Cap’n Crunch Chicken Strips

This is a revolutionary idea!!! I think people have crusted chicken with all sorts of cereals but it never crossed my mind to use Cap’n Crunch. Why? I have no idea, because it’s genius. Some of my very favorite recipes come out of this book and I would highly recommend buying it. Just click this link for the Pioneer Woman’s Cookbook Come and Get It. This recipe is on page 102

Cap’n Crunch Chicken Strips

Delicious Scale- 10 out of 10

Husband Delicious Scale- 8.5 out of 10 (it just threw him off a little that it was sweet but he really liked it)

Prep Time- 30 minutes

Clean up- three dishes

This recipe is so easy you just dip chicken tenders in a flour mixture with salt and pepper, then into an egg mixture and last into crushed up Cap’n Crunch. Pan fry until it’s a crispy golden brown. I am being 100% honest in saying this is the best chicken tender I have ever had. I also love the added sweetness from the cereal and the crunch that you get is unlike any other. This is worth driving to the store tomorrow just to make this.

Your kids will have a hay day that you put cereal on chicken! So get them involved with crunching up the cereal. What kid doesn’t like banging things.

Happy Cooking

Life Changing Brownie Cookies

I have a slight obsession with brownies. All desserts really but brownies are at the very top! So how do you have the perfect day. First you take your kids to the local pumpkin patch!

It was a perfect 70 degrees and we got the coolest pumpkins I have ever seen.

I love this sweet family of mine!

When we got home and the girls were sleeping I decided to enter into a chocolate dream land. So if you like the edges of brownies where they are crunchy and then soft in the middle this is the cookie for you.

Brownie Cookie

Cook at 350 for 9-10 minutes

Makes 36 cookies

4 ounces baking chocolate (unsweetened or bittersweet)

2 cups sugar

2 sticks of butter

3 eggs

1 Tbsp vanilla

2 1/4 cups flour

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 cup plus 1 Tbsp of cocoa powder

Powder sugar for dusting

Start with melting the chocolate by putting it in the microwave. I used unsweetened to not have an overly sweet cookie.

Cream together butter and sugar

Add in eggs and vanilla

Then when the chocolate is cooled but not stiff add it into your butter mixture. Should look like this.

Now add in all your dry mix a little bit at a time.

I used a portion scoop so all my cookies were the same and placed them on a non stick mat.

Cook and then let cool completely before you sprinkle with powdered sugar.

I’m about to go on a really strict diet for thirty days so this is exactly what I needed to pull me through.

Happy Cooking

Crock Pot Southwest Chicken Chili

I am a huge fan of crock pot meals. I am a working mom of two kids and it really heps on the days that I work. I work three, twelve hour shifts and when I can’t get home in time to make dinner its so nice for a meal to be already ready for my family. I just recently had a baby and to prepare for that I made about 15 crock pot meals to put in the freezer before I had my daughter because who wants to cook after they have a baby? It honestly will make your life so much easier.

I have about 20 crock pot meals that I love and I will share them with you but this one is my favorite! So stay tuned. The best part of this recipe is how easy it is. I mean this is what’s in it….

1 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts

3 cans petite diced tomatoes

2 cups medium salsa

1 can corn

2 cans black beans

1 package ranch seasoning

1 package taco seasoning

Cook on low 4-6 hours

Take the chicken out towards the end of the cooking time and shred it, place it back in the crock pot.

I love to serve this with lots of toppings like cheese, sour cream, tortilla chips and avocado.

This is so delicious its amazing that such good flavor could come from so little ingredients. Just to let you all know all of this does fit in a gallon freezer bag but its a tight fit.

On a side note look how cute my fall table is. I got these adorable leaf table mats and cute pumpkin center piece.

This is super important if your going to make crock pot meals by yourself to hold the bags open for you.

Click this link to get yours Holders

Happy Cooking!

Chicken Noodle Soup- cooking with my two year old

I made this over the weekend but haven’t had time to post yet. The weekend completely surprised us and decided to snow about an inch. No one was expecting this because the weekend before it was 80 degrees.

The leaves are still on our trees so the snow pulled all the branches down. Of course with cold weather you have to make some soup and my daughter loves chicken noodle.

Chicken Noodle Soup

  • 8 cups chicken broth
  • 1-2 cups chopped chicken
  • 1 large onion chopped
  • 3-5 Carrots chopped
  • 5-7 celery stocks chopped
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 3 Tbsp butter
  • 1 Tbsp salt this will need to be adjusted if you are using salted chicken broth but mine was homemade so there was no salt
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 1/2 tsp parsley
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp garlic salt
  • 2 tsp pepper
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1-2 cups pasta of choice I used mini farfalle

Start with putting your aprons on this really helps your child feel special and involved.

Start with a large soup pot and saute the carrots, celery and onion in the butter. Wait until these are softened and then add flour and all your spices.. Stir! Please be very careful with your kids standing this close to a hot pan and open flame. A lot can happen when you walk away for just a second. Lexi loves to stir and when she puts spices in she always asks if she can “pat pat”. This just means she wants to hit the end of the spice bottle to make more come out.

Add chicken broth and chicken. I had this left over from my whole roasted chicken. Just take all the chicken off the bone that you can and throw the bones into a crock pot. Cover the chicken all the way up with water and cook on low over night. This chicken bone broth is so easy to make. This save you money on buying the broth at the store and its incredibly healthy for you.

Let this boil for 15 minutes. Then add milk and cream cook for 15 more minutes. Last add your pasta! Cover and cook for 10 minutes. Taste and see if you need to add any more spices.

Oh I forgot to tell you I added some broccoli in. When I make soup its also an opportunity to empty out the fridge so I put any random vegetable I have in the fridge in. This soup is so delicious and gets even more amazing after it sits in the fridge.

Happy Cooking

Clog Your Arteries Mac and Cheese

That is best way to explain the deliciousness of this recipe because I have never seen so much cheese in my life.

Yesterday was a lot of cooking for one day and I was totally worn out. I had to make chicken noodle soup with the broth that I made from the roast chicken. I had to make fudge because you know it’s chocolate and mama needs her chocolate! Also it was my mother in laws 60th birthday party that night so I had to make two large batches of the Mac and Cheese that she wanted. Man I got tired just writing that. Totally worth it though.

Mac and Cheese

  • 3 cups macaroni noodles
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground mustard
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • Cayenne to taste
  • 1 Tbsp steak sauce
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 8 oz cream cheese
  • 3 cups pepper jack cheese (shredded)
  • 1 cup cheddar cheese (shredded)
  • 1 pound bacon

Melt the butter in a large enough pan to fit all the ingredients. Stir in the flour, salt, pepper, mustard, cayenne and steak sauce. Mix until smooth. Add milk and heavy cream. Stir! Cube the cream cheese and put that in. Stir until that melts but don’t let it boil, it gets too sticky. Looks like yummy curdled milk. Haha

Then add the shredded cheeses! I have never seen so much cheese in my life. But you must know I am making a double batch so this is huge!

Add more salt and pepper to taste. When the mixture is smooth and super sticky and the cooked macaroni.

If that doesn’t make your mouth water I don’t know what will. At some point during this process cook your bacon. I did mine in the oven at 350 for about 15-20 minutes. Half way through I pour some of the grease off. I was looking for something to pour it in and found this plastic cup. My husband told me several times that it would melt but did I listen? Nope!!!

See totally not melted!

Chop the bacon and add half in the Mac and cheese. Place this in a 9×13 pan and add the other half of the bacon on top. I also through some breadcrumbs on top because I like a little crunch.

Bake for 20-25 minutes at 350!

Tadda! As my daughter would say. My mother in law was one happy camper she got her grand daughters, horses and Mac and Cheese. What could be better in life!

Happy Cooking!

Quinoa Caprese

Quinoa is one of my favorite ingredients to keep in my pantry. It is an absolutely wonderful substitute for rice and way healthier. Quinoa is a vegan and gluten free product that is high in protein. It also contains high amounts of fiber, antioxidants, magnesium and potassium. All essential for feeling great and looking your best. My husband even likes when I substitute it for rice because he likes the texture that it adds.

Some of my favorite recipes include:

  • Southwest Quinoa Stuffed Bell Peppers
  • Tabbouleh
  • Quinoa Burrito bowls
  • Quinoa Fried Rice
  • Quinoa Chili
  • Mexican Quinoa casserole (crock pot meal)
  • Quinoa Caprese

The list goes on and on but we will stop here with Quinoa Caprese. Let me know if anyone wants me to write a blog for the recipes on any of the above that your interested in. This recipe is on page 64 of the Dinnertime Pioneer Woman Cookbook. These are the two cookbooks I go through if anyone is interested in buying them. Dinnertime and Come and Get It

Quinoa Caprese

Delicious Scale- 9 out of 10

Husband Delicious Scale- 8 out of 10

Prep Time- 20 minutes

Clean up- Two easy pans

This recipe was really simple. It contains quinoa, (she used red quinoa) cherry tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, basil, balsamic, olive oil, salt and pepper. I also added cucumbers because I like the crunch.

Now let me as you this. Is there anything better then fresh mozzarella? I don’t think so it’s so creamy and delicious. I got to use some cherry tomatoes from my sister in laws garden and they were the perfect pop of sweetness for this salad.

Serve of the side of some roasted chicken and you have an amazing healthy dinner.

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

Quick Taco Ring

I love to take an everyday item and make something delicious with it. One of the items that I always keep on hand is crescent rolls in the can. These are so versatile! You can do appetizers, entrees or desserts.

Some wonderful ideas are:

Appetizers:

Ham and cheese roll ups

Bacon and cheddar pin wheels

Spinach and artichoke stuffed crescents

Pizza stuffed crescents

Entree:

Italian Sandwich Ring

Taco Ring

French Dip Crescents

Chicken Pot Pie Crescents

Dessert:

Apple Dumplings

Peach Dumplings

Churro Cream Cheese Bake

Chocolate Crescents

The options are endless and it is all so delicious. Today we are going to make a

Taco Crescent Ring

Crescent Rolls in the can

1/2 pound ground beef

1/2 large yellow onion chopped

1 Tbsp taco seasoning

Cheddar cheese

Toppings

Sour cream

Pico de Gallo

Salsa

Avocado

Lettuce

Tomatoes

Start off with cooking the ground beef with onions and taco seasoning in a sauté pan. Then arrange the crescent rolls into a ring like this.

Around the inside part of the ring start layering the beef with cheddar cheese on top. Take one piece of the crescent at a time and wrap around the beef at an angle. It ends up looking like this.

Cook according to the directions on the crescent rolls that you bought. Keep an eye on this because it can burn on the bottom quickly.

It’s so cute!!

Cut off a slice and put whatever toppings you would like. I just did sour cream and Pico de Gallo.

So so delicious. Even my husband was so surprised how good this was.

For portion sizes me and my husband were able to finish this whole ring by ourselves. We indulged a lot in this though. It could probably feed four though if you eat small amounts. Haha

I would love to hear what else you guys do with crescent rolls.

Happy Cooking

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!