Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Bacon Fried Rice

My son made this fried rice in a class at the Junior High...minus the bacon.  When he asked if we could make it for dinner one night, we decided to add some bacon...and I'm telling you it was DELICIOUS!!

Seriously the BEST fried rice I have ever had!  You can add as much or as little bacon as you want...or even leave it out all together...BUT I think you should add some, the smokey flavor makes the stir fry...over the top!

Bacon Fried Rice

1/2 T sesame oil
1 onion
4 T soy sauce
2 large carrots, diced or shredded
2 stalks celery, chopped
1/2 large red bell pepper, diced
1/2 large green bell pepper, diced
1/2 cup peas
4 cups cooked white rice
2 eggs, scrambled
1/2 - 1 package cooked bacon, chopped

Directions:  Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add onion and saute until soft, add 2 T soy sauce.  Stir in carrots, celery, red bell pepper, green bell pepper, peas and stir-fry another 5 minutes.  Add rice and stir thoroughly.  Stir in scrambled eggs, bacon and 2 T soy sauce.  Heat through and serve hot.

I baked my bacon and used one package, minus two pieces that didn't make it to the chopping board ;)
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Friday, June 13, 2014

Baking Bacon

We are still working on finishing up the S'mores stuffed chocolate chip cookies at our house....still delicious!

Today we are talking about bakin' some bacon :)  Have you ever baked bacon?  I tried it a year or so ago and didn't have much luck.  I lined my baking sheet with foil, placed a metal cooling rack in and placed my bacon on the cooling rack...thinking that all the grease would drip through to the pan.  I guess a lot of the grease did drip through, but it took FOREVER for my bacon to bake and the cool rack was a pain to clean!!  So I gave up baking bacon for awhile.

My husband has been telling me about the most wonderful bacon that he buys at work that is 'baked'.  We decided to try it again and it was GREAT!!  This is what I did this time....

I lined 2 large baking sheets with foil and then placed a sheet of parchment paper on top of that.  I needed 2 pans to fit my entire package of bacon.  Place the bacon on the parchment paper close together, but works best if they are not touching...or the pieces might stick together.  Place your pans of bacon in a cold oven.  If you have 2 pans, place one in the top quarter of the oven and the other in the bottom quarter.

Turn oven on to 350 degrees.  When the oven is pre-heated, you will cook your bacon for 15-25 minutes...depending on thickness of bacon.  Mine was not thick cut bacon and took 15 minutes(plus the pre-heat time)...but it will vary depending on your oven.  I rotate my pans at approximately 8 minutes baking time.

When bacon is finished baking, remove from pan, drain and pat off grease with paper towels.  After a few minutes, you can roll up the foil and parchment paper and throw it out.

I LOVE baking bacon.  The bacon is not too crispy and not too's perfect!!  I also LOVE that my house smells like yummy bacon for the meal, but not ALL day!!

Recipe for Buttermilk
Recipe for Strawberry
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Thursday, June 12, 2014

S'mores Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookies

Have you seen the S'mores Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookies around the Internet?  I first saw them here on the Picky Palate a couple of years ago.  I planned to try them then, but forgot about them.

I saw them again the other the boys and I decided to try them out yesterday.  I used my own favorite cookie dough recipe and then put them together the way that Jenny did.

It made 6 huge cookies...seriously at least 2-4 servings per cookie...depending on if you are feeding boys or mom ;)  They are rich and you definitely need some milk ready for these, but the boys LOVED them!! 

I only had a couple that looked pretty, where the filling was not coming out...but they were all still yummy!  A few looked like the one above, but most looked like the one below :)  Actually I kind like the look of the one below.

S'mores Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookies

1/2 cup shortening, I use Crisco
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 eggs
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup instant make them healthy ;)  I'm joking, I know that no amount of oatmeal could make these healthy.  I actually just like the texture the small amount of oatmeal adds.
~1 cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 Hershey Chocolate Bars, broken into rows of 3 bars
 6 large marshmallows, cut in half
2 graham crackers divided into 4 sections each

Directions:  Pre-heat oven to 350.  Mix shortening and both sugars until mixed together.  Beat in eggs.  Add vanilla, baking soda, and salt.  Mix until well combined, but not too long.  Add flour, oatmeal and chocolate chips.  Mix until combined.  

Layer a graham cracker quarter with 3 Hershey chocolate squares and 2 marshmallow halves.  Close with another graham cracker.  Top s’more with a large scoop of cookie dough.  Place in hands and place another large scoop on bottom then front and back sides as needed.  Form dough around s’mores.  This part will be mess :)  Place large cookies onto baking sheet and bake for 13-14 minutes or until edges are golden and centers are cooked through.  Let cool for 10 minutes before transferring to cooling rack or serving plate.

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Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Orange Julius

We LOVE Orange Julius at our house.  We especially love Orange Julius made with fresh oranges...recipe here

But....when we don't have fresh oranges in the house, this is how we make them.  Oh...and please excuse our 'new to us' old table.  It definitely needs to be refinished....maybe I'll get to that when/if the wind stops blowing :)

 Orange Julius
1 12 oz container of orange juice concentrate
2 12 oz orange juice concentrate containers(above) of milk
1/2 - 1 cup of sugar, depends on how sweet you like it
1 large cup of ice(approx the size of cup in picture :))  ~3 cups of is easy to add more ice, if you don't add enough at first...not easy to add less once you have added it, SO start with less you can always add more :)

Directions:  Add all ingredients to your blender....and blend.

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Monday, June 9, 2014

Quick, Easy, Healthy Breakfast

I've all made oatmeal before :)....but I thought I'd share our favorite quick and easy breakfast.  Oh, and healthy.  I make this for my husband for breakfast nearly every Mon-Thurs @ 4:15am before he leaves for work.

With the sweetness of the bananas you don't need much brown sugar.  I really LOVE the crunch that the pecans add.

I'm going to tell you how I made it every morning.  I have a ceramic cook-top stove, so if you have something will need to adjust the directions.

Oatmeal with banana and pecans

1 cup water
1/2 cup quick cooking oats
1 banana
~1/4 cup chopped pecans
brown sugar

Directions:  In a small pot bring one cup of water to boil over high heat.  When the water begins to boil, stir in 1/2 cup oats and turn burner off.  I move my pot off of the burner for 30 seconds to a minute to let the burner cool just a bit.  Then I put the pan back on the burner to continue cooking(with the burner turned off) while I do other pack a lunch.  When the oatmeal is the desired consistency, pour oatmeal into a bowl, top with sliced banana, pecans, brown sugar to taste and desired amount of milk.
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Thursday, June 5, 2014

Peanut Butter Blossoms

Mmmm....chocolate and peanut butter....I have nothing else to say, except....DELICIOUS!!

 Seriously Delicious!!

Peanut Butter Blossoms
recipe from my bag of Hershey Kisses :)
  • 48 Hershey's Kisses
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 3/4 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Additional granulated sugar
Directions:  Pre-heat oven to 375°F.  Remove wrappers from chocolates.  Beat shortening and peanut butter in large bowl until well blended.  Add 1/3 cup sugar and brown sugar; beat until fluffy.  Add egg, milk and vanilla; beat well.  Stir together flour, baking soda and salt; gradually beat into peanut butter mixture.  Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Roll in granulated sugar; place on ungreased cookie sheet.  Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until lightly browned.  Immediately press a chocolate into center of each
cookie; cookie will crack around edges . Remove from cookie sheet to wire rack.  Cool completely.

Makes about 48 cookies.

Or....if it is around Valentine's Day and you can get Reece's Peanut Butter Hearts, substitute the kisses for hearts.  Just be sure to let your cookie cool for ~10 minutes before you add the heart...or it will melt.

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Thursday, May 8, 2014

Shrimp Soup with Chili Tortilla Strips

 I LOVED this soup!!  It is so yummy and a nice light soup for spring and summer.  I found it in my Better Homes and Gardens can also find it on their  Look how pretty their picture below looks :)  My picture below that does not do this soup justice...haha..I am terrible at photographing anyway, especially when it comes to soup.

My picture :)  Not as pretty, but still delicious!!
Shrimp Soup with Chili Tortilla Strips
1 large poblano pepper, seeded and chopped (about 1 cup)
1 medium onion, chopped (1/2 cup)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon vegetable or olive oil
1 quart reduced-sodium chicken broth
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 12 ounce package frozen shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 cup frozen corn
1 15 ounce can cannellini beans (white kidney beans), rinsed and drained
1/4 cup snipped fresh cilantro
2 tablespoons lime juice
1 small avocado, halved, seeded, peeled, and thinly sliced or chopped
1 Recipe Chili Tortilla Strips
Directions:  In a 4- to 5- quart Dutch oven cook poblano pepper, onion, and garlic in hot oil until just tender. Add broth, salt and crushed red pepper. Bring to boiling. Add frozen shrimp, corn and drained beans; return to boil.  Simmer, uncovered, about 2 minutes or until shrimp are opaque. Stir in cilantro and lime juice. Serve in shallow bowls topped with avocado and Chili Tortilla Strips.
Chili Tortilla Strips
8 to 9 inch flour tortillas
vegetable oil - I use canola oil
chili powder
Directions:  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Brush one side of two 8- to 9-inch flour tortillas with vegetable oil; sprinkle with chili powder. With a pizza wheel, cut into strips and wedges. Place in a single layer on a very large baking sheet. Bake 12 to 15 minutes or until crisp.
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Monday, March 24, 2014

A favorite snack

Our new favorite snack....chopped strawberries, Nutella and whipping a bowl...with a spoon :)


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Saturday, January 18, 2014

New England Clam Chowder

another clam chowder recipe...  We LOVE clam chowder at our house!!  I modified this recipe from Taste of Home's website.

I'm going to get right to the recipe...I have a little one BEGGING to play the computer, so I need to make this quick :)

New England Clam Chowder

5 center-cut bacon strips, cut into small pieces
2 celery ribs, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
3 small potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 cup water
1 bottle (8 ounces) clam juice
3 teaspoons reduced-sodium chicken bouillon granules
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups half-and-half (or heavy cream..or milk), divided
3 cans (6 1/2 ounces each) chopped clams, 2 cans undrained, 1 can drained....reserve liquid from the drained can

Directions:  In a large pot, cook bacon over medium heat until crisp.  Remove to paper towels to drain; set aside.  Saute celery and onion in the dripping until tender.  Add garlic; cook 1 minute longer.  Stir in the potatoes, water, 8 oz. clam juice, bouillon, pepper and thyme.  Bring to boil.  Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 15-20 minutes or until potatoes are tender.

In a small bowl, combine flour and 1 cup half-and-half (or heavy cream, or milk) until smooth.  Gradually stir into soup.  Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 1-2 minutes or until thickened.  Stir in clams(2 cans with juice and one can w/out juice and remaining half-and-half (or heavy cream, or milk); heat through (do not boil).  If your chowder is too thick add reserved clam juice(from drained can) until it is the desired thickness.  Sprinkle your reserved bacon over each serving.  Serve with a nice warm fluffy roll :)..or in a bread bowl.

**My husband like his chowder thick.  The second time I made this I used half heavy cream and half 2% milk.  I added extra flour(~1/2 cup total flour) so that it would still be thick.  If your chowder isn't thick enough you can always mix a couple Tablespoons of flour with some milk and add it to the soup....just make sure you don't have any lumps of flour when you slowly add it to the chowder.
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Thursday, January 2, 2014

Smothered Breakfast Burrito...sausage gravy

I LOVE these smothered breakfast burritos for dinner!!  So easy and SO yummy!  If you like biscuits and gravy, you should definitely try these!

Smothered Breakfast Burrito

 Start with your breakfast burrito.  We make ours with scrambled eggs, hash browns and some roasted chopped green chili.  I usually add those ingredients separate...some of my kids only want eggs.  Roll your burrito fillings in a warm tortilla, sprinkle with cheese and top with your sausage gravy.

Sausage Gravy

1 pound ground sausage ( I use the hot)
1/2 cup flour
4 cups milk
salt and pepper to taste

Directions:  Brown your ground sausage until completely cooked.  Drain off most of the fat.  Add 1/4 cup flour to the sausage and cook for a minute of two.  Mix your other 1/4 cup flour with your milk(stir well to make sure you get the flour mixed well...with NO lumps) and add to the sausage flour mixture.  Cook over medium heat, stirring often, until it thickens.  If it is too thick, you can thin it with a little extra milk.  Add salt and pepper to taste.
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Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Best way to eat an Oreo(with a fork)...and snowman cookies

Happy New Year!! 

I hope you all had a great 2013!!  And a GREAT Christmas!!  We have had a WONDERFUL holiday week around here!!!

We made some YUMMY snowman cookies over the holidays!!  Mini chocolate chips for the eyes and mouth and a candy corn nose...SO simple, yet SO delicious!!

 and...we have been eating cookies :)  Awhile ago a friend told me something that has changed my life...she told me that someone told her to eat your Oreo with a fork.  Seriously brilliant.  It allows you to dip your entire Oreo without dipping your fingers :)  Thank you Marilyn ....and you are welcome internet friends :)

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