Thursday, April 20, 2017

Discovering Sheet Pan Dinners

This sheet pan dinner trend is one that seems to have escaped me.  I'm not sure how I missed it, but now that I'm looking for them, they are everywhere!

Coincidentally, two versions ended up on the menu for this week.  They both ended up being very good.  So tasty, especially the veggies.

First, there was Baked Chicken with Butternut Squash and Asparagus.  I decided since I have several pork chops in the freezer, to make a swap, and omit the squash entirely since we don't really need that much food anyway.  The pork for chicken swap worked perfectly, and the asparagus was amazing.  Truly.

Then there was Sheet Pan Shrimp Scampi.  I had to make a change on this recipe as well.  I couldn't find the scampi seasoning mix, so I decided to use Italian dressing mix instead.  It wasn't a perfect substitute, but I couldn't find an equivalent online and it works fine here, so I went for it.  The shrimp and broccoli combo was mmm, mmm, good.  The tomatoes were a little too tomatoey for my family's liking.

Now that I know what a breeze these sheet pan dinner are to make, and what terrific results they produce--I am in.  I can't wait to see what other delicious combos are out there.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Baked Spaghetti with a BBQ Twist

Imagine your favorite sloppy joe.  Now, add spaghetti and some cheese. Bake it up together all nice and cozy, and you've got a beautiful BBQ Baked Spaghetti.

It's not fancy food, but it's perfect comfort food that could be tailored to your family's tastes however you like.  Personally, I would love to add some bacon into this mix and replicate the flavors we love in a barbecue bacon cheeseburger.  Feel free to use your favorite sauce and throw in whatever extras you like.  This recipe seems pretty forgiving.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

For the Longest Time...

I love Billy Joel, but this is not that blog post.

I have been waiting to make these Cinnamon Roll Bunnies, aka Cinnabunnies, forever.  They are just so cute.  And thankfully, super easy.  It didn't really take any extra time at all.

I used chocolate chips for the eyes, and pink M&Ms for the noses.  I didn't love how the M&M got puffy and split apart, but it still looked cute.

So, finally, I can cross this cutie-pie recipe off my list.  It was a lot of fun, and much easier and quicker than expected.  Bonus.

Monday, April 17, 2017

It's All the Crack

I love Georgette Heyer books.  The story lines are absurdly hilarious, and the characters are just so much fun.  One of my favorite phrases her characters use is "it's all the crack".

This Slow Cooker Crack Chicken is definitely all the crack.  It's almost impossible to go wrong with the bacon/cheddar/ranch combo, but this one wins tops marks for being extra easy in the slow cooker.

The recipe didn't specifically call for the addition of cheddar, but if we are doing "crack" flavors, it must be there.  I added about a cup to the whole recipe, and just right at the end so that it didn't disappear completely.

These would be a great potluck option where you want something easy and universally appealing like sloppy joes, but don't want sloppy joes.  The same idea, but different flavors.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Salsa Verde and Scotcheroo Cake

I've finally figured out how our family can do Mexican with a little heat.  Salsa Verde, is the answer!  And not only that, they love it, even my super-sensitive little one.  

Which means she loved these Slow Cooker Salsa Verde Beef Tacos.  I loved the fact that they were amazingly simple.  Just dump and go, beautiful!  And tasty, too.  I'm looking forward to the leftovers on these too.

And then there was birthday cake.  And a story to go with it...

A couple of months ago, my hubby shared a picture to my Facebook timeline.  The picture was one of those traveling posts many times removed, from some bakery, somewhere, and it was a picture of Scotcheroo cupcakes.  It had a description, but no recipe, so that was what I had to work with.  So, challenge accepted, I decided to make Scotcheroo Cake.

I ended up using a vanilla cake mix and adding butterscotch and chocolate chips to the mixture.  I think used about a half cup of each.  I mixed them right into the batter, but if I had it to do over, I might save a few to drop on top of the batter in the pan.  They tend to sink, so this would make more of an even distribution.

For the frosting, and toppings, I made this Best Peanut Butter Frosting, and as frostings go, it was pretty delish.  For the Scotcheroo squares on top, I made the traditional recipe, but spread the peanut butter cereal mixture into a jelly roll pan and then doubled the chocolate/butterscotch topping.  (P.S. My sister says she's gone to making them this way often, and it's perfect for those of you who want a higher chocolate ratio.)  The thinner squares were easier to work with for the top of the cake.  

Finally, putting the whole thing together.  I put a few butterscotch and chocolate chips on top, then Scotcheroo squares, and finally chocolate drizzle.  It was a hit with the hubby, and certainly looked like a show stopper.  Not bad for making it up as I went along!😋

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Leftover Bailey's

St. Patrick's Day was just a few weeks ago, but I've been looking for ways to use the Bailey's I bought for my book club scones.  What better way than these Bailey's Irish Creme Pancakes?

This is a pretty easy recipe, but even so, I had plenty of kitchen supervision as I cooked them up.  I thought I had cake flour, but it turns out I don't, so the all-purpose variety served just fine.  As suggested in the original blogger's comments, I used around three cups since it was AP.

I topped my pancakes with butter, whipped cream, and a little drizzle of syrup.  All together, it tastes like a perfect, warm doughnut.  I thought they were wonderful, and the family all agreed.  And, since there's a little Bailey's left in the bottle, I might as well make some plans to make them again. 

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

A Semi-Slow Cooker Meal

This recipe isn't your average set it and forget it crockpot meal.  It takes a little extra work for this Slow Cooker Chicken Teriyaki, but the additional steps are still simple and easy.

This is lovely and fresh tasting.  It's a terrific way to get some veggies in front of the family, and have them enjoy every bit.  I do wish the sauce had been a bit thicker, but, no worries, it was still yummy.  Take the time to enjoy this at your table!