Chicken Lazone! Mama Mia!

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This stuff is so damn good! I’ve made it a few times, and my husband literally licks his plate clean every single time I do! He can’t get enough of it! He will eat himself sick if I don’t stop him. You’re going to love it too, once you make it.

Ingredients:
Approximately 2 lbs chicken breast tenders, or breasts cut into strips
4 teaspoons garlic powder
2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoon onion powder
2 teaspoon chili powder
2 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 cup butter, divided
3 cups real, heavy cream (36% fat or higher)
1 box spaghetti

Directions:
1) Start a pot of salted water on the stove for your pasta.
2) Mix all your spices in a pie plate. Save 1 teaspoon of this mixture for later.
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3) Coat half of your chicken strips in the spice mixture. I like to push the spices to one side of the plate, and stack the spice-coated chicken strips on the other.IMG_37394) Check your pot of water. It’s probably either close to boiling or is boiling by now. Add your pasta and stir it well.
5) Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat on the stove. When the skillet is hot, add dollop of butter (around a tablespoon, or so,) and make sure it coats the bottom of the skillet.
6) Lay out the chicken in the buttered skillet and let it pan-fry for 3-4 minutes.
IMG_37437) Flip the chicken pieces and add another tablespoon of butter, if necessary.
IMG_37448) After about 4 minutes on the second side, remove the chicken pieces to a plate and keep warm. Repeat this process with the second half of your chicken strips.
9) When you’ve pan-fried all of your chicken, melt another tablespoon of butter in your skillet, and add your reserved spice mixture. With a wire whisk, combine the spices well with the butter and cook for about 30 seconds.
IMG_37458) Add the cream to your skillet and whisk it well to incorporate the spices and pan scrapings into the cream.
IMG_37469) Bring your cream to a boil and reduce the heat to a low simmer. Cook until the cream is thickened. This should happen around the time your spaghetti is finished.
10) When your spaghetti is al dente, drain it, return it to the put, and stir in 3-4 tablespoons of butter. Make sure your pasta is well coated with butter, and cover with a lid. Check your cream. When it is thick, it’s ready.
11) Serve the chicken over a bed of spaghetti, drenched in the cream sauce.

Enjoy! This is so delicious!

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Crêpes Galore!

I have made so many crêpes this past week that I’m honestly surprised I’m not sick of them yet! Since getting my handy-dandy crêpe skillet at Aldi, I’ve made cheese and fruit crêpes four different ways – with strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries – I’ve made nutella and fruit crêpes with both bananas and strawberries, and I’ve made chicken florentine crêpes. I have fallen in love with crêpes.

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I found an easy, fool-hardy recipe for crêpes that is so insane in its simplicity that I wonder why it took me so long to attempt them. To be honest, I was a little intimidated by crêpes because I always thought they were some crazy-hard food to master making, but the opposite is true. While you can mess it up, if you know how to cook at all, you should be able to do a fairly decent job on your first try. Really! If you’ve been scared of crêpes, don’t be.

So, this recipe is made in your blender and you’ll need a good few hours to let it rest, but that’s it. I like to mix my crêpe batter up before bed and then leave it in the fridge until morning.

Ingredients:
4 eggs
1 1/2 cups milk
1 cup water
6 Tbsp melted butter
2 cups flour
Room temperature butter to coat skillet

Directions:
Place all ingredients in your blender and pulse, scraping the sides of your blender pitcher as necessary to remove residual flour. Let rest at least 4 hours or overnight, the longer the better.

When you’re ready to make your crêpes, heat a good unscratched non-stick skillet or crêpe skillet over medium-high heat and brush with a little butter using a silicone spatula. Pick your skillet up and tilt it. Pour your batter into the middle of the skillet slowly, tilting it around until a light layer has coated the entire bottom surface.

When the sides of your crepe start pulling away from the edge of the skillet and the top surface of the crêpe has turned from glossy to matte, it’s time to flip it. Work your silicone spatula under your crêpe gently until you have it half-way under the crêpe. Flip. Let the crêpe cook on this side for only 10-15 seconds and then slide it off onto a plate.

Repeat until you’ve used all your crêpe batter. This should make around 10 crêpes. If you have a non-stick skillet, you shouldn’t need anymore butter, but if you are using a stainless steel skillet, you’ll want to add a little more butter between crêpes.

Fill your crêpes with whatever filling you’d like and enjoy!

If you have leftover crêpes, you can slip parchment paper between them and then place them in a gallon freezer bag and freeze or refrigerate them. To reheat, simply pop them in the microwave for a few seconds. For a refrigerated crêpe, I only needed 15 seconds in my 900 watt microwave to get it steamy-hot again.

So Much to do, so Little Time!

Tomorrow is my husband’s birthday. I had to remind him this morning! He said, “Is it Friday yet? I wish it was Friday, already!” I told him that it can’t be Friday yet, and he looked so puzzled and asked me why. I just gave him the biggest WTF look and said, “Because your birthday is tomorrow, Thursday, and you can’t just skip your birthday!”

A couple of weeks ago, I convinced him to get back in touch with his aunt. She has a blog about crafting and cooking/baking, so I’ve been digging through it for recipes he’s told me his grandma used to make. I found the recipe for the Hazelnut Cake he is always raving about, so I’m making that for his birthday (if you follow that link and don’t speak French, you’ll need to plug it into Google Translate.) I’m making the puff pastry crust right now, and when I’m done, I’ll get started on the filling.

His aunt also sent him a birthday card, so I put it in front of his keyboard on his desk for him to find when he gets home. Normally, I just open all the mail in our house, but this is a special birthday card, so I’ll let him open it. Besides, it’s not like I don’t know what’s in it! I’m sure he’ll be excited to get it. I would be.

I also wanted to make the caramels he’s told me so much about, but considering how much time it will take to stir while cooking, I just don’t think I’ll have the time today. I’m trying to multitask, doing dishes, laundry, and making this cake, so I can’t fit time in to make the caramels, too.

On another note, I’ve asked my amazing friend Jay from TeapotsandTesseracts to write a guest post on my blog this next week. I’m looking forward to this, because he’s an amazing writer and conveys thoughts and emotions in a unique and brilliant way. I know you guys will find his post very enlightening. His blog is new, but I’ve known him for a while, and I think having him guest post here is a great way to discuss the topic we’ve decided on and to bring him a little more exposure. Feel free to drop by his blog and show him some love, if you have the chance.

Oh My! Carbonara!

I made my carbonara tonight. I haven’t made that in forever, and I almost forgot how to do it. But, it turned out just as amazing as it always does, and my hubby stuffed himself, and is currently sitting on my couch moaning about how full he is! I’d say it was a success.

My carbonara is a little different. I don’t use egg in it, and it has mushrooms instead of peas. I made traditional carbonara one time, and decided I preferred this recipe. It’s not just that it’s super-easy to make, but I like the way it tastes better, too!

Carbonara

Ingredients: 
1 – pkg. bacon
1 – pkg. linguine or fettucine noodles
1 – pkg. mushrooms, sliced
1 – pkg. (8 oz.) cream cheese or Neuchâtel cheese, cubed
1 – tbsp. minced garlic
1 3/4 to 2 – cups milk
Salt, pepper, dried parsley, and garlic powder, to taste

Directions:
Start a pot of salted water for your pasta. Heat a large skillet and start frying your bacon. Fry it crispy, because you’ll need to crumble it. When your bacon is done frying, reserve 3 TBSP of the fat in the skillet and discard the rest. By now, your water should have started boiling and your pasta should already be cooking. Toss your mushrooms in the skillet with the bacon grease, and scrape all the cracklings loose from the pan. When your mushrooms are halfway cooked, add in the minced garlic, and finish sautée-ing them. Chop and crumble your bacon while your mushrooms finish. Once your mushrooms are cooked through and completely soft, add in your cream cheese and mash it against the bottom of the skillet. Check your pasta now. It should be getting close to being al dente. Once you’ve mashed and melted your cream cheese, add in your milk, slowly. You’ll have a super-runny soup at this point, but don’t worry, because the cheese will thicken it up as soon as it starts boiling. At this time, you should season your sauce and add your chopped/crumbled bacon. I used roughly a tsp. of garlic powder, salt, and pepper, but you may want more or less. Go by what tastes right, and keep stirring this mixture. Once it’s started boiling and thickened up, add it to your drained pasta.

Easy peasy and delicious!

What the Whaaaaat?! (And a Chili Recipe, Too!)

Break out the cake! Queue up celebratory music!

I realized today that I’ve reached a very important milestone with my blog. I’m so excited, because this is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, and I’ll never see this again, so I need to stop and take a moment to revel in the glory that is… I’ve reached 69 posts on this blog!

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Go ahead. Laugh. It’s all in good fun, and I’m always one to find the humor in the most inappropriate places, so let’s have fun with this one!


Now, I want to take a moment to talk about my amazing chili. I’ve currently got a pot of this amazing concoction simmering on my stove, since it’s winter, and I thought my readers would enjoy a great chili recipe, today.

Ingredients:
1 lb dry kidney beans, soaked overnight
1 onion, diced
1 large bell pepper, diced
1 large can petite diced tomatoes
3 little bitty cans tomato sauce (it’s just cheaper to buy tomato sauce this way!)
4-5 cups of water, depending on how thick/runny you want your chili
1 lb ground turkey
2 TBSP olive oil
2 heaping spoonfuls minced garlic (from a jar) or 2 cloves garlic, minced
chili powder, garlic powder, salt, pepper to taste

Directions:
I know I already mentioned it, but you need to start this the night before you plan on making it, because you’ll need to soak your beans overnight. Don’t worry if you forget, though, because your bean package should come with directions for a “quick soak.”
Drain your beans and then put them in your stock pot. Add in all of your veggies and water. Start the heat under your pot while you start browning your meat. Once you’ve browned your meat, add it, juices and all, to your chili pot, and add in your oil and spices. Your chili will taste bland still. Don’t over-do the spices, because as it cooks, the chili powder will really come out. I don’t really know how much to tell you to put in – I always eyeball it, but I’d say to start with roughly 1/4 cup.
Simmer your chili on low all. frickin. day. I’m serious about this! The longer it simmers on low heat, the better it’ll taste. So, you’ll want to do this first thing in the morning and just stir it randomly throughout the day. By dinnertime, you’ll have the best chili on the planet.

Optional: If you want spicy chili, buy a few jalapeños, dice them up, and add them into your chili when you put in all of the other vegetables. You can also add extra cayenne to your chili and even some smoked paprika, if you have it on hand and want a slightly smokey flavor. If you like cornbread with your chili, you can make a pan of it and feast like a Southern King!

My husband raves about my chili! Yours will, too, once you make this! It’s so much better than anything you can buy in a can, and the leftovers taste great over some french fries with diced onions and cheddar cheese on top.

ChiliandCornbread

 

Cheesy Cheddar Broccoli Soup

I don’t know about you, but I love a good broccoli cheese soup. I’ve always loved it, and I used to buy those hideous dried soup packets by Bear Creek until I figured out how to make this. I don’t remember where I got the original recipe, but I’ve tweaked the hell out of it, to the point I’m not sure the two look the same anymore. I love this soup because it’s not made with that horrible product known as pasteurized process cheese product, a.k.a., Velveeta. NASTY! The worst part of Velveeta is how it twists my insides into knots and makes it feel like a grenade went off inside me. So, this is amazing!

Here’s a beautiful picture of my bowl before I dug in.

Broccoli Cheddar Soup

Ingredients:
1 – 10 oz. package broccoli florets (you can find these in the produce section of the grocery store)
1 – 32 oz. carton chicken broth
1 – large onion, diced
2 – cups shredded carrots
2 – large spoonfuls of chopped garlic (the kind in the jar)
1 – bay leaf
1/2 – TSP garlic powder
1/2 – TSP allspice
1/2 – TSP dried basil
1/4 – TSP cayenne pepper
1/4 – TSP paprika
1/2 – TSP salt
6 – TBSP butter
6 – TBSP flour
1 – 1 pint carton whipping cream
1 – 8 oz. package cream cheese, diced
16 oz. extra-sharp cheddar cheese (either buy it already shredded or buy a block and shred it – I prefer the latter)

Directions:
Combine all ingredients through salt in a large stock pot. This is your “broth” base. Bring it to a boil and cover it, allowing it to boil for around 15-20 minutes. You want your broccoli super-tender and your onion cooked through.

When your broth is nearly done cooking, melt your butter in a small saucepan and whisk in the flour. Keep your heat on medium, and whisk this briskly for about 2 minutes. It should bubble furiously while you do. Voila! You’ve just made roux! Remove it from the heat after 2 minutes.

Dig your bay leaf out of your broth. This next step is completely optional, but I strongly suggest you do it – ladle out about 4 scoops of veggies from your pot and try to drain out as much liquid as possible. Put this in your food processor with the chopper blade and pulse it until everything is completely pulverized. Dump this back into your pot.

Now, turn up your heat to medium-high and pour in your cream and then your roux. Stir this for several moments, and then start dropping in the chunks of cream cheese. I like to drop them all in the pot and then take a spatula and crush the chunks against the side of the pot and then scrape it loose and stir it into the soup. Repeat this until you can’t see anymore chunks of cream cheese in your soup when you stir it.

Lastly, you want to slowly stir in your shredded cheddar cheese, a little at a time, until it’s all combined and melted into your soup well.

Now, your soup is done! I like to serve it with a slice of homemade bread, and garnish it with some red pepper flakes and extra shredded cheese.

Enjoy! This is the best soup ever!

Gooey, Cheesy, Creamy Deliciousness!

Want another super-easy crock pot recipe? I thought so!

This one is courtesy of Progresso. It’s my favorite chicken burrito recipe, and it’s so freakin’ easy to make, yet turns out so amazing that you’ll shock even yourself at your slow cooker skills!

Here’s what it looked like when I made it for the first time a couple of years ago.

Cheesy Chicken Sour Cream BurritosJust as an FYI, those are home-pickled jalapeños and homemade salsa all from my garden. I miss having a garden!

Anyway, like I always do, I’ve altered this recipe slightly. I add a spoonful of chicken base and some taco seasoning. I usually do this by pouring the can of cheese sauce into a mixing bowl and adding those two ingredients, and then whisking them until they’re well combined, before dumping them over the chicken. I also add nacho jalapeño slices (the pickled jalapeños in the jar) to the sauce, before turning on the heat. After that, it’s just a matter of following the recipe. You can, of course, add more cheddar cheese at the end, than what the recipe calls for, but the better idea would be to buy extra-sharp, so you get that flavor without the extra calories and fat.

Enjoy! This really is an amazing recipe!

 

My Gummy Bears are Getting Drunk

Haribo Gold Bears are on sale at my local grocery store right now for $1! That’s so awesome! So, I bought several packages, and decided on a whim to make Drunken Gummy Bears with some of them. If you’ve never heard of that before, it’s so super freakin’ easy!

1) Pile some gummy bears (or worms) in a GLASS dish. You must use glass. The alcohol doesn’t like plastic very much.
2) Pour your plain vodka (or cheap, flavorless, vodka-tasting gin) over your gummy bears.
3) Cover and place in your refrigerator.
4) In 2 days, they should have absorbed most of your alcohol and will be “drunken.”

It’s that easy! I’ve got some sitting in my fridge right now, and I can’t wait for Tuesday evening! I’m so excited to try them!

Omnivores Anonymous

I’ll eat nearly anything. There are very few things that I won’t eat, and most of them I’ve at least tried before deciding they’re disgusting and will never go in my mouth again. I like to pride myself on not being a picky eater. The list is slim on my no-go’s.

Lamb and sheep are one meat I can’t stand. I’ve tried so very hard to like it. I’ve made it a few times, and I just can’t get over the flavor of the meat. My husband has loved it every time I’ve made it, but I suppose it’s an acquired taste, and it’s one that no matter how hard and desperately I try to like it, I hate it. I tell him that it must be the American in me. Europeans don’t eat as much beef and pork as we Americans do, and they eat way more meats like sheep than we do. So, it’s only natural that he’d prefer lamb to beef.

One thing we’re on the same page about is red wines. Neither one of us like them. To me they are thick and bitter and just plain vile. I’m quite partial to a nice rosé, which is sweet and fruity, but reds are horrible! I had a bottle of Merlot once, and decided I’d never drink red wine again.

As far as my husband’s tastes go, he has only a couple of things he can’t stand.

Eggs. I have no idea why he hates eggs so much, but if you manage to sneak one into his food and it makes it into his mouth, he’ll gag and practically throw up over it. He can’t stand the way they smell while cooking, either.

My husband also hates liver. Any liver is a no-go for him. I keep threatening to make calf liver and onions and he says he will leave the house for the evening if I do. Liver turns him off so much. I love liver, and living with someone who can’t stand it means I haven’t eaten a good liver dinner in years!

Today, since my hubby’s poor tummy has been giving him fits, I’m making a delicious chicken soup. I boiled the chicken this morning and made the broth, so now I’ve pulled all the meat off the bones and added the veggies and egg noodles to the broth. When that’s finished cooking, I’ll add in a can of condensed cream of chicken soup (we like our soups thicker,) and we’ll have ranch rolls with it for dinner. I’m excited! There isn’t really a recipe for my chicken soup, as it’s something I just grew up learning to make from my mother. If I had one, I’d post it, but it’s too hard to figure out exactly how much of everything I put in.

Chicken Soup

This post is in response to the Daily Prompt.