Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Hello Followers!

We would like to take this time to wish each of you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. We would also like to apologize for the lack of attention we have been giving the blog. We have each been super busy with numerous things. No excuse, we know. We hope to get back up and moving very soon. Due to some unforeseen changes, our address has changed back to the original blogspot address. You can find us at . Please update it so you can continue to receive our updates.

Anna, Andie, & Kirby

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Chicken Casserole

This recipe originally came from my college roommate’s grandmother. Confused? Here’s how it started. My roomie is from Douglasville, GA and I would travel home with her fairly regularly on weekends. We would occasionally make a stop in Ragland, AL to visit her grandmother. This lady ranks up there as one of the best grandmother’s ever! She would cook for us, send food back with us, and she even made me a nice UA blanket, which I LOVE!! I mean, who just does that? An awesome granny, that’s who!!
The chicken casserole she made for us on this particular visit consists merely of chicken, a creamy base, and a ritz cracker topping. Plain, simple, and delicious! We learned how to make this for ourselves and thought we were in heaven. I made this one time and decided to add rice. The next time, I added cheese. Occasionally, I add broccoli (although the hubs doesn’t like). This casserole has evolved over the years and is still a household favorite.  Here’s what you’ll need:
1lb Chicken Breast - boiled & chopped (Reserving about 2-3 cups chicken broth)
2 cans Cream of Chicken Soup
16oz. Sour Cream
6 Servings Minute Rice - cooked according to pkg. directions
2 Cups Shredded Cheese
Salt & Pepper
1 Sleeve Ritz Crackers, crushed
2 Tbsp. Butter/Margarine, melted

1. In large mixing bowl, combine all ingredients, adding in about 2 cups chicken broth to thin out a little.
I cooked and shredded my chicken the night before.
It will be thick until you add in the chicken broth.
The broth will thin it out. You want it creamy, not soupy.
2. Transfer to a 9x12 casserole dish that has been sprayed with nonstick cooking spray

3. Melt butter and mix with the crushed crackers. Top casserole.

4. Bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes, until bubbly.

Try this dish the original way, or add broccoli or other veggies for a one-dish dinner. If you really want to kick it up, sprinkle in a little cayenne.  For a quick weeknight meal, cook and shred your chicken in advance. You’ll be able to throw the casserole together in no time. Enjoy!!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

It's Contest Time!

Listen up all cooks, it’s your turn to have the spotlight!  Do you have a favorite everyday recipe that you wish to share?  Well now you can! Submit your favorite recipe for your very own post!  Once the winner is chosen at random, we will test your dish and let you give as much or as little input as you wish.
You could cook with us, or cook it yourself and write your very own post.  Your choice! Now get to sharing your favorite recipes! Just comment on this post or on facebook and the winner will be chosen on September 15th.
-Everyday Girls

Monday, September 5, 2011

A Sweet Birthday Indeed

Stephen‘s birthday was the weekend before last, and I knew I wanted to make him a cake. When I asked what sort of cake he wanted he always said an ice cream cake. I didn’t think that sounded like fun.  I wanted to pull out the skills I had learned in a cake decorating class and make him some impressive cake. I thought about it and thought about it, and came to the conclusion that it is his birthday.  Ice cream cake it is! I did a light search of recipes, found one that had a special ingredient, and stopped reading.  I knew exactly what I wanted to do; use ice cream sandwiches!  It would create beautiful layers, and it would be a lot simpler to make.  It was also delicious.  One friend ate three pieces and told his fiancé (wife now as of Saturday!) to get the recipe. That’s exactly how I want someone to react! 
Simple ingredients list
1 box of Blue Bell mini ice cream sandwiches
1 large tub of whipped cream
Fudge sauce
Caramel sauce
2 candy bars of your choice (I used Heath bar since that is Stephen’s favorite)

Take a 9X13 dish and start opening your ice cream sandwiches. That was the part that took the longest, and work quickly because they will start to melt on you.  Layer the bottom of your dish completely. You may have to cut up a sandwich to fill the gaps. Then flop on a layer of whipped cream.  Be sure to let that thaw a bit before you try to spread it. Take a spoon and drizzle your two sauces on top of the cream.  Do as little or as much as you like. Seeing as I bought those ingredients for this cake only, I used a lot.  Next, break up your candy bar into tiny crumbles and place on top of the sauces. Then, repeat: ice cream sandwiches, whipped cream, caramel and fudge sauce. I left off the candy bar crumbles here because I ran out, but I liked the look of ending with the sauces.  I then took some white icing and a piping bag and wrote out “Happy Birthday”.  You’ll need to store it in the freezer, but place in the fridge about 30 minutes before you’re ready to serve.  Best part is I made this two days in advance!
Very simple, very delicious, and very impressive!

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Chicken Popper Wrap

I stumbled upon PLAIN CHICKEN when the Everyday girls and I were looking at ideas for our blog. I was immediately addicted for a couple reasons.  First, the writer's recipes are simple and look delish; and second, she's an Auburn fan--War Eagle!  I do love a local girl!

I started browsing her recipes and thought, "Hey. These are the kind of recipes that any busy girl/family would love to have." I will be trying more than just this one recipe.

The Chicken Popper Wrap is so easy to do--even if you don't have a panini press (I don't).  Another plus is there are very few ingredients.  My taste buds approved of this recipe, and i'm sure yours will, too. You can find the link to the recipe
HERE and her original blog.  I tried it in a skillet and pressed it down with a spatula to "cook" the tortilla a bit, since I don't have a panini press--but if you're looking for a gift to give me I'll gladly accept :) kidding, kidding.

Even if this is not the recipe for you, browse this site.  She has some good ideas and great looking recipes.  Happy eating!


Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Buffalo Chicken Pizza

I love pizza. I mean, I love it. I can easily put away my fair share of any pizza, any time. Unfortunately, ordering pizza can get a little pricey, especially if you are trying to feed my family.  I also love hot wings, and the spicier, the better. Unfortunately I haven’t mastered the art of making the perfect hot wing. I have, however, mastered the art of making the perfect hot wing dip (but that’s another post). As I was pondering what to make for dinner on a sleepy Saturday afternoon, I thought, why not combine the two? Buffalo Chicken Pizza, coming right up!
This is a recipe for a quick and easy meal that is perfect for any night of the week where you don’t want to spend a lot of time on dinner, and you probably have most of these ingredients on hand. All you need is:
1 Pillsbury Pizza Crust (Or whatever type of crust you prefer)
2 10oz cans Chicken Breast
Franks Hot Wing Sauce
Sour Cream
Ranch Dressing Packet
Mozzarella Cheese

Start off by mixing your sour cream and ranch packet. Set aside.

Feel free to snack on this while your cooking. There's plenty!

 Next, roll out your dough. Press it all the way to the edged of your cookie sheet.  Dock it with a fork so it won’t puff up in the oven. Place in a 400 degree oven for 8 minutes. Pre cooking the crust a little helps to ensure the crust cooks through. If you are like me and like to pile on the toppings, this is a must. Otherwise, your crust will still be doughy in the middle.
While the crust is cooking, open the chicken and drain off the liquid.

Mix the chicken with the wing sauce. You can add as much or as little as you want, depending on your taste. Set aside.

 After 8 minutes, remove your crust from the oven. It will still appear to be a little raw, but we will finish cooking it through shortly.

You will already be able to see where the crust is starting to brown on the bottom.

Spread the ranch mixture on the crust just as you would pizza sauce.

Note the awkwardness: It's hard to spread with my left hand and take a picture at the same time.

Top with chicken mixture.

Top the chicken with mozzarella cheese.

Bake for 10 minutes or until cheese and crust is browned. I ended up turning on my broiler for a few minutes at the end to allow my cheese to brown nicely. I added a little more sauce to the top of the pizza as garnish. Depending on your taste, add more or leave it off.

Serve with a side of the ranch dip or ranch dressing.

Add some celery sticks to the side for extra crunch.

This pizza was really yummy. It was a great way to satisfy my craving for pizza and wings. This is definitely a winner!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

C'est la Vie!!

The girls and I had a few guests for dinner...we do love a party!  Upon the request of one of our guests, we decided to have a French meal. Oui oui! {envision French man with beret, mustache and big gestures.} 

Anna signed up to make Coq au vin (pronounced coke-o-van), a traditional French dish of braised chicken in a red wine sauce.  The preparation of coq au vin is very similar to that of beef bourguignon, which Kirby showed us how to make back in February.  You can find the link by clicking here.
Kirby found a recipe for Parisian potatoes (pommes parisienne) to bring to the party.  These potatoes are different from the many varieties of which we've become accustomed (baked, mashed, french fried, scalloped, potato salad, etc. i sound like Bubba on Forrest Gump?).  These potatoes are in little balls, thanks to the use of a melon baller.

I opted for chocolate mousse for dessert and used the mousse portion of Anna's Six Layer Dreamy Chocolate Mousse Cake.  Click the link to see the recipe. I kid you not it took me less than five minutes to whip up this rich dessert.  I did it the night before, so all I had to do the day of the party was serve it up in cute martini glasses and top with some whipped cream I had left over! this was an overview of our planned meal.  Now I'll let the others give their recipes and explain what happens when the power goes out a couple hours before the party and doesn't come back on until 3 minutes before our guests arrive.  The meal was great...but maybe not very French.  Let's call it dinner with a hint of French cooking :)

Anna's Coq Au Vin:
I was so pumped about this dish. I had all my ingredients prepped and the chicken had been marinating in red wine over-night. We had a classic Southern summer rain storm come through about lunch time. I returned home to no power. No prob! Alabama Power says power should be restored by 3:30, which is perfect since my dish has to cook for 2 hours. While waiting on the power to return, I prepped all my ingredients and re-read the recipe so I would be able to rock and roll at 3:30. Well, 3:30 came and went.  I was in a slight panic by 5:00 when there was still nothing. I considered just calling off the whole sha-bang when I stopped to think that we could make this work. All me needed was a grill and some aluminum foil. The hubs fired up the grill for us. We packaged up all the veggied into foil packets and cooked them along side the chicken. Although, this is not our traditional coq au vin, it's the best we could do. The meal turned out fabulous, although not French. But, if we were in France and the power went out this is what we would do, so I guess you could call it a French BBQ'ed Coq Au Vin!
Click here to see the full Coq Au Vin recipe.

Kirby's Parisian Potatoes:
I was so excited to try this new process of making potatoes. It seemed so easy, and that was what I was most excited about. I knew it would be a recipe that I could re-create numerous times in my home when we aren't having a "French Dinner".  You'll need a melon baller for this, and you use it to cut out the potato. Then, place in a pot of cold water and bring to a boil. Boil for four minutes. Then, melt your butter and some oil (and salt and pepper) in a pan and toss to coat. Lastly, you place them in oven for about 25-30 minutes. And, Voila! They're ready! Sounds easy and yummy, right? I'll let you know how they turn out next time!
Click here to see the full Parisian Potatoes recipe.

Here's the final product!!

This dessert was to-die for!!

Considering our we were all having a panic attack about 5pm, everything pulled together nicely. We had a nice grilled meal with great company and even better sangria (thanks Lucy!!). Maybe next time we will actually be able to fulfill their request for dinner. When life hands you lemons, make lemonade!

-Andie, Anna, & Kirby 

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Pizza - fied Chicken

I know it's hard to stay on the straight and narrow when trying to eat healthy. I am generally one that believes none of these count when dieting: eating standing over the sink, anything taken from other people's plates, and anything you eat when noone is watching. My conscious reminds me that they all indeed count, but unfortunately, it is almost always too late. I have already indulged in something that is a no-no. One of the hardest things to avoid when watching your waistline is pizza. Its so hard to say no to because it's pretty much on everyones list of favorite foods and because it is so easy to just pick up a $5 Hot-n-Ready on your way home.

Believe it or not, I have found a recipe that will give you the pizza fix we all need without making you feel guilty.This recipe comes from Hungry Girl, Lisa Lillien. Her cookbook and website have both been a regular go-to for me. She has recently expanded and has a show on Food Network. She knows how to take foods that we all know and love and turn them into something healthy we can love just as much. This particular recipe is for Pizza-fied Chicken. Trust me...this is delish!

You will need:

5oz. Chicken Breast
1/4 Cup Bell Pepper, chopped
1/4 Cup Onion, chopped (I omitted because I think we all know how I feel about onions)
1/4 Cup Sliced Mushrooms (I used canned this time, but recommend fresh)
1/4  Cup Crushed Tomatoes
4 Turkey Pepperoni, chopped (these are just as good as the original, just less greasy)
Low-Fat String Cheese
Garlic Powder
Onion Powder
Salt & Pepper
Parmesan Cheese

**NOTE: The quantities of these ingredients is to top one chicken breast. Adjust quantites accordingly. I didn't realize this at first and used this for all 3 chicken breasts, and it was still plenty. Just use your discretion.

Pound out your chicken breast to 1/4-1/2 inch thickness. Season with onion powder, garlic powder, salt, and pepper and set aside.

Season the tomatoes with onion powder, garlic powder, salt, and pepper and set aside.

Now, the original recipe says to use 2 nonstick skillets. One to cook the veggies and one to cook the chicken. It's totally up to you how many dishes you want to dirty. If you opt to just use one, cook the veggies until soft and set aside, Then cook the chicken.

Spray the skillet and cook chicken over med-high heat until cooked through. About 3-4 minutes on each side. When the chicken is done, spoon the tomato sauce on top of the chicken.

Tear or cut the string cheese into small pieces and add to the chicken.

Top with veggie mixture and pepperoni.

Cover and cook for 1-2 minutes or until cheese is melted.

Top with parmesan cheese (and crushed red pepper if you are feeling frisky) and enjoy!

I thought this was awesome! The chicken was tender and the topping was truly a pizza party in my mouth. I think this is definitely worth a try. You'll be surprised how yummy this is, and you can add any pizza toppings you like (i.e.sliced black/green olives, pepperoncini, etc. ) to make it your own. Give it a try, and let us know what you think.


Friday, July 29, 2011

Chicken Cordon Bleu

This classic American novelty is believed to have originated in the 1960’s and is French for ‘Blue Ribbon’.  The beauty of a recipe like this is the potential you have to truly make it your own. You could use chicken or veal as the main meat and stuff with any type of cheese you want.  I LOVE a recipe like this because I can try many variations and my husband doesn’t realize we are essentially having the same thing for dinner a couple nights a week.
When I hear ‘Chicken Cordon Bleu’, the first thing that comes to mind for me is the frozen chicken you find somewhere like Sam’s. That is how I first experienced Chicken Cordon Bleu. Little did I know that as delicious as this was, it was (eek!!) FULL of fat (see below) and really only half as good as it has the potential to be.

I have managed to put a twist on a recipe I found to make this much lower in fat than its counterpart. It’s easy, delicious, and my hubby has requested it to be added to our regular dinner rotation (that’s really saying something!).
Here’s what you’ll need:
Chicken Breast
Swiss Cheese (I used the sandwich slices)
Deli Ham
Low Fat Parmesan Cheese (instead of breadcrumbs)
Italian Seasoning

1 Can Fat Free Cream of Chicken Soup
1/2 Cup Fat Free Sour Cream
1Tbsp. Lemon Juice
Pound out your chicken until it is about 1/4 inch thick. Season both sides with salt and pepper.

See how big?! This makes it cook evenly and easy to roll.
  Place half a piece of cheese in the middle of the chicken. Place a couple of slices of ham on top and then add the other half of the cheese.

Tightly roll and secure with a few toothpicks.

Mix some Italian seasoning with the parmesan cheese and...

coat each chicken breast.

Place in a cooking dish, seam side down and bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink. While the chicken is cooking, you can prepare the sauce. Combine the ingredients in a saucepan and heat through.

Easy, huh? This sauce is totally optional, but is a good addition to the meal. If you are making rice as a side dish, this is a great topper for that as well.
Here’s where you can mix it up a little…
Remove from oven and spray with cooking spray to brown the top or top with a little more cheese. Place under the broiler until desired doneness is reached.
Wow! I can't wait to dig in!

The cheese is so ooey gooey, you won't believe how yummy it is!

Prep, prep, prep…This is a good recipe to make in advance. You can roll up the chicken the night before, and coat the chicken with the parmesan cheese right before time to cook. I hope this twist on a classic will inspire some of you followers to try something new. Let us know how it turns out!

Friday, July 8, 2011

No Bake Peach Pie

This week has been crazy, but crazy good! Stephen’s baseball team just won their district tournament, and they are heading to state! With that being said, I haven’t had time to cook. I haven’t had time to gather with my other blogger buddies, but I was able to find a few minutes to make this recipe. That is how quick and easy it is to whip up. Even if you are having one of those hazy, crazy days of summer, you still have time to make a sweet dessert for your family or friends.
It’s July, and it is hot.  Who wants to turn the oven on this time of year? It just causes your air conditioner to have to work overtime; therefore, you will have a higher power bill.  A perfect excuse for you to make this pie!  This pie was the easiest treat I have ever made, and it is delicious. It didn’t hurt that I had fresh from the orchard peaches on hand.  My mom and granddaddy go every summer (twice for different varieties) to pick up fresh peaches from a local peach farm.  So when they went this year, I knew that I would have to make something using them.  A cobbler came to mind first, but I feel like we as Southerners get the chance to eat those at just about every single family gathering, at mine anyway.  I wanted to try something different, and boy, did it pay off!

I ran across this recipe after searching what felt like hours.  It’s from a blog called Sprouted Kitchen, and she calls her recipe Peach Cream with Gingersnap Crust.  Yum.  She had me at peach cream.  I’m sure the gingersnap crust would be delicious in this recipe, but I don’t own a food processor. Apparently no one in my immediate family does either, so I opted to use a store made graham cracker crust. I’m not disappointed.
The ingredients list is short and sweet. 1 14 oz can of sweetened condensed milk She suggests using low-fat. I don’t.  ½ cup of crème fraiche I used sour cream. You can also use a plain yogurt. Both work as its substitute. ¼ cup of lemon juice I used one whole lemon, and it wasn’t quite enough, but it didn’t hurt anything. 1 Tbsp of cinnamon This ingredient scared me. It looked like a lot of cinnamon. Lastly, 1 ¼ cups of fresh peaches, peeled and diced.
1 14 oz can of sweetened condensed milk 
½ cup of crème fraiche
¼ cup of lemon juice
1 Tbsp of cinnamon
1 ¼ cups of fresh peaches, peeled and diced

First you will need to peel and chop your peaches. Peeling and chopping peaches is a dirty job. I suggest doing this near a sink.  Next, you have to figure out how many peaches equal 1 ¼ cup. I peeled five peaches, but one was probably consumed during this experiment.  Four peaches should do the trick depending on their size. Chop them into tiny pieces and give them a good squeeze in your hand before dropping them in your mixing bowl. This helps to break them up and get a little juice in the mix.  Then pour your can of sweetened condensed milk in as well as your sour cream.  Next, goes your lemon juice. You could always use the pre-juiced lemon juice (does that even make sense??). You know the kind in the little plastic lemon.

Lastly, add your cinnamon.  Stir all ingredients together very well.  I used a spatula and was kind of rough in order to break up the peaches a little more. After a few minutes of stirring, I still found pockets of cinnamon. That doesn’t sound like good eats to me. (Did Alton Brown trademark that?)

After it comes together, pour the mixture into your pie crust. Place in the refrigerator to set for four hours.  The author of this recipe even suggests placing it in the freezer, then letting it sit a few minutes before serving.  Four hours is key.  The lemon juice reacts with the milk which makes the pie firm.  I could not wait four hours, so I tried it after about two. It was a little runny, but that will be the last thing on your mind! I was tempted to lick the plate, so maybe the runny-ness isn’t such a bad thing?

Next time, I may not add quite as much cinnamon, and one day I will attempt the gingersnap cookie crust.  Regardless, I think it was a homerun!

Happy summer! Kirby

Gingersnap Cookie Crust
10 oz. Gingersnap Cookies
3 Tbsp. Butter
In a food processor, grind together the cookies. While pulsing, add the butter. Press into a pie plate and let firm in the freezer.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Tequila-Lime Grilled Shrimp

Close your eyes and picture you are sitting on a white sand beach with your toes in the water. While listening to the waves crash around you, you begin to wonder what’s on the menu for tonight? I know I am always in the mood for seafood when I’m on vacation. It’s just seems right. Ok, you can open your eyes now. Unfortunately we aren’t on vacation, but that doesn’t mean we can’t eat like we are! This meal is one you can prepare quickly after a day at work or after a day on the lake. Tonight we are cooking  Bobby Flay's  Recipe for Tequila-Lime Grilled Shrimp. I love his cooking stye because almost everything he cooks is  summer-inspired. Now, pour yourself a margarita and let’s step out back and fire up the grill.

What you will need:
*I doubled the marinade because I used 2 bags of 41-50 count frozen shrimp instead of the larger shrimp (*41-50 count means there are 41-50 shrimp in a pound)
1 cup Tequila
½  cup Lime Juice
1 oz. Freshly Chopped Cilantro
½ Fresh Red Onion (which I left out because this is my least fav. food on the planet!)
Salt & Pepper to taste
12 med. raw Shrimp
Notice I didn't splurge on the tequila...

Combine all marinade ingredients.

Add shrimp and marinate for 30 minutes. It's important not to marinate for more than 30 minutes or the shrimp will begin to 'cook' in the lime juice.

Place shrimp on skewers.

You can see the shrimp are beginning to turn pink from the marinade.

Cook on grill for about 2 minutes on each side. Be careful not to overcook!!!

We had a slight weather delay and ended up having to cook the shrimp inside on my grill pan. I do feel like this may have affected the true summer flavor that only a charcoal grill can provide, but Mother Nature waits for no one!
I do have to say next time I would be sure to use the fresh, larger shrimp. Small shrimp can become over cooked in a matter of 2 minutes, but otherwise, this was so easy! Prep work was minimal and cooking time was a breeze. The lime and cilantro flavors really stood out. Serve this with some steamed veggies and a side salad and you are ready for one fast and fabulous beach inspired meal.

Try it and let us know what you think!