Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Super Simple Donuts

The Best Donuts Ever.

1 tube refrigerated biscuits (We used Pillsbury buttermilk biscuits)
¼ inch of oil in a medium to large pan
Cookie sheet or large plate with paper towel on top (to place doughnuts on and sprinkle with sugar)
Sugar (as much/little as you want to sprinkle on your donuts!)
Small round cookie cutter (I used the wide end of a frosting tip from a frosting bag-it made perfect Donut holes!)

Heat oil in pan over Medium heat.
Drop in biscuits (I wouldn't do more than 4-6 at a time because you want to flip and remove them quickly)
Allow to fry 15 seconds on first side. Flip over, allow to fry 15 seconds more. Remove from oil, place on paper towel and sprinkle (or let the kids sprinkle) sugar all over them!
Voila! Makes 10 Donuts and 10 Donut Holes! (duh, I know) Not an ounce of biscuit taste to'll be pleasantly surprised at how simple, fast, and delicious these really are!!

*You can fry up your donut holes too, just eyeball them, they are hard to "flip" just stir them around a little in the oil until they start to brown-then take them out!
*Other variations, mix cinnamon and sugar to sprinkle on top. Or you can toss them in a bowl (or paper bag like my Maw-maw used to do it!) of Confectioner's Sugar to make Powdered Sugar Donuts!
*Toppings: you can use vanilla frosting and add sprinkles for a fun twist!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Sweet Summer BBQ

1½ lb boneless skinless chicken breast cut into strips(or the pre-cut chicken breast strips)
3/4 c Your favorite BBQ sauce (This is especially good with original KC Masterpiece or one of those "darker" smokier tasting sauces, I don't recommend the sweet/honey/tart sauces b/c you are adding fruit juices which will sweeten it up quite a bit!)
1-2 TBSP olive oil
1/2 c pineapple juice
Garlic powder or 1 clove of garlic-minced
Few squirts of lemon juice (1 or 2 generous squirts will do the trick)

Mix all ingredients together in large ziploc baggie, make sure all the chicken is coated with mixture. Place in refrigerater for a few hours.
Prepare grill with vegetable oil. Grill 3-4 minutes on each side or until done, we grill it a little longer because we cover the grill in foil. 

Serve with rice. After preparing rice toss a slice or two of pineapple in and toss the rice to carry over the flavor. And/or salad, if you'd like you can also toss some pineapple with the salad for a little extra flavor.
I love to serve this with Asparagus, it is one of my favorite side dishes in the summer! Clean and prepare asparagus (wash and snap off the white/hard end-it should snap right off). Heat 2 Tablespoons or so of butter in a pan. For this dish add a splash of pineapple juice, salt and pepper, and a splash of lemon juice. Cook over medium heat about 10 minutes. It's best to pick thin asparagus that is all the same size so it cooks evenly.
*For a different take on the same meal try Teriyaki sauce instead of BBQ, and keep the pineapple/lemon juice in the recipe Great summer grilling recipe!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Delicious Marshmallow Fondant (Very easy)

Everyone loves the perfectly smooth appearance of a fondant cake, but fondant often tastes pasty and bland when bought commercially. It is also expensive, averaging about $5-$10 per pound! Instead of using a fondant that has been processed and rolled into a box, try making some marshmallow fondant from scratch for a delicious homemade fondant that is simple and fun. It is so good and so easy to work with you'll wonder why anyone uses regular fondant! (I know I'm puzzled, this stuff was amazing and simple!)

16 oz. Mini marshmallows
2 lbs Powdered Sugar(Confectioners Sugar)1/2 cup Crisco shortening
2-5 Tablespoons of Water

-Melt marshmallows and 2 Tablespoons of water in a microwave bowl 30 seconds, open microwave and stir, back in microwave for 30 seconds more, open microwave and stir again, and continue doing this until melted. It usually takes about 2 1/2 minutes total.
-Dump ¾ of the confectioners sugar on top of the melted marshmallows and stir with a spatula. Once it has blended, dump onto a work surface that has been heavily greased with shortening. Grease your hands thoroughly with shortening to keep the mixture from sticking to your hands.
-Knead the mixture, adding confectioners sugar, if mixture is sticky. If the mixture tears, dip fingers in water and add a little at a time until the desired consistency is reached. Make sure that no dry lumps of confectioners sugar remain.
-Coat your marshmallow fondant in shortening, and place in a plastic food bag, squeezing out all of the air before sealing. Bag it once more to ensure to air leaks. Air will dry out your marshmallow fondant.

*When ready to use, the fondant will be hard from the refrigerator, pop it in the microwave for 10-20 seconds(10 works, unless it is the entire ball of fondant at once, then you might need 20 seconds) when rolling out the fondant, grease your rolling pin with shortening and make sure you have some on your hands or you will stick to your fondant! :)

*to color food coloring place it in a plastic bag to knead it OR wear plastic gloves (unless you don't mind purple/pink/green hands) place desired amount of gel food color, stretch/pull, knead the fondant until well mixed, or less mixed for marbled effect.
Now that you have made your marshmallow fondant, it will last for at least a month in your fridge! (make sure you double ziploc bagged it so no air leaks!)

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Haystacks(Or "Bird Nests) (No-bake)

2- 11 oz. pkg. Butterscotch (or chocolate) morsels
½ C. Jif Peanut Butter
10-12 oz. Chow Mein Noodles (entire bag)

Prepare 2 cookie sheets with wax paper.
In Medium Saucepan- Melt Butterscotch Morsels and Peanut Butter over Medium-Low heat while stirring. Remove from heat, add Chow Mein Noodles (little by little) stirring until well coated.
Drop mixture in "Haystacks" on cookie sheets with wax paper and place in refrigerator to cool/harden. Place Cadbury mini eggs or some jelly beans on top to make Bird Nests!

No-Bake Granola Bars

1.5 cups rice krispies cereal
1.5 cups old fashioned oats
1/2 cup brown sugar (unpacked)
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup peanut butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/3 cup mini chocolate chips

Line a 13x9 pan with wax paper, helps make them chewy and it's easier to get them out. Put the mini chocolate chips in the freezer while you're working, they won't melt as quickly when you add them later on. Add oats and rice krispies to a very large mixing bowl. Heat brown sugar and honey in a saucepan over medium heat until smooth. Add peanut butter and vanilla and stir until everything is combined. It will be a thick brown sauce. Don't let it boil. Remove from heat and pour over oat/cereal mix. Work quickly and stir to combine everything. Add the mini chocolate chips at the very end. Press into baking pan and chill for about 30 minutes until solid. Cut into 16 bars. (I lifted them right out with the wax paper and cut them on a cutting board)

Makes 16 servings

Monday, March 15, 2010

Shredded Chicken Sammies

This is our favorite "go to" recipe when we are going to have company for a birthday party, baby/bridal shower, church function, or Superbowl party. I've just listed the standard family size recipe here, but it is easily adjusted for larger portions! This recipe will feed the family and make nice leftovers for my husband to take to work the following day.

Shredded Chicken Sandwiches

12-14 oz. - Low Sodium Chicken Broth (depending on how much chicken you use and the consistency you want your "stuff")
1-1½lb boneless skinless chicken breast (You can use more or less-adjust the additional ingredients slightly more or less as well/also can use bone-in chicken if you prefer)
4 oz. Lite Sour Cream
½ can Campbells healthy request cream of chicken soup (low sodium)
½ can Campbells healthy request cream of mushroom soup (low sodium)
1 box Stove-top Low Sodium Chicken flavor stuffing
Salt/Pepper to taste-I don't add much salt-see below*
1-2 packages Sara Lee Dinner Rolls or hamburger buns
1 small onion *optional
**Low sodium ingredients because each of the original ingredients all have high sodium contents, so mixing them all together just seems a bit much!**

Cook chicken breasts in broth in Crock Pot 3-4 hours, checking w/a fork once in a while until it pulls apart easily. (Seasoned to taste *with optional onion, I allow large chunks of onion to cook in the broth with the chicken and then strain them out at the end because my family doesn't prefer the onions! It gives the great flavor without the need to pick them out of the sandwich later)
Remove Chicken and strain broth with fine strainer (get rid of the fat!) and pour back into crock pot, lower heat setting.
Shred chicken with fork and put back in crock pot, add remaining ingredients, mix well. Allow to heat 1 hour, stirring occasionally*the consistency will thicken as it heats. Set on lowest setting to keep warm and serve on dinner rolls. Great for parties served with potato chips! **If consistency is too soupy you can tear up bread and stir it in, it gives it a nice texture and absorbs the soupiness!