Friday, March 22, 2013

Chicken Fajitas

These are super yummy and VERY easy! Enjoy!! :)

Chicken Fajitas
- 3 Chicken Breasts
- 1 pkg Spanish Rice-a-Roni
- 1 Sweet Onion
- 1 Red Bell Pepper
- 1 Green Bell Pepper
- Corn Tortillas (6 inch)
- 1 can Diced Green Chiles (4oz)
- 1/4 cup Salsa
- 2 tablespoons Oil
- 1 teaspoon Garlic
- Seasoning Salt & Pepper
- Sour Cream
- Cheese
- Hot Sauce (if desired)

First you want to cook your Spanish Rice according to directions on box.
(Note: we did not have Spanish rice when i made these. So..No pictures with rice. These Fajitas are good without the rice but even better with the rice, so i definitely recommend adding the rice!)

While rice is cooking add Oil to frying pan. Add Red & Green Bell pepper & Onion. Cook on medium heat until all veggies are cooked!

Once Veggies are cooked add chopped chicken & chopped garlic. Season with Pepper & Seasoning Salt

When Chicken & Garlic are cooked add canned diced Green Chiles, mix and cook for 3 minutes

Add Salsa, mix and cook for 3 minutes

 It should look like this:

 Now you want to warm up tortillas in microwave for about 1 minute

 Next you will want to place chicken mixture and rice on tortilla and top with Cheese and Sour Cream.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Chinese Chicken Salad

OK! So this is one of the most amazing homemade salads i have ever made! This is a family recipe and I love that i am able to share it with friends! This is such a healthy and yummy dish! I kinda spaced it while i was making this and didn't take a picture until after we dished up our plates..... oops... but it will still work right?! Alright lets get down to what you all really want to know.... How to make Chinese Chicken Salad!

Chinese Chicken Salad
- 2 Chicken Breasts
- 1/2 pkg Maifun Rice Sticks (noodles)
- 3 cups Oil
- 1 head of Red Leaf Lettuce
- 1/2 cup Sliced Almonds

Salad Dressing
- 1/4 cup Sesame Seeds
- 6 tablespoons Sugar
- 2 teaspoons Salt
- 4 tablespoons White Vinegar
- 1/4 teaspoon Black Pepper
- Juice from 1 small Lemon

First you want to BOIL the chicken, once cooked SHRED and place in large bowl! 

Next you want to put the oil into a wok or frying pan. HEAT! Place Maifun noodles in oil. WATCH OUT! The noodles EXPAND to double/triple the size. NOTE: you want to make sure the oil is VERY hot for the noodles. You want the oil to be at 400 degrees so before you put all the noodles in the oil place just ONE noodle in to see if it expands. The noodle should expand right away, if not wait a little longer and try again. Once the oil is at the right temp for the noodles, cook the noodles. Once the noodles expand/cook FLIP over to the other side so all the noodles get cooked. once all the noodles are cooked/expanded remove asap and place into bowl with chicken.

WASH and CUT Lettuce, place in bowl with noodles and chicken, Next toss in the Almonds.


NOW you want to make the dressing. this is VERY simple. Throw everything into a small bowl and mix until sugar is basically dissolved. DONE! :) Now you want to mix in the dressing to the salad mixture. Once the dressing is all mixed in refrigerator for about 20 minutes! Serve and Enjoy!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Homemade French Bread

This recipe makes either 2 large loaves, 8 mini loaves, or 10-12 bun-sized rolls. 

I LOVE french bread. Fluffy and soft on the inside. Crispy on the outside. This recipe kicks the store-bought stuff out of the water, and surpasses all other recipes that I have found. Do not be fooled by the simple list of ingredients:

1 1/4 cups very warm (not hot) water
2 tsp sugar
1 1/2 tsp rapid rise yeast

3 1/2 cups bread flour
1 tsp salt

1 egg
1 TBS water

Ice cubes

Put your warm water in a glass bowl. Add your sugar and then your yeast, wisking gently with a fork until combined. Set aside for 10 minutes or until its bubbly/foamy. It should look like this:

Meanwhile, in your KitchenAid mixer, combine your flour and salt.

When your yeast is good and foamy, add it to your flour mixture.

Attach dough hook and set your timer for 8 minutes. Turn your mixer on the lowest speed setting and let it do its job (after 1 minute, check to see how your dough looks. If it is dry and flaky, add 1 TBS warm water). While your dough is kneading, grease a glass (oven safe) bowl with your favorite non-stick agent.

When your 8 minutes is up, lay your dough in your bowl and let it rise until double in size. (Speed-rise method: Pre-heat your oven to the lowest setting. For most ovens, this is between 150-170 degrees. Once pre-heated, turn your oven OFF. Put your bowl inside for 15-20 minutes, or until double in size).

Once it has doubled in size, lay it onto a greased counter top to avoid sticking. Do NOT knead!

Grease your baking pans. Separate your dough. If you are making rolls, divide into 2.5" balls. If making mini-loaves, divide and shape your dough into 8 mini loaves. If making large loaves, divide into 2 large loaves. I made rolls with this batch.

Mix your egg and water together with a fork until smooth. Brush this mixture on top of your dough.

Then cut your slits with a sharp knife. Be gentle, making sure you dont cut too deep.

Let rise again until double in size.

(If you did the speed rise method, remove your rolls from the oven)

Pre-heat to 375, and bake for 12-15 minutes for mini loaves or rolls, or 20-25 minutes for large loaves.

Here is how you get your crispy outer crust. When you put it in the oven to bake, toss a handful of ice cubes into the oven (yes, I said ice cubes... right into the bottom of the oven). Add another handful about 10 minutes into bake time. This gives a mildly crispy crust. Fore crispier crust, add ice cubes more often. 

When they are golden brown, they are done. Like this:

Transfer to a cooling rack immediately. These are delicious by themselves, but I also like to half these and use them for all sorts of meals. Our favorites being: Teriyaki Chicken Sandwiches, BBQ Chicken Sandwiches, Roast Beef Sandwiches, Steak Sandwiches and Sloppy Joes!


Friday, March 15, 2013

NO More Yelling!

A friend of mine posted an article to her facebook wall this morning. I typically just scan down my home page looking for pictures, status updates, and those awesome inspirational pictures.... ignoring the rest. Well today I happened to see the title: "10 things I learned when I stopped yelling at my kids", and it stopped me in my tracks. I need to read this article.

I struggle with yelling. That is kinda how things were dealt with in my house growing up. Lots of yelling. So, naturally, I revert to yelling when I get upset.. especially when my daughter refuses to listen, and argues with me... because.. I feel that I am always right! I am the mom. You do what I say. RIGHT?! Wrong!

She shares 10 things she learned by cutting out yelling. My favorite of these things is #2. Perhaps because it describes me completely:
"#2: My kids are my most important audience. When I had my "no more yelling epiphany", I realized that I dont yell in the presence of others because I want them to believe I am a loving and patient mom. The truth is, I already was that way... but rarely when I was alone, just always when I was in public with an audience to judge me. This is so backwards! I always have an audience - my four boys are always watching me and THEY are the audience that matters most; they are the ones I want to show just how loving, patient and "yell-free" I can be. I want my boys to judge me and proclaim, "My mommy is the bestest mommy ever!" I remember this whenever I am home and thinking I cant keep it together; obviously I can...I do it out and about all the time!"

Its so true!! Why am I worried about pleasing others? My most important role in this life is to be a mother, and my number one goal should be to be a GOOD one. To please my KIDS. To show HER that I can be loving and patient. I want my daughter to be a wonderful mother.. and I am, by my actions, teaching her what kind of mother she needs to be.

HERE is the link to the article.. it is worth reading!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Reeces Peanut Butter Cupcakes

Anyone who knows me well will tell you that I am a true believer that Chocolate and Peanut Butter have an eternal relationship that can only bring happiness to those who partake of it. Biting into a Reeces puts a smile on my face.See the picture below?? Yes, that is an opened bag of reeces mini's. Don't judge me.. I opened them in the car on my way home from the store.
 Last night, I needed to make cupcakes for a church activity celebrating a birthday and thought Chocolate and Peanut Butter just might be the inspiration for these cupcakes. I ventured on these 2 years ago for my husband's birthday but something THIS good can't be made just once!
Here's how to do it!

Start out by making the frosting so it has time to chill. Mix together:
2- 8oz packages of cream cheese
1/4 cup butter
1/3 cup peanut butter
2 tsp vanilla
add 3 1/2 cups powdered sugar

It should look like this...

Next put it in a quart sized zip lock (this will make for easy icing later!)
Put it in the refrigerator until you're ready to ice.

Now make your cake batter according to the directions on the package. (sorry, I don't do cupcakes from scratch haha!)
Once your batter is made and put into your muffin tins drop in ONE mini reeces cup. (DON'T PUSH IT DOWN! It will sink a little on it's own) You could also bake for 5 min and THEN put them in the tin... it's up to you but honestly this worked just fine.

After baking is done. (Watch carefully to NOT over bake!) Let them cool COMPLETELY.

Now that they are cooled, remember that nifty ziplock?? Cut off a 1/2" section off the corner of the bag... now you can squeeze the frosting out withought making a MESS! I also used a few chocolate chips we had in the pantry to jazz it up a bit. Tada! Enjoy!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Corned Beef with Cabbage

Never judge food by the look of it, smell of it.. or even its name!! The first time i have ever tried corned beef and cabbage was at my in-laws house a few years ago. I honestly never wanted to try this meal because of how it looks.. lets face it, it looks disgusting! Just because it looks like something only a dog would eat doesn't mean it isn't delicious! I think of the phrase "Never judge a book by its cover" whenever i eat this yummy meal (twice a year)! There are many people who never try new foods because of how it looks or even how it smells, but that my friends is a huge mistake! The smellier the cheese, the better it tastes! :) SO i encourage you all to try this delicious meal this year for St. Patrick's Day! 
(This is a very basic way of cooking this dish)

Corned Beef and Cabbage
- 1 pkg Corned Beef with season pkg inside
- 8 Red Potatoes
- 2 cups Mini Carrots
- 1 head of Cabbage 
(we use 2 heads because the cabbage is our favorite)
- Water

First you want to placed WASHED and SLICED potatoes in crockpot

Then you place WASHED mini carrots on top potatoes

Next place Corned Beef on top. NOW this is a personal preference but you are not suppose to wash the meat before placing it in the crockpot because it adds so much flavor. I did wash mine this year and i noticed the meat wasn't as tender and not as flavorful so i will not rinse mine the next time i cook it but just so you know, you shouldn't wash the meat, even though you will want to. This is a very slimy, fatty meat.

Now you want to fill up the crockpot with water until the meat is covered. Once crockpot is filled with water you want to top with the special seasoning packet that came with the meat. NOTE: I got a huge beef roast this year so i wasn't able to cover the meat completely.

Cover and Cook on LOW for 8 hours

Now you will want to add the WASHED and SLICED Cabbage to the crockpot and continue to cook, covered, on LOW for another 3-4 hours. (total cook time: 11-12 hours on LOW)

Serve and Enjoy!

Now im sure you noticed the brussel sprouts on the side. That is also another food i never tried until a few years ago again at my in-laws house. I was shocked at the taste. They aren't my favorite vegetable for sure but i will definitely eat them because they are actually pretty good. They taste similar to broccoli, if you add butter and a little bit of salt! :)

When i made this i thought, "well i don't think Adilyn (my daughter) will like it, so i wont make it" BUT I was wrong. My daughter is a very, i mean VERY, picky eater! And she liked everything but the cabbage and potatoes! Here is a picture of her plate and i kid you not she ate ALL of it! Who knows, maybe your kids will like it as much as my daughter did!

I Hope you all have the guts to try this dish out! I was pleasantly surprised and i am sure you will be too!

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Buffalo Chicken Calzone

I LOVE buffalo sauce! Its my absolute favorite!!! Buffalo ANYTHING I will eat! So when i stumbled upon this recipe on Pinterest I HAD to try it, but of course i modified it and made it, in my opinion, more Delicious! SO before you make this you need to prepare for one of the most delicious buffalo chicken recipes you have tried! You ready? OK! Here we go!!


Buffalo Chicken Calzone

- 2 Boneless Chicken Breasts
- 1 pkg store bought Pizza Dough (OR you can make your own)
- 1 cup shredded Mozzarella Cheese ( DO NOT use part skim, it will not melt)
- 1/2 cup Shredded Cheddar Cheese OR Mexican Blend
- 1/2 cup Franks RedHot Wing Sauce (Buffalo Flavor)
- 1/2 cup Blue Cheese OR Ranch Dressing (use more or less, your preference here!) 
- 1/2 Tablespoon Olive Oil (OR Vegetable Oil) 
- Spray of PAM
- Dash of Seasoning Salt and Ground Black Pepper

ALRIGHT so the first thing you want to do is remove your pre-made or store bought pizza dough from the refrigerator to make it room temperature, it takes about 20-25 minutes. Preheat oven to 425!

Next you want to slice up your chicken into tiny bite size pieces

Cook Chicken in Oil, season with Seasoning Salt and Pepper

When chicken in completely cooked reduce heat to LOW and add Buffalo Sauce. Simmer for a few minutes over heat and then turn heat off.

Your pizza dough should be room temperature by now so you want you take your dough and roll it out the size of a pizza pan, place dough on PAM sprayed pizza pan, Like this! *** You don't want the dough TOO thin. i make mine about a 1/4 of a inch thick!*** 

Next, you want to spread buffalo chicken mix on HALF of the dough, like this:

Add Cheddar or Mexican Blend Cheese ( I use Mexican blend)

Add Mozzarella Cheese

Next you want to add the Blue Cheese or Ranch Dressing. I use Blue Cheese :) ** Side note, you can add more franks buffalo sauce on top of dressing if you want to make it even more spicy!**

Then you want to fold over the other half of the pizza dough, and place it on top of all the other ingredients. Then you want to press together the top and bottom of the dough. this part can get messy and try not to rip!

Place in PREHEATED oven. Cook for 20-25 minutes. Mine is done at 23 minutes. Let sit for 5 minutes Serve and Enjoy this delicious dish!

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Removing difficult stains

Most of us who are mom's have seen it all when it comes to difficult stains and I'm not just talking about the ones our kids get on their shirts when they eat and we immediately wash it. I'm referring to stains like baby spit up. Yes, I know it's gross, but we've all seen it. Baby spits up, you wash it, and there's that faint yellow stain. Well, what about those outfits you LOVE and continually put your baby in them? That "faint" stain becomes darker and darker until the outfit is an entirely different color and VERY unattractive! I have an example of such an outfit. The last time this outfit was worn was almost 4 years ago and yes, I washed it and attempted stain removers SEVERAL times until I packed it up in a box.

I wanted to throw this away! I thought to myself, "I've washed this several times and used stain remover and it's been sitting in a box for nearly 4 years. There's no way I will be able to make this look clean again!" I was up for the challenge though! Considering the length of time this stain had been allowed to set I knew that pre-treating it would be necessary! I'm not one to sit and scrub for hours in hopes of getting a stain out.. I would much rather go do something else while my cleaning agent does all the work! Here is what I was able to accomplish.

Is it perfect, No. But you have to look for the discoloration which means it's wearable! Here's how I did it:

First of all, use your own detergent. I prefer gain because it smells fabulous!
Now the steps:
1. Pre-treat your garment. get your garment wet with HOT/WARM water (please use judgement on temperatures... I don't want anyone burning themselves!) and pre-treat with Fels Naptha Soap. I just rubbed the bar directly onto the stain in back and forth motions until saturated. (you can find this in the laundry isle and it will cost around $1 for a bar. CHEAP!  scrub the garment a couple times to rub the soap into the stain. Let it sit for approx 15 min. Depending on the severity of the stain you may need to increase the time.
2. Considering this is a white garment I used HOT water. After pre-treating was done I added a scoop of detergent, 1/2 cup of Borax (also found in laundry isle) 1/2 cup of Washing Soda (found in laundry isle) 1 scoop of oxi clean, and added bleach to my bleach dispenser. 

Now if I ever have another girl I can use this adorable dress and I no longer need to worry about ketchup stains, BBQ sauce, or heaven forbid blood stains from all those bumps and bruises moments. Clean clothes = Happy mommy!


How to clean Foggy Dishware and Glasses

How many of us have seen commercials lately advertising Oxi Clean Dishwashing Booster?
Frankly, the commercial won me over! This is why...

Yes, those are my glasses! Yes, I even use rinse agent during my washing cycles. Where I live, we have very hard water and since nothing would make these glasses look clean I got very excited when I saw the commercial for Oxi Clean Dishwashing Booster. The directions state that for the "first wash WOW" add two squirts of the booster into the bottom of your dishwasher and then fill your rinse agent compartment with approx half the bottle. So, I followed the instructions...

After loading my dishwasher and pressing the start button, I left to take my daughter to school and then do some grocery shopping. When I came home, I was happy to see the "clean" light on. I opened up the dishwasher and this is what I saw...
Huh... well, they look a LITTLE better but they definitely don't look GREAT. I had a couple glasses that looked pretty good but with some spotting that came out looking great but for the ones we use daily...What now?? I went to my pantry and grabbed the following items
Baking Soda
Dish Soap
In pure despiration and determination I decided I would find a way to get these clean myself! 30 Minutes later this is what I had!

Here's how you do it!
Put on your kitchen gloves and grab that scrub sponge!
1. Fill your kitchen sink HALF WAY with Hot/Warm Water. Please don't make it too hot or you'll burn yourself.
2. Add approx 3 TB liquid dish soap
3. Add 2 Cups White Distilled Vinigar
4. Add 1 Cup Baking Soda
Put your glasses in your sink and let them sit in the mixture for a couple minutes. With a sponge (I used one with a scrup pad for those extra tough spots) wash the glasses and rinse in warm water. Let them air dry or use a clean dry cloth.
Tada!!!! I'm no longer afraid to have company ask for a drink of water!


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