Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Gender Reveal Poem

My cousin sent me a request last week.  She is pregnant and was finding out the sex of her baby on Friday.  Due to work, her husband was not able to go with her so she wanted a fun way to reveal the gender to him.  She asked me to write a poem or letter to him, from the baby.  This is what I came up with. She put the poem on the outside of the box, without the last line or picture.  When he opened up the box, it was filled with pink starbursts to indicate Baby T is going to be a GIRL! Congrats!  

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Apple Snicker Salad

Review by Lyndee
Grandma requested I bring a “simple salad” to Easter dinner.  This was just about as simple as possible and was a huge hit! It was easy to make, tasted great and was eaten up quickly. I have seen some variations where you add ½ cup of milk to the pudding and cool whip before mixing in the candy bar and apples.  I may try this next time. 

6 regular size Snickers Candy Bars or 12 snack size – I’m lazy and used 2 bags of Snickers Bites
4 medium apples I used Red Delicious
1 (5.1 oz.) package Vanilla Instant Pudding dry, do not prepare
1 (16 oz.) tub cool whip thawed to room temp


Mix vanilla pudding packet and cool whip together until well combined. Chop up apples and Snickers into bite size pieces. Stir chopped apples and Snickers into pudding mixture. Chill for at least 1 hour before serving. If you like, you can drizzle with caramel topping.  

Peach Cobbler Dump Cake

Review by Lyndee
Easter brought lots of get togethers with family and I needed to call on some new recipes to jazz it up.  It was pretty good. I didn’t love it as much as the Apple Dump Cake but if you like peaches, you can’t go wrong with this easy dessert. 

2 – 16 oz cans peaches in heavy syrup
1 yellow cake mix
1 stick butter

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Spray a 9x13 pan.  Dump in the peaches.  Cover with the cake mix.  Press down firmly.  Cut butter into slices and place on top of cake mix.  Sprinkle with cinnamon. Bake for 45 minutes or until the top turns golden brown.  Serve warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or cool whip. 

Note-I would melt the butter and pour on top of the cake mix next time.  Up the amount of butter if needed, but I think it would spread more evenly across the cake mixture. 

Friday, March 14, 2014

Bacon-Wrapped Teriyaki Chicken Skewers

Review by Lyndee

1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts or thighs
8 oz. bacon, not thick-sliced
1 can pineapple chunks
Teriyaki Baste and Glaze (I like Kikkoman or LaChoy)
Kebab skewers or toothpicks

Cut chicken into bite-sized pieces. You can gauge about how many pieces you'll need by how many pieces of bacon you have; you probably won't use all the bacon, but you'll need about 8 oz. or 2/3 of a standard-sized package of bacon. So count the bacon pieces and keep that in mind when cutting up your chicken.

Drain the pineapple and set up a little work station with skewers, bacon, chicken, and a 9x13 baking dish (for big skewers) or a sturdy Ziploc bag (for toothpick skewers). Wrap a piece of bacon around a chicken piece, secure with toothpick/skewer, and top with a chunk of pineapple. Repeat twice if using large skewers.

When all chicken pieces have been sufficiently staked, pour Teriyaki sauce over everything, reserving about 1/4 c., and marinate in refrigerator for at least 4 hours, no longer than 8.

Preheat grill; when about 350-400 degrees, place skewers on grill and baste with reserved Teriyaki sauce. Cook about 7 minutes and flip skewers. Baste again and cook another 7 minutes.  If cooking in oven, preheat oven to 400 and bake about 20 minutes, turning once, following the same basting instructions.  If you use the oven, broil the kabobs for a minute to get the bacon crispy just before serving.

I was not a pro at wrapping the chicken with the bacon. So I ended up “weaving” the bacon along with the chicken onto the skewer. It tasted just as good and didn’t take nearly as much time.  These kabobs were awesome! Packed with protein and flavor you just can’t go wrong with these sweet little nuggets of fun. Note, my husband isn’t a huge fan of pineapple so I did a few skewers without the fruit for him but he said they were equally awesome.  

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Spicy Pretzels

Review by Lyndee:

1 bag skinny pretzels sticks or knots
1/4 cup vegetable or popcorn oil
1 package hidden valley ranch dressing mix
1 teaspoon garlic salt (I used garlic powder instead)
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper


Mix oil, ranch mix, garlic and cayenne together in a gallon size Ziploc bag.  Once mixed, add pretzels.  Shake well so that pretzels are completely coated.  Place in roasting pan a roasting pan or cookie sheet.  Bake at 200* for 1 1/2- 2 hours.  Stir every 20-30 minutes.

Super easy to make and a great snack for a party. 

Popcorn cake

Review by Lyndee:

2 bags butter flavor microwave popcorn
2 cups M&M’s
½ cup broken pretzel sticks
1 stick butter
16 oz bag mini marshmallows
½ cup creamy peanut butter

Prepare a large bundt  or 9 x 13 pan by spraying evenly with cooking spray.
Pop 2 bags of buttered microwave popcorn as directed on the package and dump into a large bowl. I used a butter flavored.  Pick out the kernels that didn’t pop.  Mix in M&M’s and pretzel sticks.  Melt butter over low in a large saucepan. Once melted add mini marshmallows and peanut butter. Stir until melted and smooth.

Remove from heat.  Let sit a minute or two so it doesn’t melt your M&M’s. Pour over your popcorn mix. Stir until all the ingredients are combined and then press into the prepared pan. Cover with foil and let your cake set for at least an hour to cool.

When you are ready to serve the cake loosen sides of your cake from the pan by running a butter knife around the edges. Flip your pan over onto your serving platter. I used a 9x13 pyrex pan that had a lid instead of bundt. I used butter to coat the pan instead of cooking spray. 

This was so yummy! It’s like a cross between a rice krispy treat and a popcorn ball.  It was a big hit at my nephews birthday party. 

Monday, February 24, 2014

Broiled Salmon with Thai Sweet Chili Glaze

Review by Lyndee:

1-1/2 pounds (or four 6-ounce pieces) salmon, skin on or off
6 tablespoons Thai Sweet Chili Sauce (best quality, such as Mae Ploy or Thai Kitchen)
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon peeled and finely grated fresh ginger
1-2 scallions, green parts only, finely sliced

Set oven rack 5-6 inches from top (in my oven, it's the second highest rung) and preheat broiler.   Make marinade by combining sweet chili sauce, soy sauce and ginger in a shallow baking dish. Spoon 1/4 cup marinade into a small dish and set aside (this will be the sauce for the cooked fish). Add salmon fillets, skin side up, to remaining marinade and marinate for 1 hour in refrigerator. Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil and spray with nonstick cooking spray. Transfer salmon fillets to prepared baking sheet, skin side down, and drizzle a bit of the marinade over top. Go easy -- you don't want it to pool too much on the baking sheet because it will burn in the oven. Broil salmon for 6-10 minutes, or until browned in spots and almost opaque in the center. Transfer salmon to serving platter and pour reserved sauce over top. Garnish with scallions and serve hot.
I mixed my glaze together and used it on a pre-made salmon burger patty.  I put the patty in the pan on medium heat and put half the glaze on the top.  I flipped it after 3-4 minutes and cooked for another 3-4 minutes.  Then poured the rest of the glaze on and topped with green onions.  It was awesome! Easy to make, healthy and quick.