Sunday, April 22, 2012

Pin #27 Pizza Grilled Cheese

Inspiration Pin

What's not to love about a grilled cheese filled with pepperoni! My husband had one of those moments where he bit into his sandwich and looked up at me totally speechless. I try to cook amazing meals on a daily basis (insert sarcastic voice), but I can count on one hand the number of speechless faces that I have had from my husband. Needless to say we are going to make these sandwiches again in the near future. Which is fine by me since they took no time to put together.

Recipe from Blog Chef
8 slices of bread
¼ cup butter (softened)
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder (or more to taste)
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1 package sliced pepperoni
8 slices mozzarella cheese
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese

1. Mix the butter, garlic powder, and Italian seasoning together. Spread it on one side of the bread. 

2. Heat the pepperoni a little in the microwave or a pan before putting it on the bread. Place a piece of bread face down on a skillet that has been pre-heated on medium heat. Then put the cheese and pepperoni down on the bread in the pan. Cover that with another piece of bread that has the butter top side up. 

3. Cook until browned and then flip the sandwich to the other side. Serve with pizza sauce or tomato soup on the side.

You can see from this picture that I don't follow directions very well. I bought mini-pepperoni and the Italian shredded cheese that contains mozzarella mixed with Parmesan cheese. I don't think that these shopping mistakes changed the flavor that much though.  The loveliest part about this sandwich is the butter mixture that gets all crispy when you toast it. Yum! 

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Pin #26 Elephant Toothpaste Experiment

Inspiration Pin

It was a rainy, rainy day and I'm trying to get over a cold, so we spent the day inside and the kids were getting bored. Luckily, I remembered this pin and we had all the ingredients in the cupboard. I'm not sure how much the kids understood the concept of chemical reactions, but they really enjoyed watching it grow and getting their hands messy.

Pretty simple list of ingredients:
1 tsp. yeast
2 Tbsp. warm water
a few drops of dish soap
a few good drops of food coloring
1/2 cup of hydrogen peroxide

First-  Combine the yeast and warm water together

Second- Combine the dish soap, food coloring, and hydrogen peroxide
Finally- Add the yeast mixture into the bottle and watch it grow!


Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Pin #25 Slow Cooker "Fauxtisserie" Chicken

Inspiration Pin
 I know the picture looks a little scary, but go with me here! This chicken was amazing. Seriously amazing. The first night I served it with a side of rice and veggies and it tasted great. A few days later I used the other chicken breast to make fajitas and even the leftovers were delicious. I am not a huge fan of leftover chicken. There is usually a flavor that I just don't love. Not the case with this "fauxtisserie" chicken. The meat was moist and had really good flavor, probably due to the heaping amounts of Lawry's salt that you coat it with before putting it in the crockpot. 
The original recipe over at Our Best Bites was even more coated with the salt and had fresh rosemary on top. I am currently trying to grow my own herbs but since they are still seeds at this point, I needed to use the dry version. I just lifted the skin off the breast and put a little minced garlic and  dried rosemary up under the skin. The next key step is to make the aluminum balls for the chicken to lay on in the slow cooker. This keeps the meat up out of the fatty juices that run off. The recipe called for 3 aluminum balls, but I have no balancing skills and decided to make 4 balls. No worries it all it in the crock pot. Then I just set the temperature to low, put the lid on, and left it alone for 8 hours. I did put it under the broiler a bit to brown the skin, but that was after I took this picture. The chicken got a little mangled as I tried to get it out of the crock pot but everyone still ate it up.

All you need:
1 whole chicken- small enough to fit in your crock pot
Salt based seasoning such as Lawry's Salt
Garlic and fresh herbs are optional
 Aluminum foil

-make sure to rinse off the chicken, including in the cavity, and pat it down before putting on the salt
Click here for more detailed instructions from Our Best Bites

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Pinterest Pin #24 Lime Crinkle Cookies

Inspiration Pin
 This  is one of the first recipes that I pinned on Pinterest. They are so wonderfully soft and chewy, and have a nice zesty citrus taste. Lately, lemon and lime are my go-to  flavors for everything sweet like yogurt and desserts. I also love to slice up a lemon or lime and put them in my water. Plain water gets so boring to drink, and as we are constantly reminded to drink 8-10 glasses of boring water daily.  Adding lemon or lime slices seem to make it a little better. 
The day I made these lovely crinkle cookies, I had a lemon and lime in my fruit basket. The original recipe calls for fresh lemon juice and zest. I had made the lemon ones for a baby shower once and loved them. This time I decided to mix it up and try it with the lime and they were so good! They tasted a bit like Key Lime Pie in cookie form. I think I ate ten of them in one day.  Next time, I think I will try an orange version and see how they taste.

Lime Crinkle Cookies
(adapted from Lauren Brennan's Award Winning Lemon Crinkle Cookies)
Makes 2-3 dozen

½ cups butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
½ teaspoons vanilla extract
1 whole egg
1 teaspoon lime zest
1 Tablespoon fresh lime juice
¼ teaspoons salt
¼ teaspoons baking powder
⅛ teaspoons baking soda
1-½ cup all-purpose flour
½ cups powdered sugar
For the lime version, just take out the lime and add lemon. I didn't change the measurements at all.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease light colored baking sheets with non-stick cooking spray and set aside.

In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Whip in vanilla, egg, lemon zest, and juice. Scrape sides and mix again. Stir in all dry ingredients slowly until just combined, excluding the powdered sugar. Scrape sides of bowl and mix again briefly. Pour powdered sugar onto a large plate. Roll a heaping teaspoon of dough into a ball and roll in powdered sugar. Place on baking sheet and repeat with remaining dough.

Bake for 9-11 minutes or until bottoms begin to barely brown and cookies look matte {not melty or shiny}. Remove from oven and cool cookies about 3 minutes before transferring to cooling rack.

*If using a non-stick darker baking tray, reduce baking time by about 2 minutes.

Monday, April 9, 2012