Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Pinterest Food Reviews - Week 2

Since I have become OBSESSED (more or less) with Pinterest, I decided I could do some good with my new obsession!! So, I plan to do weekly reviews of main dishes, desserts, snacks, candy, etc. on Pinterest. I will always link back to my own Pinterest page so you too can find the recipes and enjoy them along with my family. So, here’s my week 2 reviews:

This recipe was SUPER easy to make and absolutely scrumptious!!! My kids loved it (again, except for the 2-yr old who has decided that his diet should only include pretzels and BBQ chips!). I did make a few changes to the recipe though, so here are my changes & thoughts & some pictures to help explain the directions a little better. Hope this helps!

 *You want to make sure & overlap the crescent rolls like this – so it looks like a nice, pretty sun.
*You will spoon the “stuff” into the middle of the crescent like this.
(TIP: Place the crescent rolls further out on the pan/stone so you have a larger sun than we did. It will make for less “stuff” in each bite, plus it will go further!)

 *It should look something like this when you’re done scooping. YUM!!!!!
*Now you’re going to fold the outside tips towards the middle & press them into the flat-side of the crescent rolls in the center.

*And, when you’re done – VOILA!!!! A nice, pretty, symmetrical crescent ring!

Now just bake & enjoy!!!! mouth is watering just thinking about these!
Here are the changes we made:
**We used cheddar instead of swiss (our kids don’t like swiss cheese).
**We omitted the red peppers (again – for the kids!)
**We used minced onions instead of chopped (yep, you guessed it – for the kids! If I use minced onions, they don’t know they’re in there and the hubster and I get to enjoy the flavor of onions without the drama!!! Hehe)
**We were in a pinch for time, so we used real bacon bits instead of bacon and it was just fine. (Not as healthy I know, but the taste was there.)
**I also used this homemade Italian Dressing dry mix. (Yet another mix to add to my obsession collection!!) I have the dry mix stored in a glass jar in our pantry to use on various recipes. But, then I also have it available if I want it for a salad I whip up or a dip for some veggies! YUM!!!

Again, this was a HUGE hit with the Hubster and my kiddos. We will definitely be adding this to our menu rotation!! Yes, I said menu rotation. I’m still working on it, so when that comes to fruition I will write about it and fill you all in on the glorious-ness that makes my menu planning life so much simpler!

Another recipe we had this past week are these wonderfully delectable Sweet Chicky Nuggets. Oh my are they YUMMY!!!! I’m not the professional on these, the hubster is, but I do know they are WONDERFUL!!!! My kids eat these like they’re going out of style! Seriously, we cook nearly double what the recipe calls for and they are STILL gone in a matter of minutes!
Here are the hubster’s tips:
*cook 4 pounds of chicken tenders (they are easier to dice up & have
LOTS of meat for what you get)
*follow the rest of the directions exactly
*use peanut-oil to fry them in if possible (it doesn’t get mucky & gunky
when you’ve fried as many chunks as you’ll have. In fact, we’ve
used the same oil at least twice in our little fryer and it still looks
good! Regular canola oil gets murky very quickly & just feels heavy.
Peanut oil feels lighter when you’re eating it.)
*Plan ahead so you can really give the chicken a good soak. It really will
make the difference!

The last recipe we tried this week were these Chicken Roll-ups. They were good, but I think we’re going to make some changes next time to see if they can be even better! The hubster and I felt the filling was a little too rich for us. So, next time we plan to actually use 2 cans of 8ct crescent rolls (we only used 1 can (8ct) this time) to help spread out the filling. I also left out the salt and it wasn’t even missed. We also left off the bread crumbs, because I didn’t think my kids would like that part; however, since the 2 yr old isn’t eating anything but pretzels anyway I think I’ll add them back in next time! Overall, this recipe is one I think we’ll keep and tweak until it suits us.

Let me know if you give any of these recipes a try. And as always…your insight, tweaks and tips are welcomed!!

Happy Cooking!!!!

P.S. If you’re not on Pinterest and you’d like an invitation, shoot me an email or leave me a comment and let me know! I’ll be glad to send you an invite so you can join in my obsession too!!! 

Monday, December 5, 2011

Pinterest Food Reviews

Week 1 of Pinterest Food Reviews
Since I have become OBSESSED (more or less) with Pinterest, I decided I could do some good with my new obsession!! So, I plan to do weekly reviews of main dishes, desserts, snacks, candy, etc. on Pinterest. I will always link back to my own Pinterest page so you too can find the recipes and enjoy them along with my family. So, here’s my week 1 reviews:
I tried two new recipes for our small group last week (they are often my guinea pigs for new recipes – and such good sports too!). First, I made the Chubby Hubby bars. I originally intended to make these as my 4th dessert for Thanksgiving, but since that didn’t happen, I made them for our small group. (You see…it’s a win-win making new things for my small group! 1) If it’s good, they usually eat most of it, so I don’t have the leftovers to tempt me at home and 2) they will be honest with me & I can taste things to see if my kids would actually eat it & not be left with ¾ of a recipe for leftovers they won’t eat!!)
Anyway…the Chubby Hubby bars were SUPER easy to make and oh-so-yummy!!! I followed the recipe exactly and they were WONDERFUL!!! Here are a few tips that I think will make them even better!
1) Be sure you allow the top layer of chocolate to completely harden. It wasn’t completely hardened when we took them to group & they were a bit gooey. We had some leftover & kept those in the fridge overnight and BOY HOWDY were they even better the next day!!
2) I would increase the amount of pretzels you use to 2 cups (at least). They were super-dooper yummy when you got a good bite of the pretzels & chocolate!! I just think there needs to be more, so you can experience that goodness with each bite!!
I’m all about the sweet & salty combo and these absolutely deliver!!! I can’t wait to have an excuse to make them again!!
The 2nd recipe I tried this past week was the Hawaiian Sweet Roll Sammies. I was so excited to make these for our small group. I was able to eat them at a women’s event a couple weeks ago, but honestly wasn’t that impressed with them and I just knew they had to be better than that! So, I decided to make them myself and try them again. And, boy was I right!! They were DE-LI-CIOUS!!!!! And, they were GONE in a matter of minutes! I even had several ask me for the recipe before we left small group! They were super easy to make too! (I say that a lot, don’t I? But it’s true – I promise!)
The only thing I changed was that I used dried, minced onion rather than fresh. It was a short-cut & out of necessity with 4 young children not in cooperating moods that afternoon. I just used 4 TBSP of dried, minced onion per recipe. However, I would recommend using fresh onion if possible! Ours tasted GREAT, but I don’t think the onion was quite strong enough & the mixture didn’t spread as well as hers does in the picture! And, that irritated me – yes, because I’m super silly about things like that. If I see a picture of them I want mine to look just as good (if not better, which is rare)!!
Anyway, those are the two we tried last week and as you can see – they were a complete success!!!! Check back here next Monday for the Bacon-Chicken crescent ring review and more!!
Blessings friends!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Maple-Butter Dressing

Here is the dressing recipe I promised in the last post:

Maple-Butter Dressing


Corn bread (2 per roasting pan)

Loaf of bread (1.5 per pan)

Celery (approx 1.5 stalks)

Onion (approx 1 ½ yellow)

Poultry Seasoning


1 egg

salt & pepper

Turkey drippings (2-3 cups)

Can of broth if necessary


Have cornbread made & dried

Dry out loaf of bread (we broil both the cornbread & white bread to speed up this

process. My grandma leaves it out for a day or more)

Chop celery & onion in a food processor. You want it pretty fine, but not mushy. Then fill a 3qt. pan ½ full of celery, then add onion until ¾ full. Add water until covered. Cook on low for 10 minutes or until tender. Pour over bread & mix. Pour in broth & dripping until desired consistency is reached. Make sure you don't over fill with liquid & make it runny. It needs to still have some consistency to it. Otherwise it will not cook right & come out mushy. YUCK!

Add egg & mix well.

Add Poultry Seasoning to taste (start with 2 tsp).

Add Sage to taste.

Add salt & pepper to taste.

To Heat:

Heat oven to 350 degrees

Put in oven uncovered to heat until HOT (approx 45-60 min)

If you premake the dressing: Remove from fridge & heat in oven COVERED for 45-60 min, then UNCOVER and continue to heat until HOT (approx 30-45 min).


Be sure and let me know if you try this recipe! I'd love to hear what you think!!

Thanksgiving food review

When my family said we were all going to get together again this year, I was beyond thrilled!!! First, I haven’t seen my cousins since we were together 2 years ago and I always have fun with them! Second, I was excited to try out some new recipes! Truth be told, I could cook for everyone all the time if I just had the money!! I have really grown to love cooking and I enjoy my time in the kitchen! (Provided I give myself adequate time to prepare everything. Made that mistake more than once, let me tell you!)

Anyway, as I signed up to bring a dessert (or 2 or 3 – because I couldn’t decide), I began searching through my Pinterest board to find some great options. After getting the “approval” of my husband, I set out to make 4 desserts, 2 green bean casseroles, homemade dinner rolls, Ramen noodle salad while my husband made the turkey & dressing. Time ran short and I only got 3 desserts made (I made the other this week for our small group, so its review will be up in a few days). So…here are my reviews on the food we made.

Turkey & Dressing

A couple years ago, my husband found a turkey recipe (Maple-Butter Turkey) he wanted to try. It was A-MA-ZING!!! He found it in a Taste of Home magazine. You can find the recipe here. After trying the turkey, he decided he wanted to make dressing. But, not just any dressing – my grandma’s dressing! (You can imagine the brownie points that earned him!) So, 2 years ago my grandma came over to show him how to make the dressing. I have submitted my recipe to be posted on, but its still awaiting approval. I will post it immediately following this post so you all can have it if you like. When it asks for the drippings & broth – you’ll pour in the Maple Butter drippings, which make it absolutely YUMMY!!!! Our family has requested we bring this dressing on several different occasions! Even if we don’t bring the turkey, they want the dressing. So, we make a small turkey just for the broth & drippings and then we’re able to have TONS of turkey leftovers!! Find some great leftover recipes here.

Pioneer Woman’s No Knead Dinner Rolls

This is only the 3rd time I’ve made these rolls. They are SUPER easy – just time consuming. However, since the rolls take a while to rise, you can do other things in between. Here are a few tips I’ve discovered when making these.

1) If you’re not cooking other things, turn your oven on low (2000) while the dough is rising. It will help it rise quicker (& better, in my opinion).

2) We use a large stock pot to mix our ingredients & it seems to work VERY well for all steps (including the rising process).

3) When mixing in the flour, don’t be afraid to use your hands! GET DIRTY!!! It helps get it really worked in there. Although, its true you don’t have to knead the dough, I find it rises better and makes fluffier rolls if you just use your hands a tiny bit.

4) Absolutely brush some butter on the tops of them when they come out of the oven!!

Pioneer Woman’s Green Bean Casserole

The hubster REALLY liked this casserole. We had a TON of it leftover though. And, here’s why (at least why I think…):

1) we did not cut the green beans – I recommend doing this. The long green beans were a little difficult to spoon out of the pan.

2) It was different – not the “usual” green bean casserole. I know that’s probably a given, but I thought I should write it anyway. Their loss I guess!

3) Also, you don’t have to use the brand of bread crumbs she mentions. I have found them at Aldi’s for waaaay cheaper!! Speaking of bread crumbs – make sure you get them nice and golden brown. Ours were a little whitish & I think that contributed to the skidishness also.

Chocolate Coma Brownies

OH. MY. YUM!!!! These were absolutely DE-LI-CIOUS!!!! Very chocolate-y as you can imagine. In fact, be forewarned that you may go into a chocolate coma just reading the ingredients!! But, seriously, these were ooey-gooey yummy!!! I would make these again! They were super easy too! Don’t be afraid to give ‘em a try!

Creamy Almond Bars

These were/are my absolute FAVORITE dessert of the day!!!! They take a little bit more time to make, seeing as you have to bake the crust for 20 min, then the filling for another 15 – but trust me, if you like Almond flavored things…these are totally worth the wait!!! Here are a few tips:

1) Make sure your crust doesn’t get too done. You want it lightly golden, not brown!!

2) When you bake the filling, make sure it is firm before you take it out. You don’t want it too stiff, but it can’t be runny either. We made this for a 2nd time yesterday & actually had to cook it about 7-8 min longer than suggested. Not sure why, but we just watched it & checked it every couple minutes. The edges were a little bubbly & over-done, but it was/is still YUMMY!!!!

White Chocolate S’mores Gooey Cake bars

These were a HUGE hit!! They were SUPER easy (yes, I keep saying that, but these REALLY are!). A little bit of mixing and some layering and you’ve got it! Of course, if you love White Chocolate and S’mores, you are most definitely going to LOVE these!!! The only thing that’s a little tricky is the layering on the top. Be sure not to push too hard or you’ll squish the marshmallows & make an even BIGGER ooey-gooey mess!

Ramen Noodle Salad

This is by far my most favorite salad (other than just a nice green salad). It’s also SUPER simple and fun to make! You get to take out your anger/frustration by smashing the noodles, plus do a fun science experiment of sorts when you mix sugar, vinegar & oil together!!! Oh my…I’m revealing my nerdiness aren’t I? Anyway, you can find the recipe for the salad here. I prefer the cole slaw recipe, only I use chicken flavor packets/noodles instead of the beef. Also, I don’t heat together the dressing, I just put them in a container that I can shake well and go for it! Also, I’ve never put the carrots in there, but it might add some additional crunchy-ness!!

So, those are my reviews for our Thanksgiving feast. I hope you enjoyed reading and will give some of them a try!!! I would LOVE to hear if you try these too!

What are your favorite Thanksgiving traditions?

Are you carrying on any family traditions that used to be your mom or grandma’s responsibility?