Thursday, September 27, 2012

Throw-Back Thursday: I just couldn't help myself


 First Published:Saturday, August 13th, 2011

I just couldn't help myself

I just couldn't help myself....but I baked a few more shortcakes this morning!!! So delicious. My excuse was that we were out of milk (1%) and THAT'S WHY I had to make something else for breakfast, rather than sipping down the usual Carnation Instant Breakfast.....But really I was craving the deliciousness of fruit accompanied by sweet biscuits and fluffy whipped cream.

We didn't have any strawberries this morning, so I opened up some peaches and vwa-la! Breakfast.....................................................and afternoon snack...............and possibly even before bed.

I think next time I want to heat up some berries to put over top; blueberries, raspberries, boysenberries....I think I'm salivating as I goodness

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Love Me Some Chips

I absolutely love love LOVE homemade tortilla chips. Especially flour tortilla chips. Seriously, you know how you can just sit there and munch munch munch on a bag of chips? Can you imagine how it is with homemade ones? WOWZA!


They really are simple to make. Scouts Honor. Here's How Simple:

Decide whether you'll be having flour or corn chips, or both like we do! Before slicing your tortillas go ahead and heat up some vegetable or canola oil in a pot. (Size pending how many chips you will be making). Vegetable oil will give you more crispness, canola oil will be slightly healthier and still give a great taste. (We usually use canola oil.) Fill pot about a 1/3 to 1/2 the way full. You want to make sure tortillas have enough room to "float" and crisp up, without touch bottom of pot.

While oil is heating, cut tortillas with large knife into "chip size." They can be triangles, rectangles, whatever fits your fancy.

OOOO...totally just had a great idea....if making for a fun occasion using a cookie cutter, like a star or heart....ooooo I so wanna do this!!! 


Once tortillas are cut, sample oil to see if it is hot enough. Take one cut tortilla and dip into oil just slightly. If it starts to bubble than you're good-to-go.


Toss in about 6-10 sliced tortillas (depending on size of pot). Using a large metal spatula with holes, I use my "Skimmer" you can flip the tortillas as they become crisp. Chips take about 60-80 seconds to crisp.

Remove from oil and place on a plate with paper towel to soak up any excess oil. Sprinkle with salt and try to resist until they cool!

Serve with your fav salsa....Mmm....Mmm...Mmm!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Hey Jaclyn: Old Fashioned Pancakes {By Karen}


Guess what my HUBBY cooked up this morning? Pancakes...from SCRATCH! He really is the best husband in the entire world (in my opinion anyways) & let me sleep in this morning. I was woken up to a kiss & a "Honey, I made pancakes."

This made me wonder because I knew we were out of Bisquick...Hah!


When I finally hauled myself from the bed I was really curious just how he'd made pancakes. This awesome husband of mine GOOGLE'D "pancakes" (duh?? LOL) & found this recipe for

"Good Old Fashioned Pancakes" on


Now, the hubs is a little different from me when it comes to trying a new recipe for the first time. When I try a new recipe, I like to follow the recipe to the letter and if I like it, I'll change it up a bit, personalize it if you will, the next time around.  Not my husband. No, he gets a recipe & is like "I want to do things MY WAY!" right from the get-go. Drives me insane! But, this time, his little changes worked so well - these pancakes were perfect!

Here's the link to the recipe...


Hubby added:

-an extra egg
-an extra half tablespoon of sugar
-a splash of vanilla

Am I the luckiest lady ever?? Not only is my husband thoughtful & caring but he's also a great cook! (like me! HA!)....

All About Karen 


Thursday, September 20, 2012

Throw-Back Thursday: Chicken Cacci-what?


First Published: Saturday, September 24, 2011

Weekend Wrap: Chicken Cacci-what?

Chicken Cacciatore --- what is it?

For some reason, I was caught up on the fact that Chicken Cacciatore was a dish made with a red sauce, but then mixed with green olives and some sort of peppers, along with chicken. Do not ask me where I dreamed that up from. So any time I ever saw the name of this recipe I always flipped on to the next page in the cookbook, as I knew my husband would freak out not care for this if it was served for dinner.

A few weeks ago, I'm not sure how it was brought up in topic, but I remember my mom saying, "Why not make Chicken Cacciatore?" I looked at her in disbelief that she thought I would make that for the family. She then proceeded to say that she use to make it all the time and that my brother loves it.

No recollection here?

I tried explaining this dish that I had apparently dreamed up and she said all she would do is throw spaghetti sauce and chicken in a crock pot and it made an amazing dinner.

Which brings me back to my first question: What is Chicken Cacciatore?

According to Wikipedia, Cacciatore means "hunter" in Italian. When referring it to a cooking style it means that you cook it "hunting style"; with tomatoes, onions, bell peppers, herbs and mushrooms. (Apparently I wasn't so off base with my dreamed up Chicken Cacciatore now was I?)

I then skimmed through a Google search of Chicken Cacciatore and not one recipe was alike. All made with different ingredients, looking amazing in their own unique ways. (I love recipes! They are so based on ones interpretation of a meal).

Well, I went ahead and made OUR VERSION of Chicken Cacciatore and let me tell you, WE ARE HOOKED! I am so in love with this meal.

And guess what?  I'm even sharing my recipe! Can you believe that?

Little insider tip to our new guilty pleasure. My husband and I took the chicken cooked in tomato sauce, scooped it on to pieces of crispy garlic bread, topped it with mozzarella cheese, and sunk our teeth into the savory flavors of each amazing bite. You seriously need to try this!


Chicken Cacciatore:

3 cans tomato sauce (15 oz. cans)
2 cans tomato paste (6 oz. cans)
1 Tablespoon Garlic
1 1/2 teaspoons Seasoning Salt
1/4 teaspoon Oregano
1/4 teaspoon Cumin
2 teaspoons Roasted Garlic
3-4 Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts

Mix all ingredients, excluding chicken, in a medium sized Crock Pot. Once well blended, add Chicken. Cook on high for about 4 hours or until chicken can easily pull apart.

Serve over Rigatoni or Spaghetti Noodles. Or like mentioned previously, try the amazing version of Chicken Cacciatore Cheese Bread! YUM

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

St. Louis Butter Cake

A few weeks ago a girlfriend of mine and I were chatting about an upcoming dinner we were planning. Her husband loves loves loves chili & corn bread, and then to come to find out this "non-dessert-craving-man" ("is there really such a thing" you may be asking yourself - yes, yes...there is such a thing of a man.....or dare I say woman....not being a sweet fanatic like myself), well, come to find out he actually really really enjoys Red Velvet Cake. which happens to be one of my favorites too!

So here we were, planning a fabulous meal for her hubby, and mine as well, since he's a big fan of my chili recipe too and then all of a sudden we go off on a tangent about another dessert.

(Like how I say, "all of a sudden", like ME trailing off onto another subject is uncommon...hah!)

We get on the topic of Butter Cake! Now I have never experienced butter cake, only once had I even heard of it and that was on....oh whats the show called....come on you "so called" sweet lover.... oh yes, Cooking Channels Unique Sweets.

She goes on to tell me that one of our local restaurants has this "Butter Cake" that she is absolutely in love with.....craving, dreaming, gotta-have-it type of dessert....She even said she tries her best to offer some OBVIOUS hints to her hubs to pick a slice up for her on his way home from work....(her "hints" rarely work though....)


So in the midst of planning our husbands "dream dinner" I decided I would surprise my dear friend with her very own WHOLE butter cake....way more than anyone would ever need to oneself, but all the while fulfilling all fantasy's of this dreamy delight!

Never eating or making a butter cake before I searched the web for the best foodie blogs around and came across Smitten Kitchen.  I instantly fell in love with her tone of voice in her posts and her photography made my heart smile :-)


Her recipe for St. Louis Gooey Butter Cake seemed sure to satisfy and oh boy did it! My girlfriend was shocked as I brought over an entire tray, but welcomed it with open arms and fork in hand! I loved that while she was saying, "Seriously, you didn't have to bring this over" .....she grabs a plate for herself...hah! Love Her!

I encourage you to take an afternoon, scroll through Smitten Kitchen's pics and whip up her recipe for Butter Cake. Her recipe can be found HERE.


Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Hey Jaclyn: Chocolate Banana Pudding {By Karen}


Guess what I made up tonight? It's a chocolate banana pudding! Umm...can you say indulgent? It is loosely based on Paula Deen's recipe for "not yo' mama's banana pudding"


 I say  loosely based because I used store brand vanilla wafers, chocolate pudding & I ended up not having enough whipped cream, hah! My girlfriend brought over dessert last week and it was her version of Paula Deen's banana pudding...with coconut & pineapple for a tropical flavor. Coconut & pineapple are not really my favorite things so I went back to the original recipe & put my own spin on it. It is deeeee-licious lady!


So the link for the original banana recipe is above. Here are my changes...

-Vanilla wafer cookies to line the bottom of the dish
-Chocolate pudding mix (15 oz package)
-8 oz container of Cool Whip (instead of the 12 it calls for)
-Chocolate syrup drizzled over the top


 All About Karen