Saturday, February 27, 2010

Chicken in my pillows?

Warm layered crescent roll doughs filled with a delicous cream cheese and chicken mix.  A friend of mine has raved about her chicken pillows. But I had never tried to make them.  Then, while browsing through my new Food Network Magazine, I saw a recipe for Chicken Pillows. I read the list of ingredients and tadah! I had them all. This is very easy to quick to make. I plan on having the items to make this on hand from now on for a last minute dinner.  The crescent dough also now comes in sheets, so you don't have to worry about trying to pinch the seams of the triangles together.


1 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves - cubed
3 tablespoons chopped onion
3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
3 ounces cream cheese
2 tablespoons butter melted
1 (10 ounce) cans refrigerated crescent roll dough

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, slowly cook and stir skinless, boneless chicken breast halves. Cook until mostly done.  Add onions and garlic, cook until onions are tender and chicken is lightly browned.

Add cream cheese and stir until it is melted and creamy.  You may need to add just a splash milk if it needs to be thinned out slightly.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C).

Unroll croissants and divide in quarters to create 4 rectangles. You may need to pull the dough slightly to get them closer to a square shape.  Place a quarter of the chicken mixture on each rectangle. Fold into balls.

Arrange balls on a large baking sheet. Brush with melted butter.  Bake in the preheated oven 12 minutes, or until golden brown.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Keegan and the Tractor

Like most boys, Keegan loves trucks, airplanes, cars, trains, and tractors.  So imagine his glee when I arrived at my moms house to drop Keegan off, when he saw a huge real live tractor sitting there in the driveway. He ran straight up to it, but was leary about actually getting inside. I boosted him up and once he saw all the fun buttons and levers he was more than willing to spend a good chunk of time making those wonderful boy engine noises and pressing everything he could. Eventually, his Uncle Nick came out and gave him a ride down the hill and back up again. This was probably once of Keegan's greatest days... so far.

and a bonus Reece picture ;)

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Corn Chowder

This is my favorite things to eat on a cold day. It's hearty and warm.  I usually use ham chunks but I've also used bacon when I haven't had ham on hand.  You can also do this in the crockpot. Just get the entire chower assembled on the stove, then transfer to the crockpot to cook all day. But be sure not to add the cream until just before serving.


2T butter
1T olive oil
1 hamsteak, cubed
1 onion, chopped
1 small green bell pepper, chopped
1 small red bell pepper, chopped
1/3 c. flour
1 quart chicken broth
1 c. water
2 can whole kernal corn, drained
1 large red potato, cubed
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 t. cayenne
1 c. Heavy Cream


Melt butter in large stock pot. Add olive oil.  Over medium high heat, sear the outside of the hamsteak. Add onions and peppers and cook until tender.

Stir flour and stir to coat. Then add broth, water, corn and potato. Season with salt and pepper, and cayenne if desired.

Bring to a boil and reduce heat. Simmer for 15-20 minutes, until potatoes are tender.

Stir in cream and heat through. Heat through then serve.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Why do we waste money on toys?

When it seems they always prefer the box it came in, the spoon and pots....

Well Reece's new favorite toy is a cup. Yup a plain ole plastic cup. He way lay on the floor and yell into that thing for 10 minutes.  I guess he likes the sound of his own voice.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Molten Lava Chocolate Cakes with Caramel

I've made these wonderful little cakes twice now and they've come out wonderful both times. It's a very easy recipe and a great dessert option when you'll be busy making dinner but still want a "just made fresh" end to the meal. You can make this batter even the night before, just bring it up to room temp before tossing in the oven.  From oven to plate is less than 10 minutes.  I've also halved the recipe and made 4 cakes in a jumbo muffin tin.

1 cup butter 
8 ounces semisweet chocolate chips, or bars, cut into bite-size chunks
5 large eggs
1/2 cup sugar
Pinch of salt
4 teaspoons flour
8 extra-large paper muffin cups (or use regular paper muffin cups, which will make 12 cakes)


Melt butter and chocolate in a medium heat-proof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water; remove from heat. Beat eggs, sugar and salt with a hand mixer in a medium bowl until sugar dissolves. Beat egg mixture into chocolate until smooth. Beat in flour or matzo meal until just combined. (Batter can be made a day ahead; return to room temperature an hour or so before baking.)

Before serving dinner, adjust oven rack to middle position; heat oven to 450 degrees. Line a standard-size muffin tin (1/2 cup capacity) with 8 extra-large muffin papers (papers should extend above cups to facilitate removal). Spray muffin papers with vegetable cooking spray. Divide batter among muffin cups.

Bake until batter puffs but center is not set, 8 to 10 minutes. Carefully lift cakes from tin and set on a work surface. Pull papers away from cakes and transfer cakes to dessert plates.

Both times I've made this recipe, I've served it with homemade caramel sauce. This can take some practice to master, as with most sugar recipes, but if you have the patience you won't regret the final result.  This recipe makes alot, but it can be stored in the fridge. You can also half this recipe also.  When serving with the lava cakes, I half the recipe and still have quite a bit left over for finger dipping ;)

1/3 cup water
1 1/2 cups white sugar
2 tablespoons butter
1 1/4 cups heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 pinch salt
Bring the water, sugar, and butter to a simmer in a saucepan over medium heat. Do not stir the mixture until the sugar has reached a nice golden color.5 to 10 minutes, sometimes longer.  Don't rush this step! If you start stirring or mess with the sugar mixture before this point, you may crystalize it. It will be at a rolling boil.

Carefully pour in a slow, steady stream of cream into the caramel while stirring constantly. The hot caramel will boil vigorously when the cream is added and solidify in areas. Add the vanilla extract and salt. Continue stirring over low heat until the caramel is smooth and creamy, 5 to 10 minutes more. Allow to cool for at least half an hour before using.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

A trip to the Childen's Museum

Today, my sister and I took our boys to the Paso Robles Children's Museum. They had such a great time.  I wanted to share a bunch of pictures with you.

We came home and had a great spaghetti dinner, then all the messy boys went into the tub.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Milk in the Meatloaf?!?

So I was tired of my usual approach to meatloaf. Throw this and that in there and getting varied results. I decided to try a recipe. I opened my favorite cookbook and was shocked to see that it called for milk, and alot of it not just a few tablespoons. I figured it was just an odd foofoo recipe and moved on to my next cookbook. This one called for milk too! Maybe there IS something to this. So I decided to try one of the recipes. I went back to the one in my favorite cookbook and made a few modifications.  I added a few strips of cooked bacon to the mix. I also had some leftover bbq sauce from the ribs (you can find the recipe here) and topped the meatloaf with it before sticking it in the oven.  I've also taken to using my kitchenaid mixer to do the dirty work for me. Much easier and it's nice not picking raw hamburger out from under your nails.


1 1/2 pounds ground beef
1 egg
1 onion, chopped and sauteed
1 cup milk
1 cup dried bread crumbs
salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/3 cup ketchup


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

2. In a large bowl, combine all ingredients and place in a lightly greased 5x9 inch loaf pan, OR form into a loaf and place in a lightly greased 9x13 inch baking dish.

3. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 1 hour.

The meatloaf came out great! Very moist and "fluffy" which sounds odd but I don't know how else to describe it. I served it with our meatloaf staple sides, corn and mashed potatoes. Getting corn, potatoes and meatloaf in a single bite......Mmmmmmmmmmm.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Dear Gerber

Myself and moms across the country would be eternally grateful if your Biter Biscuits weren't quite so messy. Thanks!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Love my boys

Everyday seems to bring a new adventure and joy. I love watching my two boys grow up together. No one can make Reece laugh like Keegan can. And we've had many belly laughs watching Keegan make a complete fool of himself trying to get Reece to laugh.  Every night, when Keegan heads off to his bath, Reece crawls as fast as he can to get to the bathroom.  So in order to prevent Reece from actually trying to crawl into the tub, we've had to put a gate on the bathroom. It doesn't stop Reece from wanting to see what is going on, and I'm sure it won't be long before he is able to climb over it. But for now, it has given us a few really cute pictures.

And I swear Reece shook his head and said no this morning. Figures that would be his first word LOL

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Homemade Bagels!

Inspired by a friend, I decided I wanted to try my hand at making bagels. the recipe looked easy, just time consuming, as most yeast bread recipes are. I think they came out pretty good! I split the dough in half and added chopped up chocolate chips one. Chocolate chips bagels are hubby's favorite but besides buying fresh from the grocery store all the time, we have a hard time finding packaged chocolate chip bagels. I used my kitcheaid mixer to do the kneading for me.


4 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 (.25 ounce) packages active dry yeast
1 1/2 cups warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
3 tablespoons white sugar
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon white sugar
1 tablespoon molasses 

In your mixer bowl, combine yeast, warm water, and sugar. Let sit for 10 minutes to allow the yeast to proof. Add all of the flour and the salt. Mix with your dough hook until dough is smooth.

Cover, let rest for 30 minutes.

Cut into 8 portions, shape into smooth balls. Poke a hole in the center with your finger, and gently enlarge the hole while working the bagel into a uniform shape. Cover, let rise 60 minutes.

Start a gallon of water boiling. Put 1 tablespoon of sugar and 1 tablespoon molasses in it, mix it around a bit. Reduce to simmering.

When the bagels are ready, put 2or 3 bagels into the water, and cook 7 minutes, turning once. Drain them. Place on a greased baking sheet sprinkled with corn startch, and bake at 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) for 30 to 35 minutes. Remove from oven, eat hot or cold.

Broiling option: For a glossier surface, place raised bagels on an ungreased baking sheet prior to boiling them. Broil them five inches from heat for 1 to 1-1/2 minutes on each side. Then put them into the hot water to be boiled as above. Note: do not bake broiled bagels as long as non-broiled ones, 25 minutes should be long enough.
**I didn't do the broiling option this time around but will try it the next to to figure out which I like better. The rising times also make a lighter fluffier bagel, if you prefer yours more dense, let rise about half the time.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Reece, the climber

Well it looks like Reece may not have to perfect his crawl after all. He's got the lowman army crawl down pat. Only a few times has he crawled on all fours. But it looks like he's decided not to mess with all that nonesense. He's started pulling himself up on everything! It started at his grandparents house and their low coffee table. Combine that with the candle he just had to have, and we've got a little boy who has figured out there is a whole lot more to see up higher.  His new favorite past time is figuring out just how many things there are to pull himself up on.  This picture was taken the day he turned 9 months old.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Baby Back Ribs

This is one of my favorite recipes. I use this dry rub every time I make ribs. And I've recently started using it on other cuts of meat. We just had it on tri-tip a few days ago and it came out wonderful. This is the first time I've made this BBQ sauce, it was really great and had alot of flavor.

Dry Rub

I usually quadruple the recipe then put it all in a jar with a screw top lid. Then I could use whatever I needed and wasn't remaking it all the time.

3T brown sugar
1 1/2 T paprika
1 1/2 T salt
1 1/2 T pepper
1t garlic powder

Rub into ribs, front and back, cover and let ribs sit in fridge overnight.

BBQ Sauce

This makes ALOT. I had a single rack of babyback ribs and cut the recipe in half, I still had some left over.


2 cups ketchup
2 cups tomato sauce
1 1/4 cups brown sugar
1 1/4 cups red wine vinegar
1/2 cup unsulfured molasses
4 teaspoons hickory-flavored liquid smoke
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon celery seed
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper

Mix all ingredients and simmer on stove. The longer it simmers, the thicker it gets.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Turtle Bars

This week's recipe is Turtle Bars. I found this on (which is my go to recipe site) I altered the recipe a bit based on reviewers and some experimenting.


2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 c butter softened
1 cup packed brown sugar

1 cup chopped pecans
1 1/3 cup butter
1 cup dark brown sugar

2 cups Semi-sweet chocolate chips

Combine crust ingredients in large mixer bowl. Beat at medium speed of electric mixer 2 to 3 minutes or until mixture resembles fine crumbs. Pat mixture evenly onto bottom of ungreased 13 x 9 inch baking pan.

Sprinkle pecans evenly over crumb mixture.

Combine butter and brown sugar for filling in small saucepan. Cook and stir over medium heat until entire surface is bubbly. Cook and stir 1/2 to 1 minute more. Pour into pan, spreading evenly over crust.

Bake in 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) oven 18 to 20 minutes or until entire surface is bubbly. Remove from oven; and let set for 3-5 minutes, then sprinkle with chocolate pieces. Let stand 2 to 3 minutes to allow chocolate to melt; use knife to swirl chocolate slightly.

Cool completely in pan on wire rack. Use sharp knife to cut into bars.

Monday, February 1, 2010

So behind!!

Well we're just going to concede in the fact that I haven't really been keeping up. I guess we got a little busy with two kids, the holidays and vacation! I didn't even get to decorate my blog for Christmas. Oh well. One of my New Year's Resolutions is to try and keep up with my blog. I'm also going to try and post a weekly recipe for everyone. So here's a cliffnotes version of the last few months.


Then on January 8th we took a cruise to the Carribean!

You can see all the pictures on my facebook account.

Keegan has been going to preschool and loving it. He barely says goodbye to me when I drop him off. But he is always glad to see me when I pick him up. Today we had to keep him home from school because he's nursing a cold, and we just found out this morning he has double ear infections poor baby.

Reece is all over the place. He'll be 9 months old on the 8th. He's got his little army crawl down pat and working hard on his regular crawl. He's also pushing himself up into a situp position on his own. And just a few days ago, he pulled himself up on his grandparents coffee table. Standing position all on his own! Somebody please slow him down LOL!