Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Jap Chicken

Can you ever have to many ways of cooking chicken? I think not.
I love Asian food. This is a recipe that my mom used to make when we would have a big group of people over. She usually would just do it as chicken wings for appetizers but it also work just as good for a main entree. You soak the chicken overnight to really develop that Asian goodness flavor into the chicken. Cook it low and slow and it comes out so unbelievably juicy!

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Thai Peanut Dressing

Over the weekend we had a big get together with a bunch of friends from the ward. We decided to have a Thai themed potluck. I'll tell you what...I have some amazing cooks as friends. I could learn a lot from them!
We realized that we were going to end up with a lot of main course items so I hurried and bought some lettuce to throw a quick salad together and realized I had no idea what kind of dressing to serve on top of it. I searched high and low and came across a whole bunch of different peanut dressings and this is the one I chose to make because I trust the site it came from. This dressing had rave reviews from all my friends, so here I am sharing it with all of you! Enjoy!

Friday, July 26, 2013

Colombian Chicken Sancocho

Okay all. I broke way out of my comfort zone the other night and made a Colombian dish in honor of one of my best friends down here. She has inspired me to branch out and try some new ingredients while at her home so I figured I should give some of them a try on my own. Guess what?! IT WAS A SUCCESS! My husband had two big bowls full of this soup, and that says something as he is not usually a huge eater. The chicken turns out super tender and moist and the broth is full of flavor. Give it a try, you won't be disappointed. I served mine up with a side of quinoa and would have had some sliced avocado as well but when I went to pull one out, they were all mushy and bad.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Tomatillo Dressing

This dressing is out of this world. It is somewhat similar to the El Pollo Loco Dressing recipe I have on here but wow. I do believe this will be my go to dressing from now on. This was absolutely amazing on top of the Shredded Beef Tacos that I made yesterday! Give them both a try, and honestly I think the tacos were so good because this sauce is so amazing!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Shredded Beef Tacos

Oh....my.....goodness!!!!!
Between the amazing beef in this recipe and the tomatillo dressing recipe (recipe to come tomorrow) that goes with it I think I died and went to heaven! This I must say has got to be one of the best recipe finds I have ever found. The beef is slow cooked all day in a fantastic combination of flavors and then shredded to put in tacos! Then there is a tomatillo dressing recipe that is OUT OF THIS WORLD!
If you have ever been to Cafe Rio, this is a copycat version of their Shredded Beef Tacos and their Tomatillo dressing. So if you like it there then you will love this recipe!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Homemade Granola

This recipe brings up so many fantastic memories for me. My dad took over the job of making fresh granola, and even now makes a new batch every couple of weeks. The thing I love about granola is that you only need a little amount to make you feel full! This is one thing I definitely miss about living at home. For some reason it just tastes better knowing that my dad made it, not that it doesn't taste exactly the same it just had that extra bit of love in it I guess.
I love having homemade granola around. Number one because you can really throw anything you like in it and it will usually taste pretty good and two because it makes a great addition to plain old yogurt  in the morning.


Monday, July 22, 2013

Baked Asian Chicken Wings

This recipe was a great find. The sauce in this recipe is absolutely divine! I even got my husband to like the sauce and that is a big deal because the sauce has blackberry jam in it...my husband does not eat any form of cooked fruit so it really surprised me when he talked about how good the sauce was. *Secrets in the sauce right?! ;) *
This recipe was ridiculously easy and took no prep at all which is my kind of recipe.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Pickled Red Onions

Yep. You read it right. Pickled, Red, Onions. I got this recipe from my sister who said I have to give it a try on our Gage Dogs, which I did and wow...these are fantastic! Where have they been all my life. I usually slather up my dogs in just the raw red onion or sauerkraut, but these take them to a whole other level. I really can't even describe them other then to say, JUST TRY THEM! They would be great on any hot dog, hamburger, whatever.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

The Gage Dog

Ohhhhh the hot dog. Everybody's favorite thing they hate to love. I personally am not a huge fan of the cheap (I don't know whats really in them) dogs from the grocery store, but, this recipe I will eat...everytime! The GAGE dog.
We were having a bbq at my sisters house a few years ago and my brother in law said that we had to try this version of a hot dog. It was fantastic. How can a hot dog with bacon not be good. Anyway, I believe it was his creation, or maybe it was something that he had seen before, BUT my husband loved it (as I recall he may have snarfed down one or two extra hot dogs that day.) Since they are brothers and they both love them, it is now called the GAGE dog in our household.


*I forgot to snap a picture of our dogs this time, so I tried to find the closest
thing on the web I could to what it looks like. I will update a new picture
when we make them again! But this is a great picture for if you forget to wrap the bacon around the dog, like I sometimes do :)*

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Tropical Fruit Smoothie

I have really been enjoying creating new smoothie mixtures every day. Today I found myself feeling in the mood for an Island getaway so I broke out the mangos!
The fusion of mango, pineapple, and banana create a great blend of a tropical paradise in your mouth! I like to whip these up for a quick boost to a breakfast, or I even use them as a great dessert alternative. You could even throw the mixture into popsicle molds and freeze them for a hot summer day.
The thing I like best about making smoothies is that you can create something different every day. So really how can you get bored of drinking them? Oh and...they are incredibly healthy. I never add any additional sugar or sweetener to mine. This is great because it helps you get in quite a bit of your daily fruit intake needs, which I don't know about you, but I struggle with! So I say, throw it all in the blender and drink it up!
Okay that sounded like an infomercial! I apologize for that! I wrote it at like 6 in the morning a couple of days ago when I had a bunch of time to kill before my little one woke up.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Pastrami Chili Cheese Fries

Since yesterday was healthy lets go with extremely unhealthy today :)
This is my Ode to The Hat. This is one place that I REALLY REALLY REALLY miss about
living in California. This is probably one of the most unhealthy things you can possibly eat, but it is absolutely one of the best things you will ever eat. They are famous for their ginormous Pastrami sandwiches, which are also amazingly fantastic and consist of pastrami, pickles, and mustard. This is what most people order. After going there with a "Hat Pro" we ordered the (not on the menu) Pastrami Chili Cheese Fries. Oh my goodness. Since I know most of you aren't from California and can't visit The Hat, I have created the same recipe that I use at home. Granted it isn't exactly like The Hat, because their pastrami is out of this world (and I don't even like pastrami) but its a great homemade alternative.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Fruit Bruschetta

This is by far my favorite appetizer to make whenever I am asked to bring one. The fresh fruit on top of cinnamon bread with this amazingly fantastic orange-honey creamy sauce on top....makes my mouth water! I love this recipe because it is a great fresh and healthier appetizer.
Not only does it taste fantastic but it is very appealing to the eye, so they will disappear within minutes! The sauce is what makes this recipe different then just a regular old fruit salsa with cinnamon chips recipe (although also a great appetizer).
Whether its a classy party or just a small get together with close friends and family, this appetizer will be a hit.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Dad's Texas BBQ

Mmmm Mmmm Mmmm. I love BBQ season! And now that I live in the great state of Arizona, its ALWAYS BBQ season! This makes my tummy very happy :)
This BBQ sauce recipe is one that I grew up on. It's one that my dad always used whenever he would do up some ribs. In my opinion I think it would be good on any kind of meat, but you can never go wrong with it when its on some fantastic ribs...
(Yes I did just have to wipe a little drool off my chin...)
If you don't use all of the sauce it can save in the fridge for at least a week, depending on how you store it.
For me, this recipe just brings back fond memories of dad at the grill, mom making some macaroni salad, and me bringing the dishes outside to eat with the family on the deck!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Italian Turkey Meatballs

If you are looking for a lower calorie and still fantastic tasting meatball then give this recipe a try. Ground beef? Who needs it when you can jazz up some extra lean ground turkey and save a few million calories :)
These meatballs are so flavor packed that you won't even miss the extra grease.
And in my personal opinion if your meatballs are good, then you don't have to go completely extravagant on your sauce. These meatballs are great in spaghetti, as subs, in a soup, or plain! I've tried them all three ways and they are simply fantastic. Give them a try and let me know what you think!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Coconut Chicken w/ Apricot Sauce



Coconut and chicken go so well together. I usually can't make
dishes like this because my husband doesn't like the texture of coconut nor does he like cooked fruit, so I have basically been waiting to try this recipe for 8 years. I decided last night that I was going to make it regardless of whether he would like it or not. I thoroughly enjoyed it, he picked off all the coating and pushed the sauce my direction. Oh well.
If you like coconut then you will like this recipe. The coconut gives a sweetness to the chicken that makes it fine to eat alone but then you add in this interesting dipping sauce and bam...its fruity, its sweet, and its chicken. It almost kind of reminds me of a sweet and sour, but kind of not as well (good description right?!)

Monday, July 8, 2013

Watermelon & Strawberry Smoothie




I love everything about summer. Although living where it is well over 100 every day during the summer isn't necessarily my favorite BUT I do love the heat. Why? Because you can make smoothies every day! I used to try to attempt to make smoothies a few years ago and they were horrible. I always thought, "Oh just throw whatever fruits and veggies you have in your fridge in and it will be fantastic." NOT SO! I have made HORRIBLE ones before.
As of recently I have reached a new milestone. I CAN MAKE A GOOD SMOOTHIE EVERYTIME! I have this wonderful and amazing friend named Paola who makes the most amazing smoothies in this entire world. She gave me ideas and tips on how to create an awesome smoothie. Now I make smoothies every morning to go along with my breakfast!
This particular smoothie recipe was one that she had made at a get together a couple weeks ago. Its cold and refreshing on a hot summer day and not only does it taste great, its good for you! WIN! My version on her smoothie is more of a limeade approach so enjoy!

Friday, July 5, 2013

Worlds Best Fudge

The other day I had to open an entire can of Sweetened Condensed Milk just to add a Tablespoon of it to a recipe that I was making. I hate to just waste ingredients! Especially one that is so divine in flavor and semi-expensive to just throw the rest away. So as I was thinking of what recipes I make that uses that yummy goodness in a can the only one that kept coming back to my mind was a recipe from my Father in Law. He makes this stuff every Christmas, in many batches and they are devoured almost immediately. This is the fudge that my husband grew up on so to him it holds special memories and good eating as well. This recipe is ridiculously simple to make and it won't take to long for it to chill so you can enjoy it pretty fast!
Thanks DAD for sharing this recipe with us, and now thanks for allowing me to share it with the world!

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Sugar Cookies

Happy Independence Day everybody! It's days like today where I feel like I should be a total rock star and bust out in song because I would be singing (and possibly HAVE been singing this song all day)
    "For I'm PROUD to be and AMERICAN,
     where at least I know I'm FREE,
     and I won't forget the men who died,
     who gave that Right to ME"
I truly am so grateful for all of our veterans and current men serving in all areas of the Army.
While in the patriotic mood today I decided that for our centerpiece for our little BBQ that I would make a bunch of my favorite sugar cookies and make an awesome flag out of them! I saw this idea on Pinterest and thought it looked so cute! I have little tiny white stars that will go on top of the blue ones instead of doing them all the same size on that part, but this is the general idea.
Anyway, I love this sugar cookie and frosting recipe. My family have used this recipe for years and years. Usually the only time that I make sugar cookies is for Valentines day, because anybody that knows me or my family knows that the women ALWAYS make our sweeties a GIANT heart shaped one and decorate it nice and cute just for them. It's always a big hit in my home. So my sweetie is extra lucky this year because he gets to have sugar cookies twice this year :)



Mine looked like this:

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Slow Cooked Jerk Pork

This recipe smells absolutely fantastic cooking all day. It took a lot of self control to not try to eat it after only a couple of hours. Marinading it overnight in a great combination of sweet, fresh citrus juices and some spicy jerk flavors really gives this pork a great flavor base before cooking it. You can make it as spicy or not as you want, and either way it will be fantastic. I topped mine off with the Mango and Black Bean Salad I posted about yesterday and it was FANTASTIC! Mine ended up being a little spicy so having that salad there with the avocado and mango really helped cool it down. This would be fantastic served over plain rice, cilantro rice, coconut rice...anything really.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Mango and Black Bean Salad

If you are looking for a refreshing side dish to go alongside your meal, then give this recipe a try. I usually use this on top of a nice grilled up London Broil or awesome Steak, but it would be good on top of any kind of meat to be honest. I serve this up with some grilled or roasted chicken breasts and its awesome! This week I had it three different ways. I put it on top of my steak, I used it as a side dish for some grilled chicken, and I served it on top of some Jamaican Jerk Pork (recipe to follow tomorrow). If you have a dish that is a little to spicy, try pairing it with this great salad. The mango and the avocado really help to cool anything down that has to much of a bite. Or alone, the beans and the mango pair so well together, all brought together with a fresh lime vinaigrette!

Monday, July 1, 2013

The BEST Blueberry Muffins

I have made several different recipes for blueberry muffins and none of them were very good. Well ladies and gents...I no longer have to find a good one! This recipe is great. It has just the right about of sweetness to help bring out the blueberry flavor and the streusel on top...oh yes...its sugary and crunchy and delicious!
This recipe is also a bit unique in the fact that you use browned butter to make them. Don't be turned off if you've never had browned butter. Its beyond simple to make and adds such a wonderful flavor to your muffin. It almost gives it a nutty flavor. Give it a try and tell me what you think! Honestly, I hope you no longer have to look any further for the perfect blueberry muffin!

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