Sunday, December 19, 2010

Barbeque Chicken (Over Garlic Potatoes)

Hands down and without any doubt in my mind the BEST barbeque chicken I have ever had!!!
When one is "laid up" after surgery, easy meals are a MUST. Like...vital to life. Which is why this was made tonight. Easy enough that even a guy can make it! Yes, Craig did the hard work part. =)

As always, the crock pot is my default. If I can use it, I do. Or, in this case, if Craig can use it...etc. I'm sure you could do this in the oven...just cook until the chicken is done. It can be served over anything. Rice, potatoes, hamburger buns, as a cold sandwich, plain right out of the pot... And guess what. BOTH of my kids pounded a whole plate full. Good and good for you. Double score!

Barbeque Chicken

4 chicken breast
1 tbsp garlic powder
1 red onion, minced finely (or puree'd beyond recognition as we do it in this house)
1 bottle honey barbeque sauce
1 cup Italian dressing
1/2 cup brown sugar (Or maple syrup in my house)
1/4 cup cider vinegar
1/8 cup Worcestershire sauce

Place chicken in crock pot. Combine all the other ingredients and slather/dump all over chicken. Cook on high until done. I think it took like 3 hours? Shred chicken and return to pot of sauce. Heat through again and serve! Garnish with green onions. Although this step is usually an optional one in recipes, I think it should be mandatory. I love green onions!

For my mashed potatoes I usually do 1 clove minced garlic per 4 medium potatoes. After they are cooked, of course! So boil, drain, and add butter, garlic, pepper, a dash of salt, and a dash of cream or half and half. Best whipped potatoes ever!!

So anyways, make this sometime!! We have enough leftovers to make one more this served a family of four..unless you count that Avoni alone eats enough to feed three people.. =)

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Holiday Baking

When Christmas rolls around, I ditch all signs of healthy food and break out the corn syrup, refined sugar, and white, processed flour. Well, except for this year..I did use unbleached. =D I only bake these items once a year, so I don't even care about the health factor! Sorry. 
Granted, this is only a tiny portion of what I usually make, but Vienna is complicating matters just slightly. So, I'll just make these and call it good! 
If you've never had home made marshmallows, this is the year to change that. I've been making these for so many years, I can't even count. It's been Christmas tradition for ever! Make these up with a large mug of fresh made hot chocolate and trust bought won't even ever appeal to you!

3 packages unflavored gelatin
1/2 cup cold water
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup light corn syrup
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup water

1 tablespoon vanilla

Combine gelatin and 1/2 cup cold water in a large bowl and let sit. Combine sugar, corn syrup, salt, and 1/4 cup water in a saucepan on medium-high and cook until it reaches a temp of 240 or soft ball stage. Slowly add syrup to gelatin while beating with a hand mixer. Once all the syrup is incorporated, add vanilla. Beat on high for 8-10 minutes or until the mixture becomes too stiff for your beaters. Dump onto a cookie sheet that has been generously coated in powdered sugar. Allow to sit 12-24 hours before cutting. 

 Don't forget to use the scraps ;-) We don't waste one bit of these things~

Another Christmas must is home made caramels. My mom is famous for her caramel recipe. Everyone that has them declares them the best and I can't help but agree. Try them out and see for yourself!!


4 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups light corn syrup
1 cup butter
4 cups half and half

Heat all the ingredients in a large pot to boil minus 2 cups of the half and half. Once boiling, add remaining half and half. Cook until semi-firm/ pliable ball stage. Pour into a buttered pan. Cool, cut, and wrap. 

Gingersnaps are a holiday must. They really are! One way to make them lovely, is to dip them in white chocolate. This recipe is from a friend, Melisa S. I have to say, they're among the best gingersnaps I've ever had!


2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
2 eggs
1/2 cup molasses
4 cups flour
4 tsp baking soda
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 tsp salt
additional sugar for rolling in

Combine sugar and oil and mix well. Add eggs, beating well after adding. Stir in molasses. Add dry ingredients slowly and mix to combine. Shape into 3/4 inch balls and roll in sugar. Bake on 350 for 10-12 minutes on a greased or parchment paper lined cookie sheet. Cool and dip in melted white chocolate.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Oat Cookies

I can't eat normal food anymore. Vienna is getting way too big, and my torso is way too short. At all times, she is in my ribs, hips, sides, and sticking out 5 feet (or so it seems). So, eating is nigh onto impossible. Have you seen diagrams of how babies re-arrange your insides?! Yeah. There are reasons why the ribs expand. 
But, obviously, one needs to eat somewhat, right? 
That's why I made these cookies. They got everything in them for a healthy breakfast that takes up almost zero room in the stomach. Yeah! So cool. 
They're amazing frozen with peanut butter and a huge mug of cinnamon tea.
I can enjoy breakfast once again. =)

Oat Cookies
1 cup butter or coconut oil, melted
3/4 cups honey
1/2 cup buttermilk
2 eggs
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
1 cup raisins (I use golden..not much into the other kind)
2 cups oats
2 cups flour (I use soft white wheat berries, ground)
1/4 cup each flax meal, oat bran, cracked wheat (all optional)

Mix all wet ingredients well. Stir in dry ingredients. Drop by rounded tablespoons on parchment lined cookie sheets. Of course you don't have to use parchment, but seriously, it's the best mess free way to make cookies! I love parchment paper.
Bake on 350 for 15-17 minutes.
Enjoy! I sure did. And so did Craig. And the kids. Half a batch is already gone! And I made them, like, a half hour ago. We got bottomless pits over here!
P.s. These equal to right around 100 calories a piece. Not...bad...

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Christmas Decor!

Really, what could be funner then making decor for Christmas?! This year, my kids are actually old enough to have FUN with! And wow, we are having FUN!! Here are a few ideas!

Play Dough Ornaments

2 cups flour
2 cups warm water
1 cup salt
2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
1 Tablespoon cream of tartar

Mix all of the ingredients together, and stir over low heat. The dough will begin to thicken until it resembles mashed potatoes.

When the dough pulls away from the sides and clumps in the center, remove the pan from heat and allow the dough to cool enough to handle. If your dough is still sticky, continue heating in pan.

Knead dough smooth and begin making cutouts!

Bake on 200 for about an hour or until hard. Decorate and hang!!

Avoni rolling out the dough
 Big Brother Aerro helping out
 They, uhm, did such a *good* job! haha
 I used a straw to make the hole before baking
 We used Mod Podge and glitter to decorate.

 Advent Calendar

I remember as a kid loving to make the paper chains for countdown to Christmas. Today, we made this version!! Pretty much there aren't any directions. Just cut out strips of construction paper, and form the loops by using tape or a stapler. Rip off one link per day until Christmas! Aerro is SO excited about this!!
25 strips of paper!
 And our Advent Calendar!

Wooden Letter Blocks

Pretty much all you need is a 2 by 4 cut into squares, a sander for making the edges smooth, paint to paint the blocks, mod podge to adhering paper, and all your paper crafting add ons! These were a blast to assemble. I got the cardboard letters from a local craft store. Try making some! 

These made great Christmas gifts to the mothers. Beings we will be missing Christmas with the families, I gave them at Thanksgiving so they could add them to their standard decor. My mother in law tends to use more sparkly silver stuff, and my mom is maroon and gold all the way. They matched the existing decor perfectly!!

  Happy Crafting!