Monday, February 8, 2016

Bacon Ranch Chicken Bake

3-­4 Chicken Breasts
6­-8 Tablespoons Ranch Dressing
8-12 Slices Bacon
4 Ounces Cheddar Cheese or Colby Jack Cheese

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Place your chicken breast in a baking dish.  Spread 1-­2 tablespoons of ranch dressing on each chicken breast.  Wrap with slices of bacon. Bake on top rack for 25­-35 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink.  Top with cheese and return to oven for 3-­5 minutes or until cheese is melted.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Margarita cake

Vegetable oil spray, for misting the pan
Flour, for dusting the pan
1 package (18.25 ounces) plain yellow or lemon cake mix
Half a package (3.4 ounces) vanilla instant pudding mix (4 tablespoons)
1/3 cup granulated sugar
2/3 cup water
½ cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup fresh lime or Key lime juice
¼ cup tequila
2 tablespoons triple sec
1 teaspoon grated lime zest
4 large eggs

For the glaze and garnish:
1 ¼ cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
1 tablespoon tequila
1 tablespoon triple sec
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice or Key lime juice
1 lime, cut into thin slices
1 to 2 teaspoons coarse sugar

Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly mist a 12­cup Bundt pan with vegetable oil spray, then dust it with flour. Shake out the excess flour and set the pan aside.

Place the cake mix, pudding mix, sugar, water, oil, 1/3 cup lime juice, ¼ cup tequila, 2 tablespoons triple sec, and the lime zest and eggs in a large mixing bowl. Beat with an electric mixer on low speed until the ingredients are combined, 30 seconds. Stop the machine and scrape down the side of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Increase the mixer speed to medium and beat for 1½ minutes longer, scraping down the side of the bowl again if needed. The batter should look smooth and thick. Pour the batter into the prepared Bundt pan, smoothing the top with the rubber spatula, and place the pan in the oven.

Bake the cake until the top springs back when lightly pressed with a finger, 42 to 47 minutes. Transfer the Bundt pan to a wire rack and let the cake cool for 10 to 15 minutes. Run a long, sharp knife around the edges of the cake, shake the pan gently, and invert the cake onto a wire rack. Let the cake cool completely, about 25 minutes longer.

Meanwhile, make the glaze: Place the confectioners’ sugar, 1 tablespoon tequila, 1 tablespoon triple sec, and 1 tablespoon lime juice in a small bowl and whisk until smooth. Slide the cake onto a serving plate. Using a long wooden skewer poke 12 to 16 holes in the top of the cake. Spoon the glaze over the top of the cake, letting it drip down the sides. Garnish the cake with the lime slices and a sprinkling of coarse sugar. Let the glaze set for 10 minutes, then slice and serve the cake.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Pork roast in the crockpot

3 lb pork roast
3 cups water
1 packet onion soup mix
2 tbsp minced garlic

Set roast in crockpot.  Pour in water.  Top roast with minced garlic and onion soup mix packet.  I threw in some green onions just for fun.  Cook in crockpot on low for 10 hours or until meat reaches 170 degrees. 

This was one of the best roasts I have made in a long time.  It was extremely tender and fell apart when I went to remove it.  The flavor of the garlic and onion soup was a great mix.  

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Ranch Cheddar Chicken Thighs

1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 package Ranch Seasoning Mix (I didn’t have a packet of dry so I used 3 oz of ranch dressing)
1 Tbsp. minced garlic
6 chicken thighs (skin removed)
Salt and pepper, to taste
8 Ritz crackers, crushed (or panko breadcrumps)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves (optional)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Lightly oil a 9x13 baking dish or coat with nonstick spray.
In a small bowl, whisk together mayonnaise, cheese, Ranch Seasoning and garlic.
Season chicken thighs with salt and pepper, to taste. Place chicken in a single layer onto the prepared baking dish and top with mayonnaise mixture. Sprinkle with crackers.
Place into oven and cook until completely cooked through and golden brown on top, reaching an internal temperature of 175 degrees F, about 25-30 minutes.

My chicken took a little longer than 30 minutes.  I liked the combination of flavors. You could still taste the ranch even though I used liquid instead of a ranch packet.  

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Lyndee’s Spicy Chili

1 lb. Italian sausage
½ c. salsa or picante sauce (If you don’t like the chunks, substitute some spicy V8 juice)
1 can chili beans
1 large can diced tomatoes (I use a quart size jar of my Grandma’s tomatoes)
2 tbsp. JalapeƱo cream cheese
1 tbsp. hot sauce
1 tsp. red pepper flakes
1 tbsp. chili powder
Salt and pepper to taste
Minced garlic
Shredded pepper jack

Brown Italian sausage with minced garlic.  I like to add some chopped onion if I have any on hand.  In a large pot mix all other ingredients except shredded pepper jack.  Add meat once cooked.  Bring to a quick boil and then cover and simmer for 30 minutes, until warmed through and cream cheese has melted.  Serve and top with shredded pepper jack, crackers, sour cream or whatever you desire.
This can also be done in a crockpot on low heat for 4 hours.  Just dump and go! 

To “unspice” and make my normal chili, make as directed but leave out the cream cheese, hot sauce, red pepper flakes and pepper jack. 

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Sweet heat meatballs

2 lbs. frozen, pre­-cooked meatballs
½ cup molasses
4 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon ginger, minced
1 teaspoon chili powder
¼ teaspoon cayenne
½ cup water
1 can (8 oz.) crushed pineapple
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

Over medium high heat, bring the water to a boil.  Add molasses, brown sugar, garlic, ginger, chili powder, cayenne, crushed pineapple and Worcestershire sauce and stir to combine.  Add in meatballs and stir to coat evenly.  Reduce heat to medium and simmer until the sauce reduces, about 10 minutes.  Skewer with bamboo sticks and serve hot with or without sauce reduction.

I made these in the crockpot for a NYE party.  After coating the meatballs with the sauce evenly, I just dumped them in the crock and set it on low for a few hours, until the party started.  The taste was smooth and all of the meatballs were gone by midnight. 

Monday, December 28, 2015

Toasted Caramel Root Beer

I am not a whiskey fan by any stretch of the imagination but when my sister and brother-in-law offer me one of these drinks, I cannot refuse.

2-3 oz Black Velvet Toasted Caramel
Root beer

Fill glass with ice.  Add black velvet.  Top off with root beer.  Stir and enjoy.  But beware, these don't taste dangerous but they can sneak up on you!