Thursday, March 5, 2015

Join the Club

It was a busy night--late arriving home, child to bathe, PTO to attend.  Thankfully, our Chicken Bacon Club Pizza for dinner was simple and easy.

I started with a Pillsbury thin crust pizza crust.  From there it was really just about assembly.  I started with mayo and homemade ranch (which I did not mix together ahead of time), pulled cooked chicken from the freezer, added cheese and my trusty Kirkland bacon crumbles, and baked it. After it was done, I added a smidge more ranch plus tomato and lettuce.

This was a fun pizza.  Not spectacular, but tasty.  I think cold toppings on pizza always throw me for a bit of a loop.  I particularly liked how my kiddo explained the pizza to her dad over the phone.  "We're having pizza.  It has vegetables on it."

This was my first encounter with the Touch of Philadelphia shredded cheese and it was very good.  Nice and melty.

Since there was little commentary from my crew, I will take that as a sign that they appreciated the fact that I made dinner for them, but they would also appreciate it if I lost this recipe.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015


I think my desire for spring and all things green prompted me to pin this Fajita Chicken with Green Onion and Cilantro Rice.  It was lovely to have something cheerful and bright on our plates after an icy, rainy day.

The flavor on the chicken was very good, and would make excellent traditional, in the taco shell style fajitas.  I ended up just cooking the meat in my cast iron skillet since grilling would have meant taking my life in my own hands on the icy patio.  It was still very good.  I liked the fresh flavor of the Cilantro sauce, but it was kindly suggested to me that the sauce was not everyone's favorite part of the meal.

As I was putting away the leftovers after dinner, it occurred to me that this seasoning combination on chicken would be make outstanding burrito bowls.  I may even be trying that for Saturday lunch!

Monday, March 2, 2015

Mac on Mondays

It's a new week, and the start of roller coaster ride.  Lucky for us, both of today's recipes got us started off on the right foot.

This Bacon Feta Mac and Cheese, sounded great.  Plus, I had the jumbo box of feta from Costco hanging around in my fridge.  Perfect.

It did not disappoint.  This is a delicious mac and cheese that doesn't stray too far from true mac and cheese flavors.  It's just exotic enough to be interesting.

Then there was dessert.  A week or so ago we bought the giant box of plums from Costco.  (Wait is there a theme here?)   They were sour and not too tasty.  I decided to give them a few days on the counter to see if they would sweeten up.  At the same time, I decided it might be good to find a recipe that used a lot of plums at one time, rather than eating them one at a time.

The coconut twist of this Plum-Coconut Crisp resonated with me.  The pudding mix on top of the fruit was an interesting thought, but it seemed to work, and while there was plenty of juice from the fruit, it wasn't completely runny, which I liked.  The coconut topping was fantastic.  A nice sweet balance to the tartness of the plums underneath.  And, more good luck, we still have three more plums that have ripened nicely.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

All the Best Things

Bacon. Cheese. Crescents.

Simple. Easy.  Good.

So maybe give these Grilled Cheese Bacon Crescent Squares a try.  Simplify it with pre-cooked Kirkland bacon crumbles.  Use real Colby and Monterey Jack cheese.  If you are so inclined, throw in some deli turkey, we enjoyed the "turkey club" twist it provided.

Dinner. Delicious. Done.

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Come on Spring!

As I look out my window, more snow is falling.  More is supposed to come off and on in the next couple of days.  And I am done.  Ready for spring.  I love my boots, but I'm tired of wearing only boots.  I'm tired of layering up to go outside. I'm ready for spring.

I think my March menu reflects my need for warm sunshine.  It's not all summer salads and grilling out, but I'm definitely counting down the days to St. Patrick's Day and official spring.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Go Straight for the Fries

At the end of a long teaching day, I'm interested in simple easy-prep recipes.  So much so, that sometimes a recipe is more of an inspiration than anything.  Such is the case with these Teriyaki Chicken Quesadillas.  Rather than laboring over a sauce or grating cheese, I used thawed frozen chicken from the freezer and warmed it in this Kikkoman Teryaki Sauce.  Then I added it to my tortilla shells, alongside a mix of cheeses I had in the refrigerator, and threw in a little green onion.  It was good, but unremarkable.

And boy did the quesadilla pale when compared to the fries.  Sweet Potato Fries to be exact.  I've never even had sweet potato fries before let alone made them, but somehow, inspiration struck in the store as I swung through the produce section.  I decided these Baked Garlic Sweet Potato Fries seemed like a good bet.  As I was perusing Pinterest, I also noticed that there seemed to be a lot of information on how to properly prep the fries.  I decided to the follow the steps listed here, including letting the fries sit in water in the fridge overnight so that they were ready to go when I arrived home.

Once I had added the cornstarch and tossed the fries in olive oil, I liberally sprinkled them with Kosher salt.  I baked them for about 35 minutes at 425 degrees, and stirred two or three times during the baking process.  When they were nice a crispy, toasty, brown, I moved them to a paper towel lined plate and sprinkled them with Mama Francesca's Parmesan and Garlic, as well as some regular Parmesan.

So, I'm a total convert.  The fries were delicious.  I expected "okay", but I could have eaten a lot of these things.  Soooooooo good.  Highly recommend and soon.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Testing Superlatives

I've made the Best Pot Roast ever, so, of course, I couldn't resist making The Best Crockpot Chicken Ever.  Claims like that are a dare I can't refuse.

For crockpot chicken, it IS pretty good.  The creamy sauce and chicken were a great combo with brown rice.  Also, as recipes go, there aren't many much easier.  I chucked in my frozen chicken breasts, sprinkled it with the seasoning mixes, dropped in the cream cheese, and finally added the soup. It was a snap, even in the midst of a busy school morning.

Since I had a plan for supper, we came home from piano lessons on a mission for fast 'zert.  Cake Batter No Bake Cookies sounded like a great option.  They really took no time at all.  The hardest part was getting all the white chocolate chips smoothed into the rest of the mixture.  A few minutes on the patio table in zero degrees and these were ready to eat in no time.  We all agreed these cookies tasted like a can of frosting with oatmeal stirred in, and that that idea was perfectly acceptable.