Monday, April 29, 2013

Weekly Meal Plan

Menu for April 28- May 6, 2013

Spinach salad with fresh fruit and balsamic vinaigrette
Bacon mac and cheese and a green salad
Burgers, baked beans and baked french fries
Baked chicken and spinach and artichoke hand pies
Leftovers or eat out
Baked halibut with chorizo butter over cheesy polenta

Have a great week!

SRC: Peanut Butter Pretzel Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookies

If I've said it once, I've said it a million times, I'm a sucker for cookies.  I just love them.  I'm not picky about the type either, as long as it's a delicious, chewy cookie I'm happy.  I typically lean towards the ones with chocolate...because we all know I have a weakness for chocolate, but as a general rule I'll eat pretty much any type of cookie.  They are like little round, discs of joy.  They are like a little present that is just waiting to be bitten and enjoyed to make someone's day that much better.
While I LOVE just a regular ol' cookie, a stuffed cookie just takes things to a whole new level.  It's like two presents in one.  You have the cookie, which now acts like wrapping paper that wraps up the surprise that's waiting inside.  I'm telling you folks, it just doesn't get much better than this! 

Friday, April 26, 2013

Snickers Stuffed Skillet Cookie...and my t.v. debut

I have some exciting news, folks!  Yesterday I made my television debut.  Can you guess what it was for?  I won't keep you waiting.  It was to talk about my blog!  My little, ol' blog.  Eeeeek!  This little debut has been in the works for a few months.  Can I just say I was beyond flattered when I recieved an email from the morning producer at a local news station?  My jaw literally dropped when I read the email and learned that they were interested in me and my blog.  I quickly composed myself and responded to let her know that I would love the opportunity to appear on their show to talk about my blog and food.  I mean who doesn't love to talk about food?  After much correspondence we nailed down a date and time and a few other details.  Once all that was taken care of it was a matter of me planning what to make to present on the segment.  That was the hard part!
I started browsing recipes on my blog, recipes I had bookmarked and recipes that I had been developing.  I wanted it to be perfect, this is t.v. people!  I knew I wanted to present at least three things, but I didn't want it to be three of the same thing.  I finally determined two of the three, one being this skillet cookie.  I decided on the skillet cookie since A) I am such a fan of cookies and B) since I've been on a skillet cookie kick lately (that's a tongue twister!).  A cookie of some sort had to make an appearance!  The second item I knew I wanted to bring was the Samoa Monkey Bread.  This monkey bread was a hit with Spencer and Tucker as well as my brother and sister-in-law...and guys on the news too! 
The third item was the one throwing me for a loop!  What do I do?  Another baked good? Another sweet dish? A dip?  The wheels in my little ol' head were just a spinning.  I finally decided on a dip.  But not a savory dip, a sweet dip of course.  I mean these people had been up since before the crack of dawn, they needed sugar, they needed a boost and I was just the person to provide the goodies!  So the last thing I decied to make was chocolate chip heath cookie dough dip (to be posted next week!). 
Me and Mallory after the segment.  How cute is she?
So now that I had the date, time and recipes it was a matter of testing the recipes and making sure everything was in order. We needed to practice a little quality control and that meant my family and friends had to sacrifice and taste all these things I was making. It's a hard job, but someone has to do it and I have the support system that will "belly up" and take one for the team!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Samoa Monkey Bread with Chocolate Ganache Dipping Sauce

I was born and raised in south Arkansas.  Down there boys were involved in Boy Scouts and girls were involved in Camp FireCamp Fire was definitely open to boys and Girl Scouts was available for the girls, but the girls stuck to Camp Fire and the boys stuck to Boy Scouts.  That's just the way it was down there.  Being involved in Camp Fire I sold my fareshare of candy.  I sold so much one year I was actually crowned the Candy Queen!  I was a selling fool; Mint Meltaways, Caramel Swirls, Chocolate Covered Almonds (oh the chocolate covered almonds were my favorite...and still are), Chocolate Covered Raisens and Chocolate bars both plain and with almonds.  I still remember those days vividly, going door to door with boxes in hand selling my heart out.  Ohhh, the good ol' days!
Okay, so where was I?  Oh, so it really wasn't until I went off to college that I learned about Girl Scouts and the cookies they sold.  Oh, the cookies.  How I love some Thin Mints, Tagalongs and Somoas.  I have a weakness for them, to say the least.  Whenever cookie season rolls around and I see those brightly colored boxes my heart shutters with happiness!  I simply get giddy.  Not only does cookie season spark excitement in many, it also inspires many to get in the kitchen and make treats inspired by the goodness that comes from these treats.
The good thing about these creations is that most of them can be enjoyed well after cookie season has ended. Take this Samoa monkey bread, for example. A delicious combination of bread, chocolate, coconut and brown sugar that can be enjoyed for breakfast! I bet you never thought you could enjoy the taste of a cookie for breakfast, did you? Well, you can! 

Monday, April 22, 2013

Radicchio Apple Salad

When it comes to menu planning, I have an endless amount of main dishes that I have bookmarked.  But sides, on the other hand, seem to be a little more challenging for me.  I tend to fall in a rut and make the same things over and over again.  If we're having a heavier main course I try to find light and flavorful sides to serve.  Now if the main dish is on the lighter side I have no problem opting for a side that is a little on the heavier side, especially if there's one or two I've been eyeing.
I'm always a sucker for a delicious salad; whether it's the main course or a simple side.  In my opinion you can never go wrong with a salad.  Salads are delicious, good for you and there are so many different options and combinations, your imagination is truly the limit. 

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Weekly Meal Plan

Menu for April 21-27, 2013

Crepes with apples, sharp cheddar and ham
Loaded nachos
Green chili enchiladas, rice and jalapeno lime black beans
Tacos, refried beans, rice, cheese dip, and salsa

Have a great week!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Easy Restaurant Style Salsa

Let's chat a little bit about salsa, shall we?  I love salsa.  I mean LOVE salsa.  It's one of those things that is so simple, but with the right seasonings, it's amazing.  Salsa is one of those things that I could eat anytime, any day, and everyday.  It's a weakness of mine.
I am a little picky about my salsa and the way it's served.  Some people like it room temperature.  But, I'm not one of those people.  I like my salsa cold, I mean straight from the fridge cold.  I'm not a fan of lukewarm salsa.  I don't know why, I'm just not.  To me, it tastes better when it's chilled. 
I don't like it too thick either.  If it's too thick it's like eating tomato paste.  No big chunks either.  I don't want everything pureed to the point of not being recognized, but I like everything finely diced.  I like it a little juicy, while still having some texture. 

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Chicken and Chile White Creamy Soup

When it comes to classic combinations, chicken and rice has to be at the top of the list.  I think these two things have been together since the beginning of time; two delicious foods that compliment each other wonderfully.  When I think of comfort food, this classic duo is one of the first things that pops in my head.
When I saw the recipe for this soup on Shugary Sweets and it had this classic duo I knew it had to be delish!  The soup is incredibly simple to assemble and takes very little effort.  The chicken is cooked until golden brown and perfectly tender then the spices, chicken broth and rice are added and simmered until the rice is thoroughly cooked and fluffy.  Once the rice is cooked, the cream and sour cream is added and the soup thickens instantly and becomes perfectly cream. 

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Weekly Meal Plan

Menu for April 7-13, 2013

Baked ham with honey glaze, loaded mashed potatoes, green beans and rolls
Tacos, Mexican rice, beans, salsa and cheese dip
Spicy fried chicken, coleslaw, mashed potatoes and gravy, and rolls
Jalapeno, bacon grilled cheese, green salad and baked french fries
Salad with grilled chicken

Friday, April 5, 2013

Reeses, Peanut Butter Cup, Oreo Blondies

There are a couple of types of people when it comes to desserts: the die-hard enthusiast, the ones who can take it or leave it and then those people who don't eat sweets at all.  I know, I'm in shock too that everyone isn't as big of a die-hard, sweet eating, sugar freak as I am.  Believe it or not, I'm married to one of those people that doesn't believe the sweeter the better! 
I love, love, love my sweets.  Did I mention, I love my sweets?  Cause I do!  Chocolate, vanilla, strawberry, caramel or whatever...I love it all.  Cakes, cookies, pies, cheesecakes, cheesecake cakes, brownies, bars; there's not a sweet I don't like.  If I have to choose between a cupcake with a dollop of frosting or one mounded high with frosting, I'm going for the one with mounds of the sweet stuff.  Spencer, on the other hand, wants the cake with just a tad of frosting.  He will literally scrape two-thirds of the frosting off and just throw it away.  So when it comes to sweets we're kind of opposites; I believe the sweeter the better and he wants the sweetness but just not over-the-top sweetness.
Lately I've been making quite a few sweets.  I've been a baking machine, to say the least.  I will admit, I've made some treats that have been overly sweet in Spencer's terms.  Not that he hasn't enjoyed them, just the same.  So, to make something more to his taste I decided to make some bars that were packed full of some of his most favorite flavors. 

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Beer Cheese Bread

If you were to ask someone what there weakness was, as far as food goes, more than likely they would spit off an answer without any thought.  A carbaholic. A dairy lover. A sweet phene. The list goes on.  Well, for me, my answer wouldn't be so simple.  I'm a carb loving, sweet phening, dairy loving, comfort food craving girl and the list just simply goes on.  I love food, what can I say? 
I've never met a carb I didn't like.  Now take any piece of bread or pasta dish and top it, stuff it or mix it with cheese and I'm one happy girl.  I've always been this way.  Growing up, I remember going up to a salad bar getting my salad, veggies and such but while I was there I would pile my plate high with extra cheese and add a few pieces of buttery, garlic bread.  When I sat down to eat, I couldn't have been happier.  Things definitely haven't changed much.  I still try to get my carb fix on a daily basis.
I've never been one to turn down an extra bread stick, slice of bread, or cheese stick.  I'm a sucker.  Now when we're talking homemade breads and rolls.  Um wow.  I think I could literally eat my weight in the stuff and, quite possibly go into a carb induced coma!  I love homemade breads, yeast and non-yeast I love them all.  A homemade bread that is stuffed not only with sharp cheddar goodness, but beer as well?  You've definitely got a winner! 
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