Aug 29, 2013

Candied Bacon, Rolo & Pretzel Treats

Bacon and chocolate. It is a taste combination that at first glance may seem strange, but the pairing of sweet and salty bacon with chocolate is delicious. Adding in a crunchy and salty piece of pretzel makes this treat perfect.

If you want, you could make a full recipe of candied bacon and snack on whatever bacon is left over after making these treats. Otherwise, you can cut the recipe for the candied bacon in half. If you can find rolls of rolo candies at the check out of your store you can save yourself some unwrapping.

Aug 28, 2013

Holy Yum Chicken

Today I'm going to be having a 'do as I say, not as I do' moment. You see, after I made this Holy Yum Chicken, I realized an even more delicious way to prepare it. We left the skin on the chicken thighs and after baking I removed the chicken pieces from the dish and that was that.

The next time around, and how I have made changes accordingly to the recipe below, is to remove the chicken skin from the get go and to prepare a sauce from the drippings. Leaving the skin on released too much fat into the drippings for me to want to mess with making a sauce, but next time around I am doing it the better way. The next time I prepare this dish I will take new photographs to show the changes. In the mean time, make this dinner and enjoy!

Note: For this recipe, please do not substitute a different type of mustard for the Dijon, or an imitation maple syrup. There are few ingredients in this so it is important to use what the recipe originally calls for.

Aug 27, 2013

Classic Oreo Icebox Dessert

This tasty dessert has been around for decades under many different names. Today I am sharing the version my family makes. Enjoy!

Aug 24, 2013

Aug 15, 2013

Fairy Gardens & Vegetable Gardens

This year we made two gardens for the kids. A fairy garden for my daughter and for my son we made a barnyard / gnome garden. They can spend hours outside playing with these, rearranging the paths, the animals, making bridges and ponds. I was very pleased with the results and it was well worth the money to create these projects.

If you start out with a large planter, be sure to drill holes in the bottom for drainage if it doesn't already have them.  We first started with some sort of metal tub from target, but later moved them into bigger, more heavy duty plastic planters from the gardening store.

We painted a few rocks to decorate the garden with. My daughter painted the rainbow on the smaller stone which she really enjoyed.

To keep the weight low, we filled about half to three quarters of the planter with clean, empty milk jugs or plastic soda bottles. We filled the top with dirt, smoothed the dirt out, and laid out some moss. The moss kinda sorta worked, and probably would have been fine if the dogs hadn't made it their life mission to dig up everything in the planters on a daily basis.

I found a bag of smooth glass stones that had white, green and blue colors. This worked out well for making paths, ponds and green patches. If you check around you can find a lot of items on sale. Most of ours we found for 50% off at Michaels.

I wish I had taken pictures at the beginning of Summer when the kids gardens looked the best. We made a bunch of red and white toadstool mushrooms for the gnome garden that have been misplaced, and the plants were looking better before the dogs dug them out. Oh well, lesson learned.

The gardens this year were a bit of a dud. The lettuce and some of the herbs are really the only plants that have done well. Puppies and wild animals took a toll on the garden, especially the strawberries, before we were able to put a fence and netting up around the gardens.

A crazy wind and hail storm also destroyed all of the tomato plants and broke not only a bunch of bushes and plants, but also uprooted trees in our town and made a gigantic mess. It was a hell of a storm, which we missed as we were a few towns over shopping, so we weren't able to bring any plants in to the garage last minute to protect them. I guess every year can't be a winner for gardens.

I hope you enjoyed taking a peek at our Summer projects!

Creamy Cucumber Salad

This Creamy Cucumber Salad hits the spot for a refreshing side dish. It's perfect when served with a steak or grilled chicken.

Note: This particular recipe does not call for draining the cucumbers. As such, there will be liquid that releases from the cucumbers to create a sauce. If this bothers you, after peeling and slicing the cucumbers into rounds, lay them out on paper towels. Sprinkle them with a small amount of salt and let them drain for one hour. After letting them drain, take a few papers towels and gently press them onto the cucumbers to pick up more of the moisture. Wipe any salt off the cucumbers and proceed with the recipe.

Aug 14, 2013

Reuben Dogs

I've bookmarked a few gussied up hot dog recipes lately in an effort to hold on to Summer. This Reuben Dog, courtesy of Noble Pig, is a very quick dinner that is satisfying and delish. The sauce is made from scratch and tastes great, requiring only a few ingredients that most cooks have on hand. Enjoy!

Aug 13, 2013

OMG Mac & Cheese

This recipe I found at Plain Chicken lives up to the name OMG Mac & Cheese. I am in love with this recipe. Now, brace yourselves, it is NOT a diet recipe. I always find it funny when people freak out over the calorie content of one recipe. Not all recipes at light, not all recipes are heavy. There is a balance out there and it is up to the individual to find it. Rant over, back to the food!

I halved this recipe and as you can see I opted for a spiral shaped pasta which I adore. My only change to the directions was that I needed to cover the mac & cheese in the oven half way through or it would become a crust and not ooey, gooey, melty. Your oven will vary though, so use your best judgement.

If your cheese goes past the melty phase and into the hard cheese crust phase like mine did, there is an easy fix. Immediately after removing from the oven and while the macaroni is still hot, stir up the macaroni well and add more shredded cheese to the top. Cover with tin foil and let sit for 5 minutes until the cheese is melted. All fixed. Enjoy!

Aug 10, 2013

Loaded Baked Potato Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

Today I posted over at Mom Spark for these yummy Loaded Baked Potato Grilled Cheese Sandwiches. Head on over to check it out!

Aug 1, 2013

Very Chocolate Pie (Bittersweet Chocolate Pie)

Chocolate fans will want to bookmark this recipe right away. What sets this recipe apart from most chocolate pies is that it is a bittersweet chocolate flavor. If you'd like to cut the bitterness you can sweeten the whipped cream to your liking. Many thanks to Mel's Kitchen Cafe for the recipe for the filling. Enjoy!