Easter Fun!

Happy Easter eve! I’ve been busy today getting things ready for the Easter festivities. I have three Pinterest projects I’m doing this year. Two of them I did today and the other is half way done and will be finished tomorrow.

First up: Colored Deviled Eggs!

It can be a bit tough to find detailed instructions for these on Pinterest, so what I did was fill three large coffee mugs with water, put in about ten drops of food color (McCormick Neon) into each one (just keep adding till you think it’s dark enough) and plopped the egg whites in. The longer you leave them in the brighter they are. Super fun project.

Second: The Peeps Bunny Cake

I’m sure you’ve seen this cake more than once if you’ve looked around for Easter treats on Pinterest. I figured I would give it a shot and I’m so glad I did. It came out really cute and it’s going to be very festive tomorrow. You don’t really need a recipe for this. I just used 1 cake mix (split in half and baked in two 9 inch round pans) and 2 cans of store bought buttercream frosting. I used 4 boxes of Peeps (I had tons leftover but I wanted color options) and 1 bag of Easter M&Ms on top. The actual decorating was super easy and didn’t take much time at all and I was so happy with the results.

I’ve got one more cake to finish up tomorrow and the rest of Easter dinner to prepare. What are you doing this holiday weekend?

Bacon Cheddar Potatoes

I had a coupon recently for Tyson Smokey Steakhouse Chicken. These are with the regular frozen chicken breasts and are exactly the same, but are already seasoned. I thought I’d give them a try since they were a good deal, but what I could serve with them? That’s when I came across a pin on Pinterest for Baked Potato Casserole. It looked yummy, so I had to try it.

Adapted from a recipe at Hott Mama in the City.

Ingredients:

  • About 6 large red potatoes, rinsed.
  • Shredded cheddar cheese (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 1 package of bacon bits.
  • Butter or margarine.

Directions:

  1. Butter the bottom of a the pan or baking dish. Then place small pats of butter on the bottom. (I used 6 small pats, you can omit this if you like less butter.)
  2. Cube the potatoes and spread them out in the pan. Make sure they are spread out evenly.
  3. Bake at 400 degrees for 1 hours. (I took mine out after 30 minutes and covered them with aluminum foil before putting them back in to prevent the ones on top from burning.)
  4. Once the potatoes are cooked, take them out and add bacon bits and cheese. Bake for an additional 5 minutes or until cheese is melted.

Verdict: Win

These were super yummy AND super easy, which are the two most important things. You can add onion or sour cream as well to complete the loaded baked potato experience. Plus, they went really well with the chicken. I will definitely make it again.

Jelly Bean Bark

I had all these big plans for what to make for Easter treats. Then time got away from me and I had other stuff going on so I realized I needed something fast and easy but still cute. So, of course, I went with bark. I’ve made bark before using other candies and what not, but I’ve seen tons of pins for jelly bean bark and I thought that might be fun.

Ingredients:

  • 1 bag of Wilton candy melts (I used white, but they come in tons of colors.)
  • Sprinkles
  • 9oz bag of jelly beans (I used Brach’s Speckled Jelly Beans.)
  • Parchment paper

Directions:

1. Melt the candy melts. I microwave them in small increments until they are melted.

2. Spread the white candy out on a piece of parchment paper.

3. Add sprinkles and jelly beans.

4. Let everything harden and then break it into pieces and you have an easy Easter treat.

Verdict: Win

Easy and it looks lovely on an Easter plate. It tastes pretty good too. I also made some cupcakes (box mix, nothing fancy) and I’m all set for Easter (at least until it’s time for Easter dinner dessert.)

Crockpot Chicken and Noodles

After a week of old favorites I was finally able to try a new recipe today. This one was chose because it utilized items I already had in the pantry AND it’s super easy (because I try to keep it as simple as possible, especially on Monday.)

This recipe is from my new favorite cookbook: Super-Fast Slow Cooking by Gooseberry Patch.

Ingredients:

  • 3 or 4 small boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • Can of chicken broth (14.5oz)
  • 2 cans of cream of chicken soup
  • 16oz package of egg noodles, cooked

Directions:

  1. Put chicken in the slow cooker with chicken broth and cream of chicken soup. Cook on low 6 to 8 hours.
  2. About thirty minutes before you are ready to serve,  shred up the chicken, add the cooked egg noodles and mix well.

Verdict: Win

While not the most exciting of recipes, this down home dish was a win with the family, even the pickiest eater. I think if I made this again, I might try throwing the noodles in the crockpot uncooked. There was a lot of liquid in there and I’ve done it before with beef and noodles, so I think it might work and would save me the step of having to boil the noodles.

What’s For Dinner?

Long time, no post! This past week I didn’t really make anything new or exciting (just stuck to our favorites.) Not so great for the blog, but I didn’t have to worry that there would be any dinner-fails along the way.

Tonight I decided to try one of the Campbell’s Slow Cooker Sauces (mostly because I happened to have one that I got cheap) and because we haven’t had pork roast in a while. The sauces was the BBQ Apple Bourbon variety. What’s not to like there? So, I threw the pork and sauce in the crock pot and went out to enjoy my Saturday (the weather was quite lovely today!) figuring I would come home to a fabulous dinner, without much effort on my part.

As you can see, it looks pretty tasty. Unfortunately, looks can be deceiving.

Verdict: Fail

This was really bad. It somehow managed to be both bland and awful at the same time. (Don’t ask me how to explain, just trust me on this.) Probably one of my least favorite things since I started.

Cheesy Chicken and Rice Bake

I chose this recipe for two reasons. First, it’s topped with Ritz crackers and I have some I needed to use up. Secondly, you don’t have to cook the rice first (woohoo!)

After a few less than stellar dinner moments (and one epic failure) this week, I was understandably nervous about this dish.

Source: South of Your Mouth (I love this blog. She posts so many down-home recipes and many of them are easy enough that even I can manage it.)

Ingredients:

  • 4 chicken breasts (I used the thin sliced by Tyson so I could skip cutting them up.)
  • 2 cans of cheddar soup
  • 1 cup of long-grain rice, uncooked
  • 1 cup of milk
  • 1 tsp of salt
  • 1 1/2 cups of broccoli florets (the original recipe calls for more, but I’m not crazy about broccoli so I went light on it.)
  • 2 sleeves of Ritz crackers, crushed
  • 6 tblsp of butter, melted
  • 1/8 tsp of garlic powder

Recipe:

  1. In a bowl, whisk together soup, milk and salt.
  2. Fold in the rice.
  3. Pour 2/3 of the mixture into a greased 9×13 pan.
  4. Place chicken on top and then pour the rest of the soup mixture on top.
  5. Add broccoli, cover with aluminum foil and bake at 400 for 1 hour.
  6. Combine crackers, butter, and garlic powder.
  7. Take the pan out of the oven, remove the aluminum foil and sprinkle the cracker crumb mixture on top evenly.
  8. Place back in the oven for 20 minutes or until the crackers are brown.

Verdict: Win!

This dinner was definitely a success. It comes together really easy and everyone enjoyed it (even the rice hater in the family.) I really loved the crackers on top, but I think it would be good without them as well. I will definitely be making it again.

Crockpot Hashbrown Casserole

This recipe came about because I still needed to use up one bag of hashbrowns that I got for cheap. The original recipe was for a side dish, but I opted to turn it into a meal by adding chicken.

Adapted from a recipe at Tammi Lee Tips

Ingredients:

  • 20 oz bag of hashbrowns
  • 2 cups of cooked chicken, cubed
  • 1 can of cream of chicken soup
  • 1 cup of cheese crackers, divided
  • 1 cup of shredded cheddar
  • 1/2 cup of butter, melted
  • 1 1/2 cups of milk

Directions:

  1. In crockpot sprayed with cooking spray, mix hashbrowns, chicken, soup, half of the cheese crackers, cheddar, butter and milk.
  2. Top with the rest of the cheese crackers.
  3. Cook on low for 5 hours.

Verdict: Eh

This was just okay. We didn’t really love it and I doubt I will make it again. I’m not sure if I went awry or if this just wasn’t the meal for us.

What’s For Dinner?

In a word: FAILURE

So, I had this brilliant idea that I was going to have a German themed dinner. The main part of the meal was going to be pork schnitzel.

The scene of the crime:

Yep. It was bad. The problems arose when I was attempting to pan fry them, when that started to go horribly awry I thought maybe if I threw them in the oven I could salvage it, but in the end it was too late to save them.

We had chicken nuggets for dinner. My dreams of a German themed dinner went kaput.

Verdict: Oh, the humanity!

It was bad. I won’t be trying it again for a while, I may be a tad scarred on schnitzel front for the foreseeable future.

 

 

Chili Dog Casserole

Have you ever had that day where you have a fabulous dinner in the crockpot only to realize that the whole time it was never actually turned on? THAT happened today. As a result, I needed to make something quick and easy with things already in the house.

Thank goodness for this casserole. It’s crazy easy to put together, doesn’t take long to cook and works perfectly if you have hot dogs but you don’t have buns (why does that always seem to happen?)

Adapted from: The Weary Chef

Ingredients:

  • 5 hot dogs
  • 2 cans of chili (I used Hormel)
  • Half a 32oz bag of frozen french fries.
  • 1/2 cup of shredded cheddar (because that is how much I had)

Directions:

  1. Cut up hot dogs into bite size pieces and mix with chili.
  2. Spread into a greased 9×13 baking dish.
  3. Cover with a single layer of french fries.
  4. Add shredded cheddar
  5. Bake at 450 for 30 minutes or until fries are done.

Verdict: Dinner Saver!

This casserole really saved the day. It was super easy to throw together and quite yummy. Everyone ate it and a few even had seconds. It was definitely a winner. I served it with cheddar biscuits .

Root Beer Float Pie

I LOVE root beer floats. There is something so perfect about them, so naturally making root beer float into a pie was something I had to try.

Now, I know this is probably more of a summer recipe, but I personally love root beer floats year round. Go with me on this.

Source: HolidaysPage

Ingredients:

  • 1 container of Cool Whip, thawed
  • 1 graham cracker crust, 9 inch (you can make your own, but I just bought a ready made one)
  • 1 box of instant vanilla pudding (3.4oz)
  • 3/4 cup of root beer (A&W is my favorite)
  • 1/2 cup of milk
  • Maraschino cherries (if you want them – we aren’t fans of cherries)

Directions:

  1. In a bowl, whisk together pudding, root beer and milk for 2 minutes.
  2. Fold in 1 and 1/4 cups of the Cool Whip.
  3. Spread the mixture into the graham cracker crust.
  4. Top with the rest of the Cool Whip (I didn’t use all of it, but if you like lots of whipped toppy, go for it!)
  5. Refrigerate overnight or 8 hours (Super important because otherwise it ends up soupy)
  6. Add cherries if you’d like.

Verdict: Win

I’ve made this pie a few times and it’s a big hit around here. The first time I made it I used all of the whipped topping, but the fam preferred it with a bit less because the root beer layer is so good that you don’t want the whipped topping to overpower it. Your mileage may vary. I look forward to making this again and experimenting with other flavors of soda.