Whole Roasted Chicken

Is there anything better than roasted chicken? I don’t think so. I hope I’m not the only one that would love to just rip off the skin and just eat that, it is so so good. One of the other reasons I love roasted chicken is because I can make an amazing chicken noodle soup from soaking the carcass. Don’t worry I will do a post about that too because everyone needs that with this cold water coming.

Unrelated subject everyone thinks that Arizona in the United States is only super hot desert. Nope! This is the beautiful place that I live in fall.

And winter

We have every beautiful season here!

On to the main subject:

Whole Roasted Chicken

Cook at 450 for 15 minutes and 350 for about 1 hour to an hour and fifteen minutes until internal temperature reaches 165.

1 Whole Roasted Chicken

2 onions cut into quarters

1/2 stick of butter

1 Tbsp paprika

1 tsp salt

1 tsp pepper

1 tsp garlic salt

1 tsp Dash

Lemon juice from 1/2 a lemon and a couple tbsp of honey mixed together

I use a stone baking dish for this similar to this oneBaking Dish– click this link to get one!

Preheat your oven to 350.

Mix your softened butter with all of the spices.

Clean your chicken very well and pat dry.

Put your butter and spice mixture all over the chicken and put on top of a bed of onions in the baking dish.

Cook uncovered at 450 for 15 minutes. This helps crisp up the skin.

Then put the cover on cook at 350 and baste the chicken with the honey and lemon juice mixture every 15 minutes but do it really lightly so you don’t brush all the spices off.

Repeat this process until internal temperature reaches 165.

What a pretty bird!! Haha

I also made some gravy from the drippings, completely optional though.

Take all the chicken off the bone and put it in a crock pot with water covering the whole thing over night. You can make soup the next day or keep it in the freezer for whenever you need chicken broth.

This bone broth is actually extremely healthy for you as well. All the collagen is good for bone and joint health.

Happy Cooking!

Get to Know Me

I thought that now that I have had my blog for a couple months I would tell you all a little about me.

Married- Yes for 6 years to the most wonderful man in the whole world!

Children- Two beautiful girls, Lexi who is 2 1/2 years old and Bailey who is 5 months old.

Job- Computed Tomography Tech

Home- We own a beautiful home in the mountains of Arizona. We have been remodeling every square inch of this home.

Husband- Wonderful man from Kansas, sells insurance for Statefarm

Things I love- My family, my job, cooking, blogging, God, my amazing friends

What are my hobbies- city league volleyball and softball, cooking, remodeling and decor

Why do I blog- I started this because I love the movie Julie and Julia and I love cooking. So I decided to do a blog kinda like Julie and Julia but more like Julia and Ree. Plus I wanted something to force me to go through my cookbooks and try new recipes.

What is your biggest screw up in the kitchen- mine was not in the kitchen but on the grill instead. I put about five pieces of bacon on the grill at the same time, which was super dumb. I started a grease fire in the bottom of the grill and by the way I’m just in a little balcony of an apartment. I run inside and grab some water to poor on it (now you must know I was younger and dumb) which started a bigger fire. Don’t ever throw water on a grease fire! Black smoke was coming out of everywhere. I ran inside grabbed the baking soda and dumped it all over the place. This finally got the fire out but the whole side of my apartment was black. My husband has made fun of me for years because of that.

Now you know a lot about me and I would love to know more about you so please answer the last question with a comment.

Quick Shells and Cheese

Today is all about my daughter and preparing for Halloween. That means getting Lexi’s costume and decorating for Fall/Halloween. She insisted on being a super hero. This came from us watching the new avengers movie with her. Ever since she runs around and whispers to us that there is a bad guy over in the corner. We tell her to go get him and she punches the air getting the bad guy. It is hilarious and she came up with that all on her own.

Of course after all the work we did we needed some Mac and Cheese to fill our bellies.

The Pioneer Woman calls these Quick Shells and Cheese on page 214 of the Dinnertime Pioneer Woman Cookbook. If anyone would like to follow along these recipes I use two of her cookbooks. Just click on this link: Dinnertime and Come and Get It

Quick Shell and Cheese

Delicious Scale- 7 out of 10

Lexi Delicious Scale- 8 out of 10

Prep Time- 15 minutes

Clean Up- 2 pans really easy

This recipe is the easiest one I have done by the Pioneer Woman. You just heat together butter and milk then add your cheddar cheese and Velveeta cheese. Put some salt, pepper, season salt and cayenne in if you like a little heat. Add this to cooked shell pasta and you are done. This was a pretty good dish but if I’m honest not my absolute favorite Mac and Cheese. I think it’s because Velveeta seems to leave a little bit of a film in your mouth afterwards. Like you just want to brush your teeth afterwards. Of course my daughter still ate it all but she likes the box mix better than this one. I know it’s not good for you but its so good I agree with her haha.

Velveeta is the best in dips though am I right? I would love to here what your favorite Velveeta recipes are and I will share some of mine this month with you all.

Happy Cooking and Happy Fall

All About Those Meatballs

I am all about freezer cooking and getting ahead. There are three days during the week that I am not home for dinner. So I have to have something in the freezer ready to go for my husband because he is not the best cook. Shh don’t tell him that! It’s not that he can’t cook I think he just doesn’t even want to try. He’s lucky I like to cook otherwise it would be ramen and pizza in our house every night.

Meatballs are one of the best things to keep in the freezer because you just add sauce and dinner is served. We are going through the meatballs recipe on page 102 of the Pioneer Woman Cookbook. This is the Cookbook I am going through if anyone wants to follow along. Dinnertime

Meatballs

Delicious Scale- 9 out of 10

Husband Delicious Scale 9 out of 10

Prep Time- Honestly depends how many you want to make

To make a good meatball it’s basically like making meatloaf but in a ball form. You add the flavors that you like, eggs, breadcrumbs and heavy cream if you are the Pioneer Woman. This is quite possible why I love her so much she adds heavy cream to pretty much everything she can. She cooks her meatballs in a sauté pan but I like to bake them. Either way of course is delicious.

Of course my daughter has to help in her adorable little apron. I let her add all the spices and then I rolled up all the balls. She asks constantly can I try that, how about that, how about that. Well go ahead let your kids try everything they add it makes them more interested in what your doing. And no I did not let her try raw meat. Gross!!!

Now onto freezing. This part is very important to do correctly. Make sure the meatballs are cooked and put them into the freezer uncovered to flash freeze. This makes it easier for freezing so they keep their shape. Most importantly you put the meatballs in a gallon zip lock bag and take all the air out. Any air can cause freezer burn. These can last up to 6 months in the freezer.

A few options to make with meatballs would be BBQ meatballs, Swedish meatballs, sweet and sour meatballs, or Asian meatballs. You can also through them in a soup or on top of spaghetti. The options go on and on. They are all so delicious I have tried every single one.

Keeping your freezer stocked will be a life saver for you. It is so helpful to me I had to buy another freezer to support my make ahead addiction. Crock pot meals are also another freezer favorite for me. Whatever can make your life just slightly easier is worth doing.

What else do you all like to freeze?

Happy Cooking!

Oatmeal Crispies (cooking with a two year old)

What little kid doesn’t love cookies? My mom made these for me when I was little and now I get to make them for my daughter. I have so many memories of my mom and I cooking together, mainly sweets! Now she lives just down the road so we get to enjoy cookies together all the time.

The best way to start is to either put your child in a costume or a apron so they feel special. We are going with superheroes today!

Oatmeal Crispies

Preheat oven to 350

Cook Time: 8-10 minutes

1 cup shortening

1 cup brown sugar

1 cup sugar

1 tsp vanilla

1 tsp salt

3 cups oatmeal

2 eggs

1 1/2 cups flour

1 tsp baking soda

Cream together shortening, brown sugar and sugar. Add eggs and vanilla. Then add all the dry ingredients. Last add your oatmeal.

Let you child help with putting everything in. It gets a little messy but worth enjoying that time together.

Now place the dough in seran wrap making a long cylinder. This should make three or four depending on the size you like your cookies.

Put these in the fridge over night and bake them the next day. Of course I forgot to take a picture of the finished product because me and Lexi ate them so fast. I cut my cookies about an inch thick and they were the perfect size.

This is the kitchen aid mixer I use that is pretty much my favorite kitchen item I have ever owned.

Kitchen Aid

Happy Cooking

It’s Party Time! Fried Wings, Kale Salad, Corn Dip

My go to when we have people over is some sort of dip and when it comes to having my husbands family over it is always fried wings as well. Whenever we eat really unhealthy things I feel like I must through a salad in there somewhere. So kale and sweet potato salad it is.

I cooked from two different Pioneer Woman cookbooks for this you can get them using this link they are absolutely amazing. Come and Get It and Dinnertime

I am going to start with my very favorite thing and what I could eat for every meal for the rest of my life. Haha just kidding! No, actually I’m not! I really could eat this for the rest of my life and never get sick of it.

Hot Corn Dip- page 74 of the Come and Get it cookbook

Delicious Scale- 10 out of 10

Family’s Delicious Scale- 10 out of 10

Prep Time- 35 minutes

This starts with grilling some corn and sautéing some very colorful bell peppers, jalapeño and onions.

The corn and peppers then get mixed with cream cheese, monterey jack cheese, mayo, sour cream, green onions, canned green chili, salt and pepper. Put this in a baking dish and cook at 350 for 20 minutes. This is such melty goodness, the spice from jalapeño’s and green chili with the sweet pop of corn makes this irresistible. This is served with tortilla chips but I just wanted to eat it by the spoon full.

Kale and Sweet Potato Salad- page 296 of the Dinnertime Cookbook

Delicious Scale- 6 out of 10 (probably because it was served with 10 out of 10 dishes)

Prep Time- 20 minutes

The recipe calls for butternut squash but I didn’t have any so I went with sweet potatoes instead. This is a simple recipe that you just saute the kale and sweet potatoes with butter, salt, pepper and chili powder. This allows the kale to shine through which I appreciate but most people are not in love with the taste of kale. Speaking of kale has anyone made kale chips? Totally worth a try because they are amazing!

My husband made his fried wings with multiple different sauces, which I can do another post about just let me know if your interested.

Finishing the night off with auntie cuddles makes for a perfect meal.

Happy Cooking

Homemade Granola & Protein Balls

I jump at the chance to make little bites of something to take care of my sweet tooth. Trust me its one of the biggest sweet tooths you have ever seen so I have to keep it under control. I don’t know if any of you struggle with this as much as I do. Let me know what you guys do to control yours?

Homemade granola is a delicious snack or breakfast.

I love to put it on top of apples or with yogurt and strawberries

Its hard to say the recipe for this because I don’t measure but here goes nothing.

Around 1/4 cup brown sugar

1/8 cup molasses

1/8 cup honey

1 Tbsp butter

Heat this on the stove top just long enough until it all melts together.

This next part is your choice, you can put anything you would like in your granola; oats, chia seeds, any kind of nuts, raisins or sunflower seeds. The combinations go on and on. I only did oats and chia seeds because I like a plain granola.

Start with around 3-4 cups of granola and add the brown sugar mixture. Add more oats if need be. Cook this on a sheet pan for 20 minutes at 325. Let this cool and then break it apart. Don’t keep it in the oven longer if it doesn’t feel hard yet because it will burn pretty quickly. Trust me I am a pro at burning things.

Protein Balls

Another one that is hard to give you the recipe because I just add the ingredients until its the right consistency.

2 cups peanut butter

1 cup oats

3 Tbsp chia seeds

1/2 cup mini chocolate chips

1/4 cup honey

Mix this all together and make small balls. Place on a non stick pan and freeze for a few hours. Then I put them all in a zip lock bag and keep them in the freezer.

Tip for any breast feeding momma’s I eat these to keep up my breast milk supply. I also add some brewers yeast to them which also boosts your milk supply.

Happy Cooking!

Skillet Lasanga

My family has been so supportive of this blog and my cooking journey it has been fun to talk to them about everything I have cooked. My sister in law recently went to Kansas and brought this back for me.

She knows me so well :). She shares a love for cooking with me and we have decided to do a night of chopped (like the food network show). We will be competing against each other, so stay posted for a fun post about that.

I have a love hate relationship with lasagna. It is delicious but takes so long to make. This was the perfect alternative it was so fast. It is on page 194 of the Dinnertime Pioneer Woman Cookbook

Skillet Lasagna

Delicious Scale- 8 out of 10

Husband Delicious Scale- 8 out of 10

Prep Time- 25 minutes

Clean up- Easy 2 pans

The recipe calls for farfalle pasta and I am using mini farfalle because let’s face it, it’s adorable.

In a skillet start browning a pound of ground beef in garlic, salt and pepper. Drain the grease off and add a jar of marinara sauce and a tbsp of Italian seasoning. The interesting thing about this recipe is it has some sour cream instead of ricotta. This made a nice creaminess. Then you just add the pasta and some fresh mozzarella, which of course I can’t find in my small town.Mix this all together and that’s it. So easy!!

I’m also getting so much more organized compared to one of my first posts.

If you put the ingredients away right after you use them cooking goes much easier and cleaner. What do you guys do to stay organized and clean when cooking?

I just made some quick grilled corn on the side. Of course I had to put it in a Pioneer Woman bowl. I love her line, check them out with this link.Pioneer Woman Bowls

Happy Cooking

Pan Fried Pork Chops With Risotto

Never thought I would say those words. I have heard risotto is hard to make and a lot of work so I have never even attempted it. So I have decided to give it a try and paired it with delicious pork chops. We are making pan fried pork chops on page 156 and risotto on page 328 of the Dinnertime Pioneer Woman cookbook. Dinnertime Cookbook

Risotto

Delicious Scale- 9 out of 10

Husband Delicious Scale- 7 out of 10 (it was to creamy for him, said no one ever?)

Prep Time- 30 uninterrupted minutes

Clean Up- between everything it was quite a few dishes

Risotto is basically a slow cooked rice that must be cooked by adding the liquid a little bit at a time. We are using Arborio rice which is quite expensive compared to just normal white or brown rice. It looks like a thick shorter grain. This started with carmelizing some onions and garlic in butter and then you add two cups of the Arborio rice. This calls for 6 cups of broth, I used chicken broth. So you add one cup at a time and don’t add another until all the liquid is absorbed. My husband last minute had to go help my family with something so I had the kids while I was trying to make risotto. So I’m holding my youngest Bailey and telling my two year old daughter to not come near the pan because she always wants to be up cooking with me.

Moms are multi taskers though right so this is no problem haha. Anyways at the end you add a little heavy cream, parmesan, salt and pepper. This was perfectly delicious! So creamy and such a different texture then normal white rice I had to go back for more.

Pan Fried Pork Chops

Delicious Scale- 8 out of 10

Husband Delicious Scale 7 out of 10

Prep Time- 15 minutes

I think these would have been ten times better if my pork chops didn’t have a little bit of freezer burn. Oh well this is what happens when you buy in bulk and also buy meat when its on sale and then it sits in the freezer for a while.

Whenever the pioneer woman fries anything she adds oil and butter because she thinks it gives it better flavor. I believe her!! If you are making this along side risotto you want to make sure everything is prepped ahead of time so you can just through the pork chops straight in when it comes time.

This recipe could not be easier! We are using boneless pork chops. You just dip your pork chops in flour mixed with your favorite spices and put them in the pan to fry. For spices we used salt, pepper, paprika, chili powder, garlic powder and season salt. Also its very important to flavor your meat as well with salt and pepper before you put it into the flour mixture.

Perfectly crispy and juicy on the inside. Just how I like it.Tada!! I paired this with a beautiful strawberry and spinach salad. Such a delicious meal. As far as clean up if any of you are like me and frying is a total mess you should invest in one of these covers. It just goes right over the top of your pan so none of the grease splashes out. Splatter Screen

Happy Cooking!

Puff Pastry Cinnamon Rolls

As I was sitting here trying to think of what to do with my left over puff pastry. I stumbled upon cinnamon rolls. One of my favorite desserts, breakfasts, snacks, you could have it anytime of day.

Puff Pastry Cinnamon Rolls

Delicious Scale- 9 out of 10

Husband Delicious Scale- 8 out of 10

Prep Time- 25 minutes

So we will start with a sheet of puff pastry. Lay it on your counter and drizzle 1 Tbsp of butter over the top. Then sprinkle cinnamon and brown sugar to cover every inch of the top. I guess you could add nuts as well but why would you want to do that?

I cut these I would say about an inch to an inch and a half thick. Place these on parchment paper and cook at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 18-20 minutes.

Then I topped them with a quick cream cheese icing.

Four ounces softened cream cheese, 1/8 cup powdered sugar, 2 Tbsp milk. Add more or less powdered sugar based on your sweetness level.

This is so so delicious, just the sweet treat that I needed.

Happy Cooking