 4 hamburgers turns brown before it reaches a safe internal temperature.

The only safe way to know if meat, poultry, and egg dishes are "done" is to use a food thermometer. When a hamburger is cooked to 160 °F as measured with a food thermometer, it is both safe and delicious!

Cook all raw beef, pork, lamb and veal steaks, chops, and roasts to a minimum internal temperature of 145 °F as measured with a food thermometer before removing meat from the heat source. For safety and quality, allow meat to rest for at least three minutes before carving or consuming. For reasons of personal preference, consumers may choose to cook meat to higher temperatures.

Cook all raw ground beef, pork, lamb, and veal to an internal temperature of 160 °F as measured with a food thermometer.

Cook all poultry to a safe minimum internal temperature of 165 °F as measured with a food thermometer.

Thank you for stopping by and have a wonderful day :)

April 16, 2012

Must Try Monday {Creamy Italian Vinaigrette}


Hello everyone! Sorry I missed last week, but I was super busy with the family. I know all you Mamas out there know how that goes! No worries, I am back reviewing another Pinterest pin.
Today's feature comes from The Big Red Kitchen.
The best thing about blogging and pinning is I have found so many new blogging friends through Pinterest!
I have actually made this vinaigrette several times and it lives up to all my family's expectations each time! I followed the recipe exact, but next time I am going to try honey in the place of sugar. This recipe is suppose to be copy cat recipe of Olive Garden's house dressing or not. I have only been to Olive Garden a few times and it has been so long ago I could not even begin to tell you how their house dressing taste.
I am a salad lover and enjoy a variety of salad dressings. This recipe is definitely a keeper for my cool salads!

This is my picture

and this is the picture I pinned. Click here for the full recipe.

If you are on Pinterest I would love for you to stop by my boards so we can share amazing and wonderful craft ideas, recipes, and stuff!

April 12, 2012

Slow Cooker Creamy Chicken

One day last week I did not have anything planned out for dinner, nor did anything sound tempting enough to prepare.
I did not even want to think about going to the grocery store,
we have a love hate relationship!
Knowing I had to get dinner started sometime soon, I raided my pantry and came out with the ingredients listed below.
To my surprise I created a very successful and comforting dinner for the family!
This slow cooker creamy chicken pairs well with cheesy, garlic and herb mashed potatoes (
click here for recipe)
and fresh steamed broccoli.
I will definitely be making this again!

Creamy Crock Pot Chicken

1 12oz Pacific Cream of Chicken
1 12oz Pacific Cream of Celery
(I highly recommend Pacific brand if it is available at your
grocery store)

3/4 cup Chicken Broth
1/4 tsp kosher salt & fresh ground pepper (or to your taste)
1 tsp garlic and herb seasoning
1/2 tsp onion powder
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

Add the cream of chicken, cream of celery, chicken broth, salt, pepper, garlic and herb, and onion powder in a mixing bowl and combine well.
Place chicken breast in the slow cooker and pour the mixture over the chicken and cover. I cooked this chicken for 6-8 hours on low, but if needed cook on high for 3-4 hours.

You can serve the whole chicken breast or shred all the chicken breast. Shred chicken and place back in the crock pot to let the gravy soak in the shredded chicken. This is excellent served over mashed potatoes!

This chicken would work really well in chicken and dumplings or chicken pot pie!

Hope you enjoy!
Thank you for stopping by and have a wonderful day :)

April 10, 2012

Tuesday’s Kitchen Tip {room temp butter fast}

Have you ever started baking and to your surprise the recipe calls for a stick of butter at room temperature? Yikes! Then you realize I don’t have enough time to wait, I need to start baking now! You automatically reach for the microwave door! Wait, do not put your butter in the microwave, but instead pull out the cheese grater.

Room Temp. Grated Butter

Placing the butter in the microwave will change the chemistry of the butter and by using microwave butter you may not get the results you are looking for. By grating the butter, you allow it to stay in a similar state as if the butter was sitting out at room temperature. This tip also works well for frozen butter.
Another tip for butter- when a recipe calls for butter it is always understood that you use unsalted butter. Never use salted butter unless the recipe states to use salted butter.

Grated Butter 

Hope this tip helps you out in the kitchen next time you forget to leave the butter out :) If you use other quick methods for softening butter I would love to hear them! Have a wonderful day and thank you for stopping by :)

April 6, 2012

Cocoa Krispie Bird's Nest

 Hello  everyone, hope you are having a wonderful day!
These little krispie treat bird's nests are nothing new, but so much fun if you have never made them! Not only are they fun but they are super easy to make :)

I highly encourage you to let your children in on this project because it will bring a smile to their little faces and joy to your heart!

Cocoa Krispie Treat Nests

3 tablespoons butter or margarine
1 package (10 oz., about 40) regular marshmallows
- OR -
4 cups miniature marshmallows
6 cups Cocoa Krispy cereal

1. In large stockpot melt butter over low heat. Add marshmallows and stir until completely melted. Remove from heat.
2. Add cereal. Stir until well coated.
3. Using buttered spatula or wax paper evenly press mixture into a muffin pan coated with cooking spray. Cool, remove from pan, and shape into a nest. Add Whoppers Mini Robin Eggs, jellybeans, or even a Peep birdie inside the nest to give it that authentic feel.
Best if served the same day.

-Use fresh marshmallows.

-1 jar (7 oz.) marshmallow crème can be substituted for marshmallows.
-Diet, reduced calorie or tub margarine is not recommended.
-Store no more than two days at room temperature in airtight container.
- Did you know you can freeze these fun treats? Place in layers separated by wax paper in airtight container. You can freeze them for up to 6 weeks. To thaw set out each individual treat for about 15 minutes before serving.

Hope you have fun making this recipe in your kitchen this Spring!

April 2, 2012

Must Try Monday {Banana Split Cupcakes}

I cannot believe it has already been a whole week. Seems like yesterday I was writing the Philly Cheese Steak post!
I hope everyone had a wonderful, relaxing weekend.
Well here it is... today and every Monday I am featuring a
Must Try Recipe from my
board and will let you know what I think and things I did differently!
So let's get started...Today I am featuring 
Banana Split Cupcakes from Six Sister's Stuff!
If you have not checked out these sister's blog hop on over there and check out their recipe index, YUM!
The reason I made these cuties is because my sister from
Cherished Bliss
moved away this week and this dessert was her final request from my kitchen :( I am going to truly miss her, she is my very best friend who lived right down the street from me and now she will live across the country from us! There will be lots of skyping! Ok, back on track...

This is mine
Banana Split Cupcakes

and this is the picture I pinned!

Click here for Six Sister's full recipe!

My thoughts and things I did differently!
These cupcakes were a big hit and
I will definitely be making these again!!!!!!
The banana cake was to die for! The things I did differently to the batter was reduced the sugar to 2 cups, used regular milk in place of buttermilk, and used about 3 bananas.
The batter was perfect!
I did not use the Vanilla Frosting but instead used a

Homemade Whipped Topping
2 cups of heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup of powder sugar (add more or less to your liking)
1 tsp of vanilla extract

Chill your mixing bowl and beaters in the freezer for about 10 minutes. Then in a large metal bowl, whip cream until stiff peaks are just about to form.
Then beat in vanilla and sugar until peaks form.

Then after making the whipped topping I was out of heavy whipping cream for the ganache, so I substituted the heavy cream with 3/4 cup of half and half and it worked!
Although, I would suggest to half the ganache recipe because it made a lot, unless you have other intentions for the leftovers or you enjoy more ganache than I do on your cupcakes!

Hope you enjoyed this review and I would highly recommend these cupcakes for any occasion!

P.S. My 15 year old daughter said these cupcakes were so good she wants these at her 16th birthday party!

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