Friday, June 22, 2012

Honey-Mustard Grilled Chicken with Swiss Cheese

It sort of annoys me when recipe titles begin with superlatives like "Best EVER," "Fabulous," and "Awesome."

Because if it's not one of the best things I've ever made, I'm just not gonna post it on my site.


Glad we're clear.

Apparently the baby in my belly has made me take very strong positions on random issues.

BUT, in the event that such recipe titles DIDN'T annoy me, I would totally call this chicken The Most Awesome Honey Mustard Grilled Chicken in the WORLD.

Just bein' honest.

So.  This recipe idea originated with Pioneer Woman; I added more lemon juice to the marinade (it doesn't taste lemon-y; it just makes the chicken super moist and tangy), grilled it, and topped it with Swiss cheese.  Because Swiss just goes here, people.

I don't have many pictures for this post, because this is so simple.

You marinate chicken in this:

Marinate it for about 5-6 hours

You grill the chicken, and then you top it with Swiss cheese.

What's not to like.  I mean really.

The marinade makes the chicken super tender (the lemon juice breaks down the chicken), the mustard makes it tangy and the honey makes it, of course, sweet.  The blend of flavors is just wonderful.  And the Swiss cheese takes it totally over the top.

So easy and so flavorful.  Oh, and if you want to make the best grilled chicken sandwich in the world, slap some mayonnaise on a bun and put this chicken on top.

Gracious, people.  Do yourself a favor and whip this up ASAP.

Honey-Mustard Grilled Chicken
Inspired by Pioneer Woman

6 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1/2 cup dijon mustard
1/2 cup honey
Juice of 2 lemons
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
12 thin slices Swiss cheese

Combine the mustard, honey, lemon juice, salt, pepper and cayenne pepper in a gallon food storage bag.  Add the chicken and squish it around to make sure both sides of the chicken is covered in marinade.  Marinate in the refrigerator for at about 5-6 hours, turning occasionally to make sure that both sides of chicken get equal time in the marinade.

Grill the chicken for about 4 minutes per side, until cooked through.  Turn the grill off and top with the Swiss cheese.  Close the grill lid for about a minute to allow the cheese to melt.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Oreo Fudge Ice Cream Cake

This recipe is linked on The Country Cook Weekend Potluck!

As for this recipe, I only have one thing to say for myself.

The baby in my belly made me do it.

Oreo crust.

Hot fudge sauce.

And let me just say that it must be Mrs. Richardson's Hot Fudge Sauce.  When the hot fudge is frozen in this dessert, it becomes thick and chewy and fudgy.  It's all about the fudge here, people.

Now, I don't know who Mrs. Richardson is, but this lady knows her hot fudge.  It's the best.  Seriously.

Okay, now for the ice cream.  It must be Blue Bell.  Because Blue Bell makes the best ice cream you can buy.

Someday I'm going to have a cow.  And her name will be Blue Bell.  And we won't eat her.  (Even though I do love eating cow, I'm not interested in eating my pet cow.)  I think she will be black and white and have cute ears.

When I was little, my dad mentioned getting a cow one time.  I'm pretty sure I named her something like Dolly before we even possessed such cow.  I was so excited to have a pet cow!  And then my dad told  me that we would raise her for her meat.

Never mind, Daddy.  I'm not interested any more.  And no, we did not get a cow.  We got a horse instead.  And he was a great pet and I never felt concern that we might have to eat him.

So back to the ice cream called Blue Bell.  I got this flavor - Pecan Praline.  Easily one of the best ice creams I've ever had...reminded me of Baskin Robins' Pralines & Cream.

Oh, and now you'll need some caramel sauce.  I used Mrs. Richardson's again, of course.

Freeze it all together.  Now you've created a dessert reminiscent of Turtle Pie (the birthday cake of choice in this family).

Oreo Fudge Ice Cream Cake

1 package Oreo cookies, roughly crushed (don't grind these; you want them to still have small to medium-sized pieces)
17 oz. jar Mrs. Richardson's Hot Fudge Sauce
1/2 gallon ice cream (I used Blue Bell Pecan Praline)
17 oz. jar Mrs. Richardson's Caramel Sauce

Press the Oreos in the bottom of a 9x13 casserole dish.  Freeze for about 30 minutes, until the cookies have formed a crust.  Spread the hot fudge on top of the crust.  Freeze for about 2 hours, until set.  Allow the ice cream to soften slightly and spread it on top of the fudge.  Pour the caramel sauce on top of the ice cream.  Freeze for about 8 hours or overnight.  Cut into squares and serve.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Strawberry Spinach Salad

I'm really into baby spinach right now.

I bought this tub of it at Sam's.

And then I made this salad.

It had strawberries


pine nuts

and this super-yummy dressing that I just discovered at the grocery.

It's Marzetti's Simply Dressed Strawberry Poppyseed dressing.

I wonder what else I should put this on, because it's so good!  It's in the refrigerator section of the produce, and if I'm not going to make my own dressing, then I'm definitely going to buy it from the refrigerated section.

There's no comparison, people.  But it would be really great to make your own dressing for this salad.  Something with sugar, apple cider vinegar and poppyseeds would be perfect.

And in case you think this salad looks too girlie, I fed it to three men and they liked it.

Strawberry Spinach Salad

10 oz. package baby spinach leaves
1 lb. strawberries, sliced
1 English cucumber, quartered lengthwise and sliced thin across
1/3 cup pine nuts, toasted
Marzetti's Strawberry Poppyseed salad dressing (or balsamic vinaigrette or homemade poppyseed dressing)

Toss all ingredients together and toss with the dressing about 20 minutes before serving.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Lemon Meringue Pie

Oh, how I love lemon.

And I love pie.

AND I love meringue.

So what could be better than lemon meringue pie?

I KNOW!  Nothing could be.  I totally agree.

Let's make pie!

We need to bake a pie crust first.  Fit the pie crust in a 9" pie dish.  Crimp the edges and prick the bottom with a fork.

Now bake it in a super-hot oven for eight or ten minutes.  I did eight minutes and this is what I got.  I think I'll bake it for 10 minutes next time.

Let the crust come to room temperature while you make the filling.

As for the filling, so easy it's...well, it should be illegal for something this easy to be this good.

Lick the spatula because you don't care about eating raw egg yolks.  And it's the best pie filling this side of the Mississippi.  (That would be River, for anyone unfamiliar with that phrase.)

And they don't make pie west of the Mississippi (River), so I think that about covers it.

Did you know that, by the way?  That pie is not a thing in the Wild Wild West?  True.  Because I used to live over on that side of the river for a brief period in my life.  And every time I mentioned pie, I got blank stares.  And then I made Derby Pie for some friends, and they're my friends for life.  4-Eveh, y'all.  All because of pie.

Just remember that.

Where were we?  Oh, yes.  Meringue.  Also undiscovered west of the Miss.  Equally as delicious as the filling itself.

Beat it into peaks, and spread it on the pie.

Make your pie look like a large snow-capped mountain.

It's a thing of beauty.  Bake it for 10 minutes or so, until the meringue is perfectly golden.

And that would be a cryin' shame to burn the best lemon meringue pie in the world.  Or at least on this side of the Mississippi.

Lemon Meringue Pie

1 pie crust, fitted into a 9-inch pie plate
2 14 oz. cans sweetened condensed milk
1 cup lemon juice
6 egg yolks (reserve 4 of the whites for meringue topping)
4 egg whites
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla

Fit the pie crust into the pie plate and crimp the edges.  Prick bottom and sides of crust with a fork.  Bake in a 450 degree oven for about 10 minutes.  Remove and cool to room temperature.

In a bowl, whisk together the sweetened condensed milk, lemon juice and egg yolks.  Pour into the pie crust.  Bake on 350 degrees for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the meringue.  In the bowl of a mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the four egg whites on medium-high until frothy.  Add the cream of tartar and increase the speed to high.  When the whites start to turn white, sprinkle in the sugar slowly.  Add the vanilla and continue beating the whites until stiff peaks - the meringue will be shiny and thick and stand up in a peak on the beater.

Spread the meringue on top of the pie, using your spatula to create peaks on the meringue.  Bake in a 350 degree oven for about 10 minutes, until the meringue is set and begins to turn golden.

Cool to room temperature before serving.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Mediterranean Wraps

My cat brought me a present today.  I would post a picture of said present but, out of respect for the deceased, I decided against it.

If you have a cat, you know what this means.

It means some sort of dead or, at the very least, mangled, animal.  Last week it meant an adorable baby bunny that he batted around the yard for quite some time before he finally put the poor animal out of its misery.

(Sidenote: I expected my children to be distraught over this shameless display of cat-and-mouse, in which a bunny lost his life.  Instead, my girls thought the game to be hilarious and cheered their beloved kitty on, encouraging him to catch the bunny who tried valiantly (but in vain) to escape.  Should I be concerned about their complete lack of compassion for the less fortunate?)

Oh, and did I mention that our fearless hunter has no claws?  You see, he was supposed to be an indoor cat.  You can see how well that plan worked.  Oh, and he has congestive heart failure.  But don't tell him because he's not slowed one bit by his handicaps.

Today his gift came in the form of a freshly killed chickmonk (good luck convincing my 4-year-old that it is called anything but a chickmonk).

He was so proud.  I'm pretty sure that he now considers his room and board paid up for the next day or so.  Until another chickmonk or bunny falls victim to his hunting prowess.

And he's so sweet, how could I be upset with him?

And this story is completely unrelated to this post.  Except to say that I was a herbivore for lunch, and my cat would never consider being anything but a carnivore.

Such is the circle of life.  Or the food chain.  Or the survival of the fittest.  Whatever.

I'll try to not start my next post with a story about a dead animal.  Sorry about that.

And that's a wrap.

Mediterranean Wraps
Makes one wrap; easily multiple for lots of wraps!

One wrap (I used Flat-Out wraps, sundried tomato flavor but a large tortilla, any flavor would also be good)
Thinly sliced cucumber
Thinly sliced red onion
Thinly sliced yellow peppers
Grape tomatoes, sliced in half
Hummus (I used roasted red pepper hummus but cilantro hummus would be delicious too)
Feta cheese, crumbled
Baby spinach leaves
Other things that would be yummy inside: roasted red peppers, kalamata olives, chopped artichoke hearts and/or tzatziki (yum!)

Spread the hummus on the center of the wrap.  Sprinkle some feta cheese crumbles on top.  Top with desired amount of each veggie.  Wrap and enjoy!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Guest Blogger: Granny Cake

My sweet friend Aletta offered to write a guest post for me...and she sent me her famous Granny Cake!  I can't believe you never brought this to Bible study, Aletta!  It looks delicious!  

Since Elizabeth claims to not be cooking much lately, I offered my services as a guest blogger. My name is Aletta Cherry and I am one of her friends from the North. We met in a ladies’ Bible study several years ago. The Bible study still exists, but we are minus one very special lady that we all miss desperately! Now, on to the food because that is why you are here in the first place.

One of my most favorite things to eat is Granny Cake. I describe it as an extra sweet, ooey-gooey-pineapple-upside-down cake. Notice that I did not say that it is my favorite to make because it is high maintenance and I usually mess it up about every other time. You MUST use a NEWLY-OPENED bag of self-rising flour AND sift it well or else it will be dense and not taste yummy.

So, because I’ve failed at it so many times, this time I decided to try another route. I went all Elizabeth on it and used a boxed cake mix instead of the self-rising flour and it…. WORKED!

If you're vintage, though, I included the original version for those you. You get to decide - are you brave or are you a cheater? Either way, you will have a delicious dessert to enjoy.

My recipe card is well-loved.
My new ingredients.
I’m all shook up, er...mixed up

Finished cake ready for its wonderful glaze.

“Here I come,” says the glaze.

All glazed up...Ummm...the little mouse fairy came sampled the corners. He does that a lot at my house; do you have that problem too?
Granny Cake - original version

2 cups self-rising flour (must be a new bag!)
2 cups sugar
1 large can of crushed pineapple
2 eggs

2 cups of brown sugar
1-2 cups of crushed pecans (must be crushed or they will fall to the bottom)

1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup evaporated milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Sift the flour well, then beat all of the ingredients together and pour into a greased 9x13 cake pan.  Cover with 2 cups of brown sugar and 1-2 cups of crushed pecans.  Bake for 40-45 minutes or until brown and done.

While the cake is baking, begin making the topping.  In a small saucepan, combine the butter, evaporated milk, 1/2 cup of the white sugar, and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Cook over medium low heat, stirring occasionally until sugar is dissolved.  Mixture will be thin.  Pour over hot cake.

Now for the Granny Cake - shortcut version

18 oz. box white cake mix (plus water and oil as called for on the box of cake mix - you can also substitute applesauce for the oil to reduce fat & calories)
2 eggs
1 large can of crushed pineapple

Beat ingredients together.  Pour into greased cake pan and proceed with the brown sugar/pecan topping and the glaze as directed above.

Either way that you make this cake, as soon as you bring it out of the oven, pour the topping on top of it
and watch the magic happen!  Enjoy.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

No-Bake Cookies

I invented this recipe right around the time Al Gore invented the internet.


Oh, come on.  That was funny.

This is the way my mom made 'em.

So that's how I do it.

And if you haven't done it in a while, you should soon.

Make these cookies.

Put a few yummy things in a pan.  Boil for a minute.

Remove from heat.

Add these other yummy ingredients.

Stir.  Sorry for the blur.

Scoop on wax paper.

Try to let them set before you devour.

No-Bake Cookies

1 stick butter
3 T cocoa powder
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla
3 cups quick-cooking oats
3 T creamy peanut butter

Place the butter, cocoa, sugar and milk into a medium saucepan and bring to a boil.  As soon as it begins a slow boil, set a timer for one minute.  At the end of a minute, remove from heat and stir in the remaining ingredients.  Use a medium ice cream scoop to drop in mounds on wax paper.  Cool to room temperature and serve.