Mini Me goes to…..

#25……..Denise!   Rumor has it that you may be very kind and that your hubby may be the recipient of this jewel!  If not, at least let him play with it once in a while!  I will get your prize to you!  Thanks to all who played all this month!  I have had fun this month!   

Hope your weekend plans include celebrating the Resurrection of our Risen Lord!Image

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Chicken….ole!

     Remember that Mexican Pulled Pork from the crock pot?  Remember me telling you how good it was and you needed to give it a try?   I used those same seasonings and made this…..

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     It was soooo good!!!! Saturday night, I took that old bird and washed it good (remember – I always wash my chicken….I’m just that way), blotted it off dry, and placed on my cutting board.  I then loosened the skin from the breasts, around the thighs and part of the legs and sprinkled a good bit of the seasoning mix under all that skin next to the meat and smoothed the skin back down.   Then I generously coated the outside of the bird in all its cracks and crevices (there are a lot) and also inside the bird (don’t forget this!) and then let it marinate all night in the fridg.   Sunday morning, around 6 am, I put it in the crock pot, sprinkled on the remaining seasonings, poured about 3/4 cup water down the side of the crock pot, (don’t pour water on top of the chicken or it will wash off all the seasoning and you will want it to stay on the chicken to season as it cooks) put on the top and let it cook on high for a couple of hours to get it good and hot and steamy in the pot.  Then before leaving for church (we go to early services) I cut it on low and let it cook until lunchtime!  Note – I did not sear the chicken before putting in crock pot like you do the pork  in the pork recipe.

Boy, did it smell good in there!  I let it sit on the cutting board for a few minutes, shredded that meat, poured about 1/2 cup of liquid from the crock pot back over the chicken, and hubby made him a chicken quesadilla while I made me a taco salad with that flavorful chicken on top!  What great tasting chicken!   

Last night I took some of the leftover meat and made taco soup, by first sauteeing 1/4 onion and 1/4 bell pepper along with 2 cloves garlic in 1 tbsp oil, then adding 1 can (14 oz) diced tomatoes, 1 can (8 oz) tomato sauce, 1  can (14 oz)  chicken broth, 1 can mexicorn, (the kind that had the black beans in it) 1/2 cup water, 1 tsp cumin, 1 tsp chili powder, 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper, and 3/4 of what was left of the shredded chicken, i would have added all the chicken but hubby wanted enough left to make him a burrito for lunch today.   I had 1/2 pkg. ranch dressing mix of which I added to add some zing to it!  Man was it tasty!   Although the chicken was very flavorful, the extra seasoning is added to flavor the other ingredients or they will pull the flavor away from the chicken.  Remember, you need to season all layers of your recipe!

I believe that the seasonings for the Mexican Pulled Pork and now Mexican Pulled Chicken (both cooked in the crock pot) has become my favorite mix of seasonings!  I must find out what else i can use it on!!!  

Don’t forget to register for the giveaway (ipad mini) on Monday’s post below!  Drawing is Friday, March 29th!

MINI ME…OR MINI YOU

 See the picture below?   See the hand below?  See what that hand is holding?  That is not my hand.  And that is not my………….iPad mini!   But it could be yours if your number is drawn next Friday, Good Friday!   To close out March Madness we are giving away an iPad mini, and it is so cute.  It is small, it is black, and it will come with a grey smart cover.  

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Want one?  Just leave a reply and tell me if you are wearing an Easter bonnet on Easter Sunday or not…… or if you are guy are you wearing a tie, bow tie, or none of the above.  

Remember ….He Is Risen!  Happy Easter! (Winner will be announced on Friday, March 29th.

Creamy, delicious cupcakes

Another recipe i wanted to try was these White Chocolate-almond Cupcakes.  I made these last evening and they were not disappointing.  After making the cupcakes, you scoop out a melon ball size center and fill with this wonderful cream filling, and then ice with a wonderful,  cream cheese-almond icing and sprinkle some white chocolate shavings on top.  What’s not to like? 

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One bite and you won’t be disappointed!   Don’t delay in making these!  They are easy, and quick, and fun to make with the kiddos, grandkids, or by yourself! (you can lick the bowls without sharing) 

Here’s the recipe:

White Chocolate-Almond Cupcakes:

Cupcakes: – makes 2 dozen cupcakes

¾ cup butter, softened

1 ½ cups sugar

4 large eggs

2 tsp vanilla extract

3 cups all-purpose flour

1 ½ tsp baking powder

¼ tsp salt

2 cups whole milk, divided (1 ½ cup and ½  cup)

1 (3.3 oz) box instant white chocolate pudding mix

½ (8-oz) container frozen whipped topping, thawed

Cream Cheese-Almond icing (recipe follows)

Garnish:  whitel chocolate curls (optional)

Cream Cheese Almond icing

2 (8-oz) pkgs cream cheese, softened

½ cup butter, softened

4 cups confectioners’ sugar

½ tsp almond extract

 

  1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line 2 (12-count) muffin pans with paper liners; set aside.  In a large bowl, combine butter and sugar.  Beat at medium speed with an electric mixer until fluffy.  Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.  Beat in vanilla.  In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt.  Add flour mixture to butter mixture alternately with 1 ½ cups milk, beginning and ending with flour mixture.  Spoon batter into muffin cups, filling 2/3 full.  Bake 18-20 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted into centers comes out clean.  Let cool in pans for 10 min., remove from pans, and let cool completely on wire racks.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together pudding mix and remaining ½ cup milk until smooth.  Fold in whipped topping (1/2 of the 8 oz container) until well combined.  Using a melon baller, remove center of cupcake, leaving bottom intact.  Discard removed cake, or reserve for another use.  Pipe pudding mixture into center of cupcakes.  (see icing pred instructions below #3) Spread (or pipe) cream cheese almond icing on tops of cupcakes.  Garnish with white chocolate curls, if desired.  Store cupcakes, covered, in refrigerator.
  3. Mixing icing – In a medium bowl, combine cream cheese and ½ cup butter.  Beat at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy.  Gradually beat in confectioners’ sugar.  Beat in almond extract.

Don’t forget to register to win the Salad Shooter on the earlier post!  

Choot ‘Em!

Heard that before?  You have if you watch Duck Dynasty!  But what it really says is “Shoot Them”!   And if you eat a lot of salads, you need to “shoot them, also”.   In other words, clean the greens.   Even if the bag says, “pre-washed”, clean anyway.  It makes for a crisper lettuce, and a better flavored salad.   If I am at home, i like to fill my “salad shooter” with ice water – submerge the insert full of lettuce, whether it be iceberg, field greens, butter lettuce (if you have never eaten butter lettuce, it is a must to try) romaine, or whatever I have on hand, just for a few seconds to get them icy cold, and lift, drain, pour out water, and spin!  it is amazing how much water this thing gets off the lettuce.  And it sure makes it crisp up and bring out great flavors.

Guess what the next MARCH MADNESS giveaway is??  You got it….. a brand new, OXO Good Grips Salad Spinner (I want this…mine is the old fashioned with the pull cord – still works great, though).   

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To be entered to win, just shout out if you will be serving Deviled Eggs with your Easter Fair this month!  We always serve them (with one particular person making them each time). AND include – do you like yours with sweet pickles or do you prefer dill?  Or no pickles at all?  I have a recipe that calls for adding Pulled Pork to it – I will be making this one for the family to try at one of our gatherings.  Sounds yummy! Or do you like to add a little heat with some cayenne?  A winner will be selected Friday morning, March 22!  

Congratulations to……

 

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#3–Lynnie!  ! I will get your goodies to you today.   And don’t forget, March Madness continues next week so stay tuned for more goodies, more recipes, and a lot of fun.  And as always, thanks for following, reading and hopefully, trying a few of these recipes.

MARCH MADNESS CONTINUES!

I loved reading about your favorite gadgets for your kitchen!  It seems we all have a favorite!  I have so many I don’t think I could list them all!  Maybe it’s because I love to cook!  Anyway, the next giveaway for the MARCH MADNESS giveaways IS several gadgets that I have and love to use!   

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They include these colorful juice squeezers, green for limes, (sorry-the green color doesn’t show up very well in this picture) yellow for lemons, and orange, for what else, oranges!!   And, of course, a microplaner!  I love this little contraption!  This will zest your lemons, limes, and oranges like there’s no tomorrow!   And if you’ve never grated fresh nutmeg in your recipes, you can now!  This microplaner is the best!   I love mine and use it continuously!   The possibilities are endless!     And see that brown box on the left of the picture?   You can now cook that meat to perfection!   It is a digital read meat thermometer!  These work great!  Stick that little sucker into the meat, close that oven, and let it cook!  You know it is done by the thermometer that sits on your counter!  Great little kitchen gadget to have!  And you know I had to get these from my favorite store – Sur La Table! 

It’s going to be a gorgeous weekend!   To enter for these kitchen gadgets, just let me know what your plans are for this weekend?   Cooking out?  Doing yard work?  Kids have ball games?   Or planning on relaxing with a good book?  You have until Friday morning,  March 15 to reply,  Winner will be selected and posted Friday morning.  Good Luck and Happy Spring!

18 AND HUNGRY!

One of our grandchildren turned 18! The parents usually take their child (and their family) out for supper of the birthday kid’s choice and invite the grandparents to tag along. This one had other plans and he requested to come to “Grammy’s” for his birthday supper.  ! He wanted a specific menu, and so we obliged.  He wanted Conecuh Burgers, Smoked Mac and Cheese, and Homemade Blizzards!  We had a few other sides, but these three took the show!  With spring coming up and great weather to dust off the grills and smokers, get ready  to include these in your menus and for some good eating!

 

 

Smoked Mac & Cheese:

16-oz. Pkg elbow macaroni, cooked and drained

¼ cup butter

¼ cup all purpose flour

3 cups milk

1 (8oz) cream cheese, cut in large chunks

1 teaspoon salt (I like to use garlic salt)

1//2 teaspoon black pepper

2 cups (8-oz block ) smoked sharp cheddar cheese

                (shred  cheese)

2 cups (8 oz block) smoked gouda cheese

                (shred cheese)

1 cup (4 oz) shredded parmesan cheese

                (can get the already shredded)

 

Set smoker at 225 degrees or cut one side of grill on or set coals on one side of grill (leave one side of grill either cut off or without coals for pan to sit)

Cook pasta according to package instructions (don’t forget to add a small amount of salt to pasta water!)

In a medium saucepan, melt butter, and whisk flour in the butter.  Cook over medium heat for a couple of minutes, just to “cook” the flour. Add the milk, stirring, and bring to a boil.  Cook approx.. 5 min. or until thickened, stirring constantly. – add salt and pepper. 

In a large bowl, combine one cup Cheddar, one cup Gouda, the parmesan cheese, pasta and cream sauce (you will save the other 1 cup gouda and cheddar for the top of the pasta dish) and mix well.  Spoon mixture into an 11 by 9 ½ aluminum roasting pan coated with nonstick cooking spray.  Sprinkle top with remaining cheeses.  Place in smoker and cook for 1 hour until hot, bubbly, and brown!

 

Conecuh Burgers:

1 lb Conecuh sausage,

  Ground up (either by your

   Kitchen-aid food grinder attachment or

    Ask your meat dept to grind for you)

1 lb. lean ground beef, or ground chuck

 

Mix together and form hamburger patties;

Grill until done.  (My husband took a step further and put in the smoker and smoked for approx.. 45 minutes on 200-225 degrees.  The family loved them!)

 

Homemade Oreo Blizzards:

(thank you Mrs. Tiny for teaching me this recipe!)

 

1 carton Vanilla Icecream

1 12 –oz tub cool whip

1 pkg oreo cookies, crushed to desired lumpiness

 

Empty carton of ice cream and cool whip in large bowl and let thaw until easy to stir and mix.

 

Throw in the crushed oreos and stir all together.

Put back in the ice cream container and the leftovers in the cool whip container (it grows in content and won’t all fit back in the ice cream container!)

Re-freeze!  Let sit a few minutes prior to serving and enjoy!  Yummy!

First March Winner…..

The winner of the ultimate pan is……

# 26 – Robin!   Robin, contact me at tdingler@bellsouth.net with your info so I can get your gift off to you!  Congrats!   And for those of you who entered, thanks and don’t worry, another is on the way!  Remember, this is MARCH MADNESS!  

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