Sunday, March 9, 2014

Homemade Cherry Lime-Aid

While happy hour is nice, I don't always have time to run by Sonic, so instead I thought I'd recreate one of our favorite snack time drinks...the Cherry Lime-aid. So the other day, I got in the kitchen and started throwing things together. The end result was delicious and refreshing. 

1 (2 liter) bottle Siera Mist lemon lime flavored soda 
1 (16 oz) jar Maraschino cherries 
1 fresh lime 
(Image taken before lime slices were added)
In a large container pour entire jar of cherries and juice. Next slowly add the bottle of Siera Mist. The mixture will bubble & fizz, which I think is pretty neat to watch. Slice the lime into thin circles and add to the liquid. Stir well. Refrigerate and serve chilled.

Click HERE for printable recipe

Monday, February 3, 2014

De-Constructed Red Hot Chicken Casserole

For Superbowl Sunday, it's not uncommon to see "Hot Wings" on the party menu. While I do enjoy a good hot wing, I am not a fan of the, eating or cleaning from it. While I am so NOT a football fan, I was beginning to crave the taste of the hot wing sauce. If you've followed my blog for any amount of time, you know how I do enjoy pasta. So....with that in mind, I adapted a sort of deconstructed hot wing, pasta casserole type dish to have instead. It satisfied with the spicy chicken flavor I was looking for, yet had the cheese pasta that I love. 

12 oz. large elbow noodles
4 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts
crushed red pepper
Thai style chili sauce
1/2 Tblsp minced garlic (I prefer jarred garlic)
1 1/4 c. homemade Italian seasoned breadcrumbs (or store bought)
1 celery stalk, finely diced
5 oz. sundried tomato & pesto goat cheese
1/4 cup whole wheat flour
4 cups 2% milk

1 c. Franks Red Hot Wings (hot) sauce
8 oz. jalapeno jack shredded cheese
4 c. cheddar cheese cubes

Preheat oven to 350*. Grease a 9"x13" oblong casserole and set aside. 

Season chicken breasts with desired amount of spicy chili sauce, 
garlic, salt and pepper to taste. Cook over medium low heat until juices 
run clear and meat is fully cooked.
 In the meantime, prepare noodles according to package directions. 
Drain and set aside. 

Remove chicken from dutch oven and dice into small cubes. 
Be careful handling chicken as meat is still hot. 

 In a small bowl combine bread crumbs, diced celery 
and goat cheese. Stir well to combine. 

 In a medium sauce pot over medium low heat, 
melt 6 Tblsps butter.

To the melted butter, whisk in flour.Cook over med low heat 
about 3-4 minutes stirring consistently.
 Now stir in milk. 
 Continue stirring and cooking until mixture begins to feel "tight."

Reduce heat to low and stir in Frank's Red Hot sauce and 
jalapeno jack cheese. Stir until cheese melts and mixture is smooth
 to stir. 
 Stir in diced chicken.
In a greased 9"x13" oblong casserole, mix together the cooked 
pasta and cubed cheddar cheese.
 Pour chicken & cheese sauce over the pasta. 
Carefully stir to mix together.

Top with bread crumb mixture. Bake at 350* for 35-45 minutes, 
until bubbly and cheese is melted.
 Remove from oven and serve. 
Pairs great with homemade bread and butter.  

Click HERE for printable recipe

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Fresh Squeezed

The other day a friend gave me some of her fresh picked meyer lemons. I knew I wouldn't be able to use them all at one time, so I decided to juice them. 

Fresh lemon juice is great in a myriad of recipes from soups to baking to salad vinaigrette. But how do you capture that fresh squeezed taste when you may not need the juice right away? Simple...freeze it!
Freezing options are up to your preference, but I like to use ice cube trays. For $2 at the local Dollar General store I was able to pick up a 3 pack of stacking trays. Using my juicer I simply juiced the liquid gold and filled up my trays. Once frozen solid I can pop them out of the trays and store them in zip lock bags and pull out a cube as needed. I had a half pint of liquid left over, so I simply stored in it a canning jar in the icebox. This weekend it will definitely get used in a cake recipe as well as a soup. Waste not want not!

Friday, October 4, 2013

'BOO'-nana Puddin'

It's 'BOO'-nana puddin' time! Rednexx Man loves his 'nana puddin' & when a friend mentioned they haven't had mine in a long time, I thought it was a good enough reason to get in the kitchen this morning. One container for Rednexx Man to take to work tonight, one for the house & one to share....yep, I do believe we have some happy campers!

I adapted the recipe from Paula Deen's version, which I tried years ago and absolutely loved. But I will warn you ahead of time....this is a very rich recipe, so be prepared to be indulged by it's creamy heavenly-ness. 
'BOO'-nana Puddin'
1 box Nilla wafer cookies; set aside 5-10 cookies
4 very ripe bananas; sliced moderately thin & separated
4 cups milk
2 (6.8 oz) boxes banana cream instant pudding mix
2 (8 oz) packages cream cheese, softened & cut into cubes
2 (12 oz) cans sweetened condensed milk
1 large family size container cool whip; semi thawed

In a large mixing bowl combine milk, pudding mix, cream cheese and condensed milk. Mix until well blended & smooth. Fold the cool whip into the pudding mixture. Set aside.

Place a layer of cookies in the bottom of a large round casserole dish, bowl or other type serving container. Next layer some of the sliced bananas atop the cookies. Spoon a good amount of pudding mix over the bananas. Spread evenly. Repeat layers ending with a final layer of pudding. Garnish with wafer cookies that have been set aside. Cover and place in refrigerator to chill until ready to serve.
This makes a large amount so you will need to use either a very large, deep container or divide it amongst a few containers as shown in the photo. 

Click HERE for printable recipe

**Recipe adapted from Paula Deen

Friday, September 13, 2013

Tennessee Apple Cake

Several months ago I printed out a recipe that Gooseberry Patch had posted on their Facebook page for an apple cake. I had the recipe pinned to the icebox so it would be readily available when I finally decided to try it. Well, today was the day I thought I'd give it a whirl. The original recipe did not call for an icing but I thought a quick vanilla glaze would go perfectly atop it.

Tennessee Apple Cake
2 c. flour
2 c. sugar
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 tsp cinnamon
21-oz can apple pie filling
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 c canola oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 c chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 350* Grease & flour a 9' x 13' baking pan; set aside. Combine all ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Mix lightly. Pour batter into prepared pan; spread batter evenly. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Serves 12.

Glaze: 1/4 c. powdered sugar, 1 tsp. vanilla extract, 3 Tblsp. milk
             Stir all ingredients together in a small bowl until well mixed. Add milk as      
             needed for desired consistency.
Click HERE for printable recipe

 * source: Gooseberry Patch facebook page