Sunday, August 24, 2014

Crockpot little smokies

Review by Lyndee:

I needed to come up with something to take to a housewarming BBQ this weekend.  I needed it to be easy, no hassle and on the cheap.  So I went with the old standby little smokies.  Generally I just use a BBQ sauce but I decided to get a little adventurous and try this recipe instead. 

2 packages Little Smokies (I used turkey ones)
1 cup ketchup
1 cup barbecue sauce (I used Sweet Baby Ray’s)
1 cup brown sugar
2 tsp Worcestershire

Mix all the sauce ingredients in a large bowl.  Toss in the smokies and stir until they are coated.  Dumb in the crockpot and cook on low for four hours. 

These turned out pretty good.  The flavor was decent.  Next time I might add a few dashes of hot sauce to or a bold barbeque sauce to kick up the heat a ittle bit.  

World’s Best Tater Tots

Review by Lyndee:

If you’ve ever watched Man versus Food or visited the capitol city, Des Moines, Iowa, you may have heard of the High Life Lounge.  If you’ve been witness to the shag carpet, 70’s throwback beer décor and Tanger bomb shots, it’s very likely you’ve seen their bacon and jalapeno wrapped tater tots.  This appetizer is just a tad on the side of ridiculously awesome.  I mean, who doesn’t love tater tots?  Then load them down with bacon, jalapenos, cheese and some ranch dressing?  My inner fat girl is doing cartwheels at the thought of it.  Because I don’t wanna be fat, I had to come up with a variation of these that would be easier than the deep fried version on my metabolism and my wallet. 

Tater tots
Shredded cheese
Diced jalapenos
Bacon, RAW, cut into pieces
Garlic powder

First we tried these on the grill but they got a bit of a mush factor to them.  For best results, make these fab nuggets of goodness in the oven.

Line a cookie sheet with aluminum foil.  Spray with non-stick cooking spray.  Place a layer of tater tots on the foil.  NOTE-do not spread these out like you normally would when baking tots or fries.  You want a single layer of tots but they should be touching in a bunch.  Sprinkle with salt, pepper and garlic powder.  Spread on the uncooked bacon pieces and jalapenos.  I used the peppers for flavor but if you want some real bite to your tots, be more generous.  Bake for 20 minutes at 425 degrees.  Remove from oven and add shredded cheese.  I used a Colby Jack combo but cheddar would work great too.  Put under the broiler in the oven for a few minutes, until the bacon is crisp and the cheese is melting. 

Remove and serve! Some people dip these in ranch or ketchup but they are seriously perfect on their own.    

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Chicken Alfredo Dip

Review by Lyndee:

3 boneless skinless chicken breasts or two large cans diced chicken breast (white meat)
8oz block cream cheese, softened
1 jar alfredo sauce (14.5 oz or so)
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
2 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp Italian seasoning

Mix the chicken with the cream cheese, alfredo sauce and 1 1/2 cups mozzarella.  Place into glass pie dish or 8x8 pyrex dish.  Top with remaining mozzarella and a sprinkling of Parmesan.  Bake in oven at 350 for 20-25 minutes, until bubbly.  Serve with crackers, pita chips, toasted baguette slices or veggies. 

I made this in the crockpot instead of baking it in the oven since I was taking it to a party.  It turned out great and was super easy to make.  

Reese’s Double Brookies

Review by Lyndee:

A Reese's Oreo stuffed between a brownie and a peanut butter chip cookie, topped with Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups.  Yes, it’s rich and decadent and fattening but it may be the best brownie/cookie combo I’ve ever made. I found this on the Chef In Training blog and if I could hug her for sharing it, I would.  

1 Pk Reese’s Oreo Cream Cookies
1 Box brownie mix
1 Large egg
⅓ C Vegetable oil
¼ C Milk

For the cookie
½ C (1 stick) Unsalted butter
½ C Light brown sugar
½ C Sugar
1 Large egg
2 tsp Pure vanilla extract
1¾ C All-purpose flour
½ tsp Salt
½ tsp Baking soda
¾ C Peanut Butter Chips
12 Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups

Preheat oven to 350° F. In a medium sized bowl, combine brownie mix, egg, vegetable oil and milk. Beat until thoroughly mixed. Line a 9x13” pan with parchment paper or a baking mat. Pour brownie mixture over the baking mat and spread evenly. Set Oreo cookies in a line over top of the brownie mix.

For the cookie
Soften butter in the microwave 10-15 seconds. Combine butter with both light brown sugar and granulated sugar. Mix until smooth and mixture becomes fluffy. Add egg and vanilla extract and beat until egg is thoroughly incorporated. In a separate bowl, combine flour, salt and baking soda. Slowly add flour mixture to dough batter while mixing at a low speed. Once all the flour has been added, increase speed to medium until dough forms.

Chop Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups into small pieces. Add all but ¼ C into the cookie dough. Add peanut butter chips and fold into cookie dough. Take the cookie dough and drop chunks onto the top of the brownie mixture, gently pressing them down into brownie batter. Add remaining ¼ C Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups and press gently onto the top of the cookie dough.

Bake for 23-25 minutes at 350°F. Test the middle with a toothpick to make sure the batter is cooked.  If not, put back in the oven for a few more minutes.

Remove from oven and allow to cool completely before cutting.

To make this a super simple dessert I used a pre-made peanut butter cookie dough and mini size Reese’s peanut butter cups so I didn’t have to chop anything up.  These were amazing to say the least.  So rich and who doesn’t love a chocolate and peanut butter combination?  

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Kickin’ Chicken

Review by Lyndee:

2-3 lbs of Chicken (I used boneless, skinless breasts)
1 c. Frank's RedHot Original
1/4 c. olive oil
1/4 c. lime juice (fresh is best, but bottle is good too)
2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed (you can use garlic powder)

In a medium size bowl, mix RedHot, olive oil, lime juice and garlic.  Place chicken in a ziploc bag and pour marinade over top, making sure the chicken is submerged.  Marinade for four hours in the fridge. Remove chicken from marinade and grill.  The chicken is great with fresh lime juice squeezed on top! 

I grilled this chicken last night after a 3 mile walk and it was perfect.  Just the right amount of heat and it couldn't be easier to make.  This is definitely going in the winner, winner chicken dinner rotation. 

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

The Ultimate Crockpot Cheesy Hashbrown Casserole

Review by Lyndee:

Warning…these are not healthy but they will win your heart and belly.

It was one of those days I was ill prepared to take a dish to share to a friend’s BBQ.  It was one of those days I didn’t feel like cooking.  So I looked through the fridge and the freezer and came up with this twist on tradition hashbrown casserole and it was mind boggling.  We went through the majority of this huge batch at the party with only 10 people and the rest warmed up perfectly the next day for lunch.  

1 (10 3/4 oz) can cream of chicken soup
1 c. sour cream
1/4 cup bacon french onion sour cream from Anderson Erickson (or a squeeze of a bacon ranch dressing)
1/2 cup diced velveeta (or a 1 inch thick slice)
1/4 c. butter, melted
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/4 onion powder
1/4 garlic powder
1 (32 oz) frozen shredded hash brown potatoes
2 c. sharp cheddar cheese
1/2 c. crushed Ritz crackers


In a large saucepan, melt cream of chicken soup, sour creams, butter and velveeta.  Add hash browns to crock pot.  Cover with melted sauce.  Add 2 cups of shredded cheese to the top.  Sprinkle with crushed crackers.  Cover and cook for 4-5 hours on low or until potatoes are tender.  Spoon and enjoy! 

Teriyaki Chicken Club

Review by Lyndee:

1 chicken breast
2 tbsp teriyaki sauce
1 tsp minced garlic
1 piece white bread (toasted)
1 piece bacon
1 piece smoked cheddar cheese

I love chicken. I know it’s good for me. But sometimes, it can bore my tongue.  The other night I had marinated a chicken breast in teriyaki sauce and a tsp of minced garlic. I was super hungry and wanted to make something new.  I grilled the chicken breast and made it into this club sandwich. It was awesome.  No dipping condiments needed and it couldn’t be easier to make.  As your chicken is finishing up, set a slice of smoked cheddar (or pepperjack or swiss would be good too) on top so that it melts slightly. Add one piece of cooked bacon.  Butter a piece of toast and cut in half.  You could add lettuce or tomato to this as well.  Seriously easy and delicious.