Saturday, April 30, 2016

May I Remind You?

This is your official remind that May starts tomorrow.  Tomorrow!  How crazy is that?  And yet, I am sooooooooooooo ready.

I think my menu for the month reflects my need of a summer schedule and more freedom.  I'm trying some new things, but I also went back to the archives to find some old favorites.  My family will undoubtedly be shocked that we have repeats, but even I like familiar flavors every once in a while.

Cheers to the transition to summer!

Thursday, April 28, 2016

CBR Grilled Cheese

Ever since I started reading Plain Chicken several years ago, I've noticed a lot of Ranch or "cracked out" flavors showing up on my menu.  Not that I'm complaining.  At all.

Today's offering was Chicken, Bacon, Ranch Grilled Cheese.  All things grilled cheese are fabulouso, so add in chicken, bacon, and ranch and it's even better.  There's really nothing earth shattering in this recipe, but it absolutely tastes delicious.

And then because we were getting a little low on zert in this house, I decided to throw together some chocolate chip cookies.  Only, it was late and I wasn't paying attention, and I'd already started beating a full cup of butter rather than the 2/3 of a cup my regular cookie recipe calls for.  A quick Google produced this Best Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe, and since it was the best, how could I argue?  The whole baking soda dissolved in hot water technique was new to me, but the cookies were pretty delicious, especially since we started eating them not even four minutes out of the oven.

So we ended up with two yummy comfort foods, and possibly a new go to recipe for cookies.  Time will tell.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

When a Pie is NOT a Pie

My hubby loves his sweets, so for his birthday I gave him a choice of birthday desserts by flavor category.  He could choose from chocolate and peanut butter, German chocolate, toffee and chocolate, or pecan pie, and I would choose the format and recipe.

Ultimately we landed on the pecan pie flavor, and I knew I wanted to make a Pecan Pie Cake.  It's actually a pretty easy recipe, and I successfully proved you can mess it up and still have it taste delicious.

The recipe calls for dark corn syrup, and since it is listed with the cake ingredients, I figured that's where it went.  It did not register with me that the brushing the finished cakes with corn syrup was where it came in.  Instead, I mixed it into the batter.  Ah well, it still worked.

Some suggestions--this is way too much batter for two pans, the bottom of my oven is proof.  Use three and cut down the baking time a bit.  Make sure you run a knife or spatula around the cake pans before dumping the layers out.  Mine stuck quite a bit, and as a result, didn't look too pretty in a stack.  Finally, toast some pecan halves and add them to the top just to make the pecan pie look a bit clearer.

I am loving the dense pound cake-like texture, plus the sweetness of the topping.  It a great cake, even if a bit unconventional.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Making It Up As I Go Along

We've reached the point in the semester where having a meal takes precedent over trying a recipe, thus the shortage of blog posts.  In some cases I've been deviating from the menu plan, and even making up my own stuff.

This was one of those times.  I had leftover ham, still, and I wanted to use it in something quick and simple.  As I stopped by the store for a few other items, I saw a loaf of Hawaiian bread, and decided on grilled Hawaiian ham and cheese sandwiches.

Here's what I put together:

  • Mixed some soft cream cheese with crushed pineapple. (No measurements here, just what looks like a good mixture.)  Then I added some chopped green onion.
  • A nice semi-thick slice of ham.
  • A slice of sharp cheddar to balance the sweetness of the pineapple.
  • Assembled on the Hawaiian bread and grilled as usual.
I really loved this combo.  It went together quickly, but didn't feel so lame like I was phoning it in for dinner. 

Friday, April 1, 2016

The Great White

Way? Shark? No, friends, the Great White Pizza.

Simple, creamy, cheesy goodness, and pretty easy too.  I followed the recipe as is, except I added a bit of Fontina to finish off the block in my refrigerator.  It just may have been that bit of Fontina that pushed it over the edge.  The cheese over the edge that is.

I just made dessert to use up a couple of bananas.  It is probably one of the best uses of bananas there is--Bananas Foster Upside Down Cake.  Although the recipe takes a few steps to get going, it's worth every one.  The topping has the perfect caramelly bananas foster flavor.  The cake is good too, but as I told my hubby, it's really just there to hold the toppings up.

So there's two more winners for the book, make and enjoy!

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Ready, Set, April

Another month is starting, and April is always the gateway to the busiest month of the year at our house.  I've added a few more grill nights to the menu, and started to look toward tastes and flavors suited to warmer weather.  I sure hope that warmer weather happens. I'm ready!

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Variation on a Gyro

We love gyros at our house, and there's no shortage in the area where we live.  However, I don't often think to add them to the menu at home.  I decided to give these Slow Cooker Chicken Gyros a shot.

The chicken itself was simple and quick to throw in the slow cooker.  I decided not to make the sauce, and instead buy it.  It was a good plan anyway.  I had to settle for a spinach dip instead, and that's where are gyro starts to deviate.

It was, however, a good deviation.  Here's what I did:

  • I used the frozen naan from Costco instead of pita or other flatbread.  Good decision.  That stuff is just warm and toasty awesomeness.
  • I spread the naan with the spinach dip and added a sprinkle of feta.  More awesome.
  • I broke the chicken into smaller strip like pieces and layered a few pieces on the flat bread.
  • After slicing some cherry tomatoes and baby cukes (also from Costco), I veggied up our flatbreads.

I loved the crunch of the cucumber spears, plus it made it extra pretty.  The rest of my table gang do not see the redeeming value in cucumbers so I had them all to myself.  

This was yummy and easy, and I'm looking forward to using some of the leftover chicken on a Greek salad.  Double yum!